European leaders need to overcome their differences and agree on a budget and a continentwide COVID-19 recovery fund, European Council President Charles Michel said Sunday.
The 27 European Union leaders appeared to be at an impasse Sunday night on a 1.85-trillion-euro ($2.1 trillion) budget that includes 750 billion euros ($858 billion) specifically earmarked to help businesses and others affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Are the 27 EU leaders capable of building European unity and trust or, because of a deep rift, will we present ourselves as a weak Europe, undermined by distrust," he implored, telling the leaders to think about the more than 600,000 COVID deaths worldwide.
Europe has more than 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus as of Sunday, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), and more than 200,000 deaths.
The coronavirus has pushed the EU into a deep recession, with economists predicting the bloc’s economy will shrink a staggering 8.3% this year.
Reporters in Brussels say the dispute is between five wealthier northern EU nations, dubbed “the frugals,” who want stricter controls on spending than southern nations hit hardest by the pandemic, including Italy and Spain, are willing to accept.
In the United States, where new COVID-19 case number records are set nearly every day, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says he is “on the brink” of issuing another stay-at-home order in the country's second biggest city.
This would be the third time since March he made such a decision.
Garcetti blames the White House for what he calls a lack of national leadership in battling the disease.
“This was politicized when it should have been unified. We were left on our own when we should have had help,” he told CNN Sunday. “We know this will be a marathon. Stop telling people this will be over soon. … If we don't come together as a nation with national leadership, we will see more people die.”
California Governor Gavin Newsome last week again closed bars and restaurants across the state because of the surge in new cases.
The U.S. reported 67,574 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of nearly 3.7 million confirmed cases, and nearly 140,000 deaths, according to data Sunday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The president of Chile, the world’s largest producer of copper, has announced a five-part plan to reopen the country he calls “Step by Step.”
“These five weeks of improvement allow us to start a new stage today,” President Sebastian Pinera said Sunday. “This plan, which will be step by step, cautiously, prudently, will be applied gradually and flexibly,” he said.
Pinera announced plans to reopen Chile after some of the country’s regions have shown improvement in the rate of infections. According to the WHO, Chile had 2,300 new cases Sunday, more than 328,000 confirmed cases and nearly 8,500 deaths as of Sunday.
Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama announced he has COVID-19 after his fourth test for the virus came back positive. He said he went for the test at the first sign of a throat irritation. He joins more than 36,000 of his countrymen who have tested positive, according to WHO data. Nearly 800 Nigerians have died of the disease, the WHO data says.
Onyeama said he is going to be isolated in a health facility, but did not sound too worried, tweeting Sunday “That is life. Win some, lose some.”
One of life’s biggest winners revealed Sunday that he and his wife had COVID-19 when the pandemic started to take hold in April.
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus told the TV audience watching the PGA Memorial tournament that he and his wife, Barbara, tested positive for the coronavirus but were “done with it” by the third week in April.
“It didn’t last very long, and we were very, very fortunate, very lucky,” Nicklaus said. “Barbara and I are both of the age, both of us 80 years old, that is an at-risk age. Our hearts go out to the people who did lose their lives and their families. We were just a couple of the lucky ones.”