Your Evening Briefing
Europe was the next place the coronavirus landed in full force after racing through parts of Asia. Now, nations there are taking definitive steps toward reopening, and hoping they don’t trigger a second wave in doing so. Greece starts a gradual lifting of restrictions on May 4, while France will begin unshuttering shops May 11. Harder-hit Spain is waiting a few months before taking similar steps. The news in the U.K. though remains grim. Here is the latest on the pandemic.
Here are today’s top stories
While the U.S. trails Europe by several weeks when it comes to the pandemic’s progression, many states are already reopening, risking a spike in infections, a rush on hospitals and more deaths come summer. On Tuesday, confirmed American infections exceeded 1 million—almost one-third of all coronavirus cases on the planet. More than 58,000 Americans are dead, about the same number who died in the Vietnam War.
China’s top scientists say the coronavirus is here to stay, joining a growing consensus that the pathogen will probably return in waves.
President Vladimir Putin is having a tough time of it. Damaged by an oil war with Saudi Arabia, collapsing prices due to the pandemic and the pathogen itself—which is raging across Russia—he now seems to have another problem. Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, it seems, isn’t proving to be sufficiently grateful for Russia’s help in waging a war that’s killed 400,000 people, mostly civilians.
3M and Merck showed some optimism Tuesday, forecasting that the financial impact of the pandemic will peak this quarter, paving the way for a potential rebound later in the year.
Google parent Alphabet reported first-quarter revenue that rose more than expected, showing demand for advertising was high in the months before Covid-19 hit. But by March, things started to get bad.
Messaging department: First, President Donald Trump mused that Americans may want to consider injecting themselves with (usually poisonous) disinfectant to fight Covid-19, triggering a flood of inquiries and actual attempts to do so all across America. Now, Vice President Mike Pence, having been told of the face mask policy at one of the most prestigious medical facilities in the U.S., made a public show of disregarding it anyway.
The gravest emergency to confront the U.S. in decades has fallen on the watch of a uniquely unfit president, Michael Bloomberg writes in Bloomberg Opinion. At a time when the world should be looking to the White House for wisdom and leadership, it finds only Trump’s characteristic blend of incompetence and dishonesty, the former New York City mayor writes. If he won’t lead the world, others must.
What you’ll need to know tomorrow
- America’s mass hog cull begins with meat rotting in landfills.
- Trump wants to order meat plants shut by Covid-19 to reopen.
- The White House is making plans for a possible Biden presidency.
- Some 200,000 U.S. H1B workers could lose their status by June.
- Ford shares took a dive on a $5 billion loss forecast.
- Bitcoin’s ‘most volatile day’ prompts some changes at exchanges.
- Where to invest $1 million right now (assuming you have it).
What you’ll want to read in Bloomberg Pursuits
How to start a whisky collection right now. If you like whisky, this is a good time for drinkers and investors, with more diverse bottles available than ever before. A new generation of collectors has embraced a boom in online whisky auctions, too, which offer thirsty aficionados around-the-clock biddingfrom where you probably are right now: home.
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