Coronavirus live updates: Eric Trump says Democrats ‘trying to milk’ pandemic; New Orleans restaurants reopen

East Coast beaches were reopening, New Orleans' famed restaurants were slowly reawakening, and social media was in tumult Sunday after President Donald Trump's son, Eric, accused Democrats of "trying to milk" the coronavirus outbreak to deprive his father of campaign rallies.

"After Nov. 3, coronavirus will magically all of a sudden go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen," Trump said. "They're trying to deprive him of his greatest asset."

In New Orleans, dining room service was permitted to resume this weekend at 25% capacity. In Virginia, sprawling Virginia Beach reopened for fishing and exercise. Many New Jersey beaches allowed sunbathing with appropriate social distancing. And a plethora of parks and hiking trails opened in California.

The U.S. has the largest coronavirus outbreak in the world by far. There are more than 88,000 deaths and almost 1.5 million confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. Worldwide, the virus has killed more than 310,000 people and has infected more than 4.6 million.

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Warm weather draws crowds to the oceanfront, Saturday, May 16, 2020 in Virginia Beach, Va.

Here are some highlights to know Sunday:

When Wisconsin's statewide stay-at-home order was tossed by the state's Supreme Court, many expected city and county officials to issue their own rules. But soon, some local leaders started canceling their orders over legal concerns.Five sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in Guam have tested positive for the coronavirus a second time, raising questions about how the vessel can return to sea safely.Graduates around the country deprived of a traditional graduation were treated to a star-studded virtual graduation ceremony, including a commencement address from Oprah Winfrey.

What we're talking about: Having classes and graduations canceled is tough on students. For college towns, it's devastating.

Something to smile about: These blue bees are known for sticking their heads in pollen. They've been spotted in Florida for the first time in years.

Eric Trump says Biden 'thrilled' outbreak is halting campaign rallies

President Trump's son Eric says Democrats and their presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden are discouraging efforts to begin reopening the country because that would allow Trump to conduct campaign rallies. After Election Day, the political foes will determine that the coronavirus threat has "magically" gone away, the younger Trump said on Fox News.

"Biden loves this. Biden can't go on stage without making some horrible blunder," Trump said. "They think they're taking away Donald Trump's greatest tool, which is being able to go into an arena and fill it with 50,000 people every single time."

'Wet markets' threaten to fuel future pandemics

In the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government moved quickly to ban wildlife consumption and crack down on certain "wet markets" where snakes, civets and other exotic animals are sold along with more traditional livestock.

Scientists applauded the move as long overdue, but some fear it won't last – and they argue much more needs to be done to guard against future diseases that can make the animal-to-human leap.

"These wet markets are really perfectly conducive to spillover events," said George Wittemyer, an associate professor of wildlife and conservation biology at Colorado State University. "You have so many different species coming in – you have wild species interacting with domestic species.

– Deirdre Shesgreen

Obama says crisis spotlights inequalities

Former President Barack Obama made several surprisingly political comments and touched on current events when he spoke on “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition,” a two-hour livestreaming event for historically black colleges and universities.

As he congratulated graduates and commiserated over the difficult world they face, the former president noted the February shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, 25, who was killed while jogging on a residential street in Georgia.

“Let’s be honest: A disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communicates have historically had to deal with in this country," Obama said. "We see it in the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities, just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog and some folks feel like they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questioning.”

Italy to open its borders in June

The Italian government announced Saturday that it will throw open its borders next month, effectively ending Europe’s longest and strictest coronavirus lockdown just as the summer tourism season gets under way.

Both regional and international borders will open June 3, and the government will eliminate a 14-day quarantine for anyone arriving from abroad. Many hope the move will revive a decimated tourist industry, which is worth 13% of Italy’s gross domestic product.

More coronavirus news and information from USA TODAY

Amid coronavirus, AP exams went online and had tech problems. College Board says it's investigating.Speaking of college, these are the 16 best gifts for graduates.America needs vote-by-mail in November. Here's why both parties can embrace it.

5 sailors aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier test positive again

Five sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt that was sidelined in Guam by the COVID-19 outbreak have tested positive for the virus for the second time and have been taken off the ship, according to the Navy.

The resurgence of the virus in the five sailors underscores the baffling behavior of the highly contagious virus and raises questions about how troops that test positive can be reintegrated into the military, particularly on ships.

More headlines from USA TODAY

Totally free: 50 educational resources for kids stuck at home.The Greatest Generation survived the Depression and World War II, but those left fight a deadly foe: the coronavirus.America's food chain: Volunteers are risking their lives to deliver food to the needy.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/05/17/coronavirus-updates-eric-trump-rips-biden-some-beaches-parks-reopen/5208446002/

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