Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Reporting from coronavirus-stricken Crown Heights


Crown Heights resident David Cromby says that almost every home has someone infected and tells of special Torah scroll being written.

Why Is Germany's Coronavirus Death Rate So Low?


According to experts, Germany’s case fatality rate is so low due to its widespread testing. “In some countries only very symptomatic cases are tested (e.g. in Italy) and in others a broader testing strategy is done (e.g. in Germany),” writes Dr. Dietrich Rothenbacher, the director of the Institute for Epidemiology at Ulm University in Germany, in an email to TIME. That means that while Germany is currently the country with the fifth-most infections in the world, chances are that it has fewer unreported cases than many other countries, where testing is harder to come by.

McConnell: Impeachment trial 'diverted' attention from coronavirus crisis in China


 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested on Tuesday that the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump distracted the US government from the growing coronavirus crisis in China.
In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, McConnell said that the crisis "came up while we were tied down in the impeachment trial. And I think it diverted the attention of the government, because everything, every day was all about impeachment."

Why is the Health Ministry preventing 20,000 daily coronavirus tests?


It’s been three weeks since news broke that the Weizmann Institute can conduct so many COVID-19 checks – so why isn’t it? "This can be the game changer Israel needs to combat the virus."

History's verdict on Trump will be devastating


After a lifetime devoted to avoiding responsibility and accountability -- for his lies, his deceptions, his hype, and his cruelty -- President Donald Trump has met his match in the pandemic of 2020. His bluff and bluster are powerless as thousands of Americans die and the blame falls, in part, on his failure to heed the warnings and execute a robust national response. This occurred even though a pandemic playbook had been left behind by the Obama administration. Early in the crisis, Trump said "We have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China. It's going to be just fine." Weeks were wasted and now the price of this fiasco will likely be a loss of life far greater than 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina.

Kellyanne humiliated BY FOX NEWS as her defense of Trump backfires ON AIR

Democrats Are Being Much, Much More Careful About the Coronavirus Than Republicans


There’s been a fair bit of polling showing that, in general, Democrats were much more concerned about the threat of the coronavirus than Republicans, who were presumably taking their early, lax cues from the White House and Fox News. Now, a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that Democrats have generally been taking more precautionary measures as the pandemic burns on, suggesting that the differences in outlook may also be having real-world, public health consequences.

Cabinet approves new coronavirus restrictions

The Cabinet on Monday night approved the new emergency regulations in a way that would further restrict the civilian population as part of the efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Forty-four rabbis in diaspora have died since coronavirus outbreak


  Forty-four rabbis have died as a result of coronavirus, most of them located in the New York City metropolitan area. While the majority of the rabbis came from the Orthodox Jewish community, there is one known case of a Reform rabbi who passed away as a result of coronavirus.

Shaping the truth:Danon: UN must condemn Abbas’s false charge that IDF is spreading COVID-19


“At this time, despite Israel's aid to the Palestinian Authority, we hear inciting comments coming from the Palestinian prime minister, who accuses IDF soldiers of spreading coronavirus to the PA,” Danon said. “There is no place for such senseless statements by the leadership of the PA. The UN must condemn these remarks.”

Coronavirus: US death rates v China, Italy and South Korea

Residents of ultra-Orthodox cities diverted from ER of major Israeli hospital


Arriving at Sheba Medical Center, people from virus hotspots Bnei Brak, Modiin Illit and Elad reportedly to be taken straight to side area for treatment, unlike rest of population


Acosta reads Trump his past remarks downplaying virus

The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life


“The US response will be studied for generations as a textbook example of a disastrous, failed effort,” Ron Klain, who spearheaded the fight against Ebola in 2014, told a Georgetown university panel recently. “What’s happened in Washington has been a fiasco of incredible proportions.”

Nancy Pelosi: Trump fiddles as people are dying

Trump's self-congratulatory presence marks stark contrast with death toll

The comment suggested that at the end of a national disaster that has been exacerbated by his leadership failings, he will bill himself as a victorious wartime President who rescued many Americans from death.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Trump says keeping US Covid-19 deaths to 100,000 would be a ‘very good job’


Speaking in the White House Rose Garden, the US president claimed that, if his administration keeps the death toll to 100,000, it will have done “a very good job” – a startling shift from his optimistic predictions of a few days ago when he said he hoped to restart the economy by Easter.

China had 3000 deaths Italy 12k  and Trump claims 100k deaths is "a very good job"! ?

No gatherings of 2 or more people, weddings with guests


Netanyahu noted that from now on, crowds of more than two people and outdoor prayers will be banned. In addition, weddings will only be allowed if no guests are present.
Exceptions will be made for funerals and circumcisions. 20 people will be allowed to attend a funeral and ten at circumcisions. "All of this will take place in open spaces where people maintain social distance from each other," Netanyahu said.

This Anti-Trump Ad Made Him Cry

rabbinic guidance

Trump Follows Science Over Economic Advisors | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Fauci reveals why Trump changed his mind about re-opening US

Stop all Minyan until Pandemic Passes

Police disperse hundreds of ultra-Orthodox from synagogues in Mea Shearim


Police forces dispersed hundreds of ultra-Orthodox men in the radical Mea Shearim neighborhood Monday morning, following efforts to convince the community to comply with social-distancing orders.

Use of fetal tissue in vaccine development


Most vaccines currently available were developed using cell strains cultured from two fetuses aborted for other purposes in the 1960s.[3] This has led some to oppose vaccination on religious or moral grounds.[1][2] However, vaccine experts and manufacturers state that vaccines do not contain any of the original fetal tissue or cells, that the abortions occurred decades ago and replenishment with new tissue has not occurred. Also, producing a safe vaccine for many diseases requires the use of these cell strains.[2] The Catholic Church, which opposes abortion, has stated that vaccination should not be refused on moral grounds because the public health benefits of vaccination outweigh the historical use of aborted fetal tissue to develop some vaccines.[1][2]

The new coronavirus can likely remain airborne for some time. That doesn’t mean we’re doomed


When a new virus blasts out of the animals that harbored it and into people, experts can usually say, thank goodness it’s not like measles. That virus is more contagious than any others known to science: Each case of measles causes an astronomical 12 to 18 new cases, compared to about six for polio, smallpox, and rubella. Each case of the new coronavirus is estimated to cause two to three others.

A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data


At a time when everyone needs better information, from disease modelers and governments to people quarantined or just social distancing, we lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who continue to become infected. Better information is needed to guide decisions and actions of monumental significance and to monitor their impact.
Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries. If the pandemic dissipates — either on its own or because of these measures — short-term extreme social distancing and lockdowns may be bearable. How long, though, should measures like these be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing more good than harm?

Jerusalem Haredim attack medics coming to perform coronavirus test, injure 1


Police crack down on violations of virus rules in ultra-Orthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood, arresting 4 , amid public outcry over perceived lack of enforcement

Haredi woman blames media for hatred of religous Jews


A haredi resident of central Tel Aviv said that last Saturday she saw dozens of people walking in the streets with their children contrary to Ministry of Health orders but that police were summoned only when haredim were reported to be holding a prayer service.
In an interview with Arutz Sheva, the woman said that during half an hour at the window, she observed a couple taking a walk with their kids, two girls conversing in violation of directives, two men taking a walk, and many similar cases. She said no one considered taking pictures of these events or calling police.
"But when my husband returned from morning prayers at the Belz synagogue in Tel Aviv, which was held according to all the rules provided by the Ministry of Health - ten people scattered in an open complex - he said that the neighbors repeatedly called police who arrived at the scene but [couldn't do anything] after one of the worshipers presented an official permit to pray in the specific open area according to the strict rules of the Ministry of Health."
"A day earlier," she says, "there was a small minyan in the open space according to all the rules. And again, police were called. They weren't aware that permission had already been granted to pray there - and worshipers fled in the middle of the prayer for fear of arrest."


נתונים דרמטיים: רוב הנדבקים ב'קורונה' בביה"ח - חרדים


בבדיקה שנערכה בבתי החולים במרכז הארץ ובירושלים, עולה תמונה עגומה, מלבד החולים הנמצאים ב'מעייני הישועה', מתברר כי אחוזים גבוהים מהנדבקים ב'קורונה', משתייכים למגזר החרדי


Conservative Pastor: Spread of coronavirus in synagogues is divine punishment


Rick Wiles, the Florida pastor who claimed that the effort to impeach President Trump was a “Jew coup,” said the spread of coronavirus in synagogues is a punishment of the Jewish people.

Yemeni scholar: Jews, Israel and US made coronavirus to shut down Mecca


In a video released by MEMRI, Sheikh Ibrahim Al-Ubeidi argues that Jewish people have plotted for centuries to take over the Islamic holy sites of Mecca and Medina.


Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn are fighting COVID-19 – and antisemitism


New York state has seen some 60,000 cases and nearly 1,000 deaths – the most in the US by far. "You could just lay in bed like you're almost dead for days and days – and there's nothing to do."


New Israeli research says COVID-19 is here to stay


Researchers suggest unlike SARS, MERS coronavirus strains which were successfully contained during 2004 and 2018 outbreaks respectively, COVID-19 may become perennial danger

רבני 'העדה החרדית': "חטא גדול לזלזל בהוראות הרופאים"



חברי בד"צ 'העדה החרדית', בראשות הגאב"ד והראב"ד, פרסמו תקנות והוראות בעקבות התפשטות מגיפת ה'קורונה' - הורו להישמע להנחיות משרד הבריאות ואפשרו אף תפילה ביחיד. ההנחיות (ארץ)



השוטרים עצרו מתפללים במאה שערים


כוחות משטרה פשטו היום על שכונת מאה שערים בירושלים, רשמו עשרות דו"חות לאנשים שהפרו את ההנחיות, פיזרו את המתפללים בשטיבלאך ועצרו כמה מהם - ענודים בתפילין (חרדים)

Coronavirus NJ: Rabbis call for low-key Passover with no public celebrations, no travel


LAKEWOOD - Rabbinic leaders from different Jewish Orthodox organizations, spurred by coronavirus fears, are calling for a low-key Passover (Pesach) that is devoid of public celebrations and long on social distancing.
"We are urging our communities to remain at home and avoid, to the maximum extent feasible, any outside interactions," the religious leaders said in a statement. "Our responsibility is to refrain from any nonessential outside interactions, including
The statement was signed by Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, executive vice president, Agudath Israel of America; Rabbi Mendy Mirocznick, executive vice president, (Igud HaRabbanim) Rabbinical Alliance of America; Rabbi Shmuel Blech, chairman, and Rabbi Moshe Chaim Weisberg, co-chair, The Lakewood Vaad, among others.

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Top 100,000 As Trump Demands Praise From Governors | The 11th Hour | MSNBC

Governors In Need Learn How To Handle The President | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Israel must turn to herd immunity to combat coronavirus


Opinion: The elderly and those with health problems must be isolated while the young, who will likely experience only mild symptoms, should be back at work even if they were infected with COVID-19 in order to make the population immune to the virus

Israeli doctors demand health minister be replaced by professional


In an open letter Netanyahu and Gantz, doctors lament years of neglect that left the country's health care system at its lowest point during the time of coronavirus outbreak; sources say there are no plans to replace Litzman in the next government


Donald Trump: Says N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo “rejected buying recommended 16,000 ventilators in 2015 for the pandemic, for a pandemic, established death panels and lotteries instead. So, he had a chance to buy, in 2015, 16,000 ventilators at a very low price, and he turned it down.”


Our ruling
Trump said Cuomo "rejected buying recommended 16,000 ventilators in 2015 for the pandemic, for a pandemic, established death panels and lotteries instead. So, he had a chance to buy, in 2015, 16,000 ventilators at a very low price and he turned it down."
A 2015 state report said that in the case of a "severe" pandemic, the state would be short about 16,000 ventilators during peak week. But the report did not recommend buying 16,000 ventilators, and did not indicate whether the state was at a fiscal position to purchase them.
The state did not plan to increase its stockpile because it anticipated that in the event of a severe crisis, there would be shortage of trained staff to operate them and demand would outweigh any emergency stockpile. The report said the state had to balance the likely ventilator shortage with the need for adequate funding for current and ongoing health care expenses.
The report issued guidelines on ventilator allocation if there weren’t enough for everyone and suggested that hospitals designate a triage officer or committee. It explored a lottery system, but did not recommend it as the primary option. Cuomo did not establish one.
Trump’s statement is inaccurate. We rate it False.

Society – importance

Berachos 58a):   . Ben Zoma once saw a crowd on one of the steps of the Temple Mount. He said, Blessed is He that discerneth secrets, and blessed is He who has created all these to serve me. [For] he used to say: What labours Adam had to carry out before he obtained bread to eat! He ploughed, he sowed, he reaped, he bound [the sheaves], he threshed and winnowed and selected the ears, he ground [them], and sifted [the flour], he kneaded and baked, and then at last he ate; whereas I get up, and find all these things done for me. And how many labours Adam had to carry out before he obtained a garment to wear! He had to shear, wash [the wool], comb it, spin it and weave it, and then at last he obtained a garment to wear; whereas I get up and find all these things done for me. All kinds of craftsmen5 come early to the door of my house, and I rise in the morning and find all these before me

הוראות גדולי ישראל: האם מותר לקיים מנייני תפילה בחוץ?


מרנן הגר"ח קנייבסקי, הגר"ג אדלשטיין, הגר"ש כהן והגר"ש בעדני - אסרו על תושבי בני ברק לקיים מנייני תפילה ברחוב, הגר"ג אדלשטיין הוסיף כי הוראתו זו - לכל הארץ. ומה דעת יתר הרבנים?


FACT CHECK: N.Y. Governor Slams Trump Ventilator Claim As 'Ignorant' And 'Uninformed'


President Trump claimed during Friday's White House coronavirus briefing that the federal government shipped droves of ventilators to New York. What did New York officials do in response? According to Trump, they ignored the new supply and instead attacked the White House for not doing more to assist the state.
"We sent thousands of ventilators to New York, and they didn't know about it at the time they were complaining," Trump said. "They were going there in large numbers."
An aghast New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had this reply to Trump's accusation: "That is incorrect and grossly uninformed."

President Trump Extends Federal Social Distancing Guidelines Until End of April


President Donald Trump said Sunday that he would extend national social distancing guidelines until April 30. They were otherwise set to expire Monday.

The virus and the plague of moral superiority

If you follow current events you will notice that this virus has become politicized. Republicans take it less seriously than Democrats. Religious less than Secularists. The young less than the old.

It seems that people think this is a punishment primarily against the deviant other. Thus religious Jews continue with minyan, weddings etc because they are protected by Torah and the absence of the sins of Internet, homosexuality,abortion and sheitel - and besides they give to the right charities..  Republicans are protected by loyalty to Trump and rejection of Clinton, Leftists and CNN and the New York Times. Submersion in Fox News is believed to be  a very strong weapon against the virus.

The young view this as a process of getting rid of the previous generation which restrict their lives.

Trump has stated that the hysteria is a Democratic and Media hoax directed against his reelection

As the mayor of Bnei Brak stated "people need to wake up" and realize the virus ignores religious and political affiliations as well as loyalties and information preferences.   As the Rambam notes hasgocha protist only is releavant for the few tzadikim who are truly davek with G-d. The majority of people live their lives according to the reality of Nature,Science and Medicine. Therefore if you don't listen to the doctors there can be bad consequences.  And to firmly believe this virus is only against the sinful is going to lead to something unpleasant.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

"אין להתפלל במניין": מאחורי הקלעים לפסק הדרמטי של גדולי הדור


פרסום ראשון: המכתב הדרמטי שפורסם בשעה האחרונה עם ההוראה על איסור קיום מניינים הגיעה לאחר שהבוקר הגר''י סילמן חייג לרה''י הגרי''ג אדלשטיין והביא בפניו את קצב ההדבקה המסוכן בעיר, הפסק הועבר למרן שר התורה שהורה להוציא את המכתב
בשעה זו יוצאים רבני העיר בני ברק במכתב חריף בו הם פוסקים בצורה נחרצת כי על דעתם של מרן שר התורה הגאון רבי חיים קנייבסקי שליט"א ומרן ראש הישיבה הגאון רבי גרשון אדלשטיין שליט"א "יש להחמיר את אמצעי הזהירות ואין לקיים כלל מנינים לתפילה גם לא במקומות פתוחים, וכמו"כ אסור ללמוד בבתי כנסת ובתי מדרש רק כ"א ילמד בביתו".

הרב אלימלך פירר קורא לכם: "אנא, הישארו בבתים!"


על רקע התפרצות הנגיף בעוצמה - בפרט בערים החרדיות - מפרסם כעת היועץ הרפואי המוערך הרב אלימלך פירר פניה מיוחדת לכלל האזרחים: "התכנסות בבתים זו מניעה, שהוכחה בבירור"


מרן הגר"ח קנייבסקי הורה להתפלל ביחידות: "פיקוח נפש"


השו"ת המלא בכתב ידו של שר התורה

א. אדם שלפי הוראות הרופאים חייב להיכנס לבידוד כדי שלא ידביק אחרים אם חלה, והוא עצמו חש בטוב ואינו חש שום כאב או חולי, האם יכול לצאת מביתו, או שמצווה עליו להקשיב לרופאים למרות שמרגיש טוב?
"לשמוע לרופאים".
ב. אדם שטוען שהוא בוטח בה' שלא יחלה, ועל כן מזלזל בהנחיות הרפואה (בשמירת מרחק זה מזה, וביציאה מהבית שלא לצורך דחוף וכדו') האם אפשר להגדירו כ"רודף" כי עלול להביא אנשים אחרים לידי סכנה?
ג. ואם ח"ו זלזל בהוראות וגרם למישהו למות, האם נחשב מזיד או שוגג? 
"קרוב למזיד"
ד. אם יודע על אדם שחייב להיות בבידוד שיוצא החוצה ומסכן אנשים, מותר לגעור בו בקול ובחריפות, אף שאולי יתבזה מכך?
האם מותר למסור את שמו של אדם שמזלזל בהוראות הרופאים ומסכן את האחרים, לרשויות החוק? וכן האם מותר למסור מידע על בתי כנסת ומוסדות שלא נשמעים להוראות הרפואה, גם אם יביא לקנס כספי גבוה או אפילו מאסר?
ו. האם יש להשאיר טלפון פתוח בשבת למקרה שהרופאים יצטרכו להשיגו ויוכל לענות בשל חשש פיקוח נפש?
ז. מה הציבור יכול לקבל על עצמו כדי לעצור את המגיפה הנוראה שכבר מתו בה רבים כל כך?

Report: Rabbi Kanievsky calls to pray without minyan


An order from Lithuanian-haredi leader Rabbi Haim Kanievsky, according to which one should pray alone without a minyan in these days, is expected to soon be released by the rabbis of the city of Bnei Brak.
The rabbis received the instruction from Rabbi Kanievsky, among other reasons, in light of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Bnei Brak and the very high number of diagnosed patients there in relation to the size of the population.
According to reports, Rabbi Kanievsky explained his ruling by saying, “It’s pikuach nefesh [a matter of saving lives].”

Turbulent Gas Clouds and Respiratory Pathogen EmissionsPotential Implications for Reducing Transmission of COVID-19

Owing to the forward momentum of the cloud, pathogen-bearing droplets are propelled much farther than if they were emitted in isolation without a turbulent puff cloud trapping and carrying them forward. Given various combinations of an individual patient’s physiology and environmental conditions, such as humidity and temperature, the gas cloud and its payload of pathogen-bearing droplets of all sizes can travel 23 to 27 feet (7-8 m).3,4 Importantly, the range of all droplets, large and small, is extended through their interaction with and trapping within the turbulent gas cloud, compared with the commonly accepted dichotomized droplet model that does not account for the possibility of a hot and moist gas cloud. Moreover, throughout the trajectory, droplets of all sizes settle out or evaporate at rates that depend not only on their size, but also on the degree of turbulence and speed of the gas cloud, coupled with the properties of the ambient environment (temperature, humidity, and airflow).

Turbulent gas cloud dynamics should influence the design and recommended use of surgical and other masks. These masks can be used both for source control (ie, reducing spread from an infected person) and for protection of the wearer (ie, preventing spread to an unaffected person). The protective efficacy of N95 masks depends on their ability to filter incoming air from aerosolized droplet nuclei. However, these masks are only designed for a certain range of environmental and local conditions and a limited duration of usage.9 Mask efficacy as source control depends on the ability of the mask to trap or alter the high-momentum gas cloud emission with its pathogenic payload. Peak exhalation speeds can reach up to 33 to 100 feet per second (10-30 m/s), creating a cloud that can span approximately 23 to 27 feet (7-8 m). Protective and source control masks, as well as other protective equipment, should have the ability to repeatedly withstand the kind of high-momentum multiphase turbulent gas cloud that may be ejected during a sneeze or a cough and the exposure from them. Currently used surgical and N95 masks are not tested for these potential characteristics of respiratory emissions.

הגר"ח קנייבסקי בהוראה דרמטית: אסור להתפלל במניין בבני ברק


 התפשטות נגיף הקורונה בבני ברק: שר התורה הגר"ח קנייבסקי הורה בשעה האחרונה לרבני העיר בני ברק, כי בעת הזאת יש להתפלל ביחידות ולא במניין • מדובר בפסק דרמטי, שמגיע לאחר שבתחילת משבר הקורונה הורה הגר"ח קנייבסקי להמשיך את פעילות מוסדות התורה בבני ברק

Haredi Jews in NY accused of 'spreading the virus'

"From pushing the idea that Jews created the coronavirus virus to sell vaccines to encouraging infected followers to try to spread the illness to the Jewish community and law enforcement, as the coronavirus has spread, we have observed how white-supremacists, neo-Nazis and others have used this to drive their own conspiracy theories, spread disinformation and incite violence on their online platforms," said Michael Masters, the head of Secure Communities Network, an umbrella group that coordinates security for Jewish organizations and synagogues around the country.

Lakewood: Man Arrested For Threatening To Use Baseball Bat Against Jews Not Following Governors Orders

Giuliani SINKS Trump with accidental admission about his feud with governors

Which God are you praying to with bloodstained hands?

God said to suspend Shabbat to save human life. He said to follow the laws of our lands. Yet so many claim to believe in Him and defy those rules, letting the bodies pile up

"Sometimes, When I Come Back From a Coronavirus Call, I Feel Like Going Into One of the House Minyanim With a Baseball Bat.”

Dear Friends:

"Sometimes, When I Come Back From a Coronavirus Call, I Feel Like Going Into One of the House Minyanim With a Baseball Bat.” (The verbatim words of a kind, supreme mentch who has been serving our community in Hatzolah for over 30 years)

Hatzalah is one of the Crown Jewels of Jewish communal life. And the Coronavirus is placing an enormous stress on the heroic volunteers, their family members, and indeed the organization itself.

Since I started writing about the danger and evil of “House Minyanim,” over a dozen Hatzalah members contacted me. Every single one thanked me for speaking out, and most said that I was TOO SOFT in my writings.

The Hatzalah member quoted above, told me that people who are doing house minyanim are “shofchei damim/murderers” and, “It honestly makes me feel like it’s “Pinchas time,” (who killed someone committing a cardinal sin).

I certainly don’t fault this holy person from expressing himself like that. We are to blame that he feels like that.

My dear friends, if we do not step forward, start speaking up in person, start yelling at the shofchei damim who are endangering the tzadikim of Hatzalah and all of us, start telling the institutions who are winking at this behavior or worse that we will never support them financially for the rest of our lives, start reporting gatherings to the police, we just might call Hatzolah when we need it in the days and weeks to come, and find out that they don’t have enough healthy members who are willing and able to go on these calls.

Be well and Gut Shabbos/Shabbat Shalom


P.S. After I posted these lines above on my social media this morning, a friend sent me the letter below from Hatzolah of Union City, NJ, notifying that they are temporarily suspending operations. Full Disclosure: I did not get the chance to verify the letter myself, which I usually do, but I got it from a very responsible person who said it was legitimate.

שאננות חרדית להרג וטבח // ב. שגב


צפיתי במאות צעירים שבאו לטעון נשק ביולוגי(!), למלא מחסניות על אף שאינם חיילים בשירות חס וחלילה. בשובם הביתה הם הסתכנו בפליטת כדור ישיר באח הקטן, בהוריהם או ברעיה שלהם


Hundreds of Israeli ultra-Orthodox attend funeral, defying virus orders

Hundreds participated in the funeral of a leader of an extreme ultra-Orthodox community who passed away late Saturday in the predominately religious city in central Israel.

Some local residents were outraged by the lack of police response to the incident and called the participants of the funeral as "murderers."
Police claim the mourners observed the restrictions during the proceedings, but pictures obtained by Ynet show that was not the case.

Fact-checking whether Biden called Trump ‘xenophobic’ for restrictions on travel from China


Amid criticism of his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump routinely flags one action as efficient and bold: restricting travel from China into the United States.
Trump has said he instituted a travel ban against everyone’s wishes and that "nobody," not even doctors, wanted him to restrict travel. But "probably tens of thousands" of people would be dead now if he hadn’t done so, he claimed on Fox News March 24.
At the same time, he’s claimed that former Vice President Joe Biden, a contender for the Democratic nomination for president, called him racist and xenophobic for restricting entry from China.
"I had Biden calling me xenophobic," Trump said on Sean Hannity’s Fox News prime-time show March 26. "He called me a racist, because of the fact that he felt it was a racist thing to stop people from China coming in."


CDC issues travel advisory for New York tri-state area after coronavirus kills more than 2,000


New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have been placed under a 14-day travel advisory in the latest effort by United States officials to slow down the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus.
More than 121,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in the US and more than half are in those states, according to CNN's tally of cases reported by health officials.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the new travel advisory Saturday night, urging people in those states to "refrain from non-essential domestic travel" after President Donald Trump announced on Twitter he had asked for it.
The CDC said this advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services and food supply.

One nation, under coronavirus: How two weeks changed America


Early next week, those 15 days will be up. Trump has said he wants to ease restrictions on the public and start opening up the country, against the advice of public health authorities.
The disease is still spreading, with thousands of new cases and deaths despite the efforts to "flatten the curve." The toll of social distancing can be measured in millions of new jobless claims, a $2 trillion stimulus bill, and a modest bump to Trump's approval ratings.
Here's a breakdown of the numbers that defined these two unprecedented weeks in America.

Trump Adviser Claims President Was First Leader to Restrict Travel From China Due to Coronavirus, But North Korea and Italy Did Earlier


Trump actually announced the travel restriction on January 31, and they did not take effect until February 2 at 5 p.m. EST. Meanwhile, North Korea had blocked all foreign visitors from entering the country on January 22 over coronavirus concerns. Italy banned all flights from China on January 31.
Trump's travel restrictions were also much less stringent than those put in place by Italy and North Korea. The president's executive action barred foreign nationals that had traveled to China in the last two weeks, with 11 exceptions – including for citizens, their close family members and permanent residents. Those allowed to enter the U.S. after traveling to China faced additional screening measures and in some cases were asked to quarantine. China's Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau were not included in the travel ban.

Trump: NBC Called Me Racist for Banning Travel from China


During a White House press briefing with the coronavirus task force, NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker asked why the administration wasn’t more prepared to deal with the virus by providing more testing supplies.

“We were very prepared. The only thing we weren't prepared for was the media. The media has not treated it fairly. I will tell you how prepared I was, I called for a ban from people coming in from China long before anybody thought it was -- in fact, it was your network, I believe they called me a racist because I did that,” Trump said.

Trump brags about his China travel ban. Health experts say it’s had little effect


Trump has also overstated Democrats’ response to the travel ban, accusing Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Joe Biden, the putative Democratic presidential nominee, of opposing it. Neither one did so, although Biden blasted Trump more broadly for what he called a record of “xenophobia and hysteria.”
Washington is justified in criticizing Beijing for covering up the early stages of the outbreak by concealing reports of the virus and detaining doctors who sounded early alarms, according to China experts. But the mounting propaganda battle threatens to hamper cooperation at a critical moment.
“We should be cooperating at a time when China has learned a lot about this virus, and instead we’re engaging in this name-calling,” said Stephen A. Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, a nongovernmental group.
“The nationalism it’s stoked in China is terrible,” he added. “There are people in China who want to send masks and equipment to the rest of the world, but they’d rather send it to the [European Union] than the U.S. at this point.”

Domestic violence 'epidemic' in the wake of COVID-19


In the UK, MPs have suggested giving police special authority to evict individuals for committing acts of violence against other family members and allowing courts to withdraw court fees for protection orders.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Here's how to debunk coronavirus misinformation and conspiracy theories from friends and family


 Reminder: Some Americans "still think this is a media hoax"
Brian Stelter writes: CNN contributor and WIRED writer Garrett Graff, who recently published an oral history of 9/11, is working on a week-by-week "Covid Spring" oral history for WIRED. The first two installments are out now. Graff told me he was struck by "the number of people" who took Trump seriously when the president was "downplaying this threat for the first chunk of this year." Even now, he said, some people "still think this is a media hoax that is playing out..."

Five of Donald Trump's most misleading coronavirus claims

As US deaths rise, the president seems unable to grasp the severity of the problem – and he’s made multiple false claims along the way

Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing

A White House official confirmed to The Hill that no Democrats were invited to the bill-signing event. But in the Oval Office ceremony, Trump — flanked by top Cabinet members, aides and GOP lawmakers — heaped praise on bipartisan negotiators.

Haredi communities urged to ‘wake up’ as infections in Bnei Brak, Jerusalem soar


Bnei Brak Mayor Avraham Rubinstein, himself currently quarantined for fear of exposure, urged residents Friday to “wake up!” He said the city was seeing the highest infection rate in the country, with “the forecast far more frightening.” Rubinstein called on the public to “stop with the wise-guy minyans [quorum of 10 Jewish adults required for prayer] of more than 10, keep your distances, and stop the crowding and congestion at supermarkets. Just stay at home and be careful, this is dangerous.”

The US hits a grim new record as Trump continues to preach optimism


 The US is now the world leader in coronavirus infections, with more than 100,000 as of Friday. That includes more than 25,000 in New York City, where hospitals are already overwhelmed.
Yet it is impossible to reconcile the messages being blasted to the country on competing platforms by President Donald Trump, on the one hand, and by the nation's top infectious disease doctor, on the other.

Friday, March 27, 2020

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s inaccurate boasts on China travel ban


TRUMP: “Everybody was against it. Almost everybody, I would say, was just absolutely against it. ... I made a decision to close off to China that was weeks early. ... And I must say, doctors — nobody wanted to make that decision at the time.” — Fox News virtual town hall Tuesday.
TRUMP: “I’ll tell you how prepared I was, I called for a ban.” — news briefing on March 19.
THE FACTS: His decision was far from solo nor was it made over opposition from health experts, as the White House coronavirus task force makes clear. His decision followed a consensus by his public health advisers that the restrictions should take place.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, who was coordinator of the task force at the time and announced the travel restrictions, said Trump made the decision in late January after accepting the “uniform recommendation of the career public health officials here at HHS.”
While the World Health Organization did advise against the overuse of travel restrictions, Azar told reporters in February that his department’s career health officials had made a “considered recommendation, which I and the president adopted” in a bid to slow spread of the virus.
Most major airlines had already suspended flights to China prior to the announcement on Jan. 31, following the lead of several major international carriers that had stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak. Delta, American and United cited a sharp drop in demand for the flights, and an earlier State Department advisory told Americans not to travel to China because of the outbreak.
TRUMP: “And if we didn’t do that, thousands and thousands of people would have died.” — news briefing Wednesday.
THE FACTS: The impact hasn’t been quantified. While Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health has praised the travel restrictions on China for slowing the virus, it’s not known how big an impact they had or if “thousands and thousands” of lives were saved.

There were plenty of gaps in containment.
Trump’s order did not fully “close” the U.S. off to China, as he asserts. It temporarily barred entry by foreign nationals who had traveled in China within the previous 14 days, with exceptions for the immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Americans returning from China were allowed back after enhanced screening at select ports of entry and for 14 days afterward. But U.S. scientists say screenings can miss people who don’t yet show symptoms of COVID-19; while symptoms often appear within five or six days of exposure, the incubation period is 14 days.

Although Democratic leaders and Democratic presidential candidates have been highly critical of Trump’s response to the coronavirus, we couldn’t find any examples of them directly and clearly criticizing the travel restrictions.

Fox News Poll March 21-24, 2020

- More Democrats than Republicans are concerned about the virus spreading nationally and about personally catching it.

Approval of Trump’s overall job performance is up one point since February to 48 percent, while 51 percent disapprove. That puts him underwater by 3 points. Last month, his rating was 47 approve-52 disapprove (-5).  His best marks were in February 2017, when he had a net positive rating by one point (48-47).

Fox News Poll: Complete Mar... by Fox News on Scribd

Army Corps of Engineers Gives Options To States Facing COVID Crush | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC