In Torrent of Falsehoods, Trump Claims Election Is Being Stolen

first_imgHe convinced few people who were not already in his corner. Most of the television networks cut away from the statement on the grounds that what Mr. Trump was saying was not true. On CNN, former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a Republican often put in the position of defending Mr. Trump over the years, appeared exasperated as he denounced the president’s loose talk of election thievery as “dangerous” and “shocking” and declared that “counting absentee ballots and counting mail-in ballots is not fraud.”- Advertisement – The New York Post, which published salacious articles on Hunter Biden planted by Mr. Trump’s associates before the election, headlined an article: “Downcast Trump Makes Baseless Election Fraud Claims in White House Address.” Even Fox News noted it had seen no “hard evidence” of widespread wrongdoing.“There is no defense for the President’s comments tonight undermining our Democratic process,” Gov. Larry Hogan, Republican of Maryland and a critic of the president, wrote on Twitter. “America is counting the votes, and we must respect the results as we always have before. No election or person is more important than our Democracy.” For much of the year, some Trump advisers questioned whether the president actually wanted a second term, or if he simply did not want to be seen as the worst epithet in his lexicon: a loser. The answer still was not clear as the votes were being tallied this week.He sounded dejected on Thursday evening as he went through a litany of random minor incidents involving ballots, called Philadelphia and Detroit “corrupt” and insisted he had actually won an election in which former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was leading by millions of votes nationally and appeared likely to assemble a majority in the Electoral College once a handful of swing states finished counting.Mr. Trump bemoaned how many by-mail votes appeared to be cast for Democrats. “They’re finding ballots all of a sudden: ‘Oh, we have some mail-in ballots,’” he said. “It’s amazing how those mail-in ballots are so one-sided.” He glossed over the fact that he had spent months telling his supporters that mail-in balloting was corrupt and urging them to vote in person instead.He likewise lashed out at others, as well, seeking many to blame for his troubles. “The pollsters got it knowingly wrong,” he said. (In fact, they did get many results wrong, but there is no evidence that it was intentional.)“The voting apparatus of those states are run in all cases by Democrats,” he said of states still counting. (In fact, Georgia and Arizona have Republican governors.)“We won a case, a big case,” he said. (In fact, the campaign simply won a court ruling saying that observers should be allowed to stand six feet away from counting rather than farther away.)After he was done, the president took no questions from reporters and marched out of the room, looking glum. It was the kind of appearance that several aides had said made them happy he had remained out of public view since the early hours of Wednesday morning, when he insisted he had won the election as several key states still had not had a projected winner and called what was taking place a “fraud” on the American public. Allies said privately that the president seemed to be raging against the inevitable and was only doing damage with his baseless accusations about widespread fraud. Even allies who said they shared some of his concerns in a targeted way about specific rules governing mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic were unwilling to join Mr. Trump’s unfounded claims.Many of those who did comment merely said they wanted “transparency” or for all “legal” votes to be counted, a phrase used by Vice President Mike Pence on Twitter that was intended to sound as if he was echoing Mr. Trump. Inside Mr. Trump’s circle, Kellyanne Conway, his former counselor, was one of the few who spoke of counting all of the votes. Former Gov. Chris Christie, Republican of New Jersey and a longtime ally of Mr. Trump’s, likewise disputed the president. “I talk tonight now not as a former governor but as a former U.S. attorney — there’s just no basis to make that argument tonight,” he said on ABC News. “There just isn’t.” – Advertisement – The Trump campaign is filing a series of lawsuits, but allies of the White House have said the approach seems to be aimed at both running out the clock and appeasing a litigious president, who often turns to legal filings as an immediate course of action.But while Mr. Trump has some experienced lawyers and political professionals leading his campaign, the public effort to raise questions about the election has been disjointed and appeared thrown together at the last minute. Some administration officials said they were mortified by footage of Mr. Giuliani bellowing in Philadelphia.Some of Mr. Trump’s allies have encouraged the call for a blitz of legal action, including people like Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist who faces criminal charges for an allegedly fraudulent scheme scamming supporters of Mr. Trump’s border wall.Republicans have begun having discussions about how to broach the topic with Mr. Trump of focusing on life after the presidency, and what leaving quietly could mean for his family, his business and his own ability to remain in politics.Some have suggested that sounding notes of encouragement about a 2024 campaign could be effective. Others believe that he will concede if it is clear he has lost, but that he will most likely never publicly accept the result.In the meantime, Mr. Trump’s advisers were divided on what he should be doing until the final vote counts are announced. There were some discussions about his holding a rally as soon as this weekend, one person briefed on the talks said.But after Mr. Trump’s briefing room appearance, several advisers conceded that the clock on the Trump presidency was almost certainly winding down.Peter Baker reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York. Catie Edmondson and Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting from Washington. Updated Nov. 5, 2020, 11:53 p.m. ETcenter_img After Donald Trump Jr. went after Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, for not speaking up, the senator went on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox on Thursday night and came to the president’s defense, asserting with no evidence that “Philadelphia elections are crooked as a snake” and that the “allegations of wrongdoing are earth shattering.”Others like Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and John Barrasso of Wyoming offered support for Mr. Trump’s insistence that election observers be allowed to watch counting, which in general they are, without embracing the claims that the election was being stolen. “The president is right to ensure all legally cast votes be observed and counted,” Mr. Barrasso said.But they were among the few who spoke up to echo Mr. Trump’s refrain that he was being denied his due in the form of winning the election, a primal scream emanating from the president that was summed up earlier in the day by his own angry, plaintive, all-caps tweet: “STOP THE COUNT!” WASHINGTON — Even for President Trump, it was an imagined version of reality, one in which he was not losing but the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy stretching across the country in multiple cities, counties and states, involving untold numbers of people all somehow collaborating to steal the election in ways he could not actually explain.Never mind that Mr. Trump presented not a shred of evidence during his first public appearance since late on election night or that few senior Republican officeholders endorsed his false claims of far-reaching fraud. A presidency born in a lie about Barack Obama’s birthplace appeared on the edge of ending in a lie about his own faltering bid for re-election.- Advertisement – Brad Parscale, who was removed this year as the president’s campaign manager, echoed the theme in more menacing terms. “If you want to win in 2024 as a Republican,” he wrote, “I would probably start saying something.” “If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” Mr. Trump said Thursday night in an unusually subdued, 17-minute televised statement from the lectern in the White House briefing room, complaining that Democrats, the news media, pollsters, big technology companies and nonpartisan election workers had all corruptly sought to deny him a second term.“This is a case where they’re trying to steal an election,” he said. “They’re trying to rig an election, and we can’t let that happen.” – Advertisement – With his presidency on the line, Mr. Trump’s lonely appearance in the briefing room with no allies joining him and only staff members and reporters in attendance underscored how isolated he has become just two days after Election Day. With vote counts in key states turning grimmer even as he spoke, Mr. Trump was poised to end this term in office the way he began his presidential campaign in 2015 — defended most vocally by family members and a few loyalists while Republican leaders held him at arm’s length rather than embrace outlandish claims.With Republican members of Congress largely staying silent or issuing anodyne comments about the importance of transparent vote counting, Mr. Trump was left to dispatch his two adult sons to hold news conferences in Pennsylvania and Georgia to protest aspects of the vote count. They were accompanied by allies like Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, and Corey Lewandowski, his first campaign manager from 2016. The same scene played out in Nevada, where a Trump ally, Richard Grenell, made claims about voting fraud that news outlets debunked a short time later.Members of Mr. Trump’s inner circle sounded almost desperate as they sought to threaten other Republicans into backing Mr. Trump. Both Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump posted messages on Twitter complaining that Republicans were not standing with their father, especially those who may want his support if they run for president in four years.“The total lack of action from virtually all of the ‘2024 GOP hopefuls’ is pretty amazing,” Donald Trump Jr. wrote. “They have a perfect platform to show that they’re willing & able to fight but they will cower to the media mob instead.”“Where are Republicans!” Eric Trump added about an hour and a half later. “Have some backbone. Fight against this fraud. Our voters will never forget you if your sheep!”last_img read more

Covid-19 Live Updates: Housing Secretary Ben Carson Tests Positive for the Virus

first_imgPresident-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. made remarks on his plan to fight Covid-19 and build back the economy.CreditCredit…Amr Alfiky/The New York TimesPresident-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. named Dr. Rick Bright, a former top vaccine official in the Trump administration who submitted a whistle-blower complaint to Congress, as a member of a Covid-19 panel to advise him during the transition, officials announced Monday.Dr. Bright, who was ousted as the head of a federal medical research agency, told lawmakers that officials in the government had failed to heed his warnings about acquiring masks and other supplies. He said that Americans died from the virus because of the Trump administration’s failure to act.- Advertisement – On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose more than 3 percent in early trading before falling back as the day went on. A gain of more than 2 percent for the day would leave it above its Sept. 2 closing record of 3,580.84. Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, has tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesman said on Monday.Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times “Secretary Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus. He is in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery,” said Coalter Baker, the agency’s deputy chief of staff, in an email.Mr. Carson, a neurosurgeon who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, has defended Mr. Trump’s response to the virus.Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, tested positive last week. Five other White House aides and a Trump campaign adviser also tested positive for the virus in the days before and after Election Day, people familiar with the diagnoses told The Times on Friday.- Advertisement – transcriptBack Video TAIPEI, Taiwan — A virtual meeting of the World Health Organization that will largely focus on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic began Monday, involving representatives from more than 190 countries.Noticeably absent was a place that has won international praise for its success in controlling a virus that has sickened more than 50 million people and killed more than 1.2 million around the world: Taiwan.As of Monday, Taiwan had not yet received an invitation to join the World Health Assembly meeting, which will end on Saturday, according to a spokeswoman for Taiwan’s foreign ministry, despite a multilateral effort led by the United States to support the island’s bid for observer status.The self-governed island, which Beijing claims as its own territory, had observer status until 2016. That changed when Taiwan elected President Tsai Ing-wen, who is loathed by the Chinese Communist Party. Since then, Beijing has repeatedly blocked Taiwan’s efforts to participate in the assembly.Joanne Ou, spokeswoman for Taiwan’s foreign ministry, said in a statement that excluding Taiwan “not only ignores the health rights of the Taiwanese people, but is also very ironic considering the lofty goal of ‘health for all’ that is outlined in the W.H.O.’s charter.” Since December, Taiwan, which has a population of 23 million, has had only 578 cases and 7 deaths from the virus.The W.H.O. has previously been criticized for its excessive praise of the Chinese government in the early days of the pandemic and for ceding control to China in the crucial search for the animal origin of the coronavirus.Among the agency’s most vocal critics is President Trump, who earlier announced that the United States would withdraw from it. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has said he would restore U.S. membership in the organization. The drug maker Pfizer announced on Monday that an early analysis of its coronavirus vaccine trial suggested the vaccine was robustly effective in preventing Covid-19, a promising development as the world has waited anxiously for any positive news about a pandemic that has killed more than 1.2 million people.Pfizer, which developed the vaccine with the German drug maker BioNTech, released only sparse details from its clinical trial, based on the first formal review of the data by an outside panel of experts.Pfizer said that the analysis found that the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective in preventing the disease among trial volunteers who had no evidence of prior coronavirus infection. If the results hold up, that level of protection would put it on par with highly effective childhood vaccines for diseases such as measles. No serious safety concerns have been observed, the company said.Pfizer plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization of the two-dose vaccine later this month, after it has collected the recommended two months of safety data. By the end of the year it will have manufactured enough doses to immunize 15 to 20 million people, company executives have said.Independent scientists have cautioned against hyping early results before long-term safety and efficacy data has been collected. Still, Pfizer is the first company to announce positive results from a late-stage vaccine trial.Eleven vaccines are in late-stage trials, including four in the United States. Pfizer’s progress could bode well for Moderna’s vaccine, which uses similar technology. The news comes just days after Joseph R. Biden Jr. clinched a victory over President Trump in the presidential election. Mr. Trump had repeatedly hinted a vaccine would be ready before Election Day, Nov. 3. This fall, Pfizer’s chief executive, Dr. Albert Bourla, frequently claimed that the company could have a “readout” by October, something that did not come to pass.Both President Trump and President-elect Biden hailed the news on Monday.Operation Warp Speed, the federal effort to rush a vaccine to market, has promised Pfizer $1.95 billion to deliver 100 million doses to the federal government, which will be given to Americans free of charge. But in an interview, Kathrin Jansen, a senior vice president and the head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer, sought to distance the company from Operation Warp Speed and presidential politics, noting that the company — unlike the other vaccine front-runners — did not take any federal money to help pay for research and development.She said she learned of the results from the outside panel of experts shortly after 1 p.m. on Sunday, and that the timing was not influenced by the election. “We have always said that science is driving how we conduct ourselves — no politics,” she said.The data released by Pfizer Monday was delivered in a news release, not a peer-reviewed medical journal. It is not conclusive evidence that the vaccine is safe and effective, and the initial finding of more than 90 percent efficacy could change as the trial goes on. Pfizer’s headquarters in New York.Credit…Jeenah Moon/Getty Images Unfortunately we’re also dealing with an immense challenge this morning because we see the presence of the coronavirus in the city and it’s trying to reassert itself. And we have to do everything in our power while we’re waiting for that help from the federal government to finally come, we need to do everything in our power to stop the coronavirus from reasserting in New York City. We have to stop a second wave from happening here. It is getting dangerously close. I’ve been telling you for weeks that we had the ability to stop a second wave. And for weeks, actually, our numbers were higher than we wanted, but they had leveled off. Now, unfortunately, we’re seeing a real growth in the positivity rate in the city. And that is dangerous. So we have one last chance to stop a second wave. It’s as simple as this. This is my message to all New Yorkers today: We can stop a second wave if we act immediately. But we have one last chance. So the more that people wear masks, practice social distancing, all those basics, the more we’re able to fight back that second wave. So I can’t give you a timeline. It will actually depend on how people respond to your reporting and everything else we put out there. If they take decisive action, that can make a huge difference. But it is important, I think, to lay out the danger in terms of new restrictions because I think it will make it very visual, very real to people what we’re up against. God forbid this continued and we had a full-blown second wave, it means a lot more restrictions. It means, unfortunately, it could mean even having to shut down parts of our economy again, which would be horrible for this city, horrible for the livelihoods of people. German states are preparing to distribute coronavirus vaccines when they become available by setting up 60 decentralized centers across the country to provide fast and efficient access to doses.“The impact of the pandemic is once again very clear to all of us, and we look forward to the vaccine development with great hope,” said Alena Buyx, the head of Germany’s ethics council, which advises the government, during a news conference on Monday. “Very soon vaccines will be available and many people will ask who will get them first.”The details of the plan came on the same day that Pfizer announced that a vaccine it has been working on with the German drugmaker BioNTech was more than 90 percent effective in preventing the coronavirus among trial volunteers who had no evidence of prior virus infection.Together with a federal standing commission on vaccines and the National Academy of Sciences, the ethics council presented a framework that would prioritize elderly people at high risk, doctors and other caregivers who are often exposed to the disease and those who are in key positions, such as teachers and police officers.“If everyone pulls together now, we will take important steps until next summer to leave this pandemic behind us,” said Gerald Haug, the president of the National Academy of Science. Mr. Haug said that until the vaccines are widely available and administered, people would have to continue to keep to social distancing, mask use and hygiene rules.Jens Spahn, the German health minister, has previously said he expects Germany to have access to enough vaccinations to immunize 47 million of its citizens as the vaccines will require several doses. Initial vaccinations will unlikely be licensed for children or pregnant women. Scientists believe up to 70 percent of a population needs to be immunized for a herd immunity to take effect.In its second week of lockdown, Germany has been registering a record number of new infections. An employee at an Amazon facility in Naples, Italy in September. The online retailer has seen a massive increase in earnings during the pandemic. Credit…Gianni Cipriano for The New York Times Experts worry that some of the hundreds of thousands of departing college students will be “little ticking time bombs” in spreading the coronavirus.Credit…Lee Klafczynski for The New York Times Video player loading Coronavirus cases in New York are swiftly rising, and Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that the city was “dangerously close” to a second wave that might mean more restrictions.CreditCredit…Mark Abramson for The New York TimesGov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey laid out new restrictions for the state on Monday, calling for restaurants and nightclubs to shut down indoor service at 10 p.m. starting Thursday, and saying that no one may be seated directly at the bar.High school sports teams are not permitted to participate in out-of-state tournaments, but college athletes may still travel.Mr. Murphy said he would continue to consider additional targeted restrictions on nonessential businesses.New Jersey’s seven-day average of coronavirus cases now exceeds 2,000 infections a day, or 24 per 100,000 people, the highest rate since May. Last week, the average rate of positive tests, a key indicator of a state’s control of the virus, reached 6 percent. Hospitalizations have also been rising, though death rates have not spiked.Mr. Murphy, a Democrat, said in interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday that the new rules would be designed to “shave at the edges,” without imposing a full lockdown.The new limits on businesses comes about two weeks after Newark, the state’s largest city, took similar action on its own to confront a hot spot centered in the Ironbound neighborhood, one of the state’s most thriving restaurant districts.As coronavirus cases have surged to records across the United States, the New York City area had hoped to keep the outbreak at bay and press ahead with its slow but steady recovery from the dark days of spring. But now, the forecast is turning more alarming.The number of new infections is swiftly rising, with more than 1,000 cases identified in New York City four days in a row this past week, or 12 per 100,000 people, a level that last occurred in May, according to a New York Times database. City health officials and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s aides have been discussing whether new citywide restrictions should be imposed, including a broader shutdown of nonessential businesses if the citywide, seven-day positivity rate average climbs, and stays, above 3 percent. The figure was 2.21 percent, according to the city’s health department.Speaking to reporters on Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the so-called red zone covering parts of Brooklyn was being downgraded to orange, which allows for less severe restrictions. Parts of Erie, Monroe and Onondaga Counties would face greater restrictions, though, he said.“This is going to be the constant for the foreseeable future,” Mr. Cuomo said, of his “whack-a-mole” approach to battling the virus.Hospitalizations and death rates are a small fraction of what they were at the height of the pandemic, and case count comparisons can be tricky, given that much more testing is occurring now. Around the state, the daily average of new cases for the last seven days was 2,757, or 14 per 100,000 people as of Sunday, according to the Times database.What’s more, the positivity rate in New York City is still well below that in neighboring states.Mr. de Blasio said on Monday that “now, unfortunately, we are seeing a real growth in the positivity rate in the city, and that is dangerous.”He added, “This is my message to all New Yorkers: We can stop a second wave if we act immediately, but we have one last chance and everyone has to be a part of it.”The city’s contact tracing program has disclosed few details about which trends and patterns are contributing to transmission. But one city health official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to share details from internal discussions, said clusters had been traced to workplaces, including construction sites and offices. The official cautioned that no new restrictions — like asking people to resume work from home — were imminent, and there were some signs that the mayor was reluctant to impose new ones.With regard to restaurants in New York, Mr. de Blasio would only say that it was time to re-evaluate allowing limited indoor dining. A soldier disinfecting the staircase in an elementary school in Szolnok, Hungary, last month.Credit…Janos Meszaros/MTI, via Associated Press At 69, Mr. Carson is at an elevated risk for complications. He is also a cancer survivor, having undergone surgery in 2002 for an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Ben Carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a spokesman for the agency, the latest in a long list of administration officials, including President Trump, to contract the virus.- Advertisement – Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said Monday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the latest leader to contract the virus despite the extensive protective measures available to a head of state.Mr. Zelensky, who is 42 and not known to have any of the underlying conditions that could put him at risk of developing severe illness from the virus, said in a post in English on Twitter that he felt “good” and was taking vitamins, adding, “it’s gonna be fine!”The Ukrainian president said he intended to isolate himself but keep working. It was not clear if he had shown any symptoms. The president’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, has also tested positive, according to a statement he posted on Facebook minutes after the president’s tweet.The announcement came after reports earlier this month of an outbreak spreading in the Ukrainian leadership. Cases have been shooting up in Ukraine. The country reported an average of 9,525 cases per day over the past seven days.Mr. Zelensky has consistently urged Ukrainians to wear masks and to take other coronavirus precautions seriously. He often appears in public wearing a mask or on television conducting business by video conference.Critics have, however, taken issue with a decision by his political party, which controls Parliament, to allocate more than half of a coronavirus relief fund intended for hospitals to road construction instead.Mr. Zelensky, a former comedian, was elected president last spring and within months became entangled in an American political scandal when President Trump requested, in a telephone call, that he investigate now President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Mr. Biden’s family. Caught between the surging pandemic on the one hand, and political pressure to keep schools and businesses open on the other, many state governors have been trying to walk a fine line lately, by strongly urging mask-wearing and other precautions without mandating them. But the governor of Utah said on Sunday that he had to step over that line, and others may soon do the same. “Due to the alarming rate of Covid infections.” Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, wrote on Twitter, he was announcing a new state of emergency, including a mask mandate that would apply statewide. Social gatherings would be limited to “household only” for the next two weeks, he wrote, and all extracurricular activities at schools would be put on hold.He emphasized that the measures were “not shutting down our economy, but are absolutely necessary to save lives and hospital capacity.”Since Election Day, some states have shifted toward taking additional steps to rein in the virus, or have signaled that such action may be coming. On Friday, Gov. Mike Dunleavy of Alaska extended his state’s emergency declaration for another 30 days, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois warned that a new stay-at-home order may be necessary if the virus’s spread in the state does not slow soon.In New Jersey, Gov. Philip D. Murphy said he planned to announce some tightening of the state’s restrictions on Monday, perhaps including limits on restaurant hours and bar seating, without imposing a full lockdown. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has called for the whole nation to be under a mask mandate, announced the creation of a coronavirus advisory board on Monday to get started on his administration’s pandemic response policies.Utah, which has recently been reporting an average of more than 2,000 new coronavirus cases a day over the last week, is one of a number of states in the Great Plains and Mountain West where hospitals are rapidly filling to crisis levels. The Salt Lake Tribune reported on Sunday that 424 Utahns were hospitalized with Covid-19, a record for the state and an increase of nearly 25 percent from a week earlier. In neighboring Idaho, one of the state’s largest hospitals had to turn away patients over the weekend for lack of space, The Idaho Statesman reported. “In my 11 years as governor, I have seen Utahns do remarkable things,” Governor Herbert wrote in his announcement Sunday night. “We have overcome extraordinary challenges and great adversity. I implore you now to do all you can to stop the spread. It is time for Utahns to unite in this response and bring healing back to our state.” Video player loading A new partial lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus in France is having a smaller impact on the national economy than a total lockdown earlier this year, the French central bank said Monday. But business leaders still expect a sharp decline in activity across the board in November, as order books at construction companies shrink, the bank added.France’s second lockdown, which began Oct. 17 and is now expected to stretch beyond Dec. 1, was aimed at minimizing damage to the economy just as a recovery was starting to take hold during a summer rebound. Unlike the earlier lockdown, France is allowing public services and schools to stay open, and activity at construction and factory sites to continue.The Banque de France said it expected the economy was likely to show a shrinkage of about 12 percent in November from a year ago. That compares with a wrenching 31 percent year-over-year contraction in April, when economic activity ground to a halt.Whether that improvement lasts remains to be seen. Fears of coronavirus outbreaks have worsened the outlook for French business activity, and are likely to lead to a wave of layoffs, economists say.French companies have said they expect earnings to decline in 2021, and they don’t expect to substantially increase spending on capital investment.Working from home, and the use of socially distanced workplaces has so far helped maintain corporate activity. The opening of schools is easing child care burdens for employees with children.Activity in agro-foods, pharmaceuticals and other industrial sectors enjoyed a bounce after an earlier national quarantine, and are now back to pre-pandemic levels, the central bank added.At the same time, a quarter of the economy remains hard hit by social-distancing measures, including hotels, restaurants, tourism and catering, the central bank said. Hungary and Portugal are the latest European countries to adopt new measures like curfews and limits on gatherings to curb rapid rises in new coronavirus cases.Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary said there would be a general curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., and that all public events would be banned, with family and private gatherings capped at 10 people. Restaurants will only offer delivery services and hotels will be limited to catering to business travelers.High schools and higher education institutions will be moving to online classes, and dormitories will be closed, although nurseries, kindergartens, and primary schools will remain open. Sporting events will be held behind closed doors and gyms, indoor swimming pools, museums, theaters, and zoos will be closed.The government will also extend some benefits, including payroll tax cuts and salary contributions, to the tourism and hospitality sector.The new rules will need to be approved by Parliament, which is controlled by Mr. Orban’s party, and would be in place for 30 days.Nearly 2,500 people have died after contracting the virus in Hungary since the start of the year, according to government figures, with three-quarters of the deaths occurring after Sept. 1. More than 114,000 people have tested positive for the virus in Hungary. Portugal returned on Monday to a state of emergency that gives its government enhanced powers to impose lockdown measures to stop a second wave of Covid-19.But the government has so far opted for relatively lenient restrictions compared to those introduced recently in some other European countries. As of Monday, about 7.1 million of the 10 million residents of Portugal must respect a nighttime curfew that runs from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., as well as a stricter one during the coming two weekends, from 1 p.m. to 5 a.m. The government said it would review the situation after Nov. 23 before deciding whether to extend the state of emergency.On Friday, the country registered 5,550 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily figure since the pandemic started. The number of patients in Portugal’s intensive care units has also climbed this month to over 300, which is more than at the peak in April.In Andalusia, the southern region of Spain that borders Portugal and is home to about 8.4 million inhabitants, the regional authorities have ordered residents to remain within their municipalities. Bars and restaurants must close at 6 p.m., except in the province of Granada, where establishments must remain fully shuttered because of the high infection rate. Andalusia now has 457 Covid-19 patients in intensive care units, which is also a record since the start of the pandemic last March. Markets were already higher before Pfizer said a vaccine it was developing with BioNTech was found to have been more than 90 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 infections, based on a large study. Pfizer said by the end of the year, it will have manufactured enough doses of the vaccine to immunize 15 million to 20 million people. Scientists have cautioned against hyping early results before long-term safety and efficacy data has been collected, and no one knows how long the vaccine’s protection might last. It’s likely to be months before Pfizer’s vaccine or any other is able to substantially curb the coronavirus outbreak. The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 index surged 4 percent, its biggest one-day gain since March, while the FTSE 100 in Britain rose 4.7 percent. In Asian markets, which closed before Pfizer announced its news, the Nikkei 225 in Japan ended the day 2.1 percent stronger, and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong finished up 1.2 percent. Crude oil prices also leapt about 9 percent, to more than $40 a barrel. Prices for government bonds — where investors traditionally park funds during times of uncertainty — tumbled sharply. Salt Lake County public health nurses at a testing site in Utah last month.Credit…Rick Bowmer/Associated Press Shares of companies that would benefit from a return to economic normalcy surged. American Airlines and United Airlines rose about 17 percent. Carnival, the cruise ship operator, rose nearly 36 percent. Also sharply higher were the shopping center owners Simon Property Group and Kimco Realty, the concert promoter Live Nation, and the office-building owner Vornado Realty Trust. Shanghai managed to avoid a widespread coronavirus outbreak last winter despite being in the same Yangtze River system as Wuhan, where the virus first emerged.Credit…Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images The 2020 calendar promised an especially notable Veterans Day, marking 75 years after World War II ended and 70 years after the Korean War began. But just as the pandemic changed the calculus for the more joyful holidays of summer, so too is it upending plans for the more somber holiday this week that commemorates those who served the nation in wartime.Many cities around the country have canceled events; others plan to hold them virtually. Here is how some of the country’s prominent observances are being affected.The annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery will take place at 11 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, and will be streamed live online. The cemetery will be open to the public that day, with masks required, but the Memorial Amphitheater and the Tomb of the Unknowns will be closed. At several veterans’ cemeteries in Maryland, ceremonies will take place with attendance limited to 250 people.Philadelphia, which held its Veterans Day events over the weekend, went entirely virtual. Birmingham, Ala., whose annual parade is believed to be one of the nation’s oldest, canceled in-person events in favor of a virtual parade and fireworks display; organizers said it was the first time they had done so.In New York, which usually holds one of the nation’s largest commemorations, organizers said a 120-vehicle motorcade would follow the regular parade route down Fifth Avenue on Wednesday carrying representatives of the groups that usually march, while online, a virtual “line of march” displays profiles of participants. Veterans’ motorcycle clubs would also ride the route, and small, socially distanced wreath layings would be held throughout the city, according to the United War Veterans Council in New York.Some cities, like Las Vegas, canceled their events entirely. Others planned to hold Veterans Day 5K runs, fireworks and parades, and place flags on grave sites, with social distance precautions and fewer attendees.Though many colleges have had significant virus outbreaks or imposed tight restrictions on their campuses to stave off infection, some schools, like Wichita State University and Missouri State University, said they would welcome veterans to on-campus commemorations or make the events viewable online. Commuters wait for a train on the Paris underground last week. France’s latest lockdown is taking less of a toll on the economy than the shutdown imposed earlier this year, the central bank said.Credit…Martin Bureau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images “Hurdles still remain,” said Karen Ward, a strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. “We need to find out more about production capabilities, rollout and takeup. But for now, this is shifting the winners and losers.” transcript‘We Can Stop a Second Wave,’ N.Y.C. Mayor SaysCoronavirus cases in New York are swiftly rising, and Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that the city was “dangerously close” to a second wave that might mean more restrictions. Trading on Monday followed the best week for the S&P 500 since April, as investors became more convinced that President-elect Biden would govern alongside a Republican-held Senate. However, two runoff elections in Georgia mean the control of the Senate will not be known until January. Since the start of the fall semester, most universities have planned to end in-person classes before Thanksgiving and require students to finish the term remotely, partly to avoid an expected wave of cold-weather infections. That means that in a couple of weeks, hundreds of thousands of students will be crisscrossing the country by plane, train, bus and car, streaming back to hometowns until the spring semester begins.So what are colleges and universities doing to reduce the chances that those students might carry the coronavirus with them?As has been true with so much of the nation’s response to the pandemic, the answer is a patchwork of policies, with a minority of schools mandating that students test negative on coronavirus tests before they can leave campus — and many more offering little more than optional testing and advice.For example, Indiana University in Bloomington — where dozens of fraternity and sorority houses had to quarantine in September — will open its weekly surveillance testing to all of the 42,000 students living on or near campus. But the testing will be voluntary for most.The University of Michigan — where infections recently spiked so severely that local health officials issued a stay-in-place order — will make exit tests mandatory for some 5,000 undergraduates in university housing, but voluntary for thousands more living off-campus.A smaller number of schools are insisting on exit testing.New York State’s university system will require “all students using on-campus facilities in any capacity” to test negative for the virus within 10 days of their departure, and to quarantine according to county health rules if they test positive, whether they are on or off-campus. The plan will entail testing about 140,000 students at SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities.And in Massachusetts, where cases have been surging, Boston University has asked students not to leave campus, period, until Dec. 10, when classes end. “We are saying, ‘Stay here,’ plain and simple,” Kenneth Elmore, the associate provost and dean of students, said.“There’s a responsibility not to unleash little ticking time bombs,” said A. David Paltiel, a professor of health policy and management at the Yale School of Public Health, noting that recently exposed students can feel well and still shed large quantities of the virus. “But this has not yet hit the radar screen of many college administrators.”The American College Health Association, which represents college health officers, issued public health guidelines last week recommending that schools encourage students to get tested before their Thanksgiving departure, refrain from traveling if they test positive and quarantine for 14 days at home upon arrival. But the association stopped short of calling for mandatory testing.The New York Times has documented more than 252,000 coronavirus cases and at least 80 deaths on college campuses since the pandemic began. Most of the deaths involved college employees in the spring. But at least four students — most recently, Bethany Nesbitt, a 20-year-old student at Grace College in Indiana — have died this semester after contracting Covid-19.Julie Halpert contributed reporting. Stocks rocketed higher after the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said early data showed that its coronavirus vaccine appeared 90 percent effective. The news followed Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s election as the 46th president of the United States on Saturday, a sign that the American vote, which some investors worried could spiral into a chaotic period if President Trump lost, appeared to proceed more or less normally. Here’s what you need to know: “Lives were endangered, and I believe lives were lost,” Dr. Bright, the former director of the Department of Health and Human Services’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, told a House subcommittee in May.Mr. Biden’s decision to put Dr. Bright on his advisory panel is intended to send a signal that the incoming administration intends to confront the virus — which is surging across the country — in a very different way than President Trump, who sought to largely push responsibility onto states.In a statement on Monday, Mr. Biden said the advisory board will help him shape his “approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”After meeting with the board on Monday, Mr. Biden urged all Americans to wear a mask and vowed to make defeating the pandemic his No. 1 priority when he takes office on Jan. 20.“It doesn’t matter your party, your point of view. We can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months,” Mr. Biden said.On Sunday, the nation surpassed 10 million cases and sank deeper into the grip of what could become the worst chapter yet of the pandemic.The rate of new cases is soaring: The seven-day average of new cases across the United States rose to more than 111,000 a day, as of Sunday. With 29 states setting weekly case records, the virus is surging in more than half the country. Nationwide, hospitalizations have nearly doubled since mid-September, and deaths are slowly increasing again.The nation’s worsening outlook comes at an extremely difficult juncture: Mr. Trump, who remains in office until January, is openly at odds with his own coronavirus advisers, and winter, when infections are only expected to spread faster, is coming.The three co-chairs of Mr. Biden’s virus advisory board are:Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, a former surgeon general, who has been a key Biden adviser for months and is expected to take a major public role; Dr. David A. Kessler, a former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration for the first President George Bush and President Bill Clinton; and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Yale University.The 13-member panel will also include Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, an oncologist and the chair of the department of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Emanuel is the brother of Rahm Emanuel, who served as White House chief of staff under former President Barack Obama and as the mayor of Chicago. Dr. Emanuel has been a high-profile advocate of a more aggressive approach to the virus.The other members of the panel are: Dr. Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Dr. Celine Gounder, a clinical assistant professor at the N.Y.U. Grossman School of Medicine; Dr. Julie Morita, the executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota; Ms. Loyce Pace, the executive director and president of the Global Health Council; and Dr. Robert Rodriguez and Dr. Eric Goosby of the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. BEIJING — A 51-year-old air cargo worker has been infected with the coronavirus in Shanghai, China’s biggest city, prompting an immediate effort to contain the virus before it can spread.The Shanghai municipal government ordered the immediate quarantine of close contacts of the worker and restricted travel for anyone living in Yingqian, the village within Shanghai where the worker lived. The worker, a man with the surname Wang, went to a hospital with a fever and fatigue on Sunday and tested positive for the virus.Mr. Wang’s four family members and his 16 co-workers have already tested negative for the virus, said Li Guohua, the deputy chief of the city’s huge Pudong district, which includes the airport and Yingqian. The city has quarantined 106 of his close contacts so far and is moving another 75 of them into quarantine, he added.Wu Jinglei, the director of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, said at a televised news conference on Monday that the air cargo worker had not been involved in handling frozen food, a category that China has sometimes blamed for previous infections. Mr. Wang also was not connected to the city’s ongoing import expo, which opened on Wednesday.Governments in the West have sometimes struggled to find even three close contacts per infected person. China uses extensive location tracking of cellphones and meticulous interrogation of infected people to assemble far larger lists of contacts to quarantine.Shanghai managed to avoid a widespread outbreak of the coronavirus last winter despite lying in the same Yangtze River system as Wuhan, where the virus emerged late last year. Shanghai set up checkpoints at municipal borders for many weeks and stringently limited the entry of anyone without legal residency in the city.Qiqing Lin contributed research. Video By: Ella Koeze·Source: Refinitiv President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan at a National Day celebration in Taipei, last month.Credit…Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA, via Shutterstock Health Minister Jens Spahn has said he expects Germany to have access to enough vaccinations to immunize 47 million of its citizens.Credit…Pool photo by Henning Schacht Re-enactors in World War I-style uniforms marched in New York City’s 2019 Veterans Day parade. Because of the pandemic, parade participants this year will ride in a motorcade instead, organizers said.Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times The pandemic has turbocharged profits at some big businesses, like Amazon, which reported a 70 percent increase in earnings in the first nine months of the year. But it has devastated others, like Delta Air Lines, which lost $5.4 billion in the third quarter.Perhaps most surprising: Some companies that had feared for their lives in the spring, among them some rental car businesses, restaurant chains and financial firms, are now doing fine — or even excelling.Wall Street analysts expect earnings to rebound to a record high next year. And, over all, 80 percent of companies in the S&P 500 stock index that have reported third-quarter earnings so far have exceeded analysts’ expectations, said Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst for S&P Dow Jones Indices.As the pandemic forced people to stay home and do more things online, some successful companies, like Amazon, were perfectly positioned to take advantage of the change. Now, these businesses are becoming even more dominant.Tech companies were strong before the pandemic downturn — and have powered through the rout, which could help the economy recover faster this time, said Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist at Credit Suisse Securities.But the outlook is dire for other businesses.Passenger airlines are among the biggest losers of the pandemic, and they have few options to improve their prospects. Delta, United Airlines and American Airlines worked quickly to cut costs and got $50 billion in the March federal stimulus package.Still, investors are not all that worried, and are signaling that they expect a broad profits recovery among the largest U.S. companies. The S&P 500 has soared nearly 57 percent from its March low and is up 8.6 percent for the year.Those gains may seem odd given that the combined profits of the companies in that index are on track to decline 25 percent this year from a record showing in 2019. But a big chunk of that rally can be attributed to a handful of technology stocks. Of course, many struggling businesses, including lots of restaurants, stores and services companies, are not traded on the stock market. That means a surge in stock prices can give a misleadingly optimistic view of where the economy is headed. President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said on Monday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.Credit…Pool photo by Will Oliver “With more certainty around the election, a strong quarter of earnings across many sectors, and extremely positive news on the vaccine front, there is little to hold us back,” said Chris Larkin, managing director of trading and investment products at E-Trade Financial. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Matty Lees: St Helens sign new deal with prop to end of 2022 | Rugby League News

first_imgMatty Lees has made 62 St Helens appearances since making his debut in 2017; Saints coach Kristian Woolf said: “We see Matty as a guy who will progress into a future international and a guy who can lead our pack in the future as one of the number one props in the competition” By PA SportLast Updated: 09/11/20 6:34pm Matty Lees made his debut for St Helens in 2017 Matty Lees made his debut for St Helens in 2017
Matty Lees made his debut for St Helens in 2017

Prince Charles: Germany and UK ‘a force for good’ together

first_imgThe Prince of Wales has been addressing a remembrance ceremony at the German parliament, marking the country’s National Day of Mourning for victims of war. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are the first members of the Royal Family to attend the ceremony in Berlin.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img

Florida Georgia Line Announces Multiyear Tour Amid Drama

first_imgThe Florida native posted a throwback photo with Tyler on Wednesday, November 11, of the pair at the 2012 Country Music Association Awards ahead of the 2020 show. Tyler then shared an Instagram Story photo of himself on a tour bus where he is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19, admitting that it makes him “miss” being on tour with Kelley and Nelly.The same day, Hayley shared two photos from the 2018 CMA Awards, one of which featured Kelley and his wife, Brittney Kelley, amid the drama.Tyler teased new music on Sunday, November 15, telling his Instagram fans that he “wrote a special one called ‘Undivided’ … seemed timely.”He shared lyrics from a song and addressed the unrest taking place in the U.S. after the 2020 presidential election and amid the pandemic.“We’re all the same to God no matter what we get his love / I’m so tired of lookin left or right / so I’m just lookin UP,” the lyrics read.Tyler then shared his “prayer” for the future, pointing to the chorus of the song.“I think it’s time to come together / You and I can make a change / Maybe we can make a difference / Make the world a better place / Love around and love somebody / We been hateful been long enough / Let good Lord reunite / Till this country that we love’s Undivided,” the track said.Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! “This past year has given us a chance to spend more time writing, producing and being creative,” the pair said in a statement. “But we are itching to get back on the road. We miss our fans, and the live energy and connection we have with them when we hit the stage.”Florida Georgia Line Announces Multi-Year Tour Amid Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley DramaFlorida Georgia Line. The Holy MountainThe statement continued: “Our Live Nation family has been a great partner in the past, and we’re excited to be teaming up like this together. Getting back on tour and being able to share our new music can’t come soon enough!”Florida Georgia Line made headlines a week prior, after Tyler, 33, and his wife, Hayley Hubbard, unfollowed Kelley, 35, on Instagram on Tuesday, November 10. Fans speculated that the bandmates had a falling out based on the social media move.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Hitting the road! Florida Georgia Line inked a multiyear touring deal with Live Nation amid turmoil between its founding members, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley.The country duo announced the concert news on Monday, November 16, revealing the tour will feature North America dates beginning as early as summer 2021.- Advertisement – Some fans pointed to differing political views as the reason for the tension between the musicians. Tyler has spoken out against President Donald Trump in the past and his wife has shown support for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Kelley, on the other hand, corrected a fan who claimed he voted for Joe Biden, writing, “Think again bub.”Tyler has since refollowed Kelley and a source told Us Weekly that the pair are not feuding. “All is good with the FGL family,” the insider said earlier this month. “Tyler and Brian’s friendship is as strong as ever.”- Advertisement –last_img read more

Vendor thought H2N2 virus was safe, officials say

first_img In a separate teleconference, Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the test kits containing the virus were sent out beginning last September. “We want to reassure the public that we have no evidence of any health threat to anyone in the community as a result of this” and no evidence of illness in lab workers, she said. “We have very good surveillance for influenza in the United States and we’ve not observed any unusual patterns of influenza this year. . . . If an unusual influenza virus had emerged, we’d certainly know about it by now.” Meridian Bioscience of Cincinnati sent samples of influenza A(H2N2) to thousands of laboratories, mostly in the United States, in kits used by the labs to test their ability to identify viruses. The test kits were sent on behalf of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and three other professional organizations. Gerberding explained that for accreditation, labs generally need only to show they can determine if a virus is influenza and whether it’s type A or B. “That’s why we didn’t learn about this earlier,” she said. The CAP instructed Meridian to include an influenza A virus in its test kits but did not specify the type beyond that, according to Schwartz. Henceforward the college plans to give more specific instructions, he said. Apr 13, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The company that sent samples of the influenza virus that caused the 1957 flu pandemic to thousands of laboratories knew the identity of the virus but apparently assumed it wasn’t hazardous because of its current safety classification, officials said today. But Schwartz and federal health officials said today the virus poses very little risk to lab workers and the public. Gerberding said it wasn’t exactly clear why Meridian picked the H2N2 virus, but commented, “It was probably a situation where the advantages of using a strain that grows well and can be easily manipulated in the lab were the driving force.” Before the problem came to light, the CDC had made a recommendation that the H2N2 virus be reclassified as a BSL-3 agent, Gerberding said. She promised to speed up the reclassification. The CDC determines the classifications in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health. In a teleconference this afternoon, CAP spokesman Dr. Jared Schwartz said Meridian knew what the virus was but believed it was safe. In selecting it, the company had determined that the virus was classified as a biosafety level 2 (BSL-2) agent, which meant it could legally be used in the kits, he said. Earlier reports suggested that the virus might have been mislabeled. The situation was discovered in March by Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, Man. Schwartz and Gerberding said the H2N2 virus used in the kits was a reference strain, meaning it had been used in labs as a quality-control specimen for years. Gerberding said reference strains often become less virulent over time. “It’s possible that this strain of virus poses a very very low risk of transmission efficiency in the public,” she said. “But we have to err on the side of caution.” The CDC notified the CAP of the situation Apr 8 and asked the organization to inform the labs and tell them to destroy the virus samples, Schwartz said. “We’ve asked them [the labs] to sign a piece of paper attesting that they’ve destroyed the virus. We’ve received over 1,500 of them back already,” he said. He later added, “We don’t know what the decision process was. It appears to have been an error in judgment in sending out an organism that had not been seen in the United States or other countries in many, many years.” “We now know that they knew it was an H2N2 virus; had the college known that, we would not have allowed them to send out an H2N2, even though it’s classified as biosafety level 2,” Schwartz said. In BSL-3 labs, agents are handled with equipment designed to prevent any airborne contamination and resulting respiratory exposure, Gerberding said. Level 2 precautions are less stringent, but they can also protect workers from respiratory exposure when they are followed properly, she added.last_img read more

Vietnam reports two new H5N1 cases, one fatal

first_imgFeb 14, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Health officials in Vietnam reported today that the H5N1 virus has struck two men in two of the country’s northern provinces, killing a 40-year-old and sickening a 27-year-old, according to media reports.Nguyen Huy Nga, director of the health ministry’s preventive medicine department, said the 40-year-old man was from Hai Duong province, about 40 miles southeast of Hanoi, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. If the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms the man’s illness, he will be recorded as Vietnam’s 103rd case-patient and its 49th death from the virus.The man died yesterday, 6 days after he was admitted to Vietnam’s tropical disease hospital in Hanoi, Nga told the AP.Dong Van Chuc, director of the provincial animal health department, said nine of the man’s 12 fighting cocks have died since late January, the AP reported. However, Reuters reported today that health officials said the man and his family ate two chickens that had died suspiciously and that poultry deaths have been reported in his neighborhood. Health workers are also monitoring his family members for signs of the disease.Meanwhile, Central Vietnam Television reported today that samples from a 27-year-old man from Ninh Binh province tested positive for the H5N1 virus, according to Xinhua, China’s state news agency. If the man’s illness is confirmed by the WHO, he will be listed as Vietnam’s 104th case-patient.The man was admitted to a Hanoi hospital 2 days ago, where he remains in critical condition, the country’s state-run Vietnam Television reported last night, according to a report today from Reuters. The health ministry said he had slaughtered two sick chickens on Jan 31, the report said.The two patients are Vietnam’s second and third reported to be infected with the H5N1 virus in 2008. Vietnam has the second-highest avian flu case count, after Indonesia. For now, without the two latest patients, the WHO’s total for the country stands at 102 cases and 48 deaths, compared with 127 cases in Indonesia and 103 deaths.last_img read more

NEWS SCAN: Food safety grants, universal flu vaccine, Benin’s polio drive stalls

first_imgJun 3, 2009Three states win FDA grants to boost food-testing capacityThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday that it awarded $350,000 grants to Arkansas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin to fund Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) laboratories. In return for the grants, the states may be required to analyze food samples collected by the FDA or other agencies in case of a large-scale contamination event. In Arkansas, the funds will enable the state health department to increase its ability to test for toxic or unknown substances, support national surveillance efforts, and boost response capacity. In Nebraska, the funds are earmarked to allow the agriculture department to add more testing backup and capacity. In Wisconsin, the agriculture department will use the funds to add reserve testing capacity for FERN during events that threaten the nation’s food supply.[Jun 2 FDA press release]Vical receives patent for universal flu vaccine technologyVical, a biopharmaceutical company based in San Diego, announced today that it received a US patent for use of influenza virus gene sequences in a “universal” vaccine, designed to protect against seasonal and emerging pandemic flu strains. The company’s DNA vaccine involves portions of the virus that are consistent among different strains: nucleoprotein (NP) and ion channel protein (M2). The company said it derived its gene sequences from flu strains that have circulated over the past 10 years. Vical has developed an H5N1 flu vaccine, with support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), that showed broad protection against other strains in preclinical studies. In 2007 Vical received a $6 million NIAID grant to develop a process to speed DNA vaccine production. In early May, the company said it had signed an agreement with the US Navy to speed the development of a DNA vaccine against the novel H1N1 virus.[Jun 3 Vical press release][Jun 14, 2007, CIDRAP News story]Healthcare strike stalls Benin’s polio vaccination driveA polio vaccine drive in Benin that was set to begin May 29 has been indefinitely suspended because of a health worker strike, according to Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Polio eradication efforts lost ground in 2008, with African countries bearing the brunt of the disease. A World Health Organization official said Benin, Burkina Faso, and Cote d’Ivoire have had new cases since the last immunization campaign in February and March. Health officials said the timing of the vaccine drive is crucial, because the approaching rainy season will make it difficult to reach some children and will intensify virus circulation.[May 29 IRIN story]last_img read more

H1N1 FLU BREAKING NEWS: Vaccine news, flu slows a bit on campus, lawsuit over mandatory vaccine, Cuban deaths

first_imgOct 12, 2009WHO sees November vaccine delivery to poor nationsAn official from the World Health Organization said today that the group hopes to start shipping 60 million H1N1 vaccine doses to poor countries in November, the Associated Press (AP) reported. Marie-Paule Kieny said the first doses of the donated vaccine from drug companies and other countries will go to doctors and nurses and maybe high-risk patients in about 100 nations. She added that more donations are needed.Flu illnesses drop slightly at US collegesThe number of flu-like illnesses at the nation’s colleges decreased 6% from last week’s report, the American College Health Association (ACHA) said in its surveillance for the week ending Oct 2. The report listed 6,326 new influenza-like illness cases at 250 schools. Nine hospitalizations were reported. The highest levels of flu activity were seen in the mid Atlantic region, as well as in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and Alaska.Oct 8 ACHA surveillance reportNY nurse sues over mandatory flu shotsA registered nurse in Dutchess County, New York, not far from New York City, has sued to prevent New York State from requiring heathcare workers to take the H1N1 flu vaccine. Newsday reports that attorneys for nurse Suzanne Field filed for a temporary restraining order last week on behalf of New York State’s 60,000 healthcare workers and expect to appear in court Wednesday. New York is the only state to require the vaccine, though individual healthcare organizations do as well. 9 Newsday reportPregnant women are Cuba’s first H1N1 deathsThe Cuban government says that 2,100 pregnant women on the island have been treated for symptoms of H1N1 flu, 110 are seriously ill, and 3 have died, according to a report by state-sponsored media that was carried by the AP. While the first wave of illness was among tourists, Cuban residents are now contracting the flu, with 621 cases confirmed, including 177 children, the deputy health minister said. 10 AP reportSweden starts vaccinating health workersSweden began vaccinating health workers in the southern part of the country today, with clinics slated to begin immunizing people as soon as they receive the vaccine, Swedish-based TT News Agency reported today. Authorities noted a lot of interest in the vaccine a month ago when a few fatalities were reported, but the demand for the vaccine has leveled since. Sweden becomes the fourth country to launch novel H1N1 vaccination, after China, Australia, and the United States.Oct 12 TT News storyUK fears its health workers will shun vaccineThe United Kingdom’s Department of Health has ordered regional chiefs of the National Health Service (NHS) to make sure doctors and nurses take the H1N1 vaccine amid fears that uptake will be only 10% to 20%, The Guardian reports. NHS executives say healthcare staff will shun the vaccine because the disease appears mild, but fear high absenteeism if unvaccinated staff contract the flu. 11 Guardian articlelast_img read more

Research: The congress industry is recording big losses, but hopes to resume activities in the fall

first_imgAn increase in virtual events is expected If the health situation stabilizes by the summer and the global virus pandemic is suppressed and confidence in travel and business gatherings is restored, a very challenging autumn awaits us. According to the expectations of the research participants, it will be marked by the lack of free dates for booking events (40% of respondents) and savings due to the economic crisis. The consequences will be a smaller number of events and participants and a smaller number of sponsors (75% of respondents).  Source: / Photo: Forum Zagreb Congress Center In the past month, especially since the recommendations and bans of the Civil Protection Headquarters relating to public gatherings came into force, most of the rallies scheduled for this spring have been canceled or postponed. Almost 70% of respondents said that the state can help with concrete measures in the recovery of this business segment, primarily by reducing VAT in tourism and exempting businesses from paying contributions to employees’ salaries and income taxes and levies such as tourist and HGK membership fees in the next 6 months. The loss of income caused by such a sudden cessation of every business activity in the field of business tourism is measured by 40% of respondents in the amount of up to half a million kuna, while in 25% of them the losses reach up to five million kuna this year. Although insurance does not cover job losses due to force majeure, almost 60% of respondents said they do not plan to lay off employees, but there have been salary cuts and streamlining of companies that currently survive mainly due to reserves from previous years. According to the statements of 45% of respondents, last year the MICE segment (acronym meetings, incentives, conventions, events) grew by between 10 and 30% compared to the previous year, and according to the announcements, 2020 should be a record year in terms of the number of meetings . But the current situation is very difficult and uncertain; a significant number of meetings have been postponed to the autumn or spring of next year, and there is already an increased demand for free conference space. Tourism as well as the congress industry, which globally accounts for about 15 percent of total travel, are the most affected sectors of the economy in the current crisis.  Travel insecurity and the economic crisis – the biggest problems facing the convention industry  The extent to which the Croatian congress industry has been affected by the latest global crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been investigated by a specialized internet portal for the Croatian congress and event industry, The research was conducted in the period from 24.03. to 27.03.2020. by the method of online survey, and included 79 respondents (congress hotels, specialized agencies and other entities operating in the field of congress and business tourism) throughout Croatia. “After the global financial crisis in 2008, the congress industry managed to recover relatively quickly, and Croatia has recorded strong growth and growing popularity in the international congress and incentive travel market in the last few years. But now it’s starting all over again. Business meetings and trainings are mostly related to the business sector, and the recovery will depend largely on the state of the economy. Many companies will fight for survival, reduce costs and in such a situation it will be more difficult to decide on team building, seminars outside their own locations and the like.”, Said Daniela Kos, project manager of PoslovniTurizam. The congress industry mainly relies on live meetings, but in a situation where there is uncertainty related to social and public gatherings, 45% of respondents expect that some events in the future will become virtual and virtual conferences and congresses, webinars and the like will be organized using technological solutions. , while 40% of respondents are not sure whether such events will replace the traditional ones. “Humans are first and foremost social beings and personal contact is still needed. Probably part of the gatherings will be done virtually, but people want direct contact and will return to such communication“, Is part of the commentary on the question of the future format of events. last_img read more