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Covid-19: State of Emergency declared in New Zealand

Covid-19: State of Emergency declared in New Zealand | 25 March 2020 | New Zealand is now in a State of National Emergency, after 50 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus were confirmed today, bringing the total to 205. Government officials have given an update on the the Covid-19 national response, the latest health update, border issues and an essential services update. Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said there were now 205 confirmed and probably cases, and there had been a total of 9780 tests undertaken so far. Eight people who arrived in Auckland airport yesterday tested positive for Covid-19.

US senators accused of insider trading

US senators accused of insider trading | 21 March 2020 | Four US senators are under scrutiny over claims they used insider knowledge about the impending coronavirus crisis to sell shares before prices plummeted. Republicans Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler face calls to quit after selling millions in stocks last month. James Inhofe, a Republican, and Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, also reportedly sold holdings at the time. It is illegal for Congress members to trade based on non-public information gathered during their official duties. All four senators deny any impropriety.

Gallup: Trump job approval rating matches all-time high

Gallup: Trump job approval rating matches all-time high | 24 March 2020 | President Trump's job approval rating has jumped by 5 points in the latest Gallup survey, matching the high point of his presidency, as a majority of voters say they have a positive view of how the president has handled the coronavirus pandemic. The new poll finds Trump's job approval rating at 49 percent, up from 44 percent in the same survey earlier this month... It appears that Trump's handling of the coronavirus response is behind the approval rating bump. Sixty percent of voters overall said they approve of the job Trump is doing to address the epidemic, including 94 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 27 percent of Democrats. 

Atlanta mayor says ICU units at capacity

Atlanta mayor says ICU units at capacity | 24 March 2020 | Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) said Tuesday that the city's intensive care units (ICUs) are at capacity and warned that hospitals in the area could soon be maximized amid the coronavirus pandemic. "I suspect that at some point soon our hospitals may get near capacity," Bottoms told a local CBS affiliate... The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Georgia surged to nearly 1,100 on Tuesday, with health officials in other parts of the state also warning of ICUs being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases.

UK calls for 250,000 volunteers as virus deaths surge

UK calls for 250,000 volunteers as virus deaths surge --Coronavirus death toll in Britain jumps to 422 | 24 March 2020 | The number of coronavirus deaths in Britain jumped on Tuesday, the first day of a national lockdown, while the government called for 250,000 volunteers for the health service and announced a temporary hospital would open in London next week. In a TV message on Monday evening watched by more than 27 million people, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered people to stay at home, told nearly all shops to close and banned social gatherings including weddings and baptisms. However, public transport in London was busy during the morning rush hour and the streets were far from deserted amid confusion over the government's advice to workers.

White House, Senate reach historic $2 trillion stimulus deal amid growing coronavirus fears

White House, Senate reach historic $2 trillion stimulus deal amid growing coronavirus fears --The full details have yet to be released. | 25 March 2020 | The White House and Senate leaders struck a major deal early Wednesday morning over a $2-trillion package to provide a jolt to an economy struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, capping days of marathon negotiations that produced one of the most expensive and far-reaching measures in the history of Congress. "Ladies and gentleman, we are done," White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland said right before 1 a.m. after leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office following negotiations that have gone around the clock since last Friday. "We have a deal." ...The majority leader described it as "a war-time level of investment for our nation," and said that the Senate would move to pass it later in the day on Wednesday.

Man who died on bus in China tests positive for hantavirus in new threat

Man who died on bus in China tests positive for hantavirus in new threat | 24 March 2020 | A passenger who died on a bus in China has tested positive for a completely different virus than COVID-19 - one more fatal that often produces very similar symptoms, according to state-run media. The unidentified victim from Yunnan province died while on a chartered bus heading to his workplace in Shandong province, the state-run Global Times announced in a tweet Monday. "He was tested positive for #hantavirus. Other 32 people on bus were tested," the outlet stated, offering no further details. The suggestion of a new virus starting just as China starts lifting its strict quarantines from COVID-19, which originated in the Asian nation, sparked panic among many on social media, with #hantavirus trending.

Workers in military garb set up makeshift morgue for coronavirus victims outside NYC hospital

Workers in military garb set up makeshift morgue for coronavirus victims outside NYC hospital --'The plan is for them to be there and throughout the city,' the source said. | 24 March 2020 | Workers in military outfits built a makeshift morgue outside Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan on Tuesday to deal with a potential surge of coronavirus victims, The Post has learned. Two refrigerated trailers were trucked to the site at 30th Street and the FDR Drive, along with a customized RV labeled "MOBILE COMMAND CENTER -- MEDICAL EXAMINER." A team of men wearing camouflage fatigues and face masks set up a series of white tents that form a tunnel to a larger, white tent. Other men wearing jackets that identified them as members of the NYPD and the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner were also at the scene. A source familiar with the operation said that additional refrigerated trailers would be brought to the site and that similar set-ups would be built up outside other hospitals.

NYU offers early graduation to senior med students in bid to fight coronavirus

NYU offers early graduation to senior med students in bid to fight coronavirus | 24 March 2020 | New York University is reportedly allowing senior medical students to graduate three months early so they can help overworked doctors fight the coronavirus pandemic. The unprecedented offer was detailed in a Tuesday email to the class of 2020 as an option if the students "voluntarily agree" to begin working immediately as paid interns at NYU Langone Health's Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine departments... The email was first reported by emergency medicine physicians at Brief19.com.

New York hospitals treating coronavirus patients with vitamin C

New York hospitals treating coronavirus patients with vitamin C --'The patients who received vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C,' he said. | 24 March 2020 | Seriously sick coronavirus patients in New York state's largest hospital system are being given massive doses of vitamin C -- based on promising reports that it's helped people in hard-hit China, The Post has learned. Dr. Andrew G. Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist affiliated with two Northwell Health facilities on Long Island, said his intensive-care patients with the coronavirus immediately receive 1,500 milligrams of intravenous vitamin C. Identical amounts of the powerful antioxidant are then re-administered three or four times a day, he said... The regimen is based on experimental treatments administered to people with the coronavirus in Shanghai, China, Weber said.

NYPD says over 200 members have tested positive for coronavirus

NYPD says over 200 members have tested positive for coronavirus | 24 March 2020 | New York's coronavirus outbreak has also impacted the city's police force, with more than 200 NYPD employees testing positive for the virus, the police commissioner said Tuesday. Commissioner Dermot Shea said that 211 NYPD members have tested positive for the virus, including 177 uniformed officers and 34 civilian employees, local station WCBS reported. Shea said that another 2,700 to 2,800 are out sick.

Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic

Tokyo Olympics postponed to 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic --Japan’s prime minister and IOC president agree delay --Fate essentially sealed when Canada and Australia pulled out | 24 March 2020 | The Tokyo Olympics are to be postponed until 2021 after talks between Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach, led to confirmation of a decision made inevitable by the coronavirus pandemic. Abe said they had established that cancelling the Games was out of the question, and that Bach had agreed "100%" that a postponement was the most appropriate response to the global disruption. The Games "must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community", the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee said later in a joint statement.

White House coronavirus task force advises people who've left NYC to quarantine for 14 days

White House coronavirus task force advises people who've left NYC to quarantine for 14 days | 24 March 2020 | The top response coordinator for the White House's coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, warned people who have been in the New York City metropolitan area to self-quarantine for the next two weeks if they've left town as the contagion continues to spread within the nation's largest city. Birx said on Tuesday that people living in New York City -- arguably the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States with more than 13,000 confirmed cases in the city alone -- should isolate themselves from others if they have left the city for an area with less infections... Birx noted that 60 percent of new cases in the country are coming from the New York metropolitan area.

Dow posts 2,112 point gain biggest ever

Dow posts 2,112 point gain biggest ever --Trump supports reopening businesses sooner rather than later | 24 March 2020 | U.S. equity markets registered the strongest one-day rebound in history on Tuesday amid investor optimism that members of Congress will overcome their differences to reach a deal on a nearly $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package. In the final hour of trading, gains picked up steam giving the Dow Jones Industrial Average a 2,112 point gain, the biggest ever, or 11 percent, while the S&P 500 gained over 9.3 percent and the Nasdaq over 8.1 percent. The upbeat sentiments were boosted by comments from President Trump, who said he supports reopening businesses sooner rather than later.

Julian Assange to Apply for Bail Amid Fears of Coronavirus Outbreak in Prisons - Campaign

Julian Assange to Apply for Bail Amid Fears of Coronavirus Outbreak in Prisons - Campaign --The prominent whistleblower is in prison for breaching his last bail conditions out of fear of being extradited to the US. His concerns have been partially confirmed as he is currently facing court hearings that will decide whether Washington will have the chance to prosecute him for leaking classified data online. | 23 March 2020 | WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's lawyers will apply for bail over fears that prisons could become new hotbeds for COVID-19 infections, a statement from the "Don't Extradite Assange Campaign" said. According to the statement, the lawyers will emphasise that Assange is vulnerable to possible coronavirus infection.

Trump says first lady tested negative for coronavirus

Trump says first lady tested negative for coronavirus | 23 March 2020 | President Trump said Monday that first lady Melania Trump had tested negative for the novel coronavirus. Trump answered in the affirmative when asked by a reporter at the White House whether the first lady had been tested for COVID-19 and said the test came back negative. "She's fine," Trump told reporters in the White House briefing room Monday evening. "Negative, yes."

Pence, second lady test negative for coronavirus

Pence, second lady test negative for coronavirus | 21 March 2020 | Vice President Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, have tested negative for coronavirus, according to a statement tweeted by the vice president's press secretary Katie Miller on Saturday evening. "Please to report that the COVID-19 test results came back negative for both Vice President @Mike_Pence and Second Lady @KarenPence," Miller tweeted. Pence said earlier Saturday that he and the second lady would be tested for the coronavirus after a member of the vice president’s staff tested positive for COVID-19.

Florida man with coronavirus says drug touted by Trump saved his life

Florida man with coronavirus says drug touted by Trump saved his life | 22 March 2020 | A Florida man diagnosed with coronavirus claims he was saved from certain death by an anti-malaria drug touted as a possible treatment by President Trump. Rio Giardinieri, 52, told Los Angeles's Fox 11 that he struggled with horrendous back pain, headaches, cough and fatigue for five days after catching COVID-19, possibly at a conference in New York. Doctors at the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in South Florida diagnosed him with the coronavirus and pneumonia and put him on oxygen in the ICU, he told the outlet. After more than a week, doctors told him there was nothing more they could do and, on Friday evening, Giardinieri said goodbye to his wife and three children... Then a friend sent him a recent article about hydroxychloroquine, a prescription drug that's been used to treat malaria for decades and auto-immune diseases like lupus... He says he was given Benadryl and some other drugs and that when he woke up around 4:45 a.m., it was "like nothing ever happened."

Trump to delay deadline to acquire Real ID due to coronavirus

Trump to delay deadline to acquire Real ID due to coronavirus | 23 March 2020 | President Trump on Monday said the federal government will delay requirements for Americans to obtain a Real ID to travel, citing the coronavirus. Trump told reporters at the White House that he was postponing the Oct. 1, 2020, deadline in order to alleviate crowding at local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices... The law's implementation plan previously stipulated that on Oct. 1, 2020, people will need Real ID-compliant identification in order to board commercial flights, enter federal buildings or gain access to American nuclear plants.

Dow futures rise more than 400 points as Senate haggles over virus bill

Dow futures rise more than 400 points as Senate haggles over virus bill | 23 March 2020 | Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes posted a modest rise in overnight trade on Monday evening. As of 9:20 p.m., Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 484 points, implying an opening gain of around 519 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also pointed to opening gains. The overnight moves followed yet another stormy day on Wall Street on Wednesday as investors swung back to pessimism and pushed the major indexes to new multiyear lows. The Dow dropped 582.05 points, or 3%, on Monday and remained on pace to clinch its worst calendar month since 1931.

Coronavirus cases top 20,000 in New York, with 12,000 in NYC

Coronavirus cases top 20,000 in New York, with 12,000 in NYC | 23 March 2020 | The number of confirmed cases of the deadly coronavirus has climbed to 20,875 statewide -- including more than 5,000 new cases today -- and 12,305 in New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. The grim toll also includes 157 deaths in the Empire State -- representing more than a third of the 463 deaths nationwide -- as well as 5,707 new state cases compared to Sunday... To help ease the strain on New York’s already overtaxed hospital system, Cuomo announced an executive order asking registered nurses statewide to enlist to combat the contagion. "We're saying we want to enlist you to help," said Cuomo, noting that so far, the state has received over 30,000 responses.

Joe Biden's Teleprompter Malfunctions During First Coronavirus Update; Calls MA Governor Charlie 'Parker'

Joe Biden's Teleprompter Malfunctions During First Coronavirus Update; Calls MA Governor Charlie 'Parker' | 23 March 2020 | Joe Biden's new foray into regular video updates about coronavirus stumbled out of the gate as the teleprompter malfunctioned and he called the sitting Massachusetts governor by the wrong name. Biden was speaking behind a podium when he began verbally stumbling around, as if he wasn't sure what to say, or was buying time. "Beef up the number of responders dealing with the crush -- these crush of cases. And, uh, and in addition to that," he said, looking down at his notes, before he waved his hand upward under the podium to conceal it. "And in addition to that we to, um, make sure that we, uh, we are in a position that we are, well, let me go to the second thing. I spoke enough of that," Biden said, before trying to move on from the blunder. Biden called the current Massachusetts governor "Charlie Parker," a jazz saxophonist from the 1950s.

Biden mocked after apparent teleprompter issue during coronavirus remarks: 'Let me go to the second thing'

Biden mocked after apparent teleprompter issue during coronavirus remarks: 'Let me go to the second thing' | 23 March 2020 | Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was mocked on Monday after the gaffe-prone 2020 Democratic front-runner appeared to lose his train of thought when his teleprompter malfunctioned during remarks on the coronavirus pandemic. Biden's remarks, livestreamed from a studio set up in his home, began with his touching his face despite ongoing warnings not to do that during the coronavirus pandemic. His remarks were also short compared with the president's near-daily coronavirus briefings, lasting less than 15 minutes in total, and featured a clear teleprompter issue that became a social media punchline. The former vice president was detailing his plan to fight the coronavirus crisis, but appeared to lose track of his place on the teleprompter. Biden signaled to his staff that there was something wrong, before going off on an awkward ad-lib.

US coronavirus cases surpass 35,000, now the third-highest infected nation in the world

US coronavirus cases surpass 35,000, now the third-highest infected nation in the world | 23 March 2020 | The number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed 35,000 on Monday, making it the nation with the third-highest number of infections in the world, behind only Italy and China. The death toll in the U.S. from the COVID-19 virus reached 471 -- the sixth highest in the world. U.S. health officials have said coronavirus cases will rise as testing becomes more widely available.

Russian Planes Carrying Aid to Italy Blocked From Using Poland Airspace - Russian Lawmaker

Russian Planes Carrying Aid to Italy Blocked From Using Poland Airspace - Russian Lawmaker | 23 March 2020 | As of Monday, Russia had sent thirteen Il-76 military aircraft to Italy to assist in the fight against the coronavirus. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, Russian military experts will engage in disinfection and COVID-19 prevention after coordinating their operations with Italian authorities. Aleksey Pushkov, a Russian Senator and a former chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on International Affairs, said on Monday that Poland refused to let Russian military aircraft carrying aid to coronovirus-hit Italy use its airspace. In a post on Twitter, Pushkov slammed Poland's [insane] actions, describing them as "meanness on the level of public policy". He noted that "from now on, Russia should not meet Poland half-way".

Trump approves disaster declaration for coronavirus in California

Trump approves disaster declaration for coronavirus in California | 22 March 2020 | President Trump on Sunday approved a disaster declaration for California over cases of the coronavirus spreading in the state. A news release Sunday evening from the White House stated that federal funding would be available for state, local and tribal organizations in California as officials attempt to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. More than 1,600 case have been confirmed in the state. "The President's action makes Federal funding available for Crisis Counseling for affected individuals in all areas in the State of California," said the release.

Utah Democrat diagnosed with coronavirus hospitalized after experiencing shortness of breath

Utah Democrat diagnosed with coronavirus hospitalized after experiencing shortness of breath | 22 March 2020 | Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah), a freshman lawmaker who last week announced that he had been diagnosed with coronavirus, said Sunday that he was hospitalized after experiencing a shortness of breath. In a statement from his office Sunday evening, the Utah Democrat said that the incident occurred Friday and stated that he had to receive oxygen through a mask after struggling to maintain proper oxygen levels in his blood. "I am now off oxygen and feeling relatively better," McAdams said. "I'm very grateful to the skilled hospital medical staff for their efficient and effective treatment, as well as their preparations.

Senate fails to move forward with coronavirus 'Phase 3' bill amid Dems' opposition

Senate fails to move forward with coronavirus 'Phase 3' bill amid Dems' opposition | 22 March 2020 | The GOP-controlled Senate on Sunday failed to move forward with considering the $1.4 trillion "Phase Three" stimulus package intended to help businesses and families devastated by the downturn over the coronavirus outbreak, as Senate Majority Leader McConnell, R-Ky., blasted Democrats opposed to the plan. The vote came while at least five GOP senators were in self-quarantine, including Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who became the first U.S. senator to announce he tested positive for the virus. Many Democrats had complained that the draft aid package did not go far enough to provide health care and unemployment aid for Americans, and failed to put restraints on a proposed $500 billion "slush fund" for corporations, saying the ban on corporate stock buy-backs are weak and the limits on executive pay would last only two years.

Florida university says students tested positive for coronavirus after spring break trip

Florida university says students tested positive for coronavirus after spring break trip | 22 March 2020 | The University of Tampa said Saturday that five of its students who travelled together during their spring break recently tested positive for the novel coronavirus. "UT has been notified that five UT students, traveling together and with other UT students during Spring Break, have tested positive for COVID-19," the university said in a tweet on Saturday. The university did not disclose the names of the students, nor where they travelled during the break, which was scheduled for the school earlier this month.

Angela Merkel goes into quarantine after getting vaccine from doctor who tested positive for coronavirus

Angela Merkel goes into quarantine after getting vaccine from doctor who tested positive for coronavirus --Chancellor to have 'regular tests' after coming into contact with infected physician | 22 March 2020 | German Chancellor Angela Merkel has gone into quarantine after being informed that a doctor who administered a vaccine to her has tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus. Ms Merkel's spokesman said she was informed about the doctor's test shortly after holding a news conference on Sunday, in which she announced new measures to curb the spread of the virus including a ban on groups of more than two people congregating in public. Her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Ms Merkel had received a precautionary vaccine on Friday against pneumococcal infection.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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