What Now?! – April 28, 2020

“U.S. intelligence agencies issued warnings about the novel coronavirus in more than a dozen classified briefings prepared for President Trump in January and February, months during which he continued to play down the threat,” the Washington Post reports.

“But the alarms appear to have failed to register with the president, who routinely skips reading the PDB and has at times shown little patience even for the oral summary he now takes two or three times per week.”

“The Supreme Court sidestepped a major decision on gun rights Monday in a dispute over New York City’s former ban on transporting guns,” the AP reports.

“The anti-climactic end to the Supreme Court case is a disappointment to gun rights advocates and relief to gun control groups who thought a conservative Supreme Court majority fortified by two appointees of President Trump, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, might use the case to expand on landmark decisions from a decade ago that established a right to keep a gun at home for self-defense.”

CNBC: “The case was the first Second Amendment case to reach the top court in nearly a decade.”

“The U.S. Supreme Court asked for additional briefs in an upcoming clash over President Trump’s financial records, telling the lawyers to address whether courts have power to consider the lawsuits he filed to challenge House subpoenas,” Bloomberg reports.

“The justices are set to hear arguments by phone May 12 on subpoenas issued by three House committees to Trump’s banks and accountants, along with a separate case over a New York grand jury subpoena for the records.”

“Should the justices say the courts lack power to hear Trump’s suits over the House subpoenas, the ruling could lead to his tax returns becoming public before the November election.”

As states continue to roll out plans to reopen their economies, President Trump told governors during a Monday phone call that they should also “seriously consider” reopening their schools, ABC News reports.

Said Trump: “Some of you might start thinking about school openings. Because a lot of people are wanting to have the school openings. It’s not a big subject, young children have done very well in this disaster that we’ve all gone through. So a lot of people are thinking about the school openings.”

New York Times: “Most other teams have had to start with small clinical trials of a few hundred participants to demonstrate safety. But scientists at the university’s Jenner Institute had a running start on a vaccine, having proved in previous trials that similar inoculations — including one last year against an earlier coronavirus — were harmless to humans.”

“That has enabled them to leap ahead and schedule tests of their new coronavirus vaccine involving more than 6,000 people by the end of next month, hoping to show not only that it is safe, but also that it works.”

“The Oxford scientists now say that with an emergency approval from regulators, the first few million doses of their vaccine could be available by September — at least several months ahead of any of the other announced efforts — if it proves to be effective.”

Wall Street Journal: The secret group of scientists and billionaires pushing a Manhattan Project for Covid-19.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said “the next coronavirus relief legislation must include liability protections for business owners who reopen,” Bloomberg reports.

“As he reaffirmed the Senate will return May 4, McConnell said that without protection from lawsuits, business owners could end up with years of legal claims over their efforts to restart the economy.”

A leader of the ReOpen NC group revealed in a Facebook post that she tested positive for the coronavirus, CBS 17 reports.

Audrey Whitlock, who helped organize two protests calling for Gov. Roy Cooper (D) to lift his stay-at-home order, described herself as an “an asymptomatic COVID19 positive patient.”

Over the past two weeks, Jared Kushner “has been notably removed from coronavirus-related operations,” the Daily Beast reports.

“One official working in the White House said it was ‘unclear’ exactly what he and his team had actually done over the last two weeks. Another individual familiar with Kushner’s work said they hadn’t received updates from his team in ‘about a week.’”

Scott Minerd: “To think that the economy is going to reaccelerate in the third quarter in a V-shaped recovery to the level where gross domestic product (GDP) was prior to the pandemic is unrealistic. Four years from now the economy will most likely recover to the same level of activity that it was in January.”

Bloomberg: “Not even 10 minutes after a government relief loan program for small businesses relaunched on Monday, lenders reported that the U.S. Small Business Administration system was overwhelmed and inaccessible with a flood of applications.”

Politico: “Congress’ mad dash to shovel nearly $3 trillion into the economy and rescue failing industries met little resistance as the coronavirus crisis overwhelmed communities across the country. But now the hangover has set in.”

“The sprawling CARES Act, and its similarly rushed companion bills, has fueled rising angst for lawmakers. They’ve been bombarded with complaints about breakdowns in the small business lending program, loopholes that have allowed large companies to snatch cash meant for smaller operations and administrative failures that have delayed stimulus checks to struggling American households.”

New York Times: Large, troubled companies got bailout money in small business loan program.

“President Trump has pushed his military and national security advisers in recent days to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan amid concerns about a major coronavirus outbreak in the war-torn country,” NBC Newsreports.

“Trump complains almost daily that U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan and are now vulnerable to a deadly pandemic… His renewed push to withdraw all of them has been spurred by the convergence of his concern that coronavirus poses a force protection issue for thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and his impatience with the halting progress of his peace deal with the Taliban.”

I agree with you here Donald.

“Two leading former federal health officials, who served in recent Republican and Democratic administrations, are spearheading a call for a $46 billion public health investment in a next coronavirus aid package in order to safely reopen the economy,” NPR reports.

“Andy Slavitt, former director of Medicare and Medicaid in the Obama administration, and Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration chief for President Trump, say that Congress needs to devote funding to help states track down people who have been exposed to the coronavirus, and to offer resources to infected and exposed individuals who wish to self-isolate.”

First Read: “He can’t threaten it with a primary challenge. He can’t hold a rally against it. And he can’t tweet it away. Instead, the coronavirus has only magnified his shortcomings. Making factually incorrect assertions. Sending mixed signals. Blaming his predecessor. Hawking unproven remedies.”

“And, on Thursday, talking about injecting disinfectant and powerful lights.”

New York Times: “Mr. Trump’s single best advantage as an incumbent — his access to the bully pulpit — has effectively become a platform for self-sabotage.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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