Trump suspends WHO funding over virus ‘failings’
With nations across the globe battling to get on top of the coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump has fired a broadside at the World Health Organisation. The US President ordered a freeze on funding for the body early today, claiming it fatally mishandled the outbreak. He accused the group of a “cover-up” by failing to send experts quickly enough to China and believing the country’s assurances, suggesting its inaction cost thousands of lives. Mr Trump has been accused of committing “a crime against humanity” by pausing funding of $400m a year. With the upcoming American election, US Editor Ben Riley-Smith explains the cold political calculation behind Mr Trump’s funding suspension.
Back on home soil, Britain is on track for an economic crunch not seen in living memory. GDP could fall by more than a third in the coming months, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility. It warned the UK will suffer its deepest recession for 300 years if the lockdown continues into the summer. Yet hard though it might be to believe, the spending watchdog’s numbers might not be gloomy enough. Read Tim Wallace‘s analysis of how the virus will hurt the economy for years to come. And Jeremy Warner writes that the economy is heading for hell in a handcart amid dithering over Britain’s lockdown.
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Care home tests after claims elderly are ‘forgotten’
All care home residents and social care staff showing symptoms of coronavirus will be tested for the disease, ministers promise today, after facing accusations that the public has been misled over the scale of the crisis. Read details of the pledge by Health Secretary Matt Hancock. With claims of care homes having been “abandoned” and the elderly “forgotten”, Science Editor Sarah Knapton examines the 10 days of Government prevarication that left centres to fend for themselves. And, after Britain’s deadliest week for coronavirus, use our Live Tracker to follow the disease’s spread by searching for confirmed cases in your area.
The good face mask guide: Which ones work best?
Take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the latest Covid-19 essential that could soon sweep the nation. After months of being instructed not to trouble ourselves with wearing masks during the coronavirus outbreak, it has become a hot topic once again. Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientist, has admitted the current advice that people should not wear face masks in public is under review. So are surgical masks better than those used for cycling – and what about a simple scarf wrapped around your neck? Joe Shute explains all you need to know.
At a glance: More coronavirus headlines
- Nightingale | Just 19 patients treated over Easter at new hospital
- Transparency | Calls for scientists dictating strategy to be named
- Powers | Police want to enter homes to break up parties
- France | Macron rallies country with mea culpa amid scepticism
- Matt | Today’s brilliant cartoon on virus lockdown measures
Comment and analysis
- Philip Johnston | Nation needs to be guided out of this lockdown
- Ross Clark | Middle-class myth that everyone can work from home
- Michael Deacon | Even ‘Dishy Rishi’ can’t make this look pretty
- Hannah Betts | Dirty secret is our lives are built on home help
- Reader letters | The time is soon coming for a return to work
- Chin up | Why it’s important to feel hope – even when everything seems hopeless
- The Covidiocy Chronicles | Who are this week’s biggest celebrity fools?
- You Are Not Alone newsletter | Community spirit, advice and tips for coping with isolation
Business and money briefing
Ventilators | “The race is on”, declared Sir James Dyson, as the billionaire inventor joined scores of other manufacturers hurriedly working on designs for Covid-19 ventilators. And what a race it has turned out to be – a tribute to the Monty Python Silly Olympics as everyone heads off in different directions, some entrants get lost, at least one drops out altogether. Ben Marlow argues that it is time to back a winner.
- Falling through gaps | Up to 10k small B&Bs at risk of collapse
- Investment Tip | Chance to sell an airline stock at a 28pc profit
- Alex cartoon | See our brilliant cartoonist’s latest work
Gallery: Virus fightback around the world
Too close for comfort | Social distancing rules are ignored by people crowding to buy meat and fish at a market in Bangkok despite fears over the spread of Covid-19. View more pictures of how the world is reacting.
Also in the news today
‘Coughing major’ | Evidence that helped to convict Charles Ingram of cheating his way to the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? jackpot is “full of holes”, according to the lawyer behind the former Army major’s new appeal. As docudrama Quiz airs on ITV, Rhona Friedman claims new technology can help prove the innocence of Mr Ingram and his wife. And read Michael Hogan‘s four-star review of last night’s second episode.
- Rich list | Council employee took home £600,000 per year
- Cyprus rape case | Ex-police chief ‘has serious misgivings’
- Space oddity | Astronauts face greater dementia risk, study finds
- Scrabble backlash | App spells nightmare for traditionalists
- Jane Garvey | Woman’s Hour host under fire over Arctic rolls
And finally… for this morning’s downtime
Meet Chi with a C | Nineteen-year-old Lucia Keskin’s parodies of British TV have earned praise from James Corden and Miranda Hart. Is it time she had her own show? Eleanor Halls has everything you need to know about the YouTube comedian who is more entertaining than most prime-time television.