Live Coronavirus Updates: News and Analysis

The F.D.A. says some N95 masks made in China should not be reused.

The Food and Drug Administration on Sunday changed its policy on decontamination of N95 masks mainly used by health professionals, saying certain masks made in China should not be reused.

Shortages of N95 masks in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic have prompted loosening of some rules by the F.D.A. in the form of emergency use authorizations. The masks, which are intended for use by health care workers and front-line responders, can filter out viruses, unlike cloth and surgical masks, which the public is encouraged to use to limit the spread of larger droplets that can spread the novel coronavirus.

As concerns arose about those shortages around the country, the agency allowed masks that had not been approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, but were in use in other countries, and it also allowed reuse of N95 masks after decontamination.

Now the agency is saying that certain masks made in China and not approved by NIOSH, while still OK for emergency use, may not be reused. The list of masks that are authorized but may not be reused includes a number of models from 3M that are manufactured in China.

Months before an election in which some farm states are major battlegrounds, Democrats and other critics of the administration’s agriculture policies are concerned that new agriculture subsidies, provided by Congress with bipartisan backing, could be doled out to ensure President Trump continues to enjoy the backing of one of his key voting blocs.

Across the United States, doctors and other health care workers have been stopping work in recent days for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time George Floyd, a black man, was pinned down by a white police officer’s knee before he died.

The Gulf Coast was hit with lashing rain and flooding on Sunday ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Cristobal, which is expected to make landfall within an hour.

Some communities along the coast are reporting rising numbers of coronavirus infections, compounding the issues that officials already face in emergency preparedness as hurricane season gets underway.

The storm has already spawned a tornado in Florida, and forecasters said that parts of coastal Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama could see 12 inches of rain and storm surges of several feet.

Emergency managers across the Southeast knew that they would face heightened challenges when the season started on June 1. Patricia Mazzei, Miami bureau chief for The Times, reported recently that forecasters predict as many as six storms rated Category 3 or higher in the coming months.

Normally, people would evacuate during those storms. But that could also be dangerous, as people crowded together in relatives’ homes or emergency shelters risk spreading the virus.

Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana declared Cristobal an emergency on Thursday, warning residents to have face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes on hand. On Sunday, President Trump tweeted that he would declare an emergency at the request of the state’s senators, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy.

The storm had slowed and was about 30 miles off the shore of Louisiana on Sunday afternoon, said Eric Blake, a specialist at the National Hurricane Center. The rain stretched all the way from Louisiana into central Florida, he said.

New Orleans issued a voluntary evacuation order for areas outside of the levee system on Sunday. Parts of Terrebonne Parish and Grand Isle had also issued evacuation orders.

The storm had already forced evacuations and killed several people in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico as it traveled north.

In a briefing on Friday, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said that officials there were discussing how to mitigate risk for the remainder of the season, including expanding shelters to allow for social distancing and providing Covid-19 testing in them.

As the coronavirus crisis wears on in the United States, the country remains stuck on a stubborn plateau. Each day, about 20,000 new cases are identified, and about 1,000 more people die. And progress in one place is undermined by setbacks elsewhere.

Two weeks ago, case numbers around Chicago were stuck at a high level, and alarming growth in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area had shown few signs of subsiding. Both of those regions have since reported sustained drops in new cases.

Just over three months since its first coronavirus case was confirmed, New York City is set on Monday to take its first steps toward reopening.

The global protests denouncing racism and police brutality showed no sign of slowing down over the weekend, with more demonstrations expected on Sunday in cities like Rome and London.

Inspired by the anti-racism protests that have swept the United States after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the marches have been unrelenting even as global cases of the virus approach seven million and the death toll nears 400,000.

Chanting “Black lives matter” and “No justice, no peace,” thousands of people gathered in Rome on Sunday to protest racism in the United States and in Italy.

“As many of you know, there is a very serious problem with state-condoned violence” in the United States, said Fatimah Provillon, a New Jersey native who has lived in Rome for 13 years, told the crowd of mostly young Italians in the Piazza del Popolo. “But it’s not just a U.S. problem — it’s happening all over the world.”

The rallies have unfolded for the past week around the world. More than 500 people gathered in Antwerp, Belgium, last Monday despite an official ban on large crowds because of the coronavirus. All protesters respected social distancing and wore masks, according to the police, who did not to intervene with the demonstration. Another approved demonstration was planned for Sunday afternoon in Brussels.

More than 55,000 Belgians have also signed a petition to remove statues of King Leopold II, who oversaw the brutal colonization of Congo in the 19th century. The petition calls for the removal of all monuments until June 30, the 60th anniversary of Congo’s independence. According to organizers, there is no place for the commemoration of Leopold II in Brussels, the capital, which is home to over 200 global nationalities.

Last week, people threw red paint on a statue of Leopold II in the city of Ghent, and gagged his face with a message that read, “I can’t breathe,” referring to Mr. Floyd’s words in his last moments as a white officer pressed a knee to his neck.

For example, the agency recommends limiting elevator use to maintain social distancing. Some companies lease space in crowded office buildings, sharing elevators with many other tenants.

Even for companies that occupy entire buildings, elevators are a vexing problem.

“It can’t be two people per elevator in a high rise. That’s not just feasible,” said Rob Falzon, a vice chairman at Prudential, which occupies several large buildings in Newark. “It would take us two to three hours just to get everyone in.”

One possible solution? Prudential is considering putting ultraviolet lighting in elevators so surfaces are continuously disinfected.

U.S. patients sickened in Mexico are overwhelming California hospitals.

It is one way in which Germany’s new normal looks anything but normal. In a country where privacy is something of a national religion, Germans now casually hand over their private address at every turn.

At a trendy coffee shop in central Berlin, Sabine Baum, a graphic designer, added her details to the dog-eared handwritten list on the counter one recent morning.

“Somehow it feels OK, because it’s just on paper and not online,” she said.

The longing for normality is a powerful incentive to put up with things that in early March would have seemed either unacceptable or totally absurd to many Germans. Like wearing something in a sauna (face masks might become mandatory when saunas reopen next month).

“Those are completely unwarranted and unreasonable,” said the official, Xu Lin, who oversees the State Council Information Office. The agency published a detailed report on Sunday about China’s epidemic response.

Ma Xiaowei, the minister in charge of the National Health Commission, also said that China had “not delayed in any way” the release of information about the disease.

A report published by Mr. Xu’s agency on Sunday provides a detailed timeline of China’s epidemic response. But while Chinese scientists moved quickly to identify the new disease and share their findings internationally, political leaders were slower to act, ordering police investigations of doctors who tried to sound the alarm in late December.

Since the outbreak began, China has recorded more than 89,000 cases and more than 4,600 deaths.

The U.S. accusations against China continued on Sunday, with Senator Rick Scott, Republican of Florida, saying that the United States had evidence that China was trying to slow down or sabotage the development of a Covid-19 vaccine by Western countries.

“We have evidence that communist China is trying to sabotage us or slow it down,” Mr. Scott said during an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation. “China does not want us and England and Europe to do it first. They have decided to be an adversary to Americans and I think to democracy around the world.”

Mr. Scott declined to give any evidence or details of his claim, but said it had come through the intelligence community.

In other global news:

  • Pope Francis on Sunday urged people to keep following the authorities’ rules as their countries emerged from coronavirus lockdowns. “Be careful, don’t cry victory, don’t cry victory too soon,” he told a crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square for a weekly blessing for the second time since Italy eased its own lockdown. The rules, he said, will “help us to avoid the virus getting ahead” again.

  • Brazil’s government on Friday removed comprehensive numbers on coronavirus cases and deaths from the Health Ministry’s website, claiming without offering evidence that state officials had been reporting inflated figures to secure more federal funding. The accusation outraged public health experts. And an analysis by The New York Times found that virus deaths in five Brazilian cities appeared to be vastly underreported.

  • Nearly 300 people who were stranded in Peru for months by coronavirus travel restrictions have returned to Spain after organizing their own charter flight. Roberto González, one of the passengers, told local news outlets after landing in Madrid on Saturday that the Spanish Embassy in Lima had provided “limited” help, mostly to secure landing rights for the charter plane.

  • Japan’s embrace of face masks may be the secret to its virus-fighting success. Scientists have found a correlation between high levels of mask-wearing — whether as a matter of culture or policy — and success in containing the virus.

  • The economy of Portugal, which is highly dependent on tourism, is expected to shrink 6.9 percent this year because of the coronavirus outbreak, the government said. The decline, it said, would be the “biggest contraction registered in recent decades.”

Reporting was contributed by Katrin Bennhold, Keith Bradsher, Maria Cramer, David Gelles, Emma Goldberg, J. David Goodman, James Gorman, Lara Jakes, Miriam Jordan, David D. Kirkpatrick, Sharon LaFraniere, Patricia Mazzei, Raphael Minder, Aimee Ortiz, Elisabetta Povoledo, Monika Pronczuk, Anna Schaverien, Kai Schultz, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Mitch Smith and Karen Zraick.