Palm Beach County superintendent says schools closing because of coronavirus
Louisiana is poised to become the next epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, White House officials said Thursday, citing new data that shows that 26 percent of the tests for COVID-19 in that state in recent days have come back positive. The New York area remains a “very clear and important hot zone,” Dr. Deborah Birx said at Thursday's briefing of the White House coronavirus task force as she revealed testing statistics on specific states. “What we're seeing finally is testing improving,” said Birx, a renowned veteran of the HIV/AIDS fight who is now serving as the response coordinator for the coronavirus task force.
Two years ago, some of the nation's top public health officials gathered in an auditorium at Emory University in Atlanta to commemorate the 1918 influenza pandemic — also known as “the Spanish flu” — which had killed as many as 40 million people as it swept the globe. Implicit was the understanding that while the 1918 pandemic was a singular catastrophe, conditions in the 21st century were ideal for another outbreak. Long before the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, and then soon spread to nearly every country on Earth, the 2018 conference offered proof that epidemiologists at the CDC and other institutions were aware that a new pandemic was poised to strike.
WASHINGTON – The Navy fired the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday, four days after he pleaded for help as the coronavirus ravaged his crew, the Navy announced. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly announced that Navy Capt. Brett Crozier was relieved for loss of confidence. "I just know that he exercised extremely poor judgment," Modly said.
An emergency room nurse told Insider she wouldn't take a ventilator if she were to be infected with coronavirus and to save it for others who may need it more. An emergency room nurse working in Southern California told Insider, the pandemic had forced her to have some difficult conversations with her family. Paige, who asked to conceal her last name said while she's found it too difficult to have the conversation with her 86-year-old father, she's discussed how she wants her family to deal with her death if she were to be infected and die from the coronavirus with her sisters.
Cases rose by 6,156, compared with the previous day and the death toll climbed by 140. Italy will extend lockdown restrictions to April 13, as data from this week suggests a slowdown of growth in total cases, though its national health institute says official death toll could be underestimated. Cases in Spain topped 100,000 on Wednesday, and two planes with protective equipment arrived to restock an overloaded public health system.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday gave the green light for soldiers to be deployed in a mostly ultra-Orthodox Jewish city considered the centre of Israel's novel coronavirus outbreak. "In light of the special situation in Bnei Brak following the restrictions due to the coronavirus, the IDF (army) will immediately present the necessary civil assistance to Bnei Brak municipality in fulfilling its responsibilities," Netanyahu's office said after talks with security and health officials. Authorities have enforced restrictions on access to Bnei Brak, a majority ultra-Orthodox city near Tel Aviv that is home to around 200,000 people.
The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that the Chinese government does not know the full extent of the coronavirus outbreak within the country, the New York Times reported on Thursday. China's government has encountered difficulties collecting accurate data on the spread of the coronavirus because mid-level bureaucrats in Wuhan and elsewhere in China have been lying about the number of cases, current and former intelligence officials told the Times. Local administration officials in China fear that their superiors will punish and even fire them if they report high numbers of cases.
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.
As the worsening coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country, millions of Americans living with diabetes face heightened risks from COVID-19. Around 30 million Americans have diabetes, mostly of the type II (previously called “adult-onset”) variety. A quarter of U.S. adults with diabetes are over 65, an age that has been shown to delineate increased COVID-19 mortality rates.
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.
With governments worldwide increasing health measures to keep the spread of the deadly coronavirus at bay, one might think there would be virtually no time for waging war. Despite calls for a global ceasefire — “It's time to put armed conflict on lockdown,” said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a statement in March — regional conflicts appear to be immune to the coronavirus even as more than 4,000 have died across the Middle East and almost 90,000 people have confirmed cases. In Syria, Iraq and Yemen, as authorities have shut down businesses and imposed curfews, battles between the belligerents have persisted.
France reported its deadliest day from the coronavirus amid tentative signs that the pandemic may be easing in Spain and Italy. The health ministry in Paris reported 588 hospital deaths, the most yet, bringing the figure to 5,091 since the beginning of the outbreak. In contrast, new infections slowed and fatalities declined in Spain for the first time in four days, as infections stabilized in Italy.
State and local officials have complained about insufficient protective equipment such as masks and gowns as well as ventilators, needed to help keep patients breathing. Meanwhile, US Vice-President Mike Pence warned the US appeared to be on a similar trajectory as Italy where the death toll has exceeded 13,000 - the worst in the world. The number of confirmed infections across the US rose by more than 25,000 in one day.
Manufacturing giant 3M pushed back Friday against criticism from President Trump over production of face masks that are badly needed by American health care workers.
Oil prices rocketed Thursday, posting the largeset percent increase ever, after US President Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia planned to end their price war by slashing output. But the initial surge cooled after Russia denied it had spoken with Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter of crude. After Trump tweeted that Saudi and Russia could slash production by up to 15 million barrels, Brent hit $36.29 a barrel, up almost 46 percent, and West Texas Intermediate soared around 35 percent to $27.39.
Despite that, many in a Manila slum took to the streets Wednesday to protest a lack of supplies, arguing they had not received any food packs since the lockdown started two weeks ago. "I will not hesitate my soldiers to shoot you," Duterte said in forceful tones Wednesday. On Thursday, as often happens after Duterte makes these sorts of inflammatory public remarks, Filipino officials rushed to insist that the president was simply using hyperbole to communicate the gravity of the situation.
Photograph: Sergio Maldonado/Reuters Mexico s homicide rate raced to a new record in March, as violence raged even as Covid-19 spread across the country and authorities urged the population to stay home and practise social distancing. Mexico registered 2,585 homicides in March – the highest monthly figure since records began in 1997 – putting 2020 on track to break last year's record total for murders. The surge in killings comes as federal and state officials put resources into containing the Covid-19 crisis and confront the prospect of an already sluggish economy falling even further – potentially deepening the misery for the more than 40% of the population living in poverty.
The U.S. government on Friday sounded alarm about the surge in coronavirus cases in Japan, adding to a chorus of prominent domestic voices - including the governor of Tokyo - who have called for decisive action to avoid an explosive outbreak. Amid growing clamour for tighter curbs on people's movements to stem a rising tide of infections, the government has so far been reluctant to pull the trigger, warning of the heavy damage that could ensue in the world's third-biggest economy, already close to recession. Instead, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged school closures and called on citizens to avoid unnecessary and non-urgent gatherings and outings while preparing to roll out an economic stimulus plan next week - even as he acknowledged the country was barely avoiding a major jump in infections.
The president of the Philippines said Wednesday in a televised address that people who violate coronavirus lockdown rules could be shot.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday indicated she would support a phase-4 coronavirus relief bill without a broad infrastructure plan or many of the other unrelated legislative goals she initially called to be included in the legislation. “Let's do the same bill we just did, make some changes to make it current,” Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill Friday, according to Politico. The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act agreed upon by Congress and signed by President Trump last Friday provides $2.2 trillion in economic relief to individual Americans, small businesses and large corporations such as Boeing that have been affected by the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Picture Elon Musk was criticized on Thursday for apparently sending BiPAP machines, not the life-support ventilators most-needed to save coronavirus patients, to a New York hospital. New York City Hospitals thanked Musk and Tesla in a tweet for sending "40 ventilators" to a hospital in Queens, but the photo appears to show a BiPAP machine, which is more commonly used for sleep apnea. Some medical experts have warned that CPAP and BiPAP machines could be harmful in treating coronavirus patients by potentially spreading the disease.
Hundreds of thousands of hoarded medical supplies, including 192,000 N95 respirator masks, are being sent to coronavirus hot spots New York and New Jersey, the departments of Justice and Human and Health Services announced Thursday. The FBI located the supplies on March 30, as part of its work under the department's Covid-19 hoarding and price gouging task force, which was announced last week. Along with the N95 respirator masks, the FBI also discovered 598,000 medical gloves, 130,000 surgical masks and other supplies like gowns, disinfectant towels, hand sanitizers and disinfectant sprays, materials the Justice Department said are being distributed to states.
Anthony Fauci has told all states it's time to stop allowing any exemptions to social-distancing guidelines, and warned that forcing people to stay home across the nation is the “only thing we have” in the federal government's arsenal to fight back against the coronavirus pandemic. Appearing on NBC's Today show on Thursday morning, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stopped just short of telling President Donald Trump to order a national stay-at-home order at the federal level, saying states are still able to make their own rules.