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  • In time of crisis, Trump-Pelosi relationship remains broken

    In time of crisis, Trump-Pelosi relationship remains brokenPresident Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last talked on Oct. 16, when Pelosi pointed her finger at the seated president during a heated exchange in a White House meeting that was captured in a widely shared photograph. Pelosi stormed out, and the two leaders’ frayed relationship was soon severed by the House's impeachment of Trump months later. Now, there are worries the broken relationship could hinder the federal government's ability to respond to the growing coronavirus crisis, the extent of the damage reflected in Thursday's report that a record 6.6 million people filed for unemployment, adding to more than 3 million from two weeks earlier.




  • UN in cash crisis from unpaid dues, secretary-general says


  • UN adopts resolution urging global cooperation on COVID-19


  • South Africa's ruthlessly efficient fight against coronavirus

    South Africa's ruthlessly efficient fight against coronavirusThe government seems to have acted faster than many other states to tackle Covid-19, writes Andrew Harding.




  • Africa's week in pictures: 27 March-2 April 2020

    Africa's week in pictures: 27 March-2 April 2020A selection of the best photos from across the continent this week.




  • British Love for Health Service Could Make or Break Boris Johnson

    British Love for Health Service Could Make or Break Boris Johnson(Bloomberg) -- Schoolkids in lockdown put home-made signs in their bedroom windows thanking brave doctors and nurses. Families stepped outside their front doors for a national round of applause. Public buildings lit up blue. Stores have offered discounts to hospital staff, and designated hours.They are hailed as heroes in Italy and Spain as the countries bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, but nowhere does the medical system stir more passion than in Britain. When the government asked for 250,000 volunteers to help, three times that number signed up.The cult of the National Health Service has been key to so many political fortunes over the decades, but no leader has weaponized it more than Boris Johnson after years of austerity measures implemented by his Conservative Party. While peers across Europe come under strain fighting the pandemic, few have more to gain or lose from the ability of the health system to cope than the British prime minister.During the 2016 Brexit campaign, Johnson’s message was that leaving the European Union would save 350 million pounds ($433 million) a week to pump into the NHS, a sum later discredited. His emphatic election victory in December used the slogan “Get Brexit Done” so that the government could focus on areas like “our fantastic NHS.” The mantra for the Covid-19 pandemic is stay at home to “Protect Our NHS.”“The cynic in me says it is easy to clap,” said Martin Lodge, a political scientist at the London School of Economics. “Emotionally the NHS is a uniting symbol. All parties know electorally the NHS is a key thing.”The U.K. is now bracing for the disease to spread rapidly. The number of fatalities is already increasing at more than 500 a day, the level of Spain, the most deadly epicenter in Europe along with Italy, less than two weeks ago.Meanwhile, the government is relying on that regard for the NHS to keep the country united and, crucially, deflect from criticism that the heath system has been starved of the money it needs.The last decade has seen the NHS under more pressure than at any time since it was founded in 1948, the vaunted postwar ideal of free medical care for all. Deeper-than-average cuts to hospital beds, seen previously as a sign of efficiency, are drawing scrutiny. The system has about 40,000 unfilled nursing positions and fewer doctors as a percentage of the population than countries such as France, Germany and Italy. “What’s really noticeable in the U.K. is not so much that our funding is out of line, but that our physical capacity is much lower,” said Anita Charlesworth, director of research at the Health Foundation. “We run our system really hot.”Health-care spending has grown just 1.3% a year in real terms since 2009-10. That compares with annual growth of 6% in the preceding 13 years. When it comes to beds, many countries have scaled back as medical care advances, but Britain has cut more than most. That meant more than nine out of 10 beds were occupied before the coronavirus, according to Charlesworth. The number of doctors, nurses and MRI scanners also is below the average of a group of European countries.“The inescapable reality is that insufficient investment in the nursing workforce over the last decade is already making it hard for nursing staff to fight the pandemic,” said Donna Kinnair, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, the labor union for nurses. “The government must recognize the added pressure these developments are putting on an already overstretched nursing workforce.”Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have emphasized that any health system in the world would be unprepared to cope with an uncontained outbreak of the coronavirus, which had so far killed 2,921 people across the U.K. as of Wednesday.Both have been infected with the disease amid mounting criticism of the government’s response, from failing to protect health care workers by testing them for the virus to giving them enough protective equipment to treat patients.Medical staff have had to isolate with members of their family because they can’t get checked. Only 5,000 out of 1.3 million NHS employees have been tested so far. By the end of April, the government aims to process 100,000 tests a day.The signs from elsewhere in Europe make alarming reading. Italy was forced to call in emergency help from Medecins Sans Frontieres, the group more known for working in Middle East war zones or dealing with Ebola in Africa. Spain has come under fire as hospitals became so overwhelmed that staff were forced to choose who to let die. But in Britain, the impact could have far greater potential political ramifications that go beyond the pandemic. Indeed, one former Conservative chancellor of the exchequer famously quipped that the NHS was the closest thing the English have to a religion.In London, the hardest hit population in the U.K. by coronavirus, medics are already reporting that some emergency departments are struggling.The question is not just whether the NHS can cope, but whether it’s just able to cope enough. In short, whether the coronavirus infects Britain’s most-cherished institution to the point where its future viability is undermined.The tsunami of illness means that there’s no health system, however rich, that would be prepared to deal with it, according to Rosalind Raine, a professor at the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care in London. “As a direct result of Covid-19, people with other conditions are really going to suffer,” said Raine. She cited the example of one hospital in East London, where at least three people with the virus have died and which could delay chemotherapy appointments due to a surge in patients. For sure, the NHS has fared better than other departments during the spending cuts in the wake of the global financial crisis. The government is also promising to plow tens of billions extra into the service by the middle of the decade. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said the chancellor of the exchequer has made it clear the NHS will get “whatever funding it needs” to respond to the pandemic.“There has been a massive cash injection in some much needed equipment to deal with Covid-19 and that is here to stay but do I think that will be sustained once this is over?” said Rosie Kalsi, a consultant intensivist. “No. I think there will be a correction and we will go back to the experience of continued underfunding in hospital buildings, technology and in people.”In the meantime, there’s a national mobilization in preparation for the jump in coronavirus cases. The army helped build a new makeshift hospital with a capacity of as many as 4,000 beds in London with other facilities planned in events centers in Glasgow and other cities.The government called on recently retired doctors to rejoin the medical workforce. Letters were sent to more than 15,000 of them in England and Wales with reportedly more than 500 doctors signing up to return to the NHS in a variety roles in the first 48 hours. Medical students in the final year are also being enabled to practice.Companies have got involved after Johnson called on them to help produce the ventilators needed to treat the worst cases of the disease. Dyson, famous for its high-suction vacuum cleaners, said it plans to contribute, while the Mercedes Formula One motor racing team is working with academics in London to produce hundreds of breathing aids.Grounded staff from airlines EasyJet Plc and Virgin Atlantic have volunteered as part of the effort to bring more personnel into the NHS, while some soccer clubs have made medical staff and facilities available to support the effort.As the virus gets more entrenched in Britain, Annie Evans, a 24-year-old medical student at the University of Sheffield, is getting ready to be deployed in a hospital on the front line.“It very much feels like the calm before the storm,” she said. “It’s a bit scary because nobody knows what’s going to happen.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Coronavirus: US buys 60 tons of medical supplies from Russia to fight Covid-19

    Coronavirus: US buys 60 tons of medical supplies from Russia to fight Covid-19The US has purchased 60 tons of ventilators, masks, and respirators in a shipment from the Russian government in a public relations coup for Vladimir Putin.The delivery, which is believed to have arrived at JFK airport on Wednesday, comes following a phone call between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin on Monday, after which the US President claimed the leaders discussed the virus at length.




  • Judge Rejects Delay of Wisconsin Primary: Campaign Update


  • Navy fires captain who sought help for virus-stricken ship

    Navy fires captain who sought help for virus-stricken shipThe captain of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier facing a growing outbreak of the coronavirus on his ship was fired Thursday by Navy leaders who said he created a panic by sending his memo pleading for help to too many people. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the ship's commander, Capt. Brett Crozier “demonstrated extremely poor judgment” in the middle of a crisis. Modly's decision to remove Crozier as ship commander was immediately condemned by members of the House Armed Services Committee, who called it a “destabilizing move” that will “likely put our service members at greater risk and jeopardize our fleet’s readiness."




  • You've just lost your job? Here's what you need to know

    You've just lost your job? Here's what you need to knowNearly 10 million Americans have lost their jobs and applied for unemployment benefits in the past two weeks — a stunning record high that reflects the near-complete shutdown of the U.S. economy. Job losses related to the coronavirus are sure to rise further in coming weeks, with economists saying the U.S. unemployment rate could reach as high as 15%, well above the 10% peak during the Great Recession. As recently as February, the unemployment rate was just 3.5%, a 50-year low.




  • Trump is risking conflict with Iran and hammering it with sanctions as the country is devastated by coronavirus

    Trump is risking conflict with Iran and hammering it with sanctions as the country is devastated by coronavirusNot even a pandemic can stop the ongoing hostilities between the US and Iran, and the risk of conflict is still very real.




  • Central Park houses hospital ward as NY races to add beds

    Central Park houses hospital ward as NY races to add bedsThere is a coronavirus ward in tents in Central Park. A makeshift hospital has been set up in a Manhattan convention center. Over the next few weeks, spaces including pro tennis courts, college dorms and a cruise ship terminal are supposed to start housing patients as New York state races to roughly triple its hospital capacity.




  • Grim Global Mark for Infections; N.Y. Cases Rise: Virus Update

    Grim Global Mark for Infections; N.Y. Cases Rise: Virus Update(Bloomberg) -- In four months, the new coronavirus infected more than 1 million people and killed more than 51,000. The U.S. accounts for a quarter of the cases. Italy and Spain represent almost half the deaths.British Airways furloughed 30,000 staff and cut pay. Portugal closed airports during Easter. New York City reported a rise in new cases.The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits more than doubled to a record 6.65 million. In Britain, almost 1 million people claimed welfare payments in two weeks. Stocks gained as oil surged.Key Developments:Global cases top 1 million; deaths exceed 51,000: Johns HopkinsNations with mandatory TB vaccines show fewer coronavirus deathsLA urges city to mask up; NY, NJ deaths double in three daysLocked up, beaten and shamed: virus laws lead to abusePalantir’s new ‘driving thrust’: predicting virus outbreaksLife-or-death hospital decisions come with threat of lawsuitsTrump Issues Order on Supplies (4:40 p.m. NY)President Donald Trump issued an order under the Defense Production Act to speed production of ventilators after state officials raised alarm that supplies are inadequate.Trump directed the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that General Electric Co., Hill-Rom Holdings Inc., Medtronic Plc, ResMed Inc., Royal Philips NV and Vyaire Medical Inc. obtain needed supplies. The order doesn’t name the suppliers to companies manufacturing ventilators.Trump has expressed reluctance to use the law, comparing it to nationalizing industries. He has said he prefers to use threats to invoke the act as leverage to force companies to comply.Tennessee Issues Stay-at-Home Order (4:25 p.m. NY)Tennessee is requiring citizens to remain at home, ending one of the last holdouts by U.S. states. Governor Bill Lee, who had previously only urged residents to stay home, said he made the decision after seeing traffic data showing people were traveling more.Ohio Extends Stay-Home Order (4:15 p.m. NY)Ohio Governor Mike DeWine extended a stay-at-home order that closes non-essential businesses through May 1. The order was set to expire April 6 but is still needed with models showing the peak of the outbreak expected by mid-May, the governor said. Stores will be asked to set, post, and enforce limits on number of customers inside at at any one time.Germany’s Deaths Top 1,000 (3:15 p.m. NY)Deaths in Germany climbed to 1,074 Thursday, a day after the government extended a nationwide lockdown beyond Easter. The toll was 931 the previous day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Confirmed cases increased to 84,264 -- the third-highest in Europe -- from 77,981.The head of Germany’s public health authority said this week he expects the nation’s relatively low death rate of 0.8% to rise in the next few weeks.NYC Ambulance Response Slows (3 p.m. NY)New York City ambulances are taking almost three minutes longer than usual to respond to the most critical distress calls as administrative bottlenecks in emergency rooms cause delays, even as streets are uncharacteristically clear.Response times in March averaged 10 minutes and 7 seconds, according to New York City Fire Department records, compared with an average 7 minutes, 15 seconds in the same period a year earlier. Ambulances sometimes wait as long as an hour to deliver patients to an ER, said Anthony Almojera, an EMS technician and vice president of the fire department’s EMS Officers Union Local 3621.Sressed-out drivers and paramedics will get some help from 250 more ambulances and 500 specialists that the Federal Emergency Management Agency sent to the city this week.Portugal Shuts Airports (2:40 p.m. NY)Portugal’s airports will be closed April 9-13 as the nation deals with the outbreak during the Easter holiday period. The government also is limiting the number of passengers on flights to put distance between travelers, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said in Lisbon on Thursday.President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa earlier extended the state of emergency for two weeks through April 17. The number of confirmed cases in Portugal rose 9.5% to 9,034, slower than the two previous daily increases.U.S. Layoffs Lead to Lost Insurance (1:10 p.m. NY)Some 3.5 million American workers probably lost their employer-provided health insurance policies in the past two weeks as the epidemic triggered an unprecedented wave of layoffs, according to research published Thursday by the Economic Policy Institute.The “very rough estimate” is based on industry-specific unemployment claims filed in Washington state, which had the earliest U.S. outbreak.It’s hard to be precise because some laid-off workers will be able to get insurance via Obamacare exchanges or a family member who still has a job, or will qualify for government coverage under Medicaid, the EPI said. On the other hand, the 3.5 million doesn’t include spouses or children of the newly unemployed who may now be without coverage.N.Y. New Cases Rise Almost 9,000 (1 p.m. NY)New York’s coronavirus outbreak shows no signs of abating, with almost 8,700 new infections, 1,200 new hospitalizations, 400 new ICU admissions and more than 400 new deaths, Governor Andrew Cuomo said.Cuomo said at the current infection rate, the state is six days away from exhausting its stockpile of breathing machines. About 350 new patients per night need ventilation, and the state has about 2,200 stockpiled.Unlike other states that claim to have received faulty ventilators from the U.S. stockpile, Cuomo says all those received by New York appear to be in working order.British Airways Staff Furloughed (12:45 p.m. NY)British Airways, which grounded most of its fleet as travel demand slumped, will furlough about 28,000 employees and pay them 80% of their usual pay, the Unite union said Thursday after labor talks. The U.K. government will cover up to 2,500 pounds ($3,095) a month under a national plan, with the airline picking up wages beyond that level.The airline is following other carriers in furloughing workers as the virus wipes out global travel demand. Among U.K. rivals, EasyJet Plc laid off cabin crew for two months Monday after grounding its entire fleet, while staff at Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. have signed up for eight-week breaks, extended sabbaticals or voluntary severance.Netherlands Urges Quarantine for U.S. Travelers (12:40 p.m. NY)Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called on citizens returning to the Netherlands from the U.S. to self-quarantine for 14 days, press agency ANP reports.The same is being asked for all citizens who are being repatriated. Rutte also called on residents in neighboring Germany and Belgium to stay away in the long Easter weekend.Pence Says 100,000 Get Tested (12:34 p.m. NY)Vice President Mike Pence said more than 100,000 Americans are now being tested daily for coronavirus, as the government tries to ramp up its lagging response to tracking the outbreak.A weekend breakthrough on point-of-care testing by Abbott Laboratories will make an additional 50,000 tests available each day, Pence said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg Television.There have been about 1.2 million coronavirus tests performed in the U.S. as of noon Thursday, according to the Covid 19 Tracking Project, which examines data supplied by states.Italy Infections Slow (12:20 p.m. NY)Italy reported 4,668 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday compared with 4,782 a day earlier, as growth in infections slowed.The nation had 760 deaths as the number of fatalities rose again after three weeks of nationwide lockdown.The toll over the past 24 hours compared with 727 on Wednesday, according to figures from the civil protection agency.Remy Cointreau Takes Hit on China Sales (12:20 p.m. NY)Remy Cointreau SA, one of the world’s largest sellers of Cognac, cut its forecast for the fiscal year and said it expects profit to be down between 25% and 30%. Producers of the spirit are enduring a collapse in sales from China as a result of the coronavirus. The country had previously grown to become one of the most important sales markets for Cognac and other European luxury goods. Just under a third of Remy Cointreau’s revenue comes from Asia, with China being the largest market in the region.Democrats Postpone Convention (12:05 p.m. NY)The Democratic National Committee on Thursday postponed the presidential nominating convention from July to Aug. 17 due to concerns about the coronavirus, according to two people familiar with the decision. The delay comes after likely presidential nominee Joe Biden said it should be pushed back for safety reasons.Pelosi Forming Panel to Oversee Stimulus (11:35 a.m. NY)U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will create a select committee with subpoena power to oversee the government’s response to the outbreak, including how the $2.2 trillion from last week’s stimulus plan is spent.Pelosi on Thursday compared the committee to the panel chaired by then-Senator Harry Truman in the 1940s to investigate defense spending as the country mobilized for World War II.“We want to make sure there are not exploiters out there,” she told reporters. “Where there is money, there is mischief.”Putin Extends Lockdown Through April 30 (10:36 a.m. NY)President Vladimir Putin extended his order keeping Russians at home until April 30, warning that the spread of coronavirus has yet to reach its peak.The Russian leader said certain parts of Russia, including Moscow, haven’t managed to get the situation under control. He said he would give additional authority to regional leaders to determine the level of response locally. He noted that the stay-at-home period could be shortened if the situation improves.Russia has more than 3,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus after a 28% increase overnight.NYC Business Activity Falls (10:30 a.m. NY)A measure of business activity in the New York City area sank to the lowest level on record in March. The Institute for Supply Management-New York’s current business conditions index fell 39 points last month to 12.9, the lowest in data back to 1993 and well below its 27.1 reading duriing the global financial crisis. Levels below 50 signal contracting activity.Kenya to Hire Health Workers (10:15 a.m. NY)Kenya is set to hire 6,000 health workers to help fight the coronavirus outbreak, with 5,000 deployed to counties and 1,000 will remain at the national hospitals, Health Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said.Kenya has confirmed 110 Covid-19 cases and three deaths.Walgreens Flags Sales Downturn (9:43 a.m. NY)Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. executives said sales have started to decline at its drugstores as a result of the pandemic, though the full impact on its business won’t be known for months.U.S. consumers had raced early last month to stock up on drugs, cleaning supplies and toilet paper as they prepared to stay at home to avoid getting or spreading Covid-19. Now, that rush appears to be ebbing.Amazon Hires 80,000, Steps Up Warehouse Safety (9:24 a.m. NY)Amazon.com Inc. said it has hired 80,000 people to help meet demand for online orders and has stepped up safety precautions at its U.S warehouses.Dave Clark, Amazon’s logistics chief, said in a blog on Thursday that Amazon would probably go “well beyond” its previous estimate of an additional $350 million in costs to support a growing workforce.Germany Backs Use of Bailout Fund (9:15 a.m. NY)The government in Berlin says it’s ready to send an “unambiguous signal” to markets by letting countries tap the European Stability Mechanism, the euro area’s rescue fund, to help them deal with the fallout of the pandemic.That’s according to a position paper seen by Bloomberg, which also advocates setting up a 50 billion-euro fund to guarantee loans to small and medium-sized companies, especially in countries that don’t have their own development banks. Germany also said it would welcome a European unemployment reinsurance.U.S. Jobless Claims Doubled to Record Last Week: (8:38 a.m. NY)The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits more than doubled to a second straight record as the coronavirus widened its reach and closed more businesses.A total of 6.65 million people filed jobless claims in the week ended March 28, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday, as many stores and restaurants were forced to close across the nation to mitigate the outbreak.U.K.’s Johnson Still Has Mild Symptoms (8:24 a.m. NY)U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to show mild symptoms after contracting Covid-19, his spokesman, James Slack, said at a briefing with reporters.New Cases in Italy’s Lombardy Region Remain Flat (8:21 a.m. NY)Lombardy’s trend of new virus cases remains flat, with no increases in the last 24 hours, the region’s governor, Attilio Fontana, said at a press conference on Thursday.“It seems what our experts have predicted is happening, and that in a few days we might see a blessed decline in the pandemic trend,” Fontana said.Germany Sees Economy Contracting 5% in 2020 (7:43 a.m. NY)The national output is expected to contract more than 5% in 2020, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said. Germany’s economy could be in position for “reasonable growth” next year, he added. Angela Merkel’s government was widely anticipated to slash its forecast from the pre-crisis prediction of 1.1% growth.Amgen Joins Hunt for Coronavirus Drug, DJ Says (7:35 a.m. NY)Amgen Inc. and Adaptive Biotechnologies Corp. are partnering to develop a drug to treat the coronavirus, Dow Jones reported on Thursday, citing an interview with David Reese, Amgen’s executive vice president of research and development.No Decisions on Domestic Travel Ban, Fauci Says (7:32 a.m. NY)“It’s on the table,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci says about whether the U.S. has any plans to restrict domestic travel. “We look at that literally every day,” he said. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he’s looking at domestic travel limits for virus hot spots.HK Orders Bars, Pubs to Close (7:28 a.m. NY)Hong Kong has ordered bars and pubs to close for 14 days from April 3. The city earlier reported 37 new cases, taking its total to 802.Boeing Offers Voluntary Buyouts (7:24 a.m. NY)Boeing Co. offered voluntary buyouts to eligible employees, in a bid to quickly shed costs and adjust its work force of 161,000 to a coronavirus crisis that’s quickly undermined the outlook for aircraft sales. The move will preserve much-needed cash at Boeing, which is facing a sharp contraction in demand along with its European rival Airbus SE.Airline customers around the world have slashed schedules, with some parking their entire fleets as the coronavirus pandemic guts travel. About 44% of aircraft across the globe are in storage.ECB Delays Strategic Review (7:21 a.m. NY)The big policy rethink, which was supposed to become the hallmark of President Christine Lagarde’s presidency, will be completed by the middle of next year, or six months later than initially planned, the ECB said on Thursday.EU Says It Should Have Acted Faster to Help Italy (7:05 a.m. NY)In a letter to Italian newspaper la Repubblica, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen admitted the bloc was late in understanding the scale of the outbreak in Italy and slow to act. She said Brussels has done far better recently.The unusual admission comes amid fear that Italy’s debt market is still vulnerable to a mass exodus by investors, even with the European Central Bank offering support through its 750 billion-euro ($820 billion) bond-buying program. The country’s yield spread over Germany, a key gauge of risk in the country remains elevated after last month’s virus-induced rout.Biden Says Sees Democratic Convention Delayed to August (7 a.m. NY)“I think it’s going to have to move into August,” Biden said in an interview on “The Tonight Show.” “I doubt whether the Democratic convention is going to be able to be held in mid-July.”Norway’s Wealth Fund Lost a Record $113 Billion in 1Q (6:41 a.m. NY)Norway’s sovereign wealth fund lost a record 1.17 trillion kroner in the first quarter as the coronavirus pandemic roiled stock markets. The loss comes as the fund for the first time faces forced asset sales to cover emergency spending by the government to weather the impact on the richest Nordic economy.Stanchart CEO Says U.K., U.S. Acted Too Late (6:35 a.m. NY)Standard Chartered Plc Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters said authorities in London and Washington have been too slow in ordering the type of lockdown that China used to control the outbreak. Speaking on Bloomberg Television, Winters became one of the highest-profile CEOs to criticize the Western response to the pandemic, saying the U.S. and U.K. had acted “too late.”“I find it interesting to listen to the debate now that we in the West, or in the U.K., or in the U.S., couldn’t have done what the Chinese did because we don’t have that kind of society,” Winters said. “Well, we are doing what the Chinese did; we’re just doing it too late.”EU’s Borrell Warns of Pandemic ‘Spiraling Out of Control’ (6:30 a.m. NY)European Union foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc must mobilize help for poor countries. “Globally, it is to be feared that the worst is yet to come,” Borrell said in a letter to foreign ministers as they prepare to hold a video conference Friday. “Countries already affected by conflicts or mismanagement are particularly vulnerable.”Jobless Claims Soar As Lockdowns Bite (6:20 a.m. NY)Earlier on Thursday, Spain said claims rose by a record 302,265 in March. Spain, one of the countries at the center of Europe’s outbreak, already has an unemployment rate that’s among the highest in the developed world.Almost a million people have claimed welfare payments in Britain over the past two weeks and even Finland, one of the world’s best-funded welfare states, is starting to crack. In Ireland, more than 300,000 people are on government support and 200,000 are classed as unemployed -- that’s a total of about half a million people in a country where around 2.3 million were in work before the crisis.And one-third of Thailand’s population has registered for government cash handouts designed to soften the blow of the novel coronavirus outbreak, far exceeding the funds available for the policy.Brexit Delay May Be Inevitable (6 a.m. NY)Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he won’t delay Britain’s final parting with the European Union at the end of the year. Empty meeting rooms across Whitehall suggest delay is all but inevitable.Business lobbyists say government officials have canceled most meetings to prepare for Brexit as civil servants are pulled away to deal with the growing coronavirus pandemic. It’s now only a question of how Johnson will sell a delay to the British public, rather than whether or not one will happen, they say.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • States demand ventilators as feds ration limited supply

    States demand ventilators as feds ration limited supplyTwo weeks ago, the Pentagon promised to make as many as 2,000 military ventilators available as the federal government strains to contend with the coronavirus pandemic. At the Federal Emergency Management Agency, tasked with coordinating the federal response to the outbreak, about 9,000 additional ventilators are also on hold as officials seek to determine where they are needed most urgently. The combination of scarce supply and high need has sent many states onto the open market, where they are bidding for ventilators from private manufacturers.




  • Trump admin moves toward promoting broader use of face masks

    Trump admin moves toward promoting broader use of face masksThe Trump administration is formalizing new guidance to recommend that many Americans wear face coverings in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, as the president is aggressively defending his response to the public health crisis. A person familiar with the White House coronavirus task force's discussion said officials would suggest that non-medical masks, T-shirts or bandannas be used to cover the nose and mouth when outside the home — for instance, at the grocery store or pharmacy. Medical-grade masks, particularly short-in-supply N95 masks, would be reserved for those dealing directly with the sick.




  • In Ecuador, families wait with their dead as bodies pile up

    In Ecuador, families wait with their dead as bodies pile upDaniel Larrea died Monday after a week of high fever, struggling to breathe and steadily turning blue. Then a new nightmare began for his family. No one in their city on Ecuador's Pacific coast would pick up his body.




  • Spanish hospital personnel must improvise in a makeshift ICU

    Spanish hospital personnel must improvise in a makeshift ICUThe tension is palpable. An orchestra of medical monitors marks the tempo with an endless series of soft, distinct beeps. Never have so many people been inside the library of the Germans Trias i Pujol hospital in northeastern Spain.




  • Putin prolongs virus work shutdown as cases spike

    Putin prolongs virus work shutdown as cases spikePresident Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday the extension of a non-working period in Russia to slow the spread of the coronavirus until April 30 as cases spike. "I've taken a decision to extend the period of non-working days until April 30," Putin said in an address broadcast on state television, saying that Russians will still receive their salaries. The president first announced a week-long break from work in a rare televised address last week as part of a series of escalating measures to help slow the spread of coronavirus in Russia.




  • Agonizing decisions being made in Spain's virus hot spots

    Agonizing decisions being made in Spain's virus hot spotsRaquel Fernández watched as cemetery workers lowered her grandmother's casket into the grave and placed it on top of the coffin of her grandfather, buried just three days earlier. Eusebio Fernández and Rosalía Mascaraque, both 86, are two of Spain’s more than 10,000 fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic. Like thousands of other elderly victims in Spain, their deaths this week illustrate one of the darkest realities of the crisis: Doctors at overburdened hospitals in need of more resources are having to make increasingly tough decisions on who gets the best care, and age appears to matter more than ever.




  • Twitter deletes 20,000 fake accounts linked to Saudi, Serbian and Egyptian governments

    Twitter deletes 20,000 fake accounts linked to Saudi, Serbian and Egyptian governmentsAccounts also linked to Honduras and Indonesia violated policy and were ‘targeted attempt to undermine the public conversation’Twitter has deleted 20,000 fake accounts linked to the governments of Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Honduras and Indonesia, saying they violated company policy and were a “targeted attempt to undermine the public conversation”.Yoel Roth, the head of site integrity, said the removal of the accounts was part of the company’s ongoing “work to detect and investigate state-backed information operations”.Of the accounts removed on Thursday, 8,558 were linked to the Serbian Progressive party (SNS) of Aleksandar Vucic, the president. The accounts had posted more than 43m tweets amplifying positive news coverage of Vucic’s government and attacking his political opponents.Twitter also removed a network of 5,350 accounts linked to the Saudi monarchy operating out of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Together they had tweeted 36.5m times praising the Saudi leadership or criticising Qatar and Turkish activity in Yemen.The takedown of the accounts followed a tip from the Stanford Internet Observatory, which said that network had also generated tweets supportive of the Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar.“Prominent narratives included discrediting recent Libyan peace talks, criticizing the Syrian government, criticizing Iranian influence in Iraq, praising the Mauritanian government, and criticism of Houthi rebels in Yemen,” the observatory said in a blogpost.A separate Egyptian network of 2,541 accounts linked to the pro-government El Fagr newspaper, was also removed. Twitter said that the fake accounts had been used to “amplify messaging critical of Iran, Qatar and Turkey”.The social media company deleted more than 3,000 accounts which it said had been traced to a staffer working for the Honduran president, Juan Orlando Hernández.“Much of the tweet behavior seems targeted at drowning out negative news about the Honduran president by promoting presidential initiatives and heavily retweeting the president and news outlets favorable to his administration,” the Stanford Internet Observatory said.Following up reporting by investigative journalists at Bellingcat, the company said it had removed 795 fake accounts promoting the Indonesian government and targeting the West Papuan independence movement.Twitter has purged networks of state-backed fake accounts since coming under criticism for being used as a vehicle for disinformation. Last month Twitter took joint action with Facebook and to disable a Moscow-linked operation aimed at inflaming racial tensions in the US, as the social media companies sought to respond to pressure to block attempted Russian interference in the 2020 presidential elections.“Transparency is fundamental to the work we do at Twitter,” a company statement said. “These behaviors are in violation of our policies and are a targeted attempt to undermine the public conversation.”Niam Yaraghi, a fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Center for Technology Innovation, said that the removal of the accounts would have a largely symbolic importance, arguing that it was very easy for well-resourced state actors to replace them.“When you look at these numbers of accounts, in terms of their quantity, they’re just a drop in the ocean,” Yaraghi said. “They’ll have some psychological impact, probably, but I’m very doubtful they will have any real tangible impact on anything important.”




  • Trump’s 10 Million Barrel Tweet Is Performance Art


  • Judge who presided over terrorism trials dies of coronavirus

    Judge who presided over terrorism trials dies of coronavirusKevin Thomas Duffy, a longtime judge who presided over three major New York terrorism trials in the 1990s, has died of the coronavirus. Duffy died Wednesday in Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he lived, according to Edward Friedland, the district executive at Manhattan federal court. Duffy, appointed to the bench in 1972 by President Richard Nixon, made relatively quick work of the trial of four men who conspired to bomb the World Trade Center in February 1993, starting it only five months after the attack that killed six people and injured hundreds more.




  • Iran parliament speaker tests positive for COVID-19

    Iran parliament speaker tests positive for COVID-19Iran's parliament speaker tested positive for COVID-19, state television reported Thursday, becoming the latest official to contract the disease in the hard hit country. Ali Larijani "was tested for coronavirus after showing certain symptoms, and as the result was positive, he is currently in quarantine and undergoing treatment," the report said. Larijani, 62, is close to the Iranian leadership and president and was re-elected in 2016 for a second term as parliament speaker.




  • New Yorkers Are Right to Be Skeptical of Evangelical-Run Coronavirus Ward in Central Park

    New Yorkers Are Right to Be Skeptical of Evangelical-Run Coronavirus Ward in Central ParkIf New York City wasn’t under a strict stay-at-home order right now, protesters might be marching along Central Park. That’s where an evangelical Christian organization called Samaritan’s Purse is preparing to open a makeshift COVID-19 ward. The 60-bed emergency field hospital is composed largely of tarp-wrapped tents and will function as a respiratory unit servicing overflow patients from Mount Sinai Hospital.Some New York residents have criticized Samaritan’s Purse’s presence, citing their spotty record in the field and expressing fears that the conservative religious group’s beliefs could even open the door to substandard care or discrimination. City Mayor Bill de Blasio admitted he was “very concerned” about the operation and was sending people from his office to monitor Samaritan’s Purse.As a result, conservative Christians exploded on social media, citing the controversy as further proof that their faith is under attack by intolerant liberals and coastal elites who care little about human life.Andrew Walker, a professor at Southern Baptist Seminary, tweeted, “Cultural decadence is allowing intersectionality to determine the acceptability of emergency response.” And Peter Hasson, a Catholic editor for conservative news site The Daily Caller, tweeted, “If you’re getting mad at the people taking care of the sick during a pandemic, maybe consider the fact that you’re not the good guy in this story.”As my therapist often reminds me, the human brain is capable of understanding that two things can be true at the same time. In this case, a person can believe that the brave doctors and nurses currently deploying to Central Park to help combat this terrible virus are brave and necessary and also believe that the organization chosen to manage the work of these doctors and nurses is deeply problematic. Holding both of these ideas in your mind at the same time doesn’t make you a bad person; it demonstrates that you’re a thinking person. We’re in the midst of a public-health crisis and must take an all-hands-on-deck approach to caring for the sick.And upon closer inspection, New Yorkers have plenty of good reasons to feel uncomfortable about this new coronavirus hospital.Of chief concern is the person overseeing the Central Park ward: Samaritan’s Purse’s president and CEO Franklin Graham. He is the son of famed evangelist Billy Graham and a spiritual adviser to President Donald Trump who has a surprisingly long history of controversial comments and hate speech.Graham seems to harbor a special level of disdain for followers of Islam, which he characterizes as a “wicked and evil religion” that encourages adherents to beat their wives and murder their disobedient children. In 2015, he recommended banning all Muslims from immigrating to America and suggested our government treat them like the Japanese and German during World War II. As rationale, he argued that Muslims have “the potential to be radicalized” and participate in “killing to honor their religion and Muhammed.”That’s the man running Samaritan’s Purse’s coronavirus hospital, so yes, Muslim New Yorkers are right to be skeptical.Graham’s hate speech is also often aimed at LGBTQ people. He has called same-sex marriages “detestable” and has drummed up fear toward gays and lesbians—whom he believes should burn in hell—by claiming they want to “drag an immoral agenda into our communities.” In an article that has mysteriously disappeared from the Decision Magazine website, Graham wrote that the architect of the LGBTQ rights movement was “none other than Satan himself.” And when Vladimir Putin initiated a violent crackdown on LGBTQ rights in Russia, it sparked a wave of beatings, abduction, public humiliation and other forms of violence against sexual minorities there. Graham responded by praising Putin’s policy, lauding the authoritarian leader for “[protecting] his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.”Given such history, it makes complete sense that Mount Sinai Hospital asked Samaritan’s Purse to “sign a written pledge to treat all patients equally.”Some conservative Christians have dismissed this as harassment, claiming that a scenario in which evangelicals discriminated against gays and lesbians is ridiculous to imagine. But our fair city has a long memory. We remember all the gay men who fled communities across America where evangelicals pastors condemned them as “abominations” and found safe harbor in New York. We remember that when masses of them contracted HIV/AIDS and filled our hospital beds, evangelical preachers on TV called it God’s judgment. We remember Jerry Falwell and the religious right lobbying against HIV research and relief in the '90s, leading to untold deaths.All this occurred in my lifetime, and I am only 37. So please pardon New Yorkers if they feel uneasy, given American evangelicals’ often-unacknowledged track record coupled with Graham’s comments, and want to take some minor precautions to ensure all citizens are protected. Gay, lesbian, and transgender New Yorkers are right to be skeptical.Even some conservative Christians who’ve acknowledged the disturbing nature of Graham’s comments have attacked Samaritan’s Purse’s critics for intolerance. Anyone should be able to help anyone in this time, the argument goes. It’s wrong to prevent people from serving the sick. I totally agree; but Samaritan’s Purse does not. The organization is requiring that all personnel serving in its pop-up hospital be Christians who agree to Samaritan’s Purse’s 11-point “Statement of Faith,” which includes the beliefs that non-Christians will burn in hell and that same-sex relationships are sinful.It’s unsurprising, if lamentable, that a Christian aid group would turn away a Buddhist doctor looking to help its efforts. But if a lung doctor shows up in Central Park with the knowledge and experience to save lives, she could be sent home if she happens to be a liberal Episcopalian who voted for Hillary Clinton and supports marriage equality.If it is wrong to quibble over who is fit to help save lives in the middle of a crisis, then we must admit that Samaritan’s Purse is no better than its critics. The group’s defenders are correct, however, that the organization has laudably worked to meet emergency needs in crisis regions since its founding. They have accomplished much good in places like Kosovo, Sudan, Somalia, and Darfur. But their record is not unblemished, and many in the humanitarian world have questioned the quality of some of Samaritan’s Purse’s work.After USAID gave Samaritan’s Purse a large grant to help victims of the earthquake in El Salvador, they were disturbed to learn that the Christian group “blurred the lines between church and state” by using funds to evangelize victims instead of just help them. An official with Samaritan’s Purse dismissed the criticism by claiming, “We are first a Christian organization and second an aid organization.”That wasn’t the first time such blurring occurred, however. During the first Gulf War, respected U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf publicly criticized the group for trying to coerce American troops serving in Saudi Arabia to covertly distribute Arab-language Bibles under the guise of humanitarian work. And Samaritan’s Purse’s popular “Operation Christmas Child” has recently been drawn fire when people learned that the holiday shoeboxes given to poor children in non-Christian families around the world were stuffed with Christian evangelism materials.The vast majority of New Yorkers are not Christian, and if they find themselves wheezing for air due to COVID-19, they don’t want to be proselytized while receiving treatment. They too have reason to be skeptical of the organization’s makeshift hospital.“This is what Samaritan’s Purse does—we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus’ Name. Please pray for our teams and for everyone around the world affected by the virus,” Graham declared in a press release announcing the ward.None of Samaritan’s Purse’s detractors have argued that the Central Park ward should be shuttered or that the organization be barred from offering care. And no one is casting aspersions on the many courageous health-care professionals who will put their lives at risk when this hospital opens. Most agree with the letter from Mount Sinai staff and doctors—at least one of whom is LGBTQ—that concerns about Samaritan’s Purse, while valid, must be set aside at the moment because “the higher mission at present is to preserve human life.”To this, I say “yes and.” New Yorkers can admit that Samaritan’s Purse should have a role to play in this vital work, and they can also acknowledge the many valid reasons that might make vulnerable and marginalized residents a little more than nervous.—Jonathan Merritt is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words are Vanishing—And How We Can Revive Them.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.




  • Extremists see global chaos from virus as an opportunity

    Extremists see global chaos from virus as an opportunityBoth the Islamic State group and al-Qaida see the coronavirus as a threat, but some of their fighters also see the upheaval from the pandemic as an opportunity to win over more supporters and strike harder than before. Messages from the Islamic extremist groups show concern about the virus mixed with bravado, asserting that it is punishment for non-Muslims while also urging followers to repent and take care of themselves. Al-Qaida suggested in a statement Tuesday that non-Muslims use their time in quarantine to learn about Islam.




  • Iran’s Parliament Speaker Larijani Quarantined With Coronavirus


  • The US and Iran could bring down tensions if they're willing to talk about one issue

    The US and Iran could bring down tensions if they're willing to talk about one issueWhile the US and Iran have spent 2020 shooting at each other, one issue could bring them closer, writes Defense Priorities fellow Daniel DePetris.




  • Orban Scrambles as Emergency Rule Sparks Backlash, Sell-Off


  • Trump’s Sanctions Are Losing Their Bite


  • Trump’s Sanctions Are Losing Their Bite


  • Putin Keeps Russians at Home Through April 30 as Virus Toll Jumps

    Putin Keeps Russians at Home Through April 30 as Virus Toll Jumps(Bloomberg) -- President Vladimir Putin extended his order keeping Russians at home until April 30, warning that the spread of coronavirus has yet to reach its peak.“The threat remains,” Putin said Thursday in his second televised address on Covid-19 in just over a week, announcing that he’s extending a national order to work at home from this week to the end of the month. “In the view of virus experts, we haven’t yet reached the peak of the epidemic globally, including in our country.”The Russian leader said certain parts of Russia, including Moscow, hadn’t managed so far to get the situation under control. He said he would give additional authority to regional leaders to determine the level of response locally. He noted that the stay-at-home period could be shortened if the situation improves.While Russia’s case levels are far below those in the hardest-hit countries, authorities have struggled to form a coherent strategy and communicate it to the public. The president, whose approval rating has fallen to the lowest since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, has until now shied away from making unpopular announcements, leaving his allies to deliver bad news.Russia reported a 28% increase in infections overnight, bringing the total number of infected to 3,548 on Thursday.In Moscow, Mayor Sergei Sobyanin signed a law Thursday setting fines of as much as 5,000 rubles ($63) for violating self-isolation requirements.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Virus masks, apps: The race is on to avoid hidden carriers

    Virus masks, apps: The race is on to avoid hidden carriersThe worldwide race to protect people against being infected by unwitting coronavirus carriers intensified Thursday, pitting governments against each other as they buy protective gear and prompting new questions about who should wear masks, get temperature checks or even be permitted to go outside. In the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the pandemic began in December, a green symbol on residents' smartphones dictates their movements. Green is the "health code" that says a user is symptom-free.




  • Mass testing, empty ICUs: Germany scores early against virus

    Mass testing, empty ICUs: Germany scores early against virusLate last year — long before most people had heard of the new coronavirus now sweeping the globe — scientists in Germany sprang into action to develop a test for the virus that was causing an unusual respiratory disease in central China. “It was clear that if the epidemic swept over here from China, then we had to start testing," said Hendrik Borucki, a spokesman for Bioscientia Healthcare, which operates 19 labs in Germany. Coupled with Germany's large number of intensive care beds and its early social distancing measures, it could explain one of the most interesting puzzles of the COVID-19 pandemic: Why are people with the virus in Germany currently dying at much lower rates than in neighboring countries?




  • Russia's Putin orders non-working month to curb coronavirus

    Russia's Putin orders non-working month to curb coronavirusPresident Vladimir Putin on Thursday ordered most Russians to stay off work until the end of the month as part of a partial economic shutdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Speaking in a televised address to the nation, Putin said he was extending the non-working policy he ordered earlier for this week until the end of April. Putin said some essential industries will keep operating, and grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open.




  • Germany Expects Economy to Shrink More Than 5% on Virus Hit

    Germany Expects Economy to Shrink More Than 5% on Virus Hit(Bloomberg) -- Germany faces a deeper recession than during the financial crisis, as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down large parts of Europe’s biggest economy.The impact on 2020 growth from measures to contain the virus could be “as strong, or even stronger” than the 5% contraction caused by the sovereign-debt emergency in 2008 and 2009, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said Thursday in Berlin. National output could shrink for some months in the first half by more than 8%, with the biggest slump likely in May, he added.“That means that after 10 years of good economic growth we will again experience a recession this year,” said Altmaier. “It’s the first since 2009, and we want it to be a temporary one and that it’s quickly put behind us and the economy emerges stronger.”In the face of the unprecedented challenges posed by the spread of the deadly disease, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government was widely expected to slash its forecast from the pre-crisis prediction of 1.1% growth.Germany’s efforts to limit the fallout are advancing, as aid applications pour in and officials seek a path to restart all-important auto production. Altmaier also underscored the government’s commitment to revive growth once the outbreak subsides.Under a government program aimed to providing strapped businesses with financial liquidity, 2,500 companies have requested a total of 10.6 billion euros ($11.6 billion) in support, according to state development bank KfW.“In such a situation, in which companies are really experiencing a massive collapse in sales, there is certainly a measure of panic in the air,” said Guenther Braeunig, head of the bank. He expects a “significant increase” in applications in the next few weeks.Merkel’s government secured emergency spending powers to unleash a historic rescue package that totals more than 750 billion euros, including social benefits, loans and guarantees for businesses and funds to take stakes in stricken companies.As aid starts to flow, Merkel -- still in precautionary quarantine at home -- turned her attention to the country’s critical auto sector, speaking with executives and industry heavyweights late Wednesday on how and when to restart factories. The meeting comes amid growing concern that some cash-strapped suppliers may not survive the pandemic’s fallout.The country can ill afford a prolonged shutdown of its car industry, which employs more than 800,000 people and is a key indicator of industrial health in Europe’s largest economy. Volkswagen AG currently burns through 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) per week as most of its sites sit idle.As VW, Daimler AG and BMW AG halt production, the disruptions have ripple effects on the hundreds of companies that make components from screws to seat cushions. Many of these firms are small, family-owned entities that lack deep financial resources, putting them particularly at risk.While Germany has set up a series of measures to aid companies, the concern is the support won’t reach many smaller, cash-strapped suppliers quickly enough to keep them afloat.These firms are critical for the finely-tuned supply chain and widespread bankruptcies would be a disaster, Continental AG’s Chief Executive Officer Elmar Degenhart told reporters on Wednesday, after the auto-parts giant abandoned its earnings outlook over the coronavirus.Despite the risks in the coming, Altmaier offered an optimistic outlook going forward, saying Germany could be in position for “decent growth” next year and that the government planned spending to get the economy back on track.“We all want to be able to get things going again after the health crisis has passed,” he said. “For that, we will need more than the aid package we have put together. We need a fitness program, a growth program, and we will work toward that together in the government.”(Updates with additional comments and context beginning in fifth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Trump news – live: US hits record high 6.6m unemployment claims and coronavirus death toll tops 5,000 as president mocks governors’ ‘insatiable appetite’ for ventilators

    Trump news – live: US hits record high 6.6m unemployment claims and coronavirus death toll tops 5,000 as president mocks governors’ ‘insatiable appetite’ for ventilatorsUS unemployment figures have again shattered records, with 6.6 million Americans filing for benefits as the coronavirus pandemic brings society to a grinding halt and threatens economic collapse.Donald Trump attempted to pivot away from the deadly outbreak in his latest press briefing on Wednesday – a day on which the country’s death toll hit 5,000 from 216,000 cases - threatening Iran, questioning China’s figures and attacking Fox News reporter John Roberts for asking him about a “false story”.




  • Africa faces an 'existential threat' as virus cases spread

    Africa faces an 'existential threat' as virus cases spreadSome African countries will have more than 10,000 coronavirus cases by the end of April, health officials projected Thursday, as the continent least equipped to treat serious infections has an “enormous gap” in the number of ventilators and other critical items. While cases across Africa are now above 6,000 at what has been called the dawn of the outbreak, the continent is "very, very close" to where Europe was after a 40-day period, the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. John Nkengasong, told reporters.




  • America is battling a pandemic. Why is Trump talking about war with Iran?

    America is battling a pandemic. Why is Trump talking about war with Iran?Because an economy-wrecking pandemic isn't enough to deal with, the Trump administration is making aggressive noises at Iran."Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq," President Trump tweeted on Wednesday. "If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!"The White House didn't provide any additional information about Trump's tweet or his claim of a "sneak attack" being planned. But it should go without saying that going to war with Iran right now would be a terrible thing.January's near-miss of open war with Iran — triggered when the United States assassinated General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force — seems like a million years ago at this point. But even as the COVID-19 pandemic has escalated, White House officials have reportedly been pushing behind the scenes to escalate military action against Iran, despite warnings from military commanders that doing so could destabilize the Middle East and require the commitment of thousands of additional U.S. troops to the region.The pandemic is ravaging both countries. The United States has the most confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world — and is facing shortages of critical equipment and medicines — while the death rate in Iran is so steep that the country has dug mass graves that can be seen from space. Meanwhile, the United States has refused to ease up on sanctions in Iran, making that country's efforts to fight the disease that much more difficult. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this week there was a chance the sanctions could be loosened, but given this administration's overall history of hawkishness toward Iran, it is probably unwise to expect such a positive development.Iran isn't totally innocent in all of this. Its proxies really are attacking and otherwise making trouble for U.S. troops in Iraq. But going to war with the regime in Tehran was an awful prospect in January, and it's an even worse idea during the health emergency facing both countries, for a number of reasons.First, the Trump administration can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Don't take my word for it — the president's allies have recently been floating the idea that Trump was slow to react to the threat of the virus because he was occupied during the early part of this year with impeachment proceedings. The idea is that it is really Democrats' fault the president didn't keep his eye on the ball."It came up while we were, you know, tied down in the impeachment trial," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a radio interview last week. "And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything, every day, was all about impeachment." The president didn't distance himself from that theory.The assertion is nonsense. Impeachment didn't keep the president from golfing or holding rallies after the virus emerged in China. And he seems to be easily diverted from the life-or-death business at hand, regardless of what Democrats do — he bragged during Wednesday's press briefing that he was "No. 1 on Facebook," once again betraying his obsession with popularity metrics. But maybe we should take Republicans at their word: Trump can't concentrate on two things at once. Washington should forget Iran for a few months and focus exclusively on the virus.In addition, the military is having its own troubles fighting the pandemic. In recent days, a debate has been flaring up in military circles: Should the military spend its energy fighting the spread of the virus in its ranks — the armed services have reported more than 1,300 cases including five deaths — or should it prioritize being ready to deploy and fight?Captain Brett Crozier, commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, is apparently in the former camp. Dozens have fallen sick in the ship's tight conditions, and Crozier wrote a letter begging superiors to allow the evacuation of 4,000 sailors from the aircraft carrier so they can be quarantined under "social distancing" conditions. "We are not at war," he wrote. "Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors."But his request has proven controversial because standing down means the United States will be less able to go into battle at a moment's notice. "Just as the COVID-19 threat becomes a priority, it does not mean that other threats disappear or enemies stand down," a former defense official told The New York Times.Escalating tensions with Iran is a choice, however. And it is difficult to imagine an uglier choice than sending sick and dying sailors, soldiers, and marines to confront sick and dying Iranian troops. Our service members know they may be called upon to make sacrifices, but they shouldn't have to do so when there are better options available.Finally, we must remember that President Trump is a chronic liar. You should never take his word as truth. His rationale for killing Soleimani — that he was supervising "actively developing plans" for attacks on U.S. troops — dissolved upon scrutiny. His sudden public pivot to Iran this week, coming while he is under fierce criticism for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis, might well be a distraction. The New York Times reported last week the Pentagon had been ordered to plan for military action because some Trump administration officials "see an opportunity to try to destroy Iranian-backed militia groups in Iraq as leaders in Iran are distracted by the pandemic crisis in their country." That suggests administration officials are less interested in defending American troops and more focused on seizing an advantage against a disliked regime. That's a nasty kind of opportunism.There is simply no reason to ever trust this president with matters of life or death.We don't really have a choice, though, do we? Hundreds of millions of Americans are depending on Trump's decisions to protect them from sickness. This is a terrible moment in our history. There is no good reason to compound it by going to war with Iran.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.More stories from theweek.com The Secret Service signed an 'emergency order' this week — for 30 golf carts Mnuchin says stimulus loan program will be 'up and running' on Friday, despite lenders saying they aren't ready Cruise ship with coronavirus patients given permission to dock in Florida




  • Battling exhaustion and trolls, Fauci says he's OK

    Battling exhaustion and trolls, Fauci says he's OKDr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, owns up to doing some not-so-smart things as he helps lead the White House effort to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. The blunt-speaking Fauci also has had to contend with a deluge of online threats and uncomfortable personal encounters with admirers as the pandemic consumes his every waking hour.




  • What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

    What you need to know today about the virus outbreakMore than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — doubling a record high set just one week earlier — in a sign that layoffs are accelerating in the midst of the new coronavirus, which has now infected more than 1 million people worldwide. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is resisting calls to issue a national stay-at-home order to stem the spread of the coronavirus despite his administration's grim projections of tens of thousands dying. — The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide passed the 1 million threshold Thursday in the latest indication of the pandemic's growing foothold around the globe, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.




  • Video journals: Global youth describe life in virus crisis

    Video journals: Global youth describe life in virus crisis“We’re missing out on a lot of things,” says Angel Gona, 18. “I feel its been kind of quiet,” says Freddie, 16, who lives in Chicago — normally “a violent kind of city,” he says, but one where the lockdown has served as a respite from all-too-common gunfire. Ask young people around the globe to record diaries of life in the pandemic, and their video logs will tell of anxiety about the state of the world, worry about family and their studies, a longing for friends — and a reliance on social media to help get them through.




  • Iran arrested a journalist who criticised its response to the coronavirus outbreak, and forced him to delete his Twitter and Telegram

    Iran arrested a journalist who criticised its response to the coronavirus outbreak, and forced him to delete his Twitter and TelegramIran has silenced citizens critical of the government's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It has been accused of lying about the death toll.




  • Trump’s Approval Rating Is Holding Up. For Now.

    Trump’s Approval Rating Is Holding Up. For Now.(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Get Jonathan Bernstein’s newsletter every morning in your inbox. Click here to subscribe.It’s worth checking in again on how public opinion seems to be responding to President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Once again, I’m sorry to talk about electoral politics during a disaster. But politics remains extremely important, and you can be sure that Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden and all other national politicians are well aware of the upcoming elections in November. As they should be! That’s part of their job. The good news? For Trump, the system mainly gives him healthy incentives: Whatever he does to minimize the physical and economic damage that the virus causes should, all else equal, help him get re-elected.So what do we know so far?Trump has in fact received a bit of rally-around-the-flag support, with his approval numbers reaching a new post-honeymoon high. He’s retained his peak for several days now. Granted, it’s not exactly impressive, with about 46% approving of him and about 50% disapproving. The good news for Trump is that if there’s a hard ceiling on his support, it’s at least a bit higher than we previously knew, and perhaps high enough to enable him to get narrowly re-elected. The bad news is that if this is the best he can do, everything will have to go perfectly for him in November.Of course, we don’t know whether this is as good as it gets for Trump. After all, by the time you read this, he might’ve gotten a couple of good polls and improved over where he appears to be now. And it’s possible that the polling averages understate (or overstate) his actual popularity. One more thing: I’ve seen some pundits assuming that major crises always produce rally effects for the president’s approval rating, but that’s not correct; sometimes there’s an immediate drop in approval. Comparing Trump’s current improvement to the biggest historical rallies (such as George W. Bush’s after the Sept. 11 attacks or Jimmy Carter’s after the hostages were taken in Iran) isn’t fair to Trump. Improvement is improvement.That said, the president shouldn’t be too happy with the polling so far. The most obvious reason is that while his rating has risen by three or four percentage points, it appears that most governors are getting much more substantial bounces for handling the pandemic. Another is that so far, Trump’s modest improvement doesn’t seem to be translating into better results in head-to-head polling against Biden, as John Sides and Robert Griffin explain. There are also some specific questions that suggest the public might not be patient with the president if bad news continues. And everyone, the president included, expects quite a lot of bad news over the next few weeks. Beyond that is only guesswork. No one knows the public-opinion effects of shutting down the nation’s economy, because it hasn’t happened before. The same goes for an epidemic on the scale we’re likely to see. We do know something about the effects of economic changes: Presidents get blamed for hard times. But we don’t know whether a deliberately induced shutdown intended to save lives will have normal effects. If I had to guess, I’d say that Trump’s approval rating will survive the pandemic (even though it probably shouldn’t) but that he’ll be severely punished for a lingering economic slump (even if he handles it well). Those are just guesses, though. I can’t emphasize strongly enough that we simply don’t have any basis for predicting how voters will respond to what’s about to take place.All of which means that this year’s presidential election is far more unpredictable than most.1\. Tyler Reny and Matt Barreto at the Monkey Cage on bigotry and the coronavirus.2\. Calvin TerBeek at A House Divided on the latest from the conservative legal movement.3. Adam Serwer on where the dysfunction in U.S. politics can be found.4\. Elaine Godfrey on why it’s hard to know exactly how many deaths are caused by the pandemic.5\. And Julian Sanchez on fixing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.Get Early Returns every morning in your inbox. Click here to subscribe. Also subscribe to Bloomberg All Access and get much, much more. You’ll receive our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, the Bloomberg Open and the Bloomberg Close.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering politics and policy. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Trump’s Approval Rating Is Holding Up. For Now.

    Trump’s Approval Rating Is Holding Up. For Now.(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Get Jonathan Bernstein’s newsletter every morning in your inbox. Click here to subscribe.It’s worth checking in again on how public opinion seems to be responding to President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Once again, I’m sorry to talk about electoral politics during a disaster. But politics remains extremely important, and you can be sure that Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden and all other national politicians are well aware of the upcoming elections in November. As they should be! That’s part of their job. The good news? For Trump, the system mainly gives him healthy incentives: Whatever he does to minimize the physical and economic damage that the virus causes should, all else equal, help him get re-elected.So what do we know so far?Trump has in fact received a bit of rally-around-the-flag support, with his approval numbers reaching a new post-honeymoon high. He’s retained his peak for several days now. Granted, it’s not exactly impressive, with about 46% approving of him and about 50% disapproving. The good news for Trump is that if there’s a hard ceiling on his support, it’s at least a bit higher than we previously knew, and perhaps high enough to enable him to get narrowly re-elected. The bad news is that if this is the best he can do, everything will have to go perfectly for him in November.Of course, we don’t know whether this is as good as it gets for Trump. After all, by the time you read this, he might’ve gotten a couple of good polls and improved over where he appears to be now. And it’s possible that the polling averages understate (or overstate) his actual popularity. One more thing: I’ve seen some pundits assuming that major crises always produce rally effects for the president’s approval rating, but that’s not correct; sometimes there’s an immediate drop in approval. Comparing Trump’s current improvement to the biggest historical rallies (such as George W. Bush’s after the Sept. 11 attacks or Jimmy Carter’s after the hostages were taken in Iran) isn’t fair to Trump. Improvement is improvement.That said, the president shouldn’t be too happy with the polling so far. The most obvious reason is that while his rating has risen by three or four percentage points, it appears that most governors are getting much more substantial bounces for handling the pandemic. Another is that so far, Trump’s modest improvement doesn’t seem to be translating into better results in head-to-head polling against Biden, as John Sides and Robert Griffin explain. There are also some specific questions that suggest the public might not be patient with the president if bad news continues. And everyone, the president included, expects quite a lot of bad news over the next few weeks. Beyond that is only guesswork. No one knows the public-opinion effects of shutting down the nation’s economy, because it hasn’t happened before. The same goes for an epidemic on the scale we’re likely to see. We do know something about the effects of economic changes: Presidents get blamed for hard times. But we don’t know whether a deliberately induced shutdown intended to save lives will have normal effects. If I had to guess, I’d say that Trump’s approval rating will survive the pandemic (even though it probably shouldn’t) but that he’ll be severely punished for a lingering economic slump (even if he handles it well). Those are just guesses, though. I can’t emphasize strongly enough that we simply don’t have any basis for predicting how voters will respond to what’s about to take place.All of which means that this year’s presidential election is far more unpredictable than most.1\. Tyler Reny and Matt Barreto at the Monkey Cage on bigotry and the coronavirus.2\. Calvin TerBeek at A House Divided on the latest from the conservative legal movement.3. Adam Serwer on where the dysfunction in U.S. politics can be found.4\. Elaine Godfrey on why it’s hard to know exactly how many deaths are caused by the pandemic.5\. And Julian Sanchez on fixing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.Get Early Returns every morning in your inbox. Click here to subscribe. Also subscribe to Bloomberg All Access and get much, much more. You’ll receive our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, the Bloomberg Open and the Bloomberg Close.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering politics and policy. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • NYC residents should cover face when in public, mayor says

    NYC residents should cover face when in public, mayor saysAs coronavirus cases soared, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio asked New Yorkers on Thursday to wear a face covering when they go outside to prevent the spread of the virus. Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned that the state’s supply of breathing machines could be exhausted in six days. While New York City remained a hotspot, there were troublesome trends around the state as the outbreak spread to every county.




  • Elections, Ties with China Shaped Iran’s Coronavirus Response

    Elections, Ties with China Shaped Iran’s Coronavirus ResponseIranian authorities ignored warnings by doctors in late December and January of an increasing number of patients with high fevers and lung infections in the historic city of Qom, which turned out to be the epicenter of Iran’s coronavirus outbreak, said two health ministry officials, a former ministry official and three doctors. Added to that was another concern, said the senior official and one of the health ministry officials: The virus had originated in China, and Iran did not want to risk disrupting its vital trade and diplomatic ties with Beijing, one of its most important allies. On Feb. 19, the Iranian government publicly announced its first two cases of – and deaths from - the new coronavirus, which can lead to breathing difficulties and pneumonia.




  • Iran warns of months of crisis as virus deaths reach 3,160

    Iran warns of months of crisis as virus deaths reach 3,160Iran on Thursday reported 124 new deaths from the coronavirus, raising its total to 3,160, as President Rouhani warned that the country may still battle the pandemic for another year. Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced the latest toll in a news conference and confirmed 3,111 new infections over the past 24 hours, bringing Iran's total to 50,468. Iran has been scrambling to contain the COVID-19 outbreak since it reported its first cases on February 19.




  • Coronavirus: Fighting al-Shabab propaganda in Somalia

    Coronavirus: Fighting al-Shabab propaganda in SomaliaMuslim clerics in Somalia are moving to the front-line of the battle against coronavirus.




  • Trust Becomes Another Casualty of Pandemic

    Trust Becomes Another Casualty of Pandemic(Bloomberg) -- Checking the latest tally of the sick and the dead has become a gruesome routine around the world, a key gauge of both fear and hope during the pandemic.But what if the statistics are misleading?The U.S. intelligence community has concluded China concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak, with implications for how the world could have prepared for the spread of Covid-19, Nick Wadhams and Jennifer Jacobs report.China, which has reimposed a lockdown on a county amid a virus flare-up, pushed back against suggestions its public reporting is intentionally incomplete, accusing the U.S. of seeking to shift the blame for its own outbreak.Beijing is not alone. Doubts have been raised over official figures in Iran and Russia, while North Korea’s absence of a single coronavirus infection stretches the boundaries of believability. Even in Germany, there are discrepancies between cases reported and the higher figures compiled by Johns Hopkins, potentially confusing the public.Testing regimes and accuracy vary wildly, with the U.K. government under pressure over its inability to explain its strategy. In the U.S., a lack of testing means the true number of cases may be far higher than the official count. With the prospect of a surge in deaths, the Pentagon is seeking to provide as many as 100,000 military-style body bags.At heart, the pandemic raises questions of trust in governments. Some are already failing that test.Global HeadlinesTaxing talks | Some of the most contested elements of the 2017 tax overhaul are being revisited as the White House and Congress begin to discuss another round of economic stimulus.The lobbying blitz over the record aid package President Donald Trump signed last week is forcing small businesses to confront the harsh reality that they can’t match the muscle that big corporations wield. Trump said his administration is weighing whether to halt domestic flights from some of the hardest-hit U.S. cities — including New York and Miami — but is wary of further harming airlines.Flickers of hope | There are cautious signs the crisis may be peaking at the epicenter of Europe’s outbreak. The death rate is easing in Italy as growth in new cases moderates. While daily fatalities are still rising in Spain and the U.K., the virus appears to be spreading more slowly in Germany, the Netherlands and other countries amid Europe’s unprecedented lockdown. Still, health officials warn it’s too early to lift restrictions.Greece’s experience of a debilitating economic shock may be instructive for other European democracies wrestling with the contraction caused by the coronavirus, Nikos Chrysoloras and Sotiris Nikas report.Bargain buyer | China is taking advantage of the epic oil-price crash by moving forward with plans to build up its emergency reserves. Beijing has asked government agencies to coordinate filling tanks and using financial tools like options to lock in cheaper crude prices, according to people familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, the cost of shipping oil from the U.S. to China has skyrocketed as a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia spurs a rush for vessels.Public shaming | As countries grapple with enforcing virus lockdowns, in some cases authorities are beating people who flout curfew-like restrictions, or forcing them to do squats, push-ups, crawl and roll around on the streets. While most cases of over-zealous policing have been condemned by local officials, the episodes raise concern about vulnerable populations unable to socially distance due to overcrowded living conditions.Spurning China | One European mayor has become a symbol of the skepticism that Beijing will have to overcome as it offers help to a continent ravaged by a pandemic that began on Chinese soil. Karen Leigh and Lenka Ponikelska report on how Prague’s Zdenek Hrib, who has repeatedly irked China by meeting dissidents and criticizing its human rights record, says the proffered aid is “business,” not a humanitarian gesture.What to WatchThe North Atlantic Treaty Organization holds its first-ever ministerial meeting by video conference today as a result of the coronavirus, which is also the main topic on the agenda. The United Nations postponed the COP26 climate-change summit scheduled for November in Scotland to 2021 as rounds of preliminary talks for one of the world’s largest gatherings of diplomats grew increasingly difficult amid lockdowns. Trump says he’s deploying more Navy vessels and Air Force planes in the Caribbean to ramp up pressure on drug cartels, a move that’s also meant to increase strain on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s regime.Tell us how we’re doing or what we’re missing at balancepower@bloomberg.net.And finally ... One battle that has been lost as a result of the pandemic is over screen time. With stay-in-place orders forcing children to study at home, while their parents often work nearby, restrictions on time using computers, tablets and game consoles playing Fortnite and Minecraft has fallen by the wayside. As Helene Fouquet and Sarah Frier report, the big worry now is the change will outlast the quarantine. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.




  • German Aid to Companies Speeds Up With $11.6 Billion in Requests

    German Aid to Companies Speeds Up With $11.6 Billion in Requests(Bloomberg) -- Germany’s efforts to limit the economic damage from a prolonged coronavirus shutdown are gathering steam, as aid applications pour in and officials seek a path to restart all-important auto production.Under a government program aimed to providing strapped businesses with financial liquidity, 2,500 companies have requested a total of 10.6 billion euros ($11.6 billion) in aid, according to state development bank KfW.“In such a situation, in which companies are really experiencing a massive collapse in sales, there is certainly a measure of panic in the air,” said Guenther Braeunig, head of the bank, which is responsible for the loan program worth tens of billions of euros, adding that he expects a “significant increase” in applications in the next few weeks.As aid starts to flow, Chancellor Angela Merkel turned her attention to the country’s critical auto sector, speaking with executives and industry heavyweights late Wednesday on how and when to restart factories. The meeting comes amid growing concern that some cash-strapped suppliers may not survive the pandemic’s fallout.The government may predict the extent of the hit later on Thursday, when Economy Minister Peter Altmaier gives a statement about the latest prospects for Europe’s biggest economy.While the finance ministry has internally estimated that national output could shrink by 5% this year, the official government forecast is still for 1.1% growth.The country can ill afford a prolonged shutdown of its car industry, which employs more than 800,000 people and is a key indicator of industrial health in Europe’s largest economy. Volkswagen AG currently burns through 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) per week as most of its sites sit idle.As VW, Daimler AG and BMW AG halt production, the disruptions have ripple effects on the hundreds of companies that make components from screws to seat cushions. Many of these firms are small, family-owned entities that lack deep financial resources, putting them particularly at risk.Germany’s car-parts suppliers employ about 300,000 people and range from local outfits with a handful of employees to publicly-listed multinationals like Continental AG.In the phone conference, Merkel and top industry executives discussed measures to minimize contagion risks and protect workers’ health once assembly lines resume churning out vehicles, according to people familiar with the talks.German companies, including automakers, filed almost half a million applications for financial aid under a government wage-support program in March. That suggests about a fifth of the country’s workforce will have its hours reduced, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. economist Greg Fuzesi.While Germany has set up a series of measures to aid companies, the concern is the support won’t reach many smaller, cash-strapped suppliers quickly enough to keep them afloat.These firms are critical for the finely-tuned supply chain and widespread bankruptcies would be a disaster, according to Continental’s Chief Executive Officer Elmar Degenhart.If aid arrives even just a few days too late, managers have no choice but to file for insolvency as they otherwise risk becoming personally liable, Degenhart said.“For many of these companies, it’s a black or white decision,” Degenhart told reporters on Wednesday, after Continental abandoned its earnings outlook over the coronavirus.As cases rise, the federal government on Wednesday agreed with Germany’s 16 states to extend the nationwide lockdown until April 19, which will mean an additional burden for many companies.Daimler’s top labor representative and supervisory board member Michael Brecht said Germany can probably cope with the current shutdown, but idling production for three months would mean the required aid to sustain the economy would “surge to unrealistic heights,” he told Stuttgarter Zeitung.The maker of Mercedes-Benz cars has put the majority of German workers on state wage support and reduced working hours, but it continues critical projects like development of the flagship S-Class sedan that’s supposed to be rolled out toward the end of the year.As cases rise, the federal government on Wednesday agreed with regional states to extend the nationwide lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus for another two weeks until April 19, which will mean an additional burden for many companies.Still, there are some signs of improvement.World Medical Association Chairman Frank Ulrich Montgomery said the virus may peak in Germany at Easter, but he cautioned against pegging an easing of restrictions to a specific date, “as if the virus knows what Easter is.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.





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