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BREAKING: President Trump declares “national emergency.” Authorizes $50 billion for state/local response to coronavirus pandemic. CDC analysis warns up to 1.7 million Americans could die. Here’s what we know at the moment.

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(Washington, D.C.) — There is good news and bad as we end one of the most dramatic weeks in U.S. and global history in last half century. Here’s the latest.

“I am officially declaring a national emergency,”  the President said in a Rose Garden press conference on Friday. This will free up “as much as $50 billion for state and local governments to respond to the outbreak,” the Associated Press reported.

“Trump also announced a range of executive actions to bolster energy markets, ease the financial burden for Americans with student loans and give medical professionals additional ‘flexibility’ in treating patients during the public health crisis,” the AP noted.

The good news: As the President laid out specific, decisive actions the administration is taking, U.S. stock markets responded positively and immediately. “The Dow rose 1,985 points, or 9.4%, to 23185.62” on Friday afternoon, reported the Wall Street Journal. “The S&P 500 jumped 230.38 points, or 9.3%, to 2711.02. The Nasdaq added 673.07 points, or 9.3%, to 7874.88.”

The bad news: a new analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “between 160 million and 210 million Americans could contract the disease over as long as a year,” reported The Hill newspaper. “Based on mortality data and current hospital capacity, the number of deaths under the CDC’s scenarios ranged from 200,000 to as many as 1.7 million.”

PLEASE PRAY:

  • Please pray for President Trump, Vice President Pence and all world leaders and health authorities to have the wisdom — and God’s mercy — to save lives and quickly and effectively stop this virus before it becomes a worst-case scenario.
  • Please pray that the Lord would be gracious to those whose jobs and businesses are being adversely affected by the virus.
  • Please pray for God’s mercy on the 137,000 people who have the virus around the world — and the families of the 5,000+ people who have died from the previously unknown disease for which there is currently no vaccination or unique cure.

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UNPRECEDENTED: President suspends all travel to Europe, China. Right move. More may be needed. Why? We absolutely must avoid repeating the 1918 pandemic that killed 50 million. Here’s the latest.

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UPDATE: Read the President’s full remarks.

(Washington, D.C.) — Unprecedented.

That’s the word that keeps coming to mind as I watch this coronavirus crisis unfold.

I’m still moving forward with my book tour, which kicks off next week. And I’d be grateful for your prayers for health and protection as I travel and speak and meet with people all over the country.

Yet clearly the crisis is altering Americans’ behaviors in extraordinary ways.

Yes, we have faced epidemics and pandemics in the past. This is different.

That was a national health emergency, as President Obama rightly declared on October 24, 2009. And yet….

  • It didn’t set into motion never-before-seen actions like banning all travel to or from Europe.
  • It didn’t cause us to ban all travel to and from China.
  • It didn’t cause a run on grocery stores in every state as if we were all about to be hit with a Category 5 hurricane.
  • It didn’t cause concerts, sporting events and so many other events to be canceled.
  • It didn’t cause vast numbers of companies to tell their employees not to come to work. Not to meet in large groups. Not to shake hands. Or get close to one another.
  • It didn’t cause countries like Italy to quarantine the entire country.
  • It didn’t cause countries like Israel to ban all travel to and from the country, or to ask all tourists to leave.

Unprecedented.

I’m nearly 53, and I’ve never seen anything like this. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Washington or the public is over-reacting to the coronavirus pandemic. Many think so. Many are saying this is a hoax, or a media-created crisis. I don’t believe that. This is a real threat to our health and safety. We have to act hard and fast to get ahead of real devastation.

The White House is acting prudently. Before December, the coronavirus had never been known to exist before. It wasn’t even named until January. Now it is fundamentally re-shaping the world in ways we’ve never seen before.

The President’s address to the nation tonight was thoughtful, reassuring, and right on point. I’ve been critical of him at times, but these were the most presidential remarks he has ever made. He has acted fast and smart to protect the American people and economy, thank God. And I was encouraged by the new steps he announced tonight.

What is the President trying to head off? What should we all be trying to avoid? Anything remotely on the scale of the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918. Consider what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has to say about that horrific pandemic:

“It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.”

  • Please pray for President Trump, Vice President Pence and all world leaders and health authorities to have the wisdom — and God’s mercy — to save lives and quickly and effectively stop this virus before it becomes a worst-case scenario.
  • Please pray that the Lord would be gracious to those whose jobs and businesses are being adversely affected by the virus.
  • Please pray for God’s mercy on the 120,000+ people (as of tonight) who have already contracted the previously unknown disease for which there is currently no vaccination or unique cure.

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UPDATE: President to address nation at 9pm eastern on global pandemic crisis. Markets shaken. NYSE down 20% from start of the year. Here’s the latest.

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(Washington, D.C.) — With fear spreading across the country, shortages at grocery store as people stock up on supplies, and increasingly shaken financial markets, President Trump will address the nation tonight on the global pandemic known as coronavirus.

The President is expected to:

  • Provide an update on the state of the crisis here in the U.S. and globally.
  • Explain how the federal government will work with state and local officials and health providers to contain and vanquish the virus.
  • Explain how the government will try to shore up an economy that was roaring but is now likely headed into recession or worse if the crisis doesn’t end soon.
  • Speak to investors who are pulling their money out of the markets.
  • “The longest-ever bull market for U.S. stocks ended Wednesday,” reported the Wall Street Journal. “The downturn, marked by a 20% decline from the most recent high for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, heightens fears that the economic expansion that began following the financial crisis could also be on its last legs.”

I’ll do my best to keep you posted via Twitter and this blog.

Please pray for world leaders and health authorities to have the wisdom — and God’s mercy — to save lives and quickly and effectively stop this virus before it becomes a worst-case scenario.

Please pray that the Lord would be gracious to those whose jobs and businesses are being adversely affected by the virus.

Please pray for God’s mercy on the 100,000+ people who have already contracted the previously unknown disease for which there is currently no vaccination or unique cure.

BREAKING: World Health Organization declares coronavirus “global pandemic.” Tells world leaders: “Wake up. Get ready.” 10x more deadly than the flu. Chancellor warns 70% of Germany could become infected. Global markets falling. Israeli cases continue to climb. Here’s the latest. #PleasePray

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(Washington, D.C.) — Panic is wrong. We need to stay calm. We need to turn to the Scriptures and prayer and trust the Lord to protect us.

We would do well to start with Psalm 57:1, which a Christian leader in France just sent me. “Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me. For my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I take refuge until destruction passes by.”

We have faced global pandemics before (Ebola, avian flu, etc.) and gotten through them.

That said, this thing has all the makings of a global disaster if it is not contained and stopped.

“We are 10 days from the hospitals [in the U.S.] getting creamed,” says Tom Bossert, who previously served as President Trump’s homeland security adviser. “Simply put, as evidence of human-to-human transmission becomes clear in a community, officials must pull the trigger on aggressive interventions. Time matters. Two weeks of delay can mean the difference between success and failure. Public health experts learned this in 1918 when the Spanish flu killed 50 million to 100 million people around the globe. If we fail to take action, we will watch our health-care system be overwhelmed.

“The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on Wednesday as the new coronavirus, which was unknown to world health officials just three months ago, has rapidly spread to more than 121,000 people from Asia, to Europe, the Middle East and now parts of the United States,” reports CNBC. 

“In the past two weeks the number of cases outside China has increased thirteenfold and the number of affected countries has tripled,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.

“This is a reality check for every government on the planet: Wake up. Get ready. This virus may be on its way and you need to be ready. You have a duty to your citizens, you have a duty to the world to be ready,”  Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, said during a press briefing on Feb. 28. 

The coronavirus is “ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu,” warned Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the administration’s top expert on the crisis. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued the starkest warning I’ve heard so far, almost apocalyptic. “When the virus is out there, the population has no immunity and no therapy exists, then 60 to 70% of the population will be infected,” Merkel told a news conference in Berlin on Wednesday.” Germany has 82 million citizens.

“Right now, the epicenter — the new China — is Europe,” says Robert Redfield, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Italy alone has more than 10,000 cases (compared to 1,000 in the U.S.) has put the entire country under quarantine.

Here’s the latest as of Wednesday at 1pm eastern:

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Brad Thor endorses THE JERUSALEM ASSASSIN. “An absolute home run — brilliant,” says #1 New York Times best-selling novelist. Launch day: 3/17. Pre-order now!

4ECDB1F9-967B-4C47-BC50-08E950B881DB(Washington, D.C.) — Just one week to go before The Jerusalem Assassin is released nationwide in hardcover, e-book and audio editions and I’m deeply grateful for such an enthusiastic endorsement.

“A taut, brilliant thriller ripped from today’s headlines,” says novelist Brad Thor. “Joel Rosenberg is masterful! THE JERUSALEM ASSASSIN is an absolute home run.”

Thanks, Brad — I love your books and so glad you enjoyed this one so much!

Friends, pre-order yours today — the countdown to launch day is on.

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BREAKING: With Passover & Easter coming, Israel becomes 1st nation to ban all in-coming travel to prevent coronavirus from engulfing the country. All tourists asked to leave. Here’s the latest. Please pray for Israelis and Palestinians.

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(Washington, D.C.) — As the global death toll from the coronavirus climbs, the Israeli government is taking absolutely unprecedented measures in the history of the country — of any country — to protect its 9 million citizens and make sure that Israelis are not banned from entering or doing business with the rest of the world.

“After a day of complex discussions, we have made a decision,” Netanyahu told the nation on Monday evening, reported The . “Whoever arrives in Israel from abroad will enter quarantine for 14 days. This is a difficult decision but it is essential to maintaining public health, which takes precedence over everything.”

UPDATE: As of Tuesday, there are now 58 cases of people with the virus on Israel, up from just 21 on Friday. Thank God, so far there have been no deaths.

Please pray for both Israelis and Palestinians as we combat the virus.

Please pray for world leaders and health authorities to have the wisdom — and God’s mercy — to save lives and quickly and effectively stop this virus before it becomes a worst-case scenario.

Please pray that the Lord would be gracious to those whose jobs and businesses are being adversely affected by the virus.

Finally, I would encourage Evangelical Christians to continue planning to come to Israel later in the year on tours, pilgrimages, study opportunities, prayer trips, volunteer opportunities, and so forth. Israel is a very safe country. Officials are taking the challenge very seriously. And it would be a real blessing for Evangelicals to stand with Israelis and Palestinians, pray for us, and help the Israeli and Palestinian economies by visiting at this time. Our ministry, The Joshua Fund, has a tour to Israel and Egypt in October. See below for more information. I would encourage you to register. We’ll certainly let you know if the trip doesn’t happen, but we expect everything to be fine by then.

Thanks so much, and I’ll keep you posted on these and other developments on this blog and on Twitter.

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Why is Israel taking such extraordinary measures against coronavirus? Banning flights. Banning tourists and travel. Quarantines. Because a large-scale outbreak could devastate our small, globally-connected country. Netanyahu warns of a “global pandemic,” the worst in 100 years. So far, so good in Israel. But please pray. Here’s the latest.

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UPDATED: (Washington, D.C.) — As I prepared to fly out of Tel Aviv to speak at the AIPAC conference here in Washington last week, Israel’s Health Ministry issued an unprecedented warning. The government urged Israelis not to travel internationally unless absolutely necessary, due to concerns over the rapidly spreading coronavirus. 

Given that I was about to begin a six-week book tour for The Jerusalem Assassin, I decided to fly anyway and trust the Lord (and good hygiene) to keep me healthy. But wherever I go, the coronavirus is the number one topic. And for good reason.

As of Friday night:

Prime Minister Netanyahu rightly says Israel cannot take any chances but must take extraordinary measures to protect lives as well as Israel’s globally-connected economy.

“It must be understood that we are in the midst of a global pandemic,” Netanyahu said this week. “They do not call it this, but this is the truth and it needs to be said. It could be that it is among the most dangerous of such pandemics in the past 100 years.”

Netanyahu noted that “Israel is in the best situation of all other countries, together with another two or three Western countries,” but added that “we are in the midst of a global epidemic, the most dangerous of these epidemics in the last 100 years [and] have had to take tough, even very rigid steps, to slow the spread of the disease in Israel.”

So far, so good — the measures have contained the virus as best as we can tell.

Yes, Israel does have an estimated 100,000 people in quarantine.

Yet as of Friday night, only 21 people in Israel have contracted the virus, and no one — thank God — has died. 

Please pray for both Israelis and Palestinians as we combat the virus. Please pray for world leaders and health authorities to have the wisdom — and God’s mercy — to save lives and quickly and effectively stop this virus before it becomes a worst-case scenario. And please pray that the Lord would be gracious to those whose jobs and businesses are being adversely affected by the virus.

Finally, I would encourage Evangelical Christians to continue traveling to Israel on tours, pilgrimages, study opportunities, prayer trips, volunteer opportunities, and so forth. Israel is a very safe country. Officials are taking the challenge very seriously. And it would be a real blessing for Evangelicals to stand with Israelis and Palestinians, pray for us, and help the Israeli and Palestinian economies by visiting at this time. The only reason not to come is if you are sick or have recently been in countries on the restricted list.

Thanks so much, and I’ll keep you posted on these and other developments on this blog and on Twitter.

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ANALYSIS: Netanyahu had a big night, but was it enough? If Bibi can’t form the right-wing coalition he wants, it’s time for a broad national unity government, not a 4th round of elections. Here’s my new column for Fox News.

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(Washington, D.C.) — This morning, Fox News published a column I wrote analyzing the initial results of the Israeli elections. Here are a few excerpts.

You can read the full op-ed by clicking here.

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Israeli election results show Netanyahu had a big night, but was it enough?

By Joel C. Rosenberg

Enough already: after three rounds of elections in just twelve months, Israel urgently needs a fully functioning and stable government, not a paralyzed, caretaker one.

Incredibly, given the inconclusive results of yesterday’s vote, some Israeli politicians and pundits are already talking of a possible fourth round of elections.

Absolutely not.

Israeli voters are sending a clear and consistent message. We aren’t giving full power to either the right or left wing blocs for a reason.

We want true statesmen to step up and form a broad-based national unity government that will put the needs of the nation ahead of petty and exhausting partisanship.

The reasons are obvious.

We see grave and rising threats from Iran and terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, Hamas, al Qaeda, ISIS and others. We see rockets continuing to be fired at us from Gaza and know that the prospect of a third war with Lebanon is steadily growing.

At the same time, we see historic, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities emerging. It’s clear that Israel has the chance to forge better relations – and possibly full-blown peace treaties and trade relationships – not with the Palestinian leadership (unfortunately), but with Gulf states like Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, we realize that President Trump is the most pro-Israel leader in American history and that we must seize the moment to work with him to further strengthen the U.S.-Israel strategic alliance and advance regional peace while we have the chance.

What if Mr. Trump is not in the White House next January? What if he is replaced by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the most hostile and anti-Israel presidential candidate to ever emerge as a frontrunner?

As the smoke fades from yesterday’s vote, one thing is clear…..

[To read the full column, please click here]

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BREAKING: Will Israeli elections lead to another deadlock? Here are initial results.

Israel-Vote-March2020(Washington, D.C.) — Israelis love to tell our critics that we’re the only real democracy in the Middle East. Apparently, we love elections so much that we’ve had three rounds in the last twelve months. 

Some have expected voter apathy to set in, but just the opposite has been true.

  • Voter turnout this time: 71%
  • Turnout last September: 69.83%
  • Turnout last April: 68.46%

One thing that’s clear: Netanyahu had a big night. Likud gained 4 seats from last time.

What’s not clear is whether Netanyahu can form a government. The right-wing bloc seem to have won a combined total of only 59 seats, two short of what they need.

Final results won’t be in until next Monday. A shift of even a single seat in each direction could be huge.

Fox News has asked me to write a column analyzing yesterday’s vote and what the initial results might mean. I’ll post that once they edit and publish it.

In the meantime, please keep praying for the Lord to give Israel the government we need given all the threats (and opportunities) facing us. Thanks.

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Announcing 9-city book tour for THE JERUSALEM ASSASSIN. Hope you’ll register now to attend an event and preorder order your copy today!

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(Washington, D.C.) — I’m thrilled to announce the The Jerusalem Assassin tour schedule.

Not counting my time here at the AIPAC conference, it includes nine cities, three of which I’ve never spoken in before.

To read the full schedule online, and follow links to register to attend any of the events, please click here.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll pre-order a copy of the novel in hardcover, ebook or audio versions, and encourage friends and family on social media to do the same.

Thanks so much. Looking forward to seeing you on the tour!

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