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Celebrities

Epidemiologist Slams ‘Malpractice’ In New York Times’ Trump Coverage

A Yale epidemiologist hit The New York Times on Tuesday morning over its coronavirus coverage after the paper ran a headline misrepresenting a claim by President Donald Trump on the state of coronavirus testing across America as true.

“Trump Suggests Lack of Testing Is No Longer a Problem. Governors Disagree,” read the headline to a March 30 story that was also featured prominently on the paper’s website homepage.

“This is journalistic malpractice,” tweeted Gregg Gonsalves, assistant professor of epidemiology at Yale and co-director of the school’s Global Health Justice Partnership.

“If we don’t have scale-up of testing, we will be in lock-down for months & months,” he went on. “There is no debate on this, why frame it like there is one? Next: Trump says earth flat, scientists say otherwise.” 

Later, he added: “It matters that you’re failing, and it’s not about a lowly reader trying to score points, but the fact that @NYTimes [is] eliding, equivocating on the federal response has consequences for millions of people.” 

The Times is often accused of engaging in “both-sides-ism” — or giving improper weight to both sides of a particular argument when the facts heavily favor one side. (Think: when a cable news station would ask a climate change denier for comment, when we know climate change is real.) In its coverage of Trump, the Times is often accused of “balancing” a story by printing Trump’s comments as fact — he did say those things, after all — even as it describes the reality of a situation, a practice that can be particularly glaring in its headlines. The current public health crisis, though, means that getting the correct information out to readers comes with extremely high stakes.

By The New York Times’ own reporting, officials are still struggling to make up for lost time on testing for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Due to flaws in testing kits, regulatory delays, a “business-as-usual” approach and a lack of leadership, the federal government royally botched America’s response to the virus, several Times reporters wrote in a story first published March 28 that drew on more than 50 sources. 

The end result is that an unknown number of people have not been able to get tested for COVID-19, exacerbating the spread of the virus. 

As the criticism gained more attention, Jonathan Martin, one of the reporters who worked on the story that sparked the tweets, took time to respond: “you’re picking the wrong fight, move along.”

The New York Times did not respond to a request for comment. 

Martin’s remark took the wrong tone, setting Gonsalves off on a series of tweets explaining the problem with the Times’ coverage. 

“Sorry, Jonathan, I don’t care how important you think you are,” Gonsalves began.

“From [Times reporter Peter Baker’s] now infamous hot take of @realDonaldTrump as he ‘struggles to find the balance between public reassurance and Panglossian dismissiveness’ your collective reporting on the political aspects of this have been off-the-mark,” he wrote. (Baker’s story was titled “For Trump, Coronavirus Proves to Be an Enemy He Can’t Tweet Away.”)

Gonsalves went on: “Everything is a Punch & Judy Show, and the real story of the absolute and continuing failure of the response to #coronavirus gets obscured in your reporting as ‘who’s winning the day’ in DC.”

And on: “There is tremendous reporting going on on the pandemic, but it’s from places like @statnews or @propublica who take their task with a bit more seriousness than your political reporters.” 

He also made clear that his criticism went beyond one headline, describing how the problem of allowing the politics of the day lead the front page during a pandemic does readers a disservice by limiting their knowledge of how the disease is spreading. 

“This is an emergency, act like it,” he said.

Later, he added: “The political desk is out of their league on this. When you’re in DC and also a hammer everything looks like a nail, so you get no context, deeper understanding of the issues that science/health reporters understand by years of practice.”

To prove he wasn’t “a 100% hater” Gonsalves peppered in a little praise for the paper ― for its health reporters and select opinion columnists, anyway. 

  • Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
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Lifestyle

PETA Urges Kate McKinnon, UCP Executives Not to Use Live Animals in Scripted Tiger King Series



In the letter to UCP and Wilshire Studios president Dawn Olmstead, as seen on The Wrap, Thomasson detailed several ways wild animals suffer when being used for entertainment.

“Most wild animals do everything that they can to avoid humans, but those used by trainers are forced into close proximity with their captors and are also deprived of their families, their freedom, and anything remotely natural to them,” she wrote.

She added: “When no longer deemed ‘useful,’ many animals used for film or TV are dumped at seedy roadside zoos, including the chimpanzees seen in Tiger King. Investigations have uncovered animals being whipped and kept in deplorable conditions by animal suppliers.”

Back in November, Universal Content Productions announced that an adaptation of the Wondery podcast Joe Exotic was in the works with the Saturday Night Live star, 36, portraying Joseph Maldonado-Passage’s nemesis, Carole Baskin, according to Variety.

The audio source material follows the two subjects, who have gained newfound notoriety with the arrival of Netflix‘s trending docu-series, Tiger King.

The stranger-than-fiction series on the story — which will chronicle the criminal spiral of the former Oklahoma zookeeper (Maldonado-Passage), who was convicted of concocting a murder-for-hire plot to kill his animal-rights activist rival (Baskin) — is still in development, according to TVLine and there is currently no network or streaming platform attached yet to the project.

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TV and Movies

New Digital Movie Releases This Week: Sonic, Bad Boys, And More (3/31)

While we all practice social distancing during the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic, we all need something entertaining to watch. There are plenty of ways to keep yourself busy, but every single week, new digital movies are arriving, and many of them are coming out earlier than expected. Here is what is coming out this week.

One of the best video game movies to date, right behind Detective Pikachu, is now available. Sonic the Hedgehog follows the titular character as he escapes his home planet, comes to Earth, befriends a cop, and spends his time running from Dr. Robotnik while trying to collect his magic rings in San Francisco.

The movie was an exceptional amount of fun with plenty of Easter eggs for fans of the video game series. In GameSpot’s Sonic review, Phil Hornshaw said, “As video game adaptations go, Sonic the Hedgehog is among the stronger ones. It’s smart enough to stand on its own, making use of longstanding aspects of Sega’s supersonic mascot and his franchise, while making sure that what really shines through are its characters. That restraint goes a long way to making Sonic the Hedgehog a light, funny movie, and while it definitely skews young, longtime Sonic fans should have just as much fun finally seeing the Blue Blur on the big screen.”

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return as police officers Mike and Marcus, respectively, on one last mission as they deal with getting older, working with younger officers, and of course, watching things blow up. It wouldn’t be a Bad Boys movie without a slow motion rotoscope as things blow up.

In GameSpot’s Bad Boys For Life review, Chris E. Hayner said, “Ultimately, Bad Boys for Life is better than practically anyone could expect. While it would have been easy to rely on the nostalgia of seeing the iconic trio of Smith, Lawrence, and explosions on-screen together again, the new film strives to be so much more and manages to pull it off. And what’s more, it also provides a blueprint for what the franchise could become in the future, should audiences want to see more.”

Below, you’ll find everything new coming out on the digital market this week through services like Google Play Movies, Vudu, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, and more. All of them are available now. And if you’re looking for more ways to kill time while you’re at home, check out some great Blu-ray deals.

The week’s new releases

Buy now

  • Sonic the Hedgehog — $20
  • Bad Boys For Life — $20
  • 2099: The Soldier Protocol — $13
  • The Call of the Wild — $15
  • Vivarium — $10
  • Downhill — $10

Rent

  • I Still Believe — $20
  • Resistance — $7
  • 2099: The Soldier Protocol — $7
  • Vivarium — $7

Best Deals This Week

  • Play Lots Of Great Free Games While Staying Inside
  • Amazon Just Launched A Big Sale On PS4, Switch, And Xbox One Games
  • PS Plus Drops To $40 In Limited-Time PS4 Deal
  • Where To Buy A Nintendo Switch Right Now
  • Fantastic Sale On Steam Games Includes Pre-Order Discounts On Resident Evil 3, Trials Of Mana

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World News

New York set to reach peak of coronavirus cases in two weeks

New York’s coronavirus pandemic could peak in 10 days: ER visits start to decrease despite rising death toll – and state cases level off – as experts say the city could soon ‘turn the corner’ and ‘mitigation is working’

  •  NYC saw 138 deaths from the virus on Monday, an increase of 17% on Sunday 
  • Across New York state, the number of new cases has fallen two days in a row 
  • In the city, the number of new cases has fallen from Saturday’s peak 
  • Experts say the figures offer a glimmer of hope that hardest-hit New York could be headed towards a downward trajectory in terms of coronavirus cases 
  • Deaths in New York are expected to peak within seven to 10 days, according to Farzad Mostashari, the founder of healthcare startup Aledade
  • Visits to hospital emergency rooms in New York City showed a decline in numbers over the weekend, Mostashari says 
  • The state has already confirmed more than 66,000 cases, mostly in New York City. There are 9,500 people in New York currently hospitalized for COVID-19 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

New York could reach its peak of new coronavirus cases within the next seven to 10 days, experts say, as the number of hospital ER visits starts to decrease and official data raises hopes that the city could soon start ‘turning the corner’.  

New York City saw 138 deaths from the virus on Monday, an increase of 17% on Sunday but well down from Saturday’s spike of 222 deaths. 

There were 4,319 new cases, which is again lower than Saturday’s 5,367 new cases, according to official city figures. 

Across New York state, the official number of new cases has fallen two days in a row.

The number of new cases in the state dipped by 19% from Sunday to Monday, falling from 7,157 to 5,818. It was also down from slightly from Saturday to Sunday. 

The state death toll increased by 253 (26%) to 1,218 fatal cases on Monday. However  over the past three days the number of daily deaths has remained almost flat, with an increase of only six deaths per day from Saturday to Monday. 

On Saturday the state announced 247 new deaths, on Sunday 183 and on Monday 253. 

Experts say the figures offer a glimmer of hope that hardest-hit New York could soon be ‘turning the corner’ and headed towards a downward trajectory in terms of coronavirus cases.

Doctor and analyst Scott Gottlieb said: ‘More data suggesting that New York could be approaching a peak in new cases. Over the next 7-10 days they could peak and start slowly turning the corner. Mitigation is working in New York.’ 

However the figures should be treated with caution given that in Italy initial signs that the daily death toll was flattening turned back into a daily increase. Governor Cuomo and Bill De Balsio have also painted a grim picture of  days to come.

New York City saw 138 deaths from the virus on Monday, an increase of 17% on Sunday

There were 4,319 new cases, which is again lower than Saturday’s 5,367 new cases, according to official city figures.

New York could reach its peak of new coronavirus cases within the next seven to 10 days, experts say, as the daily statewide death toll shows signs it is leveling out and the number of hospital ER visits starts to decrease

The death toll in New York state – the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States – increased by 253 to 1,218 fatal cases on Monday, according to new state figures

Deaths in New York are expected to peak within seven to 10 days, according to Farzad Mostashari, the founder of healthcare startup Aledade and a former national coordinator for Department of Health and Human Services.

Visits to hospital emergency rooms in New York City showed a decline in numbers over the weekend, Mostashari says, which puts hospitalizations on a downward trend and shows signs the state’s stay-at-home order is working.  

State officials expect the number of deaths in New York to continue to rise as the outbreak reaches its projected peak in the coming weeks.   

‘Whatever the numbers is, it’s going to be staggering,’ New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. ‘We’ve lost over 1,000 New Yorkers… To me, we’re beyond staggering already.’  

He said the rise in the number of new coronavirus infections appeared to be slowing and the hospital discharge rate was increasing. 

‘People come into the hospital, they stay for a period of time, a number of days, and then they move on,’ Cuomo said. 

The state has already confirmed more than 66,000 cases, mostly in New York City. There are 9,500 people in New York currently hospitalized for COVID-19.

It comes as a Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds arrived in New York City and the Javits Center, a makeshift hospital in Manhattan, started accepting patients on Monday. 

The Javits Center will have 2,500 beds and the USNS Comfort Navy ship will cater for an additional 1,000 patients. The additional beds will not be used by coronavirus patients. Instead, the field hospitals will be used by other patients to free up beds in New York’s already overwhelmed hospitals.  

Cuomo on Monday urged other states across the US to not think they are immune to the virus.   

‘There is no American that is immune. What is happening to New York is not an anomaly. In many ways, it’s the canary in the coal mine,’ Cuomo said. 

‘What you see us going through here, you will see happening all across this country. We believe that we’re dealing with this pandemic at a level intensity that no one has seen before.

The Navy ship the USNS Comfort arriving in New York City on Monday bringing with it 1,000 more hospital beds to New York’s crippled system

The Navy ship arriving in New York City on Monday morning bringing with it 1,000 hospital beds 

‘We’ve dealt with some really deadly illnesses. We dealt with the Ebola virus, that’s not what this is. It tends to be the people who are acutely ill who have the most problems.

‘The situation is painfully clear now; there’s no question as to what we’re dealing with there’s no question to grief or loss of life. There’s no question of what we must do,’ he said. 

Cuomo fumed that he was still seeing ‘too many people’ in the streets of New York City and said staying at home was the first step to helping curb the spread.   

‘Stay at home. When I issued the stay-at-home order, it wasn’t, ‘it would be nice if you did.’ Stay at home! If you leave the house, you’re exposing yourself to danger and others to danger,’ he said. 

‘I know the isolation can be boring and oppressive. It is better than the alternative. Stay at home. That is the best option. If you are out, no proximity. 6ft distancing.

‘You want to stay away from places that are dense. Still, in New York City, you have too many places with too much density. I don’t know how many different ways to make the same point.’ 

Beds are lined up in a tent as volunteers from the International Christian relief organization Samaritans Purse set up an Emergency Field Hospital for patients suffering from the coronavirus in Central Park across Fifth Avenue from Mt. Sinai Hospital

The Emergency Field Hospital for patients suffering from the coronavirus has been set up in Central Park across from Mt. Sinai Hospital

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Lifestyle

Man Utd targeting new right winger and central midfielder in summer transfer overhaul – with Pogba set to leave – The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED want a right-winger and a centre-midfielder as part of a summer transfer overhaul, according to reports.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to sign Odion Ighalo on a permanent basis before switching focus to his midfield.

The Norwegian is keen on a star in the middle of the park to replace Paul Pogba – who seems destined to leave in the summer – as well as a wide man to take the burden off Dan James, according to the Metro.

Bruno Fernandes' arrival has helped with Solskjaer's woes in the middle but he is said to be keen on another body to ensure competition for places.

Scott McTominay and Fred have played most of the season in centre-mid with Nemanja Matic slotting in as back up.

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Beauty and Fashion

There’s a new Baby Shark song about washing your hands amid coronavirus and it’s set to drive parents mad

CALLING all parents – there's a new Baby Shark song about washing your hands, and it's sure to get stuck in your head.

The company behind the viral tune launched their new song amid the coronavirus pandemic – to remind kids to wash their hands.

And while the sentiment is a great one, we reckon the song will be driving parents mad on lockdown.

The people at Pinkfong! Kids’ Songs and Stories also launched a fun Hand Wash Challenge, with new dance moves and reminders to cough and sneeze into your elbow.

The music video has clear instructions for proper hand washing and it last 45 seconds so you can sing the song while you scrub – if you're sick of Happy Birthday.

The lyrics go "wash your hands, doo doo doo doo," then "grab some soap", "rub your hands", "dry your hands", "cover your sneeze", "cough into your elbow" and "safe at last!"


#BabySharkWashHandsChallenge song lyrics

Wash your hands, doo doo doo doo doo. (repeat twice)

Wash your hands!

Grab some soap, doo doo doo doo doo. (repeat twice)

Grab some soap!

Rub your hands, doo doo doo doo doo. (repeat twice)

Rub your hands!

Rinse your hands, doo doo doo doo doo.(repeat twice)

Rinse your hands!

Dry your hands, doo doo doo doo doo. (repeat twice)

Dry your hands!

“What else can we do?”

Cover your sneeze, doo doo doo doo doo. (repeat twice)

Cover your sneeze!

Cough into your elbow, doo doo doo doo doo. (repeat twice)

Cough into your elbow!

Safe at last, doo doo doo doo doo. (repeat twice)

Safe at last!

Let’s stay healthy, doo doo doo doo doo. (repeat twice)

Let’s stay healthy! Oh, yeah!

Pingfong's original #BabySharkChallenge launched on YouTube in June 2016, although it didn't go viral until 2018.

The video has since racked up 4.9 BILLION views.

The catchy song and dance moves became popular all over the world – but parents were left unable to get the addictive ditty out of their heads.

If Baby Shark isn't your thing, parents can also get a £1.50 singing Trolls soap which will encourage your kids to wash their hands.

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World News

With New Orleans streets empty of tourists rats now swarm the city

New Orleans streets are overtaken by RATS as tourists stay away from the city and Louisiana is hit by 3,315 coronavirus cases and 137 deaths

  • Rats are becoming a problem in New Orleans as restaurants remain empty 
  • With no people around, no scraps are being dropped, eliminating a food source 
  • The rats have been forced to surface in order to find whatever scraps they can
  • The city says it’s ramping up its use of rat bait in commercial areas, starting with rat traps on the sidewalks and bait into the catch basins on Bourbon Street
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

As tourists and locals have left the streets of New Orleans deserted, rats have quickly taken their place. 

With restaurants and bars closed for business, a once reliable food supply for the rodents has all of a sudden been shut off. 

Food waste is no longer being discarded on the streets or into nearby trash cans which means the rats have to forage further for food.

With New Orleans under a Stay in place order the city’s rodent population has swarmed streets in the French Quarter section

As restaurants closed save for take-out service, far less food waste is being discarded in the city’s alleyways, driving the local rodent population out into the open to search for scraps

The local rodent population can now be seen out and about as they search for scraps so survive.  

Along the Crescent City’s famous Bourbon Street, its bars and music venues are all closed to comply with social distancing rules.  

‘I turn the corner, there’s about 30 rats at the corner, feasting on something in the middle of the street,’ one local restaurant owner told CBS News. 

Extermination crews have now begun to leave poisoned bait in the gutters along with rat traps in an effort to curb pests.

‘There are pathogens in these rodents. Fortunately, we don’t see many of the health outcomes. We don’t have very many disease cases that are actually related to rodents. But the potential is there,’ New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said during a press conference. 

There are now concerns that any diseases being carried by the rats could spread to the local homeless population who have already been out on the streets for some time. 

Charles Marsala, who runs New Orleans Insider Tours and AWE News, filmed several videos of dozens of rats scurrying through the empty streets at night and during the day.  

‘I was filming footage for both projects with a came across the rats feasting on March 18. I went back on March 26 and filmed to see how the rat bait stations are working,’ Marsala told DailyMail.com.  ‘Credit to Mayor Cantrell for a quick response after the videos went viral.’    

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards stating Thursday during a press conference that if the state does not flatten its infection rate curve soon, New Orleans could run out of ventilators as early as April 2, and potentially be out of hospital beds by April 7.

‘It’s not conjecture, it’s not some flimsy theory, this is not a scare tactic, this is what is going to happen,’ he said, according to CBS News. 

Edwards said that coronavirus cases have spread across Louisiana and that ‘There is no place where it isn’t. There are places where we haven’t detected it yet.’

On Thursday, Cantrell blasted President Trump for not taking the pandemic seriously, saying the city was given ‘no red flag’ from federal agencies to cancel its February 25 Mardi Gras celebrations which are being blamed for making Louisiana the future US epicenter for coronavirus. 

In an interview with CNN, Cantrell placed the blame for the potentially fatal celebrations going ahead at President Trump’s door, saying he should have warned the city to cancel the festivities and that agency guidance follows the ‘response of our national leader.’

‘Well, you know that the city of New Orleans as it relates to Mardi Gras, we plan Mardi Gras as a year-long effort. Around a part of our unified command is the federal government. Homeland Security, as well as the FBI,’ Cantrell said.

‘So in reaching out, meaning my health directors and public safety officials, every step of the way consulted with federal partners as well as the CDC in reference to COVID-19.’

She said the federal government partnered the city in running the celebrations ‘every step of the way’ and no ‘red flags’ were issued in the run up.

‘No red flags were given. So absolutely, we moved forward,’ she said.

The mayor slammed the president for not taking the deadly virus seriously enough as cases started to mount across America.

‘When it’s not taken seriously at the federal level, it’s very difficult to transcend down to the local level in making these decisions,’ she said.

Cantrell admitted that ‘in hindsight’ Mardi Gras should never have gone ahead: ‘In hindsight, if we were given clear direction, we would not have had Mardi Gras, and I would have been the leader to cancel.’

Cantrell told Fox 8 on Saturday that ‘On Lundi Gras, we were hearing from the federal government that the virus was contained,’ she said, speaking about the day before Mardi Gras. 

She added that the city did cancel the St. Patrick’s Day Parade as the pandemic escalated around the US by this date.

New Orleans plans to move 3,000 patients out of the hospital and into a field medical facility at the Morial Convention center to make way for others who need emergency care.

Cantrell said that she and Edwards are still trying to figure out how the $180billion federal dollars promised to Louisiana will be implemented so they can get resources allocated.   

Worrying parallels are being drawn between the Mardi Gras and the 1918 parade in Philadelphia which has been touted as one of the main causes for the state’s spread of Spanish Flu, which devastated the area more than most and cost 16,000 lives in Philadelphia and wiped out about a third of the world’s population.

In 1918, when World War I was coming to a close, US cities held Liberty Loan parades bringing in thousands of revellers.

When the Spanish Flu pandemic ramped up, St. Louis canceled its parade but Philadelphia decided to plough on with its celebration in the city of 1.7 million people.

The virus had reached Philadelphia on September 19, 1918, infecting 600 sailors within a matter of days.

The parade took place on September 28, with 200,000 people in attendance.

Just three days later, there were 635 new cases in Philadelphia and every bed in the city’s hospitals was filled, according to UPenn.

Six weeks later, 12,000 people had died and there were 47,000 cases.

By the end of the pandemic, at least 16,000 had died and more than half a million had fallen ill.

By contrast, Saint Louis’ death toll reached 700.

The CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine said the Philadelphia parade shows how cancelling mass gatherings and practising social distancing can be critical to slowing an outbreak and saving thousands of lives.

‘This deadly example shows the benefit of canceling mass gatherings and employing social distancing measures during pandemics,’ the CDC said.

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World News

Coronavirus map of New York shows Queens as epicenter

The coronavirus map of New York City where one person dies of coronavirus every 17 minutes as the total death toll hits 450 and cases rise by another 4,000 to 26,697

  • The situation in New York City grew dire on Saturday morning as deaths hit 450 and cases topped 26,000
  • Data released by the city shows the hardest hit neighborhoods
  • Queens and Brooklyn are confirming the most positive cases
  •  Manhattan is not seeing as many tests results come back positive
  • Hospitals warn a ‘catastrophe’ is looming as healthcare resources are stretched to the max 
  • Doctors say the crush of critical patients and fatalities is like ‘Biblical hell’ and ‘a war zone’ 
  • On Thursday and Friday, a New Yorker died on average every 17 minutes due to coronavirus
  • City set a record for 911 EMS calls of 6,500 calls in 24 hours, more than ever recorded 
  • Up to 170 emergency calls were put on hold and officials urged the public to limit calls to true emergencies 
  • Sirens echoed across the city as ambulance crews raced from one call to the next 
  • Mayor Bill de Blasio warns that the city’s healthcare system could collapse in just nine days  
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Queens is emerging as the epicenter of the epicenter in New York City as the city reveals a borough by borough map which highlights the neighborhoods reporting the most positive cases. 

The death toll in the city rose to 450 as of early Saturday morning as its healthcare system is threatened with imminent collapse. 

On both Thursday and Friday, another 85 people died of the virus, or an average of one New Yorker every 17 minutes. There are 26,697 confirmed NYC cases as the national total soars over 100,000.

The shocking map released by the city shows that every single neighborhood has over 30 percent of patients testing positive for coronavirus, although none are returning higher than 65.41 percent positive results.  

Of the five boroughs, Queens is now the epicenter of New York City’s outbreak, with 8,214 cases, a one-day increase of 32 percent. 

In just the past week, one funeral home in Queens has held service for close to a dozen people who have died from the virus, and is expecting to do more. 

Manhattan patients are testing positive at a significantly lower rate than the outer boroughs with no neighborhood reporting over 40 percent of patients confirmed positive.  

The map was compiled using data from the 51,404 people tested as of Thursday but with the dire situation in the city escalating quickly, some neighborhoods may now be even harder hit.   

This map released by the city shows the number of patients who are testing positive for coronavirus in each borough

Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he believes the city’s strained healthcare system has supplies to make it through next week

The city’s map shows that half of the neighborhoods in Queens are reporting over 51 percent of coronavirus tests come back positive with West Queens, Fresh Meadows, Jamaica, Southeast Queens and Rockaway all in the red. 

Only one Queens neighborhood, Bayside-Little Neck, is below 40 percent.   

Brooklyn, the most populous borough, has 6,750 cases, up 26 percent from Thursday, and also has half of its neighborhoods highlighted in red with positive cases returned to over 50 percent of patients. 

Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Bedstuy, Borough Park and East Flatbush-Flatbush are all listed in red with only Bensonhurst-Bayridge reporting under 40 percent positive cases.  

The Bronx has 4,655 cases and Manhattan has 4,478 cases, both increases of 18 percent. Staten Island was up 6 percent, at 1,440 cases.  

The Bronx was the only other borough to list a red-level neighborhood with High Bridge-Morrisania returning positive results to over 50 percent of its patients.  

An NYPD traffic officer wearing personal protective equipment stands at a barricade after the city closed down a section of Bushwick Avenue after Brooklyn had the second highest cases in New York City

A Hasidic Jewish community modifies Shabbat (sabbath) services after their synagogue is closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic in Williamsburg where over 50 percent of patients are testing positive

Mainly empty shelves in the cold/flu section, amid fears of the global growth of coronavirus cases, are seen in a Rite Aid store in Greenpoint, one of the red zones in a map breaking down coronavirus cases by neighborhood in NYC

People wearing surgical masks shop in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood, which is a red zone for positive cases

Most other Bronx neighborhoods, such as Northeast Bronx, Fordham-Bronx Park, Pelham-Throgs Neck, and Crotona-Tremont, are at just under 50 percent of positive cases.  

Ever neighborhood in Manhattan has over 30 percent positive cases in patients tested by Thursday but is seeing lower percentage rates than the outer boroughs. The majority of neighborhoods including the Upper East Side, Upper West Side and East Harlem are in the lower percentage band. 

Higher percentage of positive cases, between 40.85 percent and 46.34 percent are seen in Chelsea-Clinton, Washington Heights-Inwood and Central Harlem-Morningside Heights. 

 While Staten Island is the second least hit borough, most neighborhoods are still seeing over 40 percent of patients receive positive results. Port Richmond is the only neighborhood reporting less than 40 percent while Stapleton-St George, Willowbrook and South Beach-Tottenville are between 40 and 46 percent. 

A coronavirus patient is transferred from Elmhurst General Hospital in Queens to another hospital with more room as this hospital is overflowing with patients. City officials and healthcare workers say that the city is at a crisis point

EMTs load a patient into an ambulance as health workers continued to test people for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outside the Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn on Friday

Across the city, sirens wailed late into the night Friday as ambulance crews raced through empty streets from one call to the next. Medical emergency calls were up 40 percent to about 6,500 a day, shattering historical records and leading to up to 170 callers being put on hold at a time, according to EMS union officials.

FDNY officials are strongly urging New Yorkers to call 911 only if they are having urgent emergencies, such as heart troubles or problems breathing. ‘Please allow first responders to assist those most in need. Only call 911 if you need help right away,’ the department said in a statement.

New York hospitals could use LOTTERIES for ventilators in an extreme shortage

There is no national protocol for rationing ventilators and each state has its own

In New York, ethical guidance calls for lottery if there’s equal chance of recovery   

The state’s guidelines say that in a pandemic, scarce resources should be devoted to the patients who are most likely to be saved

If patients are in the same condition, the decision comes down to the luck of the draw

The panel decided this was better than a first-come, first-serve basis which could work against lower-income communities who do not have the same access to reliable transportation

The New York guidelines are not binding

Hospitals there are already forming their own ethics panels to determine how to ration care 

Inside the city’s hospitals, stretched to their limits by the crisis, healthcare workers faced unspeakable scenes of suffering and death.

‘Hell. Biblical. I kid you not. People come in, they get intubated, they die, the cycle repeats,’ said Dr Steve Kassapidis of Mount Sinai Queens, in an interview with Sky News. ‘9/11 was nothing compared to this, we were open waiting for patients to come who never came. Now they just keep coming.’  

‘The hospitals look like a war zone,’ Dr Emad Youssef of Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn told CBS News. ‘People lining up out of the hallway, through the EMS bay, through the ambulance bay, with masks on themselves, with oxygen on their nose.’  

Doctors and nurses across the city report increasing shortages of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gowns and ventilators — though city and hospital officials are denying the problem. 

In New York, the state’s ethical guidelines for allocating ventilators in a pandemic call for devoting scarce resources to the patients who are most likely to be saved.

However, the New York report concluded that in the rare case when multiple patients are equally likely to recover, but there are limited resources to help them, hospitals should ‘utilize “random selection” (e.g., lottery) methods.’

The panel concluded that a lottery was more equitable than treating people on a first-come, first-serve basis, which could disadvantage ‘those who are of lower socio-economic means who may not have access to information about the pandemic or to reliable transportation, or minority populations who might initially avoid going to a hospital because of distrust of the health care system.’

The New York guidelines are not binding, and hospitals there are already forming their own ethics panels to determine how to ration care in the event of a critical shortage — a scene that has already played out tragically in Italy.

In contrast to the desperate conditions in hospitals, the streets were eerily empty. Landmarks including the Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square were deserted on Friday, a warm spring day that would normally see them teeming. 

At a press conference on Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he believes the city’s strained healthcare system has the personnel and supplies to make it through next week, but beyond that is uncertain. 

‘After next Sunday, April 5, is when I get very, very worried about everything we’re gonna need,’ he said, saying that an infusion of medical staff and equipment was needed to stave off disaster. 

‘I’ve put down that marker to the White House, that that is a decisive moment for the city of New York,’ he said, saying the city urgently needs additional federal and military support, as well as at least 15,000 ventilators.

‘We need to make sure we can get to that day and face the week after that, and the week after that as well,’ de Blasio said. ‘Right now we’re not there.’

‘I think people need to be ready for battle, and the hard truth helps them gird themselves for what’s ahead,’ he continued.

Brooklyn Bridge is nearly empty of foot and auto traffic on Friday after the first week of mandatory social distancing

FDR Drive in Manhattan is quiet during the evening rush hour, as cases of coronavirus continue to explode in the city

The streets of the Lower East Side, Manhattan, are empty during the evening rush hour on Friday

Bus service continued to run at reduced capacity on Friday in Manhattan. On this bus, riders are told to enter in the rear doors and a chain prevents them from getting too close to the driver

De Blasio said that additional staffers had been deployed to Elmhurst hospital in Queens, the city’s hardest hit facility, which recorded 13 deaths in 24 hours earlier this week. 

At the Gerard J. Neufeld funeral home in Elmhurst, the caskets are now usually closed, and funerals are sparsely attended, if at all. 

‘Unfortunately, the families don’t necessarily get the closure that they want,’ Neufeld said. ‘Some have looked for services here, but we have to limit it to, say, an hour or two, really no more than 10 or 12 people. We try to only have one service on at a time so that you don’t spread it even more.’ 

A patient is wheeled into the trauma center at the Elmhurst Hospital Center where testing and treatment for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is taking place in Queens on Friday

William Samuels delivers caskets to the Gerard Neufeld Funeral Home on Friday in Queens. The funeral home in New York City has seen a steady stream of people who have died from coronavirus

Fears of exposure linger even after death, with family members opting for closed caskets.

‘It doesn’t necessarily provide them the closure that they’re looking for,’ Joseph Neufeld Jr told the AP. ‘They want to see their mother or their grandmother or dad one last time. But they also are afraid. … They end up just having a closed casket, which they otherwise wouldn’t normally do. So it’s just it’s upsetting to them that they don’t get to see their loved one one last time.’

The city is now making plans for the worse case scenario. The massive Javits Center has been converted into a field hospital by the Army Corps of Engineers, and on Saturday the USNS Comfort hospital ship is due to depart for New York Harbor.

Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, USACE Commanding General and 54th U.S. Army Chief of Engineers, surveys the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, where USACE has built a 1,000-bed field hospital

Makeshift hospital rooms stretch out along the floor at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York on Friday

Workers are in a desperate rush to dredge New York’s Pier 90 as the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, which is prepared to assist overwhelmed medical staff, is scheduled to dock Saturday

As it has across the nation, the crisis has wreaked havoc on the city’s economy. In New York state, unemployment claims have risen 520 percent in the last week. Many of those out of work haven’t been able to file yet, with the state’s website crashed and phone lines flooded for over a week.

On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package that will result in individual checks being sent to Americans, loans going to small businesses and aid for industries hard hit by the coronavirus.

‘We got hit by the invisible enemy and we got hit hard,’ President Trump said during the signing ceremony at the Oval Office. ‘I want to thank Republicans and Democrats for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first.’ 

At his press conference, de Blasio said that trying to promote economic recovery before controlling the pandemic and preventing a healthcare system collapse was ‘putting the cart before the horse.’

‘Recovery only comes when people are whole; they are safe. When we’re a functioning nation again. That’s when we go into recovery,’ he said.

America soars past 100,000 coronavirus cases as NYC fights ‘catastrophe’: One New Yorker dies every 17 minutes and 911 calls hit historic highs amid fears hospitals could collapse in nine days as the Big Apple’s death toll hits 450

The number of coronavirus cases in the United States has soared past 100,000 cases, and the situation in New York City has become increasingly dire as cases continue to explode, with the healthcare system threatened with imminent collapse.

Across the city, sirens wailed late into the night Friday as ambulance crews raced through empty streets from one call to the next. Medical emergency calls were up 40 percent to about 6,500 a day, shattering historical records and leading to up to 170 callers being put on hold at a time, according to EMS union officials.

FDNY officials are strongly urging New Yorkers to call 911 only if they are having urgent emergencies, such as heart troubles or problems breathing. ‘Please allow first responders to assist those most in need. Only call 911 if you need help right away,’ the department said in a statement.

On both Thursday and Friday, another 85 people died of the virus here, or an average of one New Yorker every 17 minutes. The city’s death toll is now 450, and there are 26,697 confirmed cases.

Armed military personnel and NYC Medical Examiner’s Office set up white tents and refrigeration trucks for a makeshift morgue outside Bellevue hospital Wednesday. Queens in the worst hit of New York City’s boroughs

A medical worker directs a patient to enter a COVID-19 testing site at Elmhurst Hospital Center, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in New York where a surge in cases is beginning to overwhelm hospitals and the death toll rises to 450

An FDNY medical worker wears personal protective equipment outside a COVID-19 testing site at Elmhurst Hospital Center, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo sounded his most dire warning yet about the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, saying the infection rate in New York is accelerating and could be as close as two weeks away from crisis

Inside the city’s hospitals, stretched to their limits by the crisis, healthcare workers faced unspeakable scenes of suffering and death.

‘Hell. Biblical. I kid you not. People come in, they get intubated, they die, the cycle repeats,’ said Dr Steve Kassapidis of Mount Sinai Queens, in an interview with Sky News. ‘9/11 was nothing compared to this, we were open waiting for patients to come who never came. Now they just keep coming.’

‘The hospitals look like a war zone,’ Dr Emad Youssef of Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn told CBS News. ‘People lining up out of the hallway, through the EMS bay, through the ambulance bay, with masks on themselves, with oxygen on their nose.’

Doctors and nurses across the city report increasing shortages of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gowns — though city and hospital officials are denying the problem.

In contrast to the desperate conditions in hospitals, the streets were eerily empty. Landmarks including the Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square were deserted on Friday, a warm spring day that would normally see them teeming.

A spokesperson with the hospital described the number of deaths as being ‘consistent with the number of ICU patients being treated there’. Long lines have been forming extensively around the facility

Roughly 8,248 people in Queens have tested positive for the coronavirus as of early Saturday morning 

At a press conference on Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he believes the city’s strained healthcare system has the personnel and supplies to make it through next week, but beyond that is uncertain.

‘After next Sunday, April 5, is when I get very, very worried about everything we’re gonna need,’ he said, saying that an infusion of medical staff and equipment was needed to stave off disaster.

‘I’ve put down that marker to the White House, that that is a decisive moment for the city of New York,’ he said, saying the city urgently needs additional federal and military support, as well as at least 15,000 ventilators.

‘We need to make sure we can get to that day and face the week after that, and the week after that as well,’ de Blasio said. ‘Right now we’re not there.’

‘I think people need to be ready for battle, and the hard truth helps them gird themselves for what’s ahead,’ he continued.

De Blasio said that additional staffers had been deployed to Elmhurst hospital in Queens, the city’s hardest hit facility, which recorded 13 deaths in 24 hours earlier this week.

Of the five boroughs, Queens is now the epicenter of the epicenter, with 8,214 cases, a one-day increase of 32 percent.

Brooklyn, the most populous borough, has 6,750 cases, up 26 percent from Thursday.

The Bronx has 4,655 cases and Manhattan has 4,478 cases, both increases of 18 percent. Staten Island was up 6 percent, at 1,440 cases.

America braces for ‘acceleration phase’: Experts turn to the new hotspots across the US which could turn into the next NYC 

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in America exceeds 100,000, a number of major cities are emerging as worrying potential hotspots.

While New York remained the worst hit city in the U.S., Americans braced for worsening conditions elsewhere, with worrisome infection numbers being reported in New Orleans, Chicago and Boston. 

Dr. John Brooks of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that Americans remained ‘in the acceleration phase’ of the pandemic and that all corners of the country were at risk.

‘There is no geographic part of the United States that is spared from this,’ he said.

Detroit: Examination tents are setup at the Michigan State Fairgrounds on Friday in Detroit, where the city is preparing for coronavirus drive up testing

In the nation’s second-largest city, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said cases were spiking, putting the Southern California region on track to match New York City’s infection figures in the next five days.

The mayor spoke as he and California’s governor, who ordered all coronavirus-related evictions banned through May 31, toured a newly arrived naval hospital ship equipped with 1,000 patient beds at the Port of Los Angeles. Its sister vessel is to be deployed to New York Harbor in the near future.

At the Riverside County Fairground east of Los Angeles, California National Guard troops were setting up a 125-bed medical station to serve residents of the Coachella Valley, an area teeming with elderly retirees considered especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

Outside of New York City, Seattle has the highest number of confirmed cases, with 2,747. 

The Seattle metro area was the earliest hotspot in the U.S., and the number of cases has continued to grow there at an alarming rate.

The next-largest outbreaks are Detroit (2,622 cases), Boston (2,227 cases) and Chicago (1,862 cases).

One emergency room doctor in Michigan, an emerging epicenter of the pandemic, said he was using one paper face mask for an entire shift due to a shortage and that hospitals in the Detroit area would soon run out of ventilators.

‘We have hospital systems here in the Detroit area in Michigan who are getting to the end of their supply of ventilators and have to start telling families that they can’t save their loved ones because they don’t have enough equipment,’ the physician, Dr. Rob Davidson, said in a video posted on Twitter.

Boston: Cars are gestured forward as medical personnel from AFC Urgent Care perform Covid-19 testing in the parking lot of their location in North Andover, Massachusetts on Friday

The U.S. military is watching coronavirus infection trends in Chicago, Michigan, Florida and Louisiana with concern. 

Air Force General John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the military was doing its own analysis as well as looking at data on infections compiled elsewhere in the government.

‘There’s a certain number of places where we have concerns and they’re: Chicago, Michigan, Florida, Louisiana,’ Hyten told a group of reporters, when asked where field hospitals could head next.

‘Those are the areas that we’re looking at and trying to figure out where to go next.’

The Army Corps of Engineers said on Friday it was aiming to provide facilities for 3,000 people with the coronavirus at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center by April 24 for about $75 million.

Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, the Corps’ commander, said the Corps was looking at potentially converting 114 facilities in the United States into hospitals.

Asked about Hyten’s remarks, Semonite said he continued to be concerned about Michigan, Florida and Louisiana and had spoken with the governor of Louisiana. He said there could be a high demand for medical resources in Florida because of the aging population.

Louisiana has seen the fastest growth of new cases anywhere in the world, which local officials say may be due to last month’s crowded Mardi Gras celebrations. 

Sophia Thomas, a nurse practitioner at DePaul Community Health Center in New Orleans, said the numbers of coronavirus patients ‘have been staggering.’

‘We are truly a hotbed of COVID-19 here in New Orleans,’ she said, adding that her hospital was trying to cope in part by shifting some patients to ‘telehealth’ services that allow them to be evaluated from home.

‘We are not through this. We´re not even halfway through this,’ said Joseph Kanter of the Louisiana Department of Health, which has recorded more than 2,700 cases, more than five times what it had a week ago. 

The United States became the first country to surpass 100,000 infections on Friday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.  

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Lifestyle

How do I get the new £2,500 a month self-employed coronavirus grant and who does it help? – The Sun

BRITAIN'S five million self-employed workers will be entitled to grants to cover disruption to their business cause by the coronavirus outbreak.

Grants of up to 80 per cent of profits lost because of the virus will be available from June.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the "unprecedented" bailout package last night for Britain’s self-employed workers.

Many workers, including hairdressers, chefs, taxi drivers and childcare providers have either lost their entire income or seen it dramatically reduced since the start of the outbreak.

These people may now be given a Government grant. Here we explain who can get one and how to get one.

How much money is available?

The grants being made available will be calculated by looking at average monthly profits from the last three years of up to £2,500 a month.

Average monthly payouts are thought to be about £940 each per month.

For example, a freelancer with average trading profits of £18,000 a year over the last three years would be able to get £1,200 per month.

If a worker has been self employed for less than three years, the calculation will be based on the tax returns they have made.

The Government has said the grants are taxable so it's likely those who receive one will need to declare them on their next tax return, if their salary has returned to normal by then, although the exact details are yet to be announced.

Who qualifies for the self-employed grants?

Anyone who is self employed and has been financially affected by the pandemic should be eligible for one of the grants – but there are some exceptions.

They are only available to workers who have the majority of their income from self-employment.

Those who have not yet filed a tax return, because they haven't been self-employed for long, are also excluded from the scheme.

It’s also only available to those with profits of up to £50,000.

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How can I apply for a grant?

Grants aren’t available to all self-employed workers automatically, they’re only for those who have been adversely affected by the pandemic, who during this time had at least half of their work coming from self-employment.

You won't apply for them, HMRC is contacting workers directly to tell them if they are eligible.

It will ask them to fill out a form and the money will be paid directly into their bank accounts.

When will the money be paid?

The grants will not be available until the first week of June but payments will be backdated until March 1.

What about workers who pay themselves a salary?

Workers who pay themselves a salary and dividends through their own company won’t be covered by this.

If they operate PAYE schemes they can apply to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for help.

Can self-employed workers apply for Universal Credit?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit if you have lost income because of the virus outbreak.

For those unable to claim the new grants, this may be the only option if you're looking for help with your income.

Universal Credit is the controversial new welfare system which replaced six benefits – including working tax credit and housing benefit – with one monthly payment.

The amount of money you can get, known as the standard allowance, usually ranges between £251.77 and £498.89 depending on your age and whether or not you're part of a couple.

But it will be increased to £1,040 on April 6 for new and existing claimants.

At the moment there is a five-week wait until the money is paid for Universal Credit.

There are also long waiting times for those calling the helpline, although the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said its recruiting more workers to deal with the demand.

Can self-employed workers apply for sick pay?

To allow more people to access statutory sick pay, which is at least £94.25 a week, the chancellor has also suspended the self-employed Universal Credit minimum income floor for everyone affected by the virus.

The Universal Credit minimum income floor applies to those who've been self-employed for more than a year.

It's the amount you're thought to earn each month, and is used to work out how much Universal Credit you get on top of your earnings.

If you earn below this level in any month, you are treated as earning the minimum income floor.

If you are earning more than the minimum income floor, your actual earnings are taken into account instead.

Those off work from coronavirus may also be able to get help with their income loss by signing up to contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) either instead or at the same time as getting Universal Credit.

To be eligible, you need to have worked as an employee or been self-employed and paid enough National Insurance contributions in the past two to three years.

What else is being offered to self-employed workers?

For those late paying their tax return, due at the end of January, you now have four weeks in order to complete and pay this.

The Government has also extended payments due in July 2020 under self assessment to January 2021.

VAT payments have also been delayed from now until June 30, although this only relates to workers who earn more than £85,000.

The Government has launched a scheme to help businesses in England (the rules are different elsewhere) with loans and grants but whether you qualify if you're self-employed depends on whether you're also a small business.

Under this, small businesses that already pay little or no business rates may qualify for a one-off grant of £10,000.

Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible.

Vouchers are available for children who usually get free school meals for £15 a week.

Lots of high street shops have now closed their online trading because of the virus including Next.

We have a full list of the shops that are still open for essential shopping.

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TV and Movies

The New 'Gossip Girl' Cast is Here

Everything old is new again, and that goes as much for Friends as it does for Gossip Girl. HBO Max will be home to both of these shows, with the new cast ready to go. 

What sets Friends and Gossip Girl apart is that the Friends reunion that will eventually air is a retrospective. The new Gossip Girl is actually an honest to goodness reboot of the CW’s Gossip Girl that made the likes of Blake Lively and Leighton Meester famous. Now, an almost entirely new cast aims to make its mark. 

What happened to the old Gossip Girl?

The original Gossip Girl ran on the CW for six seasons from 2007 to 2012. The show helped cement the CW as the network geared toward the youth audience, an image that remains today with everything from the Arrowverse superhero shows to saucy shows like Riverdale.

The show centered around glitzy teens and 20-somethings living on Manhattan’s ritzy Upper East Side. Lively led the cast as Serena van der Woodsen, who was returning to the Big Apple after a mysterious absence. She hooks up with former friend Blair Waldorf (Meester), her mother Lily (Kelly Rutherford) and Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgely). 

While Gossip Girl’s ratings were never top-tier, the show still managed to hit the zeitgeist, with the New York Times calling it “the first [show] to have been conceived, in part, as a fashion marketing vehicle” and was particularly big with the Teen Choice Awards crowd, winning more than a dozen of those trophies. 

What’s the new Gossip Girl about? 

The HBO Max sequel show takes place in the same setting but follows different characters. According to Deadline, the cast includes Whitney Peak (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Eli Brown (Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists), Johnathan Fernandez (Lethal Weapon), Thomas Doherty (Legacies) and Broadway actor Jason Gotay. One of the leads who is the only member of the cast with a character description is Emily Alyn Lind. 

The trade outlet reports that “the prestige series will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years.” The original Gossip Girl ended shortly after the first wave of social media – Facebook, Instagram, et al – had a major impact on society.

Screen Rant asks who the new equivalent of Blake Lively’s character will be, and guesses are that it will be Lind, whose credits include The Babysitter and Doctor Sleep. Her character is coming out of a long-term relationship and she’s curious to see what else is out there, and the show will surely provide more than one answer. 

What ties the old and the new shows together? 

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Behind the scenes, the show is being produced by the same team of producers that was behind the original show: Joshua Safran, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage. There will be another familiar face on the show, although we won’t actually see her face. That’s Kristen Bell, who narrated the original Gossip Girl and will fill the same function for the reboot.

Bell said of the original gig: “I called Dawn Ostroff — who was the head of The CW at the time — and said, ‘Hey, I did so much narration on Veronica Mars, can I narrate this show? And she said, ‘Hey, that’s a very good idea.’ They knew I had a younger voice, they liked me and they knew I’d show up for work, and I guess that was all I really needed. It was so clear to me how sassy and catty she needed to be.”

“Kristen Bell has always been and will always be the voice of Gossip Girl,”  the producers said in a statement 

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