Donald Trump COVID-19

US and Russia stymie world peace again, the truth is not necessarily out there, and Australia’s number of new cases continue to move in the right direction.

The business of war rolls on

The United States and Russia are blocking efforts at the United Nations (UN) to pass a binding security council resolution for a global ceasefire during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The UN has long been pleading for warring countries to cease hostilities during the pandemic. In March, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres asked that conflict zones “end the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now.”

The UN has since cited 12 countries where at least one party to a conflict has acknowledged the ceasefire.

Earlier this month, it appeared the coronavirus might provide a brief respite for the people of Yemen, after the Saudi coalition declared a two-week unilateral ceasefire in their military campaign against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. However, on Friday the Yemen Data Project, a not for profit aimed at collecting data on the War in Yemen, reported that it had recorded at least 106 Saudi-led airstrikes across the country in the previous week.

Meanwhile, tensions between Iran and the United States continue to rise, after clashes between ships from the two countries in the Gulf.

Corona-Gates conspiracy

In the post-truth era, it was inevitable that we’d see a spike in conspiracy theories during a global crisis like the coronavirus pandemic. Posts claiming Microsoft founder Bill Gates engineered the coronavirus pandemic have surged online — spread and encouraged by high profile right wingers, analysis by The New York Times has found.

Anti-vaxxers, QAnon and right-wing figures — including Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham, the team at Infowars and Trump ally Roger Stone — have used a 2015 TED Talk from the billionaire (titled, “The next outbreak? We’re not ready”) as evidence that Gates planned to use a pandemic to profit from a vaccine, secretly implant citizens with surveillance microchips and gain control of the global health system.

Gates’ foundation has poured US$250 million into response efforts to the virus and he has been a vocal critic of US President Donald Trump’s decision to cut funding to the World Health Organisation.

Elsewhere, claims that the virus — having been created as a biological weapon in a laboratory in Wuhan, according to the theories — was being spread by 5G masts has resulted in several being burned down across the UK.

By the numbers

Slowly but surely, the numbers in Australia continue to move in an encouraging direction. As of this morning, the new cases reported overnight were just seven. Several states have recorded no new cases at all — six cases were reported in New South Wales and one in Victoria.

Peter Fray

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