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Morning virus briefing: Apps that track COVID raise privacy questions; Trump to hit road; and more

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As governments around the world consider how to monitor new coronavirus outbreaks while reopening their societies, many are starting to bet on smartphone apps to help stanch the pandemic.

But their decisions on which technologies to use — and how far those allow authorities to peer into private lives — are highlighting some uncomfortable trade-offs between protecting privacy and public health.

“There are conflicting interests,” said Tina White, a Stanford University researcher who first introduced a privacy-protecting approach in February. “Governments and public health (agencies) want to be able to track people” to minimize the spread of COVID-19, but people are less likely to download a voluntary app if it is intrusive, she said. Read the full story here:

Here's an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.

  • President Donald Trump is going back on the road, visiting Arizona to see a Honeywell facility that makes N95 masks, after rarely leaving White House grounds during the coronavirus pandemic. He said he’ll also go to Ohio, to New York in June for the U.S. Military Academy graduation and to South Dakota in July for a holiday fireworks display at Mount Rushmore.
  • The Trump administration is making ever louder pronouncements casting blame on China for the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to sidestep domestic criticism of the president's own response, tarnish China’s global reputation and give the U.S. leverage on trade and other aspects of U.S.-China competition.
  • In the U.S., some states took continued steps to lift the lockdown restrictions that have thrown millions out of work, even as the country recorded thousands of new infections and deaths every day.
  • New York state is now reporting more than 1,700 previously undisclosed deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities as the state faces scrutiny over how it has protected vulnerable residents.
  • As the coronavirus spread from the nation’s meatpacking plants to the broader communities where they are located, it burned through a modest duplex in Waterloo, Iowa. Similar spread is happening in other communities where the economy centers around raising hogs and cattle and processing their meat, including the hot spots of Grand Island, Nebraska, and Worthington, Minnesota.
  • Governments around the world have reported 3.6 million infections and more than a quarter-million deaths, including nearly 69,000 in the United States.
  • Britain on Tuesday became the first country in Europe to confirm more than 30,000 coronavirus deaths, and infections rose sharply again in Russia, even as other nations made great strides in containing the scourge.
  • In China, it has been three weeks since any new deaths have been reported in the country where the pandemic began late last year.
  • With major league baseball in the U.S. still mulling plans on what to do about its own season, American sports network ESPN signed a contract to broadcast six South Korean games per week.

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for some ways to pass the time and take a closer look at the spread of the virus.

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Some ways to fill the time

Listen to some music. Stay healthy. Some things to do while in isolation:

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