Federal Agencies Waited Months to Restock Medical Equipment before Outbreak

The U.S. waited until March to place bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, ventilators, and other medical supplies, the AP reported.

The U.S. waited until March to place bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, ventilators, and other medical supplies even as the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak ballooned into a pandemic, the Associated Press reported Monday.

When hospitals in Washington State began to see a rise in coronavirus patients in February, the federal government was forced to send medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile, which was created 20 years ago to prepare for a national emergency. In one case, Montgomery County in Alabama received 5,000 masks that had a 2010 expiration date and were unusable due to dry rot.


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Coronavirus Model Used by White House Changed to Reflect Decrease in Projected Fatalities

A coronavirus projection used by the White House has dramatically reduced its estimates, cutting the death forecast by 12 percent.

A coronavirus projection used by the White House to warn that the country could face between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths in a “best case scenario” has dramatically reduced its estimates, cutting the number of hospital beds needed by 58 percent and the death forecast by 12 percent.

The IHME model, produced by the University of Washington, updated its numbers overnight to show that projected deaths decreased from 93,531 to 81,766, and the projected total bed shortage fell from 87,674 to 36,654, after projected hospital beds fell 45 percent from 262,000 to 141,000 and ICU beds decreased 26 percent from almost 39,700 to 29,200. While the model remained unchanged in estimating a peak of April 15, it also moved forward its projected date of under 200 daily deaths from June 3 to May 18.


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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hospitalized for coronavirus


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive for COVID-19, was admitted to the hospital due to “persistent symptoms of coronavirus,” the BBC reported Sunday. A government spokeswoman described the move as a “precautionary step” that was “on the advice of his doctor.” Johnson, 55, has been isolating after being diagnosed with coronavirus 10 days…


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Trump claims ‘Corrected Fake News’ after Germany backtracks on ‘piracy’ claim


A Berlin official who accused the Trump administration of “modern day piracy” after 200,000 masks for Germany went missing has backpedaled and acknowledged that the supplies were ordered from a local company — prompting a “Corrected Fake News” tweet from President Trump. Andreas Geisel, the interior minister of Berlin’s regional government, said in a statement…


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Cuba will distribute PREVENGOVIR, new medication to prevent Covid-19


Havana, Apr 5 (Prensa Latina) Cuba will shortly begin distributing a new medication, PREVENGOVIR, an homeopathic immunological booster, among the island’s population to help prevent viral infections like Covid-19 and other common flus, Dr. Francisco Duran, Director of Epidemiology, announced on Sunday.


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Cuba applies the law to those who threaten people’s health


Havana, Apr 5 (Prensa Latina) The Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Havana accused eight citizens of illegally stealing protective items for medical personnel, while Cuba is fighting the new coronavirus, local media reported today.

‘Fighting these crime which affect the health of our people: neither implacable nor tolerant’, assures the Prosecutor’s Office in an article published in Tribuna de La Habana newspaper.

The crime in question involves employees at a medical supply store, drivers and other delinquents who stole 455 cases of masks and other supplies with the aim of illegally selling them on the informal market.

In addition, during the investigations the authorities found more than 3,000 masks illegally transferred to a private home in the central province of Villa Clara, where there were also gowns, scalpels, suture threads, surgical clamps, and other medical items.

The eight defendants, who are in provisional detention for serious crimes, will have their rights and guarantees respected and, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, ‘the full force of the law will fall on them’.

This Saturday, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel called for rigorous action against the social indiscipline of those who fail to comply with the measures adopted to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that caused Covid-19.


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Brazil: Lula’s defense rejects another accusation in Odebrecht case


Brasilia, Apr 4 (Prensa Latina) Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s defense rejects an unfounded accusation about a peobable decision by the former president that the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (Bndes) favored the company Odebrecht.

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Brazil: Lula’s defense rejects another accusation in Odebrecht case

Brasilia, Apr 4 (Prensa Latina) Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s defense rejects an unfounded accusation about a peobable decision by the former president that the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (Bndes) favored the company Odebrecht.

Lula has not committed any crime and the accusation against him is ‘frivolous and without real foundation,’ said lawyer Cristiano Zanin, part of the defense of former workers leader.

According to the G1 news portal, Judge Vallisney de Souza Oliveira, of the tenth Federal Court of Brasilia, scheduled for May the hearing of witnesses’ statements in a criminal process that investigates whether Lula and 10 other people acted so Bndes favored the construction company Odebrecht .

In total, more than 40 witnesses registered by Lula’s defense will be heard by videoconference between May 26 and June 8. Among the deponents are ex-minister Miguel Jorge and advisers Paulo Okamotto and Clara Ant.

Given this announcement, Zanin insisted that ‘former President Lula has not committed any crime and this accusation, like the others, is frivolous and without real foundation.’

He explained that ‘the own witnesses registered by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), such as collaborator Marcelo Odebrecht, declared that the accusations against Lula are unfair’.

He stressed the defense witnesses will surely reinforce this scenario, which should lead to the former president’s acquittal.

Lula, the nephew of his first wife, Taiguara dos Santos, businessman Marcelo Odebrecht and others are accused by the Prosecutor of the Federal District of crimes such as criminal organization, money laundering, corruption and influence peddling.

Such irregularities were investigated after the so-called Operation Janus of the Federal Police.

In the complaint against Lula, the MPF affirms that the ex-president acted with the Bndes ‘and other Brasilia organs’ to favor Odebrecht in loans for engineering works in Angola.

In exchange, indicates the Prosecutor’s Office, the contractor paid the amounts involved of up to R $ 30 million (about $ 5.6 million dollars).

At all times, the defense of Lula denounces that the founder of the Workers’ Party faces judicial and political persecution that separates him from the political scene and left him out of the presidential elections of October 2018.


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Wrong Candidates for Aid, Wrong Time

Humanitarian aid for Iran and the Palestinians is not likely to be used for the stated purpose.

package to Germany before the Nazi surrender on May 7, 1945. Or if Truman had air-dropped food, medicine, and cash on Japanese cities before Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s surrender on August 15, 1945. Such scenarios would have been impossible then, but today, pundits and politicians are advocating sending aid to Iran, a sworn enemy of the U.S., to combat the coronavirus. They are also urging the release of aid for the Palestinians, whose leaders range from hostile (Fatah) to terrorist (Hamas).


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