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Coronavirus live updates: Lockdown protests heat up; New York City cancels Pride Parade and all major June events

The nation's leaders wrangled over bailouts Monday while governors chipped away at lockdowns and hundreds of people in Pennsylvania gathered to protest the stay-at-home restrictions.

In Washington, a deal appeared close to provide an additional $300 billion for small businesses crushed by the lockdowns. The deal would also provide more funding for hospitals and for testing. In New York, public health officials kicked off the most extensive antibody testing campaign in the nation.

Stocks struggled and oil prices took another nosedive under the weight of the sagging economy. In Pennsylvania's capital city of Harrisburg, protesters opposed to Gov. Tom Wolf's restrictive stay-at-home order gathered at the Capitol building. Last week, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a bill that would reopen some businesses, but Wolf, a Democrat, has said he will veto it.

Similar protests have been springing up across the nation as jobless numbers rise and patience thins.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll rose by almost 2,000 to surpass 40,000; there are more than 760,000 confirmed cases, according to John Hopkins University data. The number of worldwide cases was nearing 2.5 million; there are over 166,000 deaths.

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New York City cancels Pride Parade, all other big June events
New York City's Pride Parade, which would have marked its 50th anniversary, and the Puerto Rican Day Parade were among all major events canceled Monday in June by Mayor Bill de Blasio. City hospitalizations and deaths appear to be in a modest decline, but De Blasio has said the city can't ease its tight stay-at-home restrictions until extensive daily testing can be worked out.

“That march is such an important part of life in this city, but this year in particular was going to be something that was a historical moment,” de Blasio said of the Pride Parade. “They will be back, and we will find the right way to do it.”

Hundreds protest lockdown in Pennsylvania
Hundreds of protesters, many ignoring social distancing rules, rallied at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg on Monday in opposition of the state's shutdown of schools and businesses. Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, released a phase-in plan last week aimed at reopening the state but provided few details and no timeline. Limitations on mass gatherings will remain in place for the duration of the reopening process, and a “strong testing regime” must be in place in areas that are permitted to reopen, according to the plan.

In Denver a day earlier, health care workers blocked a parade of protesters who gathered outside of Colorado’s Capitol in opposition of the state’s stay-at-home orders. Viral photos show counter-protesters in teal scrubs and matching masks with crossed arms standing in front of motorists lined up for several blocks  leading to the Capitol building.

Georgia, South Carolina to reveal plans for reopening
The governors of South Carolina and Georgia scheduled news conferences for later Monday amid regional talks aimed at beginning the process of rolling back lockdown orders.

In South Carolina, multiple lawmakers told the Greenville News they were notified Saturday by Gov. Henry McMaster's office that retail stores and beaches will be allowed to reopen. McMaster reportedly will limit the number of customers in reopened stores to 20% of their fire-code capacity. Social distancing rules also will apply to beaches. State Rep. Stewart Jones, like McMaster a Republican, called the plan "a great first step."

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's shelter-in-place order is scheduled to run through the end of April. Kemp drew heat for issuing the order well after most other states.

– Kirk Brown, Greenville News

WHO chief warns 'worst is yet ahead of us'
The head of the World Health Organization warned that “the worst is yet ahead of us” in the coronavirus outbreak, a dire prediction coming as many countries and U.S. states are beginning to ease restrictive measures. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus didn’t detail his warning, but global health officials have previously warned that the coronavirus could prove brutal as it sweeps through Africa, where health systems are far less developed.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused WHO of failing to provide accurate, up-to-date information on the coronavirus outbreak and has frozen U.S. funding to the agency.

Stocks struggle as oil prices plunge
U.S. stocks were trading lower and oil prices plummeted Monday despite indications the nation's slumbering economy could soon begin to awaken. The Dow Industrials and broader Standard and Poor's averages were down about 1%, although tech stocks were higher. The economic upheaval caused by coronavirus layoffs and stay-at-home orders has softened oil demand to where there is little space left in U.S. storage facilities for what is being pumped from the ground.

Several states, however, have announced plans to begin easing lockdown restrictions. National companies were also beginning to stir – Boeing was set to begin ramping up production in Washington state, where approximately 27,000 people could return to work this week, the planemaker said.

More of us may have had COVID-19 and didn't know it
New research suggests that many people have had the coronavirus without symptoms, fueling hope that it will turn out to be much less lethal than feared. But without widespread antibody testing it would also make it difficult to know who around you may be contagious, complicating decisions about returning to work, school and normal life.

In the last week, reports of "silent infections" have come from a homeless shelter in Boston, a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, pregnant women at a New York hospital, several European countries and California. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 25% of infected people might not have symptoms. Pentagon officials say it may be as high as 60% to 70% among military personnel.

New York state begins large-scale antibody testing
New York state kicked off a large-scale antibody testing program to determine what percentage of the population has contracted the coronavirus in advance of reviving the state's economy. A total of 3,000 people will be randomly selected for testing this week to determine if their bodies have built up an immunity. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said data metrics of coronavirus cases, deaths, hospitalizations and intubations “would suggest we’re seeing a descent” of the outbreak in the state. There were 478 coronavirus deaths Sunday, which was down from 507 the day before. The decline has been fairly steady for several days. Cuomo did say that emergency rooms “are still at or over capacity, but it’s better than it was” and that new hospitalizations of patients with COVID-19 “were basically flat.”

In midst of pandemic, marijuana quietly goes mainstream
Many marijuana stores shuttered by lockdowns are embracing the change, allowing customers to order online and pick up curbside. That's a major shift from when each buyer had to be personally verified by a licensed store worker. In California, stores have largely switched to an all-delivery model. Regulators in many states have declare cannabis shops essential business on par with groceries, gas and liquor. Some cannabis advocates are optimistic the outbreak is providing an opportunity to move further into the mainstream. 

"In a sea of chaos, this was one of the biggest moments in our industry's history," investor Morgan Paxhia said.

Trump 'OK' with Las Vegas closures despite mayor's outrage
President Donald Trump said he's "OK" with Nevada's closure of nonessential businesses, which has shuttered Las Vegas casinos, days after the city's mayor called the shutdown "total insanity." Trump gave qualified support Sunday to Nevada's Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak's closure amid the coronavirus pandemic. Nevada has 3,728 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 155 deaths. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who identifies as an independent, called on Sisolak to allow businesses to reopen.

"They closed a big hotel down in Nevada that I have in Las Vegas. It’s a very severe step he took. I’m OK with it," Trump said. "But you could call that one either way."

Deal near on money for small businesses, hospitals, testing
The White House and Congressional leaders were nearing a deal to replenish a program geared to keeping small businesses from shuttering and their employees from going on unemployment. The agreement would provide another $300 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, which has burned through its initial $349 billion for loans to small businesses. The deal would also provide $75 billion to help overwhelmed hospitals and $25 billion to increase the capacity to test for the virus. But a number of disagreements remain over details, including how those funds will be divided and spent.

Ship wraps up 15-week cruise with no reported virus cases
Several horror stories have emerged in recent weeks from cruise ships struggling to find welcoming ports while battling sometimes deadly waves of coronavirus. Not so the Costa Deliziosa, whose passengers began disembarking in Barcelona on Monday after traveling  the globe for 15 weeks while the new coronavirus spread on land.

Owner Costa Crociere, an Italian company, says the ship has no cases of the COVID-19 virus on board. The boat sailed the last five weeks with virtually no human contact with the outside world. Hundreds of the boat’s 1,831 passengers, including 168 Spaniards, were expected to get off the boat in Spain and the rest were expected to do so in the next and last stop, in Genoa, Italy.

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