Government

NYC On Track For Partial Reopening By Mid-June

NBC New York reports: New York City and Long Island have each met four of the seven reopening metrics. Both regions have yet to identify and train their complete contact tracing armies; they’re required to have at least 30 tracers for every 100,000 residents. Long Island continues to struggle on the hospital death rate metric, while New York City has …

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Full Senate Narrowly Approves Trump’s Intel Nominee

The New York Times reports: A divided Senate voted on Thursday to confirm Representative John Ratcliffe of Texas, a fierce conservative ally of President Trump’s with relatively little intelligence experience, to become the next director of the nation’s spy agencies. Democrats opposed the nomination en masse, but they agreed to dispense with the normal rules and accelerate Mr. Ratcliffe’s confirmation …

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WH Butler For 11 Presidents Dies Of COVID At Age 91

Washington DC’s Fox affiliate reports: Wilson Roosevelt Jerman, one of the White House’s longest-serving employees, died last weekend from COVID-19. He was 91. Jerman worked at the White House from 1957 to 2012 as a cleaner, a doorman, and butler. He served 11 presidents — from Eisenhower to Obama. Granddaughter Jamila Garrett said in an interview with FOX 5 DC …

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AP: States Are Twisting Data To Advance Reopenings

The Associated Press reports: Public health officials in some states are accused of bungling coronavirus infection statistics or even using a little sleight of hand to deliberately make things look better than they are. In Virginia, Texas and Vermont, for example, officials said they have been combining the results of viral tests, which show an active infection, with antibody tests, …

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Large Events Unlikely In Texas Capital For Rest Of 2020

The Austin Statesman reports: Large events like the Austin City Limits Music Festival or Texas Longhorns football games are not likely through the end of the year as the coronavirus pandemic continues, Austin Public Health officials said Wednesday. “The large events are the first thing that we turned off and are going to be the last thing we’re going to …

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Mayor: Alabama Capital’s Hospitals At “Critical Point”

The Birmingham News reports: Montgomery hospitals are starting to run low on intensive care beds, said Dr. David Thrasher, a critical care pulmonologist. The four counties making up the Montgomery metro area have seen a combined 721 new confirmed coronavirus cases since May 4 – an increase of 110 percent. “I’m concerned about the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic,” …

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Texas Gov Gives Green Light To Bars, Sports, Day Care

The Austin Statesman reports: Gov. Greg Abbott Monday unveiled his plans for an accelerated return to a semblance of normal life Monday, immediately reopening child care centers, Scouting and other youth clubs, as well as massage, tattoo, piercing and other personal services, with a limited reopening of bars, bingo halls and bowling alleys Friday, when restaurants will be allowed to …

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WHO Agrees To Probe Into Global COVID Response

The Associated Press reports: The World Health Organization bowed to calls Monday from most of its member states to launch an independent probe into how it managed the international response to the coronavirus, which has been clouded by finger-pointing between the U.S. and China over a pandemic that has killed over 300,000 people and leveled the global economy. The “comprehensive …

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California Governor Eases County Reopening Criteria

The Sacramento Bee reports: California is changing its criteria for counties that want to reopen faster than the rest of the state. Counties will have to demonstrate that their hospitalization rates are stable and their rate of positive cases are low. The new criteria represent a move away from the previous rules, which among other standards required that counties have …

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Michigan Gov To Lift Lockdown In Northern Regions

The Detroit News reports: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday the partial reopening of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Starting Friday, two regions — 6 and 8, which include 17 northern Michigan counties and the entire Upper Peninsula — will be among areas to see relief from some restrictions. The plan would reopen retail businesses and offices in those regions …

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Study: Lockdowns Have So Far Saved 233,000 US Lives

The Hill reports: A new analysis says nearly 250,000 people in the nation’s 30 largest cities are alive today because of strict stay-at-home orders issued by local and state governments. The report, from the Urban Health Collaborative at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University, found the stay-at-home orders likely reduced the number of coronavirus deaths by 232,878, …

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Texas Court Tests Virtual Jury Trial Over Zoom [VIDEO]

Reuters reports: With jury trials on hold throughout the United States because of the coronavirus pandemic, court officials in Texas are preparing to try something new: let jurors hear a case through Zoom. Lawyers in an insurance dispute in Collin County District Court on Monday will present their case by videoconference, in what officials believe will be the first virtual …

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Cuomo: Capital And Western NY Regions To Reopen

The New York Post reports: Western New York and the Capital Region have fulfilled six of the seven criteria — measuring hospitalizations, death rates, available beds, testing and tracing — to phase certain businesses back online. The only box left to tick is an expansion of their contact tracing capacity, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, offering the state’s help to get …

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China Pledges $2 Billion For Global COVID Response

NBC News reports: Amid an intensifying blame game over the World Health Organization’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, China’s leader Xi Jinping announced a $2 billion funding package to help tackle the outbreak as he spoke at the organization’s 73rd general assembly on Monday. “China supports the idea of a global review of the response to Covid-19 after it is …

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Florida Keys To Lift Tourist Roadblocks On June 1st

USA Today reports: The Florida Keys will reopen to tourists on June 1, more than two months after the island chain closed to visitors to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. Checkpoints that barred visitors from coming into the Florida Keys will be removed next month and hotels and other lodging establishments, including campgrounds and vacation rentals, will also be …

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New York City Issues Urgent Call For Blood Donations

The New York Daily News reports: With the city’s blood banks facing dire shortages during the coronavirus outbreak, Mayor de Blasio called on New Yorkers to lend some lifesaving liquid. “Right now, we have a challenge with our blood supply,” he said at a Sunday press conference. “We need to address it. The plea came after the Daily News reported …

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Brazilian Hospitals “Near Collapse” As COVID Surges

The BBC reports: The mayor of Brazil’s largest city, São Paulo, has said its health system could collapse as demand grows for emergency beds to deal with coronavirus cases. Bruno Covas said the city’s public hospitals had reached 90% capacity and could run out of space in two weeks. He accused those who flouted lockdown rules of playing “Russian roulette” …

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Euro Leaders: Don’t Wait To Be Saved By A Vaccine

The Associated Press reports: In separate, stark warnings, two major European leaders have bluntly told their citizens that the world needs to adapt to living with the coronavirus and cannot wait to be saved by the development of a vaccine. The comments by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson came as nations around the world …

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New York City Subway May Try Reservations System

The New York Daily News reports: “Your subway pole reservation awaits.” That could be the new reality for straphangers as life in New York inches back to some kind of normal during the coronavirus pandemic. Metropolitan Transportation Authority chairman Pat Foye said Thursday the agency is considering a form of “Ticketmaster technology” that would require riders to book a slot …

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FDA Gives Approval For New At-Home COVID Test Kit

Axios reports: An at-home coronavirus collection kit made by health care startup Everlywell has received emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, the agency announced Saturday. This is the only kit that can be used with multiple coronavirus tests, although two other at-home swabs have received authorization from the FDA. The swabs collected at home will be sent to …

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