Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.
New York City has drastically increased its estimate of the number of people killed by COVID-19 to include probable victims who were not tested. The new number is 10,367. Far more people have died in New York City, on a per-capita basis than in Italy, the hardest hit country in Europe.
For weeks, firefighters and paramedics have been recording a massive spike in deaths at home around New York City. The deceased were presumed to be victims of the coronavirus but were never tested. Now city officials have recalculated the toll that the virus has taken, adding 3,700 to the total. New York City is among a handful of places in the country, including Connecticut, Ohio and Delaware, that are beginning to disclose cases where infection is presumed but not confirmed.
While these data reflect the tragic impact that the virus has had on our city, they will also help us to determine the scale and scope of the epidemic and guide us in our decisions”, said the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot.
Here is how you can help in New York and around the globe.
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There are now 33 funds on the neversleeps.nyc directory benefiting New Yorkers in need – from frontlines healthcare workers to domestic caregivers to families who cannot meet rent this month due to COVID-19. Thank you to everyone who has sent a new fund this way. Please take a moment to browse through them, choose one that means something to you, and put your social media to good use by sharing the cause! It’s up to you NY. image via @thecut
Donald Trump announced he is halting funding to the World Health Organization while a review is conducted. Trump said the review would cover the WHO’s “role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of coronavirus.” The US is the biggest contributor to the WHO budget.
The move to freeze the funding is the latest in a series of administration actions against international multilateral organizations. Trump has questioned US funding to the United Nations and withdrawn from global climate agreements. Prior to the pandemic, the administration’s fiscal year 2021 proposal laid out a $65 million cut to the World Health Organization — a more than 50% decrease over FY20.
Local lawmakers in San Francisco have given the mayor 12 days to secure 7,000 hotel rooms to house the city’s homeless population during the coronavirus emergency, plus another 1,250 rooms for frontline workers. The legislation highlights the ongoing challenges that San Francisco and other cities face in managing large homeless populations whose susceptibility to COVID-19 threatens broader efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
Though the economic shutdown has left most hotels empty, some owners have refused to offer their properties to house the homeless, leading some advocates to call on mayors to use emergency powers to seize the properties.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined a framework for reopening the state’s economy, which is the fifth largest in the world, saying that the state’s coronavirus protocols would be guided by “science and public health, not politics” and telling residents that they will enter a radically different environment in their daily interactions.
The governor did not give a date that the current state-at-home order would end. It currently extends through May 3 statewide, and longer in places like Los Angeles, which has a stay-at-home in effect until May 15. Instead local governments, he said, would be determinative.
Outlining a framework for reopening the economy, the California governor said the dates would be determined by the ability to do six things: expand testing to identify and isolate patients, maintain vigilance to protect seniors and high risk people, be able to meet future surges in hospitals with a “myriad of protective gear,” continue to collaborate with academia on therapies and treatments, redraw regulations to ensure continued physical distancing at private businesses and schools and develop new enforcement mechanisms to allow the state to pull back and reinstate stay-at-home orders.
California’s physical distancing measures have been a success and hailed by public health officials nationally. At least 724 people had died in California as of Monday, but the state’s peak day in terms of coronavirus fatalities came on April 8, when 66 people died. Numbers have been slightly lower each day since then.
In Europe, Italy, Spain and Austria have allowed partial returns to work as countries across Europe reported further falls in new Covid-19 cases and began taking their first cautious steps out of lockdown to revive battered economies.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who saw his once-strong lead in the United States Democratic Party primary decrease as the party’s establishment lined up behind rival Joe Biden, ended his presidential bid.
The senator endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president, pledging to help him defeat President Donald Trump in the general election as the two agreed to launch a series of task forces to work jointly on policy matters.
Image credit: David Williams