Netanyahu reportedly mistook a Hallmark series clip for proof of an Iranian coronavirus coverup

  

Category:  Entirely New

Via:  tig  •  10 months ago  •  0 comments

By:   T S ODonnell (theweek)

Netanyahu reportedly mistook a Hallmark series clip for proof of an Iranian coronavirus coverup
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Netanyahu reportedly mistook a Hallmark series clip for proof of an Iranian coronavirus coverup

5:49 p.m.

Coast Guard orders cruise ships to keep sick passengers at sea

8:57 p.m.

Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger dies of coronavirus complications

7:31 p.m.

Pence encourages Americans to not attend worship services with more than 10 people

6:56 p.m.

National stockpile nearly out of masks, gloves for health care workers, DHS officials say

5:42 p.m.

China is bracing for a second wave of coronavirus

4:59 p.m.

Joe Biden says he'd be happy to talk coronavirus with Trump ' and suggests he call Obama too

4:21 p.m.

Minions sequel delayed 1 year after animation studio had to close due to coronavirus pandemic

4:16 p.m. See More Speed Reads whoops Edit

Netanyahu reportedly mistook a Hallmark series clip for proof of an Iranian coronavirus coverup


5:49 p.m. GALI TIBBON/AFP via Getty Images

Everyone gets duped now and then. That goes for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well.

Netanyahu recently showed his cabinet a video he claimed was evidence Iran was engineering a novel coronavirus coverup, Axios reports. Tehran has reported more than 47,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,000 deaths, but those figures have been eyed with suspicion by much of the rest of the world, including Israel, which, to put it gently, does not get along with Iran.

The video showed people dumping bodies into garbage dumps, two cabinet ministers told Axios. They said Netanyahu's national security adviser, Meir Ben Shabbat, showed him the video, but he probably should've checked his source. Upon further review the clip turned out to be a scene from the 2007 Hallmark Channel miniseries, Pandemic.

The Israeli government certainly did a bad job of vetting the clip, but the fact it made its way up the flagpole wasn't completely random. Iranians were reportedly sharing the footage on social media last week. Read more at Axios. Tim O'Donnell

the coronavirus crisis Edit

Coast Guard orders cruise ships to keep sick passengers at sea


8:57 p.m. Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

The U.S. Coast Guard is telling foreign cruise ships with more than 50 people on board that they need to "increase their medical capabilities, personnel, and equipment" in order to care for sick individuals amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

This is "necessary as shore-side medical facilities may reach full capacity and lose the ability to accept and effectively treat additional critically-ill patients," Coast Guard Rear Admiral E.C. Jones wrote in a safety bulletin dated March 29. During normal circumstances, a ship can call the Coast Guard and ask to have people who are seriously ill medically evacuated.

The order is for ships in the district covering Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico. There are dozens of cruise ships lined up at Port Miami and Port Everglades, in addition to several that are waiting offshore, The Associated Press reports. Most of the ships just have crew members on board, but Carnival Corp. says it has more than 6,000 passengers still at sea.

The cruise line is trying to reach a deal with federal, state, and local officials that would let two of its Holland America ships, the Zaandam and Rotterdam, dock at Port Everglades this week. Two people on board the Zaandam have died of COVID-19, and nine have tested positive for the virus. The medical center on another Carnival Corp. ship headed to Florida, the Coral Princess, has reported a "higher-than-normal number of people with flu-like symptoms," AP reports. By law, ships bound for the United States have to give daily updates on the number of coronavirus cases on board. Catherine Garcia

Rest in peace Edit

Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger dies of coronavirus complications


7:31 p.m. Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Vulture Festival

Musician Adam Schlesinger, co-founder of the rock band Fountains of Wayne and an award-winning songwriter for the television show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, died on Wednesday of coronavirus complications. He was 52.

On Tuesday, Schlesinger's family announced that he had been hospitalized and was on a ventilator, saying in a statement, "He is receiving excellent care, his condition is improving, and we are cautiously optimistic."

Schlesinger was a Grammy and Emmy Award winner, and over the course of his career was also nominated for Tony, Oscar, and Golden Globe Awards. He won two Emmys in 2018 for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and also served as the show's executive music director. Schlesinger wrote the theme song for Tom Hanks' 1997 film That Thing You Do! and recorded five albums with Fountains of Wayne. Their biggest hit, "Stacy's Mom," was released in 2003.

He is survived by two daughters. Catherine Garcia

the coronavirus crisis Edit

Pence encourages Americans to not attend worship services with more than 10 people


6:56 p.m. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence is asking Americans to heed the government's social distancing guidelines amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and not attend worship services with more than 10 people.

Pence told Nightline's Byron Pitts on Wednesday that the White House is "so grateful to churches and synagogues and places of worship around America" that are following the guidelines, which include avoiding large gatherings and staying at least six feet away from people.

There are some churches in the country that have flouted local social distancing orders; a Florida pastor was arrested on Monday and charged with unlawful assembly and violation of public health emergency rules after holding a packed service on Sunday. Pence said he and President Trump have been "enjoying worship services online," and "we really believe this is a time when people should avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, and so, we continue to urge churches around America to heed that."

Earlier this week, the White House said even with people following the guidelines, 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could still die from COVID-19. Pence told Pitts the White House is holding out hope that the country will be "in a much better place by June the 1st. If every American will put these guidelines into practice, if we all continue to do our part, we really do believe that by Memorial Day weekend or by early summer ... we can be through the hardest part of this. We can save lives, and we can begin to put America back to work." Catherine Garcia

this is bleak Edit

National stockpile nearly out of masks, gloves for health care workers, DHS officials say


5:42 p.m. Al Bello/Getty Images

Respirator masks, gloves, and other protective equipment kept in the U.S. government's emergency stockpile are almost all used up, Department of Homeland Security officials tell The Washington Post.

Hospital workers already lack supplies they need to protect themselves as they treat COVID-19 patients, and an empty stockpile will only exacerbate the problem. But "the stockpile was designed to respond to [a] handful of cities. It was never built or designed to fight a 50-state pandemic," and so it's already close to empty even before the pandemic has hit its peak, one DHS official said.

The national stockpile is one of the few escapes from a marketplace full of price gouging, and as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) described in a recent press conference, shortages have forced states to outbid each other just to get necessary supplies. "The supply chain for PPE worldwide has broken down, and there is a lot of price gouging happening," the anonymous DHS official told the Post. It all leaves hospitals and other care facilities with a risk of completely running out of supplies, another official said. Kathryn Krawczyk

Be prepared Edit

China is bracing for a second wave of coronavirus


4:59 p.m. Stringer/Getty Images

A Chinese county that was largely unscathed by the novel COVID-19 coronavirus went into lockdown Wednesday, signaling fears of a possible second wave in the country where the virus originated, The South China Morning Post reports.

The county of Jia in Henan province, home to 600,000 people, is now in lockdown after infections reportedly spread at a local hospital. There were previously only 12 confirmed cases in Henan, despite it being situated just north of Hubei province, where China's epicenter, Wuhan, is located. However, U.S. intelligence reportedly believes China under-reported the actual number of cases.

Either way, the new lockdown, which shuts down all non-essential business and requires people to carry special permits to leave their homes, and wear face masks and have their temperature taken when out and about, comes at a time when the country clearly wants to get its economy up and running again. It's unclear if such measures will be limited to the county or if it's a sign of things to come for the rest of the world's most populous country, but President Xi Jinping has warned that China must return to normal gradually in the hopes of preventing a full-scale COVID-19 return. Read more at The South China Morning Post. Tim O'Donnell

swapping advice Edit

Joe Biden says he'd be happy to talk coronavirus with Trump ' and suggests he call Obama too


4:21 p.m.

Former Vice President Joe Biden isn't afraid to reach across the aisle during this national crisis.

In a press gaggle on Wednesday, Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to President Trump, snapped at Biden's apparent "criticism" of the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus. "Why doesn't Vice President Biden call the White House today and offer some support?" Conway questioned ' and so Biden offered to do so.

"I think it's really disappointing to have President Obama's number two ... out there, criticizing, instead of saying 'hey, here is what we did that we thought was effective,' Conway said Wednesday. She repeated the criticism on Fox News and in a tweet, even though Biden had offered up both his and former President Barack Obama's advice on MSNBC Tuesday night.

Biden's deputy campaign manager fired back with another statement on Wednesday, saying Biden "has been extending his advice for months" ' Fox News agreed that was true. "The Obama-Biden administration even wrote a literal playbook for pandemic response, but unfortunately Trump's administration left it on the shelf," the statement continued.


Biden campaign confirms @FoxNews report that @JoeBiden is offering to call President Trump to discuss a strategy to combat the #coronavirus

Full stmt below from @KBeds pic.twitter.com/6EE0RLu0VD

' Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) April 1, 2020

Now, the ball is in Trump's court. Kathryn Krawczyk

see you next year Edit

Minions sequel delayed 1 year after animation studio had to close due to coronavirus pandemic


4:16 p.m. NBC Universal

Yet another big movie is clearing out of 2020 completely.

Universal announced Wednesday its animated sequel Minions: The Rise of Gru, which was originally set for release this summer, has been delayed one year and will now hit theaters in July 2021, per The Hollywood Reporter.

It had previously been announced that Minions would not make its previously-scheduled release date because Illumination's studio in Paris was forced to temporarily close amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, though it was unclear at the time whether the film could still hit theaters sometime in 2020. The first Minions, a Despicable Me prequel, took in more than $1 billion worldwide in 2015 and was one of the highest-grossing films of that year.

This is just the latest example of a major 2020 film being delayed all the way until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic after Sony on Tuesday delayed Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was scheduled to hit theaters this July, to March 2021. Universal also previously moved the ninth Fast & Furious film from May 2020 to April 2021, while Disney postponed Black Widow indefinitely.

The summer movie season typically brings in major business for Hollywood, but fewer and fewer films remain on the calendar for that period this year as theaters throughout the United States remain largely closed in accordance with social distancing guidelines. A rare blockbuster to be postponed to another date this summer was Wonder Woman 1984, as Warner Bros. moved the DC sequel from June to August 2020 in hopes theaters would widely reopen by then.

Whether they will, and whether audiences will quickly return if they do, isn't clear. AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron on Tuesday told CNBC he "would love to think" there can still be a summer movie season this year, but as far as when the chain's theaters can begin resuming operations, he said at this time, "nobody knows." Brendan Morrow

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