Nearly a quarter million people in the United States could die as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Trump administration officials said Tuesday. In what was presented as a best case scenario in which millions of citizens across the country adhered to intensive social distancing guidelines promoted by the Trump administration, between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans are still expected to be killed by COVID-19. “We're going to do everything we can to get [the U.S. death toll] significantly below that,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whose forthright manner has made him a star of the coronavirus briefings.
The New York Times reported this week that almost a dozen Liberty University students have come down with COVID-19 symptoms since the school reopened last week, according to a bombshell article published Sunday that cites a local physician in Lynchburg, Va., where the evangelical university is situated. “We've lost the ability to corral this thing,” Dr. Thomas W. Eppes Jr. said he told Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., according to the article. The Times identified Eppes as the head of the school's student health service, but he does not appear on the Liberty University website and a school spokesman told Yahoo News he has no official connection to the university.
Thomas Peter/Getty The US intelligence community has determined that the Chinese government concealed the extent of its coronavirus outbreak and gave false statistics to other countries, Bloomberg News reported, citing three US officials. Officials transmitted a classified report of their findings to the White House last week. Bloomberg described its sources as saying that the report's main conclusion was that China's public reporting of coronavirus cases was "intentionally incomplete" and that its numbers were fake.
Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry believes that the oil industry could collapse because of the dramatic decrease in demand worldwide caused by the coronavirus outbreak and a steep decline in prices. "I'm telling you, we are on the verge of a massive collapse of an industry that we worked awfully hard, over the course of the last three or four years, to build up to the number one oil and gas producing country in the world, giving Americans some affordable energy resources." Coupled with a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia that has resulted in an oil surplus, the price for crude as well as gasoline has plunged.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who was sued by gun-rights groups after trying to shut down firearms dealers in the wake of coronavirus concerns, is abandoning the effort. The sheriff said Monday he's heeding a federal Department of Homeland Security advisory issued on Saturday that listed gun and ammunition dealers as “essential critical infrastructure workers." Villanueva called the non-binding memo “persuasive" and announced that his department won't order or recommend closing businesses that sell or repair firearms or sell ammunition in the nation's most populous county.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) plans to call DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz to testify before congress regarding his office's audit of the FBI's FISA application process, which was released Tuesday and revealed potentially systematic abuses of the transparency measures required of the Bureau when agents interact with the FISA court. I have just been briefed on Inspector General Horowitz's audit of FISA applications involving American citizens. This random audit shows discrepancies regarding verification of the information under the Woods Procedures,” Graham said in a press release.
Chinese health authorities began on Wednesday reporting on asymptomatic cases of the coronavirus as part of an effort to allay public fears that people could be spreading the virus without knowing they are infected with it. China, where the coronavirus emerged late last year, has managed to bring its outbreak under control and is easing travel restrictions in virus hot spots. Up to now, the number of known asymptomatic cases has been classified, and it is not included in the official data, though the South China Morning Post newspaper, citing unpublished official documents, recently said it was more than 40,000.
President Trump on Tuesday responded to the idea that the impeachment trial kept his attention away from the growing coronavirus outbreak around the world.
While leaders across the country are urging Americans to stay in their homes to stop the spread of the coronavirus, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway is openly mocking former Vice President Joe Biden for setting that example. During a press gaggle outside the White House, Conway called it “completely unhelpful” to have the former vice president “in his bunker in Wilmington just lobbing criticisms” at the current president.
Spain suffered its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic, as European governments doubled down on efforts to maintain rigid lockdowns amid tentative signs that the infection rate is slowing. Italy and the Netherlands are discussing prolonging measures to limit personal contact, and German officials warned that it's too soon to ease restrictions as things could still get worse. Concerns are growing about European unity as the financial cost of the shutdown risks deepening divisions between member nations.
While officials from Montreal to Moscow have placed populations under some form of lockdown designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus, one man continues to hold firm to the notion that the rest of the world has lost its mind: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. “It is better to die on your feet than live on your knees!” Lukashenko told a Belarusian television reporter Saturday when asked whether the coronavirus could stop him from hitting the rink for a propaganda-filled hockey game. Lukashenko, one of the longest-serving leaders in the former Soviet Union, has been in power for over 25 years.
There has been some skepticism about China's reporting on the novel COVID-19 coronavirus for some time, especially as smaller countries like Italy surged past the world's most populous nation in both overall cases and deaths. On Wednesday, U.S. intelligence officials told Bloomberg on condition of anonymity that the skepticism is valid. Per Bloomberg, the U.S. intelligence community reportedly concluded in a classified document that China, where the pandemic originated, has under-reported its totals.
Romeo Ranoco/Reuters The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may start urging Americans to cover their faces in public amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to The Washington Post. If the advice is updated, The Post reported, the CDC would stress that surgical masks and N95 masks should be saved for medical professionals and that others should make their own masks. The CDC's current advice is to wash hands, obey social-distancing advice, and stay at home.
It has become a grim ritual outside New York City's hospitals: workers in protective gear loading the bodies of coronavirus victims into refrigerated trailers. A surge in deaths in the epicenter of the crisis in the U.S. has overwhelmed the city's permanent morgues and filled storage spaces in many hospitals to capacity. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending 85 refrigerated trucks to serve as temporary morgues, the city said.
As the world economy enters an unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and policymakers in Washington and other global capitals prepare record fiscal stimulus plans, stakeholders should heed an important lesson from the last financial downturn in 2008: Recovery is only possible through coordinated global action. A little more than 10 years ago, as the world was entering the Great Recession, stakeholders had to look far back in the rearview mirror to the Great Depression for policy guidance. While the actions of the 1930s did offer important lessons for 2008 — most notably the need to expand the money supply — the economy of the 1930s was fundamentally different than the global economy of the early part of this century.
From Zaha Hadid's majestic MAXII in Italy to the stunning beauty of Frank Gehry's Vitra Design Museum, these structures elevate the environment they were built in Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Taiwan will donate ten million face masks to countries struggling with the coronavirus pandemic, a move that will likely rile China, which claims Taiwan as a territory and has donated far fewer masks to other countries despite its role in covering up the risk posed by a deadly virus that originated within its borders. “At the previous stage, we formed a national team, now we need to play an international match and fight the pandemic together with other countries,” said Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen. According to Taiwan's foreign ministry, 7 million of the masks will be sent to European Union countries, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland.
A senior official in Serbia's government died from the coronavirus on Wednesday, a health official said, the second death of a public figure from the disease in the Balkan country. Branislav Blazic, 63, a state secretary with the Ministry for Environmental Protection, died only days after being hospitalised with symptoms of the coronavirus infection, said Daria Kisic Tepavcevic, the deputy director of the Institute for Public Health. "Sadly it is true, he (Blazic) died," Kisic told a news conference in Belgrade.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump issued another tweeted threat to Iran on Wednesday, saying he would retaliate if the Tehran government struck again at U.S. interests in Iraq. "Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq," Trump tweeted. "If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!"
Indonesia barred foreign nationals from entering the country as the world's fourth-most populous country stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The travel ban, to be effective soon, will also cover foreigners transiting through the country, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Jakarta Tuesday. The curbs will not apply to holders of work permits, diplomats and other official visitors, she said.
In Israel, the coronavirus is spreading in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities up to eight times faster than anywhere else in the country. Ultra-Orthodox Jews account for 12 percent of Israel's population, but they make up 40 to 60 percent of coronavirus patients at four of the country's largest hospitals, officials told Israeli media. Health experts said the virus is moving so quickly in these communities because the ultra-Orthodox have large families, don't trust the government, and pay little to no attention to secular media.
Associated Press Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday that the US is starting to see "glimmers" that social distancing is having a dampening effect on the spread of the coronavirus. There's a "reasonably good chance" that a second wave of the virus hits later this year, he said in an interview with CNN. Fauci said that while people who survive the virus are likely to be immune, there won't be enough of them to provide "herd immunity" to prevent community spread.
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Navy ships are being moved toward Venezuela as his administration beefs up counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean following a U.S. drug indictment against Nicolás Maduro. The announcement came at the start of the daily White House press briefing to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, which has left much of the country in lock-down and which the government warns could cause 100,000 to 240,000 deaths. The Venezuelan people continue to suffer tremendously due to Maduro and his criminal control over the country, and drug traffickers are seizing on this lawlessness,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said after the president's announcement.
The financial impact of coronavirus will stop almost 24 million people from escaping poverty in East Asia and the Pacific, according to the World Bank. The World Bank warned of “substantially higher risk” among households that depend on industries particularly vulnerable to the impact of the virus. In its baseline scenario, almost 24 million fewer people will escape poverty across the region in 2020 due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
Tony Spell, an evangelical pastor at the Life Tabernacle Church in suburban Baton Rouge, Louisiana, faces six misdemeanor charges after continuing in-person church services despite the state's stay-at-home order. Spell has held several services with hundreds of people in attendance over the last several weeks, and on Tuesday hosted 300 people after being charged with violating the governor's order that bans large gatherings. As many churches turn to live streams to protect parishioners from the novel coronavirus, Spell told Insider he prefers in-person services, where he can "lay hands" on his congregation.