This week’s recap and best reads


Jackie Guarneri of Hudson enjoyed beers with friends at Jonesy’s Local Bar on the first day of the bar reopening in Hudson. Bars, restaurants and everything else is reopening in Wisconsin after the state Supreme Court struck down the state’s stay-at-home order Thursday May 14, 2020 in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Jerry Holt | Star Tribune | Getty Images

Top health officials spent the week issuing dire warnings about the threat the coronavirus pandemic still poses to the United States,  even as states continued to ease stay-at-home orders. 

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Tuesday that reopening too soon without widespread testing and contact tracing could result in new outbreaks that cause needless suffering and death.

Fauci had to testify for the Senate hearing via videoconference from quarantine after he was exposed to a White House aide who tested positive for the virus, raising questions about social-distancing protocols in the West Wing. 

The following day, President Donald Trump dismissed Fauci’s warnings as unacceptable. That evening, the Wisconsin Supreme Court brushed aside health officials concerns and overturned the state’s stay-at-home order as unlawful, ruling in favor of a lawsuit filed by the Republican lawmakers. Hours later, crowds were drinking at bars without face masks. 

Ousted federal vaccine scientist Dr. Rick Bright used more even dire language than Fauci when he warned Congress that the coronavirus pandemic could prove more devastating than the 1918 flu, which killed at least 50 million people globally, and said the U.S. risked “the darkest winter in modern history” if the nation’s leaders didn’t mount a better response. 

Tesla also reopened its car plant in Fremont in defiance health orders by local authorities and faced a police inspection. So far, the company hasn’t faced any penalties. Trump posted his support for Musk via Twitter. 

A scandal over senators dumping stocks in the early days of the pandemic heated up this week when the FBI seized Sen. Richard Burr’s cellphone in a criminal investigation. The Republican from North Carolina subsequently stepped down as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. 

The NYSE plans to partially reopen its trading floor after Memorial Day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 2.65%  on the week, while the S&P 500 finished up 0.39% and the Nasdaq composite added 0.79%. 

Those are the headlines. Here are CNBC’s best deep dives from the week. 

Hundreds of public companies hold on to small business loans as deadline to return money nears

Just hours before a May 14 deadline to return PPP loans with amnesty, most public companies made no mention of giving back the funds, which become grants if used for approved expenses like payroll. Of the $1.32 billion tapped by public companies across 407 loans, only 61 loans making up a combined $411 million are being returned, according to data analytics firm FactSquared.

Scientists race to find a cure or vaccine for the coronavirus. Here are the top drugs in development

Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images

Health officials and scientists across the world are racing to develop vaccines and discover effective treatments against the coronavirus. Here is a list of the leading vaccines and drugs in development to battle Covid-19.

Sixth confirmed Amazon worker dies amid calls for the company to release data on coronavirus infections

A flyer sent around George Leigh’s facility, DNY4, encouraged employees to attend a memorial service in honor of his passing.

The worker’s death comes as Amazon faces growing pressure to disclose the number of workers who have tested positive or died from the virus. Additionally, tensions have been growing between Amazon and warehouse workers nationwide. Warehouse workers have urged the company to put in place greater safety protections, including providing paid sick leave and closing down facilities where there are positive cases for additional cleaning. 

Mike Bloomberg plots spending blitz to support Joe Biden’s run for president

The former New York mayor and his closest political advisors are discussing whether Bloomberg’s expenditures will include major donations to pro-Biden super PACs, Biden’s joint fundraising effort with the Democratic National Committee, or another independent group, according to people familiar with the conversations. These people declined to be named as the talks were private. 

Shoppers begin to shift from stockpiling to penny pinching at the grocery store — the latest sign of the economic downturn

A shopper wearing a protective mask walks down an aisle at a grocery store in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Thursday, May 7, 2020.

Christopher Dilts | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Where’s my stimulus check? Will there be another round of payments? Answers to your top questions

U.S. President Donald Trump’s name appears on the coronavirus economic assistance checks that were sent to citizens across the country April 29, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

There are reasons why you might not have the money in hand yet. These are the top outstanding questions on their checks readers have told us they still have.



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