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U.S. could be next virus epicenter, as India locks down, global recession looms

42 Comments
By Emma Farge and Sanjeev Miglani

The United States could become the global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday, as India announced a full 24-hour, nationwide lockdown in the world's second-most populous country.

India joined the ranks of Britain and other countries clamping down to hold back the virus as business activity collapsed from Japan to the United States at a record pace in March.

The highly contagious coronavirus has caused entire regions to be placed on lockdown. In some places soldiers are patrolling the streets to keep consumers and workers indoors, halting services and production and breaking supply chains.

"The global health crisis is rapidly morphing into a global recession, as there is a clear tension between preventing infections and ruining the economy," said Edoardo Campanella, an economist at UniCredit Bank in Milan.

But Wall Street bounced from three-year lows as investors pin their hopes on the U.S. Senate passing a $2 trillion stimulus bill.

Confirmed coronavirus cases around the world exceeded 377,000 across 194 countries and territories as of early Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally, more than 16,500 of them fatal.

In Geneva, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said infections in the United States had greatly increased.

Over the previous 24 hours, 85 percent of new cases were in Europe and the United States, and of those, 40 percent were in the United States.

As of Monday, the virus had infected more than 42,000 people there, killing at least 559.

Asked whether the United States could become the new epicenter, Harris said: "We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential."

Some U.S. state and local officials have decried a lack of coordinated federal action, saying that having localities act on their own has put them in competition for supplies.

President Donald Trump acknowledged the difficulty.

"The World market for face masks and ventilators is Crazy. We are helping the states to get equipment, but it is not easy," he tweeted.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday the government would impose a nationwide lockdown from midnight for 21 days.

Health researchers have warned that more than a million people in India could be infected with the coronavirus by mid-May, prompting the government to shut down all air and train travel, businesses and schools.

On Tuesday, Modi, leader of the world's biggest democracy, went further, saying nobody would be allowed to leave their homes.

"The only way to save ourselves from coronavirus is if we don’t leave our homes, whatever happens, we stay at home," Modi said.

India has so far reported 482 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and nine deaths.

Of the top 10 countries by case numbers, Italy has reported the highest fatality rate, at around 10%, which at least partly reflects its older population. The fatality rate globally - the ratio of deaths to confirmed infections - is around 4.3%, though national figures can vary widely according to how much testing is done.

Britain, believed by experts to be about two weeks behind Italy in the outbreak cycle, on Tuesday began curbs on movement without precedent in peacetime after Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered the country to stay at home.

The streets of the capital were quiet as all but essential shops closed and people only went to work if it was unavoidable.

Johnson had resisted pressure to impose a full lockdown even as other European countries had done so, but was forced to change tack as projections showed the health system could become overwhelmed.

Meanwhile China's Hubei province, the original centre of the outbreak, will lift curbs on people leaving the area, but other regions will tighten controls as new cases double due to imported infections.

The provincial capital Wuhan, which has been in total lockdown since Jan. 23, will lift its travel restrictions on April 8.

However, the risk from overseas infections appears to be on the rise, prompting tougher screening and quarantine measures in cities such as the capital Beijing.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments

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U.S. could be next virus epicentre

But it won't  be Trump's fault.  You can blame the usual suspects, Liberals, China, Obama, Hilary, Democrats and the fake news media.  But it will definitely not be Trump's fault because he has openly stated that he takes no responsibility.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

One other thing, as of yesterday Trump has spent more on protecting the oil industry then he has on protecting US citizens.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

One other thing, as of yesterday Trump has spent more on protecting the oil industry then he has on protecting US citizens.

That would change as soon as the democrats stop holding up the stimulus bill to ram through social justice measures that have nothing to do with the economy or the virus.

-13 ( +5 / -18 )

One other thing, as of yesterday Trump has spent more on protecting the oil industry then he has on protecting US citizens.

Protecting the oil industry IS synonymous with protecting US citizens. Energy is necessary for a modern economy to function. The vast majority of Americas current energy mix is from the oil industry. Where do you think the plastics and electricity come from to build and run medical equipment? When the vast majority of the nations energy is coming from windmills and solar cells these industries would also need to be propped up by the government. Until then, the government would be criminally negligent not to protect the nations energy supplies.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

"I want to see the churches packed with people on Easter Sunday!" . . . Pres. Trump

You'd never think there was a problem. Wishful thinking?

"I see a light at the end of the tunnel!" . . . Pres. Trump

Is he talking about a near death experience or something? The real world and Trump wold are in completely different universes.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

That would change as soon as the democrats stop holding up the stimulus bill to ram through social justice measures that have nothing to do with the economy or the virus.

Dems playing politics with the lives of Americans to coerce Republicans to agree with their ideological goals. Sickening.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/24/nancy-pelosi-uses-coronavirus-crisis-put-some-kabuki-theater/

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Speaking of US, I wonder when Paul Rand will show his ugly face and how he's going to explain his actions. A doctor??!!! Using the pool and gym while knowing he was probably infected, while no other ordinary person was allowed to use gyms or pools.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Dems playing politics with the lives of Americans to coerce Republicans to agree with their ideological goals

Playing politics is what's done in democracies. The Republicans are pushing their ideological goals, which as always include looking out first and foremost for the .01%. Trump/McConnell, as .01%ers, are looking out for themselves.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

global recession looms

Yep, thanks to all the fear mongering.

The U.S. economy will come roaring back before the end of the year.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

That would change as soon as the democrats stop holding up the stimulus bill to ram through social justice measures that have nothing to do with the economy or the virus.

Dems playing politics with the lives of Americans to coerce Republicans to agree with their ideological goals. Sickening.

Almost as sickening as pushing blatant falsehoods like this and citing opinion pieces as evidence.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The Republicans are pushing their ideological goals, which as always include looking out first and foremost for the .01%. Trump/McConnell, as .01%ers, are looking out for themselves.

so you must believe that the Reps held Bill Clinton at gunpoint making him sign the two pieces of legislation that heavily favored the .01%, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which exempted credit-default swaps from regulation.

Yep, that’s what happened, and it had nothing to do with lobbying by the central banksters.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

The U.S. economy will come roaring back before the end of the year

After a democrat is elected president and saves it from the abyss Donny has pushed it into. It’ll be like a repeat of 2007 after Obama was elected. Tee Hee!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

That would change as soon as the democrats stop holding up the stimulus bill to ram through social justice measures that have nothing to do with the economy or the virus.

Game news being peddled in the Trump fan media. The asks from the Democrats seem very appropriate to fight the fall out from the virus.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

That would change as soon as the democrats stop holding up the stimulus bill to ram through social justice measures that have nothing to do with the economy or the virus.

Fake news being peddled in the Trump fan media. The asks from the Democrats seem very appropriate to fight the fall out from the virus.

(Corrected version)

0 ( +4 / -4 )

And yesterday he compared COVID-19 to auto accidents. Saying that a lot of people die from them. Complete false equivalency from the master of false equivalency. Instead of taking this head on which would garner him the praise he so desperately wants, he's taking the easy way out like he does with everything. Find something/someone else to blame so he doesn't have to do the work and be judged by the job he is or isn't doing. It's pathological insanity.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It didn’t make sense how a city like Tokyo could manage the pandemic’s spread in their city but New York could not. Then I read this article and it all started to click.

https://nypost.com/2020/03/24/nyc-declares-war-on-rim-jobs-in-graphic-health-department-memo/

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@darknuts

That would change as soon as the democrats stop holding up the stimulus bill to ram through social justice measures that have nothing to do with the economy or the virus.

One of the big sticking points in a $1.8 trillion coronavirus bailout package Senate Republicans are trying to pass is a $500 billion fund for hard-hit businesses and state and local governments. Basically, they want a slush fund.

Let's not allow the person who lost a billion dollars which is the most in US history, the person who went bankrupt six times, and the person sued for running a fake university to hold the check book.

Trump, whose hotel business is losing millions, says 'I'll be the oversight' of $500 billion coronavirus 'slush fund'

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-whose-hotel-business-losing-041919009.html

Bailout funds aside, Trump has a conflict because following the advice of scientists and public health experts to restrict travel hurts his private business, while "lifting the guidelines will translate into a horrifying number of American deaths.

Let's not allow the person worried more about be liked on TV than the welfare of the population make decisions simply for his re-election. People have already died on his watch.

Do we want more deaths?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yep, thanks to all the fear mongering

Trump failed to listen to Hannity and decided to shut down the US.

but New York could not. 

For one TrumpCare is a total failure. How are people going to pay for medical treatments without going bankrupt? Better stay safe in Japan with their central government healthcare.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Donny needs to get his head out of his backside and listen to the much smarter people around him.

False bravado, lies and senseless bluster cannot beat the virus.

A sustained effort, discipline and a rational outlook are all that are required.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

For one TrumpCare is a total failure

We're still on ObamaCare. Go ask Obama and the Congress about that fiasco.

Donny needs to get his head out of his backside and listen to the much smarter people around him.

Amazing how the "much smarter people around him" aren't saying that.

A sustained effort, discipline and a rational outlook are all that are required.

So far so good.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Countries where people wear masks are levelling off, countries where people don't wear masks are not which does not bode well for the US and all Western countries.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The hive-mind is certainly working with Trump, the right-wing media, and his supporters - Trump sees some far-right kook on Fox News pop off some fairy tale, then Trump embraces it, then the talking points start showing up here on JT. Example: Social distancing and other measures that every medical expert says will protect and mitigate the effects of the virus, are "killing" our economy. Get rid of them and get back to normal.

Of course, Dr Fauci who the Trump supporters here have said "we all should be listening to", says that's crazy and will result in more deaths and disruption. But it's hard to listen to Dr Fauci now that he's been banned from the daily briefings since he wouldn't go along with the lies.

Mattis nailed it two years ago - Trump's a danger to the republic...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Amazing how the "much smarter people around him" aren't saying that.

They are saying exactly that.

And Donny should start listening to Dr. Fauci rather than spin fairytales.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The biggest enemy of our immune systems is stress.

The government of Ohio just essentially closed his entire state. The chief fear monger of the trump administration is without a doubt Anthony Fauci, head of the Allergy and infectious Diseases at the National Institute of health. Fauci is all over the media serving up outright falsehoods to stir up even more panic. He testified to Congress that the death rate for Coronavirus is ten times of the seasonal flu.

A claim WITHOUT any scientific basis on Face the Nation. Fauci did his best to further damage an already tanky economy by stating right now, personally he wouldn’t go to a restaurant.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Fauci did his best to further damage an already tanky economy by stating right now, personally he wouldn’t go to a restaurant.

Dr Fauci had nothing to do with the state of the economy. And if it is 'tanky', Trump will say 'he won't take responsibility for that'. Even though just a couple weeks ago he was taking responsibility, crowing about how strong (the solid economy he inherited from Obama and that Trump steroid-ed up) was.

Dr Fauci probably knows more than anyone in the country about the virus. I'll listen to him.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

China: Covers up pandemic, silences whistleblowers. Virus reaches US.

Progressives: This is Drumpf's fault!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

China: Covers up pandemic, silences whistleblowers. Virus reaches US.

US: Trump covers up, ignores, and minimizes pandemic, silences CDC experts, virus explodes in US.

Progressives: This is Drumpf's fault!

All American's: This is Trump's fault...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So many young people don't care about coronavirus spread. I saw American news there are so many people enjoying as usual on beaches there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fauci is a front man for the CDC only. I think Fauci will be given his walking papers in the next 2 weeks.

Trump’s distrust of experts is why Jared Kushner is now overseeing the pandemic response.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think Fauci will be given his walking papers in the next 2 weeks.

I think you might be right. Trump's a megalomaniac. He doesn't like to listen to anyone who disagrees with him. Fox 'news' talking mouths will probably soon start going after Dr Fauci personally, saying he's an expert, 'but...', damning him with faint praise, then straight out calling him names, maybe a nickname given by Trump. Trump trusts Fox. Soon after Trump will have Dr Fauci disappeared. The US under Trump continues to lose its best and brightest. If they're replaced it's by someone echoing Trump's greed is good mantra and hailing him as messiah.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Playing politics is what's done in democracies. The Republicans are pushing their ideological goals, which as always include looking out first and foremost for the .01%. Trump/McConnell, as .01%ers, are looking out for themselves.

What nonsense. The Democrats just killed one of the largest stimulus package aid relief and the people won’t forget that.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The repubs killed the stimulus with their pork directed at the rich. It’s intellectually dishonest to blame the Dems.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What nonsense. The Democrats just killed one of the largest stimulus package aid relief and the people won’t forget that.

You forgot a word in there; the largest SOCIALIST stimulus packages in history...

I watched a few minutes of Hannity tonight and it was comedy gold. First he goes on to praise the largest SOCIALIST bailout in our history - government money for almost everyone - and all of it adding to the deficit. Then on the next sentence, he rails against Nancy, Chuck and the radical SOCIALIST Democrats for not voting for it...

Hilarious! They'll be playing that on late night TV for months....

And it just goes to show how bankrupt the far-right is - socialism is evil, until it helps save Trump's cratering re-election chances - and even then they still use the word as an insult...

What a scam - and the Trump supporters are all falling for it...

"Give us our unprecedented government socialist bailout bill - you bunch of radical Dem socialists!"

You can't make this stuff up...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Gov Como of New York said its needs 20,000 ventilators. Nationally there are only 30,000 on stock. Trump will release 4,000 today and another 4,000 tomorrow.

Trmp said of having the feds help states with a coronavirus response policy "They have to treat us well, too."

At least 100,000 ventilators are needed nationally.

A person on a ventilator would normally only be a few days. With coronavirus victims, it's a few weeks.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

We have a deal. The repubs caved.

To provide transparency, the package is expected to create a new inspector general and oversight board for the corporate dollars, much as was done during the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program bank rescue, officials said.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/congress-closing-nearly-2-trillion-122126952.html

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Luckily trump will open up America in time for Easter mass so millions can cram into churches in every state.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

2 trillion dollars? bUt HoW aRe We GoInG tO pAy FoR iT???

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

We have a deal. The repubs caved.

It will be interesting indeed to see what kind of crap the Democrats loaded this bill with and how much deeper they've dug the hole they're in.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Reports in today's Guardian says that while Trump is lying to US citizens by pretending everything is OK, he has been secretly contacting European and Asian allies begging for medical help and equipment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nonsense, The Democrats totally killed the bill. Schumer and Pelosi killed the bill because the Senate striped it of all its Sneaky bacon! Did they Really think McConnell was going to pass a bill that:

Restricts colleges from providing information about illegal aliens

Money for Planned Parenthood

Same-day voter registration

Online voter registration

Wind and Solar credits

Reduction in Airline emissions

increased leverage for labor unions

illuminate US Postal Service debt

same day voter registration

$35 million to the Kennedy Center

There was no way that was going to happen. Instead of Just getting the money, much needed in this crisis, they decide in one last ditch effort to be sneaky and see if the Senate will pass more of their junk entitlements. Not going to happen and the public sees now this is 100% on the Dems watch.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

We're still on ObamaCare

Yes, it should be Medicare for all so you are right. Works fine in Japan (Japan's system is like Medicare for all). Trump people in Japan use it so proves universal healthcare is most effective for (1) keeping people medically safe and (2) from going bankrupt from TrumpCare. Obamacare is better than TrumpCare, but universal Medicare works best - if Trump implements this he then has my vote. Right Trump people in Japan? You are all on Japan's medical system

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Reality: Bill passes

Certain people not in the reality-based community:

Nonsense, The Democrats totally killed the bill. 

Amazing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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