We need your help. The economic fallout of COVID-19 has threatened our ability to keep producing the news and entertainment you need. If you’re able, please consider donating to the Mercury.
GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Come go with me, we've got it made. Let me take you on an escapade. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
Hello, good friends! Before we get into the news, here's some funny stuff that's guaranteed (unless you're some kind of humorless monster) to make you smile!
Portland's Jupiter Hotel is doing a righteous thing: making their hotel available for homeless locals who have COVID-19 symptoms. Our Alex Zielinski has more.
More good news: Oregon's vote-by-mail system could become the way the entire country does it—if the money just allocated by Congress holds out. Our Blair Stenvick has the details.
Practically all hiking trails and viewpoints in the popular Columbia River Gorge have been closed until further notice by the US Forest Service due to the coronavirus, and because visitors were too unwilling to maintain proper physical distance.
Related: IF YOU STAY HOME (and I'm talking to each and every one of you without exception), our state won't get to the horrible, deadly spot that NYC is currently experiencing, and our hospitals will be able to handle the onslaught of COVID-19 victims that is expected in the coming week or so, according to a forecast from the Institute for Disease Modeling... but that's ONLY if YOU STAY HOME NOW.
AGAIN, STAY HOME NOW!
Hey non-essential business owners who are forcing your employees to work where they can't keep appropriate social distancing, and violating Gov. Brown's executive order! THE STATE IS COMING AFTER YOU. (And then every media source will make it our personal job to humiliate and ruin you. So maybe take that under consideration, as well?)
Metro, the regional government entity representing Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties, announced they are laying off 40 percent of their workers (which includes employees at the Oregon Zoo, Portland 5 Centers for the Performing Arts, the Oregon Convention Center, and more).
Portland mental health workers are trying to prepare themselves for what will probably be an onslaught of people who are in mental crisis. Our Alex Zielinski asked them what kind of help they'll need.
Today's "Grocery Store and Bidet User Report":
82nd Ave grocery update: Fubonn is closed, don't even bother going. WinCo has plenty of produce, shelves are full, no rice, no bulk bins for sanitary reasons. SF Mart on Holgate also out of rice but plenty of all else (limit 1 fish sauce tho!). Didn't need TP (smug bidet user).— Vivian Satterfield (@vivianherself) March 27, 2020
Hey, you're crafty, right? Then why not join your fellow Portlanders in helping sew or assemble the medical face masks that our medical communities desperately need? (Plus I included helpful video tutorials!)
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
As you may have heard, the US has overtaken the rest of the world in coronavirus infections, and it's widely regarded that our country's slow response to the pandemic (egged on by Trump who was trying to protect his bid for reelection) is to blame.
Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie is threatening to slam the brakes on $2 trillion relief package that's scheduled to be voted on today in the House—and even Trump is tweeting that he's an idiot and should be kicked out of the GOP. (Strange times, my friend... strange times.)
Breaking news: Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an asshole. He must be quarantined to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity. He's given new meaning to the term #Masshole. (Finally, something the president and I can agree on!) https://t.co/N1CNLPsZjc— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) March 27, 2020
Even as hospitals plead for more ventilators and are making the horrible choice of deciding who lives or dies, Trump is playing down the need for more equipment. “You go into major hospitals sometimes," he said, "and they’ll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they’re saying, ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’” DEAR GOD.
He still has a far worst approval rating then Bush did after 9/11. https://t.co/hqbhZTpwU9— Jouelzy (@Jouelzy) March 27, 2020
President Xi Jinping has sent a message that China is willing to help the US battle COVID-19—despite Trump's overbearing racism toward the Chinese people.
Major COVID-19 hotspots are expected to pop up in more major cities, such as Detroit, Chicago, and New Orleans.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19, saying he has mild symptoms and is quarantining himself.
Sen. Bernie Sanders says in an interview that it's going to be "a very steep road" to defeat Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, but he's currently focused on the coronavirus crisis.
Fred "Curly" Neal, a beloved longtime member of the Harlem Globetrotters, has died at the age of 77.
Something I'm definitely listening to today:
Now let's cast our eyes to the heavens to consider the WEATHER: A few showers today with a high of 50, followed by even more showers this weekend. YAAAAAAAyyyyyyyyyyy.
And finally, if today gets to be too much, take one STEVE MARTIN ON THE BANJO and call me in the morning.