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].
Washington state, early, about two weeks before New York or New Jersey ... California, a week before New York or New Jersey, really talked to their communities and decided to mitigate before they started seeing this number of cases. And now we know that makes a big difference.
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.
While announcing a statewide shelter-in-place order on Wednesday, Georgia governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, said that he had just been informed that asymptomatic individuals could spread the coronavirus. The illness “is now transmitting before people see signs….Those individuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt [symptoms],” Kemp said at a press conference. It has been widely known for months that the coronavirus can spread through asymptomatic transmission.
Pakistani Muslims at a Karachi mosque clashed with baton-wielding police trying to enforce new curbs on gatherings to prevent Friday prayers and contain coronavirus infections, officials said. TV footage showed dozens of people chasing two police vehicles and pelting them with stones as an officer fired in the air to disperse the crowd. After failing to persuade worshippers to pray at home last week, the government in Pakistan's southern province of Sindh, home to the financial hub of Karachi, enforced a lockdown for three hours beginning at noon on Friday, officials said.
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.
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.
G7 leaders on Friday discussed the search for a home coronavirus antibody test that could allow an early exit from the international COVID-19 lockdown. The tests are designed to detect whether somebody has ever contracted the coronavirus. If successful, such tests could allow the roll-out of so-called "immunity passports" allowing people to leave the coronavirus lockdown early.
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON - Russia sent the United States medical equipment on Wednesday to help fight the coronavirus pandemic, a public relations coup for Russian President Vladimir Putin after he discussed the crisis with U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump, struggling to fill shortages of ventilators and personal protective equipment, accepted Putin's offer in a phone call on Monday. A Russian military transport plane left an airfield outside Moscow and arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy in late afternoon on Wednesday.
At the coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump said he didn't want to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order to fight the pandemic because there are some states that don't have a large number of positive coronavirus cases.
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.
New York's death toll from COVID-19 climbed to 2,935 on Friday, up from 2,373 the day before — the "highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. There have now been more than 102,000 confirmed cases statewide and 14,810 people are currently hospitalized in New York, the U.S. epicenter of the global outbreak. More than half of cases in the state are in New York City.
The Chinese city of Shenzhen has banned the eating of dogs and cats as part of a wider clampdown on the wildlife trade since the emergence of the new coronavirus. Scientists suspect the coronavirus passed to humans from animals. Some of the earliest infections were found in people who had exposure to a wildlife market in the central city of Wuhan, where bats, snakes, civets and other animals were sold.
Frustrated customers are demanding that airlines make it easier to claim a refund for flights cancelled owing to the coronavirus outbreak. But the airlines' trade body wants the right to give vouchers, not refunds. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled as fleets are grounded and the process of reimbursing people is under strain.
A Venezuelan patrol boat was sent to intercept the cruise ship Resolute, firing warning shots and ramming it several times. The cruise ship, built to operate in iceberg-infested waters, suffered only minor damage and sailed to safety while the Venezuelan cruiser sank itself. A Venezuelan Navy offshore patrol vessel Naiguata sent to intercept a lowly cruise ship accidentally owned itself.
Mexico's homicide rate raced to a new record in March, as violence raged even as Covid-19 spread across the country and authorities urged the population to stay home and practise social distancing. Mexico registered 2,585 homicides in March – the highest monthly figure since records began in 1997 – putting 2020 on track to break last year's record total for murders. The surge in killings comes as federal and state officials put resources into containing the Covid-19 crisis and confront the prospect of an already sluggish economy falling even further – potentially deepening the misery for the more than 40% of the population living in poverty.
REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Picture Elon Musk was criticized on Thursday for apparently sending BiPAP machines, not the life-support ventilators most-needed to save coronavirus patients, to a New York hospital. New York City Hospitals thanked Musk and Tesla in a tweet for sending "40 ventilators" to a hospital in Queens, but the photo appears to show a BiPAP machine, which is more commonly used for sleep apnea. Some medical experts have warned that CPAP and BiPAP machines could be harmful in treating coronavirus patients by potentially spreading the disease.
Japan is bracing for an explosive surge in coronavirus infections cases, senior government officials said, while continuing to resist calls to declare a state of emergency to fight the pandemic. We are really continuing on the brink of the brink,” Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters Friday in Tokyo, one of several fresh warnings about the potential for a more widespread outbreak. Nishimura said that the government was concerned about the capital, where confirmed infections have more than doubled in a week to almost 700.
Parents of students who canceled a spring break trip to Mexico say the sponsoring company is not refunding their money and had reassured them beforehand that their children would be safe from the coronavirus. Yet 44 of the 70 young adults who took the trip returned to the U.S. with COVID-19, the disease associated with the virus, according to the University of Texas at Austin. The group traveled on a chartered plane to Cabo San Lucas about two weeks ago with JusCollege, a company based in Nevada that plans all-inclusive spring break trips.
Health care manufacturer 3M has resisted pressure from the White House to import about 10 million N95 respirator masks from the company's hub in Singapore originally destined for Asian countries, in part due to concern for health care workers in those countries, the Financial Times reported on Friday. While 3M agreed to import a similar amount from a factory in China, President Trump and his administration have criticized the company for being less than cooperative with the mobilization effort — and Trump announced he would invoke the Defense Production Act to compel 3M to deliver masks to the U.S. “The administration had worked very hard to ease some rules for 3M and other respirator manufa...
Despite that, many in a Manila slum took to the streets Wednesday to protest a lack of supplies, arguing they had not received any food packs since the lockdown started two weeks ago. "I will not hesitate my soldiers to shoot you," Duterte said in forceful tones Wednesday. On Thursday, as often happens after Duterte makes these sorts of inflammatory public remarks, Filipino officials rushed to insist that the president was simply using hyperbole to communicate the gravity of the situation.
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.
The generous U.S. unemployment benefits rolled out to blunt the economic harm caused by the coronavirus could have an unintended effect: it may actually be an incentive for companies to choose layoffs rather than keep staff on their books. That's at odds with a government-backed loan forgiveness program set to launch for small and medium-sized firms that opt against job cuts, so long as the bulk of the money is used to keep staff on at full salary. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week shot up to more than 6 million, a record high, Labor Department data on Thursday showed.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday named former Dallas police Chief David Brown to head the police force in the nation's third largest city, touting his humility and calling him “a leader who commands respect.” Lightfoot introduced Brown as the next superintendent of the Chicago Police Department during a news conference, saying he's the right man for the job. The announcement came hours after Lightfoot announced that a member of the police force had died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.