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.
The U.S. state has 149,316 reported cases compared with Spain at 146,690. In total, the United States has recorded over 417,000 cases and 14,100 deaths, according to the Reuters tally. European countries, including hardest-hit Italy and Spain, have started looking ahead to easing lockdowns but their coronavirus-related fatality rates have fluctuated after initially showing a decline.
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.
Sweden is resisting international trends by not implementing a lockdown or strict social distancing measures to fight the coronavirus. Researchers and scientists in Sweden have criticized the government's decision to allow businesses to remain open. More than 2,000 experts signed an open letter calling for stronger action, and some fear that a surge in coronavirus deaths is imminent.
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.
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.
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.
In an unprecedented move, the Italian government has declared its seaports “unsafe” due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will not authorise the landing of migrant rescue boats until the end of the emergency. In a decree issued late on Tuesday, the government wrote that “for the entire duration of the health emergency, due to the outbreak of coronavirus, Italian ports cannot be classified as 'safe places' for the landing of people rescued from boats flying a foreign flag”. The measure – the first of its kind in Italian history – appeared designed to prevent rescue boats from disembarking migrants in the upcoming weeks, as departures from Libya have increased in recent days with the arrival of good weather.
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.
Americans have turned some of their bipartisan ire amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic toward Beijing, a new Harris Poll survey released Wednesday shows. Per the poll, nearly 90 percent of Republicans believe China, where the coronavirus originated, is responsible for the spread while two-thirds of Democrats surveyed said the same. There's a little more discrepancy across party lines when it comes to how Chinese President Xi Jinping and his government should reckon with their role in exacerbating crisis, but more than half of Americans believe Beijing should pay some form of reparations to other countries.
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.
At Tuesday's coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump said he never saw a memo written in January by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro warning about the possible effects of coronavirus in the United States. The memo warned that the illness could endanger the lives of millions of Americans.
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.
Luis Alvarez/Getty Images Working people aged between 20 and 30 years-old should be the first out of lockdown to help re-start the economy, according to a new UK study. It is estimated that the move would result in 630 deaths, which is a "far smaller risk" than from ending the lockdown for everybody at once. The policy briefing paper has caught the attention of UK government officials, who have been looking for an exit strategy after the lockdown.
News updates on coronavirus in Africa Coronavirus live tracker Whipping, shooting and snooping during Africa lockdowns Earlier this week, an African Union report said that nearly 20 million jobs on the continent "are threatened with destruction". There are currently more than 11,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and there have been more than 570 confirmed deaths across Africa. South Africa, one of the continent's largest economies, has been the worst hit and is about to enter the third week of a strict lockdown.
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.
Top oil producers meeting later Thursday intend to cut production by between 10 and 15 million barrels per day, Kuwait's Oil Minister Khaled al-Fadhel reportedly said. The talks between OPEC and other major producers come as oil languishes at near-two decade lows, with Russia and Saudi Arabia's price war compounding slack demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. "Through our continuous consultations in the past weeks, I confirm that the intention is to conclude an agreement to cut production by a large amount ranging between 10 million bpd and 15 million bpd," Fadhel said in an interview with Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai published Thursday.
In 2016, he released his Medicare for All plan by declaring, “It is time for our country to join every other major industrialized nation on Earth and guarantee health care to all citizens as a right, not a privilege. His 2020 campaign website further echoed this sentiment, stating that “the United States will join every other major country on Earth and guarantee health care to all people as a right. A consistent candidate often comes across as a more authentic candidate – someone who is staying true to his core self rather than pandering to the latest polling data or saying whatever will attract the most dramatic news coverage.
Throughout Tuesday night's primetime stretch, Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham were in lockstep in telegraphing to Trump a message that the pandemic's threat has been overstated, death counts have been inflated, and the U.S. is already on the downside of the curve. Carlson, who received mainstream plaudits for his “admirable” early coronavirus coverage, kicked off his show by declaring that the crisis “may have passed,” noting that health-care systems across the country haven't come close to collapsing—“except in a handful of places. Patients are not dying alone in the hallways of emergency rooms with physicians too overwhelmed to treat them,” he asserted.
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.
The president of the European Union's main science organisation has quit the post he took up only in January, the European Commission said, amid controversy over the bloc's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mauro Ferrari, who became head of the European Research Council for a four-year mandate on Jan. 1, submitted his resignation on Tuesday, which the Commission said was effective immediately. "The Commission regrets the resignation of Professor Ferrari at this early stage in his mandate as ERC President," a spokesman said.
Singapore announced its largest daily increase. The crisis will escalate if countries don't start showing more solidarity, the head of the World Health Organization said, urging the U.S. and China to show “honest leadership” and stop bickering. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is stable and responding to treatment at a London hospital.
The top US health officials leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic have shot down the numerous conspiracy theories suggesting fatality rates were being intentionally misrepresented. In recent days, several influential figures floated theories that the US had been inflating its statistics on deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. "They are nothing but distractions," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday.
The acting secretary of the US Navy has resigned amid uproar over his handling of a coronavirus outbreak on an aircraft carrier. Thomas Modly fired the USS Theodore Roosevelt's captain after he pleaded for help in a letter leaked to media. Mr Modly apologised on Monday after it emerged he had called Captain Brett Crozier's actions "naive" and "stupid".