Boris Johnson pictured at 10 Downing Street on 25 March, just two days after testing positive for coronavirus, is now in hospital after suffering persistent symptoms for 10 days. Photo: Vudi Xhymshiti / Shutterstock
US warned of “Pearl Harbor” moment, Starmer’s shadow cabinet, Queen Elizabeth II’s address, Fox News faces lawsuit, top Scot quits. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
UK prime minister Boris Johnson was taken to a hospital in London on Sunday evening as “a precautionary step”, an adviser told the media. Johnson had been self-isolating in his flat at 10 Downing Street since being tested positive for coronavirus on 27 March--he was the first major governmental leader known to have contracted the disease. But he continues to be in charge of the government. The BBC, Reuters, CNN and Daily Mail all report. Johnson’s pregnant fiancé, Carrie Symonds, has said via Twitter that she too had suffered symptoms of the virus, though she did not get tested. The Guardian explains how government leadership will change if Johnson is incapacitated.
Abe set to declare emergency
As the cumulative number of coronavirus infections in Tokyo passed 1,000, Japanese prime minster Shinzo Abe was getting ready to declare a state of emergency according to Japan Times, Reuters and France24. This would give governors a few more powers regarding restrictions of movement, but they would rely on peer pressure and respect for authority for compliance rather than fines.
Varadkar to work medical shift
Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has re-registered as a medical practitioner and will conduct phone assessments for one shift a week to free up medical staff for frontline work. A doctor for 7 years before entering politics, Varadkar had he rejoined the medical register in March following a national appeal from the health service. His parents were both medical professionals and Varadkar’s partner, as well as his two sisters and their husbands, all work in the health services. The Irish Times, RTE, The Irish Post and The Independent report.
Trump offers hope
US president Donald Trump said on Sunday that the administration was “starting to see light at the end of the tunnel” of the coronavirus crisis but warned that the pandemic was going to reach its peak in the days ahead. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams delivered a starker prognosis. “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized. It’s going to be happening all over the country,” he said. The BBC, Politico, CNN and Fox News have more. The Washington Post reports that the president once again promoted antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which has as yet unproven benefits for some coronavirus patients. But he also added that caveat: “What do I know? I’m not a doctor.”
Keir Starmer names shadow cabinet
In UK politics, newly Labour leader Keir Starmer has named his shadow cabinet. The most prominent name on the team is perhaps one of Starmer’s rivals for the leadership, Lisa Nandy, whom he appointed shadow foreign secretary. Former MEP Anneliese Dodds takes over as shadow chancellor. Sky News, the FT, and The Mirror report. The Observer, New Statesman and The Telegraph all have different views on Starmer as the leader of the opposition.
Queen: “we will meet again”
Queen Elizabeth II addressed the UK on Sunday evening in a rare televised broadcast from Windsor Castle. Evoking memories of WWII, the 93-year old monarch called upon Britons and UK residents to show self-discipline in respecting social distancing in tackling the disease. “I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” she said before concluding that “we will meet again”. The BBC, Daily Mail, The Telegraph and Los Angeles Times were all impressed.
Fox News faces lawsuit
The non-profit Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics has filed a lawsuit against Fox News for “wilfully and maliciously” promoting a campaign of “deception and omission regarding the danger of the international proliferation of the novel coronavirus.” The suit cites Sean Hannity and Trish Regan in particular for acting in bad faith and maliciously disseminating false information regarding the outbreak of the virus. Fox has responded by saying it will vigorously defend itself against the suit that it claims is “wrong on the facts, frivolous on the law.” The Daly Mail and Daily Beast report.
Scotland’s top medic quits
The chief medical officer of Scotland has resigned following revelations that she broke her own rules on non-essential travel during the coronavirus restrictions. Catherine Calderwood twice visited her second home with her family. The Guardian, Daily Record and The Times report.
French police investigate terror link in fatal stabbing
Two men were killed, and 5 people injured when a 33-year-old Sudanese asylum seeker attack them with knives in Romans-sur-Isère in south-east France on Saturday. Police arrested the suspect and two other Sudanese men are helping counter-terrorism police with inquiries. The Guardian and France24 report.
Make your own yeast
Amid reported shortages of bread and baking produce, biologist Sudeep Agarwala has gone on Twitter to explain how to make your own yeast at home. Bored Panda has more details.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts