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  • A national lockdown to stop coronavirus? Trump is 'thinking about doing that'

    Golocal247.com news

    President Trump shied away Wednesday from issuing domestic travel restrictions or a national lockdown to try and beat back the rapid spread of the coronavirus pandemic that, in a best case scenario, is expected to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 20:57:35 -0400
  • Flattening the curve on coronavirus: What California and Washington can teach the world

    Golocal247.com news

    New data suggests the two West Coast states may have slowed the spread of coronavirus. How they did it.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:04:05 -0400
  • China declared whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang a 'martyr' following a local campaign to silence him for speaking out about the coronavirus

    Golocal247.com news

    Li Wenliang sounded the alarm about the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan on December 30. He died of the virus on February 7.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 06:01:05 -0400
  • More than 1,000 in US die in a single day from coronavirus, doubling the worst daily death toll of the flu

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. passed 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day Wednesday, a daily death toll more than double lung cancer and the flu.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:01:39 -0400
  • Coronavirus: BA reaches deal to suspend thousands of workers

    Golocal247.com news

    The airline will temporarily suspend more than 30,000 of its workers after reaching a deal with unions.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 13:45:16 -0400
  • Trump says he doesn’t want a nationwide stay-at-home order because some states don’t have a high number of coronavirus cases

    Golocal247.com news

    At the coronavirus task force briefing, President Trump said he didn’t want to issue a nationwide stay-at-home order to fight the pandemic because there are some states that don’t have a large number of positive coronavirus cases.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 19:42:46 -0400
  • Mayor taps ex-Dallas chief to head Chicago police force

    Golocal247.com news

    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday named former Dallas police Chief David Brown to head the police force in the nation's third largest city, touting his humility and calling him “a leader who commands respect.” Lightfoot introduced Brown as the next superintendent of the Chicago Police Department during a news conference, saying he's the right man for the job.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 17:00:10 -0400
  • Singapore to Close Schools, Most Workplaces With Rising Virus Cases

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    (Bloomberg) -- Singapore will shutter schools and most workplaces as the city-state unveiled a raft of stricter measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, shifting away from an approach crafted to limit interruptions to daily life and commerce.Most workplaces, except for essential services and key economic sectors, will close starting on Tuesday, while the city-state will move to full home-based learning in its schools from Wednesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in an address to the nation Friday afternoon. The government will also unveil additional stimulus measures to boost the economy early next week.The action comes as confirmed cases of local transmission and unlinked infections in the country have risen in recent weeks. “We have decided that instead of tightening incrementally over the next few weeks, we should make a decisive move now, to preempt escalating infections,” said Lee.Singapore’s tougher moves signal its current approach -- relying on contact tracing, strict containment measures such as shutting bars, and quarantine -- is no longer tenable. While more than 160 countries have already shut schools, the city-state was one of a handful that did not do so, citing early research that children are not as affected as adults.Here are other details of the stricter measures:Casinos, theme parks to close starting next week.Food establishments, markets and supermarkets, clinics, hospitals, utilities, transport and key banking services will remain open.From April 7, all restaurants, hawker centers, coffee shops, food courts and other food-and-beverage outlets will remain open only for takeaway or delivery.Other economic sectors “that are strategic, or form part of a global supply chain” will not be closed.All preschool and student care centers will be closed, but will provide limited services for children of parents who have to continue working and are unable to make alternative arrangements.Government will stop discouraging the general public from wearing face masks in public, and will distribute reusable masks from April 5.The government also plans on Monday to announce more support aimed at businesses and households. Singapore delivered a second stimulus package worth S$48 billion ($33.4 billion) last week to fight the outbreak, drawing on national reserves for the first time since the global financial crisis to support an economy heading for recession.“Even if more assistance measures are announced on Monday, they are unlikely to offset the economic ramifications of what is akin to an economic immobilization,” Selena Ling, head of treasury research and strategy at Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. in Singapore, said in an email. Retail sales plunged 8.6% in February from the same time last year, marking the worst decrease since June and the 13th consecutive decline.‘Very Worrying’ TrendsLee said the spirit of these measures is to get people to minimize physical contact. “If we don’t go out, if we avoid contact with others, then the virus won’t be able to spread. It is as simple as that,” he said.Lawrence Wong, minister for national development who co-chairs a task force to fight the virus, said in a press conference the increase in the number of local and unlinked coronavirus cases are “very, very worrying trends.”The latest set of moves will continue for at least a month, Wong said, adding there’s a chance the government can roll back the measures by the end of the month if the guidelines are upheld. He said the key objective is to reduce the spread of the virus, particularly cutting the number of unlinked cases.“If there’s poor compliance, poor implementation, then we have to be prepared for these measures to continue,” Wong said. “Let’s hunker down and beat the virus together.”Singapore announced Friday a fifth person has died due to complications from the coronavirus. Cases have risen more sharply in March compared to earlier months, and now total more than 1,000.Health Minister Gan said the city-state has yet to reach its highest level of alert, so-called Dorscon Red, and would press on with contact-tracing and widespread efforts to contain the disease. “We’re not yet in Dorscon Red, and we’re quite a distance from Dorscon Red,” he said.(Updates to add detail on prior approach in first, fourth paragraphs)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:42:37 -0400
  • Here's how to safely reopen America when coronavirus pandemic wanes

    Golocal247.com news

    It’s important that we assess the threat of the virus region by region and consider reopening in phases or by industry.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:24:42 -0400
  • How Will Biden Choose a Running Mate? Look to the Obama Model

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    Joe Biden has spoken with former President Barack Obama about the process of selecting a running mate.His allies remain enthusiastic about Biden's promise of a female vice-presidential candidate, despite growing Democratic fixation on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York as he commands loyal audiences for his daily briefings on the coronavirus.And Biden's associates have reached out to former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. about the 2008 search process, which Holder helped steer for Obama.Interviews with nearly two dozen Biden allies and donors over the past week provided the clearest picture yet of the critical early phase in Biden's efforts to choose a running mate. It is a process made even more complicated by the fact that Biden and his team are quarantined in different locations and grappling with how to run a campaign during a national health crisis.Biden has stayed in touch with friends, though, and the question of his choice surfaces often on private donor calls. His allies and advisers are also bombarded with outside opinions, and it is something that Biden, himself a former vice president, cares deeply about.There is not yet a consensus choice or a sense of who would deliver a surefire boost to the potential ticket, according to those interviewed, many of whom spoke on condition of anonymity, though the two names most frequently mentioned were Sens. Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar. And his supporters are divided over whether Biden should prioritize selecting a woman of color as his running mate or whether regional considerations, like ties to the industrial Midwest, should hold greater weight."My preference would be a black woman," said Rep. James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the highest-ranking African American in Congress and perhaps Biden's most crucial supporter. "But I don't think it has to be a black woman."The outbreak of the coronavirus has heightened the stakes of the vice-presidential search. A decision that traditionally reflects a cocktail of political calculations, personal chemistry and governing experience has now taken on outsize importance for Biden. He would be 78 at inauguration, might not seek a second term should he win, and would be trying to rebuild the country in the wake of a pandemic -- factors that make it less likely that he would select someone who offers strong political assets but a relatively thin resume."With all due respect to Biden, I think it's much more important than any selection since Harry Truman's," said Clyburn, alluding to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's elevating Truman as a compromise pick in 1944. Roosevelt did not live out the term, leaving Truman to take over before the conclusion of World War II, another moment of great peril and uncertainty for the nation.Biden, who is not yet the nominee but holds a large delegate lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, has indicated that his search process will intensify in coming weeks.He is said to view Obama's vice-presidential selection process -- the one that eventually selected him -- as a model for his own. In 2008, Obama designated three prominent Democrats to lead an exhaustive search and vet his options: Holder and Caroline Kennedy led the initiative, along with the longtime party power broker Jim Johnson, who ultimately withdrew from the process because of concerns about his personal finances.Biden said this week that he was looking at somewhere between six and 10 candidates, a number that has fluctuated. He has indicated that he would consider several former presidential rivals (Harris, Klobuchar and Sen. Elizabeth Warren) along with other Democrats, including governors. Among them is Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, who has been one of the most prominent governors confronting the coronavirus crisis at a moment when state leaders have become the faces of the response to the outbreak."She made the list in my mind two months ago," Biden said of Whitmer in an MSNBC interview Tuesday.Other names often mentioned by allies include Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, two Latina leaders from the West; Rep. Val Demings of Florida; and Stacey Abrams, the 2018 candidate for governor in Georgia.Clyburn has also publicly floated others including Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, an early and loyal supporter of Biden.If the list is wide-ranging, Biden has been consistent about the criteria: He must be "simpatico" with his potential running mate on major priorities and on philosophy, even if they have tactical disagreements. And his choice must be prepared to step into the presidency immediately if needed, he has said, a reminder of how much Biden values experience."It's a big process for him, having been vice president," said former Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, who has spoken with Biden. "For him, the most important thing is, who can step in? Who can help him lead?"Biden is weighing other factors as well. Some allies are focused on which potential running mate could most excite progressive voters who are currently unenthusiastic about Biden.Others argue that selecting a woman of color -- Harris, with her experience in the national spotlight, is the most obvious choice -- is critical to turning out younger members of the Latino or African American communities, depending on the choice.And still others say that Democrats will turn out regardless of the running mate and that the priority should be engaging more independent-minded voters.The campaign has not yet announced a search committee or any other details of the process other than promising a thorough vetting operation. But in the Tuesday interview with MSNBC's Brian Williams, Biden said he hoped to have an operation to "run the background checks" in place by mid-April.On a staff level, several Democrats interviewed said they expected a cadre of Biden's longtime advisers to have input. But they said they also expected Biden to consider a wider range of outside perspectives as he assesses potential candidates.Part of the advantage of putting prominent Democratic leaders in charge of the search, as Obama did, is that it could help ensure broad acceptance of the eventual selection across a fragmented party.Several Biden allies suggested it would be important for the search panel itself to reflect the diversity of the party, so that any disappointed constituencies feel at least that they were listened to in the process.Traditionally, said former Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, a friend of Biden's, there are "certain people you'd seek out to conduct the vetting process and so forth. I think he'd like to hear from a broader spectrum of people."That is a priority for Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Biden's national campaign co-chairman, who said that he expected to be part of the search process in some capacity, but that he was most concerned with ensuring any team reflected a range of views."Our candidate, since Day 1, has stressed diversity," said Richmond, a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. "Diversity in terms of gender, in terms of race, in terms of age.""So I think the vice president's search committee should reflect the vice president's values in that sense," he added.Clyburn, for his part, said he did not want to serve on a search committee, though many prominent Biden allies have said that the Biden campaign should seriously consider Clyburn's opinion on the matter, something they intend to do, Richmond said.Asked if he had any names in mind, Clyburn quickly cited four of his colleagues: Reps. Marcia L. Fudge and Karen Bass as well as Demings and Harris.Clyburn acknowledged that some black voters would be angry if Biden picks a white running mate -- "I'm sure that would be the case," he said -- but was quick to note it was African American women like his three daughters who helped Biden to the doorstep of the nomination without needing any additional inducement like a preferred vice-presidential choice."None of that is going to distract from our No. 1 goal, which is getting this guy out of office," he said of President Donald Trump.Other allies and advisers have said that Klobuchar or Whitmer stands the best chance of helping Biden achieve that goal, because of their Midwest roots and abilities to connect with white working-class voters, many of whom embraced Trump in 2016.Biden, himself a former senator, and Klobuchar in particular share both more centrist tendencies and a reverence for Washington institutions and bipartisan deal-making.Some Democrats have cited those similarities in suggesting that Biden could have a comfortable working relationship with her, though others have suggested that she would not help Biden with one of his major weaknesses: motivating younger progressives to turn out.Rep. Tim Ryan, a former presidential candidate who represents a part of Ohio where many onetime Democrats swung to Trump in 2016, spoke highly of several possible contenders but said that his "favorite person to be with on the campaign trail was Kamala Harris" who "checks a lot of the boxes."He argued that there were multiple ways to create the kind of coalition that can wrest back the presidency."Ideally you want someone who can both energize our base, especially the African American base that is so important for us to win, but also be able to connect to a lot of those voters who did go vote for Trump," Ryan said. "Figuring out, OK, who best can complement him, is ultimately what they've got to decide."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:18:33 -0400
  • Americans urged to wear masks outside as coronavirus pandemic worsens

    Golocal247.com news

    The Trump administration on Thursday looked set to join local officials in advising Americans to wear masks when venturing out during the still-exploding coronavirus pandemic, as the U.S. death toll rose by 1,000 in a single day for the first time. Speaking at a White House briefing, Deborah Birx, a member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would in the coming days add a recommendation on masks to guidelines on protective measures. Trump, answering questions from reporters at the briefing, said only "if people want to wear them, they can."

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:30:25 -0400
  • Woodworking Can Bring Solace in Times of Uncertainty

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    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:00:00 -0400
  • The US Army warned 2 months ago that the coronavirus could kill as many as 150,000 Americans

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    What was a worst-case scenario is now nearly a best possible outcome as the White House warns that 100,000 to 240,000 people could die.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:34:47 -0400
  • Coronavirus: The young doctors being asked to play god

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    A harrowing account from a New York hospital which has become the epicentre of the epicentre.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 18:30:54 -0400
  • China is bracing for a second wave of coronavirus

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    A Chinese county that was largely unscathed by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus went into lockdown Wednesday, signaling fears of a possible second wave in the country where the virus originated, The South China Morning Post reports.The county of Jia in Henan province, home to 600,000 people, is now in lockdown after infections reportedly spread at a local hospital. There were previously only 12 confirmed cases in Henan, despite it being situated just north of Hubei province, where China's epicenter, Wuhan, is located. However, U.S. intelligence reportedly believes China under-reported the actual number of cases.Either way, the new lockdown, which shuts down all non-essential business and requires people to carry special permits to leave their homes, and wear face masks and have their temperature taken when out and about, comes at a time when the country clearly wants to get its economy up and running again. It's unclear if such measures will be limited to the county or if it's a sign of things to come for the rest of the world's most populous country, but President Xi Jinping has warned that China must return to normal gradually in the hopes of preventing a full-scale COVID-19 return. Read more at The South China Morning Post.More stories from theweek.com The Secret Service signed an 'emergency order' this week — for 30 golf carts Engineer arrested after allegedly trying to run train into Los Angeles hospital ship Experts warn as many as 1 in 3 coronavirus test results may be incorrectly negative

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 16:59:00 -0400
  • Golocal247.com news

    Scramble for virus supplies strains global solidarity

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    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:43:47 -0400
  • Navy says it can't empty Roosevelt amid coronavirus because of its weapons, nuclear reactor

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    The Navy said it couldn't evacuate all sailors off the ship amid a coronavirus outbreak because it is loaded with weapons and a nuclear reactor.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 18:21:13 -0400
  • 'Act as though it's going to be a lot longer': American in Wuhan warns U.S. over lockdowns

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    “No one would have anticipated that it would be this long,” said American Benjamin Wilson, who has been in lockdown in Wuhan for more than two months.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 05:30:00 -0400
  • U.K. Rescue Plan Under Strain as 1 Million Turn to Welfare

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    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 05:02:38 -0400
  • Irish coroanvirus restrictions may well go beyond April 12: Deputy PM

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    The highly restrictive measures Ireland put in place last week to slow the spread of coronavirus may well be extended beyond the initial deadline of April 12, Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said on Thursday. Ireland's prime minister significantly ramped up previous restrictions last Friday when he ordered citizens to stay home and only leave to shop for groceries, for brief individual physical exercise or make absolutely essential family visits.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 06:17:59 -0400
  • Oil price barrels ahead as OPEC flags meeting

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    The price of crude oil surged again Friday after OPEC said it would talk to non-members, notably Russia, giving investors hope that they will stop a price war which has created market chaos along with crushed demand because of the coronavirus. The Saudi-led OPEC group of oil producers and their allies will meet Monday via video conference, a source close to the cartel said. Global stock markets fell following another set of devastating American employment numbers, gloomy eurozone services data and news that the number of declared COVID-19 infections had hit one million worldwide.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 11:46:31 -0400
  • 10 Great Deals on Apparel From REI’s 25% off Sale

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    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:23:00 -0400
  • Brazil: Amazon land defender Zezico Guajajara shot dead

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    Zezico Guajajara is the latest activist to be killed in a campaign to protect Brazil's indigenous land.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 07:16:32 -0400
  • Some Coronavirus Patients Show Signs of Brain Ailments

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    Neurologists around the world say that a small subset of patients with COVID-19 are developing serious impairments of the brain.Although fever, cough and difficulty breathing are the typical hallmarks of infection with the new coronavirus, some patients exhibit altered mental status, or encephalopathy, a catchall term for brain disease or dysfunction that can have many underlying causes, as well as other serious conditions. These neurological syndromes join other unusual symptoms, such as diminished sense of smell and taste as well as heart ailments.In early March, a 74-year-old man came to the emergency room in Boca Raton, Florida, with a cough and a fever, but an X-ray ruled out pneumonia and he was sent home. The next day, when his fever spiked, family members brought him back. He was short of breath, and could not tell doctors his name or explain what was wrong -- he had lost the ability to speak.The patient, who had chronic lung disease and Parkinson's, was flailing his arms and legs in jerky movements, and appeared to be having a seizure. Doctors suspected he had COVID-19, and were eventually proven right when he was finally tested.On Tuesday, doctors in Detroit reported another disturbing case involving a female airline worker in her late 50s with COVID-19. She was confused, and complained of a headache; she could tell the physicians her name but little else, and became less responsive over time. Brain scans showed abnormal swelling and inflammation in several regions, with smaller areas where some cells had died.Physicians diagnosed a dangerous condition called acute necrotizing encephalopathy, a rare complication of influenza and other viral infections."The pattern of involvement, and the way that it rapidly progressed over days, is consistent with viral inflammation of the brain," Dr. Elissa Fory, a neurologist with Henry Ford Health System, said through an email. "This may indicate the virus can invade the brain directly in rare circumstances." The patient is in critical condition.These domestic reports follow similar observations by doctors in Italy and other parts of the world, of COVID-19 patients having strokes, seizures, encephalitislike symptoms and blood clots, as well as tingling or numbness in the extremities, called acroparesthesia. In some cases, patients were delirious even before developing fever or respiratory illness, according to Dr. Alessandro Padovani, whose hospital at University of Brescia in Italy opened a separate NeuroCovid unit to care for patients with neurological conditions.The patients who come in with encephalopathy are confused and lethargic and may appear dazed, exhibiting strange behavior or staring off into space. They may be having seizures that require immediate medical care, and experts are warning health care providers who treat such patients to recognize that they may have COVID-19 and to take precautions to protect themselves from infection.Much is still unknown about the neurological symptoms, but efforts are underway to study the phenomena, said Dr. Sherry H-Y. Chou, a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who is leading a team of investigators for the Neurocritical Care Society."We absolutely need to have an information finding mission, otherwise we're flying blind," Chou said. "There's no ventilator for the brain. If the lungs are broken we can put the patient on a ventilator and hope for recovery. We don't have that luxury with the brain."Experts have emphasized that most COVID-19 patients appear to be normal neurologically."Most people are showing up awake and alert, and neurologically appear to be normal," said Dr. Robert Stevens, a neurologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore who is tracking neurological observations.Neurological specialists also say that it is too early to make definitive statements or identify the specific mechanisms by which the new coronavirus is affecting the neurological system.In one recent paper, Chinese scientists noted that there was some evidence that other coronaviruses were not confined to the respiratory tract and invaded the central nervous system, and the authors speculated that this may potentially play a role in acute respiratory failure in COVID-19.Stevens emphasized that all mechanistic explanations at this point are hypotheses because so little is known: "It could be as simple as low levels of oxygen in the bloodstream," resulting from respiratory failure, along with an increase in carbon dioxide, which "can have significant impact on the function of the brain, and lead to states of confusion and lethargy," he said."We are still in the early days of this, and we don't really know for sure."Neurologists in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak started, were among the first to report the symptoms in a preliminary paper published online in February.Since that report, specialists observed similar symptoms in Germany, France, Austria, Italy and Holland as well as the United States, including among patients under 60, Stevens said.Some doctors have reported cases of patients who were brought in for treatment because of their altered mental state, and who ultimately tested positive for COVID-19, although they had none of the classic symptoms like fever or cough.Four elderly patients who came into Danbury Hospital in Connecticut with encephalopathy ultimately tested positive for COVID-19, although they had no other symptoms, said Dr. Paul Nee, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital. Two of the four went on to develop low grade fevers and needed oxygen briefly, but two did not, he said.While it is not unusual for elderly people to experience confusion when they develop other infections, "the striking thing is we have not seen any real respiratory illness in these patients," Nee said. They have continued to test positive and cannot be discharged, even though they are not really ill, he said.But earlier reports had indicated that severely ill individuals with more typical symptoms were more likely to exhibit the rare neurological conditions, which ranged from dizziness and headaches to impaired consciousness, stroke and musculoskeletal injury. The Chinese study in February said that about 15% of those patients with severe illness experienced a change in mental status, compared with 2.4% of those who did not have severe illness, according to that study.Another study, published in the British Medical Journal in late March, found that of 113 patients from Wuhan who died of COVID-19, 22% had experienced disorders of consciousness, ranging from somnolence to deep coma, compared with only 1% of another group of patients who recovered from the illness.For potential COVID-19 patients and the people caring for them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention includes "new confusion or inability to rouse" among the warning signs that should prompt a decision to seek immediate medical care.Patients who have encephalopathy and seem confused or incoherent are prone to having seizures, and should receive treatment as soon as possible, said Dr. Jennifer Frontera, a neurologist at NYU Langone Health who is working with Chou. She added that seizures can manifest in more subtle ways than the dramatic presentations often depicted in movies and television shows."Seizures are not always big things where people fall down and are shaking on the ground," Frontera said. "Some could be just veering off, not paying attention, making repetitive nonpurposeful movements, or just mental status changes where people are just not themselves."But even if seizures are not observed, people who are sick should be aware of other potential mental symptoms."You don't feel your best when you have a fever, but you should be able to interact normally," Frontera said. "You should be able to answer questions and converse in a normal fashion."She added: "I don't want everyone calling 911 because they're overly concerned. We just don't have the capacity. But if someone is really out of it, they probably need medical attention."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 09:02:23 -0400
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    Cuban docs fighting coronavirus around world, defying US

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    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:00:44 -0400
  • American Airlines crammed the only 11 passengers on a flight into 3 rows because they only bought basic economy, report says

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    American Airlines has risked the health of flight attendants and passengers by enforcing rules about riding in coach, it is alleged.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:15:59 -0400
  • Birx says curve makes it clear not all Americans are following social distancing guidelines

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    Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, emphasized on Thursday how important it is for all Americans to practice social distancing, saying this is the best way to slow down the spread of coronavirus.It's not enough to use masks, Birx said during a press conference, and even small gatherings of just a few people need to be avoided. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases continues to rise, and Birx said it is imperative that "we change that slope. We have to change the logarithmic curve that we're on. We see country after country having done that, what it means in the United States is not everyone is doing it."Spain, Italy, France, and Germany are bending their curves, Birx said, and "we can bend ours, but it means everybody has to take the same responsibility as Americans." It's up to everyone to do their part, Birx added, as "we're only as strong as every community, every county, every state, every American following the guidelines to a T. And I can tell by the curve, and as it is today, that not every American is following it. And so this is really a call to action."More stories from theweek.com 5 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's TV ratings boast Jared Kushner suggests voters 'think about who will be a competent manager during the time of crisis' The Secret Service signed an 'emergency order' this week — for 30 golf carts

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 22:58:00 -0400
  • Japan Fears Country on ‘Brink of the Brink’ of Virus Surge

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    (Bloomberg) -- Japan is bracing for an explosive surge in coronavirus infections cases, senior government officials said, while continuing to resist calls to declare a state of emergency to fight the pandemic.“We are really continuing on the brink of the brink,” Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters Friday in Tokyo, one of several fresh warnings about the potential for a more widespread outbreak. Nishimura said that the government was concerned about the capital, where confirmed infections have more than doubled in a week to almost 700. Tokyo saw its biggest one-day tally of 97 on Thursday.Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has come under increasing pressure to declare a state of emergency to contain the disease’s spread, with Rakuten Inc. founder Hiroshi Mikitani joining those urging such action. Abe told parliament Friday that the situation didn’t yet warrant an emergency declaration, but said he wouldn’t hesitate to do so when the time comes.Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said an emergency declaration twinned with economic aid would be effective. Abe has agreed to handouts of 300,000 yen ($2,780) for households whose income has been hit by the crisis, public broadcaster NHK said, without saying where it got the information.Speaking to reporters, Koike laid out some details of what a state of emergency would look like in the capital, saying she would ask people to avoid going out unnecessarily and to work from home where possible. By contrast with the national government’s low-key approach, she said she had enlisted celebrities including popular Japanese YouTuber Hikakin to help get the message out.Medical staff, supermarket workers, bank tellers and people operating the stock exchange would remain on duty even under an emergency, Koike added.While Japan was one of the first countries outside of the original epicenter in neighboring China to confirm a coronavirus infection, it has fared better than most, with about 2,600 reported cases as of Friday. That’s the lowest tally of any Group of Seven country, although Japan might be finding fewer mild cases because it has conducted a relatively small number of tests.Due to civil liberties protections enshrined in Japan’s postwar constitution, an emergency declaration wouldn’t give local governments power to clear the streets as China and some European countries have done. Still, it would increase their ability to procure essential materials and urge people to stay home.Besides Mikitani, who is one of Japan’s most prominent business leaders, Koike has also pushed for an emergency declaration. Hirofumi Yoshida -- governor of the country’s second most populous city Osaka -- said earlier this week that an emergency should be declared for his own prefecture as well as Tokyo, the Asahi newspaper reported.Abe urged people to cooperate with government recommendations to avoid more severe measures, telling parliament that 62 people infected with the virus were in serious condition as of Wednesday. The country has reported 63 deaths.Japan is at risk of a deepening recession due to the pandemic, a sales tax hike in October and the postponement of the Olympic Games. In the three months starting in April, some analysts see the economy shrinking more than 10%, the biggest plunge since Abe took the helm in 2012. If the Tokyo metropolitan area, which accounts for about one-third of the economy, heads into a lockdown, the damage would get even worse.Nishimura, the economy minister, also said the government was aiming to decide early next week on a stimulus package to support jobs and businesses. He said the government was considering cash handouts, as well as a variety of other fiscal, tax and deregulatory measures.(Updates with cash handout report, Tokyo governor comments)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 03:00:11 -0400
  • Italy's coronavirus deaths push higher, new cases hold steady

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    The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has climbed by 760 to 13,915, the Civil Protection Agency said on Thursday, slightly higher than the daily rise of 727 registered a day earlier. Italy hit a daily peak of 6,557 new cases on March 21. Italy has registered more deaths than anywhere else in the world and accounts for around 28% of all global fatalities from the virus.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 14:33:34 -0400
  • Russian plane makes its way to U.S. with coronavirus medical equipment

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    A Russian military transport plane was headed to the United States on Wednesday carrying tons of medical equipment and masks to help Washington fight the coronavirus outbreak, Russian state TV reported and a U.S. official said.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 16:12:50 -0400
  • A small Georgia city is facing hundreds of coronavirus cases after residents flocked to a beloved janitor's funeral

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    Atlanta's Dougherty County has reported 490 confirmed cases of COVID-19, that all emerged after two funerals were held in the town of Albany.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 10:57:31 -0400
  • Coronavirus: Fighting al-Shabab propaganda in Somalia

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    Muslim clerics in Somalia are moving to the front-line of the battle against coronavirus.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 06:17:38 -0400
  • One nursing home offers grim advice: Take your loved ones home

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    Coronavirus cases are increasing so rapidly that one New York nursing home CEO is advising families to take their loved ones home if possible.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 19:59:08 -0400
  • What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

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    More than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — doubling a record high set just one week earlier — in a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the new coronavirus, which has now infected more than 1 million people worldwide. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is resisting calls to issue a national stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the coronavirus despite his administration's grim projections of tens of thousands dying. — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide passed the 1 million threshold Thursday in the latest indication of the pandemic's growing foothold around the globe, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:54:45 -0400
  • Airbnb has reportedly dropped its internal valuation to $26 billion as the coronavirus halts travel worldwide

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    Airbnb lowered its internal valuation by 16% as it faces a sharp decline in bookings due to the coronavirus, according to the Financial Times.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 21:25:11 -0400
  • China Wants to Use the Coronavirus to Take Over the World

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    What started as a catastrophe for China is shaping up to be a moment of strategic opportunity, a rare turning point in the flow of history. Suddenly, the protests in Hong Kong, carrying a mortal threat to political stability in the mainland, became a physical impossibility. More important, the pandemic set in motion a global competition, to contain the virus, for which China and the Chinese Communist Party seem uniquely prepared.As the virus spread to the whole world, it became apparent that Western societies — Beijing’s true rivals — did not have the ability to quickly organize every citizen around a single goal. As opposed to China, which remains to a large extent a revolutionary society, their political systems were built for normal times. Chinese society is a mobilized army, which can quickly drop everything else and march in one direction.Mao once said, “Everything under heaven is in utter chaos, the situation is excellent.” And so it seems at present, as seen from Beijing. Chinese diplomats stationed all over the world spend their time raising the stakes to a dangerous level. Following instructions from the very top, they have taken to the media to issue a challenge to America, to point out its failure, and to compare the chaos in American cities and hospitals with what they see as a singular success in stopping the epidemic in China.Several commentators have suggested that China may be winning the coronavirus battle by stepping forward in providing medical help to affected countries, mostly in Europe, at a time when the United States is consumed with its own difficulties. This misses the point.The cases have been multiplying where the medical equipment provided by Chinese companies and even the Chinese state turned out to be faulty, provoking justified ire in, for example, Spain, the Netherlands, and Turkey. Moreover, medical help is a normal occurrence in a crisis. China has done nothing different, except perhaps in the clumsy way it publicizes those efforts.Forget about “mask diplomacy.” It is no more than a distraction. There are other ways for China to use the coronavirus pandemic to upturn the existing global order. I see three main levers.The first one is the direct comparison between the situation in China and elsewhere. The numbers of cases and fatalities provided by Chinese authorities almost certainly misrepresent the real figures by more than an order of magnitude, but the fact remains that a semblance of normalcy was achieved in a small period of time. If the United States fails to do the same, its prestige will suffer a severe blow. People all over the world will quickly change their perceptions about relative power and capacity.The second lever resides with industrial value chains. Last month General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler closed all their automotive production plants across the United States and Canada. Other sectors have followed. In the meantime, China contained the worst of the pandemic to one province, allowing economic activity to quickly resume elsewhere. The most recent data show renewed activity in the flow of goods across the country, as well as at ports worldwide that do business with China. If the freeze in Europe and America continues for much longer, Chinese companies will be able to dramatically expand market share and replace Western-led value chains. Just yesterday Chinese authorities announced that manufacturing activity expanded in March, defying expectations of a contraction. In February the official Purchasing Managers’ Index hit a record low of 35.7. It bounced back to 52.0 in March. Prepare for a worldwide wave of Chinese acquisitions at knockdown prices.Finally, in a more extreme scenario, important countries could experience the kind of economic shock that leads to widespread social and political collapse. At that point, China would have a unique opportunity to step in, provide aid, and refashion these countries in its image. It would look like a repeat of the Marshall Plan and the beginning of the American world order after the ravages of World War II. Indonesia, South Asia, and even Russia might be of special interest in such a scenario.We knew that a generalized race or competition between alternative geopolitical models had started, but it was never clear what the background for such a competition would be. If the clash took place within the existing global trade and financial system, which was of course built according to Western rules and principles, the United States was confident the battle could be decisively won. But what if it took place on neutral ground? What if it took place in a kind of neutral landscape, a state of nature with few or no rules, against a chaotic and quickly evolving background? The outcome would become considerably more uncertain.To put it more bluntly: There was always an argument that the existing world order cannot change because only a momentous war has done that in the past and world wars have become impossible. But in pandemics — and soon in climate change — we may have found two functional equivalents of war.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 06:30:22 -0400
  • Falling China imports fuel US trade deficit decrease

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    The US trade deficit continued to shrink in February, fueled by falling imports from China as that country struggled with the coronavirus outbreak, the government reported Thursday. The Commerce Department report on imports and exports was compiled before the worst of the virus's economic disruptions hit the United States, where many businesses have since been forced to close causing millions to lose their jobs, and others complaining of scarce supplies. As in January, a sharp decline in imports from China played a large role in the data, after President Donald Trump escalated his confrontation with Beijing in 2019, leading to tariffs on nearly all products traded with the country.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:07:49 -0400
  • Mecca, Medina get 24-hour curfew; Gulf migrant worker districts locked down

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    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:22:46 -0400
  • Asian countries impose new restrictions as coronavirus cases come roaring back

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    After appearing to have the virus under control, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong are imposing new controls as COVID-19 infections continue to rise.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 18:28:17 -0400
  • Iran’s Parliament Speaker Larijani Quarantined With Coronavirus

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    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 12:05:42 -0400
  • Venezuela navy vessel sinks after 'ramming cruise ship'

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    The cruise ship's owners say the naval vessel rammed it, but Venezuela accuses the ship of "piracy".

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 07:54:13 -0400
  • Chinese county goes into coronavirus lockdown amid fear of second wave

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    Authorities order residents of Jia county to stay home after reports of cases linked to the area’s hospital.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:05:03 -0400
  • After ignoring warnings, Israeli ultra-Orthodox hit by virus

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    Early this week, the streets of the central Israeli city of Bnei Brak were bustling with shoppers as ultra-Orthodox residents, obeying their religious leaders, ignored pleas to stay home in the face of the coronavirus threat. The military will soon be sending troops in to assist local authorities. The city has become a lightning rod for anger and frustration by some secular Israelis who allege insular Haredi communities — with disproportionately high numbers of confirmed cases — are undermining national efforts to contain the virus.

    Fri, 03 Apr 2020 02:43:04 -0400
  • Birx: 5 states could be among next coronavirus 'hot spots'

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    Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, listed several states that could be the next “hot spots” for large numbers of COVID-19 cases, based on how many positive cases they have now.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 20:01:42 -0400
  • Trump says it 'doesn't seem fair' that 30 million Americans are uninsured and suggests he may expand Medicare or Medicaid

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    "It's something we're really going to look at, because it doesn't seem fair," Trump said of the fact that nearly 30 million Americans are uninsured.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 16:12:40 -0400
  • Beyond fever and cough: Coronavirus symptoms take new shape

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    Some of the first warning signs can include extreme fatigue, weakness and chills. But other symptoms often follow.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:12:33 -0400
  • U.S. lawmaker seeks inquiry into disappearance of Chinese journalists

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    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 17:49:24 -0400
  • Serbia sets the stage for Beijing's mask diplomacy

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    When six Chinese doctors landed in Belgrade two weeks ago, Serbia's president greeted them with elbow-bumps before laying a kiss on their country's flag, a gesture of gratitude that sent Chinese social media aflutter. For weeks China has been showering European countries with millions of face masks, test kits and other aid, recasting itself as the hero in the battle against coronavirus.

    Wed, 01 Apr 2020 22:48:09 -0400
  • An Outbreak Among Farm Workers Would Be Catastrophic

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    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- There is no evidence that Covid-19 has been transmitted by food or food packaging, according to U.S. federal health agencies.  How the virus fares among food workers may be a different story. By law, food manufacturers must prevent anyone who is sick or has a communicable disease from handling, processing or preparing food for human consumption. But much of the food supply chain is staffed by low-wage workers, many of them undocumented immigrants with limited ties to health services.  The Pew Research Center has estimated that about one quarter of U.S. farm workers are undocumented. A U.S. Department of Labor survey estimated that the share of field workers who are undocumented is closer to half. The food processing industry also has high numbers of undocumented workers, as do many of the nation’s smaller grocers and fast-food restaurants.Immigrant farming communities are often close-knit, with laborers living and working in close proximity. As the California-based Western Growers Association states, “Social distancing is difficult or perhaps impossible in certain settings such as harvesting, transport (of workers) and housing.” One California grower told National Public Radio that if the coronavirus penetrates the agricultural community, “it will spread like wildfire.”California, the nation’s largest agricultural state, moved early against the virus. It was the first state to order residents to stay home, on March 19. For now, Covid-19 deaths in California are growing at a slower rate than in New York, doubling every three or four days in California instead of every one or two. But farm workers, like those who work processing chickens or stocking grocery shelves, can’t work from home.Moreover, undocumented workers are at “high risk” of being uninsured, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report. And uninsured workers are less likely to visit a doctor or health clinic when sick, or to have a regular source of medical care.Fruit and vegetable farmers, in particular, have complained of labor shortages in recent years. The farm workforce is aging, the work is hard and, until the coronavirus outbreak, unemployment was low. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies have further reduced the supply of labor while also making it more precarious for immigrants to get access to public health services. Robots are not coming to the industry’s rescue anytime soon.There is no shortage of food in the U.S. — and there very likely won’t be. Food is grown in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. But the logistical miracle that is the U.S. food supply chain is already stressed by panic buying at grocers and a huge disruption of markets, including thousands of suddenly closed restaurants. (It’s not easy to reroute to markets food that was previously destined for restaurants.)  The supply chain could be further undermined by outbreaks of coronavirus among agricultural workers. The Trump administration last week eased rules on foreign agricultural guest workers. It says it has suspended immigration arrests at hospitals, though it’s not clear that the announcement will ease the anxiety of undocumented immigrants. Rural hospitals will get assistance from the rescue package that Congress passed last week.But such actions will hardly fill the gaps in production and distribution if coronavirus sweeps across the farm sector. “It could have a devastating effect on the ability to produce food,” Dale Moore, executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, told me.While farms are taking safety precautions, encouraging social distancing and better hygiene, there’s little contingency planning for labor in the event of significant outbreaks. How would labor — including skilled work — be replaced? “What exactly that looks like,” Moore said, “is an evolving process.”This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Francis Wilkinson writes editorials on politics and U.S. domestic policy for Bloomberg Opinion. He was executive editor of the Week. He was previously a writer for Rolling Stone, a communications consultant and a political media strategist.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 11:00:50 -0400
  • Republican Senator Calls on ‘Communist’ WHO Director to Resign

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    Senator Martha McSally on Thursday called on the director of the World Health Organization to step down, saying the organization covered up the extent of the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in China.The Arizona Republican called WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus a "communist" and accused him of helping China conceal its underreporting of coronavirus case numbers."I’ve never trusted a communist," McSally said in an interview with Fox Business."I think Dr. Tedros needs to step down," she continued. "We need to take some action to address this issue. It’s just irresponsible, it’s unconscionable what they have done here while we have people dying across the globe."The senator condemned China itself for failing to acknowledge and curb the virus before it spilled over China's borders and spread to the rest of the world."Their cover-up of this virus that originated with them, has caused unnecessary deaths around America and around the world. The WHO needs to stop covering for them," McSally said, adding that as restitution, any U.S. debts to China "should be forgiven, as a minimum."The senator's criticism comes days after another GOP senator, Rick Scott of Florida, called for a congressional investigation into the WHO and questioned whether the organization should continue to be funded since it engaged in “helping Communist China cover up” the seriousness of the virus.“We know Communist China is lying about how many cases and deaths they have, what they knew and when they knew it — and the WHO never bothered to investigate further,” Scott said. “Their inaction cost lives.”The WHO also “willfully parroted propaganda” from China’s Communist Party, Scott charged.During an interview with Radio Television Hong Kong, WHO assistant director-general Dr. Bruce Aylward appeared to dodge a question about whether the WHO will reconsider granting membership to Taiwan, which China claims as a territory. Taiwan, which has reported just slightly more than 300 cases of the infection and only two deaths, has been widely praised for its containment of the coronavirus.The senior WHO advisor responded that he could not hear the question, and when the interviewer offered to repeat it he interjected, “no, that’s okay, let’s move to another one then.” Later, he appeared to hang up when asked about Taiwan's response to the pandemic, and afterwards said they had “already talked about China,” which has done “quite a good job.”> I wanted to find a slightly longer version of the RTHK interview (more context) with the WHO’s Dr. Bruce Aylward who basically froze when asked about Taiwan then started babbling about China then fled. And commend @yvonne_tg for sticking to the question. HT @BonnieGlaser: pic.twitter.com/2cc3hViiij> > -- Melissa Chan (@melissakchan) March 28, 2020The U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report obtained by Bloomberg News that China deliberately provided incomplete public numbers for coronavirus cases and deaths resulting from the infection. In December, local and national officials issued a gag order to labs in Wuhan after scientists there identified a new viral pneumonia, ordering them to halt tests, destroy samples, and conceal the news.The U.S. now has nearly 240,000 cases of the coronavirus around the country, and more than 5,000 have died. Worldwide, more than 50,000 people have died from the respiratory illness.

    Thu, 02 Apr 2020 15:23:27 -0400
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