Nearly a quarter million people in the United States could die as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Trump administration officials said Tuesday. In what was presented as a best case scenario in which millions of citizens across the country adhered to intensive social distancing guidelines promoted by the Trump administration, between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans are still expected to be killed by COVID-19. “We're going to do everything we can to get [the U.S. death toll] significantly below that,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whose forthright manner has made him a star of the coronavirus briefings.
The New York Times reported this week that almost a dozen Liberty University students have come down with COVID-19 symptoms since the school reopened last week, according to a bombshell article published Sunday that cites a local physician in Lynchburg, Va., where the evangelical university is situated. “We've lost the ability to corral this thing,” Dr. Thomas W. Eppes Jr. said he told Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., according to the article. The Times identified Eppes as the head of the school's student health service, but he does not appear on the Liberty University website and a school spokesman told Yahoo News he has no official connection to the university.
Thomas Peter/Getty The US intelligence community has determined that the Chinese government concealed the extent of its coronavirus outbreak and gave false statistics to other countries, Bloomberg News reported, citing three US officials. Officials transmitted a classified report of their findings to the White House last week. Bloomberg described its sources as saying that the report's main conclusion was that China's public reporting of coronavirus cases was "intentionally incomplete" and that its numbers were fake.
Iceland is giving the world a unique look at how the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is spreading. The Nordic island nation of 360,000 started testing for the virus in February, and it chose to test both people suspected of having COVID-19 and, notably, people who haven't shown any symptoms. DeCODE, a biotech company working on behalf of Iceland's chief epidemiologist, is testing the general population; so far, it has screened about 9,000 people, or about half of the 17,900 Icelanders tested for the virus, CNN reports.
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Navy ships are being moved toward Venezuela as his administration beefs up counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean following a U.S. drug indictment against Nicolás Maduro. The announcement came at the start of the daily White House press briefing to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, which has left much of the country in lock-down and which the government warns could cause 100,000 to 240,000 deaths. The Venezuelan people continue to suffer tremendously due to Maduro and his criminal control over the country, and drug traffickers are seizing on this lawlessness,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said after the president's announcement.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) plans to call DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz to testify before congress regarding his office's audit of the FBI's FISA application process, which was released Tuesday and revealed potentially systematic abuses of the transparency measures required of the Bureau when agents interact with the FISA court. I have just been briefed on Inspector General Horowitz's audit of FISA applications involving American citizens. This random audit shows discrepancies regarding verification of the information under the Woods Procedures,” Graham said in a press release.
As the world economy enters an unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and policymakers in Washington and other global capitals prepare record fiscal stimulus plans, stakeholders should heed an important lesson from the last financial downturn in 2008: Recovery is only possible through coordinated global action. A little more than 10 years ago, as the world was entering the Great Recession, stakeholders had to look far back in the rearview mirror to the Great Depression for policy guidance. While the actions of the 1930s did offer important lessons for 2008 — most notably the need to expand the money supply — the economy of the 1930s was fundamentally different than the global economy of the early part of this century.
While officials from Montreal to Moscow have placed populations under some form of lockdown designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, one man continues to hold firm to the notion that the rest of the world has lost its mind: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!” Lukashenko told a Belarusian television reporter Saturday when asked whether the coronavirus could stop him from hitting the rink for a propaganda-filled hockey game. Lukashenko, one of the longest-serving leaders in the former Soviet Union, has been in power for over 25 years.
From Zaha Hadid's majestic MAXII in Italy to the stunning beauty of Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum, these structures elevate the environment they were built in Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
The U.S. military is set to put almost half of its 8,500 South Korean civilian workers on furlough, as the two sides bicker over the Trump administration's demands for a massive increase in troop funding. About 4,000 workers have been told not to report to American military bases in South Korea as of Wednesday, if the two countries can't find some way to extend a cost-sharing deal that expired Dec. 31. A breakthrough seems unlikely with President Donald Trump asking for as much as a five-fold increase and South Korea showing no signs of paying anywhere near that much.
President Trump on Tuesday responded to the idea that the impeachment trial kept his attention away from the growing coronavirus outbreak around the world.
The U.S. government raced to build hundreds of makeshift hospitals to ease the strain on overwhelmed healthcare systems as the United States marked 700 deaths in a single day from COVID-19 for the first time on Tuesday. Nearly half those deaths were in New York state, still the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded for reinforcements from the Trump administration, saying the worst may still be weeks away. De Blasio, a Democrat, said he had asked the White House for an additional 1,000 nurses, 300 respiratory therapists and 150 doctors by April 5 but had yet to receive an answer from the Trump administration.
There has been some skepticism about China's reporting on the novel COVID-19 coronavirus for some time, especially as smaller countries like Italy surged past the world's most populous nation in both overall cases and deaths. On Wednesday, U.S. intelligence officials told Bloomberg on condition of anonymity that the skepticism is valid. Per Bloomberg, the U.S. intelligence community reportedly concluded in a classified document that China, where the pandemic originated, has under-reported its totals.
A senior Saudi official urged more than 1 million Muslims intending to perform the hajj to delay making plans this year — comments suggesting the pilgrimage could be cancelled due to the new coronavirus pandemic. In February, the kingdom took the extraordinary decision to close off the holy cities of Mecca and Medina to foreigners over the virus, a step which wasn't taken even during the 1918 flu epidemic that killed tens of millions worldwide. Restrictions have tightened in the kingdom as it grapples with over 1,500 confirmed cases of the new virus.
Victor Ruiz Garcia/Reuters Twenty-eight Texas spring breakers who recently vacationed in Cabo have tested positive for the coronavirus, tweeted Tony Plohetski of local station KVUE-TV. They chartered a plane with 70 people to get to Cabo, he said. Spring breakers, who are Gen Z, have been called out for crowding beaches and partying on booze cruises and ignoring calls for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.
When six Chinese doctors landed in Belgrade two weeks ago, Serbia's president greeted them with elbow-bumps before laying a kiss on their country's flag, a gesture of gratitude that sent Chinese social media aflutter. For weeks China has been showering European countries with millions of face masks, test kits and other aid, recasting itself as the hero in the battle against coronavirus. EU officials have started to warn against a Beijing propaganda campaign -- spun through the "politics of generosity" -- that is distorting China's initial missteps in managing a contagion that started on its soil and has now killed more than 40,000 people across the globe.
Americans on Tuesday got their first official glance at the statistical models used in recent weeks by federal officials to guide the country toward an economic shut down, implement social-distancing guidelines, and ask more than 250 million people to stay home. During a press briefing at the White House, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coordinator for its coronavirus task force, spoke about various predictive models that warned of as many as 1.5 million to 2.2 million people in the United States succumbing to this virus, without mitigation. Birx had previously said that the national death toll could reach between 100,000 to 200,000, even in a world where all of the federal social-distancing guidelines were followed “perfectly.”
Federal agents seized nearly $30 million worth of illegal drugs from a smuggling tunnel that runs about a half-mile from San Diego to Tijuana, Mexico. Officials found 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of heroin, 3,000 pounds of marijuana and more than 2 pounds of fentanyl, according to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Agents estimate the tunnel, which is 2,000 feet with an average depth of 31 feet, has existed for several months.
The announcement could come as early as Wednesday, the Seoul-based news service reported, citing a South Korean government official it didn't identify. The seven-decades-old military alliance was dealt a blow Wednesday when the U.S. military put almost half of its 8,500 South Korean civilian workers on furlough due to the funding dispute. General Robert Abrams, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, called the furloughs “heartbreaking” and “unfortunate,” saying in a statement the move was “not what we envisioned or hoped what would happen.”
Federal immigration authorities have discovered a drug smuggling tunnel leading from San Diego under the U.S.-Mexico border and seized nearly $30 million worth of drugs found inside. Federal agents on the San Diego Tunnel Task Force discovered the “sophisticated” tunnel on Thursday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a release Tuesday. The discovery resulted from a joint investigation by members of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Border Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Two planes packed with protective equipment arrived to restock Spain's overloaded public health system on Wednesday as its confirmed coronavirus cases rose beyond 100,000 and it recorded its biggest one-day death toll from the outbreak. Barring Italy, the virus has killed more people in Spain than anywhere else, triggering a lockdown that has brought economic activity to a virtual standstill. A survey showed Spain's manufacturing sector is heading for a slump after shrinking in March at its steepest pace since 2013.
The COVID-19 pandemic is only exacerbating immigration courts' million-case backlog. On Wednesday, the Executive Office of Immigration Review, which runs the Justice Department's removal proceedings, announced it was pushing off asylum hearings for migrants who'd been returned to Mexico upon reaching the southern border due to the coronavirus pandemic. But even though hearings through May 1 have been postponed, migrants forced back to Mexico will still have to return to the border to get a piece of paper listing their rescheduled hearing date.
Crystal Cox/Business Insider New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that legalizing recreational marijuana likely won't be included in the state's budget, dealing a blow to the cannabis industry companies that have invested a significant amount of time, money, and resources preparing for the rush of the state's millions of adult consumers into the legalized market. Cuomo was asked by a reporter on Tuesday about marijuana legalization — one of the key initiatives he laid out in his budget address on January 21 — in his daily press briefing on the state's coronavirus response. "It's not likely," Cuomo said.
De le Vingne and others say Europe's approach to combating the new coronavirus was initially too lax and severely lacking in epidemiological basics like contact tracing, an arduous process where health officials physically track down people who have come into contact with those infected to monitor how and where the virus is spreading. During outbreaks of Ebola, including Congo's most recent one, officials released daily figures for how many contacts were followed, even in remote villages paralyzed by armed attacks. After the new coronavirus emerged last year, China dispatched a team of about 9,000 health workers to chase thousands of potential contacts in Wuhan every day.