'It was … disgusting' / Grocery grief / Newspaper wringer

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‘It was … disgusting.’ CNN’s Brian Stelter rips into President Trump for “bragging about the ratings for the White House’s coronavirus task force briefings.”
Daily Beast editor-at-large and Republican political strategist Rick Wilson: “Trump: I’m Doing a Great Job Fighting the Coronavirus, and 100,000 of You Will Die.”
The Tribune’s Dahleen Glanton: Regardless of Trump’s ineptitude and lies, TV should keep broadcasting his coronavirus briefings.

Bad news for the Easter ham business. Trump, who just a week ago told Fox News he hoped to see the nation back to normal by the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, has had a change of heart and is now calling for America to keep its distance until at least April 30 …

 … so, for weeks to come, religious leaders will have to find new ways to minister—like this Catholic priest delivering digital mass to Chicago parishioners’ living rooms. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Ignoring social distancing advice, a Washington State choir held a rehearsal. Now dozens of its members have COVID-19 and at least two have died.

Stay home. Cook County has closed all the public buildings—including campgrounds and restrooms—in its forest preserves.
In Maine, a man says armed neighbors chopped down a tree to keep him from leaving because they believed he carried the coronavirus.
Sun-Times analyst Ed Zotti parses the numbers to answer the question, “How much longer will we be inside—and then what?
Wired: You can see the epidemic’s effects—including empty cities—from space.”

Be informed.
Watch Mayor Lightfoot’s daily coronavirus update at 1 this afternoon.
See Gov. Pritzker’s update at 2:30.
Get updates through the day on the Square Facebook page.

‘The sickest I’ve ever been.’ An “otherwise healthy” 34-year-old former WGN Radio News staffer, Justin Swain*, describes his monthlong struggle against COVID-19: “There’ve been three trips to the ER, EMTs called to my house, a hospital stay with IV antibiotics, and weeks of not being able to walk from the couch to the bathroom without getting out of breath.”
CNN religion editor Daniel Burke: “Coronavirus preys on what terrifies us: Dying alone.”
A nurse’s photo shows victims’ bodies lined up in a New York hospital ambulance bay.
A University of San Francisco research scientist recommends simple do-it-yourself masks for everyone in public.
PolitiFact explodes COVID-19 prevention and treatment myths.
Plain talk from a doctor on the front lines of New York’s fight: “If you’re feeling short of breath, come to the hospital.”
A project to develop a new generation of cheap ventilators—you know, the things now essential to saving lives?—was shelved in 2014 because it wasn’t profitable enough.
The Onion:Trump Announces Plan To Retrain Nation’s 3 Million Unemployed Americans As Human Ventilators.”

Grocery grief. Instacart and Amazon delivery workers were planning a strike today.
The New York Times: Fast-food workers, among others around the country, are walking off their jobs to protest a lack of protective equipment and soap.
A Harvard assistant professor of exposure counsels, “Don’t panic about shopping, getting delivery or accepting packages.”
 Reusable shopping bags are on thin ice.

Please don’t bury him. Maywood-born and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter John Prine is in critical condition with COVID-19.
Country music hitmaker Joe Diffie is dead of the virus at 61.
The pandemic has also claimed the cowriter of I Love Rock ’N’ Roll.

They’re back. Late-night TV shows are creeping back onto the schedule, including NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers remote Bernie Sanders interview tonight and an Elizabeth Warren interview tomorrow.
Joe Biden has a new—and poorly edited—podcast.
Elmo and Cookie Monster are getting on the handwashing bandwagon.

Newspaper wringer. With so many advertisers at least temporarily out of business, media watchdog Robert Feder notes that one suburban chain is suspending (print) publication to go all-digital, and another—his employer—is cutting salaries by 15%.
Facebook is committing $100 million to bolster slammed news organizations.
New York Times columnist Ben Smith: “Bail out journalists. Let newspaper chains die.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists is demanding governments around the world free all imprisoned reporters “as a matter of life and death.”

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* Whom I hired when I was WGN’s news director.

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