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CDC Offers Advice for Reducing Social Stigma Amid Coronavirus-Related Hate Crimes
The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in certain groups facing social stigma, discrimination and hate crimes.
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newsweek.com
Coronavirus Outbreak Is 'Most Challenging' of 4 Pandemics Mexico's Former Minister of Health Has Experienced
Two characteristics of the new coronavirus made it particularly challenging than other pandemics Julio Frenk, Mexico's former Minister of Health, said he experienced.
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newsweek.com
Macy's, Kohl's, Gap to furlough thousands of workers as pandemic worsens
Retail giants Macy's, Kohl's and Gap have announced widespread furloughs amid soaring reports of coronavirus cases in the U.S. The pandemic has sent the economy into free fall, with massive layoffs and small business closures happening across the country as a result of precautions to slow the disease's spread. Jill Schlesinger joins "CBS This Morning" to talk about this latest hit to workers and what it means for the future of the economy as the pandemic continues.
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cbsnews.com
It will be a devastating week for the US economy. There is no playbook -- and stimulus must come fast
The economy is cratering deeper than we have seen in our lifetimes. Layoffs are coming so quickly, the state unemployment offices can't keep up. Banks are flooded with calls about upcoming mortgage and loan payments. Downtowns are deserted, malls are closed, bars are empty, and airplanes are grounded.
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edition.cnn.com
Roger Federer shows off trick shots while on lockdown
Roger Federer is the latest athlete to take to social media to share his lockdown life.
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edition.cnn.com
Coronavirus closed the world's holy sites, see them this way
Viewers can still see and learn about the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and other significant sites in the Fox Nation series, "Holy Week," hosted by Fox News co-host Pete Hegseth.
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foxnews.com
Coronavirus in NY: Field hospitals to open in Central Park, Queens
A field hospital in Central Park and a temporary hospital at the Queens stadium that’s home to the U.S. Open are opening to fight against coronavirus.
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nypost.com
'Bachelor' alum Colton Underwood opens up about battling coronavirus, his new book 'The First Time'
Colton Underwood tested positive for COVID-19 just before releasing his memoir, "The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV."        
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usatoday.com
The coronavirus has pushed US-China relations to their worst point since Mao
China’s President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump before a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka | Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images “The relationship is in free fall.” The Covid-19 pandemic is a grim reminder that the worst really can happen. Tail risk is real risk. Political leaders fumble, miscalculate, and bluster into avoidable disaster. And even as we try to deal with this catastrophe, the seeds of another are sprouting. The US-China relationship will define geopolitics in the 21st century. If we collapse into rivalry, conflict, and politically opportunistic nationalism, the results could be hellish. And we are, right now, collapsing into rivalry, conflict, and politically opportunistic nationalism. The Trump administration and key congressional Republicans are calling Covid-19 “the Chinese virus” and trying to gin up tensions to distract from their domestic failures. Chinese government officials, beset by their own domestic problems, are claiming the US military brought the virus to China. The US-China relationship was in a bad way six months ago, but this is a new level of threat. Evan Osnos covers the US-China relationship for the New Yorker and is the author of the National Book Award winner Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China. In this conversation on The Ezra Klein Show, we discuss the past, present, and future of the US-China relationship. What are the chances of armed conflict? What might deescalation look like? And we know what the US wants — what, in truth, does China want? Here’s a lightly edited transcript of part of our conversation, which we released this week on The Ezra Klein Show. Ezra Klein We’ll get to the US-China relationship, but let’s start with China itself. In January, you wrote that, “To a degree still difficult for outsiders to absorb, China is preparing to shape the 21st century, much as the US shaped the 20th. Its government is deciding which features of the global status quo to preserve and which to reject.” Tell me a bit more about that. Evan Osnos I think the giant hidden fact of our lives over the course of the last few years has been the degree to which China has been shifting the ground beneath our feet. There’s now been this general sudden awareness in the American population about how significantly China is starting to rewrite rules on things like privacy and surveillance and human rights and their perception of sovereignty. To take one example, China has now become in many ways the leader of surveillance technology that they use for purposes of governance. They introduced facial recognition on a very broad basis. China has been very aggressive in rolling that out and they don’t do it with an accompanying debate about civil liberties. They’re using it essentially the way that the United States put seatbelts into cars, with a full-throated commitment to that as a next-generation technology. And it’s not clear whether the American conversation about civil liberties that might accompany [such technologies] is going to become the global conversation or whether that’s just going to become kind of a minority conversation that we have just with our allies. Ezra Klein Ten, 15 years ago, the sense was still that China was creating a potential model for some developed countries but that the US still stood as a beacon of global political effectiveness. In the interim, we’ve been through the financial crisis and elected Donald Trump. Now, I think the broad global view of American democracy and American public state capacity is that it isn’t working very well. How does that change that dynamic of China being able to export and shape the global conversation? Evan Osnos In the broadest sense, it makes China’s case easier to make. In 1994, China’s economy was smaller than Italy’s and it has grown 24 times since then. It is now second only to the United States. And they can point to their model as they go around the world and point to, for instance, that they’ve reduced extreme poverty below 1 percent. In these kinds of basic metrics of how they perceive overall comprehensive national power, they have simply surpassed the United States. That’s their case. I would say if you were balancing this out on a spreadsheet, you’d say the United States has had tremendous losses in trust over the course of the last few years. China was coming from a very low base and they’ve gained some, but they are not yet at the point where other countries are simply kind of falling into the Chinese embrace. And that creates this tremendous sense of uncertainty and a kind of moral competition between these two systems. Ezra Klein Coronavirus enters into this in a very weird way. On the one hand, it is a tremendous failure of the Chinese political and government system. And on the other hand, their response to it is now being seen, certainly by some, as a model — especially as America and much of Western Europe struggles mightily to get this under control. How did China respond to the outbreak? Evan Osnos When the virus first emerged in December in Wuhan, the initial instinct of the local authorities was to be very wary of allowing that information out. There were some doctors like Dr. Li Wenliang, who tried to raise some alarms first in the medical community, and others tried to raise alarms in the broader community. And these doctors were told not to talk about it. The virus continued to grow, and the best estimates are that about 7 million people from Wuhan left by the time the state shut down on January 23rd. That obviously contributed significantly to the overall growth of the virus. But before we talk about that, it’s worth pointing out that then they imposed this extraordinary set of conditions on Wuhan which have been really admired in a lot of the world because of its ability to significantly flatten the curve. After being overrun at the hospitals, they imposed not just regular lockdowns, but really specific levels of quarantine. That had the effect of being able to significantly bring down the numbers to the point now that Hubei, which is the area around Wuhan, has now been opened up. One of the things my friend Bill Bishop, a China analyst who writes the Sinocism newsletter, makes is, “Don’t listen to what the Chinese say on questions about the infection rate — look at what they do.” And they’ve done a couple of significant things that indicate that they really are confident about their progress. They’ve allowed Xi Jinping to schedule a trip to Wuhan, which is a big deal. And they have also started opening up larger parts of the country. They wouldn’t do that if they thought it was going to imperil their stability, ultimately their political stability. Ezra Klein Coronavirus is ultimately going to have a hugely negative impact on the Chinese economy. And, in response to declining growth, they are probably going to need to rely heavily on nationalism. In a context where America is led by this much-loathed president who is also attacking China constantly, the easiest way for that nationalist energy to be wielded is against America. That strikes me as a very dangerous context. Evan Osnos I think that’s exactly right. For years, people who think seriously about China’s political trajectory have said that the biggest risk in the US-China relationship is that there will come a time when China, because of something like an economic depression, would need to rally people around the flag in a particularly acute, brittle, aggressive way. This tool has been built into Chinese politics: When needed, you can direct your animus, your political energy, against a foreign opponent. And you’ve heard people at the very top of the foreign ministry-spokesman system in China saying the virus may have been brought to China by the US military. There’s obviously no evidence to support that claim, but that tendency is a serious risk — it moves us further down this spiral of deterioration. Ezra Klein One of the things I’ve been trying to do in some of these interviews is trying to understand the context around coronaviruses that the virus is colliding in with. So if I was talking to you before coronavirus erupted into the global catastrophe it now is and I asked you to describe the state of the US-China relationship, what would you have told me? Evan Osnos I would have said that it was at the worst point since the forging of the relationship in 1972. A senior White House official who has a little bit of room for objectivity on this issue said to me, “The relationship is in freefall.” That is an accurate description. That’s how it was before this latest period. We had these serious underlying tensions in the relationship around questions of human rights and China’s treatment of [Uighur] Muslims. But you also have the more specific, recent tensions around trade and China’s attempts to acquire American technology. On top of that, there’s the way Trump has been so much more overtly aggressive about the US-China relationship. On the Chinese side, you’ve had a much harsher authoritarian system take hold under siege in Beijing. Xi Jinping has been very effective at focusing on the threat from abroad as a way of trying to rally political support around him. One of the key points that he often has pointed to over the years is the reasons why the Soviet Union collapsed. In the Chinese mind, the collapse of the Soviet Union was not the inevitable result of a flawed system — it was a great tragedy of the 20th century. And the reason why it collapsed in the official telling in China is that they allowed themselves to be corrupted by the West. They were not ideologically pure and not ideologically vigilant enough, and their population was ultimately peeled away by Western thinking. That was all in place before the virus arrived. You can listen to the full episode by subscribing to The Ezra Klein Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.
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vox.com
Trump Admin Forcing Asylum Seekers to Go to Court or Face Deportation Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
If the government cannot ensure remote hearings, it should release immigration detainees, advocates say.
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newsweek.com
New Jersey governor reverses course to let gun stores open during coronavirus pandemic
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday that gun stores will be able to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic, changing their status in the Garden State to essential businesses amid the outbreak. 
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foxnews.com
Lawsuit claims Zoom illegally shared user data with Facebook
Zoom illegally gave Facebook its users’ personal data without telling them, according to a new lawsuit against the teleconferencing company that has seen its business surge amid the coronavirus pandemic. The company failed to tell users that it gave Facebook and “and possibly other third parties” access to personal information it collected whenever they installed...
1m
nypost.com
Families of nursing home residents share heartbreaking coronavirus stories
Over 15,000 nursing homes nationwide are trying to stop the coronavirus from sweeping through their vulnerable populations. Heartbroken families report not being able to say a proper goodbye to their loved ones, while some worry about their relatives who need the constant care nursing homes provide. Meg Oliver speaks to relatives of nursing home residents to hear how they are dealing with the outbreak.
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cbsnews.com
Coronavirus Patients Who Refuse to Self-Isolate Are Being Put on House Arrest In Kentucky
There are concerns that the corrections officers who are placing GPS monitoring devices on patients in Louisville, Kentucky, aren't being properly protected.
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newsweek.com
Eye Opener at 8: U.S. records highest single-day coronavirus death toll yet
A look at what we've been covering on "CBS This Morning."
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cbsnews.com
De Blasio: All NYC hospital beds could be full of coronavirus patients
Every hospital bed in New York City may be converted to treat COVID-19 infected patients, Mayor de Blasio said Tuesday. “We project that potentially all of those beds, all 20,000, will have to be turned into intensive care beds to focus on COVID-19 patients who are really, really sick,” de Blasio said on NBC’s “Today”...
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nypost.com
How the coronavirus widens the gender pay gap
In uncertain times, employers would be well-served to modernize their compensation practices to price the job, not the person, writes Scott Torrey, CEO of PayScale.
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edition.cnn.com
How to coronavirus-proof your home
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edition.cnn.com
We can do it: A wartime-style mobilization to beat coronavirus and mass unemployment
Corbis via Getty Images The US can’t wait for an end to the pandemic. A dangerous myth is taking hold in the United States that the country must decide between saving the economy at the expense of risking many additional Covid-19 deaths and a depression leading to double-digit unemployment. Trump says that the cure for the virus can’t be more costly than the virus itself. Others, like former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, caution that the US must stick with stringent public health measures, but simply can’t fix the economy “until we contain the virus.” But this is a false choice. The virus’s hit to the economy is real. But beyond the direct hit from the pandemic, the US is experiencing an economy-wide collapse in demand, as job losses lead to income losses which lead to reduced spending and further job losses. There is a climate of concern, and people who haven’t lost jobs and incomes worry that they may do so soon and restrain their spending. There is a pinch on state and local budgets that is causing cutbacks on front-line labor as there’s more, not less, work to do. And despite frantic moves from the Federal Reserve last week and a big stimulus bill from Congress, the steps taken thus far are too small and too timid — like a series of mattresses to cushion the fall when the US needs a trampoline to bounce everyone back to full employment. That’s not a job that can afford to wait until after the epidemiological crisis is solved any more than the Allies waited until after defeating Hitler to cure the Great Depression. The US needs to beat the virus in part through a massive, deliberate mobilization that puts people back to work. America needs a strategy for recovery, not just rescue Businesses across the country have been forced to either shut down or dramatically curtail their activities because of the virus. That inevitably leads to job losses and a declining stock market. But if you broaden your set of economic indicators — including currencies (where the dollar is getting stronger), commodities (where everything from oil to corn to metal has gotten cheaper), to bonds (where government interest rates have fallen), to inflation (where expectations are of slower price increases) — you see a second story, a crisis of falling demand. And though the measures taken by Congress and the Fed last week led to a clear improvement in the indicators, they weren’t nearly enough to address the crisis. Win McNamee/Getty Images House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, surrounded by a bipartisan group of members of the House, signs the stimulus bill known as the CARES Act on March 27. The US needs to take the analogy of wartime mobilization that’s been used by many leaders much more seriously and deliver trillions more in tax cuts and spending increases to stimulate demand. Much of that spending should be aimed at mobilizing workers and industry to provide the goods and services the US needs to continue coping with a virus that, even if successfully contained, is not going to vanish soon. To cope with the twin crises of economics and public health, the US will need substantial investment in the production of personal protective equipment for health care workers, but may also need production of masks and gloves for the public. It will need a huge infusion of funds to state and local governments so they can continue to provide — even expand — needed services. It will need medical research in spades, and we’ll need income support to households and businesses as they struggle to adapt to a new world of doing things in less-efficient more socially distant ways. And to support it all, the US needs a creative and flexible Federal Reserve willing to adopt a wartime mentality to finance. Economic policy can’t fix everything, but it can fix a lot A few years ago Christina Romer, formerly the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Obama, and her husband David co-wrote my favorite paper about macroeconomics. It’s called “The Most Dangerous Idea in Federal Reserve History: Monetary Policy Doesn’t Matter.” In the paper the Romers review three tragic episodes in American economic history — the early phases of the Great Depression, the Great Inflation of the 1970s, and the extended Great Recession that began in 2008 and left us with labor market weakness that lingered up until the moment when coronavirus hit. Christina Animashaun/Vox They show that in each of these episodes, policymakers convinced themselves that because of special unique attributes of the situation, there was nothing more that they could do on the demand side of the economy. In 1930, for example, as the Great Depression gathered, George Norris of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve spoke against the idea of extra stimulus. In his view, the real problem was the extraordinary stock market bubble of the 1920s. “The consequences of such an economic debauch,” he argued to other Fed officials, “are inevitable. We are now suffering them. Can they be corrected or removed by cheap money? We do not believe that they can.” In the 1970s, the problem was inflation rather than mass unemployment. And William Miller, then chair of the Federal Reserve, insisted that it wasn’t his problem to solve, telling Congress that “an effective program to reduce the rate of inflation had to extend beyond monetary policy” and instead focus on deregulatory and anti-union policy “designed to enhance competition and to correct structural problems.” And in the wake of the Great Recession, distinguished economists started coming up with fanciful explanations for why labor force growth was persistently slow, even at one point deciding that advances in video game quality rather than a weak job market were to blame. But in the first two instances, once policymakers — President Franklin Roosevelt in the case of the Great Depression, Fed Chair Paul Volcker in the case of inflation — actually accepted responsibility for solving the problem, they took action by abandoning the gold standard in the former case and with painful but relatively brief spikes in interest rates in the latter. The Great Recession never had such a decisive turning point, but exactly as the Romers predicted, over time growing demand just kept pushing the job numbers up steadily throughout both the Obama and Trump presidencies. So I was alarmed to see something Christina Romer told my colleague Ezra Klein: “I feel like we need a new term for the kind of unemployment we’re going to have,” says Christina Romer, the Berkeley economist who led President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers during the financial crisis. “It’s not cyclical unemployment. It’s quarantine unemployment. Businesses aren’t allowed to operate. People aren’t allowed to be out of their home. The idea that if you just give people money it’ll somehow prevent the unemployment rate from skyrocketing makes no sense. No amount of demand stimulus will get people to go to restaurants if they’re closed.” What Romer is saying is thatthe US needs humanitarian relief to help people who can’t work, rather than expecting stimulus to create jobs. But that’s a huge overstatement. She teaches at UC Berkeley in California, which is under some of the strictest lockdown orders in the country. Yet restaurants in Berkeley are not closed — many of them are offering food for pickup or delivery. The novelists Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon announced on Twitter a plan to buy 25 meals a week from local restaurants to give to nearby hospital workers — a nice gesture for the community. And one thing that makes it a nice gesture, of course, is that lots of people are constrained in the number of restaurant meals they can consume by their income. Do you run an East Bay restaurant? Once a week for as long as this lasts @michaelchabon and I will buy 25 meals from you and deliver them to the Highland Hospital ER staff. Cash for you, food for them! Win win! Email me at ayeletw@gmail.com. Spread the word.— Ayelet Waldman (@ayeletw) March 21, 2020 It’s also true that there are plenty of affluent people who eat out frequently who are going to be cutting back for non-financial reasons during this crisis. But it’s a big mistake to think that everyone is in that boat, or that the US has to simply give up on the idea of keeping people engaged in meaningful work. Signs of demand shortfall are everywhere Even in the midst of the current crisis, some companies are hiring. Instacart says they’re looking to add 300,000 staff as demand for grocery delivery picks up. Amazon says they’re going to hire 100,000 new people and Domino’s Pizza expects to add 10,000 more workers. A crisis for some is an opportunity for others. And in an appropriately stimulated economy, workers laid off from some sectors would gain new jobs in others. But something I’ve noticed in my Washington, DC, neighborhood is that even though supermarkets and hardware stores are still open, they are curtailing hours rather than expanding them. Prudent people are trying to shop at the least-crowded possible times in order to minimize human contact — typically at odd hours. The Whole Foods in my neighborhood is normally open from 7 am to 10 pm. The store has established special hours for people ages 60 and older, from 6 am to 7 am, and it is closing early at 9 pm. In a healthier economic environment, the store would be opening early and closing late — adding shifts to cover those times and adding workers to do extra cleaning and disinfecting. This might lead to price increases for some retail goods, partially offsetting retailers’ reduced costs for commodities and the fuel to get things shipped. Nobody likes to see high prices. But that’s what you’d expect to see from an appropriately stimulated economy — overall stable or slightly rising inflation as total spending levels stay steady even though the virus is disrupting exactly what people spend money on. Instead, aggregate spending is collapsing. Recode’sPeter Kafka reports that even as news consumption is soaring, the advertising market is shrinking. BuzzFeed News announced across-the-board salary cuts. This isn’t the virus forcing media companies to shut down or making it impossible to buy laptops. It’s the secondary and tertiary demand impacts that are creating a generalized economic crisis. How to fix the problem: Spend, mobilize, recalibrate Congress has declared victory and gone home, butit’s important for leaders in both parties to stay engaged. They need to keep monitoring the situation and continue passing new stimulative measures until there are clear indications that things have gone far enough on the demand side. That’s going to mean primarily pushing a lot more money out the door. Secondarily, the federal government needs to mobilize the country to address the virus — working with private industry, but also plenty of pushing cash out to state and local governments to do things. Last but by no means least, the Federal Reserve— the American government’s premiere demand-management agency — needs to commit to allowing a small spurt of inflation if that’s what it takes to ride this crisis out, and to extending maximum support to whatever the nation’s elected officials decide to spend money on. Chair Jay Powell’s announcements last week pointed in that direction, but everyone would benefit from a clear and consistent statement from the central bank that it supports fully and swiftlyreturning to full employment, even if it means a temporarily elevated pace of price increases. If people look back on the year 2020 and see that the big problem was 4 percent inflation, rather than mass unemployment or the widespread collapse of hospital systems, that’s a victory. Push out more money At the very beginning of the crisis, President Trump was said to be interested in a major payroll tax cut. Eventually he got talked out of that by Democrats who argued, correctly, that generous unemployment insurance benefits and flat cash transfers to households should be higher priorities. That was the right judgment, but with demand still not fully stabilized, it would make sense to go back and look at the payroll tax issue. Evan Vucci/AP President Trump hands a pen to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, after signing the coronavirus stimulus relief package, on March 27. The kind of companies that are still enjoying healthy sales — from giants like Target to the little hardware store across the street from my house — would be more likely to expand staff and rehire some newly unemployed workers if employer-side payroll taxes fell. Employers whose businesses have been hurt by the crisis but who aren’t forced into closure by it will, similarly, have an easier time avoiding layoffs if they get a tax break. Meanwhile, the millions of Americans who haven’t lost their jobs but are dealing with unusually difficult working conditions, complicated child care situations, and other problems could use a boost from a worker-side payroll tax cut. Depending on the market reaction to that, it could alsomake sense to do more rounds of cutting universal checks. Even while maintaining fairly severe social distancing, reasonable people might want to splurge on home exercise equipment, new toys and activities for kids, better equipment for your home office, or remote consultations with medical doctors or psychotherapists. Deliver the goods and services people need The political controversy du jour is Trump’s reluctance to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) and secure critically needed ventilators and personal protective equipment for front-line health care workers. He should do all that. But the government at all levels should also acknowledge that our wartime production needs are broader than the most critical supplies. The acute shortage of N95 respirators facing medical personnel treating Covid-19 patients obviously needs to be fixed first. But instead of managing the shortage by telling the public surgical masks aren’t useful, the US ought to make more masks and widen the circle of people who get them. The gap between our current situation—wherefront-line health personnel can’t get the basic equipment they need — and a realm where everyone is amply provisioned with masks and gloves for routine use is huge. Filling that gap will be a hard problem. But it’s the opposite of the problem of having too many workers with nothing left for them to do. The US needs to be looking at all appropriate tools to get newly unemployed people into manufacturing masks and gloves. That probably means some mix of DPA edicts, direct subsidies for production, and government guarantees that they will purchase any “excess” supplies if the crisis ends up ending sooner than expected. Scott Olson/Getty Images Hospitals across the country are accepting donations of Personal Protective Equipment and other supplies that are high demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But beyond medical equipment, we are looking at a reasonably extended period of time in which people should be consuming more soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting sprays and wipes,and lotion. Especially once the US is able to move beyond the most severe lockdown measures, we’re going to need lots of household cleaning supplies. And that means we’ll need more personnel and industrial capacity to make them. Congress should also directly infuse state and local governments with the money they need to run things properly. Mass transit agencies are being crushed by falling ridership and have started curtailing service. Distancing best practice, however, is that transit agencies should run ample service even as commuter loads fall so that trains and buses can stay as uncrowded as possible, even while vehicles are disinfected frequently. This isn’t financially viable for local governments, but the federal government can make it viable, and in doing so support public health and employment at the same time. More broadly, the one saving grace of the coronavirus pandemic is that the pathogen is fairly easy to kill with soap and other normal cleaning supplies. High-touch surfaces in playgrounds, benches, and other public space could and perhaps should be routinely disinfected as part of a transitional strategy to getting things partially opened up again. The barrier to doing that is simply cost. But that’s just another way of saying the virus hasn’t eliminated our need for labor. There is plenty for workers to do instead of being unemployed, as long as people refuse to accept mass unemployment as inevitable. Rather than it being necessary to completely fix the health situation before the US can heal the economy, mobilizing idled workers should be part of how to get the health situation under control. Wartime central banking But to undergird it all, Americans need a cooperative central bank. The question of Federal Reserve action is intimately linked to the inevitable question of whether the country can really afford to engage in stimulus on this level. And the answer is yes. Since the 1951 Fed/Treasury Accord, the Fed has operated independently of the rest of the American government. But as Jessica Romero of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmondrecounts in his history of the accord, “during World War II and its aftermath the Federal Reserve did not enjoy such independence.” Instead, “at the request of the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve formally committed to maintaining a low interest-rate peg of 3/8 percent on short-term Treasury bills. The Fed also implicitly capped the rate on long-term Treasury bonds at 2.5 percent.” The point of this was to make sure it was affordable for the government to borrow the money it would need to fight and win the war. Current interest rates are less than half of where they were set as an emergency wartime finance measure, and the Fed has announced that it’s willing to engage in unlimited purchases of government bonds “to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy to broader financial conditions and the economy.” What’s further needed from the Fed is a clearer statement of the goals of its activity. In the past generation, the central bank’s overwhelming focus has been on ensuring that inflation stays near-but-below a target of 2 percent. To support an adequate recovery, the Fed should state clearly that its goal is to help fiscal authorities fully eliminate any shortfall in demand. That means as long as the virus is with us, we should be willing to see inflation rise above 2 percent levels, as you would expect to see in an economy suffering from a supply-side problem. A lot of commercial transactions, even when they restart, will have to be conducted in slightly cumbersome ways with more emphasis on delivery, uncrowded spaces, and lots of disinfecting. That will mean a higher cost structure, higher prices, and lower economic output — real economic problems that stimulative policy can’t fix and that will ameliorate only as testing, treatment, and vaccination will improve. But it won’t have to mean mass unemployment or a chilling choice between overwhelmed hospitals and a depression. Depression is a choice The corners of the economic policy world I follow are spending a lot of time playing armchair epidemiologist and debating various theories about how deadly Covid-19 really is and how useful lockdown-type policies really are in combating it. Current estimates of the coronavirus fatality rate may be too high by orders of magnitude, write Profs. Eran Bendavid and Jay Bhattacharya from @StanfordMed https://t.co/5zIfFWK1Ko via @WSJ— David Andolfatto (@dandolfa) March 25, 2020 I reproduced by average-growth-in-last-week graph, but this time for COVID deaths instead of cases.Can you spot which places had lockdowns? Because tbh I cannot. pic.twitter.com/hnW5AKVbnD— Lyman Expand the House Stone, AKA 石來民 (@lymanstoneky) March 25, 2020 These are important questions, and in these uncertain times, I am also interested in them. Trump has become personally enthusiastic about the prospects of using hydroxychloroquine, perhaps in combination with azithromycin, as a pharmaceutical treatment for Covid-19. (The research so far on the effectiveness of such treatment is preliminary and mixed.) I hope some of that pans out, too, and it’s not unreasonable to try to maintain some optimism on the epidemiological side. But this also has an air of grasping at straws about it. Both the human mind and the political system rebel at the idea that the current bleak economic picture Americans are seeing is our only alternative to a world with increasing sickness from a new virus. We need to be clear-eyed, however: that false choice only exists because we aren’t thinking big enough about economic policy. Both the virus itself and the public health countermeasures that have been put into place to combat it are costly to the national economy. But the financial market indicators we can see before our eyes are a clear indication that these costs are being exacerbated by a second wave of problems — demand-side problems — that are actually larger in scale than the problems on the supply side. And unlike on the epidemiological side, the solutions to a demand crisis are actually very clear. Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images Workers set up a field hospital in front of Mount Sinai West Hospital inside Central Park in New York City on March 29. We are already poised to begin significant fiscal stimulus and that has helped. But to get to where we need to be, we need to do even more — put more cash into state and local government coffers, cut taxes on individuals and businesses, put money directly into the hands of the American people, and finance increased production of medical and household cleaning supplies. A program like that won’t eliminate the economic costs of coronavirus. Huge amounts of labor will be “wasted” on cleaning and re-cleaning surfaces, and manufacturing supplies that are swiftly used up and thrown away rather than building wealth. But it will avoid mass unemployment, cascading waves of bankruptcies, and the other miseries associated with a depression. And since the economic problems will be genuinely virus-related, they will go away whenever the medical situation improves — whether that’s because of improved testing, improved treatments, new findings that it’s not as deadly as we feared, or whatever else. The problem with the demand shock is that it is currently bigger in economic terms than the supply-side impacts of the virus itself. And — because it’s caused by policy failure rather than RNA strands replicating in our cells — there’s no guarantee it goes away, even if there is a totally effective vaccine a year from now. It’s time for economic policymakers to let the doctors, epidemiologists, and other public health officials do their jobs, and to start taking responsibility for doing their own work instead. The virus is a fact we have to deal with. The ongoing collapse in aggregate demand is a policy choice we can avoid.
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vox.com
Savannah Guthrie back in ‘Today’ show studio after self-quarantine
Guthrie had been co-hosting "Today" from home for the past two weeks.
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nypost.com
Paul Lo Duca rips Alex Rodriguez as 'one of the fakest people out there'
It's safe to say Paul Lo Duca isn't fond of Alex Rodriguez. The former Mets catcher called him 'one of the fakest people' during an interview on WFAN.       
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usatoday.com
Grassley rips Pelosi bid to roll back deduction cap: ‘Millionaires don’t need a new tax break’
The office of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after she proposed rolling back a cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions as part of the next coronavirus response bill.
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foxnews.com
After 'Tiger King' cameo, Shaquille O'Neal says he is not friends with 'Joe Exotic'
Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, who made an appearance in the Netflix doc "Tiger King," disavowed "Joe Exotic" and the poor treatment of tigers.       
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usatoday.com
Sibling pharmacists share what it's like on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic
A countless number of "essential workers" are serving their communities each day despite coronavirus risks keeping the majority of people in their homes. A brother and sister pharmacy team told Adriana Diaz that they felt a "tension in the air" as the severity of the pandemic weighs down on public consciousness. They, like many others on the front lines, are worried about exposing their loved ones to the virus.
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cbsnews.com
Two anti-transgender bills signed into law in Idaho
Governor Brad Little's move makes his state the first to go that far among states that introduced 40 such measures this year
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cbsnews.com
Italy Could Be Free of New COVID-19 Cases by May 16, 10 Weeks After Country Went Into Lockdown
"We are going in the right direction and we must not change our strategy in the least. The return to normality will be a gradual process," said top Italian health official Franco Locatelli.
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newsweek.com
Food banks struggle as demand explodes thanks to coronavirus layoffs
More people in need. Less food being donated. And volunteers staying home.
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edition.cnn.com
Ex-MLB catcher Paul Lo Duca rips Alex Rodriguez in radio interview
Former MLB catcher Paul Lo Duca came after Alex Rodriguez on Monday during a radio interview, dubbing the former New York Yankees star “one of the fakest people out there.”
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foxnews.com
Coronavirus primary delays mean some states could lose delegates at the Democratic National Convention
An election worker in Florida on March 17 stands by empty polling stations. | Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images The DNC says no primary can be held after June 9 — but Covid-19 has some states ignoring the rules. New York has delayed its 2020 presidential primary until June 23 due to coronavirus concerns, a delay that the Democratic party said could result in the state losing delegates at the national convention in July. New York is just the latest of more than a dozen states figuring out how to balance public health concerns with concluding a Democratic primary. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the delay at his daily coronavirus press conference Saturday, saying, “I don’t think it’s wise to be bringing a lot of people to one location to vote, a lot of people touching one doorknob, a lot of people touching one pen.” The move will be an easy one, he explained, because the state had a state- and congressional-level primary already scheduled for June 23. But the choice to delay the Democratic contest could come with consequences. Democratic National Committee rules mandate states that push their primaries to a date after June 9 have their delegates reduced by 50 percent. And the rules also say any candidate campaigning in a state with a contest outside of the DNC’s designated primary calendar will not be awarded any delegates from that state. Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, the last two candidates in the primary race, aren’t physically campaigning in New York (or any other state), but the DNC defines “campaigning” broadly as being inclusive of but “not limited to”: Purchasing print, internet, or electronic advertising that reaches a significant percentage of the voters in the aforementioned state; hiring campaign workers; opening an office; making public appearances; holding news conferences; coordinating volunteer activities; sending mail, other than fundraising requests that are also sent to potential donors in other states; using paid or volunteer phoners or automated calls to contact voters; sending emails or establishing a website specific to that state; holding events to which Democratic voters are invited; attending events sponsored by state or local Democratic organizations; or paying for campaign materials to be used in such a state. The DNC further notes its Rules and Bylaws Committee can add to this list and has final say over whether a campaign’s activities are in violation of this rule. That means that although, for instance, podcasting isn’t included in this list, Biden’s new podcast could perhaps be seen as being in violation of this rule, given it is distributed nationwide, including to New York, Louisiana, and Kentucky — all states that now have post-June 9 primaries. In light of these rules, most states rescheduling their primaries set new dates just ahead of this June 9 cutoff. Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Ohio, for example, joined a growing list of states holding primaries on June 2. Other places, like Puerto Rico, cut things a little closer: Its primary will be on June 7. It is not yet clear whether these rules will be enforced, particularly now that the most delegate-rich state left on the calendar, New York, has chosen a delay, and the DNC has not yet responded to a request for clarifying comment. But DNC chairman Tom Perez did say in a mid-March statement that the committee would “continue to monitor the situation and work with state parties around their delegate selection plans, specifically allowing flexibility around how states elect their delegates to the national convention.” How much flexibility remains to be seen. In the meantime, however, the DNC is making it plain that it doesn’t want states postponing primaries at all. The DNC argues mail-in voting is the solution to the coronavirus voting issue Following Ohio’s Super Tuesday III announcement that it would delay its primary, Perez said in a statement, “States that have not yet held primary elections should focus on implementing the aforementioned measures to make it easier and safer for voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote, instead of moving primaries to later in the cycle when timing around the virus remains unpredictable.” In a Sunday USA Today op-ed by Perez and six other Democratic Party leaders, the party expounded upon this point, arguing that states should simply expand their voting periods to at least 20 days before elections — and their voting hours — to allow voters to cast ballots in socially distant ways. This would not solve the problem Cuomo cited as his primary concern: that voters risk exposure by coming into contact with high-touch surfaces such as ballot pens and the handles of polling place doors. To that end, the authors also suggest states work to expand their mail-in voting programs, writing: States should automatically mail ballots to registered voters; voters should be able to mail back those ballots for free or with prepaid postage by the date of the primary; voters should also be able to drop off ballots at predesignated locations, as is the case in Arizona, or have someone else drop it off for them; and ballots should be accepted as long as they are postmarked by Election Day and received within 10 days of the election. And the DNC is now committing to helping states pay for these reforms, with the leaders writing, “any state that voluntarily complies with such reforms will receive payments equal to the costs they’ve incurred.” Ahead of November, Perez and his colleagues further pressed Congress and the White House to embrace a proposal by Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Ron Wyden that, as Vox’s Ella Nilsen has explained, “if 25 percent of US states declare an emergency ... would trigger a requirement to allow any voter to vote from home via a mail-in ballot.” All states have done so, which would place the bill in effect if it were to become law as written. Nilsen noted the bill’s authors hoped the proposal would be included in the Covid-19 stimulus package Congress passed last week; it was not, and it won’t be able to be taken up until at least April 20, when the Senate ends its current recess, if at all. The ratification of such a proposal would go a long way toward addressing Perez’s second concern earlier this March, namely that the “timing around the virus remains unpredictable.” While delays certainly allow states to strengthen — and in some cases fully develop — their vote-by-mail infrastructure, it is true that on June 23 or November 3 the United States may still find itself needing to maintain extreme social distancing practices. In fact, many experts say this is likely, and that unless a precise system of testing, surveillance, and tracking is developed, the United States may have to continue to shelter in place until a vaccine is developed, a process that could take until September 2021 — if not longer. This means that Perez is correct in arguing the delays that have been decided on so far may not enfranchise those who would like to vote but are concerned about contracting the coronavirus. It is important to note, however, delays will re-enfranchise some voters: those infected with the virus during their state’s primary. This is particularly true in New York. Saturday, Cuomo said the state is likely to see its case peak in three weeks — that is, right around April 28, the day it was meant to hold its presidential primary. As of March 30, the state has nearly 60,000 confirmed cases, meaning more than 60,000 New Yorkers will be at home in bed or in hospitals on ventilators when its original primary date comes around. Not all of that number will be Democrats, but given New York is a solidly blue state, a large number of them will be, and the postponement should allow most of them to vote. Officials hope social distancing measures will force the state’s case count much lower, allowing more people to participate than would have otherwise been able to. Public health experts like Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci have both said the US can expect confirmed case counts to go up in the weeks to come and that it takes time to see the benefits of social distancing. This would suggest that delaying primaries in general will allow them to be held at a time when fewer people are sick. But also that it would be wise to, as the DNC has recommended, adopt vote-by-mail measures that will keep people from having to travel to the polls. Ultimately, the delays seem unlikely to change the course of the race Before the full scope of the coronavirus pandemic became apparent, Biden appeared poised to become his party’s presidential nominee. A candidate needs 1,991 delegates to win the nomination without the aid of superdelegates, and with March’s contests behind him, Biden leads the delegate race with 1,168 pledged delegates to Sanders’s 884. Before the restructuring of the primary calendar, contests in delegate-heavy states the former vice president was expected to win — like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and New York —meant he had the potential to come close to that 1,991 threshold by the end of April, or at the very least, amass so many delegates as to make it mathematically impossible for Sanders to catch up to him. While this might seem to suggest the delays are beneficial to Sanders’s campaign, this does not currently seem to be the case. The next states scheduled to vote — Kansas, Nebraska, and West Virginia — all favor Biden. None of these states has a massive number of delegates and much could change between now and June, facts giving Sanders little pressure to drop out. This makes it more likely both candidates will continue to campaign until the summer, in turn making it more difficult for the party to devote resources toward fundraising for its eventual nominee and toward making preparations for the general election against President Donald Trump. Stripping states that vote post-June 9 of their delegates would further complicate Biden’s path to victory, as doing so would take at least 191 pledged delegates out of the equation. And punishing Sanders and Biden for campaigning in late voting states would have an even greater effect; all together, New York, Kentucky, and Louisiana have 382 delegates on offer, more than Texas and almost as many as California. The DNC may be inclined to make an exception to current rules to let the primary process play out in a manner that would allow one man to claim a clean victory. Whether they do remains to be seen, but either way, come June 3, the nation should finally have a clearer view of who will be the Democratic nominee.
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vox.com
Hospital bill after coronavirus test "infuriates" actor Daniel Newman
The potential cost of tests and treatments for the coronavirus could cause some people to delay seeking medical care. Anna Werner speaks with "Walking Dead" actor Daniel Newman, who says he never found out if he tested positive for coronavirus, but he still ended up with a bill for more than $9,000.
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cbsnews.com
Hairstylist, doctors play critical role in Ford's coronavirus face shield design
Ford, hairstylists and doctors worked together to design a face shield to help fight the coronavirus.       
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usatoday.com
Cher blasts Donald Turmp's suggestion that coronavirus medical workers are stealing supplies
Cher took to Twitter to once again criticize President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. 
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foxnews.com
Fixing 2021 sporting calendar will be like a 'huge jigsaw puzzle'
"The Olympic Games is the most complicated sporting event in the world to organize," says Hayley Wickenheiser, a Canadian ice hockey great.
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edition.cnn.com
NYC paramedics overwhelmed by virus cases: "9/11-type calls for eight days"
"I've never seen anything like this before in my career, or my lifetime, to be honest," Lilian Bonsignore, chief EMS operator for the city's fire department said.
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cbsnews.com
Dad hid coronavirus symptoms to visit his wife in the maternity ward. Now, she's sick too
Strong Hospital will begin taking visitors' temperatures following an incident in which a man hid his illness so he could join his expectant wife.       
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usatoday.com
Why the next coronavirus bill won’t come so easy
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politico.com
NYC paramedics stretched thin on front lines of coronavirus outbreak
A video taken outside of NYU Langone Hospital in Lower Manhattan shows nine ambulances backed up in front of the emergency room, all filled with sick patients. With coronavirus cases in New York City soaring, the city's first responders are also facing massive casualties with over 260 reported cases in the FDNY, including ambulance mechanic James Villecco who died from his infection on Sunday. David Begnaud speaks to some on the front lines of the city's outbreak.
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cbsnews.com
Watch live: New York Governor Cuomo gives coronavirus update
More than 66,000 people in New York have been infected with COVID-19.
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cbsnews.com
Plastic Wars: Three Takeaways From The Fight Over The Future Of Plastics
A investigation from NPR and the PBS show Frontline found oil and gas companies had serious doubts that plastic recycling was viable, but promoted it to keep profits high and plastic bans at bay.
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npr.org
Column: No coronavirus refund but credit for a future cruise? Are you kidding?
Like airlines, cruise operators make refunds difficult for passengers who are rethinking travel plans because of the coronavirus.
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latimes.com
Rick McDaniel: Stuck at home during coronavirus? Here's what you can do
What mindset are you adopting toward this current situation? Don’t waste the wait. Come out better on the other side.
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foxnews.com
Laying out the coronavirus scenarios for the economy
Consumer confidence today — Big companies might not be eligible for bailouts
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politico.com
Jim Ross opens up about WWE roller-coaster in emotional new book
It was a struggle for Jim Ross to read his own words. The legendary wrestling announcer’s new book, “Under the Black Hat: My Life in the WWE and Beyond,” provides a detailed and emotional look inside the latter portion of his time with World Wrestling Entertainment. It picks up where his previous book, “Slobberknocker: My...
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nypost.com
This day in sports: John Wooden goes out on top as UCLA's coach in 1975
UCLA defeats Kentucky 92-85 on March 31, 1975, giving John Wooden his 10th national title with the Bruins in his final game as their coach.
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latimes.com
Editorial: California's wildfires aren't going to stay quarantined for coronavirus
What's worse than power shutoffs during the coronavirus quarantine? An unplanned outage that sparks a wildfire.
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latimes.com
Gov. Gavin Newsom sticks to pressure, not force, in California's coronavirus shutdown
Coronavirus: Gov. Newsom has been steadfast in contending that his stay-at-home order should be enforced through persuasion, not punishment
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latimes.com
Is your home Wi-Fi slow? Bolster your connectivity with a mesh system
If you live in a larger home or apartment, or if your primary internet access device doesn't have built-in Wi-Fi, you're going to want a mesh system.       
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usatoday.com
What Happens to Heroes After They Save the World? Divergent Author Veronica Roth Has Some Ideas
The 'Divergent' author is back with her first adult novel
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time.com