World Health Organization

The World Health Organization says it is temporarily halting its clinical trials that use hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients over published concerns that the drug may do more harm than good.

The move comes after the medical journal The Lancet reported on Friday that patients getting hydroxychloroquine were dying at higher rates than other coronavirus patients.

If you want to visit the Great Pyramids or the Great Wall or the Taj Mahal, forget it.

Egypt, China and India are just a few of the dozens of countries that have imposed strict travel restrictions to keep visitors, and the coronavirus, out. An analysis by NPR based on data from the International Air Transport Association found that more than three-quarters of the world's nations and territories have suspended travel from at least one other place.

Seizing on President Trump's criticism of the World Health Organization for its response to the COVID-19 crisis, America's ambassador to the United Nations called on Wednesday for "complete transparency and accountability" from the U.N. health body, saying failure to act would be "unforgivable."

Updated at 7:29 p.m.

President Trump says he will halt U.S. funding of the World Health Organization while his administration reviews the organization's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

"Today I am instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus," Trump said Tuesday in a briefing at the White House.

President Trump assailed the World Health Organization on Tuesday, and indicated that he will consider putting a hold on funding it.

In a media briefing at the White House, Trump twice stated that the United States funds the majority of the organization's budget. According to the WHO, the United States provided 14.67% of its funding in 2018-2019.

The WHO has been the most prominent global organization leading the strategy to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

So far, the coronavirus has hit hardest in wealthy countries. But the pandemic now appears poised to explode in many parts of the developing world — which has far fewer resources to combat the virus.

The virus initially traveled outward from China to places that had the most interaction with China. These are the richer parts of East Asia — South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore — along with Europe and the United States. All these places had lots of flights, business dealings and tourism with China.

"We are at war with a virus that threatens to tear us apart," World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told world leaders Thursday, in a special virtual summit on the COVID-19 pandemic.

The deadly coronavirus, Tedros said, "is the defining health crisis of our time."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Monday a decision to slash $1 billion in U.S. aid to Afghanistan, saying that Washington is "disappointed" in the country's rival leaders, who have been unable to form a government following last year's disputed presidential elections.

Americans have little trust in the information they are hearing from President Trump about the novel coronavirus, and their confidence in the federal government's response to it is declining sharply, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Just 46% of Americans now say the federal government is doing enough to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, down from 61% in February.

As a writer, Lily Burana already spends a lot of time working alone at home, about an hour outside New York City. And as an extrovert, Burana says she relies on her social network to balance out the lonely hours.

"It's really hard, because at the end of the day, I look forward to shutting my laptop and taking my daughter to a playground, or going shopping, or meeting a friend at a museum, or having a coffee," Burana said. "And all of those things have to be tabled for now, out of a sense of obligation to not turn myself into an accidental vector."

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President Trump Thursday defended his new policy that, for 30 days, will bar most travelers arriving to the U.S. from much of Europe. Trump says coronavirus cases from the continent have been seeding outbreaks in the United States. The travel ban, he says, will save American lives.

Hong Kong and Singapore were hit early with the coronavirus. But each now has fewer than 200 cases, while France, Germany and Spain, which were hit late, all have more than 10 times that number.

Three weeks ago, Italy had only three cases. Now it has more than 10,000.

These dramatic differences show that how governments respond to this virus matters, says Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization's head of emergencies.

Actor Tom Hanks announced on social media Thursday that he and his wife, fellow actor Rita Wilson, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus that has infected tens of thousands worldwide since December.

On Instagram and in a tweet on Thursday local time, Hanks, who is in Australia for preproduction on an as-yet untitled film about Elvis Presley, said he and Wilson "felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches."

Port Everglades

U.S. citizens should avoid traveling on cruise ships because of the risks of coronavirus, the State Department said in an advisory Sunday.

The extraordinary statement came on the day a cruise ship due to dock at Port Everglades after a Caribbean tour was held off Fort Lauderdale beach for hours while two crew members were tested for the rapidly spreading virus.

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