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Spanish soldiers find bodies in retirement homes

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Spanish soldiers deployed to help fight the new coronavirus outbreak have found elderly patients abandoned, and sometimes dead, at retirement homes, as an ice rink inside a Madrid shopping mall was turned into a temporary morgue to cope with a surge in cases.

The army has been charged with helping to disinfect retirement homes in Spain, one of the countries worst hit by the pandemic. Dozens of deaths from COVID-19 have been recorded at facilities across the country.

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“We are going to be strict and inflexible when dealing with the way old people are treated in these residences,” Defence Minister Margarita Robles said in an interview with private television channel Telecinco.

“The army, during certain visits, found some old people completely abandoned, sometimes even dead in their beds,” she added.

An investigation has been launched, the general prosecutor announced.

The coronavirus death toll in Spain surged to 2,182 on Monday after 462 people died within 24 hours, according to health ministry figures.

AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU Inhabitants applaud to pay tribute to medical staff in Madrid during a national lockdown

Meanwhile, the ice rink at the Palacio de Hielo, or Ice Palace, shopping centre in Madrid was turned into a temporary morgue to deal with a surge in deaths in the capital, a spokeswoman for Madrid city hall told AFP.

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Earlier, the city hall said the city’s 14 public cemeteries would stop accepting more bodies because staff there did not have adequate protective gear.

The improvised morgue would start to be used “in the coming hours,” the regional government of Madrid said.

“This is a temporary and exceptional measure which aims to mitigate the pain of the family members of the victims and the situation hospitals in Madrid are facing.”

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A nearby congress center has been converted into a field hospital for coronavirus patients that will have a total of 5,500 beds.

The elderly are especially vulnerable in the global pandemic and officials around the world are increasingly calling for extreme measures to safeguard them.

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Retirement homes are “an absolute priority for the government”, Health Minister Salvador Illa told a press conference.

“We will exercise the most intensive monitoring of these centers.”

Under coronavirus protocols, health workers have been instructed to leave bodies in place in suspected COVID-19 deaths until the arrival of a doctor. But given the upsurge in deaths the delay can be lengthy.

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Photo: The ice rink at the Palacio de Hielo, or Ice Palace, shopping center in Madrid
AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU


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MSNBC’s ‘demotion’ of ‘feckless’ Chuck Todd celebrated: ‘Hurray! More Nicolle, less Chuck’

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MSNBC host Chuck Todd was moved to an earlier timeslot where his show, "Meet the Press Daily," will likely earn lower ratings. Meanwhile, Nicolle Wallace seems to have been promoted to a two-hour timeslot leading into primetime.

Wallace, who has extensive experience in Washington, previously served in George W. Bush's White House until abandoning the GOP as the era of Trump came to power.

Todd has made several missteps where he's been unwilling to press GOP leaders who lie openly and obviously on camera.

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George Conway blasts ‘blundering cheat’ Trump in new op-ed: ‘His name should live in infamy’

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Prominent conservative attorney George T. Conway III has written yet another Washington Post op-ed blasting President Donald Trump.

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Trump’s ‘delay the election’ tweet laid the groundwork for him and his followers to have an excuse if he loses

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Writing in The New York Times this Monday, Gail Collins and Bret Stephens discuss their contention that President Trump is seeing the writing on the wall regarding the 2020 election, an analysis born from his recent tweet where he suggests delaying the election.

According to Stephens, Trump's tweet is a sign that he knows "in his heart" that he's going to lose in November.

"He’s laying the groundwork not for a coup but for an excuse, both for himself and for his followers," Stephens says. "It creates a mythology to explain defeat, attack Joe Biden and keep the Trump family relevant in the Republican Party. The fact that he’d pull a stunt like this is another reason it’s so important that he lose in a landslide in November."

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