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Live Reporting

Edited by Jude Sheerin

All times stated are UK

  1. Live coverage pauses

    Thanks for being with us during another busy day as the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the main developments today:

    • The WHO revealed a "deeply concerning" estimate that half of European Covid-19 deaths have occurred in care homes
    • In the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there would be a huge contact tracing effort, hiring 18,000 people to track who has had the virus and who they might have spread it to
    • China has pledged an additional $30m to the World Health Organization, one week after President Donald Trump suspended US funding of the body over its handling of coronavirus
    • The first human trial in Europe of a coronavirus vaccine has begun in Oxford. Two volunteers were injected - the first of more than 800 people recruited for the study.

    Today's live page was written by our journalists in Australia, Singapore, India, the UK and US: Anna Jones, Yvette Tan, Andreas Illmer, Krutika Pathi, Frances Mao, Kelly-Leigh Cooper, Alexandra Fouche, Rebecca Morton, Dulcie Lee, Saj Chowdhury, Michael Emons, Emlyn Begley, Marie Jackson, Rob Greenall, Lucy Webster, Paul Seddon, Yaroslav Lukov, Holly Hondereich, Ritu Prasad, Ian Youngs, Helier Cheung and Jude Sheerin.

  2. No cure for partisanship amid pandemic

    Anthony Zurcher

    BBC North America reporter

    The harsh political reality for the president is he faces a re-election contest in just over six months, and the longer the lockdown drags on, the less time the economy will have to recover before voters head to the ballot box.

    Current polling suggests he is trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden nationally and in key battleground states, and while the race is likely to tighten and the president has abundant resources to run a robust campaign, Trump appears destined for an uphill fight.

    The president also faces a flip-side risk of being seen as supporting re-opening too quickly and shouldering the blame if there is a subsequent spike in cases. That could explain why, just days after calling for states to begin reopening process, he criticised the Republican governor of Georgia for lifting restrictions on places like hair salons, bars and tattoo parlours, where social distancing guidelines would be difficult to follow.

    It's a difficult line for any politician to walk, and in the days ahead the stakes will be at their highest.

    Here's Anthony's full piece: Coronavirus pandemic exposes rather than heals America's divisions

  3. Trump calls Biden 'sleepy guy in a basement'

    Trump was also asked how the November presidential election could go ahead amid the coronavirus outbreak.

    "I can't tell you what's going to happen in an election," Trump says.

    "We have a sleepy guy in a basement of a house that the press is giving a free pass to, who doesn't want to do debates because of Covid," he says of former Vice-President Joe Biden, his likely Democratic challenger, whom he often calls "Sleepy Joe".

    "I watched a couple of interviews, and I say 'Oh I look forward to this,'" Trump says. "But they're keeping him sheltered."

    Biden cancelled all in-person campaign events beginning in mid-March as social-distancing measures were ordered throughout the US. He has continued to hold interviews and digital fundraisers from his home in Delaware, and launched a podcast last month.

    In an interview today, Biden said he was "ready to debate" Trump. "Zoom or Skype or Slack or hangouts or in person, anytime, anywhere he wants."

  4. Trump 'has a good you-know-what'

    The US president also claimed knowledge in the fields of medicine and economics during the news conference.

    "I'm not a doctor but I'm a person who has a good you-know-what," he said at one point, apparently gesturing to his brain.

    At another point: "I know a lot about economists and the answer is they have no idea. I think I have as good of an idea as anybody."

  5. Can Captain Tom get to number one?

    Captain Tom Moore, the 99-year-old British Army veteran who has raised £28.5m ($35m) for the NHS, could be number one in the UK music charts this weekend - but he's in a tight race with a Canadian pop star.

    A version of You'll Never Walk Alone featuring the voice of Captain Tom was thought to be on course to be number one, but earlier on Thursday, The Weeknd's Blinding Lights overtook him.

    However, in a late twist, The Weeknd has now thrown his weight behind Captain Tom.

    View more on twitter

    The number one will be revealed just before 18:00 BST on Friday.

  6. Trump 'wasn't happy' with Georgia governor

    Donald Trump at press briefing

    The briefing is now over but to recap, Trump launched an extraordinary attack on his ally, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, over his aggressive reopening plan for his state.

    "I want the states to open, more than he does, much more than he does," Trump says of Kemp. "But I didn't like to see spas [reopening] at this early stage, nor did the doctors."

    Kemp said hair salons, gyms, bowling alleys and nail salons would be allowed to reopen on Friday, with restaurants following suit on Monday.

    "I didn't like to see a lot of things happening, and I wasn't happy with it, and I wasn't happy with Brian Kemp," Trump says.

    "I could have done something about it if I wanted to, but I'm saying, 'Let the governors do it.'"

  7. Trump: Boris Johnson is an incredible guy

    The BBC's Jon Sopel asks Trump how British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was when he spoke to him this week.

    "He called me a few days ago, I will tell you he sounded incredible. I was actually surprised… he was ready to go, I’m very surprised to tell you this, it’s like, the old Boris, tremendous energy, tremendous drive."

    He adds: "Because he called me almost pretty close to when he got out of the hospital, I think he’s doing great, he was so sharp and energetic, pretty incredible, he’s an incredible guy, he’s a friend of ours and a friend of mine, he loves our country, he loves his country a lot… and they’re lucky to have him over there."

  8. Top US doctor: Heat or light "not a treatment"

    Trump is asked about the new guidance suggesting the virus is vulnerable to heat and humidity, particularly given that countries with hot weather, like Singapore, have also been hit by the outbreak.

    "I hope people enjoy the sun," Trump says. "And if it has an impact that's great.... maybe you can, maybe you can't. I'm not a doctor"

    He then asks Dr Deborah Birx, a co-ordinator of the White House virus response whether heat can help kill the virus. "Deborah have you ever heard of that? The heat, and the light relative to certain viruses, yes, but to this virus?"

    "Not as a treatment," Dr Birx says. "I mean, certainly, fever, is a good thing. When you have a fever it helps your body respond."

    But she does not believe it works as a treatment, she repeats.

  9. 'EU solidarity exists'

    Katya Adler

    Europe Editor

    Very aware of the negative headlines of late, depicting EU leader v EU leader; the rich and frugal North v the suffering, spendthrift South, there was a determination at Thursday’s EU summit to avoid the verbal fisticuffs.

    There was no walkout by "Angry Italy". No fuming about Eurobonds by the Dutch. Instead EU leaders signed off, as expected, on a pre-agreed €500bn ($540bn; £435bn) emergency financial package and on guidelines for lifting Covid-19 restrictions.

    Heated discussion about a recovery plan for European economies after the health crisis was left for another day - the buck passed to the European Commission which now has the unenviable task of conjuring up a proposal acceptable to divided EU opinion.

    Today at least, EU leaders were keen to present a united front. Their underlying intended message: “Yes, we argue but EU solidarity exists. We muddle our way through in the end.”

  10. Trump denies he has stopped touting hydroxychloroquine

    Trump is asked why he has stopped promoting hydroxychloroquine, a malaria and lupus medication, as a possible treatment for coronavirus.

    “I haven’t at all... we’ll see what happens,” he says.

    The president's public remarks hyping the drug have decreased substantially over the past week or so.

    He says today he hasn’t seen a recent study that said coronavirus patients taking hydroxychloroquine had higher death rates.

    That research followed 368 patients at US Veterans Health Administration medical centres.

    The 97 patients who took hydroxychloroquine had a 27.8% death rate. The 158 patients who did not take the drug had an 11.4% death rate.

  11. Jon Sopel: Could we be flipping stay at home orders?

    The BBC's Jon Sopel asks a question about the new guidance suggesting the virus is vulnerable to heat and humidity.

    "At the moment the advice is stay at home, by the summer could we be flipping that, and saying you'll be much better off being outside?" Sopel asks.

    "I would not go contrary to the guidance that has been issued right now," Bryan says. He adds: "If I'm having an event with my family, I'm doing it in the driveway or the backyard, not inside the house."

    "In fact I'm thinking about moving outside to the rose garden," Trump jokes.

  12. Virus 'dies faster in direct sunlight'

    William Bryan, the under secretary for science and technology at the US Department of Homeland Security, says the coronavirus may be killed faster under increased temperature, humidity and sunlight.

    "We identified that heat and humidity is a weakness" of the virus' ability to spread, Bryan says, showing data suggesting that the virus could survive for 90 seconds under direct sunlight, and for 90 minutes without any solar contact.

    The findings are an "emerging" result of their work, Bryan says.

  13. 'How long until the tourists come back?'

    Helier Cheung

    BBC News, Washington DC

    More than 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past five weeks - over 15% of the US workforce.

    One American who has lost her job recently is Rachel Sterner, who worked as a stage manager for the Broadway production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

    She says: "I loved my job - it was my responsibility to maintain the artistic integrity of the show, and it's a challenging and beautiful show.

    "Working in theatre means being laid off is not a foreign concept - but normally, if you lose a job, you can get on another project. This is different - there won't be work for a long time.

    "Even if we do a show at half-capacity, who knows how long it'll be till tourists come back, and people have disposable income for the theatre?"

    You can read more of the human stories behind the unemployment figures here.

    Rachel Sterner
  14. BreakingUS Congress passes $484bn relief package

    Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives has voted 388-5 to pass a $484bn (£390bn) emergency aid bill meant to replenish depleted relief programs for small businesses.

    The bill, passed by the Senate earlier this week, will also provide funding for hospitals and coronavirus testing. It will not provide money to state governments.

    Lawmakers donned face masks and maintained social distancing as they assembled in the Capitol today. To vote, members were divided alphabetically into groups of roughly 60 people and were asked to stay in their offices until their group was called.

  15. Pence: 4.93m tests conducted across US

    Mike Pence at White House briefing

    Vice-President Mike Pence says that 4.93 million coronavirus tests have been completed across the US, adding that commercial labs surpassed 100,000 tests yesterday.

    Pence says that he is "encouraged" by states' "phased approach" to reopening their economies.

    "We're slowing the spread, we're protecting the most vulnerable, we're saving lives and every single day we are one day closer to opening up America again," Pence says.

  16. Mike Pence: Outbreak could be behind us by summer

    Taking the stage after Donald Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence says the data continues to show "promising signs of progress" in the US fight against coronavirus.

    Major virus hotspots including the New York Metro Area, New Jersey, Connecticut, Detroit and New Orleans "all appear to be past their peak", Pence says.

    "Our only conclusion is that we're getting there, America," he adds.

    "If we continue these mitigation efforts in the days ahead... we do believe by early summer we could be in a much better place as a nation, with much of this coronavirus epidemic behind us."

    He says 16 states have released formal reopening plans so far.

  17. Funeral livestream cancelled for man who disparaged lockdown

    An Ohio family has cancelled plans to livestream the funeral of father-of-two John McDaniel, who died on 15 April after testing positive for Covid-19, after a deluge of backlash against his social media posts criticising stay-home orders.

    In a statement, McDaniel's wife of more than 30 years, Lisa McDaniel, wrote that the livestream would be cancelled as "John's story, along with early assumptions that he stated on Twitter and Facebook had turned into national news".

    "This news has opened flood gates for people to share their own misguided anger and unfounded assumptions about a man they don't know."

    McDaniel's posts disparaged stay home mandates ordered by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and called the virus response "madness".

    "As each day passes, we are all learning more about this 'invisible enemy,'" Lisa wrote. "We know if John was still here with us he would acknowledge the national crisis we are in, abide by the stay-at-home-order, and encourage family and friends to do the same."

    In his obituary, McDaniel is described as an "outdoorsman", a loving father and husband, and an "ornery son-of-a-gun".

  18. Trump: 'We are very close to a vaccine'

    Donald Trump says "we are very close to a vaccine", after noting vaccine trials taking place in the US, Germany, the United Kingdom and China.

    "We have a lot of great, brilliant minds working on this," he says.

    "Unfortunately we're not very close to testing because when testing starts it takes a period of time, but we'll get it done."

    Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government's top infectious diseases expert, has previously said that a vaccine will likely take 12-18 months to be approved for widespread use. Most health experts also agree that it would take at least 12-18 months before a vaccine is ready.

    Human trials in the UK for a coronavirus vaccine
    Image caption: The first human trial in Europe of a coronavirus vaccine has begun in the UK
  19. Now: Trump begins daily briefing

    US President Donald Trump has taken the podium for his daily White House coronavirus briefing.

    He is joined by Vice-President Mike Pence and Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus taskforce co-ordinator.

  20. Antiviral drug tests inconclusive

    Gilead Sciences headquarters in California, the US. File photo
    Image caption: Gilead Sciences is headquartered in the US state of California

    A closely-watched Gilead Sciences Inc experimental antiviral drug failed to help patients with severe Covid-19 in a clinical trial conducted in China, Reuters reports.

    But the US company said in a statement that the study's results were "inconclusive" because it was terminated early due to "low enrolment".

    View more on twitter

    The company's shares fell more than 4% after the data was inadvertently released and first reported by the Financial Times, Reuters says.

    It comes days after another report detailed rapid recovery in fever and respiratory symptoms in some patients with Covid-19 who were treated with experimental drug remdesivir at the University of Chicago Medicine hospital.

    Interest in Gilead's remdesivir has been high as there are currently no approved treatments or preventive vaccines for Covid-19.