• BotswanaBotswana President Wants to Extend COVID-19 State of Emergency to Six Months

    Botswana’s president has proposed extending a state of emergency in the southern African country to last six months. President Mokgweetsi Masisi says the measure is needed because people are not complying with restrictions on movement to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Critics worry the plan, if initiated, would put too much power in the hands of the president.
    Mqondisi Dube writes for VOA that Botswana’s parliament will convene on Wednesday to deliberate on Masisi’s proposal.
    The president wants the state of emergency, declared last week in reaction to the outbreak of the coronavirus, to last six months.
    Initially, Masisi had announced a 28-day lockdown period after the southern African country recorded its first six coronavirus cases, including one death, last week.

  • PerspectiveThe U.S. Needs to Know What Went Wrong

    When America has recovered from the coronavirus crisis and people are back to work, Congress should consider a 9/11-style independent commission to examine why the United States was so unprepared for the pandemic.

  • DHSAtlantic Council Launches Future of DHS Project

    The Atlantic Council announced the other day that the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security’s launch of the Future of DHS Project: Protecting the Homeland from Coronavirus, Threats to Democracy, and Other Future Threats. The project will rely on senior experts in homeland and national security to recommend major reforms for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

  • COVID-19: UpdateU.S. COVID-19 Cases Surge Past 82,000, Highest Total in World

    Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, reached 82,404 yesterday in the United States, giving it the most cases in the world. And yesterday was the most active day so far in the country, with 14,042 new cases reported, and the national death toll reaching 1,069 fatalities. The numbers came on day 10 of the White House’s “15 days to slow the spread campaign,” a nationwide effort at social distancing measures that has been implemented in a patchwork fashion across the 50 states.

  • Hemispheric securityU.S. Announces Narcoterrorism Charges Against Venezuela's Maduro

    The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday announced narcoterrorism charges against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and other top officials, accusing them of collaborating with a leftist Colombian guerrilla group to traffic cocaine to the United States.

  • COVID-19: UpdateNew York Notes Dramatic Increase in COVID-19 Numbers as Trump Mulls Lifting Restrictions Soon

    Yesterday New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the COVID-19 pandemic case count is doubling every 3 days in his state, as the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the United States could become the next epicenter of the novel coronavirus, given that the country accounted for 40 percent of new cases recorded globally over the past 24 hours. Meanwhile, yesterday in the Rose Garden, President Donald Trump told viewers during a Fox News virtual town hall that he wants the country “opened up and raring to go by Easter Sunday,” which this year falls on 12 April.

  • COVID-19: UpdateSurgeon General on COVID-19: “This Week It's Going to Get Bad”

    Yesterday the Surgeon General of the United States, Jerome Adams, MD, said on the Today Show that this week could get bad for many Americans who will face a growing rise of COVID-19 cases in their communities. Confirmed U.S. cases rose by 9,541 yesterday, to 42,817, according to the Johns Hopkins online tracker, with 458 associated deaths.

  • ArgumentWe Were Warned

    When, inevitably, an investigative commission will be set up to investigate the government’s response to COVID-19 crisis, it will conclude that signs of a coming crisis were everywhere. Uri Friedman writes that President Donald Trump has referred to the coronavirus outbreak as “an unforeseen problem,” as “something that nobody expected,” and as a crisis that “came out of nowhere,” but as is so often the case with Trump, he was not telling the truth. In fact, the investigative commission will conclude that the warning lights were blinking red for years, within the government and outside the government. Despite the warning lights, the voluminous studies, and the alarming reports from the U.S. intelligence community, the U.S. government was not sufficiently prepared when the virus SARS-CoV-2, finally came calling.

  • Quick Takes // By Ben Frankel Where Is Helmut Schmidt When We Need Him?

    Helmut Schmidt came to the attention of Germans, and Europeans, in February 1962, when he competently and effectively managed the crisis which followed the massive flood which inundated the city of Hamburg. His determined, unbureaucratic, and effective management of the crisis earned him the reputation of a Macher — someone who gets things done regardless of obstacles. This reputation carried him all the way to the chancellorship (1974-1982). He was a competent, low-key, trustworthy straight shooter who told it like it is. Someone who offered a calm, steady, and reassuring leadership in trying times. A pair of safe hands in a time of crisis. On Wednesday, the title of an editorial in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung told us something about the mood, and yearnings, in Germany – and around the world: “Wer ist heute der Helmut Schmidt?” (Who Is Today’s Helmut Schmidt?).

     

  • COVID-19: UpdateModeling Study Suggests 18 Months of COVID-19 Social Distancing, Much Disruption

    On 16 March, when White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, MD, stood beside President Donald Trump and announced the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” campaign, she said guidance on home isolation was informed by the latest models from the United Kingdom. Birx was likely referring to a new modeling study by Imperial College of London epidemiologists on likely U.S. and U.K. outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The model, which has been lauded by epidemiologists around the world, analyzes the two approaches to managing the virus – mitigation vs suppression.

  • COVID-19: UpdateWuhan Reports No New Coronavirus Cases for First Time

    The Chinese city at the center of the coronavirus pandemic has for the first time reported no new daily cases, reporting Thursday that there were no new cases Wednesday. Wuhan has spent about two months on lockdown as authorities tried to stop the spread of the virus, and in recent weeks the number of new infections there dwindled.

  • COVID: ScenariosCOVID-19: Imperial College Researchers’ Model Likely Influenced Public Health Measures

    By Dr. Sabine L. van Elsland, Ryan O'Hare

    The latest analysis comes from a team modelling the spread and impact COVID-19 and whose data are informing current U,K, government policy on the pandemic. The findings are published in the 9th report from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling within the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, J-IDEA, Imperial College London.

  • COVID-19: Lessons of epidemics past10 Misconceptions about the 1918 Flu, the “Greatest Pandemic in History”

    By Richard Gunderman

    Pandemic is a scary word, but the world has seen pandemics before, and worse ones, too. Consider the influenza pandemic of 1918, often referred to erroneously as the “Spanish flu.” Misconceptions about it may be fueling unfounded fears about COVID-19, and now is an especially good time to correct them.

  • COVID-19: Policy responsesExperts Agree that Trump’s Coronavirus Response Was Poor, but the U.S. Was Ill-Prepared in the First Place

    By Simon F. Haeder

    As the coronavirus pandemic exerts a tighter grip on the nation, critics of the Trump administration have repeatedly highlighted the administration’s changes to the nation’s pandemic response team in 2018 as a major contributor to the current crisis. This combines with a hiring freeze at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leaving hundreds of positions unfilled. The administration also has repeatedly sought to reduce CDC funding by billions of dollars. Experts agree that the slow and uncoordinated response has been inadequate and has likely failed to mitigate the coming widespread outbreak in the U.S. However, it is also important to acknowledge that we have underfunded our public health system for decades, perpetuated a poorly working health care system and failed to bring our social safety nets in line with other developed nations.

  • Contingency plansBetter – and Broader – Contingency Plans

    Life, they say, is uncertain. This is why governments and businesses make contingency plans that detail what to do in a disaster and how to handle the unexpected. But some events can be catastrophic across a region, and that calls for a more comprehensive approach.