President Trump shied away Wednesday from issuing domestic travel restrictions or a national lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that, in a best-case scenario, is expected to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. Asked at a White House briefing if he was considering limiting domestic air travel, Trump said he was thinking about it, a phrase he frequently applies to subjects he wishes to avoid discussing. We're thinking about doing that, but at the same time we just, to start these airlines and to start this whole thing over again is very tough, John [Roberts, Fox News reporter].
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.
A Pennsylvania man “extremely upset” about losing his job amidst the coronavirus pandemic allegedly shot his girlfriend, before turning the gun on himself in an attempted murder-suicide, authorities said Wednesday. The Wilson Borough Police Department said in a statement to The Daily Beast that Roderick Bliss IV, 38, attempted to fatally shoot his girlfriend with a semi-automatic pistol on Monday afternoon, before dying by suicide, after he “had become increasingly upset over the COVID-19 pandemic. The 43-year-old girlfriend, who was shot once in the back, survived the attack and is in St. Luke's hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The top official in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic in China, warned residents to stay vigilant and avoid going out, even as the latest data showed a decline in new cases in the mainland and zero new infections in the city. The country where the virus emerged last year will hold three minutes of silence nationwide on Saturday to mourn the thousands of "martyrs" who died in the fight against the epidemic, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Air raid sirens and horns of automobiles, trains and ships will "wail in grief" after the minutes of silence are observed at 10 am (0200 GMT) across the country, Xinhua said.
California has not seen the surge in coronavirus cases that have overwhelmed cities like New York and Detroit in the past week, which suggests that the state's early and restrictive shelter-in-place orders could be slowing the virus's spread. California implemented one of the earliest and strictest orders to stay at home in the United States in mid-March, and as of Wednesday, there were 8,584 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 183 deaths in the state compared with the 76,000 cases and 1,714 deaths in New York. Dr Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus taskforce coordinator, said on Tuesday that she was “reassured by what California has been able to do” to help control the virus with physical distancing orders.
Wuhan doctor Ai Fen, who expressed early concerns about the coronavirus to the media, has disappeared and is believed detained by Chinese authorities. Fen, the head of emergency at Wuhan Central Hospital, was given a warning after she disseminated information about the coronavirus to several other doctors. The reprimand from her boss came after Fen took a photo of a patient's positive test results and circled the words 'SARS coronavirus' in red.
REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Picture Elon Musk was criticized on Thursday for apparently sending BiPAP machines, not the life-support ventilators most-needed to save coronavirus patients, to a New York hospital. New York City Hospitals thanked Musk and Tesla in a tweet for sending "40 ventilators" to a hospital in Queens, but the photo appears to show a BiPAP machine, which is more commonly used for sleep apnea. Some medical experts have warned that CPAP and BiPAP machines could be harmful in treating coronavirus patients by potentially spreading the disease.
Hundreds of thousands of hoarded medical supplies, including 192,000 N95 respirator masks, are being sent to coronavirus hot spots New York and New Jersey, the departments of Justice and Human and Health Services announced Thursday. The FBI located the supplies on March 30, as part of its work under the department's Covid-19 hoarding and price gouging task force, which was announced last week. Along with the N95 respirator masks, the FBI also discovered 598,000 medical gloves, 130,000 surgical masks and other supplies like gowns, disinfectant towels, hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays, materials the Justice Department said are being distributed to states.
Vaccines aren't being tested on Africans There are widely-shared social media posts claiming that African people are to be used as guinea pigs to test a new coronavirus vaccine. However, such claims are false - there is no vaccine for Covid-19 and only a number of clinical trials are taking place, none of them currently in African countries. We're not sure where these claims originate from but they tend to focus on how African people will be given the vaccine to test it's safe for use in Western nations.
Donald Trump lashed out Thursday at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has been urging the president to put a military expert in charge of distributing medical gear to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The New York Democratic leader has been pushing Mr Trump to use the Defence Production Act more often to compel companies to produce items like ventilators and medical masks as the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths continues to rise. Most recently, Mr Schumer has urged the president to put someone with a military background in charge of distributing items produced under the law.
Iran's parliament speaker has contracted the new coronavirus, the country's highest-ranking government figure yet to catch the disease, while in Israel, several top officials entered quarantine when the health minister tested positive on Thursday. Iran's parliament announced Ali Larijani's illness on its website, saying he was receiving treatment in quarantine. Iran, the regional epicenter of the virus, has been fighting one of the world's worst outbreaks.
At the coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump said he didn't want to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order to fight the pandemic because there are some states that don't have a large number of positive coronavirus cases.
The corpses have been overwhelming Guayaquil, a port city of 2.8 million at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in Ecuador. The country has confirmed 2,700 infections and 93 deaths — 60 of them in Guayaquil and its immediate surroundings. Mayor Cynthia Viteri, who announced that she has tested positive for the virus, said the national government should be responsible for collecting the corpses.
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.
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.
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.
A German cruise ship is defying orders to leave a port in Western Australia following a coronavirus outbreak onboard, local media report. The Australian Border Force ordered the Artania to depart Fremantle after most of the ship's passengers were evacuated and flown home. Only 12 passengers who were too unwell to fly are still on the ship, Australian media report.
President Trump sent a scathing letter to Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) after the Senate minority leader criticized the president's coronavirus response and demanded that he establish someone “unpolitical” to oversee the flow of medical equipment to embattled providers. Trump sends a letter to Sen. Schumer and it is worth reading in full. The criticism comes after Schumer claimed Trump was politicizing the government's coronavirus response, after reports that hospitals and other medical providers are facing shortages of crucial medical equipment.
The Mexican government is sanitizing a public hospital in a northern steel town that has become the center of a coronavirus outbreak that has sickened at least 26 members of the medical staff and killed one of its doctors. The outbreak raised questions about the preparedness of the public health system to confront a pandemic that is just beginning to gain steam in the country. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Thursday that 80 public hospitals were being converted to handle people ill with the COVID-19 disease caused by the new coroanvirus.
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.
A Russian military transport plane was headed to the United States on Wednesday carrying tons of medical equipment and masks to help Washington fight the coronavirus outbreak, Russian state TV reported and a U.S. official said.
Suddenly, Asian governments that appeared to be bringing the coronavirus under control are imposing new social restrictions as the numbers of infections — many from overseas — continue to rise. In places that took early, effective action against the COVID-19 outbreak, the stepped-up measures in recent days are a sign that fighting the disease will take much longer than anticipated. They also show that governments must adapt their responses as the threat from the virus evolves, epidemiologists say.
The US Navy hospital ship Comfort arrived in New York City on Monday to lend help to the city's overburdened hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak. USNS Comfort's mission is to free up space in NYC hospitals by taking non-coronavirus patients. The ship's low intake is partly due to strict restrictions over how patients are admitted on board, the fact that the Comfort isn't allowing 49 other ailments, and the lack of non-coronavirus patients in the city right now.