Tag: President Donald Trump

More than 41,000 people have died in the US. Why is there talk of easing restrictions?

United States

Only several months after reporting its first cases of COVID-19, the United States has become the global epicentre of the crisis.

Key points:

  • All 50 states and several US territories have reported cases of COVID-19
  • President Donald Trump is pushing for states to loosen restrictions on business
  • Some states will begin reopening businesses and schools in the coming weeks

The US has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 740,000 infections and more than 41,000 deaths.

Last Thursday, 4,591 Americans died over the course of a 24-hour period — the country’s largest single-day death toll to date.

But even as much of the nation is in the midst of a catastrophe, President Donald Trump is already talking about reopening America by May 1.

What are protests across the country calling for? And when might America’s recovery begin?

Coronavirus update: Follow the latest news in our daily wrap.

Here’s a rundown of how the United States is faring.

Have all US states been hit by COVID-19?

Yes. Community transmission of coronavirus was first detected in February.

By mid-March, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and four US territories had reported cases of COVID-19.

Trump’s coronavirus strategy
In a week when 2,500 Americans are dying every day from COVID-19, US President Donald Trump has launched his plan for ending the nationwide lockdowns.

Infections continue to surge in the north-east of the United States.

New York — the country’s fourth-most-populous state — is the coronavirus epicentre of the US, with more than 236,000 confirmed cases and 17,000 deaths.

Hospitals there are still reporting nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 patients per day.

Neighbouring New Jersey has reported more than 81,000 cases and 4,000 deaths, while Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California and Michigan all have more than 30,000 cases each.


New York has been devastated by COVID-19. (AP: Mark Lennihan)

According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), coronavirus deaths are likely under-reported across a number of states.

“Reported deaths are also likely underestimated because of incomplete follow-up on all reported COVID-19 cases as well as death among persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 who did not receive a COVID-19 diagnosis,” it said in a recent report.

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak

What are protests across America calling for?

State governors across the US, who hold most of the power to implement lockdowns, have increasingly faced protests as restrictions grind local economies to a halt.

Many of the protesters are calling for an immediate lift on restrictions and the reopening of businesses.

Video: Groups of protesters gathered across the United States

(ABC News)

The most recent demonstrations were in Texas, Indiana and Wisconsin, after similar protests in Ohio, Texas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota and Idaho throughout last week.

External Link:

@realDonaldTrump tweet: LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!

Mr Trump appeared to encourage protesters with a series of Twitter posts calling for them to “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia, all run by Democratic governors.

Democratic strongholds in dense urban centres such as Seattle and Detroit have been hit hard by the virus, while more Republican-leaning rural communities are struggling with the shuttered economy but have seen fewer cases.


Many supporters of Donald Trump have opposed state-based restrictions. (AP: Andrew Selsky)

But protests have happened in Republican-led states as well, including at the Texas Capitol and in front of the Indiana Governor’s home.

Texans chanted “let us work”, in a state where more than 1 million people have filed for unemployment since the crisis began.

The rally in Austin was organised by a host of Infowars, owned by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who joined protesters on the Capitol steps.

Public health officials have said the ability to test enough people and trace contacts of the infected is crucial before easing restrictions, and that infections could surge again unless people continue to take precautions.

What the experts are saying about coronavirus:

Are all US states locked down?

Not quite. Restrictions vary significantly across different parts of the US.

For example, most states have imposed a 10-person limit on gatherings. In California and New York, people may only leave their house for essential needs or to go to work.


The ferris wheel on Santa Monica pier in Los Angeles was lit up in blue to show support for medical workers and first responders. (AP: Mark J. Terrill)

Restaurants and bars are shut across much of the country except for providing takeaway.

Most states have imposed school closures since March, many which will last until May. California Governor Gavin Newsom has said schools may not open there for the rest of the school year, which ends in late June.

Nevertheless, the states of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Arkansas all have few or no restrictions at all.

Texas and Vermont, both of which have Republican governors, will soon allow some businesses to reopen while still observing coronavirus-related precautions, Mr Trump announced over the weekend.

Video: Donald Trump says some governors will start relaxing COVID-19 restrictions

(ABC News)

For the first time in weeks, people have been able to access some beaches in Florida but were still subject to restrictions on hours and activities.

Other states will look to transition out of lockdown in the coming weeks.

“Montana will begin lifting restrictions on Friday. Ohio, North Dakota and Idaho have advised non-essential businesses to prepare for a phased opening starting May 1,” Mr Trump said.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert said the state is aiming to reopen restaurants and gyms and resume elective surgeries in early May.

Your questions on coronavirus answered:

When might the recovery begin?

It is not entirely clear.

Different states will begin easing restrictions and reopening businesses at their own pace.

According to the US Department of Labour, 22 million Americans filed unemployment claims in the four weeks to April 11. Many economists say a recession is inevitable.

Mr Trump has been keen to reopen things as soon as possible, launching his three-phase Opening Up America Again plan last week.

Video: Donald Trump announces plan to 'open America again'

(ABC News)

He suggested some states, like Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota, could move to phase one “literally tomorrow because they’ve met all the guidelines”.

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, task force coordinator Deborah Birx and Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, all backed the plan.

Fox News reported that the President’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner would be on the council leading the recovery effort, along with senior members of his cabinet.


Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka will be on the council leading the recovery effort. (AP: Evan Vucci)

“When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total,” Mr Trump claimed earlier this month in reference to his alleged ability to supersede state authorities and ease social restrictions.

Legal experts challenged this assertion, stating that under the United States’ federalist system, it is ultimately up to governors to determine when and how to lift precautionary measures.

Mr Trump later backtracked, telling governors they “call [their] own shots” on how the country starts to recover economically from the pandemic.

What you need to know about coronavirus:

Video: Four Corners looks at how coronavirus unleashed a financial wrecking ball right through the Australian economy.

(Four Corners)


Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

Donald Trump invokes wartime powers to fight ‘enemy’ coronavirus

United States

The US is invoking a wartime law to step up production of desperately needed medical equipment to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Key points:

  • The law allows the President to order factories to make more ventilators, masks and other medical equipment
  • Mr Trump said an estimate that America’s unemployment rate could hit 20 per cent was a “total worst-case scenario”
  • The US-Mexico border will not close, but will be stringently monitored

Scrambling to address the virus after initially playing it down as markets continued to tumble, President Donald Trump said he was invoking the Defence Production Act.

It puts in place a law that will allow the US Government to speed up the production of masks, respirators, ventilators and other needed equipment.

“We’re going to defeat the invisible enemy,” said Mr Trump, who said the unfolding crisis had basically made him a “wartime President.”

But as fears of the virus’s economic impact mounted, Mr Trump described an estimate that America’s unemployment rate could reach 20 per cent as a worst-case scenario.

Mr Trump said he would invoke another law that would allow authorities to turn back migrants seeking to cross the southern border of the US illegally.

The border would not be closed, he added.


The US has seen a spike in coronavirus infections this week, with all 50 states now reporting cases. (AP: Mary Altaffer)

“No, we’re not going to close it, but we are invoking a certain provision that will allow us great latitude as to what we do,” he said.

Mr Trump has made stemming the flow of migrants across the border with Mexico a central pillar of his presidency and has poured billions of dollars into building a border wall that is far from completed.

Coronavirus update: Follow all the latest news in our daily wrap

Immigrant rights groups have slammed the idea of mass returns of foreign nationals to Mexico.

Trump defends calling COVID-19 ‘the Chinese virus’

On Wednesday, Mr Trump defended his description of COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus”, despite concerns among some Americans that he was making an ethnic slur.

“It’s not racist, not at all. It comes from China,” Mr Trump said of the illness, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Coronavirus questions answered
Breaking down the latest news and research to understand how the world is living through an epidemic, this is the ABC’s Coronacast.

But the term has angered Chinese officials and a wide range of critics, and China experts said labelling the virus that way could increase tensions between the two countries.

“Shifting the blame to China will not help combat the epidemic in the US,” China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson GENG Shuang said at a press briefing on Thursday.

“The US should get its domestic issues handled first.”

Mr Trump said a hospital ship would be sent to hard-hit New York to help people affected by the contagion, and that a second hospital ship would be deployed on the west coast.

The Defence Production Act, which dates back to the Korean War of the 1950s, grants the president broad authority to “expedite and expand the supply of resources from the US industrial base”.

This allows support for military, energy, space, and homeland security programs, according to a summary on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website.

“We will be invoking the Defence Production Act just in case we need it,” said Mr Trump.

20 per cent unemployment ‘worst-case’ scenario

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin fanned fears of economic collapse on Wednesday by telling politicians on Capitol Hill that 20 per cent unemployment was an extreme possibility should the virus have devastating effects on American businesses, many of which are already under duress.

“That’s an absolute total worst-case scenario,” said Mr Trump.

“We’re nowhere near it.”

US Vice-President Mike Pence, head of the coronavirus task force, urged all Americans to put off elective surgery to allow hospitals to concentrate on the rising influx of patients with the COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the new virus.

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak

Deborah Birx, a member of the task force, urged young people to adhere to government guidelines, calling for a 15-day effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Young people are considered key transmitters of the virus, which can be passed along even with mild or no symptoms.

Video: Question of whether to close schools divides medical experts

(ABC News)


Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news

Omarosa Sent to the Hospital While Competing on Celebrity Big Brother


UPDATE: Following her trip to the hospital, Omarosa Manigault-Newman has arrived back in the Celebrity Big Brother house on Saturday just after 4:30 p.m PT.

On Saturday evening, CBS issued a statement addressing the health issue: “Omarosa has returned to the Celebrity Big Brother house after receiving medical attention last night and today for an asthma attack. This development will be addressed on the Sunday night broadcast.”


The game of Celebrity Big Brother just got a bit trickier for Omarosa Manigault-Newman.

Just hours after the first contestant was evicted from the house on live TV, viewers watching the CBS All Access live feeds found out Omarosa was being treated for an injury off-site.

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“Omarosa had everything to lose, I mean, I put her in the hospital,” Marissa Jaret Winokur told fellow contestant Ross Mathews after completing the show’s “Head of Household” competition. “She’s going to be okay.”

During their chat, the pair also referenced former contestant Christmas Abbott who suffered a broken ankle during the show.

After leaving the house to meet with doctors, Christmas was ultimately allowed back into the competition and made it into the Top 3—crutches included.

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Marissa to Ross (3:20 AM)- This is hilarious that you and I knocked out those people. Omarosa had everything to lose. I didnt. I mean, I put her in the hospital. She is going to be okay #CBBUS #BBCeleb

— Big Brother Daily (@BB_Updates) February 10, 2018

CBS has not responded to E! News’ request for comment on the reported injury. The “Head of Household” competition is expected to air on Sunday’s all-new episode. 

As of press time, Omarosa had not yet returned to the house causing some houseguests to question where she is and how she is doing.

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In less than a week, Omarosa has made headlines for revealing details about her time in the White House with President Donald Trump. She also brought up houseguest Keshia Knight Pulliam‘s former co-star Bill Cosby

Big Time Rush member James Maslow, Shannon Elizabeth (American Pie), Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray), Brandi Glanville (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Metta World Peace (former NBA player) and Ariadna Gutierrez (Miss Universe 2015) are also part of this season. 

Celebrity Big Brother airs Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Listen Eminem and Pink New Song “Revenge”

Eminem and Pink want “Revenge.” The R&B singer taps the rap legend for her new single off her new album Beautiful Trauma.

Slim Shady made headlines this week for his onslaught on President Donald Trump during his BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher. But now he and Pink are teaming up for a common cause, to get revenge from their exes. “We could take revenge together / Revenge is sweet,” Pink sings on a beat produced by Max Martin. Eminem comes through with a fire verse rapping, “F**k trying to make amends / I’d rather take revenge.”

This rap-pop collaboration is one of the standout tracks on Pinks new album and she also opened up in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly about how she emailed Eminem to be a part of the single. “Max [Martin] and I started making [‘Revenge’], and I wrote this rap,” she said. “We were drinking a lot of wine, and then I went home and I thought more wine would be a good idea. I emailed [Eminem]. This is why they call it liquid courage. And I said, ‘You know I love you. I like that you work with a lot of the same people, like Rihanna. She’s hotter than me, but I’m funnier. So I’m going for a rap Grammy, and I’d like to take you along with me.’ It was this long email, and he wrote back right away and just said, ‘Okay.’”

She then added that Em email her back the full song four days later and she replied telling him that was the best thing she ever heard. The duo previously worked together on the 2010 single “Won’t Back Down” and again in 2012 on “Here Comes the Weekend.” Some of Eminem’s biggest hits are with female pop artists like Rihanna whom he has worked with several times in the past.