• 🔥 Daily Damage Report.

  • 🌍 Global: Total confirmed cases ~3,020,000; Total deaths: ~210,000; Total recoveries: ~886,000. (Johns Hopkins University)

  • 🇺🇸 U.S.: Total confirmed cases ~980,000; Total deaths: ~56,000; Total recoveries: ~108,000

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

  • The World Health Organization warned that there is “no evidence” that people who have had COVID-19 are immune from getting the virus again. The WHO also recommended that countries refrain from issuing “immunity passports” to people who have been infected with the coronavirus. (NPR / CNN / Vox)

  • The death toll from coronavirus could be 60% higher than reported in official counts. Mortality statistics show 122,000 deaths in excess of normal levels across 14 countries analyzed. In the early weeks of the coronavirus epidemic, the U.S. recorded an estimated 15,400 excess deaths – nearly twice as many as were attributed to COVID-19 at the time. (Financial Times / Washington Post)

  • U.S. intelligence agencies warned Trump about the coronavirus in more than a dozen classified briefings in January and February. For weeks, the President’s Daily Brief traced the spread of the coronavirus, made clear that China was suppressing information about the transmissibility and death toll, and raised the prospect of political and economic consequences. (Washington Post)

  • Democrats will push for a vote-by-mail provision in the next coronavirus relief package, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Trump, however, opposes the idea and has urged Republicans to fight the effort. (NBC News)

  • Tyson Foods: “The food supply chain is breaking” and “millions of pounds of meat will disappear” from the national food supply chain as the coronavirus outbreak forces the closure of some of the country’s biggest slaughterhouses, where tens of thousands of animals are processed daily. One commodity broker/livestock analyst suggested that “around May 1, shortages will begin developing at retail meat counters.” (NBC News / Washington Post / Bloomberg / The Guardian)

  • The White House is finalizing expanded guidelines to allow the phased reopening of the country, including schools and camps, child-care programs, certain workplaces, houses of worship, restaurants and mass transit. (Washington Post)

  • The Trump administration is prepared to send all 50 states enough tests to screen at least 2% of residents for the coronavirus. A senior administration official claimed that testing 2% of each state’s population was the minimum needed to maintain public health. Trump is scheduled to make the announcement this afternoon in a meeting with retail executives. (Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)

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

  • 👑 Portrait of a president.

  • Transcripts of Trump’s White House coronavirus briefings reveal a display of presidential hubris and self-pity unlike anything historians say they have seen before. After analyzing than 260,000 words Trump has spoken at the briefings about the virus, the most recurring utterances are self-congratulations, roughly 600 of them, which are predicated on exaggerations and falsehoods. Trump credits others (more than 360 times) for their work, but he also blames others (more than 110 times) for inadequacies the response. Trump’s attempts to display empathy or appeal to national unity (about 160 instances) amount to a quarter of the number of times he complimented himself or a top member of his team. (New York Times)

  • Trump has spoken for more than 28 hours in the 35 daily coronavirus task force briefings held since March 16 – eating up 60% of the time that officials spoke. Over the past three weeks, the tally comes to more than 13 hours of Trump — including two hours spent on attacks and 45 minutes praising himself and his administration, but just 4½ minutes expressing condolences for coronavirus victims. He spent twice as much time promoting an unproven antimalarial drug that was the object of a Food and Drug Administration warning Friday. Trump also said something false or misleading in nearly a quarter of his prepared comments or answers to questions, the analysis shows. (Washington Post)

  • The White House claimed Trump works so much that he sometimes skips lunch. Staffers said Trump works around the clock and can make five dozen work-related calls a day during the pandemic, refuting a report that he spends his days obsessing over TV coverage and eating fries. (New York Post)

  • Trump’s suggestion about injecting disinfectants raises a question about the “very stable genius.” Trump’s self-assessment has been consistent: “I’m, like, a very smart person,” he assured voters in 2016; “A very stable genius,” he said two years later; “I’m not a doctor,” he allowed on Thursday, pointing to his head, “but I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what.” But then Trump suggested that an “injection inside” the body with a disinfectant like bleach could help fight the coronavirus. (New York Times)


1/ Trump tweeted that his daily coronavirus briefings were “not worth the time and effort” because – he claims – he’s asked “hostile questions” by the press, who “get record ratings.” After nearly 50 coronavirus press briefings in March and April, Trump’s aides and allies are worried that his appearances are backfiring and damaging his reelection prospects. White House officials also said they are evaluating whether to reduce his participation in news conferences after Trump suggested that people might be able to inject household cleaning products and disinfectants to deter the coronavirus. (NBC News / Politico / The Guardian / Axios)

  • The White House scheduled, canceled, and then rescheduled Trump’s coronavirus briefing today. White House press secretary Kaleigh McEnany, after announcing the briefing cancellation earlier Monday, tweeted its reinstatement, saying the briefings “may have a different look” this week. (CNN / ABC News / Politico / Axios / The Hill)

  • Dr. Deborah Birx downplayed Trump’s suggestion that injecting disinfectants and light could work as treatments for coronavirus, arguing the news media should move on from the incident. The White House coronavirus response coordinator said “It bothers me that this is still in the news cycle, because I think we’re missing the bigger pieces of what we need to be doing as an American people to continue to protect one another.” (Politico / The Guardian)

2/ The White House plans to shift its coronavirus messaging toward the economy by highlighting “success stories” of businesses while reducing its public emphasis on health statistics – days after he publicly mused that scientists should explore the injection of disinfectants as a potential virus cure. The coronavirus task force “will continue but take a back seat to the forward-looking, ‘what’s next’ message,” a White House official said. (Axios / Associated Press)

  • The Small Business Administration’s system to apply for coronavirus relief loans went down four minutes after it opened. Congress allocated an additional $310 billion for Paycheck Protection Program loans last week after the initial allotment of about $350 billion ran out on April 16. (Politico / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)

  • Coronavirus stimulus check recipients will also receive a letter from Trump explaining why they’re getting the money. The one-page letter is signed by Trump and comes in an envelope from the IRS. It reads, in part, “We are fully committed to ensuring that you and your family have the support you need to get through this time,” and includes the exact amount of money the person will receive and how. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, meanwhile, is planning to introduce a provision – called the “No PR Act” – in the next coronavirus package that would stop Trump from putting his name on any additional stimulus checks. (CNN / Politico)

3/ Dr. Deborah Birx: “Social distancing will be with us through the summer.” Although recent trends have given her “great hope” for a slow reopening over the next few months, Birx added that the U.S. needs a “breakthrough” on coronavirus testing to get a more accurate picture of the virus’ spread as more than a dozen states prepare to loosen restrictions on social and business interactions. Dr. Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, said the U.S. should at least double coronavirus testing efforts in the coming weeks before starting to reopen the economy. The U.S. currently goes through anywhere between 1.5 million and 2 million tests per week, but Fauci says “we should probably should get up to twice that as we get into the next several weeks.” He added: “And I think we will.” (Washington Post / NBC News / Vox / Politico / Philadelphia Inquirer)

4/ State Department officials have stripped references to the WHO from coronavirus fact sheets, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has instructed employees to “cut out the middle man” when it comes to public health initiatives the U.S. previously supported through the WHO. The U.S. is also attempting to reroute the WHO funds to nongovernmental organizations involved in public health after Trump announced a 60-day hold on U.S. funds to the WHO. (Washington Post / Bloomberg)

5/ Trump denied that he was going to fire Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar after it was reported that White House officials were discussing possible replacements as frustrations have grown over Azar’s handling of the coronavirus crisis earlier this year, and the uproar following the removal of a top vaccine official in his agency last week. Trump, however, insisted that Azar was “doing an excellent job.” (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal /CNN / Politico / CNN / Politico)

6/ Trump tweeted — and later deleted — a series of attacks against journalists who received awards for their reporting on Russia and the Mueller investigation. He called on all reporters who received “Noble Prizes” – misspelling the word “Nobel” – to return them “so that they can be given to the REAL REPORTERS & JOURNALISTS who got it right.” The Nobel Prize, however, is not awarded for works of journalism. Trump then quickly deleted the tweets and claimed he was only being sarcastic when he posted them. “Does sarcasm ever work?” he tweeted. It is the second time over the last two weeks that Trump has tried to deflect blame for his comments by claiming that he was being sarcastic. (Business Insider / Washington Post / CNBC / Independent)

poll/ 60% of Americans support mail-in voting for the 2020 presidential election, including 46% of Republicans and 73% of Democrats. (Associated Press)


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