Cleve Bryan reports.
Two years ago, some of the nation's top public health officials gathered in an auditorium at Emory University in Atlanta to commemorate the 1918 influenza pandemic — also known as “the Spanish flu” — which had killed as many as 40 million people as it swept the globe. Implicit was the understanding that while the 1918 pandemic was a singular catastrophe, conditions in the 21st century were ideal for another outbreak. Long before the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, and then soon spread to nearly every country on Earth, the 2018 conference offered proof that epidemiologists at the CDC and other institutions were aware that a new pandemic was poised to strike.
The New York Times reported this week that almost a dozen Liberty University students have come down with COVID-19 symptoms since the school reopened last week, according to a bombshell article published Sunday that cites a local physician in Lynchburg, Va., where the evangelical university is situated. “We've lost the ability to corral this thing,” Dr. Thomas W. Eppes Jr. said he told Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., according to the article. The Times identified Eppes as the head of the school's student health service, but he does not appear on the Liberty University website and a school spokesman told Yahoo News he has no official connection to the university.
Iran warned the US Wednesday that it was leading the Middle East to disaster in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic after it deployed Patriot air defence missiles to Iraq. Washington had been in talks with Baghdad about the proposed deployment since January but it was not immediately clear whether it had secured its approval or not. Iran, which wields huge influence in its western neighbour, said that it had not.
As the world economy enters an unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and policymakers in Washington and other global capitals prepare record fiscal stimulus plans, stakeholders should heed an important lesson from the last financial downturn in 2008: Recovery is only possible through coordinated global action. A little more than 10 years ago, as the world was entering the Great Recession, stakeholders had to look far back in the rearview mirror to the Great Depression for policy guidance. While the actions of the 1930s did offer important lessons for 2008 — most notably the need to expand the money supply — the economy of the 1930s was fundamentally different than the global economy of the early part of this century.
While officials from Montreal to Moscow have placed populations under some form of lockdown designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, one man continues to hold firm to the notion that the rest of the world has lost its mind: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!” Lukashenko told a Belarusian television reporter Saturday when asked whether the coronavirus could stop him from hitting the rink for a propaganda-filled hockey game. Lukashenko, one of the longest-serving leaders in the former Soviet Union, has been in power for over 25 years.
Associated Press President Donald Trump and his leading health advisers dealing with the novel coronavirus pandemic offered some grim statistics for Americans in the weeks ahead. Statistical models showed that roughly 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could die from the disease — even if Americans observed the strict social distancing guidelines. The forecasted figures are an alarming when put in context with other pandemics and wars.
On Wednesday Iran warned the U.S. it was “warmongering during the coronavirus outbreak,” after it deployed Patriot air defense missiles to Iraq.
An estimated 120 million Indian labourers are in the same predicament as Mr Asif, and Mr Modi has been accused of causing a humanitarian disaster by locking down the cities and unleashing a wave of poor migrant workers. Many of those who have been forced out of work have streamed back along highways and railway lines to their home states and villages, potentially spreading the coronavirus infection into the country's hinterlands. Mr Modi's lockdown was a knee-jerk reaction without thought for the consequences to the poor, claimed Manish Tewari, an MP for the Congress party.
A U.S. congressman is calling on the State Department to urge China to investigate the disappearance of three Chinese citizen journalists who sought to expose the impact of the coronavirus on the Chinese city of Wuhan. In a letter dated Tuesday, Republican Representative Jim Banks asked the U.S. government to seek a probe into the fates of Fang Bin, Chen Qiushi and Li Zehua. According to media reports, they went missing after taking videos and publishing them online including images of overwhelmed hospitals and corpses piled in a minibus.
The Justice Department inspector general said it does “not have confidence” in the FBI's FISA application process following an audit that found the Bureau was not sufficiently transparent with the court in 29 applications from 2014 to 2019, all of which included “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.” Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report in December which found that the FBI included “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications and many errors in the Woods Procedures” during its Crossfire Hurricane investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign.
There has been some skepticism about China's reporting on the novel COVID-19 coronavirus for some time, especially as smaller countries like Italy surged past the world's most populous nation in both overall cases and deaths. On Wednesday, U.S. intelligence officials told Bloomberg on condition of anonymity that the skepticism is valid. Per Bloomberg, the U.S. intelligence community reportedly concluded in a classified document that China, where the pandemic originated, has under-reported its totals.
Zhang took his elderly father to a Wuhan hospital for a surgical procedure in January, just as coronavirus was consuming the central Chinese city. Devastated and angry, Zhang is now demanding answers from a government that he accuses of incompetence and lying about the extent of the virus. Zhang says he has linked online with dozens of other people whose grief over lost loved ones is paired with anger.
House Democrats are drafting legislation that would create a bipartisan commission to study the U.S. government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, modeled on one that examined the 9/11 attacks. The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., are working on separate bills establishing a commission. Draft legislation from Thompson's committee says the commission would provide a “full and complete accounting” of the U.S. efforts.
Federal agents seized nearly $30 million worth of illegal drugs from a smuggling tunnel that runs about a half-mile from San Diego to Tijuana, Mexico. Officials found 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of heroin, 3,000 pounds of marijuana and more than 2 pounds of fentanyl, according to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Agents estimate the tunnel, which is 2,000 feet with an average depth of 31 feet, has existed for several months.
Citing a public health order to curb the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration is swiftly deporting unaccompanied migrant minors apprehended near the U.S.-Mexico border, upending a long-standing practice required under a federal law designed to protect children from violence and exploitation. Despite initially maintaining that the new measures would not apply to unaccompanied minors, Customs and Border Protection on Monday said its officials could deny entry to children who cross the southern border alone under an order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. The agency said some minors could be excluded from the CDC directive if a border official "suspects trafficking or sees signs of illness."
Scientists, however, say it is highly unlikely that our pets can be infected by SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The World Health Organization has said there is no indication that a dog or cat can transmit the virus to humans or to any other living thing, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not received any reports of pets becoming ill from exposure to it. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 or that they might be a source of infection in the United States,” according to the CDC.
From Zaha Hadid's majestic MAXII in Italy to the stunning beauty of Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum, these structures elevate the environment they were built in Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
The European Union's top court ruled on Thursday that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic had broken the law by refusing to host refugees to help ease the burden on southern states such as Greece and Italy after a surge in migrant arrivals from 2015. The ruling underscores Europe's bitter divisions over migration, though the three ex-communist nations face no immediate penalty as the relocation of tens of thousands of people agreed by the EU was only envisaged until 2017. "By refusing to comply with the temporary mechanism for the relocation of applicants for international protection, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have failed to fulfil their obligations under European Union law," the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union said in its ruling.
Taiwan will donate ten million face masks to countries struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, a move that will likely rile China, which claims Taiwan as a territory and has donated far fewer masks to other countries despite its role in covering up the risk posed by a deadly virus that originated within its borders. “At the previous stage, we formed a national team, now we need to play an international match and fight the pandemic together with other countries,” said Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen. According to Taiwan's foreign ministry, 7 million of the masks will be sent to European Union countries, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland.
Vice President Mike Pence conceded on Wednesday that the US' coronavirus outbreak may be "most comparable" to Italy, the hardest-hit country in the world. "We think Italy may be the most comparable area to the United States at this point," Pence told CNN on Wednesday. The White House announced on Tuesday that it predicts between 100,000 to 240,000 people could die in the US from the coronavirus even with strict social distancing measures in place.
Japan will bar visitors from the United States, China and most of Europe, the prime minister said Wednesday, as the country seeks to stem a recent rise in coronavirus cases. The entry ban, which will also apply to Australia, Britain, South Korea and many Southeast Asia countries, will take effect on Friday, Shinzo Abe's government said. Japan had already barred arrivals from parts of several European nations, China and South Korea.
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Navy ships are being moved toward Venezuela as his administration beefs up counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean following a U.S. drug indictment against Nicolás Maduro. The announcement came at the start of the daily White House press briefing to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, which has left much of the country in lock-down and which the government warns could cause 100,000 to 240,000 deaths. The Venezuelan people continue to suffer tremendously due to Maduro and his criminal control over the country, and drug traffickers are seizing on this lawlessness,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said after the president's announcement.
With cases of Covid-19 rising rapidly across the US, last week was a strange time for Jerry Falwell Jr to decide to reopen Liberty University. Falwell Jr had previously compared Covid-19 to the flu, posited that there has been an “overreaction” to the pandemic intended to hurt Donald Trump, and insinuated that the virus was a “Christmas present” from North Korea and China. Falwell Jr told Fox News last Tuesday that students wanted to be there – indeed, some have spoken up in favor of his decision.
Several U.S. states are blocking health clinics from providing abortions, declaring the procedure to be “nonessential” during coronavirus business closures. Other services deemed medically unnecessary during the crisis include dental exams, colonoscopies and cataract surgeries. The inclusion of abortion on this list is controversial and legally contested.
The vicious stabbing of an Asian-American family, including a 2-year-old girl, at a Sam's Club in Texas earlier this month has been deemed a hate crime by the feds, as authorities continue to raise alarm bells about a potential surge in racially motivated crimes amid the coronavirus outbreak. Jose L. Gomez, 19, confessed to authorities that he attempted to murder three Asian-American family members, including the toddler and a 6-year-old, on March 14 at the Midland, Texas store, according to the Midland Police Department.