'We don't watch' / Pig protection program / 'A horrific thing'

Keep Chicago Public Square coming.

‘We don’t watch.’ Turning the other cheek to a swipe at Gov. Pritzker from President Trump yesterday, Pritzker’s spokeswoman declined to comment, tweeting, “@realDonaldTrump’s press conferences … are not a source of factual information.”
New York’s Jonathan Chait: “Trump wants to starve the states into opening before it’s safe.” (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Pritzker says that Illinois’ curve on the spread of COVID-19 is “bending the right way” and that “we’ve so far prevented our worst-case scenarios.”
A Sun-Times editorial: “Before Illinois can reopen its economy, it ideally should achieve the capacity to test up to 100,000 people a day for the coronavirus,” but “that’s a wistful dream for now, in large part because the federal government has failed miserably to supply states with sufficient testing materials, no matter what President Trump says to the contrary.”

‘God help us all.’ Mayor Lightfoot slams Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis decision to reopen that state’s beaches in the pandemic.
Chicago’s canceling its summer blues and gospel fests.
Wisconsin has linked at least seven virus cases to that state’s in-person voting for the April 7 primary.
Indiana’s extended its stay-home order until May 1.
The Hill reviews each state’s plans for reopening.
Matthew Yglesias in Vox explains why getting schools “back up and running should be a relatively high priority, rather than an afterthought.”

‘That’s not too good.’ The doctor leading COVID-19 testing research at the Cleveland Clinic tells NPR the fastest test being used to diagnose coronavirus infections—Illinois-based Abbott’s ID NOW—failed to detect the virus about 15 percent of the time.
New Chinese research suggests the virus’ ability to mutate has been vastly underrated—and the difference in strains may explain why New York’s outbreak has proven so much more deadly than those elsewhere.
The World Health Organization says all available evidence suggests the virus wasn’t manipulated or produced in a laboratory.
The Washington Post: As industry snaps up thermal cameras to scan workers’ temperature, privacy and technology experts are raising flags.
Whenever you do return to the working world, beware water that’s been sitting for weeks in the pipes of empty buildings.

Pig protection program. An Associated Press investigation finds companies with thousands of employees, past penalties from government investigations and risks of financial failure even before the coronavirus crisis have gotten millions of dollars from the Paycheck Protection Program that Congress created to help small businesses.
Updating coverage: Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer reports a deal on the next aid package.
David Leonhardt in The New York Times: Democrats in Congress should “stop accepting bills that they know fall short of what the country needs.”
What’s it mean that oil prices have dropped below $0?

‘I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!’ Trump’s vague late-night tweet left his administration struggling to provide details.
The New York Times’ Peter Baker on Twitter: “Trump, who says the country is ready to begin reopening, says the crisis is so bad that he is signing an order [to] ‘temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!’”
The early line suggests Chicago’s doing OK so far responding to forms sent by the U.S. Census.

‘Don’t waste stimulus money on newspapers.’ Politico’s Jack Shafer says it would be “a grievous error to bail out papers controlled by … firms … that have made a practice of squeezing high profits while simultaneously cutting staff and escalating subscription prices.”
A University of Chicago study of Fox News’ audience concludes, “Greater viewership of Hannity relative to Tucker Carlson Tonight is strongly associated with a greater number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the early stages of the pandemic.”

‘A horrific thing.’ Taking Chicago Public Square’s question at yesterday’s news briefing, Mayor Lightfoot says the still-unexplained murder of two Oak Park lawyers—one of whom was a hearing officer for the Chicago Police Board—left her “deeply shaken.” (1:07:07 in this video.)
Recordings leaked to WBEZ ProPublica Illinois illustrate how Lightfoot has shown “little patience for skepticism or even questions about her team’s efforts” in the pandemic.
The Sun-Times reports the swearing-in of a new Cook County commissioner—a replacement for a guy under federal investigation—took place behind closed doors, just like his selection.

Clarification. Yesterday’s Chicago Public Square should have noted that a new ACLU report ranking Illinois third in the nation for racial disparities in arrests for marijuana possession didn’t include data gathered since marijuana’s legalization in Illinois Jan. 1. But the ACLU did report black people were more likely than white people to be arrested for possession even in states that had legalized marijuana.

Thanks, Pam Spiegel, for making this issue typographically better.

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