China on Wednesday said it has more than 1,300 asymptomatic coronavirus cases, the first time it has released such data following public concern over people who have tested positive but are not showing symptoms. Health officials also reported the first imported case from abroad in Wuhan -- the epicentre where the virus first emerged late last year -- heightening fears of infections being brought into China from other countries. Of 36 new cases reported Wednesday, 35 were imported from abroad.
Millions of taxpayer dollars were spent on developing portable, easy-to-use ventilators to prepare for a national health crisis like the coronavirus pandemic — but not a single one is in the federal stockpile. The US Department of Health and Human Services signed a $13.8 million contract with health technology giant Royal Philips N.V. to produce portable, easy-to-use ventilators to add to the federal stockpile. Although HHS ordered 10,000 units of the ventilator in September 2019, the company began selling two higher-priced commercial versions of the same ventilator around the world.
Almost 30 students who recently traveled to Mexico for spring break have tested positive for COVID-19. Health officials in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday announced an investigation into a "cluster" of COVID-19 cases among a group of roughly 70 people in their 20s who traveled in a chartered plane to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for spring break about a week-and-a-half ago amid the coronavirus crisis. "Currently, 28 young adults on this trip have tested positive for COVID-19 and dozens more are under public health investigation," the Austin Public Health Department said.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump issued another tweeted threat to Iran on Wednesday, saying he would retaliate if the Tehran government struck again at U.S. interests in Iraq. "Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq," Trump tweeted. "If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!"
In a post on Instagram on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand had 18 million masks in reserve, with 80,000 more being made a day. It's not clear how many of these are surgical masks, as opposed to the more effective N95 respirators. The US, which has just under 330 million people, has a national stockpile has about 12 million N95 masks and 30 million surgical masks.
As European and American healthcare systems creak under the strain, China has offered millions of face masks and teams of medical experts. As well as seeking to deflect criticism over initial Chinese missteps in handling the epidemic, analysts say, the campaign is a public relations opportunity in China's great power rivalry with the West and especially the United States. COVID-19 first emerged in a wild animal market last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan, but Beijing says the situation in China is now under control with domestic cases dwindling to zero.
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.
On Wednesday Iran warned the U.S. it was “warmongering during the coronavirus outbreak,” after it deployed Patriot air defense missiles to Iraq.
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.
New information from the IRS on Monday shines more light on what people can do to get the checks from the government as quickly as possible while many families worry about paying the bills and buying food during the coronavirus crisis that has cost millions of people their jobs. For Americans eligible for stimulus cash under the new relief law, the fastest way to receive it is to make sure they've filed a tax return for 2019 or 2018 with bank information so the government can directly deposit the money. The IRS says it will use a person's 2019 return to calculate eligibility and automatically send the money to those who qualify.
A Pennsylvania man “extremely upset” about losing his job amidst the coronavirus pandemic allegedly shot his girlfriend, before turning the gun on himself in an attempted murder-suicide, authorities said Wednesday. The Wilson Borough Police Department said in a statement to The Daily Beast that Roderick Bliss IV, 38, attempted to fatally shoot his girlfriend with a semi-automatic pistol on Monday afternoon, before dying by suicide, after he “had become increasingly upset over the COVID-19 pandemic. The 43-year-old girlfriend, who was shot once in the back, survived the attack and is in St. Luke's hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
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.
Russia is sending a planeload of masks and other supplies to help the United States fight the coronavirus pandemic as the number of cases threatens to top 200,000 across the country. The plane will arrive today, after President Donald Trump accepted an offer on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin to send personal protective equipment and other gear, a senior administration official confirmed to POLITICO. The Russian government first announced that the plane, an An-124 Ruslan cargo aircraft filled with equipment to help America battle the pandemic, was en route early today.
China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it's suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials. The officials asked not to be identified because the report is secret, and they declined to detail its contents. But the thrust, they said, is that China's public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete.
A six-week-old infant has died of complications relating to COVID-19, the governor of the US state of Connecticut said Wednesday, in one of the youngest recorded deaths from the virus. Governor Ned Lamont tweeted that the newborn was "brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week and could not be revived." "Testing confirmed last night that the newborn was COVID-19 positive," Lamont said.
The head of the World Health Organization voiced deep concern on Wednesday about the rapid escalation and global spread of COVID-19 cases from the new coronavirus, which has now reached 205 countries and territories. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that his agency, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund backed debt relief to help developing countries cope with the pandemic's social and economic consequences. "In the past five weeks there has been a near-exponential growth in the number of new cases and the number of deaths has more than doubled in the past week," Tedros told a virtual news conference at the organisation's Geneva headquarters.
The United States has called on Venezuela's Juan Guaido to temporarily renounce his claim to the presidency as it recalibrates its strategy to oust leader Nicolas Maduro. The shift came after more than a year of faltering US-led efforts to oust the leftist Mr Maduro. Mr Guaido came under growing pressure from authorities, who on Tuesday summoned him to answer charges of attempting a coup.
A Russian military transport plane was headed to the United States on Wednesday carrying tons of medical equipment and masks to help Washington fight the coronavirus outbreak, Russian state TV reported and a U.S. official said.