Despite former president Ronald Reagan's reputation for being the "Great Communicator," he made many gaffes during his eight years in the White House -- at times with humorous consequences. \nOne of his most immortal slip-ups was his announcement, while preparing to give a radio address from his ranch in Santa Barbara, California: "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." \nUnfortunately for him, the microphone was on and the message was broadcast. \nThat was not the only diplomatic slip he made. During a state dinner in Brasilia in 1982, he toasted "the people of Bolivia." When he realized his error, he tried in vain to correct it, saying, "We're going there next." The tour continued, however, in Colombia, Costa Rica and Honduras. \nReagan fared no better on domestic matters. \nDuring his 1980 campaign against president Jimmy Carter, the 69-year-old actor made himself look foolish by declaring that "trees cause more pollution than automobiles," prompting a group of sarcastic students to demand a program to cut down national forests. \nOnce elected, the 40th and oldest president of the US declared, "Now we are trying to get unemployment to go up, and I think we're going to succeed." \nAnother time, he stated that the rate of poverty in the US "has begun to decline, but it is still going up." \nMany attributed the mistakes to Reagan's age. He had a reputation for falling asleep in Cabinet meetings. \nBut Reagan always relied on his humor and telegenic qualities to get himself out of trouble. "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience," he quipped during his 1984 campaign against Walter Mondale. \nReagan was also known for having difficulty with names. He once called Princess Diana "Princess David" and declared that "Gerald Ford is a communist."
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500
KEEN INTEREST: India is trying to procure medical gear from domestic producers and abroad, and China has emerged as a possible supplier as its factories reopen India is to buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with COVID-19, a government official said yesterday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment. India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts said the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said that it was trying to procure medical gear, including masks and body coveralls, both from domestic firms and from countries such as South Korea and