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 Oregon Health Authority reported a total of 2,579 positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 (that we know of). Only one more death since yesterday, bringing the total to 104.
• Let's lead off our national news update with this: More than 65,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. In normal times, a president—even the worst of them— would be grieving right along with us. Not Trump. Today's headline from the New York Times: "Amid a Rising Death Toll, Trump Leaves the Grieving to Others."
• Because they have absolutely nothing to hide, the White House has blocked the nation's chief infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci from testifying before Congress about the Trump administration's initial response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The last time Fauci testified on the Hill, he had to abruptly leave, with House officials mentioning an emergency meeting. There was no emergency meeting, but his testimony was shortened. https://t.co/tMluwRU3GF— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 1, 2020
• Yesterday in Michigan, ARMED DOMESTIC TERRORISTS stormed the state capitol demanding that the governor reopen the state. While Republican legislators caved to their demands, national hero Gov. Gretchen Whitmer overruled them, keeping her social distancing orders intact and her constituency alive.
• Despite warnings from scientists and experts, more than half of the nation's states have decided to significantly relax stay at home orders. For example, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that his state will fling open the doors to restaurants, movie theaters, and malls—though they will be reduced to 25 percent capacity.
• The FDA has given emergency approval to the drug remdesivir, which has been touted to lessen the length and severity of coronavirus symptoms by a few days. Note: It does not prevent the virus or deaths caused by the virus.
• Even as Trump continues trying to force meat producing plants to stay open, more than 4,000 of the factory employees have been infected by COVID-19. Yum, meat!
• Kim Jong-un is BACK, y'all! (At least according to North Korea state media.) And he's all like, "WHASSSUP??"
IN LOCAL NEWS:
• Today in Kate Brown's press conference, the governor announced several new strategies that, if successful, will eventually lead to the reopening of the state, which include monitoring up to 100,000 Oregonians over the course of the year, coordination of testing between hospitals, as well as encouraging testing for those with mild coronavirus symptoms. While some rural areas may be able to reopen as soon as May 15, it may take cities (such as Portland) a lot longer. Our Alex Zielinski has more.
"This will allow us to better understand where the disease is located, how common it is, and how it might be transmitted around the state."https://t.co/GFTV2Ksry3— Portland Mercury 🗞 (@portlandmercury) May 1, 2020
• New modeling analysis suggests that thousands of new coronavirus cases could erupt if Oregon eases up on social distancing restrictions too soon.
• Portland Police, to combat the virus, will begin taking officers' temperatures at the beginning of each shift.
• Amazon will begin testing their warehouse workers in Troutdale for coronavirus, part of a much larger company-wide effort to control the virus. Meanwhile, across the nation, Amazon and Instacart workers are participating in a May Day strike to protest the treatment they've received during the COVID-19 crisis.
An inmate in the Federal Prison in Sheridan, OR has filed a handwritten $30 million lawsuit against China and the Wutang Virus. He's in prison after being caught with 196 gallons of meth in his boat in international waters. #Coronavirus @WuTangClan pic.twitter.com/58WVOyqetq— Dan Tilkin (@DanTilkinKOIN6) May 1, 2020
• 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, if these boys grow up to be coronavirus truthers, don't be surprised.