Trump used Monday's briefing of the coronavirus task force to lash out at several members of the press, despite having recently praised media coverage of his response to the crisis as “very fair.” After kicking off the briefing by praising his own administration for its response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Trump opened the briefing up to questions, during which he refused to acknowledge any criticism of his handling of the pandemic that has brought the United States to a virtual standstill. One point of contention was a report released today by the inspector general of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
The Trump administration is seizing the opportunity of the coronavirus pandemic to push a cause that has long been an irritant in U.S. relations with China: Taiwan. The virus has added yet another dimension to U.S.-China tensions that were already wracked by a trade war and heated discussions over intellectual property, human rights and Chinese policies in Hong Kong and the South China Sea. And, while U.S.-China differences over Taiwan have waxed and waned for decades, they have persisted and are reaching new heights as the world grapples with the exponential spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Alex Brandon/AP Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the United States might never get entirely back to where it was before the novel coronavirus outbreak, especially without a vaccine. "If you want to get back to pre-coronavirus, that might not ever happen in the sense that the threat is there," Fauci said, expressing optimism that new therapies and a vaccine will help the US recover. Fauci said that with "the therapies that will be coming online, and the fact that I feel confident that over a period of time we will get a good vaccine, that we will never have to get back to where we are right now."
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear the Catholic Church's challenge to a local ban on religious advertising. The case, brought by the Archdiocese of Washington against the District of Columbia region's mass transit system, would have been the latest example of religious freedom appeals heard by the conservative-leaning court. The justices already are considering four major religion cases, all brought to them by religious organizations after lower court losses: • School choice: Three Montana women challenged a Montana ban on state funds being used to pay for religious education.
China demanded an explanation from Brazil Monday after the far-right government's education minister linked the coronavirus pandemic to the Asian country's "plan for world domination," in a tweet imitating a Chinese accent. In the latest incident to strain ties between Brasilia and Beijing, Education Minister Abraham Weintraub insinuated China was behind the global health crisis. "Geopolitically, who will come out stronger from this global crisis?" he wrote on Twitter Saturday.
China has reported no new deaths from coronavirus anywhere in the country, for the first time since the beginning of the outbreak. For months now, every morning at 03:00, officials in China have put together the latest figures on the spread of the virus to share with the world. World Health Organization Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed China for the "speed with which [it] detected the outbreak" and its "commitment to transparency".
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved the withdrawal of 1 billion euros from the country's sovereign wealth fund to help fight the coronavirus epidemic, President Hassan Rouhani's official website said on Monday.
All of the doors and windows were locked from the inside, according to the sheriff's office. Patrick Jesernik, 54, and Cheryl Schriefer, 59, were found dead in separate rooms with obvious signs of trauma to their heads, the sheriff's office said in a statement. The couple, who were not married, had been together for eight years, according to Cathy Hoffmeyer, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.
The Trump administration said Sunday that it was “beginning to see the glimmers of progress” in the fight to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the United States and across the globe. “We are beginning to see the glimmers of progress,” Vice President Mike Pence said during a hastily called briefing of the White House coronavirus task force, adding, “The experts will tell me not to jump to any conclusions, and I'm not.” Dr. Deborah Birx, a leading expert in infectious disease on the task force, said that there were encouraging signs in Spain and Italy, two countries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Democrat Amy McGrath raised substantially more campaign cash than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the first three months of 2020, showing her staying power against the Republican lawmaker in setting a blistering fundraising pace in Kentucky. Hours after McConnell's campaign reported raising nearly $7.5 million in the quarter, McGrath upped the ante. She reported taking in $12.8 million during the same period.
The UK government reportedly believes the coronavirus outbreak may have started in a Chinese laboratory. Most experts believe the outbreak began when animals passed COVID-19 onto humans in China. UK officials are not ruling out the possibility that a laboratory close to Wuhan accidentally leaked the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its policy and is now advising everyone, whether or not they have symptoms of COVID-19, to cover their face with a mask or cloth covering whenever social distancing is difficult to maintain. To be clear, the CDC is not saying you should wear a mask wherever you go, but rather in places where people congregate, including grocery stores and public transportation and ride-shares.
Slovenia's parliament banned people who oppose legislation from delaying crisis laws via referendums, accelerating the government's ability to fight the coronavirus. Lawmakers approved the bill on Tuesday despite concerns from some opposition members that nationalist Prime Minister Janez Jansa may leverage the faster process to consolidate power. He's a vocal admirer of Hungarian Premier Viktor Orban, who won the right to lead his country solely by decree last week.
Police in India lodged a case this week against an unknown online fraudster who tried selling the world's largest statue for $4 billion, claiming the proceeds would be used to help the Gujarat state government fund its fight against the coronavirus. With scams ranging from free mobile recharges, to offers of free Netflix subscriptions, federal home ministry officials say there has been 86% percent rise in cyber crime in the past four weeks. Police and internal security officials said scammers have created fake versions of the flagship 'PM CARES Fund' payments interface that look deceptively similar to the original and many Indians and Non-Residents Indians (NRIs) have fallen prey.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that no victim of the coronavirus has died because the state could not provide health care for them, even as New York posted its highest number of deaths in one day. A record 731 New Yorkers died between Monday and Tuesday, Cuomo reported. The governor warned Thursday that New York state only had enough ventilators for six days and was considering how to increase the supply.
During a private conference call with Democrats on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at least $1 trillion will be needed for the next coronavirus relief package. Last month, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, and Pelosi said the next bill will build onto that, people on the call told Bloomberg News. Pelosi said there will have to be more direct payments to individuals, extended unemployment insurance, and additional funding for food stamps and the Payroll Protection Plan, which provides small business loans. One lawmaker told Bloomberg News Pelosi also said the bill should help state and local governments, particularly in areas with no more than 500,000 residents.
The governor of Wisconsin has issued an executive order to postpone the state's embattled elections on Tuesday for at least two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, following mounting criticism over the upcoming in-person vote. Governor Tony Evers (D-WI) delayed the presidential primary until 9 June, saying in a statement about the executive order: “Frankly, there's no good answer to this problem—I wish it were easy. I have been asking everyone to do their part to help keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and I had hoped that the Legislature would do its part—just as the rest of us are—to help keep people healthy and safe.
Regular viewers of the White House coronavirus task force briefings have probably noticed certain recurring themes in President Trump's remarks: congratulating himself for acting swiftly to cut entry to the U.S. from China; praise for “the incredible people” on the podium with him and working behind the scenes; and an almost palpable yearning for a quick end to the pandemic and a resumption of “the greatest economy the world has ever seen.” Waging war on a disease is such a familiar trope it passes almost without notice: the “fight” against AIDS; the “struggle” to “conquer” smallpox, malaria, tuberculosis; health care workers on the “front lines” against Ebola, Zika, coronavirus.
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from a Catholic church in Washington, D.C., that sought to place religious-themed ads on public buses. The justices are leaving in place a federal appeals court ruling that found no fault with the Washington transit agency policy that banned all issue-oriented advertisements on the region's rail and bus system. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington sought to place an ad on the outside of public buses in the fall of 2017.
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images) Sweden took the unusual step of not implementing a lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The country urged people to practice social distancing, but left places like shops and restaurants open, breaking the model followed by countries across Europe and around the world. Sweden has 477 deaths from the virus so far, but Stefan Löfven, the prime minister, is now warning that thousands will die from COVID-19 and the parliament may bring in more restrictive measures.
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 continues to grow in the US. Mike Pence, the vice-president, is overseeing the US response to the coronavirus. So far, 80% of patients experience a mild form of the illness, which can include a fever and pneumonia, and many of these cases require little to no medical intervention.
President Trump on Monday said he and former Vice President Joe Biden had a “really wonderful, warm conversation” on the phone.
The claim: The U.S. House of Representatives introduced an assault weapons ban bill The Facebook page Military Arms Channel stated in a post in March that a bill introduced in the House of Representatives, if passed, would ban assault weapons. The post called on its audience to contact their representatives in protest. It garnered 12,000 shares and more than 800 comments and attracted the attention of gun rights groups including the Firearms Policy Coalition, the Gun Owners of America and the National Rifle Association.
The new coronavirus could eventually infect between 10,000 and 200,000 people in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's health minister said on Tuesday, urging the public to adhere more closely to state directives against mixing and movement. The country of some 30 million has so far reported 2,795 cases and 41 deaths, the highest in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), despite halting all passenger flights, suspending most commercial activities and imposing a 24-hour curfew in major cities including the capital Riyadh. "We stand today at a decisive moment as a society in raising our sense of responsibility and contributing together with determination to stop the spread of this pandemic," Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah said in a rare televised address.