In the entire city of Montgomery, Alabama, there's just one intensive care bed left. Anyone in need will likely be sent more than an hour away to Birmingham, as hospitals across the state near capacity.
"Right now, if you are from Montgomery, and you need an ICU bed, you are in trouble," said the city's mayor, Steven Reed. "If you're from central Alabama, and you need an ICU bed, you may not be able to get one."
The picture is a stark reminder of just how stretched hospitals all over the US are, and it serves as a warning that health systems could buckle should states reopen too quickly and trigger a substantial second wave of infections.
But President Donald Trump is adamant about getting the country back up and running. On a tour of a Ford factory in Michigan on Thursday — where he refused to wear a mask on camera — Trump laid bare his strategy of once again becoming the voice of "forgotten Americans," who are now facing the worst economic blight in nearly a century, Stephen Collinson writes.
"A permanent lockdown is not a strategy for a healthy state or a healthy country. To protect the health of our people we must have a functioning economy," Trump said.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q. Can UV light kill coronavirus?
While some UV light devices are used for hospital disinfection, UV light only kills germs under very specific conditions — including certain irradiation dosages and exposure times, the World Health Organization said. But UV light can also damage the body.
Two factors are required for UV light to destroy a virus: Intensity and time. If the light is intense enough to break apart a virus in a short time, it's going to be dangerous to people, said Donald Milton, a professor at the University of Maryland. UVA and UVB light both damage the skin. UVC light is safer for skin, but it will damage tender tissue such as the eyes.
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WHAT'S IMPORTANT TODAY
US injects more than $1bn into Oxford's vaccine bid
The United States has agreed to invest up to $1.2 billion in British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which is working with Oxford University to develop a vaccine. The funding will be used as the trial advances to new phases, which increase the number and expands the age range of people receiving the trial vaccine.
AstraZeneca has said Thursday it expected to make "at least 400 million doses and has secured total manufacturing capacity for one billion doses so far." Its CEO told Julia Chatterly the US government's investment is a gamble, but one worth the risk.
China doesn't set a growth target for the first time in decades
China will not set a specific GDP target this year because of the "great uncertainty" the pandemic has brought the world's second-largest economy, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said. The coronavirus dealt a historic blow to the country's economy, with GDP shrinking 6.8% in the first quarter, the first contraction Beijing has reported since 1976.
The comments were made at China's annual National People's Congress, where President Xi Jinping was seen, along with other leaders, without a mask. Members of China's top legislature were tested before the event, officials say.
Results for Sweden's 'herd immunity' approach are in
Sweden has revealed that despite adopting more relaxed measures to control coronavirus, only 7.3% of people in its capital, Stockholm, had developed antibodies against the disease by late April. The figure is roughly similar to other countries that have data and well below the 70-90% needed to create "herd immunity" in a population.
The country's chief epidemiologist said, however, that the number "squares pretty well with the models we have" and was only slightly below projections. Sweden adopted a different strategy to other European nations, choosing to avoid a lockdown and keep most schools, restaurants, salons and bars open, emphasizing personal responsibility over imposing stringent restrictions.
Gravediggers scramble as Brazil's death toll passes 20,000
Brazil recorded another record rise in daily deaths, reporting a total toll of 20,047 on Thursday. The spike in cases and deaths there — as well as in Mexico — has raised concerns that Latin America could soon become the pandemic's new epicenter.
Nick Paton Walsh went inside the Emilio Ribas hospital in Sao Paolo, Brazil's largest city and its financial capital, where doctors and nurses are struggling to treat the number of patients coming in. Cemetery workers in the city have been racing to dig new graves fast enough for the influx of bodies.
Savior or strongman? El Salvador's millennial president
While there are concerns around the virus in Latin America, El Salvador and its millennial president have bucked the trend, Patrick Oppmann writes. Some Salvadorans praise Nayib Bukele, 38, for taking decisive action — locking down the country before it had even a single coronavirus case — while others say he has become a strongman who is violating the constitution.
ON OUR RADAR
Salad bars are a no-no, so this chain filled all its grocery store bars with beer, cereal and candy.Half of Facebook's employees could be remote workers within a decade, Mark Zuckerberg has announced, two weeks after Twitter said some workers could work remotely "forever."London's Heathrow Airport is trialling thermal screening as the UK government plans to announce details of its 14-day quarantine measures for passengers entering the country by air.Trials are also taking place in the UK to see whether specially trained airport sniffer dogs could detect Covid-19 in travelers, even before symptoms appear. Coronavirus "immunity passports" are a terrible idea that could backfire, experts have warned.More than 1,200 pastors say they'll defy California's stay-at-home order and resume in-person church services by May 31.As restaurants start to reopen, this former bartender is feeding struggling food service workers.
TODAY'S TOP TIPS
The pandemic has affected meat supplies in some countries, so why not eat less of it? Take a page from the books of India, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Nigeria, where cooks could teach us a thing or two, since they've had meat-free eating down pat for hundreds or even thousands of years.
If you're accustomed to eating a lot of meat, Ethiopian-Swedish chef Marcus Samuelsson says just try to eat less meat at first, rather than going cold turkey, so to speak. "I would go 50/50 for two weeks and then I would go 60/40 and then 80/20," he added. "I would ease myself into it." Read here for tips on how to make your vegetarian meals delicious.
"Never does the human race achieve so much than as when our backs are up against the wall." — Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent
Graduates all over the US have heard virtual commencement speeches from celebrities to former presidents. In this episode, Dr. Sanjay Gupta gives his own advice about going out into the world, finding purpose and leading the way. Listen Now.