Donald Trump has announced he will sign an executive order “temporarily” banning immigration into the US because of the coronavirus pandemic.
At 10.06pm on Monday, the US president tweeted: “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy” – a phrase he commonly applies to the Covid-19 – “as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”
There were no other details on the timing of the order or how far reaching it might be.
Facing widespread criticism for his handling of the crisis, Trump has repeatedly pointed to travel restrictions he imposed on China and Europe as evidence that he was taking it seriously.
The latest move is consistent with Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and pledge to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, as well as his promises to put American workers first. More than 22 million people have filed for unemployment aid since Trump declared a national emergency on 13 March.
Trump announces plan to suspend immigration to US
As the world scrambles to find a cure to coronavirus, there is one self-administered treatment that is undoubtedly not going to provide the solution: 40% proof alcohol.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that excess alcohol consumption may weaken the body’s immune system and render people vulnerable to contracting Covid-19. So it was surprising that John Daly, the professional golfer from California, should have posted a video earlier this month suggesting vodka could combat the virus.
It was doubly surprising that Donald Trump’s golf company, Trump Golf, should then have retweeted the video on its official Twitter feed:
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Should Facebook ban anti-lockdown protests? The thorny questions of civil rights amid coronavirus
Facebook said on Monday that it was banning users from organising “events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing”. The company’s decision to selectively enforce state public health orders came amid a spate of rallies protesting against statewide stay-at-home orders in cities cross the US, and it drew condemnation from rightwing supporters of the protest movement, Donald Trump Jr, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The controversy highlighted the challenges that arise when a private company controls so much of the digital “public square” – especially at a time when access to physical public squares is limited by public health orders:
New Zealanders have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to feed hungry zoo animals in the midst of lockdown as the prime minister announced coronavirus lockdown restrictions would continue for at least three more weeks.
Orana Wildlife Park on the outskirts of Christchurch is home to 400 wild and domestic animals, including chimps, meerkats, rhinos and giraffes. The zoo has been shut to the public during the lockdown, with keepers, deemed essential workers, working split shifts to stay safe.
Unable to earn any income from visitors, which usually accounts for 95% of its revenue, the zoo is now struggling to pay its weekly NZ$70,000 (US$42,000) food bills, and has appealed to the general public for help. The gorillas alone eat NZ$800 (US$485) worth of vegetables every week.
In just four days more than 4,000 Kiwis have donated more than NZ$230,000.
Over a barrel: how oil prices dropped below zero
US oil prices turned negative for the first time in history on Monday amid the deepest fall in demand in 25 years. A flood of unwanted oil in the market caused the West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the benchmark price for US oil, to plummet to almost –$40 a barrel after the fastest plunge in history. That meant producers were paying buyers to take oil off their hands.
Here’s how it happened and what it means:
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Dr Anthony Fauci has warned that if the US moves too quickly to end stay-at-home orders there could be another surge in Covid-19 cases
Speaking to ABC News, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a key member of the White House coronavirus taskforce, was much more cautious than Donald Trump, who has downplayed the outbreak and pushed to open the US quickly.
“If you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you’re gonna set yourself back,” Fauci said. “So as painful as it is to go by the careful guidelines of gradually phasing into a reopening, it’s going to backfire. That’s the problem.”
Fauci also warned: “Unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not going to happen.