Trump may declare emergency as America shuts down amid coronavirus fear – Times of India

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump is expected to declare a national emergency and shutter down America, including isolating some states and hotspots within the country, after expert warning that up to 150 million people could be affected without adequate checks to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus. Trump is expected to make a national address at 3 p.m to outline new measures even as mighty America is shuttering down in front of a lowly virus. The US President himself is under the gun, after it emerged that he spent time at Mar-a-lago last weekend with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, whose press secretary also shook hands with Trump, tested positive for the virus. Bolsonaro himself was tested and found negative his son said, even as reports initially said a first test had shown positive, throwing the world into a tizzy. Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went into self-quarantine after his wife tested positive and social interactions with a British team. Separately, it emerged that the President’s daughter Ivanka was with the Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton, who has subsequently tested positive for the virus. The U.S President though has been adamant that he is not in danger and there is no word from the White House whether the President and his daughter are quarantining themselves. Trump is expected to have a video conference with European leaders on Monday as the world leadership finally begins to act in concert to contain the spread of the virus after day sfof individual, uncoordinated action. “Following my call with @realDonaldTrump and all G7 leaders, we agreed to organize an extraordinary Leaders Summit by videoconference on Monday on Covid-19. We will coordinate research efforts on a vaccine and treatments, and work on an economic and financial response,” French President Emanuel Macron tweeted, having apparently taken the initiative. Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed greatest country on earth, which its President said last week was well prepared to blow off the challenged from the virus, is going down on its knees and cowering in fright before the global pandemic, gradually turning into a ghost county that Italy has become. Theme parks such as Disneyland and Universal Studios shut down, schools began closing nationwide, and everything from Broadway theater to box office shows to Boston Marathon were deferred amid a global stress test that is putting things ranging from personal hygiene to social behaviour under scrutiny. News that even global elites such as the Trumps and Trudeaus are vulnerable to the virus drove home the universal danger the virus poses, with social engagement increasing susceptibility. The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau being diagnosed with the virus, forcing him into self-quarantine, brought renewed focus on the Trump family, with both the U.S President and his daughter Ivanka found to have consorted with people who have subsequently been found infected with the virus. Trump remained adamant that he is not under risk and will not be tested but many other political elites with second and third degree separation from the virus — including lawmakers such as Senator Lindsey Graham — dialed down their engagement and went into self-isolation as “social distancing” became the phrase du jour. One of the more terrifying prognosis came from Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court, who reportedly told a closed-door Congressional staff meeting that 70 million to 150 million people in the U.S. will become infected with COVID-19 without adequate action. Even at one per cent mortality rate such a catastrophe could kill 700,000 to 1.5 million people. Amid such dire warnings, President Trump sought to blame his predecessor Barack Obama for the situation, tweeting “For decades the @CDCgov looked at, and studied, its testing system, but did nothing about it. It would always be inadequate and slow for a large scale pandemic, but a pandemic would never happen, they hoped. President Obama made changes that only complicated things further…” “Their response to H1N1 Swine Flu was a full scale disaster, with thousands dying, and nothing meaningful done to fix the testing problem, until now. The changes have been made and testing will soon happen on a very large scale basis. All Red Tape has been cut, ready to go!” he added. But critics called his bluff and excoriated him for rolling up the US pandemic response team and cutting CDC funding during his time in office even as reports from the ground spoke of the difficulty in getting tested. The pandemic also turned many raving American capitalists who abhor the word socialism and rage against the government’s role in daily life into ardent socialists as they sought government intervention in the marketplace to manage testing, vaccination etc.
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