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Good morning, Portland! We start today's Good Morning, News with a message from our very own Multnomah County Republicans, whom I would be terrified of if I thought they had any influence or effectiveness whatsoever!
A resolution from Multnomah County GOP accuses Gov. Kate Brown of "tyranny" for closing businesses/schools/etc. during a pandemic and failing to appropriately balance human loss with economic loss. pic.twitter.com/rAq5am1XYe— Alex Zielinski (@alex_zee) April 21, 2020
Okay, here are the other headlines.
• The United States Supreme Court ruled Monday that non-unanimous jury decisions for criminal convictions are unconstitutional. Before the Court’s ruling, the practice of using split juries to determine a criminal conviction was only allowed in one state: Oregon. You can read more about the Court's decision and Oregon's history with non-unanmious juries here (spoiler: it was racism all along!).
• Republican governors in three Southern states—Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee—plan to reopen some businesses in their states over the next week, despite each state still having a significant number of COVID-19 cases. They have Donald Trump's support. Oregon leaders, meanwhile, are being clear that the state won't be reopening anytime soon.
• You may have seen that oil prices dropped into the negative yesterday. As surrealist and funny that was to witness, it comes with a less-fun reality: A significant chunk of federal stimulus money will go to propping up fossil fuel companies just as climate change reaches the point of no return. But I do still give you permission to enjoy this tweet:
On 4/20 Oil is $0.69 a barrel. We did it folks. We did it. pic.twitter.com/rnzCXwKIoh— Duncan (@dunkman) April 20, 2020
• We've still got an election coming up on May 19—but COVID-19 is changing the way local politicians can campaign. It could also change the decisions Portlanders make when voting. Read more on predictions and uncertainty around local elections from our very own Alex Zielinski.
• Speaking of the election: Voters' pamphlets and ballots are coming soon to a mailbox near you! Here's a refresher on how to vote in Oregon, in case you need it.
• As of yesterday, Oregon had nearly 2,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 75 deaths. You can read more coronavirus updates in our succinct daily roundup.
• Trump is threatening to temporarily suspend all immigration to the US for as long as the pandemic lasts. Fascinating that he's so concerned with the supposed dangers of immigrants, yet so unconcerned with the health of people in Kentucky, Georgia, and Tennessee!
• Portland has thousands of empty hotel rooms right now, yet some of our houseless neighbors are still sleeping outside. In this Mercury guest editorial, two OHSU medical students call for opening all hotels to people without housing—now.
• We need more COVID-19 tests, and we need them now. But one study has raised questions about the efficacy of one coronavirus test type, suggesting that too often it returns false negatives.
• It's almost like... we were the virus all along.
The raccoons are returning to the libraries. Nature is healing. pic.twitter.com/TI3B2LQhGX— Anna Mazzola (@Anna_Mazz) April 20, 2020