Many U.S. states are relaxing their restrictions, with more than half set to be partially reopened by the end of this week. But governors have taken different approaches to loosen restrictions amid the pandemic. Some states have formed regional pacts, working together to decide how to safely lift restrictions. Others have faced criticism for allowing nonessential businesses and recreational activities to start up again, despite cases continuing to increase.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Anthony S. Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease specialist, on Thursday confirmed the Trump administration is working to develop a coronavirus vaccine and aiming to produce hundreds of millions of doses by January, an effort dubbed “Operation Warp Speed.”
  • Vice President Pence’s office threatened to retaliate against a reporter who revealed that Pence’s office had told journalists they would need masks for Pence’s visit to the Mayo Clinic — a requirement Pence himself did not follow.
  • Senior U.S. officials are beginning to explore proposals for punishing or demanding financial compensation from China for its handling of the pandemic. Trump strongly hinted during a White House event that he believes China may have used the virus to wreck the U.S. economy and a trade deal between the two countries.
  • More than 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total number of claims to roughly 30 million in six weeks.
  • A prominent U.S. virologist wrote Thursday that the country is likely to experience a prolonged plateau in cases rather than a second wave in the near future.
  • In Michigan, protesters, some armed, entered the state Capitol, demonstrating against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order as lawmakers inside were considering whether to extend the state’s expiring emergency declaration. Later in the day, Michigan’s House decided against extending the emergency declaration.