1 China Admits Destroying Early Coronavirus
Sure, some people smirked when the United States accused China of covering up what officials knew about the coronavirus early on...but they’re now owning up. Well, sort of. What Chinese officials are admitting to? That their scientists destroyed some samples of the novel coronavirus in the early stages of the outbreak. But unlike what American officials have charged, Liu Dengfeng, a supervisor at the science and education division of China's National Health Commission, says it was about safety – NOT a cover up. Dengfeng says his team acted to "prevent the risk to laboratory biological safety and prevent secondary disasters caused by unidentified pathogens." Meanwhile, China's Ambassador to Israel is dead. Local media is reporting that Du Wei was found dead in his home in Herzliya in the northern part of the Tel Aviv area. Police are on the scene. Wei has been Ambassador to Israel from China since March and had also previously served as China's enjoy to Ukraine. The report says he is survived by his wife and son, who are not currently in Israel.
2 John’s Hopkins: Official On Virus Future: 'The Future Really Is In Our Hands'
A top health official at Johns Hopkins University says it's up to us to determine what the coronavirus pandemic looks like in the near future. Speaking on NBC's “Meet The Press,” Dr. Tom Inglesby, who is also the director of the director of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, issued a call to Americans as he said "the future really is in our hands." Among other things, he’s calling for the continued use of face coverings and for folks to keep practicing social distancing. Inglesby also talked about what's been done to control the spread of the virus – and as awful as they’ve been, says lockdowns were "necessary." With that as a backdrop, officials in Northern California say 180 people were possibly exposed to the coronavirus at a Mother's Day church service. Public health officials are doing contact tracing to determine who the infected person came into contact with. Those at service have been notified and will self-quarantine. Turns out, the person with the respiratory illness received their positive diagnosis the day after the service.
3 Massive Explosion Shakes Up L.A.'s Toy District
An investigation continues into Saturday's explosion that rocked downtown Los Angeles and left 12 firefighters injured – two critically. The blast was first reported around 6:30pm local time in L.A.'s industrial Toy District on Saturday. LAFD officials say fire crews were battling a blaze inside Smoke Tokes Warehouse Distributor when the explosion occurred. The one-story business is described as a supplier for those who make butane honey oil. Some of the firefighters suffered burns on their upper extremities and were taken to County USC Medical Center. At last check, nine have been released from the hospital, while two firefighters are listed in critical-but-stable condition. Everyone’s expected to recover. A miracle considering several firefighters were on a ladder as the flames engulfed them. As Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti puts it, "The good news is that everybody is going to make it"...however, "We have a lot of firefighters who are shaken.