Coronavirus, Immigration, Kim Jong-un: Your Tuesday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering President Trump’s plan to suspend immigration to the U.S. amid the coronavirus pandemic, the loosening of restrictions in some states, and questions about the health of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

Here are the latest updates about the coronavirus pandemic from the U.S. and from around the world, as well as maps of the outbreak.

We’re also tracking the virus’s growth rate in U.S. metro areas.

In other developments:

  • The governors of Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee said they would start relaxing restrictions intended to curb the spread of the virus. Plans to reopen were also moving forward in Ohio, where a state prison has become the country’s largest-known source of coronavirus infections.

  • At least 26,000 more people have died over the past month than have been officially reported, a review of mortality data in 11 countries shows. The totals include deaths directly caused by Covid-19, as well as those stemming from other illnesses that couldn’t be treated by overwhelmed health care systems.

  • A dispute between Democrats and the White House over virus testing has stalled a nearly $500 billion bipartisan agreement to replenish a loan program for small businesses and provide more financing for hospitals.

  • The benchmark price for crude oil in the U.S. fell below zero on Monday for the first time. It was the result of a quirk in the market, but Neil Irwin, our senior economics correspondent, explains that it’s also an example of the pandemic’s deflationary effect on the economy.

  • The fast-food chain Shake Shack said it would return a $10 million stimulus loan amid criticism that big outlets were getting relief funds meant for small, struggling businesses.

  • Ramadan begins this week. Our Cairo bureau chief reports on how the pandemic has cast a shadow over the holy month of fasting for the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims.

  • Queen Elizabeth II turns 94 today. For the first time in her nearly seven-decade reign, her birthday will not be commemorated by a gun salute — another longstanding ritual halted by the pandemic.

The Times is providing free access to much of our coronavirus coverage, and our Coronavirus Briefing newsletter — like all of our newsletters — is free. Please consider supporting our journalism with a subscription.

The city has bounced back from other calamities — the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse, the 1970s fiscal crisis — but none of them shut down New York as profoundly, or for as long, as the coronavirus pandemic has.

Cook: Tonnato sauce made with canned fish can be spooned onto steamed or raw vegetables.

Watch: This is exactly the right time to stream documentaries about very strange things (competitive endurance tickling, for instance). And the designer Mary Ping made a bag out of newspaper for T, The Times’s style magazine.

Cope: Here’s how to set up your home work space so you can put away your “office” at the end of each day. And if you’re feeling lonely, we have some ideas to help.

We have more ideas about what to read, cook, watch and do while staying safe at home.

The virus is killing more men than women, even though infection rates are more or less the same. That’s because the male body and the female body respond differently to viruses. But unlike many other countries, the U.S. is not systematically tracking Covid-19 gender data.

Francesca Donner, who leads our Gender Initiative, spoke with Caroline Criado Perez, the author of “Invisible Women,” and Alisha Haridasani Gupta, a reporter for The Times. Their conversation is excerpted from the In Her Words newsletter:

Francesca: We know differences between male and female immune systems exist, yet we know very little about them.

Caroline: The reason we don’t know that much is that, historically, we’ve preferred to study the male body.

We do know the female immune system is more active than the male immune system. The hypothesis is that it’s because women give birth and the female immune system has evolved around that. That can be bad for women in that women make up 80 percent of those with autoimmune diseases. Women also tend to have more frequent and more adverse reactions to vaccines.

The result is that we are less good at diagnosing diseases in women. If you look at something like heart disease in Britain, women are 50 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed than men. One outcome is that in the U.S. and Britain, women are more likely than men to die following a heart attack. And yet you still encounter resistance in the research community, who say things like, “The female body is too complicated, the menstrual cycle will interfere with the results.”

Francesca: Alisha, give us a little background on the sex data being collected.

Alisha: The U.S. is one of 11 countries that aren’t systematically tracking infections and deaths by men and women. Since we published the sex-data article, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did release a report that included a race and a sex breakdown. But even that was a snapshot, drawing information from hospital networks in parts of 14 states.

Francesca: What implications does this have in our search for a vaccine?

Alisha: The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is already in phase one human trials for a potential vaccine on 45 healthy adults. It said it would need a larger number of participants to be able to disaggregate data by sex. That’s not to say that it’s impossible to have disaggregated data right from phase one — because Johnson & Johnson said that’s what it’s going to do as it heads into human trials in September.

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Chris

Thank you
To Melissa Clark for the recipe, and to Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about coming rulings from the Supreme Court.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Currency of Poland (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Today at 4 p.m. Eastern, our Adolescence columnist, the psychologist Lisa Damour, will discuss how to help young people cope during coronavirus-related lockdowns. R.S.V.P. here for the free call.

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