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First Edition: April 6, 2020

Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations.


Kaiser Health News:
Mysterious Heart Damage, Not Just Lung Troubles, Befalling COVID-19 Patients


While the focus of the COVID-19 pandemic has been on respiratory problems and securing enough ventilators, doctors on the front lines are grappling with a new medical mystery. In addition to lung damage, many COVID-19 patients are also developing heart problems — and dying of cardiac arrest. As more data comes in from China and Italy, as well as Washington state and New York, more cardiac experts are coming to believe the COVID-19 virus can infect the heart muscle. (Hawryluk, 4/6)


Kaiser Health News:
‘You Pray That You Got The Drug.’ Ailing Couple Gambles On Trial For COVID-19 Cure


For 10 days last month, they lay in side-by-side isolation units in a Seattle-area hospital, tethered to oxygen and struggling to breathe as the coronavirus ravaged their lungs. After nearly 52 years of marriage, that was the hardest thing: being apart in this moment, too weak to care for each other, each alone with their anxiety and anguish. “I worried about my husband a lot,” recalled Josie Taylor, 74, who fell ill a few days before George, 76. “Yes, I was concerned about me, but I was more concerned about what was going to happen to him.” (Aleccia, 4/6)


Kaiser Health News:
Trump Administration Uses Wartime Powers To Be First In Line On Medical Supplies


The Trump administration quietly invoked the Defense Production Act to force medical suppliers in Texas and Colorado to sell to it first — ahead of states, hospitals or foreign countries. It took this action more than a week before it announced Thursday that it would use the little-known aspect of the law to force 3M to fill its contract to the U.S. first. Firms face fines or jail time if they don’t comply.The Cold War-era law gives federal officials the power to edge out the competition and force contractors to provide supplies to them before filling orders for other customers. (Jewett and Weber, 4/3)


Kaiser Health News:
‘Staying Away From Grandma’ Isn’t An Option In Multigenerational Homes


The Walker family never thought having an age range of 3 to 96 under the same roof would be risky. That was before the coronavirus pandemic. Wilma Walker’s now nonagenarian mom moved into her daughter and son-in-law’s home about 15 years ago. Their party of three turned into a household of six when the Walkers’ now 30-year-old daughter, Andre’a Walker-Nimrod, moved back in with her young son and a daughter on the way. (Anthony, 4/6)


Kaiser Health News:
As Coronavirus Spreads, Workers Could Lean On ACA Coverage Protection


Concerns about health care during the coronavirus pandemic are raising the profile of the federal Affordable Care Act, which can help those who have lost their jobs with an option to get insurance. Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News’ chief Washington correspondent, talked to WBUR’s “Here & Now” host Jeremy Hobson on Friday about efforts to get the federal government to let people have a special enrollment period for coverage plans sold on the ACA marketplaces, as well as the effect massive job layoffs will have on Medicaid. (4/3)


The Washington Post:
Denial And Dysfunction Plagued U.S. Government As Coronavirus Raged


By the time Donald Trump proclaimed himself a wartime president — and the coronavirus the enemy — the United States was already on course to see more of its people die than in the wars of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq combined. The country has adopted an array of wartime measures never employed collectively in U.S. history — banning incoming travelers from two continents, bringing commerce to a near-halt, enlisting industry to make emergency medical gear, and confining 230 million Americans to their homes in a desperate bid to survive an attack by an unseen adversary. (Abutaleb, Dawsey, Nakashima and Miller, 4/4)


The Associated Press:
U.S. ‘Wasted’ Months Before Preparing For Virus Pandemic


After the first alarms sounded in early January that an outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China might ignite a global pandemic, the Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment. A review of federal purchasing contracts by The Associated Press shows federal agencies largely waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, mechanical ventilators and other equipment needed by front-line health care workers. (Biesecker, 4/6)


The Associated Press:
Trump Tempers Officials’ Grave Assessments With Optimism


The U.S. surgeon general says that Americans should brace for levels of tragedy reminiscent of the Sept. 11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, while the nation’s infectious disease chief warned that the new coronavirus may never be completely eradicated from the globe. Those were some of the most grim assessments yet for the immediate future and beyond. But hours later, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence tried to strike more optimistic tones, suggesting that hard weeks ahead could mean beginning to turn a corner. (Weissert and Freking, 4/6)


Reuters:
U.S. Faces ‘Really Bad’ Week As Coronavirus Deaths Spike


The United States is entering what a senior official warned on Sunday would be the “hardest” week of the coronavirus crisis as the death toll mounted, but some saw glimmers of hope from a slight slowing of fatalities in hard-hit New York. New York, the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, reported on Sunday that for the first time in a week, deaths had fallen slightly from the day before. But there were still nearly 600 new fatalities and more than 7,300 new cases in the state. (Trotta and Alper, 4/5)


Reuters:
Trump Hopes Virus Leveling-Off In Hot Spots; Advisers Take Tempered View


New York, the hardest-hit state, reported on Sunday that for the first time in a week, deaths had fallen slightly from the day before, but there were still nearly 600 new fatalities and more than 7,300 new cases. “Maybe that’s a good sign,” Trump told reporters at a White House briefing, referring to the drop in fatalities in New York.While Trump cited those numbers as an indication that Americans were starting to see “light at the end of the tunnel”, Anthony Fauci, a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, said it took weeks for efforts like social-distancing and stay-at-home orders to slow the virus’ spread. (Alper and Spetalnick, 4/5)


The Washington Post:
Americans Warned Of ‘Pearl Harbor Moment’ As Trump Tells Parts Of The Nation To Brace For ‘Peak’


Fauci, when asked if dire predictions were at odds with the promise of light at the tunnel’s end, said a peak suggests a possible turning point in the path of the virus but “doesn’t take away from the fact that tomorrow or the next day is going to look really bad.” The dead in the United States already number more than 9,500, triple the toll of the terrorist attacks that brought the nation low on Sept. 11, 2001. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams reached back further to find an analogue for the sense of national alarm, as the country surpassed 333,000 known cases. He said the coming days could bring catastrophe comparable to the attack that drew the United States into World War II in 1941. (Stanley-Becker, Gregg and Booth, 4/5)


The Wall Street Journal:
U.S. Expects Coronavirus Peak In Some Cities Next Week As Global Toll Climbs


Modeling shows New York, Detroit and New Orleans—and areas around those cities—will likely reach the peak of their outbreaks in the next six to seven days, White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx said Saturday evening. “The next two weeks are extraordinarily important,” Dr. Birx said at a White House news briefing. “This is the moment to do everything that you can on the presidential guidelines. This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe.” (Restuccia, Korn and Honan, 4/4)


The New York Times:
Official Counts Understate The U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll


A coroner in Indiana wanted to know if the coronavirus had killed a man in early March, but said that her health department denied a test. Paramedics in New York City say that many patients who died at home were never tested for the coronavirus, even if they showed telltale signs of infection. In Virginia, a funeral director prepared the remains of three people after health workers cautioned her that they each had tested positive for the coronavirus. But only one of the three had the virus noted on the death certificate. Across the United States, even as coronavirus deaths are being recorded in terrifying numbers — many hundreds each day — the true death toll is likely much higher. (Kliff and Bosman, 4/5)


The Washington Post:
Coronavirus Death Toll: Americans Are Almost Certainly Dying Of Covid-19 But Being Left Out Of The Official Count


The fast-spreading novel coronavirus is almost certainly killing Americans who are not included in the nation’s growing death toll, according to public health experts and government officials involved in the tally. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counts only deaths in which the presence of the coronavirus is confirmed in a laboratory test. “We know that it is an underestimation,” agency spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said. (Brown, Reinhard and Davis, 4/5)


The New York Times:
Amid Warnings Of A Coronavirus ‘Pearl Harbor,’ Governors Walk A Fine Line


As the surgeon general told the nation to brace for “our Pearl Harbor moment” of cascading coronavirus deaths this week, several governors said on Sunday that their states were in urgent need of federal help and complained that they had been left to compete for critical equipment in the absence of a consistent strategy and coordination from the Trump administration. Some clearly walked a delicate path, criticizing what they saw as an erratic, inadequate federal response, while also trying to avoid alienating the White House as states vie with one another for resources both from Washington and on the market that can mean the difference between life and death. (Rojas and Swales, 4/5)


The Wall Street Journal:
New York Races To Get Coronavirus Supplies Before Cases Peak


New York City scrambled on Sunday to get more hospital equipment as it faced the possibility of running out of ventilators in the next few days. As New York state prepared for an apex of coronavirus cases, Mayor Bill de Blasio said about 4,000 patients were intubated as of Sunday and the city expected nearly 1,000 more intubations in the coming days. The city needs 1,000 to 1,500 more ventilators to avoid running out by Tuesday or Wednesday, the mayor said. The city had originally expected to run out on Sunday. (Calfas and Ansari, 4/5)


The Wall Street Journal:
Coronavirus Cases Rise Sharply, As U.S. Braces For Most Challenging Days Ahead


“Everyone says federal stockpile, federal stockpile. There’s not enough in the federal stockpile to take care of New York, and Illinois, and Texas, and Florida, and California,” said Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat. The Chinese government helped facilitate a donation of 1,000 ventilators, as well as a large supply of masks, that arrived in New York City on Saturday. And New York was expecting a shipment of 140 ventilators from Oregon. “New York needs more ventilators, and we are answering their call for help,” Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said in a tweet, explaining that her state was in a better position now. (Ansari, Michaels and Calfas, 4/6)


Politico:
Trump Administration Tells States To Step Up As Governors Plead For Aid


Republican and Democratic governors alike pushed back, saying the Trump administration had failed to mount the kind of national coordinated response needed to address the crisis and that shortages of tests, ventilators and protective equipment for physicians persisted. “This is ludicrous,” said Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, a Democrat. “The surgeon general referred to Pearl Harbor. Can you imagine if Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘We’ll be right behind you, Connecticut. Good luck building those battleships?’” (McCaskill and Ollstein, 4/5)


Politico:
Strategic National Stockpile Description Altered Online After Kushner’s Remarks


The official government webpage for the Strategic National Stockpile was altered Friday to seemingly reflect a controversial description of the emergency repository that White House adviser Jared Kushner offered at a news conference Thursday evening. According to a brief online summary on the Department of Health and Human Services website, the stockpile’s role “is to supplement state and local supplies during public health emergencies. Many states have products stockpiled, as well.” (Forgey, 4/3)


Politico:
Virus Hot Spots In South Poised For Disproportionate Suffering


St. John the Baptist Parish, just southeast of Baton Rouge, La., has a population of just over 43,000 — and the highest per capita coronavirus mortality rate in the nation. Frantic local officials instituted an overnight curfew just this week and are begging residents to stay home. But in largely rural Southern states like Louisiana — where social distancing has been spotty, widespread testing is unavailable and hospitals are poorer and farther apart — the response may be coming too late to avoid a public health crisis as bad as the one now engulfing New York. (Goldberg and Ollstein, 4/3)


The Associated Press:
Governors Plead For Food Stamp Flexibility Amid Pandemic


Yvonne Knight, who has respiratory problems that make her especially vulnerable in the coronavirus pandemic, can’t buy groceries online with her food stamps — even though each trip to the store is now a risky endeavor. Going out to buy food terrifies the 38-year-old woman with cerebral palsy, but she is one of millions of people who receive food aid through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that can’t be used in flexible ways. (Galvan and Khalil, 4/6)


The Associated Press:
Governors Seize Spotlight Amid States’ Coronavirus Response


Across America, as families stuck in their homes anxious and isolated by the new coronavirus, a new daily ritual is taking shape: tuning into the governor’s afternoon press briefing. Residents sequestered under a stay-at-home order in Ohio seem to hang on Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s every word, sharing his latest orders among friends via text message and on social media and following along with a drinking game — “Wine with DeWine.” Signature T-shirts and tumblers are available online. (Smyth and Ronayne, 4/6)


Politico:
How Trump Surprised His Own Team By Ruling Out Obamacare


As the coronavirus ran rampant and record jobless numbers piled up, the nation’s health insurers last week readied for a major announcement: The Trump administration was reopening Obamacare enrollment to millions of newly uninsured Americans. It was an announcement that never came. (Cancryn, Cook and Luthi, 4/3)


The Wall Street Journal:
Shortage Of Test Components Forces Labs To Beg, Borrow And Improvise


Facing looming shortages of supplies needed to conduct coronavirus tests, some laboratories are taking matters into their own hands. Labs at places such as New York University and Stanford University are starting to make their own chemical mixtures because they can’t buy enough. A high-school lab in Tennessee managed to set up testing operations, with two science teachers leading the charge to reduce turnaround time in their area. And Northwell Health, a hospital network in New York, said it is making its own 3-D printed swabs to take samples from patients’ throats or noses. (Abbott, 4/5)


NPR:
Coronavirus Testing Woes Continue To Plague U.S.


One of the nation’s most important medical testing companies has acknowledged that it has a backlog of at least 115,000 coronavirus tests, which helps explain why so many desperate doctors and patients haven’t been able to get tested. Quest Diagnostics of Secaucus, N.J., says the backlog occurred because a company lab in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., where the company’s coronavirus testing started, got overwhelmed when testing started to ramp up. (Stein, 4/3)


Politico:
‘Lord Of The Flies: PPE Edition’: U.S. Cast As Culprit In Global Scrum Over Coronavirus Supplies


The coronavirus pandemic is pushing countries around the world into a cutthroat competition for medical resources — and the United States is being cast as a leading villain. President Donald Trump’s administration stands accused of effectively hijacking shipments of masks and additional crucial supplies meant for other countries, including U.S. allies, and strong-arming private firms to prioritize America over other parts of the world. (Toosi, 4/3)


The New York Times:
Ignoring Expert Opinion, Trump Again Promotes Use Of Hydroxychloroquine


President Trump doubled down Sunday on his push for the use of an anti-malarial drug against the coronavirus, issuing medical advice that goes well beyond scant evidence of the drug’s effectiveness as well as the advice of doctors and public health experts. Mr. Trump’s recommendation of hydroxychloroquine, for the second day in a row at a White House briefing, was a striking example of his brazen willingness to distort and outright defy expert opinion and scientific evidence when it does not suit his agenda. (Crowley, Thomas and Haberman, 4/5)


The Associated Press Fact Check:
Trump Pitches Drug Not Approved For Coronavirus


President Donald Trump is pitching a medicine for COVID-19 sufferers that science has not concluded is effective or safe for their use. “Take it,” he said of the drug. For people sick with the coronavirus, he said Sunday, “It can help them but it’s not going to hurt them.” In fact, it may or may not help some people, and it may or may not hurt them. His straight-ahead advocacy of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, is the latest and one of the most consequential examples of Trump and public-health authorities not being on the same page in the pandemic. (Yen, Tucker and Woodward, 4/6)


The Washington Post:
Giuliani, A Familiar Voice In Trump’s Ear, Promotes Experimental Coronavirus Treatments


Rudolph W. Giuliani, who was in the center of the impeachment storm earlier this year as an unpaid private attorney for President Trump, has cast himself in a new role: as personal science adviser to a president eager to find ways to short-circuit the coronavirus pandemic. In one-on-one phone calls with Trump, Giuliani said, he has been touting the use of an anti-malarial drug combination that has shown some early promise in treating covid-19, the disease the novel coronavirus causes, but whose effectiveness has not yet been proved. (Helderman, Dawsey and Swaine, 4/5)


The Wall Street Journal:
States Try Reducing Malaria-Drug Hoarding Amid Unproven Coronavirus Benefit


States across the U.S. are taking steps to prevent hoarding of decades-old antimalarial drugs for treatment of the new coronavirus, an effort to preserve supplies for other patients who rely on the medicines to remedy ailments such as lupus and arthritis. At least 20 states late last month began implementing emergency restrictions or guidelines to ease pressure on the supply of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for the autoimmune patients. Some states are limiting prescription sizes or asking pharmacists to make sure a patient tested positive for the coronavirus. (Hopkins, 4/5)


The Wall Street Journal:
Gilead Accelerates Production Of Experimental Coronavirus Drug


Gilead Sciences Inc. GILD 1.60% has ramped up production of its experimental coronavirus drug, which has seen overwhelming demand amid a surge in cases around the world. The drugmaker said Saturday that it now has 1.5 million individual doses of its drug remdesivir on hand, an amount that could be enough to supply more than 140,000 patients. Gilead, which won’t charge for the supply, is making the drug available through clinical trials and special programs that allow doctors and hospitals to apply for access. (Wilde Mathews and Rockoff, 4/4)


The Associated Press:
Patients Rush To Join Studies Testing Drug For Coronavirus


The new coronavirus made Dr. Jag Singh a patient at his own hospital. His alarm grew as he saw an X-ray of his pneumonia-choked lungs and colleagues asked his wishes about life support while wheeling him into Massachusetts General’s intensive care unit. When they offered him a chance to help test remdesivir, an experimental drug that’s shown promise against some other coronaviruses, “it did not even cross my mind once to say ‘no,’” said Singh, a heart specialist. Coronavirus patients around the world have been rushing to join remdesivir studies that opened in hospitals in the last few weeks. (Marchione, 4/6)


The Wall Street Journal:
Bill Gates To Spend Billions On Coronavirus Vaccine Development


Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates said his foundation will spend billions of dollars to fund the construction of factories for the most promising efforts to develop a vaccine to combat the novel coronavirus. Mr. Gates, a billionaire philanthropist who is one the richest people in the world, said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will work with seven makers of a possible vaccine to build these factories. Mr. Gates, who announced the efforts in an appearance on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” Thursday, acknowledged that billions of dollars would be wasted on vaccines that won’t pan out. (Calfas, 4/5)


The New York Times:
Can An Old Vaccine Stop The New Coronavirus?


A vaccine that was developed a hundred years ago to fight the tuberculosis scourge in Europe is now being tested against the coronavirus by scientists eager to find a quick way to protect health care workers, among others. The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine is still widely used in the developing world, where scientists have found that it does more than prevent TB. The vaccine prevents infant deaths from a variety of causes, and sharply reduces the incidence of respiratory infections. The vaccine seems to “train” the immune system to recognize and respond to a variety of infections, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, experts say. (Rabin, 4/3)


The Wall Street Journal:
Coronavirus Crisis Puts Bankrupt Hospitals Back In Demand


From small-town Vermont to Los Angeles, local governments are commandeering shut-down hospitals to add space amid the coronavirus pandemic—a trend that could revamp the market for health-care facilities. Just months ago, St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles and Astria Regional Medical Center in Yakima, Wash., were closed, unable to bring in enough revenue to stay afloat. Both are poised to reopen with the help of state funds and, in the case of St. Vincent, $135 million from the family foundation of Patrick Soon-Shiong, the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Times. (Brickley, 4/6)


Politico:
Clyburn: House Coronavirus Panel ‘Will Be Forward-Looking,’ Not Review Trump’s Early Response


House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said on Sunday that a new congressional panel intended to oversee the distribution of coronavirus relief funds “will be forward-looking” and not probe President Donald Trump’s widely criticized initial response to the ongoing public health crisis. “My understanding is that this committee will be forward-looking,” Clyburn told CNN’s “State of the Union.” (Forgey, 4/5)


Politico:
How Public Health Failed Nursing Homes


The unfolding tragedy in American nursing homes, where patients are dying in clusters, is another consequence of the coronavirus testing debacle. While America wasn’t looking, family visitors, staff and other health professionals unknowingly brought the virus into long-term care facilities, spreading it among the population least likely to withstand it. On top of that, the shortages of protective gear for health workers exacerbated the situation because nursing homes, hospices and other outpatient settings have a tough time getting scarce equipment like masks and gowns, provider groups said. (Kenen, Roubein and Luthi, 4/6)


The New York Times:
U.S. Is Nowhere Close To Reopening The Economy, Experts Say


How long can we keep this up? It is still very early in the U.S. effort to snuff a lethal pandemic by shutting down much of the economy. But there is a growing question — from workers, the White House, corporate boardrooms and small businesses on the brink — that hangs over what is essentially a war effort against a virus that has already killed more than 9,000 Americans. There is no good answer yet, in part because we don’t even have the data needed to formulate one. (Tankersley, 4/6)


The New York Times:
How Will We Know When It’s Time To Reopen The Nation?


Everyone wants to know when we are going to be able to leave our homes and reopen the United States. That’s the wrong way to frame it. The better question is: “How will we know when to reopen the country?” Any date that is currently being thrown around is just a guess. It’s pulled out of the air. To this point, Americans have been reacting, often too late, and rarely with data. (Carroll, 4/6)


The New York Times:
Coronavirus And Paid Sick Leave: A Quarantined Uber Driver’s Quest


Zachary Frenette likes working as an Uber driver in Phoenix. He is a top-rated driver who often chats with his customers on their trips. During the outbreak of the coronavirus last month, business began to slow. Then, a possible exposure to the virus prompted Mr. Frenette, 29, to quarantine himself. Off the roads and worried about making his rent on time, he turned to Uber for help. (Fortin, 4/4)


The New York Times:
Gaps In Amazon’s Coronavirus Response Fuel Warehouse Workers’ Demands


Jonathan Bailey, a 30-year-old Amazon warehouse employee in Queens, has a system for protecting himself from the coronavirus at work. He wears a medical mask with a bandanna tied over it. When he returns to the apartment he shares with his wife, he dumps his mask, work gloves, neon green Amazon safety vest and other clothes into a plastic trash bag. He’s not certain it really works, but he figures it’s better than nothing. “We’re very careful,” Mr. Bailey said. “We’re in the epicenter of it all.” As millions of Americans heed government orders to hunker down, ordering food and medicines and books and puzzle boards for home delivery, many of Amazon’s 400,000 warehouse workers have stayed on the job, fulfilling the crushing demands of a country suddenly working and learning from home. (Weise and Conger, 4/5)


The New York Times:
Boris Johnson Hospitalized As Queen Urges British Resolve In Face Of Epidemic


Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized on Sunday evening after 10 days of battling the coronavirus, unnerving a country that had gathered to watch Queen Elizabeth II rally fellow Britons to confront the pandemic and reassure them that when the crisis finally ebbed, “we will meet again. ”The British government said that Mr. Johnson would be undergoing tests and that he would continue to carry out his duties. But the uncertainty generated by his persistent illness underscored the sense of crisis that led the queen to address the country in a rare televised speech that evoked the darkest days of World War II. (Landler, 4/5)


Reuters:
British PM Johnson Still In Hospital With Persistent Coronavirus Symptoms


The prime minister is doing well and will undergo routine tests on Monday but will continue to lead the government, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said. “He’ll stay in hospital as long as he needs to do that, but I’ve heard that he’s doing well and I very much look forward to him being back in Number 10 as soon as possible,” Jenrick said. (Faulconbridge, James and Piper, 4/6)


The New York Times:
Politics Through The Looking Glass: Virus Scrambles The Left-Right Lines


The 2020 edition of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Md., in February offered a theme-park version of what was to be President Trump’s re-election message: Under the banner of “America vs. Socialism,” the convention featured anti-Marx branded popcorn, an RV emblazed with the words “Socialism Takes Capitalism Creates” and a children’s book promoting personal freedom and private-property rights. Speeches included tirades against big government and “Medicare for all.” (Rutenberg, 4/5)


The New York Times:
Progressives Built An Organizing Juggernaut For 2020. Then The Virus Hit.


When it became clear last month that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. would almost certainly win the Democratic nomination, many of the progressive Democrats who supported other presidential candidates were disappointed but not deterred. They quickly shifted their electoral focus to candidates lower on the ballot. The plan was straightforward: They would donate to a slew of insurgent congressional candidates, and a stable of grass-roots groups would be ready and waiting to organize for the general election and beyond. (Herndon and Philbrick, 4/5)


Reuters:
Citing Coronavirus, Wisconsin Mayors Urge Postponement Of Tuesday’s Election


Nine Wisconsin mayors, including those representing the state’s five largest cities, on Sunday urged the state’s top public health official to postpone Tuesday’s primary election due to the coronavirus pandemic. The mayors of Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay and six others asked Wisconsin Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm in a letter to use emergency powers under the state constitution to postpone in-person voting and avoid “putting hundreds of thousands of citizens at risk.” (Ax, 4/6)


The New York Times:
He Led A Top Navy Ship. Now He Sits In Quarantine, Fired And Infected.


For days, he fended off fears that the contagion would spread unchecked through his crew. Then last week, the captain of the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, who had appealed to his superiors for help, was fired. By Sunday, friends said, he had come down with the coronavirus himself. The military has long adhered to a rigid chain of command and tolerated no dissent expressed outside official channels. Capt. Brett E. Crozier, the skipper of the aircraft carrier, knew he was up against those imperatives when he asked for help for nearly 5,000 crew members trapped in a petri dish of a warship in the middle of a pandemic. (Schmitt and Ismay, 4/5)


ProPublica:
It’s Hardly Shocking The Navy Fired A Commander For Warning Of Coronavirus Threat. It’s Part Of A Pattern.


Navy experts believe that the cumulative effects of the service’s decisions over the past several years to punish those who speak out will result in silencing sailors with legitimate concerns about their health and safety. “This may have the effect of chilling the responses of other commanding officers because it will be perceived, fairly or not, as a shoot the messenger scenario,” said James Stavridis, a retired admiral and former head of the United States Naval Institute, who called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the dismissal. (Miller and Rose, 4/4)


ProPublica:
Early Data Shows African Americans Have Contracted And Died Of Coronavirus At An Alarming Rate 


The coronavirus entered Milwaukee from a white, affluent suburb. Then it took root in the city’s black community and erupted. As public health officials watched cases rise in March, too many in the community shrugged off warnings. Rumors and conspiracy theories proliferated on social media, pushing the bogus idea that black people are somehow immune to the disease. And much of the initial focus was on international travel, so those who knew no one returning from Asia or Europe were quick to dismiss the risk. (Johnson and Buford, 4/3)


The Associated Press:
After Virus, How Will Americans’ View Of The World Change?


As the coronavirus spread across the world and began its reach into the United States, an assortment of Americans from the president on down summoned one notion as they framed the emerging cataclysm. “The Chinese virus,” they called it — or, in a few particularly racist cases, the “kung flu.” No matter the terminology of choice, the message was clear: Whatever the ravages of COVID-19 are causing, it’s somewhere else’s fault. Not someone. Somewhere. (Anthony, 4/6)


The Associated Press:
Grocery Workers Are Key During The Virus. And They’re Afraid


Every day, grocery workers are restocking toilet paper, eggs, produce and canned goods as fast as the items fly off the shelves. They disinfect keypads, freezer handles and checkout counters as hundreds of people weave around them, sometimes standing too close for comfort amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some work for hours behind clear plastic barriers installed at checkout counters, bulwarks against sudden sneezes or coughs that can propel germs. (Vertuno, 4/6)


The New York Times:
Coronavirus Scammers: Another Thing To Fear


The white banner with images of red crosses had been hastily erected in front of two pop-up tents at a convenience store parking lot in central Louisville, Ky. “Covid-19 testing here,” it read. A clutch of workers in white hazmat suits swabbed the mouths of drivers, who had each forked over $240 to learn whether they had been infected with the coronavirus. “I have managed hospitals for years,” a man in charge told journalists and skeptical community activists at the scene on Wednesday. “We are doing things the right way.” (LaFraniere and Hamby, 4/5)


This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.



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