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.
When the White House projected on March 31 that, even with social distancing measures, 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die of COVID-19, the numbers were not necessarily shocking to those who had been paying attention. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had already said he projected between 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. deaths, and estimates by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington are not much different, projecting 81,766 American deaths by Aug. 4, as of Monday afternoon. White House is now setting the goal posts at 100-200K dead as a good job.
Alton, Illinois, Mayor Brent Walker wrote a lengthy apology statement to his constituents and berated his wife, Shannon, for her "stunning lack of judgment." "My wife is an adult capable of making her own decisions, and in this instance, she exhibited a stunning lack of judgment," Walker wrote in a statement to the Telegraph. Walker said he told Alton's police chief that his wife did not deserve any special treatment and should receive the same punishment as any other citizen who violated the state's stay-at-home order.
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from a Catholic church in Washington, D.C., that sought to place religious-themed ads on public buses. The justices are leaving in place a federal appeals court ruling that found no fault with the Washington transit agency policy that banned all issue-oriented advertisements on the region's rail and bus system. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington sought to place an ad on the outside of public buses in the fall of 2017.
Felix Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images Chinese authorities began an official investigation into the disease in January, after fear began spreading that this could be like SARS, another coronavirus that originated in China and killed 774 people in the early 2000s. Reuters On January 7, Chinese authorities identified the illness to be a new type of coronavirus (called a novel coronavirus or nCoV). BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images Four days later, on January 11, China recorded its first coronavirus death, a 61-year old man in Wuhan.
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.
LONDON—The British prime minister Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care Monday in a shock development that followed days of Downing Street playing down the severity of his illness. It's the first time in more than a half a century that a British prime minister has been incapacitated while in office. Downing Street tried to keep up the appearance that Johnson was well enough to lead the country over the last 24 hours, but it has become increasingly clear that the 55-year-old is seriously ill.
Saudi Arabia placed its capital Riyadh and other big cities under a 24-hour curfew on Monday, locking down much of the population as the largest Gulf Arab country expanded efforts to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. The new curfew applies to the cities of Riyadh, Tabuk, Damam, Dharan, Hofuf, and the provinces of Jeddah, Taif, Qatif and Khobar, a statement from the interior ministry said. Saudi Arabia reported four more deaths from the virus on Monday, bringing the total death toll there to 38.
On Friday, the mayor of an Illinois city announced that he had directed the police department to "more strictly enforce" the statewide stay-at-home order, which was put in place to stem the spread of coronavirus. "I have directed the police department to use their discretion in issuing citations or making arrests for those refusing to follow the state-issued stay at home mandate," said Alton, Illinois Mayor Brant Walker during a coronavirus update posted Friday on Facebook. It detailed the individuals, who were not explicitly named, were "clearly disregarding the executive order and public pleas for compliance."
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.”
The claim: Joe Biden stuck a gun in a woman's mouth in Wisconsin A manipulated photo that dates back more than a decade is finding new life amid the effort of many Americans to stay at home and engage in social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. An image of Democratic presidential frontrunner and former Vice President Joe Biden shared more than 2,000 times on Facebook purports to show Biden sticking a gun in an elderly woman's mouth. The accompanying text claims it happened at a 2019 rally in Wisconsin.
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.
Iran demanded on Wednesday that U.S. oil production levels must be known before an upcoming OPEC meeting with Russia and others seeking to boost global energy prices. The meeting of the so-called OPEC+ is scheduled to be held Thursday after officials delayed it following Saudi Arabia criticizing Russia over its comments about the price collapse. A meeting in March saw OPEC and other nations led by Russia fail to agree to a production cut as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has drastically cut demand for oil.
China has reported no new deaths from coronavirus anywhere in the country, for the first time since the beginning of the outbreak. For months now, every morning at 03:00, officials in China have put together the latest figures on the spread of the virus to share with the world. World Health Organization Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed China for the "speed with which [it] detected the outbreak" and its "commitment to transparency".
The street gangs that have long terrorized El Salvador have now turned their attention from extortion and killing to a more pressing matter: enforcing social distancing restrictions, often with threats and baseball bats. The gangs assumed their role as public health thugs after President Nayib Bukele ordered a 30-day lockdown that started March 22. In many parts of the country, the gangs are more effective than government authorities, with tactics that include circulating recordings on messaging applications threatening people who break the rules.
Earlier on Monday, O Globo newspaper reported that Bolsonaro had decided to fire him, and would publish his decision in the official gazette by the end of the day. While Mandetta has encouraged Brazilians to adopt the World Health Organization's guidance on social distancing and self-quarantining, Bolsonaro has said such a response will destroy the economy and do more harm to the population than the virus itself. The relationship between the two has deteriorated just as the pandemic heads toward a peak in Brazil.
Mount Sinai New York is running short on ventilators, the breathing machines that could be the difference between life and death for some coronavirus patients. Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan has figured out a way to turn sleep apnea machines into ventilators after receiving a donation from Tesla CEO Elon Musk in March Dr. Hooman Poor, who helped convert the machines, told Business Insider that after a few tweaks, "there was really no reason why this couldn't work."
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said a U.S.-led Afghanistan peacemaking drive has seen progress since he visited Kabul last month to persuade the Afghan president and his main political foe to end their leadership feud. "We've made some progress, but we see them posturing in the media, we see statements that come out," Pompeo told a State Department news conference. Pompeo paid a one-day visit to Kabul on March 23 to pressure Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and political rival Abdullah Abdullah to end a feud over a disputed September presidential election that saw them both claim victory and hold competing inaugurations.
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 coronavirus pandemic is affecting nearly everyone in the world in different ways, but for one Louisiana family, the deadly virus inflicted a particularly devastating blow. Four members of the same family died after contracting the virus, including the 86-year-old matriarch. Antoinette Franklin and three of her sons all died within days of each other.
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.
Voters reported being afraid, angry and embarrassed by the state's unwillingness to postpone their presidential primary elections as more than a dozen other states have already done. Neither Joe Biden nor Bernie Sanders will be declared a winner at least until next Monday in accordance with one of several court orders that shaped the contest. And there was evidence that minority voters were disproportionately impacted by widespread poll closures in their communities.
Stark statistics from Chicago health officials have underscored the heavy toll of coronavirus on black Americans. Black Chicagoans account for half of all coronavirus cases in the city and more than 70% of deaths, despite making up 30% of the population. Other cities with large black populations, including Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans and New York, have become coronavirus hotspots.
Many Vatican insiders who felt Pell was a scapegoat convicted for the sins of many others will now feel vindicated, while survivors of clerical sexual abuse feel as if they have been victimized all over again. Pope Francis earlier said he would refrain from commenting until all the Australian court processes played out. But at his televised mass Tuesday morning, he seemed to send a subtle message of support for Pell.
There are many lessons to be learned from the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Were China a more civilized nation, this outbreak would have been stopped early, and with far less harm, inside and outside of China. As Marion Smith wrote in these pages on Sunday, China's first response was to clamp down on reports of the then-new disease that had appeared in Wuhan.