Like murder in broad daylight: Russia's brazen acts have reignited the Cold War

It’s a snowy Sunday afternoon in the bustling cobblestone city square of an English cathedral town. People huddle as they shuffle from one shop to the next. A man and his daughter stroll into a pub, then walk to a nearby restaurant for a meal. For a moment, life continues as usual. For a moment, this quiet town is quaint. After their meal, the man and his daughter sit on a bench.

Suddenly, they’re slumped over. On closer look, the woman is foaming at the mouth. Her eyes are pale. And she’s lost control of her bodily functions. A doctor, who’d been shopping nearby with her husband, takes a look at the two zombie-like people. It’s the first infection.

We’ve seen it in plenty of zombie films: The infection metastasizes rabidly, eventually disrupting life on a global level. Only, in this case, the infection is not a disease that transforms people into zombies, instead, it’s diplomatic chaos that grows more virulent with each reaction.

Within an hour, the man, a former Russian spy, and his daughter had become catalysts to the re-ignition of the Cold War. It seemed clear that the Russians had been brazen. The man they’d poisoned --- a former double agent who had retired in England after being convicted of high treason by Russian courts --- was a British citizen. They’d done it on British soil. In a cozy English town.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was outraged. She unequivocally castigated the Russian government (which has continued to deny involvement) and expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the country. The US followed suit, closing the Russian consulate general in Seattle and dispelling 60 diplomats. More than 20 countries dispelled Russian diplomats in an act of diplomatic unity with Britain in what is the largest expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in history.

Who knows what’s next?

Yesterday, the Russians followed through on their threats and ousted 60 American diplomats. In a press conference, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "Russia’s response was not unanticipated, and the United States will deal with it.”

This is political upheaval on a global scale --- played out like a game of checkers. Who knows what’s next? It’s taking place around us, like murder in broad daylight.

Glenn gives the latest coronavirus numbers, updating YOU on everything needed to know as Americans and officials monitor China's new COVID-19 virus:

Daily Stats as of 5:30 AM CT (from John's Hopkins)

  • Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 799,995 (up from 735,135 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Deaths Worldwide: 38,735 (up from 34,807 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Recovered Worldwide: 169,995 (up from 155,950 Yesterday)
  • 5% of Active Cases are considered serious (requiring hospitalization) Steady from 5% Yesterday, but down from 19% high back in February
  • Note that 11% of US Confirmed Cases require Hospitalization, roughly on par with Italy at 12% requiring hospitalization
  • US has 164,359 Confirmed Cases and 3,173 Deaths, up from 142,746 cases and 2,489 deaths Yesterday
  • The United States of America now leads the world in total confirmed cases, with 63,000 more cases than Italy (although Italy leads the world in Deaths with 11,591 officially dead)
  • US has 3,173 Dead vs 5,507 Recovered and 3,512 in Critical Condition
  • The US Currently has 155,679 Active Cases of COVID-19, with less than 0.6% of the total US population tested
  • 15% of Americans who have been tested have been diagnosed with COVID-19
The Moment of Trump's Conversion: Dr Anthony Fauci Takes Full Responsibility
  • Dr Anthony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to the coronavirus task force, explained on CNN that Trump listened and "got it right away" after being shown new data projecting as many as 3 Million deaths in the US if COVID-19 mitigation policies were lifted.
  • Fauci also said Trump's "first goal is to prevent suffering and death" and this was part of the reason why he knew the COVID-19 guidelines should be extended.
  • "You know, interestingly, we showed him the data, he looked at the data and he got it right away, it was a pretty clear picture," according to Fauci.
  • "Dr. Debbie Birx and I went in together and leaned over his desk and said 'Here is the data, take a look.'
  • Trump reportedly looked at them, understood the implications and he shook his head and said 'I guess we got to do it.'
  • "Medically, this is the right decision, and I stand behind it 100%," Fauci said.
  • "From a public health standpoint, we felt strongly that it would have been the wrong decision to pull back," Fauci said. "I mean, we are scientists, physicians, public health officials. We're not economists. We're sensitive to the idea that the economy could suffer, but weigh that against tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of American lives."
  • " was patently obvious looking at the data that at the end of the day if we try to push back prematurely, not only would we lose lives, but it probably would hurt the economy as well. So you would lose on double accounts. So, to us, there was no question what the right choice was."
Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland Join States Issuing House Arrest Orders
  • Maryland and Virginia became the latest states on Monday to enact "stay-at-home" mandates amid the coronavirus outbreak, except for essential travel for work.
  • Virginia's order is in effect until June 10, making it one of the longest statewide mandates implemented so far.
  • Maryland's penalties for violating its order are among some of the strictest in the country, including a $1000 fine, and up to 30 days jail time for repeat offenders.
  • In total, more than 210 Million Americans now effectively live under some form of House Arrest or Shelter In Place type orders, with another, 50 Million facing travel or shopping/eating restrictions.
  • Only 6 states have not closed schools.