Phase time / 'It’s a death cult' / Lightfoot's move

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Phase time. President Trump’s outlined a three-phase plan to reopen the economy in the COVID-19 pandemic.
But it’s not that simple.
NBC News: “The ‘total authority’ president punts to state governors.”
Civil liberties may be compromised.
Testing remains way behind …
 … although it’s picking up in Illinois …
 … but a rapid test the president’s been bragging about is mostly not to be found in Chicago.
Politico warns Trump’s opponents not to assume the pandemic is his downfall: “He’s been training for this moment his entire life.”

They survived. The Sun-Times profiles Chicagoans who had COVID-19 and lived to tell of it.
Wired: Immunity to the coronavirus won’t be like a superpower.
Most of the crew aboard the COVID-19-crippled Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier turn out to be symptom-free—which gives researchers new clues to how the virus spreads.
The Tribune: Within days of two suburban sisters’ return home from college, their parents were in the ICU with COVID-19.
A 108-year-old man is the oldest person in Cook County to die of the virus.

‘Encouraging.’ Stat reports a University of Chicago Medicine clinical trial of the antiviral medicine remdesivir has seen rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, with nearly all patients discharged in less than a week.
An upside to the disease’s massive and global spread: Scientific knowledge is growing with unprecedented speed.
The Tribune’s Ron Grossman pleads with the White House’s lead pandemic adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci: “Step away from President Trump, a man of fiction.”
The New York Times: Microsoft founder Bill Gates, a champion of science and a critic of Trump, has become a target of the right.
Not ruled out, CBS News reports: Did it begin with a lab accident?

Breathe easier. The first round of ventilators made by General Motors is arriving in Chicago.
A bankrupt company with no employees got $55 million from the Trump administration for N95 masks it hasn’t made.
As hospitals precautionarily separate some mothers from newborns in the pandemic, video links are keeping them connected.

‘It’s a death cult it’s a death cult Fox News and the GOP are a death cult.’ Wonkette’s Evan Hurst dissects Dr. Mehmet Oz’s assertion that “it would be ‘appetizing’ to go ahead and re-open the schools, since he read a thing in a medical journal that said maybe only two or three percent more people will die if we do that.”
Oz is eating his words. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)

‘It leaves us stuck.’ The chairman of a Chicago bank grieves the Small Business Administration’s exhaustion of funds for now in two COVID-19 emergency loan programs.
The Dallas Morning News: Millions of U.S. citizens won’t get stimulus checks because their spouses or parents are unauthorized immigrants.
The Sun-Times’ Marlen Garcia: The Trump administration is “nuts to run ‘essential workers’ out of the country during a pandemic.”

‘I could lose my life to the justice system.’ Desperate for release in the face of the pandemic, Cook County Jail inmates have launched a food strike.
A convicted ex-Trump ally is reportedly getting out of jail early because of the pandemic.

Lightfoot’s move. Under fire for the disastrous demolition of a power plant smokestack in Chicago’s Little Village last weekend, Mayor Lightfoot planned to announce her next steps in a 1 p.m. news conference.
The Better Government Association is calling on the mayor to open up records on the fiasco.

Amazon dials it down. To focus on delivery of essentials, Amazon has quietly begun discouraging people from buying stuff they don’t need.
As Americans avoid mass transit, biking is on the upswing.
NPR is looking at steep cuts as the pandemic cripples sponsorship and donation funding.

‘One of the great actors of our generation.’ Goodman Theatre artistic director Robert Falls remembers movie star Brian Dennehy, who died Wednesday, as a performer who fell in “love at first sight” with Chicago theater.
He played football at Columbia University.

Things to make you smile.
Gov. Pritzker costars with Shedd Aquarium animals in a video to promote ways to fight COVID-19—including a reminder that you otter wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before and after a meal.
New pandemic-themed music by Dean Schlabowske and Jon Langford of Chicago’s Waco Brothers—this time under the name Jonboy & Deano—drops here today at 1 p.m.
FitzGerald’s Nightclub—shuttered by the pandemic just days after a new owner took over (March 20 link)—continues its innovative Stay-at-Home Concert Series at 4 p.m. Saturday. This week’s one-musician-on-a-truck, performing at a safe distance from people on their porches and front lawns (and live on Facebook), is Cathy Richardson.

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Thanks, Pam Spiegel, for some eagle-eyed proofreading on this post.

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