• World
    Associated Press

    'Off the charts': Virus hotspots grow in middle America

    The coronavirus continued its unrelenting spread across the United States, pummeling major cities like New York, Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago, where an infant that tested positive for the virus died Saturday. It made its way, too, into rural America, where hotspots erupted in ski havens in the Rockies and small towns in the Midwest. Worldwide infections surpassed the 650,000 mark with more than 30,000 deaths as new cases also stacked up quickly in Europe, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

  • U.S.
    Reuters

    Coronavirus could kill 81,000 in U.S., subside in June - Washington University analysis

    The analysis, using data from governments, hospitals and other sources, predicts that the number of U.S. deaths could vary widely, ranging from as low as around 38,000 to as high as around 162,000. The variance is due in part to disparate rates of the spread of the virus in different regions, which experts are still struggling to explain, said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, who led the study. The duration of the virus means there may be a need for social distancing measures for longer than initially expected, although the country may eventually be able relax restrictions if it can more effectively test and quarantine the sick, Murray said.

  • Lifestyle
    Bloomberg

    Maker of Purell Hand Sanitizer Denied in Request for Trump Tariff Relief

    (Bloomberg) -- With the U.S. now surpassing all other countries in the number of coronavirus cases and health experts estimating the peak may still be weeks away, President Donald Trump’s administration is having a harder time defending tariffs on health-related goods imported from China.That’s especially true for products used in the U.S. response to the pandemic that are in high demand but running short on supply, such as ventilators, surgical masks and hand sanitizers.Gojo Industries, the inventor and manufacturer of Purell-branded products, builds its hand-sanitizer and soap dispensers in the U.S., but a key input that ensures the dispensers work is made in China and subject to a 25% duty.In a tariff-exemption request last year, Akron, Ohio-based Gojo said it’s exploring third-country sourcing but added that unilaterally moving production would require reverse engineering of a key chip that’s manufactured by a Canadian company in China. “Such action would violate their intellectual property” and Gojo “does not control the ability to move that production,” the submission reads.The U.S. Trade Representative denied Gojo’s request earlier this month, saying the company failed to show that the duties “would cause severe economic harm to you or other U.S. interests,” according to USTR General Counsel Joseph Barloon’s letter on March 5.Three weeks later, the USTR issued exemptions for Apple’s watches and a range of other products that have no apparent link to Covid-19.The USTR didn’t respond when asked if the Gojo denial would be reassessed as part of a new exclusion process to identify more products needed to treat the virus or limit its outbreak.Publicly, American officials have doubled down on their tariff strategy and are calling for a rethink of supply chains, especially when it comes to key medical products.The reliance on other countries for those supplies has created a strategic vulnerability for the U.S., trade chief Robert Lighthizer said. “By encouraging diversification of supply chains and — better yet — more manufacturing in the U.S., President Trump’s economic and trade policies are helping to overcome that vulnerability,” he wrote in a Wall Street Journal editorial last week.Charting the Trade TurmoilConsumers across the globe are still loading their pantries — and the economic fallout from the virus is just starting. The specter of more trade restictions is stirring memories of how protectionism can often end up causing more harm than good. That adage rings especially true now as the moves would be driven by anxiety and not made in response to crop failures or other supply problems.Today’s Must ReadsSecond wave | Much of China’s industrial sector is ramping up production, only to find another painful economic shock: canceled orders from the U.S. and Europe. Workplace safety | Food workers getting sick is the latest threat to the global supply of everything from vegetables to pork, with quarantined workers at production facilities raising fresh concerns. Faster decoupling | One of Apple’s manufacturing partners said half its capacity could reside outside China within a year, underscoring the shift companies are making outside the world’s second-largest economy. Battle fields  | Europe’s farmers are struggling to find people to harvest rapidly ripening fruits and vegetables, as the coronavirus prevents hundreds of thousands of migrant laborers from leaving home. Pulling the plug | Sony said fallout from the coronavirus may wipe out a previously projected increase in its profit and force it to delay an earnings report scheduled for April.Bloomberg AnalysisShrinking growth | A global recession has begun, according to a Bloomberg Economics review. Troubled waters | A Bloomberg Intelligence webinar explains how ship owners are positioned to weather the crisis. Use the AHOY function to track global commodities trade flows. See BNEF for BloombergNEF’s analysis of clean energy, advanced transport, digital industry, innovative materials, and commodities. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Politics
    The Daily Beast

    Jared Kushner, Slumlord Millionaire, Can’t Evict the Virus

    In 2016, at the tender age of 35, Jared Kushner discovered America.Traveling with his father-in-law Donald Trump as he campaigned for president, Kushner had the eye-opening opportunity “to really see the country,” as he later recounted to CNN’s Van Jones.On this foray into the unexplored expanse between the coasts, Kushner was surprised by what he observed. “There were a lot of issues that I thought about being in New York… but when I’d go out to the country, I’d hear opinions that were differing from what a lot of the people in New York thought were the right prescriptions for them.”Don’t Worry, America, Jared Kushner Is Going to Save You From COVID-19Presumably, Kushner has become better acquainted since then with the experiences of Americans who dwell outside of his lifelong realm of mansions, penthouses, and boardrooms. We should all hope that is the case because Kushner now has enormous influence over the vital “prescriptions” that shape many facets of our lives, including a leading role in combating the coronavirus crisis. As Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale recently told Time, other than the President, “Nobody has more influence in the White House than Jared. Nobody has more influence outside the White House than Jared.”Unfortunately, for so many of Kushner’s tenants in his former occupation as a Manhattan-based real estate mogul, his awakening to the struggles of regular Americans came too late. In fact, as we show in Slumlord Millionaire, the episode we directed about Kushner for the Netflix documentary series Dirty Money, Kushner was not just oblivious to the struggles of his tenants—he was the perpetrator of them.In New York City, the Kushner playbook was to buy buildings with rent-stabilized tenants and then to harass them systematically with maddening construction until they moved out. Then Kushner Companies, the family real estate firm of which Kushner was CEO from 2008 until January 2017, flipped the buildings to market rate and sold them for a significant profit.In the vicinity of Baltimore, a city President Trump disparaged last September as a “rodent-infested mess”, the Kushner model was even more insidious. In Maryland, Kushner Companies owns and manages thousands of low- and middle-income rental units over more than a dozen housing complexes, which investigative reporter Alec MacGillis collectively dubbed “Kushnerville” in a 2017 exposé. Unlike in New York City, there wasn’t an economic incentive to push out Kushnerville’s tenants. Instead, Kushner Companies maximized profits by spending minimally on the units’ upkeep, while gouging the tenants with a slew of fees, many of them dubious, on top of their rent.It wasn’t just the residents of Kushnerville who were subject to these predatory practices; it was the former tenants of the complexes too. When Kushner Companies bought these buildings, they went into the files of the previous owners looking for money to collect. One of these former tenants was Kamiia Warren, a single mother of three, who was working as a home health aide while also attending school.Kushner Companies relentlessly pursued Warren for $3,014.08 for breaking her lease with the former owners. However, Warren didn’t owe the money. She had received permission to move out early, but years after vacating the property she no longer had the paperwork to prove it and didn’t know how to defend herself in a court system Kushner Companies expertly weaponized against her. Her Kafkaesque ordeal resulted in a legal judgment against her of nearly $5,000. To collect, three days before Christmas Kushner Companies began garnishing her paychecks. Then it zeroed out the $900 in her bank account, leaving her destitute.As if that weren’t heartless enough, Kushner Companies requested that the court approve a body attachment for Warren. A body attachment is a civil arrest warrant that enables the local sheriff to incarcerate debtors, essentially for the crime of being poor. Kushner Companies was not alone in employing this draconian tactic, but it employed it far more aggressively than any other real estate firm in the state.Fortunately, MacGillis’s article resulted in Warren getting pro bono representation, and once she had legal counsel in her corner Kushner Companies immediately caved and eliminated her debt. Why had Kushner Companies been so harsh in its dealings with vulnerable people like Kamiia? Kushner’s CFO told MacGillis the firm had a “fiduciary obligation” to its partners to maximize revenue. While this explanation may be morally bankrupt, it is perfectly in line with how most businesses operate, which is exactly the concern Americans should have in evaluating Kushner’s approach to policymaking.Concerns about conflicts of interest between Kushner’s opaque network of financial interests and the policies he is driving from the West Wing have abounded since the outset of the Trump administration. The coronavirus crisis has brought this dynamic into particularly sharp focus. They first flared up over Oscar, a health insurance company co-founded by Joshua Kushner, Jared’s brother. On March 13, the day Trump finally seemed to acknowledge the severity of the pandemic by declaring it a national emergency, Oscar, which was formerly jointly owned by Jared and Joshua, launched a web portal to provide a number of coronavirus-related services. Though there is no evidence that Oscar is profiting from the administration’s approach, the synchronicity of the timing, along with the fact that a graphic displayed at Trump’s Rose Garden press conference resembled one in Oscar’s media release announcing its portal, prompted questions about inappropriate coordination.Then, on Monday, Crain’s New York reported that the paralysis of commerce caused by the pandemic may force Kushner Companies’ Times Square retail space into default. The next day President Trump tamped down the medical community’s insistence on social distancing in favor of restarting the economy on an arbitrary, accelerated timeline. Kushner, who initially advised the president that the media was exaggerating the threat of the virus, is serving as a liaison between the administration and business leaders, a number of whom have agitated for a hasty return to the workplace. Trump has clearly been receptive to their lobbying at a time when his own family business, The Trump Organization, is struggling financially, with six of his seven top revenue-generating hospitality businesses shuttered. In crafting policy is Kushner calculating the benefit to himself and his family, or is he putting the health and welfare of the American people above all other considerations?Kamiia Warren certainly has her doubts. As she says in our film, “I’m very nervous that Jared Kushner is someone that is making decisions for our country. I firsthand know how he conducts business.”DiMauro and Pehme co-directed and produced Slumlord Millionaire, the episode about Jared Kushner in Netflix’s documentary series Dirty Money.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

  • U.S.
    FOX News Videos

    Rudy Giuliani on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's demand for 30,000 ventilators

    During a crisis, there's a tendency to overstate needs for your state, says former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

  • Business
    Oilprice.com

    America’s Shortage Of This Metal Keeps Trump Up At Night

    Everything from the 5G revolution to the advancement of the American military is dependent on a key metal which is flying under most investors’ radar

  • Celebrity
    Deadline

    ‘Today’ Co-Anchor Hoda Kotb Breaks Down In Tears After Interviewing Drew Brees About $5 Million Donation To Help Coronavirus Victims

    Today co-anchor Hoda Kotb broke down in tears on Friday after she interviewed New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who made a $5 million donation to help coronavirus victims in Louisiana. Kotb thanked Brees for his generous donation and said that other people will be inspired by it to contribute as well. "Drew, we love […]