While the Washington State Department of Health had prepared a plan for the arrival of the virus in January, it assumed it still had weeks before the disease would reach the U.S. “In three days, the plan was trashed. We went through every step,” Marcia Goldoft, a clinical epidemiologist with the Washington State DOH, told Yahoo News. “I don’t think anyone involved has ever seen anything go this fast.”
The New York Times reported this week that almost a dozen Liberty University students have come down with COVID-19 symptoms since the school reopened last week. But Liberty University officials have since pushed back on these claims, calling the Times story “fake news”. Now, students are choosing sides in who they believe is telling the truth.
A senior Saudi official urged more than 1 million Muslims intending to perform the hajj to delay making plans this year — comments suggesting the pilgrimage could be cancelled due to the new coronavirus pandemic. In February, the kingdom took the extraordinary decision to close off the holy cities of Mecca and Medina to foreigners over the virus, a step which wasn’t taken even during the 1918 flu epidemic that killed tens of millions worldwide. Restrictions have tightened in the kingdom as it grapples with over 1,500 confirmed cases of the new virus.
The Chinese city of Shenzhen has banned the eating of dogs and cats as part of a wider clampdown on the wildlife trade since the emergence of the new coronavirus. Scientists suspect the coronavirus passed to humans from animals. Authorities in the southern Chinese technology hub said the ban on eating dogs and cats would come into force on May 1.
A Pennsylvania man “extremely upset” about losing his job amidst the coronavirus pandemic allegedly shot his girlfriend, before turning the gun on himself in an attempted murder-suicide, authorities said Wednesday.The Wilson Borough Police Department said in a statement to The Daily Beast that Roderick Bliss IV, 38, attempted to fatally shoot his girlfriend with a semi-automatic pistol on Monday afternoon, before dying by suicide, after he “had become increasingly upset over the COVID-19 pandemic.” The 43-year-old girlfriend, who was shot once in the back, survived the attack and is in St. Luke’s hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. “In the days prior to the shooting, Bliss had become increasingly upset over the COVID-19 pandemic,” police said. “Minutes before the shooting Bliss was extremely upset about the pandemic and the fact that he had recently lost his job.”What if This Coronavirus Lockdown Is Only the Beginning?At around 1:20 p.m. on Monday, authorities responded to reports of “multiple shots fired with injuries” at Bliss’ Wilson Borough home, about an hour outside of Philadelphia. Upon arrival, officers found Bliss “unresponsive and not breathing” and a semi-automatic pistol near his body. The Northampton County Coroner ruled Bliss’ death a suicide.The girlfriend, who is alert, and other witnesses told police that Bliss had become upset that the pandemic—which has infected more than 206,200 people and killed 4,542 nationwide—cost him his job. Authorities said an enraged Bliss “went into the basement and came outside on to the rear porch” with a handgun. “While holding the handgun, Bliss told the victim, ‘I already talked to God and I have to do this,’” police said. “The victim ran off of the porch and he shot at her four times striking her once. Bliss then shot himself.”The attempted murder-suicide marks the latest example of the collateral damage of the coronavirus pandemic. Domestic violence experts and law enforcement believe domestic violence incidents will rise as families are forced into social isolation across the country.Judy Harris Kluger, executive director of Sanctuary for Families in New York, told The Daily Beast that, for some survivors of domestic violence, being able to leave their home is critical—and forced stay-at-home orders isolate them from the “social support system” that would have previously allowed them to report abuse. White House Trots Out Grim Death Models to Drive Home Social Distancing“Domestic violence is all about power and control and what a powerful tool it is to be able to say to somebody, ‘You can’t go out of this house, you have to be here,’” Kluger said. “Even though people can go out for certain things, this environment just engages in the most negative way the power of the abuser.” Kluger said her organization, and several others across New York—the current epicenter of the outbreak in the United States—are anticipating an increase in domestic violence calls as the pandemic continues. A spokesperson for the National Domestic Violence Hotline said they haven’t yet seen a significant increase in call volumes but were receiving an increase in calls related to COVID-19 and the anxiety of people being stuck in their homes. “Right now, the people who are at risk are very isolated,” Kluger said, noting her organization is reaching out to former clients who might be at risk. “We are worried that we are going to see an uptick while this ‘shelter-in-place’ is in effect. Also, as the tension of the crisis rises, we anticipate people will begin reporting soon.”But, even as the looming number of domestic violence cases threatens New York and other cities, the number of healthy police officers is also dwindling. New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Wednesday there were at least 1,400 officers who had tested positive for coronavirus, while about 17 percent had called out sick. Despite trying to police a city with a virus-related death toll of more than 1,000, Shea has previously stressed the NYPD is focused on domestic violence cases. “What I’m concerned about is, it’s happening and it’s not getting reported,” Shea said Tuesday, noting that survivors may not be calling for help. “We’ve asked the domestic violence officers—you know who the people are in your commands, who are most vulnerable. Pick up the phone, pick up the computer keyboard and start communicating with them. Just make sure that things are OK.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
North Korea remains totally free of the coronavirus, a senior health official in Pyongyang has insisted, despite mounting scepticism overseas as confirmed global infections near one million. The already isolated, nuclear-armed North quickly shut down its borders after the virus was first detected in neighbouring China in January, and imposed strict containment measures. Pak Myong Su, director of the anti-epidemic department of the North's Central Emergency Anti-epidemic Headquarters, insisted that the efforts had been completely successful.
The number of infections nationwide tops 216,000 as confirmed cases around the globe near one million.
Florida announced a stay-at-home order, and officials weighed recommending more Americans wear masks. Here are the latest coronavirus updates.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed attempts by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to spearhead talks about a fourth coronavirus relief bill, saying that she should "stand down" on the proposal.“She needs to stand down on the notion that we’re going to go along with taking advantage of the crisis to do things that are unrelated to the crisis,” McConnell said, calling the speaker's suggestions about fourth relief bill “premature.”The Senate majority leader's remarks come a week after Congress passed a massive $2 trillion stimulus package to offset the economic destruction caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to spread across the country, causing businesses to shutter and lay off workers.The historic bill, the third coronavirus-related spending bill passed by Congress, provides $367 billion in loans to help small businesses keep making payroll, $100 billion for hospitals, and $150 billion for state and local governments.The plan also provides for Americans who make up to $75,000 to receive a one-time payment of $1,200.A $500 billion fund earmarked for corporations that have been economically damaged by the pandemic will be overseen by an inspector general and a congressional panel, in accordance with Democrats’ demands. The previous two emergency bills included free coronavirus testing, more funds for states, a mandate that businesses expand paid sick leave, and funds for medical supplies and vaccine research.In a rare echoing of President Trump, Pelosi has said she would like to see an infrastructure investment in the next coronavirus spending bill to the tune of $760 billion, as well as $10 billion for health centers and housing programs. The speaker said Wednesday that her plan is “probably in the same ballpark” as the president's.“The victims of the coronavirus pandemic cannot wait,” Pelosi said in a statement responding to McConnell, adding that she hopes both sides in Congress can work together on the next relief legislation. “It is moving faster than the leader may have suspected, and even he has said that some things should wait for the next bill.”McConnell maintained that spending vigilance was necessary on both sides, especially after the $2 trillion relief bill.“We do have to be mindful of how to pay for it. There has been a lot of fantasizing on both sides about massive packages,” McConnell said. “We’d all love to do it, but there is the reality of how you pay for it. We just passed a $2 trillion bill, and it would take a lot of convincing to convince me that we should do transportation in a way that’s not credibly paid for after what we just passed last week.”
On Wednesday Iran warned the U.S. it was “warmongering during the coronavirus outbreak,” after it deployed Patriot air defense missiles to Iraq.
Consumer advocates fear the deal will reduce competition and lead to higher prices. But regulators and a federal judge let it proceed.
Census-taking used to spur innovation. Now, the pace of technology, and the challenge of going go door to door, could force it to adopt existing systems instead.
The best, most beautiful weather app is about to be an iOS exclusive.
Should you buy Samsung’s new Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, or S20 Ultra? Here's what you need to know before you shell out a grand.
A class action lawsuit. Rampant zoombombing. And as of today, two new zero-day vulnerabilities.
No Purell? No problem! When disinfecting gel sells out everywhere, you can just make some yourself with stuff you (maybe) already have at home.
For some longtime preppers, it's not all about bunkers and power generators.
Mohammad Mosaed, a reporter who criticized the Iranian government's response to the coronavirus pandemic, has been arrested and banned from social media.
To protect governments as well as people’s rights from coronavirus, we need to use tech as a scalpel, not a sledgehammer.
It can replicate a sense of being touched, even when there’s no one around. As the world self-isolates, that feeling is more important than ever.