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National Govt & Politics
Trump stands ground on tariffs as Chamber warns of job risks
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Trump stands ground on tariffs as Chamber warns of job risks

Trump stands ground on tariffs as Chamber warns of job risks
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

Trump stands ground on tariffs as Chamber warns of job risks

A day after Canada slapped new tariffs on a variety of American exports in retaliation for President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a public campaign in opposition to the Trump Administration's efforts on trade, arguing the President is endangering U.S. jobs, and risking a destructive trade war.

"Simply put, tariffs are a tax on American consumers and businesses. Tariffs are the wrong approach to address unfair trade practices," the Chamber proclaimed, urging its members to contact members of Congress, to demand action to block the President from further tariffs.

"I am writing to express my strong opposition to the administration’s recently imposed tariffs on steel, aluminum, and Chinese imports, as well as the potential for additional tariffs on autos and auto parts," the Chamber stated in a prepared email for Congress, rolling out state-by-state numbers on how the business group charges the Trump trade plans will have a negative impact.

"This is the wrong approach, and it threatens to derail our nation’s recent economic resurgence," the Chamber said of the President's threat to slap more tariffs on China, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

Last week, the President blasted American motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson, after the company said it would move production jobs overseas - out of the United States, in order to get around new European Union tariffs on American exports.

"Harley-Davidson should stay 100% in America, with the people that got you your success," the President tweeted, as he threatened retaliation against the company, tweeting that "they will be taxed like never before!"

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the President was not going to back down from his efforts to level the playing field with Mexico, China, the European Union, and Canada.

"The President again is committed to making sure we have good deals," Sanders said, though she acknowledged at the Monday White House briefing that retaliatory tariffs by other countries - in protest of Mr. Trump's tariffs on imported steel and aluminum - were having a negative impact on some U.S. workers.

"Escalating tariffs against the United Sates does nothing to help Canada and it only hurts American workers," Sanders told reporters.

Those comments echoed Mr. Trump from an interview broadcast Sunday on Fox News, where the President again gave no signs of ratcheting down his efforts to put pressure on Canada, China, Europe and Mexico.

"We have some of the worst trade deals in the world," the President said.

But while Mr. Trump keeps pressing forward with tariffs, GOP lawmakers in the Congress are getting more and more nervous - in part because their large blocks of farm voters are getting more and more concerned about collateral damage on agricultural products.

U.S. auto makers are also getting concerned about the President's threat to levy new tariffs on imported cars, arguing that could cost thousands of jobs, and could mean much higher costs for American consumers as well.

 

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  • Trying to feed a newborn in the middle of the night can be stressful. Not having any milk or formula complicates matters. That is why a Utah mother of five called 911 last month when she was out of formula and mother’s milk, KSL reported. “I’ve never not had food for my newborn,” Shannon Bird told the television station about her 2:12 a.m. call Jan. 28. “It was really scary for me.” In a recording of the 911 call, Bird told the dispatcher she had no way to feed her s6-week-old baby, KSL reported. “I’ve been calling neighbors and no one will answer,” Bird told the dispatcher. “I’ve never been in this predicament ever. My milk just literally dried out. This is my fifth kid and this has never happened.” Bird said her husband was out of town and her other children were asleep, the television station reported. “She (baby) was screaming,” Bird told KSL. “I called my husband and we were brainstorming. I started calling neighbors and teenagers in the area and my little brother and no one was awake.” Officers from the Lone Peak Police Department came to the rescue, as officer Brett Wagstaff went to a convenience store and bought a gallon of milk, the television station reported. However, the infant was too young for regular milk, so Wagstaff had to make another trip. “We’ll leave this with you,” Wagstaff is heard saying on body-camera footage, KSL reported. as he handed Bird the milk. “We’ll be right back with some formula for your baby — she’s adorable.” Wagstaff and fellow officer Konner Gabbitas went to a nearby Walmart, bought some formula and refused Bird’s offer to pay them back, the television station reported. “I was not expecting them to go get that food for me,” Bird told KSL. Dave Ventrano, Lone Peak Police Department’s public information officer, praised the two officers. “Most of us, we got on this job to help people, and this was an example of helping out a mother that was in need,” Ventrano told KSL. “To this mom, this is a priority for her. It’s been about protect and serve. This is part of the serve. We are here to serve the public.”
  • Crime is still not paying off for an Indiana man. Donald Murray, 38, of Terre Haute, who sports a “Crime Pays” tattoo on his forehead, was arrested for the second time in three months after he led police on a chase Monday morning, WTWO reported. In December, Murray was arrested when he allegedly led police in Terre Haute on a high-speed chase, the Tribune-Star reported. Police said Murray was driving at night with his headlights off, WTHI reported. The incident was caught on the television show “Live PD” and went viral. On Monday, Terre Haute police said Murray was charged with resisting law enforcement, reckless driving, possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance and auto theft, WTWO reported. Murray was released on his own recognizance Jan. 14 for his December arrest, the television station reported.
  • State and local police in Massachusetts are searching for vandals who defaced several historic landmarks in Plymouth overnight, including Plymouth Rock. The Maiden Lady and the National Monument to the Forefathers were just some of the other sites targeted with red spray paint. The graffiti was discovered Monday morning and was quickly reported to the police, WFXT reported. Plymouth Rock marks where the Pilgrims landed the Mayflower 400 years ago. The date, 1620, is chiseled into the rock. Crews with the State Department of Conservation and Recreation and Plymouth’s own Parks Department used a special solution with paint remover to power wash the graffiti off the landmarks. Those crews also got some help from volunteers. Jake Mowles, who owns East Coast Powerwashing, got busy cleaning one of the monuments free of charge. “We were pretty upset about it, we’ve spent a lot of money this year or the town has spent a lot of money rehabilitating the whole town here and it’s pretty disgraceful for somebody to do this,” Mowles told WFXT. “If we have the resources to do it and can come out and take care of it for them, that’s why we’re doing it.” Plymouth’s park superintendent said it will likely take several days to clean up all of the graffiti.
  • Jason Davis, a voice actor on the Disney cartoon series 'Recess,” died Sunday in Los Angeles, his manager said. He was 35. The cause of the actor’s death is not yet known, CNN reported. “We’re very saddened by his loss and we had some great projects in the works and really sad to see someone pass away at such a young age and taken out of his prime,” Scotty Gelt, President of Wolfie Cohen Entertainment, Davis’s management company, told CNN in a statement. “We’re just praying for him and hope he’s in a happier place.” Davis was the grandson of philanthropist Barbara Davis and late studio head Marvin Davis, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He was the son of Nebil Zarif and Nancy Davis Rickel. “Jason had a true heart of gold with such a zest for life,” Rickel told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement. “He was such a caring soul to everybody who ever knew him.” Jason Davis appeared in 129 episodes of “Recess” from 1997 to 2001 as the character of Mikey Blumberg, according to IMDB.com. He also appeared on television shows, including “Roseanne” (where he played an obnoxious vampire kid) and three episodes of “7th Heaven” in 1997, according to E Online. In addition to acting on TV, Davis had several battles with substance abuse and discussed them on “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew” in 2010 and 2011, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He co-founded the charity Cure Addiction Now. Davis was working on a television show called “The Two Jasons” at the time of his death, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
  • The death toll attributed to the 2019 novel coronavirus continues to rise, with thousands of people sickened and hundreds of others killed by the virus, mostly in China. Here are the latest updates: Officials learned Americans tested positive for coronavirus shortly before flights back to US Update 3:20 p.m. EST Feb. 17: U.S. officials learned that 14 Americans tested positive for coronavirus as they were evacuating a group of more than 300 U.S. citizens from the Diamond Princess cruise ship back to the U.S., according to officials and The New York Times. State Department officials said they learned of the positive results about two or three days after the tests were administered. By then, the evacuees had already disembarked the cruise ship and began traveling back to the U.S. The Times reported that officials with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo told Diamond Princess passengers that no one determined to be infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus would be allowed to board government-chartered flights back to the U.S. However, officials changed their plans after the test results came back, according to the newspaper. Officials said the 14 infected Americans traveled in a specialized containment area which kept them isolated from healthy passengers. State Department officials noted all 14 remained asymptomatic over the course of the flights. Diamond Princess passengers brought back to the U.S. will remain quarantined for 14 days to allow health officials to monitor for any signs of infection, officials said. CDC: Results pending for 60 Americans tested for coronavirus Update 12 p.m. EST Feb. 17: Officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 60 possible coronavirus cases remain under investigation Monday. Officials have confirmed 15 cases so far of the 2019 novel coronavirus in a handful of states: eight in California, two in Illinois and one each in Washington, Massachusetts, Texas, Arizona and Wisconsin. A total of 467 possible coronavirus cases have been investigated by CDC officials since Jan. 21. Of those, 392 people have tested negative for the virus. 2nd flight carrying Americans from Diamond Princess lands in US Update 6:01 a.m. EST Feb. 17: A second flight carrying Americans from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship back to the United States has landed in Texas, officials said early Monday. According to CNN, the plane landed at Lackland Air Force Base just before 5 a.m. EST.  Flight carrying Americans from Diamond Princess lands in California Update 3:12 a.m. EST Feb. 17: A flight that transported a group of Americans from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship back to the United States has landed in California, officials said early Monday. According to CNN, the plane landed at Travis Air Force Base just before 2:30 a.m. EST. Coronavirus death toll rises in China Update 10:10 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Officials said 105 people died Sunday of the 2019 novel coronavirus in China, upping the death toll attributed to the virus to 1,775.  A majority of the deaths -- all but four -- have been reported in China.  Earlier in the day, CNN reported officials in China’s Hubei province had recorded 100 deaths due to coronavirus Sunday. Five other deaths were later reported in other parts of the country, according to the news network. Death toll rises to 1,770 worldwide  Update 7:05 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Numbers shared Monday local time in China’s Hubei province have brought the coronavirus death toll to 1,770 globally, according to the South China Morning Post and CNN.  Health officials in the province, the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic, reported 100 new deaths connected to the virus Sunday, the Morning Post reported.  The 2019 novel coronavirus has claimed 1,696 lives in China since it was discovered late last year in Wuhan, according to CNN and health officials. Four deaths have been reported outside of China: one in the Philippines, one in Taiwan, one in France and one in Japan. Charter planes carrying Americans evacuated from cruise ship leave Tokyo  Update 5:30 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Two planes chartered by the U.S. government for Americans who had been quarantined off the coast of Japan on the Diamond Princess cruise ship have left Tokyo, according to CNN.  The planes are bound for Kelly Field/Lackland Air Force Base in Texas and the Travis Air Force Base in California, respectively, CNN reported.  Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell told The New York Times that once the planes land in Texas and California, passengers will undergo a 14-day quarantine, as required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Singapore confirms 3 new coronavirus cases  Update 4:20 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health have confirmed three new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 75.  Health officials linked two of the cases, involving two men ages 43 and 29, to a church in central Singapore. The third cases, involving a 71-year-old woman, is a relative of someone who had been placed under quarantine, officials said Sunday in a statement.. 44 Americans on Diamond Princess tested positive, official says Update 1:23 p.m. EST Feb. 16: Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post on Sunday that 44 Americans who were traveling on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan have been infected with the coronavirus. Hundreds of U.S. citizens who have been quarantined on the ship were evacuated Sunday evening, the newspaper reported. They were taken by bus to a nearby airport, where two chartered planes are scheduled to return them to the United States. Taiwan reports first death; fourth outside mainland China Update 11:53 a.m. EST Feb. 16: Taiwan officials reported the island’s first fatality from the coronavirus Saturday, as a 61-year-old man who had a history of diabetes and hepatitis B died, The New York Times reported. The man was admitted to a hospital Feb. 3 after he developed a cough a week earlier, Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare said in a statement. The man did not have a known history of traveling to mainland China, and health officials were investigating how he became infected, the newspaper reported. This death is the fourth reported coronavirus fatality to take place outside mainland China. Holland America confirms case in former Westerdam passenger Update 8:43 a.m. EST Feb. 16: The company that owns the Westerdam cruise ship issued a statement Sunday acknowledging one of its passengers tested positive for the coronavirus. In a statement, Holland America said, “The guest departed Westerdam (on) Feb. 14 and later reported feeling ill at the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia airport. The guest was taken to the hospital and is reported to be in stable condition. The guest’s traveling companion tested negative.” Italy plans to evacuate 35 from Diamond Princess cruise ship Update 7:01 a.m. EST Feb. 16: Italy will be evacuating 35 passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan, according to CNN. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio issued a statement Sunday about the evacuation. A flight will bring the Italian passengers home, he said. No further details were immediately available. More Diamond Princess cruises canceled through April 20 Update 3:43 a.m. EST Feb. 16: Princess Cruises announced early Sunday that it is canceling more voyages for the Diamond Princess ship docked in Japan. “Based on the prolonged quarantine period, and the anticipated time to prepare the ship to return to service, we unfortunately must cancel additional Diamond Princess voyages through the April 20 voyage,” the cruise line tweeted.  See the full list of scheduled changes here. Fatality rate remains stable in China at 142 new deaths  Update 8 p.m. EST Feb. 15: China reported a drop in new virus cases for a third straight day.  There are 2,009 new cases in mainland China, bringing its total number of confirmed cases to 68,500, according to the country’s National Health Commission.  The fatality rate remained stable with 142 new deaths. The death toll in mainland China from COVID-19, a disease stemming from a new form of coronavirus, now stands at 1,665. Fourth coronavirus fatality outside mainland China, first in Europe confirmed  Update 6:05 a.m. EST Feb. 15: A Chinese tourist has died in France from the novel coronavirus, marking the first recorded fatality from the disease outside Asia.  French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn confirmed to the BBC early Saturday that the victim was an 80-year-old woman from China’s Hubei province who arrived in France Jan. 16 and was quarantined in a Paris hospital on Jan. 25.  Although more than 1,500 people have died from the virus since the outbreak began, only three – one each in Hong Kong, the Philippines and Japan – had occurred outside mainland China prior to the fatality in France.  France has previously confirmed 11 cases of coronavirus, and six remain hospitalized, the BBC reported.  New coronavirus cases confirmed in Malaysia, Thailand  Update 6 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Malaysian officials confirmed early Saturday two new novel coronavirus cases, while officials in Thailand confirmed a medical worker has become that nation’s 34th case, CNN reported.  Both Malaysian patients are Chinese nationals and bring that country’s total cases to 21. According to CNN, a 27-year-old businessman from Guangzhou presented with symptoms during a Friday screening at the Bukit Kayu Hitam Customs, near the border with Thailand. The second patient is a 32-year-old Malaysian woman who visited China between Jan. 22 and Jan. 30.  The infected Thai medical worker is a 35-year-old woman whom health authorities confirmed had close contact with another confirmed patient. Of Thailand’s 34 confirmed cases, CNN reported, 14 have been discharged and 20 remain hospitalized.  67 new coronavirus cases confirmed aboard Diamond Princess cruise ship  Update 5:55 a.m. EST Feb. 15: Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato confirmed early Saturday that an additional 67 people aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship moored off the coast of Japan have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, CNN reported.  The latest figures bring the total number of confirmed cases aboard the ship to 286. That figure, combined with the 39 cases confirmed elsewhere across Japan, brings the country’s total recorded infections to 325, the highest concentration of cases reported outside mainland China, the network reported. Email to passengers outlines chartered flight, stateside quarantine plans  Update 4:13 a.m. EST Feb. 15: In an email to American passengers aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, officials with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo said a chartered flight will arrive Sunday evening to retrieve any of the roughly 380 U.S. citizens aboard the ship who have not yet tested positive for or exhibited symptoms of the novel coronavirus, the New York Times and CNN reported.  The ship, carrying more than 3,700 passengers and crewmembers, has been quarantined off the coast of Japan in Yokohama Bay since Feb. 4, after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus. To date, at least 218 cases have been confirmed aboard the ship, including at least 40 Americans who have been transported to medical facilities for treatment, the Times reported.  Per the email shared by CNN, buses will transport evacuating U.S. citizens from Yokohama to an undisclosed airport.  “Passengers will be screened for symptoms and we are working with our Japanese partners to ensure that any symptomatic passengers receive the required care in Japan if they cannot board the flight,” the email reads.  The plane is scheduled to first land at California’s Travis Air Force Base, before transporting remaining passengers to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.  “We will provide information about your final destination prior to boarding the plane,' the embassy told passengers, noting a new 14-day quarantine of all evacuees will begin once transport is complete.  “We understand this is frustrating and an adjustment, but these measures are consistent with the careful policies we have instituted to limit the potential spread of the disease,” the email reads.  Disembarkation of passengers not voluntarily evacuating on Sunday’s charter flight, will begin Feb. 21 and last several days, CNN reported.  More than 8,000 recovered coronavirus patients discharged from hospitals  Update 4:10 a.m. EST Feb. 15: China’s National Health Commission confirmed early Saturday a total of 8,096 patients have been declared recovered from the novel coronavirus and discharged from medical facililties.  According to the most recent data available, 67,097 cases have been reported worldwide with 66,492 cases confined to mainland China. While only three coronavirus-related deaths have been confirmed outside China, the illness has claimed 1,523 lives within the country. Meanwhile, 605 confirmed cases have been reported outside China, including 15 in the United States, CNN reported. Report: The State Department organizing evacuation of Americans from Diamond Princess cruise ship Update 9:30 p.m. EST Feb. 14: The State Department is planning to evacuate at least 380 Americans quarantined on Diamond Princess cruise ship near Japan, according to the Wall Street Journal. China reports major drop from higher numbers after broader diagnostic method implemented Update 8 p.m. EST Feb. 14: The number of new deaths rose slightly to 143, bringing the total fatalities in mainland China to 1,523. The total number of confirmed cases in the country now stands at 66,492, according to a notice from China’s National Health Commission. China has implemented unprecedented measures in a sweeping campaign to contain the virus. At the outbreak’s epicenter in the central province of Hubei, cities with a combined population of more than 60 million have been placed under lockdown, with outbound transportation halted and virtually all public activities suspended. 1st coronavirus case confirmed in Egypt Update 1:35 p.m. EST Feb. 14: Officials Egypt have confirmed the country’s first case of coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization. Officials said in a statement posted on Twitter that the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population confirmed the case, which involves a foreign national who appeared to be asymptomatic. The man has been hospitalized in stable condition, according to WHO officials. The case marks the first in Africa since COVID-19 was first discovered in Wuhan, China, late last year, according to The Guardian. Tens of thousands of cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in 26 countries. A vast majority of the cases were reported in China. CDC: 81 possible coronavirus cases under investigation in US Update 12:30 p.m. EST Feb. 14: Officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 81 possible coronavirus cases remained under investigation Friday. Officials have confirmed 15 cases so far of the 2019 novel coronavirus in a handful of states: eight in California, two in Illinois and one each in Washington, Massachusetts, Texas, Arizona and Wisconsin. A total of 443 possible coronavirus cases have been investigated by CDC officials since Jan. 21. Of those, 347 people have tested negative for the virus. WHO team to land in China over weekend Update 11:15 a.m. EST Feb. 14: A team of World Health Organization experts is set to touch down over the weekend in China to help health officials dealing with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the country. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said at a news conference Friday that the group of 12 experts would work with an equal number of their Chinese counterparts to “understand the application and impact of response activities at provincial and county levels, including urban and rural settings.” “The goal of the joint mission is to rapidly inform the next steps in the COVID-19 response and preparedness activities in China and globally,” Tedros said. “Particular attention will be paid to understanding the transmission of the virus, the severity of disease and the impact of ongoing response measures.” According to WHO, Chinese laboratories have confirmed 47,505 cases of coronavirus in the country as of Friday. In the Hubei Province, 16,427 coronavirus cases have been clinically confirmed. Officials with WHO said they were investigating Friday to ensure those reports didn’t erroneously include other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza. Outside of China, 505 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in two dozen countries. Health officials said 1,383 people have died of the coronavirus, with all but two of the deaths in China. Japan confirms 3 new coronavirus cases, Singapore confirms 9 Update 9:30 a.m. EST Feb. 14: Officials in Japan and Singapore have confirmed several new coronavirus cases, according to CNN and health officials. Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced a Japanese citizen who recently returned on a government charter from China’s Wuhan Province tested positive for the coronavirus, according to CNN. Two men, one in his 60s from Aicha Prefecture and the other in his 50s from Hokkaido, were also confirmed to have the virus. Neither of the latter two men had visited China, CNN reported. The new cases bring the total number of coronavirus cases in Japan to 257. Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health said Friday in a statement that nine new cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in the country. Six of the cases were linked to a church in central Singapore and one other was linked to a previous case. Health officials said Friday that they were still investigating the causes of the other two cases. The new cases bring the total number of coronavirus cases in Singapore to 67. Quarantine break threatens public health in Russia  Update 7:20 a.m. EST Feb. 14: A Russian woman might have outsmarted health care workers observing her for evidence of novel coronavirus exposure in a St. Petersburg hospital, but her escape did not go unnoticed.  Health authorities have filed a lawsuit against the unidentified woman for endangering the public after she short-circuited the electronic lock on the door to her Botkin Hospital for Infectious Diseases ward, CNN reported. The woman had returned from China in February.  Read more here.  Hong Kong confirms 3 new cases, Japan confirms 4  Update 7:15 a.m. EST Feb. 14: The citywide total reached 56 on Friday after health officials confirmed three new cases of novel coronavirus in Hong Kong, CNN reported  Chuang Shuk-Kwan of the Center for Health Protection said during a Friday press conference the patients include a 70-year-old woman in critical condition who visited mainland China in January and a 61-year-old woman who has been hospitalized with fever and breathing problems since Feb. 3.  Health officials confirmed 36 suspected cases have been reported in the past 24 hours, while 114 people are already hospitalized with the virus. Of those confirmed cases, five are listed in critical condition and four are in serious condition, CNN  reported.  Meanwhile, four additional cases – none of which are associated with the Diamond Princess cruise ship – have been confirmed in Japan, the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare reported Friday.  The new cases bring Japan’s total number of infected patients to 254, including 219 linked to the Diamond Princess. A woman in her 80s is the country’s only known fatality associated with the virus to date, CNN reported. 6 medical workers in China have died, more than 1,700 infected Update 4:50 a.m. EST Feb. 14: A total of 1,716 medical workers in China have contracted the novel coronavirus, including six who have died of COVID-19, health officials confirmed Friday.  Zeng Yixin, vice minister of China’s National Health Commission told reporters in Beijing the figures are current through Feb. 11, CNN reported.  Zeng also said steps have been taken to reduce future infections among medical personnel such as beefing up the equipment needed to treat patients and ensuring healthcare workers have access to better conditions for rest and recuperation, the network reported.  High-risk cruise ship passengers await transfers to shoreside quarantine facilities in Japan  Update 4:45 a.m. EST Feb. 14: Diamond Princess Captain Stefano Ravera told passengers that 11 of them will be moved to shoreside quarantine facilities Friday afternoon because the Japanese Ministry of Health says they meet the criteria for being at high risk if infected with the novel coronavirus, CNN reported.  The ship, slated to remain under a 14-day quarantine until Feb. 19, is docked off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, and 219 cases of the virus have been confirmed aboard the vessel.  China seeks plasma donors to help develop antibody treatment  Update 4:40 a.m. EST Feb. 14: A senior health official in China is urging patients who have recovered from the novel coronavirus to donate blood plasma, in hopes their naturally-produced antibodies could spur development of treatment, the New York Times reported.  Dr. Zhang Dingyu, director of the Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, China, issued his plea to the public late Thursday.  According to the Times, China National Biotec Group, a state-owned company under the Ministry of Health, announced Thursday it has determined that administering a round of human antibodies from the survivors to more than 10 critically ill patients reduced inflammation levels significantly after 12 to 24 hours of treatment. Virus expected to linger ‘beyond this year’ Update 1:55 a.m. EST Feb. 14: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is leaning heavily on the latter portion of its name and entering what Director Robert Redfield called “aggressive containment mode” to limit the novel coronavirus’ spread, CNN reported. 'We don't know a lot about this virus,' Redfield told CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, adding, “This virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission.'  The containment phase, he told the network, is a tactic to buy time.  'The containment phase is really to give us more time. This virus will become a community virus at some point in time, this year or next year,' Redfield said.  Officials blame ‘duplication’ for initially higher fatality reports, revise down death toll Update 1:50 a.m. EST Feb. 14: China’s National Health Commission clarified early Friday that duplications detected in “data collection and recording” inadvertently inflated infection and fatality figures reported earlier in the day.  Although initial figures released Thursday out of Hubei province indicated the total number of infections reported globally had eclipsed 65,000, the revised figures suggest about 1,200 fewer confirmed cases, CNN reported. According to the commission, the current number of mainland China infections increased by 5,090 cases in 24 hours to 63,851, resulting in 1,380 deaths. The global totals have been adjusted to 64,435 cases and 1,383 deaths, the New York Times reported. There are now at least 585 confirmed cases of the virus in 27 countries and territories outside mainland China, CNN reported. Cruise ship Westerdam passengers begin disembarking  Update 1:45 a.m. EST Feb. 14: The first of hundreds of passengers stuck onboard the Westerdam cruise ship in southeast Asia began disembarking the beleaguered ship late Thursday.  Officials with the Holland American Line tweeted confirmation of the departures in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The ship had been turned away by Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines due to fears of potential COVID-19 infections, but no cases were detected onboard after docking in Cambodia, CNN reported. Limited availability of charter flights, however, could mean it could take several days to complete the departures, the network reported. 2nd coronavirus death outside China reported in Japan Update 12:40 p.m. EST Feb. 13: The second death attributed to COVID-19 outside of China has been reported in Japan. Officials said the coronavirus claimed the life of an 80-year-old woman living near Tokyo, according to Reuters. The woman became ill in January, but it wasn’t until after her death that health officials determined she had coronavirus, Reuters reported, citing Japan’s health minister. The virus has claimed more than 1,360 lives in China since it was discovered late last year in the city of Wuhan, CNN reported. In the Philippines, one person has died of coronavirus. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases spiked in China on Thursday because of a change in the way the virus is diagnosed and reported. In China’s Hubei province, medical professionals are now able to diagnose suspected coronavirus cases using chest imaging instead of awaiting laboratory confirmation, according to the World Health Organization. Laboratory confirmation is still required in the rest of China and the rest of the world, said Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme. 15th coronavirus case confirmed in Texas Update 10:35 a.m. EST Feb. 13: Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that the 15th case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the U.S. The case involved a person who was placed under a federal quarantine order with a group at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. The person had flown to the U.S. on a flight chartered by the U.S. State Department on Friday. Officials with the CDC said the person was receiving medical care Thursday at a nearby hospital Fourteen other people have been confirmed as having been infected with coronavirus: eight in California, two in Illinois, one in Washington, one in Massachusetts, one in Arizona and one in Wisconsin. Cruise ship Westerdam allowed to dock in Cambodia Update 7 a.m. EST Feb. 13: The Holland America Line announced Wednesday that a cruise ship barred from docking in Thailand, the Philippines, Japan and Taiwan amid coronavirus fears has been authorized to dock in Cambodia and let passengers off the ship, The Associated Press is reporting. The ship’s operators said nobody on board the cruise, which began in Singapore, has the virus, according to the AP. Nearly 50,000 cases confirmed in province at center of outbreak Update 2:52 a.m. EST Feb. 13: Almost 50,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in China’s Hubei Province, The New York Times is reporting. Officials said Thursday that they have confirmed 14,840 more cases of the illness, raising the total in the region to 48,206, according to the newspaper. At least 1,310 people there have died from the virus, authorities said. 44 more cases on quarantined Diamond Princess ship Update 11 p.m. EST Feb. 12: Japan’s health ministry said 44 more people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined near Tokyo have tested positive for the virus that causes the new disease known as COVID-19. The ship, which is still carrying more than 3,500 passengers and crewmembers, has 218 people infected with the virus out of 713 people tested since the ship returned to the Yokohama Port on Feb. 3. 2nd case in San Diego Update 7:30 p.m. EST Feb. 12: Another person has tested positive for coronavirus in California bring the total of confirmed cases in the United States to 14, according to the CDC. The CDC said in a release that there will likely be additional cases “in the coming days or weeks.” At least 195 were discharged from quarantine yesterday but more than 600 who returned to the U.S. on chartered flights from Wuhan remain under the federal quaranantine. Test kits sent by CDC flawed, officials say Update 4:25 p.m. EST Feb. 12: Some of the coronavirus test kits sent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to states and at least 30 countries have proved to be flawed, CDC officials said Wednesday at a news conference. Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Wednesday that some laboratories reported issues after receiving coronavirus diagnostic test kits from the CDC. “Some public health labs in states were getting inconclusive results,” Messonnier said. “What that means is that test results were not coming back as false positive of false negatives, but they were being read as inconclusive.” The issues were discovered while scientists were verifying the tests worked correctly, Messonnier said. Officials believe the issue is tied to one of the reagents used to verify the test. “We think the issue in these states can be explained by one reagent that isn’t performing as it should consistently,” Messonnier said. “That’s why we’re re-manufacturing the reagent.” Messonnier stressed that the issue was not unusual. “This is part of the normal process and procedure and redoing the manufacturing is the next step,” she said. Officials with the CDC began sending test kits last week to laboratories in the U.S. and internationally. New coronavirus case confirmed in UK Update 3:55 p.m. EST Feb. 12: Health officials in the United Kingdom confirmed Wednesday that a new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the country, bringing the total number of people infected by coronavirus in the country to nine. “The virus was passed on in China and the patient has now been transferred to a specialist (National Health Service) center at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ in London,” Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said in a statement. More than 45,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed globally since the virus was first detected late last year in Wuhan, China, according to the World Health Organization. More than 1,110 people have died of the virus. More than 45,000 cases of COVID-19 confirmed worldwide Update 1:55 p.m. EST Feb. 12: More than 45,000 cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus have been confirmed globally, with a majority reported in China, according to the World Health Organization. As of 6 a.m. Geneva time Wednesday, 44,730 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed in China. In two dozen other countries, a total of 441 other cases have been confirmed. “The number of newly confirmed cases reported from China has stabilized over the past week, but that must be interpreted with extreme caution,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Wednesday. “The outbreak could still go in any direction.” In China, 1,114 people have died after being infected with the coronavirus, WHO officials said. One person has died of coronavirus in the Philippines. Illinois becomes first state with ability to test for coronavirus Update 11:40 a.m. EST Feb. 12: Illinois has become the first state able to test for COVID-19, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. “The ability to do this testing will mean we will be able to detect any new cases of novel coronavirus earlier and prevent any possible spread,” IDPH Assistant Director Evonda Thomas-Smith said Tuesday in a news release. “We understand there is concern about this new virus, which is why having test results back quickly can help reduce some of those concerns.” Previously, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had the only lab able to test for the 2019 novel coronavirus. Last week, CDC officials began sending out diagnostic test kits to laboratories in the U.S. and internationally. Singapore confirms 3 more coronavirus cases Update 10:45 a.m. EST Feb. 12: Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health said Wednesday that three new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country, bringing the total number of cases there to 50. Health officials said the new cases involved three Singaporean men, ages 34, 49 and 62, who had no recent history of travel to China. Fifteen people have been discharged from hospitals in Singapore after recovering from coronavirus. Health officials said 35 people remained hospitalized Wednesday, most improving or in stable condition. Testing ongoing for coronavirus vaccine Update 10:05 a.m. EST Feb. 12: Scientists worldwide continue work to develop and test a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus, including a San Diego lab which developed a possible vaccine in just three hours, according to multiple reports. Biotechnology company Inovio Pharmaceuticals previously developed vaccines for the Zika virus and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a coronavirus related to COVID-19. On Tuesday, Trevor Smith, director of research and development at Inovio Pharmaceuticals, told KFMB-TV that company scientists had developed a vaccine for COVID-19 hours after beginning work with a genetic sequence released by Chinese scientists. “We have an algorithm, which we designed, and we put the DNA sequence into our algorithm and came up with the vaccine in that short amount of time,” Smith said according to KFMB-TV. The lab is collaborating with Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute and others to test the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The newspaper noted that testing is expected to take months. Last month, Inovio Pharmaceuticals announced the company was working with Beijing Advaccine Biotechnology Co. in order to run human trials of the vaccine concurrently in China and the U.S. More than 45,000 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus worldwide, mostly in China. The virus has killed over 1,100 people since it was first discovered late last year in Wuhan, China. In the U.S., health officials said 13 people had been diagnosed with the virus in California, Washington, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Arizona and Illinois. 50th coronavirus case confirmed in Hong Kong Update 6 a.m. EST Feb. 12: A 50th confirmed coronavirus case has been reported in Hong Kong, authorities announced Wednesday. According to CNN, the latest patient is a 51-year-old man who worked with the city’s 37th patient. 3 coronavirus patients discharged in South Korea Update 2 a.m. EST Feb. 12: Three people in South Korea who were confirmed to have coronavirus have been discharged from the hospital, health officials said Wednesday. The South Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said all three recovered from the illness, according to CNN. The news comes days after officials discharged another patient in South Korea last week, the news outlet reported. Two dozen coronavirus patients remain hospitalized in South Korea, authorities said. China’s new virus cases fall again Update 10 p.m. EST Feb. 11: China reported another drop in the number of new cases of a viral infection and 97 more deaths, pushing the total dead past 1,100 even as the country remains largely closed down to prevent the spread of the disease. The National Health Commission said that 2,015 new cases had been reported over the last 24 hours, declining for a second day. The total number of cases in mainland China is 44,653, although many experts say a large number of others infected have gone uncounted. The 97 additional deaths from the virus raised the mainland toll to 1,113. Japan’s health ministry: 39 new cases confirmed on cruise ship Update 9 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Japan’s health ministry said that 39 new cases of a virus have been confirmed on a cruise ship quarantined at a Japanese port. The update brings the total found on the Diamond Princess to 174 cases. The ministry also said the virus was confirmed in a official who participated in the initial quarantine checks the night the ship returned to Yokohama Port near Tokyo on Feb. 3. The quarantine official is being treated in the hospital. The U.S.-operated Diamond Princess had completed a 14-day tour during which it stopped at Hong Kong and several other Asian ports before returning to Japan. WHO: More evidence shows link between COVID-19, bats Update 3:50 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Officials with the World Health Organization said Tuesday in a situation report that mounting evidence is showing a link between the 2019 novel coronavirus and bats. Officials said the virus appeared to be linked to bats of the Rhinolophus sub-species, which are abundant in southern China and across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, officials said. However, it remained unclear Monday how the virus passed from bats to humans. As of Tuesday, more than 43,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide, with a vast majority reported in China. Officials with WHO said the virus has claimed 1,017 lives in the country so far. One person has also died of coronavirus in the Philippines. Germany confirms two more cases of coronavirus Update 2:45 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Two new cases of the coronavirus, COVID-19, have been confirmed by authorities in Germany, The Washington Post reported. The illnesses, which were connected to automotive supplier Webasto, bring the total number of coronavirus cases in Germany to 16, according to the Post. Officials with Webasto said last month that a 33-year-old Chinese employee from Shanghai tested positive for coronavirus after visiting China and returning to Germany, according to Reuters and the Post. The company temporarily closed its headquarters after learning of the employee’s diagnoses. Officials told Reuters they planned to reopen the building near Munich on Wednesday. American Airlines extends suspension of flights to and from China, Hong Kong Update 2:15 p.m. EST Feb. 11: American Airlines officials announced the company is extending its suspension of flights to and from mainland China and Hong Kong due to reduced demand amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Airline officials said flights bound to mainland China from the company’s Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles hubs would be suspended until April 24. Flights from Los Angeles to Hong Kong were expected to resume the same day. Flights between Dallas and Hong Kong were expected to resume April 23. WHO: Vaccine for coronavirus could be ready in 18 months Update 12:05 p.m. EST Feb. 11: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Tuesday that a vaccine targeting the coronavirus could be ready in 18 months, according to Reuters. “So, we have to do everything today using available weapons,” he said. Tedros on Tuesday asked that countries be “as aggressive as possible” in the fight against COVID-19. “If the world doesn’t want to wake up and consider the virus as public enemy number one, I don’t think we will learn from our lessons,” he said, according to The Guardian. “We are still in containment strategy and should not allow the virus to have a space to have local transmission.” Death toll rises to 1,018 Update 10:45 a.m. EST Feb. 11: The World Health Organization said just over 42,700 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in China as of 6 a.m. Geneva time Tuesday. Nearly 400 cases have been confirmed in two dozen other countries. Coronavirus has killed more than 1,017 people in China and one person in the Philippines, according to health officials. WHO names new coronavirus outbreak Update 10:40 a.m. EST Feb. 11: The World Health Organization on Tuesday announced the name for the deadly new coronavirus: Covid-19. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of WHO, said the new name was aimed at preventing “the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing.” Singapore confirms 2 more coronavirus cases Update 9:40 a.m. EST Feb. 11: Officials with Singapore’s Ministry of Health said Tuesday that two new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the country, bringing the total number of cases there to 47. Health officials said the new cases involved a 35-year-old Singapore permanent resident and a 39-year-old Bangladesh national, neither of whom had recently traveled to China. Both new patients were being treated in isolation. Coronavirus a ‘very grave threat’ for world, WHO director-general says Update 8:45 a.m. EST Feb. 11: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, called the 2019 novel coronavirus “a very grave threat' Tuesday.  His comments came at the start of the global research and innovation forum aimed at addressing the coronavirus. Last week, Tedros told a WHO executive committee that “panic and fear” was the biggest threat posed by the coronavirus, according to The Washington Post. At the time, only 146 cases of coronavirus had been reported outside China. As of Monday, WHO officials said 319 people in 24 countries had been diagnosed with the coronavirus. First case of coronavirus reported in San Diego  Update 8:52 p.m. EST Feb. 10: Officials in San Diego have confirmed its first case of coronavirus in the Southern California city, KGTV reported. A Centers for Disease Control spokesman confirmed Monday evening that an individual taken to the University of California at San Diego Health hospital was infected with the virus, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.K KGTV, citing an anonymous source, said the patient was aboard the first flight from Wuhan, China, to Miramar. It was unclear whether the adult patient was a man or woman, the television station reported. China reports 1,011 deaths, including 103 Monday Update 7:07 p.m. EST Feb. 10: Officials with China’s Hubei health authority now report 1,011 dead, including 103 on Monday, The Washington Post reported. There have been about 42,000 cases of coronavirus, with more than 6,000 patients in critical condition, authorities told the newspaper. British businessman may have spread coronavirus to people in 3 countries Update 3:10 p.m. EST Feb. 10: Authorities are investigating reports that a British businessman might have spread coronavirus to several Britons in three countries, according to multiple reports. The man, who was not identified, is believed to have been exposed to coronavirus during a sales conference last month in Singapore, The Guardian reported. Following the conference, the man traveled to France and then back to the U.K., according to the newspaper. The man is suspected of being what scientists call a “super spreader,” a person who spreads a disease at a faster rate than the average. Trump: People think coronavirus threat will end in April Update 12:25 p.m. EST Feb. 10: President Donald Trump claimed without evidence that people believe the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus “will go away in April.” “A lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat,” Trump said Monday during an address of governors held at the White House. “Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though.” Previously, Trump said on Twitter that Chinese President Xi Jinping was hopeful that he would successfully counterattack the coronavirus, “especially as the weather starts to warm & the virus hopefully becomes weaker, and then gone.” Since the coronavirus was first detected late last year in Wuhan, China, more than 40,500 cases of the virus have been confirmed globally. An overwhelming number of the cases were reported in China, where 909 people have died of the disease as of Monday morning, according to the World Health Organization. One person has died of coronavirus in the Philippines, health officials said. In the U.S., a dozen people have been confirmed as having been infected with coronavirus: six in California, two in Illinois, one in Massachusetts, one in Arizona, one in Washington and one in Wisconsin. WHO: 910 killed, 40,500 sickened by coronavirus Update 10:30 a.m. EST Feb. 10: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Monday that health officials are continuing to see a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases with 99% of illnesses being reported in China. About 2% of the cases have proved deadly, he said. According to WHO, more than 40,500 cases so coronavirus have been confirmed globally as of 6 a.m. local time (12 a.m. EST). A majority of those -- 40,235 -- were reported in China, where 909 people have died of the virus. Officials said 319 cases were confirmed in 24 other countries, including the Philippines, where one person died last week. Death toll hits 908 The death toll in mainland China has risen to 908 with more than 40,000 cases diagnosed, NBC News reported. Chinese officials said of the 40,000 diagnosed with the coronavirus, 27 of them are foreigners and two have died. There are another 23,589 possible cases of the illness, NBC News reported. On Sunday, 97 people died in China from the virus, the biggest daily death toll, The New York Times reported. The number of those killed by the virus has passed the number of people killed in the 2002-2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak. At that time, 774 people died from SARS, The Associated Press reported. Despite the number of people who died, officials are hopeful, since, for more than 10 days, the number of people recovering is higher than those who have died, the Times reported. Return to work As the numbers continue to climb, workers return to their jobs after the extended Lunar New Year holiday that kept many people home. Shoppers are also heading back to markets and stores despite the threat, the AP reported. They are taking precautions of wearing face masks as they go about their day. “We just need to have a little more sense of self-protection,” Iris Ke told the AP. “Life goes on anyway. How come we stop going outside or stop working simply because of fear of disease? We can’t do that.” But business is still slow, with some shop owners saying it’s about half as busy as normal. China’s leader Xi Jinping made an appearance at a hospital and government offices in Beijing, about five miles north of his residence in the Forbidden City, The New York Times reported. He made no public statement during the appearance. He also had a video conference with workers at a hospital in Wuhan, the town that is ground zero for the illness, the Times reported. There are rules that have been established to help stop the spread. In some areas, business owners must know if their employees have traveled to areas where there are large outbreak numbers. They’re also being told by the government to check the workers’ temperatures and have hand-washing protocols, the Times reported. And despite the return to normalcy, some business continues to be on hold. Airbnb has suspended all bookings in Beijing amid the outbreak, CNN reported. Illness continues to spread outside China A cruise ship is quarantined in Yokohama, Japan. There were 70 cases of coronavirus on the Diamond Princess at the time of the quarantine, but that number has increased, with another 66 people testing positive, the AP reported. That brings the number up to 136 confirmed cases, the Times reported. Japanese government officials may test all 3,711 passengers and crew on board. They’re also trying to get medicine to more than 600 passengers who have requested it, the AP reported. There are 11 Americans among those who have tested positive on the Diamond Princess, The Washington Post reported. Four more patients in England have tested positive, bringing the total there to eight, officials in the UK said. The newest diagnosis was from people who had contact with others who were diagnosed with the virus. The country’s department of health said that people diagnosed with coronavirus could be forcibly quarantined. Two hospitals have been set up as isolation facilities, the AP reported. In the United States, there are 12 confirmed cases, CNN reported. And flights from China are going to only 11 airports in the U.S., the AP reported. So far, there are six confirmed cases in California, two in Illinois and one each in Massachusetts, Washington, Wisconsin, and Arizona, CNN reported.
  • A Louisiana grandmother has been charged in the armed Valentine’s Day abduction of her 12-year-old granddaughter from a pediatric emergency room in New Orleans. Evelyn Miller, 66, of Metairie, was in the Washington Parish Jail Monday on a fugitive warrant out of Jefferson Parish, jail records show. She was being held without bond. Miller is also facing charges of simple kidnapping, five counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, two counts of simple battery and violation of a gun-free zone, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office officials said Saturday. She will be extradited from Washington Parish to face those charges. According to authorities, Miller went to Ochsner Medical Center around 5 p.m. Friday and brandished a revolver at staff members, including a security guard, while demanding they release her granddaughter, Andreana Miller, who was being treated for an unspecified ailment. Investigators told NOLA.com that as she fled with the girl, Evelyn Miller pushed a nurse to the ground and struck a second security guard with her vehicle, a 2019 Toyota Sienna. No one was seriously injured, NOLA.com reported. Louisiana State Police officials issued a Level II Child Endangerment Alert seeking Evelyn and Andreana Miller. Evelyn Miller’s Sienna was later recovered, though she and her granddaughter remained missing until Saturday, when they were spotted at a hotel more than 65 miles away in Bogalusa. Andreana Miller was found unharmed. A motive for the alleged abduction has not been made public.