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.
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.
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.
Screenshot/Financial Times Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said that people are now realizing that a viral outbreak similar to COVID-19 will likely happen "every 20 years or so." Speaking to the Financial Times earlier this month, Gates said that COVID-19 was the "biggest event that people will experience in their entire lives" and said world leaders and global policymakers have "paid many trillions of dollars more than we might have had to if we'd been properly ready." The 67-year-old billionaire has been warning about the risk of a pandemic disease for years, stating that a global health crisis like coronavirus could wipe out 30 million people in less than a year.
It has become a bleak morning ritual that gets worse each day: New York reached yet another peak in coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday. “That is so shocking and painful and breathtaking, I don't even have the words for it,” Cuomo said, describing the outbreak as “a silent explosion that just ripples through society with the same randomness, the same evil that we saw on 9/11.” Not all the news in New York was grim.
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.
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.
As New York City deals with a mounting coronavirus death toll and dwindling morgue space, the city has shortened the amount of time it will hold unclaimed remains before they are buried in the city's public cemetery. Under the new policy, the medical examiner's office will keep bodies in storage for just 14 days before they're buried in the city's potter's field on Hart Island. In recent days, though, burial operations have increased from one day a week to five days a week, with around 24 burials each day, said Department of Correction spokesman Jason Kersten.
Minutes after Bernie Sanders announced the suspension of his presidential campaign and congratulated his primary rival Joe Biden, saying he would “work with” the ex-veep going forward, CNN anchor John King claimed Sanders “didn't say anything nice” about Biden or offer to “work with him. In a live-streamed message to supporters on Wednesday, which was carried by CNN, Sanders noted that Biden had an overwhelming delegate lead and therefore is the presumptive Democratic nominee. The fight for justice is what our campaign has been about,” he declared.
Democrats blocked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's attempt Thursday to ram through coronavirus relief legislation to infuse a new small business loan program with an additional $250 billion, saying Mr McConnell's maneuver was a "political stunt" that shut them out of the negotiating process. Mr McConnell's new legislation to add money to the Treasury Department's new payment protection program (PPP) "will not address the immediate need of small businesses in the legislation that we have [previously] passed," said Senator Ben Cardin of Delaware, the top Democrat on the Senate small business panel.
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.
Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, has been placed in solitary confinement at a federal prison in New York state where he is serving time for violating campaign finance laws, according to his lawyer and two sources familiar with the matter. Cohen, 53, was transferred on Wednesday to a Special Housing Unit at Otisville Federal Correctional Institution, a disciplinary section of the prison, the sources said. Until now, Cohen had been housed in a minimum-security camp at Otisville, which is about 70 miles (110 km) northwest of New York City.
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.
The Chinese city where the new coronavirus emerged ended its more-than two-month lockdown on Wednesday, even as a small northern city ordered restrictions on residents amid concern about a second wave of infections.
New York state now has more coronavirus cases than any other country outside the US, according to latest figures. While New York state leads the world in coronavirus cases, its death toll (7,000) lags behind Spain (15,500) and Italy (18,000), though it is more than double the official figure from China (3,300). Photos have emerged of workers in hazmat outfits burying coffins in a mass grave in New York City.
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.
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.
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.
Yesterday, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders officially dropped out of the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Despite early successes in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, Sanders failed to put up much of a fight against Joe Biden after the latter convincingly won South Carolina. When Sanders announced his 2016 presidential campaign, I had never heard of him, but he didn't take too long to figure out.
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.
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.
Jeffrey Abrahams/Gallo Images via Getty Images South Africa has been under strict lockdown since March 27, despite only a small number of Covid-19 deaths in that country. No-one is allowed out for exercise, and the sale of alcohol, cigarettes, and clothing has been banned. The country's president has just sanctioned a government minister for visiting a friend's house.
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.
The White House has began to investigate whether or not some social distancing measures might be able to be relaxed in some states by the end of April. Dr Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House response to the coronavirus, said officials are looking at areas across the country where social-distancing measures have been successful. In an interview on ABC's Good Morning America, Dr Birx was asked if it was realistic to think that the guidelines could actually be relaxed by 1 May, or if the restrictions would continue.
With his rickshaw sitting idle outside his one-room shack, Sailesh Kumar is one of the hundreds of millions of poor Indians hit the hardest by the world's biggest coronavirus lockdown. Like an estimated 100 million others, Kumar is a migrant worker. Before India's 21-day lockdown began on March 25, the 38-year-old earned -- on a good day -- the equivalent of $4 a day cycling his rickshaw, while his wife cooked and cleaned as a domestic worker.