Trump used Monday's briefing of the coronavirus task force to lash out at several members of the press, despite having recently praised media coverage of his response to the crisis as “very fair.” After kicking off the briefing by praising his own administration for its response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Trump opened the briefing up to questions, during which he refused to acknowledge any criticism of his handling of the pandemic that has brought the United States to a virtual standstill. One point of contention was a report released today by the inspector general of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from a Catholic church in Washington, D.C., that sought to place religious-themed ads on public buses. The justices are leaving in place a federal appeals court ruling that found no fault with the Washington transit agency policy that banned all issue-oriented advertisements on the region's rail and bus system. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington sought to place an ad on the outside of public buses in the fall of 2017.
Associated Press/John Locher The Bureau of Prisons placed an order for $60,000 worth of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets in March, federal spending records show. A Bureau of Prisons spokesperson told Insider the drugs were intended to treat COVID-19 patients. The novel coronavirus has been spreading rapidly throughout federal prisons, and the BOP reported Monday that eight inmates have died so far, and at least 195 have tested positive.
Spain's pace of coronavirus deaths ticked up for the first time in five days on Tuesday, with 743 people succumbing overnight, but there was still hope the national lockdown might be eased soon. Tuesday's toll from the health ministry compared to 637 deaths registered during the previous 24 hours, taking the total to 13,798, the second highest in the world after Italy. Still, the proportional daily increase of 5.7% was about half that reported a week ago.
China demanded an explanation from Brazil Monday after the far-right government's education minister linked the coronavirus pandemic to the Asian country's "plan for world domination," in a tweet imitating a Chinese accent. In the latest incident to strain ties between Brasilia and Beijing, Education Minister Abraham Weintraub insinuated China was behind the global health crisis. "Geopolitically, who will come out stronger from this global crisis?" he wrote on Twitter Saturday.
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.
JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images) Sweden took the unusual step of not implementing a lockdown to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The country urged people to practice social distancing, but left places like shops and restaurants open, breaking the model followed by countries across Europe and around the world. Sweden has 477 deaths from the virus so far, but Stefan Löfven, the prime minister, is now warning that thousands will die from COVID-19 and the parliament may bring in more restrictive measures.
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 number of deaths in the U.S. topped 10,700 by Monday night, according to NBC News' tally. The rising toll comes as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said Sunday that the U.S. is "struggling" to get the coronavirus outbreak under control. The number of confirmed cases in the U.S. has passed 337,000.
The Trump administration said Sunday that it was “beginning to see the glimmers of progress” in the fight to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the United States and across the globe. “We are beginning to see the glimmers of progress,” Vice President Mike Pence said during a hastily called briefing of the White House coronavirus task force, adding, “The experts will tell me not to jump to any conclusions, and I'm not.” Dr. Deborah Birx, a leading expert in infectious disease on the task force, said that there were encouraging signs in Spain and Italy, two countries hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Wisconsin's local elections and presidential primaries will likely proceed on Tuesday after the conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down an executive order Monday from Gov. Tony Evers (D) to delay the election to June 9 due to the coronavirus outbreak. There are open questions about how many polling places will be open and how many people will be able to vote by absentee ballot. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Monday night that Wisconsin voters must hand-deliver their absentee ballots by Tuesday evening or have them postmarked April 7, overruling a lower court that had extended absentee voting for six days.
Police in Bangladesh arrested a fugitive killer of the country's independence leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on Tuesday, nearly 45 years after the brutal assassination, the country's home minister said. Abdul Majed, a former military captain, was arrested in the capital, Dhaka, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said, adding that the arrest was “the biggest gift” for Bangladesh this year. Majed had publicly announced his involvement in the assassination after the killing and had reportedly been hiding in India for many years.
Spain reported the lowest number of new coronavirus cases in more than two weeks and German infections were the fewest in six days, tentative signs that the spread of the deadly disease is slowing in Europe's worst-hit countries. The most recent figures from Spain, Italy, Germany and France suggest containment measures that have idled millions of workers are having an effect. While most leaders pleaded for patience, Austria became the first country in Europe to ease restrictions and Denmark may follow later.
A major private hospital in Mumbai was shut to new patients and declared a coronavirus containment zone on Monday after 26 nurses and three doctors tested positive, an official said. Since the virus hit India -- which has been under lockdown since March 25 with 111 deaths so far -- medical workers have complained about not being given adequate protective gear. Mumbai city authority spokesman Vijay Khabale-Patil told AFP that the Wockhardt Hospital has been declared a "containment zone" after the cases were confirmed.
The new coronavirus could eventually infect between 10,000 and 200,000 people in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's health minister said on Tuesday, urging the public to adhere more closely to state directives against mixing and movement. The country of some 30 million has so far reported 2,795 cases and 41 deaths, the highest in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), despite halting all passenger flights, suspending most commercial activities and imposing a 24-hour curfew in major cities including the capital Riyadh. "We stand today at a decisive moment as a society in raising our sense of responsibility and contributing together with determination to stop the spread of this pandemic," Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah said in a rare televised address.
Rental cars around the country have been put in overflow storage in empty parking lots and fields because of the decline in travel. A fire over the weekend at Southwest Florida International Airport destroyed over 3,500 rental cars that were being stored in a grassy field. The fire started on Friday at the airport in Fort Myers, Florida, and was at first dubbed the "20 car fire" by local authorities.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has condemned as "racist" the comments by two French doctors who suggested a vaccine for the coronavirus could be tested in Africa. "Africa can't and won't be a testing ground for any vaccine," said Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The doctors' remarks during a TV debate sparked outrage, and they were accused of treating Africans like "human guinea pigs".
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.
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 governor of Wisconsin has issued an executive order to postpone the state's embattled elections on Tuesday for at least two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, following mounting criticism over the upcoming in-person vote. Governor Tony Evers (D-WI) delayed the presidential primary until 9 June, saying in a statement about the executive order: “Frankly, there's no good answer to this problem—I wish it were easy. I have been asking everyone to do their part to help keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and I had hoped that the Legislature would do its part—just as the rest of us are—to help keep people healthy and safe.
President Trump on Monday said he and former Vice President Joe Biden had a “really wonderful, warm conversation” on the phone.
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court refused Monday to hear the Catholic Church's challenge to a local ban on religious advertising. The case, brought by the Archdiocese of Washington against the District of Columbia region's mass transit system, would have been the latest example of religious freedom appeals heard by the conservative-leaning court. The justices already are considering four major religion cases, all brought to them by religious organizations after lower court losses: • School choice: Three Montana women challenged a Montana ban on state funds being used to pay for religious education.
The declaration would cover seven regions including Tokyo and Osaka and last for about a month. Due to civil liberties enshrined in Japan's postwar constitution, the government cannot send police to clear people off the streets, as has happened in places including France, Italy and the U.K. The country's strongest enforcement measure could be public obedience -- and it remains to be seen whether that will be enough. The prevalence of the virus varies widely among the country's 47 regions and prefectures, with Tokyo seeing a rapid surge and three regions yet to confirm any cases as of April 5.
The United States was preparing on Monday for what one official called the "peak death week" of the coronavirus, while across the Atlantic British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the most prominent person with COVID-19, was taken to intensive care. "Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)," Downing Street said on Monday, adding that the foreign secretary would deputize. A Reuters tally at 1400 GMT put the number of confirmed cases at 1.27 million - just three days after it crossed the 1 million mark - and deaths up by 17,000 over the same period to 70,395.
Democrat Amy McGrath raised substantially more campaign cash than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the first three months of 2020, showing her staying power against the Republican lawmaker in setting a blistering fundraising pace in Kentucky. Hours after McConnell's campaign reported raising nearly $7.5 million in the quarter, McGrath upped the ante. She reported taking in $12.8 million during the same period.