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Friday, January 31, 2020

CDC Confirms Person-to-Person Spread of New Coronavirus in the United States

CDC Facebook Page Photo

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday confirmed that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has spread between two people in the United States, representing the first instance of person-to-person spread with this new virus here.

Previously, all confirmed U.S. cases had been associated with travel to Wuhan, China, where an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by this novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December 2019. However, this latest 2019-nCoV patient has no history of travel to Wuhan, but shared a household with the patient diagnosed with 2019-nCoV infection on January 21, 2020.

Recognizing early on that the 2019-nCoV could potentially spread between people, CDC has been working closely with state and local partners to identify close contacts of confirmed 2019-nCoV cases. Public health officials identified this Illinois resident through contact tracing. Both patients are in stable condition.

“Given what we’ve seen in China and other countries with the novel coronavirus, CDC experts have expected some person-to-person spread in the US,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D.  “We understand that this may be concerning, but based on what we know now, we still believe the immediate risk to the American public is low.”

Limited person-to-person spread with 2019-nCoV has been seen among close contacts of infected travelers in other countries where imported cases from China have been detected. The full picture of how easily and sustainably the 2019-nCoV spreads is still unclear. Person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum, with some viruses being highly contagious (like measles) and other viruses being less so.

MERS and SARS, the other two coronaviruses that have emerged to cause serious illness in people, have been known to cause some person-to-person spread. With both those viruses, person-to-person spread most often occurred between close contacts, such as healthcare workers and those caring for or living with an infected person. CDC has been proactively preparing for the introduction of 2019-nCoV in the U.S. for weeks, including:

  • First alerting clinicians on January 8 to be on the look-out for patients with respiratory symptoms and a history of travel to Wuhan, China.
  • Developing guidance for preventing 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from spreading to others in homes and communities.
  • Developing guidance for clinicians for testing and management of 2019-nCoV, as well as guidance for infection control of patients hospitalized or being evaluated by a health care provider.

CDC is working closely with Illinois health officials and other local partners. A CDC team has been on the ground since the first 2019-nCoV-positive case was identified and is supporting an ongoing investigation to determine whether further spread with this virus has occurred.

It is likely there will be more cases of 2019-nCoV reported in the U.S. in the coming days and weeks, including more person-to-person spread. CDC will continue to update the public as we learn more about this coronavirus. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Right now, 2019-nCoV has not been found to be spreading widely in the United States, so CDC deems the immediate risk from this virus to the general public to be low. However, risk is dependent on exposure, and people who are in contact with people with 2019-nCoV are likely to be at greater risk of infection and should take the precautions outlined in CDC’s guidance for preventing spread in homes and communities.

For the general public, no additional precautions are recommended at this time beyond the simple daily precautions that everyone should always take. It is currently flu and respiratory disease season, and CDC recommends getting vaccinated, taking everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, and taking flu antivirals if prescribed. Right now, CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China.

For more information about the current outbreak in China, visit For travel health information, visit

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza Announce Success of Community Schools: Increased Academic Outcomes Across City

NY City Hall Press Office Photo

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza on Tuesday announced an independent report found the Community Schools initiative, which is changing the way schools across the City serve students by delivering social services within the school environment, is resulting in improved attendance, graduation rates and test scores. Today, the Department of Education (DOE) released the New York City Community Schools Impact Report, an independent analysis conducted by the nonpartisan, nonprofit RAND Corporation. The evaluation tracked 113 Community Schools over three years, and found the initiative has significantly improved student outcomes including graduation rates and math scores when compared to non-community Schools. 

“The jury is in – community schools work. Since Day One, we have been on a mission to no longer let zip code determine academic success, and community schools are one way we are delivering on that promise. From supporting students with in-school mental health services, to homework help and dental check-ups, these schools improve academic outcomes and cater to the unique needs of every student,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

“When we work together to meet the needs of the whole child our children succeed, our schools succeed, and our City succeeds. This means not only challenging our students academically, but also providing them eye glasses, mental health support, coats and shoes,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “Our Community Schools are going above and beyond, improving students’ lives each year, and serving as an example of how we advance equity and excellence for all.”

Mayor de Blasio launched the Community Schools Initiative in 2014 to integrate academics, health, and social services inside of schools, and better connect students and families to support they need through partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs). The initial goal was to open 100 schools by 2017. Today, there are 267 Community Schools serving 135,000 students and families citywide, making it the largest Community Schools Initiative in the in the United States.

RAND’s impact report, entitled Illustrating the Promise of Community Schools: An Assessment of the Impact of the New York City Community Schools Initiative, covered the 2015-16 through 2017-18 school years and found significant results including:

  • Increases in graduation rates
  • Increases in math achievement in the third year of the study
  • Reductions in chronic absenteeism
  • Reductions in school-based incidents in elementary and middle schools

Increases in graduation rates 

During the 2017-2018 school year, the graduation rate for community schools was 7.2 percentage points higher than non-community schools. Additionally, throughout the three year study, student on-time grade matriculation was 1.2 percentage points and 4.5 percentage points higher for elementary/middle and high school Community Schools, respectively, compared to comparison schools.

Over the three year study, Community School high school students accumulated an average 1.3 more credits per student, per year compared to students in the comparison schools. Assuming on track progress is 11 credits per year, 1.3 credits is equivalent to 12 percent of a regular school year’s accumulation.

Increases in math achievement 

Students in grades 3 and 8 received scores 0.13 standard deviations higher than their comparison group. In other words, while the average student citywide is in the 50th percentile, by attending a Community School, the average student would be in the 54th percentile.

Significant reductions in chronic absenteeism 

A student is considered to be chronically absent if they miss ten or more days of school in a year. In the three years of the report, chronic absenteeism was 7.3 percentage points lower in elementary and middle school community schools compared to the comparison schools. When comparing high schools, chronic absenteeism was 8.3 percentage points lower. This decrease was greatest among students in temporary housing, whose rate of chronic absenteeism was 9.3 percentage points lower.  

Decreases in school-based disciplinary incidents 

Throughout the three year study, disciplinary incidents declined sharply in elementary and middle Community Schools compared to non-community schools. Community Schools saw an average of 0.10 fewer disciplinary incidents per student per year at the elementary and middle school level compared to comparison schools. In other words, in a school with 500 students, there were 50 fewer incidents every year. Disciplinary incidents also declined among students with disabilities, with 0.16 fewer disciplinary incidents per student, per year, and Black students, with 0.15 fewer disciplinary incidents per student, per year.

The full report is available here.

Community Schools are part of the Mayor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which is building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. 3-K for All and Pre-K for All are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier; Universal Literacy is working towards ensuring every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All is improving elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensuring that all 8th graders have access to algebra. 

Equity and Excellence for All is also offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All is giving all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms, outlined in the 2017 New York City school diversity plan and through diversity pilots taking root in eight districts, are central to this pathway.

President Duterte Prohibits Travel of Cabinet Officials to US

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte answers queries from members of the media on the sidelines of the 69th founding anniversary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City on January 29, 2020. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Cabinet members will not be allowed to travel to the United States to boycott the western nation’s interference in Philippine affairs, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Wednesday.

In an interview during the 69th anniversary celebration of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), President Duterte said his government would gradually “tone down” its interactions with the US, noting the restriction on US visits will stay indefinitely.

“I will limit siguro sa Foreign Affairs. But I will not allow any Cabinet member to go there at this time. No Cabinet member should be allowed to go to the United States,” he said in response to a reporter’s question.

“We limit our contact in whatever aspect of international relations would be discussed or subject to talks.”

The President railed against the meddling of the US in the country’s domestic affairs and was irked by the cancelation of former police chief and now senator Ronald Dela Rosa’s US visa.

Last week, the President threatened to scrap the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the US. He also declined the invitation of President Donald Trump to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-US special summit in Las Vegas in March.

The President said he is serious in terminating the VFA, fending off accusations that his decision to scrap the agreement was subject to his whim.

“No. It started when they mentioned about the resolution in the US Senate. They were trying to figure — trying to figure out who would be the persons who will be barred from entering,” he said, referring to the move by American lawmakers to bar the entry to the US of Philippine officials involved in the incarceration an opposition senator.

“Noon pa lang nag — ‘yung utak ko gumagalaw na. Ganun ako eh, hindi naman ako naghihintay. I am just — I just announced late kay pinapauna ko ‘yung utak ko.”

“Pero at that time, I have decided that if they do this, I will do it not only for Dela Rosa but for every Filipino. Lalo na ‘yung mga taga-gobyerno na magpunta doon supposedly to attend a business concern officially,” the President added.

The VFA, implemented in 1999, allows temporary stay of American forces in the Philippines. It governs movement of US military assets and troops visiting the country.

The agreement also includes provisions on criminal jurisdiction of American military personnel accused of a crime in the Philippines.

Asia Society Triennial to Feature over 40 Artists from 19 Countries

Nasim Nasr, 33 Beads (Unworried) #2 (video still), 2018. HD single-channel video, no sound. Duration: 2 minutes, 35 seconds, loop. Courtesy of the artist. Image courtesy of the artist

New York - Asia Society announced on Wednesday that over 40 artists and collectives from 19 countries have been selected to participate in the inaugural Asia Society Triennial, a multi-venue festival of art, ideas, and innovation. Titled We Do Not Dream Alone, the exhibition opens to the public on June 5, 2020 at Asia Society Museum, as well as multiple locations throughout New York City.

The exhibition is cocurated by Boon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Artistic Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum, and Artistic Director of the Triennial, and Michelle Yun, Senior Curator of Asian Contemporary Art and Associate Director of the Triennial.

The artists and collectives chosen for the Asia Society Triennial work across a variety of disciplines including painting, sculpture, photography, video, fiber art, and performance. They represent countries across Asia and the Asian diaspora, and bring together a spectacularly diverse range of works and viewpoints. Nearly half of the artists have been commissioned to create new work; many of these works are site-specific.

“Art has the power to connect us beyond borders and across cultures,” says Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran. “It is a vital time to connect on our common, human dreams. This first-ever Triennial of Asian art will bring the power of visionary art and ideas to remind us that indeed we do not dream alone.”

To create a truly democratic and wide-reaching festival, Asia Society will partner with other New York cultural institutions and venues such as Governors Island and Times Square Arts Midnight Moment to bring the Triennial to locations across New York City and ensure it is free to all audiences. Led by Agnes Hsu-Tang, Ph.D., Executive Chair of the Triennial and Chair of its Steering Committee, the Triennial reaches beyond New York City and the visual art field to build seminal collaborations, including with the New York Philharmonic, Santa Fe Opera, and others to create a platform that brings together a diversity of art forms. 

In addition to showcasing works by renowned performance artists such as Susie Ibarra, who will perform at New-York Historical Society, the Triennial will feature a newly commissioned work by contemporary composer Huang Ruo that will premiere at the Opening Night Gala on June 5. Huang Ruo, composer of the highly anticipated new opera M. Butterfly, is the Triennial’s inaugural composer-in-residence. “A contemporary art festival should be Gesamtkunstwerk, a total work of art, in itself,” says Dr. Hsu-Tang. “The Triennial advances the legacy of Asia Society Museum as a cultural vanguard of diverse artistic voices from and about Asia. This new international platform builds on more than six decades of institutional heritage of diplomacy and systematic engagement between Asia and America.”  

About the artists and artworks
Artists in the exhibition work across today’s mediums of artistic expression, reflecting the diversity of contemporary artistic practice. Whether the artists are early in their careers or more established, their works offer opportunities for wide-ranging conversations about art, identity, and politics.

“My cocurator and I have sought to commission artists and to find complex works that have not been widely seen in this country,” says Mr. Tan. “In the face of an increasingly fractured world, where the old ties between cultures and civilizations have become undone, contemporary art has risen to prod, pull, and nudge us to resist pessimism. With this Triennial, we are pushing beyond our own walls to present artists and artworks that interrogate the complexities of the present moment and that invite viewers to consider new ways of seeing.”

“Asia Society’s purview across the region and the diaspora represents diverse cultures, religions, ethnicities, political ideologies, and identities,” says Ms. Yun. “Consequently, as we considered which artists to include in our first Triennial, we initially cast a wide net. Ultimately, we focused our selection on artists whose practices actively and uniquely engage timely, yet universally accessible, issues relating to democracy, identity, gender, and sustainability. We are especially pleased to be collaborating with such a dynamic group of artists and venue partners to premiere newly commissioned works, many of them specific to New York City.”

Kimsooja is a multimedia conceptual artist who lives and works between New York, Paris, and Seoul, and whose work will be displayed at multiple Triennial locations. At Governors Island, Kimsooja will create a site-specific immersive installation, incorporating architecture, light, and sound. At other venues, the artist will activate her project To Breathe—The Flags, incorporating a cross-pollination of national flags into a unifying symbol that in the artist’s words “is a wish for coexistence, for an ideal world in which individuals can unite in celebration of our distinctions and of our common humanity.”

Israeli-born artist Ghiora Aharoni utilizes found, often ancient, culturally specific objects and texts to explore history, symbolism, and imagination in works that question age-old ideologies and ethnic conflicts as well as love, family, and sexuality. His contribution to the Triennial will include the use of phulkari, a traditional Punjabi dowry shawl that Aharoni inscribes with his own family biography texts, drawings, symbols, and objects of daily life, thereby overlaying them with new meaning and drawing them into conversation with contemporary ideas and artistic practice.

Anne Samat is a fiber and textile artist from Malaysia whose work addresses issues of identity, gender, and nationhood by pushing the boundaries of traditional Southeast Asian weaving techniques infusing her ornate and visually arresting woven sculptures with everyday household objects. She will be contributing a new, site-specific installation at Asia Society Museum. Chinese artist Xu Zhen has created a suite of sculptures composed of replicas of classical statues deemed the highest benchmark of western and Asian civilizations. These become a means to explore preconceived hierarchies within the art historical canon and provoke dialogue on the sometimes violent nature of cultural appropriation. With irony, Xu's work raises issues relating to the body, craftsmanship, originality versus mass production, appropriation and authorship, agency, and the monetization of art. In a house on Governors Island, Iranian artist Reza Aramesh will create an installation of ceramic vases that recall Hellenistic artifacts, but incorporate images of contemporary war and torture, alluding to the continuity of conflict and barbarity as well as the history of Governors Island as a military outpost.

Arpita Singh, a world-renowned painter whose work has rarely been shown in the U.S., will be represented in the Triennial with a suite of paintings that reflect on the experience of the older woman in contemporary Indian society. anGie seah is a performance and multimedia artist from Singapore whose practice explores the complexities of the human psyche through cathartic acts of spontaneity. For the Triennial she will collaborate with local communities to create a participatory installation as a humorous antidote to the emotional and psychological strains of contemporary life. Lu Yang attempts to reconcile the gap between the mysticism of religious practice and rational, scientific thought. Born and currently based in Shanghai, China, her multifaceted, multimedia practice entwines elements of Buddhism, neuroscience, gender, and physiology with pop-culture tropes including manga, science fiction, and video games. She will create a site-specific, interactive installation in a suite of rooms on Governors Island. Mina Cheon will create a participatory public artwork, in partnership with the New York Philharmonic, at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall. The work invites audience members to consider the unity of North and South Korea through consumption of one of the region’s most popular and symbolic snacks, the Choco Pie. Cheon will also have an installation on Governors Island featuring a series of art history lessons given by her alter ego “Professor Kim.”

Artists will also explore issues closer to home. Xu Bing and Sun Xun will create new works for a special project that responds to the Declaration of Independence and the principles of equality and moral leadership on which the United States government and American national identity is based. Guest curator: Susan L. Beningson, Ph.D.

A list of Triennial artists is below.

Related programs
A range of interdisciplinary programs will be held in conjunction with the Asia Society Triennial, exploring the themes in the exhibition We Do Not Dream Alone and ranging from film, to food, to events looking at the global challenges of refugees and migration, artificial intelligence, and environmental concerns such as the scourge posed by plastics. Among the highlights are a film series focused on gender and gender expression in contemporary Asian cinema, guest curated by Giovanna Fulvi, International Programmer at Toronto International Film Festival, as well as a performance by drummer/composer Susie Ibarra, who is known for her unique blend of Asian and jazz percussive traditions, that will be presented in a free event at the New-York Historical Society’s Patricia D. Klingenstein Library.

Collateral events and associated venues
In addition to the core Triennial We Do Not Dream Alone exhibition venues, a number of related projects are being organized at collateral sites. Among these are the New-York Historical Society exhibition titled Dreaming Together: New-York Historical Society and Asia Society Museum on view April 3, 2020–April 4, 2021. More than 35 works drawn from both institutions’ collections generate dialogue about urban and natural environments, protest and rebellion, individuals and identities, and borders. The exhibition is curated at New-York Historical by Wendy N. E. Ikemoto, Ph.D., curator of American art.

Asia Society Triennial artist list (in alphabetical order):
Hamra Abbas (b. 1976 in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Lives and works in Boston, MA, U.S. and Lahore, Pakistan)
Ghiora Aharoni (b. 1969 in Rehovot, Israel. Lives and works in New York, NY, U.S.)
Song-Ming Ang (b. 1980 in Singapore. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany and Singapore)
Reza Aramesh (b. 1970 in Awhaz, Iran. Lives and works in London, UK)
Christine Ay Tjoe (b. 1973 in Bandung, Indonesia. Lives and works in Bandung, Indonesia)
Mina Cheon (b. 1973 in Seoul, Korea. Lives and works in Baltimore, MD and New York, NY, U.S.; and Seoul, Korea)
Cheuk Wing Nam (b. 1983 in Hong Kong. Lives and works in Hong Kong)
Daniel Crooks (b. 1973 in Hastings, New Zealand. Lives and works in Melbourne, Australia)
Vibha Galhotra (b. 1978 in Chandigarh, India. Lives and works in New Delhi, India)
Kyungah Ham (b. 1966 in Seoul, Korea. Lives and works in Seoul, Korea)
Joyce Ho (b. 1983 in Taipei, Taiwan. Lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan)
Susie Ibarra (b. 1970 in Anaheim, CA, U.S. Lives and works in New Paltz, NY; Bennington, VT; and New York, NY, U.S.)
Abir Karmakar (b. 1977 in Siliguri, India. Lives and works in Vadodara, India)
Kimsooja (b. 1957 in Daegu, Korea. Lives and works in New York, NY, U.S.; Paris, France; and Seoul, Korea)
Lao Tongli (b. 1982 in Guangdong Province, China. Lives and works in Guangzhou, China)
Dinh Q. Lê (b. 1968 in Hà Tiên, Vietnam. Lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Los Angeles, CA, U.S.)
Li Jianjun (b. 1972 in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China)
Minouk Lim (b. 1968 in Daejeon, Korea. Lives and works in Seoul, Korea)
Lu Yang (b. 1984 in Shanghai, China. Lives and works in Shanghai, China)
LuxuryLogico Collective founded in 2010. [Members born in Taiwan: Chang Geng Hwa (b. 1980), Chang Keung-Hau (1980–2018), Chen Chih Chien (b. 1979), Lin Kun Ying (b. 1980). All live and work in Taipei, Taiwan.]
Prabhavathi Meppayil (b. 1965 in Bangalore, India. Lives and works in Bangalore, India)
Mountain River Jump! Duo founded in 2016. (Huang He b. 1985 in Guangzhou, China; Huang Shan b. 1985 in Guangzhou, China. Live and work in Foshan, China)
Kevork Mourad (b. 1970 in Qamishli, Syria. Lives and works in New York, NY, U.S.)
Nasim Nasr (b. 1984 in Tehran, Iran. Lives and works in Sydney, Australia)
Jordan Nassar (b. 1985 in New York, NY, U.S. Lives and works in New York, NY, U.S.)
Hetain Patel (b. 1980 in Bolton, UK. Lives and works in London, UK)
Anne Samat (b. 1973 in Malacca, Malaysia. Lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
anGie seah (b. 1979 in Singapore. Lives and works in Singapore)
Shahzia Sikander (b. 1969 in Lahore, Pakistan. Lives and works in New York, NY, U.S.)
Arpita Singh (b. 1937 in Baranagar, India. Lives and works in New Delhi, India)
Samita Sinha (b. 1978 in New York, NY, U.S. Lives and works in New York, NY, U.S.)
Sun Xun (b. 1980 in Fuxin, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China)
Melati Suryodarmo (b. 1969 in Surakarta, Indonesia. Lives and works in Gross Gleidingen, Germany and Surakarta, Indonesia)
teamLab Collective (founded in 2001 by Toshiyuki Inoko. Based in Tokyo, Japan)
Natee Utarit (b. 1970 in Bangkok, Thailand. Lives and works in Bangkok, Thailand)
Jason Wee (b. 1979 in Singapore. Lives and works in Singapore and New York, NY, U.S.)
Wen Hui (b. 1960 in Yunnan Province, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China)
Xu Bing (b. 1955 in Chongqing, China. Based in Beijing, China and New York, NY, U.S.)
Xu Zhen® (b. 1977 in Shanghai, China. Lives and works in Shanghai, China)
Ken + Julia Yonetani (Ken Yonetani b. 1971 in Tokyo, Japan; Julia Yonetani b. 1972 in Tokyo, Japan. Live and work in Katoomba, Australia and Kyoto, Japan)
Composer-in-residence Huang Ruo (b. 1976 Hainan, China. Lives and works in New York, NY, U.S.)

The Asia Society Triennial is organized by Boon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Artistic Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum and Artistic Director of the Triennial; and Michelle Yun, Senior Curator of Asian Contemporary Art and Associate Director of the Triennial. Agnes Hsu-Tang, Ph.D. is the Executive Chair, leading the Steering Committee and guiding Triennial collaborations with other cultural organizations.

The Asia Society Triennial Steering Committee includes:
Agnes Hsu-Tang, Ph.D. (Executive Chair)
David Barboza 
Lilly Chan 
Niv Fichman 
David Henry Hwang 
Golnar Khosrowshahi
Mee-Seen Loong 
Charles Rockefeller
Hao Sheng
Andreas Teoh
Robert Wong

Asia Society Museum presents a wide range of traditional, modern, and contemporary exhibitions of Asian and Asian American art, taking new approaches to familiar masterpieces and introducing under-recognized arts and artists. The Asia Society Museum Collection comprises a traditional art collection, including the initial bequests of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd, and a contemporary art collection. Through exhibitions and public programs, Asia Society provides a forum for the issues and viewpoints reflected in both traditional and contemporary Asian art and in Asia today.

Founded in 1956, Asia Society is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, educational institution based in New York with state-of-the-art cultural centers and gallery spaces in Hong Kong and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Washington, D.C., and Zurich.

Asia Society Museum is located at 725 Park Avenue (at 70th Street), New York City. Find out more at and @AsiaSocietyNY.

For updates about the Asia Society Triennial, visit

Asia Society Triennial Venues

Governors Island
Governors Island is a 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor nestled between Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn waterfront. Eight minutes from the energy and excitement of the City, the Island is a popular seasonal destination. An award-winning new park is complemented by dozens of unique historic buildings, environmental educational facilities, a rich arts and culture program and a 22-acre National Monument managed by the National Park Service. Unlike anywhere else in New York, Governors Island offers peaceful settings with sweeping views of the Harbor, Lower Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. Looking ahead, the Island will be activated year-round with expanded educational, commercial and non-profit uses.

Times Square Arts
Times Square Arts collaborates with contemporary artists to experiment and engage with one of the world’s most iconic urban places. Midnight Moment is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to midnight.

David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
In 1962, Philharmonic Hall—renamed Avery Fisher Hall in 1973 and later renamed David Geffen Hall in 2015—became one of the first buildings to be completed on the Lincoln Center site and home to one of its first resident organizations, the world-renowned New York Philharmonic, the oldest symphony orchestra in the U.S. Today, David Geffen Hall hosts notable performances by acclaimed orchestras and artists from around the globe, as well as galas, film premieres, graduations, and conferences.

Associated/Collateral Locations

New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s preeminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City and State and the country, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III Confirms First Coronavirus Case in the Philippines, Assures Public of Intensified Containment Measures

Secretary Duque Confirms First Case of 2019-nCoV via Press Briefing. Screenshot from PH DOH Facebook Page

The Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines today confirmed that a 38-year-old female Chinese patient under investigation (PUI) is positive for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) after her laboratory results arrived today from the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia. DOH, however, continues to guarantee the public that all necessary precautionary measures are being taken to halt the spread of the virus.

The confirmed case arrived in the Philippines from Wuhan, China via Hong Kong last January 21, 2020. The patient sought consult and was admitted in one of the country’s government hospitals last January 25 after experiencing mild cough. She is currently asymptomatic.

“I assure the public that the Department of Health is on top of this evolving situation. We were able to detect the first confirmed case because of our strong surveillance system, close coordination with World Health Organization and other national agencies, and the utilization of DOH’s decision tool. We are working closely with the hospital where the patient is admitted and have activated the Incident Command System of the said hospital for appropriate management, specifically on infection control, case management, and containment. We are also implementing measures to protect the health staff providing care to these patients,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.

PH DOH Facebook Page Photo

DOH is also in close coordination with the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) which includes representatives of the Departments of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Interior and Local Government (DILG), Justice (DOJ), Labor and Employment (DOLE), Tourism (DOT), Transportation (DOTr), and Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The Task Force will convene a high-level meeting tomorrow, January 31, 2020, to discuss the first confirmed case and developments arising from this health event.

The Bureau of Quarantine remains on high alert and is in constant coordination with authorities from all ports of entry for stricter border surveillance. DOH assured that its health facilities are equipped and prepared to receive and care for PUIs and confirmed 2019-nCoV cases.

DOH has recorded a total of twenty-nine (29) PUIs – eighteen (18) in Metro Manila, four (4) in Central Visayas, three (3) in Western Visayas, one (1) in MIMAROPA, one (1) in Eastern Visayas, one (1) in Northern Mindanao, and one (1) in Davao. Twenty-three (23) PUIs are currently admitted and five (5) have been discharged but are still under strict monitoring. DOH also reported one PUI mortality.

“I urge the public to stay calm and remain vigilant at all times. Let us continue to practice good personal hygiene and adopt healthy lifestyles,” the Health Secretary concluded.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Governor Cuomo Issues Update on Novel Coronavirus as One More New Yorker is Identified for Testing Bringing Total to 10 photo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday announced an update on the status of testing for the novel coronavirus in New York State. As of today, the New York State Department of Health has sent samples for 10 individuals to the CDC for testing with seven found to be negative and three more still pending.  So far, there are no confirmed cases in New York State.

"While we continue to closely monitor the spread of this novel coronavirus, I have directed our Department of Health to continue communicating with and providing updates to our local communities, healthcare providers, colleges, universities and New York companies with locations or business interests in China," Governor Cuomo said. "My message to New Yorkers is: take this coronavirus seriously, take proper precautions, stay informed, but also feel confident that our Health Department and this administration are prepared and ready."   

The Department of Health continues to provide guidance to New York's colleges and universities, many of which have international students from China, on how to identify the virus, update students and promote prevention measures.

More information about the novel coronavirus is available here.

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "We encourage all New Yorkers to take normal precautions against sickness, such as regular hand washing and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. We will continue to work with our partners at the CDC and around the State as we assist in any way necessary to ensure the health of all New Yorkers."
Symptoms of the novel coronavirus may include:

  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever

While there is currently no vaccine for this novel coronavirus, everyday preventative actions can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Individuals who are experiencing symptoms and may have traveled to areas of concern, or have been in contact with somebody who has traveled to these areas, should call ahead to their healthcare provider before presenting for treatment.

For more information on New York State's continued response to NovelCoronavirus see:

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Philippine Embassy in US Welcomes 2020 with Filipino Community Town Hall

The Philippine Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission Renato Pedro Villa delivers opening remarks at the Town Hall Meeting with the Filipino Community held on 25 January 2020 at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building, Washington, D.C. (PH Embassy  Facebook Page Photo.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “In 2020, the Philippine Embassy vows to work more closely with the Filipino and Filipino-American communities in improving our services, ensuring the welfare of our people, and enriching the ties between the Philippines and the United States”, the Philippine Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Renato Pedro Villa said as he opened the Filipino Town Hall Meeting with the Filipino Community held on 25 January 2020 at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building in Washington, D.C.

Newly appointed Consul General Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga shared updated information on consular requirements and processes to ensure clients an efficient and positive experience with the consulate. He ended his presentation with the launch of the Facebook page of the Consul General, which will allow the Filipino Community to easily engage the Consulate about their questions and concerns.

Consul General Jose Victor Chan-Gonzaga briefs members of the Community on consular requirements and processes. (PH Embassy Facebook Page Photo)

The Filipino Community was also updated on the situation brought about by the Taal volcano in the Philippines. Public Diplomacy Officer Darell Artates provided details on how prospective donors can course their assistance to the affected families.

To promote the spirit of entrepreneurship and business, Commercial Counsellor Raymond Batac discussed the important elements of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Trabaho, Negosyo, Kabuhayan (TNK) initiative to the attendees. Mr. Batac also expounded on current business trends and opportunities offered in the Philippines.

Mr. Jose Roderick I. Manalo of Double Dragon Properties shares investment opportunities in the Philippines.  PH Embassy Facebook Page Photo)

Further to the discussions of business, Mr. Jose Roderick Manalo of Double Dragon Properties gave a presentation on the benefits of investing in the Philippines, particularly in the field of real estate. Led by Tony Tan Caktiong (Founder, Jollibee) and Edgar “Injap” J. Sia III (Founder, Mang Inasal), Double Dragon envisions being a major player in real estate and owning 1.2 million square hectares of leasable space in 2020. Mr. Manalo also enjoined the Filipino Community in investing in Hotel 101, a flagship project of the company, which aims to be the first fully Filipino-owned hotel property and open numerous branches around the Philippines.

The annual Very Important Pinoy (VIP) Tour for 2020, a collaborative project among the Philippine Foreign Services Posts in the United States and the Department of Tourism was likewise featured in the Town Hall. This year, VIP Tour participants will be able to visit famous destinations Manila, Iloilo, and Boracay within an eight (8) day tour from 19 to 26 July.

ReRooted Pilipinas, a tour package geared towards the younger generation of Filipino-American, was discussed by Ms. Melody Agbisit and Ms. Naomi Estaris of Just Go Philippines. Their tour, on 10-20 April 2020, will take participants around the cities of Manila, Tacloban, Cebu and Dumaguete, not only to enjoy the beauty and culture of the Philippines but also engage in planting mangroves to strengthen the integrity of the islands. The tour is planned to coincide with the celebration of Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary on 22 April 2020.

Vice Consul Darell Artates explaining the current situation in Taal and how the prospective donors may extend assistance. (PH Embassy Facebook Page Photo)

Finally, the Town Hall attendees were reminded of the importance of the upcoming US Census. Ms. Krystle Canare and Ms. Justine Suegay of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) in the Capital region, as well as Ms. Mary Therese Tablante of Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) emphasized how vital it is to be represented in the Census because of its far-reaching effects on US government policies and programs in the next decade.

“Members of the Filipino community play an important role in Philippine nation-building. We will continue engaging the Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the United States to facilitate their participation and involvement as we progress as one nation,” Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said in a statement.