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Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Page 9

The U.S. currently has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any country in the world. Coronavirus is real it is not a hoax. Coronavirus is not the flu no matter what they say, you can get a flu shot which reduces the chances of you getting the flu, you cannot get a coronavirus shot because there are currently no coronavirus vaccines shots. Coronavirus is deadlier than the flu and spreads faster than the flu. Currently there are no shots or cures for the coronavirus. Coronavirus kills people of all ages. Coronavirus can remain in the air and on surfaces for more than an hour. Someone who is not showing any signs of illness can infect you. Be safe; stay home if directed, keep your distance from others, stay home if sick to prevent possible spread of the disease, wash your hands with soap before you touch your face and wash your hands with soap frequently. Below you can find the latest coronavirus updates statistics, totals, new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends, timelines and more.

Donald J. Trump failure to act quickly and reasonably to protect the American people from the Coronavirus has put America lives at risks.

Live statistics and coronavirus news tracking the number of confirmed cases, recovered patients, and death toll by country due to the COVID 19 coronavirus from Wuhan, China. Coronavirus counter with new cases, historical data, and info. Daily charts, graphs, news and updates

View United States Coronavirus update with statistics and graphs: total and new cases, deaths per day, mortality and recovery rates, current active cases, recoveries, trends and timeline.

Polls show that Trish Regan, Sean Hannity, and others successfully bamboozled viewers about coronavirus. Now, Fox is reportedly lawyering up for a potential legal backlash.
By Caleb Ecarma

Just over a week ago, former Fox Business host Trish Regan parted ways with the network, ostensibly because she called the coronavirus melee “yet another attempt to impeach...demonize, and destroy the president.” That the comments, which mirrored those of nearly every other Fox host at the time, would result in her termination seemed disproportionate, and last week a member of Fox Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch’s front office told the Daily Beast that Regan represented “a sacrificial lamb”—a scapegoat for critics who lampooned the network for dangerously misinforming its viewers about a deadly pandemic. Regan’s ouster failed to achieve this goal, and according to new reports, Fox is now lawyering up, bracing for a litany of public-interest lawsuits and letters of condemnation for pedaling misinformation for weeks prior to coronavirus’s explosion in the U.S. The first such consumer-protection complaint came from the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics (WASHLITE) on Thursday, which named Murdoch,__ Fox News, AT&T, Comcast, and other related entities as defendants. Seeking nominal damage, the suit claims the “defendants acted in bad faith to willfully and maliciously disseminate false information denying and minimizing the danger posed by the spread of the novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, which is now recognized as an international pandemic.” WASHLITE board member Arthur West justified the suit by accusing Fox News of goading Americans into ignoring social distancing measures, thus exacerbating the outbreak. “That’s the real evil of this type of programming,” he told the Times of San Diego. “We believe it delayed and interfered with a prompt and adequate response to this coronavirus pandemic.” Well past the olive branch phase, Fox is reportedly ready for whatever court battles come next. “The strategy is no settlements, even if it costs way more to fight the lawsuit and seek sanctions for ambulance-chasing lawyers,” an executive told the Daily Beast. He recalled the Murdochs’ successful evasion of two lawsuits related to conspiratorial Fox coverage of the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich, which were dismissed in 2018 with help from the firm Williams & Connolly. In a statement to the Beast, Fox News general counsel Lily Fu Claffee described the WASHLITE suit as “Wrong on the facts, frivolous on the law” and added, “We will defend vigorously and seek sanctions as appropriate.” This time, however, might be very different from the Rich case. During a Sunday appearance on MSNBC, my colleague Gabriel Sherman said Fox insiders had expressed “real concern...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.” He went on to say that while the Murdochs are “privately taking coronavirus seriously”—Rupert Murdoch quietly cancelled his 89th birthday party on March 11—top hosts like Regan and Sean Hannity were actively “telling viewers that it’s a hoax...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.”

By Reid Wilson

States across the country are racing to stockpile ventilators, personal protective equipment and necessary medical supplies as they prepare for brutal surges of coronavirus cases in the coming weeks and months. But a bottleneck in the global supply chain has forced those states to compete with each other, and often with the federal government, for limited supplies. In many states, governors have reached deals with suppliers only to have those suppliers tell them later they received a better price from another state. "Where we are now, 50 states all trying to buy the same equipment, from China, and then the federal government comes in with FEMA, which is trying to purchase the same equipment," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. "The states are responsible for their own purchasing, and frankly, there's nothing left to buy anymore anyway." States that have not yet experienced a crush of COVID-19 cases like California, Oregon and Washington have lent ventilators to harder-hit states like New York and New Jersey. But for other states that are planning their own responses when peak demand hits, crucial supplies have been harder to come by. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) has been told orders his state puts in with ventilator manufacturers will go unfilled in the coming weeks.

UN chief calls on governments to step up prosecution of abusers and set up emergency-warning systems in pharmacies.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of a "horrifying global surge" in domestic violence during the coronavirus crisis and urged governments to step up efforts to prevent violence against women. "We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19. But they can trap women with abusive partners," Guterres said in a video message posted on Twitter on Sunday. "For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest - in their own homes." In some countries, the number of women calling support services has doubled, healthcare providers and police are overwhelmed and understaffed, and local support groups are "paralysed" or short of funds, the UN chief said.

By KATE FELDMAN - New York Daily News

Not everyone is as eager to bring tourists back out to Georgia’s beaches as Gov. Brian Kemp. Tybee Beach Mayor Shirley Sessions issued a scathing response to Kemp Saturday, days after the governor announced that the state’s stay-at-home order included re-opening the beaches. “Tybee City Council and I are devastated by the sudden directives and do not support his decisions,” Sessions wrote. “The health of our residents, staff and visitors are being put at risk and we will pursue legal avenues to overturn his reckless mandate.” Tybee Beach voted on March 19 to close the beaches, according to the Savannah Morning News, but Kemp’s ruling Thursday overruled the city council. “As the Pentagon ordered 100,000 body bags to store the corpses of Americans killed by the Coronavirus, Governor Brian Kemp dictated that Georgia beaches must reopen, and declared any decision makers who refused to follow these orders would face prison and/or fines," Sessions wrote.

Los Angeles Times

During his daily news conference, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he accepted responsibility for the lack of statewide testing so far and announced new initiatives to increase the number of those tested by making more COVID-19 tests available.

By Jeff Zeleny, Senior Washington Correspondent

(CNN) Just eight US governors have decided against issuing statewide directives urging their residents to stay at home as the outbreak of the coronavirus escalates and spreads across the country, the last holdouts in the nation. The governors, all of whom are Republican, have offered a variety of explanations for why they have not followed the lead of their colleagues from coast-to-coast -- along with countries across the world -- by ordering people to restrict their movement in hopes of slowing the pandemic. In doing so, they've collectively ignored the stay-at-home pleas of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, who said in a CNN interview: "If you look at what's going on in this country, I just don't understand why we're not doing that." Absent a nationwide order, which President Donald Trump once again on Saturday declined to give, a patchwork of rules has emerged in all corners of the country that offer conflicting guidance for how citizens should protect themselves and their families from coronavirus. "We have a thing called the Constitution, which I cherish", Trump said at his daily news briefing, praising the decision of the governors. "Now in some cases we'll supersede ... it depends on the individual state that you're talking about. ... If I saw something wrong, if I saw a massive outbreak, of which there's not, I would come down very hard." But as the week wore on, with the death toll rising, confirmed cases mounting and an absence of national leadership, several once-reluctant governors ultimately heeded the call and issued statewide orders of their own. It wasn't until late Friday that Alabama took action, with Gov. Kay Ivey reversing course and imposing a statewide mandate beginning Saturday. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson followed suit, one day after saying his state didn't easily lend itself to "a blanket order." He signed just that, but said it wouldn't take effect until Monday. The remaining exceptions are eight red states, all of which Trump carried four years ago and is hoping to do so again in the fall. They stretch from the South to the Midwest and the West, spanning the alphabet from Arkansas to Wyoming.

By Sergei Klebnikov Forbes Staff

Topline: While a vast majority of states have issued statewide stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus outbreak spreading across the United States, a handful of Republican governors have resisted mounting pressure to do so from many, including from the country’s top authority on infectious disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

   Nine different states in the South and Midwest have yet to announce statewide orders as of Saturday: Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota have all resisted issuing any kind of stay at home orders, while Wyoming, Utah, Oklahoma and South Carolina have only issued orders in part of their states.
   The governors, all Republican, have often defended their actions out of a belief in smaller government, despite many calls from within their own states to do so.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, for instance, told reporters earlier this week that “the people themselves are primarily responsible for their safety” and that state and national constitutions “prevent us from taking draconian measures much like the Chinese government has done.” She also added, "South Dakota is not New York City.”
Governor Kim Reynolds, of Iowa, rejected  Fauci’s recent calls to implement a nationwide stay at home order: “I would say that maybe he doesn't have all the information," she told reporters this week. “I can’t lock the state down… people also have to be responsible for themselves,” she said.

By Cristina Alesci and Shannon Liao, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) Joe Tsai, the billionaire co-founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, and his wife Clara Wu Tsai, have donated 2.6 million masks, 170,000 goggles and 2000 ventilators to New York — the US epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. The supplies were split into two shipments. The first arrived on Thursday at Newark Liberty International Airport, while the second arrived on Saturday at John F. Kennedy International Airport. "We kept hearing cries for (personal protective equipment) from our community and wanted to help," Clara Tsai told CNN in an interview. The state will allocate the second shipment but "it's our intention to help the most underserved institutions." She cited Jacobi Medical Center and Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx, and Elmhurst Hospital in Queens as the institutions she and her husband thought might need the supplies the most. "I want to thank Joe Tsai, and Clara Tsai, and Jack Ma from Alibaba," said Cuomo, during a Saturday briefing. "This is a big deal and it's going to make a significant difference for us." Hospitals in New York and across the country have been scrambling to find enough ventilators, masks and other protective gear needed for healthcare workers to battle the virus, which has killed about 60,000 people worldwide. The Tsais have considerable ties to the New York community. Joe Tsai, a Canadian Taiwanese businessman and philanthropist, owns the Brooklyn Nets basketball team and Brooklyn's Barclays Center arena. His co-founder, Jack Ma, made a separate donation of masks and testing kits in March. Clara Tsai runs a charitable organization, the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, which oversees causes including economic mobility in Brooklyn. The Tsais worked with the Greater New York Hospital Association to distribute the items in their first shipment. It contained 300,000 surgical masks that went toward 11 New York City-area nursing homes, 70,000 medical goggles donated to 11 New York City-area nursing homes and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, and 1000 ventilators that were donated to the Mount Sinai hospital system.

The US has been accused of redirecting 200,000 Germany-bound masks for its own use, in a move condemned as "modern piracy".

The local government in Berlin said the shipment of US-made masks was "confiscated" in Bangkok. The FFP2 masks, which were ordered by Berlin's police force, did not reach their destination, it said. Andreas Geisel, Berlin's interior minister, said the masks were presumably diverted to the US. The US company that makes the masks, 3M, has been prohibited from exporting its medical products to other countries under a Korean-War-era law invoked by President Donald Trump. On Friday, Mr Trump said he was using the Defence Production Act to demand that US firms provide more medical supplies to meet domestic demand. "We need these items immediately for domestic use. We have to have them," Mr Trump said at the daily Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the White House. He said US authorities had taken custody of nearly 200,000 N95 respirators, 130,000 surgical masks and 600,000 gloves. He did not say where they were taken into US hands. Mr Geisel said the diversion of masks from Berlin amounted to an "act of modern piracy", urging the Trump administration to adhere to international trading rules. "This is not how you deal with transatlantic partners," the minister said. "Even in times of global crisis, there should be no wild-west methods."

A 'treasure hunt' for masks
Mr Geisel's comments echo the sentiments of other European officials, who have complained about the buying and diversion practices of the US. In France, for example, regional leaders say they are struggling to secure medical supplies as American buyers outbid them. The president of the Île-de-France region, Valérie Pécresse, compared the scramble for masks to a "treasure hunt".

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Health officials say a large chunk of confirmed coronavirus cases in Sacramento County is being linked to church-related gatherings. Sacramento County public health announced new COVID-19 numbers on Wednesday. There are 314 total confirmed coronavirus cases in the county, officials say. Another death has also been linked to the coronavirus, bringing the count to 9. About one-third of those confirmed cases have been linked to church gatherings, public health officials say.

There were 1,300 direct flights to 17 cities before President Trump’s travel restrictions. Since then, nearly 40,000 Americans and other authorized travelers have made the trip, some this past week and many with spotty screening.
By Steve Eder, Henry Fountain, Michael H. Keller, Muyi Xiao and Alexandra Stevenson

Since Chinese officials disclosed the outbreak of a mysterious pneumonialike illness to international health officials on New Year’s Eve, at least 430,000 people have arrived in the United States on direct flights from China, including nearly 40,000 in the two months after President Trump imposed restrictions on such travel, according to an analysis of data collected in both countries. The bulk of the passengers, who were of multiple nationalities, arrived in January, at airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Newark and Detroit. Thousands of them flew directly from Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, as American public health officials were only beginning to assess the risks to the United States. Flights continued this past week, the data show, with passengers traveling from Beijing to Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, under rules that exempt Americans and some others from the clampdown that took effect on Feb. 2. In all, 279 flights from China have arrived in the United States since then, and screening procedures have been uneven, interviews show. Mr. Trump has repeatedly suggested that his travel measures impeded the virus’s spread in the United States. “I do think we were very early, but I also think that we were very smart, because we stopped China,” he said at a briefing on Tuesday, adding, “That was probably the biggest decision we made so far.” Last month, he said, “We’re the ones that kept China out of here.” But the analysis of the flight and other data by The New York Times shows the travel measures, however effective, may have come too late to have “kept China out,” particularly in light of recent statements from health officials that as many as 25 percent of people infected with the virus may never show symptoms. Many infectious-disease experts suspect that the virus had been spreading undetected for weeks after the first American case was confirmed, in Washington State, on Jan. 20, and that it had continued to be introduced. In fact, no one knows when the virus first arrived in the United States. During the first half of January, when Chinese officials were underplaying the severity of the outbreak, no travelers from China were screened for potential exposure to the virus. Health screening began in mid-January, but only for a number of travelers who had been in Wuhan and only at the airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. By that time, about 4,000 people had already entered the United States directly from Wuhan, according to VariFlight, an aviation data company based in China. The measures were expanded to all passengers from China two weeks later.

By Kelly Kazek | kkazek@al.com

The advice recorded from a survivor of the 1918 flu pandemic is chilling in its relevance more than a century later: “Go to your doctor, get your medicine, go home, be sure you’ve got plenty of food and stay there.” Annie Laurie Williams of Selma, who was 91 when the recording was made in 2007 and who died in 2014, was one of five survivors whose stories were recorded by the Alabama Department of Archives and History as a way to teach future generations the dangers of a pandemic. The 1918 influenza pandemic, also known as the Spanish flu, sickened an estimated third of the world’s population, yet it was largely forgotten. Edna Boone Register of Madrid, Ala., who was 100 at the time of her interview in 2007, said getting the flu at the time was a deadly prospect and the only people who could help were neighbors. “If you loaded a sick person whom you could no longer help and put them in a wagon and take them to Dothan to a hospital, chances are that patient would be dead when you got there … If it wasn’t, there’d be no room [in the hospital],” she said. “People were buried in the clothes they died in and wrapped in sheets.” Register told her interviewer, Ann Brantley – the hazard vulnerability analysis nurse coordinator of the Center for Emergency Preparedness at the time – that she would advise teaching future generations about the pandemic and its impact, saying we need “to be aware it could happen again. Children need to learn about what could happen.” Register was 10 years old during the pandemic and died at age 104 in 2011. Less than a year after the United States entered World War I, an unprecedented outbreak of influenza swept the world, killing more people than the war. An estimated 16 million people were killed in WWI, but officials estimate 20 to 50 million died from the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. It caused more deaths than any other illness in history, according to the National Archives. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the outbreak is still affecting us: All strains of the Influenza A virus that make us sick today are descended from the flu of the 1918 pandemic. In Alabama, authorities found it impossible to count the number of dead, as cases erupted too quickly for accurate record-keeping, according a health official speaking at a 2006 State Summit on the 1918 pandemic.

Hannity responds to open letter signed by 74 journalism professors and leading journalists claiming Fox News spread false statements
by Victoria Bekiempis

Fox News host Sean Hannity has hit back against intense criticism of the conservative network’s coronavirus coverage, even claiming in a new interview he was ahead of most media in taking Covid-19 seriously. Hannity’s statements to Newsweek were in response to a 1 April open letter signed by 74 journalism professors and leading journalists that lambasted Fox News for allegedly spreading “misinformation” about the outbreak. The professors directly cited Hannity’s statement that the Democrats and media overplayed coronavirus to “bludgeon Trump with this new hoax”. The letter came before a report in The Daily Beast that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch and his son, Lachlan Murdoch, are bracing for lawsuits over the network’s coronavirus coverage. Asked about his statement that Democrats and the media were using Covid-19 “to bludgeon Trump”, Hannity responded: “Many of them did.” “We are in the middle of the huge pandemic and where’s the Democrat saying, ‘You know, I didn’t agree with the travel ban at the time, but it was the right decision.’ Politics trumps truth in their world.” Hannity was referring to Trump’s decision to clamp down on – but not shut down, despite his repeated claims – travel from China as the virus broke out there. “It’s the same Democrats,” Hannity continued, “media mob and liberal professors who are so lazy they won’t even look at what I’ve said about the virus. They just go with their narrative. I never called it a ‘hoax’. “I said it was a hoax for them to be using it as a bludgeon on Trump. And they are. [House intelligence chair] Adam Schiff and [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi are talking about an investigation. Now? In the middle of a pandemic?” Hannity also said: “Go to my website and you’ll see irrefutable evidence that I have taken this seriously way before most in the media did. I warned in January that it was dangerous because it was highly contagious, but some people were asymptomatic, so it would spread quickly.” The professors’ letter, addressed to both Murdochs, claimed: “Viewers of Fox News, including the president of the United States, have been regularly subjected to misinformation relayed by the network–false statements downplaying the prevalence of Covid-19 and its harms.”

By Paul French, for CNN

(CNN) When the novel coronavirus pandemic hit Asia, people across the region were quick to wear masks, with some places like Taiwan and the Philippines even making them mandatory in certain scenarios. But in the West, mask adoption has been far slower, with England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, for example, going so far as to claim mask-wearing is unnecessary. Yet it hasn't always been the case that mask-wearing is an Asian proclivity. It certainly wasn't during the influenza pandemic of 1918, which lasted from January 1918 to December 1920, and infected one-third of the world's population, or about 500 million people, leading to about 50 million deaths -- about half a million of which were in the United States. There are many parallels between the two pandemics. While origin theories about the 1918 virus still abound, it was assigned a country specific name: the Spanish Flu. Globalization facilitated its spread as soldiers fighting in World War I took the flu around the globe. Then as now, warehouses were repurposed into quarantine hospitals. And an ocean liner with infected patients became a talking point. But one notable difference is that it was the United States which led the world in mask wearing. In October 1918, as San Francisco received the pandemic's second wave, hospitals began reporting a rise in the number of infected patients. On October 24, 1918, the city's elected legislative body, the board of Supervisors of San Francisco, realizing that drastic action needed to be taken with over 4,000 cases recorded, unanimously passed the Influenza Mask Ordinance. The wearing of face masks in public became mandatory on US soil for the first time.

Adoption of masks
After San Francisco made masks mandatory in public, an awareness campaign began. The city's mayor, along with members of the Board of Health, endorsed a Red Cross publicity blitz which told the public: "Wear a Mask and Save Your Life! A Mask is 99% Proof Against Influenza." Songs were written about mask wearing, including one ditty that featured the lyrics: "Obey the laws, and wear the gauze. Protect your jaws from septic paws."

By Jeff Zeleny, Senior Washington Correspondent

(CNN) Just eight US governors have decided against issuing statewide directives urging their residents to stay at home as the outbreak of the coronavirus escalates and spreads across the country, the last holdouts in the nation. The governors, all of whom are Republican, have offered a variety of explanations for why they have not followed the lead of their colleagues from coast-to-coast -- along with countries across the world -- by ordering people to restrict their movement in hopes of slowing the pandemic. In doing so, they've collectively ignored the stay-at-home pleas of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, who said in a CNN interview: "If you look at what's going on in this country, I just don't understand why we're not doing that." Absent a nationwide order, which President Donald Trump once again on Friday declined to give, a patchwork of rules has emerged in all corners of the country that offer conflicting guidance for how citizens should protect themselves and their families from coronavirus. "I leave it up to the governors. The governors know what they are doing," Trump said at his daily White House briefing. "States that we are talking about are not in jeopardy." But as the week wore on, with the death toll rising, confirmed cases mounting and an absence of national leadership, several once-reluctant governors ultimately heeded the call and issued statewide orders of their own. It wasn't until late Friday that Alabama took action, with Gov. Kay Ivey reversing course and imposing a statewide mandate beginning Saturday. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson followed suit, one day after saying his state didn't easily lend itself to "a blanket order." He signed just that, but said it wouldn't take effect until Monday. The remaining exceptions are eight red states, all of which Trump carried four years ago and is hoping to do so again in the fall. They stretch from the South to the Midwest and the West, spanning the alphabet from Arkansas to Wyoming.

By Adam Elmahrek, Harriet Ryan, Ben Poston

They had seemingly done the impossible. The union that represents healthcare workers in California announced it had arranged the purchase of 39 million N95 masks for hospitals and government agencies that badly need the protective equipment. Among the intended recipients was Kaiser Permanente, which placed orders for 6 million masks. A week later, none of those masks have materialized, and Kaiser is cooperating with a federal fraud investigation into the deal, a spokesman for the health plan confirmed. There is no indication that the union is a target of the investigation, and the exact reasons why the masks didn’t come through remain unclear. But the failed arrangement marks the latest in a smoke-and-mirrors marketplace for equipment in short supply as hospitals and other healthcare facilities in California and beyond prepare for an onslaught of COVID-19 patients. Experts in the global supply chain say that dubious middlemen have flooded the market with suspect offers, creating an atmosphere of confusion and distrust just as hospitals are desperate to arm their front-line personnel with the gear they need to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus. Kaiser spokesman Marc Brown said the mask supplier had been brought to Kaiser’s attention by Service Employees International Union - United Healthcare Workers West. Despite multiple requests, he said, the supplier repeatedly failed to provide reliable information about how Kaiser could verify and inspect the masks. Kaiser withdrew from the deal and no money ever changed hands, he said. “We learned shortly afterward that the supplier never had possession of the masks,” Brown said in an email. “We are cooperating with federal law enforcement in their investigation of suspected fraud in this case.”

By Casey Tolan, CNN

(CNN) As more and more Americans are forced to stay home during the escalating coronavirus pandemic, the crisis has created a pressure-cooker situation for domestic violence victims, exacerbating stressors and isolation that can make for a deadly mix. Several cities are already reporting jumps in domestic violence cases or calls to local hotlines. Some shelters around the country say they're full -- some after reducing their capacity to maintain social distancing -- and struggling to help survivors. And with gun sales setting records, advocates worry that the next few weeks could be especially dangerous. A whistleblower holding an envelope. We offer several ways to reach our journalists securely. In an eastern Pennsylvania town under a local shelter-in-place order, a man who lost his job due to the pandemic shot his girlfriend in the back and then killed himself on Monday. Just before he went into the basement to get his handgun, he became "extremely upset" about coronavirus, the victim, who survived, told police. "Domestic violence is rooted in power and control, and all of us are feeling a loss of power and control right now," said Katie Ray-Jones, the CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. "We're really bracing for a spike post-Covid-19 -- that's when law enforcement and advocates and courts are going to hear the really, really scary stuff going on behind closed doors." While police and advocates haven't seen jumps in domestic violence cases across the board, some hot spots are emerging around the country. Of the 20 large metropolitan police departments that provided data to CNN, nine saw double-digit percentage jumps in domestic violence cases or 911 calls in March, either compared to the previous year or to earlier months in 2020. Not every department provided standardized numbers -- some counted domestic violence-related 911 calls, while others tallied confirmed cases or arrests. Portland, Oregon had a 27% increase in domestic violence arrests between March 12 and 23, 2020, as compared with the same period in 2019, police said. Boston had a 22% jump in domestic assault and battery reports between March 2019 and March 2020, and Seattle had a 21% increase in reports of domestic violence during the same time period. But advocates worry that with victims stuck in close proximity with abusers, there are many others who are unable to safely reach out for help. "I imagine that that is the tip of the iceberg," said Anne DePrince, a University of Denver psychology professor who studies domestic violence.

By Elaine Cobbe

The World Health Organisation has warned that stay-at-home orders and quarantine measures taken to try to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic will likely lead to an increase in domestic violence. "Women in abusive relationships are more likely to be exposed to violence, as are their children, as family members spend more time in close contact, and families cope with additional stress and potential economic or job losses," said WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Speaking to reporters Friday about the coronavirus pandemic, he called on countries to include services for addressing domestic violence in their COVID-19 response. In France, the government has launched a number of measures to allow women to seek help while shopping for essential items. French pharmacies are remaining open during the nationwide lockdown, and women are being urged to go to them for help so that a pharmacist can discreetly call the police. "In a pharmacy, you always have someplace to talk to the chemist without being heard by anybody, so you can say what you think, even about such a problem, and be sure that nobody can hear," Paris pharmacist Gilles Burbot told CBS News. If a woman is not able to go to the pharmacy on her own, she can still raise an alarm by using the code words "Mask 19" —  making it sound as though she is just trying to buy a mask.

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) Every cable network is covering the coronavirus wall-to-wall. And has been doing so for weeks now. But while the coverage is constant across cable TV news, the message about coronavirus people are getting from the networks isn't the same. At all. Take this question, asked in a recent Pew poll, as to whether the coronavirus originated in nature (it did) or whether it was built in a laboratory (it wasn't). While 66% of MSNBC viewers and 52% of CNN watchers accurately said the coronavirus came from nature, just 37% of Fox News viewers said the same. The differences between cable network viewers' knowledge of the virus extend to how each network's stalwarts view the coronavirus coverage. Eight in 10 Fox News viewers say the media exaggerated the threat from coronavirus as compared to 54% of CNN viewers and just 35% of MSNBC watchers.

The CDC has reversed its recommendations about using face masks as the coronavirus pandemic develops. Here's what that means.
By Jessica Dolcourt

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reversed its recommendation on wearing face masks -- including cloth face coverings sewn at home -- to say that individuals should wear coverings in public in addition to taking measures like social distancing. The White House on Friday announced the new guidelines, based on the CDC's evaluation. It recommends that everyone wear a face covering that's made of basic cloth or fabric that can be washed and reused. The CDC says not to seek out medical or surgical grade masks but to leave N95 masks to health care workers. The CDC stressed that its new guidelines should be followed along with earlier precautions, like self-quarantine at home, frequently and thoroughly washing your hands and practicing appropriate social distancing. Previously, the agency considered homemade face masks to be used as a last resort in hospitals and medical facilities. The CDC is the US authority on coronavirus protocols and protection to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Before Friday's nationwide recommendation, New York City and Los Angeles already advocated the use of face coverings in public. "We're advising New Yorkers to wear a face covering when you go outside and will be near other people," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a public address earlier this week. For weeks, the debate escalated over whether homemade face masks should be used in hospital settings and also by individuals in public. It comes at a time when available stock of certified N95 respirator masks -- the essential protective equipment used by health care workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic -- has reached critical lows.

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN

(CNN) Perhaps half the world's population is living under some form of restriction to help curb the spread of coronavirus. Many are starting to wonder when and how these tough limits on everyday activities will end. Most experts agree that the only way out of a lockdown is testing. Reliable tests would allow people to know whether they have had the virus, and therefore enjoy at least a degree of immunity. They would give officials the ability to isolate new outbreaks when they emerge. But just how would people prove their status -- and just what rights would that status confer? These are big questions that countries around the world are grappling with. In the UK, Health Secretary Matt Hancock -- who has himself just emerged from self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 -- suggested that Britons who've had the virus might be issued with a certificate, which has already been dubbed an immunity passport. "We are looking at an immunity certificate, how people who've had the disease, have got the antibodies and therefore have immunity, can show that and get back as much as possible to normal life," he said. On the BBC later, he said it could take the form of a wristband. For many who have already lost their jobs or are desperate to return to work and keep businesses alive, the idea sounds like a godsend. But little is yet known about how feasible or reliable such a scheme would be -- not least because the evidence surrounding Covid-19 immunity is not clear. "It's too early in the science of the immunity that comes from having had the disease" to take any firm decisions now, Hancock said. Potential challenges include finding a reliable test to determine who has antibodies for the coronavirus, establishing the level of immunity conferred by previous infection and how long it lasts, and the capacity of overstretched health systems to carry out reliable, widespread antibody tests in the general population. Difficult social questions could also be thrown up. Could immunity passports create a kind of two-tier society, where those who have them can return to a more normal life while others remain locked down? The UK government has already been widely criticized this week over its limited coronavirus testing capacity for frontline health care workers and others, prompting skepticism about whether it could deliver a more ambitious program.

By Caitlin O'Kane

Fake coronavirus testing sites were discovered in multiple locations across Louisville, Kentucky this week, city officials say. One of the scam sites was at Sojourn Church Midtown, where church leaders were contacted by an organization offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing. They agreed to host the site in their parking lot – unbeknownst to them, the testing was illegitimate. "After we performed an initial screening and researched the organization, and after the organization assured us that they were in communication with Louisville Metro government, we agreed to let them use our parking lot for the dates of Monday, March 30 through Wednesday, April 1," Jack Brannen, the church's director of communications said in a statement. Brannen said they wanted to make COVID-19 testing available to their neighbors and they promoted the testing location on the church's website. But when the staff of the so-called testing organization showed up, church leaders developed some concern. The main concern, Brannen said, was their compliance with city and state requirements. "Although it wasn't our event, we felt uncomfortable allowing them to continue to use our parking lot," he said. "Ultimately, we asked them not to return for testing on Wednesday. We have updated our online promotion to reflect the change of plans." Now, law enforcement in the city is investigating this and several other apparently fraudulent testing sites, the Courier-Journal reports. City officials said they didn't initially known about the sites, and all testing sties must work with the state. The scam sites are the work of two medical marketing companies, the Courier-Journal reports. One promises results in 24 hours and charges individuals who exhibited symptoms up to $250 per test.

Democrats and the media are the real downplayers of the coronavirus, claim two of Fox’s biggest stars who spent weeks peddling dismissive talking points about the pandemic.
By Justin Baragona

After spending weeks downplaying the deadly virus that now has nearly the entire U.S. under some form of lockdown, several Fox News stars are now attempting to gaslight viewers by claiming they sounded the alarms over the coronavirus all along while it was actually the media and Democrats who dismissed it. The network’s most-viewed primetime host Sean Hannity has recently devoted much airtime to insisting he has “always taken the coronavirus seriously,” despite no less than a month ago suggesting the pandemic might be a “deep state” plot to hurt the economy or, at another point, claiming concerns over the novel virus was a “new hoax” designed to “bludgeon” Trump. Like many of his Fox colleagues, Hannity suddenly changed his tune late last month on the virus after President Donald Trump finally pivoted to treating it seriously. The Fox star and unofficial Trump adviser has since taken aim at Democrats and critics who have rightly called out his previous coverage, claiming that all along he was the one warning of the coming disaster while they were the ones turning a blind eye. But despite Hannity’s perceived confidence in his coronavirus coverage, video and audio recordings do exist. The Fox star spent weeks misleadingly comparing the deadly virus to the seasonal flu while claiming Democrats were “politicizing and actually weaponizing an infectious disease” to “bludgeon” Trump. (Those comments throughout February and March that Democrats were nearly identical to those infamously made by now-former Fox Business host Trish Regan, who, on March 9, with an on-air graphic blaring “Coronavirus Impeachment Scam,” insisted the outbreak was “another attempt to impeach” Trump and “demonize and destroy the president.” Weeks later, Regan was let go by Fox.) Comparing the novel virus to the seasonal flu, meanwhile, was a tactic Trump and his allies adopted for weeks on end to downplay the deadliness of COVID-19 and excuse the president’s slow response. But that misleading comparison was thrown in Hannity’s face last month during an interview with top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.

By Katherine Seley-Radtke

On Saturday the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of two antimalarial drugs, hydroxychloroquine and a related medication, chloroquine, for emergency use to treat COVID-19. The drugs were touted by President Trump as a “game changer” for COVID-19. However, a study just published in a French medical journal provides new evidence that hydroxychloroquine does not appear to help the immune system clear the coronavirus from the body. The study comes on the heels of two others - one in France and one in China - that reported some benefits in the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for COVID-19 patients who didn’t have severe symptoms of the virus. I am a medicinal chemist who has specialized in discovery and development of antiviral drugs for the past 30 years, and I have been actively working on coronaviruses for the past seven. I am among a number of researchers who are concerned that this drug has been given too much of a high priority before there is enough evidence to show it is indeed effective. There are already other clinical studies that showed it is not effective against COVID-19 as well as several other viruses. And, more importantly, it can have dangerous side effects, as well as giving people false hope. The latter has led to widespread shortages of hydroxychloroquine for patients who need it to treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, the indications for which it was originally approved. The idea that the combination of hydroxychloroquine with an antibiotic drug, azithromycin, was effective against COVID-19 gained more attention after a study published on March 17. This study described a trial of 80 patients carried out by Philippe Gautret in Marseille, France. Although some of their results appeared to be encouraging, it should also be noted that most of their patients only had mild symptoms. Furthermore, 85% of the patients didn’t even have a fever – one of the major telltale symptoms of the virus, thus suggesting that these patients likely would have naturally cleared the virus without any intervention. In another study, posted on medRxiv, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, Chinese scientists from Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, in Wuhan, China, gave hydroxychloroquine to patients with only mild infections who were free of medical issues, similar to the Gautret study. The results showed that the 31 patients who received the drug showed a lessening of their symptoms 24 hours earlier than patients in the control group. In addition, pneumonia symptoms improved in 25 of the 31 patients versus 17 of 31 in the control group. As noted in several of the comments associated with the manuscript, there are issues related to the translation of the paper, thus clouding interpretations of some of the results. The paper also appears to focus more on pneumonia than COVID-19. However, these issues may be cleared up or addressed once the paper finishes the peer-review process.

By Vicky McKeever

The world’s largest critical care unit opened in London on Friday, as the U.K. steps up its fight to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. U.K. health-care workers and the British military worked together to overhaul the London ExCel center, which normally hosts conferences and exhibitions, building the pop-up Nightingale hospital in just nine days. The hospital was built to help Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) cope with the surge in demand for emergency care due to the coronavirus, which has so far infected 34,192 and killed 2,926 people in the U.K., according to latest data from Johns Hopkins University. Global cases of the COVID-19 infection have now surpassed the 1 million mark. The temporary hospital, named after the pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale, currently holds 500 beds, though the NHS said the facility in east London has the capacity for between 4,000 and 5,000 beds. NHS hospitals across the U.K. have already freed up more than 33,000 beds, equivalent to 50 new hospitals. Meanwhile, the private hospital sector agreed to offer up to 8,000 beds, as well as staff and equipment, for use by the NHS. The hospital covers 900,000 square feet (83,613 square meters), the equivalent of around a dozen soccer pitches, as described in an NHS video on Twitter. The facility comprises of 78 wards, named after British medical professionals.

Jason Hargrove died less than two weeks after expressing concern about passenger coughing without covering her mouth
By Lois Beckett

In late March, Jason Hargrove, a public bus driver in Detroit, posted a live Facebook video about a woman coughing on his bus several times without covering her mouth. “That lets me know that some folks don’t care,” he said, in an emotional live stream. “You all need to take this shit seriously. There’s folks dying out here.” Less than two weeks later, he died of coronavirus, Detroit’s mayor announced in a press conference on Thursday. The president of the local transit union told the Detroit Free Press that Hargrove had started feeling sick just a few days after he posted the video. Hargrove’s death “should touch everyone in the country”, Mayor Mike Duggan said. “Everyone in Detroit and everybody in America should watch it,” he said of Hargrove’s video. “I don’t know how you can watch it and not tear up.” The mayor pledged to extend additional safety protection measures to all public bus drivers, similar to ones already in place for the city’s police officers and firefighters. In his 21 March Facebook live video, recorded outside and inside a bus, Hargrove, visibly shaken, describes a female passenger in her 40s or 50s who coughed “four or five” times on the bus without attempting to cover her mouth. “I feel violated,” he said. “I feel violated for the folks that were on the bus when this happened.” There were at least eight or nine passengers on the bus while the woman was coughing, he said, and she made no attempt to cover her mouth. There was no excuse for that kind of carelessness, he said. “They’re telling you every day what to do: if you cough, cough in your arm. Sneeze in some tissue,” he added. “For us to get through this and get over this, man, you all need to take this shit seriously,” he warned.

By Soo Kim

The relief effort of the U.S.N.S. Comfort, a hospital ship deployed to receive patients with conditions other than COVID-19 to create more beds at New York City hospitals for virus patients, has come under criticism following delays in admitting patients. The ship, equipped with 1,000 hospital beds and 1,200 medical workers, has reportedly only taken 20 patients aboard since it began operations on April 1, with hundreds of beds on the ship remaining unused. But various military protocols and other red tape, including nearly 49 medical conditions other than the COVID-19 virus that disqualify a patient from being admitted onto the ship (such as those in need of obstetric or pediatric care), have reportedly caused major roadblocks in providing the relief the city's hospitals need, The New York Times reported. "The process continues and we are honestly looking forward to seeing a significant increase in patients being transferred to the Comfort," Capt. Patrick Amersbach, of the U.S.N.S. Comfort, told reporters on Thursday. The U.S.N.S. Mercy, which docked in Los Angeles with the mission last Friday and is equipped with 800 medical staff, has treated a total of 15 patients, five of whom have been discharged, the ship's commanding officer Capt. John Rotruck said. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy, Elizabeth Baker, said "We're bringing [patients] on as fast as we can bring them on." Neither ship accepts walk-in patients. All patients must be evaluated at local hospitals first and be tested for the virus before being allowed to board the ships, which adds to the delay in the process of getting patients aboard the ships. Michael Dowling, the president and chief executive officer of Northwell Health, New York's largest hospital system, told the Times, "If I'm blunt about it, it's a joke. Everyone can say, 'Thank you for putting up these wonderful places and opening up these cavernous halls.' But we're in a crisis here, we're in a battlefield."

The health secretary, who just emerged from isolation after contracting the coronavirus, vowed that Britain would conduct 100,000 tests a day by the end of April, a tenfold increase.
By Mark Landler and Stephen Castle

LONDON — When Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to the British people from isolation on Wednesday, still suffering his own bout of the coronavirus, he said the key to overcoming the pandemic was more testing. “This is how we will unlock the coronavirus puzzle,” he said in a shaky, hand-held video. In fact, the British government came very late to the recognition that testing for the virus is a key part of fighting it, by helping to slow transmission. That failure has set off an outcry in the country. The government’s tardiness has left Britain with an undersupplied and poorly coordinated testing program that has reached only a fraction of the people tested in countries like Germany or South Korea. The shortfall has frustrated doctors and nurses, who often have not had access themselves to tests despite potential exposure to the virus and who cannot quickly determine if patients have it. It has angered public-health experts, who say Britain is squandering valuable time during the lockdown that it could be using to get a better fix on the spread of the virus in the population. Front-line doctors and nurses in the United States, where testing is now being ramped up, complained for weeks of similar deficiencies. In Britain, the testing gap has generated a flood of outraged headlines, even in newspapers normally cozy with Mr. Johnson’s Conservative government. “Virus testing plans in chaos,” said The Times of London. “Questions without answers,” declared The Daily Telegraph. “500,000 NHS Staff,” said The Daily Mail. “Only 2,000 Tested.”

By Doug Stanglin - USA TODAY

The world marked a grim milestone on Thursday, registering more than 1 million confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus that has swept the globe in less than five months. But in reality that mark — 1,002,159 around 4 p.m. EDT — was crossed much earlier. That's because the number of official cases, compiled by Johns Hopkins' Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases website, are only those identified through testing. Cases not tested would include asymptomatic individuals; people who may have died of complications of the virus without anyone knowing it; and those whose symptoms were not serious enough to qualify for testing. "The million (cases) is clearly way under what the actual number will be because of all the issues of testing and all the people with mild symptoms that haven’t been tested," said Dr. Steven Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He said the U.S. figures are especially underreported "because of the lag that we had getting testing underway and the ability to only test the sickest of patients to begin with." That is an especially alarming reality because people with undetected cases unwittingly spread the virus, especially within families or if people mix in large, public gatherings. "Every infectious agent only goes as the hosts go," said Dr. Ogbonnaya Omenka, an assistant professor and public health specialist at Butler University's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. "In essence, our social patterns are excellent indicators of how far and wide an outbreak would go, if they remain unchanged. This is why physical distancing has been put in place, to throw the virus off-balance, so to speak, by breaking its chain of transmission." The U.S., with more than 236,000 cases as of Thursday, tops the list of countries with the most infections, followed by Italy and Spain with just over 110,000 each. China has fallen to fourth, with just under 82,500 cases, according to Johns Hopkins COVID-19 case tracking system. Corwin said New York City's burgeoning caseload mirrors what unfolded in Italy, which has seen the most deaths worldwide. "I’m fearful that in the rest of the country we’ll see that coming in waves," he said.

Speaking at the White House COVID-19 press briefing on Monday, March 30, U.S. President Donald Trump said many foreign countries were sending help for the coronavirus pandemic. He specifically mentioned China and Russia, without specifying whether assistance was purchased or a form of humanitarian aid. “Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice.” Trump’s announcement created a confusion, first because Russia had yet to send the plane when the U.S. president said it already had arrived. Secondly, Trump’s critics assumed the aid was a gift, providing President Vladimir Putin a propaganda victory. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov was the source of the misleading claim that the Russian supplies were of a “humanitarian nature.” Peskov said Putin offered to send humanitarian aid to the U.S. during a phone call with Trump on March 30, and that Trump “accepted the offer with gratitude.” While “some on the American side” did not support rapid implementation of the presidents’ agreement, the Kremlin expects the spirit of cooperation to be mutual, Peskov added. On Wednesday, April 1, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Twitter that Russia’s “largest cargo aircraft” was en route to the U.S. to “help save lives of American citizens.” The tweet used hashtag “RussiaHelps,” further suggesting a humanitarian gesture. But in a move that unsettled the narrative, the U.S. State Department issued a statement that the U.S. actually bought the supplies from Russia. “As a follow-up to the March 30 phone call between President Trump and President Putin, the United States has agreed to purchase needed medical supplies, including ventilators and personal protection equipment, from Russia, which were handed over to FEMA on April 1 in New York City,” the State Department said. The U.S. did not provide the details of the purchase, including the price and the content of supplies. (FEMA stands for the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, which responds to disasters like the pandemic.) On April 2, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the cargo was indeed not entirely humanitarian – and added a new wrinkle. In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Garry Kasparov, the exiled Russian world chess champion and Putin critic, compared the Kremlin’s COVID-19 disinformation efforts to the Soviet regime’s cover-up of the Chernobyl disaster. “Putin’s coronavirus malpractice isn’t just the latest misery visited upon the Russian people; he also endangers the rest of the world. Remember the lessons of Chernobyl,” Kasparov wrote. Russia’s coronavirus aid to hard-hit Italy, dubbed “From Russia with Love,” came under criticism, after the Moscow Times and La Stampa newspapers reported that 80 percent of the supplies were “totally useless.”

By Nick Matoney

PITTSBURGH — UPMC and scientists from Pitt Health Sciences announced a potential vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a press release, "when tested in mice, the vaccine, delivered through a fingertip-sized patch, produces antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 at quantities thought to be sufficient for neutralizing the virus." Researchers said they had previous experience with two viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2. “We had previous experience on SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014. These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus,” said co-senior author Andrea Gambotto, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the Pitt School of Medicine. “That’s why it’s important to fund vaccine research. You never know where the next pandemic will come from.” Compared to the experimental mRNA vaccine candidate that just entered clinical trials, the vaccine developed at Pitt "follows a more established approach, using lab-made pieces of viral protein to build immunity," which is the same way the flu shot works.  

By Aylin Woodward

At least one-third of the world is under some type of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, as governments urge social distancing to stymie the virus' spread. That's because the COVID-19 virus is insidious. "There's significant transmission by people not showing symptoms," Stephen Morse, an epidemiologist at Columbia University, told Business Insider. According to Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25% of people infected with the new coronavirus don't present any symptoms or fall ill, but they can still transmit the illness to others. "One of the [pieces of] information that we have pretty much confirmed now is that a significant number of individuals that are infected actually remain asymptomatic," Redfield told NPR on Tuesday. These asymptomatic carriers, Redfield added, are likely contributing to the rapid spread of the coronavirus worldwide and making it challenging for experts to assess the true extent of the pandemic. "We don't know all the unidentified cases out there. It's mostly sicker people in hospitals who are being tabulated," Morse said. The prevalence of asymptomatic transmission doesn't bode well for global containment efforts, as Bill Gates recently wrote in an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine. "That means COVID-19 will be much harder to contain than the Middle East respiratory syndrome or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which were spread much less efficiently and only by symptomatic people," Gates said.

What we know about asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission
The first confirmation that the coronavirus could be transmitted by asymptomatic people came in February, when a case study described a 20-year-old woman from Wuhan, China, who passed the coronavirus to five family members but never got physically sick herself. A World Health Organization report about the coronavirus outbreak in China, published in February, found very few instances in which a person who tested positive never showed any symptoms. Instead, the majority of people who were asymptomatic on the date of their diagnosis (a relatively small group anyway) went on to develop symptoms later. "The proportion of truly asymptomatic infections is unclear but appears to be relatively rare," the report authors wrote. In the WHO study, 75% of people in China who were first classified as asymptomatic later developed symptoms, ProPublica reported. That means technically, "presymptomatic transmission" is what's probably common.

Some of the first warning signs can include extreme fatigue, weakness and chills. But other symptoms often follow.
By Erika Edwards and Rosemary Guerguerian, M.D.

Fever, cough, shortness of breath. Those are the three symptoms prominently listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website under coronavirus symptoms. But as case counts continue to rise in the United States and across the world, it's clear that COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, causes a much wider range of symptoms. The more detailed descriptions of the illness that are emerging show how doctors and researchers are still learning about the disease, which was first reported just three months ago, in real time. COVID-19 can begin in similar ways among patients, regardless of a person's age or health status. Very often, extreme fatigue hits first. Hedy Bauman, 74, was so weak she could barely make it home from a short walk to the store. Reading a few pages of the newspaper was exhausting. "My bathroom is maybe 15 steps from my bed," Bauman, of Silver Spring, Maryland, told NBC News. "I wasn't sure I could get from the bathroom to my bed." She developed chills, but no fever. Bauman's doctor said her symptoms were consistent with what physicians are learning about other coronavirus cases, though they are still waiting for the results from Bauman's COVID-19 test.

The equipment includes nearly 200,000 N95 masks.
By Alexander Mallin

Hundreds of thousands of masks and other pieces of medical equipment seized from a Brooklyn man will be distributed to medical workers on the front lines treating novel coronavirus patients in New York and New Jersey, the Justice Department and Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday. According to the DOJ, the equipment includes roughly 192,000 N95 respirator masks, nearly 600,000 medical gloves, 130,000 surgical masks, procedure masks, N100 masks, surgical gowns, disinfectant towels, particulate filters, bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray. Prosecutors say 43-year-old Baruch Feldheim hoarded the supplies in order to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis and was selling them to doctors and nurses at prices as much as 700% above market value. When FBI agents confronted Feldheim on Sunday about the sales, he allegedly coughed in their direction and told them he had coronavirus.  Feldheim was charged with assault of a federal officer, as well as lying to investigators for allegedly deceiving them when they asked him about the equipment. Feldheim has not yet entered a plea to the charges but his attorney told ABC News in a statement that he "categorically denies" the allegations by DOJ. "He's not charged with hoarding or price gouging," lawyer James Moriarity said in a statement. "He's charged with lying to a federal agent and coughing in his direction. He categorically denies these charges."

ABC News

Authorities remove close to one million N95 respirator masks, gloves, gowns and other medical supplies after a Brooklyn man was caught allegedly hoarding the equipment. He faces charges for lying to investigators and coughing on FBI agents who confronted him.

BBC News

The UK government has set a target of 100,000 coronavirus tests a day in England by the end of April. Universities and private firms will be called in to help. The new target was announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. It follows criticism that previous targets have not been reached. One of Britain’s most eminent scientists, Sir Paul Nurse, has told the BBC that “the country wasn’t as well prepared as it should have been”.

By Chloe Taylor

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his administration are using the coronavirus crisis to spread conspiracy theories in a bid to “subvert the West” and create a new world order, a new report has alleged. In an article published Wednesday by The University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, it’s claimed Russia has been “churning out propaganda that blames the West for creating the virus.” The report’s author, Sergey Sukhankin, said the state was propagating disinformation and conspiracy theories via social media accounts, fake news outlets, state-controlled media, pseudo-scientists and Russians living in the West. The Kremlin has previously denied such claims. “Putin’s larger goal in spreading propaganda and conspiracy theories is to subvert the West,” Sukhankin said. “Russia seeks to seriously damage the solidarity among EU members and capitalize on any internal European weaknesses to promote broader conflicts. COVID-19 is seen as an ideal way for Russia to deal a powerful blow not only to the EU, but to inflict damage on the ties between Europe and its North American allies.”

By Doug Stanglin - USA TODAY

The world marked a grim milestone on Thursday, registering more than 1 million confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus that has swept the globe in less than five months. But in reality that mark — 1,002,159 around 4 p.m. EDT — was crossed much earlier. That's because the number of official cases, compiled by Johns Hopkins' Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases website,  are only those identified through testing. Cases not tested would include asymptomatic individuals; people who may have died of complications of the virus without anyone knowing it; and those whose symptoms were not serious enough to qualify for testing. "The million (cases) is clearly way under what the actual number will be because of all the issues of testing and all the people with mild symptoms that haven’t been tested," said Dr. Steven Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. He said the U.S. figures are especially underreported "because of the lag that we had getting testing underway and the ability to only test the sickest of patients to begin with." What is exponential growth? Coronavirus is spreading so quickly that our brains can't keep up. Experts explain why. That is an especially alarming reality because people with undetected cases unwittingly spread the virus, especially within families or if people mix in large, public gatherings. "Every infectious agent only goes as the hosts go," said Dr. Ogbonnaya Omenka, an assistant professor and public health specialist at Butler University's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. "In essence, our social patterns are excellent indicators of how far and wide an outbreak would go, if they remain unchanged. This is why physical distancing has been put in place, to throw the virus off-balance, so to speak, by breaking its chain of transmission."

By Tara Subramaniam and Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said on Wednesday that new information on the spread of coronavirus influenced his decision to issue a stay-at-home order. In particular, Kemp pointed to what he said was the recent discovery that the virus can be spread by people who are not exhibiting symptoms. "What we've been telling people from directives from the CDC for weeks now that if you start feeling bad stay home, those individuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt bad. But we didn't know that until the last 24 hours," said Kemp, a Republican.

Facts First: It's not true that people didn't know "until the last 24 hours" that individuals without symptoms could be infecting people with coronavirus. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said in mid-February that asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus was possible. Furthermore, studies from as early as January showed cases of coronavirus spreading amongst people with no symptoms. Kemp's press secretary said the governor was referring to an update that the CDC made to its guidance on March 30 that indicated there's a higher risk of people without symptoms passing on the virus. The updated guidance changed the period of exposure risk for individuals from "onset of symptoms" to "48 hours before symptom onset." As more has been learned about the virus, several experts told CNN last month that it's become clear that transmission by people who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic is responsible for more transmission than previously thought. Though it wasn't the first time he acknowledged it, Redfield confirmed that suspicion in a March 30 interview with NPR affiliate WABE, in which he said "as many as 25%" of individuals who are infected with coronavirus may remain asymptomatic. "One of the [pieces of] information that we have pretty much confirmed now is that a significant number of individuals that are infected actually remain asymptomatic," Redfield said. In a February 13 interview with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Redfield said asymptomatic transmission of coronavirus was possible and concerning, based on information from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "There's been good communication with our colleagues to confirm asymptomatic infection, to confirm asymptomatic transmission, to be able to get a better handle on the clinical spectrum of illness in China," Redfield said. "What we don't know though is how much of the asymptomatic cases are driving transmission." As of January 30, the CDC noted in its guidance for managing patients with coronavirus that "Clinical presentation among reported cases of 2019-nCoV infection varies in severity from asymptomatic infection or mild illness to severe or fatal illness." The potential for asymptomatic transmission is something that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, first raised two months ago.

By Ryan Browne, Zachary Cohen and Jamie Crawford, CNN

Washington (CNN) The commander of a US aircraft carrier that has been hit by a major outbreak of coronavirus has been relieved of command for a loss of judgement, acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly announced on Thursday. "Today at my direction the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Captain Brett Crozier, was relieved of command by carrier strike group commander Rear Admiral Stewart Baker," Modly said. Earlier this week Modly wrote a memo warning Navy leadership that decisive action was needed to save the lives of the ship's crew, a defense official tells CNN. "We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors," Capt. Brett Crozier wrote in the memo to the Navy's Pacific Fleet, three US defense officials confirmed to CNN. Modly said Crozier was relieved because he went outside the chain of command and sent his memo over an unsecured system adding to the chances it could be leaked. A US defense official told CNN earlier Thursday that 114 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the virus. "Decisive action is required. Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed US nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure," he wrote in the memo. "This is a necessary risk. It will enable the carrier and air wing to get back underway as quickly as possible while ensuring the health and safety of our Sailors. Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care." Modly said Wednesday that if it turned out the letter was leaked it "would violate the principles of good order and discipline if -- if -- if he were responsible for that. But, I don't know that. The fact that he wrote the letter of -- to his chain of command to express his concerns would absolutely not result in any type of retaliation. This is what we want our commanding officers to be able to do."

Back in February, the CDC warned that asymptomatic patients could spread COVID-19. But Gov. Brian Kemp says he only just learned of the phenomenon.
By Dominique Mosbergen

Researchers have been warning since at least February, if not earlier, that people infected with the novel coronavirus could spread the illness to others even if they weren’t showing symptoms; but Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp says he only learned of this phenomenon in the “last 24 hours.” Georgia had been one of the minority of states that had lacked a statewide shelter-in-place mandate, but Kemp ― who’d repeatedly resisted implementing such widespread restrictions ― on Wednesday said he was escalating the state’s fight against the coronavirus, known as COVID-19. At a press conference, the Republican governor announced a statewide order calling all residents to shelter in place for two weeks, as well as the closure of all schools for the remainder of the academic year. Explaining his rationale for the enhanced restrictions, Kemp said he’d just learned that asymptomatic coronavirus patients can spread the illness. “I’m following the data,” the governor said. “Finding out that this virus is now transmitting before people see signs ... what we’ve been telling people from directives from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] for weeks now that if you start feeling bad, stay home ― [but] those individuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt bad, but we didn’t know that until the last 24 hours.” CDC Director Robert Redfield said Monday that as many as 25% of people infected with the new coronavirus could show no symptoms. He noted that it was only in recent weeks that the CDC had been “pretty much” able to confirm that asymptomatic transmission of the virus was happening.

After Sen. Mitch McConnell suggested the government's response to the initial coronavirus outbreak was in part distracted by the president's impeachment, rebuttal memes started flying.
By Dan Evon

U.S. President Donald Trump and the federal government have been widely criticized for what detractors described as their slow response to the COVID-19 coronavirus disease pandemic. As of this writing, the U.S. is still facing shortages of critical medical supplies such as masks and personal protective equipment (PPE). On March 31, 2020, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued that the government might have been too distracted by impeachment proceedings to focus on the impending pandemic. McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that the outbreak “came up while we were tied down on the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything every day was all about impeachment.” Shortly after McConnell made these remarks, a number of op-eds were published refuting this claim. Trump even responded, saying, “I don’t think I would have done any better had I not been impeached.” On social media, people started sharing a list that supposedly showed all the times Trump had golfed or held rallies after being warned about an impending pandemic, arguing that if Trump had time for leisure activities and political rallies during his impeachment, then he had time to deal with disaster response: The timeline in this tweet is generally correct. Trump was officially impeached on Dec. 19, 2019. It’s not clear exactly when Trump was first alerted about the possibility of a pandemic. The Washington Post reported that U.S. Intelligence officials were warning the president about the potential scale of the coronavirus outbreak as early as January. While we don’t know a specific date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first alert for U.S. clinicians to be “on the look-out for patients with respiratory symptoms and a history of travel to Wuhan, China” on Jan. 8, 2020. About a month after that on Feb. 5, Trump’s impeachment trial ended when the Senate voted not to convict. Before, during, and after the impeachment trial — and after the CDC issued its first warnings — Trump held political rallies and attended several golf outings.

By Abby Haglage

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday provides new evidence to bolster early reports that the transmission of the coronavirus — which has now infected over 887,000 people worldwide — can happen prior to symptoms. Published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the study underscores the potential difficulty of containing a virus that may be spreading silently. The report focused on the transmission of COVID-19 from Jan. 23 to March 16 in Singapore — specifically, seven “clusters” in which presymptomatic transmission occurred. Presymptomatic transmission is defined by the researchers as “the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from an infected person (source patient) to a secondary patient before the source patient developed symptoms.” Of the 243 cases recorded in Singapore by the end of the study, 157 were transmitted locally (meaning they were not brought in from travelers), and of those, at least 10 of the cases were connected to presymptomatic transmission. “The evidence of presymptomatic transmission in Singapore, in combination with evidence from other studies supports the likelihood that viral shedding can occur in the absence of symptoms and before symptom onset,” the authors write. Although it remains unclear exactly how long individuals may be carrying the virus before symptoms appear, the researchers found that exposure “occurred 1–3 days before the source patient developed symptoms.” At least two of the cases occurred from individuals who acquired the virus during a singing practice, another occurred between two housemates.

NowThis News

'Let me feel safe' — This nurse decided to quit her job after she was asked to work in a COVID-19 unit without a mask.

By Marshall Cohen

Washington (CNN) There is a glaring messaging gap between President Donald Trump and top public health officials regarding medicines being used to treat coronavirus. While Trump touts them as miracle drugs that are on the brink of saving lives, experts are cautiously waiting for scientific evidence. This dynamic has played out over the past few weeks, and was on full display again during the White House briefing on Tuesday. Trump said the drugs might be a "total game-changer" and implied that good news from clinical trials was just days away, only to be corrected by the nation's top infectious disease expert, who steered clear of glowing superlatives and said the research will take months, "at very best." The medicines -- chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine -- have been used for decades to fight malaria. But this week, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for doctors to use them to treat Covid-19 in hospitalized patients. This was the first step in getting millions of pills to the states, though hospitals have been using the drugs for coronavirus without explicit government approval for weeks. Even in making this landmark announcement, the Department of Health and Human Services simultaneously gave a tempered assessment of the potential benefits. A press release said, "anecdotal reports suggest that these drugs may offer some benefit" in coronavirus patients, but "clinical trials are needed to provide scientific evidence that these treatments are effective." That tone is entirely different from what the President has been saying at daily briefings. Millions of stuck-at-home Americans watched him claim that the drugs have "tremendous promise" and "could be a game changer," and that they are "very effective" and "can be taken safely." Trump went even further on Tuesday, falsely suggesting that the drugs have already been proven safe. "Very powerful drug, but it's been out there for a long time," he said at the daily White House coronavirus briefing. "So, it's tested in the sense that you know it doesn't kill you." Doctors say he's wrong, and that comments like these could have deadly consequences. A man in Arizona died after ingesting a form of chloroquine used to treat aquariums. There have been at least three overdoses in Nigeria as well. There are reports of hoarding by doctors and shortages, where people with lupus and other diseases who also use the drugs can't get them. "As the dose of chloroquine goes up, it goes from being safe and effective to highly toxic, quickly," said Dr. Christopher Plowe, a renowned malaria expert at the Duke Global Health Institute. "It's very easy to overdose on chloroquine. You get above the ceiling of safety pretty quickly. There are some very serious risks here. There's quite a bit to lose, including your life."

By Francesco Guarascio

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Barely a month before Europe embarked on a scramble for masks, ventilators and testing kits to fight coronavirus, governments told Brussels their healthcare systems were ready and there was no need to order more stocks, EU documents show. This rosy assessment is in stark contrast to the shortages of masks and medical equipment just a few weeks later, when the European Commission estimated needs across EU states to be 10 times higher than would usually be available. While the dearth of equipment is mostly down to ballooning global demand, internal and public documents seen by Reuters show European Union governments may have worsened their predicament by overestimating their response capacity. “Things under control,” a European Commission official said at a closed-door meeting with diplomats from member states on Feb. 5, two weeks after China locked down nearly 60 million people in Hubei province, or roughly the population of Italy. “There is strong level of preparedness in member states, most have measures in place” to detect and treat COVID-19, the official said, relaying comments from national envoys, according to minutes of the meeting seen by Reuters. That was only two weeks before the first victims of coronavirus in Italy, where 12,428 people have now died from COVID-19, almost four times the death toll in China were the disease first emerged. Asked whether the documents seen by Reuters showed the European response had been too slow, a spokesman for the EU executive said: “As from January, the Commission offered the possibility of support to member states.” EU governments began to realise the gravity of the situation in March but rather than focusing on joint action many resorted to protectionist measures, raising trade barriers to hinder the export of medical equipment to their neighbours. Italy still only has a fraction of the 90 million face masks its medical workers need each month, France ordered over 1 billion masks last week and manufacturers are adapting production lines to make ventilators.

Opinion by Dean Obeidallah

(CNN) Our doctors and nurses are in desperate need of masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect themselves from contracting the coronavirus while treating those who are ill. Some of them are trying to find it on eBay while others are pleading for help on social media. The situation is so dire one New Jersey doctor described it as "sending medical professionals like lambs to the slaughterhouse." Concerns about a dwindling supply of PPE are not new. Back on February 7, the World Health Organization sounded alarm bells about "the limited stock of PPE," noting demand was 100 times higher than normal for this equipment. Yet the same day as the WHO warning, the Trump administration announced that it was transporting to China nearly 17.8 tons (more than 35,000 pounds) of "masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials." As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted in the press release announcing this shipment, "These donations are a testament to the generosity of the American people." Americans indeed are a generous people. We want to help those in need. And at the time these medical supplies were shipped, more than 28,000 people in China were infected with nearly 600 deaths attributed to the virus. But how could Trump allow tons of vital medical equipment Americans to be transported to another country in February if, as he has claimed since January, he fully understood the risk the United States was facing from the virus. As a reminder, the first known case of coronavirus case on US soil was confirmed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on January 21, 2020. The next day, Trump was asked about the virus while attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos. CNBC anchor Joe Kernen asked the President: "The CDC has identified a case of coronavirus in Washington state ... have you been briefed by the CDC?" to which Trump responded, "I have." Kernen continued, "Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?" Trump declared: "No. Not at all. And — we're — we have it totally under control. It's one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It's — going to be just fine." Trump again on January 30 assured Americans he understood the threat posed by the virus and was prepared, stating, "We have it very well under control," adding, "We're working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it's going to have a very good ending for us ... that I can assure you." On February 5, US lawmakers were pressing the Trump administration on its preparedness for a possible widespread coronavirus outbreak in the US, with some slamming the administration's failure to communicate with the states about how the White House would be addressing it.

Critics have questioned the wisdom of exporting to China medical supplies that would soon be vitally needed in the U.S.
by David Mikkelson

The U.S. facilitated the sending of nearly 17.8 tons of donated medical supplies to China to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in early 2020. During the COVID-19 coronavirus disease pandemic in March 2020, social media users began sharing a tweet ostensibly posted by U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) that castigated U.S. President Donald Trump for supposedly having sent 18 tons of personal protective equipment (PPE) to China while ignoring warnings and calling COVID-19 concerns a “hoax.” Readers wanted to know both if Waters had actually tweeted those words, and whether the content of that tweet was true:

Trump, you incompetent idiot! You sent 18 tons of PPE to China early but ignored warnings & called COVID19 concerns a hoax. You've endangered doctors, nurses, aids, orderlies, & janitors – all risking their lives to save ours. Pray 4 forgiveness for the harm that you're causing!

— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) March 30, 2020

It is also true that on Feb. 7, 2020, while critics contended that the Trump administration was doing relatively little to prepare for the coming pandemic in the U.S., the State Department announced it had facilitated “the transportation of nearly 17.8 tons of donated medical supplies to the Chinese people, including masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials” in order to help “contain and combat the novel coronavirus”:

CNN's Jim Acosta asks President Donald Trump if experts would anticipate the models looking different if Trump's administration would have taken action sooner to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Source: CNN

Medical experts have some theories why, including smoking and drinking
By Tanner Garrity

Early sex-disaggregated reports on coronavirus fatality, whether from China, Italy or South Korea, all tell the same story: men are more susceptible to COVID-19 than women. Data from China shows a death rate of 2.8% for men and 1.7% for women. In Italy, where hospitals were likened to trench warfare last week, the numbers were larger, but the gender discrepancy remained — a 10.6% fatality rate for men, 6% for women. In South Korea, men claim 62% of all cases, and are 89% more likely to die, based on early reporting. As Wired UK reported, medical professionals have struggled to figure out exactly why there is such a stark, consistent difference in immune response to COVID-19. It seems to transcend age, too. Of the 171 children and adolescents treated at Wuhan Children’s Hospital, 61% were male.

by Frank E. Lockwood

His seat was empty for an hour Thursday evening. It was vacant, as well, during two 45-minute stretches on Wednesday. In a text, a Cotton spokesman said the senator Thursday had "stepped out of the trial briefly to advise the administration on coronavirus developments." Wednesday's absences were for the same reason, the spokesman said in a subsequent text. The lawmaker from Dardanelle has branded the impeachment a "sham." The coronavirus, on the other hand, is "the biggest and the most important story in the world," he told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during its hearing Thursday morning. "This coronavirus is a catastrophe on the scale of Chernobyl for China. But actually, it's probably worse than Chernobyl, which was localized in its effect. The coronavirus could result in a global pandemic," he warned military officials and colleagues. Chernobyl was a 1986 nuclear plant disaster in Ukraine. Throughout the day, Cotton was tweeting about the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, and has sickened thousands. "MESSAGE TO ALL AMERICANS IN CHINA: Get out -- now. Contact our embassy or consulates if you need help," a 3:14 p.m. tweet urged. "As a defensive measure, we must shut down commercial air travel between the United States and China," a 5:01 p.m. tweet advised. "As an offensive measure, we need a Manhattan Project level effort to work with our best research scientists and laboratories to develop a vaccine as quickly as possible." The warnings and updates -- more than a dozen of them -- continued into the evening. "As I've said for a week: 'Do NOT travel to China. If you're in China, GET OUT. Contact our embassy or consulates if you need help," a 9:26 p.m. tweet stated. Another tweet welcomed news that the World Health Organization had designated the outbreak a "global health emergency," calling it a week overdue. Thursday night, the U.S. State Department also sounded the alarm, urging Americans not to travel to China. In addition to the warnings, Cotton has also condemned China's handling of the crisis, accusing Beijing of dishonesty. "China admits to 6,000 cases of coronavirus. China is LYING!," he tweeted Wednesday. "The real number is likely many times greater, and probably growing fast." - Trump claims no one knew about the coronavirus even after Trump was repeatable told by our intelligence agencies and Sen. Tom Cotton back in January 2020. Trump’s lies and lack of action has killed Americans.

By Kevin Breuninger

The Chinese government has deliberately underreported the total number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the country, the U.S. intelligence community told the White House, a new report says. Bloomberg, citing three U.S. officials, reported Wednesday that the intelligence community said in a classified report that China’s public tally of COVID-19 infections and deaths is purposefully incomplete. The secret report concludes that China’s numbers are fake, two of the officials told Bloomberg. The White House received the report last week, according to the news outlet. China has reported 82,361 coronavirus cases, data from Johns Hopkins University shows. That number is about half of the total cases confirmed in the U.S., which has become the country with the highest number of reported infections in the world.

By Abby Haglage

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday provides new evidence to bolster early reports that the transmission of the coronavirus — which has now infected over 887,000 people worldwide — can happen prior to symptoms. Published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the study underscores the potential difficulty of containing a virus that may be spreading silently. The report focused on the transmission of COVID-19 from Jan. 23 to March 16 in Singapore — specifically, seven “clusters” in which presymptomatic transmission occurred. Presymptomatic transmission is defined by the researchers as “the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from an infected person (source patient) to a secondary patient before the source patient developed symptoms.” Of the 243 cases recorded in Singapore by the end of the study, 157 were transmitted locally (meaning they were not brought in from travelers), and of those, at least 10 of the cases were connected to presymptomatic transmission. “The evidence of presymptomatic transmission in Singapore, in combination with evidence from other studies supports the likelihood that viral shedding can occur in the absence of symptoms and before symptom onset,” the authors write. Although it remains unclear exactly how long individuals may be carrying the virus before symptoms appear, the researchers found that exposure “occurred 1–3 days before the source patient developed symptoms.” At least two of the cases occurred from individuals who acquired the virus during a singing practice, another occurred between two housemates. The researchers say the virus may have been spread in multiple ways. “Presymptomatic transmission might occur through generation of respiratory droplets or possibly through indirect transmission,” they write. “Speech and other vocal activities such as singing have been shown to generate air particles, with the rate of emission corresponding to voice loudness.” The study is the latest to explore whether or not people who appear healthy may be contagious. In a March 16 report, epidemiologists at the University of Texas at Austin join with a team of scientists France, China and Hong Kong to study over 450 cases of COVID-19 spread across 53 cities in China. Of those, they found that as many as 10 percent were caused by presymptomatic individuals. Lauren Ancel Meyers, PhD, an integrative biology professor at UT Austin and one of the study’s authors suggested the findings were troubling, revealing a potentially “elusive” virus.

By Andrew Court For Dailymail.com

The New York Police Department is being rocked by the coronavirus outbreak, with more than 1,400 of its members testing positive to COVID-19 and 17 per cent of its uniformed force out sick. The shocking statistics were reported Wednesday morning by CNN, after NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea confirmed that five members of the nation's largest police force have now died in relation to the virus. NYPD Detective Cedric Dixon, 48, was the first member of the force to pass away from COVID-19, with four more civilian members succumbing to the virus in the past six days. 'This is a very surreal feeling. We pride ourselves in taking care of our family and we're in a situation right now where we don't really even have time to mourn,' Shea told Fox News Tuesday night. 'It's every man and every woman stepping in and trying to get a mission done. And we will mourn, but it won't be today. There is just too much work to do.' The NYPD employs around 38,400 officers. 6,172 were off sick Wednesday - nearly 500 more than the number who called out sick the day before. Shea stated that 5,600 NYPD officers called out sick Tuesday - more than five times the usual number. Many employees have been unable to phone in, due to the volume of calls. 'There were thousands and thousands and thousands of calls into our sick desk...the lines couldn't hold,' Shea said. The department has now added '10 to 15 more phone lines to handle the volume of sick calls'. The number of NYPD members who have tested positive to COVID-19 has more than doubled in the past four days - and is likely to rise even further.

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) On the same day that President Donald Trump acknowledged that somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans were likely to die because of the coronavirus, California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes went on Fox News to offer a very, uh, different perspective. "Let's stop looking at the death counters and let's talk about how we can keep as many people employed as possible," Nunes told Fox anchor Laura Ingraham. "That's the key right now, Laura, because if you don't, what you said earlier is correct. When you have people staying at home, not taking care of themselves, you will end up with a hell of a lot more people dying by other causes than you will by the coronavirus." Which is bad enough! But Nunes wasn't done! Far from it! (Also, shout-out to my producer Alli Gordon for transcribing this whole interview!) "I mean, look, the schools were just canceled out here in California which is way overkill," he added. "It's possible kids could've went back to school in two weeks to four weeks but they just canceled the rest of the schools." And then there was this: "If we don't start to get people back to work in this country over the next week to two weeks, I don't believe we can wait until the end of April. I just don't know of any economy that's ever survived where you unplug the entire economy and expect things to go back and be normal." It's as though Nunes is living in some alternate universe here. In Nunes' world, kids need to be going back to school. More people will die from staying home than returning to normal and spreading (or catching) the coronavirus! The economy will fail unless we start sending people back to work in two weeks! Nunes is not -- and this fact may surprise you -- a doctor. Or an infectious disease expert. All of whom have pushed Trump to extend the social distancing guidelines in place for another month. And who have forced Trump to publicly admit that, even if we follow those guidelines to a T, we could well lose hundreds of thousands of Americans to the virus. Of course, this isn't the first time Nunes has pushed information publicly that goes directly against the advice from the medical community about how best to deal with the spread of coronavirus. In mid-March, Nunes told Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo this: "There's a lot of concerns with the economy here, because people are scared to go out. But I will just say, one of the things you can do, if you're healthy, you and your family, it's a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in, get in easily." Even at that time what Nunes was suggesting -- go out to eat because it will be easy to get a table since so many people are staying in -- was directly opposed to the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Trump administration, which was encouraging staying at home and certainly not gathering in a restaurant (or anywhere else) with crowds.

By Betsy Klein, Kevin Liptak and Maegan Vazquez, CNN

(CNN) Vice President Mike Pence sought to cast blame on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and China Wednesday when asked why the US was so late in understanding the enormity of the coronavirus pandemic. "I will be very candid with you and say that in mid-January the CDC was still assessing that the risk of the coronavirus to the American people was low. The very first case, which was someone who had been in China -- in late January around the 20th day of January," Pence told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Pence continued: "The reality is that we could've been better off if China had been more forthcoming." "The reality is that China's been more transparent with respect to the coronavirus than certainly they were for other infectious diseases over the last 15 years," he said. "But what appears evident now is long before the world learned in December, China was dealing with this, maybe as much as a month earlier than that." A White House coronavirus task force spokesman denied that Pence was casting blame on the CDC's response efforts. "The CDC has been a major contributor to the Task Force and the whole-of-government response to the coronavirus outbreak. Vice President Pence has never cast blame on the CDC or any agency involved in the response efforts, and that did not change today," coronavirus task force spokesperson Devin O'Malley said in a statement to CNN. US health officials from the CDC took active steps starting in January to prepare for the outbreak as information trickled out of China. Members of Trump's Cabinet also got involved and started briefing lawmakers. While public health officials and medical experts raised the alarm, Trump downplayed their concerns and injected controversial and unproven theories into the conversation. In the course of two months, President Donald Trump has dramatically shifted his tone and level of optimism about the spread of novel coronavirus and its impact on the economy. At the coronavirus briefing on February 26, for example, Trump said all of the following: "This is a flu. This is like a flu"; "Now, you treat this like a flu"; "It's a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we'll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner." As recently as the second week of March, Trump was an advocate of facing the virus without taking drastic measures to address it. Just four days ago, on March 27, he said that you can call the coronavirus "a flu," or a virus or a germ.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said the decision corresponds with the “national pause” effectively recommended by the White House.
By Patricia Mazzei and Maggie Haberman

MIAMI — Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who for weeks has resisted more stringent statewide measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, on Wednesday signed an order directing the state’s more than 21 million residents to largely stay at home. Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, relented after a morning telephone call with President Trump, who on Tuesday delivered the gravest projections yet from the White House suggesting that up to 240,000 Americans could die from the infection, even with serious restrictions in place. The governor said he started coming around to the necessity of a statewide order once the White House dropped its earlier, rosier suggestion that stringent social distancing measures could be lifted by mid-April, and extended national guidelines to combat the coronavirus until April 30. “When the president did the 30-day extension, to me, that was, ‘People aren’t just going to go back to work,’” Mr. DeSantis said at a news conference in Tallahassee, the state capital. “That’s a national pause button.”

By Ashley Collman

Medical workers on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak not only have to worry about catching the disease themselves — they also risk losing their jobs if they speak publicly about the challenges they're facing. Doctors and nurses are reportedly being threatened against speaking to the press or posting on social media about their concerns, according to multiple reports in recent days. Some have already lost their jobs. Ming Lin, an emergency-room physician at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Washington, told Bloomberg that he was fired last week for speaking to a newspaper about the lack of protective equipment and testing. Lauri Mazurkiewicz, a nurse in Chicago, told Bloomberg that she lost her job at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after sending an email to colleagues, urging them to wear more protective gear. A spokesman for Lin's former hospital told Bloomberg that the worker was "publicly critical" about the hospital's readiness. A Northwestern spokesperson declined to comment to the outlet because the nurse has filed a lawsuit. Workers at two healthcare systems in New York City — NYU Langone and Montefiore Health System — told Bloomberg that they had received memos in recent days reminding them of policies to run all media requests by their public relations department. Failing to do so would make them "subject to disciplinary action, including termination," said the memo sent to NYU workers. A spokesperson for Montefiore told Business Insider that its "media policy has been the same for many years" and "has not changed due to the current situation." A spokesperson for NYU Langone issued a similar statement, saying there has "always been a longstanding policy" on speaking to the media — "long before the coronavirus crisis."

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) On Tuesday, President Donald Trump seemed to get it. He stood in front of his coronavirus task force and, in somber terms, told the public that the next two weeks would see more illness and more death. He acknowledged that the death toll, if America keeps to its current social distancing guidelines, will likely fall somewhere between 100,000 and 240,000 dead Americans. "Our country is in the midst of a great national trial unlike any it has ever faced before," Trump said. Which, well, it's about time. The truth here is that everything Trump said on Tuesday about the spread and dangers -- and even the number of dead -- has been known publicly for weeks. The only leader who failed to acknowledge it was, well, the President. Consider that 23 days ago, Trump sent out this tweet to his 70+ million followers: "So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!" Even when he sent that tweet, scientists and infectious disease experts were telling anyone who would listen that this was NOT the flu -- its mortality rate was far higher, we had no herd immunity to it and there was no vaccine. Trump didn't want to believe that. So he decided it was wrong. And through his words and actions -- whether his tweets and public statements downplaying the threat or his administration's too-slow reaction to the lack of adequate testing -- Trump's decisions helped get us to this bad place. Now, to be clear: This is not to lay blame for the coronavirus at Trump's feet. This was -- and is -- a virus that had never before been transmitted to humans. There is no vaccine. Governments around the world are struggling with combating it and protecting their citizens even as I write. But there is NO question that Trump's downplaying of the virus in these critical last few weeks has played a role in the fact that we are now faced with the blunt reality of significantly more deaths of Americans from coronavirus than died in the Vietnam War (58,220).

By Caitlin O'Kane

A group of spring breakers who defied public officials' coronavirus warnings are now dealing with the consequences of not canceling non-essential travel and practicing social distancing. About 70 people in their 20s traveled in a large group from Austin, Texas, to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico in mid-March. Now, 28 of them have tested positive for COVID-19, the Austin Public Health Department says. The group flew to Mexico on a charter flight about a week and a half ago and some of the vacationers returned on separate commercial flights, the City of Austin said in a press release. "Austin Public Health and UT Health Austin and University Health Services have made contact with every spring breaker onboard the plane using flight manifests from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)," the press release reads. "The 28 confirmed cases are self-isolating at this time. Others are under quarantine while being monitored and tested." Four of the confirmed cases did not present any symptoms, officials said. According to the University of Texas, many of those on the trip were UT Austin students, with all 28 positive cases being students, CBS Austin reports. A federal travel advisory was not in place for Mexico when the students traveled there; however the city says all residents should follow the CDC's recommendations that all non-essential international travel should be avoided. "A leisure vacation of any kind is not considered essential," the press release reads. Nearly half of the positive COVID-19 cases in Austin-Travis County are in people between the ages of 20 and 40, the city says. The CDC recently reported that young adults ages 20 to 44 make up nearly a third of all cases nationwide, and some of those patients get very sick. Even those who don't get severely ill themselves pose a risk of spreading the disease to others who may be more vulnerable.

“The material presented by the public health authorities is weak, even embarrassing,” one professor who is critical of Sweden's strategy, said.
By Karolina Modig and Saphora Smith

STOCKHOLM — As the temperature passed 50 degrees in Stockholm last week, people congregated in parks unable to resist socializing during the first signs of spring in the Swedish capital. This country of 10 million has bucked the trend in Europe, where many countries have locked down their residents in an attempt to slow the coronavirus that has spread throughout the world at breakneck speed. The Swedish government has left it up to individuals to act responsibly and decide whether to stay home or not. Restrictions that are in place are far more liberal compared with those of the nation's neighbors. Public gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited but there are no restrictions on private meetings, meaning parties and corporate events can still go ahead. Libraries and swimming pools remain open. Standing at bars has been prohibited but restaurants are still able to offer table service. Students over 16 have been asked to study from home but kindergartens and elementary schools are still open. Rather than wide-ranging restrictions, the authorities have instead advised the public to practice social distancing and to work from home, where possible, and urged those over the age of 70 to self-isolate as a precaution. In other words, the country has staked its bets on people acting responsibly. “There are a few critical times in life when you must make sacrifices, not just for your own sake, but also for those around you, for your fellow human beings, and for our country. That time is now,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said earlier this month. The British government had pursued a similarly laissez-faire approach earlier in the crisis before drastically reversing course and ordering a countrywide lockdown March 23. Britain's about-turn has left Sweden increasingly isolated in its response to the coronavirus outbreak and has prompted some scientists to suggest the strategy is based on scant scientific evidence and is irresponsible in a pandemic that has already killed more than 35,000 people worldwide.

By Heidi Glenn

A day after issuing a stay-at-home directive to Maryland residents, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said he and other governors are still "not satisfied" with federal assistance in response to the coronavirus crisis. Hogan, who is also the chair of National Governors Association, issued the directive on Monday as did leaders in nearby Virginia and Washington, D.C., to combat an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the mid-Atlantic region. Hogan spoke to NPR's Rachel Martin about President Trump's claim that there's no longer a lack of coronavirus testing kits and about the governor's own efforts in his state which, as of March 31, has 1,661 confirmed cases and 18 deaths.

How is Maryland preparing to help residents who test positive for COVID-19?
There's nobody in America that's prepared. And we've been working very hard on that for more than three weeks. We have a hospital surge plan, which we're in the process of [implementing]. ... We're trying to ramp up 70 percent increase in our hospital bed capacity; we've now opened, with the help of FEMA and our Maryland National Guard, a field hospital in the Baltimore convention center. We're opening closed hospitals. ... We've added already 2,400 additional hospital beds across the state but we're working to add a total of 6,000. With respect to the personal protective equipment and masks and ventilators and all of those things that your hearing about: Every single state in America has a shortage. ... We've been pushing these things at the federal level but there are simply not enough of them.

By Philip Rucker and William Wan

President Trump and the physicians advising the federal pandemic response on Tuesday delivered a bleak outlook for the novel coronavirus’s spread across the country, predicting a best-case scenario of 100,000 to 240,000 fatalities in the United States and summoning all Americans to make additional sacrifices to slow the spread. Trump adopted a newly somber and sedate tone — and contradicted many of his own previous assessments of the virus — as he instructed Americans to continue social distancing, school closures and other mitigation efforts for an additional 30 days and to think of the choices they make as matters of life and death. Trump and his coronavirus task force members said that community mitigation practices in place for the past 15 days have worked and that extending them is essential. The mathematical modeling the White House presented suggests doing so could save hundreds of thousands of lives. Without community mitigation, the models predict, 1.5 million to 2.2 million Americans could die of covid-19, the disease the virus causes, though no time frames or other details were provided for the figures.

By Meg Kelly, Sarah Cahlan and Elyse Samuels

“We have it totally under control.”

— President Trump, in an interview, on Jan. 22

“We're in great shape in our country. We have 11, and the 11 are getting better. ”

— Trump, in remarks, on Feb. 10

“You may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country.”

— Trump, in a news conference, on Feb. 25

“It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”

— Trump, in remarks, on Feb. 27

“Anybody that needs a test, gets a test. They’re there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful.”

— Trump, in remarks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, March 6

When the first U.S. case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed, President Trump assured the American people that the situation was “totally under control.” Cabinet officials, the vice president and the president repeated that refrain throughout February. By the end of that month, as global financial markets and the American public started to quiver, Trump held firm: “You may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country.”  With the clarity of hindsight, it is obvious the situation was very much not under control. In reality, a lack of testing gave a false picture of how many people across the country were infected. Through government documents, testimony, news reports and interviews, The Fact Checker video team has reconstructed events that left the government blind to the virus’s spread, and examined how those errors opened the door for 11 confirmed cases to balloon to more than 100,000 in less than six weeks.

The Facts
The novel coronavirus was first detected in early December in Wuhan, China. Chinese officials reported the pneumonia-like disease to the World Health Organization (WHO) at the end of December, but neglected to mention growing evidence that the virus could spread by human-to-human transmission through airborne droplets. Despite the alarm bells and increased intelligence briefings, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar struggled to get Trump’s attention for weeks.

January: Make the test
One of the first things that any government needs to track and manage any disease’s spread is the ability to test for it. Because covid-19 is a disease caused by a novel strain of coronavirus, that meant developing a new test.

Jerry Falwell Jr. reopens Liberty University., 12 students display COVID-19 symptoms

Last week, Jerry Falwell Jr. ordered his students and staff back to Liberty University. Now, at least 12 students are showing coronavirus-like symptoms.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Tuesday there was no evidence that a drug touted by U.S. President Donald Trump as a potential miracle cure against COVID-19 was effective against the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Trump had said that hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, could be among “the biggest game changers in the history of medicine” for its potential effects against COVID-19. “The efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of COVID-19 patients has to date not been proved,” a spokesman for the European Commission said on Tuesday, relaying an internal opinion from the European Medicine Agency. The spokesman said there was also no evidence either of the positive effects of chloroquine, another malaria drug, which is also being tested for its possible use against COVID-19. The U.S. Health and Human Services on Thursday listed hydroxychloroquine as a protected medical resource after Trump signed an executive order to prevent its hoarding and price gouging.

By Sam Meredith

As countries around the world effectively shut down to tackle the spread of the coronavirus, the authoritarian president of Belarus is urging citizens to drink vodka, go to saunas and return to work. A global health crisis has prompted governments worldwide to impose draconian measures on the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people. The restrictions range from so-called lockdowns and school closures to strict regulations on social distancing and public gatherings. Yet in the Eastern European country of Belarus, borders remain open, and President Alexander Lukashenko remains unmoved by the coronavirus pandemic. Lukashenko has refused to implement a lockdown in the country of roughly 9.5 million people, reportedly suggesting that others have done so as an act of “frenzy and psychosis,” according to Sky News. As of Tuesday, more than 801,000 cases of the coronavirus have been recorded worldwide, with 38,743 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

By Chantal Da Silva

More than 120,000 people have signed a petition calling on news broadcasters to stop providing live coverage of the White House's briefings on the coronavirus outbreak. Accusing President Donald Trump of using each briefing as a "live campaign rally," the petition, which has been published on MoveOn.org, asks CNN, ABC, CBS NBC, NPR and Fox News to consider whether it is necessary to livestream the COVID-19 press conferences in full. "President Trump is blatantly using the news organizations' extensive, live coverage to freely campaign for a second term," the petition claims. "It is wrong and dangerous to provide so much unfettered airtime to someone who is happily, shamelessly spreading terrible, damaging misinformation that is already costing fellow Americans their lives." Rather than broadcasting live coverage of the White House's COVID-19 briefings, the MoveOn petition asks broadcasters to monitor the briefings instead "and have your anchors and correspondents quickly share appropriately edited valuable accurate parts." The "valuable accurate parts," the petition states would be the statements coming "from medical experts." Cutting out Trump's own comments, the petition asserts, would "leave the President's insults, false braggadocio and outright lies on the editing room floor, where they belong." "Please stop covering the President's daily live campaign rally (thinly disguised as a coronavirus 'news conference')," the petition implores. "There is no need to do so." In the days since the petition was launched, it has quickly garnered support, gaining tens of thousands of signatures since three days ago, when it had just 10.

By Nicholas Wu - USA TODAY

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, said Tuesday on NPR's Morning Edition that President Donald Trump was incorrect in saying coronavirus testing problems had been resolved. "Yeah, that's just not true. I mean I know that they've taken some steps to create new tests, but they're not actually produced and distributed out to the states." Hogan said, when host Rachel Martin asked him about Trump's assertions. "No state has enough testing." In a coronavirus task force briefing Monday, Trump said America's coronavirus testing was better "than any country in the world." "We have done more tests, by far, than any country in the world, by far. Our testing is also better than any country in the world," Trump said on Monday. "We have built an incredible system to the fact we have now done more tests than any other country in the world and now the technology is really booming," Trump said.

By Michael Schwirtz, The New York Times Company

NEW YORK — A supervisor urged surgeons at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Manhattan to volunteer for the front lines because half the intensive-care staff had already been sickened by coronavirus. “ICU is EXPLODING,” she wrote in an email. A doctor at Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan described the unnerving experience of walking daily past an intubated, critically ill colleague in her 30s, wondering who would be next. Another doctor at a major New York City hospital described it as “a petri dish,” where more than 200 workers had fallen sick. Two nurses in city hospitals have died. The coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 30,000 people in New York City, is beginning to take a toll on those who are most needed to combat it: the doctors, nurses and other workers at hospitals and clinics. In emergency rooms and intensive care units, typically dispassionate medical professionals are feeling panicked as increasing numbers of colleagues get sick. “I feel like we’re all just being sent to slaughter,” said Thomas Riley, a nurse a Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, who has contracted the virus, along with his husband. Medical workers are still showing up day after day to face overflowing emergency rooms, earning them praise as heroes. Thousands of volunteers have signed up to join their colleagues. But doctors and nurses said they can look overseas for a dark glimpse of the risk they are facing, especially when protective gear has been in short supply. In China, more than 3,000 doctors were infected, nearly half of them in Wuhan, where the pandemic began, according to Chinese government statistics. Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who first tried to raise the alarm about COVID-19, eventually died of it. In Italy, the number of infected heath care workers is now twice the Chinese total, and the National Federation of Orders of Surgeons and Dentists has compiled a list of 50 who have died. Nearly 14% of Spain’s confirmed coronavirus cases are medical professionals. New York City’s health care system is sprawling and disjointed, making precise infection rates among medical workers difficult to calculate. A spokesman for the Health and Hospitals Corp., which runs New York City’s public hospitals, said the agency would not share data about sick medical workers “at this time.”

CBS Boston

WBZ-TV's Christina Hager spoke with an ICU nurse at Norwood Hospital who is worried about the amount of patients she is seeing.

By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ - The New York Times

A supervisor urged surgeons at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Manhattan to volunteer for the front lines because half the intensive-care staff had already been sickened by coronavirus. “ICU is EXPLODING,” she wrote in an email. A doctor at Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan described the unnerving experience of walking daily past an intubated, critically ill colleague in her 30s, wondering who would be next. Another doctor at a major New York City hospital described it as “a petri dish,” where more than 200 workers had fallen sick. Two nurses in city hospitals have died. The coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 30,000 people in New York City, is beginning to take a toll on those who are most needed to combat it: the doctors, nurses and other workers at hospitals and clinics. In emergency rooms and intensive care units, typically dispassionate medical professionals are feeling panicked as increasing numbers of colleagues get sick. “I feel like we’re all just being sent to slaughter,” said Thomas Riley, a nurse a Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, who has contracted the virus, along with his husband. Medical workers are still showing up day after day to face overflowing emergency rooms, earning them praise as heroes. Thousands of volunteers have signed up to join their colleagues. But doctors and nurses said they can look overseas for a dark glimpse of the risk they are facing, especially when protective gear has been in short supply. In China, more than 3,000 doctors were infected, nearly half of them in Wuhan, where the pandemic began, according to Chinese government statistics. Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who first tried to raise the alarm about COVID-19, eventually died of it.

Analysis by Ronald Brownstein

(CNN) The struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic is opening a new front in the long-running conflict between blue cities and red states.
Across a wide array of states with Republican governors, many of the largest cities and counties -- most of them led by Democrats -- are moving aggressively to limit economic and social activity. State officials, meanwhile, are refusing to impose the strictest statewide standards to fight the virus. A growing chorus of big-city officials in red states like Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and Missouri are now urging their governors to establish uniform statewide rules, arguing that refusing to do so undercuts their local initiatives by increasing the risk the disease will cluster in neighboring areas -- from which it can easily reinfect their populations. "We need a statewide 'safer at home' order," says Clay Jenkins, the county judge -- in effect, the county supervisor -- in Texas' Dallas County. The refusal by Gov. Greg Abbott to issue such a directive, Jenkins told me, in an argument echoed by many other municipal officials in red states, "makes it more likely that we will run out of hospital beds, and our curve will be steeper, more people will get sick at once." Likewise, Robyn Tannehill, the mayor of Oxford, Mississippi (home of the University of Mississippi), told me in an interview that the absence of a statewide rule was undercutting their local efforts to control social interaction. "As we are a regional health care and shopping destination, we have people coming through from surrounding counties that are not [imposing] a stay at home order," she said. "When they come here, you don't know who you are passing in the Kroger or the Walmart. ... I think a statewide stay-at-home order is very necessary." The Republican governors most resisting statewide action have almost all argued that smaller counties should not face the same restrictions as larger ones. "What may be right for places like the large urban areas may not be right at this particular point in time for the" smaller counties with fewer cases, Abbott said last week. While echoing that logic, other GOP governors resisting calls for action from large cities have also cited more ideological arguments. Missisippi Gov. Tate Reeves last week painted extensive shut-down orders as an expression of overly intrusive government. "In times such as these, you always have experts who believe they know best for everybody," he said. "You have some folks who think that government ought to take over everything in times of crisis — that they, as government officials, know better than individual citizens." Similarly, Missouri's GOP governor, Mike Parson, argued that rather than government action "it is going to be personal responsibility" that wins the struggle against the virus. While some Republican governors elsewhere have imposed strict uniform measures, the clash is dividing these states along familiar lines. In almost every state now, including pillars of the Republican coalition such as Texas and Georgia, Democrats have established a dominant position in the largest metropolitan areas. Simultaneously, both in the statewide contests and legislative elections, Republicans have grown increasingly reliant on support from outer suburbs, as well as small town and rural communities.

By Chris Boyette and Caroline Kelly, CNN

(CNN) Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that the federal government sent the wrong type of medical masks in a shipment that his state recently received. Pritzker, a Democrat, said at a news conference that the White House told him the state would receive 300,000 N95 masks from the federal government. The N95 respirator mask is what doctors wear when treating individuals infected with a virus. Instead, what Illinois received were surgical masks, which are not considered respiratory protection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are not totally effective in preventing coronavirus transmission. "My team is sorting through the shipment of 300,000 N95 masks the White House personally told me would be sent to our state, and while we do not have a final count on this yet, I can say with certainty that what they sent were not the N95 masks that were promised but instead were surgical masks, which is not what we asked for," he said at the news conference. "I can't emphasize enough how much we need the federal government to step up and amplify the size of their (personal protective equipment) deliveries to Illinois and, frankly, across the nation," Pritzker added. The news comes as President Donald Trump has clashed with Democratic governors, who are navigating the deepening public health crisis in their states. The governors are at the same time confronting the President's demand for public praise and appreciation amid widespread criticism of the federal government's missteps in supplying testing and protective equipment. Demonstrating their famously hot and cold work relationship, Trump accused New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week of requesting, and then improperly storing, too many ventilators as New York City and state struggle to keep up with the virus.

Fareed Zakaria, GPS

CNN's Fareed Zakaria gives his take on why the US has struggled to mount an effective response to the coronavirus pandemic. ​Source: CNN

By Christian Hartmann, John Irish

STRASBOURG/PARIS (Reuters) - France recorded its worst daily coronavirus death toll on Monday, exceeding 3,000 for the first time, and army helicopters transported critical patients from the east to hospitals overseas as the country battled to free up space in life-support units. The Grand Est region the first in France to be overwhelmed by a wave of infections that has rapidly moved west to engulf the greater Paris region, where hospitals are desperately adding intensive care beds to cope with the influx. The number of coronavirus deaths since March 1 climbed by 16% to 3,024, while the number of intensive care cases rose more than 10% to 5,107, rising after two days of falls. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has warned the country’s 67 million people that the toughest weeks in the fight against epidemic are still to come and doctors in the capital said on Monday they were close to saturation point. “Today in the pulmonology unit we are as full as full can be,” Jerome Pinot, a doctor at the Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris, told Reuters. “To find a place in intensive care is a never-ending headache. We ask ourselves whether we can move this patient to this unit to take another patient. It’s an incessant game.” France has increased the number of beds in intensive care units from 5,000 to about 10,000 since the start of the crisis and it is scrambling to reach 14,500.

Rodney Howard-Browne has been an outspoken opponent of social distancing requirements, claiming his church has machines that can stop the coronavirus.
By Will Sommer, Tracy Connor

A controversial Florida pastor who refused to stop holding packed church services, in violation of coronavirus restrictions, was arrested Monday by a local sheriff who said he was putting his followers’ lives at risk. Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was booked on misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly and violation of public health rules after flouting social distancing orders at The River at Tampa Bay church. Howard-Browne—an ally of President Donald Trump—has been an outspoken opponent of social distancing requirements, claiming his church has machines that can stop the coronavirus and vowing to personally cure the state of Florida himself. “His reckless disregard for human life put hundreds of people in his congregation at risk, and thousands of residents who may interact with them this week, in danger,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said at the press conference. Howard-Browne did not respond to an immediate request for comment.  He turned himself in to a neighboring sheriff’s office, was booked and released within 40 minutes, according to jail records. Chronister’s office warned Howard-Browne that his busy services violated a county order against gatherings of more than 10 people. Deputies for Chronister, a Republican, set up an electronic sign outside the church on Sunday urging parishioners to stay six feet apart from each other, the Tampa Bay Times reported. But Howard-Browne went ahead with two services, even offering to bus people to the church. At services on March 15, Howard-Browne encouraged his parishioners to shake hands to show they weren’t afraid of contracting the coronavirus and vowed his church “will never close.”

As the public scrambles for info on the virus, these religious leaders have claimed they can solve it themselves—with one even claiming he’ll cure the entire state of Florida.
By William Bredderman, Will Sommer

Several prominent pastors tied to Donald Trump have claimed to have the power to cure the coronavirus through prayer, hyping up religious miracle cures amid the pandemic. While many Americans have turned to prayer as the coronavirus death toll mounts, these religious leaders have gone much further, promising that they can physically cure the disease. As the public scrambles for information on the illness, these religious leaders have claimed they can solve it themselves—with one even claiming he’ll cure the entire state of Florida. Texas minister Kenneth Copeland, who visited the White House in 2018 for a dinner for evangelical leaders, claims to have a novel delivery method for a coronavirus cure: television screens.  Appearing on the Victory Channel, which his church operates, Copeland claimed on March 12 to heal coronavirus-infected viewers who touched their TVs. “Put your hand on that television set,” Copeland told his viewers. “Hallelujah. Thank you, Lord Jesus. He received your healing.” A few days later, he said God had told him the pandemic would soon be over, as Christians praying all over the country had “overwhelmed it.” While Christians would save the country, he said, it was the president’s critics who “opened the door” to the pandemic with their “displays of hate” that had interfered with “divine protection.” Copeland isn’t the only Trump-supporting pastor promoting the idea that the coronavirus can be healed through religion.

As the coronavirus spreads, the collapse of the project helps explain America’s acute shortage.
By Nicholas Kulish, Sarah Kliff and Jessica Silver-Greenberg

Thirteen years ago, a group of U.S. public health officials came up with a plan to address what they regarded as one of the medical system’s crucial vulnerabilities: a shortage of ventilators. The breathing-assistance machines tended to be bulky, expensive and limited in number. The plan was to build a large fleet of inexpensive portable devices to deploy in a flu pandemic or another crisis. Money was budgeted. A federal contract was signed. Work got underway. And then things suddenly veered off course. A multibillion-dollar maker of medical devices bought the small California company that had been hired to design the new machines. The project ultimately produced zero ventilators. That failure delayed the development of an affordable ventilator by at least half a decade, depriving hospitals, states and the federal government of the ability to stock up. The federal government started over with another company in 2014, whose ventilator was approved only last year and whose products have not yet been delivered. Today, with the coronavirus ravaging America’s health care system, the nation’s emergency-response stockpile is still waiting on its first shipment. The scarcity of ventilators has become an emergency, forcing doctors to make life-or-death decisions about who gets to breathe and who does not. The stalled efforts to create a new class of cheap, easy-to-use ventilators highlight the perils of outsourcing projects with critical public-health implications to private companies; their focus on maximizing profits is not always consistent with the government’s goal of preparing for a future crisis.

The president has presented an overly rosy picture about how the fight against the virus is going. A new poll suggests the public isn’t buying it.
By Sam Stein

A clear majority of the American public, including self-identified Republicans, do not believe the disinformation that President Donald Trump keeps pushing around the spread of coronavirus. And even members of the president’s own party are skeptical of his argument that getting the country back to work needs to be as prioritized as public safety measures. A new survey conducted by Ipsos exclusively for The Daily Beast provides some of the clearest evidence to date that the president’s attempts to paint a rosy picture about the coronavirus’ spread throughout the country are not resonating beyond a small segment of the populace with a small exception for those who say they’re getting their information from Fox News. A full 73 percent of respondents, including 75 percent of Republicans, said that it was not true that “anyone who wants to get tested [for the virus] can get tested.” Just 17 percent said it was true. Only 20 percent of the public, and just 25 percent of Republicans, said that they believed a vaccine will be available soon. Forty-two percent said that was false and 38 percent said they did not know. Fifty-one percent of respondents, including a plurality or Republicans (46 percent), said it was false that the virus would go away on its own in warm weather, while just 13 percent said that was true. And 61 percent of respondents said that they believed COVID-19 was more deadly than the flu; with 22 percent saying it was about the same and 11 percent saying they believed it was less deadly. The question that seemed to generate the most confusion was on whether the Federal Drug Administration had “approved anti-malaria drugs to treat the virus.” But even then, 45 percent of respondents correctly identified that statement as false, 22 percent said it was true and 33 percent said they did not know.

By Taryn Luna, Rong-Gong Lin II

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday said the federal government sent Los Angeles County 170 ventilators that arrived “not working,” and now a Silicon Valley company is fixing the equipment amid the coronavirus outbreak. California and other states have been stocking up on ventilators in anticipation of a shortage at hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Newsom said he learned about the problem with the federal government’s ventilators when he visited Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday. “Rather than lamenting about it, rather than complaining about it, rather than pointing fingers, rather than generating headlines in order to generate more stress and anxiety, we got a car and a truck,” Newsom said. Bloom Energy is fixing them, he tweeted Saturday. “And we had those 170 brought here to this facility at 8 a.m. this morning, and they are quite literally working on those ventilators right now,” Newsom said. The governor said the ventilators came from the national stockpile, a supply of life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services. Mechanical ventilators are essential to treating patients critically ill with COVID-19. The virus officially called SARS-CoV-2 can infect the lungs and cause people to be unable to breathe properly; it can also cause inflammation in the lungs. Fluid can leak into lung tissues and can drown some of the lung’s tiny air sacs, preventing them from delivering oxygen to the blood. Those who are critically ill from the coronavirus infection can suffer from respiratory failure, sepsis and multiple organ failure. The Times reported last week that federal officials have known for years there was a shortage of ventilators nationally to deal with such an pandemic.

Donald Trump arrives to speak the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House last Saturday. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images
The president was aware of the danger from the coronavirus – but a lack of leadership has created an emergency of epic proportions
by Ed Pilkington and Tom McCarthy in New York

When the definitive history of the coronavirus pandemic is written, the date 20 January 2020 is certain to feature prominently. It was on that day that a 35-year-old man in Washington state, recently returned from visiting family in Wuhan in China, became the first person in the US to be diagnosed with the virus. On the very same day, 5,000 miles away in Asia, the first confirmed case of Covid-19 was reported in South Korea. The confluence was striking, but there the similarities ended. In the two months since that fateful day, the responses to coronavirus displayed by the US and South Korea have been polar opposites. One country acted swiftly and aggressively to detect and isolate the virus, and by doing so has largely contained the crisis. The other country dithered and procrastinated, became mired in chaos and confusion, was distracted by the individual whims of its leader, and is now confronted by a health emergency of daunting proportions. Within a week of its first confirmed case, South Korea’s disease control agency had summoned 20 private companies to the medical equivalent of a war-planning summit and told them to develop a test for the virus at lightning speed. A week after that, the first diagnostic test was approved and went into battle, identifying infected individuals who could then be quarantined to halt the advance of the disease. Some 357,896 tests later, the country has more or less won the coronavirus war. On Friday only 91 new cases were reported in a country of more than 50 million. The US response tells a different story. Two days after the first diagnosis in Washington state, Donald Trump went on air on CNBC and bragged: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming from China. It’s going to be just fine.”

‘A fiasco of incredible proportions’
A week after that, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion article by two former top health policy officials within the Trump administration under the headline Act Now to Prevent an American Epidemic. Luciana Borio and Scott Gottlieb laid out a menu of what had to be done instantly to avert a massive health disaster. Top of their to-do list: work with private industry to develop an “easy-to-use, rapid diagnostic test” – in other words, just what South Korea was doing. It was not until 29 February, more than a month after the Journal article and almost six weeks after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the country that the Trump administration put that advice into practice. Laboratories and hospitals would finally be allowed to conduct their own Covid-19 tests to speed up the process. Today, 86,012 cases have been confirmed in the US, pushing the nation to the top of the world’s coronavirus league table. Those missing four to six weeks are likely to go down in the definitive history as a cautionary tale of the potentially devastating consequences of failed political leadership. Today, 86,012 cases have been confirmed across the US, pushing the nation to the top of the world’s coronavirus league table – above even China. More than a quarter of those cases are in New York City, now a global center of the coronavirus pandemic, with New Orleans also raising alarm. Nationally, 1,301 people have died. Most worryingly, the curve of cases continues to rise precipitously, with no sign of the plateau that has spared South Korea. “The US response will be studied for generations as a textbook example of a disastrous, failed effort,” Ron Klain, who spearheaded the fight against Ebola in 2014, told a Georgetown university panel recently. “What’s happened in Washington has been a fiasco of incredible proportions.”

By Khaleda Rahman

The death toll from the coronavirus in the U.S. has soared past 2,000, as the number of confirmed cases rose to almost 125,000, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has the most confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world after surpassing Italy and China. New York is the worst-hit state, with more than 53,000 cases and 790 deaths as of Sunday morning.

Trump backtracks after Cuomo blasts idea for quarantining hotspots
As President Donald Trump traveled to Norfolk, Virginia, to see off a U.S. Navy hospital ship bound for New York City, he tweeted that he was considering a quarantine for three states, including New York. "I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing "hot spots", New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly," he wrote. But Trump backed away from the idea after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo branded it tantamount to a "federal declaration of war."

   On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governor’s of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the....
   — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020

Instead, Trump announced he had reached a decision after consulting with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the governors of the three states. He said he had directed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a "strong Travel Advisory." He added, "A quarantine will not be necessary." The CDC said in a news release on Saturday that it was urging residents of the three states to refrain from nonessential domestic travel for 14 days, effective immediately, "due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area." Cuomo, who has criticized the federal government's response to the pandemic as his state became the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., told CNN on Saturday that the idea of quarantining the three states was "preposterous." He added that he believed it would be illegal and would spark "economic chaos."

Public health experts have criticized the idea of instituting statewide quarantines in “hot spots” like New York.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force unanimously shunned President Donald Trump’s suggestion of a quarantine in the New York City area, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday. The president “did very seriously consider” the idea of locking down the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” But Trump was dissuaded after a meeting with the task force led by Vice President Mike Pence. “The president wanted to consider all the options. He was obviously concerned what was going on with New York,” said Mnuchin, who is a member of the task force. “He spoke to the task force, he spoke to the governors, and he was comfortable that people would take this advisory very seriously and would not travel.” The president had floated the idea of a short-term quarantine on Saturday. But he retreated later, instead tweeting that “a full quarantine will not be necessary” and, instead, embraced a new travel advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All three of the states mentioned in the CDC’s advisory already have issued their own travel restrictions. Public health experts have criticized the idea of instituting statewide quarantines in “hot spots” like New York, warning the U.S. is past trying to contain the virus to geographic regions.

By Chandelis Duster, CNN

Washington (CNN) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying "his denial at the beginning was deadly" and that as he "fiddles, people are dying." "We should be taking every precaution. What the President, his denial at the beginning was deadly," Pelosi said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Jake Tapper. Pelosi added, "As the President fiddles, people are dying. We just have to take every precaution." After the number of reported coronavirus deaths in the US doubled to more than 2,000 within two days, officials are advising residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut not to travel domestically.

Conservatives, business groups and politicians urge president to get economy going as outbreak continues
By Victoria Bekiempis

As Donald Trump has pushed his shock policy reversal to try to soon get many Americans to go back to work, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, he has been supported by a wide array of rightwing figures, business groups and conservative politicians. Some of those conservatives have taken the president’s concerns over the dire health of the US economy a step further – suggesting that the inevitable deaths of many people to the virus might be an acceptable cost of doing business in the face of a shocking economic collapse that saw more than 3 million new people register for unemployment. “My message: let’s get back to work, let’s get back to living, let’s be smart about it, and those of us who are 70-plus, we’ll take care of ourselves,” Dan Patrick, the Texas lieutenant governor, said last week on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show. “Don’t sacrifice the country,” Patrick continued. Patrick even suggested many older Americans would happily risk their lives for the sake of the economy. “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 also said. “And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in. That doesn’t make me noble or brave or anything like that, I just think there are lots of grandparents out there in this country like me.” The extreme rightwing media figure Glenn Beck shared the sentiment. “I would rather have my children stay home and all of us who are over 50 go in and keep this economy going and working, even if we all get sick, I would rather die than kill the country. ’Cause it’s not the economy that’s dying, it’s the country,” Beck said on an episode of his program on Blaze TV. The Republican Wisconsin senator Ron Johnson also questioned whether the economic impact of physical distancing was worth it, appearing to rate the coronavirus threat as less than fatal car accidents. “We don’t shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways. It’s a risk we accept so we can move about. We don’t shut down our economies because tens of thousands of people die from the common flu.” Johnson also said “getting coronavirus is not a death sentence except for maybe no more than 3.4% of our population, [and] I think probably far less”.

by Avatar Teresa Timmer

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin Christopher NewsomCalifornia Gov. Newsom declares statewide moratorium on evictions for renters hit by coronavirus Disneyland and Disney Globe shut until finally further notice States brace for huge budget gaps in coronavirus economic downturn Extra (D) stated Saturday that 170 ventilators shipped by the federal authorities to help his state react to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus were “not functioning” when they arrived. Newsom produced the remarks in the course of a press convention in which he famous that the quantity of coronavirus individuals in intense care models had doubled considering the fact that Friday, according to The Los Angeles Moments. Newsom explained that the stockpile of ventilators had been sent to Los Angeles County by the Office of Wellbeing and Human Companies (HHS). He mentioned that a organization named Bloom Energy was repairing the gear. “Rather than lamenting about it, alternatively than complaining about it, fairly than pointing fingers, fairly than producing headlines in buy to produce more worry and stress, we bought a automobile and a truck,” Newsom claimed right after touring Bloom Energy’s ventilator refurbishing web-site in Sunnyvale, Calif. “And we experienced individuals 170 introduced right here to this facility at 8 a.m. this morning, and they are pretty basically doing work on individuals ventilators proper now.” HHS did not instantly return a request for comment from The Hill. Newsom mentioned that he to start with uncovered of the challenges with the ventilators right after traveling to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti very last 7 days. The governor’s office environment claimed in a statement Saturday that California had 7,500 ventilators during its hospital techniques before the COVID-19 outbreak. The point out has included extra than 4,200 because, while about 1,000 have desired to be preset. Bloom Electrical power was expected to refurbish around 200 ventilators by Saturday, and the defective ventilators Los Angeles County received are set to be returned to by Monday, Newsom extra.

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump said Saturday that he's considering a short-term quarantine of "hot spots" in parts of the tri-state area — New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — where cases of coronavirus continue to rise. "We're thinking about certain things. Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it's a hotspot. ... We might not have to do it, but there's a possibility that sometime today we'll do a quarantine, short-term, two weeks on New York. Probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut," he told reporters as he departed the White House. "I'd rather not do it, but we may need it," said the President, who was on his way to Norfolk Naval Station for the sendoff of a Navy hospital ship to New York. He later tweeted, "I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing 'hot spots', New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly." New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he spoke with Trump on Saturday morning, but that the two had not discussed a quarantine. "I don't even know what that means. I don't know how that could be legally enforceable," the Democratic governor said during in a news conference in Albany. "And from a medical point view, I don't know what you would be accomplishing." "But I can tell you, I don't even like the sound of it," he added. Trump, however, said that possible quarantine would be "enforceable" and "restrict travel" from those parts of the tri-state area. He also said any quarantine wouldn't affect truckers from outside the New York area. "Restrict travel, because they're having problems down in Florida, a lot of New Yorkers going down. We don't want that," he said. Florida's governor had mandated a 14-day self-quarantine or isolation period for travelers coming to Florida from airports in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  

By Suzanne Smalley

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, says that Trump administration officials declined an offer of early congressional funding assistance that he and other senators made on Feb. 5 during a meeting to discuss the coronavirus. The officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, said they “didn’t need emergency funding, that they would be able to handle it within existing appropriations,” Murphy recalled in an interview with Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast. “What an awful, horrible catastrophic mistake that was,” Murphy said. On Feb. 5, Murphy tweeted: “Just left the Administration briefing on Coronavirus. Bottom line: they aren't taking this seriously enough. Notably, no request for ANY emergency funding, which is a big mistake. Local health systems need supplies, training, screening staff etc. And they need it now.” Murphy told Yahoo News that the funding he and other congressional leaders wanted to allocate nearly two months ago would have paid for essential preventative measures, including hiring local screening and testing staff, researching a vaccine and treatments and the stockpiling of needed medical supplies. “The consequences of that in Connecticut is that we're going to test less people today than we tested yesterday,” Murphy told “Skullduggery” hosts Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman. “And that means that there are lots of people who are positive who are not going to know it, who are then going to be in contact with other people, who are going to spread the disease.”

By Gabriella Borter and Roselle Chen

NEW YORK, March 27 (Reuters) - Doctors and nurses on the front lines of the U.S. coronavirus crisis pleaded on Friday for more protective gear and equipment to treat waves of patients expected to overwhelm hospitals as the number of known U.S. infections surpassed 100,000, with more than 1,500 dead. Physicians have called attention to a desperate need for additional ventilators, machines that help patients breathe and are widely needed for those suffering from COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the highly contagious novel coronavirus. Hospitals in New York City, New Orleans, Detroit and other virus hot spots also have sounded the alarm about scarcities of drugs, medical supplies and trained staff as the number of confirmed cases rose by 15,000 on Friday to just over 100,000. That was down slightly from more than 16,000 new cases reported on Thursday, the largest one-day U.S. surge to date, but kept the United States as the world leader in the number of known infections, having surpassed China and Italy on Thursday. "We are scared," said Dr. Arabia Mollette of Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn. "We're trying to fight for everyone else's life, but we also fight for our lives as well, because we're also at the highest risk of exposure." The United States ranked sixth in death toll among the hardest hit countries, with at least 1,551 lives lost, according to a Reuters tally of official data. Worldwide, confirmed cases rose above 576,000 with 26,455 deaths, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported. One emergency room doctor in Michigan, an emerging epicenter of the pandemic, said he was using one paper face mask for an entire shift due to a shortage and that hospitals in the Detroit area would soon run out of ventilators.

by Ryan W. Miller USA TODAY

A 101-year-old Italian man has reportedly survived his battle with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus spreading around the globe. An official from the city of Rimini on the northeast coast of Italy says the man, identified publicly as only Mr. P., was released from the hospital earlier this week. "He made it. Mr. P. made it," said Gloria Lisi, vice mayor of Rimini, according to ANSA, the Italian news agency. "Even at 101 years, the future is not written," she added, per CNN.

The Christian right has long been hostile to science. Now that attitude will make the pandemic much worse
By Amanda Marcotte

Scientists and health experts largely agree on the steps needed to fight COVID-19, the rapidly spreading new coronavirus: Widespread testing, if possible. Widespread and often stringent social distancing protocols in communities where it's taken root, to slow the spread. Hygienic practices like frequent hand-washing and sterilizing commonly touched surfaces. Protective gear, like masks in medical settings, to keep health care professionals from catching it and spreading it. But when it comes to conservative evangelical Christians, who are already hostile to science on many levels, advice from health experts is all too often being treated as something that can be dismissed out of hand, if it threatens the political or theological goals of their movement. To be clear, Christian right leaders aren't denying that coronavirus is a real problem (at least not anymore). If anything, the bevy of snake oil salesman who call themselves ministers sees the panic around the virus as a marketing opportunity to make money from selling dangerous supplements, to declare the virus can be beaten with the power of prayer and to declare that the pandemic is a divine punishment inflicted on sinners. But Christian right leaders are also not about to let medical science supersede their authority, much less get in the way of their quest for power and cold, hard cash. Because of this, the Christian right has become a vector of bad advice, misinformation and dreadful business decisions that are directly threatening the health not just of their followers, but the public at large.

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) As America became the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump downplayed the escalating national crisis. His comments at Thursday's afternoon briefing underscored the growing duality of the fight: While the President is telling a tale of great successes, of a government powerfully mobilizing, front-line health care workers are facing gruesome scenes in hospitals in a growing number of hot spots. Later, ignoring traditional codes of the presidency at a time of trial, the President lashed out in a TV interview at Democratic governors channeling appeals from overwhelmed health care workers in their home states as Covid-19 exacts an increasing toll. And he appeared set on contradicting the advice of one of his top task force members, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who told CNN that only the virus can set the timeline for reopening the country. All the evidence of the virus's advance, seen in rising death tolls and infection figures, suggests the situation is getting worse and that normal life could be weeks or months away. Once, Trump minimized the looming impact of the crisis. Now his assessments conflict with the reality of its deadly march. On Thursday, a day that saw more reported deaths from Covid-19 than ever before in the United States -- Trump bizarrely turned the focus to what he said was a far lower mortality rate than he had expected. A week ago, there were a total of 8,800 confirmed infections in the United States and 149 deaths. On Thursday, that figure reached more than 82,000 with nearly 1,200 deaths. Were those figures the result of a hurricane or a terrorist attack, their human toll would be more obvious, and it would be more difficult for the President to spin the situation. But as people die unseen in hospital wards and emergency rooms, the emotional impact of the accelerating tragedy is less obvious than it would be during a natural disaster. Still, the weight of the data is beginning to tell its own story. The US overtook China on Thursday as the nation with the most confirmed infections. Yet in a White House news conference, Trump expressed hopes that the nightmare would not last "much longer."

By Christina Wilkie, Kevin Breuninger

President Donald Trump said Friday that he instructed Vice President Mike Pence not to reach out to governors who aren’t “appreciative” of his administration’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus in their states. “If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call,” Trump said of those state leaders. “I think they should be appreciative. Because you know what? When they’re not appreciative to me, they’re not appreciative to the Army Corps [of Engineers], they’re not appreciative to FEMA. It’s not right,” Trump told reporters at a daily press briefing at the White House. The president mentioned Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, both Democrats who have been critical of the White House’s actions to combat the deadly pandemic. Trump said that Pence “calls all the governors. And I tell him, I’m a different type of person, and I say, ’Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington. You’re wasting your time with him.” “Don’t call the woman in Michigan. It doesn’t make any difference what happens,” Trump also said he told Pence, who leads the U.S. response to the coronavirus.

The president excoriated General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, in a tweet for not moving quickly enough to produce needed ventilators.
By Dartunorro Clark

President Donald Trump invoked the rarely used Defense Production Act on Friday to order the Department of Health and Human Services to compel General Motors to manufacturer ventilators hours after he sharply criticized the company for slow-walking production. "Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course," Trump said in a statement. "GM was wasting time. Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives." Trump, in a tweet on Friday, excoriated General Motors and its CEO, Mary Barra, for not moving quickly enough to produce needed ventilators amid the coronavirus pandemic and wanting “top dollar” for the contract. “As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out,” Trump tweeted. “They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, ‘very quickly’. Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar. Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke ‘P.’” Trump himself has been criticized for not quickly invoking his authority to use the act as the nation's hospitals and health care facilities are in dire need of critical medical supplies. He announced he would use the act this month, but did not invoke it until Friday.

By Lori Robertson

President Donald Trump and coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said the United States had done more testing for COVID-19 infections in eight days than South Korea had done in eight weeks, but that ignores the fact that South Korea has a much smaller population. On a per-capita basis, the U.S. lags behind the Asian country, and other nations. We also found the raw numbers show the U.S. testing totals for the eight-day period were still a bit lower, but close, to South Korea’s eight-week figures. In addition, Trump has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. test is “better” or “the best test,” but there is no evidence to support that.

South Korea and the Importance of Testing
South Korea has been held up as a relative success story in containing the coronavirus outbreak, due in part to an extensive, and early, testing program. The daily growth in new cases dropped off considerably in early March after spiking in late February. In other words, South Korea, so far, appears to have begun flattening the curve, which is the much-talked-about goal of social distancing efforts in the United States. Both countries reported their first confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the same time, on Jan. 20 and 21. But South Korea ramped up its testing program sooner, and, therefore, was able to identify and isolate cases early in the pandemic. Testing a higher proportion of the population has given the country a greater capacity to control the total spread of the disease. Around Feb. 19, South Korea first began reporting daily spikes in confirmed cases, while the U.S. was a few weeks behind that. The curve of confirmed cases for the U.S. is still on the rise, as the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine interactive tracking map of the worldwide outbreak shows.

Opinion by Jeffrey Sachs

(CNN) On Thursday, we hit a grim watershed. The US overtook Italy and China as the country with the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases. This is a dire crisis and an extraordinary failure of President Donald Trump. Americans are suffering and dying because the Trump administration failed to act quickly and decisively to prevent the virus' spread. The US has now seen about 1,195 deaths and the number is rising rapidly. On Thursday, the US saw an increase of more than 15,000 cases in one day -- a shocking surge that can be explained by both the spread of the virus and increased testing after weeks of shortages -- pushing the total number of confirmed cases over 82,000. China, in comparison, has reported 81,285 cases. Trump bears direct responsibility for America's unpreparedness and failed response to the epidemic. Since Trump came into office, he has systematically taken apart our protective public health system. The pandemic unit at the National Security Council was dismantled in 2018 under his watch. Trump slashed the CDC's epidemic control teams in 39 countries, including China. And when the epidemic hit, Trump ignored it, downplayed it, and made repeated false claims. Even now, he spouts vulgar nonsense about restarting the economy by Easter when public health experts say the threat is going to persist for far longer. Trump is profoundly culpable, but he is not the only reason for America's dismal situation in the face of this epidemic. Our for-profit health care system rakes in money on disease, not on health. Instead, we have a system that works for the rich, instead of a public health system for all Americans that readily anticipates and controls new pathogens through testing, contact tracing, and quarantine.

By Angela Dewan and Sarah Dean, CNN

London (CNN) UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus, the leader said on Friday. On his Twitter account, Johnson said he had developed mild symptoms and was self-isolating. "Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus. I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government's response via video-conference as we fight this virus. Together we will beat this," Johnson wrote.

  Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus. I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government's response via video-conference as we fight this virus. Together we will beat this. #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/9Te6aFP0Ri  — Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) March 27, 2020

In a video, Johnson said he was experiencing a temperature and a persistent cough, which are key symptoms of the virus, and that he took a test on the advice of the country's chief medical officer, Chris Whitty. "I've taken a test. That has come out positive," he said, adding that he was working from home and self-isolating. "And that's entirely the right thing to do." "But be in no doubt that I can continue, thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus," he said. A government spokesperson said that the test was carried out in Downing Street by staff from the NHS, the country's public healthcare system. Johnson joins a long list of government officials around the world who have been infected with the coronavirus.

The U.S. has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any country in the world, surpassing China, where the pandemic began. There are now more than 85,000 cases in America and nearly 1,300 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Almost 3.3 million people filed for unemployment last week as the virus shuttered businesses and halted normal life across large swaths of the country. The record-shattering number claims was nearly five times larger than the previous weekly record set in 1982. Early Thursday, the Senate passed a sweeping, historic $2 trillion relief package to help workers, businesses and the severely strained health care system survive the pandemic.

By Berkeley Lovelace Jr., Noah Higgins-Dunn, William Feuer

The World Health Organization is considering “airborne precautions” for medical staff after a new study showed the coronavirus can survive in the air in some settings. The virus is transmitted through droplets, or little bits of liquid, mostly through sneezing or coughing, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, told reporters during a virtual news conference on Monday. “When you do an aerosol-generating procedure like in a medical care facility, you have the possibility to what we call aerosolize these particles, which means they can stay in the air a little bit longer.” She added: “It’s very important that health-care workers take additional precautions when they’re working on patients and doing those procedures.”

By J. Edward Moreno and Lauren Vella

The White House this week batted down a recommendation from health officials that elderly people and those who are “physically fragile” not fly on commercial airplanes, an unnamed official with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The AP reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) submitted a plan this week with the recommendation as a way to control the spread of the virus. However, administration officials reportedly ordered that particular provision of the plan be removed, according to the federal official. The Trump administration has since then suggested that those who are most susceptible to the virus not travel but, according the news source, has “stopped short of stronger guidance” laid out by the CDC. The official in question spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, as they were not authorized to speak about the matter. The federal official’s revelation comes as the disease continues to spread across the country, with cases now confirmed in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. The news also comes as Vice President Pence on Saturday spoke after meeting with representatives from the cruise ship industry, a section of the travel industry that has been in the news most recently due to the outbreak. The vice president was assigned as leader of the administration’s coronavirus task force and is in charge of messaging and media relations concerning the status of the virus response. Pence reportedly "narrowed" his focus when he spoke about precautions for certain populations, noting that "older people with serious health problems" should "practice common sense and avoid activities including traveling on a cruise line."

Aggressive screening might have helped contain the coronavirus in the United States. But technical flaws, regulatory hurdles and lapses in leadership let it spread undetected for weeks.
By Michael D. Shear, Abby Goodnough, Sheila Kaplan, Sheri Fink, Katie Thomas and Noah Weiland

WASHINGTON — Early on, the dozen federal officials charged with defending America against the coronavirus gathered day after day in the White House Situation Room, consumed by crises. They grappled with how to evacuate the United States consulate in Wuhan, China, ban Chinese travelers and extract Americans from the Diamond Princess and other cruise ships. The members of the coronavirus task force typically devoted only five or 10 minutes, often at the end of contentious meetings, to talk about testing, several participants recalled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, its leaders assured the others, had developed a diagnostic model that would be rolled out quickly as a first step. But as the deadly virus spread from China with ferocity across the United States between late January and early March, large-scale testing of people who might have been infected did not happen — because of technical flaws, regulatory hurdles, business-as-usual bureaucracies and lack of leadership at multiple levels, according to interviews with more than 50 current and former public health officials, administration officials, senior scientists and company executives. The result was a lost month, when the world’s richest country — armed with some of the most highly trained scientists and infectious disease specialists — squandered its best chance of containing the virus’s spread. Instead, Americans were left largely blind to the scale of a looming public health catastrophe. The absence of robust screening until it was “far too late” revealed failures across the government, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former C.D.C. director. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins, said the Trump administration had “incredibly limited” views of the pathogen’s potential impact. Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the lapse enabled “exponential growth of cases.” And Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, a top government scientist involved in the fight against the virus, told members of Congress that the early inability to test was “a failing” of the administration’s response to a deadly, global pandemic. “Why,” he asked later in a magazine interview, “were we not able to mobilize on a broader scale?”

Amid criticism of his coronavirus strategy, Trump is defending his choices and maintaining that “we did the right thing.”
By Sean Collins

Amid concerns that the US government response to the global coronavirus threat has been underwhelming, President Donald Trump minimized concerns over the novel virus while praising his decision-making and attacking his enemies over the illness at a Tuesday press conference during a state visit to India. The novel coronavirus — and Covid-19, the disease it causes — “is very well under control in our country,” Trump told reporters, adding, “We have very few people with it, and the people that have it are in all cases [doing well], I have not heard anything other [than that].” He went on to claim, “We’re really down to probably 10, most of the people are outside of danger right now.”

   Trump on coronavirus: "We're really down to probably about 10 [cases]." (More than two dozen Americans had the illness as of yesterday.) pic.twitter.com/pZHkrG9FlT
   — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 25, 2020

It is possible that as president of the United States, Trump has access to some Covid-19 information that isn’t publicly available — although he did say Tuesday he hasn’t “been seeing too much of [Covid-19] news” because his India trip has “been all-encompassing” — but the statistic he cited is at odds with data collected by researchers at Johns Hopkins, which finds there are 53 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the US. Trump also claimed — without offering evidence — that Americans need not be overly concerned by Covid-19 because everyone will soon be protected from the novel virus. “Now they have it, they have studied it, they know very much, in fact, we’re very close to a vaccine,” Trump said. Scientists are certainly hard at work on one: Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization announced Sunday that it has begun production on a test vaccine, and scientists in the US and elsewhere are continuing their vaccine research. But as the Icahn School of Medicine’s Fatima Amanat and Florian Krammer note, going from testing a vaccine to having one that is available for use can take anywhere from six to 18 months, if not longer. So, despite what the president said, we really aren’t yet “close” to a vaccine.

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