Chris Cuomo of CNN tests positive for coronavirus after scolding people who don’t self-isolate

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo is self-quarantining after testing positive for coronavirus, his brother New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has confirmed, proving that even spreading hysterical fear of the virus is no protection from it.

The journalist revealed he had tested positive in a statement posted to Twitter on Tuesday, and his older brother confirmed the diagnosis during his morning coronavirus press conference in Albany, waxing poetic about how the virus was “the great equalizer” even as he reassured reporters that the younger Cuomo was going to pull through.

The CNN anchor explained he found out he had the disease after experiencing coronavirus symptoms and being exposed to people who’d tested positive. He will continue broadcasting his show from his basement in New York, where he has self-quarantined, he said, adding that he was “feeling well.”

Cuomo revealed his illness the morning after sharing a cringeworthy family moment on air with his elder brother, who jokingly called him “manipulative” and affectionately referred to him as the “meatball” of the family.

The CNN anchor has done his part to pump up fear of the virus, encouraging his audience to think of it as “our 9/11” and throwing around potential death tolls as high as six million. Along with his fellow CNN talking heads, he has focused on excoriating President Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic, from slamming the use of the term “Chinese virus” to repeatedly warning that the epidemic “hasn’t even begun” and is going to get a lot worse.

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Cuomo’s coverage of the epidemic has also been deeply critical of anyone reluctant to “surrender the ‘me’ to the ‘we” and follow orders. He accused those who questioned the wisdom of locking down the majority of the US population of “pulling a Trump” and reminded his audience that “we’re in a war.”

But while he was scolding Americans who resented being put out of work as the country flew into a belated panic over the pandemic, Cuomo was commuting to and from CNN headquarters in New York, an “essential worker” under his older brother’s definition.

Twitter had mixed feelings about Cuomo’s diagnosis. Many, of course, wished him a speedy recovery, with even those who normally denounce “fake news” CNN putting aside their political differences…sort of.

Others weren’t so charitable, taking the opportunity to denounce Cuomo as a “left-wing rich elitist.”

The #Resistance braced for an incoming Trump-slap…

…while conservatives pointed out that if the shoe was on the other foot, liberals would be dancing on a coronavirus-stricken Fox host’s grave.

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Coup plan B! US tells Guaido he may renounce his Venezuela ‘presidency’ claim – but they’ll still support him

The US State Department magnanimously agreed that opposition politician Juan Guaido may not actually be president of Venezuela, but insisted he still has to be part of a transition government if Caracas wants sanctions relief.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put forth a “democratic transition framework” on Tuesday, under which Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro would set up a power-sharing interim government with Guaido, that would arrange for elections in six months to a year. 

According to Pompeo, the proposal “protects the interests and equities of all Venezuelan people who desperately seek a resolution to their dire political, economic and humanitarian crisis,” and he urged all sides to “carefully and seriously” consider it.

The US and EU would lift their sanctions against Venezuela – including a ban on oil exports and on Maduro and his colleagues personally – if and when the initiative is “fully implemented,” the State Department said.

Within hours, the government in Caracas rejected the US plan, calling it a “a pseudo-interventionist proposal for a supervised government.” 

Venezuela does not accept, nor will it ever accept any tutelage, from any foreign government.

Washington and a score of its allies have stubbornly maintained since January 2019 that Guaido is the true president of Venezuela. Tuesday’s proposal is a tacit admission that his claim is void – but that does not mean the US is giving up on its dreams of regime change.

“We’ve made clear all along that Nicolas Maduro will never again govern Venezuela,” Pompeo told reporters, adding that the State Department “worked closely” with Guaido when they put together the proposal, and continue to support him.

“I think he’s the most popular politician in Venezuela. I think if there were an election held today, he could do incredibly well,” Pompeo said, when asked about Guaido. 

In reality, the 36-year-old politician repeatedly failed to muster any decisive support for his claim in Venezuela, despite millions of dollars in US funding, and crushing sanctions targeting Maduro’s government as well as the country in general. Less than a hundred troops answered Guaido’s call for an armed uprising at the end of April 2019.

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Just last week, the US charged Maduro with conspiring with Colombian Communists to flood the US with drugs and offered a $15 million bounty for his capture. It was a transparent ploy if ever there was one, since it was Guaido who was photographed in the company of Colombian drug-runners who helped him get back and forth across the border.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza called the charges “a new form of coup d’etat” and said it showed the “desperation” of the “Washington elite,” and their “obsession” with Venezuela.

Just hours before the State Department announcement, a court in Caracas summoned Guaido to appear next Thursday and answer questions about a weapons cache intercepted at the border with Colombia, calling him a suspect in an “attempted coup and assassination” plot.

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Maduro has pleaded with the UN and other international organizations for relief from the US blockade, citing the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected Venezuela, but so far his calls have fallen on deaf ears.

Pompeo’s new proposal for Venezuela is essentially a copy of the US-backed peace initiative for Syria circa 2015, which also insisted on the need for regime change and establishment of a transitional government with “moderate rebels.” That plan eventually fell through after Russia sent an expeditionary force to help the government in Damascus deal with jihadist militants and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists, sidelining the US.

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US overtakes China’s coronavirus toll with more than 3,400 dead

The number of people who have died from the coronavirus outbreak in the US has surpassed that of China. The US tops the list of the Covid-19 affected nations worldwide, with more than 174,000 confirmed cases.

In China, 3,309 people have succumbed to the disease, while the US toll currently stands at 3,416, according to the latest data by John Hopkins University. More than 12,000 newly detected cases were confirmed in the US on Tuesday, bringing the total tally to a staggering number of 174,467 cases.

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The situation in China — which was hit by the deadly pandemic first — has greatly improved in recent weeks, according to official figures. The country has less than 3,000 active cases, while its total number of people infected by the virus stands at around 82,200.

Chinese authorities have already reportedly re-opened live animal markets at certain locations across the country. While the exact source of the virus is still debated, a wet market in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei province, is widely believed to be ground zero of the outbreak.

Worldwide, the coronavirus spread continues and its total tally has broken past the 800,000 mark earlier Tuesday. So far, more than 40,000 people have died from the disease across the globe.

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Game over: Wimbledon set for first cancellation since World War II as coronavirus continues to ravage sporting calendar

The most famous tennis tournament of them all, Wimbledon, appears certain to be the latest major sports event to be affected by the outbreak of Covid-19 as the All England Club braces itself to announce its cancellation.

Wimbledon officials announced last week that several options were on the table ahead of a final decision being made regarding the hosting this summer’s grass-court spectacular.

But as the rate of Covid-19 infections increases in the English capital, it is appearing more and more likely that the 2020 championships will not proceed. It would be the first time since 1945 that the tournament hasn’t taken place as planned.

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The All England Club had hoped to hold off on making a decision until a later date, but a final call appears imminent after chief executive Richard Lewis confirmed that an emergency board meeting was to take place this week. 

German tennis federation vice-president Dirk Hordorff fueled speculation by telling Sky Sports Germany that the cancellation of Wimbledon has already been decided upon and would be revealed on Wednesday. 

I am also involved in the bodies of the ATP and WTA. The necessary decisions have already been made there and Wimbledon will decide to cancel next Wednesday. There is no doubt about it,” Hordorff said. 

This is necessary in the current situation. It is completely unrealistic to imagine that, with the travel restrictions that we currently have, an international tennis tournament where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world would travel (can happen). That is unthinkable.”

Organizers of the French Open provoked anger among the tennis community when they unilaterally announced that their tournament would be pushed back from May/June to September/October without consultation with other tennis stakeholders or officials. But a similar measure for Wimbledon has been deemed impractical, given the specific requirements needed for grass-court play.

Meanwhile, Horndorff also said that French Open officials are attempting to reconcile anger within the tennis world at the postponement of the event, but also admitted that he doesn’t expect that tournament to go ahead anyway.

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I can simply predict that the French Open will not be relocated as it was intended,” said Hordorff.

Either it will let itself be included in a sensible plan with the entire tennis family or it will feel the consequences of the entire tennis family. It will be deprived of (ranking) points and will degenerate into a chaos event.

Even people there have understood that and they are slowly creeping back. Solidarity is the order of the day. It is a matter of being together and not going it alone, as the president of the French tennis federation did.”

Russian Covid-19 plane aid to US: Putin asked Trump if he needed help & he accepted, Kremlin spokesman says

A cargo plane loaded with medical supplies and protection equipment may depart for the US by the end of the day Tuesday, the Kremlin said after a phone call between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The issue of protective gear was raised during the Monday phone talks, with Putin asking if the US needed help and Trump accepting, Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday.

Moscow suggested the aid in anticipation that the US will be able to return the favor if necessary, once its manufacturers of medical and protective equipment catch up with the demand, Peskov said.

The current situation “affects everyone without exception and is of a global nature,” he added.

There is no alternative to acting together in the spirit of partnership and mutual assistance.

On Monday, Trump told reporters at the White House press briefing that “Russia sent us a very, very large planeload of things, medical equipment, which was very nice.”

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The comment left everyone scratching their heads, as no one in the US seemed to know anything about the plane in question. It appears the US president was referring to the aid arranged on the phone call as something that’s already happened.

Peskov chastised “some of the American side” who “at least did not contribute to the prompt resolution of technical issues” regarding the agreed-upon delivery, which could explain the delay.

Official data show the US has been hardest-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with almost 175,000 confirmed cases and 3,416 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon – overtaking China, where the contagion originated in December, Italy still has the highest death toll in the world, at 12,428.

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France records worst day of Covid-19 deaths as health official laments ‘totally unprecedented’ situation

Health officials in France have confirmed the worst one-day fatalities from Covid-19 since the start of the outbreak there, with 499 deaths in a single day. The figure brings the country’s overall toll from the virus to 3,523.

The new tally marks a third consecutive day of increased coronavirus deaths in France.

Delivering the figures in a press briefing on Tuesday, Director General of Health Jérôme Salomon described the situation as “totally unprecedented in the history of French medicine.” 

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The number of total confirmed cases rose by some 17 percent to 52,128, with over 22,700 people currently hospitalized with the illness. The death toll is expected to rise even higher once the data starts taking into account deaths in retirement homes, as well as in hospitals.

The news comes soon after global coronavirus deaths rose above 40,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US and the AFP news agency. Worldwide, more than 820,000 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 since the outbreak was first recorded late last year in China.

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Time for a rematch? Golf ace Phil Mickelson says he’s ‘working on’ potential head-to-head rematch with Tiger Woods

American golfer Phil Mickelson has excited golf fans around the world after hinting at the possibility of another head-to-head showdown with longtime rival and golfing superstar, Tiger Woods.

Mickelson was asked on Twitter about the possibility of a round of golf against Woods being live streamed in the near future, and the left-hander replied, “Working on it.”

Mickelson’s post prompted a slew of replies, including one fan, who begged him not to tease his fans.

But rather than play down his initial comment, Mickelson doubled down instead.

“I don’t tease,” replied the 49-year-old.

“I’m kinda a sure thing.”

Mickelson and Woods faced off in a $9 million exhibition matchup at Shadow Creek Golf Club in Las Vegas in November 2018, with five-time major winner Mickelson winning the head-to-head matchup after four playoff holes.

Last year, Mickelson stated his interest in a possible rematch with Woods, perhaps with the addition of celebrity playing partners.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, “I really enjoyed it.

“I hope that Tiger and I will do more events like that in the future with partners, because we didn’t have enough talking between us and I think that a partner will have more interaction.

“They could be other athletes, that would bring a certain element, too.”

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The PGA Tour, like so many other sporting competitions, is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Masters and PGA Championship have also both been postponed as a result of the ongoing crisis.

But if Mickelson’s hint has any substance to it, golf fans could be set for another titanic head-to-head matchup once the sports world gets back up and running again.

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