Edward Snowden has warned that high-tech surveillance measures governments use to fight the outbreak of COVID-19, will have a long-lasting impact. Snowden said that governments can extend access to people’s personal information and use it to monitor their actions. ’They know what your heart rate is, what your pulse is. What happens when they start to intermix these and apply AI to it?’, he asked.
President Trump approved four new facilities in New York to serve as hospitals. They will provide additional 4,000 beds during the coronavirus crisis. Cuomo mentioned that New York will also designate certain hospitals as ’COVID-only’. Around 52,000 people in the state have COVID-19, which is nearly half of all the cases in the United States.
Spain has recorded another record breaking day for Covid-19 deaths as 832 people died from the disease in 24 hours and the number of cases surged by over 8,000. Spanish health officials announced on Saturday morning that 5,690 people have now died from the coronavirus in the Mediterranean country and a total of 72,248 people have contracted the illness.
China has sent a plane loaded with medical personnel and supplies to help Pakistan fight the spread of the COVID-19. Pakistan has reported 1,526 cases with 13 deaths. While the country has closed its borders with Iran and Afghanistan, it has come under widespread criticism for its initial lax response to the virus. PM Imran Khan has refused a lockdown saying it will devastate the country’s poor.
As per a report, 400 people experiencing homelessness in LA County could die from the COVID-19 pandemic. The report released by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health says the pandemic will likely kill more than 3,400 homeless people across the US. Up to 1,200 of those deaths could come from California. The research urged for 400,000 additional hospital beds to manage the impact on the homeless
Scores of urn deliveries in Wuhan have raised fresh skepticism of China’s COVID-19 reporting. Photos online show vast numbers of urns at Wuhan funeral homes. As per Chinese media outlet Caixin, one funeral home received two shipments of 5,000 urns over the course of two days. It’s not clear how many of the urns were filled. Workers at several funeral parlors declined to provide any details.
The FDA on Friday approved a coronavirus test that can provide results in less than 15 minutes, using the same technology that powers rapid flu tests. The new diagnostic test could accelerate testing in the United States, allowing for rapid results in doctors’ offices. The test’s maker, Abbott Laboratories, said it expects to deliver 50,000 tests per day beginning next week.
There are now more 104,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,700 deaths from the coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University. The situation is grim in various state with NY could be just weeks away from reaching its peak in hospitalizations, California cases grew 26% in one day, with 65,000 test results pending and New Orleans could run out of key medical supplies by early April.
President Trump took aim at Michigan Gov. Whitmer on Friday, claiming she was ’way in over her head’ amid the COVID-19 outbreak and ’doesn’t have a clue’. Michigan so far has more than 2,200 confirmed cases of the virus. Earlier, Whitmer’s alleged that medical-supply vendors were being told ’not to send stuff here to Michigan’. Trump accused Whitmer of ’blaming everyone for her own ineptitude’.
The US said Friday that China has retreated from spreading conspiracy theories alleging the US involvement in the coronavirus pandemic. The State Department’s Global Engagement Center said China, after finding little success in that, has now shifted to praising its own successes in containing the virus. The department said Russia continued to be the major concern around spread of misinformation.
Fox Business Network has parted ways with Trish Regan. This comes weeks after Regan ignited controversy when she dismissed the COVID-19 pandemic concerns as a conspiracy to throw President Trump out of office. ’We will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future in an effort to allocate staff resources to continuous coverage on the Coronavirus crisis’, Fox said.
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.