Biden slams Trump for cutting health programs before coronavirus outbreak

first_imgDemocratic presidential contender Joe Biden on Friday criticized President Donald Trump for reducing US oversight of global health issues before the coronavirus outbreak in China, which has spread rapidly to several countries including the United States.”We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus,” said Biden, who is in Iowa campaigning before the Midwestern farm state holds Democrats’ first nominating contest on Monday. “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science.”Biden said Trump had rolled back progress on global health oversight that occurred when he was vice president from 2009 to 2017. In particular, he cited “draconian cuts” the White House proposed to the budgets of “the very agencies that we need to fight this outbreak,” including the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).Matt Wolking, a spokesman for the Trump campaign, responded that Biden had made “foolish comments” as vice president in 2009 about avoiding airplanes during a swine flu crisis and “caused a public panic.””In contrast, President Trump is listening to medical and scientific experts and taking every responsible precaution to protect the American people,” he said.The Trump administration declared a public health emergency on Friday and blocked foreign nationals who have traveled to China from entering the country. They also planned to impose a two-week quarantine on US citizens who have traveled within the past two weeks to China’s Hubei Province, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic.Still, officials insisted the risk to Americans from the flu-like illness is low. The outbreak has claimed more than 250 lives. None of the US cases have been fatal, and all but one of the patients contracted coronavirus while they were traveling in China.Topics :last_img read more

Cathay Pacific reaches deal for Airbus delivery delays, in advanced talks with Boeing

first_imgCathay had expected deliveries of 32 A321neos, 12 A350s and 21 777-9s by 2024, according to a November 2019 investor presentation.Airbus and Boeing did not respond immediately to requests for comment.Most airlines globally are trying to defer new aircraft deliveries as they grapple with the downturn from the coronavirus pandemic, which has wrecked travel demand.Cathay last week warned it expected to report a HK$9.9 billion loss for the six months ending June 30, including impairment charges on 16 planes.The airline said on Wednesday that it had reduced its monthly cash burn to about HK$1.5 billion from HK$2.5 billion to HK$3 billion while maintaining a minimal flying schedule.However, it said that there was no assurance travel would rebound to pre-outbreak levels and that it expected its full-year results to be “materially worse” and would include the mark-to-market impact of fuel hedging losses.Cathay, which received a $5 billion rescue package from the Hong Kong government and shareholders including the rights issue, said it might further access equity and debt capital markets to strengthen its balance sheet.Topics : Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said on Wednesday it had reached agreement with Airbus SE to delay the delivery of A350s and A321neos and was in advanced talks with Boeing Co about deferring its 777-9 orders.The airline said the A350s due to arrive in 2020 and 2021 were now scheduled for 2020-2023 and A321neos expected from 2020-2023 would arrive from 2020-2025. It did not provide further details of the number expected each year.“This deferral of deliveries is expected to produce cash savings to the Cathay Pacific Group in the short to medium term,” it said in a prospectus for its HK$11.7 billion (US$1.51 billion) rights issue lodged with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.last_img read more