Updated May 26, 2020 - Health

In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Ocean City in New Jersey on May 25. Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Details: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, and there were crowded scenes in several places, notably at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri and at Daytona Beach and on the Gulf Coast in Florida, per AP. Police dispersed crowds in some places, ABC notes. But many Americans did take precautions against COVID-19 as they ventured outside for the long weekend, some three months after the pandemic began in the U.S.

The big picture: Retail and recreation has become steadily available in many states over the past two weeks, as nearly every state across the U.S. has taken steps to reopen their economies partially or completely, per analysis by the New York Times.

  • New York, Kansas, North Carolina and Indiana began to ease more stay-at-home restrictions over the weekend, the NYT reports. Many people did take precautions against COVID-19, as Americans ventured outside to enjoy the weekend some three months after the pandemic began spreading across the U.S.
People wait for President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to participate in a Memorial Day Ceremony at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, on May 25. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
Lake Tillery in Mount Gilead, North Carolina, on May 25. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images
An Abraham Lincoln and Civil War-era actors interact with members of the public at Los Angeles National Cemetery on May 25. Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
Washington Memorial Park in SeaTac, Washington, on May 25. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images
Venice Beach in Los Angeles on May 24. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images
The entrance to Sheep Meadow in New York City's Central Park on May 24. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images
The line for a water park in Kissimmee, Florida, on May 23. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
Holly Meyer hands out flags to volunteers at the Calverton National Cemetery in Wading River, New York, on May 23. Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
The boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland, on May 23. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Brian Carabine, 78, replaces the U.S. flags at the South End Cemetery in East Hampton, New York, on May 23. Photo: Astrid Riecken/Getty Images
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on May 23. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
A member of the Army's 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment places flags at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday. Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP
Stephen Wilmer of Lindenhurst, N.Y., tries to get a kite aloft for his daughter, Emma, in a light breeze at Jones Beach on Long Island. Photo; Kathy Willens/AP

Go deeper: Trump's holiday weekend pressure campaign

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details on the holiday weekend.

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

About 40.7 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began, including 2.1 million more claims filed from last week.

Why it matters: Even as states reopen their economies, Americans are still seeking relief. Revised data out Thursday also showed U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimate of 4.8%.

Mitch McConnell: There's no stigma attached to wearing a mask

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell puts on a mask after speaking to the press on Capitol Hill on May 19. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday encouraged people to wear face masks during the coronavirus pandemic, hours before the U.S. COVID-19 death toll surpassed 100,000, per Politico.

Why it matters: President Trump has been resisted wearing face coverings in public and ridiculed Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden for doing so this week. But McConnell reportedly sided with CDC guidelines during a Kentucky event to deliver his message to young people. "There's no stigma attached to wearing a mask," he said, per Politico. "There’s no stigma attached to staying six feet apart." McConnell has also taken to posting images to Instagram in recent days of himself wearing a mask.

Go deeper: CDC issues guidelines for reopening offices: Masks, handshake bans and more

13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.