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Boris Johnson Admitted To Hospital Due To Coronavirus


Barcroft Media via Getty Images

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in March.

Boris Johnson, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, has been admitted to a hospital due to ongoing symptoms related to coronavirus, according to the BBC. 

The prime minister “continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus,” a spokeswoman said.

She called Johnson’s hospitalization a precautionary step. 

Johnson, 55, revealed he tested positive for the virus on March 27 and had been quarantining in his official Downing Street residence since then. 

In the U.K., there have been more than 47,000 cases of coronavirus and 4,934 deaths from the illness, according to the government. 





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Coronavirus UK: Britain should pursue China for £351bn virus fee – shock report | UK | News


An investigation by the Henry Jackson Society has concluded China could have mitigated the worldwide economic impact of COVID-19 and indicated there is evidence the Chinese Government breached international healthcare responsibilities. The British foreign policy think-tank estimates the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than one million people globally, has cost the G7 group of nations including the UK, US and Japan a huge £3.2 trillion.

The report, which is published tomorrow and has been seen by the Mail on Sunday, outlined a number of possible legal avenues including going to the UN (United Nations) and International Court of Justice.

The study titled ‘Coronavirus Compensation: Assessing China’s potential culpability and avenues of legal response’ said: “The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) sought to conceal bad news at the top, and to conceal bad news from the outside world.

“Now China has responded by deploying an advanced and sophisticated disinformation campaign to convince the world that it is not to blame for the crisis, and that instead the world should be grateful for all that China is doing.

“The truth is that China is responsible for COVID-19 – and if legal claims were brought against Beijing they could amount to trillions of pounds.”

Following the report, which will be published in its entirety on Monday, up to 15 Conservative MPs are understood to have signed a letter calling for the Government to “re-think” its relationship with China.

The letter said: “Legally binding international healthcare regulations require states to provide full information on all potential pandemics.

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“It appears likely that in its early response to the outbreak, the uphold its obligations.

“This omission allowed the disease to spread throughout the world with extraordinarily serious consequences in terms of global health and the economy.

“The cost to the UK may be, as a Henry Jackson Society report now suggests, over £350 billion.”

On the future relationship with Beijing, the letter said: “Once the crisis has passed, we urge the Government to re-think our wider relationship with China.

READ MORE: UK weather forecast: Sweltering 70F heat to hit Britain TODAY

Neil Ferguson, a professor at Imperial College in London, who helped to shape coronavirus policy following a damning report into the Governments initial strategy, has said the number of deaths could rise above 20,000.

Professor Ferguson told the BBC: “We had an exponentially growing curve of infections which we interrupted at a certain time.

“We don’t have the ability right now to measure how many people have been infected, that will come with antibody tests, and so we are making statistical estimates of that and those are subject to a certain degree of uncertainty.

“We think it could be anywhere between about 7,000 or so up to a little over 20,000.”



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The Day After (II): What Europe?



“The Day After” for the European Union, the so-called “bloc”, will either have to stay as is and sooner, rather later, dissolve. Or it will have to change in an attempt to survive. This will be difficult as huge organisations like the EU do not historically adapt, but disappear. And yet, the instinct for survival is very strong, and the bloc may radically adapt to the “new norm” because if it doesn’t, its servants will not lose a little, but all.

Maintaining the “status quo ante”

The bloc may stay as-is – an apolitical power structure, ruling half a billion people by a self-reproduced, non-accountable administrative machine, without any democratic legitimisation.

This is the same bloc from which the United Kingdom withdrew and is the EU which ordinary citizens left behind when they entered into house isolation last month. If this will be the bloc that re-surfaces once Europe’s residents are released, it will continue living in its own world, further distancing itself from its own citizens and soon will collapse.

After returning to society, ordinary people will be different. If the Brussels nomenklatura remains the same, it will face a problem, a big problem. Most people after the long home detention will be different. Most, at least for a while, will be better people because they would have spent time with themselves and their families and would have discovered that moderation is a virtue, while forced minimalism, once they are used to it, gives a different dimension to life.

As for the European Union, the inmates who spent day and night in front of a screen sensed that the EU had no political role in the crisis. The bloc has been judged by its citizens as having been “in absentia”.

Indeed, Viktor Orban dissolved the Hungarian Parliament in an unprecedented “coup d’état” and Brussels ignored it, displaying no political capacity to handle the situation.

Dad, is America far away? Shoot-up and swim…

Leaders emerge from confrontations, and the virus crisis is the world biggest confrontation since the Second World War. Whether it’s a confrontation between China and the Western World or between humankind and nature, makes no difference. In any instance, new leaders will emerge. This is typical after large events. Think of what great leaders Europe had after World War II and during the Cold War – Francoise Mitterrand, Helmut Kohl, Aldo Moro, Margaret Thatcher and many others who were followed by mediocracies in the years of peace.

The emergence of new leaders is now in the making. In this process, the bloc does not participate as the Brussels bureaucracy although it is the most sophisticated administrative machine of the world. It is politically sterile. It is composed of civil servants and only civil servants who, in the absence of political leaders, began making political decisions. That is what undermined the European project.

In the emerging post-crisis new world, the European Union is needed more than ever, ironically, for the same reasons it was established seven decades ago – to unite Europeans and contain Germany. At that time it was to guarantee that Berlin didn’t dominate Europe again with its Panzers, and today it’s to be sure Germany doesn’t attempt to dominate Europe again with its Deutsche Mark, which masquerades as the euro.

Maintaining and strengthening the European Union, turning it into a united nation that is citizen useful and friendly, is the only way to keep alive the best European achievement of all time.

This will be a difficult task. The European Commission, the presumed government of Europe, must attempt it. It is hard to do so as it must give up all privileges its employees have accumulated and turn them into ordinary civil servants.

Once the bloc’s civil servants realise that if the union disintegrates, their pensions will be paid (if they will be paid) by their own countries of origin and will be at the level of national pensions, they will certainly behave.

The change we need

There are some ideas about the changes the bloc needs to make in order to survive. The most important change is the “presumed government of Europe” must become “the government of Europe” and must become political.

Europe has serious survival problems to address, more than ever, and they are all political. They require political solutions that no administration can give no matter how good it is and how well it is paid. That is why the government of the bloc must become political, democratic, accountable, and at the service of citizens.

“The Day After” sequel of New Europe will provide food for thought to all those pretending they rule Europe from their couch but have a better sense than anybody else about the threats to their jobs and pensions when everything will return to the “new normal”.

In the next episodes, we will provide some ideas as to how the European Commission should change in an attempt to survive. How to make the bloc political; how to bring the Directors General down to earth at the service of the political personnel; how to restore accountability; how to reduce over-regulation; how to restore transparency especially in money matters; how to redefine the role of the cabinets and other unpleasant suggestions, yet essential for the survival of the Union, in the post virus era.

(to be continued)

Related Articles:

The Day After: a new Yalta in the making



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Trump accuses states of asking for unneeded supplies and media of spreading fake news | World news


Donald Trump attempted to discredit media reports of his administration’s failures in the Covid-19 pandemic as he called some outlets in the White House press corps “fake news” at his daily coronavirus briefing on Saturday.

In a rambling introduction to a lengthy and combative briefing the president cited media reports on shortages of ventilators and personal protective equipment and said some state governors had asked for more supplies than they need.

The White House’s own projections show 100,000 Americans could be killed by the virus. On Saturday, Trump said: “There will be a lot of death”.

“It’s therefore critical certain media outlets stop spreading false information,” he said. “I could name them, but it’s the same ones, always the same ones.”

“It’s so bad for our country, so bad for the world.”

Trump then accused state governors of asking for materials which he argued they did not need.

“Many of their cupboards were bare,” he said.

Trump’s administration has sought to redefine the national strategic stockpile as a “back up” for states, and avoid co-ordinating a response to the pandemic.

Earlier, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his state, which has been especially hard-hit, had looked to China for ventilator supplies.

“We’re not yet at the apex,” said Cuomo, who described the crescendo of cases to come as “the number one point of engagement of the enemy”.

Cuomo said he had obtained 1,000 ventilators from the Chinese government with the help of billionaires Joseph and Clara Tsai and Alibaba founder Jack Ma. Oregon had loaned New York another 140, he said.

At the White House, Trump said: “We have given the governor of New York more than anybody has been given in a long time. I think he’s happy… I wouldn’t say gracious.”

He also tried to claim credit for the 1,000 ventilators sent to New York by China and said, “two very good friends of mine brought him those ventilators”.

Cuomo put the New York case load at 113,704 and the death toll at 3,565, most in New York City but with nearly 1,000 deaths in other parts of the state. At lunchtime on Saturday, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland put the national toll at nearly 279,000 cases and 7,170 deaths.

Current projections put the peak of the pandemic in New York between four and 14 days away. Officials hope physical distancing across the state will slow the spread of the disease and forestall the possibility of running out of ventilators and hospital beds.

Cuomo admitted he hoped to see the apex soon, so the experience would soon end. The pandemic, “stresses this country, this state, in a way nothing else has frankly in my lifetime”, he said.

Cuomo’s briefing from the New York state capital, Albany, offered another contrast in leadership between governor and president. While Cuomo’s briefings convey alarming statistics, his frank descriptions of shortages and personal struggles have been praised.

Cuomo said the state had a signed contract for 17,000 ventilators, which he was later told could not be filled because many had already been purchased by China.

Trump retweeted articles about hydroxychloroquine, a treatment for malaria, and then promoted the unproven drug again at the press briefing. Some researchers believe the drug shows promise as a possible treatment for Covid-19 but so far studies lack control groups and are therefore treated as anecdotal. There is no known therapeutic for Covid-19, and no vaccine.

The US federal government’s response to the outbreak has been defined by bungled testing, poor coordination, low stockpiles and planning failures. Federal failure to intervene in supply chains has led to bidding wars for masks and other personal protective equipment, governors have said.

The White House has repeatedly claimed it has 10,000 ventilators in a strategic national stockpile. However, states have reported some of those ventilators are unusable, after the Trump administration failed to ensure the stockpile was properly maintained.

Trump has repeatedly caused confusion, often following hours-long, rambling press conferences featuring attacks on the media. At one such briefing on Friday, the president said he would not follow the advice of his own health department, and wear a mask in public.

“The [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] is advising the use of non-medical cloth face covering as an additional voluntary public health measure,” Trump told reporters.

“This is voluntary. I don’t think I’m going to be doing it.”



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Canada takes cautious approach to unapproved COVID-19 drugs, as others prescribe wide use


A doctor guest on Fox News called it “the beginning of the end of the pandemic.” President Donald Trump said it could be a “game changer,” and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave physicians a qualified green light to use it on COVID-19 patients.

The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is a hot item in the United States, embraced by the highest politician in the land and many in the medical community, despite minimal evidence that it helps those stricken by the novel coronavirus.

India and Brazil have similarly doubled down on using the drugs to treat the pandemic virus.

But it’s a different story in Canada, where hydroxychloroquine and other potential COVID-19 medicines are being met more with a cautious interest than unbridled enthusiasm.

Canadian researchers are actively involved in several studies of the malaria drug and others, with the federal government spending millions to support them.

But in contrast to the FDA, health organizations here have discouraged their use except as part of those clinical trials — studies designed to carefully assess the drugs’ effectiveness and possible harmful side effects.

And some experts warn that widespread use outside of studies — which typically include a control group of patients who don’t receive the drug — could make it difficult to ever determine whether they work or not.

“When people become very ill … your impulse is to try anything that might help, and that’s driven the response in some places,” said Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Alberta. “But as people have been wrapping their heads around the data underpinning these drugs, it’s really pretty thin on the ground.”

Dr. Salim Yusuf, a professor at Hamilton’s McMaster University and leading clinical-trials expert, is helping design a fast-tracked hydroxychloroquine study. He said he understands the urge to try unproven treatments but worries about the consequences.

It could result in harm

“One perspective is ‘We’re in a time of desperation and let’s throw anything we can at it to save people’s lives.’ I understand that,” he said. “The danger is it’s not objective. It could result in harm.”

Just as the scientific community has entered an extraordinary, expedited race to develop a vaccine for the virus causing COVID-19, it is rapidly testing whether a number of new drugs or ones used for other conditions might help the minority of patients made critically sick by the pathogen.

Health Canada alone has approved eight separate COVID-19 trials.

The malaria drug has drawn the most attention worldwide, initially because of a small French study that seemed to show that combining it with the antibiotic azithromycin had some effectiveness against the coronavirus.

Trump gave his endorsement and then it became a political issue, with opponents of the president seeming eager to see it debunked, supporters trumpeting the drugs as a miracle cure.

And on Monday, the FDA made its surprise pronouncement, saying it was worth the risk of trying an unproven remedy for seriously ill patients.

Canadian doctors, like their American counterparts, are legally allowed to prescribe approved medicines “off-label” for uses other than those specified in their licences.

But Health Canada has not followed the U.S. lead by encouraging they do so with hydroxychloroquine.

Meanwhile, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control recommended in a lengthy March 30 report against using any of several potential COVID-19 drugs except as part of clinical trials.

Quebec’s National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services said in a news release Thursday that treating coronavirus patients with the malaria pills should “be done within the framework of research protocols.”


University of Minnesota researchers set up an automated liquid handler as they begin a trial to see whether malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine can prevent or reduce the severity of COVID-19.

Craig Lassig/Reuters/File

And guidelines developed by University of Toronto-based critical care doctors also say experimental therapies ought to be used only as part of clinical trials, or else after consulting an infectious-disease specialist and getting the patient’s informed consent.

Saxinger said she agreed with such advice, though she said exceptions may have to be made in smaller centres where there’s no chance of a patient joining a clinical trial.

Having heard positive reports about some of the drugs, patients might balk at being part of a clinical trial, where half would not receive the medicine, said Dr. Gordon Rubenfeld, a critical-care doctor at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. But before using the treatments widely “we should find out whether these work.”

The accelerated effort to conduct those studies is remarkable, said Yusuf. Researchers would typically take two or more years first to study a drug and then set up the trial. His group’s trial involving hydroxychloroquine was launched two weeks ago and, pending Health Canada approval, aims to start enrolling patients in a week or so.

“This is unprecedented … at least in my lifetime.”

• Email: [email protected] | Twitter:





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Not helpless nor hopeless – VoxEurop (English)



Contrary to what is being said and written by many, the European Union can do a great deal to protect its citizens from the pandemic, and to compensate for shortcomings due to lack of coordination between member states.

More than 250 million European citizens are in mandatory home confinement to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Yet while Swedes, Germans and Bulgarians still walk more or less freely around their cities, Italians, Spaniards and French people can’t leave their homes. Swedish kids are still going to school, while most of their European peers are not. Shops are open in the Netherlands, Denmark and Hungary but closed elsewhere.

How can we make sense of these conflicting realities when European citizens are all equally affected by the virus? How do we achieve the same aim: the containment of the disease in a shared continent, supposedly without borders, with such a range of different policies?

For the vast majority of European citizens this emergency comes as close to an experience of war as they are likely to have. And as huge numbers of them look to the EU for protection and joint solutions, Brussels looks helpless.

Ursula von der Leyen, the European commission president, delivered a reprimand to member governments for their failure to pull together during the latest summit. Too many, she said, had selfishly “looked out for themselves”, restricting exports of medical supplies to other EU countries and closing borders.

The EU itself can’t do much about a pandemic. It can’t close schools, suspend football matches or lock down European cities. It can’t even close borders to curb the spread of the virus. Only its member governments can. And closing borders is what some governments have done – against WHO advice – suspending the Schengen passport-free travel zone for the first time.

What the EU can do is to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic, by offering its countries flexibility over EU deficit and state aid rules. Indeed, that’s what it has done: in addition to a €37bn (£33.7bn) investment fund to counter the effects of Covid-19 on the economy across the continent, it has launched a joint procurement operation covering, ventilators, masks and other vital medical equipment needed across the continent. EU leaders are also setting up a new permanent European crisis management centre.

Yet there is more EU governments could do jointly to reassure their 500 million citizens at a time when their common destiny as a community has never looked so real.

Despite the inherent limits of the union, the 27 EU health ministers could decide – on a voluntary basis – to pool their sovereign emergency powers. They could start coordinating – not necessarily harmonising – on data collection (currently there are three different sources), testing (there is no single approach nor central database), as well as containment, quarantine and social distancing . The most obvious benefit of such an EU-wide methodological effort would be to render national comparisons suddenly meaningful.

The other useful step would be to stop thinking purely in terms of the unitary state and instead think regionally. As the coronavirus outbreak concentrates in regions and infections don’t spread equally within each country’s territory, health containment measures would no longer be designed along jurisdictional lines but regional ones.

This would work even when regional boundaries cut across national borders, such as the whole Basque territory, which crosses the Franco-Spanish border. Measures devised at this level would inherently be more tailored to the local circumstances, proportionate to the declared goals, and potentially better at preserving freedoms for the affected populations.

A regional approach would also have the merit of fostering healthcare cooperation and solidarity across the territory of the union. It is happening already in a small-scale way: hospitals in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, are treating critically ill coronavirus patients from the neighbouring Alsace region in France, which is struggling to cope. And a small number of Covid-19 patients from Bergamo in Italy have been transferred to Leipzig after authorities in Saxony stepped in to help.

Given the different timing of the spread of the virus, a cross-border approach to hospital treatment could represent a game-changer. A coordinated EU-wide response would help to close the gap between the politics of the pandemic at national level and the harsh health realities on the ground.

But there is more.

The lack of a coherent EU-wide response to the pandemic is undermining one of the most extraordinary achievements of EU cooperation: the Schengen area has allowed people to move about freely without passports since the mid-1990s.

But border controls have now been brought back by 12 of the 26 countries in the system. Although these controls offer no major health gain — but rather slow the free movement of key workers and supplies that might be urgently needed in this emergency — they are inevitable when member states lack any coordinated containment action plan.

A coordinated EU-wide response would make these border restrictions unnecessary. What is more, containment measures would have more impact if they were the result of shared expert advice, shared perspectives and a much broader public debate than they currently receive in individual states.

Most of the measures precipitously implemented at national level are exceptionally restrictive of individual and collective freedoms. As emergency powers are deployed daily to govern the coronavirus pandemic across the continent, there’s a real risk that their exercise may be used to erode not only free movement rights, but also civil rights, and ultimately democracy.

The EU – as an ultimate guarantor of the rule of law – should not only oversee but also prevent these many repressive measures from infringing citizens’ civil liberties, or, as in the case of Hungary, weakening institutions, under the auspices of tackling the corona crisis.

Ultimately, the European handling of Covid-19 has revealed an uncomfortable truth. Given the high level of socio-economic interdependence in Europe, nation-state solutions can do more harm than good, by offering an illusion of security and safety.

It does not have to be this way. As each national approach against Covid-19 entails different trade-offs, and those spill over to other countries, there is a moral — albeit not yet legal — argument for our national leaders to work together within the European Union to coordinate their public health interventions as a matter of urgency and to do so within the law.

This ongoing health emergency is a rare chance to demonstrate that the EU not only matters, but can also protect us, both from the virus and from our respective governments.





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Léa Seydoux says women in new Bond not there to ‘please’ his sexuality


Lea Seydoux stars in upcoming Bond film No Time To Die (Picture: AFP)

Léa Seydoux, star of upcoming James Bond film No Time To Die, has spoken out on what a Bond girl is in 2020.

And what she’s said is right on.

First, some context: the actress will reprise the role of Dr. Madeleine Swann in the film, out later this year.

She played the same role in the last movie, 2015’s Spectre.

Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar, Léa insisted her character and the film’s other female characters are not there to please Bond’s sexuality.

‘What we forget is that James Bond is also a sexual object,’ Lea proposed.

‘He’s totally a sexual object. He’s one of the few, maybe one of the only, male characters to be sexualized.

‘I think that women, they love to see Bond, no? To see his body. No? Don’t you think?’

The star is known for films such as Blue Is the Warmest Colour (Picture: David Fisher/REX)
Lea also starred in No time To Die (Picture: MGM / BACKGRID)

This is nothing if not food for thought.

‘We are not here to please Bond’s sexuality,’ she added.

More: James Bond

Other actresses to play Bond Girls in recent decades include Gemma Arterton, Halle Berry, Denise Richards and Teri Hatcher.

No Time To Die – which has had its release pushed back because of the Coronavirus – will also feature writing credits from Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Got a showbiz story?

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

MORE: James Bond 2020: When is No Time To Die’s new UK release date after coronavirus pandemic forced its delay?

MORE: James Bond guns worth £100,000 and used in movies are stolen from North London home





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Here are the government’s biggest failures in the coronavirus response



WASHINGTON — We’ve seen the U.S. government fail several times over the last 20 years – the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina, the debt-ceiling debacle, the government shutdowns.

But history will likely be most unkind of all to the federal government’s initial response to the novel coronavirus over the last two months.

Let’s count the ways the whole federal government has failed to date, starting at the very top.

1. President Trump at first downplayed the coronavirus, and then he later sent mixed messages about it.

2. Trump and his administration saw the virus – and initially reacted to it – primarily as an immigration/travel/border issuerather than a health one.

3. Trump consistently attacked critical Democrats (like Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and most recently Sen. Chuck Schumer), while he singled out Republicans for praise.

4. The administration didn’t heed classified warnings from the intelligence community — back in January and February — about the dangers the coronavirus posed for the global community.

5. The administration, in 2018, disbanded its National Security Council pandemic team.

6. The administration eliminated a CDC job dedicated to detecting outbreaks in China.

7. The Department of Homeland Security, which plays a vital role in responding to disasters, remains staffed with an acting secretary, an acting chief of staff, an acting general counsel and a vacancy at deputy secretary.

8. The Centers for Disease Control’s initial coronavirus test failed, resulting in a lost month to combat the virus.

9. The Food and Drug Administration’s requirements stymied university labs from conducting tests

10. The government’s emergency stockpile of respirator masks, gloves and other medical supplies is nearly depleted.

And in just the past day, we learned…

11. Rear Adm. John Polowczyk, who is helping to lead the effort to replenish supplies of personal protective equipment, admitted that the administration is delivering products it acquires to medical supply companies – rather than delivering them directly to the hospitals in need, per NBC’s Geoff Bennett. (Bottom line: The federal government is not taking over the supply chain.)

12. The U.S. Navy relieved the captain who sounded the alarm about an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

13. The Federal Emergency Management Agency officials told Congress that the projected demand for ventilators required for coronavirus-stricken patients “outstrips the capacity” of the Strategic National Stockpile.

14. And as NBC News has reported, it wasn’t until Thursday night that banks received their 31 pages of guidance from the Treasury Department on how to lend the money in the $350 billion small-business relief program — and some banks haven’t even decided whether they can participate on the opening day.

Many of these failures — see the Top 4 on this list — can be traced directly to the president, but the rest have so many other fingerprints on them.

How many of those failures were due to poor leadership at the very top? How many were systemic? A combination of the two?

Americans 40 years and older have seen this country’s government do big things — go to the moon, expand civil rights, end the Cold War, help build the internet, combat AIDS.

But if you’re in your 20s or 30s, you’ve mostly seen the government fail again and again.

And the government’s response to the coronavirus – just two months into the crisis — is the biggest failure of all.

Tweet of the day

Data Download: The numbers you need to know today

245,135: The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, per the most recent data from NBC News and health officials. (That’s 28,907 more than yesterday morning.)

5,916: The number of deaths in the United States from the virus so far. (That’s 1,082 more than yesterday morning).

1.29 million: The number of coronavirus TESTS that have been administered in the United States so far, according to researchers at The COVID Tracking Project.

701,000: That’s the number of jobs the U.S. economy lost in March, according to the Labor Department’s latest report.

3.5 million: The number of Americans who have likely lost employer-based health insurance, according to a study from the Economic Policy Institute.

75: The number of inmates at facilities run by the Bureau of Prisons who have tested positive for the virus

31: The number of pages of guidance that lenders received last night from the Treasury Department on how to administer small business aid, leading some to say they aren’t ready to start accepting applications

Nearly half: The number of states that currently lack funds to pay out unemployment claims.

About 13 percent: A guess at the current unemployment rate, according to one new estimate.

Another week and a half: How long it will take the first Americans to start receiving stimulus checks, which are now expected to start rolling out the week of April 13.

Democrats postpone their convention to August. What else will they change?

“The Democratic National Committee is postponing its summer convention in Milwaukee over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic,” per NBC News.

More: “The four-day convention, set to take place in Milwaukee beginning July 13, will now take place the week of August 17.”

Our question: What ELSE might Democratic convention planners change? Will there be an arena of packed delegates? Or will it be held virtually?

2020 Vision: Judge keeps Wisconsin’s election on track for April 7 — but with some changes

“A federal judge Thursday kept next week’s presidential primary on track but allowed more time to count absentee ballots after excoriating Wisconsin officials for not doing more to protect voters during the coronavirus pandemic,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes.

“The ruling — which was immediately appealed — will allow absentee ballots to be counted if they arrive by April 13, six days after election day. U.S. District Judge William Conley also gave people until Friday to request absentee ballots and loosened a rule requiring absentee voters to get the signature of a witness.”

Ad watch from NBC’s Ben Kamisar

Montana Republican Sen. Steve Daines is up with a new ad playing up his role in the congressional coronavirus response, employing a strategy to similar other incumbents who are leaning on their official work to prove to their constituents that they deserve to stay in office.

But Daines has to contend with a dynamic that many incumbents facing reelection do not — his opponent, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, is at the helm of the state’s closely-watched response.

And while Bullock certainly faces political pressure to deliver (to say nothing about the more important issue of doing right by his state during a pivotal time), governors often see their favorability rating skyrocket during crises, as long as their constituents believe they’re responding well.

So with Daines’ campaign having already booked more than $100,000 in broadcast time through the end of the month, according to Advertising Analytics, Montanans may be seeing a lot more of that message —centered on Daines’ push for things like paid leave, financial relief and expanding testing — as the nation continues to confront the virus, and as Democrats have hit him on health care in their own ads.

Oversight this

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday the creation of a House Select Committee on the coronavirus crisis chaired by Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn. According to Pelosi, the panel will provide oversight on the coronavirus relief legislation and it will have subpoena.

“It would have subpoena power that’s for sure, it is no use having a committee unless you have subpoena power. We would hope that there would be cooperation because this is not an investigation of the administration – it is about the whole – there are things that are so new and the rest and we want to make sure there are not exploiters out there,” Pelosi said on Thursday.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy responded to the committee creation saying that he thinks it isn’t the time to create new committees.

“I have a couple of concerns about this. One who she is naming: Clyburn is concerning to me because Congressman Clyburn is the one who thought this crisis was an opportune time to restructure government. That’s not what we should be doing. We should be taking care of the American public keeping our economy strong and moving forward. The other concern that I have the standpoint is inside the bills that we passed we did put in oversight and this seems really redundant,” McCarthy said.

The Lid: What’s up, Wisconsin?

Don’t miss the pod from yesterday, when we explained the big controversy over Wisconsin’s not-budging primary date.

ICYMI: What ELSE is happening in the world

Politico reports on how Bernie Sanders’ fortunes have been reversed in Wisconsin.

Jonathan Allen looks at how Joe Biden is avoiding a bombastic approach in attacking Trump during the crisis.

A Senate committee’s probe into Hunter Biden is still moving forward.

Problems with Florida’s unemployment system are making Republicans jittery about Trump’s ability to hold the state in November.

The New York Times talks to congressional candidates who don’t have health insurance.



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Coronavirus forces San Francisco to put homeless into hotels


SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The coronavirus crisis is beginning to do something the city of San Francisco has been unable to accomplish for years – move homeless people off the streets and into shelters, including some of the city’s now-empty hotels.

People line in a sidewalk filled with tents set up by the homeless, amid an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, California, U.S. April 1, 2020. Picture taken April 1, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Faced with the prospect the virus could rip through the nearly 10,000 people who live on the streets or in shelters, city officials are securing 4,500 rooms for those who need to self-quarantine. The rooms would also be for homeless residents who need to isolate themselves and cannot be sent back into the community without risking infecting others.

The hotels may additionally house high-risk individuals among the 19,000 people living in single-room occupancy (SRO) buildings with shared kitchens and bathrooms who similarly cannot self-isolate.

At least 160 people who either tested positive for the coronavirus or were awaiting results were being referred to hotels as of March 25, city officials said.

“The hospitals will not discharge them to the street,” said Trent Rhorer, executive director of the city’s Human Services Agency. “They’ll only discharge people who are able to self-quarantine.”

Progressive San Francisco lawmakers want to triple the number of rooms to 14,000, enough to shelter all of the homeless and some additional people from the SRO buildings.

On Thursday, lawmakers said the first known case of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, had been confirmed in a homeless shelter and reiterated their demand to put residents into private rooms.

Stringent stay-at-home orders have greatly reduced travel, leaving the city’s hotels nearly empty. The hotel industry has asked city leaders how housing the homeless would work, including issues on potential property damage and whether California laws could give homeless guests tenancy rights after 30-day stays.

A move to hotels may be the most aggressive intervention in years to address homelessness in the liberal-leaning Bay Area. Between 2015 and 2019, the homeless population in San Francisco grew nearly 30%, according to city figures.

OVERDOSING IN THE TENDERLOIN

In San Francisco’s central Tenderloin neighborhood, tent encampments still lined the streets after city officials issued stay-home orders on starting March 17.

On a recent evening shortly before 10:30 p.m., Tenderloin firefighters and police clad in protective masks knelt over one man, administering naloxone nasal spray to treat an overdose. The sixth of the night, officers said.

“People are supposed to stay in, but I don’t see how that’s possible when there’s a lot of us around,” Jackie Cismowski, 28, who has been homeless off-and-on since 2012, said as she walked in the Tenderloin wearing rubber gloves and an N95 mask.

To give the homeless more room to spread out, city officials are converting an upscale tennis club in the South of Market neighborhood and part of the Moscone Center, a venue for glitzy technology conferences, into shelter facilities.

About 60% of 50 hotels that met with the city about housing the homeless and first responders signed up for the city’s program within days of its announcement, said Kevin Carroll, president and chief executive of the Hotel Council of San Francisco.

City officials said San Francisco already has 1,055 rooms under contract, but declined to release the names of hotels in the program, saying that doing so could violate health privacy laws and stigmatize the properties.

Anand Singh, president of United Here Local 2, the union that represents more than 14,000 San Francisco hospitality workers, said he knew of two local budget hotels near the Tenderloin that have signed on to take quarantine guests.

Singh said the city is providing training and protective gear for union cleaners at the hotels.

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“You could end up in a situation where these crucial facilities … that are intended to stop the spread of COVID-19 could instead lead to outbreak clusters,” Singh said.

Louis Charles Brown, 51, who lives in a building with shared bathrooms in the Tenderloin, paced the streets recently, trying to warn his neighbors about COVID-19.

“This will kill you and it ain’t a joke,” Brown said. “They need to open up a church, quarantine and do something, because they say it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

Reporting by Nathan Frandino, Shannon Stapleton, Katie Paul and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; editing by Bill Tarrant and Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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Anthony Joshua would be ‘extremely interested’ in fighting Tyson Fury next, says Eddie Hearn



Promoter Eddie Hearn insists Anthony Joshua is “extremely interested” in fighting Tyson Fury next, stating postponements due to the coronavirus pandemic may bring the highly-anticipated bout forward.

Joshua is scheduled to defend his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on June 20, while Fury was expected to contest a third bout against Deontay Wilder in July.

However, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing to shut down event after event, when the scheduled bouts can take place remains a total unknown.


Hearn – speaking to Sky Sports – revealed that, as things stand, Joshua is still to face Pulev next, but believes thoughts on finances and legacies may now be more prevalent than ever, asserting it might just push an all-British undisputed showdown ever closer.

“The one positive that could come out of this for boxing is you might find people jumping into bigger fights sooner, rather than later, because of course, their activity has been slowed,” said Hearn.

“Their financial gain has been slowed as well, and it probably makes them realise anything can happen – ‘we need to make sure we get this fight in and I need to define my legacy’.”

Hearn says a statement regarding Joshua’s impending bout with Pulev is to come in the next week or two, with a postponement the likely outcome.

The 40-year-old is hoping for a date in July, but remains unsure as things stand.

On the ramifications of a later date, Hearn said: “If it starts kicking on beyond that [July], then you get to a situation where if Joshua is only going to box once this year, he would very much like that to be against Tyson Fury.”

Hearn recognises that the situation is out of his hands with Fury and Wilder set to square off once more. However, he believes there’s still a possibility that the latter will step aside.

He said: “If it was possible and there was a way to make Kubrat Pulev wait, which I think is probably an easier job, then for sure, I think Anthony Joshua would be extremely interested in moving straight into the Tyson Fury fight.

“I think in an ideal world, we have that fight next.

“It’s always been the case, but if we can fight Kubrat Pulev in July, we’d love to fight Tyson Fury in November, December.

“At the same time, I think there’s so much uncertainty at the moment, this is the kind of situation that might make people say – ‘I think now is the time’.”



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