Israel, World, Continue to Grapple with COVID-19 Coronavirus

Among the steps Israel has taken over the last two weeks to stem the spread of the coronavirus is suspension of all flights into Israel from other countries. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

More Reported by i24 News. Read more…

Also, Turkey has been supplying Israel with surgical masks and other protective gear to help fight coronavirus. A Turkish official said the sale of equipment was for humanitarian reasons; Israeli sources, however stated the deal was purely commercial. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

U.S. intelligence agencies reportedly alerted Israel to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan as early as November of 2019. U.S. intelligence also reportedly told the Trump administration of the virus, “which did not deem it of interest,” but decided nonetheless to share the intelligence with Israel. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

More Reported by i24 News. Read more…

On April 17, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a plan to ease restrictions on economic activity and “stay-at-home” orders, opening the door to some businesses potentially re-opening. The plan will still require approval of the full cabinet. Reported by The Times of Israel.Read more…

On the 17th the death toll from coronavirus stood at 143, with 12,758 confirmed cases in Israel. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

The United States, meanwhile, has become the new epicenter for the virus, with deaths and total numbers of infection that exceed those of Italy. Ten days ago, the U.S. was closing in on more that 18,600 deaths compared to Italy’s 18,800, and surpassed more than 500,000 reported cases of the virus, far exceeding the totals of any other country. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

By April 19, deaths exceeded 40,000 people while infections bulged to more than 800,000. Reported by CBS News. Read more… (Blog post).

Reports are also circulating U.S. intelligence is investigating a theory that the coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China. The lab was alleged to be investigating the virus to show that China was ahead of the U.S. in virology research when the virus somehow escaped confinement. China has denied the allegations. Reported by The Times of Israel.Read more…

More Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Further reported by Fox News.Read more…

In response to reports the World Health Organization (WHO) mishandled the coronavirus and was too cozy with China, U.S. President Donald Trump froze U.S. funding for the agency. Trump accused the WHO of putting “political correctness above life-saving measures.” Reported by i24 News. Read more…

Trump’s move met with immediate world condemnation. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, said Trump’s move was “as dangerous as it sounds.” Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said it was “not the time” to cut funds to the organization “which is absolutely critical to the world’s efforts to win the war against Covid-19.” The American Medical Association called the move “a dangerous step in the wrong direction.” The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said there was no justification for the move and that the WHO needed money “now more than ever.” Reported by the BBC. Read more…

U.S. lawmakers, meanwhile, are focusing their ire on China. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said that China’s leadership “must be made to pay the price” and demanded “accountability” if the allegations that China covered up the source and extent of the virus were true. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., echoed the sentiment, telling Fox News that “There is zero doubt that the Chinese communist government has American blood on its hands. They put American lives at risk by covering up the origin and scope of the coronavirus crisis.” Representative Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee characterized China’s actions as the “worst cover-up in human history.” Reported by Fox News.Read more…