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Suspected SARS virus and flu samples found in luggage: FBI report describes China's 'biosecurity risk'An FBI report about China’s involvement with scientific research in the U.S. has raised alarms. While the report refers broadly to foreign researchers, all three cases cited involve Chinese nationals.


3/30/2020 9:45:26 AM

Trump now says if 100,000 Americans die from coronavirus he will have done 'a very good job'The president repeatedly cited a projection that as many as 2.2 million people would have died if the administration had “done nothing” to mitigate COVID-19’s spread.


3/30/2020 10:33:53 AM

IG Horowitz Found ‘Apparent Errors or Inadequately Supported Facts’ in Every Single FBI FISA Application He ReviewedThe Justice Department inspector general said it does “not have confidence” in the FBI’s FISA application process following an audit that found the Bureau was not sufficiently transparent with the court in 29 applications from 2014 to 2019, all of which included “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.”Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report in December which found that the FBI included “at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications and many errors in the Woods Procedures” during its Crossfire Hurricane investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign. After releasing the report, Horowitz said that he would conduct a further investigation to see if the errors identified in the Page application were widespread.“The concern is that this is such a high-profile, important case. If it happened here, is this indicative of a wider problem — and we will only know that when we complete our audit — or is it isolated to this event?” Horowitz told lawmakers during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing. “Obviously, we need to do the work to understand that.”Horowitz’s office said in a report released Tuesday that of the 29 applications — all of which involved U.S. citizens – that were pulled from “8 FBI field offices of varying sizes,” the FBI could not find Woods Files for four of the applications, while the other 25 all had “apparent errors or inadequately supported facts.”"While our review of these issues and follow-up with case agents is still ongoing—and we have not made materiality judgments for these or other errors or concerns we identified—at this time we have identified an average of about 20 issues per application reviewed, with a high of approximately 65 issues in one application and less than 5 issues in another application," the report reveals.The Woods Procedure dictates that the Justice Department verify the accuracy and provide evidentiary support for all facts stated in its FISA application. The FBI is required to share with the FISA Court all relevant information compiled in the Woods File when applying for a surveillance warrant.“FBI and NSD officials we interviewed indicated to us that there were no efforts by the FBI to use existing FBI and NSD oversight mechanisms to perform comprehensive, strategic assessments of the efficacy of the Woods Procedures or FISA accuracy, to include identifying the need for enhancements to training and improvements in the process, or increased accountability measures,” the report states.The OIG concludes by recommending that the FBI "systematically and regularly examine the results of past and future accuracy reviews to identify patterns or trends in identified errors" relating to the Woods Procedure, as well as double-checking "that Woods Files exist for every FISA application submitted to the FISC in all pending investigations."In a letter acknowledging the audit, FBI Associate Deputy Director Paul Abbate said that the issues "will be addressed" by the Bureau's already-issued correctives after the Carter Page review, and added that "the FBI fully accepts the two recommendations."President Trump has relentlessly attacked the FBI's FISA process and the abuses it allowed during the surveilling of his 2016 campaign. He has argued that the FISA abuses invalidate the entire investigation, which he has referred to as an “illegal attempted coup,” and slammed the officials involved, including former FBI director James Comey and former acting FBI director Andy McCabe.McCabe admitted in January that the FBI has an “inherent weakness in the process” of obtaining FISA warrants.


3/31/2020 10:13:29 AM

Cuomo Says Coronavirus Is ‘More Dangerous’ Than We Thought as N.Y. Cases Jump OvernightNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday acknowledged that the coronavirus is “more dangerous” than officials initially thought after more than 300 died across the state overnight.“I’m tired of being behind this virus. We’ve been behind this virus from day one,” Cuomo said at a Tuesday press conference in Albany. “We underestimated this virus. It’s more powerful, it’s more dangerous than we expected.” More than 1,500 people have died and 75,795 more have been infected with the virus in New York State, accounting for a 14 percent increase in the last 24 hours, Cuomo said. About 43,139 of those cases are in New York City, where the daily number of newly infected patients has fortunately dipped below 6,000 across the five boroughs over the last 24 hours.To date, more than 3,416 people have died and 174,467 individuals have been infected with the virus nationwide—a death toll that has eclipsed China’s official count.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Implements ‘Stay at Home’ Order Amid Coronavirus PandemicCuomo said it could be weeks before New York sees the worst of the pandemic, stating that the apex may not be for 21 days. “We’re all anxious, we’re all tired, we’re all fatigued. It’s been all bad news for a long time. Our whole lifestyle has been disrupted. Everybody wants to know one thing, when will it end. Nobody knows,” Cuomo said. “We’re dealing with a war we’ve never dealt with before. We need a totally different mindset and organizational transformation.”  New York City’s hospitals have been struggling over the last week to keep up with the influx of patients. With over 10,900 residents hospitalized with the virus, including 2,700 patients in ICUs, Cuomo said that the health-care system still needs more supplies, space, and personnel. The state has ordered 17,000 ventilators from China to help hospitals, paying about $25,000 per machine.“It’s like being on Ebay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator. How inefficient,” Cuomo said, noting that he only expects to receive about 2,500 machines from China because other states, the federal government, and Italy have also placed orders from the foreign government. “And then FEMA gets involved and FEMA starts bidding. And now FEMA is bidding on top of the 50. So FEMA is driving up the price. What sense does this make?” Cuomo asked.‘This Is a War’: Cuomo Pleads for Help From Doctors Across U.S. as Coronavirus Death Toll SurgesTo further combat the shortage, Cuomo reiterated his Monday plea to health-care workers across the United States for help with the increasing number of infected patients, promising the Empire State would return the favor whenever it’s over the “bell curve.” The governor said that while the state is working to get ahead of the virus, several projections indicate the “main battle at the apex” will occur anywhere between one week and 21 days from now. “We’re still going up the mountain," Cuomo said, adding that New York is struggling to curtail the surge and “you don’t win by playing catch up.”  “The main battle is at the top of the mountain, the apex of the curve.”New York City Police Commissioner Dermont Shea also said Tuesday that the virus has greatly impacted the city’s law enforcement, as approximately 15 percent of the 37,000-member force has called out sick. NYC Is on the Brink as Patients Flood Hospitals Already ‘Under Siege’“We have the reserves, we have the contingency plans,” Shea said, stating that while about 5,500 officers are out sick, the NYPD is not extending shifts. He added that 17 NYPD members who tested positive for COVID-19 have since recovered.Seeming to take a jab at President Trump’s failed prediction that the United States would be able to return to normal life by April 21, Cuomo later emphasized that it is unclear when things in his state will return to normal.“It is not going to be soon,” he said, urging residents to stay home and stressing there will not be “an Easter surprise.” “So calibrate yourself and your expectations, so you’re not disappointed every morning you get up.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


3/31/2020 12:04:37 PM

Boy, 5, found dead near hiking trail after mother said they got lostAfter spending the night outdoors, the boy's mother left him to seek help on her own, authorities said.


3/31/2020 9:24:12 AM

Doctor recommended no action for U.S.' Pelosi after coronavirus contactThe U.S. Congress' attending physician recommended U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi take no particular action after she was in contact with Representative Nydia Velazquez, who has been diagnosed with coronavirus infection, Pelosi's spokesman Drew Hammill said on Monday. The physician found Pelosi's contact with Velazquez to have been of "low risk," Hammill said. Velazquez, a Democrat from New York, announced in a statement earlier on Monday that she had been diagnosed with a presumed case of coronavirus, although she had not been tested, after developing symptoms of the ailment on Sunday.


3/30/2020 4:39:17 PM

COVID-19 deaths climb in NY; Chris Cuomo tests positiveMore than 300 New Yorkers died from the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, a somber-sounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday as temporary hospital beds were made available to help relieve the stress on city hospitals inundated with virus patients. City officials announced Tuesday that 250 more ambulances and 500 paramedics and EMTs are headed to New York to help manage record numbers of calls for assistance. Deaths from the coronavirus continued to climb steeply in New York, topping 1,500 by Tuesday, according to Cuomo.


3/31/2020 7:07:49 AM

Venezuela prosecutor's office summoned Guaido for 'attempted coup'State prosecutors in Venezuela have summoned opposition leader Juan Guaido for an alleged "attempted coup d'etat" and attempted assassination, Attorney General Tarek William Saab announced Tuesday. In a statement broadcast on state television, Saab said Guaido had been summoned to appear before prosecutors next Thursday following an investigation last week into the seizure of a weapons cache in neighboring Colombia that he said was to be smuggled into Venezuela.


3/31/2020 10:16:54 AM

The top infectious disease expert in the US says we're seeing 'glimmers' that social distancing is helping, but says a turnaround is yet to comeDr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday that social distancing seems to be dampening the spread of the coronavirus.


3/31/2020 10:12:55 AM

FBI report describes China’s ‘biosecurity risk’In late November 2018, just over a year before the first coronavirus case was identified in Wuhan, China, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Detroit Metro Airport stopped a Chinese biologist with three vials labeled “Antibodies” in his luggage.


3/30/2020 10:43:33 AM