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  1. #691

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    The government is studying putting the whole country in lockdown for 10 days. They've already cancelled flights from and to hot zones for a month.

    Problems with the lockdown:
    - First, this is not a law-abiding society, so it'll be very hard to enforce. There's already news about how one guy who came back from the US beat up a person who told him he should stay quarantined.
    - Second, the country is in the middle of a deep economic crisis, so stopping all activity for 10 days will only make things worse
    - Relatedly, and as said previously, how will many businesses and people get by if they can't work?
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  2. #692

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    German media is also reporting that Tiny was trying to lure a scientist from Germany to come to the US and create a vaccine that only the US would have access to.
    Not surprisingly he forgot that he banned Europeans from travelling to the US.

  3. #693

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Dave McKinney
    @davemckinney When @GovPritzker
    tweeted critically at the White House last night about the O'Hare mess and demanded federal action, "Here’s what I got," Pritzker told Chuck Todd. "I got a call at 11 last night from a White House staffer who yelled at me about the tweet. That’s what I got."
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  4. #694

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    I'm posting this here and in the election thread ecause...

    Josh Dawsey
    “They’re trying to scare everybody, from meetings, cancel the meetings, close the schools — you know, destroy the country. And that’s ok, as long as we can win the election,” POTUS told guests at Mar-a-Lago last weekend.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  5. #695

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    In case you missed this last night on social media. This is the Oklahoma Governor. He took down the tweet after a sh!tstorm quickly ensued and either he or someone on his staff realized what a mistake it was, but Twitter lives forever, which he apparently hasn't learned yet.

  6. #696

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    President Trump reportedly tried to poach German scientists working on a cure for coronavirus and offered cash so the vaccine would be exclusive to the USA

    Thomas Colson, Andrew Dunn, Business Insider USMarch 15, 2020

    Employee Philipp Hoffmann, of German biopharmaceutical company CureVac, demonstrates research workflow on a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease at a laboratory in Tuebingen, Germany, March 12, 2020. Picture taken on March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

    President Donald Trump reportedly tried to poach German scientists working on a cure for the coronavirus so he could secure exclusive rights to a potential vaccine for the US only.

    Newspaper WELT am Sonntag reported that Trump’s administration had offered large sums of cash to Germany-based biotech company CureVac to secure rights for the vaccine work, “but only for the USA.”

    The German government is battling back, offering financial incentives to the company to remain in Germany.

    Karl Lauterbach, a senior German politician and professor of epidemiology, said in response to the report: “The exclusive sale of a possible vaccine to the USA must be prevented by all means. Capitalism has limits.”

    CureVac said it has been in contact with many organizations and global authorities, but denied “rumors of an acquisition” in a statement Sunday to Business Insider.

    President Trump reportedly tried to recruit German scientists working on a cure for the coronavirus and offered large sums of money to secure exclusive rights to their work for the US, according to a report which was confirmed by the German government.

    Prominent German newspaper WELT am Sonntag reported that Trump had offered large sums of money to lure the Germany-based company CureVac to the United States and to secure exclusive rights to a vaccine.

    The firm works with the federally-owned Paul Ehrlich Institute for Vaccines and Biomedical Medicines on a cure for the coronavirus.

    CureVac denied “rumors of an acquisition” in a March 15 statement. The biotech company said it has been in contact with many organizations and global authorities, but “abstains from commenting on speculations and rejects allegations about offers for acquisition of the company or its technology.”

    A German government source said Trump was trying hard to find a coronavirus vaccine for the United States, “but only for the USA.”

    The newspaper said the German government is fighting back by offering financial incentives to the company if it remains in Germany.

    A German health ministry spokesperson told WELT am Sonntag that the government was involved in “intensive” discussions with CureVac about keeping the company headquartered in the UK.

    “The German government is very interested in ensuring that vaccines and active substances against the new coronavirus are also developed in Germany and Europe,” the newspaper quoted a Health Ministry official as saying.

    “In this regard, the government is in intensive exchange with the company CureVac.”

    In a separate statement, the health ministry told Reuters that the WELT am Sonntag report was accurate: “We confirm the report in the WELT am Sonntag,” a spokesperson said.

    Florian von der Muelbe, CureVac’s chief production officer and co-founder, told Reuters last week that the company hoped to have an experimental vaccine ready by June or July so they could seek permission to start testing on humans.

    He said a low-dose vaccine that the company hoped to develop could make it suitable for mass production within CureVac’s existing facilities.

    In a statement last week, CureVac said that outgoing chief executive Daniel Menichella had been invited to the White House for a meeting with President Trump to discuss strategies and opportunities for the production of a coronavirus vaccine.

    “We are very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months,” Menichella said in a statement.

    Karl Lauterbach, a senior German politician and professor of health economics and epidemiology, said in response to the story: “The exclusive sale of a possible vaccine to the USA must be prevented by all means. Capitalism has limits.”
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  7. #697

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Without guidance from the top, Americans have been left to figure out their own coronavirus solutions

    Jose A. Del Real,
    Julie Zauzmer and
    Ava Wallace
    March 15, 2020 at 9:54 a.m. EDT

    They prayed and turned to neighbors. They listened to public health experts on television. They listened to their gut.

    As the country lurched toward its first collective counteroffensive to the rapidly escalating coronavirus crisis, the big and small decisions in the mobilization fell largely to nervous parents, wary pastors, incredulous mayors and harried desk workers who waited in vain for clear guidance from federal authorities.

    President Trump has declared a national emergency, which he said would “unleash the full power of the federal government” to fight the pandemic. Congress appeared poised to pass a legislative package soon to bring relief to the most vulnerable. But doubts about the federal response have deepened as officials have offered conflicting information, and Trump has played down the threat posed by the virus.

    Many large organizations have taken decisive action anyway, instituting telework policies, shuttering schools and abruptly canceling sports seasons. But the steps have been more tentative in other corners, where the information vacuum has left Americans taking less dramatic measures in hopes of retaining a semblance of a normal life.

    In Jersey City, Mayor Steven Fulop had been growing increasingly frustrated throughout the week with the lack of clear instructions from the state and federal government. He had tried to reach state officials for guidance, he said, but received only promises that directives were coming.

    Trump’s prime time speech on Wednesday, meant to soothe an anxious public, came with no concrete steps he could take, Fulop said.

    “There was very little in that speech that was useful to me,” he said in an interview. “I didn’t just want advice; I wanted clear directives.”

    After seeking insight from local medical experts, Fulop asked large and midsize restaurants to keep rosters of their customers and established a 10 p.m. curfew for bars and restaurants carrying liquor licenses.

    “How could we sit back and do nothing?” he said.

    Anita Chandra, a public health expert at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit think tank, said clarity from the federal government during public health emergencies is crucial to saving lives and limiting exposure to risk. While local governments have their own disaster resources, they still rely on the federal government to coordinate.

    “This has not been the kind of symphony that usually happens in emergency response,” she said. “People are trying to make do with piecing together information, piecing together resources, piecing together decisions that they have to make across industry sectors and across sectors of the government locally.”

    In Arkansas, the Rev. Josh King met with the pastors of five other churches on Thursday to decide whether to continue holding service. Their religious beliefs told them that meeting in person to worship each Sunday remained an essential part of their faith, and some of their members signed on to Trump’s claims that the media and Democrats were overblowing the danger posed by the virus.

    “One pastor said half of his church is ready to lick the floor, to prove there’s no actual virus,” said King, lead pastor at Second Baptist church in Conway, Ark.

    But King and his colleagues were concerned: They believed the virus was a serious threat, and mass gatherings such as church services could spread it. He and the other Arkansas pastors ultimately decided that they would hold services as usual this Sunday, with some extra precautions.

    They hired cleaning teams to scour their buildings. They asked the greeters to open the doors, so no one would touch the doorknobs, and asked members to donate online or at the door, so they wouldn’t need to pass a communal offering plate. No more coffee after the service, they told members, and no hugs or handshakes either.

    “In your more politically conservative regions, closing is not interpreted as caring for you. It’s interpreted as liberalism, or buying into the hype,” said King, whose church draws about 1,100 worshipers on a typical Sunday.

    As questions of governance blurred last week with questions of politics and ideology, some who already mistrusted Trump decided they needed to take matters into their own hands.

    In Takoma Park, Md., a liberal suburb of Washington, Elizabeth Tully and her husband decided on their own to begin working from home full-time in the name of “social distancing” — a term for increasing the physical space between people to reduce disease transmission.

    Tully, 35, said she was guided by news articles she read that detailed what public health experts recommended elsewhere. She spent hours trying to learn as much as she could about how to protect herself and her young family — she learned about transmission curves and compared guidances issued by experts across the United States and in other countries. Ahead of their first full day at home, they rearranged their furniture to accommodate proper desks with computer screens to make their home more like an office.

    Tully then looked to a familiar place for guidance: her neighborhood parenting email group. A thread she started was flooded with comments and questions from other parents, many of whom considered pulling their own children from school days before their districts made the decision to shut down.

    “I think a lot of people have been struggling to make a decision on something that feels like an extreme behavior change when the threat still feels kind of invisible. We made this decision really reluctantly,” she said.

    The crisis sparked by the virus is unlike any that has faced the United States in recent memory. While containing the virus is the priority, public health experts say repeated missteps by the federal government have left the country behind in its capability to manage its spread.

    The missteps — and the fact that the government had few answers — became obvious early on as the virus took hold.

    Episcopal Bishop Mariann Budde learned last Saturday that one of her most prominent priests had coronavirus, and four days later, she made the decision to close 88 churches, including Washington National Cathedral. Amid the flood of information and conversations, one thought continually rose to the top: Try not to get ahead of what public health officials are saying.

    That mantra soon became untenable. She was in touch that Saturday with city health officials, but there were conflicting reports about how contagious the virus was. Should they cancel church Sunday? Should they tell the congregation that the Rev. Timothy Cole was the unnamed patient? Budde and church leaders spent hours talking with city officials but received no specific answers.

    “I’m not blaming them,” Budde said of the city health officials. “We had a person right there with us. We were in contact, but we weren’t getting definitive answers.”

    In coming days, as she considered closing more churches, she saw media reports citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that looked different from what was on the CDC website itself. Some reports said the CDC was telling all people older than 60 to stay home. She heard high-level experts — including former top health officials — on TV saying the same thing.

    “We were parsing those hairs,” she said.

    The pace of last week’s events produced whiplash in the theater world, where “most of us work so far in advance,” says Paul Tetreault, the director of Ford’s Theatre in the District. “We’ve already planned the ’20-’21 season, and we’re looking at ’21-’22.”

    Tetreault initially thought he would be able to keep everything on track for the premiere of “Guys and Dolls,” which was set to open Saturday after five weeks of rehearsals. But that changed after Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s decision to declare a state of emergency; a follow-up conference call with the Department of Health about nightlife further clarified “that social distancing was critical,” he said.

    “To be frank, on Wednesday, we’d all decided, ‘Yes, we’ve got to go forward.’ On Thursday, we had all taken a 360-degree turn,” he said.

    Val Ackerman, the head of the Big East college basketball conference, said she had looked to the New York City health department and the NCAA for cues about whether to keep the conference going. But the NCAA has neither a commissioner nor a single governing board. And, unlike in other cities, New York City health officials were slow to cancel large events.

    A turning point came Wednesday when the NBA made the abrupt decision to suspend its season after a player for the Utah Jazz tested positive for covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus; a second player on the team also tested positive Thursday, raising urgent questions about how many other teammates and audience members may have been exposed.

    That set off a domino effect as, one by one, every major sports league in the United States announced cancellations.

    Ackerman called another conference’s commissioner. Then she reached out to a contact at New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, who told her the city would soon be issuing directives to limit large gatherings. On Thursday afternoon, she decided — at halftime of a quarterfinal game — to cancel the remainder of the Big East tournament.

    “Few of the people running sports leagues or sports organizations are qualified medical professionals,” Ackerman said in a news conference at Madison Square Garden.

    The president, who said two weeks ago that the coronavirus scare was a “new hoax” seized upon by his political rivals, has been criticized for failing at times to convey the seriousness of the situation. Taking the president’s comments at face value, some of his strongest supporters have expressed skepticism about whether the coronavirus was a real threat.

    But the reality of the situation has started to set in recently as schools and businesses began to shut down.

    Alicia Kusky of Port Huron, Mich., said Friday she thinks the government has reacted swiftly and appropriately. Kusky, 39, said she believes the president had previously called the coronavirus “a hoax” because he was trying to prevent mass panic.

    “He just didn’t want to cause pandemonium. But now it’s legit, and things are really happening, and we have to take safety measures,” she said. “Maybe I’m being naive about this but I feel good about our president taking action.”

    Her immediate concerns were not political, she said.

    She had already made peace with a canceled trip to Bellaire, Mich., owing to her compromised immune system after battling leukemia when she was younger.

    Now, she needed to deal with the canceled fish fry at St. Mary Catholic Church, which meant abruptly finding a place to donate the unused food. With school canceled for her two daughters, who are 12 and 14 years old, she also needed to find time to pick up arts and crafts so they don’t get restless at home.

    “The important thing is not to panic,” she said.

    Michelle Boorstein and Fritz Hahn contributed to this report.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  8. #698

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Live updates: Puerto Rico enacts curfew over coronavirus concerns; travelers face hours-long delays at U.S. airports

    Katie Mettler,
    Kim Bellware,
    Lateshia Beachum and
    Felicia Sonmez
    March 15, 2020 at 2:23 p.m. EDT

    The Washington Post is providing this story for free so that all readers have access to this important information about the coronavirus. For more free stories, sign up for our daily Coronavirus Updates newsletter.

    The coronavirus pandemic continues to upend public life as governments around the world begin enacting strict travel restrictions, shutting down nonessential businesses, closing schools and instituting quarantines.

    Cases continue to increase worldwide, and countries are becoming more insular. Spain ordered a nationwide lockdown as the death toll there doubled overnight. Puerto Rico closed restaurants, malls, theaters and casinos and enacted a curfew.

    Here are some other significant developments:

    Airports have been thrown into chaos as travelers from European countries included in President Trump’s travel ban are being forced to wait for hours in congested lines for health screenings.

    The White House’s Office of Management and Budget is urging federal agencies to limit employees’ travel, saying “only mission-critical travel is recommended at this time."

    New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo urged Trump to activate the Army Corps of Engineers to prepare emergency medical facilities, while New York City officials called for a complete shutdown of the city.

    Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Sunday that schools in his state may remain closed for the rest of the academic year.

    There will be no public audiences at Holy Week services led by Pope Francis in Vatican City next month.

    11:36 a.m.
    Ohio schools may remain closed for the rest of the academic year, governor warns

    Schools may remain closed for the rest of the academic year, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine warned Sunday, as parents and children across the country prepared for closings that are set to begin this week.

    DeWine (R) told CNN that health experts have advised him the spread of the novel coronavirus may not peak until late April or May.

    “So we’ve informed superintendents that while we’ve closed schools for three weeks, the odds are this is going to be a lot longer. And it would not surprise me at all if schools did not open again this year,” he said.

    DeWine was the first governor to order schools closed statewide — in Ohio’s case, for three weeks — and many others quickly followed. On Sunday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz joined about a dozen states in ordering closures. In his case, Walz ordered public schools closed for eight days starting Wednesday.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published guidance on Friday for schools on responding to the coronavirus pandemic. The CDC advised widespread closings only in the case of “substantial community transmission.”

    The statewide school closures that have been ordered are typically for two or three weeks. The CDC advised that closures for two to four weeks are appropriate in the case of significant absenteeism among staff or students. But it said longer shutdowns — four to eight weeks — are needed to affect the course of the disease’s spread.

    That’s one of the reasons New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is resisting closing schools in the city, he told CNN.

    “My blunt fear is, if the school shut down, they will be done for the year, done for the school year, maybe even for the calendar year,” he said. De Blasio said he is also concerned about the ramifications of such a closure, including the effect on parents who need to be at work and on those children who rely on schools for meals.

    By Laura Meckler

    12:45 p.m.
    New York governor urges Trump to use military for coronavirus response as NYC comptroller calls for city shutdown

    New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is urging President Trump to activate the Army Corps of Engineers to prepare emergency medical facilities in response to the coronavirus outbreak at the same time leaders in New York City are calling for a citywide shutdown.

    Cuomo (D) addressed the president in an op-ed in Sunday’s New York Times in which he further urged Trump to let states take over testing patients rather than route tests through federal bureaucracy. He also called on the president to coordinate nationwide school, work and business closures before the state and local health-care systems are overwhelmed and — like Italy — forced to ration care.

    “We believe the use of active duty Army Corps personnel would not violate federal law because this is a national disaster,” Cuomo wrote. “Doing so still won’t provide enough intensive care beds, but it is our best hope.”

    Pointing to the patchwork of current policies as state and local officials evaluate the outbreak differently, Cuomo called for “a uniform federal standard for when cities and states should shut down commerce and schools, or cancel events.”

    Cuomo has repeatedly complained that federal entities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have hamstrung his state’s ability to get ahead of the fast-growing outbreak — particularly because of the requirement that presumptive positive samples be confirmed by the CDC in Atlanta rather than by state labs.

    With at least 613 confirmed cases, New York has nearly eclipsed Washington state in the number of patients who have tested positive (though its death toll remains at two compared with Washington’s 40).

    New York City has accounted for nearly half of the state’s total confirmed cases, and calls from local leaders to close down schools and enact a citywide shutdown are mounting.

    On Sunday, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for more restrictions in the city.

    Singer (D) pressured officials to enact a complete city shutdown, including schools, exempting only essential services.

    “We cannot go on with business as usual,” he wrote.

    Johnson (D) called for all nonessential services to close, including table service at bars and restaurants.

    He outlined all his proposals in this Twitter thread:

    NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson

    My statement calling for NYC to shut down non-essential services:

    We are in a state of emergency and we must move quickly to mitigate the impact of coronavirus/COVID-19 on our city. All non-essential services must be closed, including bars and restaurants. 1/

    By Kim Bellware and Katie Mettler

    12:18 p.m.
    Governor of Puerto Rico orders islandwide curfew to curb virus spread

    Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced ordered a national curfew that will start Sunday night in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on the island, local outlets reported.

    The curfew will last from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m., starting Sunday and ending March 30, El Vocero de Puerto Rico reported.

    “All citizens must remain in their homes and, in this way, contribute to preventing the spread of this virus. That is everyone’s responsibility,” Vázquez Garced said, according to El Nuevo Día.

    The governor also announced the island refused to dock four cruise ships and ordered all nonessential businesses shut down as of 6 p.m. Sunday, according to the outlet.

    “This closing order applies to shopping malls, cinemas, concert halls, theaters, gyms, game rooms, casinos, stipend businesses for alcoholic beverages,” Vázquez Garced said in a news conference.

    Puerto Ricans will not be allowed on public roads under the curfew, El Nuevo Día reported. People with authorized work reasons and those with emergencies will be exempt, according to El Vocero de PR.

    The curfew comes only days after the governor declared a national emergency that involves assigning National Guard medical units to all Puerto Rican airports to evaluate new arrivals on the island.

    The U.S. territory confirmed its fourth positive coronavirus case on Saturday, according to Noticentro WAPA-TV. The latest case is an 87-year-old California man who was on a cruise ship that moved through the Mona Passage, the station reported.

    There are about 17 more suspected cases in Puerto Rico, El Nuevo Día reported.

    By Lateshia Beachum

    1:44 p.m.
    Ghana implements travel restrictions

    Ghana’s borders will be restricted to foreign travelers who have been to countries that have more than 200 cases of the novel coronavirus, according to a travel advisory released Sunday by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.

    The new restrictions will be effective starting Tuesday.

    Airline passengers from high-risk countries will not be allowed to disembark planes, and border control will restrict and monitor those seeking entry into Ghana.

    Ghanaian citizens and residents entering the country will have to self-quarantine for 14 days. State security and health officials are enforcing quarantine protocols. The government will quarantine those who do not meet the standards of self-quarantine.

    Any permitted person who shows symptoms of a coronavirus infection will be tested and quarantined.

    No end date for the rules was provided. The West African nation has six confirmed cases, with a non-Ghanaian included in the total, according to the Disease Surveillance Department of the Ghana Health Service.

    By Lateshia Beachum
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  9. #699

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Sunday 3/15/20 WaPo Updates P2

    1:56 p.m.
    Long wait times for coronavirus screenings at U.S. airports are ‘unacceptable,’ U.S. Customs and Border Protection says
    Long wait times for screenings at U.S. international arrivals terminals are “unacceptable,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement Sunday as images continued to circulate on social media of passengers queuing up for hours in close quarters that could facilitate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    The agency attributed the delays to its “partners,” but it did not address questions about staffing increases at the 13 major U.S. airports that are the only places where flights from Europe can land.

    “As we work collaboratively with federal, state, and local agencies to address the spread of COVID-19, some of the resources of our partners are stretched thin,” the statement read, referring to the disease caused by the virus. “CBP continually adjusts its resources, in real time, as needed and we will continue to do so. We understand the inconvenience to travelers and be assured that our top priority is to ensure the safety, and security of the American people while bolstering our economic security with the facilitation of legitimate trade and travel.”

    The statement said the agency also had to balance the increased staffing needs with other priorities, including national security, counternarcotics and outbound enforcement.

    “With this national emergency, there will unfortunately be times of disruption and increased processing times for travelers,” the agency said. “CBP is working around the clock to minimize these inconveniences.”

    Read more here.

    By Nick Miroff

    2:01 p.m.
    More than 300 U.S. soldiers quarantined at Fort Bragg after returning from Afghanistan

    More than 300 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division went from their return flight from Afghanistan into 14-day quarantine at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Stars and Stripes, the independent U.S. military news service, reported, citing a statement from the division.

    “My No. 1 priority is the protection of our Paratroopers, their families, our community, and the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19,” Maj. Gen. James Mingus, the division’s commander, said in the statement. “We are taking proactive steps to protect and prevent spread.”

    The returning paratroopers were fresh off a nine-month rotation in Afghanistan as part of a NATO mission, according to Army Times. Afghanistan has 11 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and it’s unclear what the country’s testing capacity is.

    According to Radio Free Europe, officials in Afghanistan’s western border province of Herat were bracing for new cases as thousands of people returned from neighboring Iran, which has the highest number of reported cases outside of China and Italy.

    No military personnel at Fort Bragg have tested positive for coronavirus, which causes the disease covid-19, officials have said.

    The paratroopers will serve out their quarantine at home or will be quarantined at Fort Bragg if they typically live in the barracks, division spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Burns told Army Times.

    “We’re looking at ways to find them entertainment, internet, telephone services, and stuff like that,” Burns said. “We’re working with MWR, we’re going to get them a gym that they can go into and make sure they have DFAC access.”

    On Sunday, Deputy Defense Secretary David L. Norquist signed a memo that halts domestic travel for all service members. The ban, which takes effect Monday, will last until at least May 11, the department said in a statement. Exemptions include travel for medical purposes, hardship, as well as humanitarian and “mission essential” trips.

    By Kim Bellware

    2:02 p.m.
    Italy reports 25 percent spike in coronavirus death toll, in deadliest 24-hour span to date

    ROME — Italy on Sunday saw a 25 percent spike in its coronavirus death toll, reporting 368 deaths in the deadliest 24-hour span to date.

    The country has seen its death roll rise at an alarming rate: In each of the last three days, at least 200 people have been reported dead because of the virus. It was only three weeks ago that Italy had its first reported deaths from the virus. Now, a total of 1,809 people have died.

    The total number of active cases has been rising roughly 20 percent daily, and the government’s nationwide lockdown — restricting movement and stopping most commercial activity — has not yet caused a slowdown.

    Some two-thirds of Italy’s deaths have happened in the region at the center of the outbreak, Lombardy. There, because of overloaded hospitals, the official fatality rate is more than 9 percent, according to government data. In the rest of the country it is 5.1 percent. By either measure, Italy is seeing a higher death rate than other countries — in part because it has a larger proportion of seniors than any country other than Japan.

    In government data released last Thursday, looking at the first 803 coronavirus deaths in Italy, only two people were younger than 50.

    By Chico Harlan

    2:23 p.m.
    Rep. Devin Nunes urges Americans to ‘go to your local pub,’ defying health experts’ warnings

    Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Sunday urged Americans to “go to a local restaurant” during the coronavirus crisis, ignoring the advice of health experts and Trump administration officials who have warned the public to stay home as much as possible in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

    “There’s a lot of concerns with the economy here because people are scared to go out,” Nunes, a vocal Trump ally, said on Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “But I will just say, one of the things you can do -- if you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant. Likely you can get in easily.”

    He added: “Let’s not hurt the working people in this country that are relying on wages and tips to keep their small business going. So, don’t run to the grocery store and buy, you know, $4,000 of food. Go, you know, go to your local pub.”

    Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is among those who have said that they personally are steering clear of restaurants and other crowded places.

    “Right now, myself personally, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant,” Fauci said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.” “I just wouldn’t, because I don’t want to be in a crowded place. I have an important job to do. I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m going to be, all of a sudden, self-isolating for 14 days.”

    Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) prompted an online backlash Saturday when he tweeted a photo of himself with his children at a crowded food hall in Oklahoma City. Stitt later deleted the tweet.

    By Felicia Sonmez

    2:23 p.m.
    Daniel Goldman, lead House Democrats counsel during impeachment, tests positive for coronavirus

    Daniel Goldman, the former lead investigative counsel for the House Intelligence Committee Democrats who became a familiar face on TV during the live impeachment hearings, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

    Goldman left the committee earlier this month and returned to New York City. He tweeted Sunday that he is “almost back to 100 %.”

    “I’m lucky enough not to fall in the vulnerable category and, for me, it was just like the flu,” he tweeted.

    Goldman, a former federal prosecutor, had been vocal on Twitter in recent days about an inability to get tested for the virus.

    “Let’s be very clear,” he tweeted March 11, “unless you have pneumonia and traveled to one of 5 high-risk countries recently, you can NOT get a #COVID19 test in New York City. If you, like me, have a fever and a headache (but tested negative for the flu), you are unable to rule out #COVID19. Shameful.”

    His Twitter feed was a real-time chronicle of his travails as he sought — in vain — to get tested for the virus.

    On March 11, he tweeted that his primary care doctor said he could have a test sent to QuestDX, but it would not come back for at least four days. On March 12, Goldman tweeted he was in a hospital emergency room awaiting another flu test. Later that day, he tweeted that he tested negative for all non-covid19 viruses and was told to go home.

    On March 13, he tweeted that he awoke at 4:45 a.m. to drive to Stamford, Conn., for a curbside Covid19 test. He said he was told the results might not come back for four days. Today, he confirmed he had the virus.

    “My difficulty in getting a test despite the exact symptoms and a neg flu test underscores how shockingly unprepared this administration is to deal with this pandemic,’’ he tweeted. “In fact, I was told that NYC hospitals STILL would not test my wife — with similar symptoms — unless admitted.”

    He slammed Trump’s response to the pandemic, accusing him of trying “to gaslight the American public by repeatedly saying that everyone who needs a test can get one, but that was not true one month ago …. and it is not true today …”

    Goldman’s former boss on the Hill, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), said in a statement that “medical professionals believe that my former staff member likely contracted the virus after leaving the office” but that the office was still taking precautions.

    Schiff also said that even before receiving the news, “out of an abundance of caution,” he had postponed district events and meetings and asked his staff to telecommute.

    By Ellen Nakashima

    2:37 p.m.
    E.U. will impose export restrictions on protective equipment for medical workers

    BRUSSELS – The European Union announced Sunday that it was imposing export restrictions on protective equipment for medical workers, saying that E.U. companies that produce masks, gloves and protective garments will need government permission to sell outside the 27-nation bloc.

    The decision appeared to be part of a compromise aimed at discouraging countries from restricting masks and other equipment for themselves as other E.U. countries face shortfalls. Italy, which is combatting the worst coronavirus crisis in Europe, has complained about Germany and France’s initial decision to stockpile equipment inside their borders. Berlin and Paris lifted the restrictions on Friday.

    “We need to keep in the E.U. the protective equipment that we need,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Sunday. “This is the right thing to do because we need that equipment for our health-care systems.”

    The restrictions, which will last for six weeks, may frustrate countries outside Europe that are seeking high-quality European-made protective equipment in the middle of the crisis. But with Europe’s industrial powerhouses already taking steps to restrict the movement of the goods, the practical effect was unclear. Any potential exporter would need the signoff from the governments of all 27 E.U. countries to go forward with a sale.

    The restrictions cover protective eye equipment, face shields, masks, gowns, suits and gloves.

    The decision comes amid reports in the German media that the U.S. government sought exclusive access to coronavirus research currently being carried out by a German medical research company.

    By Quentin Ariès
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  10. #700

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Jeremy Klemin @JeremyKlemin
    Damn, Norway.

    Diane Marshall ��Hibiscus
    @duhgurlz @JeremyKlemin
    Netherlands closing not just schools but bars, restaurants, gyms, etc. ...and they have a superior healthcare system.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

  11. #701

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion


    If you'e still hanging with friends, going to restaurants/bars, and acting like this isn't a big deal, get your shit together.

    The following thread is taken from an Italian citizen.

    As they put it:

    "To the rest of the world, you have no idea what's coming."

    As I think everybody knows, Italy is on quarantine because of the coronavirus outbreak.

    This situation is bad, but what's worse is seeing the rest of the world behaving as if it isn't going to happen to them.

    We know what you're thinking because we were in your place too.
    Let's see how things developed...

    🟢 STAGE 1:

    You know that coronavirus exists, and the first cases begin to appear in your country.

    Well, nothing to worry about, it's just a bad flu!

    I'm not 75+yo so what could possibly happen to me?
    STAGE 1 (cont'd):

    I'm safe, everybody is overreacting, what's the need to go out with masks and stock toilet paper?

    I'm going to live my life as usual, there's no need to freak out.

    🔵 STAGE 2. The number of cases begins to be significant.
    STAGE 2 (cont'd):

    They declare "red zone" and quarantine one or two small cities where they found the first cases and a lot of people were infected (Feb 22nd).

    Well that's sad and somewhat worrisome but they're taking care of it so nothing to panic about.
    STAGE 2 (cont'd):

    There are some deaths but they're all old people so the media is just creating panic for views, how shameful.

    People lead their life as usual.. I'm not going to stop going out and meeting my friends am I?

    It's not going to get me. Everybody's fine here.
    🟣 STAGE 3:

    The number of cases is rapidly going up.

    They almost doubled in one day.

    There's more deaths.

    They declare red zones and quarantine the 4 regions where the majority of cases are registered (March 7).

    In Italy 25% of the county is under quarantine.
    STAGE 3 (cont'd):

    Schools and universities are closed in these areas but bars, work places, restaurants and so on are still open.

    The decree gets released by some newspaper before it should...
    STAGE 3 (cont'd): around 10k people from the red zone escape from the area that same night to return to their homes in the rest of Italy (this will be important later).

    Most of the population of the remaining 75% of Italy still does what it always does.
    STAGE 3 (cont'd):

    They still don't realize the seriousness of the situation. Everywhere you turn people advise to wash your hands and limit going out, large groups are forbidden, every 5 minutes on TV they remind you of these rules.

    But it still hasn't settled in people's mind.
    🟤 STAGE 4:

    The number of cases is heavily increasing.

    Schools and universities are closed everywhere for at least a month.

    It's a national health emergency.

    Hospitals are at capacity, entire units are cleared to make space for coronavirus patients.
    STAGE 4 (cont'd):

    There aren't enough doctors and nurses.

    They're calling retired ones and those in their last 2 years of university.

    There's no shifts any more, just work as much as you can.

    Of course doctors and nurses are getting infected, spreading it to their families.
    STAGE 4 (cont'd):

    There's too many cases of pneumonia, too many people who need ICU and not enough places for everyone.

    At this point is like being at war: doctors have to choose who to treat based on their survival chance.
    STAGE 4 (cont'd):

    That means that the elderly and trauma/stroke patients can't get treated because corona cases have priority.

    There's not enough resources for everybody so they have to be distributed for best outcome.

    I wish I was joking but it's literally what has happened.
    STAGE 4 (cont'd):

    People have died because there wasn't any more space.

    I have a doctor friend who called me devastated because he had to let 3 people die that day.

    Nurses crying because they see people dying and can't do anything aside from offering some oxygen.
    STAGE 4 (cont'd):

    A friend's relative died yesterday of corona because they couldn't treat him.

    It's chaos, the system is collapsing.

    Coronavirus and the crisis it's provoking is all you hear about everywhere.
    🔴 STAGE 5:

    Remember the 10k idiot who ran from the red zone to the rest of Italy?

    Well, the entire country has to be declared under quarantine (March 9).

    The goal is to delay the spreading of the virus as much as possible.
    STAGE 5 (cont'd):

    People can go to work, do grocery shopping, go to the pharmacy, and all businesses are still open because otherwise the economy would collapse (it already is), but you can't move from your commune unless you have a valid reason.
    STAGE 5 (cont'd):

    Now there's fear, you see a lot of people with masks and gloves around but there are still are people who think that they're invincible, who go to restaurants in large groups, hang out with friends to drink and so on.

    Next step.
    ⚫️ STAGE 6:

    2 days later, it's announced that all (most) businesses are closed: Bars, restaurants, shopping centers, all kinds of shops etc.

    Everything except supermarkets and pharmacies.

    You can move around only if you have certification with you.
    STAGE 6 (cont'd):

    The certification is an official document where you declare your name, where you're coming from, where you're going and what for.

    There are a lot of police check points.

    If you're found outside without a valid reason you risk a fine up to €206.
    STAGE 6 (cont'd):

    If you're a known positive patient you risk from 1 to 12 years of jail for homicide.

    That's what the situation is like now today as of the March 12th.

    Keep in mind that it all happened in around 2 weeks...

    FINAL THOUGHTS (cont'd):

    The rest of the world apart from Italy, China and Korea is just now beginning to reach other stages, so let me tell you this:

    You have no idea what's coming to get you.

    I know because 2 weeks ago I was the one who had no idea and though it wasn't bad.
    FINAL THOUGHTS (cont'd):

    But it is.

    And not because the virus alone is particularly dangerous or deadly, but for all the consequences it brings.
    FINAL THOUGHTS (cont'd):

    It's hard to see all these countries act like it's not coming and not taking the precautions that are necessary for the well-being of its citizens while they still can.

    Please if you're reading this try to act in your best interest.
    FINAL THOUGHTS (cont'd):

    This problem isn't going to solve itself by ignoring it.

    Just wondering how many undiscovered cases there might be in America alone is scary, and they're in for a big, big trouble because of how their country is run.
    FINAL THOUGHTS (cont'd):

    Our government for once did a good job I must say.

    The actions taken were drastic but necessary, and this may be the only way to limit the spreading.
    FINAL THOUGHTS (cont'd):

    It's working in China so we hope it will work here too (it's already working in some of the first red zones which were quarantined before everybody else).
    FINAL THOUGHTS (cont'd):

    They're taking measures to protect us citizens such as probably suspending mortgage payments for next months, help for shop owners who were obligated to close and so on.
    FINAL THOUGHTS (cont'd):

    I realize that these takes are really difficult, if not impossible, to take in some countries, and it's really worrying to think about what it could mean in global scale.

    I wonder if this pandemic will be a turning point in our society.
    FINAL THOUGHTS (cont'd):

    If there are cases where you live, then the virus is spreading, and you're maybe 1-2 weeks behind us.

    But you'll get to our point eventually.

    PLEASE take any precaution you can take.

    Don't act like it's not going to get you.

    If you can, STAY HOME.

  12. #702

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Well, I'm not sure what all the panic is for. I received a text message from one of my sister-in-laws this morning. She was forwarding a page that gave this message (and I'm quoting):

    "Corona virus before it reaches the lungs it remains in the throat for four days and at this time the person begins to cough and have throat pains. If he drinks water a lot and gargling with warm water & salt or vinegar eliminates the virus. Spread this information because you can save someone with this information. " Complete with a image showing virus particles in the throat.

    I guess a lot of people got this before I did, since I went to the grocery store on Friday and they were out of distilled water and vinegar. I didn't check the salt section. I can see that it would help with throat pain (we always had to gargle with warm salt water if we had a sore throat growing up), but eliminate the virus particles? Who knew there was such a simple solution? Apparently not the CDC or WHO. Sigh.
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  13. #703

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    FYI, I'm hearing some stuff from friends in DC who work for the government and the military. Just, make sure you go to the store if you need to soon, meaning today or tomorrow, even if you're not in an area with a lot of cases.

  14. #704

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    “One pastor said half of his church is ready to lick the floor, to prove there’s no actual virus,” said King, lead pastor at Second Baptist church in Conway, Ark.
    Can we close the borders to the deep red states?

  15. #705

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    So I told my sister the Deacon that they're about to shut the city down. Her response? "Unnecessary fear".

    I took a walk early this morning around my complex (it's equivalent to a 1/4mi track mostly uphill). I saw a woman leaving one of the buildings dressed for church with her choir robe.

    This is why I don't condemn atheists.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.

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