Relief picture / Terror time? / Keep your balls dry

Now more than ever, the news never stops. Get updates through the weekend by following the Chicago Public Square Facebook page first. And now the news:

Relief picture. Updating coverage: After an angry overnight scramble to assemble the U.S. House in person, representatives have been debating the coronavirus relief package.
Here’s what could be in it for Illinois.
A Cornell University professor says the response stands to improve the safety net for gig workers.

We’re No. 1. The U.S. now leads the world in confirmed COVID-19 infections.

Mother Jones’ David Corn says Donald Trump’s lifelong “love affair with revenge” is endangering the nation. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg compares the Vietnam War with Trump’s response to COVID-19: “If you still like to imagine that our fellow Americans would not literally follow that man into their graves, you can stop now.”
The New Yorker’s Susan B. Glasser sees similar parallels in the “Trump Follies, the nightly briefings at which President Trump has lied and bragged, lamented and equivocated.”
Trump’s shrugging off warnings of critical equipment shortages around the country, apparently on a hunch: “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators.”

Signs of hope. University of Illinois at Chicago doctors have begun testing an antiviral drug that could help hospitalized patients fight COVID-19.
UIC engineers have designed a face shield for health workers that can be built in 20 seconds.
Have someone sick or vulnerable at home? Consumer Reports has advice on how to handle the laundry.

‘How much do the healthiest people in society owe to the most vulnerable?’ The Atlantic’s Ronald Brownstein says the crisis has inflamed a divide between Democrats and Republicans.
A 17-year-old who may have been the first U.S. teen to die of COVID-19 was denied treatment because he didn’t have insurance.
The latest in WTTW’s series of mini-documentaries on the crisis in Chicago, Firsthand, shares a homeless woman’s struggle to survive as panhandling and charitable support have evaporated.

Prime ministration. Britain’s leader, Boris Johnson, and his health secretary have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Johnson in 2006: “The real hero of Jaws is the mayor,” who ordered the beach stay open despite overwhelming evidence “a gigantic fish is eating … constituents” (2007 link).
The Cubs’ June junket to London is reportedly off.
Actress Evangeline Lilly is eating her “arrogant” words about the pandemic.

Terror time? Intelligence officials warn the pandemic offers terrorists new targets of opportunity.
ProPublica has unearthed tragically comical internal email showing how chaos at the CDC crippled the Trump administration’s early response to the crisis.
New York Times commentary: “The Road to Coronavirus Hell Was Paved by Evangelicals.”

Inside Biden’s ‘bunker.’ Politico says the leading Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign has “been upended by a series of canceled primaries.”
The Tribune’s Trump-friendly columnist, John Kass: Biden “remains lost, hapless, eclipsed and marginalized by events.”
A former Biden staffer is accusing Biden of sexual assault in 1993.
CNN tonight hosts a town hall session with Biden—minus the town.
Bernie Sanders says his campaign faces “a very steep road” because “we can’t go out and hold rallies or knock on doors,” but he still wants to debate Biden.

Keep your balls dry. As the tally of Illinois’ new COVID-19 cases more than doubled in a day, Mayor Lightfoot has banned all contact sports, including football, soccer and basketball.
The Trib’s Mary Schmich: “Bravo, Mayor Lightfoot.”
Illinois has ordered all golf courses closed.
The state is updating its severe weather emergency shelter guidance to reflect complications in the coronavirus age.
The Sun-Times’ Mark Brown: “When it’s over, we’re going to have a helluva party.”

Handshakes’ end? Trump suggested the coronavirus could spell the end of tradition—“Maybe people aren’t going to be shaking hands anymore”—and experts say that wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Baby Shark has been reworked to encourage handwashing.
Eric Zorn in the Trib: “When the new normal emerges, technology will help us stay together.”

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Thanks for inspiration this issue from Marty Berg, and to Mike Braden and Ted Cox for several corrections.

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