The facts presented come from scientific papers, which have undergone a peer review and have been published in the best medical journals. Many of these facts were known before the end of February. If you had taken note of these medical facts and had been able to separate ideology, politics, and medicine, Switzerland would most likely be in a better position today: we would not have the second most COVID-19-positive people worldwide and one per capita significantly smaller number of people who lost their lives in the context of this pandemic. In addition, it is very likely that we would have no partial, incomplete lockdown of our economy and no controversial discussions about how we can "get out of here".
Northern Jordan Valley - This morning, Thursday, 26 March 2020, at around 7:30 am, officials from Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank arrived with a military jeep escort, a bulldozer and two flatbed trucks with cranes at the Palestinian community of Khirbet Ibziq in the northern Jordan Valley. They confiscated poles and sheeting that were meant to form eight tents, two for a field clinic, and four for emergency housing for residents evacuated from their homes, and two as makeshift mosques. The force also confiscated a tin shack in place for more than two years, as well as a power generator and sacks of sand and cement. Four pallets of cinder blocks intended for the tent floors were taken away and four others demolished.
New York is the area hardest hit by the coronavirus currently in the United States with over 60,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths, ranking it as the sixth highest number of cases in the world. The area in and around New York City has the most cases. Governor Cuomo is scrambling for hospital beds and equipment. The Army Corps of Engineers has been called in to convert convention centers and other large spaces into temporary hospitals. A naval hospital ship is heading up from southern Virginia to provide support. The city is bringing in refrigerated trucks to store dead bodies and China is sending planeloads of medical supplies. We speak with Dr. Mike Pappas, who is working on the front line of this crisis about COVID-19, how health professionals are handling it, how it is exposing the flaws in our healthcare and economic systems and what systems would protect people.
Some 2,000 beds, nine laboratories and thousands of staff have been drafted into the public system, Leo Varadkar said at a press conference today. Speaking at the same press conference, Health Minister Simon Harris said “there can be no room for public versus private” when responding to the Covid-19 crisis. “We must of course have equality of treatment, patients with this virus will be treated for free, and they’ll be treated as part of a single, national hospital service. “For the duration of this crisis the State will take control of all private hospital facilities and manage all of the resources for the common benefit of all of our people. There can be no room for public versus private when it comes to pandemic,” Harris said. A further 219 cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Republic of Ireland last night, bringing the total number of cases here to 1,125.
The request was not much of an “about-face” for Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro, because it was the same type of disaster relief loan the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave to Ecuador in 2016 under former President Rafael Correa, another blunt IMF critic, after a massive earthquake. The loan was not one of the IMF’s infamous “structural adjustment loans” that impose a menu of right-wing economic policies such as tax cuts for the rich, privatization of state assets and public sector lay-offs. The IMF’s rejection of the $5 billion emergency loan for Venezuela is, all by itself, justification for Maduro’s “assassin” and “tool of US imperialism” charges against the fund. The IMF said that it refused the loan because “there is no clarity” on whether the “international community” recognizes Maduro’s government.
Hospitals all over the western world are bracing for a tsunami of intensely ill patients suffering from breathing difficulties due to the Coronavirus. In Britain, car companies are scrambling to produce ventilators. Plans are being laid for the army to build hospitals in conference centres. In Ontario, Canada, wards are being cleared, plans are being laid, models of infection are being scrutinised. If 70 percent of the population does not cut its social engagement by 70 percent, locking down will not work. Nerves are jangling. So what do you think it is like in Gaza? This is not a question heard often these days, when Palestinians have been dropped off the international agenda, either as refugees or as people. What do you think the prospect is for a besieged enclave that has 56 ventilators and 40 intensive care beds for a population of two million?
On March 12, I shared five #LocalYear commitments to help me go more local. Little did I know how local things would get in just one week. The next day local schools closed due to the coronavirus. Three days later six San Francisco Bay Area counties, including ours, issued a “shelter in place” order affecting seven million people in California’s coronavirus hotspot. Three days after that, Gov. Gavin Newsom did the same for all of California. Ordinary life in California has come to a near standstill. Birdsong has replaced the howl of traffic in my neighborhood. Downtown Mountain View is a near ghost town. Many shops and restaurants are closed, some for good. Aside from daily walks, my family is staying at ground zero of local — our house.
Banality may mask absurd tragedy. The Pentagon specializes in such veiled bromides. If anything, this Age of Corona is thus illustrative. To wit, Americans awoke on Thursday to this report in the nation’s “paper of record” — “The Army earlier this week ordered a halt to most training, exercises and nonessential activities that require troops to be in close contact…but abruptly reversed itself. …” On a certain level, the rescinded order made sense. After all, military decisions flow downward. Atop that hierarchy sits the commander-in-chief, who, just days ago, hinted at rapidly curtailed social distancing policies, a reopened economy, and visions of “packed churches” on Easter Sunday. That’s two odd weeks from now. Still, in the wake of the Army’s volte-face, word was, a sort of befuddlement ensued — in the ranks, and among commanders.
The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) confirmed late Saturday night that a federal inmate has died from COVID-19—the first known death of an inmate in the federal prison system. Reuters reports that Patrick Jones, 49, an inmate at a low-security federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana, died from complications after contracting COVID-19. According to the latest numbers from the BOP, 14 inmates and 13 staff members are infected with the virus. Civil liberties groups, criminal justice advocates, and families of inmates have been begging the Justice Department to get elderly and at-risk inmates out of federal prisons, saying the effects of outbreaks inside prison walls could be catastrophic. There are roughly 20,000 inmates over the age of 55 in the federal prison system.
Panic has gripped an immigrant detention center in New Jersey where a staffer tested positive for COVID-19 last week, according to several detainees who complained in telephone interviews that officials have shared little information, at times failed to give them soap and are not doing enough to protect them from contagion. The positive coronavirus test from a medical staffer at the Elizabeth Detention Center...
The initial outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) took place in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, in early January 2020. The epidemic was limited almost entirely to China until a month later, when it flared up in Iran, South Korea, Japan and Italy. By 11 March, it was clear that sustained community-level transmission of the virus was occurring in multiple regions...
The coronavirus, a threat at the microscopic level. is galloping towards us. It is predicted that as many as half of us will contract it. It is especially deadly for the elderly and those with underlying health problems. Poverty and racism make it worse, a lot worse. But all of us are threatened. There is a growing demand for equality in how we help people but the wealthy still dominated the pending federal bailout. The swamp is churning.
The members of the Tourism Alert and Action Forum come from organizations around the world that have joined in solidarity to oppose exploitative forms of tourism and to act in solidarity with communities against such practices. We are watching the pandemic crisis with great concern, grounded in the knowledge that such crises: impact the most vulnerable communities disproportionately; that such crises are used to enact authoritarian policies and surveillance that long outlasts the crisis; and that corporate sectors and elites stand set to take advantage of this crisis. The corporate tourism, hospitality and events sectors have been brought to their knees by efforts to curtail and control the pandemic. Borders have been shut, travel has been banned, social activities have been curtailed and people told to stay in their homes.
Not even two weeks into an extraordinary response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the upper echelons of capital are wondering whether saving millions of lives is really worth the damage being done to their investment portfolios. According to reports, the debate among the ruling class is over whether or not to walk back some of the measures taken to slow the spread of the virus -- efforts already considered tardy and inadequate by public health experts -- in order to minimize business losses. Like many elite notions, this idea was first launched in the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal. An unsigned editorial there is the most visible the vanguard of the bourgeoisie ever really make their deliberations, and (behind a paywall, of course) was especially candid.
Like a wartime enemy, the virus is portrayed as a maleficent external threat, an alien force that endangers one’s homeland and personal security. Associating the biological threat with a political adversary, the American president labeled it a “Chinese virus,” while Chinese leaders have insisted that, despite its apparent origin in Wuhan Province, the virus was originally manufactured at the Pentagon’s recently closed biological warfare facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland. This game of blame-the-adversary is absurd, of course, but the wartime analogy nevertheless has some validity. As in total war – the sort of no-holds barred struggle represented by the 20th century’s two world wars – the entire population is mobilized and required to make sacrifices, while government powers are expanded, and industry is retooled to supply the needs of front line forces.