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.
Another approach is to harvest antibodies, protective substances produced in response to an infection, from the blood plasma of people who have been infected. Dr. Jacob Glanville, one of the researchers featured in the Netflix documentary “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak,” thinks he has found a shortcut. Glanville is the president of Distributed Bio, a computational immunoengineering group that focuses on making antibody therapeutics and vaccines.
US Navy Capt. Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt reportedly believed his dire letter warning of the coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship would not be allowed to be sent by his superiors. The acting Navy secretary, Thomas Modly, said that Crozier was "panicking" and was flabbergasted by him being "so out of character," he said to the Washington Post. Modly claimed that he eventually fired Crozier because he "didn't want to get into a decision where the president would feel that he had to intervene."
Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonialike illness to international health officials on New Year's Eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China, including nearly 40,000 in the two months after President Donald Trump imposed restrictions on such travel, according to an analysis of data collected in both countries. The bulk of the passengers, who were of multiple nationalities, arrived in January, at airports in Los Angeles; San Francisco; New York; Chicago; Seattle; Newark, New Jersey; and Detroit. Thousands of them flew directly from Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, as American public health officials were only beginning to assess the risks to the United States.
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.
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".
Global benchmark oil prices traded as much as $3 a barrel lower as the market opened for Monday's trading session, reflecting fears of oversupply after Saudi Arabia and Russia postponed to Thursday a meeting about a potential pact to cut production. Late last week, prices had surged, with both U.S. and Brent contracts posting their largest weekly percentage gains on record due to hopes that OPEC and its allies would strike a global deal to cut crude supply worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has cut demand and a month-long price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has left the market awash in crude.
The mounting number of New York's coronavirus deaths has stayed "effectively flat" over the past two days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, offering a glimmer of hope that the state may be at a peak even as the country braces for what the Trump administration is calling the "toughest week" yet in the fight against the pandemic. While the state has recorded 4,758 total deaths, with an additional 599 from the day before, it's only a slight uptick from the 594 added two days ago, Cuomo said, and shows a "possible flattening of the curve" that is "better than the increases we have seen."
Roughly 40 million black Americans are deciding whether to put their faith in government and the medical community during the coronavirus pandemic. Historic failures in government responses to disasters and emergencies, medical abuse, neglect and exploitation have jaded generations of black people into a distrust of some public institutions.
A day after President Donald Trump spent much of his coronavirus press briefing attacking the press and airing grievances against perceived enemies, CNN anchor Jake Tapper delivered an on-air message to the president: do you have a plan to get the nation back to normal or are you just interested in pleasing your fans and Fox News? At the end of Sunday's broadcast of CNN's State of the Union, Tapper said he would like to “speak directly to one person known to watch this show or at least clips of the show,” adding that he knows Trump is eager for the country to regain normalcy. The CNN anchor went on to ask the president if he had a plan to combat the pandemic that has now resulted in over 8,500 dead Americans and hundreds of thousands of confirmed cases.
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.
Senator Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) campaign manager and other top advisers are urging him to consider dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. Campaign manager Faiz Shakir and Sanders ally Representative Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.) have reportedly come out in favor of exiting the race. Political stragetist Jeff Weaver, a longtime Sanders ally, has also made the case for dropping out, saying an exit now would leave the Vermont senator on friendlier terms with rival Joe Biden and secure more leverage for negotiations over the Democrats' political platform.
Lisa Marie David/NurPhoto / Getty Philippine police reportedly killed a man for disobeying President Rodrigo Duterte's strict quarantine rules. The man, 63, threatened local officials with a scythe after they told him to wear a face mask, a local police report said, according to Al Jazeera. This appears to be the first reported case of someone being shot dead in the Philippines for disobeying lockdown rules.
Getty UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will remain in hospital "as long as necessary" on Monday after being admitted on Sunday for "persistent symptoms of coronavirus." Johnson tested positive for the coronavirus 10 days ago and continues to experience a high temperature and a cough. He was reportedly treated with oxygen after arriving at St Thomas' Hospital in London on Sunday night.
Israeli lawmaker Benny Gantz, who was granted a mandate to form Israel's next government, told President Reuven Rivlin that he may need extra time to build a coalition, Gantz's Blue and White party said in written comments. Gantz, who is in talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud and aligned parties on forming a government, updated Rivlin on his efforts to do so and may need to request that the president extend the April 13 expiration date for the mandate, the party said via a WhatsApp message. The president assured Gantz that he will thoroughly consider the request in light of the circumstances, closer to the mandate's expiration date,” it said.
Taiwan's outreach to the European Union has been overshadowed by the bloc's displeasure at the island's use of the death penalty, just days after a rare high-profile mention that thanked it for the donation of 6 million masks to battle the coronavirus. Taiwan is proud of its success in reining in the virus, despite being locked out of bodies such as the World Health Organization under pressure from China, which claims the island as its own, saying it has no right to its own diplomatic ties. "We really appreciate this gesture of solidarity," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen responded on Twitter after President Tsai Ing-wen announced the donation on Wednesday, as part of a "Taiwan can help" campaign.
At the start of what is expected to be the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the White House tried to offer some hope that measures to contain the spread were working. The virus killed 1,264 over 24 hours in the U.S. as of 2:05 am ET on Tuesday, according to NBC New's tracker. Meanwhile in China, where the pandemic broke out, not a single new death was reported, and the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, where the new virus was first identified, prepared for lockdown measures to be lifted.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Sunday called the next week of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic the modern era's "Pearl Harbor moment." In other words, it'll be the "hardest moment" of many Americans' lives, and Adams hopes every person in every state does their part to slow the spread. But while Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) may agree with most of that assessment, he told NBC's Chuck Todd during Sunday's edition of Meet The Press that he isn't sure why the federal government is so intent on remaining as a backup for the states, especially if the White House believes we're in a war-like moment.
Under pressure from President Trump, the Indian government Tuesday lifted a ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine, paving the way for the anti-malaria drug to be shipped to the U.S. for use against the coronavirus. The decision came after Trump appealed to Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi in a phone call, then told a White House news conference Monday that India could face “retaliation” if it didn't release the drug. "I said, 'We'd appreciate your allowing our supply to come out,'" Trump said of his call with Modi.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in several parts of the country, including Tokyo, where coronavirus infections are spiking. It covers Tokyo and neighbouring Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama, the western hub of Osaka and neighbouring Hyogo, as well as the southwestern region of Fukuoka. In February, the governor of northern Hokkaido announced a localised state of emergency as cases increased, but lifted the measure after several weeks.
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.
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.
Stark statistics from Chicago health officials have underscored the heavy toll of coronavirus on black Americans. Black Chicagoans account for half of all coronavirus cases in the city and more than 70% of deaths, despite making up 30% of the population. Other cities with large black populations, including Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans and New York, have become coronavirus hotspots.
Scores of local leaders in Georgia have expressed outrage, confusion and desperation over the last several days after Governor Brian Kemp issued a statewide executive order last Thursday that re-opened the state's beaches, superseding measures taken by many communities' leaders to shut down public to their shores. While most of the criticism directed at Mr Kemp has come from Democrats, some nonpartisan officials have let loose on the governor and have taken active measures to keep people away from their beaches despite Mr Kemp's order to open them back up. On Tybee Island, a community of roughly 3,000 permanent residents and a popular beach destination outside the eastern hub of Savannah, Georgia, Mayor Shirley Sessions is keeping parking lots closed and entryways to the beach blocked.
Left with no income because of the coronavirus lockdown, Dmitry Volodin, the co-owner of several bars in Moscow, says he's getting inadequate government support, and he has no idea how he can keep paying his staff and his rent. President Vladimir Putin last week gave many Russians the rest of the month off, to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, but said employers must keep paying staff. Small and medium-sized businesses have voiced anger and warned of mass bankruptcies in petitions to the government, including one with more than 250,000 signatures, illustrating the headwinds Putin faces as he tries to counter the virus.