The official who oversaw epidemic preparedness for the National Security Council under President Obama said the absence of public guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic leaves her “frankly scared” — and that eliminating her position weakened the American response to the coronavirus when it emerged 18 months later. Beth Cameron, who served as senior director for global health security and biodefense on the NSC until early 2017, was interviewed on the Yahoo News “Skullduggery” podcast. “I'm frankly scared that our CDC is not out in front talking about this,” Cameron said.
Madison "Maddie" Bell, the Ohio high school senior who went missing Sunday, has been found safe, according to the Highland County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Donnie Barrera announced in a press release posted to Facebook Saturday that the 18-year-old had been located and that she was safe. A nationwide search for Maddie began this week after she told her mother she was going tanning around 10 a.m. on Sunday morning in Highland County, but never returned.
Thailand is conducting tests on macaque monkeys as it races to produce a cheaper, alternative coronavirus vaccine it hopes will be ready by 2021, a top researcher said Monday. More than 100 candidate vaccines are currently in various stages of development around the world, at least eight of which are in clinical trials with humans, according to the World Health Organization. Oxford University researchers are considered the frontrunners in the race, starting clinical trials last month on a version based on a different virus that causes infections in chimpanzees.
More than 40 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus following a church service in Frankfurt, Germany's financial center, earlier this month, the head of the city's health department told a news agency on Saturday. The service took place on May 10 at a Baptist church, the department's deputy chief Antoni Walczok told local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau. Churches in the German state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, have been able to hold services since May 1 provided they adhere to official social distancing and hygiene rules.
Little more than four months later, the eyes of the nation - and perhaps the world - are firmly upon Professor Adrian Hill and his team at Oxford University. This week, the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced a $1.2 billion deal with the US government to produce 400 million doses of the unproven coronavirus vaccine first produced in Prof Hill's Oxford lab. Meanwhile, the British Government has agreed to pay for up to 100 million doses, adding that 30 million may be ready for UK citizens by September.
Police in Hong Kong have fired tear gas and water cannon at protesters rallying against China's plans to impose a new security law on the territory. Earlier, 200 senior politicians from around the world issued a joint statement criticising China's plan. China is seeking to pass a law that would ban "treason, secession, sedition and subversion" in the territory.
Lev Fedoseyev\TASS via Getty Images Russia recorded 8,599 new cases 153 new deaths on Sunday linked to the coronavirus, raising its overall death toll to 3,541. The country has recorded 344,481 coronavirus cases and is the third-worst hit country in its total number of coronavirus cases behind Brazil and the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. While its daily death toll continues to increase, its number of new daily cases appears to be on the decline.
The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to intervene for the first time in a case related to COVID-19, to block a judge's order that a low-security federal prison in Ohio transfer, release or send home some of its elderly and medically vulnerable inmates. "The government is currently facing numerous suits challenging conditions of confinement in federal prisons across the nation," Solicitor Gen. Noel Francisco said in an appeal filed Friday evening, and the prisoners' lawyers are seeking to require the wholesale release of inmates from low-security prisons by imposing "a constitutional six-feet-at-all-times rule" for social distancing. The court, which could act this weekend, is thrust into the fray as state and federal prisons nationwide have become hot spots for infections and illness from the coronavirus, and prison officials have searched for ways to thin their populations.
As states across the country are reopening, the Navajo Nation is entering a strict 57-hour lockdown in another attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus. The tribe's death toll reached 149 on Friday as the virus continues to disproportionately affect people of color in the U.S. The Navajo Department of Health in coordination with the Navajo Epidemiology Center and the Navajo Area Indian Health Service reported 95 new COVID-19 cases of COVID-19 for the tribe on Friday. The total number of positive cases has surpassed 4,500, pushing the tribe's healthcare system past its capacity.
As it tracks the coronavirus's spread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is combining tests that detect active infection with those that detect recovery from COVID-19 — a system that muddies the picture of the pandemic but raises the percentage of Americans tested as President Donald Trump boasts about testing. Now that serology tests, which look for antibodies in the blood of people who have recovered, are more widespread, CDC officials said Friday they would work to separate them from the results of diagnostic tests, which detect active infection. Stunned epidemiologists say data from antibody tests and active virus tests should never be mixed because diagnostic testing seeks to quantify the amount of active disease in the population.
A Florida law requiring felons to pay legal fees as part of their sentences before regaining the vote is unconstitutional for those unable to pay, or unable to find out how much they owe, a federal judge ruled Sunday. The 125-page ruling was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee. It involves a state law to implement a 2016 ballot measure approved by voters to automatically restore the right to vote for many felons who have completed their sentence.
The daily coronavirus death toll increased slightly though the trend continues down, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday. The daily death toll has hovered around 100 over the past week, a significant drop from the peak in early April when the number seemed more likely to hit 1,000 than fall below 100. Cuomo said the state was now “decidedly in the reopening phase.”
Airlines' plans to resume air travel in India were in disarray on Monday after some states restricted the number of flights hours before departure, causing last-minute cancellations and leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. Airlines, including IndiGo, India's biggest carrier, SpiceJet and Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, had been preparing to resume operations from Monday with about a third of their capacity amid strict rules. IndiGo had planned to start with about 430 daily flights while its low-cost rival SpiceJet said it would operate 204 flights a day and AirAsia India would start with 77 flights.
Just days ago, scientists leading the University of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine development expressed optimism about their progress — more than 1,000 people in the United Kingdom have been inoculated already, and 10,000 more will be given the vaccine in May and June. Professor Adrian Hill, director of the University's Jenner Institute, said what was formerly an 80 percent chance of developing an effective vaccine by September — possibly in time for a potential second wave of infections — has dwindled to 50 percent. Instead, the U.K.'s infection rate decline may make it tough to gauge the vaccine's efficacy.
Nasa astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have completed their dress rehearsal for Wednesday's flight to the International Space Station. The mission, the first crewed outing from American soil in nine years, will see the pair ride to orbit in a SpaceX Falcon rocket and Crew Dragon capsule. It's a demonstration of the new "taxi" service the US space agency will be buying from the Californian firm.
Bebeto Matthews/AP Images Public health officials in Ohio's most populous county on Wednesday apologized after releasing guidelines that encouraged African Americans and "communities of color" to avoid wearing facial coverings associated with "gang symbolism." The guidance that minority communities should avoid "fabrics that elicit deeply held stereotypes," including "bandanas," "skull prints," and "horror prints." The Franklin County Department of Public Health also advised against wearing red or blue bandanas "as these are typically associated with gang symbolism."
Shiite Iranians in a rare event mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan this year on separate days -- Sunday or Monday -- depending on different religious authorities' edicts. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announced Saturday evening on his official website that the Eid al-Fitr festival would fall on Sunday this year. But the country's other senior Shiite clerics, or "marjas" -- whose guidance believers follow and who are seen as a "source of emulation", such as Javadi Amoli, Makarem Shirazi and Safi Golpayegani, among others -- have issued separate statements saying the holiday would be celebrated on Monday.
The official who oversaw epidemic preparedness for the National Security Council under President Obama said the absence of public guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic leaves her “frankly scared. She also believes and that eliminating her position weakened the American response to the coronavirus when it emerged 18 months later.
The White House on Sunday accused China of a cover-up that will “go down in history along with Chernobyl”, ramping up efforts to deflect attention from a Covid-19 death toll in the US fast closing on 100,000. Robert O'Brien, Donald Trump's national security adviser, made the claim on two political talk shows, saying Beijing gave “false information” to the World Health Organization (WHO) at the start of the year and alleging that stonewalling of an investigation into the origins of the pandemic has cost “many, many thousands of lives in America and around the world”. On Saturday Mike Pence, the vice-president, told Breitbart News that China had “let the world down” and insisted the WHO was “their willing partner in withholding from the US and wider world vital information about the coronavirus”.
Last summer, architect Paul Davidson spent ten nights inside of the Statue of Liberty. From 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., he and his team carried out a first-of-its-kind laser scan of Lady Liberty, capturing the statue's interior during the hours when it wasn't packed full of tourists. Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are currently closed to all visitors, shut down due to COVID-19.
A baby gorilla was badly injured at a Seattle zoo on Saturday when he was caught in a skirmish between his family group members, zookeepers said. Animal health experts at the Woodland Park Zoo say little Kitoko was bitten on the head, likely by accident when another gorilla tried to bite his mother, Uzumma. Kitoko sustained a fractured skull and a severe laceration, but zoo officials say the 2-month-old gorilla underwent surgery and may fully recover if he doesn't develop an infection.
A perfect storm has gathered over one of the world's most benighted nations, Afghanistan, where ordinary citizens are facing a fresh form of misery. Taliban militants have announced they will keep fighting since they say there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in areas under the group's control, a senior militant in the province of Ghazni has told NBC News. An exception to the ongoing tensions will be a three-day Eid ceasefire starting Sunday, the Taliban announced in a tweet Saturday.
CALI, Colombia—There is nowhere left to hide from the novel coronavirus. Tragically, COVID-19 is also devastating fragile indigenous communities in the region, putting entire cultures and population groups at risk. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) estimates that there are at least 20,000 active coronavirus cases in the Amazon Basin, which is the world's largest watershed and home to many indigenous communities, including isolated tribes who survive without sustained contact with the outside world.
The president of South Africa has warned that the country's coronavirus outbreak is going to get much worse, while announcing that lockdown measures are to be eased. Cyril Ramaphosa said a third of the country's more than 22,000 cases had been recorded in the last week. Mr Ramaphosa was speaking after a mining company in South Africa said 164 workers at a gold mine near Johannesburg had tested positive for coronavirus.
REUTERS/Steve Nesius Clouds and rain could thwart the historic first launch of NASA astronauts in a SpaceX spacecraft on Wednesday. The mission, called Demo-2, will fly seasoned NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley in the company's Crew Dragon spaceship. The flight's success would effectively resurrect human spaceflight from America after nearly a decade of dormancy.