London Museum acquires “Baby Trump” for its collection | U.S

LONDON (AP) – The huge inflatable Baby Trump will live beyond the president’s presidency.

The Museum of London said on Monday it had acquired the giant balloon depicting Donald Trump as a crying baby as an illustration of the protests that greeted the US president when he visited the English capital in 2018.

“By collecting the baby blimp, we can commemorate the wave of sentiment that flooded the city that day and capture a particular moment of resistance,” said Sharon Ament, director of the museum, in a statement.

The airship will be part of the museum’s protest collection, which includes artifacts from the women’s suffrage movement, peace activists who opposed the Iraq war in the early 2000s, and more recent demonstrations against the cuts. of public spending.

Baby Trump was designed by a group of friends who met in a London bar to discuss how they could speak out against Trump’s policies. What they came up with was a huge balloon that caricatured him as a screaming baby in diapers, with a lock of blonde hair and a cell phone in hand.

The blimp flew out of Parliament on July 13, 2018, as thousands of protesters took to the streets of London to protest Trump’s visit.

“We hope that the baby’s place in the museum will serve as a reminder of when London rose up against Trump, but will lead those who see it to examine how they can continue to fight against the politics of hate,” the creators said in a statement.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

.

Britain promises to vaccinate everyone by September | World

LONDON (AP) – The British government has promised to give the first COVID-19 vaccine to every adult between now and September, as the national health system faces the worst crisis in its 72 years of existence.

Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said Sunday that the government will begin offering the vaccine 24 hours a day in some towns, adding more points of care to speed up the rate of inoculations. The National Health System inaugurated a massive vaccination center at Salisbury Cathedral, where the process was accompanied by organ music.

“Our goal is that between now and September all adults receive the first dose,” the minister told Sky News station. “If we can do more than that, then better, but that’s the goal.”

Great Britain has a population of 67.5 million, of which 51 million are adults.

The ambitious vaccination program comes at a time when the National Health Service cannot cope with the crisis. Currently hospitals are receiving a COVID-19 patient every 30 seconds, which means that the service is in the most precarious situation in its history, said Simon Stevens, executive director of the entity.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

.

With half of Europe at home, Spain rejects another confinement | World

MADRID (AP) – While most of Europe began 2021 with more restrictive curfews or quarantines, Spanish authorities insist that the new variant of the virus that is sowing chaos elsewhere is not responsible for the sharp spike in contagions, and that the country can avoid a new confinement even if hospitals are refilling.

The government has been tirelessly avoiding a drastic house lockdown like the one that paralyzed the economy for nearly three months in the spring of 2020, the last time Spain was able to claim a victory against the persistent rising curve of contagions.

Infections declined in October but never fully slowed the summer rebound. Infections rose again before the end of the year. In the last month, 14-day infections have more than doubled from 188 cases per 100,000 inhabitants that were registered on December 10, to 522 on Thursday.

Authorities confirmed about 39,000 new infections on Wednesday and more than 35,000 on Thursday, two of the days with the most cases to date.

This rebound again threatens the capacity of intensive care units and the saturation of already exhausted health workers. Some centers have suspended elective operations and Valencia, a city in the east of the country, reopened the field hospital it used last year.

Unlike Portugal, which on Friday will begin a one-month confinement and doubled the fines for those who do not wear a mask, the authorities in Spain insist that it will be enough to take short and localized measures that restrict social gatherings without affecting the economy as a whole .

“We know what we have to do and we are doing it,” said Health Minister Salvador Illa at a press conference on Wednesday in which he ruled out a new home confinement throughout the country and advocated “measures that were satisfactory for stop the second wave ”.

The Christmas and New Year celebrations were responsible for the recent increase in infections, according to the country’s leading infectious disease expert, Fernando Simón.

“The impact of the variant, if it has any impact, will be marginal, at least in our country,” he said this week.

But many independent experts disagree and say that Spain does not have the capacity to carry out a generalized sequencing of the samples to detect how the new variants spread, and that the 88 confirmed positives and the close to 200 suspected cases, which according to the authorities have imported mainly from Britain, they are underestimating the real impact.

Dr. Rafael Bengoa, former director of Health Systems at the World Health Organization, told The Associated Press that the government should immediately order a “forceful but short” four-week lockdown.

The situation in Spain contrasts sharply with that of other European nations that have experienced the same increase in infections, which is increasingly attributed to the more contagious variant, first detected in Great Britain.

The Netherlands, which spent a month in quarantine, has seen the transmission rate begin to drop. But with between 2 and 5% of new cases of COVID-19 of the new variant, the country will require from Friday that those arriving from Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa show not only a negative PCR carried out in the 72 prior to the trip, but also a rapid antigen test performed just before take off.

France, where a recent study of 100,000 positives found that around 1% were of the new variant, extended the curfew to 6:00 p.m., announced its Minister of Health, Oliver Veran, who has not ruled out ordering a confinement if the situation worsens.

Neither the quarantines already in force nor the prospect of mandatory confinement have been questioned or become a political problem in other countries on the continent.

Ireland decreed a total lockdown after detecting widespread infections linked to the new variant. Italy has a color measurement system that activates the toughest restrictions when the maximum level is reached, red, although for now there are no zones in that phase.

In Britain, scientific evidence about the new variant has silenced many critics of the restrictions and prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose strict measures, albeit slightly softer than those of the first lockdown. People must stay home except for a few essential tasks and to play sports, and schools are closed less in some exceptions.

Germany, where the 7-day average number of infections recently soared to 26 per 100,000 inhabitants, many high-ranking officials argue that the strict lockdown in force should be tightened and extended beyond the end of January, when it was supposed to end.

The Nordic countries, for their part, have refused to impose a total quarantine, but imposed strict limitations on meetings and certain activities, and asked the population to follow specific recommendations to limit the spread of the virus.

———

Associated Press journalists across Europe contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

.

Mexico, Central America: COVID-19 worries among migrants | World

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexico’s government said Wednesday that it and 10 other Central and North American countries are concerned about the health risks posed by COVID-19 among migrants who lack proper documentation.

In a statement, the Regional Conference on Migration suggested that Mexico and Central America could continue to reject migrants based on the perceived risk of the pandemic.

The group, made up of 11 nations, “expressed concern about the exposure of migrants in an irregular situation to situations of high risk to their health and life, mainly during the health emergency.”

In the past year, authorities in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras have returned or stopped caravans seeking to reach the US border, in some cases requiring migrants to show visas or a negative coronavirus test.

The RCM expressed its support for “safe, orderly and regulated” migration and highlighted the need to improve conditions in southern Mexico and Central America, so that the population is not forced to emigrate.

The Conference is made up of the United States, Canada, Belize, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

.

Trump visits Texas border in last days in office | U.S

WASHINGTON (AP) – After days without appearing in public after the siege of the Capitol, US President Donald Trump will travel to Texas to proclaim one of the pillars of his mandate: his campaign against illegal immigration.

Trump will fly to Alamo, Texas, a city in the Rio Grande valley near the Mexican border on Tuesday. The city is named after the San Antonio mission where a small group of Texas independence fighters defended themselves from the siege by Mexican forces for 13 days. Most of them died, but the mission became a symbol of resistance for the Texans, who would eventually defeat the Mexican army.

Undeniably symbolic of the president’s defiance, Trump’s visit comes as he spends the last days of his term isolated, aggrieved and contemplating a second impeachment after his supporters stormed the Capitol last week. passed in an attempt to prevent a peaceful transition of power.

His advisers have urged him to use his last days in the Oval Office to highlight what they consider to be the main achievements of his presidency: a huge tax cut, his attempts to overturn federal laws and transformation of the federal courts with the appointment. conservative judges. But Trump has repeatedly resisted these efforts and remains installed in the White House, behind closed doors, consumed by unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud and conspiracies.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

.

AP Photos: Woman makes bears out of clothes from COVID victims | Latin America and Caribbean

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico (AP) – In a small home workshop in this Mexican border city, Eréndira Guerrero makes teddy bears from the clothes of COVID-19 victims so that her relatives have memories to cuddle with.

Years ago, when Ciudad Juárez suffered shocking levels of violence, Guerrero began making the bears from clothes that the victims wore. The pandemic has created a new group of grieving clients looking for ways to keep in touch with a suddenly dead loved one.

He estimates that he has made about 200 bears for families of COVID-19 victims.

Relatives bring a favorite shirt or other item, and Guerrero carefully pins it to trace the pattern of the bear’s arms, legs, torso, and head. He charges the equivalent of about $ 30 for each and attaches notes that sometimes say something like this: “This is a shirt I used to wear. Whenever you hug her you know that I’m here. With love, dad.

Araceli Ramírez showed on Monday a photograph of her father wearing the shirt while she held his bear made from the same fabric. Lorenzo Ramírez died so quickly from COVID-19 two months ago that he couldn’t even say goodbye to him.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

.

WHO: Collective immunity against COVID-19, unlikely in 2021 | U.S

GENEVA (AP) – While many countries have launched vaccination campaigns against COVID-19, it is highly unlikely that herd immunity will be achieved this year, the World Health Organization warned Monday.

At a press conference, Dr Sumya Swaminathan, the WHO’s chief scientist, said that it is crucial that countries and their populations maintain strict social distancing and other prevention measures in the near future. In recent weeks, Britain, the United States, France, Canada, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands and others have started vaccinating their citizens against the coronavirus.

“Even as vaccines begin to protect the most vulnerable, we are not going to achieve any level of population immunity or herd immunity in 2021,” Swaminathan said. “Even if it happens in a couple of areas, in a few countries, it is not going to protect people all over the world.”

Scientists normally estimate that a vaccination rate of approximately 70% is necessary for herd immunity to be achieved. But some fear that the extremely infectious nature of COVID-19 may require a significantly higher threshold.

Dr. Bruce Aylward, adviser to the director general of the WHO, indicated that the agency is hopeful that inoculations against the coronavirus could begin this month or in February in some of the poorest countries in the world, and called on the community global to do more to ensure that all countries have access to vaccines.

“We can’t do that alone,” Aylward said, saying the WHO requires the cooperation of vaccine manufacturers, especially to begin immunizing vulnerable populations.

———

AP journalist Maria Cheng reported from Toronto.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

.

USA: Lawmakers Exposed to COVID-19 in Assault | U.S

WASHINGTON (AP) – House lawmakers possibly were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 while taking refuge in an undisclosed location during the violent assault on the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

The Capitol’s treating physician notified all lawmakers Sunday of the virus exposure and urged them to get tested. The infected person was not identified.

Dr. Brian Moynihan reported in writing that “many members of the lower house community were protected and isolated in the main hall, some for several hours” on Wednesday when the assault took place. He said that “people could have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection.”

Dozens of lawmakers were moved to safety after pro-Trump fanatics stormed the Capitol, breaking through barricades, wandering through hallways and offices and looting the building.

Some members of Congress huddled in the great room for hours, while others were there for a shorter period.

No further details were provided on which person tested positive for the virus.

Trump could face impeachment for inciting supporters protesting near the White House to move toward the headquarters of Congress. The House of Representatives could vote on impeachment in a matter of days, less than two weeks before Democratic President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20.

———

Associated Press reporters Colleen Long and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

.

Criticism of Johnson in the face of a new British rebound in COVID-19 | World

LONDON (AP) – The crisis Britain faces this winter is sadly familiar: Lockdown orders and empty streets. Hospitals overflowing. A daily cost of hundreds of deaths from coronavirus.

Britain is once again the epicenter of the European COVID-19 outbreak, and the government of Prime Minister the Conservative Boris Johnson faces questions and discontent.

Many countries suffer from new waves of the virus, but the British one is among the worst and has occurred after a terrible 2020. More than 3 million people in the country have tested positive for coronavirus and 81,000 have died -30,000 in just the last 30 days -. The economy has shrunk by 8%, more than 800,000 jobs have been lost, and hundreds of thousands of workers are in limbo on temporary layoff.

The situation in London is “critical” even with the new quarantine, London Mayor Sadiq Khan warned on Friday, noting that one in 30 people had been infected. “The grim reality is that we will run out of patient beds in the coming weeks unless the spread of the virus is drastically curbed,” he said.

Medical personnel are also on the brink of collapse.

“Whereas before, everyone was in ‘We just have to pass it’ mode (now) everyone is like ‘Here we go again, can I handle this?'” Said Lindsey Izard, an intensive care nurse at the St. George’s Hospital in London “That’s very, very hard on our staff.”

Much of the blame for Britain’s poor situation has been attributed to Johnson, who contracted the virus in the spring and ended up in intensive care. Critics say his government’s slow response when the new respiratory virus left China was the first in a deadly succession of mistakes.

Hesitation in March over whether to order a quarantine in Britain cost thousands of lives, said Anthony Costello, professor of global health at University College London.

Britain decreed a lockdown on March 23, and Costello noted that if the decision had been made a week or two earlier, “we would be at 30,000 or 40,000 deaths (…) More like Germany.”

“And the problem is that we have repeated these delays,” said Costello, a member of SAGE Independiente, a group of scientists formed as an alternative to the official Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which advises the government.

Most countries have struggled during the pandemic, but Britain had some downsides from the start. His public health system was battered after years of conservative government budget cuts focused on austerity. Their ability to test for the new virus was minimal. And although authorities had made plans for hypothetical pandemics, they assumed they would be less contagious and deadly diseases.

The government asked scientists for advice, but critical voices pointed out that a diverse enough group of advisers had not been consulted. And its recommendations were not always heeded by a prime minister prone to deregulation and reluctant to limit the economy and everyday life.

Johnson has defended his management, saying it’s easy to find fault with hindsight.

“Scientific advisers have said all sorts of different things at different times,” Johnson said last week during an interview on the BBC. “They are not unanimous in any case.”

A future public inquiry is likely to review the flaws in Britain’s response to the coronavirus, but the questions have already begun.

According to a report presented Friday by the Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology, the government was not transparent enough about the scientific recommendations it received, did not learn from other countries and responded too slowly when “the pandemic has demanded that policy be made and adapts to a faster pace ”.

The government rightly points out that tremendous progress has been made since last spring. The initial problems in obtaining protective equipment for health personnel have been largely resolved. Britain now does nearly half a million coronavirus tests a day. A testing and tracing system has been put in place to identify and isolate those infected, although it has trouble meeting demand and can request but not force people into voluntary isolation.

Different treatments have improved survival rates among the seriously ill. And now there are vaccines, three of them already licensed for use in Britain. The government has promised to give the first of two doses to nearly 15 million people, including all those over 70, by mid-February.

However, critical voices say the government has reiterated its mistakes in adapting too slowly to a changing situation.

When contagion rates fell over the summer, the government urged people to return to restaurants and workplaces to help jump-start the economy. When the virus rebounded in September, Johnson rejected the advice of his scientific advisers to re-confine the country, before finally announcing a second month-long national quarantine on October 31.

Hopes that this would be enough to slow the spread of the virus disappeared in December, when scientists warned of a new variant of the virus that was up to 70% more contagious than the original.

Johnson tightened restrictions for London and the southeast of the country, but the scientific advisory committee warned on December 22 that it would not be enough. Johnson didn’t announce a third quarantine for England until almost two weeks later, on January 4.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland decide on their health policy and have similar restrictions.

“Why is this prime minister, with all the scientific experts at his disposal, all the power to make a difference, always the last to take in what to do?” Asked Jonathan Ashworth, health spokesman for the opposition Labor Party. . “The prime minister does not lack data, he lacks good judgment.”

Costello noted that not all blame was on Johnson. He noted that a sense of “exceptionalism” had caused many British authorities to look at the images from Wuhan, China, in early 2020 and think “all this is happening in Asia and it will not get here.”

“We were not up to par,” he said. “And I think it’s a wake-up call.”

John Bell, a professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, pointed out that people should be more understanding of government mistakes.

“It is very easy to be critical of how we have done it, but you have to remember that no one has managed a pandemic like this, there is no one who has done it before,” he told the BBC. “We all try to make decisions on the fly, and inevitably some of those decisions will be the wrong ones.”

“Everyone should do the best they can, including, I must say, politicians. So don’t punish them too much. “

.

California registers record of 695 deaths from COVID in 1 day | U.S

LOS ANGELES (AP) – California health authorities reported a record 695 deaths from coronavirus in a single day on Saturday, and many hospitals are already struggling to treat an unprecedented number of infected.

The death toll in California since the start of the pandemic rose to 29,233, according to the website of the Department of Public Health.

For its part, hospitalizations were around 22,000 and according to projections they could reach 30,000 on February 1.

An increase in infections after Halloween and Thanksgiving led to record hospitalizations in California and now the sickest patients are dying in unprecedented numbers.

Already, many hospitals in Los Angeles and other high-contagion areas are having trouble keeping up with medical care and have warned they may have to ration care as available intensive care beds decrease.

All intensive care unit beds at St. John Regional Medical Center in Oxnard are full, and emergency rooms are overcrowded throughout Ventura County, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles, the report said. Ventura County Star newspaper.

Every time the blue code rings in the hospital indicating cardiac arrest, nurse Yesenia Avila says a little prayer.

The codes have been ringing frequently. On a particular shift, three COVID-19 patients have died within an hour, the nurse said.

“We have never seen so much death before,” Avila told the newspaper. “I have worked in healthcare for 22 years, and I have never been scared. Right now … I fear for my children.

The biggest fear is that hospitals will have to ration care in a few weeks when people who ignored social distancing rules to meet friends and relatives for Christmas and New Year’s Eve begin to come forward seeking medical assistance.

The post-Christmas increase is worse in Los Angeles County, where Thursday and Friday numbers rose to nearly 20,000 cases a day, well above the average of about 14,000 a day last week. In total, 100,000 new cases were registered this week.

With the new numbers released Saturday, the county surpassed 12,000 COVID-19 deaths, 1,000 of which occurred in the past four days.

“The speed with which unprecedented COVID-19 deaths and cases are being reached is a devastating reflection of the immense spread that is happening in the country,” said Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County director of public health. “And this accelerated spread reflects much of the unsafe behavior of individuals at the end of the year.”

Dr. Paul Simon, director of science for the county’s Department of Public Health, told the Los Angeles Times that he expects the number of hospitalizations and deaths to remain high in January due to the year-end holidays.

“We are going to see high levels of hospitalizations and sadly deaths for at least the next two to four weeks.”

Los Angeles County concentrates a quarter of the state’s population but accounts for about 40% of deaths from COVID-19.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

.