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The Pronk Pops Show 1413, March 13, 2020, Story 1: President Trumps Declares A National Emergency — Unleashes Full Power of United States Government — $50 Billion in New Funding To Deal With COVID-19 Pandemic — Videos- Story 2: House Expected To Pass Family First Coronavirus Response Bill Supported By President Trump — Videos –Story 3: United State Stock Market Rallies — Best Day Since 2008 — Consumer Sentiment Beating Expectations At 95.9 — Videos

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Story 1: President Trumps Declares A National Emergency — Unleashes Full Power of United States Government — $50 Billion in New Funding To Deal With COVID-19 Pandemic — Videos

 

BREAKING: Donald Trump declares a national emergency

Trump declares National Emergency over coronavirus

Trump declares national emergency over coronavirus pandemic

Tucker: Regular life is all but suspended

Hannity: Major businesses working with Trump on coronavirus

 

Trump declares virus emergency; Pelosi announces aid deal

President Donald Trump on Friday declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency in order to free up more money and resources. But he denied any responsibility for delays in making testing available for the new virus, whose spread has roiled markets and disrupted the lives of everyday Americans.

Speaking from the Rose Garden, Trump said, “I am officially declaring a national emergency,” unleashing as much as $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak.

Trump also announced a range of executive actions, including a new public-private partnership to expand coronavirus testing capabilities with drive-through locations, as his administration has come under fire for being too slow in making the test available.

Trump said, “I don’t take responsibility at all” for the slow rollout of testing.

Late Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a deal with the Trump administration for an aid package from Congress that aims at direct relief to Americans — free testing, two weeks of sick pay for workers, enhanced unemployment benefits and bolstered food programs.

“We are proud to have reached an agreement with the Administration to resolve outstanding challenges, and now will soon pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” Pelosi announced in a letter to colleagues. The House was poised to vote.

The crush of late-day activity capped a tumultuous week in Washington as the fast-moving virus shuttered the capital’s power centers, roiled financial markets and left ordinary Americans suddenly navigating through self-quarantines, school closures and a changed way of life.

The White House was under enormous pressure, dealing with the crisis on multiple fronts as it encroached ever closer on the president.

Trump has been known to flout public health advice — eagerly shaking hands during the more than hour-long afternoon event — but acknowledged he “most likely” will be tested now after having been in contact with several officials who have tested positive for the virus. “Fairly soon,” he said.

Still, Trump said officials don’t want people taking the test unless they have certain symptoms. “We don’t want people without symptoms to go and do that test,” Trump said, adding, “It’s totally unnecessary.”

Additionally, Trump took a number of other actions to bolster energy markets, ease the financial burden for Americans with student loans and give medical professionals additional “flexibility” in treating patients during the public health crisis.

“Through a very collective action and shared sacrifice, national determination, we will overcome the threat of the virus,” Trump said.

Central to the aid package from Congress, which builds on an emergency $8.3 billion measure approved last week, is the free testing and sick pay provisions.

Providing sick pay for workers is a crucial element of federal efforts to stop the rapid spread of the infection. Officials warn that the nation’s healthcare system could quickly become overwhelmed with gravely sick patients, as suddenly happened in Italy, one of the countries hardest hit by the virus.

The ability to ensure paychecks will keep flowing — for people who stay home as a preventative measure or because they’re feeling ill or caring for others — can help assure Americans they will not fall into financial hardship.

Hopes for swiftly passing the package seemed to be fading throughout the day as talks dragged on and Trump dismissed it during as “not doing enough.”

Ahead of Trump’s new conference, Pelosi delivered a statement from the speaker’s balcony at the Capitol imploring the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to “put families first” by backing the effort to provide Americans with relief.

“Our great nation has faced crisis before,” Pelosi said. “And every time, thanks to the courage and optimism of the American people, we have prevailed. Now, working together, we will once again prevail.”

Pelosi and Mnuchin engaged in days of around-the-clock negotiations with cross-town phone calls that continued even as Trump was speaking, both indicating earlier they were close to a deal.

They both promised a third coronavirus package will follow soon, with more aggressive steps to boost the U.S. economy, which economists fear has already slipped into recession.

The financial markets closed on an upswing after one of the worst nosedives since the 1987 downturn.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to be over it.

Trump said he was gratified that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested negative for the virus, after the pair sat next to each other for an extended period of time last weekend at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. A senior aide to Bolsonaro tested positive.

Trump’s daugher, Ivanka Trump, worked from home Friday after meeting with Australian Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, now in isolation at a hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus. White House spokesman Judd Deere said she was evaluated by the White House Medical Unit and it was determined that because she was exhibiting no symptoms she does not need to self-quarantine.

Attorney General William Barr, who also met with the Australian official, was staying home Friday, though he “felt great and wasn’t showing any symptoms,” according to his spokeswoman Kerri Kupec.

Several lawmakers, including some close to Trump, have also been exposed to people who tested positive for the virus, and are self-isolating.

Among them are Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott, who were at Trump’s club on the weekend. Graham announced Friday that he also met with the Australian official who has now tested positive. And GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who had previously isolated himself after a potential exposure at a conservative conference in Washington, said Friday he met with a Spanish official and is now self-quarantining.

Hospitals welcomed Trump’s emergency declaration, which they and lawmakers in Congress had been requesting. It allows the Health and Human Services Department to temporarily waive certain federal rules that can make it harder for hospitals and other health care facilities to respond to an emergency.

The American Medical Association said the emergency declaration would help ensure America’s health care system has sufficient resources to properly respond to the ongoing outbreak.

Trump has struggled to show he’s on top of the crisis, after giving conflicting descriptions of what the U.S. is doing to combat the virus. On Wednesday he announced he would ban travel to the U.S. from Europe, and on Friday he suggested extending that to the U.K. because of a recent rise in cases.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health, said more tests would be available over the next week, but warned, “We still have a long way to go.”

Fauci said Friday, “There will be many more cases. But we’ll take care of that, and ultimately, as the president said, this will end.”

___

Associated Press writers Aamer Madhani, Alan Fram, Lauran Neergaard, Martin Crutsinger, Laurie Kellman, Michael Balsamo and Kevin Freking in Washington and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.

https://apnews.com/83b0c8e168548fd453b0c177dd1f203a

 

Story 2: House Expected Passes Family First Coronavirus Response Bill Supported By President Trump — Videos

House Passes Coronavirus Relief Bill

House approves coronavirus response bill supported by Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will pass coronavirus legislation

Mnuchin: Trump is very interested in putting money into the economy

PBS NewsHour West live episode, March 13, 2020

Story 3: United State Stock Market Rallies — Best Day Since 2008 — Consumer Sentiment Beating Expectations At 95.9 — Videos

The Dow Is Soaring – Here’s Why the Stock Market Is Cheering Trump

Barry Sternlicht: Stock market will make a comeback from coronavirus

El-Erian on markets: ‘It’s getting less scary than it has been for a while’

Cramer’s game plan for the trading week of March 16

Jim Cramer: Not sure this stock market sell-off can be stopped

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The Pronk Pops Show 1410 March 10, 2020, Story 1: The Choice is Yours — The Time is Now — Permanent Fundamental Tax Reform With Broad Based Consumption Tax With Tax Prebate (FairTax or Fair Tax Less) Replacing All Federal Taxes Is What Is Needed Now — Be Bold President Trump —  Videos — – Story 2: Oil Prices Falling with Russia and Saudi Arabia in Price and Market Share War — Consolidation in U.S. Shale Oil Industry Long Over Due — Videos — Story 3: Stock Market Prices Bounce Back Up in Market Rally — Videos — Story 4: Airlines Blame Big Lie Media Mob For Pushing Pandemic Panic — Videos —

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Pronk Pops Show 1369 December 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1368 December 4, 2019 

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Story 1: The Choice is Yours — The Time is Now — Permanent Fundamental Tax Reform With Broad Based Consumption Tax With Tax Prebate (FairTax or Fair Tax Less) Replacing All Federal Taxes Is What Is Needed Now — Be Bold President Trump —  Videos — 

 

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FairTax: Fire Up Our Economic Engine (Official HD)

FAIRtax-What is It? Replaces income tax and payroll tax with sales tax

Freedom from the IRS! – FairTax Explained in Detail

The Case for the Fair Tax

The FAIRtax and the Coronavirus

Pence on the Fair Tax

White House pushes economic stimulus

Mike Huckabee: The fair tax is a superior alternative

Neal Boortz FAIRtax vs Republican Tax Plan

Congress wants coronavirus stimulus plan to include paid sick leave

Coronavirus fears trigger shutdowns and market decline

Trump looking at stimulus package’ amid ‘difficult time in markets’

Trump: Economic stimulus package ‘coming soon’

 

Storoy 2: Oil Prices Falling with Russia and Saudi Arabia in Price and Market Share War — Consolidation in U.S. Shale Oil Industry Long Over Due –Videos —

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Oil rebounds after worst day since first Gulf War

What impact Saudi Arabia’s oil price war could have on the energy sector

What it would take to stop Saudi Arabia’s oil production ramp up

Saudi Arabia Steps Up Oil Price War With Russia

Oil price war second effect of coronavirus: Goldman Sachs’ Jeff Currie

Dan Yergin on CNBC as U.S. crude crashes 33% | Capital Connection

Story 3: Stock Market Prices Bounce Back Up in Market Rally — Videos —

Markets manage to rally on seesaw day

Retail investors should stay on the sidelines for now: Allianz chief economic advisor

Jim Cramer: I’m more comfortable buying stocks after Donald Trump floated virus stimulus

 

‘Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on’: Trump claims the oil price war behind markets crash is ‘GOOD for the consumer’ because gas prices are coming down and blames fake coronavirus news for historic drop

  • Donald Trump continues to downplay the threat of coronavirus, claiming the media and Democratic Party is trying to ‘inflame’ the situation in the U.S. 
  • ‘The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything … to inflame the CoronaVirus situation,’ the president tweeted Monday
  • He also insisted that the massive market drop Monday morning is actually ‘good for the consumer’ because prices are lower for gasoline
  • His claim comes as the death toll in the U.S. reached 26 Monday
  • Global and the U.S. stock markets also continue to plummet over the fast-spreading virus and concerns over Saudi Arabia launching a price war on oil
  • Trump, the first to tout market gains under his administration, has not address the market impact of coronavirus
  • The Dow dropped nearly 7 per cent on Monday 

Donald Trump claimed the oil price crash which led to the plunging stock market was ‘good’ for consumers because it is based on cheaper gas Monday as Wall Street faced a fall so dramatic trading was briefly halted.

‘Good for the consumer, gasoline prices coming down!’ Trump tweeted Monday, one of a string of tweets accusing the ‘fake news’ of prompting the sell-off.

He accused the media of ‘inflaming’ the virus outbreak and dismissed the collapse in oil prices as the result of Saudi Arabia and Russia ‘arguing.’

As the Dow Jones lost a year’s gains, he was shuttling across Florida from Mar-a-Lago to a $100,000-a-head fundraiser – and tweeting that flu was worse than coronavirus.

‘Saudi Arabia and Russia are arguing over the price and flow of oil,’ Trump continued in another tweet Monday morning. ‘That, and the Fake News, is the reason for the market drop!’

Markets all over the world plummeted Monday over the growing threat of the virus spreading, but Trump has not addressed the economic impact as the coronavirus death toll bypassed 20 in the U.S.

Global markets opened with big losses Monday morning as the economy saw its worst day in more than 10 years.

Trump continued to downplay the threat, citing that more people died from the flu last year, and insisting life and the economy will ‘go on’ even over the escalation in coronavirus outbreak.

‘So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year,’ Trump cited in a tweet.

‘Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on,’ he insisted. ‘At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!’

The president has repeatedly expressed incredulity at the number of flu deaths, and the idea that people die of it. In 1918, his grandfather Freidrich died of Spanish flu.

Trump claims that media outlets are working with Democrats to make the coronavirus outbreak seem worse than it is.

Donald Trump claimed Monday morning that the market drop is 'good for the consumer' because gasoline prices are coming down

Donald Trump claimed Monday morning that the market drop is ‘good for the consumer’ because gasoline prices are coming down

The Dow Jones saw its worst single-day drop since 2008 as Saudi Arabia goes into a price war over oil and concerns over coronavirus spreading continues to rock, but Trump said the 'fake news' is the reason for the plummet

The Dow Jones saw its worst single-day drop since 2008 as Saudi Arabia goes into a price war over oil and concerns over coronavirus spreading continues to rock, but Trump said the ‘fake news’ is the reason for the plummet

During his trip to attend a fundraiser in Orlando,  Trump shook hands with supporters gathered to greet him

During his trip to attend a fundraiser in Orlando,  Trump shook hands with supporters gathered to greet him

The president insisted while tweeting from Florida Monday that 'life & the economy [will] go on' as markets plunged and coronavirus concerns spread

The president insisted while tweeting from Florida Monday that ‘life & the economy [will] go on’ as markets plunged and coronavirus concerns spread

In continuing to downplay the threat of coronavirus, he claimed the media and Democratic Party are trying to 'inflame' the situation in the U.S.

Instead, he took to Twitter to laud himself and his administration for the response to the outbreak

Instead, he took to Twitter to laud himself and his administration for the response to the outbreak

Trump also praised himself for making the decision to halt travel from high-risk countries as the fast-spreading respiratory virus rose as a worldwide threat

Trump also praised himself for making the decision to halt travel from high-risk countries as the fast-spreading respiratory virus rose as a worldwide threat

‘The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power (it used to be greater!) to inflame the CoronaVirus situation, far beyond what the facts would warrant,’ the president tweeted Monday morning.

‘Surgeon General, ‘The risk is low to the average American,” he continued, quoting U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams.

‘So much FAKE NEWS!’ he lamented in a separate tweet Monday morning.

Trump’s claims comes as the death toll in the U.S. reached 26 on Monday afternoon and cases continued to spread to new areas of the country, including the first confirmed case in Washington, D.C.

Kansas and Missouri also announced their first cases over the weekend as the cases number now exceeds 600.

The most U.S. deaths occurred in Washington state after the virus spread among residents at a nursing facility in a suburb of Seattle.

But Trump insists the threat is less serious than is being portrayed by media reports and Democratic lawmakers.

He then praised himself in another tweet Monday morning for banning travel from high-risk countries early on in the outbreak.

‘The BEST decision made was the toughest of them all – which saved many lives,’ Trump lauded of his administration. ‘Our VERY early decision to stop travel to and from certain parts of the world!’

Trump stopped travel from certain countries to the U.S., including from China and Iran – and Americans have been warned of traveling to other high-risk countries like Italy and South Korea.

The president is usually the first to address stock market gains under his administration, but since coronavirus has caused markets to fall, he has remained largely silent on the matter.

Earlier this month, the U.S. saw its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis and on Monday markets plunged nearly 7 per cent.

Markets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East also opened sharply lower on Monday as investors came to grips with the global spread of coronavirus.

Trump also praised Vice President Mike Pence, who he appointed last month to lead the charge by the coronavirus task force on addressing the outbreak and halting the spread

Trump also praised Vice President Mike Pence, who he appointed last month to lead the charge by the coronavirus task force on addressing the outbreak and halting the spread

Economic experts claimed Monday morning that investors are waking up ‘shell shocked,’ as oil markets crashed.

The global market plunged, causing the worst one-day crash in crude oil prices in 30 years, after Saudi Arabia launched a price war.

On Friday Russia refused to follow OPEC’s efforts to stop market plummets caused by the escalation of the coronavirus outbreak.

In early trading, BP was down by 18 percent, Royal Dutch Shell was down 14 percent and ExxonMovil was down 11 percent.

Ordinarily, a slump in oil prices offers a boost for airlines because their fuel costs are low.

But with the ever-shrinking demand for flights due to the virus, they have been left unable to capitalize.

The coronavirus crisis, which has now infected more than 110,000 people globally, has crippled supply chains and prompted cuts to global growth forecasts for 2020.

Downtrodden brokers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday morning before the market opened

Downtrodden brokers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday morning before the market opened

Gregory Rowe, a trader, look forlorn as he waits for the markets to open

There are now more than 500 cases of the virus in the US alone

There are now more than 500 cases of the virus in the US alone

There is no sign that the spread is close to slowing down, either.

Traders are now expecting the Federal Reserve to again cut interest rates next week after an emergency reduction on March 3, putting the yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury on course for its biggest one-day fall in almost a decade.

Shares of rate-sensitive U.S. banks Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo & Co and Morgan Stanley slid between 7.4 percent and 9.6 percent.

Marathon Oil Corp, Devon Energy Corp, Apache Corp, Pioneer Natural Resources Co slipped between 22 percent and 28 percent and were some of the biggest losers among S&P 500 components.

At 7:12 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 1,255 points, or 4.87 per cent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 145 points, or 4.89 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 410 points, or 4.82 percent.

Much of the chaos has been sparked by the failure of a deal between  OPEC Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC leader Russia.

Generally, the world’s largest oil producers agree on production rates and cuts in order to stabilize the industry.

With coronavirus slowing demand for supply, they met last week with Russia, which is not part of OPEC but is a large oil producer, to discuss cutting production.

Russia refused, setting in motion a chain of events described by analysts as a ‘worst case scenario’ that could descend into an all-out price war.

Last month, Trump appointed Vice President Mike Pence to head the task force addressing the coronavirus crisis.

‘Great job being done by the @VP and the CoronaVirus Task Force. Thank you!’ Trump tweeted Monday.

Coronavirus has infected more than 108,000 people worldwide and is throwing many countries’ economies into turmoil.

The number of confirmed cases in New York rose by 13 over the weekend, nearing the state total to 90.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo issued a declaration of emergency in the state.

But Trump claimed late Sunday night that the messaging from Cuomo is ‘political weaponization’ of the coronavirus.

‘There are no mixed messages, only political weaponization by people like you and your brother, Fredo!’ Trump insisted in his tweet, making reference to Cuomo’s brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.

Graphic shows spread of Coronavirus as world cases top 110,000

HOW SAUDI ARABIA IS TRYING TO CRIPPLE RUSSIAN OIL

Saudi Arabia slashed its oil export prices over the weekend and declared a price war with Russia that sent global markets reeling and marked the sharpest decline in oil futures since 1991.

The price drop came after Russia refused to sign on with a proposal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production globally as the coronavirus outbreak has slowed the demand for oil.

OPEC nations met with allies like Russia on Thursday and Friday in Vienna to reduce oil production by an additional 1.5million barrels per day to stabilize the market starting in April through the end of the year.

But Russia refused to join to agreement.

From Russia’s perspective cutting production would boost US oil producers at the expense of international competitors and lead to a loss in profits.

On Saturday, after the group failed to come to a consensus, Saudi Arabia – which runs the world’s large oil company Saudi Aramco – slashed its export oil prices to saturate the market and trigger a price war aimed at Russia.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Russian president Vladimir Putin

 

An oil price war triggered by a falling out between Saudi Arabia and Russia is exasperating the economic chaos. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (left) and Russian president Vladimir Putin (right)

Saudi Arabia slashed crude prices to Chinese customers by as much as $6 to $7 a barrel and is looking to boost output by as many as 2million barrels a day.

China is the world’s biggest oil importer and has purchased oil at cheap prices to stockpile for future use in the past.

As a result the Brent global oil benchmark fell dramatically on Sunday by 30 percent, dropping to $31.02 a barrel at its lowest.

US West Texas Intermediate crude, the other main price benchmark for oil, dropped 27% to $30 per barrel – the lowest level since February 2016.

Sunday’s decline in the oil market was the sharpest slump in 29 years since the Gulf War in 1991.

Global stock markets took hits on Sunday with the Tokyo stock market index plunging 6.2 percent, Hong Kong 3.9 percent, Sydney 6.1 percent, and Riyadh eight percent.

The failed talks marked the first break in a three-year alliance between Saudi Arabia led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

The alliance was key to competing with a surge in American oil production that turned the US into a major crude exporter for the first time in decades.

In response to the price cut Russia said its companies were free to pump as much as they could, as per Bloomberg.

‘If you are Russia, it’s worth it for you to take a three-month price hit to see if you can knock out U.S. oil exports,’ Amy Myers Jaffe, an oil and Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, said to the New York Times. ‘They might be correct for three months but the shale never gets destroyed.’

Jaffe said the disagreement between the two nations ‘signals that the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Russia is on the skids.’

Analysts speculate the actions over the weekend may have been a game between Saudi Arabia and Russia that will end when they come to a compromise.

If not, oil prices could tumble to the lowest level in five years

Story 4: Airlines Blame Big Lie Media Mob For Pushing Pandemic Panic — Videos

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New York’s COVID-19 outbreak: How big cities are coping | The Weekly with Wendy Mesley

Journalist goes undercover at wet markets where the Coronavirus started | 60 Minutes Australia

Airlines cut flights as travellers cancel amid coronavirus outbreak

Worst yet to come’ – European airlines on virus impact

How the airline industry is weighing the risk of coronavirus

Local Doctor On What To Buy To Be Prepared For Coronavirus

Journalist goes undercover at wet markets where the Coronavirus started | 60 Minutes Australia

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC PANIC BUYING | Crazy Toilet Paper Shortage

The State of Costco in Oregon After COVID-19 / Coronavirus Outbreak – Prepping for Non-Preppers

Travel slump worsens as airlines try to blame media

Health officials have warned, though, that it may not be safe for everyone to fly everywhere.

JFK Airport

In a statement Tuesday morning, the trade group Airlines for America said that “false media narratives … have led to confusion and uncertainty across the country,” and argued that it’s safe to fly, saying “numerous health officials have affirmed that the risk remains low for travelers who follow CDC guidelines.”

Sen. Maria Cantwell, the top Democrat on the committee that oversees aviation, said she didn’t fly home to Washington state last weekend and doesn’t plan to in the foreseeable future.

“I have an 88-year-old mom who’s living at my house [in Washington] and she’s been ill, and I want to give her the comfort of being there. When you have elderly people you want to make sure you’re not putting them at additional risk,” she said. “And look, do I think that there can be airline travel that is safe? Yes. But if you don’t have to…”

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), 85, noted that the doctor said “stay off of those planes as much as we can.”

“If any of you is going to Alabama Thursday night, can I get a ride?” Shelby quipped to reporters gathered around him Tuesday. “I’ll ride in the back of the truck.”

Also Tuesday, a coalition of mostly travel interests spearheaded by the U.S. Travel Association made a similar plea, noting that canceling travel and events “has a trickle-down effect that threatens to harm the U.S. economy, from locally owned hotels, restaurants, travel advisors and tour operators to the service and frontline employees who make up the backbone of the travel industry and the American economy.”

The groups’ plea comes amid fresh warnings and widespread fear around the disease, along with new figures suggesting a worsening financial situation for the airline industry.

Yesterday, the credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded the industry’s outlook from stable to negative, warning that there is an “increasing risk to demand for passenger air travel as the coronavirus expands globally.”

And today, the Global Business Travel Association reported that business travel is “slowing at an alarming rate,” finding that 13 percent of its members have canceled even domestic travel, along with high rates of canceled international business travel.

“Those are the customers that are the most profitable for airlines,” said airline analyst Henry Harteveldt.

Though airlines have yet to publicly ask for assistance from the government, the potential for some kind of stimulus has been a topic of discussion on and off Capitol Hill for days, and President Donald Trump has indicated that he favors some assistance for airlines and the cruise industry.

On Tuesday, Trump, along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, met with Senate Republicans at their weekly lunch to discuss potential stimulus ideas on a range of topics.

Several Republican senators said that support for the airline and cruise industries was discussed generally, but that few specifics were given.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said that he had not been approached by either industry asking for aid.

Despite the fresh bad news, there is still a high level of uncertainty in the outlook for airlines and the travel industry broadly. “At this point, you cant really do forecasting because we’ve never really been in a situation quite like this before,” said Harteveldt.

And it remains true that overall, the industry is in much better shape than it was after 9/11 and in 2008, when airlines were hit hard by the recession, said Bob Mann, another airline industry analyst.

“The industry structure and company’s balance sheets individually are in far better shape,” he said. “Even the worst balance sheets are better than the average balance sheets in 2008 and 2001.”

Airlines have been taking steps to reduce their capacity, which Mann called “prudent.”

American Airlines is the latest to make that call, announcing this morning it would cut summer international flights by 10 percent and domestic flights by 7.5 percent. Delta Air Lines also said Tuesday that it is cutting international flights by 20 percent to 25 percent and domestic flights by 10 percent to 15 percent.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/10/airlines-travel-slump-coronavirus-125016

Story 5: President Trump Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to General Jack Keane —

Trump awards Gen. Jack Keane with Presidential Medal of Freedom

Jack Keane

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Jack Keane
Jack Keane.jpg

General Jack Keane in 1999
Born February 1, 1943 (age 77)
New York CityNew York, U.S.
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Years of service 1966–2003
Rank General
Commands held XVIII Airborne Corps
101st Airborne Division
1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division
Battles/wars Vietnam War
Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom
Defense Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Army Distinguished Service Medal (2)
Silver Star
Legion of Merit (5)
Bronze Star

John M. “Jack” Keane (born February 1, 1943) is a retired American four-star general, former Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. He is a noted national security analyst, primarily on Fox News, and serves as chairman of the Institute for the Study of War and as chairman of AM General.

Personal life

Keane was born in 1943 in Manhattan, New York,[1][2] the son of Elizabeth (Davis) and John Keane. He has a brother, Ronald. Keane married Theresa Doyle in 1965 and has two sons.[3] His wife died in 2016 after having Parkinson’s disease for 14 years.[4]

Education

Keane attended Fordham University, where he participated in The National Society of Pershing Rifles, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1966. He then attended Western Kentucky University, graduating with a master’s degree in philosophy. He later attended the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College.[3]

Career

Military service

Keane (left) meeting with an army colonel

Keane served in the Vietnam War as a paratrooper.[5] He later served in U.S. engagements in SomaliaHaitiBosnia and Kosovo. His commands include the 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division101st Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps.[3]

In 1991 Keane saved the life of David Petraeus during a live-fire exercise. According to Keane, Petraeus was shot “accidentally, standing right next to me, and I had to fight to save his life. He had a hole about the size of a quarter in his back and is gushing with blood, and we stopped the bleeding and got him on a helicopter and got him to a surgeon and so we were sort of bonded ever since that time.”[6]

Keane retired from military service in 2003.

Post military service

Following his retirement, he has served as an informal advisor to presidents and other senior officials. He served an advisory role in the management of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, as a member of the Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee. In January 2007, Keane and scholar Frederick W. Kagan released a policy paper titled “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq,”[7] through the American Enterprise Institute that called for bringing security by putting 30,000 additional American troops there for a period of at least 18 months. In part convinced by this paper, President George W. Bush ordered on January 10, 2007, the deployment of 21,500 additional troops to Iraq, most of whom would be deployed to Baghdad. This deployment has been nicknamed the 2007 “surge“.[8][9]

Of his initial meeting with President Bush regarding the surge, Keane said he made a phone call to Newt Gingrich to ask his advice prior to the meeting. As Keane said in 2014,

Gingrich gave me some good advice. He said, “Look, Jack. Most people go in the Oval Office, even people who go in there a lot, have a tendency in front of the President of the United States to always leave something on the table.” He said, “Don’t leave anything on the table.” He said, “You’re going to get about 15 minutes at best and put it all out there. And when you walk out of that room, feel good that you got it all out there.” So that was sound advice, and I did put it all out there.[10]

Keane was asked by then-Vice President Cheney to go back on active duty and lead the surge in the field. When Keane declined, Cheney pressed him to come work in the White House and oversee both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; Keane again declined. Keane ended up briefly working at the White House and then later traveled to Iraq several times to advise General Petraeus.[11]

Current activities

Keane is a regular contributor to Fox News, and is involved in a variety of business, think tank and charitable activities. He serves as chairman of AM General, the firm that produces the Humvee.[12][13]. In June 2016, Keane co-founded IP3 International (IP3), a nuclear energy consulting firm.

Keane is an advisor to the Spirit of America, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports the safety and success of Americans serving abroad and the local people and partners they seek to help.[14] He formerly served as a strategic advisor for Academi and is a former director of defense giant General Dynamics.

Shortly after Stanley A. McChrystal declined the Secretary of Defense job, Vice-President Elect Pence heard the emotional reasons for the newly widowed general’s decline of the same job. After the departure of General Mattis, the President offered the job again to the subject, but he declined because he was newly remarried.[15] He is considered an influential voice to leaders from both major political parties, including President Trump, particularly on foreign policy issues related to the Middle East.[16]

IP3

Keane is a cofounder and director of IP3 International.[17] According to a staff report to the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign of Donald Trump, and subsequently, Trump aides such as Jared Kushner and others have been engaged in promoting IP3’s plan to transfer nuclear technology from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia. According to the report, IP3 founders and others have been seeking to broker a deal with Riyadh without the “gold standard,” a provision — tied to section 123 of the 1954 Atomic Energy Act which establishes conditions for nuclear cooperation between the U.S. and its allies — that seeks to limit weaponizing of nuclear energy.[18][19] In July 2019, the committee chairman released a second staff report that detailed various activities and contacts between IP3 and the Trump administration.[18] [20]

Awards and decorations

Military awards Keane has received include two Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Army Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, five Legion of Merits, the Bronze Star Medal, three Meritorious Service Medals, one Army Commendation Medal, the Joint Chiefs Service Badge, the Humanitarian Service Medal,[3] Ranger TabCombat Infantryman BadgeMaster Parachutist Badge, and Air Assault Badge. President Donald Trump has announced that Keane is set to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the second week of March 2020.[21]

His civilian awards include the Fordham University Distinguished Alumni Award, the USO 2002 Man of the Year award, and the Association of the United States Army 2001 Man of the Year award.

Combat Infantry Badge.svg
Bronze oak leaf cluster

Bronze oak leaf cluster

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster

Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster

Bronze star
Bronze star

Bronze star
Bronze star

Ranger Tab.svg US Army Airborne master parachutist badge.gif AirAssault.svg
Joint Chiefs of Staff seal.svg United States Army Staff Identification Badge.png 502 Parachute Infantry Regiment DUI.PNG

References

  1. ^ Matthew Kaminski, Wall Street Journal“Why the Surge Worked”, September 20, 2008
  2. ^ http://www.defense.gov/Releases/Release.aspx?ReleaseID=731
  3. Jump up to:a b c d “General Jack Keane (bio)”Principles of War Seminar SeriesJohns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Archived from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved January 22, 2007.
  4. ^ “Army Gen. Jack Keane declines Trump’s secretary of defense offer”.
  5. ^ Fred KaplanThe Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of WarSimon & Schuster, 2013, p. 225.
  6. ^ Keane, Jack. “Jack Keane”Conversations with Bill Kristol. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  7. ^ Kagan, Frederick W. (January 5, 2007). “Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq: Phase I Report”American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Archived from the original on January 17, 2007. Retrieved 2017-04-17.
  8. ^ Kerley, David (January 9, 2007). “The Architect of Bush’s New Iraq Strategy”ABC NewsArchived from the original on August 25, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2007.
  9. ^ Hastings, Hirsh, and Wolffe (January 8, 2007). Surge’ Strategy”Newsweek National NewsMSNBC. p. 2. Archived from the original on January 14, 2007. Retrieved January 16,2007.
  10. ^ http://conversationswithbillkristol.org/video/jack-keane/
  11. ^ “GEN. JACK KEANE TRANSCRIPT”Conversations with Bill Kristol. The Foundation for Constitutional Government. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  12. ^ “From the Pentagon to the private sector: In large numbers, and with few rules, retiring generals are taking lucrative defense-firm jobs”Boston.com, December 26, 2010
  13. ^ [1]AM General, October 26, 2016
  14. ^ https://spiritofamerica.org/staff/general-retired-jack-keane
  15. ^ Bergen, Peter. (2019). Trump and his generals: the cost of chaos. New York:Penguin Press. ISBN 978055522416. p. 49, p. 251
  16. ^ Johnson, Eliana (July 2, 2019). “The Fox News general who ‘spooked’ Trump out of attacking Iran: President Donald Trump may have tired of the men he once called ‘my generals,’ but one retired military leader still has his ear on key foreign policy matters”. Politico.
  17. ^ “Our Team”IP3 Int’l. Archived from the original on 2019-02-19. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  18. Jump up to:a b “Corporate and Foreign Interests Behind White House Push to Transfer U.S. Nuclear Technology to Saudi Arabia Prepared for Chairman Elijah E. Cummings Second Interim Staff Report Committee on Oversight and Reform U.S. House of Representatives July 2019” (PDF)oversight.house.gov. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  19. ^ Arms Control Association fact sheet, retrieved August 27, 2019
  20. ^ “Appendix A – Documents” (PDF)oversight.house.gov. Retrieved 29 July 2019.
  21. ^ “Donald J. Trump”http://www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2020-03-05.

External links

Military offices
Preceded by
Eric Shinseki
Vice Chief of Staff of the United States Army
1999–2003
Succeeded by
George Casey

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Keane

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The Pronk Pops Show 1406, March 4, 2020, Story 1: President Trump Wins All 14 States and Over 740 Delegates On Super Tuesday and Has Total Delegates of 859 With 1,276 Delegates Needed To Win Republican Nomination for President — Americans Love A Winner — Videos — Story 2: Democrats Deeply Divided — Democratic Establishment Candidate Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden vs. Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS) Bernie Sanders — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers vs. Trump The Winner — Americans Love A Winner — Videos — Story 3: Containing Circulating COVID-19 Communist Chinese Cough Crisis  Chaos — Do Not Touch Your Face and Wash Your Hands to Prevent Droplet Spreading and Infecting — Videos — Story 4: Federal Reserve Cuts Target Federal Fund Rate By 50 Basis Points or .5% To 1.00% to 1.25% — Return of Easy Monetary Policy — Bubble Blowing — Is Quantitative Easing or Money Printing Next? — Absolutely — Videos– Story 5: United States Stock Market Corrected for Bubble Prices —  Stock Market Prices Surge

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Story 1: President Trump Wins All 14 States and Over 740 Delegates On Super Tuesday and Has Total Delegates of 859 With 1,276 Delegates Needed To Win Republican Nomination for President — Americans Love A Winner — Videos

Patton (1/5) Movie CLIP – Americans Love a Winner (1970) HD

President Trump delivers remarks at CPAC

President Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

President Donald Trump Sweeps Super Tuesday

The president picked up hundreds of delegates in an unsurprising victory in more than a dozen states.

Story 2: Democrats Deeply Divided — Democratic Establishment Candidate Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden vs. Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS) Bernie Sanders — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers vs. Trump The Winner — Americans Love A Winner — Videos

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Super Tuesday results show clear two-man race for Democratic nomination

Rubio on Biden vs. Sanders: It’s either old Obama policies or Marxism

Trump calls Warren ‘selfish’ for staying in 2020 race

Mike Bloomberg drops out of the 2020 race

Gowdy: Biden only looks moderate because he is next to Bernie

NOT A JOKE: Biden Has Dementia?! | Louder with Crowder

 

Mike Bloomberg QUITS 2020 race after disastrous Super Tuesday saying winning is ‘impossible’ after spending $1 BILLION for just 44 delegates – and immediately endorses Joe Biden, while Elizabeth Warren ‘assesses her path forward’

  • Mike Bloomberg and  Elizabeth Warren are the dramatic losers on Super Tuesday
  • Bloomberg quit at 10.11am having spent $1 billion to only win 44 delegates
  • Warren came in third in her own state of Massachusetts and came in third in nearby Maine too; aides said she was ‘assessing the path forward’
  • Dramatic count in Texas ends with Joe Biden winning the state – securing a sensational comeback from the political dead after he joked: ‘They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing.’ 
  • Bernie Sanders seized a victory in California in the last act of a dramatic Super Tuesday which saw Joe Biden win state after state in landslides across the nation – only for his rival to take the biggest prize of all 
  • Biden started Super Tuesday off strong, sweeping a swath of the south after first winning Virginia then picking up North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Minnesota, Arkansas, Massachusetts and Texas
  • Sanders currently has four states under his belt: California, Vermont, Utah and Colorado 
  • Both Sanders and Biden claimed victory, and both said they will take the nomination 
  • The path to the nomination in Milwaukee now runs through a mini-Super Tuesday on March 10, when Missouri, Michigan, Washington and Mississippi vote

Mike Bloomberg dramatically quit the presidential race Wednesday morning after a disastrous Super Tuesday and immediately backed Joe Biden.

The billionaire gained just 44 delegates by 10.11am, the time he announced his departure – but ran up a bill of $1 billion.

He immediately and whole-heartedly backed Biden, the night’s big winner, hinting that his vast fortune is now at the former vice-president’s disposal.

‘I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it,’ he said.

‘I’ve known Joe for a very long time. I know his decency, his honesty, and his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country – including gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs.

‘Today I am glad to endorse him – and I will work to make him the next President of the United States.’

Democrats are also urging Elizabeth Warren to drop out after further pulling votes from frontrunners Biden and Bernie Sanders without winning any states – including her home of Massachusetts.

She was reported by NBC News to he holding talks with aides about ‘the path forward,’ suggesting that she too is on the brink.

And in yet another blow to Warren early Wednesday morning, Biden was declared winner in Maine, the last of the 14 Super Tuesday states to declare – and Warren did not even get the 15 per cent threshold to pick up delegates there.

In the White House Donald Trump took time out of the coronavirus crisis to send a string of mocking tweets about his richer would-be rival and notably about Bloomberg’s campaign aide Tim O’Brien. Trump had tried and failed to sue O’Brien for libel for writing in 2006 that he was not a real billionaire.

Bloomberg had been a late bloomer to the race.

Seeing the relative weakness of frontrunner Biden, and after first saying he would not run for the White House in 2020 the billionaire decided to jump in after all around Thanksgiving.

Out: Mike Bloomberg quit the race hours after a drubbing, saying: 'After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible – and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists.'

Out: Mike Bloomberg quit the race hours after a drubbing, saying: ‘After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible – and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists.’

Still not out: Elizabeth Warren - who lost her home state of Massachusetts to both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders Tuesday night

 

 

 

I’M ALL IN FOR JOE – HOW BLOOMBERG QUIT

This is Bloomberg’s statement as he left the race  

Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump. 

Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump – because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult.

I’m a believer in using data to inform decisions. After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible – and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists. 

But I remain clear-eyed about my overriding objective: victory in November. 

Not for me, but for our country. And so while I will not be the nominee, I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life. 

I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. 

After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden. 

I’ve known Joe for a very long time. I know his decency, his honesty, and his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country – including gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs. 

I’ve had the chance to work with Joe on those issues over the years, and Joe has fought for working people his whole life. 

Today I am glad to endorse him – and I will work to make him the next President of the United States. 

Like another former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, who ran for the White House in 2008, Bloomberg decided to skip the first states that held primaries – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

But a change in the Democratic National Committee rules allowed for Bloomberg to still make the Las Vegas debate stage last month.

It was the first time for American voters to see Bloomberg the candidate outside the flurry of television ads his hundreds of millions had bought.

And while the expectation was for Sanders, a democratic socialist, to push back on Bloomberg being there, within the first 10 minutes Warren brought up some of the alleged sexist behavior from the ex-mayor’s past.

‘I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: A billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians.’ And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,’ Warren said. ‘Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop and frisk.’

Warren’s debate performance was the beginning of the end.

The results of the single-biggest primary contest night essentially narrowed the field to a two-horse race with Biden edging Sanders.

On Super Tuesday, 14 states and the U.S. territory of American Samoa voted, and Bloomberg only walked away with a win in Samoa – where six delegates were up for grabs.

Every other state was won by either the former vice president or senator from Vermont.

The scale of Biden’s comeback is not in doubt – and neither is Sanders’ ability to keep going, possibly even to the convention in Milwaukee in July.

Biden began by winning state after state, and appeared to stumble when California went to Sanders just after the polls closed there at 8pm – 11pm Eastern.

For the two frontrunners, Sanders’ win in California initially threatened to upend the narrative of the night being a sensational comeback for Biden.

However, the state may yet deliver the kind of resounding win or delegate haul for Sanders that had been forecast.

Sanders had a strong lead, with 87 per cent of the vote in, Biden was running nearly 9 points ahead, and the Vermont senator had garnered over a million votes. In California, Bloomberg also slipped below the 15 per cent threshold he would need to hit in order to collect delegates.

There was a dramatic race playing out through the night in Texas, the night’s second biggest prize. Biden opened up a lead over Sanders early Wednesday morning.

By the time the race was called around 2 am, he was leading Sanders by 50,000 votes, with 89 per cent reporting. Biden was at 33 percent, Sanders was at 30 per cent, and Bloomberg was at 15 per cent – just enough to earn delegates.

As votes continued to come in Wednesday morning, Bloomberg had slipped below that 15 per cent.

There were long lines in Harris County, home to Houston, where Biden was running up strong margins. As in southern states, Biden was running up big margins with the state’s African American voters, but Sanders heavily targeted Latino voters in the state. Biden’s margin, however was bigger.

Some voters were online for six hours, in a state that had pared back polling locations. Biden cleaned up among those who decided who to back late – winning the group 49 to 20 per cent in the state.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called it ‘astounding,’ noting that Biden didn’t spend ‘a penny’ there, speaking on CNN.

Biden staged a dramatic rally in Dallas Monday where he secured endorsements from former presidential rivals Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke. Earlier Monday, Pete Buttigieg had also endorsed the former vice president.

O’Rourke later took Biden out to a Whataburger, a regional chain, for a milkshake.

Across the map there were signs of Biden’s sudden revival.

Biden dealt a humiliating blow to Warren in her home state of Massachusetts – snagging at least 28 delegates out of the state and beating her in her backyard. She vowed to stay in the race all the way to the conventions even as more centrist candidates flocked to 77-year-old former vice president.

He also denied the prize to Sanders, who hails from a neighboring state.

Bloomberg was born there, and had actor Michael Douglas stumping for him in Boston.

But the region where he dominated was the south, with wins stretching from Virginia to Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Biden scored a surprise win in Minnesota.

Warren, hosting a rally in downtown Detroit, called herself ‘the woman who’s going to beat Donald Trump.’

The final details of delegate distribution were yet to be determined as the night wore on. But Biden’s overwhelming performance, and the collapse of Bloomberg and Warren, immediately reset the race, with the prospect that Sanders and his political ‘revolution’ would be up against a long slog against the Demoratic establishment-backed candidate as he was against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Biden rushed to win after win early in the night, with Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama falling in rapid succession.

He took Minnesota without spending a dime on advertising and despite being third in the polls until Amy Klobuchar dropped out on Sunday. She endorsed Biden on Monday.

‘Prediction has been a terrible business and pundits have gotten it wrong over and over,’ she said. ‘Here’s my advice. Cast a vote that will make you proud.’

Then Sanders took some western wins in Utah and Colorado and snared the biggest state of all.

Bernie Sanders seized a victory in California in the last act of a dramatic Super Tuesday which saw Joe Biden win state after state in landslides across the nation – only for his rival to take the biggest prize of all

Bernie Sanders seized a victory in California in the last act of a dramatic Super Tuesday which saw Joe Biden win state after state in landslides across the nation – only for his rival to take the biggest prize of all

Biden rushed to win after win early in the night, with Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama falling in rapid succession. He took Minnesota without spending a dime on advertising and despite being third in the polls until Amy Klobuchar dropped out on Sunday

As Biden raced to a series of state victories, Mike Bloomberg's campaign said he plans to 'reassess' whether he should stay in the race tomorrow. His aides said his campaign chiefs were considering their next move. Dropping out would hand a huge victory to Biden and also the potential for Bloomberg's almost unlimited resources to be thrown behind him immediately

s Biden raced to a series of state victories, Mike Bloomberg’s campaign said he plans to ‘reassess’ whether he should stay in the race tomorrow. His aides said his campaign chiefs were considering their next move. Dropping out would hand a huge victory to Biden and also the potential for Bloomberg’s almost unlimited resources to be thrown behind him immediately

TRUMP ROASTS HIS RIVALS AND TOASTS HIS OWN SUCCESS

Donald Trump skewered his critics while toasting his own successes on Twitter as results rolled in from Super Tuesday ballots across the country.

The President reserved most of his ire for ‘Mini’ Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren, who both had poor showings in the polls.

Hitting out at fellow New York billionaire Bloomberg, Trump branded him ‘the biggest loser of the night, by far’.

‘His ‘political’ consultants took him for a ride,’ Trump tweeted.

‘$700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation. Way to go Mike!’

Trump also took aim at Warren after she failed to win her home state of Massachusetts, landing her a distant third in the delegate stakes.

‘Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren, other than Mini Mike, was the loser of the night. She didn’t even come close to winning her home state of Massachusetts,’ he wrote.

While Trump made sure to put down his rivals, he donated most of his energy to cheering his own successes – albeit while facing token opposition.

As each win rolled in he tweeted out a message of thanks to his supporters, while vowing to retake the presidency in November.

In Los Angeles, before California was called for Sanders, Biden took to the stage and cast himself the victor, regardless if Sanders took both California and Texas.

First, he mixed up his wife Jill and sister Valerie, a characteristic gaffe which has clearly done nothing to put off Democratic voters.

Biden declared: ‘It’s a great night and it seems to be getting even better. They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing!’

The former vice president recalled how just days ago the suggestion was that Super Tuesday would mark the end of his campaign.

‘Well it may be over for the other guy,’ Biden said, a clear shot at Sanders.

Energized, coherent and not put off even by two militant vegan protesters who ran onto the stage to protest against the dairy industry, he painted himself as the one Democrat who can take on Trump.

‘A lifelong Democrat, an Obama-Biden Democrat,’ he said to cheers – a pointed way to contrast himself to Sanders, who is an independent senator.

Jill Biden was captured in a photograph grabbing the protester by the arm and grimacing.  Symone Sanders, Sanders’ former press secretary who’s not a top Biden adviser, had rushed across the stage to pull a protester off.

It was a return in part to the early days of the race, when Biden held a strong polling lead before the first states voted and caucused. With Sanders on the rise days ago and party leaders warning the democratic socialist could seize the nomination Tuesday, forces coalesced around Biden in South Carolina.

A key factor was the endorsement there of James C. Clyburn, the state’s most senior African American elected official.

In Vermont, Sanders pinned his hopes on California, pivoting to a victory speech and a string of attacks on Biden.

‘Tonight I tell you with absolute confidence we are going to win the Democratic nomination,’ he said.

The path to the nomination in Milwaukee now runs through a mini-Super Tuesday on March 10, when Missouri, Michigan, Washington and Mississippi vote.

Sanders had appeared to be ahead in Michigan but Biden’s upset in Minnesota is likely to weigh heavily there, and the combined demographic of African-Americans and disaffected blue collar voters could play to Biden’s strengths.

The following Tuesday, March 17, offers another selection of massive delegate counts when Florida, Illinois and Ohio all vote, along with Arizona.

The following week, March 24, sees Georgia vote, which Biden’s southern firewall should make a surefire victory.

For Sanders, the loss of momentum from a rocky Super Tuesday could be critical.

In 2016 he stayed in by rallying his base and railing against an ‘establishment’ determined not to give him the nomination and to install an ‘inevitable’ candidate in Hillary Clinton.

That may be more difficult as he faces in Biden an opponent whose comeback narrative offers him some of the advantages of the underdog, and whose narrative of empathy and standing up for those who were left behind overlaps with Sanders’ more radical rhetoric.

The string of endorsements Biden has garnered in the last few days from centrist party figures, including three of his former rivals, have been crucial in driving momentum.

In Los Angeles, before California was called for Sanders', Biden took to the stage and cast himself the victor, regardless if Sanders took California and Texas

Energized, coherent and not put off even by two militant vegan protesters (pictured) who ran onto the stage to protest against the dairy industry, Biden painted himself as the one Democrat who can take on Trump

Energized, coherent and not put off even by two militant vegan protesters (pictured) who ran onto the stage to protest against the dairy industry, Biden painted himself as the one Democrat who can take on Trump

Biden's early lead caused a dramatic shift and left Sanders, until last week the frontrunner, clinging to the hope of doing well in California before polls closed in the nation's most populous state. Shortly after polls in California closed, he was named the winner

Biden's campaign had suggested that the key to Super Tuesday was to minimize Sanders' lead and a Virginia victory appeared to put them on the path to that goal. The sign of momentum for the former vice president came as he saw a boost in last-minute opinion polls despite having trailed Sanders in recent weeks

WARREN LOSES HER HOME STATE

Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for president fell flat on Super Tuesday as she was unable to win even her home state of Massachusetts.

Warren lost to both Joe Biden – whose South Carolina win Saturday night restored his frontrunner status – and Bernie Sanders, who represents neighboring state Vermont. Warren was in third place with 22 per cent of the vote with 70 per cent of the votes counted.

‘Predictions are a terrible business. Pundits have gotten it wrong over and over,’ Warren told the Michigan crowd. ‘Cast a vote that will make you proud. Vote from your heart. And vote for the person who you think will make the best president of the United States.’

During her final rally in California Monday night, Warren dismissed the surging Biden as a same-old, same-old Washington politician.

Sanders supporters cheer as they hear election results during a party held at Central Machine Works Brewery in Austin, Texas

Sanders supporters cheer as they hear election results during a watch party held at Central Machine Works Brewery in Austin, Texas - a state he eventually lost to Biden

Supporters of Bernie Sanders look over Super Tuesday election results at a campaign center in Denver, Colorado

Supporters of Democratic Presidential hopeful Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren attend a rally in Detroit

Tulsi Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, remains in the race though has only campaigned sporadically. She did make a pitch to voters in American Samoa, where she was born, to vote for her Tuesday

Tulsi Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, remains in the race though has only campaigned sporadically. She did make a pitch to voters in American Samoa, where she was born, to vote for her Tuesday

People wait to vote during the presidential primary in Santa Monica, California on Super Tuesday

People wait to vote during the presidential primary in Santa Monica, California on Super Tuesday

Voters cast their ballots in the Democratic presidential primary election at a polling place in Armstrong Elementary School o in Herndon, Virginia

Rochelle Marks, 77, votes at a polling station on Super Tuesday in Beverly Hills, California

People line up to vote at a polling station on Super Tuesday in Beverly Hills, California

Students at the University of Vermont Franklin fill out voter registration forms at a polling place on Super Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont. At the close of the polls on Tuesday night, Sanders won his home state

Students at the University of Vermont Franklin fill out voter registration forms at a polling place on Super Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont. At the close of the polls on Tuesday night, Sanders won his home state

Voters cast their ballots at a polling location inside an elementary school in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Those included former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas, Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, former Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Rep. Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, among others.

Now Biden will have Bloomberg out of his way in order to capture more moderate voters – and Bloomberg’s commitment to help him remove Trump from office.

President Trump, for his part, touted his string of Republican primary victories Tuesday night, tweeting his thanks after state after state was called in his favor.

The president only had token competition – former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld – in the Super Tuesday contests and one state, Virginia, canceled its GOP primary as Trump, like most incumbent presidents, is easily expected to win his party’s nomination.

Trump has played armchair pundit on Twitter as he’s watched the shake-up on the Democratic side.

‘Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, other than Mini Mike, was the loser of the night. She didn’t even come close to winning her home state of Massachusetts. Well, now she can just sit back with her husband and have a nice cold beer!’ Trump tweeted early Wednesday.

The president relished the news that Bloomberg had bowed out.

‘Mini Mike Bloomberg just “quit” the race for President. I could have told him long ago that he didn’t have what it takes, and he would have saved himself a billion dollars, the real cost,’ Trump wrote. ‘Now he will pour money into Sleepy Joe’s campaign, hoping to save face.’

‘It won’t work!’ Trump said.

Biden talks with actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key as he campaigns before his evening rally on Super Tuesday in LA

Meanwhile Bernie Sanders, who was earning frontrunner status, spoke to thousands at his rallies in Super Tuesday states including one Monday night in Minneapolis. With Amy Klobuchar out, her state is up for grabs

On Monday night at a really in Los Angeles Warren pitched herself as the candidate who could split the difference between Biden and Sanders. 'Voters deserve a choice of someone with unshakeable values who can also get things done and bring all kinds of Democrats along with her,' she argued

Voters from 14 states head to the polls on 'Super Tuesday,' with about a third of Democratic delegates at stake in a single day

WHO ARE THE 4 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?

 

JOE BIDEN

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 78

Entered race: April 25, 2019

Career: No current role. A University of Delaware and Syracuse Law graduate, he was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 1969, then won upset election to Senate in 1972, aged 29. Was talked out of quitting before being sworn in when his wife and daughter died in a car crash and served total of six terms. Chaired Judiciary Committee’s notorious Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Ran for president in 1988, pulled out after plagiarism scandal, ran again in 2008, withdrew after placing fifth in the Iowa Caucuses. Tapped by Obama as his running mate and served two terms as vice president. Contemplated third run in 2016 but decided against it after his son died of brain cancer.

Family: Eldest of four siblings born to Joe Biden Sr. and Catherine Finnegan. First wife Neilia Hunter and their one-year-old daughter Naomi died in car crash which their two sons, Joseph ‘Beau’ and Robert Hunter survived. Married Jill Jacobs in 1976, with whom he has daughter Ashley. Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter’s marriage to Kathleen Buhle, with whom he has three children, ended in 2016 when it emerged Hunter was in a relationship with Beau’s widow Hallie, mother of their two children. Hunter admitted cocaine use; his estranged wife accused him of blowing their savings on drugs and prostitutes

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Ultra-moderate who will emphasize bipartisan record. Will come under fire over record, having voted: to stop desegregation bussing in 1975; to overturn Roe v Wade in 1981; for now controversial 1994 Violent Crime Act; for 2003 Iraq War; and for banking deregulation. Says he is ‘most progressive’ Democrat. New positions include free college, tax reform, $15 minimum wage. No public position yet on Green New Deal and healthcare. Pro-gun control. Has already apologized to women who say he touched them inappropriately

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president

Slogan: Our Best Days Still Lie Ahead

 

TULSI GABBARD

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019

Career: Currently Hawaii congresswoman. Born on American Samoa, a territory. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012

Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit.

Religion: Hindu

Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory

Would make history as: First female, Hindu and Samoan-American president; youngest president ever

Slogan: Lead with Love 

 

BERNIE SANDERS

Age on Inauguration Day: 79

Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19

Career: Currently Vermont senator. Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment  – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture

Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deborah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. 

Religion: Secular Jewish 

Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president

Slogan: Not me. Us.

ELIZABETH WARREN

Age on Inauguration Day: 71

Entered race:  Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018

Career: Currently Massachusetts senator. Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016

Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American

Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church

Views on key issues: Was a registered Republican who voted for the party but registered as a Democrat in 1996. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: Warren Has A Plan For That

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8074295/Democrats-tell-Mike-Bloomberg-Elizabeth-Warren-quit-Joe-Bidens-dramatic-comeback.html

 

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What’s New

You can also keep up with CDC updates on Coronavirus Disease 2019 by signing up for email updatessyndicating available content, and subscribing to Coronavirus Disease 2019 RSS Feed.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/whats-new-all.html

 

10 Things to Know About CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 + TOP 3 SOURCES to Follow—For

Family & Friends

These are the 10 things you MUST KNOW about CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 to keep your family safe. The video also explains why you should take this outbreak seriously and where to go for CREDIBLE INFORMATION to help you stay ahead of the news curve.

1) Coronavirus Covid-19 is not the flu, it’s not SARS, and it’s not MERS. It’s a completely new virus.

2) Coronavirus Covid-19 is 20x deadlier than the flu.

3) Although 81% of people experience mild symptoms, Coronavirus Covid-19 has a high complication rate.

4) If you contract the virus and you’re older, your chances of dying are higher. But young people in their 20’s and 30’s have died too, so don’t be complacent.

5) Coronavirus Covid-19 can have a very long incubation period, and it spreads asymptomatically.

6) Coronavirus Covid-19 spreads via droplets in the air and AEROSOL!

7) The R0 factor of this virus is incredibly high.

8) There have been reports out of Asia of people getting Covid-19 again, so recovering once does not guarantee immunity afterward.

9) In the United States, we are in the early part of the curve, where it looks like nothing much is happening.

10) Vaccines are not yet available and probably won’t be for 6-18 months, no matter what you read in the headlines.

*****3 TO FOLLOW***** Chris Martenson, Peak Prosperity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVQC1…

Dr. Roger Seheult, MedCram: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quDYb…

Dr. John Campbell, Retired: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmIRM…

*****SOURCES***** Lessons from the Coronavirus outbreak in China 2019: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama…

Age of Coronavirus deaths: https://www.worldometers.info/coronav…

Outbreak country charts: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitica…

Why some Covid-19 cases are worse than others: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-op…

Too early to compare Coronavirus to Flu: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/w…

Covid-19 Coronavirus reinfection in Japan raises questions:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/202… #coronavirus #covid19

 

 

WHO says coronavirus death rate is 3.4% globally, higher than previously thought

  • World health officials say the mortality rate for COVID-19 is 3.4% globally, higher than previous estimates of about 2%.
  • “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

World health officials said Tuesday the mortality rate for COVID-19 is 3.4% globally, higher than previous estimates of about 2%.

“Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. In comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected, he said.

The World Health Organization had said last week that the mortality rate of COVID-19 can differ, ranging from 0.7% to up to 4%, depending on the quality of the health-care system where it’s treated. Early in the outbreak, scientists had concluded the death rate was around 2.3%.

During a press briefing Monday, WHO officials said they don’t know how COVID-19 behaves, saying it’s not like influenza. They added that while much is known about the seasonal flu, such as how it’s transmitted and what treatments work to suppress the disease, that same information is still in question when it comes to the coronavirus.

“This is a unique virus, with unique features. This virus is not influenza,” Tedros said Monday. “We are in uncharted territory.”

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, said Monday that the coronavirus isn’t transmitting the same exact way as the flu and health officials have been given a “glimmer, a chink of light” that the virus could be contained. 

“Here we have a disease for which we have no vaccine, no treatment, we don’t fully understand transmission, we don’t fully understand case mortality, but what we have been genuinely heartened by is that unlike influenza, where countries have fought back, where they’ve put in place strong measures, we’ve remarkably seen that the virus is suppressed,” Ryan said.

Do face masks work? Medical experts explain how to protect yourself from coronavirus

KEY POINTS
  • Epidemiologists and infectious disease experts have been at pains to emphasize against an unwarranted scramble for face masks in recent weeks.
  • South Korea, Italy and Iran have all recorded sharp upticks in cases of the coronavirus in recent days, with many other countries imposing travel restrictions on virus-hit areas worldwide.
  • Infections have now been reported in every continent except Antarctica.

GP: CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS - 106419119 200203 EU

This photo taken on February 28, 2020 shows workers producing face masks at a factory in Handan in China’s northern Hebei province.
STR | AFP via Getty Images

Medical experts have urged people to stop panic buying face masks, warning that such equipment is not an effective way to protect yourself from the fast-spreading coronavirus.

The advice comes at a time of intensifying concern about COVID-19, which has killed more than 3,000 people worldwide since late last year.

The outbreak was first identified in Hubei province, China, where over 90% of the deaths have been reported. More recently, the virus has been spreading at a faster rate outside China than inside the country.

VIDEO02:38
Face mask shortage sparks global race to fulfill orders

The WHO has declared the outbreak a global health emergency, with almost 60 countries reporting cases of the coronavirus.

Epidemiologists and infectious disease experts have been at pains to emphasize against an unwarranted scramble for face masks in recent weeks, particularly because such hoarding behavior elevates the prospect of an equipment shortage for medical workers.

“Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS!” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said via Twitter over the weekend.

“They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

U.S. Surgeon General

@Surgeon_General

Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!

They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching , but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!
http://bit.ly/37Ay6Cm 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

cdc.gov

47.8K people are talking about this

The warning from America’s top doctor is consistent with medical advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has said there is no evidence to support wearing face masks.

Instead, Adams said “the best way to protect yourself and your community is with everyday preventative actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of the respiratory illness.”

‘Not a lot of evidence’ to support wearing face masks

It has been suggested wearing face masks could be useful if you’re sick in order to prevent you from sneezing or coughing into somebody’s face, David Heymann, who led WHO’s infectious disease unit at the time of the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003, said at a Chatham House press briefing last month.

But, “a mask that is used to stop getting an infection is sometimes not very effective because people take it off to eat, many times they are worn improperly (and) if they get wet and somebody sneezes on that mask it could pass through.

So, there is really not a lot of evidence (to support wearing masks).”

GP: THAILAND-CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS 200204 EU
Children with face masks wash their hands before prayer at Erawan shrine, a popular spritual landmark in Bangkok on January 27, 2020.
MLADEN ANTONOV | AFP via Getty Images

“One of the most important ways of stopping respiratory outbreaks such as this is washing hands,” Heymann continued.

That’s because “if you touch a patient, if you shake hands, if you touch a door that has a droplet on it — which could theoretically happen — then you touch your face (or) your mouth and you become infected.”

“So, handwashing is the most important. And second is, people who are suspected as being patients, be very careful when you are dealing with them. Avoid face-to-face contact and wash hands when you’re treating,” Heymann said.

“It is very important that people understand that they can prevent themselves from being infected if they follow a few simple measures,” he added.

‘Don’t touch your face’

South Korea, Italy and Iran have all recorded sharp upticks in cases of the coronavirus in recent days, with many other countries imposing travel restrictions on virus-hit areas worldwide.

Infections have now been reported in every continent except Antarctica.

Emily Landon, medical director for infection control at the University of Chicago Medical Center, told CNBC late last week that face masks were “not a great choice” for everyday use.

“First of all, there are multiple different kind of face masks. There is the surgical mask that people wear that doesn’t really seal up very well. That’s super good if you put it on the patient who’s sick because that will contain their secretions and protect everyone around them.”

“However, if you are the one who wants to protect yourself, those N95 masks … are much better,” Landon said.

Face masks should be worn by people who show symptoms: University of Chicago Medical Director
“You need to be fit-tested in order to know exactly which size you should be wearing, you have to be trained on how to wear it properly and they can get pretty uncomfortable, so they are not a great choice for just going out in the public,” she continued.

“Keeping your hands clean so that you don’t touch your face no matter what things you are touching with your hands is a really important piece of preventing infection in hospitals, in schools and everywhere you go.”

“Soap and water works really well. It can dry your hands out a little bit more but when you do it, you want to do it right. That means getting your hands wet with warm water, cleaning them, getting all of the surfaces with soap for 20 seconds — that’s a full time through ‘Happy Birthday’ — and then also rinsing them off afterwards,” Landon said.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/02/coronavirus-do-face-masks-work-and-how-to-stop-it-from-spreading.html?recirc=taboolainternal

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Trump Job Approval Relapses Amid Coronavirus Threat: IBD/TIPP Poll

Impeachment couldn’t stop President Donald Trump’s job approval from rising, but the coronavirus might. As Americans’ near-term view of the economy soured in February, amid worry over the coronavirus and a Dow Jones correction, Trump’s job approval rating relapsed.

President Trump Job Approval

Just 41% of Americans approve of how President Trump is handling his job, while 54% disapprove, the March IBD/TIPP Poll finds. That negative 13-point differential has nearly doubled in the past month. In late January, Trump’s job approval registered 44% and disapproval 51%.

Now just 37% of independents give Trump positive reviews, while 57% disapprove. That’s down from 39%-53% in late January.

Trump Job Approval Slumps With Economic Outlook

The drop in Trump’s job approval coincides with a sudden shift in the economic outlook. The U.S. economic outlook just suffered its biggest one-month drop since October 2013 amid spread of the coronavirus, the March IBD/TIPP Poll finds.

The six-month economic outlook index fell to a modestly pessimistic 47.8 from a strongly optimistic 57. Readings above the neutral 50 level reflect optimism.

Trump continues to get positive ratings for his handling of the economy, with 47% approving and 35% disapproving. Still, that’s a big comedown from late January. Back then, 53% of Americans rated his handling of the U.S. economy as good or excellent, while just 28% give him a negative rating.

Trump Slips In Matchups Vs. Democrats

Joe Biden leads Trump 49% to 46%, the March IBD/TIPP Poll finds, after Trump had cut the margin to 49%-48% in late January.

Sanders now leads Trump 49% to 47%, having trailed 47%-49% a month earlier. Warren leads Trump 48% to 46%, a reversal of her 46%-50% deficit.

Still, a narrow popular vote edge would not necessarily translate into an Electoral College victory for Democrats.

Trump leads all Democrats among self-described investors, with a four-point lead over Biden. He leads Sanders by seven points.

The IBD/TIPP Poll reflects responses from 908 adults contacted via mobile phones and landlines from Feb. 20-29 and carries a 3.3-point margin of error.

Please follow Jed Graham on Twitter at @IBD_JGraham for coverage of economic policy and financial markets.

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Stock market index

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A comparison of three major U.S. stock indices: the NASDAQ CompositeDow Jones Industrial Average, and S&P 500 Index. All three have the same height at March 2000. The NASDAQ spiked during the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s, a result of the large number of technology companies on that index.

stock index or stock market index is an index that measures a stock market, or a subset of the stock market, that helps investors compare current price levels with past prices to calculate market performance.[1] It is computed from the prices of selected stocks (typically a weighted arithmetic mean).

Two of the primary criteria of an index are that it is investable and transparent:[2] The method of its construction are specified. Investors can invest in a stock market index by buying an index fund, which are structured as either a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund, and “track” an index. The difference between an index fund’s performance and the index, if any, is called tracking error. For a list of major stock market indices, see List of stock market indices.

Types of indices

Stock market indices may be classified in many ways. A ‘world’ or ‘global’ stock market index — such as the MSCI World or the S&P Global 100 — includes stocks from multiple regions. Regions may be defined geographically (e.g., Europe, Asia) or by levels of industrialization or income (e.g., Developed Markets, Frontier Markets).

A ‘national’ index represents the performance of the stock market of a given nation—and by proxy, reflects investor sentiment on the state of its economy. The most regularly quoted market indices are national indices composed of the stocks of large companies listed on a nation’s largest stock exchanges, such as the S&P 500 Index in the United States, the Nikkei 225 in Japan, the NIFTY 50 in India, and the FTSE 100 in the United Kingdom.

Many indices are regional, such as the FTSE Developed Europe Index or the FTSE Developed Asia Pacific Index. Indexes may be based on exchange, such as the NASDAQ-100 or groups of exchanges, such as the Euronext 100 or OMX Nordic 40.

The concept may be extended well beyond an exchange. The Wilshire 5000 Index, the original total market index, includes the stocks of nearly every public company in the United States, including all U.S. stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange (but not ADRs or limited partnerships), NASDAQ and American Stock Exchange. The FTSE Global Equity Index Series includes over 16,000 companies.[3]

Indices exist that track the performance of specific sectors of the market. Some examples include the Wilshire US REIT Index which tracks more than 80 real estate investment trusts and the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index which consists of approximately 200 firms in the biotechnology industry. Other indices may track companies of a certain size, a certain type of management, or more specialized criteria such as in fundamentally based indexes.

Ethical stock market indices

Several indices are based on ethical investing, and include only companies that meet certain ecological or social criteria, such as the Calvert Social IndexDomini 400 Social IndexFTSE4Good IndexDow Jones Sustainability Index, STOXX Global ESG Leaders Index, several Standard Ethics Aei indices, and the Wilderhill Clean Energy Index.[4]

In 2010, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation announced the initiation of a stock index that complies with Sharia‘s ban on alcohol, tobacco and gambling.[5]

Strict mechanical criteria for inclusion and exclusion exist to prevent market domination, such as in Canada when Nortel was permitted to rise to over 30% of the TSE 300 index value.

Ethical indices have a particular interest in mechanical criteria, seeking to avoid accusations of ideological bias in selection, and have pioneered techniques for inclusion and exclusion of stocks based on complex criteria.

Another means of mechanical selection is mark-to-future methods that exploit scenarios produced by multiple analysts weighted according to probability, to determine which stocks have become too risky to hold in the index of concern.

Critics of such initiatives argue that many firms satisfy mechanical “ethical criteria”, e.g. regarding board composition or hiring practices, but fail to perform ethically with respect to shareholders, e.g. Enron. Indeed, the seeming “seal of approval” of an ethical index may put investors more at ease, enabling scams. One response to these criticisms is that trust in the corporate management, index criteria, fund or index manager, and securities regulator, can never be replaced by mechanical means, so “market transparency” and “disclosure” are the only long-term-effective paths to fair markets. From a financial perspective, it is not obvious whether ethical indices or ethical funds will out-perform their more conventional counterparts. Theory might suggest that returns would be lower since the investible universe is artificially reduced and with it portfolio efficiency. On the other hand, companies with good social performances might be better run, have more committed workers and customers, and be less likely to suffer reputation damage from incidents (oil spillages, industrial tribunals, etc.) and this might result in lower share price volatility.[6] The empirical evidence on the performance of ethical funds and of ethical firms versus their mainstream comparators is very mixed for both stock[7][8] and debt markets.[9]

Presentation of index returns

Some indices, such as the S&P 500 Index, have returns shown calculated with different methods.[10] These versions can differ based on how the index components are weighted and on how dividends are accounted. For example, there are three versions of the S&P 500 Index: price return, which only considers the price of the components, total return, which accounts for dividend reinvestment, and net total return, which accounts for dividend reinvestment after the deduction of a withholding tax.[11]

The Wilshire 4500 and Wilshire 5000 indices have five versions each: full capitalization total return, full capitalization price, float-adjusted total return, float-adjusted price, and equal weight. The difference between the full capitalization, float-adjusted, and equal weight versions is in how index components are weighted.[12][13]

Weighting of stocks within an index

An index may also be classified according to the method used to determine its price. In a price-weighted index such as the Dow Jones Industrial AverageNYSE Arca Major Market Index, and the NYSE Arca Tech 100 Index, the share price of each component stock is the only consideration when determining the value of the index. Thus, price movement of even a single security will heavily influence the value of the index even though the dollar shift is less significant in a relatively highly valued issue, and moreover ignoring the relative size of the company as a whole. In contrast, a Capitalization-weighted index (also called market-value-weighted) such as the S&P 500 Index or Hang Seng Index factors in the size of the company. Thus, a relatively small shift in the price of a large company will heavily influence the value of the index.

Capitalization- or share-weighted indices have a full weighting, i.e. all outstanding shares were included. Many indices are based on a free float-adjusted weighting.

An equal-weighted index is one in which all components are assigned the same value.[14] For example, the Barron’s 400 Index assigns an equal value of 0.25% to each of the 400 stocks included in the index, which together add up to the 100% whole.[15]

modified capitalization-weighted index is a hybrid between capitalization weighting and equal weighting. It is similar to a capitalization weighting with one main difference: the largest stocks are capped to a percent of the weight of the total stock index and the excess weight will be redistributed equally amongst the stocks under that cap. In 2005, Standard & Poor’s introduced the S&P Pure Growth Style Index and S&P Pure Value Style Index which was attribute-weighted. That is, a stock’s weight in the index is decided by the score it gets relative to the value attributes that define the criteria of a specific index, the same measure used to select the stocks in the first place. For these two indexes, a score is calculated for every stock, be it their growth score or the value score (a stock cannot be both) and accordingly they are weighted for the index.[16]

Criticism of capitalization-weighting

One argument for capitalization weighting is that investors must, in aggregate, hold a capitalization-weighted portfolio anyway. This then gives the average return for all investors; if some investors do worse, other investors must do better (excluding costs).[17]

Investors use theories such as modern portfolio theory to determine allocations. This considers risk and return and does not consider weights relative to the entire market. This may result in overweighting assets such as value or small-cap stocks, if they are believed to have a better return for risk profile. These investors believe that they can get a better result because other investors are not very good. The capital asset pricing model says that all investors are highly intelligent, and it is impossible to do better than the market portfolio, the capitalization-weighted portfolio of all assets. However, empirical tests conclude that market indices are not efficient.[citation needed] This can be explained by the fact that these indices do not include all assets or by the fact that the theory does not hold. The practical conclusion is that using capitalization-weighted portfolios is not necessarily the optimal method.

As a consequence, capitalization-weighting has been subject to severe criticism (see e.g. Haugen and Baker 1991, Amenc, Goltz, and Le Sourd 2006, or Hsu 2006), pointing out that the mechanics of capitalization-weighting lead to trend following strategies that provide an inefficient risk-return trade-off.

Other stock market index weighting schemes

While capitalization-weighting is the standard in equity index construction, different weighting schemes exist. While most indices use capitalization-weighting, additional criteria are often taken into account, such as sales/revenue and net income, as in the Dow Jones Global Titan 50 Index.

As an answer to the critiques of capitalization-weighting, equity indices with different weighting schemes have emerged, such as “wealth”-weighted (Morris, 1996), Fundamentally based indexes (Robert D. Arnott, Hsu and Moore 2005), “diversity”-weighted (Fernholz, Garvy, and Hannon 1998) or equal-weighted indices.[18]

Indices and passive investment management

Passive management is an investing strategy involving investing in index funds, which are structured as mutual funds or exchange-traded funds that track market indices.[19] The SPIVA (S&P Indices vs. Active) annual “U.S. Scorecard”, which measures the performance of indices versus actively managed mutual funds, finds the vast majority of active management mutual funds underperform their benchmarks, such as the S&P 500 Index, after fees.[20][21] Since index funds attempt to replicate the holdings of an index, they eliminate the need for — and thus many costs of — the research entailed in active management, and have a lower churn rate (the turnover of securities, which can result in transaction costs and capital gains taxes).

Unlike a mutual fund, which is priced daily, an exchange-traded fund is priced continuously, is optionable, and can be sold short.[22]

Lists

References

  1. ^ Caplinger, Dan (January 18, 2020). “What Is a Stock Market Index?”The Motley Fool.
  2. ^ Lo, Andrew W. (2016). “What Is an Index?”. Journal of Portfolio Management42 (2): 21–36. doi:10.3905/jpm.2016.42.2.021.
  3. ^ “FTSE Global Equity Index Series (GEIS)”FTSE Russell.
  4. ^ Divine, John (February 15, 2019). “7 of the Best Socially Responsible Funds”U.S. News & World Report.
  5. ^ Haris, Anwar (November 25, 2010). “Muslim-Majority Nations Plan Stock Index to Spur Trade: Islamic Finance”Bloomberg L.P.
  6. ^ Oikonomou, Ioannis; Brooks, Chris; Pavelin, Stephen (2012). “The impact of corporate social performance on financial risk and utility: a longitudinal analysis” (PDF)Financial Management41 (2): 483–515. doi:10.1111/j.1755-053X.2012.01190.xISSN 1755-053X.
  7. ^ Brammer, Stephen; Brooks, Chris; Pavelin, Stephen (2009). “The stock performance of America’s 100 best corporate citizens” (PDF)The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance49 (3): 1065–1080. doi:10.1016/j.qref.2009.04.001ISSN 1062-9769.
  8. ^ Brammer, Stephen; Brooks, Chris; Pavelin, Stephen (2006). “Corporate social performance and stock returns: UK evidence from disaggregate measures” (PDF)Financial Management35 (3): 97–116. doi:10.1111/j.1755-053X.2006.tb00149.xISSN 1755-053X.
  9. ^ Oikonomou, Ioannis; Brooks, Chris; Pavelin, Stephen (2014). “The effects of corporate social performance on the cost of corporate debt and credit ratings” (PDF)Financial Review49 (1): 49–75. doi:10.1111/fire.12025ISSN 1540-6288.
  10. ^ “Index Literacy”S&P Dow Jones Indices.
  11. ^ “Methodology Matters”S&P Dow Jones Indices.
  12. ^ “Indexes”Wilshire Associates.
  13. ^ “Dow Jones Wilshire > DJ Wilshire 5000/4500 Indexes > Methodology”Wilshire Associates.
  14. ^ Edwards, Tim; Lazzara, Craig J. (May 2014). “Equal-Weight Benchmarking: Raising the Monkey Bars” (PDF)S&P Global.
  15. ^ Fabian, David (November 14, 2014). “Checking In On Equal-Weight ETFs This Year”Benzinga.
  16. ^ S&P methodology via Wikinvest
  17. ^ Sharpe, William F. (May 2010). “Adaptive Asset Allocation Policies”CFA Institute.
  18. ^ “Practice Essentials – Equal Weight Indexing” (PDF)S&P Dow Jones Indices.
  19. ^ Schramm, Michael (September 27, 2019). “What Is Passive Investing?”Morningstar, Inc.
  20. ^ “SPIVA U.S. Score Card”S&P Dow Jones Indices.
  21. ^ THUNE, KENT (July 3, 2019). “Why Index Funds Beat Actively Managed Funds”Dotdash.
  22. ^ Chang, Ellen (May 21, 2019). “How to Choose Between ETFs and Mutual Funds”U.S. News & World Report.

External links

 Media related to Stock market indexes at Wikimedia Commons

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_market_index

 

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U.S. Influenza Surveillance System: Purpose and Methods

The Influenza Division at CDC collects, compiles and analyzes information on influenza activity year-round in the United States. FluView, a weekly influenza surveillance report, and FluView Interactive, an online application which allows for more in-depth exploration of influenza surveillance data, are updated each week. The data presented each week are preliminary and may change as more data is received.

The U.S. influenza surveillance system is a collaborative effort between CDC and its many partners in state, local, and territorial health departments, public health and clinical laboratories, vital statistics offices, healthcare providers, clinics, and emergency departments. Information in five categories is collected from eight data sources in order to:

  • Find out when and where influenza activity is occurring;
  • Determine what influenza viruses are circulating;
  • Detect changes in influenza viruses; and
  • Measure the impact influenza is having on outpatient illness, hospitalizations and deaths.

It is important to maintain a comprehensive system for influenza surveillance for the following reasons:

  • Influenza viruses are constantly changing (referred to as antigenic drift), and thus ongoing data collection and characterization of the viruses are required;
  • Influenza viruses can also undergo an abrupt, major change (referred to as antigenic shift) that results in a virus that is different than currently circulating influenza viruses; surveillance of viruses will detect these changes and inform the public health response;
  • Vaccines must be administered annually and are updated regularly based on surveillance findings;
  • Treatment for influenza is guided by laboratory surveillance for antiviral resistance; and
  • Influenza surveillance and targeted research studies are used to monitor the impact of influenza on different segments of the population (e.g. age groups, underlying medical conditions).

Surveillance System Components

1. Virologic Surveillance

U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Laboratories System and the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) – Approximately 100 public health and over 300 clinical laboratories located throughout all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the District of Columbia participate in virologic surveillance for influenza through either the U.S. WHO Collaborating Laboratories System or NREVSS.  Influenza testing practices differ in public health and clinical laboratories and each source provides valuable information for monitoring influenza activity.  Clinical laboratories primarily test respiratory specimens for diagnostic purposes and data from these laboratories provide useful information on the timing and intensity of influenza activity.  Public health laboratories primarily test specimens for surveillance purposes to understand what influenza virus types, subtypes, and lineages are circulating and the age groups being affected.

All public health and clinical laboratories report each week to CDC the total number of respiratory specimens tested for influenza and the number positive for influenza viruses, along with age or age group of the person, if available.  Data presented from clinical laboratories include the weekly total number of specimens tested, the number of positive influenza tests, and the percent positive by influenza virus type.  Data presented from public health laboratories include the weekly total number of specimens tested and the number positive by influenza virus type and subtype/lineage.  In order to obtain specimens in an efficient manner, public health laboratories often receive samples that have already tested positive for an influenza virus at a clinical laboratory.  As a result, monitoring the percent of specimens testing positive for an influenza virus in a public health laboratory is less useful (i.e., we expect a higher percent positive). In order to use each data source most appropriately and to avoid duplication, reports from public health and clinical laboratories are presented separately in both FluView and FluView Interactive.

The age distribution of influenza positive specimens reported from public health laboratories is visualized in FluView Interactive.  The number and proportion of influenza virus-positive specimens by influenza A subtype and influenza B lineage are presented by age group (0-4 years, 5-24 years, 25-64 years, and ≥65 years) each week and cumulative totals are provided for the season.

Additional laboratory data for current and past seasons and by geographic level (national, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) region, and state) are available on FluView Interactive.

Virus Characterization – Most U.S. viruses submitted for virus characterization come from state and local public health laboratories. Due to Right Size Roadmapexternal icon considerations, specimen submission guidance to public health laboratories for the 2019-2020 season is that, if available, 2 influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, 3 influenza A(H3N2), and 2 influenza B viruses be submitted every other week. Therefore, the numbers of each virus type/subtype characterized should be more balanced across subtypes/lineages but will not reflect the actual proportion of circulating viruses. The goal of antigenic and genetic characterization is to compare how similar the currently circulating influenza viruses are to the reference viruses representing viruses contained in the current influenza vaccines and to monitor evolutionary changes that continually occur in influenza viruses circulating in humans. For genetic characterization, all influenza-positive surveillance samples received at CDC undergo next-generation sequencing to determine the genetic identity of circulating influenza viruses and to monitor the evolutionary trajectory of viruses circulating in our population. Virus gene segments are classified into genetic clades/subclades based on phylogenetic analysis. However, genetic changes that classify the clades/subclades do not always result in antigenic changes. “Antigenic drift” is a term used to describe gradual antigenic change that occurs as viruses evolve to escape host immune pressure. Antigenic drift is evaluated using hemagglutination inhibition and/or neutralization based focus reduction assays to compare antigenic properties of cell-propagated reference viruses representing currently recommended vaccine components with those of cell-propagated circulating viruses.

CDC also tests a subset of the influenza viruses collected by public health laboratories for susceptibility to the neuraminidase inhibitor antivirals (oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir) and the PA cap-dependent endonuclease inhibitor (baloxavir). Susceptibility to the neuraminidase inhibitors is assessed using next-generation sequencing analysis and/or a functional assay. Neuraminidase sequences of viruses are inspected to detect the presence of amino acid substitutions, previously associated with reduced or highly reduced inhibition by any of three neuraminidase inhibitorspdf iconexternal icon. In addition, a subset of viruses is tested using the neuraminidase inhibition assay with three neuraminidase inhibitors. The level of neuraminidase activity inhibition is reported using the thresholds recommended by the World Health Organization Expert Working Group of the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS)pdf iconexternal icon. These samples are routinely obtained for surveillance purposes rather than for diagnostic testing of patients suspected to be infected with an antiviral-resistant virus. Susceptibility to baloxavir is assessed using next-generation sequencing analysis to identify PA protein changes previously associated with reduced susceptibility to this medication; a subset of representative viruses is also tested phenotypically using a high-content imaging neutralization test.

Results of the antigenic and genetic characterization and antiviral susceptibility testing are presented in the virus characterization and antiviral resistance sections of the FluView report.

Surveillance for Novel Influenza A Viruses – In 2007, human infection with a novel influenza A virus became a nationally notifiable condition. Novel influenza A virus infections include all human infections with influenza A viruses that are different from currently circulating human seasonal influenza H1 and H3 viruses. These viruses include those that are subtyped as nonhuman in origin and those that cannot be subtyped with standard laboratory methods and reagents.  Rapid detection and reporting of human infections with novel influenza A viruses – viruses against which there is often little to no pre-existing immunity – is important to facilitate prompt awareness and characterization of influenza A viruses with pandemic potential and accelerate the implementation of public health responses to limit the transmission and impact of these viruses.

Newly reported cases of human infections with novel influenza A viruses are reported in FluView and additional information, including case counts by geographic location, virus subtype, and calendar year, are available on FluView Interactive.

2. Outpatient Illness Surveillance

Information on outpatient visits to health care providers for influenza-like illness is collected through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet). ILINet consists of outpatient healthcare providers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands reporting approximately 60 million patient visits during the 2018-19 season. Each week, approximately 2,600 outpatient healthcare providers around the country report data to CDC on the total number of patients seen for any reason and the number of those patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) by age group (0-4 years, 5-24 years, 25-49 years, 50-64 years, and ≥65 years). For this system, ILI is defined as fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater) and a cough and/or a sore throat without a known cause other than influenza. Sites with electronic health records use an equivalent definition as determined by public health authorities.

Additional data on medically attended visits for ILI for current and past seasons and by geographic level (national, HHS region, and state) are available on FluView Interactive.

The national percentage of patient visits to healthcare providers for ILI reported each week is calculated by combining state-specific data weighted by state population. This percentage is compared each week with the national baseline of 2.4% for the 2019-2020 influenza season. The baseline is developed by calculating the mean percentage of patient visits for ILI during non-influenza weeks for the previous three seasons and adding two standard deviations. A non-influenza week is defined as periods of two or more consecutive weeks in which each week accounted for less than 2% of the season’s total number of specimens that tested positive for influenza in public health laboratories.  Due to wide variability in regional level data, it is not appropriate to apply the national baseline to regional data; therefore, region-specific baselines are calculated using the same methodology.

Regional baselines for the 2019-2020 influenza season are:

Region 1 — 1.9%
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont

Region 2 — 3.2%
New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Region 3 — 1.9%
Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia

Region 4 — 2.4%
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee

Region 5 — 1.9%
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin

Region 6 — 3.8%
Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas

Region 7 — 1.7%
Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska

Region 8 — 2.7%
Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming

Region 9 — 2.4%
Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada

Region 10— 1.5%
Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington

ILI Activity Indicator Map: — Data collected in ILINet are also used to produce a measure of ILI activity for all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and New York City. Activity levels are based on the percent of outpatient visits due to ILI in a jurisdiction compared with the average percent of ILI visits that occur during weeks with little or no influenza virus circulation (i.e., non-influenza weeks) in that jurisdiction.  The number of sites reporting each week is variable, therefore baselines are adjusted each week based on which sites within each jurisdiction provide data. To perform this adjustment, provider level baseline ratios are calculated for those that have a sufficient reporting history.  Providers that do not have the required reporting history are assigned the baseline ratio for their practice type.  The jurisdiction level baseline is then calculated using a weighted sum of the baseline ratios for each contributing provider.

The activity levels compare the mean reported percent of visits due to ILI for the current week to the mean reported percent of visits due to ILI for non-influenza weeks.  The 10 activity levels correspond to the number of standard deviations below, at or above the mean for the current week compared with the mean of the non-influenza weeks.  There are 10 activity levels classified as minimal (levels 1-3), low (levels 4-5), moderate (levels 6-7), and high (levels 8-10).  An activity level of 1 corresponds to values that are below the mean, level 2 corresponds to an ILI percentage less than 1 standard deviation above the mean, level 3 corresponds to ILI more than 1, but less than 2 standard deviations above the mean, and so on, with an activity level of 10 corresponding to ILI 8 or more standard deviations above the mean.

The ILI Activity Indicator map reflects the level of ILI activity, not the extent of geographic spread of flu, within a jurisdiction. Therefore, outbreaks occurring in a single city could cause the state to display high activity levels. In addition, data collected in ILINet may disproportionally represent certain populations within a state, and therefore, may not accurately depict the full picture of influenza activity for the whole state. Differences in the data presented here by CDC and independently by some state health departments likely represent differing levels of data completeness with data presented by the state likely being the more complete.

The ILI Activity Indicator Map displays state-specific activity levels for multiple seasons and allows a visual representation of relative activity from state to state.  More information is available on FluView Interactive.

3. Summary of the Geographic Spread of Influenza

State and territorial health departments report the estimated level of geographic spread of influenza activity in their jurisdictions each week through the State and Territorial Epidemiologists Report. This level does not measure the severity of influenza activity; low levels of influenza activity occurring throughout a jurisdiction would result in a classification of “widespread”.  Jurisdictions classify geographic spread as follows:

  • No Activity: No laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza and no reported increase in the number of cases of ILI.
  • Sporadic: Small numbers of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases or a single laboratory-confirmed influenza outbreak has been reported, but there is no increase in cases of ILI.
  • Local: Outbreaks of influenza or increases in ILI cases and recent laboratory-confirmed influenza in a single region of the state.
  • Regional: Outbreaks of influenza or increases in ILI and recent laboratory confirmed influenza in at least two but less than half the regions of the state with recent laboratory evidence of influenza in those regions.
  • Widespread: Outbreaks of influenza or increases in ILI cases and recent laboratory-confirmed influenza in at least half the regions of the state with recent laboratory evidence of influenza in the state.

Additional data displaying the influenza activity reported by state and territorial epidemiologists for the current and past seasons are available on FluView Interactive.

4. Hospitalization Surveillance

Laboratory confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations in children and adults are monitored through the Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET). FluSurv-NET conducts population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed influenza-related hospitalizations in children younger than 18 years of age (since the 2003-2004 influenza season) and adults (since the 2005-2006 influenza season). The network includes more than 70 counties in the 10 Emerging Infections Program (EIP) states (CA, CO, CT, GA, MD, MN, NM, NY, OR, and TN) and additional Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project (IHSP) states. The IHSP began during the 2009-2010 season to enhance surveillance during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. IHSP sites included IA, ID, MI, OK and SD during the 2009-2010 season; ID, MI, OH, OK, RI, and UT during the 2010-2011 season; MI, OH, RI, and UT during the 2011-2012 season; IA, MI, OH, RI, and UT during the 2012-2013 season; and MI, OH, and UT during the 2013-2014 through 2019-20 seasons.

Cases are identified by reviewing hospital laboratory and admission databases and infection control logs for patients hospitalized during the influenza season with a documented positive influenza test (i.e., viral culture, direct/indirect fluorescent antibody assay (DFA/IFA), rapid influenza diagnostic test (RIDT), or molecular assays including reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)). Data gathered are used to estimate age-specific hospitalization rates on a weekly basis and describe characteristics of persons hospitalized with influenza illness. The rates provided are likely to be an underestimate as influenza-related hospitalizations can be missed if testing is not performed.

Patient charts are reviewed to determine if any of the following categories of high-risk medical conditions are recorded in the chart at the time of hospitalization:

  • Asthma/reactive airway disease;
  • Blood disorder/hemoglobinopathy;
  • Cardiovascular disease;
  • Chronic lung disease;
  • Chronic metabolic disease;
  • Gastrointestinal/liver disease;
  • Immunocompromised condition;
  • Neurologic disorder;
  • Neuromuscular disorder;
  • Obesity;
  • Pregnancy status;
  • Prematurity (pediatric cases only);
  • Renal disease; and
  • Rheumatologic/autoimmune/inflammatory conditions.

During the 2017-18 season, seven FluSurv-NET sites (CA, GA, MN, NM, NYA, OH, OR) conducted random sampling to select cases ≥50 years for medical chart abstraction, while still performing full chart abstractions of all cases <50 years. During the 2018-19 season, six sites (CA, GA, NM, NYA, OH, OR) conducted random sampling of cases ≥65 years for medical chart abstraction. All other sites performed full chart abstractions on all cases. Data on age, sex, admission date, in-hospital death, and influenza test results were collected for all cases. For each season going forward, including 2019-20, sampling for medical chart abstraction may be considered in cases ≥50 years. In early January of each season, observed case counts across all FluSurv-NET sites will be compared against predetermined thresholds to determine whether sampling will be implemented for the season.

Additional FluSurv-NET data including hospitalization rates for multiple seasons and different age groups and data on patient characteristics (such as virus, type, demographic, and clinical information) are available on FluView Interactive.

5. Mortality Surveillance

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) mortality surveillance data – NCHS collects death certificate data from state vital statistics offices for all deaths occurring in the United States. Pneumonia and influenza (P&I) deaths are identified based on ICD-10 multiple cause of death codes.  NCHS surveillance data are aggregated by the week of death occurrence.  To allow for collection of enough data to produce a stable P&I percentage, NCHS surveillance data are released one week after the week of death.  The NCHS surveillance data are used to calculate the percent of all deaths occurring in a given week that had pneumonia and/or influenza listed as a cause of death. The P&I percentage for earlier weeks are continually revised and may increase or decrease as new and updated death certificate data are received from the states by NCHS.  The P&I percentage is compared to a seasonal baseline of P&I deaths that is calculated using a periodic regression model incorporating a robust regression procedure applied to data from the previous five years.  An increase of 1.645 standard deviations above the seasonal baseline of P&I deaths is considered the “epidemic threshold,” i.e., the point at which the observed proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia or influenza was significantly higher than would be expected at that time of the year in the absence of substantial influenza-related mortality.

Additional pneumonia and influenza mortality data for current and past seasons and by geographic level (national, HHS region, and state) are available on FluView Interactive. Data displayed on the regional and state-level are aggregated by the state of residence of the decedent.

Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality Surveillance System — Influenza-associated deaths in children (persons less than 18 years of age) was added as a nationally notifiable condition in 2004. An influenza-associated pediatric death is defined for surveillance purposes as a death resulting from a clinically compatible illness that was confirmed to be influenza by an appropriate laboratory diagnostic test. There should be no period of complete recovery between the illness and death.  Demographic and clinical information are collected on each case and are transmitted to CDC.

Additional information on influenza-associated pediatric deaths including basic demographics, underlying conditions, bacterial co-infections, and place of death for the current and past seasons, is available on FluView Interactive.

Influenza Surveillance Considerations

It is important to remember the following about influenza surveillance in the United States.

  • All influenza activity reporting by public health partners and health-care providers is voluntary.
  • The reported information answers the questions of where, when, and what influenza viruses are circulating.  It can be used to determine if influenza activity is increasing or decreasing but does not directly report the number of influenza illnesses.  For more information regarding how CDC classifies influenza severity and the disease burden of influenza, please see Disease Burden of Influenza.
  • The system consists of eight complementary surveillance components in five categories. These components include reports from more than 350 laboratories, approximately 2,600 outpatient health care providers, the National Center for Health Statistics, research and healthcare personnel at the FluSurv-NET sites, and influenza surveillance coordinators and state epidemiologists from all state, local and territorial health departments.
  • Influenza surveillance data collection is based on a reporting week that starts on Sunday and ends on the following Saturday.  Each surveillance participant is requested to summarize weekly data and submit it to CDC by Tuesday afternoon of the following week. The data are then downloaded, compiled, and analyzed at CDC. FluView and FluView Interactive are updated weekly each Friday.

    For CDC/Influenza Division influenza surveillance purposes, the reporting period for each influenza season begins during Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) week 40 and ends week 39 of the following year. MMWR weeks pdf icon[65 KB, 2 Pages]refer to the sequential numbering of weeks (Sunday through Saturday) during a calendar year. This means that the exact start of the influenza reporting period varies slightly from season to season. The 2019-2020 influenza season began on September 29, 2019 and will end on September 26, 2020.

  • “Flu season” — as determined by elevated flu activity – also varies from season to season. During most seasons, activity begins to increase in October, most often peaks between December and February and can remain elevated into May. The flu season is said to have started after consecutive weeks of elevated flu activity is registered in the various CDC influenza surveillance systems.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/overview.htm

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The Pronk Pops Show 1403, February 26, 2020, Story 1: President Trump Press Conference on Coronavirus (COVID-19) — Videos — Story 2: Democrats Play Politics With COVID-19 — Have No Shame and No Sense — Videos — Story 3: Democrats Demolition  Debates — Chaos Clowns Clash — Bloomberg Bashing Bombs — Moderators Missing Moments — Trump Triumphs – Videos —

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Story 1: President Trump Press Conference on Coronavirus (COVID) — Videos —

Trump takes coronavirus questions, says virus response shouldn’t be political

FULL: Pres. Trump and CDC give press conference on U.S. coronavirus threat

President Trump Holds Press Conference On Coronavirus

President Trump gives update on coronavrius with CDC officials

Tucker Carlson Tonight 2/26/20 FULL | Breaking TRUMP February 26, 2020

Tucker: Global leaders said coronavirus was under control

Story 2: Democrats Play Politics With COVID-19 — Have No Shame and No Sense — Videos —

Ingraham: The pandemic party

Gutfeld on the media reaction to the coronavirus

Trump: Pelosi is “Trying to Create a Panic” with Coronavirus

McCarthy blasts Dems on coronavirus: It’s not the time to play politics

February 26, 2020: Senator Cotton joins the Ingraham Angle

US working ‘aggressively’ to mitigate coronavirus in America: Alex Azar

Trump’s handling of coronavirus is comforting to Americans: RNC spokeswoman

Trump takes flak from Dems after proposing $2.5B to fight Coronavirus

President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force holds briefing on the outbreak

Schumer: CDC Cannot Access ‘Rapid Response Dollars’ To Fight Deadly Coronavirus In U.S.

 

Story 3: Democrats Demolition  Debates — Chaos Clowns Clash — Bloomberg Bashing Bombs — Moderators Missing Moments — Trump Triumphs – Videos —

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Watch Highlights Of The South Carolina Democratic Debate In 5 Minutes | NBC News

Can’t Risk Another Trump Presidency | Mike Bloomberg for President

Michael Bloomberg defends record on race

Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg Duke it Out at Democratic Debate | NowThis

‘Ingraham Angle’ panel breaks down latest Dem debate

Sanders and Bloomberg come under attack in Democratic debate

February 2020 Democratic Debate in South Carolina | The Daily Show

Lou Dobbs Tonight 2/25/20 | Breaking Fox News February 25, 2020

The Ingraham Angle 2/27/20 | Breaking Fox News February 27, 2020

Democrats shout at each other, turn on ‘racist’ Mike Bloomberg and gang up on ‘unelectable’ Bernie Sanders in messy debate – while the CBS moderators lose control so badly even Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell start arguing

  • The debate in South Carolina on Tuesday night kicked off at 8pm, as candidates Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer took the stage
  • Right off the bat, the candidates began targeting Sanders, arguing he is backed by Vladimir Putin, is unelectable and is divisive
  • Moderators Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell quickly lost control with the candidates shouting over another
  • At various points, the crowd booed the notion of billionaires, which includes Bloomberg and Steyer 
  • The blows went in all directions. Joe Biden, who said he intends to win in South Carolina, blasted Sanders for voting against the Brady bill gun control measure, and referenced the Charleston church shootings 
  • Bloomberg was labelled a ‘racist’ and Warren blasted him for NDAs at his media company, claiming he told an employee to ‘kill it’ after she informed him she was pregnant 
  • Once the candidates wrapped up, O’Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely, but King had to quickly correct her, saying it wasn’t quite over yet

Democratic presidential candidates got into a series of angry and personal exchanges at Tuesday night’s debate in Charleston – with Bernie Sanders attacking Mike Bloomberg for being a billionaire, Bloomberg labeling Sanders as Vladimir Putin’s favorite and a trio of candidates blasting Bloomberg for his ‘racist’ stop-and-frisk policy.

It was the kind of full-on circular firing squad that commentators had warned might be coming in South Carolina, with Joe Biden’s ‘firewall’ claims on the line and Sanders having the potential to pad his delegate lead in the rush to Super Tuesday.

The debate featured chaotic exchanges where multiple candidates sought to talk over each other, with CBS moderators Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King losing all control of the discussion about 40 minutes into the debate, either failing to referee or being completely ignored by the over-eager candidates.

Candidates flouted 75-second response times, cut each other off, and yelled out retorts out of turn. ‘Not true,’ interjected Sanders when Amy Klobuchar questioned how he’ll pay for his programs. ‘Can I say something?’ pleaded hedge funder Tom Steyer later in the heated exchange. ‘Let me go,’ he demanded.

Then the former vice president complained when he finally got called on. ‘Whoa. Whoa. Whoa,’ he said. ‘I guess the only way you do this is jump in and speak twice as long as you should.’ Later, he boiled over and announced he would defy the unenforced rules. ‘I’m not out of time. You spoke over time and I’m going to talk,’ Biden said.

Sanders proved to be the Democrat to take down, as he joined his six primary rivals – including Biden, Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Steyer – onstage at Charleston’s Gaillard Center.

Democratic presidential candidates got into a series of angry and personal exchanges at Tuesday night's debate in Charleston ¿ with Bernie Sanders attacking Mike Bloomberg for being a billionaire, Bloomberg labeling Sanders as Vladimir Putin's favorite and a trio of candidates blasting Bloomberg for his 'racist' stop-and-frisk policy

The candidates repeatedly talked over each other – with CBS moderators losing all control of the discussion about 40 minutes into the debate

Moderators Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell quickly lost control with the candidates shouting over another. Once the candidates wrapped up, O'Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely, but King had to quickly correct her, saying it wasn't quite over yet

Moderators Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell quickly lost control with the candidates shouting over another. Once the candidates wrapped up, O’Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely, but King had to quickly correct her, saying it wasn’t quite over yet

Bloomberg quickly labeled Sanders as Vladimir Putin's favorite and a trio of candidates blasted Bloomberg for his 'racist' stop-and-frisk policy while he was mayor of New York City

Bloomberg quickly labeled Sanders as Vladimir Putin’s favorite and a trio of candidates blasted Bloomberg for his ‘racist’ stop-and-frisk policy while he was mayor of New York City

At various points, the crowd loudly booed the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer

At various points, the crowd loudly booed the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer

The debate in South Carolina on Tuesday night kicked off at 8pm, as candidates (l-r) Mike Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer took the stage. It was the kind of full-on circular firing squad that commentators had warned might be coming, where Sanders' rise is being put to the test in a diverse state

The debate in South Carolina on Tuesday night kicked off at 8pm, as candidates (l-r) Mike Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer took the stage. It was the kind of full-on circular firing squad that commentators had warned might be coming, where Sanders’ rise is being put to the test in a diverse state

 Warren attacked Sanders early, saying his plan doesn’t show ‘how to get’ to universal health care like hers does.

‘I dug in. I did the work. And then Bernie’s team trashed me for it,’ she vented.

With South Carolina’s primary just four days away, candidates who might have needed break-out performances didn’t get them.

Sanders avoided enduring an all-out pile-on, despite having a path to the nomination that would only accelerate with a strong showing here and on Super Tuesday. He was put on the defensive several times for his socialist background, the cost of his programs, and his statements about left-wing leaders. Sanders got to explain that the greatest misconception about him ‘is that the ideas I’m talking about are radical.’

Biden, who predicted a win in South Carolina, delivered forceful defenses of his record, tied himself to Barack Obama, and avoided serious stumbles.

No longer the front-runner, he was forced to plead for time from the moderators. He won laughs when he was one of the few to honor a time limit. ‘Why am I stopping? No one else stops. Catholic school training,’ he quipped.

Bloomberg performed better than when he got pummeled in Las Vegas, but some of his remarks fell flat, as when he took a stab at a self-deprecating joke.

‘I really am surprised that all of these, my fellow contestants up here I guess would be the right word for it… I’m surprised they show up because I would’ve thought after I did such a good job in beating him last week that they’d be a little afraid to do that,’ Bloomberg said, in a remark that didn’t play in the room.

Klobuchar was mostly on the sidelines, though she kept up her argument that she is ‘Donald Trump’s worst nightmare’ and that the party doesn’t want a nominee who proposes $60 trillion in new spending.

Buttigieg kept his cool, but wasn’t a major player in many of the most dramatic exchanges. He said he would raise taxes on billionaires, needled Bloomberg by saying he released his own tax returns, and made the case against Sanders’ electability.

Joe Biden, who said he intends to win in South Carolina, blasted Sanders for voting against the Brady bill gun control measure, and referenced the Charleston church shootings

Bloomberg drew fire for stop-and-frisk, a policy he has apologized for in stark terms despite thousands of arrests during his tenure as New York City mayor

Bloomberg drew fire for stop-and-frisk, a policy he has apologized for in stark terms despite thousands of arrests during his tenure as New York City mayor

Since New Hampshire primary night, which Biden left the Granite State for to instead kick off campaigning in South Carolina, Biden has argued that the states that truly matter are the ones that have a more diverse population, which reflect the makeup of the Democratic Party

Proving to be the night’s punching bag, Sanders was slammed and accused of being backed by Putin, unelectable and divisive.

Sanders got the first question in recognition of his new status as the favorite to become the party’s candidate. He was asked by CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell how he could justify being a socialist at a time of booming employment.

The Vermont senator quickly pivoted and attacked Bloomberg, saying that the economy was only doing well for ‘billionaires,’ but the former New York mayor was ready with a dig of his own.

Bloomberg said: ‘I think that Donald Trump thinks it would be better if he’s president. I do not think so.

‘Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States. And that’s why Russia is helping you get elected, so you will lose to him.’

Sanders shot back: ‘Oh, Mr. Bloomberg. Let me tell Mr. Putin, OK, I’m not a good friend of President Xi of China. I think President Xi is an authoritarian leader.

‘And let me tell Mr. Putin, who interfered in the 2016 election, try to bring Americans against Americans, hey, Mr. Putin, if I’m president of the United States, trust me, you’re not going to interfere in any more American elections.’

A question to Bloomberg about his past comments that China’s Xi Jinping wasn’t a dictator provoked a vigorous exchange about authoritarianism – and Sanders’ past positive comments about Fidel Castro’s Cuba and other left-leaning regimes.

‘We have to deal with China if we’re ever going to solve the climate crisis,’ said Bloomberg, who made billions through his global media and financial company.

‘He does serve at the behest of the Politburo,’ Bloomberg said, defending Xi’s political accountability.

‘They must play by the rules, period, period, period,’ said Biden, who Republicans immediately accused of being soft on China.

‘I have opposed authoritarianism,’ said Sanders, defending comments running through his career about Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Russia, and Venezuela.

‘But who the hell is the Politburo responsive to?’ Sanders continued. ‘What I said is what Barack Obama said in terms of Cuba,’ Sanders insisted, defending his comments that Cuba had a ‘massive literacy program’ under Castro.

At various points, the crowd loudly booed the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, with estimated personal fortunes of $60 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively

At various points, the crowd loudly booed the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, with estimated personal fortunes of $60 billion and $1.6 billion, respectively

There were angry exchanges early-on in the debate between Bloomberg and Warren, who brought up a woman who sued his media company, Bloomberg LP, and reached a settlement after claiming Bloomberg told her to ‘kill it’ after she informed him she was pregnant

'Never said that!' Bloomberg exclaimed. 'Oh, come on!' From there the conversation turned back to Bloomberg's company's previous use of non-disclosure agreements, something that Warren hammered him for on the debate stage last week in Las Vegas. It was 'probably wrong to make the jokes, I don't remember what they were, but if it bothered them, I was wrong and I apologize and I'm sorry for that'

At various points, the crowd loudly booed at the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer

At various points, the crowd loudly booed at the notion of billionaires, which includes candidates Bloomberg and Tom Steyer

‘Really? Really?’ Biden responded, saying Obama had merely been acknowledging Cuban gains while speaking overseas.

‘Authoritarianism of any stripe is bad,’ said Sanders. ‘But that is different than saying the governments occasionally do things that are good.’

Buttigieg issued a warning about running a candidate with ‘nostalgia for the revolutionary politics of the 1960s.’

The blows went in all directions.

Biden, who said he intends to win in South Carolina, blasted Sanders for voting against the Brady bill gun control measure and referenced the Charleston church shootings.

The city is still grieving from the 2015 killings at Mother Emanuel AME Baptist Church when gunman Dylann Roof entered the church and gunned down nine members of the congregation.

‘Bernie voted five times against the Brady bill … I’m not saying he’s responsible for the nine deaths, but… [Roof]  would not have been able to get that weapon with the waiting period’ of the Brady bill, Biden said.

Biden is trying to gain back lost ground after coming in fourth place in Iowa and fifth place in New Hampshire. He then came in a distant second to Sanders in Saturday’s Nevada caucuses.

Sanders later attacked former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg for accepting contributions from billionaires.

‘I can’t allow this to stand because it’s just untrue,’ the former South Bend mayor shot back. He said he got more money out of 2,000 small contributors in Charleston than he did from bigwigs.

The early hits on Sanders, who has called himself the frontrunner, followed last week’s Las Vegas debate, which featured a multi-candidate pile-on on Bloomberg.

Asked directly by O'Donnell if Bloomberg's use of stop-and-frisk in New York was racist, Klobuchar answered: 'Yes'

. Buttigieg, who has been criticized for failing to attract black supporters, agreed the policy was racist

Joe Biden, who said he intends to win in South Carolina, blasted Sanders for voting against the Brady bill gun control measure, and referenced the Charleston church shootings. 'Bernie voted five times against the Brady bill ... I'm not saying he's responsible for the nine deaths, but that would not have been able to get that weapon with the waiting period' of the Brady bill, Biden said

Joe Biden, who said he intends to win in South Carolina, blasted Sanders for voting against the Brady bill gun control measure, and referenced the Charleston church shootings. ‘Bernie voted five times against the Brady bill … I’m not saying he’s responsible for the nine deaths, but that would not have been able to get that weapon with the waiting period’ of the Brady bill, Biden said

Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders became an instant punching bag for his presidential rivals on Tuesday night as they lined up to slam him at the debate before the South Carolina primary ¿ accusing him of being backed by Vladimir Putin, unelectable and divisive

 

Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders became an instant punching bag for his presidential rivals on Tuesday night as they lined up to slam him at the debate before the South Carolina primary – accusing him of being backed by Vladimir Putin, unelectable and divisive

There were angry exchanges early-on in Tuesday’s debate between Bloomberg and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who brought up a woman who sued his media company, Bloomberg LP, and reached a settlement after claiming Bloomberg told her to ‘kill it’ after she informed him she was pregnant.

‘Never said that!’ Bloomberg exclaimed. ‘Oh, come on!’

From there the conversation turned back to Bloomberg’s company’s previous use of non-disclosure agreements, something that Warren hammered him for on the debate stage last week in Las Vegas.

On Friday, Bloomberg announced that he would release three female former employees from NDAs that were specifically about complaints made about Bloomberg, as he’s been accused of making insensitive jokes.

It was ‘probably wrong to make the jokes, I don’t remember what they were, but if it bothered them, I was wrong and I apologize and I’m sorry for that,’ Bloomberg said on Tuesday night.

Nevertheless, Warren persisted, continuing to go after Bloomberg for the NDAs.

‘I don’t know what else she wants us to do,’ Bloomberg said. ‘The trouble is with this senator, enough is never enough.’

He added: ‘I never said it, period, end of story. Categorically never said it. When I was accused of doing it, we couldn’t figure out what she was talking about.

‘But right now I’m sorry if she heard what she thought she heard, whatever happened, but I didn’t take pleasure in any of that.’

Bloomberg continued to draw fire for stop-and-frisk, a policy he has apologized for in stark terms despite thousands of arrests during his tenure.

Asked directly by O’Donnell if Bloomberg’s use of stop-and-frisk in New York was racist, Klobuchar answered: ‘Yes.’

Warren went straight for Sanders at the start of the debate, saying she would be a better president than him because she'll be able to get more progressive policies passed. She said she's 'dug in' when it comes to fighting big banks and actually explaining how she'd enact universal health care

Warren went straight for Sanders at the start of the debate, saying she would be a better president than him because she’ll be able to get more progressive policies passed. She said she’s ‘dug in’ when it comes to fighting big banks and actually explaining how she’d enact universal health care

Biden said he would also go after those trying to gentrify neighborhoods traditionally occupied by minority residents. Following up on Biden's comments, Steyer said he would work toward trying to 'correct injustice' in the loan service industry. He then launched into his common campaign trail theme of arguing his support for a conversation on reparations

Biden said he would also go after those trying to gentrify neighborhoods traditionally occupied by minority residents. Following up on Biden’s comments, Steyer said he would work toward trying to ‘correct injustice’ in the loan service industry. He then launched into his common campaign trail theme of arguing his support for a conversation on reparations

The early hits on Sanders, who has called himself the frontrunner, followed last week's Las Vegas debate, which featured a multi-candidate pile-on on Bloomberg

The early hits on Sanders, who has called himself the frontrunner, followed last week’s Las Vegas debate, which featured a multi-candidate pile-on on Bloomberg

Buttigieg, who has been criticized for failing to attract black supporters, agreed the policy was racist.

‘I am conscious of the fact that there’s seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice,’ he added, in the first primary state where African-Americans make up a big share of the electorate.

Since the New Hampshire primary, which Biden left to instead kick off campaigning in South Carolina, Biden has argued that the states that truly matter are the ones that have a more diverse population, which reflect the makeup of the Democratic Party.

But in Nevada, the Latino population propelled Sanders to an overwhelming victory, as he bested Biden by 26.6. points, with 100 percent reporting.

Now Biden is looking to black voters in South Carolina to keep him in the race. On Tuesday, he declared that he’s the candidate best situated to appeal to black voters, citing his commitment to equitable wealth creation and housing opportunities.

Biden said he would also go after those trying to gentrify neighborhoods traditionally occupied by minority residents.

It follows his Monday roll out of a $640 billion national housing policy, which would prevent mortgage servers from foreclosing during loan modification and set up a timely notification system for such changes.

Following up on Biden’s comments, Steyer said he would work toward trying to ‘correct injustice’ in the loan service industry.

He then launched into his common campaign trail theme of arguing his support for a conversation on reparations and the creation of a commission to study race relations in America.

As the debate clock wound down, the candidates were asked by CBS This Morning host Gayle King to name the biggest misconception about themselves – and to state their personal motto.

Biden took the opportunity to pander more to black South Carolina voters.

As the debate clock wound down, the candidates were asked by CBS This Morning host Gayle King to name the biggest misconception about themselves - and to state their personal motto

As the debate clock wound down, the candidates were asked by CBS This Morning host Gayle King to name the biggest misconception about themselves – and to state their personal motto

Bloomberg used the opportunity to turn one of Trump's favorite insults against him - that he's short - into a joke. 'The misconception is that I'm six-feet tall,' the ex-mayor said. Given the same opportunity, Klobuchar argued that she wasn't boring

Bloomberg used the opportunity to turn one of Trump’s favorite insults against him – that he’s short – into a joke. ‘The misconception is that I’m six-feet tall,’ the ex-mayor said. Given the same opportunity, Klobuchar argued that she wasn’t boring

Once the candidates wrapped up, moderator Norah O'Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely. 'That concludes our debate,' O'Donnell told the audience. King then had to correct her, saying it wasn't quite over yet. 'No, we have time for one more break,' King said. 'Times flies when you're having fun,' she said, as the debate truly ended after the next commercial break

Once the candidates wrapped up, moderator Norah O’Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely. ‘That concludes our debate,’ O’Donnell told the audience. King then had to correct her, saying it wasn’t quite over yet. ‘No, we have time for one more break,’ King said. ‘Times flies when you’re having fun,’ she said, as the debate truly ended after the next commercial break

‘I’m looking forward to making sure there’s a black woman on the Supreme Court,’ he said, which was a segue from him talking about his embrace of equality. ‘And no one is better than me and I’m not better than anybody else.’

He cracked a joke about his receded hairline when asked what his biggest misconception is. ‘I have more hair than I think I do,’ he said.

Given the same opportunity, Klobuchar argued that she wasn’t boring, while Warren said she actually eats – a lot.

‘In fact, I eat all the time,’ Warren said, adding, ‘because I get teased about this,’ if the comment seemed to come out of thin air.

Buttigieg used the opportunity to tell the audience he is indeed passionate. ‘I get kind of level, some say I’m unflappable,’ the 38-year-old said. ‘I don’t think you want a president who’s flappable,’ he added.

Steyer volunteered that ‘everyday I write a cross on my hand to remind myself to tell the truth and do what’s right, no matter what,’ explaining that’s his ‘motto.’

Sanders stayed on brand. ‘Misconception and you’re hearing it here tonight is that ideas I’m talking about are radical. They’re not. In one form or another they exist in countries all over the world,’ the democratic socialist said.

He then quoted Nelson Mandela, ‘Everything is impossible until it happens,’ Sanders said.

Bloomberg used the opportunity to turn one of Trump’s favorite insults against him – that he’s short – into a joke.

‘The misconception is that I’m six-feet tall,’ the ex-mayor said.

Once the candidates wrapped up, moderator Norah O’Donnell tried to shut down the debate prematurely.

‘That concludes our debate,’ O’Donnell told the audience. King then had to correct her, saying it wasn’t quite over yet.

‘No, we have time for one more break,’ King said. ‘Times flies when you’re having fun,’ she said, as the debate truly ended after the next commercial break.

Joe Biden says he WILL win in South Carolina with the African-American vote making Saturday’s primary a do-or-die – then talks about his ‘friend’ former segregationist Fritz Hollings  

Joe Biden went all in on winning South Carolina on Tuesday night, saying he will secure victory there – then mentioned his friendship with one of the state’s most infamous segregationists.

The former vice-president was just four points ahead of Bernie Sanders in the latest poll in the Palmetto state ahead of Saturday’s primary.

He used the CBS News debate to say that he will win in South Carolina, by winning the African-American vote – meaning by extension that he will have to drop out if he loses.

But then he offered a potentially spectacular gaffe, talking about his friendship with Fritz Hollings, who was a committed segregationist Dixiecrat until he shifted his positions.

Joe Biden went all in on winning South Carolina on Tuesday night, saying he will secure victory there - then mentioned his friendship with one of the state's most infamous segregationists

Joe Biden went all in on winning South Carolina on Tuesday night, saying he will secure victory there – then mentioned his friendship with one of the state’s most infamous segregationists

Friends: Fritz Hollings was a segregationist in the Dixiecrat moved who 'evolved,' his friend Biden said at his 2019 funeral

Friends: Fritz Hollings was a segregationist in the Dixiecrat moved who ‘evolved,’ his friend Biden said at his 2019 funeral

Asked by moderator Gayle King about his ability to secure the black vote, which is critical in South Carolina, he said: ‘I’ve earned the vote, I’ve worked like the devil to earn the vote of the African-American community, not just here but across the country.

‘I’ve been coming here for years and years, creating jobs here, making sure that the port, for example, that employs one in 11 people, we put $500 million, in our administration, just into this county.

‘We’ve created jobs for people. The people know me. My entire career has been wrapped up in dealing with civil rights and civil liberties. I don’t expect anything. I plan to earn the vote.

‘I’m here to ask. I’m here to earn it. But, folks, I intend to win in South Carolina, and I will win the African-American vote here in South Carolina.’

King then asked: ‘Mr. Biden, will you continue if you do not win South Carolina? You have said that South Carolina will determine the outcome of this presidential race. If you don’t win South Carolina, will you continue in this race?’

He replied: ‘I will win South Carolina.’

But later in the debate he raised Hollings’ name – an echo of a string of gaffes in which he was hammered for speaking about his friendship with segregationist senators, Mississippi’s James Eastland and Georgia’s Herman Talmadge.

 

Making an appearance ahead of the debate was Reverend’s Jesse Jackson (left) and Al Sharpton (right). Remarking on the performances during Las Vegas’ debate last week, Sharpton said it was overall lackluster and he couldn’t see anyone beating Trump at the moment because no candidate was taking charge

Biden has been counting on strong support among African-American voters in South Carolina to recharge his flagging campaign

Biden has been counting on strong support among African-American voters in South Carolina to recharge his flagging campaign

A climate change activist dressed as a polar bear demonstrates while Trump supporter in a MAGA hat is interviewed outside of the Charleston Gaillard Center

A climate change activist dressed as a polar bear demonstrates while Trump supporter in a MAGA hat is interviewed outside of the Charleston Gaillard Center

‘Look, a guy who’s a friend of mine down here named Fritz Hollings – he passed away – he said, you want to know what a woman will do, look what they have done. Look what they have done,’ he said.

Hollings’ biography is more complicated than other Dixiecrats.

He was South Carolina governor from 1959 to 1963 and a vocal backer of keeping segregation in place when he was a member of the state’s House.

He was elected to the Senate in 1966 and became a close friend of Biden when the 29-year-old ran for the upper chamber, helping him when he lost his first wife and daughter in a car crash.

Biden eulogized Hollings at his funeral in April 2019, a week before his entry into the race, and said: ‘People can change.

‘We can learn from the past and build a better future.’

WHO ARE THE 8 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?

JOE BIDEN

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 78

Entered race: April 25, 2019

Career: No current role. A University of Delaware and Syracuse Law graduate, he was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 1969, then won upset election to Senate in 1972, aged 29. Was talked out of quitting before being sworn in when his wife and daughter died in a car crash and served total of six terms. Chaired Judiciary Committee’s notorious Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Ran for president in 1988, pulled out after plagiarism scandal, ran again in 2008, withdrew after placing fifth in the Iowa Caucuses. Tapped by Obama as his running mate and served two terms as vice president. Contemplated third run in 2016 but decided against it after his son died of brain cancer.

Family: Eldest of four siblings born to Joe Biden Sr. and Catherine Finnegan. First wife Neilia Hunter and their one-year-old daughter Naomi died in car crash which their two sons, Joseph ‘Beau’ and Robert Hunter survived. Married Jill Jacobs in 1976, with whom he has daughter Ashley. Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter’s marriage to Kathleen Buhle, with whom he has three children, ended in 2016 when it emerged Hunter was in a relationship with Beau’s widow Hallie, mother of their two children. Hunter admitted cocaine use; his estranged wife accused him of blowing their savings on drugs and prostitutes

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Ultra-moderate who will emphasize bipartisan record. Will come under fire over record, having voted: to stop desegregation bussing in 1975; to overturn Roe v Wade in 1981; for now controversial 1994 Violent Crime Act; for 2003 Iraq War; and for banking deregulation. Says he is ‘most progressive’ Democrat. New positions include free college, tax reform, $15 minimum wage. No public position yet on Green New Deal and healthcare. Pro-gun control. Has already apologized to women who say he touched them inappropriately

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president

Slogan: Our Best Days Still Lie Ahead

Age on Inauguration Day: 78

Entered race: November 24, 2019

Career: Currently multi-billionaire CEO of Bloomberg PL, the financial information firm he founded in 1981 and which remains a private company. Educated at Johns Hopkins and Harvard, he became a Wall Street trader at investment bank Salomon Brothers and was laid off in 1981, walking away with $10m in stock which he used to set up his own financial information firm, now one of the world’s largest. Three times mayor of New York 2002 to 2013, running first as Republican then as independent; had to get term limits suspended for final term. Once flirted with running for mayor of London where he has a home; holds an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth. Has spent large amounts on philanthropy in line with his political views as well as on political campaigns

Family: Born in Brookline, MA, to first-generation Jewish immigrant parents whose own parents had fled Russia. Divorced wife of 18 years, Susan Brown-Meyer, in 1993; former couple have daughters Emma, who has a son with her former boyfriend, and Georgina, who has daughter Zelda with her husband Chris Fissora. The child has a portmanteau surname, Frissberg. Partner since 2000 is Diana Taylor, former New York state banking commissioner, 13 years his junior

Religion: Jewish

Views on key issues: Self-professed fiscal conservative, although painted as a Democratic moderate by other conservative groups. Opposed to Medicare for all. Social progressive who backed gay marriage early, but has flip-flopped on marijuana legalization, most recently opposing it.. Wants firm action on climate change. Fiercely in favor of gun control. As New York mayor banned smoking in public places and tried to outlaw large sugary drinks. Backs increased immigration. Apologized for his stop-and-frisk policing strategy as mayor

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president; richest president ever; first New York mayor to become president

Slogan:  Fighting For Our Future

PETE BUTTIGIEG

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Announced formation of exploratory committee January 23, 2019. Formally entered race April 14, 2019

Career: Currently mayor of Sound Bend, Indiana. Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar who got a second degree from Oxford before working as a McKinsey management consultant and being commissioned as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. Elected South Bend mayor in 2011 and served in combat in 2013, won re-election in 2015

Family: Came out as gay during second mayoral run and married husband Chasten Glezman, a middle school teacher in 2018. Parents were University of Notre Dame academics; his father was Maltese-American. Surname is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge

Religion: Raised as a Catholic, now Episcopalian

Views on key issues: Has said Democratic party needs a ‘fresh start’; wrote an essay in praise of Bernie Sanders aged 17; backed paid parental leave for city employees; other policies unknown 

Would make history as: First openly gay and youngest-ever president. First veteran of post-World War II conflict 

Slogan: A Fresh Start For America

TULSI GABBARD

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019

Career: Currently Hawaii congresswoman. Born on American Samoa, a territory. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012

Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit.

Religion: Hindu

Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory

Would make history as: First female, Hindu and Samoan-American president; youngest president ever

Slogan: Lead with Love 

AMY KLOBUCHAR

Age on Inauguration Day: 60

Entered race: Announced candidacy February 10, 2019 at snow-drenched rally in her native Minneapolis

Career: Currently Minnesota senator. Yale and University of Chicago law graduate who became a corporate lawyer. First ran unsuccessfully for office in 1994 as Hennepin, MI, county attorney, and won same race in 1998, then in 2002, without opposition. Ran for Senate in 2006 and won 58-38; re-elected in 2012 and 2018

Family: Married to John Bessler, law professor at University of Baltimore and expert on capital punishment. Daughter Abigail Bessler, 23, works fora Democratic member of New York City council. Father Jim, 90, was a veteran newspaper columnist who has written a memoir of how his alcoholism hurt his family; mom Rose is a retired grade school teacher

Religion: Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)

Views on key issues: Seen as a mainstream liberal: says she wants ‘universal health care’ but has not spelled out how; pro-gun control; pro-choice; backs $15 minimum wage; no public statements on federal marijuana legalization; has backed pro-Israel law banning the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ movement; spoke out against abolishing ICE

Would make history as: First female president

Slogan: Let’s Get To Work 

BERNIE SANDERS

Age on Inauguration Day: 79

Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19

Career: Currently Vermont senator. Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment  – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture

Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deborah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. 

Religion: Secular Jewish 

Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president

Slogan: Not me. Us.

TOM STEYER 

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 63

Entered race: July 9, 2019

Career: Currently retired. New York-born to wealthy family, he was educated at elite Phillips Exeter Academy, and Yale, then Stanford Business School. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs banker who founded his own hedge fund in 1986 and made himself a billionaire; investments included subprime lenders, private prisons and coal mines. Stepped down in 2012 to focus on advocating for alternative energy. Longtime Democratic activist and donor who started campaign to impeach Trump in October 2017. Net worth of $1.6 billion has made him one of the Democrats’ biggest single donors

Family: Married Kathryn Taylor in 1986; they have four adult children who have been told they will not inherit the bulk of his fortune. Announced last November he and his wife would live apart. Father Roy was a Nuremberg trials prosecutor

Religion: Episcopalian

Views on key issues: On the left of the field despite being a hedge fund tycoon. Backs single-payer health care, minimum wage rises and free public college. Previously spoke in favor of Bernie Sanders’ agenda. Aggressive backer of climate change action, including ditching fossil fuels

Would make history as: Richest Democratic president ever

Slogan: Actions Speak Louder Than Words 

ELIZABETH WARREN

Age on Inauguration Day: 71

Entered race:  Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018

Career: Currently Massachusetts senator. Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016

Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American

Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church

Views on key issues: Was a registered Republican who voted for the party but registered as a Democrat in 1996. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: Warren Has A Plan For That

AND THE 21 WHO HAVE WITHDRAWN   

MICHAEL BENNET, Colorado senator

  • Entered race: May 2, 2019 
  • Quit:  February 12, 2019, evening of New Hampshire primary

CORY BOOKER, New Jersey Senator 

  • Entered race: February 1, 2019
  • Quit: January 13, 2020 

STEVE BULLOCK, Montana governor 

  • Entered race: May 14, 2019 
  • Quit: December 2, 2019

JULIÁN CASTRO, former Housing Secretary

  • Entered race: January 18, 2019
  • Quit: January 2, 2020 

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, New York senator

  • Entered race: January 16, 2019
  • Quit: August 28, 2019

BILL DE BLASIO, New York City mayor 

  • Entered race: May 16, 2019
  • Quit: September 20, 2020

JOHN DELANEY, former Maryland Congressman

  • Entered race: July 8, 2017
  • Quit: January 31, 2019 

MIKE GRAVEL, Former Alaska governor

  • Entered race: April 2,2019
  • Quit: August 2, 2019 

KAMALA HARRIS,California senator  

  • Entered race: January 21, 2019
  • Quit: December 3, 2019 

JOHN HICKENLOOPER, Former Colorado governor

  • Entered race: March 4, 2019
  • Quit: August 15, 2019 

JAY INSLEE, Washington governor 

  • Entered race: March 1, 2019
  • Quit: August 21, 2019

WAYNE MESSAM, mayor of Miramar, Florida 

  • Entered race: March 28, 2019
  • Quit: November 20, 2019 

SETH MOULTON, Massachusetts congressman

  • Entered race:  April 22,2019
  • Quit: August 23, 2019

RICHARD OJEDA, former West Virginia state senator

  • Entered race: November 12, 2018
  • Quit: January 25, 2019

BETO O’ROURKE, former Texas congressman

  • Entered race: March 14, 2019 
  • Quit: November 1, 2019  

DEVAL PATRICK, former Massachusetts governor 

  • Entered race: November 13, 2019
  • Quit:  February 13, 2019, morning after New Hampshire primary

TIM RYAN, Ohio congressman

  • Entered race: April 4, 2019
  • Quit: October 24, 2019

JOE SESTAK, former Pennsylvania congressman 

  • Entered race: June 23, 2019
  • Quit: December 1, 2019

ERIC SWALWELL, California congressman

  • Entered race: April 8, 2019
  • Quit: July 8, 2019  

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, author

  • Entered race: November 15, 2018
  • Quit: January 10, 2020 

ANDREW YANG, entrepreneur

  • Entered race: November 6, 2018
  • Quit: February 12, 2019, evening of New Hampshire primary

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8044731/Democrats-hammer-Bernie-Sanders-final-2020-debate-South-Carolina.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 1402, February 25, 2020, Story 1: Progressive Panic Pandering Propaganda — Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Coronavirus Goes Global — What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger — Are You In Fear of Your Life — Videos — Story 2: Stock Market Correction Linked To Impact of COVID -19 on China Supply Chains — Create More Money — Just Stay Home — Consumer Confidence Crashes — Stagflation Recession 2021 –Panic Propaganda — Do Not Believe It — Videos — Story 3: Neither Government Dependency Nor Country Dependency Are Reliable When A Real Crisis Hits — United States Gets Most of Its Drugs From Communist China and India — Cheap But Risky and Maybe Deadly — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1402 February 25, 2020

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If by Rudyard Kipling – Inspirational Poetry

If—

Launch Audio in a New Window

(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

If – Rudyard Kipling (by John Hurt) with lyrics

{youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow5xbBnOU2A]

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Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak — United States, February 24, 2020

Daniel B. Jernigan, MD1; CDC COVID-19 Response Team (View author affiliations)

View suggested citation

Summary

What is already known about this topic?

An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States.

What is added by this report?

Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, in addition to 39 cases among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States. The U.S. government and public health partners are implementing aggressive measures to slow and contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States.

What are the implications for public health practice?

Interim guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. As more is learned about this virus and the outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action.

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An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, and has spread throughout China and to 31 other countries and territories, including the United States (1). As of February 23, 2020, there were 76,936 reported cases in mainland China and 1,875 cases in locations outside mainland China (1). There have been 2,462 associated deaths worldwide; no deaths have been reported in the United States. Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, and an additional 39 cases have occurred among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States. This report summarizes the aggressive measures (2,3) that CDC, state and local health departments, multiple other federal agencies, and other partners are implementing to slow and try to contain transmission of COVID-19 in the United States. These measures require the identification of cases and contacts of persons with COVID-19 in the United States and the recommended assessment, monitoring, and care of travelers arriving from areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission. Although these measures might not prevent widespread transmission of the virus in the United States, they are being implemented to 1) slow the spread of illness; 2) provide time to better prepare state and local health departments, health care systems, businesses, educational organizations, and the general public in the event that widespread transmission occurs; and 3) better characterize COVID-19 to guide public health recommendations and the development and deployment of medical countermeasures, including diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. U.S. public health authorities are monitoring the situation closely, and CDC is coordinating efforts with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other global partners. Interim guidance is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html. As more is learned about this novel virus and this outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action by CDC, state and local health departments, health care providers, and communities.

Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 appears to occur mainly by respiratory transmission. How easily the virus is transmitted between persons is currently unclear. Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath (4). Based on the incubation period of illness for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses, as well as observational data from reports of travel-related COVID-19, CDC estimates that symptoms of COVID-19 occur within 2–14 days after exposure. Preliminary data suggest that older adults and persons with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems might be at greater risk for severe illness from this virus (5).

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COVID-19 Cases in the United States

As of February 23, 14 COVID-19 cases had been diagnosed in the following six states: Arizona (one case), California (eight), Illinois (two), Massachusetts (one), Washington (one), and Wisconsin (one). Twelve of these 14 cases were related to travel to China, and two cases occurred through person-to-person transmission to close household contacts of a person with confirmed COVID-19. An additional 39 cases were reported among repatriated U.S. citizens, residents, and their families returning from Hubei province, China (three), and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was docked in Yokohama, Japan (36). Thus, there have been 53 cases within the United States. No deaths have been reported in the United States.

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CDC Public Health Response

As of February 24, 2020, a total of 1,336 CDC staff members have been involved in the COVID-19 response, including clinicians (i.e., physicians, nurses, and pharmacists), epidemiologists, veterinarians, laboratorians, communicators, data scientists and modelers, and coordination staff members. Of these CDC staff members, 497 (37%) have been deployed to 39 locations in the United States and internationally, including CDC quarantine stations at U.S. ports of entry, state and local health departments, hospitals, and U.S. military bases that are housing quarantined persons, as well as WHO and ministries of health around the world. CDC staff members are working with state, local, tribal, and territorial health departments and other public health authorities to assist with case identification, contact tracing, evaluation of persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19,* and medical management of cases; and with academic partners to understand the virulence, risk for transmission, and other characteristics of this novel virus.

CDC teams are working with the Department of Homeland Security at 11 airports where all flights from China are being directed to screen travelers returning to the United States, and to refer them to U.S. health departments for oversight of self-monitoring. CDC is also working with other agencies of the U.S. government including the U.S. Department of Defense; multiple operational divisions with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the Administration for Children and Families; and the U.S. Department of State to safely evacuate U.S. citizens, residents, and their families to the United States from international locations where there is substantial, sustained transmission of COVID-19, and to house them and monitor their health during a 14-day quarantine period.

Specific guidance has been developed and posted online for health care settings, including for patient management; infection control and prevention; laboratory testing; environmental cleaning; worker safety; and international travel. Guidance is updated as more is learned. To prepare for the possibility of community spread of COVID-19, CDC has developed tailored guidance and communications materials for communities, health care settings, public health, laboratories, schools, and businesses. Chinese and Spanish versions of certain documents are available.

Information for travelers. Several recent travel notices have been posted by CDC to inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues that could affect travelers’ health.§ A Level 3 travel notice (avoid all nonessential travel) for China has been in effect since January 27. On February 19, Level 1 travel notices (practice usual precautions) for travelers to Hong Kong and Japan were posted. On February 22, the Level 1 travel notice for Japan was raised to Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions). A Level 2 travel notice was posted for South Korea on February 22, which was updated to Level 3 on February 24. Level 1 travel notices were posted for Iran and Italy on February 23, and then updated to Level 2 on February 24. In addition, CDC has posted information for travelers regarding apparent community transmission in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, and recommendations for persons to reconsider cruise ship voyages in Asia.

Airport screening. As of February 23, a total of 46,016 air travelers had been screened at the 11 U.S. airports to which all flights from China are being directed. Since February 2, travelers to the United States who have been in China in the preceding 14 days have been limited to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and others as outlined in a presidential proclamation. Incoming passengers are screened for fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Any travelers with signs or symptoms of illness receive a more comprehensive public health assessment. As of February 23, 11 travelers were referred to a hospital and tested for infection; one tested positive and was isolated and managed medically. Seventeen travelers were quarantined for 14 days because of travel from Hubei Province, China, an area that was designated as high risk for exposure to COVID-19**; 13 of these 17 have completed their quarantine period.

Persons under investigation (PUIs). Recognizing persons at risk for COVID-19 is a critical component of identifying cases and preventing further transmission. CDC has responded to clinical inquiries from public health officials, health care providers, and repatriation teams to evaluate and test PUIs in the United States for COVID-19 following CDC guidance. As of February 23, 479 persons from 43 states and territories had been or are being tested for COVID-19; 14 (3%) had a positive test, 412 (86%) had a negative test, and 53 (11%) test results are pending.

Laboratory testing. As part of laboratory surge capacity for the response, CDC laboratories are testing for SARS-CoV-2 to assist with diagnosis of COVID-19. During January 18–February 23, CDC laboratories used real-time reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to test 2,620 specimens from 1,007 persons for SARS-CoV-2. Some additional testing is performed at selected state and other public health laboratories, with confirmatory testing at CDC. CDC is developing a serologic test to assist with surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 circulation in the U.S. population. The test detects antibodies (immunoglobulin [Ig]G, IgA, and IgM) indicating SARS-COV-2 virus exposure or past infection. In addition, CDC laboratories are developing assays to detect SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA and antigens in tissue specimens. Finally, following CDC’s establishment of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture, CDC shared virus isolates with the Biodefense and Emerging Infections Research Resources Repository to securely distribute isolates to U.S. public health and academic institutions for additional research, including vaccine development.

Repatriation flights from areas with substantial COVID-19 transmission. During January 29–February 6, the U.S. government repatriated 808 U.S. citizens, residents, and their families from Hubei Province, China, on five chartered flights. At the time of departure, all travelers were free of symptoms for COVID-19 (fever or feverishness, cough, difficulty breathing). After arriving in the United States, the repatriated travelers were quarantined for 14 days at one of five U.S. military bases. CDC and U.S. government staff members monitored these travelers’ health. As of February 23, 28 (3%) of these persons developed COVID-19-related symptoms and were evaluated for infection; three were found to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 and were referred for medical care and isolation. As of February 24, the remaining 805 travelers had completed their 14-day quarantine.

On February 3, passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess cruise ship were quarantined off Yokohama, Japan; a passenger who had recently disembarked in Hong Kong was confirmed to have COVID-19, and ongoing transmission was identified on the ship. By February 16, a total of 355 cases of COVID-19 had been identified among passengers and crew,†† including 67 U.S. citizens or residents. As a result, during February 16–17, the U.S. government assisted in the repatriation of 329 U.S. citizens or residents from the ship. These travelers returned on two chartered flights. As of February 23, 36 (11%) of these repatriated persons had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and are under appropriate medical supervision. The remaining repatriated persons are in quarantine for 14 days. CDC is working with the U.S. embassy in Japan and the Japanese government to support U.S. passengers and crew who remained in Japan.

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Discussion

COVID-19 is a serious public health threat. Cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the United States, primarily in travelers from China and quarantined repatriates, and also in two close contacts of COVID-19 patients. Currently, COVID-19 is not recognized to be spreading in U.S. communities. If sustained transmission in U.S. communities is identified, the U.S. response strategy will enhance implementation of actions to slow spread in communities (2,6). Implementation of basic precautions of infection control and prevention, including staying home when ill and practicing respiratory and hand hygiene will become increasingly important.

Community-level nonpharmaceutical intervention might include school dismissals and social distancing in other settings (e.g., postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings and telework and remote-meeting options in workplaces). These measures can be disruptive and might have societal and economic impact on individual persons and communities (6). However, studies have shown that early layered implementation of these interventions can reduce the community spread and impact of infectious pathogens such as pandemic influenza, even when specific pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines are not available (7,8). These measures might be critical to avert widespread COVID-19 transmission in U.S. communities (2,6). Mitigation measures implemented in China have included the closing of major transport hubs and preventing exit from certain cities with widespread transmission, cancellation of Chinese New Year celebrations, and prohibition of attendance at school and work (5). However, the impact of these measures in China has not yet been evaluated.

In the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and their collaborators are working on development of candidate vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19. In China, multiple clinical trials of investigational therapeutics have been implemented, including two clinical trials of remdesivir, an investigational antiviral drug.§§ An NIH randomized controlled clinical trial of investigational therapeutics for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the United States was approved by the Food and Drug Administration; the first investigational therapeutic to be studied is remdesivir.¶¶ In the absence of a vaccine or therapeutic, community mitigation measures are the primary method to respond to widespread transmission and supportive care is the current medical treatment.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to those of influenza (e.g., fever, cough, and shortness of breath), and the current outbreak is occurring during a time of year when respiratory illnesses from influenza and other viruses, including other coronaviruses that cause the “common cold,” are highly prevalent. To prevent influenza and possible unnecessary evaluation for COVID-19, all persons aged ≥6 months should receive an annual influenza vaccine; vaccination is still available and effective in helping to prevent influenza (9). To decrease risk for respiratory disease, persons can practice recommended preventive measures.*** Persons ill with symptoms of COVID-19 who have had contact with a person with COVID-19 or recent travel to countries with apparent community spread††† should communicate with their health care provider. Before seeking medical care, they should consult with their provider to make arrangements to prevent possible transmission in the health care setting. In a medical emergency, they should inform emergency medical personnel about possible COVID-19 exposure.

Areas for additional COVID-19 investigation include 1) further clarifying the incubation period and duration of virus shedding, which have implications for duration of quarantine and other mitigation measures; 2) studying the relative importance of various modes of transmission, including the role of droplets, aerosols, and fomites; understanding these transmission modes has major implications for infection control and prevention, including the use of personal protective equipment; 3) determining the severity and case-fatality rate of COVD-19 among cases in the U.S. health care system, as well as more fully describing the spectrum of illness and risk factors for infection and severe disease; 4) determining the role of asymptomatic infection in ongoing transmission; and 5) assessing the immunologic response to infection to aid in the development of vaccines and therapeutics. Public health authorities are monitoring the situation closely. As more is learned about this novel virus and this outbreak, CDC will rapidly incorporate new knowledge into guidance for action.

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Corresponding author: Daniel B. Jernigan, eocevent294@cdc.gov, 770-488-7100.

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1CDC COVID-19 Response Team, CDC.

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The author has completed and submitted the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors form for disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.

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* Criteria to guide evaluation and testing of patients under investigation for SARS-CoV-2 include 1) fever or signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) in any person, including a health care worker, who has had close contact with a patient with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection within 14 days of symptom onset; 2) fever and signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) in any person with a history of travel from Hubei Province, China, within 14 days of symptom onset; or 3) fever and signs or symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (e.g., cough or shortness of breath) requiring hospitalization in any person with a history of travel from mainland China within 14 days of symptom onset. Additional information is available at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00427.asp and https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00426.asp.

 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

§ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

 Office of the President. Proclamation on suspension of entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who pose a risk of transmitting 2019 novel coronavirus. Washington, DC: Office of the President; 2020. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/external icon.

** https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/from-china.html.

†† https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200216-sitrep-27-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn = 78c0eb78_2pdf iconexternal icon.

§§ https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04257656?cond = remdesivir&draw = 2&rank = 1external iconhttps://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04252664?cond = remdesivir&draw = 2&rank = 2external icon.

¶¶ https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04280705?cond = COVID-19&draw = 4&rank = 22external icon.

*** https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html.

††† https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html.

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References

  1. World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report–34. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2020. https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200223-sitrep-34-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=44ff8fd3_2pdf iconexternal icon
  2. Holloway R, Rasmussen SA, Zaza S, Cox NJ, Jernigan DB. Updated preparedness and response framework for influenza pandemics. MMWR Recomm Rep 2014;63(No. RR-6). PubMedexternal icon
  3. Reed C, Biggerstaff M, Finelli L, et al. Novel framework for assessing epidemiologic effects of influenza epidemics and pandemics. Emerg Infect Dis 2013;19:85–91. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  4. Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. Lancet 2020;395:507–13. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  5. The Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Emergency Response Epidemiology Team. The epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19)—China, 2020. China CDC Weekly 2020. Epub February 17, 2020.
  6. Qualls N, Levitt A, Kanade N, et al.; CDC Community Mitigation Guidelines Work Group. Community mitigation guidelines to prevent pandemic influenza—United States, 2017. MMWR Recomm Rep 2017;66(No. RR-1). CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  7. Hatchett RJ, Mecher CE, Lipsitch M. Public health interventions and epidemic intensity during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007;104:7582–7. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  8. Markel H, Lipman HB, Navarro JA, et al. Nonpharmaceutical interventions implemented by US cities during the 1918–1919 influenza pandemic. JAMA 2007;298:644–54. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon
  9. Dawood FS, Chung JR, Kim SS, et al. Interim estimates of 2019–20 seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness—United States, February 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:177–82. CrossRefexternal icon PubMedexternal icon

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Suggested citation for this article: Jernigan DB. Update: Public Health Response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak — United States, February 24, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 25 February 2020. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6908e1external icon.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6908e1.htm

 

SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Upper Respiratory Specimens of Infected Patients

TO THE EDITOR:

Figure 1.Viral Load Detected in Nasal and Throat Swabs Obtained from Patients Infected with SARS-CoV-2.

The 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) epidemic, which was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organization, may progress to a pandemic associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. SARS-CoV-2 is genetically related to SARS-CoV, which caused a global epidemic with 8096 confirmed cases in more than 25 countries in 2002–2003.1 The epidemic of SARS-CoV was successfully contained through public health interventions, including case detection and isolation. Transmission of SARS-CoV occurred mainly after days of illness2 and was associated with modest viral loads in the respiratory tract early in the illness, with viral loads peaking approximately 10 days after symptom onset.3 We monitored SARS-CoV-2 viral loads in upper respiratory specimens obtained from 18 patients (9 men and 9 women; median age, 59 years; range, 26 to 76) in Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, including 4 patients with secondary infections (1 of whom never had symptoms) within two family clusters (Table S1 in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org). The patient who never had symptoms was a close contact of a patient with a known case and was therefore monitored. A total of 72 nasal swabs (sampled from the mid-turbinate and nasopharynx) (Figure 1A) and 72 throat swabs (Figure 1B) were analyzed, with 1 to 9 sequential samples obtained from each patient. Polyester flock swabs were used for all the patients.

From January 7 through January 26, 2020, a total of 14 patients who had recently returned from Wuhan and had fever (≥37.3°C) received a diagnosis of Covid-19 (the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2) by means of reverse-transcriptase–polymerase-chain-reaction assay with primers and probes targeting the N and Orf1b genes of SARS-CoV-2; the assay was developed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Samples were tested at the Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Thirteen of 14 patients with imported cases had evidence of pneumonia on computed tomography (CT). None of them had visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan within 14 days before symptom onset. Patients E, I, and P required admission to intensive care units, whereas the others had mild-to-moderate illness. Secondary infections were detected in close contacts of Patients E, I, and P. Patient E worked in Wuhan and visited his wife (Patient L), mother (Patient D), and a friend (Patient Z) in Zhuhai on January 17. Symptoms developed in Patients L and D on January 20 and January 22, respectively, with viral RNA detected in their nasal and throat swabs soon after symptom onset. Patient Z reported no clinical symptoms, but his nasal swabs (cycle threshold [Ct] values, 22 to 28) and throat swabs (Ct values, 30 to 32) tested positive on days 7, 10, and 11 after contact. A CT scan of Patient Z that was obtained on February 6 was unremarkable. Patients I and P lived in Wuhan and visited their daughter (Patient H) in Zhuhai on January 11 when their symptoms first developed. Fever developed in Patient H on January 17, with viral RNA detected in nasal and throat swabs on day 1 after symptom onset.

We analyzed the viral load in nasal and throat swabs obtained from the 17 symptomatic patients in relation to day of onset of any symptoms (Figure 1C). Higher viral loads (inversely related to Ct value) were detected soon after symptom onset, with higher viral loads detected in the nose than in the throat. Our analysis suggests that the viral nucleic acid shedding pattern of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 resembles that of patients with influenza4 and appears different from that seen in patients infected with SARS-CoV.3 The viral load that was detected in the asymptomatic patient was similar to that in the symptomatic patients, which suggests the transmission potential of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic patients. These findings are in concordance with reports that transmission may occur early in the course of infection5 and suggest that case detection and isolation may require strategies different from those required for the control of SARS-CoV. How SARS-CoV-2 viral load correlates with culturable virus needs to be determined. Identification of patients with few or no symptoms and with modest levels of detectable viral RNA in the oropharynx for at least 5 days suggests that we need better data to determine transmission dynamics and inform our screening practices.

Lirong Zou, M.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Feng Ruan, M.Med.
Zhuhai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhuhai, China

Mingxing Huang, Ph.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Lijun Liang, Ph.D.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Huitao Huang, B.Sc.
Zhuhai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zhuhai, China

Zhongsi Hong, M.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Jianxiang Yu, B.Sc.
Min Kang, M.Sc.
Yingchao Song, B.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Jinyu Xia, M.D.
Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai, China

Qianfang Guo, M.Sc.
Tie Song, M.Sc.
Jianfeng He, B.Sc.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Hui-Ling Yen, Ph.D.
Malik Peiris, Ph.D.
University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Jie Wu, Ph.D.
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Guangzhou, China

Disclosure forms provided by the authors are available with the full text of this letter at NEJM.org.

This letter was published on February 19, 2020, and updated on February 20, 2020, at NEJM.org.

Ms. Zou, Mr. Ruan, and Dr. Huang contributed equally to this letter.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2001737

Coronavirus illustration - CR: Maurizio De AngelisTo assist health workers and researchers working under challenging conditions to bring this outbreak to a close, The Lancet has created a Coronavirus Resource Centre. This resource brings together new 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) content from across The Lancet journals as it is published. All content listed on this page is free to access.

Media queries

For media enquiries in relation to content published below, please contact pressoffice@lancet.com.

Focus

A modelling study published in The Lancet estimates that Egypt, Algeria and South Africa are at the highest risk of importing new coronavirus cases in Africa. The three countries are estimated to have the most prepared health systems in the continent and be least vulnerable. However, the authors call for increased resources, surveillance, and capacity building to be urgently prioritised in countries with a moderate risk which are more likely to be ill-prepared to detect cases and limit transmission.

Research

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Case Report

Clinical Picture

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Infographics

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Novel Coronavirus Information Center

Elsevier’s free health and medical research on novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

3D illustration of Coronavirus (© istock.com/Dr_Microbe)
3D illustration of Coronavirus (© istock.com/Dr_Microbe)

Welcome to Elsevier’s Novel Coronavirus Information Center. Here you will find expert, curated information for the research and health community on Novel Coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19 and its temporary title 2019-nCoV). All resources are free to access and include guidelines for clinicians and patients. Under the ‘Research’ tab you will find the latest early stage and peer-reviewed research from journals including The Lancet and Cell Press, as well as a link to the Coronavirus hub on ScienceDirect, where you will find every article relevant article to Coronavirus, SARS, and MERS freely available. Under the Clinical Solutions tab you will find resources for nurses, clinicians and patients, including FAQs on symptoms.


Introduction

Margaret Trexler Hessen, MD, Director, Point of Care, Elsevier

Recent events have shown us (again) how rapidly a new disease can take root and spread. Such events are accompanied by an explosion of clinical and epidemiological information and research. The goal of this website is to open whatever resources we can to help public health authorities, researchers and clinicians contain and manage this disease. We will provide continually updated resources from Elsevier’s content and experts. Our resources span scientific and medical journals and textbookseducational products, and a variety of other resources, like travel precautions from the CDC and media posts of interest to our community. We have also created a  interactive global map of experts based on Scopus data.

Read more


Expert guidance and commentary

COVID-19: Seeking reliable information amid uncertainty

By Ian Chuang, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Elsevier

Medicine is continuously evolving in terms of refining, revising and discovering new knowledge. This is heightened in importance and compressed in timeframe during a crisis such as the current viral outbreak of the COVID-19.

The COVID-19 that originated in Wuhan, China, has exceeded more than 71,000 confirmed cases and over 1,700 deaths since the first case was detected in December 2019. As of February 18, the number of confirmed cases in Singapore has risen to 77. The World Health Organization (WHO) has termed this current epidemic as a global emergency, and it is a public health responsibility at a massive scale.

Read more

JAMA Medical News Podcast: Coronavirus and Beyond: Responding to Biological Threats

The 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak exemplifies ongoing biothreats to global security, as each new threat tests principles of preparation and response at national, regional, and clinical levels. Tom Inglesby, MD, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discusses biosecurity with Angel Desai, MD, JAMA Fishbein fellow. Listen to the interview

6 of the most common coronavirus questions the media is asking

By Rodney E. Rohde, PhD, Professor and Chair, Clinical Laboratory Program, Texas State University | Feb 6, 2020

As an infectious disease and clinical microbiology expert, Prof. Rodney E. Rohde of the Texas State University College of Health Professions receives daily calls from the media, government and university officials, and public health and professional organizations asking him about the emerging novel coronavirus outbreak. In this article, he shares some of the most common questions and his responses.

Read more

Interactive map: global disease outbreak experts

The map represents the most active institutions researching disease outbreak and control. We ran a search in Scopus — a source-neutral abstract and citation database of over 75 million records — for publications researching the coronavirus and related diseases such as SARS from 1996 to the present (Feb 6, 2020). We then used the resulting ~22,000 publications to identify the researchers and institutions that are working in these areas. The map shows the 500 most prolific global institutions, along with the 200 most prolific Chinese institutions by publication count.

Click on a pin to see more about the institution, the numbers of researchers and their publications. Then link through to the researcher’s profiles in Scopus to learn more about their areas of expertise.

Explore the interactive map here


Video: Novel Coronavirus Update

Livestreamed on Feb 6, 2020

JAMA Editor-in-Chief Howard Baucher, MD, interviews Anthony Fauci, MD, Director of the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


Key facts for clinicians

By Margaret Trexler Hessen, MD, Director, Point of Care, Elsevier | Updated Feb 21, 2020

Background: In December, China notified the World Health Organization of several cases of human respiratory illness, which appeared to be linked to an open seafood and livestock market in the city of Wuhan. The infecting agent has since been identified as a novel coronavirus, now called SARSCoV-2 (initially called 2019-nCoV). Although the virus is presumed zoonotic in origin, person-to-person spread is evident. Novel Coronavirus associated infection is now designated as COVID-19. Cases have now been reported in many parts of mainland China and in other countries in Asia, Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, Australia, Asia Pacific and North America. Travel within China has been restricted and travel to and from China markedly reduced. Screening of travelers is being implemented in other countries and quarantine measures have been enacted under some circumstances. Despite these precautions, it is anticipated that more cases will be seen both inside China and internationally.

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Clinicians need reliable and current information to combat novel coronavirus

By Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD, Consultant, PracticeUpdate, Elsevier

Coronaviruses are incredibly diverse, found in many animal species, and are commonly encountered in clinical practice during the cold and flu season, yet many primary care clinicians are not familiar with these respiratory pathogens. We rarely test for them, and when we do it’s usually when we’re looking for something else. Moreover, we have no specific treatments for these viruses.

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Elsevier Clinical Solutions

We’ve selected content from ClinicalKey, Clinical Solutions Nursing, Interprofessional Practice and Patient Education collections to share what we know to date about the novel coronavirus.

Clinical Overviews on ClinicalKey

Clinical Overviews are easy-to-scan clinically focused medical topic summaries designed to match the clinician workflow. Elsevier’s Point-of-Care Editorial team develops Clinical Overviews through a process that includes review and revision by a medical editor; peer reviews performed by subject matter experts; a production review to ensure consistency in style, grammar, and punctuation; and a final evaluation by the editor-in-chief.

Clinical Skills for Nursing

Clinical Skills for Nursing provides the highest quality evidence for nursing practice procedures for nurses to care for patients. Our Isolation Precautions and Personal Protective Equipment checklists align with CDC and OSHA guidelines:

Interprofessional Care Plans

These Interprofessional Care Plans provide an evidence-based and individualizable Interprofessional plan of care to manage fever and the possible development of pneumonia, which is consistent with the presentation of this virus. Using an interprofessional approach to patient care that aligns current evidence with the individual needs of the patient results in improved patient care outcomes.

Patient engagement resources

Patient engagement resources use plain language to support shared decision-making between patients and healthcare providers. The goal is to deliver the right message in the right way at the time the patient is most ready to learn. The following resources provide an overview of the novel coronavirus to help patients and their families understand their risk, identify signs and symptoms, and prevent it from spreading:


Video overview of Coronavirus from 3D4Medical – Watch now:

https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center

SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

Cause

SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) – virus identified in 2003. SARS-CoV is thought to be an animal virus from an as-yet-uncertain animal reservoir, perhaps bats, that spread to other animals (civet cats) and first infected humans in the Guangdong province of southern China in 2002.

Transmission

An epidemic of SARS affected 26 countries and resulted in more than 8000 cases in 2003. Since then, a small number of cases have occurred as a result of laboratory accidents or, possibly, through animal-to-human transmission (Guangdong, China).

Transmission of SARS-CoV is primarily from person to person. It appears to have occurred mainly during the second week of illness, which corresponds to the peak of virus excretion in respiratory secretions and stool, and when cases with severe disease start to deteriorate clinically. Most cases of human-to-human transmission occurred in the health care setting, in the absence of adequate infection control precautions. Implementation of appropriate infection control practices brought the global outbreak to an end.

Nature of the disease

Symptoms are influenza-like and include fever, malaise, myalgia, headache, diarrhoea, and shivering (rigors). No individual symptom or cluster of symptoms has proved to be specific for a diagnosis of SARS. Although fever is the most frequently reported symptom, it is sometimes absent on initial measurement, especially in elderly and immunosuppressed patients.

Cough (initially dry), shortness of breath, and diarrhoea are present in the first and/or second week of illness. Severe cases often evolve rapidly, progressing to respiratory distress and requiring intensive care.

Geographical distribution

The distribution is based on the 2002–2003 epidemic. The disease appeared in November 2002 in the Guangdong province of southern China. This area is considered as a potential zone of re-emergence of SARS-CoV.

Other countries/areas in which chains of human-to-human transmission occurred after early importation of cases were Toronto in Canada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, and Hanoi in Viet Nam.

Risk for travellers

Currently, no areas of the world are reporting transmission of SARS. Since the end of the global epidemic in July 2003, SARS has reappeared four times – three times from laboratory accidents (Singapore and Chinese Taipei), and once in southern China where the source of infection remains undetermined although there is circumstantial evidence of animal-to-human transmission.

Should SARS re-emerge in epidemic form, WHO will provide guidance on the risk of travel to affected areas. Travellers should stay informed about current travel recommendations. However, even during the height of the 2003 epidemic, the overall risk of SARS-CoV transmission to travellers was low.

Prophylaxis

None. Experimental vaccines are under development.

Precautions

Follow any travel recommendations and health advice issued by WHO.

https://www.who.int/ith/diseases/sars/en/

 

China’s early warning system didn’t work on covid-19. Here’s the story.

Lies and coverups halted vital information.

Feb. 24, 2020 at 4:13 a.m. CST

Chinese authorities have placed an estimated 760 million people into lockdown as part of an epic campaign to contain the spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. As of Sunday, there were over 77,000 confirmed cases and more than 2,500 deaths in China, mostly in Hubei province. Wuhan, the provincial capital and the epicenter of the outbreak, has been hard hit.

Why did China’s CDC system, once touted as among the world’s best disease control programs, fail to help contain the virus early on? And what has the crisis exposed about China’s system of governance? Here’s what you need to know.

China built a system to prevent another SARS crisis

In the aftermath of the 2003 SARS crisis, China invested heavily to improve its system for infectious disease control and prevention. These measures included new laboratories and a nationwide Infectious Diseases Reporting System, as well as new laws on infectious diseases control and public health emergencies. The reporting system is extensive, covering all of China’s more than 2,800 county-level jurisdictions.

This sentinel system for infectious diseases helped China tackle various outbreaks — including H1N1avian flu and malaria. Successive China CDC directors have taken great pride in this system. In a March 2019 interview, Gao Fu, the China CDC director general, said he was “very confident that the SARS incident will not recur. This is due to our country’s well-built infectious disease surveillance network; we can block the virus when it appears.”

The system worked, according to local authorities

The Wuhan Health Commission (WHC) began to release information on its website on the atypical pneumonia cases on Dec. 31, 2019.

But local authorities didn’t tell the full story

The China CDC official line, however, suggests a different timeline. According to Feng Zijian, deputy director general of the China CDC, the direct reporting system was “not activated that expeditiously.” In fact, the award to Zhang for reporting on Dec. 29 reminds us that the pre-Dec. 29 cases were not reported, let alone filed into the disease reporting system in real time.

Two separate sources reveal that Gao himself was the real sentinel of the coronavirus outbreak. In the evening of Dec. 30, Gao Fu noticed from scanning group-chats that the WHC had just issued two internal notices on atypical pneumonia cases. Alarmed that such information had not been submitted to the national reporting system, he called the Wuhan CDC head and learned that the number of cases was well above the threshold for reporting. Troubled by what he heard — and didn’t hear — Gao immediately alerted the National Health Commission (NHC) leadership. The following day, Dec. 31, the NHC dispatched a national team of experts to Wuhan to investigate.

Local authorities also silenced whistleblowers

As the national team was on its way to Wuhan, the WHC issued its first public statement about the atypical pneumonia outbreak, reassuring the public that the health administrations and hospitals were managing the situation well. Of the 27 cases, “seven were critical, but the rest were stable and controllable, including two that … are expected to be discharged.” In fact, the latest retrospective study by China CDC reveals there were already 104 cases, including 15 deaths, in December.

In contrast, on Jan. 2, health authorities in Singapore and other countries began to screen passengers from Wuhan.

The case of Li Wenliang has captured global attention. Early on Dec. 31, the Chinese doctor was reprimanded by WHC and the Wuhan Central Hospital he worked at for spreading false rumors about SARS-like cases on Dec. 30. Police later forced him to sign a document promising not to spread “false rumors” again. Other doctors were also admonished for “irresponsible behavior that caused social panic and disrupted Wuhan’s development and stability.”

Systemic fissures contributed to further delays

Local officials, including Wuhan’s mayor, blamed their inadequate public disclosure on the need to secure approval from above. But the truth is more complicated. We now know that on Dec. 30, a joint Hubei-Wuhan CDC inv