Tag Archives: Coronavirus

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermon

Televangelist Kenneth Copeland 'blows wind of God' at coronavirus and claims pandemic is 'destroyed' in sermonAmerican televangelist Kenneth Copeland, who recently claimed that the coronavirus pandemic will be "over much sooner you think" because "Christian people all over this country praying have overwhelmed it," has summoned the "wind of God" to destroy the novel coronavirus during a recent sermon.Before blowing at the camera, he said: "I blow the wind of God on you. You are destroyed forever, and you'll never be back. Thank you, God. Let it happen. Cause it to happen."



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Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirus

Face masks: How the Trump administration went from 'no need' to 'put one on' to fight coronavirusJust a little over a month after saying there was no need for the community at large to wear masks in public, the CDC has changed its mind, recommending that all Americans should wear some sort of face covering when venturing outside.



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U.S. sounds alarm on coronavirus in Japan, Tokyo pushes for state of emergency

U.S. sounds alarm on coronavirus in Japan, Tokyo pushes for state of emergencyThe 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.



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As coronavirus ravages Spain, doctors get a grim order on 'futility of care' for the very old and very sick

As coronavirus ravages Spain, doctors get a grim order on 'futility of care' for the very old and very sickA document circulated by the health department of Catalonia recommends that emergency teams and health care workers stop using ventilators for patients older than 80, and further recommends that extremely ill victims of COVID-19 be allowed to die at home rather than being taken to the hospital.



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Schiff proposes postelection 9/11-style commission to study coronavirus response

Schiff proposes postelection 9/11-style commission to study coronavirus responseRep. Adam Schiff’s proposal for a 9/11-style commission to study the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak "is not an exercise in casting blame or scoring political points, but something that the American people should rightly expect from their government as an exercise in accountability," he said.



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Israel sends army to ultra-Orthodox city over coronavirus

Israel sends army to ultra-Orthodox city over coronavirusPrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday gave the green light for soldiers to be deployed in a mostly ultra-Orthodox Jewish city considered the centre of Israel’s novel coronavirus outbreak. “In light of the special situation in Bnei Brak following the restrictions due to the coronavirus, the IDF (army) will immediately present the necessary civil assistance to Bnei Brak municipality in fulfilling its responsibilities,” Netanyahu’s office said after talks with security and health officials. Authorities have enforced restrictions on access to Bnei Brak, a majority ultra-Orthodox city near Tel Aviv that is home to around 200,000 people.



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Coronavirus latest news: Number of cases worldwide tops 1 million as UK death toll surges by another 569

Coronavirus latest news: Number of cases worldwide tops 1 million as UK death toll surges by another 569Exclusive: The systematic failures in the Government's pandemic strategy laid bare Exclusive: 10m tests a day needed to end lockdown and avert economic disaster Comedian Eddie Large dies aged 78 after contracting Covid-19 Follow coronavirus cases in the UK and across the world with our Live Tracker Subscribe to The Telegraph, free for one month Telegraph Coronavirus Appeal: Join us in helping those hit hardest Global coronavirus cases surpassed 1 million on Thursday with more than 51,000 deaths as the pandemic further exploded in the United States and the death toll climbed in Spain and Italy. Italy had the most deaths, more than 13,900, followed by Spain. The United States had the most confirmed cases of any country, more than 235,000, said researchers at Johns Hopkins University. In the UK, the number of coronavirus-related fatalities has risen by 569 in the last 24 hours, taking the total toll to 2,921. This is the biggest jump the UK has seen to date – just. On Wednesday 563 new fatalities were reported. Meanwhile, Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, said he was "setting the goal" of reaching 100,000 tests for coronavirus per day by the end of April.



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How coronavirus has halted Central American migration to the US

How coronavirus has halted Central American migration to the USBorder closures and strict lockdowns have led to a steep decline in the number of migrants coming from Central AmericaWhen Angelica turned 30, she realized there was no future for her in Honduras.Although she had a college degree, she was still living paycheck to paycheck and was stuck in a neighborhood of the capital Tegucigalpa ruled by violent gangs.So, after years contemplating migration to the US where she has relatives, she finally made arrangements to depart.“I didn’t want to stay in a neighborhood where there are massacres or where the people lock themselves in their homes at six at night because the gangs impose a curfew,” she said. “I realized I was more surviving than living.”But by the time she was due to start her journey north, Honduras had closed its borders and declared a state of emergency. She could no longer leave her city – much less take a bus to northern Guatemala, to meet a coyote who would guide her through Mexico.“I had thought that only a hurricane could stop me,” she said. “But I hadn’t thought of a pandemic.”Border closures and strict lockdowns prompted by the Covid-19 crisis have disrupted the migrant trail through Central America and Mexico, forcing some would-be migrants to postpone their journeys – and stopping many others in their tracks.The result has been a deterrent more effective than any wall Donald Trump could build.Activists across the region have reported a steep decline in the number of migrants coming from Central America since the restrictions were implemented. One Mexican shelter near the Guatemalan border said it hadn’t received a new arrival in a week.“The crisis has facilitated Trump’s policies because [Central American] migrants can’t even leave their countries,” said Sister Nyzella Juliana Dondé, coordinator of a Catholic migrant aid organization in Honduras.El Salvador closed its borders on 11 March, and the governments of Guatemala and Honduras quickly followed suit. All three countries in the so-called northern triangle have since announced internal lockdowns of differing strictness.The three nations had recently signed “safe third country agreements” with the US government under which they agreed to increase enforcement on their borders, and receive migrants who had transited their country on the way to the US.Only Guatemala had begun to implement the new measures, but it announced on 17 March that it would suspend the deportations of Hondurans and Salvadorans from the US to its territory.But Guatemala and Honduras continued to receive deportation flights bringing their own citizens from the US – despite concerns that the practice could accelerate the spread of the virus. In the past week, a migrant who was deported from the US to Guatemala was diagnosed with Covid-19 and a group of deportees to Honduras escaped from the shelter where they were to be quarantined. Guatemala has now requested that the US suspend deportation flights.Meanwhile, migrants who were already en route have been left exposed by the closure of shelters and the difficulties facing humanitarian organizations which would normally attend to them.“They are in a vulnerable situation because the guidance is to stay at home – but the migrants don’t have homes,” said Dondé, who mentioned a case of a large group of Haitian and African migrants who were detained after crossing into Guatemala from Honduras amid the lockdown. “Neither Honduras or Guatemala wanted to offer them a place to stay.”Migrants who already had arrived to Mexico have been left in limbo by the US government’s decision to immediately return all migrants from Mexico and Central America who cross into the country irregularly along the south-west border.When restrictions are eventually eased, a fresh surge in migration seems likely: multiple would-be migrants who spoke with the Guardian said it was only a question of when, not if, they would set out for the US.And the economic impact of the crisis may in turn cause others to migrate.. “Before many people migrated because they lacked work and a dignified life,” said Silva de Souza. “Now there will be many more.”Migrants who have come from even farther afield, have no choice but to try to push on. Mohamed left Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, in 2018, following the well-trodden migrant path via Ecuador, Colombia and the jungles of Panama. He was burning through his savings and racking up debt, but making steady progress north.But he reached Guatemala just before the government announced a state of emergency which has made moving on impossible.“Travel has become very difficult,” he said in a brief exchange via Facebook Messenger. But he was still determined to reach the US – even if he now has to move more carefully – traveling at night and avoiding large caravans. “With God’s will, I’ll get there. I will build a life of opportunity.” * Additional reporting by Joe Parkin Daniels



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China is bracing for a second wave of coronavirus

China is bracing for a second wave of coronavirusA Chinese county that was largely unscathed by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus went into lockdown Wednesday, signaling fears of a possible second wave in the country where the virus originated, The South China Morning Post reports.The county of Jia in Henan province, home to 600,000 people, is now in lockdown after infections reportedly spread at a local hospital. There were previously only 12 confirmed cases in Henan, despite it being situated just north of Hubei province, where China's epicenter, Wuhan, is located. However, U.S. intelligence reportedly believes China under-reported the actual number of cases.Either way, the new lockdown, which shuts down all non-essential business and requires people to carry special permits to leave their homes, and wear face masks and have their temperature taken when out and about, comes at a time when the country clearly wants to get its economy up and running again. It's unclear if such measures will be limited to the county or if it's a sign of things to come for the rest of the world's most populous country, but President Xi Jinping has warned that China must return to normal gradually in the hopes of preventing a full-scale COVID-19 return. Read more at The South China Morning Post.More stories from theweek.com The Secret Service signed an 'emergency order' this week — for 30 golf carts Engineer arrested after allegedly trying to run train into Los Angeles hospital ship Experts warn as many as 1 in 3 coronavirus test results may be incorrectly negative



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New Yorkers Are Right to Be Skeptical of Evangelical-Run Coronavirus Ward in Central Park

New Yorkers Are Right to Be Skeptical of Evangelical-Run Coronavirus Ward in Central ParkIf New York City wasn’t under a strict stay-at-home order right now, protesters might be marching along Central Park. That’s where an evangelical Christian organization called Samaritan’s Purse is preparing to open a makeshift COVID-19 ward. The 60-bed emergency field hospital is composed largely of tarp-wrapped tents and will function as a respiratory unit servicing overflow patients from Mount Sinai Hospital.Some New York residents have criticized Samaritan’s Purse’s presence, citing their spotty record in the field and expressing fears that the conservative religious group’s beliefs could even open the door to substandard care or discrimination. City Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted he was “very concerned” about the operation and was sending people from his office to monitor Samaritan’s Purse.As a result, conservative Christians exploded on social media, citing the controversy as further proof that their faith is under attack by intolerant liberals and coastal elites who care little about human life.Andrew Walker, a professor at Southern Baptist Seminary, tweeted, “Cultural decadence is allowing intersectionality to determine the acceptability of emergency response.” And Peter Hasson, a Catholic editor for conservative news site The Daily Caller, tweeted, “If you’re getting mad at the people taking care of the sick during a pandemic, maybe consider the fact that you’re not the good guy in this story.”As my therapist often reminds me, the human brain is capable of understanding that two things can be true at the same time. In this case, a person can believe that the brave doctors and nurses currently deploying to Central Park to help combat this terrible virus are brave and necessary and also believe that the organization chosen to manage the work of these doctors and nurses is deeply problematic. Holding both of these ideas in your mind at the same time doesn’t make you a bad person; it demonstrates that you’re a thinking person. We’re in the midst of a public-health crisis and must take an all-hands-on-deck approach to caring for the sick.And upon closer inspection, New Yorkers have plenty of good reasons to feel uncomfortable about this new coronavirus hospital.Of chief concern is the person overseeing the Central Park ward: Samaritan’s Purse’s president and CEO Franklin Graham. He is the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham and a spiritual adviser to President Donald Trump who has a surprisingly long history of controversial comments and hate speech.Graham seems to harbor a special level of disdain for followers of Islam, which he characterizes as a “wicked and evil religion” that encourages adherents to beat their wives and murder their disobedient children. In 2015, he recommended banning all Muslims from immigrating to America and suggested our government treat them like the Japanese and German during World War II. As rationale, he argued that Muslims have “the potential to be radicalized” and participate in “killing to honor their religion and Muhammed.”That’s the man running Samaritan’s Purse’s coronavirus hospital, so yes, Muslim New Yorkers are right to be skeptical.Graham’s hate speech is also often aimed at LGBTQ people. He has called same-sex marriages “detestable” and has drummed up fear toward gays and lesbians—whom he believes should burn in hell—by claiming they want to “drag an immoral agenda into our communities.” In an article that has mysteriously disappeared from the Decision Magazine website, Graham wrote that the architect of the LGBTQ rights movement was “none other than Satan himself.” And when Vladimir Putin initiated a violent crackdown on LGBTQ rights in Russia, it sparked a wave of beatings, abduction, public humiliation and other forms of violence against sexual minorities there. Graham responded by praising Putin’s policy, lauding the authoritarian leader for “[protecting] his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”Given such history, it makes complete sense that Mount Sinai Hospital asked Samaritan’s Purse to “sign a written pledge to treat all patients equally.”Some conservative Christians have dismissed this as harassment, claiming that a scenario in which evangelicals discriminated against gays and lesbians is ridiculous to imagine. But our fair city has a long memory. We remember all the gay men who fled communities across America where evangelicals pastors condemned them as “abominations” and found safe harbor in New York. We remember that when masses of them contracted HIV/AIDS and filled our hospital beds, evangelical preachers on TV called it God’s judgment. We remember Jerry Falwell and the religious right lobbying against HIV research and relief in the '90s, leading to untold deaths.All this occurred in my lifetime, and I am only 37. So please pardon New Yorkers if they feel uneasy, given American evangelicals’ often-unacknowledged track record coupled with Graham’s comments, and want to take some minor precautions to ensure all citizens are protected. Gay, lesbian, and transgender New Yorkers are right to be skeptical.Even some conservative Christians who’ve acknowledged the disturbing nature of Graham’s comments have attacked Samaritan’s Purse’s critics for intolerance. Anyone should be able to help anyone in this time, the argument goes. It’s wrong to prevent people from serving the sick. I totally agree; but Samaritan’s Purse does not. The organization is requiring that all personnel serving in its pop-up hospital be Christians who agree to Samaritan’s Purse’s 11-point “Statement of Faith,” which includes the beliefs that non-Christians will burn in hell and that same-sex relationships are sinful.It’s unsurprising, if lamentable, that a Christian aid group would turn away a Buddhist doctor looking to help its efforts. But if a lung doctor shows up in Central Park with the knowledge and experience to save lives, she could be sent home if she happens to be a liberal Episcopalian who voted for Hillary Clinton and supports marriage equality.If it is wrong to quibble over who is fit to help save lives in the middle of a crisis, then we must admit that Samaritan’s Purse is no better than its critics. The group’s defenders are correct, however, that the organization has laudably worked to meet emergency needs in crisis regions since its founding. They have accomplished much good in places like Kosovo, Sudan, Somalia, and Darfur. But their record is not unblemished, and many in the humanitarian world have questioned the quality of some of Samaritan’s Purse’s work.After USAID gave Samaritan’s Purse a large grant to help victims of the earthquake in El Salvador, they were disturbed to learn that the Christian group “blurred the lines between church and state” by using funds to evangelize victims instead of just help them. An official with Samaritan’s Purse dismissed the criticism by claiming, “We are first a Christian organization and second an aid organization.”That wasn’t the first time such blurring occurred, however. During the first Gulf War, respected U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf publicly criticized the group for trying to coerce American troops serving in Saudi Arabia to covertly distribute Arab-language Bibles under the guise of humanitarian work. And Samaritan’s Purse’s popular “Operation Christmas Child” has recently been drawn fire when people learned that the holiday shoeboxes given to poor children in non-Christian families around the world were stuffed with Christian evangelism materials.The vast majority of New Yorkers are not Christian, and if they find themselves wheezing for air due to COVID-19, they don’t want to be proselytized while receiving treatment. They too have reason to be skeptical of the organization’s makeshift hospital.“This is what Samaritan’s Purse does—we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus’ Name. Please pray for our teams and for everyone around the world affected by the virus,” Graham declared in a press release announcing the ward.None of Samaritan’s Purse’s detractors have argued that the Central Park ward should be shuttered or that the organization be barred from offering care. And no one is casting aspersions on the many courageous health-care professionals who will put their lives at risk when this hospital opens. Most agree with the letter from Mount Sinai staff and doctors—at least one of whom is LGBTQ—that concerns about Samaritan’s Purse, while valid, must be set aside at the moment because “the higher mission at present is to preserve human life.”To this, I say “yes and.” New Yorkers can admit that Samaritan’s Purse should have a role to play in this vital work, and they can also acknowledge the many valid reasons that might make vulnerable and marginalized residents a little more than nervous.—Jonathan Merritt is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words are Vanishing—And How We Can Revive Them.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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First he had brain cancer. Then the coronavirus struck his city. One patient’s perilous journey.

First he had brain cancer. Then the coronavirus struck his city. One patient’s perilous journey.When Ronnie Krensel went in for his most recent checkup following chemotherapy on March 21, it wasn’t anything like the ones he’d had before. Upon his arrival at the Southhampton Stony Brook Hospital in Long Island, N.Y., a doctor met Krensel in a hazmat suit in a large tent outside the facility, where he was asked “a series of rapid-fire questions” and then sent to a negative-pressure room, which prevents cross-contamination, for his visit. 



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CDC's 'disease detectives' are on the coronavirus case 

CDC's 'disease detectives' are on the coronavirus case While the Washington State Department of Health had prepared a plan for the arrival of the virus in January, it assumed it still had weeks before the disease would reach the U.S. “In three days, the plan was trashed. We went through every step,” Marcia Goldoft, a clinical epidemiologist with the Washington State DOH, told Yahoo News. “I don’t think anyone involved has ever seen anything go this fast.” 



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Detainees in US immigration jails living in fear as coronavirus spreads

Detainees in US immigration jails living in fear as coronavirus spreadsRecordings obtained by Guardian reveal people in Ice centers in the south concerned they are not being properly cared forDetainees at immigration detention centers across the American south have alleged heavy-handed crackdowns amid increasing panic and protest over the coronavirus pandemic, according to advocates and recordings of detainees obtained by the Guardian.A number of detainees have expressed concern they are not being properly cared for in packed detention centers. Former senior immigration officials and attorneys have called for the release of nonviolent detainees. Judges in New Jersey, New York and California have ordered the release of small numbers, based on health concerns.“People are terrified for their lives and think that they’re going to die there,” said Phoebe Lytle, a law student volunteer who has spoken with detainees at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) facilities in Louisiana. “I don’t think anyone is saying it in a light or flippant way.”Jaclyn Cole, an outreach paralegal at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), said she was called on Tuesday by a Cuban asylum seeker who said officers dressed in riot gear were shooting rubber bullets and using chemical agents on detainees after a dispute with guards.During the five-minute call to Pine Prairie Ice processing center, Cole said she heard between 10 and 15 shots.Ice spokesperson Bryan D Cox did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has previously denied that the privately operated facility possesses rubber bullets, after detainees have reported their use. Cox did confirm to Mother Jones that seven people at Pine Prairie were pepper-sprayed on Tuesday.Elsewhere in Louisiana, guards at the LaSalle Ice center allegedly sprayed a man with what he called “toxic gas” on Monday after two other detainees cautioned detainees to forgo meals because food could carry Covid-19. The man was hospitalized, said Verónica Fernández, a project coordinator with the SPLC’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative.Cox did not respond to a request for comment on that incident. He did confirm a separate use of force at LaSalle on Wednesday to Buzzfeed News.Since Covid-19 started spreading through the US, health and immigration experts have expressed concern that Ice is unequipped to deal with the crisis. The US runs the largest immigration detention system in the world and there is a well-documented record of infections ballooning into outbreaks in such facilities. Now, coronavirus has infected some of the agency’s employees and detainees, which experts said was inevitable.Two detainees in New Jersey Ice facilities and five employees at four facilities in Texas, Colorado and New Jersey have confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Ice. No cases have been publicly announced in southern states.The Trump administration has massively expanded the use of immigration detention facilities, with hardline policies that have driven the detention population to record highs. States in the deep south have opened more new facilities than anywhere else.Advocates say immigrants held in Louisiana suspect Covid-19 has reached their facilities as the state becomes a major virus hotspot. At Ice’s South Louisiana center, a woman alleged she saw officers in hazmat suits feeding someone through a slot in a door, Cole said. At LaSalle, Fernández said, a dorm has reportedly been quarantined, and detainees believe two people have the disease.“They’re not giving people what they need to protect themselves, and that is social distancing,” said Fernández. “That’s not something people can do in detention.”Ice has said detainees’ “health, welfare and safety … is one of the agency’s highest priorities”.“Since the onset of reports of Covid-19, Ice epidemiologists have been tracking the outbreak, regularly updating infection prevention and control protocols, and issuing guidance to Ice Health Service Corps (IHSC) staff for the screening and management of potential exposure among detainees,” according to the agency’s website.Some detainees believe they will not receive fair treatment in government care. In a recorded call from Richwood correctional center in Louisiana, released by the Southeast Immigrant Rights Network and the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice and shared with the Guardian, one detainee said: “They’re not going to take a facemask from anyone, from any American, to put it on an immigrant. This means we are going to die.”Advocates say anyone in detention is likely to have a compromised immune system, but some also have pre-existing conditions. Lytle said she spoke to a 61-year-old asthmatic at Jackson Parish correctional center, another facility used by Ice in Louisiana, whom she said was “very, very worried” and called to tell her people in his dorm were refusing meals.A woman named Denisse, whose husband is at Stewart detention center in Georgia, feared what might happen as new detainees arrived and guards came and went.“It’s just spreading rapidly, you know?” Denisse said. “And his immune system is already weak.”Her husband has a pre-existing condition that has become worse since he arrived at the facility in September, she said, adding that he recently underwent a procedure and uses a catheter. She shook with relief when she learned he would be released on Monday. The reason for his release was unclear.Hilda Jorge Perez, whose husband is at Richwood, said he had heart problems and high blood pressure. She worried that if he got infected, she would not be able to see him.Perez’s husband was among at least 60 people who staged a hunger strike earlier this week. The protesters were forced to end the strike after officials told them they would be put in Ice’s version of solitary confinement and have phone and television privileges removed, Perez said.Detainees at Stewart planned a similar strike. They demanded they either be released or deported instead of waiting to be infected, according to recordings of calls provided by a North Carolina advocacy group.“We’re not going to eat until Ice comes here and gives us answers, and gives us a solution,” one man said.A spokesperson for Ice accused advocates of circulating rumors about a hunger strike at Stewart, which she said never happened.



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In the coronavirus pandemic, carbon emissions have fallen, but climate change remains an existential threat

In the coronavirus pandemic, carbon emissions have fallen, but climate change remains an existential threatIn a world desperate for good news about the coronavirus, a dip in global carbon emissions caused by the outbreak’s economic downturn might be seen as a silver lining. But climate scientists and policy experts aren’t encouraged.   



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A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted sooner

A Wuhan seafood vendor believed to be one of the first coronavirus patients says 'a lot fewer people would have died' if the Chinese government acted soonerWei Guixian, a 57-year-old seafood vendor in Wuhan, China, was among the first 27 people to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.



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New Yahoo News/YouGov coronavirus poll: 59 percent of Americans say Trump's Easter timeline is 'too soon' to restart economy

New Yahoo News/YouGov coronavirus poll: 59 percent of Americans say Trump's Easter timeline is 'too soon' to restart economyA large majority of Americans disagree with President Trump that the nation’s battle against the coronavirus is winding down and that normal economic activity should resume sooner rather than later, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.



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More than 1,000 US coronavirus deaths, near 70,000 cases: tracker

More than 1,000 US coronavirus deaths, near 70,000 cases: trackerThe number of deaths caused by the novel coronavirus rose to 1,031 in the United States on Wednesday, with 68,572 confirmed cases nationwide, a tracker run by the Johns Hopkins University showed. The United States has the third highest number of confirmed cases behind China and Italy, and the US death rate is now 1.5 percent, based on reported cases. A projection shared with Congress earlier this month said that between 70 to 150 million people could eventually be infected in the United States.



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Whoopi Goldberg Confronts Newt Gingrich for Suggesting Nurses Will Abandon Coronavirus Patients

Whoopi Goldberg Confronts Newt Gingrich for Suggesting Nurses Will Abandon Coronavirus PatientsNewt Gingrich joined The View live from Rome on Thursday morning where he has been quarantined for weeks with his wife, U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican Calista Gingrich. And yet despite living in the horror that could be America’s near future, the former Republican Speaker of the House had only mild criticism for the way President Donald Trump has handled the coronavirus crisis. Gingrich acknowledged that the president and his task force should probably be “social distancing” during their daily press briefings. And he threw some cold water on Trump’s promise to get the economy up and running again by Easter.  “I think the president's direction is right, but probably the speed won’t happen as fast as he wants it to,” he said diplomatically. But the most contentious part of the interview came when co-host Sunny Hostin asked Gingrich to weigh in on the $ 2 trillion stimulus package passed by the Senate Wednesday night. Joe Biden Blasts Trump on ‘The View’: We Can’t Just ‘Let People Die’“Several Republican senators are worried unemployment benefits will be so enticing that people will stop working,” Hostin said. “Senator Graham even implied that the benefits would incentivize well-trained nurses to stay home and collect a check.” She was citing a joint statement from Senators Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse, and Tim Scott that read, “If the federal government accidentally incentivizes layoffs, we risk life-threatening shortages in sectors where doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are trying to care for the sick, and where growers and grocers, truckers and cooks are trying to get food to families’ tables.” “Do you share their concern?” Hostin asked.“Sure, as a practical matter you have to,” Gingrich replied. “As I understand it, there's one part of this where you can actually make more money not working. That’s not a very good incentive.” Of course, the unemployment relief in the stimulus package would only benefit workers who are laid off due to the economic crisis—not doctors and nurses who are needed more than ever in this moment. As he continued talking, Whoopi Goldberg could be heard off-screen saying, “That’s so disrespectful!” She added later, “Lindsey Graham should be ashamed of himself.” “It just seems to me the suggestion that nurses who are on the front line are not going to work and sacrifice the way that they have because they're going to be making a few hundred dollars more is ludicrous,” Hostin told Gingrich, “but that's just my opinion.” “It's insulting! It's insulting!” Goldberg added. She repeated, “Lindsey Graham should be ashamed of himself to say something like that in the middle of all of this.”  Fox News Host Martha MacCallum Nails Kellyanne Conway for Rewriting Trump’s Coronavirus HistoryRead 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.



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Fauci: Italy ‘Hit Very Badly’ By Coronavirus Due to Prevalence of Chinese Tourists

Fauci: Italy ‘Hit Very Badly’ By Coronavirus Due to Prevalence of Chinese TouristsDr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the Trump administration's coronavirus task force, said Thursday that Italy has been impacted particularly badly by the coronavirus pandemic because the country hosted a high number of Chinese tourists in recent months."When you look at the different patterns of what happened in different countries, China versus South Korea versus what we're seeing in northern Italy, it really gives you some interesting insight into certain things, not only in the explosive nature in certain places versus others, but as you get to your peak, how do you know when you're turning the corner," Fauci said on CNN.“It’s when the new infections each day start to level off to be the same and then start going down, then you see the curve go down,” Fauci said, adding that Italy is "not there yet."Italy has reported declining numbers of new infections but still added more than 3,400 new cases on Tuesday. More than 57,500 people are currently infected with the coronavirus in Italy, and the country's death toll passed 7,500 on Wednesday."Italy got hit very badly because they had a large number of importations from China by Chinese tourists," Fauci said."Before they even knew what was going on, there was enough baseline people spreading that it essentially got out of hand, and it became difficult for them, as good as they are, and they're very good, to be able to contain it in a way that is contact-tracing. It was more mitigation," the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases continued.Fauci also noted that the outbreak of the virus in Washington state differs from the outbreak in New York City, which is "getting hit terribly hard.""We're a big country, and there are different patterns," he explained.Washington state's outbreak involved the coronavirus spreading in several elder care homes, while New York City is a travel hub that experiences an "influx of travelers," Fauci said.New York City reported 100 new deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 385 as the number of infections topped 37,200.



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Hawley, Stefanik Introduce Bill to Investigate China for Coronavirus Coverup

Hawley, Stefanik Introduce Bill to Investigate China for Coronavirus CoverupSenator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) and Representative Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.) on Tuesday introduced a bicameral resolution to condemn the Chinese Communist Party for its initial handling of the coronavirus outbreak, and called for an international investigation to determine how the coverup hastened the emergence of a global pandemic.“Since day one, the Chinese Communist Party intentionally lied to the world about the origin of this pandemic. The CCP was aware of the reality of the virus as early as December but ordered laboratories to destroy samples and forced doctors to keep silent,” Hawley, who first called for an investigation last week, said in a press release.“There is no doubt that China’s unconscionable decision to orchestrate an elaborate coverup of the wide-ranging and deadly implications of coronavirus led to the death of thousands of people, including hundreds of Americans and climbing,” Stefanik added. “This Resolution calls for China to provide compensation for the harm, loss, and destruction their arrogance brought upon the rest of the world. Simply put China must, and will, be held accountable.”The bill calls the international community to “quantify the harm caused” by China’s actions and to “design a mechanism for delivering compensation” from the CCP to those affected.Reports have detailed how Wuhan laboratories in December discovered that coronavirus was related to the deadly SARS virus which broke out in 2002-2003, but were subsequently gagged by government authorities, who ordered them to turn over or destroy evidence.China has also promoted a propaganda campaign to push a conspiracy theory that the virus originated in the U.S., which experts have called “a counteroffensive” and “a kind of blame-shifting.”



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Taiwan says WHO ignored its coronavirus questions at start of outbreak

Taiwan says WHO ignored its coronavirus questions at start of outbreakTaiwan accused the World Heath Organization of ignoring its questions at the start of the coronavirus outbreak, part of what it has long described as a pattern that puts it at risk because of Chinese pressure to exclude it from international bodies. Taiwan is barred from membership in the WHO under pressure from China, which views it as a province rather than a state. It responded early to the coronavirus outbreak in China, and has had notable success in limiting contagion so far, with just two deaths and 215 cases.



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As coronavirus cases increase, Defense Secretary Mark Esper places new restriction on Pentagon

As coronavirus cases increase, Defense Secretary Mark Esper places new restriction on PentagonDefense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday he is again raising the protection condition on the Pentagon, which will further restrict access to one of the world’s largest office buildings. The Pentagon will now be at Level C, the second highest of the military’s five health protection conditions.



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Federal law enforcement document reveals white supremacists discussed using coronavirus as a bioweapon

Federal law enforcement document reveals white supremacists discussed using coronavirus as a bioweaponWhite supremacists discussed plans to weaponize coronavirus via “saliva,” a “spray bottle” or “laced items,” according to a weekly intelligence brief distributed by a federal law enforcement division on Feb. 17. 



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Trump touts chloroquine for 'immediate' use treating coronavirus, but FDA wants to see the data first

Trump touts chloroquine for 'immediate' use treating coronavirus, but FDA wants to see the data firstPresident Trump said Thursday that the antimalarial drug chloroquine had shown “very encouraging early results” treating COVID-19 and will be rolled out “almost immediately” to help fight the growing coronavirus outbreak. But FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn cautioned that chloroquine had not yet been approved for treating COVID-19.



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