Trump says up to 100,000 Americans may die from coronavirus

US President Donald Trump is interviewed by hosts hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum during a Fox News Channel virtual town hall called "America Together: Returning to Work" about the response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, inside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on May 3, 2020. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
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Updated 04 May 2020

Trump says up to 100,000 Americans may die from coronavirus

  • COVID-19 has sickened more than 1.1 million and killed more than 67,000 in the US

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Sunday he now believes as many as 100,000 Americans could die in the coronavirus pandemic, after the death toll passed his earlier estimates, but said he was confident a vaccine would be developed by the year’s end.

Trump alternated during a two-hour virtual town hall broadcast by FOX News between forecasting a rapid recovery for the US economy and casting blame for the pandemic’s spread on China, where the disease is believed to have originated.

The COVID-19 illness, caused by the new coronavirus, has sickened more than 1.1 million in the United States and killed more than 67,000 Americans, shut wide swaths of society, including most schools and many businesses. https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T

“We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people. That’s a horrible thing,” said Trump, who as recently on Friday had said he hoped fewer than 100,000 Americans would die and earlier in the week had talked about 60,000 to 70,000 deaths.

About half the states have now moved toward at least partial lifting of shutdowns as the number of new cases of the COVID-19 illness has begun to drop or level off and as citizens agitate for relief from restrictions that have sent the economy into a tailspin.

“We can’t stay closed as a country (or) we’re not gonna have a country left,” Trump said.

Trump has criticized FOX recently, casting the conservative-leaning network as insufficiently supportive. He faced few tough questions in the event, which gave him a new format to reach the public while he is unable to hold campaign rallies and after he faced widespread criticism for his combative daily briefings.

In an assessment that clashes with those of some public health experts, Trump said he believed that by the end of the year there would be a vaccine against COVID-19.

“I think we’re going to have a vaccine by the end of the year. The doctors would say, well you shouldn’t say that,” Trump said. “I’ll say what I think ... I think we’ll have a vaccine sooner than later.”

Many health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, have cautioned that a vaccine is likely a year to 18 months away.

There is an “incredibly small” chance of having a highly effective vaccine or treatment for the coronavirus within the next year, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on April 22.

Trump also said he wanted students to return to schools and colleges in the autumn, even as he acknowledged the possibility of a resurgence of the disease.

“We’ll put out the embers, we’ll put out whatever it may be. We may have to put out a fire,” he said.

Speaking the day before the Senate returns to Washington, Trump said it was possible that federal coronavirus aid could rise to $6 trillion from the nearly $3 trillion Congress has already passed to try to ease the heavy economic toll of the crisis.

“There is more help coming. There has to be,” he said.

Democrats have made clear they want to provide a sizable rescue package for state and local governments as part of a broader bill — one that could total over $2 trillion — while some Republicans criticized the idea as unreasonably expensive.

“We will be doing infrastructure and I told Steve (Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin) just today we are not doing anything unless we get a payroll tax cut,” Trump said.

Trump, who has been criticized for not moving faster early in the year to stop the spread of the disease, sought to blunt the criticism by blaming China.

Trump said China had made a “horrible mistake” without saying precisely what this was or providing specific evidence for his assertion.

Earlier in the day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was “a significant amount of evidence” that COVID-19 emerged from a Chinese laboratory, but did not dispute US intelligence agencies’ conclusion that it was not man-made.


Marginalization blights lives of French people of Arab origin: Survey

Updated 6 min 11 sec ago

Marginalization blights lives of French people of Arab origin: Survey

  • An Arab News en Francais/YouGov poll suggests the largest minority group in France suffer from lack of acceptance, even stigmatization
  • More than half the respondents said they adhere to secularism and believe it could help alleviate problems in the Arab world 

DUBAI: As a wave of violence inspired by radical Islam shakes French cities and the culture at large, creating a sense of insecurity and fear, Islamophobia is on the rise. Islamism is not Islam, but for lack of knowledge, conflation of the two is easy.

It is through this wrong prism that French Muslims are viewed, as well as some Jews and Christians due to their Arab origins. INSEE, France’s national statistics bureau, said that by 2019, 55 percent of immigrants (both first and second generation) had come from Arab countries. They are the largest minority group in France and therefore it is not for an extremist minority to represent them.

For the first time in France, a survey was carried out among French people of Arab origin. Arab News en Francais commissioned leading online polling firm YouGov to conduct research on the perception of their life in France and their position in the face of secularism.

Arab News Research and Studies Unit partnered with YouGov for the survey which was carried out between Sept. 8 and Sept. 14, and was based on a representative sample of 958 French people from Arab countries, living in France.

The survey confirms their desire to belong to a democratic and secular France. It emerges that all religions are not perceived in the same way by French society, as indicated by the feelings of the French of Arab origin, Muslims and Jews who were interviewed.

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of those interviewed were found to be educated and employed, while French people of Arab origin are generally familiar with the French system and its history, and adhere to the fundamental values ​​of the French Republic.

The French of Arab origin have largely adapted to the way of life in France, but they do not feel accepted, with many citing a sense of stigmatization. Both religion and their national origin have no impact on their sense of belonging to French society. But the sounding of their name has an impact on their careers.

Half of the people questioned believe that neither their race, nor their origin and their religion had any impact on their feelings of belonging to French society and on their professional careers. Their responses, however, underline a feeling of exclusion which, for 51 percent is not linked to skin color, but rather to the ethnic origin of their name (36 percent), which, on the other hand, has a negative impact on their career prospects.

This feeling of exclusion is exacerbated among women who believe that their country of origin (46 percent against 33 percent of men) as well as their religion (66 percent against 52 percent of men) causes a negative perception among their compatriots.

French people of Arab origin clearly respect French values, such as secularism, and believe that a secular system would be beneficial for their country of origin. Many even claim to be ready to defend this model in their country of origin.

IN NUMBERS

55% French immigrants with roots in Arab countries.

51% Who did not link feeling of exclusion to skin color.

36% Who linked feeling of exclusion to ethnic origin of their name.

In fact, 54 percent of them advocate secularism, which would be, for them, a solution to the problems of the Arab world. The people questioned are reluctant to interfere with religion in politics and appreciate the secular system applied in France, which they even openly defend in their country of origin.

Moreover, the majority is not in favor of regulations on religious clothing, but 45 percent of men, 48 percent of respondents residing in rural France and 50 percent of those aged over 55 support regulatory laws and are in favor of such decisions, against 29 percent of the youngest (18-24 years) interviewees.

The oldest are better integrated than the youngest who were born in France. The younger generations are much less enthusiastic about state institutions and seem to be going back to their parents’ roots, thus reinforcing their sense of otherness.

The survey highlights the widening gap between the generations, insofar as young French people of Arab origin aged 18-24, for whom their religion is perceived positively (53 percent), seem less inclined to respect the regulations and join institutions like the national football team. Thus, 58 percent would support the football team of their country of origin against France, while 58 percent of men aged 35 to 44 and 72 percent of those over 55 would support the French team.

This last point reflects a generational gap and a generational conflict, which represents a major challenge for the future. A significant 49 percent of respondents and 52 percent of 18-34-year-olds believe that education levels are the most important factor in advancing their careers, but that their last name alone has a negative impact on their career, despite their ability to progress and the fact that they give themselves the means to do so.

A better knowledge of French people of Arab origin, peaceful and attached to the values ​​of freedom and secularism, is essential if the fight against extremism and Islamization in France is to be won.