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The Jalousie neighborhood in Port-au-Prince on March 12. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Haiti reported its first two cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, President Jovenel Moise announced in a press conference, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: There is only one doctor or nurse per 3,000 people in the country, the World Health Organization found in 2016 — and Haiti's spending in the public health sector "is among the lowest in the world." Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, per the CIA World Factbook.

Where it stands: Haiti closed its border with the Dominican Republic last Sunday and suspended flights from Europe, Canada and Latin America before recording any COVID-19 cases, the Miami Herald reports. The country also suspended travel for government officials.

  • Schools and factories will close in the country on Friday, Moise announced in the press conference on Thursday, per the Herald's Jacqueline Charles.

Go deeper: Africa scrambles to contain coronavirus

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

2 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.