March 30, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- Pentagon orders 60-day freeze movement for U.S. troops overseas (10 News)
- As Trump changed course, both public health and politics played a role (Washington Post)
- Trump Considers Easing Social-Distancing Guidelines to Boost Economy (Wall Street Journal)
- House panel warns coronavirus could destroy Postal Service by June (Politico)
- CDC is considering recommending that people wear face coverings in public (Washington Post)
- New York, New Orleans hospitals reel as U.S. leads world in coronavirus cases (Reuters)
- Here's who’s hiring as millions of Americans lose jobs amid the coronavirus outbreak (Yahoo)
- A choir decided to go ahead with rehearsal. Now dozens of members have covid-19 and two are dead (Los Angeles Times)
- Extremist groups encourage members to spread coronavirus to police, Jews: FBI alert (ABC)
- The small government case for giving everyone a big check (The Week)
- Fed's Bullard: Coronavirus shutdown not a recession but an investment in survival (Reuters)
Other national news
- Commission requires women be registered for the draft (UPI)
- The Trump Administration is proposing auctioning off nearly all US coastal waters for offshore drilling (Business Insider)
- Western supply chains buckle as coronavirus lockdowns spread (Reuters)
- Japan, International Olympic Committee agree to postpone Tokyo Games (Washington Post)
- U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Tests Positive for Coronavirus (Time)
- Prince Charles' coronavirus diagnosis is a huge deal for Brits, the monarchy. Here's why. (USA Today)
- Coronavirus: Spanish army finds care home residents 'dead and abandoned' (BBC)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.
The Pentagon Wednesday issued a 60-day stop movement order for U.S. troops overseas -- a move meant to help stop the spread of the coronavirus and protect American military personnel.
As Trump changed course, both public health and politics played a role (Washington Post)
Campaign officials are said to have briefed the president in recent days about their fears of reopening the economy too soon, arguing that a spike in deaths could be more politically damaging than the economic downturn.
Trump Considers Easing Social-Distancing Guidelines to Boost Economy (Wall Street Journal)
Easing the guidelines would run counter to public-health experts who have said sustained social distancing is needed until the U.S. develops a vigorous testing regime to identify and isolate cases. Widespread testing is still a long way off and labs now are struggling with supply issues that are further hampering the ability to identify cases. The virus can be spread when people are asymptomatic.
…Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) … who was joined in the statement by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), indicated that the Postal service has seen a "drastic" reduction in mail volume and could shutter by the summer without intervention, a collapse that could, among other things, jeopardize access to mail-order prescription drugs for millions of Americans, especially in rural communities. A Postal Service shutdown would also affect the ability of voters to cast ballots by mail.
A move being weighed by officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would stress that medical masks be left for health-care workers.
The United States on Thursday surpassed China and Italy as the country with the most coronavirus cases, according to a Reuters tally, as New York, New Orleans and other hot spots faced a surge in hospitalizations and looming shortages in supplies, staff and sick beds.
Government mandates to slow the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, has sent the U.S. job market into a free fall. Layoffs are rampant. Almost 3.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits this week, a record high and more than quadrupling the previous high of 695,000 set in 1982. But not every sector is struggling and the recently laid off may be able to find work to meet the growing demand from certain industries. Some companies have such a need for workers that they are forgoing background checks and hiring qualified candidates on the spot. Here’s where to look.
With the coronavirus quickly spreading in Washington state in early March, leaders of the Skagit Valley Chorale debated whether to go ahead with weekly rehearsal… Nearly three weeks later, 45 have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or ill with the symptoms, at least three have been hospitalized, and two are dead. The outbreak has stunned county health officials, who have concluded that the virus was almost certainly transmitted through the air from one or more people without symptoms.
Extremist groups, including neo-Nazis and other white supremacist groups, have encouraged members to spread COVID-19 to police officers and Jews, according to an FBI report obtained by ABC News.
The coronavirus relief checks are coming. Businesses are closing, increasingly by state mandate; unemployment claims are spiking; and as many as eight in 10 American workers live paycheck-to-paycheck, while half can't cover an unexpected $400 expense. Republicans and Democrats alike in Washington agree on the necessity of cash aid distributed directly to the public, something in the range of $1,000 per adult and $500 per child. The major point left to be settled is means testing: Should the payments be scaled down or phased out entirely for those in higher income brackets?
In normal times massive unemployment and a collapse in economic output would be tragic. This time, as the coronavirus cloisters millions of Americans and shuts down the U.S. economy, it should instead be saluted as an investment in public health that lays the groundwork for a rapid rebound.
Other national news
A national commission has recommended that women should be required to register with the government in case of a military draft. The 11-member commission's final report said that requiring all Americans aged 18-25 to register for the Selective Service is a "necessary and fair step, making it possible to draw on the talent of a unified nation in a time of national emergency." Members of the commission briefed the Pentagon on the report on Monday and presented it to the White House and Congressional staffers on Tuesday. The 255-page document was required by the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.
Step up to the auction block, oil companies. In an announcement on Thursday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke unveiled a new proposal to lease huge new sections of US waters to oil and gas companies for offshore drilling — a move unlike anything seen in decades. The new plan would make "more than 98%" of the waters off the United States available for oil and gas leasing over the next five years…
Freight carriers are struggling to deliver goods by land, sea or air as the coronavirus pandemic forces Western governments to impose lockdowns, threatening supplies of vital products including medicines into the most affected areas, such as Italy.
Japan, International Olympic Committee agree to postpone Tokyo Games (Washington Post)
Facing heavy global pressure and rising athlete dissent, the International Olympic Committee sharply reversed course Tuesday and agreed with Japanese officials that the Olympics and Paralympics will not take place this summer in Tokyo in the wake of the growing novel coronavirus pandemic. Organizers say they now hope to stage the Games by the summer of 2021.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus. “I am working from home, I am self-isolating and that is entirely the right thing to do,” Johnson said in a video posted to Twitter on Friday morning.
The coronavirus threat was made alarmingly vivid Wednesday to millions of people in the United Kingdom with the news that Prince Charles has contracted the virus, albeit in mild form.
Spanish soldiers helping to fight the coronavirus pandemic have found elderly patients in retirement homes abandoned and, in some cases, dead in their beds, the defence ministry has said. Spanish prosecutors said an investigation had been launched. The military has been brought in to help disinfect care homes in Spain, one of Europe's worst hit countries.Meanwhile, an ice rink in Madrid is to be used as a temporary mortuary for Covid-19 victims…As the crisis in Madrid worsened, the city's municipal funeral home said it would stop the collection of Covid-19 victims from Tuesday because of a lack of protective equipment.