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Former head of pandemic response team speaks out: 'I'm frankly scared'
Madison “Maddie” Bell, 18, who had been missing since last Sunday, has been found safe, according to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday. She was last seen around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 17, 2020, when she left her home in Greenfield, Ohio, to go tanning at the Country Corner Market over the county line in Highland County. But she never made it there. Her car was found nearby in the Good Shepherd Church parking lot with the windows rolled up. The keys were in the ignition an
MSNBC’s Joy Reid opened her interview with Charlamagne Tha God on Sunday morning by congratulating him on his interview this past week with former Vice President Joe Biden—even if all anyone wants to talk about are the final few seconds. Biden came under swift fire on Friday when he pushed back against the popular radio host’s suggestion that he might still have “questions” for the candidate before the 2020 election. “You’ve got more questions?” Biden asked. “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”Shortly after that interview, Biden apologized for his remarks on a conference call with the Black Chamber of Commerce. Reid played Charlamagne a portion of his apology, in which Biden admonished himself for being “so cavalier” and said, “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.”Asked if there’s a “risk” that Biden and the Democratic Party as a whole take the black vote for granted, Charlamagne said, “I know that's the attitude. That's why I don't ever care about the words and the lip service and the apology is cool, but the best apology is actually a black agenda.”“They’ve got to make some real policy commitments to black people,” he continued. “We’ve got to stop acting like the fact that blacks are overrepresented in America when it comes to welfare, poverty, unemployment, homelessness, drug addiction, crime, coronavirus—that’s no accident. The whole function of systemic racism is to marginalize black people.”‘Wise Guy’ Biden Apologizes for ‘You Ain’t Black’ GaffeOn one side, Charlamagne said he sees “whites telling us to stay in our place” and on the other, “black people saying, ‘Oh, stop, now is not the time, you're going to get Trump re-elected.’” He said, “It has to come to the point where we stop putting the burden on black voters and start putting the burden on Democrats to show up for black voters.” Charlamagne made clear both in his interview with Biden and on MSNBC Sunday morning that Biden picking a progressive black female running mate would go a long way towards demonstrating his commitment to that community. So Reid asked him what he will do if Biden picks someone like Amy Klobuchar instead.“On top of possible Russian interference and voter suppression, they have to worry about voter depression,” he replied. “And that’s people staying home on election day because they aren't enthused by the candidate. You can’t act like this is the most important election ever but run a campaign from your basement and not make some real policy commitments to the black community and not listen to some of the demands that the black community are making. I think people are sitting around hoping that Trump loses instead of going out there and actually beating him.” Joe Biden Shows Trump How to Grieve in Emotional ‘Colbert’ InterviewRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
An earthquake struck near New Zealand's capital on Monday morning, shaking many residents including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who continued with a live TV interview at the parliament building. The 5.8 magnitude earthquake was 37 kms deep and the epicentre was 30 km northwest of Levin, a city in New Zealand's North Island close to the capital Wellington, according to Geonet. Geonet first classified the earthquake as magnitude 5.9.
Six women were killed by alleged gang members at a women's prison near the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, the National Penitentiary Institute said on Sunday. The killers broke through gates and the roof of a building at the women's prison in Tamara, 10 kilometers to the north of Tegucigalpa, "to go to the gymnasium where six prisoners were staying and murdered them," said the INP. One prisoner had earlier caused a diversion by starting a fire in a dormitory where two inmates quarantined over the coronavirus pandemic were sleeping, in a building housing 1,300 prisoners.
Donald Trump continued to voice his opposition to expanded mail-in voting with a tweet on Sunday spreading falsehoods about the prevalence of fraud in the process, even though confirmed cases of voter fraud have been in the single digits in past presidential elections.“The United States cannot have all Mail In Ballots. It will be the greatest Rigged Election in history,” Mr Trump tweeted, the latest in a recent uptick of attacks on Democrats’ — and even many Republicans’ — desire to expand mail-in voting to mitigate health risks during the coronavirus pandemic.
A new cluster of coronavirus infections has broken out in Malaysia at a detention center for undocumented migrants, authorities said on Saturday. Malaysia has this month arrested more than 2,000 foreigners for not having permits that allow them to be in the country following raids in areas under lockdown. The United Nations and rights groups have called on Malaysia to stop the crackdown and criticized authorities for going after a vulnerable community during the pandemic.
With the monument currently closed due to COVID-19, this is the perfect time to experience a new virtual tour, featuring every nook-and-cranny of the statue's interior, including areas traditionally off-limits to visitors
The official who oversaw epidemic preparedness for the National Security Council under President Obama said the absence of public guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic leaves her “frankly scared.” She also believes and that eliminating her position weakened the American response to the coronavirus when it emerged 18 months later.
With no congregational prayers or family gatherings, Salsabiel Mujovic has been worried that this year’s Eid al-Fitr celebration will pale. This year, some Muslim-majority countries have tightened restrictions for the holiday which traditionally means family visits, group outings and worshippers flooding mosques or filling public spaces.
Cancelled shipments, returned goods and a dearth of new orders have left China exporters in crisis as the coronavirus hits its trading partners worldwide -- accelerating a long-standing push towards domestic consumption. The push inwards comes from China's top echelons, with Industry and Information Technology Minister Miao Wei saying Wednesday that China aims to "rapidly activate domestic demand" to make up for the external shortfall.
* Congresswoman offers glimpse of running mate role * Opinion: Black Americans are in an abusive relationship * US politics live – rolling reportVal Demings, a Democratic representative from Florida among contenders to be Joe Biden’s presidential running mate, has castigated Donald Trump for having the “gall and nerve” to use a gaffe by Biden as a weapon on the campaign trail.Biden apologised on Friday, for saying that if African Americans “have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black”.The remark prompted gleeful tweets from Trump, fierce attacks from supporters of the president and criticism from Biden’s own backers.“The vice-president shouldn’t have said it,” Demings told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.“But I really think the gall and the nerve of President Trump to try to use this in his campaign, he who has since day one done everything in his power, supported by his enablers, to divide this country, particularly along racial lines …“Look, let’s talk about race because we definitely need to, we see it in housing, we see it in voting rights, we see it in healthcare, we see it in education. Mr President, let’s do have a serious conversation about race in America and how about working for all people that you are supposed to represent, not just the privileged few.”It was the kind of fiery defence Biden would expect from someone talked about as a possible running mate.The former vice-president and presumptive Democratic nominee to face Trump in November has committed to choosing a woman. Many – including the interviewer who elicited the controversial comment on Friday, radio host Charlamagne tha God – think the running mate should also be African American.“I don’t even care about the words,” Charlamagne told MSNBC’s AM Joy on Sunday, “and the lip service and the apology is cool, but the best apology is actually a black agenda. They got to make some real policy commitments to black people.”California senator Kamala Harris and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams – a target of retweets in dubious taste from Trump on Saturday night – are thought to be the most likely running mate picks.But Demings, a former Orlando police chief, delivered a decent mini-audition for a traditional running mate role by going firmly on the offensive.Asked about expressions of outrage from the Republican South Carolina senator Tim Scott and former Utah representative Mia Love, Demings said: “I think it’s interesting that the president searched high and low to find [an] African American member of the Senate and a former member of Congress to speak out on this issue.“It’d be nice to hear other Republicans, male or female, speak out.”In fact many did, including former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, who is of Indian heritage and who many think is lining up a White House run of her own in 2024, or could even be considered as a replacement for Mike Pence as Trump’s own pick for VP.Haley called Biden’s remark “gut wrenchingly condescending”.“Regardless of color, gender, or class, to label any individual with what he or she is expected to think, believe, and vote is demeaning and disrespectful,” she said. “Not to mention arrogant and entitled.”On Sunday, CNN host Dana Bash asked directly if Demings wanted to be vice-president. She did not answer directly, but made it clear she would serve if asked.
More than 40 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus following a church service in Frankfurt, Germany's financial center, earlier this month, the head of the city's health department told a news agency on Saturday. The service took place on May 10 at a Baptist church, the department's deputy chief Antoni Walczok told local newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau. Churches in the German state of Hesse, where Frankfurt is located, have been able to hold services since May 1 provided they adhere to official social distancing and hygiene rules.
A high-energy laser weapon which can destroy an aircraft mid-flight has been successfully tested by the US Navy, its Pacific Fleet has said.Video footage and images released by military top brass show a beam emanating from the USS Portland ship which appears to take out a drone.
Just days ago, scientists leading the University of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine development expressed optimism about their progress — more than 1,000 people in the United Kingdom have been inoculated already, and 10,000 more will be given the vaccine in May and June. But there's some cause for concern, The Telegraph reports.Professor Adrian Hill, director of the University's Jenner Institute, said what was formerly an 80 percent chance of developing an effective vaccine by September — possibly in time for a potential second wave of infections — has dwindled to 50 percent. That's not because the team no longer believes in its work, which is reportedly still going well. Instead, the U.K.'s infection rate decline may make it tough to gauge the vaccine's efficacy. "It's a race against the virus disappearing, and against time," Hill said.Hill only expects fewer than 50 of the 10,000 trial volunteers to catch the virus, which has faded since the U.K. and other countries implemented strict lockdowns, and if it turns out that fewer than 20 test positive, the study's results may be useless.The vaccine showed promise when it was tested in six rhesus macaque monkeys earlier this year, but it will obviously need to show that it provides the same protection in humans before it can be distributed.More stories from theweek.com There's always a bigger scandal How pandemics change society 17 extra-easy dessert recipes to make in quarantine
* Trump spends second day on golf course as toll nears 100,000 * China raises US trade tensions with warning of ‘new cold war’ * Coronavirus US live – rolling report The White House on Sunday accused China of a cover-up that will “go down in history along with Chernobyl”, ramping up efforts to deflect attention from a Covid-19 death toll in the US fast closing on 100,000.Robert O’Brien, Donald Trump’s national security adviser, made the claim on two political talk shows, saying Beijing gave “false information” to the World Health Organization (WHO) at the start of the year and alleging that stonewalling of an investigation into the origins of the pandemic has cost “many, many thousands of lives in America and around the world”.On Saturday Mike Pence, the vice-president, told Breitbart News that China had “let the world down” and insisted the WHO was “their willing partner in withholding from the US and wider world vital information about the coronavirus”.The Trump administration has become increasingly keen to move attention away from its handling of the pandemic, which has seen more deaths in the US than any other nation and a broken economy including soaring unemployment that another senior adviser told CNN would still be “in double digits” by the 3 November presidential election.O’Brien dampened speculation that the administration might seek to delay that election. But as China warned that Washington’s “lies” were “pushing our two countries to the brink of a new cold war”, he went firmly on the attack.> Someday they’re going to do an HBO show like they did with Chernobyl> > Robert O'BrienSpeaking to CBS’s Face the Nation, he claimed Beijing knew of the looming crisis as early as November but chose to keep it quiet.“We don’t know who in the Chinese government did it, but it doesn’t matter if it was the local Chinese government or the Communist party of China,” he said.“Look, this was a virus that was unleashed by China. There was a cover up that someday they’re going to do an HBO show like they did with Chernobyl,” he added, likening the pandemic to the 1986 nuclear disaster in Ukraine which Soviet authorities initially tried to hide.O’Brien repeated the claim on NBC’s Meet the Press, accusing China of a “cover-up that … is going to go down in history along with Chernobyl”.Most scientists say the pathogen that has infected 5.3 million people and killed more than 342,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, was passed from bats to humans via an intermediary species probably sold at a wet market in Wuhan, China, last year.But Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other senior US figures have repeatedly said they suspect the coronavirus was somehow released from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a claim China has strenuously denied.O’Brien claimed China’s alleged skulduggery was continuing.“There’s a chance, and it’s been reported, that the Chinese have been engaged in espionage to try and find the research and the technologies that we’re working on both for a vaccine and a therapy,” he told CBS.“So look, they’ve got a many, many year history of stealing American intellectual property and knocking off American technology. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did that with vaccines.”O’Brien also said the US would soon implement restrictions on travelers from Brazil.After spending much of Saturday playing golf at his resort in Virginia, Trump had no public engagements on Sunday. He duly went back to Trump National in Sterling.On Twitter the president, who criticized Barack Obama in 2014 for golfing when a second case of Ebola was confirmed in the US, preferred to concentrate on topics other than the pandemic.Trump feuded with his former attorney general, Jeff Sessions; attacked Joe Biden, his likely opponent in November; retweeted abusive messages about female opponents; repeated unsubstantiated allegations that mail-in ballots lead to rigged elections; and repeated baseless insinuations that an MSNBC host might have murdered an aide.He also tweeted falsely that coronavirus “cases, numbers and deaths are going down all over the Country!”On Saturday, North Carolina reported its highest one-day spike in cases. Official statistics continue to show hotspots in other places including Washington DC – where O’Brien said the administration still hopes to hold an in-person G7 summit in July – and Florida, where the Miami Herald reported that the rate of new cases was not slowing.On Friday Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, encouraged the public to go outdoors over the Memorial Day weekend.“We know being outside does help, we know the sun does help in killing the virus, but that doesn’t change the fact that people need to be responsible and maintain that distance,” she told Fox News Sunday, when presented with images of packed beaches and people in close proximity, not wearing masks.“I was hoping to convey this very clear message to the American people,” she said, “… across the country there is a virus out there.”Birx also said Trump himself did wear a mask when not able to maintain social distance. Trump was not pictured using a mask on his trips to play golf in Virginia.On ABC’s This Week, Birx was asked if the nation would need an extended or second lockdown.“It’s difficult to tell and I really am data-driven, so I’m collecting data right now about whether governors and whether states and whether communities are able to open safely,” she said.“All of this proactive testing needs to be in place and needs to continue to be in place because that will determine safely remaining open in the fall.”One thing the Trump administration admits will not bounce back fully by fall is the US unemployment rate, which Kevin Hassett, a senior adviser, told CNN would still be in double figures by the time of the election.“Unemployment will be something that moves back slower,” he said. “You’re going to be starting at a number in the 20s [per cent] and working your way down. And so, of course, you could still not be back to full employment by September or October.”
China reported 11 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the mainland as of end-May 24, up from three a day earlier, the National Health Commission reported. The commission said in a statement all of the new infections were imported cases involving travellers from overseas. Ten of the new cases were in Inner Mongolia region, with one in the southwestern province of Sichuan.
New Yorkers experiencing cabin fever after two months of coronavirus quarantine received an unexpected reprieve when Gov. Andrew Cuomo eased the state's ban on gatherings in time for the Memorial Day weekend. New York state on Saturday reported its lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths — 84 — in weeks in what Cuomo described as a critical benchmark. “In my head, I was always looking to get under 100,” Cuomo said.
The White House on Sunday said it was restricting travel from Brazil to the United States, two days after the South American nation became the world's No. 2 hotspot for coronavirus cases. The travel ban was a blow to right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has followed the example of U.S. President Donald Trump in addressing the pandemic, fighting calls for social distancing and touting unproven drugs. "The U.S. maintains a strong partnership with Brazil and we work closely to mitigate the socioeconomic and health impacts of COVID-19 in Brazil," the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia said in a statement.
Expletive-filled footage of Brazil’s far-right president complaining about not being able to get intelligence from the police has been released by the country’s Supreme Court.Jair Bolsonaro vows, in the clip, that he will not let his friends and family get “screwed” because he is unable to overhaul law enforcement officials.
Republican Doug Burgum called out ‘senseless dividing line’ between Americans over whether masks should be worn in public * Coronavirus – live US updates * Live global updatesIn North Dakota on Friday, the Republican governor, Doug Burgum, decried a “senseless dividing line” between US citizens over whether masks should be worn in public during the coronavirus pandemic.As he pleaded with citizens of his state to “try to dial up your empathy and your understanding”, Burgum was moved to the brink of tears.“We’re all in this together and there’s only one battle we’re fighting,” he said. “And that’s the battle of the virus.”As Donald Trump encourages states to reopen their battered economies, federal authorities are recommending covering the face in public when social distancing is difficult, for example in grocery stores.Some states require residents to wear masks in public settings. North Dakota, where Burgum allowed reopening to start from 1 May, does not.The president has notably refused to wear a mask in public, although he was photographed wearing one on a visit to a Ford plant in Michigan this week.On Saturday, Secret Service officers who were with the president on a trip to a golf course were pictured wearing masks. Trump was not.Some rightwing protesters have attracted publicity by refusing to wear masks, while some shopkeepers have reportedly sought to deny service to people wearing face coverings.Speaking to reporters at the state capitol in Bismarck on Friday, Bergum said he “would really love to see in North Dakota that we could just skip this thing that other parts of the nation are going through, that they’re creating a divide. Either it’s ideological or political or something around mask versus no mask.“This is I would say a senseless dividing line and I would ask people to try to dial up your empathy and your understanding. If someone is wearing a mask, they’re not doing it to represent what political party they’re in or what candidates they support.”As he continued, Burgum struggled not to break down in tears.“They might be doing it because they’ve got a five-year-old who’s been going through cancer treatments,” he said.“They might have vulnerable adults in their life who currently have Covid-19 and are fighting.“So again, I would just love to see our state, as part of being ‘North Dakota smart’, also be ‘North Dakota kind’, ‘North Dakota empathetic’, ‘North Dakota understanding’, to do this thing. Because if somebody wants to wear a mask, there should be no mask shaming.”According to Johns Hopkins University, by Saturday North Dakota had recorded 2,317 coronavirus cases and 52 deaths.
Even as Republicans contemplate the prospect of scaling back their presidential nominating convention this summer, the national party is pouring millions into the group charged with financing and organizing the event, financial records show.The Republican National Committee transferred a whopping $6.4 million to its convention committee in April, according to records released on Wednesday. That was more than 10 times the sum that the Democratic National Committee transferred to theirs last month. It also represented the biggest month of RNC funding for its convention committee so far this cycle, and more than a three-fold increase over the prior month. The DNC’s convention transfer in April, meanwhile, was $634,000. In March, the committee had steered more than $1 million there.Both convention committees spent roughly the same amount in April—Republicans $835,000 and Democrats $860,000—but the outsized sums steered by the RNC into its convention account indicate a far larger down payment on future expenses associated with putting on the party’s biggest event of the cycle.The money disparity is the latest illustration of the different mindsets the parties are taking about the conventions being planned for later this summer. Democrats already have moved their convention back from July to August to adjust for the spread of coronavirus. And several sources tell The Daily Beast that the planning committee has canceled contracts with vendors in anticipation that they may not have the same transportation, food, and entertainment demands even at that latter date. Delegates have continued to express concern about the prospect of even a scaled-down gathering in Milwaukee. And presumptive nominee Joe Biden has been open about contemplating the possibility that an in-person convention may not even happen at all. COVID-19 Has the Democratic Convention in Milwaukee on the RopesRepublicans have been less overtly cautious. RNC chair Ronna McDaniel left open the possibility of a pared-back convention during a phone call with reporters this week, The New York Times reported on Thursday.But the RNC pointed to the numbers in this week’s FEC reports as evidence of its opponents’ uneasiness. “The money speaks to the massive enthusiasm gap that exists between President Trump and Joe Biden,” RNC spokesman Michael Ahrens said in a statement. “There is such little enthusiasm for Biden’s nomination that the DNC has barely been able to raise any money and had to lay off its convention staff.”President Donald Trump has been adamant that the 2020 Republican National Convention—or some version of it—go on. For months, he’s demanded that back-up options for less crowded gatherings be fully explored by his staff, if a full-blown convention isn’t ultimately possible or safe, according to three people familiar with his private insistence. But he has scoffed at the notion of a virtual convention in recent weeks, saying that it sounds like “something Joe Biden would do from his basement,” said a source who heard Trump mock the idea.Trump’s desire to have some sort of coronation moment fits his love of pageantry and spectacle. But various staffers working on plotting the Republican gathering aren’t quite so optimistic that it’s doable, knowing that they are entirely at the mercy of the virus and that the convention may end up even sparser than some expect.“I don’t want to be the one to tell the president,” the White House official said, envisioning a scenario in which a disappointed, possibly angry Trump is informed he would have to be livestreamed into his own convention. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
The region’s top elected official, County Judge Ricardo Samaniego, initially supported tapping “El Paso Strong” to rally residents' support for social distancing with the same zeal as they helped each other after the Aug. 3 shooting. In some ways, life during the pandemic is not unlike the first few weeks after the shooting, when many residents were afraid to go out.
Diabetics could be forced to shield at home against Covid-19 following a review by government scientists after it emerged sufferers are at significantly greater risk of dying if they catch the virus. Professor Peter Horby, chair of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag) advisory group, confirmed to the Telegraph that diabetes was being considered as part of an "active review" of the most vulnerable groups. Almost one in three deaths from coronavirus in hospital had diabetes, it emerged this week, and the professor of emerging infectious Diseases and Global Health at Oxford's Nuffield Department of Medicine is now in advanced discussions with other government advisors. Most diabetics are currently classed as "clinically vulnerable" rather than the "clinically extremely vulnerable" - the worst affected group of people who received letters from their doctors telling them they must stay at home under almost all circumstances. However, scientists will consider whether sufferers need more protection after official figures showed people with autoimmune type 1 diabetes are three-and-a-half times more likely to die if they catch Covid-19 than non-diabetics, while type 2 diabetics - generally linked with being overweight - are twice as likely to die.
Spain said on Saturday it would let in foreign tourists and restart top league football in the coming weeks, accelerating Europe's exit from strict virus lockdown, as South America was labelled "a new epicentre" by the World Health Organization. Brazil led the surge across South America, its death toll passing 21,000 on Friday from 330,000 infections, the third biggest caseload of any country in a pandemic that has infected 5.25 million globally and killed more than 338,000.
The first of five Iranian tankers carrying fuel for gasoline-starved Venezuela entered the South American country's exclusive economic zone on Saturday, despite a U.S. official's warning that Washington was considering a response to the shipment. "The ships from the fraternal Islamic Republic of Iran are now in our exclusive economic zone," tweeted Tareck El Aissami, Venezuela's economy vice president and recently named oil minister. The defense minister had pledged that the military would escort the tankers once they reached Venezuela's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) due to what authorities described as threats from the United States.