Outside Iona

Krystal Ortiz, News Editor

Throughout our hectic student lives, we should always remain aware of what is happening around us. In this column, I find the most significant things going on around the world and provide you with a small blurb of all the nitty-gritty details! Here are some of the major events that have been happening:

General COVID-19 update.

The COVID-19 pandemic has now killed over 205,000 people worldwide. Over 2.89 million people globally have been diagnosed with the illness. The actual numbers are suspected to be much higher due to testing shortages, unreported cases and accusations that some governments are hiding the true numbers regarding their nations’ outbreaks. U.S. cases have surpassed 900,000. The CDC has officially added six new symptoms of coronavirus. The new officiated symptoms include: repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. The CDC has also made revisions towards advising individuals whether or not they should wear masks. For months, the CDC has urged the public not to wear a mask unless they were sick or caring for a COVID-19 patient, with reasonings being behind concerns about supply and effectiveness. However, in early April, the CDC reversed this decision. Currently, the CDC recommends that people wear homemade or cloth masks in public. The CDC states that the mask should fit tightly on the face, and be secured with ties or around the ears; it should be washed after every use. The new guidance came after a discovery that the virus could be transmitted through presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.

Information from ABC News, the CDC, NPR News and USA Today news.

Kim Jung-Un’s wellness.

Questions and suspicions on Kim Jung Un’s whereabouts and even his living status are unanswered and unconfirmed. These questions and suspicions began shortly after the North Korean leader did not attend a yearly event that marked the birthday of his grandfather, the man that founded the dynastic regime. Jung Un was supposed to travel to the Kumsusan Palace on April 15 to celebrate. The rumors began to pull weight after the Daily NK, a Seoul-based website that relies on anonymous sources from North Korea, reported that Jung Un was recovering from heart surgery performed on April 12. Since then, there has been no confirmation of whether or not this has happened. South Korean officials are doubting the accuracy of the reports from the Daily NK. North Korean government officials are attempting to dispel the rumors. The government’s official news agency said Jung Un recently sent birthday gifts to exemplary workers and a birthday letter to the Cuban president. President Donald Trump has added to the uncertainty Jong Un’s health by appearing to contradict himself with public remarks, first telling reporters he had “a very good idea” about Jong Un’s condition, then stating moments later that “nobody knows where he is.”

Information from NY Times and CNN.

New York Board of Elections Cancel Democratic primary.

New York officials canceled the state’s Democratic presidential primary on Monday. The cancellation was met with an immediate backlash from Senator Bernie Sanders’ campaign and progressive supporters who had been planning to accumulate convention delegates and help shape the party’s platform in August. The primary was scheduled for June 23. The Democratic chair of the New York State Board of Elections considered the primary as unessential, calling it “essentially a beauty contest.” The board member also stated that the state could not afford to hold the primary in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The board officials effectively canceled the presidential primary by removing every Democrat except the most prominent nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, from the primary ballot. Officials are making more serious claims declaring the decision to cancel the primary as harmful to democracy. There have also been claims that the pandemic would be a tool used to push away the election. “Today’s decision by the State of New York Board of Elections is an outrage, a blow to American democracy, and must be overturned by the (Democratic National Committee),” Sanders’ campaign adviser Jeff Weaver said in a statement. “Just last week Vice President Biden warned the American people that President Trump could use the current crisis as an excuse to postpone the November election. Well, he now has a precedent thanks to New York state.”

Information from NY Times, NPR News and CNN.


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