Donald Trump has hit back at Barack Obama after his presidential predecessor branded his handling of the coronavirus pandemic a “chaotic disaster”. The US president claimed his administration was “getting great marks” and derided Mr Obama’s response to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu outbreak as “a disaster” and argued he “didn’t have a clue”. Mr Obama said that the world’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak had been “anemic and spotty”.
New York state is alerting all other parts of the US about a new mystery syndrome that appears to be related to Covid-19 and is causing severe illness and even death in very young children. So far three children have died – a five-year-old in New York City, a seven-year-old in Westchester county and a teenager in Suffolk county in Long Island.
One Iranian warship accidentally struck another with a missile during an exercise, killing 19 sailors and wounding 15 others, Iran’s navy said on Monday. The incident took place during training in the Gulf of Oman, a sensitive waterway that connects to the Strait of Hormuz through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes. Iran regularly conducts exercises in the area.
The U.S. death toll crossed 80,000 on Sunday, the same day U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Britain would begin easing its lockdown measures. In Washington, Dr. Anthony Fauci on Saturday became the third member of the White House coronavirus task force to self-quarantine after possible exposure to coronavirus. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control, will also self-quarantine for 14 days.
Saudi Arabia is tripling its value added tax (VAT) as part of austerity measures to support its coronavirus-hit economy. The government in Riyadh also said it will suspend its cost of living allowance to shore up state finances. The kingdom first introduced VAT two years ago as part of efforts to cut its reliance on world crude oil markets.