WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is warning that the country would see a lot of death ahead as the U.S. moves into what into what he says is its “toughest” weeks with the coronavirus. At the same time the president is expressing growing impatience with social distancing guidelines and saying he’s eager to get the country reopened and its stalled economy back on track. The number of people infected in the U.S. has exceeded 300,000, with the death toll climbing past 8,400; more than 3,500 of those deaths are in the state of New York.
WASHINGTON (AP) In the decade before the coronavirus outbreak, state and local officials across the United States made steady and sometimes dramatic cuts to their first line of defense against pandemics and other public health emergencies. Funding for public health was slashed at the federal level and for state and local departments after the 2008 recession caused serious budget problems. But as the economy recovered, public health funding did not. A shortfall persisted despite several alarming outbreaks, from H1N1 to Ebola, and experts say that’s left the U.S. more vulnerable now to COVID-19.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis celebrated Palm Sunday Mass without the public, since the traditional ceremony in St. Peter’s Square was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic. Normally, tens of thousands of faithful, clutching olive tree branches or palm fronds, would have attended outdoor Mass. Instead, Francis on Sunday led the ceremony inside St. Peter’s Basilica, which seemed even more cavernous than usual because it was so empty. Aides, a few invited prelates and nuns and altar servers were present. Francis says during the pandemic the “real heroes” are “not famous, rich or successful” but those who serve others.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sat 6 feet apart inside an empty room Saturday as the faith carried out its signature conference while adhering to social distancing guidelines. It was a stark reminder of how the global coronavirus pandemic is affecting religious practices. But their livestreamed speeches didn’t dwell heavily on the pandemic as they instead stuck to plans made last year to make the conference a commemoration of the 200th anniversary of events that to the creation of the church by founder Joseph Smith. Church President Russell M. Nelson also unveiled a new church logo