Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s essential stories.
Fauci’s security reportedly stepped up following threats
Donald Trump has admitted the federal government’s stockpile of personal protective equipment has been all but exhausted by the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving states to deal directly with equipment manufacturers in a race for PPE, in what has been described as a “global marketplace rife with profiteering and price-gouging”.
At his daily press briefing on Wednesday, the president started by focusing on the so-called war on drugs, claiming cartels and other “malign actors will try to exploit the situation for their own gain”. Meanwhile the administration has reportedly stepped up security for its infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, after he received threats for daring publicly to contradict Trump’s falsehoods and exaggerations.
New Yorkers flee the city as Cuomo predicts a ‘new normal’
Many New Yorkers are fleeing the city as it becomes the global centre of the pandemic, but upstate locals have not been entirely welcoming, writes Adam Gabbatt. The spread of the virus at the city’s Riker’s Island jail complex is a “public health disaster”, the jail’s top doctor has said. The New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, warned on Wednesday that his state and the US would never “get back to normal” after the crisis, but instead “get to a new normal”.
Confirmed global infections approach 1 million mark
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide has doubled in the past week and is now fast approaching 1 million, the WHO has said. Cases are rising in India, where a man tested positive in Mumbai’s vast Dharavi slum, home to almost a million people living in close, unsanitary quarters. And as Trump casts doubt on the official figures from China, other Asian nations are facing a possible second wave of infections. Italy, though, may at last have reached a plateau, after recording its lowest daily death toll for a week.
A major new scientific review of the world’s oceans has concluded they can be restored to their former glory within a generation, citing conservation efforts that have led to a rebound in species including Australia’s humpback whales, elephant seals in the US and green turtles in Japan.
A court in Pakistan has overturned a death sentence for the British-born militant convicted of the 2002 kidnapping and murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, and acquitted the killer’s three co-defendants.
Police in Alberta, Canada, are investigating the double murder of an indigenous man and his uncle after they were found shot dead beside their pickup truck on a country road, apparently while returning from a hunt to provide food for their family.
Joining a widespread, celebrity-backed campaign to help independent record stores during the coronavirus closures, Taylor Swift has reportedly made a financial contribution to keep Nashville’s Grimey’s records in business amid the crisis.
I’ve escaped New York with my wife, kids and dog
Bryan Mealer’s great-grandmother Julia and her eldest daughter lost their lives in the flu pandemic of 1918. Determined to escape the coronavirus outbreak in New York, he and his family packed up their car and set off towards Julia’s home in west Texas.
RIP Adam Schlesinger, musical omnivore and pop genius
The Emmy-winning singer-songwriter Adam Schlesinger, mainstay of the band Fountains of Wayne, has passed away at 52 after being diagnosed with coronavirus. The tributes from stars across the entertainment spectrum reflect the fact, writes Michael Hann, that he was “one of the pop geniuses of the past quarter-century”.
David Hockney depicts a spring for self-isolationists
The 82-year-old artist has released his latest selection of iPad paintings, depicting daffodils and fruit trees in blossom in Normandy, France, including one titled Do Remember They Can’t Cancel the Spring. Hockney has spent a lifetime looking on the bright side, writes Jonathan Jones.
Why concentration camps are still with us
Concentration camps may still be most associated with the Nazis, but since the turn of the 21st century they have sprung up in China, in Europe, in Syria – and in the US, with its network of purpose-built immigration prisons. Daniel Trilling asks how we can end the practice of mass internment.
Chris Smalls spoke up about safety at an Amazon warehouse in New York, where he felt his fellow workers’ concerns about Covid-19 were not being addressed. He believes it cost him his job.
Amazon has imposed mandatory overtime to keep up with the demand of everyone ordering online. The result is that Amazon employees are going to work sick as dogs just so they can earn $2 per hour on top of their regular pay. Do you know what I call that? Blood money.
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