Today’s update will start with the highlight from today’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing.

While not nearly as entertaining as the media smack-down in yesterday’s session, it was almost as satisfying in the wake of the deception by the World Health Organization during the early stages of the COVID-19 panic.

Trump has ordered a halt to the agency’s funding and indicates an investigation into the organization.

President Trump announced at the White House coronavirus news briefing in the Rose Garden on Tuesday that the United States will immediately halt all funding for the World Health Organization (WHO), saying it had put “political correctness over lifesaving measures.”

…Trump declared that the United States would undertake a 60-to-90 day investigation into why the “China-centric” WHO had caused “so much death” by “severely mismanaging and covering up” the coronavirus’ spread, including by making the “disastrous” decision to oppose travel restrictions on China.

The United States is the WHO’s largest single donor, and the State Department had previously planned to provide the agency $893 million in the current two-year funding period. Trump said the United States contributes roughly $400 to $500 million per year to WHO, while China offers only about $40 million. The money saved will go to areas that “most need it,” Trump asserted.

During the announcement, Trump repeatedly stressed the connection between the WHO and China.

This action is the international equivalent of “You’re Fired.” The full briefing is below.

China broke the World Health Organization. The U.S. has to fix it or leave and start its own group

An editorial by Lanhee J. Chen (a director of domestic policy studies in the public policy program at Stanford University) in the Wall Street Journal describes how the WHO is complicit in the pandemic.

In the piece, Chen tells how WHO aids and abets China (including the denial of Taiwan’s membership request), concluding:

…The U.S. should work aggressively to change the culture and leadership of the WHO. The Trump administration took a good first step in January by creating a special envoy at the State Department focused on countering China’s attempts to control international organizations. The WHO’s next director-general must not be a rubber stamp for Beijing.

If efforts to transform the WHO are ineffective, the U.S. may have no choice but to walk away and start over. That could mean creating an alternative organization open to any country willing to abide by higher standards of transparency, good governance and the sharing of best practices. The world needs an organization that can be trusted to address public-health problems that transcend borders—if not the WHO, then something else.

N.Y.C. Death Toll Soars Past 10,000 in Revised Virus Count that includes 3,700 “Presumed” Infected.

New York City’s death count is what happens when epidemiology meets the new math.

New York City, already a world epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, sharply increased its death toll by more than 3,700 victims on Tuesday, after officials said they were now including people who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died of it.

The new figures, released by the city’s Health Department, drove up the number of people killed in New York City to more than 10,000, and appeared to increase the overall United States death count by 17 percent to more than 26,000.

The move received criticism from Americans who demand an accurate assessment of the mortality rate.

California’s Gov. Newsom outlines plan to loosen stay-at-home orders

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced he would soon announce plans to loosen stay-at-home orders.

Newsom did not give a specific date for lifting the state’s stay-at-home orders, but added it could occur in different locations throughout the state at different times. He said that the state should have a timeline prepared in about two weeks.

“There is no light switch here, it is more like a dimmer,” he said, noting that stricter measures could be implemented again if the state begins to see more infections.

As of Tuesday there just under 24,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, with 715 deaths, according to statistics compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. These numbers are far lower than were predicted even with social distancing put in place.

France urges business to rethink supply chains as coronavirus hits Asia

The US is not the only country rethinking its global network strategy.

The coronavirus epidemic has sent a wake-up call to French manufacturers about their over-dependence on suppliers from China and Asia, France’s finance minister said on Friday, urging a deep re-evaluation of supply chains.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he had ordered a review to determine which French industries needed to rebuild an “economic and strategic independence”.

“This epidemic shows that supply problems create strategic problems in certain industries,” Le Maire told journalists after meeting industry leaders about the impact of the outbreak.

 

 
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