Mayor De Blasio: NYC may not have enough ventilators to make it through next week

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, discusses the arrival of a shipment of 400 ventilators with Dr. Steven Pulitzer, the Chief Medical Officer of NYC Health and Hospitals, at the city’s Emergency Management Warehouse., Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:26 PM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

The mayor of New York City has said the city may only have enough ventilators to make it through to Monday or Tuesday. Bill de Blasio stressed the emergency in a Friday morning interview.

“We can only get to Monday or Tuesday at this point, we don’t know after that,” he explained. “How on earth is this happening in the greatest nation in the world?”

The coronavirus outbreak has hit New York the hardest. The state is quickly running out of medical supplies, space and personnel. There are nearly 52,000 confirmed cases in the city and roughly 92,000 in the state.

According to the mayor, officials predicted the city will have 5,000 ICU COVID-19 patients in need of ventilators.

The USNS Comfort arrived in New York earlier this week to ease the current overflow of patients in city hospitals.

A ventilator is displayed during a news conference, Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at the New York City Emergency Management Warehouse, where 400 ventilators have arrived and will be distributed. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

As NYC continues to be a hot spot for the virus, thousands of residents are struggling to make ends meet. While some New York workers have been deemed essential, such as pharmacists, restaurant employees and those in the health care industry, others have been forced to stay home.

According to recent reports, residents in Queens have been hit particularly hard as they try to balance ‘stay at home’ orders with the economic reality of the pandemic.

“My house, there’s 10 people who live there besides my family. So, say I get infected while working here, everybody else runs the risk of being infected. …My mom is definitely worried. She wanted me to stop coming here, but I mean, she’s not working. My father’s not working, my sister doesn’t work because she’s young. This is the only source of income for now.” – Brian Navarrete, pharmacy employee

Millions of Americans have been furloughed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. In New York specifically, officials believe the worst is not yet over.

On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo reported that 562 people died in the last 24 hours, which was the largest single day spike in virus fatalities to date.

MORE NEWS: President Trump, Gov. Cuomo Continue To Clash Over N.Y. Ventilator Supply

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CDC recommends wearing facial covering when out in public

A woman is wearing a face mask as she walks through the old town in Jena, Germany, Friday, April 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:38 PM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

On Friday, President Trump announced new federal guidelines from the CDC, which recommended Americans wear face masks in public to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The president noted the policy is voluntary, but should not be used in place of existing social distancing guidelines.

President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

He also announced a directive to invoke the Defense Production Act, which will prevent scarce medical supplies from being exported from the U.S.

“I’m also signing a directive invoking the Defense Production Act to prohibit export of scarce health and medical supplies by unscrupulous actors and profiteers. The secretary of Homeland Security will work with FEMA to prevent the export of N95 respirators, surgical masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment. We need these items immediately for domestic use, we have to have them.”

– Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States

Officials have asked individuals choosing to wear face masks to use fabric or a scarf, so medical grade masks can go to the nation’s medical personnel.

READ MORE: Americans Turn To Face Masks To Ward Off COVID-19

Original Article

Calif. seeks 15K hotel rooms for homeless during pandemic

Gov. Gavin Newsom discuses California’s efforts to convert hotels and motels into isolation housing for the homeless threatened by the coronavirus during a news conference near Sacramento, Calif. April 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 5:55 PM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

California Governor Gavin Newsom seeks 15,000 hotel rooms to help house the homeless amid the coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, Newsom announced the state has “obtained nearly 7,000 rooms” to use and are en route toward a 15,000-room goal.

Hotels in the program will include “custodial laundry, security and support staff.”

The governor confirmed the federal government will be taking care of a majority of the costs.

“FEMA is providing 75 percent reimbursements for this project, this is first in the nation,” stated Newsom. “Their support is profoundly significant to address this crisis head on.”

A hazardous material emergency truck is shown parked in front of the Abigail Hotel in San Francisco, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

He added this will relieve the pressure on homeless shelters and reduce the overall impact on medical centers.

As of Friday, California had more than 11,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

RELATED: Gov. Newsom: Calif. To Provide Additional Support To Keep Small Businesses Afloat

Original Article

Ala. Gov. Ivey issues ‘stay at home’ order

Photo via The Office of Alabama Governor.

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:15 PM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

Alabama has officially been placed on lockdown three weeks after its first reported case of COVID-19. State Governor Kay Ivey issued the ‘stay at home‘ order on Friday, which will go into effect Saturday.

Ivey has gradually ramped up the state’s response to the outbreak, including declaring a state of emergency, closing schools and banning price gouging. Last week, she urged residents to remain at home and emphasized the seriousness of the situation.

“We must be serious about eliminating this spread of this virus. Public health orders are not suggestions, they have been put in place to save your life. Folks this is for real, this is a deadly situation and your attention is important.” – Kay Ivey, Governor of Alabama

So far, more than 30 states have issued ‘stay at home’ or ‘shelter in place’ orders to stem the spread of the virus.

MORE NEWS: President Trump Faces Pressure To Issue Nat’l ‘Stay At Home’ Order

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Fla. joins list of states allowing religious exemptions in response to ‘stay at home’ orders

A leaflet listing Holy Week activities sits among empty pews during a live-streamed mass at the St. Augustine Church & Catholic Student Center, Sunday, March 29, 2020, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:35 PM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

Florida is following the lead of 11 other states with the governor’s new ‘stay at home’ guidance, which will allow religious exemptions for houses of worship.

Governor Ron DeSantis was one of the remaining leaders to issue a ‘shelter in place’ order this week, which asked Floridians to only go out for essential activities. However, the governor’s advisement will allow religious services to continue meeting, in order to protect citizens’ First Amendment rights.

“I don’t think the government has the authority to close a church, I’m certainly not going to do that,” he said. “At the same time, we got with the churches and the synagogues very early and said, ‘In times like this, what you guys are doing, I think, is even more important, but we ask that you do it in a way that is going to be conducive to the overall mission.’”

Maria Ramirez prays outside of the St. Augustine Church & Catholic Student Center which is closed to parishioners due to the new coronavirus pandemic, Sunday, March 29, 2020, in Coral Gables, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Florida’s decision to constitute these exemptions came just days after the pastor of a megachurch was charged with misdemeanors, which related to him holding services with more than 500 people in attendance.

States such as Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Pennsylvania have granted similar privileges to these gathering places. Each have received additional rules for remaining open.

Nearly all of the states making exceptions for religious freedom will require every denomination holding in-person services to practice social distancing and take extra precautions to protect members of the congregation.

Most churches across the country have migrated to online services to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

RELATED: Pastors Arrested For Holding Services During Lockdown

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has put an electronic sign on the driveway to The River Church Monday, March 30, 2020, in Tampa, Fla, after warning the megachurch about violating a safer-at-home order in place to limit the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Original Article

Speaker Pelosi walks back infrastructure requests in next legislative package

FILE – In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington. President Donald Trump and Pelosi have not spoken in five months at a time when the nation is battling its worst health crisis in a century. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:38 PM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has walked back several infrastructure proposals Democrats are seeking in the next step of legislative coronavirus relief. On Friday, Pelosi said the next package should expand on the key points of the $2.2 trillion relief package.

This would include more funding for small business loans and unemployment insurance.

However, she noted some infrastructure proposals she sought will have to wait for the next bill.

“While I’m very much in favor of doing some things we need to do to meet the needs, clean water, more broadband (and) the rest of that, that may have to be for a bill beyond this. Right now, I think that we have a good model. It was bipartisan, it was signed by the president, but it’s not enough.” – Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House

The White House has signaled it would be open to another bill, which would expand on the emergency provisions set up in the most recent legislation.

In this image from video, members of the House stand after they passed the coronavirus stimulus package on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, March 27, 2020. (House Television via AP)

Meanwhile, an investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged corruption scandal may still be underway amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate Homeland Security Committee recently announced it will move forward with the probe, despite infighting between Republicans and Democrats.

The investigation centers on allegations Biden sought to leverage his role with a Ukrainian energy company while his father Joe Biden was vice president.

“While the chairman is primarily focused on the once-in-a-generation crisis we’re experiencing, our oversight staff is continuing to push ahead with their work,” stated committee spokesman Austin Altenburg. “Nothing has changed in our long-term plans for our investigations.”

Last month, lawmakers dropped all non-essential work to focus on delivering aid to those affected by COVID-19. The Senate is not due back on Capitol Hill until April 20th.

MORE NEWS: Congress Discussing Possible Fourth COVID-19 Relief Package

Original Article

Trudeau warns President Trump not to cut exports of medical supplies to Canada

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Ontario, Friday, April 3, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:05 PM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned President Trump that restricting the flow of medical supplies to Canada would be a “mistake.” On Friday, Trudeau emphasized both countries benefit from essential supplies moving across the border, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

His words came after a Minnesota manufacturing company said it received orders from the Trump administration to halt sending respirators to Canada and Latin America as demand grows in the U.S.

The prime minister has said he’s still in talks with the U.S. to ensure current trade relations will continue.

“I am confident that the close and deep relationship between Canada and U.S. will hold strong, and that we will not have to see interruptions in supply chain in either direction,” stated Trudeau.

He went on to say Canada is doing everything it can to ramp up domestic production of medical supplies it desperately needs.

MORE NEWS: Canada In Talks With White House To Avoid Troops Along Border

Original Article

Taliban: We will stop fighting for COVID-19

FILE – In this Dec. 14, 2019 file photo, jailed Taliban pray inside the Pul-e-Charkhi Jail, in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:00 PM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

The Taliban recently announced a ceasefire in the areas of Afghanistan that have been affected by the coronavirus. A spokesperson made the announcement via Twitter, saying the group would stop fighting to allow medical teams to provide health services and aid.

“If, God forbid, the outbreak happens in an area where we control the situation, then we will stop fighting in that area,” said Zabiullah Mujahid.

The announcement followed a UN Security Council statement, which urged for an immediate ceasefire in response to the pandemic.

This week, Afghanistan imposed a lockdown in several cities in an attempt to curb the spread. So far, there have been nearly 300 infections and six deaths in the region.

In this Friday, March 27, 2020 photo, members of the Islamic Health Society, an arm of the Iran-backed militant Hezbollah group prepare to spray disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus, in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Meanwhile, neighboring country Iran has been struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic as the death toll continues to rise. Iran’s health ministry announced Friday that 134 people lost their lives to the virus in a single day. This brought the country’s death toll to nearly 3,300.

Officials also confirmed the virus has infected more than 53,000 people in the country. Iran has taken various measures to stop the spread of the virus, including disinfecting the streets and public areas.

“The main goal is disinfection of public places in areas of prevalence of the coronavirus,” stated one local. “This virus suddenly spread and affected the whole country, but it is also affecting all countries in the world.”

Iran has been one of the hardest hit countries in the world after it reported its first coronavirus death on February 19th.

MORE NEWS: Stoltenberg: NATO To Use Military Capacity To Deliver Medical Supplies, Ramp Up COVID-19 Fight

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Americans turn to face masks to ward off COVID-19

FILE – In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Dr. Deborah Birx, Ambassador and White House coronavirus response coordinator, holds a 3M N95 mask as she and Vice President Mike Pence visit 3M headquarters in Maplewood, Minn. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, File)/Star Tribune via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:40 PM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

Americans are taking new measures to avoid contracting the highly contagious coronavirus. According to recent reports, and increasing number of Americans are now covering their faces, in addition to practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing.

“I started wearing the mask today. I was coming out to Costco and decided I should be taking as much protection as I possibly can. I think it makes sense. It’s better than not trying anything.” – Unnamed resident

Citizens residing in California, a virus hot spot, have said that wearing a mask makes them feel safe and provides added security on the rare occasion they leave the house.

“Yeah, first time, just for extra precaution,” said another local. “I guess, rather walk around and someone happens to sneeze nearby, it feels safer a little more security in that aspect, rather than being in free air.”

Jose Villanueva, 77, originally from Durango, Mexico, adjusts his face mask after eating in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Scientific studies have shown the virus can be transmitted from one person to another through airborne droplets. However, it is still under debate how effective masks are at limiting public transmission.

Thus far, the World Health Organization (WHO) has only recommended the use of masks for those who are sick or caring for a sick person.

“If you do not have these symptoms, you do not have to wear masks, because there is no evidence that they protect people who are not sick,” stated WHO consultant Christine Francis. “However, if you are healthy, but you are taking care of a person who is infected with the new coronavirus, then you should wear a mask whenever you are in the same room as that person.”

A worker at the Mathis Brothers mattress factory sews face masks Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Others have argued that wearing one could protect against transmission from those who are asymptomatic carriers of the virus. Health care officials have urged Americans to leave the medical grade masks, like the coveted N95 masks, for health care workers amid the national shortage of personal protective equipment.

The president previously stated if Americans decide to cover their faces, scarves or cloth masks are a good alternative.

“If people wanted to wear them, they can. If people wanted to use scarves, which many people have, they can. In many cases, the scarf is better, it’s thicker… A recommendation is coming out,…but I will say this: they can pretty much decide for themselves right now.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States

WATCH: N.Y. Fashion Designers Make Face Masks In Time Of Need

Original Article

Ky. judges order at-risk coronavirus patients to stay home, officials warn of fake testing sites

In this Sunday, March 29, 2020, photo, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaks during a news conference at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. (Ryan C. Hermens/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:05 PM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

Several people in Kentucky have been ordered to remain at home after they were reportedly determined to be a health risk. According to new reports, judges in Louisville issued the orders after the individuals defied advice to remain home.

The mayor has said these orders are needed to keep the community safe.

Corrections officers have also been asked to attach a GPS monitor in order to ensure they remain at home. However, this has raised concern among officers, who claimed they aren’t being adequately protected when they come in contact with these individuals.

“You know, we are more than capable of handling anything that the city throws at us, but in order for us to be confident and do that, we need to know that we’re being taken care of as much as possible,” stated Police Lodge 77 spokesman Tracy Dotson. “We don’t think it’s too big of an ask to be tested and to get the proper equipment that we need to do this job, to do the tasks that the city and the judges are asking us to do.”

Officers want to be tested after coming into contact with the offenders. They added they’ll continue with their shifts as normal for now.

The latest resident to be monitored hasn’t tested positive, but is living with someone who did.

In this April 2, 2020 photo, a nurse at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle holds a medical face shield prior to the start of her shift in a triage tent outside the Harborview emergency department used to intake arriving patients who have respiratory symptoms. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Meanwhile, Kentucky state officials have warned residents about fake COVID-19 testing locations. Louisville city officials have been receiving phone calls about the sites over the course of the past week.

The sites were scattered around the city, in places like gas stations and church parking lots. According to Metro Council President David James, the testing sites are a scam and did not follow CDC regulations when administering the tests.

“They would take people’s swab, swab their face (and) their mouth,” he explained. “They’re dressed up in some kind of PPE outfit and they use the same exact gloves that they used on the person before you.”

The testing sites reportedly charged $250 per test and told patients they would have results within 24 hours.

The city has advised those seeking testing to go to established hospitals or other more reliable medical facilities registered with the state.

MORE NEWS: Trump Admin. Cracks Down On Health Supply Profiteering Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Original Article

Congress discussing possible fourth COVID-19 relief package

Members of the House of Representatives walk down the steps of Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 27, 2020, after passing a coronavirus rescue package. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:23 AM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

Members of Congress are discussing a possible fourth coronavirus relief bill. Talks about the potential legislation have been circulating over the course of the past week.

A $2.2 trillion relief package was passed just last week, but some Democrats believe it was not enough. The decision garnered bipartisan support, but there were many compromises on each side. This left some Democrats feeling like their priorities had been ignored.

In an interview earlier this week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said a fourth coronavirus bill would focus on recovery, whereas the past three have mitigated the emergency.

“This fourth bill, but third phase, will be about recovery,” she stated. “Again, always addressing the emergency and mitigation aspects of it, but to talk about how we go forward and in a way that is specific to the coronavirus.”

Pelosi has stressed the need to do more for state and local governments, health care, and infrastructure.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks before she signs the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. after it passed in the House on Capitol Hill, Friday, March 27, 2020., in Washington. The $2.2 trillion package will head to head to Trump’s desk for his signature. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he believes Democrats are trying to use the virus as an opportunity to push forward the Democrat agenda. The Kentucky lawmaker also said he and other Republicans are not in a rush to push forward more legislation just yet.

“So I think we need to wait a few days here, a few weeks, and see how things are working out,” he stated. “She (Pelosi) hasn’t suggested the House would even come back into session until the 20th of April and I’ve said the same thing, so let’s see how things are going and respond accordingly.”

Republicans have acknowledged that another relief package is likely to come, but only after they see how effective the most recent one is.

Economists have said significantly more government assistance will probably be needed soon, but Congress will likely require a series of negotiations before anything concrete is passed. Both the House and the Senate are expected to reconvene on April 20.

RELATED: Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council discusses measures in CARES Act

Original Article

Trump admin. cracks down on health supply profiteering amid COVID-19 pandemic

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who is now serving as national defense production act policy coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:31 AM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

The Trump administration is cracking down on an emerging black market of medical supplies. While speaking at a White House press conference, the National Defense Production Act policy coordinator, Peter Navarro, outlined a troubling new trend emerging during the pandemic.

According to Navarro, people are hoarding medical supplies, including personal protective equipment like masks and respirators, and selling them to brokers who ship them overseas. The competition between these brokers is reportedly creating a bidding war and driving up the price of vital supplies needed to fight the pandemic. Navarro said this will not be tolerated.

“We are going to crack down unmercifully and I would say to the hoarder’s out there, the brokers…you’re trying to make money off of the misery of people in this country, around the world,” he stated. “That’s got to stop.”

Stockpiling of medical supplies is already a prosecutable offense thanks to an executive order signed by President Trump last week. While announcing the order, the president expressed indignation at profiteering off a national emergency.

“And that means it will be a crime to stockpile these items in excessive quantities, which is happening to a relatively small degree we think, but nevertheless, it’s happening,” he stated. “We can’t let it happen and we can’t let them resell them at excessive prices, which some people are doing.”

Connecticut National Guard personnel wheel two crates across indoor track lanes at Southern Connecticut State University’s Moore Field House while unloading supplies for a “surge” hospital to help relieve pressure on regional hospitals overtaxed due to the current coronavirus crisis, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in New Haven, Conn. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Yet it seems those seeking to take advantage of the pandemic for personal gain have reportedly found a way to avoid prosecution by shipping supplies out of the country. However, a new executive order is tackling this loophole by authorizing Customs and Border Protection to target unauthorized shipments of medical supplies with the help of the Postal Service and private parcel carriers.

Navarro also provided an avenue for people currently hoarding illegal stockpiles of medical equipment to dispense with them. Put simply, he said use them to help the government’s efforts against the pandemic.

“What you need to do is pick up a phone and not call somebody out in around the world, you call FEMA,” said Navarro. “…we’ll give it to you at a fair price and be done with that because that stuff has absolutely got to stop.”

RELATED: U.S. medical workers protest lack of equipment

Original Article

Trump admin. cracks down on health supply profiteering amid COVID-19 pandemic

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, who is now serving as national defense production act policy coordinator, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:31 AM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

The Trump administration is cracking down on an emerging black market of medical supplies. While speaking at a White House press conference, the National Defense Production Act policy coordinator, Peter Navarro, outlined a troubling new trend emerging during the pandemic.

According to Navarro, people are hoarding medical supplies, including personal protective equipment like masks and respirators, and selling them to brokers who ship them overseas. The competition between these brokers is reportedly creating a bidding war and driving up the price of vital supplies needed to fight the pandemic. Navarro said this will not be tolerated.

“We are going to crack down unmercifully and I would say to the hoarder’s out there, the brokers…you’re trying to make money off of the misery of people in this country, around the world,” he stated. “That’s got to stop.”

Stockpiling of medical supplies is already a prosecutable offense thanks to an executive order signed by President Trump last week. While announcing the order, the president expressed indignation at profiteering off a national emergency.

“And that means it will be a crime to stockpile these items in excessive quantities, which is happening to a relatively small degree we think, but nevertheless, it’s happening,” he stated. “We can’t let it happen and we can’t let them resell them at excessive prices, which some people are doing.”

Connecticut National Guard personnel wheel two crates across indoor track lanes at Southern Connecticut State University’s Moore Field House while unloading supplies for a “surge” hospital to help relieve pressure on regional hospitals overtaxed due to the current coronavirus crisis, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in New Haven, Conn. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Yet it seems those seeking to take advantage of the pandemic for personal gain have reportedly found a way to avoid prosecution by shipping supplies out of the country. However, a new executive order is tackling this loophole by authorizing Customs and Border Protection to target unauthorized shipments of medical supplies with the help of the Postal Service and private parcel carriers.

Navarro also provided an avenue for people currently hoarding illegal stockpiles of medical equipment to dispense with them. Put simply, he said use them to help the government’s efforts against the pandemic.

“What you need to do is pick up a phone and not call somebody out in around the world, you call FEMA,” said Navarro. “…we’ll give it to you at a fair price and be done with that because that stuff has absolutely got to stop.”

RELATED: U.S. medical workers protest lack of equipment

Original Article

NRA suing N.Y. Gov. Cuomo for shutting down gun stores as part of COVID-19 response

Andrea Schry, right, fills out the buyer part of legal forms to buy a handgun as shop worker Missy Morosky fills out the vendors parts after Dukes Sport Shop reopened, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in New Castle, Pa. under the new conditions specified for gun stores. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:31 AM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

The National Riffle Association (NRA) announced its suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for infringing on New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights.

According to reports, the powerful pro-gun organization made the move after Cuomo forced gun stores to shut their doors as part of the non-essential business closure order.

The New York Democrat did this despite the fact the Department of Homeland Security previously designated gun stores as essential businesses. The official NRA complaint reads that Cuomo’s decision, “was based on a pointless and arbitrary attack on the constitutional rights of New York citizens.”

One pro-Second Amendment citizen explained why gun stores have the right to remain open amid the public health emergency. He noted that “under the Trump administration guidance the Department of Homeland Security has declared fire arms manufacturers and retailers essential businesses.”

The organization also filed a lawsuit against California state officials for carrying out similar actions. Both states are considered hot-spots for the coronavirus.

RELATED: American gun stores seeing surge in sales during pandemic

Original Article

U.S. medical workers protest lack of equipment

Nurses stand in protest in front of Research Medical Center April 1, 2020 in Kansas City, Mo. The workers were among several groups nationwide protesting HCA Healthcare hospitals claiming the hospital chain put staff and patients at risk during the coronavirus pandemic because of a lack of personal protective equipment. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:41 AM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

A number of health officials nationwide are speaking out in protest and calling out the lack of protective gear available as they remain on the frontlines of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This week, medical workers from coast to coast took to the streets in outrage to demand distribution of personal protective equipment, otherwise known as PPE. They are accusing HCA Healthcare, the nation’s largest hospital chain, of over-hoarding materials that they need and called its response a lack of preparedness.

“We are demanding that we get all the hoarded supplies that exists of PPE, so that we can protect ourselves, our families and our beloved patients and communities,” stated Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, President of the New York State Nurses Association. “We can’t do it if we’re dead.”

The calls came after several nurses and doctors claimed they are being asked to reuse masks and other equipment as hospitals try to ration supplies. Workers have alleged nurses have also been told to use scarves or bandanas as homemade alternatives.

Nurses at Montefiore Medical Center Moses Division hold an “urgent community speak out” and press conference in front of the hospital, demanding N95s and other critical personal protective equipment to handle the COVID-19 outbreak, Thursday April 2, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

These unsung heroes have said that not only are they putting their own lives at risk, but also others around them — including their families.

“We are transmitting the disease to our family members, the patients who are negative for COVID-19, and we are spreading this disease to the community from this great hospital,” said Benny Matthew, COVID-19 nurse at Montefiore Hospital.

They noted that the measures and response from top officials have not at all matched the needs of the crisis and have claimed they themselves are left virtually unprotected from the virus. The lack of response is only feeding the growing fears among workers

Meanwhile, HCA officials have claimed these nurses are trying to use this crisis to advance their own interest and to organize more members. Nonetheless, health workers have said their demands are simple:

“We don’t want to be spreading it ourselves, so we just want to have the right PPEs.”

— Emmanuel Bangan, nurse – Regional Medical Center

RELATED: Labor union calls for hazard pay for health care workers amid the coronavirus pandemic

Original Article

University of Pittsburgh develops potential COVID-19 vaccine

(Representational photo/Shutterstock via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:31 AM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh said they have developed a possible coronavirus vaccine.

On Thursday, the medical center announced they have successfully tested the anti-bodies on mice and are now looking to conduct human trials over the next few months after getting approval from the FDA.

Rather than a needle, the vaccine is injected through the skin with a small patch that contains hundreds of microneedles.

“The skin is really the first line of defense for bacteria and viruses, and because of that it has evolved a very efficient immune response,” explained Dr. Louis Falo, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “And so, the skin has specialized immune cells that has developed just to make these kind of responses.”

#ICYMI: Scientists from @PittDeptofMed announced a highly scalable potential vaccine for the new coronavirus behind the #COVID19 pandemic.

Read more about this possible treatment and the researchers behind it here: https://t.co/UCNXpd4dDv

— University of Pittsburgh (@PittTweet) April 2, 2020

The Pittsburgh Medical Center said they were able to develop the vaccine so quickly because they had done similar tests on SARS and MERS, which showed that spiked proteins boosted immunity against the virus.

RELATED: New potential vaccines, treatments, and cure signals hope for coronavirus breakthrough

Original Article

Report: Leaked Amazon memo details plan to smear fired employee after strike

The Amazon DTW1 fulfillment center is shown in Romulus, Mich., Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Employees and family members are protesting in response to what they say is the company’s failure to protect the health of its employees amid the new coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:31 AM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

New details have come to light and are adding weight to allegations Amazon fired an employee in retaliation for attempting to unionize.

Leaked notes by Amazon General Counsel David Zapolsky detailed an internal meeting with company executives, where officials mulled PR strategies to clean up the company’s image in the wake of the firing of Christian Smalls.

Those notes explicitly described a plan to paint Smalls as “not smart or articulate” and using that narrative to make him “the face of the entire union/organizing movement.” The memo reportedly encouraged executives to use Smalls as an example hoping to discredit the entire labor movement in the process.

I’M NOT SMART OR ARTICULATE https://t.co/FGmTGA7CsF

— Christian Smalls (@Shut_downAmazon) April 3, 2020

Smalls was fired earlier this week and worked at an Amazon warehouse in New York City. Amazon said Smalls violated a company mandated two-week quarantine after he came in contact with an employee infected with COVID-19.

However, Smalls said other employees came in contact with the infected employee before they tested positive and only began facing punitive action after asking management to sanitize the facility and eventually striking when his demands were deflected.

“They’re not informing the employees who have tested positive that other employees that’s working around them…they’re not even giving them the opportunity to make that conscious decision to risk their lives and come in to work,” said Smalls.

According to Zapolsky’s memo, Amazon intended to claim Smalls’ conduct was “immoral, unacceptable, and arguably illegal.” In a statement, Zapolsky denied conspiring to smear Smalls and claimed his comments in the memo were driven by emotion. He said he was “frustrated and upset” an Amazon employee would repeatedly return to work despite being warned to quarantine himself.

Employees at the Staten Island warehouse have attempted to unionize as far back as 2018. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has ordered an investigation into the incident.

RELATED: Amazon warehouse workers protest near Detroit, days after NYC walkout

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Stoltenberg: NATO to use military capacity to deliver medical supplies, ramp up COVID-19 fight

FILE – Gen. Tod D. Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe speaks before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:10 AM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

During a recent meeting, NATO foreign ministers unanimously agreed to boost military cooperation to curb the spread of coronavirus.

On Thursday, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced European Command Gen. Tod Wolters will coordinate the joint effort. He noted that NATO will assist national health care systems amid this latest crisis.

Stoltenberg went on to say allied forces will use airlift capacity to deliver medical supplies and set-up mobile hospitals where necessary.

“In coordination with EUROCONTROL, using the NATO call sign for military relief flights, we will also convene a meeting of NATO defense ministers in mid-April to review the support we are providing to Allies,”stated the NATO secretary general.

Stoltenberg also hailed the recent accession of North Macedonia as a full member of NATO and said this will improve security and risk management in the Balkans.

RELATED: NATO seeks to speed up medical aid deliveries, wary of Russian drills

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Census Bureau: U.S. companies sent millions of dollars of medical equipment to China in January, February

A health worker looks out near a poster with the Chinese communist party flag and the slogan “Follow the Communist Party, Fulfill the China Dream” at a health station near a sealed off neighborhood in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Friday, April 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:28 AM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

Records show American companies sold millions of dollars worth of essential medical supplies to China in January and February.

The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed U.S. companies sold more then $17 million worth of face masks, about $13 million worth of surgical garments and $27 million worth of ventilators to China to help it tackle the spread of the coronavirus.

This came right ahead of a nationwide shortage of medical equipment and ventilators in the U.S. as hospitals across the country are being overwhelmed by a surge of patients needing to be treated for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of hoarded medical supplies, including 192,000 N95 respirator masks, are being sent to coronavirus hot spots across the country. The Department of Justice and Department Health and Human Services made that announcement on Thursday.

This came after the FBI confiscated the supplies on March 30 as part of its COVID-19 hoarding and price gouging task force. Along with the respirator masks, the FBI found more than a half million medical gloves and 130,000 surgical masks.

RELATED: Two masks, no lockdown — Japan PM’s latest coronavirus step riles social media

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U.K. prime minister gives applause to health workers, praises military effort to battle COVID-19

In this handout photo provided by 10 Downing Street, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson claps outside 10 Downing Street to salute local heroes during Thursday’s nationwide Clap for Carers NHS initiative to applaud workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic, in London, Thursday, April 2, 2020. (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:55 AM PT — Friday, April 3, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently joined the nationwide campaign to praise U.K. health care workers amid the COVID-19 crisis.

On Thursday, the prime minister briefly stepped out of his self-isolation at 10 Downing Street to give a round of applause to the National Health Service, or the NHS.

Johnson is battling coronavirus himself, but has continued to work from his office and makes time to address the nation on a daily basis. He noted that the NHS has saved Britain and must be protected.

“Now, I want to bring you up to speed on some of the things that we’re doing above all to protect our National Health Service (NHS),” said the British prime minister. “And we’ve shipped, just in the last couple of weeks, 397 million separate pieces of personal protective equipment to look after our amazing NHS staff.”

Johnson said the U.K. is boosting virus testing, while the British Army is ramping up efforts to help the NHS battle the outbreak in every possible way.

RELATED: Polls find rising support for President Trump, British Prime Minster Johnson amid rife economic, social uncertainty

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