With more than 400,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 14,000 deaths in the United States, a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that Americans are souring on President Trump's leadership during the pandemic. After a brief period during which some polls found more Americans approving of Trump's coronavirus response than not, half of them (50 percent) now disapprove, according to the Yahoo News/YouGov survey, compared to only 42 percent who approve. The public figure who has earned the highest approval ratings for his work on the pandemic is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert on the White House coronavirus task force.
David Lat described what it was like being placed on a ventilator for six days after having trouble breathing from COVID-19 in a Washington Post op-ed. Lat is a 44-year-old legal recruiter and blogger who previously ran marathons. He suffered from asthma as a child and later had exercise-induced asthma that was managed with an inhaler as an adult.
U.S. spy agencies collected raw intelligence hinting at a public health crisis in Wuhan, China, in November, two current and one former U.S. official told NBC News, but the information was not understood as the first warning signs of an impending global pandemic. The intelligence came in the form of communications intercepts and overhead images showing increased activity at health facilities, the officials said. The intelligence was distributed to some federal public health officials in the form of a "situation report" in late November, a former official briefed on the matter said.
President Trump's former personal attorney has reportedly been placed in solitary confinement at a federal prison.
A row has erupted after the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) accused Taiwan's leaders of spearheading personal attacks on him. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had been subjected to racist comments and death threats for months. But President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan opposed any form of discrimination, and invited Dr Tedros to visit the island.
It has become a bleak morning ritual that gets worse each day: New York reached yet another peak in coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday. “That is so shocking and painful and breathtaking, I don't even have the words for it,” Cuomo said, describing the outbreak as “a silent explosion that just ripples through society with the same randomness, the same evil that we saw on 9/11.” Not all the news in New York was grim.
Major oil producers except Mexico agreed to cut output in May and June by 10 million barrels per day, OPEC said Friday, after marathon talks to counter a collapse in prices. The videoconference led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has been seen as the best chance of providing support to prices, which have been wallowing near two-decade lows due to the coronavirus pandemic and a price war between key players Saudi Arabia and Russia. The agreement, which also reduces production by eight million bpd from July to December, depends on Mexico's consent for it to take effect, the oil cartel said after the meeting.
Some African countries could see a peak in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks and testing should be urgently increased in the region, World Health Organization officials said on Thursday. "During the last four days we can see that the numbers have already doubled," Michel Yao, the WHO Africa programme manager for emergency response, told a media teleconference on Thursday. "If the trend continues, and also learning from what happened in China and in Europe, some countries may face a huge peak very soon," he said, adding that it could arrive in the coming weeks, but without naming countries.
China's agriculture ministry has reclassified dogs, which it previously deemed livestock, as pets in response to the coronavirus pandemic. “As far as dogs are concerned, along with the progress of human civilization and the public concern and love for animal protection, dogs have been 'specialized' to become companion animals, and internationally are not considered to be livestock, and they will not be regulated as livestock in China,” the Ministry of Agriculture said in guidelines published on Wednesday that are now open to public comment.
In his 2014 book “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” journalist Gabriel Sherman reported that top Fox News executives meet every morning to strategize about how the network can angle its daily coverage to advance the Republican Party's political agenda. After first downplaying the threat of the coronavirus, then accusing Democrats of overhyping it to hurt President Trump, then claiming the “cure” of shutting down the economy could be worse than the disease, Fox News' hosts now seem to be following a new set of marching orders when discussing the deadly pathogen: questioning whether all that many people are really dying from it. Like each of its predecessors, Fox's latest pandemic talking point — that the coronavirus death toll could be exaggerated because it includes individuals who had other health issues in addition to COVID-19 — doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
Joe Biden faces the most important decision of his five-decade political career: choosing a vice president. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee expects to name a committee to vet potential running mates next week, according to three Democrats with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal plans. Biden, a former vice president himself, has committed to picking a woman and told donors this week that his team has discussed naming a choice well ahead of the Democratic convention in August.
More than half the nearly 8,000 ventilators the federal stockpile sent to states to fight the coronavirus pandemic went to New York, while the rest were split among 14 other states and territories, a report from the federal government shows. The report was released Wednesday by the U.S. House Oversight Committee amid criticism from its chairwoman that states with the biggest COVID-19 problems didn't get enough supplies. It gives the nation its closest look yet at how the Strategic National Stockpile distributed much-needed ventilators, N95 respirators, surgical masks and other protective equipment across the country since the pandemic began.
But that number only includes deaths of individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus and later died. As of Friday morning, Johns Hopkins University had tallied 5,150 COVID-19 deaths in New York City. Health officials told The New York Times the true number of deaths is likely much higher.
A Texas teenager who police said announced on social media she would intentionally spread the coronavirus has been arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat. Police in Carrollton, near Dallas, arrested Lorraine Maradiaga, 18, late Tuesday morning after arranging her surrender to the city jail. "Maradiaga has stated that she is COVID-19 negative, and we currently have no proof that Maradiaga has tested positive," Carrollton police said in a statement.
Shelly Chen left her ancestral house in Hubei province, the coronavirus epicenter in China, at the end of March after Chinese authorities lifted an order that she stay inside for two months. Now she's in quarantine yet again, in a government-allocated room in a Taipei suburb, where she must stay through mid-April with a toilet, balcony, WiFi, TV, two bottles of water and three meals delivered daily. Instead, like hundreds of other returnees to Taiwan from mainland China, she fears she'll be the victim of a damaging social stigma that also has the island's government concerned.
Research from Finland attempts to show how fast and far a single cough can spread the kind of aerosol particles that carry the new coronavirus through a typical grocery store. A digital model built by Aalto University in Finland, using data gathered by researchers there and at three other research institutes, was released with a warning: "It is important to avoid busy public indoor spaces." Aalto University, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Helsinki all conducted the same digital modeling experiment independently, and they all got pretty much the same preliminary data.
Russia said on Friday it had opened a criminal investigation after Czech authorities dismantled the statue of a Soviet military commander last week despite Moscow's protests, escalating a rancorous diplomatic row over the issue. The statue to Marshal Ivan Konev, who led Red Army forces during World War Two that drove Nazi troops from Czechoslovakia, is reviled by some in Prague as a symbol of the decades of Communist rule that followed the war. The statue to Konev, who also played a leading role in crushing the 1956 Hungarian uprising and building the Berlin Wall in 1961, was taken down on April 3 by municipal Prague authorities who said they planned to put it in a museum.
Earlier this week, a UN study said 81% of the world's workforce of 3.3 billion people had had their place of work fully or partly closed because of the outbreak. Four out of five jobs affected by virus globally Coronavirus: A visual guide to the economic impact Global economy will suffer for 'years to come' Ms Georgieva, the IMF's managing director, made her bleak assessment in remarks ahead of next week's IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. Emerging markets and developing countries would be the hardest hit, she said, requiring hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign aid.
Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade called for the American economy to quickly reopen amid downward revisions of some models projecting the coronavirus death count, saying Thursday that a now-expected 60,000 victims shows just “how good we are doing.” With one influential and highly respected modeler moving its projections down over the past few days, Fox News hosts have been clamoring for President Donald Trump to quickly reverse social-distancing restrictions in order to jumpstart the economy, claiming public health experts exaggerated the impact of the virus. Noting that Trump had originally expressed hope that the country could get going again at Easter, Kilmeade said that one model shows that the peak of the coronavirus infections will now come around that time.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. says he is considering using the teleconferencing software Zoom to hold hearings into foreign election interference and other key issues, including the firing of intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson, while social distancing restrictions remain in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The leading British scientific journal Nature apologized in an article published on Tuesday for “associating” the coronavirus with its origin place in China on the grounds that the linkage had inspired racist attacks against people with Asian heritage across the world. The coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan, China and first appeared in bats thought to have infected wild animals that were sold in the city's wet markets. “It's clear that since the outbreak was first reported, people of Asian descent around the world have been subjected to racist attacks, with untold human costs – for example, on their health and livelihoods,” the article read.
Hamas-run security forces have arrested several peace activists in the Gaza Strip on treason charges after they took part in a web conference with Israeli activists, officials said Thursday. The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said the activists are accused of “holding a normalization activity with the Israeli occupation.” “Holding any activity or contact with the Israeli occupation under any cover is a crime punishable by law and a betrayal for the people and their sacrifices,” it said in a statement.
A woman suffering flu-like symptoms gave birth standing and fully clothed while detained near the Mexican-US border, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The Guatemalan woman, 27, was being processed at the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station near San Diego when her complaints of pain and pleas for help were allegedly ignored by agents, according to a complaint filed on Wednesday by the ACLU and Jewish Family Service of San Diego with the US Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General. "This horrific case is just the most recent and one of the most egregious examples of this agency's abuse," said ACLU attorney Monika Y. Langarica.
A group of inmates at a Kansas prison took over a cell block and began destroying property and set off fire extinguishers in a disturbance that stretched from Thursday afternoon to early Friday, a corrections department spokesman said. All inmates in the "C" cell house at the Lansing Correctional Facility were secured and accounted for by about 1 a.m., Randy Bowman, executive director of public affairs for the Kansas Department of Corrections, said in an email. As many as 50 inmates were involved initially when the disturbance at the facility northwest of Kansas City began about 3 p.m, Bowman said.
A California woman has been arrested after licking $1,800 worth of groceries and other items at a supermarket in the northern part of the state, police said Wednesday. Chris Fiore, spokesman for the South Lake Tahoe police department, near the border with Nevada, told AFP that officers were called to the Safeway store on Tuesday following reports of "a customer licking groceries" at a time of heightened fears over the spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus. "When officers arrived on the scene, a Safeway employee informed them that the suspect put numerous pieces of jewelry from the store on her hands," he said.