Barack Obama Suggests Donald Trump ‘Denied’ Coronavirus Warnings

obama trump

By Charlie Spiering – 31 Mar 2020

Former President Barack Obama suggested on Twitter on Tuesday that President Donald Trump “denied” warnings of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic,” Obama wrote.

The former president shared an article on Twitter about Trump rolling back fuel economy standards, and also accused the president of “climate denial.”

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“We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial,” he wrote. “All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall.”

Last week, the former president shared an article of “likely scenarios” of how to manage the virus.

“So much depends on our ability to make good decisions going forward along with our ability to remain resilient,” he wrote on Twitter after Trump said he was hopeful that he could loosen restrictions by Easter Sunday.

Obama continues speaking up to criticize or challenge Trump’s response to the coronavirus, despite the president’s best efforts to fight and contain it.

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He also said that attacks on Obamacare were taking place “right when we need care the most.”

 

O’Keefe Investigation: Army National Guardsman Says Coronavirus Media Coverage Overblown (VIDEO)

 

By Cristina Laila – March 31, 2020

James O’Keefe spoke to an army national guardsman in Glen Island Park, New Rochelle, New York about the media’s coverage on the Coronavirus.

The soldier told Project Veritas that the media coverage on the Coronavirus pandemic is way overblown.

“Is it as bad as everyone, the media is saying — the whole pandemic?” O’Keefe asked the guardsman.

The guardsman responded, “Oh, no. It’s just, it’s the flu. It’s the flu. It’s the flu.”

TRENDING: A SHOCKING CORRECTION: Dr. Fauci Went from a Possible 1.7 Million US Deaths Due to Coronavirus to a Possible 200,000 US Deaths in 14 Days!

“Is the media accurately reporting accurately?” O’Keefe asked. “The media is making it out bigger? And it’s not as bad as the media is saying?”

“No, I’m in the tents with them,” the soldier said.

New York is currently the US epicenter for Coronavirus cases and deaths.

As of Tuesday it was reported New York has 67,384 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 1,342 deaths.

Democrat lawmakers however are using the virus to shut down businesses.

On Monday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti shut down farmer’s markets after 44 Coronavirus deaths were confirmed in the city, or 0.000011% of LA’s population of 4 million.

KKK-Blackface Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced a shelter-in-place for his state until June.

President Trump extended his Coronavirus social distancing guidelines through the end of April.

If lockdowns continue, the cure will be far worse than the virus and the economy will be destroyed.

 

Chinese researchers isolated deadly bat coronaviruses near Wuhan animal market

Police stand guard outside Wuhan Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, where a number of people related to the market fell ill with a virus in Wuhan, China, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Heightened precautions were being taken in China and elsewhere Tuesday as governments strove to control the outbreak of the coronavirus, which threatens to grow during the Lunar New Year travel rush. (AP Photo/Dake Kang)

Police stand guard outside Wuhan Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, where a number of people related to the market fell ill with a virus in Wuhan, China, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. Heightened precautions were being taken in China and elsewhere Tuesday … more >

By Bill Gertz – March 31,2020

Chinese government researchers isolated more than 2,000 animal viruses, including deadly bat coronaviruses, and carried out scientific work on them just three miles from a wild animal market identified as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several Chinese state media outlets in recent months touted the virus research and lionized in particular a key researcher in WuhanTian Junhua, as a leader in bat virus work.

The coronavirus strain now infecting hundreds of thousands of people globally mutated from bats believed to have infected animals and people at a wild animal market in Wuhan. The exact origin of the virus, however, remains a mystery.


SEE ALSO: Chinese markets again selling bats — likely source of deadly pandemic — reporters say


Reports of the extensive Chinese research on bat viruses likely will fuel more calls for Beijing to make public what it knows about such work.

“This is one of the worst cover-ups in human history, and now the world is facing a global pandemic,” Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said last week. Mr. McCaul has said China should be held accountable for the pandemic.

A video posted online in December and funded by the Chinese government shows Mr. Tian inside caves in Hubei province taking samples from captured bats and storing them in vials.

“I am not a doctor, but I work to cure and save people,” Mr. Tian says in the video. “I am not a soldier, but I work to safeguard an invisible national defense line.”

Chinese officials have said the virus likely spread from wild animals to people at Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, not far from the Wuhan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national center for China’s bat virus research.

Wuhan is finally stirring back to life after a harsh crackdown on travel and street activity was imposed in late January. The city’s bus, subway and train systems started to run again over the weekend. Shops downtown were operating with some restrictions Monday, although customers were scarce.

But British news accounts also reported over the weekend that some of the stalls at China’s so-called “wet” wild animal markets, as they reopen, have begun once again selling bats and scorpions and resumed questionable practices such as slaughtering small animals right at the site.

Chinese officials refused to provide samples of its coronavirus strains to U.S. researchers shortly after the outbreak became public and did not allow international disease specialists to visit Wuhan for weeks.

Handling bats

The Chinese video “Youth in the Wild — Invisible Defender” records researchers engaged in casual handling of bats containing deadly viruses.

The seven-minute film boasts that China has “taken the lead” in global virus research and uncovered over 2,000 viruses in the past 12 years, the time since the outbreak of the bat-origin virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The deadly virus behind the current pandemic is called SARS Coronavirus-2 and also has been traced to bats.

Prior to China’s discoveries, an estimated 2,284 types of viruses had been found in the previous 200 years, the video says.

Chinese state media outlets revealed that Mr. Tian once failed to wear protective gear in a cave and as a result came into contact with bat urine. To avoid contracting a disease, he self-quarantined for 14 days — the same recommended period for people exposed to the new COVID-19 strain.

Mr. Tian works for the office of decontamination and biological disease vector prevention and control within the Wuhan CDC. According to a May 2017 report by the Wuhan Evening News, Mr. Tian has gathered thousands of bats for research work on bat viruses since 2012.

“Bats have a large number of unknown viruses on their bodies,” he said. “The more thorough our research on bats is, the better it will be for human health.”

The researcher also has gathered viruses from ticks, mice and wasps.

After the incident exposing him to bat urine, Mr. Tian said, he kept a safe distance from his wife. “As long as I am not getting sick during the incubation period of 14 days, I can be lucky to get away with it,” he said.

The Wuhan report said the collection of research samples was difficult, dangerous and hard to fund.

Shenzhen News, a publication of the Guangdong Communist Youth League, described in December how Mr. Tian shuttled through caves and jungles looking for viruses in bats and ticks, called “vector organisms,” in the quest to develop vaccines. The report said the nearly 2,000 viruses discovered in China over the past 12 years nearly doubled the total number of known viruses.

A search of the Wuhan CDC website since the novel coronavirus outbreak contains no reference to Mr. Tian or his work. He has co-authored at least two scientific studies on the Wuhan virus and its impact.

Efforts to reach Mr. Tian were not successful.

A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington did not return an email seeking comment.

U.S. concerns

A State Department official said the reports about Mr. Tian and his role in working with bat viruses are concerning.

“He lives and works at Wuhan’s CDC, a few hundred yards away from the Huanan wet market,” the official said. “He is among the small team in Wuhan that has contributed to China’s obsession in recent years with virus hunting and research.”

Some U.S. and international scientists have dismissed reports linking the new virus to one of China’s research labs. They insist the virus jumped naturally to humans and then began spreading from person to person.

But others say a growing body of evidence indicates the virus may have been under study in a Chinese laboratory and escaped, either through an infection of a worker or through an infected lab animal.

Biosecurity researcher Richard Ebright, a Rutgers University professor at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology, said the coronavirus behind the pandemic is 96.2% similar to a bat virus discovered by the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2013 and studied at the Wuhan CDC. The virus could have jumped naturally from animal to human but also could have escaped from the lab, he said.

“Bat coronaviruses are collected and studied by laboratories in multiple parts of China — including Wuhan Municipal CDC and Wuhan Institute of Virology,” he told The Washington Times. “Therefore, the first human infection also could have occurred as a laboratory accident.”

Until the recent outbreak, all but two coronaviruses in China were studied at biosafety level-2 (BSL-2) facilities — not the high-security BSL-4 laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology — “which provides only minimal protections against infection of lab workers,” he said.

“Virus collection, culture, isolation or animal infection at BSL-2 with a virus having the transmission characteristics of the outbreak virus would pose high risk of accidental infection of a lab worker, and from the lab worker, the public,” he said.

Mr. Ebright said the Chinese video shows Wuhan CDC workers under Mr. Tian’s direction with inadequate personal protective equipment and unsafe practices, including exposed faces and wrists and a lack of goggles or face shields.

Such practices “would pose substantial risk of infection with a virus having transmission properties similar to those of the outbreak virus,” he said.

Mr. Ebright said the 2017 news report and 2019 video suggest several possibilities of accidental infection. They include accidental exposure in caves or field laboratories by those without proper protection, accidental infection during transit from caves or field laboratories, accidental infection inside the Wuhan CDC lab because of poor security, and accidental infection during shared work between the Wuhan CDC and the Wuhan Institute of Virology because of inadequate security at the CDC.

Kenneth Plante, associate director at the World Reference Center for Emerging Viruses and Arboviruses at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, said he doubted the new virus came from a laboratory.

“There’s a lot of conspiracy theories that this came out of a biocontainment facility and things of that sort,” he said last week. “But these viruses are closely related to bats. The actual mechanism of the reemergence of this virus was actually hypothesized back during the original SARS coronavirus,” he said.

But Steven W. Mosher, a China specialist with the Population Research Institute, said China for years has been doing research, detailed in scientific journals, on horseshoe bat coronaviruses that could be harmful to humans.

“They write about collecting SARS-like coronaviruses from horseshoe bats and proving that, like the SARS virus itself, some of these other naturally occurring coronaviruses could infect human beings directly,” Mr. Mosher said. “They write about genetically engineering new and deadly viruses capable of infecting human lung tissue — just like the Wuhan flu does.”

Mr. Mosher called the Chinese government to disclose the research to help health officials cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

China claims that the deadly virus did not escape from its biolab,” Mr. Mosher said. “Fine. Prove it by releasing the research records of the Wuhan lab.”

Covid-19’s meant to be a new Black Death, but in Britain no more people are dying than NORMAL. What does this say about the virus?

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By Peter Andrews 3/31/2020

Many people are waking up to the fact that the Covid-19 “pandemic” is not turning out as billed. When we finally emerge from it, the big question will be how many people have died from the virus. Here’s the most likely outcome.

You can bet that the institutions of international government, and the “experts” advising them, will try to massage and cherry-pick statistics to present the version of events that most closely matches their worst-case scenarios. The fact is, according to their early predictions, we are already long overdue millions of Covid-19 deaths that have failed to materialise.

But even when Covid-19 deaths are recorded, we have seen how it could be that people are dying with coronavirus rather than dying of it. This concept is easy enough to understand, and it encourages one to take a closer look at the breakdown of deaths across an entire society. The more you follow this rabbit hole down, the more interesting the numbers become. It may be somewhat morbid, but it is nonetheless very important.

The most popular twoarticles on the website of The Spectator over the weekend were by Dr John Lee, a recently retired NHS consultant and professor of pathology. He remarks that ‘’we have yet to see any statistical evidence for excess deaths, in any part of the world’’.

How lethal is Covid-19 REALLY? Why massive fatality rates from Italy are MISLEADING

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To check this out, I looked at the British government’s own statistics on total deaths registered weekly across the UK. It shows that in the week ending on the 8th of March 2019, 10,898 people died in total in the UK. This year, in the week ending the 6th of March 2020, the equivalent figure was almost identical: 10,895. Make of that what you will. Statistics are currently available up to March 20, and while there is a lag between the spread of the virus and the resulting deaths, so far only about 1 percent of all mortalities bear any relation to coronavirus, and there is no visible spike. If nothing else, it helps to view the extent of the crisis in proportion – thousands of people die each week, and from the long-term view what we are seeing is not a plague, but a blip.

So when all is said and done, will any additional people die of the coronavirus? And what is meant by extra or additional?

Risk of dying

Understanding this requires a bit of lateral thinking, but it helps to remember that everyone on Earth has a terminal disease: being alive. We all have to go sometime.

Recording exactly how and when we do is a big part of the job of statistician Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter. In a recent blog post, he outlined the concept of background risk. This is obtained by recording all of the people dying in any given year, at any given age. At its most simple, this is the percentage chance a person has of not reaching their next birthday, based solely on their age. Of course, that is not to say that if you are a 40-year-old man you have precisely a 0.2% chance of dying this year – the data are based on averages, and do not apply to individuals.

But nonetheless, across a country or given populations, the averages will be right, and it is possible to predict with great accuracy how many people will die in a given year. In the UK, for example, 600,000 people die annually. But wait a minute! A novel, brand-spanking new coronavirus is terrorising us all. Therefore surely we can expect more people to die this year than would in a normal year? And come year’s end we should be able, with simple arithmetic, to count exactly how many more there were.

In 2009 UK government experts wildly over-hyped dangers of swine flu — is history repeating with Covid-19?

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Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Centre for Evidence and Risk Communication at Cambridge University, won’t say exactly what he does think that figure will be. But he does say that if the deaths are towards the lower end of the current estimates, say at around 20,000 in the UK, Covid-19 will end up having ‘’a minimal impact on overall mortality for 2020’’. He told R4 that his findings showed, to his own professed astonishment, that if someone contracts the coronavirus, they’ve got almost exactly the same chance of dying over the ensuing few weeks as they would normally have of dying over the next year, no matter what their age or background health.

And depending on who you ask, that 20,000 figure might still be an overestimate. In fact, Spiegelhalter says that if extra people die it will likely be as a result of the  knock-on effects of the lockdown, such as delayed normal health care, depression and isolation.

American political commentator Candace Owens has been Tweeting consistently about the apparent insignificance of Covid-19 deaths compared to overall trends. She tweeted about this issue in relation to New York City, where meaningless figures are being waved around by the media.

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Final destination

With all of the numbers being bandied about these days by various universities and governments, one would swear that they knew exactly what they were talking about. Make no mistake: this air of certainty is just a front. It is definitely too early to accurately gauge how many – if any – extra people will die because of coronavirus. It will depend on how four key pieces of information intersect.

These are:

  1. How many people will become infected by Covid-19?
  2. How much does Covid-19 increase the risk of death?
  3. Are deaths being properly recorded? Of those people who die having contracted coronavirus, are they dying from the virus, or just with it?
  4. Of those who died, how many had comorbidities that would have killed them this year anyway?

Since all of this began, the mainstream media have focused almost entirely on the first of these points, and stressing with an onslaught of material how important it is to slow the spread. The most extreme possible measures have been implemented to do that. Meanwhile, the three other points could end up comparing Covid-19 pretty much to the common flu. Only careful consideration by governments of all the key factors will result in the best future decisions.

It is hard to believe that when this all blows over, the damage that will have been done by the shutdown measures – to businesses, to civil liberties, to individual lives and, of course, to the global economy – could have been for nothing. Nonetheless, it seems entirely possible based on the present data. Remember above all to not  take the figures the mainstream media throw at you at face value; there are lies, damned lies and statistics.

RETAILERS PREPARE FOR CIVIL UNREST; BOARDED-UP STORES SEEN FROM SOHO TO BEVERLY HILLS

Retailers Prepare For Civil Unrest; Boarded-Up Stores Seen From SoHo To Beverly Hills

In Beverly Hills, the Pottery Barn and West Elm stores near Rodeo Drive were spotted with boards across the windows

By Tyler Durden – 03/31/2020

High-end stores across the country have been boarding up their stores in anticipation of civil unrest due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

In Beverly Hills, the Pottery Barn and West Elm stores near Rodeo Drive were spotted with boards across the windows according to TMZ.

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Meanwhile, stores in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Paris, Vancouver and elsewhere were similarly boarded up.

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Thanks, China. 

Hosptital Exec Fired After Discussing Ways Of Ensuring Trump Supporters Get Coronavirus

“Trump supporters need to pledge to give up their ventilators for someone else … and not go to the hospital.”

By Steve Watson – 31 March, 2020

A New York hospital executive has been fired after she posted public comments on social media fantasising about how supporters of President Trump would get the coronavirus and not be allowed to get treatment.

The executive also happens to be, unsurprisingly, a former Hillary Clinton advisor.

Laura Krolczyk, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s vice president for external affairs, made the incendiary posts on Facebook, first sharing an article about The White House being reluctant to foot the $1 billion cost associated with producing ventilators.

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Hauptman Woodward Medical Research Institute Director of Development Lisa LaTrovato responded to Krolczyk’s post, writing “But will waste more than that on a wall and space force.”

Krolczyk, who worked as Western New York Regional Director for Hillary Clinton’s Senate office for 7 years, wrote back that “Trump supporters need to pledge to give up their ventilators for someone else … and not go to the hospital.”

“Also don’t cash your stimulus check,” she later added, writing “It’s all a hoax. Chew some ibuprofen and be on with your day.”

LaTrovato further responded “I think they should be the only ones in packed churches on Sunday,” to which Krolczyk replied, “They should barricade themselves in there and ride this out.”

Another Facebook user saw the exchange, wrote “Wow, just wow, so your saying we decide who lives and dies based on political views? Great plan (thumbs up emoji).”

Krolczyk then responded “That’s literally what he’s saying. Take your ‘wow’ and comprehend what your hero is saying. Your hero is saying YOU don’t need a ventilator. So don’t take one.”

The whole sorry conversation was then picked up by Republican strategist Michael Caputo, and the hospital was alerted.

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While LaTrovato is still on administrative leave from Hauptman Woodward pending further action, Krolczyk has been terminated by Roswell Park.

In a statement to Buffalo News, spokeswoman Annie Deck-Miller confirmed Krolczyk had been fired.

CEO Candace S. Johnson added that “This behavior is not tolerated at Roswell Park. If any team members act in a way that does not accord with that commitment, we will take swift and appropriate action, just as we did in this instance.”

Someone ought to tell Ms. Krolczyk that when engaging in her daily two minutes of Trump derangement hate, try to do it in private, rather than on her publicly available Facebook page.

Meanwhile, she should definitely make sure she does cash her stimulus check, as it’ll be her only income for a while.

This isn’t a one off. These people are everywhere, and need to be publicly shamed.

Nurses Die, Doctors Fall Sick and Panic Rises on Virus Front Lines

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3/30/2020

A supervisor urged surgeons at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Manhattan to volunteer for the front lines because half the intensive-care staff had already been sickened by coronavirus.

“ICU is EXPLODING,” she wrote in an email.

A doctor at Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan described the unnerving experience of walking daily past an intubated, critically ill colleague in her 30s, wondering who would be next.

Another doctor at a major New York City hospital described it as “a petri dish,” where more than 200 workers had fallen sick.

Two nurses in city hospitals have died.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 30,000 people in New York City, is beginning to take a toll on those who are most needed to combat it: the doctors, nurses and other workers at hospitals and clinics. In emergency rooms and intensive care units, typically dispassionate medical professionals are feeling panicked as increasing numbers of colleagues get sick.

“I feel like we’re all just being sent to slaughter,” said Thomas Riley, a nurse a Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, who has contracted the virus, along with his husband.

Medical workers are still showing up day after day to face overflowing emergency rooms, earning them praise as heroes. Thousands of volunteers have signed up to join their colleagues.

But doctors and nurses said they can look overseas for a dark glimpse of the risk they are facing, especially when protective gear has been in short supply.

In China, more than 3,000 doctors were infected, nearly half of them in Wuhan, where the pandemic began, according to Chinese government statistics. Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor who first tried to raise the alarm about Covid-19, eventually died of it.

In Italy, the number of infected heath care workers is now twice the Chinese total, and the National Federation of Orders of Surgeons and Dentists has compiled a list of 50 who have died. Nearly 14 percent of Spain’s confirmed coronavirus cases are medical professionals.

New York City’s health care system is sprawling and disjointed, making precise infection rates among medical workers difficult to calculate. A spokesman for the Health and Hospitals Corporation, which runs New York City’s public hospitals, said the agency would not share data about sick medical workers “at this time.”

William P. Jaquis, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said the situation across the country was too fluid to begin tracking such data, but he said he expected the danger to intensify.

“Doctors are getting sick everywhere,” he said.

Last week, two nurses in New York, including Kious Kelly, a 48-year-old assistant nurse manager at Mount Sinai West, died from the disease; they are believed to be the first known victims among the city’s medical workers. Health care workers across the city said they feared many more would follow.

Mr. Riley, the nurse at Jacobi, said when he looked at the emergency room recently, he realized he and his colleagues would never avoid being infected. Patients struggling to breathe with lungs that sounded like sandpaper had crowded the hospital. Masks and protective gowns were in short supply.

“I’m swimming in this,” he said he thought. “I’m pretty sure I’m getting this.”

His symptoms began with a cough, then a fever, then nausea and diarrhea. Days later, his husband became ill. Mr. Riley said both he and his husband appear to be getting better, but are still experiencing symptoms.

Like generals steadying their troops before battle, hospital supervisors in New York have had to rally, cajole and sometimes threaten workers.

“Our health care systems are at war with a pandemic virus,” Craig R. Smith, the surgeon-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, wrote in an email to staff on March 16, the day after New York City shut down its school system to contain the virus. “You are expected to keep fighting with whatever weapons you’re capable of working.”

“Sick is relative,” he wrote, adding that workers would not even be tested for the virus unless they were “unequivocally exposed and symptomatic to the point of needing admission to the hospital.”

“That means you come to work,” he wrote. “Period.”

Arriving to work each day, doctors and nurses are met with confusion and chaos.

At a branch of the Montefiore hospital system in the Bronx, nurses wear their winter coats in an unheated tent set up to triage patients with symptoms, while at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, patients are sometimes dying before they can be moved into beds.

The inviolable rules that once gave a sense of rhythm and harmony to even the busiest emergency rooms have in some cases been cast aside. Few things have caused more anxiety than shifting protocols meant to preserve a dwindling supply of protective gear.

When the pandemic first hit New York, medical workers changed gowns and masks each time they visited an infected patient. Then, they were told to keep their protective gear on until the end of their shift. As supplies became even more scarce, one doctor working on an intensive care unit said he was asked to turn in his mask and face shield at the end of his shift to be sterilized for future use. Others are being told to store their masks in a paper bag between shifts.

“It puts us in danger, it puts our patients in danger. I can’t believe in the United States that’s what’s happening,” said Kelley Cabrera, an emergency room nurse at Jacobi Medical Center.

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An emergency room doctor at Long Island Jewish Medical Center put it more bluntly: “It’s literally, wash your hands a lot, cross your fingers, pray.”

Doctors and nurses fear they could be transmitting the virus to their patients, compounding the crisis by transforming hospitals into incubators for the virus. That has happened in Italy, in part because infected doctors struggle through their shifts, according to an article published by physicians at a hospital in Bergamo, a city in one of the hardest-hit regions.

Frontline hospital workers in New York are now required to take their temperature every 12 hours, though many doctors and nurses fear they could contract the disease and spread it to patients before they become symptomatic.

They also say it is a challenge to know when to come back to work after being sick. All medical workers who show symptoms, even if they are not tested, must quarantine for at least seven days and must be asymptomatic for three days before coming back to work.

But some employers have been more demanding than others, workers said.

Lillian Udell, a nurse at Lincoln Medical Center, another public hospital in the Bronx, said she was still weak and experiencing symptoms when she was pressured to return to work. She powered through a long shift that was so chaotic she could not remember how many patients she attended. By the time she returned home, the chills and the cough had returned.

“I knew it was still in me,” she said. “I knew I wasn’t myself.”

Christopher Miller, a spokesman for the Health and Hospitals Corporation, said the agency could not comment on Ms. Udell’s claim, but said its hospitals had “never asked health care workers who are sick and have symptoms of Covid-19 to continue to work or to come back to work.”

There is also the fear of bringing the disease home to spouses and children. Some medical workers said they were sleeping in different rooms from their partners and even wearing surgical masks at home. Others have chosen to isolate themselves from their families completely, sending spouses and children to live outside the city, or moving into hotels.

“I come home, I strip naked, put clothes in a bag and put them in the washer and take a shower,” one New York City doctor at a large public hospital said.

Because the pathogen has spread so widely, even medical workers not assigned directly to work with infected patients risk contracting the disease.

A gynecologist who works for the Mount Sinai hospital system said she had begun seeing women in labor who were positive for the coronavirus. Because she is not considered a front-line worker, she said, restrictions on protective gear are even more stringent than on Covid-19 units. She said she was not aware of any patients who had tested positive after contact with doctors or nurses, but felt it was only a matter of time.

“We’re definitely contaminating pregnant mothers that we’re assessing and possibly discharging home,” said the doctor, who spoke on condition on anonymity because her hospital had not authorized her to speak.

Mount Sinai said in a statement that it had faced equipment shortages like other hospitals, but added the issues had been solved in part by a large shipment of masks that arrived from China over the weekend. The hospital “moved mountains” to get the shipment, the statement said.

This week, the Health and Hospitals Corporation recommended transferring doctors and nurses at higher risk of infection — such as those who are older or with underlying medical conditions — from jobs interacting with patients to more administrative positions.

But Kimberly Marsh, a nurse at Westchester Medical Center outside New York City, said she has no intention of leaving the fight, even though she is a 53-year-old smoker with multiple sclerosis and on a medication that warns against getting near people with infections.

“It almost feels selfish,” she said, though she acknowledged that with two years before retirement she could not afford leave if she wanted to.

Even so, she said, the fear is palpable each time she steps into the emergency room. A nurse on her unit has already contracted the virus and one doctor is so scared he affixes an N95 mask to his face with tape at the beginning of each shift. Ms. Marsh said she sweats profusely in her protective gear because she is going through menopause and suffers from hot flashes.

“We all think we’re screwed,” she said. “I know without any doubt that I’m going to lose colleagues. There’s just no way around it.”

Somini Sengupta, Brian M. Rosenthal, Joseph Goldstein, Michael Rothfeld and Jason Horowitz contributed reporting.

Italy Risks Losing Grip in South With Fear of Looting, Riots

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By John Follain – 3/30/2020

As Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte fights to hold Italian society together through a crippling nationwide lockdown, the depressed south is turning into a powder keg.

Police have been deployed on the streets of Sicily’s capital, Palermo, amid reports gangs are using social media to plot attacks on stores. A bankrupt ferry company halted service to the island, including vital supplies of food and medicines. As the state creaks under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, officials worry the mafia may be preparing to step in.

Preventing unrest in the so-called Mezzogiorno, the underdeveloped southern region that’s long lagged behind the wealthy north, has become the government’s top priority, according to Italian officials who asked not to be named discussing the administration’s strategy.

With the European Union’s most dangerously indebted state already fighting the Germans over the terms of the financial aid it needs, the fallout may reach far beyond Rome if Conte fails.

“We need to act fast, more than fast,” Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando told daily La Stampa. “Distress could turn into violence.”

Read More: Europe Gets No Respite From Lockdowns After Deadly Weekend

As the lockdown enters its fourth week, Conte is set to extend containment measures that have shuttered all but essential businesses until April 18 at the earliest, the officials said. He’s also working on a new stimulus package for mid-April worth at least 30 billion euros ($33 billion), following initial measures worth 25 billion euros, they said.

Italy has the highest death toll from the virus, with more than 11,000 fatalities, and almost 102,000 confirmed cases, second only to the U.S. It reported the smallest number of new coronavirus infections in almost two weeks on Monday.

Read More: Italy Reports Fewest New Coronavirus Cases in Almost 2 Weeks

Calls for Help

Within the aid he’s already announced, Conte is trying to channel funds toward the South. Over the weekend he advanced 4.3 billion euros from a solidarity fund for municipalities and added 400 million euros to mayors that can be converted into coupons for groceries. “No one will be left behind,” the premier said in a televised address.

Still, southern leaders are clamoring for more. They say that cash from the solidarity fund was already due to them and the economic damage from the lockdown has brought their region to the verge of a breakdown.

That opens another front for Conte, who is already struggling to stop the Italian health system from collapsing and fighting the European Union for joint debt issuance to help relieve the financial pressure on his government. Italy’s economic output is set to shrink by 6.5% in 2020, according to research group Prometeia.

The lockdown has hit the 3.7 million Italians working in the underground economy particularly hard since they don’t receive a regular salary and have difficulty accessing unemployment benefits. Many of them are concentrated in the South.

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In the South, “many people live day-to-day, doing odd jobs, like unloading trucks at markets, and they are in trouble,” Stefano Paoloni, a police union leader, said by phone. “We need to be on the alert to see whether there’s organized crime behind social unrest.”

Criminal Gangs

Police have been stationed outside supermarkets in Palermo after at least one group of angry residents refused to pay for their purchases. The private Facebook group National Revolution, which has about 2,600 members, is urging others to stage such raids, according to newspaper la Repubblica. Other social media outlets, including WhatsApp chats, are being monitored, the newspaper said.

Adding to the sense of things breaking down, ferry company Tirrenia CIN on Monday decided to halt all its connections with Sicily, Sardinia and other minor islands because of financial difficulties. The government said in a statement it will ensure that vital goods are delivered.

Read More: Italy’s Links to Sardinia at Risk After Operator Halts Services

Giuseppe Provenzano, who is in charge of the south in Conte’s cabinet, said an emergency handout should also be given to those in the illegal economy. The risk is that organized crime gangs will step in to provide assistance to those in need, filling the gap left by the state.

The government needs to move “without hesitation,” said Graziano Delrio, leader of lower-house lawmakers from the Democratic Party, the second-biggest group in Conte’s coalition. Rome needs “to do whatever’s necessary for the essential needs of families,” he said in an interview.

(Updates with new cases in seventh paragraph.)

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