• 🔥 Daily Damage Report.

  • Global: Total confirmed cases ~2,135,000; Total deaths: ~142,200; Total recoveries: ~541,000. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases ~654,300; Total deaths: ~32,200; Total recoveries: ~53,700

  • Markets: Dow 📈; S&P 500 📈; Nasdaq 📈

  • More than 9,000 U.S. health care workers have been infected with the coronavirus.

  • COVID-19 is becoming one of America’s leading cause of death. COVID-19 killed more people from April 6 to April 12 than any other cause of death except heart disease typically does in a normal April week. (Washington Post)

  • Live Blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / The Guardian / ABC News / CBS News / CNN

1/ Trump’s new federal guidelines for opening up the country will put the onus on governors to decide how and when to restart their economies. Trump told governors on a conference call that “You’re going to call your own shots. You’re going to be calling the shots. We’ll be standing right alongside of you and we’re going to get our country open and get it working.” He added that “You states with beautifully low numbers, let’s get your states open and get back to work” on May 1. The new guidelines, formally known as Opening Up America Again, are a reversal from three days ago when Trump insisted that “the president of the United States calls the shots” and that he had the “total” authority to decide how and when the country reopen. (Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Axios / Washington Post / NBC News / CNN / Bloomberg)

  • 📌 Day 1181: Trump falsely claimed “I have the ultimate authority” over states to reopen the country once the coronavirus pandemic shows signs of receding, despite governors forging ahead with their own plans. Trump added: “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that’s the way it’s got to be. … It’s total. The governors know that.” When asked by reporters what provisions of the Constitution gave him the power to override the states if they wanted to remain closed, Trump responded by saying: “Numerous provisions,” without naming any. “The president of the United States calls the shots. [States] can’t do anything without the approval of the president of the United States.” The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, meanwhile, states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” (New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News)

  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tapped McKinsey & Company to develop a science-based, “Trump-proof” economic plan to reopen the region with the goal of thwarting pressure from Trump to move faster. Meanwhile, New York and other East Coast states extended the shutdown of nonessential businesses to May 15.(Reuters / CNBC)

  • The governors of Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky will coordinate reopening the Midwest regional economy. The governors said they will focus on four factors when determining when best to reopen: sustained rate of new infections and hospitalizations, ability to test and trace, health care capacity to handle resurgence, and best practices for social distancing in the workplace. (CNN)

  • ✏️ The Trump administration invited a bipartisan group of lawmakers to participate in a task force to address when the country should return to normal. (Politico)

  • ✏️ Widespread testing a barrier for reopening country as White House seeks plan. White House aides scramble to ramp up testing in the U.S., but there’s no clear plan yet. (NBC News)

  • 🤦‍♂️ Dept. of People Are Very Dumb.

  • A protest movement is taking hold targeting states that have extended social-distancing rules, closed schools, and restricted access to large religious gatherings. Trumpists are urging people to leave their homes to own the libs. (Daily Beast)

  • Michiganders believe Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer latest stay-at-home order went too far, accusing her of stripping them of their constitutional rights. Online, they pledged to protest, signed petitions calling for her recall and joined Facebook groups dedicated to having the order curtailed. (NBC News)

  • Large crowds showed up in Michigan’s capital for what organizers are calling “Operation Gridlock.” People — in their cars, on sidewalks, lawns and on the Capitol steps — gathered to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order. Organizers of the rally want some of the restrictions eased, and the state economy re-started. Many demonstrators, some waving Trump campaign flags, ignored organizers‘ pleas to stay in their cars and flooded the streets of Lansing, the state capital, with some chanting, “Lock her up!” and “We will not comply!”(WWJ 950 / Politico / Washington Post)

  • Impatient protesters demanding Gov. Andy Beshear reopen Kentucky disrupted his televised pandemic update, chanting, blowing horns and shouting into a megaphone outside the window of the briefing room and nearly drowning out his comments to Kentuckians. (Courier-Journal)

2/ Trump administration officials warned against cutting funding to the World Health Organization, saying it would erode America’s global standing, threaten U.S. lives, and hurt global efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The internal memo, written by U.S. officials and addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, cautioned that pausing funding to the organization would “impact over $50 million in U.S. assistance planned to help host governments address urgent needs and risks undermining the U.S. narrative of a long-standing health leader, ceding ground to the (People’s Republic of China).” The WHO, meanwhile, responded to Trump’s threat to cutoff U.S. funding and accusation that it was “severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” saying “We alerted the world on January the 5th. Systems around the world, including the U.S., began to activate their incident management systems on January the 6th. And […] we’ve produced multiple updates […] on the developing situation — and that is what it was, a developing situation.” (ProPublica / NPR / New York Times)

  • The White House installed former Trump campaign operative Michael Caputo in the top communications position at the Department of Health and Human Services. The move is seen as an attempt by Trump to assert more control over HHS Secretary Alex Azar, whom the White House believes is behind a series of recent reports that have been critical of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Caputo is a long-time friend of Roger Stone and a Trump loyalist who recently published a book called, “The Ukraine Hoax,” which claimed there was a conspiracy driving Trump’s impeachment. (Politico)

  • As the Trump administration discouraged mask use for the public, the National Security Council secured a personal stash of 3,600 masks for White House staff. A senior NSC appealed to Taiwan on March 14 for a donation of hundreds of thousands of surgical masks. At the time, the Trump administration was discouraging Americans from wearing masks, saying that healthy people didn’t need them and that the gear should be saved for medical workers. (Washington Post)

  • New Chinese export restrictions have stranded face masks, test kits, and other medical equipment for the U.S. in warehouses across China. The policies, instituted this month, have “disrupted established supply chains for medical products just as these products were most needed for the global response to Covid-19,” according to State Department memos. (Wall Street Journal)

  • The Trump administration awarded a $55 million contract for N95 masks to a bankrupt company with no employees or experience producing medical supplies. (Washington Post / Business Insider)

3/ More than 5.2 million Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week. In the past four weeks, more than 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment aid — wiping out nearly all the job gains since the Great Recession. The U.S. unemployment rate is now over 20% and is expected remain close to 10% through the end of the year. (NPR / Washington Post / CNBC / Associated Press)

  • Glitches” delay $1,200 stimulus checks from reaching millions of Americans – or the wrong amount was deposited. Several million people who filed their taxes via H&R Block, TurboTax and other services were unable to get paid because the IRS didn’t have their direct deposit information on file. (Washington Post)

  • The Small Business Administration stopped accepting applications for two programs meant to help small firms survive the coronavirus pandemic after running out of money. Funds for both the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program lapsed in less than two weeks. (Bloomberg / Washington Post / Axios)

4/ Trump threatened to adjourn both chambers of Congress if the Senate doesn’t confirm his nominees for various openings across his administration. Trump warned Congress to “either fulfill its duty and vote on my nominees or it should formally adjourn so I can make recess appointments.” Lawmakers aren’t expected to return to Capitol Hill until May 4, but the House and Senate have both been conducting pro forma sessions while they’re out. Trump called the practice of “leaving town while conducting phony pro forma sessions” a “scam” and a “dereliction of duty.” U.S. presidents have the power under Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution to convene either or both chambers of Congress “on extraordinary occasions” or adjourn them “to such time as he shall think proper.” No president has ever exercised that authority. There are, however, procedural rules in the Senate that would require consent from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in order to allow Trump to go through with the adjournment. (Washington Post / CNBC / Politico / Axios / The Hill)

5/ Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner defied federal social distancing guidelines and traveled to New Jersey with their children to celebrate the first night of Passover. Jared and Ivanka flew with their three children to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ despite federal guidelines and a stay-at-home order issued on April 1 for the city of Washington. (New York Times)

6/ The EPA will weaken regulations on mercury and other air pollutants released from oil and coal-fired power plants. The rule does not eliminate restrictions on the release of mercury, but will instead create a new method of calculating the costs and benefits of mercury pollution, which will fundamentally undermine the legal underpinnings on controls of mercury and other pollutants. (New York Times / CNN)

poll/ 43% of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president – down six percentage points since mid-March. Trump’s average rating since taking office is 40%. (Gallup)