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There will be ‘no return to the old normal for foreseeable future’: International health expert

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“If the basics aren’t followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go. It’s going to get worse and worse and worse.”

The head of the World Health Organization warned Monday that a “return to the ‘old normal'” was not in “the foreseeable future” and urged global leaders to act cooperatively to control the coronavirus pandemic.

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“Let me blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a media briefing.

Tedros’s remarks came as the total number of total coronavirus cases continued ticking upward, nearing 13 million globally. More than 570,000 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded worldwide, over 134,000 of which were in the United States.

The U.S.—which has the highest number of cases in the world—recorded over 3.2 million cases as of Monday, an increase of over 60,000 Sunday. Infections continue to rise in dozens of U.S. states including Florida, which on Sunday broke the national record for the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases with over 15,000.

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The WHO chief didn’t single out the U.S. in his comments but noted, “The epicentre of the virus remains in the Americas, where more than 50% of the world’s cases have been recorded.”

The trajectory of the pandemic if governments fail to “roll out a comprehensive strategy focused on suppressing transmission and saving lives” and individuals don’t take public health measures like wearing masks is clear, said Tedros.

“If the basics aren’t followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go,” Tedros said. “It’s going to get worse and worse and worse.”

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“I want to be straight with you,” he continued, “there will be no return to the ‘old normal’ for the foreseeable future.”

But, he stressed, “it is never too late to take decisive action.”

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Tedros said governments must take out “all the tools we have to bring this pandemic under control” and act to “accelerate the science as quickly as possible.”

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The White House, meanwhile, continues to downplay the threat of the pandemic and discredit statements made by the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly bashed the WHO throughout the pandemic and announced last week that the U.S. is formally withdrawing from the global health body.


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Nobel economist says he’s done the math — and the risk Trump and McConnell pose to the economy is ‘terrifying’

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Very much a student of New Deal economics, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has often stressed that helping the unemployed during an economic downturn not only helps those who are out of work — it also benefits the economy on the whole. Krugman made that point many times during the Great Recession, and in a column published this week, the liberal economist warns that the “coronavirus recession of 2020” will become even worse if unemployed Americans don’t receive the help that they need.

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‘Friday Night Massacre’ at US Postal Service as Postmaster General—a major Trump donor—ousts top officials

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According to the Washington Post:

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‘Gullible’ Trump administration paid up to $500 million too much for these ventilators: investigators

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Citing “evidence of fraud, waste, and abuse,” a congressional subcommittee investigating the federal government’s purchase of $646.7 million worth of Philips ventilators has asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to launch its own investigation of the deal.

The House subcommittee launched its review after ProPublica stories in March and April showed how a U.S. subsidiary of Royal Philips N.V. received millions in federal tax dollars years ago to develop a low-cost ventilator for pandemics but didn’t deliver it. Instead, as the coronavirus began spreading around the globe and U.S. hospitals were desperate for more, Philips was selling commercial versions of the government-funded ventilator overseas from its Pennsylvania factory. Then in April, despite having not fulfilled the initial contract, the Dutch company struck a much more lucrative deal to sell the government 43,000 ventilators for four times the price.

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