Kissinger: the world will never be the same (& Trapped in an eternal honeymoon)

April 06, 2020

Life for many in the world today.

 

Doctors at Israeli hospitals (such as those above in the town of Petah Tikva), have placed photos of themselves on their protective suits so that coronavirus patients can see who is taking care of them.

 

Above: New York’s Bronx Zoo’s Malayan twins Nadia (front) and Azul (rear). 4-year-old Nadia has tested positive for coronavirus. She, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions have developed a dry cough but all are expected to recover, the zoo said. The zoo has been closed since March 16 due to the spread of the virus.

(A friend writes: “Personally I stay at least 2m away from tigers, with or without corona.”)

 

A South African newlywed couple have been left stranded at a five-star Maldives resort when both South Africa and the Maldives suddenly went into lockdown during their honeymoon.

27-year-old Olivia (a teacher, pictured above last week at the resort) and her new husband, 28-year-old Raul (a butcher), are the only remaining guests, being catered to by the entire resort staff.

Every night performers still put on a show for them in the resort’s restaurant, Olivia told journalists. “Everyone says they want to be stuck on a tropical island, until you’re actually stuck,” she added. “It only sounds good because you know you can leave.”

 

IRAN, CHINA DEATHS ARE “AT LEAST TEN TIMES GREATER THAN OFFICIALLY ADMITTED”

[Note by Tom Gross]

The media keeps on reporting that America has the highest number of coronavirus infections, and that Italy has the highest number of deaths. But this is almost certainly untrue.

The true numbers of coronavirus deaths in Iran, I am reliably told by those with inside knowledge, is likely to be in the region of 40,000, and in China in the hundreds of thousands.

There are also likely high levels of infections in the eastern parts of Russia, which shares a very long border with China, and in countries such as Indonesia and Burma.

Democratic countries tend to be telling the truth in the figures supplied here , whereas many dictatorial regimes are significantly covering up the true extent of coronavirus in their countries.

There is also a significant difference in the levels of testing among democratic countries, meaning there are significant underestimates of those who are infected in countries such as Britain.

***

I attach a variety of articles below. (I don’t necessarily agree with the points made in the opinion articles attached.)

 

KISSINGER: THE WORLD WILL NEVER BE THE SAME

In the first piece below, in the Wall Street Journal, former secretary of state and national security adviser Henry Kissinger writes:

The surreal atmosphere of the Covid-19 pandemic calls to mind how I felt as a young man in the 84th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge. Now, as in late 1944, there is a sense of inchoate danger, aimed not at any particular person, but striking randomly and with devastation. But there is an important difference between that faraway time and ours. American endurance then was fortified by an ultimate national purpose. Now, in a divided country, efficient and farsighted government is necessary to overcome obstacles unprecedented in magnitude and global scope. Sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity, to the relation of societies with each other, and to international peace and stability.

Nations cohere and flourish on the belief that their institutions can foresee calamity, arrest its impact and restore stability. When the Covid-19 pandemic is over, many countries’ institutions will be perceived as having failed. Whether this judgment is objectively fair is irrelevant. The reality is the world will never be the same after the coronavirus. To argue now about the past only makes it harder to do what has to be done.

 

“COVID-19 IS NOT THE BLACK DEATH”

In the second piece below, Jonathan Sumption, a former British Supreme Court judge, writes in The Sunday Times (of London):

Fear is dangerous. It is the enemy of reason. It suppresses balance and judgment. And it is infectious, as democratic politicians run for cover in the face of public panic…

Epidemics are not new. Bubonic plague, smallpox, cholera, typhoid, meningitis, Spanish flu all took a heavy toll in their time. An earlier generation would not have understood the current hysteria over Covid-19, whose symptoms are milder and whose case mortality is lower than any of these. What has changed? For one thing, we have become much more risk-averse…

What is clear is that Covid-19 is not the Black Death. It is dangerous for those with serious existing medical conditions, especially if they are old. For others, the symptoms are mild in the overwhelming majority of cases…

We have set about abolishing human sociability in ways that lead to unimaginable distress. We have given the police powers that, even if they respect the limits, will create an authoritarian pattern of life utterly inconsistent with our traditions… These things represent an interference with our lives and our personal autonomy that is intolerable in a free society. …And that is before we even get to the economic impact…

The truth is that in public policy there are no absolute values. Do we not allow cars, among the most lethal weapons ever devised, although we know for certain that every year thousands will be killed or maimed by them? …

A similar calculation about the coronavirus might justify a very short period of lockdown and business closures, if it helped the critical care capacity of the NHS to catch up… But as soon as the scientists start talking about a month or even three or six months, we are entering a realm of sinister fantasy …


CONTENTS

1. The coronavirus pandemic will forever alter the world order (By Henry Kissinger, Wall St Journal, April 4, 2020)
2. Coronavirus lockdown: no one even asks whether this ‘cure’ is actually worse (Sunday Times of London, April 5 2020)
3. George W. Bush paved way for global pandemic planning (ABC News, April 5, 2020)
4. An unwanted symptom of the coronavirus crisis in France: Antisemitic conspiracy theories (JTA, April 2, 2020)
5. Doctor with Covid-19 dies in Berlin flat after travelling from London (The Guardian, April 4, 2020)
6. Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive for coronavirus (New York Post, April 5, 2020)

 

ARTICLES

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC WILL FOREVER ALTER THE WORLD ORDER

The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order
The U.S. must protect its citizens from disease while starting the urgent work of planning for a new epoch.
By Henry A. Kissinger
Wall Street Journal
April 4, 2020

The surreal atmosphere of the Covid-19 pandemic calls to mind how I felt as a young man in the 84th Infantry Division during the Battle of the Bulge. Now, as in late 1944, there is a sense of inchoate danger, aimed not at any particular person, but striking randomly and with devastation. But there is an important difference between that faraway time and ours. American endurance then was fortified by an ultimate national purpose. Now, in a divided country, efficient and farsighted government is necessary to overcome obstacles unprecedented in magnitude and global scope. Sustaining the public trust is crucial to social solidarity, to the relation of societies with each other, and to international peace and stability.

Nations cohere and flourish on the belief that their institutions can foresee calamity, arrest its impact and restore stability. When the Covid-19 pandemic is over, many countries’ institutions will be perceived as having failed. Whether this judgment is objectively fair is irrelevant. The reality is the world will never be the same after the coronavirus. To argue now about the past only makes it harder to do what has to be done.

The coronavirus has struck with unprecedented scale and ferocity. Its spread is exponential: U.S. cases are doubling every fifth day. At this writing, there is no cure. Medical supplies are insufficient to cope with the widening waves of cases. Intensive-care units are on the verge, and beyond, of being overwhelmed. Testing is inadequate to the task of identifying the extent of infection, much less reversing its spread. A successful vaccine could be 12 to 18 months away.

The U.S. administration has done a solid job in avoiding immediate catastrophe. The ultimate test will be whether the virus’s spread can be arrested and then reversed in a manner and at a scale that maintains public confidence in Americans’ ability to govern themselves. The crisis effort, however vast and necessary, must not crowd out the urgent task of launching a parallel enterprise for the transition to the post-coronavirus order.

Leaders are dealing with the crisis on a largely national basis, but the virus’s society-dissolving effects do not recognize borders. While the assault on human health will – hopefully – be temporary, the political and economic upheaval it has unleashed could last for generations. No country, not even the U.S., can in a purely national effort overcome the virus. Addressing the necessities of the moment must ultimately be coupled with a global collaborative vision and program. If we cannot do both in tandem, we will face the worst of each.

Drawing lessons from the development of the Marshall Plan and the Manhattan Project, the U.S. is obliged to undertake a major effort in three domains. First, shore up global resilience to infectious disease. Triumphs of medical science like the polio vaccine and the eradication of smallpox, or the emerging statistical-technical marvel of medical diagnosis through artificial intelligence, have lulled us into a dangerous complacency. We need to develop new techniques and technologies for infection control and commensurate vaccines across large populations. Cities, states and regions must consistently prepare to protect their people from pandemics through stockpiling, cooperative planning and exploration at the frontiers of science.

Second, strive to heal the wounds to the world economy. Global leaders have learned important lessons from the 2008 financial crisis. The current economic crisis is more complex: The contraction unleashed by the coronavirus is, in its speed and global scale, unlike anything ever known in history. And necessary public-health measures such as social distancing and closing schools and businesses are contributing to the economic pain. Programs should also seek to ameliorate the effects of impending chaos on the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Third, safeguard the principles of the liberal world order. The founding legend of modern government is a walled city protected by powerful rulers, sometimes despotic, other times benevolent, yet always strong enough to protect the people from an external enemy. Enlightenment thinkers reframed this concept, arguing that the purpose of the legitimate state is to provide for the fundamental needs of the people: security, order, economic well-being, and justice. Individuals cannot secure these things on their own. The pandemic has prompted an anachronism, a revival of the walled city in an age when prosperity depends on global trade and movement of people.

The world’s democracies need to defend and sustain their Enlightenment values. A global retreat from balancing power with legitimacy will cause the social contract to disintegrate both domestically and internationally. Yet this millennial issue of legitimacy and power cannot be settled simultaneously with the effort to overcome the Covid-19 plague. Restraint is necessary on all sides – in both domestic politics and international diplomacy. Priorities must be established.

We went on from the Battle of the Bulge into a world of growing prosperity and enhanced human dignity. Now, we live an epochal period. The historic challenge for leaders is to manage the crisis while building the future. Failure could set the world on fire.

 

“WE ARE SO AFRAID OF DEATH, NO ONE EVEN ASKS WHETHER THIS ‘CURE’ IS ACTUALLY WORSE”

Coronavirus lockdown: we are so afraid of death, no one even asks whether this ‘cure’ is actually worse
By Jonathan Sumption
The Sunday Times (of London)
April 5 2020

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” The words are Franklin D Roosevelt’s. His challenge was recession, not disease, but his words have a wider resonance.

Fear is dangerous. It is the enemy of reason. It suppresses balance and judgment. And it is infectious. Roosevelt thought government was doing too little. But today fear is more likely to push governments into doing too much, as democratic politicians run for cover in the face of public panic. Is the coronavirus the latest and most damaging example?

Epidemics are not new. Bubonic plague, smallpox, cholera, typhoid, meningitis, Spanish flu all took a heavy toll in their time. An earlier generation would not have understood the current hysteria over Covid-19, whose symptoms are milder and whose case mortality is lower than any of these.

What has changed? For one thing, we have become much more risk-averse. We no longer accept the wheel of fortune. We take security for granted. We do not tolerate avoidable tragedies. Fear stops us thinking about the more remote costs of the measures necessary to avoid them, measures that may pitch us into even greater misfortunes of a different kind.

We have also acquired an irrational horror of death. Today death is the great obscenity, inevitable but somehow unnatural. In the midst of life, our ancestors lived with death, an ever-present fact that they understood and accommodated. They experienced the death of friends and family, young and old, generally at home. Today it is hidden away in hospitals and care homes: out of sight and out of mind, unmentionable until it strikes.

We know too little about Covid-19. We do not know its true case mortality because of the uncertainties about the total number infected. We do not know how many of those who have died would have died anyway – possibly a bit later – from other underlying conditions (“comorbidities”, in doctor-speak).

What is clear is that Covid-19 is not the Black Death. It is dangerous for those with serious existing medical conditions, especially if they are old. For others, the symptoms are mild in the overwhelming majority of cases.

The prime minister, the health secretary and the Prince of Wales – all of whom have caught it and are fine – represent the normal pattern. The much publicised but extremely rare deaths of fit young people are tragic but they are outliers.

Yet governments have adopted, with public support, the most extreme and indiscriminate measures.

We have subjected most of the population, young or old, vulnerable or fit, to house imprisonment for an indefinite period.

We have set about abolishing human sociability in ways that lead to unimaginable distress.

We have given the police powers that, even if they respect the limits, will create an authoritarian pattern of life utterly inconsistent with our traditions.

We have resorted to law, which requires exact definition, and banished common sense, which requires judgment.

These things represent an interference with our lives and our personal autonomy that is intolerable in a free society. To say that they are necessary for larger social ends, however valuable those ends may be, is to treat human beings as objects, mere instruments of policy.

And that is before we even get to the economic impact. We have put hundreds of thousands out of a job and into universal credit.

Recent research suggests that we are already pushing a fifth of small businesses into bankruptcy, many of which will have taken a lifetime of honest toil to build. The proportion is forecast to rise to a third after three months of lockdown.

Generations to come are being saddled with high levels of public and private debt. These things kill, too. If all this is the price of saving human life, we have to ask whether it is worth paying.

The truth is that in public policy there are no absolute values, not even the preservation of life. There are only pros and cons. Do we not allow cars, among the most lethal weapons ever devised, although we know for certain that every year thousands will be killed or maimed by them? We do this because we judge that it is a price worth paying to get about in speed and comfort. Every one of us who drives is a tacit party to that Faustian bargain.

A similar calculation about the coronavirus might justify a very short period of lockdown and business closures, if it helped the critical care capacity of the NHS to catch up. It may even be that tough social distancing measures would be acceptable as applied only to vulnerable categories.

But as soon as the scientists start talking about a month or even three or six months, we are entering a realm of sinister fantasy in which the cure has taken over as the biggest threat to our society. Lockdowns are at best only a way of buying time anyway. Viruses don’t just go away. Ultimately, we will emerge from this crisis when we acquire some collective (or “herd”) immunity. That is how epidemics burn themselves out.

In the absence of a vaccine, it will happen, but only when a sufficient proportion of the population is exposed to the disease.

I am not a scientist. Most of you are not scientists. But we can all read the scientific literature, which is immaculately clear but has obvious limitations. Scientists can help us assess the clinical consequences of different ways to contain the coronavirus. But they are no more qualified than the rest of us to say whether they are worth turning our world upside down and inflicting serious long-term damage. All of us have a responsibility to maintain a sense of proportion, especially when so many are losing theirs.

 

GEORGE W. BUSH PAVED WAY FOR GLOBAL PANDEMIC PLANNING

George W. Bush in 2005: ‘If we wait for a pandemic to appear, it will be too late to prepare’
A book about the 1918 flu pandemic spurred the government to action.
By Matthew Mosk
ABC News
April 5, 2020

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/george-bush-2005-wait-pandemic-late-prepare/story?id=69979013

In the summer of 2005, President George W. Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he began flipping through an advance reading copy of a new book about the 1918 flu pandemic. He couldn’t put it down.

When he returned to Washington, he called his top homeland security adviser into the Oval Office and gave her the galley of historian John M. Barry’s “The Great Influenza,” which told the chilling tale of the mysterious plague that “would kill more people than the outbreak of any other disease in human history.”

“You’ve got to read this,” Fran Townsend remembers the president telling her. “He said, ‘Look, this happens every 100 years. We need a national strategy.’“

Thus was born the nation’s most comprehensive pandemic plan -- a playbook that included diagrams for a global early warning system, funding to develop new, rapid vaccine technology, and a robust national stockpile of critical supplies, such as face masks and ventilators, Townsend said.

The effort was intense over the ensuing three years, including exercises where cabinet officials gamed out their responses, but it was not sustained. Large swaths of the ambitious plan were either not fully realized or entirely shelved as other priorities and crises took hold.

But elements of that effort have formed the foundation for the national response to the coronavirus pandemic underway right now.

“Despite politics, despite changes, when a crisis hits, you pull what you’ve got off the shelf and work from there,” Townsend said.

When Bush first told his aides he wanted to focus on the potential of a global pandemic, many of them harbored doubts.

“My reaction was -- I’m buried. I’m dealing with counterterrorism. Hurricane season. Wildfires. I’m like, ‘What?’“ Townsend said. “He said to me, ‘It may not happen on our watch, but the nation needs the plan.’“

Over the ensuing months, cabinet officials got behind the idea. Most of them had governed through the Sept. 11 terror attacks, so events considered unlikely but highly-impactful had a certain resonance.

“There was a realization that it’s no longer fantastical to raise scenarios about planes falling from the sky, or anthrax arriving in the mail,” said Tom Bossert, who worked in the Bush White House and went on to serve as a homeland security adviser in the Trump administration. “It was not a novel. It was the world we were living.”

According to Bossert, who is now an ABC News contributor, Bush did not just insist on preparation for a pandemic. He was obsessed with it.

“He was completely taken by the reality that that was going to happen,” Bossert said.

In a November 2005 speech at the National Institutes of Health, Bush laid out proposals in granular detail -- describing with stunning prescience how a pandemic in the United States would unfold. Among those in the audience was Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leader of the current crisis response, who was then and still is now the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“A pandemic is a lot like a forest fire,” Bush said at the time. “If caught early it might be extinguished with limited damage. If allowed to smolder, undetected, it can grow to an inferno that can spread quickly beyond our ability to control it.”

The president recognized that an outbreak was a different kind of disaster than the ones the federal government had been designed to address.

“To respond to a pandemic, we need medical personnel and adequate supplies of equipment,” Bush said. “In a pandemic, everything from syringes to hospital beds, respirators masks and protective equipment would be in short supply.”

Bush told the gathered scientists that they would need to develop a vaccine in record time.

“If a pandemic strikes, our country must have a surge capacity in place that will allow us to bring a new vaccine on line quickly and manufacture enough to immunize every American against the pandemic strain,” he said.

Bush set out to spend $7 billion building out his plan. His cabinet secretaries urged their staffs to take preparations seriously. The government launched a website, www.pandemicflu.gov, that is still in use today. But as time passed, it became increasingly difficult to justify the continued funding, staffing and attention, Bossert said.

“You need to have annual budget commitment. You need to have institutions that can survive any one administration. And you need to have leadership experience,” Bossert said. “All three of those can be effected by our wonderful and unique form of government in which you transfer power every four years.”

Bush declined, through a spokesman, to comment on the unfolding crisis or discuss the current response. But his remarks from 15 years ago still resonate.

“If we wait for a pandemic to appear,” he warned, “it will be too late to prepare. And one day many lives could be needlessly lost because we failed to act today.”

 

AN UNWANTED SYMPTOM OF THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS IN FRANCE: ANTI-SEMITIC CONSPIRACY THEORIES

An unwanted symptom of the coronavirus crisis in France: Anti-Semitic conspiracy theories
By Cnaan Liphshiz
JTA
April 2, 2020

Anti-Semitism has plagued French society for centuries, flaring up in times of crisis – especially during epidemics.

In the 14th century, for instance, Jews were massacred in France during the Black Death epidemic after they were blamed for spreading the disease by poisoning water wells. In the city of Strasbourg alone, 2,000 Jews were burnt alive by orders of the local council, according to the historian Robert Gottfried’s book “Black Death.”

That kind of disease-related conspiracy theory hasn’t widely manifested itself for centuries. Now, however, the coronavirus is reigniting that strain of anti-Semitism in France.

“It’s deeply saddening and it’s revolting, but the coronavirus pandemic is a reminder that Jews will be blamed whenever there’s an epidemic, be it today or 1347,” said Marc Knobel, a historian who since 2002 has been the head of studies at the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities.

In recent weeks, a caricature of Agnes Buzyn, France’s previous health minister who was Jewish, pouring poison into a well – a depiction of one of the most prevalent theories that led to pogroms during the Black Death plague – has made the rounds on French social media. It’s been shared tens of thousands of times.

Another viral image superimposes Buzyn’s face on the “happy merchant” anti-Semitic caricature, which shows a grinning Jewish man rubbing his palms together.

Then there’s a widely shared video accusing Buzyn and her husband, Yves Levy, also Jewish, of withholding chloroquine – an anti-malarial drug being touted as a possible coronavirus antidote by some, including President Donald Trump, but whose effectivity against the coronavirus is unproven – from the French public for financial gain. It garnered 170,000 views on YouTube before being deleted.

Alain Soral, a Holocaust denier with multiple convictions for inciting hatred against Jews, said in a video he posted on YouTube that the virus is being used by “the luminary community, which we are forbidden to name” that “wants to cash in on the backs of the French to weaken French people by the sheer weight of the death toll.”

The statement, which echoes similar allegations made against Jews during the Middle Ages, was unusual for Soral, who likes to cloak his hate speech in academic language and pseudo-rational constructions that he delivers dispassionately.

But to Knobel, the historian, the video’s reach was even more surprising. Its 406,000 views made it the second-most popular video on Soral’s YouTube channel, Kontre Kulture, which he launched eight years ago.

Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, the anti-Semitic French comedian and a friend of Soral, has aired similar theories on his YouTube channel, which has hundreds of videos. His first post about the virus received 410,000 views – his highest number of clicks in more than six months.

Mainstream French media has taken notice of the anti-Semitic chatter around Buzyn, including the Voici news site and France Inter public radio, which said the pandemic was “triggering a wave of anti-Semitic rhetoric.”

In the United States and beyond, anti-Semites have seized on the coronavirus to spread their messages, the Anti-Defamation League said in a March 17 report on the phenomenon. But the trend has been most troubling in France, where Knobel says the authors have done well to fit anti-Semitism into the leading item on everyone’s agenda.

“The rhetoric comes from the same crowd of anti-Semites who trafficked in other kinds of anti-Semitic content before the corona crisis,” he said. “They just adapted their hate speech to fit the main topic of discussion to make it more effective.”

Anti-Semites have adopted the virus as a theme to push their message to a large, frightened and angry viewership. Knobel said that with everyone locked inside, the loyal viewers of people like Soral and Dieudonne inevitably will consume and disseminate more. He also said that the anti-Semitism in France is also showing “how fragile French society is, how polarized and confused.”

Even before the virus, polls suggested a growing resentment against the government of President Emmanuel Macron, a centrist who vowed to reform the French economy at the expense of its welfare provisions. In a survey from January, Macron’s approval rating was 25% – a drop of 16 points from 2018.

His popularity will likely not improve following the pandemic, which has killed 4,000 in France. On March 6, with nine dead, Macron went to the theater to demonstrate that normal life could go on. A week later, schools, bars and other non-essential businesses shut down in preparation for a total lockdown that was finally imposed on March 17.

A recent example of unrest in France shows how anti-Semitism can follow crisis quickly there. Demonstrations by the Yellow Vests – populist protesters pushing for economic reforms, so named for the reflective safety vests they wear – included signs and slogans describing Macron as a “whore of the Jews” and their “puppet.” At one protest last year, Yellow Vests mobbed the prominent French-Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, calling him a “dirty Zionist,” until police intervened to bring him to safety.

The bar for coronavirus anti-Semitism is getting lower by the day. For instance, Meyer Habib, a French-Jewish lawmaker, tweeted recently about the death from the virus of Maurice Bidermann, a Holocaust survivor, who he eulogized as a “humanist and Zionist.”

Bidermann’s family later said he had died of natural causes, but Habib’s tweet still triggered a slew of anti-Semitic vitriol, including by one user who wrote: “One less Israeli crook, but the list is still long.” Another said: “Shame he didn’t pay his taxes in France, maybe we would have had more beds for the ill.”

Bidermann, a fashion tycoon, had been convicted in 2003 for corporate malfeasance and spent two months in jail.

“There is apparently neither a cure nor a vaccine against the virus of anti-Semitic hatred,” Knobel said, “and it’s something we need to reflect on and deal with long after this virus is vanquished.”

 

DOCTOR WITH COVID-19 DIES IN BERLIN FLAT AFTER TRAVELLING FROM LONDON

Doctor with Covid-19 dies in Berlin flat after travelling from London
Attempt to trace Ryanair passengers after man ignores instruction to self-isolate
By Philip Oltermann in Berlin
The Guardian
April 4, 2020

A London-based doctor who ignored orders to self-isolate after showing Covid-19 symptoms has been found dead at his flat near Berlin, causing concern he could have infected other people on his journey from the UK.

The 58-year-old German citizen, who is understood to have worked in Britain as a locum doctor, was told by his employer to put himself into self-isolation on 19 March after developing symptoms associated with the coronavirus, but was not tested.

On 25 March the man instead travelled to Berlin, where he has a close relative and owns a flat in the Babelsberg district of Potsdam, on the outskirts of the capital.

Last week the doctor reportedly told his relative he was still experiencing symptoms, which typically include a high temperature and a dry cough. He failed to respond to calls after last Friday, and his body was discovered at his Babelsberg home on Sunday.

A postmortem showed he had suffered from Covid-19.

The case has caused indignation among German officials. “I am outraged,” Potsdam’s mayor, Mike Schubert, told the BZ newspaper. “As a doctor he knew the risk of infection. How could he then go on to mingle among the crowds in several countries? The man was acting completely irresponsibly.”

German federal police and their counterparts in the UK have spent the week retracing the doctor’s route from Britain to Germany. It is believed he arrived in Berlin by plane. The only flight between the two capitals on 25 March was on Ryanair, from London Stansted to Berlin Schönefeld.

According to a spokesperson for Berlin’s airports the flight carried 41 passengers. Health authorities in Potsdam are understood to be getting hold of people who may have come into contact with the doctor on his journey.

The man is not understood to be linked to a coronavirus outbreak at Potsdam’s biggest hospital, the Ernst von Bergmann clinic, which has recorded 78 confirmed infections in the past few days.

 

BRONX ZOO TIGER TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS

Bronx Zoo tiger tests positive for coronavirus
By Jorge Fitz-Gibbon
New York Post
April 5, 2020

https://nypost.com/2020/04/05/a-bronx-zoo-tiger-now-has-coronavirus

The coronavirus is infecting New Yorkers of all stripes.

A 4-year-old Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the COVID-19 bug after developing a dry cough, the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement Sunday.

“Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for COVID-19. She, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions had developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover,” the statement read.
The diagnosis was confirmed by USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa “out of an abundance of caution,” the society said.

The big cats are on the mend, the WCS said.

“Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers,” the statement said. “It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but we will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries.”

The four affected big cats are housed in the zoo’s Tiger Mountain exhibit.

None of the other cats at the zoo, which includes leopards, cheetahs, and pumas, have shown symptoms, the society said.

Zoo officials said they hope Nadia’s diagnosis “will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus.”

The zoo has been closed since March 16 due to the spread of the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, animals can become infected by the coronavirus, but scientists don’t believe they can spread the bug to humans.

In the United States, there is no evidence to suggest that any animals, including pets, livestock, or wildlife, might be a source of COVID019 infection at this time,” according to the CDC.

“However, because all animals can carry germs that can make people sick, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals,” the agency notes.

 

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