Louisiana is poised to become the next epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, White House officials said Thursday, citing new data that shows that 26 percent of the tests for COVID-19 in that state in recent days have come back positive. The New York area remains a “very clear and important hot zone,” Dr. Deborah Birx said at Thursday's briefing of the White House coronavirus task force as she revealed testing statistics on specific states. “What we're seeing finally is testing improving,” said Birx, a renowned veteran of the HIV/AIDS fight who is now serving as the response coordinator for the coronavirus task force.
Two years ago, some of the nation's top public health officials gathered in an auditorium at Emory University in Atlanta to commemorate the 1918 influenza pandemic — also known as “the Spanish flu” — which had killed as many as 40 million people as it swept the globe. Implicit was the understanding that while the 1918 pandemic was a singular catastrophe, conditions in the 21st century were ideal for another outbreak. Long before the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, and then soon spread to nearly every country on Earth, the 2018 conference offered proof that epidemiologists at the CDC and other institutions were aware that a new pandemic was poised to strike.
Yet President Donald Trump on Thursday referred to the shipment as “aid,” and said the United States had accepted “a very nice offer” from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Hours later, the State Department clarified its initial statement, saying the supplies were purchased — but at a discount. But even then there was a twist: The discount came because the supplies had been channeled through the Russian Direct Investment Fund — a government sovereign wealth fund that has been subject to U.S. sanctions for Ukraine-related activities since 2015.
Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images The US Army assessed in February that the coronavirus could kill as many as 150,000 Americans, the Daily Beast reported Thursday, citing an unclassified briefing document. The "black swan" or worst-case scenario assessment has become nearly the best-case scenario for the US as the White House warns that the virus may kill 100,000 to 240,000 Americans. The number of coronavirus cases in the US has already topped 200,000, and more than 5,000 people have died.
Forty-four students at the University of Texas at Austin tested positive for the disease after returning from spring break in Mexico, according to a state university spokeswoman. In March, the University of Tampa said five students traveling together during spring break had tested positive. In a statement, Vanderbilt said: "Just as for our peers around the country, COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for our community as we have sought, above all, to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.
U.S. officials have seized a stockpile of personal protective equipment from an alleged hoarder.
US politicians have voiced fury over Beijing's handling of the coronavirus crisis but they face a harsh truth -- the United States desperately needs China's supplies. China before the crisis produced nearly half of the face masks imported into the United States -- which in normal times cost less than a dollar but have disappeared from shelves amid growing calls for ordinary Americans wear them when outside. As China appears to have contained its own outbreak of SARS-CoV-1, which has infected more than one million people worldwide since first emerging late last year in Wuhan, it is now the first resort for protective gear sought across the world.
Work from home and keep your sanity with these decor ideas that will help Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
An emergency room nurse told Insider she wouldn't take a ventilator if she were to be infected with coronavirus and to save it for others who may need it more. An emergency room nurse working in Southern California told Insider, the pandemic had forced her to have some difficult conversations with her family. Paige, who asked to conceal her last name said while she's found it too difficult to have the conversation with her 86-year-old father, she's discussed how she wants her family to deal with her death if she were to be infected and die from the coronavirus with her sisters.
As the worsening coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country, millions of Americans living with diabetes face heightened risks from COVID-19. Around 30 million Americans have diabetes, mostly of the type II (previously called “adult-onset”) variety. A quarter of U.S. adults with diabetes are over 65, an age that has been shown to delineate increased COVID-19 mortality rates.
Border closures and strict lockdowns prompted by the Covid-19 crisis have disrupted the migrant trail through Central America and Mexico, forcing some would-be migrants to postpone their journeys – and stopping many others in their tracks. The result has been a deterrent more effective than any wall Donald Trump could build. Activists across the region have reported a steep decline in the number of migrants coming from Central America since the restrictions were implemented.
President Donald Trump is nominating a 37-year-old judge and former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to a seat on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Justin Walker of Kentucky has been on the federal bench less than six months and is one of the youngest federal judges in the country, with deep ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who hailed Trump's nomination of "a rising Kentucky star, born and raised in Louisville, to refresh the second-most-important federal court in the country.
State and local officials have complained about insufficient protective equipment such as masks and gowns as well as ventilators, needed to help keep patients breathing. Meanwhile, US Vice-President Mike Pence warned the US appeared to be on a similar trajectory as Italy where the death toll has exceeded 13,000 - the worst in the world. The number of confirmed infections across the US rose by more than 25,000 in one day.
Pakistani Muslims at a Karachi mosque clashed with baton-wielding police trying to enforce new curbs on gatherings to prevent Friday prayers and contain coronavirus infections, officials said. TV footage showed dozens of people chasing two police vehicles and pelting them with stones as an officer fired in the air to disperse the crowd. After failing to persuade worshippers to pray at home last week, the government in Pakistan's southern province of Sindh, home to the financial hub of Karachi, enforced a lockdown for three hours beginning at noon on Friday, officials said.
France reported its deadliest day from the coronavirus amid tentative signs that the pandemic may be easing in Spain and Italy. The health ministry in Paris reported 588 hospital deaths, the most yet, bringing the figure to 5,091 since the beginning of the outbreak. In contrast, new infections slowed and fatalities declined in Spain for the first time in four days, as infections stabilized in Italy.
Stacey Abrams began trending on U.S. Twitter on Thursday after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp admitted having only recently learned that asymptomatic individuals can spread the coronavirus — despite warnings from health experts as early as January. "This virus is now transmitting before people see signs," Kemp said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Atlanta, warned as early as Feb. 12 that the coronavirus could be spread by asymptomatic people.
Despite that, many in a Manila slum took to the streets Wednesday to protest a lack of supplies, arguing they had not received any food packs since the lockdown started two weeks ago. "I will not hesitate my soldiers to shoot you," Duterte said in forceful tones Wednesday. On Thursday, as often happens after Duterte makes these sorts of inflammatory public remarks, Filipino officials rushed to insist that the president was simply using hyperbole to communicate the gravity of the situation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday gave the green light for soldiers to be deployed in a mostly ultra-Orthodox Jewish city considered the centre of Israel's novel coronavirus outbreak. "In light of the special situation in Bnei Brak following the restrictions due to the coronavirus, the IDF (army) will immediately present the necessary civil assistance to Bnei Brak municipality in fulfilling its responsibilities," Netanyahu's office said after talks with security and health officials. Authorities have enforced restrictions on access to Bnei Brak, a majority ultra-Orthodox city near Tel Aviv that is home to around 200,000 people.
The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that the Chinese government does not know the full extent of the coronavirus outbreak within the country, the New York Times reported on Thursday. China's government has encountered difficulties collecting accurate data on the spread of the coronavirus because mid-level bureaucrats in Wuhan and elsewhere in China have been lying about the number of cases, current and former intelligence officials told the Times. Local administration officials in China fear that their superiors will punish and even fire them if they report high numbers of cases.
WASHINGTON – The second of three emergency assistance packages Congress recently approved to address the coronavirus pandemic will add $192 billion to the federal deficit, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced Thursday. Lawmakers last month approved both that package and a much larger one – estimated to cost at least $2 trillion – before the official budget scorekeeper was able to assess their costs. The second package included free testing for the virus, paid sick leave for some workers, expanded food assistance and unemployment insurance, and increased Medicaid funding.
Joe Biden said Friday that he will announce a committee to oversee his vice presidential selection process and is already thinking about whom he'd choose to join his Cabinet. Biden, who holds a significant lead in delegates over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary race but has yet to officially clinch the nomination, also said he's spoken to Sanders to let him know he'd be proceeding with the vice presidential vetting process. Biden, a former vice president himself, has previously committed to choosing a woman as his running mate.
Cases rose by 6,156, compared with the previous day and the death toll climbed by 140. Italy will extend lockdown restrictions to April 13, as data from this week suggests a slowdown of growth in total cases, though its national health institute says official death toll could be underestimated. Cases in Spain topped 100,000 on Wednesday, and two planes with protective equipment arrived to restock an overloaded public health system.
The IRS plans to begin sending out coronavirus stimulus payments as soon as April 9, according to an internal distribution plan obtained by The Washington Post. Electronic payments could be sent out next Thursday, the internal document said, but paper checks are set to be mailed out to Americans on a weekly rotation beginning later. About 145 million Americans can expect cash meant to support those who have been affected by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, with about 6.6 million people filing for unemployment last week alone.
Shortly after finally signing a statewide stay-at-home order on Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) quietly signed a second order that undermines the efforts of local governments to keep their citizens safe, the Tampa Bay Times reports. DeSantis has faced criticism for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, from allowing spring breakers to continue to party on the state's beaches to permitting people to still gather in large groups for worship. On Wednesday, he became one of the last governors in the country to effectively order a "shelter in place" for his constituents, only to later order that the state's new guidelines "shall supersede any conflicting official action or order issu...