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].
JUPITER, Fla. ― Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has refused to issue a statewide “stay-at-home” order to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus because the disease has not hit many areas of the state, he said. Florida, among eight states with the highest number of COVID-19 cases, is the only one without such an order.
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.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin has decided to handle his duties remotely, the Kremlin said Wednesday, after the head of the country's main coronavirus hospital tested positive following a meeting with the president. Denis Protsenko, who met with Putin last week as the Russian leader visited the Kommunarka hospital in Moscow, said Tuesday he had been infected with the coronavirus but was feeling well. "The president prefers these days to work remotely," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists, shortly before Putin was due to hold a cabinet meeting by videoconference.
Wuhan doctor Ai Fen, who expressed early concerns about the coronavirus to the media, has disappeared and is believed detained by Chinese authorities. Fen, the head of emergency at Wuhan Central Hospital, was given a warning after she disseminated information about the coronavirus to several other doctors. The reprimand from her boss came after Fen took a photo of a patient's positive test results and circled the words 'SARS coronavirus' in red.
The captain of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier facing a growing outbreak of the coronavirus on his ship was fired Thursday by Navy leaders who said he created a panic by sending his memo pleading for help to too many people. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the ship's commander, Capt. Brett Crozier “demonstrated extremely poor judgment” in the middle of a crisis. Modly's decision to remove Crozier as ship commander was immediately condemned by members of the House Armed Services Committee, who called it a “destabilizing move” that will “likely put our service members at greater risk and jeopardize our fleet's readiness."
The head of the World Health Organization has voiced deep concern over the “rapid escalation” and global spread of the new coronavirus pandemic, as the United States nears a grim milestone of 5,000 deaths. The stark warning comes as the United States barrels towards marking 5,000 coronavirus-related deaths, with more than 4,800 already recorded across the country as of early Thursday morning. Having first emerged in China in December, four months later it is the United States that has registered by far the highest number of coronavirus cases, more than 210,000 as of Thursday, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
REUTERS/Marko Djurica The Chinese government is rebuffing the notion that its face masks exported to other countries were "defective" and suggested that the nations did not "double-check" the instructions. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday claimed in a tweet that the "true story" behind the alleged faulty face masks imported by the Netherlands was that the Chinese manufacturer explicitly "stated clearly that they are non-surgical." Representatives from the Chinese government in recent weeks shifted the narrative surrounding the coronavirus's origins by questioning its validity.
Border closures and strict lockdowns prompted by the Covid-19 crisis have disrupted the migrant trail through Central America and Mexico, forcing some would-be migrants to postpone their journeys – and stopping many others in their tracks. The result has been a deterrent more effective than any wall Donald Trump could build. Activists across the region have reported a steep decline in the number of migrants coming from Central America since the restrictions were implemented.
Donald Trump lashed out Thursday at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has been urging the president to put a military expert in charge of distributing medical gear to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The New York Democratic leader has been pushing Mr Trump to use the Defence Production Act more often to compel companies to produce items like ventilators and medical masks as the number of Covid-19 cases and deaths continues to rise. Most recently, Mr Schumer has urged the president to put someone with a military background in charge of distributing items produced under the law.
The U.S. topped 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for the first time Wednesday, a daily death toll more than double that of two of America's most deadly illnesses – lung cancer and the flu. Death counts from the virus are difficult to keep up to date, but the Johns Hopkins coronavirus database – whose sources include the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the European CDC and the National Health Commission of China – shows that the U.S. hit 1,040 cases Wednesday at 10:25 p.m. EDT. Since the virus' first appearance in the U.S. in late January, 5,116 people have died and more than 215,000 have been infected.
On Wednesday Iran warned the U.S. it was “warmongering during the coronavirus outbreak,” after it deployed Patriot air defense missiles to Iraq.
Astronomers have revealed the best evidence yet for an elusive cosmic oddity: the intermediate black hole. These medium-sized black holes are smaller than supermassive black holes, but larger than stellar-mass black holes. Supermassive black holes, it turns out, may form from intermediate-mass black holes.
Shenzhen has become the first Chinese city to ban the sale and consumption of dog and cat meat. It comes after the coronavirus outbreak was linked to wildlife meat, prompting Chinese authorities to ban the trade and consumption of wild animals. Shenzhen went a step further, extending the ban to dogs and cats.
Police in Pakistan will enforce a strict lockdown to prevent people from going to mosques to offer Friday prayers and fuel a rise in coronavirus infection, officials said, after failing to prevent large congregations last week. Health experts have warned of an epidemic in South Asia, home to a fifth of the world's population, that could easily overwhelm its weak public health systems. The government in Pakistan's southern province of Sindh, home to the country's largest city, Karachi, will enforce a "curfew-like" lockdown for three hours beginning 12 noon Friday to deter people from coming out of their homes for prayers, officials said.
Thailand will introduce a six-hour night curfew in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus, authorities said Thursday, warning anyone who breached the order faced a two-year jail term. Exemptions will be made for essential staff, including medical workers, food and fuel transport staff, and postal services. The number of infections in Thailand has soared past 1,800 -- up more than 80 percent from a week ago -- and the death toll has nearly quadrupled to 15 as of Thursday.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler just disclosed more stock trades, including shares in retail companies she sold and ones she bought in Dupont, which makes medical supplies, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported. After she attended a January 24 closed-door briefing on the COVID-19 outbreak, Loeffler dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars in stocks while also buying up shares in telecommuting software. Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and her husband, Intercontinental Exchange Chairman Jeff Sprecher, disclosed additional stock trades as they faced criticism for dumping shares before the market plummeted over the coronavirus crisis, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Tuesday.
President Donald Trump on Thursday ripped Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer as "missing in action" during the coronavirus crisis after the New York Democrat called on him to appoint a "czar" with a military background to oversee the dissemination of critically needed supplies to fight the coronavirus outbreak. "I've known you for many years, but I never knew how bad a Senator you are for the state of New York until I became president," Trump told Schumer in a letter that was released minutes before Navy Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, who has been heading up the Federal Emergency Management Agency's supply chain task force, spoke at the White House coronavirus briefing. "He is working 24 hours a day, and is highly respected by everyone," Trump said of Polowczyk in the letter.
Iran's parliament speaker has contracted the new coronavirus, the country's highest-ranking government figure yet to catch the disease, while in Israel, several top officials entered quarantine when the health minister tested positive on Thursday. Iran's parliament announced Ali Larijani's illness on its website, saying he was receiving treatment in quarantine. Iran, the regional epicenter of the virus, has been fighting one of the world's worst outbreaks.
WASHINGTON – The coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt escalated Wednesday as more sailors tested positive for the virus and U.S. Navy officials scrambled to respond to the desperate evacuation plea from the aircraft carrier's captain. As of midday Wednesday, 93 crew members had tested positive for the virus, and 593 tested negative, Thomas Modly, acting Secretary of the Navy, told reporters during a briefing Wednesday. There are approximately 5,000 crew members on board.
Until this week social distancing efforts in Sweden were voluntary. On Wednesday, the Public Health Agency put new guidelines in place that mandate every person to "keep a distance" from others. When the bordering countries of Denmark and Norway went into lockdown and closed schools and businesses earlier this month, Sweden stayed the course, taking an unorthodox approach by dodging the social distancing measures of other European nations.
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.
The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has climbed by 760 to 13,915, the Civil Protection Agency said on Thursday, slightly higher than the daily rise of 727 registered a day earlier. The number of new cases was steady, growing by 4,668 from a previous 4,782, bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 to 115,242. Thursday was the fourth consecutive day in which the number of new cases remained within a range of 4,050-4,782, seeming to confirm government hopes that the epidemic has hit a plateau, ahead of a hoped-for decline in the near future.
US politicians have voiced fury over Beijing's handling of the coronavirus crisis but they face a harsh truth -- the United States desperately needs China's supplies. China before the crisis produced nearly half of the face masks imported into the United States -- which in normal times cost less than a dollar but have disappeared from shelves amid growing calls for ordinary Americans wear them when outside. As China appears to have contained its own outbreak of SARS-CoV-1, which has infected more than one million people worldwide since first emerging late last year in Wuhan, it is now the first resort for protective gear sought across the world.