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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Americans have turned some of their bipartisan ire amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic toward Beijing, a new Harris Poll survey released Wednesday shows. Per the poll, nearly 90 percent of Republicans believe China, where the coronavirus originated, is responsible for the spread while two-thirds of Democrats surveyed said the same. There's a little more discrepancy across party lines when it comes to how Chinese President Xi Jinping and his government should reckon with their role in exacerbating crisis, but more than half of Americans believe Beijing should pay some form of reparations to other countries.
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.
Italy and Spain are preparing for several more weeks under lockdown as volatile coronavirus infection rates prevent Europe's governments from easing curbs on public life. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, whose country has reported the most virus-linked deaths worldwide, is leaning toward an extension to early May, with few concessions to business demands to allow more companies to operate normally. Spain prolonged a state of emergency until April 25 and the U.K. also is likely to extend restrictions.
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.
Five rockets hit a major U.S. air base in Afghanistan on Thursday but there were no casualties, Afghanistan's NATO-led force said, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State militant group. The attack comes weeks after Taliban militants and the United States reached a deal on the withdrawal of U.S.-led international troops in exchange for Taliban security guarantees. Islamic State militants have not been included in the pact.
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.
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.
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.
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.
China is investigating a prominent Communist Party member who criticized leader Xi Jinping's handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
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.
Charlotte Figi, whose life-long battle with a rare seizure disorder led to medical marijuana reform, died Tuesday after members of her family contracted an unspecified "virus," according to a post on her mother's Facebook page. Figi was 13 years old. It is with a heavy heart that we write to let you know that Charlotte Figi passed away yesterday.
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.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet agreed on Wednesday to accept 50 migrant children and youths from overcrowded camps on Greek islands. The move was a first step by Germany, officials said, as worries mount about the health situation in the Greek camps due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tens of thousands of migrants tried to get into European Union member Greece after Turkey said in February it would no longer prevent them from doing so, as agreed in a 2016 deal with the EU in return for aid for Syrian refugees.
Hospitals in seven states say the federal government has been quietly seizing medical supply orders amid the coronavirus crisis, a Los Angeles Times investigation revealed April 7. Officials and staff at the hospitals told the newspaper they never received guidance on why the materials were taken, where they went, or when they can expect replacement orders. A FEMA representative told the newspaper that "high-transmission areas were prioritized, and allocations were based on population, not on quantities requested."
Throughout Tuesday night's primetime stretch, Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham were in lockstep in telegraphing to Trump a message that the pandemic's threat has been overstated, death counts have been inflated, and the U.S. is already on the downside of the curve. Carlson, who received mainstream plaudits for his “admirable” early coronavirus coverage, kicked off his show by declaring that the crisis “may have passed,” noting that health-care systems across the country haven't come close to collapsing—“except in a handful of places. Patients are not dying alone in the hallways of emergency rooms with physicians too overwhelmed to treat them,” he asserted.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. says he is considering using the teleconferencing software Zoom to hold hearings into foreign election interference and other key issues, including the firing of intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson, while social distancing restrictions remain in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) is predicting a severe decline in international commerce this year. In a new report the WTO forecasts a contraction of between 13% and 32% this year. The wide range of possibilities reflects the uncertainties about the health crisis.
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.