George Floyd’s death: Minnesota sends 500 National Guard soldiers

“Our mission is to protect life, preserve property and the right to peacefully demonstrate,” the Minnesota National Guard tweeted. “A key objective is to ensure fire departments are able to respond to calls.”

Angry crowds have gathered in cities nationwide to demand justice after the death of George Floyd following his arrest Monday over a counterfeit bill. The outrage grew after a video emerged showing a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on his neck during the arrest. He was unarmed and handcuffed, and cried that he couldn’t breathe before he died later.

In Minneapolis, buildings were burned, stores looted and a police precinct set ablaze Thursday night. Smoke and orange flames filled the night sky as people gathered nearby and shot video on their phones.

The Minneapolis Police Department has fired the four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest.

The incident is being investigated by local, state and federal authorities, and prosecutors urged residents to be patient.

“We need to wade through all of that evidence and come to a meaningful decision and we are doing that to the best of our ability,” Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman said.

Federal prosecutor Erica MacDonald told reporters that the priority is ensuring justice is served.

“We are going to investigate it as expeditiously, as thoroughly as justice demands,” Freeman said. “That video is graphic, horrific and terrible. And no person should do that. I am pleading with individuals to remain calm and let us conduct this investigation.”

All four officers involved in the death have invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination, Freeman told CNN following the news conference.

“I am absolutely sorry for the pain, devastation and trauma Mr. Floyd’s death has left on his family, his loved ones, Minneapolis and the world,” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said.

The latest on the George Floyd case

“I know there is currently a deficit of hope in our city … and I know our department has contributed to that deficit as a whole.”

In Minneapolis, protests transitioned to rioting and looting south of downtown, with people smashing their way into stores and setting businesses and other buildings ablaze. There was more looting Thursday in St. Paul, the state capital, next door.

“I want everybody to be peaceful right now, but people are torn and hurt, because they’re tired of seeing black men die,” said Philonise Floyd, the victim’s brother.

Protesters have gathered in other cities too, including Denver and New York.

CNN’s Sara Sidner and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

After Arkansas swim party, several coronavirus cases reported

“A high school swim party that I’m sure everybody thought was harmless. They’re young, they’re swimming, they’re just having activity and positive cases resulted from that,” Hutchinson said.

The governor declined to provide further details on the swim party but noted the incident was “just an encouragement for us to be disciplined in our activities.”

“During this Memorial (Day) weekend, we want to be out and we want to enjoy ourselves, we want to remember this holiday and those that have served our country and given their lives in service of our country. But let’s be safe and let’s be disciplined at the same time,” Hutchinson said.

Before you go to the pool, beach or lake this summer, read this

The case described by the governor highlights the threats of community spread in the United States as cities and states continue relaxing social distancing measures and businesses reopen.

Earlier this month, at least 180 people were exposed to the novel coronavirus in California when a person who tested positive for Covid-19 attended a religious service on Mother’s Day. Meanwhile in Missouri, as many as 91 people were exposed to the virus when a hairstylist with coronavirus worked for eight days while symptomatic.

On Saturday, Hutchinson said Arkansas is seeing an increase of Covid-19 cases in what the governor calls a second peak.

Health officials reported 163 new cases of the virus on Saturday. There are at least 5,612 cases in the state, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Unlike other states, Arkansas has not been under a stay-at-home order to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Last month, Hutchinson said he didn’t believe the state needed a statewide order because of its low density in population.

He pointed to his actions in declaring a public emergency when Arkansas had its first confirmed case of coronavirus, closing the state’s schools and increasing testing.

The mystery behind the data aggregation site Worldometer

MADRID — On April 28, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez stood alone on the stage of a bright but empty briefing room. As a CNN reporter asked a question via video link, the prime minister looked deep in concentration, scribbling notes and pausing to look at the monitor only once. As he launched into his answer, he looked directly into the camera to boast about Spain’s Covid-19 testing volume.

“We are one of the countries with the highest number of tests carried out,” Sánchez said.

Initially, the prime minister cited data from a recent Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ranking that had placed Spain eighth in Covid-19 testing among its members.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez takes reporters’ questions during a press teleconference on April 28, 2020. Credit: Palace of Moncloa

“Today,” he added, “we have found out about another study, from the Johns Hopkins University, that […] ranks us fifth in the world in total tests carried out.”

There were just two problems: The OECD data had been wrong. And while some sources had ranked Spain fifth in total testing volume, Johns Hopkins was not one of them; the study Sánchez cited does not exist.

Yet two weeks later, the Spanish government is standing by the substance of its prime minister’s claim. Instead of citing Johns Hopkins, Spanish officials are now pointing to testing rankings from a data aggregation website called Worldometer — one of the sources behind the university’s widely cited coronavirus dashboard — and prompting questions about why some governments and respected institutions have chosen to trust a source about which little is known.

The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted Worldometer’s popularity. In the past six months, its pages have been shared about 2.5 million times — up from just 65 shares in the first six months of 2019, according to statistics from BuzzSumo. Credit: Worldometer

Before the pandemic, Worldometer was best known for its “counters,” which provided live estimates of numbers like the world’s population or the number of cars produced this year. Its website indicates that revenue comes from advertising and licensing its counters. The Covid-19 crisis has undoubtedly boosted the website’s popularity. It’s one of the top-ranking Google search results for coronavirus stats. In the past six months, Worldometer’s pages have been shared about 2.5 million times — up from just 65 shares in the first six months of 2019, according to statistics provided by BuzzSumo, a company that tracks social media engagement and provides insights into content.

Accessible icon title
Questioning the reliability of this coronavirus statistics site 03:36

The website claims to be “run by an international team of developers, researchers, and volunteers” and “published by a small and independent digital media company based in the United States.”

But public records show little evidence of a company that employs a multilingual team of analysts and researchers. It’s not clear whether the company has paid staff vetting its data for accuracy or whether it relies solely on automation and crowdsourcing. The site does have at least one job posting, from October, seeking a volunteer web developer.

Once known as Worldometers, the website was originally created in 2004 by Andrey Alimetov, then a 20-year-old recent immigrant from Russia who had just gotten his first IT job in New York.

“It’s a super simple website, there is nothing crazy about it,” he recently told CNN.

Within about a year, Alimetov said, the site was getting 20,000 or 30,000 visits every day but costing him too much money in web-hosting fees.

“There was no immediate fast way to cash out,” he said, so he listed the site on eBay and sold it for $2,000 sometime in 2005 or 2006.

Changing hands

When Reddit’s homepage featured Worldometer in 2013, its founder emailed the new owner, a man named Dario, to congratulate him. Dario said he bought the site to drive traffic to his other websites.


Source: Andrey Alimetov

When Reddit’s homepage featured his old site in 2013, Alimetov emailed the buyer, a man named Dario, to congratulate him.

In his reply, Dario said he bought the site to drive traffic to his other websites.

As those businesses “started to decline, I decided to invest on Worldometers, bringing in resources and people until eventually it took a course of its own,” Dario wrote.

Worldometer no longer bears its trailing “s” except in its URL. Beyond that, not much has changed.

Today, the Worldometer website is owned by a company called Dadax LLC.

Representatives for Worldometer and Dadax did not respond to CNN’s requests for interviews, but state business filings show Dadax was first formed in Delaware, in 2002. The filing lists a PO box as the company’s address. From 2003 to 2015, business filings in Connecticut and New Jersey listed Dadax’s president as Dario Pasqualino. Addresses on the filings tied the company and Pasqualino to homes in Princeton, New Jersey, and Greenwich, Connecticut. The company is still actively registered in Delaware and has been in good standing since 2010.

The company shares the Dadax name with a Shanghai-based software firm. In March, both companies issued statements denying a connection. The Chinese Dadax said it issued its statement after receiving “many calls and emails” about the stats site. Worldometer, in a tweet, said it’s never had “any type of affiliation with any entity based in China.”

IDs in the source code for Worldometer and the US Dadax’s websites link them to at least two dozen other websites that appear to share ownership. Some appear to be defunct. Others, such as usalivestats.com, italiaora.org and stopthehunger.com, share the same premise: live stats counters. Most of the sites have a rudimentary aesthetic, reminiscent of a 1990s or early 2000s internet. Some seem quite random. One Italian site displays Christmas poems and gift suggestions, like a bonsai plant (for her), or a plot of land on the moon (for him). Another site is dedicated to Sicilian puppet shows.

A person with Pasqualino’s name and birthday is also registered as a sole proprietor in Italy. That business manages and sells “advertising space,” according to an Italian registration document filed last year. Its address leads to a tidy, three-story apartment building on a leafy street in an upscale neighborhood in Bologna.

A person named Dario Pasqualino is registered as a sole proprietor in Italy. The listed address leads to a tidy, three-story apartment building on a leafy street in an upscale neighborhood in Bologna. Credit: Google

CNN was unable to reach Pasqualino through contact information listed on Worldometer and in public records.

According to Worldometer’s website, its Covid-19 data comes from a multilingual team that “monitors press briefings’ live streams throughout the day” and through crowdsourcing.

Visitors can report new Covid-19 numbers and data sources to the website – no name or email address required. A “team of analysts and researchers” validate the data, the website says. It may, at first, sound like the Wikipedia of the data world, but some Wikipedia editors have decided to avoid Worldometer as a source for Covid-19 data.

“Several updates lack a source, do not match their cited source or contain errors,” one editor, posting under the username MarioGom, wrote on a discussion page for Wikipedia editors working on Covid-19-related content last month. “Some errors are small and temporary, but some are relatively big and never corrected.”

The editor, whose real name is Mario Gómez, told CNN in an email, “Instead of trying to use a consistent criteria, [Worldometer] seems to be going for the highest figure. They have a system for users to report higher figures, but so far I failed to use it to report that some figure is erroneous and should be lower.”

Edouard Mathieu, the data manager for Our World in Data (OWID), an independent statistics website headquartered at Oxford University, has seen a similar trend.

“Their main focus seems to be having the latest number wherever it comes from, whether it’s reliable or not, whether it’s well-sourced or not,” he said. “We think people should be wary, especially media, policy-makers and decision-makers. This data is not as accurate as they think it is.”

Virginia Pitzer, a Yale University epidemiologist focused on modeling Covid-19’s spread in the United States, said she’d never heard of Worldometer. CNN asked her to assess the website’s reliability.

“I think the Worldometer site is legitimate,” she wrote via email, explaining that many of its sources appear to be credible government websites. But she also found flaws, inconsistencies and an apparent lack of expert curation. “The interpretation of the data is lacking,” she wrote, explaining that she found the data on active cases “particularly problematic” because data on recoveries is not consistently reported.

Pitzer also found few detailed explanations of data reporting issues or discrepancies. For Spain, it’s a single sentence. For many other countries, there are no explanations at all.

She also found errors. In the Spanish data, for instance, Worldometer reports more than 18,000 recoveries on April 24. The Spanish government reported 3,105 recoveries that day.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez delivers a speech during question time at the Lower House in Madrid on May 13, 2020. Credit: Andres Ballesteros/AFP/Pool/Getty Images

When Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez boasted of Spain’s high rankings, he didn’t pull his numbers out of thin air. On April 27, the OECD wrongly ranked Spain eighth in testing per capita. Initially, the OECD had used data from OWID to compile its statistics. But it sourced the Spanish numbers independently because OWID’s data was incomplete. The mixed sourcing skewed Spain’s position in the ranking because it counted a broader category of tests than the other countries’ numbers. The organization corrected itself the next day, two hours before Sánchez’s press conference, bumping Spain to 17th place.

In its statement, the OECD said “we regret the confusion created on a sensitive issue by any debate on methodological issues” and stressed that increasing the availability of testing in general is more important than knowing where any particular country ranks.

Sánchez’s later reference to a Johns Hopkins study, in which he said Spain ranked fifth for testing worldwide, appears to have been a case of mixed-up attribution by the prime minister. JHU has not published international testing figures. Jill Rosen, a spokeswoman for the school, told CNN the university couldn’t identify a report that matched Sánchez’s description.

At a press conference on May 9, Sánchez evaded a CNN question pressing him on the JHU study’s existence and listed the government’s numbers on testing totals instead. In comments made to a Spanish reporter the next day, health minister Salvador Illa continued to insist the testing data had been released by JHU, though he pointed to Worldometer as the underlying source. Since Johns Hopkins gets its data from Worldometer, he argued, it’s just as good.

“It is data given by the John Hopkins University […] taken from as a fundamental source of information, the website Worldometer,” Illa said. “You can check it.”

It is true that on April 28, Worldometer’s data had ranked Spain fifth when it came to total testing volume. At the time, OWID data also ranked Spain fifth, but as more countries began reporting larger testing volumes, it became clear how Worldometer’s data is flawed. Its Spain figure includes both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which show if patients are currently infected, and antibody tests, which indicate if patients were ever infected. For most countries besides Spain, Worldometer’s data appears to only count PCR tests.

Because so few countries report antibodies testing data and to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison, OWID says it only tracks PCR tests. By that measure, as of May 17, Spain ranks sixth, behind the US, Russia, Germany, Italy and India. Worldometer ranked Spain fourth.

But relying on the ranking by the raw number of tests performed is still misleading because it doesn’t account for population differences between countries.

OWID’s data manager, Edouard Mathieu, says a much fairer way to compare testing data is to account for population size. As of May 10, OWID placed Spain 19th in testing per 1,000 people. Worldometer placed Spain 15th by a similar measure.

Tale of two rankings

Worldometer’s data does rank Spain fifth in terms of total testing volume. But relying on raw numbers is misleading because it doesn’t account for differences between countries. When adjusted for population, Spain’s ranking falls to 16th. Experts say this data, from Worldometer, is further flawed beacuse its Spain figure counts a broader category of tests than most other countries’.

Top 20 countries by…

Tests performed per 1 million residents

Data as of May 18, 2020

Source: Worldometer

Roberto Rodríguez Aramayo, a research professor at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)’s Institute of Philosophy and a former president of a Spanish ethics association, said Spain is reporting data from both the most and least reliable types of tests.

“Unfortunately, there seems to be certain [political] interests in the readings that are given of these data, when they are shown,” he said.

What does Worldometer have to do with Johns Hopkins University?

Johns Hopkins has not published international data on Covid-19 testing, but it does list Worldometer as one of several sources for its widely-cited coronavirus dashboard.

The university has declined to say what specific data points it relies on Worldometer for, but issues with the counter site’s data have caused at least one notable error.

On April 8, JHU’s global tally of confirmed Covid-19 cases briefly crossed 1.5 million before dropping by more than 30,000. Johns Hopkins later posted an explanation for the incident on its GitHub page. At the time, JHU told CNN the error appeared to come from a double counting of French nursing home cases. But French officials told CNN there had been no revision, not even to nursing home data. Johns Hopkins’ data appeared to come directly from Worldometer. The website listed no source for its figure.

One Wikipedia editor, James Heilman, a clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of British Columbia, said Wikipedia volunteers have noticed persistent errors with Worldometer, but also with “a more reputable name with a longer history of accuracy,” referring to Johns Hopkins. “We hope they also double check the numbers.”

Johns Hopkins’ response

Read Johns Hopkins University’s full response to CNN’s questions for this story.


Source: Johns Hopkins University

In an article published in February, JHU said it began manually tracking Covid-19 data for its dashboard in January. When that became unsustainable, the university began scraping data from primary sources and aggregation websites. Laura Gardner, the associate engineering professor who runs the university’s Covid-19 dashboard, told CNN in a statement that the university uses a “two-stage anomaly detection system” to catch potential data problems. “Moderate” changes are automatically added to the dashboard but flagged so staff can double-check them in real time. Changes beyond a certain threshold require “a human to manually check and approve the values before publication to the dashboard,” Gardner said.

The university’s reliance on Worldometer has surprised some academics.

Phil Beaver, a data scientist at the University of Denver, seemed at a loss for words when he was asked what he thought of JHU citing Worldometer.

“I am not sure, that is a great question, I kind of got the impression that Worldometer was relying on [Johns] Hopkins,” he told CNN after a lengthy pause.

Mathieu also seemed taken aback.

“I think JHU has been under a lot of pressure to update their numbers,” he said. “Because of this pressure they have been forced to or incentivized to get data from places that they shouldn’t have, but in general I would expect JHU to be a fairly reliable source.”

Johns Hopkins has not published international data on Covid-19 testing, but it does list Worldometer as one of several sources for its widely cited coronavirus dashboard. Credit: Johns Hopkins University

In the university’s response to CNN, Gardner said Worldometer was one of “dozens” of sources and that “before incorporating any new source, we validate their data by comparing it against other references.”

“We try not to use a single source for any of our data,” Gardner added. “We use reporting from public health agencies and sources of aggregation to cross-validate numbers.”

The Spanish government and Johns Hopkins are not alone in citing Worldometer. The website has been cited by Financial Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News and CNN.

The British government cited Worldometer data on Covid-19 deaths during its daily press conferences for much of April, before switching to Johns Hopkins data.

“Both Worldometers and John Hopkins provided comprehensive and well-respected data. As the situation developed, we transferred from Worldometers to John Hopkins as John Hopkins relies more on official sources,” read a statement from a UK government spokesperson.

‘Contaminating public opinion’

In Spain, Sánchez’s apparent Johns Hopkins misattribution has become a major controversy. In parliament on Wednesday, center-right People’s Party MP Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo called the government the party “of the lies to CNN and the Spanish people.”

On May 10, a spokeswoman for Spain’s embassy in London complained to CNN about its coverage of the matter.

“Back in April Mr. Sánchez mentioned analysis of statistical data carried out by Johns Hopkins University that are based upon data published by Worldometer,” the spokeswoman wrote in an email sent to the network’s diplomatic editor just after 4 a.m.

“Even if Mr. Sánchez did not mention Worldometer as a primary source in his remarks, [CNN] could have known that most of the comparisons and analysis on Covid-19 in the world use [Worldometer’s] tables.”

In remarks to CNN, a spokesperson for the prime minister’s office acknowledged that Worldometer counts PCR tests and antibodies tests together and rejected critics’ call to adjust testing numbers for population, calling it a “trap that the OECD and the Spanish press […] has fallen into” and arguing that Spain should not be compared with small countries like Malta, Luxembourg or Bahrain.

It’s not clear, though, why the Spanish government continues to insist that the testing data published by Worldometer was put out by Johns Hopkins University.

Its refusal to acknowledge its attribution error comes just a month after Spain’s Justice Minister Juan Carlos Campo said the government was considering changes to the law, seeking to crack down on those peddling misinformation.

“I believe, it is more than justified — with the calm, tranquility needed for any legal changes — that we review what our legal instruments are to stop those contaminating public opinion in a serious and unjustified way,” Campo said.

At the time, Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth told CNN in an email, “If the justice minister is suggesting penalizing speech that contaminates public opinion, that would be very dangerous.”

“Turning the government into a censor would undermine that public accountability precisely at the moment when it is most needed,” Roth warned.

In her letter to CNN, the embassy spokeswoman was emphatic that Spain was — and still is — fifth in the world in Covid-19 testing, attaching screenshots of Worldometer tables as proof.

“Figures speak louder than words,” she wrote. “And not willing to acknowledge the truth of reality […] is very worrying, to say the least.”

Black light experiment shows how quickly a virus like Covid-19 can spread at a restaurant

The video shows 10 people coming into the restaurant, with one singled out as the “infected” person. Each participant goes about the buffet as they normally would, not considering a potential contamination.

At the end of the video, the participants are cast under black lights illuminating where the “infection” has spread.

The substance, used to signify the germs, can be seen on food, serving utensils and platters, and even on the faces of some of the participants.

Here’s what the experts have to say

While these kinds of experiments are not new, John Nicholls, a clinical professor in pathology at Hong Kong University, said they demonstrate how quickly a virus can spread, especially when hand washing is not performed.

“What the video demonstrated, is that it will spread to surfaces and to people very efficiently,” Nicholls told CNN, “and I think it really highlights the need of what people have been saying about hand hygiene to stop the spread of disease.”

This nurse demonstrates just how fast germs spread even if you're wearing gloves

However, Nicholls said that the situation is “artificial” because so much emphasis is placed on the touching alone.

Kentaro Iwata, an infectious disease specialist at Kobe University, agreed.

“The experiment just described the possibility of the spread by contact, and that is not proof of what happened, so the distinction has to be clearly made between what could happen and what did happen,” Iwata told CNN.

But both experts said the experiment is a good way to show the importance of hand washing.

For the sake of science, Nicholls said it would be even more effective to see the experiment done after the “infected” person washes their hands for five and then ten seconds.

“So the general public gets some concept of the mechanism of how much the use of hand washing can actually reduce the transmission of potentially infectious material,” Nicholls said.

CNN’s Bex Wright contributed to this report.

Allies despair as Trump abandons America’s leadership role at a time of global crisis

The US — usually at the head of the table helping to coordinate in global crises — has declined to take a seat at virtual international meetings convened by the World Health Organization and the European Union to coordinate work on potentially lifesaving vaccines.

On Friday the US blocked a vote on a UN Security Council resolution that called for a global ceasefire aimed at collectively assisting a planet devastated by the outbreak. The US did not want any reference to the WHO in the text and rejected a compromise version that didn’t directly mention the organization — and instead cited the UN’s “specialized health agencies,” according to two diplomats familiar with the process.

The US has similarly blocked expressions of global unity at G7 and G20 meetings due to anger about China and the WHO.

Incredulity and sadness

And where US presidents have in the past offered a steadying voice, observers from the Asia Pacific to Europe expressed incredulity, amusement and sadness at President Donald Trump’s briefings on the virus, saying they are deeply damaging to the US image abroad.

US officials push back, touting both funding to fight Covid-19 as well as work Trump is doing through the Group of Seven and bilaterally — leading more than 50 calls with world leaders. But experts say funding without full global coordination can slow overall progress.

Coronavirus pandemic could contribute to surge of other deadly diseases, experts warn

At a time when nearly 4 million people worldwide have been infected with the virus, diplomats say many countries are yearning for the firm US leadership they’ve seen at historic moments and in prior epidemics, citing President Barack Obama’s response to Ebola and President George W. Bush’s work on HIV/AIDS.

“They want the US to lean in more,” said one European diplomat. “We know they’re doing a great deal with countries, including developing countries, bilaterally … but a lot of countries hanker after the decisive US effort that we saw when the Berlin Wall came down. A lot of countries believe this is one of those pivotal moments in history and the US has always led at those times.”

Critics say the Trump administration’s approach to the coronavirus hasn’t just hampered the fight against the pandemic, it has increased uncertainty, eroded respect for the US and deepened concern that the international system no longer functions effectively.

“The world is looking for global leadership. It’s a global problem — it affects literally everyone on the planet. This is a time when you expect the leaders of superpowers in a very constructive way to help coordinate and structure the response,” said Robert Yates, director of the Global Health Program at Chatham House, a British think tank. “One would expect the US to have a leading role in trying to coordinate global efforts. That’s been completely lacking.”

Global health officials found Trump’s move to cut funding for the WHO in the middle of a pandemic “absolutely breathtaking,” Yates added. “It’s worse than a lack of coordination, it almost seems destructive.”

Twitter disputes State Department claims China coordinated coronavirus disinformation accounts

A senior State Department official told reporters Tuesday that the President “has concerns” about the WHO, which Trump has accused of being biased in China’s favor. The official repeatedly stressed that the US “is the single largest health and humanitarian donor in the world” and said the US “and President Trump are leading the global effort to combat this pandemic,” in part through the US presidency of the G7.

But the machinery of a US-led international response isn’t kicking into gear this time, said Gayle Smith, president and CEO of the nonprofit ONE Campaign.

By and large, she noted, “we’ve not seen the kind of summitry, urgency of meetings at the UN Security Council, heads of state coming together to organize, to figure out how we manage, for example, global supply chains.”

Skipped meetings

“Everybody in the world is looking for the same goods. How do we make sure that the global economy stays where it needs to be?” asked Smith, a former administrator of the US Agency for International Development. And while she notes the G7 and G20 have held virtual meetings, “I would very much like to see the United States taking the kind of extra effort to mobilize the world at multiple levels.”

US officials say Trump has convened regular virtual meetings with G7 ministers to coordinate assistance to other countries, but the White House has skipped international meetings to coordinate on the hunt for a vaccine, leaving experts disconcerted. One meeting was organized by WHO, while another meeting Monday of more than 40 countries and several organizations raised $8 billion in pledges and yielded a commitment that whoever produces an effective vaccine first will share it with the rest of the world.

The US absence was “really, really unfortunate” said Smith, not just “because the US has historically been a leader,” but because the US has a national interest in being part of the group “that is trying to accelerate the development of vaccines and therapeutics, because obviously we’re going to need a vaccine here. … I think it would be wise, and in our interest, to be involved on the ground floor.”

Stephen Morrison, director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said, “It’s a very crazy and disturbing thing that [the US] would be going its own way and sitting this out. It’s the country with the greatest financing capacity, biggest foundational interest, greatest R&D capacity.”

Coronavirus has created a rift between the US and China that may take a generation to heal

He noted that the Trump administration has started its own “warp speed” effort toward developing a vaccine, pointing to the complicated web of interests that’s required to develop one, including manufacturing and testing issues. “I don’t know that it’s conceivable to have a go-it-alone effort,” he said.

Questioned repeatedly on Tuesday about the US absence from the vaccine meetings, the State Department official stressed how much funding the US is giving to the Covid fight. A day later, the State Department issued a statement stressing the US funding and its work with organizations such as the Global Alliance on Vaccines and said the US saw the vaccine conferences as “complementary to our ongoing efforts.”

It added that “as we make progress in this global fight against Covid-19, we count on our Allies and partners joining the United States to ask the hard questions that are needed of China, as well as the WHO.”

The US push to punish China has unsettled allies, who see it as a White House political move to insulate Trump from blame for the uneven US response to the pandemic in an election year — and as a stressful demand for countries to choose sides.

“I am afraid everything is political,” said a German diplomat discussing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s insistence that intelligence indicates the virus originated in a Chinese lab, though he has not provided evidence. “It is just pretty obvious that it is part of the campaign.”

‘Stranger than fiction’

A French diplomat said bluntly that “we cannot turn our back on China. It is a big partner. Nobody can. We need to keep partnership.”

Former British Prime Minister Theresa May spoke more directly to allied concerns about the US campaign against China, warning in a Times op-ed that “it would be a mistake to allow this to become a fault line in international relations.”

The European diplomat said that a number of countries feel that “at the moment, the priority has to be getting on top of the pandemic globally that requires a lot of cooperation. … China needs to be a part of that and the WHO has to be involved. … Anything that might detract from that effort at the moment makes people a little nervous.”

The US President’s behavior has also made many international observers a little nervous.

Pompeo admits the US can't be certain coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan lab
They and other experts say that the sense of the US as a steadying force in troubled times is fading, in large part because of Trump’s televised coronavirus briefings, which Yates called a “tremendous embarrassment.” Some observers pointed to Trump’s apparent suggestion to look into whether people might be able to inject disinfectant to counter Covid — a dangerous idea that left health officials worldwide scrambling to counter and had some, like Australia’s chief medical officer, laughing incredulously on camera.

Thomas Gomart, director of the Paris-based French Institute of International Relations, said that Europe was watching Trump’s response to the pandemic in amazement, calling his behavior “stranger than fiction.”

“He provides for us a very mixed balance of amusement and a sadness, which is just not what is expected from a US president,” Gomart said, an assessment that Spain’s Javier del Pino, a leading journalist, shared.

“The way we look at Trump, it was a lot of fun at first,” del Pino said. “It’s not funny anymore.”

Lincoln got better press treatment, Trump claims, as he ups pandemic death estimate

Trump’s comments, at the memorial in Washington to a president assassinated after emancipating the slaves during the Civil War, are likely to further polarize the raging politics of a current crisis that is stretching national unity.

“I am greeted with a hostile press the likes of which no president has ever seen,” Trump said at the Fox News town hall Sunday night.

“The closest would be that gentleman right up there,” Trump said, pointing to the 16th President’s statue. “They always said nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse.”

His statement was classic Trump, not just in his audacity of comparing himself to the man many historians rate as the greatest president, but in his tendency to make every issue — even in the midst of a national tragedy in which tens of thousands of Americans have died — about himself.

It was also striking that the President who has consciously torn at the nation’s political fault lines should make such a partisan argument under the marbled gaze of the man who warned “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

The President admitted on Fox that his earlier estimates that between 50,000 and 60,000 Americans could die in the pandemic would be outpaced. But he argued that his leadership had been “successful” since the higher end of models used by the White House had previously suggested up to 240,000 people could perish, even with social distancing in place.

“I used to say 65,000 and now I’m saying 80 or 90 and it goes up and it goes up rapidly,” the President said at the memorial, a glorious and spectacular backdrop for the Fox News show that an image-making campaign manager could not have bettered.

New stage in pandemic battle

The President was making his best case at the start of a critical new period in the battle with Covid-19 that will play out in millions of lives in the six months until Election Day.

The aggressive approach of some governors is already heaping pressure on those who run states still committed to stay-at-home guidelines — even with the virus still rampant in their paths.

With Trump agitating for a spark to the nation’s economic engine, some governors are taking a gamble that in many cases contradicts the best advice of epidemiologists, but if it works, could alleviate some of the crippling unemployment triggered by the pandemic.

The next three weeks or so could show whether a new wave of infections caused by an easing of tough restrictions on daily lives will swarm state hospital systems, significantly increase the death toll and require a return of lockdowns.

In a worrying sign that points to the scale of the coming risks, few, if any, states that are opening have satisfied White House reopening guidelines of a 14-day dip in infections.

But if states like South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Texas that are opening can provide a blueprint for the “new normal” that will be American life until a vaccine is found, they could point the way to a broader recovery and speed economic rebounds.

Trump claims intelligence officials did not raise coronavirus until late January

The reopening — albeit with many restaurants and businesses at reduced capacity — will also provide a new challenge for the White House, which insisted again Sunday, despite considerable contrary evidence, that it has built sufficient national testing to give states everything they need to safely ease restrictions.

States like New York and Maryland — which have plateaued at fairly high levels from Covid-19 — are warning that easing restrictions too quickly could be disastrous.

“I think everybody has a right to protest and express their feelings. A couple of dozen people did so yesterday. And they have every right to do that,” Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

“We sadly, we had far more people die yesterday in Maryland than we had protesters,” he said, warning that some states appeared to be moving toward opening in an unsafe manner.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, also registered concern that gains made against the pandemic by grueling stay-at-home orders could be squandered as the lure of summer drains resolve.

“My gut says the weather is going to warm, people are bored, people want this over. They see the numbers going down. They can take false comfort,” Cuomo said on Sunday.

“We never said it was over. We said the numbers are going down,” he added. “Roughly a thousand new people a day walk into the hospitals.”

Three key states — all run by Republicans

Three states, Mississippi, Ohio and Florida — all run by Republican governors — are likely to reflect the intricate adjustments needed in the days ahead as the Covid-19 picture varies state by state and city by city.

The Sunshine State’s Gov. Ron DeSantis is a close Trump GOP ally who has rejected some of the scientific models used by epidemiologists as overstating the likely death toll from Covid-19.

“Even though our hospitalization and infection and fatality rates are much lower than many of these other big states, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest, we did not necessarily — quote — ‘shut everything down,'” DeSantis said on Fox News on Sunday.

“So, we’re starting, I think, a little ahead of where some other states are,” he added.

Trump again shifts estimated US coronavirus death toll

The quickening push to reopen came after disaster experts told CNN on Friday that states should not begin to open until coronavirus restrictions had been falling for 10 days to two weeks and there were sufficient tests available to assess how many people are really infected.

“You’re making a big mistake. It’s going to cost lives,” said Dr. Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician and disaster preparedness specialist at Columbia University Medical Center.

In a sign of the balancing act governors face, Republican Tate Reeves of Mississippi had planned to announce an easing of restrictions on Friday but changed plans at the last minute due to a spike in infections.

“We are trying to be very cautious and so we said, let’s analyze the data over the weekend,” Reeves said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“What we have found is that it was really a data dump.”

“So it was a one-day blip, but we wanted to make sure we investigate that data before we make a final decision, so we delayed it.”

The new stage of the fight is likely to defy the triumphant comeback narratives of the President. But it may be grayer than the predictions of scientific models and political leaders still stuck in the darkest days of the pandemic may suggest.

Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine warned Sunday “we’re going to watch numbers every single day.”

DeWine has extended his state’s stay-at-home order until May 29 but expects to announce some easing of restrictions to allow some businesses to reopen in the coming days.

“What I hope is as people see those numbers, if they do go up and if they go up dramatically, that the people of the state will react to that,” DeWine said on ABC News’ “This Week.”

Continued tension

Tension between the White House and some Democratic governors boiled over in a new confrontation involving Gretchen Whitmer, who leads Michigan, a key 2020 battleground state.

Speaking on “State of the Union,” Whitmer rejected a claim by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner that the problem with testing was not supplies nor capacity but in the ability of states to collect sufficient samples.

“That’s not true in Michigan,” Whitmer said, adding that many governors “are still looking to get swabs and reagents and additional test kits. And so we have never been able to get to full capacity because we are missing things in the supply chain.”

Kushner challenged that assertion in an emailed statement to CNN

“(The Federal Emergency Management Agency) and (Department of Health and Human Services) have outlined a pathway to fully supply their request,” Kushner said.

“We are rooting for Governor Whitmer to achieve the ambitious goal she has set and will work with her to get there.”

Looking ahead to his reelection battle, the White House is already appearing to shift more toward an economic message than a science-based fight against the virus.

Trump, consistent with his long-term strategy of encouraging political fervor that could boost his base, has given encouragement to protests — sometimes with armed demonstrators ignoring social-distancing guidelines and refusing to wear face masks — against stay-at-home orders.

Some signs of hope?

Trump top economic advisor Larry Kudlow signaled on CNN’s “State of the Union” that a fresh stimulus and support package for business and cash-strapped states may be on a “pause” while the success of state economic openings is assessed.

More broadly, after weeks of grim news and death — US deaths from Covid-19 are racing toward 70,000 — there are a few glimmers of hope. More and more nations are, like the US entering, a new phase, with the promise of at least alleviating some of the economic horror caused by shutdown economies.

There was even encouraging talk on Sunday by a UK-based team trying to develop a vaccine, while Trump presides over “Operation Warp Speed” with the same ultimate goal.

Trump, however, still spent much of his weekend fixating on Deep State conspiracy theories and scratched his golf itch by finding time to tout his Turnberry resort on Scotland’s West Coast.

Dozens of coronavirus cases connected to US primary election voting

A utility worker watches the US Navy's Blue Angels and the US Air Force's Thunderbirds conduct "a collaborative salute" to honor those battling the coronavirus pandemic with a flyover of New York and New Jersey, on Tuesday, April 28.
A utility worker watches the US Navy’s Blue Angels and the US Air Force’s Thunderbirds conduct “a collaborative salute” to honor those battling the coronavirus pandemic with a flyover of New York and New Jersey, on Tuesday, April 28. Charles Sykes/AP

The novel coronavirus has now infected more than 3.1 million people and killed nearly 217,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

If you’re just joining us, here are the latest developments:

US cases surpass 1 million: With at least 1,012,399 known Covid-19 infections, the United States accounts for nearly a third of cases officially recorded worldwide, as some states take their first steps toward reopening. 

US meat plants must stay open: President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that mandates meat processing plants must stay open, an official said. Some of the largest processing plants in the country have been forced to stop operations after thousands of employees tested positive for the virus.

Russia braces for tough phase: The country will “face a new and grueling phase of the pandemic,” President Vladimir Putin said in a televised statement. He also acknowledged shortfalls in personal protective equipment for Russian medical workers. Russia has surpassed both Iran and China in its number of confirmed cases.

Countries easing lockdowns: New Zealand, Australia and several European countries including Portugal, France, and Greece have loosened, or put forward plans, to ease some of their toughest coronavirus restrictions.

Mike Pence mask controversy: The US vice president has come under fire for not wearing a face mask while touring the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Pence said he didn’t wear one because he’s tested for coronavirus regularly.

Unrest in Lebanon: Tensions continue to flare in Lebanon as violent protests against economic hardship erupted again in Tripoli and other cities in defiance of a coronavirus lockdown.

Airline layoffs: British Airways has announced a restructuring and redundancy plan that could lead to layoffs for up to 12,000 staff.

Researchers say coronavirus unfold ‘under the radar’ in US major cities due to the fact January

A new product by the Community Science Institute at Northeastern University in Boston reveals the to start with infections came from China in early or mid-January, and that the virus went undetected since many persons were being not presenting signs.

The product implies that although Us citizens were being still centered on China, about 28,000 people today in key towns — such as New York, San Francisco and Seattle — were contaminated by March 1.

This California town is testing every resident for coronavirus and antibodies
Before this week, Santa Clara County officials announced that tissue samples verified two people who died in early February analyzed good for coronavirus. That month, a range of physicians noticed patients, devoid of vacation histories, who experienced flu-like indicators.

But “all indicators had instructed that it was a really lower danger (for coronavirus),” Cody stated.

Now, even so, Cody reported it is obvious “the virus was circulating probably relatively widely in our county.”

A number of states, which includes California and Indiana, have been retracing their coronavirus timelines soon after exploring that the very infectious illness commenced killing individuals previously than earlier recognised.
These discoveries have emphasised just how a lot about this pandemic remains uncertain and unknown. 4 months since the novel coronavirus was first uncovered in Wuhan, China, professionals around the globe continue to do not thoroughly comprehend how the virus started off, how it impacts the system or what treatment options are successful.

US has adequate assessments for first period of reopening, Fda commissioner says

Stephen Hahn, commissioner for the US Food and Drug Administration, explained there are plenty of exams in the US for states looking to reopen beneath stage a person of President Donald Trump’s pointers for reopening program for the nation.

Hahn, a member of the White Dwelling coronavirus activity power, said tests that ordinarily acquire decades to produce are being made in months. His company recently authorised 62 diagnostic tests, which include 4 antibody exams.

Fauci says he's 'not overly confident right now' about US' testing capacity

“We are confident that we have plenty of tests for section one of the reopening America program but we do accept the point that we require to continue to keep the stress on developing much more assessments, getting much more assessments out there,” Hahn explained to Anderson Cooper on Thursday during CNN’s coronavirus town corridor.

Point out officers have been calling for the federal government’s help to satisfy screening shortages. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the Countrywide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments, said on Thursday shortages are restricting the country’s capability to test additional.
“I am not overly confident correct now at all that we have what it can take to do that,” Fauci said at a Time 100 Talks interview. “We are acquiring far better and superior at it, as the weeks go by, but we are not in a predicament where we say we are precisely where we want to be with regard to tests.”

Many more New Yorkers could have had the virus, examine suggests

A preliminary research of 3,000 New Yorkers found that 13.9% analyzed beneficial for coronavirus antibodies, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

If all those fees hold for the state’s 19.5 million men and women, then about 2.7 million individuals in the state experienced the virus — quantities that are numerous times increased than the formal condition counts.

The exams have been performed on 3,000 random grownups who were outdoors of the property, he claimed, so it was not an totally random sample.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious ailment professional at Johns Hopkins University, explained New York’s antibody screening results could be excellent news, as it means that the virus’s fatality price might be reduce than the formal fatality charge.

“It tells us this virus is significantly far more prevalent than we considered,” he explained. “The hospitalization rate might be a lot reduced mainly because the denominator (of individuals contaminated) is so a great deal even larger.

“I feel it can be also in a way reassuring, which means that we are acquiring some immunity to this. There are people today that have gentle disease that will not know they are ill, and those people persons may possibly be part of how we shift ahead as we get started to feel about reopening particular elements of the state.”

Before distribute than recognised

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has questioned coroners to evaluation California instances relationship to December right after autopsies revealed two men and women in the state died of coronavirus in early and mid-February — up to 3 weeks just before the initial recognized US dying from the virus.
Nearly all Covid-19 patients put on ventilators in New York's largest health system died, study finds

“We are executing the similar across the condition and in other counties as properly to finally support information a further comprehension of when this pandemic definitely started off to effects Californians specifically,” Newsom explained Wednesday.

In Indiana, much too, officers are monitoring cases likely back to at minimum mid-February — weeks right before the condition introduced its initial circumstance in early March.

A woman wears a mask as she crosses an empty street near the Los Angeles Convention Center.
As of Thursday, there were being a lot more than 873,000 scenarios in the United States and at minimum 49,000 individuals have died from the virus, in accordance to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Governors and mayors feud around reopening

The final decision to reopen even as coronavirus fatalities linger and circumstances proceed to improve is pitting governors in opposition to mayors across the country.

In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp built the most aggressive shift but to get the state’s economy buzzing by making it possible for organizations these types of as barbershops, nail salons, bowling alleys and fitness centers to reopen Friday.

A day soon after criticizing Kemp’s final decision, President Donald Trump said Thursday he might extend social distancing pointers further than Could 1 if he won’t experience the nation is in a risk-free position.

“We may well go further than that,” Trump said throughout a White Home coronavirus briefing when asked regardless of whether he might require to re-up the suggestions when they expire at the stop of the month.

Inside the Georgia governor's hugely high-stakes coronavirus gamble

The National Governors Association unveiled its “Roadmap to Recovery,” a information for governors that lays out 10 techniques that will need to be taken in purchase for states to reopen their economies. The report suggests that testing ability stays “insufficient” and suggests states who fail to thoroughly check and trace Covid-19 conditions could have major outbreaks.

“States that fail to do so, or without the need of enough check and trace capability in place, will only observe issues when people begin to group unexpected emergency departments and outbreaks amongst the most at possibility are noted,” the report claims.

At that level, it will be too late to stay away from broader distribute that could overwhelm the wellness care technique, it states.

Other states have begun to reopen but in slower ways. In neighboring South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster announced specific outlets can reopen at 20% potential alongside with shorelines. Mayor Stephen Benjamin of Columbia accused him of working with “arbitrary dates” as a substitute of knowledge to make his conclusions.

“When you must go again to business is when you have some correct indicators above two months that exhibit a deceleration of the pandemic,” Benjamin stated, referring to a person of the White House’s requirements for reopening condition economies. “We have to have additional screening. We have to have more knowledge, and then we can choose how we go back again into small business.”

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg stated the governor’s reopening system was “a measured response” that took protection and social distancing into account. “It can be not like he opened the barn doorway and almost everything flies out,” Tecklenburg explained

Not so quick, specialists warn states

Hundreds impacted by the Covid-19 virus outbreak wait in line for boxes of food at a Salvation Army center in Chelsea, Mass.

A coronavirus model routinely cited by the White Residence warns that no condition must be opening right before May 1.

South Carolina and Ga should really not open till June 5 and June 19, respectively, in accordance to the model by the Institute for Overall health Metrics and Analysis.

Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious illness professional, warned Kemp to be thorough.

He was on a ventilator, fighting for his life. A stranger sent reinforcements

“Going forward and leapfrogging into phases the place you must not be, I would suggest him, as a well being official and a physician, not to do that,” Fauci claimed.

Montana has the finest forecast at Might 1. The only other states that should open up by Might 10 are Alaska, Hawaii, North Carolina, Vermont and West Virginia, the design says. North Carolina is the only just one of the six states with a lot more than 1,000 confirmed instances.

About 50 % the states in the place should keep on being closed until eventually Might 25 or afterwards, according to the product. The reopening dates are dependent on an assumption that states will have intense screening, contact tracing, isolation and restrictions on the sizing of gatherings to stop another wave of the virus.

Thousands and thousands of coronavirus tests are required just about every 7 days ahead of US restrictions can be safely lifted, economists and public overall health authorities say.

“We have believed we have to have at minimum 3 situations as a lot tests as we have suitable now,” explained Dr. Anish Jha, the director of the Harvard World-wide Wellbeing Initiative. “We have been flat for like 3 and a fifty percent weeks. We have built no progress.”

CNN’s Arman Azad, Ralph Ellis, Christina Maxouris, Eliott C. McLaughlin and Sarah Moon contributed to this report.

Reality check: Trump’s Saturday coronavirus briefing was littered with bogus promises, old and new

Trump ongoing to be dishonest on the significant topic of coronavirus tests, wrongly proclaiming he “inherited” faulty exams — they ended up formulated this yr, in the course of his presidency — and painting an extremely rosy picture of the US screening circumstance.

He also repeated quite a few of the untrue claims he likes to make at his marketing campaign rallies.

Here is a rundown of the statements and the info.

Governors and testing

Trump ongoing to favorably compare the coronavirus testing predicament in the US to the situation in other countries. He alleged that Democratic governors are deliberately not using screening capability the federal federal government has established — and instructed that the only governors “complaining” about testing issues are Democrats.

“Now they’re offering you the other — it’s termed ‘testing, tests.’ But they will not want to use all of the capacity that we have designed. We have incredible potential … they know that, the governors know that. The Democrat governors know that. They’re the kinds that are complaining,” he explained.

Details To start with: There is no proof that any governor is deliberately not using available screening capability. And it truly is not only Democratic governors who have spoken of difficulties and challenges with tests. Governors from both of those get-togethers, and community health officers all around the place, have warned that they are even now not able to do the sum of testing wanted to safely carry social and economic restrictions.

Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and his wellness main expressed annoyance on Friday that screening at hospitals in the point out was getting impeded by a lack of critical parts.
Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan mentioned on NBC on Thursday that he believes Maryland is going to get, “in the upcoming numerous months,” to the stage of screening essential, but he also claimed: “This has been the No. 1 stumbling block in America, the lack of availability of screening, and you genuinely won’t be able to get to any place where by you can reopen the region right until, not just in my point out, but throughout the country, till we can do considerably, a great deal larger sized-scale screening.”
Republican Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts stated Wednesday that it has been “a obstacle” to get all of the provides desired to conduct tests. Peter Iwen, director of the Nebraska General public Health and fitness Laboratory, advised Omaha’s KETV in a tale released Wednesday that materials they need to have to run checks ended up staying despatched alternatively to labs in other states: “We are striving to compete with people folks, and we are just not receiving the reagents despatched to us.”

Democratic governors are expressing issues related to people of their Republican colleagues.

Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly explained to CNN on Thursday: “We have experienced a really challenging time finding entry to assessments and all the things you need to have to complete all those tests.”
“There are not enough exams currently being executed on any group, everywhere in the condition, ok?” Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported Saturday. “There are not sufficient assessments getting done in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, North Nation, Long Island, Westchester, not for prisoners, not for the black and brown population, not for overall health treatment personnel, not for police officers, which is accurate throughout the board. That is why we have to convey screening to scale across the board.”

No one particular noticed this coming

All through the briefing Saturday afternoon, Trump recurring a single of his go-to falsehoods that he frequently utilizes to defend his administration’s fumbled response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“In talking to the leaders of other countries this early morning, they explained this is extraordinary the way you have done this so immediately,” Trump reported, with out naming any foreign officials. “You know, we are only talking about a couple months given that every person knew this was this sort of a large difficulty.”

Points 1st: Trump is on an island with this a single. Not only have there been a number of warnings about America’s vulnerability to a pandemic over the previous couple several years, but Trump’s have federal government issued quite a few warnings considering the fact that the beginning of this calendar year about the prospective severity of the coronavirus.

We most lately actuality-checked this on Thursday evening, which signifies Trump has recurring this wrong declare 2 times in his very last three press conferences at the White Residence. That truth-check out pointed out that, in boasting no person foresaw the pandemic, Trump is brushing apart warnings he obtained from the World Health Business and US intelligence businesses.

The virus emerged in China in December.

While in January the Environment Wellbeing Group (WHO) declared a community overall health crisis, Trump invested much of January and February downplaying the dangers and earning unscientific predictions that have been out of action with federal general public well being authorities, who alerted the public with rising alarm that the virus was approaching. On March 11, the WHO declared a world pandemic, and by the conclude of the thirty day period, the amount of claimed situations in the US had skyrocketed previous 100,000.
CNN looked into this fake assert last thirty day period, when Trump created a comparable remark multiple situations in one 7 days of briefings. That short article highlighted many years of warnings from pandemic industry experts and even officers who worked in Trump’s administration, who essentially claimed the clock was ticking right until the following pandemic in the US, and that the country possibly would not be all set.

The “cupboard” of medical provides

At Saturday’s briefing, President Trump recurring his claim that he inherited a “bare cupboard” of medical provides to struggle coronavirus from the Obama administration.

“We began off with a broken program. We inherited a broken, terrible technique. And I often say it, our cupboards had been bare. We had really little in our stockpile. Now we’re loaded up.”

Specifics Very first: Trump’s argument has some truth of the matter to it, but it truly is also to some degree deceptive. While Trump isn’t really mistaken to propose he inherited a depleted stockpile of some health care supplies — the stockpile of masks, for illustration, was depleted and not replenished by the Obama administration — the cabinets had been not fully “bare” he inherited considerable quantities of other materials. And Trump experienced 3 many years in business to establish depleted stockpiles again up.

The Strategic National Stockpile was not empty right before the coronavirus pandemic. For illustration, the stockpile includes enough smallpox vaccines for every American, between other professional medical methods. On the other hand, significant materials that could be utilized to overcome coronavirus had been drained and not replenished.

Finally, Trump overlooked the warnings of industry experts and unsuccessful to restock masks and get ready other provides to fight a opportunity pandemic.

You can go through a comprehensive reality test on this in this article, such as how former President Barack Obama was criticized for failing to restock the countrywide stockpile.

“Damaged Junk”

Speaking about screening for the coronavirus, Trump reported, “I inherited broken junk.” This is a declare he has designed numerous occasions, and which we have truth checked numerous times as very well.

Info 1st: The defective preliminary examination for the coronavirus was developed during Trump’s administration in early 2020 by the Centers for Condition Command and Avoidance. Given that this is a new virus that was initial identified this yr, the undesirable assessments couldn’t possibly be “inherited.”

“He is lying. He is lying 100%. He is lying for the reason that he is hoping to change blame to other people, even if the try is fully nonsensical,” Gregg Gonsalves, an assistant professor in the Division of Epidemiology of Microbial Disorders at the Yale School of Community Health and fitness, reported of an previously edition of this Trump declare.

The assert “would not make sense mainly because it is false,” Tara Smith, an epidemiology professor at Kent Condition College, explained of an before variation. “This is a new virus.”

Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan University of Public Overall health, referred to as an previously model of the claim “absurd” provided that “this virus did not exist in the prior administration.”

“No Ammunition”

In addition to professing President Obama still left him with a depleted stockpile of professional medical supplies, Trump reported Obama still left him with “no ammunition.”

“If you bear in mind when I 1st arrived in, we did not have ammunition,” Trump reported. “Not a good way to struggle a war. President Obama still left us no ammunition, Alright.”

Points Initial: It is really not correct that the US experienced “no ammunition” at the starting of Trump’s presidency. Fairly, in accordance to the public reviews of armed forces leaders, there was a shortfall in specified types of munitions, particularly precision-guided bombs, late in the Obama presidency and early in the Trump presidency.

In the earlier, the President has attributed this assert to an unnamed normal. Whilst we really don’t know what a general might have advised him in personal, you can read through a comprehensive point check out of Trump’s promises about munitions concentrations here.

Iranian payments and other recurring phony statements

Trump also recurring numerous other falsehoods he’s created in the earlier on subjects unrelated to the pandemic.

He claimed that as aspect of the Iran nuclear offer, the US agreed to give Iran $150 billion pounds.

Information To start with: The sum in dilemma was Iranian cash frozen in overseas fiscal institutions due to the fact of sanctions, not US govt income — and industry experts say the complete was considerably lessen than $150 billion. You can read a fuller actuality look at in this article.

He also doubled-down on the plan that China is furnishing the US quite a few billion dollars in tariffs, arguing that the Chinese, not Us residents, are having to pay the tariffs on imported Chinese items.

Details First: Review after review has demonstrated that Individuals are bearing the value of the tariffs. And it is Us citizens who make the genuine tariff payments.

Trump also alleged that President Obama desired a partnership with the North Korean leader but that Kim Jong Un refused to meet with him.

Points 1st: Contrary to Trump’s repeated promises, there is no proof Obama ever sought a assembly with Kim.

What Issues: It truly is time to communicate additional very seriously about the food items supply

Health and fitness experts — doctors, nurses and absolutely everyone down the line — are the rightful and evident heroes of the pandemic, but if this dim episode has taught us everything about the way we live nowadays, it could be that our culture rests on the backs of a great deal of people who simply cannot simply keep property and chill whilst the coronavirus blows by.

Food stuff workers are front-line workers much too — You most likely saw the headline just lately that 1 of the major hog processing vegetation in the state experienced ceased manufacturing for the foreseeable future. The reason? Staff members at the plant, a Smithfield procedure, account for about 50 % of the coronavirus circumstances in South Dakota.

Are shortages coming? Yes, if we stress — We have currently witnessed operates on toilet paper and cleaning merchandise. Will men and women stockpile bacon in their freezers if they fear a pork scarcity? You should never. The US is not managing out of meat. It can be not that there is certainly no meat. It can be that, at the second, there are gaps in the way we course of action it and get it to buyers.
People are staying advised to stop by grocery suppliers only when they ought to. Grocery retail outlet staff do not have that luxurious. Study this tale about how clerks are on the front lines of this pandemic.

Food stuff, food items all over the place, but not a bite to eat — Preserving the source chain going while also trying to keep farmworkers and meat cutters, alongside with packers and truck motorists and warehouse workers and grocery stockers and checkout clerks, healthy is 1 priority.

A different trouble is discovering techniques to get foodstuff to customers, now that eating places, workplace canteens, faculty cafeterias and so many other destinations individuals applied to go take in are shut. The recent condition is this: Farmers are dumping food items, together with milk, even as persons expand ever more determined and traces grow at meals banks.

“It is a cascading sequence of occasions right here that is disrupting the overall food chain,” stated Tom Vilsack, the previous Iowa governor who served as secretary of agriculture for the duration of the Obama administration, in an job interview with CNN on Monday. “You start ending faculty lunch courses, universities shut down, food company shuts down, tourism and motels have minimal occupancy and at the conclusion of the working day you have a large sum of the all round offer of meals getting to be redirected.”

He said the governing administration will need to devote revenue to purchase foods from growers and give it to meals financial institutions.

Farmworkers are fearful — CNN’s Catherine Shoichet wrote a must-examine piece over the weekend about farm workers, whose unions have elevated the alarm about protection circumstances for the employees who decide our generate.

That is assuming there are employees to decide the produce. These are most likely to be persons who presently get the job done in concern of deportation. Now they are doing the job in concern of infection. Shoichet writes that much less persons are displaying up for function, fearing for their security. Severely. Browse this story.

It is really not just the US — The UN warned this thirty day period that the response to the outbreak threatens the world meals source.

CNN’s Jessie Yeung summarized the report: “Border closures, movement constraints, and disruptions in the delivery and aviation industries have designed it more durable to continue foods production and transport goods internationally — inserting nations around the world with number of alternative food stuff resources at substantial possibility.”
She also pointed out large corporations like Nestle and Unilever have warned of a food crisis and pointed out the food items source chain is international. The US depends on other international locations for its meals offer. Other nations around the world, in turn, count on the US. Here is knowledge on agricultural imports and exports preserved by the USDA.
A single additional thing — Remember that when President Donald Trump launched his trade war on China, it was US farmers who had been hardest strike by Chinese retaliations and who wanted two separate US governing administration bailouts. They ended up however observing a rise in bankruptcies even in advance of coronavirus strike the US. Will they want a 3rd bailout? Probably.

Foods uncertainty vs. meals insecurity

In my residence, we are hoping pretty difficult to not go to the grocery retail outlet. But it can be really hard.

We joined a CSA (neighborhood supported agriculture) group that delivers local generate. And we have gotten some shipments from a nearby wholesaler that normally materials restaurants and is now carrying out curbside pickups about the Washington, DC, area.

We’ve purchased peanut butter from Focus on. (Try out buying peanut butter from Amazon. At present unavailable.)
It can be equally difficult to get scheduled with a shipping and delivery provider. And the types that exist simply cannot arrive shut to preserving up with demand. Test obtaining an Amazon Clean or Instacart delivery. (Effectively, basically you should not. Amazon explained Monday that they are placing new shoppers on hold out lists.)
Those are luxuries that may well not be available to everyone. But with need, it feels like they’re readily available to no a person. And nonetheless, people are behaving in unbelievable means. This tale about men and women luring Instacart buyers with massive tips and then stiffing them is abhorrent.
And that delivers us to the unpleasant truth that coronavirus has exposed a lot more starkly than at any time — that hardships are felt disproportionately in this nation. What I explained earlier mentioned is meals uncertainty, and it is a new encounter for many.
But what tens of millions of People in america are encountering additional acutely than ever correct now is food insecurity, many thanks to the sudden maximize in unemployment and the shutdown of broad sectors of the US economic climate. That features hundreds of thousands of needy people with young children who are continue to ready to see food advantages that were authorized by Congress months back.

Which is why there is certainly so significantly discuss about re-opening the US overall economy.

The gurus will preserve Trump, if he’ll enable them

Trump expended months — yrs! — publicly humiliating Jerome Powell, the former investment decision banker Trump appointed as chairman of the Federal Reserve in 2017. Presidents ordinarily attempt to hold their palms off Fed choices on fascination charges, but Trump felt cost-free to hammer absent at Powell around a 2018 selection to raise desire prices, specifically to give the economy a cushion in situation of disaster.

Now, while, CNN’s Phil Mattingly experiences that Powell is the just one using severe actions to help help you save as a lot of the US overall economy as he can, or at minimum to stop a complete-blown repeat of the 2008 fiscal disaster.
That provides us to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has emerged as the newest voice of rationale figure beloved, and apprehensive above, by the general public. That has predictably led to a increasing and concerted effort and hard work by Trump and his allies to undermine him. This is both the most predictable issue in the world — a member of Trump’s administration cannot real truth-explain to for this extended without having working afoul of Trump’s loyalists — and much more proof of harmful swamp of revisionism that surrounds this White Property.

East Coastline vs. West Coastline

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is owning a minute as a steely leader while his point out promotions with the worst of the coronavirus outbreak. See the protect of Rolling Stone, for occasion.
But there’s loads of reason to argue his West Coastline counterparts, who acted earlier and whose states are not suffering practically as a great deal as New York, should be having more attention. Nowadays, groups of governors on equally coasts formed regional pacts to navigate reopening their economies.
The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin and Adam Nagourney wrote a pretty clever tale about the East/West divide in phrases of the nationwide spotlight. It consists of, for some purpose, a kicker quotation from Invoice Walton.