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  • A national lockdown to stop coronavirus? Trump is 'thinking about doing that'

    Golocal247.com news

    President Trump shied away Wednesday from issuing domestic travel restrictions or a national lockdown to try and beat back the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic that, in a best case scenario, is expected to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 20:57:35 -0400
  • Flattening the curve on coronavirus: What California and Washington can teach the world

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    New data suggests the two West Coast states may have slowed the spread of coronavirus. How they did it.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:04:05 -0400
  • The US intelligence community has reportedly concluded that China intentionally misrepresented its coronavirus numbers

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    US officials have accused China of spreading disinformation, and even some Chinese residents have expressed skepticism about the numbers.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 13:39:55 -0400
  • Coronavirus: 'Tiger King' star now in virus isolation, says husband

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    Joe 'Exotic' is among the 146,000 federal inmates the US prisons bureau is placing in quarantine.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 09:00:00 -0400
  • U.S. sounds alarm on coronavirus in Japan, Tokyo pushes for state of emergency

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. government on Friday sounded alarm about the surge in coronavirus cases in Japan, adding to a chorus of prominent domestic voices - including the governor of Tokyo - who have called for decisive action to avoid an explosive outbreak. Amid growing clamour for tighter curbs on people's movements to stem a rising tide of infections, the government has so far been reluctant to pull the trigger, warning of the heavy damage that could ensue in the world's third-biggest economy, already close to recession. Instead, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged school closures and called on citizens to avoid unnecessary and non-urgent gatherings and outings while preparing to roll out an economic stimulus plan next week - even as he acknowledged the country was barely avoiding a major jump in infections.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 23:49:21 -0400
  • Dr. Fauci Shuts Down ‘Fox & Friends’ on Coronavirus Cure: ‘We Don’t Operate on How You Feel’

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    Top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci left the hosts of Fox & Friends disappointed and frustrated Friday when he threw cold water on their insistence that the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine is a game-changing cure for the coronavirus.Citing a recent poll showing that 37 percent of doctors around the world feel the drug is currently the most effective treatment of COVID-19, co-host Steve Doocy added that frequent Fox News guest Dr. Mehmet Oz recently touted a small Chinese study that found the drug had some efficacy in treating the virus.Doocy went on to play a clip of Dr. Oz wondering whether Fauci was impressed with the results of that study. The Fox host asked the top physician to respond to the TV doctor.“That was not a very robust study,” replied Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force. He also pointed out that while there’s still a possibility of a “beneficial effect,” the scale and strength of the evidence is not “overwhelmingly strong.”“But getting back to what you said just a moment ago that ‘X percent’—I think you said 37 percent—of doctors feel that it’s beneficial. We don’t operate on how you feel. We operate on what evidence is, and data is,” he continued. “So although there is some suggestion with the study that was just mentioned by Dr. Oz—granted that there is a suggestion that there is a benefit there—I think we’ve got to be careful that we don’t make that majestic leap to assume that this is a knockout drug.”Co-host Brian Kilmeade, meanwhile, pushed back against the disease expert, claiming a large percentage of doctors in other countries are now prescribing the drug to treat coronavirus. He then speculated as to whether those taking the drug for other conditions were prevented from infection of COVID-19.Seth Meyers Exposes Fox News’ Sean Hannity Over Huge Coronavirus ‘Hoax’ Lie“I would be very curious, doctor, to see if anyone who was taking this for lupus or arthritis has gotten the coronavirus, that would be one way to go the other way to see about this study,” Kilmeade wondered aloud.“I mean, obviously this is a good drug in many respects for some of the diseases you mentioned, and the one thing we don’t want to happen is that individuals who really need a drug with a proven indication don’t have it available,” Fauci responded, adding that it doesn’t matter if a large percentage of doctors “think that it works.”Co-host Ainsley Earhardt then jumped in, suggesting that “Democratic leaders” are preventing patients from receiving hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the disease and asking Fauci what could be done to make sure we’re giving it to everyone in need.“Well first of all, this is an approved drug for another indication, and doctors can, and the FDA has made it very clear that doctors can prescribe it on what we call off label,” he explained. “There’s no inhibition for that. So a considerable amount of drug was made available, as you remember, just a few days ago. But the FDA was very clear that they’re not going to be inhibiting anyone from doing an off label prescription of the drug. So they’re free to do that if they want to.”While President Donald Trump and many Fox News personalities have been bullish on the possibility that the drug is a miracle cure for the virus, Fauci has repeatedly attempted to temper expectations, noting that the benefits have largely been anecdotal and that there are other studies showing no noticeable effects at all.This isn’t the first time that pro-Trump Fox News hosts have tried to get Fauci to boost hydroxychloroquine. Laura Ingraham, who has been at the forefront of touting the drug, asked the doc last week if he would take it if he were stricken with the virus. Fauci, for his part, said only if it were part of a clinical trial.Dr. Anthony Fauci: I Don’t Want to ‘Embarrass’ TrumpRead 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.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:44:08 -0400
  • Russian plane with supplies for virus fight lands in US

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    A Russian military plane carrying medical supplies arrived in the United States on Wednesday, the Russian mission to the UN said, as the Kremlin flexes its soft power during the coronavirus pandemic. The Antonov-124, landed at JFK Airport in New York -- the epicenter of America's coronavirus outbreak -- pictures and video posted on the mission's Twitter page showed. Russia's defense ministry had earlier announced that the plane "with medical masks and medical equipment on board," left for the US overnight, without providing further details.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 23:25:29 -0400
  • Cuban docs fighting coronavirus around world, defying US

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    For two years the Trump administration has been trying to stamp out one of Cuba’s signature programs __ state-employed medical workers treating patients around the globe in a show of soft power that also earns billions in badly needed hard currency. Labeling the doctors and nurses as both exploited workers and agents of communist indoctrination, the U.S. has notched a series of victories as Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia sent home thousands after leftist governments allied with Havana were replaced with ones friendlier to Washington. The coronavirus pandemic has brought a reversal of fortune for Cuban medical diplomacy, as doctors have flown off on new missions to battle COVID-19 in at least 14 countries including Italy and the tiny principality of Andorra on the Spanish-French border, burnishing the island's international image in the middle of a global crisis.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:00:44 -0400
  • Singapore to Close Schools, Most Workplaces With Rising Virus Cases

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    (Bloomberg) -- Singapore will shutter schools and most workplaces as the city-state unveiled a raft of stricter measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, shifting away from an approach crafted to limit interruptions to daily life and commerce.Most workplaces, except for essential services and key economic sectors, will close starting on Tuesday, while the city-state will move to full home-based learning in its schools from Wednesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in an address to the nation Friday afternoon. The government will also unveil additional stimulus measures to boost the economy early next week.The action comes as confirmed cases of local transmission and unlinked infections in the country have risen in recent weeks. “We have decided that instead of tightening incrementally over the next few weeks, we should make a decisive move now, to preempt escalating infections,” said Lee.Singapore’s tougher moves signal its current approach -- relying on contact tracing, strict containment measures such as shutting bars, and quarantine -- is no longer tenable. While more than 160 countries have already shut schools, the city-state was one of a handful that did not do so, citing early research that children are not as affected as adults.Here are other details of the stricter measures:Casinos, theme parks to close starting next week.Food establishments, markets and supermarkets, clinics, hospitals, utilities, transport and key banking services will remain open.From April 7, all restaurants, hawker centers, coffee shops, food courts and other food-and-beverage outlets will remain open only for takeaway or delivery.Other economic sectors “that are strategic, or form part of a global supply chain” will not be closed.All preschool and student care centers will be closed, but will provide limited services for children of parents who have to continue working and are unable to make alternative arrangements.Government will stop discouraging the general public from wearing face masks in public, and will distribute reusable masks from April 5.The government also plans on Monday to announce more support aimed at businesses and households. Singapore delivered a second stimulus package worth S$48 billion ($33.4 billion) last week to fight the outbreak, drawing on national reserves for the first time since the global financial crisis to support an economy heading for recession.“Even if more assistance measures are announced on Monday, they are unlikely to offset the economic ramifications of what is akin to an economic immobilization,” Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore, said in an email. Retail sales plunged 8.6% in February from the same time last year, marking the worst decrease since June and the 13th consecutive decline.‘Very Worrying’ TrendsLee said the spirit of these measures is to get people to minimize physical contact. “If we don’t go out, if we avoid contact with others, then the virus won’t be able to spread. It is as simple as that,” he said.Lawrence Wong, minister for national development who co-chairs a task force to fight the virus, said in a press conference the increase in the number of local and unlinked coronavirus cases are “very, very worrying trends.”The latest set of moves will continue for at least a month, Wong said, adding there’s a chance the government can roll back the measures by the end of the month if the guidelines are upheld. He said the key objective is to reduce the spread of the virus, particularly cutting the number of unlinked cases.“If there’s poor compliance, poor implementation, then we have to be prepared for these measures to continue,” Wong said. “Let’s hunker down and beat the virus together.”Singapore announced Friday a fifth person has died due to complications from the coronavirus. Cases have risen more sharply in March compared to earlier months, and now total more than 1,000.Health Minister Gan said the city-state has yet to reach its highest level of alert, so-called Dorscon Red, and would press on with contact-tracing and widespread efforts to contain the disease. “We’re not yet in Dorscon Red, and we’re quite a distance from Dorscon Red,” he said.(Updates to add detail on prior approach in first, fourth paragraphs)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:42:37 -0400
  • ‘A lot has changed’: Bernie’s Wisconsin stronghold breaks hard for Biden

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    The ex-veep has a big lead in the polls, but the coronavirus crisis has added an unstable element.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 04:30:14 -0400
  • California appears to be flattening the curve. But its testing lags behind other states

    Golocal247.com news

    The state’s testing delays have limited understanding of the outbreak and hindered containment * Coronavirus – latest US updates * Coronavirus – latest global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageCalifornia has not seen the surge in coronavirus cases that have overwhelmed cities like New York and Detroit in the past week, which suggests that the state’s early and restrictive shelter-in-place orders could be slowing the virus’s spread. But experts say delays in testing have limited the understanding of the outbreak and have hindered containment efforts.California implemented one of the earliest and strictest orders to stay at home in the United States in mid-March, and as of Wednesday, there were 8,584 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 183 deaths in the state compared with the 76,000 cases and 1,714 deaths in New York. Dr Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus taskforce coordinator, said on Tuesday that she was “reassured by what California has been able to do” to help control the virus with physical distancing orders.Some doctors have said California appears to be succeeding at “flattening the curve”, meaning slowing the spread so hospitals have enough resources and workers to manage the number of cases. The California governor, Gavin Newsom, said on Tuesday that “the current modeling is on the lower end of our projection”. Last month, Newsom had warned that more than half of the state could be infected within two weeks. “We are in a completely different place than the state of New York,” Newsom said at a briefing on Wednesday. “And I hope we continue to be, but we won’t unless people continue to practice physical distancing.”Indeed, the state’s early and ambitious efforts to enforce shelter-in-place rules do seem to have prevented hospitals from becoming as overwhelmed as New York’s system, Robert Siegel, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University, told the Guardian. “But it’s difficult to accurately know the impact of your interventions if you don’t have adequate testing,” he said.As of Tuesday, more than 86,100 tests had been administered in the state, and of those, 57,400 results were still pending. By comparison, New York, which has about half the population of California, has processed more than 200,000 tests. Washington state, which has less than a fifth of California’s population, has processed 65,462 tests.Testing efforts in California have been set back due to a lack of swabs, vials and media for collecting patient samples, as well as a shortage of kits and bottlenecks at labs.Across the state, tests are in short supply and currently largely limited to people with severe symptoms and those with underlying health conditions, meaning large swaths of the state’s population are left untested. “The general idea is that if somebody that has been to the hospital, and they have symptoms, then you assume they’re infected,” said Siegel. But by testing more, doctors and health officials could be more strategic and selective about who they isolate, he noted.Administering more than one type of test could also help California, and the country as a whole, better understand how the coronavirus spreads through communities. The tests being used in the US detect for the presence of viral RNA. Another type of test – called a serology or antibody test – can help detect if a person’s immune system has faced off against Covid-19 and recovered from it. Antibody tests are not currently being done in the US. “It’s really important to test for immunity,” Siegel said, because people who are immune could return to work without endangering themselves or others. “They could more safely work as frontline healthcare providers,” Siegel said.Wendy Parmet, a Northeastern University health policy expert, said the testing problems made tracking the virus challenging: “You need testing to make sure you quickly identify new outbreaks and trace contacts. Put out the small sparks before they become another conflagration.” The lack of adequate testing could drag out the sheltering period, she said. “Many of the plans of how you go from where we are now to the next stage rely on testing,” she said.A bottleneck in the commercial laboratory Quest Diagnostics, which is processing tests, has further exacerbated California’s challenges. Despite initial promises of delivering results within one to two days, the private lab in southern California, which has received tests from hospitals across the country, has not been able to ramp up processing fast enough, meaning some healthcare professionals have had to wait more than a week for results.And although some in Silicon Valley are working on testing solutions, efforts in the international tech hub have been slow and largely unsuccessful.“Why California would be lagging I really don’t know,” Siegel said. “Especially because it does strike me that we do have a lot of experts.”South Korea’s widespread testing of its population, including people who did not have symptoms but might be at risk of spreading, played a major role in allowing the country to control the virus with significantly less disruption than other nations. Widespread, random testing in Iceland has similarly helped epidemiologists better understand how the virus affects people – data from the country found that half of those who tested positive are non-symptomatic, and overall a low population had been infected.The test shortage not only prevents people suspected of having Covid-19 from getting a diagnosis and being counted and traced, it also hampers officials’ efforts to prevent an outbreak in the most vulnerable and high-risk communities.California has the largest homeless population in the US, with 40,000 people living in crowded shelters where advocates say testing access has improved over the last week, but continues to fall short.“It’s impeding the ability of shelters to identify people who have been infected with the virus and remove them from this incredibly dangerous environment, where the virus has the potential to spread like wildfire,” said Eve Garrow, the homelessness policy analyst with the ACLU of Southern California. She argued that all residents and staff should be tested, and noted that she recently heard from one shelter resident who has a fever, but was unable to get a test.> You need testing to make sure you quickly identify new outbreaks and trace contacts. Put out the small sparks before they become another conflagration> > Wendy ParmetAt one shelter at Skid Row in Los Angeles, where an employee tested positive this week, staff have isolated more than 100 people who may have been exposed, and are working to test as many people as they can. “They were slow to come … but hopefully we get enough tests,” said the Rev Andy Bales, who runs the shelter. He said he hoped health officials would provide enough tests for those potentially exposed and residents with symptoms.“In New York, they were more aggressive about testing,” Siegel said. “We in California moved ahead with aggressive public health interventions in the absence of testing.” And although testing is crucial, ultimately, distancing measures are more important, he said, adding that California will probably have many more cases, especially in big cities, as testing ramps up. Still, Siegel doesn’t think the state will follow New York’s pattern.Parmet said when federal and state leaders tout California’s progress, it could encourage people to stay home and distance and pressure other jurisdictions to follow suit: “It’s important for people to see that there are possibilities, that efforts can make a difference.”

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:22:18 -0400
  • Here's how to safely reopen America when coronavirus pandemic wanes

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    It’s important that we assess the threat of the virus region by region and consider reopening in phases or by industry.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:24:42 -0400
  • Birx: 5 states could be among next coronavirus 'hot spots'

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    Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, listed several states that could be the next “hot spots” for large numbers of COVID-19 cases, based on how many positive cases they have now.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 20:01:42 -0400
  • Trump says 3M 'will have a big price to pay' over face masks

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    President Donald Trump slammed 3M Co in a tweet late on Thursday after earlier announcing he was invoking the Defense Production Act to get the company to produce face masks. At a White House briefing on the coronavirus pandemic earlier on Thursday, Trump announced he had signed a Defense Production Act order for 3M to produce face masks.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 21:28:54 -0400
  • Woodworking Can Bring Solace in Times of Uncertainty

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    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:00:00 -0400
  • Some Coronavirus Patients Show Signs of Brain Ailments

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    Neurologists around the world say that a small subset of patients with COVID-19 are developing serious impairments of the brain.Although fever, cough and difficulty breathing are the typical hallmarks of infection with the new coronavirus, some patients exhibit altered mental status, or encephalopathy, a catchall term for brain disease or dysfunction that can have many underlying causes, as well as other serious conditions. These neurological syndromes join other unusual symptoms, such as diminished sense of smell and taste as well as heart ailments.In early March, a 74-year-old man came to the emergency room in Boca Raton, Florida, with a cough and a fever, but an X-ray ruled out pneumonia and he was sent home. The next day, when his fever spiked, family members brought him back. He was short of breath, and could not tell doctors his name or explain what was wrong -- he had lost the ability to speak.The patient, who had chronic lung disease and Parkinson's, was flailing his arms and legs in jerky movements, and appeared to be having a seizure. Doctors suspected he had COVID-19, and were eventually proven right when he was finally tested.On Tuesday, doctors in Detroit reported another disturbing case involving a female airline worker in her late 50s with COVID-19. She was confused, and complained of a headache; she could tell the physicians her name but little else, and became less responsive over time. Brain scans showed abnormal swelling and inflammation in several regions, with smaller areas where some cells had died.Physicians diagnosed a dangerous condition called acute necrotizing encephalopathy, a rare complication of influenza and other viral infections."The pattern of involvement, and the way that it rapidly progressed over days, is consistent with viral inflammation of the brain," Dr. Elissa Fory, a neurologist with Henry Ford Health System, said through an email. "This may indicate the virus can invade the brain directly in rare circumstances." The patient is in critical condition.These domestic reports follow similar observations by doctors in Italy and other parts of the world, of COVID-19 patients having strokes, seizures, encephalitislike symptoms and blood clots, as well as tingling or numbness in the extremities, called acroparesthesia. In some cases, patients were delirious even before developing fever or respiratory illness, according to Dr. Alessandro Padovani, whose hospital at University of Brescia in Italy opened a separate NeuroCovid unit to care for patients with neurological conditions.The patients who come in with encephalopathy are confused and lethargic and may appear dazed, exhibiting strange behavior or staring off into space. They may be having seizures that require immediate medical care, and experts are warning health care providers who treat such patients to recognize that they may have COVID-19 and to take precautions to protect themselves from infection.Much is still unknown about the neurological symptoms, but efforts are underway to study the phenomena, said Dr. Sherry H-Y. Chou, a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who is leading a team of investigators for the Neurocritical Care Society."We absolutely need to have an information finding mission, otherwise we're flying blind," Chou said. "There's no ventilator for the brain. If the lungs are broken we can put the patient on a ventilator and hope for recovery. We don't have that luxury with the brain."Experts have emphasized that most COVID-19 patients appear to be normal neurologically."Most people are showing up awake and alert, and neurologically appear to be normal," said Dr. Robert Stevens, a neurologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore who is tracking neurological observations.Neurological specialists also say that it is too early to make definitive statements or identify the specific mechanisms by which the new coronavirus is affecting the neurological system.In one recent paper, Chinese scientists noted that there was some evidence that other coronaviruses were not confined to the respiratory tract and invaded the central nervous system, and the authors speculated that this may potentially play a role in acute respiratory failure in COVID-19.Stevens emphasized that all mechanistic explanations at this point are hypotheses because so little is known: "It could be as simple as low levels of oxygen in the bloodstream," resulting from respiratory failure, along with an increase in carbon dioxide, which "can have significant impact on the function of the brain, and lead to states of confusion and lethargy," he said."We are still in the early days of this, and we don't really know for sure."Neurologists in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started, were among the first to report the symptoms in a preliminary paper published online in February.Since that report, specialists observed similar symptoms in Germany, France, Austria, Italy and Holland as well as the United States, including among patients under 60, Stevens said.Some doctors have reported cases of patients who were brought in for treatment because of their altered mental state, and who ultimately tested positive for COVID-19, although they had none of the classic symptoms like fever or cough.Four elderly patients who came into Danbury Hospital in Connecticut with encephalopathy ultimately tested positive for COVID-19, although they had no other symptoms, said Dr. Paul Nee, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital. Two of the four went on to develop low grade fevers and needed oxygen briefly, but two did not, he said.While it is not unusual for elderly people to experience confusion when they develop other infections, "the striking thing is we have not seen any real respiratory illness in these patients," Nee said. They have continued to test positive and cannot be discharged, even though they are not really ill, he said.But earlier reports had indicated that severely ill individuals with more typical symptoms were more likely to exhibit the rare neurological conditions, which ranged from dizziness and headaches to impaired consciousness, stroke and musculoskeletal injury. The Chinese study in February said that about 15% of those patients with severe illness experienced a change in mental status, compared with 2.4% of those who did not have severe illness, according to that study.Another study, published in the British Medical Journal in late March, found that of 113 patients from Wuhan who died of COVID-19, 22% had experienced disorders of consciousness, ranging from somnolence to deep coma, compared with only 1% of another group of patients who recovered from the illness.For potential COVID-19 patients and the people caring for them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes "new confusion or inability to rouse" among the warning signs that should prompt a decision to seek immediate medical care.Patients who have encephalopathy and seem confused or incoherent are prone to having seizures, and should receive treatment as soon as possible, said Dr. Jennifer Frontera, a neurologist at NYU Langone Health who is working with Chou. She added that seizures can manifest in more subtle ways than the dramatic presentations often depicted in movies and television shows."Seizures are not always big things where people fall down and are shaking on the ground," Frontera said. "Some could be just veering off, not paying attention, making repetitive nonpurposeful movements, or just mental status changes where people are just not themselves."But even if seizures are not observed, people who are sick should be aware of other potential mental symptoms."You don't feel your best when you have a fever, but you should be able to interact normally," Frontera said. "You should be able to answer questions and converse in a normal fashion."She added: "I don't want everyone calling 911 because they're overly concerned. We just don't have the capacity. But if someone is really out of it, they probably need medical attention."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:02:23 -0400
  • China declared whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang a 'martyr' following a local campaign to silence him for speaking out about the coronavirus

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    Li Wenliang sounded the alarm about the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan on December 30. He died of the virus on February 7.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 06:01:05 -0400
  • After ignoring warnings, Israeli ultra-Orthodox hit by virus

    Golocal247.com news

    Early this week, the streets of the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak were bustling with shoppers as ultra-Orthodox residents, obeying their religious leaders, ignored pleas to stay home in the face of the coronavirus threat. The military will soon be sending troops in to assist local authorities. The city has become a lightning rod for anger and frustration by some secular Israelis who allege insular Haredi communities — with disproportionately high numbers of confirmed cases — are undermining national efforts to contain the virus.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 02:43:04 -0400
  • U.K. Rescue Plan Under Strain as 1 Million Turn to Welfare

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    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 05:02:38 -0400
  • 10 Great Deals on Apparel From REI’s 25% off Sale

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    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:23:00 -0400
  • Trump says he doesn’t want a nationwide stay-at-home order because some states don’t have a high number of coronavirus cases

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    At the coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump said he didn’t want to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order to fight the pandemic because there are some states that don’t have a large number of positive coronavirus cases.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 19:42:46 -0400
  • Iran warns of months of crisis as virus deaths reach 3,160

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    Iran on Thursday reported 124 new deaths from the coronavirus, raising its total to 3,160, as President Rouhani warned that the country may still battle the pandemic for another year. Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced the latest toll in a news conference and confirmed 3,111 new infections over the past 24 hours, bringing Iran's total to 50,468. Iran has been scrambling to contain the COVID-19 outbreak since it reported its first cases on February 19.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 07:18:55 -0400
  • Americans urged to wear masks outside as coronavirus pandemic worsens

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    The Trump administration on Thursday looked set to join local officials in advising Americans to wear masks when venturing out during the still-exploding coronavirus pandemic, as the U.S. death toll rose by 1,000 in a single day for the first time. Speaking at a White House briefing, Deborah Birx, a member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would in the coming days add a recommendation on masks to guidelines on protective measures. Trump, answering questions from reporters at the briefing, said only "if people want to wear them, they can."

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:30:25 -0400
  • Coronavirus: US death toll exceeds 5,000

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    The number of infections nationwide tops 216,000 as confirmed cases around the globe near one million.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 03:51:48 -0400
  • Reusable respirators protect doctors and nurses against coronavirus. They aren't in the national stockpile.

    Golocal247.com news

    Reusable respirators protect against the coronavirus just as well as N95 face masks. But the feds didn't buy them.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:00:59 -0400
  • The US Army warned 2 months ago that the coronavirus could kill as many as 150,000 Americans

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    What was a worst-case scenario is now nearly a best possible outcome as the White House warns that 100,000 to 240,000 people could die.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:34:47 -0400
  • Netanyahu reportedly mistook a Hallmark series clip for proof of an Iranian coronavirus coverup

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    Everyone gets duped now and then. That goes for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well.Netanyahu recently showed his cabinet a video he claimed was evidence Iran was engineering a novel coronavirus coverup, Axios reports. Tehran has reported more than 47,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,000 deaths, but those figures have been eyed with suspicion by much of the rest of the world, including Israel, which, to put it gently, does not get along with Iran.The video showed people dumping bodies into garbage dumps, two cabinet ministers told Axios. They said Netanyahu's national security adviser, Meir Ben Shabbat, showed him the video, but he probably should've checked his source. Upon further review the clip turned out to be a scene from the 2007 Hallmark Channel miniseries, Pandemic. The Israeli government certainly did a bad job of vetting the clip, but the fact it made its way up the flagpole wasn't completely random. Iranians were reportedly sharing the footage on social media last week. Read more at Axios.More stories from theweek.com The Secret Service signed an 'emergency order' this week — for 30 golf carts Navy removes aircraft carrier captain who sounded alarm over COVID-19 outbreak on board his ship Wisconsin's primary is still set for Tuesday, and both sides of the aisle are refusing to push it back

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 17:49:00 -0400
  • Australia’s Budget Deficit Seen Blowing Out to 8.1% of GDP

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    (Bloomberg) -- Australia’s budget deficit will blow out to A$155 billion ($94 billion) and outstanding government bonds swell to 40% of gross domestic product in fiscal 2021, according to the nation’s largest lender, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison pumps cash into an economy threatened with recession.The economy will contract by 7.5% and unemployment jump to 7.8% in the current quarter, estimates Gareth Aird, a senior economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The budget shortfall will gape to 8.1% of GDP in the fiscal year starting July 1 and outstanding bonds soar to A$790 billion, he said.“It is clear that a significant proportion of the domestic economy will remain shut in some capacity through the June quarter and most likely the early part of the September quarter,” Aird said. “At the same time, an unprecedented amount of fiscal and monetary stimulus, as well as industry support, has been unleashed.”Australia’s government and central bank have unleashed a fiscal-monetary injection of about A$320 billion -- or 16.4% of GDP -- to try to cushion the blow on businesses and households from deteriorating demand and a collapsing labor market. Bloomberg Economics expects the economy will contract 10% in the first three quarters of 2020 in the deepest downturn in 90 years.Commonwealth Bank forecasts GDP will drop by 3.4% for 2020 as a whole.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, 02 Apr 2020 21:08:34 -0400
  • World Bank OKs first $1.9B for poor countries battling virus

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    The World Bank on Thursday approved its first funds to help some of the globe's poorer countries combat the coronavirus outbreak. World Bank President David Malpass predicted the bank could provide up to $160 billion in assistance over the next 15 months. World Bank officials said the emergency resources would include money to purchase critical medical supplies such as masks and ventilators, with the World Bank lending its procurement expertise to help obtain these supplies on global markets.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 17:19:10 -0400
  • As the coronavirus spreads in Ecuador, bodies are being left on streets

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    Coronavirus in Ecuador: Bodies on the streets

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 20:50:22 -0400
  • ‘We Didn’t Know That Until the Last 24 Hours’: Georgia Gov. Says He Just Found Out People without Symptoms Can Spread Coronavirus

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    While announcing a statewide shelter-in-place order on Wednesday, Georgia governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, said that he had just been informed that asymptomatic individuals could spread the coronavirus.The illness "is now transmitting before people see signs….Those individuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt [symptoms]," Kemp said at a press conference. "We didn’t know that until the last 24 hours."It has been widely known for months that the coronavirus can spread through asymptomatic transmission. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidelines for outbreak mitigation regarding asymptomatic transmission, leading Georgia health officials to change their projections for an outbreak in the state."It’s a combination of recognizing there’s a large number of people out there who are infected and who are infected, who are asymptomatic, who never would have been recognized under our old models, but also seeing the community transmission that we’re seeing," said Dr. Kathleen Toomey, head of Georgia's Department of Public Health.Governor Kemp had initially resisted signing a shelter-in-place order due to the effect it would have on the state's economy. However, in recent days the governors of Florida, Texas, and South Carolina all introduced limitations on residents' mobility to combat coronavirus spread. Georgia has 4,748 confirmed cases, with Florida at 7,773, Texas at 4,607, and South Carolina at 1,293, according to Johns Hopkins University's coronavirus tracker.With the extent of coronavirus spread across the U.S. becoming clearer, Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday said the outbreak in the U.S. was increasingly comparable to that of Italy, one of the worst outbreaks in the western hemisphere.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:21:46 -0400
  • Oil rockets as Trump signals end to price war

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    Oil prices rocketed Thursday, posting the largeset percent increase ever, after US President Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia planned to end their price war by slashing output. After Trump tweeted that Saudi and Russia could slash production by up to 15 million barrels, Brent hit $36.29 a barrel, up almost 46 percent, and West Texas Intermediate soared around 35 percent to $27.39.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 16:10:42 -0400
  • Brazil: Amazon land defender Zezico Guajajara shot dead

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    Zezico Guajajara is the latest activist to be killed in a campaign to protect Brazil's indigenous land.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 07:16:32 -0400
  • More than 1,000 in US die in a single day from coronavirus, doubling the worst daily death toll of the flu

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    The U.S. passed 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day Wednesday, a daily death toll more than double lung cancer and the flu.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:01:39 -0400
  • Pakistan worshippers clash with police trying to enforce coronavirus lockdown

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    Pakistani Muslims at a Karachi mosque clashed with baton-wielding police trying to enforce new curbs on gatherings to prevent Friday prayers and contain coronavirus infections, officials said. After failing to persuade worshippers to pray at home last week, the government in Pakistan's southern province of Sindh, home to the financial hub of Karachi, enforced a lockdown for three hours beginning at noon on Friday, officials said. Pakistan has so far reported 2,458 coronavirus infections, fuelled by a jump in cases related to members of the Tablighi Jamaat, an orthodox Muslim proselytising group.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 03:26:03 -0400
  • American Airlines crammed the only 11 passengers on a flight into 3 rows because they only bought basic economy, report says

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    American Airlines has risked the health of flight attendants and passengers by enforcing rules about riding in coach, it is alleged.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:15:59 -0400
  • How Will Biden Choose a Running Mate? Look to the Obama Model

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    Joe Biden has spoken with former President Barack Obama about the process of selecting a running mate.His allies remain enthusiastic about Biden's promise of a female vice-presidential candidate, despite growing Democratic fixation on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York as he commands loyal audiences for his daily briefings on the coronavirus.And Biden's associates have reached out to former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. about the 2008 search process, which Holder helped steer for Obama.Interviews with nearly two dozen Biden allies and donors over the past week provided the clearest picture yet of the critical early phase in Biden's efforts to choose a running mate. It is a process made even more complicated by the fact that Biden and his team are quarantined in different locations and grappling with how to run a campaign during a national health crisis.Biden has stayed in touch with friends, though, and the question of his choice surfaces often on private donor calls. His allies and advisers are also bombarded with outside opinions, and it is something that Biden, himself a former vice president, cares deeply about.There is not yet a consensus choice or a sense of who would deliver a surefire boost to the potential ticket, according to those interviewed, many of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, though the two names most frequently mentioned were Sens. Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar. And his supporters are divided over whether Biden should prioritize selecting a woman of color as his running mate or whether regional considerations, like ties to the industrial Midwest, should hold greater weight."My preference would be a black woman," said Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking African American in Congress and perhaps Biden's most crucial supporter. "But I don't think it has to be a black woman."The outbreak of the coronavirus has heightened the stakes of the vice-presidential search. A decision that traditionally reflects a cocktail of political calculations, personal chemistry and governing experience has now taken on outsize importance for Biden. He would be 78 at inauguration, might not seek a second term should he win, and would be trying to rebuild the country in the wake of a pandemic -- factors that make it less likely that he would select someone who offers strong political assets but a relatively thin resume."With all due respect to Biden, I think it's much more important than any selection since Harry Truman's," said Clyburn, alluding to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's elevating Truman as a compromise pick in 1944. Roosevelt did not live out the term, leaving Truman to take over before the conclusion of World War II, another moment of great peril and uncertainty for the nation.Biden, who is not yet the nominee but holds a large delegate lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, has indicated that his search process will intensify in coming weeks.He is said to view Obama's vice-presidential selection process -- the one that eventually selected him -- as a model for his own. In 2008, Obama designated three prominent Democrats to lead an exhaustive search and vet his options: Holder and Caroline Kennedy led the initiative, along with the longtime party power broker Jim Johnson, who ultimately withdrew from the process because of concerns about his personal finances.Biden said this week that he was looking at somewhere between six and 10 candidates, a number that has fluctuated. He has indicated that he would consider several former presidential rivals (Harris, Klobuchar and Sen. Elizabeth Warren) along with other Democrats, including governors. Among them is Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, who has been one of the most prominent governors confronting the coronavirus crisis at a moment when state leaders have become the faces of the response to the outbreak."She made the list in my mind two months ago," Biden said of Whitmer in an MSNBC interview Tuesday.Other names often mentioned by allies include Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, two Latina leaders from the West; Rep. Val Demings of Florida; and Stacey Abrams, the 2018 candidate for governor in Georgia.Clyburn has also publicly floated others including Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, an early and loyal supporter of Biden.If the list is wide-ranging, Biden has been consistent about the criteria: He must be "simpatico" with his potential running mate on major priorities and on philosophy, even if they have tactical disagreements. And his choice must be prepared to step into the presidency immediately if needed, he has said, a reminder of how much Biden values experience."It's a big process for him, having been vice president," said former Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, who has spoken with Biden. "For him, the most important thing is, who can step in? Who can help him lead?"Biden is weighing other factors as well. Some allies are focused on which potential running mate could most excite progressive voters who are currently unenthusiastic about Biden.Others argue that selecting a woman of color -- Harris, with her experience in the national spotlight, is the most obvious choice -- is critical to turning out younger members of the Latino or African American communities, depending on the choice.And still others say that Democrats will turn out regardless of the running mate and that the priority should be engaging more independent-minded voters.The campaign has not yet announced a search committee or any other details of the process other than promising a thorough vetting operation. But in the Tuesday interview with MSNBC's Brian Williams, Biden said he hoped to have an operation to "run the background checks" in place by mid-April.On a staff level, several Democrats interviewed said they expected a cadre of Biden's longtime advisers to have input. But they said they also expected Biden to consider a wider range of outside perspectives as he assesses potential candidates.Part of the advantage of putting prominent Democratic leaders in charge of the search, as Obama did, is that it could help ensure broad acceptance of the eventual selection across a fragmented party.Several Biden allies suggested it would be important for the search panel itself to reflect the diversity of the party, so that any disappointed constituencies feel at least that they were listened to in the process.Traditionally, said former Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, a friend of Biden's, there are "certain people you'd seek out to conduct the vetting process and so forth. I think he'd like to hear from a broader spectrum of people."That is a priority for Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Biden's national campaign co-chairman, who said that he expected to be part of the search process in some capacity, but that he was most concerned with ensuring any team reflected a range of views."Our candidate, since Day 1, has stressed diversity," said Richmond, a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. "Diversity in terms of gender, in terms of race, in terms of age.""So I think the vice president's search committee should reflect the vice president's values in that sense," he added.Clyburn, for his part, said he did not want to serve on a search committee, though many prominent Biden allies have said that the Biden campaign should seriously consider Clyburn's opinion on the matter, something they intend to do, Richmond said.Asked if he had any names in mind, Clyburn quickly cited four of his colleagues: Reps. Marcia L. Fudge and Karen Bass as well as Demings and Harris.Clyburn acknowledged that some black voters would be angry if Biden picks a white running mate -- "I'm sure that would be the case," he said -- but was quick to note it was African American women like his three daughters who helped Biden to the doorstep of the nomination without needing any additional inducement like a preferred vice-presidential choice."None of that is going to distract from our No. 1 goal, which is getting this guy out of office," he said of President Donald Trump.Other allies and advisers have said that Klobuchar or Whitmer stands the best chance of helping Biden achieve that goal, because of their Midwest roots and abilities to connect with white working-class voters, many of whom embraced Trump in 2016.Biden, himself a former senator, and Klobuchar in particular share both more centrist tendencies and a reverence for Washington institutions and bipartisan deal-making.Some Democrats have cited those similarities in suggesting that Biden could have a comfortable working relationship with her, though others have suggested that she would not help Biden with one of his major weaknesses: motivating younger progressives to turn out.Rep. Tim Ryan, a former presidential candidate who represents a part of Ohio where many onetime Democrats swung to Trump in 2016, spoke highly of several possible contenders but said that his "favorite person to be with on the campaign trail was Kamala Harris" who "checks a lot of the boxes."He argued that there were multiple ways to create the kind of coalition that can wrest back the presidency."Ideally you want someone who can both energize our base, especially the African American base that is so important for us to win, but also be able to connect to a lot of those voters who did go vote for Trump," Ryan said. "Figuring out, OK, who best can complement him, is ultimately what they've got to decide."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:18:33 -0400
  • 'Act as though it's going to be a lot longer': American in Wuhan warns U.S. over lockdowns

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    “No one would have anticipated that it would be this long,” said American Benjamin Wilson, who has been in lockdown in Wuhan for more than two months.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 05:30:00 -0400
  • Opinion: Arkansas, Iowa, South Carolina! What are you thinking? Shut down now!

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    The 11 states that are still foolishly acting as if the coronavirus isn't a problem.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 18:15:29 -0400
  • Mayor taps ex-Dallas chief to head Chicago police force

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    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday named former Dallas police Chief David Brown to head the police force in the nation's third largest city, touting his humility and calling him “a leader who commands respect.” Lightfoot introduced Brown as the next superintendent of the Chicago Police Department during a news conference, saying he's the right man for the job.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 17:00:10 -0400
  • States Getting Just 5,500 of the Abbott Coronavirus Tests Hyped by Trump

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    By Rachana Pradhan, Kaiser Health NewsA coronavirus test made by Abbott Laboratories and introduced with considerable fanfare by President Donald Trump in a Rose Garden news conference this week is giving state and local health officials very little added capacity to perform speedy tests needed to control the COVID-19 pandemic.“That’s a whole new ballgame,” Trump said. “I want to thank Abbott Labs for the incredible work they’ve done. They've been working around-the-clock.”Yet a document circulated among officials at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency this week shows that state and local public health labs were set to receive a total of only 5,500 coronavirus tests from the giant manufacturer of medical devices, diagnostics and drugs, according to emails obtained by Kaiser Health News.That number falls well short of the “about 500,000 capacity of Abbott tests that” Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said were in the states and were “not being utilized.” It is unclear, though, if she was referring to just the quick test, or combining it with another test—one with slower results—that Abbott previously received authorization to sell.Millions of tests are urgently needed as the virus keeps communities across the country in lockdown and hospitals are overwhelmed with patients.Could These New Tests Be a Coronavirus ‘Game Changer’?Labs in all 50 states were set to receive roughly the same number of Abbott’s test cartridges and the devices on which they run—100 tests and 10 or 15 devices—the document shows, regardless of how many confirmed COVID-19 cases officials had reported in each state.Abbott Labs spokesperson Darcy Ross on Thursday said the company had shipped tests to customers in 18 states but did not elaborate on how many were public clients or governments as opposed to private health care facilities. Ross also said the document circulated among federal officials showed an “intended purchase by HHS and FEMA” of tests and related instruments.FEMA referred questions to HHS, whose spokesperson Mia Heck said, “We do not comment on any allegedly leaked documents.”“We can confirm that the federal government is looking to make the initial purchase of a rapid point-of-care test to increase COVID-19 testing capacity in the United States,” she said. “Initially, each state will receive 15 point-of-care instruments, and then they will be able to resupply through the commercial market.”Accuracy has been a broad problem in the testing for the novel coronavirus. Abbott Labs declined to address specifics on the clinical accuracy of its tests, which was fast-tracked through the Food and Drug Administration’s review process, saying that accuracy data and other performance characteristics will continue to be collected in the field.State officials are scrambling to obtain Abbott’s highly touted machines after it said they could detect the novel coronavirus in as little as five minutes, or give a negative test result in about 13 minutes. That compares with at least 45 minutes to several days to get results from most of the other types of COVID-19 tests being used.In announcing the test March 27, Abbott said it was “ramping up production to deliver 50,000 ID NOW COVID-19 tests per day” starting this week to the U.S. health care system.The price of Abbott’s stock has jumped 26.5% since March 23.The document circulated among HHS and FEMA officials March 30 and obtained by Kaiser Health News said 5,500 cartridges—which translates to 5,500 tests—and 780 devices would be shipped to 55 state and local public health labs all over the U.S. An additional 1,200 tests would go to the Pacific territories. Smaller numbers would be sent to the CDC’s lab in Atlanta and the HHS’ Strategic National Stockpile.Abbott has said the company is “working with the administration to deploy the tests to areas where they can have the greatest impact.”But contrary to the document’s contents, distribution has been far from even. For example, within days of Abbott’s announcing it would ship its rapid test around the country, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he had secured a commitment for five machines and 5,000 tests from the company, making it among the first cities to receive them. The city planned to immediately use them to test police officers and other first responders. A spokesperson for the city didn’t respond to questions Thursday about whether Detroit had the tests in hand.“They tell me it’s extremely accurate,” Duggan said of the Abbott test Wednesday on CNN, adding it is supposed to be more accurate than the tests already available. “Right now, most of the tests we have are really not 90% accurate until the symptoms have shown themselves.”Demand and hype for new tests developed by private companies surges with each new COVID-19 test that obtains emergency authorization from the FDA, but so far the results have been lackluster.Since early February, the FDA has granted roughly two dozen emergency authorizations for clinical tests to detect the virus. The tests were developed by governments—including the CDC and the New York state public health lab—and multiple private companies such as LabCorp, Quest Diagnostics, Roche Diagnostics and Thermo Fisher Scientific.Countries Rush to Dump ‘Defective’ Chinese COVID-19 TestsYet providers have reported rampant problems with COVID-19 tests giving false negatives, in which the virus is not detected even in an infected person.Few medical tests are 100% accurate. Any test can have false negatives or false positives. The problem isn’t unique to COVID-19 tests.“False-negative test results—tests that indicate you are not infected, when you are—seem to be uncomfortably common,” Dr. Harlan Krumholz, director of the Yale New Haven Hospital Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, wrote in a New York Times piece April 1. “Increasingly, and disturbingly, I hear a growing number of anecdotal stories from my fellow doctors of patients testing negative for coronavirus and then testing positive—or people who are almost certainly infected who are testing negative.”Reasons for this can vary. The test itself might not be so good at picking out true cases from false ones. Or maybe it wasn’t the test at all, but how the sample was taken or how long it had been since the patient began showing symptoms. Doctors and patients should always consider that a result might not be accurate.That may be especially true now because the COVID-19 test kits from manufacturers and clinical labs became available under emergency use rules.Under those rules, manufacturers and labs have to submit documentation to the FDA but don’t have to provide as much information as they would under a regular approval process.Part of the requirement is they show the FDA just how much—or little—of the virus must exist in the samples before their test can detect it, said Joeffrey Chahine, technical director for the molecular pathology division at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.They also must show how well the tests specifically pick out the coronavirus, not confusing it with another virus, he said.By relaxing some of the other information normally required, such as correlating results with the status of actual patients, the test kits could get onto the market sooner. And that’s the trade-off.“This is the downside to loosening the FDA restrictions in that the tests weren’t required to go through the same level of quality assurance, the testing of the test, that we would normally see before they go on the market,” said Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “But I don’t think that was a bad decision. This is an emergency.”Virus Test Chaos: ‘An Unmitigated Disaster’Detroit, which was supposed to get thousands of Abbott tests this week, had more than 2,800 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 97 deaths as of Thursday evening, and is part of the next wave of emerging hot spots around the country, along with New Orleans and parts of Georgia.Abbott said it would make tests available to health care providers in “urgent care settings” in the U.S. already using its testing platform, but would not elaborate on specifics.Public health officials in New York City, Oklahoma and Louisiana said Thursday they had not received the Abbott tests.“We’re aware we didn’t have an accurate picture,” Shelley Zumwalt, Oklahoma’s chief of innovation, said generally of Oklahoma’s slow testing start. That has begun to change due to increased testing at Oklahoma State University as well as drive-thru testing sites in over a dozen locations in the state.Others said that even if they had the Abbott tests, they weren’t likely to make much of a dent.“Each cartridge is one test, and the number of patients you can test depends on how many you use up for training and verification, and quality control, which needs to be run at least once a day,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene spokesperson Stephanie Buhle. “So 100 cartridges will not go very far.”KHN senior correspondent Julie Appleby contributed to this report.Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.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.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 20:41:43 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Fighting al-Shabab propaganda in Somalia

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    Muslim clerics in Somalia are moving to the front-line of the battle against coronavirus.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 06:17:38 -0400
  • France's coronavirus lockdown offers a preview of restrictions we may see in America

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    France is roughly two weeks ahead of the U.S. in the fight against the virus. What's happening there could happen to us next.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 07:00:11 -0400
  • Why is New Orleans' coronavirus death rate twice New York's? Obesity is a factor

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    Doctors, public health officials and available data say the Big Easy's high levels of obesity and related ailments may be part of the problem. "We're just sicker," said Rebekah Gee, who until January was the health secretary for Louisiana and now heads Louisiana State University's healthcare services division.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:07:40 -0400
  • Airbnb has reportedly dropped its internal valuation to $26 billion as the coronavirus halts travel worldwide

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    Airbnb lowered its internal valuation by 16% as it faces a sharp decline in bookings due to the coronavirus, according to the Financial Times.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 21:25:11 -0400
  • Philippine leader says coronavirus lockdown violators could be shot

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    The president of the Philippines said Wednesday in a televised address that people who violate coronavirus lockdown rules could be shot.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 06:45:38 -0400
  • Falling China imports fuel US trade deficit decrease

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    The US trade deficit continued to shrink in February, fueled by falling imports from China as that country struggled with the coronavirus outbreak, the government reported Thursday. The Commerce Department report on imports and exports was compiled before the worst of the virus's economic disruptions hit the United States, where many businesses have since been forced to close causing millions to lose their jobs, and others complaining of scarce supplies. As in January, a sharp decline in imports from China played a large role in the data, after President Donald Trump escalated his confrontation with Beijing in 2019, leading to tariffs on nearly all products traded with the country.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:07:49 -0400
  • China Wants to Use the Coronavirus to Take Over the World

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    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.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 06:30:22 -0400
  • Asian countries impose new restrictions as coronavirus cases come roaring back

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    After appearing to have the virus under control, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong are imposing new controls as COVID-19 infections continue to rise.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 18:28:17 -0400
  • A small Georgia city is facing hundreds of coronavirus cases after residents flocked to a beloved janitor's funeral

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    Atlanta's Dougherty County has reported 490 confirmed cases of COVID-19, that all emerged after two funerals were held in the town of Albany.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 10:57:31 -0400
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