While the Washington State Department of Health had prepared a plan for the arrival of the virus that detailed how the state would obtain tests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, what type of messaging it would release to citizens and how it would train staff at local health centers to handle the virus, it assumed it still had weeks before the disease would reach the U.S. To anticipate events like the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC established the Epidemic Intelligence Service, its elite “disease detective” training program. Over the course of two years, EIS officers receive immersive, on-the-job training — either at CDC headquarters, where they're assigned to focus on specific disease areas, or at state and local health departments around the country — to investigate every aspect of an outbreak like this one.
American Airlines forced passengers to sit next to each other even though their flight was virtually empty, according to a report by Mother Jones. The incident took place on a flight on March 24, which had only 11 passengers, all in basic economy, according to the outlet, citing an unnamed flight attendant. Although there were plenty of seats, none were moved because "that would be an upgrade," according to a flight attendant on the plane, who did not give their name.
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 two states have instituted increasingly restrictive measures and are among the 23 states with stay-at-home orders. Both states are led by Democratic governors who have earned praise from President Donald Trump for their response to the crisis. The disease is still spreading in both states, and the number of new cases and deaths reported each day is still climbing.
Wisconsin, the next state to head to the polls, has done neither. State officials have urged voters to request absentee ballots by Thursday, leading to application numbers that have far surpassed both the 2016 presidential primary and general election. The state reported Wednesday that a record-setting 1,053,556 voters had requested absentee ballots.
A Russian military plane carrying medical supplies arrived in the United States on Wednesday, the Russian mission to the UN said, as the Kremlin flexes its soft power during the coronavirus pandemic. The Antonov-124, landed at JFK Airport in New York -- the epicenter of America's coronavirus outbreak -- pictures and video posted on the mission's Twitter page showed. Russia's defense ministry had earlier announced that the plane "with medical masks and medical equipment on board," left for the US overnight, without providing further details.
Vice President Mike Pence was left flustered Wednesday when CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer confronted him about President Donald Trump's lengthy period of downplaying the coronavirus threat, insisting the president is just an “optimistic person” and never “belittled” the crisis. Discussing the White House coronavirus task force's new dire projection that up to 240,000 Americans could die from the virus, Pence applauded efforts by various private and public entities to provide food and supplies to Americans now under stay-at-home orders. The CNN anchor went on to ask why the president hasn't issued a national stay-at-home order since the White House's models show a lower death rate based on such a lockdown.
A Russian military transport plane was headed to the United States on Wednesday carrying tons of medical equipment and masks to help Washington fight the coronavirus outbreak, Russian state TV reported and a U.S. official said.
While announcing a statewide shelter-in-place order on Wednesday, Georgia governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, said that he had just been informed that asymptomatic individuals could spread the coronavirus. The illness “is now transmitting before people see signs….Those individuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt [symptoms],” Kemp said at a press conference. It has been widely known for months that the coronavirus can spread through asymptomatic transmission.
Citing a public health order to curb the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration is swiftly deporting unaccompanied migrant minors apprehended near the U.S.-Mexico border, upending a long-standing practice required under a federal law designed to protect children from violence and exploitation. Despite initially maintaining that the new measures would not apply to unaccompanied minors, Customs and Border Protection on Monday said its officials could deny entry to children who cross the southern border alone under an order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. The agency said some minors could be excluded from the CDC directive if a border official "suspects trafficking or sees signs of illness."
Lucy Nicholson/Reuters The new coronavirus typically spreads when droplets from an infected patient's coughs or sneezes land on or get inhaled by another person. According to the World Health Organization, the COVID-19 virus is not airborne and does not spread between people who are more than 6 feet apart. Some research, however, suggests viral droplets can travel farther than 6 feet in certain conditions and that live coronavirus particles can persist in the air in aerosol form.
Shenzhen has become the first Chinese city to ban the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat. It comes after the coronavirus outbreak was linked to wildlife meat, prompting Chinese authorities to ban the trade and consumption of wild animals. Shenzhen went a step further, extending the ban to dogs and cats.
California has not seen the surge in coronavirus cases that have overwhelmed cities like New York and Detroit in the past week, which suggests that the state's early and restrictive shelter-in-place orders could be slowing the virus's spread. California implemented one of the earliest and strictest orders to stay at home in the United States in mid-March, and as of Wednesday, there were 8,584 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 183 deaths in the state compared with the 76,000 cases and 1,714 deaths in New York. Dr Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus taskforce coordinator, said on Tuesday that she was “reassured by what California has been able to do” to help control the virus with physical distancing orders.
A federal judge signaled Wednesday that he won't postpone or make any major changes to Wisconsin's presidential primary to alleviate concerns that voters and poll workers could contract the coronavirus. U.S. District Judge William Conley told attorneys for the Democratic National Committee and a host of liberal-leaning groups that they haven't shown how the pandemic has truly hampered people's voting rights. He said infections look ready to spike in Wisconsin but Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Republican legislative leaders don't feel the crisis is severe enough to stop the election.
North Korea remains totally free of the coronavirus, a senior health official in Pyongyang has insisted, despite mounting scepticism overseas as confirmed global infections near one million. The already isolated, nuclear-armed North quickly shut down its borders after the virus was first detected in neighbouring China in January, and imposed strict containment measures. Pak Myong Su, director of the anti-epidemic department of the North's Central Emergency Anti-epidemic Headquarters, insisted that the efforts had been completely successful.
China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it's suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials. The officials asked not to be identified because the report is secret, and they declined to detail its contents. But the thrust, they said, is that China's public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete.
The European Union's top court ruled on Thursday that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic had broken the law by refusing to host refugees to help ease the burden on southern states such as Greece and Italy after a surge in migrant arrivals from 2015. The ruling underscores Europe's bitter divisions over migration, though the three ex-communist nations face no immediate penalty as the relocation of tens of thousands of people agreed by the EU was only envisaged until 2017. "By refusing to comply with the temporary mechanism for the relocation of applicants for international protection, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have failed to fulfil their obligations under European Union law," the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union said in its ruling.
A Pennsylvania man “extremely upset” about losing his job amidst the coronavirus pandemic allegedly shot his girlfriend, before turning the gun on himself in an attempted murder-suicide, authorities said Wednesday. The Wilson Borough Police Department said in a statement to The Daily Beast that Roderick Bliss IV, 38, attempted to fatally shoot his girlfriend with a semi-automatic pistol on Monday afternoon, before dying by suicide, after he “had become increasingly upset over the COVID-19 pandemic. The 43-year-old girlfriend, who was shot once in the back, survived the attack and is in St. Luke's hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The viral illness is extremely contagious, and spreads from person to person easily through close contact. The most severe coronavirus cases (20%) often include difficulty breathing, and may require hospitalization, where patients may be hooked up to ventilators, which help blow more oxygen into a person's lungs. The novel coronavirus has already killed more than 3,000 people in China, 9,000 in Spain, 12,000 in Italy, and it isn't done yet.
Scientists, however, say it is highly unlikely that our pets can be infected by SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The World Health Organization has said there is no indication that a dog or cat can transmit the virus to humans or to any other living thing, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not received any reports of pets becoming ill from exposure to it. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals, including pets, can spread COVID-19 or that they might be a source of infection in the United States,” according to the CDC.
On Wednesday Iran warned the U.S. it was “warmongering during the coronavirus outbreak,” after it deployed Patriot air defense missiles to Iraq.
Iran warned the US Wednesday that it was leading the Middle East to disaster in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic after it deployed Patriot air defence missiles to Iraq. Washington had been in talks with Baghdad about the proposed deployment since January but it was not immediately clear whether it had secured its approval or not. Iran, which wields huge influence in its western neighbour, said that it had not.
New York has confirmed 92,381 cases of coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at his daily briefing, while warning that the state only has enough ventilators in its stockpile for six more days. Cuomo said he did not think the federal government “is in a position to provide ventilators” across the US to the extent that they are going to be needed in the coming days and weeks. As coronavirus cases continue to rise, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio asked New Yorkers to wear a homemade face covering when they go outside to prevent the spread of the virus.