White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is leaving her job after less than a year and returning to her position as first lady Melania Trump's chief of staff, according to a report from CNN published on Tuesday. The New York Times subsequently reported that Kayleigh McEnany, the national press secretary for President Trump's 2020 campaign, would replace Grisham in the press secretary post, which is traditionally the most visible public face of the White House. Grisham, Trump's third press secretary, has not held a briefing with the White House press corps since taking the job late last June.
At Sunday's White House briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested that hundreds of thousands — or even millions — of “silent carriers” may be unwittingly spreading the coronavirus across the United States because they don't realize they're infected. “It's somewhere between 25 and 50 percent” of the total, Fauci said. The first thing to note is that Fauci himself expressed a high degree of uncertainty about his own numbers.
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.
Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign, he announced on Wednesday, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. "I have concluded that this battle for the Democratic nomination will not be successful, and so today I am announcing the suspension of my campaign," Sanders told supporters in a livestream, saying he wished he could provide supporters with "better news" but "I think you know the truth." "We are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden and the path to victory is virtually impossible," he said.
China has reported no new deaths from coronavirus anywhere in the country, for the first time since the beginning of the outbreak. For months now, every morning at 03:00, officials in China have put together the latest figures on the spread of the virus to share with the world. World Health Organization Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed China for the "speed with which [it] detected the outbreak" and its "commitment to transparency".
Iran demanded on Wednesday that U.S. oil production levels must be known before an upcoming OPEC meeting with Russia and others seeking to boost global energy prices. The meeting of the so-called OPEC+ is scheduled to be held Thursday after officials delayed it following Saudi Arabia criticizing Russia over its comments about the price collapse. A meeting in March saw OPEC and other nations led by Russia fail to agree to a production cut as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has drastically cut demand for oil.
Here are the latest developments in Asia related to the coronavirus pandemic: - Wuhan outbound travel ban ends - Outbound travel from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus first emerged in December, resumed Wednesday, after a more than two-month ban. Thousands of travellers flocked to catch departing trains, passenger cars lined up as road blocks were dismantled, and outbound air travel was set to resume. The further easing of travel restrictions came after China reported no new coronavirus deaths for the first time since it started publishing figures in January.
The claim: Christian humanitarian group Samaritan's Purse requires that workers in its NYC COVID-19 operation sign an anti-LGBTQ 'Statement of Faith' Samaritan's Purse, a Christian aid group that has conducted relief efforts around the world, set up a 68-bed field hospital staffed by several dozen personnel in New York's Central Park to address the COVID-19 outbreak. The organization's president and CEO, Franklin Graham, is a prominent evangelical Christian with a history of anti-LGBTQ statements. The organization has received praise for its efforts, which have relieved pressure on the city's overburdened health care system, while drawing criticism for its stance on LGBTQ issues.
India's financial hub Mumbai is set to extend lockdown measures until at least April 30 as authorities race to expand testing to stem the spread of coronavirus cases in the city, three senior officials said. A 21-day nationwide lockdown that Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared in late March to fight the epidemic is officially set to end on April 14. The Mumbai municipal authority and the state government in the western state of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, both declined to comment.
Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the two leading medical experts on the White House coronavirus task force, said that out of deference to social distancing rules she had stayed away from her daughter's house — despite her 10-month-old granddaughter having registered a fever of 105 degrees over the weekend. Birx said the child, who is recovering, probably had roseola, a common childhood infection, not COVID-19. Birx, who meets daily with President Trump and Vice President Pence, said she has been vigilant about avoiding social contact “because of you two.”
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved the withdrawal of 1 billion euros from the country's sovereign wealth fund to help fight the coronavirus epidemic, President Hassan Rouhani's official website said on Monday.
A reporter at Tuesday's White House coronavirus press briefing raised the question many, many parents want answered: How soon will the kids be going back to school? This school year is probably out in most of the country, but what about summer school? Vice President Mike Pence, who was at the lectern, thanked America's teachers for adjusting to remote learning.
The coronavirus pandemic is affecting nearly everyone in the world in different ways, but for one Louisiana family, the deadly virus inflicted a particularly devastating blow. Four members of the same family died after contracting the virus, including the 86-year-old matriarch. Antoinette Franklin and three of her sons all died within days of each other.
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.
The global epicenter of the coronavirus, the city of Wuhan in China, relaxed its 76-day lockdown on Wednesday. The day the lockdown ended, local couples flooded a local marriage-application app, causing it to crash. Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, lifted its lockdown on Wednesday and couples living there rushed to take advantage.
The leader of the remote Solomon Islands said Wednesday that 27 people had died after being washed overboard from a crowded ferry last week and the government is conducting a criminal investigation. But others say the government itself must take responsibility after it told people to leave the capital and return to their home islands ahead of a possible coronavirus lockdown. The ship MV Taimareho left Honiara on the evening of April 2 as a tropical cyclone was approaching.
Interviews with more than 20 British scientists, key officials and senior sources in Johnson's Conservative Party, and a study of minutes of advisory committee meetings and public testimony and documents, show how these scientific advisers concluded early the virus could be devastating. But the interviews and documents also reveal that for more than two months, the scientists whose advice guided Downing Street did not clearly signal their worsening fears to the public or the government. Until March 12, the risk level, set by the government's top medical advisers on the recommendation of the scientists, remained at "moderate," suggesting only the possibility of a wider outbreak.
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.
The street gangs that have long terrorized El Salvador have now turned their attention from extortion and killing to a more pressing matter: enforcing social distancing restrictions, often with threats and baseball bats. The gangs assumed their role as public health thugs after President Nayib Bukele ordered a 30-day lockdown that started March 22. In many parts of the country, the gangs are more effective than government authorities, with tactics that include circulating recordings on messaging applications threatening people who break the rules.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Tuesday that donations of medical equipment by foreign companies like Huawei in the fight against the coronavirus will have no influence on future government policy. The prime minister was asked if donations to Canada by Huawei could influence his government's policies toward the Chinese telecoms giant, which is at the center of a protracted diplomatic crisis between Ottawa and Beijing. At a time when the world faces a shortage of masks, Huawei gave Canada more than a million masks, 30,000 face shields and 50,000 pairs of gloves, according to the Globe and Mail daily.
The claim: Joe Biden stuck a gun in a woman's mouth in Wisconsin A manipulated photo that dates back more than a decade is finding new life amid the effort of many Americans to stay at home and engage in social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. An image of Democratic presidential frontrunner and former Vice President Joe Biden shared more than 2,000 times on Facebook purports to show Biden sticking a gun in an elderly woman's mouth. The accompanying text claims it happened at a 2019 rally in Wisconsin.
Alton, Illinois, Mayor Brant Walker wrote a lengthy apology statement to his constituents and berated his wife, Shannon, for her "stunning lack of judgment." Walker said he told Alton's police chief that his wife did not deserve any special treatment and should receive the same punishment as any other citizen who violated the state's stay-at-home order. Shannon Walker will face a criminal complaint of reckless conduct, along with each person at the party for violating the stay-at-home order.
The body of Maeve Kennedy McKean, granddaughter of assassinated presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy, has been found in Maryland. The 40-year-old and her eight-year-old son were last seen on Thursday evening riding in a canoe off Chesapeake Bay. After an extensive search operation, police said on Monday that her body had been found in water about 2.5 miles (4km) south of where they had set off.
At the start of what is expected to be the deadliest week of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the White House tried to offer some hope that measures to contain the spread were working. The virus killed 1,264 over 24 hours in the U.S. as of 2:05 am ET on Tuesday, according to NBC New's tracker. Meanwhile China, where the pandemic broke out, claimed that not a single new death was reported, and the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, where the new virus was first identified, prepared for lockdown measures to be lifted.