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.
Another approach is to harvest antibodies, protective substances produced in response to an infection, from the blood plasma of people who have been infected. Dr. Jacob Glanville, one of the researchers featured in the Netflix documentary “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak,” thinks he has found a shortcut. Glanville is the president of Distributed Bio, a computational immunoengineering group that focuses on making antibody therapeutics and vaccines.
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.
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 in China, where the pandemic broke out, 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.
The Trump administration is seizing the opportunity of the coronavirus pandemic to push a cause that has long been an irritant in U.S. relations with China: Taiwan. The virus has added yet another dimension to U.S.-China tensions that were already wracked by a trade war and heated discussions over intellectual property, human rights and Chinese policies in Hong Kong and the South China Sea. And, while U.S.-China differences over Taiwan have waxed and waned for decades, they have persisted and are reaching new heights as the world grapples with the exponential spread of the COVID-19 virus.
New York state has recorded its highest number of COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday, adding though that hospitalizations appeared to be "plateauing." Cuomo said 731 people succumbed to the new coronavirus on Monday, bringing the state's total death toll to 5,489. New York has borne the brunt of America's deadly coronavirus pandemic, accounting for around half the number of deaths across the country.
Flattening the curve does not necessarily mean seeing a decrease in total cases right away; it would first produce a decline in the number of new cases, which should result in fewer hospitalizations and death in the weeks that follow. With some of the most affected countries like Spain and Italy on lockdown for weeks, many are wondering if their efforts are actually working. Italy has been under a nationwide lockdown for about four weeks and the country has begun to flatten the curve.
India, like a lot of countries plunged into crisis by the pandemic, is struggling to ramp up testing for the coronavirus, but in few places would the odds of containing the disease appear so bleak should domestic transmission start to multiply. Since India's first case was confirmed on Jan. 30, India has conducted only a little over 96,000 tests, having focused efforts on identifying those who had come in contact with people who have tested positive. Officials believe a three-week nationwide lockdown ordered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have slowed the spread of the virus in communities, giving them a chance to catch up in the race to stop a full blown epidemic.
To the editor: Where is Joe Biden? Is he afraid that if spoke like a presidential candidate, he'd "let the cat out of the bag" and everyone would see he has nothing worthwhile to say? Or, are we to assume that Biden really does have good solutions but prefers to keep them to himself?
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general whom President Donald Trump dismissed last week, said he was "disappointed and saddened" by the decision and urged whistleblowers not to "allow recent events to silence your voices." In his resignation letter, Atkinson said it was "hard not to think" Trump's decision "derives from my having faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial Inspector General." Atkinson infuriated Trump when he alerted Congress to a whistleblower's complaint accusing the president of soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election.
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.
Lisa Marie David/NurPhoto / Getty Philippine police reportedly killed a man for disobeying President Rodrigo Duterte's strict quarantine rules. The man, 63, threatened local officials with a scythe after they told him to wear a face mask, a local police report said, according to Al Jazeera. This appears to be the first reported case of someone being shot dead in the Philippines for disobeying lockdown rules.
When the White House projected on March 31 that, even with social distancing measures, 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die of COVID-19, the numbers were not necessarily shocking to those who had been paying attention. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had already said he projected between 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. deaths, and estimates by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington are not much different, projecting 81,766 American deaths by Aug. 4, as of Monday afternoon. White House is now setting the goal posts at 100-200K dead as a good job.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell flexed his fundraising strength in the midst of a global pandemic, raising nearly $7.5 million in the first three months of 2020, his campaign said Tuesday. “Kentuckians know that at a time of great consequence, there is no substitute for the proven leadership of Mitch McConnell," the senator's campaign manager, Kevin Golden, said. McConnell, who is seeking his seventh term, has raised $25.6 million so far for the 2020 election cycle, and he had nearly $14.9 million on hand in what shapes up as a big-spending Senate race in Kentucky.
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.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that New York has recorded the largest single-day increase in the number of deaths related to the novel coronavirus, despite indications that hospitalizations are plateauing in the state. Over the last 24 hours alone, 731 people died, the state's highest single-day death toll since the first known infection last month, Cuomo said. “Behind every one of those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is a father, is a sister, is a brother,” Cuomo said during a press conference in Albany.
Mainland China reported 39 new coronavirus cases as of Sunday, up from 30 a day earlier, and the number of asymptomatic cases also surged as the government vowed tighter controls at land borders. The National Health Commission said on Monday that 78 new asymptomatic cases had been identified as of the end of Sunday, compared with 47 the day before. Imported cases and asymptomatic patients, who show no symptoms but can still pass the virus on, have become China's chief concern after draconian containment measures succeeded in slashing the overall infection rate.
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.
Trump said on Saturday that he had spoken to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and revealed that India is giving “serious consideration” to the release of shipments U.S. has already ordered. A Bloomberg News analysis found that 47 percent of the U.S. supply of hydroxychloroquine last year came from Indian manufacturers, including the top U.S. supplier, Zydus Pharmaceuticals Inc. which is a subsidiary of Ahmedabad, India-based Cadila Healthcare Ltd. It sold over 167 million units of the anti-malarial in 2019, and has supplied 28 million to the U.S. market so far this year.
The U.S. Supreme Court reinstated a deadline for mailing absentee ballots in Tuesday's presidential primary in Wisconsin, backing Republicans in the first coronavirus-related case to reach the justices. Partially blocking a trial judge's ruling, the justices required that all absentee ballots be postmarked by Tuesday in an election that also includes a hotly disputed battle over a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented.
Police say Patrick Jesernik shot his wife Cheryl Jesernik, then himself, on Thursday. Experts predicted the stresses of the pandemic and lockdown could lead to an uptick in domestic violence. On Thursday evening, police responded to a wellbeing check at the couple's home, where they found Patrick Jesernik, 54, and Cheryl Schriefer, 59, dead, NBC Chicago reported. An autopsy found that each died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
As the number people killed by the coronavirus in the United States topped 10,000 by Monday night, the country's top medical officials warned that the worst was yet to come. The number of cases has ballooned to at least 364,167 — nearly three times higher than in the second-worst hit country, Spain — with 10,772 people killed as of 7:30 p.m. ET, according to NBC News' tracker. At the center of the outbreak in the U.S., New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said critical medical supplies and personnel have been secured but warned that the magnitude of the crisis equals that of the 1918-19 flu and the Great Depression.
President Trump on Monday said he and former Vice President Joe Biden had a “really wonderful, warm conversation” on the phone.
Italian officials said Sunday they may soon have to consider easing restrictions after seeing the daily coronavirus death toll plunge to its lowest in over two weeks. The 525 official COVID-19 fatalities reported by the civil protection service were the Mediterranean country's lowest since 427 deaths were registered on March 19. "The curve has started its descent and the number of deaths has started to drop," Italy's ISS national health institute director Silvio Brusaferro told reporters.
Israel's domestic security agency said Tuesday it arrested an Israeli citizen alleged to have spied for Iran. The Shin Bet alleged in a statement the man was in contact with Iranian agents abroad, where he was given money, guidance and encryption tools. The Shin Bet said the man was expected to provide information on strategic Israeli sites, ways to promote division in Israeli society, carry out attacks against Israeli targets and enlist Arab citizens of Israel to assist Iran.