Coronavirus Fears Grip the World
As expected, more and more cases of the deadly virus are sprouting up in the U.S., causing widespread panic among Americans as they scurry to buy up all the toilet paper, baby wipes, and 409 cleaner they can from their local grocery store.
Toilet paper, really?
What are people thinking?
The White House has all-but caught up with the virus by announcing that some 1.9 million testing kits are now available for distribution. READ MORE
The U.S. Congress comes together on something and has funded legislation to combat the virus. READ MORE
The situation has gotten so bad that even radical Islamists like ISIS are telling their people not to go to Europe because they could catch the virus.
I didn’t know to think that ISIS cared so much for people (sarcasm) READ MORE
The first debate between vice president Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders was weighted down by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Sanders believes that the first thing to combat the virus is to shut President Trump up. READ MORE
That’s all fine and good but Sanders will lose Florida and will lose the nomination to Biden.
After all, how does Sanders expect to win Florida after quadrupling down on supporting Fidel Castro. What a fool! READ MORE
Oh! And let’s not forget about Andrew Gillum. While he hasn’t tested positive for Coronavirus, the former gubernatorial candidate will self-quarantine at a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation center after being found “under the influence” of something during a drug overdose on Miami Beach. READ MORE
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“Sanders on Coronavirus: ‘First thing We Have Got To Do… Shut This President Up’” by Floridian Press’ Mona Salama – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said during the Democratic debate Sunday night the most important he would do to tackle the spread of coronavirus and save Americans lives, whether he becomes president or not would be to “shut this President up right now.” “First thing we have got to do, whether or not I’m president, is to shut this President up right now, because he’s undermining the doctors and the scientists who are trying to help the American people,” Sanders responded when asked the first question of the Democratic debate in Washington D.C. “It is unacceptable for him to be blabbering with un-factual information, which if confusing the general public.” The coronavirus dominated the start of the Democratic debate, with Sanders ripping President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden laying out his plan to contain the outbreak. The Vermont Senator went on by taking the opportunity to promote “Medicare for All,” using the coronavirus outbreak as an example of why, he says, it’s necessary. “This is an unprecedented moment in American history. Now, I obviously believe in Medicare for all. I will fight for that as president,” Sanders said. “But right now, in this emergency, I want every person in this country to understand that when you get sick, you go to the doctor. When you get sick, if you have the virus, that will be paid for. Do not worry about the cost right now, because we’re in the middle of a national emergency.” He added: “Let’s be honest and understand that this coronavirus pandemic exposes the incredible weakness and dysfunctionality of our current health care system.” Biden later in the debate pointed out that having Medicare for All would not help solve the coronavirus crisis. He gave the example of the Italy has its own form of government-run health care system has not helped mitigate the spread of Coronavirus.
“Joe Biden Says He Will Choose a Woman as His Vice President” by Floridian Press’ Mona Salama – Former Vice President Joe Biden committed on Sunday during the Democratic Debate that he would choose a woman as his running mate if he wins the Democratic presidential nomination. “If I’m elected president, my cabinet, my administration, will look like the country, and I commit that I will, in fact, appoint and pick a woman as vice president. There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow,” Biden said. “I would pick a woman as my vice president.” The former Vice President also said he would appoint the first African American woman to the Supreme Court. “I’m committed that if I am elected president and have an opportunity to appoint someone to the courts, I will appoint the first black woman to the court. It’s required that they have representation now; it’s long overdue,” Biden added. When pressed by CNN moderator Dana Bash if he would also tap a woman as his running mate, Biden’s rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wouldn’t go quite as far in guaranteeing he’d choose a woman, saying “in all likelihood” he would pick a woman. “In all likelihood, I would,” Sanders said, “For me, it’s not just nominating a woman. It is making sure that we have a progressive woman and there are progressive women out there. So my very strong tendency is to move in that direction.”
“Gillum will enter rehab after drug overdose incident” by Floridian Press’ Daniel Molina – Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) was seen as a promising Democrat even after he lost the 2018 gubernatorial race to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). However, that promising career seems to have been clouded by a recent mishap when it was reported that the Mayor was one of three men involved in a drug overdose at Miami Beach’s Mondrian Hotel. After the event, the Mayor has now released a statement, arguing that it was a lapse in judgement after losing the election and falling to a deep depression. In a statement, Gillum explained that “after conversation with my family and deep reflection, I have made the decision to seek help, guidance and enter a rehabilitation facility at this time.” He expressed that “this has been a wake-up call for me. Since my race for governor ended, I fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse.” Gillum noted, “I witnessed my father suffer from alcoholism and I know the damaging effect it can have when untreated. I also know that alcoholism is often a symptom of deeper struggles.” In turn, he says that he is “committed to doing the personal work to heal fully and show up in the world as a more complete person.” As such, he assured that he needs to “firmly focus on myself and my family.” So, he “will be stepping down from all public facing roles for the foreseeable future.” After losing the gubernatorial race, Gillum was seen as a prospective candidate who could even run for the presidency one day. As he seeks help for personal issues, the future appears bleak, but the former Mayor is committed to overcoming adversity and getting back to work.
“White House announces massive Coronavirus test count” by Floridian Press’ Javier Manjarres – As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, the Trump administration has been criticized for a slow response to the pandemic, but in reality, the administration was not ready for such an outbreak. “The system is not really geared to what we need right now… let’s admit it,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases this past week. But a lack of tests for the rapidly-spreading virus appears to have been addressed. The White House has just announced that some “1.9 million high-throughput tests” are now available and some “2,000 labs” are “ramping into gear this week”, calling the number of tests now available as “a game-changer.” President Trump also called on all governors and local officials align their testing efforts with the CDC. As of Sunday, there have been over 3,300 reported Coronavirus cases in 49 states, with 65 confirmed deaths as a result of the virus.
“ISIS Warns Jihadists to Avoid Europe” by Floridian Press’ Daniel Molina – COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States with 49 states reporting cases of Americans suffering from the disease. In addition, Europe continues to suffer, and a new report finds that ISIS is steering clear away from European countries out of fear of the growing pandemic. The al-Naba newsletter from ISIS shares “sharia directives” calling for ISIS’ healthy members to not go into “the land of the epidemic” out of fear of becoming infected with the coronavirus. It specifies that the “healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic and the afflicted should not exit from it.” As well, the newsletter informs that the “plague” is the result of a “torment sent by God on whosoever He wills.” This comes at a time when Iraq, which is where many of the surviving group remains, reported that there were 110 coronavirus cases over the weekend. Ten of those cases have been reported to be fatal according to Johns Hopkins University. If any jihadist comes in contact with a person stricken with COVID-19, they are instructed to flee from the individual “as you flee from the lion.” As such, the World Health Organization has declared that Europe is the epicenter of the virus.
“Biden campaign deploys Obama alums for Jewish outreach in Florida” by Jewish Insider’s Jacob Kornbluh – Joe Biden’s presidential campaign launched a Jewish outreach effort in Florida on Sunday, deploying former Obama officials to vouch for the former vice president and boost turnout ahead of Florida’s scheduled March 17th primary. In a Sunday morning conference call with Jewish leaders, the campaign touted Biden’s relationship with the Jewish community and his support for Israel, according to several participants on the call. Details: The call was led by John McCarthy, deputy political director for the Biden campaign, and Sarah Bard, who served as the director of Jewish outreach for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016. Bard also worked on both of former President Barack Obama’s presidential, in 2012 coordinating get-out-the-vote efforts in Florida. No labels: Bard, who now resides in Israel, told JI that she is volunteering for the campaign as a “passionate supporter” of Biden, “because of his leadership and his record of decades of friendship and support.” Biden bros: Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and Miami-based developer Michael Adler, who served as Biden’s national finance chair in 2008, spoke on the call about Biden’s commitment to Israel and “building on” the Obama administration’s record in support of the Jewish state. Adler is a co-chair of the Biden campaign’s Jewish outreach team in the Sunshine State. The case for Biden: “I am a proud supporter of the campaign,” Shapiro told Jewish Insider. “Joe Biden has the experience, toughness, and decency to provide the presidential leadership we so badly need right now. His values reflect the values of the Jewish community, he has a plan to combat a rising tide of antisemitism, and his support for Israel as a strong, secure, Jewish, democratic ally of the United States will restore the bipartisan consensus around this issue.” In an op-ed published in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Shapiro highlighted Biden’s long-standing commitment to Israel and his “unmatched experience, toughness, and decency” in times of crisis.
“Florida: coronavirus fears could hurt voter turnout in crucial primary” by The Guardian’s Ankita Rao and Sam Levine – Governor Ron DeSantis last week declared a state of emergency in Florida in the face of the coronavirus as millions of Floridians are set to vote on Tuesday in a crucial delegate-rich primary that will help determine whether Bernie Sanders stays in the Democratic presidential nomination race against Joe Biden. In Florida, the impact of the virus, if left unchecked, could be particularly harsh on the state’s ability to allow people to vote or vote safely without fear of infection. The state is home to one of the largest elderly populations in the country, with around 20% of the residents age 65 or older. While this age group tends to be a stable voting bloc for both political parties, it’s also the most vulnerable to the virus – which has a mortality rate around 18% for those over 80 years old. DeSantis issued an executive order barring people who may have been exposed to the virus from visiting nursing homes. He urged election officials throughout the state to consider moving their polling locations for the state’s 17 March primary out of those locations. But over the weekend before election day, the state seemed to be lacking a unified response, with many polling stations in senior centers and retirement communities still operating at status quo. Workers at Country Aire Manor, Senate Manor Estates, and Crystal Lakes Manor – Pasco and Pinellas county polling sites all held in communities comprised entirely of people above 55 – said they had received no guidelines for the election, and were already receiving equipment to set up for Tuesday. “All locations will be open,” said Robin Lehoux, who works at the parks and recreation department in Pompano Beach, Florida. She hadn’t heard of any instructions from the state or local government regarding the Mullins Park Senior Center, a polling precinct where other senior programming had been shut down.
“No one expected a Florida Democratic primary like this” by Tampa Bay Times’ Steve Contorno – Florida Democrats will pick their choice of a presidential nominee Tuesday under circumstances no one could have predicted at the start of the year. A race with one candidate plainly ahead. Campaigns with candidates almost entirely sidelined. A global pandemic seizing lives, U.S. markets and its politics. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s hot streak and the fast-spreading coronavirus dramatically changed this race in the days leading up to Tuesday’s primary. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has vowed to fight on after a second week of devastating losses, but his comeback strategy has been unquestionably altered by the outbreak. Fears of contagion at large events has forced Sanders to shelve his most effective political weapon: his large, energetic rallies that can draw thousands of supporters. He has no planned appearances in Florida, the state with the most delegates at stake — 219 — of the four Tuesday primaries. Biden has canceled his public events in the state, too, including planned rallies in Tampa and one in Miami on Monday, and he closed field offices. The AFL-CIO also nixed a planned presidential forum on labor issues in Orlando due to the virus. Biden and Sanders were supposed to attend. Ione Townsend, chairwoman of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party, said a campaign without candidates is “a whole new ballgame” that puts “a lot more pressure on grassroots activists to deliver.” But Townsend, a nurse practitioner, preferred the two front-runners stay far from Florida. “By virtue of age alone, they’re in a high-risk category,” Townsend said. “As far as I’m concerned, Bernie, stay in Vermont and Joe, stay in Delaware. Stay healthy because we can’t beat Trump if we lose either of you.”
“Coronavirus in Florida: Top-down control stifles reporting” by Palm Beach Post’s Chris Persaud and Wayne Washington – State officials have refused to disclose how many people in Palm Beach County have been tested for coronavirus even as local officials provide information that could lull residents into a false sense of security about the spread of the contagion here. Through Friday, five people in the county have been confirmed with the virus. But in a county of nearly 1.5 million residents, the absence of testing data makes it impossible to put those five positive results into context. Five positive results from 100 people tested would be alarming; five from 10,000 would be less so. The county’s leading voice on public health, who could disclose that information, has been partially muted because the state insists health officials follow the state line on commenting about the virus. Dr. Alina Alonso, the director of the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, has urged members of the public to employ social distancing and to wash their hands. But she has refused to respond to requests for other Palm Beach County-centric information. Nationally, the failure to start widespread testing has emerged as the central criticism of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic. In the initial weeks, President Donald Trump repeatedly — and falsely — said that testing is going smoothly and that people who want to be tested can easily do so. On Friday, he announced a public-private partnership to have 5 million test kits available by month’s end, adding “I doubt we’ll need anywhere near that.” In fact, public health experts have said the nation’s testing regime has been woefully inadequate and confused, allowing the virus to spread and threatening lives across the country. National tracking so far shows fewer than 15,000 people have been tested. The government response to the virus is likely to have broad consequences beyond national health. U.S. politicians, like government officials in other stricken countries, have exerted control over all messaging about the virus, starting with Trump’s appointment three weeks ago of Vice President Mike Pence to oversee efforts.
“Sanders on Coronavirus: ‘First thing We Have Got To Do… Shut This President Up’” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said during the Democratic debate Sunday night the most important he would do to tackle the spread of coronavirus and save Americans lives, whether he becomes president or not would be to “shut this President up right now.” “First thing we have got to do, whether or not I’m president, is to shut this President up right now, because he’s undermining the doctors and the scientists who are trying to help the American people,” Sanders responded when asked the first question of the Democratic debate in Washington D.C. “It is unacceptable for him to be blabbering with un-factual information, which if confusing the general public.” The coronavirus dominated the start of the Democratic debate, with Sanders ripping President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden laying out his plan to contain the outbreak. The Vermont Senator went on by taking the opportunity to promote “Medicare for All,” using the coronavirus outbreak as an example of why, he says, it’s necessary. “This is an unprecedented moment in American history. Now, I obviously believe in Medicare for all. I will fight for that as president,” Sanders said. “But right now, in this emergency, I want every person in this country to understand that when you get sick, you go to the doctor. When you get sick, if you have the virus, that will be paid for. Do not worry about the cost right now, because we’re in the middle of a national emergency.” He added: “Let’s be honest and understand that this coronavirus pandemic exposes the incredible weakness and dysfunctionality of our current health care system.” Biden later in the debate pointed out that having Medicare for All would not help solve the coronavirus crisis. He gave the example of the Italy has its own form of government-run health care system has not helped mitigate the spread of Coronavirus. “With all due respect to Medicare for All, you have a single-payer system in Italy. It doesn’t work there,” Biden said. It has nothing to do with Medicare for all. That would not solve the problem at all.”
“Joe Biden Says He Will Choose a Woman as His Vice President” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – Former Vice President Joe Biden committed on Sunday during the Democratic Debate that he would choose a woman as his running mate if he wins the Democratic presidential nomination. “If I’m elected president, my cabinet, my administration, will look like the country, and I commit that I will, in fact, appoint and pick a woman as vice president. There are a number of women who are qualified to be president tomorrow,” Biden said. “I would pick a woman as my vice president.” The former Vice President also said he would appoint the first African American woman to the Supreme Court. “I’m committed that if I am elected president and have an opportunity to appoint someone to the courts, I will appoint the first black woman to the court. It’s required that they have representation now; it’s long overdue,” Biden added. When pressed by CNN moderator Dana Bash if he would also tap a woman as his running mate, Biden’s rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wouldn’t go quite as far in guaranteeing he’d choose a woman, saying “in all likelihood” he would pick a woman. “In all likelihood, I would,” Sanders said, “For me, it’s not just nominating a woman. It is making sure that we have a progressive woman and there are progressive women out there. So my very strong tendency is to move in that direction.”
“Pelosi urges social distancing and says third coronavirus response package is in the works” by CNN’s Chandelis Duster – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday a third legislative package is in the works in response to the spread of coronavirus and urged lawmakers to promote social distancing in their Washington, DC, offices out of an abundance of caution. “We have already begun work to develop a third emergency response package that will continue to put Families First,” Pelosi said in a statement to lawmakers. “In bipartisan consultation with the Attending Physician and the Sergeant at Arms, and out of an abundance of caution, I am writing to encourage you to take steps to promote social distancing within your Washington, D.C. office as we engage in the District Work Period. This may entail more than half of your Washington staff teleworking from home.” Health officials continue to urge “social distancing” as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Dozens of national and local events have been canceled or postponed in recent days as companies, organizations and governments try to reduce the number of people congregated in a single area. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines “social distancing” as “remaining out of places where people meet or gather,” and “avoiding local public transportation.” Pelosi’s guidance comes a day after the House reached a deal with the Trump administration and passed a bipartisan legislative package, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, that contains a number of provisions.
In a letter announcing the deal late Friday night, Pelosi said the package includes “free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured.” It also includes “paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave” and will expand funding for Medicaid “to support our local, state, tribal and territorial governments and health systems, so that they have the resources necessary to combat this crisis.”
“Sanders attacks Biden record as one-on-one debate turns personal: ‘Don’t laugh, Joe’” by Fox News’ Gregg Re – A Democratic debate that was tamed from the outset by coronavirus-related precautions nevertheless produced fireworks Sunday night as Bernie Sanders repeatedly attacked Joe Biden’s lengthy record and spurned the presidential primary front-runner’s attempts to win over him and his base by adopting liberal platforms. Biden, meanwhile, bristled at Sanders’ transparent attempts to use the coronavirus pandemic to renew his call for “Medicare-for-all,” saying: “People are looking for results, not a revolution.” But the Vermont senator was notably more aggressive, hitting his rival in their first one-on-one debate over everything from super PAC support to his history on Social Security. Throughout, Biden staked out unusually left-wing positions for a front-runner — including by promising that no one would be deported in his first 100 days in office, and by asserting that there would be “no new fracking” under his administration. Fracking, while opposed by environmental activists, has revitalized the economies of battleground states and is expected to be a major issue in the general election. Even with no live audience, the debate had lively moments. At one point, Sanders urged viewers to “go to the YouTube” to review evidence of Biden calling for cuts to Social Security on the Senate floor. That prompted one of the night’s most contentious exchanges, as Sanders pinned down Biden aggressively — with Biden eventually acknowledging under pressure that various cuts were “on the table” as part of congressional negotiations, but that he “never voted” specifically to slash Social Security. “We did not cut it!” Biden exclaimed during the exchange, hammering his lectern.
“Biden, Sanders Split on Health Care, Climate Change, but Unite Against Trump” by WSJ’s Chad Day and Eliza Collins – Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders laid out divergent plans for responding to the novel coronavirus and sparred over their lengthy records as a global pandemic upends the lives of most Americans. Before a Sunday night television audience of Americans staying home at the urging of public health officials, the former vice president also committed to naming a woman as his running mate if he wins the party’s nomination. In response, Mr. Sanders said he would “in all likelihood” do the same. Neither mentioned any names, though. The announcements came during a debate that explored sharp differences between the two men on climate change and health care—but that was largely focused on the threat of the coronavirus, with both men saying President Trump needed to do more. Mr. Biden, the front-runner looking to solidify his hold on the nomination, broke with the Vermont senator in saying the response to the virus should be treated like a short-term emergency. “We’re at war with a virus,” Mr. Biden said. He called for expanding drive-through testing, for the military to be used to set up emergency hospitals and for government help to make sure people who lose their jobs are able to pay their mortgages and small business loans. Mr. Biden said all health-care costs of people who contracted the virus would be covered under his health-care plan. But he didn’t go as far as adopting Mr. Sanders’ signature Medicare-for-All system. Mr. Sanders, who faces an uphill battle for the nomination after a series of losses, said the virus revealed the dysfunctionality of the current health care system and was evidence that it should be remade entirely. Mr. Sanders also attacked the president’s response to the pandemic. “First thing we have got to do, whether or not I am president, is to shut this president up right now because he is undermining the doctors and the scientists who are trying to help the American people,” Mr. Sanders said.
“Trump ‘strongly considering’ Flynn pardon” by Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer – President Trump announced Sunday that he is “strongly considering” a pardon for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators conducting the Russia investigation. Flynn had been scheduled to be sentenced in late February, but Judge Emmet Sullivan postponed it indefinitely after prosecutors filed a rare motion to delay a number of approaching deadlines that would have made the Feb. 27 sentencing date unlikely. Flynn had also moved to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming that federal prosecutors had acted in bad faith. “So now it is reported that, after destroying his life & the life of his wonderful family (and many others also), the FBI, working in conjunction with the Justice Department, has ‘lost’ the records of General Michael Flynn,” Trump tweeted. “How convenient. I am strongly considering a Full Pardon!” Trump’s claim that the FBI said the “lost” records related to Flynn echoes a motion filed on Flynn’s behalf in January that highlighted information that has come to light since Flynn’s guilty plea — including that no precise record of Flynn’s statements to agents exists and that the original handwritten FD-302 witness report from the interview is “missing,” with subsequent versions later “edited” in some undisclosed manner by anti-Trump FBI officials. Flynn’s case stemmed from a 2017 FBI interview, in which he was asked about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. Flynn ultimately admitted to making false statements regarding those conversations during his interview, as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, but has since changed course.
“Trump said he’s waiving federal student loan interest due to coronavirus. Here’s how it will work.” By CNN’s Caroline Kelly and Sarah Westwood – President Donald Trump announced new measures on Friday aimed at easing the burden of student loans as universities and colleges across the country shut their doors in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. “I’ve waived interest on all student loans held by federal government agencies, and that will be until further notice,” Trump said during an appearance in the Rose Garden, noting the number of schools that have sent students home amid the growing outbreak. A Department of Education spokesperson said that under the new policy, any borrower with a federal loan — including those in income-driven repayment and in forbearance — will have interest waived until the temporary policy ends. The spokesperson added that the department does not know exactly how long the policy will be in effect. The interest will be waived automatically, the spokesperson said, and the policy will be put into effect over approximately the next week, retroactive back to Friday’s announcement by the President. The news came during Trump’s coronavirus press conference on Friday, where he announced that he was declaring both a national emergency and invoking the Stafford Act, which gives access to additional funding, according to a source familiar with his decision. Trump highlighted a slew of new initiatives impacting several key federal agencies. The emergency orders, Trump said, will “confer broad new authorities” to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. Azar will be able to “waive provisions of applicable laws and regulations to give doctors, hospitals — all hospitals — and health care providers maximum flexibility to respond to the virus,” Trump added. In a statement Friday, Azar praised Trump’s declaration for giving “HHS important powers to enhance state and local communities’ ability to respond to the outbreak, including flexibility around Medicare and Medicaid rules.” “The entire Trump administration, including our leaders at HHS, is identifying every flexibility we can offer and any obstacle we can eliminate to help those on the front lines protect Americans from this outbreak,” Azar added.
“U.S. Treasury to Help Advance Funds to Employers for Paid Sick Leave” by WSJ’s Kate Davidson – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his agency would advance funds to businesses so they can meet paid sick-leave requirements under a new House bill to combat the novel coronavirus. In a statement late Saturday night, Mr. Mnuchin said employers will be able to use cash deposited with the Internal Revenue Service to pay sick-leave wages. For businesses that wouldn’t have sufficient taxes to draw from, the Treasury would make advances to cover the costs, he said. Mr. Mnuchin said the measures were aimed at helping businesses that may have cash-flow problems related to disruptions from the virus. “We are hearing feedback that certain small businesses are concerned about the burden of this,” Mr. Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday, referring to the House bill. “We were very focused [that] we need to get the money to the people quickly. We don’t want them to have to deal with the big bureaucracy.” Even before the bill becomes law, Mr. Mnuchin’s statement indicates an administration approach that goes far beyond what the Treasury Department would typically do to assist individual businesses. The IRS is expected to release guidance soon for waiving tax deadlines because of the coronavirus, though some business returns are still due Monday unless the government says otherwise. The bill, which the House passed early Saturday morning, would allow for two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave. Mr. Mnuchin reiterated Sunday that the House bill is only the second in what is likely to be multiple legislative efforts to protect the economy—including workers and businesses—from the fallout of the spreading coronavirus. Administration officials are already working with the Senate on the next phase, which he said will focus on help for the travel industry, including airlines, hotels and cruise lines, which have been particularly hard-hit. He also disputed that the aid would amount to bailouts similar to those provided to the banking and auto industries during the 2008 financial crisis.
“Top infectious disease expert doesn’t rule out supporting temporary national lockdown to combat coronavirus” by CNN’s Devan Cole and Alison Main – The nation’s top infectious disease expert on Sunday did not rule out supporting a temporary national lockdown of the country’s restaurants and bars in order to curb the spread of coronavirus, saying he’d like to see a “dramatic” reduction in activity in order to fight the disease. Asked by CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “State of the Union” if he’d like a “national lockdown” where people are being told they need to stay home and out of restaurants and bars, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said he’d “like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction that we see” in those places. “Whatever it takes to do that, that’s what I’d like to see,” Fauci added. Fauci, a key member of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, told Keilar that Americans will need to come to terms with the fact that life will begin to look much different as the country tries to slow the spread of the disease. “We need to be very serious about — for a while, life is not going to be the way it used to be in the United States,” he said. “We have to just accept that if we want to do what’s best for the American public.” The comments from Fauci come as officials continue to urge “social distancing” as a way to slow the spread of the disease. Dozens of national and local events have been canceled or postponed in recent days as companies, organizations and governments try to reduce the number of people congregated in a single area. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines “social distancing” as “remaining out of places where people meet or gather,” and “avoiding local public transportation.”
“Trump attempts to calm country at WH coronavirus briefing, saying ‘no need to hoard’ supplies” by Fox News’ Frank Miles – President Trump told Americans on Sunday that “there’s no need to hoard” supplies, amid concerns of potential food or supply shortages as more states and cities announced restrictions to contain the coronavirus. The president said during a White House briefing after speaking with heads of food suppliers: “You don’t have to buy so much, take it easy, just relax.” Trump added: “We’re doing great, it all will pass.” Trump assured Americans that grocers would remain open and that the supply chain remained healthy. Vice President Mike Pence urged Americans to buy only the groceries they needed for the week ahead. The Federal Reserve took emergency action Sunday to help the economy withstand the coronavirus by slashing its benchmark interest rate to near zero and saying it would buy $700 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds. The Fed’s surprise announcement signaled its concern that the viral outbreak will depress economic growth in the coming months and that it is prepared to do whatever it can counter the risks. The president saluted the move. “It’s a big step, I am very happy they did it,” said Trump during the press conference. “It brings us in line with other countries,” he said, referring the Fed cutting rates to near zero in a historic move in response to the COVID-19 crisis. “There are a lot of people on Wall Street that are very happy,” Trump noted, adding that he would ease up on his criticism of the Fed and Chairman Jerome Powell. The virus has an incubation period of anywhere from two days to 14 days before symptoms emerge. The death toll in the United States is more than 50
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump – I must say, that was a VERY boring debate. Biden lied when he said I want to cut Social Security and Medicare. That’s what they ALL said 4 years ago, and nothing happened, in fact, I saved Social Security and Medicare. I will not be cutting, but they will. Be careful!
Chuck Schumer @SenSchumer– The Trump admin promised they’d be transparent about coronavirus. But it’s their #DailyLie. It’s been reported CDC recommended older Americans stay home—but Trump admin officials overruled. The public needs clear guidance from the federal government!
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP – My week in Washington was spent fighting for my community—from monitoring the #coronavirus to discussing critical issues with community members from #FL26. My team and I are working hard to keep South Florida safe and healthy.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets – In this historic crisis, @JoeBiden showed in the #DemDebate that he can bring us through it. On Tuesday, Florida will show America that we will unite behind him to tackle this threat. Joe Biden is the most fit candidate to lead America in this moment of trial.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy @RepStephMurphy – I urge you to follow this @CDCgov guidance. We need everyone to pitch in if we are going to make a meaningful impact in containing the spread of #coronavirus & protecting the most vulnerable.