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Sanders exits as pandemic redeems his core ideas
Van Jones writes that in the age of the coronavirus, Sanders' ideas no longer seem like radical throwbacks to 1960s idealism. Today, they feel like hard-headed responses to the deadly challenges of the 21st century.
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edition.cnn.com
German charity takes coronavirus aid directly to homes
Throughout the world, the coronavirus pandemic is especially hard-hitting for poor families, even in rich countries like Germany. A small Christian charity that provides help to about 1,300 poor families across Germany is now delivering food, diapers, soap and children’s games to their doorstep.
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foxnews.com
UFC 249 set to be hosted on tribal land in California: report
Dana White has reportedly found a home for UFC 249.
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foxnews.com
Biden search for a VP comes into focus as Sanders suspends campaign
With Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders bowing out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday, attention is now turning to who former Vice President Joe Biden will tap to join him on the ticket in the general election.
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foxnews.com
Democrats urge White House to step up as minority communities hit hard by coronavirus
“One wonders if you begin to identify this as a ‘black virus,” says Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
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politico.com
Karen Gravano is back on MTV with ‘Families of the Mafia’
Gravano is back on MTV with "Families of the Mafia," a remodel of the short-lived show "Made in Staten Island."
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nypost.com
Amid coronavirus outbreak, California property taxes are still due. Here's how to get help
Many Californians, suddenly out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic, wonder how they will pay their property taxes by Friday.
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latimes.com
Canadians brace for 'worst jobs report' in modern history
Justin Trudeau warns that Thursday's employment update is going to hurt.
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politico.com
Pence and Fauci hint at plan to return to ‘normality’ — but no timeline
The vice president delivers some rare positive news on about the pandemic in a call with lawmakers.
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politico.com
Chalian on 'dramatic' drop in poll: Can't remember anything like it
A CNN poll found that only 39% of Americans saw the economy as doing well, but 67% remained optimistic that the economy will bounce back relatively quickly after the coronavirus pandemic.
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edition.cnn.com
Congress could vote on another “interim” coronavirus relief bill as soon as this week
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi hold a press conference on President Trump’s 2021 budget request on February 11, 2020, in Washington, DC. | Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images Democrats and Republicans still need to work through their disagreements of what it should include. Congress won’t be back in town until April 20, but lawmakers are already considering passing another “interim” coronavirus relief package as soon as this week. The timing depends, of course, on whether Democrats and Republicans can agree on what the bill should include. Everyone can get behind at least one measure:Lawmakers from both parties support allocating more money to small businesses, via a new loan program called the Paycheck Protection Program. In the CARES Act, $349 billion was set aside for PPP, which includes forgivable loans for small businesses and nonprofits that have been hurt by the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. Already, more than 220,000 applications have been processed, accounting for $66 billion in loans, since the program launched last Friday. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has called for another $250 billion for the program, in the wake of the overwhelming demand. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, too, supported a vote specifically on these funds. “I will work with Secretary Mnuchin and Leader Schumer and hope to approve further funding for the Paycheck Protection Program by unanimous consent or voice vote during the next scheduled Senate session on Thursday,” he said in a statement. At this point, McConnell’s statement only includes support for the narrow increase in funding to PPP. Democratic leaders, meanwhile, want the latest funding boosts to be a bit more expansive. In a proposal they released on Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for an “interim” spending bill that includes $100 billion for hospitals and health systems, $150 billion for state and local governments, and more support for SNAP (also known as food stamps) along with the additional small-business funding. “As Democrats have said since Day One, Congress must provide additional relief for small businesses and families, building on the strong down-payment made in the bipartisan CARES Act,” Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement. The passage of more money this week will be heavily dependent on whether the two parties are able to sort out their differences once more. Congress approved $2.2 trillion in relief money. It’s not nearly enough. While Congress has already approved well over $2 trillion in relief funds to respond to the outbreak’s effects on the economy, it’s likely far from enough given how much the illness — and related social distancing measures — are hurting businesses and workers. Take the intense demand that the small-business loan program has seen since it began last Friday. In the past few days, PPP has processed hundreds of thousands of loans, with thousands of organizations continuing to submit applications. Because of the immense interest in the program, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has repeatedly warned that money for PPP could run out before all the businesses and nonprofits that need it are able to apply. Rubio had estimated that existing funds would likely be depleted by June 6. Both Republicans and Democrats are backing more money to ensure that small businesses and nonprofits will be able to use the program. Democrats, however, are interested in adding a few other items to the bill. One of their stipulations is some conditions on the small-business money. Pelosi and Schumer would like to see half of the new funds, or $125 billion, allocated to community-based financial institutions to increase access for this money to businesses that have been less likely to seek out funds from the large banks. As the Wall Street Journal reported, minority-owned businesses and rural businesses are among those that are less likely to have relationships with larger banks. Additionally, one of the biggest issues to emerge with the PPP is that institutions like Bank of America, TD Bank, and Chase require businesses to have an existing relationship with the bank in order to even apply to the program. That limitation is shutting out many small businesses and is an issue that Democrats are trying to address by putting requirements on how these funds are distributed. Additionally, Democrats are urging the allocation of more funds to hospitals and states as they continue to grapple with surging costs of resources that are needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Their requests, which include $100 billion for hospitals, community health centers, and health systems, are intended to help bolster the funds these organizations need for personal protective equipment and other coronavirus-related needs. As NPR reports, hospitals are struggling to deal with the uptick in costs related to fighting the coronavirus, while they simultaneously suffer from reduced revenue as other medical procedures are tabled. This money would be in addition to $100 billion that was allocated to help hospitals in the CARES Act. The $150 billion requested for states is also aimed at supplementing what’s already been allocated: The CARES Act had previously been criticized by state officials for including just $150 billion for states and cities — an amount many deemed insufficient for the scale of the problem. Democrat leaders are pushing for funds that can help expand the maximum SNAP support families can receive by 15 percent as well. Democrats argue that these adds are straightforward and necessary commitments, while at least one Republican has accused them of being obstructionist. “Senate Democrats should drop their shameful threat to block this funding immediately. Our small businesses desperately need help — now,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said in a statement. A vote on this spending bill is complicated again by the current recess McConnell had signaled that he’s interested in holding a vote for this spending measure via unanimous consent in the Senate or voice vote, both methods that don’t require all lawmakers to be physically present. The House, too, could try to use similar approaches. Even if Democrats and Republicans can find common ground on a proposal, however, the bill could encounter procedural stumbling blocks, much like the CARES Act did. Since lawmakers in both chambers are working remotely from their home districts, opposition by even a single member could mean some would have to physically return to the Capitol. For the CARES Act, for example, House leaders had planned to hold a vote via voice vote — which garnered pushback from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY). Because of Massie’s focus on getting a physical quorum, many lawmakers needed to fly back to the Capitol at the last minute in order to participate in the vote. Massie has already tweeted his disappointment with the possibility of a voice vote or unanimous consent for the latest spending bill, indicating he might try to pull a similar maneuver this time around. Before lawmakers even get to that point, however, Democrats and Republicans will need to figure out exactly what it is Congress will be considering.
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vox.com
Allen Garfield, 'Nashville' and 'Conversation' star, dies of COVID-19 complications
Allen Garfield was a well-known character actor of the 1970s who starred in films including 'Nashville,' 'Conversation, 'Bananas' and 'The Candidate.'
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latimes.com
For Counties, The Coronavirus Brings Major Budget Problems
County executives across the United States are worried about budget problems as the coronavirus pandemic deepens. As more people request help, government leaders struggle with how to pay for it.
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npr.org
Irene Hirano Inouye, widow of US senator from Hawaii, dies
Irene Hirano Inouye, the widow of the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K
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washingtonpost.com
Maryland police find body of missing Kennedy child after five-day search of Chesapeake Bay
Police have recovered the body of Gideon McKean, the missing 8-year-old great-grandson of Robert F. Kennedy.        
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usatoday.com
Asian companies help equip the medical industry to fight the pandemic
Chinese tech giant Alibaba lends its AI technology to medical professionals, former Alibaba CEO sends test kits, face masks and protective suits to countries in need and Vietnam's Vingroup is turning its resources to ventilator production.
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edition.cnn.com
How to say ‘thank you’ to your favorite essential worker during coronavirus
Thank a bus driver, a nurse or a restaurant worker with this guide.
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nypost.com
Group of engineers turn old breast pumps into ventilators, amid shortage
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edition.cnn.com
Nurse recovers from COVID-19, shares experience
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edition.cnn.com
Family battles COVID-19, loses family member
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edition.cnn.com
Police give happy birthday house call to boys
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edition.cnn.com
City lights up night sky to thank health workers
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edition.cnn.com
Girl rings 'cancer free' bell despite pandemic
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edition.cnn.com
Woman inspired to create motivational music video
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edition.cnn.com
Further requirements for retail social distancing
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edition.cnn.com
Painted rocks spruce up park, send positive vibes
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edition.cnn.com
Children's bodies found in house fire, Mother charged
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edition.cnn.com
Live Stream White House's Coronavirus Wednesday Briefing: How to Watch Trump's Latest COVID-19 Update
Members of the White House's Coronavirus Task Force will discuss national COVID-19 statistics and response plans during its daily briefing Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. EST.
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newsweek.com
Divers find body of Robert F. Kennedy's 8-year-old great-grandson
Divers found the body of 8-year-old Gideon McKean, a great-grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
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edition.cnn.com
White Supremacist Groups are Recruiting With Help From Coronavirus – and a Popular Messaging App
On March 24, Timothy Wilson, 36, was shot and killed by the FBI as he prepared to attack a hospital in the Kansas City area where patients with the coronavirus were being treated. The FBI had previously identified Wilson as a “potentially violent extremist” who had considered attacking a mosque, a synagogue, and a school…
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time.com
Body of Gideon McKean, great-grandson of RFK, found after 5 days
The body of his mother, Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, was recovered two days earlier.
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cbsnews.com
Saudi-led coalition announces ceasefire in five-year Yemen war
The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement said on Wednesday it was halting military operations nationwide in support of U.N. efforts to end a five-year war that has killed tens of thousands and spread hunger and disease.
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reuters.com
US suicide rate climbs 35% since 1999, new report finds
The suicide rate in the United States continues to rise, increasing 35% for almost two decades from 1999 through 2018, according to a new data brief released by the National Center for Health Statistics on Wednesday. The report included mortality data from the center's National Vital Statistics System.
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edition.cnn.com
Jessica Tarlov: Bernie Sanders won't be Democrats' nominee — Here's the real reason why
Sometimes it really can be as simple as Democrats want to support Democrats.
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foxnews.com
Alters, Moore & Vuong: Coronavirus fallout – hold China accountable for virus failures
Even in times of global crisis, China staunchly refuses to cooperate with the rest of the world.
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foxnews.com
Stimulus Checks Cost $290 Billion. A Fraction of That Could Have Changed Response to Coronavirus Outbreak, Experts Say
Experts hope that the current pandemic will be the wake-up call the world needs to make it start investing in public health in between outbreaks, not just when there's a crisis.
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newsweek.com
The coronavirus is exposing America’s housing crisis
New York state tenants are crying out for a rent freeze amid coronavirus pandemic on April 1. | John Nacion/NurPhoto via Getty Images Just as Americans are being instructed to stay home, it’s becoming one of the hardest things to afford. On March 31, about 300 tenants received an email from their apartment management company. The email listed resources for tenants struggling financiallyduring the coronavirus pandemic, but the sign-off message was clear: The rent is still due. But whichever employee of Saturn Management, the Los Angeles property management company, sent the message to the 300 or so tenants across their various properties forgot to hide the email addresses of the recipients. Almost immediately, tenants started responding, replying-all. “A few people chimed in saying they were down for a rent strike, and more and more people started chiming in,” Alex Mercier, a 26-year-old in Los Angeles who recently lost his job due to the coronavirus crisis, told me. The email thread moved to a Slack channel, where people have been talking, organizing, discussing ever since. Mercier said they’re still trying to figure out the best course of action. A rent strike for May is among the options, but they don’t want to do anything haphazardly, or anything that might jeopardize anyone’s housing situation. Saturn Management declined to comment on the record but provided Vox with the follow-up email the company sent out this Monday, which apologized and acknowledged “that our most recent email from March 31st caused some confusion, stress, and anger for many of you.” The email said that “safeguarding your health and well-being” was the company’s first priority and encouraged tenants to reach out with concerns. But the management company’s initial email had already created a bond among a community of people who’d just lost their jobs, people who worried they’d be next, and people who were just stressed about an uncertain future. “We are a literal microcosm of things that are potentially to come,” Mercier said. “Because, what, 10 million in the country have applied for unemployment in the last two weeks? This is going to continue to grow, those numbers are going to continue to grow, the need will continue to grow, people’s situations — the dire seriousness of their situations — will be amplified. “It’s important to know we’re all in this together,” he said. “It’s important that people understand what’s possible, what we can do together, if we have the numbers — when we have the numbers.” As Mercier said, about 10 million unemployment claims were filed in the US in just the past two weeks, and that’s expected to rise as the economy remains shut down because of the coronavirus. And at a time when all Americans are being urged to stay at home, if not explicitly ordered to do so, having adequate shelter is literally a public health priority. Many states and cities have put into place temporary eviction moratoriums — meaning landlords can’t forcibly remove people from their homes for lack of payment during this time — and de facto moratoriums exist in other states and localities because courts are closed. But that is a temporary solution to keep people in their homes. It doesn’t solve the problem of where the money will come from to pay the rent. The Wall Street Journal reported that, according to real-estate firms that analyzed data for 13.4 million renters, about a third of renters didn’t pay rent in April. How to solve this problem more permanently is much less clear, given the complexities of the US for-profit housing system, an ecosystem that doesn’t just include renters, but landlords small and very, very big, as well as banks and lenders. “It’s important that people understand what’s possible, what we can do together, if we have the numbers — when we have the numbers” Rent strikes, like the one Mercier and his fellow tenants are considering, are more of a tactic than an end goal. They’re meant to put pressure on landlords to make concessions for struggling tenants, and to force landlords to join in the pressure on lawmakers to get more relief to renters. (The federal government’s stimulus package includes some relief for people with federally backed mortgages.) A rent freeze is another option, one that would at least prevent landlords from raising rent during the crisis. And some are pushing for governments to cancel rent altogether, at least until the immediate public health crisis around the coronavirus is resolved. But both experts and advocates say the pandemic hasn’t created a housing crisis. It is merely exposing, and exacerbating, the problems that already existed. “I think this moment highlights the precarity of people generally, and how important housing is to all of us,” Vincent Reina, assistant professor of urban economics and planning at the University of Pennsylvania, said. “And I think it highlights the limited safety nets we have in place.” But because of the coronavirus, this crisis is now unfolding all at once. The rent crisis is here now. But it should surprise no one. Nicole, 33, worked in fine-jewelry production. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, she saw 99 percent of her business dry up. She had to let her one employee go. She’s trying to figure out what to do next, but even if she can get unemployment assistance, she’s uncertain how long she’ll be able to meet her expenses on it. Besides her rent, she has credit card bills, loans, utilities, food, car payments. “So that’s not going to leave me with much to hold me over then, right?” she said. Her landlord, she said, declined to give her a break on the rent; she’d asked for a discount for two months until she and her roommate — a student, who also can’t afford to stay in their Los Angeles apartment if she’s not attending classes — figured out their situation. Nicole says she brings groceries to her elderly parents. Her mom has cancer and is therefore particularly vulnerable, and the idea of finding another roommate in the middle of a public health crisis terrified her. They have a plan: A friend of her roommate’s from Chicago has agreed to take over her roommate’s spot in May, though who knows if that will still make sense a month from now. But the full rent is still due. Versions of this story are playing out in different cities across the United States. The country has now experienced the same amount of job losses it did during the Great Recession — but in the span of just two weeks. That strain will continue as cities and states and the businesses within them stay shut down or scale back, leading to pay cuts, furloughs, or layoffs. As bills pile up for food, health care, and utilities, the rent (or mortgage) can sometimes be the hardest expense to pay, especially in cities like New York or Los Angeles where the cost of living is already high. This crisis, though, is not unfamiliar to many Americans. Of the country’s approximately 43 million renters, more than 40 percent are already considered “rent burdened,” spending more than 35 percent of their income on housing and utilities, according to US Census data. Cea Weaver, an organizer with Housing Justice For All, a coalition of New York State advocacy groups pushing to cancel rent and immediately rehouse homeless people in vacant housing, told me that, weeks ago, it was already apparent people were one major life event away — like a parent getting sick, or a car breaking down, or a job loss, or a medical emergency — from not being able to afford housing. “What’s happening now is that that life event is happening to everybody at once,” Weaver said. “And it’s happening across the country.” The increased economic pressure people are facing is also colliding with the critical public health imperative that everyone stay home. This is already a catastrophe for homeless people or people in unstable housing. Now, in a matter of weeks, the country’s best tool to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus — sheltering in place — has also become the thing that many people suddenly can’t afford to maintain. “Eviction equals death,” Julian Smith-Newman, a member of the Los Angeles Tenants Union, a member-funded housing advocacy group, said. “That’s never been more obvious than at this moment and in the public health crisis that we’re living in.” And the informal safety nets that can sometimes help people through difficult stretches are not necessarily available right now. It’s a lot harder to stay on a friend’s couch temporarily, or move in with older parents, because of how the virus spreads, and who is vulnerable. Moving is still happening (many states have designated movers and storage facilities as essential services), but even downsizing apartments or finding an extra roommate to split the bills with becomes far more precarious during a global pandemic. James Stockard, an expert in affordable housing at Harvard University, said that people losing their housing now would be disastrous. “More people would be in the streets or doubling up with their relatives,” he told me. “Every other solution to your housing, if you don’t have shelter in your own apartment, is going to bring you into closer contact with other people. And so it’s going to make the pandemic worse.” Lawmakers and state officials do seem to recognize that keeping people housed is critical, which is why many states and localities have adopted eviction moratoriums, either instituted by lawmakers or put into place by the courts, which are shut down in many places. The federal government has also issued a 120-day eviction moratorium for tenants in federally subsidized housing (or with federally subsidized mortgages). These eviction moratoriums vary in length and strength between states and localities, and in many cases do not mean that tenants can’t be evicted afterthese moratoriums expire. Some places are trying to strengthen those protections: New York State, for example, is trying to outlaw evictions for nonpayment for anyone unable to afford to pay their rent during the moratorium’s 90-day period, plus six months after. “Eviction equals death” But none of these measures really stop the rent bill from being due eventually. And for people who’ve lost their jobs or had their incomes cut, it will be even harder to catch up. That will be amplified the longer this economic crisis goes on. “Once that moratorium is lifted,” Jesse Connor, an organizer for Autonomous Tenants Union in Chicago’s Albany Park neighborhood, told me, “it’s just going to drop on people.” “For renters, if there’s no wavier on payment, it’s all just going to land on people, and we’re going to have a huge eviction crisis once this is over and we get through this crisis,” he added. Connor said people are weighing tough decisions — for example, whether they should try to get a job in a grocery store, even if they or someone they take care of is immunocompromised, making them more at risk of the coronavirus. Eviction moratoriums, though, provide at least some protection against the immediate public-health crisis. Mary Cunningham, vice president for metropolitan housing and communities policy at the Urban Institute, said a national moratorium that covers all renters might be more effective than the patchwork of states and localities. But she also noted that they’re still not a solution to millions of Americans being unable to afford rent this month or the month after. “They are pauses or postponements, they’re not forgiveness.” Cancel rent? More money? The solutions are not so simple. Residential renters aren’t the only ones who are struggling right now. Commercial tenants — small and big — who are not essential businesses also might not be able to make their rent payments. But it doesn’t really stop there, not the way that the US housing system is structured. Landlords may start to feel the fallout, too, specifically those who rely on that rental income to pay mortgages or utility bills. Landlords may have more resources — they do own a valuable asset in real estate, after all. And the CARES Act, the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package passed by Congress late last month, offers landlords forbearance on federally backed mortgages during the crisis. But forbearance is also just a postponement of payment, and many can’t kick the can down the road too far, Cunningham said. “So with landlords being unable to pay their mortgages, then you have lenders essentially not being able to pay out their investors in mortgage-backed securities, so the whole entire housing system is connected.” That could have broader implications for the economy, as anyone who lived through the 2008 financial crisis might remember. And while many advocates say this shows exactly why the US for-profit housing system is so broken, that system also likely isn’t going to change before the next rent payment is due. Which is why, at least for the short term, policy experts say governments need to provide more robust assistance to keep people economically stable and in their homes in the first place. Some experts suggested that housing subsidies or really just more cash would ease the financial burden, so renters don’t have to choose between paying rent and buying food. The $2 trillion stimulus package helps, including by increasing unemployment benefits and by offering many American households one-time cash assistance, which for households making $75,000 or less per year comes out to $1,200, with additional money for kids. But that might not be enough now, and definitely not enough a few months from now, given the unprecedented economic crisis. Cunningham said she thought Congress missed an opportunity to fully give people what they need to get through the crisis. “A $1,200 stimulus check, particularly in high-cost areas where the pandemic is most concentrated like New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, is not enough to pay the rent,” she said. Beyond more generous cash payments, assistance could come in other forms, including direct housing assistance like emergency vouchers or grants awarded to tenants. Chicago, for example, is offering people who are unemployed because of the coronavirus grants of $1,000 to go toward rent or mortgage. The grants will be awarded via a lottery system, to be given to 2,000 Chicagoans. The problem with a system like this, though, is that it’s not universal, and it’s limited in scope. And then there are the calls to cancel or forgive rent payments altogether for a period of time. Those calls are growing louder and louder, from tenants, from activists, and even from some lawmakers. A bill introduced in the New York state legislature would forgive rental payments for 90 days for both residential and commercial tenants. And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has called for both a rent and mortgage freeze in Congress’s next stimulus package. But a rent cancellation, and a rent cancellation only, is much harder to do because of what it might mean for landlords. “Forgiving rent for those who don’t need relief will make the crisis worse. And doing so without providing a clear path of relief for small property owners will destabilize housing for millions of renters,” said Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), which represents the owners and operators of more than 400,000 units of rent-stabilized housing in New York City. “This is why giving direct relief to renters in need through vouchers is the best way to weather this pandemic.” Many housing advocates recognize that any freeze on rent payments would also need to extend to mortgages, too. The Autonomous Tenants Union has a petition calling for the freeze of rent, mortgage, and utility payments (along with other demands, including housing for the homeless). RentStrike2020, a national organization, is calling for a two-month pause on rent, mortgage, and utility bill collection everywhere, with the threat of a rent strike. The LA Tenants Union is also trying to organize en masse for a rent forgiveness program, starting by giving tenants letters to give to their landlords informing them they will not pay for the month. The group is demanding, among other goals, a two-month rent forgiveness program, to be extended if the crisis continues. “We were in a national crisis before the Covid pandemic” Again, this wouldn’t be a deferral of payment, it would be an erasure. This sounds good in theory, but it might be harder to execute in practice. Even if rents are forgiven, not all landlords have federally backed mortgages, which means it’s not guaranteed private lenders would get on board. And a lot of those mortgages are bundled and sold as investments, and, as CityLab pointed out, many of those investors are things like pension funds. Which means the money is likely going to have to come from somewhere — whether directly into renters’ pockets to help get them from month to month, or somewhere on the back end to bail out the rent and mortgages that won’t get paid. But advocates who are pushing for these rent freezes made clear that they think the entire system is broken — that housing is a human right and that, if anything, the coronavirus crisis is merely making that even clearer. Tenants need help now. But policymakers should look ahead to the next crisis, too. As endless as this coronavirus crisis may seem right now, it will eventually end. But the flaws in America’s housing system will still be there. “We were in a national crisis before the Covid pandemic,” Reina said, “and there’s no reason to believe that this pandemic, and short-term fixes associated with it, will solve the problem that existed beforehand.” This is partly why housing advocates across the country are taking such a strong stance. “Actually returning to normalcy does not look good to anyone,” Smith-Newman of the LA Tenants Union told me. “That’s an interesting shift that I think is happening. People are now asking, ‘How then do we achieve this thing that we’ve always been saying: that housing is a human right?’” For Smith-Newman, the answer is the mass socialization of housing, which would include such steps as the government taking over vacant properties to house homeless people. Other experts agree that there is definitely a bigger role for the government or nonprofits to play that would ease some of the pressure on our housing system. “In the long run, what we need is more housing that is not in the hands of for-profit owners and developers because those individuals — not evil people at all, just normal, regular capitalists — don’t leave money on the table,” Stockard, the Harvard professor said. “Whereas nonprofits and public agencies who own housing stock have a value system which is closer to that of a resident than to that of an investor.” “Returning to normalcy does not look good to anyone” Stockard said this is a longer-term goal, not something that could fix the emergency we’re in now, but one that might ease the pressure of the next crisis. Yet experts also said there are options that don’t necessarily involve the wholesale remaking of the system but that could help remedy housing insecurity both during and after the coronavirus crisis. For instance, the government could invest more into programs that offer housing vouchers, such as Section 8 (where the government pays a portion of a tenant’s rent, based on income). Right now, the waiting lists for programs like Section 8 are extraordinarily, almost absurdly, long, and they’re limited. But beefing up protections and expanding access to these initiatives would help keep people in the houses or apartments they already have, and prevent people from reaching the point of crisis, such as facing eviction or homelessness. The easiest way to do that is to keep people in the houses or apartments they already have. Which is why rent strikes like the one percolating in Los Angeles and in other places across the country may make a difference, whether or not they achieve the immediate goals of rent forgiveness. Tenants are organizing, and exposing just how unprepared our housing system is for this crisis, and the next. “I think it’s important that the message relayed is that we can do anything, we can restructure and build any society we want,” Mercier said. “We are working together and agree that we need to protect those that are most vulnerable.” Support Vox’s explanatory journalism Every day at Vox, we aim to answer your most important questions and provide you, and our audience around the world, with information that has the power to save lives. Our mission has never been more vital than it is in this moment: to empower you through understanding. Vox’s work is reaching more people than ever, but our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism takes resources — particularly during a pandemic and an economic downturn. Your financial contribution will not constitute a donation, but it will enable our staff to continue to offer free articles, videos, and podcasts at the quality and volume that this moment requires. Please consider making a contribution to Vox today.
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vox.com
Coronavirus could soon topple one of NYC’s most luxurious new supertowers
New York’s skinniest supertower is about to be “in a world of pain.”
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nypost.com
Sanders raises eyebrows with move to amass delegates for convention ‘influence,’ lack of Biden backing
Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday suspended his presidential campaign and acknowledged that “Vice President Biden will be the nominee.” But he made it crystal clear that his name will remain on the Democratic primary ballot going forward.
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foxnews.com
Data on the federal distribution of medical supplies doesn’t suggest political favoritism
A report released by the House Oversight Committee does show a relatively modest scale of assistance.
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washingtonpost.com
Tom Brady reviews Rob Gronkowski’s ‘amazing’ penis
Tom Brady saw plenty in the locker room during his 20 years with the Patriots, including Rob Gronkowski’s you know what. Discussing the former tight end’s “great physique” Wednesday in an extensive interview with Howard Stern, Brady recalled how Gronkowski “would get naked” in the locker room with the press present. “Literally throw his towel...
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nypost.com
It’s Alan Yang’s story, but ‘Tigertail’ was personal for all
“Master of None” co-creator Alan Yang makes his feature directorial debut with “Tigertail,” which is loosely based on his Taiwanese father’s immigration story
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washingtonpost.com
Column: The coronavirus has already flattened one thing: the line between work and family
The people who are adapting best to working from home are the ones who have been juggling demands all along: parents.
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latimes.com
Bill Murray just called to tell us his John Prine story
The comedian recalls how he found solace in the songwriter’s music after getting his heart broken.
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washingtonpost.com
Czech glass artist Jaroslava Brychtova dies at 95
Jaroslava Brychtova, a Czech glass artist whose sculptures and other works created together with her late husband Stanislav Libensky won international recognition, has died
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washingtonpost.com
Linda Tripp, whose tapes of Lewinsky led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment, dies at 70
Tripp was a civil servant at the Pentagon when she surreptitiously recorded Monica Lewinsky talking about her relationship with President Bill Clinton. The tapes were shared with independent counsel Kenneth Starr in 1998 and played a central role in an investigation into the president. This is a developing story. It will be updated.  
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washingtonpost.com
U.S. Army Corps says time running out to build new facilities for coronavirus efforts
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said on Wednesday that time was running out to start work on new facilities to help medical authorities cope with the coronavirus outbreak, as swathes of the United States prepare for a surge in coronavirus patients.
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reuters.com
Why the Coronavirus Is Hitting Black Americans Hardest
“At first, everybody who died in Milwaukee was black.”
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slate.com