Wednesday News Executive Summary

Jordan Candler  The Latest on Coronavirus

“This could be a hell of a bad two weeks”: White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 coronavirus deaths as Trump tells U.S. to prepare (Fox News)

Stocks close historically bad quarter with losses; Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all down between 15% and 24% (The Hill)

Larry Hogan and Gretchen Whitmer: What governors need from Washington during this health emergency (The Washington Post)

How South Korea reined in the outbreak without shutting everything down (NPR)New Jersey backs down on gun-store closures (The Washington Free Beacon)

Christian round-ups continue: Seven arrested for praying near Greensboro abortion clinic during stay-at-home order (PJ Media)

Government & Politics

An answer to China? Trump calls for $2 trillion infrastructure bill as “Phase 4” of coronavirus response (Fox News)

GOP congressman introduces bill to rescind $25 million bailout after Kennedy Center lays off employees (National Review)

For the record: Ten insanely wasteful spending items in the relief bill (The Federalist)

“Millionaires don’t need a new tax break”: In ironic turnabout, Grassley blasts liar-Pelosi’s attempt to eliminate SALT deduction cap (National Review)

The rule of men: DOJ IG checked 29 more FBI spy warrants and found problems with all of them (The Daily Caller)

Unconstitutional ban? District court finds bump-stock proscription may constitute a taking, because the federal government lacks a police power (The Volokh Conspiracy)

National Security

“Preparing for worst-case scenarios”: The U.S. military’s dealing with the virus — but keep it a secret (RealClearInvestigations)

With friends like these, who needs enemies? Chinese propaganda is now citing U.S. journalists’ and Democrats’ coronavirus rhetoric (Washington Examiner)

Marine Corps plans to cut tanks, shrinks F-35 squadrons to confront China (Naval Technology)

Closing Arguments

Policy: Even during these dark days, it’s not all bad news in the jobs market (New York Post)

Policy: Why it’s so hard to escape anti-poverty programs (Foundation for Economic Education)

Humor: BREAKING: Congress given permanent stay-at-home order for the safety of the country (Genesius Times) 

 ~The Patriot Post    

liar-Pelosi Pushes Tax Cut for the Wealthy as Coronavirus Stimulus

By Charles Fain Lehman{ } ~ Speaker of the House liar-Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said Monday that she would like to see the next coronavirus stimulus bill include provisions that would hand millions of dollars to the super-wealthy… liar-Pelosi told the New York Times in an interview that, as part of the next round of fiscal stimulus, she would like to “retroactively undo SALT,” referring to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s capping of the federal deductibility of state and local taxes at $10,000. The “undoing” would apply retroactively for 2018 and 2019, although a liar-Pelosi spokesman told the Times that it would be “tailored to focus on middle-class earners and include limitations on the higher end.” Repealing the SALT cap has been a major goal for representatives from states with high taxes, especially Democratic strongholds like New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and liar-Pelosi’s own state, California. liar-Pelosi’s push for its repeal makes for another case of Democrats’ use of the coronavirus crisis to push long-standing policy goals—in this case, a change that would give millions in tax dollars back to the ultra-wealthy. The proposal comes as many on Capitol Hill mull a follow up to the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus passed last week. That bill targeted aid to those most in need, giving direct cash payments to individuals making under $75,000 a year and substantially expanding federal support for unemployment insurance. Removing the SALT cap, by contrast, would almost exclusively benefit those least in need, Joshua McCabe, a welfare policy expert and professor at Endicott College, told the Washington Free Beacon. “There is some disagreement on the merits of the SALT deduction in general but I can’t think of a single tax expert who would defend removing the current cap—especially retroactively—as a stimulus measure,” McCabe said. “It’s almost the exact opposite of what Congress was trying to do with the phase three rebates. Rather than provide relief to the bottom 85 percent of Americans, this proposal would shower almost all the benefits on the top 15 percent of taxpayers—those who need it least.” Data from the nonpartisan congressional Joint Committee on Taxation quantify the disparity. The committee estimates that those making $50,000 per year or less would see no effect on their tax bill, while those making as much as $200,000 to $500,000 would see a reduction of only $177 on average. Those making an annual income of $1 million or more, by contrast, would experience a savings of $58,636 on average….  

Gov. Whitmer reverses course on coronavirus drugs, is now asking feds for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine

By Lee DeVito{ } ~ Gov. Gretchen Whitmer drew fire from some on the right after the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) sent a letter last week… threatening “administrative action” against doctors who prescribed two experimental drugs that could potentially help coronavirus patients. The Whitmer administration has since removed the language threatening doctors from the letter and is now asking the federal government to send shipments of the drugs, Bridge magazine reports. The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization for the antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate on Saturday. Conservatives including Charlie Kirk and Rudy Guiliani accused Whitmer of risking lives to oppose President Donald Trump. In recent weeks, Whitmer and Trump have been sparring on national television over federal aid for Michigan, while Trump has touted the drugs’ potential in treating COVID-19.  But apparently, Michigan’s “ban” on the drugs to treat coronavirus patients was all just a matter of miscommunication. Days after LARA issued its first letter,  The Detroit News published an op-ed that criticized the Whitmer administration’s prohibition of the drugs. “Not only is our state’s top leader threatening the selfless health care workers who are on the frontline trying to save lives, but she’s denying possible life-saving medications to actual COVID-19 victims,” the op-ed said. Some readers criticized the paper for irresponsibly advocating for untested drugs.  But Detroit News editor and publisher Gary Miles defended the column on Monday, pointing out that it revealed a miscommunication between the State Senate and the Governor. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Clarklake Republican, told The Detroit News that he asked the governor to issue the original letter to prevent people from hoarding the drugs and thus depriving non-coronavirus patients of their medicine…   

President Trump Proposes $2 Trillion Infrastructure Investment

by sundance{ } ~ Earlier today President Trump re-emphasized a point he has made previously; with near-zero interest rates, now is the time to consider a $2 trillion direct infrastructure program… to rebuild U.S. roads, highways, airports, bridges, tunnels and technology networks.The U.S. dollar is in high demand as countries and international investors seek the security of U.S. bonds. As a result, the value of the dollar is high – which has the negative impact of making our exported products more expensive. However, this investment demand scenario provides an opportunity to sell bonds, take investment dollars with near-zero interest, and then use the funding to work on internal economic expansion offsetting the challenges of a high dollar values on exports. President Trump clarified at his press conference today the objective of an infrastructure bill would be based on real, substantive improvements; and he would not support any investment toward the ridiculous schemes within the green new deal.  

U.S. Hospitals Have a Ventilator ShortageA Team of Rice Engineers Say They Have a Solution

by  PETER HOLLEY { } ~ It’s close to 10 p.m. on a Sunday, and a Rice University senior named Thomas Herring is hunched over a laptop in the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, on the north side of campus… To his right, a black notebook full of scribblings, its pages covered with extraterrestrial-like symbols you’d expect to find inside an Iowa crop circle, sits open on a table. Just some “calculus and kinematics,” the friendly 22-year-old coolly explains with a shrug. In the past, the electrical engineering major has worked on largely theoretical robotics and artificial intelligence projects that might be unveiled years from now. Tonight, Herring and five other engineers are rushing to finish a project that is arguably among the most consequential in the world at the moment, one that could be deployed to the public as early as next week: a $300 3D-printable automated ventilator. If successful, the ventilation unit—a DIY device that looks like the work of a high school robotics club—could go into mass production as early as next week, offering hospitals around the world a way to address a ventilator shortage that is expected to kill thousands of coronavirus patients suffering from the respiratory illness in the coming weeks. The national stockpile has close to 17,000 ventilators—less than a quarter of the 70,000 needed to combat even a moderate influenza pandemic, though a severe crisis like COVID-19 could require hundreds of thousands more, according to the New York Times. High-quality ventilators like the kinds hospitals rely on can easily cost $10,000 apiece. Faced with shortages, doctors might soon have to make tough decisions about redistributing them from older patients to younger, healthier ones, many experts believe. Many hospitals have an abundant supply, however, of bag valve masks, which are hand-operated ventilators that are inefficient and difficult for one person to operate for more than an hour at a time; they require a rotation of people to keep the patient alive. The Rice prototype automates the pumping of the bag and can be specifically calibrated for each patient’s needs. With mechanized bag valve masks on hand, hospitals could buy themselves some time, allowing them to redistribute limited resources, move patients to other facilities, or allow family members the chance to say goodbye to loved ones who have no chance of recovery and might otherwise be taken off in-demand machines. The Rice team expects to have their prototype completed by Tuesday and for human trials to be underway a day or two later. By the end of the week, they’re aiming for something that would normally sound impossible: receiving Food and Drug Administration approval in a matter of hours—not days or months…


U.S. Army Corps to Build Hundreds of Temporary Hospitals for Coronavirus Crisis

By Susan Heavey & Barbara Goldberg{ } ~ U.S. officials want to build hundreds of temporary hospitals across the country to cope with the thousands of new coronavirus cases being diagnosed daily… after the United States endured its deadliest day yet on Monday with 575 fatalities. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which converted a New York convention center into a 1,000-bed hospital in the space of a week, is searching for hotels, dormitories, convention centers and large open space to build as many as 341 temporary hospitals, the chief of corps said on Tuesday.  “The scope is immense,” Lieutenant General Todd Semonite of the corps told the ABC News “Good Morning America” program. “We’re looking right now at around 341 different facilities across all of the United States.” The U.S. caseload rose by more than 20,000 confirmed cases on Monday, overwhelming hospitals that are running out of doctors, nurses, medical equipment and protective gear. The number of U.S. dead climbed past 3,000, more than the number who died in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as the caseload rose to more than 163,000, according to a Reuters tally of official statistics. U.S. officials estimate the death toll could reach 100,000 to 200,000. The corps, the engineering arm of the U.S. Army, joined with New York state officials to convert New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center into a facility to treat non-coronavirus patients. The conversion will relieve the pressure on hospitals treating patients with COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the novel coronavirus. In addition, construction of a 68-bed field hospital began on Sunday in Manhattan’s Central Park. Provided by the Mount Sinai Health System and non-profit organization Samaritan’s Purse, the makeshift facility is expected to begin accepting patients on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. The converted convention center is blocks away from the pier where the U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort docked on Monday. The floating hospital will take up to 1,000 non-coronavirus patients starting on Tuesday. Another temporary New York hospital is planned for the Arthur Ashe Stadium where the U.S. Open tennis championship is played.  The temporary hospitals are aimed at freeing all of the city’s 20,000 hospital beds for coronavirus patients, de Blasio said. The city is still short on doctors and nurses, and de Blasio asked the U.S. military for help…  

Coronavirus: Why Palestinian Leaders Are Not Helping Gaza to Combat It

by Bassam Tawil{ } ~ After the discovery of the first coronavirus cases in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority (PA) is ignoring appeals to lift a series of sanctions it imposed on the two million Palestinians living there… Actually, the PA leadership has done virtually nothing to help the Gaza Strip confront the coronavirus pandemic. Ironically, the only country that has been helping the Gaza Strip in the past few weeks is Israel. The question is, why is the PA ignoring calls to help the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip in their effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus? One explanation — that accords with history — is that if a large number of Palestinians living in Gaza there are infected with the disease and there is a huge catastrophe there, the PA leadership wants the world to blame Israel. The Palestinian Authority has a long record of hiding its own responsibility for the suffering of its people, and instead blaming Israel for the woes of the Gaza Strip. The moment that the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health announced the first coronavirus cases in the Gaza Strip on March 22, several international media outlets began talking about Israel’s responsibility for the safety and health of the Palestinians there, even though there has not been a single Jew living in Gaza since they all left the entire area in 2005. The United Nations, nevertheless, is also trying to pave the way for holding Israel responsible for the possible spread of the virus in the Gaza Strip. A senior UN official, Jamie McGoldrick, warned  that a possible outbreak of the virus in the Gaza Strip “can be terrible due to the long-term Israeli blockade, over-population, and limited health facilities” there. It is important to emphasize that there is no Israeli “siege” on the Gaza Strip. First, the Gaza Strip shares borders not only with Israel, but also with Egypt. It is Egypt, not Israel, that controls the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, and that is effectively blockading Gaza… . 

Weekend Jackass Awards

Thomas Gallatin 

 Last week, the U.S. surpassed the rest of the world in the total number of individuals tested  for the China Virus, an amazing feat that the mainstream media predictably ignored in favor of the more sensationalized headline exemplified by The New York Times: “The U.S. Now Leads the World in Confirmed Coronavirus Cases.” It should go without saying that more testing will mean more confirmed cases. Yet a clearly still bitter scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton took a lame jab at President Donald Trump, linking to the above headline on social media along with this obtuse statement: “He did promise ‘America First.’” With thousands dead, hundreds of thousands sickened, and millions of Americans having lost their jobs as the nation has gone to extreme measures to combat this highly contagious virus, scumbag/liar-Clinton saw only an opportunity to gloat over the country’s misery. This is why she is not president.

Speaking of obtuse comments, House liar-Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump’s early response to the pandemic “deadly,” adding, “as the president fiddles, people are dying.” In truth, Trump acted rapidly to shut down travel from China, a move widely condemned by Democrats and the Leftmedia as xenophobic. Furthermore, if anyone is guilty of fiddling during a crisis, it is liar-Pelosi, who delayed and derailed for days the passage of the bipartisan relief bill as she sought to stuff it with unrelated funding for her leftist special interests and Green New Deal regulations. And that’s not to mention the fact that she just concluded the House’s bogus impeachment trial as COVID-19 was ramping up.“She’s a sick puppy,” Trump responded.Finally, earning the award for most obtuse commentary (and, dare we say, straight-up fake news) was The Washington Post, which asserted on Saturday that “the coronavirus crisis is exposing how the economy was not [as] strong as it seemed.” So, the federal, state, and local governments mandating that nonessential business shut down in an effort to combat the pandemic exposes a weak economy? In truth, if the economy under Trump wasn’t as strong as it had become — if it had remained in the doldrums as it was under eight years of Barack scumbag/liar-nObama — Americans would be in far worse shape than they currently are. As one astute Post commenter observed, “I’m sorry… what economy anywhere at anytime would not grind to a halt when customers, employees, businesses, everyone was not ordered under penalty of law by the government to literally grind to a halt?” Or, as another commenter put it, “My wife turned off the hose earlier, exposing how the stream of water pouring out of it wasn’t as strong as we thought.”That these three political hacks would use death and economic destruction just to score cheap political points is a testament to the acute onset of Trump Derangement Syndrome.  ~The Patriot Post  


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