Trump threatens to adjourn Congress. Oxford University vaccine trials start next week. Significant coronavirus mutations discovered. Most NYC kids may already have the virus.
The US Navy may reinstate the captain, who was removed from his post earlier this month after publicly releasing a letter asking for help with the coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship.
Department officials told the Times that Adm. Michael M. Gilday, the chief of naval operations, has indicated that he may reinstate the ousted Capt. Brett Crozier.
Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a spokesman for the admiral, told The Hill that “no final decisions have been made.”
“As the Chief of Naval Operations has made clear, all options are on the table,” Christensen added in his statement. “That said, Adm. Gilday has received, and is reviewing the Preliminary Inquiry. It will take time for the report to be reviewed and endorsed by Adm. Gilday.”
Trump threatens to adjourn Congress during Coronvirus Task Force Briefing
In Wednesday’s session, President Donald Trump announced that he is considering adjoining Congress and using their absence to make political appointments.
“If the House will not agree to that adjournment I will exercise my constitutional authority to adjourn both chambers of Congress,” he said.
The president claimed his administration is understaffed and blamed congressional Democrats for holding up his confirmations and stonewalling his agenda.
Trump added that he has the constitutional authority to dismiss both chambers and accused Congress of failing the American people and shirking their responsibilities as elected leaders
Pres. Trump threatens to adjourn both chambers of Congress so he can make appointments to fill vacant positions and judicial slots.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 15, 2020
The President termed Pro-forma sessions “scams.”
“The current practice of leaving town, while conducting phony pro forma sessions, is a dereliction of duty that the American people cannot afford during this crisis,” an angry Trump told reporters at his daily White House briefing on the coronavirus crisis.
“It is a scam that they do. It’s a scam and everyone knows it, and it’s been that way for a long time,” Trump said.
No U.S. president has ever used the authority, included in the Constitution, to adjourn both chambers of Congress if they cannot agree on a date to adjourn.
It was not immediately clear if Congress’ current absence from Washington because of the global pandemic could be classified as being due to a failure to agree on an adjournment date.
I anticipate there will be a robust discussion in the next few days about whether Trump can actually invoke the “Adjournment Clause.” It turns out that Justice Scalia wrote that the President could use the adjournment power to block Senate “intransigence,” which can be reviewed by Legal Insurrection readers who want more background on this tactic.
The full briefing is here:
Oxford University to begin tests of its coronavirus vaccine on humans next week
Hopes of eliminating the coronavirus were raised today after leading British experts revealed trials of a vaccine would begin on humans next week.
Oxford University scientists are confident they can get jab for the incurable disease rolled out for millions to use by autumn.
Tests of the experimental jab on different animals have shown promise – and the next step is to use it on humans to prove it is safe.
The Oxford team are one of hundreds worldwide racing to develop a COVID-19 jab, which experts fear could take 18 months.
More than 70 vaccines are currently in development, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
‘Significant’ coronavirus mutation discovered, could make vaccine search ‘futile’
Unfortunately, the virus may mutate to the point that a vaccine is not a practical solution.
Researchers have discovered what they described as a “significant” mutation of the novel coronavirus, which they believe “raises the alarm” that the search for a vaccine could become “futile” down the line.
The study, published on the biorxiv.org repository, notes researchers were able to analyze a sample of SARS-CoV-2 from India on January 27 and found a mutation that “leads to weaker receptor binding capability.” The receptor, known as ACE2, is an enzyme in a person’s lungs.
Most NYC kids ‘probably’ already have coronavirus, says one doctor
One New York City pediatrician believes most of the city’s children “probably” already have coronavirus and are serving as vectors to spread the disease.
Dr. Dyan Hes at New York City’s Gramercy Pediatrics advised parents to assume their children have the virus if they contract even mild symptoms consistent with the disease.
“I think that probably 80 percent of the children have coronavirus. We are not testing children. I’m in New York City. I can’t get my patients tested,” Hes said during an interview at CBS News.
“And we have to assume, if they are sick, they have coronavirus. Most of them, probably 80 to 90 percent of them, are asymptomatic.”
Animals reportedly missing guests at mountain zoo in Colorado
Keepers at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado report that many animals, including species like giraffes that aren’t generally drawn to humans, have been clamoring for affection and attention of the staff in the wake of the institution’s closure due to coronavirus.
“For a lot of our animals, the guests who visit are a great form of enrichment,” said Rachel Wright, the zoo’s public relations and social media manager. “The orangutans and gorillas, human primates we call them … they watch us through the glass the same as we watch them. They’re interested in what we’re doing, and they’re intelligent animals, so they definitely notice when people aren’t coming through.”
Zoo staff remain at work, so the animals are still getting dedicated and top-notch care, training and the human interaction that comes with it, Wright said.
But that’s not the same as having more than 2,000 admirers, window-tappers and treat-givers flowing by on a sunny spring day.
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