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Saturday, 28 March 2020

Both US aircraft carriers in the Pacific are taken out of action for up to a MONTH after sailors get infected with coronavius - giving China an almost free hand in the region as Pentagon raises threat level to second highest setting

Sailors on board both US aircraft carriers in the Pacific have tested positive to coronavirus, sparking fears the Navy could become crippled in the region. 
At least 25 sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, forcing the warship to port in Guam to test all 5,000 on board. 
The carrier was in the midst of a deployment to the Philippine and South China Seas when the COVID-19 diagnoses prompted the Navy to order it to cease sail Thursday. 
On Friday, the  US was dealt another blow following confirmation that two sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan - currently in port in Japan - had also tested positive to the highly-contagious virus.  
Roosevelt and Reagan are the only two US carriers in the Pacific, and may be out of action for 25 days as they test and quarantine crew. 
It effectively gives China free hand in the region. The country has two of their own aircraft carriers, including the recently-completed Shandong, rumored to have cost $9 billion and stationed at Hainan Island, the country's southernmost point. 
The US has 11 aircraft carriers - but two are deployed to the Middle East, and five are in US ports undergoing long-term services and overhauls. The remaining two are separately docked at ports on the US West Coast following the completion of recent deployments. 
The potential crippling of the US Navy in the Pacific is alarming news given escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. 
One anonymous service member stationed in Guam fears more US sailors and military members could become sickened with COVID-19.  
'We're f**ked,' they told The Daily Beast Friday. 
The Navy currently has 133 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 104 of which are reported to be active-duty. On Wednesday, the Department of Defense raised its health protection level to its second highest level at every military installation around the world. 
America's two aircraft carriers now in the Pacific are now in port as sailors are tested for COVID-19
At least 25 sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, forcing the warship to port in Guam to test all 5,000 passengers on board. It is pictured above in a stock image
At least 25 sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, forcing the warship to port in Guam to test all 5,000 passengers on board. It is pictured above in a stock image
The USS Ronald Reagan is currently in port in Tokyo. At least two  of its sailors have tested positive to COVID-19. Stock image
The USS Ronald Reagan is currently in port in Tokyo. At least two  of its sailors have tested positive to COVID-19. Stock image
According to a bombshell report in The Huffington Post Friday, several service members claimed there is widespread frustration within their ranks about how the military has handled the COVID-19 outbreak. 
One alleged that members of the military were 'pissed' that 'the six feet of social distancing was not being enforced' on numerous bases around the country. 
Former Army epidemiologist Dr Remington Nevel told the publication: 'The military's dirty little secret, if you will, is that it is highly susceptible as an organization to outbreaks of particularly respiratory infectious illness'
With the military facing its biggest health crisis since the Spanish Flu of 1918, its a precarious time to be left vulnerable in the Asia-Pacific region, given the escalating feud with China.  
China and the US have traded barbs over the origin of the highly-contagious virus, with President Donald Trump angering Beijing by calling it the 'Chinese virus'.
Senior Chinese officials have retaliated by spreading their own conspiracy theories about the virus' origin.
On Tuesday, China was left outraged after America's destroyer USS McCampbell sailed through Taiwan Strait - the body of water which separates Taiwan and China, and which Beijing regards as its own territory.  
Chinese officials on Thursday accused the United States of playing 'a dangerous game'. 
There are also concerns North Korea could take advantage of the vulnerable US situation. Three weeks ago, the country fired two short-range missiles into the sea off its eastern coast in a new challenge to Washington. It was North Korea's first missile launch in more than three months. The guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (shown in file photo) sailed through the Taiwan Strait, which Beijing regards as part of its territory
The guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (shown in file photo) sailed through the Taiwan Strait, which Beijing regards as part of its territory

China has been angered by the Trump administration's stepped-up support for Taiwan - an island it considers its own.
Anthony Junco, a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet, said the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell conducted 'a routine Taiwan Strait transit' on March 25, in line with international law.
'The ship's transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,' he added. 'The US Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.'
Taiwan's defence ministry said the ship sailed north through the waterway and was monitored by Taiwan's armed forces, on what it called an 'ordinary mission', adding there was no cause for alarm.
In Beijing, Chinese defence ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang denounced 'continued negative actions' by the United States on Taiwan, including sailings through and flights over the Taiwan Strait.
'U.S. moves have seriously interfered in China's internal affairs, severely harmed peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and poisoned Sino-U.S. military ties,' Ren told a monthly news conference.
The actions were 'extremely dangerous', he added.
Taiwan is China's most sensitive territorial and diplomatic issue and Beijing has never ruled out the use of force to bring the island under its control. The narrow Taiwan Strait that separates the island from China is a frequent source of tension.
In recent weeks China's air force has conducted several exercises close to Taiwan, prompting its mostly U.S.-equipped military to scramble fighters to intercept and warn away the Chinese aircraft.
Taiwan has called the drills provocative, and urged China to pay more attention to fighting a coronavirus pandemic, rather than menace it. 

US Army asks retired troops who served as health care specialists to help military fight coronavirus outbreak

The United States Army wants retired soldiers who served in health care specialties to 'rejoin the team' to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
'We need to hear from you STAT!' the Army told its retirees though a message sent by the Defense Finance and Accounting Services, the department responsible for paying their pensions.
The message was signed by Lt. Gen. Thomas Seamands, the deputy chief of staff for US Army Personnel, G-1, according to Military.com.
The G-1 is the Army's Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, the department responsible for manpower and personnel plans.
The Army is asking retired officers, noncommissioned officers, and junior enlisted soldiers to consider joining the effort to stop the pandemic that has hit the US hard.
Members of the Army look on as the USNS Mercy, a Navy hospital ship, departs the Naval Station San Diego and heads to the Port of Los Angeles to aid local medical facilities dealing with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients on Monday
Members of the Army look on as the USNS Mercy, a Navy hospital ship, departs the Naval Station San Diego and heads to the Port of Los Angeles to aid local medical facilities dealing with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients on Monday
It is not known if the Army plans to install retired troops back to active duty status.
'These extraordinary challenges require equally extraordinary solutions and that's why we're turning to you - trusted professionals capable of operating under constantly changing conditions,' the message reads.
'When the Nation called - you answered, and now, that call may come again.'
The Army is specifically looking for specialists in critical care, anesthesiology, nursing, emergency room nursing, respiratory specialists, and medics.
Anyone currently working in a civilian capacity in a hospital or some other medical facility should inform the Army, which does not want to enlist those currently 'providing to the Nation.'

Fox Business Network 'parts ways' with Trish Regan days after primetime host was put on hiatus for saying coronavirus was a 'scam to impeach Trump'

Fox Business Network has ‘parted ways’ with primetime anchor Trish Regan days after she was removed from the airwaves for saying that the coronavirus outbreak was a ‘scam’ invented as a way to ‘impeach’ President Trump.
‘Fox Business has parted ways with Trish Regan – we thank her for her contributions to the network over the years and wish her continued success in her future endeavors,’ the network said in a statement.
‘We will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future in an effort to allocate staff resources to continuous breaking news coverage on the Coronavirus crisis.’
The network also released a statement on Regan’s behalf, saying: ‘I have enjoyed my time at FOX and now intend to focus on my family during these troubled times.
‘I am grateful to my incredible team at FOX Business and for the many opportunities the network has provided me.
Trish Regan (seen above during her February 28 broadcast on the Fox Business Network from a studio in New York City) has 'parted ways' with the company, it was announced on Friday
Trish Regan (seen above during her February 28 broadcast on the Fox Business Network from a studio in New York City) has 'parted ways' with the company, it was announced on Friday
During her March 9 broadcast, Regan accused Democrats and the media of fabricating a 'scam' in order to 'impeach' President Trump
During her March 9 broadcast, Regan accused Democrats and the media of fabricating a 'scam' in order to 'impeach' President Trump
Fox anchor sacked after calling coronavirus 'plot to impeach Trump'
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‘I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my career.’
Regan’s departure is a stunning fall for a television personality who had a primetime nightly show on FBN for years.
FBN is the sister network of the Fox News Channel, the cable news powerhouse owned by Rupert Murdoch and run by his son, CEO Lachlan Murdoch. 
On her March 9 broadcast, as news of the spread of the coronavirus in the United States began to dominate headlines, Regan, 47, used her monologue to rip into Democrats and the media.
She accused them of drumming up panic over the pandemic in order to criticize Trump and tank the economy so as to hurt his re-election chances.
As the graphic next to her on screen read ‘CORONAVIRUS IMPEACHMENT SCAM,’ Regan hit out at the ‘hate being leveled at the president’ from ‘the left.’
‘We reached a tipping point,’ Regan said during her monologue.
‘The chorus of hate being leveled at the president is nearing a crescendo as the Democrats blame him and only him for a virus that originated halfway around the world.’
She continued: ‘And sadly it seems they care very little for the destruction they are leaving in their wake.
‘Losses in the stock market, all this, unfortunately, part of the political casualties for them.
‘This is the time to be united… Not to be encouraging hate.’
Sean Hannity
Laura Ingraham
FBN's sister channel, Fox News Channel, was criticized after some of its commentators and primetime hosts, including Sean Hannity (left) and Laura Ingraham (right), were accused of downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak
Regan added: ‘We see the absolute opposite from the left tonight… The hate is boiling over.
‘Many in the liberal media using coronavirus in an attempt to demonize and destroy the president.’
After playing several clips of cable news pundits who criticized Trump for his administration’s handling of the outbreak, Regan accused Democrats of whipping up ‘mass hysteria.’
‘I see. This is impeachment all over again… They don’t care who they hurt,’ she said.
‘Whether it be their need to create mass hysteria to encourage a market sell-off, unlike anything we have seen recently or to be to create mass hysteria to stop our economy dead in its tracks.’
She then added: ‘They told us how much they crave a recession as a way to get rid of Donald Trump.
‘This is impeachment all over again, complete with a whistleblower to complain about our health and human services committee, right.’
Regan’s commentary, which came as more coronavirus cases were being reported and a greater number of Americans were dying, sparked outrage.
The sharp backlash prompted Fox Business to announce on March 13 that Trish Regan Primetime would be put on hiatus.  
During what turned out to be her final broadcast on Fox Business on that Friday, Regan struck a much more somber tone.
'Our path forward right now is together, the left and the right united to fight this crisis,' Regan told viewers. 
'We’re all in this together, and we need to stay safe.'
At the time, the network justified its decision by citing ‘the demands of the evolving pandemic crisis coverage.’
Regan’s show and the program which follows it at 9pm Eastern time, Kennedy, were taken off the air.
On March 19, Kennedy, whose full name is Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, tweeted that she expects her show to return ‘before you know it.’
After Regan’s show was placed on hiatus, there was a noticeable shift in tone from the major personalities and hosts at Fox News Network, whose primetime lineup is solidly pro-Trump.
After Regan's show was put on hiatus, Fox News hosts began to take coronavirus more seriously. Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch (right) is seen with his son, Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch (left)
After Regan's show was put on hiatus, Fox News hosts began to take coronavirus more seriously. Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch (right) is seen with his son, Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch (left)
In late February and early March, as news of the spread of the coronavirus was limited to stories about the mounting toll abroad, Fox hosts, including Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, raised doubts about the motives of those calling for more stringent measures to stop its spread in this country.
On the same day that Regan went on her rant, Hannity told his audience that political opponents of Trump were using the coronavirus to ‘bludgeon him with this new hoax.’
‘They’re scaring the living hell out of people and I see it again as like, “Oh, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax”,’ Hannity said at the time.
Days later, however, Hannity said: ‘This program has always taken the coronavirus seriously and we’ve never called the virus a hoax.’
Trump is known to listen carefully to what Fox News hosts and commentators say.
The president also accused Democrats of a 'hoax' in playing up the dangers of coronavirus, only to then shift to a more somber tone days later. 
One Fox News primetime star who reportedly urged Trump to take coronavirus more seriously was Tucker Carlson.
On his March 9 broadcast, Carlson said: ‘Our country is likely to experience a painful period we are powerless to stop.
‘None of this is justification to panic. You shouldn’t panic.
‘In crisis, it’s more important than ever to be calm.
‘But staying calm is not the same as remaining complacent.
‘It does not mean assuring people that everything will be fine. We don’t know that.
‘Instead, it’s better to tell the truth. That is always the surest sign of strength.’
Carlson reportedly warned Trump about the seriousness of the pandemic during a face-to-face encounter at the president’s Mar-a-Lago club in early March.
During that weekend, Trump hosted Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, and his delegation, several of whose members ended up testing positive for coronavirus.
Bolsonaro has denied testing positive, but Brazilians have demanded he release the results publicly, something the president has refused to do.
Trump claims he, too, tested negative for the virus. 

Shocking video shows medical worker asking 'who is the sickest patient' in overcrowded NYC emergency room with gurneys packed in side-by-side and others forced to sit in chairs

Shocking new video captured an overcrowded New York City emergency room where a medical professional was forced to have to ask, 'Who is the sickest?'
The video was posted on Facebook showing a grim scene in the ER at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, in Queens, as residents around the city rush to get treated for symptoms of the deadly coronavirus infection.
The footage reveals patients in gurneys, side-by-side, and others sitting in chairs.
The medical professional who speaks appears to be asking who among the patients was the sickest to be admitted to the rest of the hospital.
New video shows the shocking images from an overcrowded emergency room (pictured) at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, New York
New video shows the shocking images from an overcrowded emergency room (pictured) at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens, New York
A medical professional is heard in the footage being forced to have to ask, 'Who is the sickest?' as people around the city have rushed to get tested for symptoms of the deadly coronavirus outbreak
A medical professional is heard in the footage being forced to have to ask, 'Who is the sickest?' as people around the city have rushed to get tested for symptoms of the deadly coronavirus outbreak
The footage reveals patients in gurneys, side-by-side in the ER at Jamaica Hospital
The footage reveals patients in gurneys, side-by-side in the ER at Jamaica Hospital
Other patients are seen seated in chairs in the emergency room
Other patients are seen seated in chairs in the emergency room
A hospital spokesperson was not immediately available when DailyMail.com reached out to ask about the chaos depicted in the footage, and to learn if the patients were infected with the coronavirus.  
The woman who made the post says she received it from unnamed sources.
'Omgggg my ppl just send this to me it's not a game,' the woman writes in the post. 
A patient is seen using a bed pan within close proximity to other patients in the overcrowded emergency room at Jamaica Hospital
A patient is seen using a bed pan within close proximity to other patients in the overcrowded emergency room at Jamaica Hospital
Patients in beds in the emergency room are pictured with little room in the overcrowded conditions at Jamaica Hospital
Patients in beds in the emergency room are pictured with little room in the overcrowded conditions at Jamaica Hospital
A hospital spokesperson was not immediately available when DailyMail.com reached out to ask about the chaos depicted in the footage. Patients are pictured in beds in the emergency room
A hospital spokesperson was not immediately available when DailyMail.com reached out to ask about the chaos depicted in the footage. Patients are pictured in beds in the emergency room
A man paces the overcrowded ER at Jamaica Hospital
A man paces the overcrowded ER at Jamaica Hospital
A patient sits on a gurney as medical professionals walk past the person in the ER
A patient sits on a gurney as medical professionals walk past the person in the ER
A medical worker adjusts their protective wear in the emergency room at Jamaica Hospital
A medical worker adjusts their protective wear in the emergency room at Jamaica Hospital
'Who's the sickest patient?' Shocking video shows inside NYC ER
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The woman also appeals to her maker to 'please forgive us cover us.'  
She did not immediately respond when DailyMail.com reached out.   
The US was confirmed to have the most coronavirus cases of anywhere in the world with more than 92,000 infections.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed on Friday that the state's coronavirus death toll was now 519, an increase of 134 in just one day, as he gave a rallying call to action to the National Guard to 'kick coronavirus a*s' from a new, 1,000-bed field hospital at the Javits Center.
There are now more than 44,000 cases of infection in the state. 
Currently, 6,481 people are hospitalized and 1,583 people are in ICU beds.
Cuomo anticipates that he will need 140,000 beds in total when the pandemic peak hits. He also needs 30,000 ventilators but only has 8,000.
In New York City, 365 people had died from the virus by Thursday afternoon - an increase of 177 people in a day.
A snap shot of the coronavirus across the US, which has had more than 92,000 confirmed cases and at least 1,390 known deaths from the infection
A snap shot of the coronavirus across the US, which has had more than 92,000 confirmed cases and at least 1,390 known deaths from the infection
How the coronavirus has escalated in the US since the outbreak began
How the coronavirus has escalated in the US since the outbreak began
How the number of deaths from the coronavirus in New York has escalated over time
How the number of deaths from the coronavirus in New York has escalated over time
Queens leads the city in the number of cases, with more than 8,200, and the most people who have died, with more than 120.
As the number of cases climb, one Queens ER doctor called on other hospitals on Friday to take on more of the city's stable patients.
'It could save thousands of lives' the doctor told NBC News, on the condition of anonymity.
'We need it now,' said the doctor. 'This is getting worse and worse and worse.'