Pentagon leaders expressed strong confidence Thursday that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by January, and perhaps as early as this fall — claims that were met with skepticism by scientific experts. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that he and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar “will be co-chairing Operation Warp Speed,” the effort by the administration of President Trump to produce 300 million vaccine doses by January. “I'm confident that we will be able to deliver a vaccine at scale in time” by partnering with other government agencies and the private sector, Esper said.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says contaminated surfaces are not the main way the virus is transmitted, the agency hasn't ruled surfaces out as a possible mode of infection. “If you want a reliable way to prevent yourself from getting the coronavirus, worry less about the surfaces you touch, and worry more about how frequently you wash your hands,” says Dr. Dara Kass, a Yahoo News Medical Contributor and associate professor of emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Confusion over how the virus is transmitted was reignited last week when the CDC edited the “How COVID-19 Spreads” page on their COVID-19 website to mention contaminated surfaces and objects under a new heading entitled, “The virus does not spread easily in other ways.”
A criminal complaint against former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, shows that George Floyd was "non-responsive" for nearly three minutes before Chauvin took his knee off his neck. The complaint also cited a preliminary autopsy report that showed there were "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation." Instead, Floyd died from a "combined effect of being restrained, his underlying health conditions, and any potential intoxicants in his system," the autopsy revealed.
Donald Trump held a "press conference" on Friday to discuss the United State's relationship with China, but then left the Rose Garden without taking questions or addressing the mounting situation in Minnesota following the death of George Floyd. The president announced during his statement the US would disband its relationship with the World Health Organisation (WHO) amid the coronavirus pandemic. This statement came moments after he shared two tweets attempting to clarify his "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" tweet released late Thursday night about the violent protests in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd.
Democratic lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are demanding answers after learning that one of their Republican colleagues tested positive for COVID-19, shared that information with GOP leadership, but never informed them. On May 20, Republican Rep. Andrew Lewis learned he had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Two other Republican House members who came in contact with Lewis were told to self-quarantine for 14 days, but Democratic lawmakers, some of whom also had contact with Lewis or with the two other Republicans before May 20, say they first learned of the positive test result on Wednesday.
Chinese civil aviation authorities plan to extend until June 30 their curbs on international flights to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the U.S. embassy in Beijing said in a travel advisory on Friday. China has drastically cut such flights since March to allay concerns over infections brought by arriving passengers. A so-called "Five One" policy allows mainland carriers to fly just one flight a week on one route to any country and foreign airlines to operate just one flight a week to China.
A band of marauding monkeys has attacked a laboratory technician and stolen three Covid-19 test samples, raising fears they will infect themselves and then spread the deadly disease to humans. The worker was attacked outside a medical college in Meerut, northern India, while transporting samples from patients suspected of having coronavirus. Others saw the funny side of the monkey attack, with the incident coming days after the Indian authorities detained a pigeon in Jammu & Kashmir on suspicion of spying for Pakistan.
Yet as Mexico's daily death toll rises to become one of the highest in the world – a record 501 fatalities were reported on Tuesday alone – the country is simultaneously preparing to reopen and weathering a politically charged battle over the true scale of the crisis. We're doing well, the pandemic has been tamed,” Mexico's populist president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, claimed on Thursday as he announced he would resume touring the country when a period of nationwide quarantine was wound down next week. Alejandro Macías, a leading infectious diseases specialist, said he understood and supported the need to plot out a return to some kind of normality for Mexico's 129 million citizens.
CNN Center, the cable network's Atlanta headquarters, came under attack Friday night during protests over police brutality sparked by the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. A largely peaceful demonstration erupted first in vandalism, then in violence. Cops used pepper spray, and then some in the crowd were seen smashing windows and defacing the giant CNN sign with spray-paint.
Transcripts of phone calls that played a pivotal role in the Russia investigation were declassified and released Friday, showing that Michael Flynn, as an adviser to then-President-elect Donald Trump, urged Russia's ambassador to be “even-keeled” in response to punitive Obama administration measures, and assured him “we can have a better conversation” about relations between the two countries after Trump became president. Democrats said the transcripts showed that Flynn had lied to the FBI when he denied details of the conversation, and that he was undercutting a sitting president while ingratiating himself with a country that had just interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
Israeli police in annexed east Jerusalem on Saturday shot dead a disabled Palestinian they mistakenly thought was armed with a pistol, prompting furious condemnation from the Palestinians. The incident happened in the alleys of the walled Old City near Lions' Gate, an access point mainly used by Palestinians. "Police units on patrol there spotted a suspect with a suspicious object that looked like a pistol," an Israeli police statement said.
The wife of the Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, has filed for divorce. According to her lawyer, Kellie Chauvin is distraught over Floyd's death. "She is devastated by Mr. Floyd's death and her utmost sympathy lies with his family, with his loved ones and with everyone who is grieving this tragedy," the Sekula Law Offices, PLLC said in a statement on behalf of Kellie Chauvin and her family.
The White House continued on Thursday to promote the use of hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug that President Trump and some of his supporters have held out as a treatment for the coronavirus, against the advice of the Food and Drug Administration and in the face of studies that have shown it can be harmful in some cases. Routinely touted by prominent conservative allies of the president, including primetime Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham, it has been denounced by members of the medical establishment as an unproven therapy that poses the risk of potentially fatal heart complications. The FDA recommends that COVID-19 patients, if they choose to use it, do so only in a hospital or under medical supervision in a clinical trial.
Hal Marx, the mayor of Petal, Mississippi, rejected calls for his resignation after his comments in the wake of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis sparked controversy. Marx, who was first elected in 2009, said he was asking people to wait until all the facts were out before throwing stones at the police.
Seeking to deter further shipments of Iranian fuel to Venezuela, the Trump administration has quietly warned foreign governments, seaports, shipping companies and insurers that they could face stiff U.S. sanctions if they aid the tanker flotilla, the U.S. envoy on Venezuela told Reuters on Friday. Elliott Abrams, Washington's special representative on Venezuela, said the pressure campaign targeting heavily sanctioned U.S. foes Iran and Venezuela was being waged “to be sure everyone recognizes this would be a very dangerous transaction to assist.” The Venezuelan navy on Thursday escorted a fourth tanker bringing Iranian fuel through its waters to the gasoline-starved country, defying U.S. threats of “measures” in response to the shipments.
Law enforcement officials around the country are publicly condemning the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was seen on video gasping for breath as a white officer held him down with a knee on his neck for close to eight minutes.
The coronavirus began quietly spreading in the U.S. as early as late January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday — before President Donald Trump blocked air travel from China and a full month before community spread was first detected in the country. It was also the first media briefing from the CDC in more than two months. "As America begins to reopen, looking back at how COVID-19 made its way to the United States will contribute to a better understanding to prepare for the future," Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said Friday during a call with reporters.
With its cast iron replica of Budapest's Liberty Bridge and its pale-stoned version of Versailles, visitors to Huawei's research centre in Dongguan could be forgiven for thinking they were in Europe. The Telegraph can disclose today that the controversial Chinese telecoms giant backed 17 scientific papers with UK universities, about cutting-edge “dual use” technologies – which can have civilian applications but can also be used in military technology. At least 15 of the papers focused on technology that experts claim could be used to communicate with swarms of drones or on highly advanced image recognition software that experts claim could be used for extreme levels of surveillance.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged Friday that the Fed faces a major challenge with the launch in the coming days of a program that will lend to companies other than banks for the first time since the Great Depression. The Fed's Main Street Lending is geared toward medium-sized companies that are too large for the government's small business lending program and too small to sell bonds or stock to the public. The individual loans, which could reach $600 billion, will technically be made by banks.
As Republicans work to maintain their control of the Senate in November, they're looking to flip seats in some key battleground states. That includes Michigan, where two challengers are looking to unseat incumbent Democratic Senator Gary Peters. Riley Beggin, a political reporter for Bridge Magazine, spoke with CBS News about the contest.
Before Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on George Floyd's neck on a Minneapolis street, they worked together at a nightclub not far from where the incident happened. Chauvin was fired as a Minneapolis police officer after he held Floyd down as Floyd protested "I can't breathe." Protests have since broken out around the 3rd Minneapolis Police Precinct — which is just a block away from the El Nuevo Rodeo restaurant and dance club where Chauvin and Floyd once worked security.
US President Donald Trump on Friday ordered a probe into the actions of Chinese companies listed on American financial markets as tensions flared anew between the world's two biggest economies. The announcement followed Beijing's move to implement a new security law on semi-autonomous Hong Kong that critics say would stifle freedom, as well as with Trump's claims that China obfuscated the origins of the coronavirus that has killed more than 100,000 people in the United States. "I'm instructing my presidential working group on financial markets to study the differing practices of Chinese companies listed on the US financial markets with the goal of protecting American investors," Trump said, without providing details on what steps his administration might take.
Canadians are watching unrest and police violence in the United States in “shock and horror”, Justin Trudeau said on Friday – but the prime minister cautioned that his country also has entrenched problems with racism. The city of Minneapolis has been rocked by a third night of violent protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, after a white police officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground following arrest. “Many Canadians of diverse backgrounds are watching, like all Canadians are, the news out of the United States with shock and with horror,” Trudeau told reporters at a daily briefing.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gave notice on Friday that he will appeal a federal judge's decision on voting rights for felons, while asking for a stay on the ruling that appeared to clear the way for hundreds of thousands of citizens to vote in a crucial 2020 state. The law in question, introduced by the state's Republican-controlled Senate last year, requires convicted felons in Florida to pay any court costs, fines, fees and restitution to victims before their right to vote could be restored. Opponents argue the law goes against the wishes of Florida voters who approved an amendment to the state's constitution in 2018 to grant voting rights to felons who served their time and were not convicted of murder or sex crimes.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addressed the protests that roiled the nation overnight in response to the death of George Floyd during his daily briefing about the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Cuomo noted the virus was ravaging predominantly minority communities, and connected health inequities to the nationwide protests. Cuomo commented on the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man killed in police company, as well as other black Americans killed by police officers.