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  • Confirmed coronavirus cases reach one million worldwide

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    The first reported cases came from China in December, eventually spreading to nearly every other country on earth over the ensuing three months.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 15:53:01 -0400
  • A national lockdown to stop coronavirus? Trump is 'thinking about doing that'

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    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
  • Two years before coronavirus, CDC warned of a coming pandemic

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    Long before the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, and then soon spread to nearly every country on Earth, a conference in 2018 offered proof that epidemiologists at the CDC and other institutions were aware that a new pandemic was poised to strike.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 05:01:13 -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
  • 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
  • Woodworking Can Bring Solace in Times of Uncertainty

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    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:00:00 -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
  • 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
  • California appears to be flattening the curve. But its testing lags behind other states

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    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
  • Navy says it can't empty Roosevelt amid coronavirus because of its weapons, nuclear reactor

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    The Navy said it couldn't evacuate all sailors off the ship amid a coronavirus outbreak because it is loaded with weapons and a nuclear reactor.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 18:21:13 -0400
  • Russian plane with coronavirus medical gear lands in U.S. after Trump-Putin call

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    A Russian military transport plane left an airfield outside Moscow and arrived at New York's John F. Kennedy airport in late afternoon on Wednesday.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 18:08:00 -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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Chinese Doctor Disappears after Blowing the Whistle on Coronavirus Threat

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    Wuhan doctor Ai Fen, who expressed early concerns about the coronavirus to the media, has disappeared and is believed detained by Chinese authorities.Fen, the head of emergency at Wuhan Central Hospital, was given a warning after she disseminated information about the coronavirus to several other doctors. She recounted the reprimand in an essay titled, "The one who supplied the whistle," which was published in China's People (Renwu) magazine. The article has since been removed.The reprimand from her boss came after Fen took a photo of a patient’s positive test results and circled the words 'SARS coronavirus' in red.She brought several cases of coronavirus to the attention of her colleagues, eight of whom were later called in by police for revealing information about the respiratory illness, according to Radio Free Asia. One, opthalmologist Li Wenliang, warned fellow med school grads to wear protective clothing, an early warning that was condemned by authorities as “rumormongering.” Wenliang eventually died from the virus himself.Fen's social media account on the Chinese platform Weibo has been updated several times since her disappearance, although Chinese authorities have been known to update detainees' social media accounts or order them to do so themselves. On Wednesday, a post appeared on her account reading “Happy April Fools Day,” with a picture of her in a lab coat and mask.About two weeks ago, a post appeared on Fen's account reading, “Thank you for your care and love. I’m fine at the moment and I’m still working.”However, Fen's whereabouts are now unknown, 60 Minutes Australia reported Monday.China has confirmed a total of 81,554 infections and 3,312 deaths from the coronavirus.However, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report Wednesday that China deliberately provided incomplete public numbers for coronavirus cases and deaths resulting from the infection. In December, local and national officials issued a gag order to labs in Wuhan after scientists there identified a new viral pneumonia, ordering them to halt tests, destroy samples, and conceal the news.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 16:20:59 -0400
  • Coronavirus: US 'considers cloth face masks for public'

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    Officials are debating their advice on face masks as a CDC memo says simple cloth masks would help.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:53:21 -0400
  • Canada faces 'critical week' in coronavirus crisis, death toll jumps

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    Canada faces "a critical week" in fighting the coronavirus, a senior official said on Thursday, as the death toll jumped and the most populous province said residents should brace for a stark scenario. Deaths surged to 161 from 105 on Wednesday while positive cases rose to 11,131 from 9,017, according to provincial announcements compiled by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "This is a critical week in our fight against the coronavirus," said Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:31:12 -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
  • Oil price barrels ahead as OPEC flags meeting

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    The price of crude oil surged again Friday after OPEC said it would talk to non-members, notably Russia, giving investors hope that they will stop a price war which has created market chaos along with crushed demand because of the coronavirus. The Saudi-led OPEC group of oil producers and their allies will meet Monday via video conference, a source close to the cartel said. Global stock markets fell following another set of devastating American employment numbers, gloomy eurozone services data and news that the number of declared COVID-19 infections had hit one million worldwide.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 11:46:31 -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
  • 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
  • Iran’s Parliament Speaker Larijani Quarantined With Coronavirus

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    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:05:42 -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
  • 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
  • Coronavirus: Australian scientists begin tests of potential vaccines

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    The Covid-19 vaccine candidates will be tested on ferrets over three months in Australia.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 23:11:13 -0400
  • Gender divide: Peru, Panama limit men and women to alternate days out to stall virus

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    Peru and Panama both started on Thursday limiting the times men and women can leave their homes in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Amid a strict quarantine in Peru, President Martin Vizcarra said on Thursday that men and women will only be allowed to leave their homes on designated days divided by gender. "We have to get fewer people to be on the streets every day," Vizcarra said in a virtual news conference with his cabinet of ministers and experts.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 16:07:52 -0400
  • 10 Great Deals on Apparel From REI’s 25% off Sale

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    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:23:00 -0400
  • A small trial finds that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating coronavirus

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    On Saturday the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of two antimalarial drugs, hydroxychloroquine and a related medication, chloroquine, for emergency use to treat COVID-19. The drugs were touted by President Trump as a “game changer” for COVID-19. However, a study just published in a French medical journal provides new evidence that hydroxychloroquine does not appear to help the immune system clear the coronavirus from the body. The study comes on the heels of two others - one in France and one in China \- that reported some benefits in the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for COVID-19 patients who didn’t have severe symptoms of the virus.I am a medicinal chemist who has specialized in discovery and development of antiviral drugs for the past 30 years, and I have been actively working on coronaviruses for the past seven. I am among a number of researchers who are concerned that this drug has been given too much of a high priority before there is enough evidence to show it is indeed effective. There are already other clinical studies that showed it is not effective against COVID-19 as well as several other viruses. And, more importantly, it can have dangerous side effects, as well as giving people false hope. The latter has led to widespread shortages of hydroxychloroquine for patients who need it to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the indications for which it was originally approved. The idea that the combination of hydroxychloroquine with an antibiotic drug, azithromycin, was effective against COVID-19 gained more attention after a study published on March 17. This study described a trial of 80 patients carried out by Philippe Gautret in Marseille, France. Although some of their results appeared to be encouraging, it should also be noted that most of their patients only had mild symptoms. Furthermore, 85% of the patients didn’t even have a fever – one of the major telltale symptoms of the virus, thus suggesting that these patients likely would have naturally cleared the virus without any intervention.In another study, posted on medRxiv, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, Chinese scientists from Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, in Wuhan, China, gave hydroxychloroquine to patients with only mild infections who were free of medical issues, similar to the Gautret study. The results showed that the 31 patients who received the drug showed a lessening of their symptoms 24 hours earlier than patients in the control group. In addition, pneumonia symptoms improved in 25 of the 31 patients versus 17 of 31 in the control group. As noted in several of the comments associated with the manuscript, there are issues related to the translation of the paper, thus clouding interpretations of some of the results. The paper also appears to focus more on pneumonia than COVID-19. However, these issues may cleared up or addressed once the paper finishes the peer-review process. But two other studies have conflicting results.A second French group, led by Jean-Michel Molina, has now tested the hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin combination treatment in 11 patients at the Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris, France, and their results were strikingly different. Like the Marseille study, the Molina trial was also a small pilot study. Molina and colleagues used the same dosing regimen as Gautret. In contrast, however, to the Gautret study, eight of the 11 patients had underlying health conditions, and 10 of 11 had fevers and were quite ill at the time the dosing began. These Paris researchers found that after five to six days of treatment with hydroxychloroquine (600 mg per day for 10 days) and azithromycin (500 mg on day 1 and 250 mg on days 2 to 5), eight of the 10 patients still tested positive for COVID-19. Of these 10 patients, one patient died, two were transferred to the ICU and another had to be removed from the treatment due to serious complications. In addition, a similar study in China also showed no difference in viral clearance after seven days either with or without the hydroxychloroquine with the patients in the trial. This supports Molina’s findings. Thus, despite the recent approval of this drug for use against COVID-19, questions remain as to the efficacy of this treatment. As Molina and colleagues note: “Ongoing randomized clinical trials with hydroxychloroquine should provide a definitive answer regarding the alleged efficacy of this combination and will assess its safety.”[You need to understand the coronavirus pandemic, and we can help. Read The Conversation’s newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * Could chloroquine treat coronavirus? 5 questions answered about a promising, problematic and unproven use for an antimalarial drug * Medical supply chains are fragile in the best of times and COVID-19 will test their strengthKatherine Seley-Radtke receives funding for her research from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:40:54 -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
  • Coronavirus: Trump sends in military amid fears of 'losing ground' to drug cartels during pandemic

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    Donald Trump and his top military commanders announced a new operation to combat "Mexican drug cartels" and other Central and South American narcotics organisations – saying he fears "losing ground" to such groups."We will defend our country regardless of the cost," Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said during a White House briefing. "You will not get past jump street.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 18:15:00 -0400
  • PA Man ‘Upset Over Coronavirus’ Shoots Girlfriend Before Turning Gun on Himself: Cops

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    A Pennsylvania man “extremely upset” about losing his job amidst the coronavirus pandemic allegedly shot his girlfriend, before turning the gun on himself in an attempted murder-suicide, authorities said Wednesday.The Wilson Borough Police Department said in a statement to The Daily Beast that Roderick Bliss IV, 38, attempted to fatally shoot his girlfriend with a semi-automatic pistol on Monday afternoon, before dying by suicide, after he “had become increasingly upset over the COVID-19 pandemic.” The 43-year-old girlfriend, who was shot once in the back, survived the attack and is in St. Luke’s hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. “In the days prior to the shooting, Bliss had become increasingly upset over the COVID-19 pandemic,” police said. “Minutes before the shooting Bliss was extremely upset about the pandemic and the fact that he had recently lost his job.”What if This Coronavirus Lockdown Is Only the Beginning?At around 1:20 p.m. on Monday, authorities responded to reports of “multiple shots fired with injuries” at Bliss’ Wilson Borough home, about an hour outside of Philadelphia. Upon arrival, officers found Bliss “unresponsive and not breathing” and a semi-automatic pistol near his body. The Northampton County Coroner ruled Bliss’ death a suicide.The girlfriend, who is alert, and other witnesses told police that Bliss had become upset that the pandemic—which has infected more than 206,200 people and killed 4,542 nationwide—cost him his job. Authorities said an enraged Bliss “went into the basement and came outside on to the rear porch” with a handgun. “While holding the handgun, Bliss told the victim, ‘I already talked to God and I have to do this,’” police said. “The victim ran off of the porch and he shot at her four times striking her once. Bliss then shot himself.”The attempted murder-suicide marks the latest example of the collateral damage of the coronavirus pandemic. Domestic violence experts and law enforcement believe domestic violence incidents will rise as families are forced into social isolation across the country.Judy Harris Kluger, executive director of Sanctuary for Families in New York, told The Daily Beast that, for some survivors of domestic violence, being able to leave their home is critical—and forced stay-at-home orders isolate them from the “social support system” that would have previously allowed them to report abuse. White House Trots Out Grim Death Models to Drive Home Social Distancing“Domestic violence is all about power and control and what a powerful tool it is to be able to say to somebody, ‘You can’t go out of this house, you have to be here,’” Kluger said. “Even though people can go out for certain things, this environment just engages in the most negative way the power of the abuser.” Kluger said her organization, and several others across New York—the current epicenter of the outbreak in the United States—are anticipating an increase in domestic violence calls as the pandemic continues. A spokesperson for the National Domestic Violence Hotline said they haven’t yet seen a significant increase in call volumes but were receiving an increase in calls related to COVID-19 and the anxiety of people being stuck in their homes. “Right now, the people who are at risk are very isolated,” Kluger said, noting her organization is reaching out to former clients who might be at risk. “We are worried that we are going to see an uptick while this ‘shelter-in-place’ is in effect. Also, as the tension of the crisis rises, we anticipate people will begin reporting soon.”But, even as the looming number of domestic violence cases threatens New York and other cities, the number of healthy police officers is also dwindling. New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Wednesday there were at least 1,400 officers who had tested positive for coronavirus, while about 17 percent had called out sick. Despite trying to police a city with a virus-related death toll of more than 1,000, Shea has previously stressed the NYPD is focused on domestic violence cases. “What I’m concerned about is, it’s happening and it’s not getting reported,” Shea said Tuesday, noting that survivors may not be calling for help. “We’ve asked the domestic violence officers—you know who the people are in your commands, who are most vulnerable. Pick up the phone, pick up the computer keyboard and start communicating with them. Just make sure that things are OK.”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.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 13:54:08 -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
  • At NYC hospital treating coronavirus, doctors 'use their MD license like they haven't had to before'

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    In 40 years of medicine, Dr. Steven Corwin, head of NewYork-Presbyterian, says he's never seen a response like the one required for novel coronavirus.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:51:26 -0400
  • Venezuela navy vessel sinks after 'ramming cruise ship'

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    The cruise ship's owners say the naval vessel rammed it, but Venezuela accuses the ship of "piracy".

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 07:54:13 -0400
  • Exclusive - 'Things under control': how Europe sleepwalked into the coronavirus crisis

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    Barely a month before Europe embarked on a scramble for masks, ventilators and testing kits to fight coronavirus, governments told Brussels their healthcare systems were ready and there was no need to order more stocks, EU documents show. This rosy assessment is in stark contrast to the shortages of masks and medical equipment just a few weeks later, when the European Commission estimated needs across EU states to be 10 times higher than would usually be available. While the dearth of equipment is mostly down to ballooning global demand, internal and public documents seen by Reuters show European Union governments may have worsened their predicament by overestimating their response capacity.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 13:34:31 -0400
  • 6-week-old in Connecticut dies from COVID-19 complications

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    A 6-week-old has died after contracting coronavirus, becoming one of the youngest recorded deaths from COVID-19.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:33:40 -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
  • Iran parliament speaker, Israeli health minister have virus

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    Iran’s parliament speaker has contracted the new coronavirus, the country's highest-ranking government figure yet to catch the disease, while in Israel, several top officials entered quarantine when the health minister tested positive on Thursday. Iran's parliament announced Ali Larijani’s illness on its website, saying he was receiving treatment in quarantine. Iran, the regional epicenter of the virus, has been fighting one of the world's worst outbreaks.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 01:02:06 -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
  • Trump says it 'doesn't seem fair' that 30 million Americans are uninsured and suggests he may expand Medicare or Medicaid

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    "It's something we're really going to look at, because it doesn't seem fair," Trump said of the fact that nearly 30 million Americans are uninsured.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 16:12:40 -0400
  • Beyond fever and cough: Coronavirus symptoms take new shape

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    Some of the first warning signs can include extreme fatigue, weakness and chills. But other symptoms often follow.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:16:08 -0400
  • NRA Sues New York State Governor Over Closure of Gun Stores

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    (Bloomberg) -- The National Rifle Association sued New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for closing gun shops during the coronavirus pandemic, saying the restriction is unconstitutional and leaves citizens defenseless while prisoners are being released early as a result of the crisis.Cuomo’s March 20 executive order that included firearms retailers as non-essential businesses which must close is a “pointless and arbitrary attack on the constitutional rights of New York citizens and residents,” the NRA said in a complaint filed late Thursday in Syracuse, New York.New York ordered most businesses to close to prevent the spread of the virus, but deemed grocery stores, liquor stores, pharmacies and restaurants that do take-out as essential and allowed them to remain open. New York City is the center of the outbreak in the U.S., accounting for more than 1,300 of the 5,700 deaths in the country.New York officials are “going out of their way to protect liquor stores and release criminals onto the streets, while ignoring the public’s outcry over the suspension of Second Amendment rights,” the suit says.The New York lawsuit follows similar action the NRA took in Northern California, where it sued several cities including San Jose for ordering gun stores to close. Earlier this week in New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy lifted a temporary ban on the sale of guns in the state after the NRA filed suit to block it, and Los Angeles County also backed off an earlier ban.Gun shops around the country have reported surges in sales, and shares of gun and ammunition manufacturers have risen. The final week of February saw the third largest number of background checks since at least 1998, behind the weeks following the Sandy Hook and San Bernardino shootings, according to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, known as NICS.New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, said before the lawsuit was filed that she’d defend the state’s decision.New York’s take on what’s essential is at odds with the Trump administration, according to the complaint. On March 28, the Department of Homeland Security issued a list of critical infrastructure, including: “Workers supporting the operation of firearm or ammunition product manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors, and shooting ranges,” the NRA said. The gun-rights organization also says that law enforcement may not be sufficient to protect citizens during the crisis.New Yorkers “have read about the release of thousands of prisoners by state officials, and they are concerned about the ability of police forces to maintain order when officers fear contact with Covid-19 or have fallen ill themselves,” the complaint says.“Government officials, including Governor Cuomo and Letitia James, are bound by the U.S. Constitution,” William Brewer, counsel to the NRA, said in an email. “The NRA will aggressively defend the Second Amendment freedoms of its members and all New Yorkers.”(Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, helped launch Everytown for Gun Safety and backs candidates who support measures such as universal background checks.)(Updates with rise in gun sales, Los Angeles County sheriff’s statement.)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 10:06:28 -0400
  • U.S. lawmaker seeks inquiry into disappearance of Chinese journalists

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    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 17:49:24 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Islamophobia concerns after India mosque outbreak

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    Outrage over a Muslim congregation that led to new Covid-19 cluster turns hateful.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 04:54:40 -0400
  • Republican Senator Calls on ‘Communist’ WHO Director to Resign

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    Senator Martha McSally on Thursday called on the director of the World Health Organization to step down, saying the organization covered up the extent of the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in China.The Arizona Republican called WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus a "communist" and accused him of helping China conceal its underreporting of coronavirus case numbers."I’ve never trusted a communist," McSally said in an interview with Fox Business."I think Dr. Tedros needs to step down," she continued. "We need to take some action to address this issue. It’s just irresponsible, it’s unconscionable what they have done here while we have people dying across the globe."The senator condemned China itself for failing to acknowledge and curb the virus before it spilled over China's borders and spread to the rest of the world."Their cover-up of this virus that originated with them, has caused unnecessary deaths around America and around the world. The WHO needs to stop covering for them," McSally said, adding that as restitution, any U.S. debts to China "should be forgiven, as a minimum."The senator's criticism comes days after another GOP senator, Rick Scott of Florida, called for a congressional investigation into the WHO and questioned whether the organization should continue to be funded since it engaged in “helping Communist China cover up” the seriousness of the virus.“We know Communist China is lying about how many cases and deaths they have, what they knew and when they knew it — and the WHO never bothered to investigate further,” Scott said. “Their inaction cost lives.”The WHO also “willfully parroted propaganda” from China’s Communist Party, Scott charged.During an interview with Radio Television Hong Kong, WHO assistant director-general Dr. Bruce Aylward appeared to dodge a question about whether the WHO will reconsider granting membership to Taiwan, which China claims as a territory. Taiwan, which has reported just slightly more than 300 cases of the infection and only two deaths, has been widely praised for its containment of the coronavirus.The senior WHO advisor responded that he could not hear the question, and when the interviewer offered to repeat it he interjected, “no, that’s okay, let’s move to another one then.” Later, he appeared to hang up when asked about Taiwan's response to the pandemic, and afterwards said they had “already talked about China,” which has done “quite a good job.”> I wanted to find a slightly longer version of the RTHK interview (more context) with the WHO’s Dr. Bruce Aylward who basically froze when asked about Taiwan then started babbling about China then fled. And commend @yvonne_tg for sticking to the question. HT @BonnieGlaser: pic.twitter.com/2cc3hViiij> > -- Melissa Chan (@melissakchan) March 28, 2020The U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report obtained by Bloomberg News that China deliberately provided incomplete public numbers for coronavirus cases and deaths resulting from the infection. In December, local and national officials issued a gag order to labs in Wuhan after scientists there identified a new viral pneumonia, ordering them to halt tests, destroy samples, and conceal the news.The U.S. now has nearly 240,000 cases of the coronavirus around the country, and more than 5,000 have died. Worldwide, more than 50,000 people have died from the respiratory illness.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 15:23:27 -0400
  • Las Vegas airport shuts down all gates at two concourses amid COVID-19 travel decline

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    Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport announced Wednesday that it is shutting down two concourse as demand for travel dwindles due to COVID-19.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:26:36 -0400
  • 26 infected with coronavirus at Mexico hospital; doctor dead

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    The Mexican government is sanitizing a public hospital in a northern steel town that has become the center of a coronavirus outbreak that has sickened at least 26 members of the medical staff and killed one of its doctors. The outbreak raised questions about the preparedness of the public health system to confront a pandemic that is just beginning to gain steam in the country. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Thursday that 80 public hospitals were being converted to handle people ill with the COVID-19 disease caused by the new coroanvirus.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:38:35 -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
  • 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
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