Look out, people hoping for a vaccine! The CONSPIRACY THEORISTS are heading your way!
Look out, people hoping for a vaccine! The CONSPIRACY THEORISTS are heading your way! Courtesy FX

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 3,416 positive/presumptive coronavirus cases, and a death count of 134. The US death toll is estimated at more than 83,500. In reality, it's much likely a lot higher.

• Now that Lincoln County has submitted their application for Phase One re-opening, only three Oregon counties remain: Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington. Why aren't they submitting an application? Because officials in all three counties recognize they're at minimum another two-to-three weeks away from meeting Gov. Brown's re-opening guidelines, unlike some other counties (cough MARION cough cough) who are applying despite infection data doubling in recent weeks.

• A Northwest Portland hair salon is one of nine Oregon businesses who are suing the governor for the right to reopen their shops... why? Because apparently, not enough Oregonians have died to make it worth them losing money. LOOK, WE'RE DYING THE BEST WE CAN! (Anyway, our Alex Zielinski has more.)

• The Jupiter NEXT Hotel, after previously offering their rooms for houseless individuals suffering from COVID symptoms, will now allow small local businesses to set up shop in their large ballroom for FREE. Newly returned Mercurian Bob Ham has the details.

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• This headline is not alarming at all: "2020 will be the 'darkest winter in modern history' if changes are not made, a whistle-blower plans to testify."

• A somewhat more hopeful headline: "Doctors express glimmers of hope as they try out new approaches against coronavirus. There are no proven treatments, but knowledge about the pathogen — and how to help those infected — have increased over the past two months."

• Despite Senate Majority Turtle Mitch McConnell dismissing House Democrats' new relief bill as "exactly the wrong approach," Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave a speech today describing more relief spending as "costly, but worth it," adding that "we ought to do what we can" to ensure the economy recovers post-pandemic.

• Thanks to the firehose of disinformation that is social media making pinhead conspiracy theories readily available to misguided individuals, the Department of Homeland Security now has to spend time advising telecom industry heads how best to protect their 5G cell towers from arson attempts. In related news: 5G technology does not spread COVID-19.

• Related: The New York Times reports that social media is already fomenting conspiracy theories about the still-nonexistent vaccine, setting the stage for a near-future where a working vaccine is available and the conservative half of our country simply refuses to take it.

• Armed Michigan militia dipshits helped a barbershop reopen, going against the governor's orders and defying anyone to stop them.

• In other dipshit news: "Man refusing to wear mask breaks arm of Target employee."

• 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! BUT HURRY! The deadline for submissions is THIS FRIDAY, MAY 15! And be sure to get your tickets to the CoFF festival debuting on May 22!

• OHHHKAY, going back to bed now:

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• And finally, if this doesn't give you hope for humanity, nothing will.