First the Coronavirus, now this?! Michigan Evacuates from Dam Destructions

Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer warned people to get themselves out to safety, after two dams broke in central Michigan, where one downtown could be under 9 feet of water by Wednesday.  People living along the Tittabawassee River and connected lakes in Midland county were ordered to leave home.

Michigan saw an unusually high rainfall this year, and coupled with aging infrastructure (Edenville Dam having been built in 1924 and Sanford Dam in 1925), the weight of the water was simply too much on the dams. Edenville Dam received unsatisfactory grade by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2018.

The flooding of the Tittabawassee River this time has beat the last highest record of 33.9 feet during 1986 flooding, with 34.4 feet on Wednesday morning.

Michigan also has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates at 53,009, with death toll now at 5,060.

As social distancing suggestions are still in effect, this evacuation could prove to be particularly difficult for the Michiganders living in the Midland area.

Pres. Trump will arrive in Michigan on Thursday.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

WHO will support international health crises? What if Trump Halts financial contributions to WHO

(Photo from Google Images)

Director of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus received a letter from Pres. Trump on Monday, criticizing “repeated missteps by you and your organization,” and that if the WHO does not “commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days,” he would permanently halt financial contributions to WHO.

Since WHO foundation in 1948, composed of 194 member states and delegation of health experts and leaders to represent each country in the World Health Assembly, the organization had developed as decision and policy-making body for global healthcare.

As death toll passed 90,000 on Tuesday, Trump blamed WHO on its procrastination from issuing epidemic or pandemic alerts earlier this year. As the biggest payer of WHO, the US reaped no benefits from the WHO this year.

While Trump threatens to pull out of WHO, Germany and France point fingers at Trump. Trump in turn, points finger back, angry at the rest of the member nations that pay significantly less, but reaps the same or more benefits. And the data seems to show that the US has the right to be angry at WHO’s incompetence in facing the Novel Coronavirus this year.

According to WHO, major countries’ total contributions to the WHO (2018-2019) shows the following:

United States: $893 million (membership dues $237 million + $656 million from donations)

United Kingdom: $435 million

Germany: $292 million

China: $86 million

France: $76 million

Russia: $57 million

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation donated to WHO $531 million in the same period.

Considering that the top two contributors are the US and the Gates Foundation providing more funding than the top 5 contributors combined (other than the US), WHO would be quite lost for funds should Pres. Trump indeed decide to stop funding.

Countries like South Korea took drastic measures earlier in the pandemic, and despite seeing initially high numbers of coronavirus infections, saw minimal deaths and is in the path to recovery. South Korea did not depend on the WHO to provide guidance, but the US did, which is why WHO is in the place it is today.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Moderna Claims COVID-19 Vaccine Success, but what is the Truth?

(photo from Google Images)

Moderna is the leading biotechnology company in Massachusetts, and on Monday, it announced that phase I coronavirus testing for human vaccination purposes yielded safe and effective results.

The results have not yet been published in peer-reviewed scientific journal. However, market reacted positively, with company’s stock seeing a sharp soar of $66.69 per share to $83 in one day.

However, some are concerned that this is yet another biotech firm “fake and pull out” situation similar to that of Gilead, as Monsef Slaoui, one of the directors stepped down days ago, requiring him to sell his stocks. His options are worth $10 million at $66.69 per share, but with $83 per share, he will see great profit when selling his shares.

Another issue is Moderna’s receipt of $483 million from a federal agency by the name of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and many congress people are alerting the conflict of interest between federal and business co-op, that seems to generate great revenue but no firm results.

As the World continues to seek and develop vaccines to fight against COVID-19, these brief moments of hope that flickers and dies is hardly helpful to the overall economy; instead, it fuels distrust amongst the citizens, who wait patiently yet frustrated in their homes waiting for vaccines and getting no results but news of biotechnology company stocks going up in price per share.

First, Gilead, now Moderna. Who will come next for a little stock market boost?

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

NYSE will reopen on May 26, “New Normal” Pres. Cunningham Says

After March 23, Coronavirus storm hit Wall Street very hard. Before Wall Street can be cleared up, big shovel of hope may be needed for many Americans first.

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) President Stacey Cunningham announced Thursday, that NYSE will reopen on May 26, and allow a “subset” of brokers wearing face masks to work at the trading floor.

As of March 23, all trading switched to electronic due to one employee and one trader testing positive for coronavirus at the NYSE.

Cunningham said, “Our reopening will bring a ‘new normal’ for the NYSE, hopefully helping chart a path that other businesses in densely populated areas might follow.”

“Designated market makers” who oversee trading for the exchange’s 2,200 listed companies will continue to work remotely, and anyone entering the building will not be allowed to use public transportation. Temperature checks will be reimplemented at entrances.”

“We’ve learned a lot and are in a position to reopen the floor with vital new safety measures, as we begin working together to restart the U.S. economy,” she said.

Coronavirus pandemic is still very much in progress, and this new change will have to be monitored to see whether such action is safe or effective.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

FRB Chairman Jerome Powell Remarks on “Longer-Term” COVID-19 Impact on Economic crisis

(Photo by Federal Reserve via Getty Images)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell states that the central bank would continue to use its policy tools to lessen the brunt of this economic crisis but that it could still turn to “long term concerns.”

“The recovery may take some time to gather momentum, and the passage of time can turn liquidity problems into solvency problems,” Powell said.

He states “We ought to do what we can avoid these outcomes, and that may require additional policy measures,” and “Additional fiscal support could be costly, but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery,” in virtual remarks at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Powell said the priority has been using Fed’s many tools aimed for avoiding a financial crisis and pledged to use those tools ”to their fullest” until the central bank is confident that the economic recovery is underway.

Powell’s remarks were not enough to save the Stock Market, however, as S&P 500, Dow 30, Nasdaq, and Russell 2000 all closed with negative outlook.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Another Mask Incident, this time at a Target store in LA

On May 1, two unmasked men were caught on camera assaulting a Target employee, who confronted them about refusing to wear masks inside the LA store.

As the men refused to comply with wearing masks, they were escorted out of the store by the employees. As they neared the exit, one of the suspects suddenly turned and punched a store employee, and the employee fell to the floor. During the scuffle that happened, the employees left arm was broken.

The two men are in custody and faces a felony battery charge and held with $50,000 bail. Now on top of that, they’ll have to pay for the Target employee’s treatment.

… all because they didn’t want to wear a mask during a pandemic.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Florida Shuts Down Beach After Massive Beach Crowding

(Photo from Google Images)

During Mother’s Day Weekend, Naples decided to reopen the beach and chose to shut it down once more when it was reported that the amount of people that swarmed counted in the thousands, looking to be even more than the crowd normally gathered during Independence Day crowds in July.

After seeing the swam of people on Saturday, the city closed the beach down effective Sunday. Many city residents were happy to see the closure, as it seemed that many that came out to the beach were out oft owners, noted by evidence of love bugs on the cars, which isn’t possible when driving around Naples.

Naples plans to keep the beaches open during the week, but limit opening on the weekends.

Florida has begun reopening except in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, as majority of COVID-19 cases arise from those three counties.

Florida currently reports 40,596 cases and 1.721 deaths. It is unclear whether beach reopening might bring that number up quicker than forecasted or not.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

NYC Suspends 24Hrs Subway System for Disinfectant purpose

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city’s public transit system needed to be cleaned and disinfected due to COVID-19. Cuomo said, “They can disinfect all trains and buses every nights,” and “It can best be done by stopping train service from 1 am to 5 am every night.”

Cuomo added that the city’s public transit system will still provide buses and “dollar vans” at no cost to essential workers during those hours.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) runs the city’s public transit system, but this operation will be operated by the State, City, and the NYPD.

The subway system of the MTA operates 24 hour daily service. Some natural disasters halted its operation before.

Normally MTA cleans the subway cars every 72 hours, but it is to change to every single day from now on.

Cuomo added that NYPD and homeless outreach workers will cooperate to clear people out of the subway at 1 a.m.

Cuomo said disinfected cleaning will be done to interiors of the buses, subway cars and all of its subway area as well. Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, New York saw more than 164,000 cases, and some of the MTA workers have been infected by COVID-19 and died.

The MTA will disinfect the Metro North Line(MNL) and Long Island Rail Road(LIRR) too. These lines can be done without disruption to service, Cuomo added.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Let them eat meat? Trump to order meat processing plants operating

On April 28, Pres. Trump announced that meat processing plants would stay open to prevent COVID-19 from impacting the national food supply under Defense Production Act.

Unions are fighting back, however, asserting the danger present to workers in keeping the plants open. Just as Smithfield in South Dakota recently closed due to infections, more than 20 meatpacking plants have closed temporarily due to the risk of keeping the plants open amidst the virus outbreak. Even open plants do not operate at full capacity due to sick workers or workers avoiding work to protect themselves.

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union represents 1.3 million food and retail workers. The Union stated that 20 food processing and meatpacking union workers have died from the virus, and that an estimated 6,500 have fallen sick or exposed to COVID.

The 15 largest pork-packing plants account for 60% of all pork processed in the US, and there has so far been a 25% reduction in pig slaughter capacity. As food concerns get serious, the White House is hoping to prevent shortage through the order.

However, the White House is in talks with the Labor Department to increase protection for meatpacking workers, for example, by preventing those over the age of 65 from leaving the home.

Although Trump promises safety to workers, Unions are skeptical. The Union wishes to compel companies to provide protective equipment, make daily testing available, and enforce physical distancing.

These workers often work in close proximity while slicing meat, which makes social distancing nearly impossible. While some companies use staggered breaks, changing start times, and checking workers’ temperatures, it is not enough, Unions warn.

Other companies, however, have seen workers walk off, as their policies force employees from leaving when complaining of symptoms or allowed return of employees even if they were sick after just 2-3 days.

Gov. Noem of South Dakota is an avid supporter of reopening plants, but given her track record of doing not much in protecting workers before the necessitated shutdown of the Smithfield plant, it is a question whether she would enact or enforce any worker-safety related laws.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

COVID-19 strains now in 30 different mutations, says Study from China

(Photo from CDC)

US is seeing a death toll at 42,897, with confirmed 799,515 cases as of April 21, and extreme rightists protesting to end quarantine.

A new study from professor Li Lanjuan and colleagues from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China  published in a non-peer review paper released on website medRXiv.org on Sunday, says that COVID-19 now has at least 30 different variation of mutations, which could make finding vaccine even more difficult.

Li Team stated that some of the COVID-19 mutations could generate as much as 270 times the normal viral load as the weakest strains, showing variety in danger to humans based on the mutation of the strain.

Assuming this study is accurate (as it has yet to be peer-reviewed amidst growing skepticism towards validity of information streaming out of China from the global community), this could make treatment immensely difficult, as so far, all COVID-19 patients have been treated in the same way.

Li says, “Drug and vaccine development, while urgent, need to take the impact of these accumulating mutations into account to avoid potential pitfalls.”

It is unclear at this time when the study will be peer-reviewed and its information, verified, however, the amidst growing tension in economic, political, and social structure of much of the western world, many hope that this study is not reflective of reality.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.