Luxe Life - 3/13/20
President Trump used his daily coronavirus briefing to attack Democratic governors who in his estimation had shown insufficient gratitude for his administration's response to the pandemic. “I want them to be appreciative,” Trump said, arguing that failing to show appreciation was insulting not just to him but to the Army Corps of Engineers, which has been part of the federal response to the pandemic. The president said he has told Vice President Mike Pence not to call governors who haven't shown proper deference to his administration.
In a world desperate for good news about the coronavirus, a dip in global carbon emissions caused by the outbreak's economic downturn might be seen as a silver lining. As expected, March data compiled by San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography appears to show the rate of rise of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere has slowed. “This isn't the way we want to reduce emissions,” Rob Jackson, professor of Earth system science at Stanford University and one of the world's leading experts on climate change, told Yahoo News.
North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles into the ocean off its east coast on Sunday, the latest in an unprecedented flurry of launches that South Korea decried as "inappropriate" amid the global coronavirus pandemic. Two "short-range projectiles" were launched from the coastal Wonsan area, and flew 230 kilometers (143 miles) at a maximum altitude of 30 kilometers (19 miles), South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff reported. "In a situation where the entire world is experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19, this kind of military act by North Korea is very inappropriate and we call for an immediate halt," South Korea's JCS said in a statement, according to Yonhap news agency.
A Connecticut doctor was arrested on suspicion of coughing and hugging two co-workers in spite of social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Cory Edgar, 48, was charged with a breach of peace misdemeanor, according to local news outlets. A doctor at the University of Connecticut Health Center was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for coughing and hugging coworkers, local news outlets reported.
According to the National Weather Service, the tornado made its way through the city around 5:20 p.m. According to 911 Director Jeff Presley, six minor injuries and no fatalities have been reported so far, CBS affiliate KTHV reports. Mayor Harold Perrin said it's possible many more people could have been harmed by the tornado had the mall not been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After a long, dark Scandinavian winter, the coronavirus pandemic is not keeping Swedes at home even while citizens in many parts of the world are sheltering in place and won't find shops or restaurants open on the few occasions they are permitted to venture out. Swedish authorities have advised the public to practice social distancing and to work from home, if possible, and urged those over age 70 to self-isolate as a precaution. Yet compared to the lockdowns imposed elsewhere in the world, the government's response to the virus allows a liberal amount of personal freedom.
The claim: Coronavirus is spreading quickly from gas pumps A March 17 Facebook post warned users to be careful when going to the gas station. The post, by user Brent McDonald, claimed gas pump handles are helping to spread coronavirus. "I just spoke with a friend who got called into an emergency meeting at his hospital," McDonald wrote.
Russian media reported that two Kremlin officials may have tested positive for the coronavirus. President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed he was aware of one of those cases, but claimed no knowledge of the second. State media outlet TASS speculated that one of the infected persons may have been a staffer responsible for awards, who traveled to Spain and later attended Putin's presidential awards ceremony in occupied Crimea.
Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, says that Trump administration officials declined an offer of early congressional funding assistance that he and other senators made on Feb. 5 during a meeting to discuss the coronavirus. The officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, said they “didn't need emergency funding, that they would be able to handle it within existing appropriations,” Murphy recalled in an interview with Yahoo News' “Skullduggery” podcast. “What an awful, horrible catastrophic mistake that was,” Murphy said.
President Donald Trump on Sunday announced he's extending his administration's guidelines on social distancing amid the COVID-19 outbreak until April 30. Trump said last week he wanted to see much of the country return to normal by Easter, April 12, despite warnings from top health experts that easing the guidelines too soon could cause widespread deaths and economic damage. Trump said Friday he would be consulting with his administration's top medical experts on whether to extend or change the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Prisoners set fire to the canteen of jail in northeastern Thailand and several inmates escaped during a riot on Sunday that was sparked by rumors of a coronavirus outbreak, a senior justice ministry official told Reuters. News reports showed large plumes of smoke rising above the prison in Buriram province, which holds about 2,000 inmates, both male and female. "A small group of prisoners received a lifetime sentences earlier this week so they spread the rumor that the facility is unsafe for COVID-19," the official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said.
A retired Venezuelan general who was charged by the United States with "narco-terrorism" along with President Nicolas Maduro and other officials has surrendered in Colombia to US authorities, prosecutors said Saturday. "The national Attorney General learned that Mr Cliver Alcala surrendered to US authorities," the Colombian prosecutor said in a statement, adding there was no arrest warrant when he gave himself up. Alcala turned himself in on Friday to the Colombians, who in turn handed him over to US authorities, the El Tiempo de Bogota newspaper said.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday that the federal government had sent the state “170 broken ventilators” amid national concerns about a shortage of the life-saving machines, which can be key to treating the respiratory distress caused by COVID-19. Newsom said at a press conference that “170 ventilators that came from the national stockpile directly” to Los Angeles county were “not working. But, he added, “rather than pointing fingers,” authorities in California transported the ventilators to a facility to get them fixed by San Jose-based Bloom Energy.
China sent a plane loaded with medical personnel and supplies Saturday to help Pakistan fight the spread of the coronavirus in one of the world's most populous nations. Across the Middle East and elsewhere, the outbreak has raised concerns that health systems strapped by multiple wars, refugee crises and unstable economies won't be able to handle the growing number of cases. In Iran, which is battling the worst outbreak in the region, state TV said Saturday another 139 people had died from the virus.
As Easter approaches, images from an empty St. Peter's Square during a prayer Friday paint a stark portrait of the Vatican, which, along with surrounding Italy, has been afflicted by coronavirus. During the Urbi and Orbi prayer, Pope Francis stood underneath a canopy as he spoke to an empty St. Peter's Square. The Pope likened the coronavirus pandemic to an "unexpected, turbulent storm" that brings us on "the same boat."
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters A nurse at a Manhattan hospital shared a chilling image of a makeshift morgue for coronavirus patients, in order to underscore how serious the pandemic really is. In a photo shared with Buzzfeed News, the nurse, who asked that neither he nor the hospital he works at be identified, said that he took the image of the adhoc morgue to show "the ghastly reality of what we deal with and where some of us have ended up already." The photo shows a refrigerated truck filled with deceased COVID-19 victims.
There are rumblings that the Trump administration may slap protectionist measures on medical supplies needed to fight the coronavirus. Anything that worsens relations between nations, makes medical supplies more expensive, or complicates supply chains is the last thing we need right now. Listen and read between the lines of some of Trump's press conferences, and pay attention to what some of his friends and allies are saying, and you may notice that he's toying with the idea of starting a trade war in the middle of a global pandemic.
US President Donald Trump has said quarantining New York "will not be necessary", after the state's governor said doing so would be "preposterous". Mr Trump said the latest decision was taken on the recommendation of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The president had earlier said he might impose a quarantine on New York, and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Spain prepared to enter its third week under near-total lockdown on Sunday, as the government approved a strengthening of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and the death toll rose by 838 cases overnight to 6,528. Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain also saw infections rise to 78,797 from 72,248 the day before. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, announced that all non-essential workers must stay at home for two weeks, the latest government measure in the fight against coronavirus.
A 47-year-old inmate died Saturday after contracting the coronavirus at a Louisiana federal prison where at least five prisoners have tested positive for the virus, officials said. The death of Patrick Jones marks the first COVID-19 related death of an inmate in the federal prison system, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said. Jones was locked up on drug charges at a minimum-security prison in Oakdale facing a surge in Covid-19 cases, according to the Bureau of Prisons and union leaders.
As the coronavirus pandemic spread globally, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been criticized at home and abroad for what many called a lackadaisical posture — urging people to hug, shaking hands and kissing well-wishers as he stumped and extolling his personal good-luck charms such as Catholic scapulars, a shamrock and $2 bill. “Continue bringing the family to eat in restaurants,” López Obrador advised compatriots, arguing that such activity bolsters “the popular economy.” “Don't go out into the street unless it is for something absolutely necessary,” López Obrador told the nation in a sober YouTube address Friday evening from the northern border city of Tijuana.
The coronavirus continued its unrelenting spread across the United States with fatalities doubling in two days and authorities saying Saturday that an infant who tested positive had died. It pummeled big cities like New York, Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago, and made its way, too, into rural America as hotspots erupted in small Midwestern towns and Rocky Mountain ski havens. Worldwide infections surpassed the 660,000 mark with more than 30,000 deaths as new cases also stacked up quickly in Europe, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The coronavirus toll in Italy shot past 10,000 on Saturday and showed little sign of slowing despite a 16-day lockdown. The 889 new fatalities reported in the world's worst-hit nation came a day after it registered 969 deaths on Friday -- the highest single toll since the COVID-19 virus emerged last year. Italy now looks certain to extend its economically debilitating -- and emotionally stressful -- business closures and the ban on public gatherings past their April 3 deadline.