President Trump shied away Wednesday from issuing domestic travel restrictions or a national lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that, in a best-case scenario, is expected to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. Asked at a White House briefing if he was considering limiting domestic air travel, Trump said he was thinking about it, a phrase he frequently applies to subjects he wishes to avoid discussing. We're thinking about doing that, but at the same time we just, to start these airlines and to start this whole thing over again is very tough, John [Roberts, Fox News reporter].
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.
A Pennsylvania man “extremely upset” about losing his job amidst the coronavirus pandemic allegedly shot his girlfriend, before turning the gun on himself in an attempted murder-suicide, authorities said Wednesday. The Wilson Borough Police Department said in a statement to The Daily Beast that Roderick Bliss IV, 38, attempted to fatally shoot his girlfriend with a semi-automatic pistol on Monday afternoon, before dying by suicide, after he “had become increasingly upset over the COVID-19 pandemic. The 43-year-old girlfriend, who was shot once in the back, survived the attack and is in St. Luke's hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
At the coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump said he didn't want to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order to fight the pandemic because there are some states that don't have a large number of positive coronavirus cases.
The viral illness is extremely contagious, and spreads from person to person easily through close contact. The most severe coronavirus cases (20%) often include difficulty breathing, and may require hospitalization, where patients may be hooked up to ventilators, which help blow more oxygen into a person's lungs. The novel coronavirus has already killed more than 3,000 people in China, 9,000 in Spain, 12,000 in Italy, and it isn't done yet.
The top official in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic in China, warned residents to stay vigilant and avoid going out, even as the latest data showed a decline in new cases in the mainland and zero new infections in the city. The country where the virus emerged last year will hold three minutes of silence nationwide on Saturday to mourn the thousands of "martyrs" who died in the fight against the epidemic, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Air raid sirens and horns of automobiles, trains and ships will "wail in grief" after the minutes of silence are observed at 10 am (0200 GMT) across the country, Xinhua said.
California has not seen the surge in coronavirus cases that have overwhelmed cities like New York and Detroit in the past week, which suggests that the state's early and restrictive shelter-in-place orders could be slowing the virus's spread. California implemented one of the earliest and strictest orders to stay at home in the United States in mid-March, and as of Wednesday, there were 8,584 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 183 deaths in the state compared with the 76,000 cases and 1,714 deaths in New York. Dr Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus taskforce coordinator, said on Tuesday that she was “reassured by what California has been able to do” to help control the virus with physical distancing orders.
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.
Wuhan doctor Ai Fen, who expressed early concerns about the coronavirus to the media, has disappeared and is believed detained by Chinese authorities. Fen, the head of emergency at Wuhan Central Hospital, was given a warning after she disseminated information about the coronavirus to several other doctors. The reprimand from her boss came after Fen took a photo of a patient's positive test results and circled the words 'SARS coronavirus' in red.
Poland's ruling party vowed to push on with a plan to hold next month's election by mail and to “consolidate power” despite concerns that nationalists are using the coronavirus to undermine democracy in Europe. Opposition candidates, who have halted campaigning, condemn the Law & Justice Party for advancing with the May 10 presidential ballot. With incumbent and former party member Andrzej Duda surging in popularity as a leader of the virus response, critics say the vote won't be fair and his main challenger has called for a boycott to save lives.
Scientists offered more evidence Wednesday that the coronavirus is spread by seemingly healthy people who show no clear symptoms, and the federal government issued new guidance warning that anyone exposed to the disease can be considered a carrier. A study by researchers in Singapore became the latest to estimate that somewhere around 10% of new infections may be sparked by people who carry the virus but have not yet suffered its flu-like symptoms. In response to that study and others, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed how it defined the risk of infection for Americans.
The U.S. recorded its deadliest day – more than 1,000 fatalities – since the coronavirus outbreak began, more than 215,000 overall infections have been reported, and public health officials may recommend that more Americans wear face masks to combat the pandemic that has brought the global economy to its knees. "Even if you do wear a mask, it can't be at the expense of social distancing," Surgeon General Jerome Adams said. The current U.S. death toll appears to be a tiny fraction of what the nation faces over the next few weeks, public health officials say.
Canada faces "a critical week" in fighting the coronavirus, a senior official said on Thursday, as the death toll jumped and the most populous province said residents should brace for a stark scenario. Deaths surged to 161 from 105 on Wednesday while positive cases rose to 11,131 from 9,017, according to provincial announcements compiled by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Canada's public health agency is particularly worried by the spread of the coronavirus in seniors' residences, which are turning into hotspots in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia - the three biggest provinces by population.
Associated Press The IRS will begin sending out coronavirus stimulus checks as soon as April 9, according to an internal distribution plan obtained by The Washington Post. Electronic payments will be sent out next Friday, the internal document said, but paper checks will be mailed out to Americans on a weekly rotation. The plan set priority for paper check distribution to those with the lowest-income — individual taxpayers making $10,000 or less on April 24.
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.
Vaccines aren't being tested on Africans There are widely-shared social media posts claiming that African people are to be used as guinea pigs to test a new coronavirus vaccine. However, such claims are false - there is no vaccine for Covid-19 and only a number of clinical trials are taking place, none of them currently in African countries. We're not sure where these claims originate from but they tend to focus on how African people will be given the vaccine to test it's safe for use in Western nations.
Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, on Tuesday suggested that the U.S. was slow to respond to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic because of faulty data reported by China. “When you looked at the China data originally,” with 50,000 infected in an area of China with 80 million people, “you start thinking of this more like SARS than you do a global pandemic,” Birx said at a press conference.
Spain reported an increase in coronavirus deaths and new cases, suggesting severe containment measures have yet to bring the outbreak under control. The Health Ministry recorded its deadliest day on Thursday, with 950 fatalities lifting the total to more than 10,000. The country is dealing with the second-most severe outbreak in Europe after Italy and the government has struggled to check the spread of the disease.
A Russian military transport plane was headed to the United States on Wednesday carrying tons of medical equipment and masks to help Washington fight the coronavirus outbreak, Russian state TV reported and a U.S. official said.
Early this week, the streets of the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak were bustling with shoppers as ultra-Orthodox residents, obeying their religious leaders, ignored pleas to stay home in the face of the coronavirus threat. The city has become a lightning rod for anger and frustration by some secular Israelis who allege insular Haredi communities — with disproportionately high numbers of confirmed cases — are undermining national efforts to contain the virus. The pandemic also has threatened to upend deep-seated customs in the religious world, including blind obedience to religious leaders and the belief that religious studies and traditions take precedence over the rules of a modern state.
COVID-19 can begin in similar ways among patients, regardless of a person's age or health status. Hedy Bauman, 74, was so weak she could barely make it home from a short walk to the store. "My bathroom is maybe 15 steps from my bed," Bauman, of Silver Spring, Maryland, told NBC News.
Bernie Sanders was riding high in Wisconsin just six weeks ago, powered by a double-digit polling lead and the widespread belief that he'd sail to victory just as he did in 2016. Now, Democratic activists and operatives on the ground expect Sanders to lose big in the crucial Midwestern swing state — a defeat that would likely lead to a deafening chorus of Democratic voices demanding he drop out of the race. “Up until Biden got his mojo going, it was presumed Sanders would win the state again,” said Patrick Guarasci, a Milwaukee-based Democratic strategist.
Thomas Peter/Getty The US intelligence community has determined that the Chinese government concealed the extent of its coronavirus outbreak and gave false statistics to other countries, Bloomberg News reported, citing three US officials. Officials transmitted a classified report of their findings to the White House last week. Bloomberg described its sources as saying that the report's main conclusion was that China's public reporting of coronavirus cases was "intentionally incomplete" and that its numbers were fake.