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Good morning, Portland! Here's a little culture to start your day with.
Okay, here are the headlines.
Best Coast: Gov. Kate Brown has joined California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in forming a Western States Pact. The three states will work together to decide when to re-open businesses and other facets of public life. Six states on the East Coast have formed a similar agreement. The move has pissed off Donald Trump, who said he has "“total” authority to decide when states re-open—thought that's probably not true.
Postal Politics: Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden was the first United States senator to be elected in an entirely vote by mail election in 1996. Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens Americans’ ability to vote safely, he’s fighting to make vote by mail the norm across the US for the 2020 presidential election. Read the Mercury's Q&A with Wyden about his efforts.
Pandemic Propoganda: At his daily White House
rally briefing, Trump's rhetoric devolved into pure anti-media, pro-him propaganda. That included a video that shows a timeline of Trump's supposed heroic response to COVID-19—though interestingly, the video completely skips over February.
COVID-19 Updates: Oregon's number of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 1,584 people yesterday, and construction for three outdoor homeless camps in Portland has begun. You can get caught up quickly on all the daily COVID-19 news by reading the Mercury's daily roundup.
The big update: Renters in Multnomah Co. will no longer have to give proof to their landlord that their finances have been impacted by COVID-19 to qualify for delaying rent payments.
— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) April 13, 2020
Examining an Allegation: A former staffer has accused Joe Biden of sexual assault—but much of the Democratic establishment seems to be turning a blind eye. Learn more about the allegation and the circumstances surrounding it in today's episode of The Daily.
Obama-Approved: Meanwhile, Barack Obama is expected to endorse Biden for president today.
Office Space: Someday—hopefully, someday soonish!—offices will start reopening. But that move will likely come with new standards for cleanliness, office layouts, and allowing employees to work from home. If you work in an office, here's a preview of what the new normal might become.
Oregon's local produce farmers are in a sea of uncertainty just as the growing season is starting in earnest. From finding buyers to protecting farm workers, the business of farm-to-table is foggy right now. https://t.co/BqMh0nw6E1
— Ryan Haas (@ryanjhaas) April 14, 2020
Low: Wisconsin voters were forced to go to the polls during a pandemic last week, and the results came in yesterday: Turnout was low, Biden beat Bernie Sanders in the primary, and a progressive judge won a state Supreme Court seat.
Positive: With schools closed, families with teens are turning to other online resources for sex ed—and finding much more progressive options than what kids were learning in classrooms.
One More Thing: