Trump used Monday's briefing of the coronavirus task force to lash out at several members of the press, despite having recently praised media coverage of his response to the crisis as “very fair.” After kicking off the briefing by praising his own administration for its response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Trump opened the briefing up to questions, during which he refused to acknowledge any criticism of his handling of the pandemic that has brought the United States to a virtual standstill. One point of contention was a report released today by the inspector general of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
In Italy, new data show that 20 percent of health care workers tested positive for COVID-19. In the U.S., people in my age group, 20 to 44, who test positive for coronavirus have a one in five chance of requiring hospitalization, and about a fifth of those end up in an intensive care unit. If I get infected, my chance of dying is one in 500.
Mohammed al-Dulfi's 67-year-old father died on March 21 after a brief struggle against the new coronavirus, but it would take nine days for his body to find a final resting place in the Shiite holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq. On two occasions, the family rejected remote burial plots proposed by the government outside Baghdad for him and seven other coronavirus victims, al-Dulfi said. A fight broke out between the families and the Health Ministry's team.
The UK government reportedly believes the coronavirus outbreak may have started in a Chinese laboratory. Most experts believe the outbreak began when animals passed COVID-19 onto humans in China. UK officials are not ruling out the possibility that a laboratory close to Wuhan accidentally leaked the virus.
Hundreds of Venezuelans who fled to neighboring Colombia during their country's economic crisis are now returning home, pushed by the deadly novel coronavirus and Colombia's own pandemic woes. Colombian migration officials said Sunday that 600 people -- including 35 children and 167 women -- crossed the main border point at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge in the northeastern city of Cucuta, into Venezuela one day earlier. Although the border is officially closed as a measure taken to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, Colombia has opened a "humanitarian corridor" to allow Venezuelans to return home.
Cruises where passengers became symptomatic while on ships The CDC was notified that passengers who were symptomatic while onboard the following sailings have since tested positive for COVID-19. Included in this list is the Feb. 21-March 7 sailing of Princess Cruises' Grand Princess, which docked in Oakland, California, two days after it was due to disembark in San Francisco. At the time, the ship had 21 positive cases.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that no victim of the coronavirus has died because the state could not provide health care for them, even as New York posted its highest number of deaths in one day. A record 731 New Yorkers died between Monday and Tuesday, Cuomo reported. The governor warned Thursday that New York state only had enough ventilators for six days and was considering how to increase the supply.
Police in India lodged a case this week against an unknown online fraudster who tried selling the world's largest statue for $4 billion, claiming the proceeds would be used to help the Gujarat state government fund its fight against the coronavirus. With scams ranging from free mobile recharges, to offers of free Netflix subscriptions, federal home ministry officials say there has been 86% percent rise in cyber crime in the past four weeks. Police and internal security officials said scammers have created fake versions of the flagship 'PM CARES Fund' payments interface that look deceptively similar to the original and many Indians and Non-Residents Indians (NRIs) have fallen prey.
Regular viewers of the White House coronavirus task force briefings have probably noticed certain recurring themes in President Trump's remarks: congratulating himself for acting swiftly to cut entry to the U.S. from China; praise for “the incredible people” on the podium with him and working behind the scenes; and an almost palpable yearning for a quick end to the pandemic and a resumption of “the greatest economy the world has ever seen.” Waging war on a disease is such a familiar trope it passes almost without notice: the “fight” against AIDS; the “struggle” to “conquer” smallpox, malaria, tuberculosis; health care workers on the “front lines” against Ebola, Zika, coronavirus.
Wisconsin's local elections and presidential primaries will likely proceed on Tuesday after the conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down an executive order Monday from Gov. Tony Evers (D) to delay the election to June 9 due to the coronavirus outbreak. There are open questions about how many polling places will be open and how many people will be able to vote by absentee ballot. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Monday night that Wisconsin voters must hand-deliver their absentee ballots by Tuesday evening or have them postmarked April 7, overruling a lower court that had extended absentee voting for six days.
The Trump administration is seizing the opportunity of the coronavirus pandemic to push a cause that has long been an irritant in U.S. relations with China: Taiwan. The virus has added yet another dimension to U.S.-China tensions that were already wracked by a trade war and heated discussions over intellectual property, human rights and Chinese policies in Hong Kong and the South China Sea. And, while U.S.-China differences over Taiwan have waxed and waned for decades, they have persisted and are reaching new heights as the world grapples with the exponential spread of the COVID-19 virus.
China demanded an explanation from Brazil Monday after the far-right government's education minister linked the coronavirus pandemic to the Asian country's "plan for world domination," in a tweet imitating a Chinese accent. In the latest incident to strain ties between Brasilia and Beijing, Education Minister Abraham Weintraub insinuated China was behind the global health crisis. "Geopolitically, who will come out stronger from this global crisis?" he wrote on Twitter Saturday.
All of the doors and windows were locked from the inside, according to the sheriff's office. Patrick Jesernik, 54, and Cheryl Schriefer, 59, were found dead in separate rooms with obvious signs of trauma to their heads, the sheriff's office said in a statement. The couple, who were not married, had been together for eight years, according to Cathy Hoffmeyer, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office.
Flattening the curve does not necessarily mean seeing a decrease in total cases right away; it would first produce a decline in the number of new cases, which should result in fewer hospitalizations and death in the weeks that follow. With some of the most affected countries like Spain and Italy on lockdown for weeks, many are wondering if their efforts are actually working. Italy has been under a nationwide lockdown for about four weeks and the country has begun to flatten the curve.
Many Vatican insiders who felt Pell was a scapegoat convicted for the sins of many others will now feel vindicated, while survivors of clerical sexual abuse feel as if they have been victimized all over again. Pope Francis earlier said he would refrain from commenting until all the Australian court processes played out. But at his televised mass Tuesday morning, he seemed to send a subtle message of support for Pell.
The declaration would cover seven regions including Tokyo and Osaka and last for about a month. Due to civil liberties enshrined in Japan's postwar constitution, the government cannot send police to clear people off the streets, as has happened in places including France, Italy and the U.K. The country's strongest enforcement measure could be public obedience -- and it remains to be seen whether that will be enough. The prevalence of the virus varies widely among the country's 47 regions and prefectures, with Tokyo seeing a rapid surge and three regions yet to confirm any cases as of April 5.
A speech by acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly to the aircraft carrier crew whose captain he relieved April 2 has exposed him to accusations of hypocrisy and led to calls for him to be fired. Modly said Thursday that he relieved Capt. Brett Crozier for circulating too widely a memo expressing the captain's concerns about how the Navy was handling a COVID-19 outbreak that had forced his ship, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, to remain docked in Guam. The acting secretary doubled down on that criticism in his remarks Monday to Crozier's crew, telling them that if the captain hadn't realized that emailing the memo to “over 20” people meant it was likely to go public, then Crozier was either “too naive or too stupid” to be left in command.
Associated Press/John Locher The Bureau of Prisons placed an order for $60,000 worth of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets in March, federal spending records show. A Bureau of Prisons spokesperson told Insider the drugs were intended to treat COVID-19 patients. The novel coronavirus has been spreading rapidly throughout federal prisons, and the BOP reported Monday that eight inmates have died so far, and at least 195 have tested positive.
Stark statistics from Chicago health officials have underscored the heavy toll of coronavirus on black Americans. Black Chicagoans account for half of all coronavirus cases in the city and more than 70% of deaths, despite making up 30% of the population. Other cities with large black populations, including Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans and New York, have become coronavirus hotspots.
Guatemala said Tuesday that a third deportee has tested positive for the coronavirus after being flown home by the United States. The report came a day after authorities announced they were suspending deportation flights from the U.S. over concerns about spreading the virus. The Health Ministry said the latest positive case was a 37-year-old man who was deported March 26 from Mesa, Arizona, and had been in quarantine since his return.
There are many lessons to be learned from the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. Were China a more civilized nation, this outbreak would have been stopped early, and with far less harm, inside and outside of China. As Marion Smith wrote in these pages on Sunday, China's first response was to clamp down on reports of the then-new disease that had appeared in Wuhan.
During a private conference call with Democrats on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at least $1 trillion will be needed for the next coronavirus relief package. Last month, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, and Pelosi said the next bill will build onto that, people on the call told Bloomberg News. Pelosi said there will have to be more direct payments to individuals, extended unemployment insurance, and additional funding for food stamps and the Payroll Protection Plan, which provides small business loans. One lawmaker told Bloomberg News Pelosi also said the bill should help state and local governments, particularly in areas with no more than 500,000 residents.
The military branches are requiring troops to make their own cloth face masks after the Pentagon's latest policy directed face coverings for all personnel during the novel coronavirus outbreak. The Defense Department announced Sunday that troops, DoD civilian employees, contractors and family members are encouraged to make simple coverings out of clean T-shirts and other household materials. The do-it-yourself face coverings are mandatory whenever people cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or places of work, according to the policy, signed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper.