National Headlines

Ovidiu Dugulan/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 550,000 people worldwide.

Over 12 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations' outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 3 million diagnosed cases and at least 132,498 deaths.

Here is how the news is developing Thursday. All times Eastern:

6:52 p.m.: Arizona launches 'Project Catapult' to increase testing

Gov. Doug Ducey announced at a Thursday press conference he is signing an executive order to reduce indoor dining in Arizona to less than 50% of a restaurant’s capacity.

In addition, he said the state will be launching "Project Catapult" to drastically increase testing. The goal is 35,000 tests per day by the end of July, and 60,000 tests by the end of August.

Ducey urged Arizonans to stay at home multiple times during the press conference as the state deals with a surge in cases.

"The virus is widespread and the more activity that is happening in our economy, the more the spread will continue," he said.

The governor pointed out that the RN, the disease's capacity to spread, had fallen from 1.18 to 1.10 in the 10 days since the mask mandate and other restrictions went into effect. The number measures the average amount of people one infected person will spread the disease to. Officials look for a number under 1 to say the disease is under control.

Ducey also said he spoke to Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, who told him that getting out of the "zone" that Arizona is in will be a two- to four-week event.

6:47 p.m.: Texas sets new single-day record for deaths

Texas, in the middle of a surge of coronavirus cases, set a new one-day record total with 105 deaths reported Thursday.

The state has confirmed 9,782 new cases since yesterday with a 15.03% positivity rate on tests.

The death toll rose to 2,918 with the 105 reported Thursday.

As has been the case in Florida, hospitals are now overcrowding across Texas. In especially hard-hit Houston, Texas Medical Center now says it is at 105% capacity.

Houston has added a third free testing site, as the two it had offered 650 tests a day and they ran out by noon.

6:14 p.m.: Kentucky mandates face coverings

Kentucky Gov. Matt Beshear is mandating masks or facial coverings for the entire state in places where people cannot socially distance.

The executive order will go into effect Friday at 5 p.m. and last for 30 days.

Beshear has struggled with other politicians in his state over issuing COVID restrictions. Just hours before making the mask announcement at a press conference, a circuit judge issued a temporary restraining order against new executive orders signed by the governor related to COVID-19. He promised to fight the ruling.

The governor announced there were 333 new cases of coronavirus in the last day and four deaths.

In May, Beshear recommended people wear masks in public, but said it was not a requirement.

4:27 p.m.: California reports highest daily death total

California reported 149 new deaths on Thursday -- the highest daily number of fatalities so far.

Gov. Gavin Newsom stressed that the number may be attributed to lags in reporting, pointing out that the day after the Fourth of July only six deaths were reported.

Hospitalizations have jumped 42% in the last two weeks and intensive care unit admissions increased 29%.

3:30 p.m.: 11,312 pregnant moms diagnosed with coronavirus, most of them Latina: CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is aware of 11,312 pregnant women who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the U.S.

Of those, 3,252 women have been hospitalized and 31 have died, the CDC reported.

The disproportionate share of the pregnant women to test positive were Hispanic/Latina women.

The CDC recorded that 4,553 of the women were Hispanic/Latina and 2,140 were white.

2:50 p.m.: Over 1,000 TSA employees have tested positive for COVID-19

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says 1,018 of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Of that number, 647 have recovered and six have died.

New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport has had the highest number of positive cases with 116 TSA employees.

Second to JFK is New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport where 69 TSA workers have tested positive.

The TSA has taken steps to help protect workers like requiring employees to wear face coverings and installing plexiglass at screening locations.

There have also been calls from major U.S. airlines for the TSA to conduct temperature screenings on passengers.

2:20 p.m.: North Carolina reports highest day of hospitalizations

North Carolina reported its highest day of hospitalizations and second-highest day of cases on Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper said.

At least 1,034 patients are currently in hospitals, Cooper said.

Hospitals and ICUs still have capacity, Cooper said, though officials are concerned about the future hospital capacity in the Charlotte area, said Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services.

12:45 p.m.: Fauci calls coronavirus 'a public health person's worst nightmare'

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, described the coronavirus as "a public health person's worst nightmare" at the "Future of Healthcare Summit" put on by The Hill.

"It's a spectacularly transmissible virus," he said.

Fauci recommended that states seeing a surge of cases consider pausing reopening.

"Rather than think in terms of reverting back down to a complete shutdown, I would think we need to get the states pausing in their opening process," he said. "Looking at what did not work well and try to mitigate that."

Fauci said states can help curb the spread by doing "very fundamental things," like closing bars, wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing.

"If you look at the curve, for example, in New York City, which was hit harder than any place in the world really, has been able to successfully bring down the number of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths to an extremely low level," Fauci said.

"In some of the southern states, the states have not really followed those guidelines," he said.

11:34 a.m.: Florida's positivity rate leaps to 18%

Florida's positivity rate has leapt by 4.3% and now stands at 18.3%, the state's Department of Health said Thursday.

Florida has a total of 332,783 people diagnosed with COVID-19. Of those, 17,167 people are in hospitals, according to the state data.

Miami-Dade County, which includes Miami, and Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, are especially hard-hit.

Miami-Dade's positivity rate is 26.2%. Broward County's positivity rate has soared by 8.8% to reach 22.7%.

10:40 a.m.: Florida has 56 hospitals with no ICU beds

In Florida, 56 hospitals, including in Miami-Dade and Broward, reported zero ICU beds available, according to an internal FEMA memo obtained by ABC News.

Another 35 Florida hospitals reported that ICU capacity was at 10% or less, the memo said.

Texas is also a hot spot, reporting 10,028 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday -- the state's highest single-day increase, according to the memo.

The FEMA memo also noted that in Tennessee, people ages 21 to 40 are accounting for the majority of new and total cases.

Tennessee's number of new cases remains on the rise. Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville are areas of particular concern, the memo said.

10 a.m.: At least 26 Mississippi lawmakers have COVID-19

At least 26 Mississippi legislators have the coronavirus -- which accounts for about one in every six state lawmakers, The Mississippi Clarion Ledger reported.

Ten other cases are linked to the lawmakers' outbreak, the Ledger said.

Mississippi is "seeing numbers as high as we have seen at any point since the very beginning," Gov. Tate Reeves said Wednesday, as he warned that the overwhelmed health system is a "slow-moving disaster."

As of July 5, Mississippi had 609 hospitalizations with confirmed infections, 165 ICU patients and 98 ventilated patients -- all of which are near record levels for the state, according to an internal FEMA memo obtained by ABC News.

Mississippi was one of the first states to reopen businesses in late April, but on July 1 the governor said he would pause a full reopening given the rising cases.

Face masks are currently not required statewide, but on Wednesday Reeves said he's not ruling that out.

9:30 a.m.: More cases among teens, young adults near Chicago

There's been an upward trend in coronavirus cases among teens and young adults over the last two weeks in Lake County, Illinois, about 40 miles north of Chicago, the county health department said Wednesday.

"We are finding that many young people who attended social gatherings with their friends have become infected," Dr. Sana Ahmed, medical epidemiologist for the county, said in a statement.

The health department said it's working closely with Lake Zurich High School after multiple cases were linked to athletic camps.

The school has suspended camps until further notice and participants of the poms, football and baseball camps were asked to quarantine for two weeks, the county said.

A case was also linked to an athlete at Vernon Hills High School, the county said.

Illinois on Wednesday reported its biggest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases in a month, reported ABC Chicago station WLS-TV.

Illinois has over 149,000 diagnosed cases and at least 7,099 deaths.

8:24 a.m.: ICU ward at the heart of Italy's outbreak is now coronavirus-free

The main hospital in Bergamo, one of Italy's hardest-hit cities in the coronavirus pandemic, has had its first day without any COVID-19 patients in intensive care.

A spokesperson for Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital told ABC News on Thursday that, "after 137 days, there are no more patients COVID-19 positive in the ICU wards."

Italy once had the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, with the epicenter in the country's northern region. The outbreak there now appears to be under control.

In total, more than 242,000 people in Italy have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and at least 34,914 have died -- the fourth-highest death toll, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

7:15 a.m.: CDC chief says reopening schools is 'critical public health initiative'

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said he believes reopening schools is "a critical public health initiative."

Speaking to ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America on Thursday, Dr. Robert Redfield said the CDC's guidance for protecting against the novel coronavirus remains the same but that the agency will be providing "additional reference documents" to aid communities wanting to reopen their K-12 schools this fall.

The CDC chief noted that the guidelines are not requirements.

"The one thing I really want to say that would personally sadden me, and I know my agency, is if individuals were to use these guidances that we put out as a rationale to keep schools closed," Redfield said.

Redfield's comments come after President Donald Trump threatened on Twitter to "cut off funding" to schools that don't reopen in the fall and criticized the CDC's guidance as "very tough," "expensive" and "impractical."

During Wednesday's press briefing, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters that the CDC would revise its guidance next week in response to Trump's critique.

"It's not a revision of the guidelines; it's just to provide additional information to help the schools be able to use the guidance we put forward," Redfield said on GMA.

The CDC's current guidance for reopening schools calls for 6 feet of space between desks, staggered scheduling and the use of face masks.

When pressed on which of those guidelines were too tough or impractical and would be relaxed next week, Redfield said the CDC would continue working with communities to decide which preventative strategies work best for them.

"These decisions about schools are local decisions," he added. "We're prepared to work with any school and school district to see how they can take these guidances, this portfolio of strategies, and do it in a way that they're comfortable that they can reopen their schools safely."

6:03 a.m.: Ohio State pauses sports workouts after receiving results of COVID-19 testing

The Ohio State University athletics department announced Wednesday night that it has paused all voluntary workouts on campus following the results of its most recent coronavirus testing of student-athletes.

The move affects the workouts of seven teams at the school, which include men's and women's basketball, field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer and women's volleyball.

The university previously revealed Wednesday that a total of 125 student-athletes have been tested for COVID-19 as part of proactive screening prior to the start of voluntary summer workouts on campus. At least eight of those test results were positive, according to Columbus ABC affiliate WSYX-TV.

It's unknown how many others have tested positive since then.

"The university is not sharing cumulative COVID-19 information publicly as it could lead to the identification of specific individuals and compromise their medical privacy," The Ohio State University Department of Athletics said in a statement Wednesday. "The health and safety of our student-athletes is always our top priority."

A student-athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 will self-isolate for at least 14 days and receive daily check-ups from the athletics department's medical staff. Student-athletes who live alone will isolate in their residence, while those with roommates will isolate in a designated room on campus, according to the Ohio State University Department of Athletics.

5:52 a.m.: 3-year-old girl battles COVID-19 after 35-year-old mother dies from virus

A toddler in Florida has tested positive for COVID-19 after her mother died from the disease, according to a report by Miami ABC affiliate WPLG-TV.

Shaquana Miller Garrett, 35, contracted the novel coronavirus while working at the front desk of a hospital in Fort Lauderdale. She was a diabetic, considered a higher risk of becoming severely ill with the virus, and had to be hospitalized within days of her diagnosis, her family told WPLG.

Garrett died on July 2, leaving behind a husband and two young children. So far this month, more than a dozen people under the age of 60 have died from COVID-19 in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, according to WPLG.

"She was my best friend," her brother, Curtis Miller, told WPLG.

Now, her 3-year-old daughter Kennedy is battling the virus. The little girl has developed a fever, according to Miller.

3:27 a.m.: US records over 58,000 new cases

More than 58,000 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the United States on Wednesday, bringing the national total soaring past three million, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The latest daily caseload is just under the country's record set on Tuesday, when more than 60,000 new cases were identified in a 24-hour reporting period.

A total of 3,055,081 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 132,309 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 60,000 for the first time Tuesday.

Many states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some -- including Arizona, California and Florida -- reporting daily records.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


BlakeDavidTaylor/iStockBy ELLA TORRES, ABC NEWS

(LOS ANGELES) -- A security guard at a Southern California market fatally shot a man who refused to wear a mask, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said.

Prosecutors said that Umeir Corniche Hawkins, 38, was charged with murder in the death of Jerry Lewis, 50, according to the district attorney.

Lewis entered the undisclosed market without a mask on July 5 and he and Hawkins got into an argument, officials said.

Lewis eventually returned to the market and fought with Hawkins, who then allegedly shot the victim as he walked away, according to prosecutors.

Masks, which some studies have proved may decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission, have become a major source of contention for some during the pandemic.

In California, masks are required statewide in most settings outside of the home.

Hawkins is also facing one count of possession of a handgun by a felon.

Sabrina Carter, Hawkin's wife, was also charged with possession of a handgun by a felon.

Both Hawkins and Carter were convicted in 2013 for assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, according to the district attorney's office.

Police in Gardena, where the incident occurred, said that Carter was waiting in the parking lot of Hawkins to get off work. She had been armed with a handgun and pointed a gun at Lewis, causing the fight to end, police said.

Hawkins shot Lewis with his own firearm, according to police. Los Angeles County Fire responded to the scene and pronounced Lewis dead.

The two pleaded not guilty.

Hawkins' bail is set at $1 million, while Carter's is set at $35,000.

Both are scheduled to return on Friday to Los Angeles County Superior Court. There were no attorneys listed for Hawkins or Carter on the Los Angeles County Superior Court's website.

Police are still investigating and encouraged any witnesses to come forward.

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(PALMDALE, Calif.) -- The death of a 24-year-old Black man who was found hanging from a tree was confirmed to be a suicide, authorities said Thursday at a press conference.

Los Angeles Sheriff's Commander Chris Marks said that there were no signs of a struggle or defensive wounds upon discovering Robert Fuller's body on June 10 in a park near City Hall in Palmdale, California.

Marks also said that the rope and fabric tied to the tree branches were only accessible from a position in the tree, which he said suggested meant that Fuller had not been hoisted.

There were also no signs that Fuller attempted to remove the ligature from his neck, according to Marks.

Marks outlined other instances of prior mental health struggles, including in 2017 when a hospital in Arizona diagnosed him with having auditory hallucinations and claimed that he said he wanted to put a gun to his head.

Fuller also allegedly tried to set himself on fire in February 2020, according to Marks, and the incident was investigated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

A year before that, Marks said Fuller admitted himself to a California hospital, saying he heard voices telling him to kill himself.

Fuller's family has previously said they are seeking an independent investigation and autopsy. The family was "enraged" that "the Sheriff's Department immediately declared his death a suicide," family attorney Jamon R. Hicks said in a statement in June.

"For African-Americans in America, hanging from a tree is a lynching. Why was this cavalierly dismissed as a suicide and not investigated as a murder?" Hicks said. "We want complete transparency. To that end, the family should choose the pathologist to conduct the independent autopsy."

Fuller's death came amid widespread protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd's death. Fuller was also the second Black man found hanged in Southern California in a short period of time. Malcolm Harsch, a 38-year-old homeless man, was found in a tree on May 31 in Victorville, a desert city in San Bernardino County east of Palmdale.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva expressed his condolences to the Fuller family and urged officials to prioritize funding for mental health.

"I want to call on the Board of Supervisors to properly fund mental health treatment centers, psychiatric beds at the facility because they're always running overcrowded, insufficient. … We do not have the resources to provide care to all the ones who desperately need it," Villanueva said.

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.

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(NEW YORK) -- Tropical Storm Fay has developed along the East Coast on Thursday evening.

The low-pressure system was sitting 40 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, at the time of its forming about 5 p.m.

There is currently a tropical storm warning in effect from from Cape May, New Jersey, north to Watch Hill, Rhode Island, including Long Island and Long Island Sound.

By Friday morning and early afternoon, this system will move north, up the East Coast with heavy rain and gusty winds. Flash flooding will be possible in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

The storm will move into the Northeast from New Jersey to Vermont through Saturday morning. It will bring heavy rain and gusty winds and flash flooding will be possible in the area.

Locally, 3 to 5 inches of rain could fall from this system in the Mid-Atlantic and over 3 inches of rain is possible from New Jersey to upstate New York and into parts of New England.

More than 260 damaging storms were reported from Colorado to Maine Wednesday. There were also 25 reports of tornadoes throughout Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota and Illinois.

The tornadoes destroyed homes and resulted in one death in western Minnesota.

Severe storms are now expected Thursday from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Chicago and down to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma City.

The biggest threat Thursday will be damaging winds and large hail. The only area that has a tornado threat will be in the western Plains around Nebraska.

Another big story around the country is this scorching heat. From California to New Hampshire, heat advisories and warnings have been issued.

East of the Rockies, it will be all about heat and humidity. With temps in the 90s and with high humidity, it will feel like its near or over 100 degrees from Texas to New York.

West of the Rockies, wildfires continue to burn and with the increasing heat, they will be difficult to battle.

Excessive heat watches have been issued for California, Nevada and Arizona. Temperatures will approach 120 degrees by the weekend in some spots.

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Bloomington police arrested a 66-year-old Indiana woman in a hit-and-run crash that injured two protesters, officials said Thursday.

Christi Bennett was arrested late Wednesday and charged with two counts of criminal recklessness, a felony. She was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury, a felony, and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in bodily injury, a misdemeanor.

The arrest stems from an incident Monday evening at a demonstration in downtown Bloomington in support of Vauhxx Booker, a Black civil rights activist who said he was attacked on the Fourth of July by a group of white people who shouted racial slurs and called for someone to "get a noose."

Bloomington police said that at about 9:26 p.m., officers were called to the area after getting a report of a personal injury crash, and upon arriving learned a vehicle that injured protesters had fled the scene.

According to police, a male passenger in a red Toyota exited the car to move an electric scooter out of a blocked intersection. A 29-year-old woman then stood in front of the car and put her hands on the hood. Bennett allegedly accelerated, police said, causing the woman to go up onto the hood. A 35-year-old man grabbed and clung to the side of the car as it "accelerated rapidly" down the street, police said. Both victims were flung from the car when it quickly turned about two blocks from where it had first stopped, police said.

The 29-year-old victim was knocked unconscious and suffered a cut to her head, police said. She was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she was treated and released. The 35-year-old victim had minor bruises, police said.

Police said witnesses provided them with a license plate number for the car and several videos of the incident. On Wednesday, investigators were able to track down and detain Bennett, the registered owner of the car, and the passenger at a motel in Scottsburg, Indiana.

The unnamed passenger was interviewed and released. Bennett and her lawyer declined to provide a statement, police said. Bennett was booked into the Monroe County Jail and later released on a $,2000 surety and $500 cash bail. The car was impounded to collect evidence.

Bennett is scheduled to appear in court on July 17 for an initial hearing.

ABC News was unable to reach Bennett's lawyer.

The Bloomington incident was one of several in recent days involving crashes at peaceful demonstrations.

On Wednesday, a 27-year-old man arrested on suspicion of driving into a Black Lives Matter protest on a closed Seattle freeway early Saturday, killing one demonstrator and seriously injuring another, was charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving, authorities said.

Police also arrested a driver who allegedly ran over two people at a protest Monday evening in Huntington Station, on New York's Long Island, officials said.

ABC News' Bill Hutchinson contributed to this report.

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David Dee Delgado/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio brought the Black Lives Matter movement right to President Donald Trump's doorstep on Thursday.

As part of the city's efforts to honor Black New Yorkers, the mayor, his wife, other elected officials and volunteers painted the message in bright yellow paint on Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th streets, directly in front of Trump Tower.

"Our city isn't just painting the words on Fifth Avenue. We're committed to the meaning of the message," de Blasio tweeted.

As the paint was applied, many onlookers cheered and jeered Trump's name.

"Black lives do matter, and I hope it's not just something written on street and driven over," Amber Fairweather told ABC New York station WABC.

The city has painted Black Lives Matter murals on streets in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Harlem, and will continue to paint more in the coming weeks, according to the mayor's office.

Trump, who changed his legal residency to Florida from New York last year, expressed anger over the mural on Twitter over the last two weeks. In a pair of tweets on July 1, Trump said the paint was "denigrating this luxury Avenue," and added the city should spend more fighting crime.

"We are not denigrating anything. We are liberating Fifth Avenue," de Blasio said outside Trump Tower. "Who built this nation?"

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George Floyd is pictured in an undated photo released by the office of Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump. - undefined Courtesy Ben Crump LawBy ELLA TORRES, ABC News

(MINNEAPOLIS) -- "Please don't shoot me," George Floyd repeated at least four times, according to newly released audio transcripts of body cameras worn by the Minneapolis police officers involved in his death.

The transcripts were released Wednesday after the attorney for former officer Thomas Lane filed a motion to release them in support of a motion to dismiss charges against him. Lane and fellow former officers J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao are charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter in the Memorial Day death of Floyd, which sparked a series of nationwide protests and calls for police reform.

The transcripts offer the final moments of Floyd's life, including when he pleaded with Lane to not shoot him and told Lane and Kueng, "I'm going to die in here! I'm going to die, man!"

It also offers a glimpse of how Derek Chauvin, the officer charged with Floyd's murder, acted.

"You're doing a lot of talking, man," Chauvin, 44, who is facing second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter charges, said.

After Floyd continued to plead with officers that he can't breath and the he was claustrophobic, Chauvin responded, "Takes heck of lot of oxygen to say that."

When bystanders said Floyd might be passing out, Chavuin asked his fellow officers if they were OK.

"My knee might be little scratched, but I'll survive," Lane said.

It wasn't until an unidentified male bystander asked officers if Floyd still had a pulse that the officers checked, according to the body camera transcripts.

"I can't find one," Kueng said.

Floyd died after Chauvin pinned him down and kept his knee on his neck for nearly eight minutes. Officers had handcuffed Floyd for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill and were trying to force him into a squad car when he became stiff. Floyd told them he was "not resisting," but that he did not want to get in the squad car and was claustrophobic.

Floyd eventually fell to the ground, still handcuffed, and was restrained until he stopped moving. He had shouted "I can't breathe" and "I'm about to die" and called out for his mother, who is deceased.

The motion filed by Lane's attorney also included images of Floyd's car. Two $20 bills and two $1 bills were in his car.

Lane's attorney, Earl Gray, argued that the newly released transcripts show there was no probable cause to prove Lane committed a crime. Gray says that Floyd exited the car without being told to and that he did not listen to the orders from Lane.

When Floyd is handcuffed and lying stomach-down in the street, Lane asked the officers, "Should we get his legs up, or is this good?"

Chauvin said to "leave him."

Lane asked again if Floyd should be rolled on his side, and Chauvin responded "no."

"OK. I just worry about the excited delirium or whatever," Lane responded.

When Floyd lost consciousness, Lane performed chest compressions while speaking with medics who had been called to the scene.

"Was he fighting with you guys for a long time?" one asked.

"No. I mean a little bit, but not a long time, maybe a minute or two," Lane said. "We were just trying to get him in the squad and he came out the other end, so we were like we'll just wait."

"I wonder what he was on," the medic said.

"Not sure, but he seemed very agitated and paranoid," Lane said.

Earlier, Lane spoke with a witness, Shawanda Renee Hill, and asked why he was acting erratically.

"I have no clue, because he's been shot before," she said, later adding, "No, he got a thing going on, I'm telling you about the police. … He have problems all the time when they come, especially when that man put that gun like that."

Floyd had told the police something similar earlier.

When Kueng said he was acting "real erractic," Floyd replied, "I'm scared, man."

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BriBar/iStockBy EVAN SIMON, ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Traditional subsistence hunting has always been a pillar of life along Alaska's remote North Slope. Dependable migrations of bowhead whales, Arctic grayling fish, and the country's last remaining caribou herds have provided for generations of indigenous Alaskans who make their home on America's northernmost edge.

"We depend on a clean environment to feed our families during the year," Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, a 66-year-old resident of the village of Nuiqsut, told ABC News. The grandmother of twenty says she owns a harpoon and still participates in the whale hunt on Cross Island each fall.

Rosemary's village is among the few largely indigenous communities scattered throughout the region's vast Arctic oil fields. A small grid of homes located at the limits of most modern transportation routes with just one grocery store, more than three-quarters of the Inupiat Eskimo village relies on traditional subsistence hunting as their primary source of food.

With the arrival of COVID-19, residents of Nuiqsut say it's been decades since their ancestral ways have been this important. The global pandemic forced roads to close and the region's only airline to declare bankruptcy, cutting off an already isolated village from outside supply lines.

With the nearest hospital hundreds of miles away and the virus pushing northward, some fear the village -- with a population of just 500 -- would be wiped off the map if community spread took hold.

"It's life or death," Siqiniq Maupin, a community advocate based in Fairbanks whose family lives in Nuiqsut, told ABC News. "We have people that need to hunt and be out on the land right now because we just don't know what's going to happen this winter."

But in the midst of the crisis, as the tribal government frantically moved to obtain medical supplies and shut down non-essential services, residents learned their community was being asked to confront yet another challenge -- the federal government's controversial plan to massively expand oil and gas drilling in the area.

In April, the Bureau of Land Management -- the agency within the United States Department of the Interior responsible for the administration of public lands -- moved forward with "virtual public comment hearings" on revised plans for the controversial ConocoPhillips Willow Oil Project.

The Willow project aims to add a gravel mine and up to 250 oil and gas wells to the existing energy extraction sites already surrounding Nuiqsut on nearly all sides. First proposed in 2018, the project has long been opposed by some tribal leaders and environmental groups for its potential impacts on wildlife and public health.

"It's a massive project that threatens wildlife, exacerbates climate change and impacts indigenous culture and food security," Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League, told ABC News. "We were concerned before the pandemic but to see the Bureau of Land Management continue to kind of move at warp speed during the pandemic … makes no sense at all."

ConocoPhillips' declined to be interviewed for this report, but a company spokesman denied the project would impact subsistence hunting or public health in a statement to ABC News.

"The Willow project will be one of the first North Slope projects designed and built-in compliance with new EPA rules that reduce emissions and minimize environmental impacts," the spokesperson wrote.

The Willow development's virtual hearings -- conducted via Zoom -- were the culmination of a contentious public comment period for the project's revised environmental review that commenced on March 20, just a week after President Donald Trump declared COVID-19 to be a national emergency and four days after he advised all Americans to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.

The release of the Willow project's new environmental review would typically result in more in-person meetings within the village to ensure public awareness and input regarding the proposed changes, but the Bureau of Land Management relied on teleconferencing for the remote indigenous community, ignoring repeated requests from the tribal government, congressional leaders, and environmental groups to suspend the process in light of the region's lack of internet access and the pandemic's impact on public participation.

"They kept getting cut off, losing reception, words weren't being heard," Martha Itta, a lifetime resident and tribal administrator for the village who called into the hearings, told ABC News. "It was a really poor process."

Despite the technical challenges and emotional pleas from village members for an extension, the Bureau of Land Management closed the public comment period on May 4, effectively cutting off organized public input as the agency finalizes its plan for the project en route to getting final approval. The agency is still accepting comments via mail and the Bureau of Land Management website.

Alaska Bureau of Land Management officials defended the virtual hearings and emphasized the importance of maintaining "a capable and functioning government," in an email to ABC News, saying that the agency was using technology to both protect its employees and "ensure connection and service to the public."

"These virtual meetings are providing more people with access to participate and have their voices heard," Alaska Bureau of Land Management officials wrote in a statement to ABC News, saying the virtual meetings drew approximately 50 more people than in-person meetings conducted earlier in the review process.

"Public input is fundamental and of the highest importance to the Bureau," the spokesperson wrote.

But some Nuiqsut residents say the agency's rush to expand oil operations during a pandemic deliberately ignored their concerns. Just last month, the agency followed up the Willow project's virtual hearings with a massive plan to offer oil companies 18.6 million more acres of public lands across Alaska's Northwest, including previously protected wildlife areas such as Teshekpuk Lake, a vital subsistence hunting location for indigenous villages including Nuiqsut, where caribou herds, polar bears, and millions of migratory birds can be found.

"The [oil development] process is sacrificing our village," Ahtuangaruak told ABC News. "It shouldn't be forced down our throats when we are not effectively able to participate."

'A multi-fronted assault on the environment'

The Willow project is one of several plans the federal government is currently advancing that could turn over vast swaths of America's landscapes to oil and gas interests while the public's attention is focused on the ongoing pandemic and civil unrest.

Since President Trump's March 13 national emergency declaration, the Bureau of Land Management has leased more than 100,000 acres of public lands to fossil fuel companies across the country and pushed an array of extraction-friendly proposals that could impact iconic areas ranging from the Alaskan Arctic to the American Southwest.

Public lands surrounding Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Bears Ears National Monument, Chaco Canyon National Historic Park and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are just some of the treasured American landscapes that would see oil, gas, and mineral development under the various proposals currently underway.

"People are hurting around the country," Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Fund told ABC News. "And unfortunately, the administration chooses this opportunity to wage a multi-fronted assault on the environment and public health."

The controversial moves have garnered little attention outside of directly affected communities and have some critics claiming the administration is using the cover of a global pandemic to advance oil and gas interests on public lands.

"The administration is hoping we'll be too distracted to understand what's at stake," Deans said. "This is short-term profits for big polluters and leaves the rest of us to pay the price."

The Trump administration's drive to drill public lands for fossil fuels is perhaps most apparent in Alaska. There, on the country's last great frontier, the Bureau of Land Management has not only gone forward with controversial virtual public comment hearings for the ConocoPhillips' Willow Project, but it is promising a historic increase in oil and gas development across the state's public lands in the months to come -- despite the global oil glut underway.

In addition to the Willow Project's central processing facility and infrastructure pad, access and infield roads, pipelines, a gravel mine, an airstrip, and up 250 new wells, the agency is also proposing the construction of an entirely separate 20-foot-high, 211-mile-long gravel road intended solely for industrial copper mining in the region.

Meanwhile, top officials at the Bureau of Land Management and Department of the Interior have also recently doubled down on their vow to conduct oil and gas lease sales inside the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before the year's end. The move would be an unprecedented step toward opening America's largest wilderness area to oil and gas development.

In addition to transforming some of Alaska's most iconic landscapes and exacerbating climate change in the already melting Arctic, critics argue the new developments threaten to cut indigenous villages off from one of their most important food sources: migrating caribou herds.

"It's just so overwhelming right now," Maupin said. "We have so many projects happening at the same time over such a large state that we can't attend every single hearing."

Bureau of Land Management and Department of the Interior leadership declined to be interviewed for this story. William Perry Pendley, the Bureau of Land Management's temporary head, has stated in the past that "it is crucial that we fulfill our statutory and regulatory responsibilities during this difficult time to provide for our future economic stability when Americans do return to work."

But according to former California State Bureau of Land Management Director Jim McKenna, a 40-year agency veteran, the Bureau of Land Management appears to be ignoring the conservation aspect of its mission.

"Oil and gas leasing now in the midst of a pandemic oil glut makes no sense," McKenna told ABC News. "It flies in the face of public interest."

According to McKenna, the flood of agency activity during the pandemic shows the current leadership's "very cavalier attitude towards the public."

"People who are the most directly affected are being shuffled aside," he said. "And that to me is wrong."

Pendley, the agency's temporary head, spent much of his career as an attorney representing oil and gas interests in public land disputes, arguing that the federal government should transfer or sell most of its public lands to states.

In May, conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration for extending Pendley's tenure for the fifth time without Senate approval. Late last month, the White House said it intends to officially nominate Pendley to lead the Bureau of Land Management.

According to McKenna, many of his former colleagues are "dispirited" at the direction the agency has taken and "don't feel like they can say things that are true out loud."

"This isn't the agency that I grew up in," McKenna said.

A widespread sense of distrust

Historically, oil and gas development has brought monetary wealth to some indigenous Alaskans, particularly those with shares in Alaskan Native Corporations who receive regular payments from developers -- but critics say that with the added resources also came pollution, health risks and a noted impact on the land and waters local populations have depended on for centuries.

Perhaps no village embodies this contrast better than Nuiqsut, which sits directly beside the National Petroleum Reserve and has seen an explosion of oil and gas development over the past several decades.

"When I came to Nuiqsut, the lights were 20 miles away," Ahtuangaruak said in reference to the oil and gas facilities. "Now I have lights to the east of us from development at Prudhoe Bay, to the north of us from the offshore development in the Beaufort Sea, to the west of us from the National Petroleum Reserve, and now to the south of us from the new developments."

As Alaska's largest oil producer with most of its key operations in the North Slope, ConocoPhillips' presence is hard to miss in the region. In addition to its ubiquitous processing and extraction facilities surrounding Nuiqsut -- where children can see active drill pads from their school steps -- the oil company sponsors educational events such as the village's health fair and science symposium, as well as a nearby playground.

The company is also a major political force, spending nearly $5 million dollars on national political lobbying in 2019, and it is among the top five donors to Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski -- giving nearly $40,000 to her campaigns over the past five years as the company grew its holdings in the state.

During her career as a community health aide from 1986-2000, Ahtuangaruak said, she started noticing more respiratory illnesses in her village as development grew around it. She is among many in the village who believe the oil and gas infrastructure has compromised their health.

"[When] I stopped working at the clinic, there were 70 [respiratory illness cases] -- but when I started, there was just one," she said. "There were nights I was up all night helping people breathe."

In response to the community's widespread concerns about air pollution, the state of Alaska conducted multiple assessments of the area's air quality and found that pollutant concentrations were "generally well below the national ambient air quality standards," blaming any potential rise in respiratory problems on seasonal flus, poor indoor air quality, diesel auto-emissions, and high smoking rates.

However, ConocoPhillips owns the only air monitoring instruments in the area, leading many residents to doubt the government's findings. The instruments are operated by a consulting company and its reports are prepared for ConocoPhillips before being sent to government and tribal agencies as well as audited quarterly by another independent party. Yet ConocoPhillips' multiple oil and wastewater spills in the region, including in 2009 and 2017 -- along with one of the company's subsidiaries pleading guilty to failing to maintain proper records of an oil spill and attempting to hide a spill in 2004 -- have only added to the community's sense of distrust.

"ConocoPhillips has consistently proven that we can safely, responsibly, and sustainably operate on Alaska's North Slope," a company spokesman wrote to ABC News.

"The 2004 incident you are referring to was a records-keeping violation following a deck spill during a routine maintenance operation," the spokesman wrote. ConocoPhillips's subsidiary, Polar Tankers, "immediately terminated the ship's captain" and agreed to pay a $500,000 fine and a $2 million community-service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

"Polar Tankers resolved the matter with the authorities, and subsequently has been recognized by state and federal programs for its health, safety and the environment performance. However, this has no connection to our North Slope operations," the spokesman said.

This coming winter was expected to be a major production year for ConocoPhillips in Alaska, but the oil glut caused by the pandemic forced the company to scale back its ambitions in the Arctic. The Bureau of Land Management's virtual hearing announcement for the Willow project came two days after ConocoPhillips announced it was cutting roughly $200 million from its Alaska budget -- mainly by slowing production in the North Slope.

"Significant public comment on Willow development occurred well before the COVID pandemic," the ConocoPhillips' spokesperson wrote. "We are supportive of the BLM's efforts to continue permitting projects on a timely basis."

At the time of the announcement, Pendley, the Bureau of Land Management head, said the move to go forward with the virtual hearings was "in the spirit of service to the public," while Bureau of Land Management Alaska officials said the hearings actually increased public participation.

"It's completely insulting," Maupin, the community advocate, told ABC News, saying that if there was any increase in participation it was "because people are crying, asking you not to inhumanely hold these processes during a pandemic."

"This entire process was a joke, and it's really sad that so many people had to endure that," she said.

"We always say they don't give a damn about us -- it's really heartbreaking," Nuiqsut resident Martha Itta said. After the hearings, Itta wrote a scathing letter to the Bureau of Land Management describing her experiences and demanding the process be halted. As of this writing she says she had not heard back.

Despite the recent setbacks, Rosemary Ahtuangaruak has vowed to continue her opposition to the Bureau of Land Management's plans for her village -- but she's concerned that few outside her community are paying close enough attention.

"We need our nation to respond," Ahtuangaruak told ABC News. "Otherwise, they are going to push forward to protect profitability at all costs. Stand up and protect the life, health and safety of people who are living nearby and protect this beautiful area for generations to come."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagicBy WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News

(LOS ANGELES) -- Naya Rivera, best known for playing Santana Lopez on the hit TV show "Glee," is presumed dead by authorities after going missing at a California lake on Wednesday.

Rivera, 33, is believed to have drowned in Lake Piru in California, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office said during a press conference Thursday. They do not suspect foul play and said it "just seems like a tragic accident."

Authorities have been searching for Rivera ever since her 4-year-old son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, was found drifting alone on a boat Wednesday afternoon.

Rivera and her son came to the lake around 1 p.m. local time to rent a boat and were seen going out on the lake together in the early afternoon, Capt. Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office told ABC News.

However, at around 4 p.m. local time, an employee at the boat rental shop found the child, who appeared to be alone on board. The boy was found asleep and authorities were immediately notified.

The child told officials that he had been swimming with his mother and that he got back in the boat, but his mother did not.

A dive, ground and aerial rescue operation began immediately, but the Venture County Sheriff's Office said it suspended the search for Rivera at around 10 p.m. local time Wednesday.

The missing person at Lake Puru has been identified as Naya Rivera, 33, of Los Angeles. SAR operation will continue at first light. @VCAirUnit @fillmoresheriff @Cal_OES

— Ventura Co. Sheriff (@VENTURASHERIFF) July 9, 2020

The search for Rivera resumed at first light Thursday and it is now considered a recovery mission.

Rivera's vehicle was found parked on the ramp near the lake and her purse was found on the boat. Lake Piru is located about 56 miles north of Los Angeles.

ABC News' Lauren Botchman and Will Ganss contributed to this report.


Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(SEATTLE) -- A 27-year-old man arrested on suspicion of barreling into a Black Lives Matter protest on a closed Seattle freeway, killing one demonstrator and seriously injuring another, was charged Wednesday with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving, authorities said.

The King County prosecuting attorney filed charges against Dawit Kelete in the deadly incident early Saturday on Interstate 5 in Seattle, according to court documents.

Charges could be added as the investigation continues, authorities said.

Protester Summer Taylor, 24, was pronounced dead at a local hospital hours after Kelete allegedly drove his white Jaguar onto a closed section of the interstate where ongoing demonstrations have been occurring, and slammed into Taylor and another protester, Diaz Love, 32, who was seriously injured, police said.

Love suffered multiple leg and arm fractures, and remained hospitalized for at least four days after the crash, according to the charging documents.

Surveillance video captured the 2013 Jaguar apparently speeding down the freeway, swerving around cars supporting the protest that were blocking the lanes, and striking Taylor and Love, who were walking on the shoulder. The blow knocked them into the air, over the roof of the vehicle, and onto the pavement.

According to the charging documents, Kelete allegedly did not slow down as he drove on the shoulder.

The incident unfolded at about 1:40 a.m. when the driver allegedly entered the closed freeway by going the wrong way on an exit ramp, and drove at high speed toward a crowd of people protesting the police-involved death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, authorities said.

State police said the Jaguar continued to drive south on the freeway and was chased by a protester in a car for about a mile before the car managed to get in front of the Jaguar. According to a police report released by prosecutors, the driver of the Jaguar was able to steer around the protester's car and keep going.

After the crash, Seattle police and Washington state police officers quickly located the suspected hit-and-run car and pulled it over, according to the report. The vehicle sustained heavy front-end damage and a shattered windshield, authorities said.

Kelete, who was identified as the driver and registered owner of the car, was given field sobriety tests and volunteered to take a Breathalyzer test at the scene, according to the report.

"It was determined the driver was not impaired," court documents said. "The driver was sullen throughout his time in custody. At one point, he asked if the injured pedestrians were okay."

He denied taking any medication, according to the charging documents. Later, Kelete allegedly told jail personnel that he struggles with an untreated Percocet addiction, the documents said.

The results of a blood test approved several hours after the crash are pending. A substance that "appears similar to crystal methamphetamine" recovered from Kelete's car is also pending testing, according to the charging documents.

Kelete is expected to enter a plea at his arraignment on July 22.

Police are still investigating a motive for the attack.

Kelete, who was described in the police report as Black, was initially arrested on suspicion of vehicular assault. He appeared in court on Monday and a judge set his bail at $1.2 million.

Taylor was pronounced dead after being taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Love, of Bellingham, Washington, remains in serious condition with multiple broken bones, police said.

Love had been broadcasting the protest for about two hours on Facebook Live under the caption "Black Femme March takes I-5." The video ended abruptly after someone was heard yelling, "Car!"

In the aftermath of Saturday's incident, protesters in New York and Indiana were struck and injured by drivers who authorities say appeared to deliberately target demonstrations.

A demonstrator in Bloomington, Indiana, and two others in Huntington Station, on New York's Long Island, were hurt Monday evening during peaceful protests, police said. The driver who allegedly ran over two people in New York was arrested, while police were still searching Wednesday afternoon for the operator of a red car and her male passenger who fled following the Indiana incident.

Several hundred protesters had gathered in downtown Bloomington Monday to demonstrate in support of Vauhxx Booker, a Black civil rights activist and a member of the Monroe County, Indiana, Human Rights Commission, who said he was attacked on the Fourth of July by a group of white people who shouted racial slurs and called for someone to "get a noose." The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement is investigating the attack, which was caught on cellphone video and has gone viral since being posted on social media.

Booker was let go after a group of people intervened.

The Long Island incident occurred at around 6:45 p.m. Monday during a Black Lives Matter protest in Huntington Station.

Suffolk County Police said they arrested the driver, Anthony Cambareri, 36, of Coram, New York, after he drove into the protesters as they participated in a demonstration on the street. The two victims were taken to Huntington Hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Cambareri sped away, but police caught him a short time later, authorities said.

He was arrested on charges of third-degree assault and was issued a desk appearance ticket. He will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip at a date yet to be determined.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- For Dante Maglioli, a box of photographs is a time capsule. They show moments spent with his father during his childhood -- something he holds most sacred.

“I remember being a kid and saying, ‘Santa, you smell so much like my dad … and you have the same exact shoes,’” Maglioli told ABC News. “Literally today, to this day, [I] hear his voice resonate, laughing and crying at the same time because he recognized that I know it was him.”

His father, Joseph Maglioli, was often looking to laugh and he was a man who always put his family first, Dante Maglioli said as he wiped away tears.

“My father definitely did as much as he could … to make me have a good life when I was a child,” he said.

Years later, Dante Maglioli and his siblings wanted to make sure their father was well cared for as he aged.

He said the decision to check Joseph Maglioli into a nursing home was a difficult one. But they had settled on the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center in Andover, New Jersey, because Dante Maglioli’s brother lived close by.

“The Andover place was supposed to be kind of temporary until we were able to get him somewhere else,” Dante Maglioli said. “My brother was working on trying to get him somewhere else and obviously that didn't work out in due time.”

The decision to admit their father into the home is now one that continues to haunt Dante Maglioli to this day. His father died of COVID-19 on April 9, becoming one of the more than 36,000 nursing home residents that have died from the coronavirus in the U.S.

Those who’ve died in nursing homes account for 27% of the total COVID-19 deaths in the country, although the number is likely higher.

Joseph Maglioli’s family believes he was one of the 13 bodies authorities discovered in April at Andover Subacute Rehabilitation Center One and Two -- the two facilities run by the center. Police said they found the bodies after receiving a large request for body bags from the nursing home.

Eighty residents and two employees at the Andover have died from COVID-19. Now the two centers are facing a state investigation and two lawsuits.

“I was told by several of the staff members that this morgue, as one of them had called it, was full,” said Jennifer Jean Miller, who covered the Andover incident as a reporter for The New Jersey Herald.

The incident has raised numerous questions about how the facility was preparing for the pandemic and whether more oversight by the state was necessary.

“That's the thing that's really bothers me is they knew what was going on,” said Michael Lensak, mayor of Andover Township. “It was obvious. Like I said, I'm not a medical professional. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist. When bodies are piling up, there's something wrong.”

Meanwhile, families that have lost their loved ones are caught in the middle.

“It baffles me... So many people die at the hands of a place like Andover,” Dante Maglioli said. “And they're still open and there are still people there, living there.”

In some ways, the disaster at Andover may have begun long before COVID-19 entered its halls. The facility, which consists of two buildings, is the largest long-term care facility in New Jersey with a total of 702 beds.

“The common perception has been, for years, that it's never been a great facility. That it's really-- it's always been loaded with problems,” Miller said. “There was already trouble in that facility in that they already had citations ... and they just really started to snowball as the pandemic got worse.”

Just a month before the virus swept through the facility, a routine inspection by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found several cases of substandard infection control practices, including cases where the facility staff failed to wash their hands and failed to use required personal protective equipment (PPE).

Attorney Daniel Marchese is representing multiple families -- including Dante Magioli’s -- in two lawsuits against the facility and its owners, which allege they did not have adequate infection control and staffing in place and didn’t protect the residents adequately during the pandemic.

“They should've had these protocols in place ... and they weren't, so they only have themselves to blame,” Marchese said.

He pointed to a recent audit by federal inspectors that shows a breakdown in protocols when the first case of the virus appeared in March.

“There were basic things that these facilities didn't do to prevent the spread. There were breakdowns in protocol of how to properly equip the employees,” Marchese said.

These breakdowns may have allowed the virus to sweep through the facilities at an alarming rate, the lawsuits allege, even as the staff tried to get the outbreak under control.

“They didn't protect the patients,” Marchese alleged. “The facilities had COVID patients in with other non-COVID patients… The employees weren't wearing protective equipment in the rooms with COVID patients and then went to rooms with patients without COVID.”

As the pandemic continued, Dante Maglioli said his family received very little information from the facility about how it was caring for residents. He said the residents themselves were being kept in the dark as well.

Maglioli said the first time he heard about a COVID-19 case at Andover was from his father.

“[He] literally said to my sister on the phone ... ‘Hey, I found out that someone's got this COVID-19… Someone died. I'm really scared. What do we do?’” Maglioli said. “And my sister called up Andover, addressed it with the nurse, and the nurse said, ‘I don't know what you're talking about. No one's sick. ... There's no COVID-19. No one's died.’”

As more residents became sick with COVID-19, Miller said staffing became an issue.

“I can speak for staff members that I have gotten to know through my reporting, and they're very caring people. ... But there aren't enough of them, really, to take care of the needs of the residents,” she said.

By Easter weekend, the outbreak had taken hold of the facility. More residents were dying, forcing the facility to request help.

“I remember a Saturday mid-afternoon, getting a phone call that they needed 20 body bags,” said Sussex County Sheriff Michael Strada, one of the local officials who responded to the call.

“Some individuals were being placed outside because there was no room in the facility to keep the bodies,” he added.

By this point, some families say they still weren’t alerted about the dire situation at the facility. Francesca Veen, whose grandmother lived at the facility, said she became worried when she heard about the COVID-19 deaths at the home.

“I wanted to know,” Veen said. “Anybody would want to know… Is she one of those bodies?”

Desperate for answers after she says her numerous calls to the facility went unanswered, Veen posted a video to Facebook in April. The post went viral.

“I am sick and tired of being told that I cannot talk to her,” Veen said in the video. “That I cannot see her [on video]. We have not heard from her. We are told when we do get someone [that] she is sleeping and that she is OK. I want to talk to her.”

Veen said she just wanted to bring awareness to the situation and express how angry and sad she was over it.

Many are now questioning how the situation at Andover escalated so quickly. Miller said the state should have been well aware of Andover’s poor inspection record and that the state should have stepped in earlier.

“The state had access to this information back in early March. So they knew about this,” she said.

Lensak agrees that the state should have stepped in sooner.

“The fact of the matter is, yes, I do think the state dropped the ball in a huge way,” he said. “They were directing the hospitals to not keep the patients there, to bring them back to the nursing home… Thus bringing back possible COVID [patients] and putting them back into the most vulnerable people that we have in our town.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Sheriff Strada’s team has provided local nursing homes with protective equipment. He said that in the beginning, most of the PPE donations were from local residents.

After the deaths at Andover, county officials requested that the state activate the National Guard to help the facility with operations, which the state eventually did in May. Strada says that his team is now receiving an adequate amount of PPE to distribute from the state Department of Health.

The New Jersey Department of Health told ABC News that in addition to providing directives to nursing home facilities, once ”the outbreak was reported to them," the health department started monitoring Andover, responding to complaints, and providing PPE and staffing support as needed.

But for families like the Magliolis, it’s too little too late. Dante Maglioli still doesn’t have confirmation that his father is among the bodies that were being held at the facility during Easter weekend. He also says his family still has not been contacted from Andover to offer condolences.

“I wish that we were able to have gotten him into a safer place that was a better place,” he said. “There's a lot of things I wish I could do over. I wish I literally could have just taken him out myself.”

Veen says she also still hasn’t been able to reach her grandmother who is still inside the facility.

“I haven't talked to her. I miss her. This is when she first met my son,” she said. “She was so happy that I was a mom.”

Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center denied all allegations contained in the lawsuits and issued a statement saying its health care professionals worked around the clock and took proactive steps to prepare and handle the crisis internally, including separating sick patients and following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It says it also reached out to government agencies for help dozens of times.

The center said that it has made significant progress since the height of the pandemic, taking extra steps to ensure patient and staff safety, and that it has not had a single COVID-19 symptomatic resident since May 12.

To date, both buildings at the Andover facility remain operational and are now, along with several other nursing homes, part of a statewide investigation by the attorney general.

New Jersey now says they’re implementing reforms based on an independent review of long-term care facilities in the state, which the Andover facility plans on cooperating with.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 548,000 people worldwide.

Over 12 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations' outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 3 million diagnosed cases and at least 132,256 deaths.

Here is how the news developed Wednesday. All times Eastern:

9:25 p.m.: Global total surpasses 12 million cases

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 crossed 12 million worldwide Wednesday night.

Coronavirus cases continue to surge in the U.S. with hotspots in states such as Florida, Arizona and Texas reporting new records with regularity.

The number of cases in the U.S. alone crossed 3 million earlier in the day on Wednesday.

Outside of the U.S., cases are surging in Brazil (1.7 million) and India (742,000), which are second and third in the world, respectively.

6:30 p.m.: Texas reports record COVID-19 fatalities, hospitalizations

Texas reported its deadliest day during the pandemic on Wednesday, with 98 new deaths from COVID-19.

That number breaks the previous single-day record of 60 fatalities, set the day before. The statewide death toll is now 2,813, based on data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The state also reported record hospitalizations Wednesday, with 9,610 total.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas are now up to 220,564, with 9,979 new cases reported Wednesday. The seven-day average of the daily testing positivity rate was 15.03% as of Tuesday.

5:58 p.m.: Ivy League calls off fall sports

The Ivy League will not be competing in any sports for the fall semester due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ivy League Council of Presidents announced the decision on Wednesday. It affects the eight Ivies: Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Yale University.

Practice and other athletic training for enrolled student-athletes will be based on the institution and state regulations, the council said in a statement.

It will decide on winter and spring sports competition, as well as the possibility of holding fall sports in the spring, "at a later date," it said.

The Ivy League is the first conference to make a decision on fall sports, and it's unclear how larger college conferences will adjust.

Jim Harbaugh, head coach for Big Ten powerhouse Michigan, said in a press conference this afternoon he expects the conference will make a decision "in the coming weeks."

"If it comes to a point in time where you say that we can't play, it's obvious, it's clear -- then everybody would be reasonable and know that that was the right thing to do," he said.

4:55 p.m.: Site cancels Texas GOP's in-person state convention

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday that Houston First, which operates the George R. Brown Convention Center where the Texas Republican Party planned to hold its in-person state convention next week, sent a letter to the party's executive committee announcing it was canceling the event.

"Houston is a hotspot right now in a global pandemic, and we cannot have thousands of people gathering inside the George R. Brown," Turner said at a news conference. "Houston looks forward to hosting conventions in the future, when it is safe and we are not endangering people by exposing them to this virus."

"The people in the city of Houston, their public health concerns, are first and foremost paramount," the mayor said. "Those first responders, police, fire, municipal workers, all of the individuals who will be in contact or in close proximity to this indoor gathering, simply the public health concerns outweighed anything else."

4:20 p.m.: Rate of infection increasing in LA

Los Angeles County is experiencing a "sharp increase in community transmission," Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the county's public health director, warned Wednesday.

"Our cases are rising, the rate of infection is increasing and the number of hospitalizations are up," Ferrer said.

Ferrer announced 65 new fatalities, bringing LA County's death toll to 3,642.

"We are worried given the higher rates of hospitalizations that deaths may go back up," Ferrer said.

Ferrer also commended residents for "embracing responsible actions" over the Fourth of July weekend.

Inspectors visited 82 bars over the holiday weekend and all were closed, as ordered, she said.

Inspectors went to 1,101 restaurants, where 99% complied with only providing outdoor dining, takeout and delivery, she said. Ninety-nine percent of customers wore face coverings and 98% complied with physical distancing, she said.

3:35 p.m.: Hospitalizations, ICU admissions on the rise in California

In California, hospitalizations are up 44% over the last two weeks, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday.

Admissions to ICUs are also on the rise, he said.

The governor attributed the growth to a number of factors: not enough people wearing face coverings and social distancing; increased mixing outside of households; outbreaks in prisons and jails; and outbreaks within essential workplaces.

California hospitals are only at 8% capacity, he added.

Newsom reported 11,694 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, but stressed that this number includes a backlog of data from Los Angeles County labs.

Twenty-six counties are now on California's "monitor list," up from 23 counties. Among those on the list are Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento.

3 p.m.: 91% of Arizona's ICU beds are in use

In hard-hit Arizona, the number of coronavirus cases increased by 165% in the last week, while tests increased by just 75%, according to the state's Department of Health.

In Arizona hospitals, 91% of ICU beds are in use.

A record 2,008 suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients visited emergency rooms in the state on Tuesday.

12:50 p.m.: NJ now requiring masks in outdoor public spaces

In New Jersey, face coverings are now required in outdoor public spaces when social distancing isn't practicable, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday.

"Requiring masks outdoors is a step I had hoped we would not have to take," Murphy tweeted, adding, "unfortunately, we've been seeing a backslide in compliance."

Face coverings are not required while eating or drinking at an outdoor restaurant, he clarified.

Those under 2 years old are exempt.

At least 13,476 people in New Jersey have died from COVID-19.

11 a.m.: Florida has 41 hospitals with no available beds

As coronavirus cases surge in Florida, the state had 41 hospitals with no available beds as of Wednesday morning, according to the state's Agency for Healthcare Administration.

Only 15.36% of Florida's adult ICU beds remain available, the agency said.

This comes as Florida reports 9,989 more cases since Tuesday, bringing the state to a total of 223,793 diagnosed cases of the coronavirus.

In Miami-Dade County, which includes the city of Miami, the positivity rate has jumped to 21.9%.

Osceola County is reporting a positivity rate of 19.5%, while in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa, the positivity rate stands at 16.4%.

Hillsborough County students and staff will be required to wear face masks when they return to school, the superintendent announced Tuesday evening.

10:25 a.m.: NYC schools to mix in-person, remote learning

When New York City restarts school for its 1.1 million public school students, classes will be a mix of in-person and remote learning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

Students will learn five days a week and most children will be in school two or three days each week, he said.

Schools will be deep-cleaned each night and face coverings will be required, said Richard Carranza, chancellor of the city's Department of Education.

Fewer students will be in each class and teachers can use large spaces, like gyms and cafeterias, to teach, Carranza said.

Families can also choose remote learning full-time for their children, the mayor added.

"We have to look at this as a challenge, but one that we can also find good in," de Blasio said.

Of those tested for the coronavirus in New York City, 1% are now testing positive, the mayor said Wednesday.

9:05 a.m.: Coronavirus crisis expanding in South and Southwest

The coronavirus crisis is expanding in the South and the Southeast, according to an internal FEMA memo obtained by ABC News.

Arizona reported 354 new cases per 100,000 population in the past week, compared to a national average of 100 per 100,000.

In California, the highest number of new cases in last three weeks were in Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties, representing 51.8% of new cases in the state.

Southern California and the Central Valley show high community transmission and the Bay Area is also seeing rising cases.

Florida is reporting 261 new cases per 100,000 population in the past week.

The highest number of new cases in last three weeks were in Miami-Dade, Hillsborough and Broward Counties. But those counties represented only 37.9% of new cases in the state; increases are occurring broadly across multiple counties, including Orange.

In South Carolina, positivity rates are increasing in coastal counties and urban areas.

The highest number of new cases over the last three weeks were in Charleston, Horry and Greenville Counties, representing 41.1% of new cases in the state.

In Texas, Dallas County Health and Human Services reports that 80% of those in the hospital are essential workers, including health workers, first responders and food service workers.

7:21 a.m.: Russia surpasses 700,000 cases of COVID-19

Russia confirmed 6,562 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, bringing the country’s official number of cases to 700,792.

Over the past 24 hours, 173 people have died in the country bringing the total toll to 10,667.

A total of 8,631 people recovered over the last 24 hours as well which brings the overall number of recoveries to 472,511.

Russia has the fourth highest number of confirmed cases by country in the world behind only the United States, Brazil and India, respectively. Russia has more than double the amount of cases to Peru which currently sits as the fifth worst-affected country in the world.

6:33 a.m.: Orlando Magic player tests positive for coronavirus, team official says

On the same day the Orlando Magic arrived at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to prepare for the upcoming NBA season restart, officials said one of their players will be temporally benched by the coronavirus.

Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman made the announcement during a videoconference with reporters on Tuesday. The unidentified player had previously tested positive during the NBA's last round of testing that began on June 23.

"That player is following protocol and and we're hoping that he can join us shortly," Weltman said.

The Magic did not say which player had a confirmed COVID-19 case.

The league told players that it will not suspend play in the event of several positive cases, but would look into stoppage if an outbreak did occur.

5:04 a.m.: Over a dozen contract coronavirus after high school graduation

More than a dozen people who attended a high school graduation in North Carolina have reportedly contracted the novel coronavirus.

Officials have identified at least 16 people who tested positive for COVID-19 after attending Marvin Ridge High School's graduation ceremony on June 24 in Waxhaw, North Carolina, according to a report by Charlotte ABC affiliate WSOC-TV. While some of those people may have been together at other events, officials said, the only common link they all share is the graduation.

Officials said anyone who attended the ceremony "needs to take additional precautions when interacting with individuals from our vulnerable population," and to get tested if they or someone in their home develops symptoms.

Board members of the Union County Public Schools had voted in late May to hold in-person graduation ceremonies while practicing social distancing, despite an order from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper that prohibits them. The Union County Sheriff's Office said they wouldn't interfere with the plans to carry out traditional graduations.

"As Union County Public Schools held graduations, the district provided clear health and safety guidance for graduates and their guests," Union County Public Schools told WSOC in a statement Tuesday. "Ceremonies included social distancing protocols, and staff encouraged all attendees to wear face coverings. In addition, hand sanitizer or hand washing stations were available at each stadium."

3:30 a.m.: US sets another record with over 60,000 new cases in a day

More than 60,000 new cases of COVID-19 were identified in the United States on Tuesday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

It's the first time the United States has reached or crossed the 60,000 threshold of newly diagnosed cases in a 24-hour reporting period.

Tuesday's caseload shattered the country's previous record set on July 2, when more than 54,000 new cases were identified.

The national total currently stands at 2,996,098 diagnosed cases with at least 131,480 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.

By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 50,000 for the first time last week.

Many states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some -- including Arizona, California and Florida -- reporting daily records.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Georgijevic/iStockBy IVAN PEREIRA, ABC NEWS

(SAN FRANCISCO) -- It soon may be even more costly in San Francisco for so-called Karens to dial 911 and make baseless accusations against persons of color.

San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton on Tuesday introduced an ordinance called The Caution Against Racially Exploitative Non-Emergencies, or CAREN, Act, which would amend the city's police code and allow anyone harmed by such calls to sue the callers.

The bill is named after the slang term "Karen," which has been used to denote white people calling police with outrageous and demonstrably false allegations against persons of color.

"Racist 911 calls are unacceptable," Walton tweeted, in part, on Tuesday.

Phony 911 calls in California already are illegal, but current laws, Walton said, don't punish people for making fraudulent calls "based on the perception of another individual to be a threat due to their race, religion, ethnicity, religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or outward appearance."

The supervisor cited several recent examples, including a case where a white man called the cops on a Black man who was dancing and exercising on the street in his Alameda neighborhood. A white couple allegedly called the police on a Filipino man who wrote “Black Lives Matter” in chalk outside his home, according to Walton.

Walton also cited the Memorial Day incident in New York City's Central Park where a white woman, Amy Cooper, was filmed calling police to report a Black bird watcher who'd merely asked her to leash her dog. The Manhattan district attorney charged Cooper with a misdemeanor this week.

Under the CAREN Act, a draft of which will be reviewed by the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee at the Board of Supervisors, a violator would be liable for damages of no less than $1,000.

The measure is being introduced in tandem with a California state bill that would classify false and discriminatory 911 calls as a hate crime. The bill, AB 1550, would allow the person harmed to sue the caller for up to $10,000 in damages.

"If you are afraid of a Black family barbecuing in the community park, a man dancing and doing his normal exercise routine in the bike lane, or someone who asks you to comply with dog leash laws in a park, and your immediate response is to call the police, the real problem is with your own personal prejudice,” California State Assemblyman Rob Bonta, the bill's sponsor, said in a statement.

Similar bills have passed in Oregon, Washington and New York.

A couple in California caught on video appearing to deface a Black Lives Matter mural in a California street were charged with a hate crime on the success of postlockdown control strategies," they said.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- Two weeks of protests and unrest in New York City after the death of George Floyd only intensified the overwhelming distrust many feel toward the New York City Police Department, the state's attorney general, Letitia James, concluded in a preliminary report.

Released on Wednesday, the document, "New York City Police Department's Response to Demonstrations Following the Death of George Floyd," doesn't render a specific judgment on the performance of officers, but it does state: "It is clear that too many New Yorkers no longer trust the police to do their jobs effectively and fairly."

James also said at a press conference that after three days of public hearings, in which she heard from protesters and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, the commissioner's testimony on the events was "at odds with the vast majority of the protesters who came before us."

"The police should not police themselves, period, and it requires change and it requires reform," James said. "Why is this one agency treated so differently than all of the others?"

According to the report, from May 28 to June 7 there were 2,087 protest-related arrests, about 190 per day. The vast majority, nearly 1,500, were in Manhattan, and among all arrested 44% were white, 39% were Black and 13% were Latino. But the data also shows that only 3% of white individuals and 8% of Latinos were charged with felonies, while for Black individuals that figure was 16%.

The majority of the arrests came on May 31, when James said businesses were looted, and between June 2 and June 6, the days of the 8 p.m. curfew, which, according to the report, "was a significant driver of arrests."

The report also noted that on the evening of June 3, there was an increase in the number of peaceful protesters out after 8 p.m., along with an increase in stricter police enforcement.

James heard testimony from protesters who said that NYPD officers used pepper spray, indiscriminately and excessively, numerous times. In one instance, a person testified being struck on her lip with a baton and having her face mask fill with blood.

She went on to say that she heard a white NYPD officer say to a white protester, "Well, you wanted to be in the hood -- welcome to it."

Fewer than 10 officers were disciplined for behavior during that span of protests, according to data Shea provided James for her report.

Zellnor Myrie, a state senator who attended the May 29 protest, testified that he intentionally wore a neon shirt with his name and his title so he would be easily identifiable. However, he said, despite the peaceful nature of the protest and clearly identifying himself, officers "pepper-sprayed him without justification and temporarily detained him without providing prompt medical attention to address his injuries."

Shea testified that he disagreed with protestors' allegations that officers misused pepper spray, insisting instead that officers exercised "incredible restraint."

Shea said that a video showing two police cars driving into protesters, some of whom had been throwing objects at the vehicle, did not violate the department's use-of-force policy because the officers' vehicles were "penned in by protesters" and "set upon and attacked."

A spokesman for the New York City Police Department said James' report was "of course a political and not an investigate document."

"Rather than rehash rhetoric we should come together -- state and local law enforcement and elected officials -- and confront and solve the crisis at hand," Richard Esposito, deputy commissioner for public information, told ABC News.

Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said in a statement to ABC News, in part: "The report tells only one side of the story and delivers reheated proposals that have been part of the anti-police agenda for decades." Healing the rift between officers and citizens requires "giving meaningful consideration to the perspective of police officers on the street."

The report made several recommendations, including that the NYPD must be overseen by a commission that has the authority to hire and fire NYPD leadership, including the commissioner, has unfettered access to records and approves NYPD's budget.

The commissioner currently has "full power" over whether to fire an officer, James said.

The report also recommended that all police officers in New York be certified through a process that allows for "decertifying" officers engaged in misconduct, which would prevent them from being rehired by another police department elsewhere in the state.

A final recommendation was that police officers must be held to uniform standards on the use of non-lethal and deadly force and face meaningful consequences for violations.

"One report and one set of recommendations will not solve this problem," James said, "but it does offer concrete steps towards progress."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



Confusion over a Florida university's memo to employees about caring for children while working remotely has put a spotlight on the pain working parents are feeling during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly working moms.

Several professors at Florida State University took to Twitter last week after receiving a memo from the university that stated it would "return to normal policy" on Aug. 7 and "no longer allow employees to care for children while working remotely."

"I can't even process that -- the pandemic is not over and will not be over then," Dr. Jenny Root, an associate professor of special education at FSU, wrote on Twitter about the policy.

My uni (in FLORIDA) just announced that effective August 7th the University will no longer allow employees to care for children while working remotely. I can’t even process that- the pandemic is not over and will not be over then.

— Dr. Jenny Root (@Dr_Jenny_Root) June 27, 2020

New email today walking back that terrible working from home HR policy announcement last week, and apologizing.

— Dr. Sara A. Hart (@saraannhart) July 2, 2020

Katherine Musacchio Schafer, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at FSU, said the email from university officials caught her off guard. Since March, Schafer has been caring for her 2-year-old daughter at home without child care while also completing her doctoral research.

"I laughed out loud and then I called my older sister and her husband, who are lawyers in [Washington], D.C., and asked them, 'Is this legal?,'" Schafer told "Good Morning America." "It just seemed like an outrageous demand."

"It would be the exact same thing as if someone also sent you an email and was like, 'Hey, we've decided to not allow people to eat during the day,'" she said. "That's a ridiculous claim if you can't enforce it and also, what am I going to do with my 2-year-old?"

The university sent out a second email two days later to faculty and staff, apologizing that the first message "caused confusion and anxiety for many employees" and clarifying that its policy does still "allow employees to work from home while caring for children."

Dennis Schnittker, an FSU spokesman, told "GMA" Wednesday that university "employees working remotely can continue to care for their children at home, as has been allowed since the beginning of the pandemic in March."

The Aug. 7 date was considered a time when schools and day care centers would be open in the Tallahassee area, where FSU is based, but now that timeline is in flux due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Florida, according to Schnittker. The policy update outlined in the original email also applied only to staff employees who did not work remotely before the pandemic and was an update on the university's telecommuting agreement for staff employees that was put on hold during the pandemic, he said.

"Those staff employees should work with their supervisors on a schedule that allows them to meet their parental responsibilities in addition to their work obligations," said Schnittker. "Again, all our employees are being allowed to care for children while working from home."

Women will be the ones 'to sacrifice'

The discussions between employers and employees unfolding at FSU, a public university, are just one example of the dilemma that working parents across the country are facing as their places of business reopen, but their child care situation remains in flux.

There is currently a national debate underway about how and whether schools will reopen in the fall, with President Donald Trump putting pressure on schools to open and some parents, teachers, administrators and health officials remaining worried about the safety of sending kids back full time.

Some schools are planning for a situation in which students are in-person a few days a week and learning remotely the other days, a child care logistical nightmare for parents. In the case of day care centers, there are still questions about safety and experts are warning that the coronavirus pandemic is pushing the industry to the brink of collapse.

The lack of child care options caused by the coronavirus pandemic could have a damaging effect on women in the workplace, according to Lisa Levenstein, director of women's, gender and sexuality studies and associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

"What we're going to see is increasing numbers of middle class women are just not going to be able to go back to work if their work changes from being able to be remote to being on site or they may decide they can't do it remotely, that it's too much with the kids," she said. "They may just decide to drop out of the labor force and we know that will have lasting impacts because it's very difficult to get back into the labor force when you leave."

"The reason that women will be the ones to do this is because they tend to be in those lines of employment that pay less, not that their work is any less important, but just as a culture we value it less and thus it's paid less and so they'll be the ones who tend to sacrifice," added Levenstein, the author of "They Didn't See Us Coming: The Hidden History of Feminism in the Nineties."

Women are already facing the brunt of unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic, data shows, leading experts to label this economic downturn a "she-cession." Just over 11% of women were unemployed in June, compared to just over 10% of men, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Just a few months ago, in December, women had marked a historic achievement when, for the first time in a decade, they surpassed men with the number of U.S. jobs held, according to the Department of Labor.

"If you take the unemployment rate, the people who have just lost their jobs, and add that to those who are not going to be able to go back if they can't figure out what to do with their kids, if they have no option for child care, it's really going to be a significant change," said Levenstein, pointing out that lower-income women will be even more affected. "It's a really big deal."

In addition, whether a woman is employed or not, the heavy domestic burden that women carry has been laid bare during this pandemic, with women taking on increased tasks at home and reporting even more stress, data shows.

"Women right now are basically performing the invisible labor that is holding things together," said Levenstein." "They are keeping our economy and our society at large functioning and keeping children alive, often while simultaneously trying to perform full responsibilities for their jobs in the midst of a pandemic that is incredibly stressful for everyone, even people without any dependents."

Schafer, the FSU doctoral candidate, said she has made it through the pandemic without child care by working on her research during her daughter's nap time and at night, often sending emails into the wee hours of the morning.

"I think sometimes there's this notion that to be supportive of parents you need to make the load lighter for them. I don't think that's the truth," she said. "I think the support that I've been given by my major professor and by my colleagues has been to work as efficiently as possible with the understanding that during the day it's busy."

"I do think very easily that we could cross over into, 'Let's not even ask moms if they want to be involved in this project because we know they're busy,' and that's not OK," Schafer said. "Instead, people around me are moving full-steam ahead with me and just realizing that now I work in the nighttime."

Levenstein said she is hopeful that this moment can be a time for real change in the U.S., both at the cultural and policy levels, the kind of big effort she says is needed instead of relying on individual organizations to adequately support working moms.

"The amount of change that can happen will be severely limited if it's just done in individual workplaces," she said. "There are public policies that can be passed to require employers to recognize this kind of labor and also to improve women's situation in the labor force."

Among those policies are things like raising the minimum wage, mandating family leave policies and providing adequate health care and internet access for all to help erase disparities, according to Levenstein.

"I think this is a critical moment and it could be a pivotal moment in terms of how we as a nation recognize the essential labor that happens in the household and is done in terms of caring for other people," she said. "We need to talk more about this kind of labor [done most often by women] that is often invisible and not valued."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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