GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! We're moving on, keeping strong. Don't you let them steer you wrong, it's a groove thang. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
Before we kick off today's festivities, if you like the Mercury's coverage of everything newsy and entertainment-y, WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW. Find out more here, and please donate.
Here's the latest local updates about COVID-19:
• The Mercury interviewed Tri-County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines and she gave us a LOT of great information that you definitely need to know. READ IT HERE!
• At a late morning press conference yesterday, Gov. Kate Brown announced a statewide ban on large public gatherings (over 250 attendees) for one month.
• Gov. Brown has also ordered all public schools in Oregon to shut down for two weeks starting this coming Monday (one of those weeks was already Spring Break). Kids return on April 1.
• Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency for the city, which will give Portland officials greater leeway to deal with the spread of the virus.
• The Multnomah County Court system is switching things up as well thanks to COVID-19, such as delaying non-essential court dates and more.
• Six more coronavirus cases have been discovered at a Linn County veterans' home. The total cases of known COVID-19 are up to 30 in the state, but it's expected to be much higher.
• You're probably not surprised, but immediately after Gov. Brown's announcement yesterday, stores like Costco were swamped by panicky shoppers. Here's a written reminder/warning from me: "DON'T GET WEIRD ABOUT IT!"
Canceled events due to coronavirus are turning into an unexpected blessing! We are receiving many calls asking if we can accept fresh, unserved food. Yes, we can! We will get it to the people who need it. Call us at 503-241-4340. https://t.co/C9mIfSAJtt pic.twitter.com/hYNRVD2th0
— Blanchet House (@blanchethouse) March 12, 2020
HERE'S WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH CORONAVIRUS ON THE NATIONAL FRONT:
• After royally screwing up initial testing, the Trump administration is trying to kick start speed testing where results could be discovered within the hour.
• Following the worst day of trading in 30 years, the stock market rebounded somewhat today—stand by for it to take another dive when the latest round of bad news hits.
• The NCAA has canceled its men and women's March Madness basketball tournaments due to the coronavirus outbreak.
• And Disneyland and Universal Studios have closed their doors as well!
•The wife of the Canadian prime minister, an Australian official (who met with Bill Barr and Ivanka Trump last week), and (OH NO) Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson all have coronavirus.
• Spain has locked down 70,000 people in four towns, while Germany pledges $600 billion in aid to struggling businesses. (The Mercury wouldn't mind a few of those Deutsche Marks, Ms. Merkel!)
• And here's a good story about how fuck-up Trump really fucked up his recent address to the nation about the coronavirus.
• Watch national hero Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif) brilliantly extract a promise from the CDC to offer free coronavirus testing to all Americans.
I did the math: a full battery of coronavirus testing costs at minimum $1,331.
I also did the legal research: the Administration has the authority to make testing free for every American TODAY.
I secured a commitment from a high-level Trump official that they’d actually do it. pic.twitter.com/RmolCtmNbG
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) March 12, 2020
A Brazilian official who met President Trump and Vice President Pence at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday has tested positive for coronavirus, though Trump said Thursday he “isn’t concerned.”
Today in GRRRRRRRR: "Mnuchin calls coronavirus pandemic 'a great investment opportunity'."
In election news, Bernie Sanders won California's Democratic primary according to most counts, even though the full results won't be available for weeks.
Chelsea Manning, the former analyst who refused to testify in an investigation against Wikileaks and Julian Assange, has been released from jail by a federal judge.
Now let's direct our gaze at today's WEATHER: Gaaah! Chilly showers and a high of only 46!
And finally, these are hard times. But be like this penguin and NEVER FUCKING QUIT.