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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New York reported 799 new deaths on Thursday, on top of about 1,500 in the prior two days. The latest spike in deaths, which lag as an indicator of the virus's spread, comes as the rate of hospitalizations in the city and state is dropping sharply. At his daily virus briefing on Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said there had been only 200 net new hospitalizations over 24 hours, the lowest number since the crisis broke out.
As New York City deals with a mounting coronavirus death toll and dwindling morgue space, the city has shortened the amount of time it will hold unclaimed remains before they are buried in the city's public cemetery. Under the new policy, the medical examiner's office will keep bodies in storage for just 14 days before they're buried in the city's potter's field on Hart Island. In recent days, though, burial operations have increased from one day a week to five days a week, with around 24 burials each day, said Department of Correction spokesman Jason Kersten.
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.
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. “I think we can and I think that we will, but they may take the form of a virtual hearing — where we will do essentially a Zoom hearing,” said Schiff in an interview on the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery” when asked how his panel will conduct oversight hearings in the current environment. Schiff's comments are the latest indication of how the pandemic is disrupting the normal functioning of government, causing lawmakers to adjust to a world where they can't congregate in public or question witnesses in person in order to conduct routine oversight.
China is investigating a prominent Communist Party member who criticized leader Xi Jinping's handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
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.
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.
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.
A reporter at Tuesday's White House coronavirus press briefing raised the question many, many parents want answered: How soon will the kids be going back to school? This school year is probably out in most of the country, but what about summer school? Vice President Mike Pence, who was at the lectern, thanked America's teachers for adjusting to remote learning.
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently told NPR that symptomatic patients appear to be "shedding significant virus" up to 48 hours before their symptoms start. A study of 94 coronavirus patients in Guangzhou, China, determined that 44% of viral transmission occured before a person saw their first symptoms. The patients had the highest viral loads — released the most viral particles, in other words — around the time that their symptoms started, meaning that's when they were most contagious.
Hamas-run security forces have arrested several peace activists in the Gaza Strip on treason charges after they took part in a web conference with Israeli activists, officials said Thursday. The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said the activists are accused of “holding a normalization activity with the Israeli occupation.” “Holding any activity or contact with the Israeli occupation under any cover is a crime punishable by law and a betrayal for the people and their sacrifices,” it said in a statement.
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.
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.
Russia on Thursday reported a record one-day rise in cases of novel coronavirus, pushing the official tally to more than 10,000, a day after President Vladimir Putin said the coming weeks would prove decisive in the fight against the virus. The number of cases jumped by 1,459 and 13 more people died, the national coronavirus crisis response centre said on its website. Moscow, the worst-affected region, and many other regions are in their second week of a partial lockdown.
Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade called for the American economy to quickly reopen amid downward revisions of some models projecting the coronavirus death count, saying Thursday that a now-expected 60,000 victims shows just “how good we are doing.” With one influential and highly respected modeler moving its projections down over the past few days, Fox News hosts have been clamoring for President Donald Trump to quickly reverse social-distancing restrictions in order to jumpstart the economy, claiming public health experts exaggerated the impact of the virus. Noting that Trump had originally expressed hope that the country could get going again at Easter, Kilmeade said that one model shows that the peak of the coronavirus infections will now come around that time.
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 the coronavirus spreads around the world, U.S. officials who downplayed the risk have repeatedly blamed China's fake data and deceptive practices for the outbreak. China's data very likely understate the true number of infections and deaths, and Chinese-style authoritarianism silenced early reports of the outbreak, costing China and the world valuable time to stop the coronavirus' spread. While China's reporting delays and obfuscations now make it a convenient scapegoat for inadequate preparation in the U.S., its numbers and actions made clear that the coronavirus was communicable and dangerous enough to overwhelm a country's health system if not swiftly contained.
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.
Singapore announced its largest daily increase. The crisis will escalate if countries don't start showing more solidarity, the head of the World Health Organization said, urging the U.S. and China to show “honest leadership” and stop bickering. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is stable and responding to treatment at a London hospital.