Trump used Monday's briefing of the coronavirus task force to lash out at several members of the press, despite having recently praised media coverage of his response to the crisis as “very fair.” After kicking off the briefing by praising his own administration for its response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Trump opened the briefing up to questions, during which he refused to acknowledge any criticism of his handling of the pandemic that has brought the United States to a virtual standstill. One point of contention was a report released today by the inspector general of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
In Italy, new data show that 20 percent of health care workers tested positive for COVID-19. In the U.S., people in my age group, 20 to 44, who test positive for coronavirus have a one in five chance of requiring hospitalization, and about a fifth of those end up in an intensive care unit. If I get infected, my chance of dying is one in 500.
The Trump administration is seizing the opportunity of the coronavirus pandemic to push a cause that has long been an irritant in U.S. relations with China: Taiwan. The virus has added yet another dimension to U.S.-China tensions that were already wracked by a trade war and heated discussions over intellectual property, human rights and Chinese policies in Hong Kong and the South China Sea. And, while U.S.-China differences over Taiwan have waxed and waned for decades, they have persisted and are reaching new heights as the world grapples with the exponential spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The governor of Wisconsin has issued an executive order to postpone the state's embattled elections on Tuesday for at least two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, following mounting criticism over the upcoming in-person vote. Governor Tony Evers (D-WI) delayed the presidential primary until 9 June, saying in a statement about the executive order: “Frankly, there's no good answer to this problem—I wish it were easy. I have been asking everyone to do their part to help keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and I had hoped that the Legislature would do its part—just as the rest of us are—to help keep people healthy and safe.
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear the Catholic Church's challenge to a local ban on religious advertising. The case, brought by the Archdiocese of Washington against the District of Columbia region's mass transit system, would have been the latest example of religious freedom appeals heard by the conservative-leaning court. The justices already are considering four major religion cases, all brought to them by religious organizations after lower court losses: • School choice: Three Montana women challenged a Montana ban on state funds being used to pay for religious education.
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Louisiana pointed to tentative signs on Monday that the coronavirus outbreak may be starting to plateau in their states but warned against complacency as the death toll nationwide approached 11,000. Although coronavirus cases and deaths continued to mount, the governors cited data suggesting the rates of growth and hospitalizations were slowing, possibly signaling a peak was at hand in three U.S. epicenters of the pandemic. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said statewide deaths from COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the virus, were up 599 from Sunday, on par with an increase of 594 during the previous 24 hours and 630 on Friday.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved the withdrawal of 1 billion euros from the country's sovereign wealth fund to help fight the coronavirus epidemic, President Hassan Rouhani's official website said on Monday.
China demanded an explanation from Brazil Monday after the far-right government's education minister linked the coronavirus pandemic to the Asian country's "plan for world domination," in a tweet imitating a Chinese accent. In the latest incident to strain ties between Brasilia and Beijing, Education Minister Abraham Weintraub insinuated China was behind the global health crisis. "Geopolitically, who will come out stronger from this global crisis?" he wrote on Twitter Saturday.
At the start of what is expected to be the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the White House tried to offer some hope that measures to contain the spread were working. The virus killed 1,264 over 24 hours in the U.S. as of 2:05 am ET on Tuesday, according to NBC New's tracker. Meanwhile China, where the pandemic broke out, claimed that not a single new death was reported, and the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, where the new virus was first identified, prepared for lockdown measures to be lifted.
Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the two leading medical experts on the White House coronavirus task force, said that out of deference to social distancing rules she had stayed away from her daughter's house — despite her 10-month-old granddaughter having registered a fever of 105 degrees over the weekend. Birx said the child, who is recovering, probably had roseola, a common childhood infection, not COVID-19. Birx, who meets daily with President Trump and Vice President Pence, said she has been vigilant about avoiding social contact “because of you two.”
AP Photo/David Zalubowski There's still a lot we don't know about the novel coronavirus and how it's transmitted from person to person. Virologist Don Milton said it's "not inconceivable" that you could catch the virus from someone you may pass on the street, like a breathless runner, but he's far more worried about being in close contact with other shoppers at the grocery store. "There's no exact cutoff between a large droplet and an aerosol, it's a continuum; as they get smaller, they stay in the air longer, and they have the potential to travel farther," Milton said.
Guatemala said Tuesday that a third deportee has tested positive for the coronavirus after being flown home by the United States. The report came a day after authorities announced they were suspending deportation flights from the U.S. over concerns about spreading the virus. The Health Ministry said the latest positive case was a 37-year-old man who was deported March 26 from Mesa, Arizona, and had been in quarantine since his return.
During a private conference call with Democrats on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at least $1 trillion will be needed for the next coronavirus relief package. Last month, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, and Pelosi said the next bill will build onto that, people on the call told Bloomberg News. Pelosi said there will have to be more direct payments to individuals, extended unemployment insurance, and additional funding for food stamps and the Payroll Protection Plan, which provides small business loans. One lawmaker told Bloomberg News Pelosi also said the bill should help state and local governments, particularly in areas with no more than 500,000 residents.
The claim: Christian humanitarian group Samaritan's Purse requires that workers in its NYC COVID-19 operation sign an anti-LGBTQ 'Statement of Faith' Samaritan's Purse, a Christian aid group that has conducted relief efforts around the world, set up a 68-bed field hospital staffed by several dozen personnel in New York's Central Park to address the COVID-19 outbreak. The organization's president and CEO, Franklin Graham, is a prominent evangelical Christian with a history of anti-LGBTQ statements. The organization has received praise for its efforts, which have relieved pressure on the city's overburdened health care system, while drawing criticism for its stance on LGBTQ issues.
The United States was preparing on Monday for what one official called the "peak death week" of the coronavirus, while across the Atlantic British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the most prominent person with COVID-19, was taken to intensive care. "Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)," Downing Street said on Monday, adding that the foreign secretary would deputize. A Reuters tally at 1400 GMT put the number of confirmed cases at 1.27 million - just three days after it crossed the 1 million mark - and deaths up by 17,000 over the same period to 70,395.
New York suffered the highest single-day increase in its death toll from coronavirus, governor Andrew Cuomo reported on Tuesday, even as those in the state were still under orders to stay at home. The governor noted the three-day average of hospitalizations was down, indicating the state is “reaching a plateau in the total number of hospitalizations”. The state has recorded 5,489 deaths, up from 4,758 a day earlier.
Qatar is renewing its push to regain access to the airspace of Gulf neighbors by invoking the coronavirus. Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Al Khater said the government refiled on March 29 a complaint with the United Nations civil aviation agency over a ban on Qatar-registered aircraft in airspace controlled by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Reopening the airspace would “avoid further derailing of these humanitarian efforts and medical assistance,” Al Khater said in a statement.
All of the doors and windows were locked from the inside, according to the sheriff's office. Patrick Jesernik, 54, and Cheryl Schriefer, 59, were found dead in separate rooms with obvious signs of trauma to their heads, the sheriff's office said in a statement. The couple, who were not married, had been together for eight years, according to Cathy Hoffmeyer, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.
Regular viewers of the White House coronavirus task force briefings have probably noticed certain recurring themes in President Trump's remarks: congratulating himself for acting swiftly to cut entry to the U.S. from China; praise for “the incredible people” on the podium with him and working behind the scenes; and an almost palpable yearning for a quick end to the pandemic and a resumption of “the greatest economy the world has ever seen.” Waging war on a disease is such a familiar trope it passes almost without notice: the “fight” against AIDS; the “struggle” to “conquer” smallpox, malaria, tuberculosis; health care workers on the “front lines” against Ebola, Zika, coronavirus.
The Los Angeles Times warned in an editorial last month that the COVID-19 pandemic threatened not only the health of individuals but the democratic process. The Supreme Court exacerbated that infection Monday when the justices blocked a lower court's decision to extend the period in which Wisconsin voters could mail in absentee ballots. On Monday the state Supreme Court rebuffed an attempt by Wisconsin's Democratic governor to suspend in-person voting on Tuesday and expand voting by mail.
Amazon on Sunday evening advised the workers who sort and move your packages to wear face masks to work. Amazon told Business Insider on Monday that there are enough masks for every employee in its operations network and grocery stores for several weeks, though distribution will have to be "deliberate." The employees on Amazon's operations side received a text message Sunday evening saying they were "recommended" to wear a mask to work.
Israel's domestic security agency said Tuesday it arrested an Israeli citizen alleged to have spied for Iran. The Shin Bet alleged in a statement the man was in contact with Iranian agents abroad, where he was given money, guidance and encryption tools. The Shin Bet said the man was expected to provide information on strategic Israeli sites, ways to promote division in Israeli society, carry out attacks against Israeli targets and enlist Arab citizens of Israel to assist Iran.
Cardinal George Pell has said he “holds no ill will” towards his accuser after Australia's highest court overturned his conviction for child sexual abuse. Cardinal Pell has maintained his innocence since he was charged by police in June 2017. “However, my trial was not a referendum on the Catholic Church; nor a referendum on how Church authorities in Australia dealt with the crime of paedophilia in the Church."
Interviews with more than 20 British scientists, key officials and senior sources in Johnson's Conservative Party, and a study of minutes of advisory committee meetings and public testimony and documents, show how these scientific advisers concluded early the virus could be devastating. But the interviews and documents also reveal that for more than two months, the scientists whose advice guided Downing Street did not clearly signal their worsening fears to the public or the government. Until March 12, the risk level, set by the government's top medical advisers on the recommendation of the scientists, remained at "moderate," suggesting only the possibility of a wider outbreak.
Imaras Vera earlier this week posted a video of herself in tears on social media, announcing she had quit her job as an intensive care unit nurse because her and her fellow nurses were not provided masks and were not permitted to wear masks they brought to work themselves. “Imaris Vera, the nurse in this video, clarified her experience on Monday in a tweet: 'We were each assigned 1 N95 per 1 covid patient's room but was not allowed to wear it outside of the room, wear our own N95 mask around the Nurses station or Halls, which I came prepared with,'” CBS posted on Twitter on Tuesday. “The hospital, Northwestern Medicine, acknowledged that Imaris Vera had quit her job, but referred CBS News to Vera as to the details of why.”