Mike Pence staffer tests positive for coronavirus forcing VP to ground AF2 and delay trip to Iowa – The Sun

VICE President Mike Pence may be forced to quarantine after one of his staff members tested positive for coronavirus.

The individual got their results on Friday just before Air Force 2 was set to take-off for Iowa.

Pool reporters noted on Friday morning that Air Force 2 was being held on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews for close to an hour.

It eventually took off for Des Moine, Iowa with Vice President Pence, but only after a few staff members disembarked for the aircraft.

At least one of those staff members tested positive for coronavirus.

A White House source initially told The Sun that an unspecified staff member who boarded the flight tested positive.

Jodi Ernst and and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue were also on the manifest for Friday,

It was later revealed by pool reports that the staff member was part of Pence's team.

This news comes one day after it was learned that one of Donald Trump's valets had tested positive for COVID-19.

In the wake if this news, it was announced that the White House would start rapid testing all staff members.

MORE TO COME

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Russian Prime Minister tests positive for coronavirus as country records 1,000 Covid-19 deaths and 100,000 cases – The Sun

RUSSIA'S Prime Minister has been struck down with coronavirus, it has been announced tonight.

Mikhail Mishustin says he has tested positive for Covid-19 – and he has told President Vladimir Putin he will self-isolate.

Speaking during a televised meeting, Mishustin said: "I have to observe self-isolation and follow orders of doctors.

"This is is necessary to observe self-isolation and follow orders of doctors.

"This is necessary to protect my colleagues."

First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov will temporarily perform Mishustin's duties.
Mishustin, 54, was named prime minister in January.

More follows

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Chris Whitty: 100,000 tests target not recommended by experts

Matt Hancock’s 100,000 daily coronavirus tests target was NOT recommended by government’s SAGE panel of experts, reveals Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty

  • Matt Hancock set target of 100,000 daily tests by end of month at start of April 
  • Professor Chris Whitty said government’s advisers had not agreed to target
  • He said SAGE backed increasing testing capacity but did not specify a number
  • Also said SAGE yet to figure out what the ‘optimal maximum’ amount of tests is  
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Matt Hancock’s 100,000 daily coronavirus tests target was not recommended by the government’s panel of expert scientific advisers, England’s Chief Medical Officer revealed today. 

The Health Secretary announced at the start of April that the number of tests would hit six figures a day by the end of the month and this morning he said he believes he will deliver on the promise. 

But Professor Chris Whitty told MPs this afternoon that the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) had not signed off on the number. 

Mr Hancock has previously faced accusations that the 100,000 figure he announced was not underpinned by any scientific evidence. 

Professor Chris Whitty today told MPs that Matt Hancock’s 100,000 daily coronavirus tests target was ‘not a specific number recommended by SAGE’ 

Mr Hancock, pictured in Downing Street today, said he believes he will reach the 100,000 number by the end of April 

Greg Clark, the Conservative chairman of the Science and Technology Select Committee, asked Prof Whitty if SAGE had advised the government on the target. 

Prof Whitty said the panel had not recommended 100,000 as a specific goal but had stressed the importance of ramping up testing capacity.

He told the committee: ‘SAGE did not give that specific target. SAGE has consistently said and indeed I have consistently said that one of the things we needed to do is have a greater capacity to test across the whole of the UK.

‘That I have to say now is happening. So the aim to increase it would absolutely be joined not just by SAGE but to be clear by all public health bodies and ministers.

‘I think that the main questions on that one were operational – how fast could this increase happen.

‘But the actual number was not a specific number recommended by SAGE specifically but the general trend of it, absolutely.

‘SAGE thinks there are quite a lot of things that can be done with testing and that therefore increasing it is very important for several reasons.’

Prof Whitty also revealed that SAGE is yet to determine what the ‘optimal maximum’ amount of testing for the UK will be. 

‘SAGE is in fact developing a view at the moment about what the optimal maximum amount of antigen testing and indeed antibody testing – those are different answers – under a number of different scenarios,’ he said.

‘But there is a base case that everybody agrees that has to be done which includes patients, includes allowing critical workers to be tested, it certainly includes greater testing within hospitals of people who don’t currently have symptoms for example people who might be coming in for elective things, and greater testing in care homes.

‘What we are trying to do is get that basic number and then also build on top of that what are the other things that we could use it for under a number of different ways of running the next stage of the epidemic which is going to be a long one and therefore giving advice to all four nations but the UK as a whole about what they think broadly the numbers might end up looking like if we could get to an optimal number.

‘But we have not yet got to the point where we have finally got a number on that.’ 

Downing Street has confirmed that in the 24 hours up to 9am on Thursday, 23,560 tests for coronavirus were carried out.

The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman told reporters that total capacity for testing now stands at 51,121 per day.

Mr Hancock said this morning that the government is actually ‘ahead of the plan’ in terms of trying to reach 100,000 by the end of the month. 

Asked if he believed that the government will be carrying out 100,000 daily tests by the start of May, the Health Secretary replied: ‘I do, yes. I do, but nothing is guaranteed in life.’

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Ford tests vibrating wristbands to guard workers from coronavirus

Ford gears up to reboot production

Ford announces plans to bring some key North American plants back online as early as April 6.

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Ford Motor Co. is testing an electronic social-distancing wristband to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19 within its factories.

The watch-like wearables are designed to vibrate when employees come within six feet of each other, spokesperson Kelli Felker told Bloomberg, which executives hope will remind workers to follow health guidelines when the automaker resumes production at now-idled plants.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
F FORD MOTOR COMPANY 5.11 +0.17 +3.34%

The company was one of many car manufacturers to shutter North America operations in March, citing concerns for employees who work in close quarters building automobiles and might easily be infected.

Experts believe the virus is mainly spread through droplets from the mouth and nose. When an infected person speaks, exhales, coughs or sneezes, the droplets travel about 3 to 6 feet before gravity pulls them to the ground. Staying at least 6 feet away from other people is believed to greatly reduce the risk of transmission

FORD TO PRODUCE VENTILATORS, RESPIRATORS WITH 3M, GE HEALTHCARE IN CORONAVIRUS FIGHT

A Ford factory in Saarlouis, Germany, in September 2019. (Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Samsung smartwatches in Ford's pilot program rely on software from the Texas-based technology firm Radiant RFID, according to the outlet.

FORD MAKING CORONAVIRUS FACE MASKS TO PROTECT WORKERS

The devices, which use Bluetooth short-wave technology to detect nearby coworkers, give wearers a color-coded warning in addition to vibrating. Supervisors may also receive alerts to help them track worker behavior, Radiant told the outlet.

Ford is testing the safety procedure at factories where it’s producing ventilators and respirators to help combat the virus, which has infected more than 2 million people worldwide.

Representatives for Ford and Radiant didn't immediately return requests for comment from FOX Business.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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PATRICK MARMION tests how well you know the top song-based stage shows

Musical Mastermind: PATRICK MARMION tests how well you know the top song-based stage shows

We may not be able to see a musical live on stage right now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep our show knowledge in good working order – so here’s a short quiz to help theatregoers stay sharp. Find out if you’re a musical mouse, middler or maestro. Try not to go online – as they say in school, you’ll only be cheating yourself – or peek at the answers!

1 Which Bella and Samuel Spewack musical includes the famous Cole Porter song ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’? 

a) The King And I 

b) Hairspray 

c) Kiss Me Kate 

d) The Lion King 

Disney’s musical adaptation of The Lion King, songs written by Elton John and Tim Rice

2 Judi Dench famously sang Send In The Clowns in the 1995 National Theatre revival of which Stephen Sondheim musical? 

a) Assassins 

b) A Little Night Music 

c) Into The Woods 

d) Merrily We Roll Along 

3 Which of these musicals is based on a Bible story? 

a) The Book Of Mormon 

b) Mamma Mia! 

c) Wicked 

 d) The Prince Of Egypt 

4 Which British football club do internationally renowned musical theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and his cellist brother Julian both support? 

a) Watford 

b) Arsenal 

c) Leyton Orient 

d) Accrington Stanley 

5 Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Phantom Of The Opera is based on a book by which writer? 

a) Gaston Leroux 

b) Victor Hugo 

c) Louis Theroux 

d) JK Rowling 

Judi Dench as Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music at the Sondheim National Theatre

6 Who was the first woman to play the title role in Mary Poppins in the 2004 West End musical adaptation? 

a) Zizi Strallen 

b) Scarlett Strallen 

c) Laura Michelle Kelly 

d) Julie Andrews 

7 The musical Miss Saigon is based on which opera? 

a) Wozzeck 

b) Tosca 

c) Carmen 

d) Madame Butterfly 

8 Spamalot was a musical spin­- off from which famous 1970s British comedy team? 

a) The Two Ronnies 

b) Derek and Clive 

c) Monty Python 

d) The Goodies 

9 Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel starred in Mel Brooks’s 1967 film The Producers, about a sleazy theatrical impresario and his nervous accountant. Who starred in the first Broadway stage adaptation, in 2001? 

a) Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick 

b) James Dreyfuss and Lee Evans 

c) Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel 

d) Mel Brooks and David Schwimmer 

10 The music for the 1957 musical West Side Story based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet was composed by… 

a) Jule Styne 

b) Oscar Hammerstein 

c) Leonard Bernstein 

d) Stephen Sondheim 

Imelda Staunton as Rose in the musical Gypsy, performed at The Savoy Theatre in London

11 Imelda Staunton, who is at the time of writing still due to play Hello, Dolly! in the West End in August, also starred in Chichester Festival Theatre’s 2014 production of Stephen Sondheim’s Gypsy. Who else starred in that show? 

a) Her dog Molly 

b) Janie Dee 

c) Her husband, Downton star Jim Carter 

d) Michael Ball 

12 Who wrote the book, music and lyrics for the stage musical Oliver!? 

a) Lionel Blair 

b) Lionel Messi 

c) Lionel Bart 

d) Lionel Richie 

13 The story of Disney’s Lion King is loosely based on which Shakespeare play? 

a) Othello 

b) Hamlet 

c) King Lear 

d) Antony And Cleopatra 

14 South Pacific, which is due for a major revival this summer at Chichester Festival Theatre starring Gina Beck and Julian Ovenden, was written by which famous composer and lyricist partnership? 

a) Kander and Ebb 

b) Gilbert and Sullivan 

c) Lerner and Loewe 

d) Rodgers and Hammerstein 

15 Which star, composer, lyricist and book writer of a major American multi-awardwinning musical also starred as a balloonist in the BBC’s production of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials? 

a) Emmanuel Macron 

b) Linda Rondstadt 

c) Lin-Manuel Miranda 

d) Miranda Hart 

ANSWERS 

1-c, 2-b, 3-d, 4-c, 5-a, 6-c, 7-d, 8-c, 9-a, 10-c, 11-a, 12-c, 13-b, 14-d, 15-c. 

SCORES 

11-15 Congratulations, you’re a musical maestro – but you may need to get out less! 

6-10 Well done, you’re a well-balanced musical middler. 

0-5 You’re a musical mouse and you probably prefer cheese. 

 

 

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Todd Chrisley Tests Positive for Coronavirus, Details “Life-Altering” Ordeal

Todd Chrisley seems like a pretty awful person.

This is someone who allegedly threatened to release his own daughter’s sex tape unless she lied to authorities in order to protect her dad against tax evasion charges.

And yet…

… we still wouldn’t wish any physical harm upon the USA Network personality.

We mention this because The Chrisley Knows Best star revealed on Wednesday’s edition of his Chrisley Confessions podcast that he had been diagnosed with Covid-19.

The polarizing star recounted the frightening ordeal for listeners, sharing that he had been “battling corona” for three weeks and had been hospitalized for four-plus before being released back home.

“It has been the sickest that I have ever been in the 52 years I’ve been on this earth,” Chrisley shared.

“I cannot ever tell you a time in my life where I have ever been as sick as what I had been with the coronavirus.”

This virus, of course, has been responsible for over 13,000 American deaths (as of this writing) and has prompted the shut down of nearly all school systems and non-essential businesses around the country.

Todd’s wife, Julie, was also on the podcast and also offered up her take on the situation.

“This is serious. This is something that we’ve been dealing with for the past few weeks,” she said. “Todd and I have been together for 25 years, I have never in 25 years seen him as sick as what he was in the past few weeks.”

Julie continued as follows:

“If you are doubting or have not been affected by corona personally … you need to know that this is serious.

“There are people who are dying and we have to take it seriously. We have to practice social distancing, and we have to stay in if at all possible.”

Todd Chrisley was in the news often last year after being charged with tax evasion and then for feuding with his daughter, Lindsie, over whether or not she was on his side in this case.

And, as cited above, over whether or not he was in possession of her sex tape and was blackmailing her with its public release.

But even Lindsie has now come to her father’s defense in light of his diagnosis.

Upon the news breaking, Lindsie received a message to her Instagram inbox that read, “Hi Lindsie! Did you see your Dad has Covid? I guess the good guys really do win in the end.”

She replied as follows:

“The audacity of some people blows my mind. This is disgusting. My inbox is flooding with similar messages & I’m not here for it. Get right or get off my page.”

“During his latest podcast, meanwhile, Todd added that he’s still “not clicking on all cylinders” and explained that he’s operating at “about 70 to 75 percent,” telling folks:

“This has been a life-altering experience for me. I know it’s been a life-altering experience for everyone in my family…

“I think that what it has taught me is to look around and see the things that truly, truly matter — and what matters is health.

“You can have all the money in the world but if you don’t have your health, you have nothing. It’s been a tough, tough three weeks.”

As of April 8, there are now 1,446,242 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world and 83,424 deaths.

Among the celebrities who have been diagnosed include: Tom Hanks, Idris Elba, Andy Cohen and Kevin Durant.

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Cold War bomb tests show shark's age at time of death

Radioactive carbon that formed in the atmosphere during Cold War atomic bomb tests helps scientists determine the age of a 50-year-old endangered whale shark for the first time

  • Bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s  left abundance of carbon isotope in oceans 
  • Scientists used traces of carbon-14 in sharks to find out their age at time of death
  • Growth bands in the dead shark’s vertebrae proved sharks age of up to 50 years 
  • Pinpointing their age can help conservation efforts of this endangered species  

Cold War atomic bomb testing from more than 50 years ago has helped scientists correctly determine the age of whale sharks for the first time.

An international team of scientists measured levels of a carbon isotope in shark bone that permeated the oceans during atomic bomb tests in the 1950s and 1960s.  

The presence of the carbon isotope – carbon-14 – in the shark bone told them that two sharks were up to 50 years old at time of their eventual death.

The study of the whale shark – the world’s largest fish – will help ensure the future of the endangered and protected species, the researchers say. 

Australian Institute of Marine Science of Dr Mark Meekan, a researcher with the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Perth, swimming with a whale shark

‘Earlier modelling studies have suggested that the largest whale sharks may live as long as 100 years,’ said Mark Meekan from the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Perth, Western Australia.

‘However, although our understanding of the movements, behaviour, connectivity and distribution of whale sharks have improved dramatically over the last 10 years, basic life history traits such as age, longevity and mortality remain largely unknown.

‘Our study shows that adult sharks can indeed attain great age and that long lifespans are probably a feature of the species. 

‘Now we have another piece of the jigsaw added.’  

Whale shark vertebra from Pakistan, in cross section, showing 50 growth bands

WHAT IS THE WHALE SHARK?

Whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the largest living fish.

It can reach a length of about 59 feet (18 metres).

It forages for food at or near the surface of the ocean.

Its large mouth is well adapted to filter feeding, meaning it feeds by straining suspended matter and food particles from water.

The whale shark contains more than 300 rows of small, pointed teeth in each jaw.

Whale sharks inhabit warm waters around the world.

They are found in the western Atlantic Ocean from the coast of New York to central Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Whale sharks also inhabit the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific.

The species is labelled ‘endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with populations decreasing. 

It is a docile species that poses no threat to humans. 

Today, whale sharks are endangered and protected as a high-value species for eco-tourism.

Conservation strategies for endangered and threatened species, including the whale shark, require accurate estimates of factors such as age and growth. 

But until now, the age of the sharks has been difficult to measure, as sharks and rays lack bony structures that are used to determine the age of other fish.

So a team of researchers, including Dr Meekan, turned to the radioactive legacy of the Cold War’s nuclear arms race. 

During the 1950s and 1960s, the USA, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France and China conducted tests of nuclear weapons, many of which were detonated several kilometres in the air.

One result of the blasts was an atmospheric doubling of carbon-14, which is commonly used by archaeologists and historians to date ancient bones and artefacts.

The rate of decay of carbon-14 is constant and easily measured, making it ideal for providing age estimates for anything over 300 years old. 

The isotope gradually moves through food webs into living animals and plants, producing an elevated carbon-14 signature.

The nearly 60-foot-long whale shark doesn’t generally pose a threat to humans. The species is described as endangered with populations decreasing still

Whale shark vertebrae, meanwhile, feature distinct bands – much like the rings of a tree trunk, which increase in number as the animal grows older.

Some studies suggest that a new ring is formed every year, while others conclude that it happens every six months. 

‘We found that one growth ring was definitely deposited every year,’ Dr Meekan said.

‘This is very important, because if you over or under-estimate growth rates you will inevitably end up with a management strategy that doesn’t work, and you’ll see the population crash.’ 

Measuring the radioisotope levels in the successive growth rings allowed a clear determination of how often they were created, giving an indication of the shark’s age.

Using the bomb radiocarbon data, Dr Meekan and his team conducted testing of from sectioned vertebrae from two deceased whale sharks in Pakistan and Taiwan. 

Ages of up to 50 years were estimated at time of death – the first time such an age has been unambiguously verified.

The results, which have been published in Frontiers in Marine Science, also confirm the use of sectioned vertebrae as age indicators for these sharks. 

WHAT IS CARBON DATING AND HOW IS IT USED?  

Carbon dating, also referred to as radiocarbon dating or carbon-14 dating, is a method that is used to determine the age of an object. 

It can only be used on objects containing organic material – that was once ‘alive’ and therefore contained carbon.    

The element carbon apears in nature in a few slightly different varieties, depending on the amount of neutrons in its nucleus. 

Called isotopes, these different types of carbon all behave differently.  

Most of the stable, naturally occurring carbon on Earth is carbon 12 – it accounts for 99 per cent of the element on our planet. 

Another carbon isotope is Carbon-14, a radioactive version of carbon.

It occurs naturally in the atmosphere as part of carbon dioxide, and animals absorb it when they breathe. 

Animals stop taking it in when they die, and a finite amount of the chemical is stored in the body. 

Radioactive substances all have a half-life, the length of time it takes for a material to lose half of its radioactivity. 

Carbon-14 has a long half-life, 5,370 years to be exact. 

This long half-life can be used to find out how old objects are by measuring how much radioactivity is left in a specimen.

Due to the long half-life, archaeologists have been able to date items up to 50,000 years old.  

Radiocarbon dating was first invented in the 1940s by an American physical chemist called Willard Libby. He won the 1960 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery.

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