spotlight for 3-1-2020
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharpened her criticism of President Trump's early dismissal of the coronavirus, saying the delay cost American lives. His denial at the beginning was deadly,” said Pelosi to open her interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. His delaying of getting equipment — it continues — his delaying of getting equipment to where it is needed is deadly, and now I think the best thing is to prevent more loss of life rather than open things up because we just don't know.
In a world desperate for good news about the coronavirus, a dip in global carbon emissions caused by the outbreak's economic downturn might be seen as a silver lining. As expected, March data compiled by San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography appears to show the rate of rise of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere has slowed. “This isn't the way we want to reduce emissions,” Rob Jackson, professor of Earth system science at Stanford University and one of the world's leading experts on climate change, told Yahoo News.
A New York father refused to let his college-age son back in their Nanuet home after the student traveled to South Padre Island for spring break. Peter Levine, 51, told the New York Post that he tried to encourage his 21-year-old son Matt to come home early from the trip, but to no avail. "I was aggravated.
Still, Napoli, a lawyer in Rome, developed a cough and fever less than a week after Italy's premier locked down the entire nation, including the capital which had continued life as usual while the virus raged in the north. Until that day, Napoli was following his routine of work, jogging and swimming. He received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 three days later.
Americans with family members in immigration detention facilities, as well as their lawyers, are sounding the alarm and urging the release of nonviolent detainees with underlying health conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 24, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a person held in an immigrant detention center. “This is what public health experts have assured us would happen: People in detention centers are sitting ducks for the spread of this virus," Andrea Flores, deputy director of policy at the ACLU, said in a statement.
North Korea hailed a test of "super large" rocket launchers, just hours after the South condemned the state as "inappropriate" for pursing tests amid the global coronavirus outbreak On Sunday, South Korea said two short-range missiles had been fired, the latest in a flurry of tests this month. The North generally ramps up missile tests in the spring and the global virus outbreak has not deterred it. It has reported no virus cases, but experts have cast doubt on this.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images The Justice Department is investigating the actions of US lawmakers who dumped stocks before the market plunged amid coronavirus fears, CNN reported. According to the report, the investigation is still in its early stages and the DOJ is working with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the matter. As part of the probe, the FBI has reportedly reached out to North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, who dumped up to $1.72 million in stocks before the market tanked.
After days of pleas from governors across the country, President Trump took steps to expand the federal government's role in helping produce critically needed supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic and warned the leaders of hard-hit states not to cross him.
Fox News primetime star Tucker Carlson has been credited with pushing President Donald Trump to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously and has received mainstream media plaudits for seemingly calling out his own colleagues for actively downplaying the outbreak. Earlier this month, as confirmed cases and deaths began surging across the country, Carlson gained widespread acclaim when he called out those “minimizing” COVID-19, calling the pandemic a “very serious problem.” It was seen at the time that Carlson was calling out both Trump and many of his Fox News colleagues—without naming them, of course—for reacting inappropriately to the impending crisis.
Islamic State prisoners on Sunday seized control of the ground floor of a major prison in northeastern Syria run by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), with some of the militants managing to escape, an SDF spokesman said. The SDF, which is spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG militia, mounted an operation to capture those who fled as security forces sent reinforcements to crush the mutiny in Hasaka prison, spokesman Mustafa Bali said in a tweet. "The situation is tense inside the prison currently and we sent anti-terror forces and additional troops to control the situation," Bali said.
The Kremlin's sudden shift of ownership of multi-billion-dollar oil projects in Venezuela shields oil giant Rosneft PJSC from further U.S. sanctions but keeps Moscow firmly behind embattled President Nicolas Maduro amid a wider stand-off with Washington. Russia is not walking away from Maduro and will seek to thwart U.S. efforts to depose him,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former diplomat and foreign policy analyst in Moscow. Moscow is just shielding Rosneft from sanctions which could result in a blanket embargo on all Rosneft exports.
After a long, dark Scandinavian winter, the coronavirus pandemic is not keeping Swedes at home even while citizens in many parts of the world are sheltering in place and won't find shops or restaurants open on the few occasions they are permitted to venture out. Swedish authorities have advised the public to practice social distancing and to work from home, if possible, and urged those over age 70 to self-isolate as a precaution. Yet compared to the lockdowns imposed elsewhere in the world, the government's response to the virus allows a liberal amount of personal freedom.
Bernie Sanders is making it increasingly clear that his presidential bid is far from over, even as he faces long odds of winning the Democratic nomination. Less clear, however, is whether his game plan is to pursue victory or to continue promoting his progressive agenda as nearly all aspects of American life — including the election — are upended by the coronavirus crisis. While some former top advisers acknowledge the difficulty Sanders has in overcoming Joe Biden's significant delegate lead, other allies of the Vermont senator note that his message and his agenda are well-suited to a moment when millions of people are filing for unemployment and losing their health care while large corporations seek billions in bail out funds.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has been criticized for what many called a lackadaisical posture — urging people to hug, shaking hands and kissing well-wishers as he stumped and extolling his personal talismans: Catholic scapulars, a shamrock and $2 bill. “Continue bringing the family to eat in restaurants,” López Obrador advised compatriots, arguing that such activity bolsters “the popular economy.” Although still avoiding curfews and mandatory stay-at-home orders, Mexican authorities are now abruptly citing a final chance to avert a national catastrophe that would inundate the country's limited healthcare infrastructure and probably result in many deaths.
As the world tries desperately to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, Brazil's president is doing his best to downplay it. Jair Bolsonaro has largely struggled to take it seriously. Going against his own health ministry's advice earlier in March, and while awaiting the results of a second coronavirus test, he left self-isolation to join rallies against Congress.
The 1,000-bed US Navy hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, arrived at the Port of Los Angeles on March 27 to help relieve the burden that local hospitals have been facing as the number of coronavirus cases in California continues to rise. Over 800 medical staff — including doctors, nurses, mariners, and corpsmen — are aboard the USNS Mercy to provide medical care to non-coronavirus patients in Los Angeles, according to the US Department of Defense. This will allow local hospitals to focus its resources and Intensive Care Units (ICUs) on COVID-19 patients.
The claim: Coronavirus is spreading quickly from gas pumps A March 17 Facebook post warned users to be careful when going to the gas station. The post, by user Brent McDonald, claimed gas pump handles are helping to spread coronavirus. "I just spoke with a friend who got called into an emergency meeting at his hospital," McDonald wrote.
President Donald Trump on Sunday abandoned his timetable for life returning to normal in the United States, extending emergency coronavirus restrictions for another month, while Spain suffered its deadliest day. Trump, who had hoped to shortly re-open much of the US, said the death rate in the country was likely to increase for two weeks and announced "social distancing" guidelines would be in place until at least the end of April. Hospitals are rapidly filling with patients in Europe and the United States -- now the focal points of a pandemic that began in Asia but has upended the global economy and upset everyday life in unprecedented ways.
A growing number of imported coronavirus cases in China risked fanning a second wave of infections when domestic transmissions had "basically been stopped", a senior health official said on Sunday, while eased travel curbs may also add to domestic risks. China, where the disease first emerged in the central city of Wuhan, had an accumulated total of 693 cases entering from overseas, which meant "the possibility of a new round of infections remains relatively big", Mi Feng, spokesman for the National Health Commission (NHC), said. Nearly a quarter of those came from arrivals in Beijing.
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters A nurse at a Manhattan hospital shared a chilling image of a makeshift morgue for coronavirus patients, in order to underscore how serious the pandemic really is. In a photo shared with Buzzfeed News, the nurse, who asked that neither he nor the hospital he works at be identified, said that he took the image of the adhoc morgue to show "the ghastly reality of what we deal with and where some of us have ended up already." The photo shows a refrigerated truck filled with deceased COVID-19 victims.
A plane carrying eight people, including an American and a Canadian, burst into flames Sunday while attempting to take off from Manila's airport on a flight bound for Japan, killing all those on board, officials said. The Westwind 24 plane, which was carrying six Filipino crew members and the American and Canadian passengers, was bound for Tokyo on a medical mission when it caught fire near the end of the main runway, Manila airport general manager Ed Monreal said. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said the aircraft apparently encountered an unspecified “problem which resulted in a fire” as it rolled to take off, adding its chief investigator was on the way to the scene.
A tornado tore through a small city in Arkansas on Saturday evening, ripping roofs off buildings, flipping cars and prompting a curfew for residents. The twister slammed into Jonesboro, about two hours north of Little Rock, around 5 p.m., according to the National Weather Service, which tweeted a video of the storm as it intensified. 5:20 PM-Here is a look at the tornado that intensified and moved through Jonesboro, AR this evening around 5 PM. @NWSMemphis continues to monitor this storm as it moves northeast, very dangerous!
Police in New Jersey broke up a house party in which 47 people crammed into a small apartment in violation of the state's stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines, the state governor said. "Last night, Ewing Township Police broke up a party with 47 people – including a DJ – crammed into a 550-square foot apartment," Gov. Phil Murphy said during a press conference Saturday. During the press conference, the governor encouraged people to only go out if they need to go to a supermarket or a pharmacy and to remain six feet apart from others.
South Africa has announced its first deaths from coronavirus infection, and said cases there have passed the 1,000 mark. "This morning, we South Africans wake up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from Covid-19," the health ministry said on Friday. Both deaths took place in hospitals in the southern province of Western Cape.