As the nation's death toll from the coronavirus marked the grim milestone of more than 50,000 people, some businesses in Georgia were slowly reopening Friday morning despite backlash from the state's mayors and President Donald Trump.
Also drawing a strong reaction across the country were Trump's comments late Thursday, which suggested treating COVID-19 with disinfectants, perhaps by injection, or by treating patients with "light inside the body." Health officials were quick to say the idea wasn't possible and was potentially dangerous.
The FDA issued a warning Friday against the anti-malaria drugs Trump also has touted as a possible COVID-19 cure. The agency said hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine should not be used outside of a hospital setting or clinical trial as they can cause serious complications related to heart rhythm problems.
Meanwhile, Friday also marks the beginning of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month. But some are worried that social distancing may affect its traditions such as daytime fasting, overnight festivity and communal prayer.
The virus has killed more than 194,000 people globally, according to Johns Hopkins University data. More than 2.7 million confirmed cases have been reported, including more than 883,000 in the U.S.
Our live blog is being updated throughout the day. Refresh for the latest news, and get updates in your inbox with The Daily Briefing. More headlines:
The coronavirus curve bends toward reopening in hard-hit counties. Will it hold steady?
OK, say America does reopen. Are we really ready for that? Mentally?
Coronavirus will reshape your next trip, for better or worse. Here's what to expect.
The Backstory: A 5-year-old Detroit girl died of coronavirus this week. It's important you know her story.
Native American tribes have been hit hard by coronavirus. Now they're battling red tape to get help.
Fact check: Are foot sores a new symptom of COVID-19? It's too soon to say.
Staying Apart, Together. Sign up for our newsletter on coping with a world changed by coronavirus. ????
Trump touts sunlight study's impact on coronavirus, but officials urge caution
A federal study that indicates sunlight and humidity can weaken the coronavirus prompted Trump to float the idea of treating patients with "light inside the body." However, top administration officials warned against Americans changing their behavior based on the preliminary findings.
The Department of Homeland Security study, which the the agency described as "emerging," found the lifespan of the virus on a surface or in the air could be significantly reduced by exposure to sunlight and humidity.
Bill Bryan, an undersecretary of science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, stressed that the findings were not so conclusive that Americans should abandon social distancing guidelines promoted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and enforced by state orders across the country. It would be "irresponsible for us to say that we feel that the summer is just going to totally kill the virus," Bryan told reporters.
- John Fritze, David Jackson and Nicholas Wu
Lysol says don't ingest disinfectant after Trump's comment
The makers of Lysol, one of the nation's largest cleaning and disinfecting brands, warned the public not to inject or ingest its products as a coronavirus treatment a day after President Donald Trump speculated about another possible treatment for COVID-19: injecting disinfectants.
Parent company Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of Lysol and Dettol, said in a statement on its website Friday that it has been asked whether disinfectants are safe to use as a treatment for the respiratory virus. "We must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route)," the company said in a statement.
At Thursday's press briefing, Bill Bryan, an undersecretary of science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, said preliminary findings show bleach and isopropyl alcohol as effective in killing the virus on surfaces. The finding prompted Trump to say later in the briefing, "I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning."
Food and Drug Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn was asked about such methods during a CNN town hall following Trump's comments. He responded, "I certainly wouldn't recommend the internal ingestion of a disinfectant."
- Dalvin Brown and Savannah Behrmann
Reaction: Twitter names Trump the 'Tide Pods' president after he suggests disinfectant injections
FDA: Don't use hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for COVID-19 outside of hospital, clinical trial
The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning Friday against the use of anti-malaria drugs touted by President Donald Trump as a possible COVID-19 treatment outside of a hospital setting or clinical trial.
Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can cause serious problems related to patients' heart rhythms for COVID-19 cases, especially when used in combination with other medicines that have the effect of causing abnormal heart rhythms or a dangerously rapid heart rate, the FDA warned.
"Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have not been shown to be safe and effective for treating or preventing COVID-19," the FDA warning said. The agency has, however, temporarily authorized their use for treating the virus in hospitalized patients when a clinical trial is not available. Clinical trials testing the drugs efficacy and safety in COVID-19 patients are being studied, the FDA said.
Some Georgia businesses slowly reopen
Businesses in Georgia took their first steps toward a slow reopening of its economy Friday as the state's push to ease social distancing measures faced criticism from public health officials, mayors and President Donald Trump.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has assured businesses that Georgia's new cases and hospital visits have lowered enough for barbers, tattoo artists, massage therapists and personal trainers to return to work with restrictions.
Still, deaths and infections rise as many business owners plan to stay closed.
By 11 a.m. Friday, Good Look Barber Shop in Marietta, Ga. had serviced at least 20 clients, owner Y'Kheyo Underwood said. Shannon Stafford, owner of New Era Hair Salon in Savannah, said she scheduled only one client Friday as a test run for the reopening.
- Nicquel Terry Ellis
Trump signs $484 billion stimulus bill for small businesses, hospitals
President Donald Trump signed a nearly half-trillion dollar bill Friday that provides more funding for struggling hospitals and replenishes a loan program designed to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
The $484 billion legislation, which cleared the Senate on Tuesday and the House on Thursday, provides an additional $320 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, which offers forgivable loans to small businesses. The program was created in March with an initial allocation of $349 billion, but it ran out of money last week and was forced to shut down.
The new law also includes about $75 billion in relief for hospitals that have been overwhelmed with treating coronavirus patients. Another $25 billion in the measure will go toward a new coronavirus testing program.
- Michael Collins
Cuomo: Trump 'right to ask the question' of WHO coronavirus response
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, suggested President Donald Trump was "right to ask the question" of the World Health Organization's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"This was too little too late," Cuomo said at a Friday news conference. The governor criticized the global response to the pandemic as the virus began spreading in China late last year, and soon spread to Europe and the United States.
Cuomo said more than 13,000 flights carrying more than 2.2 million people from Europe came to the larger New York area after the virus started spreading. He said Trump was right to stop travel from China but that quicker action was needed to slow the spread from China to other countries sooner.
"Does anyone think the virus was still in China waiting for us to act two months later?" he said. "The horse had already left the barn by the time we moved."
- Joseph Spector
NY virus cases mostly didn't come from China: European travelers brought coronavirus to New York long before first case confirmed, studies suggest
Ivy League schools turning down stimulus money
The nation's most selective and richest universities are turning down millions in federal money meant to aid students whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus. They include Ivy League schools Harvard, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton in addition to Stanford.
The institutions were eligible to apply for aid after Congress earmarked about $13 billion to higher education with the goal of addressing the costs of online learning and for institutions to provide emergency aid to their students. However, Trump and others were critical of schools with billions in endowments seeking money when it could have been distributed to universities and students with greater need.
- Chris Quintana
More coronavirus news and information from USA TODAY:
Do it yourself: How to cut your hair with shops closed during stay-at-home order.
Burial ground: New York's Hart Island being used as resting place for dead.
A century away: Twin brothers die 100 years apart in separate pandemics.
Worse than thought: Coronavirus at meatpacking plants is major concern.
College students forced home by coronavirus stuck paying rent - for nothing.
When will a second wave of the coronavirus hit? What will it look like?
Antibody tests: What are they? Will they help Americans return to normal?
Reopening America. What states are relaxing social distancing restrictions?
Your one-stop guide to COVID-19: From symptoms to safety, rumors to reality.
Mapping coronavirus: A trajectory chart for the whole US.
Coronavirus Watch: Join our Facebook group.
Will there be a vaccine by 2021? Experts say that may be unrealistic
In a series of breathtaking multibillion-dollar bets, possible vaccine candidates to fight the new coronavirus are being prepared for production across the globe in one of the most dramatic examples of short cuts and streamlining aimed at meeting what many experts consider unrealistic U.S. target dates for a vaccine.
Dr. Anthony Fauci has repeatedly said a vaccine may be ready in 12 to 18 months, but that timeline would shatter all precedents for developing a new vaccine, which typically takes many years.
Manufacturing tens of millions of unproven vaccine doses on spec is unheard of, there is no certainty any will work, and if one does prove effective, getting it into the arms of people will require the Food and Drug Administration to speed up its approval process.
- Elizabeth Weise, David Heath and Joey Garrison
Wisconsin nurses line state capitol steps with candles
Nurses lined Wisconsin's capitol building steps with 1,300 candles Thursday night in tribute to those currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state. The candles were meant to be a silent protest ahead of a protest Friday asking Gov. Tony Evers to lift the safer-at-home order.
Hundreds of people crammed the steps of one of the capitol's entrances Friday. Madison police had closed off a portion of the area to traffic, as protesters carried signs reading: "Quarantine Tony Evers," and "All Workers Are Essential." American flags were in abundance, and some participants openly carried rifles.
- Ricardo Torres, Molly Beck and Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
USDA inspector latest virus victim in meatpacking industry
A Chicago-based U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector tasked with ensuring food safety at meatpacking plants died Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19, a person who was on a call during which the federal agency confirmed the death told USA TODAY. It is the latest in a growing wave of coronavirus cases and deaths stemming from the meatpacking industry.
As of Thursday, there are more than 2,700 reported cases tied to meatpacking facilities at 60 plants in 23 states, and at least 17 reported worker deaths at eight plants in eight states, according to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, which is partnering with USA TODAY to cover agribusiness.
The identity of the employee has not been publicly released.
- Kyle Bagenstose, Grace Hauck and Sky Chadde
New York rapper dead at 35 from coronavirus complications
New York rapper Fred the Godson died Thursday after being diagnosed with COVID-19, his manager confirmed to USA TODAY. He was 35. "New York City, Hip-Hop and the world lost a really good one yesterday," the rapper's manager, David Evans, said in an emailed statement. "Fred left this world better than he found it."
The "Armageddon" artist revealed in a social media post earlier this month that he had contracted coronavirus. A few days after Fred's post, his wife LeeAnn Jemmott told XXL Magazine that her husband was in the intensive care unit.
- Rasha Ali
Report: Patients still test positive for virus month or more after recovery
A growing number of COVID-19 patients in China are still testing positive for the virus after having recovered and not showing symptoms, according to a report from Reuters. Doctors in Wuhan said that some patients have tested negative but then later tested positive again, some up to 70 days later.
Chinese health officials told the news agency that there have been no confirmed cases of these patients infecting someone else, but it still raises concerns of patients remaining positive and potentially infectious as countries around the world look to end lockdowns.
South Korea and Italy have also reported cases of patients testing positive for about a month, Reuters reported.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus updates: Tips, disinfectants, Trump comments; Georgia news