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Lifestyle

Duke of Sussex is probably 'feeling a bit helpless' in LA, says expert

Prince Harry will feel like a ‘duck out of water’ and could be seen as ‘Meghan’s plus-one’ as he struggles to establish himself in LA, former royal editor claims

  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex moved from Canada to Los Angeles last month
  • Duncan Larcombe, a former royal editor, has revealed his views on the move 
  • He thinks the Duke of Sussex will struggle to find his own role in Los Angeles
  • While Meghan will be welcomed back Harry may simply become her ‘plus one’ 

Prince Harry will be feeling ‘helpless’ and like a ‘duck out of water’ as he tries to establish himself in Los Angeles, a former royal editor has claimed. 

Duncan Larcombe, a journalist and author of Prince Harry: The Inside Story, told how the prince, 35, could be seen as Meghan Markle’s ‘plus one’ as he tries to forge his own path in his wife’s hometown. 

Speaking to Closer, Mr Larcombe added that Harry might be feeling ‘helpless’ not being able to do more for his family as they try to boost the nation’s morale during the coronavirus lockdown.

Duncan Larcombe, a former royal editor, revealed Harry is probably ‘feeling a bit helpless’ as he and Meghan start their new life in the former actress’ home town. Pictured in October 2018

He said: ‘Harry didn’t go to university and he hasn’t had much work experience other than being in the army and charity work.

‘Being in Hollywood is likely to make him feel like a duck out of water, as it will be tricky for him to find a suitable role.’

He added: ‘I suspect he will be missing home more than ever and feeling a bit helpless,’referring to the efforts other members of the British royal family have been making to raise morale amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The couple left their Canadian bolthole and took a private jet to Los Angeles with their eleven-month-old son just before non-essential travel between the two countries was suspended last month because of the coronavirus pandemic.   

It later emerged that tax from earning money and keeping up residence in both places was a motivating factor for the move.

Mr Larcombe told Closer magazine he doesn’t think Harry, who has only ever worked in the army and with charities, will cope well with the lifestyle change. Pictured in London last month

The couple had wanted to be based in a Commonwealth like Canada where they could still perform royal duties while earning their own income. 

But issues of Meghan’s passport status meant she would have to pay a large amount on tax on earnings, The Sun reported.

A source said: ‘They were told getting work visas in Canada would be difficult and because Meghan remains a US citizen, so is taxed on her worldwide income, she would end up paying in the US and Canada.

It is believed the Duchess would have to report self-employment income from while also paying a 15.3 per cent levy to cover taxes on social security and medicare.

She would also have to make disclosure to the US’ Internal Revenue Service on any foreign bank accounts. 

The couple took a private jet to Los Angeles, California with their eleven-month-old son Archie (pictured) just before non-essential travel between the two countries was suspended

The move comes as British taxpayers still face having to pick up the estimated £5 million security bill to provide round-the-clock protection.

While Harry has a team of up to nine royal protection officers, under US law they are not allowed to carry guns.

The US State Department would normally assign Harry and Meghan armed protection for the duration of his stay in California.

But as he is no longer considered an ‘international protected person’ having quit as a working member of the royal family, they are under no obligation to provide armed guards.  

The British taxpayer picks up the bill for the Met Police officers from the royal protection squad which is estimated upwards of £5m a year.

Royal experts do not believe Harry will turn to a private security firm.   

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World News

Trump claims he 'probably' was distracted by impeachment during virus

‘I’m a positive person. I want to give people hope.’ Donald Trump is challenged on why he took so long to sound alarm on coronavirus as he admits 100,000 will die – and says impeachment made NO difference to response

  • President Donald Trump said he wanted to be a ‘cheerleader for the country’ when asked about prior upbeat statements about the coronavirus 
  •  Also said ‘I don’t think I would have done any better had I not been impeached’
  • Trump said it ‘probably’ diverted his attention somewhat 
  • Sen. Mitch McConnell said impeachment ‘diverted’ attention of the government 
  • Trump said Jan. 22 ‘we have it totally under control’ in reference to the virus
  • He was acquitted on Feb. 5 of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress
  • Dr. Tony Fauci warned Americans should be prepared for 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus 
  • ‘The answer is yes – as sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it’
  •  The White House projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. if current social distancing guidelines are maintained 
  • ‘This is going to be a very painful, a very, very painful two weeks,’ Trump said 
  • The U.S. death toll stands at 3,669 as of late Tuesday afternoon   
  • Worldwide, more than 800,000 people have been infected and 40,000 died  
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

President Donald Trump defended his earlier upbeat statements about the coronavirus as the outbreak began its march across the globe early this year, explaining during a sober briefing that he tries to be a ‘cheerleader’ for the country.

He also acknowledged that he was ‘probably’ distracted by the Democratic impeachment, which culminated in his Senate trial in early February when the virus was raging and governments may have missed a window to prepare hospitals and get needed equipment. 

But the president said he wouldn’t have done any better even if he hadn’t faced an impeachment he called a ‘hoax.’

‘I want to be positive. I don’t want to be negative. I’m a positive person,’ the president said at the briefing, where his team presented dire model under a worst-case scenarios and the president predicted 100,000 people may die even if Americans heed urgings to stay home and avoid spreading the disease. 

‘I don’t think I would have acted any differently or any faster,’ President Trump said when asked by DailyMail.com if impeachment diverted his attention

‘I’m a cheerleader for the country,’ Trump said, pressed on why he did not share more bad news.

Trump also acknowledged that impeachment distracted his attention during the build-up, after DailyMail.com asked him about Sen. Mitch McConnell’s comment that it diverted the attention of the government – and whether it diverted his own.

‘I don’t like to think I did. I like to think I handled it very well but I guess it probably did. I got impeached, you know. I devoted a little time thinking about it, right? But think of it. It was a hoax, a total hoax,’ the president said.

‘You look at the reports that came out, it’s disgraceful what went on. It’s a total disgrace. They got caught in the act but you know what? We won’t talk about that now,’ Trump continued. 

‘Did it divert my attention? I think I’m getting A-pluses for the way I handled myself during the phony impeachment, okay? It was a hoax, but certainly I guess I thought of it, and I think I probably acted – I don’t think I would have done any better had I not been impeached.’  

‘Maybe it’s a tribute to me. I don’t think I would have acted any faster. But the Democrats … their whole life, their whole existence, their whole being was to try to get me out of office any way they can,’ Trump vented.

‘I don’t think I would have acted any differently or any faster,’ he said. 

Trump is trying to defend his prior statements on the coronavirus, even as his team tries to prepare the nation for a death toll and other impacts on the public and the nation’s medical system that are set to explode.  

‘They’re very sobering, yeah,’ Trump said of estimated deaths even amid preparations and stay-home orders by governors put in place to combat a virus scientists announced they had identified in China Dec. 31, 2019.

The administration released charts showing some of the possible outcomes, and re-branded their initial ’15 Days to Slow the Spread’ as ’30 Days to Slow the Spread,’ after the initial 15 ended Monday. 

‘When you see 100,000 people and that’s a minimum number … and they said it’s unlikely you’ll be able to attain that. Think of what would have happened if we didn’t do anything?’ Trump said.

‘I’m not about bad news. I want to give people hope,’ Trump said. He brought up people who he said were advocating ‘let it rip, let it ride’ and ‘do nothing’ that he says would have resulted in 2.2 million deaths.  

Most public health experts were urging action, not standing back, after the easily-transmitted coronavirus was discovered.  

Trump defended the administration’s response even as officials have acknowledged the U.S. does not have the equipment in place or hospital beds to deal with some of the worst-case scenarios being contemplated. Trump said close to 10,000 ventilators are in the U.S. stockpile. The feds have given out fewer than 7,000, and companies are rushing to produce more – while New York says it could need up to 40,000 of the life-saving machines. 

‘I think … our professionals, our military, our governors, our politicians have done an incredible job,’ he said of the coronavirus response. ‘But I don’t want to be a negative person,’ Trump said.

McConnell, who oversaw the Senate trial that did not include witnesses and resulted in Trump’s acquittal, raised the impeachment issue in an interview with conservative host Hugh Hewitt.

‘And it came up while we were tied down on the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything every day was all about impeachment,’ McConnell said.  

Trump was acquitted on Feb. 5 of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, after a trial without witnesses where House managers denounced his actions to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. The White House mounted a full defense, and impeachment became the subject of a series of tweets by the president. 

Trump said Jan. 22 in the midst of impeachment he was not worried about a pandemic. ‘No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s — going to be just fine,’ the president said. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says impeachment ‘diverted the attention’ of the government from the coronavirus. He was at the White House Friday when President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion bailout to help deal with the outbreak

The president also spoke about the growing toll of the virus in occasionally dark and personal terms. ‘Your friends are going to the hospital and you say how is he doing? Two days later and they say sir, he’s unconscious. Or he’s in a coma,’ Trump said.

Trump’s remarks on impeachment came as the nation’s top disease expert Dr. Tony Fauci warned on Tuesday that Americans should be prepared for 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

‘The answer is yes – as sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it,’ he said when asked about the six-figure mark during the daily White House press briefing. ‘Is it going to be that much? I hope not and I think the more we push on the mitigation the less likely to be that number but, being realistic, we need to prepare ourselves that is a possibility that that’s what we’ll see.’ 

The White House projected a range of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. if current social distancing guidelines are maintained, based on sophisticated disease modeling.

‘Whenever you’re having an effect, it’s not time to take your foot off the accelerator, and on the brake, but to just press it down on the accelerator,’ Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said of mitigation efforts. 

He said such efforts could also help damage any potential second wave of illness.

”We hope that doesn’t happen and that is why we are really pushing and why I was so emphatic about making sure we abide by those mitigation strategies,’ he said.

President Donald Trump said the prediction was ‘sobering’ and called efforts to spread the slow of the coronavirus ‘a matter of life and death.’

‘It’s absolutely critical for the American people to follow the guidelines for the next 30 days, it’s a matter of life and death, frankly,’ the president said.

‘I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going through a very tough few weeks. And, hopefully, as the experts have predicted is a lot of us are predicting having studied it so hard, going to start seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel and this is going to be a very painful, a very, very painful two weeks,’ he noted. 

It was a stark change in tone for President Trump who last week sounded a note of hope the crisis would be over in the next few weeks. Now his administration is preparing Americans for tougher times to come.  

Dr. Tony Fauci warned on Tuesday that Americans should be prepared for 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus

President Donald Trump said the prediction was ‘sobering’

The White House projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. if current social distancing guidelines are maintained

The original 15-day guidelines urged Americans to end social gatherings over the number of 10, work from home, suspend onsite learning at schools and order take out.

Trump’s announcement Sunday that those recommendations would be extended until April 30th was an abrupt reversal after he spent much of last week saying he’d like to see limitations lifted by Easter, which is April 12.  

Many states and local governments already have stiffer controls in place on mobility and gatherings.

But there were some glimmers of hope.

‘If all of the other states and all the other metro areas are able to hold that case number down, then it’s a very different picture,’ said Dr. Deborah Birx, who is coordinating the administration’s day-to-day response to the disease. 

‘We’re going to do everything we can to get it significantly below that,’ she said. 

Fauci agreed.

‘We don’t accept that number, that that’s what it’s going to be. We’re going to do everything we can to get that number even below that,’ he said.  

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,600 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.

At least 3,669 people in the US have died from the deadly virus, according to data collected by the John Hopkins University.

The global benchmark reports that 3,309 people have died from the virus in China, where the global pandemic originated. 

Fears that the U.S. is on track to become the new Italy, whose healthcare system has buckled under the weight of the pandemic, are fast becoming a reality.

Italy has recorded more deaths, with 12,428 as of Tuesday afternoon. However, the U.S. has far surpassed its number of confirmed cases, with the U.S. reaching 181,099 to Italy’s 105,792.

The mounting crisis hit close to home for New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo, who reported teary-eyed that his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, had tested positive for the virus.

The U.S. death toll has reached 3,906 and more than 189,000 people have been infected as of late Wednesday

China’s cases stand at 82,278 and at least 3,309 deaths have been reported

The governor pronounced the disaster unlike any other the city has weathered: ‘This is ongoing and the duration itself is debilitating and exhausting and depressing.’ 

New York was the nation’s deadliest hot spot, with about 1,550 deaths statewide, most of them in New York City, which braced for things to get much worse in the coming weeks. 

A 1,000-bed emergency hospital set up at the mammoth Javits Convention Center began taking non-coronavirus patients to help relieve the city’s overwhelmed health system. 

The number of coronavirus cases around the globe now stands at more than 846,000, with more than 41,000 dead

A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds that arrived on Monday was expected to begin accepting patients on Tuesday.

The indoor tennis center that is the site of the U.S. Open tournament is being turned into a hospital as well.

The city also worked to bring in 250 out-of-town ambulances and 500 paramedics to deal with a crush of emergency calls. 

The fire commissioner said ambulances are responding to double their normal daily total of 3,000 calls to 911. 

A five-day stretch last week was the busiest in the history of the city’s emergency services operation.

In addition, New York authorities sought to bring on more volunteer health care professionals and hoped to have them on board by Thursday. 

Nearly 80,000 former nurses, doctors and others are said to be stepping forward, and the governor said officials are doing background checks for disciplinary actions and otherwise making sure they are fit for duty.

As for Chris Cuomo, the 49-year-old TV newsman tweeted that he has suffered from fever, chills and shortness of breath and will be doing his shows from his basement, where he has quarantined himself.

He said he is worried about infecting his wife and children but added: ‘We will all beat this by being smart and tough and united!’

‘Luckily we caught it early enough,’ the governor said. ‘But it’s my family, it’s your family, it’s all of our families. But this virus is that insidious, and we must keep that all in mind.’ 

In the smoldering hot spot of Louisiana, the death toll climbed to 239. 

Louisiana and Michigan were running out of ventilators, despite promises by the White House of more equipment. 

Cuomo described the bidding for ventilators as like being ‘on eBay.’

Louisiana’s governor said the hard-hit New Orleans region is on track to run out of breathing machines by the weekend and hospital beds a week later. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks as the Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort arrives in Manhattan’s Pier 90

The hospital ship has been drafted in to help relieve the strain on local hospitals with its 1,000 beds and 1,200 personnel

The Trump administration has committed to sending 150 ventilators from the national stockpile, but the state hasn´t received an arrival date. 

Michigan said it needs 5,000 to 10,000 more.

Meanwhile, a senior military general said the Pentagon has not yet delivered any of the 2,000 ventilators it offered to the Department of Health and Human Services two weeks ago because HHS has asked it to wait while the agency determines where the devices should go.

In Florida, the Holland America cruise line pleaded with state officials to let two ships dock and carry off the sick and the dead. 

Dozens aboard have reported flu-like symptoms, and four people have died.

Customers stand on line outside Whole Foods Market located at the corner of West 125th Street and Malcom X Boulevard in Harlem, New York, on March 31 wearing masks

Health care workers test people at a coronavirus testing site setup by the Florida National Guard in the parking lot of the Hard Rock stadium on March 30

But Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Fox News: ‘We cannot afford to have people who are not even Floridians dumped into South Florida using up those valuable resources.’

As the crisis continues to hot up in the U.S., China reported just one new death from the coronavirus and 48 new cases, all of them from overseas.  

In Wuhan, people were ready to ‘revenge shop’ as the city that was once at the very center of the outbreak reopened for business.

However, Dr. Takeshi Kasai, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Western Pacific, cautioned that the risk in Asia and the Pacific is not gone.

‘This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard,’ Kasai said. 

Most of China’s 3,309 deaths were in Hubei province, in the outbreak epicenter Wuhan. 

A body wrapped in plastic is loaded onto a refrigerated container truck used as a temporary morgue at Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn

A hospital employee transfers a body on a forklift to a temporary mobile morgue, put in place due to lack of space at the hospital 

However, experts and politicians have cast doubt on the numbers coming out of China, and have even accused the country of lying and covering up key information during virtually every stage of its coronavirus response. 

Beijing initially tried to cover up the virus by punishing medics who discovered it, denying it could spread person-to-person and delaying a lockdown of affected regions – meaning early opportunities to control the spread were lost.

Then, once the virus began spreading, the Communist Party began censoring public information about it and spread disinformation overseas – including suggesting that US troops could have been the initial carriers.

Even now, prominent politicians have warned that infection and death totals being reported by the regime are likely to be wrong – with locals in the epicenter of Wuhan suggesting the true tolls could be ten times higher.

Chinese health officials admitted Tuesday that more than 1,500 cases of the virus involving asymptomatic people that had not been previously reported. 

Worldwide, more than 800,000 people have been infected and over 40,000 have died, according to the tally from Johns Hopkins University. 

Italy and Spain have been some of the hardest hit, accounting for half the deaths so far.

Italy reported that the infection rate appears to be leveling off and new cases could start declining, but that the crisis is far from over. 

Two cruise ships are anchored offshore past a lifeguard tower in Miami Beach

Neighbors line up for free food staples outside Santa Ana primary school in Asuncion, Paraguay, Tuesday, March 31, as people stay home from work amid the spread of the new coronavirus

Spain struggled to fend off the collapse of its hospital system. 

Vladimir Putin’s Russia moved to crack down on quarantine violations and ‘fake news’ about the outbreak. 

And China edged closer to normal as stores in the epicenter city of Wuhan began reopening. 

Figures on deaths and infections around the world are supplied by government health authorities and compiled by Johns Hopkins.

But the numbers are regarded with skepticism by public health experts because of different counting practices, a lack of testing in places, the numerous mild cases that have been missed, and perhaps government efforts to downplay the severity of the crisis.

For example, in Italy, where the death toll was put at about 12,400, the country’s emergency coordinator, Domenico Arcuri, acknowledged that officials don´t have a handle on how many people are dying at home or in nursing homes.

Still, there was a glimmer of hope there: Dr. Silvio Brusaferro, head of Italy’s institutes of health, said that three weeks into a nationwide lockdown, the hardest-hit country in Europe is seeing the rate of new infections level off.

‘The curve suggests we are at the plateau,’ he said. But ‘arriving at the plateau doesn’t mean we have conquered the peak and we´re done. It means now we should start to see the decline if we continue to place maximum attention on what we do every day.’

With the country’s health care system buckling under the pressure, a field hospital, built in just 10 days, was unveiled at the Milan fairgrounds.

‘We made a promise and we kept it,’ said the head of the project, former civil protection chief Guido Bertolaso, who ended up catching the virus while on the job and had to work from his hospital bed.

A woman takes a COVID-19 test at a quarantine hotel in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. China on Tuesday reported just one new death from the coronavirus and a few dozen new cases, claiming that all new cases came from overseas

In Russia, lawmakers approved harsher punishments, including prison sentences of several years, for violating quarantine rules and spreading misinformation. 

The chief doctor at Moscow´s top hospital for coronavirus patients said he tested positive, a week after shaking hands with Putin.

Spain reported more than 840 new deaths, pushing the toll above 8,000 and forcing Madrid to open a second temporary morgue after an ice rink pressed into service last week became overwhelmed.

Dozens of hotels across Spain have been turned into recovery rooms, and authorities are building field hospitals in sports centers, libraries and exhibition halls.

Israel´s Defense Ministry said it has converted a missile-production facility into an assembly line for ventilators.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia.

Among the few positive signs: In Britain, where the number of dead reached nearly 1,800, the medical director of the National Health Service’s operations in England said there is evidence that social distancing is working.

DO CHINA’S NUMBERS ADD UP? 

China has lied and covered up key information during virtually every stage of its coronavirus response – from the initial outbreak to the number of cases and deaths, and is still not telling the truth, observers, experts and politicians have warned.

Here, Mail Online analysis of Beijing’s actions lays bare the great cover-up of China’s numbers:

Infection total

China has reported a total of some 82,000 infections from coronavirus, claiming a domestic infection rate of zero for several days in a row recently – even as it eased lockdown restrictions in placed like Hubei.

But, by the country’s own admission, the virus is likely still spreading – via people who have few or no symptoms.

Beijing-based outlet Caixin reported that ‘a couple to over 10 cases of covert infections of the virus are being detected’ in China every day, despite not showing up in official data.

Meanwhile foreign governments have heaped scorn on China’s infection reporting cannot be trusted.

Marco Rubio, a prominent Republican senator and former presidential candidate from the US, tweeted that ‘we have NO IDEA how many cases China really has’ after the US infection total passed Beijing’s official figure.

‘Without any doubt it’s significantly more than what they admit to,’ he added.

Meanwhile the UK government has also cast doubt on China’s reporting, with Conservative minister and former Prime Ministerial candidate Michael Gove claiming the Communist Party could not be trusted.

‘Some of the reporting from China was not clear about the scale, the nature, the infectiousness of this [virus],’ he told the BBC.

Meanwhile sources told the Mail that China’s true infection total could be anything up to 40 times as high as reports had suggested. 

Death total

Doubt has also been cast on China’s reported death toll from the virus, which currently stands at around 3,300.

Locals in epicenter city Wuhan have been keeping an eye on funeral homes since lockdown restrictions were partly lifted, claiming they have been ‘working around the clock’ to dispose of bodies. 

Social media posts estimate that 3,500 urns are being handed out by crematoriums each day, while Caixin reports that one funeral home in the city placed an order for 5,000 urns.

Locals believe that efforts to dispose of the bodies began March 23 and city authorities have said the process will end on or around April 5.

That would mean roughly 42,000 urns handed out in that time frame, ten times the reported figure.

New York state coronavirus numbers soar by 9,298 to 75,795 and deaths rise by 332 to 1550 as Gov. Cuomo admits ‘no one knows’ when the crisis will be over 

New York state now has 75,795 cases of coronavirus – an increase of 9,298 since Monday – and 1550 have died, Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed on Tuesday as he admitted ‘no one knows’ when the pandemic will end and said the entire country ‘underestimated it’.

Overnight, 18,000 people were tested in the state of New York. To date, there have been 200,000 tests. 

The death toll across the state of New York rose by 332 overnight and is not yet showing signs of slowing down. The new numbers for how many new cases and new deaths there are in New York City have not yet been given. 

Speaking at a wide-ranging press conference on Tuesday, Gov. Cuomo told of how he was unifying the state’s private and public healthcare systems to operate as one before the pandemic ‘apex’ in the state hits.

He admitted he does not know when it will come and that data projections he looks at suggest it could happen anytime between seven and 21 days from now.  

Gov. Cuomo told people to settle in for a longer period of crisis than they were anticipating and said ‘we still have to come back down the other side of the mountain’ even after the peak happens. 

Cuomo said the data is uneven and ‘bouncing’ so where it appears the death rates may be slowing, they are not yet.

‘It’s an imperfect reporting mechanism but the basic line is still up. We’re still going up,’ he said, adding that he was speaking to every expert he could find to rely on their projections and not ‘opine’ over what may happen.

Gov. Cuomo told people to settle in for a longer period of crisis than they were anticipating and said ‘we still have to come back down the other side of the mountain’ even after the peak happens

He said he was ‘tired’ of being ‘behind’ the virus, adding: ‘We’ve been behind this virus from day one. The virus was in China. Unless we assume some immune system variation with Asian people, it was coming here. You don’t win playing catch up. We have to get ahead of it.’

He also said it was foolish to ‘underestimate your opponent’, continuing: ‘We underestimated this virus. It’s more powerful and dangerous than we anticipated.’

Cuomo said the ‘next battle’ will be the apex of cases and deaths but he does not know when it will hit. 

‘When is the apex? That is the $65,000 question. We have literally 5 models that we look at. It’s true to say almost no two are the same. The range on the apex is somewhere between seven to 21 days,’ he said.

Cuomo’s strategy to tackle the virus includes:

  • Centralizing the hospital system to force public and private hospitals to share resources including staff
  • First, staff from upstate hospitals that are not hard hit will be sent to New York City
  • New York City hospitals, both public and private, will redistribute patients to spread them evenly across the city until each hospital reaches its capacity (all have increased their capacities by at least 50 percent
  • Then, patients will be distributed from New York City to quieter hospitals upstate or further afield in the state
  • Field hospitals will be used to alleviate the strain on them
  • Healthcare workers from out of state will also be used to provide relief for ‘exhausted’ and ‘overwhelmed’ doctors and nurses
  • He has bought 17,000 ventilators from China for $25,000 each, a total of $425million

Central to Cuomo’s plan is to centralize the hospital systems to do away with the notion of public and private healthcare and make everyone share everything.

He said he had a tense meeting on Monday with the leaders of private hospitals which ordinarily profit from a surge in patients and that he nearly ‘didn’t make it out’ of it because they were so angry at what he was instructing.

‘I don’t care which link breaks in the chain – the chain is still broken. It doesn’t matter which hospital, which link – any link breaks, the chain breaks.

‘The healthcare system is a chain. It breaks anywhere, it breaks everywhere. That has to be our mentality,’ he said.

Since issuing a call to action for retired nurses and doctors to come back to work, 78,000 people have volunteered.

‘We have now, a few days ago we put out to ask retirees, we have now 78,000 people who said they would help; God bless the state of NY and god bless humanity,’ he said.

He is urging other states to help him now so that he can help them later.

‘It’s unity. Let’s help each other. New York needs help now. This is going to be a rolling wave across the country; New York then Detroit then New Orleans then California

‘If we were smart as a nation – come help us in New York, get the experience and the training here, then let’s all go help the next place then the next place then the next place.

‘That would be a smart national way of doing this.’

Cuomo also fumed over the ‘bidding war’ that has been created by the federal government for ventilators. He said that he had bought 17,000 ventilators from China for $25,000 each, a total of $425million, but that he was having to compete against every other state for them and the government.

‘Look at the bizarre situation we wound up in; every state does its own purchasing, trying to buy the same commodity.

‘The same exact item. So you have 50 states competing to buy the same item, bidding up each other, and competing against each other – it’s like being on eBay with 50 other states, bidding on a ventilator,’ he said.  

Several states complain of a shortage of tests with the Republican governor of Maryland slamming Trump’s denial of the problem 

The governor of Maryland has slammed President Donald Trump’s denial that there is any shortage of coronavirus test kits.

In a leaked recording of a conference call with several governors, Trump claimed that he hasn’t had a complaint about testing shortages in ‘weeks’.

Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican who chairs the National Governors Association, responded to Trump’s remarks in an interview with NPR on Tuesday, saying: ‘Yeah, that’s just not true.’

‘I know that they’ve taken some steps to create new tests, but they’re not actually produced and distributed out to the states. So it’s an aspirational thing,’ Hogan continued. 

He added that the Trump administration has some new testing measures ‘in the works,’ but for now ‘no state has enough testing.’

Hogan said he believes others in the administration are ‘talking about the facts.’

‘We’re listening to the smart team,’ said Hogan, mentioning Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the White House coronavirus task force, including doctors Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci.

Trump’s controversial remarks came during an hour-long phone meeting where he was joined by Birx, Pence, Fauci, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia and FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor.

Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican who chairs the National Governors Association, responded to Trump’s remarks on Tuesday, saying: ‘Yeah, that’s just not true’

In a leaked  he pushed back when asked by rural state governors for help.

‘I could give four or five examples over the last week where we have supply orders, and they’ve subsequently been cancelled, and they’re canceled in part because what our suppliers are saying is that federal resources are requesting it and trumping that,’ Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana, a Democrat, said in the leaked call. 

‘So we’re trying to shift the supplies to really isolate that and do contact tracing, but we don’t even have enough supplies to do the testing.’ 

Trump replied boasting about how the US has done more testing than any other country. He then bragged about a new four-minute test being released. 

‘I haven’t heard about testing in weeks,’ Trump responded. ‘We’ve tested more now than any nation in the world. We’ve got these great tests and we’ll come out with another one tomorrow that’s, you know, almost instantaneous testing. But I haven’t heard anything about testing being a problem.’

Speaking about the new kits, Admiral Brett Giroir, head of the Public Health Service, chimed in that each state would soon be getting at least 15 of them.

‘We’re going to get that to your state lab as soon as possible,’ Giroir added.

New Mexico Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham also communicated the need for more tests after ‘incredible spikes’ in infection rates that she warned could ‘wipe out tribal nations’. 

‘The rate of infection, at least on the New Mexico side — although we’ve got several Arizona residents in our hospitals — we’re seeing a much higher hospital rate, a much younger hospital rate, a much quicker go-right-to-the-vent rate for this population,’ Grisham told Trump. ‘And we’re seeing doubling in every day-and-a-half.’ 

Trump simply replied: Wow, that’s something.’

Several governors complained that if their state did not get the testing and personal protective equipment needed soon, their areas could be the next epicenters of the outbreak that has ravaged the US.

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Lifestyle

I Probably Have COVID-19. I Wish I Could Know For Sure.

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The author.

On Tuesday, my housemate Laura heard she’d tested positive for COVID-19. I was sitting with her girlfriend, Caroline, at the dining room table when Laura, over on the couch, got the call. We didn’t try to hide our eavesdropping. Afterward, we all stared at each other for a moment, then proceeded to call and message everyone we know with what for us still feels like relatively remarkable news: We now had firsthand experience with a confirmed case of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Laura started exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 a little over two weeks ago: coughing and an on-again, off-again low-grade fever. Since then, my Brooklyn household of twentysomethings (Laura, Caroline, our friend Jackie, and me) have pretty much conducted ourselves as if we’d already been infected, going out only for walks or the occasional grocery store run. The disease is highly contagious, so by the time Laura got her first fever, we assumed that it was already too late for the rest of us to quarantine ourselves in different parts of the apartment; her doctor didn’t even suggest it. (Mind you, this was the week of March 10 — a lifetime ago — when practicing even light social distancing measures still seemed like paranoia to a lot of people.)

As soon as she started exhibiting symptoms, Laura called both the city and state departments of health, who advised her to consult with her primary care physician. Since she (like many New Yorkers) doesn’t have one, she called the urgent care clinic CityMD. A representative told her that the clinic didn’t have access to COVID-19 tests at the time, because the tests were being reserved for hospitalized patients, or anyone who’d been exposed to a confirmed cluster, but she could come in to get tested for flu and strep. She did — and tested negative for both.

Nine days later, when Laura was having bad chest pains and her shortness of breath had gotten worse, she went back to CityMD at Caroline’s urging (though she says she’s not sure she’d have felt comfortable returning if the urgent care weren’t within walking distance). As always, she wore a mask and gloves, which she’d been doing since the onset of her symptoms every time she walked the dog, though by day 10 she no longer stuck out quite so much. More mask-wearers have shown up on our block every day.

At her second appointment, Laura received an EKG and a lung X-ray, which thankfully didn’t reveal anything troubling. But this time, her doctor also offered her a COVID-19 test, if she wanted it.

Laura had to make an uncomfortable choice. She knew that tests were in short supply. But since she’d been sick for nearly two weeks, both she and the doctor thought she merited one. And five days after that, we knew.

It’s not like any of us were surprised, exactly, by Laura’s results. In addition to the coughing and fever, her whole body ached; she struggled for air whenever she walked up and down the stairs, or stood for too long doing dishes. Soon enough Caroline was coughing too, and had to pull out the asthma inhaler she hadn’t used in years. Just a couple days before Laura got her results back, Jackie — who’d had some milder symptoms but seemingly rounded a bend last week — took a sudden turn for the worse, struggling to breathe. She said she felt like she’d eaten a pack of cigarettes. Her doctor prescribed her an inhaler and tested her for COVID-19; we’ll get her results in another few days.

For Jackie, who’s been working from home, a positive test might help her employer actually believe that she’s sick, and afford her the sick days and lesser workload she needs right now. But it would also give her the peace of mind that should she develop long-term health issues down the road, like potential permanent damage to her lungs, she could point to a concrete diagnosis to receive resources and care. “I want to be counted,” she said.

So where did all this leave me? I thought that if I hadn’t managed to avoid infection, I might have just been one of many asymptomatic cases. But sure enough, a few days ago I started coughing; my body feels like it’s been dropped down a garbage chute; my chest is tight as a drum. I’ve struggled to differentiate these symptoms from the psychosomatic effects of anxiety, since I’m also a world-class worrier. When I reached out to my doctor, though, he told me that if one of my roommates had tested positive, the symptoms Jackie and I are both experiencing “are likely COVID-19-related as well.”

He also relayed what I’d already learned: According to the New York City Health Department, Brooklyn residents experiencing mild symptoms right now should not go see their health care providers in person and shouldn’t expect to get tested for anything short of hospitalization. If I become short of breath or start to have trouble breathing, like Laura and Jackie did, I could follow up — but for now, all I need to do is sit tight and wait it out.

I know I don’t need a test. Even before Laura got her results back, we all assumed we had COVID-19 anyway. My own symptoms are mild, though my chest tightness does worry me (and my worrying, of course, only makes it worse). And I’m lucky enough to be able to work from home and that my boss doesn’t need me to prove how sick I am for me to take sick days — and paid ones, at that, which are unfortunately still a luxury in this country. So why do I still find myself wishing I could get tested?

Through my employer I have free (“free”) access to One Medical, a boutique membership-based primary care franchise, which Molly Osberg at Jezebel recently diagnosed as less of a clinic than evidence of US health care’s caste system. Though many US providers, including One Medical, have set up designated testing centers for COVID-19 specimen collection, the capacity to process the tests is still dependent on the CDC and private laboratories. More tests have been administered in New York City over the last week than had been previously, but the numbers still aren’t great; exposed doctors aren’t even able to get tested here. If I didn’t care l about potentially infecting others and putting unnecessary strain on the city’s medical resources right now, though, I suspect I could pretty easily use my unearned privilege to elbow my way into a sense of certainty.

People line up for COVID-19 testing in Elmhurst, Queens.

Because that’s what Laura’s results offered us, in this mind-meltingly surreal time: a moment of rare, biting clarity. Even though it’s hard to escape the realities of this pandemic — we’re quarantined in our home and doom-scrolling through the news of job loss, death, and despair every day — it feels so gigantic, so overwhelmingly complex, that its specificity can still astound. Individual people we know and love can and will get sick; some of them already are. Many of them, even. But recognizing on an intellectual level that 40% to 70% of Americans are likely to be infected — that expressing telltale symptoms likely means you yourself are infected — remains incredibly difficult to wrap one’s mind around. A test is the only sure thing.

As soon as Laura started sharing her news, she was shocked at how shocked everybody else was — the sudden onslaught of questions and comments on social media, the spike in concern from family and friends. She’d already been telling everyone she surely had it for weeks! But without that concrete confirmation, even the reality of her increasingly frightening symptoms had been mere abstractions.

Laura hasn’t had a fever in a few days now, and though she’s still experiencing some symptoms, she no longer feels like a “total sick blob.” Caroline was even well enough to go on a run today. As the first (basically) recovered member of our household, she’s reached out to Mount Sinai hospital and Rockefeller University about donating her blood to be tested for antibodies. (Earlier this week, the FDA approved the use of plasma from recovered patients to help treat severe cases, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state would be the first in the nation to test serum derived from the recovered.) We’re tentatively hopeful that our house might become an immunity cell relatively early on in the pandemic and that we would be able to help support our neighbors and the city’s health care providers as the crisis worsens.

But it’s still unclear whether those with mild symptoms will generate a strong enough response to remain immune to the virus before a vaccine becomes available, which can only be revealed by further tests — and early antibody testing is still far from being applied on a mass scale. At the very least, though, scientists expect that anyone who becomes reinfected would likely experience a much milder bout of COVID-19 than their first. A test, then, would let me know that my worst-case scenario is the one right before me.

It’s an understandably human impulse to assume that the great big bad stuff going on in the world is always happening to somebody somewhere else. One of the reasons many different communities in the US were slow to adopt social distancing — besides criminally mixed messages from the federal government — is that same impulse: to just keep living, to refuse to give in to fear, to take certain risks and hope for the best. We all need to accept a certain level of cognitive dissonance if we’re going to get out of bed every morning.

Neither the agoraphobe nor the clueless spring breaker offer us the best path forward out of all this. In the past few weeks, it quickly became clear that we all need to adopt the mentality that we’re all already contagious, in order to protect other people — especially in New York City, which is on track to become the global epicenter of this virus. But it’s a big ask to expect everyone to trust in an abstract truth, in lieu of the certainty offered by widespread testing. Not even symptoms — real, scary, painful symptoms — can offer us that.

Personally, I’m not used to trusting my body. There’s my anxiety disorder, for one thing, which screws with my breathing and makes my muscles go haywire. And even when I do trust myself enough to think a symptom might not be attributable to anxiety alone, I’m used to doctors brushing me off or chalking up my concerns to paranoia (something that’s common for women patients, whose concerns are frequently downplayed by health care professionals; it’s even more common for black women).

I also grew up in an environment where sickness was perceived as a kind of weakness. We didn’t always have the money for copays, and it was easier, I think, for my family to treat people who took sick days from school or work as privileged, attention-seeking whiners rather than consider the reality that sometimes our bodies would fail us, too. My dad lived in pain for years because he couldn’t afford to get the surgeries that eventually saved his life. Because the truth of his conditions’ severity was so emotionally difficult to bear, he’d tried convincing himself that he wasn’t really that sick after all.

Downplaying potential vulnerabilities is also, of course, a particularly American phenomenon. We’re proud workaholics who value our seemingly endless ability to push through the pain, to sacrifice our time, energy, health, and sanity at the altar of capital. It’s easier to imagine we’re really the masters of our own destiny than consider the fact that our well-being might be largely outside of our control. But a pandemic makes devastatingly clear that our output has always had limits.

In Ed Yong’s excellent and sweeping report for the Atlantic about how this pandemic will end, he writes that “perhaps the nation will learn that preparedness isn’t just about masks, vaccines, and tests, but also about fair labor policies and a stable and equal health-care system. Perhaps it will appreciate that health-care workers and public-health specialists compose America’s social immune system, and that this system has been suppressed.”

Maybe someday it will also get a little easier for us to trust our own bodies — and trust that our health is inextricably connected with society’s health — without needing the confirmation of a test to tell us that yes, this is all really happening. We really are this fragile. We really do rely on one another.

But for now, especially before the death toll in the US starts to skyrocket in earnest, positive results are incredibly powerful. Even as testing ramps up throughout the country, there are in all likelihood far more actual coronavirus cases in the US than those currently confirmed by the CDC; doctors and nurses told BuzzFeed News that COVID-19 deaths have been “grossly underreported,” too. While we wait for different spots in the US hit their various peaks in hospitalizations, which, according to projections, are still weeks away, most of us who aren’t frontline workers are still suspended in a horrible sort of Before zone, when knowing someone personally who’s tested positive is still a novelty.

That marker will keep changing, and it will become so much more gruesome. Today, I can still shock the other attendees of a Zoom happy hour with the news of my roommate’s diagnosis. But someday soon, a diagnosis will become almost meaningless, because more and more of us will know people who have actually died. And I don’t think any number of test results could possibly prepare us for that. ●

More on this

  • Her Family Was Careful, And They Got The Coronavirus AnywayAnne Helen Petersen · March 25, 2020
  • Doctors And Nurses Fighting The Coronavirus Outbreak Are Getting Sick And Dying — And No One Is Keeping TrackZahra Hirji · March 26, 2020
  • Shannon Keating is a senior culture writer and editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

    Contact Shannon Keating at [email protected]

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

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Lifestyle

Justin Chambers Probably Won’t Be In Alex’s Final ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Episode

Justin Chambers’ exit from Grey’s Anatomy left Alex Karev’s fate up in the air. But Jo and Meredith will finally learn what happened to him during Alex’s farewell Grey’s Anatomy episode on March 5. While Alex allegedly went home to care for his mother in Iowa, Jo revealed in "Snowblind" that he was never there, and she doesn’t know where he is. The promo for the next episode teased that Grey’s Anatomy would finally be "saying goodbye to Dr. Alex Karev," and fans are anticipating an emotional episode. But one potential missing factor of his last episode, entitled "Leave a Light On," is that there may not actually be any new footage of Karev himself.

The last time Alex was seen on Grey’s was in November 2019, in the 350th episode, "My Shot," where he helped Meredith keep her medical license. But it wasn’t until Jan. 10 that it was revealed that Chambers had left the series after 16 seasons. "There’s no good time to say goodbye to a show and character that’s defined so much of my life for the past 15 years," Chambers said in a statement. "For some time now, however, I have hoped to diversify my acting roles and career choices. And, as I turn 50 and am blessed with my remarkable, supportive wife and five wonderful children, now is that time."

In a statement to Bustle, ABC confirmed that "My Shot" was the last episode that Chambers appears in. While the network didn’t directly state that means Chambers won’t be in "Leave a Light On," sources told The Hollywood Reporter there would be no new scenes of Alex for the March 5 episode. So — except for some flashbacks — Alex most likely will not be present in his own sendoff episode.

ABC released in a statement that the March 5 episode will "feature a farewell to Alex Karev, providing closure to his character’s exit." Yet, without Chambers’ involvement, fans are a bit skeptical about how his goodbye will go. Showrunner Krista Vernoff spoke to Variety on Feb. 13 about how Grey’s was handling Chambers’ exit. "We’re, episode by episode, illuminating the story of where Alex is. And it takes us quite a few more episodes to get there and to give the audience clarity," Vernoff said. But, after the most recent episode, viewers were outraged at even the notion that Alex would abandon Jo with no word since it’s out of character for him.

Last season, Jo experienced a lot of pain when she learned that her father had raped her mother. Vernoff noted that the writers were careful to not have "Jo in the same place" as last season. But with Alex’s mysterious disappearance, how can Jo not feel an immense amount of grief all over again? Since fans are convinced Alex would never leave Jo (or Meredith, for that matter) with no explanation, the leading theory is that "Leave a Light On" will reveal that Alex has somehow died.

Alex was the last original Grey’s intern left alongside Meredith and his sudden exit was a blow to the series. But perhaps "Leave a Light On" will provide at least some form of closure to Chambers’ character, as long it stays true to the Dr. Alex Karev that fans have followed and loved for 15 years.

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