5 things to know for May 22: Coronavirus, health, China, Open Skies Treaty, Ahmaud Arbery

5 things to know for May 22: Coronavirus, health, China, Open Skies Treaty, Ahmaud Arbery

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Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend! Beaches around the country are prepping for the symbolic start of summer, and if you do have plans to go somewhere, please stay safe. We'll be back Tuesday with your 5 Things.

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1. Coronavirus

Democratic senators are urging the White House to prepare for a double dose of Covid-19 and flu outbreaks in the fall. Fifteen senators, led by Massachusetts Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, penned a letter to VP Mike Pence saying the administration's coronavirus task force should heed warnings from experts who say the virus could surge again in the fall around the time flu season gets underway. This would tax already-depleted health care systems. Senior military members have issued similar warnings. Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, and Gen. David Berger, commandant of the Marine Corps, have both said they think the pandemic threat will be a long-term problem. Meanwhile, the US is inching ever closer to recording 100,000 deaths, as President Trump says he will order flags to be flown at half-staff to honor Covid-19 victims, as well as the military.

2. Health

The CDC estimates more than a third of coronavirus patients don't have any symptoms at all, and 40% of virus transmission happens before people feel sick. The figures are part of the agency's new guidance for mathematical modelers and public health officials, and are not supposed to be predictions of how many people could have or contract Covid-19. The CDC has also released mortality figures and scenarios intended to help public health preparedness. Under the most severe of the five scenarios outlined, the CDC lists a symptomatic case fatality ratio of 0.01, meaning that 1% of people overall with Covid-19 and symptoms would die. But some experts say the figures lowball the proportion of people who are succumbing to the disease.

3. China

China will move to pass a hugely controversial national security law for Hong Kong, potentially delivering a huge blow to the city's autonomy and civil liberties. The law is being discussed during China's annual parliamentary meetings, which began today. It's expected to ban sedition, secession and subversion of the central government in Beijing and will be introduced in a way that effectively bypasses Hong Kong's legislature. Critics say this is essentially the end of the "one country, two systems" concept that has kept Hong Kong politically autonomous from mainland China. All of this is playing out against a backdrop of international tensions brought on by the coronavirus crisis, including recent promises from the US to punish the country for its role in the pandemic.

4. Open Skies Treaty

President Trump confirmed the US will exit the Open Skies Treaty, a pact designed to reduce the risk of military miscalculations that could lead to war. Trump says he was prompted to make the decision because Russia has not adhered to the treaty. He hopes the withdrawal could force Russia back to the table to come to a new agreement. However, high-profile national security figures have expressed concern that scrapping the treaty could just lead to more tensions between the two countries. The Open Skies Treaty is part of a series of arms control deals meant to reduce the risk of misunderstandings among member countries in and near Europe by increasing transparency and predictability.

5. Ahmaud Arbery

The man who recorded the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in February in a neighborhood outside Brunswick, Georgia, has been arrested on suspicion of murder. William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. witnessed the deadly encounter between Travis McMichael, who is white, and Arbery, who was black, from a vehicle that was stopped behind a pickup truck near the site of the shooting. Gregory McMichael, Travis' father, was in that pickup truck and told police that Bryan earlier had tried to help them stop Arbery. An attorney for Bryan said his client has committed no crime. The case has caused nationwide pain and outrage, and raised questions about the scope of citizen's arrest laws.


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Check your local forecast here>>>


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