Beltway Insider: Trump/WH Pandemic Response, Europe Locks Down, Kenny Rogers, Election 2020

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President Trump, in response to the ever-growing pandemic, this week invoked additional measures in the fight to slow the infection rate of American citizens while simultaneously ensuring the economic free fall doesn't translate into a lasting recession.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website, which tracked polls of likely or registered voters for the period ending February 23, 2020, decreased by 0.8 percentage points to 43.2% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness decreased by 1.2 percentage points to 52.1%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated bi-monthly.

Trump, White House Responds to Pandemic

"Every American has a role to play in defending our nation from this invisible, horrible enemy.  It really is — it's an invisible enemy.  And we will be successful — very successful — hopefully very much sooner than people would even think. So we say, "Stay at home and save lives."  This is a time of shared national sacrifice, but it's also a time to treasure our loved ones and to take stock of what is most important: our faith, our families, our neighbors, and our great country," President Trump said during a White House press conference.

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After concern of exposure Vice President Pence and his wife both tested negative for the Coronavirus. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul tested positive and became the first senator to contract the deadly virus. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah, also have tested positive. Two congressional staffers and staff member of the vice president have tested positive.

Grossly Inadequate Medical Infrastructure

At this time much can be said about details, and the shocking revelations of an American medical system that is sorely insufficient for the population it serves. What is expected of medical providers who are daily exposed to any number of infectious diseases and in this pandemic are expected to reuse contaminated equipment and gear.

With a population of 330 million people, a medical system that has only 6,146 hospitals and offers 942,107 staffed beds appears grossly inadequate. Normally hospitals will see 36,353,946 patients annually.

With the pandemic "nationally, based on 40 percent prevalence of COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic, we estimate that 98,876,254 individuals will be infected, 20,598,725 individuals will likely require hospitalization and 4,430,245 individuals will need ICU-level care," Health Affairs reported.

The coronavirus, which is a respiratory illness, will cause many to need ventilators. Over the course of the week the public has also learned the medical system is nearly 800,000 ventilators short of expectations.

"I signed an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act, as you all know, giving us powerful new authorities to help states, cities, and hospitals procure needed supplies.  There's been a clear call to action to the private sector, and the call is made right here.  It's been really pretty amazing what's happened with the private sector — they are really in sixth gear, I think — which has responded in full force, helping to produce and supply much-needed masks, swabs, sanitizers, ventilators, and everything else.  There's a move on that's incredible right now," President Trump said during a White House press briefing.

Stimulus Package Promises Immediate Relief, Bail Outs

The President touted a much-needed stimulus package, which would provide immediate relief to families through direct deposits to all taxpayers. A family of four is expected to receive approximately $3000.00 to $3200.00, singles should receive $1200.00 and dependent children will receive $500.00.

Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin explained elements of the package which pinpointed direct effects as the President is shutting down wide bands of society as the government works to push back the exposure and infection rate of the American citizens during the height of this pandemic.

The points include small business loans with elements of forgiveness, expanded unemployment relief, direct payments either a single one-time personal stimulus or more, the expectation is April 6 and May 18, if a second becomes necessary.

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A third shot in the arm for Americans in this stay-at-home, self-isolation, has not been discussed although Secretary Mnuchin did mention if expanded benefits were necessary, they would approach the hurdle when it arrives.

Trump also directed the Internal Revenue Service to delay the tax filing deadline until July 15, 2020. The domino effect of the pandemic has reached nearly every aspect of life in major cities. The virus spreads with density, and in major metropolitan areas, roadblocks or push back to prevent citizens from infection have continued to become the norm.

NYC, LA, Illinois, Washington Begin Drastic Measure to Slow Exposure, Infection

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, California Governor Gavin Newsom, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker over the past week have issued protective "Stay at Home" measures. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy followed. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced deep restriction geared to limit social interaction. San Francisco has been ordered to shelter in place for three weeks.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who began restrictive measures that included sending in the National Guard barricading the town of New Rochelle, New York, a small community in Westchester County, and increase in testing. The sharp rise in cases is proportion to the amount of testing completed.

New York State has completed nearly 62,000 tests with "16,887 cases of the coronavirus in the state as of Sunday night, up 4,627 since Saturday, and at least 150 deaths, according to the latest figures from the city and state. As of Sunday morning, about 13 percent of people in New York State who tested positive for the virus had been hospitalized, Mr. Cuomo said," reported The New York Times.

Following on the drastic measures of New York State, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, announced one week ago deep and severe restrictions to social life in an effort to stem the infection rate expected in the Golden State.

Closing theaters, gyms, schools, dine-in restaurants, bars, houses of worship and all non-essential businesses was followed with "safer at home" additional orders which closed 80% of businesses but stopped short of issuing civil or criminal penalty as seen in European nations.

"I think there's been terrible terms out there, like lock down. Nobody is locked down. We encourage you not to be locked down. This is not shelter-in-place like a school shooting. This is stay at home. Because you're safer at home. The only people who should be leaving home and going out are
those whose jobs are critical to the safety, the health and security of the city, as well as the economy of recovery for us and the nation during this crisis,'' Mayor Garcetti stated, Fox News reported.

Other States Follow

The following states have enacted measure that will go into effect this week. 

 Delaware Gov. John Carney ordered residents to stay at home and closed nonessential businesses in the state starting Tuesday at 8 a.m.●Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear ordered 'nonessential' businesses to close. ●Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards imposed a statewide stay-at-home order, effective 5 p.m. Monday. ●Ohio will impose a statewide stay-at-home mandate, effective 11:59 p.m. Monday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced. ●Philadelphia became the latest city to order its residents to stay home, a mandate that goes into effect at 8 a.m. Monday and exempts activities like buying groceries and medicine, seeking medical care and exercising. ●Missouri's two largest cities issued stay-at-home orders Saturday. St. Louis' mandate, which also applies to St. Louis County, begins Monday, and the one for Kansas City and its metro area goes into effect Tuesday. ●New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell directed residents to stay at home beginning Friday. ●San Miguel County, Colorado, is under a shelter-in-place orderuntil April 3. ●Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, is under a shelter-in-place order until April 7. ●Blaine County, Idaho, is under a shelter-in-place order," reported USA Today.

It is expected and anticipated that the nations school system, from Universities to primary schools, will be closed for the remainder of the academic year. Classes for colleges are continuing online, while primary, middle and secondary schools are expected to reconvene in middle to late August.

Hard hit Italy Deals with the Dead and Dying

Italy, which has taken drastic measures which include total lockdown, mandating residents stay at home, measures similar to Asian nations, including a recent ban on inter-state travel in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus which has resulted in 5,476 deaths.

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COVID-19 has put a death grip this Mediterranean nation with 59,138 cases, and like much of the world who initially refused measures geared at protecting it citizens, the virus has continued to spread like a wildfire in the wind.

Hospitals are overrun, and newspapers now run pages and pages of obituaries. The death toll is shocking as each day surpasses the previous with single day totals reaching

"Officials announced that 793 more people died from the coronavirus Saturday. The previous largest death toll in a single day was 627, which occurred Friday. Italy this week leapfrogged China in coronavirus-related deaths. Italy now has more than 53,500 confirmed cases of the virus and is edging closer to 5,000 deaths with each passing day. However, China still has the highest number of confirmed cases," The Hill reported.

Italy, which ten weeks ago had a thriving senior population, the life span was something for the record books, health and wellness specialists attributed the longevity to everything from healthy sex lives to Mediterranean diets.

Unfortunately, no one was prepared for the Coronavirus or the toll it would take on the aging population. The demographics hardest hit range from age 70 and up.

Europe Begins Lockdown Measures

European Commission chief Ursela von der Leyen, announced, "The less travel, the more we can contain the virus. Therefore ... I propose to the heads of state and government to introduce temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU. These travel restrictions should be in place for an initial period of 30 days, but can be prolonged as necessary,"' reported.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been quarantined after exposure to a physician who tested positive for the Coronavirus. Prince Albert II, of Monaco, has tested positive for the Coronavirus. News reports for the 62-year-old head of state say he is working from inside his palace office and has not experienced any adverse or critical effects of the pandemic.

In London, the tube has been partially shut down with 40 stations closed, "I can't say this clearly enough," the mayor Sadiq Khan, said yesterday. "People should not be travelling by any means unless they absolutely must. The scientific advice on this is very clear. Londoners should be avoiding social interaction unless absolutely necessary," Esquire reported.

The Italian government has deployed military to ensure citizens stay inside their homes and obey the lock down. France has locked down 67million people.

Nations reportedly on lock down are Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Austria, Latvia, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Moldova, Belgium. Most nations are in lock down for a 15day period.

Croatia Quake Stark Reminder of the Processes of Life

Croatia, a Balkan region nation, suffered a devastating 6.1 magnitude earthquake Saturday, which caused structural damage, partial building collapses, and panic, as the nation is currently on partial lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The quake, which injured 17, caused major damage to the capital of Zagreb. The hospitals, which were filled with mothers and newborn infants, were evacuated along with incubators. Widespread structural damage was reported to the capital, which caused falling slabs of concrete, bricks blocking door frames, and street damage.

"Health Minister Vili Beros warned people to keep a 2-meter (7-foot) "social distance" as requested by decrees passed by the government in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There are 235 coronavirus cases confirmed so far in Croatia. "Earthquakes are dangerous, but coronavirus is even more so," Beros said, as people rushed out of their homes to congregate in city parks," the AP reported.

The Croatia earthquake was one of four around the world last week, including three in the United States which rattled the nerves of an already anxious population. A magnitude 5.7 in Salt Lake City, Utah caused structural damage with no injuries. Northern California was shaken by a 4.7 tumbler, and Carson City, Nevada was struck by a 4.5 quake.

The earthquakes were a uncomfortable reminder of the potential possibilities for devastation as the world faces the challenges of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

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Country Music Icon Kenny Rogers Dies

Kenny Rogers, the chart-topping country and pop singer, who dominated the charts in the late 1970s and 1980s, passed away this weekend from natural causes. He was 81.

A frequent collaborator, Country Music Queen Dolly Parton said, "I've had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend. So, you be safe with God and just know that I will always love you."

Rogers sold more than 100 million records worldwide and was primarily known for his solo career which featured duets with Dolly Parton, Sheena Easton, and a songwriting partnership with Lionel Ritchie. His collaboration with Dolly Parton won two Gold records, one eventually went platinum, and two Grammy nominations, two CMA awards.

Prior to his solo career he founded the 1960s band, The First Edition, and topped the chart with "Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Condition Was In)." Many of the psychedelic generation believed to be reflected of the LSD experience.

Rogers was also known for his 1978 hit "The Gambler," which soon became an alter-ego, which developed into a television series. He also won a Grammy for the release that eventually sold 35million copies.

He announced his retirement in 2015 and spent the next two years touring the world to sold out crowds.

Rogers passed away at his home surrounded by his family.

Election 2020: Biden Leads Delegates, Sanders Pauses

Former Vice-President Joe Biden swept the March 18, 2020 primaries winning Arizona, Florida and Illinois and securing 1,201 delegates and is just 791 away from securing the nomination.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has yet to suspend his campaign. He is handling his duties in the senate while they are hammering out the stimulus packages.

Nine states have postponed their primaries: Georgia originally scheduled for March 24, 2020 has been moved to May 19, 2020; Ohio originally scheduled for March 17, 2020 has been moved to June 2, 2020; Maryland originally scheduled for April 28, 2020 has been moved to June 2, 2020; Louisiana originally scheduled for April 4, 2020 has been moved to June 20, 2020; Kentucky originally scheduled for May 19 has been rescheduled for June 23, 2020; Indiana originally scheduled for May 5, 2020, has been moved to June 2, 2020; Connecticut originally scheduled for April 28, 2020 has been rescheduled for June 2, 2020.


For more information on President Donald Trump

Sources: Various © Article covered by Copyright protection.

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