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GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Celebrate and dance so free, music's got me feeling so free. Celebrate and dance so free, one more time. LET'S GO TO PRESS.
As of yesterday the confirmed number of COVID-19 cases had jumped to 690, and 18 deaths (as far as we know).
It's April 1—if you're unemployed, DO NOT PAY YOUR RENT UNTIL YOU READ THIS. (And by "this" I mean this ultra-informative story from our Alex Zielinski.)
Speaking of rent, this O article lays bare the dire straits that Portland restaurants and small businesses are in unless the state and feds step in to stop predatory landlords from demanding rent from places that clearly cannot pay.
So what is our state government doing about that? Nothing for the moment, since they're waiting to see what kind of federal aid will be coming so they can determine how much help our small businesses will need. Yeah, well, this isn't helping the businesses whose rent is due NOW.
For families with students needing medical care, the Multnomah County Student Health Center at Parkrose High remains open (the centers at PPS campuses are closed). No cost for students ages 5-18. Call 503-988-3392 for an appointment. More information: https://t.co/UJudEv1pGZ pic.twitter.com/HrK1UafBzt
— Portland Public Schools (@PPSConnect) April 1, 2020
Well, look who just crawled out from underneath his anti-government zealot rock? The Malheur militia loser Ammon Bundy—and now he's hosting public political meetings in violation of his state's order to stay home! TYPICAL. (Check out my story about it.)
Local grocery store workers are demanding safer working conditions and better pay, WHICH THEY TOTALLY DESERVE, DON'T YOU AGREE? Our Blair Stenvick has more in this fascinating report.
In a related story, Fred Meyer workers are getting a temporary $2 per hour "hero raise" to continue working through the crisis.
And the newspaper cut-backs across Oregon just keep on coming, as print mediums all over the state are laying off reporters, suspending print editions, or folding entirely—just when the public needs information the most. REMINDER TO PLEASE SUPPORT AND DONATE TO THE NEWS ORGANIZATIONS YOU LOVE IF YOU WANT TO KEEP THEM!
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
“This is much more than a health crisis,” a report from the United Nation reads. “The coronavirus is attacking societies at their core.” The UN says the world should expect “enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict," while Americans should expect a "very, very painful two weeks."
The death count in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are expected to pass 2,000 today.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says that even if Americans follow our physical distancing rules exactly, the coronavirus will kill anywhere from 100,000 to 240,000 people.
As many as 25% of people infected with the coronavirus may not show symptoms, the CDC warns, a startlingly high number that complicates efforts to predict the pandemic’s course and strategies to mitigate its spread. @apoorva_nyc https://t.co/YlJC4RziWr
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) April 1, 2020
After denying the coronavirus and getting in the way of doctors getting the medical supplies they desperately need, Trump seems to finally be coming around to deadly seriousness of our situation. Thousands will lose their lives because of his obstructionism and corrupt inaction.
However, Trump's never ending stream of lies continue, and America's governors—who have been forced to bid against each other AND EVEN FEMA to get the supplies that will save people's lives—are calling the president on his bullshit.
If you want to see a very informative/alarming graphic representation of how Trump's lies and denials match with the spread of the disease in America, check this story out from the Washington Post.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis has been resisting imposing physical distancing restrictions, and now has a surge of 7,000 COVID-19 cases to show for it.
Today is #CensusDay.
It can not be be overstated how important this is.
From funding for hospitals 🏥, schools 📚and fire deptartmenta👩🏾🚒to how you are represented in Congress.
Go to https://t.co/VGkEbmEofS - it takes less than 3 minutes. Do it. Now. pic.twitter.com/aYOKrcqXV0
— (((yosi sergant))) #StayHome (@a35mmlife) April 1, 2020
Whole Foods staged a "sick out" yesterday, walking off the job and demanding better pay and safer working conditions. Reminder that Whole Foods is owned by Amazon, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world.
Democratic prez candidate Joe Biden says he's doubtful that the national convention will go on as planned in July.
no april fools jokes for us as we are in the middle of a pandemic. having said that, goofy has died.
— Disneyland (@Disneyland2go) April 1, 2020
If you're having a tough morning, get your mood going in a different, more positive direction with the Mercury Cheer Up Club!
You need a crap-ton of fun stuff to do while staying safe at home this week, right? Well, we have a crap-ton of stuff for you to do right here, courtesy of your pals at the Mercury!
Now let's whip our necks skyward for a glance at the WEATHER: More cool showers with a possibility of a thunderstorm today, with a high of 50.
And finally, the way I see it... what one man can do with two plungers, another man can do with two plungers.