The row over the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in Wales and Scotland has raged on this morning. Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has called on the European Commission to investigate claims PPE suppliers are prioritising English care homes over ones in Wales and Scotland, while Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman has called on the UK government to resolve the “contradiction” between its assurances PPE is not being diverted from Scotland to England and the claims of social care providers.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump’s decision to stop funding the World Health Organisation (WHO) over its handling of the pandemic has been met with widespread condemnation, none stronger than from Irish deputy prime minister and foreign minister Simon Coveney, who called the move “indefensible”. “Now is a time for global leadership & unity to save lives, not division and blame,” Coveney said on Twitter.
This morning, we also learned that US coronavirus-related deaths surged yesterday to 2,303 in 24 hours, a sharp rise from the 1,509 recorded on April 13. Covid-19 has also wiped £15bn off the value of leading news businesses in the UK and US, and a leaked Public Health England document revealed health workers may have to reuse protective equipment under a “last resort” plan for tackling the virus.