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.
David Lat described what it was like being placed on a ventilator for six days after having trouble breathing from COVID-19 in a Washington Post op-ed. Lat is a 44-year-old legal recruiter and blogger who previously ran marathons. He suffered from asthma as a child and later had exercise-induced asthma that was managed with an inhaler as an adult.
U.S. spy agencies collected raw intelligence hinting at a public health crisis in Wuhan, China, in November, two current and one former U.S. official told NBC News, but the information was not understood as the first warning signs of an impending global pandemic. The intelligence came in the form of communications intercepts and overhead images showing increased activity at health facilities, the officials said. The intelligence was distributed to some federal public health officials in the form of a "situation report" in late November, a former official briefed on the matter said.
New York City officials have hired contract laborers to bury the dead in its potter's field on Hart Island as the city's daily death rate from the coronavirus epidemic has reached grim new records in each of the last three days. The city has used Hart Island to bury New Yorkers with no known next of kin or whose family are unable to arrange a funeral since the 19th century. Typically, some 25 bodies are interred each week by low-paid jail inmates working on the island, which sits off the east shore of the city's Bronx borough and is accessible only by boat.
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.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jake McClung The former acting Navy secretary's trip out to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt to deliver a speech critical of its former captain to the crew cost taxpayers $243,000, USA Today first reported. The carrier is currently at port in Guam, where the crew is working to get a coronavirus outbreak aboard the ship under control. The acting Navy's secretary's 35-hour round-trip flight aboard one of the service's executive jets cost $6,946.19 per hour, bringing the exact total to $243,116.65.
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.
The OPEC oil cartel and nations including Russia have agreed to boost oil prices by cutting as much as 10 million barrels a day in production, or a tenth of global supply. More countries, including the United States, were discussing Friday their own cuts in what would be an unprecedented global pact to stabilize the market. The agreement between OPEC and partner countries aims to cut 10 million barrels per day until July, then 8 million barrels per day through the end of the year, and 6 million a day for 16 months beginning in 2021.
Dozens of small shop owners protested outside one of Wuhan's biggest shopping malls to demand a cut in rent, in one of the first signs of unrest since authorities lifted a lockdown at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. Sitting down about one meter apart, the shop owners on Friday sat or kneeled outside the Grand Ocean Department Store, wearing masks and holding placards as police monitored. A day earlier they chanted “Exempt rental for a year, or refund the lease” in videos uploaded on the Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo that were quickly censored.
With Bernie Sanders's inexplicably delayed exit from the presidential primary on Wednesday, it is final: Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee. Indeed, it is still unclear whether anything like a national presidential convention will be held at all this year for either of our major political parties. Barring some unforeseen accident or a top-secret Zoom convocation of party elders bent on replacing him with Andrew Cuomo, Biden is going to be the one to run against Donald Trump in November, regardless of whether thousands of minor functionaries end up assembling in Milwaukee for a week of pointless roll-call votes and binge drinking.
The top U.S. infectious disease official says coronavirus antibody tests are just days away. Dr. Anthony Fauci says at the last White House coronavirus task force meeting, the people responsible for developing, validating and disseminating the tests were saying “a rather large number of tests” will be available within a week. An antibody test could show whether a person was recently exposed to the coronavirus.
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.
Some African countries could see a peak in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks and testing should be urgently increased in the region, World Health Organization officials said on Thursday. "During the last four days we can see that the numbers have already doubled," Michel Yao, the WHO Africa programme manager for emergency response, told a media teleconference on Thursday. "If the trend continues, and also learning from what happened in China and in Europe, some countries may face a huge peak very soon," he said, adding that it could arrive in the coming weeks, but without naming countries.
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.
But that number only includes deaths of individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus and later died. As of Friday morning, Johns Hopkins University had tallied 5,150 COVID-19 deaths in New York City. Health officials told The New York Times the true number of deaths is likely much higher.
Shelly Chen left her ancestral house in Hubei province, the coronavirus epicenter in China, at the end of March after Chinese authorities lifted an order that she stay inside for two months. Now she's in quarantine yet again, in a government-allocated room in a Taipei suburb, where she must stay through mid-April with a toilet, balcony, WiFi, TV, two bottles of water and three meals delivered daily. Instead, like hundreds of other returnees to Taiwan from mainland China, she fears she'll be the victim of a damaging social stigma that also has the island's government concerned.
Hamas-run security forces have arrested several peace activists in the Gaza Strip on treason charges after they took part in a web conference with Israeli activists, officials said Thursday. The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said the activists are accused of “holding a normalization activity with the Israeli occupation.” “Holding any activity or contact with the Israeli occupation under any cover is a crime punishable by law and a betrayal for the people and their sacrifices,” it said in a statement.
The leading British scientific journal Nature apologized in an article published on Tuesday for “associating” the coronavirus with its origin place in China on the grounds that the linkage had inspired racist attacks against people with Asian heritage across the world. The coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan, China and first appeared in bats thought to have infected wild animals that were sold in the city's wet markets. “It's clear that since the outbreak was first reported, people of Asian descent around the world have been subjected to racist attacks, with untold human costs – for example, on their health and livelihoods,” the article read.
Donald Trump isn't benefiting from what political scientists refer to as a “rally 'round the flag” effect — a traditional surge in popularity as the nation unites behind its leader during an emergency situation. Throughout the first three years of his presidency, Trump's approval rating has traded in a narrow band. The mixed-to-negative views of Trump's handling of the coronavirus emergency also poses a significant threat to his reelection prospects, now that former Vice President Joe Biden has emerged as the presumptive Democratic nominee and the virus threatens to become the dominant issue of the 2020 campaign.
A Texas teenager who police said announced on social media she would intentionally spread the coronavirus has been arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat. Police in Carrollton, near Dallas, arrested Lorraine Maradiaga, 18, late Tuesday morning after arranging her surrender to the city jail. "Maradiaga has stated that she is COVID-19 negative, and we currently have no proof that Maradiaga has tested positive," Carrollton police said in a statement.
Major oil producers except Mexico agreed to cut output in May and June by 10 million barrels per day, OPEC said Friday, after marathon talks to counter a collapse in prices. The videoconference led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has been seen as the best chance of providing support to prices, which have been wallowing near two-decade lows due to the coronavirus pandemic and a price war between key players Saudi Arabia and Russia. The agreement, which also reduces production by eight million bpd from July to December, depends on Mexico's consent for it to take effect, the oil cartel said after the meeting.
A sailor from the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) in Guam after testing positive for the coronavirus last month, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday, as the number of coronavirus cases on the ship jumped to over 400. The case comes after Thomas Modly resigned as acting Navy secretary on Tuesday, following a mounting backlash for his firing and ridiculing the commander of the Theodore Roosevelt, who pleaded for help stemming a coronavirus outbreak onboard. A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the sailor was found unresponsive and received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
A woman suffering flu-like symptoms gave birth standing and fully clothed while detained near the Mexican-US border, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The Guatemalan woman, 27, was being processed at the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station near San Diego when her complaints of pain and pleas for help were allegedly ignored by agents, according to a complaint filed on Wednesday by the ACLU and Jewish Family Service of San Diego with the US Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General. "This horrific case is just the most recent and one of the most egregious examples of this agency's abuse," said ACLU attorney Monika Y. Langarica.
Princess Cruises Cruise ships may be banned from sailing in US waters until July, according to an order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday. That ban could be lifted earlier if the CDC or the Department of Health and Human Services determine cruises or COVID-19 are no longer a major health risk. The order also requires cruise lines to create plans to address and prevent the spread of COVID-19 on their ships.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday officials are "cautiously optimistic" that the infection rate is slowing in the state. Cuomo said "we are flattening the curve" and must continue to do so. The three-day average of hospitalizations has seen a dramatic decline in numbers, Cuomo said, adding that the change in ICU admissions is a negative number for the first time since the pandemic started.