• On Friday morning, King County announced they will help pay April rent for people making up to 50% of the area median income who "are economically impacted by COVID-19" and who fell behind on rent.
• The confirmed global death toll from COVID-19 has passed 100,000.
• Dr. Fauci says antibody tests could get rolled out this month: "Within a period of a week or so, we're going to have a rather large number of tests that are available."
• When will we be able to travel again? "Maybe a summer road trip. Maybe Europe in fall. Maybe 2021." So, TBD.
• New federal projections, obtained by the New York Times, show that if we lift stay-at-home restrictions after 30 days we will see a "dramatic infection spike." These shelter-at-home orders seem like they're going to be sticking around for some time.
• Well, at least he's taking things seriously now.
Trump on deciding when to ease social distancing guidelines: "I'm going to have to make a decision, and I hope to God it's the right decision. But I would say without question it's the biggest decision I've ever had to make."
— Eli Stokols (@EliStokols) April 10, 2020
Because the T.V. Ratings for the White House News Conference’s are the highest, the Opposition Party (Lamestream Media), the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats &, of course, the few remaining RINO’S, are doing everything in their power to disparage & end them. The People’s Voice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 10, 2020
• In these unprecedented times, Trump is focused on his ratings. This has some of his allies worried.
• Trump also keeps talking about defunding WHO.
"Why is the United States paying $500 million a year?" Trump says of the World Health Organization. Says he'll be talking about the organization and his problems with the group next week.
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) April 10, 2020
• Two tough paragraphs from the New York Times:
Never have so many millions so suddenly lost their jobs. Never has the United States government vowed to spend so much money all at once to stave off economic ruin. Still, never has the financial security of so many been in such jeopardy.
But what’s most immediate, never have Americans had to watch so many die day after day, separated from friends and family, the air drained from their lungs by a virus that was first detected in the country less than two months ago.
• Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan will shut down Seattle's public parks this weekend. She broke the news Thursday on The Record with Bill Radke. Find out more about which parks are closed down here.
• Washington's most recent update from its Department of Health lists 446 deaths and 9,608 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
• Hundreds of inmates at Monroe Correctional Complex "threatened to set fires and possibly take corrections officers hostage" over COVID-19 cases in the facility, reports Seattle Times: “It’s bad over here again. People are starting to run outdoors, throw food and all.”
• COVID-19 is now moving through America's meat plants.
• Masks will soon be mandatory to wear in Miami and Los Angeles at certain locations.
• Boris Johnson has left intensive care. He was in intensive care for three days due to COVID-19 complications.
• Healthcare workers around the country are protesting on Thursday, demanding more PPE.
Healthcare workers like us, and like so many across the country, are going above and beyond. It’s unacceptable that we are working without the personal protective equipment we need.
We demand immediate, sweeping action to provide PPE to all healthcare workers. #GetMePPE pic.twitter.com/4gkGykidOT
— SEIUHealthcare1199NW (@SEIU1199NW) April 9, 2020
• Check this out:
• About one in 10 workers in America lost a job in the past three weeks.
• If those workers in Washington state were making less than $62,500 a year, they will probably earn more from unemployment insurance.
• New York State broke its record daily death toll for the third day in a row: 799 fatalities were recorded on Wednesday.
• The United States leads the world in reported confirmed coronavirus cases: 432,596, as of Thursday afternoon. New York City leads the country, with over 4,500 deaths related to COVID-19.
• Where did most of New York's coronavirus cases come from? It wasn't China.
• Please, "press pause" on rimming.
• Since Washington looks like it's starting to get a handle on its COVID-19 outbreak, the field hospital set up inside CenturyLink Field Event Center is heading back to the federal government, reports the Seattle Times: "With the USNS Comfort still stationed in New York, and the USNS Mercy in Los Angeles, Inslee’s decision could mark the first return of hospital beds to the federal government during the pandemic from anywhere in the nation."
• Washington's most recent update from its Department of Health lists 421 deaths and 9,097 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
• Who can get tested for COVID-19 in our region? Where do they get tested? Seattle Times has a post that answers those questions here.
• Social distancing in Washington state and the Seattle region is really helping to flatten the curve, but we can't assume that we've reached our peak yet: “We generally do not know if we have peaked in the state until we see about a 2, or 3 weeks' decline in all our data indicators, and we have not seen that yet.” Stay home!
• A new word from Hawaii: "Covidiot."
• The World Trade Organization released a trade forecast on Wednesday that predicated 13-32% falls in global trade: "WTO economists believe the decline will likely exceed the trade slump brought on by the global financial crisis of 2008‑09."
• But where is the largest-known cluster of coronavirus infections in the country? The Cook County jail in Chicago. More than 350 cases have been connected to the jail.
• Inslee also said he will "probably" call a special session of the Legislature to "do some more aggressive things" on funding "given the extent of the damage we have suffered." So far the governor has cut $445 million from the budget in anticipation of large revenue shortfalls resulting from a frozen economy.
• During the White House's Tuesday evening press conference, Dr. Fauci said this crisis has shined "a bright light" on the racial disparity in our country. Across the country, African Americans are catching and dying from the pandemic coronavirus at "disproportionately high" rates, according to the New York Times. When will Washington state reveal race and ethnicity data for its coronavirus infections? "Hopefully soon."
"Health disparities have always existed for the African American community, but here again with this crisis, it's shining a bright light on how unacceptable that is,"
-Dr. Fauci of @NIH on the need to address #HealthDisparities in US during AND after #coronavirus. #HealthForAll pic.twitter.com/fYmr0NNKRH
— Global Health Strategies (@GHS) April 8, 2020
• Trump was warned in January about COVID-19's impact on the United States. He says he wasn't. He was.
• Washington's insurance commissioner requested that automobile insurers "consider refunding auto insurance premiums to their policyholders since most are driving less."
• Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, announced Tuesday afternoon that he will donate $1 billion worth of his stake in Square to assist coronavirus relief efforts. Dorsey estimates the donation is a quarter of his fortune.
I’m moving $1B of my Square equity (~28% of my wealth) to #startsmall LLC to fund global COVID-19 relief. After we disarm this pandemic, the focus will shift to girl’s health and education, and UBI. It will operate transparently, all flows tracked here: https://t.co/hVkUczDQmz
— jack (@jack) April 7, 2020
• In Idaho, a public health crisis is apparently an assault on the Constitution: "If it gets bad enough, and our rights are infringed upon enough, we can physically stand in defense in whatever way we need to."
• A panel of "watchdogs" has been assigned to oversee how the Trump administration spends trillions of taxpayers dollars in coronavirus relief. Tuesday, Trump "effectively" fired the panel's top watchdog.
• Adam Schiff is not happy about it: “The president now has engaged in a series of actions designed to neuter any kind of oversight of his actions and that of the administration during a time of national crisis, when trillions of dollars are being allocated to help the American people."
• New York recorded its highest single-day death toll on Tuesday: 731 deaths, bringing the state's total to 5,489 deaths and 138,836 confirmed cases.
• Tuesday, China reported its first day since January without any confirmed COVID-19 deaths.
• Dr. Anthony Fauci has told doctors to use caution if using hydroxychloroquine, an untested malaria drug that could be used to treat coronavirus. Trump has been aggressively pushing the drug—in press conferences, in private meetings, and online. Why might he be peddling it so hard? From the New York Times:
If hydroxychloroquine becomes an accepted treatment, several pharmaceutical companies stand to profit, including shareholders and senior executives with connections to the president. Mr. Trump himself has a small personal financial interest in Sanofi, the French drugmaker that makes Plaquenil, the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine.
• Washington state schools will remain shut down through the rest of the academic year. Distance learning will continue.
INTERESTING comment from @chrisreykdal on this point.
He believes one lesson of this pandemic is that the internet should be treated as a public utility. pic.twitter.com/u2FGDPEl2n
— Eli Sanders (@elijsanders) April 6, 2020
• Congress will inevitably need to pass another stimulus bill. Pelosi predicts it will cost at least $1 trillion. She has said she wants the package to pass this month, but the House is not back in session until 4/20.
• World leaders have been messaging support for UK prime minister Boris Johnson, who was admitted to intensive care for coronavirus complications.
Tout mon soutien à Boris Johnson, à sa famille et au peuple britannique dans ce moment difficile. Je lui souhaite de surmonter cette épreuve rapidement.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 6, 2020
• Boeing's production suspensions spread around the country: The company will suspend its production work in South Carolina “until further notice,” reports Seattle Times.
• Grocery workers are dying of coronavirus. The deaths are leading to store closures.
• There's much to do about tomorrow's election in Wisconsin, but the TL;DR is: It's happening. The Supreme Court has refused to extend a deadline for absentee voting.
In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg writes:
“...the Court’s order, I fear, will result in massive disenfranchisement. A voter cannot deliver for postmarking a ballot she has not received.“ pic.twitter.com/pGXxbHrDIa
— Rose Schmidt (@RoseSchmidtTV) April 6, 2020
• Thomas Lopez, the owner of the popular Tacos El Tajin food trucks in Seattle, has died from COVID-19.
• First COVID-related death in Kitsap County: “The Kitsap resident who died was an older adult who had tested positive for COVID-19 and had underlying health conditions.”
• New York City is considering temporarily burying their dead in one of the city's parks.
• The fund for King County arts organizations will grow by $1.4 million: When it launched on March 20, the fund banked $1 million for arts organizations hit by the corona closures. Now the fund is up to $2.4 million. Sounds like a lot, and it will help some, but to give you an idea about the sizes of the losses the sector is facing, the Pacific Northwest Ballet alone expects to lose $3 million by the end of the month.
• Keep staying inside, for the grandmas.
• Here's a video on how coronavirus attacks the body, from the New York Times:
• Some states have started setting up checkpoints along state borders. Rhode Island, Texas, and Florida are stopping "some drivers" at the border and reminding them of the "quarantine requirement." It is not believed that any state has blocked drivers from passing through.
• Admiral Brett Giroir, a physician who is in the White House's coronavirus taskforce, told ABC’s Good Morning America: "It’s going to be the peak hospitalization, peak ICU week and unfortunately, peak death week."
• As we noted in Slog AM, the Queen of England gave a calming and rare address this weekend. She closed her address with "we'll meet again," a reference to this song below. Play it a few times and contemplate how you're living through a great drama.
• Germany prepares to buy an "unbelievable amount" of masks, reports Reuters:
Germany’s efforts to buy masks comes at a time when the United States has stepped up efforts to do the same, prompting complaints about the superpower’s “Wild West” tactics in outbidding buyers who have already signed deals.
• Read last week's live coronavirus updates here.