Chantee Lans reports.
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].
American Airlines forced passengers to sit next to each other even though their flight was virtually empty, according to a report by Mother Jones. The incident took place on a flight on March 24, which had only 11 passengers, all in basic economy, according to the outlet, citing an unnamed flight attendant. Although there were plenty of seats, none were moved because "that would be an upgrade," according to a flight attendant on the plane, who did not give their name.
Elon Musk's ventilator giveaway may do more harm than good. After weeks of brushing off the COVID-19 pandemic as "dumb," the billionaire Tesla founder earlier this week announced he had 1,000 "FDA-approved ventilators" and ended up donating 40 to New York City's hospital system. Except the devices Musk gave away aren't powerful enough to use in the ICU, and health officials have actually warned against using them on COVID-19 patients because they could spread the virus further.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Thursday directed companies that service government-insured mortgage loans to give beleaguered borrowers the option to defer payments for up to a year, effective immediately. The move — coming just 15 days after HUD announced a two-month moratorium on evictions and foreclosures — underscores the urgency of the deepening economic crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The $2 trillion economic rescue package passed by Congress last week included up to a year of payment relief on federally backed mortgages.
China, where the coronavirus outbreak first emerged in December, reported dwindling new infections on Wednesday and for the first time disclosed the number of asymptomatic cases, which could complicate how trends in the outbreak are read. Almost all of Tuesday's 36 new cases involved arrivals from overseas, the National Health Commission said, down from 48 a day earlier, and taking total infections to 81,554. But that figure excludes 130 new sufferers of the highly contagious disease who do not show symptoms, its statistics showed.
The two states have instituted increasingly restrictive measures and are among the 23 states with stay-at-home orders. Both states are led by Democratic governors who have earned praise from President Donald Trump for their response to the crisis. The disease is still spreading in both states, and the number of new cases and deaths reported each day is still climbing.
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.
Editor's note, April 2, 2020: Health officials' views on wearing face masks have shifted as the outbreak spreads. is a small business based in Texas with only 100 employees. And while they have no problem fulfilling America's normal demand for face masks and respirators, they are now struggling to keep up.
New York has confirmed 92,381 cases of coronavirus, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at his daily briefing, while warning that the state only has enough ventilators in its stockpile for six more days. Cuomo said he did not think the federal government “is in a position to provide ventilators” across the US to the extent that they are going to be needed in the coming days and weeks. As coronavirus cases continue to rise, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio asked New Yorkers to wear a homemade face covering when they go outside to prevent the spread of the virus.
Iran warned the US Wednesday that it was leading the Middle East to disaster in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic after it deployed Patriot air defence missiles to Iraq. Washington had been in talks with Baghdad about the proposed deployment since January but it was not immediately clear whether it had secured its approval or not. Iran, which wields huge influence in its western neighbour, said that it had not.
The viral illness is extremely contagious, and spreads from person to person easily through close contact. The most severe coronavirus cases (20%) often include difficulty breathing, and may require hospitalization, where patients may be hooked up to ventilators, which help blow more oxygen into a person's lungs. The novel coronavirus has already killed more than 3,000 people in China, 9,000 in Spain, 12,000 in Italy, and it isn't done yet.
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the police and military to "shoot dead" any "troublemakers" who cause disturbances during the coronavirus quarantine in the Philippines, The Philippine Star reports. The move comes after protestors staged demonstrations over the lack of food and financial aid they've received from the government since the lockdown began in the country on March 17. "The abusive methods used to punish those accused of breaching quarantine and the vast number of mass arrests that have been carried out to date, against mainly poor people, are further examples of the oppressive approach the government takes against those struggling with basic needs," said the organization's local section director, Butch Olano.
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.
Cuba said on Tuesday it was suspending the arrival of international passenger flights and asking all foreign boats to withdraw from the Caribbean island's waters to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. Cuba, which has confirmed 186 cases of the fast-spreading disease, partially closed its borders last week, banning the arrival of foreign tourists and the departure of Cubans. But Cubans and foreigners with Cuban residency continued to return on a dwindling number of flights, although they were required to spend two weeks in quarantine at state isolation centres.
A Pakistani court on Thursday overturned the murder conviction of a British Pakistani man found guilty of the 2002 kidnapping and killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Instead, the court found Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh guilty of the lesser charge of kidnapping and sentenced him to seven years in prison. Pearl disappeared Jan. 23, 2002 in Karachi while researching links between Pakistani militants and Richard C. Reid, who became known as the “shoe-bomber” after he was arrested on a flight from Paris to Miami with explosives in his shoes.
When flight attendants work from home, cohabitants are reminded of how to use their emergency exits, offered hot towels and asked to stow their laptops at random and inopportune times. A YouTube skit produced by a Canadian couple has the internet chuckling at the scenario that imagines a flight attendant bringing the work home. In full flight attendant gear -- neck scarf, white blouse, regulation skirt, shoes and upswept hair -- wife Kristen gives her husband, YouTuber, magician and entertainer Wes Barker, an in-flight safety briefing, offers him "a sweet or salty snack" and tries to sell him his own booze during a duty-free sale.
On Wednesday Iran warned the U.S. it was “warmongering during the coronavirus outbreak,” after it deployed Patriot air defense missiles to Iraq.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed attempts by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to spearhead talks about a fourth coronavirus relief bill, saying that she should “stand down” on the proposal. “She needs to stand down on the notion that we're going to go along with taking advantage of the crisis to do things that are unrelated to the crisis,” McConnell said, calling the speaker's suggestions about fourth relief bill “premature.” The Senate majority leader's remarks come a week after Congress passed a massive $2 trillion stimulus package to offset the economic destruction caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to spread across the country, causing businesses to shutter and lay off workers.
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.
California has not seen the surge in coronavirus cases that have overwhelmed cities like New York and Detroit in the past week, which suggests that the state's early and restrictive shelter-in-place orders could be slowing the virus's spread. California implemented one of the earliest and strictest orders to stay at home in the United States in mid-March, and as of Wednesday, there were 8,584 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 183 deaths in the state compared with the 76,000 cases and 1,714 deaths in New York. Dr Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus taskforce coordinator, said on Tuesday that she was “reassured by what California has been able to do” to help control the virus with physical distancing orders.
One of the first major reports on coronavirus symptoms was published by the World Health Organization in February, following their mission to China. That report, based on nearly 56,000 cases there, found the most common symptoms were fever (88 percent) and dry cough (68 percent). Nearly 40 percent of those patients experienced fatigue.
India will pull out of a three-week lockdown in phases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, as officials battle to contain the country's biggest cluster of coronavirus infections in the capital, New Delhi. Modi ordered India's 1.3 billion people indoors to avert a massive outbreak of coronavirus infections, but the world's biggest shutdown has left millions without jobs and forced migrant workers to flee to their villages for food and shelter. "Prime minister said that it is important to formulate a common exit strategy to ensure staggered re-emergence of the population once lockdown ends," the government quoted him as saying in a video conference.
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.
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.