The U.S. will reconsider its W.H.O. membership, president says.
President Trump told the director-general of the World Health Organization that the United States would permanently end all funding to the organization if it did not “commit to substantive improvements within the next 30 days,” according to a copy of a letter he posted to Twitter late Monday night.Mr. Trump’s letter came after the first day of a W.H.O. meeting that was intended to chart a course forward in the pandemic fight. The forum, which Mr. Trump declined to address, will conclude today.
Mr. Trump also wrote on Monday that the United States would reconsider its membership in the W.H.O. because it was “so clearly not serving America’s interests.”
“It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world,” the president wrote in a four-page letter outlining his grievances against the organization and its leader, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Last year, the United States contributed about $553 million of the W.H.O.’s $6 billion budget, with China providing $43 million. Before Mr. Trump posted his letter, President Xi Jinping of China offered to provide $2 billion in the fight against the pandemic and called on other nations to increase their contributions to the W.H.O.
Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of Health and Human Services, also sharply criticized the W.H.O. on Monday, saying its handling of the outbreak in China led to unnecessary deaths.
“We must be frank about one of the primary reasons that this outbreak spun out of control,” Mr. Azar said in a prepared video to the World Health Assembly, the global health agency’s annual meeting. “There was a failure by this organization to obtain the information that the world needed, and that failure cost many lives.”
“All I can tell you is, so far I seem to be OK,” he said, explaining that he takes a daily pill. The White House physician said later that Mr. Trump had no symptoms and had regularly tested negative for the virus.
The drugs can cause dangerous abnormalities in heart rhythm in virus patients, the F.D.A. warned, saying they should be used only in clinical trials or hospitals where patients can be closely monitored for heart problems.
Several doctors said they were alarmed that Mr. Trump was using the bully pulpit of the presidency to tell the public he takes a drug that has not been proven to be effective against the coronavirus, but which does have known risks.
Dr. Steven E. Nissen, the chief academic officer of the Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, said he had treated patients who developed a life-threatening arrhythmia.
“This disorder can be lethal,” Dr. Nissen said. “My concern would be that the public not hear comments about the use of hydroxychloroquine and believe that taking this drug to prevent Covid-19 infection is without hazards.
“In fact, there are serious hazards.”
Early studies of hydroxychloroquine in the laboratory, which showed that the drug could block the virus from attacking cells, prompted enthusiasm. But the studies of the drug in humans have largely proved disappointing, and some have pointed to serious side effects in people with heart problems.
“I’m not going to get hurt by it,” said Mr. Trump, 73, explaining that he was making the disclosure in order to be transparent with Americans. “It has been around for 40 years for malaria, for lupus, for other things. I take it. Front-line workers take it. A lot of doctors take it.”
Whether they are being assertive enough will be front and center on today when the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and the Federal Reserve chair, Jerome H. Powell, testify before the Senate Banking Committee on the programs for the first time.
Lawmakers have begun warning the Fed and Treasury that they may fall short of congressional intent by being too risk averse and designing programs that could exclude borrowers in desperate need of help.
On Monday, a report from the congressional commission overseeing the Fed and Treasury’s efforts pointed out that most of the $500 billion that Congress allocated in March to the Treasury to support businesses and local governments had yet to be used and raised questions about how the rescue programs would work. The Treasury Department has yet to extend any of the $46 billion it was given to support airlines and national security-related companies and the Fed, whose newer and riskier lending programs are meant to be backstopped with the remaining $454 billion, has just one such program underway.
Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, plans to ask about the degree of risk being taken, and in a letter sent to Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. Powell on Monday he argued that “all taxpayers will be better off to the extent more businesses can access affordable financing.”
Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, said he expected questions to arise about the time it had taken to roll out key programs. “I’m starting to get a little concerned about that,” he said.
Saddled with debt, and entering a job market devastated by the pandemic, millions of young people, especially those without college degrees, face an exceptionally dicey future.
They are new to the job market — with scant on-the-job experience and little or no seniority to protect them from layoffs. A large body of research — along with the experience of those who came of age in the last recession — shows that young people trying to start their careers during an economic crisis are at a lasting disadvantage. Their wages, opportunities and confidence in the workplace may never fully recover.
And in the worst downturn in generations — one with no bottom in sight — the pattern is beginning to play out with a vengeance. From March to April, employment dropped by a quarter for workers 20 to 24 years old, and 16 percent for those 20 to 29. That compares with about 12 percent of workers in their 50s.
For some younger workers, this is the second blow in barely a decade. An analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute noted that “the generation that first entered the job market in the aftermath of the Great Recession is now going through its second ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ downturn.”
Molly Zerjal, a 32-year-old in St. Louis, lost a communications job at Wells Fargo during the last downturn. Now, Ms. Zerjal works in marketing at a different financial firm, and she’s afraid it could happen again.
“I’m not an essential worker: marketing and communications is a ‘nice to have,’” she said. “Every day, I’m like, ‘Oh, God, what could happen today?’ It’s like P.T.S.D.”
Therese Kelly arrived for her shift at an Amazon warehouse in Hazle Township, Pa., on March 27 to find her co-workers standing clustered in the cavernous space. Over a loudspeaker, a manager told them what they had feared: For the first time, an employee had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Some of the workers cut short their shifts and went home. Ms. Kelly, 63, got to work.
In the less than two months since then, the warehouse in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania has become Amazon’s biggest Covid-19 hot spot.
Local lawmakers believe that more than 100 workers have contracted the disease, but the exact number is unknown. At first, Amazon told workers about each new case. But when the total reached about 60, the announcements stopped giving specific numbers.
The best estimate is that more than 900 of the company’s 400,000 blue-collar workers have had the disease. But that number, crowdsourced by Jana Jumpp, an Amazon worker, almost certainly understates the spread.
Classes will begin two weeks earlier than usual so students can complete a full semester by Thanksgiving, the university said. Notre Dame hopes that skipping a traditional fall break will reduce the likelihood that students will bring the virus back to its campus outside South Bend, Ind.
The Rev. John I. Jenkins, the university’s president, compared reopening the campus to “assembling a small city of people from many parts of the nation and the world, who may bring with them pathogens to which they have been exposed.”
The leaders of several universities have said they have every intention of returning to campuses in the fall. But last week the nearly 500,000-student California State system announced that it would not reopen as usual for the fall semester, and that classes would be held primarily online.
Data released on Monday offered the most granular picture yet of the pandemic’s lethal rampage through New York City, reinforcing earlier signs that the coronavirus has affected immigrant, black and Hispanic residents disproportionately.
The data reported deaths in the city by ZIP code for the first time. The breakdown showed that of the 10 ZIP codes with the highest death rates, eight had populations that were predominantly black or Hispanic; three of the ZIP codes in Queens had populations that were mostly foreign-born.
The data was released several hours after Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated that he did not expect the city to meet the state’s criteria for beginning to reopen until “the first half of June.” Some businesses in five of New York State’s 10 regions were able to reopen, with restrictions, on Friday; another region, western New York, was poised to begin reopening on Tuesday.
Also on Monday, police officers answering a complaint found about 60 students studying at a Hasidic yeshiva in Brooklyn, the latest of several episodes that have ignited tensions between the authorities and Hasidic Jews over enforcement of social-distancing rules.
Tips for talking to your kids.
Parents are learning how to navigate difficult conversations with their children about death, job loss and sickness, all while trying to answer questions they barely understand. Hopefully, we can help.
Keep up with Times correspondents around the globe.
The residents of Wuhan, China, are getting back to normal. But in other places, like Ecuador, the situation is growing dire.
Reporting was contributed by Benedict Carey, Anemona Hartocollis, Andrew Jacobs, Annie Karni, Dan Levin, Eduardo Porter, Alan Rappeport, Michael D. Shear, Jeanna Smialek, Kaly Soto, Matt Stevens, Katie Thomas, Karen Weise, Edward Wong and David Yaffe-Bellany.