The New York Times reported this week that almost a dozen Liberty University students have come down with COVID-19 symptoms since the school reopened last week, according to a bombshell article published Sunday that cites a local physician in Lynchburg, Va., where the evangelical university is situated. “We've lost the ability to corral this thing,” Dr. Thomas W. Eppes Jr. said he told Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., according to the article. The Times identified Eppes as the head of the school's student health service, but he does not appear on the Liberty University website and a school spokesman told Yahoo News he has no official connection to the university.
As many as 2.2 million people in the US are predicted to die from COVID-19 if the disease is not mitigated, according to an analysis that the White House is using to guide its response, which was released Tuesday. The White House is recommending that social distancing continue until at least April 30. President Donald Trump previously said he wanted to reopen parts of the economy by Easter, but the trove of data about deaths from the coronavirus made him change course.
As the world economy enters an unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and policymakers in Washington and other global capitals prepare record fiscal stimulus plans, stakeholders should heed an important lesson from the last financial downturn in 2008: Recovery is only possible through coordinated global action. A little more than 10 years ago, as the world was entering the Great Recession, stakeholders had to look far back in the rearview mirror to the Great Depression for policy guidance. While the actions of the 1930s did offer important lessons for 2008 — most notably the need to expand the money supply — the economy of the 1930s was fundamentally different than the global economy of the early part of this century.
The Justice Department inspector general said it does “not have confidence” in the FBI's FISA application process following an audit that found the Bureau was not sufficiently transparent with the court in 29 applications from 2014 to 2019, all of which included “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.” Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report in December which found that the FBI included “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications and many errors in the Woods Procedures” during its Crossfire Hurricane investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign.
Iceland is giving the world a unique look at how the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is spreading. The Nordic island nation of 360,000 started testing for the virus in February, and it chose to test both people suspected of having COVID-19 and, notably, people who haven't shown any symptoms. DeCODE, a biotech company working on behalf of Iceland's chief epidemiologist, is testing the general population; so far, it has screened about 9,000 people, or about half of the 17,900 Icelanders tested for the virus, CNN reports.
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Navy ships are being moved toward Venezuela as his administration beefs up counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean following a U.S. drug indictment against Nicolás Maduro. The announcement came at the start of the daily White House press briefing to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, which has left much of the country in lock-down and which the government warns could cause 100,000 to 240,000 deaths. The Venezuelan people continue to suffer tremendously due to Maduro and his criminal control over the country, and drug traffickers are seizing on this lawlessness,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said after the president's announcement.
From Zaha Hadid's majestic MAXII in Italy to the stunning beauty of Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum, these structures elevate the environment they were built in Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
President Trump on Tuesday responded to the idea that the impeachment trial kept his attention away from the growing coronavirus outbreak around the world.
U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held out the possibility on Tuesday that the United States may consider easing sanctions on Iran and other nations to help fight the coronavirus epidemic but gave no concrete sign it plans to do so. The comments reflected a shift in tone by the U.S. State Department, which has come under withering criticism for its hard line toward sanctions relief even in the face of a call by the U.N. secretary-general to ease U.S. economic penalties. Pompeo stressed that humanitarian supplies are exempt from sanctions Washington reimposed on Tehran after President Donald Trump abandoned Iran's 2015 multilateral deal to limit its nuclear program.
Romania is suffering a surge in fatalities caused by the coronavirus after tens of thousands of its citizens returned from Italy and Spain, making it the worst-hit nation in central and eastern Europe. The latter two countries -- along with Romania -- were among the European Union's first after Italy to impose strict lockdowns on most aspects of public life earlier this month. Ukraine also recorded the first cases in its western region bordering Romania.
Millions of taxpayer dollars were spent on developing portable, easy-to-use ventilators to prepare for a national health crisis like the coronavirus pandemic — but not a single one is in the federal stockpile. The US Department of Health and Human Services signed a $13.8 million contract with health technology giant Royal Philips N.V. to produce portable, easy-to-use ventilators to add to the federal stockpile. Although HHS ordered 10,000 units of the ventilator in September 2019, the company began selling two higher-priced commercial versions of the same ventilator around the world.
Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry believes that the oil industry could collapse because of the dramatic decrease in demand worldwide caused by the coronavirus outbreak and a steep decline in prices. "I'm telling you, we are on the verge of a massive collapse of an industry that we worked awfully hard, over the course of the last three or four years, to build up to the number one oil and gas producing country in the world, giving Americans some affordable energy resources." Coupled with a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia that has resulted in an oil surplus, the price for crude as well as gasoline has plunged.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) plans to call DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz to testify before congress regarding his office's audit of the FBI's FISA application process, which was released Tuesday and revealed potentially systematic abuses of the transparency measures required of the Bureau when agents interact with the FISA court. I have just been briefed on Inspector General Horowitz's audit of FISA applications involving American citizens. This random audit shows discrepancies regarding verification of the information under the Woods Procedures,” Graham said in a press release.
A Chinese county that was largely unscathed by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus went into lockdown Wednesday, signaling fears of a possible second wave in the country where the virus originated, The South China Morning Post reports. The county of Jia in Henan province, home to 600,000 people, is now in lockdown after infections reportedly spread at a local hospital. There were previously only 12 confirmed cases in Henan, despite it being situated just north of Hubei province, where China's epicenter, Wuhan, is located.
A senior Saudi official urged more than 1 million Muslims intending to perform the hajj to delay making plans this year — comments suggesting the pilgrimage could be cancelled due to the new coronavirus pandemic. In February, the kingdom took the extraordinary decision to close off the holy cities of Mecca and Medina to foreigners over the virus, a step which wasn't taken even during the 1918 flu epidemic that killed tens of millions worldwide. Restrictions have tightened in the kingdom as it grapples with over 1,500 confirmed cases of the new virus.
While officials from Montreal to Moscow have placed populations under some form of lockdown designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, one man continues to hold firm to the notion that the rest of the world has lost its mind: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!” Lukashenko told a Belarusian television reporter Saturday when asked whether the coronavirus could stop him from hitting the rink for a propaganda-filled hockey game. Lukashenko, one of the longest-serving leaders in the former Soviet Union, has been in power for over 25 years.
When six Chinese doctors landed in Belgrade two weeks ago, Serbia's president greeted them with elbow-bumps before laying a kiss on their country's flag, a gesture of gratitude that sent Chinese social media aflutter. For weeks China has been showering European countries with millions of face masks, test kits and other aid, recasting itself as the hero in the battle against coronavirus. EU officials have started to warn against a Beijing propaganda campaign -- spun through the "politics of generosity" -- that is distorting China's initial missteps in managing a contagion that started on its soil and has now killed more than 40,000 people across the globe.
Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden has quietly expanded his lead over President Donald Trump among registered voters, even as the rapidly spreading coronavirus has all but sidelined the former vice president's campaign, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday. The poll conducted on Monday and Tuesday of more than 1,100 American adults found that 46% of registered voters said they would support Biden if he were running against Trump in the Nov. 3 election, while 40% said they would vote for Trump. The result suggested that Biden had not been hurt politically from his lack of visibility while the Republican president is at the center of a government response to a pandemic that has infected more than 184,000 people in the United States and killed more than 3,700 people.
Americans on Tuesday got their first official glance at the statistical models used in recent weeks by federal officials to guide the country toward an economic shut down, implement social-distancing guidelines, and ask more than 250 million people to stay home. During a press briefing at the White House, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coordinator for its coronavirus task force, spoke about various predictive models that warned of as many as 1.5 million to 2.2 million people in the United States succumbing to this virus, without mitigation. Birx had previously said that the national death toll could reach between 100,000 to 200,000, even in a world where all of the federal social-distancing guidelines were followed “perfectly.”
Crystal Cox/Business Insider New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that legalizing recreational marijuana likely won't be included in the state's budget, dealing a blow to the cannabis industry companies that have invested a significant amount of time, money, and resources preparing for the rush of the state's millions of adult consumers into the legalized market. Cuomo was asked by a reporter on Tuesday about marijuana legalization — one of the key initiatives he laid out in his budget address on January 21 — in his daily press briefing on the state's coronavirus response. "It's not likely," Cuomo said.
On Wednesday Iran warned the U.S. it was “warmongering during the coronavirus outbreak,” after it deployed Patriot air defense missiles to Iraq.
This story is being published by POLITICO as part of a content partnership with the South China Morning Post. Henan province in central China has taken the drastic measure of putting a mid-sized county in total lockdown as authorities try to fend off a second coronavirus wave in the midst of a push to revive the economy. Curfew-like measures came into effect on Tuesday in Jia county, near the city of Pingdingshan, with the area's roughly 600,000 residents told to stay home, according to a notice on the country's official microblog account.
Amazon has begun allowing iPhone and Apple TV users to make in-app purchases and rent movies and shows from Amazon Prime. The move is a reversal for Amazon which had forced Prime users to leave the app and go to Amazon's website via a browser to make purchases. It is also a change for Apple which will allow Amazon to use its own payment system.
A large religious gathering in India's capital New Delhi has emerged as one of the country's 10 coronavirus hotspots, with at least six deaths and 37 positive cases found so far. Infections spread when about 2,000 Muslim devotees, including some visiting from Indonesia and Malaysia, attended a gathering at the Tabligh-e-Jamaat's Markaz in New Delhi's tightly packed Nizamuddin area in mid-March. Some 441 people from the center are being tested for Covid-19 and 1,107 others have been placed under quarantine after the building was evacuated on Monday and Tuesday by health officials and local police, Delhi's Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Federal immigration authorities have discovered a drug smuggling tunnel leading from San Diego under the U.S.-Mexico border and seized nearly $30 million worth of drugs found inside. Federal agents on the San Diego Tunnel Task Force discovered the “sophisticated” tunnel on Thursday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a release Tuesday. The discovery resulted from a joint investigation by members of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Border Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney's Office.