US President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he was considering imposing punitive duties on China, after he said he had seen evidence indicating that the new Coronavirus, originating from a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan, had recently been accused of a lack of transparency.
Europe is the most affected continent, with 13,714 deaths recorded, while the United States as a single country has the highest death toll of 61,717 deaths.
In Europe and the United States, about 90% of Covid-19 pandemic deaths were recorded.
In response to a White House reporter who asked him if he had seen evidence to make him seriously believe that the Wuhan Virus Institute was the source of the Coronavirus pandemic, Trump said “Yes”.
“It was something that could have been contained in the place of origin,” Trump added , and I think it could have been contained very easily”.
The US President did not specify what evidence he had seen in this context, but he indicated that he might impose punitive “customs duties” on China.
In response to a question about the possibility that the United States will not repay its debts to China, in a retaliatory measure, Trump said, “I can do this differently, by imposing customs taxes,” as it did in the past during the trade dispute between his country and Beijing.
Day after day, Europe’s divided feeling of the catastrophe struck by the Coronavirus, which continues to isolate its aspirants to restore their lives as quickly as possible, deepens as Germany prepares to reopen places of worship and museums.
After its success in combating the epidemic and was able to start “gradually” by easing isolation restrictions, the German government prepared a list of measures that it adopted on Thursday during a meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of regions.
Provided that the “isolation measures” are respected and socially separated, churches and mosques will be able to reopen, as well as museums, galleries, zoos and monuments.
According to German media, it is being reported that permits to reopen children’s play areas. Cafes and restaurants will remain closed until at least 6 May.
But Merkel said that the borders will not be opened with European countries today, as the risk of a pandemic returns.
This is a new step towards a return to normalcy in Germany, which has performed well compared to its European neighbors in managing the epidemic.
On Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that his country had “crossed the peak” and that the epidemic had begun to decline, during his first press conference since recovering from the Coronavirus.
Some European countries that imposed closures since mid-March began with a gradual, cautious willingness to return to a relatively normal position to revive economic activity, even if the prospect of controlling the epidemic at the global level seems out of reach.
Thursday came a series of figures to confirm the bleak outlook: France announced that its GDP fell by 5.8% in the first quarter of this year, as well as Spain by 5.2%, and Germany said that the number of unemployed rose by 13.2%.
At the level of the euro area, activity decreased by 3.8% in the first quarter of the year, its highest decline since the establishment of a single currency in 1999, according to the European Bureau of Statistics, “Eurostat”.
On Wednesday, the United States announced that its GDP had decreased by 4.8 percent year on year in the first quarter, after 10 years of continuous growth.
To make matters worse, 3.8 million new unemployed people are registered, according to the most recent Ministry of Labor figures, bringing the total number of people who have applied for unemployment benefits to more than 30 million Americans since mid-March.
In exchange for the failure of the twenty-seven European countries to agree on a joint economic recovery plan, the European Central Bank on Thursday kept the main interest rates, expressing a “willingness” to reinforce its massive purchases of debt.
His president, Christine Lagarde, announced that his emergency program to deal with the pandemic could be extended through massive debt purchases, until the end of 2020. She said this 750 billion euro process, launched in March to ease the economic shock, “will continue until the central bank believes” European) that the Covid-19 crisis is over”.
In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced Thursday that the recession may exceed 10% this year.
Italy was the first country in Europe to isolate all its residents on March 9th, and on March 21th it ordered the cessation of all “non-essential” economic activities.
However, an accelerated easing of isolation measures could lead to a second wave of infection, said Conte, who on Thursday raised the ire of the hasty Italian presidents.
“We cannot undermine the efforts made so far with reckless initiatives during this sensitive phase,” he said with a cautionary tone.
Moving from total closure to opening everything may blow these efforts irreversibly.
He added that if the infection rate currently set in Italy rises between 0.5 and 0.7, to 1, the intensive care departments will be unable to care for patients again.
In New York, the hardest hit city in the world, Governor Andrew Cuomo resented the displacement metro photo”.
What is going on in these vehicles is disgusting,” he said, calling for solutions to find shelters.
In this same city, even though the epidemic has receded, the flow of corpses, some of which have been laid on the ground, has continued.
Workers in the burial of the dead were shocked by scenes that sometimes resembled a terrible nightmare in the cooled white trailers used as a timer for their preservation“.
It is a river of corpses,” said a worker at a burial organization.
Russia, which had been immune to the prolonged epidemic, announced Thursday that its death toll has exceeded 1,000 as it faces a resurgence of alcoholism”.
On Thursday evening, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Michaustin said during a video conference with President Vladimir Putin that tests to determine his infection with the emerging coronavirus were positive and would be subjected to a self-quarantine to protect the rest of the government.
In a remarkable development related to the controversy between Washington and Beijing, US intelligence announced Thursday that it had reached the conclusion that the Coronavirus was “not a man-made and has not been genetically modified”.
Intelligence services are continuing their research to “determine whether the epidemic began with contact with infected animals or as a result of a laboratory accident in Wuhan,” China.