The U.S. is beginning the week by approaching another milestone: 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases. There are now over 3 million cases worldwide. The U.S. has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world.

As the number of cases continues to grow, several states are announcing plans to ease shelter-in-place restrictions and reopen nonessential businesses. Health officials warn that lifting restrictions could erase progress and open the door for more infections.

THE PANDEMIC

52-year-old gospel recording artist Troy Sneed has passed away from COVID-19. The Florida A&M alum was a college football and member of the university’s gospel choir. Sneed sang with the Georgia Mass Choir and went on to have a successful solo career.

 

Board Chairman John Tyson of Tyson Foods issued a warning to the public that “millions of pounds of meat” will disappear from the supply chain as the coronavirus pandemic continues to close food processing plants. This, he says, will lead to product shortages in grocery stores throughout the U.S. in the next couple of weeks. On Sunday, the CDC issued new interim guidelines for meat processing plants to address the crisis.

As the pandemic ravages long-term care facilities, the U.S. nursing home industry is asking states for immunity from lawsuits for the 15,600 facilities nationwide. So far at least six states have provided explicit immunity from COVID-19 lawsuits for nursing homes, and six more have granted some form of immunity to health care providers. Patient advocates are concerned that nursing homes accused of extreme neglect could avoid liability. [READ MORE]

Rapper Scarface of the Houston rap group Geto Boys contracted the coronavirus in March. Now, the rapper, who ran for the Houston City Council in 2019, is on dialysis after fighting double pneumonia and kidney failure as a result of COVID-19.

The Los Angeles Lakers secured $4.6 million in aid through the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, which was put into place to help small businesses struggling during the pandemic. The Lakers franchise, valued at more than $4 billion, has since returned the money. No other team has received aid from the program.

STATES 

In response to the economic and racial disparities highlighted during the coronavirus crisis, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the appointment of his wife, Chirlane McCray, to head his new Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity. De Blasio’s appointment is being met with criticism from leaders of both political parties, as they argue that McCray isn’t qualified for the job.  

Georgia saw a spike in the coronavirus infection rate just one day after Governor Brian Kemp lifted shutdown orders on many nonessential businesses across the state.

Over seven hours on Saturday, positive COVID-19 diagnoses rose by more than 500 cases, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The state has over 23,000 cases in total.

POLITICS

In an interview on MSNBC on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering a guaranteed minimum income for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. She also discussed the Democratic party’s push to include a vote-by-mail provision in Congress’ next coronavirus relief package.

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