[1145AM, 6/2/2020: 1745 links]

Updated List of Michigan's Executive Orders and Executive Directives

4/24/2020:  Executive Order 2020-59 (COVID-19)

4/26/2020:  Executive Order 2020-60 

Detroit News:  Whitmer unveils 6-phase reopen plan, extends stay-home order through May 28, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/7/2020 

5/20/2020:  Michigan Attorney General Nessel's open letter to President Donald J. Trump regarding his May 21st, 2020 Ford Motor Company Tour

6/3/2020:  Whitmer: Michigan's FOIA law returns to normal June 11, by Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

I breeze past the paywalls because I subscribe to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Livingston Daily, the Daily Beast, the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News, the New Yorker, The Atlantic, Medium, Jonathan Katz's substack, and MLive. (MLive is only $10/mth). At times I've supported the Guardian and CounterPunch.  Much of the Coronavirus coverage is free at the moment, so you've got no excuse for swallowing the feces flecked pablum vomited onto your faces by FOX.

 

 Worldmeter Death and Case Data

amabie 300x420 33pct

“Should an epidemic come,” Amabié is said to have uttered, “draw me and show me to the people.”

Then it sank beneath the waves. 

Art work by Shunsuke Satake

The New Yorker:  From Japan, a Mascot for the Pandemic, by Matt Alt, 4/9/2020 

 

Art in Service of Polemic: A Look at Piotr Szyhalski's Daily COVID-19 Reports,

by Paul Schmelzer, 4/27/2020

 

Quora:  Why has Bill Gates come under a lot of criticism lately for his approach on corona virus & its vaccination?, By Peter Howell, 5/17/2020

Detroit Free Press:  University of Michigan study estimates Governor Whitmer's stay-at-home order saved 3,500 lives, by Todd Spangler, 5/13/2020

"This should be a time for unity, not division," Whitmer said on a day when she announced some 31,000 state workers will take partial furloughs over the next two months and also expressed concerns about threats made against her and others by some of those protesting the stay-at-home order, which is expected to remain in place until at least May 28. "We must all continue to do our part to save lives."

 

"I know it’s hard," she said during a briefing. "But we can't just flip a switch."

5/13/2020:  Michigan.gov/CoronaVirus:  Presentation - COVID-19 Update, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, et al

5/7/2020:  Detroit Free Press:  11 Catholic religious sisters at Livonia convent die during pandemic

This is a photo gallery, comprising portraits of the eleven dead Nuns.  Their personality shines through. 

June 18:  “He's the Chosen One to run America”: Inside the cult of Trump, His rallies are Church and he is the Gospel, by Jeff Sharlet, Vanity Fair

Trump’s rallies—a bizarre mishmash of numerology, tweetology, and white supremacy—are the rituals by which he stamps his name on the American dream. As he prepares to resume them for the first time in months, his followers are ready to receive.

5/10/2018:  Slate:  Grifter or Grafter: A new parlor game that explains Trumpworld, by Jacob Weisberg

5/17/2020:  ProPublica:  “Immune to Evidence”: How Dangerous Coronavirus Conspiracies Spread, by Marshall Allen 

Conspiratorial videos and websites about COVID-19 are going viral. Here’s how one of the authors of “The Conspiracy Theory Handbook” says you can fight back. One big takeaway: Focus your efforts on people who can hear evidence and think rationally.

PDF:  The Conspiracy Theory Handbook, by Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook

June 2020:  The Atlantic:  The Prophecies of Q, by Adrienne LaFrance

American conspiracy theories are entering a dangerous new phase.

The Atlantic:  The Lasting Trauma of Alex Jones’s Lies, by Megan Garber, 8/3/2020

The systems that have for so long helped to enforce the notion of collective truth in America are no longer sufficient: Deception is everywhere. And it is dangerous.

Daily Beast:  I Spent a Week Down the Right-Wing Media Rabbit Hole—and Was Mesmerized by It, by Philippe Reines, 5/20/2020

Here’s what it’s like to spend a full week of COVID-19 quarantine holed up consuming nothing but Fox News, talk radio, conservative websites, and One America News.

The Atlantic:  Shadowland

Fueled by the internet, partisan media, and the 45th president of the United States—paranoid thinking is more powerful, and more dangerous, than ever, threatening not just individual facts, but the idea that empirical truth exists at all.

CNN:  Fox News pulled off the air in Britain, by Charles Riley, 8/29/2020

Of Ants and Men: Ant Behavior and Political Polarization May Be Driven by the Same Processes, Princeton University, 1/9/2020 

In a paper published January 8, 2020, in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Tokita and Tarnita examined two forces known to drive political polarization and added them to an existing model for how division of labor arises in ant communities. They found that a feedback between these two forces simultaneously resulted in division of labor and polarized social networks. 

Politico:  Life at the Trump Tailgate: Spiked Slurpees, Culture Wars and the Coronavirus Hoax, by Tim Alberta, 5/21/2020

Michigan is beset by disease, floods and joblessness, but it’s voter fraud conspiracies that really frighten the president’s supporters

Politico: Once Again, Democrats Are Caught in the Trump Trap, by John F. Harris, 5/21/2020

Truthout:  Misinforming the Majority: A Deliberate Strategy of Right-Wing Libertarians, by Mark Karlin, 7/9/2017 

 

 

 

July 9:   International Students in Limbo Following New Visa Guidance, by Esha Sarai, VOA

New guidelines introduced this week by U.S. immigration will require international students to leave the U.S. if they do not attend class on campus in person. But students already in the U.S. on F-1 visas will face challenges trying to go home amid a global pandemic.

July 9:  US Sets Another Daily Record for COVID-19 Infections, by VOA News, Voice of America

The novel coronavirus pandemic has reached a new milestone, with more than 12 million confirmed infections, according to the online tracker created by Johns Hopkins University.

 

The United States leads the world’s countries with the most confirmed COVID-19 infections at 3,054,695 — a fourth of the world’s total — including more than 60,000 new cases on Wednesday, the biggest single-day number since the outbreak began.

 

At least five states — California, Texas, Tennessee, West Virginia and Utah — posted a record number of new cases Wednesday, while several states reached records for new cases over a seven-day period. Health officials in Arizona, California, Florida and Texas are also warning that hospitals across their states have reached or are nearing full capacity in their intensive care units.

 

The U.S. is also the world leader in COVID-19 deaths, with well over 132,500, about one-quarter of the 550,600 fatalities worldwide.

July 8:  Michigan nursing home workers faced 'heartbreaking' reality as COVID-19 hit, inspection records reveal, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

As of Sunday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services had tracked 1,988 COVID-19 deaths linked to the facilities, accounting for 33% of the statewide death toll.

 

"It’s overwhelming," Blue said of working in nursing homes during the pandemic. “It’s heartbreaking because you are literally watching someone take their last breath over and over and over again. And there’s nothing you can do about it."

July 8:   Number of Coronavirus Infections in US Passes 3 Million, by Mariama Diallo, Voice of America

In the United States, more than 3 million people have contracted the coronavirus and more than 130,000 people have died. Now there has been a dramatic surge of cases in some of the biggest states in America: California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona. VOA Correspondent Mariama Diallo reports.

July 8:  Mounting evidence suggests coronavirus is airborne — but health advice has not caught up, by Dyani Lewis, Nature

Governments are starting to change policies amid concerns that tiny droplets can carry SARS-CoV-2. And after months of denying the importance of this, the World Health Organization is reconsidering its stance.

July 8:  Prisoners 550% More Likely To Get Covid-19, 300% More Likely To Die, New Study Shows, by Alexandra Sternlicht, Forbes

In facilities with outbreaks where prisoners were tested en masse, infection rate exceeded 65% in multiple cases.

 

More than one-third of prisoners and staff in San Francisco’s San Quentin State Prison have tested positive for coronavirus. According to Nature, Bay Area researchers have been offering prisons free testing, guidelines and advice on how to handle—only to be ignored by prison officials, according to Nature. San Quentin’s outbreak comes after at-risk prisoners were transferred into the facility from Chino—which had become a Covid-19 hotspot—without being tested for the disease. San Quentin officials did not respond to Nature’s request for comment.

July 8:  Coronavirus Rumors Spark Communal Violence in India, by Shaikh Azizur Rahman, VOA

Muslim homes were attacked and burned following claims that Muslims were infecting Hindus

July 8: COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in Federal and State Prisons, by Saloner, Parish, Ward et al, JAMA

July 8:  Pence says CDC changing school reopening guidelines after Trump called them 'tough and expensive' by Maureen Groppe, USA Today

July 8:  Desperation science slows hunt for virus drugs, USA Today

Six months after COVID-19 started spreading around the globe, desperation rather than information is still driving many decisions about how to treat the disease. (July 8)

July 8:  California Gov: 50,000 hospital beds now available, USA Today

July 8:  EPA approves Lysol products for use against coronavirus, by Dalvin Brown, USA Today

July 7:  California's San Quentin prison declined free coronavirus tests and urgent advice — now it has a massive outbreak, by Amy Maxmen, Nature

Soon after their arrival at San Quentin, some of the men showed symptoms. After 25 tested positive, a federal court appointee, J. Clark Kelso, who oversees medical care at California prisons, says he asked Williams and her colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, to visit and advise on San Quentin. The federal court oversees health care at California state prisons owing to a 2005 ruling that the prison health-care delivery system violates the constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

July 7:  He was supposed to be in prison less than a year. Instead, he died after catching the coronavirus, by Jolie McCullough, The Texas Tribune

James Allen Smith was only supposed to be at a Texas prison for a matter of months, sentenced to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program after he pled guilty to a repeat DWI offense in January.

 

But in May, while in a Huntsville prison where Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials halted almost all movement as inmates and employees fell ill with the new coronavirus, the 73-year-old retired teacher from Bastrop also contracted the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Instead of coming home to his family after completing a short program, Smith died in prison custody on June 11.

July 7:  NYC subway rolls out mask vending machines, USA Today

July 7:  'I feel threatened!': Florida man's viral outburst over Costco's mask policy costs him his job at insurance company, by David Dorsey, Fort Myers News-Press

July 3:  Six months of coronavirus: the mysteries scientists are still racing to solve, by Ewen Callaway, Heidi Ledford and Smriti Mallapaty, Nature

They have learnt how the virus enters and hijacks cells, how some people fight it off and how it eventually kills others. They have identified drugs that benefit the sickest patients, and many more potential treatments are in the works. They have developed nearly 200 potential vaccines — the first of which could be proved effective by the end of the year.

 

But for every insight into COVID-19, more questions emerge and others linger.

  • Why do people respond so differently?
  • What’s the nature of immunity and how long does it last?
  • Has the virus developed any worrying mutations?
  • How well will a vaccine work?
  • What is the origin of the virus?

July 3:   What states require face masks in public? Kansas, Ohio, Texas join growing list of states where it's mandatory, by Grace Hauck, USA Today

July 2:  A State-by-State Look at Coronavirus in Prisons, by The Marshall Project

Since March, The Marshall Project has been tracking how many people are being sickened and killed by COVID-19 in prisons and how widely it has spread across the country and within each state. Here, we will regularly update these figures counting the number of people infected and killed nationwide and in each prison system until the crisis abates. 

June 30:  De Blasio and Council, Facing Fiscal Crisis Over Virus, Agree on Budget With Big Cuts, by Dana Rubinstein and Jeffery C. Mays, The New York Times

New York, like the rest of the country, was forced to lock down its economy to limit the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken 22,000 lives in the city. The shutdown helped control the spread of the virus, but it also created a $9 billion revenue shortfall that will have a sharp impact on New Yorkers’ lives.

June 29:  ‘Our Luck May Have Run Out’: California’s Case Count Explodes, by Shawn Hubler and Thomas Fuller, The New York Times

State Senator Richard Pan, a Sacramento physician who led the state’s push to tighten immunization requirements, said that the state might have flattened its curve at first, but that it never bent it down toward zero.

 

“How this disease spreads is all about the margins,” Dr. Pan said. “All it takes is, like, 5 percent more people doing more high-risk behavior to change its direction.”

 

Dr. Pan blames partisanship and misinformation spread by President Trump. On the weekend after June 20, when bars reopened in Los Angeles County, an estimated 500,000 people visited nightspots. Additionally, half of the restaurants visited by county inspectors are not complying with new public health rules, according to health officials.

 

“I’m frustrated because it’s not that we don’t know what to do,” Dr. Pan said. “We know what to do. We’re just not doing it.”

June 29:  The Long, Unhappy History of Working From Home, by David Streitfeld, The New York Times 

 

 

2020 06 29 COVID19Cases

June 29, 2020: New COVID-19 cases per million 

June 29:  Leading the World in self destruction, by David Leonhardt, The New York Times

June 29:  Flu virus with 'pandemic potential' found in China, by Michelle Roberts, BBC 

It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans, they say.

June 29:   Christian activist: I’d rather be ‘beheaded’ than be a ‘slave’ who wears a mask, by Sky Palma, DeadState

June 28:  Florida’s Covid Cases Up Fivefold in 2 Weeks: ‘The Numbers Are Scary’ by Frances Robles, The New York Times

June 28:  Claiming confusion, Texas Medical Center changes how it reports ICU capacity amid COVID-19, by Mike Morris and Zach Despart, The Houston Chronicle

The institutions — which together constitute the world’s largest medical complex — reported Thursday that their base intensive care capacity had hit 100 percent for the first time during the pandemic and was on pace to exceed an “unsustainable surge capacity” of intensive care beds by July 6.

June 28:  Texas Medical Center Deletes ICU Data Amid State's Coronavirus Spike, by Emily Czachor, Newsweek

The Texas Medical Center (TMC), a cluster of hospitals and health care research institutions located in central Houston, previously released ongoing reports detailing ICU admission numbers throughout the pandemic. Its reports included information about patients admitted to Houston-area ICUs with novel virus infections as well as patients admitted for other illnesses. The data was collected from at least seven hospitals affiliated with the TMC's medical network.

 

The TMC published data that showed ongoing changes to Houston's overall ICU capacity, which reached 100 percent late last week. On Wednesday, when 3 percent of the city's ICU beds remained available, the TMC's most recent report noted that nearly 900 additional beds could be added to local hospital units.  373 ICU beds could be added in a "sustainable surge." 504 ICU beds could be added in an emergency, as an "unsustainable surge."

June 28:  The data is in: Fox News may have kept millions from taking the coronavirus threat seriously, by Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post

Three serious research efforts have put numerical weight — yes, data-driven evidence — behind what many suspected all along: Americans who relied on Fox News, or similar right-wing sources, were duped as the coronavirus began its deadly spread.

 

Dangerously duped.

 

Here’s the reality, now backed by numbers:

 

Those who relied on mainstream sources — the network evening newscasts or national newspapers that President Trump constantly blasts as “fake news” — got an accurate assessment of the pandemic’s risks.

 

June 28:  Texas, Arizona face record coronavirus hospitalizations as U.S. cases near 2.5 million, LiveUpdates, The Washington Post 

Texas set a record for coronavirus-related hospitalizations for the 16th day in a row on Saturday, with 5,523 patients being treated. In Arizona, health officials also reported a record, with 2,577 current hospitalizations.

 

The faltering response in the U.S. remains a subject of global shock and fascination, with one prominent French virologist saying Sunday the situation was “explosive.”

June 27:  Houston Moves to ‘Severe’ Covid Warning. Will Enough People Listen? By Manny Fernandez and David Montgomery, The New York Times

Alex Belt, a single mother of three girls and the owner of Silly Silly Girls gift boutique, has a succinct way of describing her life in Houston as officials warn of an alarming spike in coronavirus cases: “Business as usual without the business.”

 

When Ms. Belt, 46, first reopened her store after weeks of mandatory business closures, a wave of loyal customers came in to show their support. Lately, though, the store has often been empty again as Houston residents try to make sense of a fluctuating series of recommendations from state and local officials and a virus that seems to be characterized chiefly by its unpredictability.

 

“It’s hurt us all over the board,” Ms. Belt said. “People are just scared.”

June 27:   Making men feel manly in masks is, unfortunately, a public-health challenge of our time, by Monica Hesse, The Washington Post

June 27:  Young people urged to take virus more seriously as pandemic worsens in U.S., by Annie Gowen, Arelis R. Hernández and Lori Rozsa, The Washington Post

Younger coronavirus patients are a widening percentage of total coronavirus hospitalizations, with those in the 18 to 49 age group growing from about 27 percent of hospitalizations the week ending March 7 to 35 percent this past week, CDC figures show.

June 27:   With Trump leading the way, America’s coronavirus failures exposed by record surge in new infections, by Toluse Olorunnipa, Josh Dawsey and Yasmeen Abutaleb, The Washington Post 

As local officials struggled to enforce stay-at-home orders and other restrictions, the virus continued to circulate throughout a country riven by partisan politics and devoid of a national public health strategy, said Max Skidmore, a political scientist at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and author of a book on presidential leadership during health crises.

 

“We’re the only country in the world that has politicized the approach to a pandemic,” he said.

June 27:  Workers removed thousands of social distancing stickers before Trump’s Tulsa rally, according to video and a person familiar with the set-up, by Joshua Partlow and Josh Dawsey, The Washington Post

In the hours before President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, his campaign directed the removal of thousands of “Do Not Sit Here, Please!” stickers from seats in the arena that were intended to establish social distance between rallygoers, according to video and photos obtained by The Washington Post and a person familiar with the event.

 

The removal contradicted instructions from the management of the BOK Center, the 19,000-seat arena in downtown Tulsa where Trump held his rally on June 20.  As part of its safety plan, arena management had purchased 12,000 do-not-sit stickers for Trump’s rally, intended to keep people apart by leaving open seats between attendees. On the day of the rally, event staff had already affixed them on nearly every other seat in the arena when Trump’s campaign told event management to stop and then began removing the stickers, hours before the president’s arrival, according to a person familiar with the event who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.

June 26:  In Tulsa, Trump Campaign Subverted Social Distancing One Sticker at a Time, by Dave Brooks, Billboard Magazine

A video created by a third party and reviewed by Billboard shows Trump staffers methodically walking the aisles of BOK Center and peeling the three-inch square stickers from thousands of chairs ahead of the “Make America Great Again” rally. (Trump’s campaign did not respond to Billboard’s request for comment.

 

While organizers faced criticism for staging a rally during a pandemic, Thornton says ASM had no legal basis to stop the event. The state’s Republican governor, its nine state supreme court justices and Tulsa’s Republican mayor signed off on the event and said it had a legal right to move forward -- although mayor G.T. Bynum later said he would have supported ASM Global if it had canceled the rally, prompting mayoral aide Jack Graham to resign in protest.

 

“The mayor’s lack of leadership could have killed someone, that’s a redline for me,” Graham tells Billboard.

 

The campaign paid $573,705 to rent the building for what was “the first event with any measurable crowd in an arena since the pandemic.” 

June 26:  Florida Smirked at New York’s Virus Crisis. Now It Has Its Own, by J. David Goodman and Patricia Mazzei, The New York Times

In late April, as new coronavirus cases in Florida were steadily decreasing, Gov. Ron DeSantis began crowing about how his state had tamed the pandemic.

 

He credited his decision to impose a state-specific quarantine on New York, then the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak. The move earned him praise in the White House and the ire of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York.

 

Months later, Mr. Cuomo has clearly not forgotten.

 

“You played politics with this virus and you lost,” Mr. Cuomo said on Thursday when asked in an interview about Mr. DeSantis’s earlier boasts.

June 26:  Reopening reverses course in Texas and Florida as coronavirus cases spike, by Arelis R. Hernández, Francis Stead Sellers and Ben Guarino, The Washington Post

“Wishful thinking got us here,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

June 26:  Airlines tried social distancing on board. For many, that experiment is ending, by Hannah Sampson, The Washington Post

After capping the number of people on flights since April, American Airlines announced Friday that its planes will likely be full in a few days.

 

“As more people continue to travel, customers may notice that flights are booked to capacity starting July 1,” the airline said in a news release.

June 25:  As Virus Surges, Younger People Account for ‘Disturbing’ Number of Cases, by Julie Bosman and Sarah Mervosh, The New York Times

In Arizona, where drive-up sites are overwhelmed by people seeking coronavirus tests, people ages 20 to 44 account for nearly half of all cases. In Florida, which breaks records for new cases nearly every day, the median age of residents testing positive for the virus has dropped to 35, down from 65 in March.

June 25:  Still Reeling From Oil Plunge, Texas Faces New Threat: Surge in Virus Cases, by Clifford Krauss, The New York Times

June 25:  Texas Pauses Reopening as Virus Cases Soar Across the South and West, by Manny Hernandez and Sarah Mervosh, The New York Times

HOUSTON — Just 55 days after reopening Texas restaurants and other businesses, Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday hit the pause button, stopping additional phases of the state’s reopening as new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations soared and as the governor struggled to pull off the seemingly impossible task of keeping both the state open and the virus under control.

June 25:  New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic, by Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post

June 24:  Mounting clues suggest the coronavirus might trigger diabetes, by Smriti Mallapaty, Nature

Diabetes is already known to be a key risk factor for developing severe COVID-191 and people with the condition are more likely to die2. “Diabetes is dynamite if you get COVID-19,” says Paul Zimmet, who studies the metabolic disease at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

 

Now Zimmet is among a growing number of researchers who think that diabetes doesn’t just make people more vulnerable to the coronavirus, but that the virus might also trigger diabetes in some3. “Diabetes itself is a pandemic just like the COVID-19 pandemic. The two pandemics could be clashing,” he says.

June 22:   Team Trump Says It Was a COVID Testing ‘Joke.’ His Own Health Officials Aren’t Laughing, by Erin Banco, Daily Beast

[Editor: Tapper's interview reveals Peter Navarro at his worst, one of the more naked attempts at deflection and evasion ever aired. ]

June 21:  Amid Outrage, Trump Aide Insists Testing Slowdown Line Was ‘Tongue in Cheek’, by Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

“I’m not the one making jokes about it,” Jake Tapper shot back. “You’re the one that said the president was being tongue in cheek.”

6/21/2020:  Trump used his rally to air his personal grievances. He could learn from another event, by Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post 

“Here’s the bad part: When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people slow the testing down please,” Trump said.

 

The president’s contempt for measures that public health experts say are crucial was clear when he said that some of those now being classified as victims of the virus are 10-year-olds with “the sniffles.” And he couldn’t resist throwing in a racist trope, referring to it as “Kung flu” — a term that his own counselor Kellyanne Conway has called “highly offensive.”

6/21/2020:  The pandemic Trump cannot ignore, by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post 

It is not so much that Americans have given up. Rather, it is that their president has made coronavirus-spreading conduct a test of political loyalty.  The Republican Party, in its blind devotion to a man of such inhuman indifference to life (so much for the pro-life party), has succeeded in creating a culture war over unarguably effective health precautions. Protect yourself and your community or venerate Trump. Republicans choose the latter. A sea of white, unmasked faces showed up in Tulsa to flaunt their disdain for science and for human life.

June 20:  How Many Undetected COVID-19 Cases Are Out There? By David Axe, Daily Beast

Debate is still raging over the possibility that authorities have hugely undercounted deaths attributable to the disease—not just cases. Klausner credited a potential undercount in part to states’ different ways of categorizing deaths related to coronavirus infections. “Someone with COVID-19 dies of a heart attack, in some states that’s a heart-attack death,” Klausner said. “In some states that’s COVID.”

6/20/2020:  State reports 20 COVID-19 deaths, 255 new cases, by Karen Bouffard, The Detroit News

The 20 deaths are four times the five reported Friday and come after weeks when the number of new cases and new deaths have dropped progressively.

6/20/2020:  McCosky: Virus was always going to win: Baseball must access logical path to a healthy '21, by Chris McCosky, The Detroit News 

6/20/2020:  6 staffers setting up for Trump rally positive for COVID-19, by Jill Colvin, Associated Press

6/20/2020:   'I felt like a truck hit me': Red Wings dietitian Lisa McDowell overcomes coronavirus, by Ted Kulfan, The Detroit News

6/19/2020:  We can’t bear the truth of covid-19, so we’ve just decided to forget, by Megan McArdle, The Washington Post

Colleges are announcing plans to reopen campus. The administrations offer a lot of happy talk about how they’ll keep students and employees safe through reduced occupancy of dorm rooms, distanced seats in dining halls and online versions of larger lecture classes. Few seem to be acknowledging that the primary risk of reopening is bringing large numbers of people together at the age when their appetite for risk is highest.

6/19/2020:  In countries keeping the coronavirus at bay, experts watch U.S. case numbers with alarm, by Rick Noack, The Washington Post

“It really does feel like the U.S. has given up,” said Siouxsie Wiles, an infectious-diseases specialist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand — a country that has confirmed only three new cases over the past three weeks and where citizens have now largely returned to their pre-coronavirus routines.

6/19/2020:  Federal judge orders Michigan gyms reopened June 25; Whitmer to appeal, by Beth LeBlanc and Sam Jones, The Detroit News

The ruling comes during a week when a national nonprofit that's been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 said Michigan is one of three states "on track to contain" the novel coronavirus. COVID Act Now, a group of technologists, epidemiologists, health experts and public policy leaders, tweeted Tuesday that Michigan had moved to its lowest risk category on its warning dashboard for states.

6/19/2020:  Couple who lost Genoa Township gym during COVID-19 crisis says gyms should stay closed, by Jennifer Timar, Livingston Daily

"I do high energy classes and breathing is a huge factor," she said. "For me it's about the safety of my members, because everything I do is science-based. With everyone breathing, I can tell what's been in their mouths, what they ate. Every single person is going to breathe on each other."

6/19/2020:  MLB spring training sites close amid virus worry, by Ben Walker, Associated Press

Every team in Major League Baseball will shut its spring training camp over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, a move that came in the wake of the Philadelphia Phillies announcing Friday five players had tested positive for COVID-19.

6/19/2020:  Japan opens baseball season after 3-month pandemic delay, by Stephen Wade and Koji Ueda, Associated Press

After a three-month delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s second-most famous baseball competition opened a season Friday that will be shortened from its regular 143 games to 120. That, of course, is twice as many as MLB figures to play — if it plays at all.

6/19/2020:  Michigan declined nursing home leader's idea to put COVID-19 patients in vacant centers, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

As of Monday, the state reported 1,947 deaths among individuals who lived in nursing facilities and 20 deaths among staff. The tallies represented about more than a third of the statewide death toll at that point. Overall, two-thirds of Michigan's COVID-19 deaths have been individuals 70 years old or older, according to state data.

6/17/2020:  COVID-19 modeling site: Michigan one of three states 'on track to contain' virus, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

New York and Michigan, two states that were hit hard by COVID-19 in March and April but took drastic steps to try to stem its spread, were listed early Wednesday as the only two states with the "on track to contain COVID" designation, the lowest of four risk level categories, according to COVID Act Now. Later in the day, the organization gave New Jersey the designation.

6/17/2020:  Whitmer preps school reopening plan, calls GOP 'irresponsible' on emergency power moves, by Beth LeBlanc, The Detroit News

6/17/2020:  ‘The Greeks Are Gone from Troy for Sure,’ by Mike Pence, by Alexandra Petri, The Washington Post

Now is the time to bring in the horse and commemorate this achievement. We have defeated this visible enemy, which was also sometimes invisible because the gods are tricky.

 

Look, we can test the horse, if you like, but I think testing just makes it more likely you will find out information that makes you unhappy, and that is the last thing we need in our moment of triumph. But sure, have Helen walk around the horse calling out in the voices of the Greeks’ loved ones, just in case! Knock yourself out! I am sure the worst is over.

6/17/2020:  Since Some Republicans Still Refuse to Wear Masks in Congress, Now Nancy Pelosi Is Requiring It
By Elliot Hannon

June 16:  Trump’s COVID Data Crunchers See Coronavirus Racing Down America’s Major Highways, by Erin Banco, Daily Beast

6/16/2020:  Northern Michigan avoids COVID-19 spikes since reopening, by Craig Mauger, The Detroit News

6/16/2020:   A Mad Scramble to Stock Millions of Malaria Pills, Likely for Nothing, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration’s abrupt decision this week to revoke an emergency waiver for two malaria drugs promoted by President Trump as potential “game changers” against the coronavirus has left 66 million doses stranded in the federal stockpile — and officials do not yet know what they will do with them.

 

As of Monday, the government has distributed 31 million tablets of hydroxychloroquine to state and local health departments, hospitals and research institutions; 63 million tablets remain, according to Carol Danko, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services. Officials are working with the companies that donated the drugs to “determine the available options” for the products.

6/16/2020:  BUSTED: Four congress members cashed in on the half-trillion-dollar loan program they helped create, by Tom Boggioni, RawStory 

6/16/2020:  Trump supporter says dying of COVID after Tulsa event will just make him mad he won’t be able to vote: report, by Matthew Chapman, RawStory 

6/16/2020:   Montgomery City Council votes down mask ordinance, sends doctors out in disgust, by Brad Harper, Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser

"The units are full with critically-ill COVID patients," pulmonologist William Saliski said. About 90% of them are Black. He said hospitals are able to manage for now, but it's not sustainable. "This mask slows that down, 95% protection from something as easy as cloth. ... If this continues the way it's going, we will be overrun."

 

More doctors followed him to the microphone, describing the dead being carried out within 30 minutes of each other, and doctors being disturbed when people on the street ask them if the media is lying about the pandemic as part of a political ploy.

 

After they spoke, and before the council voted on a proposal by Councilman C.C. Calhoun to mandate mask-wearing in public in Montgomery, Councilman Brantley Lyons questioned whether masks and six-foot distancing really helps. They do, the doctors replied. Lyons was unmoved. "At the end of the day, if an illness or a pandemic comes through we do not throw our constitutional rights out the window," Lyons said.

 

William Boyd, one of several people who spoke in favor of the ordinance, said he's lost six family members to COVID-19.  "The question on the table is whether Black lives matter."

 

Reporter Brad Harpers Council meeting tweets

June 16:  How deadly is the coronavirus? Scientists are close to an answer, by Smriti Mallapaty, Nature

Public-health researchers use the infection fatality rate to gauge how to respond to a new disease, but it’s tricky to calculate.

 

Some of the first indications of the virus’s deadliness were gleaned from the total number of confirmed cases in China. In late February, the World Health Organization crudely estimated that 38 people had died for every 1,000 with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses. The death rate among these people — known as the case fatality rate (CFR) — reached as high as 58 out of 1,000 in Wuhan, the city where the virus emerged. But such estimates exaggerated the disease’s deadliness because they did not account for the many people who had the virus but were not tested, obscuring the outbreak’s true spread.

 

Researchers tried to address this gap by estimating the IFR from models that projected the virus’s spread. The result from these early analyses hovered around 0.9% — 9 deaths for every 1,000 people infected — with a broader range of 0.4–3.6%, says Verity. His own modelling estimated an overall IFR for China of 7 deaths for every 1,000 people infected, increasing to 33 per thousand among those aged 60 or older.

6/16/2020:  Florida sees record 2,783 one-day total of new coronavirus cases, The Washington Post 

Days after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) waved off concerns about Florida’s growing coronavirus outbreak, the state Tuesday tallied its highest single-day count of new cases of 2,783, according to data tracked by The Washington Post.

 

Totals for Florida’s seven-day average of new cases have hit record highs for the past nine days straight; a week ago, the state’s one-day total of new cases was 1,096.

6/16/2020:  Snake Oil Peddler in Chief predicts a coronavirus vaccine by the end of year. Public health experts disagree, The Washington Post 

6/16/2020:  Children are only half as likely to get infected by the coronavirus, study finds, by Joel Achenbach and Laura Meckler, The Washington Post

Children and teenagers are only half as likely to get infected with the coronavirus as adults age 20 and older, and they usually don’t develop clinical symptoms of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, according to a study published Tuesday.

6/16/2020:  Age-dependent effects in the transmission and control of COVID-19 epidemics, by Nicholas G. Davies, Petra Klepac, Yang Liu, Kiesha Prem, Mark Jit, CMMID COVID-19 working group & Rosalind M. Eggo, Nature Medicine

We estimate that susceptibility to infection in individuals under 20 years of age is approximately half that of adults aged over 20 years, and that clinical symptoms manifest in 21% (95% credible interval: 12–31%) of infections in 10- to 19-year-olds, rising to 69% (57–82%) of infections in people aged over 70 years.

Toilet Plume Vortex Caused by Common Annular Flushing 777x708 

6/16/2020:  Put a lid on it, folks: Flushing may release coronavirus-containing ‘toilet plumes’, by Karin Brulliard and William Wan, The Washington Post

For all our paranoia about the surface of toilet seats — the tissue paper we oh-so-carefully lay down, the thin covers often offered in public stalls — germ transmission from skin contact is a relatively small health risk compared with what happens after you flush. That’s when bits of fecal matter swish around so violently that they can be propelled into the air, become aerosolized and then settle on the surroundings.

 

Experts call it the “toilet plume.”

 

The simulations show that nearly 60% of the ejected particles rise high above the seat for a toilet with two inlet ports. A solution to this deadly problem is to simply close the lid before flushing, since this should decrease aerosol spread.

 

However, in many countries, including the United States, toilets in public restrooms are often without lids. This poses a serious hazard. The investigators also suggest a better toilet design would include a lid that closes automatically before flushing.

6/16/2020:  Can a toilet promote virus transmission? From a fluid dynamics perspective, by Yun-yun Li, Ji-Xiang Wang and Xi Chen, Physics of Fluids

The volume-of-fluid (VOF) model is used to simulate two common flushing processes (single-inlet flushing and annular flushing), and the VOF–discrete phase model (DPM) method is used to model the trajectories of aerosol particles during flushing. The simulation results are alarming in that massive upward transport of virus particles is observed, with 40%–60% of particles reaching above the toilet seat, leading to large-scale virus spread.

June 15:  Trump Touted the Economy’s COVID Resilience While His Top Aide Dumped His Stocks, by Lachlan Markay, Daily Beast

Mick Mulvaney, then the acting White House chief of staff and the director of the Office of Management and Budget, sold between $215,000 and $550,000 in holdings in three mutual funds on March 4, according to ethics paperwork he submitted late last month. Holdings in each of the three funds are made up almost entirely of U.S. stocks.

 

“Our economy is doing fantastically,” Trump told Fox primetime host Sean Hannity, the day of the Mulvaney transactions. “Numbers are coming out very well. The consumer in the United States is unbelievably strong, stronger than ever before, I believe.”

 

The day after Mulvaney sold those holdings, the values of all three of the mutual funds he offloaded plummeted,

June 15:  As Alabama coronavirus cases mount, Gov. Ivey, ADPH stick with same approach, guidelines, by Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser.

June 15:  Brazil faces the coronavirus disaster almost everyone saw coming, by Ishaan Tharoor, The Washington Post

By the end of last week, Brazil reached a grisly milestone. It surpassed Britain in confirmed coronavirus-linked fatalities, ranking now only below the United States with more than 42,000 dead and more than 867,000 confirmed cases. Infection rates are still surging, the country’s daily death tolls are among the highest in the world and health authorities aren’t close to flattening the curve. In one study, researchers project that the country could see 100,000 deaths before August.

June 15:  Patients with underlying conditions were 12 times as likely to die of covid-19 as otherwise healthy people, CDC finds, by Lena H. Sun, The Washington Post

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data on more than 1.7 million coronavirus cases and 103,700 deaths from covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, reported to the agency from state and territorial health departments from Jan. 22 through May 30.

 

People with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes were hospitalized six times as often as otherwise healthy individuals infected with the novel coronavirus during the first four months of the pandemic, and they died 12 times as often, according to the report.

June 15:  Coronavirus recommendations ignored as case numbers rise, by Lenny Bernstein, Rachel Weiner and Joel Achenbach, The Washington Post

They’ve come to believe it’s a phony pandemic because their own personal grandmother hasn’t been affected yet,” said Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist at the University of California at Irvine, in Orange County. Elected officials last week forced the county health department to scale back a mask-wearing order. “People just think this is a nothingburger. So they think the risk is exaggerated.”

 

Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, which represents 80,000 registered nurses, said “the idea that we are going to tolerate a certain number of deaths as a nation is outrageous. . . . It’s irresponsible of these governors to be so blasé about the idea that more people are going to be infected and die because they made a decision to reopen without the safety precautions that workers and consumers need.”

June 15:  F.D.A. Revokes Emergency Approval of Malaria Drugs Promoted by Trump, by Katie Thomas, The New York Times

The agency said that a review of some studies showed that the drugs’ potential benefits in treating Covid-19 did not outweigh the risks.

June 15:  U.S. revokes emergency use of malaria drugs for treating COVID-19, by Matthew Perrone, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — U.S. regulators on Monday revoked emergency authorization for malaria drugs promoted by President Trump for treating COVID-19 amid growing evidence they don’t work and could cause deadly side effects.

June 15:  The Drug That Could Protect the Body’s Own Tissue Against COVID, by David Exe, Daily Beast

The drug TXA127 works by replacing a key lung enzyme that the novel coronavirus has a tendency to suppress. There’s some evidence that this replacement enzyme could help to calm the overactive immune response—the so-called cytokine storm—that’s common in severe COVID cases.

June 15:   Doctors Warn: COVID-19 Threatens the Entire Nervous System, by Igor. J Koralnik M.D. and Kenneth L. Tyler M.D, Annals of Neurology (via SciTechDaily)

June 14:  Trump's upcoming Fascist Fanboi rally presents Coronavirus superspreader event risks, health experts warn, by Derek Hawkins, Paul Schemm, Meryl Kornfield, Brittany Shammas, Adam Taylor, Hannah Knowles, Steven Goff and Kareem Copeland , The Washington Post

June 13:   All of a Sudden It Blows Up’: Arkansas' COVID Problem Is Just Getting Started, by Olivia Messer, Daily Beast

For months, New Yorkers saw their hospitals flood with COVID-19 patients and bodies pile up in refrigerated overflow morgue trucks. Meanwhile, other parts of the country never even implemented a statewide lockdown.  For those hoping a slew of Southern and rural states might have avoided the worst of the pandemic entirely, Friday’s case counts provided a grim answer.

June 13:  With 2,581 new coronavirus cases, Florida hits a record high for the third day in a row, by Howard Cohen, Miami Herald

 

June 12:  Stealth Cleanings and COVID-19: The Terror Inside a Dollar General Warehouse, by Kate Briquelet, Daily Beast

March 19:  South Korea’s success in controlling disease is due to its acceptance of surveillance, by Jung Won Sonn, The Conversation 

The premise of this three month old story remains true.  Who hasn't controlled COVID-19?  The nation of overarmed and underbrained, selfish, sneering, stupid loudmouths.  If you're doing the right thing, wearing your admittedly uncomfortable mask, keeping that six foot minimum distance from others in public, good for you.  It's an uphill battle.

June 12:   The Virus Will Win, by Yascha Mounk, The Atlantic

Americans are pretending that the pandemic is over. It certainly is not.

June 12:  Florida fired its coronavirus data scientist. Now she’s publishing the statistics on her own, by Marisa Iati, The Washington Post

Managers had wanted Rebekah Jones to make certain changes to the public-facing portal, she says. Jones had objected to — and sometimes refused to comply with — what she saw as unethical requests. She says the department offered to let her resign. Jones declined.

 

Weeks after she was fired in mid-May, Jones has now found a way to present the state’s coronavirus data exactly the way she wants it: She created a dashboard of her own.

June 12:  CDC issues new covid-19 guidelines at a time of protests and rallies, by Lena H. Sun, Chelsea Janes and Toluse Olorunnipa, The Washington Post

The CDC guidance includes a recommendation that organizers of large events that involve shouting, chanting or singing “strongly encourage” the use of cloth face coverings.

 

Federal health officials on Friday said their guidance was aimed at keeping people safe as states reopen and communities plan and hold gatherings, such as concerts, festivals, conferences, parades, weddings and sporting events. Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director of infectious diseases, sidestepped questions about whether the agency’s new guidance for large gatherings applies to campaign rallies, saying the recommendations speak for themselves.

June 12:  Pandemic deepens economic pain at Trump’s company, already suffering from a tarnished brand, by Joshua Partlow, David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell, The Washington Post

Hotels in the United States lost 82 percent of their business for April compared with the same month last year, according to hotel data analysis firm STR. Luxury hotels saw their businesses wiped out almost completely, losing 96.6 percent of their business in April after taking in just $60 million in revenue nationwide.

 

Even before the pandemic, there were signs that Trump’s politics drove away some potential customers.  “The vibe I got was that half of the guests wouldn’t feel comfortable ever coming to a meeting there,” said a former employee at Trump’s D.C. hotel who was involved in booking conferences. Some hurdles can be overcome with good salesmanship, the former staffer said, but “this wasn’t overcome-able.”

June 12:  Coronavirus 2nd Wave? Nope, The U.S. Is Still Stuck In The 1st One, by Nurith Aizenman, NPR Michigan Radio

June 12:  Oregon Pauses Reopening As Coronavirus Cases Rise, by Austin Horn, NPR Michigan Radio

"In order to ensure that the virus is not spreading too quickly, I am putting all county applications for further reopening on hold for seven days," Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement. "This is essentially a statewide 'yellow light.' It is time to press pause for one week before any further reopening."

June 12:  100 Graves Dug At Copacabana Beach To Protest Brazil's COVID-19 Response, by Suzanne Nuyen, NPR Michigan Radio

Volunteers critical of Brazil's response to the coronavirus pandemic dug 100 graves with black crosses in Rio's Copacabana Beach as a reminder of the more than 40,000 people who have died because of the virus in the country so far. The event was held by an organization called Rio de Paz. In a Facebook post, the organization said the graves were meant to protest a "succession of mistakes made by the Federal Government in conducting this humanitarian crisis." Brazil has become a major epicenter of COVID-19, with the number of infections there second only to the United States.

June 12:  'The Last Gift You Sent Me': Coronavirus Whistleblower's Widow Gives Birth, by Colin Dwyer, NPR Michigan Radio

When Dr. Li Wenliang died of COVID-19, several weeks after the Chinese whistleblower tried to warn the world about the coronavirus, his family was expecting to grow in the coming months.

 

Now his widow, Fu Xuejie, has welcomed their second child, a baby boy, to the world without him.

 

"Husband, are you watching from heaven? The last gift you sent to me has been born," Fu said in a note posted to the Chinese social media platform WeChat. "I will definitely take care of him well."

June 12:  Questions About How Crash Program Is Picking Coronavirus Vaccines To Back, by Sydney Lupkin, Morning Edition, NPR Michigan Radio

June 12:  The Coronavirus Is Spreading Through Indigenous Amazon Communities, by John Otis, NPR Michigan Public Radio 

June 11:  County libraries offering curbside pickup, modified services, by Kayla Daughterty, Livingston Daily

June 11:  Livingston County's food banks have distributed more than 450 tons of food since March, by Kayla Daughtery, Livingston Daily

June 11:  Florida And S.C. Report New Spikes In Coronavirus Cases, by Bill Chappell, NPR Michigan Radio

A record high in South Carolina. A two-month high in Florida. Record hospitalizations in Texas. Several states that were among the first to reopen their economies are now reporting spikes in new coronavirus cases, driving an alarming trend that has propelled the U.S. to 2 million cases.

 

Florida reported nearly 1,700 new cases Thursday morning — "the biggest jump since March," as NPR member station WLRN reported. Hours after the state published that data, Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled his plan to reopen schools in August, urging local governments to aim for "full capacity" when they resume classes.

June 11:  Five Coronavirus Treatments In Development, by Joe Palca, NPR Michigan Radio

June 11:  Nursing Homes Run Short Of COVID-19 Protective Gear As Federal Response Falters, by Jordan Rau, NPR

The CMS records show 711 nursing homes reported having run out of N95 masks, and 1,963 said they had less than a week's worth. But FEMA is not shipping any N95 masks, and nursing homes are having trouble obtaining them from other sources. Instead, the agency is sending surgical masks, but more than 1,000 homes have less than a week's supply of those.

June 11:   Coronavirus forces Espresso Royale to close all locations, by Dana Afana, MLive

The company opened its first Ann Arbor cafe in 1988 on State Street and later on Main Street, Plymouth Road in the Traver Village center, South University Avenue and Woodland Plaza.  Espresso Royale today announced on its website that the company “has not survived” the pandemic and is closing locations in Ann Arbor, East Lansing and Madison.

June 11: ‘We Will Cross The 200,000 Mark’ In Coronavirus Deaths By September, Dr. Ashish Jha Says, Today

June 11:  Trump Campaign Says You Can’t Sue If You Get COVID-19 At His Rally, by Lydia O"Connor, HuffPost

Those registering for President Donald Trump’s massive rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, next week will notice a message on his campaign website when they sign up: You may contract COVID-19 at the rally, but it’s not Trump’s fault.

 

The Tulsa rally venue ― an indoor arena with a 19,000-person capacity ― is a prime breeding ground for the virus to spread, especially if basic safety measures aren’t put into effect. In its message to registrants, the Trump campaign says catching the virus is “an inherent risk” of attendin:

 

By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.

June 11:  N.C. Health Secretary Warns Of Surge In Cases, Possible Return Of Stay-At-Home Orders, by Christianna Silva, NPR Michigan Radio

June 11:  Arizona hospitals overwhelmed as coronavirus cases rise, CBS Evening News

June 11:  Coronavirus cases jump nearly 300% since May 1 in Arizona, CNBC

June 11:  These people have been sick with coronavirus for more than 60 days, by Ariana Eunjung Cha and Lenny Bernstein, The Washington Post

June 11:  Sobering Jobs Outlook: ‘We’re Expecting a Long Haul’  More than 1.5 million sought state unemployment benefits last week as layoffs spread to more job categories even as businesses reopened, by Tiffany Hsu, The New York Times

June 11:  Stocks Crater as Economic Warnings Rattle Confidence: Live Updates, The New York Times 

June 11:  U.S. surpasses 2 million coronavirus cases, Joe Fox, Brittany Renee Mayes, Kevin Schaul and Leslie Shapiro,  The Washington Post

The disease caused by the novel coronavirus has killed at least 112,000 people in the United States since February. By April 13, it had killed in every state.

 

The overall daily death toll began to decline in May, largely because of a sharp decrease in deaths and reported infections in some of the hardest-hit urban centers such as Detroit, Seattle, New Orleans, and, most notably, New York City.

 

But the virus continues to accelerate in pockets of more rural areas, and public health officials fear new surges as states loosen restrictions after weeks of near-total sheltering in place. Raucous Memorial Day crowds flooded newly opened bars, lakes and beaches.

 

Most health officials — including the country’s foremost epidemiologist, Anthony S. Fauci, in testimony before the Senate — say the virus has killed more people than official death tolls indicate.

June 11:  Surgeons perform first known U.S. lung transplant for covid-19 patient, by Lenny Bernstein and Martine Powers, The Washington Post

June 11:  Dutch Study Indicates Value of Sewage Monitoring for SARS-CoV-2 Tracking, ACS

June 11:  COVID-19 Mouse Model Created To Accelerate Drug and Vaccine Development, Genomics and Epigenetics

June 11:   Cow-derived COVID-19 Candidate Treatment Produces Four Times More Neutralizing Antibody, Suggests Data, by Ruairi J MacKenzie, Genomics and Epigenetics

June 10:  The 'Concerned Citizen Who Happens To Be Armed' Is Showing Up At Protests, by Nate Hegyi, NPR Michigan Radio

June 10:  Protesting? Here's How To Help Keep Your Family Safe From COVID-19 When You Go Home, by Maria Godoy, NPR Michigan Radio

If you live with others, she says, "you really have to do a risk calculation about who you're living with, who you care for, what your job might be." That's because it's hard to keep a safe distance in large crowds, and often protests involve other high-risk activities like singing and chanting, which can spread the virus. If your household includes vulnerable people, such as an elderly grandparent or someone who is immunocompromised, she says, consider an alternate form of protest – like a car caravan.

June 8:  The Army Declares War on Coronavirus, by David Axe, Daily Beast

Their assets are considerable. Not only does the Army oversee several high-tech labs, it also has access to the Defense Department’s extensive hospital infrastructure as well as health resources in foreign countries. In 2009, the Army famously organized, in Thailand, the only large-scale trial of an HIV vaccine that demonstrated any effectiveness. That effort involved 16,000 volunteers at 55 sites across Thailand.

June 8:  Reopening plans for Detroit casinos include ban on smoking, poker, buffets, by JC Reindl, Detroit Free Press

Future visitors to the three Detroit casinos will be required to wear face masks, submit to temperature checks and be prohibited from smoking, playing poker or eating at the buffet, according to reopening guidelines approved Monday by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

 

The guidelines, which also limit the casinos to 15% of their maximum occupancy capacity, would be in effect once Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifts her executive order that closed the casinos March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Berkeley News:  Emergency COVID-19 measures prevented more than 500 million infections, study finds, by Edward Lempinen, 6/8/2020 

In the first peer-reviewed analysis of local, regional and national policies, the researchers found that travel restrictions, business and school closures, shelter-in-place orders and other non-pharmaceutical interventions averted roughly 530 million COVID-19 infections across the six countries in the study period ending April 6. Of these infections, 62 million would likely have been “confirmed cases,” given limited testing in each country.

 

“The last several months have been extraordinarily difficult, but through our individual sacrifices, people everywhere have each contributed to one of humanity’s greatest collective achievements,” Hsiang said. “I don’t think any human endeavor has ever saved so many lives in such a short period of time. There have been huge personal costs to staying home and canceling events, but the data show that each day made a profound difference. By using science and cooperating, we changed the course of history.”

 

The study evaluated 1,717 policies implemented in China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France and the United States in the period extending from the emergence of the virus in January to April 6, 2020.

ABC15 Arizona:   Arizona state health director tells hospitals to "fully activate" their facility emergency plans, by Cydeni Carter, 6/8/2020

The letter was dated the same day that ADHS director Dr. Cara Christ told ABC15 that her department's staff had made errors and reported incorrect hospitalization numbers since April on the Arizona Department of Health Services coronavirus dashboard.

 

On Friday, ADHS reported the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, while medical centers across the state had 1,234 coronavirus inpatients and 718 emergency room visits.

 

Banner Health says they are seeing a steady climb in coronavirus cases in Arizona and they have reached capacity for patients with receiving ECMO treatment.

NPR Michigan Radio:  With No Current Cases, New Zealand Lifts Remaining COVID-19 Restrictions, by Scott Neuman, 6/8/2020 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the country has officially eradicated COVID-19 and will return to normal after the last-known infected person recovered.  Isolation and quarantine for those arriving from abroad will continue.

Detroit News:  Bars and restaurants welcome customers back Monday, by Melody Baetens, 6/8/2020

Detroit News:  Families, lawmakers seek answers on Michigan's COVID-19 nursing home death toll, by Craig Mauger, 6/8/2020

6/7/2020:  Bloodied store manager describes life in the age of COVID-19, by John Rogers, Associated Press

For weeks Samantha Clarke calmly listened to the insults and threats directed daily at her and her employees by people who learned they couldn’t enter the Modesto, California, store without wearing a mask and following other coronavirus-related rules.

 

But never, says the 17-year veteran of retail sales, did she expect she’d be sucker-punched and left with blood gushing from her battered face.

Wired:  How Covid-19 Contact Tracing Works on Your Phone, by David Nield, 6/7/2020

Dallas Morning News:  Experts warned of a second wave of coronavirus cases as reopenings swept Texas in May, by By Anna Kuchment and Sue Ambrose, 6/7/2020

In fact, Nandy said, mobility patterns across the country all look similar over the past few months, no matter when — or whether — governors issued statewide lockdowns.

 

“What that tells me is that as soon as people realized this was a serious public health issue, they took measures themselves,” he said. “People are making collective decisions based on how safe they feel.”

Detroit News:  Michigan COVID-19 numbers continue to dwindle, by Ariana Taylor, 6/7/2020

Sunday's death toll is the lowest daily count the state has seen since March 19, when the state reported five deaths.

Wall Street Journal:  Covid-19 Stalks Crowded Households, Even in Rural America, by Ian Lovett, Dan Frosch and Paul Overberg, 6/7/2020

Rural hamlets where extended families live under the same roof have turned deadlier than some of the densest blocks of Manhattan.

June 5:  How a Tax Benefit for Developers Could Backfire in the Pandemic, by Paul Sullivan, The New York Times

Nationally, smaller real estate exchanges — worth less than $3 million — have come to a halt, and larger ones are being delayed, said Alex Madden, vice president of Kay Properties and Investments, an online marketplace for 1031 exchanges.

 

He said the number of properties for sale nationally was down by 75 percent since mid-March. The ones that remain attractive are properties that he called “coronavirus resistant,” like drugstores and distribution facilities that serve companies like Amazon or FedEx.

June 5:  J.C. Penney store closings list released: 3 Michigan stores included, by Nathan Borney, USA Today

J.C. Penney on Thursday revealed its initial list of proposed stores to be closed permanently as the company tries to stabilize its finances under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Three of the closures are in Michigan. The department store chain, the largest company to file for bankruptcy protection so far during the coronavirus pandemic, had already said it would close 242 locations for good, leaving about 600 open.

Wired:  Covid-19 Cases Were Already Rising Before the George Floyd Protests, by Megan Moteni, 6/5/2020

What scientists are already starting to see, however, is that in at least 14 states, including Minnesota, case numbers have been on the rise following the relaxation of stay-at-home orders. And correspondingly, intensive care units have been filling up. In these spikes, epidemiologists see the consequences of states opening up too early, before establishing adequate testing and tracing resources to contend with new outbreaks. And they’re worried about those two forces colliding.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Employment Situation Summary, 6/5/2020

Wired:  Schools Turn to Surveillance Tech to Prevent Covid-19 Spread, by Will Knight, 6/5/2020

Episcopal News Service:   Episcopal farmworker ministries respond to needs during COVID-19 pandemic, by Shireen Korkzan, 6/3/2020 

SciTechDaily:   Scientists Create Synthetic Red Blood Cells That Mimic Natural Ones, Plus Have New Abilities, Guo et al, ACS Nano, 5/11/2020

MLive:  From hair salons to gyms, experts rank 36 activities by coronavirus risk level, by Taylor DesOrmeau, 6/2/2020

MLive spoke to the following four public health experts in Michigan, asking them to assess the risk various activities pose to spreading coronavirus.

  • Dr. Matthew Sims, Beaumont Health director of infectious disease research
  • Dr. Dennis Cunningham, McLaren Health Care medical director for infection prevention
  • Dr. Mimi Emig, retired infectious disease specialist with Spectrum Health
  • Dr. Nasir Husain, Henry Ford Macomb medical director for infection prevention

The doctors pointed to five factors, when considering how risky a given activity might be: Whether it’s inside or outside; proximity to others; exposure time; likelihood of compliance; and personal risk level.

For the list and the details, read the article on MLive.

SciTechDaily:  Biomedical Scientists Create a New Tool for Developing COVID-19 Treatments & Vaccines, Wlodawer et al, 6/3/2020

Journal of Institutional Economics:   The evolution of the Offshore US-Dollar System: past, present and four possible futures, by Steffen Murau, Joe Rini and Armin Haus, 5/6/2020

In the case of complex and privatized structures such as the offshore dollar-based monetary and financial system, crises are key drivers of change. It is in these moments that political decision-makers lay the groundwork for future developments. The global financial crisis of 2007 – 2009, which escalated following the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers, was one such moment. That crisis began in the shadow banking system and was essentially a bank run on offshore dollars and shadow money. The massive loss of confidence driving that crisis could only be mitigated through the introduction of an institutional innovation: a new form of cooperation between the central banks of the G7 countries – so-called “swap lines” – through which central banks outside the USA could borrow US dollars from the Federal Reserve to support domestic banks.

Nature Human Behavior:  Easing COVID-19 Lockdowns Slowly May Be Better for Global Economy, 6/3/2020

In the United States, the cost to the financial sector would nearly double if a second global lockdown occurs, with potential supply chain loss rising from 33% (one lockdown gradually eased over 12 months) to 57% (recurrent global lockdowns happening at different times in different countries).

LA Times:  Governors warn congressional leaders of billion-dollar shortfalls due to coronavirus, by Elliot Wailoo, 6/2/2020

By some projections, over the next three years state budget shortfalls across the country are estimated to reach $765 billion.

 

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) pressed Whitmer on whether every dollar from the CARES Act had been spent. “I wonder why Michigan is one of the states withholding funds from our local communities,” he said. “Our federal government did step up. ... Other states are doing it more effectively.”

LA Times: How animals are helping scientists develop COVID-19 vaccines, AP, 6/2/2020

June 2:  D.C. Police Charged Demonstrators With Wearing Masks Even Though Coronavirus Guidelines Require Them, Blake Montgomery, Daily Beast

Protesters were charged with “Wearing a Hood-Mask” in addition to curfew violations. The Washington arrests come after police tear gassed protesters so that President Donald Trump could take a photo in front of St. John’s church near the White House.

PharmaPhorum:  Lilly begins trial of COVID-19 antibody treatment, by George Underwood, 6/2/2020

AbCellera screened over five million immune cells looking for ones that produced functional antibodies that helped the patient neutralise the virus and recover from the disease. The company then identified over 500 unique fully human antibody sequences – which it says is the largest panel of antiSARS-CoV-2 antibodies ever reported – before screening those antibodies to find the ones most effective in neutralising the virus.

 

Lilly has said that it has already begun large-scale manufacturing of the therapy.

 

“If LY-CoV555 becomes part of the near-term solution for COVID-19, we want to be ready to deliver it to patients as quickly as possible, with the goal of having several hundred thousand doses available by the end of the year,” said Daniel Skovronsky, the company’s chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories.

Amnesty International:  “There is no safety net” – what lockdown is like for sex workers, 6/2/2020 

Amnesty International:  Imprisoned overnight: Kazakhstan's extreme response to COVID-19, Heather McGill, 6/2/2020

On 2 April, around a hundred people in the Kazakh city of Ust Kamenogorsk woke to find they had become prisoners overnight. The lock on the front door of their apartment block had been welded shut, trapping everybody inside and causing panic when residents realized they couldn’t get to work.

 

This was not a practical joke. The previous evening a woman living in the building had been hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms. The local authorities had responded by imprisoning her unsuspecting neighbours and sending police to surround the building. Residents who arrived home late from work were trapped outside and had to sleep in their cars.

EurekaAlert:  Lab-grown miniature human livers successfully transplanted in rats, University of Pittsburgh, Takeishi et al, 6/2/2020

Using skin cells from human volunteers, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have created fully functional mini livers, which they then transplanted into rats.

 

“Seeing that little human organ there inside the animal – brown, looking like a liver – that was pretty cool. This thing that looks like a liver and functions like a liver came from somebody’s skin cells,” said senior author Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology at Pitt and faculty member of both the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Pittsburgh Liver Research Center.

 

The researchers created their mini livers by reprogramming human skin cells into stem cells, coaxing those stem cells to become various types of liver cells and, then, seeding those human liver cells into a rat liver with all of its own cells stripped out.

 

As an ultimate test, the researchers transplanted their lab-grown mini livers into five rats, who were bred to resist organ rejection. Four days after the transplant, researchers investigated how well the implanted organs were faring.

 

In all cases, blood flow problems had developed within and around the graft, but the transplanted mini livers worked – the rats had human liver proteins in their blood serum.

Cell Reports:  Assembly and Function of a Bioengineered Human Liver for Transplantation Generated Solely from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, Takeishi et al, 6/2/2020

New York Times Magazine:  Can America’s Middle Class Be Saved from a New Depression?, by Matthew Desmond, 5/26/2020 

Time:  Dr. Raj Panjabi Warns of an Impending 'Viral Apartheid' If We Don't Change Our COVID-19 Approach, by Alejandro de la Garza, 5/28/2020

“The idea that a group of people—whether it’s the vaccines, the test or treatments—will get access to those vital life-saving tools, and that those will likely be the rich nations and the powerful within those nations, and the poor within those nations and the poorer nations in the world will get excluded from that, is in fact the story of every pandemic that has happened in humanity.” 

Washington Post:  Coronavirus may never go away, even with a vaccine, by William Wan and Carolyn Y. Johnson, 5/27/2020

Embracing that reality is crucial to the next phase of America’s pandemic response, experts say.

MLive:  Michigan coronavirus stay-at-home order lifted: Here’s what opens when, by Matt Durr, 6/1/2020

Starting Monday, residents are not required to stay home as much as possible as long as they continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines and safety measures.

Daily Beast:  The Bizarre Downfall of a Neo-Nazi Who Used a COVID Protest to Target Jews, by Nick R. Martin, 6/1/2020

Matthew Slatzer displayed a sign calling Jews “the real plague” at an anti-lockdown protest. Then his legal problems started catching up to him. 

May 31:  Florida’s Seen a ‘Statistically Significant’ Uptick in Pneumonia Deaths. The CDC Says It’s Likely COVID, by Erin Banco, Daily Beast

According to the data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, since the beginning of the year there has been a total of 1,519 deaths in Florida where pneumonia and influenza were listed as the underlying cause. By comparison, in the same time period last year, Florida recorded 1,207 such deaths. The CDC has historically counted pneumonia and influenza deaths together. CDC officials told The Daily Beast that most of the deaths included in that category are pneumonia.

 

With Florida already under a national microscope, news of the state’s pneumonia fatalities circulated on social media this week as liberals accused DeSantis and members of his administration of manipulating data and deliberately downplaying the number of coronavirus deaths. Howard Dean, the former Democrat governor from Vermont, commented on Florida’s statistics Thursday, going so far as to accuse Florida of “cooking the books on COVID-19 deaths.” Andy Slavitt, the former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said while Florida appears to have the coronavirus under control, it was experiencing an “unprecedented ‘pneumonia’ crisis.”

May 31:  Michigan surpasses 57,000 coronavirus cases, death toll reaches 5,491, by Miriam Marini, Detoit Free Press

Right Wing Watch:  Dominionist ‘Prophets’ Say Pentecost Sunday Will Bring Them More Power and Governing Authority, by Peter Montgomery, 5/28/2020

Jack Hibbs, a California megachurch pastor and associate of Christian nationalist political operative David Lane, says God told him last month that May 31 is the day that all churches in California should open, regardless of what public health restrictions are in place at the time.

 

Cheryl Amabile, an associate of Engle’s, explicitly connected prophetic dreams and exhortations around COVID-19 and Pentecost to Trump and the 2020 elections. In an edition of “The Briefing” email newsletter, she recounted White House aide Paula White speaking at the White House National Day of Prayer observance and delivering what White said was a message from God for Trump: “You will recover all.”

Daily Beast:  Right-Wing ‘Race War’ Wannabes Could Make Police Protests Go Nuclear, by Kelly Weill, 5/28/2020

Protesters in Minneapolis didn’t know the precise affiliation of a man who showed up on Tuesday at the first night of unrest over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in police custody. What they did know was that he was white and heavily armed.

 

“There was what we think was a white supremacist who was fully armed with clips and everything, who some of the men in the crowd were able to identify and remove,” Nekima Levy-Armstrong, a civil rights attorney who attended the Tuesday protests, told The Daily Beast. “He [the armed white man] actually said, ‘You all just saved some lives tonight.’”

Raw Story:  ‘How dare you’: Pastor infected with coronavirus slams faith leaders who kept their churches open, by Sky Palma, 5/28/2020

When Clark was sick with the virus, he said the pain was so unbearable that he contemplated suicide.

“I was in such horrible turmoil and ache,” he said. “I actually wanted to take my life.”

Rolling Stone:  State Rep. Goes on Profanity-Laced Tirade After GOP Colleague Hid Positive COVID-19 Test, by Peter Wade, 5/28/2020

A Democratic Pennsylvania state representative went on a righteous tirade in a 12-minute video after learning that the Republican speaker of the House informed his party but not Democrats that at least one member of his caucus tested positive for COVID-19.

 

“Every single day of this crisis this State Government Committee in Pennsylvania has met so that their members could line up one after one after one and explain that it was safe to go back to work,” Rep. Brian Sims said on Facebook Live on Wednesday night. “During that time period, they were testing positive. They were notifying one another. And they didn’t notify us.”

Washington Post:  Isolated and at risk: 12 nursing home and assisted living residents talk about life during the pandemic, by Rachel Chason and Rebecca Tan, 5/28/2020

Washington Post:  In Puerto Rico, an economic disaster looms amid fears of coronavirus, by Arelis R. Hernandez, 5/30/2020

Washington Post:  Lake of the Ozarks Memorial Day partygoer tests positive for COVID-19, by Christina Carrega, 5/30/2020

Washington Post:  Nearly 900 Tyson Foods employees in two states test positive for covid-19, 5/28/2020 

Washington Post:  Administration initially dispensed scarce covid-19 drug to some hospitals that didn’t need it, by Yasmeen Abutaleb, Josh Dawsey, Lena H. Sun and Laurie McGinley, 5/28/2020

The first tranche of 607,000 vials of the antiviral medication remdesivir, donated to the government by drugmaker Gilead Sciences, was distributed in early May — in some cases to the wrong hospitals, to hospitals with no intensive care units and therefore no eligible patients, and to facilities without the needed refrigeration to store it.

 

As of last week, about 80 percent of the donated remdesivir from Gilead had been distributed, according to ASPR. Gilead plans to donate an additional 333,160 vials of the drug by mid-June, according to HHS, bringing the total donation to 940,000 vials.

Crooks and Liars:  Every Single Worker On One Tennessee Farm Has Tested Positive For COVID-19, by Joan McCarter, 5/30/2020

Read that headline one more time: "Every Single Worker Has Covid at One U.S. Farm on Eve of Harvest." That farm is in Tennessee. A farm in New Jersey has more than 50 workers with the virus, and in a neighboring county nearly 60 more on another farm have been ill. An Oneida, New York greenhouse operation growing tomatoes and strawberries reported nearly 170 infected workers.

Washington Post:  Supreme Court, in rare late-night ruling, says California may enforce certain restrictions on religious gatherings, by Robert Barnes, 5/30/2020

Justice Roberts joined the majority, affirming the 9th Cir. which wrote: “if a ‘court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.’ ” (quoting Justice Jackson)

Washington Post:   The unluckiest generation in U.S. history, by Andrew Van Dam, 5/27/2020

Washington Post:   Breaking precedent, White House won’t release formal economic projections this summer that would forecast extent of downturn, by Jeff Stein and Josh Dawsey, 5/28/2020

White House officials have decided not to release updated economic projections this summer, opting against publishing forecasts that would almost certainly codify an administration assessment that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a severe economic downturn, according to three people with knowledge of the decision.  “It gets them off the hook for having to say what the economic outlook looks like,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who served as an economic adviser to the late senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).

ABC News:  Man who hanged effigy of Kentucky governor fired from job, AP, 5/27/2020

ABC News:  In ReOpen Protest, Kentucky Governor Hung in Effigy from Capital Tree, 5/24/2020

Washington Post:  Americans have filed more than 40 million jobless claims in past 10 weeks, as another 2.1 million filed for benefits last week, by Tony Romm, 5/28/2020 

Washington Post:  House passes bill to ease access to small-business loans in pandemic, but impasse with Senate remains, by Erica Werner, 5/28/2020 

Washington Post:  Trump campaign is creating an alternate reality online about coronavirus, by Elyse Samuels and Meg Kelly, 5/28/2020

Washington Post:  Trump notes ‘very sad milestone’ after U.S. coronavirus death toll surpasses 100,000, by Ashley Parker, 5/28/2020

May 28:  Rage Builds as Feds Slow-Walk COVID Nursing Home Cash, by Sam Brodey, Daily Beast

42 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.—over 40,000—coming from facilities that care for the elderly.

Washington Post:  Trump retweets a video saying ‘the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat’ by Aaron Blake, 5/28/2020

Asked by The Daily Beast about whether anti-lockdown protesters are increasingly considering violence, he didn’t hesitate in his reply.

“I’ll tell you what, partner, as far as I’m concerned, there’s not an option that’s not on the table,” Griffin said.

Daily Beast:  Anti-Lockdown Protesters Now Calling for Dems to Die, by Will Sommer, 5/27/2020

The head of Cowboys for Trump says a good Democrat is a dead one.

 

Griffin, a New Mexico county commissioner, hastily added that he only meant Democrats who were dead in “the political sense”—an effort at cleanup he repeated in an interview with The Daily Beast on Tuesday.

 

“I could’ve chosen a different verbiage, you know. I guess I need to be more careful when I choose the words that I speak,” Griffin said. “But you know, it’s just so hypocritical of the left how they’re blowing this up, like I’m some hate-speech murderer.”

 

But in the interview, Griffin also repeated his claim that “the only good Democrat is a dead one” and signaled that he still thinks some top Democrats—such as governors Ralph Northam (D-VA) and Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI)—could be guilty of treason and the punishment that comes with it.

 

“You get to pick your poison: you either go before a firing squad, or you get the end of the rope,” Griffin said.

Science:  Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, Kimberly A. Prather, Chia C. Wang, Robert T. Schooley, 5/27/2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for social distancing of 6 ft and hand washing to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2 are based on studies of respiratory droplets carried out in the 1930s. These studies showed that large, ~100 μm droplets produced in coughs and sneezes quickly underwent gravitational settling (1). However, when these studies were conducted, the technology did not exist for detecting submicron aerosols.

 

As a comparison, calculations predict that in still air, a 100-μm droplet will settle to the ground from 8 ft in 4.6 s whereas a 1-μm aerosol particle will take 12.4 hours (4). Measurements now show that intense coughs and sneezes that propel larger droplets more than 20 ft can also create thousands of aerosols that can travel even further (1). Increasing evidence for SARS-CoV-2 suggests the 6 ft WHO recommendation is likely not enough under many indoor conditions where aerosols can remain airborne for hours, accumulate over time, and follow air flows over distances further than 6 ft (5, 10).

 

Traditional respiratory disease control measures are designed to reduce transmission by droplets produced in the sneezes and coughs of infected individuals. However, a large proportion of the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appears to be occurring through airborne transmission of aerosols produced by asymptomatic individuals during breathing and speaking (1–3). Aerosols can accumulate, remain infectious in indoor air for hours, and be easily inhaled deep into the lungs. For society to resume, measures designed to reduce aerosol transmission must be implemented, including universal masking and regular, widespread testing to identify and isolate infected asymptomatic individuals. 

KXAN:   Texas bar owner bans customers from wearing masks inside, by Kaitlyn karmout, 5/26/2020

The statement posted outside the tavern reads, “Due to our concern for our citizens, if they feel the need to wear a mask, then they should probably stay home until it’s safe.”

 

“It is more of a push back — the snitches, and the contact tracers out there,” said Kevin Smith, Co-Owner of the Liberty Tree Tavern. “This is still a rural county.”

KXAN:  IN-DEPTH: COVID-19 financial impacts, Austin’s budget facing $38.3 to $57.6 million shortfall, by Candy Rodriguez, 5/28/2020

KXAN:  News Notes: What could cause more restrictions in Austin & other stories in less than 5 minutes, by Will DuPree and Amanda Dugan, 5/27/2020

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A top Texas public health official warned that predictive models show a second spike in COVID-19 cases in Austin-Travis County could happen by mid- to late-June.  Dr. Mark Escott, the area’s interim health authority, said Wednesday people could alter that expectation by still observing physical distancing, wearing face coverings in public and practicing good personal hygiene.

The Atlantic:  Spare a Moment for Sorrow, by John Dickerson, 3/29/2020

Amid the chaos, take time to grieve our collective losses.

The Atlantic:  My Brother’s Death Didn’t Have to Happen, by Elizabeth Warren, 5/17/2020

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The Atlantic:  Quarantine Fatigue Is Real, by Julia Marcus, 5/11/2020

Instead of an all-or-nothing approach to risk prevention, Americans need a manual on how to have a life in a pandemic.

New York Post:  NYC’s urban model faces existential crisis in post-pandemic world, by Nicole Gelinas, 5/25/2020

New York Post:  Viral video shows Staten Island store mob screaming at woman without mask, by Kate Sheehy, 5/25/2020

New York Post:  Long lines outside NYC bike stores as people avoid public transportation, by Reuven Fenton and David Meyer, 5/25/2020

New York Post:  China’s ‘bat woman’ researcher warns coronavirus is just ‘tip of iceberg’, by Kate Sheehy, 5/25/2020

“If we want to prevent human beings from suffering from the next infectious-disease outbreak, we must go in advance to learn of these unknown viruses carried by wild animals in nature and give early warnings,” Shi Zhengli, a top Chinese scientist specializing in viral transmissions from bats, told CGTN in an interview that aired Monday.

Datebook:  Cellist’s black dress misses the concerts, too, by Barbara Bogatin, 5/25/2020

SciTechDaily: Advanced Light Source X-Ray Experiments Zero In on COVID-19 Antibodies, DOE, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Davide Corti and David Veesler, 5/19/2020

Nature: “Cross-neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 by a human monoclonal SARS-CoV antibody” by Dora Pinto, Young-Jun Park, Martina Beltramello, Alexandra C. Walls, M. Alejandra Tortorici, Siro Bianchi, Stefano Jaconi, Katja Culap, Fabrizia Zatta, Anna De Marco, Alessia Peter, Barbara Guarino, Roberto Spreafico, Elisabetta Cameroni, James Brett Case, Rita E. Chen, Colin Havenar-Daughton, Gyorgy Snell, Amalio Telenti, Herbert W. Virgin, Antonio Lanzavecchia, Michael S. Diamond, Katja Fink, David Veesler and Davide Corti, 18 May 2020

Washington Post:  Hearing that medical workers were sleeping in campers, this group gives them free temporary condos, by Cathy Free, 5/25/2020

Washington Post:  Gyms are reopening. What if you’re not ready to return?, by Laura Daily, 5/25/2020

Washington Post:  Why military-style gear at protests rings hollow, by Drew Garza, 5/25/2020

“The Uniform” is my term for the look some protesters have adopted in recent years. It is not a specific military uniform but often a mix of non-government-issue, third-party combat gear. There are usually lots of accessories and pouches; patches of varying political rancor; and flags that are rarely red, white and blue. Sometimes these outfits display a blood type, a practice meant to save lives in combat. Usually the clothes are clean, with no visible wear. Sometimes there are tactical masks or fabrics meant to evoke traditional Middle Eastern garb. And a rifle, often also heavily accessorized.

 

To my eye, the overall look is a video game caricature of a Special Operations warfighter.

Washington Post:  Can we stop pretending Trump is fit to be president? By Paul Waldman, 5/25/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Trump Plans To Strip Pandemic Response From Health Officials, Move It To State Department, by Mark Sumner, 5/25/2020

Washington Post:  Florida family grieves as Trump spreads debunked conspiracy theory to attack MSNBC host, by Craig Pittman, 5/24/2020

New York Post:  Coronavirus patients no longer infectious after 11 days: study, by Jackie Salo, 5/24/2020

Slate: The L Shaped Recovery, 5/21/2020

Daily Beast:  Idaho’s Anti-Lockdown Lieutenant Governor Has Gone Rogue, by Justin Rohrlich, 5/25/2020

When the Republican governor of Idaho issued a plan to safely reopen businesses in the state, he ordered bars to stay closed until at least June 13. Last weekend, in defiance of those guidelines, Idaho’s lieutenant governor—also a Republican—reopened the tavern she owns with her family in Idaho Falls.

Florida Today:  Claim: Public remarks prompted Florida virus data curator's firing, by Brenden Farrington and Bobby Caina Calvan, AP, 5/24/2020

New York Times:  C.D.C. Test Counting Error Leaves Epidemiologists ‘Really Baffled’ - by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Sheila Kaplan and Sarah Mervosh, 5/22/2020

Vox:   6 feet away isn’t enough. Covid-19 risk involves other dimensions, too, by Brian Resnick, 5/22/2020

Distance, time, activity, environment: 4 ways to think about Covid-19 risk as states reopen.

A simple suggestion: Imagine people are smoking, or farting really bad, and try to avoid breathing it in

The Atlantic:  Everyone Thinks They’re Right About Masks, by Ed Yong, 4/1/2020

ProPublica:  You Don’t Need Invasive Tech for Successful Contact Tracing. Here’s How It Works. By Caroline Chen, 5/19/2020

Experts are calling for more than 100,000 contact tracers to be deployed across America.

ProPublica:  Do I Know Enough to Get a Job as a Contact Tracer? By Caroline Chen, 5/19/2020

AV Club:  Universal Orlando to re-open with new guidelines, grim reminder that you, too, shall die, by William Hughes, 5/22/2020

SciTechDaily:  Compelling Evidence Shows Electroceutical Fabric Eradicates Coronaviruses on Contact, Indiana University, 5/24/2020 

Washington Post:  Coronavirus casualties in Republicans’ culture war, by Jennifer Rubin, 5/24/2020

In sum, had Trump — followed by his cult of right-wing governors — exhibited actual leadership, thousands of Americans might still be alive. He could have listened to scientists, given up the notion that closing public spaces would just spook the markets (and endanger his reelection), decisively supported lockdown measures, discouraged large gatherings (instead of egging on states to allow religious services, which have often been the site for mass infections) and modeled responsible mask-wearing. If he had, fewer Americans would have become seriously ill. We might not now be staring at the mind-boggling figure of 100,000 deaths.

ProPublica:  Nike Turned Away a Public Health Official From Its Warehouse Days After a Worker With COVID-19 Died, by Wendi C. Thomas, 5/23/2020

Washington Post:  This family’s repeated strep throat infections frustrated their doctors, by Sandra G. Boodman, 5/23/2020

Washington Post:  Trump is lying to sway his reelection, and Democrats aren’t paying attention, by Colbert I. King, 5/22/2020

Washington Post:  There is one ingredient essential to reopening the economy, and still no federal plan to get it, The Editorial Board, 5/23/2020

It’s par for the course that Trump uses his bully pulpit in dangerous ways, and in doing so misses an opportunity to actually do something productive. Instead of encouraging others to disregard the FDA, he could be modeling good behavior and touting the benefits of mask-wearing, as most public officials are doing. It would offer him protection, as well as those around him. Nope. He is too vain or too afraid to give medical experts credence, so he refuses.

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Washington Post:   Study estimates 24 states still have uncontrolled coronavirus spread, by Joel Achenbach, Rachel Weiner and Isaac Stanley-Becker, 5/22/2020

Washington Post:  The nutrition crisis of covid-19 will be even worse than the disease, by Jackson Diehl, 5/24/2020

Washington Post:  The Founders drew a line between peaceful protest and armed insurrection, by Timoth C. Hemmis, 4/30/2020

The history of the Whiskey Rebellion reveals the misguided beliefs of today’s covid-19 protesters

Washington Post:  Trump’s gun-toting supporters are firing blanks, by Dana Milbank, 5/1/2020

Washington Post:  Mayor Bowser says D.C. is ‘back on track’ for gradual reopening, by Rachel Chason and Julie Zauzmer, 5/25/2020

Washington Post:  Spike in D.C. numbers, crowds at Maryland, Virginia beaches and boardwalks renew coronavirus concerns, by Joe Heim, Rebecca Tan, Laura Vozzella and Julie Zauzmer, 5/24/2020

Washington Post:  Cities are closing streets to make way for restaurants and pedestrians, by Michael Laris, 5/25/2020

Washington Post:  Bertram Brown, who led National Institute of Mental Health, dies at 89, by Louie Estrada, 5/24/2020

He became an authority on political psychiatry, focusing on leadership qualities.

 

“The White House is a character crucible,” he was quoted saying in the 2009 book “In the President’s Secret Service” by former Post journalist Ronald Kessler. “Many of those who run crave superficial celebrity. They are hollow people who have no principles and simply want to be elected. 

 

“Even if an individual is balanced,” he added, “once someone becomes president, how does one solve the conundrum of staying real and somewhat humble when one is surrounded by the most powerful office in the land, and from becoming overwhelmed by an at times pathological environment that treats you every day as an emperor? Here is where the true strength of the character of the person, not his past accomplishments, will determine whether his presidency ends in accomplishment or failure.”

Washington Post:  Even before coronavirus, Social Security was staring at a shortfall, by Michelle Singletary, 5/25/2020 

By next year, Social Security’s cost is estimated to exceed total income, according to the latest trustee report for the Social Security and Medicare trust funds.

Social Security Administration:The 2020 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds

Washington Post:   Number of working black business owners falls 40 percent, far more than other groups amid coronavirus, by Hannah Knowles, 5/25/2020 

Washington Post:  The government has spent decades studying what a life is worth. It hasn’t made a difference in the covid-19 crisis, by Todd C. Frankel, 5/23/2020

The calculation — known as Value of a Statistical Life or VSL — is the amount people are willing to spend to cut risk enough to save one life. The VSL at most federal agencies, developed over several decades, is about $10 million. If a new regulation is estimated to avoid one death a year, it can cost up to $10 million and still make economic sense.

Washington Post:  Lockdown protesters don’t care about lives, by James Downie, 5/3/2020

 

Washington Post:  We cannot allow the normalization of firearms at protests to continue, by Michele L. Norris, 5/6/2020

Accepting and even expecting to see firearms at protest rallies means that we somehow embrace the threat of chaos and violence. While those who carry say they have no intention of using their weapons, the firepower alone creates a wordless threat, and something far more calamitous if even just one person discharges a round.

Washington Post:  More evidence emerges on why covid-19 is so much worse than the flu, by Larry Bernstein, 5/21/2020

“What’s different about covid-19 is the lungs don’t get stiff or injured or destroyed before there’s hypoxia,” the medical term for oxygen deprivation, said Steven J. Mentzer, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School and part of the team that wrote the report. “For whatever reason, there is a vascular phase” in addition to damage more commonly associated with viral diseases such as the flu, he said.

 

In larger blood vessels of the lungs, the number of blood clots was similar among covid-19 and flu patients, the researchers wrote. But in covid-19 patients, they found nine times as many micro-clots in the tiny capillaries of the small air sacs that allow oxygen to pass into the blood stream and carbon dioxide to move out. The virus may have damaged the walls of those capillaries and blocked the movement of those gases, the researchers wrote.

Washington Post:  Young adults are also affected by Kawasaki-like disease linked to coronavirus, doctors say, by Ariana Eunjung Cha and Chelsea Janes, 5/21/2020

Washington Post:  We have to reopen — for our health, by Alex M. Azar, 5/21/2020

Washington Post:   Republicans are realizing the crisis is pulling them toward disaster, by Paul Waldman, 5/21/2020

“The worst is behind us,” declared Herbert Hoover in 1930. 

 

"Prosperity is just around the corner..."

Washington Post:  New York hospital threatens legal action against Wall Street Journal for covid-19 exposé, by Eric Wemple, 5/21/2020

Washington Post:  Fox News has never been so right, by Eric Wemple, 5/23/2020

Clark is spearheading a lawsuit against Fox News for its coronavirus coverage, alleging that various on-air statements playing down the scourge violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act. “Fox’s repeated claims that the COVID-19 pandemic was/is a hoax is not only an unfair act, it is deceptive and therefore actionable under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act,”

Washington Post:  What the covid-19 unemployment crisis means for young people, by Megan McArdle, 5/21/2020

Washington Post:   The Paycheck Protection Program is in dire need of reform, Editorial Board, 5/22/2020

Washington Post:  Opening up doesn’t mean recovery. Georgia proves it, by Jennifer Rubin, 5/22/2020 

Washington Post:  Shocking new economic data confirms it: The swing states are getting hammered, by Greg Sargent, 5/22/2020

Washington Post:  James Mattis: Let’s honor the fallen by protecting our fragile experiment in democracy, by James Mattis, 5/24/2020

 

 

Washington Post:   Why Italy’s debt matters for everybody, by Robert J. Samuelson, 5/24/2020

Snopes.com:  Anti-Lockdown Protests Originated With Tight-Knit Group Who Share Bigger Goal: Trump 2020, by Alex Kasprak and Bethania Palma, 5/20/2020

The driving force behind Michigan's anti-lockdown protests — and their connections to the family of Betsy DeVos — is even more complex than we initially thought.

Washington Post:   I am a simple potato guardian who needs my Second Amendment rights, by Alexandra Petri, 5/20/2020

Washington Post:  The jobs won’t be back. Democrats must act accordingly, by Helaine Olen, 5/8/2020

City National Bank Chairman Russell Goldsmith — hardly one of the usual left-wing suspects — told the Los Angeles Times this week that he wants to see large investments in infrastructure, education and combating climate change. “I am speaking out in this way because I think there really has to be a concerted effort by people to push Congress and make the case for why we can’t wait for recovery stimulus. With an election looming, this is the last train out of Dodge.”

 

Let me repeat that: The last train out of Dodge. A bank chairman said it, not me.

Washington Post:  Telecommuting is not the future, by Helaine Olen, 5/20/2020

Washington Post:  Trust Donald Trump to make Henry Ford’s virulent anti-Semitism relevant again, by Helaine Olen, 5/22/2020

When the (maskless) Trump toured a Ford factory in Ypsilanti, Mich., on Thursday, he veered off his prepared remarks to discuss the founder. “The company [was] founded by a man named Henry Ford,” Trump told the assembled executives, factory workers and media. “Good bloodlines, good bloodlines. If you believe in that stuff, you got good blood.”

Washington Post:  Executive order controversy shows why it’s impossible to trust Trump on anti-Semitism, by Paul Waldman, 12/11/2019

Washington Post:  Trump’s anti-Semitic attacks on American Jews keep coming, by Jennifer Rubin, 12/9/2019

Washington Post:  Why Ford needs to grapple with its founder’s anti-Semitism, by Victoria Saker Woeste, 2/9/2019

 

Washington Post:  Trump skips a mask in public during tour of Michigan auto plant that requires them, by Anne Gearan, 5/21/2020 

Washington Post:  Four concepts to assess your personal risk as the U.S. reopens, by Leana S. Wen, 5/21/2020

Slate:  Michigan Judge Pens Partisan Rant Against Gretchen Whitmer’s “Totalitarian” Shutdown, by Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern, 5/21/2020

On Thursday, Judge Mark Boonstra—an appointee of former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder—joined the majority opinion striking down a ban on vaping products in the Michigan. He tacked on a 13-page polemic attacking Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders shutting down schools and nonessential businesses while limiting travel within the state.

Slate:  Why Did Florida Avoid a Coronavirus Disaster? By Molly Olmstead, 5/21/2020

There’s reason to question the integrity of the data. Several Florida publications sued the state over its initial refusal to hand over data about nursing homes. And, the Miami Herald noted, the state tallies up numbers in inconsistent ways. An enormous disparity between state-reported testing numbers and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers was discovered Tuesday. It’s not clear where that gap comes from, but it heightened concerns already raised last week, when the Florida Department of Health fired the data manager behind the state’s online coronavirus data site because of “a repeated course of insubordination.” The woman, Rebekah Jones, said in an email to CBS12 News in Tallahassee that she had been fired because she objected to orders to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.” Internal emails indicated that Jones was fired after resisting orders from her bosses to cut off data so that users could no longer download it and to remove records of symptoms and positive tests posted before they were officially announced. The Tampa Bay Times also reported that after media requests about data, she had been asked to remove fields indicating when patients had begun experiencing symptoms. The news caused many critics to worry about the state’s dedication to transparency.

Slate:  The Shape of the Pasta Industry in the Time of Corona, by Aaron Mak, 5/14/2020

There’s a reason penne and linguine are still missing from stores.

Buzzfeed News:  A Man Shared A Shocking Photo Of What COVID-19 Did to Him After Six Weeks In A Hospital, by David Mack, 5/19/2020

New York Time:  Facebook Starts Planning for Permanent Remote Workers, by Kate Conger, 5/21/2020

There’s a catch: Salaries are likely to change to match local costs of living.

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit mayor outlines reopening protocol for retailers, says restaurants may return soon, by Brian McCollum, 5/22/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Trump's Ford plant visit had its political moments, but manufacturing won the day, by Carol Cain, 5/23/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Thermal cameras may become bigger part of autoworkers' lives, by Eric D. Lawrence, 5/23/2020

Detroit Free Press:  COVID-19 outbreak that killed his fellow inmates will help set Kwame Kilpatrick free 21 years early, by M.L. Elrick and Tresa Baldas, 5/22/2020

Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years after being convicted of 24 counts of public corruption in 2013. He has failed on every attempt to overturn that sentence, winning his freedom only after being sent to one of a handful of prisons where the spread of COVID-19 has been so severe that U.S. Attorney General William Barr on April 3 directed the federal Bureau of Prisons to free as many prisoners as possible by putting them on home confinement.  Kilpatrick is among 3,000 inmates who will be released.

Washington Post:  How to avoid a second wave of infections, by John M. Barry, 5/22/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan stay home order extended to June 12, by Todd Spangler, 5/12/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Want To Reopen Retail? Everyone Must Wear Masks, 5/19/2020

CNN:  A hairstylist worked while symptomatic and exposed 91 people to coronavirus, by Faith Karimi, 5/23/2020

CNN:  Trump deems houses of worship 'essential' amid pandemic, by Maegan Vazquez, 5/22/2020

Newsweek:   Trump's 'Blame China' Re-Election Strategy Might Seriously Backfire | Opinion, by Chris Dolan, 5/22/2020

Newsweek:  George Washington's Rules of Civility Can Help Us Prevent Coronavirus' Spread | Opinion, by Alexandra Hudson, 5/22/2020

Newsweek:  Sharing a Coronavirus Vaccine Isn't a Matter of Altruism—it's in Every Country's Best Interest | Opinion, by Jeremy Farrar, 5/22/2020 

Newsweek:  Will Coronavirus Be What Finally Kills Factory Farming? | Opinion, by Em Heppler and Michael Shank, 5/22/2020 

May 22:  93 inmates or staff at immigrant prison in Michigan tested positive for coronavirus, by Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press

Newsweek:  Two Southern Churches Reclose Indefinitely After Pastor Dies and Leaders, Churchgoers Catch Coronavirus, by Daniel Villarreal, 5/19/2020

Executive orders issued by the governors of Texas and Georgia both allowed churches to meet during the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, albeit with some social distancing measures in place. Both churches say they'd been observing those measures when holding in-person services.

SciTechDaily:  Injuries Found in Placentas From COVID-19-Positive Pregnant Women – Suggests Abnormal Blood Flow Between Mothers, Babies, Northwestern University, 5/22/2020

American Journal of Clinical Pathology, Placental Pathology in COVID-19, Elisheva D. Shanes, MD; Leena B. Mithal, MD, MSCI; Sebastian Otero; Hooman A. Azad; Emily S. Miller, MD, MPH and Jeffery A. Goldstein, MD, PhD, 5/22/2020

SciTechToday, Researchers Discover Autism Risk in Abnormal Placentas, by Karen N. Peart, Yale News, 4/29/2013

Biological Psychiatry: Trophoblast Inclusions Are Significantly Increased in the Placentas of Children in Families at Risk for Autism, Cheryl K. Walker, et al, 3/06/2013 

FiveThirtyEight:  The Uncounted Dead, by Maggie Koerth, 5/20/2020

The last time Bob Duffy entered the world of epidemiology, he was a statistic.

 

Why some people who likely died from COVID-19 aren’t included in the final numbers. 

Raw Story:  Woman who held racist sign at reopening protest begs for forgiveness after she’s outed online, by Sarah K. Burris, 5/21/2020

Raw Story: Wisconsin woman ‘kind of mad’ at Trump after she gets COVID-19 despite taking hydroxychloroquine, by Brad Reed, 5/21/2020

In an interview with local news station WISN, a Wisconsin resident who is asking only to be identified as Kim says that she believed she was safe from contracting COVID-19 because she has been using hydroxychloroquine for the past two decades to treat her lupus.

Vanity Fair:  Intelligence Officials Reportedly Struggle To Brief Trump Because He’s Like A Giant Toddler, by Eric Lutz, 5/21/2020

Vanity Fair:  If 80% of Americans Wore Masks, COVID-19 Infections Would Plummet, New Study Says, by David Ewing Duncan, 5/8/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Want To Reopen Retail? Everyone Must Wear Masks, 5/19/2020

SciTechDaily:  42% of COVID-19 Pandemic-Related Layoffs Could Be Permanent, University of Chicago, 5/21/2020

The New York Times:  How to Reopen America Safely, by Marty Makary, MD, 5/14/2020

We need universal masking. China gives the earliest preview of a reopened society after a harsh wave of the virus. And while the Chinese Communist Party has not been honest about its coronavirus handling, Chinese doctors and citizens have largely been transparent. I recently called some prominent Chinese doctors to ask why they believe the infection is being controlled in most of their country. In their clinical judgment, they believe the main reason is universal masking.

Detroit Metro Times:   Whitmer lifts ban on gatherings of 10 people or fewer, eases other restrictions, by Steve Neavling, 5/21/2020

Detroit Metro Times:  The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on Detroit’s hospitality and entertainment — and a federal bailout isn’t helping, by Lee DeVito, 5/20/2020

Detroit Metro Times:  Controversial group to host 'Freedom Festival' in Newaygo in defiance of Michigan's stay-at-home order, by Steve Neavling, 5/20/2020

Detroit Metro Times:  Lansing's armed protesters are a hot potato nobody knows how to deal with — except for Trump, by Lee DeVito, 5/15/2020

Detroit Metro Times:  Gov. Whitmer becomes target of dozens of threats on private Facebook groups ahead of armed rally in Lansing, by Steve Neavling, 5/11/2020 

Detroit News:  Michigan adds 69 deaths, 500 COVID cases, by Sarah Rahai, 5/21/2020

SciTechDaily:  “Superpower” Discovered in Squids: They Can Massively Edit Their Own Genetics, Marine Biological Laboratory, 5/20/2020

Daily Beast:  White House’s Own Data Crunchers: Southern Counties About to Get Hit Hard, by Erin Banco, 5/20/2020

The coronavirus task force has been using data from PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to chart the disease. And the new projections aren’t great.

Washington Post:  Coronavirus hot spots erupt across the country; experts warn of second wave in South, by Joel Achenbach, Rachel Weiner, Karin Brulliard and Isaac Stanley-Becker, 5/20/2020

Daily Beast:  The Day One Colorado County Lost Its Own Dr. Fauci, by Michael Daly, 5/21/2020

Muffling critical warnings and downplaying the danger of COVID-19, Weld County’s “pro-business and anti-science” board of commissioners chased out the very man trying to save them.

May 21:  Dr. Fauci Re-Emerges From Media Blackout, Says We’ll Be ‘Seeing More’ of Him, by Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

Daily Beast:  ‘Bill Gates Wants Us to Get It’: The Deranged Scene at Trump’s Ford Factory Tour, by Tom Perkins, 5/21/2020 

“I’m totally against that,” Kathryn Prater, 42, a Bernie Sanders-to-Trump voter in 2016 who said she’ll vote for Trump again because she can’t stomach Joe Biden, told The Daily Beast. “After about 30 days of this, I started losing my mind a bit, so I was like, You know what: If I’m going to get sick, then I’m going to get sick. It’s mostly affecting old people. We’ve got to live our lives.”

Crooks and Liars:  Kayleigh McEnany: Trump's Pill Is Fine For 'Waning Days Of Your Life' by Frances Langum, 5/21/2020

"...You do have a right to try it. It gives people a right to try in the waning days of their life when they are facing a fatal illness."

Daily Beast:  The Law May Finally Be Closing In On Yet Another Alleged Trump Family Grift, by Asha Rangappa, 5/21/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Trump Screws National Guard CoronaVirus Workers Out Of Retirement Credit For Pandemic Work, by Karoli Kuns, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:  Trump, not wearing mask, tours Ford Rawsonville plant, slams mail-in balloting, by Melissa Nann Burke and Jordyn Grzelewski, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  7 barbers ticketed for cutting hair at Michigan Capitol, AP, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:   Judge refuses state request to shut Owosso barbershop, by Oralandar Brand-Williams, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Judge told to rule on Owosso barber's closure by Thursday, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/19/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Fox And Friends Urges New Yorkers To Disobey COVID19 Lock Down, by John Amato, 5/21/2020 

Detroit News:  Port Huron beaches open for Memorial Day, but don't crowd people, by James David Dickson, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Judge affirms Whitmer's authority to extend COVID-19 emergency; Legislature to appeal, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Crash deaths down 25% on Michigan roadways during pandemic, by James David Dickson, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  US roadway death rate up in March despite virus restrictions, AP, 5/20/2020

 

SatPhoto2019 06 03Vs2020 05 20

June 3:  After Midland flood, Wixom, Sanford lake residents face long, complicated restoration, by Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press 

Detroit Free Press:  Midland church swallowed by floodwaters: 'It tears a hole in your heart,' by Phoebe Wall Howard, 5/23/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Harrowing tales of Michigan residents escaping the Midland flood: 'A nightmare movie,' by Jeff Seidel, 5/23/2020

May 22:  Before-and-after satellite images of flooding in Midland County show water's destruction, by Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press

May 22:  State confirms Sanford Dam failed, satellite shows before-after flood images: What we know, by Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press

Boyce Hydro, for the second straight day Thursday, issued a statement pointing a finger at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) for the dam failure and draining of Wixom Lake, which spurred the evacuation of 10,000 residents and led officials to declare an emergency.

 

Meanwhile, EGLE confirmed Friday morning that the Sanford Dam, downriver of the Edenville Dam, also failed. It had been unclear whether the second dam had breached — or whether water was just spilling over.

Detroit News:  Trump grants Whitmer's request for emergency declaration over flooding, by Melissa Nann Burke, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Dangers of Edenville dam failure evaded state scrutiny, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/21/2020

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Detroit Metro Times:  Owners of dam flooding Midland ignored federal regulators for years, by Lee DeVito, 5/20/2020

Detroit Free Press:  No pending Oroville, but Michigan's aging, crumbling dams pose a risk, by Keith Matheny, 2/14/2020

Most Michigan dams no longer serve the purpose for which they were built in the late 1800s or early to mid-1900s — power for things such as grist and sawmills and, later, hydropower for small communities whose increasing power needs have since led them to tap into the electric grid.

Detroit News Photos:  Flooding devastates Mid-Michigan region, 5/21/2020 

May 20:  Mid-Michigan flooding after Edenville, Sanford dam failures: Everything we know, by Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press

May 20:  Wixom Lake turns into a giant beach after the Edenville Dam bursts, by Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press

Michigan Environment Watch:  Watch videos, see tweets of flood damage from Edenville Dam failure, by Kathryn Dugal, 5/20/2020

Michigan Radio:  Midland County residents spending Memorial Day weekend cleaning up from massive flood, by Steve Carmody, 5/22/2020

Bridge:  Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations, by Kathryn Dugal, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:  State says it didn't pressure Boyce to raise water levels before dam failure, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/21/2020

Detroit News:  Tittabawassee crests at 35 feet: 'Never had an event like this,' by Francis X. Donnelly and James David Dickson, 5/21/2020

Bridge:  As floodwaters bear down on Dow Chemical, worries about water toxins, by Robin Erb, Kelly House, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:  Dangers of Edenville dam failure evaded state scrutiny, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:   Stunned evacuees face 'unthinkable' flood damage, by George Hunter and Francis X. Donnelly, 5/21/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Whitmer: Michigan will 'hold people responsible' for dam failures, by Frank Witsil, 5/20/2020

Bridge:  Feds revoked dam’s license over safety issues. Then Michigan deemed it safe. By Riley Beggin, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House, 5/20/2020

MLive: Sanford Lake Dam owner Lee Mueller says he's not paying for $83,000 repair project, 1/21/2019

MLive:  Gov. Whitmer addresses Midland after dam break and flooding: ‘We’re gonna get through this,' by Riley Murdock, 5/20/2020

WDIV-4 Detroit Video:  Flooding: Lake Wixom emptied in Edenville, 5/20/2020

Detroit News:  Pilot captures aerial view of dam breach in Midland County, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Feds warned years ago Edenville Dam couldn’t handle a historic flood, by Garret Ellison, 5/20/2020

Bridge:  Mid-Michigan dam that failed was cited for years for safety violations, by Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson, Kelly House, 5/19/2020

The Edenville dam that catastrophically failed and prompted thousands of evacuations was cited repeatedly by federal authorities, who allege its owners had a “long history of noncompliance.”

Detroit News:  Feds revoked Edenville Dam license over fears it could not survive major flood, 5/20/2020

Detroit Free Press:  EGLE said failed Midland County dam in 'fair' condition after inspection in late 2018, by Keith Matheny, 5/20/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Mid-Michigan's catastrophic flooding adds to state's pandemic woes, by Frank Witsil, Jeff Seidel and Angie Jackson, 5/20/2020 

MLive:  Officials work to dispel rumors amid record-breaking Michigan flooding, by Robert Acosta, 5/20/2020 

MLive:  Flooding near downtown Midland as seen by drone, by Kaitlyn Farley, 5/19/2020

At 6:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Midland County Emergency Management determined that the Denville and Sanford dams are structurally sound.

MLive:  Residents told to evacuate after Edenville Dam failure in Midland County, by Robert Acosta, 5/19/2020

MLive Video:  Floodwater pours through Midland County dam, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Officials report flooded roadways, evacuations and dams unable to control water in mid-Michigan, by Isis Simpson-Mersha and Kaitlyn Farley, 5/19/2020 

Midland County Emergency Management stated that the Edenville and Sanford dams are “structurally sound but spilling floodwaters” as of around 3 a.m. Tuesday.

 

Midland County worked with representatives from Boyce Hyrdo, a hydroelectric power plant in Sanford, to make this determination. However, MCEM noted that the dams can no longer control or contain the water flowing through the spill gates.

MLive:  Loss of power dam license could lower Wixom Lake by 8 feet, by Chris Ehrmann, 1/29/2019 

MLive:  Michigan just had record-breaking heavy rains, here’s where most of it fell, by Mark Torregrossa, 5/19/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit fireworks to be televised Aug. 31, public viewing not allowed, by Branden Hunter, 5/20/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Wayne County crosses 1,000 coronavirus deaths as Michigan reports 5,060, by Miriam Marini, 5/20/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan unemployment rate topped 22% in April, likely an all-time high, by Adrienne Roberts, 5/20/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Nessel to Trump: Put on a mask when visiting Michigan this week, by Todd Spangler, 5/20/2020

"While my Department will not act to prevent you from touring Ford's plant," she wrote, "I ask that while you are on tour you respect the great efforts of the men and women at Ford — and across this State — by wearing a facial covering."

Detroit Free Press:  Poll: Michigan voters show support for Gov. Whitmer's handling of coronavirus, by Todd Spangler, 5/20/2020

Overall, 86% of Michigan voters surveyed believed the virus is a threat to public health, with support at that level or higher among self-described Independents, Democrats and even voters who say they lean Republican. Better than three-quarters of women who identified as strongly Republican agreed with that opinion as well. But it was far lower — at only 58% — among strongly Republican men.

 

Independents, a key voting bloc in Michigan, came down on Whitmer's side, 65%-28%. Forty percent of them said they strongly approved of her actions.

Reason:  Jackson Cops Claim Drug Busts Are Protecting the Public From COVID-19, by Elizabeth Nolan Brown, 5/19/2020

National Memo:  Trump Campaign Cites Bogus Medical Society To Defend Unproven Medication, by Josh Israel, 5/20/2020

Donald Trump's reelection campaign manager on Tuesday defended Trump's preventive use of an anti-malaria drug unproven to work against the coronavirus, citing a fringe medical group known for promoting fake science.

 

"The press is going nuts over @realDonaldTrump taking hydroxychloroquine (prescribed by doctor)," Brad Parscale tweeted. "Of course, if he's doing it, they must oppose it. But the Assoc. of American Physicians & Surgeons says otherwise."

Daily Beast:  Trump Fans Gobble Up His Favorite, Unproven COVID Drug—Some Are Even Trying To Cook It Themselves, by Will Sommer, 5/20/2020

QAnon users are posting make-at-home recipes for hydroxychloroquine as Trump says he’s using the drug 

 

Trump fans desperate for hydroxychloroquine have turned to unconventional, potentially dangerous methods. Last week, promoters of the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory—which posits that top Democrats run pedophile sex dungeons and eat children—boosted a “home recipe” for hydroxychloroquine that consisted of steeping various fruit rinds. While the recipe’s proponents claimed that it would help people avoid “big pharmas fillers,” the fruits suggested in the recipe, like grapefruit, could react dangerously with other medications.

 

That’s not the only dubious recipe for replicating hydroxychloroquine’s still-unproven effects. In April, a video from Missouri chiropractor Eric Nepute raging against “fake news” went viral, racking up more than 1 million views. In his video, Nepute claimed that people with COVID-19 symptoms should just drink Schweppes Tonic Water for the quinine, wrongly claiming that its effects were “similar-ish” to hydroxychloroquine.

Daily Beast:  Dozens of Nurses Have Died of COVID-19. The Rest Are Still Forced to Reuse Masks, by Emily Shugerman, 5/20/2020

Florida Today:  DeSantis says dismissal of COVID-19 data chief a 'non-issue' though emails say otherwise, by Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, 5/20/2020

Daily Beast:  Florida’s Coronavirus Dashboard Architect: I Was Fired for Not Manipulating Data, by Pilar Melendez, 5/19/2020

Rebekah Jones said her removal came one day after she refused to “manually change data to drum up support” for Florida’s plan to reopen the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Florida's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard

Florida Today:  COVID-19 test results questioned; lab accused of delaying or improperly processing 25,000 tests, by Bailey Gallion, 5/20/2020

Daily Beast:  Reopening Gyms Early Is Tearing a South Florida City Apart, by Francisco Alvarado, 5/20/2020

Daily Beast:  The Mafia Cashes In On COVID Fears With Fake Black-Market Tests, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, 5/20/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Trump visit to Ford plant contradicts Whitmer's order — but she won't try to stop it, by Todd Spangler, 5/19/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Local governments, small businesses to receive some of counties' CARES Act money, by Christina Hall, 5/19/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Whitmer on NBC's 'Late Night': Protest images don't reflect what Michigan is about, by Julie Hinds, 5/19/2020

Detroit Free Press:  College for Creative Studies announces layoffs, salary freeze amid pandemic, by JC Reindl, 5/19/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Traverse City eyes closing Front Street downtown to cars as businesses plan to reopen, by Angie Jackson, 5/18/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Fight at liquor store leaves shopper shot after security guard enforces capacity rules, by Meredith Spelbring, 5/18/2020

Daily Beast:  Paranoia, Glitches, and Class War: Students in AP Classes Panic Under COVID, by Kelly Weill, 5/19/2020

Quarantined kids are embracing conspiracy theories, filling forums with porn, reporting nightmare tech snafus, and generally rebelling against the whole testing system.

MLive:  Michigan Secretary of State says all voters may submit ballots by mail this year, by Samuel Dodge, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Ann Arbor council divided 7-4 on COVID-19 financial recovery plan, by Ryan Stanton, 5/19/2020

Despite meeting until 3:00AM, Ann Arbor City Council members remained divided over how to trim $10M from the city budget, which faces a $10 million fiscal year 2020-21 budget shortfall, a local aftershock of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

First to go?  Ann Arbor's annual deer cull.

MLive:  Coronavirus deaths surpass 5K in Michigan, by Justin P. Hicks, 5/19/2020

In announcing 102 new deaths associated with coronavirus Tuesday, May 19, Michigan became the fourth state to surpass 5,000 deaths of individuals with the virus.

MLive:  Ann Arbor cancels city pool openings, summer day camps amid pandemic, by Ryan Stanton, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Proposed budget open for public comment in Ypsilanti, by McKenna Ross, 5/19/2020

MLive:  Employees taking reduced pay, work schedule at Eastern Michigan University due to coronavirus pandemic, by Steve Marowski, 5/18/2020

May 18:  Is This COVID-19 Vaccine Trial a Promising Start or a Dead End? By David Axe, Daily Beast

The Guardian:  US lockdown protests may have spread virus widely, cellphone data suggests, by Jason Wilson, 5/18/2020

The Spinoff:   How 5G and Covid-19 mixed to make a toxic conspiracy cocktail, by David Farrier, 5/18/2020

MLive:  Fear, uncertainty surround downtown Ann Arbor’s potentially years-long recovery from pandemic, by Ryan Stanton, 5/7/2020

In an “optimistic scenario,” the DDA predicts a $6.7 million hit to parking revenues this fiscal year, which ends June 30, then losses of $9.1 million, $7.6 million and $4.2 million the next three years. That leaves a big hole in the DDA’s budget and is projected to completely deplete nearly $12 million in parking fund cash reserves unless cuts are made. 

MLive:  Ypsilanti approves funding for rent, mortgage relief for residents impacted by coronavirus outbreak, by Martin Slagter

MLive:  ‘It won’t be like this forever.’ Ann Arbor officials embrace vision for downtown gathering place, by Ryan Stanton, 5/5/2020

City voters approved a downtown central park/commons ballot proposal in 2018 to designate the city-owned land on the library block as the Center of the City, blocking the $10 million sale of the Library Lot to a high-rise developer. 

 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing social-distancing efforts, it may be difficult to embrace the idea of a public gathering place, said City Council Member Jeff Hayner.  “But it won’t be like this forever, and so this commons should keep moving forward.”

MLive:  Changes may be coming to Ann Arbor streets to allow safer social distancing, by Ryan Stanton, 5/5/2020

MLive:  Ypsilanti area farmers take online approach to sell fresh, local produce, by Chanel Stitt, 5/5/2020

MLive:  Ann Arbor reopening dog parks, disc golf, tennis and basketball courts, farmers market, by Ryan Stanton, 5/5/2020

Use of basketball courts following social-distancing guidelines, such as shooting baskets individually or with members of the same household, is allowed beginning Friday, May 8. No team game play is allowed.

MLive:  University of Michigan provost ‘cautiously optimistic’ for in-person fall semester, by Martin Slagter, 5/4/2020

MLive:  Coronavirus in Michigan: Maps, Charts and the latest reports

MLive:  Michigan tops 10,000 daily tests for first time, 77 new deaths reported, by Taylor DesOrmeau, 5/1/2020

MLive:  5 more dead, 9 more coronavirus cases reported in Washtenaw County, by Steve Marowski, 5/1/2020

MLive:  Expense reductions due to ‘significant losses’ from COVID-19 announced by Eastern Michigan University, by Steve Morowski, 4/30/2020

MLive:  Eastern Michigan University athletics helping hospital with laundry during coronavirus pandemic, by Steve Morowski, 4/24/2020

MLIve:  Community leaders discuss wide impacts of coronavirus in Ann Arbor area, by Ryan Stanton, 4/22/2020

MLive:  University of Michigan imposes hiring, salary freezes to face anticipated losses of $400M to $1B, by Steve Morowski, 4/20/2020

MLive:  Michigan State University announces pay cuts after coronavirus outbreak causes $50M in losses, by Steve Morowski, 4/16/2020

MLive:  Washtenaw farmers pivot to online sales as coronavirus pandemic looms over peak season, by McKenna Ross, 3/24/2020 

HuffPost:  At Least 100 Catholic Schools Across The Country May Not Reopen This Fall, by Rebecca Klein, 5/19/2020

HuffPost:  As Coronavirus Crushes Small Restaurants, Big Chains See Room To Move In, by Hilary Russ, 5/19/2020

NEW YORK (Reuters) - According to a Citi note on Friday after a week of real estate investment trusts’ earnings reports. Malls collected only 28% of rents and shopping centers 60%.

 

“You are going to have a location reshuffle based on the tenants that offer what people will want post-COVID,” said Scott Crowe of the real estate investment firm CenterSquare Investment Management, including the ability to spend less time inside.

 

“We’re in a period of a few years where independents lose and chains gain” as much as 10% to 15% of market share, McCarthy said of the restaurant industry. The winners of that share grab will be those models centered around convenience and accessibility.

 

“It was a trend going 30 miles an hour, now accelerated to 100 miles an hour,” McCarthy said. “It’s corporate Darwinism on steroids.”

HuffPost:  Patton Oswalt Nails The Utter Hypocrisy Of Fox News’ Coronavirus Coverage, by Lee Moran, 5/19/2020

The comedian, in a new interview with The Daily Beast’s “Last Laugh” podcast, slammed personalities on the conservative network for calling to end lockdown measures from the safety of their own remote studios. The majority of Fox’s New York workforce has been ordered to work from home.

HuffPost:  Chris Cuomo: Trump Finally Found ‘A Winning Distraction’ On Coronavirus, by Ed Mazza, 5/19/2020

Chris Cuomo said there’s a reason President Donald Trump claimed on Monday that he’s taking the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus: Distraction.

 

By talking up the drug, Trump could avoid answering other questions, including how to reopen safely.

 

“Don’t take the bait,” Cuomo warned. “Let’s stay focused on what matters. We have to reopen, but we have to do it the right way. How? That question remains unanswered.”

HuffPost:  'New York Politician’s Coronavirus Briefing Takes NSFW Turn: ‘I’m Going To Blush’, by Lee Moran, 5/19/2020

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s presser took an unexpected turn over the weekend when she advised against handling other people’s tennis balls when courts in the county reopen.  “You can kick their balls, but you can’t touch them,” said Curran, eliciting giggles from those in attendance.

The Christian Post:  What is the biggest lie people believe about freedom? Theology professor answers, by Michael Gryboski, 5/19/2020

“One of the biggest lies this generation is tempted to believe is a lie about freedom. That freedom is about doing whatever you want to do.”

The Christian Post:  Oregon Supreme Court halts ruling that would've lifted restrictions on church gatherings, by Michael Gryboski, 5/19/2020

The Christian Post:  Georgia church closes two weeks after reopening as families come down with coronavirus, by Leonardo Blair, 5/18/2020

Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle, an independent Baptist church led by Pastor Justin Gazaway in Ringgold, Georgia, restarted in-person services on April 26. Church representative Joan Lewis told The Christian Post on Monday, however, that they decided to suspend “in-person worship services for the foreseeable future” on May 11 after learning several families had contracted the virus.

 

While approximately a fourth of our congregation chose to attend the in-person services, our other families chose to remain at home and continue enjoying our streaming services,” the church said.

 

During that time, officials noted that “all modes of social distancing were practiced and followed by the families attending.”

 

“Seating was marked to only permit sitting within the six foot guidelines, all doors were open to allow access without the touching of doors, and attendees were asked to enter in a social distancing manner and were dismissed in a formal manner as well to ensure that the social distancing measures were adhered by all,” the church said.

 

[Takeaway?  They did everything right.  That wasn't enough.]

SciTechDaily:  Single Dose of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 Vaccine Protects Monkeys Against COVID-19 Pneumonia, NIH, 5/18/2020

CNBC:  Moderna shares surge 30% after reporting ‘positive’ data on early-stage coronavirus vaccine trial, by Berkely Lovelace Jr, 5/18/2020

Washington Post:   Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine shows encouraging early results in human safety trial, by Carolyn Y. Johnson, 5/18/2020 

The Christian Post:  Coronavirus claims retired NY priest weeks after killing his successor, by Leonardo Blair, 5/18/2020

The Christian Post:  86% of choir members got infected with COVID-19 after church practice: report, by Leonardo Blair, 5/15/2020

The Christian Post:  Church begs God to end pandemic after pastor and son die from coronavirus, by Leonardo Blair, 5/13/2020 

New York Post:  Man who called coronavirus ‘fake crisis’ gets infected, issues warning, by Yaron Steinbuch, 5/18/2020

Florida Today:  Florida scientist was fired for 'refusing to manipulate' COVID-19 data, she said, by Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, 5/19/2020

The scientist who created Florida's COVID-19 data portal wasn't just removed from her position on May 5, she was fired on Monday by the Department of Health, she said, for refusing to manipulate data.

 

Rebekah Jones said in an email to FLORIDA TODAY that she single-handedly created two applications in two languages, four dashboards, six unique maps with layers of data functionality for 32 variables covering a half a million lines of data. Her objective was to create a way for Floridians and researchers to see what the COVID-19 situation was in real time.

 

After FLORIDA TODAY first reported Jones' removal from her position in charge of the Florida COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard she created, she confirmed, as reported by CBS-12 in West Palm Beach that she was fired because she was ordered to censor some data, but refused to "manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen."

Florida Today:  Coronavirus: As Florida re-opens, COVID-19 data chief gets sidelined and researchers cry foul, by Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon, 5/18/2020

Late last Friday, the architect and manager of Florida's COVID-19 dashboard — praised by White House officials for its accessibility — announced that she had been removed from her post, causing outcry from independent researchers now worried about government censorship.

 

The dashboard has been a one-stop shop for researchers, the media and the public to access and download tables of COVID-19 cases, testing and death data to analyze freely. It had been widely hailed as a shining example of transparency and accessibility.

 

But over the last few weeks it had "crashed" and gone offline; data has gone missing without explanation and access to the underlying data sheets has become increasingly difficult.

 

The site was created by a team of Florida Department of Health data scientists and public health officers headed by Rebekah Jones. She announced last week her removal as of May 5 in a heartfelt farewell note emailed to researchers and other members of the public who had signed up to receive updates on the data portal.

 

Citing "reasons beyond my division’s control," Jones said her office is no longer managing the dashboard, is no longer involved in publication, fixing errors or answering questions "in any shape or form."

 

She warned that she does not know what the new team's intentions are for data access, including "what data they are now restricting."

Jones' removal and changes to the dashboard access is especially unusual given that the dashboard was lauded in April on CBS' Face the Nation by Dr. Deborah Birx, a top official of President Donald Trump's coronavirus task force.

 

"If you go to the Florida Public Health website on COVID, they’ve been able to show their communities’ cases and tests district by district, county by county, ZIP code by ZIP code," Birx said. "That’s the kind of knowledge and power we need to put into the hands of American people so that they can see where the virus is, where the cases are, and make decisions."

The New York Times:  Where Chronic Health Conditions and Coronavirus Could Collide, by Nadja Popovich, Anjali Singhvi and Matthew Conlen, 5/18/2020

Slate Podcast:  The Pandemic That Never Happened / In 1976 Gerald Ford faced the threat of a Swine Flu epidemic, 4/28/2020 

Slate PodCast:   Sweden's Global Failure, by Mike Pesca, 5/7/2020

Sweden’s loose measures yielded grim results, and that should be a warning.

Slate:   When I Got My Coronavirus Symptoms, by Daniel Brook, 5/8/2020

A friend who visited me tested positive. The next two months of my life were absurd.

 

As the days went on, news reports on false negatives began to appear. The day after my results came back, a local newspaper ran a story about New Orleans’s most terrifying death of the outbreak: a 39-year-old woman who began having respiratory symptoms, took a test, and then collapsed dead in her kitchen before the test came back. Her results later turned up negative as did a subsequent test of her body. A Yale medical school professor, writing in the New York Times, cited a study from China that suggested about 30 percent of the tests come back as false negatives. And the Wall Street Journal reported that in the rush to get tests available, the Food and Drug Administration “relax[ed] requirements for labs to prove their tests actually work.”

May 17:  Tapper Confronts HHS Secretary on Eric Trump’s Coronavirus Conspiracies, by Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

In an interview with pro-Trump Fox News host Jeanine Pirro on Saturday night, Eric Trump dove down a conspiratorial rabbit hole while talking about presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Claiming Biden “loves” the pandemic because it prevents him from making “horrible blunders” on the campaign trail, the president’s son suggested stay-at-home orders were aimed at shutting down his father’s campaign.

Slate:  Matrix Co-Director Lilly Wachowski Wants Ivanka Trump and Elon Musk to Stop Talking About Her Movie, by Matthew Dessem, 5/17/2020

Slate:  I Got Away From My Abuser and Moved Into a Shelter. Now I Have COVID-19. By Anonymous, 5/11/2020

Bridge:  Coronavirus came to Michigan earlier than thought, records show, by Mike Wilkinson, 5/17/2020

New York Post:  Italy to ease coronavirus travel restrictions after months of lockdown, by Jon Levine, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Trump’s failure of leadership makes a feeble economy and resurgent virus more likely, by Robert J. Samuelson, 5/17/2020

Daily Beast:   White House Trade Adviser Peter Navarro Plunges Knife into CDC’s Back on Testing, by Justin Baragona, 5/17/2020

Daily Beast:  Busted: Pentagon Contractors’ Report on ‘Wuhan Lab’ Origins of Virus Is Bogus, by Erin Banco, Adam Rawnsley and Lachlan Cartwright, 5/17/2020

Washington Post:  As coronavirus testing expands, a new problem arises: Not enough people to test, by Steve Thompson, Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, 5/17/2020

Associated Press:  We can’t wait for a COVID-19 vaccine to reopen, Britain, Italy tell citizens, by Colleen Barry, Pablo Gorondi and Kelvin Chan, 5/17/2020

In separate, stark warnings, two major European leaders have bluntly told their citizens that the world needs to adapt to living with the coronavirus and cannot wait to be saved by the development of a vaccine.

 

For his part, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was hospitalized last month with a serious bout of COVID-19, speculated Sunday that a vaccine may not be developed at all, despite the huge global effort to produce one.

Washington Post:  Trump is gambling the health of the nation for his reelection, by Fred Hiatt, 5/17/2020

Orlando Sentinal:   Florida coronavirus update for Sunday: Death toll hits 1,973 out of 45,588 cases, 5/17/2020

Daily Beast:  Florida Health System: 25,000 COVID Tests Might Be Wrong, by Tracy Connor, 5/17/2020

Orlando Sentinel:  AdventHealth says 25,000 of its COVID-19 test results unreliable, by Naseem S. Miller, 5/16/2020

Daily Beast:  100,000 Cruise Ship Crew Members Still Stuck at Sea, by Tracy Connor, 5/17/2020 

Miami Herald:  No information. No way off. 100,000 crew members remain in cruise ship limbo for months, by Taylor Dolven, 5/17/2020

Daily Beast:  China Has Quarantined 8,000 People in New COVID-19 Lockdown, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, 5/17/2020 

Daily Beast:  Billionaire MAGA Fan Peter Thiel Has Had It With Trump’s COVID-19 Response, by Lachlan Cartwright, Asawin Suebsaeng and Lachlan Markay, 5/17/2020

Top officials in the president’s political orbit say that Thiel has been absent from 2020 discussions, with one proclaiming the famous investor had “ghosted” Team Trump lately.

Washington Post:  Faced with a Trumpian barrage of attacks, Joe Biden chooses to look the other way, by Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey, 5/17/2020

Washington Post:  Americans head back to shops and restaurants amid early signs of recovery, by David J. Lynch, Rebecca Tan and Ian Duncan, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  In next phase of pandemic, Trump appears poised to let others take the lead, by Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker, 5/17/2020

“It seems that the most important decision the president makes every day is whether he does a press conference and, if so, what time,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said.

 

Peter Wehner, who served in the past three Republican administrations and is an outspoken Trump critic, was more blunt, arguing Trump’s “extreme narcissism” has impeded his administration’s pandemic response.

 

“There’s no question that he has miniaturized the office,” Wehner said. “He’s shrunken it, he’s degraded it and he’s defaced it. It’s a kind of civic vandalism he’s inflicted on the office.”

Daily Beast:  Mike Pompeo Urged Firing of State Department Watchdog Said to Be Investigating Him: NYT, by Allison Quinn, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Trump’s slow-motion Friday night massacre of inspectors general, by Aaron Blake, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Top Democrats launch investigation into late-night firing of State Department inspector general, by Hannah Knowles, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Trump ramps up retaliatory purge with firing of State Department inspector general, by Phikop Rucker, Karen DeYoung, Lisa Rein and Hannah Knowles, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Alaska lawmaker says Hitler was not white supremacist after comparing coronavirus measures to Nazi rule, by Hannah Knowles and Candace Buckner, 5/16/2020

The uproar began when an Alaska lawmaker emailed all 39 of his statehouse colleagues to compare health-screening stickers to the badges that singled out Jews during the Holocaust.  “If my sticker falls off, do I get a new one or do I get public shaming too?” Rep. Ben Carpenter (R) wrote Friday, sharing his dismay at a new requirement for legislators returning to the Alaska Capitol amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. “Are the stickers available as a yellow Star of David?”

 

The backlash was swift: “Ben, this is disgusting,” one Jewish representative wrote back in emails first posted by the Alaska Landmine. “I don’t think a tag that we’re cleared to enter the building is akin to being shipped to a concentration camp,” responded another. The leader of the state House’s Republican delegation said Carpenter should apologize.

SciTechDaily:  NIH Begins Clinical Trial of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin to Treat COVID-19, NIH, 5/17/2020

Washington Post:  Drug promoted by Trump as coronavirus ‘game changer’ increasingly linked to deaths, by Toluse Olorunnipa, Ariana Eunjung Ch and Laurie McGinley, 5/15/2020

Washington Post:  We need to enter the fifth stage of coronavirus grief: Acceptance, by Tom Frieden, 5/14/2020

Tom Frieden is a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a former commissioner of the New York City Health Department.

Washington Post:  The absurd cynicism of ‘Obamagate’, The Editorial Board, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  There is a huge difference between Christine Blasey Ford and Tara Reade, by Jennifer Rubin, 5/17/2020

Washington Post:  We need smart solutions to mitigate the coronavirus’s impact. Here are 37, 5/14/2020

Washington Post:  How the White House coronavirus response presents us with a false choice, by Joe Biden, 5/11/2020

Augusta University:  Tiny RNA That Should Attack COVID-19 Coronavirus Diminish With Age, Disease, 5/17/2020

With age and some chronic medical conditions, the attacking microRNA numbers dwindle, reducing our ability to respond to viruses, says Dr. Carlos M. Isales, co-director of the MCG Center for Healthy Aging and chief of the MCG Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism.

Much like not having enough troops on the ground in an actual war, the coronavirus is then better able to do what it does naturally, which is hijack our cell machinery so it can replicate, say the researchers who report in the journal Aging and Disease what appear to be key microRNA involved in responding to this virus.

Aging and Disease:  “COVID-19 Virulence in Aged Patients Might Be Impacted by the Host Cellular MicroRNAs Abundance/Profile” by Fulzele Sadanand, Sahay Bikash, Yusufu Ibrahim, Lee Tae Jin, Sharma Ashok, Kolhe Ravindra and Isales Carlos M, 13 May 2020

"in silico analysis"

Bloomberg:  Where to Worry About Catching Covid-19, and Where Not To, by Faye Flam, 5/15/2020

Washington Post:  Americans head back to shops and restaurants amid early signs of recovery, by David J. Lynch, Rebecca Tan and Ian Duncan, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Trump’s slow-motion Friday night massacre of inspectors general, by Aaron Blake, 5/16/2020

Washington Post:  Alaska lawmaker says Hitler was not white supremacist after comparing coronavirus measures to Nazi rule, by Hannah Knowles and Candace Buckner, 5/16/2020

The uproar began when an Alaska lawmaker emailed all 39 of his statehouse colleagues to compare health-screening stickers to the badges that singled out Jews during the Holocaust.

BMJ:  Results From Randomized Clinical Trial Do Not Support Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, 5/16/2020

The anti-inflammatory drug hydroxychloroquine does not significantly reduce admission to intensive care or death in patients hospitalized with pneumonia due to covid-19, finds a study from France published by The BMJ on May 14, 2020.

 

A randomized clinical trial from China also published on May 14, 2020, shows that hospitalized patients with mild to moderate persistent covid-19 who received hydroxychloroquine did not clear the virus more quickly than those receiving standard care. Adverse events were higher in those who received hydroxychloroquine.

Cell:  Targets of T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in humans with COVID-19 disease and unexposed individuals, by Alba Grifoni, Daniela Weiskopf, Sydney I. Ramirez, Davey M. Smith, Shane Crotty, Alessandro Sette, et al, 5/14/2020

Importantly, we detected SARS-CoV-2−reactive CD4+ T cells in ∼40-60% of unexposed individuals, suggesting cross-reactive T cell recognition between circulating ‘common cold’ coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2.

NBC News:  New evidence in race to find France's COVID-19 'patient zero', by Emmanuelle Saliba and Molly Hunter, 5/15/2020

A team of researchers in the city of Colmar in northeastern France announced in a release last week that it had identified two X-rays, from Nov. 16 and Nov. 18, showing symptoms consistent with the novel coronavirus. NBC News has exclusively obtained these scans.

 

If confirmed, this is evidence that the virus was spreading in Europe two months before France declared its first cases Jan. 24 and well before COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, had been officially identified in China.

 

Officials in the Chinese city of Wuhan confirmed the existence of a then-unknown illness with pneumonia-like symptoms to the World Health Organization’s China office on Dec. 31, but it wasn’t established as a new coronavirus until Jan. 7.

Financial Times:  Inside Trump’s coronavirus meltdown, Edward Luce, 5/14/2020

[This is a deep dive into the Trump presidency and the ongoing American Tragedy.]

“The way to keep your job is to out-loyal everyone else, which means you have to tolerate quackery,” says Anthony Scaramucci, an estranged former Trump adviser, who was briefly his White House head of communications. “You have to flatter him in public and flatter him in private. Above all, you must never make him feel ignorant.”

 

An administration official says advising Trump is like “bringing fruits to the volcano” – Trump being the lava source. “You’re trying to appease a great force that’s impervious to reason,” says the official.

Politico:  Pentagon fires its point person for Defense Production Act, by Lara Seligman and Daniel Lippman, 5/14/2020

Goethe University Frankfurt:  Team of Biochemists and Virologists Discover Potential Targets for COVID-19 Therapy, 5/14/2020

The findings paint a picture of the progression of a SARS-CoV-2 infection: whilst many viruses shut down the host’s protein production to the benefit of viral proteins, SARS-CoV-2 only slightly influences the protein production of the host cell, with the viral proteins appearing to be produced in competition to host cell proteins. Instead, a SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to an increased protein synthesis machinery in the cell. The researchers suspected this was a weak spot of the virus and were indeed able to significantly reduce virus reproduction using something known as translation inhibitors, which shut down protein production.

 

Twenty-four hours after infection, the virus causes distinct changes to the composition of the host proteome: while cholesterol metabolism is reduced, activities in carbohydrate metabolism and in modification of RNA as protein precursors increase. In line with this, the scientists were successful in stopping virus reproduction in cultivated cells by applying inhibitors of these processes. Similar success was achieved by using a substance that inhibits the production of building blocks for the viral genome.

 

In keeping with common practice since the beginning of the corona crisis, the Frankfurt researchers made these findings immediately publiclly available .

Livingston Daily:  Whitmer forms panel to figure out way to reopen school in fall, David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, 5/15/2020

Livingston Daily:  Medical director: New COVID-19 cases have slowed, but it's too soon to have a clear picture, by Jennifer Timar, 5/14/2020

Livingston Daily:  Livingston County EMS: More people dying at home instead of seeking help, by Kayla Dagherty, 5/11/2020

Last year in Livingston County, 18 residents were found dead in their homes in March and April. This year, for the same time period, medics responded to 43 calls where residents were found dead, more than double last year's number, EMS Director David Feldpausch said.

The Hill:  State Department inspector general fired, by Tal Axelrod, 5-15-202

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he had recently learned that Linick had recently opened up an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and suggested the firing was retaliation by the administration.

Detroit News:  Detroit man arrested after allegedly threatening to kill Whitmer, Nessel, by Craig Mauger, 5/15/2020

Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged a 32 year-old Detroit man with false report of a threat of terrorism, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, according to a press release. He was arraigned on April 22.

 

The man allegedly communicated through a social media messenger with an acquaintance, making threats to kill Whitmer and Nessel on April 14.

 

April 14th was the day of the Lansing Gridlock Tea Party protest and by what must surely be the most fantastic coincidence in the life of this Universe, a Trump Rally comprised only of white people.

 

Later that day, the Detroit Police Department arrested the man at his home in Detroit, the Wayne County Prosecutor's press release said.

Detroit News:  Michigan school leaders seek help to avert $1.2B hit to existing budgets, by Jennifer Chambers and Beth LeBlanc, 5/15/2020

Detroit News:  Michigan predicts $3.2 billion budget shortfall, looks to feds for more aid, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/15/2020

The consensus estimate among budget officials is the main spending account known as the General Fund will see a $2 billion drop in tax revenue, while the School Aid Fund will experience a nearly $1.2 billion decrease in revenue from the 2019 budget.

Detroit News:  MSU trustees freeze housing, tuition for 2020-21, by Kim Kozlowski, 5/15/2020

Detroit News:   Whitmer allows laboratory research to resume, 5/15/2020

Detroit News:  Union blasts Kroger for ending COVID-19 wage boost, 5/15/2020

The Kroger Co. is ending a $2-an-hour coronavirus pay bump for front-line workers and replacing it with one-time "Thank You Pay" bonuses of $200 for part-time workers and $400 for full-time workers.

Detroit News:  Michiganians flock to Ohio to enjoy state's reopening, by George Hunter, 5/15/2020

The first phase of the Responsible RestartOhio program allowed the reopening of restaurants and bars with outdoor seating, hair and nail salons, barbershops, day spas, tanning salons, and tattoo and body piercing parlors, although oral and nose piercings remain prohibited.

RollCall:  National body bag shortage exacerbates funeral homes’ problems, by Emily Koop, 5/14/2020

Detroit News:  House rescue package includes $25 billion for Postal Service, by Matthew Daly, AP, 5/12/2020

The U.S.P.S. financial woes have been exacerbated by the pandemic, which has pushed mail volume down by more than 30% from the same period last year.

New York Times:  Michigan Leads Nation in abandoning life saving travel restrictions, by Gabriel J.X. Dance and Lazaro Gamio, 5/12/2020

Tables and graphics are in the article.

 

The estimates of the number of people moving were made using data provided by the location analysis company Cuebiq. The data comes from a representative sample of about 15 million smartphone users nationwide who have agreed to share their location data with certain apps, according to the company. Because the sample is only a proportion of the population — and because not everyone in the United States owns a smartphone, or carries one with them everywhere they go — the numbers are estimates.

Guardian:  'Weird as hell’: the Covid-19 patients who have symptoms for months, by Luke Harding, 5/15/2020

There is growing evidence that the virus causes a far greater array of symptoms than was previously understood. And that its effects can be agonisingly prolonged: in Garner’s case for more than seven weeks. The professor at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine says his experience of Covid-19 featured a new and disturbing symptom every day, akin to an “advent calendar”.

 

“I’ve studied 100 diseases. Covid is the strangest one I have seen in my medical career.”

Time:  Five USS Theodore Roosevelt Sailors Test Positive for Coronavirus a Second Time, by Lolita C. Baldor, 5/15/2020

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Five sailors on the aircraft carrier sidelined in Guam due to a COVID-19 outbreak have gotten the virus for the second time and have been taken off the ship, according to the Navy.

 

All five sailors had previously tested positive and had gone through at least two weeks of isolation. As part of the process, they all had to test negative twice in a row, with the tests separated by at least a day or two before they were allowed to go back to the ship.

Washington Post:  Trump’s continually strange comments on possibly ‘overrated’ coronavirus testing, by Aaron Blake, 5/15/2020

“When you test, you have a case,” Trump said. “When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”

Washington Post:  A New York barber who defied lockdown and ‘illicitly’ cut hair tests positive for the coronavirus, by Allyson Chiu, 5/15/2020

Washington Post: Armed militia helped a Michigan barbershop open, a coronavirus defiance that puts Republican lawmakers in a bind, by Moriah Balingit, 5/12/2020

Armed members of the Michigan Home Guard stood outside Karl Manke's Owosso barbershop, ready to blockade the door if police arrived. They were determined to help Manke, 77, reopen his shop Monday, in defiance of state orders, and dozens joined them, wearing Trump sweatshirts and Trump cowboy hats and waving Trump flags.

Washington Post:  California nursing homes are examples of how cruel the coronavirus pandemic can be, by Scott Wilson, 5/15/2020

From New York state, where there have been more than 2,800 confirmed nursing home resident deaths related to the virus, through Minnesota, where 47 residents died in a suburban Minneapolis nursing home two weeks ago, no state is immune. Earlier this week, 14 residents of a nursing home in Stanislaus County died of the virus, among the largest single outbreaks in Northern California.

Time:  New York City Nursing Home Reports 98 Deaths Linked to COVID-19, by Jim Mustian / AP, 5/2/2020

The number of bodies became so overwhelming the home ordered a refrigerator truck to store them because funeral homes have been taking days to pick up the deceased.

Time:  'I Died and Came Back,' Says 12-Year-Old Coronavirus Survivor, by Stacey Plaisance / AP, 5/1/2020

(COVINGTON, La.) — As her desperately sick daughter was being airlifted to a hospital, Jennifer Daly was thinking about all the parts of life that still lay ahead for her 12-year-old and whether she’d ever experience them: Would she get to fall in love? Would she get the chance to get married and have her own children?

Time:   Moderna's COVID-19 Vaccine Moves to Phase 2 Testing, and Gets Fast-Track Approval From the U.S. Government, by Alice Park, 5/12/2020

New York Times:  The House will vote today on a $3 trillion relief package, and the White House has threatened a veto. 5/15/2020

New York Times:  When Shoppers Venture Out, What Will Be Left?, by Ben Casselman and Sapna Maheshwari, 5/15/2020

Retail sales fell 16.4 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Friday, by far the largest monthly drop on record. That followed an 8.3 percent drop in March, the previous record. Total sales for April, which include retail purchases in stores and online as well as money spent at bars and restaurants, were the lowest since 2012, even without accounting for inflation.

 

Jay Sole, a retail analyst at UBS, anticipates 100,000 store closings by 2025 as the pandemic accelerates the shift to online sales, according to a recent report, with the biggest cuts in apparel, consumer electronics, home furnishings and groceries.

 

Plunging sales mean less tax revenue for cities and states, delayed rent payments for landlords, and lost business for manufacturers, trucking companies and thousands of other businesses. The nation’s second-largest private-sector employer, after health care, the retail industry cut 2.1 million jobs in April.

New York Times:   Hospitals Knew How to Make Money. Then Coronavirus Happened, by Sarah Kliff, 5/15/2020

When the top-ranked Mayo Clinic stopped all nonemergency medical care in late March, it began to lose millions of dollars a day.

 

The Mayo Clinic will have to rely more heavily on low-income patients enrolled in the Medicaid program, as others will be hesitant to travel across the country, or the world, for care. “It’s uncontrollable,” said Dennis Dahlen, the clinic’s chief financial officer.

 

Hospitals are losing an estimated $50 billion a month now. 134,000 hospital employees were among the estimated 1.4 million health care workers who lost their jobs last month.

New York Times:  Why 1.4 Million Health Jobs Have Been Lost During a Huge Health Crisis, by Margot Sanger-Katz, 5/8/2020

New York Times: New Coronavirus Vaccine Czar Says Finding One by January Is a ‘Credible’ Goal, by Maggie Haberman and Noah Weiland, 5/15/2020

Moncef Slaoui, a former chairman of vaccines at GlaxoSmithKline, who is heading the program, conceded in an interview that even the time frame repeatedly cited by Dr. Anthony S. Fauci as necessary for developing the vaccine, which President Trump has rejected, would still outpace what many scientists believe is possible.

 

“Frankly, 12-18 months is already a very aggressive timeline,” Mr. Slaoui said. “I don’t think Dr. Fauci was wrong.”

 

Mr. Slaoui said he discussed the job with Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, who had been searching for a so-called czar for therapeutics and vaccine development, and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator.

New York Times:  Sweden Stayed Open. A Deadly Month Shows the Risks, by Lauren Leatherby and Allison McCann, 5/15/2020 

“We need to observe with an open mind what went on in Sweden, where the kids kept going to school,” Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.

 

Across Sweden, almost 30 percent more people died during the epidemic than is normal during this time of year, an increase similar to that of the United States and far higher than the small increases seen in its neighboring countries.

New York Times:  DeVos Funnels Coronavirus Relief Funds to Favored Private and Religious Schools, by Erica L. Green, 5/15/2020

Financial Times:  Inside Trump’s coronavirus meltdown, Edward Luce, 5/14/2020

When Trump suggested in late April that people could stop Covid-19, or even cure themselves, by injecting disinfectant, such as Lysol or Dettol, his chief scientist, Deborah Birx, did not dare contradict him. A former senior Trump official says: “People turn into wusses around Trump. If you stand up to him, you’ll never get back in. What you see in public is what you get in private. He is exactly the same.”

New York Times:  Here’s How China Plans to Test All 11 Million of Its Wuhan Citizens - in 10 days - for Coronavirus, by Sui-Lee Wee and Vivian Wang, 5/14/2020

Wuhan, the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic began, has announced an ambitious plan to test all of its 11 million residents for the virus in the coming days

 

The testing drive, which is likely to require the mobilization of thousands of medical and other workers, shows the ruling Communist Party’s resolve to prevent a second wave of infections as it tries to restart China’s economy. The plan was announced this week after Wuhan reported six coronavirus cases, breaking a streak of more than a month without any new confirmed infections.

 

The city’s goal of testing every resident is unrivaled in scale, and in the speed at which Wuhan apparently plans to carry it out.

New York Times:  As Deaths Mount, China Tries to Speed Up Coronavirus Testing, by Sui-Lee Wee, 2/9/2020

Dr. Zhang Xiaochun, who works in a hospital in Wuhan, was in dismay. Her patient had been running a fever for nine days, and a CT scan showed signs of pneumonia — symptoms of the new coronavirus sweeping across the central Chinese city.

 

The new coronavirus has sickened more than 40,000 people and killed more than 900 people in China. Hardest hit are the residents of the outbreak’s epicenter, Wuhan, and the surrounding province of Hubei. Hospitals are overwhelmed and medical supplies are scarce, leading to delays in treatment for thousands of people.

Datebook:  For Death Angel drummer, coming out of coronavirus coma was like escaping ‘hell’, by Kevin L. Jones, 5/15/2020

Crooks and Liars: Texas Has 1,000 New Coronavirus Cases Almost Every Day Since Reopening, The Hill, 5/15/2020

Since Gov. Greg Abbott (R) allowed some businesses to resume operations on May 1, Texas has only been below 1,000 new cases per day twice — on May 4 and May 7.

 

But instead of re-tightening some of the social distance restrictions, Texas seems to be doubling down on relaxing them. The Texas Tribune reported that on Monday, Abbott will announce another round of reopening plans.

ProPublica:  Another Private Jet Company Owned by a Trump Donor Got a Bailout — This One for $20 Million, by Jake Pearson, 5/15/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Prestigious Medical Journal's Op-Ed Calls For Americans To Vote Trump Out, The Lancet, 5/15/2020 

The Lancet:  Reviving the US CDC, 5/16/2020

The strained relationship between the CDC and the federal government was further laid bare when, according to The Washington Post, Deborah Birx, the head of the US COVID-19 Task Force and a former director of the CDC's Global HIV/AIDS Division, cast doubt on the CDC's COVID-19 mortality and case data by reportedly saying: “There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust”. This is an unhelpful statement, but also a shocking indictment of an agency that was once regarded as the gold standard for global disease detection and control.

 

Funding to the CDC for a long time has been subject to conservative politics that have increasingly eroded the agency's ability to mount effective, evidence-based public health responses. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration resisted providing the sufficient budget that the CDC needed to fight the HIV/AIDS crisis. The George W Bush administration put restrictions on global and domestic HIV prevention and reproductive health programming.


The Trump administration further chipped away at the CDC's capacity to combat infectious diseases.

 

CDC staff in China were cut back with the last remaining CDC officer recalled home from the China CDC in July, 2019, leaving an intelligence vacuum when COVID-19 began to emerge.

 

In a press conference on Feb 25, Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, warned US citizens to prepare for major disruptions to movement and everyday life. Messonnier subsequently no longer appeared at White House briefings on COVID-19.

 

More recently, the Trump administration has questioned guidelines that the CDC has provided.

The Washington Post:  The United States is a country to be pitied, by Eugene Robinson, 5/14/2020

No amount of patriotism or pride can change the appalling facts. The pandemic is acting as a stress test for societies around the world, and ours is in danger of failing.

 

I’m used to thinking of a nation such as South Korea as a kind of junior partner, a beneficiary of American expertise and aid. Yet the U.S. death toll from covid-19 exceeds 90,000 while South Korea’s fatalities total 260. That is not a typo. How could a nation with barely half our per capita income have done so much better?

Health Union:  Perceptions of Telehealth Use Quickly Shifting During COVID-19 Pandemic, 5/14/2020 

 

New York Times:  Few people have been infected so far, studies say, suggesting that ‘herd immunity’ is still out of reach, 5/14/2020

New York Times:  As the virus tears through Russia, medical workers are getting sick and dying at astonishing rates, 5/14/2020

New York Times:  The U.N. confirmed the first cases in crowded refugee camps for Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh, 5/14/2020

New York Times:  Yemen, buffeted by war, is ravaged by the pandemic, too., 5/14/2020

New York Times:  Latest in science: Young patients and strokes; talking and droplets, 5/14/2020

New York Times:  Covid-19 Reality Has a Liberal Bias, by Paul Krugman, 5/14/2020

Unfortunately, the virus doesn’t care about political spin.  The U.S. right long ago rejected evidence-based policy in favor of policy-based evidence — denying facts that might get in the way of a predetermined agenda. Fourteen years have passed since Stephen Colbert famously quipped that “reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

The Telegraph:  Coming Soon to a Pandemic Near You: Disposable Cardboard Hospital Beds that fold into Coffins, 5/14/2020

Euroweekly News: Funeral Homes in New York Begin Using Cardboard Caskets to Speed Up Cremation Process as Coronavirus Cases in the United States Surpass the Million Mark, by Laura Taylor, 4/28/2020

Washington Post:  Coronavirus is now invading Trump counties in the swing states, by Greg Sargent, 5/14/2020

Washington Post:  Rural Florida county worries about reopening as coronavirus cases spike at nursing home, by Lori Rozsa, 5/14/2020

In Suwannee County, 151 people have tested positive, and 18 have died. All of the deaths have occurred inside a local nursing home, the Suwannee Health and Rehabilitation Center.

New York Times:  Judge Appoints Outsider to Take On Justice Dept. in Flynn Case, by Katie Benner, 5/13/2020

WASHINGTON — The federal judge overseeing the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn appointed a hard-charging former prosecutor and judge on Wednesday to oppose the Justice Department’s effort to drop the case and to explore a perjury charge against Mr. Flynn.

 

Read the Order

 

Washington Post:  A sweeping setback for Trump’s foreign business dealings, by Jennifer Rubin, 5/14/2020

Norman Eisen, former House impeachment counsel and one of the early pioneers of emoluments litigation, said, “The arc of justice may be moving slowly, but it is moving. This case shows that the rule of law is fighting back against Trump’s pathological and illegal selfishness.” 

Washington Post:  5 takeaways from coronavirus whistleblower Rick Bright’s testimony, by Aaron Blake, 5/14/2020

As Trump increasingly criticized Fauci, Bright said the government needs to have more regard for it scientists -- and a more consistent message from the top.  He said that right now the response has been hampered by not having a “single point of leadership.”

 

“We need to install and empower leadership, and we need to unleash the voices of the scientists in our public health system in the United States so they can be heard and their guidances need to be listened to,” Bright said. “And we need to be able to convey that information to the American public so they have the truth about the real risk and dire consequences of this virus.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:  ‘It’s just cuckoo’: state’s latest data mishap causes critics to cry foul, by Willoughby Mariano and J. Scott Trubey, 5/13/2020

Where does Sunday take place twice a week? And May 2 come before April 26?

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:  Coronavirus in Georgia: COVID-19 Dashboard

Atlantic:  How Virginia Juked Its COVID-19 Statistics, by Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer, 5/14/2020

A lack of federal guidelines has created huge variation in how states are reporting their COVID-19 data and in what kind of data they provide to the public.  These gaps can be used for political advantage. Virginia senior officials are blending the results of two different types of coronavirus test in order to report a more favorable result to the public.  Virginia’s decision to mix the results of two different kinds of tests marks a new low in data standards.

Richmond Times-Dispatch:  Virginia misses key marks on virus testing as leaders eye reopening, by Mel Leonor, 5/9/2020

New York Times:  Fed Chair Powell Says Economy May Need More Government Support, by Jeanna Smialek, 5/13/2020

A Fed survey set for release on Thursday will show that almost 40 percent of people who were working in February and were members of households making less than $40,000 a year had lost their jobs in March.

Detroit Free Press:  Report: Michigan faces $2.7B deficit, school aid gap of $1.1B due to coronavirus, by Todd Spangler, 5/14/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan reports more than 1,000 coronavirus cases in day for first time in 2 weeks, by Meredith Spelbring, 5/14/2020

The 1,191 new cases reported Thursday is the first day more than 1,000 new cases have been reported since April 29. Michigan has reported fewer than 500 new coronavirus cases the past five days.

Detroit Free Press:  Whitmer's orders in effect, prosecuting attorneys group says, by Darcie Moran, 5/14/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order faces obstacles, including some police, by Darcie Moran, Kara Berg, Ken Palmer and Craig Lyons, 5/14/2020

And he’s not alone. Livingston County Sheriff Mike Murphy told the Livingston Press & Argus that his office has “basically decided to not do any enforcement,” even as a gym opened in direct defiance this month.

Free Press:   Grosse Ile's COVID-19 testing unlike any other in the state, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, 5/14/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan university is stockpiling COVID-19 tests for fall reopening, by David Jesse, 5/14/2020

Detroit Free press:  Detroit couple married 53 years die days apart, by Brendel Hightower, 5/14/2020

Time:  A New York 9-Year-Old's Struggle With 'Truly Disturbing' Syndrome Doctors Believe Is Related to Coronavirus, by Mary Esch, 5/13/2020

New York Times:  I Have Given Up: Parenting in Quarantine, by Rachel L. Harris and Lisa Tarchak, 5/13/2020

What does parenting burnout look like during a pandemic? After a column by Farhad Manjoo on the subject, thousands of readers told us about their “new normal.”

 

“Our goal is to survive: no divorce, no getting fired and no children running away from home. If we can do that, I’ll consider us a success story.”

 

“We have lowered our expectations in every way possible.”

Detroit Free Press:  Autopsy of "Plandemic" propaganda.  by Marshall Allen, ProPublica, 5/12/2020\

 

Washington Post:  Why reopening protests reminiscent of the tea party era are fizzling, by Kathleen Parker, 5/12/2020

The protesters began losing steam when the Koch network, underwriters of the tea party movement from a decade ago, decided to run with scientists instead of the gun-toting provocateurs trampling the spring-green grass around state capitols. The chief executive of Americans for Prosperity, the main political arm of the network, said the group prefers working with doctors, data crunchers and public policy leaders to create guidelines for a safe and staggered reopening of American businesses.

Crooks and Liars:  'Reopen My State' Protests 'Fizzle' Without Koch Money, by Frances Langum, 5/13/2020

Womp Womp! Koch money isn't funding the LIBERTY! astroturf, so...surprise! The "where's my haircut" people are going back inside.

Washington Post:   As some countries ease up, others are reimposing lockdowns amid a resurgence of coronavirus infections, by Liz Sly and Loveday Morris, 5/13/2020

New York Times:  House Democratic leaders plan to move forward on Friday with their plans for a remote Congress,  5/13/2020

Democratic leaders pushed ahead on Wednesday with their plans to change the rules of the House of Representatives to allow lawmakers to legislate remotely for the first time, unveiling a revised proposal for proxy voting and digital committee meetings during the pandemic.

 

Both changes, which are expected to win approval on Friday, would be firsts for a tradition-bound body that has been loath to alter its rules.

New York Times:  House Democrats Back Changing Rules to Allow Remote Voting During Pandemic, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, 4/16/2020

New York Times:  Too Many States Are Flying Blind Into Reopening. Not Indiana, by Aaron E. Carroll, 5/13/2020

New York Times:  America’s True Covid Toll Already Exceeds 100,000, by Nicholas Kristof, 5/13/2020

Daily Beast:  Team Trump Pushes CDC to Revise Down Its COVID Death Counts, by Erin Banco and Asawin Suebsaeng, 5/13/2020

“I don’t worry about this overreporting issue,” Bob Anderson, the chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch in CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, told The Daily Beast. “We’re almost certainly underestimating the number of deaths [in the country].”

Daily Beast:  The COVID-19 Death Undercount Is Scarier Than You Think, by Irwin Redlener and Sean Hansenm 4/21/2020

New York Times:  Reopening Prompts New Agitation Over Workers’ Virus Exposure, by Noam Scheiber, 5/12/2020

As business restrictions are lifted, employees have moved from advocating workplace safeguards to making sure the measures aren’t removed too soon.

LA Times:  FBI serves warrant on senator in investigation of stock sales linked to coronavirus, by Del Quentin Wilbur and Jennifer Haberkorn, 5/13/2020

Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, turned over his phone to agents after they served a search warrant on the lawmaker at his residence in the Washington area, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a law enforcement action.

 

Beast:  These States May Already Be Doomed for a Second Lockdown, by Olivia Messer, 5/13/2020

According to documents obtained by NBC News from a May 7 White House coronavirus task force report, infection rates in several states had spiked by 72.4 percent or more in a single week.  But among the areas with the largest reported spikes were Amarillo, Texas, and Central City, Kentucky, the latter of which recorded a whopping 650 percent increase in confirmed cases compared to the previous week. That information clashed with claims by President Trump on Monday that “all throughout the country, the numbers are coming down rapidly.”

Daily Beast:  ‘Lightning Fast’ Coronavirus Test Hyped by Trump Is Actually ‘Slow,’ Officials Say, by Adam Rawnsley, 5/13/2020

When asked by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) about the possibility of rapid testing for meatpackers during a hearing on Tuesday, Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary Admiral Brett Giroir noted that each machine can only do four per hour and that’s very, very slow.”

Daily Beast:  Paul Manafort Released From Prison to Escape Coronavirus, Reports Say, by Jamie Ross, 5/13/2020

Daily Beast:  Dr. Fauci Patiently Shuts Down Rand Paul for Minimizing Virus Fears, by Sam Brodey, 5/12/2020

At another point, Fauci referenced the notion that the virus could “disappear”—something President Donald Trump himself has mentioned as recently as last week—and said “that’s just not going to happen, because it’s such a highly transmissible virus.”

Daily Beast:   Trump Blocks Alex Azar and Seema Verma from Testifying About COVID, by Sam Brodey, 5/5/2020

Time:   Accidental Poisonings Increased After President Trump's Disinfectant Comments, by Jeffrey Kluger, 5/12/2020

Financial Times:   Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as countries fight to contain the pandemic | Free to read, 5/12/2020

This page provides an up-to-date visual narrative of the spread of Covid-19, dozens of charts, a ton of data. 

New York Times:  How to Create a Pandemic Depression, by Paul Krugman, 5/11/2020

A word about that unemployment report. Notice that I didn’t say “the worst unemployment since the Great Depression”; I said “a Great Depression level,” a much stronger statement.

 

An unemployment rate of 14.7 percent is pretty horrific, but the bureau included a note indicating that technical difficulties probably caused this number to understate true unemployment by almost five percentage points.

 

If this is true, we currently have an unemployment rate around 20 percent, which would be worse than all but the worst two years of the Great Depression.

Detroit Metro Times:  Gov. Whitmer becomes target of dozens of threats on private Facebook groups ahead of armed rally in Lansing, by Steve Neavling, 5/11/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Why Michigan's contact tracing plan falls short, by Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, 5/11/2020

AZCentral:  More migrants leaving Arizona-Mexico border, abandoning asylum claims, 5/11/2020

AZCentral:  Packed United flight leaves passengers scared, shocked, 5/11/2020

AZCentral:  Trump loves ... then hates how everyone is handling COVID-19, 5/8/2020 

AZCentral:  Reopening is not patriotic if it hurts others. It's a tragedy, 5/8/2020 

AZCentral:  U-turn: University scientists are back in. But will Gov. Doug Ducey listen to them?, by Laurie Roberts, 5/8/2020

It’s amazing what a day of reflection and 24 hours of brutal public exposure can do.

 

The state has suddenly decided not to fire the university scientists, after all – the ones whose models suggest that it’s not yet safe to reopen Arizona.

AZCentral: Gov. Doug Ducey fires the scientists who warn he's making a mistake by reopening Arizona, by Laurie Roberts, 5/6/2020

“I can say, scientifically, no, it's not safe to reopen unless you're planning on, you know, shutting down again after a couple of weeks,” Tim Lant, a mathematical epidemiologist at ASU, told The Republic on April 22. 

AZCentral:  Arizona state health department tells university COVID-19 modeling team to stop work, limits data access, by Rachel Leingang, 5/6/2020

The universities' model had shown that reopening at the end of May was the only scenario that didn't dramatically increase cases.

 

Arizona state health director Cara Christ said it should be "pretty easy to just pick up the phone and ask them to come back and help us out" later in the year if needed.

 

[Trump said the same thing about the White House Pandemic Response team he disbanded.]

New York Times:  Surviving Covid-19 May Not Feel Like Recovery for Some, by Jason Horowitz, 5/10/2020

Bridge Magazine/Detroit Free Press:  In Michigan, 22,000 are ‘recovered’ from coronavirus. Many still feel like hell, by Robin Erb, 5/10/2020

Destroyed kidneys, ravaged lungs and liver — the coronavirus that nearly killed some patients leaves them struggling to do everyday tasks long after Michigan considers them ‘recovered.

 

At Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids, Dr. Ralph Wang said some patients have been so hypoxic, or deprived of oxygen, that their brains now struggle to perform simple tasks — “almost like a mild brain injury.”  Some patients, Wang said, must “learn to walk and talk and go to the bathroom” again.

Detroit Free Press:  Putting a price on social distance — and life itself, by Brian Dickerson, 5/9/2020

Elected leaders and public health officials are making the same furtive calculations as they ponder how many deaths and hospitalizations the public might be willing to endure in exchange for resuming some modicum of economic and social normalcy.

Officials who discuss this tradeoff aloud risk a public firestorm. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie learned as much when he told CNN's Dana Bash that Americans might have to resign themselves to 3,000 COVID-19 deaths a day if they're serious about restarting their economy.

SciTechDaily  New Triple Antiviral Drug Combination Shows Promise for Treating COVID-19, The Lancet, 5/8/2020

The Lancet: “Triple combination of interferon beta-1b, lopinavir–ritonavir, and ribavirin in the treatment of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19: an open-label, randomised, phase 2 trial” by Prof Ivan Fan-Ngai Hung, MD; Kwok-Cheung Lung, FRCP; Eugene Yuk-Keung Tso, FRCP; Raymond Liu, FRCP; Tom Wai-Hin Chung, MRCP; Man-Yee Chu, MRCP; Yuk-Yung Ng, MRCP; Jenny Lo, MRCP; Jacky Chan, MRCP; Anthony Raymond Tam, MRCP; Hoi-Ping Shum, MD; Veronica Chan, FRCP; Alan Ka-Lun Wu, FRCPath; Kit-Man Sin, FRCP; Wai-Shing Leung, MRCP; Wai-Lam Law, FRCP; David Christopher Lung, FRCPath; Simon Sin, FRCP; Pauline Yeung, MRCP; Cyril Chik-Yan Yip, PhD; Ricky Ruiqi Zhang, PhD; Agnes Yim-Fong Fung, BSc; Erica Yuen-Wing Yan, MSc; Kit-Hang Leung, MSc; Jonathan Daniel Ip, MSc; Allen Wing-Ho Chu, MSc; Wan-Mui Chan, PhD; Anthony Chin-Ki Ng, BSc; Rodney Lee, FRCPA; Kitty Fung, FRCPA; Alwin Yeung, FRCP; Tak-Chiu Wu, FRCP; Johnny Wai-Man Chan, FRCP; Wing-Wah Yan, FRCP; Wai-Ming Chan, FRCP; Jasper Fuk-Woo Chan, MD; Albert Kwok-Wai Lie, FRCP; Owen Tak-Yin Tsang, FRCP; Vincent Chi-Chung Cheng, MD; Tak-Lun Que, FRCPath; Prof Chak-Sing Lau, MD; Kwok-Hung Chan, PhD; Kelvin Kai-Wang To, MD and Prof Kwok-Yung Yuen, MD, 8 May 2020

CBS News:  More than 12,000 Catholic churches in the U.S. applied for PPP loans – and 9,000 got them, by Chstina Capatides, 5/8/2020

Detroit Free Press:  6 things you need to know about Michigan's economy right now, and 1 budget moral, by Nancy Kaffer, 5/8/2020

How big is the shortfall?

 

Really big.

 

Every revenue stream the state has is taking a hit: Out-of-work Michiganders are not paying income tax. Casinos are shut down. We're not shopping much, and state doesn't collect sales tax on most food items. We're not gassing up our cars. Many of us will struggle to pay property taxes this year.

VOX:  Media coverage has blown anti-lockdown protests out of proportion, by Erica Chenoweth, Lara Putnam, Tommy Leung, Jeremy Pressman and Nathan Perkins, 5/10/2020

Recent anti-Trump rallies have been bigger than the anti-lockdown protests. Guess which ones got more media attention?

Detroit Free Press:  Mitch Albom: Women on coronavirus front lines mark unusual Mother's Day, by Mitch Albom, 5/10/2020

Every Monday, Tuesday and Friday, she gets up early to open the testing center. She hears her 16-year-old daughter say, “Mom, I don’t want you to go.”

 

But Tawana Nettles-Robinson goes anyhow. She goes to the SAY Detroit Family Health Clinic in Highland Park and the big white tent that is now in its parking lot and she layers up in a protective gown, gloves, face mask and eye shield, as the cars begin to line up on Glendale, one masked driver after another.

 

The SAY Detroit COVID-19 Testing Site, which Tawana coordinates, is the first independent testing site in Detroit that allows both drive-thrus and walk-ups. No insurance, no appointment, and no prescriptions are required. It came together as a result of several groups — SAY Detroit, Trinity Health, the Detroit Rescue Mission, the D2N Foundation, and Michigan Healthcare Professionals.

 

It is funded mostly by proceeds from “Human Touch,” the online work of fiction I am writing and giving away for free, chapter at a time, each Friday at humantouchstory.com. Donations through that website — which are optional — have come from as far away as Brazil and the Philippines. They are paying the bills for this unique Detroit testing site.

Detroit Free Press:  Should our college football cathedrals go empty in 2020? Let's let the science decide, by Shawn Windsor, 5/10/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan records 430 cases, reaching 46,756 statewide; death toll at 4,526, by Miriam Marini, 5/9/2020

Data also show 22,686 people have recovered from the coronavirus as of Friday, according to the state health department. This is defined by officials as cases who are 30 days out from their onset of illness.

 

Average age of coronavirus deaths: 75.1 years old.
Median age: 76.
Age range: 5 to 107.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan ranks highest in nation for prisoner deaths from coronavirus, by Angie Jackson and Kristi Tanner, 5/9/2020

The Michigan Department of Corrections has logged more coronavirus deaths than any other state prison system and ranks second nationwide behind New Jersey for prisoner deaths per capita, according to The Marshall Project, a nonprofit journalism outfit that reports on the criminal justice system and is tracking the virus in prisons across the country.

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is tough enough to do what she thinks is best for Michigan, by Carol Cain, 5/9/2020

People can’t work, they can’t pay taxes, and neither can their employers. Whitmer’s budget has been blown to smithereens. But it’s saving lives in the middle of the greatest public health crisis of our time that worries her the most.

 

Appearing in an extended interview for the entire Mother’s Day edition of CBS 62’s “Michigan Matters,” Whitmer said, “From the beginning, I’ve said we’re all in this together, on the same team, fighting against this virus. The vast majority of people are doing the right things to protect themselves and others, but I understand this is a frustrating time for all.”

 

Governors don’t do pandemics and Whitmer had to get up to speed fast on the topic. She told me during our interview she first heard early words of caution about the virus from her sister, who lives in New York and is focused on global markets, in early January — several weeks before COVID-19 was confirmed in the U.S.

Detroit Free Press:  Beaumont CEO: Whitmer's stay-home order saved lives in Michigan, by John Fox, 5/8/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan's largest restaurant trade group urges Whitmer to reopen restaurants May 29, by Mark Kurlyandchik, 5/9/2020

Washington Post:  Obama says end to Michael Flynn case puts rule of law at risk, calls covid-19 response a ‘disaster’, by Hannah Knowles and Meryl Kornfield, 5/9/2020

Former president Barack Obama shared deep worries Friday about the Justice Department’s decision to drop its prosecution of ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn, telling old aides on a call that “our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk,” according to a recording obtained by Yahoo News and confirmed by an Obama spokesperson.

 

Obama also appeared to slam the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as an “absolute chaotic disaster,” offering the sort of blistering criticisms he has rarely aired in public. Obama said shortly before President Trump took office that he would only weigh in on his successor’s actions when he believes “our core values may be at stake.”

Free Press:  Guns in the Capitol make a mockery of Second Amendment rights and make Michigan a national laughingstock, by Brian Dickerson, 5/6/2020

It's been a week since armed protesters swarmed the spectators' gallery of the state Senate and mustered outside the door to House chambers, mugging for photographers and asserting their constitutional right to visit the barber, although many did not seem conspicuously concerned with personal grooming.

Detroit Free Press:  The Michigan GOP's secession plan for COVID-19, by Brian Dickerson, 5/2/2020

I'm as eager as Shirkey to return to my favorite restaurants, but I was puzzled by his televised assertion that restaurants throughout the state could safely reopen immediately, if only diners would overcome their fear. I can understand how a combination of hygiene and social distancing could make dining out safer for customers. But has Shirkey ever been in a cramped restaurant kitchen? Are workers somehow less susceptible than diners to the risks of close contact?

Detroit Free Press:  In post-pandemic economy, your job may be gone for good | Opinion, by Reed Hundt, 5/6/2020

First, as the global epicenter of viral disease and death, the United States is far from defeating the plague. At least for now, experts say, we have to focus on creating jobs that can be done safely, preferably with protective equipment and out-of-doors.

 

Second, the new economy -- let’s call it the “pandemiconomy” -- has accelerated a shattering shift from real to virtual that commenced with the arrival of the commercial Internet and digital mobile, the two events that occurred when I became chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in 1993. Changes that have unfolded slowly over the last three decades have now occurred In mere weeks. 

Detroit Free Press:  U-M economists: Michigan's jobs outlook worse than Great Recession, by Susan Tompor, 4/9/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Expect city governments to shrink thanks to COVID-19, by Patrick McLean, 5/7/2020

Overall state support by Michigan for its local governments has ranked very low historically; by some measures, Michigan’s support for local governments has ranked dead last among the 50 states.

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. James Blanchard: National Recovery depends on federal support for governors and mayors, by James Blanchard, 5/7/2020

While serious people can certainly disagree on policy decisions and closures, nothing can justify dangerous protests at the capitol building in my home state of Michigan. On April 30th, protesters including some dressed in fatigues and brandishing assault weapons, demanded entry into the legislative chamber. I’m alarmed by the fact that only one Republican state senator and no national Republican leaders have stepped up to speak out against these dangerous gatherings that needlessly put our law enforcement officers and the protesters themselves at risk. Clearly the Republican Party is no longer the party of former Governors’ George Romney and William Milliken and Presidents’ Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan and Bush.

Detroit Free Press:  6 things you need to know about Michigan's economy right now, and 1 budget moral, by Nancy Kaffer, 5/8/2020

The moral of this story


Michigan has been shortchanging everything for decades. Yeah, we were hit hard by the housing crash and the great recession. Yeah, we're a manufacturing state, and manufacturing was devastated in the last decade.

 

But what Michigan has done in the last 20 years — allowing the conditions in our schools, roads, infrastructure and social safety net to deteriorate — makes no sense. And now, when a budget shortfall is looming, it's fourth down and 20..

Detroit Free Press:  Mysterious customer leaves Balkan House restaurants a tip the size of a billboard, by Mark Kurlyandchik, 5/7/2020

Livingston Daily:  Howell hospital nurses on pandemic: 'Nurses and health care workers are resilient' by Jennifer Timar, 5/8/2020

Zarb said the biggest relief is Livingston County hasn't been hit as hard as metro Detroit.  "We planned for a surge of patients," she said. "Livingston County was so blessed to not have the surge of patients," seen in Wayne and Oakland counties.

Livingston Daily:  Hartland Farmers Market opens Saturday; Brighton, Howell delay openings, by Bill Khan, 5/7/2020

“We’re going to have our vendors spread out a little more than normal,” said Kathie Horning, who co-founded the market with the late James Sparks in 2004. “We’re going to practice social distancing.”

 

[As you can see in the article's accompanying photograph, distancing was a pipe dream.]

USA Today in  the Livingston Daily:   Coronavirus antibody tests are available around the country. Here's why they may provide a false sense of security., Kevin McCoy and David Heath, 5/7/2020

Livingston Daily:  Genoa Twp. urgent care offering COVID-19 antibody tests, health department urges caution, by Kayla Daugherty, 5/7/2020

Michigan Urgent Care and Occupational Health started offering antibody blood serum testing for COVID-19 about two weeks ago, including a location at 2300 Genoa Business Park Drive, Suite 120, in Genoa Township.

"People who want to know if they have an immunity to the virus can receive testing for $35," said the clinic owner according to the Livingston Daily.

 

What has not been proven is that the presence of antibodies proves immunity.

Livingston Daily:  Nursing home COVID-19 outbreaks: 'We're playing catch up with a vulnerable population', by Jennifer Timar, 5/7/2020

Livingston Daily:  Brighton area gym reopens despite state orders, by Jennifer Timar, 5/8/2020

Brighton gym owner James Gray said he is not imposing guidelines for social distancing or requiring anyone to wear masks.

 

"You can follow any guidelines you’d like," he says in a May 1 Youtube video. "Just please enjoy your freedom. You have the right to do what you feel is best and I’m going to exercise my right to do that as well."

 

Livingston County Sheriff Murphy said he does not have a problem with Gray's decision.

 

"We know enough about this virus now," Murphy said. "I truly believe that it should be back to free will. ... I hope people get back to their own personal hygiene. At the end of the day that’s what this is all about.".

Washington Post:  Trump Brings Back the Eighties. Leisure and Hospitality Jobs Wiped Out to 1988 Levels - Catherine Rampell, 5/8/2020

The share of the worker-age population that is employed fell to its lowest level ever, 51.3 percent.

 

The big question, of course, is how many of the people who’ve been laid off will be rehired. In Friday’s report, most people officially counted as unemployed (78 percent) said they’re on temporary layoff.

 

Let’s hope they’re right. And if not, perhaps a "cubic model" — such as the much-mocked one created by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, [contrived to suggest coronavirus deaths would cease around mid-May ]— will offer a happier outcome, a snake oils salesman's promise.

Wall Street Journal:  The Mortgage Market Never Got Fixed After 2008. Now It’s Breaking Again. - Ben Eisen, 5/9/2020

Many mortgage companies are nonbanks that don’t have deposits or other business lines to cushion them amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Wall Street Journal:   Less Traffic Isn’t Doing America’s Roads Any Favors, by Jinjoo Lee, 5/6/2020

The expected shortfall in fuel-tax revenue doesn’t bode well for companies that supply and build roads.

 

More than one observer—including President Trump himself—has noted that America’s coronavirus lockdowns are an ideal time to fix the roads. It would be killing two birds with one stone: avoiding traffic jams and providing jobs during a surge in unemployment. Sadly, the exact opposite might happen in many states, punishing private-sector companies.

Wall Street Journal:  Germany managed something unusual among large economies. It kept factories running and the virus suppressed. - Tom Fairless, 5/6/2020

Strict safety rules, testing and contact tracing enabled plants to keep running without major outbreaks.

 

MULFINGEN, Germany— When much of Europe’s economy shut down in mid-March, business kept right on going at Ebm-papst Group, a fan and motor manufacturer based near Germany’s Black Forest. The family-owned company kept its domestic factories running at 80% of normal capacity.

CNN:  WHO says world could face "significant alteration to our lifestyles" until a vaccine is developed, 5/8/2020

CNN:  Canada records second-highest unemployment rate in its history, Paula Newton, 5/8/2020

Nearly one in three Canadian workers either didn’t work in April or had reduced hours.

STAT:  Trump administration announces plan to distribute Covid-19 drug amid concerns over allocation, by Lev Facher, 5/9/2020

Doctors and public health officials have called for the federal government to create a transparent system for distributing remdesivir. Some experts have pointed to the website the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created in 2009 once the Food and Drug Administration authorized peramivir, an antiviral used to treat the H1N1 flu, on an emergency basis. 

 

[You remember 2009.  America had a president who shouldered responsibility.]

 

While some hospitals in recent days had reported receiving allocations of remdesivir directly, others received none, leaving many doctors and hospitals across the country frustrated and in the dark as to when and they might receive supplies.  The federal government’s new plan will deliver the drug to state health departments and allow them to determine which hospitals should receive it. 

 

The latest round of remdesivir distributions will send 5,600 vials of remdesivir to Illinois, 4,400 to New Jersey, 1,600 to Michigan, 1,200 to Connecticut and Maryland, and 400 to Iowa.

 

Earlier in the week, federal officials had declined to specify which hospitals and states had received remdesivir, and how many vials had been delivered. HHS finally clarified those numbers on Saturday, reporting the delivery of nearly 23,000 vials to New York, nearly 5,000 to Massachusetts, 4,000 to New Jersey, and smaller allotments to Indiana, Virginia, Rhode Island, and Tennessee.

 

Even in those states, however, the hospitals that received remdesivir were not necessarily those treating the highest numbers of coronavirus patients.

 

Though the announcement sheds some light on how the federal government is working to distribute the most Covid-19 treatment, it leaves unanswered other questions about the methodology.

 

The federal government’s announcement, for instance, made no mention of California, Pennsylvania, and Florida — meaning the states with the fifth-, sixth-, and eighth-highest Covid-19 case totals, respectively, have not received remdesivir allocations.

STAT:  A new Trump administration rule increases out-of-pocket drug costs, by Ed Silverman, 5/8/2020

As part of a final rule setting standards for health benefits, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will allow insurers and employers to exclude certain copay assistance programs, such as cards and coupons provided by drug makers, from counting toward deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums. The decision applies even when there is no generic alternative to a pricey, brand-name drug.

STAT:  Maryland governor vetoes funding for a prescription drug affordability board, by Ed Silverman, 5/8/2020

The board emerged last year after the U.S. Supreme Court scuttled a state law that aimed to bar drug makers from “price gouging” consumers.

STAT:  Why the porn industry has a lot to teach us about safety in the Covid-19 era, by Usha Lee McFarling, 5/8/2020

LOS ANGELES — As states and employers furiously develop plans to safely reopen workplaces in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, they’re grappling with what seems like an endless list of questions: where to test, who to test, and how often to test for the virus? Further complicating matters are issues of workers’ privacy, geography, politics, science, and cost. It’s a difficult mandate. But there is one place to look for guidance — the adult film industry.

 

Since the late 1990s, when an outbreak of HIV infections threatened to shutter the multibillion-dollar industry, the mainstream porn community has implemented procedures that require all performers to be tested for HIV and a host of other sexually transmitted infections every 14 days before they can be cleared to work. Any HIV-positive test leads to an immediate shutdown of all U.S. sets, followed by detailed contact tracing before sets can reopen. While not perfect, those in the industry say the nationwide PASS program works to protect thousands of performers, ensures safer workplaces, and curtails the spread of disease.

AP Flashback: CDC: 80,000 people died of flu last winter in U.S., highest death toll in 40 years, Associated Press, 9/26/2018

STAT:  A snapshot of coronavirus in the U.S.: A high plateau of new cases portends more spread, by Andrew Joseph, 5/7/2020

“I’m somewhat sympathetic, as I think everyone is, to the impulse to try to open up,” Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said last week. But, he added, “I don’t think at this point that it’s good public health advice to reopen in most parts of the United States, because cases numbers are high, and testing is poor. And that’s where we were a long time ago.”

STAT:  Three potential futures for Covid-19: recurring small outbreaks, a monster wave, or a persistent crisis, by Sharon Begley, 5/1/2020

STAT:  Routine vaccinations for U.S. children have plummeted during the Covid-19 pandemic, by Helen Branswell, 5/8/2020

CDC:  Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Routine Pediatric Vaccine Ordering and Administration — United States, 2020, by Jeanne M. Santoli, MD et al, 5/8/2020

Peter Chin-Hong MD - a map showing where Remdesvir has been distributed after its seizure by Trump's inept pet, Slenderman Jared Kushner, 5/6/2020

STAT: Doctors lambaste federal process for distributing Gilead's Covid-19 drug Remdesivir,  by Eric Bodman and Casey Ross, 5/6/2020

“In my opinion, and I think in the opinion of many of my colleagues, there is a complete lack of transparency about how this decision is being made and who is making it,” said Daniel Kaul, an infectious disease physician at the University of Michigan. His hospital’s pharmacy department informed him that their center wouldn’t be getting any doses of remdesivir after being in contact with the drug’s private distributor, AmerisourceBergen, earlier on Wednesday.

 

“Those of us on the frontlines treating people with Covid-19 need to know what the criteria are and where this drug is going to be available and why those places were selected,” he went on.“All of us want to make sure limited resources are used in the most efficient fashion. ... The government entity making this decision should reveal itself and it should state its criteria.”

May 7:  Coronavirus is spreading under the radar in US homeless shelters, by Amy Maxmen, Nature

Evidence-based solutions might protect not only the roughly 1.4 million people who use a homeless shelter or transitional housing in the United States each year — a growing population as unemployment soars and prisons release people to ease crowding — but also other people who don’t have the luxury of separating themselves from others. “What we’re seeing in this first wave in the US is that the largest clusters are in populations where people don’t have a lot of agency,” says Gina Neff, a sociologist at the University of Oxford, UK. “These populations will become the sources of new outbreaks, even when we feel like we kind of have it under control.”

Science:   Herpes virus can trigger Alzheimer’s, brain tissue study suggests, by Kelly Servick, 5/7/2020

Using tiny brainlike structures grown in a lab dish, researchers have found new evidence that a common virus responsible for cold sores might also be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease, according to STAT. The scientists reprogrammed human skin cells into neurons, grew them into 3D structures, and then infected them with the herpes simplex virus HSV-1. The cells produced buildups of the protein beta amyloid similar to plaques seen in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, the team reports this week in Science Advances.

STAT:  Using human brain tissue in lab dishes, researchers show herpes link to Alzheimer’s, by Sharon Begley, 5/6/2020

A small 3D version of the human brain develops key features of Alzheimer’s disease when it is infected with a virus that causes cold sores, scientists reported on Wednesday, adding to the evidence that this most common form of dementia can be caused by a common microbe.

 

The new research, published in Science Advances, is the first to directly show in a lab model (rather than through circumstantial evidence from human studies) that the herpes simplex virus HSV-1 might cause Alzheimer’s: Human brain-like tissue infected with the virus became riddled with amyloid plaque-like formations — the hallmark of Alzheimer’s. It also developed neuroinflammation and became less effective at conducting electrical signals, all of which happen in Alzheimer’s disease.

 

The new study used a three-dimensional, engineered human quasi-brain developed by postdoctoral fellow Dana Cairns of Tufts University. She starts with skin cells from human foreskin, then uses genetic techniques to turn them into neural stem cells, which within four days become neurons, glia, and the rest of the neural menagerie in the brain. The key step: putting the cells — 1 million of them — into tiny, donut-shaped sponges made out of silk proteins, a material that neural stem cells apparently take to like algae to a sunny pond.

 

The result is not a brain “organoid” per se; it does not replicate that organ’s structures. “We call it a tissue-engineered system,” said senior author David Kaplan of Tufts. Measuring 0.2 to 0.4 of an inch across and just under 0.1 of an inch high, it has neurons with axons and dendrites that transmit and receive electrical signals; synapses, where neurons connect; and “amazing networks,” Kaplan said — “the whole deal.”

Science:  The race is on for antibodies that stop the new coronavirus, by Jon Cohen, 5/5/2020

Jacob Glanville, an immunologist and computer scientist who runs Distributed Bio, has designed neuts for SARS-CoV-2 in a computer, drawing on genetic sequences and structures of ones known to thwart the SARS virus in cells and even mice. “I’m basically able to get a freebie ride on [past] research in a very brief period,” Glanville says.

 

With molecular modeling software, Glanville mutated the antibodies to the SARS virus into billions of variants. And using phages as well, Glanville’s group created a still larger library of antibodies that might work. The researchers then sorted through what Glanville calls “this vast mutational space” for antibodies predicted to bind to SARS-CoV-2 spike, identify 50 leads they are testing in vitro. They soon hope to select the best 13 candidates.

Science:  ‘Finally, a virus got me.’ Scientist who fought Ebola and HIV reflects on facing death from COVID-19, by Dirk Draulans, 5/8/2020

Virologist Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, fell ill with COVID-19 in mid-March:

 

I shared a room with a homeless person, a Colombian cleaner, and a man from Bangladesh—all three diabetics, incidentally, which is consistent with the known picture of the disease. The days and nights were lonely because no one had the energy to talk. I could only whisper for weeks; even now, my voice loses power in the evening. But I always had that question going around in my head: How will I be when I get out of this?

 

After fighting viruses all over the world for more than 40 years, I have become an expert in infections. I’m glad I had corona and not Ebola, although I read a scientific study yesterday that concluded you have a 30% chance of dying if you end up in a British hospital with COVID-19. That’s about the same overall mortality rate as for Ebola in 2014 in West Africa. That makes you lose your scientific level-headedness at times, and you surrender to emotional reflections. They got me, I sometimes thought. I have devoted my life to fighting viruses and finally, they get their revenge. For a week I balanced between heaven and Earth, on the edge of what could have been the end.

CNN:  She was asked to pay thousands for her coronavirus treatment, he got a free ride. She's American. He's Italian. By Ivana Kottasová, Tami Luhby and Valentina Di Donato,  5/1/2020

The Covid-19 pandemic is exposing the deep divide between how health care is approached in the US and in Europe. In Italy, like on much of the continent, the system is publicly funded and almost entirely free for anyone who needs it. Meanwhile the United States is the only developed nation without universal health care.

CNN:  Eye-opening South Korea study on Covid-19, by Kent Sepkowitz, 5/1/2020

Had the investigators waited a week, the infection would likely have spread widely to family, then to friends, then to friends' workplaces -- just as we are seeing in the outbreaks in US meat processing plants with a comparably high-density work environment. The virus knows no walls: Once a business is infected, the entire community may quickly become infected, unless dramatic action -- such as occurred in Seoul -- is taken. 

CNN:  Coronavirus found in men's semen, 5/8/2020

A team at Shangqiu Municipal Hospital tested 38 male patients treated there at the height of the pandemic in China, in January and February. About 16% of them had evidence of the coronavirus in their semen, the team reported in the journal JAMA Network Open. About a quarter of them were in the acute stage of infection and nearly 9% of them were recovering, the team reported.

 

"We found that SARS-CoV-2 can be present in the semen of patients with COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 may still be detected in the semen of recovering patients," Diangeng Li of Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing and colleagues wrote.

CNN:  South Dakota governor tells Sioux tribes they have 48 hours to remove Covid-19 checkpoints, by Chris Boyette, 5/9/2020

According to Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe checkpoint policies posted on its social media, its reservation residents may travel within South Dakota to areas the state has not deemed a Covid-19 "hotspot" if it's for an essential activity such as medical appointments or to get supplies unavailable on the reservation. But they must complete a health questionnaire when they leave and when they return every time they go through a checkpoint.

 

Both tribes have also issued strict stay-at-home orders and curfews for their communities. South Dakota Governor Noem has not issued stay-at-home orders for the state, [because, of course, that would make too much sense.]

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CNN:  Pence's press secretary tests positive for coronavirus, Trump says, by Maegan Vazquez, Kaitlan Collins, John Harwood and Jim Acosta, 5/9/2020

CNN:  Ivanka Trump’s personal assistant has tested positive for coronavirus, source tells CNN, by Kaitlan Collins, 5/8/2020

CNN:  One of Trump's personal valets has tested positive for coronavirus, by Kaitlan Collins and Peter Morris, 5/7/2020

The valets are members of an elite military unit dedicated to the White House and often work very close to the President and first family. Trump was upset when he was informed Wednesday that the valet had tested positive, a source told CNN, and the President was subsequently tested again by the White House physician.

Ohio Capital Journal:   The grim calculus behind Ohio’s economic reopening, By Marty Schladen, 5/8/2020

“The things we can control as individuals are really going to control how we do,” Ohio Governor DeWine said. “We can wear a mask. We can observe the six-foot distance.”

 

Only a day earlier, DeWine’s fellow Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives declined to wear masks as they gathered in the Statehouse and voted to limit DeWine’s power to impose closure orders like the ones the governor now is easing.

Daily Beast:  ‘Truly Disturbing’: Third NY Child Dies From Rare Syndrome Linked to COVID-19, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, 5/9/2020

Three New York children have died from pediatric multi-symptom inflammatory syndrome tied to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.  The childhood ailment has affected at least 73 children in New York state.  Cases have also been reported in Washington, D.C., California, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington state and New Jersey.

Today:  People want to boycott Costco over the store's new mandatory mask policy, by Aly Walansky, 5/7/2020

Who's objecting? Loudmouthed science-challenged assholes.

Daily Beast:  Jim Bakker’s Prepper Village Is Having the Worst Apocalypse Ever, by Kelly Weill, 5/9/2020

So what does the coronavirus pandemic look like in this temple of survival?  “They were running out of supplies they had stocked up on when I was leaving there,” said a former employee.

 

After twenty-four convictions on fraud and conspiracy charges in the amusement park scandal and four years in prison, Bakker was released from lockup in 1994. By 2003, he’d returned to broadcast ministry, this time with an eye on the end-times. He preached the apocalypse and used a loophole in non-profit law to hawk survivalist gear like supposed health supplements and giant buckets of shelf-stable food.

 

“Imagine,” one of Bakker’s emergency food ads said, “the world is dying and you're having a breakfast for kings.” (Because his ministry is technically a nonprofit, Bakker does not “sell” his goods; he offers them as “love gifts” to people who make specific donations, like $4,500 for a “Peace of Mind Final Countdown” bundle that contained 31,000 servings of food in a variety of buckets.)

Daily Beast:  The New Trump App Is a Death Star of Fake News—and It Reaches More People Than Daytime Cable News, by Stefan Smith, 5/9/2020

Campaigns and consultants have spent the last four years worrying about the Trump campaign’s digital operation. Even before COVID-19 upended the election and forced candidates online, the Trump campaign was geofencing campaign rallies, micro-targeting digital ads, and amplifying deepfake videos.

Detroit News:  Whitmer unveils 6-phase reopen plan, extends stay-home order through May 28, by Beth LeBlanc, 5/7/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Contact-tracing efforts may begin this week, here's how to get involved, by Miriam Marini, 5/6/2020

Detroit Free Press:  GM nets 294M in Q1, down 87%, by Jamie L. LaReau, 5/6/2020

Detroit Free Press:  GM tells UAW members its planned date to begin factory restarts, by Jamie L. LaReau, 5/5/2020

General Motors will begin to ramp up its North American assembly plants next week to restart production starting May 18.

Detroit Free Press:  Fiat Chrysler loses 1.9B in Q1, announces target date for restart, by Eric D. Lawrence, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  AK Steel to close Dearborn factory, eliminating 343 jobs, AP, 5/6/2020

AK Steel Corp. said the Dearborn factory is closing "due to rapidly deteriorating business conditions."

KOCO Channel 5 ABC: Police identify woman accused of firing shots at McDonald’s after she was told dining room was closed, 5/7/2020

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City police identified a woman accused of firing shots inside a McDonald’s restaurant after being told by employees that the dining room was closed due to coronavirus restrictions.

6ABC:  In Pennsylvania, man arrested after disrupting salute to first responders, waving gun, police said 5/6/2020

Darby, PA:  According to investigators, the suspect drove an SUV through a parade of first responders who were paying tribute to the staff at Mercy Fitzgerald Medical Center Tuesday night.  Officers said the man threatened to hurt people while waving a gun.

Detroit News:  Gov. Whitmer extends Michigan stay home order through May 28, by Paul Egan, 5/7/2020

Michigan manufacturing will resume on Monday, with the auto plants restarting one week later, on May 18.

 

"We are still safer at home," Whitmer said. "While we can re-engage in more things, we've got to be smart about it.

Fierce Biotech:  MedTech Sherlock's quick, CRISPR-based coronavirus test gets emergency nod, by Amirah Al Idrus, 5/7/2020

The test is based on the company’s namesake technology, SHERLOCK, short for Specific High-sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unLOCKing, a Cas13a-based CRISPR system that targets RNA rather than DNA. It looks for an RNA sequence specific to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in patient samples taken from the upper airways with a swab or from airways in the lungs known as bronchoalveolar washing.

 

“If it’s there, it attaches to the Cas13 enzyme and activates it, which leads to the chewing up and cleaving of RNA probes,” Sherlock CEO Rahul Dhanda told FierceMedTech. When cleaved, those RNA molecules release a fluorescent signal to show the virus is present.

 

Sherlock did more than 2,000 tests in preparation for its FDA submission, finding it had 100% specificity and sensitivity in its clinical data, meaning that no false positives or false negatives.

Detroit News:  Detroit photographer Anthony Szczygielski, 69, dies of coronavirus complications, by Brendel Hightower, 5/7/2020

Washington Post:  Over 33 million Americans lost their job during the pandemic. 77 percent believe they’ll get it back, Post-Ipsos poll finds. By Heather Long and Emily Guskin, 5/7/2020

Economists warn over 40 percent of job losses could become permanent.

Washington Post:  Crisis begins to hit professional and public-sector jobs once considered safe, by Andrew Van Dam, 4/30/2020

Graphs and charts showing joblessness by industry, by week, by state, by sector, etc., etc., etc..

Washington Post:  SBA slashes disaster-loan limit from $2 million to $150,, etc000, shuts out nearly all new applicants, by Aaron Gregg and Erica Werner, 5/7/2020

After initially telling businesses that individual disaster loans could be as high as $2 million, SBA has now imposed a $150,000 limit without publicly announcing the change

LA Times:  Neiman Marcus files for bankruptcy, flattened by debt and idled by coronavirus, Bloomberg, 5/7/2020

LA Times:  The coronavirus hit to L.A. tourism: 22 million visitors and $13 billion in spending, by Hugo Martín, 5/7/2020

A burgeoning middle class in China has helped fuel a surge in Chinese tourists in Los Angeles, spending an average of about $6,900 per visit, according to the U.S. Travel Assn., a trade group for the country’s travel industry.  LAX, once the second- or third-busiest airport in the country with 1,200 takeoffs and landings a day, now operates about 400 takeoffs and landings daily, according to LAX officials.

LA Times:  Coronavirus plunges California into worst budget deficit in state history, by John Myers, 5/7/2020

[California Governor] Newsom’s budget team forecasts a $41.2-billion drop in tax revenues compared to their estimates from just four months ago. Most of that — $32.2 billion — would appear in the fiscal year that begins in July. Current year tax revenues, according to the report, are expected to miss the mark by $9.7 billion.

 

The impact on K-12 education funding could be especially severe. Schools receive roughly 40% of the state’s general fund revenues and, under a series of complicated constitutional formulas, could see their minimum funding cut by more than $18 billion under the Newsom administration analysis.

Daily Beast:  Meghan McCain Goes Off on Kayleigh McEnany for ‘Spinning Propaganda’, by Justin Baragona, 5/7/2020

“If the tests aren’t important, why is the White House, and everybody else getting tested before they go before the president?” McCain concluded. 

Daily Beast:  Read the CDC Coronavirus Document the White House Didn’t Want You to See, by Jamie Ross and Erin Banco, 5/7/2020

The document, officials said at the time, was incredibly intricate and showed how states could begin to open summer camps, restaurants, bars and religious centers. Officials inside the CDC said they had been working on the guidelines for several weeks and anticipated that the White House would release them to states in the following days.

 

The Associated Press reported that the document had been slated for publication last Friday—but that scientists at the CDC were then told by the White House that it “would never see the light of day.”

 

Well, they were wrong— here it is.

Daily Beast:  Trump Wants a Quick Reopening. Data His Own White House Is Examining Shows It Could Be a Disaster, by Erin Banco, 5/7/2020

Under their projections, if starting on May 15 residents in Los Angeles county were to conduct 33 percent less social distancing, the coronavirus daily case count would jump from about 471 cases to 1,467 by August 1. Similarly, Illinois’s Cook County, where Chicago is located, would see daily coronavirus case numbers spike from 626 to 2,494 between May 15 and August 1.

 

A similar study reported by The Washington Post and The New York Times this week shows the coronavirus daily case count surging as high as 200,000 by June 1. The report includes stamps from the Center for Disease Control, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security. But officials inside the administration have said the study was not vetted before release.

Daily Beast:  Televangelist Jim Bakker Fights to Keep Selling Sham COVID-19 ‘Cure From God’, by Kate Briquelet, 5/7/2020

The disgraced Evangelical is battling the state of Missouri and a new class-action lawsuit seeking to ban him from peddling a bogus cure for coronavirus and HIV.

Detroit Free Press:  Censured Royal Oak City Commissioner Kim Gibbs caught shoplifting, by Christina Hall, 5/7/2020

"I obviously was not thinking clearly, and I take full responsibility for my actions. Recently, I had to choose between insulin and food, and I chose the insulin, which helps me stay alive.

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issues executive order to hasten unemployment benefits for thousands, by Darcie Moran, 5/7/2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered that only a current cause of unemployment be weighed when it comes to a resident’s eligibility for state benefits.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan unemployment agency ups manpower as frustrations mount, by Darcie Moran, 4/25/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan GOP lawsuit against Gov. Whitmer unlikely to succeed, experts say, by Paul Egan, 5/7/2020

Detroit Free Press:  House and Senate sue Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over emergency powers, by Paul Egan, 5/6/2020

Detroit Free Press:  AG Nessel: Don't be confused, Whitmer's emergency orders remain in force, by Paul Egan, 5/5/2020

In a letter to law enforcement officials, Nessel said Whitmer's stay-at-home order and order closing restaurants, gyms, theaters, hair and nail salons, barbershops and many other facilities, and restricting restaurants to carryout and delivery service, remain enforceable, "regardless of what you may have heard."

Detroit Free Press:  Republican congressman Paul Mitchell sues Gov. Whitmer over handling of coronavirus, by Paul Egan, 5/4/2020

Lavora Barnes, chairwoman of the Michigan Democratic Party, called the suit a "political stunt" and "a shining example of how the GOP is failing the people of Michigan."

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan's governor and emergency powers: What you need to know, by Paul Egan, 4/30/2020

Detroit Free Press:  7 Catholic religious sisters now dead of coronavirus at same Michigan convent, by Niraj Warikoo, 5/7/2020

Seven Catholic sisters at a convent in Livonia who died last month tested positive for the coronavirus, an official with the Felician Sisters of North America told the Free Press on Wednesday.  In addition, four other sisters at the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent in Livonia died in April, a total of 11 deaths last month at the convent. There are no test results pending for the four, said Suzanne Wilcox English, the executive director of Mission Advancement at the Felician Sisters of North America.

 

The Livonia convent was home to 56 sisters before the coronavirus outbreak, English said. About one out of five of them died in one month.

Detroit Free Press:  11 Catholic religious sisters at Livonia convent die during pandemic, 5/7/2020

This is a photo gallery, comprising portraits of the eleven dead Nuns.  More than a bit of personality shines through.  I didn't/couldn't make it to the last photograph.

Detroit Free Press:  Owosso barber reopens despite state orders: 'I was in despair, I had to go back to work', by Kara Berg, 5/6/2020

"(The shutdown) collapsed me, mentally, physically and spiritually," Manke said. "I was in despair, I had to go back to work...I don't have anybody paying me unless I'm doing work."  The 77-year-old barber received a citation Wednesday for violating the executive order on the third day he was open.

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus pandemic could impact 40% of Michigan jobs, McKinsey says, 5/7/2020

About 1.33 million have filed for unemployment in Michigan since March 15, the state's labor department said Thursday. Michigan is one of five states sending out more than $800 million a week in benefits.

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus pandemic could impact 40% of Michigan jobs, McKinsey says, by Adrienne Roberts, 5/1/2020

McKinsey, a strategy and management consulting services firm, estimates nearly 2 million workers in Michigan will be affected in some way.

Detroit Free Press:  Pontiac family grieves while coronavirus leaves some domestic abuse victims in isolation, by Joe Guillen and Angie Jaskson, 5/7/2020 

Daily Beast:  Trump’s America Now Leads the World—in Suicidal Stupidity, by Michael Tomasky, 5/6/2020

Reopening things just as we were beginning to maybe get a handle on the pandemic is reckless. It’s immoral. It’s shameful. And beyond all that, it’s just stupid.

 

“American exceptionalism” is the general idea that the United States is different from other countries, endowed with special traits, better, superior. It goes back—well, actually, people debate how far it goes back.

 

But there’s no debating when it ends. It ends this month, in May 2020, under Donald Trump, who in prematurely sending people back to work (and to gyms) so they can die needlessly is destroying not just thousands of human lives but also any idea of America as a special place. That shining city on a hill business? Done.

Detroit Free Press:  Law professor: Virus reveals we all need a class in evidence, by Len Niehoff, JD, 5/5/2020

We cannot wait. We all need to becomes students of evidence right here, right now. If we don’t, we will not just repeat the errors of the past. We will blunder into fresh ones that were avoidable, but that our disregard of truth has made apocalyptic.

Bloomberg:  Tesla Idles China Plant, Suspending Vehicle Output Worldwide, 5/7/2020

While Tesla’s only car factory outside the U.S. is expecting delays in receiving parts for its Model 3, it’s also facing problems with a crucial piece of manufacturing equipment that’s being fixed 

Detroit Free Press:  Woman arraigned in death of Flint Family Dollar security guard over coronavirus mask, AP, 5/6/2020

Teague, her husband, Larry Teague, 44; and her son, Ramonyea Bishop, 23, face first-degree premeditated murder charges in Friday's killing of Calvin Munerlyn, 43, at a Family Dollar near downtown Flint.

 

Larry Teague and Bishop have yet to be arrested and are believed to be on the run, prosecutor David Leyton said.

 

 

Bloomberg:  Coronavirus Lingers in Air of Crowded Spaces, New Study Finds, by Marthe Fourcade, 4/27/2020

They found few aerosols in patient wards, supermarkets and residential buildings. Many more were detected in toilets and two areas that had large crowds passing through, including an indoor space near one of the hospitals.  Especially high concentrations appeared in the rooms where medical staff doff protective equipment, which may suggest that particles contaminating their gear became airborne again when masks, gloves and gowns are removed.

Washington Post:  Trump’s unhinged rant about a new attack ad shows his weakness, by Greg Sargent, 5/5/2020

Trump’s answer to the current catastrophe looks something like what Jedediah Britton-Purdy terms “disaster nationalism.” It’s a fusion of neo-Social Darwinist relaxation of social distancing, putting ordinary Americans and workers at terrible risk (see the ongoing carnage in meatpacking plants) with more tax cuts, shredded regulations and ethno-nationalist scapegoating of immigrants.

Jacobin Magazine:  The Only Treatment for Coronavirus Is Solidarity, by Jebediah Britton-Purdy

It’s worth remembering that our alone-together world of individualist ethics and material interdependence didn’t just happen. It takes a vast and intricate infrastructure to keep us all running in one another’s service, and in the ultimate service of return to capital: from highways to credit markets to the global trade regime. The fact that these interwoven systems are tanking financial markets around the world at the prospect that people might need to spend a few months sitting at home rather than hurrying around exchanging money shows how finely calibrated they are to profit, and how totally lacking in resilience to shifts in human need.

Jacobin Magazine:  “We’re Not Going to Work Through Coronavirus”, by David Broder, 3/12/2020

Jacobin Magazine:  Reopening the Economy Will Send Us to Hell, by Mike Davis, 4/27/2020

Washington Post:  ‘I believe I am treated worse,’ Trump says. As if. by Dana Milbank, 5/5/2020

He is dishonest. He is unjust. He has no principle, no respect for law. In his administrative madness, on his unconstitutional crusade, he uses the power of government to crush. His presidency is despotism, a dictatorship, a monstrous usurpation, a criminal wrong and an act of national suicide.

Washington Post:  I usually ignore all Trump’s tweets. Not this one. By Dvid Von Drehle, 5/5/2020

Washington Post:    We may be dramatically overestimating China’s capabilities, by David Ignatius, 5/5/2020

Washington Post:  15 children in New York City have developed a puzzling and serious inflammatory syndrome possibly linked to covid-19, by Ariana Eunjung Cha and Chelsea Janes, 5/5/2020

Washington Post:  The world will demand answers on covid-19 until China explains what happened, by David Ignatius, 4/23/2020

AirBNB:  A Message from Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky, 5/5/2020

Earlier today, Airbnb Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky sent the following note to Airbnb employees.

 

This is my seventh time talking to you from my house. Each time we’ve talked, I’ve shared good news and bad news, but today I have to share some very sad news.

 

When you’ve asked me about layoffs, I’ve said that nothing is off the table. Today, I must confirm that we are reducing the size of the Airbnb workforce.

 

Airbnb's mass layoffs included this exit package: 14 weeks' base pay, 12 months' health insurance, extensive job support, and laptops.

MEDIAite:  Trump Goes on 1 A.M. Spree Blasting ‘Mourning in America’ Ad, Calls George Conway ‘Deranged Loser of a Husband’ and ‘Moonface’, by Colby Hall, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan man in now-famous Capitol protest photo: 'I didn't scream in anybody's face', by Gina Kaufman, 5/5/2020

But he isn't from California. He is from New Hudson, Michigan. And his name is Brian Cash.

 

"Yes, that's me," the 52-year-old flooring installer told the Free Press on Monday when asked to confirm whether he is the man in the photo, taken by Jeff Kowalsky, a photographer working for Agence France-Presse (AFP).

 

Other details about Cash: He is not concerned about the virus ("Not at all"); he doesn't believe masks protect people and won't wear one ("Ever"); he doesn't agree with the stay home order because people are still going to stores, pharmacies and gas stations anyway ("So what is the point of staying at home?"); he believes the virus was intentionally released by the Chinese government, and he said he had never voted before the 2016 election ("Because f*ck the government, you know?").

 

Cash, who expressed dislike for both the Democratic and Republican parties, said he voted for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary, and then Donald Trump in the general election.

 

He also is a marijuana advocate and said he was high during the interview with the Free Press. "If I'm awake, I'm high," Cash said. "But I'm not high; I'm normal."

Detroit Free Press:  Inmates, advocacy groups sue Wayne County Sheriff over COVID-19 response in jails, by Angie Jackson, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  ER visits plummet amid pandemic: 'More people are dying at home', by Tresa Baldas, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Man who wiped face on Michigan store clerk arrested, by Andrea Perez Balderrama, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan is considering move to ban guns inside state Capitol Building, by Paul Egan, 5/5/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Pfizer begins coronavirus vaccine testing in US; Mich. lab could mass produce it, by Tresa Baldas, 5/5/2020

After four months of working in labs, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has started testing humans in the U.S. with a potential vaccine for the coronavirus — a serum that could be mass produced at Pfizer's Kalamazoo site depending on its success.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan Medicine to furlough workers, halt construction on new hospital, by David Jesse, 5/5/2020

The system is looking at projected financial losses of up to $230 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. Losses are expected to continue into next fiscal year as well.

 

In addition, leaders across Michigan Medicine will be taking a salary reduction. Marschall Runge, chief executive officer of Michigan Medicine, dean of the U-M Medical School and executive vice president for Medical Affairs at U-M, will reduce his compensation by 20%. Department chairs and other leaders were asked to voluntarily reduce their compensation on a scale between 5% and 15%.

 Daily Beast:  Team Trump Says He Alone Stopped the Pandemic—You Know, the One That’s Still Raging, by Matt Lewis, 5/5/2020

Fighter jets, happy doctors, Nancy Pelosi’s ice cream, and a wartime president—an ad that turns reality on its head. And it’ll probably work.

 CNBC:  Nearly a fifth of Wendy’s US restaurants are out of beef, analyst says, by Amelia Lucas, 5/5/2020

Stephens analyst James Rutherford said that a study of online menus for every Wendy’s location nationwide revealed that 1,043 restaurants — or 18% of its national footprint — have listed beef items as out of stock. More than 100 locations are still selling Wendy’s chili, which contains beef.

 

The shortages vary by state. Hundreds of Ohio, Michigan, Tennessee and New York restaurants are out of beef, while other states’ menus do not indicate any supply chain issues.

Daily Beast:  Texans Brace for a COVID-19 ‘Explosion’ Just Days After Reopening, by Olivia Messer, 5/5/2020

New York Times:  Trump and His Infallible Advisers, by Paul Krugman, 5/4/2020

“You have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down close to zero.”

We’re going to have 50,000 or 60,000 deaths, and that’s great.

OK, we may have more than 100,000 deaths, but we’re doing a great job and should reopen the economy.

 

Observers trying to understand America’s lethally bad response to the coronavirus focus too much on Trump’s personal flaws, and not enough on the character of the party he leads.

 

Trump’s narcissism and solipsism are especially blatant, even flamboyant. But he isn’t an outlier; he’s more a culmination of the American right’s long-term trend toward intellectual degradation. And that degradation, more than Trump’s character, is what is leading to vast numbers of unnecessary deaths.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan tightens time frame for handling body after death amid pandemic, by Darcie Moran, 5/4/2020

Hospitals and funeral directors now will have 24 hours to contact designated parties to handle burial and cremation arrangements after a death amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Crooks and Liars:  Trump Makes Excuses For Hydroxychloroquine: 'Nothing To Lose', by John Amato, 5/4/2020 

ABC12.com, Flint MI:   Called to order: Supreme Court holds 1st arguments by phone, By Mark Sherman and Jessica Gresko, AP, 5/4/2020

SciTechDaily:   Bad News – Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Infects Cells of the Intestine and Multiplies There, By Hubrecht Institute, 5/4/2020

Science:  “SARS-CoV-2 productively Infects Human Gut Enterocytes” by Mart M. Lamers, Joep Beumer, Jelte van der Vaart, Kèvin Knoops, Jens Puschhof, Tim I. Breugem, Raimond B.G. Ravelli, J. Paul van Schayck, Anna Z. Mykytyn, Hans Q. Duimel, Elly van Donselaar, Samra Riesebosch, Helma J.H. Kuijpers, Debby Schipper, Willine J. van de Wetering, Miranda de Graaf, Marion Koopmans, Edwin Cuppen, Peter J. Peters, Bart L. Haagmans and Hans Clevers, 1 May 2020

ABC12.com:  Tenn. man, 64, beats coronavirus, returns home after 40 days in hospital, 5/4/2020

Five days after he was admitted to the hospital, doctors put Byler on a ventilator.

 

"The nurses, at that point, didn’t think he would survive," Shea said. "They told me that they were crying because they were really concerned that he would not turn around."

 

But Shea says her father started making slow progress, eventually pulling the ventilator out himself.

ABC12.com, Flint MI: Kroger, Costco to limit meat purchases in some states, 5/4/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Whitmer concerned about Belle Isle crowds, may put more controls on state parks, by Paul Egan, 5/4/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Grand Haven State Park closes parking lots after crowds 'overwhelm' the beach, by Meredith Spelbring, 5/3/2020 

Medium:  Women’s Resilience Is Saving the World, by Sady Doyle, 4/16/2020

As macho leaders descend into public tantrums, the coronavirus is revealing how women’s everyday emotional resilience holds our lives together

[Just two months ago:]  The Atlantic:  The Official Coronavirus Numbers Are Wrong, and Everyone Knows It, by Alexis C. Madrigal, 3/4/2020

The Atlantic:  Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice, by Amanda Mull, 4/29/2020

The state is about to find out how many people need to lose their lives to shore up the economy

michigancapitalconfidential:  Wife Says Flint Dollar Store Security Guard Killed Over Face Mask Dispute. By Tom Gantert, 5/3/2020

'Witness:  He asked a woman to put on a mask before she could come in. She spit in his face, then came back later with her dad and shot him.

Detroit Free Press:  Besties for 78 years die of coronavirus 6 days apart, now 'They're together up there', by Georgea Kovanis, 5/3/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Flint security guard dies after being shot in the head, police say, by Miriam Marini, 5/2/2020

New York Times:  ‘We Had to Do Something’: Trying to Prevent Massive Food Waste, by Michael Corkery and David Yaffe-Bellany, 5/2/2020

The closure of restaurants, hotels and school cafeterias wiped out huge sources of demand for fresh food, leaving farmers with millions of pounds of excess. While increased sales at grocery stores have made up for some of that, not since the Great Depression has so much fresh food been destroyed. (In the 1930s, the problem was that people could not afford to buy all the crops farmers were producing, which led the federal government to establish an early food stamp program.)

Daily Beast:  ‘Revenge Spending’ Hits China as Millions Travel Again, by Brendon Hong, 5/4/2020

Chinese state media is painting a picture of things nearly being back to normal in Wuhan and across the country. From a distance, that may seem true—people are, at least, out and about. But they are masked, and careful about who they approach and where they go. Occasionally, you’ll still spot extremely cautious individuals wearing full-body Tyvek suits. Purchases and food deliveries are often handed over like the two sides are conducting a hostage exchange.

Daily Beast:  An ER Doctor’s Infuriating Walk Through Central Park: ‘It’s a Slap in the Face’, by Michael Daly, 5/4/2020

Dr. Cleavon Gilman had seen the news footage of the crowds on the beaches in Florida and California.

 

But this was Central Park on Saturday afternoon, a jog away from New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. The 40-year-old emergency resident had lost so many patients that he keeps a chair between the ambulance bay and the trauma room where he sits to call families with the worst possible news.

 

And everywhere he now looked in the sun-splashed heart of the COVID-19 epicenter, he saw throngs of people ignoring social distancing as they milled about and relaxed amidst the trees and lawns, many without masks. He took it as a deep insult.

Daily Beast:  Retail Giant J. Crew files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection,  by Tom Sykes, 5/4/2020

Daily Beast:  Heathrow Boss Says Social Distancing Would Mean Half-Mile Lines to Board Big Airplanes, by Tom Sykes, 5/4/2020 

Daily Beast:   Trump Offers Lie After Lie Under Lincoln’s Unblinking Gaze, by Scott Bixby, 5/4/2020

As the 16th president stared down at the 45th president’s socially distant town hall, Trump rolled out a series of astounding falsehoods.

Daily Beast:   A Mayor Accepts a Nightmare: The COVID Tests Won’t Come, by Erin Banco, 5/4/2020

Jersey City tests about 2,100 people a week. It would need about 10 times that to safely reopen. The mayor has decided to start the re-opening anyway.

Daily Beast:   Trump Says 80,000-100,000 Americans Will Die, Calls That a ‘Success’, by Emma Tucker, 5/4/2020

Daily Beast:  Seattle Has a Sane Plan to End Lockdown. It Might Not Work., by Lynne Peeples, 5/4/2020

Daily Beast:  Tests Show Coronavirus Was Spreading in Europe Late Last Year, Weeks Earlier Than Thought, by Tom Sykes, 5/4/2020

Yves Cohen, an intensive-care chief in Paris, told local media that the virus was present in France on Dec. 27, several weeks before the first cases were confirmed. Cohen told broadcaster BFM-TV that his team revisited negative tests for flu and other viruses on dozens of patients who were in the hospital with respiratory symptoms in December and January. “Of the 24 patients, we had one positive result for COVID-19 on Dec. 27, when he was in hospital with us,” he said, adding that the test had been repeated several times to confirm the result.

Daily Beast:  Pence Finally Admits He Should Have Worn a Mask During Mayo Clinic Visit, by Emma Tucker, 5/3/2020

Daily Beast:  Trump Says He is Treated ‘Worse’ Than President Lincoln, (Who Was Assassinated), by Emma Tucker, 5/3/2020

“I am greeted by a hostile press, the likes of which no president has ever seen... They always said nobody got treated worse than Lincoln. I believe I am treated worse. You see those press conferences [about the coronavirus response], they come at me with questions that are disgraceful. Their manner of presentation and their words. I feel if I was kind to them, I would be walked off the stage.” 

WSAV-3:  Former President George W Bush urges compassion, empathy, unity, non-partisanship in video message, 5/3/2020

Bloomberg Video:  Trump Attacks George W. Bush's compassion, empathy and non-partisanship, i.e., Bush's Unity video, 5/3/2020

President Trump attacked former President George W. Bush after he released a video this weekend encouraging Americans to end the partisan divided during the Covid-19 pandemic, without mentioning Trump.

 

Washington Post:  Trump can’t blame China for his own coronavirus failures, by Max Boot, 5/3/2020

Washington Post:  These public servants are finalists for the Oscars of government. (Yes, Fauci is one of them.) By Fred Hiatt, Editorial page editor, 5/3/2020 

With 66,000 Americans dead of covid-19 already, the U.S. government is among the world’s worst responders to the pandemic. We have sent essential workers ill-equipped into danger. We have no plan to remedy a crippling shortfall in tests. Businesses and people wait desperately for loans and checks.

 

But look more closely, and what you see is a failure of leaders, not civil servants. Of our current leader most of all, with his disdain for scientists who might have prepared us, his months of belittling the growing danger, his elevation even now of wishful thinking over strategy.

Washington Post:  Forget swabs. We all need to take a character test. By Nancy Gibbs, 5/3/2020

Washington Post:  Susan Rice on Trump’s coronavirus response: ‘He has cost tens of thousands of American lives’, by Jonathan Capehart, 4/6/2020

The case of negligence she made against the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic was persuasive and emphatic. But when I asked Rice if she thought the breathtaking incompetence was deliberate, Rice tapped the brakes ever so slightly.

 

“Even I am not prepared to say that and maybe I should, but it’s just inconceivable to me to have to state a proposition that the president of the United States is willfully trying to kill Americans,” Rice told me during an interview for my “Cape Up” podcast. “I don’t want to say that. I don’t want to believe that. But I do think he’s playing politics,” Rice said before spelling out the difference in Trump’s treatment of Illinois and Michigan vs. Kentucky and Oklahoma. 

Roche:  Roche’s COVID-19 antibody test receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization and is available in markets accepting the CE mark, 5/3/2020

Basel, 03 May 2020 - Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)1 for its new Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. The test is designed to help determine if a patient has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and if the patient has developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Roche has already started shipping the new antibody test to leading laboratories globally and will ramp up production capacity to high double-digit millions per month to serve healthcare systems in countries accepting the CE mark2 as well as the U.S.

 

The serology test has a specificity greater than 99.8% and sensitivity of 100% (14 Days post-PCR confirmation)

 

Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 is an immunoassay for the in-vitro qualitative detection of antibodies (including IgG) to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in human serum and plasma. Through a blood sample, the test, which is based on an in-solution double-antigen sandwich format, can detect antibodies to the new coronavirus causing COVID-19, which could signal whether a person has already been infected and potentially developed immunity to the virus. Based on the measurement of a total of 5272 samples, the Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 assay has 99.81% specificity and shows no cross-reactivity to the four human coronaviruses causing common cold. This means it can lower the chance of false positives due to the detection of similar antibodies that may be present in an individual, but are specific for coronaviruses other than SARS-CoV-2. Elecsys® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 detected antibodies with 100% sensitivity in samples taken 14 days after a PCR-confirmed infection. The importance of specificity and sensitivity of a particular test will be dependent on its purpose and disease prevalence within a given population.

 

Hospitals and reference laboratories can run the test on Roche’s cobas e analysers, which are widely available around the world. These fully automated systems can provide SARS-CoV-2 test results in approximately 18 minutes for one single test, with a test throughput of up to 300 tests/hour, depending on the analyser.

New York Post:  FDA approves coronavirus antibody test that boasts near-perfect accuracy, by Jackie Salo, 5/3/2020

Wall Street Journal:  Roche Coronavirus Antibody Test Wins FDA Approval for Emergency Use, by Denise Roland, 5/3/2020

The Swiss health-care giant says its test has proven 100% accurate at detecting Covid-19 antibodies in the blood

Detroit News:  Police probe shooting of Flint security guard in confrontation over mask at Family Dollar, by George Hunter and Ariana Taylor, 5/3/2020 

Associated Press:  Calif. official fired after saying let virus run 'natural course' with vulnerable, 5/3/2020

Antioch, Calif. — A Northern California city official has been ousted after he suggested on social media that sick, old and homeless people should be left to meet their "natural course in nature" during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

He wrote on Facebook: "the World has been introduced to a new phrase Herd Immunity which is a good one. In my opinion we need to adapt a Herd Mentality. A herd gathers it ranks, it allows the sick, the old, the injured to meet its natural course in nature." [sic]

 

As for homeless people, he added that the virus would "fix what is a significant burden on our society and resources that can be used."

 

After the city council stripped him of his post, Turnage lamented: "It's not like it used to be, when you could [kick a beggar for starving too close to your limo and smugly spout opinions that would have made most Nazis cringe.]

Associated Press:  Without ‘Obamacare’ COVID-19 survivors could be uninsurable, by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, 5/3/2020 

Detroit News:  Whitmer says pandemic not negotiable, decries racism at protest, by Craig Mauger, 5/3/2020

“We’re in a global pandemic," Whitmer, a Democrat, said during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union." "This isn’t something we just negotiate ourselves out of like it’s a political matter. This is a public health crisis.”

 

“Whether you agree with me or not, I’m working to protect your life if you live in the state of Michigan," Whitmer said. "I am going to continue to do my job regardless of what tweets come out or what polls come out or what people think ... makes sense.”

Detroit News:   Macomb County shelves plan for new jail, cites pandemic, by Mike Martindale, 4/9/2020

“There’s no question we need a new facility but we will make do with what we have for now,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “With people losing their jobs and budgets from local to state under review, this is not a good time to be planning any major building projects. It doesn’t make fiscal sense and would be in bad taste.”

Detroit News:  Michigan National Guard to aid in testing prisoners for COVID-19, by Sarah Rahal, 5/2/2020

Medical specialists from the Michigan National Guard will assist the Michigan Department of Corrections with testing every staff and prisoner in the state, Michigan State Police announced Saturday.

 

Officials said in a statement they will start Monday at the Baraga Correctional Facility and move east across the Upper Peninsula with a goal of testing one facility each day.

Daily Beast:  McConnell’s New Endgame in the Next COVID Bill: Cover for Corporate America, by Sam Stein, Sam Brodey and Asawin Suebsaeng, 5/2/2020

Detroit News:  Armed protesters in Michigan Capitol have lawmakers questioning policy, by Sarah Rahal and Craig Mauger, 5/2/2020

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, said in a statement that many people protested safely and responsibly, but he condemned others who "used intimidation and the threat of physical harm to stir up fear and feed rancor."

 

"Their actions hurt their cause and steal from the rights of others by creating an environment where responsible citizens do not feel safe enough to express themselves," Shirkey said.

 

They do not represent the Senate Republicans, he said, adding "At best, those so-called protesters are a bunch of jackasses."

 

"The building was shaking with angry people, there was not a lot of rationality," Senator Jeremy Moss said. "What were they going to do when they were inside the House chamber?"

 

State Representative Robert Wittenberg, founder of the Gun Violence Prevention Caucus, said, "There’s no need for weapons to be brought into the Capitol. ... It was scary, unnecessary and no one will speak against the right to protest. That was trying to intimidate legislators and law enforcement."

 

He said he doesn't expect the Capitol policy to change, saying the majority of Republican leadership "have never given time for a hearing on universal background checks or even revoking from abusers."

Daily Beast:  How Trump and the GOP Just Might ‘Liberate’ You to Death, by David R. Lurie, 5/3/2020

It appears that the newly discovered power of the federal government to review state health protections does not extend to second-guessing the choices of governors to recklessly risk the lives of their citizens—but permits the second-guessing of governors prudently trying to protect their citizens.

Daily Beast:   Meet Russia’s Dr. Oz, the COVID Skeptic Who Has Putin’s Ear, by Anna Nemtsova, 5/3/2020

“All signs indicate that a common flu is a much more severe infection” than COVID-19, Malysheva told her television viewers as late as March 13.

Snopes.com:  Did the 1981 ‘Farmer’s Almanac’ Predict COVID-19? By Nur Ibrahim, 5/1/2020

An old "prediction" got a new origin story.

Orange County Register:  Judge denies effort to block governor’s order to close Orange County beaches, by Laylen Connelly, 5/1/2020

Sands along the 42 miles of coast are off limits.

Orange County Register:  Why is Orange County’s coronavirus death rate lower than its neighbors’?, by Theresa Walker, 5/3/2020

UC Irvine epidemiologist: "It's a bit mysterious..."

Orange County Register:  Coronavirus: Orange County has tested more than 35,000 as of May 2, 5/2/2020

Orange County Register:  Thousands of protesters flock to Huntington Beach following state-ordered OC beach closures, by Sean Emery, Scott Schwebke and Jeong Park, 5/1/2020

Orange County Register:  Disneyland and other theme parks can’t reopen for months under state plan, by Brady MacDonald, 4/28/2020

“Politics will not drive our decision making. Protests will not drive our decision making. Political pressure will not drive our decision making,” Newsom said. “Science, data and public health will drive our decision making.”

 

California is currently in Stage 1 with stay-at-home orders still in place. Stage 2 is “weeks” away, Stage 3 is likely “months” away and Stage 4 would require coronavirus treatments that have not yet been developed, Newsom said.

Orange County Register:  This Irvine company tested most of its workforce for coronavirus antibodies the results were startling, by Teri SForza, 4/24/2020 

Orange County Register: Orange County bans gatherings, closes bars, and limits restaurants to curb coronavirus spread, by Alicia Robinson, 3/17/2020

Orange County Register:  O.C. coronavirus case count rises by 4 to 17, including new reports of community transmission, by Eric Licas, 3/15/2020

Daily Beast:  Unmasked Protesters Storm Huntington Beach After California Governor’s Closure, by William Bredderman, Will Sommer, 5/1/2020

JAMA Internal Medicine:   Contact Tracing Assessment of COVID-19 Transmission Dynamics in Taiwan and Risk at Different Exposure Periods Before and After Symptom Onset, by Hao-Yuan Cheng, MD, MSc, Shu-Wan Jian, DVM, MPH, Ding-Ping Liu, PhD, et al, 5/1/2020

Question What is the transmissibility of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to close contacts?

 

Findings In this case-ascertained study of 100 cases of confirmed COVID-19 and 2761 close contacts, the overall secondary clinical attack rate was 0.7%. The attack rate was higher among contacts whose exposure to the index case started within 5 days of symptom onset than those who were exposed later.

 

Meaning High transmissibility of COVID-19 before and immediately after symptom onset suggests that finding and isolating symptomatic patients alone may not suffice to interrupt transmission, and that more generalized measures might be required, such as social distancing.

Daily Beast:  Detroit Doctor Charged After Pushing Bogus Vitamin C Infusions as COVID-19 Cure, by Pilar Melendez, 4/28/2020

Dr. Charles Mok called the coronavirus pandemic an “opportunity to capture the market” and called clinics that closed “cowards.”  The Detroit doctor has been charged with health-care fraud after allegedly selling vitamin C infusions that he claimed would protect patients from the novel coronavirus, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Daily Beast:  Don’t Forget the Other Pandemic Killing Thousands of Americans, by Dave Briquelet, 5/3/2020

Daily Beast:  The Hospital CEOs Keeping Seven-Figure Salaries as Frontline Workers Go Without Pay, by Emily Shugerman, 5/2/2020

Last month, executives at Denver Health received bonuses of up to $230,000, just days after asking hospital workers to reduce their hours or take time off. At the University of Kentucky—which boasts some of the highest-paid administrators in the country—the college president has refused to take a pay cut, despite furloughing 1,500 medical workers.

 

Hospital CEO salaries have been ballooning for years. According to a study published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, the average hospital CEO’s salary increased 93 percent in the decade between 2005 and 2015. In the same time frame, the average health-care worker’s salary increased just 8 percent. The average hospital CEO made $3.1 million dollars a year in 2015, according to the study. The average nurse, meanwhile, made $75,510.

 

Organizers in Michigan are also fighting back against top executives at McLaren Health Care, who have furloughed workers in several of their 14 hospitals across the state. Anger about the furloughs only increased last week, when a local ABC affiliate revealed that executives were reducing their own salaries by just 2 percent—the equivalent of one week’s lost work. (According to tax filings, CEO Philip A. Incarnati alone made $6.8 million in 2018.)

The Guardian:  Anger as Italy slowly emerges from long Covid-19 lockdown, by Lorenzo Tondo and Angela Giuffrida, 5/3/3030

After nearly two months stuck at home, citizens say the new rules don’t go far enough to save the economy or their mental health

 

Last Friday, Pietro Demita, a stylist in Lecce whose company is a leading wedding dress designer, set fire to his entire collection in protest against the lockdown, which has brought the wedding industry to near-collapse.

The Guardian: Trump's wealthy friends look to cash in during coronavirus crisis, by Peter Stone, 5/3/2020

Watchdog groups say Trump’s close ties with donors and backers deserve scrutiny as trillions in federal funds are handed out

The Guardian:  Arguing with Zombies review: Paul Krugman trumps the Republicans, by Charles Kaiser, 5/3/2020

The same tired arguments in favor of coddling the rich have been rolled out over and over again, by Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump, even though there has never been a shred of serious evidence to support them.

 

These relentless efforts over five decades culminated in the Trump tax cut, memorably described by the political consultant Rick Wilson as a masterwork of “gigantic government giveaways, unfunded spending, massive debt and deficits, and a catalogue of crony capitalist freebies”.

 

Wilson also identified the billionaires’ effect on the nation’s capital. Washington, he wrote, has become “the drug-resistant syphilis of political climates, largely impervious to treatment and highly contagious”.

Washington Post:  There’s a more accurate way to compare coronavirus deaths to the flu, by Christopher Ingraham, 5/2/2020

If we measure flu mortality the same way we count covid-19 deaths, the picture becomes very stark

Washington Post:  Trump replaces HHS watchdog who found ‘severe shortages’ at hospitals combating coronavirus, by Lisa Rein, 5/2/2020

President Trump moved to replace the top watchdog at the Department of Health and Human Services after her office released a report on the shortages in testing and personal protective gear at hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

In a Friday night announcement, the White House nominated a permanent inspector general to take the reins from Christi A. Grimm, the principal deputy inspector general who has run the office since January.

Washington Post:  34 days of pandemic: Inside Trump’s desperate attempts to reopen America, by Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, Yasmeen Abutaleb, Robert Costa and Lena H. Sun, 5/2/2020

The epidemiological models under review in the White House Situation Room in late March were bracing. In a best-case scenario, they showed the novel coronavirus was likely to kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans. President Trump was apprehensive about so much carnage on his watch, yet also impatient to reopen the economy — and he wanted data to justify doing so.

 

So the White House considered its own analysis. A small team led by Kevin Hassett — a former chairman of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers with no background in infectious diseases — quietly built an econometric model to guide response operations.

 

Many White House aides interpreted the analysis as predicting that the daily death count would peak in mid-April before dropping off substantially, and that there would be far fewer fatalities than initially foreseen, according to six people briefed on it.

 

This story documenting Trump’s month-long struggle to reopen America is based on interviews with 82 administration officials, outside advisers and experts with detailed knowledge of the White House’s handling of the pandemic. Many of them spoke on the condition of anonymity to recount internal discussions or share candid assessments without risk of retribution.

Washington Post:  Maryland cancels $12.5 million PPE contract with firm started by GOP operatives, by Tom Hamburger and Juliet Eilperin, 5/2/2020

State officials said the company, Blue Flame Medical, failed to deliver masks and ventilators as promised and that the matter has been referred to Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) for review.

 

Blue Flame received a down payment of nearly $6.3 million from Maryland in early April — after promising to provide within weeks desperately needed PPE for front-line medical personnel dealing with the novel coronavirus.

Guardian:  Russia now has second-highest rate of Covid-19 spread as other countries ease restrictions, 5/2/2020

If Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s estimate is correct, more than 240,000 people may have the virus, four times official figures for the city. Hospitals in the capital are already at capacity, with television footage showing ambulances forced to wait for hours to deliver the infected.

Guardian:  Not even Wall Street titans know the true cost of the coronavirus crisis, by Nils Pratley, 4/14/2020

JP Morgan’s $8.3bn bad loan provision is steep but it’s guesswork – no one has a clue about the final bill

Guardian:  Warren Buffett dumps US airline stocks, saying 'world has changed' after Covid-19, by Martin Farrer, 5/3/2020

Warren Buffett, the legendary American investor, has sold his firm’s entire holdings in the four major US airlines, warning that the “world has changed” for the aviation industry because of the coronavirus crisis.

 

In comments that will send shockwaves through financial markets already pulverised by the economic shock of the outbreak, Buffett said the outbreak could have an “extraordinarily wide” range of possible outcomes.

Guardian:   Donald Trump's four-step plan to reopen the US economy – and why it will be lethal, by Robert Reich, 5/3/2020

The president and his allies are hiding the facts and pretending ‘freedom’ conquers all. As a result, more Americans will die

 

No one knows how many Americans are infected because the Trump administration continues to drag its heels on testing. To date only 6.5m tests have been completed in a population of more than 200 million adults.

 

Florida, one of the first states to reopen, has stopped releasing medical examiners’ statistics on the number of Covid-19 victims because the figures are higher than the state’s official count.

 

But it’s impossible to fight the virus without adequate data. Dr Anthony Fauci, the administration’s leading infectious disease expert, warns that reopening poses “a really significant risk” without more testing.

 

Not surprisingly, the White House has blocked Fauci from testifying before the House.

Guardian:  ‘Nurses fell like ninepins’: death and bravery in the 1918 flu pandemic, by Mark Hongsbaum, 4/5/2020 

Guardian:  UK lockdown must not be lifted until Covid-19 transmission is understood, say scientists, by Robin McKie, 5/3/2020

Epidemiologist Anne Johnson at University College London said cutting transmissions of Covid-19 to health and social care workers had now emerged as a major priority. “Half of all new infections reported last week were among healthcare workers,” she told the Observer. “This has now become the leading edge of the spread of the disease.”

Guardian:  Brazil sees record increase in Covid-19 cases – as it happened, by Helen Sullivan, Kevin Rawlinson, Damien Gayle, Gregory Robinson and Aamna Mohdin, 4/29/2020

Schools in Turkey to stay shut until end of May; Germans urged to stay home; Vietnam says it has had no domestic transmission for two weeks.

Guardian:  White House blocks Fauci testimony as Trump welcomes Senate's return, by Amanda Holpuch, 5/2/2020

Guardian:   'How is this possible?' Researchers grapple with Covid-19's mysterious mechanism, by Melissa Davey, 5/2/2020

Something peculiar happens to a small group of Covid-19 patients on day seven of their symptoms.

MIT:  MIT Materials Scientist Offers COVID-19 Era Tips on Cleaning Your Smartphone Screen, by Abby Abazorius, 5/2/2020 

Scripps Research Institute:  Potential Vulnerability of COVID-19 Coronavirus Discovered From an Antibody Against SARS, 4/20/2020

MicroBiology:  Promising MERS Vaccine Candidate Might Be Able to Block Coronavirus Infections, 4/18/2020

University of Ottawa:  Evidence of Stray Dogs as Possible Origin of COVID-19 Pandemic, 4/14/2020

University of Ottawa biology professor Xuhua Xia, tracing coronavirus signatures across different species, has proposed that stray dogs — specifically dog intestines — may have been the origin of the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

 

Here is Dr. Xia’s explanation on why SARS-CoV-2 couldn’t have jumped directly from bats or pangolins into humans.

 

If we contrast early SARS-CoV-2 collected from December 24, 2019 to January 5, and late ones collected in March 1-13, 2020, with an average of 66.5844 days between the early and late groups, and use synonymous substitution rate as an approximation to substitution rate, then the substitution rate is 0.0278 substitutions per genome per day. The average distance between bat CoV RaTG13 and SARS-CoV-2 is 0.0365, or 1073.8158 substitutions per genome (for aligned length of 29409 sites). The time to the common ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and bat’s RaTG13 is 19296.2808 days (= 1073.8158/2/0.0278) or about 53 years. So their common ancestor lived around 1966. The same method would date the common ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and pangolin/Guangdong/1 back to around 1882.

University of Pittsburgh:  Promising New COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Developed, 4/2/2020

The system is highly scalable. The protein pieces are manufactured by a “cell factory” — layers upon layers of cultured cells engineered to express the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein — that can be stacked further to multiply yield. Purifying the protein also can be done at industrial scale. Mass-producing the microneedle array involves spinning down the protein-sugar mixture into a mold using a centrifuge. Once manufactured, the vaccine can sit at room temperature until it’s needed, eliminating the need for refrigeration during transport or storage.

Scripps Research Institute:   No Evidence COVID-19 Coronavirus Was Genetically Engineered in a Lab – Epidemic Has a Natural Origin, 3/18/2020

NIH:  New Coronavirus That Causes COVID-19 Is Stable for Hours on Surfaces, 3/17/2020

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology:  Important Discovery in COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine Development, 2/27/2020

Viruses:  Preliminary Identification of Potential Vaccine Targets for the COVID-19 Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Based on SARS-CoV Immunological Studies, by Syed Faraz Ahmed, Ahmed A. Quadeer and Matthew R. McKay, 25 February 2020

Arizona State University:  Making Sense of the Viral Multiverse: Situating Coronaviruses Within Mind-Bendingly Vast Virosphere, 4/28/2020

Even for scientists used to dealing in mind-bendingly extreme numbers, the virosphere is almost unfathomably vast. It has been estimated that 100 viruses could be assigned to every star in the entire universe without exhausting the world’s supply, estimated at 1 nonillion (or 1 followed by 30 zeros).

 

Proposed: A 15 rank viral taxonomy.

SciTechDaily:  Researchers Crack COVID-19 Genetic Signature Using AI, Identify Origin, Western University, 4/29/2020

Guardian:  YouTube deletes conspiracy theorist David Icke's channel, 5/2/2020

The video-sharing site said the 68-year-old violated its policies on sharing misinformation about coronavirus, including the claim that it is linked to the 5G mobile network.

Guardian: Covid-19 throws Europe's tourism industry into chaos, Jon Henley, 5/2/2020

The European commission estimates that the EU’s hotels and restaurants will lose half their income this year.

HuffPost:  Reporter Who Tweeted About Face-Mask Fiasco Says He Was Banned From Future Pence Trips, by Mary Papenfuss, 5/1/2020

A Voice of America journalist who contradicted second lady Karen Pence regarding the vice president’s dismissal of face-mask protocol at the Mayo Clinic was banned Thursday from taking further trips with Mike Pence, The Washington Post reported.

 

A representative from Pence’s office later told Voice of America managers that the punishment might be lifted if the media organization or White House bureau chief Steve Herman apologizes, the newspaper reported.

 

Karen Pence insisted in a Fox News interview Thursday that her husband had no idea he was supposed to wear a mask during his visit earlier this week to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. However, the hospital posted a tweet that was later deleted which said the vice president had been informed about the requirement.

Crooks and Liars:   "Leave your Confederate Flags, Nazi shit, and Assault Rifles at Home," begs Republican organizer of Madison, Wisconsin, Infection Fest, By Chris Liebenthal, 4/30/2020

Livingston Daily:   9 additional COVID-19 .cases reported in Livingston County as recovered number nears 200, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/29/2020

Livingston Daily:  Greenhouse owners welcome governor's revised order allowing them to reopen amid pandemic, by Jeremy Ervin, 4/25/2020

Livingston Daily:  Business brisk as Livingston County golf courses reopen, by Bill Khan, 4/29/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Mid-pandemic opening of Canterbury Village drive-in movie theater postponed, by Darcie Moran, 4/29/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Scuffle erupts between protesters, security in Michigan House gallery, by Paul Egan, 4/29/2020

A video posted to Twitter by Michigan Information & Research Service (MIRS), a Capitol newsletter, showed House Chief Sgt. David Dickson pulling one woman out of the gallery and a second woman yelling that she had been assaulted.

 

MIRS reported the women were demonstrators associated with a group called Michigan United for Liberty.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan activates response team to handle growing number of dead from coronavirus, by Todd Spangler, 4/30/2020

On Wednesday afternoon, the state's Department of Health and Human Services announced it was activating for the first time ever its Michigan Mortuary Response Team, which the the agency said will provide "safe and secure transfer, identification and storage of human remains until funeral homes can help families make plans."

Detroit Free Press:  Food processers, packers told to screen workers before they enter plants, by Susan Selasky, 4/27/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Beaumont ER doctors agree to pay cuts, leaves of absence amid COVID-19 crisis, by Tresa Baldas, 4/27/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan's unemployment payout tops $1.66 billion to more than 1M workers, by Frank Witsil, 4/27/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan unemployment claims drop to lowest level since start of coronavirus pandemic, by Adrienne Roberts, 4/30/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Prisoners sue Michigan Department of Corrections over coronavirus response, by Angie Jackson, 4/30/2020

More than 1,400 prisoners are confirmed to have the virus and 41 inmates have died as of late Wednesday.

Slate:  I Just Came Home to Sweden. I’m Horrified by the Coronavirus Response Here, by Eric Augustin Palm, 4/29/2020

Crooks and Liars:  Sweden COVID Policies Leave Businesses Open -- But More Elderly People Died, by Susie Madrak, 4/30/2020

The Advocate:  Pastor Tony Spell returns to Central church to preach despite being on house arrest, by Youssef Rddad, 4/26/2020

Wearing an ankle monitor attached after he was accused of threatening to run over a protester outside his Life Tabernacle Church last Sunday, the Rev. Tony Spell told his congregation it's a "dirty rotten shame when you're hiding in America."

Detroit Free Press:  Whitmer, Legislature headed for major split over Michigan's state of emergency, by Paul Egan, 4/30/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan's governor and emergency powers: What you need to know, by Paul Egan, 4/30/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Judge refuses to block Whitmer's stay-home order, says constitutional rights not absolute, by Paul Egan, 4/30/2020

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray — an appointee of former Republican Gov. John Engler — issued an 18-page opinion Wednesday denying a request for an injunction that would block certain aspects of the order.

 

"Being forced ... by the state to remain in one’s home, in turn causing many residents to be unable to work, visit elderly relatives, and to generally move about the state," does infringe on constitutional rights in the short term, Murray wrote.

 

"But those liberty interests are, and always have been, subject to society’s interest —society being our fellow residents. They — our fellow residents — have an interest to remain unharmed by a highly communicable and deadly virus."

Daily Beast:  Europe Watches With Horror as the U.S. Rushes to Reopen, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, 4/30/2020

Daily Beast:  Rich Counties and Poor Face “Brutal” COVID Budget Holes, by Sam Brodey, 4/30/2020

“If we don’t get some semblance of relief, if someone calls 911, no one’s going to answer," said Stefan Mychajliw, Jr., the top budget official in Erie County.

Daily Beast:  Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi are veering toward a terrifyingly premature end to their COVID-19 lockdowns, according to a new pandemic analysis. By Olivia Messer and William Bredderman, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Royal Oak commissioners censure member who flouted COVID rules at anti-Whitmer rally, by Bill Laitner, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Essential workers to get free college under new Whitmer plan, by David Jesse, 4/29/2020

The plan is being called Futures for Frontliners. It is being billed as the first-such program in the nation.

 

“The Futures for Frontliners program is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who have risked their lives on the front lines of this crisis," Whitmer said in a statement. "This program will ensure tuition-free college opportunities and give these dedicated Michiganders an opportunity to earn a technical certificate, associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree.

 

Whitmer said the state would use federal grant money to pay the costs.

Detroit Free Press:  Massive declines in community college summer enrollments foreshadow tough times ahead, by David Jesse, 4/20/2020

Washtenaw County Community College sees major losses in tuition, major losses in state aid.  But property taxes? Already collected.

Daily Beast:  Coronavirus Is So Bad in This Nebraska City a Survivor Was Afraid to Go Home, by Tracy Connor, 4/30/2020

When Lemos went into the hospital on April 8, about 80 people in Grand Island, population 50,000, had tested positive for the new coronavirus.

 

The number is over 900 now, and at least 35 deaths have been reported in Hall County, which encompasses Grand Island, 10 of them in just the last day. This week, the local health director missed a public briefing because a staff member was infected and worked with symptoms.

 

“It’s so scary,” said Lemos, who believes he contracted COVID-19 from his father, a meat-cutter at the JBS plant, which is now tied to hundreds of cases. “It spread so quickly.”

Daily Beast:  Nebraskans in Virus Hot Zone ‘Terrified’ After Governor Rejects Stay-at-Home Order, by Marcella Mercer, 4/14/2020

Daily Beast:  Trump’s Too Stupid to Do Better. McConnell and His Republicans Have No Excuse, by Rick Wilson, 4/29/2020

Trump’s pronunciamientos over the desirability of bleach, disinfectants, and UV light as treatments for COVID-19, his lies about testing, and his shitter-tweeted rage fits at the “Noble Prize” media? All greeted with a wall of silence from Republican senators, even as their grip on power weakens each time Trump humiliates himself and endangers the American people.

New York Times:  Food Lines a Mile Long in America's Second-Wealthiest State, by Tracey Tully, 4/30/2020

The Wickhams’ minivan was one of thousands of vehicles that snaked as far as the eye could see one morning last week in Egg Harbor, N.J., 10 miles west of Atlantic City. The promise of fresh produce and a 30-pound box of canned food, pasta and rice from a food bank drew so many cars that traffic was snarled for nearly a mile in three directions, leading to five accidents, the police said.

New York Times:  ‘Never Thought I Would Need It’: Americans Put Pride Aside to Seek Aid, by Cara Buckley, 3/31/2020

By the hundreds of thousands, Americans are asking for help for the first time in their lives, from nail technicians in Los Angeles to airport workers in Fort Lauderdale, from bartenders in Phoenix to former reality show contestants in Minnesota. Biting back shame, and wondering guiltily about others in more dire straits, they are applying for unemployment, turning to GoFundMe, asking for money on Instagram, quietly accepting handouts from equally strapped co-workers, and showing up in unprecedented numbers at food banks, which in turn are struggling to meet soaring demand as volunteers, many of them retirees, stay home for safety.

Daily News: `You could smell the death' : Bodies found stored in U-Haul trucks outside Brooklyn funeral home, 4/29/2020

New York Times:   Dozens of Decomposing Bodies Found in Trucks at Brooklyn Funeral Home, by Alan Feuer, Ashley Southhall and Michael Gold, 4/29/2020

John DePietro, who owns the building next door to Mr. Cleckley, said he noticed five vehicles parked outside the funeral home on Tuesday.

 

“They had dead bodies in the vans and trucks,” Mr. DePietro said. “They were on top of each other in body bags.”

 

He added that he could not “judge for sure” how many bodies were in the vehicles, “but all of them were packed.”

Daily News:  Millions of women could lose contraception access amid coronavirus outbreak, by Storm Gifford, 4/29/2020

New York Times:  Cuomo Calls Subway Cars Filled With Homeless People ‘Disgusting’, 4/28/2020

“That is disgusting, what is happening on those subway cars,” he said, adding that what was shown in the image was “disrespectful to the essential workers” who rely on the subway.

 

“It’s not even safe for the homeless people to be on trains,” he added. “No face masks, you have this whole outbreak, we’re concerned about homeless people, so we let them stay on the trains without protection in this epidemic of the Covid virus? No. We have to do better than that, and we will.”

Daily News:  MTA making plans for socially-distant NYC subway when coronavirus lockdown relaxes, by Kerry Burke, Michael Gartland and Clayton Guse, 4/27/2020

New York Times:  `Plague on a Biblical Scale': Hasidic Families Hit Hard by Virus, by Liam Stack, 4/21/2020

One of the first people Shulim Leifer knew who died of the coronavirus was his great-uncle. Then his grandmother fell ill, as did two of his cousins. The man who lived next door to his childhood home died on a Tuesday, and by Friday the neighbor on the other side was dead as well. 

New York Times:  Coronavirus: ‘Huge Spike’ in Brooklyn Hasidic Community.  By Liam Stack and Nate Schweber, 4/21/2020

More than 100 test positive in two neighborhoods, all at two urgent care centers crammed with worried families. 

New York Times:  De Blasio Breaks Up Rabbi’s Funeral and Lashes Out Over Virus Distancing, by Liam Stack, 4/28/2020

“Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic,” the mayor said in one post. “When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus.” 

New York Times:  Zoom Shivas and Prayer Hotlines: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Traditions Upended by Coronavirus, by Cora Engelbrecht and Caroline Kim, 4/16/2020

New York Times:  40,000 Missing Deaths: Tracking the True Toll of the Coronavirus Outbreak, by Jin Wu, Allison McCann, Josh Katz and Elian Peltier, 4/27/2020

New York Times:  Ecuador’s Death Toll During Outbreak Is Among the Worst in the World, by José María León Cabrea y Anatoly Kurmanaev, 4/23/2020

QUITO, Ecuador — With bodies abandoned on sidewalks, slumped in wheelchairs, packed into cardboard coffins and stacked by the hundreds in morgues, it is clear that Ecuador has been devastated by the coronavirus.

 

The death toll in Ecuador during the outbreak was 15 times higher than the official number of Covid-19 deaths reported by the government, according to an analysis of mortality data by The New York Times. 

New York Times:  How Severe Are Coronavirus Outbreaks Across the U.S.? Look Up Any Metro Area, by Josh Katz, Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz, 4/30/2020

New York Times:  U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Is Far Higher Than Reported, C.D.C. Data Suggests, by Josh Katz, Denise Lu and Margo Sanger-Katz, 4/28/2020

Total deaths in seven states that have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic are nearly 50 percent higher than normal for the five weeks from March 8 through April 11, according to new death statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is 9,000 more deaths than were reported as of April 11 in official counts of deaths from the coronavirus.

The new data is partial and most likely undercounts the recent death toll significantly. But it still illustrates how the coronavirus is causing a surge in deaths in the places it has struck, probably killing more people than the reported statistics capture. These increases belie arguments that the virus is only killing people who would have died anyway from other causes. Instead, the virus has brought a pattern of deaths unlike anything seen in recent years.

If you look at the provisional deaths from all causes, death counts in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland and Colorado have spiked far above their normal levels for the period. In New York City, the home of the biggest outbreak, the number of deaths over this period is more than three times the normal number. (Recent data suggests it could have reached six times higher than normal.)

Washington Post:

Washington Post:  Frostbite’ toes and other peculiar rashes may be signs of hidden coronavirus infection, especially in the young, by Ariana Eunjung Cha, 4/29/2020

One of the clearest findings of the new paper is that most patients with “covid toes” were asymptomatic or had only mild symptoms. Another is their age. Nearly all were children or adults in their 20s and 30s — a group that as a whole tends to have a less severe bodily response to the disease than their older counterparts.

Washington Post:  The Daily 202: Human rights groups sound alarm over government crackdowns during coronavirus, by Mariana Alfaro, 4/29/2020

Washington Post:  Even where the coronavirus is past its peak, it’s often on a plateau, by Philip Bump, 4/29/2020

Washington Post:  Trump presented with grim internal polling showing him losing to Biden, by Josh Dawsey, 4/29/2020

His political team has grown more concerned in recent weeks, as the briefings became more combative while the economy cratered and coronavirus deaths continued to rise.

Washington Post:  Dissecting Laura Ingraham’s attempt to gin up a mystery around coronavirus in New York, by Philip Bump, 4/29/2020

Washington Post:  U.S. passes 60,000 dead as hopes rise for a promising drug therapy, by Anne Gearan, Christopher Rowland and Laurie McGinley, 4/29/2020

U.S. deaths from covid-19 passed 60,000 on Wednesday, a figure President Trump had once bragged would be the upper limit, his signature Mission Accomplished milestone.

Medium:  Gen X Was Born for This Shit, by Will Leitch, 3/18/2020

Generation X has long been waiting for its national moment, as presidential candidates in the age group get bounced early (sorry, Beto) and the music of our time has been all but forgotten (it’s like no one cares about Built to Spill anymore). And it turns out that the coronavirus pandemic is it. We didn’t realize it at the time, but we’ve been training our whole lives for this moment. The rest of you generations can’t get your shit together. But we’re here to fix it for you. With a shrug, of course.

Medium:  This Looks Like a Depression, Not a Recession, by Steve LeVine, 4/1/2020

The Atlantic - A look back:  How the Pandemic Will End, by Ed Yong, 3/25/2020

The U.S. may end up with the worst Covid-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out.

 

Partly, that’s because the White House is a ghost town of scientific expertise. A pandemic-preparedness office that was part of the National Security Council was dissolved in 2018. On January 28, Luciana Borio, who was part of that team, urged the government to “act now to prevent an American epidemic,” and specifically to work with the private sector to develop fast, easy diagnostic tests. But with the office shuttered, those warnings were published in The Wall Street Journal, rather than spoken into the president’s ear. Instead of springing into action, America sat idle.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan construction work to resume May 7, Gov. Whitmer spokeswoman says, by Paul Egan, 4/29/2020

April 28:  No Testing, No Treatment, No Herd Immunity, No Easy Way Out, by Yascha Mounk,

We need to start preparing for a darker reality.

Associated Press: Trump to sign order keeping meat processing plants open, by Jill Colvin, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Don't visit Holland to see the tulips this year, mayor says, by Carolyn Muyskens, 4/28/2020 

Bridge Magazine:  Coronavirus empties pediatrician offices in Michigan, decreases vaccinations, by Robin Erb, 4/28/2020 

Detroit Free Press:   Official: Michigan's curve is flattening, but some ICUs still maxed out with COVID-19 cases, by Tresa Baldas, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:   Michigan reports another 160 coronavirus deaths; total cases near 40,000, by Darcie Moran, 4/28/2020

Fatality rate: 9%

 

This is out of those with known confirmed cases. Officials say more testing of mild cases can cause the fatality rate to fall.

 

The fatality rate was reported as 8% last week

 

Women make up 54% of all cases. Men make up 54% of all deaths.

Detroit News:  GOP lawmakers don't like proposed regional map for reopening Michigan's economy, by Craig Mauger, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:   Coronavirus takes heavy toll on health care workers in Michigan, causing dozen-plus deaths, by Jennifer Dixon and Kristen Jordan Shamus, 4/27/2020

Detroit Free Press:   Macomb County doctor charged health care fraud over COVID-19 treatments, by Christina Hall, 4/28/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Feds: Infected employees at Macomb County medical spa treated patients, by Christina Hall, 4/29/2020

Detroit Free Press:   Canterbury Village to become drive-in movie theater during coronavirus pandemic, by Meredith Spelbring, 4/28/2020 

Detroit Free Press:   Ford, GM and FCA under gun to restart, rebound before cash dries up, by Jamie L. LaReau, 4/29/2020 

Detroit Free Press:   Henry Ford doctor on ventilator beats COVID-19: 'I came as close to death as you can be', by Tresa Baldas, 4/29/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Ford counts its cash amid pandemic after $70M exec pay exceeds company's profit in 2019, by Phoebe Wall Howard, 4/27/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  GM suspends dividend, takes other steps to stockpile cash amid pandemic, by Jamie L. LaReau, 4/27/2020

Detroit Free Press:  UAW to local leaders: Time to talk to GM plant management about restart process, by Jamie L. LaReau, 4/27/2020

Detroit Free Press:  1 automaker has had more COVID-19 deaths than the others. Experts say why, by Eric D. Lawrence, 4/28/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Analyst says Ford needs to 'rip the Band-Aid off' after $2B loss: What he means, by Phoebe Wall Howard, 4/28/2020

While the current landscape is grim, coming months promise to be unrelenting.

 

Adam Jonas, a respected automotive analyst at Morgan Stanley, said the time is now for a "strategic discussion" among Ford board members and top executives about consolidation or a merger in light of the intense demands for cash and liquidity over the next year or two — possibly with Volkswagen.

 

The market may force change, Jonas said. He questioned whether the world needs dozens of automakers globally, rather than maybe just 10. 

Detroit Free Press:  Report: Ford Mustang Mach-E delayed, company notifies customers in Norway, by Phoebe Wall Howard, 4/27/2020

 

Washington Post:  Trump economic adviser paints dire economic picture, 4/26/2020

Kevin Hassett, an economist temporarily advising the administration on economic policy during the pandemic, painted a dire picture on Sunday.

 

“Make no mistake, we’re looking at a really grave situation” in economic terms, he said on ABC News’s “This Week.”

 

“This is the biggest negative shock that our economy, I think, has ever seen,” Hassett said. “We’re going to be looking at unemployment rates that we saw during the Great Depression.”

 

He noted that during the recession that began in 2008, a total of 8.7 million jobs were lost.

 

“Right now, we’re losing about that many jobs every 10 days.”

Livingston Daily:   4 more die from coronavirus in Livingston County, more than 39,000 cases statewide, by Jennifer Timar, 4/28/2020

Livingston Daily:   How COVID-19 is impacting four proposed new businesses in Livingston County, by Jennifer Timar, 4/27/2020

Livingston Daily:  Salvation Army offering delivery to Livingston County elderly, homebound, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/28/2020

Livingston Daily:  Dozens of hospital staff laid off from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Brighton clinic, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/28/2020

Livingston Daily:  Business brisk as Livingston County golf courses reopen, by Bill Khan, 4/29/2020

No-Bull Food News: Deskilling on the Disassembly Line: Technological Change and Its Consequences in Beef-Packing Since the 1960s, by Chris Wright, 6/1/2012

Channel4.com:  David Miliband: US has not set ‘the gold standard that’s necessary’ over coronavirus, by Matt Frei, 4/26/2020

David Miliband , the head of the International Rescue Committee and former Labour Foreign Secretary, has argued that the way governments respond to the coronavirus crisis will shape the whole future of global democracy.

 

It will also reveal what kind of political system is able to cope with the challenge.

Hyperallergic:  2,500 Museums You Can Now Visit Virtually, by Hakim Bishara, 3/16/2020

If you’re feeling hungry for art while you’re stranded at home, here are our 12 selections out of 2,500 world-class museums and galleries that are now offering virtual tours and online collections.

Hyperallergic:  A Daily Report on How COVID-19 Is Impacting the Art World, by Valentina Di Liscia, 4/27/2020 (updated)

Carnage...

Hyperallergic:  “The New Normal” of Awful COVID-Themed Commercials, by Dan Schindel, 4/27/2020

These days, brands love to pretend to care about us. During a pandemic, that’s gotten really weird.

Newsmax:  US Intel Repeatedly Warned Trump of Virus Threat in January Briefings, by Marisa Herman, 4/28/2020

President Donald Trump was repeatedly made aware of the threat the coronavirus posed to the U.S. in his Daily Brief back in January, The Washington Post reports.

 

Current and former U.S. officials told the newspaper that the president continued to downplay the threat when he was warned during more than a dozen classified briefings on the virus.

Washington Post:  President’s intelligence briefing book repeatedly cited virus threat, by Greg Miller and Ellen Nakashima, 4/27/2020

For weeks, the PDB — as the report is known — traced the virus’s spread around the globe, made clear that China was suppressing information about the contagion’s transmissibility and lethal toll, and raised the prospect of dire political and economic consequences.

ClickOrlando:  Publix buys food directly from farmers to donate to food banks during COVID-19 pandemic, by Erin Dobrzyn, 4/23/2020

ClickOrlando:  With 1,171 coronavirus deaths, Florida awaits word from Gov. DeSantis on when to reopen, by Emilee Speck, 4/28/2020

Florida nears 33,000 COVID-19 cases as governor eyes reopening state for business

ClickOrlando:  Lab launches $119 COVID-19 antibody test that can be purchased online, by Erin Dobrzyn, 4/28/2020

ClickOrlando:  How an Orlando nurse describes treating COVID-19 patients in hard hit NYC, by Troy Campbell, 4/28/2020

ClickOrlando:  Testing numbers from Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard may not show complete picture, by Louis Bolden, 4/27/2020

Local12:  WKRC(Cincinnati): Here's what's reopening in Ohio beginning Friday, May 1st:

The three-phase plan includes getting people back to work in fields including health care, construction, manufacturing, offices and retail. Phase 1 begins May 1 and includes health care workers, allowing all medical procedures that don’t require an overnight hospital stay.

 

Dentists and veterinarians can also return to work. A week from Monday, May 4, manufacturing, distribution and construction will be allowed to resume. All employees and clients will be required to follow safety practices, including wearing masks, conducting daily health assessments and having a limited capacity of 50% of the businesses' fire code.

 

General office buildings will be allowed to reopen on May 4. Companies are asked to have employees still work from home as much as possible. Consumer retail and services will be allowed to reopen on May 12. All employees and customers will be required to wear facial coverings.

Local12:  WKRC(Cincinnati): Gyms, salons and restaurants shut out of Ohio's Phase 1 reopenings

When asked when restaurants, barbershops, salons and gyms would reopen, Governor DeWine said he wants to reopen places with less risk first.

Local12:  WZTV: Infected surgeon teaches lung clearing techniques, 4/28/2020

Nashville orthopedic surgeon Missy Chamberland has been sick with COVID-19 for more than five weeks.

 

At about day five, things starting getting really bad. Her lungs were filling with fluid. She decided to start making YouTube videos right in the middle of fighting her life.

 

As a young doctor, she learned techniques to clear people’s lungs. Its called pulmonary toilet, and yes, it means what it sounds like: techniques to flush your lungs of all the crap that can kill you.

 

You can find Dr. Chamberland on Youtube as Missy Chamberland. Below is a link to the first COVID-19 specific video she posted. There is no playlist.

 

#1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ScR5ZPhTHE

NBC News:  Detroit health care worker dies after being denied coronavirus test 4 times, daughter says, by Janelle Griffith, 4/27/2020

When she thinks of her mother, Corrothers said there is one thought that lingers: "This did not have to happen this way."

New York Times:  As the Lakers and others return small business aid, Mnuchin says big companies could face “criminal liability.” 4/28/2020

New York Times:  Trump’s Response to Virus Reflects a Long Disregard for Science, by Lisa Friedman and Brad Plummer, 4/28/2020 

The president’s Covid-19 response has extended the administration’s longstanding practice of undermining scientific expertise for political purposes.  “Donald Trump is the most anti-science and anti-environment president we’ve ever had,” said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University. The president’s actions, he said, have eroded one of the United States’s most enviable assets: the government’s deep scientific expertise, built over decades. “It’s extraordinarily crazy and reckless,” he said.

New York Times:  How Las Vegas Became Ground Zero for the American Jobs Crisis, by Sabrina Tavernise, 4/26/2020

As the bottom fell out of the American economy, few places were hit harder than Las Vegas, where a full one-third of the local economy is in the leisure and hospitality industry, more than in any other major metropolitan area in the country. Most of those jobs cannot be done from home.

Raw Story:   Leader of North Carolina anti-lockdown protests tests positive for COVID-19, by Brad Reed, 4/27/2020

Raw Story: Trump obsessed with ‘settling scores’ even as coronavirus kills thousands of Americans every day: report, by Sky Palma, 4/27/2020

Raw Story: Howard Stern: Trump supporters should drink disinfectants and ‘drop dead’ at their next rally, by Sky Palma, 4/27/2020

 

Raw Story: McConnell is ‘floundering’ after sucking up to Trump — and is now ‘out of touch’ with his own party: conservative columnist, by Alex Henderson, 4/27/2020

Daily Beast:  Could This Drug Stop COVID’s Sabotage of Your Immune System?, by David Axe, 4/28/2020

On March 23, Genentech got the Food and Drug Administration’s approval to begin testing the drug tocilizumab on COVID-19 patients. The company said it administered its first treatments on April 3. In all, Genentech plans to treat 330 patients at 55 clinics all over the world, including 15 in the United States.

Daily Beast:  New Model Shows How Deadly Lifting Georgia’s Lockdown May Be, by William Bredderman, Olivia Messer, 4/28/2020

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s aggressive scheme to lift Georgia out of COVID-19 lockdown may cost many thousands of lives, according to models prepared by epidemiologists and computer scientists at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in partnership with The Daily Beast.

Daily Beast:  The GOP Bet It All on Trump. Now They’re Paying the Price. by Matt Lewis, 4/28/2020 

Daily Beast:  18 Years of Donald Trump’s 9/11 Lies, Insults, and Slights, by Michael Daly, 9/11/2019

Daily Beast:  Fox News Cuts Ties With Diamond & Silk, Unofficial Trump ‘Advisers’ Who Spread Bonkers Coronavirus Claims, by Lachlan Cartwright and Justin Baragona, 4/27/2020 

Daily Beast:   An Amputated Leg, Bedsores: COVID-19’s Trickle-Down Effect in Coal Country, by Emily Shugerman, 4/27/2020

The population of Appalachia is older, poorer, and generally less healthy than the rest of the country. The region’s historically dominant industries—tobacco farming and coal mining—wreaked havoc on the lungs of its older workers, and the poverty caused by the collapse of those industries drove out most of its young. According to the Appalachian Regional Commission, rates of chronic lung disease are 27 percent higher in Appalachia than in the nation as a whole; rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are also above average.

 

“We’re the belt for everything—the cardiovascular disease belt, the kidney stone belt,” said Teresa Tyson, the president and CEO of Health Wagon, a mobile health service in Virginia. “The reason we pray here in the Bible Belt is because we’re praying for all of these health-care disparities.”

Daily Beast:  Fox-Loving Parents Are Driving Coronavirus-Paranoid Kids Insane, by Sam Stein, 4/28/2020

The spread of coronavirus is pitting family members against each other over the severity of the pandemic and the steps needed to combat it. The fault lines are generational and geographic. But mainly they appear determined by news appetites.

 

Danielle Misiak, of Washington, D.C., previously worked in progressive politics and is an avid MSNBC watcher. She described herself as “a Dem millennial with boomer, Trumper, Fox News watching, AOC-hating parents.” She said it has been a “daily struggle” to convince them of the merits of social distancing. Her mom, based in New Jersey, goes shopping multiple times a week and her stepfather goes to Home Depot just as often.“I genuinely believe that if Fox started reporting something as ridiculous as ‘only people with naturally red hair can get coronavirus,’ my parents would believe it,” said Misiak.

Daily Beast:  Banks Are Letting the Coronavirus Snuff Out Our Churches, by Fr. Frank Black, Rev. Jeffrey Thompson, Bob Connolly, Rabbi Joel Mosbacher, Rev. Steve Watson, 4/22/2020

AP:  Disney theme parks may remain closed until 2021, by Bobby Caina Calvan and Terry Spencer, 4/25/2020

USA Today: When will Disney World and Disneyland reopen? One analyst predicts it may not be until 2021, by Jayme Deerwester, 4/21/2020

Twitter:  

USA Today:  CDC: Frozen raspberries were culprit behind 2019 norovirus outbreak on multiple cruises, by Morgan Hines, 4/24/2020

New York Times:  Top E.R. Doctor Who Treated Virus Patients Dies by Suicide, by Ali Watkins, Michael Rothfeld, William K. Rashbaum and Brian M. Rosenthal, 4/27/2020

A top emergency room doctor at a Manhattan hospital that treated coronavirus patients died by suicide on Sunday, according to her father.

 

Dr. Lorna M. Breen, the medical director of the emergency department at NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital, died in Charlottesville, Va., where she was staying with family, her father said in an interview.

 

“She tried to do her job, and it killed her,” he said.

 

The elder Dr. Breen said his daughter had contracted the coronavirus but had gone back to work after recuperating for about a week and a half. The hospital sent her home again, before her family intervened to bring her to Charlottesville, he said.

 

Dr. Breen, 49, did not have a history of mental illness, her father said. But he said that when he last spoke with her, she seemed detached, and he could tell something was wrong. She had described to him an onslaught of patients who were dying before they could even be taken out of ambulances.

Reuters:  Special Report: Countries, companies risk billions in race for coronavirus vaccine, by Julie Steenhuysen, PetEisler, Allison Martell, Stephanie Nebehay, 4/25/2020

Historically, just 6% of vaccine candidates end up making it to market, often after a years-long process that doesn’t draw big investments until testing shows a product is likely to work. But the traditional rules of drug and vaccine development are being tossed aside in the face of a virus that has infected 2.7 million people, killed more than 192,000 and devastated the global economy. With COVID-19, the goal is to have a vaccine identified, tested and available on a scale of hundreds of millions of doses in just 12 to 18 months.

 

Even among the more encouraging prospects, very few are likely to succeed. It’s possible more than one will work; it’s possible none will. 

 

The scale of the coronavirus vaccine race has no historical parallels. CEPI has identified at least 115 ongoing vaccine initiatives worldwide.

BARDA, the U.S. R&D agency, is one of the biggest vaccine funders, with some $5 billion to spend. The agency plans to invest in five vaccine candidates, focusing mostly on projects from experienced drug makers.

 

“Each is coming with a lot of prior experience,” said Rick Bright, who until this month was BARDA’s director. “They all know how to scale up.”

Science:  How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes, by Meredith Wadman, Jennifer Couzin-Frankel, Jocelyn Kaiser, Catherine Matacic, 4/17/2020

How the virus attacks the heart and blood vessels is a mystery, but dozens of preprints and papers attest that such damage is common. A 25 March paper in JAMA Cardiology documented heart damage in nearly 20% of patients out of 416 hospitalized for COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. In another Wuhan study, 44% of 36 patients admitted to the ICU had arrhythmias.

 

The disruption seems to extend to the blood itself. Among 184 COVID-19 patients in a Dutch ICU, 38% had blood that clotted abnormally, and almost one-third already had clots, according to a 10 April paper in Thrombosis Research. Blood clots can break apart and land in the lungs, blocking vital arteries—a condition known as pulmonary embolism, which has reportedly killed COVID-19 patients. Clots from arteries can also lodge in the brain, causing stroke. Many patients have “dramatically” high levels of D-dimer, a byproduct of blood clots

Science:  New York clinical trial quietly tests heartburn remedy against coronavirus, by Brendan Borrell, 4/26/2020

The fast-growing list of possible treatments for the novel coronavirus includes an unlikely candidate: famotidine, the active compound in the over-the-counter heartburn drug Pepcid. On 7 April, the first COVID-19 patients at Northwell Health in the New York City area began to receive famotidine intravenously, at nine times the heartburn dose.

 

As of Saturday, 187 COVID-19 patients in critical status, including many on ventilators, have been enrolled in the trial, which aims for a total of 1174 people. Reports from China and molecular modeling results suggest the drug, which seems to bind to a key enzyme in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), could make a difference.

 

In reviewing 6212 COVID-19 patient records, the doctors noticed that many survivors had been suffering from chronic heartburn and were on famotidine rather than more-expensive omeprazole (Prilosec), the medicine of choice both in the United States and among wealthier Chinese. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients on famotidine appeared to be dying at a rate of about 14% compared with 27% for those not on the drug, although the analysis was crude and the result was not statistically significant.

Washington Post:  Governors need more than hopes and dreams to reopen states, by James Downie, 4/26/2020

Some states’ governors are already trying to reopen businesses and relax restrictions. In making this life-or-death decision, these governors are running ahead of the science and just hoping for the best.

Detroit Free Press:  These are the 6 new possible symptoms of the coronavirus the CDC added to its list, by Susan Miller, 4/26/2020

Chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a loss of taste or smell.

 

Those are the six new symptoms the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned could be signs of the coronavirus.

 

The additions come as health experts' understanding of the confounding disease evolves. The CDC previously listed fever, cough and shortness of breath as symptoms.

 

Shortness of breath was tweaked to "shortness of breath or difficulty breathing" by the CDC.

Washington Post:  After covid-19, aging in America may never be the same, by Michele L. Norris, 4/24/2020

More than 10,000 residents and staff have died from covid-19 infections in long-term care facilities across the United States, according to an analysis of state data by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The actual death toll among nursing home residents is certainly higher because not all states release data.

 

Nursing home deaths account for more than 50 percent of all covid-19 deaths in six states: Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Utah.

 

The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act and Obama administration rules created a framework of tougher laws and stiffer penalties for quality of care, focusing on inspection control. But the Trump administration began reducing fines last year and called for relaxing rules that required all nursing homes to keep infection specialists on staff on at least a part-time basis.

 

The timing could not have been worse.

Washington Post:   How much of our lives will coronavirus change — permanently? by Jennifer Rubin, 4/27/2020

Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus task force coordinator, warns that social distancing will be in place through the end of the summer.

Washington Post:  Trump apologists’ defense has been obliterated by ‘But Lysol’, by Jennifer Rubin, 4/27/2020

This is not simply another gaffe for Trump or even another dumb idea like the wall. This was an extended conversation reflecting the grotesque ignorance and total unfitness of the man who at every turn has failed to protect the country during the worst domestic crisis since the Great Depression. It illustrated how he intellectually corrupts those around him, forcing them to sacrifice their own credibility to defend his inanities.

 

During the preceding three years, when Trump critics pointed to his incompetence, racism, cruelty, lying, contempt for democracy, economic illiteracy or xenophobia, his defenders would retort “but tax cuts” or “but Gorsuch.” Essentially, they argued, we had to forget about everything else because Trump had bestowed upon the right their precious tax cuts (along with a sustained recovery) and Supreme Court picks that gave conservatives a 5-4 majority on most cases.

 

The apologists ignored that any conservative president would have produced similar results or that policy ends do not justify the destruction of civility, decency or democracy. Nevertheless, it was enough to keep on board the wealthy donor class and the right-wing evangelical Christian hypocrites who were pleased to overlook his un-Christian conduct and character for the sake of some judges. It was enough to satisfy those willing to be persuaded and unwilling to admit their vote for him had been a tragic mistake.

 

Now, however, the disaster that Trump has been utterly incapable of addressing has wiped out the value of those tax cuts (and the stock market) and taken more than 50,000 American lives. Whatever his apologists’ defense, the response to his previous (now virtually imperceptible) accomplishments has been obliterated by “But Lysol” — that is, his mind-boggling unfitness leading him to ignore real threats and promote dangerous behavior.

Washington Post:  Covid-19 quickly kills some while others don’t show symptoms. Can genetics explain this?, by Andrea Ganna, Benjamin Neale and Mark Daly, 4/27/2020

Andrea Ganna is a group leader at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland at the University of Helsinki. Benjamin Neale is an institute member at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. Mark Daly is the founding chief of the analytic and translational genetics unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and director of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland.

 

One of the most distinctive and perplexing features of the disease, which has killed nearly 200,000 people globally, is the wide variation in severity. Some people don’t even show symptoms, while others suffer lethal damage to their lungs and other organs, and many more are somewhere in the middle.

San Francisco Chronicle:   Exclusive: Coronavirus caused heart to rupture in nation’s first known victim, autopsy shows, by Matthias Gafni and Jill Tucker, 4/26/2020

The Santa Clara woman whose death from COVID-19 is the earliest so far known in the United States suffered a massive heart attack caused by coronavirus infection, signs of which were found throughout her body, according to an autopsy report obtained exclusively by The Chronicle.

 

Patricia Dowd, 57, died Feb. 6 and had reported flu-like symptoms in the days before her death, according to the report. The autopsy, performed by medical examiner Susan Parson, found COVID-19 viral infection in her heart, trachea, lungs and intestines.

 

“There’s something abnormal about the fact that a perfectly normal heart has burst open,” said Bay Area forensic pathologist Dr. Judy Melinek, who was not involved in the autopsy but read the report at the request of The Chronicle. “The heart has ruptured. Normal hearts don’t rupture.”

San Francisco Chronicle:  Kaiser study finds coronavirus seriously affects people regardless of age, by Erin Allday, 4/25/2020

A study of 1,300 Northern California Kaiser patients who tested positive for the coronavirus last month found that nearly a third were hospitalized and almost 1 in 10 ended up in intensive care — and nearly as many young and middle-aged adults were admitted as people age 60 and over, according to results published online Friday.

 

The analysis is among the first large studies of people diagnosed with COVID-19 in the United States, and the first in California. More than 16,200 Kaiser patients across 21 hospitals in Northern California were tested for the coronavirus in March, and about 8% came up positive.

 

The study results were published in a brief letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

JAMA:  Characteristics of Hospitalized Adults With COVID-19 in an Integrated Health Care System in California, Laura C. Myers, MD, MPH; Stephen M. Parodi, MD; Gabriel J. Escobar, MD, 4/24/2020

 

MLive:  Whitmer orders shopping hours for vulnerable residents, masks for employees checking out customers, by Roberto Acosta, 4/26/2020

LANSING, MI -- Grocery stores and pharmacies in Michigan are now required to set aside shopping hours for vulnerable residents.

 

The move is part of an executive order signed Sunday, April 26 by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to establish strategies to reduce exposure to COVID-19 for customers and employees.

 

Per the executive order, those considered to be part of the state’s vulnerable population are people over 60, pregnant women, and those with chronic health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.

MLive:  Washtenaw County reports 28 new coronavirus cases, three more deaths, by Martin Slagter, 4/25/2020

MLive:  Livingston County reports 3 more coronavirus deaths and 3 new cases, by Martin Slagter, 4/25/2020

MLive:  Whitmer defends stay-at-home order, says Michigan needed ‘unique solution’, by Martin Slagter, 4/25/2020

Having the third most positive COVID-19 cases in a state with the 10th largest population, she said, made limiting the operations of nonessential businesses and activities a necessity. 

MLive:  Michigan mortgage lenders partner with state to provide borrowers coronavirus financial relief, by John Tunison, 4/25/2020

MLive:  New Michigan coronavirus cases lowest seen in a month, but deaths still high, by John Tunison, 4/25/2020

MLive:  Despite crashes, 820,000 of 1.18M Michiganders filing for unemployment have gotten paid, by Taylor DesOrmeau, 4/23/2020

 

Washington Post:  13 hours of Trump: The president fills briefings with attacks and boasts, but little empathy, by Philip Bump and Ashley Parker, 4/26/2020

Washington Post:  Mitch McConnell isn’t a ‘stable genius, either,’ by Jennifer Rubin, 4/26/2020

Washington Post:  In Wisconsin, protesters attack stay-at-home orders as unnecessary — or a government cabal, by Holly Bailey, 4/25/2020

Washington Post:  Trump’s reopening gambit bombs, by Jennifer Rubin, 4/23/2020

The extent of the misjudgment is stunning. The latest AP-NORC poll finds, “Only 12% of Americans say the measures [for social distancing] where they live go too far. About twice as many people, 26%, believe the limits don’t go far enough. The majority of Americans — 61% — feel the steps taken by government officials to prevent infections of COVID-19 in their area are about right.” Twelve percent. That’s how unpopular Trump’s scheme is.

Washington Post:  Welcome to Donald Trump’s reelection strategy, by Fareed Zakaria, 4/23/2020

There is, of course, another path. Trump could have used the crisis to rally the nation around a common foe. He could have provided calm, sensible leadership, stayed on message with his own health officials and fostered unity rather than division. That is the approach of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has a 79 percent approval rating. It is the strategy of Emmanuel Macron, who has moved up 10 points in his polarized France.

 

But it turns out that Donald Trump knows only one dance — the populism hustle — and seems uninterested in learning any other.

Washington Post:  7 things the administration is getting wrong about testing, by Leana S. Wen, 4/22/2020

Leana S. Wen is an emergency physician and visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Previously, she served as Baltimore’s health commissioner.

 

Over the past week, members of the Trump administration have issued justifications for why the United States does not need mass covid-19 testing. Here’s what they get wrong:

Washington Post:  There’s a better way to reopen society, and it’s no secret, by Michael S. Saag, 4/23/2020

Public health officials use this approach every day in controlling infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. It employs aggressive, early testing of those with symptoms (index cases), along with isolation and testing of all those who had close contact with the index case until their status is determined. Other countries, including South Korea, Israel and Germany, are accomplishing contact tracing with the aid of an expanded workforce and information technology. The index cases are treated and placed in quarantine. This process minimizes exposure and can allow us to gradually lift restrictions and begin safely returning toward normalcy.

 

The United States has expanded covid-19 testing capacity significantly in recent weeks, with up to 4 million tests being administered, currently around 140,000 a day. Unfortunately, estimates summarized by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicate that between 500,000 and 4 million tests daily will be required to manage the U.S. pandemic. The tests alone will cost billions per month — and there will also be the cost of personnel and staffing needed to manage them. No state can afford its share of this; the federal government must act.

 

To paraphrase what Chief Brody said when he first saw the actual size of the "Jaws" shark:

 

We’re going to need a bigger boat.  [And we're going to need a bigger President.]

Washington Post:  The U.S. faces two disastrous scenarios. There’s a third option. By Tim Searchinger, Anthony LaMantia and Gordon Douglas, 3/23/2020

[a glance back, one long month]

Washington Post:  Here are the innovations we need to reopen the economy, by Bill Gates, 4/23/2020

The new approach I’m most excited about is known as an RNA vaccine. (The first covid-19 vaccine to start human trials is an RNA vaccine.) Unlike a flu shot, which contains fragments of the influenza virus so your immune system can learn to attack them, an RNA vaccine gives your body the genetic code needed to produce viral fragments on its own. When the immune system sees these fragments, it learns how to attack them. An RNA vaccine essentially turns your body into its own vaccine manufacturing unit.

Washington Post:  There are no shortcuts to defeating the coronavirus, by Eugene Robinson, 4/23/2020

Washington Post::  Five actions we need to take to restore the American way of life, by Chris Christie, 4/24/2020

Washington Post::  Tensions emerge between Republicans over coronavirus spending and how to rescue the economy, by Seung Min Kim, 4/25/2020

After years of pillorying the Obama administration over spending and blocking efforts to pump more money into the economy following the 2008 financial crisis, GOP leaders now find themselves struggling with how to balance the need to prop up the struggling economy ahead of the fall’s elections with concerns that too much spending could hurt them with their base of voters.

Washington Post:  Trump is exhibiting all the symptoms of a hydroxychloroquine overdose, by Dana Milbank, 4/24/2020

My study hasn’t been peer reviewed yet, but my evidence — based on a hunch that originated in my gut — is very strong: President Trump has overdosed on hydroxychloroquine.

Washington Post::  The White House tried to move a reporter to the back of the press room, but she refused. Then Trump walked out.  By Paul Farhi, 4/25/2020

A White House official ordered a CNN reporter to give up her front-row seat and move to the back of the press room before President Trump’s briefing on Friday, in what appears to be another attempt by Trump to punish a network he calls “fake news.”  The reporter, CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins, refused to move, as did a second reporter whose seat in the rear of the room she was ordered to take.

Washington Post:  The White House attempts to humiliate CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, by Erik Wemple, 4/25/2020

The Erik Wemple Blog has asked the White House who hatched the idea to suddenly attack Collins’s front-row perch in the briefing room. It’s not clear, though we do know this: It’s a petty, personal act that was hastily and mendaciously executed. What happened here was nothing short of an abject attempt to professionally humiliate a young, female journalist. Sure, Trump has targeted men plenty of times in the briefing room and elsewhere. But hear the words of CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash earlier this month: “As a woman who covered the White House, as a woman who covers politics and policy in Washington, we have to just say, the way he treats the female reporters is just different.”

Washington Post:  Congress’s power is in its purse. And Trump has snatched it., by George Will, 4/24/2020

In his 1833 “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States,” Justice Joseph Story, then serving on John Marshall’s Supreme Court, wrote that without Congress’s control of appropriations, “the executive would possess an unbounded power over the public purse” and “might apply all its monied resources at his pleasure.” In bicentennial year 1976, the Supreme Court held that “the expenditure of public funds is proper only when authorized by Congress.”

 

In 2012, the D.C. Circuit held that the appropriations clause is a “bulwark” of the separation of powers. On Tuesday, the court, the nation’s second-most-important, will revisit all this in a case that is probably en route to the most important court, which sits about 1,000 yards away, and can stand athwart presidential overreaching.

Washington Post:  Coronavirus is invading Red America, new data show. That’s ominous for Trump, by Greg Sargent, 4/23/2020

A new analysis from demographer William Frey finds that coronavirus is now spreading into whiter and more Republican-leaning areas of the country. Despite initially being concentrated in blue and urban areas, it has slowly extended into new parts of the Midwest and the south, into outer suburbs and small metropolitan areas, and into parts of the country carried by Trump.

Brookings Institute:  COVID-19’s recent spread shifts to suburban, whiter, and more Republican-leaning areas, by William H. Frey, 4/22/2020

Washington Post:  We are nearing the end of the beginning of the covid-19 crisis. Bigger challenges lie ahead, The Editorial Board, 4/25/2020

WHAT NOW? We are six weeks into a national pandemic emergency, an extraordinary period of disruption in which the American people have sheltered in their homes and seen one-sixth of their jobs vanish. Horrifyingly, more than 50,000 people have died. An effective vaccine is at least a year away, and that is optimistic. So what should and can be done? The incompetence of national leadership notwithstanding, we must find a realistic way forward for the next phase.

 

Sadly, the time gained with this sacrifice has been largely squandered by President Trump. The next set of challenges are: test millions more people, identify the sick, trace their contacts, and isolate the ill so that those who are able can return to work and school. These elements — testing, diagnosing, contact-tracing, isolating — are tactics that work. But to perform them at needed scale is a far more complex challenge than what has been achieved so far. It now seems clear that a huge, national wartime mobilization to meet the challenge, which many have suggested, will not take place. It will fall on 50 state governors and on localities. They must make the best of it.

 

The American people responded with alacrity, cohesion and remarkable goodwill in the face of danger over the past six weeks. They deserve straight talk about what lies ahead. Clarity and transparency are vital. We are at the end of the beginning of the worst national crisis since Pearl Harbor. The nation’s success, its resilience and recovery, depend in great measure on public confidence that the sacrifices have purpose, that there is a path out and that we will stay on it. As Mr. Trump cannot instill such confidence, it falls to other officials — local, state and federal — to plan soberly and speak honestly. It falls to each of us to help, and keep faith with, one another.

Washington Post:  The cost of Trump’s deadly state of denial, by Joe Scarborough, 4/25/2020

Daily Beast:  Pigeons on window boxes, ducks in yards, and hummingbirds on porches provide strange solace for quarantined humans, by Laura Bradley, 4/25/2020

Politico:  Florida’s No-Rules Vibe Gets a Coronavirus Reality Check, by Craig Pittman, 4/25/2020

“It’s wild to ride down Duval Street at 10 p.m., a time it would normally be busy, and everything is totally dark,” said Haskell, executive director of the Key West Literary Seminar.

 

The pause is prompting some reconsideration among the residents of what the city should look like once it reopens. They’re pro-tourism, but not for all tourism, he said.

 

“A lot of people right now are thinking we’re better off without the cruise ships,” he said.

Politico:  Fauci calls for at least doubling virus testing before reopening country, by Mohana Ravindranath, 4/25/2020

Politico:  Trump skips briefing amid fears of overexposure, by Stephanie Murray, 4/25/2020

Concerns came to a head on Thursday, when the president floated the idea that ingesting disinfectants could work as a coronavirus treatment. Trump's unfounded medical advice was met with near-universal outcry — he faced criticism from medical professionals and even the manufacturers of cleaning products.

One Month Ago:  Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How, by Politico Magazine, 3/19/2020

A crisis on this scale can reorder society in dramatic ways, for better or worse. Here are 34 big thinkers’ predictions for what’s to come.

Politico:  Biden wants a new stimulus 'a hell of a lot bigger' than $2 trillion, by Michael Grunwald, 4/25/2020

In a fiery half-hour interview with POLITICO, the presumptive Democratic nominee sounded a bit like his angrier and less moderate primary rivals, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, though in unexpurgated Biden style. The former vice president said that the next round of coronavirus stimulus needs to be “a hell of a lot bigger” than last month’s $2 trillion CARES Act, that it needs to include massive aid to states and cities to prevent them from “laying off a hell of a lot of teachers and cops and firefighters,” and that the administration is already “wasting a hell of a lot of money.”

Daily Beast:  Trump, In His Own Twisted Way, Finally Owns Up to a Mistake, by Matt Lewis, 4/25/2020

The Orange One’s humble shuffling off the stage Friday night without taking questions showed that even he reaches a point where he knows he blew it.

 

In a press briefing that ended quicker than a lot of Mike Tyson fights, it was Donald Trump who ended up on the mat Friday night.

 

I was primed to see how Trump would handle the fallout from Thursday night’s disastrous briefing, in which Trump pondered aloud whether injecting disinfectant might help treat patients suffering from COVID-19, when he decided to take his toys and go home. Right after he shuffled off the stage Friday night without taking a single question, the news broke that he was no longer going to be entertaining America on a nightly basis.

New York Times:  Trump suggests that the daily briefings are no longer worth his time, as the White House considers firing the health secretary. 4/25/2020

Other officials were angry that, after Mr. Azar and other top H.H.S. officials forced out Dr. Rick Bright, the head of a key drug and vaccine development agency, Mr. Azar told Vice President Mike Pence in front of a crowded task force meeting that Dr. Bright had been promoted.

Politico:   White House weighing plan to replace HHS Secretary Azar, by Adam Cancryn, Nancy Cook and Dan Diamond, 4/25/2020

Senior officials’ long-standing frustrations with the health chief have mounted during the pressure-packed response to the Covid-19 outbreak, with White House aides angry this week about Azar’s handling of the ouster of vaccine expert Rick Bright. At a recent task force meeting, Azar assured Vice President Mike Pence that Bright’s move to the National Institutes of Health was a promotion — only for Bright and his lawyers to release a statement that he would soon file a whistleblower complaint against HHS leadership.

The Guardian:  Trump says briefings 'not worth the effort' amid fallout from disinfectant comments, by Lauren Aratani, 4/25/2020

After more than a month of near-daily White House coronavirus press briefings, Donald Trump stayed behind closed doors on Saturday after advisers reportedly warned the president that his appearances were hurting his campaign.

 

Trump himself referenced his absence when he wrote on Twitter that the briefings are “not worth the time & effort”. The president wrote the tweet on Saturday evening, when he would usually be taking the podium to address journalists.

MSNBC:  Trump facing 'historic political defeat' amidst virus, says Bush aide, Ari Melber, 4/25/2020

President Trump is facing backlash for this coronavirus response, including his public remarks at a White House press briefing that suggested humans inject themselves with toxic chemicals as a cure. Former George W. Bush Speechwriter David Frum issues a warning, that Trump is “weak,” and is “headed toward an historic political defeat – one that will likely take the Republican Senate down with him.” In an interview with MSNBC’s Ari Melber, Frum implores Trump’s aides and staff to “use their power to prevent him from doing harm.”

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan State Senator wears face mask that "looks like Confederate flag" during a Senate Vote.  By Angie Jackson, 4/25/2020

Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Ida, denied that the face covering — a red mask with blue stripes and white stars — [the infamous stars and bars] - was the Confederate flag in a WLNS-TV 6 interview.

 

[EDITOR: When People tell you who they are and who their political base is, believe them.]

Daily Beast:  Idiot Alchemist Donald Trump Says Sun and Bleach Will Save You, by Rick Wilson, 4/25/2020

“So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous—whether it’s ultraviolet or just a very powerful light,” Trump said. “And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way and I think you said you’re going to test that too.”

 

“I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

 

Never forget that the man spouting this stream of absurd bullshit like a medieval alchemist with mercury poisoning is the President of the United Fucking States. The man who stood there today ranting about disinfectants and ultraviolet light cures also has control of America’s entire nuclear arsenal. Sleep tight!

The Guardian:  Top economist: US coronavirus response is like 'third world' country, by Larry Elliott, 4/22/2020

In a withering attack on the president, Joseph Stiglitz said millions of people were turning to food banks, turning up for work due to a lack of sick pay and dying because of health inequalities.

 

During an interview with the Guardian to mark the paperback publication of his book People, Power, and Profits, Stiglitz was asked whether the US might be heading for a second Great Depression.

 

“Yes is the answer in short,” he said. “If you leave it to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell [the Republican Senate majority leader] we will have a Great Depression. If we had the right policy structure in place we could avoid it easily.”

 

Stiglitz said that as a result of Trump’s mismanagement, the White House office responsible for pandemics had been closed, funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been cut, and the US had gone into the crisis without enough testing kits, masks and protective gear. Encouraged by Trump, some parts of the US were determined to reopen in a way that would facilitate the transmission of the disease and lead to a fresh outbreak, he added.

 

“In those circumstances it won’t be the government enforcing the lockdown, it will be fear.

Washington Post:  Live updates: WHO says no evidence recovery prevents second infection as coronavirus deaths surpass 200,000 worldwide, by Kim Bellware, Meryl Kornfield, Miriam Berger, Hannah Knowles, Jesse Dougherty and Candace Buckner, 4/25/2020

The World Health Organization on Saturday said there was not enough evidence that a person who has recovered from covid-19 is immune from a second infection.

Washington Post:  Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with covid-19, are dying of strokes, by Ariana Eunjung Cha, 4/25/2020

The man was among several recent stroke patients in their 30s to 40s who were all infected with the coronavirus. The median age for that type of severe stroke is 74.

 

As Oxley, an interventional neurologist, began the procedure to remove the clot, he observed something he had never seen before. On the monitors, the brain typically shows up as a tangle of black squiggles — “like a can of spaghetti,” he said — that provide a map of blood vessels. A clot shows up as a blank spot. As he used a needlelike device to pull out the clot, he saw new clots forming in real-time around it.

 

“This is crazy,” he remembers telling his boss.

Washington Post:  The sudden rise of the coronavirus grim reaper: Ghana’s dancing pallbearers, by Danielle Paquette, 4/25/2020

They are Ghana’s dancing pallbearers, a crew of funeral performers who have long sought to make mourners grin through grief. But as the coronavirus pandemic rages, they’ve become the accidental faces of a stay-at-home movement — comedic grim reapers edited into footage of risky behavior as a warning.

Washington Post:    One country, one system: The week that China shredded its promise on Hong Kong, by Shibani Mahtani and Timothy McLaughlin, 4/24/2020

With the world distracted by the coronavirus pandemic, China has carried out a power grab in the former British colony, whose way of life it had pledged to preserve until 2047.

Detroit Free Press:  Public memorial set for Skylar Herbert, Michigan's youngest coronavirus victim, by Meredith Spelbring, 4/25/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus cases at Michigan prison surge as widespread testing begins, by Angie Jackson and Kristi Tanner, 4/25/2020

This week, the Department of Corrections started more robust testing at Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, where 642 prisoners, or 44% of the population, and 31, or 11%, of staff have tested positive for the virus. The prison, which sits near the state’s southern border, now has the ninth largest known cluster of confirmed cases in the country.  Jackon's Parnall prison has the 11th largest cluster, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit Free Press:  Infection rate at Michigan prison exceeds New York, Chicago jail hot spots, by Angie Jackson and Kristi Tanner, 4/15/2020

Daily Beast:  The Bureau of Prisons Just Bought a Ton of Hydroxychloroquine, Trump’s COVID-19 Miracle Drug, by Lachlan Markay, 4/7/2020

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the Justice Department’s Bureau of Prisons have both reported purchases of hydroxychloroquine since March 26, according to federal procurement records.

 

The Department of Veterans Affairs purchased $40,000 in hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets from the pharmaceutical company McKesson, and another $168,000 from the Colorado-based generic drug distributor Golden State Medical Supply. Procurement records for both list them as “emergency” purchase orders to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

 

The Bureau of Prisons’ purchase order does not mention the coronavirus. But the $60,000 purchase of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets from the company Premium Rx National came on March 31—in the midst of a worsening outbreak at the federal correctional facilities that the bureau oversees and days before President Trump announced that he was stockpiling millions of pills of the drug. It appears to be the first time that the BOP has purchased the drug.

Daily Beast:  Doctors Are Hoarding Drug Trump Hyped—for Themselves, by Zachary Siegel, 3/24/2020

On Sunday, Katherine Rowland, a pharmacist in Eugene, Oregon, got a call from a dentist who wanted her to fill prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that President Donald Trump has hyped as a possible treatment for the new coronavirus.

 

As Rowland wrote in an outraged Twitter thread, the medication wasn’t for the dentist’s patients: He wanted it for himself, his wife, and friends. She refused to fill it.

 

“I have patients with lupus that have been on HCQ for years and now can’t get it because it’s on backorder,” she explained.

Daily Beast:  Researchers Kickstart Huge Study of Malaria Drug to Prevent Coronavirus, by Adam Rawnsley, 3/20/2020

The important thing is for researchers to do some solid science—and for everyone else not get ahead of it. That’s why researchers from the University of Minnesota have started a large human trial of hydroxychloroquine to see if it can play a role in preventing people from becoming infected with the virus.

 

The study, led by Dr. David Boulware, aims to recruit 1,500 people, which would make it one of the largest trials for the use of hydroxychloroquine against the coronavirus if successful. Boulware has previously studied chloroquine and its effect against HIV.

Detroit Free Press:  How coronavirus is changing Ramadan for Muslims in metro Detroit, by Nushrat Rahman, 4/25/2020

Livingston Daily:  Livingston County cuts budget due to the coronavirus, hiring freeze in place, by Jennifer Timar, 4/24/2020

County officials say a decline in the demand for the county jail to house federal inmates and a reduction in sales tax received at the state will cut revenues by $600,000 according to the resolution.

Politico:  First test of New York’s recovery comes in shell-shocked industry: Hospitals, by Amanda Eisenberg, 4/24/2020

Livingston Daily:  At least 55 residents at long-term care facilities in Livingston County COVID-19 positive, by Jennifer Timer, 4/24/2020

LA Times:  Navy recommends reinstatement of fired carrier captain, AP, 4/24/2020

Washington Post:  Trump Spits Back at Georgia Governor and Local Republicans Duck, by Hunter Woodall, 4/25/2020

LA Times:  Government scientist felt pressured to approve contract for work on drug Trump touted, by David S. Cloud, Melissa Healy, 4/23/2020

WASHINGTON — The federal scientist recently ousted from a senior position overseeing research on coronavirus vaccines felt pressured by Trump administration officials to award a $21-million contract to a Florida laboratory to study an anti-malaria drug touted by the president as a COVID-19 treatment, according to a person familiar with the incident.

 

“He was very concerned and was ordered to do it,” said the person.

The Guardian:  Top vaccine expert says he was fired for resisting Trump on hydroxychloroquine, by David Smith, 4/22/2020

Rick Bright was this week ousted as director of the US health department’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or Barda, and as the deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response.

 

In a stunningly candid statement, Bright highlighted his refusal to embrace hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug relentlessly promoted by the president and Fox News despite a lack of scientific studies.

 

“Specifically, and contrary to misguided directives, I limited the broad use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, promoted by the administration as a panacea, but which clearly lack scientific merit,” Bright said.

 

“While I am prepared to look at all options and to think ‘outside the box’ for effective treatments, I rightly resisted efforts to provide an unproven drug on demand to the American public.”

Daily Beast:  MSNBC Host Torches Trump’s ‘Pathological Narcissistic Propaganda Show’ as Daily Briefings Evaporate, by Maxwell Tani, 4/25/2020

“There’s no plan or solutions coming from the White House,” Hayes said. “Instead, there is—every night carried on this network and others —a two-hour pathological narcissistic propaganda show in which the president feels some fleeting sense of satisfaction because people are watching him. And then he goes back to watching more TV.”

April 24:  ‘Distancing is impossible’: refugee camps race to avert coronavirus catastrophe, by Nidhi Subbaraman, Nature

Daily Beast:  White House Aides Groan, Try to Clean Up After ‘Dumb’ Trump Again, by Will Sommer, Asawin Suebsaeng, Adam Rawnsley, 4/24/2020

Additionally, the small but vocal community of people who consume bleach in a misguided attempt to cure medical conditions, including autism, were reveling on Friday in what they interpreted to be a presidential endorsement. Many of them use a product called Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), a chlorine dioxide product which the FDA considers “equivalent to industrial bleach.”

 

On April 17, the FDA sought an injunction against the “Genesis II Church of Health and Healing,” which sells MMS, to prevent the organization from selling MMS as a cure for Covid-19 and other ailments. The church’s “bishop,” Mark Grenon, wrote Trump a letter in April claiming that his chlorine dioxide product could “rid the body of Covid-19.” It’s not clear whether Trump actually saw Grenon’s letter.

 

Jordan Sather, a prominent QAnon conspiracy theorist who promotes MMS, tweeted that Trump’s comments proved that MMS was safe to consume.

 

“How AWESOME would it be if he starts openly looking at Chlorine Dioxide for COVID!” Sather tweeted, adding that it was a good “lung cleaner.”

MSNBC:  Brinkley: Nothing else like Trump's 'cavernous stupidity' in U.S. history, 4/24/2020

Historian and presidential biographer Douglas Brinkley and Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post react to the wild speculation we have seen from the president amid his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Daily Beast:  Trump Ends Coronavirus Briefing in Minutes After Fury Over Insane Bleach Suggestions, by Hunter Woodall and Asawin Suebsaeng, 4/24/2020

“So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light and I think you said that hasn't been checked but you’re going to test it? And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way,” Trump said, adding it “sounds interesting.”

 

After Bryan said that bleach and isopropyl alcohol kill the virus on surfaces quickly, Trump pondered: “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks [the virus] out [from a surface] in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that [by] injection inside or almost a cleaning, because you see it gets on the lungs and it does a tremendous number?”

LA Times:   Trump’s improvised medicine show prompts frantic health warnings, by Eli Stokols, 4/24/2020

WASHINGTON — A slew of federal and state agencies — and the makers of laundry bleach — issued an implicit rebuke to President Trump on Friday, warning the public that his off-the-cuff medical advice and off-the-wall musings in nightly White House briefings could endanger even more lives as the country’s coronavirus death toll passed 50,000.

LA Times:  No, don’t inject disinfectant: Outcry over Trump’s musing, AP, 4/24/2020

LA Times:  U.S. states build stockpiles of malaria drug touted by Trump, AP, 4/24/2020

At least 22 states and Washington, D.C., secured shipments of the drug, hydroxychloroquine, according to information compiled from state and federal officials by the Associated Press.

LA Times: FDA warns against using the drugs that Trump touts for coronavirus, AP, 4/24/2020

LA Times:  Malaria drugs fail to help coronavirus patients in controlled studies, by Melissa Healy, 4/17/2020

LA Times:  $8-billion effort aims to speed development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments, by Deborah Netburn, 4/24/2020

LA Times:  WHO is struggling against COVID-19 and a divided world testing its authority, by David Pierson, 4/1/2020

LA Times:  A doctor was arrested for warning China about the coronavirus. Then he died of it, by Alice Su, 2/6/2020

BEIJING — He sent warnings of a deadly virus on social media. The Chinese government moved to downplay the emergency, but Dr. Li Wenliang’s insistence on telling the truth turned him into a folk hero in a country that prizes secrecy and crushes dissent.


Li and seven other whistleblowers were arrested for spreading rumors. Only last week, as the coronavirus outbreak kept 50 million Chinese people on lockdown and accelerated around the world, did authorities concede that Li and the others should not have been censured.

New York Times:  Health Officials Responding to Coronavirus Lacked Proper Gear and Training, Investigation Finds, by Emily Cochrane, 4/24/2020

The report, which summed up the findings of a team of lawyers that interviewed 65 people and reviewed tens of thousands of pages of documents, offers some detail into how overwhelmed agencies were during initial federal response to the coronavirus. A separate review, conducted by the Office of the Inspector General, remains underway.

New York Times:  Trump Speech to Bring 1,000 West Point Cadets Back to Campus, by Eric Schmitt and Annie Karni, 4/24/2020

Mr. Trump told reporters that he would be speaking at the West Point graduation in the near future, noting that he did not like the look of a socially distanced graduation and that he hoped the “look” of the ceremony would be “nice and tight.” He did not announce a date for the event.

 

General Williams said in a telephone interview that returning seniors would be tested off-campus for the coronavirus. Those who test negative will then be sent to the school, where they will be monitored for 14 days before graduation. While the campus has enough dormitory rooms for the 1,000 seniors, General Williams said that he was still deciding whether seniors would share bedrooms on their return.

Washington Post:  Trump has proven it. We’re on our own, America. By David Von Drehle, 4/24/2020.

MSNBC: NYT: Trump is obsessing over TV coverage of his coronavirus response ,  ,4/24/2020

According to a New York Times report, amid the COVID-19 pandemic Trump spends much of his time away from the Oval Office obsessing about TV coverage of his administration's response.

New York Times:  Home Alone at the White House: A Sour President, With TV His Constant Companion, by Katie Rogers and Annie Karni, 4/23/2020

WASHINGTON — President Trump arrives in the Oval Office these days as late as noon, when he is usually in a sour mood after his morning marathon of television.

 

He has been up in the White House master bedroom as early as 5 a.m. watching Fox News, then CNN, with a dollop of MSNBC thrown in for rage viewing. He makes calls with the TV on in the background, his routine since he first arrived at the White House.  But now there are differences.

 

The president sees few allies no matter which channel he clicks. He is angry even with Fox, an old security blanket, for not portraying him as he would like to be seen. And he makes time to watch Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s briefings from New York, closely monitoring for a sporadic compliment or snipe.

LA Times:  California coronavirus cases top 40,000, with nearly half in L.A. County, by Alex Wigglesworth, Hannah Fry, Patrick McGreevy, John Myers, James Rainey, 4/24/2020

The number of coronavirus cases in nursing homes and other institutional settings had soared to 5,339 at 293 facilities, Ferrer said, including 3,847 residents and 1,492 staff. The rise coincides with an increase in testing in those facilities, leading to infections identified among asymptomatic people.

LA Times:  California effort will employ restaurant workers to provide meals for seniors amid coronavirus crisis, by John Myers, 4/24/2020

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state will soon launch a far-reaching program to provide three meals a day to California seniors in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, partnering with local officials to employ out-of-work restaurant workers with funding largely provided by the federal government.

LA Times:  Biden backs mail vote, suggests Trump will try to postpone election, AP, 4/24/2020

Biden chided Trump for denigrating mail balloting and for opposing direct aid for the Postal Service. Trump, who voted by mail in Florida’s presidential primary last month, recently said with no evidence that he believes mail balloting allows voters to “cheat.” Separately, the administration maneuvered to ensure that the Postal Service got no direct assistance in the $2-trillion coronavirus aid package.

LA Times:  Could Trump delay the November election? Not without risking forfeit to a Democrat, by Evan Halper, 3/17/2020

LA Times:  Trump won’t approve Postal Service loan unless agency raises charges for Amazon, AP, 4/24/2020

WASHINGTON — President Trump said Friday that he won’t approve a $10-billion loan for the U.S. Postal Service unless the agency raises charges for Amazon and other big shippers to four to five times current rates.

LA Times Column: Trump again attacks the U.S. Postal Service with lies, by Michael Hiltzik, 4/9/2020

There’s a lot of misinformation to unpack there, so let’s roll up our sleeves and get started. Let’s keep in mind that Trump is attacking a government service specifically designed to provide universal delivery, binding together a nation from the remote Aleutian Islands of Alaska to Key West, from Lake of the Woods in frigid northern Minnesota to humid Brownsville, Texas.

We don’t operate the military at a profit, or schools or any other public service; the notion that the Postal Service should be “run like a business,” as inviting that is to conservatives, is code for undermining a public good and letting private enterprise saddle up.

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit Free Press pages show the 1918 Spanish Influenza, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  75% of Michigan's nursing home COVID-19 cases are in metro Detroit. See the data, by Christina Hall, Elisha Anderson and Kristi Tanner, 4/24/2020

Michigan.gov:  MDHHS: Long Term Care Data, 4/23/2020

This MDHHS report contains data from 331 of Michigan's approximately 450 licensed Nursing facilities, listed by county and facility

Livingston Daily:  Hartland Township officials: Stay-at-home order excessive, economy should safely open, by Jennifer Timer, 4/23/2020

On Tuesday, the township's all-Republican Board of Trustees passed a resolution urging Whitmer and state lawmakers to safely reopen the economy.

Detroit Free Press:   Michigan surpasses 3,000 deaths due to coronavirus; 36,641 cases total, by Miriam Marini, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press Opinion:  Don't drink Lysol, dummies | Opinion by Nancy Kaffer, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:   FDA, Lysol issue warnings about President Trump's treatment ideas for coronavirus, by Tresa Baldas, 4/24/2020

The Food and Drug Administration and the makers of Lysol warned that President Donald Trump's suggested treatments for COVID-19 — [injections of ] disinfectants and hydroxychloroquine — could kill.

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus deaths of hospital workers now under scrutiny by Michigan, federal agencies, by jennifer Dixon, 4/24/2020

Daily Beast:  ‘Dying to Bowl’: Georgia Flirts With Disaster as Lockdown Eases, by Justin Glawe, 4/24/2020

Some business owners weren’t ready to take the plunge: “What do you need before you start risking your 70-plus year old clients?”

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Whitmer's new Michigan stay home order: What's allowed, what's not allowed, by Miriam Marini, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Greenhouses reopening for spring in Michigan after coronavirus restrictions lifted, by Frank Witsil, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michiganders can now travel between residences, move into new homes under new order, by Miriam Marini, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  More than 2,200 coronavirus cases in Michigan nursing homes; statewide data coming today, by Elisha Anderson and Christina Hall, 4/24/2020

"Three-quarters of these cases are in southeast Michigan,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun during a news conference Friday.

 

331 of about 450 Nursing Homes in Michigan have reported COVID-19 case data.

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus live updates, April 24: Michigan permits golfing, boating again, by Brian Manzullo, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan now requires face coverings in public enclosed spaces: What you need to know, by Miriam Marini, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Whitmer extends Michigan stay home order to May 15, allows some businesses to reopen, by Kathleen Gray and Todd Spangler, 4/24/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Watch replay: Gov. Whitmer addresses new Michigan stay home order, by Brian Manzullo, 4/24/2020

As of 10 a.m. Thursday, the State of Michigan has confirmed 2,977 deaths due to COVID-19, and 35,291 confirmed cases.

Detroit Free Press:  Royal Oak City Commissioner Kim Gibbs could face censure after attending Lansing protest, by Christina hall, 4/23/2020

Commissioner Kim Gibbs, who attended the April 15 rally to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home order, previously told Mayor Mike Fournier that she would not resign from her four-year seat when he asked her to "strongly" consider doing so.

Detroit Free Press:  Nurse used COVID-19 crisis to sneak 150 pounds of pot into US, by Tresa Baldas, 4/23/2020

“At a time when health care professionals are working overtime to keep us safe, it’s really shameful that anyone would exploit their status as a nurse to smuggle any kind of drug into our country,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said on Thursday, stressing: “To stop the spread of the coronavirus, our Canadian border is open only for essential travel."

 

As the top prosecutor put it, smuggling 143 vacuum sealed bags of marijuana into the country "simply isn't essential."

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan Legislature wants to create committee to oversee Whitmer's coronavirus response, by Kathleen Gray, 4/23/2020

In the midst of the continuing spread of the coronavirus in Michigan, the Michigan Legislature has scheduled a special session for Friday to create an oversight committee to examine how Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has responded to the crisis as well as consider bills that would strip the governor of some of her powers.

Bridge Magazine:  40-year-old technology may be the last chance for some COVID-19 patients, by Robin Erb, 4/23/2020

“It doesn’t treat the patient, but it buys time,” said Dr. Robert Bartlett, a retired University of Michigan surgeon and researcher who helped pioneer the technology.

Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility, University of Oxford:   "We made it! The first batch of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine that is being used in the clinical trials here in Oxford was manufactured by my marvellous team at the CBF." - Catherine Green, 4/23/2020

University of Oxford:  Oxford COVID-19 vaccine begins human trial stage, 4/23/2020

University of Oxford:  Oxford COVID-19 vaccine programme opens for clinical trial recruitment, 3/27/2020

Livingston Daily:  Livingston Essential Transportation Service receives $4.98M in federal stimulus money, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/23/2020

Livingston Essential Transportation Service received $4.98 million, significantly more than the organization's $3.5 million annual budget. "We are being told by MDOT to prepare for lower state funding the next two years," [LETS Director Greg Kellogg] said.

Livingston Daily:  Two facilities in Livingston County have COVID-19 outbreaks, officials not releasing details, by Jennifer Timar, 4/21/2020

Livingston Daily:  Family: Howell nursing home resident dies from COVID-19, by Jennifer Timar, 4/17/2020

Livingston Daily:  'Grandma was the one person I thought would be safe:' COVID-19 cases arise in nursing home, by Jennifer Timar, 4/11/2020

Livingston Daily,  Nursing home facilities in Livingston County taking in COVID-19 patients, by Jennifer Timar, 4/6/2020

Washington Post:  Covid-19 is posing serious questions about cancer treatment. There are no easy answers., by Bobak Parang, 4/22/2020

Inscribed along the lobby wall of our pediatric floor, which has now been converted into a covid-19 ward, is the famous ending to Percy Shelley's poignant “Ode to the West Wind.” The poet, bearing witness to an agent of destruction, looks ahead and envisions an end to the darkness.

 

“O Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Reuters:  Special Report: Former Labradoodle breeder was tapped to lead U.S. pandemic task force, by Aram Roston and Marisa Taylor, 4/22/2020

Shortly after his televised comments, Azar tapped a trusted aide with minimal public health experience to lead the agency’s day-to-day response to COVID-19. The aide, Brian Harrison, had joined the department after running a dog-breeding business for six years. Five sources say some officials in the White House derisively called him “the dog breeder.”

 

Azar’s optimistic public pronouncement and choice of an inexperienced manager are emblematic of his agency’s oft-troubled response to the crisis. His HHS is a behemoth department, overseeing almost every federal public health agency in the country, with a $1.3 trillion budget that exceeds the gross national product of most countries.

The New York Times:  The Death of the Department Store: ‘Very Few Are Likely to Survive’, by Sapna Maheshwari and Vanessa Friedman, 4/21/2020

Nothing compares to the shock the weakened industry has taken from the coronavirus pandemic. The sales of clothing and accessories fell by more than half in March, a trend that is expected to only get worse in April. The entire executive team at Lord & Taylor was let go this month. Nordstrom has canceled orders and put off paying its vendors. The Neiman Marcus Group, the most glittering of the American department store chains, is expected to declare bankruptcy in the coming days, the first major retailer felled during the current crisis.

 

“The department stores, which have been failing slowly for a very long time, really don’t get over this,” said Mark A. Cohen, the director of retail studies at Columbia University’s Business School. “The genre is toast, and looking at the other side of this, there are very few who are likely to survive.”

Reuters:  Alarmed as COVID patients' blood thickened, New York doctors try new treatments, by Jonathan Allen, 4/22/2020

RawStory:  Ohio Republican compares state’s health director — who’s Jewish — to Nazis and the Antichrist, by Travis Gettys, 4/22/2020

A recent poll showed nearly 80 percent of Ohioans approved of DeWine’s handling of the pandemic, which has more than 13,000 confirmed cases and 557 deaths.

RawStory:  Mitch McConnell prefers to see states go bankrupt rather than send federal aid, by Travis Gettys, 4/22/2020

The Kentucky Republican, whose state is among the most heavily dependent on federal aid, told talk radio host Hugh Hewitt that states should be allowed to declare bankruptcy to get out from beneath burdensome public employee pension costs, reported Bloomberg.

 

“I said yesterday we’re going to push the pause button here,” he added, “because I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments needs to be thoroughly evaluated.”

RawStory:  Trump’s Scottish golf courses are tanking — and now he’s asking the UK government for a bailout, by Brad Reed, 4/23/2020

Scottish newspaper The National reports that the Trump Organization is “seeking government aid to pay most of the salaries of bartenders, bagpipers and other employees at its three money-losing golf resorts in Scotland and Ireland.”  Although the golf courses have been money losers for years, the Trump Organization is now claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic has put them in extreme danger of going bust.

Livingston Daily:  State reports reduction of COVID-19 hospitalizations, as 7 new cases reported in Livingston, by Jennifer Timar, 4/22/2020

RawStory:  ‘You hate to see it’: Internet laughs as Trump kneecaps GOP governor who took his advice, by Matthey Chapman, 4/22/2020

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump left Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) out to dry, telling the nation at his latest coronavirus press conference that he disagrees "strongly" with Kemp's decision to reopen several high-risk industries — even though he had spent weeks urging GOP governors to do exactly that.

Daily Beast:  Trump’s GOP Goes From Live Free or Die to Live Free and Die, by Michael Tomasky, 4/23/2020

Livingston Daily:  Howell Republican congressional candidate receives death threat, defends selfie with [NeoFascist] Proud Boys member, by Jennifer Timar, 4/21/2020

Daily Beast:  Southern Tourist Trap Terrified of Post-Lockdown Explosion, by Justin Glawe, 4/23/2020

Adding insult to injury in the eyes of some locals, Governor Kemp's order bars cities from enacting their own restrictions.

The New York Times:  What 5 Coronavirus Models Say the Next Month Will Look Like, by Quoctrung Bui, Josh Katz, Alicia Parlapiano and Margot Sanger-Katz, 4/22/2020

“We want them to provide more information than they can,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a co-author of the Columbia model, who said the models were still valuable in showing a range of what could happen. “We have uncertainty on top of uncertainty on top of uncertainty.”

The New York Times:  Banks Gave Richest Clients ‘Concierge Treatment’ for Pandemic Aid, by Emily Flitter and Stacy Cowley, 4/22/2020

At JPMorgan, nearly all of the 8,500 commercial and private banking clients who applied for a loan got one. That included companies like the sandwich chain Potbelly and the pharmaceutical company MannKind. At the same time, only 18,000 of more than 300,000 small-business banking customers who applied through Chase’s retail bank, where they normally did business, got loans.

The New York Times:  Luxury Hotel Company Is Biggest Beneficiary of Small-Business Funds, by Jeanna Smialek, Jikm Tankersley and Alan Rappeport, 4/22/2020

Two real estate investment trusts: Ashford Hospitality Trust and Braemar Hotels & Resorts, which together own more than 100 properties, reported in public filings that their hotels had received $53 million in forgivable loans through a government program meant to help small businesses.

The New York Times:  28,000 Missing Deaths: Tracking the True Toll of the Coronavirus Crisis, by Jin Wu, Allison McCann, Josh Katz and Elian Peltier, 4/22/2020

These numbers undermine the notion that many people who have died from the virus may soon have died anyway. In Paris, more than twice the usual number of people have died each day, far more than the peak of a bad flu season. In New York City, the number is now four times the normal amount. 

RawStory:  Coronavirus has killed 28,000 more than the official count — in just the last month: report, by Matthew Chapman, 4/22/2020

The New York Times:  Who’s Behind the ‘Reopen’ Protests? By Lisa Graves, 4/22/2020

The Tea Party, formed after America elected its first black president, used a series of health care town halls to spur angry Republicans to oppose the Affordable Care Act as a socialist takeover of American medicine. Little matter that it was modeled on a plan devised by Mitt Romney, a Republican, when he was the governor of Massachusetts.

 

Such false claims about the act have not aged well, as millions of Americans now depend on the law for health care coverage as the coronavirus contagion sweeps across the nation. And yet a Tea Party co-founder, Mark Meckler, is using the same tactics and same phony claims to stir his followers to protest against governors seeking to mitigate the Covid-19 death toll by closing businesses and banning public gatherings.

 

That public anger is both real and manufactured. The same was true in 2009, when the Koch fortune fueled the Tea Party’s attacks on the Obama administration’s health care law.

 

Still, the legend that the Tea Party was a spontaneous uprising took hold and continues to be peddled. As we face Tea Party 2.0, let’s not be fooled again.

April 22:  Coronavirus: the first three months as it happened, Nature

The New York Times:  How Do I Deal With a Friend Who Thinks Covid-19 Is a Hoax? By Kwame Anthony Appiah, 4/22/2020  

The New York Times:  More Than 4.4 Million Filed Unemployment Claims Last Week: Live Updates, 4/23/2020

“At all levels, it’s eye-watering numbers,” said Torsten Slok, chief international economist at Deutsche Bank Securities.

April 22:  New virus surging in Asia rattles scientists, The New York Times.

ECB:  Europe’s central bank lowers its lending standards to prevent a credit crunch., 22 April 2020

The extraordinary action by the central bank was a reaction to fears that hundreds of billions of euros in corporate bonds were on the verge of being downgraded to junk status, because the companies that issued the debt may not be able to repay it.

 

The mass downgrades could cause severe financial turmoil because, under the old rules, banks that hold the debt could no longer use it as collateral to borrow from the central bank.

The New York Times:  ‘Sadness’ and Disbelief From a World Missing American Leadership, by Katrin Bennhold, 4/23/2020

The coronavirus pandemic is shaking bedrock assumptions about U.S. exceptionalism. This is perhaps the first global crisis in more than a century where no one is even looking for Washington to lead.

Daily Beast:  Trump Is Using a Pandemic to Make Immigrant-Haters’ Dreams Come True, by Felipe de la Hoz, 4/22/2020

Already, the president’s allies in Congress are pushing the argument that the skyrocketing unemployment rate is a reason to terminate immigration altogether.

The New York Times:   A Beloved Bar Owner Was Skeptical About the Virus. Then He Took a Cruise. By Ginia Bellafoante, 4/19/2020

Seven days before he was admitted to the hospital, Joe and Kristen had an argument about the emerging public health crisis, which Kristen described as the only dispute she ever had with her father that she wished she hadn’t won. “He said, ‘Don’t you think this is fishy? Do you know anyone who has it? Do you know anyone who has died from it?’ And I said, ‘Dad, I don’t know anyone now, but give me a week and I bet I will.’”

The New York TImes:  ‘We Will Make the Best Out of It’: Ramadan Amid a Pandemic, by Wajahat Ali, 4/23/2020

The Prophet Muhammad once told his followers never to enter or leave a town that has the plague, to avoid spreading the disease.

Intelligencer:  Top Government Vaccine Expert Fired for Questioning Trump’s Fake Science, by Jonathan Chait, 4/22/2020

Intelligencer:  Las Vegas Mayor Offers City as ‘Control Group’ to See How Many Die Without Social Distancing, by Matt stieb, 4/22/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Gov. Whitmer warns Michigan: Some form of stay home order will exist for a while, by Kathleen Gray and Todd Spangler, 4/22/2020

"You know my stay-home order is one of the nation's more conservative, but the fact of the matter is, it's working. We are seeing the curve start to flatten. And that means we're saving lives"

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit’s Henry Ford joins coronavirus red ink, furloughs 2,800 workers, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, Jennifer Dixon, Free Press, and Robin Erb and Kelly House, Bridge Magazine, 4/22/2020

About 2,800 employees are being temporarily furloughed across the Detroit-based, six-hospital system. The employees are from areas that have closed or where services have dwindled and are not involved in direct patient care, according to a Wednesday evening news announcement.

Deroit Free Press:  Detroit to begin COVID-19 testing at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, by Christina Hall, 4/22/2020

STAT:  Influential Covid-19 model uses flawed methods and shouldn’t guide U.S. policies, critics say, by Sharon Begley, 4/17/2020

STAT:  Blood clots in severe Covid-19 patients leave clinicians with clues about the illness — but no proven treatments, by Elizabeth Cooney, 4/16/2020

Doctors treating the sickest Covid-19 patients have zeroed in on a new phenomenon: Some people have developed widespread blood clots, their lungs peppered with tiny blockages that prevent oxygen from pumping into the bloodstream and body.

 

Physicians from the U.S., the Netherlands, and China have published a number of case reports in scientific journals about Covid-19 patients with a multitude of small blood clots. In one report, researchers in China said 7 out of 10 patients who died of Covid-19 had small blood clots throughout the bloodstream, compared to fewer than 1 in 100 people who survived. Some of the patients in those case reports received blood thinners or tPA, sometimes when there seemed to be nothing else to try. Some survived, some did not.

Free Press:  Michigan family devastated by coronavirus takes another hit, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, 4/22/2020

Blood clots appear to be a growing concern for coronavirus patients.

 

Published case reports of COVID-19 patients in the U.S., China and the Netherlands suggest some have developed a multitude of small blood clots, Stat News reported, and they can be fatal.


As many as 7 out of 10 patients who died of COVID-19 had small blood clots throughout the bloodstream, according to a report from China, compared with fewer than 1 in 100 people who survived. 

Daily Beast:  Head of Coronavirus Vaccine Research Says He Was Demoted for Questioning Drug Favored by Trump, by Blake Montgomery and Sam Stein, 4/22/2020

Dr. Rick Bright said he believed he was dismissed from his post for advocating for stringent testing of the drug Trump has called a possible coronavirus cure.

 

The doctor in charge of the federal agency overseeing research into a coronavirus vaccine said on Wednesday he was forced out of the job after questioning the efficacy of an anti-malarial drug favored by the president.

 

“Science—not politics or cronyism—has to lead the way,” Bright said in the statement. “Science, in service to the health and safety of the American people, must always trump politics.”

 

Bright has served as head of BARDA since 2016. Prior to running the agency, he led its Influenza and Emerging Infectious Diseases Division, according to the medical publication STAT, and worked at private sector biotechnology companies.

USA Today:  'Convinced': Fauci says there will be coronavirus in the fall after Trump says 'it may not come back', by Savannah Behrmann, 4/22/2020

USA Today:  CDC Director Redfield warns second coronavirus wave could be 'more difficult,' hit same time as flu, by William Cummings, 4/22/2020

"There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through," CDC Director Robert Redfield told The Washington Post. "We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time."

USA Today:  Coronavirus at meatpacking plants worse than first thought, USA TODAY investigation finds, by Kyle Bagenstose, Sky Chadde and Matt Wynn, 4/22/2020

Experts say there's little risk of a dwindling protein supply because, given the choice between worker safety and keeping meat on grocery shelves, the nation’s slaughterhouses will choose to produce food.

Raw Story:  Leading economist says Trump’s coronavirus response makes the US look like ‘a third world country’, by Alex Henderson, 4/22/2020

Reno Gazette Journal:  Las Vegas mayor wants COVID-19 restrictions lifted, faces widespread national criticism, by Ed Komenda, 4/22/2020 

"We are a hospitality state. We depend on service to the customers," Goodman told the USA TODAY Network in an interview Wednesday. "I'm not talking about gaming. I'm talking about people who are out of work. We closed down with no plan of how to reopen, and that has been my plea from the beginning to the governor: Have a plan."

USA Today:  'It felt like my bones were breaking': Nurse with coronavirus thought she was going to die, by Kristina Goetz, 4/22/2020

USA Today,  New Jersey cops save fellow officer after his heart stops from coronavirus complications, by Kaitlyn Kanzler, 4/22/2020

USA Today:  Trump says he disagrees with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to reopen during coronavirus outbreak, by David Jackson, 4/22/2020

Washington Post:  Trump’s battles with reporters are part of his strategy. My advice: Ignore him. By Matt Bai, 4/21/2020

One of the main themes of Trump’s presidency is that the media has aligned itself with the Democratic resistance. As a result, the public can’t believe anything it reads or watches about him in any venue other than Fox News — and sometimes not even that — because it’s all fake and designed to destroy him.

 

Every time we appear on TV, looking angry and powerless, to bemoan our shabby treatment by the president, some large bloc of voters thinks: Good, now you know how we feel.

USA Today:  What are 'COVID toes'? Doctors discover symptom of coronavirus mostly seen in kids, by Adrianna Rodriguez, 4/21/2020

The presence of purple or blue lesions on a patient’s feet and toes puzzles infectious disease experts.

 

“They’re typically painful to touch and could have a hot burning sensation,” said Dr. Ebbing Lautenbach, chief of infectious disease at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine.

 

What doctors said is most interesting about "COVID toes" is that they appear in COVID-19 patients who don’t exhibit any other symptoms.

Livingston Daily:  More than 50,000 Livingston County residents have filed for unemployment during coronavirus, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/21/2020

Daily Beast:  ‘Mortified and Appalled’: Atlanta Rages as Governor Eases Lockdown, by Khushbu Shah, 4/21/2020

USA Today:  'Keep your voice down': Trump has another confrontation with a reporter at coronavirus briefing, by William Cummings, 4/20/2020

"Many Americans are saying the exact same thing about you, that you should've warned them the virus was spreading like wildfire through the month of February instead of holding rallies with thousands of people. Why did you wait so long to warn them?" Jiang asked Trump on Sunday.

 

Trump pointed to his restrictions on travel from China, which were announced Jan. 31.

 

Jiang cut the president off to point out the restrictions "only applied to Chinese nationals" and not Americans returning from China.

 

"Nice and easy, nice and easy. Just relax," Trump told Jiang.

Washington Post:  The problem isn’t a lack of information. It’s Trump. By Dana Milbank, 4/20/2020

As President Trump, his advisers and his allies in Congress continue to try to frame the World Health Organization for Trump’s failure to prepare for the pandemic, new evidence shows that U.S. and WHO officials in China were in constant contact with each other in the crucial days of January, as the virus spread.

 

Trump administration officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health were among those conferring regularly in Beijing with WHO officials, twice in the week of Jan. 6, three times in the week of Jan. 13, three times in the week of Jan. 20 and twice in the week of Jan. 27. 

 

Washington Post:  Trump’s support for right-wing protests just got more ugly and dangerous, by Greg Sargent, 4/20/2020

National Geographic:  95,000 stranded at sea: What happens when a cruise ship becomes a hot zone, by Brenden Borrell, 4/20/2020

More than 100 ships are floating off the U.S. coast, waiting for a sign they can come home.

Drexel University:  Rapidly Revealing COVID-19’s Journey and Evolution With Genetic Tracing ‘Barcode, by Zhengqaio Zhao, Bahrad A. Sokhansanj and Gail Rosen, 4/10/2020

“We’re seeing that the two parts of the virus that seem not to be mutating are the ones responsible for its entry into healthy cells and packaging its RNA,” Rosen said. “Both of these are important targets for understanding the body’s immune response, identifying antiviral therapeutics and designing vaccines.”

Crooks and Liars:  Man Who Called Ohio's Lockdown Order 'Bullshit' Has Succumbed To COVID-19, by Ed Scarce, 4/20/2020

John McDaniel railed against Ohio's Gov. Mike DeWine's lockdown order on social media. Weeks later he contracted the virus. A few days ago he died.

McDaniel Bullshit Tweet 601x344

 

 

Daily Beast:  Xenophobe-In-Chief:' Trump's Executive Order Has Nothing to Do With Coronavirus, Attorneys Say, by Scott Bixby, 4/22/2020

“There are measured and productive approaches to curbing the spread of COVID-19,” said Andrea Flores, deputy policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Equality Division. “Unfortunately, President Trump seems more interested in fanning anti-immigrant flames than in saving lives.”

 

“They are simply using the pandemic to advance an outrageous proposal—one that white nationalists and other anti-immigrant extremists have long dreamt of implementing,” said Paola Luisi, co-director of Families Belong Together, an organization formed in response to Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy. Luisi noted that during the 2016 campaign, Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the president and the architect of the Trump administration’s immigration policy, “advocated similar proposals in a series of emails to Breitbart News in which he also shared white nationalist propaganda.”

Washington Post:  The government’s inefficient delivery means relief will come too late for many Americans, Editorial Board, 4/22/2020

National Geopgraphic:  These globe-trotting photographers rediscover their own backyards, by Rachel Hartigan Shea, 4/16/2020

Life under lockdown: vibrant, surreal, and just outside their doors.

National Geographic:  A pandemic quiets mariachis and tourism in Mexico City, by Jason Najum, 4/15/2020

Daily Beast:  Welcome to The New Abnormal, by Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast, 4/21/2020

We both love to connect, and talk. And talk. And talk. (Fine, we admit it.) We’re troublemakers who aren’t afraid to cross party and policy lines—just ask anyone in our respective political movements. Though we may come from very different worlds and very different perspectives, we’ve both come to believe that in the age of corona, the old partisan games don’t seem to mean as much.

 

We’ll be calling down some fire on the people who are making this situation worse, from that grifter in the White House to COVID truthers and deniers to scam artists and people exploiting this moment for political gain. (If you guessed that Rick named that segment of the show “Fuck That Guy,” you win a fabulous door prize!)

 

We believe that humor and fun is necessary to face the scary moments that American families confront every day, but we promise to take COVID very seriously. Ourselves? Not so much.

Wshington Post:  The coronavirus protests are a juxtaposition of life and death, by Kathleen Parker, 4/21/2020

Two scenes: Men with semiautomatic weapons strike a pose of protest in front of a state capitol. A masked health-care worker in scrubs blocks a protester’s car in Denver.

 

These two frames will be among the lasting images of the covid-19 pandemic in America, reminding us of the juxtaposition of life and death that plagued our nation in 2020. The protesters, who oppose government quarantine orders, want to return to “normal” life as it was before the virus came ashore — as though they’re the only ones. The nurse, symbolizing the nation’s brave, dedicated medical professionals, stands athwart civil disobedience — for the sake of survival.

Daily Beast:  Trump Favorite Is Under Investigation—and Getting $9541/foot to Build the Wall, Spencer Ackerman, 4/21/2020  

Daily Beast:  Andrew Cuomo Learns the One Simple Trick to Get Donald Trump to Do the Right Thing: Bend the Knee, by Matt Lewis, 4/21/2020

It’s hard not to see this as at least partly a way for Trump to demonstrate dominance over another alpha dog. The Donald knows the worth of location, location, location.

Daily Beast:  Trump "What drug? I don't know that drug." on His Miracle Drug After Study Raises Red Flag." By Tracy Connor, Adam Rawnsley, 4/21/2020

Washington Post:  Anti-malarial drug Trump touted is linked to higher rates of death in VA coronavirus patients, study says, by Christopher Rowland, 4/21/2020

Daily Beast:  The Kremlin’s ‘Little Dragon’ Goes After Coronavirus Victims—and Reporters, by Amy Knight, 4/21/2020

Ramzan Kadyrov is president of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation, and Vladimir Putin’s most dangerous protégé. How’s he fighting COVID-19? With fear.

 

Like Putin, Kadyrov was slow responding to the coronavirus. As late as March 11, he was telling Chechens they had nothing to fear, comparing COVID-19 to the flu and encouraging them to drink lemon and honey to boost their immunity.

 

A week earlier Kadyrov’s information minister was urging tourists to come to Chechnya as a safe haven from infection. People who posted warnings on social media about the virus were accused of spreading "fake news" and forced to make public apologies.

Daily Beast:  An Alleged Insider Trading the Pandemic, Georgia Senator Loeffler Doubles Down on Mendacity, by Lachlan Markay, 4/20/2020

Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler dumped Millions in Stock After Coronavirus Briefing

Washington Post:  Trump wants to lift lockdowns. Other countries’ attempts show why the U.S. isn’t ready. By Ishaan Tharoor, 4/21/2020

Washington Post:  White House, GOP face heat after hotel and restaurant chains helped run small business program dry, by Jonathan O'Connell, 4/20/2020

The initial PPP “was flawed from top to bottom,” said Florida small business owners Duncan and Rita MacDonald-Korth. “The program has done very little to help genuine small businesses and instead has benefited large companies who have used subsidiary entities to benefit disproportionately and unfairly.”

Washington Post:  Trump aligns with the world’s ‘ostrich’ leaders, by Ishaan Tharoor, 4/20/2020

“Trump has a populist’s sixth sense for exploiting the frustrations of the masses,” noted CNN commentator Frida Ghitis. “The shutdown has already destroyed tens of millions of jobs, leaving countless Americans bereft of income and afraid for the future. Trump doesn’t want to be held responsible for any of it.”

Washington Post:  Trump’s pandemic response underscores the crisis in global politics, by Ishaan Tharoor, 4/17/2020

For years, observed William Burns, former deputy secretary of state and president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, U.S. leaders built partnerships that served as “an invaluable force multiplier” for the American agenda. The pandemic is showing a new reality: “In this one, the Trump White House’s blend of arrogance and ineptitude, against the backdrop of more than three years of diplomatic disarmament, is a force divider,” Burns said.

Deadline Detroit:  Lengel: Trump Is Trying To Make Michigan's Whitmer His New Hillary At Any Cost, by Alan Lengel, 4/20/2020

When a strategy works, it tends to be used again. As the military aphorism goes, generals fight the last war.

 

That's important to understand, as he tries his hardest to make Michigan's governor his new Hillary -- an enemy of his base -- at any cost. It starts with trying to turn Michigan residents against Gretchen Whitmer.

Deadline Detroit:  Novi's Suburban Showplace converted into a 250 bed COVID-19 Care facility,  4/20/2020

Deadline Detroit:  'It’s Unrealistic And Dangerous To Keep This Up:' Detroit Sinai-Grace Nurse Speaks Out, by Eli Saslow, 4/20/2020

We had one nursing-home patient whose heart rate dropped really low, and he wasn’t verbal at all, and you could see that he was scared and confused and working too hard to breathe. His family wishes were that he didn’t want to be intubated. We gave him a low dose of morphine for comfort. We stood in the hallway with him and took his hand and kind of rubbed his head, and as soon as we did that, this guy started to let go. We were able to be there for him, and a lot of times now, we can’t be.

NBC:  4 family members of Virginia bishop who died of coronavirus now battling it themselves, by Minyvonne Burke, 4/18/2020

Bishop Gerald Glenn of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church died from the virus. Now his wife, two daughters and son-in-law are sick.

nextstrain.org:   Genomic analysis of COVID-19 spread. Situation report 2020-04-17, Sidney M. Bell, et al, 4/17/2020

This weekly report uses publicly shared genomic data to track the spread of COVID-19. This week, we focus on the outbreak in the United States. For most areas of the U.S., we find evidence for multiple introductions -- of both international and domestic origins. This data emphasizes that the decisions made by each state profoundly impacts the fate of the others.

Intelligencer:  Trump Adviser Stephen Moore Compares Social-Distancing Protesters to Rosa Parks, by Matt Stieb, 4/20/2020

While the comparison of a civil-rights icon to protesters wishing to return to the convenience of pre-pandemic life is obviously flawed, New York Times staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones helped provide a deeper level of context: “When people like Stephen Moore make comparisons to Rosa Parks, we should treat it as the cynical, calculated form of race baiting that it is.

The Hill:  Boston Globe prints 16 pages of death notices in one day as coronavirus cases surge, by Brooke Seipel, 4/20/2020

Deadline Detroit:  Wayne County's 1,148 Covid Deaths Are 5th Among U.S. Counties; State Cases Rise Just 1.8%, by Alan Stamm, 4/20/2020

The Hill:  WHO chief: Worst of coronavirus pandemic still ahead, by Rebecca Klar, 4/20/2020 

The Hill:  Fauci warns protests will 'backfire,' slow economic recovery, by Brett Samuels, 4/20/2020

USA Today: Fauci takes heat from protesters of stay-at-home orders, says ignoring guidelines will 'backfire', by Savannah Behrmann, 4/20/2020

Fierce Biotech:  FDA, CDC, NIH to begin validating COVID-19 antibody tests as more enter the market, by Conor Hale, 4/20/2020

Fierce Biotech:  COVID-19: New animal data back up Gilead's remdesivir as other treatment candidates emerge, by Arlene Weintraub, 4/20/2020

Fierce Biotech:  As ventilators become crucial, repair roadblocks remain, by Markian Hawryluk, 4/20/2020

For years, manufacturers of ventilators and other medical equipment have kept a tight grip on the ability of hospitals to service and repair those products, prompting lawsuits and under-the-table sharing of repair manuals and software passwords.

 

Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for product information to keep ventilators up and running is at an all-time high.

 

Modern ventilators are typically serviced either every six months or 2,000 hours of use and can last for 10 years if maintained properly. But now, nearly every ventilator is being called into near-constant service in hot spots, with some pulled out of storage after eight years on the shelf. When any ventilator breaks down amid the surge of cases, waiting two weeks for a repair can mean patients die.

Bloomberg:  Iowa sends National Guard troops to defend meat plants from virus, by Stephen Joyce, Michael Hirtzer and Jen Skerritt, 4/20/2020

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said 250 National Guard members will help with testing and contact tracing for workers at plants operated by Tyson Foods Inc. and National Beef Packing Co.

AP:  Georgia governor Brian Kemp: Some shuttered Georgia businesses can reopen Friday, 4/20/2020

Kemp announced that gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors are among businesses that may reopen Friday.

Detroit News:  COVID-19 snuffs out annual 4/20 cannabis festivals, but the party goes on, by Candice Williams, 4/20/2020

NBC: 13 hours, 22 bodies: The long, lonesome shift of a crematory worker in the heat of COVID-19, by Rich Schapiro, 4/19/2020

Detroit News:  5-year-old with rare complication becomes first Michigan child to die of COVID-19, by Jasmin Barmore, 4/20/2020

“She was the type of girl that would just run up and jump in your arms and hug you," her mother said.

Washington Post:  Patients with heart attacks, strokes and even appendicitis vanish from hospitals, by Lenny Bernstein and Frances Stead Sellers, 4/19/2020

Five weeks into a nationwide coronavirus lockdown, many doctors say the pandemic has produced a silent sub-epidemic of people who need care at hospitals but dare not come in. They include people with inflamed appendixes, infected gall bladders, bowel obstructions and, more ominously, chest pains and stroke symptoms.  “Everybody is frightened to come to the ER.”

Fierce Biotech:  FDA, CDC, NIH to begin validating COVID-19 antibody tests as more enter the market, by Conor Hale, 4/20/2020

Washington Post:  Trump ban on fetal tissue research blocks coronavirus treatment effort, by Amy Goldstein, 3/18/2020

Just months ago, before the new coronavirus began to infect people around the world, other U.S. scientists made two highly relevant discoveries. They found that specialized mice could be transplanted with human fetal tissue that develops into lungs — the part of the body the new coronavirus invades. These “humanized mice,” they also found, could then be infected with coronaviruses — to which ordinary mice are not susceptible — closely related to the one that causes the new disease, covid-19.

USA Today:  Photos show counterprotesters dressed in scrubs blocking lockdown demonstration in Colorado, by Adrianna Rodriguez, 4/20/2020

The iconic photo was taken by Alyson McClaran

Washington Post:  When covid-19 claimed two of their own, these EMTs grieved and kept on going, by Ariana Eunjung Cha, 4/20/2020

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — The caller was 18 years old. He was from Peru and lived with his father, just the two of them, everyone else back at home. The father, 56, had tested positive for covid-19 and now the son was unable to wake him from his bed.

 

When Dave Prina and the other EMTs arrived, there was nothing to do but express condolences and ask for the father’s identification for the paperwork. What’s the boy going to do? he wondered. How will he live? How will he pay next month’s rent?

 

“When we left, he was hysterical on the stairs,” Prina recalled.

New York Magazine:  The White House Has Erected A Blockade Stopping States and Hospitals From Getting Coronavirus PPE, by David Wallace-Wells, 4/19/2020

Whenever you start to think that the federal government under Donald Trump has hit a moral bottom, it finds a new way to shock and horrify.

First Republic Bank:   The Impact of COVID-19 on Subscription Lines of Credit, by Scott Aleali and Jeff Maier, 4/13/2020

On the hazards of life endured by the very rich, funded by the tax dollars of Trump's red hatted hordes

The Baltimore Sun:  Maryland’s confirmed coronavirus cases increase by 854, halting two days of decreasing figures, by Phil Davis, 4/20/2020

The Baltimore Sun:  Maryland doctors sound the alarm after seeing drop in heart attacks and strokes amid coronavirus pandemic, by Hallie Miller, 4/20/2020

Since the new coronavirus began tearing through Maryland communities, doctors say they’ve seen declines in the numbers of patients showing up in emergency rooms with symptoms of heart attacks and strokes.   And that worries them.

 

The number of people suffering from such symptoms likely hasn’t gone down that much, health care providers fear. Instead, they believe patients have chosen to avoid emergency room visits to their own detriment.

The Baltimore Sun:  With coronavirus spreading, Maryland Gov. Hogan signs order for expedited release of hundreds of prisoners, by Luke Broadwater, 4/19/2020

New York Times:  How Millions of Women Became the Most Essential Workers in America, by Campbell Robertson and Robert Gebeloff, 4/18/2020

One in three jobs held by women has been designated as essential, according to a New York Times analysis of census data crossed with the federal government’s essential worker guidelines. Nonwhite women are more likely to be doing essential jobs than anyone else.

 

The work they do has often been underpaid and undervalued — an unseen labor force that keeps the country running and takes care of those most in need, whether or not there is a pandemic.

The Detroit Free Press:  Mayor Duggan rejects National Guard offer to distribute food in Detroit, by Paul Egan, 4/17/2020

Gov. George Romney ordered the National Guard mobilized to Detroit in July 1967 amid five days of civil unrest and looting that left 43 people dead. Though frequently referred to as a riot, the disturbance is also known to many as the Detroit rebellion or uprising.

 

A police raid on an illegal after-hours bar was the immediate spark for the civil disturbance, but the riot also marked the release of years of building tension related to abuses by a nearly all-white Detroit police force and racial discrimination in jobs and housing.

The Atlantic:  New Zealand's Prime Minister May Be the Most Effective Leader on the Planet, by Uri Friedman, 4/19/2020

Fierce Biotech:  British government enlists AstraZeneca, BIA for new pandemic vaccine taskforce, by Ben Adams, 4/18/2020

More than 70 vaccine candidates are speeding their way through the early cycles of development...

New York Magazine:  Trump’s Plan to Contain the Coronavirus by Unleashing Anarchy Seems Risky, by Jonathan Chait, 4/17/2020

The source of Trump’s peripatetic swings is his inability to competently manage the pandemic. He wants to ease up on social-distancing rules soon, but public-health officials have unanimously insisted that doing so requires an effective testing system. (Otherwise, those states could be vulnerable to new outbreaks that could spread before state authorities have the chance to stop them.) But despite Trump’s absurd lies that the United States has the best tests in the world, and that other countries are trying to copy our tests, the testing system has been in a state of shambles all along.

The Washington Post:  ‘Liberate’: Trump tweets support of protests against stay-at-home orders, by Colby Itkowitz, 4/17/2020

In back-to-back tweets Friday morning, Trump wrote: “LIBERATE MINNESOTA” and then, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” and then, “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”

It’s unclear why Trump seems to be siding with the protesters given that the states in question have imposed restrictions that follow the recommendations laid out by Trump’s White House coronavirus task force last month that go by the name “The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines For America.”   The three states where Trump seemed to endorse civil unrest are considered battlegrounds in the presidential campaign. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Minnesota while Trump took Michigan, each by narrow margins. Clinton more easily won Virginia. 

USA Today:  Trump says he's 'OK' with Las Vegas shutdown after mayor calls it 'total insanity', by Bryan Alexander, 4/19/2020

"They closed a big hotel down in Nevada that I have in Las Vegas. It’s a very severe step he took. I’m OK with it," Trump said. "But you could call that one either way."

 

Nevada has 3,728 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 155 deaths. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman called on Governor Sisolak to immediately open the city for business Wednesday.

Daily Beast:  The Next Coronavirus Nightmare Is What Happens After the ICU, by Emily Shugerman and Michael Daly, 4/19/2020

Decades of research shows many of the sickest ICU patients will never return to their former selves. An ailment called Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) causes cognitive, physical, and psychological problems in up to 80 percent of all critical-care survivors. About a third never return to work.

 

According to the Society of Critical Care Medicine, between 30 and 80 percent of ICU survivors struggle with some sort of cognitive impairment after their stay. A year after being released from the ICU, a third of patients have cognitive test scores consistent with someone who suffered a traumatic brain injury, like a car crash. A quarter have test scores in the range of mild Alzheimer’s.

 

“I believe and I feel this with every part of me, that the same way there's been a surge in need for hospital beds, there's going to be a surge in need for rehab beds,” said Miguel Escalón, the vice chair of the rehabilitation department at Mount Sinai. “The question is, how will the system step up to meet this?” 

Daily Beast:  ‘Very, Very Scary’: Officials Dumbfounded as Florida Beaches Reopen, 3 Days After Death Spike, by Emily Shugerman, 4/18/2020

“When a person doesn’t believe in science, they do dumb things,” Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner Omari Hardy tweeted. “When a person in power doesn't believe in science, they do dumb things that hurt the public. This move is so dumb that I had to make sure it wasn’t fake news. You guys, it isn’t fake news.”

SciTechDaily:  New COVID-19 Test Accurately Detects Viral DNA in Minutes, American Chemical Society, 4/15/2020

Millions of people have been tested for the novel coronavirus, most using a kit that relies on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This sensitive method amplifies SARS-CoV-2 RNA from patient swabs so that tiny amounts of the virus can be detected. However, as the pandemic surges, this laboratory workhorse is showing signs of strain. Now, Jing Wang and colleagues are reporting a proof-of-concept study in ACS Nano. They have developed a potentially more accurate diagnostic based on plasmonic photothermal sensing. 

SciTechDaily:  Specialized Proteins May Halt the Severe Cytokine Storms Seen in COVID-19 Patients, by Anne Trafton, MIT, 4/19/2020

“As it turns out, our research initiated in April 2019 is directly relevant to the treatment of Covid-19 infected patients,” Zhang says. “Curiosity-driven, or even proactive research often leads to preparedness, which is key to preventing future disasters.”

 

The research was funded primarily by Avalon GloboCare, and also by a fellowship from the China Scholarship Council and Chongqing University, China.

QRB Discovery:  QTY code-designed water-soluble Fc-fusion cytokine receptors bind to their respective ligands, by Shilei Hao, David Jin, Shuguang Zhang and Rui Qing, April 9, 2020

Detroit Free Press:  On Sunday news programs, Gov. Whitmer says her strict stay home orders are working, by Kathleen Gray, 4/19/2020

"My stay-at-home order is one of the nation's more conservative, but the fact of the matter is it's working," she said on CNN's State of the Union. "We are seeing the curve start to flatten and that means we’re saving life. We know this curve was steep and now these efforts are making a difference and saving lives. We've got to continue doing it."

 

"This is an unprecedented crisis that we're confronting. The harsh way it's hitting my state means we've got to be really smart about the actions we take now to protect life and the actions we take to reengage," she said.

 

"We can't just turn back to what life was like before COVID-19," she said on NBC's Meet the Press. "We have to be strategic."

 

"We could double or triple the number of tests we could be doing daily, if we had the swabs and reagents," Whitmer said. "It would be incredibly helpful if the federal government would use the Defense Production Act to start producing these swabs and reagants so we can improve testing."

Detroit Free Press: Mitch Albom: The Michigan I know doesn't lose its head in a pandemic, by Mitch Albom, 4/19/2020

After less than seven weeks, our patience, in pockets, seems to be running out, and some of us are throwing angry protests and demanding freedom from this “protection,” and looking for a new golden calf to believe in, one rooted in anger, politics and an emotional knee-jerk leader, who says he’s leaving things to the states, then tweets out “LIBERATE MICHIGAN.”

Detroit Free Press:  GM's trim specialists have gone from sewing car seats to protecting lives, by Jamie L. Lareau, 4/19/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Family ravaged by coronavirus begged for tests, hospital care, but was repeatedly denied, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, 4/19/2020 

USA Today:  Students are weary of online classes, but colleges can't say whether they'll open in fall 2020, by Chris Quintana, 4/19/2020

Detroit Free Press: With 2,308 dead, Michigan stay-at-home critics file more lawsuits, by Tresa Baldas, 4/18/2020

"Four sheriffs out of 83 sheriffs, making a point, that's fine," Whitmer said on "Good Morning America" on Friday. "All I ask is let's not get overly political here. Let's focus on the public health."

 

She added:

 

"I know that there are a lot of businesses and people that are hurting right now. But the fact of the matter is, it's better to be six feet apart right now than six feet under."

Crooks & Liars:  Pastor Defends Asking Parishioners To Donate Their Stimulus Checks. It Did Not Go Well. By Red Painter, 4/19/2020

CNN's Victor Blackwell raked greedy Louisiana Pastor Tony Spell over the coals for his shocking greed.

 

Louisiana Pastor, Tony Spell, went on CNN on Sunday morning to try to defend his plea for to parishioners to give HIM their stimulus checks and suffice to say, it did not go well. Not only has Spell been begging for that sweet sweet socialist government money, but he has continued to bus people in for services, flouting CDC recommendations to limit large gatherings. His justification for bussing his cult members, I mean "congregants", is that they are "too poor" to have internet access, which could allow them to watch the Life Tabernacle Church services via a live stream.

 

So, of course, the best way to help your POOR congregants, is to ask the to donate their stimulus checks to YOU, who is definitely not poor, because why the heck not?

2020 04 16 JHU NewCovid19CasesandDeaths Twitter1024x2

 

The New York Times:  The Huge Cost of Waiting to Contain the Pandemic, by Britta L. Jewell and Nicholas P. Jewell, 4/14/2020

On March 16, the White House issued initial social distancing guidelines, including closing schools and avoiding groups of more than 10. But an estimated 90 percent of the cumulative deaths in the United States from Covid-19, at least from the first wave of the epidemic, might have been prevented by putting social distancing policies into effect two weeks earlier, on March 2, when there were only 11 deaths in the entire country.

 

The effect would have been substantial had the policies been imposed even one week earlier, on March 9, resulting in approximately a 60 percent reduction in deaths.

SciTechDaily:  Promising MERS Vaccine Candidate Might Be Able to Block Coronavirus Infections, American Society for Microbiology, 4/18/2020

Daily Beast:  A Nurse’s Texts Lay Bare the Coronavirus Horror at Nursing Homes, by Erin Banco, 4/18/2020

Detroit Free Press:  For this funeral home, there's no shortage of business. And it's never been so grim inside. By Nancy Kaffer, 4/18/2020

Daily Beast:  Trump Leads Pro-Plague States of America to a COVID Civil War, by Rick Wilson, 4/18/2020

First of all, you should understand that none of this—zero, zip, nada —is organic. None of this is real. Every bit of it is being pushed on Trump’s behalf via the twin modalities of our doom: Fox and Facebook.

 

Just as the Tea Party had a brief, organic origin story but was soon managed, harnessed, controlled and weaponized, so too is today’s Trump movement. The crowds showing up for these “liberation rallies” are lowing cattle, led down a chute to be fed or slaughtered, depending on the day. Their ignorance of their own state as philosophical zombies whose lives Trump is literally willing to sacrifice for a tiny bump in the stock market is breathtaking. Dying for a second-order economic effect will show the libs, right?

 

I’ve gotten in trouble before for calling them a bunch of credulous boomer rubes, but have a look at the demographic of any person at these stupid protests in pro-plague America; lily-white, assertively boomer, and as shrill as Tomi Lahren after an espresso colonic.

 

The first Civil War was against the vilest institution imaginable: a war to end a regime that treated humans as property, and waged at a horrific, bloody cost. Trump’s cosplayed civil war is against science, medicine, healthy public policy, and the desire to not have millions of Americans die in a preventable and shockingly resilient plague.

 

He wants his rebellion because it feeds into his brand of transgression and he believes it will benefit him politically; Donald Trump’s never tried to liberate a damn thing in his life except for banks from their money, porn stars from their panties, and rubes from their votes.

 

Let’s be clear about the things he’s going to do and the risks he is willing to take with the American people. Trump is telling us bluntly and plainly that he will stoke civil unrest to find a political pathway out of a galactic-scale fuck-up of his own making. He’s willing to let a disease that’s already killed 37,000 Americans due to his inaction and dishonesty spread further, faster, and more widely.

Daily Beast:  Parishioner of Louisiana Church That Defied Virus Lockdown Dies From COVID-19, But Pastor Claims It’s a Lie, by Rachel Olding, 4/17/2020

A parishioner who regularly attended services at a Louisiana mega-church that has made national headlines for defying social-distancing orders has died from coronavirus complications—but the church’s pastor claims it’s all a lie.

 

Tony Spell, the pastor of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, was issued a misdemeanor summons last month for repeatedly violating a state ban on large gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the charges, he has continued to hold services including an Easter Sunday gathering that he claimed 1,345 people attended.

 

He previously claimed that his church was not at risk of being infected because coronavirus was “politically motivated.” Ahead of his Easter service, he told Reuters: “Satan and a virus will not stop us... God will shield us from all harm and sickness. We are not afraid.”

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan juvenile lifer who died of coronavirus in prison was weeks away from parole, by Angie Jackson, 4/18/2020

Bridge Magazine:  Coronavirus live updates, April 18: Pregnant women turn to midwives during coronavirus, by Robin Erb, 4/18/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Map: Detroit releases coronavirus cases by ZIP code, by Kristi Tanner, 4/18/2020

Washington Post:  Give me liberty and give me death!, by Alexandra Petri, 4/17/2020

Yes, I would like things to be worse, please. I do not think things are bad enough, and I would like them to be worse. I look at the number of people who have died in this great state, and I think, frankly, it is a little low. People, if you want to be technical about it, who will never see their families again; people who were not done living; people who cannot be replaced and whose absence will bore an echoing hole through countless other lives — but what is that, weighed against my own convenience and my sense that things should be open rather than closed?

Washington Post:  Trump tells a damnable and murderous lie, by Dana Milbank

As Trump surely knows, and as I have learned from people with knowledge of the situation who spoke to me on the condition of confidentiality, 15 officials from his administration were embedded with the WHO in Geneva, working full time, hand-in-glove with the organization on the virus from the very first day China disclosed the outbreak to the world, Dec. 31.

 

At least six other U.S. officials at WHO headquarters dedicated most of their time to the virus, and two others worked remotely with the WHO on covid-19 full time.

 

In the weeks that followed, they and other U.S. government scientists engaged in all major deliberations and decisions at the WHO on the novel coronavirus, had access to all information, and contributed significantly to the world body’s conclusions and recommendations.

 

Everything that the WHO knew, the Trump administration knew — in real time.

 

As congressional investigators who requested WHO documents and communications are now learning, senior Trump administration officials — Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Robert R. Redfield Jr., Anne Schuchat, Ray R. Arthur and Jeffrey McFarland; the National Institutes of Health’s Anthony S. Fauci and H. Clifford Lane, and many others — consulted with the WHO throughout the crisis.

 

Trump has decided that reelection requires him to attack the World Health Organization at the height of a pandemic. Multitudes could die for his lie.

The Telegraph:  Exclusive: NHS rationing oxygen with doctors instructed to downgrade blood saturation targets, by Henry Bodkin, 4/17/2020

Demand due to coronavirus crisis has pushed oxygen systems close to their limit. NHS leaders have quietly instructed doctors to lower their targets for how much oxygen seriously ill patients should carry in their blood - a measure of fundamental health - to below levels regarded as “adequate”.

The Telegraph: How accurate are UK coronavirus death toll numbers? By Dominic Gilbert, Ashley Kirk and Henry Bodkin, 4/18/2020

Britain suffers deadliest week since records began as 16,387 deaths recorded in England and Wales in seven days to April 3

The Telegraph:  7,500 feared to have died of coronavirus in UK care homes, by Gabriella Swerling, 4/17/2020 

New data collated by Care England, the country's largest representative body for care homes, suggests the number of deaths from Covid-19 is five times higher than its previous estimate of 1,400 from earlier this week.

Washington Post:  Trump’s pandemic response underscores the crisis in global politics, by Ishaan Tharoor, 4/17/2020

There are understandable reasons for President Trump’s anger with the World Health Organization. The Geneva-based U.N. body has struggled to combat the coronavirus pandemic and, as my colleagues have reported, gave too much credence to China’s initial messaging around the outbreak. The WHO’s seeming acquiescence in its dealings with Beijing stoked the ire of not just Trump supporters in the United States, but critics elsewhere. Japan’s deputy prime minister recently called the WHO the “China Health Organization.”

 

But Trump’s dramatic declaration this week that he would halt critical funding to the WHO in the middle of the pandemic is proving unpopular. It puts him at odds with his own administration’s officials in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department — major agencies that recognize the importance of supporting and influencing the WHO in a time of shared crisis. And it underscores, yet again, Trump’s penchant for punishing or weakening multilateral, international institutions, even when it’s unclear what the United States gains from such disruption.

New York Times:  Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count, NYTimes Staff, 4/18/2020 

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security:  Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors, by Caitlin Rivers et al, 4/17/2020     [ https://twitter.com/JHSPH_CHS/status/1251178858490900480?s=20 ]

 

GM Ventec Life Systems Ventilator at Franciscan Health Olympia Fields Hospital

VOCSN critical care ventilator photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo, for General Motors.

Detroit Free Press:  GM just delivered its first medical ventilators: Where they went, by Jamie L. LaReau, 4/17/2020

General Motors has started delivering the critical care ventilators needed by some people hospitalized with COVID-19.

 

On Friday, GM delivered 10 ventilators to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields in Olympia Fields, Illinois, via UPS and will ship 10 more ventilators to Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago at the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

 

Franciscan Health Olympia Fields received its shipment Friday morning and Weiss Memorial received its shipment in the afternoon. A third shipment of 34 machines will be delivered by UPS to FEMA at the Gary/Chicago International Airport on Saturday for FEMA to distribute to locations in need.

Detroit Free Press:  Ford, GE get $336M contract to make 50K ventilators by July 4, by Eric D. Lawrence, 4/17/2020

Ford Motor Co. and GE Healthcare have been awarded a $336 million contract under the Defense Production Act to make 50,000 ventilators, a follow-up to an earlier announcement on the medical equipment.

 

A March 30 Detroit Free Press story described how the ventilators would be built, starting the week of April 20 with the help of 500 UAW members at Ford's Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti.

Detroit Free Press:  Auto companies wrestling a complex plan to restart the industry, by Jamie L. LaReau, 4/17/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Ford lost $2 billion in 1st quarter of 2020, by Eric D. Lawrence, 4/17/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit police have issued over 700 citations, shut down more than 24 parties, by Miriam Marini, 4/17/2020

WHMI:  Detmer Reposts Controversial Selfie, Defends Proud Boys, by Jon King, 4/16/2020

What's Detmer trying to explain away?  This.

Wikipedia:  Proud Boys

Afro-Cuban Web: Henry Tarrio aka Enrique Tarrio  

Southern Poverty Law Center: Proud Boys

WHMI:  Local Landscaper Included In Suit Filed Against Governor, Prosecutors, 4/17/2020

Times of Israel:  US alerted Israel, NATO to disease outbreak in China in November — TV report, 4//17/2020

Information on the disease outbreak was not in the public domain at that stage — and was known only apparently to the Chinese government.

 

US intelligence informed the Trump administration, “which did not deem it of interest,” but the report said the Americans also decided to update two allies with the classified document: NATO and Israel, specifically the IDF.

 

Last week, ABC News reported that US intelligence officials were warning about the coronavirus in a report prepared in November by the American military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence.

Business Insider:  The Trump administration paid a bankrupt company with zero employees $55 million for N95 masks, which it's never manufactured, by John Haltiwanger, 4/16/2020

Washington Post:  In coronavirus scramble for N95 masks, Trump administration pays premium to third-party vendors, by Isaac Stanley-Becker, Desmond Butler and Nick Miroff, 4/15/2020

The price that FEMA is paying Panthera per mask, about $5.50, is significantly higher than what the government pays companies such as 3M, which charges as little as 63 cents per N95 mask, with an average cost of about $1.50 for more advanced models, according to a price index. Prestige Ameritech, the largest domestic mask manufacturer, is charging FEMA about 80 cents per mask for the government’s order of 12 million N95 respirators, part of a $9.5 million contract that started April 7.

Detroit Free Press:  Trump tweet calls to 'Liberate Michigan' amid stay home order resistance, by Todd Spangler and Kathleen Gray, 4/17/2020

Daily Beast:  Trump Calls For Reopening America’s Gyms Day After Call With SoulCycle’s Owner, by Lachlan Markay, 4/17/2020

Though the document said gyms could open “if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols,” their inclusion nevertheless struck public health experts as bizarre.

 

“Gyms are like a petri dish,” said Laurence Gostin, the director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University. “People are close to one another, they’re sweating, they’re coughing and sneezing, they’re touching multiple surfaces, they’re sharing equipment, they’re indoors. Literally all of the heightened risk factors for COVID transmission are all entwined together in a gym.”

 

The decision on gyms came a day after Trump’s phone call with 16 business leaders including Bahram Akradi, chief executive of health club chain Life Time, and Stephen Ross, the founder and chairman of the Related Companies. That firm’s broad portfolio includes a vast swath of commercial and residential real estate properties, as well as Equinox Holdings, which owns its own eponymous chain of luxury gyms as well as fitness brands SoulCycle, Blink Fitness, and Pure Yoga.

Detroit News:  Whitmer extends ban on evictions until May 15, by Christine MacDonald, 4/17/2020

Whitmer late Friday also extended an order until May 15 prohibiting price gouging, which in most cases includes selling products at 20% more than what was paid March 9.

Detroit News:  Detroit reports lowest COVID-19 increase in more than a month, by  Beth LeBlanc, 4/17/2020

Detroit News:  Nurses suspended for refusing COVID-19 care without N95 mask, by Martha Mendoza and Kimberlee Kruesi, 4/16/2020

Detroit News:  Another 219K people filed for unemployment last week in Michigan, by Christine MacDonald and Beth LeBlanc, 4/16/2020

The total statewide stands at 1,041,015 claims,roughly a quarter of the state's work force.

Pew Research Center:  Most Americans Say Trump Was Too Slow in Initial Response to Coronavirus Threat, 4/16/2020

Quinnipiac Poll:  Fauci, Governors get highest marks for response to coronavirus. Poll finds majority say Trump's response not aggressive enough. 4/8/2020

Detroit News:  Trump says Pelosi to blame for deaths over Chinatown advocacy, by Josh Wingrove, Bloomberg, 4/16/2020

New York Times:  ‘They’re Death Pits’: Virus Claims at Least 7,000 Lives in U.S. Nursing Homes, by Farah Stockman, Matt Richtel, Danielle Ivory and Mitch Smity, 4/17/2020

“They’re death pits,” said Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York who founded the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, an education campaign aimed at stopping hospital-acquired infections. “These nursing homes are already overwhelmed. They’re crowded and they’re understaffed. One Covid-positive patient in a nursing home produces carnage.”

 

In New Jersey, 17 bodies piled up in a nursing home morgue, and more than a quarter of a Virginia home’s residents have died. At least 24 people at a facility in Maryland have died; more than 100 residents and workers have been infected at another in Kansas; and people have died in centers for military veterans in Florida, Nevada, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington.

 

On Friday, New York officials for the first time disclosed the names of 72 long-term care facilities that have had five or more deaths, including the Cobble Hill Health Center in Brooklyn where 55 people have died. In New Jersey, officials revealed that infections have broken out in 394 long-term facilities — almost two-thirds of the state’s homes — and that more than 1,500 deaths were tied to nursing facilities.

 

Employees at some facilities have stopped coming to work. In California, 83 patients with the virus had to be evacuated from a nursing facility in Riverside County after only one of 13 scheduled certified nursing assistants appeared at work, public health officials said. Sixteen employees and dozens of patients had tested positive days earlier.

New York Times:  Coronavirus Outbreak at Virginia Nursing Home Spirals Out of Control as 45 Die, by Danielle Ivory, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughts and Mitch Smith, 4/14/2020

New York Times:  29 Dead at One Nursing Home From the Virus. Or More. No One Will Say, by John Leland, Amy Julia Harris and Tracey Tully, 4/17/2020

Berna Lee got the call from the nursing home in Queens on April 3: Her mother had a fever, nothing serious. She was assured that there were no cases of coronavirus in the home. Then she started calling workers there.

 

“One said, ‘Girl, let me tell you, it’s crazy here,’” Ms. Lee said. “‘Six people died today.’”

Detroit News:  4 Michigan sheriffs, another lawsuit challenge Whitmer's stay-home order, by Beth LeBlanc, 4/16/2020 

New York Times:  ‘You Have to Disobey’: Protesters Gather to Defy Stay-at-Home Orders, by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Jeremy W. Peters, 4/17/2020

As President Trump and some of his supporters push for a more rapid return to pre-coronavirus economic activity, protesters in several states took to the streets this week to urge governors to relax the strict rules on commerce, work and daily life that health officials have said are necessary to save lives.

 

The rallies reflected both economic frustrations and political divides. At recent rallies in Ohio, New York and Michigan, many organizers and demonstrators, some who came armed, were aligned with anti-government activists on the right and libertarian groups. Some had affiliations with the Tea Party and displayed the “Don’t Tread on Me” logo that was an unofficial slogan for the movement. At least one protester in Michigan waved a Confederate flag with the image of a gun. Others waved banners in support of Mr. Trump and protested Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat who has been a target of Mr. Trump’s ire, by chanting, “Lock her up.”

 

Ms. Whitmer has tried to tie the protest to Betsy DeVos, the nation’s education secretary, noting that the Michigan Freedom Fund was linked to the DeVos family. Mr. McNeilly, its chairman, has worked for Ms. DeVos in various capacities for more than two decades but said it was false to suggest any connection between the DeVos family and the protest.

 

Of course.

The Washington Post:  President Trump made 18,000 false or misleading claims in 1,170 days, by Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly, 4/14/2020

As of April 3, Trump’s 1,170th day in office, our database shows that he has made 18,000 false or misleading claims. That’s an average of more than 15 claims a day, though since our last update 75 days ago, he’s been averaging just over 23 claims a day. That’s slightly higher than the 22 a day he recorded in 2019.

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse:  Joint Tax Committee breakdown shows 4 OUT OF 5 tax filers that benefit make $1 million or more; A wealthy few would receive an average windfall of $1.6 MILLION - dwarfing bill’s $1,200 payments for working Americans, 4/14/2020

“For those earning $1 million annually, a tax break buried in the recent coronavirus relief legislation is so generous that its total cost is more than total new funding for all hospitals in America and more than the total provided to all state and local governments,” said Doggett. “Someone wrongly seized on this health emergency to reward ultrarich beneficiaries, likely including the Trump family, with a tax loophole not available to middle class families. This net operating loss loophole is a loser that should be repealed.”

New York Post:  Over 43,000 US millionaires will get ‘stimulus’ averaging $1.6 million each, by Lee Brown, 4/16/2020

At least 43,000 American millionaires who are too rich to get coronavirus stimulus checks are getting a far bigger boost — averaging $1.6 million each, according to a congressional committee

 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act trumpeted its assistance for working families and small businesses, but it apparently contains an even bigger benefit for wealthy business owners, the committee found.

 

The act allows pass-through businesses — ones taxed under individual income, rather than corporate — an unlimited amount of deductions against their non-business income, such as capital gains, the Washington Post said. They can also use losses to avoid paying taxes in other years.

New York Post:  WHO warns coronavirus antibody may not prove immunity, by Laura Italiano, 4/17/2020 

The World Health Organization warned Friday that coronavirus antibody tests are basically useless when it comes to proving immunity — news that dampens hopes that the tests can show when and if it’s safe for someone to leave quarantine.

Detroit Free Press:   Metro Detroit funeral homes overwhelmed amid coronavirus deaths, by Keith Matheny, 4/17/2020

New York Post:  Age, obesity are biggest risk factors for COVID-19 hospitalization, by Melissa Malamut, 4/13/2020

Daily Beast:  The Coronavirus Shows Why We Have to Tackle the Obesity Crisis, by Qanta Ahmed, 4/17/2020

Every critical care specialist attending COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit where I have been filling in as an intensive care physician for the past two weeks makes the same observation: Our patients seem almost universally obese, while most ill but stable patients elsewhere in the hospital have lower body masses.

 

Critical care doctors in other parts of the country, as well as my colleagues in Europe, report seeing the same thing.

 

New research backs up the anecdotal observations. Data from my institution, NYU Langone, shows that body mass consistent with even early obesity in the setting of coronavirus infection makes a patient three times more likely to need intensive care medicine, suggesting a more severe clinical course.

 

The 1957 Asian flu pandemic and the 1968 Hong Kong flu pandemic showed that obese people were more often infected and more likely to succumb to the viral infection. More recently, obesity was linked to hospitalization and death rates in the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

medRxiv:  Factors associated with hospitalization and critical illness among 4,103 patients with COVID-19 disease in New York City, by Petrilli et al, 4/11/2020 

Clinical Infectious Diseases:  Obesity in patients younger than 60 years is a risk factor for Covid-19 hospital admission, by Lighter, et al, 4/9/2020

Daily Beast:  Trump’s Culture Warriors Are a Literal Death Cult Now, by Michael Tomasky, 4/17/2020

Death is every authoritarian’s last play. An authoritarian leader makes demands of his people. They must cheer more lustily than non-authoritarian people cheer. They must salute in a particular way. They must exonerate him of all error, whether stupidly invading Russia or massively screwing up a pandemic response or shooting someone on Fifth Avenue. And finally, they must prove they are willing to at least flirt with death, if the leader’s hold on power requires it. It’s the final demand on loyalty, and every authoritarian gets there eventually, in one way or another, even those forced to operate within democratic contexts.

 

Thus, the question of the 2020 election, as Trump and his party attempt to frame it: Are you manly enough to sneer at death, like real men do in the movies...

Daily Beast:  What’s Behind Trump’s Baffling New Power Grab, by Matt Lewis, 4/17/2020

Daily Beast:  Army Decides a Pandemic Is a Good Time to Give GOP Donors $569 Million to ‘Build the Wall’, by Spencer Ackerman, Noah Shachtman and William Bredderman, 4/16/2020

In the middle of a pandemic that has killed 27,000 Americans and counting, the Army this week gave a politically connected Montana firm half a billion dollars—not to manufacture ventilators or protective gear to fight the novel coronavirus, but to build 17 miles of President Trump’s southern border wall.

 

On Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it awarded BFBC, an affiliate of Barnard Construction, $569 million in contract modifications for building “17.17 miles” of the wall in two California locations, El Centro and San Diego. That works out to over $33 million per mile—steeply above the $20 million-per-mile average that the Trump administration is already doling out for the wall. Construction is supposed to be completed by the end of June 2021.

 

And it’s only the latest wall contract the firm has gotten. BFBC, a reliable contributor to Republican politicians, has gotten over $1 billion in taxpayer money in less than a year to build a mere 37 miles worth of wall. Scott Amey, the general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight, urged federal watchdogs to investigate the new BFBC contract.

Pennsylvania reporter digs into the phony grass roots of Lansing White Gun Rights and Trump Rally, 4/15/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Thousands converge on Lansing to protest Whitmer's stay home order, by Paul Egan and Kara Berg, 4/15/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Trump tweet calls to 'Liberate Michigan' amid stay home order resistance, by Todd Spangler, 4/17/2020

Detroit Free Press:   Chinese Americans in Michigan donate more than 200,000 masks, supplies, by Niraj Warikoo, 4/17/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Nicholas Nathaniel James Sr., born in black bottom Detroit, dies from COVID-19, by Brendel Hightower, 4/17/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit area hospitals resuming surgeries, procedures after weeks of red ink, by Jennifer Dixon and Kristen Jordan shamus, 4/17/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan begins tracking probable COVID-19 deaths and cases, by Elisha Anderson and Gina Kaufman, 4/17/2020

For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will track probable, but unconfirmed, coronavirus cases and deaths and plans to start providing data next week.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan coronavirus cases: Tracking the pandemic, by Pat Byrne, Brian McNamara, Brian Todd and Kristi Tanner, 4/16/2020

Detroit Free Press: Did someone else just get your stimulus money? If you took out a tax refund loan, read on, by Susan Tompor, 4/16/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Some stimulus checks are being sent to wrong accounts: 'The bank account number is not even close', by Dalvin Brown and Josh Peter, 4/16/2020

The Atlantic:  The Best Hopes for a Coronavirus Drug, by Sarah Zhang, 4/8/2020

bioRxiv:  A SARS-CoV-2-Human Protein-Protein Interaction Map Reveals Drug Targets and Potential Drug-Repurposing, 3/27/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Mayor Duggan says Detroit will plan a memorial service after pandemic ends, by ML Elrick and Elissa Robinson, 4/16/2020

The Atlantic:  A New Statistic Reveals Why America’s COVID-19 Numbers Are Flat, by Robinson Meyer and Alexis C. Madrigal, 4/16/2020

America’s 20 percent positivity rate is disquieting. The U.S. did almost 25 times as many tests on April 15 as on March 15, yet both the daily positive rate and the overall positive rate went up in that month. If the U.S. were a jar of 330 million jelly beans, then over the course of the outbreak, the health-care system has reached in with a bigger and bigger scoop. But every day, 20 percent of the beans it pulls out are positive for COVID-19. If the outbreak were indeed under control, then we would expect more testing—that is, a larger scoop—to yield a smaller and smaller proportion of positives. So far, that hasn’t happened.

Detroit Free Press:  Immigrant parents with coronavirus fight to live, leaving kids on their own, by Niraj Warikoo, 4/16/2020

Both parents are on ventilators. Their mother, Nada, 46, is at Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Warren Campus, while their father, Nameer, 52, is more than 50 miles away at University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor.

Detroit Free Press Opinion:  Our coronavirus solidarity is mostly a myth, by Brian Dickerson, 4/16/2020

"We're in this together," elected leaders from both parties tell us ad nauseum. But that's mostly a lie.

 

The fault lines that divided us when this nightmare began — fault lines that have long quarantined Michiganders by geography, by class, by political party and by race — persist, and in many ways the pandemic has sharpened them.

 

If you listened carefully, you could hear the baritone echo of the late L. Brooks Patterson, who once ventured that Michiganders could treat Detroit like "an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn."

Doctor pleading with gridlockers to unblock the Sparrow hospital Level 1 Trauma Center Access

Sparrow Hospital Trauma Center Doctor Pleading with Tea Party Gridlocker

to allow Ambulances into Sparrow's Trauma Center

 

Detroit Free Press Opinion:  Hey, Michigan Capitol protesters: Next time stay in your cars, by Shawn Windsor, 4/16/2020

The protesters had every right to be there and, apparently, the right to stand shoulder-to-shoulder — except for those carrying semi-automatics, who stood gun-to-gun. For the most part, protesters stayed in their vehicles, content to jam the streets and honk.

 

Yet watching a couple hundred gather on the Capitol grounds — largely unmasked, including state police — should remind us why Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order got stricter last week:

 

We. Don’t. Listen.

 

Not to politicians. Not to doctors. Not to scientists. Not to each other.

Detroit Free Press:  Senate Republicans offer 5-phase plan to restart Michigan's economy, by Kathleen Gray, 4/16/2020

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, called the GOP plan a misstep on a particularly deadly day.

 

“On the day that Michigan reached 2,000 dead, Senate Republicans issued a haphazard plan that has no input from the frontline responders who are saving lives every day," he said. "I said from the beginning that we’re going to get though this together. One man’s idea is not a plan.”

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus death toll in Michigan exceeds 2,000; now nearly 30,000 cases, by Orion Sang, 4/16/2020

Detroit Free Press:  How a Michigan Senate task force would get people back to work amid coronavirus crisis, by Kathleen Gray, 4/16/2020  

Detroit Free Press:  Senate Republicans offer 5-phase plan to restart Michigan's economy, by Kathleen Gray, 4/16/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Oakland County stops COVID-19 data leak, by Orion Sang, 4/16/2020

The leak included information about positive coronavirus cases relating to gender, race, age, address and mortality status.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan company thinks it may have found a coronavirus treatment drug, by Meredith Spelbring, 4/16/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Republicans introduce bills to strip power from Whitmer, but she promises a veto, by Kathleen Gray, 4/16/2020

The bills introduced in both the House and Senate would repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act, which gives wide power to the governor to declare a state of emergency in times of “great public crisis.”

 

Another bill would amend the Emergency Management Act of 1976, which allows the governor to declare a state of emergency for up to 28 days, to reduce the number of allowable days to 14.

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit Police Chief James Craig opens up on coronavirus recovery: 'I kept pushing back', by Tresa Baldas, 4/16/2020

Detroit Free Press:  2020 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City canceled over coronavirus concerns, by Meredith Spelbring, 4/16/2020

Daily Beast:  Cuomo Extends New York’s Shutdown as Hundreds More Die, by Pilar Melendez, 4/16/2020

New York's “stay-at-home” order has been extended to May 15.

Daily Beast:  Cuomo: All New Yorkers Must Wear Face Masks in Public, by Pilar Melendez, 4/15/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Infection rate at Michigan prison exceeds New York, Chicago jail hot spots, by Angie Jackson and Kristi Tanner, 4/15/2020

At Parnall Correctional Facility near Jackson, 10% of prisoners and 21% of staff have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Detroit Free Press analysis of Department of Corrections data.

 

The percentage of the incarcerated population sickened by the novel coronavirus at Parnall has surpassed the 7% infection rate at the Cook County jail in Chicago, which The New York Times described last week as the largest known source of infections in the United States.

 

Parnall’s rate is also higher than that of Rikers Island and other New York City jails, which have a collective infection rate of 8%, according to the Legal Aid Society. Like Chicago, New York City’s jail system has a higher COVID-19 case count and a population more than twice as large as Parnall.

Reuters:  Exclusive: U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak, by Marisa Taylor, 3/22/2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several months before the coronavirus pandemic began, the Trump administration eliminated a key American public health position in Beijing intended to help detect disease outbreaks in China, Reuters has learned.

 

The American disease expert, a medical epidemiologist embedded in China’s disease control agency, left her post in July, according to four sources with knowledge of the issue. The first cases of the new coronavirus may have emerged as early as November, and as cases exploded, the Trump administration in February chastised China for censoring information about the outbreak and keeping U.S. experts from entering the country to help.

 

“It was heartbreaking to watch,” said Bao-Ping Zhu, a Chinese American who served in that role, which was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2007 and 2011. “If someone had been there, public health officials and governments across the world could have moved much faster.”

 

Zhu and the other sources said the American expert, Dr. Linda Quick, was a trainer of Chinese field epidemiologists who were deployed to the epicenter of outbreaks to help track, investigate and contain diseases.

 

Quick left amid a bitter U.S. trade dispute with China when she learned her federally funded post, officially known as resident adviser to the U.S. Field Epidemiology Training Program in China, would be discontinued as of September, the sources said. The U.S. CDC said it first learned of a “cluster of 27 cases of pneumonia” of unexplained origin in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31.

New York Times:  The $349 billion lending program for small businesses has run out of funds. 4/16/20

Congress initially allocated $349 billion for the program, which was intended to provide loans to businesses with 500 or fewer employees. The money went quickly, with more than 1.4 million loans approved as of Wednesday evening.

New York Times:  Navy May Reinstate Fired Captain to Command of Roosevelt, by Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt and Thomas Gibbons-Neff, 4/16/2020

Navy officials insist that Admiral Gilday will make a decision based on the findings of the investigation into the Roosevelt crisis, and not on what he believes the president wants him to do.

 

As of Wednesday, 615 Roosevelt crew members have tested positive for the coronavirus; five are in the hospital with one in intensive care, and one has died.

Bloomberg:  U.S. Jobless Claims Top 5.2 Million, Erasing Decade of Job Gains, by Katia Dmitrieva, 4/16/2020

More than 5 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total in the month since the coronavirus pandemic throttled the U.S. economy to 22 million and effectively erasing a decade worth of job creation.

 

The four-week sum compares with roughly 21.5 million jobs added during the expansion that began in mid-2009.

Bloomberg:  Carnival Executives Knew They Had a Virus Problem, But Kept the Party Going, by Austin Carr and Chris Palmeri, 4/16/2020

Around lunchtime on March 5, the ship’s captain, John Smith, announced a quarantine over the ship’s public address system. All 2,422 passengers needed to go to their cabins to shelter in place.

 

In February, another of its ocean liners, the Diamond Princess, accounted for more confirmed Covid-19 infections than any nation except for China.

Crain's Detroit:  Duggan addresses $348 million shortfall: Cut pay and hours, lay off 200 part-time and temporary employees, by Annalise Franks, 4/16/2020

For one, Detroit's three casinos are temporarily closed and the city relies on $600,000 in tax revenue from them per day alone. Duggan said that means Detroit is getting "hit harder" than nearly any other city. Plus, income tax revenue is expected to drop 13 percent and revenue sharing from the state 11 percent.

 

900 of Detroit's eight thousand City employees will have their hours reduced to 10 percent, which Duggan said is in order to keep their health insurance. Another 1,300 will work four days a week, working 80 percent of hours and getting 80 percent of pay. Executives making over $125,000 will take a 5 percent pay cut — that includes Duggan. Another 5,500 will keep all hours and pay but won't get a pay increase July 1

Crain's Detroit:  Whitmer: Michigan revenues could drop $7 billion in next 18 months, by Dave Eggert, 4/16/2020

LANSING — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state's revenues could drop by $7 billion over the next 18 months, as she urged President Donald Trump to work quickly with Congress to send more federal aid to states and municipalities.

 

In a letter announced late Wednesday, written with other Democratic governors in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, Whitmer said Michigan's revenues could drop by $3 billion this fiscal year and $4 billion the next budget year.

 

State and local governments are being hit with a double-whammy: reduced revenues caused by the coronavirus pandemic's economic havoc and additional costs of fighting it. They received a total of $150 billion in a federal rescue law, along with added federal payments for state Medicaid budgets, but advocates for states and cities have said it will not be sufficient.

 

Without additional aid, the governors wrote, "the damage to our state economies will be exacerbated by the cuts we know we will be forced to make."

Crain's Chicago:   Midwest governors form COVID coalition. By Greg Hinz, 4/16/2020

As Crain’s has reported, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been reaching out to his Midwest counterparts to coordinate efforts. Today, the coalition becomes official, with Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Wisconsin’s Tony Evers, Tim Walz of Minnesota, Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Kentucky’s Andy Beshear signing on to a multistate pact.

Detroit Free Press:  Governor takes action as COVID-19 threatens Michigan's long-term care facilities, by Elisha Anderson and Gina Kaufman, 4/15/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Infection rate at Michigan prison exceeds New York, Chicago jail hot spots, by Angie Jackson and Kristi Tanner, 4/15/2020

New York Times:  After Anonymous Tip, 17 Bodies Found at Nursing Home Hit by Virus, by Tracey Tully, 4/15/2020

There have been 68 recent deaths of residents and nurses from the facility in a small New Jersey town.

2020 04 15 JHU NewCovid19CasesandDeaths

- Johns Hopkins University

 

 

Detroit Free Press:  Detroit hospitals are laying off workers by the hundreds even as pandemic rages, by Jennifer Dixon, Robin Erb, and Kristen Jordan Shamus, 4/16/2020

Livingston Daily:  St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital offering drive-through coronavirus screening without referral, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/15/2020

New York Times:  Trump Announces His ‘Opening the Country’ [by spewing North Korean grade slogans] Council, by Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman, 4/14/2020

"a future of unparalleled American prosperity.”

New York Post:  Pregnant nurse dies of coronavirus — but baby saved after c-section, by Sam Raskin, 4/15/2020

New York Post:  Johnson & Johnson plans to have 600-800 million coronavirus vaccines by 2021, by Noah Manskar, 4/15/2020

Anyone who's lost their shirts investing in biotech appreciates how little this promise means.

New York Post:  Newly discovered coronavirus mutation could threaten vaccine race, study says, by Sam Raskin, 4/14/2020

Washington Post:  What it’s like to suffer from the coronavirus’s weirdest symptom, by Maura Judkis, 4/14/2020

In a consultation with Dr. Google, she learned that a sudden loss of taste and smell can be a sign of the novel coronavirus.

LA Times:  Coronavirus could halt L.A. concerts, sporting events until 2021, [Los Angeles Mayor] Garcetti says, by Dakota Smith, Ben Welsh, 4/15/2020 

Los Angeles may hold off on allowing big gatherings until 2021 because of the coronavirus threat, according to an internal Los Angeles Fire Department email reviewed by The Times.

MIT Technology Review:  Explainer: How does the coronavirus work?, by Neel V. Patel, 4/15/2020

MLive:  Michigan toddler spiked 107-degree fever with coronavirus, ‘battle lasting forever', by Edward Pevos, 4/15/2020

FARMINGTON HILLS, MI - Luke Schreiber’s parents didn’t think their thermometer could possibly be right. There was no way their toddler could be registering a 107.1 temperature. And he couldn’t possibly have COVID-19 at his age, could he?

MLive:  Whitmer responds to frustrations over Michigan’s coronavirus stay-at-home order: ‘We will get through this', by Lauren Gibbons, 4/13/2020

MLive:  Where to pick up marijuana curbside in Ann Arbor, by Dana Afana, 3/30/2020

MLive:  Michigan is smoking more marijuana than any other state during coronavirus pandemic, survey says, by Brandon Champion, 3/23/2020

Geotagged twitter data was analyzed to arrive at the conclusion.  More than 200,000 tweets since March 1 were tracked, specifically tweets and hashtags about using marijuana.

MLive:  Michigan marijuana shops to remain open with ‘essential’ businesses amid coronavirus stay-at-home order, by Gus Burns, 3/23/2020

MLive:   Michigan temporarily allowing curbside marijuana pickup amid coronavirus concerns, by Gus Burns, 3/16/2020

Washington Post:  There are so many coronavirus myths that even Snopes can’t keep up, by Elahe Izadi, 4/15/2020

Washington Post:  CDC, FEMA have created a plan to reopen America. Here’s what it says. By Lena H. Sun, Josh Dawsey and William Wan, 4/14/2020

Bridge Magazine: Detroit Medical Center to furlough 480 employees during coronavirus crisis, by Robin Erb, 4/15/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Free Press reporter got COVID-19 while covering virus, details agony of it, by Tresa Baldas, 4/15/2020 

NBC News:  Bishop who preached 'God is larger than this dreaded virus' dies of COVID-19, by Ben Kesslen, 4/14/2020

Bishop Gerald O. Glenn of The New Deliverance Evangelistic Church near Richmond, Virginia died the day before Easter.

 

The Bishop had held a service on March 22, where in a sermon given to a crowd of congregants he said, “I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus,” according to CBS affiliate WTVR. The next day, Virginia banned gatherings of 10 or more, but had already been encouraging social distancing. Virginia did not issue a stay-at-home order until a week later, and has seen at least 149 COVID-19 related deaths.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan surpasses 1,900 deaths due to coronavirus; 28,059 cases total in state, by Miriam Marini, 4/15/2020

Michigan coronavirus deaths average age: 73.5 years old, median age: 75

Detroit Free Press:  Car dealers reinvent car-buying in the coronavirus era, 4/15/2020 

Washington Post:  The brewing state battles over how to hold elections in a pandemic, by Amber Phillips, 4/15/2020

Washington Post:  Live updates: Va. governor extends shutdown order for nonessential businesses until May 8; D.C. extends public health emergency until May 15, by Dana Hedgpeth and Ann E. Marimow, 4/15/2020

Washington Post:  Coronavirus destroys lungs. But doctors are finding its damage in kidneys, hearts and elsewhere. By Lenny Bernstein, Carolyn Y. Johnson, Sarah Kaplan and Laurie McGinley.

Blocked Ambulance on Grand 2200 04 15 604x519 33pct

 

New York Post: Protesters clog streets in Michigan over Whitmer coronavirus stay-home order, by Mark Moore, 4/15/2020

WHMI:  Local Republican Congressional Candidate Defends Controversial Photo, by Jon King, 4/16/2020

WHMI, AP:  Hate Groups Rally with Howell Republican Congressional Candidate at Lansing Tea Party Protest, by Jon King, 4/15/2020

Southern Poverty Law Center:  "Who are the Proud Boys"?

Detroit Free Press:  Thousands converge on Lansing to protest Whitmer's stay home order, by Paul Egan and Kara Berg, 4/15/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Vehicle protests at Michigan Capitol over Gov. Whitmer stay home order, 4/15/2020

Reuters:  U.S. may need to extend social distancing for virus until 2022, study says, 4/15/2020

The study added that even in the case of “apparent elimination”, SARS-CoV-2 surveillance should still be maintained, as a resurgence in contagion may be possible as late as 2024.

Reuters:  Oil in the age of coronavirus: a U.S. shale bust like no other, by Jennifer Hiller, Liz Hampton, 4/15/2020 

Washington Post:  The myth of rural America’s protection from the coronavirus, by Philip Bump, 4/15/2020

Washington Post:  GOP congressman says he puts saving American ‘way of life’ above saving lives from the coronavirus, by Megan Flynn, 4/15/2020

"But it’s always the American government’s position to say, in the choice between the loss of our way of life as Americans and the loss of life of American lives, we have to always choose the latter.”

New York Post:  Ohio stops Pennsylvania residents from crossing state line to buy booze, by Kenneth Garger, 4/14/2020

New York Post:  Coronavirus cases skyrocket in South Dakota after governor dismisses quarantine measures, by Vincent Barone, 4/14/2020

The number of confirmed cases in the state has risen from 129 to 988 since April 1 — when Gov. Kristi Noem criticized the “draconian measures” of social distancing to stop the spread of the virus in her state.

 

Noem had criticized the quarantine idea as “herd mentality, not leadership” during a news conference, adding, “South Dakota is not New York.”

 

The state is now home to one of the largest single clusters of coronavirus outbreaks, with 300 workers at a ­pork processing plant infected with the deadly bug, according to the Washington Post.

New York Post:  Kitchen worker likely to blame for Ruby Princess coronavirus outbreak, by Amanda Woods, 4/14/2020

“It is a very unfortunate outcome but at the time that that ship sailed, which was March 8, from memory, there was COVID-19 well and truly,” Hazzard told the outlet. “Journalists were talking about it and I as health minister was working hard on it, and it is unfortunate that people went out cruising at that particular point.”

Washington Post:  A D.C. public defender describes terrible conditions at the city’s jail, by Rodney Balko, 4/14/2020

A staff member still hand-searched all of my belongings, without washing or sanitizing their hands before or after. The corrections officers who handed me my visitor badges used their bare hands. The hand-sanitizer dispenser in the CDF lobby was empty and, as usual, there were no paper towels in the CTF lobby bathroom. When new staff came to change shifts at the end of my visit, a half-dozen or so of them crowded into the cramped lobby of the jail, some with less than a foot of space between them. In the CDF visitation area, three people worked side-by-side in an enclosed office about 10 feet square, with no masks or gloves. A sign at the intake desk at CTF proclaimed that the facility has been disinfected, and had a cleaning log attached. The last cleaning date logged was March 24, 2020. That was more than a week before my visit.

Washington Post:   Weed is deemed ‘essential’ in California, but many pot businesses are on the brink of failure, by Reed Albergotti, 4/14/2020

Just a month ago, it looked like California’s weed trade was headed for a shutdown, which would have landed a devastating blow to many businesses that are already struggling. Then, state officials deemed pot “essential,” and many stores reported the biggest days of sales since recreational marijuana became legal. Now, a more sobering reality is setting in: The marijuana industry is unable to tap into a federal stimulus package or bank loans.

Washington Post:  Cannabis industry experiencing many highs and lows as coronavirus shutdown continues, 4/14/2020

As the novel coronavirus rages on, few industries are experiencing quite as many highs and lows as the cannabis industry.

Washington Post:  Neither party controls the political narrative now. The virus does. By Matt Bai, 4/14/2020

Washington Post:  When the coughing stops and the sense of helplessness begins, by Craig Spencer, 4/13/2020

You try to look him in the eyes, but your goggles fog. “Hey, is there anyone I can call for you?” You get his wife on FaceTime. She sees her husband of 47 years. Breathing fast. Struggling. Alone. She hears the alarms of patients on life support in the background, struggling to stay alive. She sees you in a mask, gown and gloves.

Washington Post:  What an infectious disease specialist learned about the virus — from getting it, by Michael S. Slag, 4/6/2020

This will not be the last time a virus skips from animal to human. It should be the last time we are so unprepared. But even for a doctor like me, the experience has been a humbling lesson that medicine has limits. Mother Nature rules. We can modify and lessen the symptoms, but her power is far greater than ours.

 Washington Post Opinion:  The second-most-dangerous contagion in America: Conservative irrationality, by Max Boot, 4/12/2020

The most dangerous contagion we now confront is the coronavirus, which has killed more than 20,000 Americans and thrown more than 16 million out of work. The second-most-dangerous contagion is the conspiracy-mongering, hostility to science and outright irrationality promulgated by President Trump and his loudmouth media enablers. It will take intensive contact tracing to follow the spread of crackpot ideas: Is Trump infecting the cable news hosts, or are they infecting him?

Washington Post Opinion:  The important question isn’t when the government is going to lift restrictions. It’s this. By Megan McArdle, 4/14/2020

How can I help the government do what it needs to?

 

By supporting politicians who propose solutions instead of days on the calendar.

Daily Beast:  How the Porn World Is Helping Fight Coronavirus, by Aurora Snow, 4/12/2020

Medium:  Meta-Analyses Reveal Who Should Be More Cautious of COVID-19, by Shin Jie Yong, 4/12/2020

To translate what they have reported, COVID-19 patients with cerebrovascular (or blood vessel) diseases have a 289% increased odds (or 3.89 times more likely) to progress into a more severe condition. Likewise for the rest:

 

Cardiovascular disease: 193% increased odds (or 2.93 times more likely).

 

Hypertension: 129% increased odds (or 2.29 times more likely).

 

Diabetes: 147% increased odds (or 2.47 times more likely).COPD: 497% increased odds (or 5.97 times more likely). 

Reuters:  'Elbow to elbow:' North America meat plant workers fall ill, walk off jobs, Tom Polansek, Rod Nickel, 4/13/2020

At a Wayne Farms chicken processing plant in Alabama, workers recently had to pay the company 10 cents a day to buy masks to protect themselves from the new coronavirus, according to a meat inspector.

Reuters:  New Zealand's Prime Minister Ardern, ministers take 20% pay cut for six months due to coronavirus impact, Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Gerry Doyle, 4/14/2020

Prospect:  Your Coronavirus Check Is Coming. Your Bank Can Grab It., by David Dayen, 4/14/2020

USA Today:  Lawsuit: 3M says mask vendor tried to sell respirators for 600% list price, by Michael L. Diamond, 4/13/2020

USA Today:   Can these 10 retailers avoid permanent store closings amid coronavirus pandemic? By Nathan Bomey, 4/14/2020

Camilla Yanushevsky, a retail stock analyst for CFRA Research, said the fallout for retail will be “pretty striking” after several years of mass closures.

 

“I think a lot of people are going to be more hesitant to go into stores, specifically malls or more closed areas, until a vaccine comes out,” Yanushevsky said. “We’ve already seen a big shift to e-commerce and that’s just going to proliferate more for safety reasons.”

 

Jim Van Horn, a bankruptcy attorney at Barnes & Thornburg who has handled retail restructuring cases, also predicted a wave of bankruptcies. But he said they won’t happen until the pandemic has somewhat ebbed, if only because retailers and their creditors wouldn’t want to risk a liquidation until going-out-of-business sales could occur.

 

“Once we turn the corner on COVID-19, there will be a tremendous amount of bankruptcy activity,” he said.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan surpasses 27,000 coronavirus cases; death toll now at 1,768, by Chris Solari, 4/14/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus live updates, April 14: Michigan sees another surge in cases, deaths, by Tanya Wildt, 4/14/2020    

Detroit Free Press:  22,000 surgical masks sent to U-M from strategic national stockpile are unusable, by Kristen Jordan Shamus and Robin Erb, 4/14/2020

Mary Masson, a spokeswoman for the Ann Arbor-based health system, said a shipment of 22,000 ear-loop surgical masks arrived last week from the federal stockpile.  About 2,000 of the masks were distributed to health care workers, Masson said, but "we found them to be less durable and so have removed as many as possible from inventory and are not distributing the rest.

 

This comes amid reports nationally that nearly 6,000 medical masks shipped from the national stockpile to Alabama had dry rot, and that faulty elastic on masks sent to Oregon made them unusable, according to the New York Times. It also reported 150 ventilators sent to Los Angeles were broken when they arrived and had to be repaired before they could be used.

Detroit Free Press:  More than a quarter of Michigan's workforce has filed unemployment claims, by Frank Witsil, 4/14/2020

Michigan now has one of the highest numbers of unemployment claims, behind only California and Pennsylvania, withmore than a quarter of its workforce filing for benefits, the state's labor department head said.

Detroit Free Press:  Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore closes trails, picnic areas due to crowding, by Andrea Perez Balderrama, 4/14/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Oakland County to require essential workers to wear face coverings, by Frank Witsil, 4/14/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Beaumont sidelines hospital in Wayne as coronavirus surge slows, by Kristen Jordan Shamus and Robin Erb

A field hospital planned at the Suburban Collection Showplace convention center in Novi will open with just 250 beds, less than a quarter of what it could accommodate. On Tuesday, the 1,000-bed Detroit field hospital at the TCF Center was treating just eight patients.

Detroit Free Press: Union chief says McLaren Macomb hospital to lay off operating and recovery room nurses, by Jennifer Dixon and Kristen Jordan Shamus, 4/14/2020

WLFI Indiana:  Lafayette, Indiana Man Waiting for Stimulus Check Finds Millions Deposited to his Account, by Meredith Hackler, 4/14/2020

Washington Post:  The high price of keeping Detroit moving, by Greg Jaffe and Annie Gowen, 4/13/2020

Eric Colts glanced down at the disinfectant spray bottle at his side as he guided his bus through the dark, quiet city. Before the pandemic, he had loved his job, which now felt like being "locked in a 40-foot-long coronavirus incubator."

 

Only a few hours earlier, his best friend and fellow bus driver, Jason Hargrove, had died of covid-19.

Detroit News: Strip clubs want piece of coronavirus aid, sue feds, by Robert Snell, 4/12/2020

Washington Post:  In a week, the coronavirus razed U.S. transit and rail systems, by Luz Lazo and Justin George, 3/22/2020

Washington Post:  FAA says 11 air traffic facilities affected by coronavirus outbreak, by Michael Laris, 3/21/2020

Washington Post:  Covid-19 checkpoints targeting out-of-state residents draw complaints and legal scrutiny, by Luz Lazo and Katherine Shaver, 4/14/2020

Washington Post:  More than 9,000 U.S. health-care workers have been infected with the coronavirus, by Ariana Eunjung Cha, 4/14/2020

Washington Post:  More than 2,100 U.S. cities brace for budget shortfalls due to coronavirus, survey finds, with many planning cuts and layoffs, by Tony Romm, 4/14/2020

Nearly 9 in 10 cities surveyed — from smaller hubs with populations of fewer than 50,000 to the largest metropolitan areas in the country — signaled they expect a revenue shortfall. Among them, more than 1,100 cities are preparing to scale back public services, the survey found. Almost 600 cities predicted they may have to lay off some government workers amid the crunch. Local leaders in 1,000 cities said the reductions probably would affect their local police departments and other public safety agencies.

The Atlantic:  This Is Trump’s Fault, by David Frum

"I don’t take responsibility at all,” said President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden on March 13. Those words will probably end up as the epitaph of his presidency, the single sentence that sums it all up.

Washington Post:  In unprecedented move, Treasury orders Trump’s name printed on stimulus checks, by Lisa Rein, 4/14/2020

Washington Post:  The $1,200 stimulus checks are arriving. People are mostly spending them on food, by Heather Long, 4/14/2020 

Washington Post:  Trump and Kushner could reap a pandemic windfall, by Dana Milbank, 4/14/2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) have insisted that Congress spend another $250 billion on small businesses devastated by the pandemic, but they refuse to “renegotiate unrelated programs” from last month’s emergency coronavirus bill.

 

What are they afraid of?

 

Well, maybe it’s this: As the dust settles on the $2.2 trillion legislation, it has become clear that one of its largest provisions, a $170 billion tax giveaway, appears to be tailor-made for the benefit of wealthy real estate investors such as President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

 

The giveaway, primarily to real estate investors and hedge funds, is larger than the total amount in the legislation for hospitals ($100 billion) and for relief for all state and local governments ($150 billion). Worse, the bonanza for these millionaires and billionaires has little to do with the coronavirus: It lets them offset losses not just from 2020 but from 2018 and 2019, before the pandemic.

 

But this provision gives tax filers who earn more than $1 million a year an average windfall of $1.6 million this year alone. (Compare that with the $1,200 break the average wage earner gets.) As The Post’s Jeff Stein reported Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Taxation found that 82 percent of the benefit of this and another tax giveaway in the coronavirus relief bill will go to the 43,000 taxpayers who earn more than $1 million — and just 3 percent to those who earn less than $100,000.

Washington Post:  Tax change in coronavirus package overwhelmingly benefits millionaires, congressional body finds, by Jeff Stein, 4/14/2020

The provision, inserted into the legislation by Senate Republicans, temporarily suspends a limitation on how much owners of businesses formed as “pass-through” entities can deduct against their nonbusiness income, such as capital gains, to reduce their tax liability. The limitation was created as part of the 2017 Republican tax law to offset other tax cuts to firms in that legislation.  

 

Suspending the limitation will cost taxpayers about $90 billion in 2020 alone, part of a set of tax changes that will add close to $170 billion to the national deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the nonpartisan congressional body.

Forbes:  The Washington Post Goes Rogue: China Lab In Focus Of Coronavirus Outbreak, by Kenneth Rapoza, 4/14/2020

The first, mysterious samples from infected individuals arrived at Wuhan Institute of Virology on December 30, 2019. Shi Zhengli, a renown bat scientist in China, was told by the Institute’s director that the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention — modeled after our own CDC — had detected a novel coronavirus in two hospital patients. They were suffering from an odd pneumonia.

Scientific American:  How China’s “Bat Woman” Hunted Down Viruses from SARS to the New Coronavirus, by Jane Qiu, 3/11/2020

Wuhan-based virologist Shi Zhengli has identified dozens of deadly SARS-like viruses in bat caves, and she warns there are more out there.  

 

The pathogen hunters have discovered hundreds of bat-borne coronaviruses with incredible genetic diversity. “The majority of them are harmless,” Shi says. But dozens belong to the same group as SARS. They can infect human lung cells in a petri dish, cause SARS-like diseases in mice, and evade vaccines and drugs that work against SARS.

Washington Post:  Trump said hospitals were just fine. Then his own White House guest said family died after being turned away. By Aaron Blake, 4/14/2020

Michigan state Rep. Karen Whitsett (D) has become something of a celebrity on Trump-friendly media like Fox News for praising Trump and crediting her hydrocholoroquine treatment with her recovery from covid-19, the disease the virus causes, even though she comes from the other major political party. But while her anecdotal account has fed optimism about the unproven treatment, other things she said Tuesday contradicted the assurances we’ve been getting from Trump and others in his administration.

 

Whitsett said during a White House roundtable Tuesday that she was grateful for the treatment she received. But she also said certain members of her family haven’t been so lucky.

 

“I’ve lost several family members to covid — all in one household,” she said. “My cousin, Cheryl Fowler, was in ICU. She lost her husband. He was turned away from numerous hospitals, as was she — over four times. And within six hours, she lost her father-in-law, who was turned away numerous times.”

Washington Post:  How false hope spread about hydroxychloroquine to treat covid-19 — and the consequences that followed, by Elyse Samuels and Meg Kelly

Washington Post:  State Department cables warned of safety issues at Wuhan lab studying bat coronaviruses, by Josh Rogin, 4/14/2020

Two years before the novel coronavirus pandemic upended the world, U.S. Embassy officials visited a Chinese research facility in the city of Wuhan several times and sent two official warnings back to Washington about inadequate safety at the lab, which was conducting risky studies on coronaviruses from bats.

 

In January 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing took the unusual step of repeatedly sending U.S. science diplomats to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), which had in 2015 become China’s first laboratory to achieve the highest level of international bioresearch safety (known as BSL-4). WIV issued a news release in English about the last of these visits, which occurred on March 27, 2018. The U.S. delegation was led by Jamison Fouss, the consul general in Wuhan, and Rick Switzer, the embassy’s counselor of environment, science, technology and health. Last week, WIV erased that statement from its website, though it remains archived on the Internet.

 

The research was designed to prevent the next SARS-like pandemic by anticipating how it might emerge. But even in 2015, other scientists questioned whether Shi’s team was taking unnecessary risks. In October 2014, the U.S. government had imposed a moratorium on funding of any research that makes a virus more deadly or contagious, known as “gain-of-function” experiments.

 

“The cable was a warning shot,” one U.S. official said. “They were begging people to pay attention to what was going on.”

 

No extra assistance to the labs was provided by the U.S. government in response to these cables.

Wired:  Coronavirus Testing Is Coming Closer to Your Doctor's Office, by Amos Zeeberg, 4/14/2020

MLive:  Photos of body bags lined up in Detroit hospital rooms make national headlines, by Justine Lofton, 4/14/2020 

CNN:  Photos show bodies piled up and stored in vacant rooms at Detroit hospital, by Ryan Young, Jake Carpenter and Paul Murphy, 4/14/2020

MLive:  Michigan AG’s office has received more than 3,500 complaints for price-gouging related to coronavirus, by Matt Durr, 4/14/2020

MLive:  Recently expired driver’s licenses, plate tabs OK in Michigan during coronavirus pandemic, by Lauren Gibbons, 4/13/2020

MLive:  1 dead and 10 residents, 4 staff sick in COVID-19 outbreak at Ann Arbor senior home, by McKenna Ross, 4/14/2020

Officials confirmed Tuesday, April 14, that 11 residents of Glacier Hills’ care and rehabilitation center tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Two residents were hospitalized and tested positive for the virus there. One resident died at the hospital.

Guardian:  Donald Trump: 'When somebody is president of the United States, the authority is total' – video, 4/14/2020

MLive:  6 reasons Michigan has four times more coronavirus cases than Ohio, by Julie Mack, 4/14/2020

Ohio has 17% more residents than Michigan.  Its first confirmed case of coronavirus COVID-19 was Feb. 15, more than three weeks before coronavirus came to Michigan. 

 

Yet as of April 13, Michigan had 24,638 confirmed cases of coronavirus compared to 6,518 in Ohio.  Why?

Lansing State Journal: Protesters to 'gridlock' streets around Capitol to protest Whitmer's stay-home order, by Kara Berg, 4/13/2020

Livingston Daily:  Prosecutor: Number of domestic violence cases have increased during COVID-19 outbreak, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/14/2020

Livingston Daily:  A sixth Livingston County resident has died from COVID-19, the state announced Tuesday, the third in as many days, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/14/2020

Statewide, the number of confirmed cases increased by 1,366 for a total of 27,001. MDHHS reported 1,768 deaths from the virus, an increase of 166 from Monday.

LA Times:  Fake cures, scams, phony medications and price gouging: Predators pounce during coronavirus, by Matthew Ormseth, Joel Rubin, 4/13/2020

LA Times:  Poker player Chris Hunichen wants to raise coronavirus awareness. So he bet on death, by Bill Shaikin, 4/13/2020

LA Times:  4% of homeowners stop making mortgage payments amid coronavirus shutdowns, Bloomberg, 4/13/2020 

On Thursday, analysts from JPMorgan Chase & Co. wrote that the use of forbearance is likely to rise along with unemployment, and “many servicers would be unable to sustain six months of forbearance advancements on 10% to 20% of their book.”   

LA Times:  Appeals court blocks Oklahoma COVID-19-related abortion ban, AP, 4/14/2020  

LA Times:  Guam worries as sailors from coronavirus-hit Roosevelt take over hotels, AP, 4/14/2020

The carrier has been docked in the U.S. territory for more than a week as the 4,865-person crew is tested for the virus and moved ashore. More than 580 sailors have been confirmed infected. A member of the crew died Monday of complications related to COVID-19.

LA Times:  Chris Cuomo just wants his COVID-19 battle to be over: ‘It is in my head’, by Christi Carras, 4/14/2020 

LA Times:  Construction crews back on the job in Spain, but rebuilding work life won’t be simple, by Claudia Núñez, 4/14/2020

LA Times:  Coronavirus kills annual 4/20 marijuana holiday: ‘Do not come to San Francisco,’ mayor warns, by Hannah Fry, 4/14/2020

During a news conference Monday, San Francisco Mayor London Breed issued a stern warning to others hoping to get baked in the City by the Bay: “We will not tolerate anyone coming to San Francisco for 4/20 this year.”

LA Times:  Coronavirus is attacking nursing homes with poor infection track records in L.A. County, by Jack Dolan, Brittny Mejia, 4/14/2020

The vast majority of skilled nursing facilities battling outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in Los Angeles County have been cited in recent years for violating federal safety rules on preventing infections, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of nursing home data.

LA Times:  Emergency room doctor, near death with coronavirus, saved with experimental treatment, by Richard Read, 4/13/2020

“This is a movie-like save, it doesn’t happen in the real world often,” Padgett said. “I was just a fortunate recipient of people who said, ‘We are not done. We are going to go into an experimental realm to try and save your life.’"

 

Based on the astronomical level of inflammation in his body and reports written by Chinese and Italian physicians who had treated the sickest COVID-19 patients, the doctors came to believe that it was not the disease itself killing him but his own immune system.

 

It had gone haywire and began to attack itself — a syndrome known as a “cytokine storm.”

 

The immune system normally uses proteins called cytokines as weapons in fighting a disease. For unknown reasons in some COVID-19 patients, the immune system first fails to respond quickly enough and then floods the body with cytokines, destroying blood vessels and filling the lungs with fluid.

 

The doctors tried a drug called Actemra, which was designed to treat rheumatoid arthritis but also approved in 2017 to treat cytokine storms in cancer patients.

 

“Our role was to quiet the storm,” said Dr. Samuel Youssef, a cardiac surgeon. “Dr. Padgett was able to clear the virus” once his immune system was back in balance.

 

Dr. Matt Hartman, a cardiologist, said that after four days on the immunosuppressive drug, supplemented by high-dose vitamin C and other therapies, the level of oxygen in Padgett’s blood improved dramatically. On March 23, doctors were able to take him off life support.

LA Times:  ‘We don’t have a king’: Governors in states slammed by coronavirus hit back at Trump, by David Wharton, 4/14/2020 

Reiterating his claim of “total authority,” Trump started the day with a series of tweets that, among other things, compared any resistance from the states to a “good old fashioned mutiny.”

 

Within hours, prompted by reporters’ questions, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo fired back.

 

“We do not have a king in this country,” Cuomo said at his daily news conference. “That has been a topic discussed since our founding fathers ... we didn’t want a king, so we have a Constitution.”

 

Daily Beast:  Can Putin Survive His Bungling of Coronavirus?, by Amy Knight, 4/14/2020

“What a bastard, as if it was not Putin who depleted health spending in favor of military production.”
— Russian journalist Yevgenia Albats

Daily Beast:  The Latest Coronavirus Fad is Adults Drinking Breast Milk, by Emily Shugerman, 4/14/2020 

Daily Beast:  The Founding Fathers Wrote the Tenth Amendment To Protect America from Donald Trump, Sophia A. Nelson, 4/14/2020 

“When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that is the way it’s gonna be,” Trump bellowed. “It’s total. It’s total. And the governors know that.”

 

When further asked if any governors had agreed that he has the authority to force them to reopen, Trump said that he didn’t ask anybody because, “I don’t need to.”

Daily Beast:  Trump the Narcissistic Authoritarian Statist Declares He Has ‘Total’ Authoritym, by Rick Wilson, 4/14/2020

If you watched President Donald Trump’s daily press briefing Monday, you know that even by his abysmal standards this was the loudest siren yet, a warning that the man occupying the Oval Office is more suited to a very long, involuntary stay in an inpatient mental-health facility than the presidency of the United States.

 

What you saw was the real Trump, unbound by facts, reason, logic, the law, or the Constitution, a petty bitch picking petty fights with reporters, a bard of his own songs of grievance and anger.

 

It wasn’t just the campaign video the White House tried to air—kudos to the networks who cut away—in a desperate attempt to rewrite the history of his delays, deceptions, and denials in the wake of COVID-19. That alone would have been remarkable in some other era. It wasn’t the fake-heroic narrative rewrite that only he saw the danger coming.

 

All of that was expected. He’s a desperate, day-trading gambler, fumbling for any hook to change the inevitable judgment of history sweeping toward him like an implacable wave. His mistakes are measured in lives. His hubris and self-interest are tallied in stacks of body bags and a daily death count that surpasses our capacity for grief and belief. His two months of lies led to a wrecked economy and a wave of financial despair that will make people crave the tender mercies of the Great Depression.

 

There were two big reveals Monday. First, Trump’s sweeping—and by sweeping I mean in the same way that a meteor the size of Texas once smacked into the Gulf of Mexico and killed all life on Earth above the cellular level—claim of absolute, total, super-duper extra-strong bigly executive power.

 

It’s a common trope among conservatives to talk about the intent of the Founders. Monday should be a reminder that those Founders approached executive power with enormous caution and were diligent in the creation of a constitutional system in which no branch held “absolute authority.”

 

“When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total” would have left them wondering just why we threw off the yoke of monarchy in the first place, and whether today’s leaders remembered and understood the intent of their creation.

 

When authority is total, so too is the madness of the man who declares it, and the potential for abuse of power.

Daily Beast:  Trump Didn’t Like Azar’s Warnings. So He Disappeared Him. By Eleanor Clift, 4/14/2020

The more we learn about what went on behind the scenes during the critical early days of the coronavirus pandemic, the more Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar had emerged as a rare and unlikely hero pushing the White House for an early response.

 

Speaking truth to power has its price in the Trump administration. The former Eli Lilly executive was shouted down by White House aides as “alarmist” and sidelined by Jared Kushner, Mike Pence and others willing to give the president a more rosy view. And on Sunday night, Trump lashed out at Azar by name for the first time, following a New York Times report that Azar had “directly warned Mr. Trump of the possibility of a pandemic during a call on Jan. 30, the second warning he delivered to the president about the virus in two weeks.”

 

As the Washington Post reported in its deep dive into the administration’s response during the first 70 days of the coronavirus pandemic (which this column draws heavily from), Azar first learned from the director of the CDC, Robert Redfield, in a phone call on or about Jan. 1 that an unknown respiratory illness was sickening people in Wuhan.

 

Azar had his chief of staff notify the National Security Council and by Jan. 7 had begun convening a task force that included Redfield and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the now famous infectious disease scientist from the NIH. By mid-January, they had begun drafting contingency plans to enforce the Defense Production Act.

Washington Post:  South Dakota’s governor resisted ordering people to stay home. Now it has one of the nation’s largest coronavirus hot spots. By Griff Witte, 4/13/2020

As governors across the country fell into line in recent weeks, South Dakota’s top elected leader stood firm: There would be no statewide order to stay home.

 

Such edicts to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Kristi L. Noem said disparagingly, reflected a “herd mentality.” It was up to individuals — not government — to decide whether “to exercise their right to work, to worship and to play. Or to even stay at home.”

 

And besides, the first-term Republican told reporters at a briefing this month, “South Dakota is not New York City.”

 

But now South Dakota is home to one of the largest single coronavirus clusters anywhere in the United States, with more than 300 workers at a giant ­pork-processing plant falling ill. With the case numbers continuing to spike, the company was forced to announce the indefinite closure of the facility Sunday, threatening the U.S. food supply.

Fierce Biotech:  FDA quickly authorizes its 2nd blood filtering device for COVID-19, by Conor Hale, 4/13/2020

Shortly after granting an emergency authorization to Terumo BCT’s blood filtering device for COVID-19, the FDA did the same for CytoSorbents’ system. Both are designed to strip out the immune system proteins that fuel the deadly cytokine-storm reactions associated with the disease.  CytoSorbents describes its filters as “plug-and-play compatible” with most blood purification devices or pumps found in the ICU, such as dialysis hardware or the lung-supporting extracorporeal membrane oxygenation hardware known as ECMO machines.

Fierce Biotech:   Celltrion plans July COVID-19 trial, advances 'super antibody, by Nick Taylor, 4/13/2020

The timeline puts Celltrion on track to be one of a number of companies that begin clinical tests of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies over the summer months. Regeneron is set to start a clinical trial as early as June, while AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline are all involved in projects that could reach human testing later in the summer.

Fierce Biotech:  Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine trial starts enrolling high-dose arm, by Nick Paul Taylor, 4/14/2020

A phase 1 trial of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate has begun enrolling subjects at the highest dose.

 

Vaccines were a key application of Moderna’s mRNA platform before the emergence of the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. But the biotech’s leading role in efforts to develop a prophylactic that could enable humanity to fully escape the current crisis has increased interest in its vaccine work. Moderna is sharing an update on the full scope of that work today at a virtual event.

 

Ahead of the event, Moderna issued a statement about the progress of its vaccines, revealing the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-led phase 1 study of its COVID-19 candidate mRNA-1273 has begun enrolling subjects to receive the highest dose. The trial has three arms that are administering doses of 25 mcg, 100 mcg and 250 mcg.

 

When NIH revealed it had dosed the first subject in the trial on March 16, it said it planned to enroll participants over approximately six weeks. Today, Moderna said the study “continues on track.”

Fierce Biotech:  New Gilead remdesivir COVID-19 data show up old problems with limited data, by Nick Taylor, 4/13/2020

Gilead Sciences has posted data on 53 severe COVID-19 patients who received remdesivir on a compassionate use basis. Gilead Sciences began accepting requests from clinicians for compassionate use of remdesivir on January 25, 2020. More than two-thirds of the patients improved after receiving remdesivir, although the lack of a control arm makes it hard to tell what role the antiviral played in their recoveries.

 

Remdesivir, a nucleotide analogue prodrug originally tested in Ebola patients, has emerged as one of the top near-term hopes of improving outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Responding to the dire need, Gilead has made remdesivir available to more than 1,700 people on a compassionate use basis while also providing it to subjects in its own clinical trials and those run by other sponsors.

New England Journal of Medicine:  Compassionate Use of Remdesivir for Patients with Severe Covid-19, 4/10/2020

This report is based on data from patients who received remdesivir during the period from January 25, 2020, through March 7, 2020.

 

Remdesivir is a prodrug of a nucleotide analogue that is intracellularly metabolized to an analogue of adenosine triphosphate that inhibits viral RNA polymerases.

CNN: Photos show bodies piled up and stored in vacant rooms at Detroit hospital, by Ryan Young, Jake Carpenter and Paul Murphy, 4/13/2020

Daily Beast:  Trump Uses Coronavirus Briefing to Play Batshit Campaign Ad Attacking Press, by Hunter Woodall, Justin Baragona and Asawin Suebsaeng, 4/13/2020

LATimes: Trump stokes up his blame game for the coronavirus, by Eli Stokols, Noah Bierman, 4/13/2020

“He sits around and he watches the news, and he needs to stop doing that,” said Barry Bennett, a former campaign advisor for Trump.

MLive:  Gov. Whitmer partners with 11 states to ask for special national open enrollment period for health insurance, by Matt Durr, 4/13/2020

MLive:  Michigan unemployment website crashes as eligibility expansion causes ‘very heavy volume’ by Justin P. Hicks, 4/13/2020

MLive:  Michigan health care system launches study testing for coronavirus antibodies, by Justin P. Hicks, 4/13/2020

MLive:  New Michigan coronavirus cases under 1,000 again, but deaths are back up, Taylor DesOrmeau, 4/13/2020 

The virus is heavily affecting African Americans. About 33 percent of cases and 39 percent of deaths in Michigan are for African Americans, while they make up 14 percent of the state’s population.

 

2. Oakland County: 5,073 cases (347 deaths)
5. Washtenaw County: 736 cases (18 deaths)

 

MLive’s coronavirus data page.

The New York Times:  Facing testing backlogs, sick patients wait all night in their cars at drive-through sites. Then they wait more, 4/13/2020

The New York Times:  Business leaders and the C.D.C. warn the economy will recover slowly, even as pressure grows to reopen it, 4/13/2020

The New York Times:  'It's People, People, People' as Lines Stretch Across America, by Jack Healy, 4/12/2020 

Daily Beast:  How the Hunt for a Coronavirus Vaccine Could Go Horribly Wrong, by Rachel M. Cohen, 4/12/2020

Anti-vaxxers are ready to pounce if the furious push for a COVID-19 fix runs into trouble.

Daily Beast:  Here’s How We Extricate Ourselves From This Lockdown, by Olivia Messer, 4/13/2020

The Guardian:  White House Deputy Spox says Trump will not fire Fauci, 4/13/2020

The Guardian:  Progressive groups ask Congress for $4bn to fund vote-by-mail efforts, 4/13/2020

The Guardian:  New York governor Andrew Cuomo and several other governors of north-eastern states convened a conference call this afternoon, to discuss a regionally coordinated plan to reopen the economy, 4/13/2020

The Guardian:  Trump adviser Peter Navarro defends US response but gets slam dunked in an angry CBS interview, by Martin Pengelly, 4/13/2020

Trump’s coronavirus tsar Peter Navarro defended the administration’s pandemic response on CBS on Sunday night, angrily challenging his hosts to show him how they had covered pandemic preparations under previous administrations.

 

So 60 Minutes did.

 

“I challenge you,” said Navarro, “show me the 60 Minutes episode a year ago, two years ago, or during the Obama administration, during the Bush administration that said, ‘Hey, global pandemic’s coming, you gotta do X, Y and Z, and, by the way, we gotta shut down the economy to fight it.

 

“Show me that episode. Then you’ll have some credence in terms of attacking the Trump administration for not being prepared.”

 

60 Minutes duly ran clips from a 2009 feature on the fight against H1N1, or swine flu – “a pandemic, meaning it’s a global epidemic, the first flu pandemic in 41 years” – and a 2005 section on H5N1, or avian flu, which the show said had “the potential to cause an influenza pandemic similar to the one that killed 50 million people in 1918”.

 

The 2005 piece included an interview with Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who is now a leading public health expert in the Trump White House, under increasing fire from the president. 

Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters:   Chinese Scientists Determine COVID-19 Main Protease Structure and Potential Drugs to Combat the Virus, SciTechDaily, 4/13/2020

Mpro, a key coronavirus enzyme, plays a pivotal role in mediating viral replication and transcription, making it an attractive antiviral drug target. To identify new drug leads for targeting Mpro in the COVID-19 virus, the researchers initiated a program of combined structure-assisted drug design, virtual drug screening and high-throughput screening.

 

Using computer-aided drug design, the researchers identified a mechanism-based inhibitor, N3, and subsequently determined the crystal structure of COVID-19 virus Mpro in complex with this compound on January 26. The subsequent publication of this information represents the first 3D structure from the COVID-19 virus available in the public domain.

 

Using a combination of structure-based virtual and high-throughput screening, the scientists then assayed over 10,000 compounds, including approved drugs, drug candidates in clinical trials, and other pharmacologically active compounds, as potential inhibitors of Mpro. Among the compounds studied, six inhibited Mpro with IC50 values ranging from 0.67 to 21.4 μM. The compound ebselen also exhibited promising antiviral activity in cell-based assays.

 

In this study, the convergence of structure-based ab initio drug design, virtual screening and high-throughput screening was proved to be an efficient strategy for finding antiviral leads to combat the COVID-19 virus. The methods presented can greatly accelerate finding drug leads with clinical potential to fight new emerging infectious diseases that currently lack specific drugs and vaccines.

 

The team publicly released the list of candidate drugs on January 25 and the structure of the COVID-19 virus Mpro on January 26, in advance of officially releasing the results.

 

Before the Mpro structure was officially released on the Protein Data Bank (PDB), the team decided to provide its research data to over 300 research teams from academia to industry worldwide to help to accelerate the global research combating pandemic. By doing this, the team propelled research efforts around the world by helping clinicians, vaccine researchers and other professionals get a better understanding of the new virus.

Nature:  Structure of Mpro from COVID-19 virus and discovery of its inhibitors, Zhenming Jin, Xiaoyu Du, ... , 4/9/2020

Authors:  Zhenming Jin, Xiaoyu Du, Yechun Xu, Yongqiang Deng, Meiqin Liu, Yao Zhao, Bing Zhang, Xiaofeng Li, Leike Zhang, Chao Peng, Yinkai Duan, Jing Yu, Lin Wang, Kailin Yang, Fengjiang Liu, Rendi Jiang, Xinglou Yang, Tian You, Xiaoce Liu, Xiuna Yang, Fang Bai, Hong Liu, Xiang Liu, Luke W. Guddat, Wenqing Xu, Gengfu Xiao, Chengfeng Qin, Zhengli Shi, Hualiang Jiang, Zihe Rao and Haitao Yang, 9 April 2020, Nature. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2223-y

The Detroit Free Press:  Beaumont says it's launching nation's biggest study on COVID-19 antibodies: What it means, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, 4/13/2020

The Detroit Free Press:  Michigan's stay-at-home order: We answer 20 frequently asked questions, by Paul Egan, 4/13/2020

The New York Times:  Trump reposts a message on Twitter that is critical of Dr. Fauci., 4/12/2020

Mr. Trump retweeted a message from a former Republican congressional candidate. “Fauci is now saying that had Trump listened to the medical experts earlier he could’ve saved more lives,” said the tweet by DeAnna Lorraine, who got less than 2 percent of the vote in an open primary against Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month. “Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US at large. Time to #Fire Fauci.”

 

In reposting the message, Mr. Trump added: “Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up.”

 

Mr. Trump did not “ban China,” but he did block non-American citizens or permanent residents who had been in China in the past 14 days from coming into the United States starting on Feb. 2. Despite the policy, 40,000 Americans and other authorized travelers have still come into the country from China since that order.

The New York Times:  At one of the largest pork processing plants in the U.S., 238 employees got the virus. Now, it’s closing., 4/12/2020

The operator of one of the country’s largest pork processing plants said on Sunday that it would shut down its facility in Sioux Falls, S.D., after 238 workers tested positive for the coronavirus. South Dakota’s governor said the outbreak represented more than half of the active cases in her state.

 

The plant, which is run by Smithfield Foods Inc., has 3,700 employees and produces 130 million servings of food per week, accounting for 4 to 5 percent of pork production in the United States, the company said.

 

“The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,” Mr. Sullivan said. “It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running. These facility closures will also have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions for many in the supply chain, first and foremost our nation’s livestock farmers.”

The New York Times Magazine:   The Slur I Never Expected to Hear in 2020, by Cathy Park Hong, 4/12/2020

“In Korea,” she told me, “we look at you funny if you’re not wearing a mask in public. We think you’re being selfish.”

Detroit Free Press:  Death toll rises as coronavirus sweeps through Michigan nursing homes, Gina Kaufman, Christina Hall, Elisha Anderson and Kristi Tanner, 4/12/2020

In Wayne County — not including Detroit, which has its own health department — 35% of all of the county's confirmed COVID-19 deaths had been nursing home residents

Detroit Free Press:  Fears of 'Wild West' as COVID-19 blood tests hit the market, by Matthew Perrone, 4/12/2020

The Atlantic:  The City That Has Flattened the Coronavirus Curve, by Russell Berman, 4/12/2020

Mayor London Breed’s early and aggressive moves to contain the outbreak have made San Francisco a national model in fighting the pandemic.

Detroit Free Press:  Hefty stay-at-home order, curfew fines come at tough economic time, ACLU says, by Darcie Moran, 4/12/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Life, death and love in the age of the coronavirus, by Georgea Kovanis, 4/12/2020

Processing the coronavirus test administered after his death on March 16 took several days. When the results finally came back, they were just as Julie had suspected: Eric had COVID-19. Which meant he died two days before the Southgate man the state counts as the first person to die from the coronavirus.

 

If only he'd been tested when he was sick, thought Julie. "I think he'd still be alive. I don't think he would have gotten to the point of difficulty breathing."

Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus cases surpass 24,000 in Michigan, death toll climbs to nearly 1,500, by Miriam Marini, 4/12/2020

The state warns that the decrease in daily cases and deaths reported reflects a reduction in the number of lab tests being conducted over the weekend and holiday...   Death demographics are in the report.

The Mercury News:  When coronavirus kills, it’s like death by drowning — and doctors disagree on best treatment, by Lisa M. Krieger, 4/11/2020

In a comparison of very sick patients in China, shortness of breath began around the seventh day of their illness, with sepsis starting on the ninth or 10th day, followed by ARDS and then ICU admission on the 12th day, said Babik. The heart and kidneys showed injury on the 15th day. On the 17th day, secondary infections began to set in. Patients died, on average, on the 19th day.

 

Most worrisome: As the disease progresses, ventilators aren’t saving people. Despite our best efforts, COVID-19 illness is far more lethal than traditional ARDS, claiming not 40% of victims but 70% or even 80%.

Daily Beast:  Trump’s ‘Miracle Drug’ Talk Could Kill Me, by Christy Hardin Smith, 4/11/2020

As he’s talked up the medication that keeps my immune system from attacking my joints and organs, I’ve halved my daily dosage as production struggles to keep up with his hype.

 

Lupus entered my life like a runaway truck 15 years ago. Initially, I thought I was just fatigued from a new baby and a move to a new house, and that rest would help my hands stop being painful claws and my joint pain to subside.

 

As Donald Trump has talked up the medication that keeps my own immune system from attacking my joints and organs, outside of the usual FDA protocols and with no plan to protect patients who were already taking it, I have been forced to cut my daily dosage in half to stretch out the remainder of my last prescription refill while praying for increased production to catch up with presidential hype.

 

Halving my medication dosage allows me to keep some level of it in my system, but it is not without consequences, including severe joint pain. But a lack of the drug altogether could lead to more significant, long-term issues like permanent joint or organ damage. The Food and Drug Administration, as well as my own state’s Board of Pharmacy, have issued new guidelines and warnings about drug shortages and prescriptions in the wake of the president’s pushing of hydroxychloroquine. In order to get my prescription refilled, I will now have to jump through a number of additional hoops just to get my medication, if they can even find enough to fill my prescription at all.

Detroit Free Press:  First known COVID-19 deaths of grocery store workers in Mich. reported at Kroger, Meijer, by Susan Selaskey, 4/11/2020

Replying to inquiries from the Free Press, Kroger sent out a statement that four Kroger employees at different locations in metro Detroit had died and Meijer confirmed one death of a worker at an undisclosed location. 

  • Kroger: Northville (425 North Center)
  • Kroger: Troy (3125 John R)
  • Kroger: Grosse Pointe (16919 Kercheval)
  • Kroger: Livonia (30935 5 Mile Rd)
  • Meijer: undisclosed 

USA Today: Harvard epidemiologist: We're still at the beginning of the coronavirus, 4/11/2020

Q. In the hot spots like Wuhan and northern Italy, 3% or 4% of the population had confirmed infections. But you and other epidemiologists talk about 40% or 70% of the entire population getting infected. Can you explain that gap?

 

A. There's a first wave, and then there's the whole epidemic. A lot of the confusion is premised on the misunderstanding that if you control the epidemic once, then you're done. There's no reason to think that.

 

Wuhan is starting to see resurgence of cases as they let up, and in 1918, we saw it all over the country as restrictions were lifted. So 40% or 70% is the number that you need to have immune before viral transmission stops on its own. The number that get infected under very intense control measures is the number that happened before those control measures fully take effect. Those are two different numbers.

USA Today:  Coronavirus ‘is the Big One ... I hope never to see bigger’: Harvard epidemiologist, USA Today Editorial Board, 4/9/2020

Q. Then what?

 

A. If that works out well, then there's the big question of what do we do next? Because if we relax restrictions, as we saw in the 1918 pandemic, and as we've seen probably in China now, there's every reason to expect a resurgence of cases and we're back in the same problem. On the other hand, keeping these restrictions in place is economically disastrous. Under this scenario, we're in a dilemma, and I don't think anyone has found a good answer.

Los Angeles Times:  California’s coronavirus death toll is way below New York’s. Here’s why, by James Rainey and Soumya Karlamangla, 4/10/2020

Los Angeles Times:   California moves to protect nursing home residents from the coronavirus, by Phil Willon and Jack Dolan, 4/10/2020

Los Angeles Times:  Lost wages and jobs haven’t dented support for coronavirus stay-at-home orders, poll finds, by Doug Smith, 4/10/2020 

“We have seen in the last couple of decades a tremendous decline in trust in government,” Guerra said. But, “in time of crisis, we are looking to government for action. People are believing local government and taking action much more than I ever thought would happen.”

 

The poll also showed a high level of public understanding of the pandemic, Guerra said.

Los Angeles Times:  California’s early coronavirus efforts will cost $7 billion, Gov. Gavin Newsom says, by John Myers, 4/10/2020

Los Angeles Times:  One by one, nurses got coronavirus at a Silicon Valley hospital while management kept quiet, by Harriet Ryan, Rong-Gong Lin II, 4/10/2020

Silicon Valley has been one of the hardest-hit parts of California with Santa Clara County reporting more than 1,440 confirmed cases and 47 deaths. Of the confirmed cases, 109 have been healthcare workers, according to state data. Valley Medical Center, the region’s flagship public hospital, has cared for a wave of COVID-19 patients.

MLive:  Recreational motorboats not allowed under Michigan’s stay-at-home order, by Lauren Gibbons, 4/10/2020

MLive:  $66M in emergency grants awarded to southeast Michigan colleges to help cover losses, offer student aid, by Steve Marowski, 4/10/2020

MLive:  Michigan begins sending $600 payments, sets date for expanded unemployment eligibility, by Justin P. Hicks, 4/10/2020

MLive:  Running out of body bags. People dying in the hallway. Coronavirus has Michigan hospital workers at a breaking point. By Julie Mack, 4/9/2020

“We’ve never had patients like this, who crash so fast out of nowhere,” Kallek said. “One minute they’re smiling and the next minute they’re down.”

 

And when the patients are put on ventilators, which many are, it’s hard to keep them calm and sedated, she said. “So you have to put them on multiple drips, which brings down their blood pressure and you have to monitor that, and they’re still waking up and having things happen out of nowhere.”

Bloomberg:  Japan carmakers cutting off pay to 32,000 North American workers, by Chester Dawson, 4/8/2020

The Washington Post:  Hundreds of young Americans have now been killed by the coronavirus, data shows, by Chris Mooney, Brady Dennis and Sarah Kaplan, 4/8/2020

He also was among at least 759 people under age 50 across the United States who have perished amid the deepening pandemic, according to a Washington Post analysis of state data. These deaths underscore the tragic fact that while the novel coronavirus might be most threatening to the old and compromised, no one is immune.

The Washington Post:  A plan to defeat coronavirus finally emerges, but it’s not from the White House, by Lena H. Sun, William Wan and Yasmeen Abutaleb, 4/10/2020

A national plan to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and return Americans to jobs and classrooms is emerging — but not from the White House.

 

Instead, a collection of governors, former government officials, disease specialists and nonprofits are pursuing a strategy that relies on the three pillars of disease control: Ramp up testing to identify people who are infected. Find everyone they interact with by deploying contact tracing on a scale America has never attempted before. And focus restrictions more narrowly on the infected and their contacts so the rest of society doesn’t have to stay in permanent lockdown.

 

“It’s mind-boggling, actually, the degree of disorganization,” said Tom Frieden, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director. The federal government has already squandered February and March, he noted, committing “epic failures” on testing kits, ventilator supply, protective equipment for health workers and contradictory public health communication. The next failure is already on its way, Frieden said, because “we’re not doing the things we need to be doing in April.”

The Washington Post:  A funeral and a birthday party: CDC traces Chicago coronavirus outbreak to two family gatherings, Ariana Eunjung Cha, 4/8/2020 

In February, family members gathered for a Chicago-area funeral. A family friend who had been out of state attended and was just a bit sick with mild respiratory symptoms.

 

Before long, 16 people between the ages of 5 and 86 had been infected with the novel coronavirus (seven confirmed and nine probable), and three had died.

CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Community Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 at Two Family Gatherings — Chicago, Illinois, February–March 2020, Ghinai et al, 4/8/2020

NPR:  White House Seeks To Lower Farmworker Pay To Help Agriculture Industry, by Franco Ordoñez, 4/10/2020

NPR:  COVID-19 Patients Given Unproven Drug In Texas Nursing Home, Garnering Criticism, by Vanessa Romo, 4/10/2020

NPR:  How Safe Is It To Eat Takeout?, by Fran Kritz, 4/8/2020

The Washington Post: The newfound popularity of America’s governors shows what Trump doesn’t get, by Paul Waldman, 4/10/2020

How has the public responded? Recent polls show approval ratings of governors averaging about 25 points higher than approval of Trump. If there’s a desire to rally around our leaders, we aren’t rallying around the president but around those at the state and local level.

The Washington Post:   When you drown the government in the bathtub, people die, by Dana Milbank, 4/10/2020

Then came the tea party, the anti-government conservatism that infected the Republican Party in 2010 and triumphed with President Trump’s election. Perhaps the best articulation of its ideology came from the anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, who once said: “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

 

They got their wish. What you see today is your government, drowning — a government that couldn’t produce a rudimentary test for coronavirus, that couldn’t contain the pandemic as other countries have done, that couldn’t produce enough ventilators for the sick or even enough face masks and gowns for health-care workers.

Kaiser Health News:  Nebraska Getting $300G in Federal Money for Each Coronavirus Case While NY Gets $12G, 4/10/2020

Emergency relief for hospitals is being divvied up based on their Medicare billings and not how many coronavirus cases they have to handle.

The Daily Beast:  Trump Gives Bizarre Response on Lifting Coronavirus Lockdown, by Hunter Woodall, 4/10/2020

The president pointed to his own head when asked on Friday what metrics he would consider when deciding to reopen parts of the country.  “The metrics right here, that’s my metrics,” Trump said.

April 9:  How does COVID-19 kill? Uncertainty is hampering doctors’ ability to choose treatments, by Heidi Ledford, Nature

“People are watching patients deteriorate before their eyes, and there’s a very strong motivation to reach for any therapy that you think could be effective,” says Kenneth Baillie, an intensive-care anaesthetist at the University of Edinburgh, UK. “When I feel powerless at the end of a bed, I feel the same.”

April 9:  Thousands of coronavirus tests are going unused in US labs, by Amy Maxmen, Nature

Another step — the one that leading scientists are best prepared to address — was working out the most reliable test to use. Many decided against the CDC’s version. “I don’t want to be disparaging, but the people who made the CDC kit simply failed at molecular biology — they created a nightmare,”

 

“The business of American medicine and the way it is organized is astonishingly unprepared for this,” Urnov says. One problem is that US hospitals use a range of software platforms for electronic health records. Many also have strict administrative procedures for setting up accounts with labs, exchanging samples and handling billing, adds Pride.

 

Urnov says hospitals rejected an offer of free tests from his centre, funded by philanthropic organizations. “I show up in a magic ship,” Urnov says, “with 20,000 free kits and CLIA and everything, and the major hospitals say: ‘Go away, we cannot interface with you.’”

The Daily Beast:  ‘Blood on Their Hands’: Trader Joe’s Workers Are Angry and Terrified, by Kim Kelly, 4/9/2020

The Daily Beast:   Meet the B.S. Artist Behind Trump’s Miracle Drug, Christopher Dickey, Adam Rawnsley, 4/10/2020

As a recent profile in the respected French daily Le Monde pointed out, Raoult was mocking the COVID-19 threat in January. When the Chinese locked down Hubei province on Jan. 21, Raoult called the move “delirious” in one of his institute’s YouTube broadcasts. “There are three Chinese who die and that causes a worldwide alert, the WHO [World Health Organization] gets involved, people talk about it on television and radio. ... All that’s crazy, there’s no lucidity.”

 

Academics and researchers weren’t as enthusiastic about Raoult’s work as the scientific laity for a number of reasons: the small sample size, the removal of patients from the study who died or had to be sent into intensive care, the fact that patients receiving the treatment were non-randomized.

The Detroit Free Press:   Michigan woman with coronavirus, encephalitis discharged from hospital, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, 4/10/2020

The woman, who was identified as an airline worker, is believed to be the first published case linking COVID-19 and acute necrotizing encephalitis.  "This complication is as devastating as severe lung disease.”

The Detroit Free Press:  Michigan sees deadliest day in coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says, by Darcie Moran, 4/10/2020

MichiganCovid19Deaths 4 1thru4 10 2020 450x253 20pct

Gov. Whitmer: "These people were husbands, wives, grandparents, sons, and daughters."

The Detroit Free Press:  CEO for TCF field hospital: Here's what patients should expect when they arrive Friday, by Kathleen Gray, 4/10/2020

“All these people were strangers to me a week ago and now they are people who I’m completely relying on,” she said. “The challenge for any of these ventures is our world, our country, our state has never experienced something like this.”

The Detroit Free Press:  Michigan OK's in-person driver's license renewals for certain essential workers, by Paul Egan, 4/10/2020

The Detroit Free Press:  University of Michigan puts plan to open temporary hospital on hold, AP, 4/10/2020 

“It appears from current COVID-19 cases and modeling that the curve is significantly flattening,” Michigan Medical spokeswoman Mary Masson said. “We are in communication with state officials to coordinate and determine future need.”

The New Yorker:  How Did the U.S. End Up with Nurses Wearing Garbage Bags? by Susan B. Glasser, 4/9/2020 

America was watching, shocked, as doctors and nurses pleaded for protective gear and medical equipment such as ventilators. Ries was asked to help start a Web site that would match hospitals and suppliers. Sure, Ries said, he could have something up and running by Monday. What followed over the next two weeks was an inside glimpse of the dysfunction emanating from Trump’s Washington in the midst of the pandemic, a crash course in the breakdown that has led to nurses in one of the wealthiest countries in the world wearing garbage bags to protect themselves from a virus whose outbreak the President downplayed until it was too late to prepare for its consequences.

NPR: In Reversal, Federal Support For Coronavirus Testing Sites Continues, by Jeff Brady, 4/9/2020

ProPublica:  A Company Promised Cheap Ventilators to the Government, Never Delivered and Is Now Charging Quadruple the Price for New Ones by Patricia Callahan and Sebastian Rotella, 4/8/2020

In a March 30 article, ProPublica detailed how the agency’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, known as BARDA, had anticipated a decade ago that hospitals would run short of life-saving ventilators in the event of a pandemic. BARDA tried to find a company that could produce an inexpensive, durable ventilator that could be operated by people with minimal training during a crisis. After a deal with one company fell apart, HHS in 2014 agreed to pay Philips $13.8 million to design the stockpile ventilator with an option to purchase 10,000 for $3,280 each. The company won Food and Drug Administration clearance for its Trilogy Evo Universal ventilator in July, and in September HHS put in its order.

 

But Philips didn’t deliver any ventilators to the stockpile even as the coronavirus spread across the globe and hospitals scrambled for ventilators to keep their patients alive. Rather than making the government-funded design, Philips has been manufacturing more expensive commercial versions of the Trilogy Evo at its Pennsylvania plant and selling them overseas and in the United States.

Wall Street Journal:  All the President’s Ratings; The Commander in Chief responds to our editorial., By the Editorial Board, 4/9/2020

Wall Street Journal:  Trump’s Wasted Briefings, by the Editorial Board, 4/8/2020

Daily Kos:  America last: Rep. Porter has receipts showing Trump chose a quick buck over American lives, by Walter Einenkel, 4/8/2020

Congresswoman Katie Porter:  EVERYONE BUT US, The Trump Administration and Medical Supply Exports, 4/6/2020

The New Yorker: How Viktor Orbán Used the Coronavirus to Seize More Power, by Elisabeth Zerofsky, 4/9/2020

FYI: Orbán is the new Dictator of Hungary.

The Detroit Free Press:  New Michigan program offers money to help feed low-income students, by Meredith Spelbring, 4/9/2020

The Detroit Free Press:  Whitmer creates task force to look at racial disparities in coronavirus patients, deaths, by Kathleen Gray, 4/9/2020

"This virus is holding up a mirror to our society, and reminding us of the deep inequities in our country, from basic lack of access to care, to access to transportation, to access to labor protections in the workplace," Whitmer said.

The Wichita Eagle:  Republican state officials in Kansas revoke governor's orders to limit gatherings in time for Easter, by Jonathan Shorman, Amy Renee Leiker, and Michael Stavola, 4/8/2020

Easter looming, Kansas Republican leaders on Wednesday revoked Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s order limiting religious gatherings to 10 people as the state’s coronavirus death toll jumped 40 percent.

The Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus has killed more than 1,000 in Michigan, by Darcie Moran, 4/9/2020

The Detroit Free Press:  Hillsdale County is now a rural coronavirus 'hotspot,' by Sam Fry, 4/9/2020

In one week — beginning last Wednesday — the number of positive cases in Hillsdale County jumped from 19 to 63. The county now has six deaths attributed to the virus.

The Detroit Free Press:  Detroit police break up dozens of gatherings to stop spread of coronavirus, by Joe Guillen, 4/9/2020

Detroit police issued 56 citations on Wednesday for breaking the state’s “stay home” order and gave 261 warnings, Assistant Chief James White said.

 

Police made 952 checks on possible violations of the order on Wednesday based on citizen complaints and information from the department’s Real Time Crime Center. Police broke up 35 groups, 8 parties and shut down a beauty and barber supply company that was previously warned, White said.

The Daily Kos: Trump to launch second pandemic task force, one that does away with irritating medical experts, by Kos Staff, 4/9/2020

As the Trump administration zeros out federal funds for COVID-19 testing, a vital component of actually getting businesses back open and the economy back on track, the Trump Team's latest reactionary twitch is to start up a new coronavirus task force that leaves out all the irritating medical expertise of the current version and is instead focused on cutting salaries, raising taxes, and putting a knife to the back of unemployed workers, telling them to find new work during the pandemic or else.

The Detroit Free Press:  TCF Center in Detroit will accept first 25 coronavirus patients Friday, by Kathleen Gray, 4/9/2020

The partnership running TCF will include Henry Ford Health System, McLaren Health Care, Beaumont Health and the Detroit Medical Center.

The Detroit Free Press:  7 residents from Riverview nursing home dead, dozens more positive for COVID-19, Elisha Anderson, Gina Kaufman, and Christina Hall, 4/9/2020

Seven residents from a nursing home in Wayne County have died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

 

In all, Rivergate Terrace in Riverview has had 36 people test positive for COVID-19 — 21 residents and 15 associates, a statement released Thursday evening says.

 

The facility is part of Life Care Centers of America, which operates or manages hundreds of facilities in 28 states. One of its nursing homes in Kirkland, Washington, had more than three dozen deaths linked to it early during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The Detroit Free Press:  Fiat-Chrysler worker based at Chelsea Proving Grounds dies as COVID-19 toll climbs, by Phoebe Wall Howard, 4/9/2020

The Detroit News:  Inside Sinai-Grace ‘war zone’: ‘We started to run out of body bags,’ By Sarah Rahal and Beth LeBlanc, 4/9/2020

The growing number of dead at Sinai-Grace has caught the attention of the federal government. Detroit Medical Center officials had a conference call with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week because of concerns that Sinai-Grace had the highest COVID-19 mortality rates among hospitals in the nation, Dr. Vinay Pallekonda, a DMC chief medical officer, told staff on Wednesday.

 

"We’re hardly getting any patients who are zero to 50," said one hospital doctor, who requested anonymity. "Right now, patients are all 80 to 100. They’re all very, very sick.”

 

Nurses said severe patients typically have flu-like symptoms and can progress to bilateral pneumonia. In some cases, respiratory failure can then develop within six hours, and patients are typically intubated. Some die within 12 hours, nurses said.

 

On the night of March 31, DeLine said six patients died in the first eight hours of her 12-hour shift, three of whom she was caring for.

 

"Two of the three, I had just gone into their rooms, took vitals, they were good, nothing about their vital signs gave me the impression that they were about to crash," she said. "One patient had even thrown their shoe at the closed glass door to get our attention."

The Detroit Free Press:  Coronavirus causing mail to be delivered every other day in some metro Detroit areas, by Brenden Hunter, 4/9/2020

The Detroit Free Press:   New Whitmer order bans 'travel between residences,' with a few exceptions, by Paul Egan and Kathleen Gray, 4/9/2020

“All public and private gatherings of any size are prohibited," Whitmer said at a news conference. "People can still leave the house for outdoor activities," and outdoor "recreational activities are still permitted as long as they’re taking place outside of six feet from anyone else.”

The New York Times:  In Ohio, the Amish Take On the Coronavirus, by Elizabeth Williamson, 4/9/2020

SUGARCREEK, Ohio — On April 1, John Miller, a manufacturer here with deep connections to the close-knit Amish community of Central Ohio, got a call from Cleveland Clinic. The hospital system was struggling to find protective face masks for its 55,000 employees, plus visitors. Could his team sew 12,000 masks in two days?

 

He appealed to Abe Troyer with Keim, a local lumber mill and home goods business and a leader in the Amish community: “Abe, make a sewing frolic.” A frolic, Mr. Miller explained, “is a colloquial term here that means, ‘Get a bunch of people. Throw a bunch of people at this.’”

 

A day later, Mr. Troyer had signed up 60 Amish home seamstresses, and the Cleveland Clinic sewing frolic was on.

The Denver Post:  Trump is playing a disgusting political game with our lives, by the Denver Post Editorial Board, 4/9/2020

The New York Times: The America We Need, by the Editorial Board, 4/9/2020 

The New York TImes:  The U.S. Approach to Public Health: Neglect, Panic, Repeat, by Jeneen Interlandi, 4/9/2020 

The New York Times:  A Tragedy is Unfolding inside New York's virus epicenter, Central Queens, by Annie Correal and Andrew Jacobs, 4/9/2020

The New York Times:  American Democracy May Be Dying, by Paul Krugman, 4/9/2020

The New York Times:  86-Year-Old Is Killed in E.R. Over Social Distancing, by Edgar Sandoval, 4/8/2020

The Daily Beast:  NYC Medics Cut COVID-19 Life-Saving Efforts in Half, by Michael Daly, 4/9/2020

Heartbreak comes with a new protocol set by the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York City, a nonprofit organization that sets policies followed by the FDNY EMS and private ambulances. Paramedics in the pandemic are instructed to cease their life-saving efforts after 20 minutes if there is no pulse, and they no longer transport the person to the hospital in those cases.

 

Before the time of COVID-19—what some on the front lines are calling BC—paramedics often kept working on a cardiac arrest patient for 40 minutes or more, applying a fuller measure of their skills, technology, and medications. And they consulted over the phone with a doctor who pronounced the time of death when he deemed nothing more could be done to save the person.

 

The burden of making that call now falls on the paramedics themselves, in half the time. And they are instructed not to transport the person to the hospital when there is only the slightest chance of survival, what the Brooklyn paramedic calls “the Big If.”

 

After each such outcome, paramedics radio a code: “83R.”

 

“Attempted resuscitation, but we pronounced and the body is on the scene,” the Brooklyn paramedic explained.

 

The calls where paramedics arrive to find the patient exhibiting such unmistakable signs of death as rigor mortis are “83D.” The “D” meaning dead on arrival.

 

For either an 83R or an 83D, the paramedics have to wait with the body—and often a grieving family—until either the NYPD or a medical examiner’s recovery team arrives.

 

The paramedics then go on to the next impending death and the next and the next with advanced life support equipment, including multiple ways to jolt the heart if it is at all possible. They even have a capnographic device that can detect carbon dioxide, indicating that the patient’s organs are still alive during chest compressions.

 

”It’s definitely not a normal thing to go from talking to unconscious to dead within a few minutes,” a Brooklyn paramedic said. “People will be talking to their family and all of a sudden they will just drop... They seem fine and then they're gone.”

 

The Brooklyn paramedic added, “From a medical perspective it’s really interesting, and really scary.”

The Daily Beast:  NYC Is Taking Hundreds of Body Bags Out of Houses—and Soon They Will Be Counted, by Pilar Melendez, 4/8/2020

Emergency Medical Service data first reported by Gothamist suggests the undercount of individuals who have likely died from the virus is massive. On Tuesday alone, 256 people were pronounced dead at home across the five boroughs. Until this month, about 25 people in New York City were found dead in their homes on a typical day, suggesting that most of Tuesday’s calls were related to the outbreak that has already killed over 5,400 people across the state and infected 140,386 more.

 

According to New York City Fire Department data obtained by The Daily Beast, first responders have reported 2,192 “dead-on-arrival” calls over the last two weeks. On average, the department handled about 453 of those calls over the same period last year.

Detroit Free Press:   New Whitmer order bans 'travel between residences,' with a few exceptions, by Paul Egan and Kathleen Gray, 4/9/2020

The Daily Beast: Russian Trolls Hype Coronavirus and Giuliani Conspiracies, by Adam Rawnsley, 4/9/2020

“This looks like a Russian disinformation operation we call ‘Secondary Infektion’ that's been running for years,” said Ben Nimmo, director of investigations at Graphika, who has been investigating the operation since Facebook exposed a first set of accounts in May 2019. “It uses blogging platforms as the soft underbelly of the internet, planting false stories based on forged documents or leaks that never happened. The fakes mostly appear designed to trigger tens Cancelled in Response to the Governor’s Executive Directive 2020-02.

The New York Times:  Trade Adviser Peter Navarro Warned White House in January of Risks of a Pandemic. By Maggie Haberman, 4/6/2020

“The lack of immune protection or an existing cure or vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the case of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on U.S. soil,” Mr. Navarro’s memo said. “This lack of protection elevates the risk of the coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans.”

 

Peter Navarro's January 29th memo is the most direct warning known to have circulated at a key moment among top administration officials.

The Washington Post:  What your stay-at-home order means in your state. By Thomas Johnson and Angela Fritz

The Washington Post:  America’s most influential coronavirus model just revised its estimates downward. But not every model agrees. By William Wan and Carolyn Y. Johnson, 4/7/2020

Some state leaders have also grown increasingly concerned about how the federal government is using IHME’s lower estimates to deny states’ increasingly desperate requests for equipment and help in preparations. The stark differences between the IHME model and dozens of others being created by states exposes the glaring lack of national models provided publicly by the White House or agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for local leaders to use in planning or preparation.

Politico:  Trump blasts HHS watchdog for report on hospital shortages, by Brianna Ehley and Alice Miranda Ollstein, 4/6/2020

"It's just wrong," Trump said during a briefing of the White House coronavirus task force, without providing evidence detailing what was incorrect.  "It still could be her opinion. When was she appointed? Do me a favor and let me know. Let me know now. I have to know," the president said in response to a question about the findings.

 

Grimm was appointed to the post in January. The career official joined the inspector general's office in 1999 as a program evaluator.

Former HHS Inspector General Dan Levinson, a George W. Bush appointee who retired last year, defended Grimm's track record after the briefing.

 

"Principal Deputy Inspector General Christi Grimm is a highly respected career senior executive," he said. "Nothing in her longstanding career of public service would suggest otherwise."

 

HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Brett Giroir refused to defend Grimm at the briefing, saying the report covered a period before the administration dramatically ramped up coronavirus testing.

The Washington Post:  The dark side of ventilators: Those hooked up for long periods face difficult recoveries. by Carolyn Y. Johnson and Ariana Eunjung Cha, 4/6/2020

Many attached to the scarce machines will not make it out of the hospital. Data from China, Italy and the U.S. suggest that about half of those with covid-19 who receive ventilator support will die.

 

“I don’t feel like I’m a doctor,” the resident said. “The first time I really sat with that patient was to pronounce him dead.”

The New York Times:  Black Americans Face Alarming Rates of Coronavirus Infection in Some States, by John Eligon, Audra D.S. Burch, Dionne Dearcey and Richard A Oppel Jr., 4/7/2020

In Illinois, 43 percent of people who have died from the disease and 28 percent of those who have tested positive are African-Americans, a group that makes up just 15 percent of the state’s population. African-Americans, who account for a third of positive tests in Michigan, represent 40 percent of deaths in that state even though they make up 14 percent of the population. In Louisiana, about 70 percent of the people who have died are black, though only a third of that state’s population is.

The Washington Post:  The acting Navy secretary fired and then insulted a Navy hero. He must go., by Max Boot, 4/7/2020

The Defense Department has been more resistant to the president’s insidious influence than the State Department, National Security Council, Department of Homeland Security and other major government agencies. But Jim Mattis is long gone as defense secretary. His successor, Mark T. Esper, went along with Trump’s pardons for war criminals, his firing of Undersecretary of Defense John C. Rood for disagreeing with the president and his ouster of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council for testifying truthfully about Trump’s attempted extortion of Ukraine. Now Esper has been slow to address the spread of the coronavirus. He warned commanders in early March not to make decisions on the pandemic that would run afoul of the president’s Pollyannaish messaging.

The New York Times:  Acting Navy secretary Modly resigns after an outcry over criticism of a virus-stricken crew.  4/7/2020

The Washington Post:  The only official fired over the virus? A captain who tried to protect his crew. by Max Boot, 4/3/2020

“He made the right choice, and the Navy will back him up.” So wrote retired Adm. James Stavridis, a former carrier strike group commander and former supreme allied commander of NATO, about Capt. Brett Crozier, the skipper who had sent out an SOS about the spread of the coronavirus on his ship, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Los Angeles Times:  Coronavirus patients can benefit from blood of the recovered, new study shows, by Melissa Healy, 4/6/2020

The preliminary findings emerged from a “pilot study” published Monday in the journal PNAS, the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. Conducted at three hospitals in China, it underscored the promise of harvesting immune antibodies from recovered people (a therapy also known as convalescent plasma) and administering them to people battling a severe case of COVID-19.

Los Angeles Times:  How a discovery that brought us Viagra could help those battling the coronavirus, by Melissa Healy, 4/5/2020

In 2004, researchers at the University of Leuven in Belgium discovered yet another property of nitric oxide: It killed coronaviruses.

 

More specifically, it killed the coronavirus that leapt from bats to humans and sparked the 2003 epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, the disease better known as SARS.

 

In African green monkey cells that had been infected with the SARS coronavirus, an organic nitric oxide compound cut the virus’s ability to replicate in half. A year later, Swedish scientists confirmed the finding and found that the higher the dose, the better the gas worked to shut the SARS virus down.

 

“The story ended there,” Berra said. The SARS epidemic was quashed in eight months, and “nobody tested anymore.

The Washington Post Opinion:  Trump blew it — not the WHO, Fauci or the Jews, by Dana Milbank, April 6, 2020

We see the best of America in the health-care workers and first-responders risking (and sometimes losing) their lives to help others. But we also see the pathologies that have surfaced (or recurred in new mutations) during Trump’s presidency: the scapegoating of religious minorities, attacks on science and scientists, and promotion of globalist conspiracy theories (in this case, that the World Health Organization conspired with communist China to conceal the virus).

This country’s woeful response to the virus has an obvious cause: a president who refused to heed warnings and to prepare, instead offering false assurances while the nation snoozed. Even now, inexcusable delays limit tests, ventilators and respirators, and even now President Trump resists a nationwide stay-at-home order.

Ohio Capital Journal:  COVID-19 in Appalachia: Testing slow, but coming to Southeast Ohio, by Susan Tebben, 4/7/2020

The Washington Post:  New Zealand isn’t just flattening the curve. It’s squashing it. by Anna Fifield, 4/7/2020

The Washington Post:  Grocery workers are beginning to die of coronavirus, by Abha Bhattarai, 4/6/2020

Though more than 40 states have ordered nonessential businesses to close and told residents to stay home to stem the spread of the virus, supermarkets are among the retailers that remain open. Thousands of grocery employees have continued to report to work as U.S. infections and death rates continue to climb.

Los Angeles Times:   Foreign doctors on front lines of COVID-19 fear deportation from U.S., by Ashish Malhotra, 4/6/2020

WASHINGTON — When Sujit Vakkalanka felt he was showing symptoms of COVID-19, he was, naturally, worried about his health. But as the 31-year-old from India waited for the results of his test, he was also concerned about something else: the visa allowing him to remain working in the U.S.

 

As with many foreign doctors on the front lines of the pandemic in America, Vakkalanka’s H-1B visa is tied to his employment, and he fears he could lose his status if he remains sick and is unable to return to work promptly at a hospital in southwest Virginia.

Los Angeles Times:  Trump administration is battling coronavirus without a war room, by Emily Baumgaertner, 4/6/2020

A deadly virus was spreading in China, killing 40% of its victims and threatening to burst into a major outbreak.

 

In the U.S., the pandemic preparedness team at the White House’s National Security Council (NSC) was tracking it daily, even as President Trump took office in those early days of 2017.

 

The NSC team, called the Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, had helmed the country’s preparations for months, coordinating health agencies, the State Department, and even the Pentagon to prepare for its spread to the U.S.

 

That virus, H7N9, never did.

 

Less than three years later, its successor — the novel coronavirus — broke out. But by then the directorate had been dismantled by the Trump administration.

 

As a consequence, the pandemic response is now being steered by non-scientists: Vice President Mike Pence, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and even the president’s son-in-law are jostling for control of a response marred by confusion and delays.

Los Angeles Times:  Coronavirus deaths hit one-day records in New York and New Jersey, by Michael Finnegan, 4/7/2020

Detroit News:  Trump removes watchdog tapped for $2T virus rescue oversight, by Eric Tucker, Matthew Daly, and Mary Clare Jalonick, AP, 4/7/2020

Washington – President Donald Trump has removed the inspector general tapped to chair a special oversight board of the $2.2 trillion economic package intended to help businesses and individuals affected by the coronavirus, officials said Tuesday.

 

Glenn Fine, the acting Defense Department inspector general and a veteran watchdog, had been selected by peers last month for the position. Now it’s unclear who will oversee the rescue law.

Detroit News:  Michigan COVID-19 deaths jump to 845 with nearly 19,000 cases, by Craig Mauger, 4/7/2020

MLive:  Four Weeks of COVID-19 in Michigan, 4/6/2020

See Coronavirus Cases Spread Across Michigan in 4 Weeks on this moving Youtube animation.

The Detroit News:  Fact check: Trump myths on airport virus tests, HHS audit, by Hope Yen, AP, 4/7/2020

Washington – Defending his administration’s response to the coronavirus, President Donald Trump falsely asserted that travelers at U.S. airports are being routinely tested for COVID-19, made groundless accusations against a watchdog and wrongly claimed the Obama administration did nothing during a flu pandemic.

 

Click the link for a factual refutation of Trump's claims.  "Claims" is politesse for "Lies."

Detroit News:  Most people on Antarctica cruise ship have the coronavirus, AP, 4/7/2020

CNN:  What Covid-19 is showing us about the South, by Issac Bailey, 4/7/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Some Michiganders could get back to work with help from new task force, by Kathleen Gray, 4/7/2020

The plan won’t work, however, Shirkey said, unless handwashing, social distancing and the use of face masks becomes second nature for Michiganders.

Detroit Free Press:  Beaumont has 1,500 workers with coronavirus symptoms, including 500 nurses, by Robin Erb, 4/6/2020

About 1,500 workers — including 500 nurses — are off the job at Michigan’s largest hospital system because of coronavirus symptoms.

 

The sick count at Beaumont comes the same day that Henry Ford Health System said it had about 600-700 workers who had tested positive for COVID-19.

Detroit Free Press:  Nurses protest conditions at Detroit's Sinai-Grace, said they were told to leave, by Kristen Jordan Shamus and Darcie Moran, 4/7/2020

The hospital's emergency room managers are requiring those who report to work to manage more than 100 critically ill patients, many of whom are on ventilators and need critical care. Ideally there would be 21 nurses on staff for every shift.

 

"Tonight, it was the breaking point for us because we cannot take care of your loved ones out here with just six or seven nurses and multiple vents (ventilators), multiple people on drips," said Hadwan, a registered nurse in the emergency department at Sinai-Grace, adding that the patient load has been building for three weeks.

 

"There would have been nurses that had to watch up to 20 patients at a time, which is not safe," he said.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan cities hold virtual council meetings, as state lawmakers gather in person, by Bill Laitner, 4/7/2020 

Detroit Free Press:  Important data is missing from 2 areas hit hardest by coronavirus in Michigan, experts say, by Jennifer Dixon and Darcie Moran, 4/7/2020

The coronavirus is taking its starkest toll on African Americans in Michigan: They account for just 14% of the state's population but 33% of COVID-19 cases and 41% of deaths. 

 

The state was praised Monday for being one of the few that collects and reports data on the impact of the virus by race and ethnicity by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., that fights racial discrimination.

Detroit Free Press:  Tales from the front lines: Health care workers share coronavirus fears and triumphs, by Kristen Jordan Shamus and Robin Erb, 4/6/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan's coronavirus cases climb to 17,221; 727 people dead, by Georgea Kovanis and Darcie Moran, 4/6/2020

As of Monday, the state had tested more than 41,071 specimens; 27.5% were positive. Some people have been tested more than once. Of those with COVID-19, 46% are male and 50% are female. Men account for 59% of the state's deaths.

Radiology: COVID-19–associated Acute Hemorrhagic Necrotizing Encephalopathy: CT and MRI Features, by Neo Poyiadji, Gassan Shahin, Daniel Noujaim, et al., 3/31/2020

Detroit Free Press: Michigan woman with coronavirus develops rare complication affecting brain, by Kristen Jordan Shamus, 4/1/2020

MLive:  Oakland County officials: Now is the time to prepare for worsening coronavirus death tolls, by Justine Lofton, 4/6/2020

Wired:  The Asian Countries That Beat Covid-19 Have to Do It Again, by Adam Rogers, 4/6/2020

Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan had flattened the curve. Then travelers from the US and Europe began reimporting the virus.

MLive:  Ford ships over 1 million plastic face shields to hospitals in U.S., by Bob Johnson, 4/6/2020

About 260 employees represented by the United Auto Workers union are now producing at a rate of 225,000 shields per day on two shifts.

The Atlantic: How Trump Designed His White House to Fail, by Ben Rhodes, 3/13/2020

Every president chooses how to manage the flow of information. The consequences of Trump’s decisions are now becoming apparent.

 

A U.S. president is going to be asked to respond to a huge variety of events that go beyond his expertise—such as oil spills, earthquakes, and outbreaks. The good news is that the U.S. government has leading experts on just about any issue that could emerge, spread across different agencies. So when a public-health crisis broke out in Africa, Obama didn’t rely on people like me—I was relegated to the sidelines, so he could hear directly from experts at the CDC and NIH about what the risks were, what we needed to anticipate, and what decisions might be coming his way.

 

Instead of seeing U.S. government expertise as a resource, Trump has routinely derided career experts as “deep state” operatives, insufficiently loyal to him and his agenda. Well into the COVID-19 outbreak, he said things such as “A lot of people think that it goes away in April with the heat,” or “This is a flu.” I doubt that any government expert would suggest that Trump say those things. The statements, instead, suggest a president either making things up or cherry-picking things he’s heard from nonexperts to offer false reassurance to the public.

 

- Ben Rhodes is the former deputy national security adviser to Barack Obama

BBC Washington:  Pastor who decried 'hysteria' dies after attending Mardi Gras, by By Aleem Maqbool, 4/6/2020

Pastor Spradlin was one of those who became ill, but tested negative for Covid-19. Even as he was sick, he posted on social media about "hysteria" surrounding the virus.

 

On the 13th of March Pastor Spradlin shared on Facebook a misleading post comparing swine flu and coronavirus deaths.

 

It suggested that Barack Obama and Donald Trump respectively had been treated very differently by the media and that it was a politically motivated ploy to harm President Trump.

 

Pastor Spradlin was taken to hospital in North Carolina where they discovered he had developed pneumonia in both lungs and he now also tested positive for the coronavirus.

After eight days in intensive care, Pastor Spradlin died.

 

"I don't take responsibility at all." - Donald J. Trump, March 13th, 2020

DailyKos: Texas Woman Who Claimed COVID-19 Was ‘Media Driven’ Hoax Dies From Virus, by Egberto Willies, 4/6/2020

The Atlantic:  The Coronavirus’s Unique Threat to the South, by Vann. R. Newkirk, 4/2/2020

Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana all spend less than $25 per person on public health a year, compared with $84 per person in New York.

The Globe and Mail:  Ontario cities ban health-care workers from crossing borders to work, by Carly Weeks, 4/6/2020

“Closing down the border further I don’t think is an option,” said Bill Marra, vice-president of external affairs at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. “The health-care system in Detroit and in southeast Michigan relies heavily on the health-care experts from Windsor.”

Associated Press:  U.S. public health budgets chopped in decade before outbreak, by Sara Burnett, 4/5/2020

Between 2008 and 2017, state and local health departments lost more than 55,000 jobs – one-fifth of their workforce, a major factor as cities struggle to respond to COVID-19.

 

State spending on public health in Michigan dropped 16% from an inflation-adjusted high point of $300 million in 2004, according to a 2018 study.

 

Some of the funding problems, Canady and other public health advocates believe, stem from a fundamental belief in smaller government among Republican governors, including former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, who called for “shared sacrifice” after the state’s auto-dependent economy was battered by the recession.

 

In Kansas, then-Gov. Sam Brownback ran what he called a “red-state experiment” to cut taxes. State spending on its Public Health Division, outside of federal funds, dropped 28% between 2008 and 2016.

 

The cuts meant a “shifting of responsibility for services from the state level to the county level,” Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said in an interview. “And we saw that in public health.”

Livingston Daily:  Deemed an essential worker by the state, Brighton MDOT employee battles anxiety at work, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/5/2020

"Everybody’s zombies. It affects the work morale. With everything now... I think it needs to be asked, what about us?" Curl said.

MLive:  Sunday, April 5: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan, 4/5/2020 

MLive:  Michigan National Guard expands food bank assistance amid coronavirus crisis, by Ryan Boldrey, 4/5/2020

Associated Press:  U.S. 'wasted' months before preparing for virus pandemic, by Michael Biesecker, 4/5/2020

A review of federal purchasing contracts by The Associated Press shows federal agencies waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, mechanical ventilators and other equipment needed by front-line health care workers.

Detroit News:  Timeline: How coronavirus spread while medical supply orders lagged, 4/5/2020

MLive:  Beaumont Health begins disinfecting, reusing N95 masks, by Dana Afana, 4/5/2020

Grand Rapids-based Spectrum health also announced plans to reuse masks and goggles this weekend, and Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine is studying decontamination processes for used protective equipment. 

Detroit News:  Michigan COVID-19 cases exceed 15,700 with 617 deaths, by Craig Mauger, 4/5/2020 

Daily Beast:  The Rise of Video Conferencing Quarantine Porn, by Marlow Stern, 4/4/2020

MLive: Walmart now limiting customers to roughly 20 percent of capacity during coronavirus crisis, by John Tunison, 4/4/2020

MLive:  Target to limit number of shoppers in stores during coronavirus crisis, by Justin Lofton, 4/3/2020

Detroit News:  Farmington Hills toddler survives COVID-19 after 106 fever, parents say, by Sarah Rahal, 4/6/2020 

Detroit News:  Beaumont CEO urges state to require more transparent COVID-19 data from health systems, by Jennifer Chambers, 4/5/2020

Detroit News:  Pence: People of Michigan will have resources they need, by Craig Mauger, 4/5/2020

MLive:  Ann Arbor group gathers hundreds of 3D-printed face shields for health care workers, by Martin Slagter, 4/4/2020

PRUSA Research:  The printable Prusa Face Shield prototype, photos, Files, Remixes, comments

Detroit News:  GM launches training for 1,000 to make ventilators to wage COVID-19 fight, by Breana Noble, 4/2/2020

"People have moved mountains to help increase production of Ventec’s critical care ventilator and we are just weeks away from delivering these lifesaving devices," Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of global manufacturing, said in a statement. "I have never seen anything like it in my career.”

Detroit News:  Virus cost may top $4 trillion; French car insurance cheaper, 4/3/2020

All airlines are hemorrhaging. The number of travelers screened Thursday at airports nationwide was 124,000, a 95% drop from the same day last year.

 

Firearm sales spiked 85% last month compared with the March last year, according an analysis of the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System by Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting.

Detroit News:  Detroit-area real estate market shaken to foundation by COVID-19 outbreak, by Candice Williams, 4/2/2020

Detroit News:  Bank of America CEO says half a million customers have deferred payments, by Lananh Nguyen, 4/3/2020

Detroit News:  GM's China sales take 43% hit in first quarter, by Kalea Hall, 4/3/2020

AP:  Bodies Stacked to the Ceiling in a Brooklyn Funeral Home. By Jake Seiner, John Minchillo, 4/5/2020

Detroit News:  A mounting casualty of coronavirus crisis: Health care jobs, by Mark Levy, 4/4/2020

Detroit News:  Help with COVID-19 patients or lose job, Beaumont Health says, by Sarah Rahal and Beth LeBlanc, 4/5/2020

CNN:  Married for 51 years, they died of Covid-19 six minutes apart, by Harmeet Kaur,4/4/2020 

AXIOS:  Scoop: Inside the epic White House fight over hydroxychloroquine, by Jonathn Swan, 4/5/2020

NEW: Inside the White House Situation Room yesterday, economic adviser Peter Navarro got into a heated dispute with infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci over the efficacy of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

 

Some of Trump's favorite TV hosts, including Fox's Sean Hannity, and friends including Rudy Giuliani, have also been touting the malaria drug for the coronavirus. Trump has made no secret who he sides with.

Daily Beast:  Trump Eyes Accused ‘Quack’ Dr. Oz for Coronavirus Advice, by Lachlan Cartwright, 4/5/2020

As the global pandemic and a staggering economic crisis swells, Dr. Mehmet Oz, the controversial celebrity doctor, has been advising senior Trump administration officials on coronavirus-related matters. Oz has even caught Donald Trump’s attention with the celebrity doctor’s numerous appearances on the president’s favorite TV channel, The Daily Beast has learned.

Los Angeles Times:  Trump administration ended pandemic early-warning program to detect coronaviruses, by Emily Baumgaertner, James Rainey, 4/2/2020

Two months before the novel coronavirus is thought to have begun its deadly advance in Wuhan, China, the Trump administration ended a $200-million pandemic early-warning program aimed at training scientists in China and other countries to detect and respond to such a threat.

 

The project, launched by the U.S. Agency for International Development in 2009, identified 1,200 different viruses that had the potential to erupt into pandemics, including more than 160 novel coronaviruses. The initiative, called PREDICT, also trained and supported staff in 60 foreign laboratories — including the Wuhan lab that identified SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

 

On Wednesday, USAID granted an emergency extension to the program, issuing $2.26 million over the next six months to send experts who will help foreign labs squelch the pandemic. But program leaders say the funding will do little to further the initiative’s original mission.

 

“Look at the name: Our efforts were to predict this before it happens."

Washington Post: Federal government spent millions to ramp up mask readiness, but that isn’t helping now, by Jon Swaine, 4/3/2020

In September 2018, the Trump administration received detailed plans for a new machine designed to churn out millions of protective respirator masks at high speed during a pandemic.

 

The plans, submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by medical manufacturer O&M Halyard, were the culmination of a venture unveiled almost three years earlier by the Obama administration.

 

But HHS did not proceed with making the machine.

 

The project was one of two N95 mask ventures — totaling $9.8 million — that the federal government embarked on over the past five years to better prepare for pandemics.

 

The other involves the development of reusable masks to replace the single-use variety currently so scarce that medical professionals are using theirs over and over. Expert panels have advised the government for at least 14 years that reusable masks were vital.

 

That effort, like the quick mask machine, has not led to a single new mask for the government’s response.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan cases: 15,718 coronavirus cases, 617 deaths, by Meredith Spelbring, 4/5/2020

The highest percentage of people in the state who have confirmed cases of the illness are aged 50-59, at 20%. The highest percentage of people who have died from the virus are aged 80 or older, at 34%. The death rate is next highest for those ages 70-79 at 25% and 60-69 at 20%. Death rates for those younger than 50 years old is less than 9%.

 

Of the reported cases, 46% are female and 50% are male, with men accounting for 61% of the deaths.

Detroit Free Press:  Why coronavirus is running rampant in Michigan prisons, by Paul Egan and Angie Jackson, 4/5/2020

Parnall has more cases inside its walls than all of Jackson County, where the prison is located and which had only 81 cases as of Saturday.

Prospect:  Inside a Federal Prison, Where Inmates Can’t Stop Coughing, by Marcia Brown, 4/3/2020

Detroit Free Press: Legislative leaders at odds over extending Gov. Whitmer's emergency declaration, by Paul Egan and Kathleen Gray, 4/5/2020

LANSING — Michigan's state of emergency should be extended until May 1 — not for the 70 days requested by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, House Speaker Lee Chatfield said in a Saturday letter.

MichiganHouseSpeakerLeeChatfield

[Michigan's fate - your fate - is in the hands of this junior chamber of commerce grin.]

Detroit Free Press:   TCF Center transformation ahead of schedule, ready for patients April 8, by Kathleen Gray, 4/4/2020

Washington Post:  What the $2 trillion coronavirus bailout is really going to cost, Steven Pearlstein, 4/5/2020

Americans will pay the price of the economic rescue package: Not in higher taxes to service the debt or higher inflation, but in a slide toward a boom-and-bust economy.

 

Explained: "monetizing the debt."

Washington Post:  White House scrambles to scoop up medical supplies worldwide, angering Canada, Germany, By Jeanne Whalen,
Loveday Morris, Tom Hamburger and , 4/4/2020Terrence McCoy

Washington Post:  Trump announces intent to nominate White House lawyer Brian Miller as inspector general for $2 trillion coronavirus law, by Jeff Stein, 4/3/2020

During negotiations two weeks ago over the $2 trillion law, Democrats insisted on creating several new oversight measures to scrutinize how the Trump administration was spending the taxpayer money. The creation of the new inspector general was a central part of this effort, though Trump issued a signing statement shortly after enacting the law that appeared to be an attempt to limit the watchdog’s independence.

 

"A grifter move" - David Corn

Detroit News:  101 years ago: When the Spanish flu ravaged Detroit, by Jocelynn Brown, 4/4/2020

OaklandMunicipalAuditorium1918Epidemic

Common Dreams:  Corporate Media Ignore International Cooperation as Shortcut to Coronavirus Vaccine, by Joshua Cho, 4/4/2020

When Dr. Jonas Salk was asked in a legendary interview about who owned the patent on the effective polio vaccine he and his team had developed, he acknowledged that their achievement belonged to “the people,” and likened efforts to profit off their innovation to be as unethical as trying to patent the Sun (Washington Post, 3/2/20).

Common Dreams:  'A Mockery of Independence': Trump to Nominate White House Lawyer to Oversee $4.5 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill, by Julia Conley, 4/4/2020

Washington Post:  Mexican factories boost production of medical supplies for U.S. hospitals while country struggles with its own coronavirus outbreak, by Kevin Sieff, 4/3/2020

On Thursday, the mayor of Tijuana implored the city’s medical device manufacturers to “increase the portion of your production for local consumption.”

 

“We recognize the importance of your work for the economic development of the country,” Mayor Arturo González Cruz wrote. “But the health and well-being of Mexicans is even more important.”

La Prensa:  Indentifican un fármaco capaz de bloquear el COVID-19, 02 Apr 2020, Madrid, España

Expertos del Instituto de Bioingeniería de Cataluña (IBEC), en España, junto con investigadores del Instituto Karolinkska de Suecia, el Institute of Molecular Biotechnology de la Austrian Academy of Sciences y del Life Sciences Institute (LSI) de la Universidad of British Columbia, han identificado este fármaco, que ya se encuentra en fase clínica de pruebas, utilizando unos minirriñones generados en el laboratorio de Barcelona mediante técnicas de bioingeniería.

The Washington Post:  Por qué México tiene tan pocos casos de coronavirus en comparación con Estados Unidos, by Mary Beth Sheridan, 01 Apr 2020

Washington Post:  The U.S. was beset by denial and dysfunction as the coronavirus raged, by By Yasmeen Abutaleb, Josh Dawsey, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller, 4/4/2020

The United States will likely go down as the country that was supposedly best prepared to fight a pandemic but ended up catastrophically overmatched by the novel coronavirus, sustaining heavier casualties than any other nation.

 

It did not have to happen this way. Though not perfectly prepared, the United States had more expertise, resources, plans and epidemiological experience than dozens of countries that ultimately fared far better in fending off the virus.

 

The failure has echoes of the period leading up to 9/11: Warnings were sounded, including at the highest levels of government, but the president was deaf to them until the enemy had already struck.

 

The Trump administration received its first formal notification of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China on Jan. 3. Within days, U.S. spy agencies were signaling the seriousness of the threat to Trump by including a warning about the coronavirus — the first of many — in the President’s Daily Brief.

The Detroit Free Press:  Why coronavirus is running rampant in Michigan prisons, by Paul Egan and Angie Jackson, 4/5/2020

As of noon Saturday, 90 prisoners there had tested positive for COVID-19, dozens more were in quarantine because of exposure, and staff and prisoners at the 1,700-bed facility were saying the outbreak is much worse than the numbers show.

 

"We don't have the option of 'social distancing' and are rightfully worried and scared," said Rich Sherwood, 41, who lives in a low-security pod with seven other prisoners and has less than eight months to serve to be eligible for release on his cocaine trafficking conviction.

Washington Post: Coronavirus death toll: Americans are almost certainly dying of covid-19 but being left out of the official count, By Emma Brown, Beth Reinhard, and Aaron C. Davis, 4/5/2020

April 5, 2020, 1:16 P.M.: 9,132 people have died from coronavirus in the U.S. At least 321,000 cases have been confirmed., By Joe Fox, Brittany Renee Mayes, Kevin Schaul and Leslie Shapiro, Washington Post 

Washington Post:  All across the United States, the coronavirus is killing more men than women, data show, by Chris Mooney, Sarah Kaplan and Brady Dennis, 4/4/2020

As of Friday, men made up 59 percent of overall hospitalizations in New York City and 62 percent of more than 1,800 fatalities.

Who is Flex Ltd?  It began as Flextronix.  

The Indian Express: COVID-19 effect: Apple supplier targets production of 30,000 ventilators a month, By Bloomberg, 4/4/2020

Flex Ltd, a contract manufacturer known for making Apple Inc computers, is starting to assemble thousands of ventilators to meet surging demand for the machines in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The San Jose, California-based company will be churning out 25,000 to 30,000 ventilators a month by May or June, according to John Carlson, Flex’s head of medical solutions. That’s equal to the industry’s typical annual output, but as many as 1 million of these machines are needed now, he said in an interview Friday.

Euronews:  US election, COVID-19 and the stark parallels with 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, by Orlando Crowcroft, 4/4/2020

“I am literally watching my dissertation unfold in front of me,” said Kristin Watkins, a Colorado-based academic who wrote a 2015 paper on the Spanish Flu and its impact on the 1918 midterm elections in rural Nebraska.

 

“The disease is different, but [COVID-19] came into the US through the same ports, traveling the same way across the country. Hotbeds of infection were found, especially in east coast cities. Hospitals and clinics were overwhelmed, frontline medical professionals died in droves.”

New York Post:  Inside the luxurious underground bunkers where the rich bug out, by Dana Kennedy, 4/4/2020

New York Post:   Cats can infect each other with coronavirus, study finds, by Sam Raskin, 4/3/2020

Detroit News:  'This is just nuts': COVID-19 pounds northern Michigan county, by Craig Mauger, 4/3/2020

Otsego County's emergency medical services operation has about 36 employees. One of those employees already has COVID-19 and is on a ventilator in the hospital, Deming said. Two other employees have tested positive but haven't been hospitalized, he said.

Barron's:  New York City’s Economy Is in the Crucible of the Crisis, by Andrew Bary, 4/3/2020

Barron's: The Pandemic Highlights the Top U.S. Pot Producers, by Bill Alpert, 4/3/2020

MarketWatch:  Brace for the ‘deepest recession on record,’ says BofA analysts, as jobless claims surge to 6.6 million, by Mark DeCambre, 4/4/2020

Yahoo Finance:  Coronavirus job losses 'way worse than anything we saw in the Great Depression:' Economist, by Erin Fuchs, 4/3/2020

KPMG, one of the big four accounting firms, is expecting at least 8 million job losses for April and possibly closer to 12 million, according to Hunter. For the entire second quarter, it’s expecting 25 million job losses.

 

The jobs report — which showed over 700,000 job losses and an unemployment rate that jumped from 3.5% to 4.4% — does not begin to encapsulate the effects of the pandemic because it only extends through March 12, before the vast majority of the U.S. locked down. 

The Independent:  Trump trying to make voting dangerous to ensure reelection, says man who led impeachment inquiry, by Phil Thomas, 4/4/2020

MLive:  Michigan asked the federal government for more than 20 million N95 respirator masks for health care workers dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Three days later, only 112,800 masks from the national stockpile were delivered. By Malachi Barrett, 4/1/2020

Detroit News:  2nd Wayne County sheriff's staff member dies from virus, by Mark Hicks, 4/3/2020

MLive:  Younger coronavirus patients make up 40% of Michigan cases, have potential to spread the illness, by Gus Burns, 4/3/2020

“(The virus is) obviously more serious than you think,” Grand Blanc High School football coach Clint Alexander told MLive. “ ... Young kids think you can live forever, and now they realize this thing is pretty scary.”

 

Alexander’s comment came following Sunday’s coronavirus-related death of his former player, a 2018 Grand Blanc High School graduate, 20-year-old Freddie Brown Jr., and a day after Kalamazoo County health officials confirmed the death of 25-year-old Western Michigan University student Bassey Offiong, also from COVID-19.

Livingston Daily:  Community food pantries, food banks distribute more than 100 tons of food in March, by Kayla Daughterty, 4/3/2020

Livingston Daily:  Livingston County getting new medical director as coronavirus cases rise, by Jennifer Timar, 4/3/2020

Dr. Juan Luis Marquez stepped into his new role as a shared medical director representing both Livingston and Washtenaw counties on Wednesday, according to a Livingston County Health Department release.

 

Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, spokesperson for the Washtenaw County Health Department, said it is not unique for two counties to share a medical director.

 

"I think one of the challenges for local health departments, especially small health departments, is, to have a full-time medical director can be a resource challenge. Health departments have shrunk over the years, and certainly our biggest resources are staff," she said, also agreeing that it can be a budgetary challenge.

The Atlantic:  The Surreality of Central Park’s Field Hospital, 4/3/2020 

Detroit News:  State hikes fine to $1K for violations of stay-home order; licensing sanctions possible, by Beth LeBlanc, 4/2/2020 

Associated Press:  Residents snitch on businesses, neighbors amid shutdowns, by Tammy Webber, 4/2/2020

Associated Press:  Russia’s Putin orders month of Russia’ non-work to curb coronavirus, by Vladimir Isachenkov, 4/2/2020

Detroit News:  Ford vehicle sales fell 12.5% in first quarter, F-150 still truck king, by Henry Payne, 4/2/2020

The sales drop was the largest of the Detroit Three automakers with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles down 10% for the quarter and General Motors Co. off 7% as government-mandated stay-at-home orders and a souring economy slowed buyer traffic to a crawl.

The Atlantic:  Even Dead Bodies Pose Risks, by John Hendrickson, 3/29/2020

The Atlantic:  The Social-Distancing Culture War Has Begun, by McKay Coppins, 3/30/2020

The Atlantic:  There Are No Libertarians in an Epidemic, by Peter Nicholas, 3/10/2020

The Atlantic:  This Is How Donald Trump Will Be Remembered, by Peter Nicholas, 3/18/2020

Zero-sum politics doesn’t work in a pandemic.

The Atlantic:  Red and Blue America Aren’t Experiencing the Same Pandemic, by Ronald Brownstein, 3/20/2020

The Atlantic:  It's Not Just the Presidential Race Adjusting to the Coronavirus, by Adam Harris, 3/26/2020

The Atlantic:  How Los Angeles Is Preparing for a Worst-Case Scenario, by Todd S. Purdum, 3/27/2020

The Atlantic:  Private Labs Are Fueling a New Coronavirus Testing Crisis, by Alexis C. Madrigal and Robinson Meyer, 3/31/2020

Though the problem is national in scope, California is its known epicenter. Over the past week, the most populous state in the union—where the country’s first case of community transmission was identified, in late February—has managed to complete an average of only 2,136 tests each day, far fewer than other similarly populous states, according to our tracking data. Yet California also reports that more than 57,400 people have pending test results. Tens of thousands of Californians have been swabbed for the virus, but their samples have not yet been examined in a lab.

The Atlantic:  The Interminable Body Count, by Elaine Godfrey, 4/1/2020

We may never know how many people the coronavirus kills: “It sounds like it could be totally obvious—just count body bags. It’s not obvious at all.”

The Atlantic:  My Whole Household Has COVID-19, by Deborah Copaken, 3/27/2020

The Atlantic:  How the Pandemic Will End, by Ed Yong, 3/25/2020

The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out.

 

A global pandemic of this scale was inevitable. In recent years, hundreds of health experts have written books, white papers, and op-eds warning of the possibility. Bill Gates has been telling anyone who would listen, including the 18 million viewers of his TED Talk. In 2018, I wrote a story for The Atlantic arguing that America was not ready for the pandemic that would eventually come. In October, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security war-gamed what might happen if a new coronavirus swept the globe. And then one did. Hypotheticals became reality. “What if?” became “Now what?”

The Atlantic:  The Four Possible Timelines for Life Returning to Normal, by Joe Pinkser, 3/26/2020

The Atlantic:  I’m Treating Too Many Young People for the Coronavirus, Kerry Kennedy Meltzer, 3/26/2020

Americans in their 20s and 30s—no matter how healthy and invincible they feel—need to understand how dangerous this virus can be.

The Atlantic:  Everyone Thinks They’re Right About Masks, by Ed Yong, 4/1/2020

Guardian:  As the numbers of dead and unemployed grow, Trump looks and sounds smaller. By Richard Wolffe, 4/3/2020

Before the revisionists try too hard to make us forget, Trump’s leadership as the virus spread was as loud as a red cap perched on an orange combover. He abolished the pandemic group inside his own national security council, set aside the pandemic playbook left by his predecessor, and proposed cutting the CDC’s funding at the very moment the pandemic was taking hold. He spent February pretending like the pandemic was a hoax or would disappear, and spent March telling governors to fend for themselves.

 

So how did he respond to the worst weekly unemployment claims in American history? By changing the subject to the oil industry, suggesting that the Saudis and Russians might just be cutting production. As he bizarrely tweeted to a shell-shocked nation, “If it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry.”

Guardian:  Donald Trump fires intelligence watchdog who sparked impeachment process, by David Smith, 4/4/2020

 

Donald Trump has fired the inspector general for the intelligence community who handled the whistleblower complaint that led to his impeachment, prompting fierce criticism from Democrats.

 

The US president chose a Friday night, with America consumed by the coronavirus pandemic, to tell the House of Representatives and Senate intelligence committees of his decision to dismiss Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community who alerted Congress to whistleblower complaint.

Guardian:  'It’s a razor’s edge we’re walking': inside the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine, by Samanth Subramanian, 3/27/2020

Around the world, more than 40 teams are working on a vaccine for Covid-19. We followed one doctor in the most urgent quest of his life.

 

The latest class of vaccines – the type that Heeney works on – hold genetic material such as DNA or RNA; these are the kind that have never yet been licensed for use. They can be developed quickly, and they jog our immunity in distinctly different ways from everything that came before. The oldest method of vaccination involves dosing a person with inactive or enfeebled forms of the pathogen. For most of the past century, sourcing these was a laborious affair. For decades, scientists depleted the strength of viruses by growing them in human cell strains kept in labs at low temperatures; once the virus was sufficiently weak, it was safe to be sent into the human body in a vaccine. One line of lung cells, sourced from an aborted foetus in Sweden and multiplied again and again in lab cultures in the US, helped inoculate 300 million people against rubella, rabies, mumps and several other diseases.

 

Since 2016, Heeney has been honing a set of methods – a platform, in vaccine parlance – that can be used to fashion vaccines that destroy whole families of viruses. Last year, he won a Gates Foundation grant of $2m (£1.6m) to fund research into a universal flu vaccine – one that will prevail against every kind of flu virus. “It’s the mother of all challenges, the holy grail,”

 

Until this century, crafting a vaccine for even a long-familiar pathogen such as the polio virus, ushering it through trials and bringing it to market could take as long as 10 or 20 years. The first of these three stages is now staggeringly quick; a scientist at one company, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, told New Scientist magazine that her team had a preliminary model for a Covid-19 vaccine after just three hours of work.

 

Unlike Heeney’s project, which takes on a whole family of viruses, most vaccine projects are targeting just the virus causing Covid-19, but they follow the same basic, still-experimental approach: synthesise DNA or RNA, tuck that genetic material into a vaccine and have it build antigens once it’s shot into the body. (I found only a couple of projects that are working the older way, using a weakened form of the whole virus in a vaccine.) Heeney is fully aware that these DNA and RNA vaccines may all still collapse in trials. “There are graveyards full of failed viral vaccine candidates,” he said. But if even one succeeds, “then we’ll be entering a brave new world of vaccines”.

Federal News Network:  Your checks during coronavirus: A guide for federal employees and retirees, by Nicole Ogrysko, 4/2/2020

Federal News Network:  Updated: What the $2T coronavirus stimulus means for federal employees, retirees and contractors, by Jory Heckman and Nicole Ogrysko, 3/27/2020

USA Today:  Navy Capt. Crozier, fired for letter about coronavirus on USS Roosevelt, gets big send-off from sailors, by Nicholas Wu, 4/3/2020

WASHINGTON – Videos posted on social media showed a huge send-off for Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, the commander of an aircraft carrier who was ousted Thursday after sending a letter pleading with Navy leadership to protect his crew from the spreading coronavirus.

Kaiser Health News: Trump Administration Uses Wartime Powers for First Dibs on Supplies, Ahead of States, By Christina Jewett and Lauren Weber, 4/3/2020

The Trump administration quietly invoked the Defense Production Act to force medical suppliers in Texas and Colorado to sell to it first—ahead of states, hospitals, or foreign countries.

 

While it’s unclear how many times the power has been used during the coronavirus pandemic, federal contracting records examined by Kaiser Health News show that federal authorities staked first rights to $137 million in medical supplies. The orders in late March flew under the radar, even as dog-eat-dog bidding wars raged among states and nations for desperately needed medical protective gear.

 

“It’s putting people into the free market where the invisible hand doesn’t care who it strangles,” said Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at New York University School of Medicine.

 

When federal officials made a similar move in Massachusetts, it took state leaders by surprise. Marylou Sudders, who leads the state coronavirus command center, said an order of 400 masks from MSC Industrial Supply was canceled abruptly due to federal intervention, according to a report in The Boston Globe.

Detroit News:  The Henry Ford in Dearborn to lay off 80% of workers, cut pay, by Mark Hicks, 4/2/2020

CNN:  Experts tell White House coronavirus can spread through talking or even just breathing, By Elizabeth Cohen,4/2/2020

Washington Post:  An outbreak of incompetence, by Jennifer Rubin, 4/3/2020

White House adviser Jared Kushner broke the irony meter as he — not someone qualified, such as Anthony S. Fauci — took over the daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday to inform us: “What a lot of the voters are seeing now is that when you elect somebody ... think about who will be a competent manager during the time of crisis.”

Detroit News:  U.P. businesses accused of defying order to limit work amid COVID-19 crisis, by Mark Hicks, 4/2/2020

Detroit News:  State hikes fine to $1K for violations of stay-home order; licensing sanctions possible, by Beth LeBlanc, 4/2/2020

The Guardian:  Detroit bus driver dies of coronavirus after posting video about passenger coughing, by Lois Beckett, 4/3/2020

In late March, Jason Hargrove, a public bus driver in Detroit, posted a live Facebook video about a woman coughing on his bus several times without covering her mouth.

“That lets me know that some folks don’t care,” he said, in an emotional live stream. “You all need to take this shit seriously. There’s folks dying out here.”

Less than two weeks later, he died of coronavirus, Detroit’s mayor announced in a press conference on Thursday.

Pittwire:  COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Shows Promise in First Peer-Reviewed Research, 4/2/2020

The researchers were able to act quickly because they had already laid the groundwork during earlier coronavirus epidemics.

 

“We had previous experience on SARS-CoV in 2003 and MERS-CoV in 2014. These two viruses, which are closely related to SARS-CoV-2, teach us that a particular protein, called a spike protein, is important for inducing immunity against the virus. We knew exactly where to fight this new virus,” said co-senior author Andrea Gambotto, associate professor of surgery at the Pitt School of Medicine. “That’s why it’s important to fund vaccine research. You never know where the next pandemic will come from.”

 

The researchers also used a novel approach to deliver the drug, called a microneedle array, to increase potency. This array is a fingertip-sized patch of 400 tiny needles that delivers the spike protein pieces into the skin, where the immune reaction is strongest. The patch goes on like a Band-Aid and then the needles—which are made entirely of sugar and the protein pieces—simply dissolve into the skin.

New York Daily News:  President "Edits" promises, by Chris Sommerfeldt and Dave Goldiner, 4/3/2020

National stockpile website abruptly edited after Jared Kushner claims medical supply reserves are ‘ours’

StrategicNationalStockpileSiteBeforeAfter10am20200403

StrategicNationalStockpileSiteBeforeAfter10am20200403 CaptionOnlyX

 

Daily Beast:  Kushner’s Claims About National Stockpile Contradicted by Trump’s Own Administration, by Erin Banco, Hunter Woodhall, 4/3/2020

“Jared Kushner doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about. He has no idea,” said Gen. Russel Honore, a retired military general who helped direct the response on the ground during Hurricane Katrina. “He must have remembered something from some slide or some speech. But that’s why people created the national strategic stockpile in the first place. It’s for those days when we can’t predict what we need. What I see is a total misunderstanding by the White House that they have a responsibility to help maintain the stockpile and help states.”

New York Daily News:  Confirmed coronavirus cases in N.Y. soar over 100,000: Cuomo, by Dave Goldiner, 4/3/2020

Gov. Cuomo vowed to take emergency action to get more ventilators for those in desperate need as the coronavirus pandemic killed a daily record high of 562 New Yorkers and positive cases soared over 100,000 in NYS.

New York Daily News:  Philippines president gives authorities okay to shoot those violating coronavirus lockdown orders, by Jessica Schladebeck, 4/2/2020

Los Angeles Times:  The most compelling photos of California during pandemic, 4/1/2020

 

The Detroit Free Press:  Michigan nursing home group reports coronavirus cases at 7 locations, by Elisha Anderson, Gina Kaufman and Christina Hall, 3/31/2020

Advantage Living Centers, which previously confirmed that two residents of its Roseville facility had died after being diagnosed with COVID-19, has also reported cases at the Northwest and Samaritan facilities in Detroit and facilities in Harper Woods, Redford, Wayne and Battle Creek.

TalentHouse Art Works: United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives - help stop the spread of COVID-19, 3/30/2020

Submission Deadline: April 9th

Detroit Free Press:  Nurse who died from coronavirus was a hero, risked her life for veterans, son says, by Jennifer Dixon, 4/3/2020

Washington Post:  In a city defined by power, A virus has seized control, by John Woodrow Cox, Jessica Contrera, Paul Schwartzman, Peter Jamison, Petula Dvorak, Hannah Natanson and Sydney Trent, 4/2/2020 

“I just want to let y’all know this is serious, you know what I’m saying? I just lost my son this morning with coronavirus,” said Thomas Fields Sr., 51, as dozens of eyes turned toward him. Just three hours earlier, he had learned that his only child, named after him, had died in a Detroit hospital. His father said the Navy veteran, a diabetic, had a fiancee and a 5-year-old son. He was 32.

Miami Herald:  ‘It’s catastrophic.’ Coronavirus forces Florida farmers to scrap food they can’t sell, by Carlos Frías and Kevin G. Hall, 3/31/2020

A tractor with a 35-foot blade mowed down one million pounds of green beans ready to be picked at R.C. Hatton’s Pahokee fields.

 

Harvesting that fruit can cost more than twice as much as simply razing it. Workers who usually make between $15-$17 an hour, paid by the amount they pick, instead earn minimum wage doing field work.

The Daily Beast:  ‘This Is What We Signed Up For’: Meet the Med School Grads Fast-Tracked to the Coronavirus Front Line, by Tim Teeman, 4/3/2020

The Daily Beast:  The Villains of the Virus Are Cashing In and Spreading Death, by Michael Tomasky, 4/3/2020

A crisis like this brings out the best in most people. But in people who were bad to begin with, it brings out the worst. And it begins and ends with the worst person of all, the one whose attempts to wish all this away is raining this mayhem down on us today and now congratulates himself in advance if we have “only” 100,000 deaths, or maybe 200,000. He set the tone that all these others follow and that makes the United States of America right now the shame of the world.

The Daily Beast:  ‘It’s Never Been Like This’: Coronavirus Deaths Overwhelm New York Funeral Workers, by Emily Shugerman, 4/3/2020

To handle the increase in bodies, the city has purchased 45 refrigerated trucks to station outside hospitals. FEMA also plans to send another 85 mobile morgues to the area, and the Department of Defense Mortuary Affairs is sending 42 staffers to the city’s chief medical examiner’s office. A spokesperson for the office told The New York Times that the 45 trucks would increase the city’s morgue capacity from 900 to at least 3,500.

 

That's 58 corpses per truck.

Wired:  The High-Stakes Race to Build More Ventilators, by Alex Davies, 4/2/2020

While smaller outfits like Virgin Orbit, vacuum maker Dyson, a group of MIT researchers, and others are designing new kinds of ventilators, America’s major manufacturers are sticking with proven technology. Ford and General Electric have licensed a design from Airon, a small Florida outfit that typically builds two or three ventilators a day. The two giants say they’ll produce 50,000 in the next 100 days, and 30,000 a month thereafter. Much of that work will happen at Ford’s Rawsonville components facility in Detroit, with 500 United Auto Workers members covering three shifts. General Motors is planning to bring in 1,200 UAW workers to build 10,000 Ventec Life Systems ventilators a month at its plant in Kokomo, Indiana.

Washington Post:  Social Security recipients who don’t usually file tax returns will automatically get $1,200 payments, Treasury says in reversal, by Heather Long, 4/1/2020

The Treasury announced late Wednesday that Social Security beneficiaries who typically do not file a tax return will automatically get the $1,200 payment.

 

“Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

Detroit Free Press:  Next 100 days: Ford, GE Healthcare will team up to produce 50,000 ventilators in Michigan, by Phoebe Wall Howard, 3/30/2020

Wired:  The Mathematics of Predicting the Course of the Coronavirus, by Adam Rogers, Megan Molteni, 3/30/2020

Just 14 percent of infections were diagnosed, they wrote. Fully 86 percent of infected people were the walking ill, stealth transmitters of the virus. “Those undocumented infected people were about half as infectious. However, because there are many more of them, they are the dominant driver of the outbreak,” says one of the creators of the model, Jeffrey Shaman, director of the Climate and Health Program at the Columbia University School of Public Health. “This virus needs these undocumented cases to successfully move through a society.

Wired:  First Denial, Then Fear: Covid-19 Patients in Their Own Words, by Garrett M. Graff, 3/27/2020

In an interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter, emergency physician Esther Choo said, “What would the zombie apocalypse be like if we only had verbal descriptions of zombies, but could never show them?”

Washington Post: Navy removes aircraft carrier captain who raised alarm about coronavirus response, By Dan Lamothe, Missy Ryan and Paul Sonne, 4/2/2020

Washington Post Opinion:  Bill Gates: Here’s how to make up for lost time on covid-19, by Bill Gates, 3/31/2020  

To bring the disease to an end, we’ll need a safe and effective vaccine. If we do everything right, we could have one in less than 18 months — about the fastest a vaccine has ever been developed. But creating a vaccine is only half the battle. To protect Americans and people around the world, we’ll need to manufacture billions of doses. (Without a vaccine, developing countries are at even greater risk than wealthy ones, because it’s even harder for them to do physical distancing and shutdowns.)

 

We can start now by building the facilities where these vaccines will be made. Because many of the top candidates are made using unique equipment, we’ll have to build facilities for each of them, knowing that some won’t get used. Private companies can’t take that kind of risk, but the federal government can. It’s a great sign that the administration made deals this week with at least two companies to prepare for vaccine manufacturing. I hope more deals will follow.

Washington Post Opinon: One America News Network has been ousted from coronavirus briefing rotation. Here’s why. by Eric Wemple, 4/2/2020

Washington Post Opinion:  He wrote ‘Contagion.’ Here’s what he had to say about the response to the coronavirus,  by Michele L. Norris, 4/1/2020

It is sad, and it is frustrating. Sad because so many people are dying and getting sick. Frustrating because people still don’t seem to grasp the situation we are now in and how it could have been avoided by properly funding the science around all of this. It is also surreal to me that people from all over the world write to me asking how I knew it would involve a bat or how I knew the term “social distancing.” I didn’t have a crystal ball — I had access to great expertise. So, if people find the movie to be accurate, it should give them confidence in the public health experts who are out there right now trying to guide us.

 

People also want to know what I think will happen next. My sense is that we are still very much in the first act of this story — how it will go from here depends on how both the people and the government react in the days ahead. I never contemplated a federal response that was so ignorant, misguided and full of dangerous information. I thought our leaders were sworn to protect us. I don’t get to write this story this time. This is a story we are all writing together.

Medium:  How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History
And what that can teach us about the coronavirus’ potential to do the same, by Steve Levine, 4/2/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Governor Whitmer: Schools will remain closed for the rest of this school year. An Update on the Coronavirus epidemic, by Emy Huschka, 4/2/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan estimates that drop in tax revenues could be up to $3 billion for fiscal year, by Paul Egan and Todd Spangler, 4/2/2020

Ron Leix, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Treasury, said "initial modeling put numbers in the range of $1 billion to $3 billion for a 2020 impact, and $1 billion to $4 billion for a 2021 impact based on various scenarios, showing the wide range and uncertainty of the situation."

 

Normal Tax revenues?  Business: $930 Million/year,  Sales tax: $8.6 Billion/year,  Income tax: $10.6 Billion/year

Combined General fund and School Aid funds: under $25 Billion/year

 

The potential $3.8 billion from the federal government will not help address Michigan's tax revenue shortfall, because it is mainly intended to pay for additional costs the state will face as a result of the pandemic.

 

Michigan is more fortunate than many states in having a $1.2-billion Rainy Day Fund, known more formally as a Budget Stabilization Fund.  The state can essentially tap up to 25% of the fund if there is a dip in personal income growth. Withdrawing more than 25% would require legislative approval.

MLive:  Busch is giving 3 months of free beer to people who take in dogs during coronavirus pandemic, by Brandon Champion, 4/1/2020

“Foster a Dog, Get Busch” was launched by Busch Beer on March 25. The premise is simple. Through April 22, anyone who fosters or adopts a dog through the Midwest Animal Rescue and Services will receive a fresh, 3-month supply of Busch beer.

WHMI:  Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Implements Furloughs, by Jessica Matthews, 4/2/2020

             St. Joe's Coronavirus information and suggested supply donations page

April 2:  Special report: The simulations driving the world’s response to COVID-19, by David Adam, Nature

Daily Beast:  Army Warned in Early February That Coronavirus Could Kill 150,000 Americans, by James LaPorta and Spencer Ackerman, 4/2/2020

While the president was still downplaying the COVID-19 epidemic, an Army briefing shared with The Daily Beast shows the service warning of the scale of death Trump now concedes. 

 

The document came two days after Defense Secretary Mark Esper instructed NORTHCOM to begin “prudent planning” for synchronizing a military response to a domestic COVID-19 outbreak.

 

A month after the Army’s briefing, on March 4, President Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity that the World Health Organization’s coronavirus death estimate of 3.4 percent was a “false number,” since it contradicted a “hunch” he had. “It’s not that severe,” the president said.

USArmyBriefing 2020 02 03 601x449 33pct

Washington Post:  Coronavirus cases nearing 1 million worldwide as death toll soars; staggering U.S. employment claims expected, by Adam Taylor, Teo Armus, Jennifer Hassan, Rick Noack, Brittany Shammas and John Wagner, 4/2/2020

Data showing new U.S. unemployment claims will be released Thursday, and economists expect the figure to be staggering — possibly 4 million to 5 million in a single week. Job losses have exploded as the economy shut down in an effort to slow the outbreak; last week, the Labor Department said a record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits.

Washington Post:  Many public schools never recovered from the Great Recession. The coronavirus could spark a new education crisis., by Valerie Strauss, 4/2/2020

Public school funding has, in some places, never recovered from the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Now, districts and states around the country are facing the prospect of a new financial crisis for public education as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

 

Insufficient education funding and low teacher pay sparked the 2018 Red for Ed movement, in which teachers, first in Republican-led states, went out on strike to demand more resources for their schools and higher salaries. Some states settled the strikes with promises to pay teachers more money, but now, some of those raises are in jeopardy.

April 2:  Is the coronavirus airborne? Experts can’t agree, by Dyani Lewis, Nature

“In the mind of scientists working on this, there’s absolutely no doubt that the virus spreads in the air,” says aerosol scientist Lidia Morawska at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. “This is a no-brainer.”

 

Aerosols are also more likely to be produced by talking and breathing, which might even constitute a bigger risk than sneezing and coughing, says virologist Julian Tang at the University of Leicester, UK. “When someone’s coughing, they turn away, and when they’re sneezing, they turn away,” he says. That’s not the case when we talk and breathe.

 

A study of people with influenza found that 39% of people exhaled infectious aerosols5. As long as we are sharing an airspace with someone else, breathing in the air that they exhale, airborne transmission is possible, says Tang.

 

Whatever the infectious dose, length of exposure is probably an important factor too, says Tang. Each breath might not produce much virus, he says, but “if you’re standing beside [someone who’s infected], sharing the same airspace with them for 45 minutes, you’re going to inhale enough virus to cause infection”.

USA Today:  AP: Man intentionally derailed Los Angeles train near U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Mercy, Feds say, by Christopher Weber, 4/1/2020

Moreno acknowledged in two separate interviews with law enforcement that he intentionally derailed and crashed the train near the Mercy, according to the criminal complaint.

 

"You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to," Moreno told investigators, according to the complaint. "People don't know what's going on here. Now they will."

Detroit Free Press:  Lily Tomlin donates $100K to new relief campaign for Detroit service workers, by Miriam Marini, 4/1/2020

Washington Post:  U.S. coronavirus deaths surge past 4,600 as officials start to compare struggle with Italy’s outbreak, by Matt Zapotsky, Nick Miroff and Ian Duncan, 4/1/2020

Coronavirus deaths in the United States passed 4,600 Wednesday as Vice President Pence issued an ominous warning that America’s situation is most comparable to Italy’s struggle with the virus, which has pushed that nation’s hospitals to capacity and has left more than 13,000 people dead despite a weeks-long lockdown.

Livingston Daily:  Number of positive coronavirus cases breaks 100 in Livingston County, by Kayla Daugherty, 4/1/2020

KCRA-TV:  Researchers predict when US, each state will see peak of COVID-19 cases, 4/1/2020

What we are really seeing here and what we keep enforcing for everybody is if you stay at home it's working. If you shut down your school it's working. If you stop non-essential services, it's working. And this is what is really surprising us, that we can see it within like a week or two weeks a big difference in the number of projected deaths.

SciTechDaily: MIT Chemists Have Developed a Peptide That Could Block COVID-19, by Anne Trafton, 3/29/2020

The MIT team then used peptide synthesis technology that Pentelute’s lab has previously developed, to rapidly generate a 23-amino acid peptide with the same sequence as the alpha helix of the ACE2 receptor. Their benchtop flow-based peptide synthesis machine can form linkages between amino acids, the buildings blocks of proteins, in about 37 seconds, and it takes less than an hour to generate complete peptide molecules containing up to 50 amino acids.

MLive:  How much more is the U.S. drinking during coronavirus spread? A lot. by Justin Lofton, 4/1/2020 

DeadState:  Pastor packs in over 1,200 worshippers after being charged for defying coronavirus lockdowns, by Megan Hamilton, 4/1/2020

The pastor told CBS News that 1,265 people attended the service and he defended the gathering. Pastor Mark Anthony Spell, of the Life Tabernacle Church, in Central, Louisiana, earlier told NBC that police had given him summonses for six services he has held since March 16, when Governor John Bel Edwards issued an order against gatherings of more than 50 people.

MLive:  Michigan closes in on 10,000 confirmed coronavirus cases with largest single-day jump, by Justin P. Hicks, 4/1/2020

The majority of cases remain in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties with about 80 percent of the cases and almost 88 percent of the state’s deaths from COVID-19. The trio of counties are home to 39 percent of Michigan residents.

Washington Post:  Sent home from the hospital with a pneumonia diagnosis, he died days later of covid-19, by Laura Vozzella, 4/1/2020

Bloomberg:  China Concealed Extent of Virus Outbreak, U.S. Intelligence Says, By Nick Wadhams and Jennifer Jacobs, 4/1/2020

The outbreak began in China’s Hubei province in late 2019, but the country has publicly reported only about 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That compares to more than 189,000 cases and more than 4,000 deaths in the U.S., which has the largest publicly reported outbreak in the world.

 

“The reality is that we could have been better off if China had been more forthcoming,” Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday on CNN. “What appears evident now is that long before the world learned in December that China was dealing with this, and maybe as much as a month earlier than that, that the outbreak was real in China.

The Daily Beast:  Making Sense of Italy’s Staggering COVID-19 Death Toll, by Barbie Latza Nadeau, 4/1/2020

Italy’s Society of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care sent out 15 ethical recommendations for how to prioritize resources in war zone-like conditions, which the pandemic has created in much of northern Italy. One recommendation was tragically explicit. When dealing with severe shortages of health resources, it said, doctors should “aim to ensure intensive treatments for patients with greater chances of therapeutic success: it is therefore a matter of prioritizing the ‘greatest life expectancy.’”

 

Thousands of grandparents and family elders are now simply gone without a trace.

The Daily Beast:  What if This Coronavirus Lockdown Is Only the Beginning? by Lynne Peeples, 4/1/2020

“It's like a fire. If you don't completely put it out, it will come back. You have to keep suppressing it,” Michael Osterholm, professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told The Daily Beast.

Detroit Free Press:  Michigan's record-high water levels are beginning to collide with coronavirus, by Keith Matheny, 4/1/2020

DeadState:  Christian pastor announces ‘blowout’ church service in defiance of lockdown orders: ‘It’ll be like Woodstock’, by Megan Hamilton, 3/31/2020

“We’re gonna hold an outdoor Easter blowout service — not online,” he said. “A national gathering. You come from all over — like Woodstock.

The Indian Express: Italy home quarantine repeats China’s mistake, doctors say, By Bloomberg, 3/31/2020

Doctors in Wuhan made the same error early on in the outbreak, said Liang Zong’An, head of the respiratory department at the West China Hospital at Sichuan University.

 

“Due to lockdown, most of the transmission that’s actually happening in many countries now is happening in the household at family level,” Mike Ryan, head of health emergencies at the World Health Organization, said in a briefing on Monday. “Now we need to go and look in families and find those people that may be sick and remove them and isolate them in a safe and dignified manner.”

Detroit Free Press:  Michiganders who did not qualify for unemployment benefits now eligible, by Frank Witsil, 3/30/2020

The New York Times:  Days After a Funeral in a Georgia Town, Coronavirus ‘Hit Like a Bomb,’ by Ellen Barry, 3/30/2020

Like the Biogen conference in Boston and a 40th birthday party in Westport, Conn., the funeral of Andrew Jerome Mitchell on Feb. 29 will be recorded as what epidemiologists call a “super-spreading event,” in which a small number of people propagate a huge number of infections.

The New York Times: It’s Too Late to Avoid Disaster, but There Are Still Things We Can Do, by Michael T. Osterholm MD and Mark Olshaker, 3/27/2020

In three to four weeks, there will be a major shortage of chemical reagents for coronavirus testing, the result of limited production capacity, compounded by the collapse of global supply chains when the epidemic closed down manufacturing in China for weeks.

 

For example, even as 3M was producing at 100 percent of its capacity (35 million N-95 masks a month), a single hospital in New York City used up more than two million masks in February, before the surge in Covid-19 cases there. And new production won’t happen for many months.

 

If you can’t make nearly enough masks to meet the need, then you must conserve the masks you can make. Unfortunately, some hospitals in the United States are not employing science-based methods for conserving these invaluable lifesaving masks.

 

Making ventilators — machines that breathe for patients who cannot effectively do so on their own — poses an even more formidable challenge. For example, a Medtronic ventilator has about 1,500 parts, supplied by 14 separate countries. More machines might, at best, be manufactured by the hundreds a month — but not by the thousands, as is needed right now. 

Forbes:  I Spent A Day In The Coronavirus-Driven Feeding Frenzy Of N95 Mask Sellers And Buyers And This Is What I Learned, David DiSalvo, 3/30/2020

The buyers—from state government purchasing departments and hospital systems representing facilities throughout the Northeast, Midwest and California—expressed desperation for masks to protect their healthcare workers, but in the end not a single deal was completed with any of these groups, and millions of masks were earmarked to leave the country, purchased by foreign buyers.

 

By the end of the day, roughly 280 million masks from warehouses around the U.S. had been purchased by foreign buyers and were earmarked to leave the country, according to the broker — and that was in one day.

 

To his knowledge none of the masks had been purchased by buyers in the U.S.

The Daily Beast: Trump Hates Sharing the Stage More Than He Loves America, by Molly Jong Fast, 4/1/2020

Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer "is a total loser." Florida’s Ron DeSantis "is perfect."

No other president would behave remotely like this.

WHMI:  SEMCOG Addresses Relief Funding From Stimulus Package, by Mike Kruzman, 3/31/2020

The passing of the CARES Act means $150-billion will be coming to state governments across the country. Michigan will be allocated $3.87-billion of that. SEMCOG, which is a regional planning partnership of local governmental units in 7 counties including Livingston, says the funding will be distributed differently depending on county population, with the magic number being 500,000 residents. The 5 counties that qualify will receive their allocation from the federal government. The remaining $2.8- billion will go to the state, with the Governor and legislature determining how much comes to the smaller counties, like Livingston County, and how much stays with the state to support their COVID-19 fighting efforts.

 

SEMCOG is hosting a webinar this Thursday with Senator Gary Peters, who will share his perspectives on how the Act will impact local government, small business, health care, and residents. It begins at 11am, and registration is now open on SEMCOG’s website.

Detroit Free Press:  Whitmer joins GOP governor from Maryland in joint coronavirus plea to Washington, by Paul Egan, 3/31/2020

“The coronavirus doesn’t distinguish between red states and blue states, and neither can we,” Whitmer and Hogan write in an op-ed in The Washington Post.

Livingston Daily:  Coronavirus cases in Livingston County hit 80, by Jennifer Timar, 3/31/2020

The Daily Beast:  Coronavirus Is Building an Invisible Border Wall Between Kentucky and Tennessee, by Hunter Woodall, 3/31/2020

The coronavirus pandemic has led to an uneven mixture of state and local decisions aimed at containing the virus, causing frustrations and confusion in a situation that continues to escalate while the numbers of cases and deaths grow.

 

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine and public health at UCLA, said he's concerned about the overall panic, including from politicians who he said are putting in interventions that aren't evidence based.

 

"The new reality is that we have public health interventions being led by politicians," Klausner said. "And the real question is, where are the public health people? Where is the CDC? Where are the state public health officials?"

WHMI:  Michigan Officials Plead For Ventilators, People To Run Them, by Jon King, 3/31/2020

Michigan has 1,700 ventilators — critical equipment to help people breathe — but Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s medical executive, says the state needs 5,000 to 10,000 more. The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent 400 due to arrive today. The state is procuring 2,000 from other sources, but Gov. Whitmer says there will be a shortage of those to operate the machines and treat the patients that are on them.

Politico:  Pence task force freezes coronavirus aid amid backlash, by Natasha Bertrand, Gabby Orr, Daniel Lippman, and Nahal Toosi, 3/31/2020

Last week, a Trump administration official working to secure much-needed protective gear for doctors and nurses in the United States had a startling encounter with counterparts in Thailand.

The official asked the Thais for help—only to be informed by the puzzled voices on the other side of the line that a U.S. shipment of the same supplies, the second of two so far, was already on its way to Bangkok.

Daily Beast:  White House Trots Out Grim Death Models to Drive Home Social Distancing, by Olivia Messer, 3/31/2020

“We’re very dependent on each person in the United States... following the presidential guideline to a tee.”

The Detroit Free Press:  Thirty-one residents and five staff members at a west Michigan nursing home have tested positive for COVID-19. By Christina Hall, 3/31/2020

There have been no deaths from the virus at Metron of Cedar Springs, said Mark Winter, president of Identity, a public relations firm in Bingham Farms, on Tuesday, speaking of behalf of the company.

 

Kent County Health Department spokesman Steve Kelso confirmed the numbers provided by the facility and said the first positive case was reported Friday. By Tuesday, there were 36 people sickened in the 77-bed facility.

Politico:  The next coronavirus hot spots are in states that aren’t testing enough, by David Lim, 3/31/2020

As the coronavirus marches from America’s coastal cities to its heartland, testing gaps in the South and Midwest are crippling efforts to contain emerging hotspots in smaller cities and rural areas.

 

Georgia, Michigan and Oklahoma are among the states where coronavirus outbreaks are intensifying — and where per capita testing rates are some of the lowest in the nation. While hard-hit New York state was testing more than 950 out of every 100,000 people as of Monday, Georgia was only testing 127 and Oklahoma 43. That raises the likelihood that these states are severely underestimating the size of their outbreaks.

 

Michigan, which opened its first drive-through testing site this week in the emerging hotspot of Detroit, saw its confirmed case count jump by 1,000 on Monday, and then again on Tuesday. The state ranks third nationally in deaths, with 259, but its per capita testing rate is less than one-third that of New York’s.

Daily Beast:  Another Pastor Charged With Defying Coronavirus Orders Against Large Gatherings, by Pilar Melendez, 3/31/2020

“It’s not a concern,” Spell said last Tuesday after another service. “The virus, we believe, is politically motivated. We hold our religious rights dear and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says.”

Politico:  ‘Everybody’s in the same boat’: Coronavirus drives New York’s hospitals to breaking point, by Sally Goldenberg, Amanda Eisenberg, Danielle Muoio, 3/31/2020

The pandemic has exposed how ill-prepared hospitals are for a crisis of this magnitude, despite repeated pleas by medical professionals to bolster response plans. Some of that falls on the federal government, which under Democratic and Republican leadership alike has stripped funding for programs created in the wake of 9/11 to prepare health systems for a catastrophe.

Daily Beast:  Cuomo Says Coronavirus Is ‘More Dangerous’ Than We Thought as N.Y. Cases Jump Overnight, Pilar Melendez, 3/31/2020

New York City’s hospitals have been struggling over the last week to keep up with the influx of patients. With over 10,900 residents hospitalized with the virus, including 2,700 patients in ICUs, Cuomo said that the health-care system still needs more supplies, space, and personnel. The state has ordered 17,000 ventilators from China to help hospitals, paying about $25,000 per machine.

 

“It’s like being on Ebay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator. How inefficient,” Cuomo said, noting that he only expects to receive about 2,500 machines from China because other states, the federal government, and Italy have also placed orders from the foreign government. “And then FEMA gets involved and FEMA starts bidding. And now FEMA is bidding on top of the 50. So FEMA is driving up the price. What sense does this make?” Cuomo asked.

 

“We’re all anxious, we’re all tired, we’re all fatigued. It’s been all bad news for a long time. Our whole lifestyle has been disrupted. Everybody wants to know one thing, when will it end. Nobody knows,” Cuomo said. “We’re dealing with a war we’ve never dealt with before. We need a totally different mindset and organizational transformation.”

BuzzFeed News: This Pandemic Is Not Your Vacation, by Anne Helen Petersen, 3/31/2020

“Wealth is the vector.” That’s what sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom tweeted last week, in reference to the spread of COVID-19 across both the globe and the United States. Wealth is not the cause of every concentrated outbreak dotting the United States. But it’s the common denominator of so much of its spread outside of major urban areas. It’s the reason why so many of the coronavirus hot spots in the Mountain West — Sun Valley, Idaho; Gunnison County, Colorado, Summit County, Utah; Gallatin County, Montana — overlap with winter playgrounds for the wealthy. The virus travels via people, and the people who travel the most, both domestically and internationally, are rich people.

 

Some of these places — particularly in northern states like Michigan, Montana, and Idaho, with abundant natural sources of water — have already been identified as places to retreat from the effects of climate change. “Rural communities are going to see an uptick, outside of the coronavirus, of people buying property and second homes as a refuge from climate change,” said Hardy, whose research focuses on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “And it’s the same thing with the so-called coronavirus refugee: People are thinking, Where do we want to be in a disaster situation? Where is the most safe? And the answer, to them, are these rural places.” 

FORSCHUNGSVERBUND Berlin: Scientists Create Phage Capsid Nanoparticles That Prevent Viral Infection, Nature-Nanotechnology, 3/31/2020

Perfectly fitting binding sites cause influenza viruses to be enveloped by the phage capsids in such a way that it is practically impossible for them to infect lung cells any longer. This phenomenon has been proven in pre-clinical trials, also involving human lung tissue. Researchers from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP), Freie Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin (TU), Humboldt-Universität (HU), the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin were involved in this groundbreaking work. The results are also being used for the immediate investigation of the coronavirus.

 

The phage capsid envelops flu viruses so perfectly that they can no longer infect cells. “Pre-clinical trials show that we are able to render harmless both seasonal influenza viruses and avian flu viruses with our chemically modified phage shell,” explained Professor Dr. Christian Hackenberger, Head of the Department Chemical Biology at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Leibniz Humboldt Professor for Chemical Biology at HU Berlin. “It is a major success that offers entirely new perspectives for the development of innovative antiviral drugs.”

New York Times:  Low Pay, High Risk: Nursing Home Workers Confront Coronavirus Dilemma, by Emma Cott, Ben Laffin and Elie Khadra, 3/31/2020

“Who else is going to take care of them?” We spoke with nursing home workers about their fear of catching and spreading coronavirus.

The Washington Post:  What governors need from Washington during this health emergency, by Gretchen Whitmer and Larry Hogan, 3/30/2020

The coronavirus doesn’t distinguish between red states and blue states, and neither can we.

WHMI:  Howell Nurse Asks Public To Restrict Use Of Needed Medical Supplies, by Jon King, 3/30/2020

When she’s out shopping and sees members of the general public wearing N95 masks, it definitely creates a reaction. "Every time I see one I think, 'Well, that's another nurse or doctor that could have been protected.' They don't need an N95, they only need a regular face mask out in the public. They're not getting any kind of aerosolized danger. They're only getting droplet danger if someone were to be coughing in their face or sneezing in their face."

Today:  Johnson & Johnson CEO announces vaccine candidate with high degree of probability, 3/30/2020

Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, one of several companies that’s developed a potential coronavirus vaccine, tells TODAY that his company has a candidate “that has a high degree of probability of being successful.” He anticipates starting tests in humans in September and says “We could have vaccines ready in Q1 and Q2 of 2021.”

Today: Dr. Deborah Birx predicts up to 200,000 deaths ‘if we do things almost perfectly’, 3/30/2020

Joining TODAY from Washington, the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Deborah Birx, says, “We’re very worried about every city in the United States” and that “in some metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines.” She predicts that “if we do things together well, almost perfectly, we could get in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 fatalities,” but adds, “we’re not sure all of America is responding in a uniform way.”

The New York Post:  Las Vegas paints Coronavirus Boxes on an open-air asphalt parking lot to home the homeless. By Natalie Musumeci, 3/30/2020

The outdoor shelter, located in the parking lot of the Cashman Center, opened Saturday after the Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada — a 500-bed overnight men’s shelter — shut down as a result of a resident contracting the potentially deadly bug.

 

Lisa Morris Hibbler, chief community services officer for the city of Las Vegas, told 8 News Now that “we have it spaced so that they’re social distancing.”

 

Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones said in a statement, “We’re proud to be working in collaboration with the city to meet the needs of our homeless population and appreciate the quick response of the participants in standing up the facility so soon.”

 LasVegasHomelessShelter 20200330 600x400 25pct

 March 30, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the United States of America

CNBC:  Virgin Orbit to begin mass producing ventilators, by Michael Sheetz, 3/30/3030

  • Rocket company Virgin Orbit partnered with medical researchers at the University of California Irvine and the University of Texas at Austin to develop a ventilator device.
  • “A very, very simple and robust design that we can get out to the people who are in the most need,” Virgin Orbit’s project leader, Kevin Zagorski, said.

VirginOrbitVentilators 740x416

CNBC:  Coronavirus job losses could total 47 million, unemployment rate may hit 32%, Fed estimates, by Jeff Cox, 3/30/2020

Crooks & Liars:  Apparently the Coronavirus was wiped off the face of the earth Sunday by televangelist Kenneth Copeland, somewhere around 12 Noon, EST, today. Report by Ed Scarce, 3/30/2020

"I call you dark! I call you doggone! You come down... from your place of authority! Destroyer! You come down and you crawl on your belly, like God commanded you when He put His foot on your head in the Garden of Eden. You will destroy through COVID-19 no more!"

FOX13 Tampa Bay: Tampa megachurch pastor arrested after leading packed services despite 'safer-at-home' orders

The sheriff says up to 500 people were in attendance at Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne's Sunday services.

 

On Sunday, Howard-Browne defended his decision to keep the church open in a video posted to his YouTube channel, claiming the building had the technology to eradicate any virus.

 

"We brought in 13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place," Howard-Browne said. "If they sneeze it shoots it down like at 100 miles per hour and it will neutralize it in a split second."

New York Times:  ‘Health Care Kamikazes’: How Spain’s Workers Are Battling Coronavirus, Unprotected, By Ainara Tiefenthäler, March 30, 2020

Over 12,000 health care workers have contracted Covid-19 in Spain amid grave shortages in personal protective equipment.

Bridge:  Coronavirus Tracker: State's urgent need for health care workers, Riley Beggin & staff, 3/30/2020

Michigan is still weeks away from a peak in the expected number of coronavirus cases and deaths, but southeast Michigan hospitals are already at capacity and there’s a shortage of health care workers and supplies to treat patients, chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said Monday.

 

The state currently has around 1,700 ventilators, but will need an additional 5,000 to 10,000, Khaldun said.

But even if the state were able to get those ventilators, “there’s no question we don’t have enough” medical professionals to operate the machines, Khaldun said.

 

To attempt to meet that need, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order loosening medical practice laws to allow people such as medical students and retired physicians who would not otherwise be able to help to provide health care in line with their training.

Prospect:  Unsanitized: Covidien’s Story Is Corporate America’s Story, by David Dayen, 3/30/2020

MLive:  Henry Ford Allegiance Health doesn’t need homemade face masks, officials say, Marie Weidmayer, 3/30/2020

Rolling Stone:  Trump Wants You to Know He’s More Popular than ‘The Bachelor’ by Peter Wade, 3/29/2020

As the United States’ death toll from coronavirus surpassed 2,000 over the weekend, our reality show president took to Twitter on Sunday to inform everyone he was more popular than ABC’s The Bachelor

MLive:  Monday, March 30: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan, Steve Marowski, 3/30/2020

Michigan coronavirus cases soar past 6,000. Michigan reported 6,498 total cases Monday, including 52 new deaths.

3/29/2020 Songwriter John Prine is fighting for life, COVID-19.  Angel from Montgomery, sung with Bonnie Raitt.

WHMI:  LETS Switches Gears During COVID-19 Crisis, by Jessica Matthews, 3/30/2020

MLive:  2 new COVID-19 deaths, 46 new cases in Washtenaw County, Steve Marowski, 3/29/2020

There are now 233 cases in the county — 46 more than Saturday, according to the latest numbers put out at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 29, by the Washtenaw County Health Department. Sixty-one people have been hospitalized and 15 have completely recovered.

FOX13 Tampa Bay:  COVID-19 cases in Florida skyrocketed more than 900 Sunday to 4,246; 60 deaths, 3/29/2020

A total of 50,528 people have been tested in the state so far, according to the Florida Department of Health.

MLive: Michigan state Rep. Isaac Robinson (44) dies of suspected coronavirus infection. by Sophie Hillmeyer, 3/29/2020

Washington Post:  This pro-Trump coastal community in Florida, hit early by virus, sits at emotional nexus of national debate over reopening economy amid health crisis, by Cleve R. Wootson, Jr., 3/29/2020

SciTechDaily: MIT Will Post Free Plans Online for an Emergency Ventilator That Can Be Built for $100, by David Chandler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 3/28/2020

Low Cost MIT Ventilator 777x519

MIT:  MIT Emergency Ventilator (E-Vent) Project         Key ventilator specifications

We are one of several teams who recognized the challenges faced by Italian physicians, and are working to find a solution to the anticipated global lack of ventilators. In the US alone, the COVID-19 pandemic may cause ventilator shortages on the order of 300,000-700,000 units (CDC Pandemic Response Plans). These could present on a national scale within weeks, and are already being felt in certain areas. An increase in conventional ventilator production is very likely to fall short and with significant associated cost (paywall warning).

Stanford: How Humanity Has ‘Engineered a World Ripe for Pandemics’, Stanford University, 3/28/2020

The 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), for example, was controlled through aggressive social distancing, testing, quarantine and treatment. “Two of the places hardest hit by SARS, Singapore and Hong Kong, used that experience to prepare for the inevitable return of a similar respiratory infection,” Jones said, “and they are two of the big success stories, so far, of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Christian Post:  43 people fall ill at Pentecostal church after revival, 10 test positive for coronavirus, by Leonardo Blair, 3/27/2020

“We have 43 infected (at minimum) from our church or connected to our church from our last service on March 15th. They all haven’t tested but whoever gets a test done ends up being positive, and we all have the same symptoms.

Pastor LoCascio told the Daily Herald that he had contemplated canceling the service initially but because the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the area was low he decided against it, particularly because they had a guest speaker coming and had been promoting the event for a while.

"We had a guest speaker. We were promoting it," he said.

AP:  Counties without coronavirus are mostly rural, poor, by MORGAN LEE AND NICKY FORSTER, 3/29/2020

MLive:  Coronavirus cases in Michigan’s prisons double over weekend, Michael Kransz, 3/29/2020

Bridge:  Coronavirus cases surge in Michigan’s crowded prisons, Ted Roelofs, 3/27/2020

The New York Times: The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed, by Nicholas Kulish, Sarah Kliff, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, 3/29/2020

Thirteen years ago, a group of U.S. public health officials came up with a plan to address what they regarded as one of the medical system’s crucial vulnerabilities: a shortage of ventilators.

Money was budgeted. A federal contract was signed. Work got underway.

And then things suddenly veered off course. A multibillion-dollar maker of medical devices bought the small California company that had been hired to design the new machines. The project ultimately produced zero ventilators.

NBC News:  Maine residents try to force quarantine of out-of-towners by cutting down tree, police say. By Doha Madani, 3/29/2020

A man who lived on Cripple Creek Road left his Vinalhaven residence to check on disrupted cable service when he came across a downed tree in the road, according to a Facebook post Saturday from the Knox County Sheriff's Office. He told police that when he exited his car to inspect the tree, a group of people, some with guns, gathered around him and told him he needed to be quarantined.

MLive:  Doctors on front lines of Michigan’s coronavirus crisis: ‘It seems like the sky is falling’ by Julie Mack, 3/28/2020

New York Times: Coronavirus May Add Hundreds of Billions to the Nation’s Health Care Bill, by Reed Abelson, 3/28/2020

“Health plans went into 2020 with no hint of coronavirus on the horizon,” said Peter V. Lee, the executive director of Covered California, the state insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act, which conducted the analysis.

MPR:  Auto show cancelled, TCF Center to be COVID-19 field hospital, Vincent Duffy, 3/28/2020

The Federal Emergency Management Administration says it will use the TCF Center as a field hospital for COVID-19 cases for at least six months.

The auto show was scheduled to begin on June 7th.

Washington Post:  Three months into the pandemic, here’s how likely the coronavirus is to infect people, by Joel Achenbach, 3/28/2020

When the virus infects people, they don’t get sick right away. Researchers believe the incubation period before symptoms is roughly five days on average. In studying the pattern of illness, epidemiologists have made the dismaying discovery that people start shedding the virus — potentially making others sick — in advance of symptoms. Thus, the virus has a gift for stealth transmission. It seeds itself in communities far and wide, where vulnerable human beings represent endless fertile terrain.

At the genetic level, the new virus is not terribly different from the SARS virus that emerged in China in 2002 — which is why the new one has the derivative name SARS-CoV-2. SARS killed nearly 1 in 10 patients. But people with SARS infections did not shed the virus until they were already quite sick, and victims were typically hospitalized. SARS was snuffed out after causing about 8,000 infections and 774 deaths worldwide.

Covered California: The Potential National Health Cost Impacts to Consumers, Employers and Insurers Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) 3/22/2020

If carriers must recoup 2020 costs, price for the same level of costs next year, and protect their solvency, 2021 premium increases to individuals and employers from COVID-19 alone could range from 4 percent to more than 40 percent. 

Patient Zero: New England Journal of Medicine: First Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the United States, 1/31/2020

Guardian:  The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life. The president was aware of the danger from the coronavirus – but a lack of leadership has created an emergency of epic proportions, by Ed Pilkington and Tom McCarthy in New York, 3/28/2020

When the definitive history of the coronavirus pandemic is written, the date 20 January 2020 is certain to feature prominently. It was on that day that a 35-year-old man in Washington state, recently returned from visiting family in Wuhan in China, became the first person in the US to be diagnosed with the virus.

 

On the very same day, 5,000 miles away in Asia, the first confirmed case of Covid-19 was reported in South Korea. The confluence was striking, but there the similarities ended.

 

Within a week of its first confirmed case, South Korea’s disease control agency had summoned 20 private companies to the medical equivalent of a war-planning summit and told them to develop a test for the virus at lightning speed. A week after that, the first diagnostic test was approved and went into battle, identifying infected individuals who could then be quarantined to halt the advance of the disease.

 

Jeremy Konyndyk, who led the US government’s response to international disasters at USAid from 2013 to 2017, frames the past six weeks in strikingly similar terms. He told the Guardian: “We are witnessing in the United States one of the greatest failures of basic governance and basic leadership in modern times.”

 

In Konyndyk’s analysis, the White House had all the information it needed by the end of January to act decisively. Instead, Trump repeatedly played down the severity of the threat, blaming China for what he called the “Chinese virus” and insisting falsely that his partial travel bans on China and Europe were all it would take to contain the crisis.

The New York Times:  The Lost Month: How a Failure to Test Blinded the U.S. to Covid-19. by Michael D. Shear, Abby Goodnough, Sheila Kaplan, Sheri Fink, Katie Thomas, and Noah Weiland, 3/28/2020

Aggressive screening might have helped contain the coronavirus in the United States. But technical flaws, regulatory hurdles and lapses in leadership let it spread undetected for weeks.

 

The absence of robust screening until it was “far too late” revealed failures across the government, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former C.D.C. director. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins, said the Trump administration had “incredibly limited” views of the pathogen’s potential impact. Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said the lapse enabled “exponential growth of cases.”

 

And Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, a top government scientist involved in the fight against the virus, told members of Congress that the early inability to test was “a failing” of the administration’s response to a deadly, global pandemic. “Why,” he asked later in a magazine interview, “were we not able to mobilize on a broader scale?”

 

At the start of that crucial lost month, when his government could have rallied, the president was distracted by impeachment and dismissive of the threat to the public’s health or the nation’s economy. By the end of the month, Mr. Trump claimed the virus was about to dissipate in the United States, saying: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”

Radio Free Asia:  Estimates Show Wuhan Death Toll Far Higher Than Official Figure, 3/27/2020

* I have no way to prove this story true or not.  I can't find the reports repeated anywhere but reliably propagandistic outlets: the New York Post, FOX News, the Washington Examiner. So read this with a grain of salt. *

Since the start of the week, seven large funeral homes in Wuhan have been in total handing out the cremated remains of around 3500 people to their families every day, suggesting that far more people died than ever made the official statistics.

Social media users have been doing some basic math to figure out their daily capacity, while the news website Caixin.com reported that 5,000 urns had been delivered by a supplier to the Hankou Funeral Home in one day alone -- double the official number of deaths.

Orlando Weekly: Why did Florida get all the emergency supplies it requested when other states didn't? Our extreme weather is only part of the answer. By Lydia DePillis, Mike Spies, Joshua Kaplan, Kyle Edwards and Caroline Chen, ProPublica, 3/27/2020

Washington Post:  Desperate for medical equipment, states encounter a beleaguered national stockpile, by Amy Goldstein, Lena H. Sun, and Beth Reinhard, 3/28/2020

President Trump repeatedly has warned states not to complain about how much they are receiving, including Friday during a White House briefing, where he advised Vice President Pence not to call governors who are critical of the administration’s response. “I want them to be appreciative,” he said.

VOX:  5 people on what it feels like to have Covid-19 - by Michael Waters, 3/28/2020 

The intensity of the illness can vary wildly depending on the case.

David Oastler:  Sony: Coronavirus has had no impact on sensor production, but supply chains are "unstable." by David Oastler, 3/27/2020

AP:  Iran’s army sets up hospital in capital as virus toll climbs, by Amir Vahdat and Joseph Krauss, 3/27/2020

VOX:  New poll finds Fox News viewers think the coronavirus threat is exaggerated, Zack Beauchamp, Christina Animashaun, 3/27/2020, 12:10pm EDT 

Washington Post:  Coronavirus modelers factor in new public health risk: Accusations their work is a hoax, by William Wan and Aaron Blake, 3/27/2020

Over the past two months, President Trump has regularly sought to downplay the coronavirus threat with a mix of facts and false statements.

 

This is why epidemiology exists. Its practitioners use math and scientific principles to understand disease, project its consequences, and figure out ways to survive and overcome it. Their models are not meant to be crystal balls predicting exact numbers or dates. They forecast how diseases will spread under different conditions. And their models allow policymakers to foresee challenges, understand trend lines and make the best decisions for the public good.

 

But one factor many modelers failed to predict was how politicized their work would become in the era of President Trump, and how that in turn could affect their models.

 

In recent days, a growing contingent of Trump supporters have pushed the narrative that health experts are part of a deep-state plot to hurt Trump’s reelection efforts by damaging the economy and keeping the United States shut down as long as possible. Trump himself pushed this idea in the early days of the outbreak, calling warnings on coronavirus a kind of “hoax” meant to undermine him.

VOX:  Trump says he won’t comply with key transparency measures in the coronavirus stimulus bill, Anya van Wagtendonk, 3/28/2020

In addition to establishing an inspector general, the final bill passed on Friday also prohibits businesses controlled by administration officials, including the president, vice president and members of Congress, as well as their families, from receiving loans from that fund.

Earlier last week, Trump declined to commit to exempting his business interests from bailout funds, telling reporters, “Let’s just see what happens.”

Now, in his signing statement, Trump has made clear that he will decide what information about how the funds are being used Congress needs. This comes just months after the end of an impeachment inquiry into Trump that was sparked by another attempt by his administration to keep independent reports about its inner workings from reaching Congress.

MLive:  Doctors on front lines of Michigan’s coronavirus crisis: ‘It seems like the sky is falling.’ by Julie Mack, 3/28/2020

U.S. Gary Peters, D-Michigan, said obtaining more protective gear for health-care workers is a “No.1 priority” right now.

But there’s a nationwide shortage of those supplies, Peters said, and it now appears the Federal Emergency Management Agency has “bought up” personal protection equipment, with the intention to distributing them to states.

The problem with that, Peters said, is that FEMA’s distribution formula is based on population rather than coronavirus caseload.

VOX: Governors are starting to close their borders. The implications are staggering. The coronavirus pandemic is testing the very notion that the United States are united., Ian Millhiser, 3/28/2020, 8:30am EDT 

Reno Gazette Journal: Days before closing, Caesars Entertainment said 3,200 workers would lose jobs, by Ed Komenda, 3/27/2020

AP:  A New York doctor’s story: ‘Too many people are dying alone’ by Robert Bumsted and Deepti Hajela, 3/27/2020

Bloomberg: Rhode Island Police to Hunt Down New Yorkers Seeking Refuge, Prashant Gopal and Brian K Sullivan, 
March 27, 2020, 5:14 PM EDT

Rhode Island police began stopping cars with New York plates Friday. On Saturday, the National Guard will help them conduct house-to-house searches to find people who traveled from New York and demand 14 days of self-quarantine.

“Right now we have a pinpointed risk,” Governor Gina Raimondo said. “That risk is called New York City.”

AP: Coronavirus cases hit 2 largest US cities differently, by Brian Melley, 3/27/2020

Professor James Moore II, director of the transportation engineering department at the University of Southern California, said he stopped riding the light rail to campus as the outbreak started spreading. He bought a parking permit and began to drive, a social distancing luxury not everyone can afford, particularly in New York City where car ownership is scarcer.

SciTechDaily:  COVID-19 Can Cause Cardiac Injury – Even in Patients Without Underlying Heart Conditions, University of Texas, 3/27/2020

Raw Story:  GM To Manufacture Surgical Masks At Warren Plant, Ventilators In Indiana, 3/27/2020 1:43PM

(WWJ) General Motors will be making masks in metro Detroit.

The automaker announced Friday that it's expanding its support of medical equipment production by temporarily converting its shuttered Warren plant to build Level 1 surgical masks.

 

Also announced Friday: GM will make ventilators in Indiana.

 

According to Ventec Life Systems, GM will build VOCSN critical care ventilators at GM’s Kokomo manufacturing facility with FDA-cleared ventilators scheduled to ship as soon as next month. This effort is in addition to Ventec taking aggressive steps to ramp up production at their manufacturing facility in Bothell, Washington.

 

Ventec said they are working around the clock with and GM to meet the urgent need for more ventilators. Efforts to set up tooling and manufacturing capacity at the GM Kokomo facility are already underway to produce Ventec’s critical care ventilator, VOCSN. Depending on the needs of the federal government, Ventec and GM are poised to deliver the first ventilators next month and ramp up to a manufacturing capacity of more than 10,000 critical care ventilators per month with the infrastructure and capability to scale further.

 

“We are proud to stand with other American companies and our skilled employees to meet the needs of this global pandemic,” said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO, in a news released. “This partnership has rallied the GM enterprise and our global supply base to support Ventec, and the teams are working together with incredible passion and commitment. I am proud of this partnership as we work together to address urgent and life-saving needs.”

 

GM global supply base developed sourcing plans for the more than 700 individual parts that are needed to build up to 200,000 VOCSN.

Gizmodo: Teen Who Died of Covid-19 Was Denied Treatment Because He Didn't Have Health Insurance, Matt Novak, 3/27/2020

WWJ NewsRadio: After Trump Attacks Whitmer, She Says Vendors Aren't Sending Desperately Needed Coronavirus Supplies - They're being told not to send stuff to Michigan. 3/27/2020

Raw Story:  Michigan governor says vendors ‘being told not to send stuff’ to her state — after Trump bashed her, Brad Reed, 3/27/2020

“What I’ve gotten back is that vendors with whom we’ve procured contracts — they’re being told not to send stuff to Michigan,” she said. “It’s really concerning, I reached out to the White House last night and asked for a phone call with the president.”

Michigan Public Radio:  Detroit is a COVID-19 hotspot. What the data do, and don't, tell us, Sarah Cwiek, 3/27/2020

Washington Post:  Coronavirus modelers factor in new public health risk: Accusations their work is a hoax, William Wan, Aaron Blake, 3/27/2020

Washington Post:  The public data for smaller states don’t support the coronavirus task force’s optimism, Philip Bump, 3/27/2020

Corriere della Sera:  The real death toll for Covid-19 is at least 4 times the official numbers, 3/26/2020

Nembro [in the province of Bergamo, Italy], one of the municipalities most affected by Covid-19, should have had - under normal conditions - about 35 deaths. 158 people were registered dead this year by the municipal offices. But the number of deaths officially attributed to Covid-19 is 31

Washington Post:  A better way to defeat the virus and restore the economy, by Danielle Allen, 3/26/2020

In other words, we mobilize to transition to a society with pandemic resilience that permits maximal mobility for as large a portion of the population as possible even when the pandemic is ongoing. This, we believe, is the best option.

New York Times:  After Considering $1 Billion Price Tag for Ventilators, White House Has Second Thoughts, David E. Sanger, Maggie Haberman, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, 3/26/2020

WASHINGTON — The White House had been preparing to reveal on Wednesday a joint venture between General Motors and Ventec Life Systems that would allow for the production of as many as 80,000 desperately needed ventilators to respond to an escalating pandemic when word suddenly came down that the announcement was off.

Intelligencer:  Coronavirus in New York: Latest Updates, Chas Danner, Matt Stieb, Benjamin Hart, Adam K. Raymond, 3/27/2020

As of Thursday night, there have been at least 37,258 confirmed cases of the coronavirus discovered in the state, including more than 23,000 in New York City. At least 466 people with COVID-19 have died in the state, which has the largest number — around 45 percent — of confirmed cases in the U.S.

MLive:  Pennsylvania grocery store throws out $35K in food after woman purposely coughed on items, Matt Durr, 3/26/2020

Intelligencer:  Trump Is Haggling Over Ventilator Prices While Coronavirus Patients Die, Jonathan Chait, 3/26/2020

The New York Times reports the Trump administration was set to order a crash production of ventilators from General Motors and Ventec Life Systems. Then the administration paused the deal. “Some government officials,” reports the Times, “expressed concern about the possibility of ordering too many ventilators, leaving them with an expensive surplus.”

Fierce Biotech:  Sanofi, Translate Bio jump on mRNA bandwagon to fight COVID-19, Amirah Al Idrus, 3/27/2020

SciTechDaily:  Unlocking the Genetic Code of the Novel Coronavirus: How COVID-19 Made the Leap From Animals to Humans, University of Sydney, 3/26/2020

“There is simply no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 — the cause of COVID-19 — came out of a lab. In reality, this is the sort of natural disease emergence event that researchers in the field like myself have been warning about for many years.” — Professor Edward Holmes

Stat:  What we’ve learned about the coronavirus — and what we still need to know, Helen Branswell, 3/26/2020

New York Times:  ‘People Are Dying’: 72 Hours Inside a N.Y.C. Hospital Battling Coronavirus, by Robin Stein and Caroline Kim•March 25, 2020

An emergency room doctor in Elmhurst, Queens, gives a rare look inside Elmhurst, a hospital at the center of the coronavirus pandemic. “We don’t have the tools that we need.”

The Toronto Globe and Mail:  The plague of Donald Trump, by Saqrah Kendzior, 3/25/2020

In February, 2014, when asked about the direction of the United States, Mr. Trump rooted for its demise:

 

“You know what solves it?” Mr. Trump told Fox News. “When the economy crashes, when the country goes to total hell and everything is a disaster. Then you’ll have a [laughs], you know, you’ll have riots to go back to where we used to be when we were great.”

Bridge:  Coronavirus spreading faster in Detroit than nearly anywhere in United States, by Sarah Alvarez, Anna Clark, Robin Erb, Mike Wilkinson, 3/25/2020

Some attribute that to testing. Others say city residents are more susceptible.

Detroit Free Press:  ICE detainees in Michigan fearing coronavirus ask for release, by Niraj Warikoo, 3/25/2020 

NPR:  Why Germany's Coronavirus Death Rate Is Far Lower Than In Other Countries, Rob Schmitz, 3/25/2020

Gizmodo:  Trump Blindsides Google With Announcement That It's Building a Nationwide Screening Site [Updated]

The New York Times:  Trump Wants to ‘Reopen America.’ Here’s What Happens if We Do. - Nicholas Kristof and Stuart A. Thompson, 3/25/2020

The Wall Street Journal:  U.S. Communities Struggle to Deal With Coronavirus Testing Backlogs, 25 March 2020 

STAT:  When might experimental drugs to treat Covid-19 be ready? A forecast, Matthew Herper, 3/24/2020

ProPublica:  Voting by Mail Would Reduce Coronavirus Transmission but It Has Other Risks, by Jessica Huseman, 3/24/2020

The county accommodated the increased text by printing it in 6.5-point font, making each letter smaller than a sesame seed.

MarketWatch:  Coronavirus update: 392,870 cases globally, 17,159 deaths, Italy shows glimmer of hope and NYC remains U.S. epicenter, 3/24/2020

Bridge:  What Michigan’s coronavirus stay-at-home order means for residents, Ron French, 3/23/2020

Bridge:  What jobs are exempt from Michigan coronavirus lockdown? by Riley Beggin, Jonathan Oosting, 3/23/2020

All told, the exempted industries represent roughly 1 million of the state’s 4.3 million jobs, according to a Bridge Magazine analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Bridge:  Police: Don’t expect us to enforce Michigan’s confusing coronavirus lockdown, Jonathan Oosting, 3/24/2020

MLive:  All Michigan residents, most businesses ordered to stay home to slow spread of coronavirus, by Malachi Barrett, 3/23/2020

Livingston Daily,  Coronavirus cases in Livingston County increase to 10 as state cases surpass 1,300, by Jennifer Timar, 3/23/2020

Minnesota Public Radio, Comparing COVID-19 in Minnesota and its neighbors in Upper Midwest, 3/23/2020

The Wall Street Journal, How the CDC’s Restrictive Testing Guidelines Hid the Coronavirus Epidemic, 3/22/2020

Detroit Free Press:  Small Michigan colleges face 3 waves of bad news amid coronavirus, by David Jesse, 3/21/2020

CNBC:  Coronavirus cases top 300,000 worldwide as US becomes one of worst hit countries, 3/21/2020

NPR:  Coronavirus Deaths Spike Abroad As New York City Becomes U.S. Virus Epicenter, 3/21/2020

MLive:  ‘Number of people’ on life support with coronavirus, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says, by Gus Burns, 3/20/2020

Michigan had 334 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Thursday morning, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported.

Susan Hennessey:  The rules regarding trading on information received as a member of Congress are complicated so it's hard to say based on this report, but in most contexts this is a crime. And technical criminality aside, it is an immense and outrageous abuse of the public trust.

New York Times: They. Sold. Their. Stock. by David Leonhardt, 3/20/2020

Senators Burr and Loeffler did virtually nothing to protect the health and safety of their constituents or of Americans in other states. Here’s what the two senators did instead: They sold large amounts of their personal stock holdings, cashing in before the market sharply declined, as the severity of the virus became apparent to everyone.

OpenSecrets.org:  Senate Intel chair unloaded stocks in mid-February before coronavirus rocked markets, by Karl Evers-Hillstrom, 3/19/2020

Between the Burrs’ two accounts, they sold up to $150,000 worth of stock in Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, which lost almost two-thirds of its market value since Feb. 13. They sold up to $150,000 in Extended Stay America, another hotel company that lost half its value over the last month. Burr also sold up to $65,000 of stock in Park Hotels & Resorts, which saw its stock price drop from nearly $24 to under $5.

Daily Beast:  Sen. Kelly Loeffler Dumped Millions in Stock After Coronavirus Briefing, by Lachlan Markay, William Bredderman, Sam Brodey, 3/19/2020

ZD Net:  Tracking the real US coronavirus testing numbers with open source, 3/20/2020

Washington Post:  Huge Testing Discrepancies Among States Muddles the Meaning of Results, 3/20/2020

MLive:  Michigan not considering coronavirus shelter-in-place order, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says, by Emily Lawler,3/20/2020

DeadState:  Televangelist Kenneth Copeland: ‘If you lose your job, don’t you dare stop giving to the church’ by Sky Palma, 3/19/2020“

Whatever you do right now, don’t you stop tithing. Don’t you stop sowing offerings,” he said, adding that even if churches close down, people should “email it in there, text give or something.  You get your tithe in that church if you have to go take it down there and stick in under the door or something,” he continued. “You get that tithe in that church, you get that offering in that church, and then you go home and do what you’re supposed to do.”

Kenneth Copeland's net worth has been estimated at $760,000,000, though he claims to be a billionaire.

March 18:  Refugees and displaced highly vulnerable to COVID-19, by Kira Walker, Nature Middle East

In refugee and IDP camps, recommended measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as self-isolation and social distancing, are impossible because of crowded living situations, says Abdul Rahman Bizri, an infectious disease specialist at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. Furthermore, water access varies across camps and settlements, and for those with limited access, the basic preventative measure of frequent hand washing is a serious challenge.

 

On the ground, UNHCR, NRC and WHO have ramped up the distribution of clean water, soap and hand sanitizer to camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, and are working to share prevention information. Wael Hatahit, emergency team lead at WHO’s Iraq Country Office, says WHO and the Iraqi health authorities have been active in trying to educate people about COVID-19 since the outbreak in Wuhan, and thinks most refugees and IDPs in the country have a fair understanding of how the virus is spread.

Intelligencer:  The Leader of the Free World Gives a Speech, and She Nails It, Justin Davidson, 3/18/2020

STAT:  New analysis breaks down age-group risk for coronavirus — and shows millennials are not invincible, Sharon Begley, 3/18/2020

The New York Times:  There Are No Funerals:' Death in Quarantine Leaves Nowhere to Grieve, Reuters, 3/19/2020

"They buried him like that, without a funeral, without his loved ones, with just a blessing from the priest," said his granddaughter Marta Manfredi who couldn't attend. Like most of the old man's family - like most of Italy - she was confined to her home.

The New York Times:  U.S. Lags in Coronavirus Testing After Slow Response to Outbreak, 3/17/2020

STAT:  A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data, John P.A. Ioannidis, 3/17/2020

ChinaDaily.com:  Chinese testing kit exports soar as COVID-19 spreads, by Liu Zhihua, 3/17/2020

BioSci Trends:  Breakthrough: Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studies, by Gao J, Tian Z, Yang X, 3/16/2020

STAT:  The new coronavirus can likely remain airborne for some time. That doesn’t mean we’re doomed, Sharon Begley, 3/16/2020

Politico, Live tracker: How many coronavirus cases have been reported in each U.S. state?, 3/16/2020 

STAT:  Lower death rate estimates for coronavirus, especially for non-elderly, provide glimmer of hope, Sharon Begley, 3/16/2020

The chance of someone with symptomatic Covid-19 dying varied by age, confirming other studies. For those aged 15 to 44, the fatality rate was 0.5%, though it might have been as low as 0.1% or as high as 1.3%. For people 45 to 64, the fatality rate was also 0.5%, with a possible low of 0.2% and a possible high of 1.1%. For those over 64, it was 2.7%, with a low and high estimate of 1.5% and 4.7%.

MLive:  4 Michigan stores accused of coronavirus price-gouging on masks, sanitizer, by Lindsay Moore, 3/15/2020

MLive:  Possible coronavirus exposure locations named across Michigan, by Malachi Barrett, 3/15/2020

Update: The total number of Michigan COVID-19 cases rose to 25 as of Friday night, March 13.

The Atlantic:  The 4 Key Reasons the U.S. Is So Behind on Coronavirus Testing, 3/14/2020

NPR:  Opinion: Early Coronavirus Testing Failures Will Cost Lives, 3/14/2020 

MLive:  Michigan confirms 12 total coronavirus cases, Emily Lawler, 3/12/2020

The Atlantic:  America Isn’t Testing for the Most Alarming Coronavirus Cases, 3/13/2020 

The Atlantic:  How to Understand Your State’s Coronavirus Numbers, 3/13/2020 

The New Yorker:  Mike Pence and the Farce of Trusting Donald Trump on the Coronavirus, 3/13/2020 

Daily Kos:  'We are flying blind': Lawmakers call CDC briefing 'worst briefing' they have ever seen, by Kerry Eleveld, 3/12/2020

Lawmakers from both parties walked out of an all-members briefing Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control baffled and outraged by how little information they received about the current spread of coronavirus in the United States, continued lapses in testing, and the steps being taken to deal with the burgeoning crisis.

 

Democratic Rep. Sean Maloney of New York called it "simply the worst briefing I've ever received in seven or eight years in Congress," according to CNN. "The administration has no good answers, no plan, there's no leadership," Maloney said. "I think members of both parties are frustrated and angry, and they have every right to be."

 

The CDC was either unable or unwilling to clarify why the U.S. has fallen so far behind other nations in terms of developing tests, dispersing them, and processing the results. South Korea, for instance, has the capacity to run as many as 10,000 tests a day. Meanwhile, the CDC told lawmakers just 11,000 tests have been administered in total. (Yes, that's nationwide, folks.)

DeadState:  Pro-Trump ‘journalist’: Coronavirus is just a ruse so Trump can carry out ‘mass arrests’ of Satanic pedophiles, by Megan Hamilton, 3/12/2020

So-called “journalist” Liz Crokin, who not long ago characterized North Korea leader Kim Jong Un as misunderstood and not a “monster” and that a red shoe featured in a Tom Hanks movie was actually made out of “babies skin,” is now warning that the coronavirus outbreak is a cover being used so that the Trump administration can carry out planned mass arrests.

 

Crokin, and other conspiracy theorists, like Mark Taylor, have been banging on this drum for years, and Crokin is a fervent believer in the QAnon conspiracy theory, as Right Wing Watch has pointed out. The theory purports that President Trump has been behind the scenes working to arrest prominent political, media, and business leaders who are allegedly part of a worldwide satanic pedophile ring.

America’s shamefully slow coronavirus testing threatens all of us, 3/12/2020

CBS:  U.S. working to cut "red tape" on coronavirus testing, Mike Pence says, 3/12/2020 

Business Insider:   7 US states are setting up drive-through coronavirus testing stations. Trump said Americans can expect to see more soon., 3/12/2020 

Deadstate:  Conservative Candace Owens: It’s no big deal if 80-year-olds die from coronavirus since life expectancy is 76, by Sky Palma, 3/10/2020

Sharing her thoughts on Twitter this Tuesday, conservative activist Candace Owens commented on the “mass global breakdown” inspired by the coronavirus, and suggested that it’s just another common virus that threatens the elderly, so there shouldn’t be much to worry about.

 

“One day, we will look back and study the impact of the coronavirus,” she wrote. “Not the virus itself of course, but the mass global mental breakdown that it inspired. Because people think it’s novel that 80 year olds are dying at a high rate from a flu.”

 

In a subsequent tweet, she expanded on that thought, basically saying that if the elderly get taken out by the coronavirus, it’s just business as usual since we all die around 76-years-old anyway.

 

“The average age of the hundreds of people that died in Italy— 82 years old,” she wrote. “It is now breaking, terrifying, stop your life and stock up on toilet paper news— that 82 years old, with pre-existing conditions can die from the flu.”

Slate:  Should Schools Close for COVID-19?, 3/10/2020

Yahoo:  Only 6,563 Americans have been tested for the coronavirus so far, 3/10/2020

The Atlantic:  The Dangerous Delays in U.S. Coronavirus Testing Haven’t Stopped, 3/9/2020

Talking Point Memo:  Key Source of COVID-19 Testing & Infection Data, 3/7/2020 

The Atlantic:  The Strongest Evidence Yet That America Is Botching Coronavirus Testing, 3/6/2020

March 6:  The race to unravel the biggest coronavirus outbreak in the United States, by Amy Maxmen, Nature

As cases in Washington state soar, virologists are working around the clock to diagnose cases, reveal routes of transmission and test treatments.

 

The scientists are racing to help Washington avoid the fate of Hubei province in China, where more than 2,900 people have died of COVID-19 so far. The coronavirus emerged in the province’s city Wuhan in December, and the initial response from officials was slow.

 

“We are past the point of containment,” says Helen Chu, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of Wash