LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney World in Florida on Wednesday announced plans to reopen and MGM Resorts said guests could soon return to Las Vegas casino hotels, as more Americans emerging from the coronavirus lockdown marked a somber milestone of 100,000 dead.
The death toll rose from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, even as the daily average has declined, businesses have reopened and stay-at-home orders have ended across the country.
A top White House coronavirus adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN that U.S. states should proceed cautiously as they lift sweeping restrictions to constrain the pandemic, saying he wore a mask to show Americans it was the right thing to do.
“I want to protect myself and protect others, and also because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that’s the kind of thing you should be doing,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Walt Disney World, the world’s largest theme park, could begin opening in phases starting on July 11 if plans win approval from Florida’s governor, Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) executives said during a webcast meeting.
Shanghai Disneyland reopened on May 11 and now accommodates about 20,000 people per day with mandatory masks, temperature screenings and social distancing for visitors and employees.
MGM Resorts(MGM.N) said that on June 4 it would reopen four Las Vegas casinos - the Bellagio, New York-New York, the MGM Grand Las Vegas and The Signature. All employees would be screened for COVID-19 using regular temperature checks and testing.
In Washington, D.C., New York Governor Andrew Cuomo met with President Donald Trump and urged Congress to release more federal funds as states suffered from the economic damage from closed businesses and stay-at-home orders.
“States that bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic account for one-third of the national GDP,” said Cuomo, a Democrat whose state has been hit hard by the outbreak. “How can you tell one-third of the country to go to heck?”
Cuomo said his meeting with the Republican Trump on Wednesday focused on how to “supercharge” the economy by investing in infrastructure.
Businesses across the country are opening doors after shuttering in mid-March as states and local governments took drastic measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Cuomo, who has criticized Trump’s handling of the pandemic, wants to revive the economy by undertaking major transport and other projects. He told reporters on Tuesday he would discuss a federal role in investments to modernize the nation’s bridges, roads and rail systems.
Trump has said he believed infrastructure spending could help the economy recover from the pandemic, embracing a massive $2 trillion plan at the end of March. Before the pandemic, he planned to focus his November re-election campaign on a booming economy.
(This story corrects casino openings in paragraph 7 to June instead of July)
Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles, Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, Doina Chiacu in Washington, D.C., Maria Caspani in New York and Alexandra Alper in West Palm Beach, Florida; Writing by Alistair Bell and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Howard Goller