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Trump sees off Navy hospital ship as it heads for NYC

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump visited Norfolk, Va. on Saturday to see off the USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship that is headed to New York to provide extra space and support to medical workers in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

“In a few moments the crew of the navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, which is really something, will embark for New York City where they will join the ranks of tens of thousands of amazing doctors, nurses and medical professionals who are battling to save American lives,” Trump said, speaking in front of the ship.

“This great ship behind me is a 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the incredible people of New York. A place I know very well, a place I love,” Trump continued.

The USNS Comfort will be used to treat patients who are not infected with COVID-19 in order to free up much-needed hospital space for infected patients in New York City.

“People will be coming out of hospitals who don’t have the virus and they’ll be on the ship where they have great operating rooms and great facilities,” Trump said. “By serving these emergency patients away from the hospitals, beds will be opened up all over the city for those who are infected.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Mayor Bill de Blasio have warned that the city’s hospitals will soon reach capacity and efforts have already been made to build makeshift hospitals at locations such as the Jacob Javits Center, a large convention hall on the west side of Manhattan.

The ship is expected to dock nearby at Pier 90 in Manhattan on Monday and will begin seeing patients on Tuesday. The Comfort had been undergoing maintenance in Norfolk, which The Pentagon initially said would take weeks to complete.

“It was supposed to be here for four weeks and they did it in four days,” Trump said.

Trump’s visit on Saturday marks his first time leaving Washington in roughly two weeks, raising some questions if the trip was going against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations to limit travel and to social distance.

“It doesn’t mean I’m going to be hugging people and it doesn’t mean that I’m going to be shaking people’s hands and everything,” Trump told reporters on Friday, justifying his visit. “But I think it sends a signal when the president is able to go there and say thank you. So, you know, we’ll be careful.”

The Comfort is one of two Navy ships that have been dispatched to help fight the coronavirus. The USNS Mercy arrived in the port of Los Angeles on Friday and will also see non-coronavirus patients.

Both ships are expected to hold around 1,000 hospital beds and will have the capacity to conduct general surgeries and critical care. They are nearly three football fields long and 10 stories high.

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Britons furious as Barnier offers Remainers two-year Brexit delay – ‘Get us out!’

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BRITONS have reacted with fury after Michel Barnier suggested a two-year Brexit delay in a letter to opposition leaders.

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Senators sound alarm over coronavirus in juvenile detention facilities

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A group of senators is pressing the Department of Justice to explain what it’s doing to protect youth in juvenile detention facilities from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

In a letter sent Tuesday, the senators raised concerns that parents of incarcerated youth in several states are not receiving information about their child’s health, or being told about the spread of the coronavirus in these facilities. The senators requested that the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, part of the Justice Department, publicly disclose the measures it has taken to ensure the health and safety of youth in detention during the coronavirus pandemic.

“COVID-19 thrives in juvenile detention facilities, where communal living arrangements make it difficult or impossible to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended public health measures such as maintaining social distance, self-isolating, and using personal protective equipment,” the senators state, later adding: “Because the majority of youth in detention are black or Hispanic, the spread of COVID-19 within juvenile detention may further perpetuate the disparate impact of the virus along racial and ethnic lines.”

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The letter, organized by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asks for a response by June 12 to a list of detailed questions. The group includes 11 other Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Physicians, epidemiologists, defense attorneys, advocates for youth and parents nationwide have issued multiple calls for the release of children held in juvenile detention facilities in recent months.

While children are generally less likely to have severe reactions to the coronavirus, the disease poses a higher risk for people with underlying health issues, and youth in detention are more likely to have those conditions. Additionally, experts warn, children can spread the virus to the adult staff who then might take it home.

As of May 26, there are at least 488 youth and 580 staff in juvenile detention facilities who have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. However, this is an incomplete accounting and is highly dependent on what state and local officials decide to release.

Juvenile detention facilities are controlled at the local level — either by city, county or state governments — and releases can be subject to approval by a judge.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is set up to help local governments improve their juvenile justice systems and provides grants to states. The group of senators wants the office to disclose how many COVID-19 cases there are among the youth and staff of these grantees.

The office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Brexiteers fear 'Frost is next!' Conspiracy claims over Cummings sack demands

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DEMANDS for Dominic Cummings to be sacked have sparked concern of a Remainer plot among Brexiteers – with some even worried the UK’s Brexit negotiator David Frost could be targeted next.

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