Here's your daily roundup of all the local and national news about COVID-19. (Like our coverage? Please consider donating to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)
• As of today the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oregon jumped to 2,446, and 101 Oregonians have died from the virus. Meanwhile the US has passed 1 million known positive coronavirus cases. And the national death count? Allegedly it's 53,000—but according to the CDC it's most likely far higher than the numbers suggest.
• Our idiot president argle-bargled a ridiculous prediction into Oval Office microphones this morning, suggesting that current social distancing guidelines will begin "fading out" soon.
Pres. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that the current coronavirus social distancing guidelines will be “fading out”https://t.co/Sn26l57Lcd pic.twitter.com/oRuv2uACcy
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 29, 2020
• Because he is a puckered, sanctimonious butthole, Vice President Mike Pence decided against wearing a face mask as he toured the Mayo Clinic, even though it was against hospital rules and everyone else was wearing them.
• Black activists and officials are delivering a stern message to Southern Republican governors who are foolishly and dangerously reopening their states this week: "You're effectively issuing a death sentence to Black Americans."
• Related: Starting Monday, Florida—whose curve is nowhere near flattening—will begin opening up restaurants and stores to a limited extent.
• More alarmingly related: "CDC finds 80 percent of hospitalized patients in Georgia were black, as governor moves to reopen state."
• The Small Business Administration—now that it has their Paycheck Protection Program portal up and running—is restricting access to it: Only "the smallest financial institutions" will be able to use the site and request government funds from 4 pm-11:59 pm today. (They'll presumably go back to disproportionately preferring larger accounts by Thursday.)
• An update on those stimulus checks you still haven't received in the mail: The government promises that they're definitely still coming, and as a bonus, they'll be coming with a letter hand-signed by our idiot president! [SPOILER ALERT: They're not actually hand-signed (there's 130 million of them), and there's no way this letter was actually written by him.]
• Aw man, the 'rona can infect dogs now? And the first known case was caught by a pug? Is there no decency left in this cruel, unfair world?
A pug in North Carolina named Winston has tested positive for the coronavirus. This was apparently the first known case in which the virus was detected in a dog in the U.S. https://t.co/vUwNgDrDsf
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 29, 2020
• While a vaccine is still fairly far off, the FDA is expected to announce their approval of a coronavirus treatment drug, remdesivir, whose effectiveness against COVID-19 prompted Dr. Anthony Fauci's approval.
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• You made it through April, but May is a few days away—how are you going to pay the rent? Our Alex Zielinski is here with the latest updates on renter protections, which are so new you might not know about them. READ IT!
Hey Portland renters: Not sure if you can pay May rent? Here's everything you need to know about the current renter protections in Multnomah County (which have been strengthened since April rent was due). https://t.co/HLsIJ3T1ID— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) April 29, 2020
• Our own Gov. Kate Brown issued a memo earlier this week to various state agencies ordering them to plan for nearly 10-percent cuts in allotted fund spending—that comes to nearly $2 billion total in budget cuts.
• To accommodate more pedestrians and bikes on our streets during the COVID crisis, Portland is adopting the "Slow Streets|Safe Streets Initiative" which will limit cars and/or slow them down on certain roads. Get the details from our Blair Stenvick!
• Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signaled to the rest of us in the Western States Pact that our days of social distancing won't magically recede into the past once May begins, and his state's restrictions (and likely, ours too) will continue throughout the month and into "the foreseeable future."
• If you need some cheering up after reading all this, turn your bad mood around quick with the Mercury Cheer Up Club, featuring the internet's biggest daily laughs!
• Look, you're stuck inside, creative, going nuts, and need money, right? Then enter your short confinement-themed film in the Confinement (online) Film Festival, better known as CoFF!
• And finally, for those who are homeschooling their kids, here's how to do it right.
Geography class is now in session. pic.twitter.com/6X1ajFOSH1— TokenSuperhero (@MarcusTheToken) April 29, 2020