Tuesday morning news – April 7, 2020


British PM moved to intensive care after coronavirus symptoms worsen » British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said doctors made the call on Monday after his coronavirus symptoms dramatically worsened. 

RAAB: In light of those circumstances, the prime minister asked me as first secretary to deputize for him where necessary. 

Johnson was admitted to St. Thomas’ Hospital late Sunday, 10 days after he was diagnosed with COVID-19. At the time, his office said he was checking in as a precautionary measure for what it called routine tests. 

Downing Street said Monday that Johnson was conscious and did not require ventilation, but he was moved into intensive care in case he needs it later.

Johnson’s spokesman, James Slack, insisted Monday night that the prime minister was still “in charge of the government.”

Trump administration officials spar over anti-malaria drug to treat coronavirus » The use of an anti-malaria drug to fight COVID-19 has become a point of friction at the White House. President Trump and members of his administration have repeatedly promoted hydroxychloroquine to treat patients. 

TRUMP: If it does help, great. If it doesn’t help, we gave it a shot. We gave it a shot. 

The president said he had seen anecdotal evidence to suggest some coronavirus patients improved after taking the drug. 

But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases, isn’t sold. He told CBS’s Face the Nation… 

FAUCI: The data are really just at best suggestive. There have been cases that show there may be an effect and there are others to show there is no effect. So I think in terms of science, I don’t think we can definitively say it works. 

The drug has rare, but potentially serious side effects, especially for the heart. And Fauci has said more testing is needed before it’s widely prescribed to coronavirus patients.

That led to a heated debate this week in the White House situation room between Fauci and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro. Navarro presented several studies that he’s convinced build a strong enough case for hydroxychloroquine. As for Fauci’s take on the data, Navarro told CNN…

NAVARRO: I’d let him speak for himself, John, but I would have two words for you: second opinion. 

He noted that many coronavirus patients in New York are already receiving it.  

Navarro also said the White House coronavirus task force voted “unanimously” to distribute nearly 30-million hydroxychloroquine tablets to coronavirus hot zones. But that’s with the stipulation that the drug is dispensed—quote—“not by the federal government but by the patient-doctor relationship.”

Wisconsin Supreme Court: Governor cannot delay Tuesday election » Voters in Wisconsin are likely to face a choice today: Participate in the state’s presidential primary election or heed warnings from public health officials..

Democratic Governor Tony Evers on Monday issued an executive order to delay the vote until June. 

EVERS: Despite the heroic efforts and good work of our local election officials, poll workers, and National Guard troops, there’s not a sufficiently safe way to administer in-person voting tomorrow.

But hours later, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Evers did not have the authority to reschedule the election on his own. 

Separately, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a lower court’s order that would have extended absentee voting to April 13th.

Evers had previously opposed delaying the election and said publicly he did not have the legal authority to postpone it. But he issued the order anyway after he was unable to strike a deal with the GOP-controlled legislature to reschedule the vote.

Wisconsin has a stay-at-home order in place and some poll sites have already closed because nervous volunteers are unwilling to staff them.

Tiger tests positive for coronavirus at Bronx Zoo » Keepers at the Bronx Zoo were stunned to learn that one of their tigers has tested positive for the same coronavirus now infecting humans. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The 4-year-old Malayan tiger named Nadia tested positive this week. She began showing symptoms nearly two weeks ago and six other tigers and lions have also fallen ill. Officials believe they were infected by a zoo employee who was not showing symptoms. 

All of the big cats are doing well and are expected to recover. The zoo has been closed since March 16 amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The finding raises new questions about transmission of the virus in animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Nadia’s test result at its veterinary lab. There are no known cases of the virus in U.S. pets or livestock.

Dr. Jane Rooney, a veterinarian and a USDA official, said “There doesn’t appear to be, at this time, any evidence that suggests that the animals can spread the virus to people.” 

Rooney said a small number of animals in the U.S. have been tested through the USDA’s laboratories. Only Nadia’s came back positive.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Australian court dismisses convictions against Cardinal Pell » Australia’s High Court has dismissed the convictions of Cardinal George Pell—the most senior Catholic found guilty of child sex abuse.

The decision means he will be released from a prison outside Melbourne after serving 13 months of a six-year sentence.

Pope Francis’ former finance minister was convicted by a Victoria state jury in 2018 of sexually abusing two 13-year-old choirboys in the 1990s. 

The High Court found that the Victorian Court of Appeal was incorrect in its 2-1 majority decision in August to uphold the jury verdicts.

The court said the prosecution did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Pell has maintained that he was innocent of the crimes.


(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File) In this Wednesday, March 25, 2020 file photo Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons for his weekly Prime Ministers Questions, in London. 

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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