Monday News Executive Summary

Jordan Candler  Above the Fold

POLITICAL THEATER: Senate fails to move forward with “Phase 3” bill amid Democrat machinations (Fox News)

A NEW CHAPTER: Federal Reserve pledges asset purchases with no limit to support markets (CNBC)

Coronavirus Updates

“WE’RE ALL UNDER QUARANTINE NOW”: Gov. Andrew Cuomo orders most New Yorkers to stay inside (CNBC)

VALID UNTIL END OF APRIL: Illinois issues stay-at-home order (NBC Chicago)

VALID UNTIL APRIL 7: Massachusetts under stay-at-home order (CNBC)

APPROVED BY FDA: At-home tests now available, companies say (Fox News)

FIRST SENATOR TO CONTRACT THE VIRUS: Rand Paul tests positive (Axios)

WHO’D A THUNK IT? Five Florida college students test positive after spring break trip (Fox News)

National Security

TRADE AND COMMERCE EXEMPTED: Trump administration announces U.S., Mexico limiting non-essential travel across border (Fox News)

SILVER LININGS: Pandemic measures cut illegal border crossings by half (AP)

Government & Politics

“WE WILL PROVE THAT WE CAN MEET THE MOMENT”: Trump delivers powerful message to those who are worried over coronavirus (The Daily Wire)

THE PARTY OF DOUBLE STANDARDS: Michael Bloomberg exploits campaign-finance loophole to funnel $18 million to DNC (The Washington Free Beacon)

NO WONDER commie-BERNIE SANDERS HASN’T FOLDED: Five more states suspend Democrat primaries, sending nomination race into chaos (The Daily Wire)

Closing Arguments

POLICY: We have the technology to address climate change and still use fossil fuels (RealClearPolicy)

POLICY: It shouldn’t take a crisis to deregulate healthcare (The Federalist)

HUMOR: Chik-fil-A drive-through to provide coronavirus testing; expect to have 300 million tested before lunch (Genesius Times) ~The Patriot Post

liar-Speaker swoops in from Cali to kill stimulus that Dems co-wrote

By M. Dowling{ } ~ On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin stated that the United States lockdown may last another 10 to 12 weeks. Nevertheless, liar-Nancy Pelosi killed the stimulus that Democrats co-wrote… Mnuchin told Fox News that the Trump administration is doing everything in their power to hold up the economy as they are preparing to deal with “a 10-to-12 week scenario.” “The U.S. economy is strong. We’ve stopped major parts of it, but when we get through this virus, as I’ve said, I think you’re gonna see the U.S. economy come back to the strength, we have great companies, we have great workers,” he said. “What we need to do is have a bridge to get through this. And this isn’t the financial crisis that’s gonna go on for years,” Mnuchin said. This evening the stock futures briefly hit the “limit down,” due to the lack of a stimulus agreement. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell more than 800 points, or 4.5%, along with S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures. Earlier in the session, futures hit their “limit down” levels, falling 5%. Downside limits to futures contracts are implemented to ensure orderly market behavior once trading hits a certain threshold. No trades below that level are allowed.  U.S. crude futures slid by more than 6%, adding to last week’s massive losses and adding to worries about more financial market pain on Monday. Saudi Arabia and Russia are trying to destroy the U.S. shale industry at the same time the coronavirus is blasting through the United States. Democrats said the stimulus failed to do enough for the American people. Republicans said liar-Pelosi came in at the last minute with a wishlist and killed the bill. The wishlist included paying off $10,000 in student debt. How is that aid for coronavirus? Ben Williamson, Rep. Meadows chief of staff, wrote on twitter, “Senate spends all weekend negotiating a bipartisan deal. Agreement reached. liar-Pelosi flies in from California, whips out her unrelated “wishlist,” and says no. Senate Democrats then vote against proceeding on a bill they negotiated.” Deputy press secretary Ken Farnasco tweeted Democrats killed Phase 3, the package that would deliver checks to American workers.  

Vice President Pence, wife test negative for COVID-19

By Adam Shaw & Melissa Leon { } ~ Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, have both tested negative for COVID-19… his press secretary announced Saturday night. “Pleased to report that the COVID-19 test results came back negative for both Vice President @Mike_Pence and Second Lady @KarenPence,” Katie Miller tweeted. Pence earlier Saturday said he will be tested for the coronavirus, after one of his staffers tested positive for the virus earlier this week. “While the White House doctor has indicated that he has no reason to believe I was exposed and no need to be tested, given the unique position as vice president and as leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, both I and my wife will be tested for the coronavirus later this afternoon,” he said at a White House press briefing. Pence’s office said Friday that the unidentified staffer tested positive. Pence said that the staffer is doing well, and had cold-like symptoms for a day and a half and has not been to the White House since Monday. He said that neither he nor President Trump had any contact with the staffer, and that they had worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House. Contact tracing had also been done, he said. Pence was appointed by Trump to lead the White House’s coronavirus task force, which has been holding daily press briefings on the virus. A number of politicians have tested positive for the virus. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., on Wednesday became the first member of Congress to announce that he was infected. Not long after Diaz-Balart’s announcement, Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, announced that he, too, had tested positive. A week ago, Trump took a coronavirus test — after exposure to infected individuals — but said it came back negative.   . 

French researcher posts successful Covid-19 drug trial

by ~ A renowned research professor in France has reported successful results from a new treatment for Covid-19, with early tests suggesting it can stop the virus from being contagious in just six days… Professor Didier Raoult from infection hospital l’Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire (IHU) Méditerranée Infection in Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur), published a video explaining the trials on Monday March 16. Professor Raoult is an infectious diseases specialist and head of the IHU Méditerranée Infection, who has been tasked by – and consulted by – the French government to research possible treatments of Covid-19. He said that the first Covid-19 patients he had treated with the drug chloroquine had seen a rapid and effective speeding up of their healing process, and a sharp decrease in the amount of time they remained contagious. Chloroquine – which is normally used mainly to prevent and treat malaria – was administered via the named drug, Plaquenil. The treatment was offered to 24 patients, who were among the first to become infected in the south east of France, and who had voluntarily admitted themselves to hospital for the process. Patients were given 600mcg per day for 10 days. They were closely monitored, as the drug can interact with other medication, and cause severe side effects in some cases. Professor Raoult said: “We included everyone who was in agreement to be treated, which was almost everyone. Two towns in the protocol, Nice and Avignon, gave us infected patients who had not yet received treatment. “We were able to ascertain that patients who had not received Plaquenil the drug containing hydroxychloroquine were still contagious after six days, but of those that had received Plaquenil, after six days, only 25% were still contagious.” Chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine have previously been used to treat coronavirus patients in China, in ongoing Covid-19 clinical trials. Kaletra, a US-based antiviral drug normally used to treat HIV, is another medicine that is being tested in the fight against Covid-19…  

VIDEO: (in French)

Gone digital: Trump campaign suspends all live events

by Katherine Doyle{ } ~ President Trump’s campaign is suspending all live fundraisers and rallies due to the risk of the coronavirus. The campaign will instead lean on its digital platforms… holding virtual events and leaning on high-profile supporters. The shift marks a departure from Trump’s assurances less than two weeks ago, when, in spite of growing concerns over the coronavirus, Trump told reporters at Mar-a-Lago that he had no intention of slowing his appearances down. “We’ll hold tremendous rallies,” he said at the time, before joining a working dinner with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, whose aide later tested positive for COVID-19. Just last week, some supporters were invited to join an April 1 New York reelection fundraiser with the president’s eldest daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump. Since beginning his run for reelection, Trump and his close associates have raised tens of millions of dollars at high-dollar fundraising events across the country. Last month, Trump, the RNC, and the joint fundraising committee Trump Victory took in a combined $86 million dollars. In a statement on Thursday, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh touted the team’s “unmatched data and digital operation,” which he said made it “uniquely” able to engage online. “As it is, we are in an incredibly strong position,” Murtaugh said. “While we are temporarily suspending in-person fundraising events, we will still be able to gather support from Americans who fully support President Trump, his accomplishments, and his leadership.” The campaign is confident that the decision to halt in-person fundraisers won’t dampen its prospects in the general election. The campaign has looked to engage vast numbers of its supporters as organizers. And, last month, campaign manager Brad Parscale announced plans to mobilize an “army” of engaged Trump fans to register voters online, make phone calls, and more. “It’s time to become digital activists and fight,” Parscale said at the time. The United States is reporting more than 11,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 157 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.  

Netanyahu implores Gantz to join gov’t, vows to rotate as PM without tricks

By GIL HOFFMAN{ } ~ Imploring Benny Gantz’s Blue and White to join the Likud in a national unity government, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Saturday night to rotate as prime minister… and to leave the role at the agreed transition date without “any shticks or tricks.” Netanyahu claimed in an interview on Channel 12 that the Likud and Blue and White had completed negotiations for what a national unity government would look like and under which he would serve first as prime minister and would then be replaced by Gantz. “I will leave office on the agreed date,” Netanyahu said in a message to Gantz. “There will be no shticks and tricks. Millions of Israelis are waiting for us.” Gantz denied that a deal had been reached, saying: “Those who want unity do not work with ultimatums and harmful leaks and certainly do not try to hurt our democracy and citizens by paralyzing the Knesset.” Netanyahu said the deal was waiting to be signed, but a move to replace Yuli Edelstein as Knesset would prevent the agreement. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Sunday that Edelstein must enable the formation of committees and a vote for who should be Knesset speaker when the Knesset reconvenes on Monday. According to details of the proposed deal, Likud would start out with the posts of prime minister, finance minister and Knesset speaker and Blue and White would start with a deputy prime minister, defense minister and foreign minister and then switch after a year and a half. The Justice portfolio would be filled in agreement by an outsider or a minister and deputy from each party.  Netanyahu blamed Gantz’s number two in Blue an White, Yair Lapid, for holding up the signing of the deal. If Lapid continues to refuse to the enter the government, Blue and White would be left with only the MKs from his Hosen Le’Israel party and part of MK Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem an none of the MKs from Lapid’s Yesh Atid. If Lapid continues to refuse to enter the government, Blue and White would be left with only the MKs from his Hosen Le’Israel Party and part of MK Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem, but none of the MKs from Lapid’s Yesh Atid. There are attempts to organize a meeting between Netanyahu and Gantz. But Gantz’s initial response to Netanyahu’s offer was negative…   

Fox Business Network Host Lou Dobbs in Self-Quarantine

by Cathy Burke{ } ~ Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs was absent on his Friday night show, in self-quarantine after a staff member tested positive for coronavirus… “Lou feels well, he has no symptoms, but out of an abundance of caution, he and his team are taking the necessary precautions,” fill-in anchor David Asman announced to viewers at the top of the “Lou Dobbs Tonight” show. Dobbs and all of the infected employee’s co-workers were directed to self-quarantine for the next 14 days. “We are fully supporting the employee and wishing them a speedy recovery,” said Fox News Media chief executive officer Suzanne Scott and Fox News Media president Jay Wallace in a memo sent to Fox News staff Friday, Forbes reported. Fox Business has previously scaled back its programming lineup and moved to suspend production on some New York-based shows, Forbes reported.   

Hundreds Of Americans Are STRANDED In Peru

by ~ Following a decision by Peru’s government to shut down the country’s maritime, land, and air borders, hundreds of Americans are stuck in the country… The decision to close the borders came on Monday as coronavirus cases kept growing in the country. As of Tuesday, the Peruvian Ministry of Health reported 117 cases and 13 people in hospital with the disease. So far there have been no deaths reported in the country, but the drastic measures were taken to ensure the situation doesn’t get much worse. Almost 300 Americans are currently stranded in the country, according to The Hill, and are publicly appealing for help to leave the country. The Americans stranded in the country following the move, however, face an uncertain future. The United States Embassy in Peru has yet to announce any plans to assist them. In a statement, the embassy instead offered advice. “American Citizens who remain in Peru should arrange lodging for the duration of the quarantine period and plan to limit their movements,” the statement read. “Limited quarantine exemptions include movement to obtain food and medical care. Travelers currently in the country should consult iPeru for the latest guidance for tourists. The Embassy will provide a daily update on this page as this situation develops.” However, the advice isn’t much use for those Americans who would instead prefer to get back home to their families. The Hill also reported that two Americans attempted to organize American travelers by setting up a WhatsApp group message chat. It has since expanded to around 300 people who are trying to get home, and who complain of receiving “little to no communication” with the U.S. Embassy in Peru. Jenna Saulo, a Floridian who was informed of the travel ban on Monday upon reaching Machu Picchu with her friend and sister, told the media they walked two hours only to be met by a cop saying they had closed the borders.  

In a Time of Crisis, Let’s Stand Together

Arnold Ahlert  

For quite some time, aided and abetted by a rapacious media and take-no-prisoners howlers-at-the-moon on social media, “partisanship porn” has been America’s most enduring frame of reference. You’re either with me or you’re the enemy, the idiot, or simply beneath contempt. Thus one must be ridiculed, defriended, socially ostracized, and/or ignored. All of our differences are irreconcilable and civil war inevitable.

Except that it’s not.This writer is a conservative who finds much of the progressive agenda wrongheaded at best and detestable at worst. But an agenda is not a person and hatred, simply for hatred’s sake, might be the most contemptible default position one can have — in the best of times.In a time of national emergency, it may prove deadlier than the coronavirus that has precipitated that emergency.One wants to point out that the Trump administration has done a lousy job reacting to the virus, while someone else wants to counter that there’s a double standard regarding how well the scumbag/liar-nObama administration handled swine flu and Ebola? Point and counterpoint. Tit for tat. Nah, nah, nah, nah nah.Toward what end, other than to stoke division in a time when unity is desperately needed?Columnist Micheal Goodwin reminds us that even during a world war, soldiers on both sides took a respite from the baser aspects of the human condition. “Starting earlier in December and culminating on Christmas Day in 1914, many allied British and French troops on one side and Germans on the other left their trenches and greeted each other on No-Man’s Land,” he writes. “The sudden fraternization happened on many spots along the Western Front, with soldiers swapping souvenirs, raising toasts, singing Christmas songs and playing soccer.”He believes the same mindset should prevail in Washington, DC. “If warring European soldiers could do it a century ago, surely warring American political leaders can do it today,” he asserts. “God knows our nation needs a truce.”Indeed.Nonetheless, there is little doubt the partisanship that afflicts our Ruling Class will play itself out in whatever series of measures politicians attempt to implement during this crisis. Thus, conservatives will complain about possible loss of constitutional rights precipitated by mandatory shutdowns of various economic sectors, while progressives will complain about efforts viewed as sacrificing vulnerable Americans to protect the economy — all while reliably hysterical media pundits exacerbate the differences and fan the flames of panic for their own perceived advantages. Conservatives will rail against nationalization schemes, progressives against tax cuts, etc. etc., ad infinitum.Here’s an idea: In a nation beset by large philosophical differences, how about inserting a sunset clause into every measure enacted by Congress during the crisis? According to the current worst-case scenarios, we are in for a long period of hard times. Perhaps such sunset clauses could be tied to information regarding when the transmission of the virus peaks and begins to wane. At that point, any measure related to the outbreak will either have to be renewed or it will automatically expire.A heavy lift? No doubt. But one that would certainly mitigate the paralysis that inevitably arises when one side sees the other as seeking permanent changes, using coronavirus as a pretext. Indications that bipartisanship is already occurring are a welcome sign, and such clauses would further that end.Perhaps financial markets should be temporarily closed as well. Since panic is the current worldwide default position, and most economies are in some form of suspended animation, it seems sensible to suspend the unprecedented and potentially catastrophic gyrations of financial markets as well. Price discovery, which is the basis of the entire system, can be determined at a later time.Americans themselves? One hopes that self-quarantining and isolation might induce reflectiveness. Perhaps we might begin to realize that most of the issues we argue about, sometimes to the point of insanity, are reflective of our … luxury. The overwhelming majority of Americans are well fed (even to the point of obesity) and our definition of “poor” is the envy of a world where, for the overwhelming majority of people, simple survival is still a 24/7/365 effort.And then there’s perspective. “For those who grew up in the 1930s and 1940s, there was nothing unusual about finding yourself threatened by contagious disease,”  writes self-described “80-something” columnist Clark Whelton. “Mumps, measles, chicken pox, and German measles swept through entire schools and towns; I had all four. Polio took a heavy annual toll, leaving thousands of people (mostly children) paralyzed or dead. There were no vaccines. Growing up meant running an unavoidable gauntlet of infectious disease.”In modern day America, “growing up” has become an increasingly heavier lift in an increasingly narcissistic  nation. No doubt largesse, coupled with technology, has made “look at me” a national sport. But one suspects a crisis that has likely caused millions of Americans of every generation to contemplate their own mortality may ultimately engender a much-needed “were all in this together” response. At the very least, we may realize just how petty many of our disagreements are, and one hopes that in turn will engender an appreciation of each other that transcends those differences — even if it is only for the duration of the crisis.We already know where the alternative gets us, and the reality that some people will never get it should not deter the rest of us from seeking common ground, no matter how narrow the parameters. Americans will always disagree, even vehemently, about what is right and wrong for our nation, but the wholesale elimination of mutual respect does not have to be part of the equation.Moreover, we should be enormously thankful for the legions of unsung, everyday heroes who persevere and often risk their own well-being taking care of the ill, delivering much-needed supplies, and performing other innumerable tasks that may ultimately be the difference between civilization and anarchy. Few of their names will ever be known, but millions of Americans will owe them an enormous debt of gratitude.America persevered after Pearl Harbor and 9/11. We can do it again. And maybe, just maybe, for the first time since it was coined, there is a phrase Americans can take to heart in an entirely different context than it was first presented:Never let a crisis go to waste.  ~The Patriot Post  


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