President Trump shied away Wednesday from issuing domestic travel restrictions or a national lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that, in a best-case scenario, is expected to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. Asked at a White House briefing if he was considering limiting domestic air travel, Trump said he was thinking about it, a phrase he frequently applies to subjects he wishes to avoid discussing. We're thinking about doing that, but at the same time we just, to start these airlines and to start this whole thing over again is very tough, John [Roberts, Fox News reporter].
Washington state, early, about two weeks before New York or New Jersey ... California, a week before New York or New Jersey, really talked to their communities and decided to mitigate before they started seeing this number of cases. And now we know that makes a big difference.
Two years ago, some of the nation's top public health officials gathered in an auditorium at Emory University in Atlanta to commemorate the 1918 influenza pandemic — also known as “the Spanish flu” — which had killed as many as 40 million people as it swept the globe. Implicit was the understanding that while the 1918 pandemic was a singular catastrophe, conditions in the 21st century were ideal for another outbreak. Long before the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, and then soon spread to nearly every country on Earth, the 2018 conference offered proof that epidemiologists at the CDC and other institutions were aware that a new pandemic was poised to strike.
Pakistani Muslims at a Karachi mosque clashed with baton-wielding police trying to enforce new curbs on gatherings to prevent Friday prayers and contain coronavirus infections, officials said. TV footage showed dozens of people chasing two police vehicles and pelting them with stones as an officer fired in the air to disperse the crowd. After failing to persuade worshippers to pray at home last week, the government in Pakistan's southern province of Sindh, home to the financial hub of Karachi, enforced a lockdown for three hours beginning at noon on Friday, officials said.
The CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has described what it's like to have the coronavirus. Cuomo said he hoped his description of his symptoms could convince people that COVID-19 wasn't an easy illness to get through, even for healthy people like him. The CNN anchor Chris Cuomo says he's lost a dramatic amount of weight since testing positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this week.
Good news for travelers who are weary of flying anytime soon due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic: Delta Air Lines is making a major change to their rebooking policy. Passengers now have the flexibility to change their flights for up to two years without paying a hefty change fee. Travelers who bought tickets between March 1 and May 31 can still change their flight without incurring a change fee, but will only be eligible to do so for a year from their purchase date.
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 continues to grow in the US. Mike Pence, the vice-president, is overseeing the US response to the coronavirus. So far, 80% of patients experience a mild form of the illness, which can include a fever and pneumonia, and many of these cases require little to no medical intervention.
A Venezuelan patrol boat was sent to intercept the cruise ship Resolute, firing warning shots and ramming it several times. The cruise ship, built to operate in iceberg-infested waters, suffered only minor damage and sailed to safety while the Venezuelan cruiser sank itself. A Venezuelan Navy offshore patrol vessel Naiguata sent to intercept a lowly cruise ship accidentally owned itself.
The Olympics may have been postponed and the number of coronavirus cases is rising, but the Japanese government has not declared a state of emergency or ordered lockdown measures like those implemented in New York, California and countries such as China, Italy and Spain. Businesses, bars and restaurants remain open in Japan and residents can, for the most part, move freely, leading some to express their unease at their government's “slow” reaction to the pandemic. “The Japanese government is really slow,” hair stylist Natsumi Makino, who works at Hair Salon Nalu in Tokyo's Shibuya ward, said.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' refusal to push for a delay of his state's Tuesday primary has infuriated fellow Democrats in the state, who are now openly accusing him of failing to prevent an impending train wreck. As the nation hurtles toward 5,000 coronavirus deaths and governors across the country take extreme steps to keep people at home, Wisconsin is forging ahead with the election despite having its own stay-at-home order. The likely outcome is that Wisconsinites will wake up on election day being told to stay put at the same time they're greenlighted to head to crowded polling sites.
As the worsening coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country, millions of Americans living with diabetes face heightened risks from COVID-19. Around 30 million Americans have diabetes, mostly of the type II (previously called “adult-onset”) variety. A quarter of U.S. adults with diabetes are over 65, an age that has been shown to delineate increased COVID-19 mortality rates.
Oil prices rocketed Thursday, posting the largeset percent increase ever, after US President Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia planned to end their price war by slashing output. But the initial surge cooled after Russia denied it had spoken with Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter of crude. After Trump tweeted that Saudi and Russia could slash production by up to 15 million barrels, Brent hit $36.29 a barrel, up almost 46 percent, and West Texas Intermediate soared around 35 percent to $27.39.
The Chinese city of Shenzhen has banned the eating of dogs and cats as part of a wider clampdown on the wildlife trade since the emergence of the new coronavirus. Scientists suspect the coronavirus passed to humans from animals. Some of the earliest infections were found in people who had exposure to a wildlife market in the central city of Wuhan, where bats, snakes, civets and other animals were sold.
The IRS plans to begin sending out coronavirus stimulus payments as soon as April 9, according to an internal distribution plan obtained by The Washington Post. Electronic payments could be sent out next Thursday, the internal document said, but paper checks are set to be mailed out to Americans on a weekly rotation beginning later. About 145 million Americans can expect cash meant to support those who have been affected by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, with about 6.6 million people filing for unemployment last week alone.
Mexico's homicide rate raced to a new record in March, as violence raged even as Covid-19 spread across the country and authorities urged the population to stay home and practise social distancing. Mexico registered 2,585 homicides in March – the highest monthly figure since records began in 1997 – putting 2020 on track to break last year's record total for murders. The surge in killings comes as federal and state officials put resources into containing the Covid-19 crisis and confront the prospect of an already sluggish economy falling even further – potentially deepening the misery for the more than 40% of the population living in poverty.
Despite that, many in a Manila slum took to the streets Wednesday to protest a lack of supplies, arguing they had not received any food packs since the lockdown started two weeks ago. "I will not hesitate my soldiers to shoot you," Duterte said in forceful tones Wednesday. On Thursday, as often happens after Duterte makes these sorts of inflammatory public remarks, Filipino officials rushed to insist that the president was simply using hyperbole to communicate the gravity of the situation.
At the coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump said he didn't want to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order to fight the pandemic because there are some states that don't have a large number of positive coronavirus cases.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed attempts by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to spearhead talks about a fourth coronavirus relief bill, saying that she should “stand down” on the proposal. “She needs to stand down on the notion that we're going to go along with taking advantage of the crisis to do things that are unrelated to the crisis,” McConnell said, calling the speaker's suggestions about fourth relief bill “premature.” The Senate majority leader's remarks come a week after Congress passed a massive $2 trillion stimulus package to offset the economic destruction caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to spread across the country, causing businesses to shutter and lay off workers.
Parents of students who canceled a spring break trip to Mexico say the sponsoring company is not refunding their money and had reassured them beforehand that their children would be safe from the coronavirus. Yet 44 of the 70 young adults who took the trip returned to the U.S. with COVID-19, the disease associated with the virus, according to the University of Texas at Austin. The group traveled on a chartered plane to Cabo San Lucas about two weeks ago with JusCollege, a company based in Nevada that plans all-inclusive spring break trips.
The granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy and her 8-year-old son were missing on Friday after they took a canoe out into rough waters on Chesapeake Bay, near Annapolis, on Thursday evening. Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and her son, Gideon, rowed the canoe out around 4 p.m. to fetch a ball that had been kicked into the water by children playing in their yard, Maeve's husband, David McKean, told The Washington Post. An overturned canoe matching the description of the one that went missing was recovered, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources police said.
The U.S. government on Friday sounded alarm about the surge in coronavirus cases in Japan, adding to a chorus of prominent domestic voices - including the governor of Tokyo - who have called for decisive action to avoid an explosive outbreak. Amid growing clamour for tighter curbs on people's movements to stem a rising tide of infections, the government has so far been reluctant to pull the trigger, warning of the heavy damage that could ensue in the world's third-biggest economy, already close to recession. Instead, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged school closures and called on citizens to avoid unnecessary and non-urgent gatherings and outings while preparing to roll out an economic stimulus plan next week - even as he acknowledged the country was barely avoiding a major jump in infections.
REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Picture Elon Musk was criticized on Thursday for apparently sending BiPAP machines, not the life-support ventilators most-needed to save coronavirus patients, to a New York hospital. New York City Hospitals thanked Musk and Tesla in a tweet for sending "40 ventilators" to a hospital in Queens, but the photo appears to show a BiPAP machine, which is more commonly used for sleep apnea. Some medical experts have warned that CPAP and BiPAP machines could be harmful in treating coronavirus patients by potentially spreading the disease.
Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, emphasized on Thursday how important it is for all Americans to practice social distancing, saying this is the best way to slow down the spread of coronavirus. It's not enough to use masks, Birx said during a press conference, and even small gatherings of just a few people need to be avoided. Spain, Italy, France, and Germany are bending their curves, Birx said, and "we can bend ours, but it means everybody has to take the same responsibility as Americans."
The price of crude oil surged again Friday after OPEC said it would talk to non-members, notably Russia, giving investors hope that they will stop a price war which has created market chaos along with crushed demand because of the coronavirus. The Saudi-led OPEC group of oil producers and their allies will meet Monday via video conference, a source close to the cartel said. Global stock markets fell following another set of devastating American employment numbers, gloomy eurozone services data and news that the number of declared COVID-19 infections had hit one million worldwide.