Thursday News Executive Summary

Jordan Candler  Coronavirus Updates

ROUND 2 of 3: President Trump signs coronavirus aid package with paid sick leave, free testing; $1 trillion stimulus package in the works (The Hill)

MEDICAL SUPPLIES AT THE READY: Trump invokes Defense Production Act to buoy the manufacturing of medical supplies (The Hill)

COVID-19 BESIEGES CAPITOL HILL: Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ben McAdams are first lawmakers to announce testing positive for coronavirus (Fox News)

PRECAUTIONARY STEP: New York Stock Exchange will temporarily close trading floors after two positive coronavirus tests (National Review)

NO JOKE: Baltimore mayor begs residents to stop shooting each other so hospital beds can be used for coronavirus patients (CBS Baltimore)

ENDANGERING THE GREATEST GENERATION:  “If I get corona, I get corona”: Miami spring breakers say virus hasn’t stopped them from partying (Washington Post)

CDC ANALYSIS: Eighty percent of U.S. coronavirus deaths are people 65 and older (The Hill)

DESPITE A LOWER RISK OF DYING: Younger adults make up big portion of coronavirus hospitalizations in U.S. (The New York Times)

COMMUNIST MALFEASANCE: Outbreak could have been reduced by 95% if China acted sooner (The Daily Wire)

Business & Economy

NOSEDIVE CONTINUES: Dow below 20,000 as stock plunge threatens Trump-era gains (Fox Business)

HITTING THE BRAKES: Most automakers shut North American plants (AP)

SILVER LININGS: Gas prices could hit 99 cents in some states due to coronavirus and supplies (Fox News)

Other Notables

ONLY A MATTER OF TIME: commie-Bernie Sanders deactivates 2020 campaign Facebook ads (Axios)

ROCKET-ATTACK RETALIATION: U.S. imposes new sanctions on Iran, seeks release of Americans (National Review)

Closing Arguments

POLICY: Plastic bag bans aren’t helping us fight against coronavirus (Washington Examiner)

POLICY: Amid pandemic, be jealous of your liberties — and also don’t be stupid (Washington Examiner)

HUMOR: In abundance of caution, local teen cancels cleaning her room for one month amid outbreak (Genesius Times)  ~The Patriot Post   

Trump signs 2nd coronavirus response bill hours after Senate passage

By Marisa Schultz { } ~ President Trump on Wednesday signed the second  coronavirus relief bill into law that provides paid sick leave, unemployment help and free testing to Americans… the White House announced. The Senate passed the legislation in a 90-8 vote earlier Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had criticized the legislation negotiated by House Speaker liar-Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as having “real shortcomings”, but urged his members to “gag and vote for it anyway” to show  bipartisan cooperation during the global pandemic. “This is a time for urgent bipartisan action, and in this case, I do not believe we should let perfection be the enemy of something that will help even a subset of workers,” McConnell said Wednesday morning in announcing he’d vote for the House legislation. Two senators were absent – Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla. — because of self-quarantining after exposure to people who tested positive for coronavirus. The eight senators voting no were all Republicans: Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Tim Scott of South Carolina.Critics said the mandate on small businesses to provide paid sick leave to workers was too much of a hardship when businesses are short on cash and can’t wait for a federal tax credit reimbursement. “Small businesses in my state are closed,” Lankford said after the vote. “…Many small businesses are really struggling with how they’re going to pay for this when they have no income coming in right now. They are hearing the promise of a federal reimbursement coming to them, but they don’t know when that’s coming and they’re literally teetering on the edge right now. And they’re saying: ‘Please don’t do something that pushes us over the edge.’” The legislation provides 14 days of paid sick days to workers affected by the coronavirus, ensures free testing to everyone, including the uninsured, and expands food aid and boosts unemployment dollars to states…  


Gasoline hits 99 cents at Kentucky station, sells out

By Gary Gastelu{ } ~ The price of a gallon of gasoline has hit 99 cents at a station in Kentucky…  GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan was tipped off by users of the GasBuddy app that the Spur 7 BP in on state route 25 in London had dropped below a buck. Don’t head there looking for a deal right now, though, because an employee at the station told Fox News Autos that the price was already 99 cents on Wednesday and that they’re currently sold out of fuel and didn’t know when the pumps would be open again. Commenters on Gas Buddy say the station is known for its low prices and is often very busy. De Haan earlier this week predicted that the nationwide average, currently $2.20, could soon drop to $1.49 and that 99 cents would be a reality at some locations. A combination of increased supply in Saudi Arabia and Russia with falling demand from efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus are driving the trend. But Kentucky, where the statewide average is $1.90, isn’t the only state with a station selling fuel for a rock bottom price. Oklahoma, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kansas all have at least one station with a price under $1.30.  


What’s the story with coronavirus testing?

By MAAYAN JAFFE-HOFFMAN { } ~  Testing for coronavirus is a data gathering tool and not a means to treat the disease, Magen David Adom medical director Refael Strugo stressed on Wednesday… the day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed the public that he planned to dramatically increase coronavirus screenings. For most of the last month, Israel has tested around 750 people per day. In recent days, that number has increased to a little more than 1,000 and even 2,000, according to Health Ministry Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov.  During a briefing on Tuesday, Netanyahu committed to increasing the number of tests to between 3,000 and 5,000 per day, which he claimed would be the highest number of tests taken per day / per capita by any country.  South Korea tests around 15,000 people per day and has a population around five times larger than Israel’s. The prime minister’s comments came only minutes after Defense Minister Naftali Bennett told the public in an interview on Channel 13 that his aim was to test 30,000 people per day, and minutes before the Health Ministry’s head of public health Sigal Sadetsky explained that whereas screening is important data gathering, isolation is what will control the spread of the coronavirus. “Sadetsky said that the way you stop the spread of the disease is isolation,” Strugo told The Jerusalem Post. “The number of tests you do can give you an idea of how much the disease has spread throughout the community and can tell you if we are reaching the peak, reaching the plateau, starting to get to the point of crisis.” He said it will also help identify hot spots of the disease…   

Reuters Stealth-Edits Debunked Story Claiming Trump Sought ‘Monopoly’ on COVID-19 Vaccine

by DAVID NG{ } ~ A report from a German newspaper claiming that President Donald Trump wanted to secure exclusive American access to a coronavirus vaccine has proven to be false… but only after the story was repeated and spread by mainstream media outlets including Reuters, The Guardian, and Business Insider. Reuters later stealth-edited its story to incorporate official statements denying the original newspaper report. But a New York Times journalist had already shared the Reuters article before it was altered. An MSNBC producer also shared the story. The German newspaper Welt am Sonntag published a story Sunday claiming that White House officials had offered about $1 billion to the German biopharmaceutical firm CureVac to move to the U.S. and to make a coronavirus vaccine for the U.S. only. The company has indicated that it hopes to have a vaccine by June or July. The newspaper cited an anonymous source in the German government claiming to “confirm” that President Trump wanted the vaccine “only for the United States,” then covered reactions from German politicians, who declared “no country should have a monopoly on any future vaccine,” according to the summary from reporters Paul Carrel and Andreas Rinke. But the story quickly fell apart. CureVac issued a statement on Twitter denying that it received an offer from the U.S. government. “CureVac rejects all allegations from press,” the firm said… 

Rating agencies and bookies paint darkening picture for Trump

by Rob Crilly{ } ~ The spiraling economic and social consequences of the novel  coronavirus pandemic have put a major dent in President Trump’s chance of reelection… according to bookmakers and forecasters. Trump has staked much of his campaign on a booming economy and a soaring stock market. But White House officials are bracing for bad economic news as airlines cancel flights, restaurants and bars close, and millions of people work from home. Dire stock market numbers suggest Trump is in danger of losing the 2020 election, according to Moody’s Analytics, a Wall Street research firm that runs a forecasting model. Last month, it predicted that the president would secure 351 Electoral College votes to his Democratic challenger’s 187. But since then, plunging markets have turned the tables against Trump, who is now forecast to lose the key battlegrounds of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, leaving him with 259 votes to 279 for a Democrat, according to the model. Moody’s Analytics economist Bernard Yaros said: “Until now, Trump is generally favored to win because until now, the economy was doing well, was steady at least, and his approval rating rose after impeachment. But things have changed.” The two key factors in the model are Trump’s approval rating and the strength of the S&P 500 stock index. At 47%, his Gallup rating is in relatively healthy territory, but the drop in the S&P 500 from more than 3,400 to 2,454 points is a problem, said Yaros…   

Democrats Still Won’t Approve Trump’s Payroll Tax Cut, Despite Coronavirus Spread

by ~ For all the talk from the Democrats about how the president isn’t doing enough to stop the coronavirus outbreak causing major disruptions to the economy… they don’t seem all that willing to help him pass measures that would help American businesses and workers. President Trump recently announced his proposal of eliminating payroll tax until the end of the year, giving workers and businesses financial relief while the coronavirus impacts the economy. It is part of a wider stimulus package being developed by the White House to help ease the burden on businesses, but the Democrats just won’t pass it. If you want to get money into the hands of people quickly & efficiently, let them have the full money that they earned, APPROVE A PAYROLL TAX CUT until the end of the year, December 31. Then you are doing something that is really meaningful. Only that will make a big difference! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2020. “If you want to get money into the hands of people quickly & efficiently, let them have the full money that they earned, APPROVE A PAYROLL TAX CUT until the end of the year, December 31,” the president tweeted on Friday. The president even used a recent Oval Office address to the nation to call on the Democrats to pass the proposal but to no avail. Trump criticized the Chair of the Federal Reserve, Jay Powell, as well as the Democrats. In another Friday tweet, he said, “The Federal Reserve must FINALLY lower the Fed Rate to something comparable to their competitor Central Banks.”… 

.Homebound? Now What?

Nate Jackson  

So, thanks to coronavirus, you’re stuck at home, trying to work while also managing kids who are out of school. What do you do?

To help everyone stay calm and sane, as well as simply to offer some good perspective amidst the craziness, here are a few things to consider doing.Perhaps most importantly, check up on friends and family. Use social media for good. Maybe even use that portable computer you’re holding to call loved ones (radical, we know). Make sure that neighbors have what they need. Offer help when you can, especially for seniors who may not be able to venture out to the store for needed supplies. During a period of “social distancing,” we humans are still geared to need community (yes, even you introverts). If you or someone you know is alone, pay special attention to them.Go outside. Well, as long as it’s not pouring down rain, as it is this morning at our remote headquarters. Cabin fever is real and everyone needs some fresh air — especially kids. Eventually the skies will clear up, right?Read books. Been too busy with kids’ sports or other public obligations to pick up that book you started on January 1? Settle back down and read it.Further your education. There are all sorts of online learning opportunities that you can use to continue learning. Teach your kids basic life skills — like deep cleaning. Never stop learning or sharing knowledge.If all else fails, there’s always Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, etc. With theaters around the country shutting down, NBCUniversal just announced it will release its current theatrical features on demand at home. Other studios, including Disney, will follow suit.Here’s one you probably didn’t think of, courtesy of Ben Shapiro: “Buy a gift card. Small businesses are getting crushed right now. Many have been shut by local governments, and even the ones that haven’t are being destroyed by Americans following protocol and staying away from crowds. This means that if you have disposable income, you should seriously consider buying a gift card from a local business and using it later — or shopping online from them. It’s essentially an advance for businesses that could certainly use the hand right now.”As a final and more personal note, if you’re like the staff here in our humble shop, life is incredibly busy even outside our hectic deadlines. Our jobs and deadlines don’t change even if we are working remotely. But as other parts of life slow down, we’re taking time to give thanks to our Creator for the blessings we may have been too busy to notice. We hope you’ll do the same and that you’ll fill the time wisely.  ~The Patriot Post  


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