• U.S.
    The Guardian

    Sean Hannity defends Fox News against claims of coronavirus misinformation: 'I never called it a hoax’

    Hannity responds to open letter signed by 74 journalism professors and leading journalists claiming Fox News spread false statements * Coronavirus – live US updates * Live global updates * See all our coronavirus coverageFox News host Sean Hannity has hit back against intense criticism of the conservative network’s coronavirus coverage, even claiming in a new interview he was ahead of most media in taking Covid-19 seriously.Hannity’s statements to Newsweek were in response to a 1 April open letter signed by 74 journalism professors and leading journalists that lambasted Fox News for allegedly spreading “misinformation” about the outbreak.The professors directly cited Hannity’s statement that the Democrats and media overplayed coronavirus to “bludgeon Trump with this new hoax”.The letter came before a report in The Daily Beast that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch and his son, Lachlan Murdoch, are bracing for lawsuits over the network’s coronavirus coverage.Asked about his statement that Democrats and the media were using Covid-19 “to bludgeon Trump”, Hannity responded: “Many of them did.”“We are in the middle of the huge pandemic and where’s the Democrat saying, ‘You know, I didn’t agree with the travel ban at the time, but it was the right decision.’ Politics trumps truth in their world.”Hannity was referring to Trump’s decision to clamp down on – but not shut down, despite his repeated claims – travel from China as the virus broke out there.“It’s the same Democrats,” Hannity continued, “media mob and liberal professors who are so lazy they won’t even look at what I’ve said about the virus. They just go with their narrative. I never called it a ‘hoax’.“I said it was a hoax for them to be using it as a bludgeon on Trump. And they are. [House intelligence chair] Adam Schiff and [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi are talking about an investigation. Now? In the middle of a pandemic?”Hannity also said: “Go to my website and you’ll see irrefutable evidence that I have taken this seriously way before most in the media did. I warned in January that it was dangerous because it was highly contagious, but some people were asymptomatic, so it would spread quickly.”The professors’ letter, addressed to both Murdochs, claimed: “Viewers of Fox News, including the president of the United States, have been regularly subjected to misinformation relayed by the network–false statements downplaying the prevalence of Covid-19 and its harms.”The professors claimed Fox News offered “misleading recommendations of activities that people should undertake to protect themselves and others, including casual recommendations of untested drugs; false assessments of the value of measures urged upon the public by their elected political leadership and public health authorities”.The Mediaite website points out that Fox News has taken some actions that seemingly view coronavirus more seriously – with Hannity and other talking heads such as Tucker Carlson appearing in a public service announcement, for example. Hannity. Rush. Dobbs. Ingraham. Pirro. Nunes. Tammy. Geraldo. Doocy. Hegseth. Schlapp. Siegel. Watters. Dr. Drew. Henry. Ainsley. Gaetz. Inhofe. Pence. Kudlow. Conway. Trump. Today, we salute the Heroes of the Pandumbic. pic.twitter.com/35WLDgoHcf — The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 3, 2020On Friday night, Carlson criticized Trump administration infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, over his call for a national stay-at-home mandate.“More than 10 million Americans have already lost their jobs,” the host said. “Imagine another year of this. That would be national suicide, and yet, that is what Anthony Fauci is suggesting, at least.“Now, we’re not suggesting that Fauci wants to hurt America. We don’t think he does, he seems like a very decent man. But Fauci is not an economist or for that matter someone who fears being unemployed himself. Like most of the people around him.”

  • U.S.
    The Independent

    Coronavirus: Trump says teenage son Barron ‘isn’t as happy as he could be’ as quarantine frustrations hit White House

    Donald Trump offered a rare personal insight into the life of his 14-year-old son Barron Trump and how he is faring in quarantine during his latest White House briefing on the coronavirus outbreak.The president had tweeted a message of encouragement to the nation’s frustrated Little League baseball players earlier in the day, telling them to “Hang in there!”

  • Business
    Yahoo Finance

    Coronavirus will likely hit these states hardest financially, according to Moody's

    Nevada is likely to be hit the hardest financially by the coronavirus outbreak, according to research compiled by Moody’s Analytics.

  • World
    Bloomberg

    As China Reopens, Africa’s Woes Threaten to Starve Its Factories

    (Bloomberg) -- On a typical workday, hundreds of thousands of men clad in overalls and carrying safety equipment and head lamps assemble at South Africa’s mine shafts. They crowd into cramped elevators to be lowered miles underground, where they hack at seams of gold or platinum and haul ore in intense heat and humidity. After hours of backbreaking labor, they return to the surface to shower in communal areas, and many share meals and bed down in crowded hostels.These aren’t typical days.South Africa on March 26 imposed a three-week lockdown to fight the coronavirus, confining millions in their homes and shuttering most businesses—including the mines that are the first link in a global supply chain that passes through smartphone factories in China and auto plants in Detroit, Turin, or Tokyo, and ends in stores and showrooms around the world.Even as Asia slowly reopens after its lockdown, factories there risk running short on supplies as the virus spreads to countries that produce vital raw materials. And nowhere is the problem a bigger issue than in Africa, which provides the metals and minerals needed for just about every industrial product, and where countries heavily reliant on trade with China have been suffering from a collapse in commodity prices.While the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Africa remains low compared to other parts of the world—some 7,000 cases on a continent of 1.3 billion people—social distancing is a luxury the region can scarcely afford. Most governments lack the resources to enforce effective containment measures, and health systems risk buckling if the disease reaches Africa’s crowded shantytowns and slums.“For Africa, it will be much harder than you imagine,” said Auret van Heerden, chief executive officer of Equiception, a supply-chain consultancy in Geneva. “They’ve survived Ebola, they cope with malaria and tuberculosis, but I don’t think they’ve had anything quite this infectious.”The African mines that produce raw materials for factories across the globe are bracing for the arrival of the virus. In South Africa, Kumba Iron Ore Ltd., the continent’s largest iron-ore producer, and Anglo American Platinum Ltd. and Sibanye Stillwater Ltd., the world’s top platinum vendors, have curtailed most of their output. Chrome and manganese mines, which supply ingredients for steel, have been largely shuttered.In Luabala, a province of Democratic Republic of Congo that is a major provider of copper and cobalt used in rechargeable batteries, mines remain open but the work force has been limited to essential personnel to minimize the risk of contagion. Tenke Fungurume, a mine owned by China Molybdenum Co., has been put into isolation, with about 2,000 people ordered to stay on site and avoid “contact with the outside world,” according to a memo circulated to staff.Even facilities that keep producing risk interruptions in getting their goods to market. In the best of times, Africa’s transport networks are fragmented and inefficient, and its ports and customs services are notoriously slow. Today, most African countries have closed their borders, and several have limited internal travel or imposed lockdowns. While cargo is usually exempted from the restrictions, increased security controls, sanitation measures, and reduced staff at ports and railways threaten severe delays.Most copper and cobalt from Congo’s mines, for instance, moves via truck through Zambia and then to ports in South Africa and Tanzania. While cargo carriers can still cross into Zambia, new sanitation measures have led to 25-mile backups at the border.In Kenya, a dusk-to-dawn curfew has resulted in a pileup of goods at ports, driving up freight costs by almost a third, according to Dennis Ombok, chief executive of the Kenya Transporters Association, which represents truck-fleet owners. Even though essential goods are officially exempted, drivers are being harassed by police, Ombok said.“It’s taking up to three days to clear at the border between Kenya and Uganda,” he said. “The police need to tone down how they’re handling transporters. We’re carrying food and raw materials. These are essential.”In South Africa, the port of Durban, the busiest in sub-Saharan Africa and serving landlocked Zambia and Zimbabwe, limited operations to essential cargo, and police stopped all trucks carrying other goods for several days. On Thursday, the order was reversed to help ease massive congestion at the port. Amid the confusion, First Quantum Minerals Ltd., which accounts for more than half of Zambia’s copper production, says it has started making alternative shipping plans. At the main crossing between Zambia and Congo, more than 1,000 trucks carrying food, equipment, and supplies for mines had to queue last week after a partial lockdown came into effect. For now, Zambia has managed to convince the Mozambican government to allow trucks carrying fuel from the port of Beira to exit Mozambique, after they were held at the border. “With a crisis of this magnitude,” Zambian President Edgar Lungu warned last week, “we shall find ourselves under forced lockdown if all our neighbors shut their borders.”And global trade moves in many directions these days, so mines are facing potential shortages of crucial imports needed to keep operating as suppliers worldwide curtail production;  sulfuric acid, for instance, is critical in copper processing. Both Zambia and Namibia, which ships copper and uranium to China, have raised the alarm over looming shortages of key chemicals for their mines.“Most if not all our mining companies get inputs from China,” said Veston Malango, head of Namibia’s Chamber of Mines. “And we have not been able to do that.”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.

  • Style
    Harper's Bazaar

    Emily Ratajkowski Shares a Steamy Nude Photo with Fans During Quarantine

    But can you spot her husband, Sebastian Bear-McClard? 👀