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  • Coronavirus is ushering in a new wave of racially motivated attacks, warns intelligence bulletin news

    Federal agencies are concerned that domestic extremists could use the coronavirus pandemic to attack Asians and Jews, according to a joint intelligence bulletin obtained by Yahoo News. That bulletin mirrors what organizations that monitor online hate content are also finding.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 10:46:59 -0400
  • New Yahoo News/YouGov coronavirus poll shows Americans turning against Trump news

    The new survey found that Americans increasingly blame Trump for the vast scale of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 16:13:15 -0400
  • Doctors rethinking coronavirus: Are we using ventilators the wrong way? news

    As hospitals and health care workers grapple with a shortage of supplies, some doctors are raising questions about how ventilators are currently being used on coronavirus patients — and whether they may actually be doing more harm than good.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 08:37:33 -0400
  • Coronavirus: New York has more cases than any country news

    Photos emerge of workers in hazmat outfits stacking coffins in a mass grave in New York City.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 23:29:17 -0400
  • Coronavirus: California woman arrested for licking $1,800 worth of groceries news

    A California woman has been arrested after licking $1,800 worth of groceries and other items at a supermarket in the northern part of the state, police said Wednesday. Chris Fiore, spokesman for the South Lake Tahoe police department, near the border with Nevada, told AFP that officers were called to the Safeway store on Tuesday following reports of "a customer licking groceries" at a time of heightened fears over the spread of the highly contagious novel coronavirus. "When officers arrived on the scene, a Safeway employee informed them that the suspect put numerous pieces of jewelry from the store on her hands," he said.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 21:47:01 -0400
  • 'A silent explosion': Coronavirus deaths in U.S. climb past 16,000 news

    COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. surpass 16,000. In New York, new hospitalizations slow, affirming signs that stay-at-home orders are slowing coronavirus spread.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 14:13:58 -0400
  • Cases of novel coronavirus in Russia surge past 10,000 after record daily rise news

    Russia on Thursday reported a record one-day rise in cases of novel coronavirus, pushing the official tally to more than 10,000, a day after President Vladimir Putin said the coming weeks would prove decisive in the fight against the virus. The number of cases jumped by 1,459 and 13 more people died, the national coronavirus crisis response centre said on its website. Moscow, the worst-affected region, and many other regions are in their second week of a partial lockdown.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 03:55:48 -0400
  • Leading Scientific Journal Nature Apologizes for ‘Associating’ Coronavirus with China news

    The leading British scientific journal Nature apologized in an article published on Tuesday for "associating" the coronavirus with its origin place in China on the grounds that the linkage had inspired racist attacks against people with Asian heritage across the world.“That we did so was an error on our part, for which we take responsibility and apologize,” the journal said in an article published Tuesday.The coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan, China and first appeared in bats thought to have infected wild animals that were sold in the city's wet markets. Since then, it has spread to at least 177 countries and infected 1.4 million people. As of Thursday morning, at least 89,000 people had died after contracting the respiratory illness.“It’s clear that since the outbreak was first reported, people of Asian descent around the world have been subjected to racist attacks, with untold human costs – for example, on their health and livelihoods,” the article read.Nature remarked that the World Health Organization's dubbing the new coronavirus COVID-19 was a subtle reminder to “those who had erroneously been associating the virus with Wuhan and with China in their news coverage – including Nature.”The publication urged that “Coronavirus stigma must stop – now.”“It would be tragic if stigma, fueled by the coronavirus, led Asia’s young people to retreat from international campuses, curtailing their own education, reducing their own and others’ opportunities and leaving research worse off – just when the world is relying on it to find a way out,” the journal said.The Nature report also chastised "a minority of politicians," who are "sticking with the outdated script."“Continuing to associate a virus and the disease it causes with a specific place is irresponsible and needs to stop," the report said.President Trump briefly referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus,” defending his use of the term by saying "it comes from China," but later backed away from the phrase after reports of an uptick in violence against Asian Americans."Look, everyone knows it came out of China, but I decided we shouldn't make any more of a big deal out of it," Trump said early last month.The Communist Chinese government has denied that the virus originated in China and said that it is “strongly indignant” over the phrase, calling it “a kind of stigmatization.” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang demanded last month that the U.S. “immediately stop its unjustified accusations against China.”

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 15:05:53 -0400
  • 'Alexa, help me': A nursing home patient begged her Amazon Echo for help dozens of times before dying of COVID-19 news

    The woman's sister found more than 40 recordings on her Echo made in her final days, and decided to publicize them to show the brutality of the virus.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 10:42:36 -0400
  • Turkey's COVID-19 infection rate is the fastest rising in the world. Here's why it got so many cases so quickly. news

    Less than a month ago, Turkey didn't have a single case. As of April 10, it had 42,282 confirmed cases with 908 deaths.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 01:36:15 -0400
  • Trump approval dips as Americans question his handling of coronavirus crisis news

    After rising to some of the highest levels of his presidency, Donald Trump's approval ratings have leveled off in recent surveys.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 13:33:00 -0400
  • This is what I want my friends to do if they have COVID-19 symptoms and are asked to go to the ER news

    As a frontline infectious diseases doctor, this is what I want my friends and neighbors to do if they have COVID-19 symptoms and are asked to go to the emergency room.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 09:20:19 -0400
  • China investigates party member critical of government's handling of coronavirus outbreak news

    China is investigating a prominent Communist Party member who criticized leader Xi Jinping’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 07:09:54 -0400
  • Coronavirus: WHO chief and Taiwan in row over 'racist' comments news

    Taiwan rejects accusations by the UN health body's head that racist slurs against him originated there.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 10:39:29 -0400
  • This is how coughing can spread coronavirus in a store, according to researchers news

    Data shows tiny airborne particles emitted with a cough, sneeze "or even talking" spread in an invisible cloud that lingers.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 20:24:27 -0400
  • Pope condemns those trying to make quick buck off coronavirus news

    Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned people he said were exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to turn a quick profit and decried the "hypocrisy" of how some politicians are dealing with the crisis. The pandemic has killed 81,400 people worldwide. More than 16,500 of them have been in Italy, one of the countries where authorities have been trying to clamp down on price gouging and other forms of illegal profiteering.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 09:58:36 -0400
  • Pakistan shoots down Indian drone as Kashmir tensions rise news

    Pakistan's army said Thursday it had shot down a small Indian surveillance drone in Kashmir, as tensions rose over continued cross-border shelling in the disputed territory. "This blatant act was aggressively responded to by Pakistan Army troops shooting down Indian quadcopter," the statement read. An Indian army spokesman said the drone "is not ours".

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 03:19:43 -0400
  • Walmart Says It Will Invest $425 Million to Expand Presence in Wuhan over the Next Five Years news

    Walmart’s China branch announced at an investment conference hosted by the Wuhan city government on Wednesday that it was committing 3 billion yuan ($425 million) to expand its presence in the origin point of the coronavirus pandemic over the next five years.According to Walmart China, the company will be putting up at least four new Sam's Club stores, 15 additional shopping malls, and more community stores in the capital of China's Hubei province. The U.S.-based retailer already has 34 stores and two distribution centers in the city, where the global coronavirus pandemic first emerged in December.Wern-Yuen Tan, President and CEO of Walmart China, announced the decision in collaboration with Wuhan’s municipal government, saying “the framework marks a new milestone between the two parties and a new beginning for a win-win situation.”Wuhan ended its city-wide lockdown on Wednesday, after 76 days of mandatory shutdown, despite fears that the city was still hosting many asymptomatic cases. City residents have dismissed the official death toll of approximately 2,500, while U.S. intelligence concluded last week that the city has been lying about its number of cases.The corporate response to China’s handling of the coronavirus has been mixed. The American Chamber of Commerce polled 119 companies last month on their China outlook, with 40 percent saying they would maintain their planned levels of investment in China this year, while 24 percent said they plan to cut investment. A third said it was too early to determine coronavirus’s impact.U.S. lawmakers have grown increasingly critical of the U.S.’s over reliance on China in recent months, especially relating to medical supplies — with experts suggesting that “thousands” of basic pharmaceuticals are sourced in China.Last month, Representative Jim Banks (R., Ind.) warned that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposed stimulus package did not address U.S. dependence on Chinese supply chains, despite bipartisan concerns about the issue.Senator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) also proposed a phase-four relief package last week that promoted bringing “critical supply chains back to this country from China and elsewhere and to encourage domestic production.”

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 11:53:24 -0400
  • N.Y. Reports Deadliest Day; Hospitalizations Plunge news

    (Bloomberg) -- New York City reported a record 824 deaths from the coronavirus in 24 hours, a grim reminder that despite flattening infection curves and lower hospital admissions, the health crisis in the largest U.S. city is far from over.Statewide, the fatality rate has worsened by the day. New York reported 799 new deaths on Thursday, on top of about 1,500 in the prior two days. Total coronavirus deaths in the state now exceed 7,000.The city and state take snapshots of the virus’s effects at different times of day, which may partly account for why the city reported more deaths than the state did. A spokesman for the governor, Rich Azzopardi, said the city and state were working to come up with a unified reporting system to eliminate their discrepancies.The latest spike in deaths, which lag as an indicator of the virus’s spread, comes as the rate of hospitalizations in the city and state is dropping sharply.At his daily virus briefing on Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said there had been only 200 net new hospitalizations over 24 hours, the lowest number since the crisis broke out. That number had been as high as 1,400 just a week ago. Likewise, the rate of new intensive-care admissions and intubations -- when patients are put on a ventilator -- also plummeted.But New York State also reported more than 10,600 new positive cases on Wednesday, a second day above 10,000 after multiple days when the number was trending downward. At more than 159,000 infections, New York’s cases have now eclipsed those of Spain and Italy. It’s unknown how many people have been infected but never tested.About 18,000 people in the state are hospitalized for the virus. If New York is indeed reaching a plateau, the statistics suggest that the state will need far less hospital capacity than it raced to build at the onset of the crisis.After early models predicted a wave as big as 135,000 coronavirus patients, New York nearly doubled its hospital capacity to about 90,000 beds, with hospitals filling hallways, lobbies and conference rooms with them. If the spread continues to slow, the question may become what to do with the excess capacity the state no longer needs.That wasn’t a question Cuomo was prepared to answer on Thursday, saying it was too early to begin making such assessments.“I don’t want to get into a retrospective when we’re in the middle of the game,” Cuomo said. But he added: “The expert models were all off.”He urged New Yorkers to continue practicing social distancing, noting that the curve could begin trending up again if people become complacent and that the state needed to prepare for potential additional waves of the virus.“We’re in a battle right, but this is about a war,” Cuomo said.Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that the apparent flattening of the infection curve might mean that the city could reach a second phase as early as June that would relax restrictions on movement outside the home. That would require much wider testing and continued adherence to some level of social distancing, he said.The mayor gave no estimates for when, or under what conditions, businesses, schools, courts, restaurants or theaters could reopen.“If we do things right and get testing we can make steady progress,” de Blasio said. “If we don’t do things right or get thrown a curve ball we may have to tighten restrictions further.”The city death toll reached 4,426 on Thursday morning, up from more than 3,600 the previous day. Confirmed cases totaled roughly 84,000, up about 6,400 from 24 hours earlier.As the caseloads stabilize and then decrease, city officials plan to isolate mildly symptomatic patients in hotel rooms while they fight off the virus to prevent them from infecting others in their households, de Blasio said.(Updates with governor’s spokesman in the third paragraph)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.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 17:31:29 -0400
  • Barr says Russia probe was started 'without basis' news

    Attorney General William Barr believes the Russia investigation that shadowed President Donald Trump for the first two years of his administration was started without any basis and amounted to an effort to “sabotage the presidency,” he said in an interview with Fox News Channel that aired Thursday. Barr offered no support for his assertion that the FBI lacked a basis for opening the investigation and made no mention of the fact that the bureau began its probe after a Trump campaign adviser purported to have early knowledge that Russia had dirt on Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 22:57:14 -0400
  • A 44-year-old marathon runner says he now has to sit on a plastic stool in the shower, unable to stand for long after being on a ventilator for a severe case of COVID-19 news

    "My physician father had warned me: 'You better not get put on a ventilator. People don't come back from that,'" David Lat wrote in an op-ed.

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 02:42:39 -0400
  • Anthony Fauci says people who recover from the coronavirus should be immune through at least September. But some scientists worry that not all patients develop antibodies. news

    Fauci said the 315,000-plus people who have recovered from the virus are likely protected from re-infection — at least for a time.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 22:00:00 -0400
  • Head of Global Strike Command Wants to Make Air Force Bombers Even More Lethal news

    The Air Force plans to have 165 to 175 bombers in its inventory once the B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber comes online.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 16:07:26 -0400
  • U.K. truck driver pleads guilty in deaths of Vietnamese migrants found in container news

    Victims died of a combination of a lack of oxygen and overheating in an enclosed space, police said.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 12:50:00 -0400
  • 'Sadness in my heart': Residents of China's Hubei, freed from lockdown, face suspicion news

    Driving to a factory in China's southeastern province of Fujian to meet a friend, Ye Jing was stopped by a security guard soon after returning from two months of lockdown in Hubei, the province hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak. "His whole manner and actions changed," the shoe factory manager said, after the guard spotted her Hubei licence plate and asked where she was from.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 07:25:56 -0400
  • Linda Tripp: Woman who revealed Clinton-Lewinsky scandal dies news

    Linda Tripp, who disclosed Bill Clinton's White House affair with Monica Lewinsky dies, aged 70.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 05:44:32 -0400
  • Liz Cheney Calls WHO’s Tedros ‘A Puppet of the Chinese Communist Party’ news

    Representative Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.) slammed the World Health Organization’s director general Tedros Adhanom for being “a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party” over the organization’s response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.Cheney, speaking to radio host Hugh Hewitt, cited Tedros’s kowtowing to Chinese authority in the wake of the outbreak, despite multiple reports detailing how Chinese government officials failed in their response.“The fact that the head of the WHO was unwilling to say, for example, yes, it’s right to cut off travel from China, was unwilling to acknowledge that there was, you know, community transmission, has been touting the Chinese Communist Party line from the beginning of this, tells you that he absolutely should go,” Cheney stated. “And again, you know, we’re in a situation where having somebody who is a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party running the WHO is costing lives around the world. And in order for that organization to play anywhere near the role we need it to play, it needs a new director, certainly."Beijing silenced Wuhan laboratories which had realized in December that the coronavirus was related to the deadly SARS virus from 2002-2003, and continued to claim that coronavirus could not be transmitted from human-to-human for weeks after evidence of that fact emerged.The WHO parroted Beijing's line on January 14, tweeting that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus." The WHO also defended China’s multiple drastic alterations to its coronavirus case count, and has not criticized Beijing for refusing to count asymptomatic cases until April 1. Multiple reports have detailed how China backed Tedros’s bid for WHO director general in 2017, after he had worked closely with Beijing as Ethiopia's health minister.On Wednesday, Tedros defended his leadership and the response to the virus, warning that U.S. lawmakers were “politicizing” the pandemic.“Please, unity at national level. No using COVID for political points,” he said. “And then second, honest solidarity at global level and honest leadership from the U.S. and China . . . We shouldn't waste time pointing fingers. We need time to unite."Tedros also added that he was being personally attacked with “racist comments.”“I can tell you personal attacks that have been going on for more than two, three months. Abuses, or racist comments, giving me names, black or Negro. I’m proud of being black, proud of being Negro,” he stated. “I don’t care, to be honest . . .  even death threats. I don’t give a damn.”President Trump hammered the WHO on Tuesday, tweeting that the organization “really blew it.”> The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?> > -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2020Cheney is not the only lawmaker to single out Tedros for criticism. Last week, Senator Martha McSally (R., Ariz.) called him “a communist” and said Tedros “needs to step down.”

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 10:21:05 -0400
  • Most New York Coronavirus Cases Came From Europe, Genomes Show news

    New research indicates that the coronavirus began to circulate in the New York area by mid-February, weeks before the first confirmed case, and that travelers brought in the virus mainly from Europe, not Asia."The majority is clearly European," said Harm van Bakel, a geneticist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who co-wrote a study awaiting peer review.A separate team at NYU Grossman School of Medicine came to strikingly similar conclusions, despite studying a different group of cases. Both teams analyzed genomes from coronaviruses taken from New Yorkers starting in mid-March.The research revealed a previously hidden spread of the virus that might have been detected if aggressive testing programs had been put in place.On Jan. 31, President Donald Trump barred foreign nationals from entering the country if they had been in China during the prior two weeks.It would not be until late February that Italy would begin locking down towns and cities, and March 11 when Trump said he would block travelers from most European countries. But New Yorkers had already been traveling home with the virus."People were just oblivious," said Adriana Heguy, a member of the NYU team.Heguy and van Bakel belong to an international guild of viral historians. They ferret out the history of outbreaks by poring over clues embedded in the genetic material of viruses taken from thousands of patients.Viruses invade a cell and take over its molecular machinery, causing it to make new viruses.The process is quick and sloppy. As a result, new viruses can gain a new mutation that wasn't present in their ancestor. If a new virus manages to escape its host and infect other people, its descendants will inherit that mutation.Tracking viral mutations demands sequencing all the genetic material in a virus -- its genome. Once researchers have gathered the genomes from a number of virus samples, they can compare their mutations.Sophisticated computer programs can then figure out how all of those mutations arose as viruses descended from a common ancestor. If they get enough data, they can make rough estimates about how long ago those ancestors lived. That's because mutations arise at a roughly regular pace, like a molecular clock.Maciej Boni of Penn State University and his colleagues recently used this method to see where the coronavirus, designated SARS-CoV-2, came from in the first place. While conspiracy theories might falsely claim the virus was concocted in a lab, the virus's genome makes clear that it arose in bats.There are many kinds of coronaviruses, which infect both humans and animals. Boni and his colleagues found that the genome of the new virus contains a number of mutations in common with strains of coronaviruses that infect bats.The most closely related coronavirus is in a Chinese horseshoe bat, the researchers found. But the new virus has gained some unique mutations since splitting off from that bat virus decades ago.Boni said that ancestral virus probably gave rise to a number of strains that infected horseshoe bats and perhaps sometimes other animals."Very likely there's a vast unsampled diversity," he said.Copying mistakes aren't the only way for new viruses to arise. Sometimes two kinds of coronaviruses will infect the same cell. Their genetic material gets mixed up in new viruses.It's entirely possible, Boni said, in the past 10 or 20 years, a hybrid virus arose in some bat that was well-suited to infect humans, too. Later, that virus somehow managed to cross the species barrier."Once in a while, one of these viruses wins the lottery," he said.In January, a team of Chinese and Australian researchers published the first genome of the new virus. Since then, researchers around the world have sequenced over 3,000 more. Some are genetically identical to each other, while others carry distinctive mutations.That's just a tiny sampling of the full diversity of the virus. As of April 8, there were 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the true total is probably many millions more. But already, the genomes of the virus are revealing previously hidden outlines of its history over the past few months.As new genomes come to light, researchers upload them to an online database called GISAID. A team of virus evolution experts are analyzing the growing collection of genomes in a project called Nextstrain. They continually update the virus family tree.The deepest branches of the tree all belong to lineages from China. The Nextstrain team has also used the mutation rate to determine that the virus probably first moved into humans from an animal host in late 2019. On Dec. 31, China announced that doctors in the city of Wuhan were treating dozens of cases of a mysterious new respiratory illness.In January, as the scope of the catastrophe in China became clear, a few countries started an aggressive testing program. They were able to track the arrival of the virus on their territory and track its spread through their populations.But the United States fumbled in making its first diagnostic kits and initially limited testing only to people who had come from China and displayed symptoms of COVID-19."It was a disaster that we didn't do testing," Heguy said.A few cases came to light starting at the end of January. But it was easy to dismiss them as rare imports that did not lead to local outbreaks.The illusion was dashed at the end of February by Trevor Bedford, an associate professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington, and his colleagues.Using Nextstrain, they showed that a virus identified in a patient in late February had a mutation shared by one identified in Washington state on Jan. 20.The Washington viruses also shared other mutations in common with ones isolated in Wuhan, suggesting that a traveler had brought the coronavirus from China.With that discovery, Bedford and his colleagues took the lead in sequencing coronavirus genomes. Sequencing more genomes around Washington gave them a better view of how the outbreak there got started."I'm quite confident that it was not spreading in December in the United States," Bedford said. "There may have been a couple other introductions in January that didn't take off in the same way."As new cases arose in other parts of the country, other researchers set up their own pipelines. The first positive test result in New York came on March 1, and after a couple of weeks, patients surged into the city's hospitals."I thought, 'We need to do this for New York,'" Heguy said.Heguy and her colleagues found some New York viruses that shared unique mutations not found elsewhere. "That's when you know you've had a silent transmission for a while," she said.Heguy estimated that the virus began circulating in the New York area a couple of months ago.And researchers at Mount Sinai started sequencing the genomes of patients coming through their hospital. They found that the earliest cases identified in New York were not linked to later ones."Two weeks later, we start seeing viruses related to each other," said Ana Silvia Gonzalez-Reiche, a member of the Mount Sinai team.Gonzalez-Reiche and her colleagues found that these viruses were practically identical to viruses found around Europe. They cannot say on what particular flight a particular virus arrived in New York. But they write that the viruses reveal "a period of untracked global transmission between late January to mid-February."So far, the Mount Sinai researchers have identified seven separate lineages of viruses that entered New York and began circulating. "We will probably find more," van Bakel said.The coronavirus genomes are also revealing hints of early cross-country travel.Van Bakel and his colleagues found one New York virus that was identical to one of the Washington viruses found by Bedford and his colleagues. In a separate study, researchers at Yale found another Washington-related virus. Combined, the two studies hint that the coronavirus has been moving from coast to coast for several weeks.Sidney Bell, a computational biologist working with the Nextstrain team, cautions people not to read too much into these new mutations themselves. "Just because something is different doesn't mean it matters," Bell said.Mutations do not automatically turn viruses into new, fearsome strains. They often don't bring about any change at all. "To me, mutations are inevitable and kind of boring," Bell said. "But in the movies, you get the X-Men."Peter Thielen, a virologist at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, likes to think of the spread of viruses like a dandelion seed landing on an empty field.The flower grows up and produces seeds of its own. Those seeds spread and sprout. New mutations arise over the generations as the dandelions fill the field. "But they're all still dandelions," Thielen said.While the coronavirus mutations are useful for telling lineages apart, they don't have any apparent effect on how the virus works.That's good news for scientists working on a vaccine.Vaccine developers hope to fight COVID-19 by teaching our bodies to make antibodies that can grab onto the virus and block its entry into cells.Some viruses evolve so quickly that they require vaccines that can produce several different antibodies. That's not the case for COVID-19. Like other coronaviruses, it has a relatively slow mutation rate compared to some viruses, like influenza.As hard as the fight against it may be, its mutations reveal that things can be a whole lot worse.Of course, the coronavirus will continue to mutate as long as it still infects people. It's possible that vaccines will have to change to keep up with the virus. And that's why scientists need to keep tracking its history.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 08:07:29 -0400
  • Trump’s Fox News Cabinet Tells Him the Coronavirus Crisis Is Over news

    Throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump’s decisions and stances have seemingly been influenced by the unofficial advisers he treasures most: Fox News primetime hosts.After downplaying for weeks the threat of the virus, just as many on Fox News did the same, the president began taking it seriously last month after Tucker Carlson personally confronted him before delivering an on-air monologue calling for action. Elsewhere, Fox stars have been the primary driving force behind Trump’s incessant promotion of an unproven anti-malarial drug as the miracle COVID-19 cure.And in recent days, it seems, the president has been receiving his newest coronavirus intel briefing from Fox News. This time, they say, the pandemic is over and it’s time to move on.Throughout Tuesday night’s primetime stretch, Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham were in lockstep in telegraphing to Trump a message that the pandemic’s threat has been overstated, death counts have been inflated, and the U.S. is already on the downside of the curve.Carlson, who received mainstream plaudits for his “admirable” early coronavirus coverage, kicked off his show by declaring that the crisis “may have passed,” noting that health-care systems across the country haven’t come close to collapsing—“except in a handful of places.”“Patients are not dying alone in the hallways of emergency rooms with physicians too overwhelmed to treat them,” he asserted. “That was the concern. It happens in other countries, it's not happening here. Thank God for that.”There have been numerous reports and testimonials from health-care workers expressing horror over the conditions of overcrowded hospitals and the stress it has placed on both medical staffers and patients. Much reporting has also been done on how many patients are dying alone and away from family members and friends from the disease.But despite nearly 13,000 U.S. deaths and at least 400,000 confirmed cases, with portions of the country having yet to suffer the worst effects of the outbreak, Carlson called for a quick reversal of social-distancing restrictions in order to jumpstart the economy, citing downward revisions of coronavirus models as the key reason.“Before we go ahead and alter our lives and our country forever, it is fair to ask about the numbers, their numbers, the ones we acted on the first time, that turned out to be completely wrong,” the Fox star fumed. “How did they screw that up so thoroughly? That is a fair question.”Adjustments of expected death tolls in some models—which, weeks ago, showed as many as 240,000 American deaths—have largely occurred due to the widespread adoption of social-distancing guidelines and the assumption that school and business closures will stay in place through the summer. Even factoring all that in, the models still project roughly 80,000 deaths.Nevertheless, over the past few days, Carlson has been pushing the president to ignore medical expertise and quickly move forward with economic activity. “Is there a single person who sincerely expects the coronavirus itself will hurt more people in the end than the damage we're causing in our response to it? Probably not,” he said on Monday night. “Mass unemployment is almost certain to cause far more harm, including physical harm, to the average family than this disease.”Carlson has also railed against top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has urged Americans to embrace social distancing in order to flatten the curve. Calling it “bewildering” that the U.S. is allowing medical “experts” to make policy decisions, Carlson claimed last week that Fauci is proposing “national suicide” by pushing aggressive social distancing. “We should never let someone like that run this country,” he said.Fox News senior analyst Brit Hume, who has recently been at the forefront of right-wing media’s questioning of coronavirus deaths, has also joined the chorus of Fox stars agitating against medical expertise. The official COVID-19 death count has been inflated, he declared Carlson on Tuesday evening.“Dr. Birx said tonight during the briefing at the White House that all deaths from anyone who died with coronavirus is counted as if the person died from coronavirus,” Hume said. “Now, we all know that isn’t true.”“And if everybody is being automatically classified, if they're found to have COVID-19, as a COVID-19 death, we’re going to get a very large number of deaths that way and we’re probably not going to have an accurate count of what the real death total is,” he added.Besides the fact that flu deaths—which Trump and Fox figures have constantly used as a comparison point to downplay the pandemic—are tracked the exact same way, and coronavirus disproportionately impacts people with pre-conditions, it is actually far more likely that the COVID-19 death count has been understated so far.Hannity, meanwhile, kicked off his Tuesday evening broadcast by claiming there is a “ton of good news” surrounding the pandemic, touting revised downward estimates of the death count to suggest that regular economic activity should restart very soon.In a phone interview with the president, Hannity—who has served as an unofficial Trump adviser and confidant—noted that the “cure can’t be worse than the problem” and nudged the president to reveal when he’d roll back social-distancing policies.“I’d love to open with a big bang, one beautiful country and just open,” Trump declared, adding, “We’re looking at two concepts. We’re looking at the concept where you open up sections and we’re also looking at the concept where you open up everything.”In a Wednesday morning tweet, Trump further hinted that he is looking to end restrictions “sooner rather than later,” adding that the “horror” of coronavirus “must be quickly forgotten” and predicting that the economy “will BOOM” going forward.Laura Ingraham, however, may have been the most aggressive among her primetime colleagues in openly pushing Trump to view the pandemic threat as completely neutralized.Claiming the experts were “wrong” with their modeling and that it caused undue panic for Americans, Ingraham echoed Carlson by railing against medical officials, claiming this pandemic should “make us less willing to rely on the same experts to help determine when and how we should reopen our economy.”“We didn’t vote for doctors,” exclaimed Ingraham, who recently sat with the president to tout the unproven coronavirus cure hydroxychloroquine. “We voted for political leadership that sees the big picture. That means the whole picture of America.”She continued to hammer away at that message Wednesday on her Twitter account.Tucker Carlson Wants to Have It Both Ways on Coronavirus“At some point, the president is going to have to look at Drs. Fauci and Birx and say, we're opening on May 1,” she wrote on Wednesday morning. “Give me your best guidance on protocols, but we cannot deny our people their basic freedoms any longer.”“America must get back to work,” Ingraham blared in another tweet. “‘Experts’ were wrong on fatalities by a factor of 30 now want to dictate when we reopen.”While Trump’s Fox News cabinet is declaring the crisis over, the network’s brass is still taking the pandemic seriously, implementing strict social-distancing policies for its employees. In a memo sent last week, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott announced the company would distribute thermometers to all essential workers and suggested the use of face masks for anyone who had to come into one of Fox’s offices. Additionally, Scott said that Fox was targeting May 4 as a possible return date for employees currently telecommuting.And as Fox News’ biggest stars tried to convince the president to ditch social distancing altogether, one of Trump’s own health officials rebuked the network’s faux-populist manipulation of the expert data and projections.“Physical distancing is incredibly important—remember the projections,” Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir said Wednesday on Fox & Friends. “I have seen people twist that like this was not going to be that bad after all and we didn’t need to do it. That’s a complete misinterpretation. The estimate of deaths going down is the result of the fact that we have listened to the president and vice president and task force.”“I do want to emphasize the point, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but don’t keep your foot—don’t take your foot off the gas,” Giroir continued. “Because we really need to continue these efforts because we could see another peak, a second peak, a third peak if people don’t do the physical distancing or they think it’s all over.“It’s not over yet.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 14:31:18 -0400
  • Saudi officials announce Yemen cease-fire amid pandemic news

    The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen announced Wednesday that its forces would begin a cease-fire starting Thursday, a step that could pave the way for the first direct peace talks between the two sides that have been at war for more than five years. In a statement carried by Saudi Arabia's official state news agency, a Saudi military spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said that the ceasefire would last two weeks and that it comes in response to U.N. calls to halt hostilities amid the coronavirus pandemic. There was no immediate reaction from Houthi leaders or Yemen's internationally recognized government to the coalition's statement.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 14:24:07 -0400
  • U.S. expels thousands of migrants to Mexico after largely halting asylum news

    The Trump administration tapped a law allowing the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ban foreigners if their entry would create “a serious danger” to the spread of communicable disease.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 20:04:13 -0400
  • Bill Gates warns that a coronavirus-like outbreak will probably happen 'every 20 years or so' news

    Gates said people now realize that there is "a meaningful probability every 20 years or so ... that one of these [viruses] will come along."

    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 00:46:04 -0400
  • Texas teen accused of threatening to spread coronavirus is charged news

    Maradiaga claimed in a series of Snapchat videos to have tested positive and threatened to willfully spread COVID-19, according to police.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 16:58:00 -0400
  • Some African countries heading for coronavirus peak in weeks: WHO news

    Some African countries could see a peak in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks and testing should be urgently increased in the region, World Health Organization officials said on Thursday. "During the last four days we can see that the numbers have already doubled," Michel Yao, the WHO Africa programme manager for emergency response, told a media teleconference on Thursday. The numbers of recorded coronavirus infections in Africa have been relatively low so far - with nearly 11,000 cases and 562 deaths, according to a Reuters tally based on government statements and WHO data.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 09:20:40 -0400
  • Wuhan Rent Protest Shows Unrest Brewing in China After Lockdown

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    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 00:52:09 -0400
  • Kushner Considering Using Personal Patient Data to Create National Coronavirus Surveillance System news

    Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner is leading an effort to develop a national coronavirus surveillance system in order to track patient data almost in real time, Politico reported on Tuesday based on conversations with four people involved in the ongoing effort.The system would allow the federal government to monitor where and for what patients are seeking treatment. Ideally, this would provide government officials with the data needed to determine which areas of the country should implement coronavirus mitigation measures and which can safely lift those measures to open up businesses."It allows you to be much more targeted and precise in how you engage," a person familiar with the development process told Politico. "They need data to make the policy decisions, and so that’s what we and others now have been asked to do."Three people working on the project said the data would be handled in such a way as to protect patient privacy. However, the project has sparked civil liberties concerns, especially following criticism of the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act."We dealt with similar issues in 9/11," said Jessica Rich, former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection bureau. "One reason that the government doesn’t have all of this data is there’s a lot of concern about big brother maintaining large databases on every consumer on sensitive issues like health, and for good reason."White House spokesman Avi Berkowitz denied that a coronavirus surveillance system was under discussion."This story makes no sense and is completely false," Berkowitz said. "The White House gets many unsolicited random proposals on a variety of topics, but Jared has no knowledge of this proposal or the people mentioned in this article who may have submitted it."The coronavirus pandemic has seen over 1,400,000 infected patients worldwide, with over 80,000 deaths. Medical officials in the U.S. have at times struggled to track the scope of the outbreak, in part due to a lack of testing in the outbreak's early stages.The U.S. has also criticized China's apparent unwillingness to provide a more complete picture of that country's coronavirus outbreak, which Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House coronavirus task force said contributed to the U.S.'s slow initial response.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 09:45:12 -0400
  • White Supremacist Groups Are Recruiting With Help From Coronavirus – and a Popular Messaging App news

    As COVID-19 spreads around the world, white supremacist groups are seizing onto it to recruit and spread misinformation

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 16:42:46 -0400
  • Fox’s Kilmeade: 60,000 Coronavirus Deaths Shows ‘How Good We Are Doing’ news

    Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade called for the American economy to quickly reopen amid downward revisions of some models projecting the coronavirus death count, saying Thursday that a now-expected 60,000 victims shows just “how good we are doing.”With one influential and highly respected modeler moving its projections down over the past few days, Fox News hosts have been clamoring for President Donald Trump to quickly reverse social-distancing restrictions in order to jumpstart the economy, claiming public health experts exaggerated the impact of the virus.Noting that Trump had originally expressed hope that the country could get going again at Easter, Kilmeade said that one model shows that the peak of the coronavirus infections will now come around that time. He then seemed to downplay the possibility of tens of thousands of more deaths.“The fact is, when someone says 200,000 people die, oops, I mean 60,000,” the Fox host declared. “And it's not going to be right away, it's going to be in August. That's how good we are doing and how off the models were.”“You have to wonder, as much as social distancing is working, I wonder if the economists are going to get in that room and say we have to stand up this economy in some way before we're not going to be able to stand when this is all said and done,” he continued.Co-host Steve Doocy, meanwhile, reminded his colleague that 60,000 coronavirus victims is still a “staggering number.”“It's a high number,” Kilmeade reacted. “But how many people are going to die as the country goes flat on its back for three months. We’re not going to look like the same country. So the economists have to have a say in this.​”As of publication, per the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the United States has over 430,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 15,000 have died.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 11:07:19 -0400
  • Chad army says 52 troops, 1,000 jihadists killed in offensive news

    N'Djamena (AFP) - The Chadian army said Thursday it had wound up an offensive against Boko Haram jihadists in the Lake Chad border region in which 52 troops and 1,000 jihadists were killed. Army spokesman Colonel Azem Bermendoa Agouna told AFP that the operation, launched after nearly 100 soldiers were killed last month, ended Wednesday after the Nigerian jihadists were forced out of the country. It is the first official snapshot of the outcome of Operation Bohoma Anger, launched after Chad's armed forces suffered their biggest one-day loss in their history.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 13:32:26 -0400
  • Russia aims to prosecute destruction of war monuments abroad news

    Russia’s defense minister called on law enforcement officials Wednesday to consider filing criminal charges against representatives of other countries where World War II memorials commemorating the actions of the Soviet Union are demolished. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made the appeal to the head of the Investigative Committee, Russia’s top criminal investigation body. Russia takes offense at any criticism of the Soviet role in the war.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 13:59:38 -0400
  • Thousands of scientists in Sweden are criticizing the government for not implementing a lockdown to stop the coronavirus news

    Sweden is resisting international trends by not implementing a lockdown or strict social distancing measures to fight the coronavirus.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 12:37:00 -0400
  • NYPD releases video of moments before $1.3 million jewellery burglary news

    New York Police Department has released footage of the moments before a $1.3 million jewellery burglary in the Bronx.Four individuals broke into 50 East Fordham Road on the 31 March at around 1am, police said.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 13:56:18 -0400
  • In Uganda, mothers in labour die amidst coronavirus lockdown news

    Scovia Nakawooya's unborn child died inside her as she struggled to reach a hospital on foot. Fearful that the viral pandemic could overwhelm already overburdened hospitals, authorities have banned private transport without special authorisation. A human rights group in the East African country says seven women in labour and two babies have died because they were forced to walk to hospital to give birth.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 11:11:55 -0400
  • Op-Ed: China's coronavirus statistics aren't the real problem news

    China's reporting obfuscations are blamed for the lack of U.S. preparedness. But other governments recognized the situation in China months ago and took action.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 06:00:00 -0400
  • CDC releases data of worst U.S. coronavirus cases news

    The CDC gathered data on those who were hospitalized from COVID-19 in 14 states from March 1-30, in efforts to get a clearer picture of those infected who needed the most serious medical care.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 19:34:26 -0400
  • Ethiopia to Press Ahead With Africa’s Biggest Hydropower Dam

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    Fri, 10 Apr 2020 03:06:19 -0400
  • Dr. Fauci says coronavirus death toll may end up lower than projected because Americans have done a 'terrific job' social distancing news

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is backing the idea that the United States' coronavirus death toll may end up lower than previously projected as a result of successful social distancing. Fauci, member of President Trump's coronavirus task force, spoke to Today on Thursday after the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation revised its estimate for the country's coronavirus death toll to about 60,000 by late summer, still a sobering figure but down from a previously-estimated 94,000, although The Washington Post notes the model's accuracy is in dispute, and it it only goes to August. The White House last week shared projections suggesting between 100,000 and 240,000 people could die in the United States from COVID-19.Asked on Today if he now believes the U.S. death toll will fall "significantly" below the 100,000 to 240,000 range, Fauci responded, "I do," citing the fact that Americans have done a "really terrific job" adhering to social distancing guidelines. "I believe we are going to see a downturn in that, and it looks more like the 60,000 than the 100,000 to 200,000," Fauci said. "But having said that, we better be careful that we don't say, 'Okay, we're doing so well we can pull back.' We still have to put our foot on the accelerator when it comes to the mitigation and the physical separation." Indeed, the Post reports that the IHME model "assumes the maintenance of social distancing measures through May."Officials like U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams had previously said they anticipate a lower death toll than previously estimated while stressing it's crucial to continue social distancing measures to achieve that result. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) sounded a similar note on Wednesday, saying that while the hardest-hit state looks to be flattening the curve, "it's not a time to get complacent," and "if anything, we have to get more diligent, not less diligent."More stories from Sting, Jimmy Fallon, and the Roots perform 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' remotely, creatively Trump's allies are urging him to give up center stage at the coronavirus briefings. He says no, citing 'ratings.' Biden is the weakest major party nominee in recent history — but that might be the point

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 11:31:13 -0400
  • In Effort to Oust Maduro, U.S. Gives ‘Maximum Pressure’ a New Meaning news

    Just over a year ago, the U.S. enacted a policy of putting “maximum pressure” on the Venezuelan dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro. After sham elections, Maduro held his second inauguration in January of 2019 amid widespread public protests. Shortly thereafter, opposition National Assembly president Juan Guaidó assumed the interim presidency, in keeping with the Venezuelan constitution’s provisions on replacing an illegitimate president. As Venezuelans took to the streets in protest against the Maduro regime, the international community coalesced around Guaidó, with 60 governments recognizing him as the Venezuelan head of state.As part of the “maximum pressure” policy, the Treasury Department expanded sanctions against Venezuela, specifically targeting oil exports and high-ranking regime officials. U.S. policymakers intended to weaken Maduro’s standing within the country and cause defections in the government and military. But in recent years, the regime has carefully cultivated loyalty within the armed services by handing over key sectors of the economy to military leaders and embedding Cuban security personnel to stamp out dissent. So the sanctions proved incapable of meaningfully crippling Maduro’s regime. With help from the Russian oil firm Rosneft, Maduro continued to export oil, while illicit trade in narcotics and gold buoyed government coffers. With little domestic appetite for military intervention, the U.S.’s efforts to oust Maduro stalled.Meanwhile, Maduro consolidated power with several thousand extrajudicial killings. The U.N. Human Rights Council, apparently untroubled by the murder campaign, subsequently admitted Venezuela, lending Maduro much-needed legitimacy. Earlier this year, the regime attempted to stamp out Guaidó once and for all, planting a Chavista sympathizer at the head of the National Assembly while opposition members were blocked from entering.Rather than let these aggressive moves go unchallenged, the U.S. has changed tack in the last few weeks, giving “maximum pressure” a new meaning. On March 26, the Justice Department indicted Maduro and 14 of his associates on drug-trafficking charges, based on long-documented evidence that regime officials have enriched themselves through the cocaine trade. By offering a $15 million reward for Maduro’s capture and placing similar bounties on the heads of other key regime figures, U.S. law-enforcement agents hoped to spur action against the regime within the country. The American Enterprise Institute’s Ryan Berg tells National Review that Venezuela watchers in the U.S. had pushed for indictments for a long time, but policymakers never found the opportune moment. That changed in March, as oil prices collapsed following the breakdown of OPEC+ talks between Saudi Arabia and Russia. Oil makes up 98 percent of the Venezuelan economy, and the revenues from it have provided the socialist government cover for decades of economic mismanagement. “Once the geopolitics flipped in the U.S’s favor, the administration decided to accelerate the pace of its actions against the Venezuelan regime,” Berg says.Maduro had already suffered a blow when President Trump imposed sanctions on Rosneft for facilitating the Venezuelan oil trade. The Russians attempted to channel Venezuelan oil through a different subsidiary, TNK Trading International, but the Treasury Department swiftly moved to sanction that entity as well. And the shock from the coronavirus pandemic brought the price of oil so low that the Russians have now ceased operations in Venezuela altogether.As oil revenue dries up, cutting off illicit revenue could push the regime toward insolvency. To that end, the U.S. Southern Command has moved three destroyers, a littoral combat ship, and surveillance aircraft into the Caribbean to interdict drug shipments in and out of Venezuela. The mobilization of some of the military’s most expensive assets marks a dramatic break from the diplomacy-driven anti-Maduro efforts of the past year. “This is about as pressure-intensive as the U.S. government can get,” says Berg. Squeezing the regime’s finances could cripple Maduro’s ability to buy off military personnel, spurring long-awaited defections. But Frank Mora, a former Defense Department official, points out that the extent of Maduro’s dependence on drug money is unclear, and maintaining SOUTHCOM operations will incur continuing costs. “I don’t think that these assets can be deployed for more than 4–6 weeks,” Mora says. “There’s a maintenance cycle, a deployment cycle, and these assets are required elsewhere,” which adds urgency to SOUTHCOM’s maneuvers.Coupled with the legal and military actions is a transition plan unveiled by the State Department in late March. The Democratic Transition Framework calls for a new body, excluding both Maduro and Guaidó, to lead the country until free and fair elections can be held. It is unlikely, though, that the regime will negotiate with the U.S. “The transition framework requires some willingness on the part of the people you’ve indicted to negotiate,” says Mora. “It’s hard to imagine why, if you’re indicted, you’d be predisposed to negotiate.”Berg argues that the transition framework is not an attempt to bring Maduro to the negotiating table, but rather a signal to the Venezuelan people and low-ranking regime officials that there is path forward without Maduro. “It helps people down the food chain in the regime to see that they can have a future under a new government,” he says.With Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis worsening each day, the possibility of democratic transition represents a beacon of hope for the Venezuelan people. The Maduro regime, on the precipice of collapse for years now, has proven agonizingly resilient. But with Russia and China less willing to prop it up, and collapsed oil prices having cut off crucial funding, the socialists in Venezuela are as vulnerable as ever.

    Thu, 09 Apr 2020 14:39:15 -0400
  • NYC Is Taking Hundreds of Body Bags Out of Houses—and Soon They Will Be Counted news

    The coronavirus death count in New York City, already unfathomable, is expected to surge in the coming days as officials begin including people who have been dropping dead at home without an official diagnosis.Emergency Medical Service data first reported by Gothamist suggests the undercount of individuals who have likely died from the virus is massive. On Tuesday alone, 256 people were pronounced dead at home across the five boroughs. Until this month, about 25 people in New York City were found dead in their homes on a typical day, suggesting that most of Tuesday’s calls were related to the outbreak that has already killed over 5,400 people across the state and infected 140,386 more.  According to New York City Fire Department data obtained by The Daily Beast, first responders have reported 2,192 “dead-on-arrival” calls over the last two weeks. On average, the department handled about 453 of those calls over the same period last year. That data also showed that the number of cardiac or respiratory arrest calls has exploded, from 20 to 30 a day at the end of March and the beginning of April in 2019, to 322 on one day in April in 2020—with more than 100 calls every day since March 28. While 30 to 50 percent of those calls ended in a death in 2019, more than 50 percent of those calls have ended in a death every day since March 22 this year, with the percentage steadily rising to 75 percent as of April 5.‘New York Is in Crisis’: Cuomo Pleads for Help as State Suffers Worst Single-Day Death Toll “Every person with a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis is counted in the number of fatalities, whether they passed away at home or in a hospital,” a spokesperson for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) and the NYC Health Department are working together to include into their reports deaths that may be linked to COVID but not lab-confirmed that occur at home.” They did not specify when the city will begin reporting that data, but the decision to include the possible virus-related fatalities comes after Gothamist’s report about at-home deaths that were likely related to the disease and not included in the city’s reports.While New York City reported over 400 coronavirus deaths in less than 24 hours on Wednesday, that number did not include those who died in non-hospital settings without a formal lab diagnosis.While initially refusing to discuss his administration’s reporting system, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday agreed the city should include home deaths to give an accurate account of the tragedy ravaging the city. He acknowledged that a “vast majority” of deaths at home are “coronavirus related.”“The blunt truth is coronavirus is driving these very tragic deaths,” de Blasio said on CNN. “We’re talking about something like 100, 200 people per day. Don’t take this disease ever lightly because the real death toll is even higher.”The mayor added that New York—currently the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States—has seen more deaths in the “last couple of days” than “the number of people who died in the World Trade Center.”State and city officials are still struggling to track the number of coronavirus cases, as officials believe there are a number of individuals infected with the virus who have not, or cannot, be tested. One emergency room doctor told The Daily Beast that his hospital is “aggressively sending people home.” “Being in the hospital is not going to change their course of illness,” the physician said, indicating the hard choices medical professionals face during this pandemic.De Blasio said that he was hopeful the virus was starting to slow after seeing indications that the city’s overwhelmed hospital system was seeing fewer admissions—until he learned that hundreds of people are dying in their homes without seeking medical care. NYC Is on the Brink as Patients Flood Hospitals Already ‘Under Siege’“We never saw anything like this in normal times,” he added. “We have to acknowledge that, and say this is further evidence of just how destructive this disease is.”On Wednesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that 779 more people had died across the state, marking the second day in a row that the Empire State saw an increase in deaths related to the pandemic.“If the hospitalization rate keeps decreasing the way it is now, then the system should stabilize these next couple of weeks, which will minimize the need for an overflow that we have built into the system,” Cuomo said, adding that “the number of deaths, as a matter of fact, will continue to rise as those hospitalized for a longer period of time pass away.” The death toll has already overwhelmed city hospitals and morgues. To deal with the flood of bodies, 45 refrigerated trucks have been set up across the five boroughs, some of which are already full, and a temporary morgue has been erected outside Bellevue Hospital in Midtown Manhattan. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said last week that New York will also receive 250 ambulances, about 500 EMTs and paramedics, and 85 more refrigerated trucks to help with the overload. On Monday, de Blasio, who’d previously refused to detail any plans for mass burials, said that the city has contingency plans in place if needed to bury COVID-19 victims in temporary plots on Hart Island, which has been used as New York’s potter’s field for 150 years, until morgues and cemeteries can handle the influx. “We’re going to try and treat every family with dignity, respect, religious needs of those who are devout, and the focus right now is to try to get through this crisis and obviously also put all of our energy and resources into saving those we can save,” de Blasio said. “That’s how we’re going to go about it. We’ll have the capacity for temporary burials. That’s all I’m going to say.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 14:21:44 -0400
  • In South Africa, a government minister lost her salary for eating lunch in the wrong place news

    "Unmoved" by her excuses for the outing, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa put the minister on two months' leave, one of which will be unpaid.

    Wed, 08 Apr 2020 12:54:13 -0400
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