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.
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.
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.
Minutes after Bernie Sanders announced the suspension of his presidential campaign and congratulated his primary rival Joe Biden, saying he would “work with” the ex-veep going forward, CNN anchor John King claimed Sanders “didn't say anything nice” about Biden or offer to “work with him. In a live-streamed message to supporters on Wednesday, which was carried by CNN, Sanders noted that Biden had an overwhelming delegate lead and therefore is the presumptive Democratic nominee. The fight for justice is what our campaign has been about,” he declared.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved the withdrawal of 1 billion euros from the country's sovereign wealth fund to help fight the coronavirus epidemic, President Hassan Rouhani's official website said on Monday.
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.
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.
The U.S. state has 149,316 reported cases compared with Spain at 146,690. In total, the United States has recorded over 417,000 cases and 14,100 deaths, according to the Reuters tally. European countries, including hardest-hit Italy and Spain, have started looking ahead to easing lockdowns but their coronavirus-related fatality rates have fluctuated after initially showing a decline.
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.”
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".
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.
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.
New York state reported 731 new COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, its biggest jump since the start of the outbreak, dampening some of the cautious optimism officials have expressed about efforts to stop the spread of the virus. Cuomo said the death tally is a “lagging indicator” that reflects the loss of critically ill people hospitalized earlier. While Cuomo said New York could be reaching a “plateau” in hospitalizations, he warned that gains are dependent on people continuing to practice social distancing.
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.
JetBlue Airways is suspending flights at eight U.S. airports for two months and expects to add more to the list as it grapples with a plunge in travel demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Wednesday, the New York-based carrier said it is consolidating operations in five major metropolitan markets from April 15 through June 10. The airline said it is combining flights in the Boston, New York City, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco markets, where it usually offers flights from multiple airports.
The authorities running eastern Libya on Tuesday confirmed a first case of the coronavirus despite efforts to close borders and impose a curfew to limit social interactions. Libya has confirmed a total of 20 cases of the new coronavirus, with the others in the western areas controlled by the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA). The United Nations and aid agencies have urged Libya's warring factions to stop fighting, but the conflict has increased in the past two weeks and projectiles hit a hospital in a GNA-held area of Tripoli on Monday.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, is praising his state's Republican governor's response to the coronavirus pandemic, while at the same criticizing President Trump's “incompetent” handling of the situation. Ohio's governor, Mike DeWine, has earned high marks from observers for his early and aggressive moves to hamper the spread of the virus. While officials dithered, DeWine canceled public events and became the first governor to implement a statewide school shutdown.
A gun attack in a mining area in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed three Chinese nationals, China's official Xinhua news agency reported, citing the Chinese embassy in the mineral-rich central African country.
The extra budget, compiled to try to offset the devastating effects of the pandemic, includes 220 billion yen ($2 billion) for companies shifting production back to Japan and 23.5 billion yen for those seeking to move production to other countries, according to details of the plan posted online. Chinese President Xi Jinping was supposed to be on a state visit to Japan early this month. China is Japan's biggest trading partner under normal circumstances, but imports from China slumped by almost half in February as the disease shuttered factories, in turn starving Japanese manufacturers of necessary components.
The coronavirus pandemic is affecting nearly everyone in the world in different ways, but for one Louisiana family, the deadly virus inflicted a particularly devastating blow. Four members of the same family died after contracting the virus, including the 86-year-old matriarch. Antoinette Franklin and three of her sons all died within days of each other.
Jews marked the start of a "strange" Passover holiday on Wednesday as the coronavirus pandemic prevented the large family gatherings usually organised for the traditional Seder meal. In Israel, which has more than 9,000 confirmed cases of the deadly virus, a nationwide curfew was in effect, with security forces deployed on the streets to prevent anyone seeking to visit relatives in violation of social-distancing measures. In an English language message to Jews across the world, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged that this year's Passover was "strange" and "different from all other Passovers."
One little-noticed consequence of the novel coronavirus crisis might be an outbreak of chutzpah. That's a possible explanation for an audacious request by Martin Shkreli, the notorious "pharma bro" known for jacking up the price of old drugs to which he had acquired the rights, the better to reap profits from the needs of their desperate users. Shkreli has asked for a three-month furlough from the federal prison in Allenwood, Pa.
The French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle headed back to port Wednesday due to a possible virus on-board outbreak of the new coronavirus, France's Defense Ministry said. The Defense Ministry said in a statement that around 40 sailors showed symptoms compatible with COVID-19, the disease the virus causes. They have been placed in isolated confinement out of precaution.