From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
"KING OF THE WEST 2020 APRIL"

    This file is attached to http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterEight/BeastThatCameOutOfTheSea.htm from “Beast That Came Out Of The Sea” - Chapter Eight by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved.
    This link will return you to Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D..
    This link will return you to King Of The West 2020 March or continue to King Of The West 2020 May.

KING OF THE WEST 2020 APRIL

4/1/2020 Oil down $0.11 to $20.17, DOW down 410 to 21,917.

4/1/2020 Coronavirus deaths

4/1/2020 Gas falls below $2 (and still falling) - People don’t fill up due to stay-at-home orders by Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY
    The national average price of gasoline has plunged below $2 per gallon, and the freefall is not likely to stop there.
    With the coronavirus pandemic crunching the economy, a precipitous drop in the price of crude oil has sent gas prices plummeting at a time when they’re usually rising in the lead-up to the summer travel season.
    The national average fell below $2 on Tuesday for the first time in four years, according to AAA.    The national average of $1.997 was about 11 cents cheaper than a week ago and about 69 cents cheaper than a year ago.
    AAA projected the national average would hit $1.75 or less in April.
    Normally, prices like that would spark a travel binge.
    But most drivers won’t be able to take advantage of it since a majority of Americans are under some form of stay-at-home order, limiting their driving to essential needs.
    “,” AAA spokesperson Jeanette Casselano said.    “They’re not necessarily reaping all the benefits of these savings at pump.”
    Roughly 100,000 stations are charging less than $2 per gallon and 29 states are averaging less than $2, according to fuel-savings app GasBuddy, which tracks prices.
    A few are even charging less than $1, including stations in Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
    The nation’s lowest price was 95 cents at a station in Wautoma, Wisconsin, according to GasBuddy.
    Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said he does not expect the national average to fall below $1 per gallon.    But he does expect it to fall another 35 cents to 50 cents in the coming months.
    “I think it’s reasonable that we get under the lowest level that we saw during the great recession,” DeHaan said.    “I think that’s where we’re going.”
    There are two key catalysts that are intertwined:
- The price of oil has plunged to the $20 range, down about two-thirds from early January, in part due to a global economic slowdown and in part due to a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia that has led to a surplus of production.    Oil prices are trading at an 18-year low, according to the Oil Price Information Service.
- Demand for gasoline has fallen off a cliiff as Americans stay home, recently prompting federal regulators to extend by several weeks the deadline for stations to switch from winter-blend gasoline to the more expensive summer blend.
    “By all metrics we’re all staring out the window looking at it and hopefully few of us are filling up with it,” DeHaan said.    “We’re showing demand just a figment of its normal self.”
    Even in California, which usually has the most expensive gas of the contiguous states, prices are falling.
    The average price in California was $3.04 on Tuesday, down 14 cents from a week ago and down 57 cents from a year ago.
    California’s average will soon fall below $3 and could be headed below $2 before the crisis subsides, DeHaan projected.
    The plunging price of oil is certain to lead to massive losses, including likely job cuts, for the U.S. oil and gas sector, DeHaan said.     With prices that low, many drillers and oilfield service companies can’t turn a profit and will go out of business. Eventually, though, production cuts will likely lead to price increases, analysts said.
    “Paradoxically, this will ultimately create an inflationary oil supply shock of historic proportions because so much oil production will be forced to be shutin,” Goldman Sachs analyst Jeffrey Currie said Sunday in a research note.
Gas prices at Fleet Farm in Delavan, Wis., on Thursday as prices drop
during the coronavirus pandemic. RICK WOOD/MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

4/1/2020 UK to speed up coronavirus testing as criticism grows by Paul Sandle and Michael Holden
FILE PHOTO: Medical staff at an NHS drive through coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility in the car park of Chessington World of Adventures
as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Chessington, Britain, March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s government said on Wednesday it would ramp up the number of coronavirus tests amid widespread criticism that it was doing far too few, as ministers suggested that shortages of chemicals were partly to blame.
    Officials say testing for COVID-19 is key to fighting it, not least to check if medics on the frontline of the epidemic could return to work.
    But while Germany has been testing about 500,000 people a week, Britain’s current capacity is just 12,750 a day, a figure the government said it was aiming to double by mid-April.
    “I hope on testing … you will see significant increases this week. We expect to be at 15,000 tests over the course of this week and then moving further forward in the future,” housing minister Robert Jenrick told broadcaster ITV.
    “We do need to go further and we need to do that faster.”
    The number of coronavirus deaths in Britain rose to 1,789 people, figures on Tuesday showed, a 27% increase in a day with one of the victims a 13-year-old boy with no apparent underlying health conditions.
    So far, tests have been focused on those suspected to have the virus who have been admitted to hospital but the government says it is trying to extend this to key staff in the National Health Service (NHS).
    Jenrick said more than 900 health workers were tested over the weekend and a further 8,240 individuals on Monday, as he faced a barrage of questions in media interviews about the low number of tests.
    “Fix Testing Fiasco Now,” the Daily Mail newspaper said on its front page.
    At a news conference on Tuesday, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said shortages of necessary chemicals had been a factor.
    “A critical constraint on the ability to rapidly increase testing capacity is the availability of the chemical reagents which are necessary in the testing,” he said, saying the government was working with companies worldwide to obtain what was required.
    The Chemical Industries Association said that, while there was escalating demand, “there are reagents being manufactured and delivered to the NHS.”
    “Every business here in the UK and globally is looking at what they can do to help meet the demand as a matter of urgency,” it said in a statement.
    An opposition Labour lawmaker said the problem was that ministers appeared not to have ordered enough of the chemicals from companies that had offered to make what the government needed.
    “These are often the same chemical companies which are producing chemicals for the tests in Germany,” Bill Esterson said.
    “Companies in the UK can make them.    They haven’t been asked.    The shortage is because they haven’t been ordered.”
    Asked about the apparent discrepancy between the government and industry over the shortages, Jenrick said several chemicals were required, “and not all of them, as I understand it, have always been available in the UK in the quantities that we need.”
(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout and Kylie MacLellan; editing by John Stonestreet)

4/1/2020 Italy’s coronavirus lockdown measures to be extended to April 13: minister
A deserted Via Della Conciliazione is seen as the spread of coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) continues, in Rome, Italy, April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy will extend anti-coronavirus lockdown restrictions imposed last month to April 13, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Wednesday.
    “We must not confuse the first positive signals with an ‘all clear’ signal. Data shows that we are on the right path and that the drastic decisions are bearing fruit,” Speranza told the upper house Senate.
    After days of steep rises in cases, data this week has suggested the pace of growth in the number of total cases in Italy is slowing, with new infections coming in at 4,053 on Tuesday.    Deaths have remained largely steady at over 800 a day.
    Speranza added that the “battle (against the virus) is still very long.”
    Italy was the first Western country to introduce the restrictions and has tightened them week by week, banning all but core activities.
(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Giulia Segreti)

4/1/2020 Spain reports more than 100,000 coronavirus cases, new daily death toll record
FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask crosses a deserted street, during the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    MADRID (Reuters) – The number of cases of coronavirus in Spain surpassed 100,000 on Wednesday while the number of fatalities reported overnight reached a new record, the country’s health ministry said.
    The number of cases rose to 102,136 on Wednesday up from 94,417 on Tuesday, the ministry said.
    Overall fatalities caused by the disease rose to 9,053 from 8,189 on Tuesday.    The daily death toll reached a record 864, though the increase was lower in percentage terms than during the previous days.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Nathan Allen)

4/1/2020 Germany reports 5,453 additional coronavirus cases, 149 more deaths
Walter Jensen of the "Isarland Oekokiste", an organic delivery service for Munich and the south-eastern region, loads a lorry,
as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Taufkirchen, Germany, April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen to 67,366 and 732 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday.
    Cases rose by 5,453 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 149, the tally https://bit.ly/3aKER5W showed.
(Reporting by Thomas Seythal; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

4/1/2020 Rep. Jordan calls for DOJ inspector general to testify by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Wednesday, March 11, 2020 file photo, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks during a House Oversight Committee
hearing on preparedness for and response to the coronavirus outbreak on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has sounded the alarm over new revelations about FISA abuses by the Obama era FBI.    Jordan sent a letter to House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler this week, which urged him to call DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to testify.
    This came after Horowitz released another damning report, which stated he found problems in 29 applications for FISA warrants to spy on American citizens.
    Jordan has said Obama era FBI agents made procedural violations in obtaining surveillance warrants.    This included failing to verify every piece of evidence that was cited in FISA applications.
    “The best evidence it’s never going to stop is what happened two weeks ago.    They went to the intelligence community,…briefs Adam Schiff and others on Capitol Hill about this Russia trying to influence 2020 election.    Turns out what they told him was inaccurate, it was misrepresented.    The same thing they did to him in 2016, they’re trying to do again in 2020.” – Jim Jordan, U.S. Representative
    According to reports, the latest Horowitz report may derail the reauthorization of FISA, which was passed by Congress last month.
[WELL IT LOOKS LIKE THE INVESTIGATION INTO FISA ABUSE IS COMING TO TRUITION AND BRING IT OUT INTO THE LIGHT AND MAYBE WE CAN GET THIS COUNTRY BACK ON TRACK TO BE WHAT IT WAS MEANT TO BE AS OUR CONSTITUTION STATES AND THAT WE FOLLOW THAT IN GOD WE TRUST AS ONE NATION AND THE NEXT ARTICLE IS PROOF THAT SOMETHING OR SOMEONE NEEDS TO BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE NO MATTER WHAT CNN OR THE WASHINGTON POST SAYS OR ANY FORMER CIA, FBI, DOJ AND NSA EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN OR ARE NOW UNDER THE MICROSCOPE.]

4/1/2020 DOJ Inspector General finds more problems with FBI FISA applications by OAN Newsroom
File – Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz tells a Senate committee about his
concerns over the FBI’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is under fire, once again, after the Office of the Inspector General found more problems in the bureau’s surveillance warrant applications.
    On Monday, Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray to inform him the applications lack supporting documentation backing-up the claims made within them.
    These findings added to the Horowitz report, released late last year, which condemned the FBI for errors and omissions found in FISA applications looking into President Trump’s campaign staff. This occurred during special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
    “And subsequent to that report, and this continues to this day, we are investigating those contacts,” said Horowitz.    We’ve issued a couple of public summaries, so far, about people we’ve found violated FBI policy.”
    The Inspector General’s Office found the additional errors when going through eight different FBI field offices, all of different sizes.    They examined 29 FISA applications between October 2014 and September 2019 that related to counterintelligence and counter surveillance.
    Horowitz and his staff found inconsistencies with the FBI’s Woods Procedures, which requires applications have additional documentation supporting their claims.
    On the FISA side we found, as you noted, a lack of documented testimony evidence about intentionality, but we also noted the lack of satisfactory explanations,” he stated.    “And, in fact, leave open the fact that for the reasons you indicated, it’s unclear what the motivations were.”
    Horowitz has recommended the FBI and oversight agencies review past and future accuracy reviews to identify patterns as well as trends to improve their policies and train agents against the errors.    He also recommended the bureau take inventory of all pending FISA applications and make sure they are following the Woods Procedures.
    The Inspector General’s Office has continued investigations expanding to oversight agencies, like the National Security Department, to see if the FBI is taking sufficient steps to address the issue.

4/1/2020 Americans struggle to make ends meet amid pandemic by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 18, 2020 file photo, visitors to the Department of Labor are turned away at the door by
personnel due to closures over coronavirus concerns in New York. A record-high number of people applied for unemployment
benefits last week as layoffs engulfed the United States in the face of a near-total economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.
The surge in weekly applications for benefits far exceeded the previous record set in 1982. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
    As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on communities, thousands of businesses are being forced to close and millions of Americans are now wondering how they will make ends meet.
    “After my mom lost her full-time job, our biggest fear is getting evicted and becoming homeless,” said Jade Brooks, a resident of Boston, Massachusetts.
    After states began implementing stay-at-home orders last month, all non-essential businesses were forced to close their doors.    Since then, more than 3.3. million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits.
    “I’m still awaiting a determination letter from the unemployment office and from the coworkers I’ve spoken to in my work, they’re in the same position,” explained Jason Still, a resident of Spokane, Washington.    “So, I think everyone’s just remaining optimistic that the benefits will kick in before a lot of bills pile up.”
In this Monday, March 30, 2020, photo, a line of around fifty people extends from the door of Arkansas Workforce
Center in Fayetteville, Ark. For information about small business loans and applying for Arkansas
unemployment benefits go to www.arkansasedc.com/covid19. (JT Wampler/The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP)
    While the White House has assured Americans that help is on the way after passing three economic stimulus bills meant to aid people hurt by the pandemic, many fear the help wont come soon enough.
    “Currently laid off due to COVID-19 pandemic, worried about how to pay my April 1st rent,” said JAs Wheeler, a resident of Burlington, Vermont.    “And also we just closed on a house, so worried about paying our first mortgage payment on May 1st in addition to my credit card bills.”
    Last week, lawmakers passed a $2 trillion stimulus package, which included stimulus checks for millions of Americans.    Each single tax payer is set to receive $1,200 with parents receiving an additional $500 per child.
    The Treasury Department said Americans who used direct deposit when filing can expect payment within the next three weeks.    However, an estimated timeline has not been given for those who opted to receive check by mail.

4/1/2020 Conway slams Biden over criticism of President Trump’s handling of coronavirus outbreak by OAN Newsroom
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway talks to reporters about the coronavirus, outside
the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    On Wednesday, Kellyanne Conway torched Joe Biden for criticizing the White House’s virus response.    While speaking to reporters, Conway claimed Biden has been pushing “inaccurate” and “false” information instead of trying to assist the president.
    This week, the former vice president accused President Trump of not taking the pandemic “seriously” in its early days and retaliating against officials who were critical of his response to the virus.
    According to Conway, the administration is more focused on the pandemic than politics.
    “I find it to be petty and completely unhelpful to the American population to have a former vice president…just lobbing criticisms, reading from prepared notes when we are looking at this decidedly non-politically.    I really have no time to talk about Biden and Bernie when we’re talking about ventilators and vaccines.    That’s our focus now.” – Kellyanne Conway, White House counselor
    She went on to say the president’s critics have never seemed more irrelevant than they do now.

4/1/2020 USS Roosevelt captain calls for entire crew to self-quarantine by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 13, 2018, file photo the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier
is anchored off Manila Bay west of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)
    The captain of an aircraft carrier, which is now faced with a growing outbreak of COVID-19 on board, has called for the quarantine of roughly 5,000 of its crew members.    In a letter obtained exclusively by The San Francisco Chronicle, the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt requested top Navy leaders to allow his entire crew to self-isolate.
    This would take the warship out of duty in an effort to save lives.
    Captain Brett Crozier’s plea came after more than 100 sailors recently tested positive for COVID-19, which was a major uptick from the three cases confirmed just a week ago.    According to the captain, if the Navy doesn’t act now, they’ll fail their sailors.
    “We are not at war, sailors do not need to die,” stated Crozier.    “If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset, our sailors.”
    He called the spread of the disease “ongoing and accelerating.”    He cited the large number of sailors living in confined space aboard the carrier, in which isolating sick individuals was nearly impossible.
    “Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those sailors entrusted to our care,” wrote the captain.
    He went on to say that removing all but 10 percent of the crew is a necessary risk to halt further spread of the virus.
Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly speaks across the brow with leadership of Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy
(T-AH 19), Tuesday, March 31, 2020. Mercy deployed in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts, and will serve as a referral
hospital for non-COVID-19 patients currently admitted to shore-based hospitals. (Petty Officer 2nd Class Natalie Byers/U.S. Navy via AP)
    However, Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said such drastic measures don’t need to be taken just yet.
    “I don’t think we’re at that point.    We’re moving a lot of supplies and medical assistance out to the carrier in Guam, we’re providing additional medical personnel as they need it.    I’m pleased to report that none of them are seriously ill.    At this point in time, we’re trying to make sure that we contain the virus, deploy testing kits so we get a good assessment of how much of the crew is infected, and then, of course, taking other measures to ensure we can get the carrier up and ready again to continue its mission.” – Mark Esper, U.S. Secretary of Defense
    Top Navy officials also echoed this sentiment, citing the importance of maintaining a proper balance of national security safety while battling the coronavirus.     “We are not standing down the watch, we still have a responsibility to protect the seas, to protect our friends and allies around the world,” stated Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.    “We’re just going to have to adjust on the fly in the best way that we can.”
In this image provided by the Department of Defense, Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks to members of the media
during a news conference to discuss the department’s efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the
Pentagon Briefing Room in Washington, on Monday, March 23, 2020. (Army Staff Sgt. Nicole Mejia/Department of Defense via AP)
    In the meantime, the ship is currently docked in Guam, where service members are being tested and quarantined in local hotels.    According to officials, at least 1,000 sailors have since been taken off the ship.    None are currently hospitalized.
    The Navy has said these isolations will be done on a rotation of sailors.    Several sailors will isolate ashore for 14 days, then return to the ship so others can go ashore.    Officials claimed this ensures a core crew on board can still monitor nuclear reactors and keep the carrier running at the same time.
    “We all have one mission and that’s to defend the nation,” added Modly.    “This is a unique circumstance and we’re working through it.”

4/1/2020 Democrats outraged over states halting elective abortion procedures during pandemic by OAN Newsroom
FILE- In this June 4, 2019, file photo, a Planned Parenthood clinic is photographed in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
    The coronavirus outbreak has put a halt on life as we know it. Each day, states have been doing everything in their power to provide assistance to hospitals that are struggling to ration resources during the pandemic.
    Lawmakers across the country have ordered medical facilities to suspend all non-essential surgeries and procedures.    Abortion clinics, like Planned Parenthood, will be required to suspend elective surgical abortion procedures “to preserve personal protective equipment” for hospital workers fighting COVID-19.
    Despite all these efforts to address the pressing situation at hand, Democrats appear to be outraged over the decision to halt abortion procedures during a global crisis.
    On Monday, federal judges blocked abortion bans in Iowa, Ohio, Texas, Alabama and Oklahoma, arguing clinics should “determine on a case-by-case basis if an abortion can be delayed to maximize resources.”
FILE – In this Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, file photo, Trust Women South Wind Women’s Center is seen in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
    On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reinstated the abortion ban in Texas, siding with efforts to conserve medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    “Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby are hoarding much needed supplies.    It is all hands on deck right now to defend against the coronavirus, to protect the most vulnerable.    At this time, when all Americans are making great sacrifices to protect their own health and the health of others around them, we need the abortion lobby to be on board, especially at this moment.” – Mallory Quigley, Vice President of Communications at Susan B. Anthony List
    Some legal analysts suspect a case challenging the legality of a state’s right to suspend abortion procedures during a global pandemic could eventually make it to the Supreme Court.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently came under fire for delaying immediate relief to Americans through the massive $2 trillion stimulus bill, which included loopholes that provided funding for abortion clinics.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., walks to her office after signing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security
(CARES) Act after it passed in the House on Capitol Hill, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    According to many Republican lawmakers, the move suggested Democrats cared more about pushing their political agenda than saving lives.    Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) reportedly slammed Pelosi’s handling of the stimulus plan, saying, “We need to be ramping up our diagnostic testing, not waging culture wars at the behest of Planned Parenthood.”
    Despite stalling the stimulus package, Pelosi has said the outbreak is at the forefront of Democrats’ decision making.
    “I want to be very specific, because I hear people saying, ‘They’re doing this wish list’ and that isn’t so,” she said.    “We have agreed in our negotiations that everything that we’re doing is specific to the coronavirus challenge.”
    Abortions have killed, on average, 2,369 babies in the U.S. every day, while COVID-19 has killed just over 3,000 Americans since the start of the pandemic.    The left’s efforts to push for “unrestricted abortion” could hurt the Democrat Party, as President Trump’s approval ratings continue to rise in the wake of the outbreak.
FILE – In this Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 file photo, abortion opponents cheer for a speaker at a rally
Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

4/1/2020 Pence urges Americans to heed White House guidelines to help stop surge in COVID-19 deaths by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Mike Pence speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room
of the White House, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Vice President Mike Pence has urged Americans to follow stay-at-home guidelines to reduce the amount of coronavirus deaths.
    In an interview Wednesday, he dismissed the notion President Trump was downplaying the threat of the virus as recently as this month by saying the president is simply an optimistic person.
    Pence said the president has expressed confidence the country will meet the challenges of this moment and heaped praise on health care workers as well as first responders.    He then called on U.S. citizens to heed the guidelines of the White House coronavirus task force to help stop the spread of the COVID-19.
    “I want everybody to know that we are taking this one American at a time,” said Pence.    “And I think if everybody takes the same view and recognizes that if all of us do all that we can to head these guidelines, to listen to state and local authorities, we’re not just going to bring numbers down, we’re going to save lives.”
    Pence was asked about the task force projections that at least 100,000 Americans could lose their life to the virus even if mitigation measures are being followed.    He said he doesn’t want to downplay the loss of life, but wants to avoid as many casualties as possible.

4/1/2020 President Trump urges every effort to battle COVID-19 as White House expects 100K-200K virus deaths by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press
Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump recently assured that there’s light at the end of the tunnel in America’s ongoing fight with the coronavirus. During a     White House press briefing Tuesday, he said the outbreak is expected to peak in two-weeks.    During that time, the number of virus victims may increase.
    “I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” said President Trump.    “We’re gonna go through a very tough two-weeks.”
    The FDA recently approved two experimental ways of battling the virus, including using chloroquine and bone marrow from recovered patients.
    “You’ll have an upslope, so as mortality the fatalities to this disease will increase and then it will come back down, and it will come back down slower than the rate at which it went up,” explained Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force.    “And so, that’s really the issue — how much we can push the mortality down?
    President Trump has compared the coronavirus to a plague and noted that it has negative economic as well as social effects across the U.S.
    Dr. Anthony Fauci said the White House’s coronavirus task force has been discussing whether to start recommending that all Americans wear face masks.    He suggested they will make that recommendation when the country has enough masks to go around and when they can ensure masks won’t be taken away from medical professionals who desperately need them.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the
James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    “The thing that has inhibited that a bit is to make sure that we don’t take away the supply of masks from the health care workers who need them, but when we get in a situation where we have enough masks I believe there will be some very serious consideration about more broadening this reccomendation of using masks,” he stated.
    The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases went on to say wearing a mask is one of the best ways for a person to prevent spreading the illness, but medical professionals are in a “real and present danger” of getting infected.

4/1/2020 Reports: Calif.’s COVID-19 response has been effective in stopping the spread of the virus by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 29, 2020, file photo, traffic is sparse on Highway 101 in San Francisco amid coronavirus concerns.
Citing the unprecedented challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, city officials across California are asking
Gov. Gavin Newsom to suspend or delay numerous state laws, saying they can’t comply with everything from environmental
regulations to public records laws that allow the public to see how the government spends public money. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
    California’s strict social distancing guidelines appear to be having a positive impact on slowing the spread of coronavirus.    According to the Los Angeles Times Tuesday, California has been among the most effective states in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, which has partially been attributed to its shelter-in-place order that was enacted soon after the virus was first detected in the state.
    Some jurisdictions may be taking notes from the Golden State on how to effectively tackle the outbreak because of this.    However, there are still some concerns California may not be out of the clear just yet, particularly among its elderly population.
    Recent reports have found staff and patients in nursing homes across California have been infected with the virus, which health officials find particularly concerning considering the high mortality rates among older people.
    Furthermore, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Monday the number of cases rose significantly within a four-day period with the number of patients admitted to the ICU more than doubling.
    There’s also the problem of a shortage of testing kits and ventilators as health care workers say it’s possible many more people may have the virus than what has been reported.    They also say many others who have tested positive, may not be receiving the care they require.
    “This pandemic is overwhelming and it’s not just overwhelming where I’m at, where I work.    It’s overwhelming in hospitals all across the country and we know that in other countries, the same.    It’s just so many people that need the breathing machines that just simply haven’t been, just haven’t been manufactured yet.” — Brady Scott, Respiratory Therapist – Rush University Medical Center
Street musician Ron Sinclair plays to a nearly empty Hollywood Boulevard as stay-at-home orders continue in
California due to the coronavirus, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
    California was among the first states to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, which started March 19 and could potentially be the difference between life and death for many living in the Golden State.    New York, on the other hand, issued its stay-at-home order two days later.    According to health officials, New York is expected to see a larger peak in cases than California will likely have.

4/1/2020 Polls find rising support for President Trump, British Prime Minster Johnson amid rife economic, social uncertainty by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of
the White House, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The latest coronavirus crisis has provided an unexpected boost in popularity to both President Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.     A recent report by British newspaper “Financial Times” found the president’s approval rating has risen by 5 percent since January as many Americans have praised his response to the virus.    This includes daily White House briefings on the pandemic, decisions to shutdown travel from China and deploying the U.S. military to fight the illness.
    “I think what’s really key is how the president will handle the coming back to work for most Americans, we do see a partisan divide,” said Mohamed Younis, editor-in-chief for Gallup.
    For his part, Johnson had a 25 percent jump in ratings this year, which has made him the most popular elected official in the world.    The prime minister has continued to work from his office at 10 Downing Street by holding daily cabinet meetings and addressing the nation via video conference after contracting COVID-19 earlier in March.
In this handout photo provided by Number 10 Downing Street, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson chairs the morning Covid-19
Meeting remotely after self isolating after testing positive for the coronavirus, at 10 Downing Street, London, Saturday,
March 28, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and
people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street via AP)
    “That is to say you’ve got operations – the bronze level.    You’ve got tactics – the silver level.    You’ve got strategy – the gold level.    And you’ve got the cabinet office briefing level, sometimes called platinum.” — Prof. David Alexander, Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction – University College London
    Experts have said both leaders are winning popular support despite the American and British economies facing risks of recession due to coronavirus-related shutdowns.    This comes to a great dismay of the Democrat and Labour opposition parties in both countries.

4/1/2020 Defense Secretary Esper: States can use National Guard to enforce stay-at-home orders by OAN Newsroom
Volunteer Amy Yates, with the Monroe County Coalition for Children and Families, along with members
of the West Virginia National Guard distribute meals for students, Monday, March 30, 2020, at
Mountain View Elementary School in Union, W.Va. (Jenny Harnish/The Register-Herald via AP)
    Defense Secretary Mark Esper said states can use the National Guard to impose strict measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
    In an interview Tuesday, he confirmed state governors have the option to call in the National Guard to enforce stay-at-home orders if needed.
    “That would be an option for the governors, again, the guard is active in all 50 states and territories,” he explained.
    Secretary Esper went on to praise the National Guard for all it’s doing to help deter the global health emergency.
I’m very proud of what our guardsman are doing, but we have a whole lot more capacity out there in the guard right now to do more,” he continued.    “Right now, they’re doing everything from setting up testing sites, enabling testing to setting up hospitals, supporting logistics, delivering food…so the national guard is really on the front-lines right now and doing a great job.”
Esper also reassured just because the U.S. is focused on the battle against the coronavirus, that doesn’t mean the defense department isn’t fully prepared to deter a global conflict should one arise.

4/1/2020 Trump warns Iran against possible ‘sneak attack’ on U.S. in Iraq by Phil Stewart and Susan Heavey
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the daily coronavirus response briefing
at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that Iran or its proxies planned a sneak attack on U.S. targets in Iraq, and warned they would pay a “very heavy price” but gave no details.
    “Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq. If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!” Trump said in a post on Twitter.
    It was not immediately clear what information Trump was referring to in his tweet, which was posted after he was scheduled to have a 12 p.m. ET (1600 GMT) intelligence briefing.
    U.S. intelligence about a potential Iran-backed strike in Iraq suggests it would likely be a deniable attack, as opposed to the kind of overt missile strike that Tehran carried out on Jan. 8, a U.S. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
    The official said intelligence threads about a potential attack by Iran or Iran-backed forces had been building for some time.    The official did not disclose intelligence on the timing or precise locations of any attack.
    Speaking before Trump’s tweet, a top military aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Washington against “provocative actions” in Iraq, Iranian news agencies reported.
    U.S.-Iranian relations have been bitter since the Islamic Revolution toppled the U.S.-backed shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, in 1979 and ushered in an era of theocratic rule.
    While there was a detente with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, relations have deteriorated with Trump’s decision nearly two years ago to abandon that multilateral agreement and reimpose U.S. sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.
    Worsening tensions, a Jan. 3 U.S. drone strike in Iraq killed Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, as well as Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who founded Iraq’s Shi’ite Kataib Hezbollah militia after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.     Iran retaliated with a rocket attack on Iraq’s Ain al-Asad base where U.S. forces were stationed on Jan. 8.    No U.S. troops were killed or faced immediate bodily injury, but more than 100 were later diagnosed with traumatic brain injury.
    The United States has blamed Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah for a March 11 rocket attack that killed two American troops and a 26-year-old British soldier in Iraq and, a day later, carried out air strikes against its militants in Iraq.
    Phillip Smyth, an expert who tracks Shi’ite militias at Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank, said he believed Trump’s warning was prompted by the emergence of the League of the Revolutionaries, a group he said was formed to give deniability to Kataib Hezbollah to attack U.S. targets.
    The United States and Iran have also been engaged in a war of words over U.S. sanctions, which aim to force Iran to curb its nuclear and missile programs as well as its use of proxies in conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen.
    Washington has repeatedly tightened its sanctions, which are designed to choke off Tehran’s oil exports, in the last month as the coronavirus outbreak has spread in Iran, one of the nations in the Middle East hardest hit by the virus.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Additional reporting by Dubai newsroom; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Sonya Hepinstall)

4/1/2020 Exclusive – ‘Things under control’: how Europe sleepwalked into the coronavirus crisis by Francesco Guarascio
FILE PHOTO: Military officers wearing face masks stand outside Duomo cathedral, closed by authorities
due to a coronavirus outbreak, in Milan, Italy February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Barely a month before Europe embarked on a scramble for masks, ventilators and testing kits to fight coronavirus, governments told Brussels their healthcare systems were ready and there was no need to order more stocks, EU documents show.
    This rosy assessment is in stark contrast to the shortages of masks and medical equipment just a few weeks later, when the European Commission estimated needs across EU states to be 10 times higher than would usually be available.
    While the dearth of equipment is mostly down to ballooning global demand, internal and public documents seen by Reuters show European Union governments may have worsened their predicament by overestimating their response capacity.
    “Things under control,” a European Commission official said at a closed-door meeting with diplomats from member states on Feb. 5, two weeks after China locked down nearly 60 million people in Hubei province, or roughly the population of Italy.
    “There is strong level of preparedness in member states, most have measures in place” to detect and treat COVID-19, the official said, relaying comments from national envoys, according to minutes of the meeting seen by Reuters.
    That was only two weeks before the first victims of coronavirus in Italy, where 12,428 people have now died from COVID-19, almost four times the death toll in China were the disease first emerged.
    Asked whether the documents seen by Reuters showed the European response had been too slow, a spokesman for the EU executive said: “As from January, the Commission offered the possibility of support to member states.”
    EU governments began to realise the gravity of the situation in March but rather than focusing on joint action many resorted to protectionist measures, raising trade barriers to hinder the export of medical equipment to their neighbours.
    Italy still only has a fraction of the 90 million face masks its medical workers need each month, France ordered over 1 billion masks last week and manufacturers are adapting production lines to make ventilators.
‘CAPACITIES ARE IN PLACE’
    The optimistic analysis presented by the European Commission official on Feb. 5 stemmed from a series of meetings with health experts from EU member states.
    At a meeting on Jan. 31, delegates from national health ministries told the Commission they did not need help acquiring medical equipment, according to the minutes.
    “No countries have, as of yet, requested support to obtain additional countermeasures,” the minutes showed, with only four states warning they might need protective equipment if the situation worsened in Europe. The four countries were not named.
    On Feb. 28, a month after its first offer to help, and after urging governments to clarify their needs in at least two more meetings, the European Commission launched a joint procurement programme for face masks and other protective gear.
    The tender on behalf of 25 member states initially received no offers, an internal document seen by Reuters showed.    EU member states are now assessing bids made under a second tender but no contracts have yet been signed and deliveries are still weeks away, according to Commission estimates.
    EU governments had assured Brussels their medical workers were well briefed on how to handle COVID-19 patients, according to documents seen by Reuters, though Italy only required medical staff to wear masks when handling suspected cases from Feb. 24.
    Nearly 10,000 Italian health workers have been infected, or more than 9% of the cases in Italy, according to official data.
    At an EU meeting on Feb. 4, national health experts said: “Diagnostic capacities are in place, and several countries have begun rolling out testing.”
    Now, EU states are facing a massive shortage of testing kits and launched a joint procurement scheme on March 18.
    The need to jointly acquire ventilators crucial for patients with severe breathing problems only arose for the first time at a meeting of EU health experts on March 13, according to minutes of the meeting.
    A procurement scheme was launched by the European Commission on March 17.
    Risks that healthcare systems might exceed their capacity were considered “low to moderate” in mid-February by the EU agency for disease control, which relies on assessments by individual member states.
    A month later, it updated its assessment to say no countries would have enough intensive care beds by mid-April.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; Editing by David Clarke)

4/1/2020 Italy coronavirus death rate slows but studies suggest true tally higher by Gavin Jones and Giuseppe Fonte
Health workers wearing protective gear wait outside a mobile logistics unit, as the spread of
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Rome, Italy, April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s daily death toll from coronavirus on Wednesday was the lowest for six days, authorities said, but the overall number of new infections grew and the government extended a national lockdown until at least the middle of April.
    The Civil Protection Agency said 727 people had died over the last 24 hours, down from 837 the day before, bringing total fatalities from world’s deadliest outbreak of the viral pandemic to 13,155.
    Italy accounts for around 30% of all global deaths from the highly infectious respiratory illness, and two new studies suggested its true death toll could be significantly higher.
    New cases rose by almost 4,800 on Wednesday, a sharper spike than in the previous two days, bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 to more than 110,500.
    A national lockdown in place since March 9 was due to expire on Friday, but Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the restrictions would remain in place until at least April 13.
    “If we stopped respecting the rules, if we decided to relax these rules, all the sacrifices would be in vain,” he told a news conference late on Wednesday.
    He added the government would start softening the measures only with the approval of its scientific advisors, without setting an exact date.
    In the wealthy northern region of Lombardy, the epicentre of the outbreak, the daily tally of new infections jumped 50% compared with the day before, reversing a recent downtrend.
    The daily death toll in the region also grew, and a study suggested the number of fatalities is far higher than officially registered.
SOME DEATHS NOT COUNTED-STUDY
    In the hardest-hit area around the city of Bergamo, some 4,500 people died of coronavirus in March, according to data analysis firm     InTwig, while only 2,060 were included in the data provided by the Civil Protection Agency.
    Most of the elderly victims died in their homes or in old peoples’ homes and, because they never made it to hospital, were never tested for the virus, according to the study based on data from doctors and overseen by a professor at Bergamo University.
    Separate data from national statistics office ISTAT showed deaths in the north of Italy doubled in the first three weeks of March compared with the average during the same period between 2015 and 2019, reflecting the onset of coronavirus.
    In Bergamo, fatalities more than quadrupled, while they increased between two- and three-fold in several other Lombardy cities.    In some small towns at the heart of the outbreak they were up 10-fold this year compared with 2019.
    With Italy’s economy on its knees due to the lockdown, a survey of purchasing managers showed manufacturing activity fell in March at its sharpest rate for 11 years, and Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri said this year would see a steep recession.
    He told Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper a forecast by employers’ lobby Confindustria that gross domestic product would shrink by 6% was “realistic.”    Gualtieri promised a new stimulus package this month would be significantly larger than the one of 25 billion euros ($27.27 billion) adopted in March.
($1 = 0.9168 euros)
(Additional reporting by Crispian Balmer and Angelo Amante; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Sonya Hepinstall)

4/1/2020 France passes 4,000 coronavirus deaths, no end of lockdown in sight
Medical staff embark a patient infected with the COVID-19 onboard a TGV high speed train at the
Gare d'Austerlitz train station, to evacuate some of the coronavirus disease patients from Paris region
hospitals to Brittany, in Paris, France April 1, 2020. Thomas Samson/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – France became the fourth country to pass the 4,000 coronavirus deaths threshold on Wednesday, after Italy, Spain and the United States, as the government scrambles to stay ahead of the curve regarding ventilator-equipped beds that are quickly filling up.
    French health authorities reported 509 new deaths from the disease, taking the total to 4,032.    But, after speeding up the previous two days, the rate of increase of deaths has decelerated in France, which is now in its third week of lockdown to try to slow the spread of the virus.
    Speaking by videoconference in front of a parliament committee created to hold the government accountable for the way it handles the crisis, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the lockdown would likely be unwound gradually rather than in one go.
    The government has ordered people to stay in their homes except for essential travel from March 17 until at least April 15.
    “It is likely that we are not heading towards a general de-confinement in one go and for everyone,” Philippe said without indicating when the government might start to ease or completely lift the lockdown.
    The daily government tally still only accounts for those dying in hospitals but authorities say they will very soon be able to compile data on deaths in retirement homes, which is likely to result in a big increase in registered fatalities.
    State health agency director Jerome Salomon told a news conference that the number of cases had risen to 56,989, a rise of 9%, versus an increase of 17% Tuesday.
    Salomon said 6,017 people were in a serious condition needing life support, up 8% compared with Tuesday.
    “We are coping with a highly exceptional pandemic, that has an unprecedented impact on our health system.    A deadly pandemic, with a very contagious virus,” Salomon said.
    With 13,155 deaths to date, Italy accounts for almost 30% of the global death tally.    Spain has 9,053 deaths and, just like France, the United States has just passed the 4,000-mar.
    The four countries now account for about two-thirds of the total deaths – now at more than 45,000 – from the coronavirus around the world.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten, Elizabeth Pineau and Jean-Stephane Brosse; Editing by Alison Williams and Jonathan Oatis)

4/1/2020 U.N. warns of ‘dire’ effects of coronavirus, ‘greatest test’ since WWII
FILE PHOTO: U.N. Secretary General, Antonio Guterres speaks during an update on the situation regarding the COVID-19 (previously named novel coronavirus)
at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, February 24, 2020. Salvatore Di Nolfi/Pool via REUTERS
    (Reuters) – The United Nations warned of potentially “dire” long-term effects of the coronavirus outbreak on countries and the global economy and called for greater international cooperation to fight the pandemic.
    “COVID-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations,” said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as he launched a report this week to address responses to the crisis. The U.N. was founded 75 years ago, after World War Two.
    The U.N. report appealed to countries to follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines and for an immediate health response to curb the spread of the virus, including stepping up testing, quarantine and treatment.
    “We are still very far from where we need to be to effectively fight the COVID-19 worldwide and to be able to tackle the negative impacts,” Guterres told reporters at a virtual news conference.
    Guterres said he was particularly concerned for Africa and urged developed countries to do more for less prepared nations.
    “Let us remember that we are only as strong as the weakest health system in our interconnected world,” Guterres said.
    The report also called for a multilateral response amounting to at least 10% of global gross domestic product.
    Over 878,000 people worldwide have been infected with the novel coronavirus and over 43,000 people have died, according to Reuters data.
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis in Washington; Editing by Mary Milliken and Rosalba O’Brien)

4/1/2020 UK coronavirus deaths rise by 563 to 2,352
A woman is seen wearing a protective face mask in Tottenham Court Road, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
    LONDON (Reuters) – The number of people with coronavirus who have died in Britain rose by 563 to a total 2,352 by 1600 GMT on March 31, the government said on Wednesday.
    It said there were 29,474 confirmed cases of the virus at as 0800 GMT on Wednesday, up from 25,150 the day before.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout and Paul Sandle; editing by Stephen Addison)

4/1/2020 President Trump handling emergency well during first term by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press
Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump is currently facing the worst crisis of his presidency.    This year’s election is getting closer every day, even amid the news of more coronavirus infections and deaths.
    However, the president seems to be handling the pandemic well in the eyes of the voters.
    “I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” he said.    “We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks.”
    In early March, when the U.S. had around 100 confirmed cases, only 38 percent of people felt the virus was being handled appropriately.    Through daily briefings, coordinated efforts with big businesses and the signing of the $2 trillion stimulus package, that rating has skyrocketed.    Around half of the American people now approve his methods.
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday,
March 31, 2020, in Washington, as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    It is not unheard of for a president to face some kind of crisis at the end of his first term.    In 1980, President Jimmy Carter was facing an international crisis and a harsh recession.    His approval rating dropped significantly in his last year, from a strong 58 percent down to 31 percent at the time of the election.
    Carter’s policy was to tackle increasing interest rates to strengthen the government instead of curbing the rise in unemployment.    As the Iranian hostage crisis continued, voters quickly became frustrated with his lack of action.    They looked to Ronald Reagan instead as a strong leader.
    Carter’s handling of the economic and hostage crises was not well received and he lost reelection in a landslide.
    President George H. W. Bush was struggling under another tough recession in 1992 and decided to handle a shrinking GDP by reversing a campaign promise.
    “The Congress will push me to raise taxes and I’ll say ‘No,’” stated Bush.    “They’ll push again and I’ll say to them, ‘Read my lips, no new taxes.’
    His opponents, Democrat Bill Clinton and Independent Ross Perot, jumped on the public’s disapproval and used it to end Bush’s presidency after a single term.
FILE – This Jan. 28, 1986 file picture shows U.S. President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office of the White House after
a televised address to the nation about the space shuttle Challenger explosion. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)
    However, experts have said President Trump is successfully navigating around these hurdles.
    After the president pressed Congress to pass a stimulus bill, which would have the greatest direct effect on Americans, 54 percent of Americans said they approved of his handling of the economy.
    “This is a very important day.    I’ll sign the single biggest economic relief package in American history and, I must say,…it’s twice as large as any relief ever signed. I want to thank Republicans and Democrats for coming together, setting aside their differences, and putting America first.    This legislation provides for direct payments to individuals and unprecedented support to small businesses.    We’re going to keep our small businesses strong and our big businesses strong.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    While maintaining social distancing policies to keep people safe, the president’s strategy of reassuring Americans and informing them of recent victories may ensure him a smooth path to victory in November.
    “We are doing a great job,” said President Trump.    “Stay calm, it will go away…and we’re going to have a great victory.”

4/1/2020 White House launches counter-narcotics operation by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday,
April 1, 2020, in Washington, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The White House has launched an enhanced counter-narcotics operation to protect Americans from illegal narcotics.
    According to President Trump, as governments continue fighting the pandemic, there’s a growing threat that criminal organizations will exploit the situation.
    “Today, the United States is launching enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to protect the American people from the deadly scourge of illegal narcotics,” he said.    “We must not let the drug cartels exploit the pandemic to threaten American lives.”

Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks about the coronavirus and illegal drugs in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White
House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The operation will take place in the eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.    It will be headed by the Department of Defense and interagency partners.
    “We’re at war with COVID-19, we’re at war with terrorists, (and) we are at war with the drug cartels as well,” stated General Mark Milley.    “This is the U.S. Military…we will defend our country regardless of the cost.”

4/2/2020 Oil up $0.90 to $21.00, DOW down 974 to 20,944.

4/2/2020 Border tunnel found with $30M worth of drugs by N’dea Yancey-Bragg, USA TODAY
    Federal agents seized nearly $30 million worth of illegal drugs from a smuggling tunnel that runs about a half-mile from San Diego to Tijuana, Mexico.
    Officials found 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 86 pounds of methamphetamine, 17 pounds of heroin, 3,000 pounds of marijuana and more than 2 pounds of fentanyl, according to a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
    Agents estimate the tunnel, which is 2,000 feet, with an average depth of 31 feet, has existed for several months.    Several parts of the passageway had reinforced walls, ventilation, lighting and an underground rail system.
    “These tunnels show the determination of drug trafficking organizations to subvert our border controls and smuggle deadly drugs into our community,” said DEA special agent in charge John W. Callery in the statement.    “But these recent tunnel seizures also show the dedication of our amazing partners on the San Diego Tunnel Task Force to locate and shut down these tunnels to keep our communities safe.”
    The tunnel was uncovered March 19 following the task force’s investigation into a transnational criminal organization.    The tunnel entrance in a warehouse in Mexico was discovered first, and agents subsequently obtained a federal search warrant for the warehouse in     Otay Mesa, California, where the U.S. exit point was found.    The tunnel was uncovered just over two months after the longest illicit cross-border tunnel ever seen was found in the same area along the southwestern border.
    U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer said this was the most valuable single-day tunnel seizure in recent memory and the largest seizure of multiple drugs in one tunnel.    There were no arrests, which authorities said was part of an investigation involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Border Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Agents on the San Diego Tunnel Task Force uncovered a sophisticated drug
smuggling tunnel on March 19. U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT

4/2/2020 Spain’s coronavirus death toll tops 10,000 after another record daily toll
FILE PHOTO: Empty streets are pictured during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19), in downtown Barcelona, Spain, March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce/File Photo
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s death toll from coronavirus surpassed the 10,000 threshold after a record 950 people died overnight, the country’s Health Ministry said on Thursday.
    The number of cases registered rose to by about 8% from Wednesday to 110,238, the ministry said.    The proportional daily increases have been slowing down in the past few days.
    The total death toll reached 10,003, rising by just over 10%, about the same rate as the previous day.
    Over 6,000 people were in intensive care
, the data showed.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Andrei Khalip)

4/2/2020 EU plans work scheme, aid for farmers, fishermen amid coronavirus pandemic: document by Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in
Brussels, Belgium, February 19, 2020. Picture taken February 19, 2020 REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will propose on Thursday a package of measures to help the EU economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic, including a short-time work scheme, easier access to funds for farmers and fishermen, and financing for development projects.
    The Commission expects the EU to go into a deep recession this year as the coronavirus outbreak has slowed economic activity to a crawl across the 27 members states.
    “The depth and the breadth of this crisis requires a response unprecedented in scale, speed and solidarity,” the EU executive said in a document to be published later on Thursday and seen by Reuters in advance of the official release.
    To prevent firms from laying off workers when there is not enough work, the Commission proposed that all EU countries adopt the German “Kurzarbeit” scheme under which employers cut working hours, not jobs, and the government would pay for the difference in salaries so that workers retain their spending power.
    To finance that, the Commission would borrow 100 billion euros on the markets against EU governments’ guarantees using its triple-A rating and then lend the money on cheaply to the member states, many of which have lower credit ratings.
    The document said the Commission would also propose to increase cash advances to farmers under the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy and give them more time to apply for support as well as more time for the claims to be processed.
    The EU executive will propose exceptional flexibility in the use of its maritime and fisheries fund to provide support to fishermen for temporary cessation of fishing.
    The document said the Commision would also propose to remove any national co-financing normally needed when countries get EU money to build infrastructure projects such as motorways, sewage plants and bridges, making the projects fully paid for by the bloc.    Money can also be moved between regions, it said.
    “This is an unprecedented move which reflects the need for Member States to use all available means to support their citizens at this moment,” the document said of the decision to waive the co-financing rule.
    The proposals must still be approved by the 27 member states, which are feuding over how far to go in supporting their economies.
    Southern nations such as Italy, particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus emergency, have called for far-reaching measures such as issuing joint debt but the fiscally conservative north has urged more restraint in rolling out targeted aid schemes.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, writing by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Gareth Jones)

4/2/2020 President Trump faces pressure to issue nat’l ‘stay at home’ order by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room
of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump has dismissed issuing a national ‘stay at home’ order, saying the decision should be left up to the states.    During Wednesday’s coronavirus press briefing, the president emphasized some places in the U.S. do not need the same restrictive measures as others.
    “We have the state in the Midwest, or Alaska, as an example, doesn’t have a problem,” he said.    “It’s awfully tough to say, ‘Close it down,’ so we have to have a little bit of flexibility.”
    A ‘stay at home’ order, also referred to as ‘shelter in place,’ requires residents to stay inside, except when needing to perform activities deemed essential.
FILE – In this March 25, 2020, file photo, yellow cabs line an empty 42nd St. waiting
for fares outside Grand Central Terminal, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    California became the first state to issue the order two weeks ago and was quickly followed by New York.    At least 37 other states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have issued the order since then.
    “The reality is that if you do not comply, you are violating the law and you will be facing stiff penalties,” stated Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.
    This leaves about a dozen states who have not given the order, including Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming.    These governors have opted to strongly advise citizens to stay home, in addition to restrictive measures on large gatherings, bars and restaurants.
    President Trump has stressed it is important these states have the ability and the right to make their own decisions.    He has also promoted a 30-day guideline to inform all citizens what measures they should be taking during this time.

FILE – In this March 20, 2020 file photo, extremely light traffic moves along the
110 Harbor Freeway toward downtown mid afternoon, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
    Meanwhile, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has opposed the calls to impose a nationwide lockdown over the coronavirus fears.    On Thursday, he stated the federal government should not announce a national ‘shelter in place’ order, which he said would be “overkill.”
    Cornyn added shutting down all places at the same time would do unnecessary harm.    According to the senator, most rural regions in Texas remain open for economic activity because they have “more cows than people.”
    Instead of further restrictions, he has said the federal government must ramp up support for small businesses in this crisis.
    “In order to make this easy, this isn’t going to be handled in the traditional Small Business Administration manner.    What’s going to be done is through existing lenders in your community, SBA certified, and they’re going to be able to provide low interest loans.    I think the Treasury said at a half percent interest rate.” – John Cornyn, U.S. Senator
    He also stressed shutting down large metro areas is just enough to defeat the virus.

4/2/2020 RNC chairwoman praises President Trump’s virus response by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 24, 2018, file photo, Chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel
appears on the “Fox & friends” television program in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
    RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has praised the president for putting politics aside and working across the aisle during the pandemic.    During an interview earlier this week, McDaniel said the president “has shown he is willing to work with everyone” during the crisis.
    “President Trump doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican,” she said.    “He has shown he is willing to work with everyone, and that’s why you are seeing governors in both parties praise the administration’s efforts to beat this virus.”
    The chairwoman went on to applaud his work wrangling Congress to get the stimulus package completed.    She also disputed reports he is retaliating against lawmakers who have been critical of his response to the virus.
    “Certainly the president’s working with every state and he cares about every American, regardless of relationships with specific governors,” stated McDaniel.    “This is an all-hands-on-deck disaster that has hit our whole globe.”
    The chairwoman conceded the virus has totally halted the RNC’s grassroots campaigning.    However, she believes the GOP has built enough momentum with fundraising that it shouldn’t hurt the president’s reelection effort.

4/2/2020 Ford to build respirators for medical workers by OAN Newsroom
A Model A-E ventilator, left, and a simple test lung. Photo via Ford Motor Company Twitter.
    Ford has designed a respirator that could help protect first responders and health care workers as they treat coronavirus patients.    The auto manufacturer teamed up with 3M to produce the device, which is made with a fan used in Ford’s F-150 trucks and 3M air filters.
    The device will be made at Ford’s Flat Rock assembly plant in Michigan.    Production is expected to start next week.
    According to the auto manufacturer’s executive chairman, Ford has also been working with other companies to produce multiple devices, in an effort to help out with the shortage of medical supplies.
    “We’re working with GE on ventilators to dramatically increase the capability they have to deliver these in numbers,” stated Bill Ford.    “We’re also working with 3M for air purifying respirators, we’re going to help them dramatically increase the production of those.”
    They are currently hiring for all shifts at the Michigan plant and are hoping to produce about 1,000 respirators per month.

4/3/2020 Oil up $3.46 to $24.66, DOW up 470 to 21,413.

4/3/2020 More on coronavirus death totals.

4/3/2020 Global coronavirus cases surpass one million by Lisa Shumaker and Daniel Wallis
Men and women wearing protective gears and face masks prepare to sanitize at the centre of La Paz, as the spread
of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in La Paz, Bolivia, April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Manuel Claure
    (Reuters) – Global coronavirus cases surpassed 1 million on Thursday with more than 52,000 deaths as the pandemic further exploded in the United States and the death toll climbed in Spain and Italy, according to a Reuters tally of official data.
    Italy had the most deaths, more than 13,900, followed by Spain.    The United States had the most confirmed cases of any country, more than 240,000, the data showed.
    Since the virus was first recorded in China late last year, the pandemic has spread around the world, prompting governments to close businesses, ground airlines and order hundreds of millions of people to stay at home to try to slow the contagion.
    Amid unprecedented government steps to prop up economies battered by the outbreak, U.S. weekly jobless claims jumped to a record 6.6 million, double the record from the previous week.    That reinforced economists’ views that the longest employment boom in U.S. history probably ended in March, and that claims were expected to rise further.
    Morgues and hospitals in New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, bent under the strain on Thursday, struggling to treat or bury casualties, as New York state’s Governor Andrew Cuomo offered a grim prediction the rest of the country would soon face the same misery.
    Staff at one medical center in Brooklyn were seen disposing of their gowns and caps and other protective wear in a sidewalk trash can after wheeling bodies out of the hospital and loading them into a refrigerated truck.
    In hard-hit Spain, the death toll rose to more than 10,000 on Thursday after a record 950 people died overnight, but health officials were encouraged by a slowdown in daily increases in infections and deaths.
    Spain has shed jobs at a record pace since it went into lockdown to fight the coronavirus, social security data showed on Thursday, with some 900,000 workers having lost their jobs since mid-March.
    Appearing for the first time since recovering from the virus himself, Britain’s health minister Matt Hancock promised a tenfold increase in the number of daily tests for the coronavirus by the end of the month after the government faced criticism for failing to roll out mass checks for health workers and the public.
    Britain initially took a restrained approach to the outbreak but Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for the virus himself, changed tack and imposed stringent social distancing measures after modeling showed a quarter of a million people in the country could die.
    In Italy, which hit a daily peak of 6,557 new cases on March 21 and accounts for around 28% of all global fatalities, the death toll climbed to 13,915 on Thursday. But it was the fourth consecutive day in which the number of new cases stayed within a range of 4,050-4,782, seeming to confirm government hopes that the epidemic had hit a plateau.
    Italy was the first Western country to introduce sweeping bans on movement and economic activity, having first confirmed the presence of coronavirus almost six weeks ago.
    In Russia, President Vladimir Putin prolonged until April 30 a paid non-working period across the country, just a week after the Kremlin said there was no epidemic.
    Click https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 for a GRAPHIC tracking the global spread of coronavirus.
    There has been particular concern about the spread of the virus in countries that are already struggling with insecurity and weakened health systems.
    In Iraq, three doctors involved in the testing, a health ministry official and a senior political official said there were thousands of cases of COVID-19, many times more than it has publicly reported. The health ministry denied it.
    In Latin America, Ecuador said it was building a “special camp” for coronavirus victims in the country’s largest city, Guayaquil, where more than 80 people have died.
    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro further played down the pandemic, telling church ministers it is “not all it’s being made out to be” and denying that any hospital in the country had reached full capacity.    But with his closest aides refusing to support his plan to relax coronavirus rules to keep the economy going, according to sources with knowledge of the dispute, Bolsonaro was looking increasingly isolated.
    The first 100,000 cases worldwide of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, were reported in around 55 days and the first 500,000 in 76 days, according to a Reuters tally based on official records.
(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker and Daniel Wallis; Additional reporting by Catherine Cadell; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Howard Goller)

4/3/2020 Italy’s civil protection chief sees lockdown continuing beyond May 1
Medical staff in full protective gear are seen on a street in Naples, as the spread of
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Italy, April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s national lockdown to try to contain the spread of coronavirus will probably continue beyond the start of May, Angelo Borrelli, the head of the Civil Protection Agency, said on Friday.
    This week the government extended the lockdown — which imposes severe restrictions on movement and shutters all services and firms not deemed essential Italy’s supply chain — until April 13.
    In a radio interview with state broadcaster RAI, Borrelli was asked whether the measures would need to remain in place many more weeks.
    “Unfortunately they will,” he replied.    “I don’t believe this situation … will have passed by May 1, we have to be extremely rigorous.”
    Up to Thursday Italy had officially registered 13,915 deaths from the highly infections virus, considerably more than any other country in the world.
(Reporting by Angelo Amante, writing by Gavin Jones)

4/3/2020 Mexico stops brewing Corona beer, deemed non-essential in epidemic by Adriana Barrera
FILE PHOTO: Bottles of Mexico's world famous Corona beer speed past a worker in the bottling line of Mexico City's Modelo brewery May 19, 2004.
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Grupo Modelo said on Thursday it will temporarily stop brewing Corona beer and other brands exported to 180 countries after its business activities were declared non-essential under a government order aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
    The Mexican government this week declared a health emergency and ordered the suspension of non-essential activities after the number of coronavirus cases in the country surpassed 1,000.    On Thursday, it reported 1,510 cases and 50 deaths.
    The brewer said in a statement that the suspension will go into place from Sunday and that it was already in the process of scaling down production to a level at which it could resume once the suspension is lifted.
    “If the federal government considers it appropriate to issue some clarification confirming beer as an agro-industrial product, at Grupo Modelo we are ready to execute a plan with more than 75% of our staff working from home and at the same time guaranteeing the supply of beer,” the statement said.
    Agriculture and food production in general are considered essential activities.
    Grupo Modelo, which is part of the brewing group Anheuser-Busch InBev, operates 11 breweries in Mexico.
(Reporting by Adriana Barrera; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Edwina Gibbs)

4/3/2020 France’s coronavirus death toll jumps as nursing homes included by John Irish
A medical staff looks through the window of a TGV high speed train before its departure to evacuate
patients infected with the COVID-19 from Paris region hospitals to Brittany, as the spread of
the coronavirus disease continues, in Paris, France April 1, 2020. Thomas Samson/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – The coronavirus death count in France surged to nearly 5,400 people on Thursday after the health ministry began including nursing home fatalities in its data.
    The pandemic had claimed the lives of 4,503 patients in hospitals by Thursday, up 12% on the previous day’s 4,032, said Jerome Salomon, head of the health authority.    A provisional tally showed the coronavirus had killed a further 884 people in nursing homes and other care facilities, he added.
    This makes for a total of 5,387 lives lost to coronavirus in France – an increase of 1,355 over Wednesday’s cumulative total – although data has not yet been collected from all of the country’s 7,400 nursing homes.
    “We are in France confronting an exceptional epidemic with an unprecedented impact on public health,” Salomon told a news conference.
    The country’s broad lockdown is likely to be extended beyond April 15, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday, extending a confinement order to try and deal with the crisis that began on March 17.
    The government was racing to try to ensure it can produce or procure itself certain medications needed to treat coronavirus patients as stocks were running low, Philippe told TF1 TV, echoing concerns across Europe as the pandemic places a huge strain on hospitals in Italy, Spain and elsewhere.
    More than two-thirds of all the known nursing home deaths have been registered in France’s Grand Est region, which abuts the border with Germany.
    It was the first region in France to be overwhelmed by a wave of infections that has rapidly moved west to engulf greater Paris, where hospitals are desperately trying to add intensive care beds to cope with the influx of critically ill patients.
    The care sector has called for blanket testing for all staff, with the virus often entering nursing homes through employees.    More than 1 million people live in France’s care homes.
    “We have to limit the impact on old people as we know that they are the most fragile,” said Romain Gizolme, head of an association for the care of the elderly.
    Click https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in a separate browser for GRAPHIC tracking the global spread of coronavirus.
ON THE FRONTLINE
    In early March, health authorities asked nursing home staff to toughen entry protocols, wear gloves and masks and isolate suspected cases.
    However, one worker in the Lyon region said that as of last week in her nursing home, residents were still dining together and staff were not wearing masks.    Since then two workers had tested positive and four residents had fallen sick, she said.
    It is still not clear when the epidemic will reach its peak in France and hospitals in Paris are still scrambling to add more intensive care beds.    France has already boosted their number to 9,000, from about 5,000 before the start of the crisis.
    Salomon said the number of coronavirus patients requiring life support rose by 6% on the previous day to 6,399.
    With France now in its third week of lockdown, the number of patients going into intensive care should in the next few days show how effective the government’s unprecedented measure is proving in slowing the rate of spread.
    In the Paris region, intensive care units are more or less saturated.    Health authorities in the capital are trying to add 200 beds.    Philippe said authorities would open a new ward at a hospital just outside Paris ahead of schedule so that it can take in an extra 86 patients there by mid-April.
    In Neuilly, a wealthy Paris suburb, one intensive care nurse told Reuters TV wild swings in the conditions of some patients were among the most difficult aspects to deal with.
    “You can go from a state wherein he’s doing well one minute and the next he’s not,” the nurse at the Ambroise Pare clinic, who gave his name as Martin, said.
    About 100 patients are being transferred from the capital to other less-affected regions to ease congestion in the wards, while medics are being relocated in the opposite direction.
    Respirators are also being put into people’s homes to save space at hospitals with patients monitored remotely.     “We really now are on the frontline of the battle,” said an official at the Paris region’s health authority.
(Reporting by John Irish; Additional reporting by Geert de Clercq, Richard Lough, Marine Pennetier and Sarah White; Editing by Grant McCool and Stephen Coates)

4/3/2020 Trump admin. cracks down on health supply profiteering amid COVID-19 pandemic by OAN Newsroom
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who is now serving as national defense production act policy coordinator, speaks about the
coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The Trump administration is cracking down on an emerging black market of medical supplies.    While speaking at a White House press conference, the National Defense Production Act policy coordinator, Peter Navarro, outlined a troubling new trend emerging during the pandemic.
    According to Navarro, people are hoarding medical supplies, including personal protective equipment like masks and respirators, and selling them to brokers who ship them overseas.    The competition between these brokers is reportedly creating a bidding war and driving up the price of vital supplies needed to fight the pandemic.    Navarro said this will not be tolerated.
    “We are going to crack down unmercifully and I would say to the hoarder’s out there, the brokers…you’re trying to make money off of the misery of people in this country, around the world,” he stated.    “That’s got to stop.”
    Stockpiling of medical supplies is already a prosecutable offense thanks to an executive order signed by President Trump last week.    While announcing the order, the president expressed indignation at profiteering off a national emergency.
    “And that means it will be a crime to stockpile these items in excessive quantities, which is happening to a relatively small degree we think, but nevertheless, it’s happening,” he stated.    “We can’t let it happen and we can’t let them resell them at excessive prices, which some people are doing.”
Connecticut National Guard personnel wheel two crates across indoor track lanes at Southern Connecticut State University’s
Moore Field House while unloading supplies for a “surge” hospital to help relieve pressure on regional hospitals
overtaxed due to the current coronavirus crisis, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in New Haven, Conn. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
    Yet it seems those seeking to take advantage of the pandemic for personal gain have reportedly found a way to avoid prosecution by shipping supplies out of the country.    However, a new executive order is tackling this loophole by authorizing Customs and Border Protection to target unauthorized shipments of medical supplies with the help of the Postal Service and private parcel carriers.
    Navarro also provided an avenue for people currently hoarding illegal stockpiles of medical equipment to dispense with them.    Put simply, he said use them to help the government’s efforts against the pandemic.
    “What you need to do is pick up a phone and not call somebody out in around the world, you call FEMA,” said Navarro.    “…we’ll give it to you at a fair price and be done with that because that stuff has absolutely got to stop.”

4/3/2020 Ky. judges order at-risk coronavirus patients to stay home, officials warn of fake testing sites by OAN Newsroom
In this Sunday, March 29, 2020, photo, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a news conference
at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)
    Several people in Kentucky have been ordered to remain at home after they were reportedly determined to be a health risk.    According to new reports, judges in Louisville issued the orders after the individuals defied advice to remain home.
    The mayor has said these orders are needed to keep the community safe.
    Corrections officers have also been asked to attach a GPS monitor in order to ensure they remain at home.    However, this has raised concern among officers, who claimed they aren’t being adequately protected when they come in contact with these individuals.
    “You know, we are more than capable of handling anything that the city throws at us, but in order for us to be confident and do that, we need to know that we’re being taken care of as much as possible,” stated Police Lodge 77 spokesman Tracy Dotson.    “We don’t think it’s too big of an ask to be tested and to get the proper equipment that we need to do this job, to do the tasks that the city and the judges are asking us to do.”
    Officers want to be tested after coming into contact with the offenders.    They added they’ll continue with their shifts as normal for now.
    The latest resident to be monitored hasn’t tested positive, but is living with someone who did.
In this April 2, 2020 photo, a nurse at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle holds a medical face shield prior to the start of her shift in a triage
tent outside the Harborview emergency department used to intake arriving patients who have respiratory symptoms. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
    Meanwhile, Kentucky state officials have warned residents about fake COVID-19 testing locations.    Louisville city officials have been receiving phone calls about the sites over the course of the past week.
    The sites were scattered around the city, in places like gas stations and church parking lots.    According to Metro Council President David James, the testing sites are a scam and did not follow CDC regulations when administering the tests.
    “They would take people’s swab, swab their face (and) their mouth,” he explained.    “They’re dressed up in some kind of PPE outfit and they use the same exact gloves that they used on the person before you.”
    The testing sites reportedly charged $250 per test and told patients they would have results within 24 hours.
    The city has advised those seeking testing to go to established hospitals or other more reliable medical facilities registered with the state.

4/3/2020 Congress discussing possible fourth COVID-19 relief package by OAN Newsroom
Members of the House of Representatives walk down the steps of Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday,
March 27, 2020, after passing a coronavirus rescue package. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Members of Congress are discussing a possible fourth coronavirus relief bill.    Talks about the potential legislation have been circulating over the course of the past week.
    A $2.2 trillion relief package was passed just last week, but some Democrats believe it was not enough.    The decision garnered bipartisan support, but there were many compromises on each side.    This left some Democrats feeling like their priorities had been ignored.
    In an interview earlier this week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said a fourth coronavirus bill would focus on recovery, whereas the past three have mitigated the emergency.
    “This fourth bill, but third phase, will be about recovery,” she stated.    “Again, always addressing the emergency and mitigation aspects of it, but to talk about how we go forward and in a way that is specific to the coronavirus.”
    Pelosi has stressed the need to do more for state and local governments, health care, and infrastructure.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks before she signs the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and
Economic Security (CARES) Act. after it passed in the House on Capitol Hill, Friday, March 27, 2020., in Washington.
The $2.2 trillion package will head to head to Trump’s desk for his signature. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believes Democrats are trying to use the virus as an opportunity to push forward the Democrat agenda.    The Kentucky lawmaker also said he and other Republicans are not in a rush to push forward more legislation just yet.
    “So I think we need to wait a few days here, a few weeks, and see how things are working out,” he stated.    “She (Pelosi) hasn’t suggested the House would even come back into session until the 20th of April and I’ve said the same thing, so let’s see how things are going and respond accordingly.”
    Republicans have acknowledged that another relief package is likely to come, but only after they see how effective the most recent one is.
    Economists have said significantly more government assistance will probably be needed soon, but Congress will likely require a series of negotiations before anything concrete is passed.    Both the House and the Senate are expected to reconvene on April 20.
[PELOSI IS TRYING TO PULL ANOTHER ONE ON THE PUBLIC TRYING TO GET THE GREEN NEW DEAL PUSHED INTO THIS BILL. GOD HELP US.].

4/3/2020 President Trump provides update on admin.’s latest efforts to help Americans amid COVID-19 pandemic by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday,
April 2, 2020, in Washington, as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump recently spoke to reporters to discuss the White House’s latest efforts in combating the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
    During a White House briefing Thursday, the president announced the approval for New York City’s temporary hospital at the Javits Convention Center to treat coronavirus patients.    This came after cases in the city continued to rise this week.
    “We’re going to be converting that to a COVID-19 hospital, and it’s going to be staffed by the military and by the federal government,” he stated.    “And based on the fact that I agreed to that, we had two other facilities that were likewise asking for it, and that would be in Louisiana and also in Dallas…we’ll be doing those.”
    Meanwhile, President Trump issued new guidelines for nursing homes as facilities across the country are experiencing devastating outbreaks.    For instance, a nursing home in the state of Washington was handed a $600,000 federal fine after at least 37 residents died from the virus.
    “Today, we’re further recommending that all nursing home facilities assigned the same staff to care for the same group of residents consistently to minimize any potential spread and we’re also urging facilities to designate separate areas for healthy and sick residents,” he stated.    “And this is a practice that we probably will be recommending into the future long after the enemy is gone.”
Members of City Impact, a faith-based organization from Cedar Springs, sing and pray for residents and staff at Metron of
Cedar Springs nursing home, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Cedar Springs, Mich. Administrators at Metron announced the nursing home
has multiple residents and staff members who have tested positive for the coronavirus. (Cory Morse/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)
    The president also went on to tout a $350 billion program to help small businesses.    He announced the roll-out of forgivable business loans covered under the recently passed relief package.
    Although partial repayment is necessary if the employer cuts jobs, reports say the loan money used to pay salaries can be completely forgiven. Additionally, money used for rent mortgage interest, and utilities can be partially forgiven.

4/3/2020 U.S. medical workers protest lack of equipment by OAN Newsroom
Nurses stand in protest in front of Research Medical Center April 1, 2020 in Kansas City, Mo. The workers were among
several groups nationwide protesting HCA Healthcare hospitals claiming the hospital chain put staff and patients
at risk during the coronavirus pandemic because of a lack of personal protective equipment. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
    A number of health officials nationwide are speaking out in protest and calling out the lack of protective gear available as they remain on the frontlines of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
    This week, medical workers from coast to coast took to the streets in outrage to demand distribution of personal protective equipment, otherwise known as PPE.    They are accusing HCA Healthcare, the nation’s largest hospital chain, of over-hoarding materials that they need and called its response a lack of preparedness.
    “We are demanding that we get all the hoarded supplies that exists of PPE, so that we can protect ourselves, our families and our beloved patients and communities,” stated Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, President of the New York State Nurses Association.    “We can’t do it if we’re dead.”
    The calls came after several nurses and doctors claimed they are being asked to reuse masks and other equipment as hospitals try to ration supplies.    Workers have alleged nurses have also been told to use scarves or bandanas as homemade alternatives.
Nurses at Montefiore Medical Center Moses Division hold an “urgent community speak out” and
press conference in front of the hospital, demanding N95s and other critical personal protective equipment
to handle the COVID-19 outbreak, Thursday April 2, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
    These unsung heroes have said that not only are they putting their own lives at risk, but also others around them — including their families.
    “We are transmitting the disease to our family members, the patients who are negative for COVID-19, and we are spreading this disease to the community from this great hospital,” said Benny Matthew, COVID-19 nurse at Montefiore Hospital.
    They noted that the measures and response from top officials have not at all matched the needs of the crisis and have claimed they themselves are left virtually unprotected from the virus.    The lack of response is only feeding the growing fears among workers.
    Meanwhile, HCA officials have claimed these nurses are trying to use this crisis to advance their own interest and to organize more members.    Nonetheless, health workers have said their demands are simple:
    “We don’t want to be spreading it ourselves, so we just want to have the right PPEs.” — Emmanuel Bangan, nurse – Regional Medical Center

4/3/2020 NRA suing N.Y. Gov. Cuomo for shutting down gun stores as part of COVID-19 response by OAN Newsroom
Andrea Schry, right, fills out the buyer part of legal forms to buy a handgun as shop worker
Missy Morosky fills out the vendors parts after Dukes Sport Shop reopened, Wednesday, March 25, 2020,
in New Castle, Pa. under the new conditions specified for gun stores. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
    The National Riffle Association (NRA) announced its suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for infringing on New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights.
    According to reports, the powerful pro-gun organization made the move after Cuomo forced gun stores to shut their doors as part of the non-essential business closure order.
    The New York Democrat did this despite the fact the Department of Homeland Security previously designated gun stores as essential businesses.    The official NRA complaint reads that Cuomo’s decision, “was based on a pointless and arbitrary attack on the constitutional rights of New York citizens.”
    One pro-Second Amendment citizen explained why gun stores have the right to remain open amid the public health emergency.    He noted that “under the Trump administration guidance the Department of Homeland Security has declared fire arms manufacturers and retailers essential businesses.”
    The organization also filed a lawsuit against California state officials for carrying out similar actions. Both states are considered hot-spots for the coronavirus.

4/3/2020 University of Pittsburgh develops potential COVID-19 vaccine by OAN Newsroom
(Representational photo/Shutterstock via AP)
    Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh said they have developed a possible coronavirus vaccine.
    On Thursday, the medical center announced they have successfully tested the anti-bodies on mice and are now looking to conduct human trials over the next few months after getting approval from the FDA.
    Rather than a needle, the vaccine is injected through the skin with a small patch that contains hundreds of microneedles.
    “The skin is really the first line of defense for bacteria and viruses, and because of that it has evolved a very efficient immune response,” explained Dr. Louis Falo, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.    “And so, the skin has specialized immune cells that has developed just to make these kind of responses.”
    The Pittsburgh Medical Center said they were able to develop the vaccine so quickly because they had done similar tests on SARS and MERS, which showed that spiked proteins boosted immunity against the virus.

4/3/2020 Census Bureau: U.S. companies sent millions of dollars of medical equipment to China in January, February by OAN Newsroom
A health worker looks out near a poster with the Chinese communist party flag and the slogan
“Follow the Communist Party, Fulfill the China Dream” at a health station near a sealed off neighborhood
in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Friday, April 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
    Records show American companies sold millions of dollars worth of essential medical supplies to China in January and February.
    The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed U.S. companies sold more then $17 million worth of face masks, about $13 million worth of surgical garments and $27 million worth of ventilators to China to help it tackle the spread of the coronavirus.
    This came right ahead of a nationwide shortage of medical equipment and ventilators in the U.S. as hospitals across the country are being overwhelmed by a surge of patients needing to be treated for COVID-19.
    Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of hoarded medical supplies, including 192,000 N95 respirator masks, are being sent to coronavirus hot spots across the country.    The Department of Justice and Department Health and Human Services made that announcement on Thursday.
    This came after the FBI confiscated the supplies on March 30 as part of its COVID-19 hoarding and price gouging task force.    Along with the respirator masks, the FBI found more than a half million medical gloves and 130,000 surgical masks.

4/3/2020 Canada blasts U.S. block on 3M exports of masks as coronavirus cases set to soar by Steve Scherer and Allison Martell
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference at Rideau Cottage as efforts continue to help
slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Blair Gable
    OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian officials on Friday blasted a move by President Donald Trump to block 3M Co’s export of N95 respirator masks for use by doctors and nurses as coronavirus cases were projected to soar in the country’s most populous region.
    Ontario health officials projected 80,000 coronavirus cases and 1,600 deaths in the province by month end under current public health measures, and urged people to restrict their movements.
    Ontario has reported 3,255 confirmed cases and 67 deaths
.
    Late Thursday, Trump slammed 3M in a tweet after earlier invoking the Defense Production Act to get the company to produce protective face masks.    N95 masks, essential for protecting healthcare professionals from breathing in the coronavirus, are in short supply.
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said blocking the flow of medical supplies across the border would be a “mistake.”
    He said such a move could backfire, and he noted that Canadian healthcare professionals go to the United States to work in Detroit every day.    Canada and the United States closed their common border to all non-essential traffic earlier this month.
    Asked whether Canada would retaliate if the U.S. blockade goes ahead, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Ottawa would “do whatever it takes to defend the national interest.”
    3M said on Friday it would boost respirator production and import more masks into the United States, and it warned that blocking exports could result in retaliation by other countries that could ultimately reduce the amount of equipment available.
    Deaths surged to 208 from 127 on Thursday while positive cases rose to 12,375 from 10,132, according to provincial announcements compiled by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
    Ontario Premier Doug said on Friday he had spoken to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer about the Trump administration move to block 3M exports of masks.
    “The health and well-being of our frontline workers depend on these essential medical items and now more than ever our countries need to work together to combat COVID-19,” Ford said on Twitter.
    On Friday Ontario halted all industrial construction, except for critical projects, and banned new residential construction to limit social contact.
    Separately, Trudeau said Amazon Canada will manage the distribution of personal protection equipment to the provinces.
    Trudeau said Quebec has requested that the Canadian Armed Forces be sent to northern communities to assist isolated and remote communities in managing the coronavirus outbreak.
($1 = 1.4127 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Bill Berkrot and Cynthia Osterman)

4/3/2020 “They just sedate them”; coronavirus overwhelms Spain’s care homes by Nacho Doce and Nathan Allen
FILE PHOTO: Ambulance workers pushes a stretcher with a patient at a nursing home during the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) outbreak in Leganes Madrid, near Madrid, Spain, April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Juan Medina/File Photo
    MADRID (Reuters) – As Spain struggles desperately to cope with almost 120,000 coronavirus infections, it barely has the strength to help its overwhelmed care homes and their elderly residents, singularly vulnerable to the respiratory disease.
    With hospitals stretched to breaking point, the elderly are being turned away, and the care homes, lacking staff and appropriate equipment, must do what they can for the sick and dying.
    “When they are very sick – not only here, in more than one place – … when they see there is no solution … they sedate them and see how long they last, because they’re leaving intensive care wards for younger people,” said Maria Jose Alvarez, whose 85-year-old mother is in a home near Barcelona.
    “It’s sad, it’s really sad.    They don’t deserve this.”
    The home did not respond to requests for comment, but the local government in the area said half the home’s residents were in isolation.    In addition, two-thirds of its workers had been sent home because of the virus, a picture that the UGT union says has been repeated across Spain.
    After Italy, Spain has the world’s second highest death toll, with around 11,000 fatalities confirmed on Friday.
    Of a total of 3,000 deaths recorded at Madrid nursing homes in the past month, regional leader Isabel Diaz Ayuso said around 2,000 were likely to have been the result of coronavirus, though it was unclear how many of those appear in official figures due to a lack of testing.
    At one care home in the Madrid suburb of Leganes, 46 people have died since March 15.
    Like seven other private care homes in the area, it has been taken over by regional authorities.
    “Faced with an infection of this scale, we simply aren’t prepared,” said Antonio Morales, operations director with the owner, Vitalia Homes.
    He said at least 150 of the residents were likely to be infected – but that some hospitals had stopped admitting patients from care homes, forcing the residences to cope as best they could.
    A lack of testing kits was preventing staff confirming whether or not the patients had contracted the disease.
    And the few staff who are not ill or scared and still coming to work often have to contend with a lack of protective equipment such as masks and gloves, though supplies are beginning to filter through.
    “We’re a care home, not a hospital,” Morales said.
    Union leaders say many homes are failing to adhere to basic protocols such as separating healthy residents from those who have tested positive or have symptoms.
    Army units deployed to disinfect care homes across Spain have discovered unattended bodies, as staff lacked the resources to dispose of them properly.
    Official data released on Friday showed that care home residents accounted for around 40% of coronavirus deaths in the region of Castilla y Leon, and a quarter in neighbouring Castilla La Mancha.
    In the northeasterly Catalonia region, authorities said on Thursday that 31% of care homes had residents with coronavirus symptoms, and that they had reported 511 deaths.
(Reporting by Belén Carreño and Nathan Allen in Madrid, Joan Faus and Nacho Doce in Barcelona; Writing by Nathan Allen; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

4/3/2020 U.S. big bucks turn global face mask hunt into ‘Wild West’ by Richard Lough and Andreas Rinke
A medical protective mask is seen as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
continues in Hanau, Germany, April 3, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
    PARIS/BERLIN (Reuters) – The global scramble to secure face masks to shield frontline workers from the coronavirus has turned the marketplace into the “Wild West,” with the United States often ready to outbid buyers who have already signed deals, officials from Europe to the Americas say.
    In France and Germany, senior officials said the United States was paying far above the market price for masks from No. 1 producer China, on occasion winning contracts through higher bids even after European buyers believed a deal was done, and Brazil’s health minister reported a similar incident.
    “Money is irrelevant.    They pay any price because they are desperate,” one high-level official in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling CDU/CSU group told Reuters.
    A German government source said: “Americans are on the move, carrying a lot of money.”
    Since the virus was first recorded in China late last year, the pandemic has spread around the world.    Governments in Europe, the Americas and elsewhere are desperately trying to build up supplies for medics, nursing home staff and the public.
    Now, with global cases surpassing one million and the outbreak exploding in the United States, the competition for precious stocks is intensifying further.
    In one case, an order of 200,000 masks for Germany made by U.S.-listed multinational 3M Co in China were “confiscated” in Bangkok, Berlin Secretary of Interior Andreas Geisel, said in a statement, calling it an “act of modern piracy.”
    “Even in times of global crisis you shouldn’t use Wild West methods,” he said, adding that he assumed the switch happened in connection with an export ban by the U.S. government.
    The State Department and the agency within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) coordinating U.S. efforts to locate and procure protective equipment did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
    However, a DHS official told Reuters this week that U.S. companies and the government have been paying above market price for much of the gear purchased overseas.
    The official, who requested anonymity to discuss the matter, said the United States would not stop buying “until we have way too much” and could still be searching out protective gear abroad through August.
    “We’ve gotten our hands on every bit of it that we can,” the official said.
    At the same time, 3M said Friday that the White House ordered it to stop all shipments to Canada and Latin America of respirators that it manufactures in the United States, despite what 3M called “significant humanitarian implications.”
    Lea Crager, a spokeswoman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency coordinating the search for medical supplies abroad, said disasters often lead to price increases for certain goods.
    “If it causes some sort of a supply chain disruption, you’re going to see costs rise for an essential commodity,” Crager said.    “It just happens.”
    Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder described the medical supplies marketplace as the “Wild West.”
    In Brazil, Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said this week that China had ditched some Brazilian equipment orders when the U.S. government sent more than 20 cargo planes to the country to buy the same products.
    “Our purchases, which we expected to complete in order to be able to supply, many were dropped,” said the minister in an interview on Wednesday.
    On Thursday, Mandetta said Brazil had finally succeeded in placing a 1.2 billion reais ($228 million) order for equipment, although it will only be delivered in 30 days.
CASH IN HAND
    A second German source employed by a company now helping Merkel’s government to order masks said the last weekend of March had been a turning point, and drew a link with the United States’ increased presence in the market.
    Contracts no longer guaranteed delivery, the source said, adding: “Demand is much, much bigger than supply.”
    And it may be about to soar again.
    The Trump administration, which has wavered on the value of face masks for people showing no symptoms, looked set late on Thursday to advise all Americans to wear masks when venturing out.
    In France, three regional leaders painted a similar picture. Jean Rottner said it was a constant fight to ensure mask orders arrived in his Grand Est region, where the outbreak first took hold before spreading west towards Paris.
    He said consignments were changing hands at the last minute.
    “On the (airport) tarmac, the Americans get out their cash and pay three or four times what we have offered,” Rottner told radio RTL France on Wednesday.
    Rottner’s counterpart in the greater Paris region, Valerie Pecresse, said she had been beaten to an order by a country with deep pockets, although she did not name the United States.
    “We found supplies a few days ago but failed to buy them after others outbid us,” Pecresse told Franceinfo radio on Friday.    “They were prepared to pay three times the market price.”
    The French Foreign Ministry said it was verifying the reports.    But one official doubted that action would be taken.
    “It boils down to market forces,” the official said.    “The one who pays the most gets the prize.”
(Reporting by Richard Lough and John Irish in Paris, Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Ted Hesson and David Brunnstrom in Washington and Ricardo Brito in Brasilia; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Nick Zieminski)

4/3/2020 UK coronavirus death toll rises to 3,605, up 23% in a day
An ambulance leaves the NHS Nightingale Hospital as the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 3, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley
    LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom death toll from the coronavirus rose by 684 to 3,605 as of 1600 GMT on April 2, up 23% on the previous day.
    As of 9am 3 April, a total of 173,784 people have been tested of which 38,168 were positive.
    Stephen Powis, the national medical director of National Health Service England, said at a Downing Street briefing on Thursday that a high death rate would continue to be seen for “a few weeks yet.”
    Powis also said there was some early academic evidence that the transmission rate in the community may have fallen below 1.
    British government scientists say that the United Kingdom would be doing well if it kept the coronavirus death toll below 20,000.
    The British government’s worst case scenario envisages a coronavirus death toll of 50,000 if self-isolation is not fully adhered to, but the United Kingdom is not right now on course for a toll of that scale, a source familiar with the government’s emergency discussions told Reuters.
    According to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, the worst day for deaths is projected to be April 12, which this year is Easter Sunday.
    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Friday he would not steer away from reports which said April 12 would be the peak.
(Reporting by Kate Holton and Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison)

4/3/2020 Americans turn to face masks to ward off COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Dr. Deborah Birx, Ambassador and White House coronavirus response coordinator, holds a 3M N95 mask as
she and Vice President Mike Pence visit 3M headquarters in Maplewood, Minn. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, File)/Star Tribune via AP)
    Americans are taking new measures to avoid contracting the highly contagious coronavirus.    According to recent reports, and increasing number of Americans are now covering their faces, in addition to practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing.
    “I started wearing the mask today.    I was coming out to Costco and decided I should be taking as much protection as I possibly can.    I think it makes sense.    It’s better than not trying anything.” – Unnamed resident
    Citizens residing in California, a virus hot spot, have said that wearing a mask makes them feel safe and provides added security on the rare occasion they leave the house.     “Yeah, first time, just for extra precaution,” said another local.    “I guess, rather walk around and someone happens to sneeze nearby, it feels safer a little more security in that aspect, rather than being in free air.”
Jose Villanueva, 77, originally from Durango, Mexico, adjusts his face mask after eating in the
Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
    Scientific studies have shown the virus can be transmitted from one person to another through airborne droplets.    However, it is still under debate how effective masks are at limiting public transmission.
    Thus far, the World Health Organization (WHO) has only recommended the use of masks for those who are sick or caring for a sick person.
    “If you do not have these symptoms, you do not have to wear masks, because there is no evidence that they protect people who are not sick,” stated WHO consultant Christine Francis.    “However, if you are healthy, but you are taking care of a person who is infected with the new coronavirus, then you should wear a mask whenever you are in the same room as that person.”
A worker at the Mathis Brothers mattress factory sews face masks Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

    Others have argued that wearing one could protect against transmission from those who are asymptomatic carriers of the virus.    Health care officials have urged Americans to leave the medical grade masks, like the coveted N95 masks, for health care workers amid the national shortage of personal protective equipment.
    The president previously stated if Americans decide to cover their faces, scarves or cloth masks are a good alternative.
    “If people wanted to use scarves, which many people have, they can,” he said.    “In many cases, the scarf is better, it’s thicker.”
    On Friday, he announced the CDC’s latest guidelines for wearing face masks, which he emphasized are voluntary.

4/3/2020 Speaker Pelosi walks back infrastructure requests in next legislative package by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks during a news conference
at the Capitol in Washington. President Donald Trump and Pelosi have not spoken in five months at a
time when the nation is battling its worst health crisis in a century. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has walked back several infrastructure proposals Democrats are seeking in the next step of legislative coronavirus relief.    On Friday, Pelosi said the next package should expand on the key points of the $2.2 trillion relief package.
    This would include more funding for small business loans and unemployment insurance.
    However, she noted some infrastructure proposals she sought will have to wait for the next bill.
    “While I’m very much in favor of doing some things we need to do to meet the needs, clean water, more broadband (and) the rest of that, that may have to be for a bill beyond this.    Right now, I think that we have a good model.    It was bipartisan, it was signed by the president, but it’s not enough.” – Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
    The White House has signaled it would be open to another bill, which would expand on the emergency provisions set up in the most recent legislation.
In this image from video, members of the House stand after they passed the coronavirus stimulus package on the floor of
the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, March 27, 2020. (House Television via AP)
    Meanwhile, an investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged corruption scandal may still be underway amid the coronavirus pandemic.    The Senate Homeland Security Committee recently announced it will move forward with the probe, despite infighting between Republicans and Democrats.
    The investigation centers on allegations Biden sought to leverage his role with a Ukrainian energy company while his father Joe Biden was vice president.
    “While the chairman is primarily focused on the once-in-a-generation crisis we’re experiencing, our oversight staff is continuing to push ahead with their work,” stated committee spokesman Austin Altenburg.    “Nothing has changed in our long-term plans for our investigations.”

    Last month, lawmakers dropped all non-essential work to focus on delivering aid to those affected by COVID-19.    The Senate is not due back on Capitol Hill until April 20th.

4/3/2020 French coronavirus cases jump above China’s after including nursing home tally by Geert De Clercq
Medical staff wait for a patient, infected with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), to be embarked onboard a medicalized
TGV high speed train at the station in Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2020. Patrick Hertzog/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – The number of people who have died from the COVID-19 illness in France jumped by 61% to 6,507 over two days after data from nursing homes were included, and confirmed cases jumped by 44% to 82,165, the health ministry reported on Friday, making France the fifth country to report more cases than China.     The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in hospitals rose by 5,233, or 9%, to 64,338 on Friday, health ministry director Jerome Salomon said at a daily briefing.
    Salomon also reported a total of 17,827 confirmed or suspected cases in nursing homes, compared to 14,638 on Thursday, when the nursing home data were first reported.
    By including the nursing home data, France now has a total of 82,165 confirmed or suspected cases.    It joined the United States, Spain, Italy and Germany as nations that have now surpassed cases reported by China, where the pandemic originated, according to a Reuters tally.
    Excluding the nursing home data, the number of people dying from COVID-19 in French hospitals also set a new daily record of 588, an increase of 13% to 5,091, health ministry data showed.
    The ministry did not provide a breakdown for deaths per day in nursing homes, but said a provisional cumulative death tally since the start of the epidemic rose to 1,416 on Friday, an increase of 532 over the 884 first reported on Thursday.
    Following criticism about French COVID-19 statistics not reflecting the dozens of people dying in senior citizens’ residences or their own homes, the health ministry on Thursday provided the first data on deaths in nursing homes.
    Elderly people living in close quarters in nursing homes are particularly vulnerable to the highly contagious virus.
    The provisional nursing home tally while still incomplete accounts for more than a fifth of all French COVID-19 deaths.
    One glimmer of hope came from another key metric.    The number of patients in intensive care units (ICU) rose by 263 to 6,662, an increase of just 4%, as the growth in patients requiring ICU beds has come down from double-digit numbers in recent days.
    But Salomon said it was too soon to call the peak of the epidemic.
    “The number of people in ICU is not going down, even if the increase is slowing down, but we still need more beds and more teams to handle an ever-growing number of people,” he said.br> (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Additional reporting by Marc Angrand; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Berkrot)

4/4/2020 Oil up $3.46 to $24.66, DOW down 341 to 21,053.

4/4/2020 Thousands of Central Americans detained for flaunting coronavirus rules by Sofia Menchu and Gustavo Palencia
Detained men are placed in a cell for breaking the curfew, imposed as part of the government's measures against the
fast-spreading coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Guatemala City, Guatemala April 3, 2020. REUTERS/Luis Echeverria
    GUATEMALA CITY/TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Thousands of people have been detained across Central America for violating rules put in place by their governments to curb the fast-spreading new coronavirus in a region that has fewer medical resources than developed countries.
    Central America is home to a large, poor population with no options to work from home, take paid sick leave or observe social distancing rules because they work in the informal economy and live in crowded conditions.
    Honduran authorities said about 2,250 people have been arrested for violating the curfew imposed since mid-March while Guatemalan authorities said 5,705 people had been detained for leaving their homes without justification.
    In Panama, more than 5,000 people have been detained in recent weeks for violating curfew rules; another 424 people have been detained for not complying with recent rules that limit men and women leaving the house to alternate days.
    Meanwhile, in El Salvador, 712 people have been detained for failing to comply with the mandatory home quarantine decreed by President Nayib Bukele, and have been taken to containment centers.
(Reporting by Sofia Menchu in Guatemala City, Gustavo Palencia in Tegucipalpa, Elida Moreno in Panama City and Nelson Renteria in San Salvador; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

4/4/2020 Trump admin. announces plan to pay for uninsuredCOVID-19 treatment by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press
Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The Trump administration has guaranteed that all uninsured COVID-19 patients will be treated free of charge.    On Friday, the president announced a plan to reimburse hospitals for all costs accrued during the treatment of patients without health insurance.
    “Today, I can so proudly announce that hospitals and health care providers treating uninsured coronavirus patients will be reimbursed by the federal government, using funds from the economic relief package Congress passed last month,” stated President Trump.
    The measure will be funded from a partial allocation of the $100 billion earmarked for health care providers in the CARES Act relief package.
    The move came amid concerns over the likely cost of treatment for people left without coverage, especially following recent job losses.    Some had pressed the administration to reopen federal Obamacare exchanges to close this gap.
    However, the president recently announced he was working on a different solution, which eventually lead to Friday’s decision.
In this March 29, 2020 photo provided by the U.S. Navy, medical personnel assigned to the hospital ship USNS Mercy
docked at the Port of Los Angeles treat a non-COVID-19 patient from a Los Angeles-area
medical facility. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erwin Jacob Miciano/U.S. Navy via AP)
    Under President Trump’s plan, hospitals will be barred from “double-dipping.”    The funds will be reimbursed on the condition uninsured patients are not also billed for their treatment.
    Hospitals will also be banned from charging uninsured patients for care provided by doctors not employed by the hospital, a common cost arising during unscheduled medical visits.
    To ensure the solvency of federal funds, hospitals will be reimbursed at Medicare rates.
    The administration has already made testing for COVID-19 free at the point of use.    This new directive will reportedly use the same tested mechanism to make sure the funds are delivered as promptly as possible.
    “Getting the uninsured access to the care they need is a top priority for President Trump.    The CARES Act signed by the president includes another $100 billion for health care providers.    Under the president’s direction, we will use a portion of that funding to cover providers’ costs of delivering COVID-19 care for the uninsured, sending the money to providers through the same mechanism used for testing.” – Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services
In this Tuesday, March 31, 2020, photograph, medical technicians complete a test for COVID-19 at a
Stride Community Health Center drive-thru testing site as a statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect
in an effort to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus in Wheat Ridge, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
    According to analysts, the president’s directive came at a particularly opportune time.    Hospitals typically absorb the brunt of costs related to treating the uninsured and have been bracing for a lack of funds as the pandemic nears its peak.
    The White House has not yet announced how the rest of the $100 billion destined for health care providers will be spent.    Secretary Azar has said specifics should be announced soon.
    President Trump also announced some private insurers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna and Humana, have pledged to waive copays from insured patients treated for COVID-19 over the next 60 days.

4/4/2020 USPS may shut down by June without emergency action by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Friday March 20, 2020 file photo, a U.S Postal Service mail carrier wears gloves
while delivering mail in South Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (Aimee Dilger/The Times Leader via AP)
    The unofficial motto of the United States Postal Office is: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night deters these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
    However, the motto says nothing about working through a global pandemic.    The USPS is facing two severe problems as the outbreak continues: a lack of funding and a lack of protective equipment for employees.
Today, the Postal Service will deliver more than 450 million pieces of mail and 20 million packages to 159 million addresses,” stated Postmaster General Megan Brennan.    “We serve every American home and business, and play a vital role in every American community.”
    The recently passed $2 trillion stimulus package doesn’t give them any money to continue operating, it only allows them to borrow $10 billion more from the Treasury Department.    According to officials, this may be a temporary fix, but will also add to the nearly $200 million in debt the post office has.
    Despite people sending and receiving more packages during quarantine, the amount of regular mail sent, which makes up more than 57 percent of annual revenue, is dropping daily.
A United States Postal worker makes a delivery with gloves and a mask in Warren, Mich., Thursday, April 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
    Additionally, the USPS is still working to deliver packages on behalf of other delivery services, like Amazon.    In 2019, the Postal Service was responsible for 1/3 of all Amazon deliveries.    It is crucial in delivering to rural areas, while still meeting the company’s strict one and two-day Prime delivery guarantees.
    Meanwhile, employees continue to work as usual, despite facing dangerous conditions without personal protection equipment.
    “I had a customer come up and, as he was talking to me, he spit in my face with his saliva.    He was just talking and this was just the first customer to come into my counter.    Then there was a second customer who came into my encounter and lifted his mask down.    As he did that, as he was talking to me with his mother by his side, he coughed in my face a couple of times.” – Shannon Cooksey, postal worker
    So far, 20 workers have tested positive, but many who may have been exposed cannot get tested.
    “When I did reach the front of the line, …they told me that because my fever wasn’t that high, I couldn’t get a test today,” added Cooksey.
A postal service carrier dons gloves as he delivers mail in northeast Jackson, Miss., Monday, March 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
    Should the Postal Service close due to bankruptcy or massive infection, the consequences would be severe.    Last year, they shipped more than 1 billion prescriptions to patients across the country.    That number is only expected to rise as people continue to get sick.
    The Treasury Department is preparing to cut millions of stimulus checks in the coming weeks.    Without emergency intervention to keep the Postal Service afloat, there could be no one to deliver them.

4/4/2020 President Trump criticizes mail-in voting by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room
of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump has said he is confident the election will happen on schedule in November without the use of mail-in ballots.
    “The General Election will happen on November 3rd,” he confirmed.
    During Friday’s coronavirus task force briefing, the president discredited mail-in voting by saying “people could use the method to cheat.”    He instead promoted the implementation of voter IDs, adding that most official actions in the U.S. require a photo ID.
    “You should have a picture on your (ballot) for voting, it should be called voter ID, they should have that,” he stated.    “It shouldn’t be mail-in voting, it should be you go to a booth and publicly display yourself.”
    Democrats, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have been pushing for additional funding for absentee voting.
FILE – In this Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 file photo an election worker is seen inserting a ballot into a locked ballot box at the Montana
Pavilion at MetraPark on election day in Billings, Mont. All 56 of Montana’s counties plan to conduct the June 2 primary election by
mail due to coronavirus concerns.    Ballots will be mailed on May 8. Same-day registration and voting will still
be allowed while new laws could mean election results will be available earlier than usual. (AP Photo/Matthew Brow,File)

4/4/2020 Number of coronavirus intensive care patients in Italy drops for first time by James Mackenzie
Municipal workers distribute masks and gloves at the Rialto market, as new restrictions for open-air markets were implemented by the
Veneto region to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Venice, Italy, April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri
    MILAN (Reuters) – Italy reported its lowest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths for nearly two weeks on Saturday and said the number of patients in intensive care had fallen for the first time.
    Officials urged the country not to flout strict lockdown measures they said were starting to show results, although new cases rose by 4,805 on Saturday which was slightly higher than recent daily increases.
    The Civil Protection department reported 681 deaths, bringing the total to 15,632 since the outbreak of the new coronavirus epidemic in northern Italy on Feb. 21.    It was the lowest daily rise in deaths since March 23.
    The total number of confirmed cases rose to 124,632 from 119,827 reported on Friday but for the first time, the number of patients in badly stretched intensive care units fell, with 3,994 patients being treated, down 74 from 4,068 on Friday.
    “This is an important piece of news because it allows our hospitals to breathe,” Civil Protection head Angelo Borelli told a regular daily briefing where he has announced the grim daily tally of the world’s most deadly outbreak of the disease.
    For days, Italian officials have said that broadly stable rises in the number of cases suggested that the outbreak had reached a plateau and that the numbers would begin to go down – if strict lockdown measures were respected.
    But with Easter approaching and video footage circulating on social media of groups walking outside in cities including Naples, Rome and Milan, there were fears that the signs of progress were leading more people to flout the rules.
    “Some images spread on social media, which show a relaxation in the behaviour of some people – fortunately only a few should not be taken as an example, they should be deplored,” said Domenico Arcuri, the government’s special commissioner for the coronavirus emergency.
    “We can’t have the idea that we’ve already reached the moment to return to normal,” he said.
    The government of Lombardy, the northern region at the epicentre of the crisis where more than 49,000 cases have been recorded, made a similar plea and issued a directive ordering people to cover their mouth and nose whenever they go outside.
    Italy is still one of the countries worst affected by the new coronavirus, accounting for almost a quarter of worldwide deaths from COVID-19, the highly infectious disease associated with the virus.
    But as more countries in Europe have reported severe outbreaks of their own, it has become less of an outlier.
    As the case numbers have flattened in Italy, there has been increasing discussion about eventually rolling back a lockdown that has closed most businesses and slammed the brakes on an already fragile economy.
    With the government looking at ways to protect the economy, a senior official said it planned to extend its powers to protect key companies from foreign takeover.
(Additional reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by David Clarke)

4/4/2020 UK coronavirus death rate to stay high top medic says, as toll passes 4,300 by Kate Holton and Guy Faulconbridge
A man wearing a protective face mask exercises in Greenwich Park, as the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay - RC2OXF9TNUBP
    LONDON (Reuters) – High fatalities from the coronavirus will continue in the United Kingdom for at least another week or two even if people comply with stringent isolation measures, health authorities said on Saturday as the country’s death toll jumped to 4,313.
    The toll went up by 708 in 24 hours, the highest daily rise so far in Britain.    A 5-year-old child with an underlying health problem was among the dead, along with at least 40 who had no known previous known conditions.
    “With great sadness the number of deaths continues to be high,” Stephen Powis, the national medical director of the English health service, said at a Downing Street news conference.
    “Unfortunately that is likely to continue over the next week or two until we get on top and stop this virus,” Powis said.
    The government has put Britain into a widespread shutdown, closing pubs, restaurants and nearly all shops, while ordering people to stay home unless it is absolutely essential to venture out.
    Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove repeatedly declined to say when the lockdown could be lifted but said it would depend on whether people adhered to the stringent rules.
    The lockdown began nearly two weeks ago, with a pledge to review the measures after three weeks.
    “If we relax our adherence to the rules we increase the risk for others,” he said, offering his condolences to the family of the 5-year-old.
    Britain initially took a restrained approach on tactics to curb the spread but Prime Minister Boris Johnson changed tack and imposed stringent social-distancing measures after modelling showed a quarter of a million people in the country could die.
    Johnson has himself been in self-isolation after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.    His pregnant fiancee, Carrie Symonds, said on Twitter she had spent the past week in bed with symptoms but was now feeling better.
    “I’ve spent the past week in bed with the main symptoms of Coronavirus.    I haven’t needed to be tested and, after seven days of rest, I feel stronger and I’m on the mend,” Symonds said.
LENGTH OF LOCKDOWN
    Countries around the world are grappling with tens of thousands of coronavirus deaths and more than a million cases.    But the massive efforts to contain the spread have virtually stalled the economy and some have started to question if a global depression will cost more lives in the long run.
    British health officials have said the peak of the deaths could come on Easter Sunday, April 12, and Powis told a news conference that new cases had stabilised in recent days.
    Hospital admissions also plateaued in London, the epicentre of the British outbreak, while increasing in the Midlands and the north west of England.    As of 0800 GMT on Saturday, some 41,903 people had tested positive out of a total of 183,190 people tested.
    Neil Ferguson, a government adviser and professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London, said the lockdown was unlikely to be lifted until the end of May.
    “We want to move to a situation where at least by the end of May we’re able to substitute some less intensive measures, more based on technology and testing, for the complete lockdown we have now,” he told BBC Radio.
    However a second government adviser, the chief pandemic modeller Graham Medley, said he feared Britain had painted itself into a corner, with no clear exit from a strategy that would damage the economic and mental well-being of many people.
    Almost one million people have applied for welfare benefits in just two weeks in Britain.    Some major investment banks have cautioned that the world economy is set for the worst contraction since World War Two.
    “In broad terms are we going to continue to harm children to protect vulnerable people, or not?” Medley said.
(Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Frances Kerry)

4/4/2020 Spain to extend state of emergency to April 26 as rise in infections slows by Jessica Jones
Municipal police officers wearing face masks check a car on Gran Via street during the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday he would ask parliament to extend lockdown measures by 15 days until April 26, as the rate of new coronavirus infections and deaths slowed again in one of the world’s worst-hit countries.
    In a televised address to the nation, Sanchez said the current lockdown was beginning to show results, but he warned that Saturday’s extension of the country’s state of emergency would not be the last.
    “We are at the start of the decrease in the epidemic.    We are stronger than we think but we have to endure.    With sacrifice, resistance and the spirit of victory,” he said, adding that some economic restrictions would be lifted after Easter.
    “We are not going to extend the standstill of economic activity,” he said.    Shops, bars and restaurants will, however, remain closed.
    Sanchez also reiterated his support for the launch of jointly issued debt by euro zone members as a way to counter the coronavirus economic impact, an idea championed by Spain and Italy but rejected by Germany and other northern EU members.
    “Nobody should be mistaken, the Spanish government is going to work for and defend and will never renounce eurobonds because this is solidarity, this is Europe.    The determination of the government is total and absolute,” he said.
    Spain’s coronavirus death toll rose to 11,744 on Saturday – the world’s second-highest after Italy.    However, the toll of 809 people who died during the past 24 hours was below Friday’s 932 deaths and also down from Thursday’s daily record of 950, the Health Ministry said.
    That represented a 7% increase in total deaths, compared with the roughly 20% increase registered a week ago.
    The total number of registered infections rose to from 117,710 on Friday to 124,736 on Saturday, putting Spain ahead of Italy, which reported 124,632 infections as of Saturday.
‘DOWNWARD TREND’
    The figures “confirm the downward trend we have seen in the last few days,” said Maria Jose Sierra, the deputy head of Spain’s health emergency.
    Still, she acknowledged that “there are many more light cases of coronavirus which are not included in our figures because we are concentrating on the most serious cases.”
    Spain, which is struggling to provide enough equipment for its overwhelmed hospitals, said on Friday that Turkey had requisitioned ventilators ordered by Madrid.
    “In recent days, the Turkish government has placed a series of restrictions on the export of a broad spectrum of health products, mainly motivated by its concern to be able to supply its own health system,” Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez told a news conference.
    Turkey is currently ninth globally in terms of confirmed COVID-19 cases with nearly 21,000 registered infections.
    A Turkish diplomatic source told Reuters that Turkey and Spain “are working on the issue and it is being resolved.”
    Spain’s foreign minister appeared to confirm Turkey had dropped the restrictions in a tweet on Saturday “Thank you Turkey for authorising the export of Turkish respirators … in view of the urgency in Spain,” she said.
    Some of Madrid’s most famous tourist sites, such as the Royal Palace and Las Ventas bullring, stood eerily quiet on Saturday, as Spaniards readied themselves for a fourth week living under one of Europe’s strictest lockdowns.
    Only employees in essential sectors such as health are free to travel to and from work.    Restaurants, bars and shops are shuttered, and social gatherings are banned.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley and Michael Gore and Elena Rodriguez Additional reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara; Writing by Jessica Jones; Editing by Andrei Khalip, Angus MacSwan, Helen Popper and David Clarke)

4/4/2020 Daily coronavirus death toll in France slows to 441
FILE PHOTO: Medical staff wait for a patient, infected with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), to be embarked onboard a
medicalized TGV high speed train at the station in Strasbourg, France, April 3, 2020. Patrick Hertzog/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – The number of people who died from coronavirus infections in France over the past 24 hours slowed to 441 from a high of 588 the previous day, France’s health ministry director told a news conference on Saturday.
    Jerome Salomon said the death toll in French hospitals and nursing homes since the start of the outbreak now stood at 7,560.
(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by David Clarke)

4/4/2020 In Italy, support groups fear lockdown is silencing domestic abuse victims by Claudia Cristoferi and Giuseppe Fonte
Customers queue at the Rialto fish market, as new restrictions for open-air markets are implemented by the Veneto region
to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Venice, Italy, April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri
    MILAN (Reuters) – Italy has seen a sharp fall in official reports of domestic violence as it approaches a month under coronavirus lockdown, raising concern among some support groups that forced confinement is leaving victims struggling to seek help.
    Citing official data, a parliamentary committee into violence against women said last week that reports to police of domestic abuse dropped to 652 in the first 22 days of March, when Italy went into lockdown, from 1,157 in the same period of 2019.
    Telefono Rosa, Italy’s largest domestic violence helpline, said calls fell 55% to 496 in the first two weeks of March from 1,104 in the same period last year. Other help groups said they had seen similar declines.
    The parliamentary committee’s report said the trend did not mean a decline in violence against women but was rather a signal that “victims of violence risk being even more exposed to control and aggression by a partner who mistreats them.”
    “There are a lot of problems in this situation, maybe not the least of them is the difficulty of asking for help when everyone is obliged to stay at home,” said Alessandra Simone, director of the police criminal division in Milan.
    Successive Italian governments have passed reforms aimed at improving protections, but 13.6% of women have suffered violence from a partner or ex-partner, according to national statistics bureau Istat.
    The country has seen more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 and accounts for almost a third of worldwide deaths.    It was the first European nation to go into lockdown.
    “We’re seeing a drastic fall in calls by women because they have less freedom in this situation of forced confinement,” said Chiara Sainaghi, who manages five anti-violence centers in and around Milan for the Fondazione Somaschi, a social assistance foundation.    She said calls to her group had fallen by as much as 70%.
    Some help groups and the authorities say they have tried to launch other forms of contact, including messaging services like WhatsApp, whose use has surged during lockdowns in many countries.    Users in Italy are placing 20% more calls and sending 20% more messages on WhatsApp compared to a year ago, the company said in mid-March.
    Italian police have in recent days adapted an app originally designed to allow young people to report bullying and drug dealing near their schools to report domestic violence by sending messages or pictures without alerting their partner.
    In Spain, where police said they had also seen a fall in calls for help, authorities launched a WhatsApp service for women trapped at home which the Equality Ministry said had seen a 270% increase in consultations since the lockdown began.
    Valeria Valente, the senator who chairs the Italian parliamentary committee, said cultural and social factors in Italy already made it hard for many to report domestic violence.
    But she said the shutdown appeared to be leading some women who might otherwise try to leave their partners to stick it out.
    “How is a woman who wants to report violence supposed to move?    With the lockdown (she) can only contact the anti-violence centers when she goes to the pharmacy or buys food,” Valente said.
(Additional reporting by Angelo Amante in Rome and Clara-Laeila Laudette in Madrid; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

4/4/2020 Canada PM says will not retaliate against U.S. over block of mask exports by Rod Nickel
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference at Rideau Cottage as efforts continue to help slow
the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Blair Gable
    WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he would not retaliate for U.S. President Donald Trump blocking 3M Co’s exports of N95 respirator masks that protect doctors and nurses from the spread of coronavirus.
    Trudeau said on Saturday that he expected to speak with Trump in the coming days and that Canadian officials were having “very constructive” discussions with the U.S. administration.
    “We are not looking at retaliatory measures or measures that are punitive, he said in his daily address in Ottawa.    We know it is in both of our interests to work collaboratively and cooperatively to keep our citizens safe."
    “That’s very much the tenor of our conversations and I’m confident that we’re going to get there.”
    Trump has asked 3M to ramp up imports of masks to the U.S. from other global manufacturing facilities, while demanding a pause in exports of domestically-produced respirators to Canada and some Latin American countries.
    Trudeau said a chartered air shipment of millions of masks was due to arrive in Canada in the next 48 hours.    Canada is also increasing domestic production of personal protective equipment, he said.
    Some Canadian health professionals living along the U.S. border work at U.S. hospitals, and Trudeau said Canada was making no move to stop that practice.
    Canada’s reported coronavirus cases rose to 12,924, up 10% in the past day, and 214 deaths, health officials said.
    Trudeau defended Canada’s coronavirus testing program, saying it had done more than the United States.    Early testing in the western provinces of British Columbia and Alberta had proven “very effective” at managing the coronavirus spread, Trudeau said.
    More than half of Canadian cases are in the more populous provinces of Quebec and Ontario.    On Friday, Ontario projected 80,000 coronavirus cases and 1,600 deaths in the province by month end
under current public health measures
.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Alistair Bell)

4/4/2020 Help in coronavirus crisis should come from European level: ECB
FILE PHOTO: The skyline with its banking district and the European Central Bank (ECB) are seen, as the spread of
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Frankfurt, Germany, March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Help to euro zone members struggling under the weight of the coronavirus crisis should come from the European level, European Central Bank board member atold Greek newspaper To Vima in an interview.
    “This is not just a question of European solidarity, but also makes sense from an economic standpoint,” Schnabel was quoted on Saturday as saying.
    “The issuance of one-off ‘coronabonds’ is one possibility,” Schnabel said.    “There are other instruments that could be used, like an EU rescue fund or measures involving the European Stability Mechanism or the European Investment Bank.”
    To read the full text of the interview, please click on: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/inter/date/2020/html/ecb.in200404~5233e69a1f.en.html (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

4/4/2020 11K Italian medical workers infected with COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
Medical staffers, their first names written on their protective outfits, walk in the respiratory ward of
. the San Filippo Neri hospital, in Rome, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP)
    More than 11,000 Italian medical personnel are infected with COVID-19. According to the National Institutes of Health and the Association of Doctors, front line personnel constituted nearly 10 percent of the total cases in the country.
    Carlo Palermo, the head of Italy’s hospital doctors union, explained that a major cause of this was the initial inability to differentiate between the common flu and coronavirus.    He emphasized medical workers on the front lines against the virus are in a stressful situation.
    “I can understand those who look death in the eye every day, who are on the front lines, who work with someone who maybe is infected, then a few days later you see him in the ICU or die,” explained Palermo.    “It’s an indescribable condition of stress.”
A medical staffer works at the Santo Spirito hospital in Rome, Monday, March 30, 2020. (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP)
    More than 85,000 people in the country are said to have tested positive for the virus.    Medical personnel have urged the public to do their part in social distancing and staying home.
    Italy is on its fourth week of lockdown.    The country has increased testing in order to curb the spread of the pandemic.
A medical staffer stands in the respiratory ward of the San Filippo Neri hospital, in Rome, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP)

4/4/2020 New Orleans death rate 3 times higher than New York City by OAN Newsroom
A temporary hospital has been set up in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, as overflow for local hospitals that are
reaching capacity, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in New Orleans, Saturday, April 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
    Experts recently revealed coronavirus seems to be far deadlier in New Orleans, Louisiana, than anywhere else in the United States.    New Orleans has reportedly experienced a COVID-19 death rate three times higher than New York City.
    According to the CDC, 78 percent of patients in U.S. intensive care units had underlying conditions, such as obesity or diabetes.
    Doctors in Louisiana have said this information is in line with the results they have been seeing in New Orleans cases.
    “We think that a lot of the organ dysfunction that we see in this COVID syndrome is the result of excessive systemic inflammation,” explained Dr. Kyle Happel.    “We know that folks that are obese a lot of times have markers in their blood and, a lot of times, systemic inflammation.”
    As of Saturday, Louisiana reported more than 12,400 cases of COVID-19, with the death toll reaching just over 400.    The state’s health department has said that 97 percent of those killed by the virus had some form of preexisting condition.
Medical workers screen people seeking testing at a drive-thru testing center for the
new coronavirus in New Orleans, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

4/4/2020 Coronavirus hospitalizations lower than projected by OAN Newsroom
Emergency medical technicians transport a patient to Elmhurst Hospital Center emergency room,
Saturday, April 4, 2020 in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    New data taken from multiple states’ health departments has revealed that actual hospitalizations for the coronavirus are much lower than projected.
    Reports drew a comparison between the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation numbers and actual real time data, based on how many hospital beds were expected to be needed and how many are being used. According to the study, only 37 percent of beds are being used to treat patients in New York City.
    The trend continues in at least nine other states, including Colorado at 23 percent and Tennessee at only 9 percent.
    One Denver resident visited St. Joseph’s Hospital to find it nearly empty.
    “I went in several different waiting rooms and there was no more than one person in waiting rooms that I went into,” said Brandon Bowser.     “Every nurse I’ve talked to is saying it’s extremely slow and there’s not much going on.”
    Many citizens have taken to social media, using the hashtags ‘empty hospitals’ and ‘film your hospital,’ to expose apparent discrepancies involving the main stream media’s virus coverage and their personal experiences.

4/4/2020 Joe Rogan: I’d rather vote for President Trump than Biden by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House,
Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Podcast host Joe Rogan has doubled down on his criticisms of Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.    On Friday, he stated he would rather cast his ballot for President Trump than Biden if the former vice president did win the nomination.
    “I’d rather vote for Trump than him, I don’t think he can handle anything,” said Rogan.    “We’re relying entirely on his cabinet.”
    He believes Biden is unable to communicate effectively and stressed the presidency could only worsen his cognitive health. He then took aim at the Democrat Party, saying it has made “morons” out of voters by appearing to favor Biden.
    “This is the real issue with the Democratic Party: they’ve essentially made us all morons with this Joe Biden thing,” stated Rogan.    “I’m not going to vote for that guy.”
    This came after Rogan, who endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), raised concerns over Biden’s multiple gaffes on the campaign trail.    These instances have only fueled allegations that the former vice president may be suffering from dementia.

4/5/2020 Coronavirus deaths in the world and the U.S.

4/5/2020 And see what those sneaky Communist Chinese were doing from the beginning, while the Democrats were impeaching Trump and Trump was working on that problem and put a travel ban on Chinese incoming

4/5/2020 Death at home: the unseen toll of Italy’s coronavirus crisis by Emilio Parodi and Silvia Aloisi
FILE PHOTO: A priest blesses the coffin of a woman who died from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at her funeral, as Italy
struggles to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Seriate, Italy March 28, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
    MILAN (Reuters) – It took Silvia Bertuletti 11 days of frantic phone calls to persuade a doctor to visit her 78-year-old father Alessandro, who was gripped by fever and struggling for breath.
    When an on-call physician did go to her house near Bergamo, at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy, on the evening of March 18, it was too late.
    Alessandro Bertuletti was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m. on March 19, 10 minutes before an ambulance called hours earlier arrived. The only medication he had been prescribed, over the phone, was a mild painkiller and a broad-spectrum antibiotic.
    “My father was left to die alone, at home, without help,” Bertuletti, 48, said.    “We were simply abandoned.    No one deserves an end like that.”
    Interviews with families, doctors and nurses in Italy’s stricken Lombardy region indicate that Bertuletti’s experience is not uncommon, that scores are dying at home as symptoms go unchecked and that phone consultations are not always enough.
    In Bergamo province alone, according to a recent study of death records, the real death toll from the outbreak could be more than double the official tally of 2,060, which only tracks hospital fatalities.
    As the global fight to save lives centres on boosting the supply of hospital ventilators, some doctors say a lack of primary healthcare is proving just as costly because medics cannot or will not make home visits, in line with a worldwide tactic of switching to remotely delivered medical advice.
    “What led to this situation is that many family doctors didn’t visit their patients for weeks,” said Riccardo Munda, who is doing the work of two doctors in Selvino and Nembro, two towns near Bergamo, after a colleague caught the virus.
    “And I can’t blame them, because that’s how they saved their own skin.”
    He said many deaths could be avoided if people at home received prompt medical help, but doctors were swamped, lacked enough masks and suits to protect themselves from infection and were discouraged from making visits unless absolutely necessary.
    “Doctors give people at home a treatment.    But if this treatment doesn’t work, if there is no doctor who checks and changes or adjusts the medicines, then the patient dies.”
    While hospital workers were given priority access to masks, some family doctors say they went without and so felt unable to visit patients safely.
    A spokeswoman for the state-run ATS health agency in Bergamo said authorities in the Lombardy region, rated among the world’s most efficient for health services, told family doctors to “deal with patients by phone as much as possible,” limiting home visits “to reduce contagion and waste of protective equipment.”
    She said 142 doctors in the Bergamo area were either sick or in quarantine but they had all been replaced.
    Authorities are now moving to reinforce primary care in line with recommendations by the World Health Organization, which says that delivering primary healthcare safely should be a priority for governments right after intensive care capacity.
    In Bergamo province six special units of doctors started operating on March 19, each equipped to visit sick people at home.    In nearby Milan, where deaths at home and in centres for the elderly more than doubled in the second half of March, similar units began operating only on March 31.
HIDDEN DEATH TOLL
    Italy’s official death toll reached 15,362 on Saturday, almost a third of the global total, but there is growing evidence that this vastly understates the real total because so many people are dying at home.
    A study by local newspaper L’Eco di Bergamo and research consultant InTwig, using data provided by local municipalities, estimates that 5,400 people died in the Bergamo province during the month of March, or six times more than a year ago.
    Of these, it reckons that as many as 4,500 people succumbed to the coronavirus – more than double the official tally.    This took into account 600 people who died in nursing homes and evidence provided by doctors, it said.
    The ATS did not respond to a request for comment on the study’s findings.
    Pietro Zucchelli, director of the Zucchelli funeral home that serves several villages in the Seriana Valley around Bergamo, said over the past two weeks more than 50 percent of his job had been collecting bodies from people’s homes.
    Before, most of the dead were in hospitals or nursing homes.
    Munda, the doctor working in Selvino and Nembro, said he had been visiting patients at home since late February, administering antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia and oxygen therapy if required.
    He said that although antibiotics were no cure for the virus, they could treat some of the debilitating complications and help patients recover without hospitalisation.
    To protect himself, he bought 600 euros’ worth of face masks which he sterilises at home with steam every evening.
    More than 11,000 health workers have contracted the virus in Italy and 80 have died, many of them family doctors.
‘BE PATIENT’
    The Bertuletti family’s ordeal shows how primary care, a health system’s first line of defence, has sometimes buckled in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.
    In several European countries and in the United States, doctors are encouraged to carry out phone consultations whenever possible, rather than seeing patients face to face.
    With her own family doctor in hospital, Bertuletti says she repeatedly phoned his replacement, who at first told her to give her father a paracetamol-based painkiller used to reduce fever.
    As her father got worse, Bertuletti called him back.    “He said: ‘I am not forced to do house visits, be patient’,” she said.
    The doctor who dealt with Bertuletti, contacted by Reuters, declined to be identified, but said through tears that medics had to make terrible choices.
    He said that he had been receiving between 300 to 500 phone calls a day and was covering for a sick colleague.
    “I had to make a selection, I couldn’t visit those who had a cough and fever, I could only go to see the most serious cases.”
    The association of family doctors in the province of Bergamo estimates that 70,000 people in the area may be infected.
    “Despite our best efforts, it’s not possible to take everyone to hospital and sometimes families prefer to keep the sick at home out of fear they may not have another chance to say goodbye,” Bergamo’s mayor, Giorgio Gori, said.
    Like him, mayors across Lombardy are crying out for help.
    “We have citizens who are sick at home and feel abandoned, I could give you hundreds of examples,” Giovanna Gargioni, mayor of Borghetto Lodigiano, wrote in a March 27 letter to regional health authorities on behalf of a group of local mayors.
    Even in Milan, Lombardy’s main city and Italy’s financial capital, doctors say that pledges by regional authorities to provide protective gear like face masks and to give swabs to medical personnel had yet to materialise for some.
    “We are working without protection, and no one tested us,” said Roberto Scarano, a surgeon and family doctor in the city.
    “Meanwhile, the virus is spreading in people’s homes, entire families are getting infected and no one’s taking care of them.”
    Ambulances that used to arrive within minutes of a call to emergency services now can take hours, medics say.    Oxygen bottles are so scarce that nurses rush to claim them back from bereaved families as soon as patients die.
    “We are used to seeing people die, but normally it feels like you are accompanying them at the end of the road,” said Maura Zucchelli, a nurse at Itineris, a private company which provides medical assistance at home in the Bergamo area.
    “Now you go to people’s homes, and within 48-72 hours the patient is dead.    It’s draining.    It’s like war.”
(Editing by Mark Bendeich and Mike Collett-White)

4/5/2020 Greece quarantines second camp after coronavirus case confirmed by Renee Maltezou
FILE PHOTO: A migrant wears a protective face mask at a makeshift camp for refugees and migrants next
to the Moria camp, during a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19),
on the island of Lesbos, Greece April 02, 2020. REUTERS/Elias Marcou/File Photo
    ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece has quarantined a second migrant facility on its mainland after a 53-year-old man tested positive for the new coronavirus, the migration ministry said on Sunday.
    The Afghan man lives with his family at the Malakasa camp along with hundreds of asylum seekers.    He has been transferred to a hospital in Athens.
    Tests on his contacts will continue as the public health agency tries to trace the route of the virus.
    On Thursday, authorities quarantined the Ritsona camp in central Greece after 20 tested positive for the coronavirus.    It was the first such facility in Greece to be hit since the outbreak of the disease.
    Greece was the main gateway into the European Union for more than a million people fleeing conflict in 2015-16.    More than 110,000 people currently live in migrant facilities across the country – 40,000 of them in overcrowded camps on five islands.
    No cases have been recorded in the camps on the islands so far.    Aid groups have urged the government to evacuate them, warning the risk of the fast-moving virus spreading among people living in squalid conditions is high and containing an outbreak in such settings would be “impossible.”
    The camp in Malakasa, 40km (25 miles) northeast of Athens, will be put into quarantine for two weeks, the ministry said on Sunday, adding police guarding the site would be reinforced to ensure the restrictions are implemented.
    A separate closed-type facility started operating last month for migrants who arrived after March 1, the ministry said.
    Greece recorded its first case of the new coronavirus at the end of February.    Since then, it has confirmed 1,673 cases of COVID-19 and 68 deaths.
    It has imposed a nationwide lockdown and banned arrivals from non-EU countries as well as Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain.    The measures will have an impact on its economy which is relying on tourism for a recovery after a decade-long debt crisis.
    Finance Minister Christos Staikouras reiterated on Sunday the economy was expected to shrink by about 3-4% this year, but added Greece had a 37-billion euro ($40 billion) cash buffer that it could tap into to support it.
(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Mark Potter)

4/5/2020 President Trump: When the brunt of the pandemic comes, we want to be ready by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House,
Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    President Trump has said the next two weeks will be the toughest for Americans as the country nears the peak of the pandemic.    During Saturday’s White House briefing, the president emphasized that saving lives is his administration’s top priority.
    “Every decision that we’re making is made to save lives, it’s really our sole consideration,” he said.    “We want to save lives, we want as few lives lost as possible.”
    The U.S. has surpassed 300,000 confirmed cases of the virus, with more than 8,000 deaths.
    Dr. Deborah Birx has encouraged social distancing as a serious measure against combating the virus.    She confirmed cases this week have been people who were infected weeks earlier and noted that avoiding large groups will help lower future cases.
    In addition, Birx has said she expects counties in New York, Detroit and New Orleans to see a peak in cases in the coming days.
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks during a coronavirus task
force briefing at the White House, Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    President Trump reiterated his administration’s goal to stay several days ahead of the critical medical needs in each state.    He has said the country can stay ahead of the pandemic if states provide up-to-date information on coronavirus cases.
    During Saturday’s briefing, the president announced he is sending 1,000 medical military personnel to help combat the spread of the virus in New York City, which he called “the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.”    New York has been the hardest hit by the pandemic, with at least 4,100 deaths and 105,000 cases in the state alone.
    He added his administration has been deploying personnel, but now they’re “doing it on a larger basis.”
    “We’re going to be adding a tremendous amount of military to help supplement the states,” stated President Trump.    “Thousands of soldiers, sailors, medical workers, professionals, nurses, doctors.”
    Temporary hospitals have been built and affected states are searching for trained individuals to treat patients.    The president also called for states to immediately meet supply demands where there have been reports of shortages.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press
Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Meanwhile, Surgeon General Jerome Adams has urged Americans to stick to public health guidelines as the coronavirus outbreak is expected to get worse this week.    On Sunday, Adams stated that testing for the virus, involving antibodies, will become more widely available within a month.
    However, he also said all citizens should still take measures to protect their loved ones and neighbors by acting like they have coronavirus right now. He emphasized everyone should continue social distancing and staying at home, especially as we get closer to Easter.
    “I’m a Catholic.    I would ordinarily be getting ready for church right now, (but) we need you to stay at home.    This is going to be a hard week, it’s going to test our resolve.    It’s going to be the hardest week of our lives, but I’m confident based on the numbers in Washington, California, Italy and Spain we can get through this.” – Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General
    According to the CDC, nearly 25 percent of people with the virus are asymptomatic.    Adams advised everyone to wear face masks, but stressed that wearing a mask isn’t a substitute for social distancing.
    “We will get through this,” he added.    “I know the American people will do the right thing and stay at home.”

4/5/2020 Democrat reps. introduce bill to include non-citizen immigrants in economic relief efforts by OAN Newsroom
Visitors walk past the U.S. Capitol dome on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    As lawmakers scramble to provide coronavirus relief to Americans, several Democrats believe taxpaying immigrants have been left out.
    On Friday, Representatives (D-Calif.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) introduced the Leave No Taxpayer Behind Act, which aims to include immigrants who hold individual taxpayer identification numbers.
    The lawmakers argued the recent $2 trillion stimulus package disqualified these individuals.
    “Was it perfect?    Of course not.    It was a product of compromise, it was a product of urgency and getting something done.    I think Republicans and Democrats both understood that something had to be done.” – Raúl Grijalva, U.S. Representative
    According to the leaders of the bill, the omission excludes relief to millions of immigrants who have contributed to the U.S. economy.
    Immigrants with Tax IDs (ITINS) was introduced in 1996, allowing immigrants without Social Security numbers to pay federal taxes and open interest bearing bank accounts.    ITINS does not authorize a non-citizen to work in the U.S., but allows the IRS to collect federal taxes.
    Democrat supporters of the bill believe every individual taxpayer is deserving of economic relief.
    “I wish it would have had other things in it, but right now, the important thing for all of us to do in Congress and your governmental leadership is to go forward, to do something and to respond,” stated Rep. Grijalva.
    The lawmakers behind the bill have said immigrants with ITINS are the most vulnerable communities to feel the effects of the coronavirus.    Leaders hope the next bill will include them in economic relief efforts.
[The Democrats are desperate for immigrants for votes which was their open border policies has been all along.]

4/5/2020 DOD to deploy 1K medics to NYC, set up largest hospital in U.S. by OAN Newsroom
Medical personnel work at the Samaritan’s Purse field hospital in New York’s
Central Park, Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    The Pentagon is ramping up relief operations in New York amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed his department will deploy an additional 1,100 military doctors, nurses and other personnel to the state.
    The mobile hospital at the Javits Convention Center will soon have a 2,500 bed capacity and will be the largest hospital in the U.S.
    Esper also stated he’s authorized the USNS Comfort to begin accepting coronavirus patients for treatment.
    “Provide full support to President Trump’s whole of government, whole of nation response.    I’d like to thank the all the 50,000 plus American soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines who are on the streets of America today helping out.    Many are deployed away from home, many more are risking their own lives to help the American people.    That’s what we do and we’re going to continue supporting this effort.” – Mark Esper, U.S. Secretary of Defense
    Despite these efforts, Democrat lawmakers have accused the Pentagon of “not doing enough” to contain the risks.
President Donald Trump salutes as the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort pulls away from the
pier at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, March 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    On Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his state is starting to see a decline in virus related deaths.    Cuomo reported that over the last few days, the number of deaths has dropped for the first time.
    He also confirmed a significant drop in hospitalizations, from more than 1,000 on Saturday to nearly half that on Sunday.    So far, around 4,100 virus related deaths have been recorded in the state.
    At the same time, the number of patients who have been approved to leave the hospital has reportedly gone up.
    “The number of deaths over the past few days has been dropping for the first time.    What is the significance of that?    It’s too early to tell.” – Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
    Despite the positive news, Cuomo reiterated that it’s still too soon to say what this means for the spread of the virus in his state.
Vehicles travel Northern Boulevard Saturday, April 4, 2020, in the Jackson Heights
section of the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

4/5/2020 Spain’s coronavirus death toll rises by 674 but pace keeps slowing by Jessica Jones
A man walks his dog next to the Royal Palace during lockdown, amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Madrid, Spain April 5, 2020. REUTERS/Juan Medina
    MADRID (Reuters) – The rate of new coronavirus infections and deaths in Spain slowed again on Sunday as the country, suffering from one of the world’s worst outbreaks of the pandemic, began its fourth week under a near-total lockdown.
    Deaths from the highly infectious COVID-19 respiratory disease rose to 12,418 on Saturday – the second highest worldwide after Italy.
    However, the toll of 674 people who died during the past 24 hours was down from Saturday’s 809 and well below Thursday’s daily record of 950, the Health Ministry said.
    Sunday’s rise represented a 6% increase in total deaths, about half the rate reported a week ago.
    The total number of registered infections rose to 130,759 from Saturday’s 124,736.
    “The data from this week and today confirms the slowing down of infections,” Health Minister Salvador Illa told a news conference.    “The data confirms that confinement is working.”
    He said one million testing kits were to arrive in Spain on Sunday and Monday and would act as “rapid screening” in places such as hospitals and nursing homes, part of an effort to pinpoint the true extent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Defence Minister Margarita Robles told reporters: “This data is encouraging and hopeful
    The World Health Organization’s director for Europe, Hans Kluge, tweeted about Spain: “Careful optimism as result of bold measures, innovative approaches & courageous decisions.”
    Government ministers cautioned it was too early to say when Spain could start lifting its lockdown on public life.
PRE-EASTER LOCKDOWN
    On Palm Sunday, a week before Easter, churches stood silent and empty in the capital Madrid, while streets that are usually packed with the stalls of the Rastro flea market were deserted.
    Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in a televised address to the nation on Saturday, announced an extension of the state of emergency lockdown until April 26 to help tackle the emergency.
    He said while lockdown measures would probably last longer than the next 15 days, some economic restrictions, such as keeping all non-essential workers at home, would be lifted after Easter.    But shops, bars and restaurants will remain closed.
    “We are facing the most serious crisis of our recent history and we must rise to the challenge,” Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos told a separate news conference.
    “The government will have a greater role to play in the economy.    This is not just the policy of this (socialist) government but has been championed by liberal editorials.”
    Business groups CEOE and CEPYME warned that while the lockdown extension “will serve to accelerate the exit from the current health crisis” it could “deepen the economic recession in which many sectors and companies…are already mired.”
    They called for the government to extend aid for companies to 50 billion euros ($54.04 billion) from 20 billion and suspend taxes for particularly badly hit sectors.
    Economy Minister Nadia Calvino rejected the idea in an interview with El Pais on Sunday.    Asked when Spain would get back to normal, Calvino said, “We cannot return to normal from 0 to 100 in one day.    We must guarantee security.”
    In an article published in a series of European newspapers on Sunday, Sanchez appealed for unity among the 27 European Union countries to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
    “Solidarity is a key principle of the EU treaties.    And it is shown at times like this.    Without solidarity there can be no cohesion, without cohesion there will be disaffection and the credibility of the European project will be severely damaged.”
    There have been complaints in Spain and Italy about a perceived slowness among less hard-hit EU member states to provide assistance in curbing the pandemic.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley and Michael Gore; Writing by Jessica Jones; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Mark Heinrich)

4/5/2020 Italy starts to look ahead to ‘phase two’ as COVID-19 death toll slows by James Mackenzie and Giulio Piovaccari
A woman wearing a protective mask walks on the Rialto Bridge on Palm Sunday, following the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Venice, Italy, April 5, 2020. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri
    MILAN (Reuters) – Italy reported its lowest daily COVID-19 death toll for more than two weeks on Sunday as authorities began to look ahead to a second phase of the battle against the new coronavirus once the lockdown imposed almost a month ago is eventually eased.
    The toll from the world’s deadliest outbreak reached 15,887, almost a quarter of the global death total, but the rise of 525 from a day earlier was the smallest daily increase since March 19, while the number of patients in badly stretched intensive care units fell for a second day running.
    “The curve has reached a plateau and begun to descend,” said Silvio Brusaferro, head of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Italy’s top health institute.    “It is a result that we have to achieve day after day.”
    “If this is confirmed, we need to start thinking about the second phase and keep down the spread of this disease.”
    The total number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus rose by 4,316 to 128,948, the lowest increase in five days, which added to signs the epidemic has reached a plateau, about six weeks after it broke out in northern Italy on Feb. 21.
    Sunday’s figures added to growing signs the tough restrictions on movement and public gatherings imposed across the country on March 9 were having an effect in containing the epidemic, but officials have been desperate to avoid a letup.
    “Don’t lower our guard, stay at home,” Angelo Borelli, head of the Civil Protection department, told a daily briefing.
    But alongside the public health crisis, the government is also grappling with the economic devastation caused by the sudden halt to business across the country.
    Following several days of encouraging data, Health Minister Roberto Speranza outlined a series of measures, including more testing and a beefed up local health system, intended to allow a gradual easing until a vaccine might be developed.
    “There are difficult months ahead. Our task is to create the conditions to live with the virus,” at least until a vaccine is developed, he told the daily La Repubblica newspaper.
    The national lockdown, strictly limiting people’s movements and freezing all non-essential economic activity, will officially last until at least April 13 but it is widely expected to be extended. Speranza said it was too early to say when it could be lifted.
    The minister said he had issued a note outlining five principles around which the government planned to manage the so-called “phase two” of the emergency, when lockdown restrictions began to be eased but before a full return to normal conditions.
    He said social distancing would have to remain, with wider use of individual protection devices such as face masks, while local health systems would be strengthened, to allow a faster and more efficient treatment of suspected COVID-19 cases.
    Testing and “contact tracing” would be extended, including with the use of smartphone apps and other forms of digital technology while a network of hospitals dedicated solely to treating COVID-19 patients would be set up.
(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Frances Kerry and Pravin Char)

4/5/2020 France’s death toll slows but coronavirus still hits hard
FILE PHOTO: Members of the French Civil Protection service arrive on site for a rescue operation in Paris, as the
spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in France, April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
    PARIS (Reuters) – France’s daily death toll from the novel coronavirus fell in the past 24 hours and admissions into intensive care also slowed, the health ministry said on Sunday, thanking citizens for largely respecting a lockdown to halt the spread of the virus.
    The health ministry data showed that 357 people died from COVID-19 in hospitals, compared with 441 in the previous 24 hours, taking the total toll in hospitals to 5,889.
    It said that 2,189 people had died in nursing homes since March 1, taking France’s total death toll to 8,078.
    “These data confirms that the epidemic is ongoing in the country, and continues to hit hard,” the ministry said.
    Confirmed COVID-19 cases in France since the start of the epidemic rose by 2.7% or 1,873 to 70,478, the ministry said in daily update of the situation.
    It added that some 22,361 confirmed or possible cases have been recorded in nursing homes, taking France’s total confirmed or possible coronavirus cases to 92,839.
    France decided on March 17 to confine its residents to homes to curb the spread of the virus as a daily surge of infections threatened the health system.    The measures have been extended until April 15, and are likely to be extended again.
    “French men and women who are in their twentieth day of confinement must be thanked,” the health ministry said in the statement.
    It urged citizens to continue respecting the strict confinement measures and keep their distances.    Authorities and doctors warned people earlier on Sunday not to be tempted outside by the sunny spring weather.
    The health ministry said admissions into ICU units also slowed on the past 24 hours with 390 people needing intensive care compared with 502 the previous day.    The total number of people in ICU units was at 6,978, a 2% increase compared with a 2.6% rise the previous 24 hours.
(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Pravin Char and Angus MacSwan)

4/5/2020 Spain and EU commissioners call for common European debt instruments: newspaper
FILE PHOTO: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks during a news conference after taking part in a conference call
with European leaders at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain March 10, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Europe needs debt mutualisation and a common “Marshall Plan” to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, even as Germany dismissed calls for the debt-pooling idea.
    EU leaders have tasked policymakers with finding a new way to finance a recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak, after Germany and the Netherlands ruled out calls from France, Italy and Spain to create a common debt instrument.
    Germany, among other nations, has long been opposed to issuing common debt with other European nations, arguing that it would stop individual countries from pursuing structural reforms and balancing their budgets.
    Helge Braun, head of the German chancellor’s office in Berlin, told Frankfurter Allgemeine’s Sunday edition that “liability and control need to be aligned.”
    Sanchez had echoed the remarks of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who called on Thursday for a new EU budget in the form of a “Marshall Plan” to help drive Europe’s recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
    The Marshall Plan was an aid programme initiated by the United States in 1948 to help countries in Western Europe recover after World War Two.
    In the medium term, Europe needs a “new mechanism for debt mutualisation,” Sanchez also told the newspaper in comments published on Sunday.    “If the virus doesn’t stop at borders, then financing mechanisms cannot do so either,” he said.
    Separately, the European Union’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton, and European Economics Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Europe needed to create a European taxpayer fund that could then issue long-term bonds to pay for a recovery from the pandemic.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Pravin Char and Peter Cooney)

4/5/2020 Boris Johnson admitted to hospital for tests after persistent coronavirus symptoms by Guy Faulconbridge, Michael Holden and Elizabeth Piper
FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a news conference on the ongoing situation with the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London, Britain March 22, 2020. Ian Vogler/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests on Sunday after suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, though Downing Street said he remained in charge of the government.
    Johnson, who was isolating in Downing Street after testing positive last month, still had a high temperature and so his doctors felt he should go to hospital for tests in what the government said was a “precautionary step.”
    “On the advice of his doctor, the prime minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests,” his Downing Street office said in a statement.    Johnson is expected to stay overnight.
    “This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus,” the statement added.
    News of his hospitalisation came only after an hour after Queen Elizabeth delivered a rallying call to the British public saying they would overcome the coronavirus outbreak if they stayed resolute.
    Johnson, 55, on March 27 became the first leader of a major power to announce that he had tested positive.    He went into isolation at an apartment in Downing Street and said on Friday he was staying there as he still had a high temperature.
    Downing Street underscored that this was not an emergency admission and that Johnson remains in charge of the government.    Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will chair the government’s emergency COVID-19 meeting on Monday, a source said.
    With only an unwieldy collection of sometimes ancient and contradictory precedents to go by, there is no simple, formally-enshrined “Plan B” or succession scenario if the prime minister is incapacitated.
    The pound briefly fell 0.4% vs the U.S. dollar to $1.2215 before trimming some losses to trade at $1.2230, down 0.3%.
    Queen Elizabeth has been informed of Johnson’s admission to hospital, Buckingham Palace said.    It made no further comment.
    “Wishing the prime minister well and a speedy recovery,” Keir Starmer, the newly elected leader of the opposition Labour Party, said.
CORONAVIRUS IN THE UK
    Johnson, the face of the 2016 Brexit campaign, won a resounding election victory in December before leading the United Kingdom out of the European Union on Jan. 31.
    But he has faced criticism in the United Kingdom for initially approving a much more modest response to the novel coronavirus outbreak than other major European leaders.
    He then changed tack when scientific projections showed a quarter of a million people could die in the United Kingdom.
    Johnson effectively shuttered the world’s fifth-largest economy, advising people to stay at home and the elderly or infirm to isolate themselves for weeks.
    But the virus penetrated the British government.
    Johnson and his health minister tested positive last month and his chief medical adviser also self isolated.    Johnson’s pregnant 32-year-old fiancee, Carrie Symonds, also had symptoms but said on Saturday she was feeling better.
    From an apartment above Number 11 Downing Street, and with food brought to his door, Johnson continued to lead the government’s response and chaired meetings via video conference.
    “Although I’m feeling better and I’ve done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have one of the symptoms, a minor symptom, I still have a temperature,” a weary-looking Johnson, sitting in a chair with his shirt open at the neck, said in a Twitter video message on Friday.
    He was taken to an unidentified hospital on Sunday evening.
    Downing Street refused to say what tests Johnson was to have in hospital.
    Experts said the most likely tests for a person of the prime minister’s age with COVID-19 symptoms after 10 days would be to assess oxygen levels and an electrocardiogram check of his heart.
    “Doctors will be monitoring important vital signs such as oxygen saturations,” said Dr Rupert Beale, Group Leader, Cell Biology of Infection Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute.
    “They will also check blood tests to see what the immune response to the virus looks like, and to assess liver and kidney function.”
    Other tests could include a CT scan of the chest to get an accurate picture of the lungs.
    “The prime minister thanks NHS staff for all of their incredible hard work and urges the public to continue to follow the government’s advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives,” Downing Street said.
    The United Kingdom’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 621 to 4,934 at 1600 GMT on April 4, the health ministry said on Sunday.    As of 0800 GMT, a total of 195,524 people had been tested of which 47,806 tested positive.
(Additional reporting by Kate Holton, Kate Kelland, Elizabeth Piper, Alistair Smout, Paul Sandle and Sujata Rao; Editing by Diane Craft)

4/6/2020 WILL WE EVER GET BACK TO NORMAL?
    Jeremiah 6:16 Ask … where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls
.

4/6/2020 Germany reports fourth straight drop in daily rate of new coronavirus infections
A view of the Reichstag building during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak,
in Berlin, Germany April 5, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 3,677 in the past 24 hours to 95,391 on Monday, the fourth straight drop in the daily rate of new cases, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.
    The number of new cases was lower than the 5,936 new infections reported on Sunday.
    The reported death toll rose by 92 to 1,434.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Michelle Martin)

4/6/2020 Law professor Jonathon Turley critical of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s behavior during White House press briefings by OAN Newsroom
George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley listens to Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan testify
during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional grounds for the impeachment of
President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman, is left. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Law professor and political commentator Jonathan Turley took to Twitter to express his distaste with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s recent behavior.    This week, he posted a tweet criticizing Acosta for interrupting Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House coronavirus task force during Friday’s press briefing.
Turley said Acosta’s attitude at the press conference was “an example of how CNN’s echo-journalism model is destroying the media’s credibility.”    He went on to say Acosta’s questions were “an effort to score points rather than elicit information.”
    During Friday’s press conference, Acosta interrupted Birx while she was discussing the World Health Organization’s handling of coronavirus pandemic.    Talking over the leaders of our country appears to be a habit Acosta can’t seem to break.    Back in 2018, President Trump called Acosta a “rude person” after causing multiple scenes during press conferences with then-Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
    “You’re a very rude person…the way you treat Sarah Huckabee is horrible and the way you treat other people are horrible,” the president told him.    “You shouldn’t treat people that way.”
    The president isn’t the only one to call out Acosta for his seemingly disrespectful behavior.    According to the Washington Free Beacon, the president of the White House Correspondents Association said Acosta was an “opinion journalist,” adding that “reporters make a mistake if they appear to be too much like an opposition to the president.”
    It’s important to note that the White House Correspondents Association recently kicked One America News White House correspondent Chanel Rion out of the briefing room over allegations she disregarded social distancing rules amid the COVID-19 outbreak.    Nonetheless, the association continues to allow Acosta to have a seat during the press briefings despite overwhelming criticism regarding his behavior.

4/6/2020 Trump admin. finalizing new travel restrictions for cruise ship passengers and crew by OAN Newsroom
Costa Favolosa cruise ship lifeboats arrive with crew members showing COVID-19 symptoms at the U.S. Coast Guard
Station Miami Beach, Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla. (David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP)
    The Trump administration is in the process of finalizing additional travel restrictions to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
    According to reports, the Department of Homeland Security and the CDC are working to impose restrictions for anyone currently aboard a cruise ship.    Those measures call for all passengers and crew arriving in the U.S. to be prohibited from boarding any domestic commercial flights and undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
    The Coast Guard said there are currently 114 cruise ships carrying 93,000 crew members either in or near U.S. ports and waterways.
An ill crew member from the Costa cruise ship Favolosa, left, is screened by health care workers after being brought ashore in
a lifeboat to the U. S. Coast Guard Base Miami Beach, Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla. Cruise ships are not sailing
due to the new coronavirus outbreak. Miami-area hospitals received crew members Thursday from two Costa Cruise ships, the Magica and
Favolosa. Carnival Corp., which owns the cruise line, said the ships are empty except for crew members. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
    Meanwhile, the latest data from multiple health agencies, including the CDC and World Health Organization, shows the U.S. has more than 310,000 active cases of coronavirus.    Currently, more than 9,600 have died, while more than 17,000 have recovered in the U.S. alone.
    Health officials expect cases will continue to rise in the next few weeks before leveling off.    The number of overall cases around the world is nearing 1.3 million with the global death toll over 70,000.    However, the total number of recoveries has continued to climb as well with around 270,000 people beating the virus.

4/6/2020 Federal judges deny emergency release of Calif. inmates amid pandemic by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 12, 2012, file photo, inmates walk around a recreation yard at the Deuel Vocational Institution
in Tracy, Calif. A three-judge federal panel refused on procedural grounds Saturday, April 4, 2020, to
order California to free thousands of prisoners to ease crowded conditions that attorneys representing inmates
say could ignite a rapid spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
    A panel of federal judges ruled not to order a mass release of California prison inmates to reduce the spread of coronavirus cases.    The ruling was issued Saturday and came after attorneys called for the release or relocation of thousands of inmates, particularly those over the age of 65 and others with pre-existing medical conditions.
    “The only way to avert disaster both inside the prison walls and in the communities where those prisons are located is to bring the population density down, so that people in prison can also observe the kind of safety measures that the rest of us are all observing around the country,” stated Alison Hardy, Prison Law Office attorney.
    However, judges have said the ruling is not theirs to make. The special panel said it had was created 13-years ago to address overcrowding in prisons not potential risks during a pandemic.    They encouraged lawyers to take their case to a single court that oversees the medical care of prison inmates.
    The three judge panel also laid out expectations that the state prison system should being taking more action in protecting populations.     As of Saturday, at least 13 inmates have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in prisons across California.    Health officials fear that the confined space between inmates in these prisons as well as communal meals and showering could increase the chances of an outbreak.
    At the same time, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has taken steps to eliminate potential spread such as temporarily blocking the transfer of new inmates into different prisons.    Newsom also ordered an early release of non-violent offenders who were scheduled for parole within the next two months.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department van enters the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
California is planning to release within days as many as 3,500 inmates who were due to be paroled in the next two months as it tries
to free space in cramped prisons in anticipation of a coronavirus outbreak, state officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
    Some counties have optioned to keep an eye on released inmates, while allowing them to self-quarantine.
    “We have actually released some, but we’ve put them on house arrest with an electronic monitor,” said Sheriff Laurie Smith of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office.    “They didn’t have assault on police officers, they didn’t have sex charges and they didn’t have domestic violence charges.”
    Meanwhile, attorney’s for at-risk prisoners are planning to file a new motion as soon as possible.

4/6/2020 White House economic adviser says governments COVID-19 response a ‘good start’ by OAN Newsroom
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks to reporters at the
White House, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Some relief is on the horizon for Americans trying to make ends meet amid the COVID-19 health crisis.
    While speaking in an interview Monday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said $38 billion in small business loans have been made available and the money is on its way.    The loans will allow companies to stay afloat and keep employees on payroll through the pandemic.
    In terms of individual relief, Kudlow said 175 million Americans will be receiving a check in the next week or two.    He also said we could see some progress in fighting the virus, while also fixing the economy within the next month or two.
    Kudlow also floated the possibility of a coronavirus-related treasury bond by saying it would be a long-term investment for the future of American health.

4/6/2020 President Trump says Illinois Gov. ‘complains all the time’ by OAN Newsroom
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker tours Hall C Unit 1 of the COVID-19 alternate site at McCormick Place
in Chicago on Friday, April 3, 2020. Hall C is planned to have 500 beds. In the background is
Christina Bratis, clinical chief of staff of the facility. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool)
    President Trump recently took aim at Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, following his criticism of the administration’s COVID-19 response.
    During a coronavirus task force briefing Sunday, the president said Pritzker was “complaining all the time” despite working with him to receive much needed medical supplies.
    This came after the Democrat accused the president in recent days of failing to provide ventilators to the state and being “unprepared” for the pandemic.    As of Sunday, 600 additional ventilators have been sent to Illinois.

A traffic message board displays a message about coronavirus prevention on I-94 South bound in Chicago, Saturday, March 28, 2020.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday, March 20th, issued a stay-at-home order, the most strict statewide action he’s taken to date in the effort
to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus.    Pritzker’s order follows statewide schools closures, restrictions
on the size of gatherings, and an order for bars and restaurants to suspend dine-in service. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

4/6/2020 Europe dares to consider easing lockdowns as U.S. enters ‘peak death week’ by Emma Pinedo and Marcus Wacket
Healthcare workers walk in personal protective equipment (PPE) outside the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center during the outbreak of
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
    MADRID/BERLIN (Reuters) – European nations including hard-hit Italy and Spain have started looking ahead to easing coronavirus lockdowns after steady falls in fatality rates, as the United States prepared on Monday for what one official called “peak death week
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the most prominent victim of the virus, was having tests in hospital on Monday after 10 days of symptoms, but said he was continuing to work.    Officials declined to say whether he had pneumonia.
    In Spain and Italy, which account for over 40% of the world’s fatalities, the death rate has been declining for several days and public discussion has turned to how and when to ease weeks of drastic curbs on personal and economic activity.
    Germany, seen by many as a guide for how to tackle the pandemic by combining restrictions on movement with widespread testing, drew up a detailed plan.
    Yet the global figures remain stark, and show no sign of plateauing yet.    A Reuters tally at 1400 GMT put the number of confirmed cases at 1.27 million – just three days after it crossed the 1 million mark – and deaths up by 17,000 over the same period to 70,395.     Confirmed U.S. cases topped 336,000 on Sunday, making the United States by far the world leader, with deaths going over 10,000.
    “It’s going to be the peak hospitalization, peak ICU week and unfortunately, peak death week,” Admiral Brett Giroir, a physician and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” TV program on Monday.
    Roughly twice as many people a day are dying in the United States as in Spain or Italy, and hospitals report chaotic shortages of beds, ventilators and protective gear.
    While New York City accounts for almost a third of U.S. coronavirus deaths, more than 90 percent of Americans are under stay-at-home orders.
    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that a shortage of medical professionals was replacing a lack of equipment as the city’s primary need, calling for an additional 45,000 clinical personnel for April.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!
    A University of Washington model, one of several cited by U.S. and some state officials, projected that the peak need for hospital beds would come on April 15, and that daily deaths would peak, at 3,130, on April 16.
    President Donald Trump, whom critics have accused of playing down the epidemic and trying to rush an end to the devastating economic paralysis, for his part on Monday repeated a message he had expressed at the weekend, tweeting “LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!
    In Britain, Johnson tweeted: “I’m in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe.”
    There was little detail on his condition or why he had been admitted to hospital late on Sunday. However, foreign minister Dominic Raab said Johnson remained in charge, and housing minister Robert Jenrick said he expected Johnson to be back in his Downing Street residence shortly.
    The British government reported 439 deaths in the 24 hours to Sunday evening, the lowest daily toll since March 31.
    On Sunday, Neil Ferguson, a professor at Imperial College in London who has helped shape the government’s response, said he expected Britain’s epidemic to plateau in seven to 10 days.
    “What’s critically important then is how quickly case numbers go down: do we see a long flat peak or do we, as we hope, see a much faster decline, and that really depends on how effective the current measures are,” he told the BBC.
    Spain saw its daily deaths fall from Thursday’s peak of 950 to 637 on Monday, for a total of more than 13,000 deaths; Italy on Sunday reported 525 deaths, its lowest daily death toll in more than two weeks, for a total of more than 16,000.
    As the numbers have flattened in Italy, there has been increasing discussion about rolling back a lockdown that has closed most businesses and slammed the brakes on an already fragile economy.
    Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said at the weekend that Spain’s lockdown would remain in place until April 26, but opened the door to easing some restrictions, such as keeping all non-essential workers at home, after Easter, which falls this Sunday.
WHEN TO EASE UP?
    Central to most countries’ planning is the need to “flatten the curve” to avoid exhausting their supply of intensive care beds; significantly, Italy reported that the number of patients in intensive care had fallen for the second day running.
    Austria said on Monday that it was turning a corner and would start reopening shops from next week, although it widened a requirement to wear face masks.
    Measures to prevent a new upsurge in cases, such as masks, testing for infection and contact tracing, will also be crucial to most countries’ ability to relax their lockdowns.
    Once more, the blueprint may come from Germany, which, despite being Europe’s most populous country, has recorded only 1,448 deaths from 98,000 confirmed cases.
    A draft action plan compiled by the Interior Ministry and seen by Reuters says it should be possible to keep the average number of people infected below one per person – the measure of an epidemic in retreat – even as public life and economic life are gradually allowed to resume.
    Germany, with Europe’s largest economy, has been under lockdown, with restaurants and most shops closed, since March 22 – and the document assumes the pandemic will last until 2021.
    But the plan says the measures foreseen, including mandatory mask-wearing in public, limits on gatherings, the rapid tracing of infection chains and selective quarantining, should allow a phased return to something approaching normal life.
    Germany’s lockdown is due to end on April 19, but the government declined to confirm that it was on track to do so.
    “Even if some people are demanding it, the government can’t yet give an exit day, a firm date from which everything will be different and the measures relaxed,” a spokesman said.
(Reporting by Reuters bureaux worldwide; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

4/6/2020 France’s coronavirus death rate accelerates, cases near 100,000
A woman with a protective face mask walking past the Eiffel tower is pictured through rain drops on a car window at Trocadero square in
Paris during a lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
    PARIS (Reuters) – France’s coronavirus figures on Monday showed that the rate of increase in fatalities – now at almost 9,000 – sped up again after several days of slowing, while the increase in people needing intensive care continued to decelerate.
    The total number of cases, combining hospital and nursing home statistics, increased by 5,171 over the last 24 hours to 98,010, meaning France will likely become the fifth country, after Italy, Spain, the United States and Germany, to cross the 100,000 threshold on Tuesday.
    “The pandemic hasn’t stopped expanding. The figures prove it,” Health Minister Olivier Veran said, adding that the government had decided to mass screen nursing homes which account for about 27% of the total death toll.
    “We must keep up our efforts as citizens by staying at home,” Veran added.    Some health officials had suggested on Sunday that French people appeared to comply less strictly to the national lockdown than in other countries.
    France started including data from nursing homes last Thursday, which partially explains why the official number of deaths has more than doubled since Wednesday.
    The health ministry data showed that 605 people died from COVID-19 in hospitals in the last 24 hours – a new daily record – taking hospital fatalities to 6,494. The figure represented a 10% increase, up from 6% on Sunday and 9% on Saturday.
    Nursing homes deaths also rose 10% to 2,417, bringing the total to 8,911, an increase of 10% on Sunday’s tally.
    A total of 7,072 serious coronavirus cases were being treated in intensive care units, Veran added, a rise of just 1.3% from Sunday, giving the French health system small but much-needed relief.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Chris Reese and Mike Collett-White)

4/6/2020 Spain’s coronavirus death pace slows, but agony continues by Emma Pinedo and Joan Faus
Birds fly over a closed construction site of a residential building during the lockdown amid
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Madrid, Spain, April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    MADRID/BARCELONA (Reuters) – The pace of new coronavirus deaths in Spain slowed for the fourth day on Monday, but overcrowded crematoria in Barcelona and the death of soccer coach Pep Guardiola’s mother showed the national agony was far from over.
    Spain has the second highest death toll in the world after Italy, but data gave some cause for hope that the worst may be passing.    On Monday, the country reported 637 fatalities in the previous 24 hours – a 5% increase in total and less than half the pace recorded a week earlier.
    “The pandemic’s growth rate is slowing down in almost every region,” Maria Jose Sierra, deputy head of Spain’s health emergency committee, told a virtual news conference.
    Exhausted but less overwhelmed than a few days ago, some doctors echoed that relief.
    “We have noticed a decline in the number of people coming to the hospital emergency ward,” Christian Vigil, a doctor at Madrid’s October 12 Hospital, told Reuters.
    However, the number of deaths was still traumatic.
    Barcelona’s city government said cremation services were overwhelmed and some corpses would have to be temporarily buried and put on a waiting list for up to two years.
    In the same area, the 82-year-old mother of the hugely successful Spanish coach Guardiola was among the latest to die, his current club Manchester City said.
    The government will increase the number of road controls to more than 500 next weekend, when people usually travel during the Easter holidays, said Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska.
    “We must keep up the fight because this new stage is going to take as much social discpline and solidarity as the one before,” he said.
NOT FAIR
    Many Spaniards were becoming frustrated at the strict lockdown they have been under since mid-March.     “My four-year-old daughter asks me why we can’t go out to watch the #Easter processions.    That it’s not fair.    That she wants to see them.    And that she’s sick of the #coronavirus,” tweeted one mother, Sandra Eva.
    Officials said for restrictions to be lifted, testing had to be widened beyond those suspected of having the COVID-19 disease and health workers, so as to find carriers who may have no symptoms or only very mild ones.
    “We are in a new phase of the pandemic, where a reactivation of certain activities and sectors is possible but doesn’t imply we are relaxing our attitude … We are studying the terms of this transition,” said Transport Minister Jose Luis Abalos.
    Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said at the weekend the lockdown would remain in place until April 26, but he opened the door to easing some restrictions, such as keeping all non-essential workers at home, after Easter.
    Spanish companies and households have taken up nearly all of the first 20 billion euro ($22 billion) tranche of state-backed credit aimed at alleviating the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, bankers said on Monday.
    Monday’s data showed Spain’s total cases up to 135,032, the highest in Europe and second in the world after the United States.
    Surrounded by piles of new coffins ready for shipment and her face covered with a mask, Maria Chao told Reuters her Ataudes Chao coffin-making firm near Madrid had increased supplies by up to 10 times during the crisis.
    In a positive sign, checkpoints were lifted in Igualada and three other hard-hit towns in the northeastern Catalonia region, where there have been more than 100 deaths, the health ministry said.
(Additional reporting by Inti Landauro, Joan Faus, Belen Carreno, Juan Medina, Raul Cadenas, Clara-Leila Laudette, Richard Martin, Jessica Jones; Writing by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Mike Collett-White)

4/6/2020 Italian regions testing for signs of coronavirus immunity by Riccardo Bastaniello
A woman uses an exercise bike on her balcony, as the spread of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) continues, in Milan, Italy April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo
    PADUA, Italy (Reuters) – Authorities in northern Italy have begun testing health workers for antibodies that may help identify individuals with immunity to the coronavirus as they look for ways to ease the lockdown imposed a month ago to contain the epidemic.
    On Monday, the northeastern region of Veneto, which saw one of Italy’s earliest outbreaks of the disease in February, started blood tests on health workers, following neighbouring Emilia Romagna, which began testing last week.
    “I can announce that the blood tests on health workers have begun,” said regional governor Luca Zaia.
    Following an initial phase of testing on 2,000-3,000 health workers, tests are to be extended to staff and residents in nursing homes and workers in contact with the public.
    Zaia said the aim would ultimately be to allow authorities to issue “licences” for individuals with proven immunity to the virus to return to work.
    The tests come as the number of deaths and infections has flattened out and the government has begun considering the so-called phase 2 stage of the crisis, when businesses and industry closed during the lockdown can start to reopen.
    The total number of confirmed cases increased by just 3,599 on Monday to 132,547, the lowest daily rise since March 17, while the number of deaths rose 636 to 16,523 – just under a quarter of all the fatalities registered so far in the world.
    With Italy’s fragile economy facing the most serious collapse since World War Two, authorities are desperate to restart production while avoiding a second wave of infections that could reignite the epidemic.
    But in the absence of a cure or vaccine, the response has been hampered by the many unknown aspects of the virus and uncertainty over whether immunity can be developed against it.
    The tests, which look for antibodies produced by the immune system in response to the illness, are simpler than the swab tests on mucus used to find the virus itself, but there is some doubt about whether they can yield reliable results.
    “Some say they will work, others say they won’t,” Zaia told a daily briefing.    “It all has to be proven but that’s how vaccines are made as well.”
    The blood tests, which produce results much more quickly than swab testing, aim to identify two types of antibodies – one which shows contact with the virus and a second which would indicate whether the body has developed a defence against it.
    “We’ve begin verifying whether these tests are effective and whether they concord with molecular analysis,” said Andrea Crisanti, a professor of virology at the University of Padua, which is carrying out the testing with the University of Verona.
    “I think that within two weeks or a month we will have enough data to be able to have a certain level of confidence,” he told Reuters.
(Additional reporting by Stephen Jewkes in Milan and Crispian Balmer in Rome; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

4/6/2020 Canada pressing U.S. over blocked shipments of masks to fight coronavirus by David Ljunggren
FILE PHOTO: Ontario Premier Doug Ford is seen after a meeting with Canada's provincial
premiers in Toronto, Ontario, Canada December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio
    OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada said on Monday it was pressing Washington over a complaint that U.S. officials had blocked the export of three million face masks bought by the province of Ontario to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
    Ontario Premier Doug Ford told Global News the incident had happened over the weekend and described it as “absolutely unacceptable.”    Ford said Ontario, the most populous of Canada’s 10 provinces, would run out of personal protective equipment in a week.
    Separately, Canadian medical health officials said the death toll in the country from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, had risen to 293 from 258 on Sunday.    The number of positive cases is now 15,822.
    Allies of the United States are complaining about what they call its “Wild West” tactics in outbidding or blocking shipments to buyers who have already signed deals for medical equipment to fight the coronavirus outbreak.
    Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters that Ottawa was aware of “some difficulties” shipping the masks across the border and would do all it could to help.
    “We are working intensely with the United States to ensure that all the masks that have been bought can be exported to Canada,” she said when asked about Ford’s complaint.
    “We have had positive conversations and we are continuing to work to settle this matter,” she added.
    The U.S. embassy in Ottawa was not immediately available for comment.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has asked manufacturing firm 3M Co to pause its exports of domestically-produced respirator masks to Canada and some Latin American countries.
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sidestepped reporters’ questions about the issue on Monday, saying his government was in productive talks with the United States and adding: “We expect those shipments to be delivered.”
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Marguerita Choy and Paul Simao)

4/6/2020 UK PM Johnson in intensive care after COVID-19 worsens
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street, as the spread of coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues. London, Britain, March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been taken into intensive care in hospital after his COVID-19 worsened, his office said on Monday.
    “Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus,” Downing Street said.
    “Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital."
    “The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputize for him where necessary.”
    A source later said Johnson remained conscious.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle and Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison)

4/7/2020 Oil down $2.71 to $26.29, DOW up 1627 to 22,680.

4/7/2020 More totals of deaths from COVID-19

4/7/2020 Spain’s coronavirus deaths up to 13,798 as pace ticks up again
FILE PHOTO: Ambulance workers push a wheelchair with a patient at a nursing home during the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) outbreak in Leganes Madrid, near Madrid, Spain, April 2, 2020. REUTERS/Juan Medina/File Photo
    MADRID (Reuters) – The pace of coronavirus deaths in Spain ticked up slightly for the first time in five days on Tuesday, with 743 people succumbing overnight to reach a total of 13,798.
    That compared to 637 people who died during the previous 24 hours in the nation with the second highest toll of fatalities in the world from the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Total cases rose to 140,510 on Tuesday from 135,032 on Monday, the health ministry said.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
       
4/7/2020 France’s COVID-19 epidemic has not yet peaked: health minister
FILE PHOTO: French Minister for Solidarity and Health Olivier Veran gestures as he speaks during a
news conference in Paris, France March 28, 2020, on the eleventh day of a strict nationwide confinement
seeking to halt the spread of COVID-19 disease. Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – France has not yet reached the peak of its COVID-19 epidemic, Health Minister Olivier Veran said on Tuesday.
    “We are still in a worsening phase of the epidemic,” Veran told broadcaster BFM TV.    He also said that the country’s lockdown would last as long as necessary.
    France’s coronavirus figures on Monday showed that the rate of increase in fatalities – at almost 9,000 – sped up again after several days of slowing.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Writing by Matthieu Protard; editing by John Stonestreet)

4/7/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise to 99,225, deaths to 1,607: RKI
People walk through the main railway station of Cologne, as the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues in Cologne, Germany, April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 3,834 in the past 24 hours to 99,225 on Tuesday, rising again after four consecutive days of drops, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.
    The reported death toll rose by 173 to 1,607.
    Tuesday’s number of new cases was higher than the 3,677 new infections reported on Monday.    Deaths had risen by 92 on Monday
.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Michelle Martin)

4/7/2020 Mexico reports 296 new coronavirus cases, stresses need for medical personnel
A city employee, wearing protective gear, poses for a photograph as he disinfects an area of Paseo de la Reforma
avenue as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Mexico City, Mexico April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico posted its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus cases on Monday as the deputy health minister said the country needed to recruit more medical personnel to confront a worsening outbreak.
    Mexico registered 296 new coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s total to 2,439 cases and 125 deaths, health officials told a news conference.
    Predicting that cases in the country would continue to rise sharply, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said Mexico had among the lowest number of medical personnel relative to population among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
    “That creates a challenge for us, and we need to recruit and train health personnel,” he said.
    Lopez-Gatell said the country’s predicament would become more dire after April 30, when the “epidemic curve” would begin rising.
    “Unavoidably, we will have more and more and more and more cases,” he said.    “This is the moment to stay in our homes and reduce transmission because the situation will be even more intense.”
(Reporting by Diego Ore and Abraham Gonzalez; Additional reporting and writing by Julia Love; Editing by Peter Cooney)

4/7/2020 New data show curves flattening, social distancing measures working amid COVID-19 outbreak by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 24, 2020, file photo New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference against
a backdrop of medical supplies at the Jacob Javits Center that will house a temporary hospital
in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
    As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the U.S., new data shows promise that some states may be approaching the pandemic’s peak.    During a televised address on Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) reviewed the progress of the virus through his state, which showed a possible flattening of the pandemic’s curve.
    While cautious in the prediction, particularly since New York continues to be the hardest hit state in the country, Gov. Cuomo revealed the coronavirus seems to be on the way down in the Empire State.
    “The flattening, possible flattening, of the curve is better than the increases we’ve seen,” he stated.    “Total hospitalizations are down, ICU admissions are down and daily incubations are down; those are all good signs and, again, would suggest a possible flattening of the curve.”
    Meanwhile, New York is not the only state where this trend is apparent.    California was the first state to present a case of “community spread” COVID-19 and also the first state to issue a stay-at-home order.
    Currently, it seems those early measures are yielding results with reports showing a flattening in both new cases and fatalities.
    According to health experts, a daily growth rate of the pandemic over the last week has come down to “essentially zero.”
A signs issues instructions for social distancing as Runyon Canyon park announces a closure Wednesday, March 25, 2020,
in Los Angeles. Throughout the state, lawmakers pleaded with Californians to abide by local and state stay-at-home orders
affecting some 40 million people as the numbers for those affected by the coronavirus increases. While most people and businesses
were obeying the orders, there were hints that authorities were losing patience with scofflaws. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
    “California and Washington State, where the coronavirus first emerged in our country, the cases remain at a steady but low rate,” said Vice President Mike Pence.
    Models suggest California’s curve may have already been flattened to the point of not overwhelming the state’s medical resources with authorities confident enough in this capacity that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced on Monday that 500 ventilators from the state reserves would be lent to the national stockpile for use by other states.
    The move was touted as an example of crucial cooperation between the states and the federal government, which can best coordinate a nationwide response and allocate resources where they can be most useful.
    “We worked with our federal partners, particularly Bob Fenton, our regional director of FEMA,” Gov. Newsom explained.    “We feel they’re better positioned from the perspective of logistics to direct or redirect them (ventilators) to other parts of the country in real time as needed.”
    While the findings are encouraging, experts have also warned the next couple weeks will be particularly difficult for America.    These two predictions are not actually in contradiction.    As Dr. Anthony Fauci has pointed out, the worst weeks will come before what is likely to be the plateau of the pandemic.
    Analysts have said all of this points to a crucial conclusion — the country’s measures against the pandemic are apparently working.

4/7/2020 GOP lawmakers demand WHO director general step down over alleged COVID-19, China cover-up by OAN Newsroom
FILE – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization speaks during a news conference on updates regarding
on the novel coronavirus COVID-19, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, file)
    Republican’s on Capitol Hill are calling for the leader of the World Health Organization (WHO) to step down amid misinformation surrounding China’s coronavirus outbreak.
    During a recent interview, Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) claimed WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus violated the agency’s mandate to protect the health and well being of people worldwide. She said downplaying China’s mishandling of the virus may have killed thousands of people.
    “The WHO needs to stop covering for them (China)…I think Dr. Tedros needs to step down…we need to take some action to address this issue,” she insisted. “…It’s irresponsible, it’s unconscionable what they’ve done here.”
    A handful full of other GOP lawmakers also jumped into the fight by demanding accountability from the WHO.    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) reportedly said Tedros let Beijing use the organization to mislead the global public and called him “either complicit or dangerously incompetent.”
    Starting in January, the WHO pushed Chinese propaganda by claiming they found no human-to-human transmission, which has proven to be a dangerously false and misleading statement.
    Then in February, President Trump took decisive action to restrict travel from China to which Tedros responded by stating there was no need for “unnecessary action interfering with international travel and trade.”
    Moving forward to March, Tedros used a Twitter post to praise China for claiming they had experienced their first day with no new virus cases.    At the same time, numerous others from around the world, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, zeroed in on the country for falsifying data relating to the illness.
    Tedros was elected to serve a five year term as chief of the WHO in 2017.    He is the first director general to lead the organization who is not a medical doctor.
People wear face masks as they exit a subway station in Beijing, Tuesday, April 7, 2020. China on Tuesday reported no new deaths from the
coronarivus over the past 24 hours and just 32 new cases, all from people who returned from overseas. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

4/7/2020 New COVID-19 vaccine undergoing clinical trials by OAN Newsroom
A healthcare worker talks with a patient at a COVID-19 testing site near Citizens Bank Park, home of the
Philadelphia Phillies baseball team, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Philadelphia. For most people, the new coronavirus
causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
    A pharmaceutical company in Pennsylvania is launching a clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19.
    Inovio announced the FDA’s’ approval of the test Monday and began administering the vaccine to volunteers by shot quickly thereafter.    Its study will involve 40 volunteers from Philadelphia and Kansas City.    Each volunteer will receive two doses of the vaccine four weeks apart.
    Researchers expect to receive data from those tests sometime near the end of summer.    Dr. Joseph Kim, the company’s CEO, has emphasizes their intention to move through this process swiftly.    Dr. Kim plans to have 1 million doses available by the end of the year.
    “When the new outbreak occurred, we applied our very innovative 21st Century platform, called DNA medicines platform, to COVID-19,” he explained.    “By getting just the DNA sequence of the virus, we were able to fully construct our vaccine within three hours.”
    Dr. Kim plans to have 1 million doses available by the end of the year.
    Inovio’s vaccine trail is the second one under way so far.    The first began safety tests on 45 people last month in Seattle and is still awaiting results.
    The clinical trials are a first step of a lengthy process to determine if the vaccine is safe enough for a larger group.    Even if the research goes well, however, experts have said it could be over a year until it is widely available.

4/7/2020 WHCA allows outlet with ties to China’s communist government into coronavirus task force briefing by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump points to a reporter to ask a question as he speaks about the coronavirus in the
James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The White House Correspondents Association is allowing media with ties to China’s communist government into coronavirus task force briefings after moving to exclude One America News from them.
    During Monday’s briefing, a reporter with Hong Kong outlet Phoenix TV was pressed on whether or not the station she represented was owned by China.    The reporter claimed the company was privately owned.
    However, a report by pro-democracy think thank Freedom House found the station’s owner is a former Chinese military officer and its coverage is generally favorable to China’s Communist Party. President Trump questioned the reporter on the issue after she asked if he was “cooperating” with China.
    The Correspondents Association’s inclusion of the pro-Beijing outlet came after the entity banned One America News from the briefing rotation last week for what they allege was a violation of it’s social distancing policy.
    Despite the organization’s move, OAN’s White House correspondent Chanel Rion has continued to attend briefings and has notably been called on by the president.

4/7/2020 FCC rejects far-left attempt to investigate networks for airing White House coronavirus press briefings by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump, center, speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday,
April 4, 2020, in Washington. Dr. Anthony Fauci, back left, director of the National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases, and Vice President Mike Pence, back right, look on. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Chairman Ajit Pai of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a statement Monday, which rejected an investigation into television networks that have broadcasted the administration’s coronavirus task force briefings from the White House.
    The complaint was filed by the group Free Press, which is a far-left activist group that has an avowed socialist on their board of advisors.    Their proposed so-called investigation would have looked into broadcasters who have aired President Trump’s statements during briefings as well as related commentary regarding the pandemic by other on-air personalities.
    The Washington Post had echoed the far-left groups ideas with columnist Margaret Sullivan demanded that news networks stop live broadcasting Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings after labeling them as dangerous and destructive. However, the president’s briefings provide necessary information to the American people from the White House task force and have received high ratings.
    The FCC’s rejection was forceful, ruling on the side of freedom of the press under the First Amendment, that it’s not their role to become “roving arbiters of broadcasters editorial judgments” nor discourage them from airing breaking news events involving government officials in the midst of the current global pandemic.
    Perhaps the group Free Press should look into changing its name.

4/7/2020 Joe Biden suggests travel restrictions useless during pandemic despite Dr. Fauci’s recommendations by OAN Newsroom
Travelers wearing face masks pull their luggage as they arrive at the Beijing Railway Station in Beijing, Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
Some train stations and bus services reopened in China’s Hubei Province on Wednesday and people who passed a health check would
finally be allowed to travel for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak surged in January. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
    2020 Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden recently suggested travel restrictions are not helpful in combating the spread of the coronavirus.
    During an interview over the weekend, the former vice president suggested imposing restrictions on who can enter the country and having people at our borders trying to stop those who could potentially be infected with the virus is useless.
    However, many health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House coronavirus task force disagree with Biden.
    “One of the things we did right was very early cut off travel from China to the United States because outside of China, where it originated, the countries in the world that have it are through travel either directly from China or indirectly from someone who went someplace and then came to that particular country,” stated theNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director.    “Our shutting off travel from China and more recently travel from Europe has gone a long way to not seeding very very intensively the virus in our country.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in
the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is under fire for criticizing President Trump’s precautionary travel restrictions on China back in January with the organization’s director saying such bans would have “little public health benefits.”
    Some U.S. lawmakers, including =Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), are now pushing to open a congressional investigation into an alleged cover-up from the WHO of China’s seemingly inaccurate reporting of the magnitude of the pandemic.
    In the meantime, contrary to Biden’s beliefs, a majority of health officials agree halting travel during this global crisis will slow the spread of the coronavirus — ultimately saving lives.

4/7/2020 Pentagon, President Trump confirm Navy hospital ships to accept COVID-19 patients in N.Y., Calif. by OAN Newsroom
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flies overhead as the USNS Comfort, a naval hospital ship with a
1,000 bed-capacity, docks at Pier 90, Monday, March 30, 2020, in New York. The ship will be used to treat New Yorkers who
don’t have coronavirus as land-based hospitals fill up with and treat those who do. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
    U.S. Navy officials confirmed a crew member aboard the USNS Comfort has tested positive for the coronavirus.    This came after the Comfort and USNS Mercy began treating COVID-19 patients in New York and Los Angeles respectively.    Officials have said the case will not impact medical operations.
    On Monday, the Defense Department said it’s expanded the mission of both hospital ships to accept all patients going forward.    This change was made after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) requested additional support to manage the high number of cases in his state.
    “If we determine that they have coronavirus then we will isolate them and right now in many cases, if we think they might, we’re isolating them proactively until we get the test results back going forward,” explained Brig. Gen. Paul Friedrichs, Joint Staff Surgeon for the Defense Department.    “So, yes we have the ability to isolate a small number on each of the ships and we are using that as we go forward.”
    For his part, President Trump has confirmed that if New York or Los Angeles need the ships to treat coronavirus patients then they should do exactly that.
Temporary triage tents are ready for a possible surge of emergency COVID-19 virus patients outside of
the Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center in Los Angeles Monday, March 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

4/7/2020 Democrat lawmaker credits drug touted by President Trump for her COVID-19 recovery by OAN Newsroom
This Monday, April 6, 2020, photo shows an arrangement of hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas.
Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro championed hydroxychloroquine in television interviews a day after the president
publicly put his faith in the medication to lessen the toll of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    A Democrat lawmaker has credited President Trump’s coronavirus briefings with saving her life.
    Michigan state Rep. Karen Whitsett tested positive for COVID-19 last month. After her symptoms failed to subside, she asked her doctor about hydroxychloroquine, which is a drug often touted by the president as a possible treatment.
    Whitsett claimed she felt relief in just hours and has credited it for her recovery.    She also reportedly believes that without the president’s briefings, she would not have thought to ask for it.
    “I mean, let’s just put politics aside…right now, let’s just be human beings,” she stated.    “Let’s put politics aside and let me just say that the person who’s in office right now, the President of the United States, I give credit where credit is due.”
    Following news of Whitsett’s improved health, President Trump took to Twitter to celebrate her recovery.

4/7/2020 President Trump reaches deal with 3M to increase mask production by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 31, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the
James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence
and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, listen. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    During a press briefing Monday, President Trump announced 3M will produce more than 55 million masks monthly under the Defense Production Act.    He said the company will make more than 166 million masks in total.    This came a week after the president expressed his disappointment with the company for “not doing enough.”
    3M had originally said it could not divert foreign production to the U.S. as this might cause a backlash from foreign governments and further decrease supply.    However, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act, which allows the government to direct industrial production at a time of emergency.
    Meanwhile, the president recently refuted the latest oversight report alleging severe shortages of beds and supplies in America’s hospitals. During a press briefing Monday, he said the Inspector General’s review of more than 300 hospitals is highly inaccurate.
    President Trump reiterated that the U.S. health care system is capable of curbing the coronavirus.    The latest IG report claimed hospitals are lacking COVID-19 tests and protective personal equipment for medical staff, but the president stressed he mistrusts the IG’s conclusions due to the latest revelations of political biases at the oversight body.
FILE – In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Dr. Deborah Birx, Ambassador and White House coronavirus response coordinator, holds
a 3M N95 mask as Vice President Mike Pence visits 3M headquarters in Maplewood, Minn. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, File)

4/7/2020 UK PM Johnson, battling coronavirus, set for second night in intensive care by William James and Costas Pitas
A member of the media wearing a protective face mask is seen outside St Thomas' Hospital after British Prime Minister
Boris Johnson was moved to intensive care while his coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms worsened and has asked
Secretary of State for Foreign affairs Dominic Raab to deputise, London, Britain, April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to spend a second night in intensive care on Tuesday to help his fight against a coronavirus infection, as his designated deputy said he would pull through because “he’s a fighter.”
    Johnson is receiving oxygen support but is stable, in good spirits and breathing without assistance, said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is standing in Johnson, adding that he had not needed mechanical ventilation.
    “I’m confident he’ll pull through because if there’s one thing I know about this prime minister, he’s a fighter, and he’ll be back at the helm leading us through this crisis in short order,” Raab told a daily news conference.
    Johnson’s personal battle with the virus has shaken the government just as the United Kingdom, now in its third week of lockdown, enters what scientists say will be the deadliest phase of its coronavirus epidemic, which has already killed at least 6,159 people.
    Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital, across the River Thames from parliament, late on Sunday after suffering symptoms including a fever and a cough for more than 10 days.
    His condition deteriorated, and he was moved on Monday to an intensive care unit in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.
    In an update on Tuesday evening, his Downing Street office said he would remain there for close monitoring and no further update was expected before Wednesday.
    Queen Elizabeth wished Johnson a full and speedy recovery and sent a message of support to his pregnant fiancée, Carrie Symonds, and his family, echoing warm words from the likes of U.S. President Trump and other world leaders.
    Raab said: “He’s not just the prime minister and, for all of us in cabinet, he’s not just our boss, he’s also a colleague and he’s also our friend.”
WHO LEADS?
    However, the absence of Johnson, the first leader of a major power to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, has raised questions about who is truly in charge at such a crucial time.
    Britain has no formal succession plan if a prime minister is incapacitated, and Raab, 46, said Johnson had asked him to deputise for as long as necessary.    If Raab was incapacitated, finance minister Rishi Sunak would stand in, though ministers refused to say who now had ultimate control over Britain’s nuclear weapons.
    “I’ve got total confidence in the arrangements that the prime minister has put in place so that I can discharge responsibility for him, deputising for him while he’s out of action, and obviously we hope that will be for a very limited period of time,” Raab said.
    He said decisions were being made collectively by the cabinet, a number of whom have also tested positive for the virus.    Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove was the latest to self-isolate.
    Raab said ministers had “very clear directions, very clear instructions” from Johnson.    It was not clear, though, what would happen if there was a major disagreement.
LOCKDOWN TO BE REVIEWED
    The government is due to decide early next week whether to start easing a near-total economic and social lockdown meant to stem transmission of the virus.
    Some ministers have suggested it should be extended, after seeing some people using sunny weather as an excuse to flout the rules. Raab himself said the government was not yet in a position to review the lockdown.
    Britain’s chief scientific adviser said it would be another week or so before it was clear whether the graph of new cases was flattening.     Tuesday’s daily death toll of 786 was the highest to date.
    The pound dipped in Asian trading on news of Johnson’s intensive care treatment but then rallied in London trading. Against the dollar, it ended the session up 0.9%. [GBP/]
    Even before the coronavirus, Johnson had had a tumultuous year.
    He won the top job in July 2019, renegotiated a Brexit deal with the European Union, resoundingly won a snap election in December and then led the United Kingdom out of the EU on Jan. 31 – promising to seal a new trade deal with the bloc by the end of this year.
    The government has said it is not planning to seek an extension to that deadline in light of the epidemic.
    Johnson has been criticised for initially approving a much more modest response to the coronavirus outbreak than other major European countries, though he then imposed a lockdown as projections showed half a million people could otherwise die.
(Additional reporting by Paul Sandle, Kylie MacLellan, Alistair Smout, Andy Bruce, Elizabeth Howcroft and Kate Kelland; Writing by Michael Holden, Kate Holton, Elizabeth Piper and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Angus MacSwan/Kevin Liffey/Mark Heinrich)

4/7/2020 In apparent swipe at China, Pompeo calls for transparency in coronavirus fight by Humeyra Pamuk and David Brunnstrom
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes questions from reporters seen oobserving 'social distancing" during
a news conference at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday urged all countries to be transparent and honest as they grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, a thinly veiled swipe at China, which reported no deaths from the illness for the first time since the outbreak began.
    Separately, a senior Trump administration official urged China to allow the United States to work directly with laboratories in the city of Wuhan, where the virus originated late last year, saying this was critical to saving lives globally.
    At a State Department news conference, Pompeo did not mention China by name and avoided harsh rhetoric he has used recently.    He has previously accused Beijing of covering up the scale of the outbreak in the early days and not sharing accurate data.
    Pompeo said all countries have an obligation to provide accurate and timely data to help the world learn more about the virus.    “Every nation, be they a democracy or not, has to share this information in a transparent, open, efficient way,” he said.
    Pompeo has softened his tone toward Beijing since a March 27 phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, after which Trump dialed down his criticism of China’s handling of the virus.
    China insists it has been transparent about the pandemic and has sharply criticized U.S. officials who cast doubt on that.
    China’s Washington ambassador, Cui Tiankai, said in Sunday’s New York Times there had been ‘unpleasant talk’ between the two countries about the virus, but now was the time for “solidarity, collaboration and mutual support.”
    A senior Trump administration official said access to Wuhan had been restricted since the virus outbreak, and added: “If Ambassador Cui is saying China is willing to cooperate with the U.S., we would appreciate the opportunity to work directly with their virology labs in Wuhan…
    The World Heath Organization became a target for Trump on Tuesday, when he accused it of being “very China centric” and of issuing bad advice during the outbreak.
    On Monday, China reported no coronavirus deaths for the first time since the outbreak began and a drop in new cases, and it was set to lift the more than two month-long Wuhan lockdown on Wednesday.
    Trump said last week China’s statistics seemed “a little bit on the light side,” while his national security adviser said Washington had no way of knowing if Beijing’s figures were accurate.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, David Brunnstrom and Jonathan Landay, Editing by Franklin Paul and Bill Berkrot)

4/7/2020 Impossible dilemma? World watches Italy as businesses plead to return to work by Giselda Vagnoni
FILE PHOTO: A closed market, on an empty San Giovanni square is pictured, on the sixth day of an unprecedented lockdown across
of all Italy imposed to slow the outbreak of coronavirus, in Turin, Italy, March 15, 2020. REUTERS/Massimo Pinca/File Photo
    ROME (Reuters) – Many Italian companies and academics are pressing the government to reopen factories to prevent an economic catastrophe, as the world watches how the first Western country to impose a lockdown can extricate itself from the unprecedented measures.
    The same debate is being held around the globe: how long and stringently can bans to combat the coronavirus pandemic be held in place before irreversible damage is wrought, with businesses sunk and swathes of the population jobless?
    Italy faces among the most pressing dilemmas, not only because its lockdown has been in place longer than most nations and it has the world’s highest death toll, but because the novel coronavirus has hit hardest in the northern industrial heartlands that generate a third of its economic output.
    “How can I pay wages if I do not make money?    How can I keep American clients if I am not in the position to respect any contracts?” said Giulia Svegliado, CEO of Celenit, a producer of industrial insulating panels with 50 employees in the northern town of Padua.
    About 150 Italian academics have published a letter in Italian financial daily Il Sole-24 Ore, owned by the Italian business lobby Confindustria, urging the government to unblock the economy.
    “The social and economic consequences would risk producing irreversible damage, probably more serious than those caused by the virus itself,” the letter said.
    More than two weeks after the government ordered a shutdown of non-essential factories, Italian businesses are calling for the ban to be quickly lifted to avoid jobs being lost.
    Rome imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 9 when the new virus, which emerged in China, had already killed more than 460 people.    Two weeks later, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that non-essential businesses, including car, clothing and furniture production, would have to close until April 3.
    The death toll has risen relentlessly and now stands at more than 16,500.    The government extended the restrictions last week until April 13 and is widely expected to extend them again, for another three weeks.
    However the smallest daily rise in COVID-19 deaths for nearly two weeks on Saturday, and the first fall in the number of patients in intensive care, have fed hopes that the epidemic might have reached a peak in Italy and focused attention on the next phase in the crisis. WHAT’S THE PLAN?
    Most businesses appreciate the need for lockdowns to safeguard public health.    After all, if bans are lifted before the spread of the virus is curbed, people may not have confidence to leave their homes and engage in commerce.
    The World Health Organization on Tuesday urged countries not to lift restrictions prematurely.
    “One of the most important parts is not to let go of the measures too early in order not to have a fall back again,” said spokesman Christian Lindmeier.    “It’s similar to being sick yourself if you get out of bed too early and get running too early you risk falling back and having complications.”
    What worries many in Italy, and elsewhere, is the apparent lack of authoritative plans on how to safely lift measures, as governments wrestle with an unforeseen, invisible and unfamiliar foe and scientific guidance evolves on a weekly basis.
    Companies in the euro zone’s third-largest economy are pushing for the government to come up with a strategy for a gradual exit from the lockdown.
    “I expect government to set strict rules on security and then give us the possibility to go back to work,” said Stefano Ruaro, founder of Sertech Elettronica, a producer of electro-mechanical, electronic and software components in Vicenza.
    So far, officials have said that work restrictions would probably be lifted on a sector-by-sector rather than geographical basis.    Social distancing, wider use of personal protection devices such as face masks and strengthened local health systems have also been spoken about.
    Testing and “contact tracing” would be extended, including with the use of smartphone apps and other forms of digital technology, following the South Korean playbook.
‘INCALCULABLE DAMAGE’
    Vicenza and Padua are part of Veneto, one of the worst affected regions of Italy along with Lombardy and Emilia Romagna.    The high density of factories and strong economic ties with China have been put forward as possible reasons behind the epidemic there.
    “We say this very loudly to the authorities: ‘Hurry up’,” said Cesare Mastroianni, vice president of Absolute, a luxury yachts producer of Piacenza, Emilia Romagna.    “The shutdown has already done incalculable damage.”
    Trade unions have threatened to strike unless the government keeps non-core activities down.    Protect health over wealth, they say – and while many companies are pushing the government for a plan to reopen factories, they won’t risk their staff.
    “I am full of orders but I cannot reopen as long as there is a risk that employees may get sick.    I will reopen when the responsible bodies decide that it can be done,” said Gaetano Bergami, founder of BMC, a producer of air filters for the motorcycle and automotive industries with 100 employees.
    With Italy’s gross domestic product expected to fall by 6% this year according to Confindustria’s forecast, public debt spiking towards 150% of GDP and thousands of people asking for state-backed income support schemes, pressure is growing on Conte to come up with a detailed blueprint for recovery.
    “We can’t wait for everything to pass.    If we stay closed people will starve,” former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, leader of the centrist ruling party Italia Viva, told bishops’ newspaper L’Avvenire.
ANTIBODY TESTS
    Authorities in northern Italy have begun testing health workers for antibodies that may help identify individuals with immunity to the coronavirus.    The aim would be to allow authorities to issue “licences” for individuals with proven immunity to the virus to return to work.
    Franco Locatelli, the head of Italy’s Higher Health Council, said a reliable antibody test to find out who had already contracted the coronavirus, and likely have developed immunity, would give a better picture of the extent of Italy’s epidemic.
    However, it would probably then take another month before the health authorities are able to roll out recommendations on a plan for nationwide testing, Locatelli said.
    Some industrialists said they would be happy to spend their own money to test employees if that would help speed up a gradual reopening of their activities.
    Roberta Mantovani, chairwoman of Mantovanibenne, a producer of excavator buckets in Mirandola, in the Emilia Romagna region, said that she was in favour of employers ensuring staff were checked out.
    She is not alone.
    “I would be glad to foot the bill,” said Celenit CEO Svegliado.    “Rather than contracting coronavirus in the workplace the real risk is to be pushed out of the market.”
(Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; Additional reporting by Emma Farge in Geneva; Editing by John Chalmers and Pravin Char)

4/7/2020 Coronavirus patients, families exchange virtual kisses in Italy hospital by Flavio Lo Scalzo and Alex Fraser
A member of the medical personnel looks on at the Cernusco sul Naviglio hospital for patients suffering
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Milan, Italy, April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
    CERNUSCO SUL NAVIGLIO, Italy (Reuters) – It is just a kiss blown over a video call on a computer tablet to a loved one miles away.
    But to elderly patients suffering from the coronavirus in the Uboldo Hospital in this northern Italian town, it is as much of a lifeline as their oxygen masks.
    Doctors up and down Italy, the country with the most deaths from the pandemic, say one of the hardest things for patients is not being able to have their loved ones by their side because of quarantine restrictions.
    “From a psychological point of view, this certainly is the worst aspect of this emergency,” said the hospital’s chief anaesthetist, Dr. Massimo Zambon.
    So, Zambon and his colleagues are using tablets donated by the city and private citizens to ease the pain of distance and loneliness.    Most of the patients are elderly and do not know how to use the tablets, so hospital staff make the calls and hold them up to their faces.
    “Right now, this is the only possible solution, the easiest and most effective way to create contact between the patient and the family,” Zambon said.
    “And I must say, this is very much appreciated by the patients, but above all by relatives at home who are worried and are awaiting news,” he said, speaking in a hospital corridor.
    More than 17,000 people have died of the coronavirus in Italy.    The relatively small Uboldo Hospital is in the Lombardy region, which has borne the brunt of the epidemic.
    Around 90% of Uboldo’s patients are coronavirus victims.    Since the crisis began, the hospital has tripled the number of its beds to try to cope.
    On Tuesday morning, doctors in protective gear removed an oxygen mask from the face of an elderly man and held up a tablet.
    The man waved and a relative on the other end of the call blew him a kiss.    It lasted less than a minute and then the oxygen mask went back on.
    “Video calls are obviously short because there is so much to do.    These calls are a bit cold because there is no real contact between people when they talk, so obviously everything is more difficult,” Zambon said.
    In another room, a 69-year-old woman was being tested to see if she had the virus, and staff held up a tablet so she could see her family.
    “If I have it, I’ll stay here, otherwise I’ll come home,” the woman said.    “They’re all efficient here, they’re all kind … they’re all angels here, really, if it was not for them and the sacrifices they make…
    There was no need for her to finish the sentence.    Everyone on both sides knew exactly what she meant.
(Writing by Philip Pullella; Editing by Leslie Adler)

4/7/2020 France is fourth country to pass 10,000 coronavirus deaths
FILE PHOTO: A patient suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is treated at the intensive care unit at the
Institut Mutualiste Montsouris (IMM) hospital in Paris, France, April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – France has officially registered more than 10,000 deaths from coronavirus infections, making it the fourth country to cross that threshold after Italy, Spain and the United States.
    The rate of increase in the number of fatalities also rose on Tuesday for the second consecutive day, official figures showed.
    Jerome Salomon, head of the public health authority, told a news conference the pandemic was still expanding in France, which is now in the fourth week of a national lockdown to try to curb its spread.
    But he said the number of serious coronavirus cases being treated in intensive care units had risen by only 0.8% in the previous 24 hours – the eighth consecutive day that this rate has decelerated.
    “The need to find new (ICU) places is less urgent.    But the balance of additional patients needing care remains positive, which means the pandemic is still expanding,” Salomon said.
    Earlier on Tuesday, Italy, the country with the highest coronavirus death toll at 17,127, reported a fourth consecutive daily decline in the number of people in intensive care.
    France closely monitors its neighbour, which introduced a national lockdown on March 9, to evaluate the efficiency of its own measures.
    French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the unwinding of the lockdown, which at this stage is supposed to run until April 15, would not “happen overnight.”
    Authorities tightened their lockdown measures in Paris, banning outdoor sports activity between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
    Salomon said the number of people who have died in French hospitals after contracting the coronavirus had risen to a cumulative total of 7,091.    But if partial data on deaths in nursing homes is included, the death toll from the disease is now 10,328, he said.
    The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in hospitals is now 78,167, and the number of confirmed or possible cases in nursing homes is 30,902.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Franklin Paul and Timothy Heritage)

4/7/2020 Coronavirus takes deadly toll on Canada’s nursing homes by Anna Mehler Paperny and Allison Lampert
A paramedic removes protective gear outside the Lynn Valley Care Centre, a seniors care home which housed a man who was the first in
Canada to die after contracting novel coronavirus, in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada March 9, 2020. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier
    TORONTO/MONTREAL (Reuters) – With deaths in nursing homes making up almost half of Canada’s coronavirus deaths, provinces are taking control of their workforces, boosting care workers’ wages and redeploying health inspectors from hospitals to curb the virus’ spread among seniors.
    In one Ontario home, more than a third of residents, 27 people, have died since March 25 and more than half its staff have tested positive for the coronavirus as a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) hit workers.
    “These long-term care facilities are the frontline of this crisis,” said Kitra Cahana, whose quadriplegic father lives at a Quebec long-term care facility while her mother works at a Quebec seniors’ residence.
    In Quebec, 60% of deaths have been in either seniors’ homes or long-term care facilities and a quarter of the province’s nursing homes have at least one confirmed case, according to provincial data.
    Residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, because of typically more compromised immune systems, frailty and sharing common areas.    Frequent visitors and workers from outside compound the situation.
    “Other people inadvertently may transmit the infection, and this is where the problem is.    Oftentimes it is the vectoring from outside the home into the home,” said Dr. Roger Wong, a clinical professor of geriatric medicine at the University of British Columbia.
    In British Columbia, where 68% of provincial deaths have been in nursing homes, the virus is spreading through different residences as low-paid care workers supplement their income by working in multiple homes.
    The province’s medical officer of health enacted strict restrictions on who could visit long-term care facilities, limited employees to work in only one home at a time and canceled patient transfers between facilities.
    In Alberta, where 56% of deaths are in care homes, employees who work in multiple seniors’ homes are required to inform their supervisors if they work at a facility where there has been a confirmed or suspected case, among other measures.
    Canada on Tuesday reported 17,063 coronavirus cases and 345 deaths.
    Ontario, Canada’s most-populous province, has issued an emergency order that provides long-term care homes more flexibility in staffing and recruitment, bypassing collective bargaining agreements that limit who can be hired and the use of volunteers, and redeployed inspectors to provide additional help.
    “What we’re seeing happening to our seniors and in our long-term care homes … is hard to process, it’s hard to comprehend and it’s hard to deal with,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford told reporters.
‘WAR ZONE’IN SOME HOMES
    The Ontario order will take some pressure off workers who say there has not been enough staff to provide proper care for residents, especially in an outbreak, said Miranda Ferrier, president of the Ontario Personal Support Workers Association.
    “They are absolutely desperate for help.    It is a war zone in some of these long-term care homes,” Ferrier said.    “Our hope with this emergency order is that people will be hired to help with things like snack carts, feeding, laundry, assisting (personal support workers) where they can.”
    Frontline workers have warned of inadequate protective equipment in some long-term care facilities in Quebec, which has become Canada’s epicenter for the pandemic with 9,340 positive cases.
    A Quebec nursing home worker told Reuters she was buying her own face shield because the home she works at does not provide equipment due to an absence of positive tests.    Speaking on condition of anonymity, the worker said she had dealt with two residents who were sick and awaiting COVID-19 test results.
    Faced with staffing shortages, Quebec raised wages for most health workers by 4% to 8% and said on Tuesday it would deploy more nurses and doctors to care homes.
    Jeff Begley, president of Quebec’s largest health-sector union, said workers were starting to get “very anxious.”
    “If the virus is not going to get you, the stress will.”
(Reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Additional reporting by Tessa Vikander in Vancouver; Editing by Amran Abocar and Peter Cooney)

4/7/2020 Spain’s coronavirus death rate quickens again by Jesús Aguado and Joan Faus
Relatives of Mercedes Merino, who died of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), walk behind the vehicle carrying her coffin before her
burial, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at a cemetery in Madrid, Spain, April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s daily toll of coronavirus deaths rose on Tuesday for the first time in five days, with 743 people succumbing overnight compared with 637 in the previous 24 hours, but there was still hope the national lockdown might be eased soon.
    “It is normal to have some oscillations. … What matters is to see the trend and the cumulative data,” said Maria Jose Sierra, deputy chief of health emergencies.
    She said the latest data included some delayed notifications from the weekend.
    The total number of cases rose to 140,510, second only to the United States, and the death toll of 13,798 was behind only Italy’s.
    As officials worked on a plan to lift some of the social and economic restrictions imposed to halt the virus’ spread, the Spanish unit of Germany’s Volkswagen said it may partially reopen a plant in the Navarra region on April 20.
    Employment rules for farms were eased to allow up to 80,000 migrants and jobless people to cover a shortfall of foreign seasonal labourers.    That, officials hope, will prevent food shortages and preserve Spain’s status as the European Union’s biggest exporter of fruit and vegetables.
    For restrictions to be lifted, officials say testing has to be widened to find carriers who may have mild or no symptoms.
    The government is planning to start mass rapid antibody tests in the coming days.    Health Minister Salvador Illa said 60,000 randomly chosen people would be tested over three weeks to gauge the spread of the virus.
NUMBERS UNDER SCRUTINY
    Asked about reports that many coronavirus deaths were going unregistered, Budget Minister Maria Jesus Montero said there could be delays between the report of a death and its attribution to the virus.
    Thirteen of Spain’s 17 regions have registered more deaths than usual at this time of year, and in 11 of those, the excess is higher than the number confirmed to have died from the coronavirus, according to Reuters calculations based on data collected by the health and justice ministries.
    In the central region of Castilla La Mancha, around 2,000 more people than usual died between March 15 and April 3, but fewer than 1,000 coronavirus deaths were registered during those three weeks.
    Illa said later that Spain’s accounting for the impact of the pandemic was among the most stringent in Europe: “Everyone who tests positive for the coronavirus and dies is a person counted as having died from coronavirus.”
    He added that he had spoken to the official in charge of health in Castilla La Mancha, and concluded that the data from that region was based on that definition and therefore correct.
    A care home for the elderly in the northern city of Guernica was a bright spot in a sector whose residents have been among those hit hardest by the pandemic.
    Relatives, neighbors and the local fire brigade danced and applauded care staff who had decided to move in with virus-free residents at a nursing home.
    “I am staying home, with my other family!” said home director Visi Garcia.
(Reporting by Jesús Aguado and Joan Faus; Additional reporting by Inti Landauro, Clara-Laeila Laudette, Andrei Khalip, Vincent West and Silvio Castellanos; Writing by Isla Binnie; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne, Kevin Liffey and Peter Cooney)

4/7/2020 Ireland likely to extend shutdown as coronavirus toll rises
FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask waits at a bus stop which displays a message of "Thank you to Ireland's healthcare
workers" as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Dublin, Ireland, March 30, 2020. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
    DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s chief medical officer said on Tuesday he did not expect to be able to recommend a lifting of severe restrictions on economic activity and the movement of people by April 12 amid a spike in the death toll from COVID-19.
    “At this moment in time, we are not anticipating a recommendation later in the week that we should lift the measures that are in place,” Dr Tony Holohan of the Department of Health told a news briefing on Tuesday.
    On March 28, Ireland’s prime minister ordered citizens to stay home until April 12 to help slow the spread of the highly contagious new coronavirus, telling them they could only leave to shop for groceries, for brief individual physical exercise or to make absolutely essential family visits.
    Holohan said it was important to give the measures time to work and he wanted to “see the full benefit of the measures that were put in place…the Friday measures that really restricted the amount of movement in the population.”
    Ireland reported 36 deaths from COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, the highest number of deaths in a single day since the outbreak began, which brought the total to 210.    There were an additional 345 confirmed infections for a total of 5,709.
(Reporting by Graham Fahy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

4/7/2020 New coronavirus cases in Italy fall to 25-day low, deaths rise by 604
A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is treated at the Cernusco
sul Naviglio hospital in Milan, Italy, April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
    ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 604 on Tuesday, a lower daily tally than the 636 seen the day before, while the number of new cases posted the smallest increase since March 13.
    The total death toll in the world’s hardest-hit country since its outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 rose to 17,127, the Civil Protection Agency said.
    The total of confirmed cases increased by 3,039 on Tuesday to 135,586, the second successive daily decline, underscoring growing confidence that the illness is on the retreat thanks to a nationwide lockdown introduced on March 9.
    New cases rose by 3,599 on Monday.    Previous daily increases since March 17 had all been in a range of 4,050-6,557.
    Of those originally infected, 24,392 were declared recovered on Tuesday against 22,837 a day earlier.    There were 3,792 people in intensive care against 3,898 on Monday — a fourth consecutive daily decline.
(Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Gavin Jones)

4/8/2020 Oil down $1.93 to $24.37, DOW down 26 to 22,654.

4/8/2020 More info on coronavirus in the U.S.

4/8/2020 U.S. immigration officials evaluate vulnerable detainees for possible release amid pandemic by Ted Hesson
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers carry out a raid as part of Operation Cross Check in Sherman, Texas, U.S.,
on June 20, 2019. Picture taken on June 20, 2019. Courtesy Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. immigration officials said on Tuesday they are considering releasing some detainees at high risk for coronavirus infection as detainees and workers have tested positive for the resulting COVID-19 illness.
    In an email sent to lawmakers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said that it had instructed its offices around the country to consider the release of detainees with an increased risk of contracting the deadly respiratory disease.    Among those whose cases are being reviewed are pregnant women and detainees ages 60 and older, according to the agency.
    ICE said that it already had identified 600 detainees it considered vulnerable and released 160 people from custody. Those released will be required to wear ankle bracelets or be subject to other forms of monitoring.
    The decision comes after ICE announced last month that it would delay arresting some people suspected of violating immigration laws until after the coronavirus crisis, one of several emergency moves that could hamper President Donald Trump’s aggressive immigration crackdown.
    ICE has recorded 19 cases of detainees infected with COVID-19 and 71 cases of agency employees with the disease, including 11 who work in detention centers, according to figures posted on its website.
    The tally of infected employees does not include contractors working at its facilities.
    Several top House Democrats sent letters to ICE earlier in the day that called on the agency to release detainees who do not pose a threat to public safety.
    In one of the letters, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York and Representative Zoe Lofgren of California wrote that there was “simply no reason” ICE should not release such detainees, particularly those at high risk of contracting the disease.
    Trump issued an executive order shortly after taking office in 2017 that called on federal immigration authorities to detain immigration law violators whenever possible.    In February, his administration sought funding for 60,000 detention beds in its budget request.    ICE currently detains roughly 36,000 people amid the pandemic.
    Many detention centers are located in remote communities, far from hospitals that could handle a rush of patients with COVID-19, Reuters reported last week.
(Reporting by Ted Hesson; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

4/8/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise to 103,228, deaths to 1,861: RKI
People wear face masks as they watch the skyline of the city during the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues in Berlin, Germany, April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Germany rose by 4,003 in the past 24 hours to 103,228 on Wednesday, climbing for the second straight day after four previous days of drops, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.
    The reported death toll rose by 254 to 1,861.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Michelle Martin)

4/8/2020 Mexico registers 2,785 cases of coronavirus and 141 deaths
Funeral workers remove the body of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) victim from a hearse at
a funeral parlor, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

4/8/2020 Ivanka Trump secures $1.6B for small businesses hit by virus by OAN Newsroom
Ivanka Trump listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a conference call with banks on efforts to help small businesses
during the coronavirus pandemic, at the White House, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Ivanka Trump has thanked the nation’s biggest banks for agreeing to help out small businesses.    They will be providing over $1 billion in payroll funding to keep workers employed amid the pandemic.
    Ivanka, who has been appointed as the president’s job czar, offered praise to financial giants like Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo this week for supplementing programs like the Paycheck Protection Program.
    The first daughter has partnered with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on these efforts.    The move included private loans and forgiveness programs, which stemmed from Ivanka’s national jobs initiative, ‘Pledge to America’s Workers.’
    “When we began making phone calls a couple of weeks ago to each of you, some of the largest lenders in the country,…we asked you to provide private sector driven relief to our incredible small businesses.    You’ve answered that call.    Among the things we’ve discussed and that you’ll announce today include policies that will offer debt relief to your clients and customers, payment deferrals, loan modifications, and outright hardship relief.” – Ivanka Trump, Senior White House Adviser
    According to reports, we can expect Ivanka Trump to be taking larger role in helping craft new congressional stimulus legislation for small businesses in the coming weeks.
President Donald Trump listens as Ivanka Trump speaks during a conference call with banks on efforts to help small businesses
during the coronavirus pandemic, at the White House, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

4/8/2020 States unemployment websites, hotlines crashing after 10M people file new claims in recent weeks by OAN Newsroom
A worker, right, hands out paper unemployment applications after a batch of applications in English
were brought in, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at Babcock Park in Hialeah, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
    A line of people were seen stretched around the block in Hialeah, Florida in violation of the state’s social distancing guidelines.
    However, the people risking their health had no choice as standing in line Tuesday was the only way to get an application for unemployment after the county’s online application portal crashed and those who tried to calling the hotline were forced to wait for hours on hold.
    In recent weeks, more than 10 million people filed unemployment claims, which is a number that is set to push the unemployment rate past 10 percent in April.    States were not prepared for the rush of applications and most systems quickly crashed.
    “It’s just too overloaded right now, we’ve got no one to help because they can’t,” explained Dana Simone, and unemployed Michigan resident.    “There’s so many people trying to apply for benefits right now that both online and the phones are totally overloaded.”
    In recent weeks in New York, 450,000 people found out the delays on their applications were due to the state using software more than 40 years old to process applications.
    “It took probably two hours for me to actually be able to fill and submit the claim because the website is very slow,” reccounted Weslynne Therasse, an unemployed nurse in New York.    “It kept on freezing and crashing…it took about two hours.”
FILE – In this Wednesday, March 18, 2020 file photo, Visitors to the Department of Labor are turned away at the door by
personnel due to closures over coronavirus concerns in New York. Americans are seeking unemployment benefits at unprecedented
levels due to the coronavirus, but many are finding more frustration than relief. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
    With people unable to receive either a paycheck or unemployment benefits, some bills are not being paid.    In the last weeks of March, calls for a rent strike circulated across social media with tenants arguing the pandemic made paying their lease less of a priority.
    “I was unemployed, or am unemployed, and just barely scraping by,” said Neal Miller, an unemployed resident of Illinois. “Now with this new reality, this crisis, is just makes sense to withhold rent from our landlords and to simply say that we’re not going to pay for what is effectively our means of survival.”
    The National Multifamily Housing Council reported Wednesday that nearly a third of apartment renters did not pay April rent.
    For renters in government housing or in the 28 states that have adopted policies to prevent evictions, not paying rent may not have immediate consequences.    However, analysts worry the lack of payment may result in a domino effect going from tenant to landlord to bank to another government bailout.

4/8/2020 Sen. Rubio: U.S. must review WHO funding over China ties by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., talks to reporters before attending a Republican policy lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington,
Friday, March 20, 2020, to work on sweeping economic rescue plan amid the pandemic crisis and nationwide shutdown. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) recently called on President Trump to review funding for the World Health Organization (WHO) over its political proximity to mainland China.    On Wednesday, he said the WHO underestimated coronavirus risks at the beginning of the outbreak.
    The senator added the organization appears to be very “China-centric” and may have been politicized by Beijing’s influence and money.
    “There’s evidence that it’s been politicized, that the World Health Organization at its leadership level was politicized by Chinese influence and money,” said Rubio.    “That’s unfortunate, because that organization should not be political and should not be making public health pronouncements under duress from any country in the world.”
    This came after President Trump announced the U.S. might cut funding to the WHO over the same concerns.
    “They’re taking a lot of heat because they didn’t want the borders closed, they called it wrong,” stated the president.    “They really called, I would say, every aspect of it wrong.”
FILE – In this Monday, March 9, 2020 file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the
World Health Organization speaks during a news conference on updates regarding on the novel coronavirus
COVID-19, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, file)
    The organization has since denied its ties to China and appeared to accuse U.S. officials of politicizing the matter.
    “No politicizing, no need to use COVID to score political points,” stated WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.    “You have many other ways to prove yourselves, this is not the one to use for politics.”
    Rubio went on to stress the WHO must rely on medical science instead of helping China cover up its failures to protect public health.
[It looks like another Globalist entity has gone to the dogs with lies, cover ups, and denial and it is going to take a Nationalist country with the right president to push back using good old U.S.A. politics to oust them.].

4/8/2020 Sen. Bernie Sanders suspends 2020 presidential campaign by OAN Newsroom
This image from video provided by the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign shows Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as he announces
he is ending his presidential campaign Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. (Bernie Sanders for President via AP)
    Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has officially suspended his presidential campaign.    In a video message to supporters, Sanders announced he is dropping out of the presidential race to focus his efforts on passing legislation for the coronavirus pandemic.
    “I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour,” stated the senator.
    He congratulated Joe Biden on the Democrat nomination and committed to helping the former vice president push his progressive agenda.

FILE – In this March 9, 2020, file photo a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders,
I-Vt., applauds as Sanders speaks during a campaign rally in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
    After the senator ended his 2020 run, President Trump urged supporters of Bernie Sanders to back the GOP.    In a series of tweets, the president thanked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for not ending her run after Super Tuesday.
    He suggested the suspension of Sanders’ campaign “ended just like the Democrats and DNC wanted,” calling it the same as the “crooked Hillary fiasco” in 2016.
    The president then called on Sanders’ voters to back the Republicans and added “he doesn’t see AOC plus three supporting sleepy Joe Biden.”
    The Trump campaign also released a statement, which read, “The Democrat elites shoved Bernie to the side for a second time, leaving many of his supporters looking for a new home.”
[And I thought they got rid of Bernie because Trump wanted to run against the Marxist socialist, but what may be funny is that Biden may be a push over now since he is trying to run on the same crap and his VP will have to be a black female/male who is a Lesbian-Homosexual Transgender who backs the LBGT, hates Christians and likes the Squad policies and can run the country when Quid Pro Joe gaffes out.].

4/8/2020 Gov. Newsom: Calif. set to receive 200M masks a month from a new contract deal by OAN Newsroom
FILE — In this Monday April 6, 2020 file photo, Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses the acquisition of the Sleep Train Arena for use
as a field hospital, after touring the facility, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/ (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool, File)
    California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced his state is set to acquire 200 million face masks a month following a new contract deal.    During a recent interview, Newsom expressed he is confident his state will be able to get enough masks to meet demand during the coronavirus outbreak.
    According to the governor, officials were able to secure a monthly overseas shipment of both N95 and surgical masks.    They were sourced through an association of non-profits and a large manufacturer with “appropriate contacts in Asia.”
    He stated California decided to use “its purchasing power” after trying to battle with other states over the national stockpile.
    “We’ve received just over 1 million (masks) from the federal government.    It’s not an indictment, it’s not a cheap shot.    At the end of the day, they don’t have the masks at the national stockpile.    We were going out, getting 5 million here, 500,000 there, 200,000 there, competing against other states, competing against the federal government.” – Gavin Newsom, Governor of California
    Newsom added there may even be masks leftover, which could potentially be exported to other states in need.

4/8/2020 Lawmakers work to establish remote attendance and voting policies amid social distancing by OAN Newsroom
The dome of the Legislative Building is shown next to cherry blossoms, Monday,
April 6, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
    Lawmakers at the state and federal level are struggling to find solutions that will allow them to maintain social distancing while still working to pass legislation.
    In early March, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) introduced the ‘Mobile Resolution,’ which would permit remote voting and conference attendance.    Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced a similar resolution in the Senate, which had seven Republicans, two Independents and seven Democrats as cosponsors.
    Many lawmakers have already made efforts to contribute remotely by sending in videos of their speeches on the coronavirus economic relief bill.
    A bipartisan group of representatives, known as the Problem Solvers Caucus, has been working to convince Congress to allow virtual voting.
    In a letter to House leaders, the caucus recommended several possible options, including voting by phone and attending committee meetings remotely.
    However, the proposal is not without complications.
    A Vermont Senate committee meeting was streaming live via Zoom when an anonymous participant began playing a pornographic film.    Apparently, one senator accidentally posted the meeting ID number on his Twitter account, which allowed anyone to access the meeting.
    The caucus hopes to prevent this type of interruption by having committee members go to secure areas, like military bases or FBI offices, to attend meetings.
    Both the House and the Senate are on a recess until April 20th, but many members are hoping emergency measures will be adopted to ensure their safety upon return.

4/8/2020 Black & Hispanic communities may be at higher risk during COVID-19 outbreak by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing
Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The odds seem to be stacked against black, Latino and Hispanic communities when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic.    On Monday, the Louisiana Department of Health reported that black people make up 70 percent of coronavirus deaths in the state.
    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the same trend can be seen in her city with more then 70 percent of COVID-19 deaths reported as black Americans.    Initial findings out of Michigan also revealed similar impacts.
    “Based on our preliminary data, we see that it appears to be impacting minority populations with greater with 33% of cases and 40% percent of deaths being of African Americans,” stated Vice Adm. Jerome Adams.
    The surgeon general also said two factors are at play that are causing the disparity.
    “When you look at being black in America, number one, people are unfortunately more likely to be of low socio-economic status, which makes it harder to social distance,” he explained.    “Number two, we know that blacks are more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, lung disease.”
    Adams noted that this is an issue he’s been working on well before the virus hit.
    “My office, well before COVID-19, has been talking about health equality, has been talking about the need to help people understand when they’re at risk and to actually intervene,” he continued.
    A Brooklyn physician said the majority of patients she see’s presenting COVID-19 symptoms are workers who can’t afford to stay home.    According to Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, less than one-in-five Latino workers cannot work from home.    This makes them especially vulnerable during this time.
    Officials in places like New York, New Jersey and Washington have yet to categorize a surge in coronavirus cases by race.    This is something Surgeon General Adams said would better allow officials to develop ways to address the emerging disparity.

4/8/2020 Revised virus model: 60K+ U.S. deaths by peak month of August by OAN Newsroom
In this April 2, 2020 photo, nurses at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle gather to put on PPE gear before starting their shift in a triage
tent outside the Harborview emergency department used to intake arriving patients who have respiratory symptoms. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
    A new revised model has projected a vastly smaller number of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. than expected.    According to a model by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, a peak death toll of about 60,000 is expected by August.
    This is the second drop in projection numbers this week by the same institute.    The studies showed numbers significantly lower than estimates from the White House task force.
    The task force has predicted there will be 100,000 to 200,000 deaths, even in a perfect scenario, in which all states are practicing social distancing guidelines.
    The president discussed lower death toll numbers during Wednesday’s briefing.
    “If we do a number that’s tremendously smaller than that, now if we did close it up, the number’s got to 100 million to 220 million people.    So if we can stay substantially under the 100 (million), which was the original projection, I think we all did a very good job, even though that’s a lot of people.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    He also noted the numbers would be significantly higher if the country hadn’t implement any guidelines at all.
    Meanwhile, the latest data from multiple health agencies, including the CDC and World Health Organization, confirmed the U.S. has more than 395,000 active cases of COVID-19.
    As of Wednesday, more than 14,000 people have died and around 23,000 have recovered from the illness.    According to health officials, cases will likely continue to rise in the next few weeks before leveling off.
    The number of overall cases around the world has surpassed 1.5 million, with the global death toll above 88,000.
    However, the total number of recoveries continues to climb, rising well above 328,000
.

4/8/2020 Nat’l Guard to deploy 10K additional troops to battle COVID spread, lead relief efforts by OAN Newsroom
In this April 2, 2020 photo provided by the U.S. Air National Guard, Senior Airmen Benjamin Suiso
and Andrew Tolentino, 154th Medical Group medics, inspect and inventory masks prior to distribution to
medical organizations across Hawaii in Honolulu. (Senior Airman Orlando Corpuz/U.S. Air National Guard via AP)
    The Defense Department is planning to ramp up national response efforts to fight the coronavirus.    According to Pentagon officials, they will activate another 10,000 National Guard troops to boost relief operations across the nation.
    Additional deployments are expected within the next two weeks.
    “We’ve been accelerating at sort of more than 1,000 a day,” explained General Joseph Lengyel.    “We could easily get this up another (10,000) or more than that in the next week or two.”
    The National Guard has assisted airport screenings, food distribution and quarantine efforts in states hit the hardest by coronavirus in recent weeks.    Military officials added the guard’s virus response force is authorized to utilize up to 44,000 troops.
Texas National Guard Specialist Justin Garcia, from left, Taylor Frasier and Dietrich Schilberg, right, of the
1st Battalion, Airborne, 143rd Infantry Regiment out of Huntsville, Texas, assemble kid meals at the North Texas
Food Bank in Plano, Texas, Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Like most governors, Gov. Greg Abbott activated the state National Guard
in the face of mounting coronavirus cases to assist with drive-thru testing and supply deliveries. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
    “Nearly three out of every four you see in uniform (who) are supporting testing sites, enhancing medical capacity, or delivering critically needed medical supplies and food are likely to be guardsmen and women,” stated Lengyel.
    Officials added the National Guard will assist mortuary affairs for the deceased victims of coronavirus as well.
This April 6, 2020 photo from the Hawaii Army National Guard shows Spc. James Kamaka, 1st Squadron, 299th Cavalry,
Hawaii National Guard screening departing passengers at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in
Honolulu. HING soldiers began assisting the Airport Fire Department with screening of arriving and departing passengers on April 6, and plan to continue to assist throughout the COVID-19 response. (Sgt. John Schoebel/Army National Guard via AP)

4/8/2020 First Lady Melania Trump praises health care workers, sends best wishes to Italy by OAN Newsroom
In this April 2, 2020 photo, Tilliesa Banks, right, an emergency services nurse at Harborview Medical Center
in Seattle, helps a colleague put on a medical face shield prior to their shift in a triage tent outside the
Harborview emergency department used to intake arriving patients who have respiratory symptoms. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
    First Lady Melania Trump has ramped up support amid the global fight against COVID-19.    In a video address this week, she expressed gratitude to health care workers in the U.S. and abroad.
    “We salute your courageous and compassionate efforts,” stated the first lady.    “Our prayers are with all who are fighting this invisible enemy, COVID-19.”
    She went on to praise their efforts to end the pandemic.
    “The president and I appreciate all that you’re doing to keep the people of our country healthy and safe,” added Melania Trump.    “In the most difficult of times, the U.S. never fails to rise to the occasion with both unity and strength.”
    She also spoke with the first lady of Italy and offered condolences over the number of coronavirus related deaths in that country.

4/8/2020 WTO Chief: Int’l trade to drop 13-32% this year by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2019 file photo cargo cranes are used to take containers off of a Yang Ming Marine
Transport Corporation boat at the Port of Tacoma in Tacoma, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
    According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), international trade could drop as much as 32% this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.    On Wednesday, WTO Chief Roberto Azevedo claimed virus lockdowns have created major shocks to both supply and demand worldwide.
    “We project that trade will fall steeply in every region of the world and across all sectors of the economy,” stated Azevedo.
    He predicted global trade in goods could drop by 13% if major economies reopen soon.    If they don’t, Azevedo warned the global economy may not fully recover from virus inflicted losses.
    “Comparisons with the 2008 financial crisis, and even the Great Depression of the 1930s, are inevitable.    The economic engine is in decent shape, but the pandemic has cut the fuel line to the engine.    If the fuel line is reconnected properly, the global economy can recover quite rapidly.” – Roberto Azevedo, Director General of the World Trade Organization
    He added national governments must adopt fiscal stimuli and align their trade policies to avoid a financial and economic collapse this year.

4/9/2020 Oil up $1.93 to $26.19, DOW up 780 to 23,434, and gas was down to $1.20 a gallon

4/9/2020 More on death from virus

4/9/2020 Pass the salt: The minute details that helped Germany build virus defences by Jörn Poltz and Paul Carrel
FILE PHOTO: A member of the medical staff shows a used sample container at a test centre for coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
at Havelhoehe community hospital in Berlin, Germany, April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch -/File Photo
    MUNICH (Reuters) – One January lunchtime in a car parts company, a worker turned to a colleague and asked to borrow the salt.
    As well as the saltshaker, in that instant, they shared the new coronavirus, scientists have since concluded.
    That their exchange was documented at all is the result of intense scrutiny, part of a rare success story in the global fight against the virus.
    The co-workers were early links in what was to be the first documented chain of multiple human-to-human transmissions outside Asia of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
    They are based in Stockdorf, a German town of 4,000 near Munich in Bavaria, and they work at car parts supplier Webasto Group.    The company was thrust under a global microscope after it disclosed that one of its employees, a Chinese woman, caught the virus and brought it to Webasto headquarters.    There, it was passed to colleagues – including, scientists would learn, a person lunching in the canteen with whom the Chinese patient had no contact.
    The Jan. 22 canteen scene was one of dozens of mundane incidents that scientists have logged in a medical manhunt to trace, test and isolate infected workers so that the regional government of Bavaria could stop the virus from spreading.
    That hunt has helped Germany win crucial time to build its COVID-19 defences.
    The time Germany bought may have saved lives, scientists say.    Its first outbreak of locally transmitted COVID-19 began earlier than Italy’s, but Germany has had many fewer deaths.    Italy’s first detected local transmission was on Feb. 21.    By then Germany had kicked off a health ministry information campaign and a government strategy to tackle the virus which would hinge on widespread testing.    In Germany so far, more than 2,100 people have died of COVID-19.    In Italy, with a smaller population, the total exceeds 17,600.
    CHART: Contrasting curves https://reut.rs/3c2UZA4
    “We learned that we must meticulously trace chains of infection in order to interrupt them,” Clemens Wendtner, the doctor who treated the Munich patients, told Reuters.
    Wendtner teamed up with some of Germany’s top scientists to tackle what became known as the ‘Munich cluster,’ and they advised the Bavarian government on how to respond.    Bavaria led the way with the lockdowns, which went nationwide on March 22.
    Scientists including England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty have credited Germany’s early, widespread testing with slowing the spread of the virus.    “‘We all know Germany got ahead in terms of its ability to do testing for the virus and there’s a lot to learn from that,'” he said on TV earlier this week.
    Christian Drosten, the top virologist at Berlin’s Charite hospital, said Germany was helped by having a clear early cluster.    “Because we had this Munich cohort right at the start … it became clear that with a big push we could inhibit this spreading further,” he said in a daily podcast for NDR radio on the coronavirus.
    Drosten, who declined to be interviewed for this story, was one of more than 40 scientists involved in scrutiny of the cluster.    Their work was documented in preliminary form in a working paper at the end of last month, intended for The Lancet.    The paper, not yet peer-reviewed, was shared on the NDR site.
ELECTRONIC DIARIES
    It was on Monday, Jan. 27, that Holger Engelmann, Webasto’s CEO, told the authorities that one of his employees had tested positive for the new coronavirus.    The woman, who was based in Shanghai, had facilitated several days of workshops and attended meetings at Webasto’s HQ.
    The woman’s parents, from Wuhan, had visited her before she travelled on Jan. 19 to Stockdorf, the paper said. While in Germany, she felt unusual chest and back aches and was tired for her whole stay.    But she put the symptoms down to jet lag.
    She became feverish on the return flight to China, tested positive after landing and was hospitalised.    Her parents also later tested positive.    She told her managers of the result and they emailed the CEO.
    In Germany, Engelmann said he immediately set up a crisis team that alerted the medical authorities and started trying to trace staff members who had been in contact with their Chinese colleague.
    The CEO himself was among them.    “Just four or five days before I received the news, I had shaken hands with her,” he said.
    Now known as Germany’s “Case #0,” the Shanghai patient is a “long-standing, proven employee from project management” who Engelmann knows personally, he told Reuters.    The company has not revealed her identity or that of others involved, saying anonymity has encouraged staff to co-operate in Germany’s effort to contain the virus.
    The task of finding who had contact with her was made easier by Webasto workers’ electronic calendars – for the most part, all the doctors needed was to look at staff appointments.
    “It was a stroke of luck,” said Wendtner, the doctor who treated the Munich patients.    “We got all the information we needed from the staff to reconstruct the chains of infection.”
    For example, case #1 – the first person in Germany to be infected by the Chinese woman – sat next to her in a meeting in a small room on Jan. 20, the scientists wrote.
    Where calendar data was incomplete, the scientists said, they were often able to use whole genome sequencing, which analyses differences in the genetic code of the virus from different patients, to map its spread.
    By following all these links, they discovered that case #4 had been in contact several times with the Shanghai patient.    Then case #4 sat back-to-back with a colleague in the canteen.
    When that colleague turned to borrow the salt, the scientists deduced, the virus passed between them.    The colleague became case #5.
    Webasto said on Jan. 28 it was temporarily closing its Stockdorf site.    Between Jan. 27 and Feb. 11, a total of 16 COVID-19 cases were identified in the Munich cluster.    All but one were to develop symptoms.
    All those who tested positive were sent to hospital so they could be observed and doctors could learn from the disease.
    Bavaria closed down public life in mid-March.    Germany has since closed schools, shops, restaurants, playgrounds and sports facilities, and many companies have shut to aid the cause.
HAMMER AND DANCE
    This is not to say Germany has defeated COVID-19.
    Its coronavirus death rate of 1.9%, based on data collated by Reuters, is the lowest among the countries most affected and compares with 12.6% in Italy.    But experts say more deaths in Germany are inevitable.
    “The death rate will rise,” said Lothar Wieler, president of Germany’s Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.
    The difference between Germany and Italy is partly statistical: Germany’s rate seems so much lower because it has tested widely.    Germany has carried out more than 1.3 million tests, according to the Robert Koch Institute.    It is now carrying out up to 500,000 tests a week, Drosten said.    Italy has conducted more than 807,000 tests since Feb. 21, according to its Civil Protection Agency.    With a few local exceptions, Italy only tests people taken to hospital with clear and severe symptoms.
    Germany’s government is using the weeks gained by the Munich experience to double the number of intensive care beds from about 28,000.    The country already has Europe’s highest number of critical care beds per head of the population, according to a 2012 study.
    Even that may not be enough, however.    An Interior Ministry paper sent to other government departments on March 22 included a worst-case scenario with more than 1 million deaths.
    Another scenario saw 12,000 deaths – with more testing after partial relaxation of restrictions.    That scenario was dubbed “hammer and dance,” a term coined by blogger Tomas Pueyo.    It refers to the ‘hammer’ of quick aggressive measures for some weeks, including heavy social distancing, followed by the ‘dance’ of calibrating such measures depending on the transmission rate.
    The German government paper argued that in the ‘hammer and dance’ scenario, the use of big data and location tracking is inevitable.    Such monitoring is already proving controversial in Germany, where memories of the East German Stasi secret police and its informants are still fresh in the minds of many.
    A subsequent draft action plan compiled by the government proposes the rapid tracing of infection chains, mandatory mask-wearing in public and limits on gatherings to help enable a phased return to normal life after Germany’s lockdown.    The government is backing the development of a smartphone app to help trace infections.
    Germany has said it will re-evaluate the lockdown after the Easter holiday; for the car parts maker at the heart of its first outbreak, the immediate crisis is over. Webasto’s office has reopened.
    All 16 people who caught COVID-19 there have recovered.
(Joern Poltz reported from Munich, Paul Carrel from Berlin; Additional reporting by Markus Wacket in Berlin and Gavin Jones in Rome; Edited by Sara Ledwith)

4/9/2020 Germany: Gradual return to normality possible if infection trend continues
German Health Minister Jens Spahn gives statements on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
situation, in Berlin, Germany April 9, 2020. John Macdougall/Pool via REUTERS
    BERLIN (Reuters) – German Health Minister Jens Spahn told newspaper Handelsblatt that the coronavirus infection numbers in Germany were showing a “positive trend” and if that continued, it would be possible to talk about a gradual return to normality after the Easter break.
    He said citizens sticking to the restrictions on public life over the Easter holiday was a precondition for a possible easing of the lockdown.
    Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany will re-evaluate the situation after the Easter holiday.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Riham Alkousaa)

4/9/2020 Italy may relax some coronavirus measures by end of April: Conte
FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stands during a session in the Senate, the upper house of parliament,
on the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Rome, Italy, March 26, 2020 REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy may start gradually lifting some restrictions in place to contain the new coronavirus by the end of April, provided the spread of the disease continues to slow, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the BBC on Thursday.
    “We need to pick sectors that can restart their activity.    If scientists confirm it, we might begin to relax some measures already by the end of this month,” Conte told the British broadcaster.
    Conte warned, however, that Italy could not lower its guard and restrictions would only be eased gradually.
    There were 542 deaths from COVID-19 in Italy on Wednesday, lower than the 604 the day before, taking the total death toll to 17,669.    There were 3,693 people in intensive care, down from 3,792 on Tuesday – the fifth daily decline in a row.
    The decline has raised hopes the virus is on the retreat thanks to a nationwide lockdown, though the number of new cases rose 3,836, compared with 3,039 on Tuesday, to reach 139,422, the third highest globally behind the United States and Spain.br>     Italy imposed the nationwide lockdown on March 9.    Two weeks later, Conte announced that non-essential businesses, including car, clothing and furniture manufacturing, would have to close.
    Businesses in the country’s northern industrial heartland have been urging the government to let them reopen factories to prevent an economic catastrophe, even though the north is the area worst hit by the coronavirus.
    Branches of employers lobby group Confindustria representing the northern regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna, which account for 45% of Italy’s economic output, called on the government on Wednesday to set out a “roadmap” for a return to work.
(Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by David Clarke)

4/9/2020 Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 4,974, deaths by 246: RKI
An aerial view shows the empty Alexanderplatz square, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues
in Berlin, Germany, April 8, 2020. Picture taken with a drone, April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
    BERLIN (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Germany rose by 4,974 in the past 24 hours to 108,202 on Thursday, climbing for the third straight day after four previous days of drops, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.
    The reported death toll rose by 246 to 2,107.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Michelle Martin)

4/9/2020 Irish restrictions likely in place for weeks: health minister
FILE PHOTO: Irish Health Minister Simon Harris attends a news conference on the ongoing situation with the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) at Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland March 24, 2020. Steve Humphreys/Pool via REUTERS
    DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland’s health minister expects to be advised on Friday to keep the significant restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus in place for a period of weeks but that the country will have to move onto a “different terrain” after that.
    “What’s highly likely tomorrow is that the National Public Health Emergency Team will recommend that we continue with the very strict restrictions … I expect that to be a period of weeks,” Simon Harris, who ordered citizens on March 27 to stay home until at least Sunday, told broadcaster Virgin Media.
    “In relation to the roadmap, there is going to be a point in this country where we will have to live alongside the virus, for want of a better phrase, where sadly people will still get sick and sadly some people will still die but it is at a rate that is sustainable for our doctors to manage.”
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alison Williams)

4/9/2020 Honduras registers 31 new cases of coronavirus, bringing total to 343 cases and 23 deaths
FILE PHOTO: Municipal workers disinfect stalls at the Comayaguela market as part of the measures against the spreading
of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tegucigalpa, Honduras March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Jorge Cabrera
    TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – Honduras will extend its national curfew to April 19 as the country ramps up efforts to contain the coronavirus, the security ministry said on Wednesday.
    The Central American country registered 31 new cases of the virus, bringing its total to 343 cases and 23 deaths, the system for risk prevention said.
(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; writing by Julia Love; Editing by Sandra Maler)

4/9/2020 Mexico could have up to 26,500 cases of coronavirus, official says
A woman wearing a face shield runs in the park as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
continues, in Mexico City, Mexico April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico might have 26,500 people infected with the coronavirus, a senior health official said on Wednesday, citing government models.
    Mexico has reported 3,181 confirmed cases of the virus, but many who are infected likely did not have symptoms or were not diagnosed, said Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell.
    “From what you can see, the epidemic is eight times bigger,” he told a news conference.
    The estimate of 26,500 cases is based on a model called “Sentinel Surveillance,” which uses the number of cases in 375 health districts to extrapolate for the rest of the country, Lopez-Gatell said.
    Mexico reported 396 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, while the number of deaths rose to 174.
(Reporting by Abraham Gonzalez and Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Editing by Robert Birsel)

4/9/2020 Federal Reserve announces details for $2.3T Main Street Lending Program by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 29, 2020 file photo, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell pauses during a news conference in Washington.
The Federal Reserve is taking additional steps to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to suport American households
and businesses as well as local governments as they deal with the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
    The Federal Reserve said it will rollout more than $2 trillion worth of government loans to help ease the pain caused by the coronavirus.    On Thursday, the Fed announced details from its anticipated Main Street Lending Program, which includes funds for businesses with up to 10,000 employees.
    It also props up the Payroll Protection Program, which keeps workers on the books with their employers.    This prevents them from having to file for unemployment and allows them to keep any health benefits their jobs offer.
    In a recent statement, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said, “the Fed’s role is to provide as much relief and stability as we can during this period of constrained economic activity.”
    Powell also assured that the Fed plans to keep interest rates to near zero until “they are confident the economy has weathered the storm and is on track to achieve maximum employment and stability goals.”
    The announcement came after weekly jobless claims continued to surge amid the coronavirus pandemic.    The Labor Department reported 6.6 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week, which sharply beat expectations of 5 million.
    The prior week’s claims were also revised higher by nearly 220,000, which brought the total over the past three weeks to more than 16 million unemployed Americans.    The surge in claims came after businesses shutdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

4/9/2020 Senate fails to pass $250B in additional funding for Paycheck Protection Program by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, speaks with a reporter outside the
Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    A plan to provide billions in additional funding to small businesses was blocked in the Senate on Thursday.    Democrats shot down a vote to provide $250 billion in extra funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tried to pass the measure by unanimous consent, but was derailed when Democrat senators objected.
    Democrats called the move a “political stunt.”    They claimed McConnell knew there wasn’t a consensus and suggested the proposal was “designed to fail.”
I would just repeat: all the amendment I offered would do is change the amount in the bill, that’s all, to respond to the obvious emergency we have with the Paycheck Protection Program,” stated Sen. McConnell.
    A Democrat proposal was likewise rejected by the majority leader.
    This impasse will put the additional funding on hold until after the weekend.    The Senate is expected to be back in session by Monday.
    “This is a crisis, no time for partisan maneuvering or politics as usual,” added McConnell.    “I hope Democrats reverse course and let us increase paycheck support soon.”

4/9/2020 IHME models: Hospital resource use, daily deaths to peak by Easter Sunday by OAN Newsroom
Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment remove bodies from the Wyckoff Heights Medical
Center Thursday, April 2, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    The latest modeling has shown a sooner peak date for hospital resource use and daily deaths stemming from COVID-19.    The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) changed their projections overnight on Thursday, showing the peak day for U.S. hospital resource use and the amount of daily deaths happening by Easter Sunday.
    Medical resource use is projected to hit its plateau by this Saturday, while the peak daily death rate is expected to peak on Sunday.
    This came after the IHME updated its models for the total death toll to about 60,000 people, which is expected to hit by August.    This new number was significantly lower than the White House coronavirus task force’s projection, which stood at 100,000 to 200,000 deaths, even in a perfect scenario.
    However, Dr. Anthony Fauci has cautioned Americans about letting their guard down.
    “I believe we are going to see a downturn in that, it looks more like the 60,000 than the 100,000 to 200,000.    But having said that, we’d better be careful that we don’t say, ‘Okay, we’re doing so well, we can pull back.’    We still have to put our foot on the accelerator when it comes to the mitigation and physical separation.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
    The doctor has said he remains cautiously optimistic the virus could be under control by the summer, but only if the country has measures in place to address a possible resurgence.    This would include preemptive identification, isolation and contact tracing.

4/9/2020 Treasury Secretary Mnuchin says U.S. businesses could reopen by May by OAN Newsroom
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a conference call with banks on efforts to help
small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, at the White House, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he believes businesses in the U.S. could reopen by next month.
    In an interview Thursday, he assured the government has been working to make sure every small business has money.    He credited both large and small banks for doing a great job in handling the huge amount of small business loan applications in the recent days.
    Mnuchin noted that as soon as President Trump feels comfortable with progression in fighting the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, businesses will reopen and that could possibly happen as early as May.
    “I think as soon as the president feels comfortable with the medical issues, we are making everything necessary that American companies and American workers can be open for business,” he stated.    “And that they have the liquidity they need to operate their business in the interim.”
    The treasury secretary noted the “big news today” has been the Federal Reserve’s plan to create $2.3 trillion in financing for businesses and municipalities.

4/9/2020 Bill would remove U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia in 30 days
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) gives news reporters hand sanitizer following a Senate hearing
on the COVID-19 Coronavirus, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 3, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Republican U.S. senator introduced legislation on Thursday to remove American troops from Saudi Arabia, adding pressure on the kingdom to tighten its oil taps to reverse the crude price drop that has hurt domestic energy companies.
    The legislation from Senator Bill Cassidy, of oil-producing Louisiana, would remove U.S. troops 30 days after enactment, a full month faster than similar legislation introduced by two other Republican senators in March.
    Cassidy introduced the bill as OPEC+, a production group including Saudi Arabia and others in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, closed in on a deal to slash oil output by a record amount of about 15 million barrels, or 15% of global production.
    The spread of the coronavirus has crushed crude demand at the same time that Saudi Arabia and Russia have pumped oil flat- out in a race for market share, pushing prices to 18-year lows.
    The extra oil from Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, has made it impossible for energy companies in the United States, the world’s top oil and gas producer, to compete, Cassidy said.
    “Withdrawing troops placed to protect others recognizes that friendship and support is a two-way street,” he said.
    Cassidy’s bill faces an uphill battle and would have to pass the Senate, the House of Representatives and be signed by President Donald Trump to become law. Still, it was a sign of how Congress could take action against Saudi Arabia if it does not stick to the plan to cut oil output.
    The bill would also place tariffs on imports of oil from Saudi Arabia within 10 days of enactment.    The tariff would ensure that the price of oil imports from Saudi Arabia would not be less than $40 a barrel, the bill said.
    Trump has threatened tariffs on oil imports from Saudi Arabia and Russia but has not imposed them amid opposition from powerful energy interests, including the American Petroleum Institute lobbying group.
    The bill would not remove U.S. Patriot missiles or THAAD defense systems, as the previous legislation would.
Congress is out until at least April 20 and possibly longer due to the coronavirus outbreak.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

4/9/2020 Trump admin. aims to reopen economy by May 1st by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room
of the White House, Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The president is looking to reopen most U.S. businesses by May 1st.    This week, the Trump administration announced it wants to get most of the U.S. economy up and running again after the “deadline for strict social distancing measures” on April 30th.
    “It would be nice to be able to open with a big bang and open up our country, or certainly most of our country,” said President Trump.    “I think we’re going to do that soon.”
    The president is expected to introduce a second coronavirus task force to organize a reopening date.
    As of Thursday, more than 6 million Americans have filed for unemployment.
Vice President Mike Pence holds his notes as President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady
Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The coronavirus outbreak could reportedly push half a billion people into poverty worldwide.    According to British charity Oxfam, as many as 434 million people across the globe could face rampant poverty after losing their jobs as a result of virus-related shutdowns.
    The report stated quarantining has already produced mass layoffs among working-class and low-income populations.    Experts have called for the immediate cancellation of $1 trillion worth of debt in developing countries.
    The report also suggested these nations need at least $500 billion in financial support.
    “Well, the reality is that we underestimated the number of poor people.    We also underestimated the number of homeless people, purely because they are all over.    It’s very difficult to count them.    There is an urgent need to support them.” – Panyaza Lesufi, Acting Social Development Executive in Gauteng, South Africa
    Oxfam emphasized between 6 to 8 percent of the global workforce could become unemployed this year due to virus shutdowns.    The report called on the World Bank and the G20 to provide financial aid.
Within three weeks a total of 16.8 million people have filed for unemployment aid. (AP Photo)
    According to the latest data from multiple health agencies, the U.S. has more than 416,000 active cases of COVID-19.    More than 16,000 people have died, while over 24,000 have recovered in the U.S. alone.
    Health officials expected cases will continue to rise in the next few weeks before leveling off.    The number of overall cases around the world has surpassed 1.5 million, with the global death toll above 93,000.
    However, the total number of recoveries continues to climb, rising above 346,000.

4/9/2020 L.A. residents line up for free food as economy, jobs collapse due to lockdowns by OAN Newsroom
Members of the AFL-CIO, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Labor Community Services hand out food,
Thursday, April 9, 2020, in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
    Hundreds of Los Angeles residents are lining up for free food handouts as the city’s economy collapses amid the COVID-19 outbreak.    On Thursday, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank gave out several tons of supplies to families impacted by mass layoffs and reductions of work hours.
    “So, this is becoming regular, in terms of the distributions,” explained CEO Michael Flood.

People walk away with food that members of the AFL-CIO, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Labor Community Services were
handing out as cars wait, Thursday, April 9, 2020, in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
    According to officials, more people have turned up each day as household incomes plummet amid a rise in unemployment.
    “They are coming through and getting shelf stable food, frozen meat, in this instance, chicken and also fresh fruit,” stated Flood.    “Part of the reasons for doing these distributions is to try to take some pressure off our agency network, food pantries and other organizations that are also seeing a big spike in demand for food assistance.”
    The food bank has said its efforts will be enough to keep families going for a few days, but it’s unclear what will happen next.

4/9/2020 President Trump talks to Russia, Saudi Arabia to support oil prices by OAN Newsroom
The sun sets behind an idle pump jack near Karnes City, Texas, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    President Trump has spoken out on the latest oil agreement between Russia and Saudi Arabia.    On Thursday, the president confirmed he spoke on the phone with President Vladimir Putin and King Salman to discuss their efforts to support oil prices.
    “I just spoke with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman,” he stated.    “We had a big talk as to oil production, OPEC, and making it so that our industry does well and the oil industry does better than its doing right now.”
    This came after the two countries agreed to cut output by 10 million barrels per day in both May and June.    The deal is expected to lift oil prices, which could help U.S. shale producers stay afloat amid the economic downturn.
    “The numbers are so low that there’ll be layoffs all over the world.    There’ll certainly be layoffs in this country, and we don’t want that to happen.    We’ve built a great, great energy business in the United States, so we have tens of thousands of jobs.    We had a very good talk, we’ll see what happens.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    As part of the deal, Russia has agreed to cut oil output by 2 million barrels per day, while the Saudis will reduce production by twice that amount.

4/9/2020 First Lady urges Americans to wear face masks in public by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Friday, March 20, 2020 file photo, customers wearing protective face masks to protect against the
coronavirus, wait in line outside a Whole Foods supermarket on 6th Avenue, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
    First Lady Melania Trump has urged all Americans to wear face masks when they’re out in public.    She posted a pair of tweets on Thursday, which emphasized the importance of face coverings as a way to stop the coronavirus from spreading.
    According to the first lady, these measures will help keep everyone safe.
    “They’re recommending that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures can be difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores and pharmacies,” stated Melania Trump.    “Remember, this does not replace the importance of social distancing, it is another recommended guideline to keep us all safe.”
    Her remarks came after the Trump administration recommended all Americans wear masks or face coverings out in public.
    The first lady also participated in a call with mental health professionals earlier in the day, whom she thanked for providing vital assistance to Americans in need.

4/9/2020 Attorney General Barr: Media waged ‘jihad’ to discredit hydroxychloroquine by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room
of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington, as Adm. Karl Leo Schultz, commandant of the Coast Guard,
national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Attorney General William Barr listen. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Attorney General William Barr slammed the mainstream media this week, saying they’ve escalated their attacks on the president ever since he promoted the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine.
    According to Barr, before the president said anything about the drug, there was fair and balanced coverage of it.
    However, as soon as President Trump said something positive about the drug, the attorney general claimed the media went on a “jihad to discredit him.”
    The president has said there’s very strong signs showing hydroxychloroquine can treat COVID-19.    He added the government has a huge stockpile of the drug.
    “I want people to live.    I’m seeing people dying and I’ve seen people that are going to die without it.    You know the expression when that’s happening, they should do it.    What really do we have to lose?” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    Studies are underway to see how safe and effective the drug can be in treating COVID-19.
This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in
February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink,
cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. (NIAID-RML via AP)
    The National Institute of Health recently began clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of the novel coronavirus.    On Thursday, the NIH confirmed it’s enrolling participants in the study to see if the drug helps cure COVID-19.
    “Effective therapies for COVID-19 are urgently needed.    Hydroxychloroquine has showed promise in a lab setting against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 and preliminary reports suggest potential efficacy in small studies with patients.    However, we really need clinical trial data to determine whether hydroxychloroquine is effective and safe in treating COVID-19.” – James P. Kiley, Division of Lung Diseases Director, NHLBI
    The trials are being held at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and involve 500 patients currently diagnosed with the virus.    Some participants will receive hydroxychloroquine in various doses, while others will get a placebo.
    Previous reports from French and American doctors have found chloroquine can cure COVID-19 in combination with antibiotics.

4/10/2020 Oil down $2.63 to $23.51, DOW up 286 to 23,720.

4/10/2020 More info about coronavirus deaths

4/10/2020 Ireland set to lift lockdown step-by-step when virus restrictions ease
FILE PHOTO: Irish Garda officers at an N1 checkpoint ensure passengers are adhering to strict travel restrictions, as the
spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Near Dromad, Republic of Ireland, April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff
    DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland will potentially ease stay-at-home restrictions and allow some shops to reopen in the coming weeks as part of a step-by-step scaling back of the country’s coronavirus lockdown, a senior health official said on Friday.
    Irish Health Minister, Simon Harris, has said he expects to be advised on Friday to keep the current restrictions in place for “a period of weeks” after citizens were ordered late last month to stay home until at least Sunday.
    Prior to that, Ireland had banned all non-essential travel within the country and shut clubs, gyms, and hairdressers.    Other retailers like DIY stores were allowed to remain open and people could travel beyond the current 2-km radius limit from their house and visit family, once they maintained social distancing.
    “We are conscious of the fact that the restrictions are very difficult for people and not sustainable in the long term,” Cillian De Gascun, chair of the coronavirus expert advisory group, told national broadcaster RTE.
    “What we would hope to do is be able to lift those, within the next perhaps couple of weeks… I think what we would like to try and do is offer people a bit more movement outside the house, there may be an opportunity to open more of the retail services closed formally a couple of weeks back. In essence, it would be looking in reverse from how they were implemented.”
    Confirmed cases in Ireland rose to 6,574 on Thursday, with 263 deaths, but the average day-on-day case growth has fallen to 9% from 15% a week ago and officials said a stabilisation in intensive care admissions was encouraging.
    De Gascun reiterated the view of many of the top officials advising government that the growth rate of new cases needs to drop to zero alongside a continued fall in the reproductive rate – the number of people who become infected from each positive case – before restrictions can be eased.
    Officials have said testing and contact tracing also need to be scaled up first.    De Gascun, who is the head of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, said he expected testing capacity to increase dramatically over next 7-10 days.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin. Editing by Jane Merriman)

4/10/2020 Spain’s daily coronavirus death toll increase eases again
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask and gloves walks past the empty landmark Alcala Gate,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
    BARCELONA (Reuters) – The number of people dying of coronavirus in Spain each day fell again on Friday as the country registered 605 fatalities over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said.
    The overall death toll rose to 15,843 on Friday from 15,238 the previous day, it said in a statement.    The total number of coronavirus cases rose to 157,022 on Friday from 152,446 on Thursday.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley and Inti Landauro; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

4/10/2020 Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 5,323, deaths by 266: RKI
FILE PHOTO: New temporary cycle paths are established because of less car traffic, as the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Berlin, Germany, April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Germany rose by 5,323 in the past 24 hours to 113,525 on Friday, climbing for a fourth straight day after four previous days of declines, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.
    The reported death toll rose by 266 to 2,373.
(Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

4/10/2020 Mexico reports first deaths of pregnant women from coronavirus
FILE PHOTO: A city employee, wearing protective gear, disinfects near to the Angel de la Independencia monument
as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Mexico City, Mexico April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has recorded its first two deaths of pregnant women from the coronavirus as the overall number of fatalities in the country reached 194, the health ministry said on Thursday.
    One of the two women gave birth to a son before passing away, deputy health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell told a news conference, noting that pregnant women are highly susceptible to infection caused by the virus.    For a short time the baby boy had respiratory problems and is still delicate, he added.
    Adding to their risk factors for developing complications from coronavirus, both women were clinically obese, while one had hypertension and the other had diabetes, Lopez-Gatell said.
    Mexico has one of the world’s highest rates of diabetes and obesity, conditions that have been complicating factors for many people in the country who have died from the virus.
    Mexico’s cases of coronavirus rose to 3,441 from 3,181 a day earlier, when the tally stood at 174 deaths, the ministry said.
    Neighboring Guatemala on Thursday reported 31 new cases of coronavirus, with 126 in total.    It has registered three deaths.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico City and Sofia Menchu in Guatemala City; Editing by Dave Graham and Sandra Maler)

4/10/2020 Trump admin. laying groundwork to reopen in May by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the
White House, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The Trump administration is laying down the groundwork to have the U.S. back up and running as soon as next month.
    According to reports Friday, officials are discussing the possibility of reopening businesses in certain areas where the coronavirus is a low threat.
    During a recent interview, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he feels confident some of these businesses can open in May as long as President Trump feels “comfortable” with the level of health issues.
    “We are making everything necessary that American companies and American workers can be open for business and that they have the liquidity that they need to operate their business in the interim,” he stated.
    Experts have said people should not go back to work until there is a significant drop in virus cases.    Although the U.S. has yet to see this drop, the number of cases in the U.S. are far lower than predicted.
    During the task force briefing Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci stated the lower number is proof social distancing measures are working.
    “At the same time as we’re seeing the increase in deaths, we’re seeing a rather dramatic decrease in the need for hospitalizations,” he explained.    “We’re going in the right direction.”
    Optimistic views about the virus outbreak were echoed by Attorney General William Barr Wednesday, who stated the federal government should reevaluate if stay-at-home measures are still necessary at the end of April when CDC guidelines expire.
    That same day the CDC changed its guidelines to reassure those in critical sectors can keep working even if they are exposed to COVID-19 as long as they are not showing symptoms.
    As administration officials hold a positive outlook for those recovering from coronavirus, they share the same view for the recovery of the future of the economy.
    President Trump has predicted that once businesses across the country open their doors, there will be an economic boom.    He made the following remarks on the matter:
    “I think the economy is going to do very well.    Now, that’s just my feeling.    It’s a strong feeling.    I’ve had good, proper feelings about a lot of things over the years.    And I think we’re going to do well.”
    Meanwhile, unemployment claims have mounted to 16 million over the last three weeks as some economists predict those numbers will soon surpass Great Depression levels if the country continues to be closed.

[CHINA HAS BEEN GROOMING ETHIOPIA WHERE TEDROS COMES FROM AND CONTROLS MUCH OF IT WITH THEIR MONEY AND IT IS OBVIOUS THAT HE IS IN THEIR POCKETS SO HE MAY HAVE TO DO WHAT THEY SAY SO HE DOES NOT END UP IN ONE OF THE MANY CHINESE BODY BAGS.].
4/10/2020 WHO set to announce $1B appeal to help group fight against COVID-19 pandemic by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 24, 2020, file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a press conference
about the update on COVID-19 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)
    The World Health Organization (WHO) is set to appeal for more money from its partners after President Trump announced he may cut U.S. funding to the group over its ties with China.    On Friday, reports showed the UN health agency is planning to ask for an additional $1 billion to help finance a strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
    This came after President Trump said he may freeze aid to the agency for being too “China-centric.”
    The WHO’s director general has criticized the president for these remarks.    He emphasized countries should be working together right now.
    “If you want to be exploited and if you want to have many more body bags, then you do it,” stated Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.    “If you don’t want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it.”
    The World Health Organization has received the bulk of its funding from the U.S. Last year, the U.S. gave it $400 million, while China only contributed $44 million.
    During Friday’s press briefing, President Trump confirmed he will likely make an announcement about funding for the agency “sometime next week.”
    “We are going to talk about the World Health Organization next week in great detail,” he said.    “We are going to be looking at it very, very closely.”
[TEDROS HAD THE BALLS TO ATTACK BACK AT TRUMP SO HE DOES NOT KNOW YET WHAT HE HAS GOT HIMSELF INTO SINCE HE WILL NOT EXPERIENCE POLITICAL HE WILL EXPERIENCE LESS MONEY FROM THE U.S. AND HE MAY HAVE TO MOVE TO CHINA TO SURVIVE BECAUSE YOU WERE THE ONE WHO SHOULD HAVE WARNED THE WORLD OF THE VIRUS AND WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DEATHS AROUND THE WORLD.].

4/10/2020 Immigrant medical workers struggle to maintain visas by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Tuesday, March 31, 2020 file photo, medical technicians handle a vial containing a nasal swab
at a drive-thru testing site in Wheat Ridge, Colo., as a statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect
in an effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
    Legal immigrant health care workers are currently facing a challenge to keep working amid the coronavirus pandemic. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been limiting services amid the outbreak.     Legal immigrant workers are reportedly experiencing difficulty in filing their visa paperwork, while upholding social distancing regulations.
    The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has since filed a lawsuit against USCIS.    They requested the agency suspend deadlines that put the status of medical workers at risk.
    “USCIS could exercise its discretion to allow international physicians, who are here on H-1B visas and who are responding to the crisis, to go where they are needed based on a filed petition, even if lacks some of what would ordinarily be required,” stated AILA President Jennifer Minear.
    As a result of the massive backlog of visa applications, medical workers now face a nine month-long turnaround.    This process can be time consuming, even with online filing options, for already extended medical workers combating the pandemic.
FILE – In this April 13, 2019, file photo, Border Patrol vans drop off migrants at Meerscheidt
Recreation Center in Las Cruces, N.M. (Blake Gumprecht/The Las Cruces Sun News via AP, File)
    Last month, the State Department encouraged foreign medical workers to apply for visas to work in the U.S. Some state governments have even reportedly lowered requirements for immigrant doctors to practice at their medical institutions.
    Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is in the process of hearing a case that challenged President Trump’s reversal of the DACA program.    They are set to reach a decision by June.
    The DACA program reportedly benefits roughly 27,000 recipients who work in the medical field.
    “If the court decides against our favor, we could be losing the program again,” said paramedic Jesus Contreras.    “Some of us will fall out of our two year period, lose status and be in danger of being deported.”
    According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, cutting medical DACA workers could have a severe effect on the country’s ability to fight major health crises.    This comes at a time when medical facilities across the country are already short on workers and supplies amid the pandemic.

4/10/2020 NIH begins trials of hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 cure while some doctors already use it by OAN Newsroom
This Monday, April 6, 2020, photo shows an arrangement of Hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    The National Institute of Health (NIH) has begun clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a likely cure for novel coronavirus.    The tests came amid rife controversy as many doctors across the U.S. have already prescribed the drug with antibiotics to treat COVID-19 patients in defiance of criticism by mainstream media.
    NIH trials will now compare the efficiency of hydroxychloroquine to that of ‘placebo’ and they will try to determine side effects — if any.    The study also raises concerns of potential regulatory overreaches and protraction when every minute matters as some COVID-19 patients remain in critical condition.
    “Are you going to use a drug that someone says from an anecdotal standpoint, not completely proven, but might have some effect?” asked NIH Director Dr. Anthony Fauci.
    Just two years ago in 2018, the NIH conducted similar trials of chloroquine, which is the basis for the hydroxychloroquine it’s testing currently.    That study was to determine if chloroquine works against malaria despite Germany using that drug to treat malaria since 1934.    This sparked concerns of excessive bureaucracy in America’s health care system.
    “We’re also now administering 1,100 tests of the hydroxychloroquine and the Zithromax, but we’re now using it on a large scale basis, particularly in the New York City hospitals,” stated New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)
    Last month, German drug-maker Bayer sent millions of chloroquine pills to the U.S. to help it battle the virus, but the mainstream media worked relentlessly to disparage the effort after President Trump endorsed the drug.
A bottle of hydroxychloroquine is displayed on a table outside The Resort at Texas City
nursing home Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in Texas City, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
    Some media and health officials have claimed the use of chloroquine could be risky and it would reduce availability of the drug for patients with other conditions.    Their views came despite Germany making millions of pills each day, while willing to send more to the U.S.
    “At my direction, the federal government is working to help obtain large quantities of chloroquine,” stated President Trump.
    As part of the NIH study, 500 patients with COVID-19 will receive either hydroxychloroquine or ‘placebo’ to see if the drug helps.    This could pose a moral problem of depriving patients from the cure if the drug is confirmed to be effective after all.

4/10/2020 Wash. to take down field hospital as rate of cases level off, beds to be sent to areas in need by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 31, 2020, file photo, U.S. Army soldiers from Fort Carson, Col., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) work to set
up a field hospital inside CenturyLink Field Event Center, in Seattle. The 250-bed hospital was intended to be used for non-COVID-19
cases, allowing local hospitals additional space for patients affected by the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
    The state of Washington is packing up a makeshift field hospital to be sent to another state that has been hit worse by the coronavirus.    On Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee announced the 250 bed hospital built in Seattle’s CenturyLink Field Event Center will be sent back to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
    This marks the first return of hospital beds to the federal government at the face of the ongoing pandemic.    The facility, built just a week ago, was meant to receive non-COVID-19 patients to provide relieve for crowded hospitals as Washington was one of the first states hit by the coronavirus.
    However, early action limited the spread of the contagious COVID-19.    According to Inslee, hospitals in the area are now able to maintain capacity and support a surge in patients.    This came just days after the state returned hundreds of ventilators received from FEMA to be sent to New York.
    The field hospital was staffed by soldiers from Fort Carson, Colorado and Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.    In a statement, Inslee said he was grateful for their efforts on behalf of the community and sent well wishes as they “continue to serve communities across the country in greater need.”
    However, the governor said the decision does not mean Washington is out of the woods just yet.    He stressed the importance of staying home, maintaining social distancing protocol and only stepping out for essential activities.

4/10/2020 Calif. sees first daily decrease in ICU COVID-19 patients by OAN Newsroom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced California saw its first daily decrease in intensive care
hospitalizations during the coronavirus outbreak, during his daily news briefing at the Governor’s Office
of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Thursday, April 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)
    California’s governor reported the state’s first daily drop in coronavirus patients in its intensive care units.    Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Thursday the number of patients dropped 1.9 percent from Wednesday’s report.
    The rate of all hospitalizations has also gone down this week and Gov. Newsom said two-thirds of California’s 11,000 ventilators are not being used.    However, he is hesitant to celebrate an end to the pandemic due to such a slight decrease.
    “I caution anybody to (not) read too much into that one point of data, but nonetheless it is encouraging and it just again reinforces the credible work that all of you are doing to practice physical distancing,” he stated.    “Stay-at-home is working in the state of California.”
    The Golden State is entering week four of its statewide stay-at-home order.    Gov. Newsom and public health officials noted they are preparing for the worst case scenario.

4/10/2020 House Speaker Pelosi: We must guarantee voting from home by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 10, 2020, file photo a box of ballots mailed in for the Washington state primary election
are shown at the King County Elections headquarters in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently doubled down on Democrats’ push for widespread mail-in voting in November.    While speaking to reporters Thursday, she said Republicans know how to vote by mail and the president shouldn’t “belittle their ability to make their voices heard for the candidates they support.”
    Her remarks came after President Trump criticized Democrats this week by saying their mail-in voting proposal is “crazy.”    He claimed it has “tremendous potential for voter fraud” and said it wouldn’t work out well for Republicans.
    However, Pelosi denied any wrongdoing by suggesting the effort simply aims to “remove all obstacles to participation.”
    “Why should we tell people to stand in line for hours when we don’t even want people leaving the house,” she stated.    “They want to stand in the way of a more open democratic system at the time of a pandemic.”
    The proposal advocates for mail-in voting for all who want it without restrictions across all 50 states.
[PELOSI WOULD NOT KNOW ONE OF OUR FOUNDERS AND WHAT THEY STARTED EVEN IF ONE WAS HOMELESS ON THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO AS SHE DRIVES BY HIM TO GO TO WORK AND NOT EVEN NOTICE THE SLUM HER POLICIES HAVE CREATED AND AFTER FAILED IMPEACHMENT POLICIES THEY CONTINUE TO USE THE PANDEMIC TO PUSH THEIR POLICIES TO SCAM THE SYSTEM.].

4/10/2020 Italy PM extends virus lockdown, says euro zone rescue plan inadequate by Gavin Jones and Angelo Amantebr>
On Good Friday, people wear masks on a bridge as Italy celebrates Easter under lockdown to try and stop
the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Venice, April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri
    ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday extended a nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus until May 3, though he said a few types of shops would be allowed to re-open next week.
    The draconian curbs on movement and the closure of most shops and businesses across Italy were imposed on March 9, and were scheduled to expire on Monday.
    “This is a difficult but necessary decision for which I take all political responsibility,” Conte told a news conference.
    Among a few exceptions to the lockdown extension, Conte said bookshops, stationers and shops selling children’s clothes could reopen from Tuesday.
    Factories shuttered by the lockdown could not yet return to work, he said, dashing the hopes of industry chiefs who have warned of economic catastrophe, with workers’ wages at risk and a possible permanent loss of market share.
    However, Conte said he would continue to assess the daily trend of COVID-19 infections and “act accordingly” if conditions allowed it, offering a glimmer of hope to Italians weary of a month confined to their homes for all but essential needs.
    Italy has recorded almost 19,000 deaths from the virus since its outbreak came to light on Feb. 21, more than any other country.
    After accelerating steadily until around the end of March, the daily tally of deaths and infections has declined and flattened out, but it is not falling as steeply as was hoped.
    Conte devoted much of the news conference, broadcast live on national television, to strong criticism of a deal reached by euro zone finance ministers on Thursday over a rescue plan for the bloc’s battered economies.
    He said the instruments agreed were “still insufficient” and Italy would “battle to the end” to secure agreement on the issuance of common debt, something that is opposed by northern European countries including Germany and the Netherlands.
    Conte, who is under attack from the opposition over the package agreed on Thursday, stressed it was no more than a proposal and he would not sign off on it in its current form.
    “At the European Council I will not sign anything until I have a set of measures that are adequate to tackle the challenge we face,” he said, stressing that joint debt, or “euro bonds” were Italy’s favoured solution.
    Abandoning his usually measured tones, he raised his voice to slam the “falsehoods and lies” of the opposition led by the right-wing League leader Matteo Salvini, which he said “hurt us because they weaken our hand in the negotiations,” with the EU.
    Conte said making available cheap loans from the euro zone bailout fund, as agreed by the finance ministers, was a “totally inadequate tool” and Italy had no intention of applying for help from the fund, known as the European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
    He said the governing coalition dominated by the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the centre-left Democratic Party, agreed that the ESM was of no use to Italy, and appealed for the ruling parties to remain united.
    “We have to be smart, compact and united,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Editing by Susan Fenton)

4/10/2020 WHO warns about dangers of premature lifting of COVID-19 restrictions by Stephanie Nebehay and John Revill
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board
meeting on update on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA/ZURICH (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) warned countries on Friday to be cautious about lifting restrictions introduced to curb the spread of the new coronavirus and voiced alarm it was taking hold in Africa.
    The United Nations agency would like to see an easing, but at the same time “lifting restrictions could lead to a deadly resurgence,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press conference.
    He said there had been a “welcome slowing” of epidemics in some European countries – Italy, Germany, Spain and France – but there had been an “alarming acceleration” elsewhere including community transmission in 16 countries of Africa.
    Nearly 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 92,000 deaths have been reported to the Geneva-based agency, Tedros said.
    Yemen reported its first case of the novel coronavirus on Friday as aid groups braced for an outbreak in a country where war has shattered health systems and spread hunger and disease.
    Tedros said he was particularly concerned by the large number of infections reported among health workers.
    “In some countries reports of up to 10 percent of health workers being infected, this is an alarming trend,” he said.
    A new U.N. supply task force will coordinate and scale up the procurement and distribution of protective gear, lab diagnostics and oxygen to the countries that need it most.
    “Every month we will need to ship at least 100 million medical masks and gloves, up to 25 million N-95 respirators, gowns and face shields, up to 2.5 million diagnostic tests and large quantities of oxygen concentrators and other equipment for clinical care,” he said.
    The World Food Programme – the U.N. agency that handles logistics – will deploy eight 747 aircraft, 8 medium-sized cargo aircraft and several smaller passenger planes to transport the goods and aid workers needed in the operation which will have 8 hubs, he added.
    Tedros urged donors to contribute to WFP’s operation which will cost an estimated $280 million, while the cost of procuring supplies will be “much greater.”
    Michael Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme said the world owed a tremendous debt to front-line health workers, and it was vital they got the right protective gear.
    Tedros said no country was immune from the pandemic, which was spreading panic around the world.    Cases have recently been found in some parts of Japan with no known links to other outbreaks.
    “From this pandemic we have to try to learn…what the gaps are, this is a message even for the developed countries.    Across the board you see a lack of preparedness of the public health system,” Tedros said.
    “No country is immune.    No country can claim it has a strong health system.    We have to be really honest and assess and address this problem.”
(Reporting by John Revill and Stephanie Nebehey)
[THE REAL WARNING MAY BE BEWARE OF BAD INFORMATION FROM THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION.].

4/10/2020 In epicentre of French virus outbreak, medical workers believe peak has passed by Tangi Salaün
A sick patient is secured by firefighters ambulance crew members of the Departmental Fire and Rescue Service (SDIS 67) during a rescue
operation as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Strasbourg France, March 27, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
    PARIS (Reuters) – As head of the urgent cases team in the Mulhouse ambulance service, Marc Noizet has been at the eye of the coronavirus storm that swept through this eastern French city.    In the past few days, he has noticed a change.
    “Things are getting better,” he said of the region around Mulhouse, the epicentre of France’s deadliest outbreak.    His crews are being called out to fewer coronavirus-related cases.    “That allows the staff to rest a bit, to take a breath.”
    Public health officials in the Grand-Est region, near France’s border with Germany, Switzerland and Luxembourg, say it is premature to say the crisis is over, but they believe they have passed the peak of the epidemic.
    The virus hit the region earlier and harder than anywhere else in France, in large part because of a five-day prayer gathering at an evangelical church in Mulhouse where dozens of worshippers were infected.
    The more positive trend now could provide a roadmap for how other regions and countries still in the thick of the outbreak will eventually emerge.
    The number of people in intensive care units in the Grand-Est region being treated for coronavirus is ticking down; as of Thursday it was 937 people, 13 fewer than a day earlier.    That was the sixth consecutive day the figure had fallen.
    The total death toll has kept rising this week, but the rate of increase has slowed.    On the worst day of the outbreak, April 3, 141 people died.    On April 9, 82 people died.
    “We can say that we passed the peak,” said Laurent Tritsch, chief doctor of the fire and rescue service in the Lower Rhine, part of the Grand-Est region.
    France as a whole has more than 86,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus and has registered more than 12,210 deaths, the fourth highest death toll in the world after Italy, Spain and the United States.
TURNING POINT
    For weeks, the number of new critical cases in the Grand-Est region was rising faster than beds were becoming available. Hundreds of sick people were evacuated by train, plane and helicopter to be treated in other parts of France or Europe.
    According to Tritsch, whose service helps transport sick patients to hospital, the graph inverted on March 28, when new intensive care beds coming on stream outstripped the increase in critical cases.
    On April 6, a medically-equipped French air force Airbus A330 stood on the tarmac at Luxembourg airport.    Next to it were five ambulances that had brought coronavirus patients from the eastern French city of Metz.    The pilot’s mission was to fly them to the Czech city of Brno, where they were to be treated.
    But the pilot received an order to abort the mission. French officials had decided there were spare intensive care beds in the Grand-Est city of Nancy, so the evacuation was no longer needed, according to a French government source.
    Though a turning point has been reached, no one in the region is celebrating.    Healthcare workers are exhausted after a month on constant duty, many of their colleagues are sick, and the virus could come back if restrictions on movement are relaxed, medical professionals say.
    “We’re not crying victory,” said Fabien Trabold, chief doctor of the Upper Rhine fire and rescue service.
(Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

4/10/2020 President Trump touts lower U.S. mortality estimations by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the
White House, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    According to President Trump, social distancing is the reason the U.S. has seen a significant decrease in the number of deaths nationwide.    During Friday’s coronavirus task force briefing, the president confirmed the minimum number of projected deaths in the country was over 100,000.
    However, the actual number has fallen substantially from updated projections, dropping the mortality rate down to 60,000 deaths.
    President Trump has attributed these new numbers to his administration’s strategy in tackling the virus.
    “In the midst of all this grief and this pain, we’re seeing these signs…and a lot of that has to do with the aggressive strategy in saving so many lives,” he said.    “We’re saving so many lives, compared to what it could have been.”
    The new figures, which were released by Johns Hopkins University on Friday, showed the global death toll of COVID-19 related deaths has now reached 100,000.
FILE – In this Jan. 3, 2020 file photo, the Wall St. street sign is framed by U.S. flags
flying outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
    The president has also suggested the U.S. economy will come back like a rocket after the coronavirus pandemic.    He recently praised this week’s stock market jump on Twitter.
    “In only four days, we had the biggest stock market increase since 1974,” he said.
    The president voiced his anticipation for the future, saying, “We have a great chance for the really big bounce when the invisible enemy is gone.”
    This came after Wall Street closed higher on Thursday, aided by a new injection of Federal Reserve emergency funding measures.
President Donald Trump listens as Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks
during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced coronavirus antibody tests will be available within a week.    During a recent interview, the top U.S. infectious diseases official explained the test could show whether a person was recently infected with COVID-19 and didn’t know it.
    He added the antibody exam differs from the COVID-19 test, which only shows if a person is currently infected.
    “We still rely appropriately and heavily on the test to show that someone is, in fact, infected.    Whereas, the antibody test says that you were infected and, if you’re feeling well, you very likely recovered.    When you’re trying to find out whether or not a person is infected, that’s the test we always talk about.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
    The doctor went on to say that antibody tests are important in determining whether a person was previously infected and if they’re vulnerable to getting reinfected.
    A scientist presents an antibody test for coronavirus in a laboratory of the Leibniz Institute of Photonic
Technology (Leibniz IPHT) at the InfectoGnostics research campus in Jena, Germany, Friday, April 3, 2020.(AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
    Fauci has said immunity certificates could be an option for the American people amid the ongoing pandemic.    According to him, this could help officials identify those who are vulnerable to the virus and those who aren’t.
    The doctor emphasized there’s merit to immunity papers under certain circumstances.
    The White House has warned the country may never get back to normal, unless the entire population can be protected.

4/10/2020 White House to roll out ‘Opening Our Country’ council by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the
White House, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The White House has confirmed its intent to appoint a new task force to jump start the U.S. economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.    President Trump hinted at the initiative Friday, dubbing it the “Opening Our Country Council.”
    According to reports, some familiar faces may be spearheading those efforts.    Among those said to be up for consideration is Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow.
    The council could also include top figures in business, as well as doctors and governors from across the country.
From left, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House coronavirus response
coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn arrive to
attend a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump has minced no words when it comes to reopening the economy.    He’s made it a priority since the outbreak began.
    “The cure can’t be worse than the problem itself, right?” he asked.
    Nearly 17 million Americans are facing unemployment because of the coronavirus.    This will likely be a top priority for the council, which has frequently touted strong job numbers and a booming economy.
    Heading into May, it’s unclear how states across the U.S. will navigate reopening businesses and schools.
    Administration officials have stressed the need for a timeline of reopening the economy.    Those guidelines are currently in the works and more details are expected to come next week.

4/10/2020 Va. Gov. Northam signs new gun control measures into law by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 8, 2020 file photo, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam gestures during
a news conference at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
    Despite the current global health crisis, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam recently signed multiple pieces of gun control legislation into law.    On Friday, he signed five bills aimed at expanding background checks, mandatory reporting of stolen firearms and so called ‘red flag’ laws.
    Virginia will also limit gun purchases to one a month.
    In a statement, the governor claimed the state loses too many citizens to gun violence and voiced his belief these new measures will save lives.
    However, the new controversial laws are already raising concerns with residents about their rights as gun owners.
    “You know, just the basic right of taking away the due process, taking away people’s basic civil rights,” said gun store manager Jim Wood.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signs a peice of legislation in his conference room inside the Patrick Henry
Building in Richmond, Va., Friday, April 10, 2020. Northam has a midnight Saturday, April 11, deadline to either
sign, amend or veto all legislation passed by the General Assembly. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
    Residents have spent months voicing their fears of measures infringing on their Second Amendment rights.    In January alone, more than 20,000 gun rights activists rallied in the state’s capitol of Richmond to protest these measures.
    “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” stated gun rights activist Cam Edwards.
    A number of local governments in the state have passed firearm sanctuary resolutions to protect gun owners from any state or federal gun control laws that could be considered unconstitutional.    Members of these communities feel many of these bills passed will impact law abiding citizens more than criminals.
    “Fellas don’t come into gun stores and buy guns anyway,” explained Wood.    “They buy illegal guns, things that are stolen, from individuals that are not necessarily responsible.”
FILE – In this Oct. 9, 2018, file photo, Illegally possessed firearms seized by authorities
are displayed during a news conference in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
    The state legislature’s attempt to pass a ban on so called ‘assault weapons,’ which received the most pushback from gun owners, has failed.
    Despite the ongoing feud, the laws are set to go into effect on July 1st.
[This cowardly Democrat Virginia governor did this knowing that people cannot come around in large groups to protest his denial of our Second Amendment rights.].

4/10/2020 N.Y. officials ‘optimistic’ about slowing infection rate by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 9, 2020, file photo, the full moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty in New York. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)
    According to New York officials, the state is beginning to flatten the curve as hospitalization rates slowed this week.    On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated officials are “cautiously optimistic” that the infection rate is slowing in New York.
    Hospitals also recently reported a decrease in the number of patients in ICU for the first time since the outbreak began.
    The governor shared grim news of more than 700 deaths, but noted continuing to slow the infection rate will be beneficial to the state.
    “If the hospitalization rate stays the same, we have up to a 90,000 bed capacity in our system, fully taxed up to the brim,” stated Andrew Cuomo.    “But that’s an overflow capacity that I hope we don’t use if we keep this curve down.”
    New York has confirmed more than 160,000 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began.
A patient is wheeled out of Elmhurst Hospital Center to a waiting ambulance, Tuesday, April 7, 2020,
in the Queens borough of New York, during the current coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
    The governor has agreed with President Trump that the World Health Organization (WHO) failed to give the U.S. proper warnings about the coronavirus.    On Friday, Cuomo said when headlines about the virus in China broke out in December, the WHO did not alert member countries of the United Nations.
    According to the Cuomo, the WHO should have blown the whistle for the U.S. to prepare for the pandemic.    He then questioned why the U.S. is in the situation of having more COVID-19 cases than other countries.
    “Where were the horns that should have been triggered back in December and January?    Where were the warning signs?    Who was supposed to blow the whistle?    The president has asked this question and I think he’s right.    The president’s answer is the World Health Organization should have been blowing the whistle.” – Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
    President Trump and Republican lawmakers have criticized the WHO for its failure to warn other countries about the pandemic.    The U.S. is the largest contributor to the agency and the president is now considering suspending funds to the organization.

4/10/2020 Europe becomes hardest hit region by COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
A medical staffer tends to a patient In the ICU unit of Rome’s San Filippo Neri
Hospital’s Covid department, Thursday, April 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
    Europe has become the most affected area in the world by the coronavirus.    On Friday, the World Health Organization revealed there are over 759,000 confirmed cases in the region, which is almost twice as many as in the Americas.
    Italy has the highest death toll, while Spain has the leading number of confirmed cases.
    After weeks of social distancing measures, officials predicted they are nearing the peak of the pandemic.
    However, the European Union is now headed for a steep recession.    European Union finance ministers are working on a recovery package for the bloc.
Health workers cry during a memorial for their co-worker Esteban, a male nurse that died of the coronavirus
disease, at the Severo Ochoa Hospital in Leganes in Leganes, Spain, Friday, April 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
    “Today, we agreed to establish pandemic crisis support for the amount of 2 percent of member states’ GDP,” stated Eurogroup Chairman Mario Centeno.    “That is close to 240 billion euros.”
    The package would bring the EU’s total fiscal response to the crisis up to $3.5 trillion, which is the biggest response effort in the world.
    In the meantime, European nations are upholding lockdown restrictions for the coming weeks to continue mitigating the spread of the virus.

4/11/2020 Oil and DOW off due to Good Friday.

4/11/2020 WILL IT EVER END?

4/11/2020 UK has not reached COVID-19 peak so lockdown will stay: health minister by Michael Holden
FILE PHOTO: A policeman wearing a mask talks to people on Primrose Hill as the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has not yet reached the COVID-19 peak which would allow for an easing of tight restrictions of movement, health minister Matt Hancock said on Saturday.
    The death toll in British hospitals has reached almost 9,000, with 980 more deaths reported on Friday, a figure which exceeded the deadliest day so far in Italy, the country worst hit by the virus.
    Among those who have been infected is Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is recovering in hospital after spending three nights in intensive care.    His office said he was improving and was back on his feet although his recovery was still at an early stage.
    Britain imposed a lockdown three weeks ago in a bid to curb the spread of the virus and the government has come under increasing pressure to detail how long the strict measures on movements would last, with people forced to stay at home and many businesses unable to operate.
    Ministers have said Britain needed to pass the peak of the outbreak before changes could be made, and Hancock said although the number of hospital admissions had started to flatten out, there was not enough evidence yet to have confidence they were past the worst.
    “Our judgment is we’re not there yet.    We haven’t seen a flattening enough to be able to say that we’ve reached the peak,” he told BBC radio.
    Some scientists have suggested the peak might still be some weeks off but Hancock said “nobody knows” when it would be.
    “There’s all sorts of suggestions.    Their job is to make their best estimate and advise us and we have a whole load of different pieces of advice from different scientists,” he said.
    The death rate is also expected to increase over the next few days, health officials have cautioned, but they say they are hopeful that the lockdown will mean that the overall number of deaths will be below 20,000.
    Initially Johnson took a more modest response to the outbreak than other European leaders but changed tack when projections suggested a quarter of a million people could die in the United Kingdom.
    The government has come under fire for its initial response and a lack of preparedness, and there was criticism on Saturday from doctors and nurses who said they were having to treat patients without proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves.
    Saturday from doctors and nurses who said they were having to treat patients without proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves.
    Among those to have died after testing positive for COVID-19 are 19 health care workers including 11 doctors.
    The British Medical Association, which represents doctors, said medics were facing a “heart-breaking” decision over whether to treat patients without proper protection and so put themselves at risk.
    “No doctor should ever have to be in harm’s way when they go to work, and in these unprecedented times, this has never been more important,” said Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA council chair.
    The Royal College of Nursing said it was getting calls about shortages, saying some staff were “petrified
    Hancock said 761 million PPE items had been delivered to the 1.4 million staff who worked for the National Health Service but there were issues in ensuring in reached the frontline.
    “There’s clearly more to do to make sure every single person who needs it gets the PPE that they need,” he said.
(Reporting by Michael Holden, Editing by William Maclean)

4/11/2020 Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 4,133, deaths by 171: RKI
FILE PHOTO: Employees of the city administration of Kamenz pack protection masks for sending by mail to the households of the
city, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Kamenz, Germany, April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s number of confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 4,133 on Saturday to 117,658, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.
    That was lower than 5,323 reported on Friday, marking the first decline after four days of increases    The reported death toll rose by 171 to 2,544.
(Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

4/11/2020 Mexico registers 3,844 cases of coronavirus and 233 deaths
A worker in hazardous material suit and a protective mask walks by a statue of Catholic priest and leader
of the Mexican War of Independence Miguel Hidalgo, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
continues, in Guadalajara, Mexico April 9, 2020. Picture taken April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Fernando Carranza

4/11/2020 U.S. scientists’ race to test possible COVID-19 treatments by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, a vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is
visually inspected at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States. (Gilead Sciences via AP)
    As social distancing measures continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19, American researchers are fast-tracking studies aimed at finding a definitive cure.    The National Institutes of Health launched ORCHID, ‘Outcomes Related to COVID-19 Treated with Hydroxychloroquine Among In-patients with Symptomatic Disease,’ on April 2nd.
    The trial is part of a cooperative effort undertaken by research centers across the nation.
    “We’re one of many participating sites across the country, so we’re looking at this from the full spectrum of illness.    Can we prevent it?    If you’re infected, can we keep you from getting really sick? And if you are sick, can we make that infection better?” – Tim Schacker, Vice Dean for Research at the University of Minnesota
    This study, which was undertaken by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee, consists of a fully randomized double-blind trial of 500 currently hospitalized COVID-19 positive adults.    Trial subjects will receive two daily doses of hydroxychloroquine per day over five days, or the same dosage of a placebo.
    According to reports, ORCHID is still in the recruitment phase and has an estimated completion date of July 2020.
This Monday, April 6, 2020, photo shows an arrangement of Hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    Last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of a trial meant to test the effectiveness of treatment combining hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.    70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine have reportedly been administered to patients in New York.
    “We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.    That’s where the FDA has been so great.    They’ve gone through the approval process, it’s been approved, they did it.    They took it down from many, many months to immediate.    So, we’re going to be able to make that drug available by prescription.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    There has been no official word as to when results may be published, though the observational nature of the study means no official end date has been posted.
    All things considered, research institutions have been widely hailed for their quick response.
    “I do know, because I have a lot of experience doing this, that the normal drug development process is a very long one,” explained Dr. Arun Sanyal.    “But given the urgency of the situation, it is also incredible how things have aligned and how fast things are moving.”
In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, rubber stoppers are placed onto
filled vials of the investigational drug remdesivir at a (Gilead Sciences via AP)
    Meanwhile, Remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug developed by California based Gilead Sciences, is also being tested as a possible treatment.    The drug was developed for the treatment of Ebola, but has shown promise in animal trials when deployed against MERS and SARS, two diseases also caused by coronaviruses.
    “There are promising therapies produced by Gilead, and that’s Remdesivir,” stated President Trump.    “It seems to have a very good result having to do with this virus, and that drug also has been approved, or very close to approved in that case, by the FDA.”
    The NIH has launched a scientific trial of the drug, which began at the end of February and is being led by personnel at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
    As the scientific community awaits definitive results, both of these treatments are already being administered to patients in the U.S. on a “compassionate care basis,” which allows the use of a drug to treat life threatening or time sensitive conditions.

4/11/2020 Treasury Dept.: Stimulus checks should be distributed starting in mid-April by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo, the seal of the Board of Governors of the U.S, Federal Reserve System lies embedded
in the floor at the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    According to the Treasury Department, most Americans should receive their stimulus checks by mid-April.    On Friday, a spokesperson announced the department will give the payments to the Federal Reserve to distribute to financial institutions across the nation.
    Americans are hurting from the economic impacts of the coronavirus, including joblessness and crashing stocks.    This first set of payments will go to those who filed their taxes in 2018 or 2019 and received their refund through direct deposit.
    As part of the CARES Act, those who file independently and make less than 75,000 a year are eligible to receive a one-time $1,200 payment by April 15th.
FILE – In this March 27, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump finishes signing the coronavirus stimulus
relief package in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
    Meanwhile, the White House coronavirus task force’s top expert has anticipated the country will be back to normal by November.    On Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he believes Americans can expect “a real degree of normalcy” by that time.
    When asked about the 2020 elections, Fauci shot down questions about nationwide mail-in voting. He has said will be no need for it and voters can expect to go to the polls as usual this year.
    His comments came as lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to face off on the matter with Democrats, who have been pushing for mail-in voting for all who want it.

4/11/2020 Ky. Gov. Beshear warns people who attend mass gatherings will be subjected to mandatory 14-day quarantine by OAN Newsroom
In this Sunday, April 5, 2020, photo, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks about the novel coronavirus during a
media conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)
    The governor of Kentucky is threatening a mandatory quarantine for anyone who takes part in large gatherings.    Governor Andy Beshear warned Kentuckians Friday, saying authorities will follow up with those participating in mass gathering and record their license plates.
    The warning came ahead of Easter weekend.    According to Beshear, officials are aware of several churches considering having in person services.
    He announced they will be cracking down on these violations, as perpetrators will be risking not just their own health, but the health of others as well.
    “Local health departments are going to come to your door with an order for you to be quarantined for 14 days,” stated Beshear.    “If you’re going to expose yourself to this virus and you make that decision to do it, it’s not fair to anyone else out there that you might spread it to.”
    The governor encouraged those attending church to use drive-in services only and asked residents to park at least 6 feet away from each other.
[SOMEBODY TELL GOV. ANDY BESHEAR TO STICK HIS COMMENTS WHERE THE SUN DOES NOT SHINE THAT HE CANNOT PREVENT ANYONE FROM DOING THEIR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO RELIGOUS ASSEMBLY AS THEY CHOOSE AS WELL AS OUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS.].

4/11/2020 Appeals court reinstates Texas abortion ban by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is joined by state and city officials as
he gives an update on the coronavirus outbreak in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
    Texas has effectively prohibited most abortions in the state with the support of a federal appeals court.    The decision was made on Friday in a 2-1 vote.
    The ban came as a part of Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order against all non-essential medical procedures amid the COVID-19 crisis.    The anticipated ruling halted a lower court’s decision to oppose the state order earlier this month.
    The two judges to rule in support of the policy have argued a state may implement measures that curtail constitutional rights “when faced with a society-threatening epidemic,” such as the coronavirus pandemic.    However, many pro-choice activists have emphasized how the ruling could potentially interfere with the time sensitivity of abortions.
    “Texans deserve abortion access and care without delay,” stated one pro-choice Texan.    “We know that abortion is essential healthcare, it is a procedure where time is of the essence.”
    The decision did make a narrow exception for abortions nearing the 22-week cut off.
In this April 2, 2020 photo, a nurse at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle holds a medical face shield prior to the start of her shift in a triage
tent outside the Harborview emergency department used to intake arriving patients who have respiratory symptoms. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
    Meanwhile, five other states, including Oklahoma, are also pushing legislation that deems abortion as non-essential amid the pandemic.    Republican officials defended this move by saying it aims to conserve essential medical equipment during this time.
    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has supported the measure, saying abortion providers were “demanding special treatment.”    Paxton also believes the measure justly prioritizes vital medical supplies for those fighting the coronavirus.    He has said he plans to prosecute providers that continue to perform abortions.
    Governor Abbott’s original March 22nd order is set to last until April 21st, but could be extended.

4/11/2020 Government officials across U.S. reevaluate COVID-19 guidelines by OAN Newsroom
The Hollywood sign is vewed from downtown Los Angeles after heavy rains early Friday, April 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
    While officials in California and New York have increased efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, states like Florida and Texas are starting to ease back.
    On Friday, Los Angeles County extended its stay-at-home order through May 15th.
    According to Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, non-essential businesses, beaches, parks and trails will all remain closed possibly into the summer.
    Referring to recent data, Ferrer stated if the order was lifted any sooner, about 96 percent of residents would become infected by August 1st, as opposed to roughly 30 percent if the order remained.
FILE – In this Monday, March 23, 2020 file photo, a man crosses 42nd Street in front of Grand
Central Terminal during morning rush hour in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
    Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said officials are “cautiously optimistic” that the infection rate is slowing in his state.    For the first time since the outbreak began, hospitals reported a decrease in the number of patients in the ICU this week.
    “If the hospitalization rate stays the same, we have up to a 90,000 bed capacity in our system, fully taxed up to the brim,” he stated.    “But that’s an overflow capacity that I hope we don’t use if we keep this curve down.”
    On the other hand, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his intent to reopen schools, starting as early as next month.    The governor pointed out that school age kids do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults and said he’ll make a decision based on whether or not there are active virus concerns in each district.
    “There’s probably not been one aspect of society that’s had a more broad-based effect on than our education system, because we have millions of people involved in it,” stated DeSantis.    “We want kids to be in school, I think most parents want that, so we’re going to continue to look, see how this develops and then make a decision there.”
A pair of cyclists ride during the coronavirus outbreak down the normally bustling
streets of downtown Miami, Thursday, April 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
    In Texas, Governor Greg Abott is trying to get residents back to work.    According to recent reports, Abbott plans to sign an executive order next week outlining how businesses will reopen in the Lone Star state
    Small business owner Megan Hollek, whose entire staff has filed for unemployment benefits, told local reporters she is scared to know how long social distancing measures will last.
    “As soon as it’s safe, let people work,” she said.    “Even if it is on a smaller scale, we will abide by any guidelines we need to.”

4/11/2020 COVID-19 kills 2 Colo. meat packing plant employees, infects dozens more by OAN Newsroom
Photo via JBS Facebook page.
    The coronavirus pandemic has impacted a meat factory in Colorado, killing at least two workers and infecting dozens more.    According to new reports, 78-year-old Saul Sanchez and 60-year-old Eduardo Conchas de la Cruz passed away due to COVID-19.
    Both men worked at JBS in Greely, Colorado, just an hour north of Denver.    At least 40 employees at the facility have tested positive for the virus.
    Governor Jared Polis announced the plant is now closed.    He is working with the federal and local officials to reopen it next week.
    “My discussion with the vice president just ensured that he was aware of the importance of the plant to our national food security, to our farmers and ranchers,” he stated.    “We talked about plans to be able to make sure that can operate with additional support and safety, that steps are being taken in conjunction with county health.”
    As of Friday, five JBS employees were being treated at a local hospital for symptoms relating to the virus.    The global food company has advised customers to clean their meat and cook it thoroughly before consuming.

4/11/2020 WHO says looking into reports of some COVID patients testing positive again by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: A South Korean patient affected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) casts her ballot for the parliamentary
election at a polling station set up at a quarantine center in Yongin, South Korea, April 11, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was looking into reports of some COVID-19 patients testing positive again after initially testing negative for the disease while being considered for discharge.
    South Korean officials on Friday reported 91 patients thought cleared of the new coronavirus had tested positive again.    Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a briefing that the virus may have been “reactivated” rather than the patients being re-infected.
    The Geneva-based WHO, asked about the report from Seoul, told Reuters in a brief statement: “We are aware of these reports of individuals who have tested negative for COVID-19 using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing and then after some days testing positive again."
    “We are closely liaising with our clinical experts and working hard to get more information on those individual cases.    It is important to make sure that when samples are collected for testing on suspected patients, procedures are followed properly,” it said.
    According to the WHO’s guidelines on clinical management, a patient can be discharged from hospital after two consecutive negative results in a clinically recovered patient at least 24 hours apart, it added.
    Based on current studies, there is a period of about two weeks between the onset of symptoms and clinical recovery of patients with mild COVID-19 disease, the agency said.
    “We are aware that some patients are PCR positive after they clinically recover, but we need systematic collection of samples from recovered patients to better understand how long they shed live virus,” it said.
    South Korean health officials said on Friday that it remains unclear what is behind the trend, with epidemiological investigations still under way.
    “As COVID-19 is a new disease, we need more epidemiological data to draw any conclusions of virus shedding profile,” the WHO said.
    The number of deaths linked to the novel coronavirus reached 100,000 on Friday, as reported cases passed 1.6 million, according to a Reuters tally.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Toby Chopra)

4/11/2020 UK coronavirus death toll nears 10,000 as minister says PM Johnson must rest by Michael Holden
FILE PHOTO: A policeman wearing a mask talks to people on Primrose Hill as the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s COVID-19 death toll neared 10,000 on Saturday after health officials reported another 917 hospital deaths, while one senior minister said Prime Minister Boris Johnson will need time off as he recovers from being seriously ill with the virus.
    Britain has now reported 9,875 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic, the fifth highest national number globally.
    Saturday’s increase was the second day running that the number of deaths had increased by more than 900.
    Almost 80,000 people in Britain have tested positive for the virus, among them Johnson, who is in the early stages of recovery on a hospital ward after spending three nights in intensive care.
    Downing Street said Johnson “continues to make very good progress,” but interior minister Priti Patel said it was vital he took time to fully recover.
    “The message to the prime minister is that we want him to get better and he needs some time and some space to rest, recuperate and recover,” Patel said.
    “And the whole of cabinet would support that message,” she told a news conference in Downing Street.
    Foreign minister Dominic Raab is currently deputising for the prime minister.
    Johnson’s office said on Friday that he was back on his feet and British newspapers reported he was watching films and reading letters sent to him by his fiancee Carrie Symonds, who is pregnant and who herself has suffered COVID-19 symptoms.
    The government’s main focus in recent days has been trying to ensure Britons comply with stay-home orders and a ban on social gatherings, especially over a sunny Easter weekend.
    Police said only a small minority of people were ignoring the message and early data showed officers in England and Wales had issued 1,084 on-the-spot fines so far for people breaking the restrictions.    Police powers to enforce came in on March 26 – after the start of lockdown measures.
‘NO MAGICAL SOLUTION’
    However, the government has come under increasing pressure to detail how long the strict curbs on movement will last, with the shutdown meaning many businesses are unable to operate.
    Ministers have said Britain needs to pass the peak of the outbreak before any changes can be made.    Health minister Matt Hancock said that although the rise in numbers of hospital admissions had started to flatten out, the judgement was they had not reached that point.
    “There is no magical solution that doesn’t require difficult decisions,” said Stephen Powis, the medical director of the National Health Service in England.
    “This was never going to be a sprint over a few weeks; this is going to be longer, it is going to be a marathon.”
    There was mounting criticism on Saturday from doctors and nurses who said they were having to treat patients without proper personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves.
    Some 19 health care workers including 11 doctors have died after testing positive for the coronavirus.
    The British Medical Association, which represents doctors, said medics were facing a “heart-breaking” decision over whether to treat patients without proper protection and so put themselves at risk.
    The Royal College of Nursing said it was getting calls about shortages, saying some staff were “petrified.”
    Hancock said 761 million items of PPE had been delivered to the National Health Service but there were issues in ensuring it reached the people who needed it.
    “I’m sorry if people feel that there have been failings,” Home Secretary Patel said.
(Editing by Toby Chopra, David Evans and Frances Kerry)

4/11/2020 Spain sets out back-to-work guidelines as coronavirus death rate slows by Raul Cadenas and Nathan Allen
A child gestures from the balcony of his house in support of healthcare workers, in front of the Dos de Maig Hospital, during the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain April 11, 2020. The placard reads: "Thank you". REUTERS/Nacho Doce
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s government on Saturday set out guidelines for people returning to work under a loosening of lockdown restrictions, while the country reported its lowest one-day increase in deaths from the coronavirus since March 23.
    Most Spaniards have been confined to their homes since mid-March with only businesses in sectors deemed strategically important allowed to operate normally.
    However, from Monday, some other industries such as construction and manufacturing will be allowed to restart, enabling thousands to return to work.
    Under guidelines issued by the prime minister’s office on Saturday, companies returning to work must provide appropriate protective equipment and ensure employees have space to be at least two metres apart.
    Amid concerns it may be too early to begin unwinding the lockdown measures, however, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska sought to downplay the change in the rules.
    “We are still in the confinement phase… We haven’t begun any relaxation (of the restrictions)” he said at a joint press conference with Health Minister Salvador Illa.
    Security forces will distribute 10 million masks at public transport hubs in the coming days, Marlaska said, adding that their use was recommended but not compulsory.
    But some politicians criticised the government for failing to provide details of its plans.
    “Neither the Madrid region nor any other local transport authority has any information about the distribution of masks announced by the Health Minister,” Madrid’s transport chief Angel Garrido wrote in a tweet.
DEATH TOLL SLOWS
    An overnight death toll of 510 brought the total number of fatalities up to 16,353, the Health Ministry said in a statement.    Confirmed cases of the infection climbed to 161,852 from 157,022 a day earlier.
    The slowdown is an encouraging sign for Spain, which reported as many as 950 deaths in one day in early April, and which has suffered the third-highest number of deaths from the virus after Italy and the United States.
    The country’s medical workers have been hit particularly hard.    Deputy health emergency chief Maria Jose Sierra said some 25,000 healthcare staff had been infected so far, representing about 15% of all confirmed cases.
    Medical workers at the Severo Ochoa hospital in the Madrid region fought back tears and applauded at an impromptu wake for a 57-year-old nurse who died after becoming infected with the virus, Reuters Television footage showed.
    A banner reading ‘Esteban, always with us’ hung from the wall, while his old scrubs were taped to a window.
    The lockdown has caused major disruption to the Catholic country’s Easter celebrations, forcing clergy and worshippers to devise creative ways to participate.
    In the eastern town of Villar del Arzobispo near Valencia, priest Raul Garcia held mass with photographs of his parishioners pinned to the pews, and invited them to watch the service online from home.
(Reporting by Raul Cadenas, Julien Hennequin, Graham Keeley, Nacho Doce, Belén Carreño and Miguel Gutierrez; Writing by Nathan Allen; Editing by Andrei Khalip, Helen Popper and Hugh Lawson)

4/11/2020 Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll and new cases push higher
Mounted police patrol at Via dei Condotti street, as the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues, in Rome, Italy April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
    ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 619 on Saturday, up from 570 the day before, and the number of new cases climbed to 4,694 from a previous 3,951.
    The daily death toll was the highest since April 6 and the rise in infections was the biggest since April 4.
    After easing from peaks around the end of March, Italy’s daily death and infection tallies have declined but are not falling steeply, as was hoped by Italians who have been in lockdown for a month.
    The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 rose to 19,468, the Civil Protection Agency said, broadly level with that of the United States, the other country worst hit in terms of absolute numbers.
    The number of officially confirmed cases climbed to 152,271, the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.
    There were 3,381 people in intensive care on Saturday against 3,497 on Friday — an eighth consecutive daily decline.
    Of those originally infected, 32,534 were declared recovered against 30,455 a day earlier.
(Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Gavin Jones)

4/11/2020 France’s coronavirus death toll rises to 13,832
FLE PHOTO: French rescue team wearing protective suits carry a patient on a stretcher from Mulhouse hospital before being loaded into a
helicopter as France faces an aggressive progression of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
    PARIS (Reuters) – France’s death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak rose to 13,832 on Saturday, but the number of patients in intensive care fell for the third day in a row, raising hopes that a nationwide lockdown is curbing the spread of the disease.
    The number of people in intensive care units fell to 6,883 from 7,004 a day before, it added.
    The health ministry said that 353 people had died in hospitals and 290 in nursing homes.
    On Friday the death toll had jumped by 987 as nursing home deaths increased.
    The number of confirmed and suspected infections so far in France, taking into account nursing home figures, stood at 118,479 as of Saturday, according to Reuters calculations based on the new data issued by the ministry.
(Reporting by Jean-Philippe Lefief and Maya Nikolaeva; Additional reporting by Geert de Clercq; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

4/11/2020 UK coronavirus death toll grows by 917 to 9,875
Security are seen outside the NHS Nightingale North West Hospital at the Manchester Central Convention Complex in Manchester
as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Manchester, Britain, April 11, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble
    LONDON (Reuters) – The latest death toll from the coronavirus in the United Kingdom has risen by 917 to 9,875 people, health officials said on Saturday.
    The rise, which detailed the number of hospital deaths as of 1600 GMT on April 10, was lower than that reported on Friday.
    The Department of Health also said 78,991 had tested positive for the virus as of 0800 GMT on Saturday.    Britain is hoping the number of infections, hospital admissions and deaths are reaching a peak, allowing it to consider when it could ease a lockdown.
(Reporting by Michael Holden, Editing by William Maclean)

4/11/2020 England’s coronavirus hospital death toll rises by 823 to 8,937
A message is seen on the side of a tower block in Manchester as the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues, Manchester, Britain, April 11, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble
    LONDON (Reuters) – The coronavirus death toll in English hospitals rose over the past 24 hours by 823 to a total of 8,937, health officials reported on Saturday.
    Those who died aged were between 11 and 102 years old, and 33 had no known underlying health condition, NHS England said.
(Reporting by Michael Holden, Editing by William Maclean)

4/12/2020 ‘I owe them my life’ – out of intensive care, UK’s Johnson praises medics
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street, as the spread of coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues. London, Britain, March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he owes his life to the staff of Britain’s state-run National Health Service, in his first comments since being released from intensive care for treatment for COVID-19.
    Johnson, 55, was taken to St Thomas’s Hospital in central London a week ago, suffering from persistent symptoms of the disease caused by the new coronavirus.    On April 6 he was moved into intensive care, where he remained until April 9.
    “I can’t thank them enough.    I owe them my life,” Johnson said of the staff at the hospital, which is just across the River Thames from the Houses of Parliament.    The comments were released to journalists and confirmed by his office on Sunday.
    Johnson was back on his feet by Friday, taking short walks between periods of rest, in what his office described as the early stage of recovery.
    Britain’s COVID-19 death toll neared 10,000 on Saturday, the fifth highest national number globally, after officials reported another 917 hospital deaths.
    In its most recent official update on Johnson’s condition, Downing Street said he “continues to make very good progress.”
    Priti Patel, the interior minister, said in Saturday’s daily government news briefing that he needed time to rest and recover before returning to work.
(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Peter Graff)

4/12/2020 Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 2,821, deaths by 129: RKI
FILE PHOTO: A member of the medical staff shows a used sample container at a test centre for coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) at Havelhoehe community hospital in Berlin, Germany, April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch -/File Photo
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s number of confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 2,821 on Sunday to 120,479, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed.
    That was lower than a 4,133 increase reported on Saturday, and marked the second decline after four days of increases.    The reported death toll rose by 129 to 2,673.
(Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Tom Hogue)

4/12/2020 President Trump wishes everyone a Happy Easte by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump prays during an Easter blessing event with Bishop Harry Jackson, in the
Oval Office of the White House, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    On Sunday, the president wished Americans across the country a safe and happy Easter.    In a video he posted to Twitter, President Trump reminded churchgoers Easter will be very different than usual this year, due to the current health crisis.
    However, he reassured Americans that the administration is doing everything it can to stop the spread of coronavirus.
    “We’re keeping separation, we’re getting rid of the plague, a plague on our country like nobody’s ever seen.    We’re winning the battle, we’re winning the war.    We’ll be back together in churches next to each other.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    The president encouraged people to celebrate and “bring the family together.”
    “We have a lot to be thankful for,” he added.    “Happy Easter everybody!
    First Lady Melania Trump honored the occasion by reading “The Little Rabbit” aloud to her online followers.
    “This Easter Sunday, I send greetings to all Americans and their loved ones as we come together to reflect on the importance of family and faith,” she tweeted.    “May God bless our great nation!
    In a separate post, she added, “The spirit of Easter is alive today!
Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump pray during an Easter blessing event with Bishop
Harry Jackson, in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Earlier in the week, President Trump wished the nation well heading into Easter weekend.    While speaking from the Oval Office, the president said, “though we will not be able to gather together this Easter, we can use this sacred time to focus on prayer reflection.”
    He has asked all Americans to “pray that God will heal our nation, bring comfort to those that are grieving, give strength to health care workers and restore health to the sick.”
    He added that, despite the unprecedented battle at hand against an invisible enemy, our nation is going to come through like never before.
    Both the president and Vice President Mike Pence also participated in a prayer, which was led by Bishop Harry Jackson from the Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Maryland.

4/12/2020 WHO envoy says organization believes China on COVID-19 data by OAN Newsroom
People wear face masks to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus as they cross
an intersection in Beijing, Friday, April 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
    The World Health Organization appears to be defending mainland China amid criticism of its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.    On     Sunday, WHO Special Envoy David Nabarro stated the organization relies on data provided by its member countries.
    He claimed the WHO doesn’t have the authority to go to China and see whether its reporting on coronavirus was accurate.
    President Trump recently suggested the U.S. may cut funding for the organization amid allegations it helped Beijing cover up the outbreak early on.    However, the envoy argued China had not invited a WHO team until mid-February.
    “We are trying to be clear to everybody that we have been given access to the info we requested.    Therefore, I don’t like at any time to say ‘we don’t believe.’    We believe what we’ve got, we work with what we’ve got, that’s how we operate at the World Health Organization.” – Dr. David Nabarro, Special Envoy for the World Health Organization
    U.S. officials claimed COVID-19 became a global problem by mid-February and insisted that American experts weren’t allowed into China until it was too late.
[SO WHY ARE WE PAYING THEM ANYTHING IF THEY HAVE NO PURPOSE OR CANNOT DO ANYTHING IN PREVENTING WORLD HEALTH PROBLEMS FROM ROGUE COUNTRIES.]

4/12/2020 FDA Commissioner Hahn: U.S. is ‘very close to the peak’ of COVID-19 pandemic by OAN Newsroom
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the
White House, Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Washington. Vice President Mike Pence listens at left. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn has announced the U.S. is very close to the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, but noted the agency has to take the outbreak “day by day” as more data comes in.
    On Sunday, he confirmed May 1st is a “target” date for reopening the country, but added “it’s too early to tell” if that will be the actual day.    According to Hahn, further testing will be necessary as we move beyond May and into the summer months.
    The commissioner called antibody testing “one of the keys” to getting the country opened up again and emphasized ongoing government efforts to make it more widely available.
    “FDA’s already authorized one antibody test, there are a number that are on the market that we haven’t validated.    There is a U.S. government effort to look at some of those tests to be able to allow that validation to occur.    …We’re working with a number of really good manufacturers, they’ve come forward with their platforms.” – Stephen Hahn, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration
    He also emphasized the public safety and welfare of U.S. citizens has to come first when making decisions about federal guidelines.
A Cleveland County Health Department employee explains the testing procedure to a driver of a car at
a mobile testing site for COVID-19 in Norman, Okla., Thursday, April 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
    Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine has reported there are more than 478,000 active cases of coronavirus in the United States.     More than 21,000 people have reportedly died, while more than 32,000 have recovered.
    The U.S. has been working to flatten the curve by ramping up medical trials and increasing testing efforts.
    As of Sunday, nearly 2.7 million tests have been administered, with more than 75 percent coming back negative for the virus.

4/12/2020 Gov. Cuomo: N.Y. deaths stabilizing at ‘horrific rate’ by OAN Newsroom
A patient is transferred from Elmhurst Hospital Center to a waiting ambulance during
the current coronavirus outbreak, Tuesday, April 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
    According to New York’s governor, coronavirus deaths are stabilizing in the state, but at a “horrific rate.”
    On Saturday, Andrew Cuomo reported the 783 coronavirus related deaths in the past day are not the worst count in the state, but is close to the average death toll over the last few days.    The state has recorded between 777 and 799 deaths in the past three days, an average Cuomo believes is alarming.
    However, the governor is optimistic about lower hospitalization rates.
    “The hospitalization rate is down and that is important.    We have more people getting infected still, we have more people going to the hospitals, but we have a lower number.    So, all this is saying is fewer people are going into the hospitals.” – Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
    Cuomo has taken steps to make testing more available in New York and recently called on Congress to include more funding for testing in their next stimulus bill.

A medic of the Elmhurst Hospital Center medical team reacts after stepping outside of the
emergency room, Saturday, April 4, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    President Trump also weighed in, saying it’s a very good sign empty hospital beds in New York “are becoming more and more prevalent.”    On Sunday, the president announced the government deployed hundreds of medical professionals from the USNS Comfort and the Javits Convention Center to hospitals in New York.
    Some of these professionals included doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists.
    The president also said facilities have more bed capacity than was needed.

4/12/2020 Dr. Fauci speaks out on potentially reopening economy by OAN Newsroom
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks during a
coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he expects the economy to slowly open up over time.    On Sunday, Fauci stated opening the economy back up is not a “one size fits all” situation and pointed to how the virus has affected New York differently, compared to other states.
    He went on to say restrictions on the economy, as well as social distancing measures, could start being relaxed as soon as next month for places with low case numbers.
    The doctor added he’s cautiously optimistic due to new signs in the U.S., which have indicated cases are starting to level off.
    “On the same day that the New York Metropolitan Area reported the highest number of deaths, they had – when you look at the admissions, hospitalizations, the intensive care, and the need to intubate – that not only has flattened, but is starting to turn the corner,” stated Fauci.
    He went on to say reopening the economy and relaxing social distancing should be considered, while also ensuring citizens’ health remains a priority.

4/12/2020 Assange fathered two children while holed up in embassy, lawyer says
FILE PHOTO: A supporter of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange posts a sign on the Woolwich Crown Court fence, ahead of a hearing to
decide whether Assange should be extradited to the United States, in London, Britain February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fathered two children with a lawyer who was representing him while he was holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London fighting extradition, the lawyer told a British newspaper on Sunday.
    The Mail on Sunday said 37-year-old South African lawyer Stella Morris has been engaged to Assange since 2017.    The couple have two sons, aged 1 and 2, both conceived while Assange was in the embassy and kept secret from media covering his case and intelligence agencies monitoring his activity, the paper said.
    It showed pictures of Assange with a baby, identified as the older son, who it said had been smuggled into the embassy to meet him.    Both of the children are British citizens, it said.    Assange had watched the births on a video link.
    The Australian-born Assange was dragged out of the embassy last year after a seven-year standoff, and is now jailed in Britain fighting extradition to the United States on computer hacking and espionage charges.    His supporters say the U.S. case against him is political and he cannot receive a fair trial.
    Morris said she had chosen to speak out now because she was worried about his susceptibility to the coronavirus in jail.
    “I love Julian deeply and I am looking forward to marrying him,” the paper quoted her as saying.
    “Over the past five years I have discovered that love makes the most intolerable circumstances seem bearable but this is different – I am now terrified I will not see him alive again.”
(Reporting by Peter Graff; Editing by Frances Kerry)

4/12/2020 Spain to keep coronavirus restrictions under review as some companies prepare to restart by Elena Rodriguez and Graham Keeley
A woman kneels as she prays after Easter Sunday mass at a empty Santa Maria de Cana parish amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Pozuelo de Alarcon, Spain, April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Sunday any further loosening of the country’s lockdown restrictions would depend on more progress in the fight against the coronavirus, a day before some companies plan to reopen their doors.
    The country’s overnight death toll from the infection rose for the first time in three days on Sunday, to 619, health ministry data showed, bringing the cumulative toll to 16,972.    Confirmed cases increased by around 2.6% to 166,019.
    Tough lockdown measures have helped bring down a spiralling death rate that reached its peak in early April.    New deaths reported on Saturday were the lowest in 19 days while the increase of confirmed cases has roughly halved from a week ago.
    “We are still far from victory, from the moment when we can pick up our normal lives again, but we have made the first decisive steps in the path towards victory,” Sanchez said at a news conference.
    The government plans on Monday to revert to the less strict curbs in force up to March 27, allowing some businesses that cannot work remotely, including construction and manufacturing, to reopen, and triggering concerns of a resurgence.
    Catalan leader Quim Torra described the decision to restart these sectors as irresponsible and reckless.
    “The risk of a new outbreak and a second lockdown is enormous,” he said at a news conference.
    Sanchez told reporters the decision to restart some sectors of the economy was taken after consulting a committee of scientific experts and any further winding down would depend on gains made against the virus.
    “If that doesn’t happen, I want to be very clear, we will maintain or reinforce the restrictions.”
    Miguel Angel Carrasco, 56, a television producer who works for Canal Sur in Seville, will return to work on Monday after weeks away from his job.
    “On one hand I am keen to get back to work because I have been stuck at home not able to report on what is going on.    But on the other, I am worried about catching the virus,” he told Reuters, adding that his employer had not provided face masks.
TOURISM HIT HARD
    European Central Bank Vice-President Luis de Guindos said Spain’s reliance on tourism would likely leave it exposed to a worse recession than the rest of Europe.    The coronavirus is weighing heavily on the Spanish economy, with some 900,000 jobs lost since mid-March.
    “We’re talking about the worst economic situation since the (1936-39 Spanish) Civil War,” the former Spanish economy minister said in an interview with the La Vanguardia newspaper.
    Industry Minister Maria Reyes Maroto said the tourism sector would be slow to recover and measures to prevent the spread of the virus, such as hand-washing and social distancing, would have to continue, even on the beach.
    Traditional festivals have also been disrupted by the epidemic.
    At the Santa Maria de Cana church on the outskirts of Madrid, a video camera set up in front of the altar allowed priest Fernando del Moral to stream the Easter mass to his congregation via Youtube.
    Just seven people attended the service, which last year drew a congregation of some 1,800, del Moral said.
    “It’s a strange feeling not only because it’s empty but because of what each person means,” he said.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley, Elena Rodriguez, Michael Gore and Joan Faus; writing by Nathan Allen; editing by Andrei Khalip and Philippa Fletcher)

4/12/2020 French sees effects of lockdown even as coronavirus death toll rises to 14,393
Police officers patrol the deserted Promenade des Anglais in Nice, as a lockdown is imposed to slow the
rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread in France, April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
    PARIS (Reuters) – The death toll in France from the coronavirus outbreak rose at a slightly slower pace on Sunday than a day earlier, the French public health authority said, adding that the lockdown was producing its first effects.
    “This data confirms that the epidemic keeps going on in our country in a dynamic way and it continues to hit us hard,” the health authority said in a statement.
    “Confinement measures, the application of barrier gestures, physical distancing for a minimum of 1 meter, social distance and a drastic reduction in contacts produce their first effects,” it added.
    The death toll, which includes data from hospitals and nursing homes, rose by 561 to 14,393 as of Sunday.    It increased by 635 on Saturday.
    The health authority said it was important to remain vigilant because hospitals were still taking in a very large number of patients.
(Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva and Marine Pennetier; Editing by Alison Williams)

4/12/2020 Governors praise Trump admin. for coronavirus outbreak efforts by OAN Newsroom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that 150 hotels have agreed to give deep discounts to health care workers logging
long hours in hospitals while dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, during his daily news briefing at the
Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Thursday, April 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)
    Despite political infighting, state leaders have taken the time to thank the White House for its assistance during these troubling times.
    On Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom praised President Trump’s efforts to help his state during the COVID-19 crisis.    Newsom, who has frequently clashed with the White House, touted the president’s ability to get a Navy ship to California, which was deployed to help alleviate pressure on local health centers and nursing homes.
    “Every single direct request that he was capable of meeting, he has met,” stated Newsom.    “We have the USNS Mercy in California because of his direct intervention and support.”

FILE – In this Jan. 24, 2019, file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo talks during a ceremony in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
    According to the governor of New York, President Trump has been very helpful as the state becomes the epicenter of the ongoing pandemic.
    “The president has been very helpful, the (USNS) Comfort has been very helpful.    The Javits Center, 2,500 beds…the Army Corps of Engineers did a phenomenal job.    It was like in one week, they came into the Javits Center, built an entire field hospital and they’re staffing it.” – Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
    Last month, the president activated the National Guard in California, New York and Washington state.    He also deployed 1,000 medical military personnel to New York City.     At the same time, President Trump recognized the efforts of multiple state leaders, including Cuomo, who ensured the delivery of needed medical supplies to hospitals and provided more beds for patients.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards gives an update on the spread of coronavirus in the state of Louisiana,
Thursday, April 9, 2020, at GOHSEP in Baton Rouge, La. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP)
    The president also applauded Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards for doing a good job protecting residents.
    All three governors have enacted stay-at-home measures to stop the virus from spreading. California and New York have also canceled school for the rest of the academic year.    Edwards has said he is considering following similar measures, as Louisiana students are scheduled to return in May.
    According to health officials, social distancing measures are having a positive impact, but the country has yet to experience its peak in COVID-19 cases.

4/12/2020 Texas Gov. Abbott to issue executive order on reopening businesses by OAN Newsroom
Photo via Gov. Greg Abbott Twitter.
    The governor of Texas is looking to take action to help reopen the state’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.    During a press conference Friday, Governor Greg Abbott announced he is planning to release an executive order next week, which will be aimed at safely allowing businesses to open again.
    “We will focus on protecting lives, while protecting livelihoods,” he said.    “We can do both.”
    The governor also implied he intends to reopen businesses in stages, which he said will ease them into normalcy without putting Texans at risk.
    Abbott stressed the importance of revitalizing the economy cautiously.
    “If everyone were to rush the doors and go back into the job market overnight, we would see an outbreak of COVID-19 all over again,” he said.
    The governor has been working closely with the Trump administration to coordinate measures moving forward.
    In the meantime, he has been pushing to supply medical workers with personal protective equipment and mitigate further spread of the pandemic.    As of Sunday, Texas had more than 11,000 confirmed cases of the virus and more than 200 deaths.

4/13/2020 More info about virus deaths


4/13/2020 Some Spaniards head back to work in face masks as country loosens lockdown
A commuter wearing a protective face mask waits for a train at Atocha station during the lockdown amid
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spaniards at the country’s main transport hubs were handed face masks on a rainy Monday morning as the government relaxed some of the tough lockdown measures designed to rein in the coronavirus health crisis which has claimed nearly 17,000 lives.
    As Spain enters its second month of lockdown, some businesses that cannot operate remotely, including construction and manufacturing, were allowed to reopen on Monday, sparking criticism from some regional leaders who fear a resurgence of the outbreak.
    However, the majority of the population are still confined to their homes, while shops, bars and public spaces will remain closed until at least April 26.
    Interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska told Cadena Ser radio station that Spanish police started handing out millions of masks early in the morning across regions that are not observing a public holiday.    “The health of workers must be guaranteed.    If this is minimally affected, the activity cannot restart,” he said.
    One company reopening, Burgos-based industrial group Nicolas Correa, said it would take measures to prioritise the health of its staff.
    “We will continue to work in shifts, with staggered entries and exits to avoid concentrations of staff,” it said, adding that all workers would be provided with protective equipment.
    Reuters TV footage showed only a few commuters coming in and out of the main entrance of Madrid’s usually bustling Atocha train station.    Road traffic was light too, with mainly public buses passing by, in contrast to the customary morning jams seen just a month ago.
    Spain’s cumulative death toll from the coronavirus rose to 16,972 on Sunday with confirmed cases totalling 166,019 although the lockdown restrictions have helped slow a spiralling death rate that reached its peak in early April.
    Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Sunday the decision to restart some sectors of the economy was taken after consulting a committee of scientific experts and any further winding down would depend on gains made against the virus.
(Reporting by Elena Rodriguez and Marco Trujillo, writing by Jose Elias Rodriguez, editing by Nathan Allen, Kirsten Donovan)

4/13/2020 Germany debates easing restrictions as new infections drop
Doctor Mumi Abou Taleb adjusts his face mask after leaving a rescue helicopter "Christoph Giessen" on his way to pick up a patient in the village of
Polheim near Giessen, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Germany April 12 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Senior politicians in Germany have begun debating a potential easing of restrictions imposed over the coronavirus epidemic ahead of a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday.
    On Monday, Merkel and premiers of Germany’s 16 states expect to get recommendations from the German National Academy of Sciences that the chancellor has said will weigh heavily in considerations for a possible loosening in movement and social distancing rules in place since around mid-March.
    The discussion takes place as the number of new infections and deaths declines in Germany, which has weathered the pandemic better than European neighbours Italy, Spain and France.
    But Germany’s export-driven economy – Europe’s largest – has been hit hard and is estimated to contract 9.8% in the second quarter, the biggest decline since records began in 1970 and more than double the decline seen during the global financial crisis in 2009.
    Merkel will discuss the recommendations of the science academy with her cabinet on Tuesday.    On Wednesday, she will hold a video conference with the state governors to discuss a possible path out of the lockdown and how to manage the recession it is expected to cause.
    Over the Easter weekend, Armin Laschet, conservative governor of Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, sent recommendations from an expert panel from his own state to Merkel and his fellow premiers.    He has stressed the importance of easing restrictions.
    Speaking to broadcaster ZDF on Sunday evening, Laschet said that small retailers, for example, could potentially reopen following the model in place for bakeries with only two customers at a time.
    “Why shouldn’t this also work for other shops,” he said, calling for “a responsible return to normalcy.”
    Other politicians, like Dietmar Woidke, governor of Brandenburg, have called for a more cautious approach to avoid the risk of negating the gains Germany has made in combating the virus.
(Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

4/13/2020 Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 2,537, deaths by 126: RKI
People wearing protective face masks stand under blooming cherry blossoms in a park on Easter Sunday, during the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the Treptow district in Berlin, Germany April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s number of confirmed coronavirus infections has risen by 2,537 to 123,016, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.
    That was lower than a 2,821 increase reported on Sunday, and marked the third decline after four days of increases.
    The reported death toll has risen by 126 to 2,799.
(Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

4/13/2020 CDC director says reopening nation will be a ‘step-by-step gradual process’ by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks about the coronavirus in the
James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    CDC Director Robert Redfield recently weighed in on the process of reopening the nation’s economy following the decrease of coronavirus.
    During an interview Monday, the doctor noted that “the pandemic has affected different parts of the country differently” and said “it’s important to look at the country as many different situations.”    The official also said the nation is going to have to “aggressively employ” antibody testing as it begins to reopen.
    Dr. Redfield said early case identification, isolation and contact tracing will be central to keeping the country running.    He also emphasized getting the nation to reopen will be a process.
    “There’s no doubt that we have to reopen correctly, it’s going to be a step-by-step gradual process that’s gotta be data driven,” he stated.    “And as I said, I think it would be community-by-community, county-by-county.”
    The CDC Director also thanked the American people for following social distancing guidelines and noted it has helped lead to “far less” deaths than anticipated.

4/13/2020 Gov. Cuomo: The worst is over, unless we do something reckless by OAN Newsroom
People gather to watch the sun set behind the Throgs Neck Bridge at LIttle Bay Park
Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he believes his state has gotten through the worst part of the pandemic.    During one of his daily briefings, Cuomo confirmed the area is still seeing around 2,000 people entering hospitals or being diagnosed with coronavirus every day.
    He noted 671 people died from COVID-19 on Easter Sunday, which was down from 758 the day before and the lowest number since April 5th.
    However, the governor has warned all this work can be undone if restrictions are relaxed too quickly.
    “The number is down because we brought the number down.    God did not do that, fate did not do that, destiny did not do that.    A lot of pain and suffering did that.” – Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
    He added there won’t be a declaration that the pandemic is over, but people will instead see an incremental return to normalcy.

4/13/2020 Sen. Blumenthal signals talks on ‘phase 4’ bill could start this week by OAN Newsroom
The U.S. Capitol is viewed as a kite flies at the National Mall in Washington, Saturday, April 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
    As lawmakers inch toward another coronavirus relief bill, one Democrat lawmaker has signaled those talks may be just on the horizon.    Over the weekend, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced negotiations on a ‘phase four’ measure could “seriously begin” this week.
    This came after Senate Democrats came under fire last week for blocking an expansion to the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses.    Specifically, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) attempted to grant the program an additional $250 billion.    However, the move required unanimous consent and ultimately failed.
    Despite this, Blumenthal has suggested bipartisan negotiations regarding another bill will still move forward.
    “There’s a real possibility of serious negotiations this week, involving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as well as (Sen.) Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has been really steadfast and very eager to replenish that small business account…,” he explained.    “I think even before a next package, a fourth package, this week we could well see serious and productive negotiations.”
    Sen. McConnell has indicated he is open to the possibility of another relief package, but Republicans have said they want to see how the bills that have already been passed play out first.

4/13/2020 Former White House official slams Democrats for ‘playing politics’ amid health pandemic by OAN Newsroom
File – Matt Mowers , a former Donald Trump campaign staffer, is pictured. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)
    A former White House official recently blasted Democrats for how they have responded to the ongoing global health emergency.
    Matt Mowers, who worked under the Trump administration and helped the State Department combat HIV, said in an interview over the weekend that he’s sick of the left playing politics.
    Specifically, he slammed New Hampshire Representative Chris Pappas for co-sponsoring the ‘No Ban Act,’ which called to restrict the president’s ability to implement travel bans from coronavirus afflicted countries.
    Mowers went on to say he thinks it’s a shame Pappas and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are working to pass their own legislation while Americans and small businesses are hurting.
FILE – In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks during a
news conference at the Capitol in Washington. President Donald Trump and Pelosi have not spoken in five months
at a time when the nation is battling its worst health crisis in a century. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    “I think its a shame that Nancy Pelosi and Chris Pappas, and the rest of the left-wing of the Democrat Party, are playing politics at this time,” he stated.    “Small business owners are hurting, working families are hurting — they’re the ones who are in need right now, not a whole litany of partisan pet projects that they want to push through.”
    Mowers also praised the president for enacting the travel ban from China when he did and said the move was monumental in our ability to confront the coronavirus.

4/13/2020 Death toll drop in Ill. signals possible peak in COVID-19 cases by OAN Newsroom
Shoppers enter and exit Costco for grocery shopping as they wear face masks and gloves during the
coronavirus outbreak in Northbrook, Ill., Saturday, April 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    The state of Illinois has seen a drop in its death toll as the state continues to battle COVID-19.
    Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said on Sunday the number of deaths was the lowest the state has seen in the past six days.    He called the news “a blessing” and noted that it could be an indication Illinois may have reached its peak in coronavirus cases.     The governor also said his state has been able to test more people than ever before.    He believes the ability to both identify and isolate those infected could have contributed to the drop.
    Gov. Pritzker has urged citizens to stay the course, so the trend will continue in their favor.
    “I spoke before about a stabilizing or a bending of the curve and today is just one more piece of evidence that it may indeed by happening, and the death toll today is lower than it has been in six days,” he stated.    “I pray as we move forward that these treads continue and if they do it will be because of all of you.”
    The official also noted that once it’s safe to reopen businesses and factories, the roll-out will have to be strategic and steady.

4/13/2020 President Trump asserts decision to reopen nation is his to make by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the
White House, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump has asserted the decision to reopen the nation will be his to make.    A new task force is forming at the White House and will include Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, top economic advisers and cabinet members.
President Trump is set to announce the so-called “    Opening Our Country” task force on Tuesday.    He has said he will work with that team and state governors on plans to reopen the economy.
    In a series of tweets Monday morning, the president slammed fake news media.    He criticized them for creating conflict and confusion by saying it is up to governors to open their states.
    He reaffirmed it is his decision to make, but assured Americans that his administration is working closely with local leaders.
    He added he will shortly be making a decision in conjunction with them.

FILE – In this April 3, 2020, file photo, the seats and aisles are empty as seen through the window
of the closed Penndot Drivers License Center in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
Meanwhile, the IRS began depositing coronavirus stimulus checks into Americans’ bank accounts this past weekend. $60 million worth of relief money is set to be deposited by Wednesday.
    Those who have received a tax return via direct deposit in the past will receive the money directly in their account.    Social Security recipients will get their direct payments automatically.    Those who have not filed their 2018 or 2019 taxes should file a simple tax return to ensure they receive the money.
    A “Get My Payment” web portal will be launched Friday, which will allow people to track their payment or update direct deposit information.

4/13/2020 Sen. Sanders endorses Biden for president by OAN Newsroom
Photo via Joe Biden official Twitter page.
    Former 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has officially endorsed presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden.    On Monday, Sanders announced his endorsement for the former vice president in a live stream video.
    The senator called on his supporters to back Biden, as well as Democrat, Independent and Republican voters.
    This came after he ended his bid for the White House last week, when he faced a deficit of more than 300 delegates.
    Biden hailed Sanders’ endorsement and said it looks like he is the nominee now.
    “I think your endorsement means a great deal, it means a great deal to me.    I think people are going to be surprised we’re apart on some issues, but we’re awfully close on a whole bunch of others.    If I am the nominee, which it looks like I am now, you just made me, I’m going to need you.    Not just to win the campaign, but to govern.” – Joe Biden, former Vice President of the United States
    The senator from Vermont noted his campaign and the Biden campaign have organized task forces to look at policy areas the two can work together on.

4/13/2020 Pentagon: Hackers ramp up attacks amid COVID related rise in remote work by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This June 19, 2017 file photo shows a person working on a laptop in North Andover, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
    According to the Defense Department, there is an increased threat of cyber attacks amid the rise of people working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak.    On Monday, the Pentagon said it’s updating software systems to block malware and stave off malicious activity on the internet.
    “There’s been a surge of spear phishing related to COVID-19,” stated Lieutenant General B.J. Shwedo.
    Officials added hackers are targeting government databases by sending emails with malicious links or attachments.
    The department didn’t provide anymore information on where the attacks are coming from.
    “I’d prefer to stay away from that, because that would give the bad guys insight on who we’re tracking and give them insight into our overwatch,” added Shwedo.    “But I’ll tell you that the insight that we’re receiving, we’re getting better and better at finding out where these threat vectors are coming from.”
    Officials also confirmed U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA are tracking all suspicious activities online to keep Americans safe.

4/13/2020 Doctors, health care workers suffer pay cuts by OAN Newsroom
Nurse Kevin Anderson wears a full face mask inside an intensive care unit of the new Harris County Non-Congregate
Medical Shelter at NRG Park Saturday, April 11, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
    Health care professionals already fear for their lives treating patients infected with the coronavirus.    Now, some are saying the effects of the pandemic have started to threaten their livelihood.
    According to reports, doctors and other essential health care workers are experiencing layoffs and pay cuts during a time when it would appear we need them the most.
    “Physician groups and hospitals have had to essentially give front line health care workers, who are treating people with coronavirus, a pay cut or at least a benefit cut,” stated Lev Facher from Stat News.    “There are hospitals that have differed salary payments, there are physician groups that have cut off 401(k) contributions and paid time off.”
Health workers cry during a memorial for their co-worker Esteban, a male nurse that died of the coronavirus disease,
at the Severo Ochoa Hospital in Leganes in Leganes, Spain, Friday, April 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
    An emergency doctor in Los Angeles reported a 25 percent pay cut, which will make it exceedingly hard to make monthly payments, including their $4,000 student loan debt.    In Michigan, Trinity Health reportedly furloughed over 2,000 employees last week.
    This comes as hospitals across the nation have postponed many elective services.    People not suffering symptoms of coronavirus haven’t been going to doctors, sending revenues plummeting and putting some workers, especially those in specialty practices, out of a job.
    “It’s kind of the cruel irony of this pandemic that we’re seeing physician groups (and) hospitals have to cut back on what are seen as non-urgent, non-essential procedures,” said Facher.    “They’re not performing cardiovascular surgeries, orthopedic surgeries.”
In this March 29, 2020 photo provided by the U.S. Navy, medical personnel assigned to the hospital ship
USNS Mercy docked at the Port of Los Angeles treat a non-COVID-19 patient from a Los Angeles-area medical facility.
(Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Erwin Jacob Miciano/U.S. Navy via AP)
    Some hospitals, like St. Alphonsus in Idaho, have reported a decline in revenues, which plummeted from 50 to 80 percent.
    “Billings across the heath care sector are way down, despite this immense demand for actual treatment for people with COVID-19,” explained Facher.    “So, the revenue streams have essentially fallen off a cliff.”
    As part of the $2 trillion stimulus relief bill, Congress allocated $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers to help soften the blow.    Moving forward, plans to provide additional financial aid are currently underway on Capitol Hill.
    A spokesperson for the American Hospital Association, which represents 5,000 hospitals, has said quickly making funds available will help workers do their jobs and, in many cases, keep hospital doors open.

4/13/2020 Mexico ramps up testing, mobilizes medical staff amid mild rise in COVID-19 cases in the region by OAN Newsroom
Wearing masks against the spread of the new coronavirus, relatives of patients wait outside La Perla public hospital,
which is treating people infected with the new coronavirus, in Mexico City, Sunday, April 12, 2020.
COVID-19 disease causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults
and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
    Mexico is ramping up testing for the coronavirus amid a mild increase in numbers of people affected by the illness.    Over the weekend, Mexico reported nearly 400 new cases of COVID-19, which brought the total count in the country to more than 4,000.
    Officials in several cities, including Monterrey, have opened drive-through testing locations to help with virus prevention and quarantines.    Mexico has not seen a massive increase in virus victims so far, but officials are mobilizing the nation’s health care system to be able to treat more patients if the situation escalates.
    “There are different elements in place to guarantee security for medical staff and the equipment…we are concerned about medical personnel who have received attacks,” stated Hugo Lopez-Gatell, coronavirus spokesperson for the government of Mexico.    “As we are entering into phase three, the medical staff will be the main players in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
    The Mexican government said it’s converting dozens of industrial facilities into makeshift hospitals to treat potential coronavirus patients.
A medical worker, wearing a protective face mask, hands out face masks outside a public hospital which is treating
people infected with the new coronavirus, in Mexico City, Saturday, April 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

4/13/2020 Promising ‘better days,’ Macron extends France’s lockdown until May 11 by Michel Rose, Matthias Blamont and Sudip Kar-Gupta
French President Emmanuel Macron is seen as he addresses the nation about the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) outbreak, on television screens in Paris, France, April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
    PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced he was extending a virtual lockdown to curb the coronavirus outbreak until May 11, adding that progress had been made but the battle not yet won.
    Following Italy in extending the lockdown but announcing no immediate easing of restrictive measures as in Spain, Macron said the tense situation in hospitals in Paris and eastern France meant there could be no let-up in the country.
    Since March 17, France’s 67 million people have been ordered to stay at home except to buy food, go to work, seek medical care or get some exercise on their own.    The lockdown was originally scheduled to end on Tuesday.     “I fully understand the effort I’m asking from you,” Macron told the nation in a televised address at the end of the lockdown’s fourth week, adding the current rules were working.
    “When will we be able to return to a normal life?    I would love to be able to answer you.    But to be frank, I have to humbly tell you we don’t have definitive answers,” he said.
    Schools and shops would progressively reopen on May 11, Macron said.    But restaurants, hotels, cafes and cinemas would have to remain shut longer, he added.    International arrivals from non-European countries will remain prohibited until further notice.
    Macron, whose government has faced criticism over a shortage of face masks and testing kits, said that by May 11, France would be able to test anyone presenting COVID-19 symptoms and give nonprofessional face masks to the public.
    Macron also said he had asked his government to present this week new financial aid for families and students in need.
NOT PREPARED
    Acknowledging his country had not been sufficiently prepared early on to face the challenges posed by the outbreak of the new coronavirus, Macron appeared to seek a humble tone in contrast to the war-like rhetoric of his previous speeches.
    “Were we prepared for this crisis?    On the face of it, not enough.    But we coped,” he said.    “This moment, let’s be honest, has revealed cracks, shortages.    Like every country in the world, we have lacked gloves, hand gel, we haven’t been able to give out as many masks as we wanted to our health professionals.”
    The French, long accustomed to being told their high taxes paid for the “best healthcare in the world,” have been dismayed by the rationing of critical drugs, face masks and equipment and have watched with envy the situation in neighbouring Germany.
    Macron’s acknowledgment of the shortcomings was broadly well-received.
    “It’s not every day you hear a president offer a mea culpa and dare say ‘we have no definitive answers.’    Reassuring and necessary sincerity,” analyst Maxime Sbaihi of the think tank GenerationLibre said.
    After a relentless increase until the first week of April, the number of patients in French hospitals’ intensive care units has started to decline, prompting health authorities to call a plateau in the epidemic.
    But if French hospitals are just about coping, helped by a massive effort to transfer patients by plane, helicopter or even high-speed train from hospitals in the east and Paris to the west, nursing homes have been overwhelmed.
    By Monday, the coronavirus had claimed 14,967 lives in France, the fourth-highest death toll in the world, with more than 98,076 confirmed cases, according to official figures.
    “We’ll have better days, and we’ll return to happy days,” Macron said.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Matthias Blamont, Michel Rose, Marc Angrand and Marine Pennetier in Paris; Editing by Richard Lough and Matthew Lewis)

4/13/2020 Spain partially loosens lockdown as coronavirus death rate slows by Paola Luelmo and Nathan Allen
A metro passenger puts on a protective face mask that was given to him, during the lockdown amid the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain let some businesses get back to work on Monday, but one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe remained in place despite a slowing in the country’s coronavirus death rate.
    Police handed out face masks to people passing through major transport hubs as they went to work, although only a few commuters were seen using Madrid’s usually bustling Atocha train station and road traffic was mainly public buses.
    Although some activities, including construction and manufacturing, were allowed to restart, Health Minister Salvador Illa said that Spain remained in lockdown.    Shops, bars and public spaces are set to stay closed until at least April 26.
    Restrictions have helped slow a spiralling death rate that reached its peak in early April and some workers expressed concern that a relaxation could trigger a surge in cases.
    “I would have preferred to wait 15 more days confined to home or at least one more week and then come back,” said Carlos Mogorron, a 27-year-old engineer from Extremadura in western Spain who was planning to return to work on Tuesday.
    Spain recorded its smallest proportional daily rise in the number of deaths and new infections since early March, with the cumulative toll rising by 517 to 17,489.
    The Health Ministry said on Monday confirmed coronavirus cases totalled 169,496, up from 166,019 the previous day.
    “You are always afraid of catching it and even more so knowing that your life may be in danger, or your relatives,” said Mogorron, who lives with his house-bound parents.
    Business association CEOE warned that many companies, particularly the small firms that make up the bulk of the Spanish economy, do not have access to the protective equipment like gloves and masks needed to guarantee the safety of staff.
    Some regional leaders also criticised the moves, fearing a resurgence of the coronavirus outbreak, which is weighing heavily on the Spanish economy, with some 900,000 jobs lost since mid-March.
ITALY, BRITAIN STRUGGLE
    Deaths in Italy from the epidemic rose over the weekend to 19,468 and the number of new cases climbed to 4,694 from 3,951.    It was the highest daily death toll since April 6.
    After easing from peaks around the end of March, Italy’s daily death and infection tallies have fallen but not as steeply as was hoped by Italians who have been in lockdown for a month.
    Nor was there any indication that Britain would lift restrictions anytime soon as its death toll passed 10,000 and a scientific adviser to the government said the country risked becoming the worst hit in Europe.
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson left hospital after several days due to a serious case of the coronavirus, saying “things could have gone either way” for him.
    In Germany, where new infections and deaths have declined, senior politicians began debating a potential easing of restrictions imposed since mid-March.    Germany has weathered the pandemic better than its biggest neighbours.
ECONOMIC DAMAGE
    In Spain, while businesses from wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa to fashion giant Inditex began increasing activity, production lines at Volkswagen-owned Seat remained shut.
    Burgos-based industrial group Nicolas Correa , said it would take measures to prioritise the health of its staff.
    “We will continue to work in shifts, with staggered entries and exits to avoid concentrations of staff,” it said, adding that all workers would be provided with protective equipment.
    In Catalonia, Spain’s second-worst hit region, the government warned that the resumption of some work could lead to a rise in infections and wipe out the gains of the lockdown.
    The regional government issued recommendations including measuring employees’ temperatures before entering the workplace and controls outside metro stations to guarantee a one-third occupancy rate.
(Additional reporting by Jose Elías Rodríguez, Jessica Jones, Elena Rodriguez, Marco Trujillo, Paola Luelmo, Joan Faus and Andrei Khalip, Editing by Angus MacSwan, Sonya Dowsett and Alexander Smith)

4/13/2020 Canada’s Quebec to ramp up inspections of homes for elderly after 31 die in Montreal facility
A resident waves from her window at Residence Herron, a senior's long-term care facility, following
a number of deaths since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in the suburb of Dorval in
Montreal Quebec, Canada, April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
    MONTREAL (Reuters) – The Quebec government on Monday said it was putting the safety and general conditions of the province’s 2,600 long-term care and nursing home facilities under the microscope following the deaths of 31 people in a single home for the elderly since March 13.
    Police and the coroner’s office are investigating the deaths at the Residence Herron, a 139-unit home in Montreal, which has been put under provincial control.
    Quebec Premier François Legault said health officials had only been informed that the nursing home had a shortage of staff, but not that dozens of residents had died.
    “[Health officials] didn’t know before Friday night that there were 31 deaths,” Legault told reporters on Monday.    “We knew that there were a few deaths, but surely not 31.”
    Only five deaths are confirmed to have been caused by COVID-19, with the rest under investigation.
    Legault blamed the situation on “major negligence” over the weekend and said the facility’s management had not cooperated when authorities first tried to probe reports of problems.
    “I think that what happened in the month of March was that suddenly many of their residents got the COVID-19, many of the employees decided to leave,” he said.
    The residence is located on Montreal’s West Island and is owned and operated by Katasa Group, which owns six other retirement homes. The home charges up to C$10,000 a month for each resident, according to the Montreal Gazette.
    The private nursing home touts itself as having “an enviable reputation in the field of residences for retirees in need of special care,” according to its website.    The Katasa Group was not immediately available for comment.
    Legault said three investigations are underway into the home, with issues previously raised in government reports in 2019 and 2017. [L2N2C10TK]
    He said staff shortages in Quebec’s long-term care facilities had been a problem before the coronavirus crisis, adding that the government planned to deploy more medical staff to help out with long-term care facilities in the province.
    Quebec has offered temporary bonuses, including 8% raises for workers who are in direct contact with patients, and an increase in hourly wages for private home orderlies.
    More than half the total deaths from coronavirus in Canada have occurred in Quebec, the second most populous of 10 provinces.
    About 60% of Quebec deaths have been in either seniors’ homes or long-term care facilities and a quarter of the province’s nursing homes have at least one confirmed case, according to provincial data. [L1N2BV2B2]
(Reporting by Denise Paglinawan in Toronto and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Tom Brown)

4/13/2020 Canada’s nursing homes to see more coronavirus deaths even as overall cases diminish by Steve Scherer
A body is removed from the Centre d'hebergement de Sainte-Dorothee in Laval, Quebec, Canada April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
    OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s nursing homes, which already have seen almost half the country’s total coronavirus deaths, will continue to see fatalities even as the overall number of new cases slows, Chief Medical Officer Theresa Tam said on Monday.
    The number of people killed by the coronavirus in Canada rose by almost 9% to 734 on Monday from a day earlier.    That is slower than the 11% reported yesterday and the almost 32% increase recorded a week ago.
    The total number of those diagnosed with the coronavirus rose to 24,804, a less than 5% increase from Sunday.    A week ago, there was almost a 15% overnight increase in positive diagnoses.
    Deaths in long-term care facilities “will continue to increase even as the epidemic growth rate slows down,” Tam said in a daily news conference in Ottawa.
    While many nursing homes across the country have been hit hard, 31 people have died in a single Montreal-area care home since mid-March, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said over the weekend, though only five so far are known for certain to have been caused by COVID-19.
    Legault blamed the situation on “major negligence” and said the owners had not cooperated when authorities first tried to probe reports of problems.    Health authorities that visited the 150-bed residence in late March found “serious problems” and a severe staff shortage.    Police are investigating.
    Residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, because of typically more compromised immune systems, frailty and sharing common areas. Frequent visitors and workers from outside compound the situation.
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released new guidelines for long-term care homes over the weekend, including monitoring that all staff and visitors wear masks.
    The coronavirus crisis has forced authorities across the country to shut down non-essential businesses.     As of Sunday, Canadian applications for federal emergency unemployment aid totaled 5.97 million, according to government data.
    Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau on Monday said the government is offering C$50 million ($36 million) to agriculture and food processing businesses who have to bring in temporary foreign workers this year.
    Companies will be eligible to C$1,500 for each worker to help cover the costs of the mandatory 14-day quarantine required of everyone who enters the country from abroad, Bibeau said.
(Reporting by Steve Scherer, Editing by Franklin Paul and Marguerita Choy)

4/13/2020 WHO chief says confident U.S. funding will continue in COVID fight by Stephanie Nebehay and Silke Koltrowitz
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on the
situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA/ZURICH (Reuters) – The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) voiced confidence on Monday that the United States would continue funding his U.N. agency, despite President Donald Trump’s criticism of WHO’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the Trump administration was re-evaluating U.S. funding to the body, saying international organisations utilising U.S. taxpayer money needed to deliver on their goals.
    The United States is the biggest overall donor to the Geneva-based WHO, contributing more than $400 million in 2019, roughly 15% of its budget.
    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, asked by a U.S.-based journalist about reports that Trump might “cut off” funding this week, said he had spoken with him two weeks ago.
    “What I know is that he is supportive and I hope that the funding to WHO will continue.    The relationship we have is very good and we hope that this will continue,” Tedros said.
    Days after China informed it about cases of pneumonia of unknown origin on Dec. 31, the WHO sent an alert to all member states on Jan. 5, its top emergencies expert Dr. Mike Ryan said.
    “From that perspective the information was shared and very appropriate actions were taken in the United States in response to that alert,” he said.
TIME FOR VIGILANCE
    Tedros said that countries in Europe that are considering lifting restrictions as the number of new cases stabilises or drops must be guided by the need to protect human health.
    “While COVID accelerates very fast, it decelerates much more slowly.    In other words the way down is much slower than the way up. Control measures must be lifted slowly…,” he said.
    Asked whether Europe was approaching a “turning point,” Ryan said: “We look at the number of confirmed cases and at the number of hospitalisations as the first indicator that things may be stabilising and we’re certainly seeing that.”
    “Now is time for vigilance, now is time to double down, now is the time to be very, very careful.    That doesn’t mean the countries cannot begin to create an exit strategy,” Ryan said.
    Yemen reported its first case of the novel coronavirus last Friday as aid groups braced for an outbreak in a country where war has shattered health systems and spread hunger and disease.
    Ryan said the United Nations was working with all sides in Yemen to help ensure that “the surveillance systems that we have in place for polio, cholera and further diseases are now being fully activated to detect any suspect cases of COVID-19.”
    The lack of ventilators and technicians will be a “huge challenge,” he said, adding: “We will all struggle to provide adequate levels of supportive care to people should the disease take off.”
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Gareth Jones)
[THE FUNDING MIGHT CONTINUE BUT YOU AS THE HEAD OF THE W.H.O. MAY CHANGE BEFORE ANY FUNDING CONTINUES.].

4/13/2020 France’s Macron extends coronavirus lockdown until May 11
A mobile phone showing French President Emmanuel Macron, as he addresses the nation about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak,
is displayed for a photo in front of an almost empty motorway in Strasbourg, France, April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
    PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday announced he was extending a virtual lockdown to curb the coronavirus outbreak until May 11, adding that progress had been made but the battle not yet won.
    “Over the next four weeks, the rules must be respected,” the president said in a televised address to the nation.
    He said that by May 11, France would be able to test every citizen presenting COVID-19 symptoms.
(Reporting by Sudip-Kar-Gupta and Michel Rose, Writing by Richard Lough, Editing by Matthias Blamont)

4/13/2020 Irish rival leaders to sign off on initial government deal by Padraic Halpin
FILE PHOTO: Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar speaks at a count centre, during Ireland's national
election, in Citywest, near Dublin, Ireland, February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Lorraine O'Sullivan/File Photo
    DUBLIN (Reuters) – The leaders of Ireland’s rival Fianna Fail and Fine Gael parties will meet on Tuesday to sign off on a broad agreement struck by their negotiating teams aimed at attracting enough additional support to form a new government.
    The centre-right parties, who have alternated in power throughout the nation’s history but have never formed a coalition together, need the support of at least one smaller party or eight independent lawmakers to reach a majority.
    Their two negotiating teams finalised a joint paper setting out broad policy goals on Monday.    Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and Acting Prime Minister Leo Varadkar of Fine Gael will discuss the paper on Tuesday, a spokesman for Varadkar said.
    Varadkar’s caretaker government has imposed a series of restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus but no new legislation can be passed until a new government is formed and selects the remaining members of the upper house of parliament.
    The paper agreed on Monday is split into 10 different areas, the most detailed being on the need for a national economic recovery plan to overcome the current coronavirus lockdown of the country, a source familiar with its contents told Reuters.
    It also commits to a continued prioritisation of spending on infrastructure and more state involvement in house building, both of which will require sustained borrowing, said the source, who spoke anonymously as the paper has not been published.
    Once the framework document is approved by each party’s wider group of lawmakers – likely a formality if the leaders give it the okay – it will be the basis of negotiations to form a majority government.
    Both parties steadfastly refuse to govern with the left-wing, pro-Irish unity Sinn Fein party, which surged to 37 seats in the Feb. 8 election, the same number held by Fianna Fail and two more than Fine Gael’s 35 in the fractured 160-seat chamber.
    That leaves the Green Party, which has 12 seats, and the centre-left Labour and Social Democrat parties, with six seats each, as the only viable partners.    All three have so far shown little enthusiasm, although one of the Social Democrat’s co-leaders said on Sunday it was open to looking at the document.
    The document should be “quite inviting” to all three parties, the source familiar with its contests said.
    “We need them to step up,” Acting Health Minister Simon Harris of Fine Gael told a news conference on Monday.
    “This is a time for stable government in Ireland to get on with massive challenges.    We need other political parties to join us.”
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Jonathan Oatis)

4/13/2020 French new coronavirus death toll rises by 574 to 14,967
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective mask sits on bench at the Pont des Arts bridge during lockdown imposed to slow
the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Paris, France, April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
    PARIS (Reuters) – The death toll in France from the new coronavirus outbreak has risen to 14,967 from 14,393 a day earlier, the French public health authority said on Monday.
    The body added 6,821 patients were currently in intensive care units, down from 6,845 on Sunday.
    The health authority said it was important to remain vigilant because hospitals were still taking in a very large number of patients.
(Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Chris Reese)

4/13/2020 Greece has won a battle against COVID-19 but war is not over: PM
FILE PHOTO: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Greek Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias wear protective face masks during
a visit at Sotiria Hospital in Athens, Greece, April 6, 2020. Greek Prime Minister's Office/Dimitris Papamitsos/Handout via REUTERS
    ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis praised the country’s efforts to contain the coronavirus on Monday but said there was no room for complacency before Orthodox Easter, when hundreds of thousands normally head to family gatherings.
    Greece was swift in implementing measures of social distancing after its first case of COVID-19 surfaced in late February, imposing a nationwide lockdown days later which is being respected with few exceptions across the country.
    “We showed our best self and this … fills us with pride, it arms us with more courage to keep fighting,” Mitsotakis said, in a televised statement.
    “The war has not been won yet,” he added.
    Greece reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the total in the country to 2,145.    Ninety-nine people have died.
    A week before Orthodox Easter, the conservative premier urged Greeks to stay home and not be tempted to go to church as any complacency could easily reverse the country’s successful efforts to contain the disease so far.    Greeks risk stiff fines if they break the ban, and movement is allowed only with permits.
    Easter is the highlight of the religious calendar for many Greeks, who overwhelmingly belong to the Eastern Orthodox communion.    Many normally pack churches from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.
    “It’s not our health which is at risk … but the health of the faithful,” he said.    “Only a thread separates victory from defeat.”
    Mitsotakis said the economic recession will be deep in 2020 for a country which emerged from bailouts only two years ago, but added that growth could be strong in 2021.
    He said the state was ready to spend up to 14 billion euros to support businesses and protect jobs from the impact of the virus along with 10 billion euros in European funds.
    Greece’s finance minister said earlier on Monday that coronavirus-hit countries in Europe may expect a 5-10 percent recession this year.
    But during the unprecedented health crisis the state was forced to push forward with reforms pending for years, and Greeks have also changed, Mitsotakis said.
    “It’s certain, that when the crisis is over we’ll look at the people who stack supermarket shelves differently.    We will care if the man on the bike is wearing a helmet.    We’ll be saying good morning to the women and men emptying our neighborhoods garbage containers,” he said.
    “They will no longer be invisible.”
(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

4/13/2020 Vaccine needed to end social distancing: Irish health minister
FILE PHOTO: Health Minister Simon Harris speaks on stage in Dublin, Ireland, January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo
    DUBLIN (Reuters) – Social distancing rules adopted to slow the spread of coronavirus by keeping people two metres apart will remain largely in place until an effective treatment or vaccine is available, Ireland’s health minister said on Monday.
    More than a dozen large global drugmakers have announced plans in recent months to develop vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus, although few if any are likely to reach patients in time to stem the current outbreak.
    Like many countries, Ireland has responded with a virtual lockdown.    The government extended its stay-at-home restrictions on Friday until May 5, when it hopes to have controlled the spread enough to start unwinding the measures.
    “There isn’t going to be a magic point at the start of May where life as we knew before the coronavirus can resume,” Simon Harris told a news conference as confirmed cases in the country rose above 10,000, with 365 deaths.
    “Being truthful, social distancing is going to remain a very big part of life, not just in Ireland, but the world over, until we get to a vaccine or an effective treatment.”
    Ireland reported 527 new cases on Monday from samples tested in Irish laboratories, and a further 465 that mostly related to samples taken in March that were sent to a German laboratory for assessment after Ireland ran into capacity constraints.
    The testing backlog has been reduced from a high point of around 35,000 people waiting for results to some 11,000, Health Service Executive (HSE) chief executive Paul Reid said earlier on Monday.    Some 72,000 tests have been completed to date, among the highest rate in Europe, the health department has said.
    The 31 new deaths on Monday were broadly similar to the numbers reported each day over the last week.    Of the 365 deaths, 167 were nursing home residents, Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Jan Harvey)

4/13/2020 Wis. company releases COVID-19 blood test into U.S. market by OAN Newsroom
This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the spherical
particles of the new coronavirus, colorized blue, from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. (Hannah A. Bullock, Azaibi Tamin/CDC via AP)
    A Wisconsin medical company has released a blood test, which will help in determining who’s immune to COVID-19.    On Monday, Milwaukee based ARCpoint Labs announced the new blood test has been released into the U.S. market, making it available for millions of Americans.
    The test will identify new cases of COVID-19 as well as people who have antibodies in their blood that kill the virus.
    According to ARCpoint Labs, the U.S. was previously reliant on tests administered out of Germany and China.    The FDA has already greenlit the tests, noting they are more accurate and helpful in fighting the pandemic.
    “My advice to individuals who want to be tested is to go through their health care provider, because I think that this test, like other tests, needs to be performed and results delivered in the context of a health care professional,” stated Dr. Robin Patel, President of the American Society for Microbiology.
    The new test is quick and simple, as it uses a finger prick of blood on a test strip, and has a 97 percent accuracy rate.

4/13/2020 Boeing producing 3D printed face shields around the country by OAN Newsroom
In this April 2, 2020 photo, a nurse at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle holds a medical face shield prior to the start of her shift in a triage tent
outside the Harborview emergency department used to intake arriving patients who have respiratory symptoms. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
    Boeing employees are producing 3D printed face shields for medical professionals to assist in the fight against COVID-19.    The company has delivered 2,300 reusable masks to the Department of Health and Human Services, where it will be handed over to FEMA for distribution.
    The printers make the shape of the frame and the clear film for the shield, as well as the elastic to make the frames fit.
    Face shields add an extra layer of protection for medical workers, as they risk getting splattered with bodily fluids that may carry the virus.

FILE – In this Monday, March 23, 2020, file photo, a worker walks near a mural of a Boeing 747-8 airplane at
the company’s manufacturing facility in Everett, Wash., north of Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
    “It’s always exciting to see the company come together as a whole.    You know, we’ve got a special product here to help take care of the men and women out there in the medical industry, keeping them safe.    If we can do our part to keep them safe, then that’s good enough for us.” – Sean Thuston, machinist with Boeing Research & Technology
    Boeing operations in Washington, Alabama and dozens of other facilities around the country are involved in the efforts.

4/14/2020 Oil down $0.51 to $22.68, DOW down 329 to 23,391.

4/14/2020 Kentucky case total surpasses 2,000
    Kentucky passed a grim milestone Monday when Gov. Andy Beshear announced that more than 100 people in the state have died after testing positive for the coronavirus.
    The seven new deaths reported Monday put the total number of victims at 104 so far, and Beshear said the state would honor them. Beshear also announced Monday that the state has exceeded 2,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with at least 299 people currently hospitalized.    An increase of 87 cases between Sunday and Monday evening pushed the statewide total to 2,048 cases.
    Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear had vexed Republicans for more than a month until Easter weekend, where he tried to walk a tightrope in trying to protect the public as a few dozen defiant churchgoers ignored COVID-19 guidelines on mass gatherings.    Since early March, GOP members have been biting their tongues, gritting their teeth and rolling their eyes as they looked for ways to pop the “Beshear popularity balloon."
    Republican legislative leaders couldn’t do it after looking short-sighted for refusing to stop meeting as the outbreak spread.
    Attorney General Daniel Cameron tried to activate the anti-abortion movement by pressing the Beshear administration to close clinics and deem abortion an elective procedure, but he’s been ignored by the health cabinet.
[SO THEY THINK SHUTTING DOWN CHURCHES IS OKAY BUT NOT ABORTION CLINICS OR LIQUOR STORES AND MOST OF THE DEATHS IN KENTUCKY ARE IN JEFFERSON COUNTY WHICH IS LOUISVILLE HEAVILY POPULATED AND PREDOMINATELY DEMOCRATIIC WHO GAVE BESHEAR ENOUGH VOTES 5,000 MORE TO BEAT BEVIN OTHER THAN HIM THE REPUBLICANS WERE VOTED IN FOR ALL THE OTHER POLLS.].

4/14/2020 Merkel’s party likely to delay leadership vote until Dec: CDU chief
FILE PHOTO: German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting, as the spread
of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Berlin, Germany April 1, 2020. Odd Andersen/Pool via REUTERS
    BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) will likely delay the election of a new leader until December due to the coronavirus, current leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
    The new leader will be in pole position to run as chancellor in the next federal election as Merkel has said she will not seek a fifth term at the head of Europe’s biggest economy.
    The party had already cancelled a special congress in April to pick a leader and Kramp-Karrenbauer was quoted by dpa news agency as saying it looked increasingly likely that the decision would not take place until a regular conference in December.
    “My impression is that the nearer we get to the summer break with a possible special party conference, the less the need for a conference that will take place just a few weeks before the normal one,” Kramp-Karrenbauer told dpa.
    So far, the top contenders to lead the party are former Merkel rival Friedrich Merz, popular on the right of the party, and Armin Laschet, the premier of Germany’s most populous state.    Foreign policy expert Norbert Roettgen is an outsider.     Kramp-Karrenbauer said preparations for the December conference were going ahead.
    “We hope of course the situation will develop in such a way that we can have the regular party conference in December in Stuttgart,” she told dpa.
    Although the new CDU leader would be a favourite to run as chancellor in the next election, due by Oct. 2021, Bavaria’s conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) has to agree and may even prefer its own leader, Markus Soeder, to be the candidate.
Kramp-Karrenbauer, Merkel’s protege, said in February she would step aside after a scandal over over a regional branch of the CDU breaking a post-war taboo and voting with the far-right to elect a state leader from a third party.<    br> (Reporting by Madeline Chambers)

4/14/2020 Trump campaign sues Wisconsin TV station over critical ad
    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is suing a Wisconsin TV station for running an anti- Trump commercial that pieces together audio clips of the president talking about the coronavirus outbreak in a way the campaign argues is misleading and false.    The ad by the Democratic super PAC Priorities USA features a series of soundbites in which Trump downplayed the threat posed by the virus, while a chart that is splashed across the screen gradually begins to shoot upward as cases skyrocketed.

4/14/2020 What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
A man claps and cheers for healthcare workers across the street from Mount Sinai West Hospital at 7pm on Manhattan's Upper
West Side during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., April 13, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar
    (Reuters) – Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus right now:
Human vs. economic cost
    Ten U.S. governors on the east and west coasts banded together on Monday in two regional pacts to coordinate gradual economic reopenings as the coronavirus crisis finally appeared to be ebbing.    They gave no timeline for ending the social lockdowns that have idled the majority of more than 100 million residents in their states.
    India on Tuesday extended the world’s biggest lockdown until May 3, urging citizens to do their bit to prevent the virus from spreading.    Prime Minister Narendra Modi held out hope that some restrictions could be eased next week in the least-affected areas to allow essential activities.
    The British government’s scientific advisers are due to review the effectiveness of social distancing measures this week.    But Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab signalled on Monday that was unlikely to result in any easing of restrictions.
The lifeline pipeline
    While a safe, effective vaccine to combat the coronavirus disease is more than a year away, researchers are rushing to repurpose existing drugs and non-drug therapies and test promising experimental drugs that were already in clinical trials.
    Even moderately effective therapies or combinations could dramatically reduce the crushing demand on hospitals and intensive care units, changing the nature of the risk the new pathogen represents to populations and healthcare systems. (To see a graphic version of this story, click https://reut.rs/3bhMUaE)
Hiking up meal delivery prices
    GrubHub, DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats were sued in New York on Monday for allegedly exploiting their dominance in restaurant meal deliveries to impose fees that consumers ultimately bear through higher menu prices, including during the coronavirus outbreak.
    In a proposed class action, three consumers said the defendants violated U.S. antitrust law by requiring that restaurants charge delivery customers and dine-in customers the same price.    This sticks restaurants with the “devil’s choice” of charging everyone higher prices as a condition of using the defendants’ services, the consumers said.
The ‘essential business’ of wrestling entertainment
    World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has been deemed an “essential business” in Florida, the mayor of Orange County said on Monday, allowing the company to resume live tapings of its shows in the state during the coronavirus outbreak.
    “We believe it is now more important than ever to provide people with a diversion from these hard times,” said WWE.
(Compiled by Karishma Singh)

4/14/2020 Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 2,082, deaths by 170: RKI
FILE PHOTO: A woman takes a picture at the Cherry Blossom Area, a magnet for tourists from all over the world during blossom-time of
the cherry trees, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Bonn, Germany, April 8, 2020. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s number of confirmed coronavirus infections has risen by 2,082 to 125,098, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday, marking the fourth decline in the number of new cases after four days of increases.
    The reported death toll has risen by 170 to 2,969.
(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

4/14/2020 Kudlow: President Trump to share important guidelines on re-opening the U.S. economy by OAN Newsroom
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks during a television interview
at the White House, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said President Trump is preparing to make very important announcements on the re-opening of our economy.
    In an interview Tuesday, Kudlow said the president will most likely share guidelines in favor of re-opening parts of the country as some regions show more progress than others.    He added that the administration’s goal is to get people back to work, but it’s a question of health and safety.
    Kudlow said the president will make the announcements later this week and his decision will depend on data from health experts.
    Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is working with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on a fourth coronavirus relief package.
    Senate Democrats blocked Republican efforts to pass $250 billion in additional funding for small businesses last week, while calling for more money for hospitals and state governments.
    Mnuchin has expressed an openness to those demands and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is facing pressure to agree.
    The Small Business Administration is expected to announce this week that funding for the Paycheck Protection Program needs to be replenished immediately.    If a deal is reached this week, a Senate vote could happen as early as Thursday.
FILE – In this March 11, 2020 file photo, tables are empty at Eden Wok in New Rochelle, N.Y. The coronavirus pandemic
gripping the nation is slamming the restaurant industry after years of steady growth amid the longest economic expansion in U.S.
history. Restaurants and bars face a catastrophic loss of revenue that could destroy countless operations across that
nation as customers stay home and practice “social distancing” to stem the spread of the virus. (AP Photo/Chris Ehrmann)

4/14/2020 Obama endorses Biden as the 2020 Democrat presidential nominee by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 4, 2017 file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, left, watches former
President Barack Obama, center, at Conmy Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Former President Barack Obama has officially endorsed Joe Biden as the 2020 Democrat presidential nominee.    He announced the support for his former vice president Tuesday in a video posted on Twitter.
    This happened just one day after Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Biden’s former rival, endorsed him after dropping out of the race last week.    Obama waited to endorse Biden until he was the only Democrat left in the race.
    However, he emphasized his belief that Biden has what it takes to lead the nation.    Obama highlighted Biden’s experience with his administration, specifically citing their efforts fighting Ebola.
    Moving forward, the former president said he looks forward to campaigning for all Democrats on this year’s ballot.
    Meanwhile, the Trump campaign said former President Obama spent the last five years urging Joe Biden not to run for president out of fear he would embarrass himself.
    Campaign manager Brad Parscale made the statement Tuesday and claimed Obama had no choice, but to endorse the former vice president because he was the only Democrat left in the race.    He also pointed out how Bernie Sanders endorsed Biden even before Obama did.
    Parscale said Obama was right to say Biden is a bad candidate and will embarrass himself and his party.    He concluded by saying “President Trump will destroy him.”

4/14/2020 Dr. Fauci: ‘Virus is going to determine’ when U.S. can safely reopen by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 9, 2020 file photo, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens
during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    According to Dr. Anthony Fauci of the coronavirus task force, the virus is ultimately going to determine when the nation can safely reopen.
    In an interview Tuesday, he suggested the capability to efficiently carry out contact tracing and get people who are infected out of circulation has to be in place when the country reopens.
    The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director also said assuming all infection curves are going to be down in two weeks from now is “overly optimistic.”    The health official emphasized controlling the spread of the virus will be key to restarting the economy in communities like New York City.
    “I think how you reopen, if you want to use that word, the economy in those communities is going to depend a lot on the ability to contain what we know will happen,” he stated.    “I’ll guarantee you, once you start pulling back, there will be infections…it’s how you deal with the infection that’s gonna count.”
    Dr. Fauci also said he would not be surprised if their was another peak of the virus in the fall.

4/14/2020 Liberal judge elected to Wis. state Supreme Court by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo the Supreme Court is seen past bare tree branches in Washington. A partisan fight over
voting in Wisconsin was the first issue linked to the coronavirus to make it to the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
    Following a controversial primary election in Wisconsin, the Badger State is posting results favoring Democrats.
    Results were announced on Monday showing presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden beating out Bernie Sanders by a wide margin.
    In an unexpected upset, conservative incumbent Dan Kelly conceded on Monday. This confirmed the victory of liberal challenger Jill Karofsky to a ten-year term on the state’s Supreme Court.
    “I’m celebrating, social, distance wise, and my colleagues, my kids are here too,” said Karofsky.    “I love them very much and I couldn’t have done this without them…I’m very honored and I’m very humbled.”
    The result means the court, though still held by a conservative four-to-three majority, is now almost evenly split.    This could have nationwide impacts due to several upcoming decisions.
    Analysts have said potentially the most significant of these will be a case considering whether the state must purge 200,000 voters from its rolls due to them having potentially moved since registering.    The decision could impact the results in the November presidential election, where Wisconsin is projected to be a key battleground state after President Trump won the state by about 22,000 votes in 2016.
    However, experts have projected the election results may not be representative of what can be expected in November.
    Turnout was drastically reduced compared to the state’s primary four years ago by two factors: lower stakes and the coronavirus pandemic.
    Both parties held competitive races in the state in 2016, while this year President Trump’s nomination by the Republican Party was secured and Joe Biden’s presumptive victory in the Democrat primary was all but certain by the date of the primary.    This happened after Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign the day after polls closed in Wisconsin.
    As for coronavirus, the state saw an upsurge in absentee ballot requests in 2016. Only about 10 percent of voters in Wisconsin voted by mail in the primary and 27 percent of voters chose this method in the general election that year.    In last week’s primary, that number was closer to 80 percent and Democrats have taken this as an opportunity to call for expanded mail-in voting.
    “You know, lasts week’s primary in Wisconsin also sent a giant warning flare to the nation; we have to deal now — and I mean now, not tomorrow, now — with figuring out how we’re going to conduct a full and safe election in November,” said Democrat Joe Biden “And that means providing our citizens with all the options for the exercise of the right to vote by mail and in-person."
    Yet the idea of expanding mail-in voting to the general population has been opposed by Republican voices, including President Trump who said the practice opens the door for widespread election fraud.

4/14/2020 Trump says halting World Health Organization funding over its handling of virus
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the daily coronavirus task force briefing in the
Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he has instructed his administration to at least temporarily halt funding to the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
    Trump, at a White House news conference, said the WHO had “failed in its basic duty and it must be held accountable.”    He said the group had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the virus that likely led to a wider outbreak of the virus than otherwise would have occurred.
(Reporting By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Chris Reese)

4/14/2020 Spain, Austria ease coronavirus curbs, U.S. debates risks by Paola Luelmo and Estelle Shirbon
A worker with protective mask works at a construction site, following the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Barcelona, Spain April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce
    MADRID/LONDON (Reuters) – Spain and Austria allowed partial returns to work on Tuesday but Britain, France and India extended lockdowns to rein in the new coronavirus while the United States, where the death toll exceeded 25,000, debated how to reopen its economy.
    The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that infections had “certainly” not yet peaked.
    Nearly 2 million people globally have been infected and more than 124,000 have died in the most serious pandemic in a century, according to a Reuters tally.    The epicentre has shifted from China, where the virus emerged in December, to the United States, which has now recorded the most deaths.
    World leaders, in considering easing curbs, have to balance risks to health and to the economy as the lockdowns have strangled supply lines, especially in China, and brought economic activity to a virtual halt.
    The shutdown is costing the U.S. economy perhaps $25 billion a day in lost output, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said, calling for widespread testing and risk management strategies so the economy can restart.
    President Donald Trump, who has declared he will decide when to lift lockdowns, suggested some Democratic state governors were “mutineers” after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would refuse any order that risked reigniting the outbreak.
    The White House said Trump would hold a video teleconference with leaders from the Group of Seven nations on Thursday to coordinate responses.
    The global economy is expected to shrink by 3% this year, the International Monetary Fund said, marking the steepest downturn since the Great Depression.
    The WHO said the number of new cases was tailing off in some parts of Europe, including Italy and Spain, but outbreaks were growing in Britain and Turkey.
    “The overall world outbreak – 90 percent of cases are coming from Europe and the United States of America.    So we are certainly not seeing the peak yet,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a briefing in Geneva.
    But world stocks gained after Chinese trade data came in better than expected and as some countries partly lifted restrictions.
    Some Spanish businesses, including construction and manufacturing, were allowed to resume.    Shops, bars and public spaces are to stay closed until at least April 26.
    Spain was flattening the curve on the graph representing the rate of growth of the outbreak, Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Tuesday.    The overnight death toll from the coronavirus rose to 567 on Tuesday from 517 a day earlier, but the country reported its lowest increase in new cases since March 18.    Total deaths climbed to 18,056.
    Some Spanish workers expressed concern that the relaxation of restrictions could trigger a new surge of infections.    But for Roberto Aguayo, a 50-year-old Barcelona construction worker, the restart came just in time.     “We really needed it, just when we were going to run out of food we returned to work,” he told Reuters.
    Italy, which has the world’s second highest death toll at 21,067, maintained some tight restrictions on movement, while Denmark, one of the first European countries to shut down, will reopen day care centres and schools for children in first to fifth grade on April 15.
    The Czech government will gradually reopen stores and restaurants from April 20, although people will continue to be required to wear masks.     Thousands of shops across Austria reopened on Tuesday, but the government cautioned that the country was “not out of the woods.”
    Austria acted early to shut schools, bars, theatres, restaurants, non-essential shops and other gathering places about four weeks ago.    It has told the public to stay home.
    The Alpine republic has reported 384 deaths in total, fewer than some larger European countries have been suffering each day.    Hospitalisations have stabilised.
LOCKDOWNS EXTENDED
    Britain, where the government has come under criticism for its slow approach to testing and for not getting protective equipment to the frontlines of health care, has the fifth-highest death toll globally.
    The toll in British hospitals rose to 12,107 as of Monday but is expected to be much higher when deaths in the community are included.    Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said there would be no easing of lockdown measures when they come up for review this week.
    The Times newspaper said on Tuesday that Raab, deputising for Prime Minister Boris Johnson who is recuperating from a COVID-19 infection, would extend the curbs until at least May 7.
    In France, President Emmanuel Macron on Monday extended a virtual lockdown to May 11.
    India, the world’s second-most populous country after China, extended its nationwide lockdown until May 3 as the number of coronavirus cases crossed 10,000. Neighbours Pakistan and Nepal also extended their curbs.
    Russia might need to call in the army to help tackle the crisis, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday. Moscow warned the capital might run out of hospital beds in coming weeks.
    China’s northeastern border province of Heilongjiang saw 79 new cases on Monday – all Chinese citizens travelling back from Russia, state media said.
    As of Tuesday, China had reported 82,249 coronavirus cases and 3,341 deaths.    There were no deaths in the past 24 hours.
    Health ministers from the Group of 20 major economies will speak by video conference on Sunday to address the outbreak’s impact.
(Open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in a separate browser for an interactive graphic to track the global spread.)
(Reporting from Reuters bureaux across the world; Writing by Nick Macfie and Philippa Fletcher; Editing by William Maclean, Mark Heinrich and Mark Potter)

4/14/2020 Exclusive: Nurses at Mexico hospital hit by coronavirus say they were told to avoid masks
FILE PHOTO: People leave a disinfection chamber at the entrance to the General Hospital of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS),
where medical and nursing staff had tested positive for coronavirus, in Monclova, Mexico April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio A. Rodriguez
    MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) – Nurses at a public hospital hit by Mexico’s worst coronavirus outbreak were told by their managers not to wear protective masks at the start of the epidemic to avoid sowing panic among patients, nurses and other medical workers said.
    Two doctors and a hospital administrator have died and at least 51 staff members have been infected since the new coronavirus was detected at the IMSS General Hospital in Monclova in the northern state of Coahuila in late March, the state health department said.
    The hospital became Mexico’s first hot spot for the COVID-19 illness caused by the coronavirus.
    At least four of the infected workers are currently hospitalized as a result of the outbreak, which has fed concerns that Mexico’s underfunded healthcare system is ill prepared to cope with a major epidemic in the nation of nearly 130 million people.
    At the beginning of the outbreak, managers “said that protective equipment wasn’t necessary,” said nurse Charly Escobedo Gonzalez who works at the Monclova hospital.
    Answering questions from Reuters about the reports that hospital management told staff not to wear masks, a senior official at Mexico’s main public health service IMSS which runs the hospital said that the health workers should be believed, but he did not confirm details of the reports.
    “Specifically, if they are saying that then of course we have to believe it,” said the IMSS official, Raul Pena Viveros. He said there can be misunderstandings inside a hospital about where it is appropriate to wear protective equipment.
    “Not all of the workers have to wear the same equipment inside the hospital.    And when this type of equipment is used badly…it runs out more quickly and they put workers who are in contact with patients at risk,” he said.
    Mexico has registered 4,661 people with the coronavirus and 296 deaths, a fraction of the figures in the neighboring United States, but the coronavirus arrived weeks later in the Latin American country.
    The Monclova hospital became a coronavirus focal point in the third week of March, highlighting a lack of masks and even soap and bleach there, staff said.
    As staff began to fall ill, hospital floor managers instructed healthcare workers not to use facemasks, which some had bought for themselves due to the lack of hospital equipment, seven workers told Reuters.
    Pena Viveros said the hospital had been short of protective equipment as well as other materials to fight the coronavirus in March.
    Health officials have not given a detailed explanation of why so many Monclova healthcare workers became infected.
    Hospital workers are at greater risk of contracting the coronavirus if they do not wear protective equipment like facemasks and gloves.    The N95 respiratory masks offer more protection from other people who are infected while more simple surgical masks help the wearer avoid spreading the virus.
    Due to a lack of proper N95 masks, some staff at the hospital were also wearing inappropriate industrial-style masks that were donated to them, Pena Viveros said.
    The lack of N95 masks was later resolved, said Pena Viveros, who was sent by the head of the IMSS from Mexico City to investigate the Monclova hospital and spent a week there in early April.    Staff say the hospital has more protective equipment now but that they still lack gear such as masks.
    Three nurses said that while some colleagues chose not to wear facemasks after being told by managers or supervisors that they were not necessary, other staff kept wearing them.
NO “PANIC
    On the night of March 22, one of the heads of the nursing staff told a group of doctors and nurses gathered in the emergency room to take off their N95 masks because they were not necessary, according to a nurse who heard the order.
    Another nurse, surnamed Hernandez Perez, was given a similar order by a deputy head of nursing a few days earlier.
    “In a morning clinical class, the sub-head told us not to create panic…that we shouldn’t wear facemasks because we were going to create a psychosis,” said Hernandez Perez, who did not want her full name used.    She is now at home sick and has tested positive for the COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.    A second nurse confirmed Hernandez Perez’s account.
    Reuters was unable to speak to two of the nursing managers who nurses say spoke at that meeting.
    After media accusations that the Monclova hospital badly lacked equipment to deal with the virus, the head of the IMSS, Zoe Robledo, announced in early April that the director of the hospital had been temporarily replaced.
    Neither the suspended hospital manager, Ulises Mendoza, nor the current hospital director answered repeated requests from Reuters for comment.
    One nurse, who asked that her name not be used for fear of retaliation, said that during the second half of March she was repeatedly told by superiors not to wear a facemask while working in high-risk areas such as on the ground floor of the hospital, where the emergency room is located.
    As well as the 51 confirmed cases, Pena Viveros said more than 300 other workers were temporarily sent home as the hospital scrambled to contain the outbreak.
    He said the hospital contracted nurses and doctors from other facilities to address the personnel shortage, nevertheless the hospital’s ability to care for patients has been impeded, some staff said.
(Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Daniel Flynn and Alistair Bell)

4/14/2020 France’s rate of coronavirus infections, deaths accelerating again
A man wearing protective suit and face mask leaves a supermarket after shopping in Nice, as a lockdown is imposed
to slow the rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
    PARIS (Reuters) – France said its total death toll from COVID-19 infections rose above 15,000 on Tuesday, becoming the fourth country to exceed that threshold after Italy, Spain and the United States, while the rate of increase in cases and fatalities is re-accelerating.
    But the number of people in intensive care units fell to 6,730 from 6,821 over 24 hours – declining for a sixth consecutive day, suggesting the national lockdown put in place on March 17 is having some success in containing the disease.
    On Monday, President Emmanuel Macron announced a second extension of this lockdown until May 11, saying that progress had been made but also that the country had not been sufficiently prepared early on to surmount the challenges posed by the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
    Jerome Salomon, head of the public health authority, told a news conference that the number of COVID-19 deaths in French hospitals and nursing homes had risen by 5% in a day to a cumulative total of 15,729, versus 4% on Monday and Sunday.
    He added that the total number of confirmed infections had climbed by 5.3% to 103,573, compared to a rate of increase of 2.8% on Monday and of 1.7% on Sunday.
    There were also 26,680 suspected coronavirus cases in nursing homes, taking the total to more than 130,000 confirmed and possible cases, the fifth highest in the world.
    According to various running simulations, Salomon said that, depending on calculations for different regions, 5%-10% of the French population had probably contracted the disease.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

4/14/2020 EU to limit export control of virus protection gear to just masks
A price tag for protective masks is seen in a shop for sanitary products after the Austrian government loosened its lockdown
restrictions during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission plans to narrow controls on the export of coronavirus protective equipment to just a single product – masks – as well as exempt the countries of the western Balkans from the restrictions.
    The EU executive, which overseas trade policy for the 27 EU member states, set out a draft regulation on Tuesday to apply for 30 days from April 26.    The adjustments were designed to meet the EU’s global commitments in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
    The bloc’s current restrictions apply to protective spectacles and visors, face shields, protective garments, gloves, as well as mouth and nose masks.
    These products can only be exported to a non-EU country with an authorization granted by individual EU countries.    The restrictions were due to run from March 15 to April 25.
    The restrictions came in after a number of countries, including France and Germany, introduced their own export controls, angering fellow members such as Italy that were most in need of such equipment.    The EU-wide controls on exports outside the European Union have largely restored flows of protective equipment within the bloc.
    Some EU countries have nevertheless maintained export bans on certain medicines.
    The EFTA nations – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – as well as various overseas countries and territories were subsequently exempted from the controls.
    The European Commission said this exemption would now extend to the western Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.
    EU countries should also authorize exports of masks in the form of emergency humanitarian aid, it said.
    The controls would only in future apply for masks as these were the only category of protective equipment for which export authorization was deemed necessary to secure an adequate supply for Europeans.
    The Commission said its new law would oblige EU countries to consult with it when assessing whether to issue an export authorization.    The Commission would issue an opinion within 48 hours.
    EU countries will be required to report to the Commission on authorizations granted with a view to coordinating efforts to match supply and demand in the European Union.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

4/14/2020 UK coronavirus death toll could be far higher than previously shown by Andy Bruce
A ambulance arrives at the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the Excel Centre in London as the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 14, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley
    LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom’s true death toll from the novel coronavirus far exceeds estimates previously published by the government, according to broader official data that include deaths in the community such as in nursing homes.
    Even before the new figures, the official British death toll was the fifth-highest globally and a senior scientific adviser to the government has said the country risks becoming the worst-hit in Europe.
    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 5,979 people in England had died by April 3 with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, mentioned on their death certificates – 15% more than numbers published by the health service.
    “I am not remotely surprised there would be an undercounting,” Bill Hanage, associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Reuters.
    “The UK hospital death toll that you are seeing – the one on the news each night – is a composite of things that have been trickling in over a period of time.    It is not an exact number and does not include the numbers dying in places such as nursing homes.”
    The new numbers, which reflect both deaths caused primarily by COVID-19 and where it is mentioned as a factor, show how limited official data has been so far.    Daily figures published by the health ministry record only COVID-19 deaths in hospitals.
    Public Health England Medical Director Yvonne Doyle said the government was working with the ONS to speed up the information.
    “We just need to be absolutely clear that the cause of death that is attributed is correct and that is what takes time on the death certificate to get right,” she said, adding the government hoped to produce more rapid data, preferably on a daily basis.
UNDERSTATING DEATHS
    Compared with the ONS figures, the daily hospital counts had understated the true death toll for England and Wales by 52% as of April 3, although this had narrowed from 70% a week earlier.
    Still, it raises the likelihood that the latest death toll for the UK as a whole – 12,107 as of April 13 – is in reality thousands higher when deaths outside hospitals are included.
    “These new figures … clearly show the impact of COVID-19 for the first time,” said Martin Hibberd, professor of emerging infectious disease at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
    London was hit particularly hard in the week to April 3, when the ONS said nearly half (46.6%) of deaths in the capital involved COVID-19.
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is now recuperating from COVID-19 complications that almost cost him his life, initially refrained from imposing the same stringent controls as other European leaders to counter the outbreak.
    But as projections showed 250,000 Britons could be lost to the virus, Johnson moved to shutter the world’s fifth-largest economy and told people to stay at home.
    “The UK response was fractured and it was too late, and allowed a large number of people to become infected who didn’t need to become infected,” said Hanage at Harvard.
    “This is the start of the pandemic, not the end, and people need to understand that.”
    Hanage suggested a focus on testing, using new digital technologies to give targeted advice to the population, or even detecting the virus in sewage.
    Government scientists have said the United Kingdom will do well if it manages to keep the coronavirus death toll below 20,000.    Italy has reported a death toll of more than 20,000.
    Including Wales, some 6,235 people had died by April 3, the ONS said.    Separate data from Scotland last week showed 354 deaths involved COVID-19 as of April 5.    In Northern Ireland, the toll stood at 79 as of April 3.
    Across England and Wales, deaths mentioning COVID-19 accounted for 21.2% of all deaths, compared with 4.8% in the previous week.
    The broader reading of total deaths showed that 16,387 people died in the week ending April 3 — the highest total since weekly death data started to be compiled in 2005.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce and William Schomberg; Additional reporting by Stephen Grey; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Gareth Jones)

4/14/2020 Trump to convene G7 leaders in video link to discuss pandemic by Steve Holland
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with recovered coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients and
family members in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will hold a video teleconference with G7 leaders on Thursday to coordinate national responses to the coronavirus outbreak, the White House said on Tuesday.
    Trump, who is head of the G7 this year, had planned to hold this year’s summit at the presidential retreat of Camp David, Maryland, in June, but moved it to a virtual setting due to the virus.
    The Group of Seven nations consists of the United States, France, Britain, Italy, Canada, Japan and Germany, and all seven of them have been hit hard by the virus.
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from a London hospital this week after treatment for the virus, which left him in the intensive care unit for several days.
    “Working together, the G7 is taking a whole-of-society approach to tackle the crisis across multiple areas, including health, finance, humanitarian assistance, and science and technology,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere.
    The Thursday session is a follow-up to their March 16 video conference, the first time G7 leaders had met in that format, to go over efforts to defeat the coronavirus.
    In addition to the meeting this week, another session is expected in May to lay the groundwork for the June video conference.
(Reporting By Steve Holland; additional reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)

4/14/2020 Spain says coronavirus curve flattening; loosening of curbs causes jitters by Jordi Rubio and Emma Pinedo
People keep social distance as they wait to enter a supermarket amid the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
    BARCELONA/MADRID (Reuters) – Spain is flattening the curve on the spread of the coronavirus, the government said on Tuesday, one month into a strict lockdown in one of the world’s worst outbreaks, but some voiced alarm over the loosening of restrictions that began this week.
    In an attempt to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, national authorities eased the terms of one of Europe’s most stringent lockdowns to allow some sectors like construction and manufacturing to resume work on Monday.
    But the government insisted on Tuesday the restrictions – under a state of emergency – which ban all but essential outings remain in place, as shops, bars and public spaces will stay closed until at least April 26.
    “We are in a confinement period, it looks like (some) have forgotten,” said interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska at a press briefing.    “We still have a long way … (but) we are on the right track to defeat the virus.”
    In Catalonia, with the second highest number of COVID-19 deaths after the capital Madrid, police stopped motorists in Barcelona to check documents specifying the reason for their journey. Workers must show certificates from their employers.
    “I still find it quite hasty, this return (to work) – I see too many people today,” hospital employee Monica Pinzon said at a Barcelona metro station where health staff distributed masks to commuters.
    Spain has over 170,000 documented cases and more than 18,000 deaths.    The overnight death rate has dropped well below peak levels reached in early April, but nevertheless inched up again on Tuesday.
    A lockdown banning residents from leaving home for all but the most essential activities has been credited with slowing the rate of deaths but come at a heavy cost, with around 900,000 jobs lost in the last two weeks of March alone.
    For Roberto Aguayo, a 50-year-old Barcelona construction worker, the restart of his sector came just in time.    “We really needed it.    Just when we were going to run out of food, we returned to work,” he said.
    The health ministry reported on Tuesday the lowest increase in new cases – 3,045 – since March 18.    The number of overnight deaths rose slightly to 567.
    Unlike other countries in Europe, Spaniards are not allowed out of their houses for exercise and can only leave for essential activities like buying food.    Children have been cooped up at home for a month.
    Authorities are investigating whether Spain’s former prime minister Mariano Rajoy – who left office in 2018 – broke the restrictions after La Sexta TV footage showed him apparently exercising on the street, the interior minister said.
    If the breach is confirmed, the legal norms would be applied, Grande-Marlaska said.
    The economic toll of the crisis will be huge.    The International Monetary Fund forecasts an 8% economic slump this year in Spain, to be followed by a recovery in 2021.
    Asked about that forecast, European Central Bank vice-president Luis de Guindos told Spain’s Antena 3 TV channel the economic recovery would depend on the evolution of the pandemic, but added “no one should underestimate the growth capacity of the Spanish economy.”
    Millions are turning to the government for relief.
    On Tuesday, the Spanish government approved a one-month tax moratorium for the self-employed and small companies which it said would allow them to boost their short-term liquidity by around 3.6 billion euros ($3.95 billion).
    Meanwhile, social security has registered nearly a million requests from self-employed people for pay-outs under the terms of a state relief package announced last month, government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero said.
(Additional reporting by Nathan Allen, Clara-Laeila Laudette, Belen Carreno, Jesus Aguado, Isla Binnie and Joan Faus; Writing by Andrei Khalip, Emma Pinedo and Joan Faus; Editing by Sonya Dowsett, Mark Heinrich and Mark Potter)

4/15/2020 Oil down $1.78 to $20.64, DOW up 559 to 23,950

4/15/2020 More information on coronavirus deaths.


4/15/2020 Trump cuts WHO funding over coronavirus, global toll mounts by Jeff Mason and Paulina Duran
U.S. President Donald Trump attends the daily coronavirus task force briefing in the
Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON/SYDNEY (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday halted funding to the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, drawing condemnation from infectious disease experts as the global death toll mounted.
    Trump, who has reacted angrily to criticism of his administration’s response to the worst epidemic in a century, has become increasingly hostile towards the WHO.
    The Geneva-based organisation had promoted China’s “disinformation” about the virus that likely led to a wider outbreak than otherwise would have occurred, Trump said.
    “The WHO failed in this basic duty and must be held accountable,” Trump told a White House news conference on Tuesday.
    Nearly 2 million people globally have been infected and more than 124,000 have died since the disease emerged in China late last year, according to a Reuters tally.
    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was not the time to reduce resources for the WHO.
    “Now is the time for unity and for the international community to work together in solidarity to stop this virus and its shattering consequences,” he said in a statement.
    The United States is the biggest overall donor to the WHO, contributing more than $400 million in 2019, roughly 15% of its budget.
    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he sympathised with Trump’s criticisms of the WHO, especially its “unfathomable” support of re-opening China’s “wet markets,” where freshly slaughtered, and live, animals are sold.
    The coronavirus is believed to have emerged from such a market in the city of Wuhan late last year.
    “But that said, the WHO also as an organisation does a lot of important work including here in our region in the Pacific and we work closely with them,” Morrison told an Australian radio station.
    “We are not going to throw the baby out of with the bathwater here, but they are also not immune from criticism.”
    More than 2,200 people died in the United States on Tuesday, a record toll according to a Reuters tally, even as it debated how to reopen its economy.
    New York City, the U.S. city hardest hit by the outbreak, revised its death toll sharply up to more than 10,000, to include victims presumed to have died of the lung disease but never tested.
    U.S. health advocacy group Protect Our Care said Trump’s WHO funding withdrawal was “a transparent attempt … to distract from his history downplaying the severity of the coronavirus crisis and his administration’s failure to prepare our nation.”
    “To be sure, the World Health Organization is not without fault but it is beyond irresponsible to cut its funding at the height of a global pandemic,” said Leslie Dach, the group’s chair.
‘NOT SEEING PEAK YET’
    The WHO said the number of new cases were tailing off in some places, such as Italy and Spain, but outbreaks were growing in Britain and Turkey.
    “The overall world outbreak – 90% of cases are coming from Europe and the United States of America.    So we are certainly not seeing the peak yet,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a briefing in Geneva.
    Dozens of cases have been recorded among oil and gas workers in Brazil, the industry regulator told Reuters, exposing an outbreak far worse than thought.
    India extended a lockdown on its 1.3 billion people until May 3 as its tally of cases exceeded 10,000.    Prime Minister Narendra Modi said economic sacrifices were needed to save lives.
    New cases in China dropped to 46, compared with 89 the previous day, officials reported on Wednesday, with one more death.    Most cases were people returning from Russia.
    Asian share markets edged higher as China moved again to cushion its economy, cutting a key medium-term interest rate to record lows and paving the way for a similar reduction in benchmark loan rates. [MKTS/GLOB]
HEALTH/ECONOMY BALANCE
    The global economy is expected to shrink by 3% this year, the International Monetary Fund said, marking the steepest downturn since the Great Depression.
    Major international creditors will relieve the world’s poorest countries of debt payments this year, France announced.
    Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came under pressure to hand out more cash to help cushion the blow on top of a near $1 trillion package announced last week.
    Trump, who has declared he will decide when to lift U.S. lockdowns, suggested some Democratic state governors were “mutineers” after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would refuse any order that risked reigniting the outbreak.
    Trump’s top infectious disease adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, said the president’s May 1 target for restarting the economy was “overly optimistic.”
    Airlines have been hit hard as borders have closed and people stay at home.
    China’s airlines reported a total loss of $4.8 billion in the first quarter, its regulator said.
    The U.S. Treasury Department said major passenger airlines had agreed in principle to a $25 billion rescue package, ensuring their workers have jobs until October while the industry battles its biggest-ever crisis.
    In New Zealand, where a strict lockdown has limited the number of cases and deaths, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced she, her ministers and public service chief executives would take a 20% pay cut for six months.
(Open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in a separate browser for an interactive graphic to track the global spread.)
(Reporting from Reuters bureaux across the world; Writing by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Robert Birsel)

4/15/2020 France’s Macron says he hopes to secure Putin backing for UN truce plea
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron, wearing a protective face mask, talks with health workers as he visits a medical center
in Pantin near Paris as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in France, April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/Pool
    PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said he has secured the agreement of three of the five permanent members of the United Nations’ Security Council to back a call by the UN for a global ceasefire so the world can focus on the coronavirus epidemic.
    The UN’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the world truce on March 23, warning that in war-torn countries, health systems have collapsed and the small number of health professionals left were often targeted in the fighting.
    Macron said President Xi Jinping of China, U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had all confirmed to him they would back the plea.
    The French leader said he was hopeful of securing Russian President Vladimir Putin’s agreement in the coming hours.
    “I spoke to him at the start of this initiative.    I haven’t spoken to him since I got the firm confirmations of the other leaders.    I will do in the next few hours,” Macron told Radio France Internationale in an interview.
    “I think that for sure President Putin will agree and the day he says he does, we’ll be able to hold this videoconference and relay this call in a solemn, forceful and efficient way.”
    The United Nations Security Council met for the first time on April 9 to discuss the coronavirus pandemic as the 15-member body – charged with maintaining international peace and security – struggles to agree on whether it should take any action.
    The five veto-wielding powers – the United States, China, France, Russia and Britain – have been discussing a French text for a draft resolution.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

4/15/2020 UK must set out plan to exit coronavirus lockdown, Labour Party says
FILE PHOTO: Britain's opposition Labour Party Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer speaks to members of the media as he leaves
the BBC headquarters after appearing on The Andrew Marr Show in London, Britain January 5, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
    LONDON (Reuters) – The British government must publish its exit strategy from the stringent lockdown that was imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said on Wednesday.
    The nationwide lockdown, imposed on March 23, is due to be reviewed by Thursday. Foreign minister Dominic Raab, who is deputising for     Prime Minister Boris Johnson while he recovers from COVID-19, said on Monday he did not expect to make any changes to the restrictions for now.
    Governments around the world are grappling with how to reverse measures put in place to contain the outbreak that has killed over 128,000 people globally.
    Several European countries have announced plans or have already begun to relax restrictions, as pressure grows to revive their battered economies.
    Starmer said Labour supported extending the measures in Britain but that to “maintain morale and hope,” the public needed to have an idea of what is coming next.
    “The question for Thursday therefore is no longer about whether the lockdown should be extended, but about what the government’s position is on how and when it can be eased in due course and on what criteria that decision will be taken,” Starmer said in a letter to Raab.     “Overcoming this crisis requires taking the British public with you,” he added.    “The government needs to be open and transparent… The silent pressures on communities across the country cannot be underestimated.”
    A British government source said all decisions would be guided by scientific advice and data.
    “Talk of an exit strategy before we have reached the peak risks confusing the critical message that people need to stay at home in order to protect our NHS (National Health Service) and save lives,” the source said.
    Starmer asked the government to publish the exit strategy in the coming week so parliament can scrutinise it when it returns next week.    He also called for the government to outline the sectors of the economy and public services most likely to see restrictions eased first.
    “Any exit strategy will only be effective if the government puts the necessary planning, investment and infrastructure in place early,” he said.
    “It is political decisions by ministers that will determine what happens next.    At a time of national crisis, it is more important than ever that those decisions are taken swiftly and transparently.”
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

4/15/2020 Pelosi: President Trump’s decision to halt WHO funding is illegal, will be challenged by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks during a news conference
at the Capitol in Washington. President Donald Trump and Pelosi have not spoken in five months at a time
when the nation is battling its worst health crisis in a century. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Nancy Pelosi said she intends to try and block President Trump’s decision to suspend aid to the World Health Organization (WHO).
    On Wednesday, the House Speaker told reporters she’s seeking to strike down the administration’s efforts to withhold funds for the WHO for their role in the coronavirus pandemic.    She said this decision is “senseless,” “illegal” and that it “will be swiftly challenged” in Congress.
    While taking to Twitter Tuesday, Pelosi claimed President Trump has been trying to blame others for mistakes he’s made amid the U.S. virus outbreak.    Top Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are also attacking the president over his proposal to cut the organization’s funding.
    In a letter Wednesday, Oversight chair Carolyn Maloney and congressman Stephen Lynch accused the president of failing to address the COVID-19 outbreak.    The two Democrats claimed President Trump proposed to defund the WHO to deflect responsibility onto others.
    This came after Taiwan released a letter that revealed it was asking the WHO about the virus outbreak back in December 2019.    Republican lawmakers have said they are looking at a growing pile of evidence of alleged conspiracy between China and the WHO.
FILE – In this March 14, 2020, file photo Taiwanese army soldiers wearing protective suits spray disinfectant over a road during a
drill to prevent community cluster infection of coronavirus in New Taipei City, Taiwan. The administration, backed by a bipartisan
collection of lawmakers, is pressing for Taiwan’s inclusion as a separate entity in international organizations like the World Health Organization and
the International Civil Aviation Organization, both of which have significant roles in anti-virus efforts. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

4/15/2020 Sen. Schumer, AOC call for federal gov’t to help cover funeral, burial expenses for N.Y. COVID-19 victims by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., wears a face mask to fend off the coronavirus as she listens to Senate Minority
Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speak during a news conference to call on FEMA to grant approval for Disaster Funeral Assistance
to help families in lower-income communities and communities of color across New York pay for funeral costs amid the coronavirus
pandemic, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Corona neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) are seeking federal help to aid with expenses for New York’s coronavirus victims.
    In a letter to FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor Tuesday, the Democrats asked for access to the Disaster Funeral Assistance Program.    The funds would help pay for caskets, mortuary services and death certificates as well as other costs.
    During a joint press conference, Schumer stressed that many people cannot afford to pay these expenses alone.
    “So many people with this crisis who don’t have money, don’t have the ability to give a proper funeral and burial to their loved ones who have passed away from this evil illness…that is outrageous,” he stated.    “They did it after Sandy…FEMA said they were going to pay burial costs, funeral costs for those who lost loved ones.”
    As it stands, more than 10,000 people across New York have died due to the coronavirus.

4/15/2020 President Trump halts funding to WHO by OAN Newsroom
The logo and building of the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, 15 April 2020. US President
Donald Trump announced that he has instructed his administration to halt funding to the WHO. The American president criticizes
the World Health Organization for its mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic Covid-19. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
    The Trump administration is halting funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) pending an investigation into the group’s alleged “mismanagement” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    While speaking at the White House Tuesday, the president accused the organization of covering up China’s misreporting about the spread of coronavirus.    Many are skeptical of the WHO’s handling of the virus, which reported that there was “no clear evidence” of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19 as late as mid-January.
    "Today I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while our review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” he stated.
    President Trump went on to say the WHO made a “disastrous decision” by failing to support travel restrictions from China and other nations in the beginning stages of the pandemic.
    “American taxpayers provide between $400 million and $500 million per year to the WHO,” he continued.    “In contrast, China contributes roughly $40 million a year and even less…as the organization’s leading sponsor, the United States has a duty to insist on full accountability."
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Meanwhile, a WHO official said the organization knew “right from the start” there was a possibility of human-to-human transmission of COVID-19.
    During a recent press briefing at the WHO’s headquarters on Monday, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove said she was “immediately” suspicious of human transmission as early as December.    However, the WHO stated on social media and in a press release in mid-January that there was “no clear evidence of this in Wuhan, China.”
    “Right from the start, from the first notification we received on the 31st of December, given that this was a cluster of pneumonia — I’m a MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) specialist, so my background is in coronaviruses and influenza — so immediately thought, given that this is a respiratory pathogen, that of course there may be human-to-human transmission,” she stated.
    Many lawmakers are now pushing for an investigation into an alleged cover-up from the WHO of China’s misreporting on the coronavirus.    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged the organization to “do its job.”
    The White House official took aim at the WHO Tuesday by saying it needs to perform “its primary function” in providing “accurate, timely and real information” on what goes on in the global health space.    Pompeo went on to suggest China worked to prevent the WHO from declaring a pandemic.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing
Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

4/15/2020 Sen. Warren endorses Biden for 2020 Democrat presidential nominee by OAN Newsroom
FILE- In this Feb. 7, 2020 file photo, Democratic presidential candidates former Vice President Joe Biden, and
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., shake hands on stage before the start of a Democratic presidential primary debate
hosted by ABC News, Apple News, and WMUR-TV at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has officially endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden. While taking to Twitter Wednesday, she became the final major former 2020 presidential hopeful to back the presumptive Democrat nominee.
    The Massachusetts lawmaker noted that Biden has spent his entire life in public service and said she’s witnessed him help rebuild the nation.    Warren went on to say she’s proud to throw her support behind him.
    Although she’s had her differences with Biden over the years, Warren claimed he has always been respectful of her views.
    “And he has shown throughout this campaign that when you come up with new facts or a good argument, he’s not too afraid or too proud to be persuaded,” she stated.    “But one thing I appreciate about Joe Biden is that he will always tell you where he stands…when you disagree, he’ll listen — not just listen, but really hear you.”
    Earlier this week, Sen. Bernie Sanders made his endorsement in order to consolidate the Democrat vote behind the former vice president.    This came as Democrats worry a fragmented party could lead to another defeat in November.

4/15/2020 Calif. Gov. Newsom signals re-opening economy may take longer out of fear of virus resurgence by OAN Newsroom
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom is laying out a plan to gradually re-open the state’s economy. On Tuesday, he said getting people back to work will depend on science and public health instead of politics.
    The governor claimed the number of coronavirus victims is still on the rise in California despite a rising number of recoveries and a flattening curve.    Newsom then signaled re-opening the economy may take longer despite the rising poverty and unemployment.
    “The most important framework is our capacity to expand our testing to appropriately address the tracing and tracking of individuals,” he stated.    “The isolation and the quarantine of individuals using technology and using a workforce — that needs to be trained in an infrastructure that needs to be in place in order to begin the process to transition.”
    Newsom claimed the virus can come back if the economy re-opens too soon, but critics have argued unemployment and homelessness poses far greater risks to public health.

4/15/2020 4 suspected ISIS members arrested in Germany for allegedly planning attack on U.S. military bases by OAN Newsroom
file – Two police officers walk behind two men who jog in a park in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
    Four suspected ISIS members were arrested in Germany after allegedly planning to attack U.S. Air Force bases.
    On Wednesday, officials said the men had obtained firearms and were building an explosive device meant to be used in targeted attacks southeast of Berlin.    The suspects were reportedly caught spying on American facilities in Germany as well as a person said to be critical of Islam.
    Authorities said another man, thought to be the group’s leader, has been in jail since last year.    They also said the suspects originally planned to conduct their attacks against the Tajikistan government.
    The suspects "are believed to have joined so called Islamic State in January 2019 and founded a terror cell in Germany,” explained Herbert Reul, Interior Minister of the North Rhine-Westphalia state.    “They are thought to have originally planned to travel to their home country of Tajikistan to participate in the armed holy fight against the government there; they then abandoned that plan and instead planned deadly attacks in Germany.”
    Officials further said they believe the five men were instructed to carry out the attack by other ISIS leaders in Syria and Afghanistan.    The group is set to all be charged with “membership in a terrorist organization.”

4/15/2020 Spain’s daily coronavirus deaths decline as testing increases by Inti Landauro and Emma Pinedo
A man wearing a protective mask walks past closed shops amid the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
    MADRID (Reuters) – Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Wednesday promised more coronavirus testing to try to build on a decline in daily COVID-19 deaths that has allowed Spain to start tentatively reopening its locked-down economy.
    Officials hope more testing will give a better indication of the areas where lockdowns can be eased further.
    “Spain is already one of the countries making the most daily tests.    More than 20,000, and we are increasing the number,” Sanchez told a near-empty parliament.
    Spain’s daily number of deaths from the coronavirus fell to 523 on Wednesday from 567 the day before, the health ministry said – well below a peak of 950 reached on April 2.
    The International Monetary Fund has said Spain’s economy is likely to suffer heavily from the pandemic, and the government is keen to reactivate whatever businesses it can as soon as possible, especially ahead of the tourist summer months.
    The IMF expected an 8% economic slump this year, because of the collapse in tourism and Spain’s high proportion of small and medium-sized businesses, with the debt-to-GDP ratio projected to hit 113% – its highest level in over a century.    It put the 2020 budget deficit at 9.5% of GDP, the widest in the euro zone.
    On Monday and Tuesday, sectors including construction and manufacturing were allowed to reopen but, with most people still confined to their homes, shops, bars and public spaces will stay closed until at least April 26.
    The government said on Wednesday it would begin to hold meetings with opposition leaders from Thursday on the formation of a “pact for the social and economic reconstruction of Spain.”
    It seeks to unite political parties, unions, companies and regions behind a common economic reconstruction policy and state welfare funding.
    The proposal is inspired by the 1977 “Pacts of Moncloa” – named for the presidential palace in Madrid – which aimed to transform the state-run economy along market lines for the post-Franco dictatorship democratic era.
    For the lockdown to be eased more broadly, officials say testing for the virus has to be expanded to include people who have mild or no symptoms, to track the spread in more detail.
    The government also said last week it would carry out mass antibody tests on the blood of 60,000 randomly chosen people over three weeks, to begin identifying those who might in theory now be immune after exposure to the virus.
    However, health and virology experts are not yet certain about the quality of such tests, or how much immunity such antibodies might provide.
    Spain remains one of the world’s worst-affected countries, with only the United States and Italy recording higher cumulative death tolls than the 18,579 reported on Wednesday.     The official tally of cases rose by just over 5,000 to 177,633, although Fernando Simon, the national emergency coordinator, said the expansion of testing had meant more mild or asymptomatic cases were being recorded.
    Despite signs that public health authorities are slowly getting on top of the pandemic, healthcare workers have had no respite.    In Barcelona, a doctor filed a complaint with police after her vehicle was scrawled with grafitti reading “contagious rat,” El Periodico newspaper reported.
    The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that countries should wait at least two weeks before evaluating the impact of loosening their lockdowns and deciding whether to go further.
    But Spain, having suffered a heavy blow to growth and employment during the euro zone debt crisis, is under acute pressure to restart its economy.
    The IMF said unemployment, already the highest in the European Union, would jump to nearly 21% from 14% last year.
    “Those levels of unemployment are not sustainable,” European Central Bank Vice-President Luis de Guindos told Onda Cero radio.
(Additional reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette, Joan Faus, Emma Pinedo and Jessica Jones; Writing by Luke Baker; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Kevin Liffey)

4/15/2020 Trump says US investigating whether virus came from Wuhan lab by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom
U.S. President Donald Trump addresses the daily coronavirus task force briefing in
the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 15, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his government is trying to determine whether the coronavirus emanated from a lab in Wuhan, China, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Beijing “needs to come clean” on what they know.
    The source of the virus remains a mystery. General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence indicates that the coronavirus likely occurred naturally, as opposed to being created in a laboratory in China, but there is no certainty either way.
    Fox News reported on Wednesday that the virus originated in a Wuhan laboratory not as a bioweapon, but as part of China’s effort to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States.
    This report and others have suggested the Wuhan lab where virology experiments take place and lax safety standards there led to someone getting infected and appearing at a nearby “wet” market, where the virus began to spread.
    At a White House news conference Trump was asked about the reports of the virus escaping from the Wuhan lab, and he said he was aware of them.
    “We are doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation that happened,” he said.
    Asked if he had raised the subject in his conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump said: “I don’t want to discuss what I talked to him about the laboratory, I just don’t want to discuss, it’s inappropriate right now.”
    Trump has sought to stress strong U.S. ties with China during the pandemic as the United States has relied on China for personal protection equipment desperately needed by American medical workers.
    As far back as February, the Chinese state-backed Wuhan Institute of Virology pushed dismissed rumors that the virus may have been artificially synthesized at one of its laboratories or perhaps escaped from such a facility.
    Pompeo, in a Fox News Channel interview after Trump’s news conference, said “we know this virus originated in Wuhan, China,” and that the Institute of Virology is only a handful of miles away from the wet market.
    “We really need the Chinese government to open up” and help explain “exactly how this virus spread,” said Pompeo.
    “The Chinese government needs to come clean,” he said.
    The broad scientific consensus holds that SARS-CoV-2, the virus’ official name, originated in bats.
    Trump and other officials have expressed deep skepticism of China’s officially declared death toll from the virus of around 3,000 people, when the United States has a death toll of more than 20,000 and rising.
    He returned to the subject on Wednesday, saying the United States has more cases “because we do more reporting.”
    “Do you really believe those numbers in this vast country called China, and that they have a certain number of cases and a certain number of deaths; does anybody really believe that?” he said.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Stephen Coates)

4/16/2020 Oil down $0.20 to $20.42, DOW down 445 to 23,504.

4/16/2020 More info on coronavirus.

4/16/2020 Mexico registers 448 new cases of coronavirus and new 43 deaths: health ministry
FILE PHOTO: Health workers wearing protective gear test people for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a drive-through testing
station, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Monterrey, Mexico April 11, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican health officials reported on Wednesday 448 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 43 new deaths, bringing the country’s total to 5,847 cases and 449 deaths.
    Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said last week the country might have as many as 26,500 people infected with the fast-spreading coronavirus.
    Citing government models, Lopez-Gatell said many who are infected likely did not have symptoms or were not diagnosed.
(Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Sandra Maler)

4/16/2020 ‘Too early’ to lift UK lockdown but coronavirus outbreak peaking, minister says by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton
Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaks during the daily coronavirus disease (COVID-19) digital news conference
in 10 Downing Street, London, Britain April 15, 2020. Andrew Parsons/No 10 Downing Street/Handout via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom’s novel coronavirus outbreak is starting to peak but it is too early to lift the lockdown because the virus would “run rampant” if the government eased social distancing measures, Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Thursday.
    The United Kingdom has the fifth highest official death toll from COVID-19 in the world, after the United States, Italy, Spain and France, though the figure only covers hospital fatalities and the real number is probably much higher.
    “We think it is too early to make a change,” Hancock said.    “While we’ve seen a flattening of the number of cases, and thankfully a flattening of the number of deaths, that hasn’t started to come down yet.”
    “If we just released all the measures now, then this virus would run rampant once again and we can’t let that happen.”
    While Prime Minister Boris Johnson recuperates at a country residence from COVID-19 complications that nearly cost him his life, the British government is due to discuss a review of the lockdown later on Thursday.
    Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is deputising for Johnson, has already made clear there will be no immediate lifting of the social distancing measures announced on March 23.
    Raab will chair a cabinet meeting at 1000 GMT at which the government’s chief scientist will update ministers.    Later in the afternoon Raab will chair an emergency response meeting to discuss the lockdown.
SOCIAL DISTANCING
    The United Kingdom’s hospital death toll from COVID-19 rose by 761 to 12,868 as of 1600 on April 14, the health ministry said.    Broader statistics that include deaths in care homes and in the community suggest the total toll is much larger.
    The most stringent restrictions in British peacetime history have effectively closed down much of the world economy, and the United Kingdom is heading towards its deepest depression in three centuries.
    As leaders around the world begin to contemplate ways to exit the shutdown, epidemiologists have cautioned that a second wave of the outbreak could endanger the weak and elderly.
    Neil Ferguson, a professor of mathematical biology at Imperial College London who advises the government, said Britain would probably have to maintain some level of social distancing until a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is available.
    “It is not going to be going back to normal,” Ferguson told BBC radio.    “We will have to maintain some level of social distancing, a significant level of social distancing, probably indefinitely until we have a vaccine available.”
    “If we relax measures too much then we will see a resurgence in transmission,” he said.    “If we want to reopen schools, let people get back to work then we need to keep the transmission down in another manner.”
    GlaxoSmithKline Chief Executive Officer Emma Walmsley said on Wednesday that a vaccine was unlikely to be ready before the second half of 2021.
(Additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan and William Schomberg; writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; Editing by Gareth Jones)

4/16/2020 Europe’s scramble for face masks prompts longer term rethink by Ludwig Burger
Employees of the city administration of Kamenz pack protection masks for sending by mail to the households of the city, as the
spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Kamenz, Germany, April 9, 2020. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – As countries scramble for face masks to protect their healthcare workers from the coronavirus, German and U.S. manufacturers in Europe are seeing an opportunity more permanently to take on big Asian rivals and bring mask production closer to home.
    Treating a single COVID-19 patient requires the daily use of about 15 so-called N95 masks, according to recommendations https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/novel-coronavirus-personal-protective-equipment-needs-healthcare-settings.pdf by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).    With about 700,000 Europeans living with the infection, that translates into a daily need for about 10 million N95 masks, or more than 3.8 billion a year.
    Both the heavy duty N95 respirator masks, also known as FFP2, and simpler surgical masks require a fine synthetic meltblown fabric used as filters.
    Germany’s family-owned Innovatec GmbH & Co. KG is due in mid-June to boost production of the fabric while U.S. packaging group Berry Global and Germany’s unlisted Sandler AG, plan to bring new European production lines for the filtering fabric on stream in August.
    Unlike many manufacturers that have stepped into medical equipment temporarily to meet unexpected soaring demand, Innovatec said it was looking at long term production, aiming to boost output of meltblown polypropylene to enable additional production of 2 billion masks per year.
    Due to Asia’s dominance in production of medical protective gear, masks have not been a focus for Innovatec.    Only a few of the company’s production lines can be quickly retooled from their would-be industrial use to make mask-grade material.
    “Now many are frantically looking for raw materials,” said Daniel Krumme, Innovatec’s managing director.
    Krumme has repurposed two machines, ordered last year to make filter media for industrial clients, to produce mask components.    Starting mid-June, they will create 2,000 tonnes in additional annual output capacity.
    Bavaria-based Sandler AG said it is investing in a production line to make meltblown for up to 800 million masks per year, though the start of production is not expected before August.
    U.S. firm Berry said it would boost meltblown output for N95 masks in Biesheim, France, also from August, serving Europe and adjacent regions.    Like Innovatec, Berry is pivoting from serving industrial air filtration customers to medical masks.
    Innovatec said it would likely add another 1,000 tonnes of annual meltblown output from November.
    U.S. rival Hollingsworth & Vose Co. as well as Germany’s unlisted Freudenberg SE also make meltblown in Europe and have said they are working to boost output of mask materials.    Europe-based businesses such as Innovatec and Berry are counting on public-sector commitments to ensure that buying local will outlive the pandemic.
    “We do believe countries will re-localize face mask production given the experience gained from this crisis,” said Cedric Ballay, Berry’s General Manager for Health, Hygiene, & Specialties for the region.
    European governments are seeking to nurture a domestic mask industry after running into fierce competition with U.S. buyers for shipments from Asia.
    Germany has said it will foot 30% of the investment bill for companies that manage to get production of the coveted filter fabric started before year-end.
(Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke in Berlin, Joern Poltz in Munich, Roxanne Liu in Beijing;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

4/16/2020 Greatest number of England and Wales coronavirus deaths among old, male and infirm: data
FILE PHOTO: A member of medical staff is seen walking on Harley street as the spread of coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues in London, Britain, April 15, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley
    LONDON (Reuters) – Deaths from the novel coronavirus in England and Wales in March were highest among the old, those with underlying health conditions and men, according to official data published on Thursday.
    England and Wales have so far recorded more than 12,000 deaths in hospital from the coronavirus, but official data has shown the true death toll is far higher when deaths in the community, such as nursing homes, are included.
    Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis of all deaths registered so far in March found that 8% involved coronavirus, making it the third most frequent underlying cause of death after Dementia and Alzheimer disease and coronary heart disease.
    Of the 3,912 deaths involving the coronavirus, it was determined to be the underlying cause of death in 86% of cases.
    Just over 90% of those who died had at least one pre-existing health condition, with coronary heart disease the most common.    The death rate among males from the coronavirus was double that of females, the ONS said.
    The data also showed the rate of death increasing significantly in each age group from 55 upwards in males and 65 upwards in females.    One in five deaths were in the 80 to 84 years age group, and there no deaths among those aged under 14.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

4/16/2020 Twenty sailors remain in hospital after French navy coronavirus outbreak
Medical staff of the French Army and Marseille firefighters do tests for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to sailors of
French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, who are confined at the Pole Ecoles Mediterranee (PEM) schools in Saint-Mandrier-sur-Mer,
near Toulon, France, April 14, 2020. Marine Nationale/French Defense Ministry/Jonathan Bellenand/Handout via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – Around 20 French sailors remain in hospital following a large outbreak of the coronavirus in the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle’s naval group, a spokesman for the French navy said on Thursday.
    “There are about 20 at the moment in hospital. Out of the 20, one is in the re-animation ward and in a stable case,” spokesman Eric Lavault told RMC radio.
    On Wednesday, the French armed forces ministry said 1,767 marines – nearly all from the Charles de Gaulle carrier itself – had been evaluated and at least 668 had tested positive for the virus.
    The Charles de Gaulle set sail for the eastern Mediterranean on Jan. 21 to support French military operations against Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria, before deploying to the Atlantic and then the Baltic.
    There it participated in exercises with northern European navies in the Baltic Sea before returning to Toulon two weeks earlier than planned after crew members showed signs of COVID-19 symptoms.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Jason Neely)

4/16/2020 Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 2,866, deaths by 315: RKI
Medical employees collect a swab at a newly opened corona special test center for Dresden public service
employees such as police officers, nurses and firefighters, amid the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) in Dresden, eastern Germany, April 15, 2020. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases have risen by 2,866 to 130,450, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Thursday, meaning the number of new infections rose for a second consecutive day.
    The reported death toll has risen by 315 to 3,569, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin)

4/16/2020 Reports: Intelligence officials investigating possible Chinese laboratory origins of COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
In this Sunday, April 12, 2020, photo, workers are seen at a production line for masks at the Wuhan Zonsen Medical Products Co. Ltd.
in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. China won’t restrict exports of medical goods needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic, a
government spokesman said Thursday, April 16, 2020, amid global tension over scarce masks and ventilators. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
    The widespread effect COVID-19 has had on the world has been undeniable, but what remains a question is exactly where and how it began.    The city of Wuhan, China has been identified as the epicenter of the pandemic, while the virus has frequently been tied to the city’s so-called wet markets.
    Back in February, congressman Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) suggested the virus originated in a high-security biochemical laboratory in Wuhan.    The theory was largely dismissed until recently when reports emerged stating intelligence officials are investigating that very possibility.
    According to individuals briefed on the subject, classified and open documents as well as evidence suggest the virus was not developed as a bioweapon, but as a naturally occurring strain being studied in a Wuhan laboratory.    The reports go on to say patient zero contracted the virus at the lab and then went into the Wuhan population.
    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley said on Tuesday that evidence seems to indicate a natural origin of the virus, but it’s something intelligence officials are taking a “hard look at.”    China on Thursday denied the claims of a lab-made virus.
    “The head of WHO has repeatedly said there’s no evidence that the coronavirus was made in a lab,” stated Zhao Lijian, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry.    “Many well-known medical experts in the world also believe that claims of the so-called laboratory leaks have no scientific basis.”
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper noted the origin of the virus is inconclusive at this point, but said if China had been more forthright in the early stages then it would have helped everyone stay ahead of the infection.
    “I find it hard to trust much of what comes out of the Chinese Communist Party, they’ve been misleading us,” he stated.    “They’ve been opaque if you will, from the early days of this virus, so I don’t have much faith that they’re even being truthful with us now.”
FILE – In this April 1, 2020, file photo, Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing
Room of the White House in Washington. The U.S. military is bracing for a months-long struggle against the coronavirus. It is looking for
novel ways to maintain a defensive crouch that protects the health of troops without breaking their morale. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    President Trump was questioned about the possible lab origins of the virus on Wednesday, when he said it’s a story he’s been hearing.
    “More and more we’re hearing the story and we’ll see,” he stated.    “When you say multiple sources, there’s a case where you can use the word sources, but we’re doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation that happened.”
    The president, however, said he wasn’t willing to talk about his conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the matter.
    “I don’t want to discuss what I talked to him about the laboratory,” he said.    “I just don’t want to discuss it, it’s inappropriate right now.”
    Reports have said if the virus did come from a lab, intelligence officials are trying to figure out if patient zero was infected by accident or if poor handling of materials let to others becoming infected.

4/16/2020 Leaked CDC, FEMA plan outlines reopening of economy by OAN Newsroom
A man wears his mask as he walks in downtown Salt Lake City Thursday, April 9, 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now advising Americans
to voluntarily wear a basic cloth or fabric face mask to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
    A guideline developed by the CDC and FEMA has outlined a national strategy to reopen the country.    The document focuses on adjusting mitigation measures as Americans experience financial losses due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
    The plan laid out strategies to lift stay-at-home orders carefully and stressed the importance of adjusting mitigation efforts on a “community-by-community.” basis.
    President Trump has touted promising signs the U.S. is nearing the other end of the curve.    He recently made the following remarks on localized case numbers:
    “New cases are declining throughout the New York metropolitan area. Cases in the Detroit and Denver metro areas are flat.    Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and St. Louis are showing great signs of progress and new cases in Houston and New Orleans are declining.    The battle continues, but the data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases.”
    The three phase plan detailed guidelines to reopening communities, which would require low infection rates and a surveillance system capable of detecting any increase in cases.
    Phase one, which is currently in place, emphasized social distancing protocols and limited travel.    Phase two, which is set to be initiated in mid-May, focused on the mass production of test kits and protective gear as well as the establishment of a COVID-19 workforce to provide surge support to local health departments.
    Communities can then move on to a third phase of the plan, which detailed a staged reopening. Low mitigation communities, where a significant spread of the virus was never observed, will be able to reopen first.
    Earlier this week, President Trump said he believes at least 20 states are in good shape to lift stay-at-home orders.
    “But there are numerous states that are in great shape right now, they’re viewing the rest of the country like we don’t even believe this is happening,” said the president.    “We have a lot of those states, they’re set to open practically now.”
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the Rose Garden of the
White House, Wednesday, April 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Meanwhile, moderate mitigation locations will not likely open before June, but will allow a gradual reopening of child care facilities, general work places and college campuses.
    According to the guide, significant mitigation communities, areas considered “hot spots” for the virus, must remain in shelter-in-place orders until certain conditions are met.
    Regardless of COVID-19 risk, local officials are advised to occasionally return to stricter mitigation efforts such as stay-at-home orders or lock-downs for brief periods at a time in the event of a surge in cases.

4/16/2020 Republicans slam Democrats for holding Paycheck Protection Program hostage as funds run out by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 3, 2020, file photo, the seats and aisles are empty as seen through the window of
the closed Penndot Drivers License Center in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)
    According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Paycheck Protection Program has run out of money.    The SBA said it’s currently unable to accept new applications after receiving more than 1.6 million applications and maxing out the $349 billion of funding.
    The program allows small businesses to keep their employees on payroll and protects benefits like employer-based health care.    The program exhausted its funds fully on Thursday.
    Republicans in Congress are pushing to immediately approve an additional $250 billion of funding, but Democrats are stalling the process.    Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) have slammed the left for holding the bill hostage.
    The lawmakers issued a statement Wednesday highlighting the urgent need to refund this portion of the ‘CARES Act’ without changing its underlying policies.    They argued that the bill would unanimously pass if Democrats would stop demanding changes.
    McCarthy noted that they are only looking to add more money to the program, so Americans can stay employed.    Meanwhile, lawmakers in the House of Representatives have continued to go head-to-head over Republican’s request to replenish the program.
    A vote on the matter is expected to take place Friday.

4/16/2020 Judicial Watch subpoenas Google in Clinton email lawsuit by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This Tuesday, July 19, 2016, file photo shows the Google logo at the
company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
    Judicial Watch revealed it has subpoenaed Google as the latest move into its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s missing government emails.    The watchdog group confirmed it served the subpoena against the tech giant Wednesday after receiving authorization by a D.C. federal court.
    That subpoena called on Google to produce all of Clinton’s records from a company-owned account believed to contain the former secretary of state’s emails.    IT specialist Paul Combetta from the Denver-based Platte River Networks used that Google account to transfer Clinton’s emails from a laptop to a private network server and then used software to remove all traces of those records from the device.
    “Because you may remember that one of her vendors, I think it was Paul Combetta, sent (according to the reports) all her emails to a Google email account,” explained Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.    “So the judge says, ‘well ya know, maybe there are emails over there, go subpoena Google,’ so, we’re gonna find out.”
    Specifically, the subpoena seeks access to all of Clinton’s emails from her time at the State Department between 2009 and 2013.    Fitton said the federal court authorized the subpoena as it was “tired of the state and Justice Department’s gamesmanship.”
    This is just the latest update on the group’s investigation, which seeks records and related-documents concerning talking points and updates on the Benghazi attack.    While it remains unclear whether Google will actually comply with the subpoena, the tech giant has until May 13 to produce the emails.

4/16/2020 Explainer: Who’s WHO? The World Health Organization under scrutiny by Kate Kelland
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting
on update on the coronavirus outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) is in the spotlight as it champions the global fight against the new coronavirus but faces a funding freeze from U.S. President Donald Trump’s government.
    Here are main features of the WHO and its work:
* What is it?
    The WHO is an agency of the United Nations set up in 1948 to improve health globally.    It has more than 7,000 people working in 150 country offices, six regional offices and its Geneva headquarters.
    Its director general – currently the Ethiopian Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – is elected for a five-year term.    Tedros’ five-year term began on July 1, 2017.
* What does it do?
    The WHO’s stated aim is “to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.”
    It has no power to impose health policies on national governments, but acts as an adviser and offers guidance on best practice in disease prevention and health improvement.
    It has three main strands of work:
– aiming for universal health coverage in every country
– preventing and responding to acute emergencies
– promoting health and wellbeing for all
* What doesn’t it do?
    Like a lot of international institutions, the WHO suffers from false perceptions about its scope and resources.
    The WHO is not “the world’s doctor”: it does not provide treatment or conduct disease surveillance – although it does advise national and international authorities on those matters.
    It has no powers of sanction, and the information it collates and publishes is only as good as the data and expertise it gets from member states and its technical specialists.
* Is every country part of it?
    The WHO has 194 member states: every country except Liechtenstein which is a member of the United Nations but not of its global health agency.    They appoint representatives to The World Health Assembly, which convenes annually and sets WHO policies.        These policies are implemented by the WHO’s Executive Board, composed of members technically qualified in health.
* Who pays for it?
    The WHO’s member states provide funding via two routes: assessed contributions and voluntary contributions.    The WHO’s budgets are biennial, spanning two years.    Its 2020-2021 budget is almost $4.85 billion, up 9% from the previous two-year period.
    Assessed contributions are calculated on the basis of a country’s wealth and population, while voluntary contributions are often targeted by the donor at specific regions or diseases – such as polio, malaria, or infant mortality in poor areas.
    Philanthropic foundations and multinational groups such as the European Commission are also major donors to the WHO.
    The United States is the biggest overall donor and had contributed more than $800 million by the end of 2019 for the 2018-2019 biennial funding period.    The Gates Foundation is the second largest donor, followed by Britain.
. * What are seen as its major successes and failures?
    The WHO is widely credited with leading a 10-year campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s and has also led global efforts to end polio, a battle that is in its final stages.
    In the past few years, the WHO has also coordinated battles against viral epidemics of Ebola in Congo and Zika in Brazil.
    In the current COVID-19 disease outbreak, while many have praised the WHO’s leadership, Trump has accused it of being China-centric and giving bad advice about the emerging pandemic.
    This week, Trump said the WHO had “failed in its basic duty” and announced a temporary halt to U.S. funding – a move that prompted condemnation from many world leaders.
    In the past, the WHO was accused of overreacting to the 2009-10 H1N1 flu pandemic and also faced widespread criticism for not reacting quickly enough to the vast Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014 that killed more than 11,000 people.
(Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

4/16/2020 Exclusive: As the U.S. shut down, Trump’s legal fight to build wall ramped up by Jarrett Renshaw
FILE PHOTO: Segments of the first border wall in Texas since President Trump took office as seen
near Donna, Texas, U.S. December 8, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas/File Photo
    (Reuters) – Even as the Trump administration was struggling to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, it was ramping up efforts to seize land along U.S. southern border to build a wall and fulfill a major campaign promise, a Reuters review of federal court records shows.
    Donald Trump made building the wall a central promise of his 2016 campaign, but those efforts have been plagued by delays and false promises.    Late last year, the administration got more aggressive, pledging to use the federal courts to seize large swaths of private land, mostly in Texas.
    While most of the U.S. has been slowed by the COVID-19 crisis – which has infected nearly 650,000 Americans and killed at least 32,000 more – Trump’s efforts to construct a southern border wall has only gained steam.
    In the past 12 months, the administration opened 41 cases in federal court to seize land to build a wall along the southern border of Texas.    Nearly half of those cases – 16, or 39 percent – were filed in the past two months.
    The bulk of the new filings came in March, when the administration opened 12 cases, the most in any month under Trump, a Reuters review of federal filings found.
    The administration wants immediate possession, bypassing traditional procedural steps and forcing landowners to move more swiftly, records show.
    Advocates for the landowners say the administration is choosing a bad time to get more aggressive, forcing landowners to choose between leaving their home to fight the case despite statewide stay-at-home guidance or lose their property.
    Also, a successful defense can be expensive, requiring paid experts, lawyers and other professionals at a time the U.S. economy is shedding a record number of jobs.
    “The timing, on a human level, is very bad,” said David Donatti, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Texas who represents a family fighting government seizure of their property.
    Nayda Alvarez, a 49-year-old public school teacher, was served court papers in March.    She and her extended family – including her elderly father who suffers from several health issues – live on 6-acre (2.4-hectare) ranch along the Rio Grande river that the administration wants to take immediately.
    “It’s very scary.    My hands are tied because we are quarantined and fighting the federal government, literally,” said Alvarez, who is working with the ACLU and another group, the Texas Civil Rights Project, in her defense.
    She was preparing to go to federal court on Tuesday, donning a mask and gloves, but her lawyers were able to delay the hearing until June.
    Unlike in other states, most of the U.S. borderland in Texas is privately owned, which has delayed wall construction by the U.S. Army     Corps of Engineers.    Federal lawyers have had to comb property records, track down landowners, make offers to buy the land and — if owners refuse to sell — file lawsuits to seize the land.
    The White House did not respond to requests for comments for this story.
    In recent weeks, Trump has made the case that the global pandemic only proves the need for stronger borders.    On March 12, he retweeted a follower’s commentary linking the health scare to the need for strong borders and added “We need the Wall more than ever!
    Three Democratic lawmakers representing congressional districts along the U.S.-Mexico border recently called on the Trump administration to temporarily pause the legal efforts.
    “To put vulnerable families already suffering at disproportionate rates at this time is simply unconscionable,” the lawmakers wrote in an April 8 letter to the departments of Justice, Defense and Homeland Security.
    Immigration and border security has been a top issue for Republicans for the last few years.    Yet now it appears to be overshadowed by concerns about healthcare as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the country.
    When asked what they considered to be “most important problem facing the U.S. today,” 18% of Republicans said healthcare in an April 13-14 Reuters/Ipsos poll, up 3 percentage points from a similar poll that ran Feb. 19-25, while 15% said it was immigration, down 10 points from the February poll.
(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw, Editing by Soyoung Kim and Jonathan Oatis)

4/16/2020 State residents protesting Democrat governors’ ‘unconstitutional overreach’ with stay-at-home orders by OAN Newsroom
Steve Polet holds a sign during a protest at the State Capitol in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, April 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
    People across the U.S. are standing up in protest against many Democrat governors.    Residents are now asking local leaders to reopen state economies and ease strict social distancing policies.     In Kentucky this week, protesters gathered outside of Democrat Governor Andy Beshear’s press briefing in Frankfurt.    They interrupted his press conference and demanded they be allowed to return to work.
    “On the broadcast, there’s some noise in the background.    We do have some folks in Kentucky today, and everybody should be able to express their opinion, that believe we should reopen Kentucky immediately right now.    Folks, that would kill people.” – Andy Beshear, Governor of Kentucky
THIS VIDEO WOULD NOT PLAY I GUESS BESHEAR DID NOT WANT IT SEEN

A passenger in a vehicle holds a sign during a protest at the State Capitol
in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, April 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
    In North Carolina this week, at least one demonstrator was arrested for violating Democrat Governor Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home executive order.    The Raleigh Police Department came under fire after the protest for tweeting “protesting is not listed as an essential function.”    Many pointed out freedom of assembly is a constitutional right.
    According to a local source, hundreds of people came together in downtown Raleigh on Tuesday.    They claimed Cooper’s executive order was an “unconstitutional overreach.”
    “Enough is enough, you know, this has definitely gone on long enough,” stated one protester.    “If I have exactly what I want right now, I would ask the governor to get out of North Carolina’s way and let us get back to work.”
    Demonstrations like these appear to be inspiring groups in other states to hold their own protests.    Future protests against Democrat Governors Jay Inslee in Washington and Kate Brown in Oregon are scheduled for this upcoming weekend.
Thursday, April 16, 2020. (Daniel Sangjib Min/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
    Virginia State police officer asks protesters to keep the social distance during the ReOpen Virginia protest at the Capitol Square in Richmond, Va.

4/16/2020 Milwaukee DNC host committee cuts staff by half by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this July 26, 2016, file photo the stage is reflected on a glass window on the suite level at Wells Fargo Arena as Timmy Kelly sings the
national anthem before the start of the second day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)
    The host committee for this year’s Democrat National Convention has cut 50 percent of its staff.    The Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee confirmed the news on Thursday as it struggles to organize the event amid the coronavirus pandemic.
    It’s reducing its staff from 31 to just 14 fulltime employees.    Some of those staffers were offered jobs with the DNC, but six were completely laid off.
    The convention was originally scheduled for July, but was pushed to August due to the pandemic.
    “We have a global pandemic, so we are changing our tactics, but we’re not changing our goals.    We’ve trained 8,000 digital organizers in the last three or four weeks, we continue to do that.    We have laid a foundation to enable us to communicate with voters.    We’re not knocking on doors, that’s for sure, but we’re communicating through alternative means.” – Tom Perez, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
    Some Democrats doubt an in person event will even take place.    Others, like presumptive nominee Joe Biden, have suggested moving it to a virtual platform.

4/16/2020 President Trump talks reopening economy with G7, U.S. governors & lawmakers by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Washington,
as Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, listen. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump is advancing talks with world leaders, lawmakers and U.S. governors as he pushes to reopen the U.S. economy.
    On Thursday, the president held a video conference with his G7 counterparts amid the ongoing gradual reopening of economies across Europe.    He also spoke with governors and discussed the economic recovery plan with members of Congress.
    According to reports, during his call with the state leaders, the president told them they would call their own shots on how and when they would lift their respective stay-at-home orders, which have crippled the American economy.
    The White House has since issued documents titled “Opening Up America Again,” which laid out guidelines in three phases.
    The president reportedly acknowledged some states have been hit harder than other by the virus, but said some states could have their economies up and running again by May 1st.
President Donald Trump listens as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the
coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    This came as the number of unemployed Americans surged to 22 million people during virus related shutdowns.    President Trump has appointed a bipartisan congressional task force to help reopen the economy.
    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) have reportedly been recruited among many others, including Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). Representatives John Larson (D-Conn.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), Steve Scalise (R-La.), Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and many more will also play a role.
    The news came after President Trump spoke to each chamber of Congress in a phone call earlier on Thursday.

4/16/2020 Senate adjourns with no deal on small business loan programs as funds run out by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 27, 2020, file photo the Capitol is seen as House lawmakers prepare to debate
emergency coronavirus response legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    The Senate failed to reach an agreement for billions in additional small business funding on Thursday, pushing the fight into next week.     Some senators briefly convened, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) adjourned without a second attempt at pushing a deal through.
    An emergency loan program for small businesses hit its $350 billion ceiling earlier in the day, putting it on hold.
    According to the Small Business Administration, it’s processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days and by law will not be able to do any more until it’s appropriated the funds.
    However, raising the money will be no easy task.
    “We’ve had more than 1.6 million loans, that’s 1.6 million small businesses who got money,” explained Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).    “75 percent of that money actually goes to keeping people employed, …but as we asked for more money, the Democrats said no.”
    Last week, Democrats blocked an attempt by Republicans to pass an extra $250 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. Democrats want double the amount for hospitals, states and food assistance.
    “It’s absolutely surreal to see Democratic leaders treat support for workers and small businesses as something they need to be goaded into supporting,” stated Sen. McConnell.    “This really should be above politics.”
FILE – In this April 2, 2020 file photo, a notice of closure is posted at The Great Frame Up in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
    The stalemate is expected to last at least until Monday, when the Senate will return for another pro forma session.    However, Republicans are unlikely to back down from their demands for a bill that only includes funds for small businesses.
    Following this news, President Trump tweeted that Democrats “i>are killing American small businesses.”    He urged leaders in the party to “stop playing politics” and “support refilling” the loan program.
    Despite GOP resistance, Democrats may still get the concessions they’re seeking.    On Thursday, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) stated President Trump told senators he’s open to including money other than for the PPP.
    Until now, the president and treasury secretary avoided breaking with GOP leaders’ stance on the issue.    Now, the president appears to be warming up to the idea of attaching $100 billion for hospitals and $150 billion for local budgets.
    The money would be added to the new $250 billion Republicans are seeking for small business loans.

4/16/2020 Trump Jr.: Biden & friends put China first for decades by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Dec. 5, 2013, file photo, then-Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with U.S. Ambassador to China
Gary Locke during a business leaders breakfast at The St. Regis Beijing hotel in Beijing. (AP Photo/Lintao Zhang, Pool)
    Donald Trump Jr. has drawn attention to a campaign ad that questioned Joe Biden’s ties to China.    On Thursday, the Trump Organization’s vice chair said Biden is controlled by the D.C. establishment and has been involved in corrupt dealings with Beijing.
    According to Trump Jr., Biden and his allies want to take down President Trump because he’s standing up to China.
    “Now more than ever, America must stop China,” stated the ad’s narrator.    “To stop China, you have to stop Joe Biden.”
    For their part, Trump campaign officials called the former vice president “Beijing Joe,” saying his presidency would be a disaster.
    The president’s son went on to say if Biden were president, he would make political and economic concessions to Beijing.

4/16/2020 G7 seeks WHO review and reform, commits to coordinated virus response: White House
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the Emergency
Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leaders from the G7 group of industrialized nations on Thursday called for a review and reform process at the World Health Organization and agreed to ensure a coordinated global approach to the coronavirus pandemic, the White House said.
    “G7 leaders agreed to remain committed to taking every necessary measure to ensure a strong and coordinated global response to this health crisis and the associated humanitarian and economic calamity and to launch a strong and sustainable recovery,” the White House said in a statement after a video conference call between the leaders.
    “The leaders recognized that the G7 nations annually contribute more than a billion dollars to the World Health Organization (WHO), and much of the conversation centered on the lack of transparency and chronic mismanagement of the pandemic by the WHO.    The leaders called for a thorough review and reform process,” it said.
    President Donald Trump announced earlier this week that the United States would suspend its funding to the WHO while it conducted a review of its handling of the pandemic.
    The decision prompted condemnation from world leaders.
    Trump has sought to blame the WHO for mismanaging the crisis and not doing more to press China for transparency when the virus first took hold.    The president has faced criticism for playing down the severity of the virus himself in its early stages.    He has also been complimentary of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s handling of the issue.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Paul Simao and Lisa Shumaker)

4/17/2020 Oil down $0.32 to $19.83, DOW up 33 to 23.538.

4/17/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

4/17/2020 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC - Group protests COVID-19 restrictions - ‘We are losing our rights as - Kentuckians,’ online flyer says by Phillip M. Bailey, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    Carrying loud horns and Gadsden flags with the “Don’t Tread on Me” message, protesters who turned out Wednesday in Frankfort during Gov. Andy Beshear’s daily update are adding a new wrinkle to the Bluegrass State’s battle against COVID-19.
    The Facebook group “Kentucky is Open for Business” promoted a Friday “Caravan at the Capital” event to its roughly 3,400 members before the page was deleted.
    It looks to be an even larger demonstration than the one that rattled the governor’s supporters Wednesday and drowned out part of his press conference inside the Capitol.
    “We are losing our rights as Kentuckians,” said an online flyer, provided to The Courier Journal by a source within the group. “Andy needs to know he works for us!!!
    The caravan is scheduled for Friday morning, according to the flyer, and calls for participants to “make some noise” and flood the area with vehicles.
    On Thursday, things were pretty quiet outside the Capitol before Beshear began his daily coronavirus briefing.    But it was clear the administration had made some changes in the wake of the unexpected protest the day before.
    Several Kentucky State Police troopers stood watch, and caution tape had been posted around a wide swath of lawn where protesters had stood Wednesday, effectively roping it off to ward off another gathering there.
    Yellow barricades had been set up to block people from entering the area that surrounds the windows of the room where Beshear gives his briefings at 5 p.m. each afternoon.
    Dr. Steven Stack, the state health commissioner, said in statement Thursday he asked state troopers to provide Kentuckians with an alternative option to demonstrate.
    “I am saddened that COVID-19 has so severely disrupted our society and am deeply respectful of our right to gather to express different opinions,” Stack said.
    Under the changes, Stack said, those wishing to protest must remain in their vehicles, but a “drive-in and drivethrough option” will be allowed on the top floor Capitol parking garage.
    Participants must remain in their vehicles and stay in designated parking areas, he said.
    “These options allow people to use their voices and be heard while protecting the public health,” Stack said.
    Beshear has been called everything from Mister Rogers to Darth Vader for his handling of the contagion.    And while the governor has been praised by many for keeping the focus on the health and lives of Kentuckians, some libertyminded residents say he needs to be more responsive to their concerns.
    “People are frustrated, and they’re not having input on this at all because the governor is dictating,” said Scott Hofstra, spokesman for the United Kentucky Tea Party.
    Hofstra, of Vine Grove, said those who participated in Wednesday’s protests are a coalition of small business owners, military veterans and concerned parents.    Many have poured their entire life savings into their businesses, he said, and have a right to express themselves, even in the face of social distancing guidelines.
    “The governor is putting a higher priority on locking the entire state down for a virus that, as of a day or so ago, had a death rate that is 1/6th of the traffic accidents in Kentucky,” Hofstra said.
    As of Thursday, 129 people have died from the coronavirus in Kentucky compared to 724 who died from traffic accidents in 2018, according to state statistics.
    Other conservatives say the protests will continue to balloon until Beshear begins to adopt a state strategy that includes an exit ramp.
    Sarah Durand, director of government affairs with the Bluegrass Institute , a conservative-leaning policy group, said she is concerned about the coronavirus and its death toll, but also about the governor overreaching his authority.
    The rally that sprung up in Kentucky, she said, represents the right of Americans — even during a crisis — to question their elected leaders.
    “We can’t just shut everything down to save lives,” Durand said.    “We have to also protect liberty.”
    Durand, who previously worked in former Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration, said entrepreneurs and their employees also feel the state government is favoring big corporations over small businesses.
    She pointed out, as an example, how major grocery chains and hardware stores have been deemed essential while others are being locked out of making a living.
    “Walmart isn’t the engine that keeps us running,” Durand said.    “It’s the millions of small businesses.”
    Multiple states have seen protests pop up against stay-a-home orders meant to curb the contagion.    Demonstrators say they are angry about the economic ramifications the restrictions have caused.
    The U.S. Labor Department reported 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week alone.    And the $349 billion emergency stimulus program aimed at helping small businesses hit by the pandemic has already run dry, according to multiple reports.
    Political consultant Cody Patterson said while the governor’s briefings have been comforting for many in Kentucky, the protests represent a legitimate fear held by many who have put their entire savings into their businesses.
    Those individuals are simply trying to express themselves, and get their elected officials to respond with a plan as businesses fail, people are laid off and savings accounts dry up, he said.
    “People are scared when they don’t know what’s going to happen in the future,” Patterson said.    “And because we were doing so well up until the virus hit, that’s been completely taken away from people.”
    Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday the Buckeye State will begin reopening its economy on May 1.    He said it will have to be done with care to ensure the state doesn’t experience a spike in new cases or hospitalizations.
    Patterson said a lot of the pressure would come off Beshear if he gave a reopening date that could change based on health outcomes.    He said that would give residents a goal to rally behind.
    “Because right now, all they have to look forward to is 5 o’clock,” he said.
    The impatience in Kentucky isn’t only coming from die-hard conservative activists.
    Former gubernatorial candidate Adam Edelen, who lost to Beshear in the 2019 Democratic primary, continued to speak out online about COVID-19’s economic woes.
    He noted how in four weeks the virus has created 22 million jobless Americans.
    “In 8 years under (Ronald) Reagan, 16 million new jobs created.    In 8 years under (Bill) Clinton, 22 million new jobs created,” Edelen tweeted on Thursday.    “... We’ve got to have bipartisan national and state strategies for rebuilding the economy post-coronavirus.”
    Beshear appears to have gotten the message to a degree when he talked up a burgeoning partnership with the governors of Ohio and Indiana.     He said Thursday the three are working on reopening each states’ economies.
    “We care about our people,” Beshear tweeted on Thursday.    “No more politics.    Let’s do what’s best to get through this.”br>     Republican strategist Tres Watson, a frequent Beshear critic, said the people who organized Wednesday’s rally may come from the “political fringes,” but the governor must still spend more time addressing those economic fears.
    “There will always be people who will want to protest out of blind partisanship,” he said.    “But setting those aside, if the governor earns the confidence of the people that he is working on plans for the economy as hard as he is on fighting the virus, it will be fine and the protests will die down.”
    Beshear has plenty of political capital to spend as the Democratic base is rallying behind him online, using the hashtag #ITrustAndy.    The governor’s image is being paraded in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s reelection TV spots as a sign of bipartisan cooperation.
    With the legislative session coming to a close, GOP insiders say the polarization may also thaw as Beshear is seen working with Republican governors in other states.
    “What I do hope is that (the protests) made him more aware than he was before of mounting frustrations,” Watson said.    “I hope he’ll find more ways to earn the continued trust of people to stay the course with social distancing and the other steps he’s put into place to stop the spread of the virus."
    “He can do that by giving people confidence that he’s got plans in place to restart the economy, not just an endless fight against the virus.”
    Reporter Morgan Watkins contributed to this story.
    Reach Phillip M. Bailey at pbailey@ courier-journal.com or 502-582-4475. Follow him on Twitter at @phillipmbailey.
About 100 people turned out at the state Capitol on Wednesday to protest the governor's handling
of the pandemic, particularly its effect on the Kentucky economy. MATT STONE/COURIER JOURNAL

4/17/2020 Mexico could have nearly 56,000 coronavirus cases: health ministry
A woman stands on the street as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
continues, in Mexico City, Mexico April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Thursday that the country might have as many as 55,951 people infected with the fast-spreading novel coronavirus, twice the estimated number reported last week.
    Mexican health officials reported 450 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 37 new deaths, bringing the country’s total to 6,297 confirmed cases and 486 deaths.
    Citing government models, Lopez-Gatell has said many who are infected likely did not have symptoms or were not diagnosed.
(Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher and Diego Ore; Editing by Leslie Adler)

4/17/2020 Investigation into Steele dossier continues, Republican senators demand intel docs on ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ by OAN Newsroom
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is pictued. (Andrew Harnik/ AP Photo)
    The infamous report filled with anonymous sources that alleged President Trump colluded with Russian operatives during the 2016 election, otherwise known as the Steele dossier, was backed and paid for by the Clinton campaign.
    After three-plus years of investigating, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Minn.) are demanding answers.
    In a recent letter to to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the two Republican chairman requested that Wray turn over all intelligence documents that led the probe in to the Trump campaign — otherwise code-named as “Crossfire Hurricane.”
    The request came after revelations indicating that the FBI was aware of Russian operatives feeding disinformation to the lap of ex-spy Christopher Steele.
    If you have watched any interview of former FBI Director James Comey and his successor Andrew McCabe dating back to 2018, there is no mention of this inkling of information.    Instead, they flocked to hear say.
    “I’m about to talk with him about allegations that he was involved with prostitutes in Moscow, and that the Russians taped it and have leverage over him,” said Comey.
File- Former FBI Director James Comey is pictured. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)
    Or they boasted of “such sources.”    When told that it was not intended to be a definitive document, McCabe said, “you’re absolutely right…it is raw source reporting… Steele presented it as such, we knew Steele was working a number of different sources, some of which had sub sources and sub-sub sources.”
    Sen. Grassley and Sen. Johnson relayed their concerns by noting their disturbance by the “grossly inaccurate” statements made by those in charge.    The pair of Republican lawmakers said Wray has until the end of April to send over what could be damning information.
[Lets see which side FBI Director Chris Wray is on.    Either the Trump administration or the DEEP STATE, who brought him in 2017 after Comey was fired, and recently has stalled on some of the investigations by Trump's people.    So maybe now we will start getting the truth.].

4/17/2020 President Trump unveils state guidelines to reopen U.S. economy by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room
of the White House, Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump unveiled a new set of guidelines to help states across the nation ease up on social distancing regulations and slowly reopen.    The White House distributed the document to governors on Thursday, following the president’s phone call with the state leaders.
    “Now that we have passed the peak in new cases, we’re starting our life again,” stated the president.    “We’re starting rejuvenation of our economy again, in a safe and structured, and very responsible fashion.”
    The guidelines, titled ‘Opening Up America Again,’ are split into a three phased approach to restoring normal commerce and services, but only in areas that have strong testing and see a decrease in COVID-19 cases.
    “We are not opening all at once, but one careful step at a time and some states will be able to open up sooner than others,” the president explained.    “Some states are not in the kind of trouble that others are in.”
    For phase one, governors must show their states have seen a decrease in confirmed cases over a 14 day period before they can start the reopening process.    Social distancing is still encouraged during this phase, but restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, sporting venues and places of worship can open if they continue to practice strict hygiene and distancing protocols.
A woman wears a mask as she walks past a row of closed small businesses Thursday, April 16, 2020 in
Kansas City, Mo. Many nonessential businesses are hard hit as they remain closed due to stay-at-home orders
put in place in an effort to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
    Additionally, under this phase of the plan hospitals can return to “pre-crisis” conditions, but must have a “robust testing program in place for at-risk health care workers” and emerging antibody testing.
    Meanwhile, phase two suggested schools can reopen, non-essential travel can resume and larger venues can slowly begin easing physical distancing.
    The last and final phase moves to lift all other remaining safety restrictions in place.    This would allow vulnerable parts of the population, such as full-time staffing at work-sites and larger venues, to go back in public.
    While there is no timeline for these phases, President Trump has set May 1 as the target date to reopen parts of the economy.
    “I think we’re gonna have a lot of states open relatively soon…I set a date of May 1st, and, you know, here we are,” said President Trump.    “And I think you’re going to have some nice surprises over the next few days…and that’s big stuff.”
    Ultimately, it will be up to the governors and each individual state to decide when they want to start implementing these phases.

4/17/2020 Jacksonville, Fla. reopens beaches, social distancing guidelines still in effect by OAN Newsroom
Marianna Capobianco Cebrian takes pictures of the sunrise at the Sunny Isles Pier in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
Sunday, April 5, 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic continues. (David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP)
    The mayor of Jacksonville, Florida has reopened the city’s beaches with certain limitations.    In an announcement Thursday, Mayor Lenny Curry said the beaches will reopen Frida, but beachgoers will still be expected to maintain social distancing guidelines.
    The beaches and public parks will be reopened for “essential activities,” including walking, biking, swimming and surfing.    However, gatherings of more than 50 people are still prohibited to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    Mayor Curry said the data for the county is encouraging, but residents must remain patient at this time.
    “Folks, this could be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life, but please respect and follow these limitations,” he stated.    “Stay within the guidelines for your safety as well as for the safety of your neighbors.”
    The beaches will also only be open for five hours in the morning and three hours in the evening.    They are set to close daily at 8 p.m.
    Meanwhile, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ statewide stay-at-home order remains in effect through the end of the month.

4/17/2020 Mexican President Obrador: Country may reopen by summer by OAN Newsroom
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks at the National Palace in Mexico City, Sunday, April 5, 2020.
López Obrador spoke to the nation about his economic recovery plan. (AP Photo / Eduardo Verdugo)
    Mexican officials have suggested they are considering reopening the country’s economy by summer.    On Thursday, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he hopes the Mexican economy can return to normal by June 1.
    Schools and businesses would be included in the reopening, though Lopez Obrador noted that residents should still comply with protective health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    Health experts have recommended that Mexico extend its measures until the end of May.    However, Lopez Obrador said areas with low infection rates can likely return to normal on May 17.
    “It’s a sacrifice, but it’s the most efficient,” stated the Mexican president.    “What we have said from the beginning and from the recommendations of specialists; this pandemic is not going to be cured just in hospitals.”
A city workers sprays disinfectant onto the gates of Chapultepec Park, which has been indefinitely closed to the public, as teams
clean parts of the city which are usually heavily trafficked, in Mexico City, Monday, April 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
    The left-wing Mexican leader has been slammed by business leaders in the country for his modest proposals to protect the Mexican economy.

4/17/2020 Report: WHO praised China for ‘containing’ COVID-19 just before dramatic rise in virus cases worldwide by OAN Newsroom
A volunteer looks out near a Chinese national flag during a farewell ceremony for the last group of medical workers who came from outside Wuhan to help
the city during the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
    According to newly released evidence, the World Health Organization (WHO) director general had a clear pro-Chinese bias at the height of coronavirus pandemic.
    Thursday revealed the director general made a speech back in February, where he praised Mainland China and President Xi Jinping’s handling of COVID-19.    At the time, the WHO was criticizing President Trump for shutting down travel from China.
    In his speech, the WHO chief also claimed China had prevented the global spread of COVID-19.    The official’s remarks were later proven false. In the following weeks, Italy and the U.S. had an explosive surge of coronavirus cases.
    “I mean, the criticism about WHO having been to China friendly in January has come from several quarters,” Gian Luca Burci, former legal counsel for the WHO.    “By now — even though it’s a bit anecdotal, but it seems confirmed — China suppressed and obfuscated and concealed for a good month and a half, so I think that’s a fact.”
    Republican lawmakers have argued that the WHO failed to send experts to China to evaluate the scale of the outbreak and praised China without knowing the full picture.

4/17/2020 In run-down Caracas institute, Venezuela’s coronavirus testing falters by Angus Berwick and Vivian Sequera
People wait in line outside a medical facility to take a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rapid test during a nationwide quarantine
due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Caracas, Venezuela April 15, 2020. Picture taken April 15, 2020. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero
    CARACAS (Reuters) – As coronavirus explodes across Latin America, Venezuela’s leaders have taken to the airwaves to laud the nation’s efforts to control the spread.
    Since it confirmed its first case on March 13, the socialist government says it has performed almost 270,000 tests and is carrying out 25,000 more a day.    Caracas claims that robust testing, along with tough lockdown measures, have given Venezuela one of the lowest incidences of coronavirus in the world – just 204 reported cases and 9 deaths in a country of 29 million people.
    “We are holding Venezuela’s curve steady, thank God,” President Nicolas Maduro said earlier this month.
    The exemplary performance touted by Maduro bears little relation to what some public health workers told Reuters they are seeing on the ground in Venezuela.    They said the nation’s rickety health care system, where some hospitals lack basics like soap and running water, is ill-prepared to confront the deadly pandemic.    Coronavirus has infected more than 2 million people worldwide and killed more than 138,000.
    Reuters spoke with nine senior medical workers and advisors involved in Venezuela’s national coronavirus response, as well as a dozen doctors working in facilities in seven of the country’s largest states.    All requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.
    They described a nationwide testing program that is dependent on a single, overstretched Caracas lab to verify positive test results obtained from 500,000 rapid test kits being deployed in the field.    Only positive tests certified by that public facility – the National Institute of Hygiene – are included in the government’s official coronavirus case count, the people said.
    The fast blood tests, which were donated by the Chinese government and give results within 15 minutes, have allowed Maduro’s government to claim widespread testing, the people said. But they said the Institute can’t keep pace with the retesting workload, creating a backlog that has kept Venezuela’s coronavirus case count artificially low.
    The once-vaunted Institute, hobbled by aging equipment and a shortage of trained staff, can test a maximum of 100 samples per day, according to four of the people with knowledge of the facility.    They said the lab performs the type of molecular tests recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to scan nasal sputum for the virus, and which are considered more reliable than the rapid blood tests.
    In contrast, in neighboring Colombia, the national health institute there said it has carried out more than 52,000 molecular tests across 38 labs nationwide, averaging about 2,550 tests daily in April.
    The people who spoke to Reuters said a number of other Venezuelan labs, including those at universities and private hospitals, have the ability to perform this molecular testing. They claim the government has sidelined these facilities in an effort to centralize control over testing as well as the flow of information about infections.
    Venezuela’s Health and Information ministries did not respond to requests for comment.    The office of the Institute’s director, Lesbia Muro, did not respond to phone calls.
    Muro said in a March news conference that “no other public or private body has the authority” to diagnose coronavirus.    Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said in early March that the Institute was “prepared to carry out all tests necessary.”
(For a graphic on coronavirus cases worldwide, see: https://graphics.reuters.com/CHINA-HEALTH-MAP/0100B59S39E/index.html)
‘WE NEVER KNOW THE REAL FIGURES’
    When the Institute completes a molecular test, it sends the result directly to a presidential commission led by Maduro’s top aides and generals, the body in charge of issuing public updates on COVID-19 cases in Venezuela, according to a person advising that commission and the four people familiar with the Institute’s operations.
    They said the lack of transparency on case counts and fatalities means even top public health officials don’t know how far or how fast the virus is spreading in Venezuela.    Authorities have detained medical workers and opposition politicians who publicly criticized the readiness of their local hospitals.
    “They are keeping this information very close, and we never know the real figures,” said a senior medical worker at a top Caracas health body.    “But you can’t cover the sun with a single finger, and this will reach a point when they can’t hide it.”     In addition, eight of the medical workers who spoke to Reuters claim politics plays a role in distribution of the rapid tests.    They said the government is prioritizing the issuance of the rapid tests to Socialist Party health clinics operated by Maduro loyalists and staffed by doctors on loan from Cuba.
    Reuters was not able to independently verify where all the rapid tests are being shipped.
    Caracas’ University Hospital, the public medical center considered to have the most experienced staff in the country, had received just 20 kits as of April 10, two health workers told Reuters.    The hospital’s director, Earle Siso, did not respond to phone calls and messages.
    A surge in coronavirus cases would easily overwhelm Venezuela’s public health care system, which is on the verge of collapse, thanks to a shattered economy and what critics say is years of mismanagement – a claim the Maduro government denies.
    Public hospitals possess only 80 intensive care beds for the entire country, some senior doctors told Reuters.    The government has given varying figures: In March, Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said it had 1,200 beds; on Monday, Maduro put the number at 4,800.
    Many countries worldwide have seen their COVID-19 cases grow rapidly, particularly populous nations that are testing aggressively.    Venezuela has reported an uptick of only a few additional cases each day since confirming its first infection.
    Martin Llewellyn, an infectious diseases researcher at the University of Glasgow, who has studied Venezuela’s troubled health care system, told Reuters the official numbers don’t add up.
    “I’m deeply skeptical of the government’s testing figures,” Llewellyn said.
    Maduro imposed a nationwide quarantine on March 17, ordering people to stay at home and nonessential businesses to close.    Still, people in poor Caracas neighborhoods are flouting the lockdown to search for food and supplies in crowded markets.
BACKLOGS, SHORTAGES
    Venezuela was once at the forefront of healthcare in the developing world.
    In 1961, the WHO certified that Venezuela had all but eradicated malaria, the first tropical country to do so.
    University Hospital physicians and Institute of Hygiene researchers were regarded as some of the finest in Latin America.
    Changes came with the 1998 election of Hugo Chavez whose “Bolivarian revolution” aimed to help the downtrodden.    Chavez expanded healthcare in poor neighborhoods.    But his government also appointed Socialist Party operatives to lead medical institutions and cut doctors’ salaries.    Many skilled physicians moved abroad, replaced by health workers sent by the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro, a Chavez ally.        Malaria began spreading again, health organizations reported.
    By the time Venezuela’s economy imploded under Maduro, who took over in 2013 upon Chavez’s death, there had been an exodus of top talent from the Institute, medical workers familiar with the situation told Reuters.
    The current virology team consists of three technicians, down from about 20 before the economic slump, the people said.    Working on aging equipment, they detect the coronavirus’s genetic fingerprint using a technique called real time RT-PCR.    They use samples taken from swabs inserted into patients’ noses and throats.
    The technicians conduct original testing on samples sent from medical facilities around the country, and also retest samples from the Chinese rapid tests to confirm the diagnosis.    Two of the medical workers said the Institute had the capacity to test only a tenth of the samples received each day.
    Widespread fuel shortages have prevented hospitals around the country from getting swabs to the Institute within the two-day to three-day window for an accurate diagnosis, according to the doctors who spoke with Reuters.
    The government, they said, has leaned heavily on the rapid tests from China, but distribution of those tests is uneven.
    In western Tachira state, the opposition-run state government told Reuters it has not received a single rapid test.    To the north, in Zulia state, doctors there said local pro-Maduro authorities were only testing state employees.    Out of 70,000 rapid tests the Zulia government says it has received, just 400 were sent to the state’s largest hospital, according to a senior health worker there.
    Representatives for the Maduro government’s appointee to run the Socialist Party’s affairs in Tachira, Freddy Bernal, did not respond to requests for comment.    A spokesman for Zulia’s governor, Omar Prieto, said the rapid tests were available in all medical centers.
    In the western Caracas barrio of Lidice, there is no shortage of tests at the Victorio Orlando Medina clinic, a Socialist Party medical facility.    Its Cuban director, Gissell Enriquez, said the government had provided staff with 600 rapid tests, and the clinic is carrying out about 50 tests each day.
    “If we run out, we can just ask the Health Ministry for more,” Enriquez said.
    The clinic has been dispatching teams of Cuban medical workers on foot into the surrounding area to track down residents who had reported potential COVID-19 symptoms on a state-run website, Enriquez said. Wearing fabric masks, and no gloves or eye protection, the doctors recently went door-to-door through densely populated housing projects to question locals.
    Anyone complaining of a bad cough or a fever is sent to the clinic for a rapid test, doctors at the facility said.
    When Reuters visited the clinic on April 8, it had registered one positive case – an asymptomatic man in his 30s who had been in contact with people who had fallen ill with flu-like symptoms after traveling abroad.    Enriquez said the patient was isolated in a ward there after arriving the week before.    She said the clinic had been waiting several days for a motor-bike to take his sample to the Institute for the mandatory review.
    Reached on Thursday, Enriquez said the retest came back negative and that the patient was discharged after spending 14 days in quarantine.
    She said the grassroots healthcare practiced at Socialist Party facilities such as hers has been key in limiting the spread of coronavirus.
    “We’re the most accessible to the population, especially to the most vulnerable,” she said.
(Reporting by Angus Berwick and Vivian Sequera; Additional reporting by Sarah Kinosian in Caracas, Mariela Nava in Maracaibo, Anggy Polanco in San Cristobal, Mircely Guanipa in Maracay, and Maria Ramirez in Puerto Ordaz; Editing by Marla Dickerson)

4/17/2020 Mexico calls on older medical workers at home to return to work
FILE PHOTO: Two nurses wearing protective masks pose inside the new immediate response mobile hospital with 50 intensive care
beds against the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico, March 19, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s president on Friday urged medical workers aged 60 to 65 to return to their jobs and treat non-coronavirus patients, in a bid to help the health system handle an expected surge of demand from the virus.
    There are some 20,000 nurses and doctors in good health who would qualify to participate, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told his regular news conference.
    They would work from April 23 to May 23 to free up younger health workers for coronavirus cases, which are expected to hit a peak by May 10 in the populous capital of Mexico City and surrounding areas.
    “According to the projections, we calculate that the number of hospitalizations will increase, and there will also be an increase in intensive care,” Lopez Obrador said, adding that 20,000 extra workers would be sufficient to cover the higher demand.
    Mexico has so far registered 6,297 cases of the coronavirus and 486 deaths, and authorities are urging people to stay at home to prevent mass numbers of illnesses that could overwhelm the health system.
    Government workers over 60, including medical staff, had been told to stay home as a precautionary measure to protect their health, Lopez Obrador noted.    Mexican health authorities have said people above that age could be especially vulnerable to developing complications from the coronavirus.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

4/17/2020 UK was too slow on coronavirus and 40,000 could die, professor says by Guy Faulconbridge, Elizabeth Piper and Paul Sandle
Medical staff are seen at the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the Excel Centre in London, as the spread
of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, London, Britain, April 17, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley
    LONDON (Reuters) – The British government was too slow to react on several fronts to the novel coronavirus outbreak that could cause the deaths of 40,000 people in the United Kingdom, a leading public health professor told lawmakers on Friday.
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially refrained from approving the stringent controls that other European leaders imposed but then closed down the country when projections showed a quarter of a million people could die in Britain.
    So far, more than 14,576 people with COVID-19 have died in British hospitals, though new official data indicates the true death toll could be much larger.
    “Where were the system errors that led us to have probably the highest death rates in Europe?” Anthony Costello, professor of International Child Health and Director of the UCL Institute for Global Health, asked at the Health and Social Care Committee.
    “We have to face the reality of that: We were too slow with a number of things,” Costello told the committee.    “We could see 40,000 deaths by the time it’s over.”
    Costello, a paediatrician who is an expert in epidemiology, said the government should make sure its response to the second and additional waves of infection was not too slow.
    The government also faced separate criticism over its supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers.
    The Guardian newspaper said shortages meant guidelines were being relaxed, and that doctors might need to treat patients without wearing full-length protective gowns.
    Ministers on Friday acknowledged a shortage of gowns – departing from their position that there were adequate supplies of PPE but some logistical problems getting it to where it was needed.    The health department did not immediately comment on the Guardian report.
    Britain has the fifth-highest official death toll from COVID-19 in the world, after the United States, Italy, Spain and France, though the UK figure only covers hospital fatalities and the real number is probably much higher.
    British ministers have defended their response to the outbreak, saying they followed scientific advice and have responded with urgency in what amounts to a war-like situation.
    Costello said the United Kingdom needed wide-scale testing and the right systems in place to deal with further flare-ups of the outbreak.
    “The recent estimates, even from the chief scientific officer, is that after this wave – we could see 40,000 deaths by the time it’s over – we could only have maybe 10%, 15% of the population infected or covered,” he said.
    “So the idea of herd immunity would mean another five, six waves maybe in order to get to 60%,” he said.    “We have got to pray the vaccinologists come up.”
    The government launched a new initiative on Friday to coordinate British efforts to find a vaccine, although business minister Alok Sharma said any such solution would take many months and refused to set out a timetable.
COVID-19 TESTING
    Health minister Matt Hancock said mass community testing was part of the British strategy, though the government has yet to find an antibody test that is accurate enough to be used.
    “It is part of the strategy – we will be introducing it when we can,” he told the parliamentary committee.
    He said testing was being expanded to include the police, the fire service, prison staff, critical local authority staff, the judiciary, and the work and pensions ministry.
    Hancock was also questioned by lawmakers about the daily death toll data – which gives hospital deaths but ignores deaths at home or in care homes.
    Hancock said the rate of deaths due to COVID-19 in care homes was higher than the 2% of the total indicated by official data, adding he was concerned about how the novel coronavirus was spreading in places housing vulnerable people.
    “We do know the number of people who die outside hospital and they very largely die at home,” he said.
(Editing by Philippa Fletcher and Stephen Addison)

4/17/2020 Italy’s coronavirus deaths edge higher, new lockdown approach urged by Gavin Jones and Angelo Amante
A family talk to their friends below their window as Italy remains on lockdown due to a spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Venice, Italy, April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri
    ROME (Reuters) – Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 575 on Friday, up from 525 the day before, while the number of new cases declined slightly and scientists warned that infections were now mainly happening among family members.
    The daily tally of new cases stood at 3,493, down from a previous 3,786, with both deaths and infections extending the broadly stable situation in place over the last 12 days.
    This plateau is considerably lower than the peaks reached around the end of March, but the downtrend has not proceeded as was widely hoped in a country that has been in lockdown for almost six weeks.
    “Probably most of the infections that have occurred since the lockdown have occurred within families,” Giovanni Rezza, a director of Italy’s top health body, the Superior Health Institute (ISS), told a news conference.
    Nuclear physicist Paolo Branchini, who has been focusing on the trend of cases and deaths in Italy, told daily Corriere della Sera on Friday that the lockdown initially put a lid on infections but had now “exhausted its beneficial effect.”
    Branchini said that because the main source of infections was now within families, the only way to reduce deaths and cases further was to put all people who tested positive in dedicated centres away from their relatives.
    The official death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 has risen to 22,745, the Civil Protection Agency said, the second highest in the world after that of the United States.
    However, the Italian authorities acknowledge that the true number of fatalities is much higher.
    The Superior Health Institute said a survey on a sample of nursing homes suggested more than 40% of residents who died from Feb. 1 to April 15 had either tested positive for the new coronavirus or had symptoms consistent with the disease.
RESTIVE REGIONS
    The government has said its tough restrictions on movement and the closure of most businesses will continue at least until May 3, but there is not yet any clear plan over to what extent, or how gradually, it will then be lifted.
    In the meantime, some of Italy’s 20 regions are threatening to take autonomous action.
    Luca Zaia, the head of the northern Veneto region which has made particular progress in bringing the outbreak under control, said on Friday he wanted to relax restrictions before May 3.
    “The lockdown doesn’t exist anymore,” Zaia told reporters, in reference to the government having allowed a few types of business to reopen over the last week.
    In response, the chief of the southern Campania region around Naples, Vincenzo De Luca, said if northern regions did not respect all the curbs in place, Campania would “close its borders” and refuse entry to non-residents for any reason.
    The outbreak remains heavily concentrated in the northern regions of Lombardy, around the financial capital Milan, and neighbouring Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna.
    The number of officially confirmed cases in Italy on Friday totalled 172,434, the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain.
(Editing by Gareth Jones)

4/17/2020 Global coronavirus death toll hits 150,000: Reuters tally
FILE PHOTO: Mortuary employees transport the body of a person in an elderly residence following the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brussels, Belgium April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    (Reuters) – The number of deaths worldwide linked to the novel coronavirus reached 150,000 on Friday, according to a Reuters tally.
    The first death came in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on Jan. 9.    It took 83 days for the first 50,000 deaths to be recorded and just eight more for the toll to climb to 100,000.    It took another eight days to go from 100,000 to 150,000.
    The death toll is still far short of the so-called Spanish flu, which began in 1918 and is estimated to have killed more than 20 million people by the time it petered out in 1920.
    The novel coronavirus is believed to have emerged in a Wuhan market where wild animals were sold before quickly spreading around the world.    Much remains to be determined about it, scientists say, including just how lethal it is.
    In many countries, official data includes only deaths reported in hospitals, not those in homes or nursing homes.
    The United States has recorded the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, with more than 680,000 detected infections.    Spain is in second place with around 188,000 cases, followed by Italy.
(Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7)
(Writing by Lisa Shumaker, Editing by Franklin Paul)

4/17/2020 Ireland plans to expand weekly coronavirus testing capacity to 100,000 by Padraic Halpin
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask on St. Patrick's Day as public events were cancelled as the number of
coronavirus cases grow around the world, in Dublin, Ireland, March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo
    DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland plans to expand its coronavirus testing capacity to 100,000 tests per week over the next 10 days as it considers easing stay-at-home restrictions on May 5, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said on Friday.
    He said on Thursday data was showing Ireland had contained the first wave of the outbreak in the population at large, raising hopes that the restrictions that have closed large sections of the economy could begin to be rolled back.
    Officials have said the ability to quickly test and isolate anyone who catches the virus is another crucial component in lifting the most severe constraints without having to reimpose them again if the virus does not remain suppressed.
    “If we move into a situation where we lift restrictions because we are satisfied that the spread in the community is at a very low level, we have to be in a position to catch it as quickly as possible if there is to be an increase,” Holohan told a news conference.
    “Our intention is to have the sampling, testing and results back to patients in a real time basis.”
    Ireland reported 709 new cases on Friday to bring its total to 13,980, with 530 deaths.    The health service had carried out just over 90,000 tests by the end of Monday, more than double the 42,500 completed a week earlier.
    The National Public Health Emergency Team said the planned seven-day testing capacity would remain in place for a minimum of six months and kick in with a likely change to its definition for testing that will widen the net of possible patients, Holohan said.
    The health service will over the next 7-10 days first test all staff and residents in long-term residential care facilities such as nursing homes, where the outbreak has yet to be contained.
    Nursing home residents account for more than half of all deaths and there are clusters of two or more cases in 166 of the country’s 550 retirement homes, accounting for just over 1,000 cases. Holohan said there was spare capacity for such testing.     The acting government on Friday enhanced the role of the state’s health quality authority to inspect care homes to ensure the implementation of a new infection control check list.    But opposition politicians again criticised the response as being too slow.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

4/17/2020 President Trump announces $19B relief program for farmers by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room
of the White House, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump has announced a program to give relief to struggling farmers.    During Friday’s White House task force briefing, the president introduced the “Coronavirus Food Assistance Program,” which will provide $19 billion to the agriculture sector.
    $16 billion will go directly to ranchers and farmers, while the other $3 billion will be used to purchase dairy and meat products.
    The food purchased by the federal government will go to food banks.
    “The program will include direct payments to farmers, as well as mass purchases of dairy, meat and agricultural produce, to get that food to the people in need,” explained the president.
    He assured the U.S. Department of Agriculture they will receive another $14 billion in July, which will replenish the program and further relief to struggling farmers.

4/17/2020 WHO: China revised COVID figures to leave no case undocumented by OAN Newsroom
In this Feb. 13, 2020, photo, a doctor checks the conditions of a patient in Jinyintan Hospital, designated
for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. (Chinatopix Via AP)
    China has raised its official coronavirus death toll by 50 percent in Wuhan.    According to a local government task force, the revision reflected “incorrect reporting, delays and omissions.”
    The World Health Organization confirmed Chinese authorities had gone back and reviewed data from hospitals, care homes and funeral services.
    “We are aware of new numbers that were reported overnight from China, which added an additional 325 cases and 1,290 deaths from Wuhan,” stated epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove.    “This was done in an attempt to leave no case undocumented.”

The logo and building of the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, 15 April 2020. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
    President Trump has suggested China is underestimating its death toll and has condemned the WHO for its continued support of China. On Friday, the president compared the latest data from both countries.
    On Twitter, he said the doubling of China’s death toll in Wuhan, at more than 3,800, is far higher than those in the U.S.    His comments followed weeks of speculation about the communist regime’s lack of transparency.
    China’s Foreign Ministry has denied a cover-up, instead blaming the rise in deaths on a delay in reporting by overwhelmed hospitals.

4/17/2020 Midwest governors form pact to coordinate reopening states by OAN Newsroom
A traffic message board displays a message about coronavirus prevention on I-94 South bound in Chicago, Saturday, March 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    Governors in the Midwest are approaching the question of when to reopen their respective economies together.    The bipartisan coalition of governors from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin released a statement Thursday, announcing that their states would be working to determine the best time to return to normal.
    The alliance will create guidelines each state can follow and is focused on at least four factors: sustained control over the rate of new cases and hospitalizations, an increase in testing and tracing, preparing for a possible resurgence, and workplace social distancing guidelines.
    The state leaders have said they are looking to the future in order to make the best decision for their constituents.
    “What are the things that trigger a change, how much can we do and how fast can we do it?” asked Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.

FILE – In this March 24, 2020 file photo, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb answers questions at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy File)
    According to the governors, the close coordination does not mean all seven states will reopen at the exact same time. The goal of the collaboration is to ensure the process of returning to normal goes as smoothly as possible.
    “We’re all thinking about that smart restart, opening of our states, in the very gradual, methodical way if the numbers continue to hold and the trends continue to hold,” explained Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb.
    The group added that it will make decisions based on recommendations from experts across multiple fields, such as medical professionals and educators, as they try to get businesses up and running again.

4/17/2020 Severe truck driver shortage amid growing demand by OAN Newsroom
In this April 5, 2020, photo, with a gloved hand, trucker Allen Hall adjusts his face mask in the cab of his
semitruck before rolling from the TA Travel Center truck stop in Foristell, Mo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Truck drivers are in demand now more than ever.    However, experts have said getting new drivers behind the wheel has been challenging due to coronavirus shut downs.
    Recent reports showed the hiring process for one of the most essential jobs during the pandemic has been backlogged, due to many DMVs shutting down.    According to one industry expert, this has stopped eager new hires from providing relief to the industry, which is experiencing an extreme shortage in workers.
    “We can train people, but then we couldn’t get people their licenses.    That’s very problematic because you need a commercial learner’s permit to even operate on public roads.    Truck drivers or bus drivers aren’t produced over night, it does take a number of weeks, or even months, to get them trained.” – Don Lefeve, CEO of the Commercial Vehicle Association
    While the demand for trucks and delivery services has remained steady over the years, the appeal of becoming a truck driver has declined drastically.    This trend left the industry with a loss of hundreds of thousands of workers prior to the pandemic.
    “Most Americans don’t think too much about truck drivers until times of crisis,” said Lefeve.    “These men and women are doing just heroic work, each and every day.”
    If the hiring process doesn’t pick up, industry professionals are worried that it could result in yet another blow to the already hard hit economy.
In this April 5, 2020, photo, professional driver Sammy Lloyd, of Ringgold, Ga., walks from his 2014 Kenworth
W900 semi truck, on the right, as he arrives at the TA Travel Center truck stop in Foristell, Mo., just after midnight.
Lloyd was pulling a COVID-19 emergency relief load from California to Virginia. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Earlier this week, President Trump recognized truck drivers for keeping the economy moving.
    “At a time of widespread shut downs, truck drivers form the lifeblood of our economy.    For days and sometimes weeks, truck drivers leave their homes and deliver supplies that American families need and count on during this national crisis.    At all other times, they’re always there.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    The president went on to call truckers the “foot soldiers” in the war against the virus.
    “Their routes connect every farm, hospital, manufacturer, business and community in the country,” he stated.    “In the war against the virus, American truckers are the foot soldiers who are really carrying us to victory, they’ve done an incredible job.”
    Moving forward, legislation is in the works to bring transportation companies relief by way of a $250 billion appropriation, all in an effort to keep trucks and the economy moving.
President Donald Trump speaks during an event celebrating American truckers, at the
White House, Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

4/17/2020 France coronavirus death toll nears 19,000 but spread continues to slow
Medical staff members, wearing face masks, take a break in an intensive care unit for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at the Clinique de l'Orangerie
private hospital in Strasbourg, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, France April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
    PARIS (Reuters) – France’s registered death toll from coronavirus infections neared 19,000 on Friday, but most data provided further indications that the spread of the disease was slowing after a one-month-old national lockdown, officials said.
    During a press conference Jerome Salomon, head of the public health authority, said the number of people in hospital had declined for a third day running, and that the total number in intensive care units had fallen for the ninth day running.
    “Our collective efforts demonstrate their effectiveness.    The lockdown is starting to bear fruit,” Salomon said.
    The number of ICU patients, at 6,027, was at its lowest since April 1 and down more than 1,000 from its April 8 peak of 7,148.    Before COVID-19 started to spread, France had 5,000 hospital beds equipped with ventilation gear.
    At 18,681, the number of deaths was up 4.2% over 24 hours, though the rate of increase decelerated for the second day running.
    France has the fourth highest tally of fatalities in the world, behind the United States, Italy and Spain and ahead of Britain.    These five countries account for almost three-quarters of the current global total of more than 149,000 deaths.
    The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in France was barely up (+0.4%) at 109,252.    And in nursing homes, the increase of probable cases decelerated sharply – 4% versus 36% Thursday – reaching 38,717.
    That took the total number of confirmed and possible cases to 147,969, up 1.3% against Thursday’s increase of 9.4%.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

4/17/2020 China’s revised COVID figures are a bid to ‘leave no case undocumented’: WHO by Stephanie Nebehay and Michael Shields
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured on the headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO) ahead of a meeting of the Emergency
Committee on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Geneva, Switzerland, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    GENEVA/ZURICH (Reuters) – A sharp upward revision in China’s coronavirus death toll on Friday was “an attempt to leave no case undocumented” after medical services in Wuhan were overwhelmed at the start of the outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
    Nearly 1,300 people who died of the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan, or half the total, were not counted in death tolls because of lapses, state media said on Friday, but Beijing dismissed claims that there had been any kind of cover-up.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has suggested that China has understated its toll of coronavirus deaths, and has condemned the WHO for the support it has given to China’s approach in the crisis.    He suspended funding to the U.N. agency this week.
    The virus has infected more than two million worldwide and killed 150,000, according to a Reuters tally.
    Maria van Kerkhove, a WHO epidemiologist who took part in an international mission to China in February, said of China’s revised figures: “This was done in attempt to leave no case undocumented.”
    She said the Chinese authorities had gone back over data from funeral services, care homes, fever clinics, hospitals and detention centres, and patients who had died at home, in Wuhan, Hubei province where the outbreak began late last year.
    “What they have reported is that the discrepancies in these cases were due to a number of factors.    First is that the health care system in Wuhan was overwhelmed at one point.    And some patients died at home,” van Kerkhove said.
    “Secondly is that medical staff were delayed in reporting of these cases because they were focused on providing care for those patients and they didn’t fill out the forms in time,” she said.
    Mild cases were treated in makeshift hospitals in Wuhan stadiums or other facilities, van Kerkhove said, adding: “In those situations the reporting wasn’t done in a timely manner and so those cases were added.”
    It was important to know the number of people who had died from the disease and to have “accurate reporting,” which can be a challenge during an outbreak, she said.
    “I would anticipate that many countries are going to be in a similar situation where they will have to go back and review records and look to see did we capture all of them,” she said.
    Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert, said: “It is important that countries provide that data as quickly as they can in the interest of moving our collective efforts forward to control this pandemic.”
    The virus is believed to have originated among wild animals on sale in a seafood market in Wuhan that has been closed since January.    A common sight across Asia, wet markets traditionally sell fresh produce and live animals, such as fish, in the open air.
    Any wet markets allowed to reopen after lockdowns must conform to stringent food and hygiene standards, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
    “Governments must rigorously enforce bans on trade of wildlife for food,” he said.
(writing by Kevin Liffey and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

4/18/2020 Oil down $1.64 to $18.11, DOW up 705 to 24,242.

4/18/2020 More on virus deaths.


4/18/2020 Drug for COVID-19 has early success by Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY
    A Gilead Sciences antiviral drug is reportedly showing promise for treatment of the coronavirus.
    Remdesivir is causing “rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, with nearly all patients discharged in less than a week” at a Chicago hospital, medical site STAT reported.
    The story contributed to a surge in stocks Friday and a jump in Gilead’s stock price, which was up about 9% in late trading Friday.
    “The entire world has been waiting for results from Gilead’s clinical trials, and positive results would likely lead to fast approvals by the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies,” STAT reported.    “If safe and effective, it could become the first approved treatment against the disease.”
    Remdesivir is one of numerous drugs under development to treat or cure the new coronavirus.    There’s no guarantee the Chicago hospital’s results will be replicated elsewhere.
    The results came from the University of Chicago, which is participating in two Gilead clinical trials involving 2,400 severe cases at 152 sites and 1,600 moderate cases at 169 sites, according to STAT.    The University of Chicago data covered 125 people infected with COVID-19, including 113 severe cases.

4/18/2020 Doctors criticize UK government over coronavirus protection shortages
FILE PHOTO: A medical staff is seen at a new test center, as the spread of the coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) continues, Rochdale, Britain, April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble
    LONDON (Reuters) – Doctors and health workers criticized the British government on Saturday for suggesting that gowns used to protect them while treating coronavirus patients could be re-used, as supplies run low across the country.
    Britain is at or near the peak of an outbreak of the coronavirus in which more than 14,000 people have already died – the fifth highest national death toll of a pandemic linked to at least 150,000 deaths worldwide.
    On Friday the government issued new guidance to hospitals, setting out that alternatives to fluid-repellent full length gowns may need to be used, including reusable gowns or even long sleeved laboratory coats.     “This guidance is a further admission of the dire situation that some doctors and healthcare workers continue to find themselves in because of government failings,” said Rob Harwood, Consultants Committee chairman at the British Medical Association – the trade union for doctors.
    “If it’s being proposed that staff reuse equipment, this must be demonstrably driven by science and the best evidence – rather than availability – and it absolutely cannot compromise the protection of healthcare workers.”
    Britain’s response to the coronavirus outbreak – which has lagged that of European peers – is a source of increasing political criticism for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who himself contracted the virus and is now recovering from a spell in intensive care.
    Health minister Matt Hancock told a committee of lawmakers on Friday that Britain was “tight on gowns” but had 55,000 more arriving and was aiming to get the right equipment where it was needed by the end of this weekend.     A health department spokesman said the new guidance was to ensure that staff knew what to do to minimize risk if shortages did occur.    They said the new rules remained in line with international standards.
    The Royal College of Nursing said it had written “in the strongest terms” to express their concerns over the rules change, and said they had not been consulted about them.
    NHS Providers, a body which represents hospitals and other parts of Britain’s publicly funded National Health Service (NHS), said supply levels of gowns were critical.
    “It is now clear that some trusts will run out of fully fluid repellent gowns this weekend,” deputy chief executive Saffron Cordery said.
    The body said China was the only immediately available source of the gowns, meaning there was international competition for supplies.    It also said there had been problems with consignments arriving from China, such as stock labeled as gowns actually containing face masks.
(Reporting by William James and Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Toby Chopra)

4/18/2020 Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 3,609 to 137,439: RKI
Andreas Wieser from the department of Infection and Tropical Medicine at the University of Munich, works with blood samples
for a study about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Munich Germany, April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases have risen by 3,609 to 137,439, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday, marking a fourth straight day of a spike in new infections.
    The death toll has risen by 242 to 4,110, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert, Editing by Himani Sarkar)

4/18/2020 Factbox: IMF, World Bank disburse funds to help countries battle pandemic
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is seen during a news
conference in Santiago, Chile, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are providing emergency funds to developing and low-income countries across the world to strengthen their efforts to battle the rapidly spreading coronavirus.
    Following is a list of countries slated to receive funds from the two institutions’ emergency facilities, or as augmentation of existing programs, sorted by region:
AFRICA
Burkina Faso – $115.3 million (IMF)
Burundi – $5 million (World Bank)
Cabo Verde – $5 million (World Bank)
Chad – $115 million (IMF)
Democratic Republic of Congo – $47.2 million (World Bank)
Djibouti – $5 million (World Bank)
Ethiopia – $82.6 million (World Bank)
Gabon – $147 million (IMF)
Gambia – $10 million (World Bank) and $21.3 million (IMF)
Ghana – $35 million (World Bank) and $1 billion (IMF)
Ivory Coast – $886.2 million (IMF)
Kenya – $50 million (World Bank)
Liberia – $7.5 million
Madagascar – $166 million (IMF)
Mali – $25.8 million (World Bank)
Malawi – $37 million (World Bank)
Mauritania – $5.2 million (World Bank)
Morocco – $275 million (World Bank)
Niger – $114.5 million (IMF) and $13.95 million (World Bank)
Rwanda – $109.4 million (IMF) and $14.25 million (World Bank)
Sao Tome and Principe – $2.5 million (World Bank)
Senegal – $442 million (IMF) and $20 million (World Bank)
Sierra Leone – $7.5 million (World Bank)
South Sudan – $7.6 million (World Bank)
Tunisia – $745 million (IMF)
ASIA
Afghanistan – $100.4 million (World Bank)
Bangladesh – $100 million (World Bank)
Cambodia – $20 million (World Bank)
India – $1 billion (World Bank)
Kyrgyzstan – $120.9 million (IMF)
Laos – $18 million (World Bank)
Maldives – $7.3 million (World Bank)
Mongolia – $26.9 million (World Bank) and $2.2 million (World Bank)
Nepal – $29 million (World Bank)
Pakistan – $200 million (World Bank) and $1.39 billion (IMF)
Papua New Guinea – $20 million (World Bank)
Philippines – $500 million (World Bank)
Samoa – $5.1 million (World Bank)
Sri Lanka – $128.6 million (World Bank)
Tajikistan – $11.3 million (World Bank)
LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN
Argentina – $35 million (World Bank)
Bolivia – $327 million (IMF) and $20 million (World Bank)
Colombia – $250 million (World Bank)
Dominican Republic – $150 million (World Bank)
Ecuador – $20 million (World Bank)
El Salvador $389 million (IMF) and $20 million (World Bank)
Haiti – $20 million (World Bank) and $111.6 million (IMF)
Honduras – $143 million (IMF) and $139 million (World Bank)
Paraguay – $20 million (World Bank)
MIDDLE EAST
Egypt – $7.9 million (World Bank)
Lebanon – $40 million (World Bank)
West Bank and Gaza – $5.8 million (World Bank)
Yemen – $26.9 million (World Bank)
EUROPE AND CENTRAL ASIA
Albania – $190.5 million (IMF)
Armenia – $3 million (World Bank)
Georgia – $200 million (IMF)
Kazakhstan – $10 million (World Bank)
Kosovo – $56.5 million (IMF)
Moldova – $235 million (IMF)
North Macedonia – $191.83 million
Romania – $441 million (World Bank)
(EorgiaReporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Alistair Bell).

4/18/2020 ‘Make America Great Again’ rallies likely to come back before election by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Monroe Civic Center, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, in Monroe, La. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
    President Trump is hoping to resume his signature ‘Make America Great’ rallies soon.    During Friday’s White House press briefing, the president was asked about the possibility of resuming the large gatherings of supporters, which were made famous during his 2016 campaign.
    “I hope we can do rallies, it’s great for the country.    It’s great spirit, it’s great for a lot of things.    To me, it’s a tremendous way of getting the word out.    If you look at our success rate, we’ve had tremendous success.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    The president suspended rallies in early March due to concerns over COVID-19 contagion in large gatherings.    However, as he turns his attention to the wind down of the pandemic and reopening the economy, he is seemingly also looking towards resuming his regular campaign schedule.
    The Democrat Party is in the process of coalescing around a Joe Biden nomination, pushing the 2020 campaigns into general election mode.
President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks at his Black Voices for Trump rally
Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
    The president also pointed to the political capital his rallies represent, citing their significant contribution to his 2016 victory as well as the power they hold in propelling candidates he endorses to political office.
    “We win where we have rallies, including endorsements of candidates,” he stated.    “Our success rate is, I think, unparalleled.”
    The president is seemingly hoping to resume the momentum gained by his movement prior to the pandemic.    He added he looks forward to returning to the campaign trail with renewed vigor.
    “I think they’re going to be bigger than ever,” said President Trump.    “The rallies that we were having until we had a stop, with regard to the problem that we had here, were substantially bigger.”
    There is currently no official date for when rallies might resume, but Trump 2020 campaign Communications Director Tim Murtaugh said Friday the president is certain we will see ‘Make America Great’ rallies make a comeback ahead of the November elections.

4/18/2020 New projection of U.S. coronavirus deaths much lower than initial estimate by OAN Newsroom
A United States flag hangs above a temporary hospital at the Georgia World
Congress Center, Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ron Harris, Pool)
    A coronavirus model, which has been used to predict the number of U.S. deaths, is showing a significantly lower projection than before.    The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) published its new estimate of around 60,000 deaths on Friday.
    The new information showed the expected COVID-19 deaths reduced by more than 20,000, down from an estimate of 84,000 virus fatalities last month.
    Statement from the institute estimated there will now be longer peaks and slower declines in death rates in many places in the nation.
    “We are seeing the numbers decline because some state and local governments, and, equally important, individuals around the country have stepped up to protect their families, neighbors, friends and coworkers by reducing physical contact,” stated IHME Director Christopher Murray.    “Now the challenge, as well as opportunity, is for states to figure out how to reopen the U.S. economy and allow people to get back to work without sacrificing that progress.”
The Empire State building and the Manhattan skyline are seen behind the tombstones at Calvary Cemetery,
Saturday, April 11, 2020, in the Maspeth neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    The latest data from Johns Hopkins University showed there are more than 2.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide.    As of Saturday, more than 156,000 people have died, while over 581,000 have recovered.
    Lockdowns remain in place around the world as countries continue to try and flatten the curve.
    According to experts, three potential vaccines are going through human trials.    However, they expect it could take upwards of a year and a half for one to be proven viable and become widely available.

4/18/2020 President Trump speaks with foreign leaders, FEMA & military about COVID-19 pandemic by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing
Room of the White House, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump recently spoke to several countries’ leaders amid the coronavirus pandemic.    On Twitter, he announced he’s had talks with leaders from countries including Poland, South Korea and Bahrain.
    The president expressed he “had a very good conversation with the President of Mexico on numerous topics” and added the border is “very strong.”    He also mentioned that he has been continuously working with FEMA and the military relative to coronavirus efforts.
    The two reportedly discussed a deal, whereby Mexico would be allowed to purchase at least 1,000 ventilators from the U.S. by the end of the month.    The country expects a spike in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks and fears its underfunded medical system will be overwhelmed by the surge.
    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has since reportedly suggested a meeting with President Trump to personally thank him for his support during the pandemic.    The potential June meeting would be the first in-person meeting between the leaders.
A Carnation Cross on the lawn in front of Christ Lutheran Church in Palatine, Ill., Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    President Trump also spoke with religious leaders about reopening houses of faith this week. During a conference call Friday, the president reportedly told faith leaders his administration will soon be putting forward step-by-step guidelines on how to start opening religious venues.
    He said he’s confident the DOJ will keep taking on religious liberty cases and will be vigilant when it comes to protecting the religious freedom of churches.
    The president emphasized he wants to ensure places of worship are being treated fairly during the coronavirus pandemic.

4/18/2020 Floridians pour onto beaches after Gov. DeSantis gives green light to reopen them by OAN Newsroom
In this April 8, 2020, photo, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, gestures as he speaks during a news conference in front of a U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers mobile command center at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
    Floridians are flocking to some beaches for limited hours of activity amid the coronavirus pandemic after they were reopened Friday.
    However, residents of the Sunshine State have been advised to follow CDC guidelines.
    Those headed out to enjoy the sun and sand may only do so in groups of ten or less.    They have also been limited to a few hours, in both the morning and evening, for exercise and dog care only.
    In addition, officials have restricted the use of beach towels or chairs to discourage people from sun bathing.
A jogger and her dog are turned away from a closed beach by a police officer,
Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla.’s famed South Beach. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
    Governor Ron DeSantis noted the choice to reopen must be a local decision and reiterated some beaches will remain closed.
    “Going forward, I think we’ve got to be promoting people to get exercise, do it in a good, safe way,” he said.    “…That’s basically been a local decision, because I thought that there needed to be outlets for people to be able to do things safely.”
    Florida has been one of the worst hit states by the virus and has one of the country’s largest at-risk elderly populations.

4/18/2020 Walgreen’s issues self-administered coronavirus tests by OAN Newsroom
Registered medical assistant Elaine Lomax handles a nasal swab specimen after it was collected at
a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site Thursday, April 16, 2020, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
    Walgreen’s Pharmacy is now allowing individuals to self-administer the coronavirus test at certain locations across the country.    Starting on Friday, patients were able to conduct their own swab tests to collect RNA samples from their noses.
    These tests were then handed over to medical personnel, who used the data to test for the virus.
    Medical professionals were present during testing to talk patients through the steps from a safe distance.
    “At first I was nervous, because I thought I wasn’t going to do it right.    But they guided me, and she made sure I was doing it right through my window.    I’m just glad to get it done.” – Deja Davis, resident of Houston, Texas
    Walgreen’s launched the initiative to try and protect healthcare workers from coming into contact with the virus.
    As of Saturday, the tests were only available at nine locations.

4/18/2020 Calif. Gov. Newsom signs billion-dollar contract to buy masks from Chinese manufacturer with troubled record by OAN Newsroom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses an outline for what it will take to lift coronavirus restrictions during a news conference
at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services in Rancho Cordova, Calif., Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)
    California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed a billion-dollar contract to import respirators from a Chinese company widely known for making faulty products.
    BYD, which primarily manufactures electric vehicles, has no history whatsoever of making respirators or masks.
    According to health and safety experts, the company is notorious for supplying broken or faulty equipment to the United States, has deep ties to the Communist Party, and is suspected of using forced labor.
    On February 7th, the company registered with the Chinese government to begin producing its own version of the N95 masks.    The FDA previously denied them approval over quality concerns.
    However, none of that stopped California’s governor from eagerly signing the contract to send 200 million of the questionable masks to hospitals across the state every month.
    Industry watchdogs have called out BYD for years and warned that customers should be wary, including Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.).    The lawmaker signed legislation banning the use of federal funds to buy buses from BYD.    President Trump agreed and signed the ban into law in December.
    Garamendi warned with this new contract, BYD could flood the market with “substandard devices,” which could very well end up costing lives.
FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2020 file photo, workers pack surgical masks at a factory in Suining city in southwest China’s Sichuan province. (Chinatopix via AP, File)
    Yet, Newsom defended his decision during a recent interview, calling it a “big, bold bet.”    He also avoided mentioning the company’s Chinese origins, instead claiming it was a “manufacturer” right here in California.
    He finally relented under questioning and admitted the masks will be “manufactured overseas.”
    The governor’s office hasn’t commented on whether or not they’re aware of BYD’s troubled track record, which included the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of faulty battery-powered buses to the city of Los Angeles.
    The same Chinese masks Newsom purchased have already been rejected by countries in Europe, including the Netherlands.    The country has recalled some 600,000 of the masks for being substandard or completely defective.

4/18/2020 Canada, U.S. extend border restrictions 30 days to control coronavirus spread by Rod Nickel
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for a news conference at the Rideau Cottage, as efforts continue to help
slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Blair Gable
    WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Canada and the United States have agreed to extend border restrictions for another 30 days to help control the spread of coronavirus, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Saturday.
    Washington and Ottawa agreed last month to clamp down on non-essential travel while allowing trade to continue across their long shared frontier during the coronavirus outbreak.
    The restrictions were due to expire next week.    Trudeau said the agreement is unchanged, and he expected shipments of medical supplies such as masks to continue to cross the border.
    President Donald Trump issued a memorandum this month that directed federal agencies to keep highly sought-after medical supplies in the United States.    U.S. manufacturing company 3M Co reached a deal with the Trump administration, however, allowing it to continue to export masks to Canada and Latin America.
    Canada’s death toll from COVID-19, the respiratory disease associated with the new coronavirus, rose 8% to 1,346 deaths, a government website said.    Reported cases climbed 6% to 32,412.
    Quebec is the epicenter of Canada’s outbreak, with seniors in care homes accounting for most of the province’s 805 deaths.
    Canada was sending the army into the province starting Saturday to help alleviate staffing shortages in Quebec’s care facilities for seniors.     Ontario, the most populous province, surpassed 10,000 cases and reached 514 deaths, second-highest in Canada.
    Some western provinces, by contrast, have seen daily tallies of new cases level off.    British Columbia and Saskatchewan have said they are starting to plan for loosening restrictions.
    Alberta, the country’s main producer of oil and cattle, has seen daily cases increase in the past week as it boosted testing.    An outbreak of 358 cases linked to a Cargill Ltd beef plant in High River, Alberta, has also swelled numbers, it said on Friday.
    Trudeau said Canada would support aboriginal businesses with C$306 million in interest-free loans and nonrepayable contributions.    In total, Ottawa has unveiled C$115 billion ($82.15 billion) in direct spending to help companies and individuals deal with shutdowns.
    Highlighting the economy’s vulnerability, Ottawa on Saturday said it would scrutinize foreign investments more closely, especially those by state-owned enterprises into companies that supply critical goods.    Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said Canada wants to avert opportunistic investors taking advantage of weak company valuations, due to the pandemic.
    On Friday, the Liberal government announced C$2.5 billion in aid for the hard-hit energy sector.
(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Sandra Maler)

4/18/2020 UK government faces mounting criticism over protection clothing shortages by William James and Alistair Smout
Two people practicing social distancing in front of graffiti in support of the NHS, as the spread of
the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, Liverpool, Britain, April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble
    LONDON (Reuters) – Doctors and health workers criticised the British government on Saturday for suggesting that personal protective equipment (PPE) worn while treating patients infected with coronavirus could be re-used, as supplies run low across the country.
    Britain is at or near the peak of a health crisis in which more than 15,000 people have died – the fifth highest national death toll of a pandemic linked to at least 150,000 deaths worldwide.
    Data published on Saturday showed 15,464 people have died in British hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus – an increase of 888 in the 24 hours to 1600 GMT on Friday.    That increase is higher than recent days, but below the highest daily death toll of 980, seen just over a week ago.
    The government issued new guidance to hospitals on Friday setting out that alternatives to fluid-repellent full length gowns may need to be used, including reusable gowns or even long sleeved laboratory coats.
    “This guidance is a further admission of the dire situation that some doctors and healthcare workers continue to find themselves in because of government failings,” said Rob Harwood, chairman of the consultants committee at the British Medical Association.
    “If it’s being proposed that staff reuse equipment, this must be demonstrably driven by science and the best evidence – rather than availability.”
    A Department of Health spokesman said the guidance was to ensure that staff knew what to do to minimise risk if shortages did occur, and that the rules remained in line with international standards.
    “We’ve got to do more to get the PPE that people need to the frontline,” Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said when asked about the situation at the government’s daily news conference.
    He acknowledged the shortages but added that a consignment was due to arrive from Turkey on Sunday containing equipment including 400,000 protective gowns.
    “We are trying to do everything we can to get the equipment we need,” he said during the televised briefing on Saturday.
    The trade union Unite said it had told its members they could lawfully refuse to work to avoid risk of injury, describing the situation over PPE as a “national scandal.”
    The Royal College of Nursing said it had written “in the strongest terms” to express its concerns over the rules change.
    NHS Providers, a body which represents hospitals and other parts of Britain’s publicly funded National Health Service, said supply levels of gowns were critical.
    “It is now clear that some trusts will run out of fully fluid repellent gowns this weekend,” deputy chief executive Saffron Cordery said.
    Britain’s response to the coronavirus outbreak – which has lagged that of European peers – is a source of increasing political criticism for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is recovering from a spell in intensive care after becoming infected.
    The crisis has seen citizens ordered to stay at home and businesses forced to shut during four weeks of restrictions on daily life without precedent in British peacetime history.    The lockdown was extended on Thursday for at least three more weeks.
    Queen Elizabeth effectively cancelled plans to publicly celebrate her 94th birthday on Tuesday, silencing a traditional ceremonial gun salute because she thought it would not be fitting in the current circumstances.
    However, the fundraising efforts of 99-year old war veteran Captain Tom Moore – who has now raised over $29 million for the UK’s National Health Service by walking laps of his garden continued to provide a bright spot for many Britons.
    Jenrick announced that Moore would be the guest of honour, via video link, at the opening of a new temporary coronavirus hospital in Harrogate, northern England.
(Additional reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Toby Chopra and Mike Harrison)

4/18/2020 French coronavirus deaths top 19,000, though increase slows
FILE PHOTO: A sign is pictured in an intensive care unit for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients at the Clinique de l'Orangerie
private hospital in Strasbourg, as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, France April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
    PARIS (Reuters) – France registered 642 more deaths from coronavirus infections on Saturday, although fatalities increased at a slower pace for the third day running and a downward trend in the number of people in hospital continued.
    France has the world’s fourth-highest tally of deaths from the outbreak with 19,323, after the United States, Italy and Spain.
    The health ministry said the total number of people in intensive care units fell for the 10th day in a row, to 5,833 – the lowest level since March 31.
    The number of people in hospital fell for the fourth day running to 30,639.
    The total death tally – which included 11,842 fatalities in hospitals and another 7,481 in nursing homes – rose by 3.4%, the third day running that the pace of increase has slowed.
    France has been in virtual lockdown since March 17 as part of efforts to curb the outbreak.
    “There is decreasing pressure on the needs in terms of equipment and human ressources in resuscitation units, but we’re still at an exceptionally high level (of pressure),” the health ministry said.
    There were 111,821 confirmed cases of coronavirus in France overall, and an additional 39,972 probable cases in nursing homes.
(Reporting by Sarah White and Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

4/18/2020 France to shun strict discrimination by age in lockdown exit
FILE PHOTO: Residents are seen at the La Weiss retirement home (EHPAD - Housing Establishment for
Dependant Elderly People) in Kaysersberg, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues
in France, April 16, 2020. Picture taken April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – France will try to avoid setting different rules for older people and other forms of discrimination once the government starts easing its coronavirus confinement measures, the French President’s office said.
    France’s lockdown to combat the outbreak, which like in Spain, Italy and many other European countries includes restrictions on store openings and people’s movements, will remain in place until at least May 11, President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this week.
    After that, schools and shops are set to reopen, though it is still unclear at what speed France will allow some businesses like hotels or cafes to restart, and whether it plans to lift home confinement recommendations for everyone at the same time.
    Macron’s latest announcements have sparked a backlash in recent days, after he said on Monday that older people, who are considered more vulnerable to the deadly virus, would be asked to stay at home for longer.
    Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council advising the government on the epidemic, also fuelled the debate after he proposed that confinement should continue for people aged 65 to 70 and above.
    “The President has followed the growing debate about the situation for elderly citizens after May 11,” the Elysee palace said in comments sent to Reuters on Saturday.
    “He does not want there to be any discrimination among citizens after May 11 in the context of a gradual easing of confinement measures, and will appeal to people’s individual responsibility.”
    The government is still likely to recommend that some people should stay at home for their own protection, however.
    “We will ask the most vulnerable people, older people, severely disabled people, and those who suffer from chronic illnesses, to remain in confinement even after May 11, at least in a first instance,” Macron said in his televised address on April 13.    “I know it’s a major constraint … But we’ll have to try to abide by this to protect you, it’s in your interest.”
    France’s registered death toll from coronavirus infections neared 19,000 on Friday, but most data provided further indications that the spread of the disease was slowing after the one-month-old national lockdown.
(Reporting by Michel Rose, Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Toby Chopra and Ros Russell)

4/18/2020 Spain’s PM to seek longer but more flexible lockdown by Joan Faus and Graham Keeley
A woman wearing a protective mask waits to enter a pharmacy displaying a Spanish flag with a black ribbon,
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Madrid, Spain, April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday he would ask parliament for a 15-day extension until May 9 of the lockdown imposed in one of the world’s worst coronavirus’ outbreaks, but said the restrictions would be more flexible.
    “We have left behind the most extreme moments,” Sanchez said at a press briefing.    But he added: “These achievements are still insufficient and above all fragile.    We cannot put them at risk with hasty solutions.”
    Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus rose at a slower pace on Saturday but surpassed 20,000 fatalities, the Health Ministry said.    It increased by 565 deaths, down from 585 on Friday, while the number of coronavirus cases rose to 191,726 from 188,068.
    Spain began this week to ease a strict lockdown imposed on March 14 by opening up some sectors of the economy, including manufacturing.     But most people are still confined to their homes except for essential outings such as food shopping, and not even children are allowed out for exercise.
    The country with the third highest coronavirus death toll will move slowly, carefully and progressively towards the “new normality,” Sanchez said.
    But he warned it would be a complex task and that the economic consequences of the outbreak will be “very negative.”
    Asked if citizens would be able to have regular summer holidays, the Socialist leader said he hoped so but that he could not give an answer, signalling the uncertainty on the scope of any de-escalation phase.
    As he seeks a third parliamentary extension of the state of emergency, the next lockdown phase could start being “asymmetric” on April 27, meaning it could be more relaxed for some regions or groups, Sanchez said, without specifying.
    For instance, children would be allowed out of their homes though it would be “limited and subject to conditions to avoid contagion,” Sanchez said.    The prime minister plans to define the criteria in coming days, including in a meeting on Sunday with Spain’s 17 regional leaders.
    Despite stressing an improvement in the figures and defending his government’s measures, Sanchez said Western countries “reacted late” to the virus’ outbreak.    He also admitted Spain could not initially provide all the protective equipment needed for its health workers.
    The health ministry plans to announce an order on Sunday to control and fix the prices of masks for citizens, Sanchez said.
NUMBER OF DEATHS
    Health emergency chief Fernando Simon earlier said he hoped to see soon a steeper decrease in the number of coronavirus deaths.
    Simon said he expected a significant rise in registered coronavirus cases as the number of quick tests conducted has doubled in the past three weeks, but stressed that the tests have shown a lower infection rate among citizens.
    Spain’s labour minister Yolanda Diaz said on Friday her department was planning a two-phased economic resumption, the first for productive sectors up to the summer and a second for tourism and leisure which would last until the end of the year.
    But any final decision would depend on health authorities, her office said in a statement.
(Reporting by Joan Faus and Graham Keeley; Writing by Joan Faus; Editing by Toby Chopra, Ros Russell and Daniel Wallis)

4/18/2020 Deported from U.S., Guatemalans fear infection in mass quarantine by Sofia Menchu
FILE PHOTO: Guatemala's Health Ministry personnel, wearing protective suits and masks, disinfect themselves at
a temporary shelter for Guatemalan migrants who arrived in the country on U.S. deportation flights, as the spread
of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Guatemala City, Guatemala April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Luis Echeverria
    GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – More than 230 deported Guatemalans being held in mass quarantine at a sports center in the Central American nation’s capital are fearful they may have been exposed to the coronavirus after compatriots flown home from the United States tested positive.
    President Alejandro Giammattei said on Friday a dozen randomly selected people from a deportation flight on Monday tested positive for the coronavirus when examined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Giammattei suggested more on the flight had tested positive as well.    The infected deportees are interned in a hospital in Guatemala City.
    However, at least 234 Guatemalan deportees are now quarantined in the Ramiro de Leon Carpio sports complex a few blocks from the Guatemala City airport, according to the nation’s migration institute, including some from the flight that arrived on Monday.
    Flights deporting Guatemalans from the United States were on Thursday temporarily suspended after reports of the mass infection.
    “We don’t want to be here, we prefer to quarantine at home,” said a man named Daniel at the sports center, who did not provide his last name and who arrived on Tuesday from Brownsville, Texas, along with 108 other Guatemalans.    “We feel at risk here,” he said.
    Guarded by police, relatives of the quarantined returnees are leaving clothing and personal hygiene products in bags that migration agents check before handing over.
    Despite recommendations for social distancing to curb the spread of the virus, rooms are packed with about 20 beds and bunk beds, separated by about 1 meter.
    “They check our temperature at midnight, at four in the morning, then again at noon and in the afternoon, and again at night,” said Daniel, adding he had not been tested for the coronavirus.
    A Reuters witness saw about 10 people leave the shelter on Friday after they obtained permission to return home.
    “We panicked here,” said one of them as he left.    “We were scared because we’ve heard that the people here don’t like us, that they think we’re sick.”
    Family members also said they are concerned disease might spread at the complex and said they had not received information about how long their loved ones would be held.
    Several declined to be interviewed over fears that once their names become public they will face discrimination or even violent attacks.br>     Deportees have faced tightened entry restrictions, put in place by mayors of different departments, with some mayors even prohibiting their entry.    Other mayors have threatened to expel families from their hometowns.
    Deportation flights were suspended for the third time on Thursday.    The Guatemalan president has insisted that deportees returning to his country must be healthy.
(Reporting by Sofia Menchu in Guatemala City; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher and Anthony Esposito; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

4/19/2020 Walmart says workers must wear masks by Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY
    Walmart and Sam’s Club will require employees to wear masks or other face coverings starting Monday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
    Shoppers also will be encouraged to wear masks as part of the retailers’ updated COVID-19 response.
    Walmart announced the changes in a letter sent to employees that was posted on Walmart.com on Friday.
    The employee policy applies to U.S. stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers, and corporate offices, according to the letter written by Walmart U.S. president and CEO John Furner and Sam’s Club CEO Kath McLay.
    “We have evolved our policy on face coverings from optional to mandatory as public health guidance has shifted,” the letter said.    “The CDC now recommends wearing face coverings in public settings, including grocery stores, to help curb the spread of the virus.”
    Employees can bring their own masks if they meet certain guidelines or the retailers say they will provide them after employees pass the daily health screens and temperature checks, which were announced March 31.

4/19/2020 Spain’s coronavirus toll slows, with 410 deaths overnight: health ministry
Priest Andres Conde, 49, receives help from his twin sister Inma while donning personal protective equipment
he received from a convent as they prepare food donations for distribution to needy families, during a lockdown
amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Ronda, southern Spain April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s death toll from the new coronavirus outbreak rose by 410 on Sunday, down from 565 on Saturday, the Health Ministry said, bringing the total to 20,453 deaths in one of the world’s hardest hit countries.
    The number of overall coronavirus cases rose to 195,944 on Sunday from 191,726 on Saturday, it added.
(Reporting by Joan Faus; Editing by Alex Richardson)

4/19/2020 Irish unlikely to see packed pubs, big gatherings soon: minister
FILE PHOTO: A man walks his dog near a closed bar, as the spread of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) continues, Dublin, Ireland, March 29, 2020. REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo
    DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland is highly unlikely to allow large gatherings this year and the “cocooning” of people over 70 years old in their homes may persist for quite a while, Health Minister Simon Harris said on Sunday.
    “What’s not going to come back quickly are scenarios in which we can’t safely socially distance,” Harris told the Sunday Independent newspaper in an interview.
    “I can’t see how people can be in packed pubs again as long as this virus is still with us and we don’t have a vaccine or an effective treatment.”
    Ireland’s chief medical officer declared on Thursday that the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak had been contained in the population at large.
    That raised hopes that stay-at-home restrictions could begin to be rolled back from May 5.
    But Harris cautioned that any easing back of the most severe constraints will be done on a slow and phased basis.
    “I’d like to see a situation where you could expand somewhat the areas in which people can go beyond their home,” he said.
    “I’m conscious of the fact that cocooning may well remain a reality for quite a period of time because we know people, once they reach a certain age, are vulnerable.    But is there a safe way that they can get out every now and again and take a walk?
    Currently people can only go out to shop for groceries or for brief physical exercise within a 2 kilometre radius of their homes. Over 70s have been told not to leave their homes.
    Harris said he would like to see a situation where schools could reopen or at least partially reopen.
    Allowing students back just one day a week “would provide breathing space for families and information and I think that would help,” Harris said.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin)

4/19/2020 UK not thinking of easing virus lockdown measures yet: minister
St Pauls cathedral and the City of London financial district are seen at dawn as the spread of
coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in London, Britain, April 19 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s government is not thinking about easing yet the lockdown enacted almost four weeks ago to help control the coronavirus outbreak, a senior minister said on Sunday.
    “The facts and the advice are clear at the moment that we should not be thinking of lifting of these restrictions yet,” Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove told Sky News.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Alex Richardson)

4/19/2020 Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 2,458 to 139,897: RKI
FILE PHOTO: Andreas Wieser from the department of Infection and Tropical Medicine at the University of Munich, works with
blood samples for a study about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Munich Germany, April 17, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases have risen by 2,458 to 139,897, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.
    That was lower than a 3,609 increase reported on Saturday, by when cases of infections had been increasing for four days in a row.
    The reported death toll has risen by 184 to 4,294, the Sunday tally showed.
    That was down from a day-on-day increase shown on Saturday of 242, and 299 on Friday.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Richard Pullin)

4/19/2020 Trump warns China could face consequences for virus outbreak by Jeff Mason and Matt Spetalnick
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the daily coronavirus task force briefing
at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., April 18, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump warned China on Saturday that it should face consequences if it was “knowingly responsible” for the coronavirus pandemic, as he ratcheted up criticism of Beijing over its handling of the outbreak.
    “It could have been stopped in China before it started and it wasn’t, and the whole world is suffering because of it,” Trump told a daily White House briefing.
    It was the latest U.S. volley in a war of words between the world’s two biggest economies, showing increased strains in relations at a time when experts say an unprecedented level of cooperation is needed to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
    “If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake.    But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, I mean, then sure there should be consequences,” Trump said.    He did not elaborate on what actions the United States might take.
    Trump and senior aides have accused China of a lack of transparency after the coronavirus broke out late last year in its city of Wuhan.    This week he suspended aid to the World Health Organization accusing it of being “China-centric.”
    Washington and Beijing have repeatedly sparred in public over the virus.    Trump initially lavished praise on China and his counterpart Xi Jinping for their response.    But he and other senior officials have also referred to it as the “Chinese virus” and in recent days have ramped up their rhetoric.
    They have also angrily rejected earlier attempts by some Chinese officials to blame the origin of the virus on the U.S. military.
    Trump’s domestic critics say that while China performed badly at the outset and must still come clean on what happened, he is now seeking to use Beijing to help deflect from the shortcomings of his own response and take advantage of growing anti-China sentiment among some voters for his 2020 re-election bid.
    At the same time, however, White House officials are mindful of the potential backlash if tensions get too heated.    The United States is heavily reliant on China for personal protection equipment desperately needed by American medical workers, and Trump also wants to keep a hard-won trade deal on track.
    Trump said that until recently the U.S.-China relationship had been good, citing a multi-billion agricultural agreement aimed at defusing a bitter trade war.    “But then all of a sudden you hear about this,” he said.
    He said the Chinese were “embarrassed” and the question now was whether what happened with the coronavirus was “a mistake that got out of control, or was it done deliberately?
    “There’s a big difference between those two,” he said.
WUHAN LAB
    Trump also raised questions about a Wuhan virology laboratory that Fox News this week reported had likely developed the coronavirus as part of China’s effort to demonstrate its capacity to identify and combat viruses.    Trump has said his government is seeking to determine whether the virus emanated from a Chinese lab.
    As far back as February, the Chinese state-backed Wuhan Institute of Virology dismissed rumors that the virus may have been artificially synthesized at one of its labs or perhaps escaped from such a facility.
    Wandering off the topic of the coronavirus, Trump also used the White House briefing to take a swipe at presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his long record on China as a senator and former vice president.
    While stressing his own confrontational trade policies toward China, Trump, using his nickname “Sleepy Joe” for his rival, said if Biden wins the White House that China and other countries “will take our country.”
    Trump also again cast doubt on China’s death toll, which was revised up on Friday.    China said 1,300 people who died of the coronavirus in Wuhan – half the total – were not counted, but dismissed allegations of a cover-up.
    The United States has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 720,000 infections and over 37,000 deaths.
    Even Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force who has steered clear of political aspects of Trump’s contentions briefings, questioned China’s data.
    Showing on a chart that China’s death rate per 100,000 people was far below major European countries and the United States, she called China’s numbers “unrealistic” and said it had a “moral obligation” to provide credible information.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Matt Spetalnick, Idrees Ali, Julia Harte and Makini Brice; writing by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Sandra Maler and Daniel Wallis)

4/19/2020 Treasury Secy. Mnuchin: Economy will rebound by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 13, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump listens as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks about
the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has said despite these “unprecedented” times, he believes the economy will bounce back in months.    During a recent interview, he announced the White House is working on testing more Americans for coronavirus.
    The secretary reaffirmed “we will conquer the virus” and claimed we’ll have “terrific breakthroughs” soon.
    “We’ve never been in a situation where we’ve closed down the economy and I think, rightfully so, people are being cautious.    On the other hand, as we get comfortable reopening the economy, I think we’ll see a big rebound.    So again, very sympathetic to the people, the Americans, who are impacted by this, the economic impact.    I do think we’re all working very closely together and we’re going to get through this.” – Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury Department
    Mnuchin has also reassured Americans that researchers are working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as they can.

4/19/2020 Dr. Birx: Federal government is ‘working on expanding testing strategy across the U.S.’ by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady
Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx has spoken out on making coronavirus testing more widely available across the U.S.On     Sunday, Birx announced the federal government is working with every governor, mayor and laboratory to ensure quality tests are getting out to the American people.
    She also estimated around 30,000 to 50,000 tests are being done, but not all are being reported.
    According to the doctor, the president initially prioritized testing and treating those who needed it the most.    However, she noted the government is now expanding its testing strategy.
    “He wanted to make sure that everyone who was sick had a test, everyone that was sick who needed a hospital bed got a hospital bed, and everyone that needed a ventilator got a ventilator,” stated Birx.    “Now we’re working on expanding testing strategy across the United States, but in deep partnerships with governors and, more importantly, lab directors, who actually know precisely what the issues are that need to be solved.”

Drivers wait in line at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing location Saturday, April 18, 2020, in Franklin, Tenn.
An expanded testing effort launched in Tennessee Saturday includes workers from the Tennessee
National Guard at 15 drive-thru testing sites across the state. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
    While speaking on China’s response, Birx emphasized the first country exposed to a pandemic has a “higher moral obligation on communicating and transparency.”
    “There is never an excuse to not share information,” she said.    “When you are the first country to have an outbreak, you really have a moral obligation to the world to not only talk about it, but provide that information that’s critical to the rest of the world to really respond to this credibly.”
    The task force expert went on to say studies are underway to determine how long someone is immune to the coronavirus.    She noted there are a number of experiments going on to discover how the virus affects a person’s body.
    In terms of a vaccine, Birx has said scientists are still working to see whether giving antibodies from someone who’s already recovered from the virus to another will “confer protective immunity.”    According to her, this is likely the case, but it’s unclear how long immunity would last.
    “In most infectious diseases, except HIV, we know that when you get sick, recover (and) you develop antibody, that antibody often confers immunity,” she explained.    “We just don’t know if its immunity for a month, six months, immunity for six years.”
    Some experts believe immunity from the coronavirus lasts about two to three years, based on what’s already known about the virus.

3/19/2020 Sen. Schumer speaks out on striking potential agreement on additional small business relief by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 20, 2020, file photo Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks to reporters as he
arrives for a meeting to discuss the coronavirus relief bill on Capitol Hill Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    Congress and the White House are nearing an agreement to get more funding for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.    On Sunday, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced he and his fellow colleagues could come to an agreement on the Paycheck Protection Program as early as Sunday or Monday.
    The $350 billion in funding for the program, which was approved in last month’s stimulus bill, ran out last week.
    The senator has said he’s pushing for more funding to become available for businesses in rural areas and minority communities, who have had a particularly hard time securing loans.
    “We’ve made very good progress and I’m hopeful we could come to an agreement tonight or early tomorrow morning.    You know you’ve got to look at a lot of details, …but I am very, very hopeful.    As you’ve heard, many of the things we have asked for – on the banking side, on the testing side, on the hospital side – they’re going along with, so we feel pretty good.” – Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senator
    Sen. Schumer and other congressional leaders have been working closely with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to find a consensus on additional small business relief.

4/19/2020 U.S. could have 5M tests by end of April by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady
Press Briefing Room of the White House, Monday, April 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Vice President Mike Pence has confirmed we are currently performing 150,000 coronavirus tests in the U.S. each day.    During a recent interview, he suggested the number of daily tests could double once all labs across the country are activated.
    This came as good news amid rising concerns over testing and the increasing number of cases in the country.
    The Trump administration is seeking to reopen the economy following a month of lockdown, which was implemented to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
    “We believe that on the phase one criteria, we have a sufficient amount of testing at that level to allow states to begin to responsibly reopen,” stated Pence.
    According to Health and Human Service officials, the administration will have 5 million more swabs by the end of this month.
    Pence also reaffirmed “nobody wants to reopen America more than President Trump.”    However, he emphasized the U.S. has to be careful when reopening the economy, in order to “ensure the cure isn’t worse than the disease.”
    The vice president has said the guidelines recently introduced to governors will allow them to get people back to work at a time of their choosing.
    “The guidelines for opening up America are a framework for doing that, and we’ll work with governors across the country to implement those,” he explained.    “We want to put America back to work as soon as we responsibly can and, at the president’s direction, we’re going to continue to work to do that every day.”
Workers administer tests at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing location Saturday, April 18, 2020, in Franklin, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
    Meanwhile, Vice President Pence gave an address at the Air Force Academy’s commencement in Colorado Springs, where he acknowledged the hardship of these times.    On Saturday, he stated now is the moment for “courage, resilience and strength.”
    The vice president suggested “America is being tested” and added, despite recent progress, “many have lost their lives.”    However, he noted when tough times strike, Americans come together and “rise to the challenge.”
    He encouraged the graduating class by saying the American people “are doing their duty” and he was proud the Air Force Academy was doing theirs.
    “I believe with all my heart that for Americans looking on from around the country at this very hour, seeing you brave men and women setting off on your mission to defend this nation, on this day you’ll also inspire confidence that we will prevail against the invisible enemy in our time as well,” stated Pence.
    The graduation was notably following social distancing guidelines, with every airmen sitting eight feet apart.

4/19/2020 Multiple people dead after ‘senseless’ Canadian shootings -media outlets by John Morris
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) member walks out of the Great Village command post after searching for Gabriel Wortman,
who they describe as a shooter of multiple victims, in Great Village, Nova Scotia, Canada April 19, 2020. REUTERS/John Morris
    PORTAPIQUE, Nova Scotia (Reuters) – A man in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia shot and killed multiple people, including at least one police officer, during a 12-hour rampage, two domestic media outlets reported on Sunday.
    CTV television, citing witnesses, said police had shot dead the suspected gunman at a gas station.    Police said earlier they had arrested 51-year-old Gabriel Wortman after a car chase on suspicion of shooting several people, whose conditions they did not specify.
    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the incident occurred in the small Atlantic coastal town of Portapique, about 130 km north (80 miles) of the provincial capital, Halifax.
    The Canadian Broadcasting Corp and Global News both reported that “multiple people” were dead.
    “This is one of the most senseless acts of violence in our province’s history,” Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil told reporters without giving details.
    A spokeswoman for the RCMP in Nova Scotia declined to comment on the media reports.    Police were due to give a news conference at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT).
    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking to reporters in Ottawa, deplored what he called “a terrible situation.”
    Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada, which has tighter gun control laws than the United States.
    According to the websites of the Denturist Society of Nova Scotia and the province’s Better Business Bureau, Wortman operated a denture clinic in Dartmouth, close to Halifax.
    Portapique residents said the first sign of trouble occurred on Saturday night when police urged everyone to stay indoors.    One man said he saw at least three separate fires.
    A local resident said she had come across two burning police vehicles while out driving on Sunday.
    “There was one officer we could see on scene and then all of a sudden, he went running toward one of the burning vehicles,” Darcy Sack told the CBC.    “We heard gunshots.”
    Police initially said Wortman was driving what appeared to be a police car and was wearing a uniform, but later reported he was at the wheel of a Chevrolet sport utility vehicle.
    The worst mass shooting in Canada in recent years occurred in January 2017, when a man killed six people at an Islamic cultural center in Quebec City.
    In August 2018, a man in the province of New Brunswick, which borders Nova Scotia, fatally shot four people, including two police officers. In June 2014, in the same province, a man shot three police officers to death.
(Reporting by John Morris in Portapique, Nova Scotia; Additional reporting and writing by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Peter Cooney)

4/19/2020 Italy’s daily coronavirus death toll hits one-week low by Silvia Aloisi and Elvira Pollina
FILE PHOTO: A woman rides her bicycle during a lockdown against the spread of coronavirus
disease (COVID-19) in Milan, Italy March 22, 2020. REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo/File Photo
    MILAN (Reuters) – Italy said on Sunday that deaths from the coronavirus pandemic rose by 433, the lowest daily tally in a week, and the number of new cases slowed to 3,047 from a previous 3,491.
    The death toll as reported by Italy’s Civil Protection Agency had risen by 482 on Saturday, down from 575 on Friday.     The daily tallies of deaths and cases extend the broadly stable situation in place over the last two weeks.
    This plateau is down considerably from peaks reached around the end of March, but the downtrend has not proceeded as fast as was hoped in a country that has been in lockdown for six weeks.
    Sunday’s number of deaths marked the lowest daily rise since April 12, when it came in at 431, before rising again during the week.
    Should the decline be confirmed in the next few days it would add to pressure on the Rome government from business leaders and some regional chiefs to let companies reopen and lift restrictions on people’s movement.
    The nationwide lockdown, which was imposed on March 9, will be in force until May 3, but there is not yet any clear plan over to what extent, or how gradually, it will be lifted.
    Luca Zaia, the head of the northern Veneto region, which has made particular progress in bringing the outbreak under control, has called for restrictions to be relaxed before May 3.
    However, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said late on Saturday that Italy was not yet in a position to loosen the lockdown and ruled out the possibility that some regions could be allowed to reopen before others.
    Medical experts have urged caution, saying Italy is still in the first stage of the emergency and cannot yet move to a so-called “Phase 2.”
    “It’s way too early, the numbers in some regions are still very much those of a Phase 1 that has not ended yet,” World Health Organization official Walter Ricciardi told Sky Italia TV.
    The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 rose to 23,660 on Sunday, the second highest in the world after that of the United States.    Total confirmed cases stood at 178,972.
    The outbreak remains heavily concentrated in the northern regions of Lombardy, around the financial capital Milan, and neighbouring Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna.    Lombardy on Sunday reported a daily increase in the number deaths of 163, or more than a third of the total, and 855 new cases.
(Editing by Jane Merriman)

4/19/2020 France says coronavirus crisis easing, but far from over
FILE PHOTO: French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe looks on during a session of questions to the
government at the National Assembly in Paris, France April 7, 2020. Alain Jocard/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – The coronavirus situation in France is improving “slowly but surely” and shortages of protective gear such as face masks are easing, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Sunday, although he warned that the crisis was far from over.
    France – which has recorded close to 20,000 deaths as a result of the pandemic and has the fourth-highest toll in the world – has been in virtual lockdown for nearly five weeks and is due to start lifting some confinement measures from May 11.
    Philippe told a news conference that falls in the number of people in intensive care were one of the encouraging signals that pressures on hospitals were easing.
    But he shut down any expectations that the gradual exit from confinement in May, due to start with the reopening of schools, would allow people to move around or interact as before, especially as a vaccine against the virus was still far off.
    “It won’t be a return to normal life,” Philippe said, adding that as France introduces more testing, people with coronavirus would have to remain isolated at home or in hotels laid on by the government.    “From May 11, we will enter a second phase, when we will regain some of our freedoms.”
    The French state has given few details yet of the pace at which businesses like cinemas or bars will reopen, only saying that as some stores open up again, people will have to maintain safe distances from each other.
    France will, however, lift its ban on visits to nursing home residents, provided people did not touch their relatives, Health Minister Olivier Veran told the same briefing.    Elderly people in nursing homes account for nearly 40% of the coronavirus fatalities in the country.
    The government has come under fire in recent weeks after shortages of medicines, hospital equipment such as ventilators and face masks for doctors as well as front line workers in sectors like supermarkets added to problems in handling the crisis.
    Philippe said that in the past week France had managed to import just under 81 million masks, exceeding for the first time “in a long time” its weekly needs of about 45 million.
    By June, France will also have secured and produced 15,000 more ventilators for resuscitation units in hospitals and another 15,000 less heavy-duty versions – helping it exceed its projected needs.
    “That will not only allow us to secure our situation, but thereafter to also mobilise some ventilators to help France’s allies internationally,” Philippe said.
(Reporting by Sarah White, Matthieu Protard and Michel Rose; Editing by Alexander Smith)

4/19/2020 Delivery of protective healthcare equipment to UK delayed
FILE PHOTO: Level 1 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is seen at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases, as the number
of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases grow around the world, in London, Britain April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
    LONDON/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A delivery of protective equipment for British health workers that was due on Sunday from Turkey has been delayed, a British government official said, as medics on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak increasingly report shortages of gear.
    Ministers had on Saturday highlighted an 84-tonne consignment that was due to arrive from Turkey containing personal protective equipment (PPE), including 400,000 protective gowns.
    A British foreign office spokesperson cited “clearance and paperwork” for the delay, first reported by Sky News.
    “It’s not quite ready yet,” the official said, adding that they were “working to get this delivered as soon as possible.”
    With hospitals under strain, health workers have criticised the government’s advice that PPE worn while treating patients infected with coronavirus could be re-used, as supplies run low across the country.
    Helena McKeown, chair of the British Medical Association which represents doctors, told Sky News the delay would be “devastating” news for health professionals.
    Britain is at or near the peak of a health crisis in which more than 15,000 people have died in hospitals alone – the fifth highest national death toll of a pandemic linked to at least 150,000 deaths worldwide.
    The true toll is likely to be substantially higher as data on deaths in the community, such as in care homes, takes much longer to trickle in.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce in London and Dominic Evans in Istanbul; Editing by Alex Richardson)

4/19/2020 President Trump: China could face consequences for outbreak by OAN Newsroom
A security guard puts on a protective face mask as he stands guard at the closed gates of the Forbidden City, usually
crowded with tourists before the new coronavirus outbreak, in Beijing, Sunday, April 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
    China may face consequences for its role in the coronavirus pandemic.    On Saturday, President Trump said China could be punished if it’s determined the country was knowingly responsible for the outbreak and didn’t take measures to control it.
    China has claimed to have less than 4,700 coronavirus deaths.    Both China and the World Health Organization have vouched for the credibility of these numbers, despite U.S. reports that alleged otherwise.
    However, President Trump’s administration believes the country underreported those numbers.
    “There is never an excuse to not share information,” stated Dr. Deborah Birx.    “When you are the first country to have an outbreak, you really have a moral obligation to the world to not only talk about it, but provide that information that’s critical to the rest of the world to really respond to this credibly.”
President Donald Trump points to China on a graph as White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx speaks about mortality
rates during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday, April 18, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    The White House is currently investigating how the outbreak began.
    “We’re doing a very thorough examination of this horrible situation that happened,” announced President Trump.

4/20/2020 The chart below shows the mortality rate from the coronavirus or Chinese Virus and China had the least because they walled up Wuhan and sent everyone else to other countries to infect them, and the chart below shows that it could be intentional and the U.S. stopped most of those flights because Donald Trump banned any flights from China where the E.U. nations did not.    Then all the U.S. liberal states with International Airports did not listen and guess who they let in and that can be seen clearly in the following images..
    Back on 3/3/2020 I wrote the following and presented the image below:
    Has anyone noticed that most of the states that have coronavirus are states controlled by the Democrats except for Florida and of course also have major airports for international flights in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Miami.
[SO WHEN YOU GO TO VOTE THIS YEAR VOTE TRUMP BACK IN AND ANY OTHER REPUBLICAN SO WE CAN TAKE THE CONGRESS BACK WITH SENATE AND “KEEP AMERICA GREAT” AFTER WE FIX THE ABOVE ISSUE AND SHUT THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS AND THE DEEP STATE OUT FOR AT LEAST 4 YEARS.].

4/20/2020 Closures set off a rights debate - ‘Balancing test’ applies to state lockdowns by Matt Mencarini and Billy Kobin, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    Protests in cities and state capitals exploded around the country last week, with sign-toting and horn-blowing activists urging governors to ease stay-at-home restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus.
    Governors are getting pushback from those who say their constitutional rights are being denied, to the point that threats may have been made against the life of Kentucky’s governor.
    A Facebook post Saturday in the “Boone County Neighborhood Group” contained what Kentucky lawmakers described as threats against Gov. Any Beshear.    The post started by saying Beshear’s actions denied Kentuckians of constitutional rights.
    By these ... unconstitutional acts on the part of Andy Beshear the Constitution protects us and gives us the authority to eliminate him by any means necessary via the Second Amendment,” the user wrote.
    But the person who made the comments told The Courier Journal in a message Sunday that his post was “NOT threatening anyone.”
    During his COVID-19 briefing Sunday, Beshear provided a brief response when asked about the threats, calling Kentucky State Police “an incredible organization filled with great people.”
    Executive orders by governors to close nonessential businesses, prohibit in-person religious services, force people to stay home or limit travel between states have been called unfair or unconstitutional by those protesting.
    Governors insist they are simply trying to save lives, but experts say ensuring safety must be balanced against the liberties spelled out in the Bill of Rights.
    State officials are still largely acting legally, constitutional law experts say.
    “Pandemic is not a magic word that instantly negates all individual constitutional rights,” said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University.    “A pandemic gives states a compelling state purpose in the imposition of restrictions.    But when the state denies or restricts constitutional rights, it must satisfy a balancing test.”
    The orders can be challenged on the basis that they’re overly broad, he said, or that they don’t properly weigh the individual restrictions against public health threats.
    Turley pointed to Michigan, a state he believes has an order broad enough that it could be challenged.
    On Wednesday, protesters gathered outside the Michigan capital in Lansing and intentionally used vehicles to block traffic on the surrounding streets.
    “The important thing to realize is that particularly in the initial phase of a pandemic, the courts will be highly deferential to the states,” Turley said.    “But that will wane over time.”
    One restriction that has drawn pushback has been the prohibition of in-person religious gatherings.
    Turley and Samuel Marcosson, a University of Louisville professor, say that on the surface these restrictions are constitutional, but the details and other orders are the real test.
    “If religion is treated the same as and subject to the same rules and restrictions as secular businesses or entities or individuals, that doesn’t violate the First Amendment,” Marcosson said.
    States can even impose restrictions on protests, Marcosson said, as long as the restrictions fall in line with the approach needed for religious ones, particularly that they aren’t aimed solely at protests against the orders.
    “The government has to show that it has a really overriding interest, a compelling interest, that justifies action,” he said.    “I don’t think there should be any question that dealing with a pandemic that is killing tens of thousands so far in this country alone is a compelling interest – trying to prevent its spread, prevent more people from dying.”
    Statewide stay-at-home orders cover more than 310 million Americans, a vast majority of the country’s population.    But eight states, all led by Republican governors, have held out.
    Governors in Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, Oklahoma and Arkansas have given various reasons for not issuing statewide orders.    Some of the leaders say the specific circumstances of their state do not merit such a mandate.    Others have advocated for individual responsibility, and a few have said they are following the advice of their own state health officials.
    Legal experts have said President Donald Trump doesn’t have the authority to impose a national lockdown as the heads of countries such as Italy, Spain, France and Britain have done.
    While appearing to egg on some states to loosen up restrictions at times – even tweeting things like “LIBERATE MINNESOTA” and “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” – Trump has otherwise signaled support for leaving decisions up to the states, as of now.    “We have a thing called the Constitution, which I cherish,” the president said this month when talking about the possibility of a nationwide lockdown.
Contributing: Jonathan Bullington, Louisville Courier Journal
Corrections & Clarifications
    USA TODAY is committed to accuracy. To reach us, contact Standards Editor Manny Garcia at 800-872-7073 or e-mail accuracy@usatoday.com.    Please indicate whether you’re responding to content online, on social media or in the newspaper.
    A reporter’s name was misspelled in a story Friday on Page 1 about citations at a New Jersey nursing home where 18 bodies were found.    She is Susanne Cervenka.
Protesters rally against Kentucky’s stay-at-home restrictions outside the Capitol in Frankfort. JOE SONKA

4/20/2020 Crowds flock to reopened beaches by Morgan Hines, USA TODAY
    People came faster than a flock of seagulls chasing a french fry when Florida beaches began reopening Friday as the coronavirus pandemic raged on.
    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave municipalities the go-ahead to reopen during a news conference Friday – if it can be done safely, while observing social distancing guidelines. A day earlier, President Donald Trump rolled out a three-phase approach for reopening the nation.
    With the governor’s green light, north Florida beaches were among the first to allow people to return since being closed down by the pandemic.
    Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced that Duval County beaches would reopen Friday afternoon with restricted hours and could be used for walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming, taking care of pets and surfing.    Visit Florida lists beaches by county in Florida and their status: closed, restricted or otherwise.
    The beaches will be open from 6 to 11 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m local time, Curry said in a video posted to Twitter.
Gatherings of 50 or more people are prohibited.
    “Folks, this could be the beginning of the pathway back to normal life, but please respect and follow these limitations,” Curry said in the video.    “We’ll get back to life as we know it, but we must be patient.”
    At his news conference in Fort Lauderdale, DeSantis said it was important for people to have outlets for getting exercise, sunshine and fresh air.
    “Do it in a good way.    Do it in a safe way,” he urged.
    Beachgoers may not have followed the best social distancing practices while dipping their toes back in the water.
    “It was a mad dash here for the ocean,” CNN’s Randi Kaye said from a beach in Jacksonville.
    Saturday at the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s briefing, Dr. Deborah Birx, who serves as the coronavirus response coordinator, said she wouldn’t second-guess Florida’s decision to reopen beaches.
    “If the county health directors believe that that’s appropriate for their county, then I’m not going to second judge an individual’s approach to this,” Birx said.
    WFLA News tweeted a video of Jacksonville Beach
    18 minutes after the beach reopened Friday evening, which showed a crowd near the water.
    “Floridians are already soaking up the sun,” the tweet read.
    Action News Jax CBS47/FOX30 meteorologist Garrett Bedenbaugh tweeted an image of people back on the beach with a reminder: “Don’t forget the social distancing.”
    Some people tried to sun on the beach and were reprimanded by authorities before moving on.
    As of Saturday morning, Florida had at least 25,269 cases of coronavirus, and 740 Florida residents had died, according to the state Department of Health.
    Florida officials were criticized for being too slow to close beaches during the spring break period.
Contributing: Julia Thompson, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
Crowds celebrate beaches reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic Saturday on Jacksonville Beach, Fla. Beaches
are open for activities such as walking, surfing, swimming and fishing. WILL DICKEY/USA TODAY NETWORK

4/20/2020 Spain’s confirmed coronavirus cases surpass 200,000: health ministry
FILE PHOTO: Jaime Banderas, 45, who was hospitalized with pneumonia after suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), stands next
to his wife Pepi as they listen music on their balcony during the lockdown in Ronda, southern Spain, April 19, 2020. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
    MADRID (Reuters) – The number of people diagnosed with the new coronavirus in Spain has surpassed the 200,000 threshold, the country’s health ministry said on Monday.
    The ministry said the number of cases rose to 200,210 from 195,944 cases on Sunday.    Spain has the second highest number of diagnosed cases in the world after the United States, according to Reuters data.
    The cumulative death toll from the coronavirus rose to 20,852 on Monday from 20,453 the day before, the ministry said.
(Reporting by Nathan Allen, editing by Inti Landauro)

4/20/2020 UK will review how it handled COVID-19 when time is right, minister says
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is seen as a man in a protective suit
pretends to clean the cabinet as part of a stunt for social media, while the number of coronavirus cases (COVID-19)
grows around the world, in London, Britain, March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will review its approach to the coronavirus pandemic to learn what it could have done better, Culture Minister Oliver Dowden said on Monday, following criticism that the government was too slow to react.
    “When we’re dealing with an unprecedented crisis like this we’re not going to have perfect 20:20 hindsight vision on this,” he told BBC TV.    “Of course we will need to look back and see the things we could have done differently."
    “But right now people would not be expecting us to be looking back over the past few months, they would be expecting us to be dealing with this crisis on a day to day basis.    We have said that we will of course review all the lessons that we need to learn from this and indeed learn the lessons globally.”
(Reporting by Kate Holton and Guy Faulconbridge)

4/20/2020 China will play central role in campaign strategies for Biden, Trump by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this combination of file photos, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Wilmington, Del., on March 12, 2020,
left, and President Donald Trump speaks at the White House in Washington on April 5, 2020. (AP Photo, File)
    It’s down to the wire in the race for the White House with President Trump expected to go toe-to-toe with the presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden, but a different kind of battle seems to be brewing behind the scenes.
    Both campaigns are looking to paint each candidate as bad for America and good for China.    According to Axios, the Trump campaign is specifically looking at Biden’s ties to Beijing.
    On the flip side, the Biden campaign wants to point the finger at President Trump by claiming he “rolled over” for China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. In a memo from the DNC, the organization said they are honing in on his desire for a trade agreement.    They claimed he “sought a deal to begin undoing the damage caused by his trade policies.”
    However, the Trump campaign isn’t planning on holding anything back.    They are sifting through years of Biden’s political career, where he’s come to China’s defense.
    Critics have pointed to Biden’s time on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he fought to grant China most-favored-nation (MFN) trade status as well as membership with the World Trade Organization.    These two battles that were ultimately won in 2001 despite Beijing’s government coming under fire for consistent abuses of human rights.
    His son’s job on the energy board of Ukrainian gas firm Burisma will also be a focal point of the Trump war room’s reelection efforts.     Hunter Biden has come under fire from Republicans, even on Capitol Hill, with lawmakers spearheading efforts to launch a probe into his role with the company
.
    It’s clear these next few months will be critical for both campaigns as November fast approaches.    Analysts speculate foreign policy could be on the radar for many Americans moving forward, which is something both candidates will likely have in mind.

4/20/2020 Republicans are close to reaching agreement with Democrats on another U.S. COVID-19 stimulus package by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump listens during a coronavirus task force briefing at the
White House, Sunday, April 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    President Trump confirmed Republicans are close to reaching a multi-billion dollar deal with Democrats on another coronavirus stimulus package.    The president made that announcement during a White House briefing on Sunday.
    The deal, which is estimated at around $450 billion, calls to renew $300 billion in funds for the Paycheck Protection Program.    This program ran out of money last week.
    The deal would also boost spending for hospitals and coronavirus testing by roughly $100 billion and appropriates additional funds for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance Program.
    “We’re also looking at helping our hospitals and our rural hospitals who have been hurt very badly; the rural hospitals for a long time have not been treated properly,” said President Trump.    “We’re looking to help them and beyond, so we’re looking at hospitals also as part of the package.”
    The president went on to say there’s a possibility a deal could be made as early as Monday.
    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that he’s hopeful an agreement could be reached soon, so the House and Senate could pass the bill this week.

4/20/2020 Music industry reels from COVID-19 quarantine by OAN Newsroom
A family wears mask as they walk under the Lumiere Cinema at the Music Hall in
Beverly Hills, Calif., on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
    The music industry is looking at a potential year-long furlough as health officials warn against large gatherings even if economies begin reopening.    Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantine, major performers have been forced to forego millions of dollars in tour sales.
    The U.S. took notice when for the first time since its inception in 1987, South by Southwest cancelled its annual March conference.    Not only did this leave attendees searching for flight and ticket refunds, but it also left an economic toll on the city of Austin, Texas worth roughly $350 million.
    When concert-goers thought it couldn’t get any worse, the international music festival Coachella followed suit about a week later.    The event has been rescheduled for October.    It takes place in Southern California over two weekends in April and brings in about half a billion dollars.
    It isn’t just the fans that are left in the dark about when — or if — they will return to the stadiums, valleys and theaters for live entertainment.    Touring artists, stage crews, concert promoters and labels are all dealing with a new and uncertain reality as well as the question: when will I get paid?
    Despite the unpredictability, with state officials banning large gatherings of more than 10 people in early and mid-March before a total shutdown, some bands are taking their shows online.
    This was the case with Pittsburgh-based metal outfit Code Orange, who opted to stream their latest album release show on Twitch.    The group broadcasted live without an audience and for free.
    While larger musicians similarly found themselves with freed-up calendars, like Grammy Award winning musician Taylor Swift’s postponement of her 2020 tour, smaller acts are now struggling to supplement the lost income.
    As America works on a safe plan to reopen, concertgoers and performers alike will have to continue improvising ways to get-in on the virtual action.

4/20/2020 Health care workers oppose lockdown protests by OAN Newsroom
Protesters stand on the front lawn of the State Capitol during a protest against the stay-at-home order issued by Colorado
Governor Jared Polis to stem the spread of the new coronavirus Sunday, April 19, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
    Stay-at-home protesters in Denver, Colorado recently faced opposition from health care professionals.    Hundreds of anti-lockdown activists stormed the state capitol on Sunday to oppose the government’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
    Gov. Jared Polis (D) enacted stay-at-home orders last month, which made Colorado one of the many states to take such action against the spread of the virus.    The statewide shutdown has left many struggling with joblessness and opponents of the measures believe they infringe on peoples’ freedom.
    Many demonstrators were dawning patriotic gear and waving American flags.    They claimed this was a matter of defending patriotism and the Constitution.    Some protesters stood shoulder to shoulder on the capitol’s lawn, while others lined the streets in their cars.
    However, nearby hospital staff wearing scrubs and N95 masks stood in the roadways to block them.    Demonstrators responded by yelling and threatening the workers from their vehicles.

Traffic backs up along Lincoln Avenue at 14th Street as protesters wave placards and flags during a car protest against the stay-at-home order issued
by Colorado Governor Jared Polis to stem the spread of the new coronavirus Sunday, April 19, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
    Medical professionals argued the protests pose a threat to the health and safety of the public.    They believe the lockdown measures are necessary to combat the pandemic.    One Denver nurse said the rebellion felt like “a slap in the face.”
    While protesters want to go back to work, medical staff are seeing the real effects of the virus at their hospitals everyday and wish people would uphold the social distancing measures.
    Demonstrations like this have been occurring across the country.    People are calling for a return to work and normalcy.    Meanwhile, Gov. Polis laid out goals to reopen the economy, which would still include physical distancing in work and social settings.

4/20/2020 President Trump predicts around 60K virus deaths, much fewer than previous projections by OAN Newsroom
Alma Cropper, 84, left, is given a coronavirus test near her vehicle at a walk-up testing center, Monday,
April 20, 2020, in Annapolis, Md. According to the City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management,
the testing site began with a limited number of tests for people with symptoms on Monday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
    President Trump is predicting much fewer coronavirus deaths than first projected.    During the coronavirus task force briefing Sunday, he said it looks like the U.S. will be closer to 60,000 deaths instead of the 100,000 initially predicted.
    His remarks followed information revealed over the weekend, which suggested that new expert projections have total deaths at over 60,000 as well.    This new information is based on data collected from states who have already experienced outbreaks.
    The model tracks current trends and how social distancing is playing a role in the decline.    The president revealed the updated numbers after comparing the virus to the Civil War.
    “I think right now we’re heading at probably around 60, maybe 65,000…one is too many and I always say it, one is too many,” said the president.    “.”
    Currently, more than 40,000 people have lost their lives to the respiratory illness in the U.S.

4/20/2020 Dr. Fauci says economic recovery will not happen ‘unless we get the virus under control’ by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, walks from the podium after speaking about
the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Dr. Anthony Fauci said the nation’s economic recovery is not going to happen “unless we get the virus under control” amid protests of stay-at-home orders.
    During an interview Monday, he acknowledged it could be painful to follow guidelines for a gradual reopening, but warned opening the economy too quickly will backfire.    He said testing will increase in the coming weeks from the millions of tests currently being conducted.
    The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director also highlighted a few issues with the effectiveness of anti-body testing.
    Fauci stressed the federal and local governments need to work together to help get them access to resources.
    “There are things that are obstacles in the way that we need a partnership between the federal government and the local people, including the governors, to help them get to things that maybe they don’t have access to,” he explained.
    Meanwhile, the Trump administration is in the midst of a delicate balancing act between prioritizing the health of Americans while ensuring their economic security.
    The guidelines for reopening the economy, which were recently introduced to governors, will allow them to get people back to work at a time of their choosing.    Some states have been seeing more progress in the fight against the virus than others.

4/20/2020 Former Clinton adviser suggests a Biden nomination would likely help President Trump’s reelection campaign by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this combination of file photos, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Collier, Pa., on March 6, 2018,
and President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on March 20, 2018. (AP Photo)
    A former adviser to Bill Clinton recently weighed in on Joe Biden’s stance as the presumptive Democrat nominee in the 2020 election.
    In an interview Sunday, Dick Morris said a Biden nomination would be like a “suicide march” for the Democrat Party as it would likely help President Trump’s reelection campaign.
    Morris claimed if it comes down to President Trump versus Biden, the president would have a major advantage due to his ability to rebuild the economy.
    “Look, I think we have to understand this whole situation is very much Trump’s political advantage because the country will need one thing: to get the economy moving again,” he stated.    “And that’s what Trump is good at, that’s what Trump has done.”
    Morris also went on to say he believes there’s a significant chance there could be a write-in movement for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to replace Biden as the Democrat nominee.

4/20/2020 N.M. GOP Chair Steve Pearce says state will turn red as long as 2020 elections are free of voter fraud by OAN Newsroom
FILE–In this Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, file photograph, voters are encouraged to register to vote at a temporary
location set up in the farmers’ market in the Santa Fe Railyard in Santa Fe, N.M. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
    The chairman of New Mexico’s Republican Party said he believes his state will turn red if the 2020 elections are free of voter fraud.
    In an interview over the weekend, Steve Pearce suggested as long as the state’s voter rolls are clean and Democrats’ mail-in voting scheme fails then New Mexico will shift red.    Pearce said if there’s a fair election, President Trump will take victory in the state come November.
    The Republican also praised the GOP’s recent victory in the New Mexico Supreme Court, where a Democrat-led measure to enact a mandatory statewide vote-by-mail policy was thrown out unanimously.
    “I don’t believe for a moment the Democrats have let up on their attempts to pass this and get it in place, so we’re gonna continue to fight all the way to Election day,” stated Pearce.    “If we have a fair election, New Mexico is gonna turn red and Trump is gonna win New Mexico.”
    His comments came after the president recently called on Republicans to fight against mail-in voting, which he believes is “ripe for fraud” and should not be allowed.

4/20/2020 Nothing hidden from member states, CDC experts on board: WHO chief by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge
FILE PHOTO: Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a news conference on
the situation of the coronavirus (COVID-2019), in Geneva, Switzerland, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The head of the World Health Organization said on Monday that nothing in its coronavirus response had been “hidden” from the United States, as senior officials said U.S. technical experts had been an important part of the WHO’s effort.
    The comments appeared to be a rejoinder to U.S. President Donald Trump, who has criticised WHO’s handling of the pandemic, accusing it of promoting Chinese “disinformation,” and suspended U.S. funding last week.
    Some 15 staff from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have been seconded to the U.N. agency since January, joining two U.S. government officials assigned long-term.
    “Having U.S. CDC staff means there is nothing hidden from the U.S., from day one,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, told a news conference.
    “All countries get information immediately.”
    The United States, the WHO’s biggest donor by far, now has the world’s largest epidemic of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
    The WHO is leading the global fight against the virus, which has infected more than 2.4 million people and killed 165,000 since emerging in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.
    Tedros said that divisions between people and political parties were “fuelling” the pandemic, but was not specific.
    The WHO has placed orders for 30 million diagnostic tests over the next 4 months, Tedros said.    It is shipping nearly 180 million surgical masks in April and May, as well as 54 million face masks and more than 3 million pairs of protective goggles, he said.
    More than 600 hospitals are now ready to enrol patients in WHO’s so-called Solidarity Trial of drugs against the disease, he added.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
[WELL IT LOOKS LIKE TRUMP WILL HAVE TO GET OTHER COUNTRIES TO JOIN HIM IN INVESTIGATING THE WHO TO FIND OUT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED BETWEEN THEM AND CHINA AND SINCE IT HAS AFFECTED 184 NATIONS I THNK HE WILL GET THAT.]

4/20/2020 Coronavirus cases in Ecuador top 10,000, doubling about once a week
FILE PHOTO: Maria Fernanda Acosta de la S undergoes her third dialysis treatment, and last one of the week, at a dialysis
centre, amidst the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Guayaquil, Ecuador April 18, 2020.REUTERS/Santiago Arcos
    QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuador reported over 10,000 cases of coronavirus on Monday, the fourth-highest tally in Latin America, as the disease ravages the economy of the oil-producing country.
    The pandemic in recent weeks has overwhelmed sanitary authorities in the largest city of Guayaquil, the center of the Andean nation’s outbreak, where corpses remained in homes or for hours on streets.
    Ecuador recorded its first coronavirus case on Feb. 29 and took 24 days to reach 1,000 cases.    It took seven days for cases to double to 2,000, eight days to double to 4,000 and eight days to double again to 8,000, according to a Reuters tally.
    The Andean nation has reported a total of 507 deaths, the health ministry said.    Officials said they believed another 826 people have died due to the virus, but the cases were never confirmed.
    The Ecuadorian government said that most of the confirmed cases are “stable in home isolation,” adding that it has taken 32,453 samples for COVID-19 testing.
    The number of infections has been rising steadily in the Andean country, despite the mobility restrictions and quarantine that have been in force for a month.
    “As long as people comply with this isolation in a disciplined and committed way, we will be able to contain the contagion,” Deputy Health Minister Xavier Solórzano told reporters in a press conference.
    The government has had problems enforcing measures in various parts of the country, where people infected with the virus have been found circulating on streets and in shopping centers.
    Authorities have said they plan to keep restricting movement, but that they are analyzing plans to ease measures in some sectors, such as construction.
    In Latin America, only Brazil, Peru and Chile have more cases.
    President Lenin Moreno has proposed creating a humanitarian assistance fund that would collect 5% of the profits with reported revenue exceeding $1 million in 2018, and would tax workers with monthly salaries of more than $500.
    Those measures, that still have to be approved by legislators, have been questioned by indigenous people, unions and business leaders.
(Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Writing by Sarah Kinosian; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)

4/20/2020 France becomes fourth country with more than 20,000 coronavirus deaths
FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past a closed restaurant in Paris, as a lockdown is imposed
to slow the rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in France, April 16, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
    PARIS (Reuters) – France on Monday officially registered more than 20,000 deaths from the coronavirus, becoming the fourth country to pass that threshold after Italy, Spain and the United States, and the pace of increase in fatalities and infections sped up again after several days of slowing.
    “The epidemic is very deadly and is far from over,” France’s public health chief Jerome Salomon told a news briefing, adding that the death toll was now higher than that of the heat wave in the summer of 2003.
    He said the number of people in intensive care had fallen for the 12th consecutive day, to 5,683 – the lowest since March 31 – suggesting the national lockdown is having positive effects in containing the disease.
    Another encouraging signal was a decline for the sixth day in a row in people hospitalized for COVID-19, even though the total, at 30,584 versus 30,610 on Sunday, is going down only slowly.
    While France is due to start unwinding some confinement measures from May 11, Salomon insisted on the importance of strictly complying with the lockdown.
    He said coronavirus-linked fatalities were up 2.8%, at 20,265, after an increase of 2.0% on Sunday.    The United States has more than 41,000 dead, Italy 24,114 and Spain 20,852.    The global death toll stands at more than 165,000.
    The number of confirmed cases increased by 1.8% in France to 114,657 and possible cases in nursing homes were up 1.1% at 40,726, for a total of 155,383, up 1.6% in 24 hours after a 0.7% increase on Sunday.
    Salomon also said the virus reproduction rate had gone from three at the beginning of the outbreak, before the lockdown was put in place, to less than one.
    “The pandemic produces less sick people than before.    That is how we will be able to contain it and then reduce it,” he said.
(Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Chris Reese and Giles Elgood)

4/21/2020 Oil up $2.16 to $20.43, DOW down 592 to 23,650.

4/21/2020 More information on Coronavirus deaths.

4/21/2020 Are leaders violating citizens’ liberties? Protesters say COVID-19 fight takes away rights by Matt Mencarini and Billy Kobin, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    Protests in cities and state capitals have exploded around the country, with sign-toting and horn-blowing activists exhorting governors to ease stay-at-home restrictions put in place to combat the coronavirus.
    Governors are getting pushback from those who say their constitutional rights are being denied, to the point that threats have been made against the life of Kentucky’s governor.
    A Facebook post Saturday in the “Boone County Neighborhood Group” contained what Kentucky lawmakers described as threats against Gov. Any Beshear.    The post started by saying Beshear’s actions denied Kentuckians of constitutional rights.
    “By these … unconstitutional acts on the part of Andy Beshear the Constitution protects us and gives us the authority to eliminate him by any means necessary via the Second Amendment,” the user wrote.
    But the person who made the comments told The Courier Journal in a message Sunday that his post was “NOT threatening anyone.”
    For his part, Beshear appeared unconcerned about his safety, calling the Kentucky State Police “an incredible organization filled with great people.”
    “They provide security for me on a daily basis,” Beshear said. “I trust them. They know what they’re doing, and I couldn’t be in better hands.”
    President Donald Trump was equally unconcerned Sunday, calling the protesters “great people” who have “cabin fever.”
    “They want their life back,” Trump said.    “Their life was taken away from them.”
    Executive orders by governors to close nonessential businesses, prohibit in-person religious services, force people to stay home or limit travel between states have been called unfair or unconstitutional by protesters.
    Governors insist they are trying to save lives, but experts say ensuring safety must be balanced against the Bill of Rights.
    State officials are still largely acting legally, constitutional law experts say.
    Pandemic is not a magic word that instantly negates all individual constitutional rights,” said Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University.
    “A pandemic gives states a compelling state purpose in the imposition of restrictions.    But when the state denies or restricts constitutional rights, it must satisfy a balancing test
.”
    The orders can be challenged on the basis that they’re overly broad, he said, or that they don’t properly weigh the individual restrictions against public health threats.
    Turley pointed to Michigan, a state he thinks has an order broad enough that it could be challenged.
    On Wednesday, protesters gathered outside the Michigan Capitol in Lansing and used vehicles to block traffic on the surrounding streets.
    “The important thing to realize is that particularly in the initial phase of a pandemic, the courts will be highly deferential to the states,” Turley said.    “But that will wane over time.”
    One restriction that has drawn both protest and pushback has been the prohibition of in-person religious gatherings.
    Both Turley and Samuel Marcosson, a University of Louisville professor, say on the surface these restrictions are constitutional, but the details and other orders are the real test.
    “If religion is treated the same as and subject to the same rules and restrictions as secular businesses or entities or individuals, that doesn’t violate the First Amendment,” Marcosson said.
    States can even impose restrictions on protests, Marcosson said, as long as the restrictions fall in line with the approach needed for religious ones, particularly that they aren’t aimed solely at protests against the orders.
    “The government has to show that it has a really overriding interest, a compelling interest, that justifies action,” he said.
    “I don’t think there should be any question that dealing with a pandemic that is killing tens of thousands so far in this country alone is a compelling interest.”
    On Sunday, Kentucky lawmakers, state officials and others condemned the Facebook threat against Beshear.
    Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron tweeted: “Dissent and disagreement are necessary for any healthy government. Threats of violence are not and are unacceptable.”
Secretary of State Michael Adams tweeted: “This comment is reprehensible. Our Second Amendment protects fundamental rights; murder is not among them.”
    But Trump dismissed reports that some protesters have threatened governors during a news conference Sunday.
    Trump said he had “never seen so many American flags” at the protests.    When asked about reports of Nazi flags, Trump said he hadn’t seen them.
    “I totally would say, no way,” Trump said.    “I’m sure the news plays that up.”
    Statewide stay-at-home orders cover more than 310 million Americans, a vast majority of the country’s population.    Eight states, all led by Republican governors, have held out.    Legal experts have said Trump doesn’t have the authority to impose a national lockdown as the heads of countries such as Italy, Spain, France and Britain have done.
    Though siding with protesters — tweeting “LIBERATE MINNESOTA” and “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” — Trump has signaled support for leaving decisions up to the states, as of now.
    James Hodge, a law professor at Arizona State University and director of the university’s Center for Public Health law and Policy, said most of that power rests firmly with states when it comes to loosening virus-related restrictions.
    However, the federal government could exert pressure by telling states to open up or risk losing resources and money, Hodge said.
    The federal government also could potentially overturn state restrictions on interstate travel, Marcosson said, if the U.S. Congress determines it interferes with interstate commerce.
    Some governors ordered bans on nonessential travel across state lines or implemented mandatory 14-day quarantines for those coming to their state from certain areas.    Congress could pass a law establishing a national rule governing interstate travel during the pandemic.
    “But Congress hasn’t done that,” Marcosson said.    “And until and unless Congress does that, which seems unlikely, then the states have the authority to deal with this issue.”
    New issues could arise once bordering states begin to lift restrictions, which might lead to more quarantines or travel restrictions.
    “You can lawfully implement quarantine and isolation measures,” Hodge said.    “but you do that with something more than a hunch someone poses a risk.”
    Turley said he’s not aware of any orders that have been overturned by courts.    He added that over time, courts will give less deference to states at the restrictions continue.
    Marcosson said the continued restrictions, lifted restrictions and trends in infections and deaths will be important evidence as judges see legal challenges to restrictions.
    “My view would be it’s not a matter of the amount of time that passes, but that when time passes, it may give us more information that could either support one side or the other in making the case that these restrictions are no longer justified under the government’s police powers.”
    Amber Duke, a spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said in a statement that Beshear’s orders are in line with the government’s role to protect the public.
    “Nevertheless, while these orders may be constitutional today, these restrictions should not be in place indefinitely, and Gov. Beshear and his advisors should regularly reevaluate the use of this emergency power,” she said.
    USA TODAY reporters David Jackson and John Fritze and Courier Journal reporter Jonathan Bullington contributed to this story.    Reach Matt Mencarini: 502-438-4319; mmencarini@courier journal.com; Twitter: @MattMencari ni.    Reach Billy Kobin: bkobin@courier journal.com; 502-582-7030.
    “Pandemic is not a magic word that instantly negates all individual constitutional rights.” Jonathan Turley Law professor at George Washington University
State Rep. Savannah Maddox, center, chants alongside with more than 100 protesters outside the
state Capitol on Wednesday as Gov. Andy Beshear delivers his daily coronavirus update inside. The protesters
were calling for the reopening of the state’s economy. MATT STONE/COURIER JOURNAL

More than 100 protesters who want Kentucky to reopen rally outside the state Capitol on Wednesday
with chants including: “You’re not the king. We won’t kiss your ring.” MATT STONE/COURIER JOURNAL

4/21/2020 Italy to start easing coronavirus lockdown from May 4: PM Conte
FILE PHOTO: Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks to media as he announces a decree that will close
cinemas, schools in order to contain the coronavirus, in Rome, Italy March 4, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy will announce before the end of this week its plans for the gradual reopening from a lockdown imposed to fight the coronavirus emergency that will be applied starting from May 4, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Tuesday.
    The lockdown, closing most Italian businesses and preventing people leaving their homes for all but essential needs, has been in place since March 9, putting a major strain on the euro zone’s third largest economy.
    “I wish I could say: let’s reopen everything. Immediately.    We start tomorrow morning … But such a decision would be irresponsible.    It would make the contagion curve go up in an uncontrolled way and would nullify all the efforts we have made so far,” Conte wrote in a Facebook post.
    “We must act on the basis of a national (reopening) plan, which however takes into account the territorial peculiarities.”
    After the government shuttered businesses not deemed essential to the supply chain on March 22, calls have recently been growing from industry lobbies to reopen some activities to prevent an economic catastrophe.
    Italy’s Treasury expects the economy to contract by around 8% this year, two sources close to the matter told Reuters on Monday, underscoring the negative impact of the nationwide restrictions.
    Conte said the easing of restrictions would happen on the basis of a thorough study and scientific data and not to “satisfy a part of public opinion or to satisfy the requests of some production categories, individual companies or specific regions.”
    “The easing brings with it the real risk of a decided increase in the contagion curve and we must be prepared to contain this ascent to the minimum levels, so that the risk of contagion is ‘tolerable’,” he added.
    Such plan would not only ensure that companies followed the necessary safety precautions at work, but that it also considered the flow of workers such opening would generate and its impact on public transport, especially during peak times.
    “The easing of the measures must take place on the basis of a well-structured and articulated plan,” he added.
    The number of new COVID-19 cases dropped to 2,256 on Monday, the lowest level in well over a month, the Civil Protection Agency said.    The total death toll stood at 24,114, the second highest in the world after that of the United States.
(Reporting by Francesca Piscioneri, writing by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Giselda Vagnoni)

4/21/2020 Trump says he will suspend all immigration into U.S. over coronavirus by Jeff Mason
U.S. President Donald Trump points to a reporter as he answers questions during the daily coronavirus
task force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst?
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Monday he will suspend all immigration into the United States temporarily through an executive order in response to the coronavirus outbreak and to protect American jobs.
    The move, which the Republican president announced on Twitter, effectively achieves a long-term Trump policy goal to curb immigration, making use of the health and economic crisis that has swept the country as a result of the pandemic to do so.
    The decision drew swift condemnation from some Democrats, who accused the president of creating a distraction from what they view as a slow and faulty response to the coronavirus.
    Trump said he was taking the action to protect the U.S. workforce.    Millions of Americans are suffering unemployment after companies shed employees amid nationwide lockdowns to stop the contagion.
    “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States,” Trump said in a tweet.
    The White House declined to offer further details about the reasoning behind the decision, its timing, or its legal basis.
    “As our country battles the pandemic, as workers put their lives on the line, the President attacks immigrants & blames others for his own failures,” former Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar said in a tweet.
    Immigration is largely halted into the United States anyway thanks to border restrictions and flight bans put in place as the virus spread across the globe.
    But the issue remains an effective rallying cry for Trump’s supporters.
    Trump won the White House in 2016 in part on a promise to curb immigration by building a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.    He and his advisers have spent the first three years of his tenure cracking down on both legal and illegal entries into the country.    Crowds regularly chant “Build the Wall!” at Trump’s political rallies, which are now idled because of the virus.
    Trump has lamented the economic fallout of the outbreak; his stewardship of the U.S. economy was set to be his key argument for re-election in November.
    The U.S. death toll from the virus topped 42,000 on Monday, according to a Reuters tally.
    The U.S. economy has come to a near standstill because of the pandemic; more than 22 million people applied for unemployment benefits in the last month.
    “You cut off immigration, you crater our nation’s already weakened economy,” former Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro said in a tweet. “What a dumb move.”
    The United States has the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 780,000 infections, up 27,000 on Monday.
    But the president has made a point of saying the peak had passed and has been encouraging U.S. states to reopen their economies.
    “It makes sense to protect opportunities for our workforce while this pandemic plays out,” said Thomas Homan, Trump’s former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.    “It’s really not about immigration.    It’s about the pandemic and keeping our country safer while protecting opportunities for unemployed Americans.”
    The United States in mid-March suspended all routine visa services, both immigrant and non-immigrant, in most countries worldwide due to the coronavirus outbreak in a move that has potentially impacted hundreds of thousands of people.
    U.S. missions have continued to provide emergency visa services as resources allowed and a senior State Department official in late March said U.S. was ready work with people who were already identified as being eligible for various types of visas, including one for medical professionals.
    The administration recently announced an easing of rules to allow in more agricultural workers on temporary H2A visas to help farmers with their crops.
(Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru, Humeyra Pamuk in Washington, and Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

4/21/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 1,785 to 143,457: RKI
A woman with a protective mask is seen, as the spread of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) continues in Munich, Germany, April 20, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 1,785 to 143,457, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday, marking a slight increase in the number of new infections after two days of declines.
    New infections had increased by 1,775 on Monday.
    The reported death toll rose by 194 to 4,598, the tally showed on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Riham Alkousaa)

4/21/2020 COVID-19 death toll in England 41% higher than early data suggested: ONS
A man wears a protective face mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
outbreak, in Camden, London, Britain April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    LONDON (Reuters) – The true extent of the death toll in England and Wales from COVID-19 was 41% higher than the daily figures from the government indicated by April 10, according to data on Tuesday that includes deaths in the community.
    The Office for National Statistics said it recorded 13,121 deaths by April 10, compared with 9,288 in the government’s daily toll for those who died in hospital.
    COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, was mentioned in a third of all death certificates issued in England and Wales in the week to April 19.
    In London, more than half of the death certificates issued that week mentioned COVID-19.
    The latest hospital deaths data published on Monday 16,509 people had died across the United Kingdom.
(Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

4/21/2020 National Security adviser says President Trump’s immigration ban is to keep Americans safe by OAN Newsroombr.
National security adviser Robert O’Brien speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press
Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien recently commented on the president’s decision to temporarily halt immigration to the United States.
    While speaking to reporters Tuesday, he said the president was not making a political decision, but instead was prioritizing the lives of the American people.
    O’Brien recognized the decision may be unpopular, like the president’s ban on travel from China back in January, but noted that it’s designed to save lives.
    “So on January 31 we had a ban on foreign nationals who had been in China, that band was criticized at the time,” he stated.    “But we now look back and realize the ban on traveled from China, the ban on travel from many countries in Europe — including our close allies in the UK and Ireland, France and others — that those bans saved thousands or 10s of thousands of American lives.”
    On Monday, O’Brien wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal outlining the steps President Trump has taken to ensure the impact of the virus is as minimal as possible.
    The White House adviser went on to say this new immigration ban, like the ones that came before it, are temporary measures to keep Americans and the American economy safe.

4/21/2020 Poll: 72% of Americans say reopening economy too soon is ‘risky’ by OAN Newsroom
A woman holds up a sign as she gathers with others outside the Missouri Capitol to protest stay-at-home orders and urge the reopening of businesses
closed in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Jefferson City, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
    Groups of protesters have been taking to the streets to demand their states be reopened, but not all citizens agree.
    A recent poll by Axios and Ipsos found 72 percent of Americans believe hastily reopening economies would be a ‘moderate’ or ‘large’ risk to their health.    In order to stay healthy 92 percent said they were staying home as much as possible and appear to be adapting well to current circumstances.
    Nearly 10 times more people ordered take out than went out to eat and 40 percent more people said they video chatted with friends and family instead of visiting them.
    A large concern keeping people inside is the access to health care.    With hospitals overloaded with infectious patients, 30 percent of people reported having more difficulty seeing a doctor in the last week.
A cyclist delivering food stops at an intersection in the East Village neighborhood of New York, on Thursday, March 26, 2020. Many restaurants
in New York City have converted to delivery and take-out orders only as people are encouraged to stay home. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
    Many are fearing they cannot protect the physical well being of their families.
    “My family has prepared to be at home until at least August or September,” Jordan Lanfair, a Chicago resident.    “Even if it was lifted sooner than that, we wouldn’t be out.”
    However, not all states are facing the same level of severity and residents in states with fewer active cases have said they are tired of restrictions.
    “And I think that’s just one way of somebody articulating how some of these measures seem more for control then protection and that they are physically distanced from common sense,” stated Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president.    “So I think every state is different.”
    According to the poll, people are only more likely to report being afraid for their health in the states with the most cases. Nearly half of residents in California, New York and New Jersey — each considered epicenters for outbreaks — reported returning to normal was a “large” risk.
    Comparatively, less than a third of people in Texas and Florida agree.    For some who believe there is a danger, the risk may be worth avoiding economic catastrophe.
    President Trump has announced he will leave the decision to reopen economies to state officials, which may allow residents in states like Georgia to return to work and keep residents in states such as California inside.

4/21/2020 Report: At least 75 publicly traded companies received loans meant for small businesses by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 2, 2020 file photo, a notice of closure is posted at The Great Frame Up in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich. The Small
Business Administration says that it has approved more than 1.6 million loans worth more than $339 billion. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
    According to a new report, dozens of publicly traded companies received loans meant for small businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic.    On Tuesday, the Associated Press said at least 75 publicly traded companies got a combined $300 million in taxpayer-funded loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
    A quarter of those firms are said to have warned investors about their finances months ago while the economy was performing well.    Eight of the 75 publicly traded firms received a loan of $10 million, which is the maximum allowed under the program.    Lenders green-lighted a total of 1.6 million loans before the program ran out of funds last week.
    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said large chain restaurants should have never received money from the PPP.    The GOP lawmaker made the remarks during in an interview Tuesday when asked about the Shake Shack fast food chain giving the stimulus money back.
    The Senate finance chairman argued that the aid money should be reserved for small businesses only.    His frustration is shared by many other lawmakers on Capitol Hill as growing reports show other large scale company’s have received the loan, in turn, sucking the PPP completely dry.
    Sen. Grassly pointed out that big company’s with more than 500 employees have other means of acquiring capital that smaller ones do not.
    “They should have not have gotten that because they had uh more than 500 employees they could have legitimately gotten some help from another government program because we appropriated $450 billion to back up everything,” he stated.    “And they should have gone to the Federal Reserve to get it, not have got it from the small business program.”
    Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he plans to conduct an aggressive oversight into the use of PPP this fall.    This comes as small businesses across the nation anxiously await more funding to come through from Congress.

4/21/2020 Sen. Schumer says deal on additional funding to Paycheck Protection Program has been reached by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 20, 2020, file photo Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks to reporters as he
arrives for a meeting to discuss the coronavirus relief bill on Capitol Hill Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Congress and the White House have reached a deal on additional funding for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.     In a recent interview, Schumer noted that every major issue has been resolved and said he expects the Senate to pass additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program Tuesday. More than $300 billion will go to funding small business loans through the program, which ran out of funds last week.
    Schumer also said a national testing strategy will be included in the proposal as well as billions of dollars in funding for hospitals.
    “Testing is key…we’re not going to be able to open up America unless we have a national testing strategy and the states tied into that,” he stated.    “We got that in the bill, it’s really important, but we also got money for hospitals…another $75 billion.”
    The deal notably does not include additional funding for state and local governments or an increase to the SNAP food stamp program, which Democrat congressional leaders had initially pushed for.

4/21/2020 Senators urge USDA, State Dept. to protect food supply by OAN Newsroom
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue listens as President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the
James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Some senators are raising concerns about the protection of the global food supply.    That’s according to a letter reportedly sent Monday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
    The bipartisan group of lawmakers demanded priority funding for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) despite assurances from Perdue that the food supply chain is “strong.”
    “This week, as COVID-19 is impacting food processing facilities, as you know, for Americans who be may be worried about access to good food because of this, I want to assure you the American food supply is strong, resilient and safe,” stated the agriculture secretary.
    A similar letter was sent by a ranking member on the Senate Agricultural Committee, Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and 35 additional Democrat senators.    The lawmakers suggested the creation of a task force, which would identify rural challenges during the current public health emergency.
    Both letters are requesting responses by the end of the week.

4/21/2020 Texas reopens state parks with restrictions by OAN Newsroom
In a photo provided by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, members of a family wears face masks at McKinney Falls
State Park while exploring the upper falls, Monday, April 20, 2020, in Austin, Texas. TPWD has temporarily
modified operations at state parks during the coronavirus pandemic. (Chase A. Fountain/Texas Department of Parks & Wildlife via AP)
    Texas state parks are reopening as officials ease some lockdown restrictions.    On Monday, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said Gov. Greg Abbot directed state parks to open with some restrictions.
    Visitors must wear face coverings and maintain distance from anyone outside their group, but gatherings of more than five people are still banned. Park officials said they have been sanitizing facilities to make sure the public is safe.
    “It’s good to just get out and be in nature, stretch our legs, and it’s a beautiful day,” said Texas resident Jason Seifert. “So, we’re really grateful that the parks are open.”
    Parks will open for a few hours in the day, but overnight camping is still prohibited.
    Some state parks are not able reopen immediately due to staff shortages and construction projects.
Texas Parks Ranger Tina Johnson welcomes visitors to Enchanted Rock State Park, Monday, April 20, 2020, in
Fredericksburg, Texas.    Texas state parks are reopened to the public Monday after they had been closed due to the
COVID-19 pandemic, but visitors must follow social distancing rules and wear a facial covering or mask. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

4/21/2020 Trump admin. refuses payment from South Korea to cover defense cost amid negotiations by OAN Newsroom
Tottenham Hotspur player Heung-min Son, second right, enters a Marine Corps boot camp to begin his military
training in Seogwipo on Jeju Island, South Korea, Monday, April 20, 2020. (Park Ji-ho/Yonhap via AP)
    The Trump administration has rejected South Korea’s offer to cover costs for the U.S. to house troops in the country.    During a White House briefing on Monday, President Trump told reporters he’s negotiating with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on defense costs.
    The president has argued throughout his time in office that South Korea should pay the U.S. more money than it currently does for the presence of about 30,000 U.S. troops stationed in the country.
    “And so now they’re they’ve offered us a certain amount of money and have rejected it. I just said … it’s just, you know, we’re doing a tremendous service.    We have a wonderful feeling and a wonderful relationship with each other. But we have to be treated equitably and fairly.”
    President Trump noted that negotiations with South Korea are going well and both countries will likely reach a deal soon.
    Meanwhile, media reports on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s health are raising questions as to who could potentially replace the 36-year-old if he were incapacitated.
    Reports claiming that Kim’s health was in grave danger after surgery were released Monday, although Chinese and South Korean officials have cast doubt on the claims.

4/21/2020 President Trump’s reelection campaign team releases video ad attacking Pelosi’s coronavirus response by OAN Newsroom
File – In this March 8, 2019, photo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks
at the Economic Club of Washington in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    President Trump’s reelection team recently released a campaign ad targeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
    On Monday, the Trump campaign debuted the video comparing Pelosi’s recent interview featuring her $24,000 refrigerator and at least a dozen pints of luxury ice cream to everyday Americans struggling to make ends meet.
    Pelosi received backlash for seeming out-of-touch with the majority of Americans who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic and need government assistance to be able to feed their families.
    The president’s reelection team referred to Pelosi as Nancy Antoinette by using the line “let them eat ice cream,” which is a direct reference to Marie Antoinette’s infamous “let them eat cake” quote.

4/22/2020 Oil down $0.60 at $10.97, DOW down 632 to 23,019.

4/22/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

4/22/2020 Senate panel backs assessment that Russia interfered in 2016
    WASHINGTON – A bipartisan Senate report released Tuesday confirms the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusions that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to sow chaos.    The heavily redacted report from the Senate Intelligence Committee is part of the panel’s more than three-year investigation into the Russian interference.    The intelligence agencies concluded in January 2017 that Russians had engaged in cyberespionage to undermine public faith in the democratic process, hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump.
[THE GLOBALIST, DEEP STATE AND THE SWAMP DOES NOT WANT TO GIVE IT UP YET AND I THINK WE SHOULD HAVE TO KNOW WHO IN THE SENATE THAT VOTED FOR THIS WHICH WILL TELL US WHERE THEIR REAL ALLEGIENCE IS AT AND I DOUBT IT WAS A BIPARTISAN GROUP AND THIS JUST HAPPENED TO COME OUT AS TRUMP'S PEOPLE ARE ABOUT TO PROVE THE TRUTH OF WHAT HAPPENED AND HAS BEEN COVERED UP.].

4/22/2020 Trump immigration ban to last 60 days, target those seeking permanent residency by Jeff Mason, Steve Holland and Ted Hesson
U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he answers a question during the daily coronavirus task
force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday his new U.S. immigration ban would last 60 days and apply to those seeking ‘green cards’ for permanent residency in an effort to protect Americans seeking to regain jobs lost because of the coronavirus.
    Trump plans to institute the ban through an executive order, which he said he was likely to sign on Wednesday.    He said it would not apply to individuals entering the United States on a temporary basis and would be re-evaluated once the 60-day period had passed.
    Trump said that pausing immigration would put “unemployed Americans first in line for jobs” as the country re-opened.
    “It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad.    We must first take care of the American worker,” he told reporters at the White House.
    Trump said there would be some exemptions in the order and he could renew it for another 60 days or longer.
    The president, a Republican, won the White House in 2016 in part on a promise to crack down on immigration.    Critics saw his announcement as a move to take advantage of a crisis to implement a long-sought policy goal.
    The order could spark legal action.
    A senior administration official said the administration was looking at a separate action to cover others affected by U.S. immigration policy, including those on so-called H-1B visas.
    Trump confirmed that a secondary order was under consideration.
    The first order would include exemptions for people involved in responding to the coronavirus outbreak, including farm workers and those helping to secure U.S. food supplies, the official said.
    As the country begins to open up its economy, immigration flows were expected to increase, and the administration wanted to ensure that employers hire back fired workers rather than giving jobs to immigrants at lower wages.
    The U.S. Department of State issued roughly 462,000 immigrant visas in fiscal year 2019, which began on Oct. 1, 2018.    The visas allow an immigrant to obtain lawful permanent resident status, informally known as a green card.    The status allows a person to live and work in the United States and apply for citizenship after a five-year period.
    Critics viewed Trump’s new policy as an effort to distract from his response to the pandemic.
    “I think this is a malevolent distraction,” said Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning policy institute in Washington.
    Giovanni Peri, an economics professor at the University of California, Davis, said researchers generally agree that immigration into the United States has stimulated economic growth, increased the size of the economy, and created jobs.
    “The idea that immigration threatens American jobs is just not there in any data,” he said.
FANNING FLAMES
    Under the separate immigration action, technology industry workers with H-1B visas may need to provide updated certifications to the government that they are not displacing American workers. That was one of a handful of proposals being looked at.
    “As a general matter we don’t have to close down legal immigration to reopen America, and that is what we are focused on: safely reopening and getting the economy going again,” said Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
    Early in his presidency Trump issued an executive order directing the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to tighten its policies on H-1B visas, which are used heavily by the tech industry to bring in skilled workers.
    Critics of the visas say they have been monopolized by staffing firms that bring in workers that displace Americans, often in back-office technical jobs.    But the visas are also used by the healthcare and education sectors and other businesses recruiting workers who generally have degrees.
    The United States has more coronavirus cases than any other country by far and immigration is effectively cut off anyway at the moment through border restrictions and flight bans.
    Immigration advocates scoffed at the contention that cutting off immigration was being done to protect Americans’ health.
    Andrea Flores, a deputy policy director with the American Civil Liberties Union, which has sued over a number of Trump immigration policies, said Trump appeared “more interested in fanning anti-immigrant flames than in saving lives” with his latest proposal.
    The Trump campaign plans to highlight immigration again in the 2020 election battle, and the president regularly highlights progress on the construction of the wall on the U.S.-Mexican border.
    The issue may have less resonance this year, however.
    The coronavirus outbreak has dramatically altered priorities among many Americans over the past few months, especially within Trump’s Republican Party, according to a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll.    Its latest survey, conducted April 15-21, found that the economy had replaced immigration as the most-cited concern for Republicans.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Steve Holland and Ted Hesson; additional reporting by Mica Rosenberg, Chris Kahn, Timothy Ahmann, Doina Chiacu and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Tom Brown and Rosalba O’Brien)

4/22/2020 Spain to let children out, aims for lockdown easing by late May by Nathan Allen and Emma Pinedo
FILE PHOTO: Patrol cars of local police and Spanish National police are seen in the empty shopping La Bola street during
the lockdown amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Ronda, southern Spain, April 20, 2020. REUTERS/Jon Nazca
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spain aims to begin winding down its coronavirus lockdown in the second half of May, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Wednesday, though restrictions could come back if the epidemic worsens again in one of the worst-hit nations.
    With the world’s second most infections, more than 200,000, and Europe’s second highest death toll, 21,282, Spain has imposed one of the severest lockdowns, including a controversial bar on children leaving homes even for walks.
    It has taken a few tentative easing steps, including allowing some workers to return from last week and giving permission for children to go outside from next weekend, but most restrictions remain in force.
    With the epidemic seemingly having passed its peak, measures will be eased slowly and gradually to ensure safety, Sanchez said at a parliamentary session where he will ask lawmakers to extend the state of emergency until May 9.
    “We will be going back-and-forth depending on how the pandemic evolves,” he said.
    On Tuesday night, the government bowed to public pressure and said children under 14 would be able to take short walks outside under supervision.
    The cabinet had initially said children would only be allowed to accompany parents to buy food or medicine, provoking criticism on social media and pot-banging protests on balconies.
    “This is a government that listens,” said Health Minister Salvador Illa.
    A sharp slowdown in infections has Spaniards optimistic their nightmare may be easing, and officials are turning their attention to restarting the flagging economy.
    Carmaker Volkswagen’s Spanish unit SEAT, which employs around 15,000 people, said it plans to resume production from April 27 and aims to carry out 3,000 coronavirus tests a week on its workforce to minimize risk.
    The crisis has also hit Spain’s vital tourism industry: on Tuesday the San Fermin bull-running fiesta in Pamplona was suspended for the first time in four decades.
(Reporting by Emma Pinedo and Belén Carreño; Writing by Nathan Allen; Editing by Inti Landauro and Andrew Cawthorne)

4/22/2020 UK PM Johnson under fire over handling of coronavirus crisis by Guy Faulconbridge and Estelle Shirbon
The sun rises behind Steetley Pier in Hartlepool as the spread of the coronavirus disease
(COVID-19) continues, Hartlepool, Britain, April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Lee Smith
    LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday faced a call for an inquiry into his government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis after failing to fully explain partial death data, limited testing or the lack of equipment for hospitals.
    The novel coronavirus outbreak, the worst health crisis since the 1918 influenza pandemic, has left governments across the world grappling with stressed populations, a stalled global economy and overloaded health services.
    Johnson initially refrained from approving the stringent controls that other European leaders imposed but he later closed down the country when projections showed a quarter of a million people could die in the United Kingdom.
    Since the lockdown, though, the government has given conflicting explanations of why it failed to join a European Union ventilator scheme and admitted there have been problems getting health workers enough protective equipment.
    “Once we are through this crisis, there will of course need to be an independent inquiry to officially review the government’s response to the pandemic,” Ed Davey, acting leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats, said in a statement.
    “The inquiry must have the strongest possible powers given the shocking failures on protective equipment for staff and the slow response of the government – to get to the truth and to give Boris Johnson the opportunity to answer the increasingly serious questions.”
    Opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has also said the government was slow to respond and that at some point the United Kingdom will have to look back at the crisis.
    Johnson battled grave COVID-19 complications in intensive care earlier this month.    He has been recuperating but making some calls and holding some meetings.
DEATHS, TESTS, VENTILATORS
    The true extent of Britain’s COVID-19 death toll was more than 40% higher than the government’s daily figures indicated as of April 10, according to official data that put the country on track to become among the worst-hit in Europe.
    The latest hospital death data show 17,337 people had died after testing positive across the United Kingdom.
    The Financial Times said an analysis of the latest data from the statistics office showed the outbreak had caused as many as 41,000 deaths in the United Kingdom.
    Health Secretary Matt Hancock told reporters that the 40% gap between the daily data and the more comprehensive ONS data was “not an accurate representation of those figures.”
    There was also confusion over ventilators.
    The top official in Britain’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday he had been mistaken when he told a committee of lawmakers the government had made a political decision not to participate in a European scheme to buy ventilators to fight the coronavirus.
    On testing too, Britain is far behind some European peers such as Germany.
    Hancock has faced questions about a pledge to get to 100,000 tests per day done by the end of this month.    So far just over 18,200 tests are being done per day.
    The Daily Mirror said in an editorial: “(Johnson’s) inept government is plunging incompetence to dangerous depths.”
    “Those responsible must be held to account if people are dying needlessly,” the left-wing newspaper said.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by William Schomberg and Angus MacSwan)

4/22/2020 FT analysis sees UK coronavirus death toll at 41,000
Cyclists are seen wearing protective face masks in Battersea Park during the spread of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
    LONDON (Reuters) – The novel coronavirus outbreak has caused as many as 41,000 deaths in the United Kingdom, according to a Financial Times analysis of statistics office data.
    The FT extrapolation is based on the number of all fatalities in official data recorded recently that have exceeded the usual average.    These figures include deaths that occurred outside hospitals.
    The latest hospital death data show 17,337 people have died after testing positive for coronavirus across the United Kingdom as of this Monday.
    But right now the true death toll from COVID-19 – the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus – is likely to be more than double this, based on the FT’s analysis of excess deaths in recent data.
    On Tuesday the Office for National Statistics reported that 18,516 people died in England and Wales in the week ending April 10, or 7,966 more than the five-year average.
    While the ONS records mentions of COVID-19 in death certificates, the sheer volume of extra total deaths – including those that do not mention COVID-19 – means that the true toll from the disease is being undercounted, according to the FT analysis.
    This indicates the “real” death toll from the coronavirus is now running around 41,000.
    The ONS data on Tuesday provided concrete examples of the under-reporting of COVID-19 deaths.
    The statistics showed deaths in care homes had doubled over recent weeks, but only 17% of the death certificates mentioned COVID-19.
    Cambridge professor David Spiegelhalter told the FT that it was not credible that these extra deaths could mostly come as a result of indirect effects from the coronavirus lockdown, such as seriously ill people avoiding hospital.
    “There is no suggestion that the collateral damage – however large it is – is anything like as big as the harm from Covid,” Spiegelhalter said.
    When asked about the 41,000 death figure from the FT, Helen Whately, a junior health and social care minister, said: “That is not a figure that I recognise.”
    “We know that people are dying in care homes and we know that more people than usual are dying in care homes,” Whately said, adding that the government would next week publish data on deaths in care homes.
    https://www.ft.com/content/67e6a4ee-3d05-43bc-ba03-e239799fa6ab
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Andy Bruce, editing by Estelle Shirbon and Angus MacSwan)

4/22/2020 Youths clash with police in new night of trouble in Paris suburbs
FILE PHOTO: A protester builds a barricade during clashes in Villeneuve-La-Garenne, France
April 20, 2020, in this still image obtained from a social media video. TWITTER/@ECHOBANLIEUES/via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) – Youths clashed with police in suburbs around Paris early on Wednesday, the fourth consecutive night of trouble as strict lockdown rules to tackle the coronavirus have heightened social tensions.
    In Villeneuve-La-Garenne north of the capital, riot police ran into a housing estate complex to quell unrest after rubbish and debris had been set on fire.
    Police used shields to protect themselves from broken glass hurled at them while other residents looked on from their windows as the police shone torchlights onto the high-rise blocks.
    In Nanterre, further to the west, the streets were littered with the charred remains of cars that had been set on fire, and broken glass from a vandalised bus-stop.
    Unrest was also reported in the Clichy district just north of the Paris city boundary.
    Officials at the Paris police department could not be immediately reached for comment.
    Trouble first broke out in Villeneuve-La-Garenne last weekend, after a motorcyclist was injured in a collision with an unmarked police car during a check.
    Police, who have launched an enquiry into the incident, said they had wanted to question the rider who had been seen speeding the wrong way down a street without a helmet.
    France’s ‘banlieues’ – high-rise housing estates on the outskirts of major cities – have long been flashpoints of anger over social and economic grievances.    In 2005, unrest lasted three weeks after two youths died fleeing police in a northern Paris suburb.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Jon Boyle)

4/22/2020 Spain says one of Europe’s most-wanted Islamic State fighters arrested
Men with heads covered with towels are led out of a building to the cars, in Almeria, Spain April 21, 2020,
in this picture grab taken from a video. Watermark provided at source. Spanish Police/Handout via REUTERS
    (Reuters) – Spanish police detained one of Europe’s most wanted fugitiver Islamic State (IS) fighters in the southern town of Almeria, the government said.
    The Egyptian man, who has fought in Syria and Iraq, was hiding in an apartment with two other people who were also arrested and were being identified by police, the interior ministry said in a statement late on Tuesday.
    The man has appeared in gory propaganda pictures of IS crimes, the ministry said.
    “The detained man spent several years in the Syria-Iraq area and presents peculiar personality features such as an extremely violent criminal profile which caught the attention of police and intelligence services in Europe,” the statement added, without disclosing his identity.
    The three suspects had come via North Africa and were keeping a low profile during Spain’s coronavirus lockdown, exiting the apartment one-by-one and wearing protective masks.
    Police are eager to intercept many of the dozens of Spanish Muslims who left for Syria and Iraq to fight alongside IS and may now want to perpetrate attacks on home soil such as the killing of 16 people in Barcelona in 2017.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

4/22/2020 Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 2,237 to 145,694: RKI
Customers wait in a queue to receive a protective mask before they are allowed to enter a bicycle shop, as the spread
of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Sankt Augustin near Bonn, Germany, April 21, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 2,237 to 145,694, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday, marking a second consecutive day of new infections accelerating.
    The reported death toll rose by 281 to 4,879, the tally showed.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

4/22/2020 Oil hits lowest this century as coronavirus crisis hammers demand by Alex Lawler
FILE PHOTO: A muddy run-off splashes beside an oil rig belonging to Zion Oil
and Gas in Karkur, northern Israel October 17, 2010. ISRAEL-GAS/ REUTERS/Nir Elias/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Oil slumped to less than $16 a barrel on Wednesday, hitting its lowest since 1999, with the market awash with excess supply as the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic hammers demand for fuels.
    A glut has been building since OPEC+, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, failed to renew output cuts last month. OPEC+ agreed new curbs this month, but government lockdowns to contain the pandemic have cut fuel demand more steeply.
    Brent crude , which fell 24% in the previous session, touched $15.98 a barrel, its lowest since June 1999. It was trading down 62 cents, or 3.2%, at $18.71 by 0950 GMT.
    U.S. West Texas Intermediate was down 60 cents, or 5.2%, at $10.97.
    “The oil market is in deep trouble and is unlikely to shake off its malaise any time soon,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.    “Demand is low, supply is high and storage is full.”
    The falls follow two of the wildest days in the history of oil trading, with supply looking likely to outstrip demand for months to come.     The nearby U.S. contract fell into negative territory for the first time ever on Monday.
    “Be prepared for more surprises in this broken oil market,” said Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets, Bjornar Tonhaugen.
    Brent’s low on Wednesday takes the price back to a time when OPEC was also tackling a supply glut and business and consumers were concerned – unnecessarily as it turned out – about the Millenium Bug affecting computers after the turn of the century.
    In the latest sign of excess supply, the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday reported that U.S. crude inventories rose by 13.2 million barrels, against analyst expectations for an increase of 13.1 million barrels.
    The U.S. government’s official supply report is due later on Wednesday.
    In an effort to shore up the market, OPEC+ this month agreed to reduce output by 9.7 million bpd. Other nations, including the United States, have also said they will pump less.
    Producers are considering further steps.    Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said that it was ready to take extra measures with other producers, though the next formal OPEC+ meeting is not until June.
    In a development that raises doubt over a formal U.S. supply cut, two of three Texas regulators on Tuesday delayed a vote to force producers to curtail output, predicting the move would land the state in a legal minefield.
(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by David Goodman)

4/22/2020 Senate passes $484B coronavirus relief package by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks with reporters after the Senate approved a nearly $500 billion
coronavirus aid bill, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    The Senate officially passed a massive multi-billion dollar relief package focused on helping small businesses recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
    Lawmakers unanimously passed the $484 billion package by voice vote Tuesday after about two weeks of negotiations.
    A majority of the legislation calls for additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to allow small businesses to keep their employees on payroll.
    “At the core of our agreement is $320 billion more for the Paycheck Protection Program, which is already saving small business jobs and helping Americans get pay check instead of pink slips,” stated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).
    This came after the loan program ran out of its initial allocated funds last week that were included as part of the $2 trillion stimulus package that Congress passed in March.
    Meanwhile, the new deal has been praised by both sides of the aisle as it will continue to help keep small businesses afloat.
    “The new money includes $50 billion in additional emergency small business loans and $10 billion in additional business grants; that includes $60 billion in new funding set aside for small lenders,” explained Senate Minority Chuck Schumer (D), “If you don’t know a banker, if you’re not a relatively large size company…you were left out.”
    Breaking down the contents of the bill even further, another $75 billion will go to hospitals and health care providers to help address COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue.    An additional $25 billion also widens coronavirus testing and expands research, development, manufacturing and administering capacity for COVID-19 tests.
    While Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he would not block the package, he did oppose it.    The Kentucky Republican urged lawmakers to move their focus away from bailouts and instead focus on reopening the economy.
    “No amount of money, not all the money in China, will save us from ourselves; our only hope of rescuing this great country is to reopen the economy,” he stated.    “If you print up billions of dollars and give it to people, they’re unlikely to spend it until you end the quarantine.”
FILE – In this April 15, 2020 file photo, two people walk past a closed sign at a retail store in Chicago. The Small Business
Administration reports it had a potential data breach last month in its website that handles disaster
loan applications. The agency says the personal information of nearly 8,000 business owners applying for economic
injury disaster loans was potentially seen by other applicants on the SBA website on March 25. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    The bill is now headed to the House, which is expected to hold a vote this Thursday.    If it passes, President Trump has already suggested he will sign it once it reaches his desk.

4/22/2020 Report: President Trump & Vice President Pence express support for Ga. Gov. Kemp’s plan to reopen parts of state’s economy by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 16, 2020, file photo, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp listens to a question from the press during
a tour of a temporary hospital at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Kemp plans to have many
of his state’s businesses up and running again as soon as Friday, April 24. (AP Photo/Ron Harris, Pool, File)
    This week, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp about his plans to reopen parts of the state’s economy.    According to reports, both leaders called Kemp to convey their support and praise for his initiative.    The president and vice president also reportedly commended his performance as governor.
    On Monday, the governor announced he will be allowing barber shops, bowling alleys and gyms to open on Friday.
    “The entities that I am reopening are not opening as businesses as usual, each business will reopen to strict specific restrictions,” stated Governor Kemp.    “That includes screening workers for fever, enhancing workplace sanitation, wearing masks and social distancing of six feet.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp takes part in a tour of a massive temporary hospital at the Georgia
World Congress Center on Thursday, April 16, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ron Harris, Pool)
    Many in the state were thrilled with the news and are grateful to the governor, as more than 15 percent of the workforce has recently had to file for unemployment.
    “If we don’t do something now, we’re all going to go down a road that is potentially going to break us all,” said one hair salon owner.    “We won’t have an industry so, I think it was a great thing that he did.”
    However, some business owners remain wary.    They have said the amount of contradictory information from various forms of government is making the decision to reopen harder.
    “For me, my coworkers and a lot of my friends, nothing is consistent.    We’re hearing things from the CDC, we’re hearing things from the governor.    This morning, the mayor…we’re hearing something different from her.    So, we just don’t know, we are completely in the dark.” – Naomi Bartolacci, hair stylist
    According to Kemp, it will be up to businesses to decide when to reopen.    He has assured residents the state is ready to handle any increase in reported cases.

4/22/2020 Trump admin. renews commitment to protect nat’l resources during Earth Day ceremony by OAN Newsroom
First lady Melania Trump listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a tree planting ceremony to celebrate
Earth Day, on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    During an Earth Day tree planting ceremony at the White House, the Trump administration renewed its commitment to protect our national resources.    On Wednesday, the president reaffirmed that America has some of the cleanest air and water in the world.
    He noted his administration is making progress against the coronavirus pandemic and announced national parks will begin reopening as states restart their economies.
    The first couple planted a maple tree and said it’s the first of 1 trillion trees to be planted around the world.
    “On this special occasion, we are renewing our strong national commitment on conserving the wonders of God’s creation,” stated President Trump.    “One of the most important ways we uphold this tradition is by protecting our priceless national parks and public lands.”
    The president went on to say our nation will grow “bigger, better and stronger” than ever before.
    Vice President Mike Pence also spoke at the ceremony, saying the tree they planted will grow in the years to come, just like our country.

President Donald Trump smiles at first lady Melania Trump during a tree planting ceremony to celebrate Earth Day,
on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

4/22/2020 President Trump instructs Navy to destroy ‘any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea’ by OAN Newsroom
In this Wednesday, April 15, 2020, photo made available by U.S. Navy, Iranian Revolutionary Guard
vessels sail close to U.S. military ships in the Persian Gulf near Kuwait. (U.S. Navy via AP)
    President Trump has said he is increasing the Navy’s ability to defend itself at sea. On Twitter, the president announced he has instructed the Navy to “shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships.”
    The announcement followed a tense altercation between several U.S. ships and a flotilla of armed Iranian speedboats.    Iranian officials quickly shifted the blame to the U.S., saying their boats were merely executing their patrol duties in the region.
    “As far as we are aware, it was the American forces that hindered the legal and normal patrolling by our forces in the region,” stated.    “This pushed our forces to react and give them a necessary warning.”
    According to U.S. officials, the 11 speed boats “repeatedly conducted dangerous and harassing approaches” of U.S. vessels.    The interaction was not unusual, as American and Iranian naval forces routinely cross paths in the Persian Gulf.
In this March 18, 2020, photo provided by the U.S. Navy, an F/A-18F Super Hornet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt
(CVN 71) in the western North Pacific Ocean. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas V. Huynh/U.S. Navy via AP)
    Until now, U.S. ships have only gone so far as to fire warning shots in the direction of Iranian forces, which one did during an altercation in July of 2017.
    The president’s order also came after the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps announced the successful launch of a military satellite.    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed Iran’s continued escalation, saying they should try and help their citizens before turning their attention to potential enemies.
    “I hope the Iranian regime will respond to the Iranian people’s demands to prioritize resources that the regime clearly has to the health, security and safety of the Iranian people, rather than continuing their global terror campaign,” stated Pompeo.
    Under President Trump’s order, the U.S. Navy can respond with whatever force is necessary to defend themselves.

4/22/2020 Secy. Pompeo: China failed to disclose COVID-19 on time by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press briefing at the State Department
on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in Washington. (Nicholas Kamm/Pool Photo via AP)
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently slammed mainland China and the World Health Organization for their lack of transparency at the onset of coronavirus outbreak.
    “We strongly believe that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) did not report the outbreak of the new coronavirus in a timely fashion to the World Health Organization (WHO),” stated Pompeo.
    On Wednesday, the secretary noted Beijing agreed to a set of rules when it joined the UN and the WHO. However, he has said it failed to uphold its international obligations.
    According to the State Department, the virus could have originated from a bioweapons lab in Wuhan, but such claims will require a thorough investigation.
    “I’m not going to comment on that.    What I will say is it’s always easier to know the answer to your question about whether these labs are in compliance, not only with the regulations, but if they’re handling this material in a way that is adequate, safe and secure.    If the world can have access to those places, if they will share that information openly and transparently.” – Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State
    Pompeo added China has destroyed virus samples, denied its human-to-human transmission and silenced doctors who warned of the new illness.    The secretary stressed such actions are unacceptable.

4/22/2020 Report: COVID-19 spread in U.S. weeks earlier than initially believed by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 2, 2020, file photo, a sign advising people to stay home due to COVID-19
concerns is displayed at a MUNI bus stop in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
    New information has lead California officials to believe the first American to die from coronavirus may have contracted it in late 2019.     The medical examiner’s office of Santa Clara County’s announced Tuesday the autopsies of two people, who died in February, showed they were infected with the virus.
    The two individuals died in their homes on February 6th and 17th, weeks before the first reported U.S. death, which was believed to be a man in Washington State.    The two victims died before testing was made available for those without a travel history to affected countries.
    According to officials, this may mean community spread was occurring in California for several weeks before being identified.    County executive Dr. Jeff Smith pointed out that with the way virus trends were heading in late March, COVID-19 must have gone unnoticed in the state for some time.
    “That’s because, in all likelihood, this virus has been around in our county since December,” he stated.
Member of the Los Angele Fire Dept. wear protective equipment as the conduct a COVID-19 test on a woman,
at left, in the Skid Row district Monday, April 20, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
    The doctor attributed this to the symptoms of the virus, which mirror those of the flu.    The flu was especially bad in the state around the same time.
    Investigators have said they will look to see if the two deaths in California are in any way connected to the cluster in Washington.    However, they believe it is likely the virus arrived in different parts of the country at varying times.
    Further autopsies are reportedly being conducted as officials seek to gain a better understanding of the pandemic’s timeline.

4/22/2020 Bloomberg helping northeast tri-state contact tracing program by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This March 16, 2012 file photo shows then New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, left, and New York Gov. Andrew
Cuomo at a bill signing ceremony in the Red Room at the Capitol, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has confirmed former Mayor Michael Bloomberg is aiding a tri-state effort to initiate contact tracing.    On Wednesday, Cuomo announced Bloomberg will be spending upwards of $10 million to help track the contacts of people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
    “Good news is (former) Mayor Michael Bloomberg has volunteered to help us develop and implement the tracing program,” explained the governor.
    The alliance between New York, New Jersey and Connecticut comes as the states continue to push for more widespread testing of people, in order to get ahead of serious virus infections.
A smartphone belonging to Drew Grande, 40, of Cranston, R.I., shows notes he made for contact tracing Wednesday, April 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
    “We want to operate on a tri-state basis.    I’ve spoken to Governor Murphy in New Jersey, who’s doing a great job, and Governor Lamont in Connecticut,…who’ve been very great neighbors to New York.    The virus doesn’t stop at jurisdictional boundaries.” – Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
    New York continues to show declining virus data, with hospitalizations falling for the ninth day in a row.    The state recently saw its lowest daily death total count since April 1st.
[UH OH WATCH OUT FOR LOSS OF PRIVACY AS THE FUTURE CONTACT TRACING POLICE WILL BE TRACKING YOUR LOCATION AND MOVEMENT AND HOPEFULLY BLOOMBERG AND HIS GLOBALIST BUDDIES DECIDE TO USE THIS INFORMATION TO TRACK ALL OF US EVENTUALLY.].

4/22/2020 WHO chief asks President Trump to resume funding by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 24, 2020, file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a press conference
about the update on COVID-19 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)
    The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) is pleading with President Trump to renew funding for the organization.    On Wednesday, the WHO chief claimed he is doing an important job of keeping the U.S. and its partners safe from global threats to public health.
    “I hope the freezing of the funding will be reconsidered,” he added.
    However, President Trump has said the organization failed to warn the world about COVID-19 and allegedly helped cover it up by relying on Chinese information.
    The WHO chief recently appeared to threaten America’s safety, unless the funding resumes.
    “I hope the U.S. believes this is an important investment, not just to help others but for the U.S. to stay safe also,” stated Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “For the U.S. to remain safe, the investment in other countries is very important.”
    According to the president, the WHO must undergo a series of reforms to reduce Chinese influence and corruption before U.S. funding can continue.

4/22/2020 President Trump to sign executive order temporarily halting immigration by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Oct. 3, 2018, file photo, a border fence in Columbus, N.M., sits along
the U.S.-Mexico border at sunset. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras, File)
    President Trump is slated to sign an executive order he said will help safeguard U.S. workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.    He took to Twitter Wednesday to announce he will be signing an order prohibiting immigration into the U.S.
    The president went on to assure the southern border is “very tight” thanks to 170 miles of new border wall as well as Mexican soldiers patrolling the region.
    During Tuesday’s briefing, President Trump said the order would impose a 60 day pause for people seeking permanent residency in the U.S., but would not affect temporary farm workers.
    “The farmers will not be affected by this at all,” he stated.    “If anything, we’re going to make it easier and we’re doing a process that will make it better for those workers to come in to go to the farm where they’ve been for a long time now.”
    The president went on to say the order is intended to protect American jobs and battle the economic impact of the coronavirus.
[OF COURSE THE DEMOCRATS WENT BALLISTIC TO THE NEWS REPORTERS BEFORE FINDING AT WHAT HE IS CHANGING AND THEY ENDED UP WITH MUD ON THEIR FACES FOR THEIR ASSUMPTIONS JUST TO ATTACK TRUMP ON ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING AND TRUMP IS PROBABLY LAUGHING THAT THEY TOOK THE BAIT].

4/22/2020 Rep. Gaetz takes aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s delay on Paycheck Protection Program deal by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., right, and Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., walk out of the White House after meeting with President
Donald Trump about the coronavirus aid package, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for being “directly responsible for the death of businesses” in the U.S. While speaking outside the White House Tuesday, he criticized Pelosi for wasting time and delaying a deal on the Paycheck Protection Program.
    GOP congressmen Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) joined Gaetz in a meeting with President Trump to discuss the PPP deal and how it will benefit small businesses.
    “Nancy Pelosi’s delays for weeks on end cost the deaths of thousands of American businesses,” Gaetz stated.    “We are deeply saddened by that, but we’re also hopeful given the number of stories that we hear from folks who are now starting to see resources through their banking institutions that a great American comeback in the great American revival is ahead of us.”
    Rep. Gaetz also said he believes Pelosi is trying to “score political points” at the expense of small businesses in the U.S.

4/22/2020 6 southern states form coalition on reopening economies by OAN Newsroom
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responds to a question at a news conference at the Urban League of Broward County,
during the new coronavirus pandemic, Friday, April 17, 2020, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
    The governors of six southern states have teamed up to reopen their economies.
    “It’s obviously prudent to start thinking about and planning for people getting back to work, getting society functioning in a more healthy way,” said Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.).
    The newly formed coalition includes Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi.
    “We are growing more and more confident that we have flattened the curve to the point where victory is within reach,” stated Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.).

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves discusses how the state is responding to the continuing growth of unemployment
demands and assistance for self-employed, church employees, gig workers, and others who were previously ineligible for
unemployment assistance during his afternoon news conference in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, April 21, 2020.
Reeves also discussed the continued development in the state’s dealing with COVID-19. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
    After the governors held a meeting, they stated they share the same ideas and want to reopen their economies in a responsible safe way.    Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has said he will not extend his state’s “safer at home” order, allowing a majority of businesses to reopen on May 1st.
    “For the good of our state, social distancing must continue, but economic shutdown cannot,” said Lee.
    Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced phase one of his state’s reopening plan, which will permit businesses like gyms, hair and nail salons, and bowling alleys to reopen their doors this Friday.
    This came after President Trump announced plans for opening America again.
    “20 states, representing 40 percent of the population, have announced they are making plans and preparations to safely restart their economies in the near future,” stated the president.
A protester gathers outside of the Ohio State House in Columbus, Ohio Monday, April 20, 2020,
to protest the stay home order that is in effect until May 1. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
    Thousands of people in multiple states have protested stay-at-home orders and voiced their support for getting people back to work.
    “We have to open up the economy again, the coronavirus can be handled,” stated one protester.
    Others have raised concerns over opening their economies too soon.
    “My biggest concern right now is that we will see an even worse scenario than what we’ve already had,” explained Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms.    “I think a lot of the success we’ve seen in the city and, quite frankly, throughout the state is because we were very aggressive in shutting things down.”
    The governors have decided to reopen given favorable data and enhanced testing, but will keep some health measures in place. They have committed to constantly monitor the situation and provide adequate support.

4/23/2020 Oil up $4.06 to $13.92, DOW up 457 to 23,476.

4/23/2020 More on coronavirus deaths.

4/23/2020 Social distancing at your funerals now and when I die I wanted everyone to sit on pillows on the floor and sing the song In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly.
In a gadda da vida, honey    Don't you know that I'm lovin' you    In a gadda da vida, baby    Don't you know that I'll always be true
Oh, won't you come with me And take my hand    Oh, won't you come with me And walk this land    Please take my hand
In a gadda da vida, honey Don't you know that I'm lovin' you    In a gadda da vida, baby Don't…

4/23/2020 No political strings attached, lockdown protesters insist - Though conservative groups have helped rallies, organizers say the only ideology is opening states by John Fritze, Joey Garrison and David Jackson, USA TODAY
    Madison Elmer got the offer shortly after she and some friends started organizing a protest to oppose Wisconsin’s coronavirus stay-at-home order: An outside group wanted to chip in some money to help pay for the rally she plans this week.
    Concerned about the strings that could be attached, Elmer turned it down.
    “We felt like it had a political agenda behind it,” said the Wisconsin native, who declined to name the group.    “We didn’t want to be pawns in somebody’s else’s game.”
    As protesters across the country plan to challenge statewide coronavirus orders, they fiercely resist a narrative that they are aligned with or funded by national groups, gun rights organizations or entities supporting President Donald Trump’s reelection – even as some of those groups take part in the events.
    The protests, focused on rolling back stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of coronavirus, snarled traffic in Michigan, blocking a hospital entrance. Thousands of cheering, flag-waving drivers cruised around Pennsylvania.    Some demonstrations feature Trump campaign flags, but homemade signs – such as one in Tennessee that encouraged Americans to “fear your government,” not the coronavirus – are more prevalent.
    They have continued even as some states tentatively began reopening businesses and easing distancing guidelines.    More than 46,000 Americans have died from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.    Trump encouraged states with fewer cases and deaths to begin bringing their economies back online.
    Wisconsin had more than 4,800 confirmed cases of the virus by Wednesday and had recorded 246 deaths, according to the state Health Department.
    Elmer said she started organizing a protest for Friday after hearing from friends who were struggling, not because they are sick but because they are running out of money.    Friday is the day that Gov. Tony Evers’ social distancing restrictions were initially set to lift.
    Instead, they have been extended to May 26.
    “I was listening to all these concerns, and I was sick of not doing anything about it,” she said.    “There are people suffering on both sides of this.”
Republicans divided by orders     Much like the tea party movement that sprang up a decade ago, the coronavirus protests are a cultural eddy of conservative ideologies, from gun rights advocates to religious groups.    Though many organizers insist the “gridlock” events and protests are nonpartisan, many have taken on the flavor of Trump rallies – including a smattering of campaign signs and the president’s trademark red “MAGA” caps.
    The events underscore how efforts to contain the virus have divided millions of Americans along familiar political battle lines.
    Nearly 60% of the nation’s voters say they are more concerned about additional deaths from the virus than they are about the economic impact, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll this week.    That sentiment is more prevalent among Democrats than Republicans.    GOP respondents are divided – almost half are more concerned with the economy.
    Alvin Tillery, a political scientist at Northwestern University, sees the protests – and Trump’s exhortations – as an attempt to rally his base when he has faced intense criticism from Democrats for his early handling of the crisis.
    “It’s directed toward the blue states.    It’s meant to distract from Mr. Trump’s incredibly poor performance in managing the crisis,” Tillery said.    “It distracts but also gives them an issue that activates their desire to vote against the Democrats.”
    Trump has encouraged the groups, including from the White House briefing room. Friday, in a series of tweets, he suggested it was time to “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia.    He has been less clear about what he’d like those states to do, and he has batted away questions about whether the protesters flout social distancing guidelines he and his aides promoted.
    The first item in those guidelines is to “listen and follow” directions from authorities.    The guidance goes on to encourage Americans to work from home, cancel unnecessary travel and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.    Trump said Tuesday that participants are distancing at the protests he’s seen.
    “Look, people – they want to get back to work, they got to make a living,” Trump said late Tuesday.    “They have to take care of their family.”
National groups involved?
    Elmer stressed that she took no money or help from outside interests, but she’s aware that a group called Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantine plans an event Friday at the same place and at roughly the same time as the rally she organized.    That entity is associated with a national gun rights group.
    “Cool – if they’re supporting our mission, which is reopening Wisconsin,” she said.
    Similarly, organizers reached by USA TODAY in Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana and several other states denied working with national groups but said they were inspired by protests elsewhere.    Some tapped into guns rights or tea party organizations to help spread the word but claimed no formal affiliation with wider networks.
    There is some overlap: In addition to Wisconsin, rallies in Pennsylvania and Ohio were promoted by Facebook pages started by brothers – Chris, Ben and Aaron Dorr – who have a network of gun advocacy organizations in multiple states.
    Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine, which was launched by the Pennsylvania Firearms Association and led by Chris Dorr, was among a trio of groups that helped organize Monday’s rally in Harrisburg.
    “A government that is powerful enough to make unilateral decisions that close down the means of production, well, they’re also then able, in a future school shooting or another Pittsburgh shooting, to reinvoke that same power and say we’re going to ban constitutional freedoms to bear arms,” said Dorr, the firearms association’s director.
    Dorr downplayed the amount of money and coordination involved.
    “These Facebook groups, they are completely free,” Dorr said. &nb