Two Men Arrested In Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

 

 

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Two months after the February shooting death of 25 year old Ahmaud Arbery, and just two days after video of the shooting was released to the public, the two men who gunned him down while he was jogging were arrested and charged for murder. The men, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son Travis McMichael, 34, were each charged with murder and aggravated assault and booked into a jail in coastal Glynn County, Ga., where the killing took place. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, in a news release, stated that it was Travis McMichael who shot and killed Mr. Arbery on Feb. 23.
The details of Mr. Arbery’s killing — and the fact that no one had been arrested in the months since it happened — led to a wave of outrage nationwide. Public pressure for an arrest intensified with the release of the video. The video of the shooting, taken from inside a vehicle, shows Mr. Arbery running along a shaded two-lane residential road when he comes upon a white truck, with a man, Travis McMichael, standing beside its open driver’s-side door with a rifle in his hand. Gregory McMichael is standing in the bed of the pickup. Mr. Arbery runs around the other side of the truck to avoid Travis McMichael. As Travis approaches the front of his truck, muffled shouting can be heard before Arbery emerges, tussling with the man outside the truck as three shotgun blasts echo.
It’s during this struggle that Arbery was shot a point blank range by Travis McMichael. Arbery then attempts to run away but collapses face down in the street. Gregory, a retired Glynn County police officer, and his son Travis both claim they were trying to make a citizen’s arrest when they followed Arbery after seeing him enter a home under construction 2 doors down from their home. They said he fit the description of a suspect in break-ins and burglaries in the area despite no reports of any in the neighborhood.
The owner of the home said nothing has ever been taken from the property but people have entered before. He released dozens of surveillance videos of people entering the property including one of Arbery from minutes before he was shot. Arbery was inside the home for less than 3 minutes looking around before he exits to continue his run. The additional videos show many other people entering the property to look around, including neighborhood kids and a couple who entered the same day Arbery was killed but no other trespassers were confronted.
The Georgia Attorney General Christopher M. Carr formally requested the intervention of the FBI in the case to investigate the killing after there were reports that Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Jackie Johnson said that no arrests should be made in the case and recused herself from further involvement in the case because Gregory McMichael had previously worked as an investigator in her office. The GBI found probable cause to charge Gregory and Travis McMichael within 36 hours of taking the case, and, on May 7, arrested the pair on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault. The McMichaels were booked into the Glynn County Jail and were denied bond the following day.
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced he asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and federal authorities to look into how local prosecutors possibly held crucial evidence of Arbery’s killing and refused to make arrests, as more than two months passed before the attackers were arrested. The Brunswick police reportedly had a copy of the shocking video but no arrests were made until 2 days after it was released to the public by a lawyer the McMichaels consulted with but did not retain.

FDA Issues EUA of Remdesivir For Severe Covid 19 Cases

 

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the emergency use authorization for the antiviral drug remdesivir, after preliminary results from a federal trial showed the drug could speed recovery in patients infected with the coronavirus. The finding, which has not yet been peer reviewed, came after another study found no benefit for the drug in severely ill patients in China. The new results suggest a moderate improvement in the death rate of patients taking remdesivir, whose hospital stays were shortened, on average, from 15 days to 11.

The issuance of an EUA is different than FDA approval. In determining whether to issue an EUA, the FDA evaluates the available evidence and carefully balances any known or potential risks of any unproven products with any known or potential benefits of making them available during the emergency.  Based on evaluation of the emergency use authorization criteria and the scientific evidence available, it was determined that it is reasonable to believe that remdesivir may be effective in treating COVID-19, and that, given there are no adequate, approved, or available alternative treatments, the known and potential benefits to treat this serious or life-threatening virus currently outweigh the known and potential risks of the drug’s use.

The emergency use authorization (EUA) allows for remdesivir to be distributed in the U.S. and administered intravenously by health care providers, as appropriate, to treat suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease. Severe disease is defined as patients with low blood oxygen levels or needing oxygen therapy or more intensive breathing support such as a mechanical ventilator.

The EUA requires that fact sheets that provide important information about using remdesivir in treating COVID-19 be made available to health care providers and patients, including dosing instructions, potential side effects and drug interactions.  The EUA is temporary and will be effective until the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of the emergency use of drugs and biologics for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 is terminated.  It may be revised or revoked if it is determined the EUA no longer meets the statutory criteria for issuance.

Possible side effects of remdesivir include increased levels of liver enzymes, which may be a sign of inflammation or damage to cells in the liver; and infusion-related reactions, which may include low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and shivering.

The top coronavirus task force scientist Dr. Anthony Fauci welcomed news of the first potential treatment for COVID-19.  The U.S. government will coordinate the donation and distribution of remdesivir to hospitals in cities most heavily impacted by COVID-19. Given the severity of illness of patients appropriate for remdesivir treatment and the limited availability of drug supply, hospitals with intensive care units and other hospitals that the government deems most in need will receive priority in the distribution of remdesivir.

Covid-19 Spread Causes More Restrictions

 

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union”, offered his prognosis as the federal government weighs rolling back guidelines on social distancing in areas that have not been as hard-hit by the outbreak at the conclusion of the nationwide 15-day effort to slow the spread of the virus.  The U.S. government’s foremost infection disease expert says the United States could experience more than 100,000 deaths and millions of infections from the coronavirus pandemic.

The US has become the epicenter with about 125,000 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and over 2,100 dead as of March 29, 2020.  Most people who contract COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems. Hospitals in the most afflicted areas are straining to handle patients and some are short of critical supplies.

The US president has suggested that a target date for reopening the U.S economy, which has been battered by the coronavirus outbreak, is April 12, Easter. But public health officials warn that lifting restrictions too soon could lead to more deaths and further damage the economy.  To limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued social distancing guidelines and called for gatherings of more than 10 people to be canceled, while governors have ordered residents in their states to remain in their homes and ordered nonessential businesses to close.

The CDC has issued a domestic travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  “Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately,” the CDC said in a statement. “This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply.”  The CDC also noted that the governors of the three states would “have full discretion to implement this Domestic Travel Advisory.”

With more than 124,000 cases and 2,046 deaths nationwide, the three states make up more than half of the cases and nearly half of the deaths.  New York State has over 55,000 confirmed cases and over 2,000 deaths.  New Jersey has over 11,000 confirmed cases and 140 deaths.  Connecticut has over 1,200 confirmed cases and 33 deaths.  Most of the Connecticut cases are in Fairfield County where many residents commute into New York City for work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus Continues to Spread

 

 

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As concerns about the coronavirus rippled across the globe, the US president declared the Covid-19 outbreak a national emergency as public life in America continues to grind to a halt.   Schools have closed to millions of students, creating anxiety for working parents across the country. Travel bans have been widened and some cities across America have issued curfews or “shelter in place” orders to slow the spread of the virus.  More “shelter in place” orders are expected as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise and has now been found in all 50 states.  

Shelter in place orders will come from local government rather than federal.  A growing number of countries have also imposed lockdowns that effectively shut down public life, but the details of such lockdowns vary dramatically.  Italy banned all public gatherings and set a 6 p.m. curfew but allowed travel for work or health reasons, while in China, millions of residents are restricted from even going to shop for groceries.  

The “shelter-in-place” order that San Francisco adopted has fairly large exemptions for health, work, food and even exercise.  City officials ordered residents to remain in place at their homes except for essential activities, essential business, and essential government functions, including tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor or getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food and supplies necessary for staying at home.

 

The order also includes:

  • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running provided that they maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing.
  • Caring for a family member in another household.
  • Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable persons.

 

 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin outlined a variety of potential proposals to Senate Republicans as part of a legislative package to help Americans and industries that are reeling from the coronavirus.  The administration proposed an initial $250 billion could be sent to Americans as early as the end of April if it can muster congressional approval.  

Sen. John Thune noted that getting cash assistance to Americans is something that has historically taken some time, but “I think there are ways now electronically that you can process things more quickly.” The proposal has fairly widespread support from Senate Republicans, who say it will offer immediate assistance to Americans impacted by the virus. Some lawmakers have varying ideas about how the proposal should work, including who should receive the payments and how much each American should get. 

Coronavirus Cases In The US

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The World Health Organization is warning the number of cases of COVID-19 caused by coronavirus is approaching 100,000 worldwide, with more than 3,100 deaths due to the illness. Most of the deaths and infections have occurred in China, where health officials reported 139 new cases and 31 new deaths recently.  

South Korea confirmed 438 new cases, making their total number of confirmed cases over 5,700.  Italy has over 3,000 confirmed cases and more than 100 deaths have been reported. Officials have closed down schools in Italy, South Korea, Japan, France, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere, with nearly 300 million children kept home from school worldwide. 

In the United States, there are now more than 300 confirmed cases and the death toll has reached 11 — with 10 of the deaths occurring in Washington state. California recorded its first coronavirus death: an elderly man who traveled on a Princess cruise ship that departed from San Francisco and traveled to Mexico in February. Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered the ship quarantined off the coast of California and is airlifting tests for passengers and crew. Governor Newsom made the announcement as he formally declared a state of emergency across California.

The CDC issued new guidance for clinicians on screening patients for novel coronavirus and assessing their risk for infection. The agency also started shipping its coronavirus assay to labs across the U.S. and in other countries.  According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 states in the US have reported confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Washington State has the highest number of cases with 70 confirmed illnesses and 10 associated deaths. California has 60 positive cases and 1 death. 

Of the confirmed cases in California, 42 of them are linked to repatriation or international travel. Cases are rising rapidly in New York, where there are 22 confirmed cases across the state with an additional 24 testing results pending, and 122 individuals under investigation.  In response to the rise in cases, the US Senate passed an $8.3 billion bill to fight the outbreak. This came just a day after the bill was approved by the House of Representatives. More than $3 billion is expected to be put into research and development of treatments, vaccines, and testing.

 

Coronavirus Continues to Spread-What You Should Know

 

 

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The death toll from Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has surpassed 3,000 with the number of cases reaching over 90,000.  While 51,000 people who have contracted the illness have since recovered, the head of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) said that the global mortality rate for Covid-19 was 3.4 percent, a figure that primarily reflects the outbreak in China, where the vast majority of cases have been detected.

 

The organization’s director general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a news conference that Covid-19 is deadlier than the seasonal flu but did not transmit as easily.  Dr. Tedros said. “By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected.” He added “While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, Covid-19 is a new virus to which no one has immunity,” meaning more people can be infected and some will suffer severe illnesses, Dr. Tedros said. The coronavirus does not transmit as efficiently as the flu but “causes more severe disease.” 

 

While the prospect of being infected with a new virus can be frightening, the CDC warns that the symptoms to look out for are fever, coughing and shortness of breath. These symptoms usually appear between two days and two weeks of exposure to the virus.  According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, as many as 98% of COVID-19 patients have a fever, between 76% and 82% have a dry cough, and 11% to 44% report exhaustion and fatigue. 

 

The disease appears to become more severe with age, with the 30 to 79 year-old age range predominating the detected cases in Wuhan.   The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from very mild to severe. People who are older or have existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, may be at higher risk of serious illness. This is similar to what is seen with other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza.

 

It’s unclear exactly how contagious the new coronavirus is but it appears to be spreading from person to person among those in close contact. It may be spread by respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes.  Although there is no vaccine available to prevent infection with the new coronavirus, you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection. Although there is no vaccine available to prevent infection with the new coronavirus, you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection. WHO and CDC recommend following the standard precautions for avoiding respiratory viruses:  

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items if you’re sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch.
  • Stay home from work, school and public areas if you’re sick.

 

Calls For Resignation of Manhattan District Attorney Mount Over Robert Haddon Leniency

 

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Calls are mounting for the resignation of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance as 40 more women have accused former Columbia University OB-GYN Robert Hadden of sexual assault. The accusations follow recent revelations by Evelyn Yang, wife of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, that Hadden assaulted her when she was pregnant. Cy Vance let Hadden off with a plea deal in 2016 that enabled him to avoid jail time. Evelyn Yang was assaulted while pregnant with her first child, just six weeks after Hadden had been arrested in another case but was allowed to return to his practice.  Joining the call for Cy Vance to resign are all 12 members of the New York City Council Women’s Caucus.

Hadden stood accused in a sex-abuse case involving six patients back in 2016 but reached a plea deal, meaning he served no time.  He was struck off the medical register but did not serve any time behind bars.  He also received no probation or community service.  The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has been slammed for failing to hand down heavier on the sex offender.

When Yang was seven months pregnant, she believed her appointment was done and she was getting ready to leave when the doctor told her abruptly that he thought she might need a cesarean section. She said Hadden pulled her to him and undressed her, then used his fingers to examine her internally.  ‘I knew it was wrong. I knew I was being assaulted,’ she said.  Yang said she ‘just kind of froze’ and didn’t react. ‘I remember trying to fix my eyes on a spot on the wall and just trying to avoid seeing his face as he was assaulting me, just waiting for it to be over,’ she said.

After the doctor left the room, she left the practice and didn’t return.  Yang said she was initially too afraid to tell anyone what had happened.  She said she blamed herself, thinking she must have done something to ‘invite this kind of behavior.’  Months later, after the couple’s son was born, Yang got a letter in the mail saying Hadden had left the practice.  Curious, she looked him up online and saw that another woman had made a police report accusing him of assaulting her.  She said she realized then that she wasn’t to blame for his actions.  ‘This was a serial predator, and he just picked me as his prey,’ she said.  That is when she revealed the alleged abuse to her husband.

The total number of Hadden’s accusers is now over 70, including two teenagers.  The allegations include vaginal examinations without gloves, forceful touching and forced oral sex.  Hadden, 61, has denied the assault allegations in court documents, aside from the two counts in his plea deal.  One of his new accusers alleges that Hadden put his ungloved hands inside her vagina while telling her how arousal happens.  Another of his accusers, Emilia Heckman, a fashion model in her late 20s at the time, said Hadden had shown her pictures of his family and made her feel ‘comfortable’ with him when she was his patient.  He soon began making inappropriate questions or comments, such as asking her about her sex life and saying her boyfriend ‘is so lucky to have you’, said Heckman, now 36.  Hadden then sexually assaulted her during an appointment in 2012.  Heckman said Hadden told the nurse to go home, leaving her alone with her alleged abuser.  Heckman fled the office and never returned.

Another accuser, Jessica Chambers, now a substitute elementary-school teacher in Wyoming, said she was a 23-year-old student at the City College of New York and had never had a gynecological exam before when she was assaulted by Hadden in 2004.  She said he had started off ‘friendly’ but made her feel uncomfortable as the exam went on for a long time, during which a chaperone was present.  ‘He had his fingers inside of me — I couldn’t see if he was wearing gloves,’ she said.

‘And he had an extended conversation with me while he had his fingers inside of me. … I remember wanting to get out of that position.’  Chambers said they talked about how she’d just broken up with her boyfriend and Hadden had asked her asking her if she was able to climax and how.  ‘I’m thinking it’s very weird. But ‘he’s a doctor, we’re in Columbia — clearly what’s going on here must be normal and natural.”  When the chaperone left the room, Hadden grabbed her leg and then began touching her vagina with ungloved hands while telling her how arousal happens.  ‘He had me somewhat stuck,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know whether it was just me being naive and I didn’t want to do anything that would be weird.’