Hours after a Fox News interview in which he downplayed a national shortage of hospital ventilators to treat patients infected with the coronavirus, President Trump fired off a number of tweets Friday blaming General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, for not manufacturing more of them. The president explained in a later tweet that “P” stood for the Defense Production Act, which many U.S. governors have been demanding Trump use to compel businesses to produce badly needed medical supplies and equipment. Although he invoked the act as a standby, Trump hasn't issued any specific orders under it, claiming that just the threat of it has prompted companies to step up production on their own.
Germany's death rate from the coronavirus is substantially lower than that seen in Italy, Spain, and the UK. Spain's rate is 7.6% and Italy's is 10.2%. This is because Germany is testing as many as 120,000 people a week, identifying many milder cases that don't end in death.
As the House of Representatives prepares to pass a historic $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a bigger challenge: figuring out a way for 435 members to cast votes in the time of social distancing. The pandemic has left multiple members of Congress in quarantine and led to restrictions on movement that could prevent the House from voting. While House leadership has indicated they hope to pass the initial coronavirus aid bill quickly using a voice vote, the likely need for further relief and other legislation has led Pelosi to consider new procedures, including measures for remote voting that a report from the House Rules Committee described as “one of the biggest rule changes in the last century.”
Other officials said the number of infected sailors has risen sharply — from initial reports of three to "dozens" as of Thursday. "Our medical team aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt is performing testing for the crew consistent with CDC guidelines, and we are working to increase the rate of testing as much as possible," said the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday. Priority will be given to those showing symptoms or who had been in close contact with sailors who have tested positive already, as well as to essential crew members.
Both countries are in almost complete lockdown, with their governments counting on limited social interactions to help contain the spread of the disease. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez convened an emergency cabinet meeting to try to chart a way out of the crisis rapidly engulfing the nation. We may be entering a phase of stabilization, but we haven't reached the peak yet,” Health Minister Salvador Illa said at a news conference in Madrid.
China has sent a plane loaded with medical personnel and supplies to aid Pakistan in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus in one of the world's most populous nations, the Pakistani foreign ministry said Saturday. Across the Middle East, the outbreak has raised concerns that health systems strapped by multiple wars, refugee crises and unstable economies won't be able to handle a growing numbers in cases. Iran is battling the worst outbreak in the region.
The Kremlin confirmed a coronavirus case in President Vladimir Putin's administration on Friday and the government said measures imposed in Moscow to fight the virus should be extended across Russia. The Kremlin said it was taking measures to stop the virus spreading further after a staff member in the presidential administration contracted the virus. It said the person had not come into contact with Putin, but declined to identify them.
Here are the latest developments from Asia related to the novel coronavirus pandemic: - Wuhan eases travel rules - Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. People are now allowed to enter the city but not leave. AFP saw crowds of passengers arriving at Wuhan railway station on Saturday, most wheeling suitcases alongside them.
A Woodland Park boy with a history of giving has used his philanthropy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Jayden Perez, 11, and his family donated over 1,000 hand sanitizer sprays to the borough school district, fire department, police department and library as concerns around the spread of COVID-19 grew. "Jayden is the heart and soul of our community," Mayor Kieth Keith Kazmark said.
The United States blacklisted five Iran- and Iraq-based companies and 15 individuals on Thursday for supporting terrorist groups, its third round of sanctions on Iranian targets in the last two weeks even as Tehran battles the coronavirus outbreak.
It's been less than a week since Rio Giardinieri claimed his coronavirus was cured overnight by an antimalarial drug touted by President Trump and by Fox News, and he has no complaints. “Man, I'm alive and kickin',” Giardinieri told Yahoo News over the phone on Wednesday. The story of Giardinieri's remarkable recovery, which was first reported Monday by a local Fox affiliate in Los Angeles, quickly became the subject of national news — and speculation — after it was picked up by the New York Post and tweeted by Trump, who hailed the news as a “great early result” from the drug, which has yet to be approved as a treatment for the coronavirus.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro found himself on the receiving end of a verbal buzzsaw Thursday afternoon when CNN anchor Brianna Keilar relentlessly grilled him on the administration's lack of preparedness for the coronavirus pandemic, explicitly telling him he was “wasting everyone's time.” With casualties from the deadly coronavirus surging across the nation and hospitals running out of needed supplies as they become overrun with patients, Keilar confronted Navarro over the Trump administration's seeming inability to provide ventilators and masks to localities and states in dire need. Navarro, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, immediately took issue with Keilar's questioning, demanding that she “not sensationalize this crisis” because it would “create more anxiety and panic.”
Compared to other countries, the number of deaths caused by the novel coronavirus in Germany has been surprisingly low. According to the country's federal health agency, The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the mortality rate is currently at less than 0.5%. Italy has reported more than 86,000 confirmed cases and over 9,000 deaths, which would seem to work out to a mortality rate of roughly 10%.
A union representing healthcare works said Thursday that it had located 39 million N95 masks and was connecting their supplier to hospitals and state and local governments. A union representing healthcare workers on Thursday said it had located 39 million N95 masks and was connecting their supplier to healthcare facilities and state and local governments to protect those treating coronavirus patients. The masks will be distributed in California and New York, according to a copy of the Service Employees International Union - United Healthcare Workers West's statement posted by the labor reporter Noam Scheiber.
But he was charged Thursday with allegedly running with Maduro, socialist party boss Diosdado Cabello and another retired army general a narcoterrorist conspiracy that U.S. prosecutors say sent 250 metric tons of cocaine a year to the U.S. and turned the Venezuelan state into a platform for violent cartels and Colombia rebels. The Justice Department had offered a $10 million reward for Alcalá's arrest. Alcalá was being flown on a chartered plane to the U.S. from Barranquilla, Colombia, after waiving an extradition hearing and agreeing to collaborate with prosecutors, said the four people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss actions that had not yet been made public.
The long lines and stacks of ash urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan are spurring questions about the true scale of coronavirus casualties at the epicenter of the outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the virus in the central Chinese city, where the disease first emerged in December, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight local funeral homes starting this week. As they did, photos circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in.
Italy on Friday recorded the most daily deaths of any country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and Spain had its deadliest day, as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson became the first major world leader to test positive. Italy reported 969 new deaths, Spain 769 and France 299 as Europe reeled from a crisis that led the United States on Friday to finalise an unprecedented $2 trillion stimulus package. In other grim milestones, AFP tallies showed more than 26,000 deaths worldwide, and a total of 300,000 cases now recorded in Europe, after the United States overtook China as the country with the most infections.
Three unaccompanied minor children in U.S. custody in New York have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Thursday. The children, whose ages and nationalities weren't released, are in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency said it is doing an evaluation of the children and will not release them from New York care provider facilities.
Lockdowns have begun in Africa as coronavirus cases rise above 1,000, while Nigeria announced it is closing airports to all incoming international flights for one month in the continent's most populous country. Rwanda said all unnecessary movements outside the home are banned for two weeks except for essential services such as health care and shopping. The East African nation, which has 17 cases, told all public and private employees to work from home.
Support for the demands of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong has grown even as rallies have paused due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey conducted for Reuters that also showed a widespread lack of confidence in the government's ability to manage the COVID-19 crisis. Demands for the resignation of Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, were supported by 63% of respondents in the poll, conducted by the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute between March 17-20, versus 57% in a poll it conducted in December.
Shortly after the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic reached 1,500 on Friday, President Donald Trump took to the podium at a White House press briefing and complained that certain state's governors are not “appreciative” enough of the federal government's help—so much so that he said he'd told Vice President Mike Pence, the leader of the coronavirus task force, to skip calling governors of some hard-hit areas. Trump singled out the Democratic leaders of Washington and Michigan, noting that he had advised Pence not to call them as the healthcare crisis plagues their states and people fall sick and die. “He calls all the governors,” Trump said.
India has been criticised for its poor record of testing people in the battle against coronavirus. That, however, is set to change, thanks in large part to the efforts of one virologist, who delivered on a working test kit, just hours before delivering her baby . On Thursday, the first made-in-India coronavirus testing kits reached the market, raising hopes of an increase in screening of patients with flu symptoms to confirm or rule out the Covid-19 infection.
David Ryder / Reuters Sources: The Seattle Times, The New York Times Nursing homes are a prime place for a virus outbreak — the coronavirus spreads by droplets, and nursing homes are filled with the elderly in close quarters. They can have weak immune systems, and underlying health conditions, making them susceptible. There's also no vaccine yet.
China has denounced a U.S. act that increases American support for Taiwan internationally.
A truck collided with a pedestrian bridge early Friday in Detroit, sending a portion of the span onto a freeway and blocking traffic along part of the heavily traveled thoroughfare, authorities said. No one was injured in the collapse onto westbound Interstate 94, Lt. Mike Shaw, a Michigan State Police spokesman, said in an email. The freeway in both directions was closed after the collapse, which was caused by a truck apparently carrying a large load hitting the bridge at some point after 5 a.m, said Diane Cross, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation.