Louisiana is poised to become the next epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, White House officials said Thursday, citing new data that shows that 26 percent of the tests for COVID-19 in that state in recent days have come back positive. The New York area remains a “very clear and important hot zone,” Dr. Deborah Birx said at Thursday's briefing of the White House coronavirus task force as she revealed testing statistics on specific states. “What we're seeing finally is testing improving,” said Birx, a renowned veteran of the HIV/AIDS fight who is now serving as the response coordinator for the coronavirus task force.
As the worsening coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country, millions of Americans living with diabetes face heightened risks from COVID-19. Around 30 million Americans have diabetes, mostly of the type II (previously called “adult-onset”) variety. A quarter of U.S. adults with diabetes are over 65, an age that has been shown to delineate increased COVID-19 mortality rates.
China on Saturday mourned the thousands of "martyrs" who have died in the new coronavirus outbreak, flying the national flag at half mast throughout the country and suspending all forms of entertainment. The day of mourning coincided with the start of the annual Qingming tomb-sweeping festival, when millions of Chinese families pay respects to their ancestors. At 10 a.m. (0200 GMT) Beijing time, the country observed three minutes of silence to mourn those who died, including frontline medical workers and doctors.
Yet President Donald Trump on Thursday referred to the shipment as “aid,” and said the United States had accepted “a very nice offer” from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Hours later, the State Department clarified its initial statement, saying the supplies were purchased — but at a discount. But even then there was a twist: The discount came because the supplies had been channeled through the Russian Direct Investment Fund — a government sovereign wealth fund that has been subject to U.S. sanctions for Ukraine-related activities since 2015.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that 562 state residents had died in the past 24 hours of Wuhan coronavirus, the highest single-day increase in the state. As of Friday, 2,935 state residents had died of the illness. The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York also saw its highest single-day increase of 10,482, with the state now reporting 102,863 cases in total.
California and Washington were among the first wave, and there are signs that their social distancing measures are working. It wasn't until his state had about 8,000 confirmed cases that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday finally relented to pressure to issue a statewide order. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp wasn't just boneheadly stubborn, his staff went to far as to chastise local governments for issuing their own stay-at-home orders to quell surges in COVID-19 cases.
Border closures and strict lockdowns prompted by the Covid-19 crisis have disrupted the migrant trail through Central America and Mexico, forcing some would-be migrants to postpone their journeys – and stopping many others in their tracks. The result has been a deterrent more effective than any wall Donald Trump could build. Activists across the region have reported a steep decline in the number of migrants coming from Central America since the restrictions were implemented.
Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images The US Army assessed in February that the coronavirus could kill as many as 150,000 Americans, the Daily Beast reported Thursday, citing an unclassified briefing document. The "black swan" or worst-case scenario assessment has become nearly the best-case scenario for the US as the White House warns that the virus may kill 100,000 to 240,000 Americans. The number of coronavirus cases in the US has already topped 200,000, and more than 5,000 people have died.
An emergency room nurse told Insider she wouldn't take a ventilator if she were to be infected with coronavirus and to save it for others who may need it more. An emergency room nurse working in Southern California told Insider, the pandemic had forced her to have some difficult conversations with her family. Paige, who asked to conceal her last name said while she's found it too difficult to have the conversation with her 86-year-old father, she's discussed how she wants her family to deal with her death if she were to be infected and die from the coronavirus with her sisters.
Parents of students who canceled a spring break trip to Mexico say the sponsoring company is not refunding their money and had reassured them beforehand that their children would be safe from the coronavirus. Yet 44 of the 70 young adults who took the trip returned to the U.S. with COVID-19, the disease associated with the virus, according to the University of Texas at Austin. The group traveled on a chartered plane to Cabo San Lucas about two weeks ago with JusCollege, a company based in Nevada that plans all-inclusive spring break trips.
Neurologists around the world say that a small subset of patients with COVID-19 are developing serious impairments of the brain. Although fever, cough and difficulty breathing are the typical hallmarks of infection with the new coronavirus, some patients exhibit altered mental status, or encephalopathy, a catchall term for brain disease or dysfunction that can have many underlying causes, as well as other serious conditions. The patient, who had chronic lung disease and Parkinson's, was flailing his arms and legs in jerky movements, and appeared to be having a seizure.
A group of prominent Democratic senators formally requested on Friday that the Pentagon's independent Inspector General investigate the Navy's firing of the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, who called for stronger measures to halt a coronavirus outbreak on board. Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of his command on Thursday after his scathing letter was leaked to the media. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland led the push and were joined by 15 other U.S. senators, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris.
With governments worldwide increasing health measures to keep the spread of the deadly coronavirus at bay, one might think there would be virtually no time for waging war. Despite calls for a global ceasefire — “It's time to put armed conflict on lockdown,” said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement in March — regional conflicts appear to be immune to the coronavirus even as more than 4,000 have died across the Middle East and almost 90,000 people have confirmed cases. In Syria, Iraq and Yemen, as authorities have shut down businesses and imposed curfews, battles between the belligerents have persisted.
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More people in New York State have died in the last 24 hours than in most of March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday—but the Empire State, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., is still struggling to find enough medical equipment to combat the pandemic. “The curve continues to go up,” Cuomo said at a Friday briefing in Albany, adding that, in the last day, the state saw its “highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started.” “New York is in crisis," he said.
U.S. officials have seized a stockpile of personal protective equipment from an alleged hoarder.
Joe Biden said Friday that he will announce a committee to oversee his vice presidential selection process and is already thinking about whom he'd choose to join his Cabinet. Biden, who holds a significant lead in delegates over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary race but has yet to officially clinch the nomination, also said he's spoken to Sanders to let him know he'd be proceeding with the vice presidential vetting process. Biden, a former vice president himself, has previously committed to choosing a woman as his running mate.
An investigation by the Chinese Communist Party found on March 19 that the actions of law enforcement in Wuhan was "irregular" and "improper." "Martyr" is the highest honor the Communist Party of China can bestow on a citizen killed working to serve the country. The country will honor him with three minutes of silence on Saturday.
Oil prices rocketed Thursday, posting the largeset percent increase ever, after US President Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia planned to end their price war by slashing output. But the initial surge cooled after Russia denied it had spoken with Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter of crude. After Trump tweeted that Saudi and Russia could slash production by up to 15 million barrels, Brent hit $36.29 a barrel, up almost 46 percent, and West Texas Intermediate soared around 35 percent to $27.39.
Federal health officials now recommend people cover their mouths and noses with cloth face masks when in public to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Friday afternoon, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance on the matter, recommending individuals use cloth face coverings "in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain," such as grocery stores and pharmacies. The guidance recommends people use fabric coverings, not surgical masks or specialized N95 masks, which should be reserved for health care providers.
Thailand will temporarily ban all passenger flights from landing in the country to curb the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the country's aviation agency said on Friday. The ban on incoming flights will come into effect on Saturday morning and run until the end of Monday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand said in an order published late on Friday. Anyone arriving on a flight that took off before the order came into effect will need to be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival in Thailand, the order said.
The 1,400 recruits on hold because of the novel coronavirus pandemic may be eligible to be paid as privates under the new Future Soldier to Active Duty Program, U.S. Army Recruiting Command announced Thursday. "The majority of the delays are in areas experiencing the largest COVID-19 outbreaks: the New York City metropolitan area, the northeast United States, southern California, south Florida and Seattle," Lisa Ferguson, a spokeswoman for Recruiting Command, told Military.com. The program will pay future soldiers about $1,600 -- the base pay of an active-duty private -- as long as they have had their basic training dates rescheduled based on the virus risk level in their area, according to an April 2 news release posted on the command's website.
While announcing a statewide shelter-in-place order on Wednesday, Georgia governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, said that he had just been informed that asymptomatic individuals could spread the coronavirus. The illness “is now transmitting before people see signs….Those individuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt [symptoms],” Kemp said at a press conference. It has been widely known for months that the coronavirus can spread through asymptomatic transmission.
Joe "Exotic" Maldonado-Passage - the star of Netflix hit Tiger King - has been placed in coronavirus isolation in a Texas prison, his husband says. Maldonado-Passage had recently been transferred from Oklahoma's Grady County Jail to the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, US media report. "We speak like three to five times every day, but since he's been moved to this new facility, they are putting him on a Covid-19 isolation because of the previous jail he was at, there were cases," Mr Passage, 24, told US entertainment reporter Andy Cohen.