USA

Trump seen wearing mask for the first time at hospital visit

CNN showed footage of the president and his advisers wearing the mask at the Walter Reed Army Medical Centre in Washington.

"I'll probably have a mask if you must know. I'll probably have a mask. I think when you're in a hospital especially in that particular setting, where you are talking to a lot of soldiers, people that in some cases just got off the operating table. I think it's a great thing to wear a mask. I've never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place," he told reporters.

Nasa astronauts begin historic mission on private spaceship

It's the first time since the retirement of the shuttles nine years ago that an American crew has made the journey from US territory.

Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are not only trialling a new capsule system, they are also initiating a new business model for Nasa.

The agency will no longer own the vehicles it uses but merely purchase the "taxi" service offered by SpaceX.

It's hoped companies other than tech billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX outfit will come in to expand the market. The aerospace giant Boeing already has a contract with Nasa to do so.

Coronavirus deaths in US top 100,000

It has seen more deaths (currently 100,047) and infections (1.69 million) than any other country.

The first US infection surfaced in Washington state on 21 January, in a man who had just returned from China.

Globally there have been 5.6 million people confirmed infected and 353,414 deaths since the virus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

Americans flock to beaches on Memorial Day weekend

In Florida, state police dispersed an unauthorised gathering of hundreds of people in Daytona Beach on Saturday.

In Missouri, bars at the Lake of the Ozarks were packed with revellers, who violated social-distancing rules.

US coronavirus task force chief Dr Deborah Birx said she was "very concerned" after seeing such scenes.

"We really want to be clear all the time that social distancing is absolutely critical. And if you can't social distance and you're outside, you must wear a mask," Dr Birx said on ABC's This Week on Sunday.

US suspends travel from Brazil for foreigners

The South American nation recently became the world's second major hotspot for coronavirus cases.

Brazil currently has more than 347,300 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

A White House spokeswoman said the restrictions would help ensure new cases are not brought into the US.

"Today's action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country," White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.

Mexico receives ventilator shipment from US

The 211 machines were purchased from a US firm following an informal agreement between the neighbouring nations' leaders in mid-April.

Last week, several hospitals in Mexico City said they were turning patients away because of a lack of equipment.

President Trump has previously called the US "the king of ventilators".

In early April, President Trump said that the US would have 110,000 ventilators by the end of June.

He also said at the time that some of the machines could go to countries that were "desperate" for the machines.

     

Coronavirus: Trump warns US death toll could hit 100,000

Speaking at a two-hour virtual "town hall", Mr Trump also denied that his administration had acted too slowly.

More than 67,000 people have already died with Covid-19 in the US.

But Mr Trump expressed optimism about the development of a vaccine, saying one would be ready by the end of this year - although public health experts believe it will take 12 to 18 months.

High Covid-19 rates for Pacific islanders in the US

The organization cited the "alarming disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities," and announced it has formed a Covid-19 Response Team to focus on Covid-19's impact on the US-based Pacific Islander community.

Many states don't separate data on Native Hawaiians and Pacific islanders. But in states where statistics are available, they show that the highest rates of infection are in Pacific island communities.

As of last week, California's state-wide average number of confirmed Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population was 62.

President Donald Trump says US to halt World Health Organisation funding

He says had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China, the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak could have been contained.

"I am directing my administration to halt funding while a review is conducted to access the World Health Organisation's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus," Trump said.

"The WHO failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable...

"Many countries said they were going to listen to the WHO and they have problems now the likes of which they cannot believe," Trump said.

US not evacuating Covid-19 stricken ship from Guam despite plea

Reuters reports a letter from Captain Brett Crozier, the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, called for the removal of over 4,000 sailors from the ship to place them in isolation.

However Mr Esper told CBS News he didn't think it was time to evacuate the carrier.

"We're moving a lot of supplies and assistance, medical assistance, out to the carrier in Guam. We're providing additional medical personnel as they need it."

Mr Esper says the goal is still to contain the virus and none of the crew were seriously ill.