Former Cheetah Girl Kiely Williams Calls Out Adrienne Bailon Houghton

Former 3LW and Cheetah Girls member Kiely Williams didn’t hold back on discussing past drama with her former bandmates during an Instagram Live session on Sunday.

No topic was off limits during the candid video chat with her followers, including her falling out with her fellow 3LW members — The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and former Power star Naturi Naughton. One fans asked if 33-year-old Williams was open to appearing on The Real to hash things out with 36-year-old Houghton, who was in both 3LW and The Cheetah Girls with her.

“I don’t see a reason why I would need to go on The Real because I’m not promoting anything, right? So there’s no reason to do that for me,” Williams responded. “Also, I’mma be honest with you: I don’t think Adrienne wants to, like, have live TV with me. ‘Cause, I mean, she’s gonna have to say, ‘Yes, Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.'”

“It’s like, you were either lying then or you’re lying now,” she continued. “You either were my best friend, and now you’re just not claiming me, or, you were pretending to be my best friend and now you’re telling the truth. So, that’s why I don’t think that’s gonna happen.”

As for 35-year-old Naughton, Williams addressed Naughton’s claim during an interview on TV One’s Uncensored last April that she left 3LW in 2002 after Williams threw a plate of food at her face at a KFC. Williams and Houghton then went on to join The Cheetah Girls alongside Raven-Symone and Sabrina Bryan. Both bands disbanded in 2008.

Williams claimed that she didn’t purposely throw the food at Naughton’s face, and said she was trying to hold on to her baby sister at the time.

“If I had to choose between dropping my baby sister and a plate of food flying as I’m reaching for someone’s neck, I’m gonna keep my baby sister in my arms,” she said.

“I don’t feel that I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” she added. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has been kind of overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So no, not interested in that, sorry.”

Meanwhile, Naughton and Houghton have since made amends. Naughton appeared on The Real in 2017, and Houghton said that she had actually apologized to her years ago when she ran into her at a party for her former behavior.

ET spoke with Houghton last month, and she shared why she’s hesitant to ever reboot the Cheetah Girls franchise, which spawned three Disney films.

“[A reboot] has not been discussed at all,” Houghton said. “There’s so many things that I’m a fan of and when they redo them, I’m like, ‘Pero, why? Why did you feel that that was necessary?’ Sometimes it’s just best to bow out gracefully, let people love it forever. I’d rather people keep wanting it to be done and then it never gets done, versus doing it and they’re like, ‘They ruined it.'”

Watch the video below for more:

Why Adrienne Bailon Is Hesitant To Do a 'Cheetah Girls' Reboot (Exclusive)

Source: Read Full Article

Kim Kardashian Questions Her Beauty Choices in This Epic Throwback

Kim Kardashian is just like Us — she regrets some strong beauty choices made in the early aughts. Then again, who doesn’t?

In a throwback picture the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star posted on Sunday, March 29, the Skims founder poses with one of her close friends wearing some … questionable trends.

Kim Kardashian Takes Us Down a Fashion Memory Lane With Some of Her Most Iconic Looks of All Time

“Found this pic of Allison and I from college and it made me LOL,” she wrote in the accompanying caption. “I have so many questions. What is this hair style? My turquoise liner?”

In the shot, the now 39-year-old is shown rocking some overly side-swept bangs, blue liner, spidery lashes and a glossy lip while her friend hugs her from behind.

Close friend and one of the Kardashian-Jenner’s go-to hairstylist Jen Atkin applauded the reality star’s throwback look. “You still look pretty,” she wrote. “It’s annoying!”

Best Behind-the-Scenes Snaps from Kim Kardashian’s Fashion Fittings: They’re ‘Better Than the Final Look’

The KKW Beauty founder has spoken a lot about the dramatic change in her aesthetic over the years, crediting a lot of it to her husband Kanye West.

“I have a million cringeworthy moments,” she told Us back in April 2019. “Like I die when I see, like me in an Ed Hardy shirt with the Ed Hardy hat. I mean, it’s so funny.”

However, when she did an interview with her husband for the September 2019 Vogue Arabia cover, she admitted that she loved these old looks.

“I love my worst moments now. I look back and have to laugh; it was so much fun. It was who I was, what I could afford and what I knew at the time.”

She continued, “Then, when I met you [Kanye], you gave me the biggest closet makeover. I didn’t understand at the time why you wanted to get rid of pretty much everything I owned, but I pretended like I did,” she said. “You were showing me all of these different designers that I had never heard of before. Now, I totally get it. Now I’m very confident in what I wear. You have been my best stylist.”

Listen on Spotify to Get Tressed With Us to get the details of every hair love affair in Hollywood, from the hits and misses on the red carpet to your favorite celebrities’ street style ‘dos (and don’ts!)

For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!

Source: Read Full Article

Andrew Cuomo Reacts to Chris Cuomo Testing Positive for Coronavirus

Chris Cuomo has tested positive for coronavirus. 

The CNN anchor announced the news via Twitter on Tuesday.

“Sooooo in these difficult times that seem to get more difficult and complicated by the day, I just found out that I am positive for coronavirus,” he wrote in a note shared to the social network. “I have been exposed to people in recent days who have subsequently tested positive and I had fever, chills and shortness of breath. I just hope I didn’t give it to the kids and [my wife] Cristina. That would make me feel worse than this illness! I am quarantined in my basement (which actually makes the rest of the family seem pleased!) I will do my shows from here. We will all beat this by being smart and tough and united!”

Andrew Cuomo then spoke about Chris’ diagnosis at a press conference in New York and reassured the public that his brother “is going to be fine.”

“He’s young, in good shape, strong—not as strong as he thinks—but he will be fine,” the Governor of New York said. “But there’s a lesson in this: He’s an essential worker, member of the press. So, he’s been out there. If you go out there, the chance that you get infected is very high.” 

While Andrew acknowledged many people recognize his sibling as the host of Cuomo Prime Time, he also said they only see “one dimension” of him.

“In his job, he’s combative, and he is argumentative, and he is pushing people,” he continued. “But that’s his job. That’s not really who he is. He is really a sweet, beautiful guy, and he is my best friend.”

Andrew then looked back at Chris’ career path and told the story of how he became a lawyer after their father “forcefully” suggested it. He said Chris went to law school but “never really had a desire to practice law.” At age 26, Chris called his brother and told him he didn’t want to be a lawyer anymore and wanted to become a journalist. However, Andrew, said it was “too late.” Still, Chris remained determined. He quit his job at a law firm and took a job at Fox. He then continued to work his way up the career ladder and eventually landed his job at CNN, where Andrew said he “does a beautiful job.”

Andrew also told viewers his brother is “funny as heck.”

“He says to me even the dogs won’t come downstairs,” he added. 

All jokes aside, he reiterated that Chris is concerned about his wife and kids and applauded him for being smart by practicing social distancing.

To watch his speech, check out the video.

Watch NBC News Special Report: Coronavirus Pandemic Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on NBC, MSNBC and NBC News NOW. For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov.

Source: Read Full Article

London NHS hospital is 'about to run out of essential drugs in days'

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS hospital in London is ‘about to run out of two essential anaesthetic drugs’ for intensive care patients amid the coronavirus crisis

  • Central London hospital running out of powerful anaesthesia drugs amid crisis
  • Curare and Propofol used to manage the most severe cases of the coronavirus
  • Stocks will be empty in a few days, document leaked to French press revealed
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

A London NHS hospital at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus is about ‘to run out of essential drugs’ to look after intensive care patients, according to a leaked document published today. 

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital – which serves nearly 2.6million people in the capital – is one of nine European medical establishments that sounded the alarm on Tuesday. 

To manage the most severe cases of COVID-19, resuscitators have to immerse the patients in an artificial coma, and intubate them.

They use powerful anaesthesia drugs to do this, such as curare and propofol, and these are the ones that are rapidly disappearing. 

In a leaked letter to their respective governments doctors called for emergency measures to deal with the shortages of these two drugs.  

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital – which serves nearly 2.6million people in the capital – is about ‘to run out of essential anaethesia drugs’ 


Powerful anaesthesia drugs, such as Curare (left) and Propofol (right), are the ones that are rapidly disappearing. They are used to manage people with the most severe forms of COVID-19

‘Hospitals will soon run out of essential drugs to treat COVID-19 patients hospitalised in intensive care units,’ the letter, leaked to Le Monde newspaper in France, reads.

‘Without European collaboration to ensure a continuous supply of medicines, they may no longer be able to provide adequate intensive care within one to two weeks.’ 

The signatories are all part of the European Alliance of University Hospitals, and include Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, San Raffaele in Milan, Vall d´Hebron in Barcelona, ​​and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin hospital in Berlin.

The letter continues: ‘At this rate of consumption, the stocks of the hospitals most affected will be empty in a few days, and in two weeks they will be empty for those who have larger stocks. 

‘This has already led to some hospitals buying drugs or dosages different from what they are used to.

‘It is extremely worrying to see nurses and medical students overworked and often less experienced using products and dosages with which they are not familiar.’  

The hospital in central London as been at the forefront of the battle against coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

It is managed by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and is one of the largest teaching hospital in the UK.

A French government spokesman confirmed that it had received the letter from the European Alliance of University Hospitals on Tuesday. 

A Guy’s and St Thomas’ spokesperson said: ‘During this unprecedented rise in demand for intensive care treatments, it is essential that we maintain collaboration and cross border support to ensure timely access to key medicines across the UK and Europe. 

‘At Guy’s and St Thomas’, as is the case across the NHS, we will continue to closely monitor supplies of medicines to make sure that we have adequate levels for patients, as we always do.’ 

Coronavirus has so far killed nearly 1,800 people in the UK and infected more than 25,000 

It comes days after the British Government banned companies from buying up drugs used on intensive care wards and selling them to hospitals in other countries.

EXPERIMENTAL DRUG THAT COULD TREAT CORONAVIRUS ‘IS OUT OF STOCK’ 

A malaria drug which could treat seriously ill coronavirus patients is already in short supply in the UK after US President Donald Trump revealed American hospitals would double down on using it.

An NHS pharmacist warned MailOnline there are already shortages of the drug hydroxychloroquine, which is used to prevent malaria and treat lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. 

It is one of three medicines which the Government last month banned companies from exporting from the UK.

This raised the prospect that it will be given to coronavirus patients in the UK as doctors in other countries have claimed it’s a successful therapy. 

The similar chloroquine phosphate was also on the export ban and is used for similar purposes and shows promise in coronavirus patients.  

Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday confirmed that at least one British patient is now part of a clinical trial to try and stop the deadly disease.

But the Government has refused to reveal details of what medication they are being given.

Mr Trump yesterday said chloroquine was showing ‘very, very encouraging early results’ so US officials were pushing it through to make it immediately available to doctors around the country. 

The Department of Health has announced that the exporting of certain drugs including painkillers, antibiotics and anaesthetics will no longer be allowed.

This ban on international sale of the drugs is intended to shore up Britain’s supplies of drugs which are crucial for treating intensive care patients.

Increasing numbers of people will need to be admitted to critical care units in the coming weeks and the Government must move to make sure they can be looked after. 

Although bed capacity is an issue, banning the drugs is one way hospitals can make sure their supplies don’t run dry.

81 drugs were banned from export today, among them the high-grade painkillers morphine, fentanyl and ketamine, as well as the surgical anaesthetics  propofol.

Noradrenalin, a type of adrenaline, and the antibiotic clarithromycin, which is a first-choice treatment for pneumonia, were also on the list.

The Department of Health said all the drugs on the list are in high demand across Europe as health authorities work to battle coronavirus.

The Department of Health’s move is a ban on what’s called the parallel export of drugs, meaning companies are not allowed to buy UK stocks to sell them abroad.

Health Minister Lord Bethell said earlier this month: ‘We are banning the parallel export of more than 80 crucial medicines to protect patients in the UK and help ensure they can always get the treatments they need.’

Also on the parallel export ban list are medications being used as experimental therapies for people with severe coronavirus infections.

Antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, as well as HIV medications called lopinavir + ritonavir, are also on the list.

All three have been used on COVID-19 patients by doctors in China, who reported that they have shown good results.

Their status on the protected list raises the prospect of them being used in the UK after Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday revealed British patients have begun to be enrolled in clinical trials. 

UK waives duties so it can boost import of coronavirus testing kits, ventilators and other vital medical equipment as it faces furious backlash over lagging behind Germany which is testing 500,000 people every week

Britain will waive import taxes on coronavirus testing kits, ventilators and other vital medical supplies in a bid to boost the fight against the deadly disease amid widespread criticism of the government’s testing operation. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced this evening that NHS suppliers will no longer have to pay customs duty and import VAT on specified medical items coming from outside the EU.  

It came as Michael Gove admitted the government’s coronavirus testing efforts must go ‘further, faster’ as Downing Street suggested a target of 25,000 daily checks may not be met until the end of next month. 

The Minister for the Cabinet Office said the lack of availability of globally in-demand crucial chemicals which are needed in the testing process was proving a ‘critical constraint’ on expanding checks. 

Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference, Mr Gove said: ‘While the rate of testing is increasing we must go further, faster. A critical constraint on the ability to rapidly increase testing capacity is the availability of the chemical reagents which are necessary in the testing.

‘The Prime Minister and the Health Secretary are working with companies worldwide to ensure that we get the material we need to increase tests of all kinds.’ 

Mr Gove also revealed the first wave of new ventilator devices will roll off the production line this weekend and be delivered to the NHS next week when they will be ‘rapidly distributed to the frontline’.

Meanwhile, the medical director of NHS England Professor Stephen Powis warned that while there are ‘green shoots’ of hope in relation to the spread of coronavirus after an apparent plateau in the number of new cases, the UK must not be ‘complacent’.    

‘It is really important not to read too much because it is really early days,’ he said. ‘We are not out of the woods, we are very much in the woods.’

Critics today labelled the UK’s efforts on testing a ‘catastrophe’ and ‘dismal’ when compared to what is being done in Germany where 500,000 tests are being carried out every week. 

Rishi Sunak today announced that he is waiving import duty on medical supplies like coronavirus testing kits 

Downing Street had earlier hinted at Mr Johnson’s apparent frustration at the slow progress on ramping up Britain’s capacity, with a spokesman saying he wanted ‘as much progress to be made on this as possible’. 

The UK is currently managing just under 10,000 tests a day with the government having previously said it wants to get to 25,000 by the middle of April.

But today Number 10 said the timetable was ‘mid to late April’ – seemingly an admission that efforts have stalled. 

Experts have insisted ‘organisation’ rather than a shortage of facilities is to blame for the painfully slow rise in checks.

However, the UK is struggling to obtain enough of the tests themselves, with Germany seemingly able to acquire them from domestic manufacturers while Britain is having to import them. 

The competition for the tests was illustrated today by reports NHS England and NHS Wales ended up bidding against each other for equipment at the end of last week, prompting the four Home Nations to agree that all procurement will be done in Whitehall.

It is hoped that the Chancellor’s decision to waive customs duty and import VAT on key medical supplies will make it easier to ship in the tests.

Mr Sunak said: ‘We are taking decisive action to ensure our NHS has everything it needs to fight this outbreak.

‘Waiving import taxes on vital medical equipment such as ventilators will speed up and increase the supply of critical items going to our frontline health workers.’  

However, the government will have to dramatically increase its efforts if it is to win over its critics who today slammed ministers for not doing enough. 

Jeremy Hunt, the Tory chairman of the Health Select Committee, said it would be ‘very worrying’ if the UK chose not to follow the lead of the likes of Germany and South Korea. 

He said mass testing allows for ‘a lot less’ disruption to daily lives because those who have the disease can be isolated and prevented from passing the virus on.  

He said: ‘It is internationally proven as the most effective way of breaking the chain of transmission.

‘So however difficult it is to source the reagents, to ramp up the capacity of laboratories up and down the country, it is essential that mass community testing is part of our national strategy.’

Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, labelled the UK’s testing efforts a ‘catastrophe’, telling MailOnline: ‘It’s an embarrassment. We do not appear to have done anything in six weeks to get ourselves in a better position on this.

‘If I was an NHS frontline worker waiting week after week after week for this I would be furious.’

He added: ‘70,000 tests a day in Germany, a million tests now conducted in America, and we in six weeks have managed to do as many tests as the Germans do in two days.

‘Everybody wants to believe in their leader during a crisis and everyone has given Boris the benefit of the doubt… I think public opinion is beginning to ask very serious questions.’

Scottish entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne told MailOnline that the government’s ‘dismal’ handling of the testing crisis will send vast numbers of British businesses to the wall – and delay the country’s economic recovery.

The gym mogul and former Dragons’ Den star said: ‘The government must get on top of testing immediately. The longer we are in lockdown the more businesses will go bust. 

‘My business hands over £39million to the Government every year in VAT, PAYE and corporation tax. As long as we are closed they get nothing.

‘Their handling of the testing issue has been dismal to say the least.’ 

Meanwhile, Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh’s Medical School, suggested the UK was struggling to ramp up testing because of the strategy it had earlier adopted to the outbreak. 

She tweeted that she feared the government had given up ‘on containment too early’ due an apparent belief that most people in the UK would eventually get the disease. 

That resulted in ‘planning and preparing for unprecedented testing’ being ‘taken off the table’ which Ms Sridhar said she believed was the ‘wrong path’.

Germany has been conducting 500,000 tests a week and is aiming to hit 200,000 tests a day in the near future. 

Part of the difference between the UK and Germany is reportedly that the latter has more tests available domestically. 

There are also claims that a shipment of testing kit parts from the European mainland has been found to be contaminated with the virus, in another potential delay. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps admitted this morning that the government was struggling with the logistical challenge of increasing testing, saying it was not a ‘trivial or straightforward’ task.

‘This is never going to be enough,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. ‘We always need to be pushing.’

Ministers boasted on Sunday that they had reached a target of 10,000 tests a day.  

However, while the capacity had been reached, the government is yet to actually carry out that number. The latest figures from Public Health England were 8,278 in the 24 hours to 9am on Sunday, which was actually down from 9,114 the previous day.

Professor Anthony Costello, an ex-director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) who is now based at University College London, this morning dismissed the idea that the UK does not have enough laboratory facilities to process tests. 

‘We need a policy of mass community testing as well as the blunt instrument of social distancing,’ he told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme. 

‘We need to do that because we want to arrow in on detecting cases and contact and quarantine. We need to have enough tests to protect our health workers… 

‘But most important when we want to loosen up the lockdown we want to have control over that. 

‘There will be much less disruption if we can do that rather than isolating the entire economy.’

He went on: ‘In answer to can we do it, we have 44 molecular virology labs in the UK. 

‘If they were doing 400 tests a day we would be up to Germany levels of testing and that is perfectly feasible.

Asked whether he was saying that the UK has the capacity but is just not organising it properly, Prof Costello said: ‘Yeah, correct. I don’t see why we cannot get these 44 molecular virology labs up and running, finding the cases and testing. 

‘PHE were slow and controlled, and they only allowed non-PHE labs to start testing two weeks ago. But that was after the strategy shift to stopping community tests.

‘We need to be like Korea…. their death rate is three per million and they have suppressed the virus.’ 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has praised countries like South Korea have for their wide-scale testing regimes, which have helped limit cases.  

However, the UK shelved efforts to test everyone with symptoms on March 12, when Britain’s response moved into a ‘delay’ phase.

Instead people who thought they had the illness were urged to self-isolate unless their conditions became so severe they needed medical help. 

Amid criticism, Mr Johnson then declared just under a fortnight ago that there would be a big expansion of tests from under 5,000 a day to 25,000. 

Routine testing is only just being offered to NHS staff, with 800 per day expected to get access to tests. There are fears that many will have been put at risk, amid complaints that they do not even have enough personal protection kit.  

A global shortage of the chemicals needed to produce coronavirus tests has emerged as another setback in the UK’s plans to test more people.

Industry bosses say chemical reagents that are used in the test are in short supply around the world as countries have scrambled to test their citizens for COVID-19. 

Lab tests for the coronavirus work by regrowing a patient’s DNA in a lab and examining it to find traces of genetic material left behind by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

For this to work, technicians need a chemical called a reagent to trigger the chemical reaction which starts the process. 

There are various types of reagents which can be used in a COVID-19 test, supplied by different companies around the world, but they are in high demand everywhere. They are not unique to coronavirus and are the same reagents used in tests for illnesses such as flu.

The US has 10 different types of reagent listed in the priority list by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is not clear whether the UK is using reagents manufactured on home soil or importing them. 

Some NHS labs have now resorted to make their own in ‘home brew’ situations so they can test patients, The Times reported.

Germany has also been leading the way on testing for individuals who have already been through the virus and emerged with immunity. Such checks could potentially allow people to be issued with certificates saying they are safe to go back to work – easing the lockdown crippling the economy.

The UK government has ordered 17.5million ‘antibody’ tests, but they have yet to go through clinical trials and it is not clear when they can start being used.

A study due to start in Germany in mid-April will see the blood of more than 100,000 volunteers tested for Covid-19 antibodies. 

The process will be repeated at regular intervals, with the sample scaling up to track the progress of the epidemic.

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: ‘Germany appears to be leading the way in the testing and we have much to learn from their approach. 

‘I’ve repeatedly called for more testing and contact tracing in the UK, and we should be looking at initiatives like this closely.’  

The scale of the problem facing the UK was underlined today with figures suggesting the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak could be 24 per cent higher than NHS figures show.

Patients who had COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificates numbered 210 in England and Wales up to March 20, the Office for National Statistics revealed.

That was 24 per cent higher than the 170 deaths recorded by NHS England and Public Health Wales during the same time frame.

If the ratio has stayed true since that time, the true current number of fatalities could be around 1,739 instead of the official 1,408.

Michael Gove admits the UK must go ‘further, faster’ to increase its coronavirus testing operation after government admits it may not hit 25,000 a day target until end of next month

Michael Gove today admitted the government’s coronavirus testing operation must go ‘further, faster’ after Downing Street suggested a target of 25,000 daily checks may not be met until the end of next month. 

The Minister for the Cabinet Office said the lack of availability of crucial chemicals which are needed in the testing process was a ‘critical constraint’ on the UK’s efforts. 

He said Boris Johnson and the Health Secretary Matt Hancock were now working together to try to source the globally in-demand material that Britain needs. 

Speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference, Mr Gove said: ‘While the rate of testing is increasing we must go further, faster. A critical constraint on the ability to rapidly increase testing capacity is the availability of the chemical reagents which are necessary in the testing.

‘The Prime Minister and the Health Secretary are working with companies worldwide to ensure that we get the material we need to increase tests of all kinds.’ 

Critics today labelled the UK’s efforts a ‘catastrophe’ and ‘dismal’ when compared to what is being done in Germany where 500,000 tests are being carried out every week. 

Downing Street had earlier hinted at Mr Johnsons’s apparent frustration at the slow progress on ramping up Britain’s capacity, with a spokesman saying he wants ‘as much progress to be made on this as possible’. 

The UK is currently managing just under 10,000 tests a day with the government having previously said it wants to get to 25,000 by the middle of April.

But today Number 10 said the timetable was ‘mid to late April’ – seemingly an admission that efforts have stalled. 

Politicians from different parties are now lining up to criticise the government’s approach while business chiefs are doing the same. 

Jeremy Hunt, the Tory former health secretary, said mass testing in the community must be carried out by the government while Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said the efforts so far were an ’embarrassment’.

Scottish entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne told MailOnline the government’s ‘dismal’ handling of the testing crisis will send vast numbers of British businesses to the wall – and delay the country’s economic recovery. 

Experts have insisted ‘organisation’ rather than a shortage of facilities is to blame for the painfully slow rise in checks.

However, there are also suggestions that the UK is struggling to obtain enough of the tests themselves, with Germany seemingly able to acquire them from domestic manufacturers while Britain is having to import them. 

It came amid reports that NHS England and NHS Wales ended up bidding against each other for testing equipment at the end of last week, prompting the four Home Nations to agree that all procurement will be done in Whitehall.

Michael Gove today said the UK must go ‘further, faster’ in ramping up its coronavirus testing efforts

A nurse takes a swab from an NHS worker at a testing facility in Chessington yesterday

Germany has been conducting 500,000 tests a week and is aiming to hit 200,000 tests a day in the near future. 

Part of the difference between the UK and Germany is reportedly that the latter has more tests available domestically. 

There are also claims that a shipment of testing kit parts from the European mainland has been found to be contaminated with the virus, in another potential delay. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps admitted this morning that the government was struggling with the logistical challenge of increasing testing, saying it was not a ‘trivial or straightforward’ task.

‘This is never going to be enough,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. We always need to be pushing.’

Ministers boasted on Sunday that they had reached a target of 10,000 tests a day.  

However, while the capacity has been reached, the government has yet to actually carry out that number. The latest figures from Public Health England were 8,278 in the 24 hours to 9am on Sunday, which was actually down from 9,114 the previous day.  

The numbers have sparked widespread concerns about the UK approach to testing. 

Mr Hunt, the chairman of the Health Select Committee, said it would be ‘very worrying’ if the UK chose not to follow the lead of the likes of Germany and South Korea. 

He said mass testing allows for ‘a lot less’ disruption to daily lives because those who have the disease can be isolated and prevented from passing the virus on.  

He said: ‘It is internationally proven as the most effective way of breaking the chain of transmission.

‘So however difficult it is to source the reagents, to ramp up the capacity of laboratories up and down the country, it is essential that mass community testing is part of our national strategy.’

Mr Farage told MailOnline: ‘Testing is a catastrophe. It’s an embarrassment. We do not appear to have done anything in six weeks to get ourselves in a better position on this.

‘If I was an NHS frontline worker waiting week after week after week for this I would be furious.’

He added: ‘70,000 tests a day in Germany, a million tests now conducted in America, and we in six weeks have managed to do as many tests as the Germans do in two days.

‘Everybody wants to believe in their leader during a crisis and everyone has given Boris the benefit of the doubt… I think public opinion is beginning to ask very serious questions.’

Scottish entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne told MailOnline that the government’s ‘dismal’ handling of the testing crisis will send vast numbers of British businesses to the wall – and delay the country’s economic recovery.

The gym mogul and former Dragons’ Den star said: ‘The Government must get on top of testing immediately. The longer we are in lockdown the more businesses will go bust. 

‘My business hands over £39million to the Government every year in VAT, PAYE and corporation tax. As long as we are closed they get nothing.

‘Their handling of the testing issue has been dismal to say the least.’         

CHEMICAL REAGENTS: NECESSARY FOR TESTING BUT IN HIGH GLOBAL DEMAND 

A global shortage of the chemicals needed to produce coronavirus tests has emerged as another setback in the UK’s plans to test more people.

Industry bosses say chemical reagents that are used in the test are in short supply around the world as countries have scrambled to test their citizens for COVID-19. 

Lab tests for the coronavirus work by regrowing a patient’s DNA in a lab and examining it to find traces of genetic material left behind by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

For this to work, technicians need a chemical called a reagent to trigger the chemical reaction which starts the process. 

There are various types of reagents which can be used in a COVID-19 test, supplied by different companies around the world, but they are in high demand everywhere. They are not unique to coronavirus and are the same reagents used in tests for illnesses such as flu.

The US has 10 different types of reagent listed in the priority list by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is not clear whether the UK is using reagents manufactured on home soil or importing them. 

Some NHS labs have now resorted to make their own in ‘home brew’ situations so they can test patients, The Times reported.

Officials are now scrambling to see if there are alternatives to their first choice, according to the newspaper, and are also trying to shore up supplies of swabs, which are vital for tests.

CEO of pharmaceutical company Roche, Severin Schwan, said ‘demand is outstripping supply’ for the reagents. ‘Widespread testing is simply not possible,’ he added.

While the Professional Association of Laboratory Medics in Germany said: ‘The materials required for testing – sample kits, materials for extracting samples, and reagents – are becoming scarce’.

The Australian Medical Association sounded the alarm there two weeks ago, when it said some parts of the government had failed to stockpile the right reagents, The Guardian reported.

It said global demand was ‘exceeding supply’ and that ‘there are particular concerns around supplies of swabs and DNA extraction kits’.

Professor Anthony Costello, an ex-director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) who is now based at University College London, dismissed the idea that the UK does not have enough laboratory facilities to process the tests. 

‘We need a policy of mass community testing as well as the blunt instrument of social distancing,’ he told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme. 

‘We need to do that because we want to arrow in on detecting cases and contact and quarantine. We need to have enough tests to protect our health workers… 

‘But most important when we want to loosen up the lockdown we want to have control over that. 

‘There will be much less disruption if we can do that rather than isolating the entire economy.’

He went on: ‘In answer to can we do it, we have 44 molecular virology labs in the UK. 

‘If they were doing 400 tests a day we would be up to Germany levels of testing and that is perfectly feasible.

Asked whether he was saying that the UK has the capacity but is just not organising it properly, Prof Costello said: ‘Yeah, correct. I don’t see why we cannot get these 44 molecular virology labs up and running, finding the cases and testing. 

‘PHE were slow and controlled, and they only allowed non-PHE labs to start testing two weeks ago. But that was after the strategy shift to stopping community tests.

‘We need to be like Korea…. their death rate is three per million and they have suppressed the virus.’ 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has praised countries like South Korea have for their wide-scale testing regimes, which have helped limit cases.  

However, the UK shelved efforts to test everyone with symptoms on March 12, when Britain’s response moved into a ‘delay’ phase.

Instead people who thought they had the illness were urged to self-isolate unless their conditions became so severe they needed medical help. 

Amid criticism, Mr Johnson then declared just under a fortnight ago that there would be a big expansion of tests from under 5,000 a day to 25,000. 

Routine testing is only just being offered to NHS staff, with 800 per day expected to get access to tests. There are fears that many will have been put at risk, amid complaints that they do not even have enough personal protection kit.  

A global shortage of the chemicals needed to produce coronavirus tests has emerged as another setback in the UK’s plans to test more people.

Industry bosses say chemical reagents that are used in the test are in short supply around the world as countries have scrambled to test their citizens for COVID-19. 

Lab tests for the coronavirus work by regrowing a patient’s DNA in a lab and examining it to find traces of genetic material left behind by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

For this to work, technicians need a chemical called a reagent to trigger the chemical reaction which starts the process. 

There are various types of reagents which can be used in a COVID-19 test, supplied by different companies around the world, but they are in high demand everywhere. They are not unique to coronavirus and are the same reagents used in tests for illnesses such as flu.

Germany is set to start mass immunity testing within weeks 

Germany has also been leading the way on testing for individuals who have already been through the virus and emerged with immunity. Such checks could potentially allow people to be issued with certificates saying they are safe to go back to work – easing the lockdown crippling the economy.

The UK government has ordered 17.5million ‘antibody’ tests, but they have yet to go through clinical trials and it is not clear when they can start being used.

A study due to start in Germany in mid-April will see the blood of more than 100,000 volunteers tested for Covid-19 antibodies. 

The process will be repeated at regular intervals, with the sample scaling up to track the progress of the epidemic.

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: ‘Germany appears to be leading the way in the testing and we have much to learn from their approach. 

‘I’ve repeatedly called for more testing and contact tracing in the UK, and we should be looking at initiatives like this closely.’ 

The US has 10 different types of reagent listed in the priority list by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is not clear whether the UK is using reagents manufactured on home soil or importing them. 

Some NHS labs have now resorted to make their own in ‘home brew’ situations so they can test patients, The Times reported.

Germany has also been leading the way on testing for individuals who have already been through the virus and emerged with immunity. Such checks could potentially allow people to be issued with certificates saying they are safe to go back to work – easing the lockdown crippling the economy.

The UK government has ordered 17.5million ‘antibody’ tests, but they have yet to go through clinical trials and it is not clear when they can start being used.

A study due to start in Germany in mid-April will see the blood of more than 100,000 volunteers tested for Covid-19 antibodies. 

The process will be repeated at regular intervals, with the sample scaling up to track the progress of the epidemic.

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: ‘Germany appears to be leading the way in the testing and we have much to learn from their approach. 

‘I’ve repeatedly called for more testing and contact tracing in the UK, and we should be looking at initiatives like this closely.’  

The scale of the problem facing the UK was underlined today with figures suggesting the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak could be 24 per cent higher than NHS figures show.

Patients who had COVID-19 mentioned on their death certificates numbered 210 in England and Wales up to March 20, the Office for National Statistics revealed.

That was 24 per cent higher than the 170 deaths recorded by NHS England and Public Health Wales during the same time frame.

If the ratio has stayed true since that time, the true current number of fatalities could be around 1,739 instead of the official 1,408. 

Lord Hague today warned Mr Johnson he must show UK businesses a ‘way out’ of the coronavirus crisis by the end of April – or risk thousands of firms permanently closing their doors. 

Lord Hague said many businesses will choose to shut down if they are not given ‘hope’ in the form of a government plan for what will happen after the current state of lockdown ends.

The former foreign secretary said the government’s blueprint for recovery must include a ‘massive and compulsory’ testing programme so the UK is better able to withstand future outbreaks of the deadly disease.  

He said the ability to test and trace people in the way that South Korea has been doing will be key because it will give ministers the ability to contain the spread and allow businesses to stay open. 

The ex-Tory leader said a failure to pursue massive testing capacity would likely result in the UK facing an economic depression rather than just a recession. And he called for one minister to be put in charge of overseeing the development of the future action plan so they are not distracted by day-to-day events.

 

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS?

What is the coronavirus? 

A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals. 

‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses). 

‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’ 

The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.

By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.

The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000. 

Where does the virus come from?

According to scientists, the virus almost certainly came from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.

The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in Wuhan, which has since been closed down for investigation.

Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat. 

A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent identical to a coronavirus they found in bats.

However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.

Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.

‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’  

So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it? 

Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.

It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs. It is less deadly than SARS, however, which killed around one in 10 people, compared to approximately one in 50 for COVID-19.

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.

Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.

‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’

If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die. 

‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.

‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’

How does the virus spread?

The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.

It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky. It can also live on surfaces, such as plastic and steel, for up to 72 hours, meaning people can catch it by touching contaminated surfaces.

Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person. 

What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?

Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.

If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients will recover from these without any issues, and many will need no medical help at all.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people.

Figures are showing that young children do not seem to be particularly badly affected by the virus, which they say is peculiar considering their susceptibility to flu, but it is not clear why. 

What have genetic tests revealed about the virus? 

Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world. 

This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.   

Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.

However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.

This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.   

More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.

How dangerous is the virus?  

The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.

Experts have been conflicted since the beginning of the outbreak about whether the true number of people who are infected is significantly higher than the official numbers of recorded cases. Some people are expected to have such mild symptoms that they never even realise they are ill unless they’re tested, so only the more serious cases get discovered, making the death toll seem higher than it really is.

However, an investigation into government surveillance in China said it had found no reason to believe this was true.

Dr Bruce Aylward, a World Health Organization official who went on a mission to China, said there was no evidence that figures were only showing the tip of the iceberg, and said recording appeared to be accurate, Stat News reported.

Can the virus be cured? 

The COVID-19 virus cannot be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.

No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.

The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.

People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.

And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).

However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.

Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?   

The outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11. A pandemic is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’. 

Previously, the UN agency said most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.

Source: Read Full Article

Two choir members die of coronavirus after group met to sing despite pandemic

Two members of a choir died after the singing group met up for a rehearsal despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Dozens of members of the Skagit Valley Chorale tested positive for Covid-19 after 56 members the group’s 121-person choir met for practice on March 10 in Mount Vernon, Washington.

Skagit County Public Health said that the county’s first coronavirus death was a choir member in her 80s who attended the two-and-a-half-hour rehearsal. She was not identified, nor was the second member to die from the virus.

Eight singers told the Los Angeles Times that no one appeared ill at the practice, but three weeks later, dozens of members began feeling ill. 28 singers were tested for Covid-19 and all of them were positive. Another 17 reportedly exhibited symptoms, but did not get tested, either because tests were unavailable or they did not believe their cases were serious enough.

The youngest choir member to contract the illness was 31 years old, although the average age was 67, according to health officials.

At the time of the rehearsal, there had been no reported coronavirus cases in the county, although a woman in the state became the first American to die from the virus on February 29. Businesses and schools were still open in Skagit County. Large gatherings were still allowed, so choir conductor Adam Burdick told the group in an email on March 6 that the rehearsal was still on despite ‘stress and concerns caused by the virus,’ according to The Times.

‘I’m planning on being there this Tuesday, March 10, and hoping many of you will be there, too,’ Burdick wrote.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=xtqC5nkDN_o%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

The group reportedly practiced social distancing in the large rehearsal room and passed around hand sanitizer, which the county had been recommending at the time.

Two of the members infected were Carolynn Comstock and her husband Jim Owen, who are both choir board members.

‘It’s really shocking how contagious it is,’ Comstock told Kiro 7.

‘During the entire rehearsal, no one sneezed, no one coughed, no one there appeared to be sick in any way.’

‘So now we know…maybe it’s transmitted not just by droplets and sneezes or coughs; maybe it’s transmitted just by people talking, just by being around each other. And then of course, if you’re singing there’s more volume to the talking, deep breathing and more volume.’

Comstock said she started exhibiting a fever and her husband became fatigued, adding that she ‘couldn’t taste anything or smell anything.’

‘It has shocked us, that they are so now quickly gone from us,’ Owen said, referring to the two members killed by the virus.

‘I don’t think there are regrets. I think we are just so impressed and shocked that this thing that’s hit our nation is so virulent.’

Both Comstock and Owen have reportedly since recovered from the virus.

‘It’s just normal random people doing things that they love to do, and all of a sudden some people are dead. It’s very sobering,’ Comstock said.

Washington state became the first coronavirus hotspot in the US and reported the country’s first death from the virus. The state now has approximately 5,250 confirmed cases and 210 coronavirus deaths.

Source: Read Full Article

Opinion: Putting athletes at risk to entertain us during lockdown is no game

Stephen Curry and his wife have three children, the oldest of whom is still a few months shy of her 8th birthday. Last week, Drew Brees donated $5 million to COVID-19 relief efforts in Louisiana. Karl-Anthony Towns’ mother got so sick from the novel coronavirus she had to be put on a ventilator.

I feel the need to point out these things as a reminder that the athletes who play the games we love are also human beings, something that some folks seem to have forgotten.

In the past few days, ideas have circulated on how sports could return while the United States is still on lockdown or the spread of COVID-19 remains a real threat. The NBA is reportedly considering holding a playoff tournament in Las Vegas so teams don’t have to travel. The English Premier League has floated the idea of isolating teams in sparsely populated areas of the country and playing games behind closed doors, and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wondered why the NFL couldn’t do the same thing.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns has said his mother ws hospitalized and in a medically-induced coma after contracting coronavirus. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, AP)

Aside from the logistical impossibility of these ideas – look up those Biosphere experiments and see how they went – the idea of putting athletes in harm’s way simply because the rest of us are bored and want a distraction, or because their overlords are worried about losing money, is, frankly, sickening.

The Hunger Games was a movie, not an aspiration. These “athletes” are not objects for your amusement or tools for your entertainment. They are people. Extraordinarily gifted athletically, yes, but with families and friends and all the same worries, fears and hopes that the rest of us have.

HOW COULD SPORTS RESUME? The good, bad and downright crazy ideas

DAN WOLKEN: Let's burst the idea of playing the remainder of the NBA season in a bubble

“I understand people are always looking for an escape, especially in a time like this. People are looking for anything, whether it’s two or three hours, to take their minds off the absolute craziness our world’s become in the last month or so,” said Eric Winston, a former offensive tackle and president of the NFL Players Association.

“But it never does cease to amaze me how quickly people are willing to say, 'It’s not safe for us to go outside, but you guys definitely run into each other.’”

Our view of athletes as commodities is a reflection of a broken system. Fantasy sports have long been blamed for reducing athletes to points and yardage, but even that is simply an extension of where sports fit in our society.

Whether someone is described as an NFL player, a professional soccer player or a college basketball player, they are all athletic labor in a capitalistic system, said Nathan Kalman-Lamb, who teaches on labor, social equity and sport at Duke. Their whole purpose, he said, is to produce a “commodity spectacle” that can be sold to the general public.

Crass as that might sound, think about it. It’s not the sports themselves that drive our interest, Kalman-Lamb said, or we’d all be as enthralled watching a seventh-grade team play as we are the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s the meaning we derive from them.

“Most people experience isolation, exploitation and alienation in their lives. They’re looking for things that make them desire meaning,” said Kalman-Lamb, who also wrote "Game Misconduct: Injury, Fandom and the Business of Sport."

“Fans are coming to sport with a desperate thirst for some kind of meaning that’s lacking in their everyday lives. For that to be possible, sport has to seem like it matters,” Kalman-Lamb said. “They don’t go out to watch me play in the park.”

Sports are our escape, and we don’t take kindly to anything that poses a threat to it. It’s why we turn on beloved players when they leave our favorite teams. It's why fans so rarely side with players in contract disputes, their own or a league's.

During the 2011 NFL lockout, for example, Winston said he was surprised when fans didn’t seem bothered by players’ health concerns.

“It wasn’t that they were hateful or anything like that. It was just they didn’t care,” Winston said. “These people like cheering for us, but it’s not necessarily that they really care about us.”

And before you protest, citing your undying love for Tom Brady or Khalil Mack, remember that we know the dangers of repetitive head trauma and the long-term damage it will cause some players. Yet the NFL continues to be wildly popular, our enduring national pastime.

When you look at it that way, it’s not hard to see why owners, league officials and, yes, even some fans, would think it’s OK to put players at risk for the sake of entertainment. Entertainment that can be slickly packaged and sold, of course.

“If we put players back out there, whether with no fans or whatever else, fans are able to compartmentalize the harm in order to extract the meaning and whatever else,” Kalman-Lamb said.

Regardless of their out-sized role in our lives, sports are not a matter of life and death. Never has that been more true than now. 

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour. 

Source: Read Full Article

‘Hannah Montana’ Inspired Millie Bobby Brown’s ‘Stranger Things’ Performance — Really

Hannah Montana’s impact holds no bounds. Even Gen Z has used the classic 2006 show as their guide to love, music, and living the best of both worlds — and that includes the Upside Down. Millie Bobby Brown used Hannah Montana to learn how to speak with an American accent for her star-making role as Eleven on Stranger Things. Needless to say, Miley Stewart’s training was extremely effective.

The British actor made the surprising revelation to Miley Cyrus while appearing on the March 30 episode of her Instagram Live talk show Bright Minded: Live With Miley Cyrus. "I’m surprised you don’t have a country accent," Cyrus said, laughing at the reveal, as reported by E! News.

On the show, Brown admitted to Hannah Montana herself that she was obsessed with the show growing up, to the point that it made her want to act once she realized it was a real career. "I wanted your job," she told Cyrus. "I didn’t know how to get your job but I was like, ‘I want to be like, Hannah Montana.’ And then I realized it was an actual job. And I was like, ‘I want to do that. That sounds fun.’ I didn’t even know you could get money for it. I was like, ‘I’ll do it for free.’" Stranger Things producers could have saved a lot of money.

Brown was only two years old when Hannah Montana premiered in 2006, showing that the show has truly transcended generations. And this is hardly the first time that she’s expressed her fandom for the show. In 2017, she told InStyle that Cyrus has grown from childhood idol to friend. “We text and FaceTime often,” she said. “She’s fabulous.”

During her appearance on Cyrus’ show, Brown even admitted that she knew every move of the iconic "Hoedown Throwdown" routine as seen in Hannah Montana: The Movie. Now, it’s evident what the duo needs to do next: a "Hoedown Throwdown" dance off. It’s only right.

Source: Read Full Article

Kim Kardashian: I Smacked Kourtney Because She’s an Indecisive Bish!

Last week, the new season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians began with a literal fight between Kim and Kourtney.

In a new interview that you can see below, Kim explains exactly why it happened and where things now stand.

Kim Kardashian sat down for an interview with Jimmy Fallon, each speaking from their respective homes.

“We filmed … we’re on 18, we filmed the entire season except for the last episode,” Kim reveals.

“Now,” she confirms, “we have shut down production” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’ll be all of us in quarantine,” Kim says of the final episode of the season, “filmed separately, by ourselves.”

“The whole last episode will be what we do in quarantine,” Kim explains.

She then admits that she “literally” has “no idea” what Khloe, for example, is up to.

This is when Jimmy Fallon asks Kim about the physical fight that she had with Kourtney.

He wants to understand why it happened and what the sisters did in the aftermath.

“It was pretty intense,” Kim readily admits of the physical brawl with Kourt.

She states: “I feel like it’s been a lot of built-up resentment from Kourtney.”

“Or,” Kim rephrases, “just feeling like she really doesn’t want to film anymore.”

That has been very clear for quite some time.

“And so,” Kim continues, “she not the type of person to make a decision and say ‘Okay, guys, I’m not going to film.'”

“She would come to work with an attitude every day,” she complains.

“Kind of take it out on everyone,” Kim adds, “from the crew to us … and wouldn’t really make that decision.”

“So we would kind of, like, keep on pushing her to figure out why she was so unhappy,” she says.

“[Physical fighting is] not really what we do,” Kim says, noting how unusual this was.

“When my mom saw … a clip of that,” she reveals, “she cried.”

“She was like, ‘Who are you guys? What is going on?'” Kim shares.

We can only imagine Kris’ level of distress at seeing and hearing her daughters fight each other.

“Kourtney and I obviously are fine now,” Kim says.

“But we shut down production for a week after that,” she reveals.

Kim explains: “I think that everyone was really … shook, for a minute.”

“This isn’t our type of show, what’s happening?” she expresses. “We want everyone to be comfortable and safe.”

“But, you know, that happened,” Kim states. She’s not wrong.

She clarifies: “I don’t really ever resort to violence like that.”

Kim explains: “But she scratched me so hard, which you guys didn’t see.”

She then describes how she was bleeding from her arm. To be clear, we did notice that.

Kim is the first to admit that this was not her proudest moment, on or off of the camera.

Sometimes, people let things fester for months or years and the resulting explosion ends up being violent.

It is unfortunate and frankly disappointing that this is what happened between these sisters — who are both grown women with children.

Family should use their words, not their hands, when expressing themselves.

The one upside of all of this is that apparently it was what Kourtney needed to realize that she has to stop subjecting herself to being on the show.

If it’s impacting her emotional health to this degree and she doesn’t need the money, there’s no reason to put herself through it.

Please, Kim and Kourt, don’t make Kris cry again.

Source: Read Full Article

The Beatles, Jimmy Page, and Phil Spector All Hit No. 1 in a 30-Day Stretch of 1965

If you caught Haruki Murakami’s new short story, “With The Beatles” (published in the February 17-24 New Yorker), you got a reminder of the days when the Fab Four did things no recording artist had ever done before (and may never do again).

Murakami pointed to the Billboard Hot 100 charts of April 1964, when The Beatles held all top-five spots. While that feat would have made it a great year, the Fab Four didn’t stop there. Before year’s end, they would rack up six No. 1 hit singles.

It was Beatlemania in full swing, and it didn’t really stop in 1965. When the calendar flipped to January ’65, the group continued sitting atop the Billboard charts with “I Feel Fine.” But that wasn’t the only good music folks heard on the radio in those days.

When The Beatles let go of the No. 1 spot, The Supremes (“Come See About Me”) took their place. Then in the following weeks two more masters of 20th-century music made their way to the top: Jimmy Page and Phil Spector.

Jimmy Page’s session work got him to No. 1 on Petula Clark’s ‘Downtown’

No one needs an explanation of how The Beatles came to dominate the recording industry from 1964 on. The group’s spirited performances and unflailing creativity allowed to notch hit after hit. In 1965, they managed to have another five No. 1 hits.

They certainly had competition in those days. When The Supremes weren’t nudging the Fab Four aside, The Temptations and Beach Boys were. Songwriting factories were cranking out hits on both sides of the Atlantic, in fact, and Petula Clark got her first No. 1 hit with “Downtown.”

Clark bumped The Supremes out of the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in the third week of January ’65. If you listen closely, you’ll hear the 20-year-old Jimmy Page in the background on guitar.

In between working on rock records as a session ace in his pre-Led Zeppelin days, Page played on plenty of pop records and film soundtracks recorded in London-area studios. And he watched Clark’s “Downtown” exceed the considerable success of his first session gig.

Phil Spector wrote and produced the Righteous Brothers’ 1st No. 1 hit

Before his days of battling with Paul McCartney (and, later, John Lennon) — and several decades before his incarceration following a murder conviction — Phil Spector was the record producer with the golden touch.

In the early ’60s, Spector scored major hits writing and/or producing tracks like “Spanish Harlem” (Ben E. King) and “He’s a Rebel” (Darlene Love). After forming his own record label, he signed and recorded The Righteous Brothers.

The brothers’ performance of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” a track Spector wrote with Cynthia Weil and Barry Man, went out in November ’64, with The Beatles dominating the U.S. charts. By the first week of February ’65, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” had nudged “Downtown” aside to take No. 1.

In the annals of popular music, early ’65 was one of those peak periods. Within the space of a month, you saw the industry’s top producer, the world’s biggest band, and the future king of hard rock all atop the charts.

Also see: When Jimmy Page Played on the No. 1 ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ Cover

Source: Read Full Article

Mel Gibson Stocks Up on Supplies in Rare Public Outing with Girlfriend Rosalind Ross

Mel Gibson and his girlfriend Rosalind Ross made a trip to the grocery store while adhering to California’s Safe at Home mandate.

The couple were seen walking out of a store on Monday, with Gibson, 64, walking ahead while Ross, 29, followed behind with a shopping cart. Gibson kept a low profile with a flannel shirt and black shorts while Ross wore a large black hoodie with black workout pants.

Gibson and Ross have been dating since 2014 and welcomed their first child together in 2017, just weeks before attending the Academy Awards where Gibson was nominated for Best Director. The couple’s son, Lars Gerard, is Gibson’s 9th child and Ross’ first.

Although little Lars didn’t join his parents for the ceremony, he was present the day his dad learned of Hacksaw Ridge‘s Oscar nods — just four days after his son’s birth.

WATCH: Milo Gibson Reveals Dad Mel Gibson’s Biggest Tip Is to ‘Ignore the Camera’

“What could be more exciting than listening to the nominations being announced while holding my newborn son!” the actor and director said in a statement. “This is a truly wonderful honor.”

RELATED: Mel Gibson and Danny Glover Are Returning for Lethal Weapon 5, Says Producer

The couple have been low-key about their romance since they first started dating, but a source previously told PEOPLE they enjoyed their life together.

“She is great for him,” the source told PEOPLE in 2016. “She has her own life, but also seems to enjoy Mel’s … They are very much on the same page.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

Source: Read Full Article