U.S. intelligence officials with the National Center for Medical Intelligence issued a report in November warning that a virus was taking root in China, ABC News reported Wednesday. Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event,” a source inside the government told ABC, and the report was shared with the White House, the Pentagon's Joint Staff and the Defense Intelligence Agency. It is unclear whether Trump was ever briefed on the NCMI report, but sources who spoke to ABC described multiple briefings about the report throughout December for “policymakers” as well as officials at the National Security Council and the White House.
Federal agencies are concerned that domestic extremists could use the coronavirus pandemic to attack Asians and Jews, according to a joint intelligence bulletin obtained by Yahoo News. That bulletin mirrors what organizations that monitor online hate content are also finding. The bulletin, a joint effort of the Department of Justice, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security, is dated April 7.
One doctor who has been treating COVID-19 patients at a New York-area hospital says there's no reason to believe it would work. Marik acknowledged that the World Health Organization has advised against the use of corticosteroids to treat viral pneumonia in patients with COVID-19 (except in clinical trials) citing previous studies on other viral diseases like SARS and MERS, which found insufficient evidence that the drugs were effective. But Marik's view encapsulates a growing suspicion among doctors treating COVID-19 that the disease has some novel features that may require a unique approach.
Taiwan on Thursday angrily condemned accusations from the World Health Organization's (WHO) boss that racist slurs against him had come from the island, saying racism did not exist in Taiwan. Taiwan's exclusion from the WHO, due to objections from China which claims the island as its own, has infuriated the Taipei government during the coronavirus outbreak. Taiwan says it has been unable to get timely information and that Taiwanese lives have become political pawns.
New York state now has more coronavirus cases than any other country outside the US, according to latest figures. While New York state leads the world in coronavirus cases, its death toll (7,000) lags behind Spain (15,500) and Italy (18,000), though it is more than double the official figure from China (3,300). Photos have emerged of workers in hazmat outfits burying coffins in a mass grave in New York City.
A truck driver accused in the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants whose bodies were found inside a refrigerated container that had been hauled to England pleaded guilty to manslaughter Wednesday. Maurice Robinson, 25, of Craigavon in Northern Ireland, entered the plea at Central London Criminal Court. Police investigating the case found the 31 male and eight female victims were all from Vietnam and ranged in age from 15 to 44, including 10 teenagers.
Pakistan's army said Thursday it had shot down a small Indian surveillance drone in Kashmir, as tensions rose over continued cross-border shelling in the disputed territory. According to a statement from the army media wing, the Indian quadcopter -- about the same size as a commercially available hobby drone -- had crossed 600 metres (650 yards) over the de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC). "This blatant act was aggressively responded to by Pakistan Army troops shooting down Indian quadcopter," the statement read.
Research from Finland attempts to show how fast and far a single cough can spread the kind of aerosol particles that carry the new coronavirus through a typical grocery store. A digital model built by Aalto University in Finland, using data gathered by researchers there and at three other research institutes, was released with a warning: "It is important to avoid busy public indoor spaces." Aalto University, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Helsinki all conducted the same digital modeling experiment independently, and they all got pretty much the same preliminary data.
Walmart's China branch announced at an investment conference hosted by the Wuhan city government on Wednesday that it was committing 3 billion yuan ($425 million) to expand its presence in the origin point of the coronavirus pandemic over the next five years. According to Walmart China, the company will be putting up at least four new Sam's Club stores, 15 additional shopping malls, and more community stores in the capital of China's Hubei province. Wern-Yuen Tan, President and CEO of Walmart China, announced the decision in collaboration with Wuhan's municipal government, saying “the framework marks a new milestone between the two parties and a new beginning for a win-win situation.”
With more than 400,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 14,000 deaths in the United States, a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that Americans are souring on President Trump's leadership during the pandemic. After a brief period during which some polls found more Americans approving of Trump's coronavirus response than not, half of them (50 percent) now disapprove, according to the Yahoo News/YouGov survey, compared to only 42 percent who approve. The public figure who has earned the highest approval ratings for his work on the pandemic is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert on the White House coronavirus task force.
The Philippines on Wednesday expressed solidarity with Vietnam after Hanoi protested what it said was the ramming and sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat by a Chinese coast guard ship in the disputed South China Sea. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila expressed deep concern over the reported April 3 sinking of the boat carrying eight fishermen off the Paracel Islands. China claims virtually the entire South China Sea and has built several islands equipped with military installations in the area, one of world's busiest shipping lanes.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. says he is considering using the teleconferencing software Zoom to hold hearings into foreign election interference and other key issues, including the firing of intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson, while social distancing restrictions remain in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ashita S. Batavia, MD, MSc, is a board-certified infectious diseases specialist and public health expert with extensive experience in treating epidemics. In my state, New York, our hospital systems are being strained in unprecedented ways. As a frontline infectious diseases doctor, this is what I want my friends and neighbors to do if they have COVID-19 symptoms and are asked to go to the emergency room.
A row has erupted after the chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) accused Taiwan's leaders of spearheading personal attacks on him. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he had been subjected to racist comments and death threats for months. But President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan opposed any form of discrimination, and invited Dr Tedros to visit the island.
MILWAUKEE - Two suspects have been arrested in the double homicide of a University of Wisconsin doctor and her husband. Ali'jah J. Larrue, 18, was taken into custody Friday evening and booked into the Dane County Jail on two counts of party to a crime of first-degree intentional homicide. Early Friday, UWPD arrested Khari Sanford, 18, who also was charged with two counts of party to a crime of first degree intentional homicide.
America's coronavirus epicenter of New York recorded a new single-day high of 799 COVID-19 deaths Thursday but Governor Andrew Cuomo said the rate of hospitalizations continued to fall. Cuomo said 799 people died in the last 24 hours, outdoing the previous high of 779 announced on Wednesday, but added that the curve was flattening because of social confinement measures. "We had a 200-net increase in hospitalizations, which you can see is the lowest number we've had since this nightmare started," Cuomo told reporters, adding that intensive care admissions were also at the lowest yet.
Russia on Thursday reported a record one-day rise in cases of novel coronavirus, pushing the official tally to more than 10,000, a day after President Vladimir Putin said the coming weeks would prove decisive in the fight against the virus. The number of cases jumped by 1,459 and 13 more people died, the national coronavirus crisis response centre said on its website. Moscow, the worst-affected region, and many other regions are in their second week of a partial lockdown.
A sailor assigned to an aircraft carrier that has been sidelined in Guam due to the spread of the novel coronavirus was found unresponsive Thursday and is now in an intensive care unit. The sailor is a member of the crew of the carrier Theodore Roosevelt, which reported its first cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, on March 24. According to a Navy official, the sailor had been in isolation in Guam, where thousands of sailors have been moved off the ship and into hotel rooms and other facilities.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) is preparing a bipartisan letter to send to President Trump over the Friday-night firing of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson. Grassley, a Trump ally who has an ongoing probe into the Department of Defense's role in supporting Stefan Halper, who spied on the 2016 Trump campaign, has released several statements in the wake of Atkinson's firing that have suggested he is unsatisfied with the administration's logic behind the move. Congress has been crystal clear that written reasons must be given when IGs are removed for a lack of confidence.
More than half of those on board an Antarctic cruise ship have already tested positive for the coronavirus. The ship is stranded off the coast of Uruguay and not allowed to dock over concerns on the spread of the virus. Passengers from Australia and New Zealand are expected to board a flight headed to Australia for a 14-day quarantine before being repatriated on Thursday, the cruise line said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said Thursday that he thinks the United States may be experiencing the “beginning” of the flattening of the curve with the coronavirus outbreak, but added that the virus will determine when life returns to normal. In an interview on NBC's “TODAY” show, co-host Savannah Guthrie asked him whether people will be able to be out and about again by summer. “I hope that's the case, Savannah,” Fauci said, but he added that the virus “determines the timetable."
California saw its first daily decrease in intensive care hospitalizations during the coronavirus outbreak, a key indicator of how many health care workers and medical supplies the state needs, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday. The rate of all virus hospitalizations has slowed this week. Those in the ICU need the highest level of care, and so it was particularly encouraging that the number of patients in those rooms actually dropped 1.9% on Wednesday to 1,132.
China has accused Taiwan of "venomously" attacking the World Health Organization (WHO), seeking independence and conniving with internet users to spread racist comments, after the agency's chief said racist slurs against him had come from the island. Taiwan, claimed by China as its sacred territory, has responded angrily to WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's assertion that "racist slurs" against him had originated in Taiwan, and demanded he apologize saying the accusations are nonsense. Taiwan's exclusion from the WHO, due to China's objections, has infuriated the Taipei government during the coronavirus outbreak.
China is investigating a prominent Communist Party member who criticized leader Xi Jinping's handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
A California woman has been arrested after licking $1,800 worth of groceries and other items at a supermarket in the northern part of the state, police said Wednesday. Chris Fiore, spokesman for the South Lake Tahoe police department, near the border with Nevada, told AFP that officers were called to the Safeway store on Tuesday following reports of "a customer licking groceries" at a time of heightened fears over the spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus. "When officers arrived on the scene, a Safeway employee informed them that the suspect put numerous pieces of jewelry from the store on her hands," he said.