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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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Police give happy birthday house call to boys
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City lights up night sky to thank health workers
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Girl rings 'cancer free' bell despite pandemic
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Woman inspired to create motivational music video
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Further requirements for retail social distancing
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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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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
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
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
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
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
Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by 8 points in new poll; majority believe US is in a recession
The poll found Biden is the top choice among 49% of registered voters and Trump the top choice of 41%. Biden is boosted by self-identified independent voters.       
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usatoday.com
Virginia Roberts Giuffre leaves hospital before getting coronavirus test results
Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre stormed out of a hospital before getting her coronavirus test results — comparing the experience there to when she was trying to escape pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
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nypost.com
Fashion Nova, Cardi B donating $1K per hour to fans impacted by coronavirus
"Sometimes you gotta motherf—king ask for help."
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nypost.com
What to do after coronavirus takes away your job
Coronavirus unemployment has hit millions. Here are some resources to help. Also, what to do when your lender won't give you student loan relief.
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latimes.com
Kelly Ripa breaks down describing coronavirus quarantine, tearfully admits kids 'won’t hug' her
Kelly Ripa is feeling the squeeze, or lack thereof, from her family amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, and candidly explained how much she misses the element of human interaction that millions might be lacking during the social distancing phase of the pandemic.
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foxnews.com
How to get groceries when delivery services are slammed
Getty Images Consider reaching out to local markets, wholesale suppliers, or mutual aid organizations for grocery help if you can’t leave the house. In recent weeks, customers across the US have reported serious issues with getting their groceries delivered to their homes. Finding a delivery slot through services like Instacart or FreshDirect seems nearly impossible as shoppers compete for a dwindling number of available times. And in instances when they’re able to place an order, some report that their groceries were canceled, incomplete, or never arrived during the scheduled timeframe. While stores and delivery platforms are struggling to meet this surge in demand, workers are raising concerns about their own safety, to the point of going on strike to get companies’ attention. For those running low on food and options to get groceries, it’s a stressful time. Grocery delivery is an essential service for customers who are immunocompromised, elderly, sick, or self-isolating due to contact with a sick person. Many states have issued stay-at-home orders to curb the spread of the coronavirus, advising citizens not to go out unless it’s for something essential, like medicine or food. The White House doubled down on this message on April 5, telling people not to head to the grocery store or pharmacy for the next two weeks if possible, as the number of Covid-19 cases nears its peak in the US. During this 14-day period, it’s inevitable that some people are going to run out of food. In some locales like New York City, securing a grocery delivery slot is highly competitive, especially from popular grocers themselves or from high-demand services like FreshDirect, Instacart, Peapod, and Shipt. The problem appears to vary sometimes by neighborhood, but nationwide, the demand for online groceries has surged. According to data from Rakuten Intelligence, the number of grocery orders between March 12 and March 15 increased by 150 percent compared to the same period of time in 2019. These grocery delivery platforms were also not built to withstand a pandemic; they function best handling a small percentage of orders for people who can afford the convenience. Now, some customers are so desperate that they’ve woken up in the middle of the night or set early-morning alarms to secure a delivery slot, Eater reported. Instacart advises customers to frequently check delivery times, select replacements in case their preferred items run out of stock, and order with a neighbor or family member through the “group cart” option. The service recently introduced new delivery functions that match a customer’s order to the first-available shopper and allow people to schedule orders up to two weeks ahead of time. Yet in most cities, it still seems difficult for an average shopper to schedule a delivery, and many have experienced complications receiving their virtual order. FreshDirect published a statement on April 6 saying that it’s struggling to open enough delivery time slots since fewer employees are working due to the coronavirus, but the company is “aggressively hiring” and streamlining its inventory for faster orders. David L. Ryan/Boston Globe/Getty Images Edward Kakembo, an Instacart employee, makes a delivery in Boston. Grocery retailers and delivery services are trying to add thousands of temporary employees to their workforce to meet demand: Walmart, the largest grocer in the US, is hiring 150,000 workers through May; Instacart plans to hire 300,000 shoppers over the next three months in US and Canada; and Amazon will bring on 100,000 workers to assist with online deliveries. Peapod and Shipt, Target’s delivery service, are also looking to hire thousands more workers. Meanwhile, it appears that fewer workers are willing to take on shifts as more news of coronavirus-related grocery employee deaths emerge. Supermarket analyst Phil Lempert told the Washington Post that grocery stores didn’t take enough precautions earlier on to protect workers and allow them to wear masks or gloves. ”[Supermarkets are] starting to become proactive now, but it’s still going to be much tougher to hire hundreds of thousands of new workers,” he said. “We’re going to start seeing people say, ‘I’ll just stay unemployed instead of risking my life for a temporary job.’” Some workers, like those at Instacart, Shipt, and Whole Foods, have also gone on strike, participating in walkouts or sick-outs to protest for higher pay, better sick leave, and access to personal protective equipment as more employees fall ill on the job. “We’re going to start seeing people say, ‘I’ll just stay unemployed instead of risking my life for a temporary job’” There are, thankfully, a few ways you can purchase groceries virtually without crossing a picket line or disrupting your sleep schedule. Local supermarkets are offering same-day delivery within a certain area, with some carving out special hours in the morning for elderly or immunocompromised customers to shop. Across the country, local restaurants have also turned into makeshift grocery stores, selling meal kits, pantry staples, and even toilet paper that can be delivered. If you’re looking to order food in bulk or share an order with a neighbor, many restaurant wholesale sellers or farm-based suppliers have started selling to the public and will deliver to your house. In some communities, volunteers have also set up mutual aid organizations designed to help those who aren’t able to leave their homes or who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. These groups, which are devoted to helping meet the needs of particular groups, have volunteers willing to help out with errands and grocery deliveries. In Washington, DC, for example, there are more than a dozen groups divided by neighborhood, each containing points of contact for those who can help. A group of young, able-bodied New Yorkers formed the volunteer group Invisible Hands to deliver supplies to at-risk residents in the greater New York area and parts of New Jersey. And in Los Angeles County, local officials launched a “critical delivery service” program for seniors and people with disabilities to get groceries delivered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While it can be frustrating trying to figure out the safest and most efficient way to get groceries, especially as the number of Covid-19 cases grows, there are options beyond the delivery services that many Americans are accustomed to. In fact, with some workers continuing to strike against companies like Instacart and Amazon, turning to local businesses for delivery might be the more ethical thing to do. The pandemic could significantly alter the way we buy groceries, even after it’s contained in the US. For now, it’s best to plan ahead to fill up your pantry and fridge, as health officials say the next two weeks will be a crucial turning point for curbing the coronavirus in the US. 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.
1m
vox.com
Cuomo warns NY may never get back to 'zero' coronavirus cases
Even as he assured that the coronavirus curve was “flattening” in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he didn’t know if the state would ever get back to no new cases. 
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foxnews.com
Ariel Winter confirms she's dating Luke Benward by sharing a pic for #FirstPhotoChallenge social media trend
Ariel Winter confirmed some exciting relationships news.
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foxnews.com
Ex-Baltimore mayor seeks 2nd delay of start of prison term
Former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh is asking a federal judge to delay for a second time the start of her prison sentence
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washingtonpost.com
Loeffler to sell individual stocks amid criticism over lawmaker trades
Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia said Wednesday that she and her husband are divesting from individual stocks amid sharp criticism over trades she and other lawmakers made ahead of the market downturn caused by coronavirus.
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edition.cnn.com
Column: The next coronavirus rescue bill must fix all the problems of the last one
The next coronavirus stimulus must provide more money and more fixes
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latimes.com
Elementary School Teacher Creates Virtual Scavenger Hunt to Connect Students Stuck Home Because of Coronavirus
"The kids and the parents were expressing that they just missed each other, missed doing things. So, I was just looking for a way to connect them," Jenifer Levinson told Newsweek.
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newsweek.com
'Tiger King' is the weird docu-series we can't stop watching
Netflix's bizarre new series follows eccentric private zoo owner Joe Exotic and his menagerie of big cats. Here's how it became a massive hit.
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edition.cnn.com
El Salvador gangs enforce coronavirus lockdown with threats of violence, report says
El Salvador gangs, long known for terrorizing the country’s residents through violence and intimidation, have turned to enforcing the government’s coronavirus lockdown order with threats and, in some cases, baseball bats, according to a report.
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foxnews.com
Saudi Arabian Officials Announce Cease-Fire in Yemen Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
They said the cease-fire will be for two weeks
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time.com
The Trump administration blames the Covid-19 black mortality rate on poor health. It should blame its policies.
A woman in Los Angeles awaiting the arrival of the Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy adjusts her face mask. | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images The administration’s policies have exacerbated the health conditions that are leading to more coronavirus fatalities among black Americans. Trump administration officials — including President Donald Trump himself — have increasingly begun to recognize the fact that black Americans are dying of Covid-19 at a greater rate than Americans of other ethnicities. But in attempting to explain why, the president and top officials are taking a narrow view of the problem — and one that ignores the many ways the Trump administration has helped make black Americans uniquely vulnerable to the coronavirus. “We’re seeing tremendous evidence that African Americans are affected at a far greater percentage number than other citizens of our country,” Trump said at his daily coronavirus press conference Tuesday. “But why is it that the African American community is so much, numerous times more than everybody else? We want to find the reason to it.” Three administration officials — director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams — gave the same hypothesis for why this is Tuesday: That the health of black Americans is worse than the health of other Americans. “One of the things we know, in the African American community, there is a higher incidence of hypertension, a higher incidence of diabetes, asthma, and many of the underlying conditions that we associate with a higher mortality rate,” Carson told Fox News’ Dana Perino’s Tuesday. “It is one of the reasons that we really need to concentrate seriously on this particular population when it comes to health in general. Because it will exacerbate anything that comes along, including something like this virus.” Fauci gave the same assessment during the press conference, and added, “We’re very concerned about that. It’s very sad. It’s nothing we can do about it right now except to try and give them the best possible care to avoid those complications.” In the immediate term, this is true. But there are things the Trump administration could do now — and could have done during its first three years in power — to broadly improve health outcomes for black Americans, and to reduce their risk of dying due to the virus. Coronavirus outcomes are bad for black Americans — Trump could take some steps to improve them As Fabiola Cineas has explained for Vox, black people in the US are dying due to the coronavirus at higher rates than others: As of Tuesday, black people made up 33 percent of cases in Michigan and 40 percent of deaths, despite being just 14 percent of the state’s population. In Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, where blacks represent 26 percent of the population, they made up almost half of the county’s 945 cases and 81 percent of its 27 deaths, according to a ProPublica report. In Illinois, black people made up 42 percent of fatalities but make up only 14.6 percent of the state’s population. In Chicago, the data is even graver: Black people represented 68 percent of the city’s fatalities and more than 50 percent of cases but only make up 30 percent of the city’s total population. In the South, the numbers are also grim. In Louisiana, black people accounted for more than 70 percent of deaths in a state population that is about 33 percent black. About 33 percent of the state’s 512 deaths as of Tuesday morning have occurred in Orleans Parish, where black people make up more than 60 percent of the population and where 29 percent of people live in poverty, according to 2018 census data. Louisiana’s first teen death — also one of the first teen deaths in the nation — was that of 17-year-old New Orleans resident Jaquan Anderson, an aspiring NFL player, according to local reports. There are a few things the Trump administration could do right now to try to reduce these numbers. The president has been hesitant to centralize the United States’ coronavirus response, instead arguing that each state must look out for itself, and call upon the federal government only as a last resort. But taking a more active role in managing resource allocation and in data collection would allow the federal government to have a better and more granular understanding of how various populations are affected — and say, whether black Americans across economic groups are dying at higher rates, or those in select strata — and would allow it to send resources like masks and ventilators to states that have populations at greater risk of death. States have already begun doing this themselves to some degree — Oregon sent New York equipment on Saturday, for instance — but the administration taking charge would allow for this redistribution of resources to be done more efficiently. Such a strategy would also help ensure personal protective equipment is available to all of those who need it — certainly those in the healthcare sector, but also other essential workers, like employees of grocery stores. At least four grocery store workers have died due to Covid-19, and at least three of those workers were black. Trump has spoken at a number of his press conference about his warm relationship with industry leaders, including those in the grocery sector, and could — if he has not already — work to leverage those relationships into advocating for greater protections for those workers like those some stores, including Walmart and Kroger, have begun to institute. And while Trump does not have control over these companies, he could ensure greater protections for White House staff; for instance, a number of images have shown White House custodial workers cleaning the Brady Briefing Room where most of the president’s coronavirus daily press briefings are held. All of the photos show workers — most of whom appear black — doing the work with limited PPE; with gloves, but no smocks or masks. Win McNamee/Getty Images White House staff members disinfect the Brady Briefing Room stage ahead of Trump’s April 1 coronavirus press conference. Policy-wise, the president could take a number of actions as well. He could endorse congressional efforts to ensure essential workers receive hazard pay — essential workers receiving higher wages while well could help making the choice of whether to work while feeling ill, potentially sickening other, or stay home an easier one. And he could also help expand access to healthcare — reopening the Obamacare exchange, dropping its support for Medicaid work requirements, and reversing plans to allow Medicaid spending caps. Systematic racism and the ways Trump administration policies have affected black Americans are making them more vulnerable to Covid-19 Broadly, there are systematic problems underlying the issues Fauci and Carson identified Tuesday, something Adams — who is black — has spoken to. “I’ve shared myself personally that I have high blood pressure,” Adams said Tuesday. “I have heart disease and spent a week in the ICU due to a heart condition, that I actually have asthma and I’m prediabetic, and so I represent that legacy of growing up poor and black in America.” Trump often blames the federal government’s inability to provide states with badly needed resources on past presidents, saying he inherited a “broken system.” That is not true, but it is true he inherited the broken system of the legacy Adams is speaking of here, and has in many ways made it worse. The administration has rolled back dozens of environmental regulations meant to ensure air and water quality remain conducive to good public health, and has recently proposed changes that would relax environmental review requirements for building things like pipelines while telling polluters not to worry about violations of emissions standards during the pandemic. And as Vox’s Matthew Yglesias has explained, these rules could be a factor in high black deaths in the US: It is well known among people who study air pollution that African American neighborhoods are much more likely to have high levels of contamination — the result of a multifaceted historical process. The link between air pollution and Covid-19 fatality could be a partial explanation for why African Americans seem to be dying at a disproportionate rate. It could also partially explain why things got so bad in Italy, which has about double the concentration of air pollution in the United States. This is also of note given Fauci and Carson cite asthma as an underlying condition that makes Covid-19 worse. Although scientists are still working to understand why black Americans are disproportionately affected by asthma, experts have noted environmental concerns, such as exposure to pollutants and allergens found in parts of cities typically inhabited by black Americans can trigger and aggravate asthma symptoms. Essentially, having access to clean air reduces asthma risk — and the administration could have done far more to reduce that risk. Similarly, administration policies in housing have done little to help reduce asthma risk — a Department of Housing and Urban Development proposal rolled out in January would relax an Obama-era rule that required local governments to track and correct instances of bias in housing. Critics argue this rule would make it more difficult for black Americans to access fair housing and to leave areas with conditions that exacerbate conditions like asthma. And this is far from the first proposal housing advocates have argued disenfranchises black Americans and limits where they can live. Policies such as these create greater Covid-19 risk, Cineas writes, because they make social distancing more difficult, as they restrict the ability of black Americans to find, rent, and buy places to live, leading to more multigenerational households. And, they increase both poverty and economic stress — home values in black neighborhoods remain lower than in neighborhoods that are predominantly white, making it difficult to leverage property to change one’s economic status, whether through renting, selling, or taking loans. Much research has been done on the negative health effects of economic stress — and the Trump administration has arguably contributed to a societal stress among black Americans as well, ending policies meant to ensure black Americans feel safer outside of their homes, from the Justice Department refusing to pursue new oversight of police departments accused of racial bias to the Department of Education discarding rules meant to ensure black students are not disciplined more harshly than white students. Stress is an important thing to reduce because it is a factor in hypertension, another of the conditions Fauci and Carson noted is more common in black Americans and that can increase chances of morbidity with Covid-19. Other things that can cause the illness — as with diabetes — include one’s diet, weight, and ability to exercise, and one’s ability to eat well and exercise can be limited by where one lives. Tuesday, Trump promised to do further study on how the coronavirus affects black Americans, and said more data will be available. But he would be wise to listen to something Fauci said that is something of a prescription for how his administration — and future ones — can better protect black Americans and other minorities from disproportionately falling victim to public health crises. “Health disparities have always existed for the African American community,” Fauci added. “But here again with the crisis, now it’s shining a bright light on how unacceptable that is, because yet again, when you have a situation like the coronavirus, they are suffering disproportionately. ... So when all this is over and as we’ve said it will end, we will get over coronavirus, but there will still be health disparities which we really do need to address in the African American community.” And eliminating those disparities will require addressing what Fauci called “some of the real weaknesses and foibles in our society.” 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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