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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! If you thought I'd sleep on this, boy, you're wrong 'cause all I dream about is our first kiss. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
As of yesterday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oregon has risen to 826, with 21 reported deaths.
The number of healthcare workers in Oregon and SW Washington who have COVID-19 is climbing, up to 57 cases from 31 just a few days ago.
The good news? Experts are "cautiously optimistic" that thanks to all our preparation, Oregon hospitals will have the beds and equipment necessary to weather the worst of the coming COVID-19 surge.
The state's biggest landlord advocacy group is pushing back after members of Portland's city council called for rent and mortgage forgiveness for the duration of the crisis yesterday. The landlords claim that not receiving rents would cause a cascade of events that would destroy the economy, and that the government should pay the rent instead. Our Alex Zielinski has more!
Portland Parks and Recreation have laid off 750 staff members and 200 seasonal workers (for a total of 950) due to the COVID-19 crisis. Alex Zielinski has the details.
FYI - Portland Public Schools students who still need a device for distance learning can go to one of nine distribution sites today from 8am-4pm: https://t.co/uQEcvpavcU
— Kaitlin Flanigan (@KaitlinFlanigan) April 3, 2020
Record-setting layoffs have overwhelmed the unemployment system, leaving people baffled as to how they'll get their checks.
The Oregon Transportation Commission voted unanimously Thursday to allow the $800 million Rose Quarter Improvement Project—in which I-5 would be widened in the Rose Quarter—to move forward without the environmental study activists were asking for. Our Blair Stenvick has the details.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has extended the state's stay at home order to May 4.
For those looking for a way to help feed your houseless neighbors (while keeping yourself safe from the virus), here's a great guide with some smart ideas!
We all know trauma is coming—here's how to prepare yourself mentally and keep yourself healthy while doing it.
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
Half of the planet (nearly four billion people) are on some sort of lockdown thanks to the coronavirus, and the White House is now considering advising people to wear masks when they're in public, even if they aren't sick.
Governors in more than a dozen states, including Alabama and Missouri, are refusing to issue stay at home orders, and are hurtling toward the same predicament as New York and Louisiana, while Dr Anthony Fauci is warning America that all states should be sheltering in place.
Trump continues to sow confusion during the crisis, looking to cover his own ass for his failure to take the virus seriously, and is now back to blaming governors for their slow response? WHAAAAT?
To make matters worse:
Why is Jared Kushner, someone with absolutely no medical background, speaking about a global pandemic and opining about managerial competence?!!! He couldn’t even pass a security clearance. Is this a joke???? https://t.co/kOwTGSpro1
— Sunny Hostin (@sunny) April 2, 2020
Remember how those March polls showed that many Americans inexplicably thought Trump was doing a good job handling the virus? THEY DON'T THINK SO ANYMORE.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi says congress will move aggressively to check Trump's so-far-woeful-response to the coronavirus, and make sure the money from the stimulus package will be spent responsibly (and not go directly into the pockets of Trump's pals).
The rampant corruption of Republicans—particularly in Florida—is being exposed by the coronavirus, as residents realize that their governor and other GOP members have made it next to impossible to receive the benefits they are owed.
Federal small business loans dictated by the stimulus package may not launch as quickly as expected due to reticence from America's largest banks.
Ever wonder why we're still having a toilet paper shortage, even though stores are limiting how much we can buy? Read this fascinating deep dive on the differences in supplying retail vs. commercial toilet paper.
Today in NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOO!: '70s soul music giant Bill Withers ("Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean on Me") has died at the age of 81 due to heart complications.
Bill Withers’ Live At Carnegie Hall album is and will always be astonishing.
If you haven’t listened to it do yourself a huge favor and prepare to be moved.https://t.co/oL4RP8N0gj
— matt sweeney (@theheavyjamz) April 3, 2020
HBO is unlocking some of their shows for those non-subscribers forced to stay at home, including The Sopranos, The Wire, Barry (!!!! I LOVE BARRY !!!!) and more.
If you're already having a tough day, get your mood going in a different, more positive direction with the Mercury Cheer Up Club!
You need a crap-ton of fun stuff to do while staying safe at home this weekend, right? Well, we have a crap-ton of stuff for you to do right here, courtesy of your pals at the Mercury!
Now let's peer skyward to the WEATHER: Expect scattered showers and sun breaks this weekend with highs in the low 50s.
And finally, the gauntlet has been thrown down for Jake and Barb—will they answer the challenge?
I’m definitely here for old folks challenging other old folks to chug a beer in their garages during this Coronavirus pandemic.
Stay at home. Save lives.🌎❤️🍻 pic.twitter.com/L536FkdmVp
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) April 2, 2020