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  • Trump tweets blame in all directions over ventilators for coronavirus, except at himself news

    Hours after a Fox News interview in which he downplayed a national shortage of hospital ventilators to treat patients infected with the coronavirus, President Trump fired off a number of tweets Friday blaming General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, for not manufacturing more of them.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:37:54 -0400
  • In shadow of coronavirus, Congress contemplates 'one of the biggest rule changes in the last century' news

    The pandemic has left multiple members of Congress in quarantine and led to restrictions on movement that could prevent the House from voting.

    Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:43:51 -0400
  • A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted sooner news

    Wei Guixian, a 57-year-old seafood vendor in Wuhan, China, was among the first 27 people to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:45:43 -0400
  • China sends medical aid to Pakistan to combat virus outbreak news

    China sent a plane loaded with medical personnel and supplies Saturday to help Pakistan fight the spread of the coronavirus in one of the world's most populous nations. Iran is battling the worst outbreak in the region and state TV said Saturday another 139 people had died from the virus. China has sought to portray itself as a global leader in the fight against the outbreak, which began a few months ago in its Wuhan province.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 05:51:46 -0400
  • South Korea virus test-kit makers approved to export to US news

    The companies won pre-approval under emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration that allows for the products to be sold in America, South Korea's foreign ministry said, without naming the firms. The US has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than anywhere else in the world. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said earlier this week that his US counterpart Donald Trump had asked for test kits, although the White House has not confirmed the request.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:07:28 -0400
  • Want to Escape a Lockdown? Try Sweden

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    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 03:09:12 -0400
  • Russia confirms coronavirus case in Putin's administration, tightens curbs news

    The Kremlin confirmed a coronavirus case in President Vladimir Putin's administration on Friday and the government said measures imposed in Moscow to fight the virus should be extended across Russia. The Kremlin said it was taking measures to stop the virus spreading further after a staff member in the presidential administration contracted the virus. It said the person had not come into contact with Putin, but declined to identify them.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 05:42:45 -0400
  • A Connecticut doctor has been charged after authorities said he deliberately coughed on his coworkers news

    People across the United States have been arrested and charged in recent days after allegedly violating social distancing measures.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:02:03 -0400
  • 273 Americans stuck in Central America flown back to U.S. on ICE deportation flights news

    Americans were brought back on the return legs of three ICE removal flights to Central America, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 22:47:20 -0400
  • New Yahoo News/YouGov coronavirus poll: 59 percent of Americans say Trump's Easter timeline is 'too soon' to restart economy news

    A large majority of Americans disagree with President Trump that the nation’s battle against the coronavirus is winding down and that normal economic activity should resume sooner rather than later, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 11:58:38 -0400
  • Mexican governor prompts outrage with claim poor are immune to coronavirus news

    Miguel Barbosa’s comments reflect almost conspiratorial response of many Mexican politicians to pandemic * Coronavirus – latest updates * See all our coronavirus coverageA Mexican state governor has prompted incredulity and outrage by claiming that poor people are immune to Covid-19, as the government attempts to promote physical distancing and cancels non-essential services.Miguel Barbosa, the governor of Puebla, was apparently commenting on reports that a significant proportion of Mexico’s coronavirus cases is made up of wealthy people who had travelled abroad.Officials say three-quarters of Mexico’s 475 confirmed cases are related to international travel, including several people who reportedly caught the virus on skiing trips to Italy or the US.“Most of them are wealthy people,” Barbosa said. “If you are rich you are at risk. If you are poor you are not. The poor, we’re immune.”default His comments set off a firestorm in a country, where nearly half of the population are poor and the majority work in the informal economy.They also reflected the almost conspiratorial response of many Mexican politicians toward Covid-19, which threatens to wreck the government’s agenda of mega-projects and expanding social programmes.The country’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, whose administration has promised to “put the poor first”, has responded with breezy optimism to the crisis. He told reporters on Tuesday that Mexico would be past the “worst of it” within a month.López Obrador has resisted stiffer measures such as quarantine and border closures, on the grounds that poor Mexicans are unable to afford not to work.“The economy is in a nosedive and his base, the poor, is getting the short end of the stick,” said Esteban Illades, the editor of Nexos magazine, of the president’s motives. “A weak economy means his legacy is compromised.”Mexico has entered phase II of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning community spreading has started. There have been six deaths in the country so far.Covid-19 has struck at a tough time for Mexico. The economy slumped in 2019 and forecasts for 2020 suggested continued stagnation even before the pandemic.López Obrador swept to power with an overwhelming majority in 2019, but recent polls suggest his support is slipping. One survey showed his approval rating below 50% for the first time.The president’s supporters have rallied around him and tried to downplay the dangers of the coronavirus.Analysts say the pandemic is the most recent in a string of crises, including outbreaks of drug violence and growing fury over gender-based violence, which López Obrador and his supporters see as personal attacks rather than issues requiring urgent attention and resources.“They’re looking at how coronavirus will affect their so-called ‘fourth transformation”, as the president refers to his administration, “and how their dreams of transforming the country are now on the backburner,” Illades said. “It happens every presidential term. Reality always gets in the way of dreams.”

    Thu, 26 Mar 2020 16:06:23 -0400
  • Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten Fridays news

    Some bishops this year are telling parishioners that they've sacrificed enough as the coronavirus pandemic denies people of gatherings, outside entertainment and everyday conveniences.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:18:00 -0400
  • Stay In the Lines With These Neat Science Coloring Pages

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    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 09:00:00 -0400
  • AP Sources: Alleged Maduro co-conspirator is in DEA custody news

    A retired Venezuelan army general indicted alongside Nicolás Maduro has surrendered in Colombia and is being taken by Drug Enforcement Administration agents to New York for arraignment, four people familiar with the situation said Friday. Cliver Alcalá has been an outspoken critic of Maduro for years.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 18:29:55 -0400
  • Trump criticizes governors who have not been 'appreciative' of the administration's efforts to fight the coronavirus news

    At a coronavirus task force briefing on Friday, President Trump attacked some governors for their criticism of him, saying, “I want them to be appreciative.”

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 19:26:25 -0400
  • China's Wuhan, where the coronavirus emerged, begins to lift its lockdown news

    The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak first emerged, began lifting a two-month lockdown on Saturday by restarting some metro services and reopening borders, allowing some semblance of normality to return and families to reunite. After being cut-off from the rest of the country for two months, the reopening of Wuhan, where the epidemic first erupted in late December, marks a turning point in China's fight against the virus, though the contagion has since spread to over 200 countries. Among those on the first high-speed trains allowed into the city on Saturday morning was Guo Liangkai, a 19-year-old student whose one-month work stint in Shanghai stretched to three months due to the clamp down on movement.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 05:25:20 -0400
  • Germany has a remarkably low coronavirus death rate — thanks largely to mass testing, but also culture, luck, and an impressive healthcare system news

    Germany's death rate is around 0.74%, after around 53,000 confirmed infections. In Spain and Italy the rate is more than 10 times higher. Here's why.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:24:00 -0400
  • S.African police fire rubber bullets at shoppers during lockdown news

    South African police enforcing a coronavirus lockdown on Saturday fired rubber bullets towards hundreds of shoppers queueing outside a supermarket in Johannesburg, an AFP photographer said. Police arrived in 10 patrol vehicles and started firing rubber bullets towards the shoppers.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 06:02:34 -0400
  • Trump demands appreciation from governors for coronavirus response news

    President Trump used his daily coronavirus to attack Democratic governors who in his estimation had shown insufficient gratitude for his administration’s response to the pandemic.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 19:31:42 -0400
  • Coronavirus cases continue to climb in military as all sailors on USS Theodore Roosevelt to be tested news

    Coronavirus has infected 23 sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, prompting the Navy to test all 5,000 aboard the aircraft carrier for exposure.

    Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:08:30 -0400
  • Europe Reaches Libya Breakthrough With Naval Mission Deal

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    Thu, 26 Mar 2020 13:45:16 -0400
  • Catholics allowed to eat meat on Lenten Fridays news

    Some bishops this year are telling parishioners that they've sacrificed enough as the coronavirus pandemic denies people of gatherings, outside entertainment and everyday conveniences.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 12:18:00 -0400
  • States impose new restrictions on travelers from New York news

    States are pulling back the welcome mat for travelers from the New York area, which is the epicenter of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, but some say at least one state’s measures are unconstitutional. Governors in Texas, Florida, Maryland and South Carolina this week ordered people arriving from the New York area —including New Jersey and Connecticut — and other virus hot spots to self-quarantine for at least 14 days upon arrival. Connecticut officials have also pleaded with New Yorkers and others from out of state to avoid visiting unless absolutely necessary.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:23:33 -0400
  • Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off news

    Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic. Thousands of migrant workers in India, left jobless and penniless by the full shutdown of the country, are walking long distances back to their home villages after all transport was stopped except for essential services.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 11:31:09 -0400
  • South Korean coronavirus test kit makers win U.S. FDA pre-approval news

    Three Korean coronavirus test-kit makers have won preliminary approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), paving the way for kits to be exported to the United States to help it battle the largest outbreak of the virus. South Korea's foreign ministry said that winning the preliminary approval under emergency use authorization will allow the products to be sold in the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump this week asked his Korean counterpart to supply the medical devices and promised to help Korean firms gain U.S. regulator approval.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:38:17 -0400
  • Instacart workers are planning to strike until the company gives them hazard pay and safety gear news

    Instacart workers are asking for an additional $5 per order, a default 10% tip, and safety supplies like soap and hand sanitizer.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:19:00 -0400
  • Iran's army sets up hospital in capital as virus toll climbs news

    Iran announced another 144 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday and said thousands more were in critical condition as the military completed work on a 2,000-bed field hospital in an exhibition center in the capital. Iran has reported nearly 2,400 deaths among more than 32,000 cases. Late Friday, Jordan announced its first death from the virus, a women in her 80s who had underlying medical conditions, according to state-run news agency Petras and Jordan TV.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 03:29:25 -0400
  • China’s Lies, and Ours news

    This is a tale of two governments. Both were faced with a potential disaster -- a new and deadly epidemic. Both made choices that the world will judge.China. The virus made its first appearance in a Wuhan “wet market,” an emporium (apparently common in China) that featured live and newly slaughtered animals in close proximity. SARS and avian flu are also thought to have originated in these markets, which amount to an ongoing threat to global health.From the first reported case, on December 1, 2019, until January 5, 2020, the Chinese government engaged in a cover-up. As National Review’s Jim Geraghty recounted, in early January, China’s National Health Commission forbade reporting on the new disease. On December 30, Dr. Li Wenliang sent a message to other physicians warning that a SARS-like illness was spreading. He was arrested (along with six others) and obliged to apologize for “spreading rumors.” (Dr. Li Wenliang died of COVID-19 on February 7.)Throughout early January, as cases mounted, the Chinese government issued soothing statements suggesting that the new pneumonia was not transmitted from person to person. As late as January 15, after Thailand and Japan had reported their first cases, official government sources were denying that human-to-human transmission had been proven, saying the risk was “low.”Only on January 23, six weeks after the first case, did China announce a quarantine of Wuhan. By that time, millions had come and gone from the city during the busy holiday season, and cases had been reported in Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea.USA. President Trump engaged in a series of soothing statements himself. On January 22, after the first U.S. case was reported, he said “We have it totally under control.” On February 2, he boasted that “we pretty much shut it down coming in from China.” Twice in February, the president promised that “when we get into April, in the warmer weather — that has a very negative effect on that, and that type of a virus.” On February 26, when cases topped 60, Trump claimed that “we’re going very substantially down, not up.” In South Carolina, on February 28, Trump likened criticism of his handling of the pandemic to impeachment, saying “this is their new hoax.” On March 6, he continued this theme. Facing criticism for his false statement that “anyone who wants a test can get a test,” Trump tried to string together a “fake news”/Ukraine theme. He said the tests were “beautiful,” adding “The tests are all perfect, like the letter was perfect, the transcription was perfect, right?” Asked whether he was concerned about the virus’s spread on March 7, the president said “No, we’ve done a great job.”Throughout the first ten weeks of the pandemic, Trump praised China effusively, as The Bulwark’s Jim Swift chronicled. On February 7, for example, Trump said: “Great discipline is taking place in China, as President Xi strongly leads what will be a very successful operation. We are working closely with China to help!” A few days later, he shared with Fox News his view that “China is very, you know, professionally run, in the sense that they have everything under control. I really believe they are going to have it under control fairly soon.”China. When the lies were no longer tenable, the Chinese government pivoted. Through their propaganda arms, they circulated videos of China building new “hospitals” (they were actually “prefab quarantine wards,” not fully equipped hospitals) and fumigating public spaces. This was followed by grand gestures like donating millions of face masks to afflicted countries such as Spain, South Korea, Iran, and the Philippines. Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba, shipped a million masks and half a million testing kits to the U.S.USA. When the lies were no longer tenable, President Trump pivoted. Two days after claiming that the disease was under control, Trump declared himself a “wartime president” and offered that “I’ve always known this is a real — this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” Trump began to appear daily at press conferences with public-health authorities -- a setting he controls, in which every participant must begin with fulsome praise of himself. He pivoted on China too, dropping the unctuous praise in favor of provocative blame.China. Relentless propaganda lauding Premier Xi’s great leadership in fighting the coronavirus may succeed with many Chinese. Will the world remember the criminal dishonesty that arguably unleashed this pestilence?USA. By consistently downplaying and denying the seriousness of the threat, President Trump cost the American people precious time. By encouraging a false sense of security, he prevented the federal, state, and local governments from gearing up for the worst emergency we have faced in 100 years. Will the world remember the dishonesty that permitted this pestilence to hit us so very hard?© 2020

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 06:30:27 -0400
  • Coronavirus highlights a US presidential succession problem, and it's not Pelosi at 80 news

    The longest serving senator is right after House speaker in the line of White House succession, and hasn't always been up to the job. We need a fix.

    Thu, 26 Mar 2020 20:09:44 -0400
  • Neanderthals didn't just hunt mammoths. They actually knew how to fish, researchers discover. news

    A new study suggests that Neanderthals were skilled fishermen and that seafood was a key ingredient in their diets.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 10:29:50 -0400
  • California Gov. Newsom commutes sentences for 21, including killers news

    Fourteen of the commuted cases involved murder or related charges.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 23:21:00 -0400
  • China threatens to strike back after Taiwan deal news

    China has denounced a U.S. act that increases American support for Taiwan internationally.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 09:37:41 -0400
  • Dour Moscow mayor сomes to fore as 'PM for coronavirus' news

    At a televised meeting with Vladimir Putin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin flatly told the President that official figures on COVID-19 cases were far from the reality. After that reality check, the official narrative changed swiftly: Putin, who had called the situation "under control", on Wednesday gave a grim-faced address to the nation. "Putin signed up to Sobyanin's position," opposition politician Vladimir Ryzhkov said on the popular Echo of Moscow radio station.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 21:36:53 -0400
  • Responding to coronavirus crisis, India slashes rates news

    The Reserve Bank of India slashed interest rates on Friday, following other central banks that have taken emergency measures to counter the economic fallout from the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic. The six-member monetary policy committee (MPC) met earlier in the week to arrive at the decision. "The MPC noted that macroeconomic risks both on the demand and supply side brought on by the pandemic could be severe," Governor Shaktikanta Das said via video conference.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 01:13:32 -0400
  • Without any interventions like social distancing, one model predicts the coronavirus could have killed 40 million people this year news

    The researchers warned that governments and individuals must take immediate steps like lockdowns and staying home to stem the impacts of the pandemic.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:05:17 -0400
  • Syria, UAE leaders discuss coronavirus, a thaw in relations

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    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:23:31 -0400
  • The mistakes that turned New York into an epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic news

    Caught between a mayor’s indecision and a president’s inattention, the nation’s largest city was left dangerously exposed to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 05:00:49 -0400
  • One Battle Boris Johnson Is Clearly Winning news

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- As recently as a few weeks ago, it seemed as though U.K. politics could not possibly talk about anything besides Brexit, even after the country’s formal departure from the EU. Business as usual was expected to return at some unspecified point in the future.As elsewhere, the coronavirus has turned British politics on its head. Unlike Brexit, which continues to divide opinion fairly evenly, the coronavirus crisis has prompted an outbreak of recently unfamiliar unity. Number Cruncher polling (excusive to Bloomberg) finds personal ratings for Boris Johnson -- himself now diagnosed with coronavirus -- that have not been seen for a British Prime Minister since the early days of Tony Blair’s premiership in 1997.Fully 72% of eligible voters are satisfied with Johnson’s performance as Prime Minister, with 25% dissatisfied. Ninety-one per cent of those currently supporting the Conservatives count themselves as satisfied, along with about half of Labour voters and those voting for other parties and a large majority of undecided voters. Johnson’s government gets similar approval ratings, both overall (73% to 24%) and on its handling of the Coronavirus outbreak (72% to 25%).The 1,010 interviews were conducted Tuesday through Thursday, following Johnson’s televised address on Monday, but completed before Johnson himself revealed that he had tested positive for the virus. There is some evidence in our data to suggest that these figures were higher in the immediate aftermath of the pre-recorded broadcast, which was watched by around half of the adult population.The strongest numbers of all are for the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (77% satisfaction). Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose successor will be named on April 4, remains in negative territory (with 54% dissatisfied).While wartime metaphors are now commonplace, this pandemic is not, of course, a war in literal sense -- people are being killed by a disease, not each other. But it does share many of the same characteristics and a similar “rally around the flag” sense. The most obvious of these is the unity against a common enemy, with a lot of agreement across parties and across the public. There is also clear sense of “national effort,” and some extremely large government spending on its way.That’s not to say that there have been no controversies — there have been debates over strategy and the policy response — though these can easily be drowned out by the enormity of the wider situation.This is not unique to the U.K. Polling elsewhere has shown that the crisis has helped incumbents in other countries too. Emmanuel Macron in France, Italy’s Giuseppe Conte and Canada’s Justin Trudeau have also seen their ratings improve. Even in the strongly polarized U.S., Donald Trump’s approval ratings have seen gains.But what is specific to the U.K. is the perfect storm providing the tailwind to the Conservatives. The post-election bounce for Johnson and his party was still very much in evidence when the coronavirus became the dominant story, and was likely boosted by Brexit on Jan. 31st. Labour has been less visible than it might normally be, and when it is visible it’s via its unpopular leader, who remains in place more than three months after his election defeat.Coupled with the rally-round-the-flag effect, it is not hard to see why records are being broken. Of likely voters, 54% would choose Conservatives, up nine points from the December election (excluding Northern Ireland). No Conservative government has ever had such a strong poll rating, according to records compiled by author Mark Pack beginning in 1943.Labour has dropped five points to 28%, giving the Tories their biggest lead while in office since Margaret Thatcher’s peak during the Falklands war in 1982. The Liberal Democrats — who this week postponed their leadership election until 2021 — also fall five points to 7%.Of course, no U.K. election is imminent, with even the local elections scheduled for May having been postponed until next year. What’s more, being hugely popular in a war or war-like situation can still end in electoral defeat, as it did for Winston Churchill and George H.W. Bush. And that’s before we consider likely economic damage of the coronavirus, which is in the very early stages of being felt.But these numbers are significant for another reason. The immediate task for Johnson and other leaders is to convince their citizens to comply with personal restrictions that would be unthinkable in normal times. Irrespective of the wider politics, having the public united behind him can only help. For now, the U.K. feels strangely united.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Matt Singh runs Number Cruncher Politics, a nonpartisan polling and elections site that predicted the 2015 U.K. election polling failure.For more articles like this, please visit us at now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 03:30:50 -0400
  • NYC nurse on coronavirus front lines dies from COVID-19 after texting sister 'I'm okay' news

    Kious Kelly was remembered as a compassionate friend and colleague to other nurses. He died battling the new coronavirus in New York.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 09:45:00 -0400
  • Coronavirus response coordinator questions report that had predicted 2.2 million deaths in the U.S. from the pandemic news

    At a press briefing, Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, questioned a report that had predicted 2.2 million people in the United States would die due to the coronavirus.

    Thu, 26 Mar 2020 19:21:26 -0400
  • Alabama girl, 4, missing for nearly two days, found safe news

    Evelyn Vadie Sides and her dog have been reunited with worried loved ones.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 18:43:13 -0400
  • Volunteers rally for elderly Russians isolated in pandemic news

    Standing outside her front door with a leather jacket pulled over her pyjamas, Alma Shayakhmetova takes a bag of groceries and medicines from volunteers. At 67 she is in the most vulnerable age group ordered to stay at home by Moscow authorities to prevent them getting infected with the coronavirus. A group of young Russians called Medical Volunteers -- many of them medicine students -- takes orders from the elderly over the phone, and brings them right to their door.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:03:21 -0400
  • Foreigners face suspicion in China as coronavirus worsens overseas news

    SHENZHEN, China/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Francesca Torlai has always got on well with her neighbors when walking her Pekingese mix-breed, Waffles, through the back streets of Beijing, but recently the Italian has started to overhear people referring to her suspiciously. Torlai suspects the odd behavior is down to one thing: the coronavirus, and fears in China that the disease that originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year is now being imported by foreigners. China appears to be over the worst of its outbreak, with imported cases the main problem for the past 10 days or so.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 06:21:34 -0400
  • Cruise-ship workers say they have so much sex that their ships are like college dorms news

    Sex among cruise ship workers is pervasive, current and former cruise ship employees told Business Insider.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 10:37:23 -0400
  • US couple, adopted daughter, caught in India virus lockdown news

    A Georgia couple who traveled to India to adopt a child have had to delay bringing their new daughter back to the United States after Indian authorities locked down the country because of the coronavirus. India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday announced a three-week lockdown in the country of 1.3 billion people, meaning that citizens and visitors alike may only leave their homes or hotels for food, medicine or other essential needs. The order is meant to keep the virus from surging and overwhelming an already strained health care system, but it has also left Mike and Whitney Saville of Auburn, Georgia, with little hope of getting back home with their daughter Grace anytime soon.

    Thu, 26 Mar 2020 18:23:58 -0400
  • Trump Says He’s Doing a Hell of a Job Getting Medical Supplies. Reality Says Otherwise. news

    After weeks of resisting pleas from governors and healthcare workers to force private companies to ramp up production of medical supplies to help combat the coronavirus crisis, President Donald Trump on Friday afternoon announced that he had changed his mind.In a public announcement the White House said that President Trump had written a memo to the Department of Health and Human Services directing secretary Alex Azar to “use any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize Federal contracts for ventilators.”The news came after a confusing morning in the White House where officials were caught off guard by Trump’s mysterious tweets where he demanded General Motors and Ford to make ventilators and hinted that he may use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to enforce his requests.  Three senior Trump administration officials who have worked on these matters each independently told The Daily Beast that they were befuddled by the Friday tweets, and did not know what the president’s posts actually meant. Each official said that they were, at the time, still trying to get clarity from Trump or other senior officials on what, if anything, new had just been decreed.Shortly after the tweet rant ended, White House officials told The Daily Beast that the president had yet to implement the DPA—a law that allows him to demand private companies ramp up domestic production of supplies—and that he was still relying on volunteers to come forward and help with production. Hours later, officials said Trump had decided to finally implement the DPA over the course of the day.Trump’s mixed messaging raises additional questions about why the process for addressing dire hospital needs has been so disjointed more than 60 days after senior Trump administration officials were first warned that the new coronavirus would spread across the United States.Trump’s tweet on Friday came amid renewed criticism from state governors—chief among them Andrew Cuomo of New York—who have begged him to use the DPA to help fill the needs for, among other things, additional ventilators. For the last week, doctors and nurses from New York City have posted harrowing accounts of mass shortages of personal protective equipment affecting their ability to save lives. Nurses from Mount Sinai, for example, posted a picture of themselves using trash bags instead of medical gowns. But Trump has stressed that the private sector was doing enough to meet demand. On Thursday night, he went further, saying it was his belief that the request for ventilators from Cuomo was overstated. That posture appeared to change by the next morning, when the president admonished General Motors and Ford for not ramping up ventilator production. He demanded that GM utilize a plant in Lordstown that it had sold last November to do so. And then said he would “Invoke ‘P’”. Only later did he clarify that “Invoke “P” means Defense Production Act!”Those who’d been with the president on Thursday said he had grown enraged at General Motors for what he perceived to be a reneged deal, in which they were to have produced ventilators for states in crisis to use. The assumption was that Trump was merely letting off steam on Twitter as he absorbed the critical media coverage of that collapsed deal, which was first reported by The New York Times. Later on Friday, GM said it would be making ventilators but not at the plant Trump had suggested.Trump has threatened to use the DPA before, only to not follow through. And he has been egged on in resisting to do so by a group of advisers who see in the coronavirus outbreak an opportunity to strengthen U.S. manufacturing and medical supply lines. Chief among those aides is White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who officials say is one of the people leading the White House’s response to demands that the federal government do more to help states fight the coronavirus.“The DPA is standing at the ready, providing us quiet leverage,” Navarro told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “We’re getting tremendous cooperation from private enterprise, and if and when we need it for any reason whatsoever, we won’t hesitate to use it.”Navarro’s position has confounded medical professionals, who warn that the current situation presents a dire crisis that the federal government must address. They and governors across the country continue to warn that relying on private companies could take weeks or even months to produce things like N95 respirators and ventilators at the scale necessary to put a dent in the virus’ spread. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus task force coordinator, said Thursday that there was enough equipment to go around and that states could share. But health officials in hot spot states such as New York are panicking. In the past 24 hours, 7,300 people in the state have tested positive for the virus. One hundred thirty-four people died in that same time period.Hoda Kotb Cries on ‘Today’ Following COVID-19 InterviewThat’s left New York searching desperately for ways to maximize the scant resources at the state’s disposal. On Thursday, Cuomo approved measures to “split” ventilators in the state’s hospitals so that each one can serve multiple patients simultaneously.Experts have been blunt in assessing the damage: were it not for the president’s insistence on not using the DPA, they say, additional lives might have been saved. “In times of crisis, especially when lives are at stake, lawyers and policymakers are supposed to find solutions to problems, not create obstacles to saving lives,” said James Baker, a former legal adviser to the National Security Council. “There are solutions here.” * * *Global medical pandemics can prove difficult for massive bureaucracies to tackle. But the Trump administration’s response to coronavirus has been described as uniquely rocky. Officials say that the interagency process—where agencies are supposed to work together to respond to a problem— failed in the early days of the administration’s response, because there was a fundamental lack of understanding of how to coordinate around a pandemic.“The whole-of-government approach that everyone keeps talking about really wasn’t happening in the early days,” one senior official working with the coronavirus task force said. Even absent any official orders under the DPA, the measure can theoretically be used as an unspoken threat against companies that do not fall in line and lend their expertise and capacity to administration efforts to ramp up national production. The prospect of such aggressive federal intervention, the thinking goes, might be enough to spur private industry into action.But the reliance on industry to make and distribute desperately needed supplies makes it difficult to determine whether those private manufacturers are on pace to meet the unprecedented demand for needed medical products. “If the DPA was intended for anything, it was for this moment. Fifty states under operational stress, and we have a statute that actually cures that demand,” said Juliette Kayyem, a former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. “There’s clearly a cog in the system… I’m fearing it’s a philosophy.” Even as the White House insists that it has a firm grasp of the country’s ventilator needs, it’s clear that the administration is still grappling with how to go about solving the shortage problem. Federal procurement records tell a story of a slapdash and not particularly overwhelming response effort. There are sporadic purchases of personal protection equipment, various forms of coronavirus tests, and acquisitions of medical supplies such as ventilators over the last few weeks. Illinois industrial supply firm W.W. Grainger has provided the Department of Health and Human Services with more than $1.2 million in laboratory coveralls, hoods, and sleeves. The company 3M landed a contract worth nearly $5 million this week to provide HHS with N95 respirator masks. Laboratory firm Qiagen is working on a $600,000 HHS contract, awarded earlier this month, to develop coronavirus tests.HHS is even paying North Carolina pharmaceutical company PPD to develop treatment options using chloroquine, a malaria drug that Trump has suggested—and some medical experts have disputed—could be a silver bullet for coronavirus treatment. Chloroquine is currently available to a limited number of patients under Food and Drug Administration guidelines known as “compassionate use,” which allow patients facing life-threatening conditions to gain access to some experimental treatments.Trump’s Coronavirus Speech Sparks ‘Total Chaos’ in His Own AdministrationBut the bulk of federal procurement data indicate efforts to stock up on medical supplies for use by federal agencies themselves. Those agencies have scrambled for the necessary goods to disinfect workspaces and protect federal employees from transmission. The General Services Administration, the federal government’s logistics agency, has reported scores of purchases of respirators and face masks. Federal prisons have placed five-figure orders for toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The Department of Veterans Affairs has lodged a host of “emergency” purchase orders for medical centers around the country that find themselves dealing with or preparing for a huge influx of coronavirus patients.Federal records indicate that VA facilities in New York have been particularly hard hit. On Tuesday, the Veterans Health Administration, which oversees the department’s health care system, lodged a $316,000 purchase order with medical device company Hill-Rom for “emergency ICU beds… due to COVID-19 crisis” for VA medical centers in Manhattan and Brooklyn.It was one of at least 15 VHA purchases related to the coronavirus outbreak over the past two weeks labeled as an “emergency” order in federal procurement records.Three officials working with the administration’s coronavirus task force described the internal conversations about procuring much-needed medical supplies and equipment as uncoordinated and chaotic. One official said just two weeks ago that the representatives from various agencies were still trying to figure out who among them had the responsibility to collect data on what kinds of supplies were needed where. Others were confused about how the administration should or could go about procuring those supplies. The Daily Beast previously reported that on an interagency call about the supply chain breakdown during the coronavirus outbreak, a representative from the National Security Council said their team was collecting data on hand sanitizer shortages from press reports.The situation was confused even more when the president announced that he had signed the Defense Production Act and then backed away from its implementation, sources said.It wasn’t until last week that the Federal Emergency Management Agency took the lead on the government’s response on behalf of the Department of Health and Human Services that officials began to more fully understand how best to respond to the crisis..Although FEMA is not used to organizing large-scale responses to pandemics, it does have well-established coordinating mechanisms that help the federal government facilitate the transfer of supplies to states and regions across the country.“Crisis management has two parts—you have the brain, which is the policy side, and then the muscle, where the agencies are. This administration is doing neither but is owning both, and that’s where the confusion is,” said Kayyem. “FEMA knows what assets exist in the federal government and possibly in the private sector. And it knows how to deliver those federal assets to the states. This is not rocket science. This is basic demand, supply, get the chain moving.”UPDATE: This story has been updated with additional reporting.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 14:12:26 -0400
  • The mystery behind Germany's low coronavirus death rate news

    Experts see a number of possible reasons why Germany has fared better than Italy in the pandemic so far.

    Sat, 28 Mar 2020 07:44:08 -0400
  • Australia Unemployment Could Hit 12% in Fastest Slump Since WWII news

    (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s jobless rate could soar to around 12% and the economy contract 5% in the second quarter -- and a further fall in the three months after that would bring the fastest decline in activity since World War II, according to National Australia Bank Ltd.“The nature of this shock is of course very different to traditional recessions -- in particular, there is hardly any lag between falling output and employment,” Alan Oster, chief economist at NAB, said in a research note Friday. He estimates gross domestic product would contract by 3% in 2020, but rebound to 3.5% the following year.Unemployment is likely to prove more stubborn, soaring to 12% and holding there until year-end. Even with a sharp growth recovery in 2021, Oster expects the unemployment rate to still have a “7” as its first digit.Australia’s central bank and government have rolled out the stimulus firehose, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledging about A$80 billion ($49 billion) in fiscal measures and the Reserve Bank cutting interest rates to near zero and lower borrowing costs across the economy.Measures taken to halt the spread of the coronavirus are inevitably damaging the economy. The stimulus in place should allow activity to bounce back in the recovery phase, but it’s not without risks, Oster said.“While policy is highly stimulatory and will support recovery, persistently weak business and consumer confidence could see ongoing restraint and a slower recovery,” he said. “Adjustments to household and business balance sheets” could also weigh on growth, he added.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 01:08:46 -0400
  • Biden reportedly says Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in his 'top three' picks for VP news

    While reportedly setting up video equipment in Delaware over four days, former Vice President Joe Biden was apparently mulling over possible running mates.Biden told former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) is one of his "top three" choices should he win the Democratic presidential nomination, Mediaite reported Thursday.Reid, who was also a longtime senator representing Nevada, is reportedly nudging Biden toward choosing Cortez Masto as his VP, and Biden's campaign apparently feels she would be a strong choice and could help expand Biden's popularity among Latinx voters. Biden publicly committed to choosing a woman as his vice president if nominated over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), sparking endless speculation over who that woman might be. CNBC says Biden's "business allies" are hoping for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) or Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), two former presidential candidates themselves. The Washington Post, meanwhile, said Biden's shortlist probably included Cortez Masto, but also named more well-known Democrats like former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Biden's campaign declined to dispute Mediaite's reporting, simply saying he would vigorously vet candidates.New York magazine wrote that Biden is spending his "coronavirus bunker" time "thinking a lot" about a potential VP, and taking lots of calls from supporters and Democratic strategists who are pushing Biden to pick their candidate of choice. None of those calls, however, resulted in much reported information on whether Biden had narrowed his list.Biden told The View on Tuesday his "short" list was between "12 and 15" names, but if his reported statement to Reid is to be believed, he's done a lot of whittling in the past few days. Read more at Mediaite and New York.More stories from Why Minnesota's coronavirus response is different Trump has never been worse — but his approval is surging. Why? Elton John to host 'Living Room Concert for America' with stars performing from home

    Thu, 26 Mar 2020 17:58:00 -0400
  • The stimulus check won't be in the mail for Americans who owe child support news

    But back taxes or late student loan payments don't disqualify people from getting the full amount they're eligible for.

    Fri, 27 Mar 2020 17:26:25 -0400
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