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.
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.
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.
U.S. intelligence officials with the National Center for Medical Intelligence issued a report in November warning that a virus was taking root in China, ABC News reported Wednesday. Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event,” a source inside the government told ABC, and the report was shared with the White House, the Pentagon's Joint Staff and the Defense Intelligence Agency. It is unclear whether Trump was ever briefed on the NCMI report, but sources who spoke to ABC described multiple briefings about the report throughout December for “policymakers” as well as officials at the National Security Council and the White House.
America's coronavirus epicenter of New York recorded a new single-day high of 799 COVID-19 deaths Thursday but Governor Andrew Cuomo said the rate of hospitalizations continued to fall. Cuomo said 799 people died in the last 24 hours, outdoing the previous high of 779 announced on Wednesday, but added that the curve was flattening because of social confinement measures. "We had a 200-net increase in hospitalizations, which you can see is the lowest number we've had since this nightmare started," Cuomo told reporters, adding that intensive care admissions were also at the lowest yet.
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.
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.
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.
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 airlift of passengers off the Coral Princess cruise ship continued Thursday – except for 13 foreign travelers aren't being allowed to depart and will have to stay on board for now. Although five charter flights – one domestic and four bound for Europe and South America – were scheduled to depart Thursday, Princess Cruises said it ran into red tape while trying to help those 13 get home. "Despite continued efforts through diplomatic channels, current travel restrictions by home countries will prevent homeward travel for 13 international guests, and local authorities will not authorize the use of local hotels," the cruise line said in a statement.
An American civil servant whose disclosure of an affair between Bill Clinton and a White House intern nearly brought down his presidency has died. Linda Tripp, 70, passed away after suffering from pancreatic cancer, her family told US media on Wednesday. Recordings Ms Tripp made of her conversations with Monica Lewinsky became central to the 1998 impeachment trial of then President Clinton.
Research from Finland attempts to show how fast and far a single cough can spread the kind of aerosol particles that carry the new coronavirus through a typical grocery store. A digital model built by Aalto University in Finland, using data gathered by researchers there and at three other research institutes, was released with a warning: "It is important to avoid busy public indoor spaces." Aalto University, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Helsinki all conducted the same digital modeling experiment independently, and they all got pretty much the same preliminary data.
Senators will either have to return to Washington or get negotiating to get the next round of coronavirus relief funding flowing. With just four senators in the chamber on Thursday, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) blocked a unanimous voice vote in favor of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's $250 billion small business loans bill. Cardin called the bill a "political stunt," and reiterated congressional Democrats' demands for greater accountability and diversity in how the bill would be spent.
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.
The coronavirus pandemic is killing hundreds of people in New York City each day. To accommodate the dead before families claim them, the city's medical examiner expanded temporary refrigerated storage to hold 3,600 decedents, up from the usual 900. However, a policy change posted to the medical examiner's website suggests that room is running out: Bodies that families don't claim within 14 days of death will be catalogued and interred in a mass grave site on a Bronx island.
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.
Taiwan on Thursday angrily condemned accusations from the World Health Organization's (WHO) boss that racist slurs against him had come from the island, saying racism did not exist in Taiwan. Taiwan's exclusion from the WHO, due to objections from China which claims the island as its own, has infuriated the Taipei government during the coronavirus outbreak. Taiwan says it has been unable to get timely information and that Taiwanese lives have become political pawns.
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 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.
The Philippines on Wednesday expressed solidarity with Vietnam after Hanoi protested what it said was the ramming and sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat by a Chinese coast guard ship in the disputed South China Sea. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila expressed deep concern over the reported April 3 sinking of the boat carrying eight fishermen off the Paracel Islands. China claims virtually the entire South China Sea and has built several islands equipped with military installations in the area, one of world's busiest shipping lanes.
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.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) isn't too worried about democracy right now. As Congress discusses further relief bills amid the COVID-19 pandemic, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has insisted they include funding for mail-in ballots through the primaries and November election. "You want to hold up the bill because you want to change election law for November, because you think that gives you some political benefit?” McCarthy told Politico and other reporters during a press call.
With more than 400,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 14,000 deaths in the United States, a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that Americans are souring on President Trump's leadership during the pandemic. After a brief period during which some polls found more Americans approving of Trump's coronavirus response than not, half of them (50 percent) now disapprove, according to the Yahoo News/YouGov survey, compared to only 42 percent who approve. The public figure who has earned the highest approval ratings for his work on the pandemic is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert on the White House coronavirus task force.
New York state now has more coronavirus cases than any other country outside the US, according to latest figures. While New York state leads the world in coronavirus cases, its death toll (7,000) lags behind Spain (15,500) and Italy (18,000), though it is more than double the official figure from China (3,300). Photos have emerged of workers in hazmat outfits burying coffins in a mass grave in New York City.