President Trump said Tuesday that he did not learn of two memos written in January and February by his own economic adviser warning that a COVID-19 pandemic could kill as many as 2 million Americans until “maybe a day ago.” On Jan. 29, Peter Navarro warned his colleagues at the White House that if the administration did not mount an aggressive containment strategy for the coronavirus, it could kill more than half a million Americans and cost the country nearly $6 trillion. Nearly a month later, on Feb. 23, Navarro distributed an even more dire second memo in which he said as many as 100 million Americans could be infected with COVID-19, which might kill upwards of 2 million U.S. citizens.
Many are concerned that as cases increase, COVID-19 will make its way to vulnerable populations in war zones, slums and sprawling refugee camps across the continent. Princeton University professor Jessica Metcalf, who specializes in infectious diseases and public policy and who has worked in Africa, warns that the introduction of the coronavirus into the “tsunami of other infectious diseases” across vulnerable populations in Africa might be catastrophic.
Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 604 on Tuesday, a lower daily tally than the 636 seen the day before, while the number of new cases posted the smallest increase since March 13. The total death toll in the world's hardest-hit country since its outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 rose to 17,127, the Civil Protection Agency said. The total of confirmed cases increased by 3,039 on Tuesday to 135,586, the second successive daily decline, underscoring growing confidence that the illness is on the retreat thanks to a nationwide lockdown introduced on March 9.
Joshua Roberts/Reuters Secretary of Defense Mark Esper directed acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly to apologize for remarks criticizing Capt. Brett Crozier, former commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, according to multiple reports. After issuing a statement Monday saying he stood by his statements aboard the carrier, Modly backtracked later in the day, saying in a statement, "I want to apologize to the Navy for my recent comments to the crew of the TR." The Pentagon declined to comment on reports that Esper directed the apology.
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".
The novel coronavirus began spreading in New York City in February, before widespread testing began, and the strain so far identified in local samples came from Europe, a scientist said Wednesday. Adriana Heguy, a geneticist at NYU Grossman School of Medicine who led the research, told AFP that tracing back the virus' chain of transmission will help policy makers make better informed social interventions in the future. "It's very interesting that so far, the majority seem to be coming from Europe, and this is in part I think because there was a focus on stopping travel from China," she said.
Iran demanded on Wednesday that U.S. oil production levels must be known before an upcoming OPEC meeting with Russia and others seeking to boost global energy prices. The meeting of the so-called OPEC+ is scheduled to be held Thursday after officials delayed it following Saudi Arabia criticizing Russia over its comments about the price collapse. A meeting in March saw OPEC and other nations led by Russia fail to agree to a production cut as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has drastically cut demand for oil.
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 China, where the pandemic broke out, claimed that 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.
Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis issued a rare public rebuke of President Trump Tuesday over his decision to fire Glenn Fine, the Pentagon inspector general charged with overseeing implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. “Mr. Fine is a public servant in the finest tradition of honest, competent governance,” Mattis told Yahoo News in an email. “In my years of extensive engagement with him as our Department of Defense's acting Inspector General, he proved to be a leader whose personal and managerial integrity were always of the highest order.”
There's precedent for health care workers developing their own psychiatric symptoms, said Dr. Daniel Yohanna, the interim chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago. We know that patients who have psychiatric disorders will have more problems during this period. We also know health care workers, from data out of Singapore, have increased numbers of posttraumatic stress disorders, depression and anxiety,” Yohanna said.
Singapore announced its largest daily increase. The crisis will escalate if countries don't start showing more solidarity, the head of the World Health Organization said, urging the U.S. and China to show “honest leadership” and stop bickering. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is stable and responding to treatment at a London hospital.
Scott Olson/Getty Images A case study in Chicago demonstrated the importance of social distancing in containing the spread of the coronavirus. The investigation, which was published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Chicago Department of Health, traced the cases from the first infected individual, identified as Patient A1.1, after they attended a funeral and birthday party. The coronavirus, which causes a respiratory illness known as COVID-19, spread to at least 16 other people and killed three in the super-spreading event.
The top human rights court in the Americas has found Peru responsible for the arbitrary detention and rape of an LGBT person. Azul Rojas Marín was stripped, hit and raped with a truncheon by three officers while in custody in 2008, her legal team said. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights said it was an act of torture.
India's financial hub Mumbai is set to extend lockdown measures until at least April 30 as authorities race to expand testing to stem the spread of coronavirus cases in the city, three senior officials said. A 21-day nationwide lockdown that Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared in late March to fight the epidemic is officially set to end on April 14. The Mumbai municipal authority and the state government in the western state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, both declined to comment.
The Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged ended its more-than two-month lockdown on Wednesday, even as a small northern city ordered restrictions on residents amid concern about a second wave of infections.
Top oil producers meeting later Thursday intend to cut production by between 10 and 15 million barrels per day, Kuwait's Oil Minister Khaled al-Fadhel reportedly said. The talks between OPEC and other major producers come as oil languishes at near-two decade lows, with Russia and Saudi Arabia's price war compounding slack demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. "Through our continuous consultations in the past weeks, I confirm that the intention is to conclude an agreement to cut production by a large amount ranging between 10 million bpd and 15 million bpd," Fadhel said in an interview with Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai published Thursday.
The leader of the remote Solomon Islands said Wednesday that 27 people had died after being washed overboard from a crowded ferry last week and the government is conducting a criminal investigation. But others say the government itself must take responsibility after it told people to leave the capital and return to their home islands ahead of a possible coronavirus lockdown. The ship MV Taimareho left Honiara on the evening of April 2 as a tropical cyclone was approaching.
At Sunday's White House briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested that hundreds of thousands — or even millions — of “silent carriers” may be unwittingly spreading the coronavirus across the United States because they don't realize they're infected. “It's somewhere between 25 and 50 percent” of the total, Fauci said. The first thing to note is that Fauci himself expressed a high degree of uncertainty about his own numbers.
At a press conference on Wednesday, New York state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded to a question about whether coronavirus patients may need another form of treatment instead of ventilators.
While President Donald Trump remains fixated on the widening coronavirus pandemic, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Kabul two weeks ago with a harsh message from his boss to try to save one of the only major foreign policy achievements he has after more than three years in the White House: a peace deal in Afghanistan. Pompeo delivered a message from Trump to the feuding leadership of the Afghan government, telling them they should resolve their differences and broker a deal with the Taliban or the president could not only cut $1 billion in financial aid to Afghanistan but also could pull all U.S. troops out of the country, according to two current senior officials, one former senior official and a foreign diplomat.
Diplomats from the 27-nation EU approved an upgrade to European legislation on enforcing international commercial rules. The envoys decided to let the EU impose penalties against countries that illegally restrict commerce and simultaneously block the World Trade Organization's dispute-settlement process. The deal on Wednesday in Brussels advances a proposal made by EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan in December -- before Europe became the epicenter of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic and governments across the region unleashed unprecedented economic stimulus.
On March 24, Timothy Wilson, 36, was shot and killed by the FBI as he prepared to attack a hospital in the Kansas City area where patients with the coronavirus were being treated. The FBI had previously identified Wilson as a “potentially violent extremist” who had considered attacking a mosque, a synagogue, and a school with a large number of black students before settling on the hospital. Hours before his death, Wilson had posted anti-Semitic messages on two white supremacist groups on the messaging app Telegram.
To the editor: Where is Joe Biden? Is he afraid that if spoke like a presidential candidate, he'd "let the cat out of the bag" and everyone would see he has nothing worthwhile to say? Or, are we to assume that Biden really does have good solutions but prefers to keep them to himself?
The droplets carry viral particles and can land on someone else's nose or mouth or get inhaled. The researchers behind the new study tested the virus' life span in a 71-degree-Fahrenheit room at 65% relative humidity. It lasted the longest, seven days, on stainless steel and plastic.