Louisiana is poised to become the next epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, White House officials said Thursday, citing new data that shows that 26 percent of the tests for COVID-19 in that state in recent days have come back positive. The New York area remains a “very clear and important hot zone,” Dr. Deborah Birx said at Thursday's briefing of the White House coronavirus task force as she revealed testing statistics on specific states. “What we're seeing finally is testing improving,” said Birx, a renowned veteran of the HIV/AIDS fight who is now serving as the response coordinator for the coronavirus task force.
As the worsening coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country, millions of Americans living with diabetes face heightened risks from COVID-19. Around 30 million Americans have diabetes, mostly of the type II (previously called “adult-onset”) variety. A quarter of U.S. adults with diabetes are over 65, an age that has been shown to delineate increased COVID-19 mortality rates.
US politicians have voiced fury over Beijing's handling of the coronavirus crisis but they face a harsh truth -- the United States desperately needs China's supplies. China before the crisis produced nearly half of the face masks imported into the United States -- which in normal times cost less than a dollar but have disappeared from shelves amid growing calls for ordinary Americans wear them when outside. As China appears to have contained its own outbreak of SARS-CoV-1, which has infected more than one million people worldwide since first emerging late last year in Wuhan, it is now the first resort for protective gear sought across the world.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage across the United States, it has, for the moment, brought the partisan investigations taking shape on Capitol Hill that could swing the balance of the 2020 election to a screeching halt. Absent a vote from his Senate Homeland Security Committee, Chairman Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, can't issue a subpoena for Hunter Biden or any of his former associates at Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. In the House, Democratic chairmen and chairwomen can't call administration officials to testify before empty hearing rooms about the government's highly criticised response to the health crisis.
An emergency room nurse told Insider she wouldn't take a ventilator if she were to be infected with coronavirus and to save it for others who may need it more. An emergency room nurse working in Southern California told Insider, the pandemic had forced her to have some difficult conversations with her family. Paige, who asked to conceal her last name said while she's found it too difficult to have the conversation with her 86-year-old father, she's discussed how she wants her family to deal with her death if she were to be infected and die from the coronavirus with her sisters.
Israeli police on Friday have surrounded and established roadblocks around an ultra-Orthodox Jewish city that has become a coronavirus hotspot. Police officers established roadblocks to restrict the movement in and out of Bnei Brak, where a small number of the ultra-Orthodox residents' apparent failure to comply with government social distancing requirements has prompted a dangerously high rate of contagion. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Friday that if the ministry of health deemed it necessary the same restrictions could be placed on other locations within Israel.
A federal agency reportedly shipped face masks overseas from a Miami warehouse even as a nearby Veterans Affairs hospital was rationing them due to the coronavirus outbreak. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had a warehouse of face masks sitting unused in Miami while a Veterans Affairs hospital in the city was telling its health care workers to use the same face mask for an entire week, Fox News reported. Later, USAID exported the masks overseas.
A group of prominent Democratic senators formally requested on Friday that the Pentagon's independent Inspector General investigate the Navy's firing of the commander of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, who called for stronger measures to halt a coronavirus outbreak on board. Captain Brett Crozier was relieved of his command on Thursday after his scathing letter was leaked to the media. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland led the push and were joined by 15 other U.S. senators, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris.
REUTERS/Marko Djurica The Chinese government is rebuffing the notion that its face masks exported to other countries were "defective" and suggested that the nations did not "double-check" the instructions. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday claimed in a tweet that the "true story" behind the alleged faulty face masks imported by the Netherlands was that the Chinese manufacturer explicitly "stated clearly that they are non-surgical." Representatives from the Chinese government in recent weeks shifted the narrative surrounding the coronavirus's origins by questioning its validity.
Health authorities changed their position Friday on the widespread use of non-medical masks and federal emergency workers say they are working around-the-clock to meet demand for medical supplies in an increasingly deadly COVID-19 outbreak in New York. "So it's voluntary, you don't have to do it," President Donald Trump said of the recommendation for wearing masks. Also Friday, a record streak of job growth in the United States ended as the Labor Department said over 700,000 jobs were lost in March, showing the widespread economic impacts of the growing coronavirus pandemic.
Several healthcare workers in India have been attacked as they battle to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Reports say doctors have been spat at and chased away from homes, and that in one case patients directed abusive and vulgar language towards female nurses. Some physicians and their families have also been ostracised by their neighbours because of their exposure to patients infected with Covid-19.
Oil prices rocketed Thursday, posting the largeset percent increase ever, after US President Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia planned to end their price war by slashing output. But the initial surge cooled after Russia denied it had spoken with Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter of crude. After Trump tweeted that Saudi and Russia could slash production by up to 15 million barrels, Brent hit $36.29 a barrel, up almost 46 percent, and West Texas Intermediate soared around 35 percent to $27.39.
Democrat Amy McGrath has punched back at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, accusing him of seeking a political windfall from an economic aid package while the coronavirus crisis worsens. McGrath's campaign released a TV ad Friday lambasting the Kentucky Republican for “taking a victory lap against the coronavirus." It's a quick response by his most well-funded Democratic challenger to a McConnell commercial in which he trumpeted his key role in passing the $2.2 trillion rescue package.
France reported its deadliest day from the coronavirus amid tentative signs that the pandemic may be easing in Spain and Italy. The health ministry in Paris reported 588 hospital deaths, the most yet, bringing the figure to 5,091 since the beginning of the outbreak. In contrast, new infections slowed and fatalities declined in Spain for the first time in four days, as infections stabilized in Italy.
Stacey Abrams began trending on U.S. Twitter on Thursday after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp admitted having only recently learned that asymptomatic individuals can spread the coronavirus — despite warnings from health experts as early as January. "This virus is now transmitting before people see signs," Kemp said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based in Atlanta, warned as early as Feb. 12 that the coronavirus could be spread by asymptomatic people.
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Manufacturing giant 3M pushed back Friday against criticism from President Trump over production of face masks that are badly needed by American health care workers.
An investigation by the Chinese Communist Party found on March 19 that the actions of law enforcement in Wuhan was "irregular" and "improper." "Martyr" is the highest honor the Communist Party of China can bestow on a citizen killed working to serve the country. The country will honor him with three minutes of silence on Saturday.
It's a debate of particular significance to cities like Chicago, which has experienced high levels of violent crime. As of April 1, the virus has sickened over 3,000 people in Chicago and killed 39 — even as Illinois officials attempt to contain the spread through a stay-at-home order. "In Chicago, Covid-19 actually LOWERED the death rate," the post stated, over a background of laughing emojis.
The U.S. government on Friday sounded alarm about the surge in coronavirus cases in Japan, adding to a chorus of prominent domestic voices - including the governor of Tokyo - who have called for decisive action to avoid an explosive outbreak. Amid growing clamour for tighter curbs on people's movements to stem a rising tide of infections, the government has so far been reluctant to pull the trigger, warning of the heavy damage that could ensue in the world's third-biggest economy, already close to recession. Instead, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged school closures and called on citizens to avoid unnecessary and non-urgent gatherings and outings while preparing to roll out an economic stimulus plan next week - even as he acknowledged the country was barely avoiding a major jump in infections.
Two years ago, some of the nation's top public health officials gathered in an auditorium at Emory University in Atlanta to commemorate the 1918 influenza pandemic — also known as “the Spanish flu” — which had killed as many as 40 million people as it swept the globe.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday gave the green light for soldiers to be deployed in a mostly ultra-Orthodox Jewish city considered the centre of Israel's novel coronavirus outbreak. "In light of the special situation in Bnei Brak following the restrictions due to the coronavirus, the IDF (army) will immediately present the necessary civil assistance to Bnei Brak municipality in fulfilling its responsibilities," Netanyahu's office said after talks with security and health officials. Authorities have enforced restrictions on access to Bnei Brak, a majority ultra-Orthodox city near Tel Aviv that is home to around 200,000 people.
President Donald Trump is nominating a 37-year-old judge and former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to a seat on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Justin Walker of Kentucky has been on the federal bench less than six months and is one of the youngest federal judges in the country, with deep ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who hailed Trump's nomination of "a rising Kentucky star, born and raised in Louisville, to refresh the second-most-important federal court in the country.
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.
In the capital New Delhi, thousands of Muslims attended a gathering in mid-March that is now the focus of an urgent contact tracing effort stretching though several states and into Southeast Asia. In a separate cluster, as many as 30,000 people are under strict quarantine in the northern state of Punjab after a Sikh priest, Baldev Singh, refused to self-isolate after returning from a trip to Europe. With barely 48,000 tests conducted in a nation of 1.3 billion people -- and the Ministry of Health's confirmation that India is utilizing less than 40% of its available testing capacity -- virology experts say the true rate of infection in the country could be much higher.