Monday morning news – April 6, 2020

U.S. surgeon general: Week ahead to be Pearl Harbor, 9/11 moment » The nation’s top doctor is warning that for many Americans, the week ahead could be the hardest of their lives. That as the coronavirus crisis could reach its apex over the next week or so. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told Fox News Sunday

ADAMS: This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment. Only, it’s not going to be localized. It’s going to be happening all over the country. I want America to understand that. But I also want them to understand that the public, along with the state and federal government, have the power to change the trajectory. 

He urged all Americans to follow social distancing guidelines. He said there is light at the end of the tunnel, and noted that Italy and Spain appear to have turned a corner. Italy registered its lowest day-to-day increase in deaths in more than two weeks, 525.

The United States has more than 330,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with more than 9,000 deaths. 

New York sees decline in COVID-19 deaths » New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, saw a glimmer of hope over the weekend. 

CUOMO: The number of deaths over the past few days has been dropping for the first time. What is the significance of that?  

The state reported 594 deaths Sunday—down from 630 on Saturday. Intensive care admissions and the number of patients who needed breathing tubes inserted has also dropped slightly. But Cuomo cautioned…

CUOMO: What is the significance of that? It’s too early to tell.

Meantime, the U.S. military is deploying medical personnel to support weary healthcare workers. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday Told ABC’s This Week

ESPER: We will be sending up over a thousand medical professionals today, tomorrow, and the next day. In a late change as of yesterday, we decided a few hundred of those would be deployed in New York City hospitals to augment the hospitals there. 

And the state got a planeload of a thousand badly needed ventilators from China after the Chinese government facilitated a donation from billionaires Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai. The state of Oregon also sent more than a hundred ventilators to New York.

Canada won’t retaliate for Trump order blocking N95 mask exports » Canada will not retaliate over President Trump’s decision to block the export of N95 protective masks—also called respirators—to Canada and other countries. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the two countries have had productive talks, and he plans to speak with President Trump soon. 

On Thursday, the president used powers under the Defense Production Act to order the government to acquire what he called the “appropriate” number of N95 masks from the Minnesota-based 3M corporation and its subsidiaries.

3M pushed back, arguing that blocking exports could lead other countries to retaliate by withholding medical supplies from the United States. The president responded on Friday. 

TRUMP: Well they can push back if they want. We’re not happy with 3M. We’re not happy, and the people that dealt with it directly are not at all happy with 3M. 

Trump said the company should not export masks when there is still a shortage within the United States. 

British prime minister hospitalized over coronavirus symptoms » British Prime Minister Boris Johnson checked into a hospital Sunday for tests.

Johnson’s office said he was hospitalized because he still has symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the coronavirus. Downing Street said it was a “precautionary step” and Johnson remains in charge of the government.

Queen Elizabeth II addressed the nation on Sunday, seeking to galvanize and encourage Britons. 

ELIZABETH: While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavor, using the great advance of science and our instinctive compassion to heal.

Her address came one day after the UK saw its biggest one-day rise in COVID-19 deaths, 708. Nearly 5,000 people have died in the country since the outbreak began. The UK has recorded nearly 48,000 confirmed cases in total.

GOP senators want explanation for Trump’s firing of intel IG » Some Republican senators say President Trump has some more explaining to do after firing the intelligence committee’s inspector general. 

Trump issued a statement Friday saying he had lost confidence in Michael Atkinson but gave little detail.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley said Congress has been “crystal clear” that it needs written reasons when inspectors general are removed for a lack of confidence. And he said—quote—“More details are needed from the administration.”

And Senator Susan Collins of Main, who serves on the Intelligence Committee said Atkinson’s removal “was not warranted.”

At the White House Saturday, Trump expounded. He said Atkinson did a—quote—“terrible job.” 

TRUMP: He took this terrible, inaccurate whistleblower report, right? And he brought it to Congress. 

That whistleblower report was at the heart of Trump’s impeachment. The president complained that Atkinson took the report to Congress without ever asking for his version of events. 

But Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, also a Republican, said—quoting here—“to be effective, the IG must be allowed to conduct his or her work independent of internal or external pressure.”

Bill withers dies at 81 » Bill Withers, who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s, including “Lean on Me, ” “Lovely Day,” and “Ain’t No Sunshine” died over the weekend.  

MUSIC: [Ain’t No Sunshine]

The three-time Grammy Award winner, who withdrew from making music in the mid-1980s, died in Los Angeles from heart complications. Bill Withers was 81.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon) U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence listens. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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