President Trump shied away Wednesday from issuing domestic travel restrictions or a national lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that, in a best-case scenario, is expected to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. Asked at a White House briefing if he was considering limiting domestic air travel, Trump said he was thinking about it, a phrase he frequently applies to subjects he wishes to avoid discussing. We're thinking about doing that, but at the same time we just, to start these airlines and to start this whole thing over again is very tough, John [Roberts, Fox News reporter].
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.
Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci left the hosts of Fox & Friends disappointed and frustrated Friday when he threw cold water on their insistence that the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine is a game-changing cure for the coronavirus. Citing a recent poll showing that 37 percent of doctors around the world feel the drug is currently the most effective treatment of COVID-19, co-host Steve Doocy added that frequent Fox News guest Dr. Mehmet Oz recently touted a small Chinese study that found the drug had some efficacy in treating the virus. Doocy went on to play a clip of Dr. Oz wondering whether Fauci was impressed with the results of that study.
On Friday Dr. Deborah Birx, the U.S. coronavirus response coordinator, praised California and Washington state for their social distancing efforts, claiming that they may have already slowed the spread of the virus and should serve as models for the rest of the nation. “We really do appreciate the work of the citizens of California and Washington state, because we do see that their curve is different,” Birx said at the daily White House briefing. “Their curve is different from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — and we really believe that the work that every citizen is doing in those states is making a difference.”
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The Navy announced it has relieved the captain who sounded the alarm about an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Capt. Brett Crozier, who commands the Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier with a crew of nearly 5,000, was relieved of his command Thursday, but he will keep his rank and remain in the Navy. Speaking at a news conference Thursday evening, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Crozier was removed from his post because he sent the letter over "non-secure unclassified email" to a "broad array of people" rather than up the chain of command.
The president of the Philippines said Wednesday in a televised address that people who violate coronavirus lockdown rules could be shot.
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.
Shortly after finally signing a statewide stay-at-home order on Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) quietly signed a second order that undermines the efforts of local governments to keep their citizens safe, the Tampa Bay Times reports. DeSantis has faced criticism for his handling of the coronavirus outbreak, from allowing spring breakers to continue to party on the state's beaches to permitting people to still gather in large groups for worship. On Wednesday, he became one of the last governors in the country to effectively order a "shelter in place" for his constituents, only to later order that the state's new guidelines "shall supersede any conflicting official action or order issu...
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has told security forces they should shoot dead anyone causing "trouble" in areas locked down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hours before Duterte gave the order in a speech late Wednesday, nearly two dozen people from a slum community in the capital Manila were arrested for holding a protest that accused the government of failing to provide food aid to the poor. "My orders are to the police and military, also village officials, that if there is trouble or the situation arises that people fight and your lives are on the line, shoot them dead," Duterte said.
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. Implicit was the understanding that while the 1918 pandemic was a singular catastrophe, conditions in the 21st century were ideal for another outbreak. Long before the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, and then soon spread to nearly every country on Earth, the 2018 conference offered proof that epidemiologists at the CDC and other institutions were aware that a new pandemic was poised to strike.
President Donald Trump slammed 3M Co in a tweet late on Thursday after earlier announcing he was invoking the Defense Production Act to get the company to produce face masks. At a White House briefing on the coronavirus pandemic earlier on Thursday, Trump announced he had signed a Defense Production Act order for 3M to produce face masks.
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.
State and local officials have complained about insufficient protective equipment such as masks and gowns as well as ventilators, needed to help keep patients breathing. Meanwhile, US Vice-President Mike Pence warned the US appeared to be on a similar trajectory as Italy where the death toll has exceeded 13,000 - the worst in the world. The number of confirmed infections across the US rose by more than 25,000 in one day.
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.
US Navy The Secretary of the Navy offered more details into his decision in relieving the commander of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier dealing with a coronavirus outbreak. Capt. Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt penned a letter to his superiors about the urgent situation aboard his ship, which was dealing with the spread of the coronavirus. "The letter was sent over non-secure, unclassified email even though that ship possesses some of the most sophisticated communications and encryption equipment in the fleet," the Navy Secretary said.
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 continues to grow in the US. Mike Pence, the vice-president, is overseeing the US response to the coronavirus. So far, 80% of patients experience a mild form of the illness, which can include a fever and pneumonia, and many of these cases require little to no medical intervention.
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.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed attempts by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to spearhead talks about a fourth coronavirus relief bill, saying that she should “stand down” on the proposal. “She needs to stand down on the notion that we're going to go along with taking advantage of the crisis to do things that are unrelated to the crisis,” McConnell said, calling the speaker's suggestions about fourth relief bill “premature.” The Senate majority leader's remarks come a week after Congress passed a massive $2 trillion stimulus package to offset the economic destruction caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to spread across the country, causing businesses to shutter and lay off workers.
Mosques were allowed to remain open in Pakistan on Friday, when Muslims gather for weekly prayers, even as the coronavirus pandemic spread and much of the country had shut down. Prime Minister Imran Khan is relying on restricting the size of congregations attending mosques and advice to stay at home from religious groups like the country's Islamic Ideology Council. In eastern Punjab province, where 60% of Pakistan's 220 million people live, checkpoints have been set up in major cities stopping people from congregating.
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.
The U.S. topped 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for the first time Wednesday, a daily death toll more than double that of two of America's most deadly illnesses – lung cancer and the flu. Death counts from the virus are difficult to keep up to date, but the Johns Hopkins coronavirus database – whose sources include the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the European CDC and the National Health Commission of China – shows that the U.S. hit 1,040 cases Wednesday at 10:25 p.m. EDT. Since the virus' first appearance in the U.S. in late January, 5,116 people have died and more than 215,000 have been infected.
A Venezuelan navy coastal patrol boat sank in the Caribbean after allegedly ramming a cruise ship that it had ordered to change direction. The owners of the Portuguese-flagged RCGS Resolute said the naval vessel Naiguata also fired shots in an "act of aggression in international waters”. The collision left the cruise ship, which has a reinforced hull for sailing in icy waters, with only minor damage.
If New York City wasn't under a strict stay-at-home order right now, protesters might be marching along Central Park. The 60-bed emergency field hospital is composed largely of tarp-wrapped tents and will function as a respiratory unit servicing overflow patients from Mount Sinai Hospital. City Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted he was “very concerned” about the operation and was sending people from his office to monitor Samaritan's Purse.
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.