Several of the jails on Rikers Island as seen from a departing domestic flight leaving nearby Laguardia Airport on Nov. 7, 2019 in Queens, New York. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Ross MacDonald, the chief medical officer for Correctional Health Services in New York, has called on prosecutors and judges to enable prisoners to be released from the state's jails in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: MacDonald made the call in a series of tweets late Wednesday — a day after a New York City Department of Correction officer stationed on Rikers Island died of the virus, per NBC News. A prisoner on the island tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, NY Mag notes. NYC Department of Correction suspended all in-person visits to its prisons from Wednesday.

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U.S., Canada and U.K. accuse Russia of trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin\TASS via Getty Images

Hackers associated with Russian intelligence services are trying to steal information from researchers involved in coronavirus vaccine development, according to a joint advisory by U.K., U.S. and Canadian authorities published Thursday.

The big picture: This isn't the first time a foreign adversary has been accused of attempting to steal COVID-19-related research. U.S. officials in May announced an uptick in Chinese-government affiliated hackers targeting medical research and other facilities in the United States for data on a potential cure or effective treatments to combat the virus.

M&A activity falls despite early coronavirus fears

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In April, several prominent Democrats proposed a moratorium on large mergers and acquisitions. Their argument was that the pandemic would embolden the strong to pounce on the weak, thus reducing competition.

Fast forward: The moratorium never materialized. Nor did the M&A feeding frenzy.

More than 32 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits

Photo: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

More than 32 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

Why it matters: Tens of millions of jobless Americans will soon have a smaller cash cushion — as coronavirus cases surge and certain parts of the country re-enter pandemic lockdowns — barring an extension of the more generous unemployment benefits that are set to expire at the end of the month.