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Coronavirus Daily Digest: June 2, 2020

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Six months since the new coronavirus first became widely known, how much do we really understand? Just over 70% of Americans say they’d get a vaccine if it were free. And cases are rising sharply in some southern states. Here’s the latest coronavirus news: 

  • Confirmed cases worldwide now total almost 6.3 million, with 376,000 deaths and 2.7 million recoveries. In the U.S. we’ve had more than 1.8 million confirmed cases. More than 105,000 Americans have died, and another 458,000 have recovered.
  • Six months after the world’s scientists and public health officials first became widely aware of the new coronavirus, here’s what we know, and what we don’t.
  • Mass protests that have erupted over police brutality toward black people in America are raising concerns about the risk of spreading the coronavirus. But some health experts, even as they urge caution, said they support the demonstrations -- because racism also poses a dire health threat.
  • About 7 in 10 Americans say they would get a vaccine to protect against the novel coronavirus if immunizations were free and available to everyone, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
  • An international team of scientists, including a prominent researcher at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, has analyzed all known coronaviruses in Chinese bats and used genetic analysis to trace the likely origin of the novel coronavirus to horseshoe bats.
  • Has the coronavirus in Italy changed in some significant way? That was the suggestion of a top doctor in northern Italy who reports that patients to his hospital have been showing up with lower levels of the virus in their upper respiratory tracts compared with those two months ago. Many experts have a different explanation.
  • While the WHO publicly praised China’s speedy response and openness about the new coronavirus, in fact the country sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for more than a week after three different government labs had fully decoded the information.
  • A fresh outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus has flared up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country that was already contending with the world’s largest measles epidemic, as well as the coronavirus.
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