[Today’s Chicago Public Square comes to you an hour earlier than usual; back to the regular dispatch time tomorrow.]
Who gets shots? Bernie Sanders may have asked the most important question at yesterday’s Senate hearings on the COVID-19 pandemic: If the world comes up with a vaccine, will it “be available to all people regardless of their income?”
■ Stat: “Even expert senators are overly optimistic about vaccine development.”
■ A University of Illinois professor’s research indicates most states lifting lockdown haven’t met federal guidelines for reopening.
■ AP analysis: Thousands of Americans are getting sick from COVID-19 on the job.
■ A listener to the Arm and a Leg podcast about health care writes, “There are times I come away feeling bad working for the insurance company.”
New record. Illinois has reported its highest one-day total of confirmed coronavirus cases …
■ … and its official number of COVID-19 deaths is almost surely higher than reported.
■ Guess which convicted Trump pal has gotten today’s coronavirus get-out-of-jail card?
Need work? Johns Hopkins is offering a free online course in how to be a “contact tracer” …
■ … and of which Illinois plans to hire 3,800.
■ Seven things to know if you’re seeking Illinois unemployment benefits for the first time. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
■ Beachwood Reporter proprietor Steve Rhodes wishes Gov. Pritzker would concede the state’s unemployment system “really sucks.”
■ The Hyatt Hotels chain—a source of Pritzker family wealth—plans to unemploy 1,300 workers worldwide …
■ … including 350 at its Chicago HQ.
‘Things could get ugly.’ Yahoo Sports’ Mike Oz: “The idea of restarting baseball isn’t as easy as what Pritzker is painting.” (Update, 3:09 p.m.: Pritzker has apologized.)
■ Mayor Lightfoot: “I certainly don’t think we’re gonna be ready in July for having large crowds in a ballfield.”
■ Chicago faces a summer without swimming pools.
Grub rub. Effective May 22, Chicago will require meal delivery services to reveal what they’re charging restaurants to get you your food.
■ Uber may buy GrubHub.
■ Research by the University of Chicago, among others, finds small businesses—especially restaurants—dropping like flies.
■ Steak ’n Shake plans to close 57 of its restaurants nationwide.
■ Potbelly may close 100.
■ The pandemic is prompting Great Plains farmers to shift from growing wheat and corn destined for global markets to fruits and vegetables for local consumption.
Street sweeping! For the first time in almost two months, Chicago’s ready to remove winter’s debris from the roads—without the threat of tickets to cars in the way.
■ Lightfoot’s moving to keep the virus out of her City Hall offices.
Should you tell? The Better Government Association explores the responsibilities of apartment dwellers who contract COVID-19.
■ Chicago-area landlords report rent collection has plummeted by 70% or more.
■ Bloomberg (behind a paywall): If landlords get wiped out, Wall Street wins—not renters.
‘Our children deserved a smile. And so did we.’ Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton concedes the Navy Blue Angels’ midday flight over Chicago maybe wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
■ Critic Jack Helbig: “The Blue Angels just roared across the sky over my house, to show me we still have money to burn for fuel and displays of our military might.”
‘The danger feels more and more personal.’ The shooting death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery—a black man allegedly killed by a white man while jogging in Georgia—is resonating within Chicago’s black running community.
■ Georgia lawmakers are pushing for removal of the prosecutors who first gave the suspects a pass.
■ Poynter: Why did a murder in February take so long to become a national story?
Chicago journalism farewells. WBBM Newsradio anchor Felicia Middlebrooks is signing off at the end of the month, ending a nearly 36-year run.
■ Legendary reporter, columnist, author—and bartender—Zay Smith is dead at 71.
Thanks, Joe Hass, for insight this issue.