5 things to know for the week ahead

As states continue to ease restrictions, the Treasury secretary and Fed chairman will share details Tuesday about the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic.


As states continue to ease restrictions, the Treasury secretary and Fed chairman will share details Tuesday with senators about the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are five stories to know for this week.

1. Heads of Treasury, Fed to report on aid

    Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell are slated to testify to a Senate committee Tuesday. Under Congress’ CARES Act, agencies must report the use of money ranging from loans to awards. The $2 trillion law provides coronavirus-related aid for businesses to pay workers, $600 extra weekly payments to those receiving unemployment benefits and other relief.

    2. World Health Organization holds annual meeting virtually

    The World Health Organization’s annual assembly will happen Monday and Tuesday virtually. Leaders plan to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

    3. Primaries by mail becoming a focus

    Oregon will hold its primary Tuesday.

    The Beaver State has labeled itself as the first state in the nation to have everyone vote by mail, which began in November 2000.

    Currently, only five states hold all their elections entirely by mail: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington state.

    Kentucky was slated to hold its primary Tuesday but pushed it to June 23.

    In mid-March, Kentucky's Secretary of State Michael Adams recommended the new date amid the spread of COVID-19.

    The governor said voting should be done by mail.

    4. State restrictions being scaled back

    More restrictions are being lifted.

    Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said he will let his stay-at-home order expire as scheduled Monday, though he’ll leave key restrictions in place.

    “Don’t get me wrong — we believe that the safest place we can be is at home,” Walz said Wednesday. “But we know we can’t continue like this forever.”

    Walz made the announcement after health officials released updated modeling — couched in caveats — that showed the potential effects of various scenarios he could have chosen. The Democratic governor has been under increasing political pressure to loosen the restrictions, and some business owners have threatened defiance if they remain in place.

    While the stay-at-home order will expire, the changes he announced amount to only a gradual relaxation of the state’s restrictions. Retailers that had been shuttered as nonessential will be allowed to reopen with restrictions on how many people can be allowed inside.

    Other states easing restrictions include South Carolina (allowing gyms, other businesses and pools in a limited capacity to open Monday) and Texas (opening gyms and certain other manufacturers and businesses starting Monday).

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that gyms can reopen on Monday, as well as retailers, restaurants and other attractions.

    DeSantis said that restaurants and retail stores can open at 50% capacity.

    Museums and libraries are also permitted to reopen, but the decision is being left to local governments on when they will reopen.

    Among other changes with states, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is set to unveil a plan Monday to reopen some businesses in the state. Baker had extended the state’s stay-at-home advisory from May 4 until Monday, May 18.

    Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state's travel ban will be allowed to expire Friday — just in time for Memorial Day weekend. Individuals can again travel freely in and out of the state.

    “We realize that people are making plans for Memorial Day," Beshear said. “And I trust that we can do this right. That we can do this safely.”

    5. Harvey Milk Day

    In 1978, Harvey Milk was inaugurated as a San Francisco city supervisor and was the first openly gay man to be elected to a political office in California. That November, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were murdered by Dan White, who had recently resigned from his San Francisco board position and wanted Moscone to reappoint him. White later served just over five years in prison for voluntary manslaughter. Harvey Milk Day, held each year on May 22, is Friday.

    The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.