Minnesota hospitals on 'verge of being overrun' amid protests, pandemic — 4 COVID-19 updates

The U.S. has reported 1,790,191 COVID-19 cases and 104,383 deaths as of 9 a.m. CDT June 1. Globally, there have been 6,194,508 reported cases and 372,501 deaths, while 2,656,789 people have recovered.

Four updates: 

1. Protests against police brutality could lead to a jump in COVID-19 cases, health experts told The Wall Street Journal. "It's a triple whammy of protests, plus raging pandemic, plus economic instability," said Peter Chin-Hong, MD, infectious disease specialist at the University of California San Francisco. "Those three things together make for a perfect storm of viral transmission." 

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said local hospitals were "on the verge of being overrun," in a news conference announcing the mobilization of the National Guard to manage the protests, according to The Washington Post. Officials have continued to encourage the public to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. Without social distancing measures, each person with COVID-19 spreads the virus to an average of two to four people, the WSJ reports. 

2. The U.S. will end its relationship with the World Health Organization due to its response to the pandemic, President Donald Trump said May 29. President Trump said WHO failed to properly respond to the pandemic because China has "total control" over the organization. President Trump said the U.S. contributes about $450 million to WHO, while China gives about $40 million. The U.S will be "redirecting" the money to other "deserving urgent global public health needs," the president said. Some experts have said a U.S. withdrawal could hurt global efforts to eradicate polio and may threaten the world's ability to detect and respond to diseases, according to STAT. It's not clear whether the president can fully withdraw funding without Congressional approval. WHO has not yet commented on the announcement. 

3. The U.S. likely surpassed 100,000 deaths linked to COVID-19 in early May, even though the nation hit the official milestone May 27, according to an analysis conducted for The Washington Post. Researchers at New Haven, Conn.-based Yale University used historical death data to calculate the number of excess deaths linked to the pandemic. They found the U.S. experienced an estimated 101,600 excess deaths between March 1 and May 9. This figure includes about 26,000 more deaths than were officially linked to COVID-19 during this time period. 

4. Community transmission of the virus in the U.S. likely started in January, according to new research from the CDC. Scientists examined flu surveillance data and found evidence suggesting that transmission started in late January or early February on the West Coast. The agency suggests that local transmission went undetected for more than a month and started from a single unidentified case from China, according to STAT.

More articles on public health:
Herd immunity for COVID-19 is still far off, research suggests
COVID-19 fears still keeping Americans away from hospitals, survey finds
Coronavirus community spread dropped 58% after states locked down, new study shows

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