The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death.

SALEM, Ore. — Hundreds opposed to Oregon’s stay-at-home order demonstrated at the state Capitol on Saturday as health officials announced dozens more cases and five additional deaths from COVID-19.

Most of the protesters did not wear face masks, but they waved American flags and Trump campaign signs in the rain. Other signs read “Reopen Oregon” and “Let me earn a living.”

A group of healthcare workers demonstrated at the top of the Capitol steps, urging a phased plan to ease the state’s social distancing requirements. Most of the other protesters ignored them.

Public health officials say stay-at-home orders are essential for slowing the transmission of the novel coronavirus. But protest organizers told The Oregonian/OregonLive that they view the social distancing mandates issued by Gov. Kate Brown as government overreach.

Since mid-March, Brown’s orders have closed many businesses, put some parks and campgrounds off limits, and required public schools to adopt distance learning programs.

“You can’t just place citizens under house arrest and enforce those orders,” event organizer Adam Ellifritt said.

California official ousted for saying old, homeless should meet ‘natural course in nature’

ANTIOCH, Calif. — A Northern California city official has been ousted after he suggested on social media that sick, old and homeless people should be left to meet their “natural course in nature” during the coronavirus pandemic.

City council members in Antioch, a city of about 110,000 people 35 miles east of Oakland, voted unanimously Friday night to remove Ken Turnage II from his post as chairman of the city’s planning commission.

NBC Bay Area reports there was a swift uproar after Turnage characterized people with weak immune systems as a drain on society.

He wrote on Facebook: “the World has been introduced to a new phrase Herd Immunity which is a good one. In my opinion we need to adapt a Herd Mentality. A herd gathers it ranks, it allows the sick, the old, the injured to meet its natural course in nature.”

As for homeless people, he added that the virus would “fix what is a significant burden on our society and resources that can be used.”

Turnage later deleted the post but refused to resign or back down from his comments. During the two-hour council meeting held on Zoom, Turnage said his personal opinion had no bearing on his duties as a planning commissioner and that removing him would violate his freedom of speech.

But city officials countered that his posting caused a loss in confidence and created a disruption to the city.

Washington county has highest rate of infections on West Coast

SPOKANE, Wash. — The highest rate of coronavirus cases on the U.S. West Coast is in Washington’s Yakima County, an agricultural giant that has more than double the state average of cases.

Health experts point to a large number of essential workers, a large number of cases in long-term care facilities, and a large agricultural workforce living and working in close quarters as the causes.

“We just haven’t been as much down as the rest of the state because our workforce is going to work,″ said Lilian Bravo, a spokeswoman for the Yakima Health District. “Physically going to work every day is going to put you at a higher risk than others.”

As of Friday, Yakima County had 1,203 positive cases, a rate of 455 cases per 100,000 residents. Second was Franklin County at 326 cases per 100,000. The statewide average was 185 cases per 100,000 residents.

Court declines to block ban on gatherings for religious services

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal appeals court on Saturday declined to block the Kentucky governor’s temporary ban on mass gatherings from applying to in-person religious services.

The three-judge panel did clear the way for Maryville Baptist Church to hold drive-in worship services while adhering to public health requirements. That’s an alternative that Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear has strongly encouraged throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

But the panel stopped short of applying its order to in-person worship services.

The ruling came soon after the church asked the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an emergency order stopping Beshear’s mass gathering ban from being enforced against religious services.

Pelosi, McConnell decline COVID-19 tests

WASHINGTON — The top Republican and Democrat in Congress say they are respectfully declining an offer of quick COVID-19 tests offered by President Donald Trump’s administration.

Limited testing for lawmakers has become an issue in decisions about when they should return to Washington.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar had tweeted Friday that three rapid-testing machines and 1,000 tests were being sent for the Senate to use next week.

Trump also tweeted that “tremendous” testing capacity is available for senators returning on Monday, and for the House.

But Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday in a statement that they want the equipment to go to front-line facilities instead.

Pelosi decided against having her members join the Senate in returning next week because the Washington area remains a virus hot spot.

Death toll from new coronavirus tops 28,000 in Britain

LONDON — Britain’s Department of Health says a total of 28,131 people have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for the new coronavirus in the United Kingdom, an increase of 621 from the previous tally.

The figures include deaths as of 5 p.m. on Friday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday told the nation that Britain had passed its peak in the COVID-19 outbreak and said he has plans to reveal a “road map’’ outlining how lockdown steps might be eased in the coming week.

French lawmakers to consider 14-day quarantine for returning travelers

PARIS — French Health Minister Olivier Veran said people traveling into France, including French citizens returning home, will be placed in a 14-day quarantine as part of new extended proposals to limit the spread of the new coronavirus.

Entering France is currently very restricted to essential travel, and a travel certificate is required for everyone entering the country. The proposals are being sent to Parliament next week.

Veran said that “the compulsory quarantine will concern anyone entering the national territory, an overseas territory or Corsica.”

It’s not clear if the quarantine would apply only to travelers from beyond the Schengen border and Britain. The Schengen Area includes 26 countries and encompasses most of the European Union nations.

Yemen reports new cases of COVID-19

CAIRO — Yemeni health authorities say there are three new coronavirus cases in the southern city of Aden and the western city of Taiz, bringing the total number of cases to 10 with two deaths.

Saturday’s announcement comes as the U.N. health agency has warned of the invisible outbreak of the virus, saying that it’s “actively circulating throughout the country.” The agency says testing and resources to detect the virus are “grossly insufficient.”

A cluster of cases was found in Aden, where residents said several hospitals shut their doors as medical staffers feared contracting the virus because of a lack of personal protective equipment. The port city is in the midst of political infighting between the internationally recognized government and southern separatists who declared self-rule last week, leaving health authorities in disarray.

Yemen has been embroiled in civil war for more than five years and has a fragile health system, with half of the health facilities not properly functioning.

U.S. recorded 37,100 excess deaths in early days of pandemic, analysis finds

The United States recorded an estimated 37,100 excess deaths as the novel coronavirus spread across the country in March and the first two weeks of April, nearly 13,500 more than are now attributed to COVID-19 for that same period, according to an analysis of federal data conducted for The Washington Post by a research team led by the Yale School of Public Health.

The Yale team’s analysis suggests that the number of excess deaths accelerated as the pandemic took hold. There were 16,600 estimated excess deaths just in the week of April 5 to April 11, compared with 20,500 over the prior five weeks.

Though the team’s estimate of the impact early in the outbreak already paints a picture of unusually high mortality, the number is certain to grow as more deaths are reported to the federal government on a rolling basis.

Read the full story here.

Italy has fewer people hospitalized with virus

ROME — The number of beds treating COVID-19 patients continued to decline as Italy prepared to ease its strict lockdown measures on Monday.

The Civil Protection Agency said that there were 212 fewer people hospitalized with the virus and 39 fewer in intensive care in the past 24 hours, numbers that have been consistently easing in recent weeks. That has given authorities confidence to be able to cope with any new spike in cases as more businesses reopen and individuals are allowed more freedom to move around their towns and cities of residence.

At the same time, the number of dead nudged up the most in 11 days — by 474 — and the number of people who have recovered from the virus was the lowest in more than two weeks. Italy has registered the most deaths after the United States, at 28,710.

Frances plans to extend emergency until July 24

PARIS — France hopes to extend the health emergency put in place to fight the coronavirus crisis until July 24.

French Health Minister Olivier Veran made the announcement on Saturday, arguing that the extension of the measures that began March 24 is required to prevent a new flare-up of infections.

The proposal, which will be put to the French Parliament next week and is expected to pass, is centered on the notion that a “premature” relaxing the state of emergency “could see a risk of the outbreak” increasing.

France is among countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, having recorded some 24,594 deaths and 167,346 confirmed cases so far.

The new proposals include a data system for those that have contracted the virus, that will function for up to a year.

Turkey lifts export restrictions

ISTANBUL — The Turkish trade ministry lifted export restrictions and a requirement to obtain advance permission for private companies to export medical equipment needed in treating COVID-19.

The decision, published in the Official Gazette, rescinded restrictions on exporting ventilators, intubation tubes and ICU monitors, among other equipment.

The trade ministry lifted restrictions on the export of ethanol, cologne, disinfectants and hydrogen peroxide.

Turkey also announced a military plane delivered medical supplies, including locally produced ventilators, to Somalia. Ankara has so far shipped needed supplies to at least 55 countries, including to the United States.

Turkey, a country of 83 million, has more than 122,000 cases and more than 3,200 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Greece announces 3 new deaths

ATHENS, Greece — Greek authorities have announced three deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

That raises the total to 143 — 106 men 37 women. The average age of the victims is 74.

There have been eight more confirmed infections for a total of 2,620 cases.

Spaniards finally get outside

BARCELONA, Spain — Spaniards filled the streets to exercise for the first time after seven weeks of confinement to fight the coronavirus.

People ran, walked or rode bicycles under a sunny sky in Barcelona, where many flocked to the maritime promenade to get close to the still off-limits beach. Others jogged around parks and along sidewalks across the nation.

“Some people think it may be too early, as I do, but it is also important to do exercise for health reasons,” says 36-year-old Cristina Palomeque in Barcelona.

Spain has 24,824 confirmed deaths from the COVID-19 virus and 215,216 infections. The lockdown has helped reduce daily increases of infections.

Malaysian minister defends mass arrests

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A Malaysian minister has defended the mass arrest of immigrants without valid documents in viral hotspots.

Senior Minister Ismail Sabri says 586 immigrants were detained during an operation Friday in several buildings under strict lockdown in Kuala Lumpur.

He says they all tested negative for the virus and have been sent to detention camps for breaching immigration laws. Rights groups have slammed the government for breaking its promise to not act against migrants who come out for virus screening. They say the inhumane move during a pandemic could hamper efforts to curb the virus.

Ismail brushed off the criticism Saturday, saying authorities were acting within the law. He says Malaysia has taken care of the immigrants’ welfare during the lockdown, but they must face the law as they have no valid documents. The country has more than two million immigrants living illegally in the country.

Malaysia, which has 6,176 virus cases and 103 deaths, will let most businesses reopen Monday before a partial lockdown ends May 12.

Boris Johnson names baby after grandfathers, doctors

LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds have named their baby boy Wilfred Lawrie Nicholas Johnson, honoring their grandfathers and doctors who cared for the U.K. leader after contracting the coronavirus.

Symonds made the announcement on her Instagram page, posting a picture of her cradling the infant. She praised the maternity team at University College Hospital in London, saying her “heart is full.″

The birth came just days after Johnson returned to work following his hospitalization for the coronavirus. He spent a week in London’s St. Thomas’ hospital, including three nights in intensive care.

Symonds wrote in the post, explaining the name as “Wilfred after Boris’ grandfather, Lawrie after my grandfather, Nicholas after Dr Nick Price and Dr Nick Hart – the two doctors that saved Boris’ life last month.’’

Johnson’s office says he’ll take paternity leave later this year.

Spanish commuters must wear masks

MADRID — The Spanish government will require commuters on public transportation to wear masks, starting Monday.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made the announcement on Saturday. That’s when Spaniards were allowed outdoors to exercise for the first time in seven weeks. Sánchez says he’ll ask the Parliament for an extension of the state of emergency established March 14 and set to expire on May 9.

Also Monday, people can go to restaurants and cafes to take away food. Bookstores, hair salons and some retail outlets can open.

Sanchez says, “Now we are finally seeing the results of all these weeks of confinement, (…) and we deserve some relief.”

Spain’s death toll for the virus reached 25,100 after 276 more people died in the last 24 hours. That’s down from more than 900 daily deaths reported a month ago.

The total confirmed infections reached 216,582, with another 1,147 reported cases in the last day.

Philippine inmates freed temporarily

MANILA, Philippines — A Philippine Supreme Court justice says nearly 10,000 poor inmates have been temporarily freed by reducing the amounts of their bails to decongest jails amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Associate Justice Mario Victor Leonen told an online video news conference Saturday most of the more than 9,731 inmates freed since mid-March were from jails on the main northern Luzon island, which has been placed under a massive quarantine.

Some of the inmates, who could not afford to post bail, were released to the custody of local officials, the Supreme Court said.

The Philippines has some of the most overcrowded jails in the world and at least one detention center in central Cebu city has reported more than 200 infections. The Supreme Court has yet to rule on petitions for the temporary release of elderly and ill prisoners amid the contagion.

The Philippines has reported nearly 9,000 COVID-19 cases and 603 deaths, among the highest in Southeast Asia.

One-third of gas workers at field test positive

MOSCOW — About one-third of the workers at a vast natural gas field in Russia’s far northeast have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Olga Balabkina, deputy head of the local government in the Sakha republic, says more than 3,000 of the Chayandinskoye fields 10,000 workers have tested positive, according to Russian news agencies.

Employees of one of the contractors at the field reportedly held a protest this week, claiming insufficient measures taken against the spread of the virus.

Eurostar passengers must wear masks

PARIS — Eurostar says all its passengers must wear face masks as a safeguard against coronavirus, effective Monday.

In a tweet in French and in English, the international high-speed train service says the policy will apply to both its trains and its stations, “in line with guidelines announced by the French and Belgian governments.”

It warned passengers without a mask could be refused travel. It says any mask is “suitable” if it effectively covers the nose and mouth.

The company has dramatically reduced its services connecting Brussels with Paris and London. There are currently only four trains a day.

Barbers go back to work in Austria

VIENNA — Barbers and hair salons are back in business in Austria, but most residents will have to wait a month for a haircut because they’re booked.

Austrians quickly snapped up appointments after the government relaxed restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus. All staff members and customers must wear masks and chairs need to be at least 1 meter (3.3 feet) apart.

Restaurants will be allowed to reopen on May 15, followed by hotels on May 29. Austria’s government is implementing a staggered restart of the economy so that it can issue another lockdown in case coronavirus infection rates start to climb.

The nation has recorded 15,558 infections and 596 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Cyprus encouraging tracing app use

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus is encouraging the voluntary use of a locally developed mobile phone tracing app that could help find individuals who may have had contact with a coronavirus carrier.

Cyprus’ Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy told the Associated Press that the COVTRACER app, developed in partnership with a government-funded research center, uses GPS information to track a person’s daily movements.

That information is stored in the mobile phone’s log file that the owner — if infected — could chose to share with authorities. Public health officials would then use the data to trace others who may have been in proximity to the carrier.

The ministry says use of the app is “strictly voluntary” and any collected data is accessible only to the mobile phone owner, who is the only one with the authority to share it.

Another mobile tracing app based on Bluetooth technology has been shelved due to privacy concerns.

The ministry says Cyprus backs a coordinated European approach on tracing apps that would help manage COVID-19 infections across the continent and speed up border openings when restrictions are lifted.

Cyprus has 857 confirmed coronavirus cases and 15 deaths.

Russia reports sharp spike in infections

MOSCOW — Russia reported a sharp spike in its daily tally of coronavirus infection cases, with a new one-day high of 9,633 on Saturday.

That’s a 20% increase from the previous day’s count. More than half of the new cases were reported in Moscow, where concern is growing about whether hospitals could become overwhelmed.

The Russian capital’s mayor said this week officials are considering establishing temporary hospitals at sports complexes and shopping malls.

Infection cases have reached the highest levels of government, with both the prime minister and the construction minister reporting they have the virus.

Italy to begin antibody tests Monday

SOAVE, Italy — Italy’s special commissioner for the coronavirus says antibody blood tests will begin Monday, along with a gradual loosening of Italy’s two-month lockdown.

Domenico Arcuri calls it a new challenge, ‘’which by now is clear to everyone, we don’t know how long it will last.’’

The government says it will administer the first 150,000 antibody blood tests on a sample population starting Monday. More nasal tests have been distributed throughout the country in a bid to identify and isolate positive cases.

The blood tests and nasal tests are meant to give a snapshot of where the virus has spread to focus further testing.

Arcuri says more masks would be distributed for people riding on public transportation, which is expected to spike up as the manufacturing and construction sectors emerge from lockdown. Stores, restaurants, bars and cultural sites such as museums remain closed until May 18.

Italy is opening parks and allowing funerals to resume with a maximum 15 people. Individuals must observe social distancing rules.

Africa now has more than 40,000 coronavirus cases

JOHANNESBURG — Africa now has more than 40,000 coronavirus cases.

That’s according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been more than 1,600 deaths across the continent.

Fifty-three of Africa’s 54 countries have confirmed cases, all but tiny mountainous Lesotho, which is surrounded by South Africa.

China reports no new deaths

BEIJING — China, where the pandemic began in December, reported one new infection and no deaths in the 24 hours through midnight Friday.

The country has reported a total of 82,875 confirmed cases and 4,633 deaths.

The National Health Commission reported 43 people were released from hospitals Friday after being declared recovered, raising the total to 77,685. There were a total 557 people still hospitalized on the mainland.

Pakistan reports highest daily increase

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan recorded its highest single day increase in new COVID-19 infections with 1,297 new cases reported to bring the total in the country of 220 million people to 18,114.

The increase also coincides with a a growing number of daily tests being carried out. In the last 24 hours Pakistan conducted more than 9,000 tests, also its largest single day testing as it struggles to climb to a daily testing of 20,000 promised nearly two weeks ago by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Even as the number of new cases increase pictures in local newspapers showed large numbers of the faithful attending some of Pakistan’s mosques with only sporadic signs of the social distancing rules imposed by the government when it refused to shut down mosques during Ramadan, Islam’s fasting month.

Khan’s government has also suggested it might ease lockdown rules governing retail shops ahead of the holiday of Eid-ul Fitr that marks the end of Ramadan, later this month.

Doctors in several parts of the country, however, have pleaded for stricter lockdowns, warning an explosion of infections would overwhelm the country’s struggling health care facilities that count barely 3,000 intensive care beds countrywide.

Trading post goes on lockdown

SANTA FE, N.M. — A modern trading post on the southern outskirts of the Navajo Nation was on lockdown over the weekend under the watch of National Guard troops and state police to discourage nonessential travel and commerce as local coronavirus infections soar.

Invoking provisions of the state Riot Control Act, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered residents of Gallup to remain home except for emergencies and blocked roads leading in and out of town to nonessential travel and any vehicles carrying more than two people.

The restrictions were welcomed by local and state officials who have watched COVID-19 infections spread to nursing homes and homeless populations as well as overwhelm hospital intensive care units, leading coronavirus patients to be transferred to Albuquerque.

Some visitors were caught off guard as they traveled from the Navajo Nation to stack up on supplies, only to find entire sections of the Gallup Walmart cordoned off as sales were restricted to food and other essential commodities.

“They didn’t tell us on the radio or anything,” said Patrick Sandoval of Ganado, Arizona, who came in search of food, games, baby wipes and other items for his family and neighbors. “You don’t find out until you get in there that it’s just essential items.”

White House blocks Fauci from testifying before House panel

WASHINGTON — The White House is blocking Anthony Fauci from testifying before a House subcommittee investigating the coronavirus outbreak and response, arguing that it would be “counterproductive” for him to appear next week while participating in the government’s responses to the pandemic.

The White House issued a statement about Fauci’s testimony shortly after The Washington Post published a story Friday afternoon quoting a spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee, who said the White House was refusing to allow Fauci to appear at a subcommittee hearing next week.

“While the Trump Administration continues its whole-of-government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counterproductive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at congressional hearings,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. “We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time.”

In fact, Fauci is expected to appear at a Senate hearing related to testing the following week, according to a senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been a prominent face in the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus as a lead scientist in the coronavirus task force.

He has walked a fine line in delivering scientific information to the public that at times has contradicted President Trump’s statements. Trump at one point retweeted a Twitter post that called for Fauci to be fired, but he later denied he was considering firing him. Fauci has urged extreme caution as some cities and states move to reopen businesses, warning that doing so imprudently could lead to a resurgence of the coronavirus.

New York City nursing home reports 98 coronavirus deaths

NEW YORK — A New York City nursing home on Friday reported the deaths of 98 residents believed to have had the coronavirus – a staggering death toll that shocked public officials.

“It’s absolutely horrifying,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “It’s inestimable loss, and it’s just impossible to imagine so many people lost in one place.”

It is hard to say whether the spate of deaths at the Isabella Geriatric Center, in Manhattan, is the worst nursing home outbreak yet in the U.S., because even within the city facilities have chosen to report fatalities in different ways. An official state tally of nursing home deaths listed only 13 at the home as of Friday.

Nursing home resident, 107, survives coronavirus

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. — A resident of a suburban St. Louis nursing home is believed to be one of the oldest people in the world to survive the coronavirus.

Rudi Heider had two reasons to celebrate on Thursday – he turned 107 and he beat COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Relatives couldn’t come into his room at Friendship Village in Chesterfield, Missouri, but gathered outside his window while Heider enjoyed a slice of his favorite dessert, lemon meringue pie.

Heider said he looks forward to being able to be with family and friends again.

Heider’s granddaughter, Janet Heider of Seattle, called her grandfather “amazing.”

“I had to tell him that he’s lived through the Spanish Flu, two World Wars, a stroke at 100 years old, and a fractured vertebra at 104 years old that he would not to lose to COVID-19, and he ended up beating it,” she said.

DEA agent accused of stealing personal protective equipment, toilet paper

MIAMI — A U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent and a telecommunications specialist are accused of stealing personal protective equipment, toilet paper and other supplies from an agency warehouse in Florida amid shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

The officials, who were not authorized to discuss the case and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, say it was not clear exactly how much of the supplies the men took or what they intended to do with them, but the matter was serious enough that both were suspended and the agent was asked to hand over his gun pending an internal review.

Special Agent Javier Hernandez and the telecommunications specialist, whose name was not disclosed, are just the latest employees of the DEA’s high-profile Miami field division to be accused of misconduct.

Delaware the latest state with anti-lockdown protest

DOVER, Del. — Protesters gathered outside Delaware’s statehouse on Friday demanding that Democratic Gov. John Carney lift restrictions he has imposed on individuals and businesses in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

More than 400 people defied Carney’s prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people and mandates requiring social distancing and the wearing of face coverings in public. The rally was preceded by a noisy, flag-waving parade of vehicles slowly circling the capitol and Legislative Mall.

“It’s going to let him know that we’re not happy, at the very least,” said Bill Hinds of Newark. “There’s a lot of people being hurt by this lockdown. Losing their jobs, losing their businesses. … This is a life-changing event for everybody in Delaware.”

Trump uses events to project normalcy, while relying on virus testing that public lacks

WASHINGTON — At the White House this week, President Trump sat less than 6 feet from New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, in the Oval Office. He invited small business owners to crowd behind the Resolute Desk for a photo shoot. His vice president toured a medical research center without a face-mask in defiance of the company’s policy.

The daily images projected a sense of confidence that life, at least for the nation’s most prominent resident, is returning to a semblance of normalcy amid the coronavirus pandemic – a visual cue to the public that conditions are improving as Trump pushes to restart sectors of the economy.

Yet even as Trump aides have signaled that he could soon begin regular travel, the reality is that the White House has created a picture of security that is propped up by special access to the kind of wide-scale COVID-19 testing that most of the nation remains without.

Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and their aides are tested regularly, and all who enter the White House campus to meet with them are required to undergo on-site rapid tests developed by Abbott Laboratories, which provide results within 15 minutes.

“As vice president of the United States, I’m tested for the coronavirus on a regular basis, and everyone who is around me is tested for the coronavirus,” Pence told reporters, amid a public backlash after he visited the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and violated the rules requiring all visitors to wear a mask.

It is a cocoon of safety that does not exist almost anywhere else in the country. Governors and municipal leaders have scrambled for basic supplies; hospitals and elderly care facilities, dealing with the most vulnerable, have cried out for more testing; and workers at grocery stores and manufacturing plants are risking their health to keep open critical businesses.

Even Congress is facing a dilemma with a lack of adequate testing to ensure a safe working environment as the Senate prepares to resume session on Monday. Only senators and staffers who become ill with COVID-like symptoms will be eligible for testing, according to the Capitol’s attending physician. Some congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., have worn a face covering while working in the Capitol.

Read the full story here.


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