'The reality will be worse' / Rich folks' pandemic / Radio reeling

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‘The reality will be worse.’ Health experts tell Stat they’re increasingly worried that Americans—misled by the Trump administration’s “desire to underplay the severity” of the coronavirus crisis—are underestimating how long everyday life will be disrupted.
The New York Times’ David Leonhardt lists five signs the U.S. is failing the fight against COVID-19.
That estimate of up to 240,000 U.S. deaths from the virus? Researchers whose data the White House used to come up with that number don’t know where it came from.

The president’s claim last night that the U.S. is testing more people per capita for the virus than any other nation? False. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)

‘I don’t understand why that’s not happening.’ Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci says all states should impose state stay-at-home orders—a thing that (as of Square’s email deadline) a dozen states have failed to do and President Trump has not demanded.
Updating a quote widely attributed to late comedian George Carlin, a new meme suggests that having just some states lock down “is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool.”
The Washington Post: Fears rise that Florida’s shutdown came too late.
As in many states, including Illinois, Florida’s unemployment system is withering under the flood of applications—creating what one advisor to that state’s Republican governor calls “a sh— sandwich.”

‘Jared Kushner is going to get us all killed.’ The New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg is worried about the COVID-19 leadership role the president has handed his son-in-law.
A Kushner company stands to benefit bigly under the federal recovery bill.
Among thousands laid off in Illinois last month because of the coronavirus: Almost 300 workers at Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Rich folks’ pandemic. A New York Times analysis of smartphone location data in Illinois and around the country confirms wealthier people are staying home the most—and began doing it sooner than the poor.
 Trump’s coronavirus response coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, is issuing a call to inaction—clarifying that avoiding social gatherings of more than 10 people doesn’t mean dinner or cocktail parties of 10 people are OK.

The case for masks. Newly published scientific research five years in the making concludes surgical face masks help “prevent transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals.”
The Tribune’s Mary Schmich asks, “If you were to get the new coronavirus … would you want to keep it secret?

‘David Brown, reporting for duty.’ Mayor Lightfoot’s choice to be Chicago’s new police superintendent retired as Dallas’ police chief in 2016.
A 2017 Dallas Morning News review of Brown’s memoir found several dubious claims.
Civil rights lawyers have launched a push to free potentially thousands of Illinois prisoners, averting what could prove to be death sentences in the pandemic.
Sun-Times columnist Marlen Garcia warns that undocumented immigrants in detention centers face the same deadly threat.

McCormick Place transformed. In less than a week, Chicago’s convention center by the lake has become a field hospital, from which Gov. Pritzker will take reporters’ questions this afternoon at 2:30.
Pritzker says he’s “nearly exhausted” his emergency authority to contain the virus.
The Trib’s Eric Zorn ponders the push for “an indefinite freeze on collection of all rent … throughout the duration of the crisis.”

Radio reeling. Chicago on-air personalities and a program director are among those laid off as Entercom cut jobs nationwide in response to the economic slowdown.
Sports-talk The Score is losing two hosts.
That followed more than 30 layoffs at iHeartMedia’s Chicago stations.
Chicago-based Boeing is offering voluntary layoffs.

If your fridge dies … Consumer Reports walks through the pros and cons of appliance repair or replacement in a pandemic era.
And what if your car is recalled during the crisis …
 … as are a quarter-million Nissan vehicles?

Post-pandemic plots. Vulture asked creators behind some of the most popular shows in recent TV history—including 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, The Office, Frasier, Veep and 24—to rough out episodes for the age of COVID-19.
HBO is offering 500 hours of its programming to stream free.

We leaned on him. Singer-songwriter Bill Withers is dead at 81.
This week’s WDRV-FM socially distant sing-along at 8 tonight: Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’.

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Thanks, Pam Spiegel, for spotting a typo in this edition.