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5 things to know for May 4: Coronavirus, vaccines, economy, weapons ban, elections

Former Republican Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge, who also served as the Homeland Security secretary under President George W. Bush, says armed protesters demonstrating against coronavirus lockdown orders are self-absorbed and not heroes.

Posted: May 3, 2020 8:04 AM
Updated: May 4, 2020 7:30 AM


Forget toilet paper! The latest must-have product to sell out on store shelves is flour. There's no wheat shortage or anything, it's just because people have been baking so much during lockdown measures. Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Coronavirus

President Trump has shifted his estimate of American coronavirus deaths. During a Fox News town hall this weekend, he said the US could lose 80,000 to 90,000 people to the disease. Two weeks ago, that estimate was 50,000 to 60,000 people. However, top medical experts like Dr. Deborah Birx say the final death toll will be much higher -- between 100,000 and 240,000. So far, the virus has taken at least 67,000 lives in the US. It's also raging in Russia, which saw its fourth record-breaking day of Covid-19 cases on Sunday. The virus has exploded there in recent weeks, with case numbers now firmly in the six digits. Things are looking better elsewhere. Spain recorded its lowest daily death toll in six weeks as eager citizens spent the weekend soaking up the sun amid relaxed lockdown restrictions. Italy and India are also lifting some lockdown measures. Follow here for the latest.

2. Vaccines

Scientists working as part of the White House's task force to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus have honed in on 14 different vaccines to test and develop. The project is called 'Operation Warp Speed,' and it will focus on finding solutions to quickly ramp up production, organize distribution and determine who gets the first doses of the vaccine. The government will also begin shipping tens of thousands of courses of remdesivir early this week. Experimental trials of the drug showed it shortened the duration of illness in patients with severe Covid-19. According to Gilead Sciences, the makers of the drug, the government will decide where the medicine goes. The company hopes it can produce 1 million treatment courses by the end of the year.

3. Economy

The US may not need another round of coronavirus stimulus money, according to White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett. Congress has already passed trillions of dollars in unprecedented legislative relief in response to the pandemic, but the scale of the devastation that the crisis has inflicted has led lawmakers to consider another round of aid. Democrats in particular want Congress to authorize more federal funding for struggling state and local governments. However, Hassett says since more states are opening their economies (despite multiple medical warnings), the fourth stimulus package Congress is working on may be geared more toward 'growth and taking off and recovering, rather than just building a bridge to recovery.'

4. Canada weapons ban

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has banned 'assault-style' weapons two weeks after a gunman killed 22 people in the country's deadliest mass shooting in modern history. The ban covers about 1,500 types of military-grade 'assault-style' weapons as well as mortars and rocket launchers --  but not handguns. Trudeau said the measures are effective immediately, but disposal of the weapons will be subject to a two-year amnesty period. While it may seem extreme by American standards, some Canadian outlets have criticized the move as not extreme enough. Trudeau has been promising to beef up gun control since being elected in 2015.

5. Election 2020

As he prepares to wage his campaign against President Trump in full, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is responding to allegations of sexual assault made by former Senate aide Tara Reade. Biden and his advisers released a statement responding to the allegations, and the former Vice President sat for an 18-minute interview to discuss them. He denied claims that he sexually assaulted Reade, but also said she had a right to be heard and asked the Senate to locate any complaint she filed in the 1990s. Meanwhile, Biden's vice presidential committee says they are looking at 'more than a dozen women' to be Biden's running mate. Biden promised earlier this year that he would choose a woman to fill the role. Friendly reminder: There are just under six months left until November's presidential election.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Labradors are still America's favorite dog, but corgis have wiggled into the top 10

Then again, every dog should be America's favorite dog.

'Game of Thrones' star sets new record by deadlifting 1,104 pounds

You don't even have to look it up to know it's the guy who played Gregor 'The Mountain' Clegane.

Boris Johnson and his partner named their new son after doctors who saved Johnson's life during his battle with Covid-19

This is so sweet!

Taco Bell is offering a taco bar kit so you can celebrate Cinco de Mayo at home in style

Because nothing can keep people from enjoying tacos.

Invasive giant murder hornets have been spotted in the US

GO AWAY, murder hornets! Can't you see we're busy right now?

TODAY'S NUMBER

373

That's how many employees at a pork plant in Buchanan County, Missouri tested positive for coronavirus. All of them were asymptomatic

TODAY'S QUOTE

'Because I can't really pinpoint or go back in the past, I just think it's very important to talk to people, to express how important it is to just keep your social distancing. Stay in the house!'

DJ Jazzy Jeff, who says his experience being very sick with Covid-19 should be a wake-up call for people to take safety measures seriously.

TODAY'S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

Big bunny energy 

Let's meet some of the largest types of rabbits in the world and try not to be scared by them.

(Click here to view)

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 292082

Reported Deaths: 8858
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1443155217
DuPage17589561
Lake16953487
Will14045378
Kane13159326
St. Clair6665190
Winnebago6037149
Madison5760137
Champaign473320
McHenry4609118
Peoria351050
McLean329523
Rock Island302676
Kankakee275277
Unassigned2532244
Sangamon243245
Kendall202025
Tazewell178025
LaSalle172557
DeKalb159038
Macon156044
Coles147231
Williamson140645
Jackson126224
Clinton119020
Adams114910
Boone112823
Randolph94111
Effingham8722
Vermilion7914
Whiteside75320
Ogle7286
Monroe68016
Knox6723
Grundy6705
Henry6665
Morgan66223
Bureau65211
Jefferson62038
Marion5661
Christian55411
Macoupin5507
Franklin5413
Stephenson5296
Union51524
McDonough48215
Logan4681
Crawford4584
Woodford4266
Fayette4183
Livingston4036
Cass39811
Jersey39415
Shelby3944
Lee3831
Montgomery37613
Iroquois36719
Perry35315
Saline3464
Warren3332
Bond3305
Douglas3147
Wayne2805
Jo Daviess2662
Lawrence2592
Carroll2355
Greene22911
Cumberland2185
Hancock2183
Moultrie2183
Washington2161
Jasper2139
Richland2136
Pulaski1811
Fulton1780
Clark1742
White1690
Wabash1583
Clay1560
Johnson1560
Mason1531
Mercer1405
Piatt1390
Pike1341
De Witt1252
Menard1251
Edgar1138
Massac1132
Ford1055
Marshall1050
Alexander831
Scott790
Gallatin732
Hamilton712
Henderson690
Edwards640
Brown620
Calhoun600
Putnam570
Stark552
Schuyler500
Hardin400
Pope291
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 118322

Reported Deaths: 3591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21502767
Lake10688323
Elkhart6707111
St. Joseph6619113
Allen6330205
Hamilton4938109
Vanderburgh378131
Hendricks2766124
Monroe265536
Tippecanoe256613
Johnson2352124
Clark225957
Porter219947
Delaware200162
Cass19559
Vigo186827
Madison170375
LaPorte149141
Floyd139664
Warrick138242
Howard132663
Kosciusko125917
Bartholomew118457
Marshall101524
Dubois99919
Boone99146
Grant95134
Hancock94643
Noble93132
Henry81226
Jackson7739
Wayne77014
Morgan73438
Daviess68028
Shelby68029
Dearborn67528
LaGrange64011
Clinton62314
Harrison59224
Putnam58411
Gibson5355
Knox5289
Lawrence51629
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48811
White48714
Decatur45939
Miami4394
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper4012
Scott39011
Steuben3907
Posey3460
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31325
Clay3085
Ripley3078
Orange28824
Whitley2826
Carroll27813
Adams2763
Wabash2728
Starke2717
Washington2701
Wells2674
Spencer2633
Jefferson2503
Huntington2473
Fulton2442
Tipton22822
Randolph2238
Perry22113
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1641
Rush1574
Vermillion1310
Fountain1292
Blackford1213
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1043
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0226