Why it matters: Leading coronavirus modeling shows the country's collective sacrifice of an economic shutdown — which has resulted in over 30 million jobless claims — has likely prevented hundreds of thousands of deaths, serving as a sign that social distancing is effective.
The big picture: Protests to reopen economies have been held across the U.S. over the last few months as the number of coronavirus cases and fatalities continues to rise. COVID-19 has infected more than 1.4 million people and killed over 85,000 in the U.S., per Johns Hopkins data.
What they're saying:President Trump fueled reopening protests in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia on April 17 in tweets, urging people to "LIBERATE" the states.
He defended activists again at an April 19 news briefing, saying they "have got cabin fever" from having their lives "taken away from them." But in a rare rebuke of a Republican, Trump said he "strongly" disagrees with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's plans to reopen non-essential businesses.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned after protests in Albany there could be a potential "second wave" if restrictions were eased too soon and suggested people who want to work "get a job as an essential worker."
Of note: Facebook said Monday the company deleted events for anti-quarantine protests in Nebraska, New Jersey and California that defied government guidelines.
The bottom line: The U.S. cannot afford to stay on lockdown until a cure or vaccine arrives. Safely reopening communities and economies requires data that is currently difficult to find.
The big picture: Coronavirus infections jumped by almost 17% over the past week as the number of new cases across the country increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C., according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios.
New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.
The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."
South Korea is shuttering nightclubs and churches and cancelling professional sports and large social gatherings after an uptick in COVID-19 infections, AP reports.
The state of play: Health Minister Park Neung-hoo enacted the new rules on Saturday after 332 new cases were confirmed. To date, South Korea has seen 17,002 confirmed coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins University. Most of the outbreak is centralized in Seoul, but it is spreading to major cities throughout the country. South Korea has consistently been one of the strictest countries on COVID-19 precautions.
Seoul was placed under stricter lockdown rules earlier this week.