Hillary Clinton came under criticism Friday from conservative circles for her swipe against President Trump amid the COVID-19 outbreak within the US. Sharing a story from the NYT that the US was now leading the world in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, Clinton wrote ’’He did promise ’America First’’. ’Delete your account. This can’t be the new normal’, Rep. Dan Crenshaw wrote.
Seven F1 teams based in the UK are working together to manufacture medical equipment for the treatment of patients suffering from this coronavirus. The ’Project Pitlane’ is an effort on the part of the UK government’s call for assistance to all industries for help fighting the pandemic. With the 2020 racing season on hold, teams will now work on producing more ventilators for patients.
The House has passed the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill on Friday, sending the measure to President Trump’s desk. Despite objection from Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, the bill easily passed by a voice vote. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking ahead of the vote, stressed, ’This cannot be our final bill’. Trump has previously promised to sign the legislation ’immediately’.
Four passengers have died on a cruise ship off the Pacific coast of Panama and more than 130 others aboard are suffering from influenza-like symptoms, at least two of whom have the COVID-19. Holland America Line said in a statement that the MS Zaandam was trying to transit the Panama Canal and make its way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. But Panama’s government has denied it access to the canal.
President Trump slammed GM and Ford on Friday, calling on the automakers to quickly build badly needed ventilators for COVID-19 patients, while suggesting he might invoke the Defense Production Act. ’General Motors MUST immediately open their stupidly abandoned Lordstown plant’, Trump tweeted, adding that the company has gone back on a promise to deliver 40000 ventilators.
Google has said it will give the WHO & global govt agencies $250mn in ad grants — up from $25mn announced few weeks ago — to share information on containing the virus. Another $340mn in Google ad credits will be available to small & medium-sized businesses whose accounts have been active over the past year, with an additional $20mn for announcements on relief funds & support for small businesses.
Google has pulled down the Infowars Android app from the Google Play store. As per reports, the app was apparently removed because of a video posted by Alex Jones that allegedly ’disputed the need for social distancing, shelter in place, and quarantine efforts meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus’.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Google is canceling its April Fools’ Day jokes this year. As per reports, the annual tradition was scrapped because execs feared the pranks would appear to be in poor taste. ’This year, we’re going to take the year off from that tradition out of respect for all those fighting the COVID-19 pandemic’, Google’s head of marketing Lorraine Twohill wrote to employees.
Veteran Instacart shoppers are now finding it impossible to do their jobs safely without more measures being taken by the company to ensure their health. Their requests include paid time off, disinfectants and sanitizers, as well as access to testing and health care. Instacart is hiring up to 300,000 new workers to handle high demand, causing stress too veteran workers.
A mammoth $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill has been approved by the US House. The bill was passed earlier this week by the Senate and hence the long awaited relief package has been sent to the President for his signature.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he’s donating ventilators to New York as the state battles the most cases of coronavirus in the US. Expressing gratitude, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted, ’We’re deeply grateful. We need every ventilator we can get our hands on’. Musk responded saying there are ’many ventilators in warehouses, but stuck in issues of logistics, routing and paperwork’.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed the $2 trillion coronavirus economic stimulus package, and described it as a ’corporate bailout’. The lawmaker, who is a member of the Democratic Party and represents parts of Queens and the Bronx, said that it left behind ’crumbs for our families’.
British PM Boris Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19. Over the last 24 hours he had reportedly developed mild symptoms. Johnson is now self-isolating, but will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference. He was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.
Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York announced on Friday that he would be asking President Trump for authorization to build four more temporary hospitals to deal with the rising number of coronavirus cases. Mr. Cuomo explained that this move would ensure an extra 4,000 beds which can be used for patients.
Apple, in conjunction with both the CDC and Federal agencies, launched their new COVID-19 screening website and app. Available for any user, and promising not to gather data, the symptom checker assist those in self-screening for the virus.
Following what is becoming a brighter side of the Covid-19 quarantine, two puppies in Atlanta spent an evening frolicking in the otherwise empty halls of the Georgia Aquarium. In a video feed streamed to happy viewers, the two puppies from the Atlanta Humane Society enjoyed their ambassadorship to the benefit of the Aquarium, the Humane Society, and their viewers.
Praying in an empty St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis on Friday likened the COVID-19 pandemic to a storm laying bare illusions that people can be self-sufficient. Francis stood under a canopy erected on the steps of St. Peter’s Basilica while leading a special prayer service. Earlier, the Vatican announced that Francis will mark Holy Week ceremonies in the confines of Vatican City.
A handful of medical schools around the US are offering to let students graduate early so they can join the fight against COVID-19. The Grossman School of Medicine at New York University was one of these. Eligible students, already meeting graduation requirements, can become doctors months ahead of schedule if they agree to join the emergency or internal medicine departments at NYU’s hospital.
China has been reporting very few new cases of COVID-19 and has reopened Wuhan where the outbreak began. But whistleblowers and others are questioning whether the numbers are as good as they look. Officials have incentives to portray a pretty picture. They also not China’s history of hiding the truth. But they also note that the figures are not likely widely off as there are foreign observers.
President Trump signed an executive order that could lead to former active duty military members being recalled into service to help with the government’s COVID-19 response. This was done previously during the height of both Iraq wars. The US Army also reached out this week to retired medical personnel to possibly volunteer to support the coronavirus response effort.
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, nearly one in four Americans have been laid off or furloughed during the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey showed that 81% said the country should continue social distancing initiatives, including ’shelter at home’ orders, ’despite the impact to the economy’. This includes 89% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans.
Because not all the facts are known yet about COVID-19, conspiracy theories are on the rise about its origin and treatment. Misinformation has stoked xenophobia, spurred fake treatment theories, adding considerable confusion to an already uncertain situation. It is important to expose conspiracy theories with proven factual information.
Shortly after British PM Boris Johnson confirmed he tested positive with COVID-19, health secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that he has also contracted the virus. ’I’ve tested positive. Thankfully my symptoms are mild and I’m working from home & self-isolating’, Hancock tweeted. He confirmed he would be in self-isolation till next Thursday.
Authorities in Belgium have confirmed a case of COVID-19 transmission from human to animal, after a man who contracted the disease also infected his pet cat. Researchers stressed that this was an individual case and may not be a common occurrence. However, as a precaution officials are working to develop preventive measures for pet owners.