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|Birx warns of coming coronavirus hot spots across the U.S.
Louisiana is poised to become the next epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, White House officials said Thursday, citing new data that shows that 26 percent of the tests for COVID-19 in that state in recent days have come back positive.
POSTED APRIL 02, 2020 8:28 PM
|Two years before coronavirus, CDC warned of a coming pandemic
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.
POSTED APRIL 02, 2020 5:01 AM
|A California ER nurse told her family that if she gets COVID-19 she doesn't want a ventilator and to give it to someone else who needs it more
"If I were to get really sick, my sisters know I don't want to take a ventilator from someone else who may need it," Paige said.
POSTED APRIL 03, 2020 9:11 PM
|Pelosi Abandons Sweeping Coronavirus Legislative Agenda, Agrees to Narrowly-Tailored Phase-4 Relief Bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday indicated she would support a phase-4 coronavirus relief bill without a broad infrastructure plan or many of the other unrelated legislative goals she initially called to be included in the legislation."I'm very much in favor of doing some of the things that we need to do to meet the needs of clean water, more broadband, and the rest of that. That may have to be for a bill beyond this," Pelosi told CNBC. "Right now, I think that we have a good model. It was bipartisan, it was signed by the President, but it's not enough."“Let’s do the same bill we just did, make some changes to make it current,” Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill Friday, according to Politico.The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act agreed upon by Congress and signed by President Trump last Friday provides $2.2 trillion in economic relief to individual Americans, small businesses and large corporations such as Boeing that have been affected by the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic."The acceleration of the coronavirus demands that we double down on the down payment we made in CARES by passing a CARES 2 package. We must extend and expand this bipartisan legislation," Pelosi told CNN.Pelosi's previous push to include infrastructure legislation came after President Trump wrote on Twitter in support of the idea."We have never, ever gone down a path that involves this much investment for the future, involving this many people in our country, and again now at this time, we’re having a further health urgency, an immediate urgency," Pelosi told reporters on Wednesday.Republicans, however, have been wary of adding provisions that are not directly aimed at containing the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting economic damage after Democrats attempted to shoehorn environmental and corporate diversity regulations into previous relief bills.During negotiations over the CARES Act in March, House Majority Whip James Clyburn told colleagues that the bill represented "a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision." Legislation inserted into the bill by Democrats included tougher carbon emissions limits for airlines, mandatory reports on diversity for corporate boards, and more tax credits for solar and wind energy. Republican senators including Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ben Sasse of Nebraska slammed the additions.
POSTED APRIL 03, 2020 3:11 PM
|The US Army warned 2 months ago that the coronavirus could kill as many as 150,000 Americans
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.
POSTED APRIL 02, 2020 2:34 PM
|Exclusive: How elite U.S. college students brought COVID-19 home from campus
The message was lost on many students. Before leaving campus and returning to their homes and families throughout the United States and abroad, more than 100 Vanderbilt students attended parties, ignoring the school's explicit instructions not to do so. One photo of a March 11 party, posted on Instagram and seen by Reuters, shows a student in a makeshift hazmat suit, a black mask and green bowler hat with shamrocks, as a large group of students party in the background.
POSTED APRIL 02, 2020 5:35 PM
|Navy fires captain who sought help for virus-stricken ship
The captain of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier facing a growing outbreak of the coronavirus on his ship was fired by Navy leaders who said he created a panic by sending his memo pleading for help to too many people. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the ship's commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, “demonstrated extremely poor judgment” in the middle of a crisis. Modly's decision to remove Crozier as ship commander was immediately condemned by members of the House Armed Services Committee, who called it a “destabilizing move” that will “likely put our service members at greater risk and jeopardize our fleet’s readiness."
POSTED APRIL 02, 2020 5:49 PM
|Israel sends army to ultra-Orthodox city over coronavirus
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday gave the green light for soldiers to be deployed in a mostly ultra-Orthodox Jewish city considered the centre of Israel's novel coronavirus outbreak. "In light of the special situation in Bnei Brak following the restrictions due to the coronavirus, the IDF (army) will immediately present the necessary civil assistance to Bnei Brak municipality in fulfilling its responsibilities," Netanyahu's office said after talks with security and health officials. Authorities have enforced restrictions on access to Bnei Brak, a majority ultra-Orthodox city near Tel Aviv that is home to around 200,000 people.
POSTED APRIL 03, 2020 1:23 PM
|How coronavirus has halted Central American migration to the US
Border 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
POSTED APRIL 02, 2020 6:32 AM
|Philippine leader says coronavirus lockdown violators could be shot
The president of the Philippines said Wednesday in a televised address that people who violate coronavirus lockdown rules could be shot.
POSTED APRIL 02, 2020 6:45 AM