A heart-attack patient died after she was moved from a hospital emergency room to make way for a flu-stricken Michael Jackson, the dead woman's family alleged on Friday. \nRelatives of 74-year-old grandmother Manuela Gomez Ruiz told ABC television they had hired a lawyer to sue the already-embattled pop icon and the Marian Medical Center in the California town of Santa Maria. \nJackson, 46, was rushed to the hospital's emergency room on Feb. 15 when he began vomiting in his car on his way to the courtroom where his child molestation trial is underway. \nThe family of Ruiz, who has been taken to the hospital after suffering cardiac arrest, said that she was removed from a ventilator and taken to a smaller room when Jackson arrived to give the star more space. \nWhile she was being moved, her breathing was assisted by a hand pump, her family told ABC News. \n"Why does she have to be moved if he's coming in for a stomach flu?" asked Maria Elena Ortiz, the ailing woman's daughter. \n"I said, `My mother just had a heart attack and I think it's more critical than a stomach flu.' They didn't say anything," she said. \nJackson was admitted to the hospital where he spent 33 hours before being dicharged to recover pending the resumption of jury selection in his trial that was dramatically interrupted by his illness. \nThe dead woman's daughter, Amandina Aguillar, said she believed that Jackson's presence in the hospital affected the care of her mother. \n"They paid more attention to him than they did to my mom," she said. \nThe hospital denied the allegations, saying in a statement that all its patients were treated equally. \n"Our patients have and continue to receive high quality, compassionate and timely care," the statement said. \nJackson's spokeswoman Raymone Bain said that while Jackson was sorry Ruiz had died, he was not responsible for what happened. \n"Michael Jackson sends his condolences to the family of the deceased," she said in a statement. \n"However, it is outrageous that Michael Jackson's name would be invoked into a situation of which he had no authority or control. It appears that ABC is deliberate in its attempt to circumvent Michael Jackson from receiving a fair trial."
UNCERTAINTY: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not specify measures NATO might take, but many believe that the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project could be canceled The US has said it has evidence that Russia has made plans for a “large scale” attack on Ukraine and said NATO allies are “prepared to impose severe costs” on Moscow if it attempts an invasion. Speaking at a NATO ministers meeting in Latvia, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that it was unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin had made a decision to invade, but added: “He’s putting in place the capacity to do so in short order, should he so decide.” “So despite uncertainty about intention and timing, we must prepare for all contingencies while working to see to
‘TRAVEL APARTHEID’: Biden’s top medical adviser said the US was considering lifting restrictions on travel from African nations imposed after the variant was discovered The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is rapidly spreading throughout the US, but early indications suggest it might be less dangerous than the Delta variant, which continues to drive a surge of hospitalizations, US health officials said on Sunday. US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci told CNN’s State of the Union that scientists need more information before drawing conclusions about Omicron’s severity. Reports from South Africa, where it emerged and is becoming the dominant strain, suggest that hospitalization rates have not increased alarmingly. “Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” Fauci
South African hospitals are bracing for a surge in admissions as the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 drives a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections and as more evidence emerges about the severity of the illness caused by the strain. The seven-day moving average of daily new cases in the country rose to 10,055 last week, from fewer than 300 three weeks earlier. Hospitalizations also picked up, but remain relatively low, with admissions standing at 3,268 on Sunday. Whether there would be a deluge of new patients is the biggest question. Severe symptoms in patients who contracted earlier variants typically developed between one and three
SURGE: South African infections increased to a record 3 million on Friday, data for the 24-hour period showed, with 16,055 bringing the cumulative total to 3,004,203 South Korea again broke its daily records for COVID-19 infections and deaths, and confirmed three more cases of the new Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 as officials scramble to tighten social distancing and border controls. The 5,352 new cases reported by the Seoul-based Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency yesterday marked the third time this week that the daily tally exceeded 5,000. The country’s death toll was at 3,809 after a record 70 people died in the most-recent 24-hour period of tallying, while the 752 people in serious or critical conditions were also an all-time high. Amid the Delta variant-driven surge, there is also