To read an article, you are linked to the provider’s site. If you wish to open the link in a new window, hold SHIFT key (Internet Explorer, Opera) or CTRL key (Netscape, Firefox) down and click on the link.
- Schiff proposes postelection 9/11-style commission to study coronavirus response
Rep. Adam Schiff’s proposal for a 9/11-style commission to study the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak "is not an exercise in casting blame or scoring political points, but something that the American people should rightly expect from their government as an exercise in accountability," he said.
- As coronavirus ravages Spain, doctors get a grim order on 'futility of care' for the very old and very sick
A document circulated by the health department of Catalonia recommends that emergency teams and health care workers stop using ventilators for patients older than 80, and further recommends that extremely ill victims of COVID-19 be allowed to die at home rather than being taken to the hospital.
- Fact check: No, coronavirus did not lower the death rate in Chicago
- Revealed: food bank shortages expected to hit Washington state by mid-April
Report obtained by Guardian projects acute demand and supply problem, meaning agencies will struggle to provide for the hungry * Coronavirus – live US updates * Live global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageAgencies and organisations tasked with feeding children, the poor and the elderly in Washington state during the coronavirus crisis will experience shortages of food and supplies as early as mid-April, according to state government emergency planning documents obtained by the Guardian.A 27 March situation report (SitRep) document produced by the Unified Command of Washington’s State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) projects that a combination of acute demand at food banks and schools, supply problems for food and cleaning supplies, plus staffing shortages, will mean government and NGOs will struggle to provide for hungry people whose incomes have disappeared as the state’s economy stutters.This raises the prospect of food bank shortages in Washington but also nationwide, as food banks across the US are being increasingly utilized by unprecedented numbers of people in an economy that has been abruptly slowed to fight the spreading pandemic.Washington state has experienced one of the earliest and most serious outbreaks of Covid-19 in the US. Governor Jay Inslee has received praise in recent days for his decisive response, which is thought to have prevented an even worse crisis.But the document suggests that at the predicted peak of the epidemic, which has already infected at least 4,896 Washingtonians and killed at least 195, the state will need to head off a parallel humanitarian crisis.The SitRep document, produced by the emergency agency coordinated by Washington state’s military department and distributed to state and local agencies involved in the emergency response, details emerging problems and frantic efforts to solve them across a range of numbered emergency support functions (ESF), including communications, firefighting, and energy.Under the heading “ESF11 Agriculture and Natural Resources”, the SitRep details the growing problems in food security. Many of the problems involve food banks – non-governmental organizations that deliver food to needy people.The document says there is already a “shortage of food at food banks”, which is projected to become worse. It says: “NGOs have food on hand. However, burn rate is increasing fast. Demand is growing dramatically so supply is quickly being used up.”It goes on to warn: “Food banks expect a significant gap in the food supply across the whole system by mid-April (April 10-20).”It then offers insight into spiking demand at specific NGOs delivering food in Washington: “Northwest Harvest (a statewide food bank service) reported they are distributing 450,000lbs of food this week.”It continues: “The burn rate and demand are rising sharply. These NGOs are seeing 30 percent to 100% increases in the number of people served.”In a telephone conversation, Northwest Harvest chief executive Thomas Reynolds said of his food banks: “We don’t predict peak demand for another three weeks and then we anticipate peak demand for 12 to 20 weeks.”He added: “I worked for 15 years for Care International. So what it reminds me of is earthquakes in Nepal, the tsunami in Japan, food crises in Yemen. And the difference is there’s a lot more experience in a place like Nepal or Yemen to respond to emergencies.”The document says rural counties are already moving to rationalize food delivery in the face of demand.“Chelan county is moving away from using small distribution centers. Instead they are going to start using a single, mass-distribution site for emergency food,” it says.It continues with a prediction: “It’s a model we will likely see more of in the days and weeks to come.”On Wednesday, Inslee, announced he had mobilized 130 National Guard members to provide support for food banks in Chelan and four other counties, with potentially more to follow.The problems are being compounded by supply problems in other goods necessary for food service, such as supplies used to clean kitchens.As in other states, Washington has closed schools, but many districts have maintained school lunch delivery as a way of feeding needy children.These programs, too, are under strain, according to the SitRep.One issue is in the workforce, which “is a growing issue because schools rely on older people to work in food service and as bus drivers. These are two job categories important to food assistance.”The document says “older workers are opting not to work because of Covid concerns” and that schools are also experiencing supply problems.The document does offer some hope that solutions to shortages are emerging, but leaves open the question of whether they will arrive in time.Chris McGann, a spokesman for the Washington state department of agriculture, said in an email: “The current situation with its rapidly increasing demand and limited resources is putting incredible strain on the social safety net. Hunger relief is no different.”He added: “We have called on the federal government and private industry to identify and commit additional resources to help us make sure families have the nutritional support they need to make it through this crisis.”He also said that the problem was so far confined to food banks. “The food supply chain is otherwise operational and functional. People will still be able to get food at the grocery store.”Reynolds stressed that Northwest Harvest was working well with the state and has “good relationship with our local elected officials”. But he said he hoped food security will become more central to political debate.“I think we should be asking people who are running for office. What is your food policy?”
- ‘New York Is in Crisis’: Cuomo Pleads for Help as State Suffers Worst Single-Day Death Toll
More people in New York State have died in the last 24 hours than in most of March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday—but the Empire State, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., is still struggling to find enough medical equipment to combat the pandemic.“The curve continues to go up,” Cuomo said at a Friday briefing in Albany, adding that, in the last day, the state saw its “highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started.” “New York is in crisis," he said. "Help New York.”More than 2,935 people have died and 102,863 people have been infected with the virus in New York State, marking 562 deaths in a single day on Thursday. The state’s death toll has almost doubled in just three days, Cuomo said. In the 27 days after the state's first coronavirus case was confirmed on March 1, 366 New Yorkers died. NYC Is on the Brink as Patients Flood Hospitals Already ‘Under Siege’New York accounts for almost 50 percent of 6,069 virus-related deaths nationwide. At least 245,658 individuals across the country have been infected with COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tracker. The daily surge speaks to a nationwide problem: while state governments are working to get ahead of the virus, hospitals across the nation are overwhelmed, understaffed, and short on supplies necessary to combat the flu-like virus. The shortage has caused several states to bid against each other for purchase supplies from China. In New York, projections state that the apex of infections could come anytime between one week and a month from now. Those same projections suggest the virus could continue to plague New York until August, Cuomo said. “No state can get the supplies they need. No state can get the PPE they need. No state can get the ventilators they need,” Cuomo said. “The market has literally collapsed.”Cuomo begged on Friday for New York manufacturers to start making gowns, gloves, and N95 masks. In an attempt to combat the shortage, Cuomo said Friday he will authorize the National Guard to borrow and redistribute ventilators and other personal protective equipment (PPE) from hospitals across the state—an attempt to put a band-aid on medical facilities hemorrhaging with too many patients. The equipment, which Cuomo said he would pay for as well, will be eventually given back to the hospitals. Hospital Suppliers Take to the Skies to Combat Dire Shortages of COVID-19 GearThe executive order comes one day after Cuomo said the state stockpile of supplies only had enough ventilators to last six days at the “current burn rate.” Over the last 24 hours, the trajectory of daily hospitalizations hit a new record, with 1,427 more people admitted and 335 new ICU patients. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also said Friday the city is expected to run out of ventilators by Tuesday. “I’m not going to let people die,” Cuomo said. “I’m not going to get into a situation where I know we are running out of ventilators and we could have people dying because there are no ventilators, but there are hospitals in other parts of the state that have ventilators that they’re not using.”Cuomo said he’d asked the federal government for help in obtaining more ventilators, stating that it was unacceptable for doctors to be forced to split one ventilator between two patients or use other machines as short-term fixes. So far, state officials have already taken extraordinary steps to combat the pandemic. The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, originally converted into a makeshift, 3,000-bed overflow hospital facility to alleviate overcrowding, will now be fully dedicated to COVID-19 patients, Cuomo said. The USNS Comfort—a naval ship with 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms, a medical laboratory, and over 1,000 officers—docked in Manhattan on Monday and is now the only facility meant to relieve hospitals of non-coronavirus patients. As of Thursday, Cuomo said the converted supertank once used after 9/11 has only treated 20 patients.“I’m going to speak to the secretary of defense,” Cuomo said when asked about the ship’s low admission rate. “I know they’re not taking COVID-positive patients. But they said that from day one, to be fair.”Central Park has also been transformed into a field hospital to help house COVID-19 patients, and construction has begun on a 350-bed facility at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens for patients without the virus. City officials have also increased the number of mobile morgues. As of Thursday, 45 refrigerated trucks have been set up across the five boroughs, some of which are already full, as morgues and funeral homes struggle to find space and time to keep up with the mounting bodies. New York doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic have previously told The Daily Beast they are “constantly stressed” about working for an overwhelmed hospital system without the proper supplies to protect themselves and those around them. At least three nurses in city hospitals have died after contracting the coronavirus during their shifts and dozens more have tested positive.On Friday, several terrified city nurses protested outside Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan to demand more supplies to help them combat the daily surge of cases. “Here we are, against the worst enemy, because this one we can’t see,” Diana Torres, a nurse, told the New York Daily News. “We can’t touch it. It’s killing us all. And we have nothing to fight with.” Sasha Winslow, a 9-year nursing veteran, stood next to Torres outside the entrance with a sign states: “We won’t be your bodybags.”And New Yorkers may still be confused about what precautionary steps to take against the coronavirus on Friday after New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said no data suggests that wearing masks, scarves, or bandanas while outside will protect people against infection. The statement directly contradicts guidance from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio—and expected guidance from President Donald Trump—that all residents should wear masks to prevent contracting and spreading the highly contagious virus.“The masks couldn’t hurt unless they gave a wearer a false sense of security,” Cuomo said. 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.
- Coronavirus: Germany and France accuse US of taking face masks as international tensions rise
Germany and France have accused the US of taking face masks already ordered by Europe as the coronavirus pandemic continued to cause rising international tensions.Politicians in Berlin and Paris both said America had been using unfair means to undermine their own attempts to secure personal protective equipment.
- Israel sends army to ultra-Orthodox city over coronavirus
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.
- Airline refutes Mexican authority's account of spring break coronavirus outbreak
College students from Texas who tested positive for the novel coronavirus after spring break in Los Cabos traveled to the Mexican beach resort on Viva Aerobus, the airline said, and were there a week later than reported by the local tourist board. At least part of the Texas group stayed at the luxury Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos hotel, two people familiar with the arrangements told Reuters.
- North Korea's official coronavirus count: Zero. Why that claim is hard to believe
- Michael Atkinson: Trump fires intelligence chief involved in impeachment
- Making your own face mask? Some fabrics work better than others, study finds
- Driver who said woman coughed on his bus has died of coronavirus
- WHO Official Warns Against ‘Profiling’ China, Says Observers ‘Over-Focused’ on Coronavirus Data
Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization's Health Emergencies Program, defended China on Thursday against accusations that the country has underreported cases and deaths from the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak."I think we need to be very careful also to not to be profiling certain parts of the world as being uncooperative or non-transparent, and we need to look at transparency across the board," Ryan said at a Geneva press conference."We need to be balanced in that, and we need to recognize that systems under pressure find it hard to share everything on a minute-to-minute basis," Ryan continued. "Frankly, at times I think we get over-focused on this issue."Ryan claimed that there was a "lack of precise information from Italy," whose medical system has been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of coronavirus patients. "Are we saying they’re lacking in transparency and not sending WHO all the data every day? No."As of Friday morning, Italy has over 115,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 13,915 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker. However, a Wall Street Journal analysis suggests the Italian coronavirus death toll could be much higher than was reported, because health workers did not have the time or resources to test all the casualties for the illness.The U.S. Intelligence Community has reportedly concluded that China covered up the extent of the outbreak in the country. One recent study found that roughly 95 percent of global cases could have been prevented if China acted earlier to stem the outbreak. Meanwhile, Senator Rick Scott (R, Fla.) has called for a congressional hearing on the WHO's ties to China, while Senator Martha McSally on Thursday called on the director of the WHO to resign.
- 27 Best Home Office Decor Ideas to Keep You in the Zone
- Medical stockpile seized from alleged hoarder to be distributed
- Spain to extend lockdown, as deaths down for second day
Spain's prime minister announced Saturday an extension of the country's lockdown to combat the coronavirus, saying the measures are "bearing fruit" as the number of deaths fell for a second day in a row. "The cabinet on Tuesday will again ask for authorisation from parliament to extend for a second time the state of alert until Saturday April 25 at midnight," Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a televised speech. Hospitals, in particular the intensive care units, have been overwhelmed by an influx of coronavirus patients.
- New York reports deadliest day from coronavirus, makes plea for help
New York suffered its deadliest single day from the novel coronavirus, with 562 additional deaths in the last 24 hours for a total of 2,935 fatalities, by far the most of any U.S. state, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday. Cuomo warned that people were "going to die in the near term" due to a lack of ventilators and hospital beds and called for resources from across the United States to be deployed to New York to help it deal with the growing crisis in the state - the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.
- Mexico murder rate reaches new high as violence rages amid Covid-19 spread
* March sees 2,585 homicides – highest monthly figure on record * Mexico tries to pour resources into containing coronavirusMexico’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.“It’s business as usual [for drug cartels] with a risk of further escalation, especially if at some point the armed forces are called away for pandemic control,” said Falko Ernst, senior Mexico analyst at the International Crisis Group.Violence has flared throughout the country, but it has been especially intense in the central state of Guanajuato, where criminal groups have battled over lucrative territories rife with theft from pipelines.The bloodshed has hit shocking levels in the city of Ceyala – home to a major automotive manufacturing plant – with gunmen engaging security forces in shootouts, blockading streets and torching businesses.Francisco Rivas, director of the National Citizen Observatory, which monitors security issues, attributed the increasing violence in Guanajuato to the fallout of the federal government trying to stamp out petrol theft.The crackdown weakened the local Santa Rosa de Lima cartel, Rivas said, prompting the rival Jalisco New Generation cartel (CJNG) to move in and attempt to take its territory.Other causes for rising violence, Rivas said, include growing pains with a new militarised police known as the national guard, the lack of a federal strategy and cutting the security budget to its lowest level in 20 years.“We’re seeing iolence hitting its peak and we’re left asking, ‘who’s going to stop it?’” Rivas said.Calderón sends in the armyMexico’s “war on drugs” began in late 2006 when the president at the time, Felipe Calderón, ordered thousands of troops onto the streets in response to an explosion of horrific violence in his native state of Michoacán.Calderón hoped to smash the drug cartels with his heavily militarized onslaught but the approach was counter-productive and exacted a catastrophic human toll. As Mexico’s military went on the offensive, the body count sky-rocketed to new heights and tens of thousands were forced from their homes, disappeared or killed.Kingpin strategySimultaneously Calderón also began pursuing the so-called “kingpin strategy” by which authorities sought to decapitate the cartels by targeting their leaders.That policy resulted in some high-profile scalps – notably Arturo Beltrán Leyva who was gunned down by Mexican marines in 2009 – but also did little to bring peace. In fact, many believe such tactics served only to pulverize the world of organized crime, creating even more violence as new, less predictable factions squabbled for their piece of the pie.Under Calderón’s successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, the government’s rhetoric on crime softened as Mexico sought to shed its reputation as the headquarters of some the world’s most murderous mafia groups.But Calderón’s policies largely survived, with authorities targeting prominent cartel leaders such as Sinaloa’s Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.When “El Chapo” was arrested in early 2016, Mexico’s president bragged: “Mission accomplished”. But the violence went on. By the time Peña Nieto left office in 2018, Mexico had suffered another record year of murders, with nearly 36,000 people slain."Hugs not bullets"The leftwing populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador took power in December, promising a dramatic change in tactics. López Obrador, or Amlo as most call him, vowed to attack the social roots of crime, offering vocational training to more than 2.3 million disadvantaged young people at risk of being ensnared by the cartels. “It will be virtually impossible to achieve peace without justice and [social] welfare,” Amlo said, promising to slash the murder rate from an average of 89 killings per day with his “hugs not bullets” doctrine.Amlo also pledged to chair daily 6am security meetings and create a 60,000 strong "National Guard". But those measures have yet to pay off, with the new security force used mostly to hunt Central American migrants.Mexico now suffers an average of about 96 murders per day, with nearly 29,000 people killed since Amlo took office.President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Friday that a drop in violence had been expected towards the end of March when coronavirus cases had started increasing in Mexico, “but it didn’t turn out like that.”López Obrador came to power promising to solve Mexico’s security woes by tacking what he considered the root causes of crime: poverty and corruption. But the strategy has so far failed to rein in the violence.“The [anti-crime] strategy isn’t a strategy,” said Rivas. “The national guard isn’t pulling its weight because building an institution is difficult and expensive. Budget cuts to public security have been brutal. These all have serious effects.”The president stirred further outrage during a visit to Sinaloa state on Sunday, when he stopped to greet the mother of convicted cartel kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán – breaking with social-distancing protocols to shake her hand.López Obrador downplayed the greeting as little more than a courtesy to a mother who hadn’t seen her son in five years, but his comments prompted outrage from families of victims of violence, who say he has failed to extend the same courtesy to them.“For society and victims, who have been having a hard time meeting or being listened to by the president,” Ernst said, “it’s a heavy slap in the face.”
- Trump nominates McConnell ally to powerful appeals court
President Donald Trump is nominating a 37-year-old judge and former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to a seat on the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Walker drew a “Not Qualified" rating from the American Bar Association when Trump nominated him last year to be a federal judge in Kentucky.
- 2 top French doctors said on live TV that coronavirus vaccines should be tested on poor Africans, leaving viewers horrified
- Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter and her son presumed dead after canoeing accident in Maryland
- Coronavirus: A visual guide to the economic impact
- Coronavirus news – live: Outdoor exercise could be banned if Britons break lockdown rules as Queen set to address nation tonight
It is “quite unbelievable” that Britons continue to break the lockdown measures imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus, the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said after people were pictured sunbathing and enjoying picnics in the sunshine.The Queen will urge the nation to show its traditional “quiet, good-humoured resolve” as she broadcasts a rare televised message tonight, in which she will acknowledge the grief and financial hardship experienced by the public as it prepares to enter its third week in lockdown.
- China Wants to Use the Coronavirus to Take Over the World
What started as a catastrophe for China is shaping up to be a moment of strategic opportunity, a rare turning point in the flow of history. Suddenly, the protests in Hong Kong, carrying a mortal threat to political stability in the mainland, became a physical impossibility. More important, the pandemic set in motion a global competition, to contain the virus, for which China and the Chinese Communist Party seem uniquely prepared.As the virus spread to the whole world, it became apparent that Western societies — Beijing’s true rivals — did not have the ability to quickly organize every citizen around a single goal. As opposed to China, which remains to a large extent a revolutionary society, their political systems were built for normal times. Chinese society is a mobilized army, which can quickly drop everything else and march in one direction.Mao once said, “Everything under heaven is in utter chaos, the situation is excellent.” And so it seems at present, as seen from Beijing. Chinese diplomats stationed all over the world spend their time raising the stakes to a dangerous level. Following instructions from the very top, they have taken to the media to issue a challenge to America, to point out its failure, and to compare the chaos in American cities and hospitals with what they see as a singular success in stopping the epidemic in China.Several commentators have suggested that China may be winning the coronavirus battle by stepping forward in providing medical help to affected countries, mostly in Europe, at a time when the United States is consumed with its own difficulties. This misses the point.The cases have been multiplying where the medical equipment provided by Chinese companies and even the Chinese state turned out to be faulty, provoking justified ire in, for example, Spain, the Netherlands, and Turkey. Moreover, medical help is a normal occurrence in a crisis. China has done nothing different, except perhaps in the clumsy way it publicizes those efforts.Forget about “mask diplomacy.” It is no more than a distraction. There are other ways for China to use the coronavirus pandemic to upturn the existing global order. I see three main levers.The first one is the direct comparison between the situation in China and elsewhere. The numbers of cases and fatalities provided by Chinese authorities almost certainly misrepresent the real figures by more than an order of magnitude, but the fact remains that a semblance of normalcy was achieved in a small period of time. If the United States fails to do the same, its prestige will suffer a severe blow. People all over the world will quickly change their perceptions about relative power and capacity.The second lever resides with industrial value chains. Last month General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler closed all their automotive production plants across the United States and Canada. Other sectors have followed. In the meantime, China contained the worst of the pandemic to one province, allowing economic activity to quickly resume elsewhere. The most recent data show renewed activity in the flow of goods across the country, as well as at ports worldwide that do business with China. If the freeze in Europe and America continues for much longer, Chinese companies will be able to dramatically expand market share and replace Western-led value chains. Just yesterday Chinese authorities announced that manufacturing activity expanded in March, defying expectations of a contraction. In February the official Purchasing Managers’ Index hit a record low of 35.7. It bounced back to 52.0 in March. Prepare for a worldwide wave of Chinese acquisitions at knockdown prices.Finally, in a more extreme scenario, important countries could experience the kind of economic shock that leads to widespread social and political collapse. At that point, China would have a unique opportunity to step in, provide aid, and refashion these countries in its image. It would look like a repeat of the Marshall Plan and the beginning of the American world order after the ravages of World War II. Indonesia, South Asia, and even Russia might be of special interest in such a scenario.We knew that a generalized race or competition between alternative geopolitical models had started, but it was never clear what the background for such a competition would be. If the clash took place within the existing global trade and financial system, which was of course built according to Western rules and principles, the United States was confident the battle could be decisively won. But what if it took place on neutral ground? What if it took place in a kind of neutral landscape, a state of nature with few or no rules, against a chaotic and quickly evolving background? The outcome would become considerably more uncertain.To put it more bluntly: There was always an argument that the existing world order cannot change because only a momentous war has done that in the past and world wars have become impossible. But in pandemics — and soon in climate change — we may have found two functional equivalents of war.
- Drive-by blessings in virus-hit Philippines
Locals lined up in front of their homes in a district of Manila, which is entering its fourth week of a lockdown that has brought the frenetic metropolis nearly to a halt. "This celebration will continue despite the spread of the virus," said Bong Sosa, who attended wearing a mask crafted from a water cooler bottle. The blessings come as the Philippines recorded a total of 144deaths and 3,094 confirmed virus cases, numbers that are expected to keep rising as the nation ramps up testing.
- Biden wants to give Trump advice on coronavirus outbreak
- Indian state authorities warn coronavirus lockdown could be extended
Authorities in some India states warned on Saturday that lockdowns to rein in the coronavirus pandemic could be extended in parts of the nation as the number of domestic coronavirus cases rose above the 3,000 mark. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a three-week lockdown of India's 1.3 billion people on March 24 to avert a massive outbreak of infections. The country has recorded 3,072 coronavirus cases, of which 75 people have died.
- US braces for more virus deaths; Europe hopes crisis peaking
The U.S. warned of many more coronavirus deaths in the days ahead as the global pandemic muted traditional observances from family grave-cleaning ceremonies in China to Palm Sunday for many Christians. Italy and Spain, the two hardest-hit European nations, expressed hope that the crisis was peaking in their countries, though Italian officials said the emergency is far from over as infections have plateaued but not started to decline. A chaotic scramble for desperately needed medical equipment and protective gear engulfed the United States, prompting intense squabbling between the states and federal government at a moment the nation is facing one of its gravest emergencies.
- The family of a 34-year-old father in a 2-week coma with COVID-19 says a 'bureaucratic glitch' has kept him from accessing potentially life-saving treatment
- Coronavirus map of the US: latest cases state by state
* Coronavirus: world map of deaths and cases * Coronavirus – latest global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageThe number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 continues to grow in the US. Mike Pence, the vice-president, is overseeing the US response to the coronavirus.So far, 80% of patients experience a mild form of the illness, which can include a fever and pneumonia, and many of these cases require little to no medical intervention. That being said, elderly people and those with underlying conditions such as diabetes or heart and lung issues are the most vulnerable. The coronavirus death rate in China for people 80 or over, in the government’s study of more than 72,000 cases, was 14.8%.default default default * Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is being regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation as best as possible. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.
- For journalists covering Trump, the new reality at the White House
- Coronavirus: Australia launches criminal investigation into Ruby Princess
- Fact check: Did the Obama administration deplete the federal stockpile of N95 masks?
- Controversial Soviet-era statue removed in Prague
Prague authorities on Friday said they had removed a controversial Soviet-era statue, despite protests from Moscow, to make way for a World War II memorial. The Russian embassy on Friday protested the removal of the bronze statue of Soviet general Ivan Konev, terming it an "unfriendly" act of "vandalism by unhinged municipal representatives." While Konev is regarded as a hero in Russia, many Czechs see him as a symbol of Soviet-era oppression.
- Wisconsin's governor flip-flops on Tuesday primary, calls legislature into special session to cancel it
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) has taken "last minute" to a whole new level.Evers declared a mandatory shelter-in-place in his state on March 25 to reduce COVID-19 spread, taking the crisis seriously more than a week earlier than some states with larger populations. But he waited until Friday to take executive action to get the state's upcoming Democratic presidential primary canceled even though it's just four days away.In a Friday video conference, Evers called a special session of the state's GOP-held legislature to compel it "to do its part — just as all of us are — to help keep our neighbors, our families, and our communities safe." He wants all in-person voting canceled so both voters and poll workers are not put at risk, and instead wants to extend the deadline for mail-in votes to the end of May.The legislature has the power to push back the primary or change its format, but refused to do so when Evers asked it last week to send mail-in ballots to every voter in Wisconsin; Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said the move would be "logistically impossible." Still, Democrats had blamed Evers for not doing more to push back the primary weeks ago. Even U.S. District Judge William M. Conley, who ultimately declined to push back the primary Thursday, had chided Evers and the legislature for putting the matter in his hands in the first place. Every other state with primaries in April has already pushed their date back.More stories from theweek.com Social distancing is going to get darker The noble lie about masks and coronavirus should never have been told 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast
- Suspected cartel shootout kills 19 in northern Mexico
- Cuomo Announces Highest Single-Day Increase in N.Y. Coronavirus Hospitalizations and Deaths
New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that 562 state residents had died in the past 24 hours of Wuhan coronavirus, the highest single-day increase in the state. As of Friday, 2,935 state residents had died of the illness.The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York also saw its highest single-day increase of 10,482, with the state now reporting 102,863 cases in total. Cuomo announced he would sign an executive order allowing the state to appropriate whatever personal protective equipment and medical gear the government needs to combat the outbreak."I’m not going to let people die," Cuomo said at a press conference. "I’m not going to get into a situation where I know we are running out of ventilators and we could have people dying because there are no ventilators, but there are hospitals in other parts of the state that have ventilators that they’re not using." The governor called on the federal government to increase aid to the state, and said New York has "no money" because of expenditures on health care.Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican from New York's rural 21st District, expressed concern that Cuomo's executive order could deprive her constituents of necessary medical care."I am very concerned about the Governor’s announcement regarding shifting ventilators from Upstate to Downstate. I represent demographically the largest number of seniors of any District in NY," Stefanik wrote on Twitter. "Our rural hospitals are already very limited in resources & we must ensure Upstate’s needs for testing supplies & ventilators are met."New York state has reported roughly 40 percent of coronavirus cases in the U.S., with 51,809 cases in New York City alone as of Friday morning, according to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.
- 'Just one week and it's a whole different world': An ER doctor who survived Ebola shares the new reality of treating the coronavirus in NYC
- Trump warns 'toughest week' ahead as global virus deaths top 60,000
US President Donald Trump warned Americans to brace for a "very horrendous" number of coronavirus deaths in the coming days, ahead of a rare speech by Queen Elizabeth II on Sunday aimed at rallying hard-hit Britain. Global deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic have soared past 60,000, with Europe continuing to bear the brunt of the virus which has left roughly half the planet confined at home. There are now more than 1.2 million confirmed cases across the globe, and around 65,000 people have died since the virus first emerged in China late last year, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
- 'We're nesting. We prepared his room': Families adopting children from China anxiously wait
- South Africa's ruthlessly efficient fight against coronavirus
- Jared Kushner makes coronavirus briefing appearance, draws backlash for 'our stockpile' comment
- Imprisoned Chinese rights lawyer released, his wife says
Wang Quanzhang, a well-known Chinese rights lawyer, was released from prison Sunday after being held for more than four years, his wife said. It was unclear whether he would be allowed to return to Beijing, where he practiced and lived with his wife and young son. Police took him to his house in his hometown of Jinan in eastern China, his wife said in a tweet on her verified Twitter account.
- The Recession Bread Lines Are Forming in Mar-a-Lago’s Shadow
(Bloomberg) -- Though it’s just a four-minute drive across the lagoon from Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s private club, and ten minutes from the Palm Beach outposts of Chanel and Louis Vuitton, Howley’s diner has become an emblem of America’s stark new economic reality.With more than 10 million people across the nation suddenly unemployed, bread lines are forming in the shadows of privileged enclaves like this one in Florida.For the past two weeks, the kitchen staff at Howley’s has been cooking up free meals—the other day it was smoked barbecue chicken with rice and beans, and salad—for thousands of laid off workers from Palm Beach’s shuttered restaurants and resorts. The rows of brown-bag lunches and dinners are an early warning that the country’s income gap is about to be wrenched wider as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, and the deep recession it has brought with it.Even as much of America is fretting about supermarket shelves depleted of their favorite cereal brands and toilet paper or the logistics of curbside pickup from favorite restaurants, a brutal new hunger crisis is emerging among laid-off workers that has begun to overwhelm the infrastructure that normally takes care of the needy.“We’re seeing about a 650% increase in our request for support,” said Sari Vatske, executive vice president of Feeding South Florida, which before the pandemic was already serving more than 700,000 people a year in four counties including Palm Beach County. “The growth is exponential.”The surge in demand is not just in Palm Beach. Food banks around the world have recorded increases in requests for assistance as government-ordered lockdowns have started to bite, prompting employers to lay off staff.Food insecurity was already a chronic problem in many U.S. communities. Across the U.S. 14.3 million households were short of food in 2018, the last year for which government data are available. That equates to just over one in ten American households. For Black and Hispanic households the rate is closer to one in five.That is likely only to get worse with the number of people losing jobs at historic levels. In the final two weeks of March alone an unprecedented 10 million workers applied for unemployment insurance. And some economists predict about 20 million people will have lost their jobs by July. Those being thrown out of work are often people who were living paycheck-to-paycheck beforehand and are therefore among the most vulnerable.The $2 trillion rescue package Congress passed on March 27 includes $1,200 emergency payments for most Americans and extended unemployment benefits. But the speed in which the aid finds its way to the segments of the population that need it the most will have consequences for how long and deep the recession that’s already underway is.“It’s just really hitting people who are already the most vulnerable workers in our society so that is going to mean the pain will propagate faster,” said Heidi Shierholz, a former Labor Department chief economist now at the Economic Policy Institute. “They’re more likely to be living paycheck to paycheck than anyone else, and so if their income falls, they’re more likely to actually have to cut back on necessities like rent and food. So that just makes the recession deeper and longer by pulling even more economic activity out.”Rodney Mayo, whose 17-location Subculture restaurant group owns Howley’s, started handing out free meals in the diner’s parking lot on Saturday, March 21, after having to lay off 650 workers the day before.“They were asking ‘Where do we go? What do we do?’ All I really had was the unemployment site that was crashing and nobody could file anything on it,” Mayo said. “But I did promise them: No matter what, you and your families will get fed by us. And I said tomorrow we’ll be open at Howley’s.”What started with his own employees quickly grew into a bigger effort as friends, suppliers, and fellow restaurateurs pitched in, and area charities began sending other people needing meals his way.Two weeks on, Mayo has opened another of his restaurants to distribute meals and is preparing to open a third. He’s also turning a warehouse into a food pantry that will distribute groceries. He has secured funds from the local government and set up a charity called Hospitality Helping Hands that is taking donations to keep the effort going.The 15,000 meals he gave away in the first ten days cost an average of $1.30 each, Mayo said. The bonus has been being able to rehire some of his kitchen staff and to let the others who volunteer keep tips handed out by passersbys.Just a few days into April, Mayo already expects that he will be handing out meals into June. Even if and when the $1,200 payments the federal government has promised land and unemployment benefits kick in there will be a lingering need, he said.The current crisis, Mayo said, shone a spotlight on the divide between the pastel-clad privileged lives in the city of Palm Beach, an enclave on a barrier island connected to the mainland by a series of bridges, and the wider county around it. “There’s east of the bridge, which is Palm Beach, and then there’s everything west which is everything else,” Mayo said. “We have some very poor communities.”Even before the current crisis, three in five children in Palm Beach County’s public schools were eligible for federally-funded free or subsidized lunches, a measure of poverty. “When I tell people there’s hunger in Palm Beach County people think I’m kidding,” said Karen Erren, executive director of the Palm Beach County Food Bank. “But in south Florida our poverty level is always significant.”The threat of Covid-19 infections has caused food pantries in the area to change how they operate, or shut down. About a third of the 125 that the Palm Beach County Food Bank supplies are now closed, Erren said. Also a rush of panic buying has depleted stocks at supermarkets, particularly of shelf-stable foods, meaning donations from grocery chains are shrinking. Vatske said a sharp reduction in the supply from retailers to Feeding South Florida alongside the surge in demand had almost tripled its running costs. “It costs us about a $125,000 a week to operate under blue skies. Right now we’re looking at about $350,000 with having to purchase food. So we’ll need about $1.4 million a month to keep this going,” she said.Food banks and pantries are also planning for what they fear will be a longer term effect from the Covid-19 crisis. “What I’m thinking about right now is ‘Call me in a month’s time. Call me in two month’s time.’ Because that’s when reality will have hit,” said Ruth Mageria, executive director of Christians Reaching Out to Society Ministries, in Lake Worth, another town in Palm Beach County. Local food banks and pantries interviewed for this story said they have not had any contact with the Trump Organization or Mar-a-Lago, which was shut for cleaning last month after a cluster of Covid-19 cases was linked to a member of the entourage of visiting Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro and has not reopened.Neither the club’s general manager nor spokespeople for the Trump Organization responded to multiple requests for comment. Venues with a more upscale clientele than Howley’s are doing their part. At The Addison, a venue for weddings and other events in nearby Boca Raton, chefs have started working with a local charity and preparing 100 meals a day for delivery to elderly people stuck inside and other people affected. On the menu one day earlier this week: maple and mustard glazed Atlantic salmon with rice and broccoli.“We decided since we can’t host events we’d use resources to help our non-profit partner,” said Melanie De Vito, the business’ marketing director. It has helped fill one small gap, De Vito said, in a place where social distancing is far from the norm, “Boca is a very tight-knit community” in which “events are a big thing,’’ she said. “Having the socializing stop has been really surreal.”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.
- Dubai imposes two-week lockdown as Gulf states step up coronavirus fight
Dubai imposed a two-week lockdown Saturday night and Saudi Arabia sealed off parts of the Red Sea city of Jeddah as Gulf states tightened measures in big cities to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Dubai had been under an overnight curfew along with the rest of United Arab Emirates since March 26 but its Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said the lockdown would now run around the clock for two weeks, state news agency WAM said.
- Women in ICE custody plead for release amid pandemic
- 3 photos show just how health workers in Spain — which has the 2nd highest death toll in the world — are struggling under the coronavirus outbreak
- Coronavirus: In reversal, Pelosi suggests infrastructure may have to wait in favor of small business relief
Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on Friday that a sweeping modernization of US infrastructure to help mitigate the coronavirus damage could take a back seat — again — to the needs of struggling small businesses and the overstretched health care system in the next legislative relief package.That's a reversal from the position the Speaker and other Democratic leaders have carved out over the last week. Ms Pelosi, other Democratic leaders, and even Donald Trump have been angling in recent days to include measures in the next coronavirus response bill that would pump hundreds of billions of dollars — or, in the president's case, trillions — into programs to expand broadband internet access, clean up US water systems, and revamp highways.
- Search continues for Arkansas woman who vanished from her home in 2016
Mercedes Toliver was last seen leaving her Prescott, Arkansas home on foot just after midnight on December 17, 2016. She was reportedly on her way to her aunt’s house nearby. She never made it. There has been no activity on her social media accounts since. The Prescott Police Department is investigating.
- Navy removes captain for raising alarm about coronavirus outbreak on ship
The U.S. Navy on Thursday removed the captain of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote a scathing letter to Navy leadership asking for stronger measures to control a coronavirus outbreak onboard.