Coronavirus: 'If you jump the gun ... you’re gonna set yourself back'

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington. After decades of renown in American medicine, Dr. Fauci has become an unlikely celebrity in his role as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, where he has led the medical response to COVID-19 and tried to inform an anxious nation. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

The Associated Press

In New Mexico, Native Americans account for nearly 37 percent of the state's 1,484 confirmed cases and about 11 percent of the state's population

The Associated Press

Countries worldwide are wrestling with when and how to ease the restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus amid rising unemployment. Spain, which imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe in mid-March, announced it will start easing restrictions on children.

In the U.S., 17 governors whose states are home to about half the country's population have joined one of three regional pacts meant to smooth the eventual reopening of their economies. Adding to the pressure are protests against stay-at-home orders organized by small-government groups and Trump supporters. And in a symbolic nod to normalcy, Vice President Mike Pence delivered a commencement address at the U.S. Air Force Academy, a trip aimed at showing the country is on course to gradually reopen after weeks of shutdowns. 

The top infectious-disease expert in the United States has a message for protesters who are ignoring their governors’ stay-at-home orders and calling for him to be fired over his guidelines.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the message is “this is something that is hurting from the standpoint of economics, from the standpoint of things that have nothing to do with the virus.”

He added on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that “unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not gonna happen. So what you do if you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you’re gonna set yourself back."

Fauci says as painful as it is to follow guidelines of gradually phasing into a reopening “it’s gonna backfire. That’s the problem.”

Meanwhile, a new wave of infections is threatening to overwhelm hospitals in Japan.

Other updates

— African Americans and Native American communities are being hit hard by the virus. In New Mexico, Native Americans account for nearly 37 percent of the state's 1,484 confirmed cases and about 11 percent of the state's population. The Navajo Nation ordered all people on the tribe's sprawling reservation to wear protective masks when out in public.

— New York's daily toll of coronavirus deaths hit its lowest point in more than two weeks. 

— Global "brain drain" of medical professionals to richer countries has left developing nations without tens of thousands of highly skilled workers.

— Frustration boiled over into anger during a private call between Pence and Democratic senators over coronavirus testing plans.

— An all-star streaming and TV special aimed at fighting the pandemic featured the likes of Lady Gaga, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Oprah Winfrey and Billie Eilish.

— Youth and amateur athletics in the U.S. are bracing for financial and membership downturns because of the pandemic.

— The U.S. and Canada say they will keep their common border closed to nonessential traffic for 30 more days.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus is through frequent hand-washing with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

Phones should also be washed. Here's how.

TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you're worried about live.

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ONE NUMBER:

— 20,000: Africa surpasses 20,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 1,000 deaths.

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