President Trump said Tuesday that he did not learn of two memos written in January and February by his own economic adviser warning that a COVID-19 pandemic could kill as many as 2 million Americans until “maybe a day ago.” On Jan. 29, Peter Navarro warned his colleagues at the White House that if the administration did not mount an aggressive containment strategy for the coronavirus, it could kill more than half a million Americans and cost the country nearly $6 trillion. Nearly a month later, on Feb. 23, Navarro distributed an even more dire second memo in which he said as many as 100 million Americans could be infected with COVID-19, which might kill upwards of 2 million U.S. citizens.
Federal agencies are concerned that domestic extremists could use the coronavirus pandemic to attack Asians and Jews, according to a joint intelligence bulletin obtained by Yahoo News. That bulletin mirrors what organizations that monitor online hate content are also finding. The bulletin, a joint effort of the Department of Justice, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security, is dated April 7.
One doctor who has been treating COVID-19 patients at a New York-area hospital says there's no reason to believe it would work. Marik acknowledged that the World Health Organization has advised against the use of corticosteroids to treat viral pneumonia in patients with COVID-19 (except in clinical trials) citing previous studies on other viral diseases like SARS and MERS, which found insufficient evidence that the drugs were effective. But Marik's view encapsulates a growing suspicion among doctors treating COVID-19 that the disease has some novel features that may require a unique approach.
Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) slammed the World Health Organization's director general Tedros Adhanom for being “a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party” over the organization's response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Cheney, speaking to radio host Hugh Hewitt, cited Tedros's kowtowing to Chinese authority in the wake of the outbreak, despite multiple reports detailing how Chinese government officials failed in their response. “The fact that the head of the WHO was unwilling to say, for example, yes, it's right to cut off travel from China, was unwilling to acknowledge that there was, you know, community transmission, has been touting the Chinese Communist Party line from the beginning of this, tells you that he absolutely should go,” Cheney stated.
The Saudi king suspended final rulings and judicial orders on visitation rights of children of separated parents in the latest effort to try and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus among households, according to state media reports Wednesday. The state-run Saudi Press Agency said parents were notified of the changes by text message, the latest measure by the kingdom to stem the rising number of new infections as a nearly nationwide 24-hour curfew takes place. Saudi Arabia has more than 2,900 confirmed cases of the virus, including 41 deaths.
The Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged ended its more-than two-month lockdown on Wednesday, even as a small northern city ordered restrictions on residents amid concern about a second wave of infections.
A Texas teenager who police said announced on social media she would intentionally spread the coronavirus has been arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat. Police in Carrollton, near Dallas, arrested Lorraine Maradiaga, 18, late Tuesday morning after arranging her surrender to the city jail. "Maradiaga has stated that she is COVID-19 negative, and we currently have no proof that Maradiaga has tested positive," Carrollton police said in a statement.
News updates on coronavirus in Africa Coronavirus live tracker Whipping, shooting and snooping during Africa lockdowns Earlier this week, an African Union report said that nearly 20 million jobs on the continent "are threatened with destruction". There are currently more than 11,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and there have been more than 570 confirmed deaths across Africa. South Africa, one of the continent's largest economies, has been the worst hit and is about to enter the third week of a strict lockdown.
Diplomats from the 27-nation EU approved an upgrade to European legislation on enforcing international commercial rules. The envoys decided to let the EU impose penalties against countries that illegally restrict commerce and simultaneously block the World Trade Organization's dispute-settlement process. The deal on Wednesday in Brussels advances a proposal made by EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan in December -- before Europe became the epicenter of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic and governments across the region unleashed unprecedented economic stimulus.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, now the presumptive Democrat nominee, told donors Wednesday afternoon that his campaign is mobilizing a team to help pick his running mate. “We are putting in place, which we can do with abandon now, a mechanism to be able to vet the vice presidential potential picks,” Biden said, when asked if he's going to be announcing his running mate after the last primary in June. On Wednesday morning, Bernie Sanders, Biden's only remaining rival for the Democratic nomination, ended his presidential bid.
Vice President Mike Pence is blocking the US's top public-health officials from appearing on CNN in an effort to pressure the network to air the White House coronavirus briefings in their entirety, CNN reported Thursday. CNN is one of several networks that often cut away from the briefings to fact-check the President Donald Trump's statements and don't always air the full events, which can last a few hours. "When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air," a representative for Pence told CNN.
Ashita S. Batavia, MD, MSc, is a board-certified infectious diseases specialist and public health expert with extensive experience in treating epidemics. In my state, New York, our hospital systems are being strained in unprecedented ways. As a frontline infectious diseases doctor, this is what I want my friends and neighbors to do if they have COVID-19 symptoms and are asked to go to the emergency room.
Senator Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) on Wednesday labeled President Trump a 'drug-pusher' for continually touting hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for coronavirus. “The president keeps taking the stage and as opposed to what Dr. [Anthony] Fauci and medical health professionals are telling us, pushing this drug,” Harris said on The View. “He's got to stop — he's not — we don't want a drug pusher for president.”
Top oil producers meeting later Thursday intend to cut production by between 10 and 15 million barrels per day, Kuwait's Oil Minister Khaled al-Fadhel reportedly said. The talks between OPEC and other major producers come as oil languishes at near-two decade lows, with Russia and Saudi Arabia's price war compounding slack demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. "Through our continuous consultations in the past weeks, I confirm that the intention is to conclude an agreement to cut production by a large amount ranging between 10 million bpd and 15 million bpd," Fadhel said in an interview with Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai published Thursday.
The U.S. state has 149,316 reported cases compared with Spain at 146,690. In total, the United States has recorded over 417,000 cases and 14,100 deaths, according to the Reuters tally. European countries, including hardest-hit Italy and Spain, have started looking ahead to easing lockdowns but their coronavirus-related fatality rates have fluctuated after initially showing a decline.
Pope Francis on Holy Thursday hailed priests and medical staff who tend to the needs of COVID-19 patients as “the saints next door.” Francis celebrated the Holy Week evening Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, which was kept off-limits to the public because of restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the new coronavirus. The pope began his off-the-cuff homily by honoring the memory of priests who gave their lives in service to others, singling out those who died after tending to sick people in Italy's hospitals.
In an unprecedented move, the Italian government has declared its seaports “unsafe” due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will not authorise the landing of migrant rescue boats until the end of the emergency. In a decree issued late on Tuesday, the government wrote that “for the entire duration of the health emergency, due to the outbreak of coronavirus, Italian ports cannot be classified as 'safe places' for the landing of people rescued from boats flying a foreign flag”. The measure – the first of its kind in Italian history – appeared designed to prevent rescue boats from disembarking migrants in the upcoming weeks, as departures from Libya have increased in recent days with the arrival of good weather.
It includes a joint employment insurance fund worth 100 billion euros, a European Investment Bank instrument intended to supply 200 billion euros of liquidity to companies, as well as credit lines of up to 240 billion euros from the European Stability Mechanism -- the euro area's bailout fund -- to backstop states as they go on a spending spree to help economies back on their feet. Covid-19 has overwhelmed Europe, with the continent suffering more than 65% of the worldwide deaths attributable to the virus. In Europe, it has pitted the more frugal countries in the north against Italy and Spain, the worst-affected countries.
Jacquelyn Schneider is a Hoover Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and a non-resident fellow at the Naval War College. On April 2, Capt. Brett Crozier, commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, was fired after a memo he wrote requesting support for his COVID-19 stricken crew made its way to the San Francisco Chronicle. The memo ignited a veritable brouhaha for the Navy and highlighted issues that have been simmering for both the service and the Defense Department -- from civilian-military relations in the Trump administration to Navy leadership and accountability.
As the Chinese city that was the original center of the coronavirus outbreak came out of lockdown with a celebratory light show, the U.S. registered its deadliest day yet with nearly 2,000 lives lost. After 11 weeks of strict restrictions on their movements, residents of Wuhan were allowed out on Wednesday and tens of thousands of residents prepared to leave the city, 100 days after the World Health Organization first reported the virus. In the U.S., the virus has now killed 12,849 people as of 2:50 am ET Wednesday, according to NBC News' tally, while the number of confirmed cases are nearing 400,000.
Jeffrey Abrahams/Gallo Images via Getty Images South Africa has been under strict lockdown since March 27, despite only a small number of Covid-19 deaths in that country. No-one is allowed out for exercise, and the sale of alcohol, cigarettes, and clothing has been banned. The country's president has just sanctioned a government minister for visiting a friend's house.
Vice President Mike Pence has blocked Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, as well as other top U.S. health officials, from appearing on CNN following the network's decision to not air the White House coronavirus press briefings in full. “When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air,” a spokesman for the vice president told CNN. Trump and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by Pence, have been giving daily briefings to the press for several weeks after rising numbers of Americans have been infected.
Casino workers in Las Vegas voiced anger Thursday at being abandoned by their billionaire employers as the gambling mecca becomes a "ghost town" due to coronavirus. While a few casinos including Wynn and Encore continue to support workers, most offered only two weeks' "closing pay" or less, forcing staff to file for unemployment, union workers told a web conference. "This is not going to sustain us -- we need to feed our families, we need to put food on the table, we have bills mounting up," said Debra Jeffries, a cocktail waitress for four decades at a major Strip casino.
The coronavirus death count in New York City, already unfathomable, is expected to surge in the coming days as officials begin including people who have been dropping dead at home without an official diagnosis. Emergency Medical Service data first reported by Gothamist suggests the undercount of individuals who have likely died from the virus is massive. Until this month, about 25 people in New York City were found dead in their homes on a typical day, suggesting that most of Tuesday's calls were related to the outbreak that has already killed over 5,400 people across the state and infected 140,386 more.
The bodies of the 39 people were found in the container at the back of the truck on Oct. 23.. Police investigating the case found the 31 male and eight female victims were all from Vietnam and ranged in age from 15 to 44, including 10 teenagers. Police said they died of a combination of a lack of oxygen and overheating in an enclosed space.