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.
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.
As the number people killed by the coronavirus in the United States topped 10,000 by Monday night, the country's top medical officials warned that the worst was yet to come. The number of cases has ballooned to at least 364,167 — nearly three times higher than in the second-worst hit country, Spain — with 10,772 people killed as of 7:30 p.m. ET, according to NBC News' tracker. At the center of the outbreak in the U.S., New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said critical medical supplies and personnel have been secured but warned that the magnitude of the crisis equals that of the 1918-19 flu and the Great Depression.
President Trump on Saturday said that the United States is approaching a time that will be “very horrendous” for the nation amid the growing coronavirus outbreak across the country.
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."
Iran will never ask the United States for help in the fight against the new coronavirus, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rejected offers from Washington of humanitarian assistance for Iran, the Middle Eastern country so far worst-affected by the coronavirus, with 3,739 deaths and 60,500 people infected according to the latest figures on Monday. "Iran has never asked and will not ask America to help Tehran in its fight against the outbreak ... But America should lift all its illegal unilateral sanctions on Iran," Mousavi said in a televised news conference.
Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro roundly dismissed concerns from the nation's top infectious-disease expert on an unproven coronavirus drug while touting his own qualifications as a “social scientist” on Monday, adding that he knows “how to read statistical studies.” Over the weekend, it was reported that Navarro clashed with Dr. Anthony Fauci over the efficacy of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine. Navarro reportedly attacked the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director at the White House for questioning his knowledge of science as he promoted the drug's potential.
Police arrested a man behind a YouTube video narrating a large gathering Friday night and charged him with violating Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's "stay-at-home" order. Videos of Friday's crowd surfaced Saturday morning, depicting groups not following social distancing rules. Police documents say Davis not only violated the order issued by the state director of health requiring people to stay at home unless engaging in essential activities, he also encouraged others to violate the order.
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.
President Trump appeared frustrated that the country would not emerge from its coronavirus lockdown in the near future even as he and other officials warned of a rising death toll and a continuance of restrictive measures for weeks and maybe months to come. There will be death,” Trump warned flatly at one point during Saturday's briefing of the White House coronavirus task force. More than 8,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Sanka Vidanagama/NurPhoto / Getty A New Zealand man was charged with endangering life after filming himself sneezing and coughing all through a supermarket in Christchurch, New Zealand. The charges were later lowered to one count of offensive behavior. The man later apologized for his video, which he posted to Facebook, saying: "It never should've happened, the alcohol had really taken effect and I have no sensor when I get this messy."
Data from atomic bomb tests conducted during the Cold War have helped scientists accurately age the world's biggest fish. Whale sharks are large, slow moving and docile creatures that mainly inhabit tropical waters. They are long-lived but scientists have struggled to work out the exact ages of these endangered creatures.
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.
It has taken between three and four weeks since the countries ordered lockdowns for daily new infections and deaths to begin to decline. On Sunday, each country had recorded at least a two-day consecutive decline in deaths from the virus, and new recorded cases also appear to be dropping, according to figures on Worldometer. The numbers from China, however, suggest it may take more like a month for the impact on coronavirus deaths to really be felt.
The declaration would cover seven regions including Tokyo and Osaka and last for about a month. Due to civil liberties enshrined in Japan's postwar constitution, the government cannot send police to clear people off the streets, as has happened in places including France, Italy and the U.K. The country's strongest enforcement measure could be public obedience -- and it remains to be seen whether that will be enough. The prevalence of the virus varies widely among the country's 47 regions and prefectures, with Tokyo seeing a rapid surge and three regions yet to confirm any cases as of April 5.
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."
A gun attack in a mining area in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has killed three Chinese nationals, China's official Xinhua news agency reported on Monday, citing the Chinese embassy in the mineral-rich central African country. The attack took place on Saturday in the northeastern province of Ituri, which borders Uganda and South Sudan, Xinhua said, without naming the mine in question or the company operating it. "Three Chinese citizens were unfortunately killed," it added.
Some of Uganda's poorest people used to work here, on the streets of Kampala, as fruit sellers sitting on the pavement or as peddlers of everything from handkerchiefs to roasted peanuts. Now they're gone and no one knows when they will return, victims of a global economic crisis linked to the coronavirus that could wipe out jobs for millions across the African continent, many who live hand-to-mouth with zero savings.
Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the two leading medical experts on the White House coronavirus task force, said that out of deference to social distancing rules she had stayed away from her daughter's house — despite her 10-month-old granddaughter having registered a fever of 105 degrees over the weekend. Birx said the child, who is recovering, probably had roseola, a common childhood infection, not COVID-19. Birx, who meets daily with President Trump and Vice President Pence, said she has been vigilant about avoiding social contact “because of you two.”
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.
A criminal investigation has been launched in Australia into how cruise ship passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney despite some exhibiting flu-like symptoms. More than 600 people on board the Ruby Princess later tested positive for coronavirus and 10 have since died. The ship remains off the coast with nearly 200 sick crew members on board.
Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the coronavirus pandemic: - Australia sends cruise ships on their way - The largest maritime operation ever undertaken in Sydney Harbour was completed on Sunday with the successful restocking and refuelling of five cruise ships, Australian police said. It was part of government efforts since mid-March to force vessels to leave the country's waters to prevent any further spread of the coronavirus in Australia. Cruise ship guests have so far accounted for almost 10 percent of Australia's more than 5,500 infections.
China has been trying to gradually roll back its severe coronavirus lockdown in recent weeks. China is further into its coronavirus response than any other nation — and seems to be demonstrating that getting out of lockdown is a difficult and uneven process. In the last two weeks, authorities in China have tentatively rolled back parts of a lockdown that curtailed the movements and activities of close to a billion people from as early as January 23.
The deadly coronavirus may infect as many as 95,000 people in Indonesia by next month before easing, a minister said, as authorities ordered people to wear face masks to contain the pandemic. The dire forecast, which came as the country reported its biggest daily spike in confirmed cases, is based on a projection by the nation's intelligence agency, University of Indonesia and Bandung Institute of Technology, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told lawmakers in Jakarta. The estimate was discussed at a cabinet meeting held by President Joko Widodo earlier on Monday, she said.
Queen Elizabeth II delivered a brief speech on Sunday during the growing coronavirus crisis.