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Good morning, Portland. Life under COVID-19 has made Monday mornings much less defined and much more anxiety-inducing than usual. Here are some calming words about hope by Rebecca Solnit to help steer you into the start of another unpredictable week.
Shooting in Canada: A man killed at least 16 people in a 12-hour-long shooting rampage in a rural community in Nova Scotia on Sunday. He died during a police confrontation (officers won't say how yet). His motives remain unknown.
Not So Fast: Those antibody tests that have been touted as the best way to pull the US out of perpetual quarantine are raising alarm bells among public health experts. The majority of tests being hurriedly distributed in the US are not FDA approved and are easy to misinterpret, clear signs that the White House has placed speed (and politics) over safety.
Protection for the Powerful: The government's now-diminished emergency relief program for small businesses, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), is—surprise!—mostly benefitting larger chain corporations. (After public outcry, Shake Shack has returned its $10 million PPP loan.) Actual small businesses are still waiting on Congress finalize a deal that will funnel more funding into the PPP.
The Second Wave: More than 2,000 people flocked to Olympia, Washington this weekend to stand close together without masks and protest the state's stay-at-home order, arguing that the government is restricting their freedoms by *checks notes* ...trying to prevent widespread death from an uncontrolled virus? Three state representatives spoke at the protest, one specifically threatening any government official who tries to keep him from fishing with an armed "rebellion."
Meanwhile, in Denver:
Oregon Joins In: A much smaller version of this rally popped up in Redmond, Oregon over the weekend, where several hundred people gathered to protest the forced closure of small-town businesses. Some right-wing Oregonians—many from small towns that've been crushed by economic toll of business closures—are planning a larger rally against Gov. Kate Brown at the Oregon State Capitol in early May.
In Contrast: On Sunday, thousands of Israelis held their own protest over "the erosion of democracy" under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reflected in the way he's handling the coronavirus outbreak. Unlike Washingtonians, the protesters were required to stand six feet apart and wear masks.
This is huge:
We won! The U.S. Supreme Court held that convictions by non-unanimous juries violate the Sixth Amendment.
Congrats to @Gbencohen and Calvin Duncan who fought for this for many, many years. And to @alizakap who brought the Oregon angle into full view. https://t.co/PYhFc0Xt2Q pic.twitter.com/D7Bo6vIBTF
— David Menschel (@davidminpdx) April 20, 2020