President Trump said Tuesday that he did not learn of two memos written in January and February by his own economic adviser warning that a COVID-19 pandemic could kill as many as 2 million Americans until “maybe a day ago.” On Jan. 29, Peter Navarro warned his colleagues at the White House that if the administration did not mount an aggressive containment strategy for the coronavirus, it could kill more than half a million Americans and cost the country nearly $6 trillion. Nearly a month later, on Feb. 23, Navarro distributed an even more dire second memo in which he said as many as 100 million Americans could be infected with COVID-19, which might kill upwards of 2 million U.S. citizens.
Many are concerned that as cases increase, COVID-19 will make its way to vulnerable populations in war zones, slums and sprawling refugee camps across the continent. Princeton University professor Jessica Metcalf, who specializes in infectious diseases and public policy and who has worked in Africa, warns that the introduction of the coronavirus into the “tsunami of other infectious diseases” across vulnerable populations in Africa might be catastrophic.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that no victim of the coronavirus has died because the state could not provide health care for them, even as New York posted its highest number of deaths in one day. A record 731 New Yorkers died between Monday and Tuesday, Cuomo reported. The governor warned Thursday that New York state only had enough ventilators for six days and was considering how to increase the supply.
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.
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.
Diplomats from the 27-nation EU approved an upgrade to European legislation on enforcing international commercial rules. The envoys decided to let the EU impose penalties against countries that illegally restrict commerce and simultaneously block the World Trade Organization's dispute-settlement process. The deal on Wednesday in Brussels advances a proposal made by EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan in December -- before Europe became the epicenter of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic and governments across the region unleashed unprecedented economic stimulus.
African-Americans are more affected by the coronavirus than other groups, according to data emerging from some states.
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.
Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis issued a rare public rebuke of President Trump Tuesday over his decision to fire Glenn Fine, the Pentagon inspector general charged with overseeing implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. “Mr. Fine is a public servant in the finest tradition of honest, competent governance,” Mattis told Yahoo News in an email. “In my years of extensive engagement with him as our Department of Defense's acting Inspector General, he proved to be a leader whose personal and managerial integrity were always of the highest order.”
John Fage, spokesman for the U.S. 3rd Fleet, said the sailor's test is still inconclusive and no sailors aboard the Nimitz have tested positive. "There are no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 on board USS Nimitz at this time," Fage said. Another aircraft carrier has confirmed a case of coronavirus in a crew member, according to a news report.
To the editor: Where is Joe Biden? Is he afraid that if spoke like a presidential candidate, he'd "let the cat out of the bag" and everyone would see he has nothing worthwhile to say? Or, are we to assume that Biden really does have good solutions but prefers to keep them to himself?
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.
Xinhua/Cheng Min via Getty Images On Wednesday at midnight, Chinese authorities began allowing outbound travel from Wuhan, the city where the first coronavirus cases were reported last year. Throngs of people who can prove they are healthy are rushing out of the city by car, plane, and train. Travel from Wuhan was restricted for 76 days in an effort to keep the novel coronavirus outbreak contained.
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.
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.
As the coronavirus bore down on New York, Dr. Doug Bass' family begged him to work from home. “He said he was on the front lines and they needed him,” his brother, Jonathan Bass, told The Associated Press. It happened so quickly he was never tested for COVID-19, but his brother believes he was among the hundreds of undiagnosed cases that, for weeks, have been excluded from the official coronavirus death toll.
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.
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.
On March 24, Timothy Wilson, 36, was shot and killed by the FBI as he prepared to attack a hospital in the Kansas City area where patients with the coronavirus were being treated. The FBI had previously identified Wilson as a “potentially violent extremist” who had considered attacking a mosque, a synagogue, and a school with a large number of black students before settling on the hospital. Hours before his death, Wilson had posted anti-Semitic messages on two white supremacist groups on the messaging app Telegram.
The top human rights court in the Americas has found Peru responsible for the arbitrary detention and rape of an LGBT person. Azul Rojas Marín was stripped, hit and raped with a truncheon by three officers while in custody in 2008, her legal team said. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights said it was an act of torture.
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.
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.
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.