• 🔥 Daily Damage Report.

  • 🌍 Global: Total confirmed cases ~2,790,000; Total deaths: ~196,000; Total recoveries: ~781,000. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • 🇺🇸 U.S.: Total confirmed cases ~890,000; Total deaths: ~51,000; Total recoveries: ~97,000

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

  • Trump said social distancing guidelines “may” be extended into summer – or later – as states shift gears and plan the reopening of their economies. (CBS News)

  • 💻 Live Blog: New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / The Guardian / CBS News / CNBC / Wall Street Journal

  • 👑 Portrait of a president.

  • Home alone at the White House: A sour president, with TV his constant companion. As his administration grapples with reopening the economy and responding to the coronavirus crisis, Trump worries about his re-election and how the news media is portraying him. (New York Times)

  • Fifty thousand Americans dead from the coronavirus, and a president who refuses to mourn them. To the extent that Trump discusses those who have died, he does so in self-justifying terms, framing the pandemic as an externally imposed catastrophe that would have been worse without him.(New Yorker)

  • “This guy hasn’t changed one iota”: Coronavirus or not, it’s the same old Trump. Crises change most presidents. Not this one. (Politico)


1/ The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 50,000 in the U.S. – three months after the nation’s first confirmed case. 10 days ago, the number of recorded deaths stood at 25,000. Worldwide, confirmed coronavirus cases exceeded 2.78 million, with more than 195,000 dead. The U.S. accounts for nearly a third of the cases and more than a quarter of the deaths. Experts say a lack of widespread testing and differences in reporting standards could be masking the extent of the virus’s spread. Some states, meanwhile, began reopening and Trump signed stimulus legislation to boost small businesses, hospitals, and testing. (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)

  • The House approved a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill by a vote of 388-5-1. The bill is the fourth relief package aimed at addressing the economic impact of the virus. The money will go toward replenishing two small business relief programs, funding hospitals, and expanding testing. The bill now heads to Trump, who has said he will probably sign it into law. (New York Times / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Reuters)

  • Trump said he would not approve an emergency loan for the U.S. Postal Service if it did not immediately raise its prices for package delivery. “The Post Office is a joke,” Trump told reporters. “The Post Office should raise the price [of package delivery] four times.” (Washington Post)

  • Trump’s commencement address at West Point will bring back 1,000 cadets who had scattered across the country. The June graduation was initially postponed because of the coronavirus and the cadets were sent home. The White House said Trump left it up to the school to decide whether it was safe to hold a graduation ceremony. Nothing had been decided until last Friday, April 17, when Trump was asked about Pence’s coming trip to the Air Force Academy. Trump told reporters that he would be speaking at the West Point graduation, noting that he hoped the “look” of the ceremony would be “nice and tight” because he did not like the look of a socially distanced graduation. (New York Times)

2/ Health officials, the makers of Lysol and Clorox, doctors, and lawmakers all warned against ingesting household disinfectants and cleaning products after Trump speculated that an “injection” of disinfectants could be a cure for the coronavirus. Trump proposed the idea at the White House briefing on Thursday after Bill Bryan, the head of science at the Department of Homeland Security, presented government research about how sunlight and disinfectants — including bleach and alcohol — can kill the coronavirus on surfaces. Trump then spoke about disinfectants, saying: “I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.” Bryan also said that “The virus dies quickest in sunlight,” leaving Trump to wonder aloud whether you could “hit the body with a tremendous” light “inside the body,” because “the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s pretty powerful.” Trump, pointing to his head, continued: “I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what.” He added: “So it’d be interesting to check that.” Meanwhile, the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, suggested that Trump’s comments were taken out of context. (NBC News / New York Times / CNN / Axios / Politico / BBC / USA Today / The Guardian / Bloomberg / New York Times)

  • Lysol maker warns against internal use of disinfectants after Trump comments. (NBC News / BuzzFeed News)

  • The EPA: “Never apply the product to yourself or others. Do not ingest disinfectant products.” (NBC News)

3/ Trump claimed he was being “very sarcastic” – “just to see what would happen” – when he proposed that disinfectants, like bleach, could be injected inside people to fight the coronavirus. Trump, during an Oval Office signing for the Paycheck Protection Program, claimed he “was asking a very sarcastic question to the reporters in the room about disinfectant on the inside […] That was done in the form of a sarcastic question to the reporters.” (Washington Post / ABC News / NBC News / PBS / The Hill / Vox)

  • The leader of an organization called Genesis II Church of Health and Healing told Trump that chlorine dioxide – a lethal industrial bleach – “can rid the body of COVID-19” days before Trump promoted disinfectant as a treatment. In his letter, Mark Grenon, an “archbishop” of Genesis II, told Trump that chlorine dioxide is “a wonderful detox that can kill 99% of the pathogens in the body.” Since the start of the pandemic, Genesis II has been marketing his “miracle mineral solution” as a cure to coronavirus, advising users, including children, to mix three to six drops of bleach in water and drink it. Last week, the Justice Department granted a temporary injunction to halt the sale of industrial bleach products by Genesis II, which was also marketing it as a cure for autism and AIDS. (The Guardian / Reuters)

4/ The FDA warned doctors against prescribing hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for the treatment of the coronavirus except in hospitals and research studies. The FDA said it was aware of “serious heart problems” associated with the use of the drugs and researchers recently cut a chloroquine study short after patients developed irregular heart beats and nearly two dozen died. Scientists cited a “primary outcome” of death and said the findings should “serve to curb the exuberant use” of the drug. Trump, however, has regularly touted the drugs as a potential “game changer,” saying at one point: “What do you have to lose? I really think they should try it.” (Wall Street Journal / Associated Press / CNBC / Bloomberg / CBS News /Washington Post)

  • The Energy and Commerce health subcommittee will hold hearings on Rick Bright’s dismissal as the head of an agency helping to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Bright said he was removed after he pressed for rigorous vetting of unproven drugs embraced by Trump. (New York Times)

5/ Trump is reportedly tens of millions of dollars in debt to China. In 2012, Trump’s real estate partner refinanced the Trump Tower in Manhattan for almost $1 billion. The debt includes $211 million from the state-owned Bank of China, which matures in 2022. Trump owns a 30% stake in the property. [Editor’s note: A correction was issued by Politico.] (Politico / The Guardian / Washington Post)

6/ A second U.S. Navy ship has been impacted by a coronavirus outbreak while at sea. The USS Kidd has been hit with an outbreak of at least 18 cases. The USS Theodore Roosevelt, meanwhile, has seen 840 sailors test positive for coronavirus. (CNN)

  • The Navy’s top officials recommended that Capt. Brett Crozier be restored to command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier. Capt. Crozier was removed from command after sending a letter pleading for help to fight the coronavirus on his aircraft carrier. (New York Times / CNN)

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