U.S. intelligence officials with the National Center for Medical Intelligence issued a report in November warning that a virus was taking root in China, ABC News reported Wednesday. Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event,” a source inside the government told ABC, and the report was shared with the White House, the Pentagon's Joint Staff and the Defense Intelligence Agency. It is unclear whether Trump was ever briefed on the NCMI report, but sources who spoke to ABC described multiple briefings about the report throughout December for “policymakers” as well as officials at the National Security Council and the White House.
One doctor who has been treating COVID-19 patients at a New York-area hospital says there's no reason to believe it would work. Marik acknowledged that the World Health Organization has advised against the use of corticosteroids to treat viral pneumonia in patients with COVID-19 (except in clinical trials) citing previous studies on other viral diseases like SARS and MERS, which found insufficient evidence that the drugs were effective. But Marik's view encapsulates a growing suspicion among doctors treating COVID-19 that the disease has some novel features that may require a unique approach.
Federal agencies are concerned that domestic extremists could use the coronavirus pandemic to attack Asians and Jews, according to a joint intelligence bulletin obtained by Yahoo News. That bulletin mirrors what organizations that monitor online hate content are also finding. The bulletin, a joint effort of the Department of Justice, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security, is dated April 7.
A row has erupted after the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) accused Taiwan's leaders of spearheading personal attacks on him. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had been subjected to racist comments and death threats for months. But President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan opposed any form of discrimination, and invited Dr Tedros to visit the island.
A California woman has been arrested after licking $1,800 worth of groceries and other items at a supermarket in the northern part of the state, police said Wednesday. Chris Fiore, spokesman for the South Lake Tahoe police department, near the border with Nevada, told AFP that officers were called to the Safeway store on Tuesday following reports of "a customer licking groceries" at a time of heightened fears over the spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus. "When officers arrived on the scene, a Safeway employee informed them that the suspect put numerous pieces of jewelry from the store on her hands," he said.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is joining a growing call for the release of comprehensive racial data on the coronavirus pandemic, which he says has put a spotlight on inequity and the impact of “structural racism." Biden's Medium post on Thursday said he is joining Democratic congressional members Ayanna Pressley, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and others who have also called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to release more data. Biden said he wants data released on income, too, to better help allocate resources to communities in need.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to accept 50 migrant children and youths from overcrowded camps on Greek islands. The move was a first step by Germany, officials said, as worries mount about the health situation in the Greek camps due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tens of thousands of migrants tried to get into European Union member Greece after Turkey said in February it would no longer prevent them from doing so, as agreed in a 2016 deal with the EU in return for aid for Syrian refugees.
The number of coronavirus cases in New York state has now passed 151,600, meaning it has more confirmed infections than any country barring the US itself, as the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits surges to almost 17m. Despite those grim figures, Donald Trump's mind appeared to be on other matters, including blasting the Wall Street Journal for not praising him on his ratings during Monday night's White House press briefing. Other tweets from the president throughout the day included him expressing well wishes to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has reportedly moved out of the ICU after contracting the novel virus.
The coronavirus pandemic is killing hundreds of people in New York City each day. To accommodate the dead before families claim them, the city's medical examiner expanded temporary refrigerated storage to hold 3,600 decedents, up from the usual 900. However, a policy change posted to the medical examiner's website suggests that room is running out: Bodies that families don't claim within 14 days of death will be catalogued and interred in a mass grave site on a Bronx island.
President Trump said Tuesday that he did not learn of two memos written in January and February by his own economic adviser warning that a COVID-19 pandemic could kill as many as 2 million Americans until “maybe a day ago.” On Jan. 29, Peter Navarro warned his colleagues at the White House that if the administration did not mount an aggressive containment strategy for the coronavirus, it could kill more than half a million Americans and cost the country nearly $6 trillion. Nearly a month later, on Feb. 23, Navarro distributed an even more dire second memo in which he said as many as 100 million Americans could be infected with COVID-19, which might kill upwards of 2 million U.S. citizens.
Ashita S. Batavia, MD, MSc, is a board-certified infectious diseases specialist and public health expert with extensive experience in treating epidemics. In my state, New York, our hospital systems are being strained in unprecedented ways. As a frontline infectious diseases doctor, this is what I want my friends and neighbors to do if they have COVID-19 symptoms and are asked to go to the emergency room.
Americans have turned some of their bipartisan ire amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic toward Beijing, a new Harris Poll survey released Wednesday shows. Per the poll, nearly 90 percent of Republicans believe China, where the coronavirus originated, is responsible for the spread while two-thirds of Democrats surveyed said the same. There's a little more discrepancy across party lines when it comes to how Chinese President Xi Jinping and his government should reckon with their role in exacerbating crisis, but more than half of Americans believe Beijing should pay some form of reparations to other countries.
News updates on coronavirus in Africa Coronavirus live tracker Whipping, shooting and snooping during Africa lockdowns Earlier this week, an African Union report said that nearly 20 million jobs on the continent "are threatened with destruction". There are currently more than 11,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and there have been more than 570 confirmed deaths across Africa. South Africa, one of the continent's largest economies, has been the worst hit and is about to enter the third week of a strict lockdown.
A truck driver accused in the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants whose bodies were found inside a refrigerated container that had been hauled to England pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday. Maurice Robinson, 25, of Craigavon in Northern Ireland, entered the plea at Central London Criminal Court. Police investigating the case found the 31 male and eight female victims were all from Vietnam and ranged in age from 15 to 44, including 10 teenagers.
The Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged ended its more-than two-month lockdown on Wednesday, even as a small northern city ordered restrictions on residents amid concern about a second wave of infections.
Taiwan on Thursday angrily condemned accusations from the World Health Organization's (WHO) boss that racist slurs against him had come from the island, saying racism did not exist in Taiwan. Taiwan's exclusion from the WHO, due to objections from China which claims the island as its own, has infuriated the Taipei government during the coronavirus outbreak. Taiwan says it has been unable to get timely information and that Taiwanese lives have become political pawns.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, now the presumptive Democrat nominee, told donors Wednesday afternoon that his campaign is mobilizing a team to help pick his running mate. “We are putting in place, which we can do with abandon now, a mechanism to be able to vet the vice presidential potential picks,” Biden said, when asked if he's going to be announcing his running mate after the last primary in June. On Wednesday morning, Bernie Sanders, Biden's only remaining rival for the Democratic nomination, ended his presidential bid.
America's coronavirus epicenter of New York recorded a new single-day high of 799 COVID-19 deaths Thursday but Governor Andrew Cuomo said the rate of hospitalizations continued to fall. Cuomo said 799 people died in the last 24 hours, outdoing the previous high of 779 announced on Wednesday, but added that the curve was flattening because of social confinement measures. "We had a 200-net increase in hospitalizations, which you can see is the lowest number we've had since this nightmare started," Cuomo told reporters, adding that intensive care admissions were also at the lowest yet.
Throughout Tuesday night's primetime stretch, Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham were in lockstep in telegraphing to Trump a message that the pandemic's threat has been overstated, death counts have been inflated, and the U.S. is already on the downside of the curve. Carlson, who received mainstream plaudits for his “admirable” early coronavirus coverage, kicked off his show by declaring that the crisis “may have passed,” noting that health-care systems across the country haven't come close to collapsing—“except in a handful of places. Patients are not dying alone in the hallways of emergency rooms with physicians too overwhelmed to treat them,” he asserted.
Vice President Mike Pence has blocked Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, as well as other top U.S. health officials, from appearing on CNN following the network's decision to not air the White House coronavirus press briefings in full. “When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air,” a spokesman for the vice president told CNN. Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by Pence, have been giving daily briefings to the press for several weeks after rising numbers of Americans have been infected.
Xinhua/Cheng Min via Getty Images On Wednesday at midnight, Chinese authorities began allowing outbound travel from Wuhan, the city where the first coronavirus cases were reported last year. Throngs of people who can prove they are healthy are rushing out of the city by car, plane, and train. Travel from Wuhan was restricted for 76 days in an effort to keep the novel coronavirus outbreak contained.
Charlotte Figi, whose life-long battle with a rare seizure disorder led to medical marijuana reform, died Tuesday after members of her family contracted an unspecified "virus," according to a post on her mother's Facebook page. Figi was 13 years old. It is with a heavy heart that we write to let you know that Charlotte Figi passed away yesterday.
Pope Francis on Holy Thursday hailed priests and medical staff who tend to the needs of COVID-19 patients as “the saints next door.” Francis celebrated the Holy Week evening Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, which was kept off-limits to the public because of restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the new coronavirus. The pope began his off-the-cuff homily by honoring the memory of priests who gave their lives in service to others, singling out those who died after tending to sick people in Italy's hospitals.
An American civil servant whose disclosure of an affair between Bill Clinton and a White House intern nearly brought down his presidency has died. Linda Tripp, 70, passed away after suffering from pancreatic cancer, her family told US media on Wednesday. Recordings Ms Tripp made of her conversations with Monica Lewinsky became central to the 1998 impeachment trial of then President Clinton.
Russia on Thursday reported a record one-day rise in cases of novel coronavirus, pushing the official tally to more than 10,000, a day after President Vladimir Putin said the coming weeks would prove decisive in the fight against the virus. The number of cases jumped by 1,459 and 13 more people died, the national coronavirus crisis response centre said on its website. Moscow, the worst-affected region, and many other regions are in their second week of a partial lockdown.