U.S. intelligence officials with the National Center for Medical Intelligence issued a report in November warning that a virus was taking root in China, ABC News reported Wednesday. Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event,” a source inside the government told ABC, and the report was shared with the White House, the Pentagon's Joint Staff and the Defense Intelligence Agency. It is unclear whether Trump was ever briefed on the NCMI report, but sources who spoke to ABC described multiple briefings about the report throughout December for “policymakers” as well as officials at the National Security Council and the White House.
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.
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.
At Tuesday's coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump said he never saw a memo written in January by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro warning about the possible effects of coronavirus in the United States. The memo warned that the illness could endanger the lives of millions of Americans.
America's coronavirus epicenter of New York recorded a new single-day high of 799 COVID-19 deaths Thursday but Governor Andrew Cuomo said the rate of hospitalizations continued to fall. Cuomo said 799 people died in the last 24 hours, outdoing the previous high of 779 announced on Wednesday, but added that the curve was flattening because of social confinement measures. "We had a 200-net increase in hospitalizations, which you can see is the lowest number we've had since this nightmare started," Cuomo told reporters, adding that intensive care admissions were also at the lowest yet.
A truck driver accused in the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants whose bodies were found inside a refrigerated container that had been hauled to England pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday. Maurice Robinson, 25, of Craigavon in Northern Ireland, entered the plea at Central London Criminal Court. 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.
A row has erupted after the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) accused Taiwan's leaders of spearheading personal attacks on him. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had been subjected to racist comments and death threats for months. But President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan opposed any form of discrimination, and invited Dr Tedros to visit the island.
Coronavirus claimed 1,973 lives in the U.S. on Wednesday, the largest one-day death toll in the country since the start of the pandemic, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Earlier on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, indicated that, while deaths may continue to rise, there actually may be reason to hope the outbreak in the U.S. is slowing. “At the same time as we're seeing an increase in death, like typically what we are seeing now from New York, over the last few days, there's been a stabilization and a decrease in the hospitalizations, admissions to intensive care and of the requirements for intubations,” Fauci told Fox News.
With Bernie Sanders's inexplicably delayed exit from the presidential primary on Wednesday, it is final: Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee. Indeed, it is still unclear whether anything like a national presidential convention will be held at all this year for either of our major political parties. Barring some unforeseen accident or a top-secret Zoom convocation of party elders bent on replacing him with Andrew Cuomo, Biden is going to be the one to run against Donald Trump in November, regardless of whether thousands of minor functionaries end up assembling in Milwaukee for a week of pointless roll-call votes and binge drinking.
The Philippines on Wednesday expressed solidarity with Vietnam after Hanoi protested what it said was the ramming and sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat by a Chinese coast guard ship in the disputed South China Sea. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila expressed deep concern over the reported April 3 sinking of the boat carrying eight fishermen off the Paracel Islands. China claims virtually the entire South China Sea and has built several islands equipped with military installations in the area, one of world's busiest shipping lanes.
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.
In an open letter published as European finance ministers met by video conference, 10 environment and climate ministers said any rescue package should support the European Commission's Green Deal strategy to embrace a low-carbon future. "We need to send a strong political signal to the world and our citizens that the EU will lead by example even in difficult times like the present and blaze the trail to climate neutrality and the fulfilment of the Paris Agreement," the letter said, referring to a landmark 2015 accord to tackle climate change. The 10 countries want to see increased investment to support renewable energy, sustainable transport, energy efficiency and other steps to back the EU Green Deal's goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
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.
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.
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.
The coronavirus will be the end of the handshake as we know it, if Dr. Anthony Fauci has his way. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, one of the leading experts in the fight against COVID-19 the U.S., told the Wall Street Journal podcast on Tuesday that when the country begins to loosen lockdown restrictions, some behaviors must change. “When you gradually come back, you don't jump into it with both feet,” Fauci told podcast host Kate Linebaugh on The Journal, talking about what life might look like when it eventually starts returning to normal.
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.
Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is joining a growing call for the release of comprehensive racial data on the coronavirus pandemic, which he says has put a spotlight on inequity and the impact of “structural racism." Biden's Medium post on Thursday said he is joining Democratic congressional members Ayanna Pressley, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and others who have also called for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to release more data. Biden said he wants data released on income, too, to better help allocate resources to communities in need.
In 2016, he released his Medicare for All plan by declaring, “It is time for our country to join every other major industrialized nation on Earth and guarantee health care to all citizens as a right, not a privilege. His 2020 campaign website further echoed this sentiment, stating that “the United States will join every other major country on Earth and guarantee health care to all people as a right. A consistent candidate often comes across as a more authentic candidate – someone who is staying true to his core self rather than pandering to the latest polling data or saying whatever will attract the most dramatic news coverage.
Driving to a factory in China's southeastern province of Fujian to meet a friend, Ye Jing was stopped by a security guard soon after returning from two months of lockdown in Hubei, the province hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. "His whole manner and actions changed," the shoe factory manager said, after the guard spotted her Hubei licence plate and asked where she was from.
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.
Pakistan's army said Thursday it had shot down a small Indian surveillance drone in Kashmir, as tensions rose over continued cross-border shelling in the disputed territory. According to a statement from the army media wing, the Indian quadcopter -- about the same size as a commercially available hobby drone -- had crossed 600 metres (650 yards) over the de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC). "This blatant act was aggressively responded to by Pakistan Army troops shooting down Indian quadcopter," the statement read.
As cases continued to surge, Wuhan authorities hastily built a 1,000-bed emergency coronavirus hospital in just 10 days. Chinese state media livestreamed the construction of Huoshenshan Hospital, which began on January 23 and was completed on February 2. Chinese authorities built a second makeshift hospital, Leishenshan Hospital, just 25 miles away to treat more COVID-19 patients.