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Teen crashes car down two embankments landing into apartment
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edition.cnn.com
Woman lifting weights chases down thieves targeting neighbor
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edition.cnn.com
Parents become teachers overnight in St. Louis
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edition.cnn.com
Woman has racist rant toward restaurant owner
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edition.cnn.com
Prosecutors: Couple kidnapped, shot at arboretum
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edition.cnn.com
Truck drivers find signs that they aren't welcome
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edition.cnn.com
Virtual story time is a way to stay connected
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edition.cnn.com
Vet donates surgical masks for cloth masks
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edition.cnn.com
Stephen King is ‘sorry’ you feel stuck in one of his horror stories
Pandemic was "bound to happen," he says.
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nypost.com
California man arrested for coronavirus price-gouging after selling box masks for $300, police say
A man in California was arrested Tuesday in a sting operation after he was caught trying to sell hundreds of masks during the coronavirus crisis at "price-gouging prices," according to police
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foxnews.com
New York nears 160,000 coronavirus cases, more than any country in the world
New York state is now the coronavirus capital of the world, logging more COVID-19 cases than any other country across the globe outside of the US.
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nypost.com
Steph Curry FaceTimes jersey-wearing nurse in inspiring video
Now, it is Steph Curry in awe of one of his fans. After learning of an ICU nurse sporting his jersey while helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Warriors superstar FaceTimed Shelby Delaney — before her Wednesday shift at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland — for her courage and selflessness. “I can’t...
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nypost.com
NYC Mayor And NY Governor Say Social Distancing Is Working, Warn Not To Let Up
Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo both pointed to signs of good news in the Coronavirus data, but said that restrictions on nonessential workers and businesses must continue.
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npr.org
The New York Times Is Great, but Who’ll Cover Your Community?
COVID-19 threatens to decimate local news organizations. Is there a way forward?
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slate.com
Campaign seeks to protect domestic workers from everything from fires to coronavirus
As fires raged in California, Socorro Diaz found herself cleaning homes in neighborhoods that had been evacuated.
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latimes.com
General says coronavirus could affect more ships
Pentagon leaders anticipate that the coronavirus is likely to strike more Navy ships at sea after an outbreak aboard an aircraft carrier in the Pacific infected more than 400 sailors, a top general said Thursday. (April 9)       
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usatoday.com
Cardi B lashes out at young fans after Bernie Sanders drops presidential bid
"Y’all be like, ‘We love Bernie’, but y’all wasn’t voting! Y’all wasn’t voting! What was up with that?!"
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nypost.com
More men are dying from coronavirus than women. Why?
More men than women are dying from coronavirus around the globe, leaving scientists racing to figure out why. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images “Being a male is a risk factor”: What we know about Covid-19’s death rates in men and women. As the global death toll from the novel coronavirus mounts, evidence is growing that more men than women are becoming seriously ill — and dying — from the virus. In New York state as of April 9, for example, more than 60 percent of over 6,200 total deaths have been men. From the early days of the first coronavirus outbreak in China, men were turning up severely ill at a higher rate than women. And this pattern seems to be largely repeating itself — if in slightly different numbers — in country after country. Researchers are still not entirely sure why this is. But there are already some intriguing clues. Could it be higher rates of smoking among men? A higher likelihood of delaying medical care? Or do the answers lie among the genes and sex hormones in our bodies that are setting men on a riskier course if they encounter the virus? As Marcia Stefanick, a professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, told the Wall Street Journal, “There are profound sex differences in immune systems, and this pandemic is revealing them.” But, she noted, “What is biology versus what are our social norms and gender behaviors confounds our ability to understand what’s going on.” Finding answers could help develop more effective treatment protocols and prevention measures, as well as lead to a more successful vaccine. Biological forces at play One key piece of context for these questions is that there are, in general, a variety of key biological differences in the way men and women fight off infections. Women, for example, tend to mount a stronger immune response. Researchers think this is in part because most women have two X chromosomes, and the X chromosome happens to contain most of the genes related to the immune system (and those with two X chromosomes instead of one also have a wider diversity of immune responses). This extra immune functioning, however, also seems to put women more at risk for autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. Hormones might also help provide women with a more effective defense. Some important immune cells have estrogen receptors, and an estrogen supplement has been shown to increase general immune responses in mice. A 2017 study in the Journal of Immunologyspecifically looked into sex differences from the coronavirus that causes SARS (which seems to have killed more men than women during an outbreak in 2003). In that study, researchers found that male mice were more susceptible to the virus. But when they blocked estrogen from working normally in the female mice, the females fell ill at higher rates. Women might also be more likely to launch an earlier attack on infections in general, saving the body from needing to use all of its virus-fighting might later — an event that can skyrocket inflammation and often do more damage to key organs. These sex patterns are not universal among infections. And data from other viruses, including influenza, sometimes even skews in the other direction, with more women dying than men. There’s still a lot to learn about the novel coronavirus, and so far there aren’t any studies on it looking specifically at these biological factors. We don’t yet know how these biological differences play out for Covid-19, if they do at all. But they’re definitely possibilities. Behavioral factors could also be involved There are also clues that differences in behavior could be putting men at higher risk for severe Covid-19. It can be a difficult (and time-consuming) endeavor for epidemiologists to untangle behavioral risk factors from one another, so it’s important to remember that at this point, what we have are correlations that suggest possible risks, not hard proof. One factor could be smoking rates. A review of existing research as of March 17 concluded that “smoking is most likely associated with the negative progression and adverse outcomes of Covid-19.” There are a couple of reasons this could be the case, the World Health Organization notes. One is that smokers are more likely to have lung disease, which is an established risk factor for severe infection. The other is that when smoking, a person is more likely to touch their mouth or face, possibly allowing the virus an easy path in. And smoking is often more common among men than women. According to a 2017 analysis in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 54 percent of Chinese adult men smoked tobacco, compared with just 2.6 percent of Chinese women. The World Bank reports that, as of 2016, about 41 percent of South Korean men smoked versus about 6 percent of women. (Spain also shows the same general trend, as does the US, but the sex difference isn’t as large as it is for China and South Korea.) Because the research on all of this is so new, it will still probably be some time before we have a clear understanding of what role smoking might play. Other broad social and cultural variations among genders (that, to be sure, are not universal) might be further exacerbating this trend. For example, in the US, various studies show that men wash their hands less often and are less likely to seek care earlier in an illness. A March 24 poll from Reuters revealed that a smaller percentage of men than women were taking warnings about the coronavirus seriously — including changing their behavior. The sex differences are not perfectly consistent In this pandemic, the information being reported around the world varies widely. And due to continued lack of testing and increasing concern about deaths being underreported, we still do not have a complete picture of how sex is playing out as a risk factor for the disease — and how that might be different in different countries. (Some governments, including the US, are not even reporting cases by sex.) Despite the fuzzy details, however, the pattern is holding steady. Analysis of data from about 2,000 patients during China’s main outbreak, from December through February, showed that about 60 percent of patients were men. And China’s Center for Disease Control reported a fatality rate of 2.8 percent for men versus 1.7 percent for women. In South Korea, men were actually far less likely to be confirmed to have Covid-19, according to a March 31 paper in Clinical Infectious Diseases. There, just 38 percent of patients were male. But, according to that analysis, men were about twice as likely to die from the disease (1.19 percent for men versus 0.52 percent for women). In Spain, men and women comprise about an equal number of Covid-19 cases, as the country’s Health Ministry reported on April 3. But men were more than twice as likely to wind up in the ICU — and more likely to die (making up almost two-thirds of deaths). An April 6 study of the hard-hit region of Lombardy, Italy, found that 82 percent of patients admitted to the ICU were men. And in Italy overall, about 70 percent of people dying from coronavirus have been male. The US CDC isn’t releasing coronavirus case breakdowns by sex at this time (it also doesn’t prominently feature this data for other infectious diseases, like influenza). This is an additional blow to those who are trying to understand this rapidly spreading illness because the US now has by far the largest number of cases. Some US states have released sex breakdowns, however. A Washington Post report found that of 13 states that have substantial outbreaks and are reporting these details, men make up a larger number of deaths. As an emergency department nurse told the Post, “In general, I’ve seen more male patients. And when they do come in, they are at a sicker state.” (Recent US data also shows concerning patterns of racial disparities.) How understanding sex differences will help us save lives Learning more about how the virus impacts men and women could help determine the most effective treatment for individual patients. For example, it might point to different or earlier interventions in men, or more targeted public health messaging for people who might be more likely to delay seeking care. Better understanding the nuances of men’s and women’s immune response to the virus could also be crucial to developing a good vaccine. There are well-documented differences in vaccine effectiveness among men and women, with women tending to be better protected after vaccination. So it will be especially important to ensure that sex is taken into account when designing and analyzing vaccine trials — in both animal studies and human ones. Everyone is at some risk — and everyone can help improve the odds Although men seem to be dying at slightly higher rates than women, everyone is at risk —even the young. There are also some factors that might put some women more at risk. For example, in the US, 76 percent of health care workers are women, according to the US Census Bureau. That means they are at the forefront of this pandemic, coming into contact with potentially infected people on a daily basis. Additionally, digging deeper into the data reveals other emerging trends in subpopulations. For example, according to an April 2 report from the Italian government, in those 90 and older, women were more likely to die from Covid-19 than men. And, although the overall numbers are small, it seems as though women with certain risk factors (including heart failure, hypertension, and dementia) were more likely to die from Covid-19 than the men who had those conditions. What has become clear from all this data is that we still have a lot to learn about why some cases of Covid-19 end in respiratory failure or death, or severe illness, and some don’t — regardless of a person’s sex. And we all still have the responsibility to reduce our own odds of getting the virus, and of it spreading to others. It remains crucial for everyone to do their part (washing hands, maintaining social distancing, etc.) to keep the virus from spreading. Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
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vox.com
After Reverse On Hydroxychloroquine Export Ban, India Says 'Only Meeting The Demand'
After President Trump complained, India reversed its export ban on the anti-malaria drug, which Trump has touted as a coronavirus treatment. There's no clinical evidence it works against COVID-19.
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npr.org
Coronavirus hits home for Yankees’ Clint Frazier
First, the coronavirus pandemic interrupted what Clint Frazier was hoping would be a breakthrough season. Now, it may be endangering a close friend of his. “It’s something that resonates with me because I do have a friend that, she’s going through her final stages of her residency in San Diego, and she is sick right...
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nypost.com
NCAA exec says 'robust' changes to be proposed on athlete names, image and likeness
NCAA vice president Kevin Lennon says proposed changes coming to athletes' ability to make money from their names, images and likenesses.        
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usatoday.com
Wall Street rises on Fed's $2.3 trillion rescue plan
Wall Street rose for the third time in four days on Thursday as the U.S. Federal Reserve rolled out a massive $2.3 trillion program to bolster local governments and businesses hammered by the coronavirus outbreak.
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reuters.com
Where to buy face masks — and what to wear if you can’t find one
With the Centers for Disease Control recommending that all Americans wear a cloth face covering in public to slow the spread of the coronavirus, it may seem impossible to find a mask anywhere online. But we scoured the Internet and found a few adorable non-surgical face masks still available — many of which include a...
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nypost.com
Merritt Wever knows showbiz can be 'poison' for women. But complaining now feels wrong
Merritt Wever stars with Domhnall Gleeson in "Run," from "Fleabag" producer Vicky Jones.
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latimes.com
All the President’s Lies About the Coronavirus
Editor’s Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here. Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET on April 9, 2020.In the month since he declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency, President Donald Trump has repeatedly lied about this once-in-a-generation crisis.Here, a collection of the biggest lies he’s told as the nation barrels toward a public-health and economic calamity. This post will be updated as needed.On the Nature of the VirusWhen: Friday, February 7, and Wednesday, February 19The claim: The coronavirus would weaken “when we get into April, in the warmer weather—that has a very negative effect on that, and that type of a virus.”The truth: It’s too early to tell if the virus’s spread will be dampened by warmer conditions. Respiratory viruses can be seasonal, but the World Health Organization says that the new coronavirus “can be transmitted in ALL AREAS, including areas with hot and humid weather.”When: Thursday, February 27The claim: The outbreak would be temporary: “It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle—it will disappear.”The truth: Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned days later that he was concerned that “as the next week or two or three go by, we’re going to see a lot more community-related cases.”When: Multiple timesThe claim: If the economic shutdown continues, deaths by suicide “definitely would be in far greater numbers than the numbers that we’re talking about” for COVID-19 deaths.The truth: The White House now estimates that anywhere from 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die from COVID-19. Other estimates have placed the number at 1.1 million to 1.2 million. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. But the number of people who died by suicide in 2017, for example, was roughly 47,000, nowhere near the COVID-19 estimates. Estimates of the mental-health toll of the Great Recession are mixed. A 2014 study tied more than 10,000 suicides in Europe and North America to the financial crisis. But a larger analysis in 2017 found that while the rate of suicide was increasing in the United States, the increase could not be directly tied to the recession and was attributable to broader socioeconomic conditions predating the downturn.[Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes: Trump can’t even imitate a normal president]Blaming the Obama AdministrationWhen: Wednesday, March 4The claim: The Trump White House rolled back Food and Drug Administration regulations that limited the kind of laboratory tests states could run and how they could conduct them. “The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing,” Trump said.The truth: The Obama administration drafted, but never implemented, changes to rules that regulate laboratory tests run by states. Trump’s policy change relaxed an FDA requirement that would have forced private labs to wait for FDA authorization to conduct their own, non-CDC-approved coronavirus tests.When: Friday, March 13The claim: The Obama White House’s response to the H1N1 pandemic was “a full scale disaster, with thousands dying, and nothing meaningful done to fix the testing problem, until now.”The truth: Barack Obama declared a public-health emergency two weeks after the first U.S. cases of H1N1 were reported, in California. (Trump declared a national emergency more than seven weeks after the first domestic COVID-19 case was reported, in Washington State.) While testing is a problem now, it wasn’t back in 2009. The challenge then was vaccine development: Production was delayed and the vaccine wasn’t distributed until the outbreak was already waning.When: Multiple timesThe claim: The Trump White House “inherited” a “broken,” “bad,” and “obsolete” test for coronavirus.The truth: The novel coronavirus did not exist in humans during the Obama administration. Public-health experts agree that, because of that fact, the CDC could not have produced a test, and thus a new test had to be developed this year. On Coronavirus TestingWhen: Friday, March 6The claim: “Anybody that needs a test, gets a test. We—they’re there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful.”The truth: The country’s testing capabilities are severely limited. Many states have experienced a lack of testing kits, as my colleagues Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer have reported. Trump made this claim one day after his own vice president, Mike Pence, admitted that “we don’t have enough tests today to meet what we anticipate will be the demand going forward.”When: Wednesday, March 11The claim: In an Oval Office address, Trump said that private-health-insurance companies had “agreed to waive all co-payments for coronavirus treatments, extend insurance coverage to these treatments, and to prevent surprise medical billing.”The truth: Insurers agreed only to absorb the cost of coronavirus testing—waiving co-pays and deductibles for getting the test. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the second coronavirus-relief bill passed by Congress, later mandated that COVID-19 testing be made free. The federal government has not required insurance companies to cover follow-up treatments, though some providers announced in late March that they will pay for treatments. The costs of other non-coronavirus testing or treatment incurred by patients who have COVID-19 or are trying to get a diagnosis aren’t waived either. And as for surprise medical billing? Mitigating it would require the cooperation of insurers, doctors, and hospitals.[Read: The dangerous delays in U.S. coronavirus testing haven’t stopped]When: Friday, March 13The claim: Google engineers are building a website to help Americans determine whether they need testing for the coronavirus and to direct them to their nearest testing site.The truth: The announcement was news to Google itself—the website Trump (and other administration officials) described was actually being built by Verily, a division of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. The Verge first reported on Trump’s error, citing a Google representative who confirmed that Verily was working on a “triage website” with limited coverage for the San Francisco Bay Area. But since then, Google has pivoted to fulfill Trump’s public proclamation, saying it would speed up the development of a new, separate website while Verily worked on finishing its project, The Washington Post reported.When: Tuesday, March 24, and Wednesday, March 25The claim: The United States has outpaced South Korea’s COVID-19 testing: “We’re going up proportionally very rapidly,” Trump said during a Fox News town hall.The truth: When the president made this claim, testing in the U.S. was severely lagging behind that in South Korea. As of March 25, South Korea had conducted about five times as many tests as a proportion of its population relative to the United States. For updated data from each country, see the COVID-19 Tracking Project and the database maintained by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.On Travel Bans and TravelersWhen: Wednesday, March 11The claim: The United States would suspend “all travel from Europe, except the United Kingdom, for the next 30 days,” Trump announced in an Oval Office address.The truth: The travel restriction would not apply to U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, or their families returning from Europe. At first, it applied specifically to the 26 European countries that make up the Schengen Area, not all of Europe. Trump later announced the inclusion of the United Kingdom and Ireland in the ban.Another claim: In the same address, Trump said the travel restrictions would “not only apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo but various other things as we get approval.”The truth: Trump followed up in a tweet, explaining that trade and cargo would not be subject to the restrictions.When: Thursday, March 12The claim: All U.S. citizens arriving from Europe would be subject to medical screening, COVID-19 testing, and quarantine if necessary. “If an American is coming back or anybody is coming back, we’re testing,” Trump said. “We have a tremendous testing setup where people coming in have to be tested … We’re not putting them on planes if it shows positive, but if they do come here, we’re quarantining.”The truth: Testing is already severely limited in the United States. It is not true that all Americans returning to the country are being tested, nor that anyone is being forced to quarantine, CNN has reported.When: Tuesday, March 31The claim: “We stopped all of Europe” with a travel ban. “We started with certain parts of Italy, and then all of Italy. Then we saw Spain. Then I said, ‘Stop Europe; let’s stop Europe. We have to stop them from coming here.’”The truth: The travel ban applied to the Schengen Area, as well as the United Kingdom and Ireland, and not all of Europe as he claimed. Additionally, Trump is wrong about the United States rolling out a piecemeal ban. The State Department did issue advisories in late February cautioning Americans against travel to the Lombardy region of Italy before issuing a general “Do Not Travel” warning on March 19. But the U.S. never placed individual bans on Italy and Spain.When: Multiple timesThe claim: “Everybody thought I was wrong” about implementing restrictions on travelers from China, and “most people felt they should not close it down—that we shouldn’t close down to China.”The truth: While the World Health Organization did say it opposed travel bans on China generally, Trump’s own top health officials made clear that the travel ban was the “uniform” recommendation of the Department of Health and Human Services. Fauci and Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the coronavirus task force, both praised the decision too.On Taking the Pandemic SeriouslyWhen: Tuesday, March 17The claim: “I’ve always known this is a real—this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic … I’ve always viewed it as very serious.”The truth: Trump has repeatedly downplayed the significance of COVID-19 as outbreaks began stateside. From calling criticism of his handling of the virus a “hoax,” to comparing the coronavirus to a common flu, to worrying about letting sick Americans off cruise ships because they would increase the number of confirmed cases, Trump has used his public statements to send mixed messages and sow doubt about the outbreak’s seriousness.When: Thursday, March 26The claim: This kind of pandemic “was something nobody thought could happen … Nobody would have ever thought a thing like this could have happened.”The truth: Experts both inside and outside the federal government sounded the alarm many times in the past decade about the potential for a devastating global pandemic, as my colleague Uri Friedman has reported. Two years ago, my colleague Ed Yong explored the legacy of Ebola outbreaks—including the devastating 2014 epidemic—to evaluate how ready the U.S. was for a pandemic. Ebola hardly impacted America—but it revealed how unprepared the country was.On COVID-19 Treatments and VaccinesWhen: Monday, March 2The claim: Pharmaceutical companies are going “to have vaccines, I think, relatively soon.”The truth: The president’s own experts told him during a White House meeting with pharmaceutical leaders earlier that same day that a vaccine could take a year to 18 months to develop. In response, he said he would prefer if it took only a few months. He later claimed, at a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, that a vaccine would be ready “soon.”When: Thursday, March 19The claim: At a press briefing with his coronavirus task force, Trump said the FDA had approved the antimalarial drug chloroquine to treat COVID-19. “Normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that, and it’s—it was approved very, very quickly and it’s now approved by prescription,” he said.The truth: FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, who was at the briefing, quickly clarified that the drug still had to be tested in a clinical setting. An FDA representative later told Bloomberg that the drug has not been approved for COVID-19 use, though a doctor could still prescribe it for that purpose. Later that same day, Fauci told CNN that there is no “magic drug” to cure COVID-19: “Today, there are no proven safe and effective therapies for the coronavirus.”[Read: Anthony Fauci’s plan to stay honest]On the Defense Production ActWhen: Friday, March 20The claim: Trump twice said during a task-force briefing that he had invoked the Defense Production Act, a Korean War–era law that enables the federal government to order private industry to produce certain items and materials for national use. He also said the federal government was already using its authority under the law: “We have a lot of people working very hard to do ventilators and various other things.”The truth: Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Peter Gaynor told CNN on March 22 that the president has not actually used the DPA to order private companies to produce anything. Shortly after that, Trump backtracked, saying that he had not compelled private companies to take action. Then, on March 24, Gaynor told CNN that FEMA plans to use the DPA to allocate 60,000 test kits. Trump tweeted afterward that the DPA would not be used.When: Saturday, March 21The claim: Automobile companies that have volunteered to manufacture medical equipment, such as ventilators, are “making them right now.”The truth: Ford and General Motors, which Trump mentioned at a task-force briefing the same day, announced earlier in March that they had halted all factory production in North America and were likely months away from beginning production of ventilators, representatives told the Associated Press. Since then, Ford CEO James Hackett told CNN that the auto company will begin to work with 3M to produce respirators and with General Electric to assemble ventilators. GM said it will explore the possibility of producing ventilators in an Indiana factory. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose company Trump highlighted in a tweet, has said that the company is “working on ventilators” but that they cannot be produced “instantly.”On States’ ResourcesWhen: Tuesday, March 24The claim: Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York passed on an opportunity to purchase 16,000 ventilators at a low cost in 2015, Trump said during the Fox News town hall.The truth: Trump seems to have gleaned this claim from a Gateway Pundit article. That piece, in turn, cites a syndicated column from Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York, which includes a figure close to 16,000. The number comes from a 2015 report from the state’s health department that provided guidance for how New York could handle a possible flu pandemic. The report notes that the state would need 15,783 more ventilators than it had at the time to aid patients during “an influenza pandemic on the scale of the 1918 pandemic.” The report does not include a recommendation to Cuomo for additional purchases or stockpiling. Trump “obviously didn’t read the document he’s citing,” a Cuomo representative said in a statement.Another claim: Trump also repeated a claim from the Gateway Pundit article that Cuomo’s office established “death panels” and “lotteries” as part of the state’s pandemic response.The truth: The 2015 report and the accompanying press release announced updated guidelines for hospitals to follow to allocate ventilators. The guidelines “call for a triage officer or triage committee to determine who receives or continues to receive ventilator therapy” and describes how a random lottery allocation might work. (Neither should be the first options for deciding care, the report notes.) Cuomo never established a lottery.When: Sunday, March 29The claim: Trump “didn’t say” that governors do not need all the medical equipment they are requesting from the federal government. And he “didn’t say” that governors should be more appreciative of the help.The truth: The president told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday, March 26, that “a lot of equipment’s being asked for that I don’t think they’ll need,” referring to requests from the governors of Michigan, New York, and Washington. He also said, during a Friday, March 27, task-force briefing, that he wanted state leaders “to be appreciative … We’ve done a great job.” He added that he wasn’t talking about himself, but about others within the federal government working to combat the pandemic.When: Sunday, March 29, and Monday, March 30The claim: Hospitals are reporting an artificially inflated need for masks and equipment, items that might be “going out the back door,” Trump said on two separate days. He also said he was not talking about hoarding: “I think maybe it’s worse than hoarding.”The truth: There is no evidence to show that hospitals are maliciously hoarding or inflating their need for masks and personal protective equipment when reporting shortages in supplies. Although Cuomo reported anecdotal stories of thefts from hospitals early in March, he was referring to opportunists trying to price-gouge early in the pandemic. Reuters has reported a handful of stories of nurses hiding masks to conserve supplies amid shortages, but not wide-scale thefts as Trump claimed.
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theatlantic.com
Oxnard closes parks and beaches over Easter weekend amid coronavirus restrictions
As Ventura County reported its seventh coronavirus-related death this week, public health officials urged residents to continue to stay home.
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latimes.com
Saudi, Russia closing in on record oil cut deal
OPEC and it allies held talks on Thursday on record oil output curbs of 15 million to 20 million barrels per day (bpd), or 15% to 20% of global supplies, to support prices hammered by the coronavirus crisis, OPEC and Russian sources said.
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reuters.com
U.S. unemployment claims soar past 16 million
The number of Americans applying for unemployment continues to soar to historic levels. More than 16 million jobs have been lost since the COVID-19 pandemic began taking its toll on the U.S. economy. Sibile Marcellus, a reporter for Yahoo Finance, joined CBSN to talk about the impact.
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cbsnews.com
Instant View: Even big OPEC+ cuts won't offset oil demand collapse: analysts
OPEC and other major oil producers on Thursday discussed potential big output cuts in the face of a huge fall in demand due to the coronavirus crisis.
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reuters.com
SkinStore offers 25% off self-care products during sitewide sale
Now is the perfect time to update your beauty routine thanks to the latest SkinStore flash sale. During the event, SkinStore is offering 25% off self-care products, including highly rated hand soaps, lotions, and face masks. Plus, they have great selection of candles and diffusers that’ll fill your space with relaxing scents. You can also...
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nypost.com
How a 100-year-old vaccine for tuberculosis could help fight the novel coronavirus
As researchers scramble to find new drugs and vaccines for Covid-19, a vaccine that is more than a century old has piqued researchers' interests. The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine -- which was first developed to fight off tuberculosis -- is being studied in clinical trials around the world as a way to fight the novel coronavirus.
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edition.cnn.com
RIP Mad Magazine's Mort Drucker: The Funniest Cartoons of His Career
The magazine's iconic cartoonist died on Wednesday.
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newsweek.com
As Puerto Rico prepares for the pandemic, residents fear the government hasn’t learned from Hurricane Maria
Old San Juan resident Carlos Toro shines shoes on his balcony on March 18. | Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images Local officials have imposed some of the strictest lockdown measures in the nation, but skepticism of government competence remains. The people of Puerto Rico are no strangers to crisis, nor are they unfamiliar with a chaotic response from government. And so far, residents say, the local political controversies that have arisen in the face of the coronavirus pandemic are reminiscent of officials’ response to Hurricane Maria and other natural disasters that have devastated the island in recent years. As of April 8, Puerto Rico had seen more than 600 cases and over 20 deaths from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The low numbers can partially be contributed to the aggressive social distancing measures the government adopted after the island confirmed its first case on March 13 (a 68-year-old Italian woman who came to the island on a cruise). The island has been on lockdown since March 15, and people aren’t allowed to leave their homes from 7 pm to 5 am. It’s one of the strictest measures imposed in the US, and violators are punished by either a $5,000 fine or a six-month jail term. Enforcement has also been stern: hundreds of people have been cited so far, according to the Associated Press. Alejandro Granadillo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Puerto Rico has been on lockdown since March 15. Those who violate curfew can be punished with a $5,000 fine or six months in jail. But experts also expect that a lack of testing has created the illusion of lower case numbers. The island has one of the lowest testing per capita rates in the US, with only Oklahoma below it, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Although it has a population of 3.2 million, Puerto Rico had only run 4,539 tests as of Tuesday. In response, administrators paid two companies, Apex General Contractors and 313 LLC, $38 million for a million Covid-19 tests — only to find out that the tests were unusable because they weren’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Unfortunately, the government will only be able to pursue a 50 percent refund, leaving them $19 million in the hole. To further fuel criticism, there have also been allegations that the two companies were donors to the governor’s New Progressive Party (PNP), the Miami Herald reports. “When I say I don’t trust the government, in essence, I don’t trust the people that right now are in the positions of power and are making these decisions,” said Oscar Ojeda, a researcher and activist in Puerto Rico. That’s not the only scandal the government is fighting: The island is now on its third health secretary in three weeks, and officials are discovering stockpiles of unopened medical equipment that was originally meant for Hurricane Maria. For Puerto Ricans, these scandals are disappointing but not surprising, given the government’s poor track record with disaster response, Ojeda said. However, the trauma of Hurricane Maria has helped Puerto Ricans organize faster against the virus. Even before the lockdown, he said, most of the population had social distanced voluntarily. Meanwhile, doctors are increasing telemedicine efforts, and nonprofits have been stepping up by gathering and delivering critical medical supplies to hospitals. But Ojeda said he’s frustrated that the people of Puerto Rico are taking on responsibilities that belong to the government. “How much is enough resiliency?” he asked. “How much are we going to have to take control over the government’s responsibility to ensure a robust quality of life for the citizens? How much responsibility should we actually have to take up upon our shoulders?” The makeup of Puerto Rico’s population makes them particularly vulnerable to a Covid-19 outbreak Puerto Rico is still recovering from not only Hurricane Maria in 2017 but also a series of earthquakes that shook the island in January. Hurricane Maria had a $43 billion impact on Puerto Rico’s economy — a devastating blow for an island that has already racked up more than $70 billion in debt. Then the earthquakes cost the island another $3.1 billion in property damages, as well as lost wages, business, and tourism from power outages. People had to rebuild their lives from the bottom up. These disasters, coupled with inadequate aid from the federal government due to its territorial status, have left the island with a population that is older and poorer — both characteristics that make its population more vulnerable to a Covid-19 outbreak. Immediately after Hurricane Maria, at least 123,000 people left the island, many of them working-age adults looking for jobs in the mainland US. That left many older people behind, and the population share of those beyond the age of 65 increased, going from 14 percent in 2008 to 21 percent in 2018, according to the Pew Research Center. This same group has been identified by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control as high risk for Covid-19. Puerto Rico’s status as a US territory, coupled with a long history of ineffective economic policies, corruption, and natural disasters, has also made its population poor: 44.9 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, a number that is much higher than the national average of 13.1 percent. About half of the island’s population relies on Medicaid, and 640,000 people receive food stamps. That means that many can’t afford to seek the proper medical attention to monitor their health and detect the virus in a timely manner. The high poverty level also affects people’s basic quality of life during quarantine, said Javier Nieves, an activist on the island. The shutdown is particularly painful for many of those who barely scrape by on a regular day and now no longer have an income. “It’s pretty frustrating and really painful. A lot of people are going to die because of all this irresponsibility,” Nieves said. “People live check by check. People live on WIC and food stamps.” Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images On March 15, Gov. Wanda Vazquez Garced imposed a curfew closing nonessential businesses and ordering people to stay home from 7 pm to 5 am. Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images A medical worker stands at the entrance of a municipal Covid-19 drive-through testing site in San Juan on March 25. Thelocal government passed a $787 million aid plan in March that includes $500 to self-employed people and a 90-day moratorium on mortgage, car, and personal loan payments. It’s one of the most generous stimulus plans released at a local level, but Nieves said more radical measures — such as a halt on bills and rents — need to be implemented to provide a proper social safety net for Puerto Rico’s vulnerable populations (Puerto Ricans are also eligible for federal unemployment benefits through the recently passed CARES Act). Then there’s the more deeply rooted issue of Puerto Rico’s poor health care system, which only got worse after Hurricane Maria. Thankfully, Dr. Wendy Matos, a professor at the University of Puerto Rico’s medical school, said, the hospitals haven’t been overwhelmed yet — but that could change when the island reaches its anticipated peak in early May. And if a major outbreak does happen, the island’s health care systems are poorly prepared: For a population of 3.2 million, there are only about 10,500 medical specialists and 500 ventilators, although experts predict they will need at least 3,000 if the virus spreads. The issue becomes more dire in rural areas like Vieques, a neighboring island that still hasn’t been able to open its only hospital since Hurricane Maria, according to Mark Martin, who founded the community group Vieques Love. Its substitute health center, built to fill the void of the hospital, isn’t equipped to treat Covid-19 patients. “Vieques is treated as a rural area, so its health system is built to stabilize and then ship you over to the main island where they have real hospitals,” Martin said. The system failed during the hurricane, yet the government has done little to provide relief. The government “isn’t learning from Maria,” he said. “They really should be boosting the local health center to a higher classification — if not a hospital, a higher level of treatment.” Despite effective social distancing policies, multiple scandals have left people skeptical of the government The island’s vulnerability to Covid-19 is precisely why Gov. Wanda Vázquez imposed some of the strictest social distancing measures in the US. Most businesses, other than grocery stores, banks, and pharmacies, are closed. And even these stores are inaccessible between the hours of 7 pm and 5 am, when Puerto Ricans aren’t allowed to leave their houses. Despite other valid criticism of the government, it’s important to give credit where credit’s due, Matos said: The curfew and lockdown has helped the island dodge a more catastrophic scenario. “I am a health educator and my background is in public health, but I never imagined that the virus was going to be so viral, so contagious,” she said. “I think that people are doing well and that the government took the right steps at the right moment, which was to lock down.” Jose Jimenez/Getty Images Demonstrators gather to demand the resignation of Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced and Senate President Thomas Rivera Shatz on January 23 in San Juan. Unfortunately, government scandals have raised skepticism among Puerto Ricans, Matos said. People are especially angered by the sheer mismanagement of testing kits: Because the government mistakenly ordered rapid testing kits that weren’t approved by the FDA, it is at risk of losing $19 million — an unfortunate loss for an island that is already in $74 billion of debt. Matos added that the lack of tests has contributed to the low number of confirmed cases, as many patients go undetected. The criteria for administering a test is incredibly strict, so it is difficult to detect community spread of Covid-19. Then there’s the frequent overturn in key cabinet positions, adding to the instability within the government. The island is on its third secretary of health in the past three weeks: The first, Rafael Rodríguez-Mercado, resigned after the island botched its response to early cases by mishandling samples, which led to delayed test results; the second, Dr. Concepción Quiñones de Longo, held her position for two weeks before resigning because she was unhappy with how the department was run. The latest, Dr. Lorenzo Gonzalez, has been doing a better job than his predecessors at handling the virus, Matos said, and is slowly starting to gain the trust of the people. Then there is the discovery of stashes of personal protective gear donated during Hurricane Maria. On Saturday, the health secretary announced that officials found a warehouse with $4 million worth of supplies, although most of it had expired. He added that an additional cache of usable face masks, gowns, and gloves was found in Vieques’s abandoned hospital. It’s ironic that the mismanagement of Hurricane Maria donations turned out to be a boon for health professionals fighting Covid-19 — but it doesn’t excuse the government’s past negligence, nor does it instill any confidence in the people that similar mistakes won’t be made again. For local activists who were long aware of this negligence, the narrative of the discovered supplies being a “blessing in disguise” is frustrating, Martin said. “It’s insulting that the health center now says we discovered this thing that we didn’t know, that these people didn’t tell us about, and we’re going to use them for good,” he said. “So I think that they played a role that is not giving us our tranquility ... what [they’re bringing] is controversy.” Puerto Ricans are used to taking on disasters as a community The Puerto Rican government has a poor track record when it comes to supporting its people in a timely manner during a crisis. It took some families a year to get their electricity back after Hurricane Maria. People were still living in tents a month after January’s earthquakes. By now, Puerto Ricans are used to feeling abandoned, Martin said. Puerto Ricans “waited for FEMA, they waited for the state government during Maria, and basically they never really came until people had gotten used to trauma and had figured out ways to cope or die,” he said. “There’s a lot of mistrust regarding what the government is going to do.” The past three years have taught Puerto Ricans to be more self-sufficient so that they don’t have to rely on the government, Matos said. Although they may not have been prepared for an outbreak like the Covid-19 pandemic to hit, they already knew how to gather and distribute resources effectively, she said. “We were ready in terms of ‘What do I need to do?’” she said. “Our survival mechanisms were up and running.” Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images Monsignor Jose Emilio Cummins gives communion to Iris Sepulveda as she sits in her car in San Juan on March 21. The key lesson Martin learned after Hurricane Maria was to build a stockpile of supplies as quickly as possible. It’s why his organization has swiftly set up donations and purchased supplies for doctors and nurses in Vieques. His group bought a $26,000 ventilator, $10,000 worth of personal protective gear, a disinfecting machine, and some nontoxic disinfectant for common areas. They’ve also brought six doctors from the main island to Vieques to train local doctors, nurses, and EMTs on how to combat Covid-19. Similar efforts to protect the community have been made by nonprofits on the main island. Accion Social de PR, a community organization that supports low-income families, is partnering with the Afya Foundation and San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino to deliver medical supplies to the homes of sick and older people. And groups like Makers Against COVID-19, the Rogue United, and mechanical engineering students from the University of Puerto Rico have teamed up to 3D-print face shields for health care workers. At the same time, Martin said, disaster preparation should be spearheaded by the government, not the people. Although officials have helped build a biohazard unit for potential patients and provided some protective gear, aid shouldn’t stop there if they want to rebuild trust with the people of Puerto Rico. “We would like to see a much more direct accountability of the people who should be supplying [these necessities], because sometimes, we’re so used to not getting them that we forget that this is like a mandate that somebody should be sending the stuff,” he said. “I think in the midst of chaos, accountability gets lost.”
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