We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus has threatened our ability to keep producing the Mercury. If you’re able, please consider donating to the Mercury.
Good morning, Portland! And good morning in particular to this woman in a wolf mask!
Here are the headlines.
• Incarcerated people in the Pacific Northwest are protesting dangerous health conditions during COVID-19. Our own Alex Zielinski got the details about a protest in a North Portland prison, and here's NPR's coverage of an inmate protest in Washington.
• An additional 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the United States last week, bringing the number of people who have been laid off during the coronavirus pandemic to over 16 million.
• From the Oregonian: New data from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) shows that Oregon's Latino population is disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
• As of Wednesday, there were 58 new Oregon COVID-19 cases (28 of those in Multnomah County alone) bringing the state total to 1,239, while the death rate rose to 38.
• Cue the Van Halen song:
Oregon schools will stay closed for the remainder of the school year.https://t.co/Fw53AAWfHu— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) April 8, 2020
• The OHA is offering some helpful tips for how to make love during the pandemic. Spoiler: The state is now encouraging you to masturbate.
• Prosper Portland received nearly 9,000 applications for its small business grant program, and was only able to give out 200 grants. But the agency is now offering small businesses another chance at relief—read more about it here.
• The number of COVID-19 cases in Russia now exceeds 10,000. Moscow is the epicenter of the Russian outbreak.
• Geneticists studied the coronavirus outbreak in New York and found that most cases came from Europe. Do you think our president will start calling it the European Virus? 🤔
• Joe Biden is now, for
better or worse, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. So, how does he stack up against Donald Trump in the polls? It looks like while he does well nationally, it'll be a squeaker in the swing states.
• A downswing in business means that fewer companies are sending mail, which is bad news for the US Postal Service, one of the few consistently helpful federal agencies we have. So can the institution survive the coronavirus? Well, if it does, it won't be because of Trump's help—his administration is itching to privatize the postal service.
• Speaking of Trump and mail: It's becoming increasingly clear that vote-by-mail is the best solution for holding an election during the coronavirus pandemic. But Trump, likely afraid what voter enfranchisement would do to him in an election, is lying about voter fraud when arguing against vote-by-mail.
• Quote of the Day: "In the wake of the first bubonic plague, we have data showing that real incomes go up by 200 percent for regular farmworkers. The people who survived had way more power and leverage than they did before the disease struck. Societies were completely transformed by the event."