The official who oversaw epidemic preparedness for the National Security Council under President Obama said the absence of public guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic leaves her “frankly scared” — and that eliminating her position weakened the American response to the coronavirus when it emerged 18 months later. Beth Cameron, who served as senior director for global health security and biodefense on the NSC until early 2017, was interviewed on the Yahoo News “Skullduggery” podcast. “I'm frankly scared that our CDC is not out in front talking about this,” Cameron said.
Madison "Maddie" Bell, the Ohio high school senior who went missing Sunday, has been found safe, according to the Highland County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Donnie Barrera announced in a press release posted to Facebook Saturday that the 18-year-old had been located and that she was safe. A nationwide search for Maddie began this week after she told her mother she was going tanning around 10 a.m. on Sunday morning in Highland County, but never returned.
More than 40 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus following a church service in Frankfurt, Germany's financial center, earlier this month, the head of the city's health department told a news agency on Saturday. The service took place on May 10 at a Baptist church, the department's deputy chief Antoni Walczok told local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau. Churches in the German state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, have been able to hold services since May 1 provided they adhere to official social distancing and hygiene rules.
When Nasa astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken set foot on the International Space Station they will collect a small US flag that has acquired mythical status in space lore. The 12 inch by 8 inch banner will be brought back to Earth and presented to SpaceX as the prize for being the first commercial company to launch humans into orbit, winning a decade-long race with rivals including Boeing. Hurley, 53 and Behnken,49, are due to blast off from Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, watched by President Donald Trump.
Americans with a bad case of wanderlust may have to wait until later this summer to vacation abroad – and while some countries, including Spain, have announced target dates to reopen, the pickings will be slim for a while. Parts of Mexico and the Caribbean have targeted dates in early to mid-June for reopening from coronavirus restrictions, but Europe will lag, opening first to other citizens of European Union and Schengen Area countries before welcoming international visitors at a later date. At least one EU member nation has announced a target window, however: Spain's prime minister announced Saturday that his country will reopen to foreign tourists sometime in July, though he did not specify a date.
A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview. The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said. St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage.
YouTube/University of Oxford Oxford scientists working on a coronavirus vaccine say the chances of success are now 50%. They say that's because the number of people with the virus in the UK is falling too quickly. "At the moment, there's a 50% chance that we get no result at all," scientist Adam Hill said this weekend.
Former Vice President Joe Biden won the Hawaii Democratic residential primary on Saturday, which was delayed by more than a month because of the coronavirus. Biden defeated Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, 63% to 37%.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that the state's single-day death toll from the coronavirus fell below 100, for the first time in weeks. Eighty four people died from the coronavirus in New York on Friday, he said, down from 109 the day before. At its height, the single-day COVID-19 death toll in New York was close to 800 for several days in a row in April.
The White House on Sunday accused China of a cover-up that will “go down in history along with Chernobyl”, ramping up efforts to deflect attention from a Covid-19 death toll in the US fast closing on 100,000. Robert O'Brien, Donald Trump's national security adviser, made the claim on two political talk shows, saying Beijing gave “false information” to the World Health Organization (WHO) at the start of the year and alleging that stonewalling of an investigation into the origins of the pandemic has cost “many, many thousands of lives in America and around the world”. On Saturday Mike Pence, the vice-president, told Breitbart News that China had “let the world down” and insisted the WHO was “their willing partner in withholding from the US and wider world vital information about the coronavirus”.
The populist president, who has faced sustained criticism over his approach to the coronavirus emergency as Brazil's death toll surges to over 20,000, is at the centre of a criminal investigation into claims he sought to replace top federal police officials. Sergio Moro, the ex Justice Minister, alleges Mr Bolsonaro sacked the federal police chief as he wanted someone in the position who would feed him police intelligence. Mr Moro, who headed up a major corruption clampdown, handed in his notice last month after Mr Bolsonaro sacked the federal police director-general without conferring with him.
A perfect storm has gathered over one of the world's most benighted nations, Afghanistan, where ordinary citizens are facing a fresh form of misery. Taliban militants have announced they will keep fighting since they say there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in areas under the group's control, a senior militant in the province of Ghazni has told NBC News. An exception to the ongoing tensions will be a three-day Eid ceasefire starting Sunday, the Taliban announced in a tweet Saturday.
The French government does not want its citizens to travel abroad this summer and recommends they take their holidays in France, Environment Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Sunday. Earlier this month, President Emmanuel Macron said it was unlikely that French people would be able to undertake major foreign trips this summer and that even trips within Europe may have to be limited to reduce the risk of a resurgence of the coronavirus epidemic. Borne, in an interview with France Inter radio, also said that next week the government would decide on possibly loosening rules on French domestic travel, currently limited to a maximum 100 kilometers from home.
The president of South Africa has warned that the country's coronavirus outbreak is going to get much worse, while announcing that lockdown measures are to be eased. Cyril Ramaphosa said a third of the country's more than 22,000 cases had been recorded in the last week. Mr Ramaphosa was speaking after a mining company in South Africa said 164 workers at a gold mine near Johannesburg had tested positive for coronavirus.
Officials in a Mexican border city are tightening checks on travellers coming from Texas, saying they fear U.S. visitors may be helping feed a spike in COVID-19 cases. Municipal and state officials in Matamoros, together with Mexico's National Guard began setting up checkpoints Saturday at the three border crossings to question U.S. citizens and residents coming from Brownsville, Texas. City official Jorge Mora Solaldine said only one person will be allowed per vehicle and people will have to prove they have essential business, such as work or medical care.
Shiite Iranians in a rare event mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan this year on separate days -- Sunday or Monday -- depending on different religious authorities' edicts. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced Saturday evening on his official website that the Eid al-Fitr festival would fall on Sunday this year. But the country's other senior Shiite clerics, or "marjas" -- whose guidance believers follow and who are seen as a "source of emulation", such as Javadi Amoli, Makarem Shirazi and Safi Golpayegani, among others -- have issued separate statements saying the holiday would be celebrated on Monday.
Just days ago, scientists leading the University of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine development expressed optimism about their progress — more than 1,000 people in the United Kingdom have been inoculated already, and 10,000 more will be given the vaccine in May and June. Professor Adrian Hill, director of the University's Jenner Institute, said what was formerly an 80 percent chance of developing an effective vaccine by September — possibly in time for a potential second wave of infections — has dwindled to 50 percent. Instead, the U.K.'s infection rate decline may make it tough to gauge the vaccine's efficacy.
As states across the country are reopening, the Navajo Nation is entering a strict 57-hour lockdown in another attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. The tribe's death toll reached 149 on Friday as the virus continues to disproportionately affect people of color in the U.S. The Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported 95 new COVID-19 cases of COVID-19 for the tribe on Friday. The total number of positive cases has surpassed 4,500, pushing the tribe's healthcare system past its capacity.
Val Demings, a Democratic representative from Florida among contenders to be Joe Biden's presidential running mate, has castigated Donald Trump for having the “gall and nerve” to use a gaffe by Biden as a weapon on the campaign trail. The remark prompted gleeful tweets from Trump, fierce attacks from supporters of the president and criticism from Biden's own backers. The vice-president shouldn't have said it,” Demings told CNN's State of the Union on Sunday.
The body of Valnir Mendes da Silva, 62, who died after experiencing difficulty breathing, was abandoned on a sidewalk of a poor Rio de Janeiro neighborhood for 30 hours, according to relatives and neighbors. In Rio de Janeiro state, which has the second-highest number of deaths in Brazil, most hospitals accepting COVID-19 patients have run out of intensive care beds. President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently downplayed the pandemic, calling the coronavirus a "little flu" and fiercely criticizing state governors and mayors who introduce lockdowns.
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota issued an emotional plea for residents of his state to avoid "ideological or political" divides on the choice to wear face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic. “If someone is wearing a mask, they're not doing it to represent what political party they're in or what candidates they support,” Burgum said during a press conference on Friday. “I would really love to see in North Dakota that we could just skip this thing that other parts of the nation are going through where they're trading a divide — either it's ideological or political or something — around masks versus no mask," said Burgum.
The official who oversaw epidemic preparedness for the National Security Council under President Obama said the absence of public guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic leaves her “frankly scared. She also believes and that eliminating her position weakened the American response to the coronavirus when it emerged 18 months later.
China recorded three new confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland for May 23, following the first day with no new cases since the outbreak began, the National Health Commission (NHC) said in a statement on Sunday. Friday was the first time China had seen no daily rise in the number of cases since the pandemic began in the central city of Wuhan late last year. The number of new asymptomatic cases of the coronavirus increased to 36 from 28 a day earlier, the NHC said.
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed Chile's healthcare system "very close to the limit", according to President Sebastián Piñera. "We are very conscious of the fact that the health system is under a lot of pressure," he said on Sunday. Almost 70,000 cases of the virus have been recorded in Chile and more than 700 people have died.
Ninety-seven bodies have been pulled from smoldering rubble in Karachi, Pakistan, where a plane crashed Friday shortly before 3 p.m. local time. Passenger Muhammad Zubair thought it was turbulence. In a telephone interview from his hospital bed, Zubair, one of only two survivors, told The Associated Press that Pakistan International Airlines flight PK8303 had taken off on time from the eastern city of Lahore at 1 p.m. It was a smooth, uneventful flight until the aircraft began its descent near Karachi.