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Georgia and Louisiana Postpone Primaries Amidst Coronavirus Fears

Four other states are holding primaries as scheduled.

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Georgia and Louisiana state officials have suspended their upcoming presidential primaries amidst fears of the Chinese coronavirus.

Georgia is moving its presidential primary to May 19th instead of March 24th. Louisiana is moving its primary to June 20th from April 4th.

Other state secretaries are declining to change dates of presidential primaries, despite fears over the mass gatherings that primary elections often entail. Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio are all holding their primaries as scheduled, on March 17th.

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A round of Biden wins in the four big states to vote on Tuesday could effectively end the Democratic primary campaign, perhaps opening up the possibility for upcoming primary states to suspend their primaries for fear of the virus.

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But, some are questioning the decision to go ahead with holding elections admits a national panic over the coronavirus.

One third of the polling places in Arizona’s Maricopa County will be closed on account of a lack of sanitation supplies to clean them. An official for the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office had something of a nervous breakdown when speaking of his agency’s plans to safeguard Arizona citizens from becoming infected with coronavirus while voting in the primary, walking off stage at a press conference and stating that “I can’t do this.

The coronavirus could ultimately serve to drive down primary election turnout levels to historic lows.

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China Administered Anal Swab COVID Tests to US Diplomats, Says They Were Done “In Error” After State Department Complaint

The State Department says it never agreed to have US diplomats undergo anal swab testing.

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After subjecting US diplomats to anal swab COVID-19 tests, the Chinese government has said the tests were “in error” and that they would stop administering them.

A State Department spokesperson told VICE News that the department “never agreed to this kind of testing and protested directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when we learned that some staff were subject to it.”

The Chinese government responded by claiming that the anal swab tests were given “in error.” Although they are required for incoming travelers in certain parts of China, diplomats are supposed to be exempt.

China also said “we have instructed staff to decline this test if it is asked of them, as was done in the past.” If true, the diplomats either willingly took the anal swab test or simply forgot that they had the option to decline. But it is also possible that they were never told they could decline, or that the authorities forced them rather than “asked” them.

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Some Chinese authorities maintain that anal swab testing is more effective than traditional testing procedures like throat and nose swabs, though there is disagreement on that matter:

Officials in Beijing are using anal swabs to test for COVID-19 in children as young as nine years old, arguing that this manner of testing is more effective than traditional measures.

Li Tongzeng, who works as deputy director in charge of infectious disease for Beijing You’an Hospital, is claiming that COVID-19 lasts longer in the anus. This is the public health reason being used to violate children in China.

Yang Zhanqiu, who works as deputy director for the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, believes that anal swabs are not adequate for testing. He argues that nasal and throat swabs are more effective because the virus is typically contracted through the upper respiratory tract.

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