Asked whether she had made up her mind about a certain presidential candidate, the Iowa woman replied: “I don’t know yet, I’ve only met him three times.”

Asked whether she had made up her mind about a certain presidential candidate, the Iowa woman replied: “I don’t know yet, I’ve only met him three times.”

It is an old joke in the small Midwestern state, otherwise known as the country’s largest exporter of corn and pork, and it reveals a lot about the personal connection that anyone with designs on the Oval Office is expected to make here. It reflects too the seriousness with which Iowans take their responsibility to identify America’s next leader.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties despite dozens of ambulances and fire engines rushed to Madrid’s Barajas Airport after the plane took off at 3pm. 

Before landing passengers had tweeted photos purporting to show flames spewing from the plane’s engine and a Spanish F-18 fighter jet escorting it over the airport.

Authorities in provinces that are home to more than 300 million people – including Guangdong, the country’s most populous – have ordered everyone to wear masks in public in an effort to contain the virus. But factories capable of producing about 20 million masks a day are only operating at between 60 and 70% of capacity, according to the ministry of industry.

Hua also criticised the US, where a ban on people travelling from China went into effect on Sunday. The US and other countries had “overreacted” to the outbreak and Washington had not given China any substantive help, instead only creating and spreading panic, Hua said.

One of the most jovial stories from the 2016 campaign, as you may well remember, came in the form of a man in a red sweater and a mustache, who asked Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump about the environment. That man, Ken Bone, went viral. The internet loved him.

Reports suggest no bats were sold at the seafood market where the outbreak is believed to have originated. This indicates the virus may have spread through another animal – yet to be identified – acting as an intermediate host between bats and humans.