PolWorld, Author at POLSKA УКРАЇНА

Man, 72, Dies of Injuries 3 Months After Hanukkah Stabbings

A man who was among the five people stabbed during a Hanukkah celebration north of New York City has died three months after the attack, according to an Orthodox Jewish organization and community liaison with a local police department. Josef Neumann, 72, died Sunday night, the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council said in a tweet. The funeral for Neumann, a father of seven and great-grandfather, is being held Monday. No additional details were provided.  On Dec. 28, an attacker with a machete rushed into a rabbi’s home in an Orthodox Jewish community in Monsey, New York, an ambush Gov. Andrew Cuomo called an act of domestic terrorism fueled by intolerance and a “cancer” of growing hatred in America. Cuomo said in a statement on Monday that he was “deeply saddened” to learn about the death. FILE – David Neumann, center, wipes his eyes as he speaks to reporters in New City, N.Y., Jan. 2, 2020, about his father, Josef Neumann, who was stabbed in an attack on a Hanukkah celebration.”This repugnant attack shook us to our core, demonstrating that we are not immune to the hate-fueled violence that we shamefully see elsewhere in the country,” the governor said. Rabbi Yisroel Kahan, who is the community liaison for the Ramapo Police Department that serves Monsey and executive director of Oizrim Jewish Council, shared the news of Neumann’s passing on his Twitter account as well.  “We were hoping when he started to open his eyes,” Rabbi Yisroel Kahan told The Journal News on Sunday night. “We were hoping and praying he would then pull through. This is so very sad he was killed celebrating Hanukkah with friends just because he was a Jew.” Federal prosecutors said the man charged in the attack, Grafton Thomas, had handwritten journals containing anti-Semitic comments and a swastika and had researched Adolf Hitler’s hatred of Jews online. Thomas’ lawyer and relatives said he has struggled for years with mental illness; they said he was raised in a tolerant home and hadn’t previously shown any animosity toward Jewish people.Thomas was indicted on federal hate crime charges as well as state charges, including attempted murder. He has pleaded not guilty. The Hanukkah attack came amid a string of violence that has alarmed Jews in the region. 

WHO: Don’t Wear Face Masks

Don’t wear face masks to fend off the coronavirus, the World Health Organization says. “There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly,” WHO executive director of health emergencies Mike Ryan said Monday. The WHO says the only people who need masks are those who are already sick and those who are caring for the sick. Ryan also cited the global shortage of medical supplies and the risk frontline workers are facing every day. “The thought of them not having masks is horrific,” Ryan said. Although some medical researchers endorse face masks and say effective ones can be homemade, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says they are ineffective in filtering small particles from the air and may not help if an infected person sneezes or coughs nearby.  UN resolutions The U.N. Security Council voted remotely for the first time Monday and approved four resolutions, including one that continues a sanctions monitoring mission for North Korea and another extending the U.N. mission in Somalia.  Council members and staffers have been teleworking for almost three weeks. But some are decrying the new procedures as restrictive and cumbersome and no substitute for meetings and debates.  US death toll The U.S. coronavirus death toll reached a grim record Monday with 486 deaths reported – the biggest one-day number so far with the total number approaching 3,000. President Donald Trump says the number of tests for the virus across the country hit the 1 million mark, which he says is the most of any country. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says U.S. labs are carrying out 100,000 tests a day, which he also says is a global record.President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Washington.The Pentagon announced Monday that a U.S. National Guardsman, Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok, died Saturday, becoming the first U.S. military member to succumb to the coronavirus.  “This is a stinging loss for our military community, and our condolences go out to his family, friends, civilian co-workers and the entire National Guard community,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said. “The news of this loss strengthens our resolve to work ever more closely with our interagency partners to stop the spread of COVID-19,” he added. California prepares California Governor Gavin Newsom is calling on retired doctors to hang out their shingles again and is also recruiting medical and nursing students to help with an expected surge of coronavirus cases in that state, the nation’s most populous.  “California’s health care workers are the heroes of this moment, serving on the front lines in the fight against this disease. To treat the rising number of patients with COVID-19, our state needs more workers in the health care field to join the fight. If you have a background in health care, we need your help,” Newsom said Monday.  The state’s health agency is preparing stadiums and convention centers to serve as makeshift hospitals.  Pastor arrested Also Monday, a sheriff outside Tampa, Florida arrested a pastor who held services Sunday despite the governor’s orders against gatherings of more than 10 people.  “Shame on this pastor, their legal staff and the leaders of this staff for forcing us to do our job. That’s not what we wanted to do during a declared state of emergency,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “We are hopeful that this will be a wakeup call.” Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne said he sanitized his church before the service, calling it an “essential business” like police and firefighters. He also attacked the media for alleged “religious bigotry and hate.” 

Grandma’s not Here: Coronavirus Keeps Kids From Older Family

A few weeks ago, Debbie Cameron saw her grandsons most days, playing the piano, making after-school snacks or singing nursery rhymes with the baby in her Chandler, Arizona, home.  Then the cornavirus crisis hit and the boys were suddenly gone. Cameron is 68 and has asthma, making her one of the people most at risk of getting seriously ill or dying. Now she sees her grandchildren from behind the glass of a window or a phone screen.  “Looking at them through the window and not being able hug them, it’s just a dang killer,” she said.  For grandparents all over the world, being protected from the pandemic has meant a piercing distance from their loved ones. While children don’t seem to be getting seriously ill as often, they can be infected and spread the virus. It’s been a jolting change for many.Cameron and her husband, both retired teachers, usually watch their older grandchildren, aged 8 and 11, after school and their 7-month-old baby grandson four times a week. One of their three daughters is due to have another child in July.But as the effects of coronavirus spread, the family decided that caring for the boys was too risky. While most people who catch the disease suffer from symptoms like fever and cough and recover in a few weeks, some get severely ill with things like pneumonia. COVID-19 can be fatal, and older people who have underlying conditions like Cameron are the most vulnerable.  So instead of chasing after little boys, she’s doing puzzles, listening to old radio shows or watching the Hallmark channel, trying to fill the hours in her much-quieter house. “I just go day by day, and when the dark thoughts come in I try and do something to take them away,” she said. “I cry. Sometimes I cry.”  Still, she feels lucky she doesn’t have to leave the house to work, and that she has close family ties. Sometimes she re-reads a letter her mother wrote her father while he was deployed to the Philippines during World War II, laying out her raw emotions about how much she missed him as she cared for their first child without him. “My mother is a really strong woman, and in this one she was struggling,” she said. “If my mom did that, I can do this.”  The sudden change has been challenging for kids’ parents too, many of whom are trying to work from home and balance childcare. Cameron’s daughter Julie Bufkin is at home with her 7-month old son Calvin, working from home as a project coordinator at Arizona State University while her husband goes into the office as an analytical chemist for Intel.  She’s been taking webcam calls and answering emails while breastfeeding the baby and trying to keep him entertained, even after coming down with a fever and headache, symptoms similar to the new coronavirus. In line with the advice of public-health officials, she stayed at home to recover and wasn’t tested for the virus, since she’s young and healthy and didn’t become seriously ill. She’s now on the mend, but it only deepened her mother’s feelings of helplessness.  “Imagine if your child is sick you can’t go help them,” Cameron said. “That’s the hardest part.”But for her daughter, it further confirmed that staying physically separate for now is the right decision.  “We want my mom to survive this,” Bufkin said.  And the grandparents can still step in remotely — Bufkin sets up a phone or a tablet in Calvin’s playpen, where they can sing songs, show him around the yard, look at the cat or play piano over FaceTime.  “Anything we can, even five to 10 minutes to give her a little rest. That makes my day,” Cameron said.  They’re only 5 miles (eight kilometers) away in suburban Phoenix, and for a time Bufkin was dropping off food weekly, then touching hands or exchanging kisses through the window. More often, they’re sharing their lives through a phone or tablet screen.The baby watches his grandparents on the screen, looking up from his own games to smile and laugh at his grandpa or focus on his grandmother playing the saxophone.Other grandparents are also looking for moments of brightness. They’re replacing chats on the porch with friends with Facebook conversations, or connecting with church congregations through video-messaging apps like Marco Polo.Others are turning the technological clock back. Margret Boes-Ingraham, 72, used to drive her 14-year-old granddaughter to choir practice a few times a week near Salt Lake City, then stay to listen to her sing. Without those rides spent listening to show tunes, she’s encouraging her granddaughter to keep a journal.  “I asked her if I could read, and she said no!” Boes-Ingraham said with a laugh.  For grandparents who live alone, hunkering down during the crisis can increase their isolation. Terry Catucci is a 69-year-old retired social worker and recovering alcoholic of 30 years in Maryland. She has seven grandchildren nearby in the Washington, D.C., area including a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old who she helps care for sometimes. She tries not to think about the little changes she’s missing during the years when children seem to grow every day.”When you’re in a time of crisis, you want to be with people you love, and we can’t,” she said. “I’ve run the whole gamut of the five stages of grief at any given day.”  But she’s getting by, talking with her family and checking in daily with her Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor. Every night, neighbors in her retirement community set up lawn chairs at the end of driveways to chat with friends walking by at a safe distance.”We’re all learning how to survive in this time,” she said, “to live a little bit the best we can.” 

Navy Hospital Ship Arrives in NYC to Back Up Health Systems

A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds arrived Monday in New York City as officials pressed for more federal help. Mayor Bill de Blasio said President Donald Trump’s suggestion that thousands of medical masks are disappearing from New York City hospitals is “insulting” to front-line medical workers. The Navy hospital ship arrived to help relieve the coronavirus crisis gripping the city’s hospitals.The USNS Comfort, which was sent to New York City after 9/11, will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients while hospitals treat people with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.Hospital ship Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the hospital ship will relieve stress on city hospitals as the massive vessel pulled into a cruise ship terminal off Manhattan. In addition to the 1,000 beds, the Comfort has 12 operating rooms that could be up and running within 24 hours.The ship’s arrival comes as New York state’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak climbed Sunday above 1,000, less than a month after the first known infection in the state.
Most of those deaths have occurred in just the past few days.New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, reported Sunday that its toll had risen to 776. The total number of statewide deaths isn’t expected to be released until Monday, but with at least 250 additional deaths recorded outside the city as of Sunday morning, the state’s total fatalities was at least 1,026.Medical Masks De Blasio and others criticized Trump for suggesting with no clear evidence that thousands of medical masks are disappearing from New York City hospitals.At a Sunday briefing, the president told reporters they should be asking, “Where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door?”Those remarks are “insulting” to hospital workers on the front lines of the city’s coronavirus crisis, de Blasio said Monday. 
“It’s incredibly insensitive to people right now who are giving their all,” he said. “I don’t know what the president is talking about.”Hospitals had warned staff early on during the outbreak to not take masks home with them, but no evidence has emerged of large-scale looting of supplies.Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association, said in a statement that the workers “deserve better than their president suggesting that protective equipment is ‘going out the back door’ of New York hospitals.”

Trump Uses Wartime Act but GM Says it’s Already Moving Fast

Twelve days ago, General Motors put hundreds of workers on an urgent project to build breathing machines as hospitals and governors pleaded for more in response to the coronavirus pandemic.But President Donald Trump, claiming the company wasn’t moving fast enough, on Friday invoked the Defense Production Act, which gives the government broad authority to direct companies to meet national defense needs.  Experts on managing factory production say GM is already making an extraordinary effort for a company that normally isn’t in the business of producing ventilators.”That is lightning-fast speed to secure suppliers, learn how the products work, and make space in their manufacturing plant. You can’t get much faster than that,” said Kaitlin Wowak, a professor at the University of Notre Dame who focuses on industrial supply chains.  GM expects to start making ventilators in mid-April, ramping up to a rate of 10,000 per month at as quickly as it can. The company is working with Ventec Life Systems, a small Seattle-area ventilator maker, and both say the Defense Production Act of 1950 doesn’t change what they’re doing because they’re already moving as fast as they can, fronting millions in capital with an uncertain return.  “I don’t think anybody could have done it faster,” said Gerald Johnson, GM’s global manufacturing chief.Peter Navarro, Trump’s assistant for manufacturing policy, said Saturday that invoking the act was needed because GM “dragged its heels for days” in committing to the investments to start making ventilators at an automotive electronics plant in Kokomo, Indiana.It was only a few days earlier that Trump had been holding up GM and Ford as examples of companies voluntarily responding to the outbreak without the need for him to invoke the act. Then on Friday, he slammed GM on Twitter and during his daily briefing for foot-dragging. On Sunday, he was back to praising the company during another briefing: “General Motors is doing a fantastic job. I don’t think we have to worry about them anymore.”  But GM says it had been proceeding on the same course all along.The company got into the ventilator business on March 18 after being approached by stopthespread.org, a coalition of CEOs trying to organize companies to respond to the COVID-19 disease that has already claimed more than 30,000 lives globally. The organization introduced GM to Ventec, which makes small portable ventilators in Bothell, Washington.The automaker pulled together manufacturing experts, engineers and purchasing specialists, and the next day had people at Ventec’s facility, a short distance from a nursing home where the virus killed at least 35 people.  They worked on speeding up Ventec’s manufacturing. A few days later, GM assigned more engineers and purchasing experts to figure out how it could make Ventec’s machines. Some Ventec parts makers couldn’t produce enough widgets fast enough, so GM went to its own parts bin to find suppliers to do the job, Johnson said. At the same time, GM was shutting down its car and truck factories temporarily due to worker fears about the virus.  Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan law and business professor, said he thought Trump would commend GM and use it as an example for other manufacturers in the coronavirus fight.  “What came out was a smack on the head,” he said.Gordon, who teaches a class in commercialization of biomedical goods, said Trump likely will claim credit when GM starts making the machines. “This is an election year, and on all sides you’re going to see political theater,” he said.Critics have urged Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act broadly to control the production, supply and distribution of ventilators and protective gear for hospital workers who are running short. That’s what the act was meant to do, and it was not for use against a single company, Gordon said.  Even with increased production from all ventilator makers, however, the U.S. might not have enough of the life-saving machines. U.S. hospitals have about 65,000 of the ventilators that are sophisticated enough to treat critical coronavirus patients. It could probably cobble together a total of 170,000, including simpler devices, to help with the crisis, one expert says.  A doctor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center estimates that 960,000 people in the U.S. will need to be on ventilators, which feed oxygen into the lungs of patients with severe respiratory problems through a tube inserted down the throat. Doctors hope social distancing will stop a huge number of people from getting sick simultaneously, flattening the curve of the illness so they can use one ventilator to treat multiple patients.Trump, in several appearances Friday, accused GM of promising 40,000 ventilators, then reducing the number to 6,000. He also said the company wanted higher prices than previously discussed.Ventec, which is negotiating with the government to provide more ventilators, said it only changed numbers and prices at the request of government agencies, which asked for a range of quantities and prices. The company said it’s selling the ventilators, which can treat severe virus patients, at distributor cost, and it has offered scaled down versions for a lower price.  Up until late Sunday, Ventec and GM hadn’t known how many ventilators the government would buy but those details are now being worked out.Ventec isn’t sure if it will make any money on the devices, which generally sell for $18,000 — far less than ventilators used in hospital intensive care units that can cost $50,000. Johnson says GM has no intention of making a profit.Ventec will need government money to help pay parts suppliers and ramp up its own production from 200 per month to 1,000 or more, said CEO Chris Kiple.  Invoking the Defense Production Act “shined a light” on the need for ventilators, he said, but Ventec can’t move any quicker.”We’re still moving full speed ahead,” Kiple said. “We know there’s a shortage of ventilators.”

Group Stranded in Honduras Over Virus Concerns Back in WVa

Members of a church group gobbled fast food upon their return to West Virginia after becoming stuck in Honduras for two weeks during a mission trip.Sixteen members of the Morgantown Church of Christ arrived back home early Friday, The Dominion Post reported.”We all sat down and ate Wendy’s cheeseburgers when we got back to the airport,” church member Devinne Sparks said.The mission trip that was supposed to last a week turned into 14 days when the new coronavirus pandemic prompted the Honduran government to shut its borders.Church elder Richard Moore said the group learned Thursday that despite the Honduras border shutdown, empty United Airlines planes were being allowed to land to retrieve U.S. citizens.The group spent $20,000 for tickets, and “they doubled in price in just the time we were on the phone,” Moore said. “If we would have waited another three or four hours, it would have been over $45,000.”The church group boarded a plane Thursday afternoon. Moore said he was surprised no one mentioned checking the health of the group members, who will self-quarantine for 14 days.Sparks said the group plans to build its finances back up and return to Honduras.For now, the 22-year-old and her mother, Cynthia Shultz, have to spend even more time apart.  “She’s in quarantine, but we saw each other through the door today,” Shultz said Friday. “I’m just so much happier today — so much more at peace.”

Coronavirus Lockdowns Extended as Governments Hope for Progress

The U.S. state of New York has passed the somber milestone of 1,000 coronavirus deaths, while governments across the world instituted or extended new lockdowns to try to blunt the effects of the outbreak. U.S. President Donald Trump announced U.S. guidelines on social distancing to prevent the virus from spreading would be extended from an initial Monday end date to the end of April. The United States has the most cases worldwide. Italy, which has by far the most deaths and has been under strict lockdown for weeks, reported more than 750 more deaths Sunday, but saw signs of hope with a slowdown in new infections. An Italian government official told Italy’s Sky TG24 television that while everyone wants to return to life as usual, talking about such a move at this point is inappropriate, and that the lockdown measures set to expire Friday will inevitably be renewed. Several world leaders have focused on the economic impact of the crisis, often drawing criticism amid mounting case counts and death tolls. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ran afoul of Twitter rules with several posts featuring videos in which he met with groups of people and questioned the need to shut down businesses and keep people from gathering. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro walks after a meeting with the governors to define strategies to combat to COVID-19 during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brasilia, Brazil, March 23, 2020.Twitter said it would ban posts that go against public health recommendations and encourage ineffective prevention techniques that could increase the likelihood of people getting sick.  The social media company deleted two of Bolsonaro’s posts, saying he violated the policy. Among new restrictions going into effect Monday are isolation orders in Moscow, where people are only allowed to leave their homes for essential jobs, shopping for food or medicine, or for a medical emergency. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced stay-at-home orders for the country’s capital, Abuja, and its largest city, Lagos, and said that travel to and from other parts of the country should be avoided.In Britain, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prince Charles are among 22,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the government’s deputy chief medical officer says the lockdown there could last as long as six months, but could be eased if people do as they’re told and conditions improve. Lockdowns are also being extended in Nepal, Slovenia and Argentina. Worldwide, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases stood at more than 723,000 with 34,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University statistics early Monday. Victims include popular Japanese comedian Ken Shimura, whose death was reported late Sunday.  The 70-year-old was hospitalized March 20 with a fever and breathing problems. China’s government is starting to encourage businesses to reopen as health officials keep an eye on the threat of imported cases after making vast progress in essentially eliminating locally transmitted cases. China was the first country to report cases of the new coronavirus and put in place its own strict lockdowns, especially in the city of Wuhan, which accounted for the highest number of the more than 81,000 infections in China. With hospitals all over the world facing an influx of patients and short supplies, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted their contributions in a late Sunday Twitter post. “Health workers worldwide continue providing critical assistance to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, often through personal sacrifice.  I’m grateful for their courage, commitment and sacrifice,” he said. 

Democratic Leader Dies as Missouri Coronavirus Cases Top 900

A Democratic Party leader in western Missouri died Sunday after contracting COVID-19 as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state exceeded 900 and the death toll reached 12.
The death of William “Al” Grimes, the Henry County Democratic Party chairman, was announced in a tweet from state Chairwoman Jean Peters Baker. It came after the Henry County Health Center in Clinton, about 60 miles (96.56 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City, announced that a man in his 70s had died.
“We will miss you, Al,” Peters wrote. “The stars will not shine as brightly.”
Peters said that Grimes, a Navy veteran, had been active in campaigns throughout eastern and central Missouri. He also ran for the Missouri House in 2014 and 2016.
Grimes was first hospitalized in Clinton before being transferred on March 8 to a Kansas hospital, The Kansas City Star reported.  His positive test for coronavirus was reported March 13, but he was among the state’s first confirmed cases.
His death was among two new deaths reported Sunday by the state Department of Health and Senior Services. There were no details about the other new death.
The number of coronavirus cases confirmed in Missouri rose by 65 from Saturday to 903, according to the department, but the increase of 8% was considerably lower than the 25% increase Saturday and the average daily increase of 45% over the past week.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
Meanwhile, a third St. Louis-area police officer tested positive for the coronavirus and was in isolation.
The St. Louis County Police Department said Saturday that one of its officers had contracted the virus, but the agency does not believe it happened while the officer was on duty. The department provided no other details.
The St. Louis County police said affected work areas and vehicles have been thoroughly cleaned and they don’t know of any other cases associated with the officers.
Two officers in the St. Louis city police force’s traffic division also have tested positive for the virus.
Also, Jim Edmonds, a broadcaster for baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals said he underwent tests at an area hospital for coronavirus after going to the emergency room. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the 49-year-old former outfielder said he has pneumonia and was awaiting the results of other tests.