Pelosi: Trump's downplaying of coronavirus has cost American lives

Pelosi: Trump's downplaying of coronavirus has cost American livesHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharpened her criticism of President Trump’s early dismissal of the coronavirus, saying the delay cost American lives. She criticized the president's initial response to the virus during a Sunday morning interview on CNN.


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.   


A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread

A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread"I was aggravated," Peter Levine said of his son's decision to party on South Padre Island instead of heeding warnings about the virus.


Serial killer dubbed Grim Sleeper dies in California prison

Serial killer dubbed Grim Sleeper dies in California prisonLonnie Franklin, the convicted serial killer known as the "Grim Sleeper" who preyed on the women of South Los Angeles for more than two decades, has died in prison. California corrections officials said Franklin was found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison on Saturday evening. An autopsy will determine the cause of death; however, there were no signs of trauma, corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said in a statement.


After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — there are signs that Italy's lockdown is beginning to work after 3 weeks

After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — there are signs that Italy's lockdown is beginning to work after 3 weeksItaly's count of new coronavirus deaths and infections are starting to fall, though the country is likely still in for an extended lockdown.


Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sources

Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sourcesCARACAS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former head of Venezuela's military intelligence unit, Hugo Carvajal, is discussing his possible surrender with U.S. authorities, three people familiar with the matter said on Saturday, after prosecutors charged him this week with drug trafficking alongside Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Carvajal, a former general and ally of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has been in hiding since a Spanish court in November approved his extradition to the United States.


Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro in denial and out on a limb

Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro in denial and out on a limbThe president is isolating himself from other world leaders as he downplays the coronavirus pandemic.


'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-right

'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-rightAngela Merkel's long-struggling conservatives have rebounded in the polls thanks to the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis and widespread faith in the outgoing German chancellor's ability to manage the upheaval. Shaking off years of record-low popularity, Merkel's centre-right CDU/CSU bloc is now enjoying approval ratings of around 32 to 35 percent, some six to seven points higher than just a few weeks ago. It's a surprise turn of events for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) which as recently as last month was riven by internal turmoil and debate over who would be the party's chancellor candidate when Merkel bows out in 2021.


An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado.

An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado.He went viral for distancing from his wife and 1-year-old son. Days later, his house was destroyed by a tornado that hit Jonesboro, Arkansas.


Tucker Carlson Wants to Have It Both Ways on Coronavirus

Tucker Carlson Wants to Have It Both Ways on CoronavirusFox News primetime star Tucker Carlson has been credited with pushing President Donald Trump to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously and has received mainstream media plaudits for seemingly calling out his own colleagues for actively downplaying the outbreak.Yet, while Carlson has been applauded for preaching concern about the viral outbreak while his fellow pro-Trump hosts on the network attempted to dismiss the COVID-19 fears as a partisan ploy, he has actually played both sides for his audience, giving voice to reckless conspiracies, unserious characters with no expertise, and wholly dangerous rhetoric.Earlier this month, as confirmed cases and deaths began surging across the country, Carlson gained widespread acclaim when he called out those “minimizing” COVID-19, calling the pandemic a “very serious problem.” It was seen at the time that Carlson was calling out both Trump and many of his Fox News colleagues—without naming them, of course—for reacting inappropriately to the impending crisis.That March 9 monologue apparently helped prompt the president to finally take action on the pandemic after waving it away for weeks, with White House sources saying Carlson’s segment was a “turning point” for Trump. The Fox News host, who has informally advised the president on other matters in the past, also traveled down to Mar-a-Lago the previous weekend to convince the president about the gravity of the situation, later saying he felt it was his “moral obligation” to do so.As a result, Carlson has been the focus of several largely sympathetic portraits and interviews in the mainstream press. Various outlets remarked positively on Carlson’s “moral obligation” to convince Trump to take the crisis seriously, with some noting that the Fox host “admirably focused” on pandemic from the beginning.The Fox host’s portrayal in the media as courageously standing alone among his overtly pro-Trump primetime brethren has rankled network brass. According to The New York Times, the network’s PR chief Irena Briganti has complained about Carlson “casting himself to reporters as a heroic truth-teller in contrast with other hosts.”While it is true that Carlson was essentially alone among the network’s key stars in sounding the alarm on coronavirus—for instance, now-former Fox Business host Trish Regan labeled it an “impeachment scam” the same time Carlson was declaring the pandemic was “real”—his early warnings also revolved around peddling baseless conspiracies and blaming “woke” politics for the spread of the virus.Tucker Carlson Appears to Call Out Trump, Fox Colleagues for ‘Minimizing’ CoronavirusThroughout February, Carlson floated the debunked theory that the virus was created by the Chinese government in a research laboratory, potentially as a bioweapon against the United States. The theory began making rounds in the right-wing media ecosystem after former Trump adviser Steve Bannon began pushing it on his radio show.Despite a medical expert shooting down the now-debunked theory earlier in the month, Carlson continued to peddle it on subsequent broadcasts. On Feb. 18, Carlson hosted The Washington Times’ Bill Gertz, whose specious reporting was the basis of Bannon’s theory, to discuss his speculation. During the interview, the Fox host claimed unnamed “experts” were considering the possibility the virus was created in a Chinese lab while adding it is “worth getting to the bottom of.”When he wasn’t wildly speculating that the virus was a Chinese bioweapon, Carlson also spent weeks blaming “diversity” for the virus. Taking aim at progressive writers who warned against racist attacks in the wake of the pandemic—hate crimes against Asian-Americans have been on the rise—Carlson groused that “identity politics trumped public health and not for the first time.”“Wokeness is a cult,” he added. “They would let you die before they admitted that diversity is not our strength.”He would continue to blame “identity politics” for the spread of the virus, resulting in him at one point turning to conservative columnist Eddie Scarry—best-known as the “AOC creepshot guy”—for coronavirus expertise in late February. As financial markets started to experience record drops over COVID-19 fears, Carlson gave primetime airspace to the Examiner writer, who called the disease the “Commie cough” while claiming it originated from Chinese people eating skunks. Carlson, meanwhile, applauded Scarry, claiming “everything” he said “is true” as the trollish columnist railed against political correctness and its supposed impact on the health crisis.In the wake of his call for conservatives to take coronavirus seriously, Carlson kept blasting “wokeness” as one of the central causes of the disease’s spread, at one point insisting that not calling it the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” could literally kill people. “In times of crisis euphemisms kill,” he said. “You need accuracy and clear language in the way you talk about the threat. It’s essential.” He later applauded Trump for publicly using the term “Chinese virus.”Moreover, and more recently, Carlson seemed to backpedal on his “serious” concerns over the pandemic this week. With the president’s declared desire for an early end to social distancing restrictions, many conservatives backed Trump’s push despite the warning of public health experts.Texas Lt. Gov: Senior Citizens Willing to Die to Save Economy for GrandkidsDuring last Monday’s broadcast of his show, Carlson brought on Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to defend the president’s suggestion, who subsequently said that elderly people such as himself would be willing to die from coronavirus to save America’s economy for their grandkids.“No one reached out to me and said as a senior citizen, ‘Are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” Patrick said. “And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.”At the end of the segment, Carlson nodded along with Patrick and added: “We really needed to hear that perspective.”The following night, Carlson hosted Fox News analyst Brit Hume to defend Patrick’s comments after they sparked controversy. In Hume’s opinion, Patrick saying grandparents were willing to sacrifice themselves to reopen the economy was an “extremely reasonable viewpoint.” Carlson, for his part, seemed confused why the lieutenant governor’s remarks “enrages so many people,” prompting Hume to say it was due to anti-Trump sentiment.Other guests that appeared this past week to share their coronavirus wisdom included comedian Adam Carrola, goofy podcaster Dave Rubin, and talk-radio blowhard Buck Sexton.But Carlson’s newfound reputation as a sober and earnest broker on the crisis perhaps looked the silliest on Wednesday when he brought on a self-proclaimed “corona truther” to wax poetic on self-isolation. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, a notorious troll and semi-regular guest of Carlson’s, showed up to talk about how he has taken a “financial beating” because the casino business is currently down—before discussing his choice of sweatpants and his TV-viewing habits.Prior to his Carlson appearance, Portnoy had spent weeks mocking concerns about the pandemic, comparing the virus to “the common cold” and saying he didn’t “care about the people dying... I just care about my wallet.”In fact, just two weeks before appearing on Tucker’s primetime show, Portnoy griped about the NBA suspending its season amid the outbreak, calling himself a “corona truther” and insisting that concern over the virus—which has now killed over 25,000 people worldwide—is either a “fraud, overreaction, or media concoction.”Carlson may have won media plaudits for his early concerns about the pandemic, but a closer look at his overall coverage proves we shouldn’t be so easily fooled.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.


Bill de Blasio says there isn't time to focus on coronavirus prevention missteps

Bill de Blasio says there isn't time to focus on coronavirus prevention misstepsNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn't want to focus on the past.CNN's Jake Tapper played some clips of de Blasio urging New Yorkers to go about their daily lives despite worries about the threat of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus in January, February, and March on Sunday's edition of State of the Union. Tapper then asked the mayor if he thinks his messaging may have had something to do with how fast the virus has spread in the city, which has become the U.S. epicenter.There was no outright denial from de Blasio, but he said he was working with the information he had at the time, while trying to make sure people's livelihoods remained intact. Now that it's become clear New York was unable to evade the virus, de Blasio argues "none of us have time to look backward." He said the only thing that should be on people's minds is how to get through the next week.> Bill de Blasio is asked on CNN about comments he made as recently as two weeks ago urging New Yorkers to "go about their lives." > > De Blasio responded, "we should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back on any level of government right now."pic.twitter.com/x70LjKRygG> > — andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) March 29, 2020Tapper, though, pointed out that de Blasio himself has criticized President Trump for being behind the coronavirus curve, to which the mayor replied he was early in complaining about a lack of testing. But he also suggested now wasn't the moment to talk about that, either. "The time to deal with these questions is after this war is over," he said.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequences

Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequencesCritics said Mexico's president was downplaying the coronavirus threat. But he has now shifted his tone.


Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirus

Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirusAndrea Napoli didn’t fit the usual profile of a coronavirus patient. At 33, he was in perfect health, with no history of respiratory disease. Until that day, Napoli was following his routine of work, jogging and swimming.


New York's coronavirus death toll just topped 1,000, but Gov. Cuomo warns that 'thousands' will die

New York's coronavirus death toll just topped 1,000, but Gov. Cuomo warns that 'thousands' will dieAccessible, rapid testing could bring a "return to normalcy," Cuomo said. But for now, he's extending New York's lockdown another two weeks.


Indian police fire tear gas on jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdown

Indian police fire tear gas on jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdownNEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - Police in western India fired tear gas to disperse a stone-pelting crowd of migrant workers defying a three-week lockdown against the coronavirus that has left hundreds of thousands of poor without jobs and hungry, authorities said on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the country's 1.3 billion people to remain indoors until April 15, declaring such self-isolation was the only hope to stop the viral pandemic. On Sunday, about 500 workers clashed with police in the western city of Surat demanding they be allowed to go home to other parts of India because they had no jobs left.


Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps?

Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps?A Facebook post warned users to be careful at the gas station because coronavirus is spreading "quickly" via pumps. This claim is partly false.


Trump asks why reporter doesn't act 'a little more positive'

Trump asks why reporter doesn't act 'a little more positive'President Trump on Sunday asked why a White House reporter does not act “a little more positive” in covering the administration’s coronavirus response.


A New Jersey man was charged after throwing a 'Corona Party' for nearly 50 people in his apartment

A New Jersey man was charged after throwing a 'Corona Party' for nearly 50 people in his apartmentNew Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy warned that people will be "named and shamed" as authorities enforce the state's stay-at-home order.


Wuhan's virus ground-zero market hides in plain sight

Wuhan's virus ground-zero market hides in plain sightIn the Chinese city of Wuhan, the wet market that spawned the pandemic which has brought the world to its knees now slumbers quietly behind a tidy-looking blue-and-white partition. Chinese disease control officials have previously identified wild animals sold in the market as the source of the coronavirus pandemic that has taken more than 33,000 lives worldwide so far and rocked the global economy. Markets such as this are the final stop in what conservationists say is a brutal trade in wild animals that is fuelled in large part by Chinese consumption.


Fox News reportedly fears its early downplaying of COVID-19 leaves it open to lawsuits

Fox News reportedly fears its early downplaying of COVID-19 leaves it open to lawsuitsFox Business announced Friday that it has "parted ways" with Trish Regan, a prime time host who gained notoriety for suggesting on her March 9 show that the COVID-19 coronavirus was a politically motivated "scam." The decision "took some journalists and anchors at the network by surprise," The New York Times reports, because "Fox executives are accustomed to withstanding public pressure, and rarely make personnel moves that can be construed as validating criticisms of the network."Fox Business wished Regan the best and said the network "will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future" to focus on "the coronavirus crisis." On MNSBC Sunday morning, Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman said ousting Regan appears to be part of a larger effort to limit legal liability tied to the disconnect between Fox's public and private responses to the pandemic.In early March, "Fox News tried to do their original playbook, which was dismiss it as a hoax, say that this is another partisan attempt by Democrats to hurt Donald Trump, and this was the case where they could not prevent reality," Sherman said. "Fox News is a very powerful media organization, but it cannot stop people from dropping dead." He added:> When I've been talking to Fox insiders over the last few days, there's a real concern inside the network that their early downplaying of the coronavirus actually exposes Fox News to potential legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this. I've heard Trish Regan's being taken off the air is, you know, reflective of this concern that Fox News is in big trouble by downplaying this virus. ... I think this is a case where Fox's coverage, if it actually winds up being proved that people died because of it, this is a new terrain in terms of Fox being possibly held liable for their actions. [Gabriel Sherman, MSNBC]Whether Fox's coverage of the coronavirus hurts Fox, it has helped Trump, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted March 19-24.> % of U.S. adults who say Donald Trump is doing an excellent job at responding to the coronavirus outbreak, by main source of political news> > Fox News: 63% > CBS: 24% > NBC: 15% > ABC: 14% > CNN: 7% > MSNBC: 2% > NPR: 2% > New York Times: 1%> > More in our data tool: https://t.co/loFFqxqJb8 pic.twitter.com/giN3lsxoxQ> > — Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) March 27, 2020Pew surveyed 11,537 panelists and the margin of sampling error for that full sample is ±1.5 percentage points.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Coronavirus: Airlines ‘entering danger zone’

Coronavirus: Airlines ‘entering danger zone’A group of 38 MPs calls on the chancellor to support airlines during the coronavirus crisis.


North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreak

North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreakNorth Korea on Sunday fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea, South Korea and Japan said, continuing a streak of weapons launches that suggests leader Kim Jong Un is trying to strengthen domestic support amid worries about a possible coronavirus outbreak in the country. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the projectiles flying from the North Korean eastern coastal city of Wonsan into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan on Sunday morning.


Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'

Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'"I think in some of the metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines," the White House coronavirus response coordinator said on "TODAY."


Plane explosion in Philippines kills eight, including two foreigners

Plane explosion in Philippines kills eight, including two foreignersA medical evacuation plane exploded during take-off in the Philippine capital on Sunday, killing all eight passengers and crew, including an American and a Canadian, officials said. The plane, owned by a Philippines-registered charter service Lionair, had been bound for Haneda, Japan, but burst into flames at the end of the runway around 8 p.m. (1200 GMT), Manila's main airport said. Indonesian carrier Lion Air issued a statement making clear that it is unrelated to Manila-based Lionair.


Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of Disaster

Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of DisasterA burst of fresh data on the prevalence of “silent,” or asymptomatic, carriers of the 2019 novel coronavirus points to the looming danger of ending America’s national shutdown early.Classified Chinese government data suggest “silent carriers” could make up at least one-third of the country’s positive cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post recently reported. Approximately 43,000 people in China who had tested positive for COVID-19 last month had no immediate symptoms. And those cases were not included in the official national tally of confirmed cases, which had hit 80,000 at the end of February, the paper said.Last week, China reported no new local infections for the first time since the outbreak started in December. And after weeks of lockdown, the city of Wuhan—where the global pandemic originated—said on Tuesday that public transportation was reopening and that residents would be allowed to leave the city itself starting on April 8.But as extensive testing continues, authorities in Wuhan have found new cases of asymptomatic—or mildly symptomatic—infection, sparking concerns about how many contagious people have been circulating freely. Fresh data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday about a nursing home in Washington state only served to compound those fears.Four Ways Experts Say Coronavirus Nightmare Could End“Almost everybody thinks there’s the potential of a second wave after we relax the restrictions,” said Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and an expert on U.S. readiness for pandemics. “There’s no good timeframe—it’s certainly not by Easter—that we’ll be starting to loosen up,” he continued, referring to President Donald Trump’s suggested finish line. “But once we do, people who did not have coronavirus will be going out to spaces where silent spreaders might be.”With Americans still getting acclimated to a quasi-national shutdown, and Trump repeatedly suggesting restrictions might ease in a matter of days or weeks, the prospect of silent spreaders wreaking epidemiological havoc looms large.“The biggest danger here is that this is like a stealth attack in that you have no idea that the person you have come into contact with is contagious,” said Dr. Adrian Hyzler, the chief medical officer for Healix International, which provides medical information to organizations whose clients travel internationally. “It makes it so much more difficult to try to contain the spread of the virus.”For obvious reasons, silent carriers are not nearly as notorious in the public imagination as “super-spreaders,” or patients who are extra contagious. A possible super-spreader in the United Kingdom may have transmitted the virus to nearly a dozen people before realizing he was sick earlier this year. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization previously claimed that pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic transmission of the new coronavirus was “relatively rare.” But newer studies—out of Japan, Italy, South Korea, and now Washington state—have called that assertion into question. And research suggests that silent spreaders can be just as dangerous to a community.The CDC released a study on Friday of the outbreak’s spread—specifically via asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic patients—in a long-term care facility in King County, Washington. The report found that “approximately half of all residents with positive test results did not have any symptoms at the time of testing, suggesting that transmission from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic residents—who were not recognized as having [the coronavirus] infection and therefore not isolated—might have contributed to further spread.”“These findings have important implications for infection control,” according to the CDC, since “current interventions” for preventing the virus’s transmission, in part because of the shortage of tests, primarily rely on the presence of “signs and symptoms to identify and isolate residents or patients who might have COVID-19.” Patients were cohorted, or separated, according to which ones had symptoms. But that method of intervention no longer makes sense if there are asymptomatic—or silent—spreaders within a community, especially one that is at high risk of severe infection.Researchers previously published a study in the journal Science on March 16, finding that 86 percent of all infections in China before Jan. 23—when the government there instituted severe travel restrictions—were undocumented because they were mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic.“They may, for the most part, have experienced some symptoms at some point,” Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University who worked on the study, explained to WBUR radio. “But it didn't keep them home, didn't stop them from getting on public transportation, going to work, going to school, getting on airplanes and going on business trips.”Because those individuals didn’t feel sick—or didn’t know they were sick—and kept traveling through the community, the researchers found that this group of people “contributed to the vast majority of the spread” of the virus, added Shaman, who called the phenomenon “stealth transmission.”In a letter to the International Journal of Infectious Diseases in February, a group of Japanese experts led by epidemiologist Hiroshi Nishiura at Hokkaido University wrote that the growing data outside of China “indicates that a substantial number of cases are underdiagnosed.” Nishiura’s group estimated—based on the number of asymptomatic Japanese patients who were evacuated from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China—that about 30.8 percent of cases were asymptomatic.Of course, American authorities know even less than their foreign counterparts about how many cases there are, period. The same goes for silent spreaders. “This is partly because health systems are just overrun with sick people, as well as a scarcity of testing kits,” said Hyzler, adding that a trial in a small Italian town where all 30,000 people were tested revealed that asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic people represented a whopping 70 percent of all cases, of which an unknown number were able to transmit the virus to others.Redlener noted that, while much is still unknown, “the vast majority of Americans with the virus will be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, and we really have to be careful not to relax our stringent requirements too soon.” The U.S. health system has generally not tested individuals without symptoms unless they are especially wealthy or well-connected—like NBA players or Sen. Rand Paul—or else health workers with known exposure. And in many places in the U.S., authorities are discouraging testing except in the case of severe symptoms, meaning American officials have limited data on the number of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases, with few exceptions.Hyzler said there were two key assumptions that likely went into the decision to begin opening up Wuhan again: that there are very few unidentified silent spreaders transmitting the infection throughout the community, and that the incubation period is 14 days.If authorities are correct on both points, it might well be safe to resume public transportation and to allow travel to and from the city. But if they’re incorrect, Hyzler cautioned: “We will certainly start to see a second wave of cases” emerge in China.Fortunately for Wuhan and its surrounding province, China’s zealous testing means that authorities would likely detect a new wave “right away” before it spread very far, according to Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology and global health at the University of Michigan who has advised both the World Health Organization and the Defense Department on communicable diseases.But unless the U.S. rapidly expands its testing—and zealously tracks individuals who’ve had contact with confirmed cases—Americans won’t have that same advantage. Both Hyzler and Monto said they hoped the U.S. government could learn from its weeks of delays, as well as failures abroad. But there’s no guarantee.Vice President Mike Pence took heat this past week for claiming that federal officials may soon recommend that critical workers—even those who’ve been exposed to the virus—return to work, as long as they wear a mask.“It’s premature to try to put a time limit on this,” said Monto, who emphasized the importance of continued social distancing throughout the country to control the surge of cases from overwhelming hospitals.“From an epidemiological standpoint, one lockdown would be better than waves of lockdown,” he said. “With waves, all you’d be doing is letting it up again and then you’re back where you started. I think if we’re still seeing an overwhelming number of cases in hospitals, it’s too early to lift a lockdown.”Ultimately, Hyzler argued, there are two main ways that authorities can try to ensure that an end to social distancing isn’t premature. One is so-called herd immunity, or, as he put it, “if a good percentage, maybe as many as 70 percent of people... have been infected and therefore, we assume, have an immunity against a re-infection.” The other is what’s called antibody testing, or, as Hyzler explained, “once you can show that someone has had the virus, and they no longer need to self-isolate and can return to work.” (To be clear, the jury’s still out on whether some patients who already had coronavirus can be re-infected.)But without enough tests, Monto said, “we have no idea at this point” how many people may be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. “After the dust settles,” he said, scientists will likely make an effort to collect blood samples, which can detect antibodies for the virus after a person has recovered. “We’ll know the numbers only after the fact,” he added.Redlener was more optimistic: “The hope is that we get to a point where mass testing will be possible.”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.


New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks

New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks"The non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home," Cuomo said a day after the president decided against a mandatory quarantine.


Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal

Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal(Bloomberg) -- The Kremlin’s sudden shift of ownership of multi-billion-dollar oil projects in Venezuela shields oil giant Rosneft PJSC from further U.S. sanctions but keeps Moscow firmly behind embattled President Nicolas Maduro amid a wider stand-off with Washington.“Russia is not walking away from Maduro and will seek to thwart U.S. efforts to depose him,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former diplomat and foreign policy analyst in Moscow. “Moscow is just shielding Rosneft from sanctions which could result in a blanket embargo on all Rosneft exports.”Fears of broader sanctions have grown after the U.S. in recent months slapped restrictions on Rosneft trading companies for handling business with Venezuela. More recently, the U.S. has hinted that it might step up pressure on the Russian oil sector to reduce production. That followed Moscow’s decision early this month not to deepen output cuts agreed with OPEC led Saudi Arabia to boost output, flooding the market and pushing prices to the lowest levels in decades.The administration of President Donald Trump has already reached out to Saudi leaders to reconsider their strategy, which has battered producers in the U.S. with low prices.Read: Putin and MBS Draw Trump Into Grudge Match for Oil SupremacyRosneft late Saturday announced it’s turning over its Venezuelan projects to an unnamed state-owned company in what it called an effort to protect its shareholders’ interests. Rosneft, which produces 40% of Russian oil and 5% of world output and has substantial exposure in the western financial system, can’t afford the risk of broad U.S. sanctions that could cripple its operations. Earlier this month, a Chinese company said it wouldn’t buy crude from Rosneft because of the risks caused by the sanctions on the trading companies.“As recently as February, the Venezuelan business was profitable, which offset the sanctions risk,” said Ivan Timofeyev, an analyst at the Kremlin-founded Russian International Affairs Council. “Now the desire to avoid sanctions coincided with the need to avoid losses” after oil prices plunged, he added.The Russian giant has already cut its exposure under multi-billion-dollar prepayment deals reached several years ago. Venezuela’s oil producer PDVSA owes Rosneft only $800 million at the end of the third quarter of 2019, according to the last available data, down from $4.6 billion at the end of 2017.Sanctions ProtectionThe latest Russian maneuver mirrored its strategy in 2018 when it used Promsvzyabank to set up a new banking vehicle to serve the defense industry after state-owned weapons producers came under U.S. sanctions, thereby shielding the country’s two largest banks, government-controlled Sberbank and VTB. Unlike those big lenders, which have significant exposure to western financial institutions and thus are at risk from sweeping U.S. sanctions, the new special entity operated largely out of Washington’s reach.While Rosneft may even push to have the recently imposed sanctions on the trading units lifted, risks remain.“Rosneft is trying to stay out of the firing-line but nothing stops the Americans from finding another pretext to sanction it,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, who heads the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a research group in Moscow that advises the Kremlin.“Russia understands that Maduro is in an awful situation, especially with oil prices at rock bottom,” he said. “But Putin’s psychology is that you should stick with partners in difficulty.”Maduro said on state TV on Saturday evening that ”President Putin sent me a message through his ambassador reaffirming their strategic and integral support to Venezuela in all areas.”Rosneft StakeFrolov said, “Moscow thinks that Maduro is actually winning the fight with the opposition and is likely to split it to the point where he would be able to win parliamentary elections this year.” Russia has backed Maduro even as the U.S. and its allies back opposition leader Juan Guaido.For Rosneft, the deal also could give management, led by Igor Sechin, its influential chief executive, greater control, since the company is receiving 9.6% of its own shares in the transaction. That may mean the government’s share in Rosneft falls below a controlling stake, according to Andrey Polischuk, Moscow-based analyst for Raiffeisenbank.Neither the company nor the government would comment on whether the deal will bring state ownership below 50%.“Sechin gets Rosneft shares and Putin gets the chance to trade with Trump,” said Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.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.


Iran warns of lengthy 'new way of life' as virus deaths rise

Iran warns of lengthy 'new way of life'  as virus deaths risePresident Hassan Rouhani warned Sunday that "the new way of life" in Iran was likely to be prolonged, as its declared death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 2,640. The Islamic republic is one of the countries worst-hit by the virus, which first originated in China. Iran announced its first infection cases on February 19, but a senior health official has acknowledged that the virus was likely to have already reached Iran in January.


U.S. journalists barred from China could have a new home in Taiwan

U.S. journalists barred from China could have a new home in TaiwanJournalists from three of the United States' most prestigious publications may not be able to report from China anymore, but Taiwan is offering them refuge.Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph We invited American journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, to set up shop on the China-claimed island after the newspapers were stripped of their credentials by Beijing. Wu said reporters from the prestigious U.S. publications would be welcomed with "open arms and lots of genuine smiles."> As @nytimes, @WSJ & @washingtonpost face intensifying hostility in China, I'd like to welcome you to be stationed in Taiwan — a country that is a beacon of freedom & democracy. Yes! You'll find people here greeting you with open arms & lots of genuine smiles. JW> > — 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) (@MOFA_Taiwan) March 28, 2020There reportedly aren't many permanent foreign correspondents stationed in Taiwan, and none of the three papers have a full-time presence on the island, so it remains to be seen if they'll take up the offer.China announced earlier this month that it was revoking the papers' accreditations in their China bureaus, as well as preventing them from operating in Hong Kong. Beijing said the decision was retaliation for Washington labeling Chinese state media as diplomatic missions.Taiwan has received praise for its handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic in part because the island has stepped up its border controls, mostly allowing entry only to permanent residences. But it seems they'd make an exception in this case. Read more at The Hill and Reuters.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdown

Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdownNarendra Modi apologises for sweeping restrictions that have left many jobless and hungry.


North Korea says US clearly doesn't want nuclear talks

North Korea says US clearly doesn't want nuclear talksNorth Korea said Monday that “reckless remarks” by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear that Washington has no intention of resuming nuclear talks, and warned that it is now compelled to pay back “the pains the U.S. has imposed on our people.” After a teleconference of foreign ministers of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations last week, Pompeo told reporters the international community must remain united in urging North Korea to return to nuclear talks and in continuing to apply pressure on its nuclear and missile programs. Pompeo’s remarks showed the U.S. has no strategy to stop “a countdown of confrontation,” North Korea said in a statement attributed to its new Foreign Ministry department director general in charge of negotiations with Washington.


Largest U.S. dam removal sparks debate over coveted West water

Largest U.S. dam removal sparks debate over coveted West waterCalifornia’s second-largest river has sustained Native American tribes with salmon for millennia, provided upstream farmers with irrigation water for generations and served as a haven for retirees who built homes along its banks.


Spain toughens restrictions as coronavirus death toll surges

Spain toughens restrictions as coronavirus death toll surgesSpain prepared to enter its third week under near-total lockdown on Sunday, as the government approved a strengthening of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and the death toll rose by 838 cases overnight to 6,528. Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain also saw infections rise to 78,797 from 72,248 the day before. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, announced that all non-essential workers must stay at home for two weeks, the latest government measure in the fight against coronavirus.


Nursing Homes Balk at Taking Back Patients From Hospitals

Nursing Homes Balk at Taking Back Patients From HospitalsBy Judith Graham, Kaiser Health NewsA wrenching conflict is emerging as the COVID-19 virus storms through U.S. communities: Some patients are falling into a no man’s land between hospitals and nursing homes. Hospitals need to clear out patients who no longer need acute care. But nursing homes don’t want to take patients discharged from hospitals for fear they’ll bring the coronavirus with them.“It’s a huge and very difficult issue,” said Cassie Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association, whose members were hit early by the coronavirus.Each side has legitimate concerns. Hospitals in coronavirus hot spots need to free up beds for the next wave of critically ill patients. They are canceling elective and nonessential procedures. They are also trying to move coronavirus patients out of the hospital as quickly as possible.The goal is to “allow hospitals to reserve beds for the most severely ill patients by discharging those who are less severely ill to skilled nursing facilities,” Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said a few weeks ago as the federal agency relaxed rules restricting which Medicare patients can receive nursing home care.Nursing homes are alarmed at the prospect of taking patients who may have coronavirus infections. The consequences could be dire. The first nursing home known to have COVID-19, the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, saw the virus spread like wildfire. It killed 37 people.“We’re looking at case fatality rates of 30, 40, 50% in nursing homes when coronavirus gets introduced,” said Christopher Laxton, executive director of AMDA—the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, which represents nursing home medical directors. Fears extend to patients with other conditions, such as strokes or heart attacks, who’ve been in the hospital and do not have COVID-19 symptoms but could harbor the virus.In its most recent guidance, the American Health Care Association, an industry trade group, said nursing homes can accept patients “who are COVID negative or do not have symptoms.” If someone has symptoms such as a dry cough or fever, they “should be tested for COVID-19 before being admitted to the facility.” If someone is COVID positive, they should be kept only “with other COVID positive residents.”Three Nuns Left to Handle Nearly 100 Seniors Presumed to Have Coronavirus in NJ Care HomeBut nursing home doctors worry this doesn’t go far enough. According to a resolution by the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine, nursing homes should not have to take patients known to have the coronavirus unless “they have two negative tests that are 24 hours apart, OR 10 days after admission AND no fever for 72 hours.” A new AMDA resolution echoes this caution.“We have an obligation to our patients to draw the line,” said Dr. Michael Wasserman, president of the California association. “Increasing the number of COVID-19 positive residents in facilities—whether these facilities have patients with the virus or not—raises the risk of infecting the uninfected and dramatically increasing the number of deaths.”For their part, hospital leaders say an emphasis on testing before discharging patients is impractical, given the shortage of tests and delays in receiving results.“Many nursing homes are requiring a negative COVID-19 test even for patients who were in the hospital for nothing to do with COVID,” said Sauer in Washington state. “We don’t agree with this. It’s using up very limited testing resources.”Nowhere are tensions higher than in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said 73,000 extra hospital beds will be needed within weeks to treat a surge of COVID-19 patients. Hospitals in the state have 53,000 beds.On Wednesday, the New York State Department of Health issued an advisory noting: “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”Speaking on behalf of nursing home physicians, AMDA voiced strong opposition, calling the policy “over-reaching, not consistent with science, unenforceable, and beyond all, not in the least consistent with patient safety principles” in a statement.Some nursing homes are sending residents with suspected coronavirus to hospitals for evaluation and then refusing to take them back until tests confirm their negative status. “Essentially, they’re dumping patients on hospitals and saying, ‘Too bad—you’re stuck with them now,’” said a consultant who works closely with hospitals and spoke on the condition of anonymity.Others want to do their part to serve COVID-19 patients. “It is our obligation to keep the health care system flowing,” said Scott LaRue, president of ArchCare, the health care system of the Archdiocese of New York.LaRue has no illusions about keeping the coronavirus out of ArchCare’s five nursing homes, which, combined, have 1,700 beds.“In New York City the virus is everywhere,” he said. That means it has to be managed, not avoided. “Our intention is to take COVID-19 stable patients” and move them to a single floor at each nursing home, he said.That will happen under two conditions, LaRue said. First, ArchCare will need sufficient personal protective equipment—gowns, masks and face shields—for its staff. Currently, the system can’t get face shields. It was due to run out of gowns by Wednesday.Second, ArchCare will need to test whether its protocols for managing COVID-positive patients are working. Those include putting patients in isolation, monitoring them more closely, limiting the number of people who can go in, and ensuring that staff use personal protective equipment and are trained properly.  So far, only one of its nursing home patients is known to have COVID-19. “We won’t know for 14 days if the steps we’re taking are working,” LaRue said.Do I Have Coronavirus? A Symptoms Primer.But it’s unrealistic to expect other nursing homes to follow suit.“I would be surprised if 10% to 15% of skilled nursing facilities in the U.S. could take a COVID-positive patient and treat that patient safely while ensuring that other residents in the home are safe,” said David Grabowski, a professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.In a new commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Grabowski calls for establishing “centers of excellence” to care for patients recovering from COVID-19 and building “temporary capacity” in hot spots where the need for post-hospital services is likely to surge.That’s beginning to happen. On Tuesday, Cuomo announced that a field hospital being built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to house overflow coronavirus patients at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City would include 1,000 beds for patients who don’t need acute care services.On Wednesday, a unit of Partners HealthCare, a large Massachusetts health care system, announced a new center for patients recovering from COVID-19 on the fourth floor of Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Care, a long-term care hospital in Cambridge. The center, set to open soon, will have 60 beds and accept patients from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.In the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, Allina Health, which operates 11 hospitals, is partnering with Presbyterian Homes & Services to convert a 50-bed skilled nursing home to a “step-down site,” said Dr. Emily Downing, a vice president of Allina Health. The goal is to help COVID-19 patients recover so they can return to nursing homes or senior living communities.Katie Smith Sloan, president of LeadingAge, which represents not-for-profit nursing homes, home care agencies and assisted living centers, said she was hearing about nascent plans to reopen closed nursing homes for COVID-19 patients. Government agencies need to make financing available to build extra capacity to care for these patients, she said.As for patients who need less intensive care or who need to be quarantined after the hospital to ensure they aren’t infectious, other options exist.“King County has bought a hotel and is leasing another and is looking at what are now empty ambulatory surgery centers or a Christian summer camp in the area,” said Sauer of the Washington State Hospital Association. 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.


Germany could issue hundreds of thousands of people coronavirus 'immunity certificates' so they can leave the lockdown early

Germany could issue hundreds of thousands of people coronavirus 'immunity certificates' so they can leave the lockdown earlyThe tests could allow hundreds of thousands of people to leave their coronavirus lockdowns early.


Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prison

Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prisonThe death of Patrick Jones marks the first COVID-19-related death of an inmate in the federal prison system, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said.


Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off

Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks offWuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic. Thousands of migrant workers in India, left jobless and penniless by the full shutdown of the country, are walking long distances back to their home villages after all transport was stopped except for essential services.


The U.S. is preparing for a medical supply airlift of unprecedented scale

The U.S. is preparing for a medical supply airlift of unprecedented scaleAs hospitals across the United States face a shortage of medical supplies in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic, planes are gearing up to bring in reinforcements.The first aircraft in a series of flights scheduled by the White House over the next 30 days arrived in New York from Shanghai on Sunday morning, bringing with it 12 million gloves, 130,000 N95 masks, 17.6 surgical masks, 50,000 gowns, 130,000 hand sanitizer units, and 36,000 thermometers, all of which will be distributed throughout the New York tri-state area. A non-government distributor had actually already bought the supplies and planned to sell them in New York, but they'd normally arrive on ships. A sea voyage would've taken over a month, so the government is expediting the process by air. Going forward, the U.S. has 22 similar flights coming in over the next two weeks that will distribute supplies to different parts of the country, per Axios.Navy Rear Admiral John Polowcyzk, who is running the Federal Emergency Management Agency's coronavirus supply chain task force, said he doesn't think the U.S. has ever seen anything like this on its own soil. "I don't know of another effort like this," he told Axios.Polowcyzk is hoping it's only a two- or three-week effort, but admitted planes could be coming in over the next month. Read more at Axios.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Blissful ignorance? Submariners likely unaware of pandemic

Blissful ignorance? Submariners likely unaware of pandemicOf a world in coronavirus turmoil, they may know little or nothing. Submariners stealthily cruising the ocean deeps, purposefully shielded from worldly worries to encourage undivided focus on their top-secret missions of nuclear deterrence, may be among the last pockets of people anywhere who are still blissfully unaware of how the pandemic is turning life upside down. Mariners aboard ballistic submarines are habitually spared bad news while underwater to avoid undermining their morale, say current and former officers who served aboard France's nuclear-armed subs.


'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projections

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North Korea slams Pompeo and says will 'walk our way'

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Moscow says coronavirus outbreak enters new phase as residents go out to brave risk
Africa's paradox: It may be the worst and best place to ride out coronavirus

Africa's paradox: It may be the worst and best place to ride out coronavirusCOVID-19 may compound difficulties in a part of the world that's long grappled with conflict, humanitarian disaster and infrastructure inadequacies. Yet Africa has deep experience fighting infectious disease and a very young population.


About 700 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus, State Police Head Says

About 700 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus, State Police Head SaysNew Jersey has reported the second highest number of cases in the U.S., trailing only New York


A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show 'the ghastly reality of what' medical workers deal with on frontlines

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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.


White House task force official says 'no state, no metro area' will be spared from coronavirus

White House task force official says 'no state, no metro area' will be spared from coronavirusThe United States is preparing for a novel coronavirus epidemic that is national in scope."No state, no metro area will be spared," Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press.Birx was clear that no area of the country will evade the effects of the virus, but said the sooner places react and instill mitigation measures, the easier it will be to "move forward."> WATCH: Dr. Deborah Birx says "no metro area will be spared" of the coronavirus outbreak. MTP IfItsSunday> > Dr. Birx: "The sooner we react and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they have put in full mitigation ... then we'll be able to move forward." pic.twitter.com/B9Fo3lUVHA> > -- Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 29, 2020Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also provided a sense of scale Sunday, but he said he doesn't want to be held to any prediction. Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper that he's never seen an outbreak match the worst-case scenario of its models, and he believes that remains unlikely for the coronavirus, as well. Nevertheless, he thinks it's possible the U.S. could be looking at somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. > Dr. Anthony Fauci says there could potentially be between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths related to the coronavirus and millions of cases. "I just don't think that we really need to make a projection when it's such a moving target, that you could so easily be wrong," he adds. CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/F2MOHY3xl4> > -- State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 29, 2020More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictions

Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictionsPeople still sit at outdoor cafes in the center of Sweden's capital. Swedish authorities have advised the public to practice social distancing and to work from home, if possible, and urged those over age 70 to self-isolate as a precaution. Standing at bars has been banned in Sweden, but restaurant customers can still be served at tables instead of having to take food to go.


Coronavirus: India defiant as millions struggle under lockdown

Coronavirus: India defiant as millions struggle under lockdownThe government defends strict lockdown measures that have left millions stranded and without food.


Boris Johnson's government is reportedly furious with China and believes it could have 40 times more coronavirus cases than it claims

Boris Johnson's government is reportedly furious with China and believes it could have 40 times more coronavirus cases than it claimsUK government sources quoted on Sunday say China faces a "reckoning" over its handling of the coronavirus crisis.


Pelosi: Trump's downplaying of coronavirus has cost American lives

Pelosi: Trump's downplaying of coronavirus has cost American livesHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharpened her criticism of President Trump’s early dismissal of the coronavirus, saying the delay cost American lives. She criticized the president's initial response to the virus during a Sunday morning interview on CNN.


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.   


A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread

A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread"I was aggravated," Peter Levine said of his son's decision to party on South Padre Island instead of heeding warnings about the virus.


Serial killer dubbed Grim Sleeper dies in California prison

Serial killer dubbed Grim Sleeper dies in California prisonLonnie Franklin, the convicted serial killer known as the "Grim Sleeper" who preyed on the women of South Los Angeles for more than two decades, has died in prison. California corrections officials said Franklin was found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison on Saturday evening. An autopsy will determine the cause of death; however, there were no signs of trauma, corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said in a statement.


After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — there are signs that Italy's lockdown is beginning to work after 3 weeks

After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — there are signs that Italy's lockdown is beginning to work after 3 weeksItaly's count of new coronavirus deaths and infections are starting to fall, though the country is likely still in for an extended lockdown.


Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sources

Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sourcesCARACAS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former head of Venezuela's military intelligence unit, Hugo Carvajal, is discussing his possible surrender with U.S. authorities, three people familiar with the matter said on Saturday, after prosecutors charged him this week with drug trafficking alongside Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Carvajal, a former general and ally of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has been in hiding since a Spanish court in November approved his extradition to the United States.


Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro in denial and out on a limb

Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro in denial and out on a limbThe president is isolating himself from other world leaders as he downplays the coronavirus pandemic.


'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-right

'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-rightAngela Merkel's long-struggling conservatives have rebounded in the polls thanks to the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis and widespread faith in the outgoing German chancellor's ability to manage the upheaval. Shaking off years of record-low popularity, Merkel's centre-right CDU/CSU bloc is now enjoying approval ratings of around 32 to 35 percent, some six to seven points higher than just a few weeks ago. It's a surprise turn of events for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) which as recently as last month was riven by internal turmoil and debate over who would be the party's chancellor candidate when Merkel bows out in 2021.


An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado.

An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado.He went viral for distancing from his wife and 1-year-old son. Days later, his house was destroyed by a tornado that hit Jonesboro, Arkansas.


Tucker Carlson Wants to Have It Both Ways on Coronavirus

Tucker Carlson Wants to Have It Both Ways on CoronavirusFox News primetime star Tucker Carlson has been credited with pushing President Donald Trump to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously and has received mainstream media plaudits for seemingly calling out his own colleagues for actively downplaying the outbreak.Yet, while Carlson has been applauded for preaching concern about the viral outbreak while his fellow pro-Trump hosts on the network attempted to dismiss the COVID-19 fears as a partisan ploy, he has actually played both sides for his audience, giving voice to reckless conspiracies, unserious characters with no expertise, and wholly dangerous rhetoric.Earlier this month, as confirmed cases and deaths began surging across the country, Carlson gained widespread acclaim when he called out those “minimizing” COVID-19, calling the pandemic a “very serious problem.” It was seen at the time that Carlson was calling out both Trump and many of his Fox News colleagues—without naming them, of course—for reacting inappropriately to the impending crisis.That March 9 monologue apparently helped prompt the president to finally take action on the pandemic after waving it away for weeks, with White House sources saying Carlson’s segment was a “turning point” for Trump. The Fox News host, who has informally advised the president on other matters in the past, also traveled down to Mar-a-Lago the previous weekend to convince the president about the gravity of the situation, later saying he felt it was his “moral obligation” to do so.As a result, Carlson has been the focus of several largely sympathetic portraits and interviews in the mainstream press. Various outlets remarked positively on Carlson’s “moral obligation” to convince Trump to take the crisis seriously, with some noting that the Fox host “admirably focused” on pandemic from the beginning.The Fox host’s portrayal in the media as courageously standing alone among his overtly pro-Trump primetime brethren has rankled network brass. According to The New York Times, the network’s PR chief Irena Briganti has complained about Carlson “casting himself to reporters as a heroic truth-teller in contrast with other hosts.”While it is true that Carlson was essentially alone among the network’s key stars in sounding the alarm on coronavirus—for instance, now-former Fox Business host Trish Regan labeled it an “impeachment scam” the same time Carlson was declaring the pandemic was “real”—his early warnings also revolved around peddling baseless conspiracies and blaming “woke” politics for the spread of the virus.Tucker Carlson Appears to Call Out Trump, Fox Colleagues for ‘Minimizing’ CoronavirusThroughout February, Carlson floated the debunked theory that the virus was created by the Chinese government in a research laboratory, potentially as a bioweapon against the United States. The theory began making rounds in the right-wing media ecosystem after former Trump adviser Steve Bannon began pushing it on his radio show.Despite a medical expert shooting down the now-debunked theory earlier in the month, Carlson continued to peddle it on subsequent broadcasts. On Feb. 18, Carlson hosted The Washington Times’ Bill Gertz, whose specious reporting was the basis of Bannon’s theory, to discuss his speculation. During the interview, the Fox host claimed unnamed “experts” were considering the possibility the virus was created in a Chinese lab while adding it is “worth getting to the bottom of.”When he wasn’t wildly speculating that the virus was a Chinese bioweapon, Carlson also spent weeks blaming “diversity” for the virus. Taking aim at progressive writers who warned against racist attacks in the wake of the pandemic—hate crimes against Asian-Americans have been on the rise—Carlson groused that “identity politics trumped public health and not for the first time.”“Wokeness is a cult,” he added. “They would let you die before they admitted that diversity is not our strength.”He would continue to blame “identity politics” for the spread of the virus, resulting in him at one point turning to conservative columnist Eddie Scarry—best-known as the “AOC creepshot guy”—for coronavirus expertise in late February. As financial markets started to experience record drops over COVID-19 fears, Carlson gave primetime airspace to the Examiner writer, who called the disease the “Commie cough” while claiming it originated from Chinese people eating skunks. Carlson, meanwhile, applauded Scarry, claiming “everything” he said “is true” as the trollish columnist railed against political correctness and its supposed impact on the health crisis.In the wake of his call for conservatives to take coronavirus seriously, Carlson kept blasting “wokeness” as one of the central causes of the disease’s spread, at one point insisting that not calling it the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” could literally kill people. “In times of crisis euphemisms kill,” he said. “You need accuracy and clear language in the way you talk about the threat. It’s essential.” He later applauded Trump for publicly using the term “Chinese virus.”Moreover, and more recently, Carlson seemed to backpedal on his “serious” concerns over the pandemic this week. With the president’s declared desire for an early end to social distancing restrictions, many conservatives backed Trump’s push despite the warning of public health experts.Texas Lt. Gov: Senior Citizens Willing to Die to Save Economy for GrandkidsDuring last Monday’s broadcast of his show, Carlson brought on Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to defend the president’s suggestion, who subsequently said that elderly people such as himself would be willing to die from coronavirus to save America’s economy for their grandkids.“No one reached out to me and said as a senior citizen, ‘Are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” Patrick said. “And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.”At the end of the segment, Carlson nodded along with Patrick and added: “We really needed to hear that perspective.”The following night, Carlson hosted Fox News analyst Brit Hume to defend Patrick’s comments after they sparked controversy. In Hume’s opinion, Patrick saying grandparents were willing to sacrifice themselves to reopen the economy was an “extremely reasonable viewpoint.” Carlson, for his part, seemed confused why the lieutenant governor’s remarks “enrages so many people,” prompting Hume to say it was due to anti-Trump sentiment.Other guests that appeared this past week to share their coronavirus wisdom included comedian Adam Carrola, goofy podcaster Dave Rubin, and talk-radio blowhard Buck Sexton.But Carlson’s newfound reputation as a sober and earnest broker on the crisis perhaps looked the silliest on Wednesday when he brought on a self-proclaimed “corona truther” to wax poetic on self-isolation. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, a notorious troll and semi-regular guest of Carlson’s, showed up to talk about how he has taken a “financial beating” because the casino business is currently down—before discussing his choice of sweatpants and his TV-viewing habits.Prior to his Carlson appearance, Portnoy had spent weeks mocking concerns about the pandemic, comparing the virus to “the common cold” and saying he didn’t “care about the people dying... I just care about my wallet.”In fact, just two weeks before appearing on Tucker’s primetime show, Portnoy griped about the NBA suspending its season amid the outbreak, calling himself a “corona truther” and insisting that concern over the virus—which has now killed over 25,000 people worldwide—is either a “fraud, overreaction, or media concoction.”Carlson may have won media plaudits for his early concerns about the pandemic, but a closer look at his overall coverage proves we shouldn’t be so easily fooled.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.


Bill de Blasio says there isn't time to focus on coronavirus prevention missteps

Bill de Blasio says there isn't time to focus on coronavirus prevention misstepsNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn't want to focus on the past.CNN's Jake Tapper played some clips of de Blasio urging New Yorkers to go about their daily lives despite worries about the threat of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus in January, February, and March on Sunday's edition of State of the Union. Tapper then asked the mayor if he thinks his messaging may have had something to do with how fast the virus has spread in the city, which has become the U.S. epicenter.There was no outright denial from de Blasio, but he said he was working with the information he had at the time, while trying to make sure people's livelihoods remained intact. Now that it's become clear New York was unable to evade the virus, de Blasio argues "none of us have time to look backward." He said the only thing that should be on people's minds is how to get through the next week.> Bill de Blasio is asked on CNN about comments he made as recently as two weeks ago urging New Yorkers to "go about their lives." > > De Blasio responded, "we should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back on any level of government right now."pic.twitter.com/x70LjKRygG> > — andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) March 29, 2020Tapper, though, pointed out that de Blasio himself has criticized President Trump for being behind the coronavirus curve, to which the mayor replied he was early in complaining about a lack of testing. But he also suggested now wasn't the moment to talk about that, either. "The time to deal with these questions is after this war is over," he said.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequences

Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequencesCritics said Mexico's president was downplaying the coronavirus threat. But he has now shifted his tone.


Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirus

Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirusAndrea Napoli didn’t fit the usual profile of a coronavirus patient. At 33, he was in perfect health, with no history of respiratory disease. Until that day, Napoli was following his routine of work, jogging and swimming.


New York's coronavirus death toll just topped 1,000, but Gov. Cuomo warns that 'thousands' will die

New York's coronavirus death toll just topped 1,000, but Gov. Cuomo warns that 'thousands' will dieAccessible, rapid testing could bring a "return to normalcy," Cuomo said. But for now, he's extending New York's lockdown another two weeks.


Indian police fire tear gas on jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdown

Indian police fire tear gas on jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdownNEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - Police in western India fired tear gas to disperse a stone-pelting crowd of migrant workers defying a three-week lockdown against the coronavirus that has left hundreds of thousands of poor without jobs and hungry, authorities said on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the country's 1.3 billion people to remain indoors until April 15, declaring such self-isolation was the only hope to stop the viral pandemic. On Sunday, about 500 workers clashed with police in the western city of Surat demanding they be allowed to go home to other parts of India because they had no jobs left.


Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps?

Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps?A Facebook post warned users to be careful at the gas station because coronavirus is spreading "quickly" via pumps. This claim is partly false.


Trump asks why reporter doesn't act 'a little more positive'

Trump asks why reporter doesn't act 'a little more positive'President Trump on Sunday asked why a White House reporter does not act “a little more positive” in covering the administration’s coronavirus response.


A New Jersey man was charged after throwing a 'Corona Party' for nearly 50 people in his apartment

A New Jersey man was charged after throwing a 'Corona Party' for nearly 50 people in his apartmentNew Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy warned that people will be "named and shamed" as authorities enforce the state's stay-at-home order.


Wuhan's virus ground-zero market hides in plain sight

Wuhan's virus ground-zero market hides in plain sightIn the Chinese city of Wuhan, the wet market that spawned the pandemic which has brought the world to its knees now slumbers quietly behind a tidy-looking blue-and-white partition. Chinese disease control officials have previously identified wild animals sold in the market as the source of the coronavirus pandemic that has taken more than 33,000 lives worldwide so far and rocked the global economy. Markets such as this are the final stop in what conservationists say is a brutal trade in wild animals that is fuelled in large part by Chinese consumption.


Fox News reportedly fears its early downplaying of COVID-19 leaves it open to lawsuits

Fox News reportedly fears its early downplaying of COVID-19 leaves it open to lawsuitsFox Business announced Friday that it has "parted ways" with Trish Regan, a prime time host who gained notoriety for suggesting on her March 9 show that the COVID-19 coronavirus was a politically motivated "scam." The decision "took some journalists and anchors at the network by surprise," The New York Times reports, because "Fox executives are accustomed to withstanding public pressure, and rarely make personnel moves that can be construed as validating criticisms of the network."Fox Business wished Regan the best and said the network "will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future" to focus on "the coronavirus crisis." On MNSBC Sunday morning, Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman said ousting Regan appears to be part of a larger effort to limit legal liability tied to the disconnect between Fox's public and private responses to the pandemic.In early March, "Fox News tried to do their original playbook, which was dismiss it as a hoax, say that this is another partisan attempt by Democrats to hurt Donald Trump, and this was the case where they could not prevent reality," Sherman said. "Fox News is a very powerful media organization, but it cannot stop people from dropping dead." He added:> When I've been talking to Fox insiders over the last few days, there's a real concern inside the network that their early downplaying of the coronavirus actually exposes Fox News to potential legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this. I've heard Trish Regan's being taken off the air is, you know, reflective of this concern that Fox News is in big trouble by downplaying this virus. ... I think this is a case where Fox's coverage, if it actually winds up being proved that people died because of it, this is a new terrain in terms of Fox being possibly held liable for their actions. [Gabriel Sherman, MSNBC]Whether Fox's coverage of the coronavirus hurts Fox, it has helped Trump, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted March 19-24.> % of U.S. adults who say Donald Trump is doing an excellent job at responding to the coronavirus outbreak, by main source of political news> > Fox News: 63% > CBS: 24% > NBC: 15% > ABC: 14% > CNN: 7% > MSNBC: 2% > NPR: 2% > New York Times: 1%> > More in our data tool: https://t.co/loFFqxqJb8 pic.twitter.com/giN3lsxoxQ> > — Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) March 27, 2020Pew surveyed 11,537 panelists and the margin of sampling error for that full sample is ±1.5 percentage points.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Coronavirus: Airlines ‘entering danger zone’

Coronavirus: Airlines ‘entering danger zone’A group of 38 MPs calls on the chancellor to support airlines during the coronavirus crisis.


North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreak

North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreakNorth Korea on Sunday fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea, South Korea and Japan said, continuing a streak of weapons launches that suggests leader Kim Jong Un is trying to strengthen domestic support amid worries about a possible coronavirus outbreak in the country. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the projectiles flying from the North Korean eastern coastal city of Wonsan into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan on Sunday morning.


Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'

Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'"I think in some of the metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines," the White House coronavirus response coordinator said on "TODAY."


Plane explosion in Philippines kills eight, including two foreigners

Plane explosion in Philippines kills eight, including two foreignersA medical evacuation plane exploded during take-off in the Philippine capital on Sunday, killing all eight passengers and crew, including an American and a Canadian, officials said. The plane, owned by a Philippines-registered charter service Lionair, had been bound for Haneda, Japan, but burst into flames at the end of the runway around 8 p.m. (1200 GMT), Manila's main airport said. Indonesian carrier Lion Air issued a statement making clear that it is unrelated to Manila-based Lionair.


Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of Disaster

Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of DisasterA burst of fresh data on the prevalence of “silent,” or asymptomatic, carriers of the 2019 novel coronavirus points to the looming danger of ending America’s national shutdown early.Classified Chinese government data suggest “silent carriers” could make up at least one-third of the country’s positive cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post recently reported. Approximately 43,000 people in China who had tested positive for COVID-19 last month had no immediate symptoms. And those cases were not included in the official national tally of confirmed cases, which had hit 80,000 at the end of February, the paper said.Last week, China reported no new local infections for the first time since the outbreak started in December. And after weeks of lockdown, the city of Wuhan—where the global pandemic originated—said on Tuesday that public transportation was reopening and that residents would be allowed to leave the city itself starting on April 8.But as extensive testing continues, authorities in Wuhan have found new cases of asymptomatic—or mildly symptomatic—infection, sparking concerns about how many contagious people have been circulating freely. Fresh data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday about a nursing home in Washington state only served to compound those fears.Four Ways Experts Say Coronavirus Nightmare Could End“Almost everybody thinks there’s the potential of a second wave after we relax the restrictions,” said Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and an expert on U.S. readiness for pandemics. “There’s no good timeframe—it’s certainly not by Easter—that we’ll be starting to loosen up,” he continued, referring to President Donald Trump’s suggested finish line. “But once we do, people who did not have coronavirus will be going out to spaces where silent spreaders might be.”With Americans still getting acclimated to a quasi-national shutdown, and Trump repeatedly suggesting restrictions might ease in a matter of days or weeks, the prospect of silent spreaders wreaking epidemiological havoc looms large.“The biggest danger here is that this is like a stealth attack in that you have no idea that the person you have come into contact with is contagious,” said Dr. Adrian Hyzler, the chief medical officer for Healix International, which provides medical information to organizations whose clients travel internationally. “It makes it so much more difficult to try to contain the spread of the virus.”For obvious reasons, silent carriers are not nearly as notorious in the public imagination as “super-spreaders,” or patients who are extra contagious. A possible super-spreader in the United Kingdom may have transmitted the virus to nearly a dozen people before realizing he was sick earlier this year. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization previously claimed that pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic transmission of the new coronavirus was “relatively rare.” But newer studies—out of Japan, Italy, South Korea, and now Washington state—have called that assertion into question. And research suggests that silent spreaders can be just as dangerous to a community.The CDC released a study on Friday of the outbreak’s spread—specifically via asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic patients—in a long-term care facility in King County, Washington. The report found that “approximately half of all residents with positive test results did not have any symptoms at the time of testing, suggesting that transmission from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic residents—who were not recognized as having [the coronavirus] infection and therefore not isolated—might have contributed to further spread.”“These findings have important implications for infection control,” according to the CDC, since “current interventions” for preventing the virus’s transmission, in part because of the shortage of tests, primarily rely on the presence of “signs and symptoms to identify and isolate residents or patients who might have COVID-19.” Patients were cohorted, or separated, according to which ones had symptoms. But that method of intervention no longer makes sense if there are asymptomatic—or silent—spreaders within a community, especially one that is at high risk of severe infection.Researchers previously published a study in the journal Science on March 16, finding that 86 percent of all infections in China before Jan. 23—when the government there instituted severe travel restrictions—were undocumented because they were mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic.“They may, for the most part, have experienced some symptoms at some point,” Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University who worked on the study, explained to WBUR radio. “But it didn't keep them home, didn't stop them from getting on public transportation, going to work, going to school, getting on airplanes and going on business trips.”Because those individuals didn’t feel sick—or didn’t know they were sick—and kept traveling through the community, the researchers found that this group of people “contributed to the vast majority of the spread” of the virus, added Shaman, who called the phenomenon “stealth transmission.”In a letter to the International Journal of Infectious Diseases in February, a group of Japanese experts led by epidemiologist Hiroshi Nishiura at Hokkaido University wrote that the growing data outside of China “indicates that a substantial number of cases are underdiagnosed.” Nishiura’s group estimated—based on the number of asymptomatic Japanese patients who were evacuated from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China—that about 30.8 percent of cases were asymptomatic.Of course, American authorities know even less than their foreign counterparts about how many cases there are, period. The same goes for silent spreaders. “This is partly because health systems are just overrun with sick people, as well as a scarcity of testing kits,” said Hyzler, adding that a trial in a small Italian town where all 30,000 people were tested revealed that asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic people represented a whopping 70 percent of all cases, of which an unknown number were able to transmit the virus to others.Redlener noted that, while much is still unknown, “the vast majority of Americans with the virus will be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, and we really have to be careful not to relax our stringent requirements too soon.” The U.S. health system has generally not tested individuals without symptoms unless they are especially wealthy or well-connected—like NBA players or Sen. Rand Paul—or else health workers with known exposure. And in many places in the U.S., authorities are discouraging testing except in the case of severe symptoms, meaning American officials have limited data on the number of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases, with few exceptions.Hyzler said there were two key assumptions that likely went into the decision to begin opening up Wuhan again: that there are very few unidentified silent spreaders transmitting the infection throughout the community, and that the incubation period is 14 days.If authorities are correct on both points, it might well be safe to resume public transportation and to allow travel to and from the city. But if they’re incorrect, Hyzler cautioned: “We will certainly start to see a second wave of cases” emerge in China.Fortunately for Wuhan and its surrounding province, China’s zealous testing means that authorities would likely detect a new wave “right away” before it spread very far, according to Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology and global health at the University of Michigan who has advised both the World Health Organization and the Defense Department on communicable diseases.But unless the U.S. rapidly expands its testing—and zealously tracks individuals who’ve had contact with confirmed cases—Americans won’t have that same advantage. Both Hyzler and Monto said they hoped the U.S. government could learn from its weeks of delays, as well as failures abroad. But there’s no guarantee.Vice President Mike Pence took heat this past week for claiming that federal officials may soon recommend that critical workers—even those who’ve been exposed to the virus—return to work, as long as they wear a mask.“It’s premature to try to put a time limit on this,” said Monto, who emphasized the importance of continued social distancing throughout the country to control the surge of cases from overwhelming hospitals.“From an epidemiological standpoint, one lockdown would be better than waves of lockdown,” he said. “With waves, all you’d be doing is letting it up again and then you’re back where you started. I think if we’re still seeing an overwhelming number of cases in hospitals, it’s too early to lift a lockdown.”Ultimately, Hyzler argued, there are two main ways that authorities can try to ensure that an end to social distancing isn’t premature. One is so-called herd immunity, or, as he put it, “if a good percentage, maybe as many as 70 percent of people... have been infected and therefore, we assume, have an immunity against a re-infection.” The other is what’s called antibody testing, or, as Hyzler explained, “once you can show that someone has had the virus, and they no longer need to self-isolate and can return to work.” (To be clear, the jury’s still out on whether some patients who already had coronavirus can be re-infected.)But without enough tests, Monto said, “we have no idea at this point” how many people may be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. “After the dust settles,” he said, scientists will likely make an effort to collect blood samples, which can detect antibodies for the virus after a person has recovered. “We’ll know the numbers only after the fact,” he added.Redlener was more optimistic: “The hope is that we get to a point where mass testing will be possible.”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.


New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks

New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks"The non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home," Cuomo said a day after the president decided against a mandatory quarantine.


Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal

Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal(Bloomberg) -- The Kremlin’s sudden shift of ownership of multi-billion-dollar oil projects in Venezuela shields oil giant Rosneft PJSC from further U.S. sanctions but keeps Moscow firmly behind embattled President Nicolas Maduro amid a wider stand-off with Washington.“Russia is not walking away from Maduro and will seek to thwart U.S. efforts to depose him,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former diplomat and foreign policy analyst in Moscow. “Moscow is just shielding Rosneft from sanctions which could result in a blanket embargo on all Rosneft exports.”Fears of broader sanctions have grown after the U.S. in recent months slapped restrictions on Rosneft trading companies for handling business with Venezuela. More recently, the U.S. has hinted that it might step up pressure on the Russian oil sector to reduce production. That followed Moscow’s decision early this month not to deepen output cuts agreed with OPEC led Saudi Arabia to boost output, flooding the market and pushing prices to the lowest levels in decades.The administration of President Donald Trump has already reached out to Saudi leaders to reconsider their strategy, which has battered producers in the U.S. with low prices.Read: Putin and MBS Draw Trump Into Grudge Match for Oil SupremacyRosneft late Saturday announced it’s turning over its Venezuelan projects to an unnamed state-owned company in what it called an effort to protect its shareholders’ interests. Rosneft, which produces 40% of Russian oil and 5% of world output and has substantial exposure in the western financial system, can’t afford the risk of broad U.S. sanctions that could cripple its operations. Earlier this month, a Chinese company said it wouldn’t buy crude from Rosneft because of the risks caused by the sanctions on the trading companies.“As recently as February, the Venezuelan business was profitable, which offset the sanctions risk,” said Ivan Timofeyev, an analyst at the Kremlin-founded Russian International Affairs Council. “Now the desire to avoid sanctions coincided with the need to avoid losses” after oil prices plunged, he added.The Russian giant has already cut its exposure under multi-billion-dollar prepayment deals reached several years ago. Venezuela’s oil producer PDVSA owes Rosneft only $800 million at the end of the third quarter of 2019, according to the last available data, down from $4.6 billion at the end of 2017.Sanctions ProtectionThe latest Russian maneuver mirrored its strategy in 2018 when it used Promsvzyabank to set up a new banking vehicle to serve the defense industry after state-owned weapons producers came under U.S. sanctions, thereby shielding the country’s two largest banks, government-controlled Sberbank and VTB. Unlike those big lenders, which have significant exposure to western financial institutions and thus are at risk from sweeping U.S. sanctions, the new special entity operated largely out of Washington’s reach.While Rosneft may even push to have the recently imposed sanctions on the trading units lifted, risks remain.“Rosneft is trying to stay out of the firing-line but nothing stops the Americans from finding another pretext to sanction it,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, who heads the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a research group in Moscow that advises the Kremlin.“Russia understands that Maduro is in an awful situation, especially with oil prices at rock bottom,” he said. “But Putin’s psychology is that you should stick with partners in difficulty.”Maduro said on state TV on Saturday evening that ”President Putin sent me a message through his ambassador reaffirming their strategic and integral support to Venezuela in all areas.”Rosneft StakeFrolov said, “Moscow thinks that Maduro is actually winning the fight with the opposition and is likely to split it to the point where he would be able to win parliamentary elections this year.” Russia has backed Maduro even as the U.S. and its allies back opposition leader Juan Guaido.For Rosneft, the deal also could give management, led by Igor Sechin, its influential chief executive, greater control, since the company is receiving 9.6% of its own shares in the transaction. That may mean the government’s share in Rosneft falls below a controlling stake, according to Andrey Polischuk, Moscow-based analyst for Raiffeisenbank.Neither the company nor the government would comment on whether the deal will bring state ownership below 50%.“Sechin gets Rosneft shares and Putin gets the chance to trade with Trump,” said Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.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.


Iran warns of lengthy 'new way of life' as virus deaths rise

Iran warns of lengthy 'new way of life'  as virus deaths risePresident Hassan Rouhani warned Sunday that "the new way of life" in Iran was likely to be prolonged, as its declared death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 2,640. The Islamic republic is one of the countries worst-hit by the virus, which first originated in China. Iran announced its first infection cases on February 19, but a senior health official has acknowledged that the virus was likely to have already reached Iran in January.


U.S. journalists barred from China could have a new home in Taiwan

U.S. journalists barred from China could have a new home in TaiwanJournalists from three of the United States' most prestigious publications may not be able to report from China anymore, but Taiwan is offering them refuge.Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph We invited American journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, to set up shop on the China-claimed island after the newspapers were stripped of their credentials by Beijing. Wu said reporters from the prestigious U.S. publications would be welcomed with "open arms and lots of genuine smiles."> As @nytimes, @WSJ & @washingtonpost face intensifying hostility in China, I'd like to welcome you to be stationed in Taiwan — a country that is a beacon of freedom & democracy. Yes! You'll find people here greeting you with open arms & lots of genuine smiles. JW> > — 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) (@MOFA_Taiwan) March 28, 2020There reportedly aren't many permanent foreign correspondents stationed in Taiwan, and none of the three papers have a full-time presence on the island, so it remains to be seen if they'll take up the offer.China announced earlier this month that it was revoking the papers' accreditations in their China bureaus, as well as preventing them from operating in Hong Kong. Beijing said the decision was retaliation for Washington labeling Chinese state media as diplomatic missions.Taiwan has received praise for its handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic in part because the island has stepped up its border controls, mostly allowing entry only to permanent residences. But it seems they'd make an exception in this case. Read more at The Hill and Reuters.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdown

Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdownNarendra Modi apologises for sweeping restrictions that have left many jobless and hungry.


North Korea says US clearly doesn't want nuclear talks

North Korea says US clearly doesn't want nuclear talksNorth Korea said Monday that “reckless remarks” by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear that Washington has no intention of resuming nuclear talks, and warned that it is now compelled to pay back “the pains the U.S. has imposed on our people.” After a teleconference of foreign ministers of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations last week, Pompeo told reporters the international community must remain united in urging North Korea to return to nuclear talks and in continuing to apply pressure on its nuclear and missile programs. Pompeo’s remarks showed the U.S. has no strategy to stop “a countdown of confrontation,” North Korea said in a statement attributed to its new Foreign Ministry department director general in charge of negotiations with Washington.


Largest U.S. dam removal sparks debate over coveted West water

Largest U.S. dam removal sparks debate over coveted West waterCalifornia’s second-largest river has sustained Native American tribes with salmon for millennia, provided upstream farmers with irrigation water for generations and served as a haven for retirees who built homes along its banks.


Spain toughens restrictions as coronavirus death toll surges

Spain toughens restrictions as coronavirus death toll surgesSpain prepared to enter its third week under near-total lockdown on Sunday, as the government approved a strengthening of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and the death toll rose by 838 cases overnight to 6,528. Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain also saw infections rise to 78,797 from 72,248 the day before. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, announced that all non-essential workers must stay at home for two weeks, the latest government measure in the fight against coronavirus.


Nursing Homes Balk at Taking Back Patients From Hospitals

Nursing Homes Balk at Taking Back Patients From HospitalsBy Judith Graham, Kaiser Health NewsA wrenching conflict is emerging as the COVID-19 virus storms through U.S. communities: Some patients are falling into a no man’s land between hospitals and nursing homes. Hospitals need to clear out patients who no longer need acute care. But nursing homes don’t want to take patients discharged from hospitals for fear they’ll bring the coronavirus with them.“It’s a huge and very difficult issue,” said Cassie Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association, whose members were hit early by the coronavirus.Each side has legitimate concerns. Hospitals in coronavirus hot spots need to free up beds for the next wave of critically ill patients. They are canceling elective and nonessential procedures. They are also trying to move coronavirus patients out of the hospital as quickly as possible.The goal is to “allow hospitals to reserve beds for the most severely ill patients by discharging those who are less severely ill to skilled nursing facilities,” Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said a few weeks ago as the federal agency relaxed rules restricting which Medicare patients can receive nursing home care.Nursing homes are alarmed at the prospect of taking patients who may have coronavirus infections. The consequences could be dire. The first nursing home known to have COVID-19, the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, saw the virus spread like wildfire. It killed 37 people.“We’re looking at case fatality rates of 30, 40, 50% in nursing homes when coronavirus gets introduced,” said Christopher Laxton, executive director of AMDA—the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, which represents nursing home medical directors. Fears extend to patients with other conditions, such as strokes or heart attacks, who’ve been in the hospital and do not have COVID-19 symptoms but could harbor the virus.In its most recent guidance, the American Health Care Association, an industry trade group, said nursing homes can accept patients “who are COVID negative or do not have symptoms.” If someone has symptoms such as a dry cough or fever, they “should be tested for COVID-19 before being admitted to the facility.” If someone is COVID positive, they should be kept only “with other COVID positive residents.”Three Nuns Left to Handle Nearly 100 Seniors Presumed to Have Coronavirus in NJ Care HomeBut nursing home doctors worry this doesn’t go far enough. According to a resolution by the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine, nursing homes should not have to take patients known to have the coronavirus unless “they have two negative tests that are 24 hours apart, OR 10 days after admission AND no fever for 72 hours.” A new AMDA resolution echoes this caution.“We have an obligation to our patients to draw the line,” said Dr. Michael Wasserman, president of the California association. “Increasing the number of COVID-19 positive residents in facilities—whether these facilities have patients with the virus or not—raises the risk of infecting the uninfected and dramatically increasing the number of deaths.”For their part, hospital leaders say an emphasis on testing before discharging patients is impractical, given the shortage of tests and delays in receiving results.“Many nursing homes are requiring a negative COVID-19 test even for patients who were in the hospital for nothing to do with COVID,” said Sauer in Washington state. “We don’t agree with this. It’s using up very limited testing resources.”Nowhere are tensions higher than in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said 73,000 extra hospital beds will be needed within weeks to treat a surge of COVID-19 patients. Hospitals in the state have 53,000 beds.On Wednesday, the New York State Department of Health issued an advisory noting: “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”Speaking on behalf of nursing home physicians, AMDA voiced strong opposition, calling the policy “over-reaching, not consistent with science, unenforceable, and beyond all, not in the least consistent with patient safety principles” in a statement.Some nursing homes are sending residents with suspected coronavirus to hospitals for evaluation and then refusing to take them back until tests confirm their negative status. “Essentially, they’re dumping patients on hospitals and saying, ‘Too bad—you’re stuck with them now,’” said a consultant who works closely with hospitals and spoke on the condition of anonymity.Others want to do their part to serve COVID-19 patients. “It is our obligation to keep the health care system flowing,” said Scott LaRue, president of ArchCare, the health care system of the Archdiocese of New York.LaRue has no illusions about keeping the coronavirus out of ArchCare’s five nursing homes, which, combined, have 1,700 beds.“In New York City the virus is everywhere,” he said. That means it has to be managed, not avoided. “Our intention is to take COVID-19 stable patients” and move them to a single floor at each nursing home, he said.That will happen under two conditions, LaRue said. First, ArchCare will need sufficient personal protective equipment—gowns, masks and face shields—for its staff. Currently, the system can’t get face shields. It was due to run out of gowns by Wednesday.Second, ArchCare will need to test whether its protocols for managing COVID-positive patients are working. Those include putting patients in isolation, monitoring them more closely, limiting the number of people who can go in, and ensuring that staff use personal protective equipment and are trained properly.  So far, only one of its nursing home patients is known to have COVID-19. “We won’t know for 14 days if the steps we’re taking are working,” LaRue said.Do I Have Coronavirus? A Symptoms Primer.But it’s unrealistic to expect other nursing homes to follow suit.“I would be surprised if 10% to 15% of skilled nursing facilities in the U.S. could take a COVID-positive patient and treat that patient safely while ensuring that other residents in the home are safe,” said David Grabowski, a professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.In a new commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Grabowski calls for establishing “centers of excellence” to care for patients recovering from COVID-19 and building “temporary capacity” in hot spots where the need for post-hospital services is likely to surge.That’s beginning to happen. On Tuesday, Cuomo announced that a field hospital being built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to house overflow coronavirus patients at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City would include 1,000 beds for patients who don’t need acute care services.On Wednesday, a unit of Partners HealthCare, a large Massachusetts health care system, announced a new center for patients recovering from COVID-19 on the fourth floor of Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Care, a long-term care hospital in Cambridge. The center, set to open soon, will have 60 beds and accept patients from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.In the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, Allina Health, which operates 11 hospitals, is partnering with Presbyterian Homes & Services to convert a 50-bed skilled nursing home to a “step-down site,” said Dr. Emily Downing, a vice president of Allina Health. The goal is to help COVID-19 patients recover so they can return to nursing homes or senior living communities.Katie Smith Sloan, president of LeadingAge, which represents not-for-profit nursing homes, home care agencies and assisted living centers, said she was hearing about nascent plans to reopen closed nursing homes for COVID-19 patients. Government agencies need to make financing available to build extra capacity to care for these patients, she said.As for patients who need less intensive care or who need to be quarantined after the hospital to ensure they aren’t infectious, other options exist.“King County has bought a hotel and is leasing another and is looking at what are now empty ambulatory surgery centers or a Christian summer camp in the area,” said Sauer of the Washington State Hospital Association. 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.


Germany could issue hundreds of thousands of people coronavirus 'immunity certificates' so they can leave the lockdown early

Germany could issue hundreds of thousands of people coronavirus 'immunity certificates' so they can leave the lockdown earlyThe tests could allow hundreds of thousands of people to leave their coronavirus lockdowns early.


Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prison

Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prisonThe death of Patrick Jones marks the first COVID-19-related death of an inmate in the federal prison system, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said.


Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off

Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks offWuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic. Thousands of migrant workers in India, left jobless and penniless by the full shutdown of the country, are walking long distances back to their home villages after all transport was stopped except for essential services.


The U.S. is preparing for a medical supply airlift of unprecedented scale

The U.S. is preparing for a medical supply airlift of unprecedented scaleAs hospitals across the United States face a shortage of medical supplies in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic, planes are gearing up to bring in reinforcements.The first aircraft in a series of flights scheduled by the White House over the next 30 days arrived in New York from Shanghai on Sunday morning, bringing with it 12 million gloves, 130,000 N95 masks, 17.6 surgical masks, 50,000 gowns, 130,000 hand sanitizer units, and 36,000 thermometers, all of which will be distributed throughout the New York tri-state area. A non-government distributor had actually already bought the supplies and planned to sell them in New York, but they'd normally arrive on ships. A sea voyage would've taken over a month, so the government is expediting the process by air. Going forward, the U.S. has 22 similar flights coming in over the next two weeks that will distribute supplies to different parts of the country, per Axios.Navy Rear Admiral John Polowcyzk, who is running the Federal Emergency Management Agency's coronavirus supply chain task force, said he doesn't think the U.S. has ever seen anything like this on its own soil. "I don't know of another effort like this," he told Axios.Polowcyzk is hoping it's only a two- or three-week effort, but admitted planes could be coming in over the next month. Read more at Axios.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Blissful ignorance? Submariners likely unaware of pandemic

Blissful ignorance? Submariners likely unaware of pandemicOf a world in coronavirus turmoil, they may know little or nothing. Submariners stealthily cruising the ocean deeps, purposefully shielded from worldly worries to encourage undivided focus on their top-secret missions of nuclear deterrence, may be among the last pockets of people anywhere who are still blissfully unaware of how the pandemic is turning life upside down. Mariners aboard ballistic submarines are habitually spared bad news while underwater to avoid undermining their morale, say current and former officers who served aboard France's nuclear-armed subs.


'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projections

'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projectionsGov. Andrew Cuomo spoke about New York state’s fatality projections during a press conference on Sunday.


North Korea slams Pompeo and says will 'walk our way'

North Korea slams Pompeo and says will 'walk our way'North Korea on Monday warned it could cut off dialogue with the United States and slammed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for urging the international community to maintain sanctions on its regime. Pompeo last week told nations to "stay committed to applying diplomatic and economic pressure" over the North's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes while calling on the nuclear-armed state to return to talks. A string of weapons drills by Pyongyang has come during a prolonged hiatus in disarmament talks with the United States and despite recent overtures from Washington offering help to contain the coronavirus pandemic.


Moscow says coronavirus outbreak enters new phase as residents go out to brave risk
Africa's paradox: It may be the worst and best place to ride out coronavirus

Africa's paradox: It may be the worst and best place to ride out coronavirusCOVID-19 may compound difficulties in a part of the world that's long grappled with conflict, humanitarian disaster and infrastructure inadequacies. Yet Africa has deep experience fighting infectious disease and a very young population.


About 700 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus, State Police Head Says

About 700 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus, State Police Head SaysNew Jersey has reported the second highest number of cases in the U.S., trailing only New York


A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show 'the ghastly reality of what' medical workers deal with on frontlines

A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show 'the ghastly reality of what' medical workers deal with on frontlinesThe harrowing image shows the bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients being stored in a refrigerated truck outside the ambulance bay.


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.


White House task force official says 'no state, no metro area' will be spared from coronavirus

White House task force official says 'no state, no metro area' will be spared from coronavirusThe United States is preparing for a novel coronavirus epidemic that is national in scope."No state, no metro area will be spared," Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press.Birx was clear that no area of the country will evade the effects of the virus, but said the sooner places react and instill mitigation measures, the easier it will be to "move forward."> WATCH: Dr. Deborah Birx says "no metro area will be spared" of the coronavirus outbreak. MTP IfItsSunday> > Dr. Birx: "The sooner we react and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they have put in full mitigation ... then we'll be able to move forward." pic.twitter.com/B9Fo3lUVHA> > -- Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 29, 2020Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also provided a sense of scale Sunday, but he said he doesn't want to be held to any prediction. Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper that he's never seen an outbreak match the worst-case scenario of its models, and he believes that remains unlikely for the coronavirus, as well. Nevertheless, he thinks it's possible the U.S. could be looking at somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. > Dr. Anthony Fauci says there could potentially be between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths related to the coronavirus and millions of cases. "I just don't think that we really need to make a projection when it's such a moving target, that you could so easily be wrong," he adds. CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/F2MOHY3xl4> > -- State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 29, 2020More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictions

Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictionsPeople still sit at outdoor cafes in the center of Sweden's capital. Swedish authorities have advised the public to practice social distancing and to work from home, if possible, and urged those over age 70 to self-isolate as a precaution. Standing at bars has been banned in Sweden, but restaurant customers can still be served at tables instead of having to take food to go.


Coronavirus: India defiant as millions struggle under lockdown

Coronavirus: India defiant as millions struggle under lockdownThe government defends strict lockdown measures that have left millions stranded and without food.


Boris Johnson's government is reportedly furious with China and believes it could have 40 times more coronavirus cases than it claims

Boris Johnson's government is reportedly furious with China and believes it could have 40 times more coronavirus cases than it claimsUK government sources quoted on Sunday say China faces a "reckoning" over its handling of the coronavirus crisis.


Pelosi: Trump's downplaying of coronavirus has cost American lives

Pelosi: Trump's downplaying of coronavirus has cost American livesHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharpened her criticism of President Trump’s early dismissal of the coronavirus, saying the delay cost American lives. She criticized the president's initial response to the virus during a Sunday morning interview on CNN.


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.   


A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread

A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread"I was aggravated," Peter Levine said of his son's decision to party on South Padre Island instead of heeding warnings about the virus.


Serial killer dubbed Grim Sleeper dies in California prison

Serial killer dubbed Grim Sleeper dies in California prisonLonnie Franklin, the convicted serial killer known as the "Grim Sleeper" who preyed on the women of South Los Angeles for more than two decades, has died in prison. California corrections officials said Franklin was found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison on Saturday evening. An autopsy will determine the cause of death; however, there were no signs of trauma, corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said in a statement.


After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — there are signs that Italy's lockdown is beginning to work after 3 weeks

After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — there are signs that Italy's lockdown is beginning to work after 3 weeksItaly's count of new coronavirus deaths and infections are starting to fall, though the country is likely still in for an extended lockdown.


Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sources

Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sourcesCARACAS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former head of Venezuela's military intelligence unit, Hugo Carvajal, is discussing his possible surrender with U.S. authorities, three people familiar with the matter said on Saturday, after prosecutors charged him this week with drug trafficking alongside Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Carvajal, a former general and ally of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has been in hiding since a Spanish court in November approved his extradition to the United States.


Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro in denial and out on a limb

Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro in denial and out on a limbThe president is isolating himself from other world leaders as he downplays the coronavirus pandemic.


'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-right

'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-rightAngela Merkel's long-struggling conservatives have rebounded in the polls thanks to the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis and widespread faith in the outgoing German chancellor's ability to manage the upheaval. Shaking off years of record-low popularity, Merkel's centre-right CDU/CSU bloc is now enjoying approval ratings of around 32 to 35 percent, some six to seven points higher than just a few weeks ago. It's a surprise turn of events for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) which as recently as last month was riven by internal turmoil and debate over who would be the party's chancellor candidate when Merkel bows out in 2021.


An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado.

An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado.He went viral for distancing from his wife and 1-year-old son. Days later, his house was destroyed by a tornado that hit Jonesboro, Arkansas.


Tucker Carlson Wants to Have It Both Ways on Coronavirus

Tucker Carlson Wants to Have It Both Ways on CoronavirusFox News primetime star Tucker Carlson has been credited with pushing President Donald Trump to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously and has received mainstream media plaudits for seemingly calling out his own colleagues for actively downplaying the outbreak.Yet, while Carlson has been applauded for preaching concern about the viral outbreak while his fellow pro-Trump hosts on the network attempted to dismiss the COVID-19 fears as a partisan ploy, he has actually played both sides for his audience, giving voice to reckless conspiracies, unserious characters with no expertise, and wholly dangerous rhetoric.Earlier this month, as confirmed cases and deaths began surging across the country, Carlson gained widespread acclaim when he called out those “minimizing” COVID-19, calling the pandemic a “very serious problem.” It was seen at the time that Carlson was calling out both Trump and many of his Fox News colleagues—without naming them, of course—for reacting inappropriately to the impending crisis.That March 9 monologue apparently helped prompt the president to finally take action on the pandemic after waving it away for weeks, with White House sources saying Carlson’s segment was a “turning point” for Trump. The Fox News host, who has informally advised the president on other matters in the past, also traveled down to Mar-a-Lago the previous weekend to convince the president about the gravity of the situation, later saying he felt it was his “moral obligation” to do so.As a result, Carlson has been the focus of several largely sympathetic portraits and interviews in the mainstream press. Various outlets remarked positively on Carlson’s “moral obligation” to convince Trump to take the crisis seriously, with some noting that the Fox host “admirably focused” on pandemic from the beginning.The Fox host’s portrayal in the media as courageously standing alone among his overtly pro-Trump primetime brethren has rankled network brass. According to The New York Times, the network’s PR chief Irena Briganti has complained about Carlson “casting himself to reporters as a heroic truth-teller in contrast with other hosts.”While it is true that Carlson was essentially alone among the network’s key stars in sounding the alarm on coronavirus—for instance, now-former Fox Business host Trish Regan labeled it an “impeachment scam” the same time Carlson was declaring the pandemic was “real”—his early warnings also revolved around peddling baseless conspiracies and blaming “woke” politics for the spread of the virus.Tucker Carlson Appears to Call Out Trump, Fox Colleagues for ‘Minimizing’ CoronavirusThroughout February, Carlson floated the debunked theory that the virus was created by the Chinese government in a research laboratory, potentially as a bioweapon against the United States. The theory began making rounds in the right-wing media ecosystem after former Trump adviser Steve Bannon began pushing it on his radio show.Despite a medical expert shooting down the now-debunked theory earlier in the month, Carlson continued to peddle it on subsequent broadcasts. On Feb. 18, Carlson hosted The Washington Times’ Bill Gertz, whose specious reporting was the basis of Bannon’s theory, to discuss his speculation. During the interview, the Fox host claimed unnamed “experts” were considering the possibility the virus was created in a Chinese lab while adding it is “worth getting to the bottom of.”When he wasn’t wildly speculating that the virus was a Chinese bioweapon, Carlson also spent weeks blaming “diversity” for the virus. Taking aim at progressive writers who warned against racist attacks in the wake of the pandemic—hate crimes against Asian-Americans have been on the rise—Carlson groused that “identity politics trumped public health and not for the first time.”“Wokeness is a cult,” he added. “They would let you die before they admitted that diversity is not our strength.”He would continue to blame “identity politics” for the spread of the virus, resulting in him at one point turning to conservative columnist Eddie Scarry—best-known as the “AOC creepshot guy”—for coronavirus expertise in late February. As financial markets started to experience record drops over COVID-19 fears, Carlson gave primetime airspace to the Examiner writer, who called the disease the “Commie cough” while claiming it originated from Chinese people eating skunks. Carlson, meanwhile, applauded Scarry, claiming “everything” he said “is true” as the trollish columnist railed against political correctness and its supposed impact on the health crisis.In the wake of his call for conservatives to take coronavirus seriously, Carlson kept blasting “wokeness” as one of the central causes of the disease’s spread, at one point insisting that not calling it the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” could literally kill people. “In times of crisis euphemisms kill,” he said. “You need accuracy and clear language in the way you talk about the threat. It’s essential.” He later applauded Trump for publicly using the term “Chinese virus.”Moreover, and more recently, Carlson seemed to backpedal on his “serious” concerns over the pandemic this week. With the president’s declared desire for an early end to social distancing restrictions, many conservatives backed Trump’s push despite the warning of public health experts.Texas Lt. Gov: Senior Citizens Willing to Die to Save Economy for GrandkidsDuring last Monday’s broadcast of his show, Carlson brought on Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to defend the president’s suggestion, who subsequently said that elderly people such as himself would be willing to die from coronavirus to save America’s economy for their grandkids.“No one reached out to me and said as a senior citizen, ‘Are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” Patrick said. “And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.”At the end of the segment, Carlson nodded along with Patrick and added: “We really needed to hear that perspective.”The following night, Carlson hosted Fox News analyst Brit Hume to defend Patrick’s comments after they sparked controversy. In Hume’s opinion, Patrick saying grandparents were willing to sacrifice themselves to reopen the economy was an “extremely reasonable viewpoint.” Carlson, for his part, seemed confused why the lieutenant governor’s remarks “enrages so many people,” prompting Hume to say it was due to anti-Trump sentiment.Other guests that appeared this past week to share their coronavirus wisdom included comedian Adam Carrola, goofy podcaster Dave Rubin, and talk-radio blowhard Buck Sexton.But Carlson’s newfound reputation as a sober and earnest broker on the crisis perhaps looked the silliest on Wednesday when he brought on a self-proclaimed “corona truther” to wax poetic on self-isolation. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, a notorious troll and semi-regular guest of Carlson’s, showed up to talk about how he has taken a “financial beating” because the casino business is currently down—before discussing his choice of sweatpants and his TV-viewing habits.Prior to his Carlson appearance, Portnoy had spent weeks mocking concerns about the pandemic, comparing the virus to “the common cold” and saying he didn’t “care about the people dying... I just care about my wallet.”In fact, just two weeks before appearing on Tucker’s primetime show, Portnoy griped about the NBA suspending its season amid the outbreak, calling himself a “corona truther” and insisting that concern over the virus—which has now killed over 25,000 people worldwide—is either a “fraud, overreaction, or media concoction.”Carlson may have won media plaudits for his early concerns about the pandemic, but a closer look at his overall coverage proves we shouldn’t be so easily fooled.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.


Bill de Blasio says there isn't time to focus on coronavirus prevention missteps

Bill de Blasio says there isn't time to focus on coronavirus prevention misstepsNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn't want to focus on the past.CNN's Jake Tapper played some clips of de Blasio urging New Yorkers to go about their daily lives despite worries about the threat of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus in January, February, and March on Sunday's edition of State of the Union. Tapper then asked the mayor if he thinks his messaging may have had something to do with how fast the virus has spread in the city, which has become the U.S. epicenter.There was no outright denial from de Blasio, but he said he was working with the information he had at the time, while trying to make sure people's livelihoods remained intact. Now that it's become clear New York was unable to evade the virus, de Blasio argues "none of us have time to look backward." He said the only thing that should be on people's minds is how to get through the next week.> Bill de Blasio is asked on CNN about comments he made as recently as two weeks ago urging New Yorkers to "go about their lives." > > De Blasio responded, "we should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back on any level of government right now."pic.twitter.com/x70LjKRygG> > — andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) March 29, 2020Tapper, though, pointed out that de Blasio himself has criticized President Trump for being behind the coronavirus curve, to which the mayor replied he was early in complaining about a lack of testing. But he also suggested now wasn't the moment to talk about that, either. "The time to deal with these questions is after this war is over," he said.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequences

Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequencesCritics said Mexico's president was downplaying the coronavirus threat. But he has now shifted his tone.


Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirus

Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirusAndrea Napoli didn’t fit the usual profile of a coronavirus patient. At 33, he was in perfect health, with no history of respiratory disease. Until that day, Napoli was following his routine of work, jogging and swimming.


New York's coronavirus death toll just topped 1,000, but Gov. Cuomo warns that 'thousands' will die

New York's coronavirus death toll just topped 1,000, but Gov. Cuomo warns that 'thousands' will dieAccessible, rapid testing could bring a "return to normalcy," Cuomo said. But for now, he's extending New York's lockdown another two weeks.


Indian police fire tear gas on jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdown

Indian police fire tear gas on jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdownNEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - Police in western India fired tear gas to disperse a stone-pelting crowd of migrant workers defying a three-week lockdown against the coronavirus that has left hundreds of thousands of poor without jobs and hungry, authorities said on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the country's 1.3 billion people to remain indoors until April 15, declaring such self-isolation was the only hope to stop the viral pandemic. On Sunday, about 500 workers clashed with police in the western city of Surat demanding they be allowed to go home to other parts of India because they had no jobs left.


Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps?

Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps?A Facebook post warned users to be careful at the gas station because coronavirus is spreading "quickly" via pumps. This claim is partly false.


Trump asks why reporter doesn't act 'a little more positive'

Trump asks why reporter doesn't act 'a little more positive'President Trump on Sunday asked why a White House reporter does not act “a little more positive” in covering the administration’s coronavirus response.


A New Jersey man was charged after throwing a 'Corona Party' for nearly 50 people in his apartment

A New Jersey man was charged after throwing a 'Corona Party' for nearly 50 people in his apartmentNew Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy warned that people will be "named and shamed" as authorities enforce the state's stay-at-home order.


Wuhan's virus ground-zero market hides in plain sight

Wuhan's virus ground-zero market hides in plain sightIn the Chinese city of Wuhan, the wet market that spawned the pandemic which has brought the world to its knees now slumbers quietly behind a tidy-looking blue-and-white partition. Chinese disease control officials have previously identified wild animals sold in the market as the source of the coronavirus pandemic that has taken more than 33,000 lives worldwide so far and rocked the global economy. Markets such as this are the final stop in what conservationists say is a brutal trade in wild animals that is fuelled in large part by Chinese consumption.


Fox News reportedly fears its early downplaying of COVID-19 leaves it open to lawsuits

Fox News reportedly fears its early downplaying of COVID-19 leaves it open to lawsuitsFox Business announced Friday that it has "parted ways" with Trish Regan, a prime time host who gained notoriety for suggesting on her March 9 show that the COVID-19 coronavirus was a politically motivated "scam." The decision "took some journalists and anchors at the network by surprise," The New York Times reports, because "Fox executives are accustomed to withstanding public pressure, and rarely make personnel moves that can be construed as validating criticisms of the network."Fox Business wished Regan the best and said the network "will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future" to focus on "the coronavirus crisis." On MNSBC Sunday morning, Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman said ousting Regan appears to be part of a larger effort to limit legal liability tied to the disconnect between Fox's public and private responses to the pandemic.In early March, "Fox News tried to do their original playbook, which was dismiss it as a hoax, say that this is another partisan attempt by Democrats to hurt Donald Trump, and this was the case where they could not prevent reality," Sherman said. "Fox News is a very powerful media organization, but it cannot stop people from dropping dead." He added:> When I've been talking to Fox insiders over the last few days, there's a real concern inside the network that their early downplaying of the coronavirus actually exposes Fox News to potential legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this. I've heard Trish Regan's being taken off the air is, you know, reflective of this concern that Fox News is in big trouble by downplaying this virus. ... I think this is a case where Fox's coverage, if it actually winds up being proved that people died because of it, this is a new terrain in terms of Fox being possibly held liable for their actions. [Gabriel Sherman, MSNBC]Whether Fox's coverage of the coronavirus hurts Fox, it has helped Trump, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted March 19-24.> % of U.S. adults who say Donald Trump is doing an excellent job at responding to the coronavirus outbreak, by main source of political news> > Fox News: 63% > CBS: 24% > NBC: 15% > ABC: 14% > CNN: 7% > MSNBC: 2% > NPR: 2% > New York Times: 1%> > More in our data tool: https://t.co/loFFqxqJb8 pic.twitter.com/giN3lsxoxQ> > — Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) March 27, 2020Pew surveyed 11,537 panelists and the margin of sampling error for that full sample is ±1.5 percentage points.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Coronavirus: Airlines ‘entering danger zone’

Coronavirus: Airlines ‘entering danger zone’A group of 38 MPs calls on the chancellor to support airlines during the coronavirus crisis.


North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreak

North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreakNorth Korea on Sunday fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea, South Korea and Japan said, continuing a streak of weapons launches that suggests leader Kim Jong Un is trying to strengthen domestic support amid worries about a possible coronavirus outbreak in the country. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the projectiles flying from the North Korean eastern coastal city of Wonsan into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan on Sunday morning.


Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'

Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'"I think in some of the metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines," the White House coronavirus response coordinator said on "TODAY."


Plane explosion in Philippines kills eight, including two foreigners

Plane explosion in Philippines kills eight, including two foreignersA medical evacuation plane exploded during take-off in the Philippine capital on Sunday, killing all eight passengers and crew, including an American and a Canadian, officials said. The plane, owned by a Philippines-registered charter service Lionair, had been bound for Haneda, Japan, but burst into flames at the end of the runway around 8 p.m. (1200 GMT), Manila's main airport said. Indonesian carrier Lion Air issued a statement making clear that it is unrelated to Manila-based Lionair.


Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of Disaster

Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of DisasterA burst of fresh data on the prevalence of “silent,” or asymptomatic, carriers of the 2019 novel coronavirus points to the looming danger of ending America’s national shutdown early.Classified Chinese government data suggest “silent carriers” could make up at least one-third of the country’s positive cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post recently reported. Approximately 43,000 people in China who had tested positive for COVID-19 last month had no immediate symptoms. And those cases were not included in the official national tally of confirmed cases, which had hit 80,000 at the end of February, the paper said.Last week, China reported no new local infections for the first time since the outbreak started in December. And after weeks of lockdown, the city of Wuhan—where the global pandemic originated—said on Tuesday that public transportation was reopening and that residents would be allowed to leave the city itself starting on April 8.But as extensive testing continues, authorities in Wuhan have found new cases of asymptomatic—or mildly symptomatic—infection, sparking concerns about how many contagious people have been circulating freely. Fresh data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday about a nursing home in Washington state only served to compound those fears.Four Ways Experts Say Coronavirus Nightmare Could End“Almost everybody thinks there’s the potential of a second wave after we relax the restrictions,” said Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and an expert on U.S. readiness for pandemics. “There’s no good timeframe—it’s certainly not by Easter—that we’ll be starting to loosen up,” he continued, referring to President Donald Trump’s suggested finish line. “But once we do, people who did not have coronavirus will be going out to spaces where silent spreaders might be.”With Americans still getting acclimated to a quasi-national shutdown, and Trump repeatedly suggesting restrictions might ease in a matter of days or weeks, the prospect of silent spreaders wreaking epidemiological havoc looms large.“The biggest danger here is that this is like a stealth attack in that you have no idea that the person you have come into contact with is contagious,” said Dr. Adrian Hyzler, the chief medical officer for Healix International, which provides medical information to organizations whose clients travel internationally. “It makes it so much more difficult to try to contain the spread of the virus.”For obvious reasons, silent carriers are not nearly as notorious in the public imagination as “super-spreaders,” or patients who are extra contagious. A possible super-spreader in the United Kingdom may have transmitted the virus to nearly a dozen people before realizing he was sick earlier this year. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization previously claimed that pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic transmission of the new coronavirus was “relatively rare.” But newer studies—out of Japan, Italy, South Korea, and now Washington state—have called that assertion into question. And research suggests that silent spreaders can be just as dangerous to a community.The CDC released a study on Friday of the outbreak’s spread—specifically via asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic patients—in a long-term care facility in King County, Washington. The report found that “approximately half of all residents with positive test results did not have any symptoms at the time of testing, suggesting that transmission from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic residents—who were not recognized as having [the coronavirus] infection and therefore not isolated—might have contributed to further spread.”“These findings have important implications for infection control,” according to the CDC, since “current interventions” for preventing the virus’s transmission, in part because of the shortage of tests, primarily rely on the presence of “signs and symptoms to identify and isolate residents or patients who might have COVID-19.” Patients were cohorted, or separated, according to which ones had symptoms. But that method of intervention no longer makes sense if there are asymptomatic—or silent—spreaders within a community, especially one that is at high risk of severe infection.Researchers previously published a study in the journal Science on March 16, finding that 86 percent of all infections in China before Jan. 23—when the government there instituted severe travel restrictions—were undocumented because they were mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic.“They may, for the most part, have experienced some symptoms at some point,” Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University who worked on the study, explained to WBUR radio. “But it didn't keep them home, didn't stop them from getting on public transportation, going to work, going to school, getting on airplanes and going on business trips.”Because those individuals didn’t feel sick—or didn’t know they were sick—and kept traveling through the community, the researchers found that this group of people “contributed to the vast majority of the spread” of the virus, added Shaman, who called the phenomenon “stealth transmission.”In a letter to the International Journal of Infectious Diseases in February, a group of Japanese experts led by epidemiologist Hiroshi Nishiura at Hokkaido University wrote that the growing data outside of China “indicates that a substantial number of cases are underdiagnosed.” Nishiura’s group estimated—based on the number of asymptomatic Japanese patients who were evacuated from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China—that about 30.8 percent of cases were asymptomatic.Of course, American authorities know even less than their foreign counterparts about how many cases there are, period. The same goes for silent spreaders. “This is partly because health systems are just overrun with sick people, as well as a scarcity of testing kits,” said Hyzler, adding that a trial in a small Italian town where all 30,000 people were tested revealed that asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic people represented a whopping 70 percent of all cases, of which an unknown number were able to transmit the virus to others.Redlener noted that, while much is still unknown, “the vast majority of Americans with the virus will be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, and we really have to be careful not to relax our stringent requirements too soon.” The U.S. health system has generally not tested individuals without symptoms unless they are especially wealthy or well-connected—like NBA players or Sen. Rand Paul—or else health workers with known exposure. And in many places in the U.S., authorities are discouraging testing except in the case of severe symptoms, meaning American officials have limited data on the number of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases, with few exceptions.Hyzler said there were two key assumptions that likely went into the decision to begin opening up Wuhan again: that there are very few unidentified silent spreaders transmitting the infection throughout the community, and that the incubation period is 14 days.If authorities are correct on both points, it might well be safe to resume public transportation and to allow travel to and from the city. But if they’re incorrect, Hyzler cautioned: “We will certainly start to see a second wave of cases” emerge in China.Fortunately for Wuhan and its surrounding province, China’s zealous testing means that authorities would likely detect a new wave “right away” before it spread very far, according to Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology and global health at the University of Michigan who has advised both the World Health Organization and the Defense Department on communicable diseases.But unless the U.S. rapidly expands its testing—and zealously tracks individuals who’ve had contact with confirmed cases—Americans won’t have that same advantage. Both Hyzler and Monto said they hoped the U.S. government could learn from its weeks of delays, as well as failures abroad. But there’s no guarantee.Vice President Mike Pence took heat this past week for claiming that federal officials may soon recommend that critical workers—even those who’ve been exposed to the virus—return to work, as long as they wear a mask.“It’s premature to try to put a time limit on this,” said Monto, who emphasized the importance of continued social distancing throughout the country to control the surge of cases from overwhelming hospitals.“From an epidemiological standpoint, one lockdown would be better than waves of lockdown,” he said. “With waves, all you’d be doing is letting it up again and then you’re back where you started. I think if we’re still seeing an overwhelming number of cases in hospitals, it’s too early to lift a lockdown.”Ultimately, Hyzler argued, there are two main ways that authorities can try to ensure that an end to social distancing isn’t premature. One is so-called herd immunity, or, as he put it, “if a good percentage, maybe as many as 70 percent of people... have been infected and therefore, we assume, have an immunity against a re-infection.” The other is what’s called antibody testing, or, as Hyzler explained, “once you can show that someone has had the virus, and they no longer need to self-isolate and can return to work.” (To be clear, the jury’s still out on whether some patients who already had coronavirus can be re-infected.)But without enough tests, Monto said, “we have no idea at this point” how many people may be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. “After the dust settles,” he said, scientists will likely make an effort to collect blood samples, which can detect antibodies for the virus after a person has recovered. “We’ll know the numbers only after the fact,” he added.Redlener was more optimistic: “The hope is that we get to a point where mass testing will be possible.”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.


New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks

New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks"The non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home," Cuomo said a day after the president decided against a mandatory quarantine.


Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal

Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal(Bloomberg) -- The Kremlin’s sudden shift of ownership of multi-billion-dollar oil projects in Venezuela shields oil giant Rosneft PJSC from further U.S. sanctions but keeps Moscow firmly behind embattled President Nicolas Maduro amid a wider stand-off with Washington.“Russia is not walking away from Maduro and will seek to thwart U.S. efforts to depose him,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former diplomat and foreign policy analyst in Moscow. “Moscow is just shielding Rosneft from sanctions which could result in a blanket embargo on all Rosneft exports.”Fears of broader sanctions have grown after the U.S. in recent months slapped restrictions on Rosneft trading companies for handling business with Venezuela. More recently, the U.S. has hinted that it might step up pressure on the Russian oil sector to reduce production. That followed Moscow’s decision early this month not to deepen output cuts agreed with OPEC led Saudi Arabia to boost output, flooding the market and pushing prices to the lowest levels in decades.The administration of President Donald Trump has already reached out to Saudi leaders to reconsider their strategy, which has battered producers in the U.S. with low prices.Read: Putin and MBS Draw Trump Into Grudge Match for Oil SupremacyRosneft late Saturday announced it’s turning over its Venezuelan projects to an unnamed state-owned company in what it called an effort to protect its shareholders’ interests. Rosneft, which produces 40% of Russian oil and 5% of world output and has substantial exposure in the western financial system, can’t afford the risk of broad U.S. sanctions that could cripple its operations. Earlier this month, a Chinese company said it wouldn’t buy crude from Rosneft because of the risks caused by the sanctions on the trading companies.“As recently as February, the Venezuelan business was profitable, which offset the sanctions risk,” said Ivan Timofeyev, an analyst at the Kremlin-founded Russian International Affairs Council. “Now the desire to avoid sanctions coincided with the need to avoid losses” after oil prices plunged, he added.The Russian giant has already cut its exposure under multi-billion-dollar prepayment deals reached several years ago. Venezuela’s oil producer PDVSA owes Rosneft only $800 million at the end of the third quarter of 2019, according to the last available data, down from $4.6 billion at the end of 2017.Sanctions ProtectionThe latest Russian maneuver mirrored its strategy in 2018 when it used Promsvzyabank to set up a new banking vehicle to serve the defense industry after state-owned weapons producers came under U.S. sanctions, thereby shielding the country’s two largest banks, government-controlled Sberbank and VTB. Unlike those big lenders, which have significant exposure to western financial institutions and thus are at risk from sweeping U.S. sanctions, the new special entity operated largely out of Washington’s reach.While Rosneft may even push to have the recently imposed sanctions on the trading units lifted, risks remain.“Rosneft is trying to stay out of the firing-line but nothing stops the Americans from finding another pretext to sanction it,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, who heads the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a research group in Moscow that advises the Kremlin.“Russia understands that Maduro is in an awful situation, especially with oil prices at rock bottom,” he said. “But Putin’s psychology is that you should stick with partners in difficulty.”Maduro said on state TV on Saturday evening that ”President Putin sent me a message through his ambassador reaffirming their strategic and integral support to Venezuela in all areas.”Rosneft StakeFrolov said, “Moscow thinks that Maduro is actually winning the fight with the opposition and is likely to split it to the point where he would be able to win parliamentary elections this year.” Russia has backed Maduro even as the U.S. and its allies back opposition leader Juan Guaido.For Rosneft, the deal also could give management, led by Igor Sechin, its influential chief executive, greater control, since the company is receiving 9.6% of its own shares in the transaction. That may mean the government’s share in Rosneft falls below a controlling stake, according to Andrey Polischuk, Moscow-based analyst for Raiffeisenbank.Neither the company nor the government would comment on whether the deal will bring state ownership below 50%.“Sechin gets Rosneft shares and Putin gets the chance to trade with Trump,” said Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.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.


Iran warns of lengthy 'new way of life' as virus deaths rise

Iran warns of lengthy 'new way of life'  as virus deaths risePresident Hassan Rouhani warned Sunday that "the new way of life" in Iran was likely to be prolonged, as its declared death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 2,640. The Islamic republic is one of the countries worst-hit by the virus, which first originated in China. Iran announced its first infection cases on February 19, but a senior health official has acknowledged that the virus was likely to have already reached Iran in January.


U.S. journalists barred from China could have a new home in Taiwan

U.S. journalists barred from China could have a new home in TaiwanJournalists from three of the United States' most prestigious publications may not be able to report from China anymore, but Taiwan is offering them refuge.Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph We invited American journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, to set up shop on the China-claimed island after the newspapers were stripped of their credentials by Beijing. Wu said reporters from the prestigious U.S. publications would be welcomed with "open arms and lots of genuine smiles."> As @nytimes, @WSJ & @washingtonpost face intensifying hostility in China, I'd like to welcome you to be stationed in Taiwan — a country that is a beacon of freedom & democracy. Yes! You'll find people here greeting you with open arms & lots of genuine smiles. JW> > — 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) (@MOFA_Taiwan) March 28, 2020There reportedly aren't many permanent foreign correspondents stationed in Taiwan, and none of the three papers have a full-time presence on the island, so it remains to be seen if they'll take up the offer.China announced earlier this month that it was revoking the papers' accreditations in their China bureaus, as well as preventing them from operating in Hong Kong. Beijing said the decision was retaliation for Washington labeling Chinese state media as diplomatic missions.Taiwan has received praise for its handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic in part because the island has stepped up its border controls, mostly allowing entry only to permanent residences. But it seems they'd make an exception in this case. Read more at The Hill and Reuters.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdown

Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdownNarendra Modi apologises for sweeping restrictions that have left many jobless and hungry.


North Korea says US clearly doesn't want nuclear talks

North Korea says US clearly doesn't want nuclear talksNorth Korea said Monday that “reckless remarks” by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear that Washington has no intention of resuming nuclear talks, and warned that it is now compelled to pay back “the pains the U.S. has imposed on our people.” After a teleconference of foreign ministers of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations last week, Pompeo told reporters the international community must remain united in urging North Korea to return to nuclear talks and in continuing to apply pressure on its nuclear and missile programs. Pompeo’s remarks showed the U.S. has no strategy to stop “a countdown of confrontation,” North Korea said in a statement attributed to its new Foreign Ministry department director general in charge of negotiations with Washington.


Largest U.S. dam removal sparks debate over coveted West water

Largest U.S. dam removal sparks debate over coveted West waterCalifornia’s second-largest river has sustained Native American tribes with salmon for millennia, provided upstream farmers with irrigation water for generations and served as a haven for retirees who built homes along its banks.


Spain toughens restrictions as coronavirus death toll surges

Spain toughens restrictions as coronavirus death toll surgesSpain prepared to enter its third week under near-total lockdown on Sunday, as the government approved a strengthening of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and the death toll rose by 838 cases overnight to 6,528. Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain also saw infections rise to 78,797 from 72,248 the day before. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, announced that all non-essential workers must stay at home for two weeks, the latest government measure in the fight against coronavirus.


Nursing Homes Balk at Taking Back Patients From Hospitals

Nursing Homes Balk at Taking Back Patients From HospitalsBy Judith Graham, Kaiser Health NewsA wrenching conflict is emerging as the COVID-19 virus storms through U.S. communities: Some patients are falling into a no man’s land between hospitals and nursing homes. Hospitals need to clear out patients who no longer need acute care. But nursing homes don’t want to take patients discharged from hospitals for fear they’ll bring the coronavirus with them.“It’s a huge and very difficult issue,” said Cassie Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association, whose members were hit early by the coronavirus.Each side has legitimate concerns. Hospitals in coronavirus hot spots need to free up beds for the next wave of critically ill patients. They are canceling elective and nonessential procedures. They are also trying to move coronavirus patients out of the hospital as quickly as possible.The goal is to “allow hospitals to reserve beds for the most severely ill patients by discharging those who are less severely ill to skilled nursing facilities,” Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said a few weeks ago as the federal agency relaxed rules restricting which Medicare patients can receive nursing home care.Nursing homes are alarmed at the prospect of taking patients who may have coronavirus infections. The consequences could be dire. The first nursing home known to have COVID-19, the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, saw the virus spread like wildfire. It killed 37 people.“We’re looking at case fatality rates of 30, 40, 50% in nursing homes when coronavirus gets introduced,” said Christopher Laxton, executive director of AMDA—the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, which represents nursing home medical directors. Fears extend to patients with other conditions, such as strokes or heart attacks, who’ve been in the hospital and do not have COVID-19 symptoms but could harbor the virus.In its most recent guidance, the American Health Care Association, an industry trade group, said nursing homes can accept patients “who are COVID negative or do not have symptoms.” If someone has symptoms such as a dry cough or fever, they “should be tested for COVID-19 before being admitted to the facility.” If someone is COVID positive, they should be kept only “with other COVID positive residents.”Three Nuns Left to Handle Nearly 100 Seniors Presumed to Have Coronavirus in NJ Care HomeBut nursing home doctors worry this doesn’t go far enough. According to a resolution by the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine, nursing homes should not have to take patients known to have the coronavirus unless “they have two negative tests that are 24 hours apart, OR 10 days after admission AND no fever for 72 hours.” A new AMDA resolution echoes this caution.“We have an obligation to our patients to draw the line,” said Dr. Michael Wasserman, president of the California association. “Increasing the number of COVID-19 positive residents in facilities—whether these facilities have patients with the virus or not—raises the risk of infecting the uninfected and dramatically increasing the number of deaths.”For their part, hospital leaders say an emphasis on testing before discharging patients is impractical, given the shortage of tests and delays in receiving results.“Many nursing homes are requiring a negative COVID-19 test even for patients who were in the hospital for nothing to do with COVID,” said Sauer in Washington state. “We don’t agree with this. It’s using up very limited testing resources.”Nowhere are tensions higher than in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said 73,000 extra hospital beds will be needed within weeks to treat a surge of COVID-19 patients. Hospitals in the state have 53,000 beds.On Wednesday, the New York State Department of Health issued an advisory noting: “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”Speaking on behalf of nursing home physicians, AMDA voiced strong opposition, calling the policy “over-reaching, not consistent with science, unenforceable, and beyond all, not in the least consistent with patient safety principles” in a statement.Some nursing homes are sending residents with suspected coronavirus to hospitals for evaluation and then refusing to take them back until tests confirm their negative status. “Essentially, they’re dumping patients on hospitals and saying, ‘Too bad—you’re stuck with them now,’” said a consultant who works closely with hospitals and spoke on the condition of anonymity.Others want to do their part to serve COVID-19 patients. “It is our obligation to keep the health care system flowing,” said Scott LaRue, president of ArchCare, the health care system of the Archdiocese of New York.LaRue has no illusions about keeping the coronavirus out of ArchCare’s five nursing homes, which, combined, have 1,700 beds.“In New York City the virus is everywhere,” he said. That means it has to be managed, not avoided. “Our intention is to take COVID-19 stable patients” and move them to a single floor at each nursing home, he said.That will happen under two conditions, LaRue said. First, ArchCare will need sufficient personal protective equipment—gowns, masks and face shields—for its staff. Currently, the system can’t get face shields. It was due to run out of gowns by Wednesday.Second, ArchCare will need to test whether its protocols for managing COVID-positive patients are working. Those include putting patients in isolation, monitoring them more closely, limiting the number of people who can go in, and ensuring that staff use personal protective equipment and are trained properly.  So far, only one of its nursing home patients is known to have COVID-19. “We won’t know for 14 days if the steps we’re taking are working,” LaRue said.Do I Have Coronavirus? A Symptoms Primer.But it’s unrealistic to expect other nursing homes to follow suit.“I would be surprised if 10% to 15% of skilled nursing facilities in the U.S. could take a COVID-positive patient and treat that patient safely while ensuring that other residents in the home are safe,” said David Grabowski, a professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.In a new commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Grabowski calls for establishing “centers of excellence” to care for patients recovering from COVID-19 and building “temporary capacity” in hot spots where the need for post-hospital services is likely to surge.That’s beginning to happen. On Tuesday, Cuomo announced that a field hospital being built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to house overflow coronavirus patients at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City would include 1,000 beds for patients who don’t need acute care services.On Wednesday, a unit of Partners HealthCare, a large Massachusetts health care system, announced a new center for patients recovering from COVID-19 on the fourth floor of Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Care, a long-term care hospital in Cambridge. The center, set to open soon, will have 60 beds and accept patients from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.In the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, Allina Health, which operates 11 hospitals, is partnering with Presbyterian Homes & Services to convert a 50-bed skilled nursing home to a “step-down site,” said Dr. Emily Downing, a vice president of Allina Health. The goal is to help COVID-19 patients recover so they can return to nursing homes or senior living communities.Katie Smith Sloan, president of LeadingAge, which represents not-for-profit nursing homes, home care agencies and assisted living centers, said she was hearing about nascent plans to reopen closed nursing homes for COVID-19 patients. Government agencies need to make financing available to build extra capacity to care for these patients, she said.As for patients who need less intensive care or who need to be quarantined after the hospital to ensure they aren’t infectious, other options exist.“King County has bought a hotel and is leasing another and is looking at what are now empty ambulatory surgery centers or a Christian summer camp in the area,” said Sauer of the Washington State Hospital Association. 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.


Germany could issue hundreds of thousands of people coronavirus 'immunity certificates' so they can leave the lockdown early

Germany could issue hundreds of thousands of people coronavirus 'immunity certificates' so they can leave the lockdown earlyThe tests could allow hundreds of thousands of people to leave their coronavirus lockdowns early.


Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prison

Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prisonThe death of Patrick Jones marks the first COVID-19-related death of an inmate in the federal prison system, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said.


Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off

Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks offWuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic. Thousands of migrant workers in India, left jobless and penniless by the full shutdown of the country, are walking long distances back to their home villages after all transport was stopped except for essential services.


The U.S. is preparing for a medical supply airlift of unprecedented scale

The U.S. is preparing for a medical supply airlift of unprecedented scaleAs hospitals across the United States face a shortage of medical supplies in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic, planes are gearing up to bring in reinforcements.The first aircraft in a series of flights scheduled by the White House over the next 30 days arrived in New York from Shanghai on Sunday morning, bringing with it 12 million gloves, 130,000 N95 masks, 17.6 surgical masks, 50,000 gowns, 130,000 hand sanitizer units, and 36,000 thermometers, all of which will be distributed throughout the New York tri-state area. A non-government distributor had actually already bought the supplies and planned to sell them in New York, but they'd normally arrive on ships. A sea voyage would've taken over a month, so the government is expediting the process by air. Going forward, the U.S. has 22 similar flights coming in over the next two weeks that will distribute supplies to different parts of the country, per Axios.Navy Rear Admiral John Polowcyzk, who is running the Federal Emergency Management Agency's coronavirus supply chain task force, said he doesn't think the U.S. has ever seen anything like this on its own soil. "I don't know of another effort like this," he told Axios.Polowcyzk is hoping it's only a two- or three-week effort, but admitted planes could be coming in over the next month. Read more at Axios.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Blissful ignorance? Submariners likely unaware of pandemic

Blissful ignorance? Submariners likely unaware of pandemicOf a world in coronavirus turmoil, they may know little or nothing. Submariners stealthily cruising the ocean deeps, purposefully shielded from worldly worries to encourage undivided focus on their top-secret missions of nuclear deterrence, may be among the last pockets of people anywhere who are still blissfully unaware of how the pandemic is turning life upside down. Mariners aboard ballistic submarines are habitually spared bad news while underwater to avoid undermining their morale, say current and former officers who served aboard France's nuclear-armed subs.


'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projections

'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projectionsGov. Andrew Cuomo spoke about New York state’s fatality projections during a press conference on Sunday.


North Korea slams Pompeo and says will 'walk our way'

North Korea slams Pompeo and says will 'walk our way'North Korea on Monday warned it could cut off dialogue with the United States and slammed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for urging the international community to maintain sanctions on its regime. Pompeo last week told nations to "stay committed to applying diplomatic and economic pressure" over the North's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes while calling on the nuclear-armed state to return to talks. A string of weapons drills by Pyongyang has come during a prolonged hiatus in disarmament talks with the United States and despite recent overtures from Washington offering help to contain the coronavirus pandemic.


Moscow says coronavirus outbreak enters new phase as residents go out to brave risk
Africa's paradox: It may be the worst and best place to ride out coronavirus

Africa's paradox: It may be the worst and best place to ride out coronavirusCOVID-19 may compound difficulties in a part of the world that's long grappled with conflict, humanitarian disaster and infrastructure inadequacies. Yet Africa has deep experience fighting infectious disease and a very young population.


About 700 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus, State Police Head Says

About 700 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus, State Police Head SaysNew Jersey has reported the second highest number of cases in the U.S., trailing only New York


A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show 'the ghastly reality of what' medical workers deal with on frontlines

A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show 'the ghastly reality of what' medical workers deal with on frontlinesThe harrowing image shows the bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients being stored in a refrigerated truck outside the ambulance bay.


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.


White House task force official says 'no state, no metro area' will be spared from coronavirus

White House task force official says 'no state, no metro area' will be spared from coronavirusThe United States is preparing for a novel coronavirus epidemic that is national in scope."No state, no metro area will be spared," Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press.Birx was clear that no area of the country will evade the effects of the virus, but said the sooner places react and instill mitigation measures, the easier it will be to "move forward."> WATCH: Dr. Deborah Birx says "no metro area will be spared" of the coronavirus outbreak. MTP IfItsSunday> > Dr. Birx: "The sooner we react and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they have put in full mitigation ... then we'll be able to move forward." pic.twitter.com/B9Fo3lUVHA> > -- Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 29, 2020Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also provided a sense of scale Sunday, but he said he doesn't want to be held to any prediction. Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper that he's never seen an outbreak match the worst-case scenario of its models, and he believes that remains unlikely for the coronavirus, as well. Nevertheless, he thinks it's possible the U.S. could be looking at somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. > Dr. Anthony Fauci says there could potentially be between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths related to the coronavirus and millions of cases. "I just don't think that we really need to make a projection when it's such a moving target, that you could so easily be wrong," he adds. CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/F2MOHY3xl4> > -- State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 29, 2020More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictions

Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictionsPeople still sit at outdoor cafes in the center of Sweden's capital. Swedish authorities have advised the public to practice social distancing and to work from home, if possible, and urged those over age 70 to self-isolate as a precaution. Standing at bars has been banned in Sweden, but restaurant customers can still be served at tables instead of having to take food to go.


Coronavirus: India defiant as millions struggle under lockdown

Coronavirus: India defiant as millions struggle under lockdownThe government defends strict lockdown measures that have left millions stranded and without food.


Boris Johnson's government is reportedly furious with China and believes it could have 40 times more coronavirus cases than it claims

Boris Johnson's government is reportedly furious with China and believes it could have 40 times more coronavirus cases than it claimsUK government sources quoted on Sunday say China faces a "reckoning" over its handling of the coronavirus crisis.


Pelosi: Trump's downplaying of coronavirus has cost American lives

Pelosi: Trump's downplaying of coronavirus has cost American livesHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharpened her criticism of President Trump’s early dismissal of the coronavirus, saying the delay cost American lives. She criticized the president's initial response to the virus during a Sunday morning interview on CNN.


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.   


A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread

A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread"I was aggravated," Peter Levine said of his son's decision to party on South Padre Island instead of heeding warnings about the virus.


Serial killer dubbed Grim Sleeper dies in California prison

Serial killer dubbed Grim Sleeper dies in California prisonLonnie Franklin, the convicted serial killer known as the "Grim Sleeper" who preyed on the women of South Los Angeles for more than two decades, has died in prison. California corrections officials said Franklin was found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison on Saturday evening. An autopsy will determine the cause of death; however, there were no signs of trauma, corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said in a statement.


After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — there are signs that Italy's lockdown is beginning to work after 3 weeks

After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — there are signs that Italy's lockdown is beginning to work after 3 weeksItaly's count of new coronavirus deaths and infections are starting to fall, though the country is likely still in for an extended lockdown.


Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sources

Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sourcesCARACAS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former head of Venezuela's military intelligence unit, Hugo Carvajal, is discussing his possible surrender with U.S. authorities, three people familiar with the matter said on Saturday, after prosecutors charged him this week with drug trafficking alongside Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Carvajal, a former general and ally of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has been in hiding since a Spanish court in November approved his extradition to the United States.


Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro in denial and out on a limb

Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro in denial and out on a limbThe president is isolating himself from other world leaders as he downplays the coronavirus pandemic.


'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-right

'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-rightAngela Merkel's long-struggling conservatives have rebounded in the polls thanks to the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis and widespread faith in the outgoing German chancellor's ability to manage the upheaval. Shaking off years of record-low popularity, Merkel's centre-right CDU/CSU bloc is now enjoying approval ratings of around 32 to 35 percent, some six to seven points higher than just a few weeks ago. It's a surprise turn of events for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) which as recently as last month was riven by internal turmoil and debate over who would be the party's chancellor candidate when Merkel bows out in 2021.


An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado.

An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado.He went viral for distancing from his wife and 1-year-old son. Days later, his house was destroyed by a tornado that hit Jonesboro, Arkansas.


Tucker Carlson Wants to Have It Both Ways on Coronavirus

Tucker Carlson Wants to Have It Both Ways on CoronavirusFox News primetime star Tucker Carlson has been credited with pushing President Donald Trump to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously and has received mainstream media plaudits for seemingly calling out his own colleagues for actively downplaying the outbreak.Yet, while Carlson has been applauded for preaching concern about the viral outbreak while his fellow pro-Trump hosts on the network attempted to dismiss the COVID-19 fears as a partisan ploy, he has actually played both sides for his audience, giving voice to reckless conspiracies, unserious characters with no expertise, and wholly dangerous rhetoric.Earlier this month, as confirmed cases and deaths began surging across the country, Carlson gained widespread acclaim when he called out those “minimizing” COVID-19, calling the pandemic a “very serious problem.” It was seen at the time that Carlson was calling out both Trump and many of his Fox News colleagues—without naming them, of course—for reacting inappropriately to the impending crisis.That March 9 monologue apparently helped prompt the president to finally take action on the pandemic after waving it away for weeks, with White House sources saying Carlson’s segment was a “turning point” for Trump. The Fox News host, who has informally advised the president on other matters in the past, also traveled down to Mar-a-Lago the previous weekend to convince the president about the gravity of the situation, later saying he felt it was his “moral obligation” to do so.As a result, Carlson has been the focus of several largely sympathetic portraits and interviews in the mainstream press. Various outlets remarked positively on Carlson’s “moral obligation” to convince Trump to take the crisis seriously, with some noting that the Fox host “admirably focused” on pandemic from the beginning.The Fox host’s portrayal in the media as courageously standing alone among his overtly pro-Trump primetime brethren has rankled network brass. According to The New York Times, the network’s PR chief Irena Briganti has complained about Carlson “casting himself to reporters as a heroic truth-teller in contrast with other hosts.”While it is true that Carlson was essentially alone among the network’s key stars in sounding the alarm on coronavirus—for instance, now-former Fox Business host Trish Regan labeled it an “impeachment scam” the same time Carlson was declaring the pandemic was “real”—his early warnings also revolved around peddling baseless conspiracies and blaming “woke” politics for the spread of the virus.Tucker Carlson Appears to Call Out Trump, Fox Colleagues for ‘Minimizing’ CoronavirusThroughout February, Carlson floated the debunked theory that the virus was created by the Chinese government in a research laboratory, potentially as a bioweapon against the United States. The theory began making rounds in the right-wing media ecosystem after former Trump adviser Steve Bannon began pushing it on his radio show.Despite a medical expert shooting down the now-debunked theory earlier in the month, Carlson continued to peddle it on subsequent broadcasts. On Feb. 18, Carlson hosted The Washington Times’ Bill Gertz, whose specious reporting was the basis of Bannon’s theory, to discuss his speculation. During the interview, the Fox host claimed unnamed “experts” were considering the possibility the virus was created in a Chinese lab while adding it is “worth getting to the bottom of.”When he wasn’t wildly speculating that the virus was a Chinese bioweapon, Carlson also spent weeks blaming “diversity” for the virus. Taking aim at progressive writers who warned against racist attacks in the wake of the pandemic—hate crimes against Asian-Americans have been on the rise—Carlson groused that “identity politics trumped public health and not for the first time.”“Wokeness is a cult,” he added. “They would let you die before they admitted that diversity is not our strength.”He would continue to blame “identity politics” for the spread of the virus, resulting in him at one point turning to conservative columnist Eddie Scarry—best-known as the “AOC creepshot guy”—for coronavirus expertise in late February. As financial markets started to experience record drops over COVID-19 fears, Carlson gave primetime airspace to the Examiner writer, who called the disease the “Commie cough” while claiming it originated from Chinese people eating skunks. Carlson, meanwhile, applauded Scarry, claiming “everything” he said “is true” as the trollish columnist railed against political correctness and its supposed impact on the health crisis.In the wake of his call for conservatives to take coronavirus seriously, Carlson kept blasting “wokeness” as one of the central causes of the disease’s spread, at one point insisting that not calling it the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” could literally kill people. “In times of crisis euphemisms kill,” he said. “You need accuracy and clear language in the way you talk about the threat. It’s essential.” He later applauded Trump for publicly using the term “Chinese virus.”Moreover, and more recently, Carlson seemed to backpedal on his “serious” concerns over the pandemic this week. With the president’s declared desire for an early end to social distancing restrictions, many conservatives backed Trump’s push despite the warning of public health experts.Texas Lt. Gov: Senior Citizens Willing to Die to Save Economy for GrandkidsDuring last Monday’s broadcast of his show, Carlson brought on Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to defend the president’s suggestion, who subsequently said that elderly people such as himself would be willing to die from coronavirus to save America’s economy for their grandkids.“No one reached out to me and said as a senior citizen, ‘Are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” Patrick said. “And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.”At the end of the segment, Carlson nodded along with Patrick and added: “We really needed to hear that perspective.”The following night, Carlson hosted Fox News analyst Brit Hume to defend Patrick’s comments after they sparked controversy. In Hume’s opinion, Patrick saying grandparents were willing to sacrifice themselves to reopen the economy was an “extremely reasonable viewpoint.” Carlson, for his part, seemed confused why the lieutenant governor’s remarks “enrages so many people,” prompting Hume to say it was due to anti-Trump sentiment.Other guests that appeared this past week to share their coronavirus wisdom included comedian Adam Carrola, goofy podcaster Dave Rubin, and talk-radio blowhard Buck Sexton.But Carlson’s newfound reputation as a sober and earnest broker on the crisis perhaps looked the silliest on Wednesday when he brought on a self-proclaimed “corona truther” to wax poetic on self-isolation. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, a notorious troll and semi-regular guest of Carlson’s, showed up to talk about how he has taken a “financial beating” because the casino business is currently down—before discussing his choice of sweatpants and his TV-viewing habits.Prior to his Carlson appearance, Portnoy had spent weeks mocking concerns about the pandemic, comparing the virus to “the common cold” and saying he didn’t “care about the people dying... I just care about my wallet.”In fact, just two weeks before appearing on Tucker’s primetime show, Portnoy griped about the NBA suspending its season amid the outbreak, calling himself a “corona truther” and insisting that concern over the virus—which has now killed over 25,000 people worldwide—is either a “fraud, overreaction, or media concoction.”Carlson may have won media plaudits for his early concerns about the pandemic, but a closer look at his overall coverage proves we shouldn’t be so easily fooled.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.


Bill de Blasio says there isn't time to focus on coronavirus prevention missteps

Bill de Blasio says there isn't time to focus on coronavirus prevention misstepsNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn't want to focus on the past.CNN's Jake Tapper played some clips of de Blasio urging New Yorkers to go about their daily lives despite worries about the threat of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus in January, February, and March on Sunday's edition of State of the Union. Tapper then asked the mayor if he thinks his messaging may have had something to do with how fast the virus has spread in the city, which has become the U.S. epicenter.There was no outright denial from de Blasio, but he said he was working with the information he had at the time, while trying to make sure people's livelihoods remained intact. Now that it's become clear New York was unable to evade the virus, de Blasio argues "none of us have time to look backward." He said the only thing that should be on people's minds is how to get through the next week.> Bill de Blasio is asked on CNN about comments he made as recently as two weeks ago urging New Yorkers to "go about their lives." > > De Blasio responded, "we should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back on any level of government right now."pic.twitter.com/x70LjKRygG> > — andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) March 29, 2020Tapper, though, pointed out that de Blasio himself has criticized President Trump for being behind the coronavirus curve, to which the mayor replied he was early in complaining about a lack of testing. But he also suggested now wasn't the moment to talk about that, either. "The time to deal with these questions is after this war is over," he said.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequences

Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequencesCritics said Mexico's president was downplaying the coronavirus threat. But he has now shifted his tone.


Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirus

Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirusAndrea Napoli didn’t fit the usual profile of a coronavirus patient. At 33, he was in perfect health, with no history of respiratory disease. Until that day, Napoli was following his routine of work, jogging and swimming.


New York's coronavirus death toll just topped 1,000, but Gov. Cuomo warns that 'thousands' will die

New York's coronavirus death toll just topped 1,000, but Gov. Cuomo warns that 'thousands' will dieAccessible, rapid testing could bring a "return to normalcy," Cuomo said. But for now, he's extending New York's lockdown another two weeks.


Indian police fire tear gas on jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdown

Indian police fire tear gas on jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdownNEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - Police in western India fired tear gas to disperse a stone-pelting crowd of migrant workers defying a three-week lockdown against the coronavirus that has left hundreds of thousands of poor without jobs and hungry, authorities said on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the country's 1.3 billion people to remain indoors until April 15, declaring such self-isolation was the only hope to stop the viral pandemic. On Sunday, about 500 workers clashed with police in the western city of Surat demanding they be allowed to go home to other parts of India because they had no jobs left.


Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps?

Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps?A Facebook post warned users to be careful at the gas station because coronavirus is spreading "quickly" via pumps. This claim is partly false.


Trump asks why reporter doesn't act 'a little more positive'

Trump asks why reporter doesn't act 'a little more positive'President Trump on Sunday asked why a White House reporter does not act “a little more positive” in covering the administration’s coronavirus response.


A New Jersey man was charged after throwing a 'Corona Party' for nearly 50 people in his apartment

A New Jersey man was charged after throwing a 'Corona Party' for nearly 50 people in his apartmentNew Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy warned that people will be "named and shamed" as authorities enforce the state's stay-at-home order.


Wuhan's virus ground-zero market hides in plain sight

Wuhan's virus ground-zero market hides in plain sightIn the Chinese city of Wuhan, the wet market that spawned the pandemic which has brought the world to its knees now slumbers quietly behind a tidy-looking blue-and-white partition. Chinese disease control officials have previously identified wild animals sold in the market as the source of the coronavirus pandemic that has taken more than 33,000 lives worldwide so far and rocked the global economy. Markets such as this are the final stop in what conservationists say is a brutal trade in wild animals that is fuelled in large part by Chinese consumption.


Fox News reportedly fears its early downplaying of COVID-19 leaves it open to lawsuits

Fox News reportedly fears its early downplaying of COVID-19 leaves it open to lawsuitsFox Business announced Friday that it has "parted ways" with Trish Regan, a prime time host who gained notoriety for suggesting on her March 9 show that the COVID-19 coronavirus was a politically motivated "scam." The decision "took some journalists and anchors at the network by surprise," The New York Times reports, because "Fox executives are accustomed to withstanding public pressure, and rarely make personnel moves that can be construed as validating criticisms of the network."Fox Business wished Regan the best and said the network "will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future" to focus on "the coronavirus crisis." On MNSBC Sunday morning, Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman said ousting Regan appears to be part of a larger effort to limit legal liability tied to the disconnect between Fox's public and private responses to the pandemic.In early March, "Fox News tried to do their original playbook, which was dismiss it as a hoax, say that this is another partisan attempt by Democrats to hurt Donald Trump, and this was the case where they could not prevent reality," Sherman said. "Fox News is a very powerful media organization, but it cannot stop people from dropping dead." He added:> When I've been talking to Fox insiders over the last few days, there's a real concern inside the network that their early downplaying of the coronavirus actually exposes Fox News to potential legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this. I've heard Trish Regan's being taken off the air is, you know, reflective of this concern that Fox News is in big trouble by downplaying this virus. ... I think this is a case where Fox's coverage, if it actually winds up being proved that people died because of it, this is a new terrain in terms of Fox being possibly held liable for their actions. [Gabriel Sherman, MSNBC]Whether Fox's coverage of the coronavirus hurts Fox, it has helped Trump, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted March 19-24.> % of U.S. adults who say Donald Trump is doing an excellent job at responding to the coronavirus outbreak, by main source of political news> > Fox News: 63% > CBS: 24% > NBC: 15% > ABC: 14% > CNN: 7% > MSNBC: 2% > NPR: 2% > New York Times: 1%> > More in our data tool: https://t.co/loFFqxqJb8 pic.twitter.com/giN3lsxoxQ> > — Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) March 27, 2020Pew surveyed 11,537 panelists and the margin of sampling error for that full sample is ±1.5 percentage points.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Coronavirus: Airlines ‘entering danger zone’

Coronavirus: Airlines ‘entering danger zone’A group of 38 MPs calls on the chancellor to support airlines during the coronavirus crisis.


North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreak

North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreakNorth Korea on Sunday fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea, South Korea and Japan said, continuing a streak of weapons launches that suggests leader Kim Jong Un is trying to strengthen domestic support amid worries about a possible coronavirus outbreak in the country. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the projectiles flying from the North Korean eastern coastal city of Wonsan into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan on Sunday morning.


Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'

Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'"I think in some of the metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines," the White House coronavirus response coordinator said on "TODAY."


Plane explosion in Philippines kills eight, including two foreigners

Plane explosion in Philippines kills eight, including two foreignersA medical evacuation plane exploded during take-off in the Philippine capital on Sunday, killing all eight passengers and crew, including an American and a Canadian, officials said. The plane, owned by a Philippines-registered charter service Lionair, had been bound for Haneda, Japan, but burst into flames at the end of the runway around 8 p.m. (1200 GMT), Manila's main airport said. Indonesian carrier Lion Air issued a statement making clear that it is unrelated to Manila-based Lionair.


Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of Disaster

Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of DisasterA burst of fresh data on the prevalence of “silent,” or asymptomatic, carriers of the 2019 novel coronavirus points to the looming danger of ending America’s national shutdown early.Classified Chinese government data suggest “silent carriers” could make up at least one-third of the country’s positive cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post recently reported. Approximately 43,000 people in China who had tested positive for COVID-19 last month had no immediate symptoms. And those cases were not included in the official national tally of confirmed cases, which had hit 80,000 at the end of February, the paper said.Last week, China reported no new local infections for the first time since the outbreak started in December. And after weeks of lockdown, the city of Wuhan—where the global pandemic originated—said on Tuesday that public transportation was reopening and that residents would be allowed to leave the city itself starting on April 8.But as extensive testing continues, authorities in Wuhan have found new cases of asymptomatic—or mildly symptomatic—infection, sparking concerns about how many contagious people have been circulating freely. Fresh data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday about a nursing home in Washington state only served to compound those fears.Four Ways Experts Say Coronavirus Nightmare Could End“Almost everybody thinks there’s the potential of a second wave after we relax the restrictions,” said Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and an expert on U.S. readiness for pandemics. “There’s no good timeframe—it’s certainly not by Easter—that we’ll be starting to loosen up,” he continued, referring to President Donald Trump’s suggested finish line. “But once we do, people who did not have coronavirus will be going out to spaces where silent spreaders might be.”With Americans still getting acclimated to a quasi-national shutdown, and Trump repeatedly suggesting restrictions might ease in a matter of days or weeks, the prospect of silent spreaders wreaking epidemiological havoc looms large.“The biggest danger here is that this is like a stealth attack in that you have no idea that the person you have come into contact with is contagious,” said Dr. Adrian Hyzler, the chief medical officer for Healix International, which provides medical information to organizations whose clients travel internationally. “It makes it so much more difficult to try to contain the spread of the virus.”For obvious reasons, silent carriers are not nearly as notorious in the public imagination as “super-spreaders,” or patients who are extra contagious. A possible super-spreader in the United Kingdom may have transmitted the virus to nearly a dozen people before realizing he was sick earlier this year. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization previously claimed that pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic transmission of the new coronavirus was “relatively rare.” But newer studies—out of Japan, Italy, South Korea, and now Washington state—have called that assertion into question. And research suggests that silent spreaders can be just as dangerous to a community.The CDC released a study on Friday of the outbreak’s spread—specifically via asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic patients—in a long-term care facility in King County, Washington. The report found that “approximately half of all residents with positive test results did not have any symptoms at the time of testing, suggesting that transmission from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic residents—who were not recognized as having [the coronavirus] infection and therefore not isolated—might have contributed to further spread.”“These findings have important implications for infection control,” according to the CDC, since “current interventions” for preventing the virus’s transmission, in part because of the shortage of tests, primarily rely on the presence of “signs and symptoms to identify and isolate residents or patients who might have COVID-19.” Patients were cohorted, or separated, according to which ones had symptoms. But that method of intervention no longer makes sense if there are asymptomatic—or silent—spreaders within a community, especially one that is at high risk of severe infection.Researchers previously published a study in the journal Science on March 16, finding that 86 percent of all infections in China before Jan. 23—when the government there instituted severe travel restrictions—were undocumented because they were mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic.“They may, for the most part, have experienced some symptoms at some point,” Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University who worked on the study, explained to WBUR radio. “But it didn't keep them home, didn't stop them from getting on public transportation, going to work, going to school, getting on airplanes and going on business trips.”Because those individuals didn’t feel sick—or didn’t know they were sick—and kept traveling through the community, the researchers found that this group of people “contributed to the vast majority of the spread” of the virus, added Shaman, who called the phenomenon “stealth transmission.”In a letter to the International Journal of Infectious Diseases in February, a group of Japanese experts led by epidemiologist Hiroshi Nishiura at Hokkaido University wrote that the growing data outside of China “indicates that a substantial number of cases are underdiagnosed.” Nishiura’s group estimated—based on the number of asymptomatic Japanese patients who were evacuated from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China—that about 30.8 percent of cases were asymptomatic.Of course, American authorities know even less than their foreign counterparts about how many cases there are, period. The same goes for silent spreaders. “This is partly because health systems are just overrun with sick people, as well as a scarcity of testing kits,” said Hyzler, adding that a trial in a small Italian town where all 30,000 people were tested revealed that asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic people represented a whopping 70 percent of all cases, of which an unknown number were able to transmit the virus to others.Redlener noted that, while much is still unknown, “the vast majority of Americans with the virus will be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, and we really have to be careful not to relax our stringent requirements too soon.” The U.S. health system has generally not tested individuals without symptoms unless they are especially wealthy or well-connected—like NBA players or Sen. Rand Paul—or else health workers with known exposure. And in many places in the U.S., authorities are discouraging testing except in the case of severe symptoms, meaning American officials have limited data on the number of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases, with few exceptions.Hyzler said there were two key assumptions that likely went into the decision to begin opening up Wuhan again: that there are very few unidentified silent spreaders transmitting the infection throughout the community, and that the incubation period is 14 days.If authorities are correct on both points, it might well be safe to resume public transportation and to allow travel to and from the city. But if they’re incorrect, Hyzler cautioned: “We will certainly start to see a second wave of cases” emerge in China.Fortunately for Wuhan and its surrounding province, China’s zealous testing means that authorities would likely detect a new wave “right away” before it spread very far, according to Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology and global health at the University of Michigan who has advised both the World Health Organization and the Defense Department on communicable diseases.But unless the U.S. rapidly expands its testing—and zealously tracks individuals who’ve had contact with confirmed cases—Americans won’t have that same advantage. Both Hyzler and Monto said they hoped the U.S. government could learn from its weeks of delays, as well as failures abroad. But there’s no guarantee.Vice President Mike Pence took heat this past week for claiming that federal officials may soon recommend that critical workers—even those who’ve been exposed to the virus—return to work, as long as they wear a mask.“It’s premature to try to put a time limit on this,” said Monto, who emphasized the importance of continued social distancing throughout the country to control the surge of cases from overwhelming hospitals.“From an epidemiological standpoint, one lockdown would be better than waves of lockdown,” he said. “With waves, all you’d be doing is letting it up again and then you’re back where you started. I think if we’re still seeing an overwhelming number of cases in hospitals, it’s too early to lift a lockdown.”Ultimately, Hyzler argued, there are two main ways that authorities can try to ensure that an end to social distancing isn’t premature. One is so-called herd immunity, or, as he put it, “if a good percentage, maybe as many as 70 percent of people... have been infected and therefore, we assume, have an immunity against a re-infection.” The other is what’s called antibody testing, or, as Hyzler explained, “once you can show that someone has had the virus, and they no longer need to self-isolate and can return to work.” (To be clear, the jury’s still out on whether some patients who already had coronavirus can be re-infected.)But without enough tests, Monto said, “we have no idea at this point” how many people may be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. “After the dust settles,” he said, scientists will likely make an effort to collect blood samples, which can detect antibodies for the virus after a person has recovered. “We’ll know the numbers only after the fact,” he added.Redlener was more optimistic: “The hope is that we get to a point where mass testing will be possible.”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.


New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks

New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks"The non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home," Cuomo said a day after the president decided against a mandatory quarantine.


Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal

Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal(Bloomberg) -- The Kremlin’s sudden shift of ownership of multi-billion-dollar oil projects in Venezuela shields oil giant Rosneft PJSC from further U.S. sanctions but keeps Moscow firmly behind embattled President Nicolas Maduro amid a wider stand-off with Washington.“Russia is not walking away from Maduro and will seek to thwart U.S. efforts to depose him,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former diplomat and foreign policy analyst in Moscow. “Moscow is just shielding Rosneft from sanctions which could result in a blanket embargo on all Rosneft exports.”Fears of broader sanctions have grown after the U.S. in recent months slapped restrictions on Rosneft trading companies for handling business with Venezuela. More recently, the U.S. has hinted that it might step up pressure on the Russian oil sector to reduce production. That followed Moscow’s decision early this month not to deepen output cuts agreed with OPEC led Saudi Arabia to boost output, flooding the market and pushing prices to the lowest levels in decades.The administration of President Donald Trump has already reached out to Saudi leaders to reconsider their strategy, which has battered producers in the U.S. with low prices.Read: Putin and MBS Draw Trump Into Grudge Match for Oil SupremacyRosneft late Saturday announced it’s turning over its Venezuelan projects to an unnamed state-owned company in what it called an effort to protect its shareholders’ interests. Rosneft, which produces 40% of Russian oil and 5% of world output and has substantial exposure in the western financial system, can’t afford the risk of broad U.S. sanctions that could cripple its operations. Earlier this month, a Chinese company said it wouldn’t buy crude from Rosneft because of the risks caused by the sanctions on the trading companies.“As recently as February, the Venezuelan business was profitable, which offset the sanctions risk,” said Ivan Timofeyev, an analyst at the Kremlin-founded Russian International Affairs Council. “Now the desire to avoid sanctions coincided with the need to avoid losses” after oil prices plunged, he added.The Russian giant has already cut its exposure under multi-billion-dollar prepayment deals reached several years ago. Venezuela’s oil producer PDVSA owes Rosneft only $800 million at the end of the third quarter of 2019, according to the last available data, down from $4.6 billion at the end of 2017.Sanctions ProtectionThe latest Russian maneuver mirrored its strategy in 2018 when it used Promsvzyabank to set up a new banking vehicle to serve the defense industry after state-owned weapons producers came under U.S. sanctions, thereby shielding the country’s two largest banks, government-controlled Sberbank and VTB. Unlike those big lenders, which have significant exposure to western financial institutions and thus are at risk from sweeping U.S. sanctions, the new special entity operated largely out of Washington’s reach.While Rosneft may even push to have the recently imposed sanctions on the trading units lifted, risks remain.“Rosneft is trying to stay out of the firing-line but nothing stops the Americans from finding another pretext to sanction it,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, who heads the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a research group in Moscow that advises the Kremlin.“Russia understands that Maduro is in an awful situation, especially with oil prices at rock bottom,” he said. “But Putin’s psychology is that you should stick with partners in difficulty.”Maduro said on state TV on Saturday evening that ”President Putin sent me a message through his ambassador reaffirming their strategic and integral support to Venezuela in all areas.”Rosneft StakeFrolov said, “Moscow thinks that Maduro is actually winning the fight with the opposition and is likely to split it to the point where he would be able to win parliamentary elections this year.” Russia has backed Maduro even as the U.S. and its allies back opposition leader Juan Guaido.For Rosneft, the deal also could give management, led by Igor Sechin, its influential chief executive, greater control, since the company is receiving 9.6% of its own shares in the transaction. That may mean the government’s share in Rosneft falls below a controlling stake, according to Andrey Polischuk, Moscow-based analyst for Raiffeisenbank.Neither the company nor the government would comment on whether the deal will bring state ownership below 50%.“Sechin gets Rosneft shares and Putin gets the chance to trade with Trump,” said Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.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.


Iran warns of lengthy 'new way of life' as virus deaths rise

Iran warns of lengthy 'new way of life'  as virus deaths risePresident Hassan Rouhani warned Sunday that "the new way of life" in Iran was likely to be prolonged, as its declared death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 2,640. The Islamic republic is one of the countries worst-hit by the virus, which first originated in China. Iran announced its first infection cases on February 19, but a senior health official has acknowledged that the virus was likely to have already reached Iran in January.


U.S. journalists barred from China could have a new home in Taiwan

U.S. journalists barred from China could have a new home in TaiwanJournalists from three of the United States' most prestigious publications may not be able to report from China anymore, but Taiwan is offering them refuge.Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph We invited American journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, to set up shop on the China-claimed island after the newspapers were stripped of their credentials by Beijing. Wu said reporters from the prestigious U.S. publications would be welcomed with "open arms and lots of genuine smiles."> As @nytimes, @WSJ & @washingtonpost face intensifying hostility in China, I'd like to welcome you to be stationed in Taiwan — a country that is a beacon of freedom & democracy. Yes! You'll find people here greeting you with open arms & lots of genuine smiles. JW> > — 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) (@MOFA_Taiwan) March 28, 2020There reportedly aren't many permanent foreign correspondents stationed in Taiwan, and none of the three papers have a full-time presence on the island, so it remains to be seen if they'll take up the offer.China announced earlier this month that it was revoking the papers' accreditations in their China bureaus, as well as preventing them from operating in Hong Kong. Beijing said the decision was retaliation for Washington labeling Chinese state media as diplomatic missions.Taiwan has received praise for its handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic in part because the island has stepped up its border controls, mostly allowing entry only to permanent residences. But it seems they'd make an exception in this case. Read more at The Hill and Reuters.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdown

Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdownNarendra Modi apologises for sweeping restrictions that have left many jobless and hungry.


North Korea says US clearly doesn't want nuclear talks

North Korea says US clearly doesn't want nuclear talksNorth Korea said Monday that “reckless remarks” by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear that Washington has no intention of resuming nuclear talks, and warned that it is now compelled to pay back “the pains the U.S. has imposed on our people.” After a teleconference of foreign ministers of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations last week, Pompeo told reporters the international community must remain united in urging North Korea to return to nuclear talks and in continuing to apply pressure on its nuclear and missile programs. Pompeo’s remarks showed the U.S. has no strategy to stop “a countdown of confrontation,” North Korea said in a statement attributed to its new Foreign Ministry department director general in charge of negotiations with Washington.


Largest U.S. dam removal sparks debate over coveted West water

Largest U.S. dam removal sparks debate over coveted West waterCalifornia’s second-largest river has sustained Native American tribes with salmon for millennia, provided upstream farmers with irrigation water for generations and served as a haven for retirees who built homes along its banks.


Spain toughens restrictions as coronavirus death toll surges

Spain toughens restrictions as coronavirus death toll surgesSpain prepared to enter its third week under near-total lockdown on Sunday, as the government approved a strengthening of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and the death toll rose by 838 cases overnight to 6,528. Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain also saw infections rise to 78,797 from 72,248 the day before. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, announced that all non-essential workers must stay at home for two weeks, the latest government measure in the fight against coronavirus.


Nursing Homes Balk at Taking Back Patients From Hospitals

Nursing Homes Balk at Taking Back Patients From HospitalsBy Judith Graham, Kaiser Health NewsA wrenching conflict is emerging as the COVID-19 virus storms through U.S. communities: Some patients are falling into a no man’s land between hospitals and nursing homes. Hospitals need to clear out patients who no longer need acute care. But nursing homes don’t want to take patients discharged from hospitals for fear they’ll bring the coronavirus with them.“It’s a huge and very difficult issue,” said Cassie Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association, whose members were hit early by the coronavirus.Each side has legitimate concerns. Hospitals in coronavirus hot spots need to free up beds for the next wave of critically ill patients. They are canceling elective and nonessential procedures. They are also trying to move coronavirus patients out of the hospital as quickly as possible.The goal is to “allow hospitals to reserve beds for the most severely ill patients by discharging those who are less severely ill to skilled nursing facilities,” Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said a few weeks ago as the federal agency relaxed rules restricting which Medicare patients can receive nursing home care.Nursing homes are alarmed at the prospect of taking patients who may have coronavirus infections. The consequences could be dire. The first nursing home known to have COVID-19, the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, saw the virus spread like wildfire. It killed 37 people.“We’re looking at case fatality rates of 30, 40, 50% in nursing homes when coronavirus gets introduced,” said Christopher Laxton, executive director of AMDA—the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, which represents nursing home medical directors. Fears extend to patients with other conditions, such as strokes or heart attacks, who’ve been in the hospital and do not have COVID-19 symptoms but could harbor the virus.In its most recent guidance, the American Health Care Association, an industry trade group, said nursing homes can accept patients “who are COVID negative or do not have symptoms.” If someone has symptoms such as a dry cough or fever, they “should be tested for COVID-19 before being admitted to the facility.” If someone is COVID positive, they should be kept only “with other COVID positive residents.”Three Nuns Left to Handle Nearly 100 Seniors Presumed to Have Coronavirus in NJ Care HomeBut nursing home doctors worry this doesn’t go far enough. According to a resolution by the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine, nursing homes should not have to take patients known to have the coronavirus unless “they have two negative tests that are 24 hours apart, OR 10 days after admission AND no fever for 72 hours.” A new AMDA resolution echoes this caution.“We have an obligation to our patients to draw the line,” said Dr. Michael Wasserman, president of the California association. “Increasing the number of COVID-19 positive residents in facilities—whether these facilities have patients with the virus or not—raises the risk of infecting the uninfected and dramatically increasing the number of deaths.”For their part, hospital leaders say an emphasis on testing before discharging patients is impractical, given the shortage of tests and delays in receiving results.“Many nursing homes are requiring a negative COVID-19 test even for patients who were in the hospital for nothing to do with COVID,” said Sauer in Washington state. “We don’t agree with this. It’s using up very limited testing resources.”Nowhere are tensions higher than in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said 73,000 extra hospital beds will be needed within weeks to treat a surge of COVID-19 patients. Hospitals in the state have 53,000 beds.On Wednesday, the New York State Department of Health issued an advisory noting: “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”Speaking on behalf of nursing home physicians, AMDA voiced strong opposition, calling the policy “over-reaching, not consistent with science, unenforceable, and beyond all, not in the least consistent with patient safety principles” in a statement.Some nursing homes are sending residents with suspected coronavirus to hospitals for evaluation and then refusing to take them back until tests confirm their negative status. “Essentially, they’re dumping patients on hospitals and saying, ‘Too bad—you’re stuck with them now,’” said a consultant who works closely with hospitals and spoke on the condition of anonymity.Others want to do their part to serve COVID-19 patients. “It is our obligation to keep the health care system flowing,” said Scott LaRue, president of ArchCare, the health care system of the Archdiocese of New York.LaRue has no illusions about keeping the coronavirus out of ArchCare’s five nursing homes, which, combined, have 1,700 beds.“In New York City the virus is everywhere,” he said. That means it has to be managed, not avoided. “Our intention is to take COVID-19 stable patients” and move them to a single floor at each nursing home, he said.That will happen under two conditions, LaRue said. First, ArchCare will need sufficient personal protective equipment—gowns, masks and face shields—for its staff. Currently, the system can’t get face shields. It was due to run out of gowns by Wednesday.Second, ArchCare will need to test whether its protocols for managing COVID-positive patients are working. Those include putting patients in isolation, monitoring them more closely, limiting the number of people who can go in, and ensuring that staff use personal protective equipment and are trained properly.  So far, only one of its nursing home patients is known to have COVID-19. “We won’t know for 14 days if the steps we’re taking are working,” LaRue said.Do I Have Coronavirus? A Symptoms Primer.But it’s unrealistic to expect other nursing homes to follow suit.“I would be surprised if 10% to 15% of skilled nursing facilities in the U.S. could take a COVID-positive patient and treat that patient safely while ensuring that other residents in the home are safe,” said David Grabowski, a professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.In a new commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Grabowski calls for establishing “centers of excellence” to care for patients recovering from COVID-19 and building “temporary capacity” in hot spots where the need for post-hospital services is likely to surge.That’s beginning to happen. On Tuesday, Cuomo announced that a field hospital being built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to house overflow coronavirus patients at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City would include 1,000 beds for patients who don’t need acute care services.On Wednesday, a unit of Partners HealthCare, a large Massachusetts health care system, announced a new center for patients recovering from COVID-19 on the fourth floor of Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Care, a long-term care hospital in Cambridge. The center, set to open soon, will have 60 beds and accept patients from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.In the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, Allina Health, which operates 11 hospitals, is partnering with Presbyterian Homes & Services to convert a 50-bed skilled nursing home to a “step-down site,” said Dr. Emily Downing, a vice president of Allina Health. The goal is to help COVID-19 patients recover so they can return to nursing homes or senior living communities.Katie Smith Sloan, president of LeadingAge, which represents not-for-profit nursing homes, home care agencies and assisted living centers, said she was hearing about nascent plans to reopen closed nursing homes for COVID-19 patients. Government agencies need to make financing available to build extra capacity to care for these patients, she said.As for patients who need less intensive care or who need to be quarantined after the hospital to ensure they aren’t infectious, other options exist.“King County has bought a hotel and is leasing another and is looking at what are now empty ambulatory surgery centers or a Christian summer camp in the area,” said Sauer of the Washington State Hospital Association. 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.


Germany could issue hundreds of thousands of people coronavirus 'immunity certificates' so they can leave the lockdown early

Germany could issue hundreds of thousands of people coronavirus 'immunity certificates' so they can leave the lockdown earlyThe tests could allow hundreds of thousands of people to leave their coronavirus lockdowns early.


Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prison

Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prisonThe death of Patrick Jones marks the first COVID-19-related death of an inmate in the federal prison system, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said.


Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off

Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks offWuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic. Thousands of migrant workers in India, left jobless and penniless by the full shutdown of the country, are walking long distances back to their home villages after all transport was stopped except for essential services.


The U.S. is preparing for a medical supply airlift of unprecedented scale

The U.S. is preparing for a medical supply airlift of unprecedented scaleAs hospitals across the United States face a shortage of medical supplies in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic, planes are gearing up to bring in reinforcements.The first aircraft in a series of flights scheduled by the White House over the next 30 days arrived in New York from Shanghai on Sunday morning, bringing with it 12 million gloves, 130,000 N95 masks, 17.6 surgical masks, 50,000 gowns, 130,000 hand sanitizer units, and 36,000 thermometers, all of which will be distributed throughout the New York tri-state area. A non-government distributor had actually already bought the supplies and planned to sell them in New York, but they'd normally arrive on ships. A sea voyage would've taken over a month, so the government is expediting the process by air. Going forward, the U.S. has 22 similar flights coming in over the next two weeks that will distribute supplies to different parts of the country, per Axios.Navy Rear Admiral John Polowcyzk, who is running the Federal Emergency Management Agency's coronavirus supply chain task force, said he doesn't think the U.S. has ever seen anything like this on its own soil. "I don't know of another effort like this," he told Axios.Polowcyzk is hoping it's only a two- or three-week effort, but admitted planes could be coming in over the next month. Read more at Axios.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Blissful ignorance? Submariners likely unaware of pandemic

Blissful ignorance? Submariners likely unaware of pandemicOf a world in coronavirus turmoil, they may know little or nothing. Submariners stealthily cruising the ocean deeps, purposefully shielded from worldly worries to encourage undivided focus on their top-secret missions of nuclear deterrence, may be among the last pockets of people anywhere who are still blissfully unaware of how the pandemic is turning life upside down. Mariners aboard ballistic submarines are habitually spared bad news while underwater to avoid undermining their morale, say current and former officers who served aboard France's nuclear-armed subs.


'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projections

'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projectionsGov. Andrew Cuomo spoke about New York state’s fatality projections during a press conference on Sunday.


North Korea slams Pompeo and says will 'walk our way'

North Korea slams Pompeo and says will 'walk our way'North Korea on Monday warned it could cut off dialogue with the United States and slammed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for urging the international community to maintain sanctions on its regime. Pompeo last week told nations to "stay committed to applying diplomatic and economic pressure" over the North's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes while calling on the nuclear-armed state to return to talks. A string of weapons drills by Pyongyang has come during a prolonged hiatus in disarmament talks with the United States and despite recent overtures from Washington offering help to contain the coronavirus pandemic.


Moscow says coronavirus outbreak enters new phase as residents go out to brave risk
Africa's paradox: It may be the worst and best place to ride out coronavirus

Africa's paradox: It may be the worst and best place to ride out coronavirusCOVID-19 may compound difficulties in a part of the world that's long grappled with conflict, humanitarian disaster and infrastructure inadequacies. Yet Africa has deep experience fighting infectious disease and a very young population.


About 700 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus, State Police Head Says

About 700 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus, State Police Head SaysNew Jersey has reported the second highest number of cases in the U.S., trailing only New York


A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show 'the ghastly reality of what' medical workers deal with on frontlines

A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show 'the ghastly reality of what' medical workers deal with on frontlinesThe harrowing image shows the bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients being stored in a refrigerated truck outside the ambulance bay.


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.


White House task force official says 'no state, no metro area' will be spared from coronavirus

White House task force official says 'no state, no metro area' will be spared from coronavirusThe United States is preparing for a novel coronavirus epidemic that is national in scope."No state, no metro area will be spared," Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press.Birx was clear that no area of the country will evade the effects of the virus, but said the sooner places react and instill mitigation measures, the easier it will be to "move forward."> WATCH: Dr. Deborah Birx says "no metro area will be spared" of the coronavirus outbreak. MTP IfItsSunday> > Dr. Birx: "The sooner we react and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they have put in full mitigation ... then we'll be able to move forward." pic.twitter.com/B9Fo3lUVHA> > -- Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) March 29, 2020Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also provided a sense of scale Sunday, but he said he doesn't want to be held to any prediction. Fauci told CNN's Jake Tapper that he's never seen an outbreak match the worst-case scenario of its models, and he believes that remains unlikely for the coronavirus, as well. Nevertheless, he thinks it's possible the U.S. could be looking at somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths. > Dr. Anthony Fauci says there could potentially be between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths related to the coronavirus and millions of cases. "I just don't think that we really need to make a projection when it's such a moving target, that you could so easily be wrong," he adds. CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/F2MOHY3xl4> > -- State of the Union (@CNNSotu) March 29, 2020More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictions

Off to the cafe: Sweden is outlier in virus restrictionsPeople still sit at outdoor cafes in the center of Sweden's capital. Swedish authorities have advised the public to practice social distancing and to work from home, if possible, and urged those over age 70 to self-isolate as a precaution. Standing at bars has been banned in Sweden, but restaurant customers can still be served at tables instead of having to take food to go.


Coronavirus: India defiant as millions struggle under lockdown

Coronavirus: India defiant as millions struggle under lockdownThe government defends strict lockdown measures that have left millions stranded and without food.


Boris Johnson's government is reportedly furious with China and believes it could have 40 times more coronavirus cases than it claims

Boris Johnson's government is reportedly furious with China and believes it could have 40 times more coronavirus cases than it claimsUK government sources quoted on Sunday say China faces a "reckoning" over its handling of the coronavirus crisis.


Pelosi: Trump's downplaying of coronavirus has cost American lives

Pelosi: Trump's downplaying of coronavirus has cost American livesHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharpened her criticism of President Trump’s early dismissal of the coronavirus, saying the delay cost American lives. She criticized the president's initial response to the virus during a Sunday morning interview on CNN.


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.   


A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread

A New York dad refused to let his 21-year-old son back in their house after the spring breaker partied in Texas amid coronavirus spread"I was aggravated," Peter Levine said of his son's decision to party on South Padre Island instead of heeding warnings about the virus.


Serial killer dubbed Grim Sleeper dies in California prison

Serial killer dubbed Grim Sleeper dies in California prisonLonnie Franklin, the convicted serial killer known as the "Grim Sleeper" who preyed on the women of South Los Angeles for more than two decades, has died in prison. California corrections officials said Franklin was found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison on Saturday evening. An autopsy will determine the cause of death; however, there were no signs of trauma, corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said in a statement.


After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — there are signs that Italy's lockdown is beginning to work after 3 weeks

After more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths — the worst in the world — there are signs that Italy's lockdown is beginning to work after 3 weeksItaly's count of new coronavirus deaths and infections are starting to fall, though the country is likely still in for an extended lockdown.


Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sources

Ex-Venezuelan spy chief Carvajal discussing surrender with U.S. authorities: sourcesCARACAS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former head of Venezuela's military intelligence unit, Hugo Carvajal, is discussing his possible surrender with U.S. authorities, three people familiar with the matter said on Saturday, after prosecutors charged him this week with drug trafficking alongside Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Carvajal, a former general and ally of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, has been in hiding since a Spanish court in November approved his extradition to the United States.


Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro in denial and out on a limb

Coronavirus: Brazil's Bolsonaro in denial and out on a limbThe president is isolating himself from other world leaders as he downplays the coronavirus pandemic.


'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-right

'Merkel is back': virus crisis boosts Germany's centre-rightAngela Merkel's long-struggling conservatives have rebounded in the polls thanks to the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis and widespread faith in the outgoing German chancellor's ability to manage the upheaval. Shaking off years of record-low popularity, Merkel's centre-right CDU/CSU bloc is now enjoying approval ratings of around 32 to 35 percent, some six to seven points higher than just a few weeks ago. It's a surprise turn of events for Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) which as recently as last month was riven by internal turmoil and debate over who would be the party's chancellor candidate when Merkel bows out in 2021.


An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado.

An Arkansas doctor stayed in his home to socially distance from his wife and child. Days after his photo went viral his house was destroyed by a tornado.He went viral for distancing from his wife and 1-year-old son. Days later, his house was destroyed by a tornado that hit Jonesboro, Arkansas.


Tucker Carlson Wants to Have It Both Ways on Coronavirus

Tucker Carlson Wants to Have It Both Ways on CoronavirusFox News primetime star Tucker Carlson has been credited with pushing President Donald Trump to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously and has received mainstream media plaudits for seemingly calling out his own colleagues for actively downplaying the outbreak.Yet, while Carlson has been applauded for preaching concern about the viral outbreak while his fellow pro-Trump hosts on the network attempted to dismiss the COVID-19 fears as a partisan ploy, he has actually played both sides for his audience, giving voice to reckless conspiracies, unserious characters with no expertise, and wholly dangerous rhetoric.Earlier this month, as confirmed cases and deaths began surging across the country, Carlson gained widespread acclaim when he called out those “minimizing” COVID-19, calling the pandemic a “very serious problem.” It was seen at the time that Carlson was calling out both Trump and many of his Fox News colleagues—without naming them, of course—for reacting inappropriately to the impending crisis.That March 9 monologue apparently helped prompt the president to finally take action on the pandemic after waving it away for weeks, with White House sources saying Carlson’s segment was a “turning point” for Trump. The Fox News host, who has informally advised the president on other matters in the past, also traveled down to Mar-a-Lago the previous weekend to convince the president about the gravity of the situation, later saying he felt it was his “moral obligation” to do so.As a result, Carlson has been the focus of several largely sympathetic portraits and interviews in the mainstream press. Various outlets remarked positively on Carlson’s “moral obligation” to convince Trump to take the crisis seriously, with some noting that the Fox host “admirably focused” on pandemic from the beginning.The Fox host’s portrayal in the media as courageously standing alone among his overtly pro-Trump primetime brethren has rankled network brass. According to The New York Times, the network’s PR chief Irena Briganti has complained about Carlson “casting himself to reporters as a heroic truth-teller in contrast with other hosts.”While it is true that Carlson was essentially alone among the network’s key stars in sounding the alarm on coronavirus—for instance, now-former Fox Business host Trish Regan labeled it an “impeachment scam” the same time Carlson was declaring the pandemic was “real”—his early warnings also revolved around peddling baseless conspiracies and blaming “woke” politics for the spread of the virus.Tucker Carlson Appears to Call Out Trump, Fox Colleagues for ‘Minimizing’ CoronavirusThroughout February, Carlson floated the debunked theory that the virus was created by the Chinese government in a research laboratory, potentially as a bioweapon against the United States. The theory began making rounds in the right-wing media ecosystem after former Trump adviser Steve Bannon began pushing it on his radio show.Despite a medical expert shooting down the now-debunked theory earlier in the month, Carlson continued to peddle it on subsequent broadcasts. On Feb. 18, Carlson hosted The Washington Times’ Bill Gertz, whose specious reporting was the basis of Bannon’s theory, to discuss his speculation. During the interview, the Fox host claimed unnamed “experts” were considering the possibility the virus was created in a Chinese lab while adding it is “worth getting to the bottom of.”When he wasn’t wildly speculating that the virus was a Chinese bioweapon, Carlson also spent weeks blaming “diversity” for the virus. Taking aim at progressive writers who warned against racist attacks in the wake of the pandemic—hate crimes against Asian-Americans have been on the rise—Carlson groused that “identity politics trumped public health and not for the first time.”“Wokeness is a cult,” he added. “They would let you die before they admitted that diversity is not our strength.”He would continue to blame “identity politics” for the spread of the virus, resulting in him at one point turning to conservative columnist Eddie Scarry—best-known as the “AOC creepshot guy”—for coronavirus expertise in late February. As financial markets started to experience record drops over COVID-19 fears, Carlson gave primetime airspace to the Examiner writer, who called the disease the “Commie cough” while claiming it originated from Chinese people eating skunks. Carlson, meanwhile, applauded Scarry, claiming “everything” he said “is true” as the trollish columnist railed against political correctness and its supposed impact on the health crisis.In the wake of his call for conservatives to take coronavirus seriously, Carlson kept blasting “wokeness” as one of the central causes of the disease’s spread, at one point insisting that not calling it the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus” could literally kill people. “In times of crisis euphemisms kill,” he said. “You need accuracy and clear language in the way you talk about the threat. It’s essential.” He later applauded Trump for publicly using the term “Chinese virus.”Moreover, and more recently, Carlson seemed to backpedal on his “serious” concerns over the pandemic this week. With the president’s declared desire for an early end to social distancing restrictions, many conservatives backed Trump’s push despite the warning of public health experts.Texas Lt. Gov: Senior Citizens Willing to Die to Save Economy for GrandkidsDuring last Monday’s broadcast of his show, Carlson brought on Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to defend the president’s suggestion, who subsequently said that elderly people such as himself would be willing to die from coronavirus to save America’s economy for their grandkids.“No one reached out to me and said as a senior citizen, ‘Are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” Patrick said. “And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.”At the end of the segment, Carlson nodded along with Patrick and added: “We really needed to hear that perspective.”The following night, Carlson hosted Fox News analyst Brit Hume to defend Patrick’s comments after they sparked controversy. In Hume’s opinion, Patrick saying grandparents were willing to sacrifice themselves to reopen the economy was an “extremely reasonable viewpoint.” Carlson, for his part, seemed confused why the lieutenant governor’s remarks “enrages so many people,” prompting Hume to say it was due to anti-Trump sentiment.Other guests that appeared this past week to share their coronavirus wisdom included comedian Adam Carrola, goofy podcaster Dave Rubin, and talk-radio blowhard Buck Sexton.But Carlson’s newfound reputation as a sober and earnest broker on the crisis perhaps looked the silliest on Wednesday when he brought on a self-proclaimed “corona truther” to wax poetic on self-isolation. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, a notorious troll and semi-regular guest of Carlson’s, showed up to talk about how he has taken a “financial beating” because the casino business is currently down—before discussing his choice of sweatpants and his TV-viewing habits.Prior to his Carlson appearance, Portnoy had spent weeks mocking concerns about the pandemic, comparing the virus to “the common cold” and saying he didn’t “care about the people dying... I just care about my wallet.”In fact, just two weeks before appearing on Tucker’s primetime show, Portnoy griped about the NBA suspending its season amid the outbreak, calling himself a “corona truther” and insisting that concern over the virus—which has now killed over 25,000 people worldwide—is either a “fraud, overreaction, or media concoction.”Carlson may have won media plaudits for his early concerns about the pandemic, but a closer look at his overall coverage proves we shouldn’t be so easily fooled.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.


Bill de Blasio says there isn't time to focus on coronavirus prevention missteps

Bill de Blasio says there isn't time to focus on coronavirus prevention misstepsNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn't want to focus on the past.CNN's Jake Tapper played some clips of de Blasio urging New Yorkers to go about their daily lives despite worries about the threat of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus in January, February, and March on Sunday's edition of State of the Union. Tapper then asked the mayor if he thinks his messaging may have had something to do with how fast the virus has spread in the city, which has become the U.S. epicenter.There was no outright denial from de Blasio, but he said he was working with the information he had at the time, while trying to make sure people's livelihoods remained intact. Now that it's become clear New York was unable to evade the virus, de Blasio argues "none of us have time to look backward." He said the only thing that should be on people's minds is how to get through the next week.> Bill de Blasio is asked on CNN about comments he made as recently as two weeks ago urging New Yorkers to "go about their lives." > > De Blasio responded, "we should not be focusing, in my view, on anything looking back on any level of government right now."pic.twitter.com/x70LjKRygG> > — andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) March 29, 2020Tapper, though, pointed out that de Blasio himself has criticized President Trump for being behind the coronavirus curve, to which the mayor replied he was early in complaining about a lack of testing. But he also suggested now wasn't the moment to talk about that, either. "The time to deal with these questions is after this war is over," he said.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequences

Mexico's president shifts tone on coronavirus, urges people to stay home, warns of dire consequencesCritics said Mexico's president was downplaying the coronavirus threat. But he has now shifted his tone.


Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirus

Fit, healthy 33-year-old recounts falling ill to coronavirusAndrea Napoli didn’t fit the usual profile of a coronavirus patient. At 33, he was in perfect health, with no history of respiratory disease. Until that day, Napoli was following his routine of work, jogging and swimming.


New York's coronavirus death toll just topped 1,000, but Gov. Cuomo warns that 'thousands' will die

New York's coronavirus death toll just topped 1,000, but Gov. Cuomo warns that 'thousands' will dieAccessible, rapid testing could bring a "return to normalcy," Cuomo said. But for now, he's extending New York's lockdown another two weeks.


Indian police fire tear gas on jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdown

Indian police fire tear gas on jobless workers defying coronavirus lockdownNEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) - Police in western India fired tear gas to disperse a stone-pelting crowd of migrant workers defying a three-week lockdown against the coronavirus that has left hundreds of thousands of poor without jobs and hungry, authorities said on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the country's 1.3 billion people to remain indoors until April 15, declaring such self-isolation was the only hope to stop the viral pandemic. On Sunday, about 500 workers clashed with police in the western city of Surat demanding they be allowed to go home to other parts of India because they had no jobs left.


Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps?

Fact check: Is the coronavirus being spread 'quickly' via gas pumps?A Facebook post warned users to be careful at the gas station because coronavirus is spreading "quickly" via pumps. This claim is partly false.


Trump asks why reporter doesn't act 'a little more positive'

Trump asks why reporter doesn't act 'a little more positive'President Trump on Sunday asked why a White House reporter does not act “a little more positive” in covering the administration’s coronavirus response.


A New Jersey man was charged after throwing a 'Corona Party' for nearly 50 people in his apartment

A New Jersey man was charged after throwing a 'Corona Party' for nearly 50 people in his apartmentNew Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy warned that people will be "named and shamed" as authorities enforce the state's stay-at-home order.


Wuhan's virus ground-zero market hides in plain sight

Wuhan's virus ground-zero market hides in plain sightIn the Chinese city of Wuhan, the wet market that spawned the pandemic which has brought the world to its knees now slumbers quietly behind a tidy-looking blue-and-white partition. Chinese disease control officials have previously identified wild animals sold in the market as the source of the coronavirus pandemic that has taken more than 33,000 lives worldwide so far and rocked the global economy. Markets such as this are the final stop in what conservationists say is a brutal trade in wild animals that is fuelled in large part by Chinese consumption.


Fox News reportedly fears its early downplaying of COVID-19 leaves it open to lawsuits

Fox News reportedly fears its early downplaying of COVID-19 leaves it open to lawsuitsFox Business announced Friday that it has "parted ways" with Trish Regan, a prime time host who gained notoriety for suggesting on her March 9 show that the COVID-19 coronavirus was a politically motivated "scam." The decision "took some journalists and anchors at the network by surprise," The New York Times reports, because "Fox executives are accustomed to withstanding public pressure, and rarely make personnel moves that can be construed as validating criticisms of the network."Fox Business wished Regan the best and said the network "will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future" to focus on "the coronavirus crisis." On MNSBC Sunday morning, Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman said ousting Regan appears to be part of a larger effort to limit legal liability tied to the disconnect between Fox's public and private responses to the pandemic.In early March, "Fox News tried to do their original playbook, which was dismiss it as a hoax, say that this is another partisan attempt by Democrats to hurt Donald Trump, and this was the case where they could not prevent reality," Sherman said. "Fox News is a very powerful media organization, but it cannot stop people from dropping dead." He added:> When I've been talking to Fox insiders over the last few days, there's a real concern inside the network that their early downplaying of the coronavirus actually exposes Fox News to potential legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this. I've heard Trish Regan's being taken off the air is, you know, reflective of this concern that Fox News is in big trouble by downplaying this virus. ... I think this is a case where Fox's coverage, if it actually winds up being proved that people died because of it, this is a new terrain in terms of Fox being possibly held liable for their actions. [Gabriel Sherman, MSNBC]Whether Fox's coverage of the coronavirus hurts Fox, it has helped Trump, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted March 19-24.> % of U.S. adults who say Donald Trump is doing an excellent job at responding to the coronavirus outbreak, by main source of political news> > Fox News: 63% > CBS: 24% > NBC: 15% > ABC: 14% > CNN: 7% > MSNBC: 2% > NPR: 2% > New York Times: 1%> > More in our data tool: https://t.co/loFFqxqJb8 pic.twitter.com/giN3lsxoxQ> > — Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) March 27, 2020Pew surveyed 11,537 panelists and the margin of sampling error for that full sample is ±1.5 percentage points.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Coronavirus: Airlines ‘entering danger zone’

Coronavirus: Airlines ‘entering danger zone’A group of 38 MPs calls on the chancellor to support airlines during the coronavirus crisis.


North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreak

North Korea test fires missiles amid worries about outbreakNorth Korea on Sunday fired two suspected ballistic missiles into the sea, South Korea and Japan said, continuing a streak of weapons launches that suggests leader Kim Jong Un is trying to strengthen domestic support amid worries about a possible coronavirus outbreak in the country. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said it detected the projectiles flying from the North Korean eastern coastal city of Wonsan into the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan on Sunday morning.


Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'

Dr. Birx predicts up to 200,000 coronavirus deaths 'if we do things almost perfectly'"I think in some of the metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines," the White House coronavirus response coordinator said on "TODAY."


Plane explosion in Philippines kills eight, including two foreigners

Plane explosion in Philippines kills eight, including two foreignersA medical evacuation plane exploded during take-off in the Philippine capital on Sunday, killing all eight passengers and crew, including an American and a Canadian, officials said. The plane, owned by a Philippines-registered charter service Lionair, had been bound for Haneda, Japan, but burst into flames at the end of the runway around 8 p.m. (1200 GMT), Manila's main airport said. Indonesian carrier Lion Air issued a statement making clear that it is unrelated to Manila-based Lionair.


Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of Disaster

Silent Coronavirus Spreaders Could Unleash Second Wave of DisasterA burst of fresh data on the prevalence of “silent,” or asymptomatic, carriers of the 2019 novel coronavirus points to the looming danger of ending America’s national shutdown early.Classified Chinese government data suggest “silent carriers” could make up at least one-third of the country’s positive cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post recently reported. Approximately 43,000 people in China who had tested positive for COVID-19 last month had no immediate symptoms. And those cases were not included in the official national tally of confirmed cases, which had hit 80,000 at the end of February, the paper said.Last week, China reported no new local infections for the first time since the outbreak started in December. And after weeks of lockdown, the city of Wuhan—where the global pandemic originated—said on Tuesday that public transportation was reopening and that residents would be allowed to leave the city itself starting on April 8.But as extensive testing continues, authorities in Wuhan have found new cases of asymptomatic—or mildly symptomatic—infection, sparking concerns about how many contagious people have been circulating freely. Fresh data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday about a nursing home in Washington state only served to compound those fears.Four Ways Experts Say Coronavirus Nightmare Could End“Almost everybody thinks there’s the potential of a second wave after we relax the restrictions,” said Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and an expert on U.S. readiness for pandemics. “There’s no good timeframe—it’s certainly not by Easter—that we’ll be starting to loosen up,” he continued, referring to President Donald Trump’s suggested finish line. “But once we do, people who did not have coronavirus will be going out to spaces where silent spreaders might be.”With Americans still getting acclimated to a quasi-national shutdown, and Trump repeatedly suggesting restrictions might ease in a matter of days or weeks, the prospect of silent spreaders wreaking epidemiological havoc looms large.“The biggest danger here is that this is like a stealth attack in that you have no idea that the person you have come into contact with is contagious,” said Dr. Adrian Hyzler, the chief medical officer for Healix International, which provides medical information to organizations whose clients travel internationally. “It makes it so much more difficult to try to contain the spread of the virus.”For obvious reasons, silent carriers are not nearly as notorious in the public imagination as “super-spreaders,” or patients who are extra contagious. A possible super-spreader in the United Kingdom may have transmitted the virus to nearly a dozen people before realizing he was sick earlier this year. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization previously claimed that pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic transmission of the new coronavirus was “relatively rare.” But newer studies—out of Japan, Italy, South Korea, and now Washington state—have called that assertion into question. And research suggests that silent spreaders can be just as dangerous to a community.The CDC released a study on Friday of the outbreak’s spread—specifically via asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic patients—in a long-term care facility in King County, Washington. The report found that “approximately half of all residents with positive test results did not have any symptoms at the time of testing, suggesting that transmission from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic residents—who were not recognized as having [the coronavirus] infection and therefore not isolated—might have contributed to further spread.”“These findings have important implications for infection control,” according to the CDC, since “current interventions” for preventing the virus’s transmission, in part because of the shortage of tests, primarily rely on the presence of “signs and symptoms to identify and isolate residents or patients who might have COVID-19.” Patients were cohorted, or separated, according to which ones had symptoms. But that method of intervention no longer makes sense if there are asymptomatic—or silent—spreaders within a community, especially one that is at high risk of severe infection.Researchers previously published a study in the journal Science on March 16, finding that 86 percent of all infections in China before Jan. 23—when the government there instituted severe travel restrictions—were undocumented because they were mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic.“They may, for the most part, have experienced some symptoms at some point,” Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University who worked on the study, explained to WBUR radio. “But it didn't keep them home, didn't stop them from getting on public transportation, going to work, going to school, getting on airplanes and going on business trips.”Because those individuals didn’t feel sick—or didn’t know they were sick—and kept traveling through the community, the researchers found that this group of people “contributed to the vast majority of the spread” of the virus, added Shaman, who called the phenomenon “stealth transmission.”In a letter to the International Journal of Infectious Diseases in February, a group of Japanese experts led by epidemiologist Hiroshi Nishiura at Hokkaido University wrote that the growing data outside of China “indicates that a substantial number of cases are underdiagnosed.” Nishiura’s group estimated—based on the number of asymptomatic Japanese patients who were evacuated from the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan, China—that about 30.8 percent of cases were asymptomatic.Of course, American authorities know even less than their foreign counterparts about how many cases there are, period. The same goes for silent spreaders. “This is partly because health systems are just overrun with sick people, as well as a scarcity of testing kits,” said Hyzler, adding that a trial in a small Italian town where all 30,000 people were tested revealed that asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic people represented a whopping 70 percent of all cases, of which an unknown number were able to transmit the virus to others.Redlener noted that, while much is still unknown, “the vast majority of Americans with the virus will be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic, and we really have to be careful not to relax our stringent requirements too soon.” The U.S. health system has generally not tested individuals without symptoms unless they are especially wealthy or well-connected—like NBA players or Sen. Rand Paul—or else health workers with known exposure. And in many places in the U.S., authorities are discouraging testing except in the case of severe symptoms, meaning American officials have limited data on the number of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic cases, with few exceptions.Hyzler said there were two key assumptions that likely went into the decision to begin opening up Wuhan again: that there are very few unidentified silent spreaders transmitting the infection throughout the community, and that the incubation period is 14 days.If authorities are correct on both points, it might well be safe to resume public transportation and to allow travel to and from the city. But if they’re incorrect, Hyzler cautioned: “We will certainly start to see a second wave of cases” emerge in China.Fortunately for Wuhan and its surrounding province, China’s zealous testing means that authorities would likely detect a new wave “right away” before it spread very far, according to Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology and global health at the University of Michigan who has advised both the World Health Organization and the Defense Department on communicable diseases.But unless the U.S. rapidly expands its testing—and zealously tracks individuals who’ve had contact with confirmed cases—Americans won’t have that same advantage. Both Hyzler and Monto said they hoped the U.S. government could learn from its weeks of delays, as well as failures abroad. But there’s no guarantee.Vice President Mike Pence took heat this past week for claiming that federal officials may soon recommend that critical workers—even those who’ve been exposed to the virus—return to work, as long as they wear a mask.“It’s premature to try to put a time limit on this,” said Monto, who emphasized the importance of continued social distancing throughout the country to control the surge of cases from overwhelming hospitals.“From an epidemiological standpoint, one lockdown would be better than waves of lockdown,” he said. “With waves, all you’d be doing is letting it up again and then you’re back where you started. I think if we’re still seeing an overwhelming number of cases in hospitals, it’s too early to lift a lockdown.”Ultimately, Hyzler argued, there are two main ways that authorities can try to ensure that an end to social distancing isn’t premature. One is so-called herd immunity, or, as he put it, “if a good percentage, maybe as many as 70 percent of people... have been infected and therefore, we assume, have an immunity against a re-infection.” The other is what’s called antibody testing, or, as Hyzler explained, “once you can show that someone has had the virus, and they no longer need to self-isolate and can return to work.” (To be clear, the jury’s still out on whether some patients who already had coronavirus can be re-infected.)But without enough tests, Monto said, “we have no idea at this point” how many people may be mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. “After the dust settles,” he said, scientists will likely make an effort to collect blood samples, which can detect antibodies for the virus after a person has recovered. “We’ll know the numbers only after the fact,” he added.Redlener was more optimistic: “The hope is that we get to a point where mass testing will be possible.”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.


New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks

New York Gov. Cuomo extends order advising residents to stay at home for at least another two weeks"The non-essential workforce is directed to continue to work from home," Cuomo said a day after the president decided against a mandatory quarantine.


Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal

Kremlin Fights U.S. Sanctions, Backs Maduro in Rosneft Deal(Bloomberg) -- The Kremlin’s sudden shift of ownership of multi-billion-dollar oil projects in Venezuela shields oil giant Rosneft PJSC from further U.S. sanctions but keeps Moscow firmly behind embattled President Nicolas Maduro amid a wider stand-off with Washington.“Russia is not walking away from Maduro and will seek to thwart U.S. efforts to depose him,” said Vladimir Frolov, a former diplomat and foreign policy analyst in Moscow. “Moscow is just shielding Rosneft from sanctions which could result in a blanket embargo on all Rosneft exports.”Fears of broader sanctions have grown after the U.S. in recent months slapped restrictions on Rosneft trading companies for handling business with Venezuela. More recently, the U.S. has hinted that it might step up pressure on the Russian oil sector to reduce production. That followed Moscow’s decision early this month not to deepen output cuts agreed with OPEC led Saudi Arabia to boost output, flooding the market and pushing prices to the lowest levels in decades.The administration of President Donald Trump has already reached out to Saudi leaders to reconsider their strategy, which has battered producers in the U.S. with low prices.Read: Putin and MBS Draw Trump Into Grudge Match for Oil SupremacyRosneft late Saturday announced it’s turning over its Venezuelan projects to an unnamed state-owned company in what it called an effort to protect its shareholders’ interests. Rosneft, which produces 40% of Russian oil and 5% of world output and has substantial exposure in the western financial system, can’t afford the risk of broad U.S. sanctions that could cripple its operations. Earlier this month, a Chinese company said it wouldn’t buy crude from Rosneft because of the risks caused by the sanctions on the trading companies.“As recently as February, the Venezuelan business was profitable, which offset the sanctions risk,” said Ivan Timofeyev, an analyst at the Kremlin-founded Russian International Affairs Council. “Now the desire to avoid sanctions coincided with the need to avoid losses” after oil prices plunged, he added.The Russian giant has already cut its exposure under multi-billion-dollar prepayment deals reached several years ago. Venezuela’s oil producer PDVSA owes Rosneft only $800 million at the end of the third quarter of 2019, according to the last available data, down from $4.6 billion at the end of 2017.Sanctions ProtectionThe latest Russian maneuver mirrored its strategy in 2018 when it used Promsvzyabank to set up a new banking vehicle to serve the defense industry after state-owned weapons producers came under U.S. sanctions, thereby shielding the country’s two largest banks, government-controlled Sberbank and VTB. Unlike those big lenders, which have significant exposure to western financial institutions and thus are at risk from sweeping U.S. sanctions, the new special entity operated largely out of Washington’s reach.While Rosneft may even push to have the recently imposed sanctions on the trading units lifted, risks remain.“Rosneft is trying to stay out of the firing-line but nothing stops the Americans from finding another pretext to sanction it,” said Fyodor Lukyanov, who heads the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a research group in Moscow that advises the Kremlin.“Russia understands that Maduro is in an awful situation, especially with oil prices at rock bottom,” he said. “But Putin’s psychology is that you should stick with partners in difficulty.”Maduro said on state TV on Saturday evening that ”President Putin sent me a message through his ambassador reaffirming their strategic and integral support to Venezuela in all areas.”Rosneft StakeFrolov said, “Moscow thinks that Maduro is actually winning the fight with the opposition and is likely to split it to the point where he would be able to win parliamentary elections this year.” Russia has backed Maduro even as the U.S. and its allies back opposition leader Juan Guaido.For Rosneft, the deal also could give management, led by Igor Sechin, its influential chief executive, greater control, since the company is receiving 9.6% of its own shares in the transaction. That may mean the government’s share in Rosneft falls below a controlling stake, according to Andrey Polischuk, Moscow-based analyst for Raiffeisenbank.Neither the company nor the government would comment on whether the deal will bring state ownership below 50%.“Sechin gets Rosneft shares and Putin gets the chance to trade with Trump,” said Konstantin Simonov, head of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow.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.


Iran warns of lengthy 'new way of life' as virus deaths rise

Iran warns of lengthy 'new way of life'  as virus deaths risePresident Hassan Rouhani warned Sunday that "the new way of life" in Iran was likely to be prolonged, as its declared death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 2,640. The Islamic republic is one of the countries worst-hit by the virus, which first originated in China. Iran announced its first infection cases on February 19, but a senior health official has acknowledged that the virus was likely to have already reached Iran in January.


U.S. journalists barred from China could have a new home in Taiwan

U.S. journalists barred from China could have a new home in TaiwanJournalists from three of the United States' most prestigious publications may not be able to report from China anymore, but Taiwan is offering them refuge.Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph We invited American journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, to set up shop on the China-claimed island after the newspapers were stripped of their credentials by Beijing. Wu said reporters from the prestigious U.S. publications would be welcomed with "open arms and lots of genuine smiles."> As @nytimes, @WSJ & @washingtonpost face intensifying hostility in China, I'd like to welcome you to be stationed in Taiwan — a country that is a beacon of freedom & democracy. Yes! You'll find people here greeting you with open arms & lots of genuine smiles. JW> > — 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) (@MOFA_Taiwan) March 28, 2020There reportedly aren't many permanent foreign correspondents stationed in Taiwan, and none of the three papers have a full-time presence on the island, so it remains to be seen if they'll take up the offer.China announced earlier this month that it was revoking the papers' accreditations in their China bureaus, as well as preventing them from operating in Hong Kong. Beijing said the decision was retaliation for Washington labeling Chinese state media as diplomatic missions.Taiwan has received praise for its handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic in part because the island has stepped up its border controls, mostly allowing entry only to permanent residences. But it seems they'd make an exception in this case. Read more at The Hill and Reuters.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdown

Coronavirus: India's PM Modi seeks 'forgiveness' over lockdownNarendra Modi apologises for sweeping restrictions that have left many jobless and hungry.


North Korea says US clearly doesn't want nuclear talks

North Korea says US clearly doesn't want nuclear talksNorth Korea said Monday that “reckless remarks” by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear that Washington has no intention of resuming nuclear talks, and warned that it is now compelled to pay back “the pains the U.S. has imposed on our people.” After a teleconference of foreign ministers of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations last week, Pompeo told reporters the international community must remain united in urging North Korea to return to nuclear talks and in continuing to apply pressure on its nuclear and missile programs. Pompeo’s remarks showed the U.S. has no strategy to stop “a countdown of confrontation,” North Korea said in a statement attributed to its new Foreign Ministry department director general in charge of negotiations with Washington.


Largest U.S. dam removal sparks debate over coveted West water

Largest U.S. dam removal sparks debate over coveted West waterCalifornia’s second-largest river has sustained Native American tribes with salmon for millennia, provided upstream farmers with irrigation water for generations and served as a haven for retirees who built homes along its banks.


Spain toughens restrictions as coronavirus death toll surges

Spain toughens restrictions as coronavirus death toll surgesSpain prepared to enter its third week under near-total lockdown on Sunday, as the government approved a strengthening of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus and the death toll rose by 838 cases overnight to 6,528. Second only to Italy in fatalities, Spain also saw infections rise to 78,797 from 72,248 the day before. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday night, announced that all non-essential workers must stay at home for two weeks, the latest government measure in the fight against coronavirus.


Nursing Homes Balk at Taking Back Patients From Hospitals

Nursing Homes Balk at Taking Back Patients From HospitalsBy Judith Graham, Kaiser Health NewsA wrenching conflict is emerging as the COVID-19 virus storms through U.S. communities: Some patients are falling into a no man’s land between hospitals and nursing homes. Hospitals need to clear out patients who no longer need acute care. But nursing homes don’t want to take patients discharged from hospitals for fear they’ll bring the coronavirus with them.“It’s a huge and very difficult issue,” said Cassie Sauer, president of the Washington State Hospital Association, whose members were hit early by the coronavirus.Each side has legitimate concerns. Hospitals in coronavirus hot spots need to free up beds for the next wave of critically ill patients. They are canceling elective and nonessential procedures. They are also trying to move coronavirus patients out of the hospital as quickly as possible.The goal is to “allow hospitals to reserve beds for the most severely ill patients by discharging those who are less severely ill to skilled nursing facilities,” Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said a few weeks ago as the federal agency relaxed rules restricting which Medicare patients can receive nursing home care.Nursing homes are alarmed at the prospect of taking patients who may have coronavirus infections. The consequences could be dire. The first nursing home known to have COVID-19, the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, saw the virus spread like wildfire. It killed 37 people.“We’re looking at case fatality rates of 30, 40, 50% in nursing homes when coronavirus gets introduced,” said Christopher Laxton, executive director of AMDA—the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, which represents nursing home medical directors. Fears extend to patients with other conditions, such as strokes or heart attacks, who’ve been in the hospital and do not have COVID-19 symptoms but could harbor the virus.In its most recent guidance, the American Health Care Association, an industry trade group, said nursing homes can accept patients “who are COVID negative or do not have symptoms.” If someone has symptoms such as a dry cough or fever, they “should be tested for COVID-19 before being admitted to the facility.” If someone is COVID positive, they should be kept only “with other COVID positive residents.”Three Nuns Left to Handle Nearly 100 Seniors Presumed to Have Coronavirus in NJ Care HomeBut nursing home doctors worry this doesn’t go far enough. According to a resolution by the California Association of Long Term Care Medicine, nursing homes should not have to take patients known to have the coronavirus unless “they have two negative tests that are 24 hours apart, OR 10 days after admission AND no fever for 72 hours.” A new AMDA resolution echoes this caution.“We have an obligation to our patients to draw the line,” said Dr. Michael Wasserman, president of the California association. “Increasing the number of COVID-19 positive residents in facilities—whether these facilities have patients with the virus or not—raises the risk of infecting the uninfected and dramatically increasing the number of deaths.”For their part, hospital leaders say an emphasis on testing before discharging patients is impractical, given the shortage of tests and delays in receiving results.“Many nursing homes are requiring a negative COVID-19 test even for patients who were in the hospital for nothing to do with COVID,” said Sauer in Washington state. “We don’t agree with this. It’s using up very limited testing resources.”Nowhere are tensions higher than in New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said 73,000 extra hospital beds will be needed within weeks to treat a surge of COVID-19 patients. Hospitals in the state have 53,000 beds.On Wednesday, the New York State Department of Health issued an advisory noting: “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH [nursing home] solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”Speaking on behalf of nursing home physicians, AMDA voiced strong opposition, calling the policy “over-reaching, not consistent with science, unenforceable, and beyond all, not in the least consistent with patient safety principles” in a statement.Some nursing homes are sending residents with suspected coronavirus to hospitals for evaluation and then refusing to take them back until tests confirm their negative status. “Essentially, they’re dumping patients on hospitals and saying, ‘Too bad—you’re stuck with them now,’” said a consultant who works closely with hospitals and spoke on the condition of anonymity.Others want to do their part to serve COVID-19 patients. “It is our obligation to keep the health care system flowing,” said Scott LaRue, president of ArchCare, the health care system of the Archdiocese of New York.LaRue has no illusions about keeping the coronavirus out of ArchCare’s five nursing homes, which, combined, have 1,700 beds.“In New York City the virus is everywhere,” he said. That means it has to be managed, not avoided. “Our intention is to take COVID-19 stable patients” and move them to a single floor at each nursing home, he said.That will happen under two conditions, LaRue said. First, ArchCare will need sufficient personal protective equipment—gowns, masks and face shields—for its staff. Currently, the system can’t get face shields. It was due to run out of gowns by Wednesday.Second, ArchCare will need to test whether its protocols for managing COVID-positive patients are working. Those include putting patients in isolation, monitoring them more closely, limiting the number of people who can go in, and ensuring that staff use personal protective equipment and are trained properly.  So far, only one of its nursing home patients is known to have COVID-19. “We won’t know for 14 days if the steps we’re taking are working,” LaRue said.Do I Have Coronavirus? A Symptoms Primer.But it’s unrealistic to expect other nursing homes to follow suit.“I would be surprised if 10% to 15% of skilled nursing facilities in the U.S. could take a COVID-positive patient and treat that patient safely while ensuring that other residents in the home are safe,” said David Grabowski, a professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.In a new commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Grabowski calls for establishing “centers of excellence” to care for patients recovering from COVID-19 and building “temporary capacity” in hot spots where the need for post-hospital services is likely to surge.That’s beginning to happen. On Tuesday, Cuomo announced that a field hospital being built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to house overflow coronavirus patients at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City would include 1,000 beds for patients who don’t need acute care services.On Wednesday, a unit of Partners HealthCare, a large Massachusetts health care system, announced a new center for patients recovering from COVID-19 on the fourth floor of Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Care, a long-term care hospital in Cambridge. The center, set to open soon, will have 60 beds and accept patients from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.In the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, Allina Health, which operates 11 hospitals, is partnering with Presbyterian Homes & Services to convert a 50-bed skilled nursing home to a “step-down site,” said Dr. Emily Downing, a vice president of Allina Health. The goal is to help COVID-19 patients recover so they can return to nursing homes or senior living communities.Katie Smith Sloan, president of LeadingAge, which represents not-for-profit nursing homes, home care agencies and assisted living centers, said she was hearing about nascent plans to reopen closed nursing homes for COVID-19 patients. Government agencies need to make financing available to build extra capacity to care for these patients, she said.As for patients who need less intensive care or who need to be quarantined after the hospital to ensure they aren’t infectious, other options exist.“King County has bought a hotel and is leasing another and is looking at what are now empty ambulatory surgery centers or a Christian summer camp in the area,” said Sauer of the Washington State Hospital Association. 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.


Germany could issue hundreds of thousands of people coronavirus 'immunity certificates' so they can leave the lockdown early

Germany could issue hundreds of thousands of people coronavirus 'immunity certificates' so they can leave the lockdown earlyThe tests could allow hundreds of thousands of people to leave their coronavirus lockdowns early.


Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prison

Inmate dies after contracting coronavirus at Louisiana federal prisonThe death of Patrick Jones marks the first COVID-19-related death of an inmate in the federal prison system, a Bureau of Prisons spokesperson said.


Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks off

Asia virus latest: People return to China epicentre, security talks offWuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus first emerged last year, partly reopened on Saturday after more than two months of near total isolation for its population of 11 million. A top Asian security conference that gathers defence ministers -- including from the US and China -- and senior military officials was cancelled due to the pandemic. Thousands of migrant workers in India, left jobless and penniless by the full shutdown of the country, are walking long distances back to their home villages after all transport was stopped except for essential services.


The U.S. is preparing for a medical supply airlift of unprecedented scale

The U.S. is preparing for a medical supply airlift of unprecedented scaleAs hospitals across the United States face a shortage of medical supplies in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic, planes are gearing up to bring in reinforcements.The first aircraft in a series of flights scheduled by the White House over the next 30 days arrived in New York from Shanghai on Sunday morning, bringing with it 12 million gloves, 130,000 N95 masks, 17.6 surgical masks, 50,000 gowns, 130,000 hand sanitizer units, and 36,000 thermometers, all of which will be distributed throughout the New York tri-state area. A non-government distributor had actually already bought the supplies and planned to sell them in New York, but they'd normally arrive on ships. A sea voyage would've taken over a month, so the government is expediting the process by air. Going forward, the U.S. has 22 similar flights coming in over the next two weeks that will distribute supplies to different parts of the country, per Axios.Navy Rear Admiral John Polowcyzk, who is running the Federal Emergency Management Agency's coronavirus supply chain task force, said he doesn't think the U.S. has ever seen anything like this on its own soil. "I don't know of another effort like this," he told Axios.Polowcyzk is hoping it's only a two- or three-week effort, but admitted planes could be coming in over the next month. Read more at Axios.More stories from theweek.com Once coronavirus infects a human body, what happens next? Joe Biden is the worst imaginable challenger to Trump right now Trump says he doesn't speak with 'nasty' governors but it doesn't affect the federal COVID-19 response


Blissful ignorance? Submariners likely unaware of pandemic

Blissful ignorance? Submariners likely unaware of pandemicOf a world in coronavirus turmoil, they may know little or nothing. Submariners stealthily cruising the ocean deeps, purposefully shielded from worldly worries to encourage undivided focus on their top-secret missions of nuclear deterrence, may be among the last pockets of people anywhere who are still blissfully unaware of how the pandemic is turning life upside down. Mariners aboard ballistic submarines are habitually spared bad news while underwater to avoid undermining their morale, say current and former officers who served aboard France's nuclear-armed subs.


'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projections

'I don't know how you look at those numbers and conclude anything less than thousands of people will pass away': Cuomo discusses state fatality projectionsGov. Andrew Cuomo spoke about New York state’s fatality projections during a press conference on Sunday.


North Korea slams Pompeo and says will 'walk our way'

North Korea slams Pompeo and says will 'walk our way'North Korea on Monday warned it could cut off dialogue with the United States and slammed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for urging the international community to maintain sanctions on its regime. Pompeo last week told nations to "stay committed to applying diplomatic and economic pressure" over the North's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes while calling on the nuclear-armed state to return to talks. A string of weapons drills by Pyongyang has come during a prolonged hiatus in disarmament talks with the United States and despite recent overtures from Washington offering help to contain the coronavirus pandemic.


Moscow says coronavirus outbreak enters new phase as residents go out to brave risk
Africa's paradox: It may be the worst and best place to ride out coronavirus

Africa's paradox: It may be the worst and best place to ride out coronavirusCOVID-19 may compound difficulties in a part of the world that's long grappled with conflict, humanitarian disaster and infrastructure inadequacies. Yet Africa has deep experience fighting infectious disease and a very young population.


About 700 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus, State Police Head Says

About 700 New Jersey Police Officers Tested Positive for Coronavirus, State Police Head SaysNew Jersey has reported the second highest number of cases in the U.S., trailing only New York


A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show 'the ghastly reality of what' medical workers deal with on frontlines

A New York nurse shared a chilling photo of coronavirus victims to show 'the ghastly reality of what' medical workers deal with on frontlinesThe harrowing image shows the bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients being stored in a refrigerated truck outside the ambulance bay.


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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