THIS IS A PLAGUE: HOW TO STAY THE PLAGUE BY DANIEL WHYTE III – DANIEL WHYTE III, WHO HAS PREACHED THE GOSPEL AND THE WORD OF GOD NEARLY EVERY DAY FOR OVER ONE THOUSAND, THREE HUNDRED DAYS (1,300) SINCE JANUARY 1ST, 2016, AND WHO HAS REPEATEDLY WARNED THE CHURCH AND AMERICA OVER THE PAST TEN YEARS OF THE LOVING, MERCIFUL, SLOW-ROLLING JUDGMENT OF GOD, NOW TELLS THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD HOW TO STOP THE PLAGUE PANDEMIC CORONAVIRUS


How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague Briefing Podcast #7

Welcome to the How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague Briefing Podcast #7. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Deuteronomy 29:22-23 says, “So that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the LORD hath laid upon it; And that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom, and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:”

Matthew Henry said, “The ruin begins with plagues and sicknesses, to try if they will be reclaimed by less judgments; but, if not, it ends in a total overthrow, like that of Sodom. As that valley, which had been like the garden of the Lord for fruitfulness, was turned into a lake of salt and sulphur, so should the land of Canaan be made desolate and barren, as it has been ever since the last destruction of it by the Romans. The lake of Sodom bordered closely upon the land of Israel, that by it they might be warned against the iniquity of Sodom; but, not taking the warning, they were made as like to Sodom in ruin as they had been in sin. It would be enquired into by the generations to come, who would find the state of their nation in all respects the reverse of what it had been, and, when they read both the history and the promise, would be astonished at the change. The stranger likewise, and the nations about them, as well as particular persons, would ask, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this land? Great desolations are thus represented elsewhere as striking the spectators with amazement. It was time for the neighbours to tremble when judgment thus began at the house of God.”

William Farley said, “Don’t mistake God’s patience with sinners for the idea that God is tolerant of sin.”

NEWS

According to the Washington Post, More than 600,000 people have been infected and at least 28,000 have died worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University..

According to CNN, There are at least 101,242 cases of the novel coronavirus in the United States.

According to NPR, Some Recovered Coronavirus Patients In Wuhan Are Testing Positive Again.

FAMILY

Ephesians 5:24 says, “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Thomas Constable said, “This verse continues the comparison. Submission is the proper response to sovereignly designated authority in the church-Christ relationship and in the wife-husband relationship. “In everything” means in everything within the wife-husband relationship, the context within which the apostle was speaking. Paul probably did not mean in absolutely everything since the wife has a higher responsibility to obey the Lord. When she encounters conflicting authorities, the Lord, through His Word, telling her to do one thing and her husband telling her to do a contradictory thing, she should obey the Lord.”

——

Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague Briefing Podcast #6

Welcome to the How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague Briefing Podcast #6. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Deuteronomy 28:59 says, “Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.”

The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “In carrying out the curses on disobedient Israel, God would undo all the previous blessings He had lavished on her. Whereas Israel had previously escaped the fearful plagues and diseases of Egypt, God would bring them on Israel. He would also bring other kinds of sickness not recorded in this Book of the Law. Whereas God had multiplied her number as the stars in the sky, Israel would be reduced to a few in number. Once she lived in security, but now she would live in anxiety, despair, and in constant suspense and fear for her life.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The Church right now has more fashion than passion, is more pathetic than prophetic, is more superficial than supernatural.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Revelation 2:18-24 says:

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

2 Samuel 24:9-15 says:

9 And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

10 And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.

11 For when David was up in the morning, the word of the Lord came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying,

12 Go and say unto David, Thus saith the Lord, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee.

13 So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me.

14 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.

15 So the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men.

1. Mr. President, God is not going to allow you to open up the country or even part of the country successfully by Easter, neither will most churches be packed on Easter Sunday morning as you would like. That is a great thought but that will not be happening. Therefore, we are calling on you to go ahead and shut down the nation completely and immediately for at least a full thirty days. Please understand Mr. President even though you may be very smart when it comes to politics and the economy, this is not a political issue and this is not an economic issue and it is really not a medical issue, it is a spiritual issue. And until the spiritual issue of sin in the church, in the government, and in the nation is dealt with, the plague will not be stopped.

2. As I have already told you, if you want this plague to be stayed or stopped, you need to ask Franklin Graham, Jack Graham, Tony Evans, Dwight McKissic, John MacArthur and Anne Graham Lotz to lead a massive nationwide prayer time morning, noon, and night, each day in churches across the nation and publicly at the White House. And basically what you can do is have Franklin Graham or someone appointed by Franklin Graham to open up your briefing everyday with prayer. As you know Mr. President, this is not unprecedented as many presidents in the past have done something similar. We do not want to get into this with you, you can let Paula White keep her job so she can support her family but you need to remove her from over your advisory council and replace her with Franklin Graham or someone else. And these people and others need to lead all churches to publicly denounce all of the sins that are common in the church today such as: adultery, fornication, taking God’s blessings for granted, unthankfulness, ungratefulness, child molestation, and the church’s increasing support of homosexuality, homosexual marriage, homosexual adoption, and the homosexual agenda.

3. You need to immediately roll back everything that President Obama has done regarding having the government to sanction homosexuality, homosexual marriage, and the homosexual agenda, including starting something in the lower level courts that would go to the Supreme Court to overturn the decision regarding homosexuality, homosexual marriage and the homosexual agenda just as you did about abortion. You must understand Mr. President, that God hates all sin but He especially has a problem with the abomination of homosexuality because it is a satanic attempt to turn God’s world upside down. You need to take back and apologize for what you said in support of homosexuality, homosexual marriage, and the homosexual agenda. And you need to immediately remove the openly homosexuel Ambassador Richard Grenell from over United States National Intelligence. Mr. President, one of the main reasons why God worked a miracle and put you in office was to turn back the foolishness that President Obama started of sanctioning men with men and women with women and to this point you have not done so probably because of your friend and mentor Roy Cohn who was an openly homosexual man and died of AIDS and because of your daughter and son-in-law who have many dealings with the homosexual community. If you don’t do what I’m telling you, you will go down in history as one of the worst presidents along with Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter and you will lose your legacy just like Obama has lost his legacy.

NEWS

According to the AP, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the first leader of a major nation to contract COVID-19.

According to the AP, health officials said Britain had 14,579 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 759 people have died — 181 deaths in 24 hours, the country’s highest daily toll yet.

According to Daily Mail, Italy has reported 919 new deaths from coronavirus, the highest number of fatalities any country has reported in the space of 24 hours since the outbreak began late last year.

CHURCH

Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Jason Helopoulos said, “A Christian home must be centered upon Christ, and if it is centered upon Christ, then it will be filled with worship. Most Christians are aware of the importance of secret and corporate worship, but fewer have even heard of family worship. What is family worship? It is pretty simple. Tonight, sit down with your family on the couch or at the dinner table. And then pray together, read the Bible together, and sing a great hymn of the faith together. There are many reasons for doing family worship, but let us just mention a handful. Family worship glorifies and honors God. Family worship has the wonderful effect of centering our homes upon Christ.” And daily Family worship will not always make family life easier but it should be better. And it will give each family the grace to deal with other family members providing each family member is saved.

——

Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague Briefing Podcast #5

Welcome to the How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague briefing podcast #5. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Deuteronomy 28:59 says “Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.”

Thomas Constable says, “This section shows Israel deprived of all the benefits she had formerly enjoyed. This section deals with disease and disasters in the land and deportation from the land. Both parts picture a reversal of Exodus blessings. In the later history of Israel the punishments God predicted here took place very literally when the people disobeyed His law. God designed these blessings and curses to persuade His people to obey His covenant with them. Stronger proof of the blessing of obedience and the blasting of disobedience is hardly imaginable. God”s will was very clear and simple: obey His Word.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The early church was married to poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity, personality, and popularity.”

According to the Daily Mail New York Records 100 Coronavirus Deaths in 24 Hours, Bringing State Total to 385, as Number of Fatal Cases Across US Jumps to 1,074 and Infections Increase to 73,000

According to Yahoo COVID-19 could lead to more than 80,000 deaths in the US and overwhelm hospital capacity nationally as soon as early April even if social distancing measures are respected, new research showed Thursday.

According to Washington Post Hospitals are considering universal do-not-resuscitate orders for coronavirus patients.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

Dave Ramsey said, “The problem with your company is not the economy, it is not the lack of opportunity, it is not your team. The problem is you. That is the bad news. The good news is, if you’re the problem, you’re also the solution. You’re the one person you can change the easiest. You can decide to grow. Grow your abilities, your character, your education, and your capacity. You can decide who you want to be and get about the business of becoming that person.”

——

Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague #4 with Daniel Whyte III

Welcome to the How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague podcast #4. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Deuteronomy 28:59 says “Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.”

Matthew Henry says, “God justly expects from us that we should fear his fearful name; and, which is strange, that name which is here proposed as the object of our fear is, THE LORD THY GOD, which is very fitly here put in our Bibles in capital letters; for nothing can sound more truly august. As nothing is more comfortable, so nothing more awful, than this, that he with whom we have to do is Jehovah, a being infinitely perfect and blessed, and the author of all being; and that he is our God, our rightful Lord and owner, from whom we are to receive laws and to whom we are to give account: this is great, and greatly to be feared. We may justly expect from God that, if we do not fear his fearful name, we shall feel his fearful plagues; for one way or other God will be feared. All God’s plagues are dreadful, but some are wonderful, carrying in them extraordinary signatures of divine power and justice, so that a man, upon the first view of them, may say, Verily, there is a God that judgeth in the earth.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “If we displease God, does it matter whom we please? If we please Him does it matter whom we displease?”

Here are some news stories about the coronavirus:

According to the Fox8 North Carolina has its first two coronavirus deaths, according to state health officials.

According to Fox News Spain surged past China to now have the world’s second-highest tally of coronavirus deaths after seeing a 738 spike overnight — its highest so far in one day.

According to WTVA The state of Mississippi reported its second death from the coronavirus, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) confirmed Wednesday morning.

I believe that one of the things that God is allowing to happen through this plague is to bring families back together because families are the biggest problem in our society and if you have broken families you have broken churches and a broken community but for many families being cooped up in the house together is going to be rough because many husbands and wives, fathers and mothers are selfish and really don’t want to be in the house all the time with the family and depending on the age of the children they may not want to be either and this can lead to an explosive situation that can potentially be deadly and by the grace of God i will share with you some things as I have done this and we have done family life, ministry life, and business life in the home together.

Deuteronomy 11:19 says “And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

James Emery White said, “Homeschooling fosters family intimacy. When the family is together, it’s together. Homeschooling keeps the family together; the older children with the younger children—full interaction. For one year, we put our oldest daughter, Rebecca, into a private Christian school for first grade. She would come home tired, irritable, impatient with her younger siblings. The intimacy she had with us – that we all had together – was radically different than what we had experienced before. We went back to homeschooling after that, and the difference was immediate and palpable. Intimacy returned in ways that we were accustomed to.”

——

Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague #3 with Daniel Whyte III

Welcome to the How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague podcast #3. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Numbers 16:46-49 says:

46 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun.

47 And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.

48 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.

49 Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “Rather than achieving the expected end, however, the exhibition of the Lord’s wrath only led to more complaining by the people. As they pressed their opposition against Moses and Aaron, the Lord again appeared in His glory at the tabernacle, told Moses to step aside, and once more threatened to destroy the nation. Again, in abject humility and deference, Moses and Aaron prostrated themselves before the Lord. This time, however, Moses undertook measures to forestall the divine judgment. He urged Aaron to take his censer and rush into the midst of the assembly of Israelites and there seek God’s atoning grace. But when Aaron arrived he found the plague—evidence of God’s wrath—had already begun and that many were dead. Nevertheless he offered the incense. By the time the plague stopped 14,700 people had died. Then Aaron returned to Moses at the tabernacle. Since incense was symbolic of prayer, Aaron in effect was appearing among the people to intercede in prayer for them. It must have been clear to all that one censer in the hand of a man of God far excelled 250 in the hands of that many sinners.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying.”

Here are some news stories about the coronavirus:

According to the Washington Post U.S. states on Monday reported more than 100 deaths from the novel coronavirus, pushing the country’s total death toll past 500 and marking the first time single-day fatalities have risen into the triple-digits nationwide.

According to WJCL The Georgia Department of Health now reports there are 1,026 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state and 32 people have lost their lives to the virus.

According to Reuters The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has grown by 743 to 6,820, the head of the Civil Protection Agency said on Tuesday.

I believe that one of the things that God is allowing to happen through this plague is to bring families back together because families are the biggest problem in our society and if you have broken families you have broken churches and a broken community but for many families being cooped up in the house together is going to be rough because many husbands and wives, fathers and mothers are selfish and really don’t want to be in the house all the time with the family and depending on the age of the children they may not want to be either and this can lead to an explosive situation that can potentially be deadly and by the grace of God i will share with you some things as I have done this and we have done family life, ministry life, and business life in the home together.

Ephesians 5:22-24 says:

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

David Guzik said:

The command given in Ephesians 5:22 is difficult. God knows this, so He also includes reasons for His command. He wants us to understand the principle behind the command, and to understand that God isn’t simply making up rules.

The first reason for a Christian wife’s submission to her husband is found in Ephesians 5:22, in the words as to the Lord. This means that the motive of her submission must be obedience and respect to Jesus, instead of obedience and respect to her husband.

For the husband is the head of the wife: Paul states here the second reason for a wife’s submission. It is because the husband is the head of the wife. In its full sense head has the idea of headship and authority. It means to have the appropriate responsibility to lead, and the matching accountability. It is right and appropriate to submit to someone who is our head.

When you look at the Biblical idea of headship in other passages such as 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Timothy 3, the emphasis is put constantly upon the fact that the man was created first and not the woman. So there is a natural priority for man. The Scriptures also emphasize the fact that that woman was made out of the man, taken out of the man to show a connection to him, and that she was meant to be a ‘help’ for man, a help for man that was ‘meet’ for him.

Notice that the Apostles lay great stress upon it. Man was created first. But not only that; man was also made the lord of creation. It was to man that this authority was given over the brute animal creation; it was man who was called upon to give them names. Here are indications that man was put into a position of leadership, lordship, and authority and power. He takes the decisions, he gives the rulings. That is the fundamental teaching with regard to this whole matter.

——

Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

PODCAST: What the Church Needs to Do and What President Trump Needs to Do to Stop the Plague and How the Following Preachers Can Save America and Save the World: Jack Graham, Franklin Graham, John MacArthur, Tony Evans, Dwight McKissic Jr., and Anne Graham Lotz with Daniel Whyte III

*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MUCH MORE IN THE PODCAST THAN IN THE NOTES AVAILABLE

Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Numbers 16:41-50

41 But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord.

42 And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared.

43 And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation.

44 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

45 Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.

46 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun.

47 And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.

48 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.

49 Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.

50 And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.

I have preached the Gospel and the Word of God for over 1,300 days since January 1st, 2016, and contrary to what pastors and politicians are telling you, this pandemic plague called the coronavirus is a part of a loving, merciful, slow-rolling judgement against the church and against the most blessed country in the history of the world for allowing and promoting homosexuality, the homosexual agenda and homosexual marriage among other atrocities such as adultery, fornication, the raping of women and children by priests and pastors and other people in the ministry. The only solution is not going to come from the president or politicians. It will come from pastors, preachers, and parishioners confessing and repenting of their sins mentioned above along with other sins, and also praying for people and witnessing to people.

The tragedy is the church and the world like the Israelites of old are stiff-necked, proud, arrogant, and are not in a repenting mood. So, they like the world want to believe pastors and politicians who say “peace, peace” when there is no peace.

If the church does not repent now and start praying as we should and reach out to the lost as we should it is going to get worse.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.


Exhortations for Saints and Sinners as They Shelter in Place Due to the Plague with Daniel Whyte III

*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MUCH MORE IN THE PODCAST THAN IN THE NOTES AVAILABLE


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

EPHESIANS 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

EPHESIANS 6:1-3

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

EPHESIANS 6:10-20

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.


Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

PODCAST: How to Stay the Plague: Daniel Whyte III, Who Was Going to Preach Something Else Tonight Was Led by the Lord Right Before the Sermon to Preach an Impromptu Message Regarding the Coronavirus Pandemic, or What He Calls the Plague

*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MUCH MORE SAID IN THE SERMON PODCAST THAN IN THE NOTES BELOW


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Numbers 16:41-50

41 But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the Lord.

42 And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared.

43 And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation.

44 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

45 Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.

46 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun.

47 And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.

48 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.

49 Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.

50 And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.

I have preached the Gospel and the Word of God for over 1,300 days since January 1st, 2016, and contrary to what pastors and politicians are telling you, this pandemic plague called the coronavirus is a part of a loving, merciful, slow-rolling judgement against the church and against the most blessed country in the history of the world for allowing and promoting homosexuality, the homosexual agenda and homosexual marriage among other atrocities such as adultery, fornication, the raping of women and children by priests and pastors and other people in the ministry. The only solution is not going to come from the president or politicians. It will come from pastors, preachers, and parishioners confessing and repenting of their sins mentioned above along with other sins, and also praying for people and witnessing to people.

The tragedy is the church and the world like the Israelites of old are stiff-necked, proud, arrogant, and are not in a repenting mood. So, they like the world want to believe pastors and politicians who say “peace, peace” when there is no peace.

If the church does not repent now and start praying as we should and reach out to the lost as we should it is going to get worse.

——-

Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Plague Pandemic Coronavirus


PODCAST: How the Lord is Leading Me to Pray During the Coronavirus Pandemic-Plague by Daniel Whyte III (Praying Through the Bible #396)

*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MUCH MORE SAID IN THE SERMON PODCAST THAN IN THE NOTES BELOW


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Here’s how Daniel Whyte III will be praying during the coronavirus pandemic-plague:

1. Praying and asking God to be thorough with His church. 1 Peter 4:17 says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” A. J. Gordon prayed, “Be thorough with me, Jesus; be thorough with me.”

2. Praying for Christians: 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

3. Praying that Christians would begin witnessing to the lost: Luke 10:2 says, “Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.”

4. Praying for the salvation of the lost: John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

George Atkins wrote:

Brethren we have met to worship
And adore the Lord our God
Will you pray with all your power
While we try to preach the Word
All is vain unless the Spirit
Of the Holy One comes down
Brethren pray and holy manna
Will be showered all around

Brethren see poor sinners ’round you
Slumbering on the brink of woe
Death is coming hell is moving
Can you bear to let them go
See our fathers and our mothers
And our children sinking down
Brethren pray and holy manna
Will be showered all around

Sisters will you join to help us
Moses’ sister aided him
Will you help the trembling mourners
Who are struggling hard with sin
Tell them all about the Saviour
Tell them that He will be found
Sisters pray and holy manna
Will be showered all around

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MUCH MORE SAID IN THE SERMON PODCAST THAN IN THE NOTES


PODCAST: What President Trump’s Christian Evangelical Advisers Should Have Told Him to Say in His Speech About This Coronavirus Pandemic-Plague with Daniel Whyte III

*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MUCH MORE SAID IN THE SERMON PODCAST THAN IN THE NOTES BELOW


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

This speech was transcribed by Mrs. Meriqua Whyte wife of Daniel Whyte III.

Let’s pray.

Holy Father God, we pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Holy Father God, we give You the glory and we give You the praise for Your goodness, Your meekness, Your lowliness of mind, Your amazing humility, in the sense that, Lord, You are so long-suffering and so patient and so loving—not only loving but showing lovingkindness to such a wretched and wicked and evil and ungodly and unthankful world including Your church. Have mercy, Holy Father God, upon us, and for Jesus Christ’s sake please forgive us all of our sins, our failures, and our faults. And Holy Father God, I pray that for those of us who are saved and have confessed our sins and have repented, crush and crucify our flesh and the old man within us, and fill us all with the fullness and the power and the unction and the anointing of Your Holy Spirit, and Lord, have Your Holy Ghost to speak to the hearts of Your people and even to politicians, governmental officials, people around the world—live and on-demand. Holy Father God, demonstrate the power of Your Holy Ghost. Move mightily in these perilous times and in these dark and difficult days and on the hearts of people who are not in the mood for repentance just like in the days of Noah, just like in the days of Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah, and so, Lord, as I will share with the people the way that I am praying, I am praying that You will be thorough with us all, starting with Your church, and, Lord, while the world is dying, that the church would rise again and share the Gospel with millions before they go out into eternity not knowing You as Saviour and into a Christless existence in the burning hell. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray and for His sake. Amen.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am not going to preach what I had planned. I’m going to do something a little different and share two things with you, briefly.

First, here’s what President Trump’s Christian, evangelical advisors should have told him to say tonight as we face what the World Health Organization, what the WHO calls now today a pandemic, and what I have been calling plague. And, so, here is what President Trump should say tonight:

Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. First of all, I want to apologize for not taking this pandemic, this plague, this coronavirus as seriously as I should have. And I want to apologize for some of the foolish statements that I made. I want all of you to take heed to the warnings of Dr. Tony Fauci and my entire coronavirus task force because this is a very, very serious matter, and I do not want you to lose your life on my watch. Since this is going to mean millions of people in this country staying home from their jobs, from restaurants, from malls and shopping, from schools and day care, and major events such as concerts, basketball games, etc., as President, I am going to do all I can to make everything go as smoothly as possible by providing a response stimulus package to make sure everybody is taken care of. And I am going to ask Congress to forgive everybody of their student loans, and put all business loans in forbearance, and many other things.

I realize that everyone in this country does not believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the God and Father of our Saviour Jesus Christ. And even though many of you may not think I am a Christian, I do believe in God and I do believe in Christ. I am not a great Christian, but I want to be. And as many of you know, I am indeed the chief of sinners and the least of all saints. I know I am not the best messenger of what I am getting ready to tell you regarding morality, but I have to say something that’s going to be hard but I believe true, and that is, my predecessor President Obama and I have made a grave mistake by endorsing homosexuality, the homosexual agenda, and homosexual marriage, and causing the U.S. government to sanction these abominations against our Creator God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ .

Ladies and gentlemen, Galatians 6:7 makes it very clear in the Holy Bible: “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a soweth that shall he also reap.” But these are not the only sins that are bringing the plagues upon us. God has been good to us. God has been good to America forming the greatest country in the history of the world.

Along with these other abominations is the sin of adultery, which I have committed myself; the sin of fornication; the sin of lying, which some of you believe me to be the chief in that category; the sins of dishonesty, rebelliousness, disobedience, pride, and stubbornness; robbing and stealing, murder and many other sins. And so we all must take responsibility—personal responsibility—for our own behavior. Not just me but everybody in the country. President Abraham Lincoln said, “It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God and to recognize the sublime truths announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.” So dear friends, even though we have to take responsibility for what we did—President Obama and yours truly—I want to say to evangelical Christian leaders who advised President Obama and who have advised me that you bear some responsibility as well in not warning us more fervently that we as human beings can sow something over here and reap a lot over there. Now we have sown the wind as a country, as a government, and we are reaping the whirlwind.

Ladies and gentlemen, we now have something on our hands that is bigger than the presidency, bigger than the White House, bigger than our Federal government, and so, until this pandemic, until this plague is over—if it ever gets over—I am calling on the nation to a solemn day of prayer every Thursday starting tomorrow, Thursday, March 12.

I am going to invite some pastors, some Christians, and some evangelicals who are not part of my pastoral circle of advisors, namely Dr. John MacArthur out of California, Dr. Tony Evans out of Dallas, Texas, and Mrs. Anne Graham-Lotz the wonderful daughter of the late Dr. Billy Graham to help in this matter. So please participate with us right where you are. We don’t have to have a rally. We don’t need to meet at the Lincoln Memorial. We don’t have to be seen. We just need to be heard by God.

With that said, my fellow Americans, allow me to share with you what James Russell Lowell said many years ago:

“Careless seems the great avenger

History’s pages but record

One death grapple in the darkness

‘Twix old system and the Word

Truth forever on the scaffold

Wrong forever on the Throne

Yet that scaffold sways the future

And behind the dim unknown

Standeth God within the shadow

Keeping watch above His own.

With that, ladies and gentlemen, remember “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” If you want to be saved believe on the Lord Jesus Christ right now. This is the best time in the history of America to go on and trust the Lord. And the history of the world for much of the world because tomorrow is definitely not promised to you. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”

This speech was transcribed by Mrs. Meriqua Whyte wife of Daniel Whyte III.

——-

Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MUCH MORE SAID IN THE SERMON PODCAST THAN IN THE NOTES BELOW


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.


How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague Part 1 with Daniel Whyte III

*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MORE IN THE PODCAST AUDIO THAN IN THE NOTES

WELCOME TO THE HOW TO STAY THE CORONAVIRUS PLAGUE PODCAST #1. MY NAME IS DANIEL WHYTE III, PRESIDENT OF GOSPEL LIGHT SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL.

Leviticus 26:21 says, “And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.”

Matthew Henry said, “Even their disobedience would not have been their destruction if they had not been obstinate and impenitent in it, notwithstanding the methods God took to reclaim them. Their contempt of God’s word would not have brought them to ruin, if they had not added to that a contempt of his rod, which should have brought them to repentance. Three ways this is expressed: If you will not learn obedience by the things which you suffer, but be as deaf to the loud alarms of God’s judgments as you have been to the close reasonings of his word and the secret whispers of your own consciences, you are obstinate indeed.” All sinners walk contrary to God, to his truths, laws, and counsels; but those especially that are incorrigible under his judgments. The design of the rod is to humble them, and soften them, and bring them to repentance; but, instead of this, their hearts are more hardened and exasperated against God, and in their distress they trespass yet more against him. This is walking contrary to God. Some read it, “If you walk at all adventures with me, carelessly and presumptuously, as if you heeded not either what you do, whether it be right or wrong, or what God does with you, whether it be for you or against you, blundering on in wilful ignorance.” If you will not be reformed by these things. God’s design in punishing is to reform, by giving men sensible convictions of the evil of sin, and obliging them to seek unto him for relief: this is the primary intention; but those that will not be reformed by the judgments of God must expect to be ruined by them. Those have a great deal to answer for that have been long and often under God’s correcting hand, and yet go on frowardly in a sinful way; sick and in pain, and yet not reformed; crossed and impoverished, and yet not reformed; broken with breach upon breach, yet not returning to the Lord.”

Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “The heavens will not be filled with those who never made mistakes but with those who recognized that they were off course and who corrected their ways to get back in the light of gospel truth.”

HERE ARE SOME NEWS STORIES ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PLAGUE:

According to Daily Mail doctors are warning there are 500,000 already infected in the U.S. and that we just do not know it yet because so few people have been tested.

According to Fox News The Trump administration will extend its European travel ban to include the U.K. and Ireland as part of continuing efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the Hill Italian officials said 250 people have died from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, marking a record number of deaths from the illness within such a timespan.

According to the New York Times Spain imposed a nationwide lockdown to fight coronavirus. A day after an emergency was declared, government officials put in place sweeping restrictions on the public.

According to the New York Post France is imposing a shutdown of all restaurants, cafes, theaters and nonessential shops, and encouraging its citizens to stay home as much as possible, in an attempt to stop the rapid spread of the new coronavirus.

According to the New York Times, New York reported its first coronavirus death on Saturday, when a 82-year-old woman died in Manhattan, according to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The woman, who was not identified, had emphysema, an underlying medical condition, something the governor said contributed to her death.

According to the Washington Post, Three people who visited Mar-a-Lago last weekend have tested positive for the virus. The first was the Brazilian president’s spokesman. The latest is a Brazilian ambassador who sat at President Trump’s table during a dinner.

According to WSBTV, Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a public health emergency amid the coronavirus outbreak and the virus spreading in Georgia. As of Saturday morning, there are now 64 cases of COvid-19 in Georgia, Kemp announced. This is the largest increase within a 24-hour period to date.

HERE IS HOW WE CAN STAY THE CORONAVIRUS PLAGUE:

The solution is not going to come from the president or politicians or physicians. It will come from pastors, preachers, and parishioners confessing and repenting of their sins and also praying for people and witnessing to people.

1 Corinthians 11:31 says “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

1 Peter 4:17 says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”

Revelation 2:21 says “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.”

Revelation 2:4 says, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”

I believe that one of the things that God is allowing to happen through this plague is to bring families back together because families are the biggest problem in our society. If you have broken families, you have broken churches and a broken community. But for many families, being cooped up in the house together is going to be rough because many husbands and wives, fathers and mothers are selfish and really don’t want to be in the house all the time with the family, and depending on the age of the children, they may not want to be either. This can lead to an explosive situation that can potentially be deadly. I will share with you some things as by the grace of God my family and I have done family life, ministry life, and business life in the home together.

Abigail Van Buren said “If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.”

Albert Einstein said “Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.”

George Burns said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.”

HOMESCHOOLING

Jeannie Fulbright said “Homeschooling is not a race to the finish line; it’s a journey of a million small discoveries on the path that God has marked out for you.”

Someone said “There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.”

Dr. Laura Schlessinger said “Home-schooled students are able to successfully adapt emotionally, interpersonally, and academically to their first, and most challenging, semester in college. That is probably because, having had the consistent teaching and support of a family and a community, they have developed strengths and convictions that provide a bridge over the troubled waters of a multitude of challenges and temptations.”

Ephesians 5:22-6:20 says:

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.

2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;

3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STAY SAFE FROM THE CORONAVIRUS PLAGUE ACCORDING TO THE CDC:

1.Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
2.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
3.Stay home when you are sick.
4.Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
5.Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
6 Wash your hands often with soap and water.


*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MORE IN THE PODCAST AUDIO THAN IN THE NOTES

Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague #2 with Daniel Whyte III

*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MORE IN THE PODCAST AUDIO THAN IN THE NOTES

Welcome to the How to Stay the Coronavirus Plague podcast #2. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Jeremiah 19:8 says, “And I will make this city desolate, and an hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof.”

Matthew Henry said, “The whole city shall be desolate, the houses laid in ashes, the inhabitants slain or taken prisoners; there shall be no resort to it, nor any thing in it but what looks rueful and horrid; so that every one that passes by shall be astonished. That place which holiness had made the joy of the whole earth sin had made the reproach and shame of the whole earth. He must assure them that all their attempts to prevent and avoid this ruin, so long as they continued impenitent and unreformed, would be fruitless and vain. There is no fleeing from God’s justice but by fleeing to his mercy. Those that will not make good God’s counsel, by humbling themselves under his mighty hand, shall find that God will make void their counsel and blast their projects, which they think ever so well concerted for their own preservation. There is no counsel or strength against the Lord.”

Heath Lambert said, “Until God is your chief concern — until sinning against Him is what makes your heart break — you will never turn the corner.”

Here are some news stories about the coronavirus:

According to the Guardian There have now been at least 10,316 deaths from coronavirus since it emerged and more than half of those deaths (5,168) have been in Europe, according to an AFP tally based on official sources.

According to CNN New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo just announced that 100% of non-essential workers must stay home.This comes only a day after California’s governor took similar measures, locking down the entire state of nearly 40 million. These two states taking these measures means that one in five Americans now must sequester themselves due to the outbreak.

According to Yahoo Dr. OZ said The new coronavirus outbreak may result in the deaths of over 1 million Americans, though the ultimate toll can still vary significantly depending on efforts taken by the U.S. government and public.

Here is how we can stay the plague:

The solution is not going to come from the president or politicians or physicians. It will come from pastors, preachers, and parishioners confessing and repenting of their sins and also praying for people and witnessing to people.

1 Corinthians 11:31 says “For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

1 Peter 4:17 says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”

Revelation 2:21 says “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.”

Revelation 2:4 says, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”

I believe that one of the things that God is allowing to happen through this plague is to bring families back together because families are the biggest problem in our society and if you have broken families you have broken churches and a broken community but for many families being cooped up in the house together is going to be rough because many husbands and wives, fathers and mothers are selfish and really don’t want to be in the house all the time with the family and depending on the age of the children they may not want to be either and this can lead to an explosive situation that can potentially be deadly and by the grace of God i will share with you some things as I have done this and we have done family life, ministry life, and business life in the home together.

Billy Graham said, “Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love.”

HOME SCHOOL

David O. McKay said, “The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.”

Here is some homeschooling curricula you can use:

Abeka

Liberty Online Private Homeschool

Khan Academy

HOME BUSINESS

Dave Ramsay, said “The worst thing we can do is get a 2nd job. The best thing we can do is start a home based business”

HOME CHURCH

Since you are doing home church the best advice that i can give you is to have church yourselves before you watch church somewhere else.

Henry Hon said, “While the system of institutional churches of various stripes has been well established, the recovery of the independent assembly in homes, house by house, according to the New Testament, is still in it’s infancy. Ironically, it is the assembly located in homes that the apostles labored to build up. Yet two thousand years later, it is still obscure. However, the Lord Jesus, according to His desire, has not given up and is recovering the assembly back to its rightful prominence.”

Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”

Here are some sins the church needs to repent of:

1. Husbands not loving and leading their families like they should.
2. Wives not submitting and respecting their husbands.
3.Children not obeying their parents.

Ephesians 5:22 says:

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

DR. John Constable said about this passage:

Paul addressed wives first. Christian wives are to be subject to their own husbands as an expression of their submission to the Lord Jesus. Paul did not say they were to be subject to their own husbands in proportion as they are submissive to the Lord. In submitting to her husband, the wife is obeying the Lord who has commanded her to do so. In this section Paul was speaking of relationships in marriage, as the context clarifies. He was not saying all women are to be subject to all men, nor was he saying that women are inferior to men.

People often misunderstand submission. It does not indicate inferiority or involve losing one”s identity and becoming a non-person. Some women fear that submission will lead to abuse and or a feeling of being used. Submission does not mean blind obedience or passivity. It means to be in order and to line up under.

Equality of worth is not identity of role.

We live in an ordered universe in which there is authority and submission to authority everywhere. Authority and submission relationships are therefore natural and necessary to maintain order. God has authority over man. Man has authority over nature. Husbands have authority over their wives. Parents have authority over their children. Governors have authority over those they govern. Employers have authority over their employees. Spiritual leaders have authority over those they lead spiritually.
———————————–
Submission means organizing voluntarily to fill out a pattern that constitutes a complete whole. The word “support” is a good synonym for the biblical concept of “submit.” A wife submits to her husband when she voluntarily “organizes” herself so she can complete her husband. A good example of this is her cooperating with him when they run a three-legged race. They have to work together to succeed. Submission is essential to achieve oneness in marriage.

Submission involves four responsibilities. It begins with an attitude of entrusting oneself to God. The focus of life must be on Jesus Christ. The ability to submit comes from Him. He is similar to the cables that enable a suspension bridge to carry out its purpose. Second, submission requires respectful behavior. This rules out nagging. Nagging is similar to having a duck nibble you to death. Third, submission means developing a godly character. Fourth, submission involves doing what is right. Submission should not extend to participating in conduct that is contrary to Scripture. Every Christian”s primary responsibility is to do God”s will.

After centuries of Christian teaching, we scarcely appreciate the revolutionary nature of Paul”s views on family life set forth in this passage. Among the Jews of his day, as also among the Romans and the Greeks, women were seen as secondary citizens with few or no rights. The pious male Jew daily said a prayer in which he thanked God for not making him a woman. And he could divorce his wife by simply writing “a bill of divorcement” (which must include the provision that she was then free to marry whomever she wanted). The wife had no such right.

Here is what you can do to stay safe from the plague according to the CDC.:

1.Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
2.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
3.Stay home when you are sick.
4.Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
5.Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
6 Wash your hands often with soap and water.

*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MORE IN THE PODCAST AUDIO THAN IN THE NOTES

——

Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

Here Are Other Articles Where Daniel Whyte III Has Warned the Church and America of the Loving, Merciful, Gracious, Slow-rolling Judgment of God

From Coast to Coast, God is Mercifully and Lovingly Dismantling America Because of her Sin in Hopes That She Repents and That Many Trust Christ as Savior Before the Country is Totally Destroyed
https://blackchristiannews.com/2019/07/flooding-at-white-house-as-rainstorms-strand-drivers-in-washington-d-c-area/

Hell Has Not Freezed Over, but it’s Getting Close in the Midwest: Again, we at BCNN1 say, Get ready, because God is mercifully and loving warning America of her evil ways by dismantling America piece-by-piece in the summer, in the fall, in the winter, and in the spring.
https://blackchristiannews.com/2019/01/hell-has-not-freezed-over-but-its-getting-close-in-the-midwest-again-we-at-bcnn1-say-get-ready-because-god-is-mercifully-and-loving-warning-america-of-her-evil-ways-by-dismantling-america-piece/

Is God Dismantling America Piece by Piece Because of the Government’s Sanctioning of Homosexuality and Other Sins Including the Sins of Christians? California Reels as the Most Destructive Wildfire in the State’s History Kills at Least Nine in the North Razing 6,500 Homes, While 250k Evacuate Malibu as Flames Rage Over 200 Square Miles in Total
https://blackchristiannews.com/2018/11/california-reels-as-the-most-destructive-wildfire-in-the-states-history-kills-at-least-nine-in-the-north-razing-6500-homes-while-250k-evacuate-malibu-as-flames-rage-over-200-square-miles-in-total/

Is God Dismantling America Piece by Piece? Developing…
https://blackchristiannews.com/2017/10/is-god-dismantling-america-piece-by-piece-developing/

You dear people, be you Christian or non-Christian, you can lie to yourselves all you want and try to call this climate change or anything else, but it is God mercifully and lovingly judging America by dismantling her piece by piece, and it will not stop until Christians repent first and until the government ceases to sanction evil such as abortion and homosexuality.
https://blackchristiannews.com/2019/05/you-dear-people-be-you-christian-or-non-christian-you-can-lie-to-yourselves-all-you-want-and-try-to-call-this-climate-change-or-anything-else-but-it-is-god-mercifully-and-lovingly-judging-america-b/

As Daniel Whyte III Has Stated for Years, God is Mercifully, Lovingly, and Slowly Dismantling the Greatest Country in the World (Outside of Israel) Piece by Piece Because of a Noah-Period and Sodom-and-Gomorrah-Period Style of Sin
https://blackchristiannews.com/2019/08/as-daniel-whyte-iii-has-predicted-for-years-god-is-lovingly-and-slowly-dismantling-the-greatest-country-in-the-world-outside-of-israel-piece-by-piece/

Is God Destroying America Piece by Piece Due to the Government and the People Sanctioning Homosexuality, Homosexual Marriage, Abortion and Other Things, and the Church Compromising the Word of God?

Dr. Fauci Predicts Millions of Americans Will Be Infected With Coronavirus Plague and Death Toll Will Be ‘100,000 to 200,000’ and Says Lockdowns Will Not Be Lifted Next Week Like the President Wants

Dr Anthony Fauci, the government’s foremost infection disease expert, says the United States could experience more than 100,000 deaths and millions of infections from the coronavirus pandemic.

Fauci offered his prognosis in an interview with CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning, as the federal government weighs rolling back guidelines on social distancing.

‘I would say between 100,000 and 200,000 cases,’ he said, correcting himself to say he meant deaths. ‘We’re going to have millions of cases.’ But he added ‘I don’t want to be held to that’ because the pandemic is ‘such a moving target.’

The bleak projection comes as the US leads the world in coronavirus infections, with 123,778 reported to date. The nationwide death toll surpassed 2,100 on Saturday, doubling figures reported two days earlier.

The government is particularly looking at easing restrictions in areas that have not been hard-hit by the outbreak at the conclusion of the nationwide 15-day effort to slow the spread of the virus.

When asked about whether supported the move, Fauci said he would only support the rollback of social distancing guidelines in lesser impacted areas if there is enhanced testing in place.

Fauci also addressed President Donald Trump’s decision not to impose a strict quarantine on parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut after saying he was considering such restrictions on Saturday.

Fauci said it was important not to enforce something that would create ‘a bigger difficulty’, and instead issue a travel advisory for the New York metro area.
‘After discussions with the President we made it clear and he agreed, it would be much better to do what’s called a strong advisory,’ he said.

‘The reason for that is you don’t want to get to the point that you’re enforcing things that would create a bigger difficulty, morale and otherwise, when you could probably accomplish the same goal.’

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its travel advisory late Saturday, urging residents of the three states to ‘refrain from nonessential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately’.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Two Hundred Die From Coronavirus in a Day in New York State: Gov Andrew Cuomo Reveals Soaring Death Toll as He Slams Trump’s Idea of a Quarantine and Announces Some Hospitals Will Only Cater to Coronavirus Patients

The coronavirus pandemic in New York grows worse as one 24-hour period brought another 209 deaths to the state as it struggles to rework its healthcare system to deal with the crippling number of seriously ill and dying patients.

Coronavirus cases in New York state continue to dramatically climb, increasing 7,681 to 52,318 cases by Saturday afternoon, but Governor Andrew Cuomo slammed the idea that the state would be placed in quarantine.

On Saturday afternoon, President Donald Trump suggested that he would place New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in quarantine but failed to mention the plan to Gov. Cuomo who he had spoken to just minutes before.

During a press conference on Saturday, Gov. Cuomo revealed that there will now be three hospitals in the state that deal only with coronavirus patients in an attempt to keep other patients who are not yet infected safe.

President Trump on Saturday morning also approved four new emergency medical sites in New York City, one for each of the outer boroughs, with the Javitts Center set to open as a field hospital with 1,000 extra beds on Monday.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


The World’s First Royal Death From Coronavirus: 86-year-old Princess Maria Teresa of Spain’s Bourbon-Parma Dynasty Dies After Testing Positive for Bug – as Nation Mourns 5,690 Dead

Princess Maria Teresa of Spain has died aged 86 after testing positive for coronavirus.

The princess, of the Bourbon-Parma Royal Family in Spain, passed away yesterday her younger brother, Prince Sixtus Henry of Bourbon-Parma, announced.

She was born in Paris, France on July 28, 1933 to parents, Prince Xavier and Madeleine de Bourbon, who had a total of six children.

The royals are members of the House of Bourbon-Parma which is a cadet branch of the Spanish royal family, descended from the French Capetian dynasty.

A cadet branch is created when a young member of a Royal Family, who is not the current heir, is granted lands and titles of his own.

Members of the family once ruled as King of Etruria and as Duke of Parma and Piacenza, Guastalla, and Lucca until 1859.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tests Positive for Coronavirus

FILE – In this Wednesday, March 25, 2020 file photo Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons for his weekly Prime Ministers Questions, in London. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the new coronavirus. Johnson’s office said Friday March 27, 2020 that he was tested after showing mild symptoms, Downing St. says Johnson is self-isolating and continuing to lead the country’s response to COVID-19. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the first leader of a major nation to contract COVID-19, but he insisted Friday that he remains in charge of the U.K.’s response to the outbreak.

Two of Johnson’s top aides in the fight against the virus — his health secretary and top medical adviser — also said they had the disease.

Johnson, 55, said he was tested Thursday after showing “mild symptoms”: a temperature and a persistent cough.

“I’ve taken a test, that’s come out positive so I am working from home, I am self-isolating, and that’s entirely the right thing to do,” Johnson said in a video message posted on his Twitter account.

“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.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock was also confirmed to have the virus. Hancock, 41, tweeted: “Thankfully my symptoms are mild.”

Chris Whitty, who is chief medical officer for England, tweeted that he had “symptoms compatible with COVID-19” and would be self-isolating at home for a week.

Johnson, Hancock and Whitty have attended meetings of the government’s COVID-19 crisis committee and appeared at the government’s daily coronavirus press conferences.

Johnson is the highest-profile political leader to have contracted the virus, which has infected more than 500,000 people around the world.

Elsewhere, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa have all been tested and found to be negative. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau self-isolated after his wife tested positive for COVID-19.

The British diagnoses are the latest evidence that no one — no matter how high-profile — is untouched by the global pandemic.

Politicians may be especially exposed, since they interact with large numbers of people. Britain’s Parliament continued to meet as the virus spread, before it was eventually suspended on Wednesday — hours after Johnson held his regular question-and-answer session with lawmakers.

Parliamentary authorities are now facing questions about why they did not shut down sooner.

Susan Michie, professor of health psychology at University College London, said that those in government should “practice what they preach” about social distancing.

“Given the transmission routes of touching contaminated surfaces and breathing in virus-laden droplets, it should not come as a surprise to hear that the PM and health secretary have tested positive for coronavirus,” she said.

On Friday health officials said Britain had 14,579 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 759 people have died — 181 deaths in 24 hours, the highest daily toll yet.

Britain’s government is run from a series of interconnected buildings centered on 10 Downing St. and adjoining houses — a warren of rooms and narrow corridors that is both the prime minister’s home and the workplace of hundreds of people.

Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack, said the prime minister was self-isolating in his apartment, which is above 11 Downing St., and would have his meals left outside his door by staff.

“For now the prime minister’s symptoms are mild and he is continuing to do all of the same functions he was performing before. The only difference is he will now have to do that by teleconferencing,” Slack said.

He would not say whether Johnson’s 32-year-old fiancee, Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant, was currently living in Downing St.

Slack said several other Downing St. staff are self-isolating but he did not know of any other confirmed cases.

The government said that if Johnson is unable to work, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will replace him.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and sometimes death.

On Thursday evening, Johnson stood outside his front door to join in a national round of applause for health care workers. Slack said the prime minister was careful to observe social distancing rules while he did so, standing several meters away from Treasury chief Rishi Sunak, who also took part.

Earlier this week Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, announced that he had tested positive for the virus. His mother, 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth II, is self-isolating at Windsor Castle as a precaution.

Buckingham Palace said Johnson and the Queen last met on March 11. The pair have held their weekly audience by phone for the past two weeks.

Johnson has been criticized by his opponents for his Conservative government’s initial reluctance to impose tough restrictions on movement and the economy to try to stem the spread of the virus.

Early this month, Johnson recounted shaking hands with medics treating coronavirus patients at a hospital and said “I continue to shake hands.”

The government’s initial advice was that people should wash their hands frequently. As the number of cases soared, that escalated to include the closure of schools, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops and a nationwide order for everyone but key workers to stay home.

Johnson spoke by phone Friday with U.S. President Donald Trump, who wished him a speedy recovery, the White House said.

Vice President Mike Pence said the administration sent Johnson “our very best wishes.”

“He is a great leader. The president admires him. We consider him a friend,” Pence said on American news channel CNBC.

Johnson’s political opponents also wished him well. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, wished the prime minister a speedy recovery and relayed his hope that his family is “safe and healthy.”

___

Danica Kirka in London and Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this story.

___

The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source: Associated Press


Study Claims That US Virus Deaths May Come Near 100,000 in Four Months Despite Lockdown

Image: Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Paris (AFP) – COVID-19 could lead to more than 80,000 deaths in the US and overwhelm hospital capacity nationally as soon as early April even if social distancing measures are respected, new research showed Thursday.

The US death toll for the pandemic has already soared past 1,000, with 68,000 confirmed infections.

Forecasters at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine analysed the latest COVID-19 data at a local, national and international level.

These include hospitalisation and mortality rates, as well as patient date in terms of age, gender and pre-existing health problems.

Specifically, they looked at the time lag between the first fatal cases and public interventions such as shuttering schools and businesses.

They then looked at each American state’s ICU bed and ventilator capacity.

The analysis warned that based on current trends, demand for both would far exceed capacity for COVID-19 patients as early as the second week of April.

Click here to read more.
Source: Yahoo


$1,200 cash payments, help for businesses: Here’s what’s in the historic stimulus package for coronavirus

WASHINGTON – The Senate approved a massive stimulus bill to help families and businesses hurt by the coronavirus epidemic on Wednesday.

The bill now moves to the House, which is expected to vote on the measure Friday morning and then send it to President Donald Trump for his signature. This is the third – and by far the most expensive – package Congress has put together to address the coronavirus.

“This is a wartime level of investment into our nation,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “A fight has arrived on our shores. We did not seek it. We did not want it. But now, we are going to win it.”

Here are some of the major components of the historic relief package.

Help for families
The bill would provide direct payments of up to $1,200 for most individuals and $2,400 for most married couples filing jointly with an extra $500 for each child.
Assistance would start to phase out for individuals earning more than $75,000 and for couples with more than $150,000 in income.
Unemployment insurance benefits would be expanded, increasing the maximum benefit by $600 a week for up to four months. Benefits would be available to workers who are part-time, self-employed or part of the gig economy. People who are still unemployed after state benefits end could get an additional 13 weeks of help.
Food assistance programs would get a boost as would programs to help low-income households avoid eviction and a program to improve internet access in rural areas.
Homeowners with federally-backed mortgages would be protected from foreclosures for as long as 180 days.
Students with federal loans could suspend payments until October.
Students receiving Pell grants who have to drop out because of coronavirus would not be penalized.

Click here to read more.
Source: USA Today


New York Records 100 Coronavirus Deaths in 24 Hours, Bringing State Total to 385, as Number of Fatal Cases Across US Jumps to 1,074 and Infections Increase to 73,000

New York has recorded 100 coronavirus deaths in just 24 hours, bringing the state total to 385, as the number of fatal cases across the United States increased to more than 1,000.

New figures released on Thursday show that there are now 1,074 deaths and more than 73,000 confirmed cases across the United States.

New York, which is the epicenter of the US outbreak with 50 percent of the country’s total confirmed cases, now as 385 deaths and more than 37,000 infections.

There are 280 deaths in New York City and more than 21,000 infections.

Louisiana is now emerging as the possible next epicenter of the US outbreak after infections rose by 30 percent in 24 hours.

That state recorded 1,800 infections and 65 deaths by Thursday.

Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans – the area that accounts for about 70 percent of the state’s cases – has been blamed for the outbreak there.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Planned Parenthood Files Lawsuit against Texas Governor over Temporary Abortion Ban

FILE- In this June 4, 2019, file photo, a Planned Parenthood clinic is photographed in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

Planned Parenthood is leading a lawsuit filed Wednesday against Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other administration officials, alleging the state’s temporary ban on elective abortions is “abusing” its emergency powers.

As Christian Headlines previously reported, Abbott initiated an executive order on March 22 ceasing all non-essential “surgeries and procedures that are not immediately necessary” in an effort to control hospital capacity, protect healthcare workers and save vital equipment and supplies for the statewide effort to fight the still-spreading COVID-19 virus. In a subsequent review of the order, Attorney General Ken Paxton ruled the mandate against non-essential procedures included abortion—except for those needed to protect the life of the mother.

“We must work together as Texans to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that our health care professionals and facilities have all the resources they need to fight the virus at this time,” Paxton—who is also named in the suit—said in a news release two days before the court action. “No one is exempt from the governor’s executive order on medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures, including abortion providers. Those who violate the governor’s order will be met with the full force of the law.”

Those not heeding the order can be fined up to $1,000 or be sentenced to up to 180 days in jail.

According to Fox News, Planned Parenthood announced its suit in a Wednesday tweet:

“@GovAbbott doesn’t think abortion is essential or, apparently, time-sensitive.

He’s wrong.

So: we’re suing, with our friends at @ReproRights and The Lawyering Project. See you in court.”

The suit seeks an immediate injunction to block the ban. The pro-choice groups are arguing that the executive order violates the 14th amendment on two fronts. First by violating a patients’ right to “substantive due process” and, secondly, by violating the equal protection clause in “singling abortion providers and their patients out for differential treatment from providers of other medical services and their patients.”

Nancy Northrop, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, took exception to the state’s interpretation that abortion was non-essential.

“Abortion care is time-sensitive and essential health care that has a profound impact on a person’s health and life, which is why it is protected as a constitutional right,” she said. “Texas is abusing the state’s emergency powers and we are filing suit today to stop it.”

Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Headlines


UK’s Coronavirus Death Toll Jumps by 113 to 578 in Biggest Daily Rise Yet as Officials Confirm 2,100 More Cases of the Killer Infection With Almost 12,000 Brits Known to Have Been Struck Down

Britain’s growing coronavirus death toll today jumped to 578 after 113 more fatalities were confirmed across the home nations, making today the UK’s darkest day yet in the escalating outbreak.

Health officials also more than 2,100 new patients had tested positive for the life-threatening infection, meaning almost 12,000 cases of COVID-19 have now been recorded in Britain.

It comes after the UK yesterday posted 43 coronavirus deaths, sparking hope that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s unprecedented lockdown was working to control the ever-worsening crisis.

But officials changed the timings of how they counted deaths, with yesterday’s total only taking into account an eight-hour period. Today’s shocking figure represents a full 24-hour count.

The daily death count is not only a count from overnight – the toll can include fatalities hospitals have only just processed, for example patients whose post-mortems have just come back.

Government scientists have admitted there is likely to be 1,000 infected patients for every death recorded in Britain – suggesting the true toll is in the region of 600,000.

Number 10 has faced fierce criticism for its controversial policy to only test patients in hospital, meaning only a fraction of cases are being spotted and leaving the true scale of the UK’s outbreak a mystery.

The latest statistics came as Rishi Sunak finally announced a coronavirus bailout for millions of self-employed workers as the Chancellor unveiled plans to hand them cash payments of up to £2,500 a month.

A week after announcing a massive rescue package for employees, the Chancellor announced support for taxi drivers, musicians, gig economy workers and freelancers.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


US Now Has the Most Coronavirus Cases in the World With 81,000 Infections and More Than 1,000 Deaths – as Researchers Warn Death Toll Could Reach Nearly 100,000 Even if Everyone Adheres to Social Distancing

In this image from a video taken on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, U.S. passengers who evacuated off the quarantined cruise ship the Diamond Princess and officials wait for the takeoff of a Kalitta Air airplane bound for the U.S., at Haneda airport in Tokyo.(Cheryl and Paul Molesky via AP)

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases in the world with 81,000 infections and more than 1,000 deaths.

New figures released on Thursday show that the US has overtaken China and Italy with the number of confirmed cases.

Italy is still the hardest hit country in terms of deaths with more than 8,000. China, where the pandemic began in December, has recorded more than 3,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic.

It comes after New York recorded 100 coronavirus deaths in just 24 hours, bringing the state total to 385, as the number of fatal cases across the United States increased to more than 1,000.

New York, which is the epicenter of the US outbreak with 50 percent of the country’s total confirmed cases, now as 385 deaths and more than 37,000 infections.

There are 280 deaths in New York City and more than 21,000 infections.

Louisiana is now emerging as the possible next epicenter of the US outbreak after infections rose by 30 percent in 24 hours. That state recorded 1,800 infections and 65 deaths by Thursday. Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans – the area that accounts for about 70 percent of the state’s cases – has been blamed for the outbreak there.

New Jersey has 4,400 confirmed cases and 62 deaths, while California has more than 3,000 cases and 67 deaths. Washington state, which was initially the epicenter following an outbreak at a Seattle nursing home, now has 2,600 confirmed cases and 133 deaths.

It comes as new research showed the outbreak could lead to more than 80,000 deaths in the US within the next four months and overwhelm hospital capacity nationally as soon as early April even if social distancing measures are respected.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Prince Charles, 71, tests positive for coronavirus Palace officials confirm

Prince Charles, 71, has tested positive for coronavirus, Clarence House announced today.

The future king had been displaying mild symptoms but remains in “good health” after being diagnosed with the bug on Monday night.

Camilla, 72, tested negative for the virus, with the couple now self-isolating at their home in Balmoral, Scotland.

It is believed he suffered mild symptoms over the weekend while at Highgrove House in Gloucester and flew privately to Scotland on Sunday night where he was tested on Monday.

It is understood he is in good spirits and remains up and about.

Buckingham Palace has since confirmed the Queen remains in “good health” after heading to Windsor last Thursday with Prince Philip a week earlier than planned.

Charles most recently saw the Queen “briefly” on March 12.

Medical experts believe the earliest Charles would have been contagious was March 13.

Charles has also spoken to both of his sons, Prince William, 37, in Norfolk and Prince Harry, 35, in Canada after the news.

Confirming the news today, Clarence House said: “The Prince of Wales has tested positive for Coronavirus.

“He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual.”

Another six members of staff now isolating with them.

Click here to read more.
Source: The Sun


Fears for the Queen as Prince Charles Contracts COVID-19

Even the Namaste greeting couldn’t keep it away.

Prince Charles, despite having taken to greeting people with steepled fingers in recent weeks instead of shaking hands, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, raising fears for the health of the entire royal family.

Charles last saw the Queen, who is 93, on March 12.

Medical experts say they believe the earliest Charles would have been contagious was March 13, which is uncomfortably close to the day he and his mother were last together.

Charles has reportedly spoken to both of his sons, Prince William, 37, in Norfolk and Prince Harry, 35, in Canada to discuss his diagnosis.

Her Majesty, who took to conducting investitures in gloves as the virus spread, has been attempting to self-isolate at Windsor Castle west of London.

Click here to read more.
Source: The Daily Beast


Jerry Falwell Jr. Is Inviting Some Students Back to Liberty University Amid Plague Pandemic, Argues He’s ‘protecting’ Them

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. is no stranger to controversy. So it’s not a total surprise that he’s bucking the trend set by most other universities and inviting students back to campus amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Falwell told The Richmond Times-Dispatch that somewhere between several hundred and 5,000 students — a small percentage of the university’s total enrollment — will live in dorms, where they will continue their online classes. Professors are expected to report to campus despite the remote coursework.

“I think we have a responsibility to our students — who paid to be here, who want to be here, who love it here — to give them the ability to be with their friends, to continue their studies, enjoy the room and board they’ve already paid for and to not interrupt their college life,” Falwell said.

Falwell also said he believes the decision is “protecting” the students, most of whom do not fall into any at-risk categories, whether that be age or underlying conditions, and if any students do fall ill with COVID-19, the school has identified a nearby hotel to house them while they recover. But at least one faculty member, Marybeth Davis Baggett, has pushed back against the decision. Baggett called the decision a “recipe for disaster,” pointing out that the campus population comes into regular contact with residents of Lynchburg, Virginia. Read more at The Richmond Times-DispatchTim O’Donnell


Will Texas or Florida be ‘next Italy’? Red states lag blue in stay-at-home orders…

© Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News/TNS Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley (right) addresses the media about the coronavirus at the Arlington Emergency Management office, Wednesday March 18, 2020. He was joined by Texas Governor Greg Abbott (left).

HOUSTON — Gavin Newsom was the first governor to order his citizens to stay at home, shutting down California’s economy, the world’s eighth-largest, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The next day, Friday, Andrew M. Cuomo, the governor of New York, followed suit.

But not so in Texas and Florida, the nation’s second and third most populous states, where a small-government philosophy — less taxes, fewer regulation and a weaker safety net — has long held sway.

About one-fifth of Texas’ 29 million people lacks health insurance, and nearly one-quarter of Florida’s 21 million residents are elderly. But the governors of those states have resisted stay-at-home orders, despite mounting criticism.

Democratic mayors in both states have canceled events like Miami’s Ultra electronic music festival and Austin’s South by Southwest and have opened a handful of testing sites. They complain the patchwork of policies has made it nearly impossible to limit the disease’s spread.

But the governors, who are Republican, fear overreacting.

“The vast, vast majority of people are testing negative for this,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a Sunday briefing at one of the state’s three coronavirus test sites.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has pointed to the state’s vast rural stretches in arguing against ordering residents to stay home.

Click here to read more.
Source: MSN


India Announces Coronavirus Lockdown for Its Entire 1.3 Billion Population From Midnight

India has today announced a ‘total lockdown’ for its 1.3billion people in the world’s largest stay-at-home order to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Prime minister Narendra Modi announced the ‘total ban on venturing out of your homes’ in a televised address today.

The 21-day lockdown is set to begin at midnight in a measure which Modi says is intended ‘to save India and every Indian’.

He said that if the country failed to manage the next 21 days, it would be set back 21 years.

After his speech, Modi urged Indians to avoid the panic-buying which many Western countries have witnessed, as a government order confirmed that food stores would remain open.

The measure means that more than 2.6billion people worldwide will be in lockdown from tomorrow morning – half of them in India.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


White House, Congress Agree on $2 Trillion Virus Rescue Bill

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, left, accompanied by White House Legislative Affairs Director Eric Ueland and acting White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, walks to the offices of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House and Senate leaders of both parties announced agreement early Wednesday on an unprecedented $2 trillion emergency bill to rush sweeping aid to businesses, workers and a health care system slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The urgently needed measure is the largest economic rescue bill in history. It is intended as a weekslong or monthslong patch for an economy spiraling into recession — or worse — and a nation facing a potentially ghastly toll.

“To the American people, we say, big help, quick help is on the way,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday morning on CNN.

Schumer said he expected approval by the Republican-led Senate later in the day.

That would leave final congressional approval up to the Democratic-controlled House. In a written statement, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the bipartisan agreement “takes us a long way down the road in meeting the needs of the American people” but she stopped short of fully endorsing it.

“House Democrats will now review the final provisions and legislative text of the agreement to determine a course of action,” she said.

House members are scattered around the country and the timetable for votes in that chamber are unclear.

House Democratic and Republican leaders have hoped to clear the measure for President Donald Trump’s signature by a voice vote without having to call lawmakers back to Washington. But that may prove challenging, as the bill is sure to be opposed by some conservatives upset at its cost and scope. Ardent liberals were restless as well.

Top White House aide Eric Ueland announced the agreement in a Capitol hallway shortly after midnight early Wednesday, capping days of often intense haggling and mounting pressure. Some final pieces of the agreement need to be finalized in detailed legislative language.

The sprawling, 500 page-plus measure is the third coronavirus response bill produce by Congress and by far the largest, building on earlier efforts focused on vaccines and emergency response, sick and family medical leave for workers, and food aid.

It would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home.

One of the last issues to close concerned $500 billion for guaranteed, subsidized loans to larger industries, including a fight over how generous to be with the airlines. Hospitals would get significant help as well.

“After days of intense discussions, the Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a historic relief package for this pandemic,” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a key negotiator. “It will rush new resources onto the front lines of our nation’s health care fight. And it will inject trillions of dollars of cash into the economy as fast as possible to help Americans workers, families, small businesses and industries make it through this disruption and emerge on the other side ready to soar.”

Five days of arduous talks produced the bill, creating tensions among Congress’ top leaders, who each took care to tend to party politics as they maneuvered and battled over crafting the legislation. But failure was never an option, which permitted both sides to mark big wins.

Even before the deal was reached, news of the likely but elusive agreement had sent the stock market rocketing on Tuesday. The rescue package would be larger than the 2008 bank bailout and 2009 recovery act combined.

The package would give one-time direct payments to Americans — $1,200 per adult making up to $75,000 a year, and $2,400 to a married couple making up to $150,000, with $500 payments per child.

A huge cash infusion for hospitals expecting a flood of COVID-19 patients grew during the talks at Schumer’s insistence. Republicans pressed for tens of billions of dollars for additional relief to be delivered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal disaster agency.

Democrats said the package would help replace the salaries of furloughed workers for four months, rather than the three months first proposed. Furloughed workers would get whatever amount a state usually provides for unemployment, plus a $600 per week add-on, with gig workers like Uber drivers covered for the first time.

Schumer said businesses controlled by members of Congress and top administration officials — including Trump and his immediate family members — would be ineligible for assistance from receiving loans or investments from new Treasury programs. The New York Democrat immediately sent out a roster of negotiating wins for transit systems, hospital, and cash-hungry state governments that were cemented after Democrats blocked the measure in votes held Sunday and Monday to maneuver for such gains.

Republicans won inclusion of an “employee retention” tax credit that’s estimated to provide $50 billion to companies that retain employees on payroll and cover 50% of workers’ paychecks. Companies would also be able to defer payment of the 6.2% Social Security payroll tax.

Democrats pointed to gains for hospitals, additional oversight of the huge industry stabilization fund and money for cash-strapped states. A companion appropriations package ballooned as well, growing from a $46 billion White House proposal to more than $300 billion, which dwarfs earlier disasters — including Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy combined.

To provide transparency, the package is expected to create a new inspector general and oversight board for the corporate dollars, much as was done during the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program bank rescue, officials said.

At the White House on Tuesday, even as the public health crisis deepened, President Donald Trump expressed eagerness to nudge many people back to work in the coming weeks and held out a prospect, based more on hope than science, that the country could be returning to normal in less than a month.

“We have to go back to work, much sooner than people thought,” Trump told a Fox News town hall. He said he’d like to have the country “opened up and just raring to go” by Easter, April 12. But in a White House briefing later, Trump said that “our decision will be based on hard facts and data.”

Medical professionals say social distancing needs to be stepped up, not relaxed, to slow the spread of infections. At the White House briefing, the public health authorities said it was particularly important for people in the hard-hit New York City metropolitan area to quarantine themselves for 14 days and for those who have recently left the city to do the same.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said pointedly at the briefing, “No one is going to want to tone down anything when you see what is going on in a place like New York City.”

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

The virus has caused a global pandemic that has sickened more than 425,000 people and killed about 19,000 worldwide. In the United States, more than 55,000 people have been sickened and more than 800 have died.

___

Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor, Zeke Miller, Mary Clare Jalonick, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Alan Fram and Padmananda Rama contributed to this report.

Source: Associated Press


Negative rates come to the US: 1-month and 3-month Treasury bill yields are now below zero

The coronavirus crisis has brought another first to U.S. financial markets — negative yields on government debt.

Yields on both the one-month and three-month Treasury bills dipped below zero Wednesday, a week and a half after the Federal Reserve cuts its benchmark rate to near-zero and as investors have flocked to the safety of fixed income amid general market turmoil.

It was the first time that happened in 4½ years, when both bills briefly flashed red and yields fell to minus-0.002% each. The readings Wednesday were well below those.

“This is part and parcel of the whole flight to quality thing,” said Kim Rupert, managing director of global fixed income at Action Economics. “They’re obviously the most liquid instrument. We saw a lot of selling pressure a few days ago when everyone was selling everything to get cash. But with all the plans the Fed has introduced, the bill market is much safer.”

The U.S. now joins large swaths of Europe and Japan that also have negative-yielding debt.

Click here to read more.
Source: CNBC


Coronavirus: New York City weighs closing parks, playgrounds and streets to enforce social distancing, Gov. Cuomo says

New York state and city officials plan to close some streets in the nation’s largest city and may close parks and playgrounds there to contain the coronavirus outbreak as cases across the state surge to 30,811, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

State and local officials are taking a tougher line to enforce social distancing recommendations. He said city residents aren’t following the state’s guidelines encouraging people to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from each other, which he said was “effective and necessary” to slow hospitalization rates.

“The plan is going to pilot closing streets in New York City because we have much less traffic in New York City. We have many fewer vehicles in New York City,” he said at a press conference in Albany. He said that by opening the streets, fewer people will congregate in the parks. “People want to walk. They want to go out and get some air. You want a less dense area, so pilot closing streets to cars, opening streets to pedestrians.”

Click here to read more.
Source: CNBC


NYC morgues near capacity, DHS briefing warns

Craig Ruttle/AP Photo

The Department of Homeland Security has been briefed that New York City’s morgues are nearing capacity, according to a department official and a second person familiar with the situation.

Officials were told that morgues in the city are expected to reach capacity next week, per the briefing. A third person familiar with the situation in New York said that some of the city’s hospital morgues hit capacity over the last seven days.

If the available morgue space in New York City fills up as the number of COVID-19 deaths increases, federal help will be available, a former senior administration official said, noting that the George W. Bush administration sent mortuary assistance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the September 11 attacks.

The Department of Health and Human Services oversees the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORT), which can help set up temporary morgues. The teams operate in response to requests from local authorities.

For now, city officials do not seem especially alarmed. Aja Worthy-Davis, a spokesperson for the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), said concerns about morgue capacity may be unfounded. In Manhattan alone, she said, OCME’s morgue can store up to 900 bodies. The city has a morgue for each of the five boroughs, she said.

“We have the ability to expand pretty dramatically,” she said. “If you look back at what we did during 9/11, we have the ability to create mobile stations that allow us to house bodies if we run out of space.”

Click here to read more.
Source: Politico


Tokyo 2020 Olympics Postponed Over Coronavirus Concerns

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Tuesday.

Abe said Japan and the International Olympic Committee came to an agreement during a phone call with the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, following growing calls for the games to be delayed or canceled because of the concerns around coronavirus pandemic.

The Japanese leader told reporters after the call that they agreed that the games would not be canceled and will be held, at the very latest, by the summer of 2021.

“Considering the current situation, in regards to the Tokyo Games, as the host nation, in order to ensure that athletes from all over the world are able to compete in their best condition, and also in order to ensure the utmost safety for the spectators, I have asked him to consider postponing the games by about a year,” Abe added.

The prime minister said Japan will fulfill its responsibility as the host nation “to prove that humanity has beaten the novel coronavirus.”

The virus has forced millions of people around the world into lockdowns to help curb its spread and claimed more than 17,000 lives.

The Olympics is the biggest event yet to be affected by the growing global pandemic. The Olympics was set to run July 24 to Aug. 9, and the Paralympics Aug. 25 to Sept. 6.

“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the IOC said in a joint statement with Tokyo 2020 organizing committee.

NBCUniversal, which is the parent company of NBC News, paid $4.4 billion for U.S. media rights to the four Olympics from 2014 to 2020.

This is the first major disruption to the Olympics since World War II, when the 1940 Summer Olympics, which were also to be held in Tokyo, were canceled.

The IOC has dealt with potential health threats in the recent past, but none so serious that they affected the scheduled timeline.

Click here to read more.
Source: NBC


Germany Says Six Million Coronavirus Face Masks Missing in Kenya

A health worker sprays disinfectant to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, March 24, 2020. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

BERLIN (Reuters) – German customs officials are trying to track down about 6 million face masks, ordered to protect health workers from the coronavirus, that they say went missing at an airport in Kenya.

“The authorities are trying to find out what happened,” a German defence ministry spokeswoman said, confirming a report first published by Spiegel Online.

A Kenyan Airports Authority (KAA) spokeswoman said investigations had found nothing so far.

The FFP2 masks, which filter out more than 90% of particles, were ordered by German customs authorities. They and the armed forces procurement office have been helping the health ministry to get hold of urgently needed protective gear.

The shipment was due in Germany on March 20 but never arrived after disappearing at the end of last week at an airport in Kenya. It was unclear why the masks, produced by a German firm, had been in Kenya.

“What exactly happened, whether this a matter of theft or a provider who isn’t serious, is being cleared up by customs,” a German government source said, asking not to be named.

Spiegel Online reported Germany has placed orders worth 241 million euros ($260.57 million) with suppliers for protective and sanitary equipment to fight the novel coronavirus.

The defence ministry spokeswoman said there was no financial impact from the loss of the masks as no money had been paid.

Germany is preparing its hospitals and health workers for a big increase in admissions of patients with the virus. It has 27,436 confirmed coronavirus cases and 114 people have died, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold, Additional reporting by Ayenat Mersie, Writing by Madeline Chambers, Editing by Scot W. Stevenson, Ed Osmond and Barbara Lewis

Source: Reuters


3 New COVID-19 Deaths Possibly Linked to Church Attendance

Image: Photo by neONBRAND on Unsplash

Three members of churches in California and Georgia are dead after contracting COVID-19, and all three may have acquired the virus at their respective houses of worship.

Elizabeth Eugenia Wells, 65, passed away March 18 and was a member of the Church at Liberty Square in Cartersville, Ga., a congregation where at least three other members have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In California, two members of Faith Presbyterian Church in Sacramento also died after contracting the coronavirus. They are among five members who tested positive.

Both congregations – like many churches nationwide – are now closed to in-person meetings.

“On March 12, Faith Presbyterian Church staff discovered that a small number of church members were displaying symptoms potentially associated with COVID-19,” the Sacramento church said in a statement. “That evening, the church leadership met and made the immediate decision to close the church facility … to prevent spread of the virus in our congregation and community.”

The deceased members are Don Sperling, 85, and Gayle Alexis. Her age was not released, although the Sacramento Bee reported she was more than 70.

Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Headlines


Goldman Sachs says it is time to buy gold — the ‘currency of last resort’

The current coronavirus-induced economic and financial market turmoil is seemingly the perfect environment for gold.

“We have long argued that gold is the currency of last resort, acting as a hedge against currency debasement when policy makers act to accommodate shocks such as the one being experienced now,” said analysts at Goldman Sachs led by Jeffrey Currie.

Yet while the yellow metal GC00, +1.43% has done far better than other assets, it has slipped 2% over the last month.

The Goldman analysts, with a 12-month price target of $1800 an ounce, said that is about to change, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive bond purchase plan unveiled on Monday, in which the U.S. central bank said it would buy as many Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities as needed to keep financial markets running smoothly.

The Goldman analysts said gold has been weighed down by a world in need of dollars, requiring forced sales of liquid assets like gold. The downturn in oil CL.1, +2.74% as Saudi Arabia and Russia fail to agree on production cuts has also created dollar shortages for emerging market economies, which may have made Russia a net seller of gold, according to Goldman.

Click here to read more.
Source: Marketwatch


Pentagon sees coronavirus crisis lasting several months

Washington (AFP) – The Pentagon is assuming the coronavirus epidemic in the United States will last at least several months, and that some countries are at risk of “political chaos,” its top officials said Tuesday.

“I think we need to plan for this to be a few months long at least,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, judging from the experience of countries like China, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Esper and General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed questions from members of the US military around the world in a virtual online event.

The questions were submitted in advance and read to the Pentagon’s top two civilian and military leaders by a department official.

Milley said all indications are that the US is looking at “eight to 10, maybe 12 weeks, something like three months.”

Click here to read more.
Source: Yahoo


Over 60 Italian Priests Have Died From the Coronavirus Plague; Could This Be Divine Retribution for the Boys and Girls Raped by the Catholic Church’s Priests?

Rome, Italy, Mar 23, 2020 / 10:07 am (CNA).- In the past week alone, more than 3,000 people have died in Italy after contracting the coronavirus. Among the dead are at least 60 priests this month, according to local media reports.

“I pray to the Holy Spirit to give us the gift of light and strength. Everyday I do the Via Crucis asking the Lord … to carry this cross with us,” Bishop Gianni Ambrosio of Piacenza-Bobbio said in an Italian interview.

Avvenire, the newspaper owned by the Italian bishops conference, published the names of 51 diocesan priests who died after contracting COVID-19, and noted that religious communities in Italy had also reported nine coronavirus related deaths.

The majority of the deceased were over the age of 70 years old, and some of these priests had underlying health conditions.

The youngest priest to die from COVID-19 in Italy was Fr. Paolo Camminati, who died in the hospital on March 21 at age 53.

Fr. Camminati was known for his dynamic youth ministry, service to the poor, work with Catholic Action, and passion for the mountains. He was the parish priest of Our Lady of Lourdes in Diocese of Piacenza, where five other priests with COVID-19 have died.

Among the dead in Piacenza is Fr. Kidane Berhane, a Cistercian monk originally from Eritrea, who resided in the historic Chiaravalle Abbey in Lombardy. Also deceased are 87-year-old twin brothers, Fr. Mario Boselli and Fr. Giovanni Boselli, who died within a day of each other.

“It is a tough trial. We are dismayed. We feel great suffering,” Bishop Ambrosio told Avvenire.

“It is a darkness that we must face, but with the hope that God never abandons us, that he himself has gone through all the suffering to overcome it,” the bishop added.

Other priests who have died of COVID-19 in Piacenza include Fr. Giuseppe Castelli, 85, and Fr. Giovanni Cordani, 83.

The Diocese of Bergamo has reported the deaths of 20 diocesan priests and two religious. Fr. Fausto Resmini, a former prison chaplain and minister to the homeless, died on March 23 at the age of 67. He had been treated in intensive care since March 5.

Click here to read more.
Source: Catholic News Agency


Stocks Fall but Curb Heavy Losses as Coronavirus Bill Toils on Capitol Hill

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

U.S. equity markets curbed the bulk of heavy losses Monday after the coronavirus relief bill faced more opposition from Democrats on Capitol Hill. The lack of progress outweighed another move by the Federal Reserve which announced “extensive new measures” to support the U.S. economy.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 18591.93 -582.05 -3.04%
SP500 S&P 500 2237.4 -67.52 -2.93%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 6860.673526 -18.84 -0.27%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down nearly 600 points or 3 percent, while the S&P 500 lost nearly 3 percent and Nasdaq Composite, in light of the selling, held up little changed.

The Dow is on pace for the worst month since September of 1931 as noted by the Dow Jones Market Data Group.

The standout was gold which posted its biggest one day percentage gain since March of 2009 closing around $1,557 an ounce.

The central bank said it would purchase Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities in the “amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy.”

In addition, the Fed launched three new lending facilities which will provide up to $300 billion in new financing to support the flow of credit to employers, consumers and businesses.

Click here to read more.
Source: Fox Business


Horrifying images show coronavirus patients lying on the floor of a packed Madrid hospital as city is overrun with cases and country’s death toll tops 2,000 with 462 victims in past 24 hours

Terrifying footage from inside a Spanish hospital shows coughing coronavirus patients lying on the floor of a corridor as they wait to be seen by medical staff.

The shocking clip shows some patients coughing deeply as a medic stands nearby and some of those on the floor appear to be hooked up to oxygen tanks.

The scenes were recorded at the Infanta Leonor Hospital and the Severo Ochoa de Leganes Hospital in the Spanish capital Madrid, according to El Mundo.

The video which was reported locally was shared online to urge people to follow social distancing measures being enforced in countries across the world.

Spain’s death toll jumped to more than 2,000 today – an increase of 462 deaths – with 33,089 cases of the infection now recorded.

Madrid has recorded 58 per cent of the country’s deaths and the crisis has brought the healthcare system to the brink of collapse.

The country is in danger of becoming the new epicentre of the outbreak in Europe, with Italy’s latest figures offering some hope that the crisis there could start to ease.

Spain’s deputy prime minister Carmen Calvo is among those awaiting urgent test results today after he was taken to hospital with a respiratory infection on Sunday.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Far More People in the U.S. Have the Coronavirus Than You Think

As an infectious disease epidemiologist who’s worked on pandemics for two decades, I’ve talked in recent days to journalists and health officials around the United States and from halfway around the world about how to stop the coronavirus. They all have the same questions: How many tests do we need? How should we use tests? For each case we know about, how many more cases are out there? What’s the best way to find undiagnosed cases? Should we do “active case finding,” which involves testing everyone who is mildly ill, then isolating known cases and quarantining and isolating their contacts? Instead – or in addition – should we implement intense social distancing, close schools and take other similar measures?

Everyone asks the same important, interrelated questions. In one respect, the answer is the same for all of them: We must vastly expand our testing capacity. No country has controlled transmission effectively without massive testing capacity. The United States currently has a sliver of the capacity we need, which is only a tiny fraction of that available in other countries. South Korea has performed over 320,000 tests – almost one for every 150 people. That is 30 times the testing per capita that we have done in the United States. Exceptional teams are racing to solve testing bottlenecks at local and state levels (Massachusetts is just one example), filling the vacuum left by the complete absence of federal leadership. Regulatory and technical hurdles accounted for early delays. Now that we’re past those, several shortages are getting in the way. We don’t have enough protective equipment for testers, nor swabs for sampling or reagents to extract genetic material from the virus. We don’t have enough physical test kits, or enough human power to run large-scale testing. The result is that we have no idea how many people are infected with the coronavirus, or how fast the virus is spreading.

For most of the other questions about strategy, the best answer depends on local conditions. Different parts of the world, and maybe even different parts of the country, are in very different situations. The best strategy depends critically on which stage of the outbreak you are in, how much testing is available. This is a subject infectious disease epidemiologists have been thinking about for years. My colleagues and I have been adapting our earlier peer-reviewed work to the present pandemic. One size does not fit all.

A few places – many of them islands, like Singapore and Taiwan – have so far kept the epidemic relatively under control. They found and tested most of the initial imported cases; they deployed a skilled public health workforce to isolate people with the virus and trace and quarantine their contacts; and they’ve managed to maintain a “containment” strategy to good effect. The same can be said of Hong Kong and New Zealand. Iceland has combined containment with massive testing of its population. So far, this strategy has worked, and in these places, it would be wise to keep to it unless evidence that it is failing starts to emerge.

Containment can work when there are few enough cases that the public health system is able to deal with them and their contacts, so that the workload is manageable, and when a large fraction of cases are tested and identified, so that preventing them from infecting anyone else dramatically reduces the total amount of transmission.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Woman Arrested for Assaulting Her Boyfriend Shouted “I Have the Coronavirus” Before Intentionally Coughing in the Face of a Paramedic

MARCH 22–A woman arrested for assaulting her boyfriend shouted “I have the coronavirus” before intentionally coughing in the face of a paramedic who she sprayed with “copious amounts of saliva,” police charge.

Responding early Wednesday to a domestic violence call in Lady Lake, an Orlando suburb, police encountered the bloodied victim. The man, whose nose was broken, told officers that he had been attacked by his girlfriend, LaDonald Shakkie Holmes.

The man said he was lying in bed with Holmes, 38, when she “told the victim she wanted to have sex,” according to a probable cause affidavit. The victim recalled that he declined to engage with Holmes “since she is leaving him to get back with her ex-husband.”

Rebuffed, Holmes became “very agitated at which time she ‘round house kicked’ the victim in the nose and then punched him in the nose,” cops allege. “That resulted in the victim’s nose breaking, the victim then started bleeding all over himself and the residence.”

Pictured above, Holmes is a “black belt in martial arts,” the affidavit reveals.

Click here to read more.
Source: The Smoking Gun


Far More People in the U.S. Have the Coronavirus Than You Think

As an infectious disease epidemiologist who’s worked on pandemics for two decades, I’ve talked in recent days to journalists and health officials around the United States and from halfway around the world about how to stop the coronavirus. They all have the same questions: How many tests do we need? How should we use tests? For each case we know about, how many more cases are out there? What’s the best way to find undiagnosed cases? Should we do “active case finding,” which involves testing everyone who is mildly ill, then isolating known cases and quarantining and isolating their contacts? Instead – or in addition – should we implement intense social distancing, close schools and take other similar measures?

Everyone asks the same important, interrelated questions. In one respect, the answer is the same for all of them: We must vastly expand our testing capacity. No country has controlled transmission effectively without massive testing capacity. The United States currently has a sliver of the capacity we need, which is only a tiny fraction of that available in other countries. South Korea has performed over 320,000 tests – almost one for every 150 people. That is 30 times the testing per capita that we have done in the United States. Exceptional teams are racing to solve testing bottlenecks at local and state levels (Massachusetts is just one example), filling the vacuum left by the complete absence of federal leadership. Regulatory and technical hurdles accounted for early delays. Now that we’re past those, several shortages are getting in the way. We don’t have enough protective equipment for testers, nor swabs for sampling or reagents to extract genetic material from the virus. We don’t have enough physical test kits, or enough human power to run large-scale testing. The result is that we have no idea how many people are infected with the coronavirus, or how fast the virus is spreading.

For most of the other questions about strategy, the best answer depends on local conditions. Different parts of the world, and maybe even different parts of the country, are in very different situations. The best strategy depends critically on which stage of the outbreak you are in, how much testing is available. This is a subject infectious disease epidemiologists have been thinking about for years. My colleagues and I have been adapting our earlier peer-reviewed work to the present pandemic. One size does not fit all.

A few places – many of them islands, like Singapore and Taiwan – have so far kept the epidemic relatively under control. They found and tested most of the initial imported cases; they deployed a skilled public health workforce to isolate people with the virus and trace and quarantine their contacts; and they’ve managed to maintain a “containment” strategy to good effect. The same can be said of Hong Kong and New Zealand. Iceland has combined containment with massive testing of its population. So far, this strategy has worked, and in these places, it would be wise to keep to it unless evidence that it is failing starts to emerge.

Containment can work when there are few enough cases that the public health system is able to deal with them and their contacts, so that the workload is manageable, and when a large fraction of cases are tested and identified, so that preventing them from infecting anyone else dramatically reduces the total amount of transmission.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Congress May Allow Fed to Purchase Longer-Term Corporate Debt

(Bloomberg) — Congress is likely to pass legislation Monday clearing the way for more emergency action from the Federal Reserve, following already unprecedented steps from the central bank to keep credit markets liquid.

Though details were unclear, lawmakers and Trump adminstration officials on Sunday signaled the package would give the Fed approval to expand its purchases of corporate bonds.

Under its existing authority, the central bank has already created a program to purchase short-term company IOUs, known as commercial paper. Buying longer-dated corporate securities would require Congressional consent.

“There’s a very, very large credit facility that we’re standing up,” Pennsylvania Republican Senator Patrick Toomey said about the legislation on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It will be done jointly with the Treasury and the Fed.”

Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin separately said that the program would be “broad-based” and help businesses weather the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis that’s ensued.

Click here to read more.
Source: Yahoo


Washington Is About to Pick Which Companies Survive

Two ugly truths about any epic economic crisis are that not all businesses will survive, and government interventions help determine which businesses will survive.

As coronavirus crushes the economy, Washington policymakers are scrambling to figure out who to bail out, a responsibility that one veteran of the 2008 financial rescue morbidly but accurately compared to the frantic triage work that doctors are currently doing in overcrowded Italian hospitals. They don’t want to waste precious resources on patients who can’t be saved, or on patients who can recover without their help. They know they can’t prevent all deaths, but they want to prevent the preventable deaths.

“You have to decide who you can bridge through this,” he said.

That kind of economic triage is happening right now. With American commerce facing an unprecedented shutdown, and just about every business other than Amazon, Costco and Purell taking devastating hits, Washington is gripped in a bailout frenzy. Nearly every industry is sending its lobbyists to ask Congress for handouts, including the private jet industry.

The coal industry wants permission to stop making payments to miners with black lung disease.

The hotel industry alone has requested a $150 billion bailout, which would help President Donald Trump endure the cancelled bookings at his resorts.

As Congress rushes to assemble an enormous stimulus package to try to slow the freefall or at least pad the landing, it’s becoming clear that a lot of federal dollars will be sent straight to American taxpayers, but also that a lot of federal dollars will go straight to the companies that employ them. Washington’s last epic bailout, the $700 billion Wall Street rescue of 2008, was wildly unpopular but ultimately quite successful—and while a financial panic is a different kind of crisis than a viral pandemic, it has some lessons for today about when companies should get help and how that help should be delivered.

Click here to read more.
Source: Politico


How long could you sustain your household if you were to stop earning income? If you are like most Americans, the answer is not for long. Only 40 percent of Americans can afford an unexpected $1,000 expense with their savings. In fact, nearly 80 percent of workers are living paycheck to paycheck. It is no surprise that the probability of an economic recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic caused many to worry.

In major cities such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, restaurants and businesses have been ordered to close. For many hourly workers, this means no paychecks in the coming weeks. Almost one in five Americans have already lost their jobs or have reduced hours. At the same time, salaried workers are concerned about job security, as mass layoffs at numerous companies loom. While the situation is understandably stressful for every person affected, it serves as a sobering reminder that Americans must learn to live within their means and regularly save money.

The need for all Americans to be able to sustain themselves for at least a few months on savings is accentuated during a time of crisis. This means planning ahead when times are good. Financial planners suggest saving at least 20 percent of take home income, while spending at most 30 percent on discretionary items. Yet too many workers still fail to think twice about spending entire paychecks for things they want but do not need.

Recent decades have offered us relative luxury. More than 80 percent of Americans own smartphones. The same portion of households own one high definition flat screen television, while over half of households own more than one. Over 60 percent of Americans dine out at least once a week, while nearly 20 percent dine out three or more times a week.

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Source: The Hill


Illinois Gov. Pritzker mocks Trump’s coronavirus efforts

In an escalating war of words Sunday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker compared President Donald Trump to “the carnival barkers that are tweeting from the cheap seats.“

Pritzker was responding to a critical tweet from Trump, who said the governor “and a very small group of certain other governors … shouldn’t be blaming the federal government for their own shortcomings. We are there to back you up should you fail, and always will be!”

Trump was, in turn, responding to criticism from Pritzker about states having to compete often against each other for medical supplies and even overpaying as a result of a federal shortage.

“We’re competing against each other, we’re competing against other countries,“ Pritzker said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“It‘s a wide Wild West … out there. And, indeed, we’re overpaying, I would say, for [personal protective equipment] because of that competition,” Pritzker said on CNN.

In his daily afternoon press briefing, in which Illinois announced three more deaths and 296 more confirmed cases, including of an infant, Pritzker opened his presser saying he’d address Trump’s tweet before he knew he’d take questions about it:

“I’m finding it hard to control my anger with Donald Trump’s response to this crisis. I have doctors and nurses and first responders begging for masks, equipment and more tests … Donald Trump promised to deliver for all the states weeks ago and so far has done very little,” he said. “This is the time for serious people, not the carnival barkers that are tweeting from the cheap seats. All I can say is get to work or get out of the way.”

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Source: Politico


Even the coronavirus crisis can’t bridge America’s partisan divide

The coronavirus is a fearsome, vicious foe. But that’s not been enough to unite America. At least not yet.

The United States has become so politically polarized that even Americans’ view of the pandemic is split along party lines, polls show. For President Trump, that means he hasn’t enjoyed any rally-round-the-flag surge of support, as presidents sometimes do during national calamities. But neither has he seen his support drop, despite extensive criticism of his administration’s response to the crisis.

Polls released over the last week have found that Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to see the coronavirus as a threat to the country’s health, to fear for their family’s well-being, to see major life changes ahead, and to think that the worst is yet to come. They were even more likely to look online for hand sanitizer.

Republicans were more sanguine, more likely to think that the news media are exaggerating the risks. And they have been twice as likely as Democrats to believe a theory that scientists say is false — that the coronavirus was created in China as a bio-weapon. China responded with its own unfounded theory, suggesting that visiting U.S. Army troops brought the disease to Wuhan, the epicenter of the pandemic.

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Source: Yahoo


As Coronavirus Hits, New Yorkers Wonder if They Should Leave

A general view shows the Times Square in the Manhattan borough during the New Year’s celebrations in New York City, U.S., January 1, 2020. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky

As coronavirus cases rise in New York, many residents can find themselves wondering: Should they leave to ride out the pandemic elsewhere?

Home rentals have surged in places New Yorkers typically turn to in the summer, from the Hamptons to Nantucket, Mass., as travel otherwise evaporated, according to AirDNA, a travel-booking analytics site.

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Source: Wall Street Journal


Israeli doctor in Italy: We no longer help those over 60

Italy suffered more coronavirus-related victims than China with 4,825 confirmed deaths and 5,000 confirmed patients in the last 24 hours, Channel 12 reported on Sunday.
Israeli doctor Gai Peleg, who is currently working to save lives in Parma, Italy, told Channel 12 that things are only getting worse as the number of patients keeps growing.

As his department receives coronavirus patients who are terminally ill the focus is to allow patients to meet loved ones and communicate with them during their last moments despite the quarantine regulations. Other reports claim that, as the numbers of dead increases, some families find themselves unable to secure a proper burial for their loved ones.

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Source: Jerusalem Post


‘Who lives and who dies’: In worst-case coronavirus scenario, ethics guide choices on who gets care

It’s a scenario few health-care leaders want to contemplate much less discuss: What if the ranks of desperately ill patients overwhelm the nation’s ability to care for them?

With respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus rapidly spreading, nowhere is that potential more evident than the nation’s limited supply of mechanical breathing machines called ventilators.

Desperate scenes are playing out in Italy, where a spike in COVID-19 cases have overwhelmed the medical system and doctors have reported shortages of staff and equipment. More than 4,800 people have died there, surpassing China in total deaths.

Coronavirus live updates: What we know Sunday about the pandemic, including US cases, deaths

Because the worst cases of COVID-19 rob a person of their ability to breathe, patients die unless they get life-sustaining oxygen from machines. But there are fewer than 100,000 ventilators in the United States and millions of patients struggling to breathe might need such care.

Other machines can deliver oxygen to help those with mild or moderate forms of the disease, but the most critically ill patients need powerful airway pressure that only ventilators can deliver.

Elective surgeries continue at some US hospitals during coronavirus outbreak despite supply and safety worries

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Source: USA Today


Police Tread Lightly as Pandemic Spreads

If you have a fender bender in Nashville these days, chances are you’ll be filing your report by phone. In Philadelphia, the police are trying not to take drug dealers to jail. In Hilton Head, S.C., the authorities have seemed particularly focused on one offense: gathering and drinking on the beach.

But even that transgression was unlikely to lead to an arrest. Across the country, violators of new rules that require staying at home and keeping your distance from others are most likely to get off with a warning.

Police departments are treading softly as they navigate the twin demands of the coronavirus pandemic: how and when to enforce the new safety regulations, and how to do their regular work in the midst of a national health emergency.

“This is a very, very stressful time, and we will approach our job with compassion,” said Maj. Bob Bromage of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office in South CarPolice Tread Lightly as Pandemic Spreadsolina, where Hilton Head beaches were closed to prevent large congregations of spring break revelers.

Several police departments in areas under restriction orders, including in the San Francisco Bay Area, have taken an “education over enforcement” approach, preferring to warn people rather than to arrest them.

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Source: MSN


Gov. Murphy vows action to enforce NJ stay-at-home order

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy expressed anger Sunday at reports of people in New Jersey ignoring his stay-at-home order and warned: “We’re going to take action.”

Saying he wanted “no gatherings of any kind,” Murphy acknowledged the difficulty of enforcing such an order in every part of the state but said he wanted people to “stay home, period.”

Murphy on Saturday ordered residents to stay home, banned all gatherings and told nonessential retail businesses to close in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

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Source: Fox5


Inside the Military’s Top Secret Plans if Coronavirus Cripples the Government

Even as President Trump says he tested negative for coronavirus, the COVID-19 pandemic raises the fear that huge swaths of the executive branch or even Congress and the Supreme Court could also be disabled, forcing the implementation of “continuity of government” plans that include evacuating Washington and “devolving” leadership to second-tier officials in remote and quarantined locations.

But Coronavirus is also new territory, where the military itself is vulnerable and the disaster scenarios being contemplated — including the possibility of widespread domestic violence as a result of food shortages — are forcing planners to look at what are called “extraordinary circumstances”.

Above-Top Secret contingency plans already exist for what the military is supposed to do if all the Constitutional successors are incapacitated. Standby orders were issued more than three weeks ago to ready these plans, not just to protect Washington but also to prepare for the possibility of some form of martial law.

According to new documents and interviews with military experts, the various plans – codenamed Octagon, Freejack and Zodiac – are the underground laws to ensure government continuity. They are so secret that under these extraordinary plans, “devolution” could circumvent the normal Constitutional provisions for government succession, and military commanders could be placed in control around America.

“We’re in new territory,” says one senior officer, the entire post-9/11 paradigm of emergency planning thrown out the window. The officer jokes, in the kind of morbid humor characteristic of this slow-moving disaster, that America had better learn who Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy is.

He is the “combatant commander” for the United States and would in theory be in charge if Washington were eviscerated. That is, until a new civilian leader could be installed.

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Source: newsweek


‘A slow burn’: Coronavirus symptoms often linger before worsening

As physicians across the country diagnose and care for a growing number of people with COVID-19, distinct patterns are emerging, giving clues about how the illness manifests itself in patients.

Very often, people start off with minor physical complaints — slight cough, headache, low-grade fever — that gradually worsen.

“Patients tend to have symptoms for about a week before either getting better, or getting really sick,” said Dr. Joshua Denson, a pulmonary medicine and critical care physician at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans.

Denson, who estimated he’s treated 15 to 20 patients with the coronavirus, described that first phase of the illness as “a slow burn.”

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Source: NBC


A third of coronavirus cases may be ‘silent carriers’, classified Chinese data suggests

The number of “silent carriers” – people who are infected by the new coronavirus but show delayed or no symptoms – could be as high as one-third of those who test positive, according to classified Chinese government data seen by the South China Morning Post.

That could further complicate the strategies being used by countries to contain the virus, which has infected more than 300,000 people and killed more than 14,000 globally.

More than 43,000 people in China had tested positive for Covid-19 by the end of February but had no immediate symptoms, a condition typically known as asymptomatic, according to the data. They were placed in quarantine and monitored but were not included in the official tally of confirmed cases, which stood at about 80,000 at the time.

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Source: South China Morning Post


Donald Trump authorizes national guard to deploy to Washington, California and New York as the hardest hit states are declared coronavirus disaster zones

Donald Trump on Sunday pledged to send in the national guard into Washington, California and New York, as the hardest hit states were declared disaster zones.

The disaster declaration will provide federal assistance for both emergency protective measures and crisis counseling in Washington, the White House said.

Trump said Sunday: ‘And through (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the federal government will be funding 100 per cent of the cost of deploying national guard units to carry out approved missions to stop the virus while those governors remain in command.

‘We’ll be following them and we hope they can do the job and I think they will. I spoke with all three of the governors today, just a little while ago and they’re very happy with what we’re going to be doing.’

Trump also said Sunday he’d ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ship mobile hospital centers to the hard-hit states of Washington, California and New York amid the coronavirus pandemic.

New York became the hardest hit state with more than 15,000 confirmed cases and 117 deaths Sunday evening; Washington has more than 1,700 confirmed cases; Caifornia more than 1,700.

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Source: Daily Mail


Teenager dies of coronavirus in UK: Boy, 18, from Coventry is one of 47 new deaths in 24 hours as toll hits 281 and total cases leaps 665 to 5683

A teenager, 18, has became the youngest person to die of coronavirus in the UK as the victim is one of 47 new deaths in 24 hours with the toll hitting 281 and total cases leaping by 665 to reach 5,683.

Boris Johnson has warned that people not following social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus outbreak are ‘putting other people’s lives at risk’ as he hinted he could ban all Britons from leaving their homes if they don’t keep six feet apart.

It came as an 18-year-old, from Coventry, died of Covid-19, marking the UK’s youngest fatality as 47 new victims brought Britain’s death toll to 281.

Professor Kiran Patel, who is chief medical officer at the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Hospitals NHS Trust, told The Sun: ‘We can confirm that sadly a patient who was being treated for significant underlying health issues has passed away at University Hospital, Coventry.’

Professor Patel added: ‘Our thoughts and condolences remain with the patient’s family and loved ones at this difficult time.’

Yesterday 665 new cases were recorded – with Boris Johnson threatening to shut parks if people don’t keep their distance.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the UK is now at 5,683 and the Prime Minister warned the British public today that they had 24 hours to take social distancing measures seriously or he will implement an Italian-style total lockdown, after thousands continued to flout anti-coronavirus measures.

The PM used his daily press conference to warn there was ‘no doubt’ he would act to close open spaces and limit all movement outside homes if people continued to act foolishly, but stopped short of immediate action.

He later added: ‘I don’t think you need to use your imagination very much to see where we might have to go, and we will think about this very very actively in the next 24 hours.’

Earlier, in a message to the nation, the Prime Minister warned Britain was only ‘two or three’ weeks behind Italy where the death toll has already risen above 4,000 making it the worst outbreak anywhere in the world.

He said that unless the UK could control the spread of the virus through social distancing, the NHS would be ‘overwhelmed’ in the same way that the Italian healthcare system had been.

However the deputy chief medical officer for England, Dr Jenny Harries, cautioned against comparing the UK’s figures too closely with other countries’.

‘As you go through a sharp rise in numbers, which we will see going forward, you have to be careful to be comparing too precisely,’ she said. ‘We will look back in due course, sadly, and see the true number of people who have died from coronavirus.’

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Source: Daily Mail


PODCAST: Exhortations for Saints and Sinners as They Shelter in Place Due to the Plague with Daniel Whyte III

*AS ALWAYS THERE IS MUCH MORE IN THE PODCAST THAN IN THE NOTES AVAILABLE


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 18:8: “Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.


More Than 167 Million Americans Are Now Under Lockdown After Ohio and Louisiana Ordered All Residents to Stay at Home to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus

Ohio and Louisiana have joined nine other states in ordering residents to stay at home to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced the ‘stay at home’ directives at press conferences in their respective states on Sunday.

The orders affect some 16 million residents across both states and exempt those who work in essential services such as healthcare and the food industry.

‘The bottom line is we are in a race against time when it comes to this coronavirus and it’s rapid spread in Louisiana,’ Edwards said, as the number of cases in his state surpassed 830, including 20 deaths.

The Louisiana order will go into effect at 5pm Monday and continue at least until April 12.

It came two days after New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced a similar order for the state’s largest city.

In Ohio, where 351 cases have been reported and three people have died, the order will go into effect at midnight on Monday and remain at least until April 6.

‘Every piece of evidence that I can lay my hands on indicates that we’re at an absolutely crucial time in this war and what we do now will make all the difference in the world,’ DeWine said.

‘What we do now will slow this invader. It will slow this invader so our health care system … will have time to treat casualties.’

DeWine said that the order does permit a few exceptions – but only for essential tasks.

‘There is really nothing in that order, that we have not already been talking about,’ the governor said.

‘There’s nothing in that order, that I have not been asking you to do for the last week or so.’

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr Amy Acton also spoke at the press conference and said the currently available testing data doesn’t give a full picture of the state’s coronavirus crisis as many cases have likely gone unreported.

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Source: Daily Mail


Rand Paul Becomes First Senator to Test Positive for Coronavirus

In this image from video, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks on the Senate floor at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Sunday that he had tested positive for the disease caused by the new coronavirus, becoming the first member of the Senate to report a case of COVID-19. He said in a tweet that he was feeling fine and was in quarantine.

Paul, an eye surgeon, said he has not had symptoms and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He said he was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person.

Paul, a deficit hawk, was among eight Senate Republicans who voted against a House-passed bill last week that provided more than $100 billion to boost testing for the coronavirus and guarantee paid sick leave for millions of workers. He also was only Republican senator who opposed an earlier bill authorizing $8.3 billion for initial response to the coronavirus.

The senator was on Capitol Hill this past week, including at a luncheon Friday among GOP senators. He spoke on the Senate floor on Wednesday afternoon, addressing the cornonavirus and an amendment he sponsored that would pay for virus relief efforts by withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

A spokesman for Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said Moran briefly saw Paul at the Senate gym Sunday morning and that he shared that information with GOP colleagues at a policy meeting. Moran “followed CDC guidelines and kept a safe distance between him and Sen. Paul,″ spokesman Tom Brandt said. Moran has spoken with the attending physician at the Capitol and has been told he does not need to self-quarantine, Brandt said.

South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the second-ranking Republican senator, said on the Senate floor that lawmakers will consult with the attending physician about all senators who have been in contact with Paul.

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said he was praying for Paul and noted that Paul’s health is compromised. Paul, 57, broke several ribs in 2017 when a neighbor assaulted him over a long-standing landscaping dispute. Paul, who was later awarded $580,000 in damages and medical expenses, had surgery last year to remove part of a lung damaged by the assault.

Two House members, Reps. Mario Diaz Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah,, have tested positive.

The Senate was in session Sunday seeking a bipartisan response to the pandemic. If approved, the bill would be the third measure Congress has approved in response to the coronavirus this month.

The White House has increasingly emphasized that testing should prioritize the elderly and health care workers who have symptoms of the virus. While most cases of COVID-19 are mild and tens of thousands of people have recovered, older people and those with underlying health problems are at higher risk for more serious problems, such as pneumonia.

“We don’t want everyone to go out and get a test because there’s no reason for it,” President Donald Trump told reporters in a briefing Friday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells people to seek testing if they have certain symptoms of the flu-like illness caused by the coronavirus – fever, cough and trouble breathing – and if they have traveled recently to an outbreak area or have been in close contact with someone who is infected. They should first be tested for the flu and other routine infections.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

___

Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source: Associated Press


Gov. Phil Murphy Orders New Jersey Residents to Stay Home, Closes Non-Essential Retail Businesses in State Lockdown to Fight Coronavirus

Gov. Phil Murphy on Saturday announced he’s putting New Jersey into near-lockdown mode to combat the spread of the coronavirus, ordering nearly all of the state’s 9 million residents to stay at home and mandating that non-essential retail businesses be closed until further notice.

The executive order allows other industries, such as manufacturing, trucking, construction, transportation, and health care, to stay open — though it calls for businesses to allow employees to work from home whenever possible.

The order also bans public gatherings in the state and seeks to keep most New Jersey residents off the roads at all times.

The measures will go into effect at 9 p.m. Saturday, Murphy said while announcing that the state now has 1,327 confirmed cases of the virus that has infected hundreds of thousands across the globe. There have now been 16 known deaths from the virus in New Jersey.

The governor said the actions are needed to limit human interaction in an effort to help slow the spread of the virus, which causes the illness COVID-19.

“We can no longer maintain a sense of business as usual during this emergency,” Murphy said during a news briefing at Rutgers-Newark. “Just as it is no time to panic, it is time to be smart, proactive, transparent, aggressive.”

“We need you to just stay home,” he added. “We have to change our behaviors.”

There are exceptions. You can still go outdoors for exercise and travel for necessary things, such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, or reporting to work for a business that is allowed to be open, according to the governor’s order.

When in public, people must practice social distancing by stay at least six feet apart from others, except “immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners,” the order says.

A number of retail businesses are allowed to remain open — including grocery stores, food banks, pharmacies, medical marijuana dispensaries, gas stations, auto mechanics and repair services, convenience stores, banks, hardware and home improvement stores, laundromats, dry cleaners, printing and office supply shops, pet stores, stores that sell supplies for young children, and mail and delivering shops.

Restaurants, bars, and liquor stores can remain open but are limited to offering takeout and delivery.

The governor’s office also said landscaping businesses and hotels are also allowed to stay open.

But Murphy said people can assume most retail is non-essential and thus will be closed. “And we mean it,” he said.

The following essential workers are still permitted to travel: emergency responders, health-care and medical employees; media members; certain federal officials; those who work at places that serve low-income residents, such as food banks; and people who need to get to work for a business that is still open.

Other businesses should put policies in place to allow as many people work from home as possible, the governor said. If that’s not possible, they should keep staffing to a minimum.

The state’s website said manufacturing, industrial, logistics, ports, heavy construction, shipping, food production, food delivery, and other commercial operations may continue operating, but stressed they must keep staff at a minimal level on site to make sure “essential operations can continue.”

Medical facilities also may continue to operate, including any one “where a sick or injured person is given care or treatment, such as: doctor’s offices, hospitals, dentist offices, long-term care facilities, and other medical offices.”

Plus, veterinarians are allowed to keep operating, the governor’s office said.

Children day care centers are permitted to stay open, too. Murphy has said that’s because many emergency and essential workers need a place to watch their kids.

The governor’s office said garbage and recycling collection will continue, as well. As will public transportation, though on modified schedules.

Murphy said he is also banning all public gatherings — which means no weddings, in-person services, or even parties.

”This decision is not an easy one and it pains me that important life moments will not be celebrated in the way we are accustomed to,” the governor said. “And I know this will be disappointing to many residents. But my singular goal — our singular goal, not to mention, frankly, my job — is to make sure we get through this emergency so that you can safely gather with family and friends later and enjoy many more birthdays and weddings in the years to come.”

Murphy said he wants people off the roads for non-essential travel 24 hours a day.

“We don’t want you out there. Period,” he said.

On those who may violate his orders, Murphy said: “If folks are monkeying around, we will take action.”

The governor didn’t provide specifics on what the penalties would be. But officials say any residents or businesses that don’t comply will be prosecuted for a disorderly person’s offense at the local level.

Click here to read more.
Source: New Jersey


Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart Says He Can’t Shake Coronavirus as He Warns Two Trillion Dollar Stimulus Package Could Be Jeopardized if Congress Votes Remotely

NBC News anchor Jose Diaz-Balart (left) interview his younger brother, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (right) about his coronavirus symptoms and the possibility of voting remotely in Congress

Representative Mario Diaz-Balart has told of his struggles to get over coronavirus, and his fears that engaging in a remote vote could jeopardize the planned $2trillion relief package.

The Florida Republican was the first congressman to be diagnosed with coronavirus and said Saturday that even though he is recovering, his symptoms keep coming back.

Diaz-Balart was diagnosed with coronavirus after he developed a ‘splitting headache’ and fever on March 15 – two days after voting in favor of the Families First Coronavirus Act and deciding to self-quarantine.

In an interview on NBC News with his older brother, NBC anchor Jose Diaz-Balart, Congressman Diaz-Balart said that his initial symptoms hit him ‘like a ton of bricks.’

He added that he was on the road to recovery though, but that coronavirus is ‘a tricky bug because just when I thought I was over it or I was pretty close to getting over it, the fever will come back.’

‘But again, not as bad as it was originally, and I think hopefully the worst is passed,’ he added.

When asked if Congress should be able to vote remotely in the coming days, because so many members are over the age of 65 and some have pre-existing conditions, Congress Diaz-Balart said that was an idea that needed to be explored carefully.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


New Orleans DJ Black N Mild Dies After Coronavirus Infection

Oliver Stokes Jr., aka Go DJ Black N Mild, in an image from his Facebook page.
IMAGE FROM FACEBOOK

Popular New Orleans bounce deejay and radio personality Oliver Stokes Jr., better known as Go DJ Black N Mild, was one of two coronavirus-related deaths in Louisiana on Thursday, the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office confirmed. He was 44.

The Coroner’s Office on Friday said Stokes had tested positive for COVID-19 and died the previous day.

Stokes was one of two figures in the New Orleans bounce community with a stage named pronounced “black and mild.” The other is Adam “BlaqNmilD” Pigott, a producer who has worked with Big Freedia and Drake.

In addition to his music career, Stokes had also worked as the “in school suspension coordinator” at Arthur Ashe Charter School in Gentilly since July.

“Our school community is devastated,” said Sabrina Pence, the CEO of FirstLine Schools, the charter organization that operates Arthur Ashe.

Stokes left work on March 9 with a fever, Pence said, and did not return.

“We strongly encouraged anyone that had any type of symptoms — fever, cough, not feeling well in any capacity — to stay home,” Pence said.

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Source: NOLA


Bars, Restaurants and Stores Are Boarded Up as 75 Million Americans Are Told to Stay Home, Three Million Prepare to File for Unemployment and Donald Trump Warns of a Nationwide Two-week Quarantine to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus Plague

The French Quarter of New Orleans – usually bustling with tourists and revelers – has become a ghost town

Three million Americans will file unemployment claims next week, marking the highest level of unemployment ever seen in US history, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to shutters businesses and see workers turfed out of their jobs overnight.

Bars, restaurants, stores and casinos lie boarded up across the US as the nation’s once heaving cities have turned into ghost towns after state-wide mandates have ordered one in five Americans to stay at home.

Fears are ramping up around how many Americans will find themselves on the breadline, struggling to survive and feed their families, as President Trump warned that the pandemic is escalating to a level that he may throw the entire nation into lockdown for two weeks.

In the last 24 hours, California, New York, Connecticut and Illinois issued the most extreme measures to date, ordering 100 percent of their non-essential workforces not to go to work.

New Jersey is expected to issue a similar order Saturday, mandating all citizens to hunker down in their homes for the foreseeable future.

This has left 75 million Americans – one in five of the population – ordered to ‘stay home’ in desperate efforts by state governors to slow the spread of the virus.

This figure is expected to rise further, with Trump reportedly mulling a plan that would call out the National Guard to enforce a two-week quarantine of all Americans.

Trump would require all to ‘stay at home’ in a developing plan which won’t be announced until next week, a source told the Washington Examiner.

This would enforce all businesses, except for those deemed essential like grocery stores and pharmacies, across all 52 states to close – throwing the livelihoods of Americans who have managed to so far stay in work into sudden turmoil.

A staggering three million people are already expected to file first-time claims for unemployment benefits next week, warned Bank of America Merrill Lynch, as the impact of the outbreak on US jobs continues to escalate.

This would mark the biggest rate of unemployment ever seen in US history, more than four times the record high of nearly 700,000 set in the depths of the 1982 recession.

And economists have warned that this is only the start, with a JPMorgan Chase economist warning clients on a conference call Friday to expect the unemployment rate to skyrocket from 3.5 percent today to 20 percent, meaning one in five Americans will soon be out of work.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Army to Deploy to New York After Trump Declares Major Disaster: Troops to Turn Hotels and Sports Arenas Into Hospitals as Lines Form Outside Hospitals, Ventilators Run Low and Almost Two People an Hour Die in Pandemic in NYC

President Trump (pictured Friday) declared New York a major disaster area Friday evening, paving the way for the state to have access to FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund, as well as FEMA personnel and resources

Donald Trump has declared New York State a major disaster area as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases skyrockets and New York City was declared the epicenter of the US outbreak by city Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The US military will now be called in, and the US Army Corps of Engineers have said they plans to take over hotels, sports arenas, college dorms and other buildings in a bid to bolster the number of available hospital rooms.

De Blasio had urged Trump to send in the military and its logistical support to hard-hit New York State, California and Seattle on Wednesday. On Friday de Blasio said: ‘We constitute 30 percent of the cases in the US and 70 per cent of the cases in New York State. Whether we like it or not, we are the epicenter.’

The president’s declaration comes as a hospital in the Bronx revealed it is running low on ventilators and a Queens doctor revealed that an elderly patient experiencing coronavirus symptoms died on the hospital ward floor.

On Friday, patients were seen lining up around the block at test centers in New York City as they tried to get tested for the disease. One video showed hundreds lining up waiting to be tested at Queens’ Elmhurst Hospital.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo had asked for the major disaster declaration, which paves the way for the federal government to pay for up to 75 per cent of the state’s bills for its emergency response to the pandemic.

New York State now has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the nation, with 8,515 diagnoses and 56 deaths, as the number of confirmed cases shot up by more than 2,000 between Thursday and Friday. The sudden leap in cases has been attributed to more people now being tested for the disease.

De Blasio said during a press conference Friday that there are 5,151 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the nation’s largest city – more than a fourth of the nation’s total cases. The number later rose to 5,683.

In New York City between the hours of 10am and 6pm on Friday, 14 people died from coronavirus, meaning almost two people an hour died, as the total number of deaths in NYC reached 43 people.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Staffer in Mike Pence’s Office Tests Positive for Coronavirus – but Officials Insist the Vice President Did Not Have Close Contact With Them

US Vice President Mike Pence and US President Donald Trump talk during a COVID-19 pandemic briefing at the White House in Washington, DC on March 16, 2020

A staffer in the office of US Vice President Mike Pence, the pointman for Washington’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, has tested positive for the illness, a spokeswoman said Friday.

‘Neither President Trump nor Vice President Pence had close contact with the individual. Further contact tracing is being conducted,’ Pence’s press secretary Katie Miller said.

Pence has appeared at Trump’s side at the daily White House press conferences to announce developments in the US fight against the outbreak.

It was the latest case of COVID-19 to brush the inner circle of US leadership.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


National Guard Deploys 3,300 Soldiers Across 28 States and US Army Corps of Engineers Plans to Convert Thousands of Hotel and Dorm Rooms to Hospital Beds as Military Expands Their Role in Coronavirus Outbreak

Medics with the Louisiana Army and Air National Guard conduct training with the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure proper protection and administering of drive thru testing in New Orleans on Wednesday

With tens of millions of Americans on lockdown and more expected, the United States military is likely to take on a greater role in helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the coming days and weeks.

The US Army Corps of Engineers is looking at converting more than 10,000 rooms in New York, potentially in hotels and college dorms, into medical care units to help address the fast-spreading coronavirus, the commanding general of the Army Corps said on Friday.

President Trump on Friday declared New York State a major disaster area as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases skyrockets and New York City was declared the epicenter of the US outbreak by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The pandemic has upended life in much of the United States, shuttering schools and businesses, prompting millions to work from home, forcing many out of jobs and sharply curtailing travel.

Lieutenant General Todd Semonite told reporters at the Pentagon that the Army Corps was looking at converting the rooms and other large spaces into intensive care unit-type facilities and it would need to happen within weeks, not months.

‘We’re talking about over 10,000 that we are looking at right now,’ Semonite said, adding that a decision would be made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Earlier this week, the White House said it was in talks with the Pentagon about how the military can be deployed to deal with the coronavirus, including setting up field hospitals in states with a surge in cases.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for the Army Corps to increase hospital capacity.

The Army Corps of Engineers is made up of 37,000 soldiers and civilians providing engineering services in more than 130 countries, its website says.

The head of the US National Guard said on Thursday that he expected that tens of thousands National Guard troops could eventually be involved in efforts to help deal with the fast-moving coronavirus in the United States, but he did not see a need to federalize them.

‘It’s hard to tell what the exact requirement will be, but I’m expecting tens of thousands to be used inside the states as this grows,’ General Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau said during a Pentagon press briefing.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Coronavirus Cases in China Decline as Number of Deaths in Italy Surge

A security officer wears a hazardous materials suit at a subway station in Beijing, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Yanan Wang)

The death toll in Italy surged past China’s death toll on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, in the U.S. the Army started making plans to set up mobile military hospitals to be placed in major cities. Other medical centers in the U.S. are setting up drive-thru testing sites.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the United Nations in New York that the world is “at war with a virus” and that “a global recession, perhaps of record dimensions, is a near certainty.”

“If we let the virus spread like wildfire — especially in the most vulnerable regions of the world – it would kill millions of people,” he said.

In Italy, which has a population of 60 million, there have been more than 3,400 deaths, about 150 more than in China, which boasts a population over 20 times larger.

However, Wuhan, the Chinese city where coronavirus first emerged, has since recorded no new infections.

Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Headlines


Legal Group Says Government Closure of Churches During Coronavirus is Legal if Temporary

Government restrictions on churches during the COVID-19 pandemic are almost certainly legal provided they are temporary and don’t target congregations, according to a new memo by a leading defender of religious liberty.

First Liberty Institute issued its guidance this week on “Churches and Religious Institutions Facing Coronavirus Restrictions on Gathering,” asserting that churches should continue to serve their local communities but do so while following government guidelines.

“Church and state have an opportunity to work together to reduce the impact of the virus on our communities while encouraging calm and preserving liberty,” the memo says.

Restrictions on churches are likely constitutional as long as they are “temporary” and “evenly applied” to other large gatherings, the memo says.

“Government may not substantially burden the free exercise of religion unless it has a compelling reason for doing so, and even then, it must use the least burdensome approach that achieves that compelling interest,” it says. “Temporary action to reduce the spread of a global pandemic is almost certainly a compelling reason, so long as the government is not treating religious institutions unfairly compared with how it treats other comparable gatherings.

“For instance,” the memo says, “if state officials require churches to ensure that each service has no more than 250 persons, but officials do not require a nearby theater to do likewise, the state may have engaged in religious discrimination.”

Any “extraordinary state action” to “limit the peaceful gathering of American citizens must be temporary,” the memo says.

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Source: Christian Headlines


WATCH: Actor Jon Voight Prays for God to End the Coronavirus Pandemic

Actor Jon Voight prayed in a YouTube video this week, asking God to eliminate the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to CBN News, Voight posted the video to YouTube. Voight, 81, is a vocal Christian and supporter of President Donald Trump.

“This nation is under God, with liberty,” Voight says in the video. “Joshua has lifted his ark and will show his kingdom that this virus will not wipe out his men. He will battle to the end and he will show Jesus the prayer.

“Oh mighty, oh Lord. Bring us to our feet to love you more,” he says. “Oh Lord, oh our Savior, teach us more, but lift this veil over our heads and wipe away this curse that has taken us down with fear. Oh Lord, give us peace on our holy land, give us peace for our children and elders. Oh Lord, give us light to shine on our souls so we may be strong to fight. Oh Lord, we are all one with You.

Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Headlines

Catholic Church Forgives Sins of Those Stricken by Coronavirus Plague

Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Vatican City (AFP) – The Catholic Church on Friday granted forgiveness — under certain conditions — for the sins of the faithful struck by the novel coronavirus.

A decree published by the Vatican also covers healthcare workers and those who pray for their wellbeing. Relatives who care for their sick family members may also be forgiven.

The conditions include the sick saying a certain number of prayers or following important celebrations from a distance.

Those who pray for the caregivers’ wellbeing must also read the Bible “for at least half an hour”.

The decree was issued one day after Italy overtook China for the most number of deaths from the new illness.

The pandemic has killed more than 3,400 people in the Mediterranean country.

Vatican City itself has confirmed one infection.

Pope Francis was reported to have been tested for the virus as a precaution after coming down with a cold last month.

The Vatican has never confirmed or denied the report but has stressed repeatedly that the 83-year-old pontiff does not have COVID-19.

Source: Yahoo


Italy’s Coronavirus Plague Kills Priests Who Bless the Dying; Could This Be Divine Retribution for the Raping of Children and Homosexuality Among Priests and the Abortions of Thousands of Babies That Priests Have Fathered With Nuns and the Masked Demonic Cover-up

The diocese of Bergamo northeast of Milan appears to have been ravaged the most by the stealth killer (AFP Photo/Piero Cruciatti)

They come to bless those suffering the most from the novel coronavirus. And then, more and more often, Italy’s priests die themselves.

The diocese of Bergamo northeast of Milan appears to have been ravaged the most by the stealth killer.

At least 10 of its priests have died of COVID-19, the Catholic daily Avvenire reported Thursday.

The deaths, whether of priests or members of their communities, are “so numerous that it is difficult to count”, the paper wrote.

Five more fatalities were registered in the city of Parma. Still more virus-related deaths emerged among priests in Brescia, Cremona and the northern industrial hub of Milan itself.

All these parishes are clustered in Italy’s north, the virus’s target from the day the Catholic country’s first death was reported four weeks ago.

More than 3,400 Italians have died from the virus since then.

Italy has taken over the grim title of being the global epicentre of the pandemic from China, where COVID-19 was first reported in late December.

– Dying more than doctors –

Like doctors, Italy’s priests come in contact with the disease’s most serious cases.

And like doctors, priests are known to congregate among themselves in close quarters, creating the perfect conditions for contagion.

A count by Italy’s ANSA news agency on Thursday put the number of medics killed by the disease at 13.

Figures reported by Italian media suggest the death toll among priests is higher. At least 18 priests have been reported killed.

“Dressed in a mask, a cap, gloves, a robe and protective glasses, we priests walk around the halls like zombies,” Father Claudio del Monte told Italy’s Adnkronos news agency.

Del Monte has a parish in Bergamo, a walled, hillside city of 120,000, with square towers and slanted terracotta roofs familiar to tourists of many scenic Italian towns.

Its province is now Italy’s worst-affected. With 4,634 infections as of Friday, it had piled up 11 percent of all of Italy’s cases.

Its population accounts for just 0.2 percent of Italy’s total.

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Source: Yahoo


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Orders All Non-Essential Workers to Work at Home Effective Sunday Evening

FILE – In this Feb. 14, 2019, file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks before signing a bill in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday ordered nonessential businesses to keep 100% of their workforce at home, and he put in place stringent new restrictions on New Yorkers starting Sunday as the state grapples with the worst coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

“When I talk about the most drastic action we can take, this is the most drastic action we can take,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Albany. Cases across the state surged by 2,950 overnight to 7,102, he said. “This is not life as usual. Accept it. Realize it and deal with it.”

Cuomo acknowledged that the restrictions will force businesses to close and people to lose their jobs, adding that he’s suspending evictions across the state for 90 days.

“We’re all in quarantine now. We’re all in various levels of quarantine and it’s hard,” he said.

Food delivery qualifies as an essential service, he said.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has been pushing Cuomo to issue a shelter-in-place order for New York City, where cases skyrocketed by more than 1,000 in a matter of hours on Thursday. More than half of the state’s cases are concentrated within the five boroughs.

Cuomo didn’t call the new restrictions a “shelter-in-place” order, although many of them mirror what’s in place elsewhere in the country where officials have put such an order in place.

“It is not a shelter-in-place order,” Cuomo said, adding that he doesn’t want to scare residents. “Shelter in place is used currently for an active shooter or a school shooter.”

When in public, individuals must practice social distancing of at least 6 feet, he said. Businesses that provide essential services, like grocery stores, pharmacies and banks, must implement rules that ensure employees and customers maintain at least 6 feet of space between each other, according to a slide presented at the press conference. Individuals should also limit use of public transit only if it’s absolutely necessary. Individuals will also need to limit outdoor activities, avoiding ones where they come into close contact with other people.


Trump, White House Coronavirus Task Force Hold News Conference

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

11:31 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. I think this is going to be a very important conference and I’ll get to that toward the middle, but I have a few things to report. And I want to thank you all for being here.

And I have to say, I think with social distancing that the media has been much nicer. I don’t know what it is — all these empty — these in-between chairs. We probably shouldn’t have anybody sitting behind you either. You know, you should probably go back. But I love it. It’s so much nicer. But I shouldn’t say that because you’ll get me now.

Thank you all for being here. And we continue our relentless effort to defeat the Chinese virus. Before I begin, I want to start by announcing that today we are bringing home another American citizen. It was a big thing. Very big. Amer Fakhoury is on his way back to the United States after being imprisoned in Lebanon since September of 2019. He’s battling late-stage cancer. Mr. Fakhoury will now be able to receive the much-needed care and treatment in the United States. We’ve been working very hard to get him freed and he’s finally able to have his entire family at his side.

So I’m very grateful to the Lebanese government. They worked with us. And we are very proud of his family. They stood by him so strongly, and they are thrilled.

The United States has no higher priority than the safety and wellbeing of our citizens. We’ve gotten a tremendous number of hostages out, as you know. I think we’re 42-and-0. And Robert O’Brien, as you know, was our chief negotiator for a large part of it. In fact, did so well that now we have him in a different position.

So I want to thank and congratulate Robert and his team and I want to let everyone know that recovering Americans held captive and imprisoned abroad continues to be a top priority for my administration.

We have one young gentleman, Austin Tice, and we’re working very hard with Syria to get him out. We hope the Syrian government will do that. We are counting on them to do that. We’ve written a letter just recently, but he’s been there for a long time and was captured long ago. Austin Tice. His mother is probably watching and she’s a great lady. And we’re doing the best we can. So, Syria, please work with us. And we would appreciate you letting him out.

If you think about what we’ve done, we’ve gotten rid of the ISIS caliphate in Syria. We’ve done a lot for Syria. We have to see if they’re going to do this. So, it would be very much appreciated if they would let Austin Tice out immediately.

As you know, my administration is working every day to protect American people and the American economy from the virus. Yesterday, I signed into law a critical support for American workers, families, and small businesses. It was a big thing. We’re providing sick leave and family medical leave to those affected by the virus and more help is on the way as we speak.

Our entire team, headed by Secretary Mnuchin, is on the Hill. We’re working with Democrats and Republicans and there’s a lot of goodwill going on. This was something that happened that was, some people would say, an act of God. I don’t view it as an act of God; I would view it as is something that just surprised the whole world. And if people would have known about it, it could have stopped — been stopped in place. It could have been stopped right where it came from — China — if we would have known about it, if they would have known about it.

But now the whole world, almost, is inflicted with this horrible — with this horrible virus and it’s too bad. It’s too bad because we never had an economy as good as the economy we had just a few weeks ago.

But we’ll be back and I actually think we’ll be back stronger than ever before because we learned a lot during this period of time.

I also just invoked the Defense Production Act to help facilitate distribution of essential supplies if necessary. We’re working with Congress to provide major additional relief to the workers, small businesses, and the hardest-hit industries. We want to make sure that everybody is able to continue on so that when we recover, all of these companies and these great businesses — both very, very small and very, very large — are not going to be broken up and you’d have to put them back together. That would take a long time.

Because we really believe in — I believe in the V curve. I believe it’s going to go. When this is — when this is defeated — this hidden scourge is defeated — I think we’re going to go up very rapidly — our economy — and get back to where it was and beyond.

Today, I want to share with you exciting progress that the FDA is making with the private sector as we slash red tape like nobody has ever done it before. Somebody was on yesterday, on one of the networks, and said that there’s never been a President even close that’s been able to do what I’ve done in slashing all of the red tape and everything to get very important things to the market — medical.

So we slashed red tape to develop vaccines and therapies as fast as it can possibly be done — long before anybody else was even thinking about doing this. And, as you know, earlier this week, we began the first clinical trial of a vaccine candidate for the virus, and that was launched in record time. It was just a few weeks. And that would have taken years to do, not so long ago.

As we race to develop a vaccine, we’re also pursuing antiviral therapies. And that’s what, really, we’re going to be talking to you about today. That’s the purpose of being up here today. And, to me, that’s even more important. The vaccine, by its nature, you have to have long tests because you have to make sure what goes into somebody’s body is not going to do destruction, do bad things. So you need long tests.

And they’re doing great with the vaccines, but it’s still a long process. But the therapies are something we can move on much faster, potentially, and the treatments that will be able to reduce the severity or duration of the symptoms — to make people better. Essentially, we’re looking at things to make people better or, at the very earliest stages, they wouldn’t even know they had it. And that’s where I believe it’s going to work even the best.

The FDA Commissioner — Stephen Hahn, who is with us — he’s fantastic. And he has been working 24 hours a day. He’s been — he’s worked like, probably as hard or harder than anybody in this — in the group, other than maybe Mike Pence or me. And what the FDA is doing is incredible. They’ve done things in times that were not even thinkable and I’ve directed the FDA to eliminate outdated rules and bureaucracy so this work can proceed rapidly, quickly, and, I mean, fast.

And we have to remove every barrier. There are a lot of barriers that were unnecessary. And they’ve done that to get the rapid deployment of safe, effective treatments. And we think we have some good answers. We’ll find out very, very soon.

Clinical trials are already underway for many new therapies and we’re working on scaling these to allow many more Americans to access different drugs that have shown really good promise. We’ve had some un- — really good promise. We will do so in a way that lets us continue to collect good data, to know which medicines are safe and which medicines are working the best. We have a couple that we’re — we’re in really good shape on. And that’s for immediate delivery — immediate — like as fast as we can get it.

The FDA has also approved compassionate use for a significant number of patients. You know what that means. We’re also reviewing drugs that are approved abroad or drugs approved here for other uses.

And, you know, one of the things that I’m most proud of that I got was Right to Try. That’s where somebody who’s ill, somebody who’s very sick — terminally ill, usually. In past administrations — we signed this a year and a half ago — you wouldn’t be able to even think about getting any of the drugs that may be showing great promise. Now — and they’ve been trying for many decades to get this approved and it sounds simple, but it’s not because there’s liability involved and lots of other things. And I was able to get it approved, working with Congress. Right to Try.

This is beyond Right to Try. What we’re talking about today is beyond Right to Try. Right to Try has been, by the way, a tremendous success. People are living now that had no chance of living, where we take treatments that would — things that — that would have to go through years of a process. And if somebody was terminally ill — and I would say, “Why wouldn’t they be able to try this?” They’d go to Asia, they’d go to Europe, they’d go all over the world to try and find something. Or some people, if they had no money, would go home to die. They’d go home to die; they had no hope.

Right to Try has been an incredible success. But this is beyond Right to Try. If treatments known to be safe in Europe, Japan, or other nations are effective against the virus, we’ll use that information to protect the health and safety of American people. Nothing will stand in our way as we pursue any avenue to find what best works against this horrible virus.

Now, a drug called chloroquine — and some people would add to it “hydroxy-.” Hydroxychloroquine. So chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine. Now, this is a common malaria drug. It is also a drug used for strong arthritis. If somebody has pretty serious arthritis, also uses this in a somewhat different form. But it is known as a malaria drug, and it’s been around for a long time and it’s very powerful. But the nice part is, it’s been around for a long time, so we know that if it — if things don’t go as planned, it’s not going to kill anybody.

When you go with a brand-new drug, you don’t know that that’s going to happen. You have to see and you have to go — long test. But this has been used in different forms — very powerful drug — in different forms. And it’s shown very encouraging — very, very encouraging early results. And we’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately. And that’s where the FDA has been so great. They — they’ve gone through the approval process; it’s been approved. And they did it — they took it down from many, many months to immediate. So we’re going to be able to make that drug available by prescription or states.

I spoke with Governor Cuomo about it at great length last night, and he wants to be right on — on the — he wants to be first on line. And so I think that’s a tremendous — there’s tremendous promise, based on the results and other tests. There’s tremendous promise. And normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that, and it’s — it was approved very, very quickly and it’s now approved, by prescription. Individual states will handle it. They can handle it. Doctors will handle it. And I think it’s going to be — I think it’s going to be great.

Then we’re quickly studying this drug, and while we’re continuing to study it — but the studying is going to be also done in — as it’s given out to large groups of people, perhaps in New York and other places. We’ll study it there.

There are promising therapies produced by Gilead, and that’s remdesivir. Remdesivir. And that’s a drug used for other purposes that’s been out and has had very good results for other purposes, but it seems to have a very good result, having to do with this virus. And that drug also has been approved or very close to approved, in that case, by the FDA.

And I can’t tell you how much we appreciate what the FDA — these people are incredible patriots. And the job that Stephen Hahn is doing — Dr. Hahn, who is one of the most respected doctors in the country, by the way, where we took him. I said, “You sure you want to do this?” Now, we didn’t know that this was going to be in the playlist, what happened here, but he really has stepped up to the plate, wherever you are. Where is he? You really have.

DR. HAHN: Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: I’d shake his hand, but I’m not supposed to do that. I’d get in a lot of trouble if I did that. But he’s been fantastic. And I thank you, Doctor. He’s going to speak right after I’m finished.

So, Regeneron, again, and — is some — is a company that’s done fantastically well, as I understand, with Ebola and some other things. Great company. And they’re looking at some very promising events also. So you have remdesivir and you have chloroquine and hydro- — hydroxychloroquine. So those are two that are out now, essentially approved for prescribed use.

And I think it’s going to be very exciting. I think it could be a game changer and maybe not. And maybe not. But I think it could be, based on what I see, it could be a game changer. Very powerful. They’re very powerful.

So I want every American to know that we’re doing everything we can. And these actions are important next steps. I mean, for the FDA to act the way they acted, with this kind of speed, is an incredible thing. Normally, they would say, “Well, we could have it by next year” or “We could have it by — in two years from now.” You understand. This is the way — normally, it’s like years and years and years. They had it immediately, based on the fact that it’s been used for other things — totally unrelated things.

We believe these therapeutics and others under evaluation right now will be able to provide relief to many Americans. We really hope that’s going to be. This could be a tremendous breakthrough. Tremendous breakthrough. And we will work toward a much-needed vaccine in the future, as I said. And what we’re doing with the FDA is so exciting in so many other fields. So many things are happening. It’s a very exciting time for — for medicine.

And we appreciate that the American public has pulled together. They’re really staying home. And I think there’s tremendous spirit in this country right now, a spirit like a lot of people have not seen. People have not seen anything like it for a long time. And that means Democrat, Republican. They’re pulling together. I hope everything is going good on the Hill. Maybe I shouldn’t say this until I check out what’s going on, because you never know. But — but I think there’s a great spirit where the Democrats and the Republicans and everybody else, they’re getting together and they’re trying to get things done.

But most importantly, the American public has been incredible. We took the best economy we’ve ever had and we said “Stop. You can’t work. You have to stay home.” You know, there’s never been a case like this. Normally, you pay a lot of money to get things going. Here’s a case we’re paying a lot of money to stop things because we don’t want people to be together so that this virus doesn’t continue onward. So there’s never been anything like this in history. There’s never been a –nobody has ever seen anything like this.

But we’re doing the right thing. We have to get rid — I mean, our big war is not a — it’s not a financial war. It’s a war — it’s a medical war. And we have to win this war. It’s very important.

With that, I’d like to just introduce Dr. Stephen Hahn. And he — again, I’d like to send back with Stephen our thanks to all of the people working in the FDA who are fantastic, talented people. We appreciate it very much, everything you’ve done, especially the speed that you got these two elements, these two very important drugs passed. Thank you very much. Thank you, Stephen.

DR. HAHN: Thank you, Mr. President. I want to thank you for your leadership during this coronavirus outbreak, and thank you for the kind words about the FDA staff.

We have 10,000 scientists, doctors, and others, and more than that working around the clock to aid the American people in this fight against the coronavirus. And those words are very much appreciated, sir. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

DR. HAHN: So, before the President nominated me and I was confirmed as Commissioner for Food and Drugs, I was a cancer doctor. And I’ve sat across from countless number of patients and had to talk to them about their diagnosis and their treatment. And one thing that was really important is to provide hope. I have great hope for how we’re going to come out of this situation.

What’s also important is not to provide false hope, but to provide hope. And, as a doctor, that’s the way I come to this. I’m speaking now to the American people as Commissioner of Food and Drugs, but that part of me has not left. Just look at the way the American people have responded to our calls for mitigation, for social distancing. The American people have great resiliency, and I’m so incredibly proud of how the American people have responded.

As the President mentioned, he asked us to be aggressive, to break down barriers to innovation, and to accelerate the development of lifesaving treatments. And we’re doing that at the FDA.

The FDA is committed to continuing to provide regulatory flexibility and guidance, but let me make one thing clear: FDA’s responsibility to the American people is to ensure that products are safe and effective and that we are continuing to do that.

Our folks — and they’re tremendous professionals — are working day and night to do this. You just can’t even imagine how much they’re working to provide this support for the American people and I thank them.

Since early January, long before the first domestic case, FDA began working in collaboration with CDC. I also want to note that we stood up an incident command group and had been focused on the coronavirus since the very beginning of this public health emergency. This is, in addition, an all-of-government and all-of-America approach and I’ll describe what I mean by that, in terms of the development of therapeutics.

An important part of that work is expanding the potential therapeutic options associated with coronavirus, and we’ve learned from our colleagues across the globe about this. But I want to focus on one thing: I was a cancer researcher before all this, and one thing I know about this great country of ours is that we have unbelievable innovators. We have people who, every day, it’s their job to develop treatments for all sorts of diseases. We are incredibly blessed, as a country, to have this.

And as is true in any illness, these great American innovators — academia, private sector — they have engaged us about the best possible treatment options. We are looking at everything that’s coming across our desks as possible treatment options for coronavirus, and we’re extremely encouraged by the interest and the promise that we’ve seen from these great American innovators.

Now, again, we need to look at it. We need the data, we need the information to make the absolute best decisions for the American people. But I want to assure you, we have over 17,000 people at FDA who are doing this every day.

We need — we need to make sure that these — this sea of new treatments will get the right drug to the right patient at the right dosage at the right time. As an example, we may have the right drug, but it may not be in the appropriate dosage form right now, and that may do more harm than good. Those are the things that that’s our job to look at. And that’s why it’s really important we have these dedicated professionals looking at these aspects of therapeutic development.

At the same time, we’re also working through different mechanisms to actually get drugs into the hands of providers and patients.

The President mentioned this, but one of the mechanisms is called compassionate use. Let me just tell you about this. If there’s an experimental drug that’s potentially available, a doctor could ask for that drug to be used in a patient. We have criteria for that and very speedy approval for that. The important thing about compassionate use — and that’s what the President meant, “This is even beyond Right to Try” — is that we get to collect the information about that. Because one of the things that I’ll promise the American people is we will collect the data and then make the absolute right decisions based upon those data about the safety and efficacy of the treatments.

We are working expeditiously, and we are working to make sure that these products are as safe and effective as they possibly can be. Let me tell you about a few things that we’re currently working on. And this is a plan that was developed with many of the people at this table, our infectious disease experts on the task force.

In the short term, we’re looking at drugs that are already approved for other indications. So they’re already approved, as the President said, for other diseases. As an example, many Americans have read studies and heard media reports about this drug, chloroquine, which is an anti-malarial drug. It’s already approved, as the President said, for the treatment of malaria, as well as an arthritis condition. That’s a drug that the President has directed us to take a closer look at, as to whether an expanded-use approach to that could be done to actually see if that benefits patients. And again, we want to do that in the setting of a clinical trial — a large, pragmatic clinical trial — to actually gather that information and answer the question that needs to be answered and — asked and answered.

Let me give you another example: There’s a cross-agency effort about something called convalescent plasma. This is a pretty exciting area. And again, this is something that we have given assistance to other countries with as this crisis has developed. So FDA has been working for some time on this. If you’ve been exposed to coronavirus and you’re better and you don’t have the virus in your blood, we could collect the blood. Now, this is a possible treatment; this is not a proven treatment — just want to emphasize that. Collect the blood, concentrate that, and have the ability, once it’s pathogen-free — that is, virus-free — to be able to give that to other patients. And the immunoglobulins — the immune response — could potentially provide a benefit to patients.

It’s another thing that we’re looking at. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll have more information on that. We’re really pushing hard to try to accelerate that. That’s in the sort of more medium- and short-term. And that’ll be a bridge to other therapies that will take us three to six months to develop.

And this is a continuous process. There is no beginning and end to each of this. This is — you know, we’re pushing this through.

The other great thing about the great innovators of America is some of them tell us it’s taken us years — years — to develop therapies. They’re looking at pushing that to the months period of time. And we’re trying to provide them the reg- — the regulatory flexibility, but, at same time, the scientific oversight to make sure that gets done in the best way possible for the American people.

The President mentioned that there is a vaccine trial currently being performed. It’s a phase-one trial, so it’s the earliest study that gets done. We expect that to take 12 months to get to completion — to actually a time where we could approve a vaccine. But that’s — these are all things to bridge to the prevention part of this with a vaccine. It’s exciting work. And the President is right: This is record time for the development of a vaccine and impressive public-private partnership.

The FDA’s efforts to facilitate the development of these products are focused on ensuring timely access, while also meeting the agency’s world-respected gold standard, relying on strong data from clinical trials to determine if an experimental or an off-the-shelf drug that’s used for something else can safely and effectively treat patients. We want to assure the American people that FDA is all hands on deck, as the President mentioned — these efforts — and continue to work with interested sponsors to help expedite the work. We remain steadfast in helping to foster the development of safe and effective therapies for COVID-19. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Doctor. Thank you very much.

Mike? Talk about the masks, maybe.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. President. The White House Coronavirus Task Force met this morning. And on this very first day of spring, we continue to make steady progress toward President Trump’s objective not only to marshal all the resources of the federal government, every state government, every local health official, but also to harness the power of the American private sector. And activities over the last day reflect all of those priorities.

Yesterday, the President spoke with America’s top physicians and nurses and garnered helpful insights about how we can best serve those who are serving Americans that are dealing with the coronavirus. We also had a productive call with over 5,000 state and local officials, explaining the federal government’s approach and our strong and seamless partnership with all 50 states and the territories.

Last night, as you heard, the President signed the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides free coronavirus testing, paid sick leave, family leave for caregivers, and food assistance for the needy, among a broad range of benefits. And today, as the President indicated, we expect that the Senate will begin work on an economic relief package.

Later today, the President and I will meet again in a teleconference with the nation’s governors. We will meet at the National Response Coordination Center at FEMA and outline President Trump’s decision to have FEMA take the lead in our national coronavirus response. Our nation’s response, through FEMA, will be locally executed, state managed, and federally supported.

On testing, we want the American people to know once again that testing is available in all 50 states and is becoming increasingly available literally every hour of the day. Because of the public-private partnership that the President initiated several weeks ago with major commercial labs, I’m pleased to receive a report today that tens of thousands of tests are being performed every day. And with the passage of last night’s legislations, state and private labs are now required by law to report all coronavirus testing directly to the CDC, which will give the American public and also give our researchers timely and important information.

It’s important for every American to remember that if you don’t have symptoms, you don’t need to get a test. We want to make sure that testing is available for people that are experiencing symptoms or have a genuine concern about having been exposed to someone with the coronavirus.

Dr. Birx will address county-level data, as well as the progress we’ve made on testing. And Americans can expect to see how an increased number of cases, as our new testing system comes online, should not be a cause of concern. She’ll explain the importance of taking into account our new testing system as new data arrives over the next several days.

On supplies, a priority the President has given to our task force: We continue to work with healthcare providers, businesses, and state leadership to identify available supplies — not merely in the federal stockpile, but much more importantly, available across the private sector.

We’re encouraged to see companies like Honeywell and 3M, that I visited a few short weeks ago, take advantage of the changes in the law last night that allow the sale of industrial masks directly to hospitals. Those companies have now greatly increased, by the tens of millions, their production of so-called N-95 masks that will give our healthcare workers the protection that they need to minister to those that are dealing with the symptoms or the disease of coronavirus.

Following the signing of last night’s bill, all of those masks now have liability protection and the companies can sell industrial masks to hospitals. It is encouraging, as we called out yesterday, to see construction companies all across America that are, as we speak, checking their supplies and donating those industrial masks to their local hospitals.

And I know I speak on behalf of the President, who spent a lot of time as a builder, when we thank builders across America for partnering with our local healthcare officials.

On the subject of ventilators: We’re working with healthcare providers around America and suppliers. And I’m — we’re encouraged to learn that we’ve literally identified tens of thousands of ventilators that being — can be converted to treat patients. And we remain increasingly confident that we will have the ventilators that we need as the coronavirus makes its way across America.

And as we said before, this — we’re all in this together. And before I step away and give the podium back to the President and to Dr. Birx, I want to call every American’s attention again to the President’s “15 Days to Slow the Spread.” We continue to hear one case after another, one city after another, where people are putting into practice the principles that the President outlined this Monday.

And make no mistake about it that while for the American people, as a whole, the risk of serious illness remains low, these guidelines should be practiced by every American in every community not only to lessen the spread of the coronavirus, but to protect the most vulnerable among us. And I think Americans with their — with — from their hearts are not only practicing these principles of social distancing and avoiding social gatherings of more than 10 people, using drive-throughs at restaurants to protect their own health and the health of their family, but they’re also recognizing that no American wants to inadvertently convey the coronavirus to someone for whom the consequences could be quite serious.

At the President’s direction, we’ll continue to marshal all the resources of government at every level. We’ll be reiterating that strong partnership with America’s states this afternoon; with America’s governors, pulling all of the private-sector energy together — the innovation that you just heard described.

I know, on this first day of spring, that we’ll get through this and we’ll get through this together. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mike. Thank you very much.

Doctor, please.

DR. BIRX: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. So I know you’re watching the data carefully. You can see the dramatic increases in the number of new cases, based on our ability to test additional people. And this will continue over the next two to three days as we begin to have backlogs reduced of the testing. You all have heard the anecdotes of people waiting five or six days for their test results. We are moving through all of that as well as testing individuals.

I really want to applaud the frontline healthcare workers — the nurses and the doctors and the testers — that have really prioritized — and the American people — who have prioritized those with symptoms.

The number of test positives is increasing. That is a dramatically important signature that everybody is doing their job. Those with mild symptoms are staying home, self-isolating; those with serious symptoms are coming forward to getting testing. Our test positive rates are now in the 10 to 11 percent range. That still means that 90 percent of the illnesses out there, even the severe ones, are not COVID-19.

I know many of you are looking at the state-level data. Still, over 50 percent of the cases come from three states. This is why we continue to prioritize testing in those states. In addition, 50 percent of the cases come from 10 counties. We are a very large country with very many counties. And I just want to applaud the local and state governments that are implementing their emergency operation centers and plans to ensure.

I want to also really thank the healthcare workers that have been asked to reduce all elective surgeries, medical and dental visits. This will dramatically increase the number of ventilators that are available in hospitals, but also in ambulatory surgical centers that can be converted and utilized.

And also, the — to the construction industry: We are deeply grateful, the number — as the Vice President said, the number of individuals have come forward with their construction masks, their booties, their tieback suits, and their masks to contribute them to the healthcare sector.

The President’s request to make this available in that legislation changes the ability and increases our availability immediately by the 75 to 90 percent range because of the amount of construction use of those elements. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Doctor, very much.

Jerome? Please.

SURGEON GENERAL ADAMS: Oh, thank you. Thank you, Mr. President, Mr. Vice President. Today, you heard a wonderful announcement from the FDA, and I just want to give a shout-out to Steve — Dr. Hahn — and the folks at the FDA, where about — where several hundred of my Commissioned Corps officers work. You’re right, Mr President, they are tireless. They’re doing things that have never been done before to bring the most — most prudent advances to the American people.

But I want to talk about something different, briefly. We know many of you are home practicing the President’s guidelines for social distancing. But one thing we should all consider, especially our millennials and Gen Z, is donating blood. As an anesthesiologist who still practices at Walter Reed, taking care of our wounded warriors and our soldiers, I know donated blood is an essential part of caring for patients, and one donation can save up to three lives. Blood centers are open now and in need of your donation. I want America to know that blood donation is safe, and blood centers are taking extra precautions at this time, based on new CDC recommendations, including spacing beds six feet apart, disinfecting surfaces between patients, temperature checking staff, and encouraging donors to make appointments ahead of time so we can space them out.

Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement. So give blood today. You’ll feel good about it and you’ll be helping your country and your community during this crisis. And you might even save a life.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Jerome. Thank you.

Q Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, please. Go ahead, Jon.

Q Mr. President, switching to the efforts to boost the economy with the measures before Congress: Will you guarantee that the money — the billions — the tens of billions of dollars — hundreds of billions of dollars, even — that’s going to go to these industries will not go to executive bonuses or to more stock buybacks?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we don’t want that. In fact, some companies, as you know, did stock buybacks, and I was never happy with that. It’s very hard to tell them not to, but I would tell them not to. I would say I don’t like it for that reason. Some did, and it turned out that they could have waited a long time. It would have been much better off if they didn’t.

Q You can make it a condition of the bill. You can say, “And none of this money can go…”

THE PRESIDENT: I’m mind making — I mean, you know, it takes many, many people, in this case, to tango. But as far as I’m concerned, that — conditions like that would be okay with me.

John?

Q Mr. President, if I could, a question for you and then a question for Dr. Hahn. You “enabled” — I guess, is probably the best way to put it — the Defense Production Act yesterday, but you didn’t pull the trigger on it.

THE PRESIDENT: No, because we hope we’re not going to need that.

Q You’re getting a lot of calls on Capitol Hill from the Democratic leadership to pull the trigger on it. Why — why — what’s the rationale for not doing that?

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work, and they are doing a lot of this work. The federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items and then shipping. You know, we’re not a shipping clerk. The governors are supposed to be — as with testing, the governors are supposed — are supposed to be doing it.

We’ll help out, and we’ll help out wherever we can. And we can buy in volume and, in some cases, great volume — with the masks, as an example, which were really a problem. We have helped out, and there are right now millions of masks being made. But this is really for the local governments, governors, and people within the state, depending on the way they divided it up. And they’ll do that, and they’re doing a very good job of it.

Where you have a problem with ventilators, we’re working very hard trying to find — nobody in their wildest dreams would have ever thought that we’d need tens of thousands of ventilators. This is something that’s very unique to this, to what happened.

Q Under what conditions would you put the Defense Production Act into action?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if we were desperately in need of something — and we, frankly, will know about that very shortly. We want to be ahead of — we don’t want to do it as it happens but before it happens. We’re going to know a lot over the next two or three days. We’ll know a lot.

Q And for Dr. Hahn. Dr.Hahn, any idea when remdesivir will be available to the market? And are there any drugs in the pipeline that you believe could qualify for a treatment IND?

DR. HAHN: So with respect to the first question, I’m prohibited by law to disclose confidential commercial information. What I can tell you is we’re working very closely with the company on this and we’ll have additional information — they will — relatively soon.

Yes, there are drugs in the pipeline. We’re looking at every one. Everyone on this dais gets calls every day, as do all of our people at the FDA, about potential therapeutic options. We’re looking at every single one of them.

Q Mr. President — Mr. President, two questions for you. One on coronavirus, but, just really quickly: Are you confirming that Austin Tice is still alive?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I’m not. But we’re trying to find that out. This has been going on for years. Many years, they’ve been trying to find Austin Tice. He was in Syria, as you know. His mother is an incredible woman. And I’m doing it for him, but I’m doing it for his mother. His mother is an incredible woman who is desperate to find her son. And I’m not confirming alive, but if — if he is alive, we would like very much to get him back quickly.

Q Okay. And on coronavirus: Speaking of shortages of supplies, the CDC has put out guidelines for hospitals that are dealing with a shortage of masks to use them beyond their shelf life, reuse them instead some getting new ones, and in a worst- case scenario, use a bandana instead of a mask. How is that acceptable at all?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I haven’t seen that, but I will let Mike answer that question. Vice President?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I’m happy to, Mr. President. I just — I can’t emphasize enough the incredible progress that was made with the passage of the legislation last night. And the President had me go to Minnesota and meet with 3M — that manufactures these N-95 masks — a few weeks ago. And we learned: Of their production at that facility of 35 million masks a month, less than 5 million of those were qualified to be sold to hospitals.

So the President worked with Republican and Democrat leadership. We’ve extended the liability protection so now that all the industrial masks that are manufactured as N-95s are now available to hospitals, and we’re seeing a dramatic increase in production.

Honeywell alone is repurposing a factory that was destined for Mexico to produce another 120 million masks per year. 3M is increasing output to 420 million masks per year. We really — we’ve put a priority, at the President’s direction, on making sure those that are providing healthcare services to America have the protection to keep themselves and their families safe.

And with the legislation last night; with the incredible response among these great private sector companies; and, as we mentioned repeatedly, with construction companies around America heeding the President’s call to donate their industrial masks to hospitals — it’s happening all over America — we know we’ll meet that need.

THE PRESIDENT: So how many masks are being made? And when will they be ready, or at least we start getting them ready?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, as I mentioned, 3M is increasing their output to 420 million a year. At — at production in January, they make 35 million per month at that facility. And we’re — we’re prioritizing the distribution of those.

But the other thing — and we’ll emphasize this with governors this afternoon — is we’re working with governors to make sure that the healthcare providers, the hospitals, and the clinics in their state are placing orders now that this tremendous increase in supply, particularly with industrial masks, is now available. We’re going to make sure they understand that the supply has greatly expanded, thanks to a bipartisan legislation and the accomplishment of the President.

And the response by these companies is making more masks available, and we’re going to make sure healthcare providers are purchasing those. And the federal government will also make sure that our stockpile is — properly reflects those increases as well.

Q When will — on the President’s question, when will those masks be ready for — because they need them, like, today.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: They’re available now. The 3M facility that I was at told me in — that in January, they went to full production on 35 million masks. The legislative change means that all 35 million of those that started to be produced at full capacity in January can now be sold to hospitals. That’s the distinction here. It’s a very important change, and it’s part of the way the President has been engaging the private sector, pushing the kind of regulatory reform and the kind of liability reform that has greatly expanded the availability of masks.

So, they’re in the marketplace now. We’re going to make it clear to governors, as we made it clear to healthcare providers in conference calls yesterday, that those resources are now there.

We’ve vastly increased the supply of medical masks, and we’re going to continue to put a priority on making sure that we’re calling on industry at every level, calling on major suppliers that the President met with this week, to make sure that those personal protective equipment are there for our healthcare workers.

THE PRESIDENT: Some of that had to do with the liability to the company. They had a big problem with liability.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: It did.

THE PRESIDENT: And much of it had to do with the liability to the company.

Q Mr. President, thank you. Two for you and one for Dr. Hahn. The American Hospital Association just told NBC News that they need $100 billion in order to address shortages in equipment and other infrastructure there. You just signed two legislative packages. They say it didn’t directly give money to address this issue. Why not? And will you commit to making sure they get the money they need?

THE PRESIDENT: We’re looking at that issue directly with them, and that’s a separate issue. But we’re looking at that issue very directly.

Q Will you make sure —

THE PRESIDENT: We’re looking at it very directly.

Q — in coming to giving them the money that they need?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re going to do our best on it. But we’re working with Democrats and Republicans on that. We’re looking at that very specifically,

Q And can you bottom line people — when can Americans expect their lives to go back to normal? Will that not happen until there’s a vaccine, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, I hope very soon. We’ll see. This is uncharted territory, as you know. We think we have ideas. It doesn’t help to say what the idea is. I would hope very soon. We’re — we’ve pulled together as a nation. People are, for the most part, doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

The social distancing is very interesting. A whole new term that’s become a hot — it’s become somewhat of a hot term. But people are listening and they’re — and they’re really doing a great job. This country is an amazing country.

I think you’re up to 141 different countries right now. So it’s very uncharted territory. Could have — could have been stopped — could have been stopped pretty easily if we had known — if everybody had known about it a number of months before people started reading about it.

Q Mr. President, you said you did —

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me. Excuse me. Before we started reading about it. We could have — it could have been stopped in its tracks. Unfortunately, they didn’t decide to make it public. But the whole world is suffering because of it.

Q You did say a few days ago, though, you did have a sense that this was a pandemic, that it was coming. So why was the United States not prepared with more testing and supplies?

THE PRESIDENT: We were very prepared. The only thing we weren’t prepared for was the media. The media has not treated it fairly. I’ll tell you how prepared I was: I called for a ban from people coming in from China long before anybody thought it was — in fact, it was your network — I believe they called me a racist because I did that. It was — many of the people in the room, they called me racist and other words because I did that, because I went so early.

So when you say we weren’t prepared, had I let these tens of thousands of people come in from China a day, we would have had something right now that would have been — you wouldn’t have even recognized it compared to where we are. How many people have passed away? How many people have died as of this moment? You could multiply that by a factor of many, many, many.

So when you say that I wasn’t prepared, I was the first one to do the ban. Now other countries are following what I did. But the media doesn’t acknowledge that. They know it’s true —

Q Well, what I’m asking is about the lack of testing.

THE PRESIDENT: They know it’s true, but they don’t want to write about it.

Yeah, go ahead.

Q A question for you and then one for the medical professionals.

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead.

Q I wanted to just follow up on John and Kaitlan’s question. So it’s not just masks. Doctors are saying now that they are desperate for other personal protective gear — gloves, other equipment. Governors are saying that they don’t have access to respirators, and they’re terrified. What is your reticence about invoking the Defense Production Act?

THE PRESIDENT: Governors are supposed to get it. The states are supposed to get it. But we’re helping the states.

Q But people are saying there’s nowhere to buy them, that there aren’t enough in the country.

THE PRESIDENT: Well — look, for years, they bought them, and now, all of a sudden, they’re coming to the federal government.

Q They need more now.

THE PRESIDENT: We are working with the states. We’re working with the governors. We’re working with everybody. The relationships are great.

One of the things that happened this morning: I spoke with Micky Arison of Carnival Cruise Lines, and he’s going to make ships available. So in addition to the big medical ships that you have coming, if we should need ships with lots of rooms, they’ll be docked at New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco — different places. So I want to thank Micky Arison; that’s Carnival Cruise Lines.

Q But, Mr. President, what is your reticence about invoking the Defense Production Act?

THE PRESIDENT: I’ve done it. I’ve done it.

Q But you said that you don’t want to invoke it yet.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, if we find that we need something, that we will do that. And you don’t know what we’ve done. You don’t know whether or not we’ve ordered. You don’t know if we’ve invoked it. You don’t know what’s been ordered, what’s not been ordered.

Q I’m just going by your tweet last night, where you said that you were —

THE PRESIDENT: I can only tell you — I can only tell you that, as an example, masks — nobody ever heard of the number of masks that’s been ordered. They’re being made now, and many are available now. But people, I think, in the media, probably don’t know that.

Go ahead. Behind.

Q Thank you. Could you explain the gap in — for the American people — in what you’re saying here today about there being tens of thousands of tests available, about how there being a huge amount of masks available and what we’re seeing on the ground, which is really the opposite of that? People are — people are saying that they can’t get tested even when they have symptoms. People are saying that they — doctors are telling us they don’t have access to vital equipment. Can you explain that gap?

Well, I can’t — I cannot explain the gap. I’m hearing very good things on the ground, and we’re dealing with — look, they had to ramp up. They had an obsolete system, and they had a system, simultaneously, that was not meant for this. It wasn’t meant for this. Nobody knew there’d be a pandemic or an epidemic of this proportion. Nobody has ever seen anything like this before.

I can tell you that what we’re doing is we’re working with local governments — with states’ governors, even mayors — on getting them to be able to get what they need. And the system is starting to work out very well. But we had to break a system — like breaking an egg — because the system we had was obsolete and didn’t work, and that was a system we inherited. And now we have something that’s really been very good and certainly going to be great for the future too.

Yeah, please.

Q Mr. President, there seems to be backlash building among congressional Republicans and in your supporters about a corporate bailout. In particular, Senator Mike Braun said that this could harken back to 2008, where we’re picking winners and losers. And he indicated that he and some of his colleagues may not be comfortable with that. What do you say to that?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we don’t want to pick winners and losers. We want everybody to benefit. We want, I think more than anything else, the workers to benefit. And sometimes for the worker to benefit, you have to go through the company because they have thousands of workers. And if the company goes out of business — no fault of their own — those workers aren’t going to be able to receive a check.

So we’re — look, our ultimate goal are the people. Our ultimate goal are the great people of this country. And we will have things worked out, I think, that are going to be very well. It’s a very complex formula; you understand that. It’s very complex. But it’s working out. I think it’s going to be very well. I think we’re going to have pretty uniform support for it.

Please.

Q Mr. President, we’re hearing that the State Department is going to put out an advisory telling Americans not to travel overseas at all. Are you putting in an overseas travel ban?

THE PRESIDENT: We’re speaking with the State Department later. I can’t say right now because I haven’t had the meeting yet.

Go ahead.

Q Thank you, President Trump. I wanted to ask Dr. Hahn about today’s announcement, if I could.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Please.

Q Dr. Hahn, thank you so much. I wanted to ask about remdesivir. I hope I pronounced that correctly. Can you say, is it currently approved for use on the virus?

DR. HAHN: So, remdesivir — and it’s a drug made by Gilead — that’s been in the press. It is currently in clinical trials here and around the world. We have also made it available by that approach that I told you, called “compassionate use,” where a doctor could ask the FDA for that. And the really positive thing about that: That gives it rapidly to a doctor and a patient, but it allows us to collect the data. Because what we really need to do is understand what the data and science are in order to make the appropriate decision about safety and effectiveness.

Q So how do you just make sure that it is safe? And — I mean, is there any concern at all that it will be safe, considering that it’s not going through the normal process and could potentially cause negative effects? Dr. Fauci, earlier, talked about we do not want to put out anything that can cause negative effects. Is there any concern about those kind of things with this drug, sir?

DR. HAHN: Yeah. And thank you for that question because I just want to be clear about this: Remdesivir is going through the normal process. We are using our internal processes at FDA to set up, with the company, the protocols to actually collect the data. And you’re right, we need to actually know about the safety and the effectiveness, and that’s done through the clinical trial process. So it’s those data that are going to inform the decisions that are ultimately made about safety and efficacy.

This is an unprecedented situation. This is a really significant time. And one thing that, with the President’s leadership, FDA has done is said, “Okay, how do we approach these extraordinary times with extraordinary measures, knowing that we have a sacred trust with the American people about safety and efficacy, but still, at the same time, enable these treatments to get into patients?” And that’s what we’re doing.

THE PRESIDENT: Jeff.

Q Mr. President, one for you and one for the doctors. How likely is it that the 15-day guidance that you have put through will be extended longer than that?

THE PRESIDENT: I can only tell you on the 14th day. And we’ll have to see. We’ll have indications later on.

Q Dr. Birx indicated that there are 3 states and 10 counties, if I got that right, where 50 percent of the cases are focused. Should those areas be doing more measures, such as shelter in place?

THE PRESIDENT: I think they actually are doing a lot. I mean, they — I know New York is working very diligently, been very strong. I assume San Francisco is one of the areas, and Los Angeles, and the State of Washington, obviously; that’s one that has to be up there. They’re all working very hard to quarantine or where it’s just about the equivalent of quarantine. Okay?

Q And what is your plan, sir, for government workers? Are you moving for the government as well to start doing more teleworking?

THE PRESIDENT: We are. And we’re doing — we’re using the medical term of “telemedicine,” and it’s been incredibly busy and, really, you know, where people don’t have to — I mean, some people can’t do it anyway. They can’t get up; they can’t see a doctor. But we’re using this, and it’s been telehealth — different names. And I will tell you that it’s been really successful, and it’s helped a lot of people out, where they don’t have to and they can’t. And even from a safety reason, if they are positive, they are — if they are feeling poorly, they can’t do it, or we don’t want them transmitting anything to anybody else.

Q Mr. President, if I could, on China: They reported, for the first time since the outbreak, no new cases over a 24-hour period. Do you have any reason to disbelieve them? And second to that: The National Security Council yesterday put out a tweet very critical of the Chinese government, saying the Chinese Communist Party suppressed initial reports on the Chinese virus and punished doctors and journalists causing Chinese and international experts to miss critical opportunities to prevent a global pandemic.

Could you expand on that?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it would have been much better if we had known about this a number of months earlier. It could have been contained to that one area in China where it started. And certainly, the world is paying a big price for what they did and the world is paying a very big price for not — for not letting them come out. Everybody knows that. We all know that.

Q Did they say —

THE PRESIDENT: As far as —

Q — (inaudible) information?

THE PRESIDENT: — as far as believing what they’re putting out now, I hope it’s true. Who knows? But I hope it’s true. I really do.

Q Quickly, a question for you and then also for the doctor, if possible. You’ve been talking about China quite a bit and you’ve been talking about the Chinese virus — how if you have heard about this on day one and had more information, possibly you could have stopped it.

THE PRESIDENT: Big difference.

Q Are you thinking about any types of repercussions for China? And are you also rethinking, sort of, the supply lines for our manufacturing?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t want to comment on that right now.

Yeah.

Q Mr. President, I have a question for you and also a question for Dr. Birx, if you — American workers across the country are losing their jobs at an unprecedented rate. And your former economists said we could see some of the worst job numbers ever. Is the government prepared to see this spike in unemployment?

THE PRESIDENT: No. Worst-case scenario, you would have terrible job numbers. If we can get this thing wrapped up and finished earlier, things will go very nicely. And one of the things they’re working — as you know, one of the elements that is being worked on very much so on the Hill is to keep the jobs going so that when we do get rid of the virus, we’re going to be able to just really, I think, go like a rocket. I think the economy is going to be fantastic.

No, when he said that, he was using that as the ultimate bad outcome. I don’t think anybody believes that’s going to happen.

Yeah. Go ahead. Go ahead. You.

Q Members of Congress are now being tested positive for — members of Congress are now being tested positive for coronavirus. And you have almost two dozen who are self-quarantining. Do you have any guidance for Congress? Should they —

THE PRESIDENT: I know all of them. And I don’t know if they’re sitting like you people are sitting — you’re actually sitting too close. You should — really, we should probably get rid of about another 75, 80 percent of you. I’ll just have two or three that I like in this room. I think that’s a great way of doing it. We just figured a new way of doing it. But you’re actually much too close. You know, you two, you should leave immediately.

But — but, look — look, I know all of them. They tested positive. Hopefully, they’re all going to get better. And it’s one of those things. It’s Congress, you know? It’s one of those things.

Q Should they keep going to the Hill or should they — is there CDC guidelines for —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I don’t think they’re going to the Hill. I mean, I know some, where they tested positive, they’re in quarantine. And I know Lindsey and many others are — they didn’t test, but until they got the result, they put themselves in quarantine.

A number of people in Congress right now are in quarantine; they don’t know the results. When they get the result, they’ll either stay there and get better — because people get better. I mean, most people are getting better. Most, by far — the people — you get better. Doesn’t mean it’s not a tough one; it is a tough one.

But no, when they — many people in Congress have felt not perfect or they met somebody that wasn’t perfect and turned out to be positive, and they’ve put themselves in quarantine.

No, I think they’ve — I think Congress has behaved unbelievably well in that regard.

Q On the stimulus, sir. Given what is happening to the economy, do you think a trillion-dollar stimulus is enough?

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll know about that later on. We’ll see what happens. It depends how long — so much depends on what’s going on in this room, in terms of the medical. If can stop it in its tracks, the virus, it’s plenty. If we can’t, we’ll have to go back and talk.

Q Do you — do you support the idea of the government taking an equity stake in certain companies?

THE PRESIDENT: I do. I really do.

Q Which companies are you (inaudible)?

THE PRESIDENT: I will — I’m not going to say, but I think so. Look, people are coming — people are coming in for money. In some cases, no fault of their own. But in some cases, where they did certain things over the course of the years, including buying back stock — you know, they bought back stock and they paid a higher price for it, as it turned out.

But maybe I view that as a little bit differently than somebody that didn’t and somebody that built plants all over the United States, of which there were plenty of them too.

Q So would you consider airlines or Boeing, or what are you thinking of?

THE PRESIDENT: We will be helping the airline industry. We will be helping the cruise ship industry. We probably will be helping the hotel industry. We’ll probably be — where — where jobs are created, you don’t want to lose industries like this. These are incredible industries. You can’t lose them. So we’ll focus on many industries.

And I have to say — I can’t state it strongly enough: We will be helping small businesses. That’s where it’s complicated, because there’s a lot of small — you know, that’s the engine of the — of the country. We will be helping small businesses.

Q These two members of Congress that have tested positive for coronavirus, these will be votes that you need to pass this $1 trillion stimulus package for the economy. Do you expect this to slow down the delivery of checks for American families? And are you considering any —

THE PRESIDENT: No.

Q — executive action?

THE PRESIDENT: There could be. We’re looking at a couple of things that I could do. Hopefully won’t need it, but we can do what —

Q What are you looking at, specifically?

THE PRESIDENT: There’s a lot of executive power. If we don’t have to use it, that would be a good thing, not a bad thing.

Yeah. Please.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. One for you and potentially, as well, one for either Dr. Birx or Dr. Adams. Right now, the economy is essentially ground to a halt.

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for telling us. We appreciate it.

Q Stores have closed. Yravel has slowed down.

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead. What’s the rest of your question? We know that. Everybody in the room knows that.

Q The question is: How long should those who are either not working right now or business owners who have to make critical decisions, how long should they expect the state of affairs, as it stands at this moment to play out?

And for the doctors behind you —

THE PRESIDENT: We’ll be able to tell you that very — I think in the near future. We’ll see where we’re going. You’re going to see numbers. You’ve seen the graphs. You’re going to see numbers and we’ll be able to let you know.

I will say that the American public has been incredible, for the most part — not in all cases, but for the most part. So you’ll be able to see what’s happening over the next — as we say, we had a 15-day period. You’ll be able to tell a lot in a week or so — not everything, but we’ll be able to see over a period of time.

Q Yeah. And for all the parents that are home right now — and this is a question for Dr. Birx or Dr. Adams — who are caring for their children and are curious as to when might my kids be able to go back to school, what do you think is a realistic timeline?

DR. BIRX: Well, I think you know, most of all of those decisions are made at the state- and local-government level. And each state and local government has handled it differently. That’s why we put out, from the President, federal — federal presidential guidance to every single person about what we think is important for the next two weeks. And as we look at that data, we’ll be able to see if it’s having an impact.

I think you’ve all seen the modeling studies. Those were driven by the modeling studies showing that if you add these things together, they have a bigger impact than separately. And so those are part of the decision-making. We had a whole group of modelers in yesterday. They’re compositing all the data together to look at this carefully because everyone has those same questions of what the impact will be and what pieces could essentially be removed, and you still have the same level of impact in decreasing the spread of the virus.

The absolute key to this, though, is every single American looking at the President’s guidelines and taking it seriously. The acts of selflessness that I am seeing are so impressive across the board. But if even 10 or 15 percent of the population decides that what they’re doing today is more important than the health and welfare of the rest of the Americans, they can spread the virus in a very strong way because you know the level of contagion.

Q Do you have a general timeline?

THE PRESIDENT: And I have to say, if chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine works — or any of the other things that they’re looking at that are not quite as far out — but if they work, your numbers are going to come down very rapidly. So we’ll see what happens. But there’s a real chance that they might — they might work.

Go ahead, please. In the back.

Q Mr. President, thank you so much. What is your message for some leaders in Latin America, like the President of Brazil, who just on Sunday was taking photos with supporters, encouraging a mass demonstration? And just yesterday, the President from Brazil said that we should not be surprised if we see him in the next few days in a crowded subway in São Paulo or in a bus in Rio, because he is the President and should be with the people. What do you think about that? And what is your message?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, he’s a friend of mine, number one. And number two, we had dinner the other night and everybody said he was positive, and he wasn’t positive. He tested negative. So that was — I was quite happy when I heard that.

But I have no message for him other than he’s doing a good job in Brazil.

Q But how about this — how about the —

THE PRESIDENT: He’s doing a good job in Brazil, and he’s very popular.

Q How about encouraging mass demonstrations at this moment?

THE PRESIDENT: I can’t tell you about that. I don’t know about that. I have not heard that.

He’s doing a very good job. Brazil was very troubled before he got there. And he’s — the people love them and he’s popular. I think he’s a very good job.

Q Mr. President, there are Americans who were traveling abroad who are essentially stuck, unable to come home. We spoke to a group —

THE PRESIDENT: In Peru?

Q — of 10 — 10 women who — Americans. Ten —

THE PRESIDENT: Where? Where? Where?

Q Well, we spoke to 10 American women who were in Morocco, for instance. All the flights have been canceled. Their hotel is shutting down. They literally have no place to stay and no way to get home. They are asking you, they’re asking the administration, the U.S. government for help. What can be done for those?

THE PRESIDENT: Yep, we know about it. We have groups. We have a group of young people in Peru and we’re working on taking care of that with the military.

Q So a military evacuation is —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, we’re looking to take — no, not evacuation. We’re —

Q What —

THE PRESIDENT: We’re trying to get them out. And you know, they got caught. They were late with their flights. We gave them a period of time; they didn’t make it. But we’re looking to get them out with military — probably through the military.

We have a group of young — young people — I think young men or young people — could be women also with them — from Alabama. The great State of Alabama. And they’re in Peru and we’re working on that right now, trying to get them out. It’s a large group. It’s about 300. We’ll — we’re going to work it out.

Jeff.

Q Mr. President, two sort of foreign policy-related questions. In your talk with the G7 leaders earlier this week, did you discuss together ending or postponing the Olympics?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, we did discuss it. As you know, Prime Minister Abe was on the call and that’s a big decision for him. And we don’t know what his decision is, but we would live with his decision. It’s a tough situation. They’ve done an incredible job. Japan has done an incredible job on building the venues — getting them built. You know, you’ve seen so many Olympic venues that have been a disaster over the years, where they cost five times more than they were supposed to and they weren’t ready on time.

Japan has been just the opposite. They built it beautifully. They built it for what it was supposed to be built for. But then he got hit with the same thing that the rest of the world got hit with unexpectedly.

He has — he has told us that he has not made a decision as to what to do.

Q And also on foreign policy, have you spoken to the leaders of Saudi Arabia or Russia and encouraged them to stop this glut of oil that is affecting the market?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the one thing I will tell you is that from the standpoint — you always get a little bit torn because, you know, until we became the leading producer, I was always for the person driving the car and filling up the tank of gas. And you’d have gasoline and the prices were — if they were too high, I would always raise hell with OPEC. And I was always somebody that likes — you know, I never thought I’d see 22 and 24 and $28 a barrel, but that’s what we have.

And, in one way, our consumer is very much helped. It’s like — it’s like a massive tax increase. That’s bigger than any tax increase — decrease that you could give. You know, we can give all these big tax cuts, but they’re paying so little for gasoline. But, on the other hand, it hurts a great industry and a very powerful industry.

So, I spoke with numerous people that have a lot to do with it and we have a lot of power over the situation. And we’re trying to find some kind of a medium ground.

Q What’s your message to them?

THE PRESIDENT: You know, it’s very devastating to Russia, because when you look — I mean, their whole economy is based on that. And they have — we have the lowest oil prices in decades. So it’s very devastating to Russia. I would say it’s very bad for Saudi Arabia, but they were in a fight. They were in a fight on price. They were in a fight on output. And at the — at the appropriate time, I’ll get involved. Yeah.

Q Mr. President — and forgive me if I missed it — what will the Carnival Cruise ships be used for?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Micky called up, and he said, “If you need them…” And we haven’t said yes. I’ll call Governor Cuomo. I’ll call Gavin from — Gavin Newsom, governor from California. I’ll call a few of the other governors. They’re going to bring it up today, because we’re meeting, through phone — through telephone — “telephonically,” as they say — in a little while at FEMA. I’m going to go to FEMA from here.

Q Are you thinking increased hospital beds? What would you —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you could increase places to stay. Let’s say “places to stay.” If it works — I mean, you know, I don’t know, maybe people won’t want them.

But he made the offer. It was a very generous offer. And he said that he has some ships that would be ideally suited for what we’re doing. And certainly, they have a lot of rooms. They’re big and they have a lot of rooms. So we appreciate it from Carnival.

Go ahead.

Q At what point in the future will any American who wants to test be able to get a test? Because you’re talking about not needing a test right now if you’re not showing any symptoms, but a lot of those who —

THE PRESIDENT: Not needing the tests?

Q — or only getting tested if you’re showing symptoms. But a lot of this —

THE PRESIDENT: Well, no, you should only get —

Q — says (inaudible) being —

THE PRESIDENT: You should — I didn’t have any symptoms and I got a test. But I got a test because you people were driving everybody crazy. So that’s the only reason. I had no symptoms but I had a test. And my doctor told me, “Don’t get it. You don’t need it.” Everybody said, “You don’t need it.” But I had to do it because the press was going crazy.

And then, after I got it, they said “You shouldn’t have gotten it. You had no symptoms.” You know, the whole thing. So, in other words, if you get it, it was no good. But that’s — I’m a unique case, unfortunately.

But, no, people that don’t show symptoms and people that have doctors that say they shouldn’t get it — I would rely on that. Yeah, I would rely on that.

Q Mr. President, thank you. Mr. President, thank you. I have two questions. Do you consider the term, “Chinese food” —

THE PRESIDENT: OAN.

Q Yes, sir. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Very good. Thank you very much. They treat me very nicely. Go ahead.

Q I have two questions. Do you consider the term “Chinese food” racist?

THE PRESIDENT: No.

Q Because it’s food that originates in China or it has Chinese origins.

THE PRESIDENT: No, I don’t think it’s racist.

Q And on that note —

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think it’s racist at all.

Q On that note, major left-wing news media, even in this room, have teamed up with Chinese Communist Party narratives and they’re claiming you are racist for making these claims about the Chinese virus. Is it alarming that major media players, just to oppose you, are consistently siding with foreign state propaganda, Islamic radicals, and Latin gangs and cartels, and they work right here, at the White House, with direct access to you and your team?

THE PRESIDENT: It amazes me when I read the things that I read. It amazes me when I read the Wall Street Journal, which is always so negative. It amazes me when I read the New York Times. It’s not even — I don’t — I barely read it. You know, we don’t distribute it in the White House anymore, and the same thing with the Washington Post. Because, you see, I know the truth. And people out there in the world, they really don’t know the truth. They don’t know what it is. They use different slogans and different concepts for me almost every week, trying to catch something.

Last week, it was all chaos. You see me. There’s no chaos. I have no chaos. I’m the one telling everybody to be calm. There’s no chaos at the White House. We have unbelievable professionals. It’s really — I mean, I think I came up with the term — I hope I came up with the term — but it is fake news. It’s more than fake news; it’s corrupt news. They write stories without calling anybody. They write a story — today, I had a couple of stories where they — they never call me ever, that I know of. At least nobody tells me. They’ll write a story about me without even asking my opinion on something. It’s totally fake.

I’ve never seen — I mean, there is a story in the Wall Street Journal today about — you know, about how we’ve done. We’ve done a phenomenal job on this. The governors are even — even Gavin Newsom, who you know I’m usually fighting with over the fires and — “I think you should do a different kind of a job at the — in the forests,” and lots of things. We argue a lot. But Gavin Newsom has been very, very generous — generous. Andrew Cuomo has been, really, very generous. I mean, they’re saying we’re doing a great job, and everybody saying.

But then you read this phony story in the Wall Street Journal or — the Washington Post is going wild lately. I don’t know what happened to them. I guess, something happened like we don’t call them back or whatever.

But the Washington Post — these are very dishonest media sources. They’re very dishonest. And you know what? Someday, hopefully in five years, I won’t be here and that’ll be fine. I will have done, I think, a great job, because I don’t think anyone has done as much in three and a half years as I’ve done, I don’t think — and the administration. This administration has done a great job. But the press is very dishonest.

Q But more than dishonest, they’re siding with state propaganda overseas.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think they do. I mean — I mean, they are siding with — they are siding with China. They are doing things that they shouldn’t be doing. They’re siding with many others, China’s the least of it. So why — why they’re doing this, you’ll have to ask them. But if we had an honest media in this country, our country would be an even greater place.

So, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. We are very excited about — we are very excited about — you know, specifically, what we talked about with the chloroquine. I think the — I think it could be something really incredible. It could totally depress the times that we had mentioned.

Q Can you provide a timeline of that, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: Wait. Excuse me. Excuse me. It could totally depress any time that we’re talking about, if it works. There are a lot of reasons that I have to believe — again, Dr. Hahn is the expert, but a lot of reasons that I would have to think that it could have a very positive effect or a positive effect. Maybe not very, but maybe — maybe positive. I think it’s, to me, very, very exciting.

And the beauty is — I think I can say this, Steve — the beauty is that these drugs have been out there. So the really danger part of the drugs — especially chloroquine — it’s been out there for years. So we know it’s something that can be taken safely. So it’s very important.

(Cross-talk.)

Go ahead. Go ahead.

Q Dr. Hahn, can you just give a little bit more of information about that — the process by which folks are going to be able to actually use these medicines? Because I believe there were at least two cited, maybe more. How quickly do you think people will be able to use them? And then, if you can update us on the vaccine. I know it’s fast-tracked first.

DR. HAHN: Well, the President has asked us to expedite this. And what I want to assure you, because of the questions that were asked, we want to make sure that this is done well and right for the American people.

The President is right. With an off-the-shelf drug, we do have a lot of information about the side effects of the drug. So that really helps, in terms of expediting. But — but I want to assure you that we’re working as quickly as we can. I don’t want to speculate about a timeline at this point.

With respect to vaccines, that’s in phase one trial, as I mentioned. We’re expecting that to proceed, moving forward. And we’re working with a number of different other companies about vaccine development.

Q The President had noted phase one was fast-tracked. Is it possible phase two and phase three can be fast-tracked, that we might see a vaccine before that year? You could — you said it could potentially be a year.

DR. HAHN: This is a terrific question. And we are really trying hard at FDA to partner with great industry, great academic partners to do exactly that. No promises can be made. But one thing that we’re doing is really working hard to — to fast-track as much as possible.

THE PRESIDENT: And they are. And they are.

(Cross-talk.)

We’re going to have other times to meet. We’ll be meeting, hopefully, not for very long. I mean, I would like to see this get cleared up, and we think we’ve — to me, this was a very important conference because I really think there’s great potential here. And a lot of people are going to be trying it soon — like, literally, very soon. Literally, in a matter of days, if not sooner, in some cases. It’s already being experimented with, and there’s been some very good results.

We’ll see what happens. But if — if we can be even partially right — maybe we’ll be fully right — but even partially right on it, this whole subject becomes a much more pleasant subject.

So, thank you all, and we’ll — we’re going over to FEMA now. So, I don’t know who’s going, but we’re going to FEMA. We’re going to be discussing with the governors and lots of other people.

Q One on the governors.

THE PRESIDENT: Now — well, I think that’s enough. Thank you.

END

12:48 P.M. EDT

Source: The White House


New York Governor Cuomo Holds Coronavirus Briefing

Governor Andrew Cuomo has mandated more workforce reductions on Thursday. Now, businesses are instructed to not allow more than 25% of their employees to report to the workplace. 75% of employees must work remotely.

This comes while businesses are currently scrambling to comply with yesterday’s mandate of 50% of the workforce needing to work from home. After giving that directive yesterday, Cuomo did warn more reductions could be made.

There are exceptions for essential workers such as in healthcare and public service industries.

Cuomo says the situation remains, as he’s said from the beginning, a “healthcare crisis.” He says measures put in place in the past week to reduce in-person contact were put in place to stop the spread and make it more manageable for the healthcare system.

The governor describes the current situation as “fighting on two fronts.” He says we’re “fighting the virus and we’re fighting fear.” He says the restrictions and states of emergency are not to induce fear, but are rational ways of dealing with the virus.

“It’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be pretty,” says Cuomo, “Take a deep breath and act on facts, not fear.”

He says there are a lot of rumors and misconceptions about what current restrictions mean. He says no one is trapped in their homes, just don’t go out around a lot of people.

Cuomo outlined once again the state’s plan to deal with the spreading virus.

Plan of action:

Flatten the curve
Reduce the spread
Increase hospital capacity

Source: WICZ


Terrifying Footage Inside Italy’s Crisis Wards Shows Coronavirus Patients Struggling to Breathe as Doctors Warn Their Best Efforts Are ‘Not Enough’ After Fatalities Soared by 475 to 3,405 – the Highest Death Toll in the World, Even More Than China

Desperate Italian medics at the coronavirus epicentre told how all their efforts ‘are not enough’ as their country’s death toll soared above that of even China.

The number of fatalities there hit 3,405 yesterday, the highest in the world, despite the valiant efforts of shattered doctors to keep the ailing victims of the virus alive.

A shocking Sky News report showed the hectic scenes inside the Papa Giovanni XXII hospital in the crisis-hit area of Bergamo in Lombardy, with staff rushing through wards with beds full of patients in distress.

Horrifying video footage showed people gasping for air while holding onto their chests and tubes amid a constant bleep of heart monitors and breathing pumps.

Dr Lorenzo Grazioli, who works at the hospital but was previously based in Leicester, told Sky News’s Stuart Ramsay: ‘I have never felt so stressed in my life.

‘I’m an intensivist, and I am quite used to intense moments, and the choices, and people are critical and die without any treatment, and you [usually] make the difference.

‘But when you are at this point you realise that you are not enough. We are 100 anaesthetists, we are doing our best, but maybe it’s not enough.’

Both the death toll and number of confirmed cases shot up again yesterday and the nation has now recorded 41,035 infections, more than half of the world’s positive cases.

On Wednesday, Italy recorded the highest one-day official coronavirus death toll of any country with 475 deaths in just 24 hours.

The latest figures have quashed hopes that the unprecedented national lockdown was helping to slow the spread of the pathogen.

Italy reached the gruesome milestone on the same day the original epicentre of the pandemic, Wuhan in China, recorded no new infections.

Overall, China on Thursday counted 3,249 dead, 156 fewer than Italy, according to the Johns Hopkins University virus map.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Chilling Microscope Images Reveal the Reality of Coronavirus as It Bursts Out From the Surface of Cells

The round gold objects seen here under a scanning electron microscope show the virus that causes Covid-19. They are pictured emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a laboratory and isolated from a patient in the US

Know your enemy, as the saying goes. And these startling images reveal exactly that – an up-close and personal view of novel coronavirus.

The round gold objects seen here under a scanning electron microscope show the virus that causes Covid-19.

To better delineate the virus from healthy cells, the scans have been colourised by medical visual artists.

The virus is pictured emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a laboratory and isolated from a patient in the US. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles are what give coronaviruses their name – crown-like (‘corona’).

So far, there have been more than 9,300 deaths worldwide from the outbreak, while over 224,000 have been confirmed as ill.

Researchers around the world are desperately hunting for a cure amid fears thousands more patients will be struck down by the life-threatening illness.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson today revealed the first British coronavirus patient is taking part in a drug trial in the hope of finding a way to fight the killer infection.

The Prime Minister – who also announced the UK will buy ‘hundreds of thousands’ of antibody kits – did not reveal which drug the British patient was being given.

It comes as the US also today announced it was fast-tracking the use of anti-malarial drug chloroquine for treating coronavirus patients.

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Source: Daily Mail


Cuomo brings his own daughter, 22, to coronavirus press conference and jokes he can he can quarantine a state but can’t control her in an attempt to persuade ‘reckless’ and ‘unintelligent’ young people to stop ignoring social distancing

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told of his frustration at young people who are recklessly ignoring coronavirus advice on Thursday and said he was able to quarantine an entire state if he wanted to but not his 22-year-old daughter.

At a press conference on Thursday where he gave an update on the startling new figures on the virus spread in New York, Cuomo slammed the vast numbers of millennials and Gen Z who seem to be ignoring guidance to stay at home to gather in large groups to party.

There are now more than 4,152 cases of coronavirus in the state of New York; more than half (2,469) are in New York City.

Across the country, there are nearly 10,000 cases of the virus and 152 people have died.

He brought his daughter, Michael Kennedy Cuomo, to the press conference as an example of how he is powerless to stop young people from being reckless.

‘These pictures of young people on beaches and videos of them saying “this is my spring break, I’m out to party, this is my time to party.”

‘This is so unintelligent and reckless. I cant even begin to express it. I had a conversation with my daughter about this.

‘As Governor of the state, I can order a quarantine of 10,00 people but I can’t tell my daughter to do anything.

‘I have to be careful because there’s almost an inverse response to a direct action,’ he said.

He then asked Michaela to recite the childhood advice she and Cuomo’s other two kids received ‘risk reward’.

Cuomo went on to say Michaela – who has not been seen since her cousin Saoirse Kennedy Hill’s funeral in August, – had decided not to go on her Spring Break trip.

She is the governor’s youngest daughter. He is also a father to twins Mariah and Cara, 25.

‘I’m dealing with it with my family, my daughters. I thank her for joining me today. She is with my up in Albany and not on Spring Break.

‘I think it’s cooler to be with me than like, road trip.’ Michaela replied sarcastically: ‘So cool.’

He said they had had to postpone her graduation and graduation party, like millions of others, but that they would celebrate ‘when it’s appropriate’.

In a tweet, later, he repeated his plea to young people.

‘I tell my daughters: Make decisions based on risk versus reward.

‘For young people to go out in crowds on spring break — is so unintelligent and reckless, I can’t even begin to express it.

‘Stay home. Stop the spread. Save lives,’ he said.

He also gave the advice his grandfather gave him when he was a teenager: ‘We grow old too soon and smart too late’.

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Source: Daily Mail


Trump announces anti-malaria drug is APPROVED to treat coronavirus – but has to walk back the good news after FDA head says it is only green lit for ‘compassionate use’ in some patients

The US is fast-tracking the anti-malarial drug chloroquine for use as a treatment against the new coronavirus, President Donald Trump said Thursday.

‘They’ve gone through the approval process – it’s been approved. They took it down from many, many months to immediate. So we’re going to be able to make that drug available by prescription.’

But the FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn later indicated that, while the drug has not yet been formally approved, access to it was being expanded so that authorities could gather more data.

‘We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately, and that’s where the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has been so great,’ Trump told reporters.

This is known as ‘compassionate use.’

‘If there is an experimental drug that is potentially available, a doctor could ask for that drug to be used in a patient. We have criteria for that and very speedy approval for that,’ said Hahn.

In other words, the drug is not approved broadly, as Trump initially said, but will be given to patients only after a doctor requests it, and primarily for the purpose of studying its effects and before data is available to certify that it works and is safe.

But it is already being used in South Korea and China and, if its recently initiated clinical trial in the US and data on the compassionate use patients in the US prove that it’s safe, the drug could be used broadly in America.

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Source: Daily Mail


California releases $150M to build isolation zones in hotels and on beaches for the 60,000 homeless people expected to get coronavirus – as Gov. Newsom requests Navy ship for additional hospital beds and alerts the National Guard to control panic buyers

The National Guard in California has been put on ‘alert’ and the governor has asked to use the Navy’s hospital boat as it’s predicted more than 60,000 homeless people could become ill with the coronavirus over the next eight weeks, badly straining the healthcare system.

California, the nation’s most populous state, has also been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak, with 892 confirmed cases as of Wednesday, and at least 17 fatalities have been reported.

With San Francisco on lockdown for three weeks and six Bay Area counties being told to shelter-in-place, supermarket shelves have been emptied as panic buyers elsewhere prepare to bunker down.

Now Governor Gavin Newsom is just one step away from activating the 22,000 National Guard members who are relied upon in natural disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes.

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Source: Daily Mail


Coronavirus testing shame: NBA stars, celebrities, politicians and billionaires with NO symptoms can access COVID-19 tests while sick members of public are turned away due to ‘shortages’

The dire shortage of coronavirus tests in the United States and across the world, which is slowing down crucial diagnoses and leaving many wondering if they have the virus or not, has prompted many to ask how celebrities and entire basketball teams have been able to get their hands on the tests.

In the United States, there are mounting stories of people suffering symptoms of COVID-19 and phoning healthcare hotlines asking to be tested but being refused because they have not come into contact with a known case or been to China recently.

Instead, the advice for those people is to self-isolate for at least 14 days and seek medical help if they develop respiratory problems. It tosses up a range of questions for already terrified Americans.

They do not know if and when they will be able to re-enter society, go to work or see anyone that they consider to be ‘vulnerable’. They also do not know if they ever had the virus or if their symptoms subsiding makes it safe for them to go outside or see anyone.

But celebrities, sports stars and politicians who show no symptoms whatsoever are being able to get access to them by buying them privately.

It is unclear where the are getting them from.

When asked about the disparity at a press conference on Wednesday, President Trump said it was ‘the story of life’.

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Source: Daily Mail


Donald Trump says CRUISE SHIPS could be used as floating hospitals off New York and other cities – despite Americans being warned to stay off them for their own safety

President Donald Trump says that cruise ships may soon be used as floating hospitals to help alleviate a shortage of beds in traditional medical centers bracing for an influx of coronavirus patients.

At a press conference Thursday, Trump said he’d spoken to the chairman of Carnival Cruise Lines about its fleet potentially helping with the government’s coronavirus response.

‘One of the things that happened this morning, I spoke with Micky Arison at Carnival Cruise Lines, and he’s going to make ships available,’ Trump told reporters.

‘So in addition to the big medical ships that you have coming, if we should need ships with lots of rooms, they’ll be docked in Los Angeles and San Francisco – different places.’

The suggestion came as a shock to many as officials have spent the past several weeks warning Americans to avoid cruise ships for their own safety after COVID-19 outbreaks ravaged multiple vessels.

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Source: Daily Mail


‘Nobody knew there’d be a pandemic!’ Donald Trump claims coronavirus was totally unforeseen as he is challenged on hospital shortage crisis and says ‘I can’t explain the gap’

President Donald Trump claimed Thursday that ‘nobody’ knew there would be a pandemic and said he could not explain reports of a shortage of medical equipment – as an October government simulation was disclosed that foreshadowed some of the crises that have ensued with the coronavirus.

Trump was pressed repeatedly during a press briefing on the coronavirus Thursday about looming shortages of hospital beds and equipment, as front-line caregivers are reporting a lack of masks to deal with patients.

‘I cannot explain the gap. I am hearing good things on the ground,’ Trump said. ‘They had to ramp up they had an obsolete system a system simultaneously that was not meant for this. It wasn’t meant for this. Nobody knew there would be a pandemic or an epidemic of this portion. Nobody’s ever seen anything like this before,’ Trump said.

Amid the mounting needs, the administration is dispatching Navy hospital ships, looking to convert facilities, and set up mobile hospitals. Trump was deliberately vague on whether he had ordered companies to produce more gear using defense powers.

‘I can tell you that what we are doing is we are working with local governments, with states’ governors even mayors on getting them to be able to get what they need. And the system is starting to work out very well,’ Trump said.

‘But we had to break a system like breaking an egg. Because the system we had was obsolete and did not work. And that was the system we inherited. Now we have something that’s been very good and certainly going to be great for the future, too.’

Trump made his comments where he repeatedly attacked the media as ‘fake news’ and even joked about removing reporters he doesn’t like under the social isolation procedures employed in the White House briefing room.

‘If we find that we need something, we will do that. Wou don’t know what we have done,’ Trump said response to a question about equipment. ‘You don’t know if we’ve invoked it or what’s been ordered,’ he said, of a defense powers authority. ‘I can only tell you that as an example masks, nobody ever heard of the number of masks that’s been ordered. They are being made now and many are available now. But people i think in the media don’t know that,’ he said.

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Source: Daily Mail


China’s chief medical advisor DENIES the coronavirus originates in Wuhan as he blasts the claim as ‘irresponsible’

Beijing’s top coronavirus expert has denied that the bug originated in Wuhan and slammed such claim as ‘irresponsible’.

‘The epidemic of the novel coronavirus pneumonia indeed took place in China, in Wuhan… but it does not mean its source is in Wuhan,’ said Dr Zhong Nanshan, the leader of a team of experts appointed by China to tackle the health crisis.

With cases falling rapidly in China and soaring abroad, Beijing is now rejecting the widely held assessment that the city of Wuhan is the birthplace of the outbreak.

Chinese officials today reported no new cases in Wuhan, as well as its surrounding Hubei Province, for the first time after the epidemic emerged in late December.

Dr Zhong, 83, said at a press conference yesterday that no evidence suggested the virus originated in Wuhan, a provincial capital city of more than 11 million people.

‘It is a scientific problem. I think it is irresponsible to conclude lightly before [the matter] is clarified,’ the epidemiologist said at the 46th Coronavirus Prevention Media Conference hosted by the government of Guangzhou in southern China.

This is the second time Dr Zhong has rebuked the widely held belief.

He made similar claims on February 27 after the number of daily cases in the country started to drop.

A Beijing spokesperson said last week that the coronavirus might have been brought to Wuhan by the US military in a tweet.

However in January, as the epidemic spread fast in China, the country’s experts stated the source of the virus was wild animals sold at a seafood market in Wuhan.

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Source: Daily Mail


Checks for all Americans will not be cut for at least THREE weeks says Steve Mnuchin – but if the crisis continues there will be another round of up to $1,000 per adult

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Thursday that Americans could see their first round of checks in three weeks as part of trillion-dollar coronavirus aid package.

He told Fox Business Network’s that the administration is proposing $1,000 per person, $500 per child.

‘So for a family of four, that’s a $3,000 payment. As soon as Congress passes this, we get this out in three weeks,’ Mnuchin said.

He noted that another round of checks would come out if the crisis continued.

‘And then six weeks later, if the president still has a national emergency, we’ll deliver another $3,000,’ he added.

His remarks provided the first concrete details of the plan that has been in negotiations between the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Source: Daily Mail


Stocks Sink 7%, Causing Trading Halt and Recession Fears

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks sank 7% on Wall Street Wednesday, triggering another temporary halt to trading and wiping out the optimism and big gains sparked the prior day by Washington’s promises for massive aid for the economy.

Markets have been incredibly volatile for weeks as Wall Street and the White House acknowledge the rising likelihood that the coronavirus outbreak will cause a recession. The typical day this month has seen the stock market swing up or down by 4.9%. Over the last decade, it was just 0.4%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost all its gains since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. The S&P 500, which dictates how 401(k) accounts perform much more than the Dow, is down more than 30% from its record set last month.

As big swaths of the economy retrench while much of society comes to a halt in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, investors have clamored for the U.S. government, Federal Reserve and other authorities around the world to support the economy until it can begin to reopen.

They got a big shot of that Tuesday, when the Trump administration briefed lawmakers on a program that could surpass $1 trillion and the Fed announced its latest moves to support markets.

But the number of infections keeps shooting higher, which creates more uncertainty about how badly the economy is getting hit, how much profit companies will make and how many companies may go into bankruptcy due to a cash crunch.

Worldwide, more than 200,000 have been infected and the virus has killed more than 8,000.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, and those with mild illness recover in about two weeks. Severe illness including pneumonia can occur, especially in the elderly and people with existing health problems, and recovery could take six weeks in such cases.

“The volatility is going to be here to stay,” said Brian Nick, chief investment strategist at Nuveen. “It’s about the virus and not the economic response.”

Wednesday’s selling swept markets around the world. Benchmark U.S. oil fell more than 15% after dropped below $25 per barrel for the first time since 2002. European stock indexes lost more than 4% following broad losses in Asia. Even prices for longer-term U.S. Treasurys, which are seen as some of the safest possible investments, fell as investors sold what they could to raise cash.

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Source: PBS


Detroit Automakers Agree to Shut Down All Factories Due to Fears About Coronavirus

A 2020 Chevrolet Silverado HD being built Thursday, January 24, 2019 at General Motors Flint Assembly in Flint, Michigan. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)

DETROIT (AP) (3/18/2020) – Two people briefed on the matter say Detroit’s three automakers have agreed to close all of their factories due to worker fears about the coronavirus.

The United Auto Workers union has been pushing for factories to close because workers are fearful of coming into contact with the virus.

General Motors was beginning a “systematic orderly suspension” of manufacturing in North America beginning soon. The shutdown will last until March 30.

The plant closures will happen one-by-one. The Flint Assembly plant will be operating until the end of second shift on March 25 before closing — a full week after Wednesday’s announcement.

“You just have to roll with the punches, not panic,” said UAW Local 598 official Paul Muehlenbeck Jr. “Everyone’s kind of panicking. Just do what you normally do, everyone use common sense, wash your hands, we shouldn’t have to be told that.”

GM workers in Flint have expressed frustration over the past week about remaining open and working in close quarters with each other during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Flint manufacturing complex could have 7,500 people under one roof at the same time.

“There’s a lot of sanitation in there. They’re trying to do what they can, but how do you do that with thousands of workers passing each other every eight hours of the day,” Muehlenbeck said. “You’re running three shifts. It’s hard to control the atmosphere.”

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Source: ABC12


Rev. Tony Spell, Who Also Claims His Services Cure Cancer and HIV, Said No “Dictator Law” Should Keep People From Worshipping God

CENTRAL, Louisiana — Declaring that the coronavirus is “politically motivated,” a Louisiana pastor held a church service with hundreds of people in violation of the state’s public health ban on gatherings of more than 50. Police told him that if tried it again, the National Guard would shut him down.

The Rev. Tony Spell, who also claims his services cure cancer and HIV, said no “dictator law” should keep people from worshipping God.

The vast majority of people recover from the highly contagious virus in weeks, but the elderly and infirm can get pneumonia and other illnesses that can lead to death. Louisiana reported its sixth death from the coronavirus Wednesday, with 257 reported cases statewide.

Despite this, Spell said he told 305 people attending his Tuesday night sermon at Life Tabernacle Church in the city of Central, near Baton Rouge, that the virus is nothing to be concerned about.

WAFB-TV quoted Spell as saying that police told him the National Guard will be enforcing Louisiana’s ban on gatherings with more than 50 people. However, a guard spokesman told the TV station that was not the case.

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Source: Washington Times


Chancellor Unleashes £350bn Bailout to Rescue UK Economy From Coronavirus Crisis

Rishi Sunak has unveiled a £350 billion bailout to help keep businesses and households afloat during the coronavirus crisis.

The Chancellor announced £330 billion in Government-backed loans for firms of all sizes so they can keep paying employees’ wages – the equivalent of 15 per cent of UK GDP.

There will also be £20 billion in giveaways, including grants of up to £25,000 for small firms, and a full year without business rates for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, said he and the Chancellor were acting “like any wartime government” by doing “whatever it takes to support our economy”.

Mortgage lenders will give homeowners payment holidays of up to three months if they have been financially impacted by coronavirus, with help for renters in the pipeline.

Mr Sunak made it clear there would be more to come but stopped short of the help made available in some other countries, such as the suspension of household bills.

He said he would draw up schemes in the coming days to provide more support to workers facing redundancy and even said the Government would consider making cash payments to people hit the hardest. It comes after the US President, Donald Trump, outlined plans to give $1,000 per month to US workers.

Despite the huge scale of the bailout, the Government was facing demands to move faster amid warnings that tens of thousands of workers are already being laid off.

The Government’s spending watchdog urged Mr Sunak to take a “blunderbuss” approach to solving the economic crisis and now was not the time to be “squeamish” about adding to public debt.

The death toll from coronavirus in the UK rose to 71 on Tuesday, with 1,950 confirmed cases – an increase of 407 on the previous day.

The chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, admitted that 20,000 UK deaths from coronavirus would now represent success for the Government’s strategy, as he estimated that 55,000 people have now been infected.

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Source: Telegraph


A&E Doctor Warns of ‘Carnage and Chaos’ in UK Hospitals Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

A general view of a person shopping in a supermarket in Chester. Credit: PA

An A&E doctor has told of “carnage and chaos” in the UK’s hospitals amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter read out at the Health Select Committee, the London medic wrote they were “in shock” about the situation and they felt “like we’re being thrown to the wolves”, cautioning: “Some of us are going to die.”

Also at the Committee, the Government’s Chief Scientific advisor warned that keeping the Covid-19 death toll to 20,000 or less would be a “good outcome”.

On Tuesday, the number of people confirmed to have died in the UK after contracting Covid-19 rose to 71.

Those who died were aged between 45 and 93 – the youngest death to date – and had underlying health conditions.

It was also announced the number of confirmed cases in the UK jumped by 407 to reach 1,950.

The letter was read out by Chair Committee and former health secretary Jeremy Hunt as he questioned the Chief Executive and Medical Director of the NHS, along with the Government’s Chief Scientific advisor.

The letter also told of a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers.

“It’s absolute carnage in A&E, utter chaos.

“We don’t have any proper PPE, we’re being given paper gowns, masks… and not everyone even gets those.

“Literally the doctors seeing the sickest patients – the ones with suspected heart attacks… sepsis, and all they have to protect themselves is a bit of paper across their mouths.”

Those questioned responded that a hotline had been established to request immediate supplies.

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Source: ITV


Harvard Doctor Urges National Quarantine on Morning Joe

Grabbing the attention of a national audience on Tuesday, a local doctor issued a warning: With every day that passes, the U.S. will tally more COVID-19 cases, clogging hospitals and emergency rooms, until more drastic measures are taken.

Harvard University professor and Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute Ashish Jha appeared on Morning Joe, telling MSNBC reporters that America needs more tests, and a national quarantine.

Sparse availability of test kits has been a major stumbling block in battling the disease in the U.S. and elsewhere.

“My sense is we’re doing about 10,000 tests a day, maybe, across the country,” Jha told reporters.

But that number, he said, should be 150,000 tests a day instead.

Jha’s message comes after new data from China was published in the Science journal on Monday, estimating that “86% of all infections were undocumented,” and “undocumented infections were the infection source for 79% of documented cases.”

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Source: Boston


Kevin Durant Among Four Nets Tested Positive for Coronavirus

Kevin Durant was among four members of the Brooklyn Nets who tested positive for the coronavirus, the superstar told The Athletic.

The team announced Tuesday that multiple players were diagnosed with the deadly virus, without disclosing names.

“Of the four, one player is exhibiting symptoms while three are asymptomatic,” the team added in a statement. “All four players are presently isolated and under the care of team physicians.”

After the statement was issued, Durant told The Athletic he tested positive for the virus. He told the outlet he was feeling fine.

“Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We’re going to get through this,” Durant said.

The 31-year-old Durant has not played this season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered during last year’s NBA finals, and isn’t expected to return when the league eventually returns from its coronavirus suspension.

There now are seven known cases of coronavirus in the NBA.

The Jazz’s Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, along with the Pistons’ Christian Wood, have also tested positive for coronavirus.

The Nets played neither Utah nor Detroit in February or March before the NBA suspended play last Wednesday, upon learning of Gobert’s positive test.

Durant hadn’t traveled with the Nets for most of the season while rehabbing from Achilles surgery, but he sat on the Brooklyn bench last Tuesday when they played the Lakers at Staples Center, the Nets’ final game before the shutdown.

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Source: New York Post


How Coronavirus Compares to History’s Deadliest Pandemics: Visual Timeline Pits COVID-19 Against Black Death, Smallpox and Aids – as Experts Warn Current Crisis Could Rival Spanish Flu ‘in Its Lethality and Scale’

The true scale of the coronavirus outbreak currently sweeping the world has been laid bare in a visual timeline comparing it to history’s most deadly pandemics.

It shows the bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, was the most lethal of all diseases, killing roughly 200million people in the 14th century.

Smallpox, the second deadliest pandemic in history, claimed the lives of 56million people over more than 400 years before it was finally eradicated in 1980.

By comparison, COVID-19 has so far killed 7,000 people and infected more than 180,000 since December. But it is still in its early stages.

Scientists say the ‘scale’ and ‘lethality’ of the virus is on the scale of the H1N1 influenza strain that sparked the Spanish flu pandemic over 100 years ago.

The 1918 outbreak killed off almost 50million people in just one year after racing around the globe and infecting a quarter of the world’s population.

The timeline, created by Visual Capitalist, shows that in general there has been a gradual reduction in the death rates of each pandemic, with Ebola, MERS and SARS all being contained quickly.

Medical advancements and mapping the spread of infectious diseases have been powerful tools in mitigating their impact.

But the infographic also shows that viruses can still run rampant and kill millions if scientists are unable to develop a vaccine.

HIV has been able to claim the lives of around 32million sufferers since it first made the jump from monkeys to humans in 1981 because there is no cure.

However, modern antiretroviral treatments can control it and let patients live long and healthy lives.

Leading experts are currently racing to develop a vaccine for coronavirus – the first of which will be tested on humans in April.

But it could still be another year before the jab is deemed safe enough for global immunisation.

The world’s major cities have adopted a bewildering array of measures to fend off the coronavirus crisis, with some enforcing drastic lockdowns while others prefer a lighter touch.

Some popular tourist hotspots such as Rome have become nearly deserted after citizens were ordered to stay inside to stop the virus spreading.

Limits on public gatherings have been set as low as 50 people in Berlin and New York City, with Donald Trump suggesting a limit of ten for the U.S. as a whole.

But schools, bars and restaurants are still open in London, where the UK government has been much more reluctant to impose draconian measures.

Some cities such as San Francisco are threatening people with fines or imprisonment if they venture out illegally, while other authorities are still only offering guidance.

In some countries such as Italy, the national government has taken command of the crisis and ordered shutdowns across the country.

However, U.S. states and cities have more freedom to take their own actions, while Germany has also left much of the decision-making to its 16 states including Berlin.

It comes after Germany’s public health agency warned the coronavirus crisis could last up to two years.

The Robert Koch Institute, the German federal government agency responsible for disease control and prevention, made the claim on Tuesday as it strengthened the threat risk for Germany from ‘moderate’ to ‘high’.

It comes after German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday announced gatherings in churches, mosques and synagogues would be banned and said playgrounds and non-essential shops would close as the country reaches 7,000 confirmed cases, and 14 deaths.

The Robert Koch Institute said the pandemic could stretch on for another 24 months as pandemics usually run their course in waves.

According to RKI President Lothar Wieler, the length of time depends on how many people develop immunity to COVID-19 after contracting the virus, how many more people test positive for the illness and how long it takes to develop a vaccine.

Dr Wieler did not rule out the potential for some of the emergency measures established by countries to have to stay in place for that duration.

The first humans trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine began last Friday.

Forty-five participants in Seattle – which is currently being ravaged by an outbreak – will receive the jab to test it is safe.

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Source: Daily Mail


President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Resort Closed for a Deep Clean After Multiple Confirmed Cases of Coronavirus

(CNN) — After multiple confirmed cases of coronavirus at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort last week, including a fundraiser attendee and an aide to the Brazilian President, the club is undergoing a deep clean, a member tells CNN.

Members were notified via email that the club will be closed Monday for a cleaning, including its grand ballroom, with the exception of the beach club, which is separate to the main area (across the street) and will remain open.

Dinner will be served as usual Tuesday through Saturday.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s communications director Fábio Wajngarten was at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and posted a photo of himself posing beside Trump.

Wajngarten tested positive for COVID-19.

Trump later tested negative for COVID-19, the White House said Saturday.

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Source: WFLX


86% of People With Coronavirus Are Walking Around Undetected, Study Says

South Korean soldiers in protective gear sanitize a shopping street in Seoul, South Korea, March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Heo Ran

“Stealth” coronavirus cases are fueling the pandemic, with a staggering 86% of people infected walking around undetected, a new study says.

Six of every seven cases – 86% — were not reported in China before travel restrictions were implemented, driving the spread of the virus, according to a study Monday in the journal Science.

“It’s the undocumented infections which are driving the spread of the outbreak,” said co-author Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University Mailman School, according to GeekWire.

Using computer modeling, researchers tracked infections before and after the Chinese city of Wuhan’s travel ban.

The findings indicated that these undocumented infections with no or mild symptoms — known as “stealth” cases — were behind two-thirds of the reported patients.

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Source: New York Post


Dire New Report Forces U.S. And U.K. To Change Course on Coronavirus Strategy

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks with a face mask, after further cases of coronavirus were confirmed in New York, at JFK International Airport in New York, U.S., March 5, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A startling new report from Imperial College London warns that 2.2 million Americans and 510,000 Britons could die from coronavirus if extreme action isn’t taken to change the course of the outbreak.

Why it matters: The report’s dire warnings prompted a quick course correction from both the American and British governments on their strategies, but its strict recommendations and long timeline — 18 months — to stem the tide could have far-reaching implications for both populations and economies.

What they found: The report states the effectiveness of “mitigation,” which includes isolating only the sick and those linked to them while advocating social distancing for at-risk groups, is limited. It instead recommends “suppression,” a much more wide-ranging tactic to curb coronavirus’ spread.

The researchers say that suppression “will minimally require a combination of social distancing of the entire population, home isolation of cases and household quarantine of their family members.” It also recommends school closures.

The report notes that this strategy could have to be in place until a vaccine is developed, which could take 18 months — saying it is “the only viable strategy at the current time.”

Worth noting: While China and South Korea have managed to suppress the outbreak using similarly draconian strategies, the report admits that it’s not yet clear if suppression’s successes can last in the long-term.

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Source: Axios


Border Chaos, Choked Supply Lines in Attempts to Slow Virus

Trucks are stuck in traffic jams on the A12 autobahn in the direction of Poland near near Frankfurt (Oder), Germany, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. To make it more difficult for the corona virus to spread, Poland had reintroduced controls at the border crossings to Germany. (Toni Feist/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Traffic jams swelled along borders and travelers appealed to their governments for help getting home Tuesday as countries in Europe and beyond imposed strict controls along their frontiers and grappled with the challenge of allowing the flow of goods but restricting people to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Tens of millions around the world were already hunkered down in government-ordered isolation after many countries ordered stores, schools and businesses shut down to combat the pandemic. The border closures stopped not only people but also needed goods, prompting the widespread hoarding of essentials.

German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner castigated people for spreading panic by posting fake reports over social media that supermarkets would be closing, while urging people only to purchase what they needed for their own households.

“There is enough for everybody,” she said. “I’m certain we will weather this society-wide situation well, so long as we behave as a society.”

The European Union issued guidelines Monday aimed at facilitating the flow of critical goods like food and medicine, while helping individual nations restrict non-essential travel in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

But on Tuesday it was chaos on many borders with traffic backed up for dozens of kilometers (miles).

“We are all desperate, cold and sleepless here for a third day,” said Janina Stukiene, who was stuck in Lithuania on the border with Poland with her husband and son. “We just want to go home.”

The line of cars and trucks in Lithuania was some 60 kilometers (37 miles) long after Poland closed its border, while similar traffic jams could be seen on the borders with Germany and the Czech Republic.

Lithuania was sending military airplanes and special trains to Germany to help hundreds of its citizens stranded at the crossing points with Poland.

To try to help citizens from Estonia and Lithuania get home following closure of the Polish border, German police organized a convoy of vehicles to a ferry port on one of its Baltic Sea islands.

Estonia, meantime, commissioned a passenger ferry to fetch Estonians and Latvians unable to transit Poland to return home from Germany.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who had a phone call Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU officials, called Tuesday for “intensifying European coordination and quickly take effective and concerted action.” He condemned unilateral border control measures taken by some member states within the EU, according to his office.

Like Germany, France insists the free flow of goods must be guaranteed and cross-border commuting for work should be allowed.

Macron tightened internal guidelines, allowing people to leave home only to buy food, go to work or do essential tasks, saying that people hadn’t complied with earlier guidelines and “we are at war.”

Germany launched a 50 million euro ($56 million) effort to bring home thousands stranded in popular winter vacation spots across the globe, including up to 5,000 in Morocco alone.

“Even if we will do everything humanly possible, we cannot in every case provide a solution within 24 hours,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned.

MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
– US virus reaction? Some go on lockdown, some go to the beach
– The Latest: Trump: US builders should hand over their masks
– What’s Happening: Virus moves west, ‘Big Brother’ gets real
More than 100,000 Germans are thought to be in various places around the world looking to get home, including some 30,000 in Egypt, primarily on holiday, and 4,000 to 6,000 in Morocco.

Airlines have slashed flights due to a plunge in demand but also because many countries have been barring foreign arrivals.

The German government is working with flagship carrier Lufthansa as well as travel companies on a plan to organize special flights to get citizens and residents home.

Turkey planned to evacuate 3,614 citizens stranded in nine European countries after flights were suspended, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

Regional authorities in Spain’s Balearic Islands effectively locked down the Mediterranean archipelago by restricting all but a handful of daily flights and incoming boats for returning island residents. Its president, Francisca Armengol, said the islands “will basically remain closed.”

Spain, now the fourth-most infected country, saw the number of people with the virus rise by more than 2,000 in one day to 11,178 and virus-related deaths jump by almost 200 to 491. Only China, Italy and Iran had more infections.

With the number of cases worldwide topping 185,000, a surge of patients in Madrid’s hospitals has fueled worries in Europe and elsewhere of what lies ahead.

The virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, for most people, but severe illness is more likely in the elderly and people with existing health problems. COVID-19 has killed over 7,300 people so far, while more than 80,000 have recovered.

Iran state TV warned that “millions” could die in the Islamic Republic alone if the public keeps traveling and ignores health guidance. World Health Organization officials have said the number of cases there — nearly 15,000 with 853 deaths — have been sharply under-reported.

In Italy, reported infections jumped to 27,980. With 2,158 deaths, Italy now accounts for well over a quarter of the global death toll.

Some bright spots emerged. Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus was first detected late last year and which has been under lockdown for weeks, reported just one new case Tuesday.

Shares reversed early losses in Asia on Tuesday and stocks pushed higher on Wall Street in early trading, a day after their worst plunge in more than three decades as more aid appeared on the way from Washington. The 4.5% rise for the S&P 500 followed Monday’s nearly 13% plummet.

Still, markets around the world remained highly volatile as traders see a recession growing more likely.

A senior South Korean health official, Kwon Jun-wook, urged people to take the virus seriously.

Full Coverage: Virus Outbreak
“In a similar way to how the Sept. 11 attacks completely changed people’s perception about security, quarantine authorities like us believe the daily lives of all the people around the world will be changed because of COVID-19,” Kwon said.

Malaysia banned foreign travel and was allowing only essential services to stay open.

The eastern Caribbean island of Barbados confirmed its first two cases, saying both were linked to people who had recently traveled there from the U.S.

Jack Ma, founder of the Chinese tech giant Alibaba, said his foundation would donate more than 1 million testing kits — 20,000 testing kits to each of Africa’s 54 countries —as the coronavirus starts to spread on the extremely vulnerable continent.

Thirty African countries have confirmed cases but about a dozen lack testing capability.

“We cannot … assume this continent of 1.3 billion people will blissfully escape the crisis,” Ma said.

Bloomberg Philanthropies also announced a $40 million initiative to help vulnerable countries, notably in Africa.

As the pandemic expanded in Europe, the Mideast and the Americas, China and South Korea were trying to hold their hard-fought gains. China was quarantining new arrivals and South Korea was to increase screenings of all overseas arrivals.

Infections have continued to slow in South Korea’s worst-hit city of Daegu. But there’s concern over a steady rise of infections around Seoul, where new clusters have emerged.

In the U.S., officials urged older Americans and those with chronic health conditions to stay home, and recommended all group gatherings be capped at 10 people.

School closings in 56 countries kept more than 516 million students home, the U.N. said. New York City joined those ranks Monday, closing a school system with 1.1 million students.

Some countries that had resisted more stringent measures snapped into action, too.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people to eliminate unnecessary contact with others, work from home where possible and avoid bars, restaurants, theaters and other venues. Schools remained opened for the time being.

Some scientists, and many worried Britons, have said the government should have taken tough action sooner.

Britain’s dramatic escalation of restrictions was sparked by new scientific evidence suggesting that 250,000 people in the U.K. and more than 1 million in the U.S. might die if the country did not suppress its spread.

The analysis, published by Imperial College London, drew on the latest data from China and Italy. It found that a strategy of “mitigation” — slowing but not stopping the spread of the virus while protecting vulnerable groups like the elderly — would still lead to a huge number of cases that would overwhelm the health care system.

The researchers estimated as many as half of all cases were not identified and that 30% of hospitalized patients would require critical care. They also suggested almost 81% of the population in the U.S. and U.K. might be infected during the pandemic and said the drastic social restrictions might need to be in place for many months, until a vaccine is available that could help avoid a rebound in the virus’ spread.

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Associated Press writers Chris Blake in Bangkok, Geir Moulson in Berlin, Sylvie Corbet in Paris, Jari Tanner in Helsinki, Finland, Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Aritz Parra in Madrid, Adam Geller in New York, Mike Corder in Amsterdam, Jovana Gec in Belgrade, Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin, Cara Anna in Johannesburg, Jill Lawless and Maria Cheng in London, Liudas Dapkus in Vilnius, Lithuania, Colleen Barry in Milan, Italy, Karel Janicek in Prague, Ken Moritsugu in Beijing, Kim Tong-hyung and Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul, South Korea, Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Sheikh Saaliq in New Delhi.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

Source: Associated Press


7M People in San Francisco Area Wake Up to Empty Streets

A man looks toward the skyline from Bernal Heights Hill in San Francisco, Monday, March 16, 2020. Officials in six San Francisco Bay Area counties issued a shelter-in-place mandate Monday affecting nearly 7 million people, including the city of San Francisco itself. The order says residents must stay inside and venture out only for necessities for three weeks starting Tuesday in a desperate attempt by officials to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — About 7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area woke up Tuesday to nearly empty highways, shuttered stores and vacant streets after officials issued an order for residents to shelter at their homes and only leave for “essential” reasons in a desperate attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Miguel Aguirre, 38, his wife and two children were the only ones along a street near San Francisco’s City Hall, an area normally bustling with office workers and commuters. Tuesday morning, only two coffee shops were open and empty.

Aguirre and his wife are janitors at the Boys and Girls Club and he said they heard on television of the shelter-in-place order but they decided to show up to work anyway because they need the money.

“It’s really a scary situation for us because if we don’t work, we don’t eat,” said Aguirre, who lives in Oakland and had to bring his daughters with him after schools were shuttered.

He said he already lost his job second job at the Hotel St. Francis where he worked in banquets, which dried up after tourism and conferences started plummeting a month ago.

“There been days when I want to cry but I have to keep going, this is a very difficult situation,” Aguirre said.

He said his supervisor had just texted him that he needed to leave San Francisco and the family was closing the club to return home. “We’re really scared because if we don’t work we don’t eat and we just bought a home three months ago,” he said.

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The measures are the strictest in America so far, mimicking orders in place across Europe and they raised new questions. What exactly is an essential need to leave home? What happens if you go out for a non-essential reason? What about salaries and income?

“No one is clear. No one has clarity as to what next steps are,” said Oakland resident John McClinton. “And no one has a clear interpretation as to what’s going to happen economically or the trickle-down effect that local businesses are experiencing because of this.”

Under the order, supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and gas stations remain open, along with other essential government functions and businesses.

Restaurants will be open only for takeout.

All gyms and bars will have to close. Outdoor exercise is fine, as long as people practice “social distancing.”

“You can still walk your dog or go on a hike with another person, as long as you keep 6 feet between you,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

It remained unclear if the rest of the state — and country — would follow California’s lead. The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said over the weekend he would like to see aggressive measures such as a 14-day national shutdown that would require Americans to hunker down.

MORE ON THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
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– The Latest: Trump: US builders should hand over their masks
President Donald Trump said Monday he was currently not considering a nationwide lockdown.

The new order in California applies to about 7 million people. It includes the cities of San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland.

Speaking in urgent language, officials said the unprecedented directive was based on data that showed a rapid escalation of cases that required quick, bold action. The order takes effect Tuesday and lasts until at least April 7.

“History will not forgive us for waiting an hour more,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, whose city is the epicenter of the area’s outbreak. “This is our generation’s great test, our moment to stand together as a community. Amid our collective fears, we will find our uncommon courage.”

The dramatic changes have caused confusion and, despite official calls not to panic, no shortage of anxiety.

Across California, and the nation, the scene at supermarkets has been chaotic with lines forming before stores open in the morning with restocked shelves. Once open, shoppers jam the aisles and clear out the stock of toilet paper and other paper goods, canned beans, pasta and rice.

The shelter-in-place order set off a new rush. Shoppers in Berkeley flooded into the Berkeley Bowl grocery store. “I saw the headline and got this pit in my stomach,” Caroline Park said as she put on plastic gloves before pushing a shopping cart into the store. “I was going to shop for the week anyway. I’m not here to hoard.”

Full Coverage: Virus Outbreak
California’s national and state parks remained open, but many shut indoor spaces, including visitor centers and museums.

The state has confirmed nearly 400 cases of the virus and seven deaths. The virus usually causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, but can be deadly for older people and those with underlying health conditions.

The order came a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom told all residents ages 65 or older to stay at home and also called for all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs to close. Newsom upgraded the orders with more force on Monday.

In Los Angeles and San Diego counties — the state’s largest, with a combined 13.4 million people — ordered bars to close and restaurants to stay open only for pickup, drive-thru or delivery orders.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said violating the order is technically a misdemeanor punishable by a fine or jail time but authorities will take a “compassionate, common-sense approach” to enforcement.

At San Francisco’s infamous Alcatraz, the shutdown closed tours of the shuttered island prison until further notice. Tour guide Manuel Gomez, 49, who supports a wife and two children, said he hadn’t yet come up with another plan to make money.

“It’s devastating,” Gomez said. “We only have enough savings to last us for 10 days.”

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AP reporters Olga R. Rodriguez and Juliet Williams, Terry Chea in San Francisco, John Antczak and John Rogers in Los Angeles, Daisy Nguyen in Berkeley, Amy Taxin in Orange County and Julie Watson in San Diego contributed to this report.

Source: Associated Press


San Francisco Bay Area Counties Issue Shelter-in-place Order

A closed sign is posted to the entrance of the Musée Mécanique penny arcade at Fisherman’s Wharf Monday, March 16, 2020, in San Francisco. Officials in six San Francisco Bay Area counties issued a shelter-in-place mandate Monday affecting nearly 7 million people, including the city of San Francisco itself. The order says residents must stay inside and venture out only for necessities for three weeks starting Tuesday in a desperate attempt by officials to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Officials in seven San Francisco Bay Area counties issued a sweeping shelter-in-place mandate Monday affecting about 7 million people, ordering residents to stay at home and go outside only for food, medicine and outings that are absolutely essential.

The order says residents must stay inside and venture out only for necessities for three weeks starting Tuesday in a desperate attempt by officials to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“I know today’s order is a radical step. It has to be. We need to act now, all of us, to protect the public health,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

If affects the counties of San Francisco, Marin, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda, which includes the cities of Berkeley and Oakland.

“History will not forgive us for waiting an hour more,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, whose city is the most populous in the Bay Area and the epicenter of the area’s outbreak. “This is our generation’s great test, our moment to stand tougher as a community. Amid our collective fears, we will find our uncommon courage.”

On Monday night, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order allowing local governments to halt evictions and to slow foreclosures for residents struggling to pay their bills amid the coronavirus crisis. The measure will be in effect through May 31 but could be extended in necessary.

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The order also requests — but doesn’t require — that banks and other financial institutions halt virus-related foreclosures and evictions during the period and requires the state Public Utilities Commission to provide weekly public reports on measures that utilities are taking to protect customers against power, water, internet and other utility shut offs.

“Over the next few weeks, everyone will have to make sacrifices – but a place to live shouldn’t be one of them. I strongly encourage cities and counties take up this authority to protect Californians,” Newsom said in a statement.

In Southern California, Los Angeles and San Diego counties — the state’s two largest, with a combined 13.4 million people — ordered bars to close and restaurants to stay open only for pickup, drive-thru or delivery orders.

Following that lead, Newsom directed restaurants to eliminate dine-in options for patrons and for gyms, health clubs and movie theaters to close. Initially Newsom had only closed down bars and instructed restaurants to reduce their capacity.

Newsome also directed an end to “mass gatherings” based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new directive applies to any non-essential gathering of strangers, at auditoriums, arenas, conference rooms or other spaces. The state is not outlining a specific number. It’s a much more significant step than the state’s original restriction on gatherings of 250 people or more. Trump earlier Monday said U.S. residents should not gather in groups of more than 10 people.

The state’s order doesn’t apply to small social gatherings among friends in someone’s home. It also doesn’t ban essential activities like airport travel or shopping at grocery stores.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed criticized what she called a “terrible response” by federal officials.

“We can’t sit back and wait for the federal government to do anything. Unfortunately, they have not been as proactive as they should in recognizing this is a crisis throughout the world,” she said.

The Bay Area order tells people to work from home unless they provide essential services such as public safety, sanitation and medical services.

“Grocery stores will remain open, banks will remain open, the pharmacies will remain open. There is no need to panic,” Breed said.

But daily life will change dramatically in what Breed called the “new normal, temporarily, to protect public health.”

Most people will have to work from home. The order says residents can go out only for “essential activities” — like buying food, seeing a doctor or caring for a family member — and only “essential” businesses and government functions can remain open, including health care, public transportation, hardware stores, garbage collection, gas stations, laundromats and banks.

Full Coverage: Virus Outbreak
Restaurants will be open only for takeout.

All gyms and bars will have to close. Outdoor exercise is fine, as long as people practice social distancing, Colfax said.

California’s national parks and state parks remained open, but many parks said they were shutting indoor spaces, including visitor centers and museums.

“You can still walk your dog or go on a hike with another person, as long as you keep 6 feet between you,” Colfax said. He said officials from six counties met over the weekend and determined the unprecedented measures were necessary to slow the virus’ spread, shield those most vulnerable to the disease and protect health care workers who are on the front lines of fighting it. Santa Cruz officials added their county to the order later in the day.

Kevin Jones, general manager of Buena Vista Cafe, an iconic San Francisco restaurant that has been a draw for tourists since 1952 in the popular Fisherman’s Wharf, said the order is “going to hurt, but our duty is to protect our employees and our customers.”

The cafe was the only one open Monday in one of the city’s busiest tourist areas, and was almost full. He said he’s worried about its 58 employees being able to pay their rent; owners and managers decided any perishable foods would go to the workers.

The dramatic step came as officials across California took increasingly strident steps to separate people and contain the spread of coronavirus.

On Sunday, Newsom urged the state’s 5.3 million people who are 65 and older and those with chronic health conditions to isolate at home. He also called for all bars, wineries, nightclubs and brewpubs in California to close.

California has confirmed nearly 400 cases of the virus and seven deaths. One of the dead was a homeless person in the Santa Clara region, Newsom announced.

The virus usually causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, but can be deadly for older people and those with underlying health conditions.

The state has increased the number of available hospital beds and will reopen shuttered medical centers in the coming days.

Most of California’s public schools were shut starting Monday for several weeks. Newsom said about 85% of California’s 6 million public school students will be out of their classrooms this week. Many districts are arranging for meal pickups for families that depend on schools for breakfast and lunch.

Across California, long lines persisted at some grocery stores despite officials saying there’s no need to hoard supplies.

Shoppers flocked to the Berkeley Bowl grocery store in West Berkeley after seeing online reports about the virtual shutdown before officials announced it.

“I saw the headline and got this pit in my stomach,” Caroline Park, 38, said as she put on plastic gloves before pushing a shopping cart into the store. “I was going to shop for the week anyway. I’m not here to hoard.” By 2 p.m. the line to the store snaked around the block after store managers shut the entrance to limit the number of shoppers inside.

Responding to panic buying earlier in the day, executives of major grocery chains said supply chains are in good shape and clerks are working to restock shelves and clean.

The rapid pace of new restrictions caught people and institutions off-guard.

Near San Diego State University, Will Remsbottom’s Scrimshaw Coffee had just three people, and one was an employee washing windows.

“I’m just struggling with this moral conundrum of remaining open and being a potential spreader versus closing and not being able to pay my employees,” he said.

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AP reporters John Antczak and John Rogers in Los Angeles, Jocelyn Gecker in San Francisco, Daisy Nguyen in Berkeley, Amy Taxin in Orange County and Julie Watson and Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed to this report.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source: Associated Press


L.A. County Releasing Some Inmates From Jail to Combat Coronavirus

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is releasing inmates from its jails and cutting down on how many people it books into custody to protect those housed in close quarters from the growing coronavirus pandemic.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said deputies and police officers across the county have been directed to cite and release people whenever possible, instead of arresting them, and to seek medical clearance before booking anyone who shows symptoms. Countywide, he said, arrests have dropped from a daily average of 300 to 60, while the jail population was reduced by more than 600 inmates.

“Our population within our jail is a vulnerable population just by virtue of who they are and where they’re located,” Villanueva said Monday at a news conference in downtown L.A. “So we’re protecting that population from potential exposure.”

The move came amid mounting calls by civil rights advocates and health professionals to reduce the number of people held in local, state and federal lock-ups. They raised concerns about the mayhem a COVID-19 outbreak could create within the prison and immigration detention system, which has been criticized for lacking sufficient capacity to meet inmates’ medical needs even before the pandemic.

“It’s too easy to forget about those who are in conditions that will be a powder keg when COVID-19 hits,” said Miriam Krinsky, executive director of the reform group Fair and Just Prosecution who previously headed the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence. “What the sheriff identified is a good first step but it can’t be the only thing that we do.”

Chris Beyrer, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiology professor, recalled the case of a 16-year-old Guatemalan in immigration detention who was treated with over-the-counter flu medications, and died the next morning of acute respiratory distress — the same syndrome that makes COVID-19 cases so lethal.

“Nobody should be being detained for not paying a parking fee or because they are poor and can’t make bail,” Beyrer said. “We need to be releasing those people yesterday.”

California suspended visitation in state prisons Wednesday, and over the weekend broadened that to include overnight family visits. Sheriff’s officials in Los Angeles and Orange counties followed suit.

San Quentin State Prison has put some 1,800 inmates in quarantine after reports of flu-like illnesses within two cell blocks. One of those is the reception unit where new prisoners arrive from jail.

Prison officials said no inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, but also confirmed that for most inmates, the department’s new protocol requires the results of a flu test to be obtained first, and if that is negative, there is a potential four-day wait for coronavirus results. However, the policy directs that prisoners 65 or older or those with chronic medical conditions should be considered for immediate COVID-19 testing.

The Alameda County public defender last week formally asked local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies to shield some 300 medically at-risk jail inmates from virus exposure with a combination of early releases and pre-trial diversion programs. He also asked judges to suspend the practice of issuing bench warrants for the arrest of clients who don’t make their court dates.

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Source: LA Times`


Despite Dire Coronavirus Warning, Some Refuse to Give Up Their Routines

© Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald/TNS Two women stroll down the side walk wearing masks in response to the coronavirus in Miami, Florida on Sunday, March 15, 2020.

LOS ANGELES — As schools closed and store shelves emptied of toilet paper, Joseph Sanchez realized that life as he knew it was grinding to a halt.

What was next? Perhaps even bars would close to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 6,500 people worldwide?

Sanchez invited a friend, Marcos Avina, to meet at their favorite spot, Glendale Tap, for what he termed “one more moment of normality.”

His hunch proved prescient.

As he and Avina sipped craft beers Sunday afternoon at the neighborhood bar on San Fernando Road, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that bars in California should close their doors, restaurants should seat customers farther apart and senior citizens should isolate themselves.

“This could be the last bar we go to in a long time,” said Avina, 40, a bill collector for Spectrum, the internet and cable company.

(Late Sunday, Mayor Eric Garcetti went even further, ordering bars in Los Angeles to close and restaurants to halt dine-in service until March 31.)

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Source: MSN


Coronavirus in NYC: Bill De Blasio Considering a Shelter-in-place Edict

Mayor Bill de Blasio may soon order New Yorkers to only leave their homes for food, medicine and exercise — a major escalation of the Big Apple’s coronavirus containment plan.

De Blasio was asked on CNN Tuesday morning if he had any plans for a shelter-in-place edict similar to the one in San Francisco.

“We’re absolutely considering that,” de Blasio said. “We’re going to look at all other options, but it could get to that for sure for the whole country.”

De Blasio has been hesitant to enact more drastic measures to contain the outbreak, only shutting down schools and restaurants as pressure mounted Sunday– days after other cities already ordered those closures.

The San Francisco order prevents people from leaving their homes except for necessities for the next three weeks.

Violating the Bay Area directive could result in a fine or even jail time, but for now local police and sheriffs are ensuring compliance instead of resorting to enforcement, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

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Source: New York Post


Fear and Loathing Bloom as American Tempers Fray in Coronavirus Crisis

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks with a face mask, after further cases of coronavirus were confirmed in New York, at JFK International Airport in New York, U.S., March 5, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Note language some readers may find offensive in paragraph six)

By Nick Brown and Brad Brooks

NEW YORK, March 16 (Reuters) – From sidewalk shouting matches to politically fueled online sniping, tempers showed signs of fraying in some U.S. cities as the nation stepped up its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

A new fault line appeared in the already-polarized country – between those committed to complying with public health officials urging people to stay home to prevent the spread of disease, and those trying to go about their normal lives outside.

“Flatten the curve, go home! Flatten the curve, go home!” a man in New York’s Brooklyn borough yelled out the window of a four-story apartment building, as people walked on the street below. Three neighbors soon joined in the chiding chorus, which echoed advice to slow the fast-spreading respiratory disease that has infected nearly 179,000 people globally and killed more than 7,000, including at least 74 in the United States.

Joanne Wasserman, a 65-year-old communications consultant, tried to break the monotony of days indoors on Sunday by going for a walk through her Brooklyn neighborhood. While she took care to avoid crowds, she was surprised to see a gaggle of people in their 20s and 30s standing outside a packed restaurant.

“I was shocked,” she said. Heart racing, she summoned the courage to confront them, asking, “Are you guys are aware of what’s going on?”

The response was sudden and severe, she recalled: “We are trying to have a nice Sunday, so why don’t you just fuck off!”

President Donald Trump on Monday urged Americans to halt most social activities for 15 days and not to gather in groups larger than 10 to slow the spread of the disease, also known as COVID-19. Public health officials called the moves necessary to protect older people and those with compromised immune systems, who are more likely to become severely ill.

Stories of charity and compassion have also emerged – teachers raising money for poor kids who will miss meals, or neighbors checking in on each other and sharing cleaning supplies and protective gear like face masks.

But signs of strain are emerging as the country girds for a long fight.

‘I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’

The most concerned include parents of young children with severe health conditions.

Among them are the Raatz family of Oviedo, Florida.

Their 8-year-old daughter, Ella, has multiple risk factors because of a neurodevelopmental disorder, epilepsy and a primary immunodeficiency.

“People just don’t seem to care about people who might be vulnerable,” said Becky Raatz, Ella’s mother. “Some people are not taking it seriously – when I see the photos of the people cramming into the bars, I can’t believe it.”

She recalled feeling frustrated at a friend who traveled outside the United States and opted against self-isolating on return.

While schools across a large swath of the United States have closed their doors, children still face risks in their communities.

Tina Raymond, 53, of Warrington, Pennsylvania, said she is deeply angered by what she sees as a nonchalant attitude. She knows the downside better than most: her 13-year-old son, Tim, died in 2010 during the swine flu outbreak.

“He was one of those people who came home from school on a Friday and by Sunday morning he was airlifted to CHOP,” the acronym for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Raymond said.

She is angered by photos she sees on social media of teens in her community gathering at this time.

“They could be infectious already and they’re sharing it with all of their friends,” Raymond said. “I didn’t get this kind of advance warning when the swine flu came around.”

Raymond shared her story and concerns in a public Facebook post: “I am done being nice. STAY HOME AND KEEP YOUR KIDS HOME!”

PARTISAN DIVIDE

Predictably, response to the coronavirus has also broken down along partisan lines, with some Democrats criticizing the Trump administration’s halting early response to the outbreak, and some Republicans downplaying its risks.

Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a rising star on the party’s left flank, on Saturday urged young people to stay home.

“To everyone in NYC but ESPECIALLY healthy people & people under 40 (bc from what I’m observing that’s who needs to hear this again): PLEASE stop crowding bars, restaurants, and public spaces right now. Eat your meals at home,” she said on Twitter. “If you are healthy, you could be spreading COVID.”

The next morning, Republican Representative Devin Nunes of California urged Americans to go out.

“If you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to go out, go to your local restaurant… let’s not hurt the working people in this country who are relying on wages and tips,” Nunes told Fox News on Sunday. “Go to your local pub.”

That same day, the mayor of Los Angeles ordered all bars and pubs to close. (Reporting by Leela de Krester, Nick Brown and Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York, Suzanne Barlyn in Washington and Brad Brooks in Austin, Texas, writing by Brad Brooks; Editing by Scott Malone and Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: Reuters


Trump Administration Wants an $850 Billion Stimulus Plan to Curb Coronavirus Damage

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin heads to the Capitol on Tuesday to discuss a third coronavirus response package with Senate Republicans as policymakers try to stave off economic calamity.

The Trump administration wants an $850 billion economic stimulus plan, two administration officials told NBC News. The White House’s proposal would include about $50 billion in aid to an airline industry battered by the global pandemic, according to The Washington Post, which along with Politico reported the $850 billion figure earlier Tuesday.

Congress already passed $8.3 billion in emergency funding to help stop the coronavirus disease’s spread. A separate plan to expand paid leave benefits, boost unemployment insurance and make testing more affordable is working its way through the Capitol this week.

The outbreak has wreaked havoc on the economy, as restaurants, bars and event venues close down or limit service and stores take a hit from Americans staying inside. The travel and leisure industry, such as hotels and cruise lines, has taken a beating.

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Source: CNBC


Casinos Ask Congress for Emergency Aid as Coronavirus Toll Sweeps Industry

Casinos have joined the airline industry in asking Congress for emergency financial help as Las Vegas and other tourist destinations take a severe financial hit from the coronavirus outbreak.

The requested aid for the casino companies, raised by lobbyists in recent days, could come in the form of a comprehensive bailout package, similar to what lawmakers may provide to airlines, cruise companies and the hospitality industry. Other possibilities include direct cash payments, deferred taxes, or special bankruptcy protections, said two people with knowledge of the conversations, who were not authorized to speak publicly.

One person said that on a strategy call Monday with members of the American Gaming Association, which represents the industry, a representative of Wynn Resorts raised the possibility of the industry seeking cash payments. Wynn Resorts was previously run by one of President Donald Trump’s biggest political donors, Steve Wynn, though he resigned from his post in 2018. A Wynn Resorts representative did not respond to requests for comment.

The American Gaming Association issued a statement to The Washington Post on Monday, saying that with the $260 billion industry at a “near standstill,” additional funds are needed to support casino companies and their employees.

“As state governments close casinos as a part of the urgent public health response to COVID-19, elected leaders should move just as urgently to support the workers and businesses who will bear the brunt of those effects,” said the AGA, referring to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. “Our immediate priorities are actions that provide liquidity to allow us to support employees.”

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Source: The Hour


BCNN1 is Not for the Democrats or Republicans but Cuomo is Putting on a Clinic in Handling a Crisis: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland Will Shut Down Tonight: Bars and Restaurants Are Only Allowed to Do Take-out, and Casinos, Movie Theaters and Gyms Will All Close to Stunt Coronavirus Spread as New Jersey Launches 8pm ‘curfew’

An almost deserted subway station in Brooklyn, New York, on Monday morning as millions of New Yorkers stayed home

New York will close its bars and restaurants at 8pm on Monday night for ‘as long as necessary’ along with casinos, gyms and movie theaters as part of an effort with neighboring states Connecticut and New Jersey to stop the spread of coronavirus.

New Jersey has also launched a statewide ‘curfew’ between the hours of 8pm and 5am for all ‘non essential travel’ but it is unclear what that is or what will happen to anyone who does not follow the rules.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has not confirmed whether or not people will be able to go to work between those hours or how he plans to enforce it, but is only saying that he ‘strongly discourages’ anyone from leaving home between those hours.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the shutdown in a tweet on Monday morning after urging Trump to shut down the country to fight coronavirus and said the current ‘patchwork quilt’ system of some states being more vigilant than others is not working.

The order applies to New York City too.

The shut-down had been planned for Tuesday morning at 9am.

Cuomo sped it up on Monday, saying the tri-state decided to take matters into their own hands after a lack of action from the White House.

He earlier pleaded with President Trump to order shut downs across the country, saying the ‘patchwork quilt’ approach of seeing some states taking more vigilant action than others ‘is not working’.

There are more than 4,000 cases of coronavirus in the US and 71 people have died.

After Cuomo’s announcement, shift workers in bars and restaurants panicked and started asking how they would be able to pay their rent.

In Maryland, the city-wide shutdown will be in effect from 5pm tonight. It applies to restaurants, bars, gyms and movie theaters.

There has been no firm answer yet on how to alleviate the financial burden of the crisis on individuals.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow told DailyMail.com Monday said the administration ‘might’ get behind new proposals to give cash to American households in the neighborhood of $1,000 each per month.

In New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, all bars and restaurants will be forced to switch to take-out and delivery orders only from 8pm on Monday night.

In New York, Cuomo will relax liquor laws to allow people to order alcohol from their local bars and restaurants.

Movie theaters, theaters, gyms and casinos will close and will remain closed indefinitely.

He said the rules would last for ‘as long as necessary’ to cope with the crisis.

In Hoboken, New Jersey, a 10pm curfew is in place but it remains unclear how it is being enforced and what happens to anyone who breaks it.

Earlier, in an interview on Good Morning America on Monday, Gov. Cuomo said it made no sense for him to take harsh action in New York but have neighboring states like New Jersey and Connecticut not, because people would simply migrate there to keep living their lives and potentially spread the virus.

‘This government has to get more engaged.

‘There’s been no country that hasn’t handled this on a federalized level.

‘This patchwork quilt of policies doesn’t work. It makes no sense for me to do something in New York and New Jersey to do something else.

‘I close the bars? They go to jersey. You need the specific rules.

‘Every state cannot come up with its own rules, you’ll just have people going from state to state.

‘You’ll go to New Jersey, Connecticut, wherever you can be served.

‘That’s the last thing we want.

‘Set the national standards and let’s live with them,’ he said.

The joint effort came hours later.

Despite President Trump’s insistence that the pandemic was under ‘tremendous control’ over the weekend, health care experts are bracing for a tidal wave of patients.

There is grave concern over how the nation’s hospital system will cope with the onslaught of patients who will soon need care.

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Source: Daily Mail


Microsoft Launches an Interactive Map That Tracks the Global Spread of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Real-time to Help Fight the COVID-19 Outbreak

At the tie of writing, the live Bing tracker reported 172,749 cases around the world and 6,658 fatalities as result of COVID-19. the Microsoft tool pictured) keeps up to date with the latest figures and pools them

Microsoft’s search engine Bing has launched a coronavirus tracker which offers real-time updates on the spread of COVID-19.

The platform is propped up by the considerable technological prowess of Microsoft, one of the world’s largest technology companies, and pools data from various legitimate sources.

Figures on deaths, total confirmed cases and the number of recovered people is shown on a global scale as well as by individual country.

A Microsoft spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘To provide people quick and easy ways to find the information they need during this time, we are aggregating data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), among other authoritative sources, into accessible experiences across MSN and Bing.’

The tracker is available on desktop and mobile and users can navigate the map to find localised information.

Selecting a city will bring up the most up-to-date figures as well as news articles from trustworthy sources, as suggested by Bing.

The number of confirmed cases continues to rise sharply around the world, with Europe not the epicentre of the viral infection.

According to the Bing tracker, there are more than 172,000 cases globally and of these, more than 6,600 died.

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Source: Daily Mail


Piers Morgan: Don’t Be Comical Donny, Mr President – You Don’t Have This Lethal Virus Under ‘Tremendous Control’ and Americans Who Can See This With Their Own Eyes Will Punish You at the Ballot Box if You Keep Lying to Them

One of the most famous faces during the Iraq War was that of Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, aka ‘Comical Ali’.

He was the Information Minister for Saddam Hussein’s regime, and specialised in saying outlandishly confident things that weren’t just untrue but could actually be demonstrably disproven by viewers with their own eyes.

His nadir came when he announced on live TV that ‘the infidels are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad… be assured, Baghdad is safe, protected.’

In fact, the American soldiers he branded ‘infidels’ were very much alive just a few hundred metres away from where he was speaking, and the loud sound of their overwhelming superior weaponry blasting away at the beleaguered Iraqi forces could be heard in the background.

Comical Ali, who earned his nickname by becoming a global laughing stock, made his last official public appearance on 8 April 2003, when he said the Americans ‘are going to surrender or be burned in their tanks.’ When asked where he was getting this information from, he replied ‘authentic sources, many authentic sources.’ And he pointed out he ‘was a professional, doing his job.’

The main lesson of Comical Ali’s story is that modern technology through the internet, cell phones, 24/7 cable news, and social media, doesn’t let anyone get away with the kind of bogus propaganda so prevalent during the two World Wars.

A lie doesn’t fly if we can all immediately see the truth for ourselves.

I thought of this when I watched President Trump’s COVID-19 press briefing yesterday in which he stated with unequivocal confidence: ‘It’s a very contagious virus. It’s incredible. But it’s something we have tremendous control of.’

Really, Mr President?

If you have such ‘tremendous control’ over it then why is the United States moving into complete lockdown, with schools, bars, restaurants and gyms all being frantically closed on official orders?

And why are is the number of infection rates (now at least 3,485), and deaths (currently 65), in the US beginning to explode?

More pertinently, if you’ve got it all under such ‘tremendous control’ then why is your own top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci warning that America could face a similar catastrophe to what is unfurling in Italy if it doesn’t take immediate drastic action to try to combat it?

Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if he thought hundreds of thousands of Americans could die from COVID-19, Fauci replied: ‘It could be worse.’

So, the notion that the US has it under ‘tremendous control’ would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

And the abject failure by the Trump administration to implement sufficient testing on this virus, because usable tests have simply not been available despite the president’s insistence everyone could have one, is one of the main reasons why it is now raging out of control.

This is not the first time President Trump has made such an outlandish and obviously untrue claim about his administration’s control of the coronavirus.

In fact, he’s kept saying the same absurd thing from the very start of the crisis.

In late January, when the US confirmed its first case, Trump said that ‘we have it totally under control.’

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Source: Daily Mail


Conor McGregor Attends the Funeral of His Aunt in Dublin After Clarifying She Was Not a Victim of Coronavirus Following Rant About ‘Stupid Disease’

Over the weekend, the Irish mixed martial artist paid tribute to his ‘lovely’ relative Anne Moore in an emotional Instagram post (pictured together)

Conor McGregor attended the funeral of his late aunt in Dublin today after clarifying she was not a victim of coronavirus.

The UFC star, 31, was joined by his long-term partner Dee Devlin as they honoured the life of Anne Moore alongside 100 mourners during a mass service.

Over the weekend, the Irish mixed martial artist paid tribute to his ‘lovely’ relative in an emotional Instagram post, where many believed she had passed away from COVID-19 after ranting about the ‘stupid’ virus.

Mourners linked arms as they remembered the former featherweight champion’s late aunt at the traditional Catholic ceremony. It is not clear how Anne passed away.

Sportsman Conor received the news about his aunt over the phone shortly before he was due to go on television in Ireland’s capital to promote his ‘Proper No 12’ whiskey brand.

In a post announcing his family member had died, he wrote: ‘This stupid f****** virus. What the f*** is happening?’, leading many of his social media followers to believe Anne had died as a result of coronavirus.

In a later upload, Conor clarified she was didn’t pass away from the pandemic as he shared: ‘I want to clear up that it has been confirmed she was not a victim of coronavirus.

‘As we prepare for her funeral I know that many of us will confront the virus in the weeks ahead.

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Source: Daily Mail


Goldman Sachs Officially Predicts a Coronavirus-Driven Recession Will Hit the US, Sees GDP Shrinking 5% in 2nd Quarter

Reuters

The coronavirus’ hit to US economic activity will hit the second quarter the hardest and likely drag the country into a recession, Goldman Sachs said.

The bank revised its quarterly gross domestic product estimates in a Sunday note, lowering its expectations for near-term expansion and upgrading projections for later in the year. Economic growth will halt in the first quarter before contracting 5% in the second quarter, the analysts wrote. The US will bounce back through the end of the year with 3% growth in the third quarter and 4% expansion in the last three months of 2020, they added.

Goldman now expects annual GDP growth to hit 0.4%, compared to its former 1.2% estimate. How quickly the country can rebound depends on several unclear variables, including warmer weather’s effect on the infection rate and the effectiveness of social distancing measures, the analysts said.

“The uncertainty around all these numbers is much greater than normal,” they added.

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Source: Markets Insider


Oregon Police Tell Public ‘Do Not Call 911 Just Because You Ran Out of Toilet Paper’

Shelves of toilet paper emptied at a Publix in Tampa, Florida.

NEWPORT, Ore. – Police are trained to respond to all kinds of emergencies, but this is a new one.

One police department in Oregon posted a reminder on their Facebook page, asking the public to not call for an emergency if they run out of toilet paper due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“It’s hard to believe that we even have to post this,” police in Newport, Oregon wrote. “Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance.”

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Source: Fox 5 NY


Five Earthquakes in 15 Hours Rattle the Carolinas and Tennessee, Geologists Say

At least five earthquakes reaching up to 2.4 magnitude rattled the Carolinas and Tennessee within 24 hours, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The other quakes ranged from 1.7 to 2.2 magnitude, according to the USGS.

The series of quakes began around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday in Mulberry, North Carolina, the USGS reported. More followed over the next several hours, with the most recent one striking around 8 a.m. Monday.

The largest 2.4 quake hit around 11 p.m. near Centerville, South Carolina — about 30 miles southwest of Greenville, according to the USGS. At least 480 people, some as far as 300 miles away in Georgia, reported feeling the tremor to the agency.

Here’s a list of the latest earthquakes over the last 24 hours:

Sunday, March 15 at 5:37 p.m. about 5.6 miles from Mulberry, North Carolina. The 1.9 magnitude quake was 3.6 miles deep.
Sunday, March 15 at 10:59 p.m. about 3 miles from Centerville, South Carolina. The 2.4 magnitude quake was 2.9 miles deep.
Monday, March 16 at 3:41 a.m. about 1.2 miles from Flat Rock, North Carolina. The 2.2 magnitude quake was 3.6 miles deep.

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Source: Charlotte Observer


Jewish Worshippers Urged Not to Kiss Western Wall Due to Coronavirus Fears

(Photo by Dave Herring on Unsplash)

JERUSALEM, March 16 (Reuters) – The Jewish faithful should refrain from kissing the stones of the Western Wall, the chief rabbi of the Jerusalem site said on Monday, adding to measures that religious authorities have taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Jews pray en masse at the Western Wall and often stuff written prayers into the cracks between its stones. Kissing the wall is not a ritual requirement, but some devout Jews do so, believing it shows reverence to God.

The Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews are allowed to pray in Jerusalem, is revered as a remnant of the compound of the Second Temple, built by Herod the Great more than 2,000 years ago and destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

Last week, Israel’s Chief Rabbinate urged Jewish worshippers to stay away from the Western Wall due to coronavirus fears, but some Jews have continued to visit the site to pray.

“Do not kiss the Western Wall stones,” the site’s rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz, instructed Jews in a statement on Monday.

Worshippers should maintain “proper distance” between one another and “abide by required hygiene practices,” he said.

The Western Wall abuts the sacred compound known to Jews as Har ha-Bayit, or Temple Mount, and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary.

Muslim authorities on Sunday ordered the compound’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock shut until further notice and asked worshippers to pray instead in its outdoor spaces.

Israel has reported 255 confirmed cases of coronavirus to date, and there have been 39 cases in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. There have been no reported cases in the Gaza Strip. (Reporting by Rami Ayyub Editing by Gareth Jones)

Source: Reuters


Not Exactly Gloating, Stockpiling ‘Preppers’ Have a Moment

In this Friday, March 13, 2020 photo, Paul Buescher poses by his ham radio, in Northfield Center Township, Ohio. Buescher is one of 32 members of a group in northeastern Ohio that shares a farm packed with enough canned and dehydrated food and water to last for years. For those in the often-mocked “prepper” community, this is quickly becoming their “I told you so” moment, as panic buying has cleared store shelves across the U.S. amid growing fears that the new coronavirus will force many Americans to self-quarantine for weeks in their homes. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Curt La Haise has put up with plenty of razzing from friends over the years who have called him paranoid for stockpiling an eight-month supply of food in his basement and having enough fuel to power his generator for almost an entire winter.

They’re not laughing anymore amid panic buying that has cleared store shelves across the U.S. and growing fears that the new coronavirus will force many Americans to self-quarantine for weeks in their homes.

“Now my friends are like, ‘What should I do, what should I get?’” said La Haise, who operates a firearms and safety training business near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. “Prepping doesn’t look so bad now.”

For those in the often-mocked “prepper” community, this is quickly becoming their “I told you so” moment. But many are resisting saying that, even if it’s in the back of their minds. What they hope is that they’ll finally be taken seriously and that more people will follow their lead.

“We’re not laughing. We’re not saying, ‘I told you so,’ when people are out there fighting over toilet paper and hand sanitizers,” said Paul Buescher, of Northfield Center Township, Ohio.

Buescher is one of 32 members of a group in northeastern Ohio that shares a farm packed with enough canned and dehydrated food and water to last for years. He said he is now getting calls all day long asking for advice.

Survival supply stores can’t keep up with the demand for food kits and medical supplies.

“Every single business that has to do with emergency preparedness is overloaded,” said John Ramey, founder of a Colorado-based prepper website called The Prepared.

Most preppers say they are about self-reliance and common sense and are quick to distance themselves from the “doomsday preppers” who are depicted on television shows awaiting the day most of the world’s population is wiped off the map.

“The vast majority of this is ‘beans and Band-Aids,’ not ‘bullets and bunkers,’” Ramey said.

Jim Cobb, a disaster readiness consultant and editor-in-chief of Prepper Survival Guide magazine, said he has seen a few fellow preppers gloating on social media about people who are crowding stores in search of disinfectants.

“I hate the thought of alienating any of them because they think were a bunch of elitist goofballs.” he said. “We’re trying to take advantage of the opportunity that for once they’re not laughing and pointing fingers at us.”

While most people who have tested positive for the virus experience only mild or moderate symptoms, there’s a greater danger and longer recovery period for older adults and people with existing health problems.

Experts say it’s most important to practice safe hygiene: Wash hands frequently, cover sneezes and coughs, and stay home if fever or other symptoms arise.

As for the preppers, they have their own recommendations for anyone who is unsure of what to do next:

— Be ready to stay at home for at least two weeks. Have plenty of food and water. Don’t forget about your pets and medicines. That includes over-the-counter products for fevers and coughs.

— Yes, toilet paper is important, but so are hand sanitizers, disinfectants, sanitation wipes, eye protection and gloves.

— Get your finances in order. Make sure you can pay your bills and have cash on hand.

— Maybe most important, relax and don’t panic. And pay attention to the news and what’s happening around you.

___

The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Source: Associated Press


Tokyo Olympics May Be Postponed

The fate of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics remains shrouded in uncertainty, amid rising fears over coronavirus and mixed messages from organizers.

The games are scheduled to be held in Tokyo between July 24 and August 9 but their fate appears increasingly in doubt as the world battles to contain COVID-19.

On Tuesday, a member of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee’s executive board suggested the Games could be postponed.

Haruyuki Takahashi told The Wall Street Journal that delaying the start of the Olympics would be a better option than canceling them or having the events go ahead behind closed doors.

“I don’t think the Games could be canceled. It’d be a delay,” Takahashi was quoted as saying. “The International Olympic Committee would be in trouble if there’s a cancellation. American TV rights alone provide them with a huge amount.”

Takahashi’s comments were in stark contrast to the position of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, who last week indicated the Games would go ahead as planned and urged athletes to prepare as normal.

On Wednesday, Tokyo 2020 organizing committee told Newsweek it had “sought clarification” with Takahashi and that he had “inadvertently given his personal opinion in response to a hypothetical question.”

The organizers doubled down on the IOC’s stance, insisting neither canceling the Games nor postponing them was on the cards.

“Mr. Takahashi apologised for the problems these comments caused for the Organizing Committee,” the committee added.

“As IOC President Bach stated the other day, neither the IOC nor the Organising Committee are considering postponing or cancelling the Tokyo 2020 Games, and we are proceeding with our preparations for a safe and secure Games opening on 24 July 2020 as planned.”

However, on the same day, Japanese news agency Kyodo News reported Takahashi planned to ask organizers to consider the possibility of postponing the games, when the organizing committee meets next month.

“In light of the reality, we have to respond accordingly,” he was quoted as saying.

Japan’s Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto, however, called the possibility of postponing the games “inconceivable” and ruled out the option.

“With the star athletes in the middle of preparations for this event which happens only once every four years, a cancellation or delay to the Tokyo games is inconceivable,” she told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.

“A delay is not under consideration.”

As recently as a week ago, Hashimoto had suggested the Games could be postponed but would have to be held before the end of the year.

The so-called “Home City Contract” the Olympics governing body, the Japanese Olympic Committee and the city of Tokyo signed in 2013 stipulates that the IOC can cancel the Games, should it see fit to proceed.

“The IOC has the right to cancel the games only if they are not held during 2020,” Hashimoto told parliament on March 3.

“This can be interpreted to mean the games can be postponed as long as they are held during the calendar year. We are doing all we can to ensure that the games go ahead as planned.”

Last month, the IOC told Newsweek it remained hopeful the Games would go ahead as planned.

Click here to read more.
Source: Newsweek


Fed Drops Rates to Zero in Emergency Rate Cut Due to Coronavirus Effects

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to near-zero at a second emergency March meeting, an unprecedented and extraordinary attempt at containing the economic fallout from the coronavirus that’s already ravaged global financial markets and business activity worldwide.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) lowered the federal funds rate to a target range between 0-0.25 percent. It’s the largest emergency reduction in the Fed’s more than 100-year history, and it’s the first time the U.S. central bank has reduced rates at an unscheduled meeting within 13 days of each other.

In addition to cutting rates, the Fed also introduced a massive program where it would buy Treasury debt and mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $500 billion and $200 billion respectively “over coming months.” The move is designed to cushion the U.S. economy even more by ensuring money markets operate smoothly.

“The coronavirus outbreak has harmed communities and disrupted economic activity in many countries, including the United States. Global financial conditions have also been significantly affected,” the FOMC said in a statement released Sunday in Washington. “The Committee expects to maintain this target range until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.”

Why the Fed cut rates

The move, which had one dissent, brings back memories of the global financial crisis more than a decade ago. It comes at a time when U.S. Treasurys have plunged to their lowest levels ever, with the entire yield curve falling below 1 percent for the first time in history. Equity markets ended their near 11-year bull market run on fears that the virus would dampen economic growth before Congress created an adequate fiscal policy response.

It comes on the heels of additional aggressive action from the Fed on Thursday, with the U.S. central bank injecting $1.5 trillion into money markets to ease funding shortfalls amid record volatility.

Following the emergency action, Powell said during a press conference with journalists that Thursday’s events prompted the Fed to move up its meeting by two days. The emergency action would be “in lieu of” its originally scheduled, two-day gathering, set to conclude on March 18. In a historic decision, Powell announced they would not be updating their Summary of Economic Projections, as they do once a quarter, given the uncertainty of the economic environment.

The outlook “is just not something that’s knowable,” Powell said. “Writing down forecasts in that circumstance didn’t seem useful.”

Public gatherings have been limited across the country to prevent the spread of the virus, with states such as Illinois, Ohio and Massachusetts introducing sweeping measures to close public schools, restaurants and bars. Experts say these actions have likely sent the longest expansion on record to a grinding halt, if not an outright recession.

Now that interest rates are back to their lowest levels ever, the aggressive reduction shows that officials couldn’t wait for their originally scheduled two-day meeting, says Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate chief financial analyst.

“The Fed needed to act now, late Sunday afternoon on the U.S. east coast, before the open of Asian markets in just a few hours,” says McBride.

Just a day earlier, President Donald Trump expressed disappointment in Fed Chair Jerome Powell, saying in a news conference that he had the power to demote or remove him as chief U.S. central banker.

Trump rescinded on those claims Sunday after the Fed’s emergency move.

“I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve,” he said. “That’s a big step, and I’m very happy they did it.”

In addition to rate cut, Fed coordinated with global central banks

Slashing interest rates to zero isn’t all that the Fed did.

In total, the Fed took five additional actions, one of which was a coordinated response with five other central banks around the globe: the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank. Officials lowered pricing on what’s called a “dollar swap-line arrangement,” an action designed to ensure that dollars remain liquid throughout the globe.

The Fed also enhanced its discount window facility by keeping it open for 90 days, as well as additional measures surrounding its reserve requirements, intraday credit, bank capital and liquidity buffers.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures and the Fed is doing just that in an effort to keep credit markets functioning and prevent the type of starving of credit that nearly toppled the global economy into a depression in 2008,” McBride says.

It’s a dramatic response of which some experts — including Nationwide’s chief economist David Berson, who formerly worked at the Treasury Department and Council of Economic Advisers — have called an “all-in” move, meant to mitigate the consequences from the virus.

“Easier monetary policy — even combined with expansionary fiscal policy — will not be able to stop the spread of the coronavirus, nor is it likely to stop economic growth from slowing in the near term,” Berson says. “But financial markets last week showed significant signs of strain — as they did in the fall of 2008 — and the Fed and other central banks are stepping in, in an aggressive manner to try to mitigate these negative impacts.”

Click here to read more.
Source: Bankrate


NYC Public Schools Closed Through at Least April 20 Due to Coronavirus

New York City schools will be closed for at least the next four-plus weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday evening.

De Blasio said at a media briefing there would be no school until April 20, and perhaps for the rest of the academic year.

There are currently 329 cases, including five deaths, due to the virus in New York City, the mayor confirmed.

De Blasio said trying to keep the schools open any longer had become a futile effort.

“I believe the facts, unfortunately, have given us no other choice,” de Blasio said. “But there are three things that we are trying to protect. Most importantly our public health system, our hospital system, our clinics, everywhere that people go for health care, and two things that feed that system are public transit system, and, of course, our schools.

“Now that we will not have our normal school schedule, kids in our normal school buildings, we are going to come up with a number of alternatives to try to, as much as possible, provide our kids with an education remotely and to provide a physical location for the children of those crucial public workers — those health care workers, transit workers, first responders. Those locations will be in various places around the five boroughs. We hope between the remote learning and the specialized sites for the children of essential workers that we can keep enough going to support our health care system, but it will not be easy,” de Blasio added.

De Blasio said remote learning will begin on Monday, March 23. The Department of Education has been working on a system for the last few weeks.

“It has never been attempted by the city of New York on this scale, to say the least,” de Blasio said. “But they have been working on a wartime footing to prepare it. It will be up and running for children in grades K-12 on Monday, March 23, in a week. It is a system that will improve with each week. And it will certainly take time to make it as strong as it could be and needs to be.”

The mayor went on to say teachers will begin to get trained on teaching remotely over the next few days. The United Federation of Teachers said in a release, in part, “School staff will all stay home on Monday. At this moment, the staff will then report to work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to prepare instructional plans for remote learning for their students during this interval.”

“Again, this is going to be a kind of battlefield training. These are not ideal conditions. We’ll have to teach these teachers quickly,” de Blasio said. “This is a point where I can say to all our educators: We need you. We need you. These children need you. These families need you. For so many of our educators it will be an opportunity to take the tools of your profession and use them in a new way, to reach a lot of kids who are going to be dealing with really, really tough circumstances.”

Click here to read more.
Source: CBS NYC


Pope Francis Gives His Blessing to an Empty St. Peter’s Square

Pope Francis delivers his blessing from inside the Apostolic library at the Vatican, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Pope Francis has praised people who could risk contagion to help the poor and the homeless even as fears of coronavirus spread prompts ever more countries to restrict ways of everyday life. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (Vatican News via AP)

St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican is normally swarming with tens of thousands of visitors hoping to get a glimpse of Pope Francis as he delivers his Sunday remarks.

But for the second Sunday this month, the square stood eerily empty as Italy remains on lockdown due to the novel coronavirus.

With the square closed to the public, Pope Francis delivered his blessing from inside the Apostolic Library.

“In this situation of pandemic, in which we find ourselves living more or less isolated, we are invited to rediscover and deepen the value of the communion that unites all the members of the Church,” the Pope said in his remarks after the Angelus prayer, which was livestreamed by Vatican News.

Pope Francis praised the medical personnel and the volunteers who are helping the elderly, poor and homeless, according to Vatican News.

After his noon remarks, the Pope left the Vatican and visited two churches to pray.

Click here to read more.
Source: KTVZ


Trump Pleads for Calm as Thousands of Americans Are Herded Into Huge Immigration Lines for Up to Eight Hours at Funnel Airports Across the US as White House Expert Dr. Fauci Says It Not ‘What He Wants to See’

Donald Trump insisted Sunday that Americans experience daunting wait times and massive lines at airports remain calm, claiming the chaos is due to medical screening to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

‘We are doing very precise Medical Screenings at our airports,’ Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon. ‘Pardon the interruptions and delays, we are moving as quickly as possible, but it is very important that we be vigilant and careful.’

‘We must get it right,’ he asserted. ‘Safety first!’

Thousands of Americans are facing massive lines as they are funneled back into the country through immigration lines where some are forced to wait for eight hours to get through.

There are 13 American ‘funnel’ airports where Americans are returning from Europe as the president shut down travel between the continent and U.S. over fears of coronavirus spreading.

Overcrowding at airports began Saturday night as top U.S. immunologist expert Anthony Fauci told people to avoid public areas where there are a lot of people around.

‘We’d like to not see crowds like that,’ Fauci told Fox News’s Chris Wallace Sunday morning when discussing the scenes from the airports.

‘I think people understand if you’re an American citizen, if you are a family member, that you can get back, you don’t need to rush back,’ he said. ‘But it’s understandable if when people see a travel ban, they immediately want to … get home.’

Trump previewed Sunday that the coronavirus task force would be holding a press conference at the White House later in the evening.

“There will be a News Conference by the CoronaVirus Task Force today at the White House, 5 P.M.,” he tweeted, tagging Vice President Mike Pence, who is heading the task force.

“We are working closely with the Governors of our Country’s great States, which are a very big factor,” he continued. “They are working hard, along with us, to get the job properly done.”

“The USA was never set up for this,” he asserted of the coronavirus outbreak, “just look at the catastrophe of the H1N1 Swine Flu (Biden in charge, 17,000 people lost, very late response time), but it soon will be. Great decision to close our China, and other, borders early. Saved many lives!”

The scenes at the 13 airports were similar across the country – from Boston to Chicago, Atlanta to Dallas.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Dr. Fauci Has Told Trump He Wants an ‘Overly Aggressive’ Response to the Coronavirus and Would Rather Be Criticized for ‘Over-reacting’ – but Stops Short of Calling for a 14-day National Shutdown

Anthony Fauci refused to rule out a 14 day national shut down as he said the U.S. should be prepared to do ‘whatever it takes’ to tackle the pandemic.

Dr. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said he would rather America be ‘overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting’ than be unprepared for the crisis, adding that citizens should be prepared to ‘hunker down’.

The key member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force also warned that young people are ‘not immune’ and that many could ‘wind up getting seriously ill’ as he urged a dramatic drop in people visiting bars and restaurants.

When asked if he would like a two week national shutdown to stop the spread of coronavirus, during an interview with NBC News’ Meet the Press Sunday morning, Dr Fauci said he wanted the government to take as much action ‘as we possibly could.’

He continued that Americans need to prepare to take extra precautions than they are used to taking, like staying home instead of going to bars and restaurants and steering clear of the elderly community.

‘Americans should be prepared that they are going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing,’ he told NBC’s Chuck Todd.

‘Everybody has got to get involved in distancing themselves socially,’ he added.

‘I think we should be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting.’

‘We gotta make sure that the vulnerable ones are the ones we protect — the elderly and those with underlying conditions.’

Asked the same question on a shut down by CNN’s Brianna Keilar on State of the Union, he added he’d ‘like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction we see in restaurants and in bars.’

‘Whatever it takes to do that, that’s what I’d like to see,’ Fauci added, otherwise there are ‘going to be people who are young who are going to wind up getting seriously ill’

‘We need to be very serious about – for a while, life is not going to be the way it used to be in the United States,’ he said. ‘We have to just accept that if we want to do what’s best for the American public.’

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Source: Daily Mail


Coronavirus Deaths Rise in Italy by More Than 300 Overnight to Bring the Total to 1,809 While 24,747 People Are Now Infected as Terrifying Video Shows How City’s Newspaper Obituary Page Has Expanded From One to Ten Pages

A person tries to take picture of the Pope Francis at St Peter’s Square on the sixth day of an unprecedented lockdown across all of Italy

Coronavirus deaths in Italy rose by 368 overnight to bring the total to 1,809, while 24,747 people have tested positive for the deadly bug.

Italian officials confirmed the jump today, as the national lockdown imposed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte earlier this month rumbles on another week.

The shocking development comes as chilling footage shows the obituary of one local newspaper expanding from a single page to 10.

In the video, a man speaking Italian zooms in on the front page of L’Eco di Bergamo that circulates in the city in the hard-hit Lombardy region.

After showing the date of the paper – February 9 – he turns to the obituaries to reveal a page and a half of death notices published. On that date, Italy had recorded just three confirmed cases of Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

He then holds up an edition of the same newspaper from March 13, when the total number of cases had skyrocketed to 17,600, including 1,266 deaths.

Slowly turning the pages and counting, he shows 10 full pages of obituaries, highlighting the horrific impact of the infection.

It comes as a secret document prepared by a crisis management unit in Turin suggested that victims will be denied access to intensive care if they are aged over 80 or in poor health as pressures on bed numbers increase.

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Source: Daily Mail


British Passengers on the Queen Mary 2 Are Told They Need to Disembark in Australia While Only Part-way Through £68,000 99-day Cruise That Began in January Amid Coronavirus Crisis – Even Though No One on Board Was Infected

A British couple have had to leave their 99-day £68,000 cruise early amid the coronavirus crisis – even though no-one on board caught the deadly bug.

Dave and his wife Helen, from Bletchley Heath, Kent, departed from Southampton for Australia on the 10th of January.

The journey – to celebrate their 70th birthdays – was cancelled due to coronavirus fears.

They sailed to Freemantle where they were told by organisers that they have to leave the ship immediately and fly home – even though no-one on board was diagnosed with the bug which has infected more than 150,000 and killed 5,000 worldwide.

Those who are medically unable to fly and have obtained a doctors’ note to prove it are able to stay onboard the ship to be sailed home.

It would take them 24 days to get back on The Queen Mary – which would be classed as a merchant vessel in this instance.

Dave said: ‘We were under a silent quarantine for a time. No-one was to know that we were on quarantine before we were allowed anywhere near Australia.’

The country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that from midnight all people coming to Australia will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Dave added: ‘Someone said they were offered a first class ticket home.

‘We have heard someone else was offered a holiday in Australia.

‘I don’t want to fly. I don’t like to fly that is why we take cruises. They brought us here by ship, they should take us back again.’

The couple have been offered discounts on future cruises as compensation for the inconvenience.

Click here to read more.
Source: Daily Mail


Conor McGregor Praises Ireland’s Coronavirus Response, Appears to Link Aunt’s Death to Virus

On the Instagram page of UFC superstar Conor McGregor, the latest post is a collection of photos with his family and a caption that begins with a big congratulations to Ireland for containing the coronavirus disease — the country cancelled all of its St. Patrick’s Day parades and the government provided a €430 million ($492 million) aid package for health services. The post appear to be a generally positive one that celebrates a big accomplishment of McGregor’s home nation.

“Ireland you amazing, amazing country. I believe we have this virus contained. And through this containment, we actually may have gone and contained them all.

“The good habits we will have now gained from this wild covid-19 attack will see us too strong in future. Hand hygiene. Touching of own face hygiene. Consistent thorough cleaning of handled areas hygiene. What we should really be all doing anyway.

“I have always been on with my hand hygiene. But not enough. If I think of all the people approaching to shake hands and what not. I often get people say to me please I don’t want a picture, just let me shake your hand. And I’m like yes friend thank you. As it’s more efficient than taking a full picture.

“But it’s too careless. And too frequent. Touching my own hand to my face as well. Too unaware of the frequency I’d do it. Until now. I’d train my ass off, to the point of low immunity. It’s inevitable with the intensity of the training. The immune system will be tested. I would float around in this manner, and always end up catching little colds and flus. I feel bullet proof right now though!”

However, a deeper look into the rest of the over 400-word caption reveals some particularly interesting news about the fighter’s family with regards to COVID-19.

These photos are from a few days ago at a studio in Dublin’s City centre. I was to announce to the world my @properwhiskey donation to @Tunnel2Towers. A great day! A proud day, I brought my family with me to the studio. Sitting in the chair about to beam live to all the U.S morning talk shows, I get a phone call telling me that my lovely little auntie Anne had passed away. I couldn’t go live anymore. My poor little friendly loving auntie. My mother’s sister. This stupid f—– virus. What the f— is happening. I took my family to bull island. Looked out at the sea. Took a deep breath. Thank f—! Lord thank you 🙏

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Source: CBS Sports


Woman, 82, is the First Person in New York to Die From Coronavirus

New York, the state with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country, has reported the state’s first death due to coronavirus. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that an 82-year-old woman who had coronavirus and emphysema died on Friday night.

Cuomo said that the woman was based in New York City, and was one of the first people in the city to test positive for the virus.

In a statement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the patient was an “elderly woman with advanced emphysema.” De Blasio said she was admitted to Wyckoff Medical Center in Brooklyn last week and has been in critical condition since.

“We’ve known from the outset that these people are the most at risk in this pandemic, and today’s news is a sad confirmation of that reality,” de Blasio said. “I want to thank the staff of Wyckoff Medical Center for their efforts to save this woman’s life, and all the medical professionals on the front lines protecting our most vulnerable.”

Click here to read more.
Source: CBS News


Trump Says He Has Been Tested for Coronavirus, Expects Results Within Days

President Donald Trump said that he took a test Friday to determine whether he has the coronavirus and will have the results within a few days.

“I also took the test last night, and I decided I should based on the press conference yesterday. People were asking,” Trump said during a press conference at the White House Saturday.

“They sent it to a lab,” he added, saying results should take a “day or two” to come back from the lab.

Trump, who has continued to shake hands with people, including during his announcement Friday at the White House that he was declaring a national emergency, despite the CDC’s recommendation to limit physical contact, told reporters that “it almost becomes a habit.”

The White House also announced that they would expand the European travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Ireland beginning midnight on Monday.

“Again, Americans in the U.K. or Ireland can come home,” Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday. “Legal residents can come home.”

Trump had initially said during his Oval Office address on Monday night that Ireland and the U.K. were exempt from the ban, although it was unclear why the exception was made because the virus is also present in Britain.

The White House also suggested that domestic travel restrictions could be a possibility. On Friday, the Department of Defense announced they were halting domestic travel for all service members, civilian employees and their families in an effort to combat the coronavirus.

“We’re considering a broad range of measures,” Pence said when asked about the possibility of domestic travel restrictions.

Trump had been repeatedly criticized for refusing to get tested for the virus after it was reported that he was in close contact with multiple people at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida who had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Trump’s announcement that he had gotten tested appears to be in contrast to a Friday memo from Sean P. Conley, physician to the president, stating that Trump did not need to be tested because the interactions he had with known patients were “low risk.”

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Source: NBC News


Obama’s Medicare Boss Says America’s Hospitals Will Be Overrun With Coronavirus in Just Eight Days as Doctors Say as Many as 500,000 Are Already Infected and 10 Million Will Need Care

Nurses at the drive-thru testing station at the University of Washington Medical Center

America’s hospitals will be overrun with coronavirus patients in just eight days and face months of strain, according to Obama’s former Medicare boss.

Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, issued the dire warning on Twitter on Saturday along with a string of advice for the public, governments and health workers.

‘Last night I was on with state & local officials around the US well into the night.

‘By March 23 many of our largest cities & hospitals are on course to be overrun with cases,’ he wrote.

Slavitt then listed highlights from the memo he had prepared which included telling people to self-isolate now, closing bars and restaurants, frantically sourcing medical supplies ‘even from the black market’ if necessary and gearing up for the ‘tsunami’ of patients that will soon arrive at hospitals.

‘The stakes are higher than any most of us have ever experienced: wars, 9/11, whatever,’ he later added.

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Source: Daily Mail


Brazilian President Bolsonaro Tests Negative for Coronavirus After Reports Suggested That He Tested Positive

In this handout photo released by Brazil’s Presidential Press Office, Brazilian Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, left, and President Jair Bolsonaro, wear masks as they speak about the new coronavirus during a Facebook Live transmission, in Brasilia, Brazil, Thursday, March 12, 2020. Bolsonaro has tested negative for the new coronavirus, according to a post Friday on his official Facebook profile. Bolsonaro, 64, received the test on Thursday after his communications director was confirmed to have the virus.(Brazil’s Presidential Press Office via AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has tested negative for the new coronavirus, according to a post Friday on his official Facebook profile.

He traveled to Florida last weekend and dined with his U.S. counterpart, President Donald Trump, and a member of the delegation that accompanied him had tested positive after meeting Trump. Bolsonaro, 64, received the test on Thursday after his communications director was confirmed to have the virus.

There had been a swirl of confusing information earlier Friday, with a some media reporting Bolsonaro had received an initial positive test result. But the president’s official social media account later said tests were negative, and also posted a photo of Bolsonaro making an offensive arm gesture to reporters earlier this year.

“Don’t believe the fake news media!” he wrote in a subsequent post.

Bolsonaro’s Mar-a-Lago meeting also included Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner, Brazil’s foreign minister Ernesto Araujo and Bolsonaro’s son Eduardo, who is a federal lawmaker, among others. Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani also went to Mar-a-Lago that evening.

This week, Bolsonaro told a group in Florida that he believed mainstream media was exaggerating the virus’ severity. He reversed course Thursday, wearing a face mask on a live transmission on Facebook. On a televised address later, he said the World Health Organization “responsibly” characterized the virus as a pandemic, and tried to dissuade supporters from turning out for mass demonstrations scheduled for March 15.

The rallies “demonstrate the maturity of our presidential democracy and are evident expressions of our liberty. They need, however, to be rethought in the face of these facts. Our health and that of our families must be preserved,” Bolsonaro said.

Bolsonaro’s health has been a focus since a 2018 stabbing on the campaign trail. Since the assassination attempt, he has already undergone four surgeries with a fifth one upcoming. In December, he was taken to the hospital after slipping in the bathroom of the presidential residence and banging his head.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and about 60,000 have so far recovered.

Source: Associated Press


Golf Masters Are Postponed Due to Coronavirus a Month Before Tiger Woods Was Due to Defend His Title

The Masters has been postponed, its organisers have confirmed, with the world of sport rocked by the ongoing spread of coronavirus.

In a statement released online, Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, emphasised that the decision makers hope to hold the prestigious tournament ‘at some later date’.

The first men’s major championship of the year was due to begin on April 9 in Georgia, but has been suspended due to the escalating pandemic.

No new date has been announced.

Golf’s top major dates back to 1934, and has historically never taken place outside of March or April. This is its first postponement since World War II.

But the sporting calendar has been thrown into disarray this week due to the health crisis, with countless events placed on hold as governments attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

And the long-standing tournament soon followed suit on Friday afternoon, with questions now lingering over when the blue riband event will be able to be contested.

Tiger Woods remains the defending Masters champion, having memorably won his fifth tournament at Augusta National last April.

The Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals will also be postponed.

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Source: Daily Mail


America Closes for Business as Congress is Warned 150 Million Will Be Infected With Coronavirus: Highways and Airports Are Deserted, DC is a Ghost Town and Millions of People Mob Stores

Up to 150 million Americans could be infected with the coronavirus top doctors believe, a Congresswoman confirmed Thursday as vast swathes of the country shutdown and the national outbreak grew to over 1,700 cases and 41 deaths.

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib confirmed earlier reports that Congress’ doctor Dr. Brian Monahan has told lawmakers that he predicts between 70 to 150 million people in the United States could eventually be infected with the novel coronavirus.

The startling figures were revealed as many public spaces, airports, streets and highways became deserted of people and cars Thursday evening and panicked shoppers rushed to buy supplies.

Disney Parks and Capitol Hill were among the many places closed off to the public as Broadway also went dark.

Dr. Monahan’s prediction underscores how severe the outbreak could become in the U.S. as the White House continues to downplay the severity and asks the public to remain calm. He originally shared the information with a closed-door meeting of Senate senior staff on Tuesday when they were told they should prepare for the worst.

It comes as:

Donald Trump defended his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, and in a tweet said: ‘Our response is one of the best, with fast action of border closings & a 78% Approval Rating, the highest on record’
Trump says a travel ban WITHIN the US is ‘possible’ if the coronavirus outbreak ‘gets too hot’
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife tests positive for the coronavirus
Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure CLOSE due to the coronavirus outbreak
MLB delays opening day by AT LEAST two weeks as NHL follows NBA and MLS by suspending play indefinitely
Doctor warns of ‘tragic suffering’ to come if US doesn’t surge coronavirus tests and ban all social gatherings
Manhattan stores are mobbed as New Yorkers stockpile supplies after Mayor de Blasio declares a state of emergency in the city
Charles Barkley reveals he has put himself into ‘self-quarantine’ while awaiting results of his coronavirus test
Chinese spokesman accuses the US military of bringing coronavirus to Wuhan

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Source: Daily Mail


White House Coronavirus Expert Dr. Anthony Fauci Says a Complete US Shutdown is ‘on the Table’ and Warns the Crisis Could Last Two Months

White House coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Friday morning that the current state of crisis in the US would last for two months and that ‘it’s all on the table’ in terms of how much more severe things may become.

In a series of interviews with Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, Fauci gave his bleak assessment of what is still to come.

‘It’s certainly going to get worse before it gets better…there’s no doubt we have not peaked yet,’ he said.

Asked directly if America was heading towards a complete shutdown like China and Italy, he would not rule it out.

‘I’m not sure we’re going to get to that.

‘I think that would be really rather dramatic, but I can tell you that all things are on the table.

‘We just have to respond as things evolve over the days and the weeks,’ he said.

There has been a dramatic shift in tone from the government in the last several days.

At the start of the week, President Trump was advising Americans not to panic and even said the virus would ‘go away’.

He then shut the border to Europeans, and said on Thursday that even US citizens who test positive for the virus would not be allowed to come home.

Fauci’s prediction was that there will be at least another several weeks of the current mode of crisis, but that it could last up to two months.

‘It will be at least a matter of several weeks. It’s unpredictable, but if you look at historically how these things work, it will likely be anywhere from a few weeks to up to eight weeks.

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Source: Daily Mail


Catholics Rail Against “Christ in Quarantine” Church Closures in Rome

A solitary Roman Catholic cardinal walks in Rome on March 12, 2020. Photo by Federico Manzoni

VATICAN CITY, March 13 (Reuters) – Catholics criticised a cardinal’s order to close churches in Rome on Friday to help contain the spread of coronavirus and Pope Francis cautioned against “drastic measures”.

Some took to social media to rail against the move by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, accusing him of caving in to the government. One said the move had put “Christ in quarantine”.

Catholic bishops around the world were deciding how to deal with the pandemic in their own dioceses and what guidance they should give to the 1.3 billion-member Church in places from Little Rock to Lyon.

“Drastic measures are not always good,” the pope said in improvised remarks at the start of his morning Mass, which has been streamed on the internet and televised live without outside participants in order to limit gatherings of people.

Francis prayed that God give pastors “the strength and even the capacity to choose the best means to help” those suffering from the pandemic “so that they can provide measures that do not leave the holy faithful people of God alone”.

On Thursday, De Donatis, the pope’s vicar for the Rome archdiocese, ordered the more than 900 Catholic churches under his jurisdiction closed until April 3.

Previously, only Masses had been cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak. Individual bishops can decide whether to keep their churches open or closed and many are open in parts of Italy.

The pope is bishop of Rome and the cardinal is his administrative vicar. It was not clear if De Donatis had sought the pope’s approval for the move.

The Italian government on Wednesday closed virtually every commercial activity in the country apart from pharmacies, food shops and other stores selling essential goods and services.

Customers must enter a few at a time, keep a safe distance from each other and wear surgical masks in some cases.

Critics say being allowed to pray in a church, albeit with precautions similar to those imposed on stores, should be seen as an essential service.

“My heart is in pieces,” Father Maurizio Mirilli, a pastor of a Rome parish said on Twitter. “I have to close everything, even the church … I feel like a father whose children have been snatched from him.”

“Churches closed in the capital of Christianity is a wound that will be hard for us to forget,” tweeted Gaetano Strano. “The Church is independent from the state and was not obliged to adhere to government norms.” (Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Source: Reuters


Louisiana Postpones Democratic Primary Over Coronavirus, the First State to Do So

A man enters a voting booth to cast his ballot on December 10, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Jonathan Bachman | Getty Images

Louisiana will postpone its presidential primaries set for next month, becoming the first state to take the step as fears about the coronavirus outbreak spread.

The state will push its presidential nominating contests back to June 20 from the planned date of April 4, Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin announced Friday. It has also delayed its municipal elections until July 25.

“We want to protect the health and safety of all Louisianans by doing our part to prevent the spread of this highly infectious disease,” Ardoin told reporters.

Louisiana’s move to delay the primaries, and its allocation of 54 pledged delegates in the Democratic race, underscores the widespread havoc the global pandemic has wreaked on American life and institutions. The outbreak has ground pivotal 2020 presidential campaign operations to a near halt. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the leading Democratic candidates to take on President Donald Trump in November, have temporarily stopped large, in-person campaign events to curb the coronavirus disease’s transmission.

The one-on-one debate between Biden and Sanders will take place in Washington on Sunday with no live audience. It was initially set to take place in Arizona with a crowd in attendance.

It is unclear now whether any of the other states voting next month, including New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, will follow Louisiana’s lead.

Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio, which hold primaries and award a trove of pledged delegates on Tuesday, have moved forward with their election events as planned. Some states have encouraged more voters to cast absentee or mail-in ballots to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

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Source: CNBC


In Light of the Coronavirus Pandemic-Plague is God Unhapppy With Mankind

An empty St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on March 12, 2020, in Rome. Photo by Federico Manzoni

St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican City in Italy is deserted. The Pope, supreme Pontiff has cancelled all meetings and engagements in Vatican City. The world is cut off with Rome.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned Umrah pilgrims from all over the world. A day earlier, the Kingdom also restricted its citizens and residents from visiting Makkah. Although the Makkah entry restrictions announced are precautionary temporary steps, the Holy Kaaba is a deserted place.

Yes, for the first time in the history of mankind the circling of Kaaba has been stopped. The circling to Kaaba was an old practice even prior to the expansion of Islam. The Pagan Arabs used to circle it before entering their homes. Muslims make 7 anti-clock, circles to complete a Tawaf. A strange fact that makes few believe that anti-clock circling of Kaaba strengthens the magnetic grid of Planet earth. The fact that believers in One God are circling holy Kaaba 24 hours / 365 days, non-stop, makes it a unique place on earth where God is worshipped non-stop. There is no other similar place on earth where God is worshipped non-stop. And now there is not a single soul around it except cops on guard.

And Bethlehem has been locked down too. The Church of Nativity, built on the site that Christians believe was the birthplace of Jesus, was also closed on Thursday for worshippers.

In modern history, it is the first time that worshipers to God are not allowed where they should be. Is God unhappy with mankind? According to legends and believers in God, a time will come when the supplications, prayers and worship by mankind will be rejected by God. And when will such a time come?

The sages among mankind believe that God will be unhappy when justice will be denied, when atrocities against mankind will increase, rulers will usurp their powers and suppress their subjects, courts will shun justice. Judges will indulge in favoritism. He will be even unhappier when the people will remain silent spectators and watch atrocities on others around them.

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Source: India Post


How the World is Responding to Coronavirus: Towns on Lockdown, Mass-Gatherings Banned and Increased Border Checks to Battle Pandemic

As the world remains in the grip of a deadly coronavirus pandemic, officials are questioning why Britain has failed to implement similar draconian measures seen in other countries.

While Italy is in total lockdown, America shuts its doors to travellers from Europe and the streets of China are desolate, the UK appears to be carrying on as normal.

Donald Trump dramatically escalated the US response to the pandemic, slapping a travel ban on continental Europe.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today chaired an emergency Cobra committee where he declared the UK’s tactics will shift from ‘containing’ the killer disease to merely ‘delaying’ its inevitable spread.

Mr Johnson branded the coronavirus as the ‘worst public health crisis in a generation’ and warned that ‘many more’ will die.

But he said that the government would still not impose bans on sporting events and added that closing schools ‘could do more harm than good’.

With the NHS under mounting pressure, the UK’s chief medical officers and officials from the General Medical Council and NHS England have written to doctors saying they may need to work outside their usual area of expertise in the peak of an epidemic.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, meanwhile, warned mass gatherings must be cancelled and said she was reviewing school closures.

Here, we look at how 13 countries around the world have responded to the virus.

On another day of frantic activity by politicians and health experts around the globe:

The PM chaired emergency Cobra committee with the UK’s tactics shifting from ‘containing’ the killer disease to merely ‘delaying’ its inevitable spread
No10 has dismissed suggestions they will emulate Ireland, which announced this morning that it will close all schools and colleges
Boris Johnson has so far refused to ban mass gatherings, or close schools
Mr Johnson asked those with a cold to self-quarantine, and urged vulnerable elderly people to stay indoors
To fight what is now officially a global pandemic, the Budget handed hospitals a £5billion fighting fund
Thousands of firms in the UK will be given a business rates holiday to help avert the risk of bankruptcy

UK

596 cases, ten deaths

Mounting pressure has built on the Government to move quickly to impose similar rules because it is feared the UK is heading the same direction as Italy, where 15,113 cases and 1,016 deaths have been confirmed.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson today held an emergency meeting where he declared the UK’s tactics will shift from ‘containing’ the killer disease to merely ‘delaying’ its inevitable spread.

He branded the coronavirus as the ‘worst public health crisis in a generation’ and warned that ‘many more’ people are going to die – but still held off implementing drastic measures.

He said: ‘At all stages we have been guided by the science. We will do the right thing at the right time.

‘This is more dangerous [than seasonal flu] and it’s going to spread further. And I must level with you and the British public: more families, many more families, are going to lose loved ones before their time.’

A total of 596 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 9am on Thursday, up from 456 at the same point on Wednesday, the Department of Health said.

And two more patients have died in UK hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total to 10, NHS England said.

Defending the UK’s approach to the pandemic, Mr Johnson added: ‘The measures that I have discussed today… staying at home if you think you have the symptoms, your whole household staying at home, looking after the elderly – making sure the elderly and vulnerable stay at home – these are the three most powerful defensive lines.’

‘We think it’s very important to maintain public trust and confidence in what we are doing, throughout this challenging time, always to be guided by the best possible scientific advice.’

He said that schools would remain open and added: ‘The scientific advice is that this could do more harm than good.

‘But we are keeping this under review and this could change as the disease spreads. Schools should only close if they are specifically advised to do so.’

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Source: Daily Mail


Iranian Mass Graves ‘For Coronavirus Victims Are So Huge They Can Be Seen From Space’: Fears the Regime’s Official 429 Death Toll is Covering Up Scale of the Crisis

Satellite images from Iran shows how mass graves have been hurriedly dug to accommodate the spiralling number of coronavirus victims, experts believe.

Aerial photos appear to show a cemetery in the holy city of Qom being expanded after the outbreak began there in mid-February.

Experts who spoke to the Washington Post say there are signs that the new 300ft trenches were dug for the many virus victims who have died in the city.

In addition, videos which have circulated on social media appear to show people confirming that the graves are being used for coronavirus patients.

Iran has suffered one of the world’s worst outbreaks and there has been widespread suspicion that the regime is covering up the true scale of the crisis. Official figures say that 429 people have died.

The satellite images of the Behesht-e Masoumeh cemetery, published by Maxar Technologies, show much of the graveyard lying unused as recently as October.

By the start of March this year, one previously half-filled quadrant had been completely filled up while work had begun on another unused section.

In that second quadrant, two new 300ft trenches had appeared which are visible from the aerial pictures.

A Maxar analyst told the Post that the hurried excavation work was a ‘departure’ from previous burials at the site.

The analyst also suggested that a white substance which was piled up next to the graves could be a supply of lime which is sometimes used in mass graves.

Lime can slow down the decay of a body, experts say – with some health authorities raising alarms over the handling of corpses in coronavirus cases.

According to the Post, Iranian officials have acknowledged using lime when burying people who died after being infected with the virus.

There is also video footage which appears to back up the satellite evidence that the graveyard has been hurriedly expanded.

In one video, a narrator refers to the ‘coronavirus patients’ section’ of the cemetery which he identifies as the Behest-e Masoumeh graveyard.

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Source: Daily Mail


Canceled Events Because of Coronavirus List

One by one, from the world’s premier basketball league and international concerts to a 250-year-old parade and sprawling festivals, institutions are facing the same hard question: Is a public gathering worth the risk of spreading the new coronavirus?

On Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York took the extraordinary step of ordering an end to all gatherings of more than 500 people, with some exceptions. The move forced a shutdown of Broadway, halting the runs of 31 plays and musicals for at least a month.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced earlier on Thursday that it would temporarily close its three locations, including its Fifth Avenue flagship, in response to the virus. It did not announce a target date to reopen, but said it would disclose further steps next week.

And Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s largest concert and ticketing company, suspended all of its tours through March, effective nearly immediately.

Dozens of other organizations, gatherings and cultural events have changed their plans in the last few weeks, as the World Health Organization formally declared the coronavirus a pandemic and the number of people who have been sickened or died has mounted. Here’s a brief rundown of some of the larger events around the world that have been modified or canceled.

The N.B.A. suspended its season, shortly after a March 11 game between the Utah Jazz and the Oklahoma City Thunder was halted just before tip-off. A player for the Jazz tested positive for the coronavirus.

The biggest question in the sports world is the Tokyo Olympics, set to begin in July. Japan and the International Olympic Committee have said the Games will go on, but there have been discussions about a worst-case scenario: holding competitions without spectators. That approach will be used when the torch for the Tokyo Games is lit in Olympia, Greece, on Thursday.

Major League Soccer suspended its season for at least 30 days, beginning March 12, less than two weeks after matches began on Feb. 29. The season is scheduled to run through Oct. 4. The National Hockey League also said it would pause its season. Major League Baseball pushed back its season opening by at least two weeks and suspended spring training games.

Several college basketball tournaments have been canceled, including the Big Ten and SEC men’s tournaments. The N.C.A.A. Division I basketball tournament will be played without crowds.

Many international sporting events have been postponed, including Six Nations and Women’s Six Nations rugby matches that had been scheduled for February and March, and the Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens.

Others have taken place with major changes, like the Tokyo Marathon, which was restricted to elite runners. Formula One has said that its upcoming Grand Prix in Bahrain will be closed to spectators, while the Chinese Grand Prix, which had been scheduled for April, was postponed.

Italy and Iran, which are contending with major outbreaks, have canceled sporting events, and Greece barred spectators for a two-week period. Professional soccer games in Spain and Portugal will also take place in empty stadiums for at least two weeks, officials said on Tuesday. A day earlier, FIFA said it would postpone the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Get an informed guide to the global outbreak with our daily coronavirus newsletter.

The BNP Paribas Open, a major tennis tournament that was scheduled to take place in Indian Wells, Calif., beginning this week, was canceled after local health officials declared a public health emergency in the Coachella Valley because of a locally acquired case of the coronavirus.

Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League have limited locker room access to only players and essential team staff members.

Widespread closings were announced throughout Europe this week. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of Italy announced on Monday that public gatherings were banned and that people would be allowed to travel only for work or for emergencies. Even church services are prohibited.

Ireland’s government canceled all St. Patrick’s Day parades, including Dublin’s. (Boston, which has a robust Irish-American population, also canceled its parade; Manhattan’s was postponed.) Berlin closed state and private theaters, concert halls, opera houses, state-run museums, monuments and libraries. Austria banned indoor gatherings of more than 100 people.

The Auschwitz Memorial said on Wednesday that it would be closed until March 25.

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has asked the organizers of sports and cultural events to consider postponing or canceling them. Tokyo’s Nakameguro district canceled its Cherry Blossom Festival. The Japan National Tourism Organization is maintaining a list of attractions and events that have been canceled.

Austin, Texas, canceled the 34th-annual South by Southwest festival after tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, withdrew their participation. The sprawling music, tech and film festival was to run from March 13 to 22, with events planned throughout bars and party spaces across the city, and at a convention center. Festival organizers have said that they did not have insurance to cover cancellation by pandemics or communicable disease, and that they would be laying off a third of their full-time staff.

One of the largest rodeos in the world, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, was shut down on Wednesday, a week into the event. The rodeo, which was to run through March 22, features bull and horse riding and an exhibition of cattle, pigs, llamas and other animals, among other activities. It regularly draws tens of thousands of people every day.

The Tucson Festival of Books, which was planned for March 14 and 15, was also canceled. The book festival is one of the biggest in the country and usually draws over 100,000 people to Tucson, Ariz. The Los Angeles Times postponed its 25th-annual Festival of Books, originally scheduled to take place next month on the University of Southern California campus, until October.

The organizers of the giant Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which takes place in the picturesque desert of Southern California and is seen as a bellwether for the multibillion-dollar touring industry, have postponed the festival until October.

The festival will now take place in October. Tickets that were purchased for April will be honored in October.

On Wednesday, ABC’s “The View” taped the daytime talk show without a studio audience“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on CBS and “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on NBC will do the same starting Monday.

Hollywood has been watching the spread of the virus closely, and expecting a major impact on box office sales. In one of the industry’s first significant responses, the producers of the latest movie in the James Bond franchise“No Time to Die,” announced they would move its release from April to November. John Krasinski, the director of “A Quiet Place Part II,” said the movie’s release would be postponed. The latest film in the blockbuster “Fast & Furious” series, “F9: The Fast Saga,” was supposed to premiere on May 22, but will now be released in April 2021.

In the first major cancellations of the presidential race because of concerns about the coronavirus, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. called off campaign events in Cleveland on Tuesday. Ohio has three confirmed cases of the virus, and Gov. Mike DeWine has called for limiting public gatherings.

Many businesses and professional organizations postponed or canceled conferences, including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, which had organized a global health conference scheduled to take place in Orlando, Fla. President Trump had been among the scheduled speakers.

Google canceled its I/O developer event near Palo Alto, Calif., which was scheduled for May. The company usually announces new products and developments at the event.

E3, one of the video game industry’s biggest conventions that was scheduled for June in Los Angeles, was canceled. Organizers of the convention, where developers showcase their latest creations, said that the cancellation was “the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation.”

The New York International Auto Show that was scheduled for April has been postponed. The show is now scheduled to run Aug. 28 to Sept. 6.

“We are taking this extraordinary step to help protect our attendees, exhibitors and all participants from the coronavirus,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, which owns the show.

Schools in Italy, Iran, China, South Korea, Japan and elsewhere have been closed because of the outbreak. This week, many American educational institutions announced they would also cancel classes. In one of the most far-reaching decisions, Harvard ordered all undergraduate students to move out of their dormitories by March 15 and said it would conduct all classes online through the spring semester.

New York Universitythe University of Florida, Ohio State University, Columbia University and Princeton University were among the schools that announced they would move to online instruction. Seattle public schools announced on Wednesday that they would close for at least two weeks.

Source: New York Times


NHL Suspending Play Immediately Due to Virus

The NHL has suspended its season because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus but hopes to resume in the future.

There are 189 games and three and a half weeks remaining in the NHL’s regular season. There were 10 games on the NHL slate Thursday.

“The NHL has been attempting to follow the mandates of health experts and local authorities, while preparing for any possible developments without taking premature or unnecessary measures,” the league said in a statement. “However, following last night’s news that an NBA player has tested positive for coronavirus — and given that our leagues share so many facilities and locker rooms and it now seems likely that some member of the NHL community would test positive at some point — it is no longer appropriate to try to continue to play games at this time.

“We will continue to monitor all the appropriate medical advice, and we will encourage our players and other members of the NHL community to take all reasonable precautions — including by self-quarantine, where appropriate. Our goal is to resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that we will be able to complete the season and award the Stanley Cup. Until then, we thank NHL fans for your patience and hope you stay healthy.”

The NHL players’ union said in a statement: “The decision to temporarily suspend play due to the COVID-19 pandemic is an appropriate course of action at this time.”

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Source: ESPN


Mayor de Blasio Declares State of Emergency to Fight Coronavirus in NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency in New York City on Thursday as the number of coronavirus cases soared to 95 in the city.

“We understand this will be a huge dislocation for many people,” de Blasio said when making the announcement. “But it is at the point where it’s necessary.

NYC saw a large jump in confirmed cases since Wednesday, he said, noting there were 95 confirmed cases as of Thursday afternoon compared to 42 confirmed less than 24 hours earlier.

“We’re very concerned about people’s loss of livelihood … as businesses are cutting back or shutting down,” de Blasio said.

Anyone who is unable to pay their rent, and faces eviction, is urged to call 311 for free legal help.

Despite calls from some to close New York City public schools, de Blasio said he intends to keep them open.

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Source: Pix11


The Entire Country of Norway is ‘Shutting Down’

If you think things have gotten bad in the United States — where St. Patrick’s Day parades have been canceled, and the NBA is suspended for the rest of the season — just wait until you hear about Norway. Starting Thursday, the small Nordic country announced “measures that will be the most extensive Norway’s population has experienced in peacetime,” and which involve practically shutting down the entire country in order to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, Norwegian Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie told the national broadcaster, NRK.

In addition to kindergartens, child care facilities, schools, and universities closing nationwide, and a ban on both professional and amateur sports — measures that have been taken only regionally so far in the U.S. — the entire country of Norway is also requiring all hairdressers, massage clinics, gyms, and tattoo parlors to close, Life in Norway and Swedish journalist Peter Imanuelsen report based off the announcement on NRK. Cultural events are also banned, with museums, pools, and libraries additionally closing. While grocery stores will remain open, restaurants, bars, pubs, and nightclubs are required to close if they can’t guarantee a three-foot distance between patrons. Buffets, naturally, are banned.

Additionally, everyone entering Norway from anywhere other than another Nordic country will be required to be home-quarantined, regardless of symptoms — one of the most drastic measures taken in Europe so far. Healthcare professionals are no longer allowed to travel abroad, and the country is encouraging its citizens traveling abroad to return home at once.

Oslo-based Twitter user Cathrine Wilhelmsen emphasized that “Norway is shutting down … this is serious.” The country faces one of the worst outbreaks in Europe, with some 632 positive cases as of Thursday morning. “It is extremely important that people follow this advice,” Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said. “To be able to curb this, we need everyone to come together.” Jeva Lange

Source: The Week


MLB Opening Day Delayed at Least Two Weeks Due to Coronavirus

Major League Baseball will suspend operations for the next four weeks, including spring training and the first two weeks of the regular season in response to the spread of coronavirus, the league announced Thursday. The MLB season was originally set to start March 26, but Opening Day will now occur no earlier than April 9. MLB is the fourth major American pro sports league to suspend its season due to the outbreak of COVID-19, joining the NBA, NHL and MLS.

The decision comes after the league’s owners discussed plans on a conference call Thursday afternoon. MLB ceased operations at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, but spring training games were played as scheduled in Florida on Thursday afternoon with fans in attendance.

Minor League Baseball also announced the start of its season would be delayed, and MLB said that qualifying for the World Baseball Classic was postponed indefinitely.

Here is the league’s full statement on its decision:

Following a call with the 30 Clubs, and after consultation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. today announced that MLB has decided to suspend Spring Training games and to delay the start of the 2020 regular season by at least two weeks due to the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic. This action is being taken in the interests of the safety and well-being of our players, Clubs and our millions of loyal fans.

MLB will continue to evaluate ongoing events leading up to the start of the season. Guidance related to daily operations and workouts will be relayed to Clubs in the coming days. As of 4:00 p.m. (ET) today, forthcoming Spring Training games have been cancelled, and 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifier games in Tucson, Arizona have been postponed indefinitely.

MLB and the Clubs have been preparing a variety of contingency plans regarding the 2020 regular season schedule. MLB will announce the effects on the schedule at an appropriate time and will remain flexible as events warrant, with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as possible.

Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our players, employees and fans. MLB will continue to undertake the precautions and best practices recommended by public health experts. We send our best wishes to all individuals and communities that have been impacted by coronavirus.

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Source: CBS Sports


Televangelist Jim Bakker Sued for Selling Fake Coronavirus Cure

Televangelist Jim Bakker, right, walks with his wife Lori Beth Graham after a funeral service the Rev. Billy Graham in March 2018.
CHUCK BURTON / AP

Televangelist Jim Bakker is being sued by the state of Missouri for selling fake coronavirus cures on his website. On Monday, the Jim Bakker Show and six other companies were warned by the the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop selling unapproved products and treatments.

Bakker’s website offered products like “Silver Sol Liquid,” that claimed to be able to diagnose or cure the coronavirus illness, COVID-19. In a letter to the Jim Bakker Show, the FDA said the products are in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

“The Secretary of Health and Human Services … has determined that a public health emergency exists nationwide as a result of confirmed cases of COVID-19. Therefore, FDA is taking urgent measures to protect consumers from certain products that, without approval or authorization by FDA, claim to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID 19 in people,” the agency wrote.

The letter ordered Bakker to take immediate actions to correct the violations and gave him 48 hours to take the products off of his site.

Now, Baker and Morningside Church Productions, which produces his show, are being sued by the state of Missouri, where they are based, for selling the Silver Solution and other related products, as outlined in the suit.

The state accuses Bakker of violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by “falsely promising to consumers that Silver Solution can cure, eliminate, kill or deactivate coronavirus and/or boost elderly consumers’ immune system and help keep them healthy when there is, in fact, no vaccine, pill, potion or other product available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”

The suit says Bakker has been selling the “Silver Solution” — also known as “Silver Sol” and “Optivida Silver Solution” — since at least February 12, 2020. He promoted the product on his show, saying “it hasn’t been tested on this strain of the coronavirus, but it has been tested on other strains of the coronavirus and has been able to eliminate it within 12 hours.”

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Source: CBS News


Here is the True Story of the Coronavirus Pandemic Plague From a Christian Law Enforcement Officer Who Caught the Coronavirus From His Church Choir; He Says There Are Others From His Church in the Hospital With the Coronavirus; BCNN1 Again Tells Churches to Confess Their Sins, Repent of Their Sins, Return to Their First Love the Lord Jesus Christ and Encourage Christians to Worship From Home Until the Coronavirus Pandemic Plague is Stayed

A Georgia man with the new coronavirus is speaking out about the issues with testing, as well as what it’s like to be under a restrictive quarantine.

Clay Bentley is currently under quarantine in a hospital in Rome, Georgia, after being diagnosed with the new coronavirus, officially termed COVID-19. He has since developed double pneumonia in his lungs, but said in an interview with CNN that he’s doing well.

“It’s been a long road. But I’m getting through it. I’m improving daily,” he said.

Bentley’s frustrations, however, are with the current coronavirus testing process.

“I came to the hospital last Monday, really really sick,” he said. “They asked if I had been in China or different places in the world and I told them no.” He was tested for the flu and it came back negative, so he was sent home.

His conditioned worsened.

“I wound up calling the hospital on Friday morning, and once I got back to the hospital they started realizing that I probably had the coronavirus and they got tests from the CDC and started doing tests, and it all came back positive,” he said.

“So the thing they talk about, being out of the country, as being one of the indicators for the test — I don’t go anywhere. I’m retired.”

Bentley said that after he was diagnosed, his 36-year-old son was told to quarantine, even though they had not recently seen each other.

“I feel like everyone’s running in mass hysteria, trying to take care of things instead of finding the people who need to be tested,” he said. “Let’s take care of the problem [through testing].”

RELATED: Do Face Masks Work? How Long Should You Wash Your Hands? Here’s How to Prevent Coronavirus

The U.S. has been unable to test citizens at the same rate as other countries due to issues with the testing kits from the CDC. The original batch of kits was contaminated, and the agency is now shipping out new versions to states, but not at the rate that states expected.

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Source: People


WHO Declares the Outbreak of the New Coronavirus is a Pandemic

Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus sweeping across the world is a pandemic, the World Health Organization declared today. There are now over 118,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in 114 countries around the world.

The WHO continues to closely monitoring spread of the virus, said Tedros Adhanom, director general of the WHO, during the announcement. “We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” he said. “We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action.”

There are large outbreaks of the virus in Italy, South Korea, and the United States. In the US, the slow rollout of testing and limited testing capacity has crippled response to the disease.

The spread of the virus can still be controlled, Adhanom said. He pointed to both China and South Korea, where outbreaks appear to be declining. “It’s doable.”

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Source: The Verge


WHO declares coronavirus a pandemic, but instilling hope says it is not too late for countries to act

 Expressing alarm both about mounting infections and slow government responses, the World Health Organization declared Wednesday that the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic but also said it’s not too late for countries to act.

By reversing course and using the charged word “pandemic” that it had previously shied away from, the U.N. health agency appeared to want to shock lethargic countries into pulling out all the stops.

“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO chief.

“All countries can still change the course of this pandemic. If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilize their people in the response,” he said. “We are deeply concerned by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction.”

The WHO added that Iran and Italy are the new front lines of the battle against the virus that started in China.

“They’re suffering but I guarantee you other countries will be in that situation soon,” said Dr. Mike Ryan, the WHO’s emergencies chief.

Italy weighed imposing even tighter restrictions on daily life and announced billions in financial relief Wednesday to cushion economic shocks from the coronavirus, its latest efforts to adjust to the fast-evolving health crisis that silenced the usually bustling heart of the Catholic faith, St. Peter’s Square.

In Iran, by far the hardest-hit country in the Middle East, the senior vice president and two other Cabinet ministers were reported to have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Iran reported another jump in deaths, by 62 to 354 — behind only China and Italy.

In Italy, Premier Giuseppe Conte said he would consider requests from Lombardy, Italy’s hardest-hit region, to toughen the already extraordinary anti-virus lockdown that was extended nationwide Tuesday. Lombardy wants to shut down nonessential businesses and reduce public transportation.

These additional measures would be on top of travel and social restrictions that imposed an eerie hush on cities and towns across the country from Tuesday. Police enforced rules that customers stay 1 meter (3 feet) apart and ensured that businesses closed by 6 p.m.

Milan shopkeeper Claudia Sabbatini said she favored stricter measures. Rather than run the risk of customers possibly infecting each other in her children’s clothing store, she decided to close it.

“I cannot have people standing at a distance. Children must try on the clothes. We have to know if they will fit,” she said.

Conte said fighting Italy’s more than 10,000 infections — the biggest outbreak outside of China — must not come at the expense of civil liberties. His caution suggested that Italy is unlikely to adopt the draconian quarantine measures that helped China push down new infections from thousands per day to a trickle now and allowed its manufacturers to restart production lines.

China’s new worry is that the coronavirus could re-enter from abroad. Beijing’s city government announced that all overseas visitors will be quarantined for 14 days. Of 24 new cases that China reported Wednesday, five arrived from Italy and one from the United States. China has had over 81,000 virus infections and over 3,000 deaths.

For most, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for a few, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illnesses, including pneumonia. More than 121,000 people have been infected worldwide and over 4,300 have died.

But the vast majority of people recover. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

In the Mideast, the vast majority of the nearly 10,000 cases are in Iran or involve people who traveled there. Iran announced another increase in cases Wednesday to 9,000. Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency said they include Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, who had not been seen in photos of recent top-level meetings. Fars said Iran’s ministers for cultural heritage, handcrafts and tourism, and for industry, mines and business were also infected.

Cases in Qatar jumped from 24 to 262. Kuwait announced a two-week shutdown of the country.

For the global economy, virus repercussions were profound, with increasing concerns of wealth- and job-wrecking recessions. U.S. stocks sank again in early trading Wednesday, wiping out most of a huge rally from a day earlier as Wall Street continues to reel from worries about the coronavirus.

The Wall Street plunge followed a steep decline by markets across Asia, where governments there and elsewhere have announced billions of dollars in stimulus funds, including packages revealed in Japan on Tuesday and Australia on Wednesday.

Italy’s government announced Wednesday it was earmarking 25 billion euros (nearly $28 billion) to boost anti-virus efforts and soften economic blows, including delaying tax and mortgage payments by families and businesses.

Britain’s government announced a 30 billion-pound ($39 billion) economic stimulus package and the Bank of England slashed its key interest rate by half a percentage point to 0.25%.

Normal life was increasingly being upended.

With police barring access to St. Peter’s Square, emptying it of tens of thousands of people who usually come on Wednesdays for the weekly papal address, Pope Francis instead live-streamed prayers from the privacy of his Vatican library.

In France, the government’s weekly Cabinet meeting was moved to a bigger room so President Emmanuel Macron and his ministers could sit at least 1 meter (more than 3 feet) apart.

Athletes who usually thrive on crowds grew increasingly wary of them. Spanish soccer club Getafe said it wouldn’t travel to Italy to play Inter Milan, preferring to forfeit their Europa League match rather than risk infections.

Olympic champion skier Mikaela Shiffrin said she would be limiting contact with fans and fellow competitors, tweeting that “this means no selfies, autographs, hugs, high fives, handshakes or kiss greetings.”

In the U.S., the caseload passed 1,000, and outbreaks on both sides of the country stirred alarm.

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who are vying to take on President Donald Trump in the presidential election, abruptly canceled rallies Tuesday and left open the possibility that future campaign events could be impacted, too. Trump’s campaign insisted it would proceed as normal, although Vice President Mike Pence conceded future rallies would be evaluated “on a day to day basis.”

In Europe, deaths soared among Italy’s aging population. Authorities said Italy has suffered 631 deaths, with an increase of 168 fatalities recorded Tuesday. In Spain, the number of cases surged past the 2,000-mark on Wednesday. Belgium, Bulgaria, Sweden, Albania and Ireland all announced their first virus-related deaths.

“If you want to be blunt, Europe is the new China,” said Robert Redfield, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also sounding the alarm at a Congressional hearing in Washington was Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“Bottom line, it’s going to get worse,” he said.

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that if the virus is not halted by vaccines and cures, up to 70% of the country’s 83 million people could ultimately become infected, citing estimates that epidemiologists have been putting forward for several weeks. Germany has some 1,300 confirmed infection. Merkel’s comments fit a pattern of government officials using sobering warnings to try to get people to protect themselves, most notably by washing their hands and not gathering in large numbers.

Dozens of cases have been tied to a conference in Boston, and leaders in multiple states were announcing curbs on large events. Colleges emptied their classrooms as they moved to online instruction and uncertainty surrounded the upcoming opening of the major league baseball season and college basketball’s championships. Even the famed buffets of Las Vegas were affected, with some of the Strip’s biggest being closed as a precaution.

“It’s terrifying,” said Silvana Gomez, a student at Harvard University, where undergraduates were told to leave campus by Sunday. “I’m definitely very scared right now about what the next couple days, the next couple weeks look like.”

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Source: Associated Press – NICOLE WINFIELD, COLLEEN BARRY and JOHN LEICESTER


Dow Dives More Than 1,100 Points Early on Wednesday as US Coronavirus Cases Exceed 1,000

 

Trader John Santiago works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: AP

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 1,100 points early on Wednesday in a continued dramatic market swing as confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States exceeded 1,000.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down more than 100 points, or 4 per cent, and the Nasdaq composite sank as many as 289 points, or more than 3 per cent.

Wednesday morning’s correction followed a market swoon on Monday that saw the Dow close down more than 2,000 points in its largest point drop ever for a single day as oil prices tumbled and the virus continued to spread outside China where it was first reported in December.

The latest losses so far have wiped out Tuesday’s gain fuelled by US President Donald Trump saying the government was close to announcing a plan that could include payroll tax cuts and other aid for hourly wage workers to help them deal with the potential impact from the epidemic.

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Source: South China Morning Post

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is moving swiftly toward House passage of a coronavirus aid package possibly this week refocusing Congress’s attention on sick pay and other resources to more immediately help workers hit by the crisis

 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is moving swiftly toward House passage of a coronavirus aid package possibly this week as Congress rebuffs President Donald Trump’s proposed payroll tax break and focuses instead on sick pay and other resources to more immediately help workers hit by the crisis.

Pelosi plans to unveil the measure Wednesday, with voting possible as soon as Thursday, after talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, whom Trump tapped to negotiate with the Democratic leader. Mnuchin and Pelosi spoke again early Wednesday to discuss proposals for the package.

“Right now we’re trying to deal with the direct impact of the virus on individual citizens,” said House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., on Wednesday. “So paid family leave, making sure the tests are free to everybody, boosting unemployment insurance and so forth. That’s immediate. That’s tomorrow.”

Congress is racing to take the lead as lawmakers and the Trump administration face mounting pressure to work more vigorously to contain the coronavirus outbreak and respond to the financial fallout. Lawmakers from both major political parties roundly dismissed Trump’s call for a payroll tax holiday through the end of the year and panned other corporate tax breaks floated for specific industries.

House Democrats met behind closed doors to finish crafting the package. As they did, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that the outbreak in the U.S. is going to get worse.

“I can say we will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now,” Fauci told the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.

Democratic lawmakers are preparing a more limited immediate response aimed at helping workers without paid sick leave and those facing temporary layoffs because of the outbreak rather than broader stimulus for the economy. A spokesman for Pelosi said the California Democrat plans on unveiling the measure Wednesday after receiving proposals from key committee chairs and further consultations with Mnuchin.

Pelosi’s goal is to pass a more narrowly drawn measure as soon as Thursday, before lawmakers leave town for a previously scheduled weeklong recess, and revisit potential stimulus measures later on, those familiar with the thinking said.

She vowed this week to remain in session to confront the crisis, calling Congress the last to leave.

Trump on Tuesday pitched his economic stimulus ideas privately to wary Senate Republicans, but the president’s GOP allies have been cool to additional spending at this stage. Democrats prefer their own package of low- or no-cost virus testing, unemployment insurance and sick pay for workers struggling to keep paychecks coming as the outbreak disrupts workplaces.

White House officials have been blindsided by the president’s sudden moves. As Trump headed to Capitol Hill, two administration officials said the proposals he was putting in play had not been completed. They were unauthorized to discuss the planning and requested anonymity.

Trump’s team offered few specifics at the closed-door GOP lunch on the size of the payroll tax break or its duration, senators said. Trump has long promised to bring about an election year “tax cuts 2.0” and seemed to be seizing on the virus fears as a way to bring about a victory on that front before November. Behind closed doors he discussed the coming elections in swing states like Arizona and Montana, where GOP senators face tough races.

Besides payroll tax relief, Trump has said he wants help for hourly wage workers to ensure they’re “not going to miss a paycheck” and “don’t get penalized for something that’s not their fault.” He’s also mentioned small-business loans. But details are slight.

Some Republicans endorsed Trump’s suggestion that help be provided to the beleaguered cruise ship and airline industries, while others spoke up for other industries, including energy and gas. Some pushed for broader economic stimulus from a bipartisan highway bill they said was shovel-ready and popular. The payroll tax plan remained a work in progress.

Key Democrats displayed little appetite to prop up corporations harmed by the outbreak.

“The airlines have had record profitability last three years. I assume they have substantial cash reserves,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. “I don’t see any immediate need to bail out the private sector. We need to take care of the people first — people who don’t have health insurance, people who don’t have sick leave.”

In Washington, there were mixed signals about the public mood regarding the coronavirus. Tourists still arrived for visits while marquee events, including this weekend’s Gridiron Club dinner, an annual mingling of political Washington, were postponed.

At the U.S. Capitol, some senators said they resisted shaking Trump’s hand when he arrived for lunch. Lawmakers were given new instructions on how to protect themselves, with the House’s attending physician asking them to stop shaking hands or touching people during greetings. He recommended the split-fingers Star Trek greeting instead.

Crowds are the norm in the Capitol and handshakes are coin of the realm, even between political foes. But about a half-dozen lawmakers, including Trump confidants, have placed themselves in quarantine after being exposed to someone who had the virus, and the norm has been upended.

GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who self-quarantined after having traveled with the president from Florida on Air Force One on Monday, said he had tested negative for the disease but said he would remain quarantined as a precaution. Trump’s incoming chief of staff, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C, remained on quarantine.

But House and Senate leaders have made it clear there will be no voting by proxy. Quarantined lawmakers will miss votes.

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Source: Associated Press – LISA MASCARO, ZEKE MILLER and ANDREW TAYLOR

Staring recession in the face, European leaders are lining up an array of measures in hopes of preventing the coronavirus outbreak from dealing long-term damage to the economy

Suddenly staring recession in the face, European leaders are lining up an array of tax breaks, financial support for companies and likely central bank measures in the hope of preventing the coronavirus outbreak from dealing long-term damage to the economy.

 

Expectations have grown that European Central Bank officials will announce more monetary stimulus when they meet Thursday, after the Bank of England acted Wednesday and the U.S. Federal Reserve last week.

The European Commission plans to set up a 25 billion-euro ($28 billion) investment fund to support the health care system, businesses and labor market measures. The Italian government is offering an aid package of about the same size.

Yet any such actions will likely be more damage limitation than cure.

Monetary stimulus and government spending can spur demand for goods. But the coronavirus deals a shock from the supply side by closing businesses and making people stay home, highlighted by Italy’s dramatic decision this week to limit travel and public gatherings across the country. Lower interest rates or tax cuts cannot solve that.

Meanwhile, action to help the 19 countries that use the euro currency faces constraints from the lack of a large central treasury, a hurdle other large economies like the U.S. and China do not face.

“The world is facing a medical emergency that monetary and fiscal policy cannot fix,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg private bank.

The best policymakers can do for the economy is to prevent the virus from dealing prolonged damage even after the outbreak ends, to keep small- and medium-sized companies that provide most of the jobs in the economy from going out of business due to a short-term issue beyond their control.

Among the most affected are companies involved in travel. The number of people going through European airports is expected to fall by 187 million this year, hurting hotels, restaurants, cabdrivers and airlines. Lufthansa is cutting up to half of its flights from April. Ryanair suspended all flights to and from Italy. Exhibition centers have seen trade fairs postponed and football matches are taking place in empty stadiums.

The investment fund announced Tuesday night by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is drawn from the existing EU budget. The 25 billion size of the fund is only around 0.1% of the annual 18.8 trillion euro ($20.7 trillion) EU economy.

Von der Leyen said national leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed during a video conference Tuesday to “use all the tools at our disposal so that the European economy weathers this storm.” That includes being flexible in EU rules limiting debt and coming up with clear guidelines on permissible state aid to companies.

At the national level, Italy, which has been hit hardest by far by the virus outbreak, is earmarking 25 billion euros to confront the crisis. It will support health services, ensure people do not lose jobs due to travel restrictions and support families by, for example, delaying payments on mortgages and taxes. More detail on the aid is due Friday.

Britain, no longer a member of the European Union but still an important trade partner, made available 30 billion pounds ($39 billion) in its new budget Wednesday to cushion the impact of the outbreak. The Bank of England added stimulus by cutting a key interest benchmark to 0.25% from 0.75%.

Even Germany is softening its opposition to spending more public funds to boost growth. The cabinet has discussed a package of measures including 3.1 billion euros in extra investment spending per year from 2021 to 2024. That is only 0.1% of GDP but experts say it’s a step in the right direction.

The government also agreed to make it easier for companies to put workers on shortened hours. The short-time work program is credited with limiting job losses during the Great Recession in 2009 and with speeding the rebound afterward, since companies kept their workers on and did not need to reassemble a trained factory workforce.

Merkel’s government has for years insisted on balancing the German budget, but the chancellor signaled some flexibility on Wednesday. “We will do what is necessary,” she said. “We’re not going to ask every day what that means for our deficit.”

Merkel said “this is an extraordinary situation … and that should be the case with the stability pact too,” referring to the rules limiting debt for eurozone members.

Analysts say the European Central Bank is likely to agree on more stimulus at its policy meeting Thursday. Possibilities include cutting its deposit rate benchmark deeper below zero, to minus 0.6% from minus 0.5%, effectively pushing banks to lend more money.

The ECB could also raise its current program of bond purchases from 20 billion euros ($22 billion) a month to as much as 40 billion euros ($44 billion) a month and focus more on bonds issued by companies, which would aim at lowering borrowing costs for the private sector. The central bank could also issue more cheap, long-term credit to banks on the condition the money is loaned to businesses.

Yet all this can only “limit the damage to demand,” said Schmieding. He estimates the eurozone economy could shrink 0.4% in the first quarter and 0.5% in the second, putting it in recession. A rebound in the second half would still leave the economy slightly smaller for the year.

Oliver Rakau, chief German economist at Oxford Economics, said Europe might be only beginning to face the need for new investment and financial aid.

“This is a broadly right and a welcome response limiting the hit to household incomes and firm profits,” he said. “But we continue to think that more will be needed, once the fallout from the current economic shock becomes clearer.”

Source: Associated Press – DAVID MCHUGH


Governors and other leaders scrambling to slow the coronavirus spread calling on the National Guard among other things

As coronavirus cases crop up across the United States, some governors and other leaders are scrambling to slow its spread, banning large public gatherings, enforcing quarantines and calling National Guard troops.

With new deaths reported and the number of confirmed U.S. cases exceeding 1,000, lawmakers and health officials set up containment zones and quarantine areas and sought to limit contact with those who might be infected.

In Washington state, the governor was expected to ban gatherings of more than 250 people in virtually the entire Seattle metro area, home to some 4 million people. Schools and houses of worship were shuttered in a New York City suburb where a cluster of cases could be the largest in the nation, and the governor sent National Guard troops to help clean public spaces and deliver food.

The moves came as the battle to stop the virus from spreading intensified. More schools and universities, including UCLA, Yale and Stanford, have announced plans to send students home and move classes online.

The virus has infected more than 800 people in the U.S. and killed at least 30, with one state after another recording its first infections in quick succession.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. For some, especially the elderly and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. Most people recover in a matter of weeks, as has happened with three-quarters of those infected in China.

For those in the middle of a quarantine, it’s an anxious time waiting for the threat to pass.

Judy Aqua, who’s in her 60s, is quarantining herself at home in New Rochelle, outside New York city, after possibly being exposed to someone with the virus.

“People are really afraid to go to the supermarket. They’re afraid to go to the cleaner,” she said. When her husband made a recent run to a post office, she told him to wear gloves.

Life in many places went on as usual, but many major events were canceled or postponed, including the Coachella music festival that draws tens of thousands to the California desert near Palm Springs every April.

The United Nations announced it would close its New York headquarters to the public and suspend all tours, and one of the biggest resort operators in Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International, said it would close buffets at all of its Las Vegas Strip casinos as a precaution, although the casinos were staying open.

The ban on gatherings in Washington state would apply to sporting events such as Seattle Mariners baseball and Seattle Sounders soccer games, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. It could be just the beginning of disruptions to sports: Already, some college sports games will be played without fans in Ohio and California, and the NCAA said it would “make decisions in the coming days” about its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments after two conferences banned fans from their championships and the Ivy League cancelled its basketball tournaments altogether.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency as cases statewide jumped from 51 to 92. Of that number, 70 are now connected to a meeting held last month by biotech company Biogen at a hotel in downtown Boston.

Baker said the state of emergency will give him greater authority to take such actions as shutting down large events, gaining access to buildings or stockpiling protective gear. Santa Clara County in California, home to San Jose and Silicon Valley, has banned on all gatherings of 1,000 people or more.

Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden abruptly canceled rallies in Cleveland because of worries about the virus.

As many people considered whether it’s prudent to travel, the news that everyone on a flight from Italy may have been exposed had health officials urging those passengers to self-isolate. A woman from suburban Houston flew home after testing positive to consult her own doctor, and now everyone on the two flights she took could be at risk.

Some airport workers are also dealing with the outbreak, with several Transportation Security Administration officers at Mineta San Jose International Airport testing positive. They were receiving medical care and all TSA employees who had contact with them over the past 14 days are being quarantined at home, the agency said.

In Oakland, California, restless passengers on a coronavirus-struck cruise ship awaited their turn to disembark. After being forced to idle for days off the California coast, the ship docked Monday with about 3,500 passengers and crew, including at least 21 who tested positive for the virus. Passengers from Canada and other countries were to be flown home, while Americans were being sent to military bases in California, Texas and Georgia for testing and 14-day quarantines, and others were still waiting to get off.

“We’re trying to stay calm and were trying to stay positive, but it’s getting harder and harder. They can’t make up their minds how to keep us safe,” said passenger Beryl Ward, 77, of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

By Tuesday night, Princess Cruises said about 1,400 people had gotten off the ship. About 1,100 crew members were to remain aboard.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom urged the state’s nearly 40 million residents to avoid sporting events, concerts and large gatherings and adamantly warned the elderly to stay away from cruise ships.

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Source: Associated Press – MARINA VILLENEUVE and OLGA R. RODRIGUEZ


Coronavirus caseload passes 1,000 in U.S. stirring new alarms and reshaping daily life

Expanding clusters of the new coronavirus were eyed warily Wednesday as the outbreak upended daily life and reshaped everything from the United States presidential race to Pope Francis’ travel.

In the U.S., the caseload passed 1,000, and outbreaks on both sides of the country were stirring alarm, while in Europe, an increasingly locked-down Italy counted more than 10,000 infections and recorded soaring deaths among its aging population.

“Right now, the epicenter — the new China — is Europe,” said Robert Redfield, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Rome’s usual boisterous hum was reduced to a whisper as Italy’s 62 million people were told to mostly stay home. Though shops, cafes and restaurants remained open, police around the country were enforcing rules that customers stay 1 meter (3 feet) apart and certain businesses shutter by 6 p.m.

Authorities said 631 people have died of COVID-19 in Italy, with an increase of 168 fatalities recorded Tuesday. The health crisis was dealing a serious blow to the country’s economy — the third-largest of the 19 countries using the euro — and threatened instability worldwide.

Markets across Asia dropped Wednesday despite Wall Street’s gains a day earlier. Investors seemed encouraged by promises by U.S. President Donald Trump of a relief package to cushion economic pain from the outbreak. Governments around Asia and elsewhere have also announced billions of dollars in stimulus funds, including packages revealed in Japan on Tuesday and Australia on Wednesday.

“Investors are still worried that those fiscal stimulus packages may not be able to contain the virus outbreak as well as to mitigate the impact on the economy,” said Louis Wong of Philip Capital Management.

For most, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for a few, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illnesses, including pneumonia. More than 119,000 people have been infected worldwide and over 4,200 have died.

The virus has disrupted travel, closed schools and halted manufacturing in places around the globe.

The Vatican’s representative to the half-island nation of East Timor said Wednesday that an expected visit by Pope Francis, though never made official, would not happen later this year.

Francis’ Wednesday audience — typically a boisterous affair that fills St. Peter’s Square or the Vatican auditorium with tens of thousands — was instead held in the privacy of his library and shared by livestream. The square was empty, with Vatican City adopting Italy’s lockdown measures.

In the U.S., dozens of cases were being tied to a conference in Boston, and leaders in multiple states were announcing curbs on large events. Colleges around the country emptied their classrooms as they moved to online instruction and uncertainty surrounded the upcoming opening of the major league baseball season and college basketball’s championships. Even the famed buffets of Las Vegas were affected, with some of the Strip’s biggest being closed in a precautionary measure.

“It’s terrifying,” said Silvana Gomez, a student at Harvard University, where undergraduates were told to leave campus by Sunday. “I’m definitely very scared right now about what the next couple days, the next couple weeks look like.”

New York’s governor said National Guard troops would scrub public places and deliver food to a suburb where infections have spiked. In Washington state, where a Seattle-area nursing home was the center of an outbreak, officials said the virus had spread to at least 10 other long-term care facilities. In California, thousands of restless passengers remained stuck aboard a cruise ship, waiting for their turn to disembark to begin quarantines.

Two men vying to take on Trump in the U.S. presidential election abruptly canceled rallies Tuesday and left open the possibility that future campaign events could be impacted, too. Trump’s campaign insisted it would proceed as normal, though Vice President Mike Pence conceded future rallies would be evaluated “on a day to day basis.”

It was all evidence of the continuing westward push of the virus. In China, where it first cropped up, officials said they’d counted only 24 new cases on Wednesday.

In a reversal of positions, China is seeing new cases brought in from overseas. In Beijing, the capital, all the new cases of COVID-19 reported on Wednesday came from outside the country, five from Italy and one from the United States.

“The epidemic situation is at a low level and the prevention and control are continuously going well,” said Mi Feng, spokesman for the National Health Commission.

The province at the center of China’s virus outbreak said Wednesday that manufacturers, food processors and other businesses deemed essential to the national economy or providing daily necessities can resume operation.

The other major outbreak site in Asia, South Korea, continued to report improving numbers, too, with 242 new cases announced Wednesday. Still, a cluster of infections connected to a call center in one of the busiest areas of that country’s capital was raising alarms.

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Source: Associated Press – NICOLE WINFIELD and MATT SEDENSKY

Plague Pandemic Coronavirus