Beltway Insider: Trump/COVID 19, Protesters, GOP Pandemic Benefits, Vaccine, EU, N/S Korea, Election

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President Trump and his Coronavirus Task Force has continued the daily Coronavirus briefs giving the appearance of split opinions as the medical data driven opinions on control and reopening conflict with the political and elections driven opinion.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website, which tracked polls of likely or registered voters for the period ending April 11, 2020, remained consistent at 43.4% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness decreased by 2.3 percentage points to 50.1%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.

Government Battles Virus and Disgruntled Anti-Lockdown Citizens

Thirty-four states whose initial stay at home orders or restrictions are set to expire and a nation taking to the streets in protest, many in the medical community are calling the easing of restrictions a timebomb, even as governors are expressing similar economic concerns over a continued lockdown.

Beltway Insider: Trump/COVID-19 Roundup, G7 United, Canada Mass Shooting, French Protests, Election

Ambassador at Large, Deborah L. Brix, M.D., a member of the White House coronavirus Task Force spoke on the anti-lockdown crowds, "It's devastatingly worrisome to me personally, because if they go home and infect their grandmother or their grandfather who has a co-morbid condition and they have a serious or an unfortunate outcome they will feel guilty for the rest of our lives," Birx said. "So we need to protect each other at the same time as we're voicing our discontent," Time Magazine reported.

Texas, under the leadership of Republican Governor Greg Abbott who reopened his state against the advisement of the President, has seen the third straight day of 1000+ new infections.

The expected second wave, which will be exacerbated by premature re-openings, will only cause further delays in reintegration to normalcy.

Who is running the nation? The electorate or those elected? The question is presenting itself in images across the nation as unmasked, unprotected flag waving, sign bearing protesters, even some heavily armed with automatic weapons, take to the streets and overrun state houses for either show, out of boredom, with the current issue of the day a magnet for radicalized right wingers who are hoping to recruit the sincere protesters who is simply hoping to return to work or worried about the next couple of months as the virus lingers.

While the answer should be data driven, based on evidence and a two week decline in infection, which is a modified order to placate the masses who are protesting because they have been fortunate enough not to be infected, in reality the answer is a combination of economics and politics.

"[Governor Andrew] Cuomo said that he would extend the state's "pause" beyond May 15 in many parts of the state. He also laid out plans for reopening the state in phases, with two weeks—about the maximum incubation period of the virus — between the implementation of each phase to monitor the effects," reported.

COVID-19 Cases

The United States experienced its first coronavirus case or record February 27, 2020 and continued from this single case to a peak on April 5, 2020 of 63,455 cases in a single day. The daily totals continue to range between 25,000 +/- and 30,000 +/- mark with a high of 63,455 on April 25, 2020 and a low of 9,338 on April 4, 2020.

The total number of infections in the United States as of May 3, 2020 are 1,092,815 million resulting in 67,365 thousand deaths.

White House Deep Sixes COVID-19 Outbreak, Human Toll Devalued Against Trade Deal

Infection rates are still expected to climb, especially as citizens fight for the cause of the moment, in both confined spaces such as correctional facilities and rural areas, where many will not seek treatment unless it is dire.

Recent cluster spikes are also reported in food processing plants, which are never considered an integral part of the supply chain until they are threatened. Meat, Poultry and Pork processors have continued to work to create a safer environment and grocery retailers have expressed the possibility of rationing at the consumer level. The food supply chain, including the truckers who have spent long hours ensuring food shelves are stocked, is not expected to break but may experience a minor slow down.

Worldwide 177 countries have reported presence of the COVID-19 virus. Total global infection rate today is 3.4million cases with total worldwide deaths reported at 243,884 thousand.

North Korea, who implemented strict quarantines as early as January, has reported zero cases, which has been contradicted by Radio Free Asia which said five days ago, "According to another Radio Free Asia report, approximately 23 people died of COVID-19 related symptoms, while another 82 were under quarantine as of early March. Yomiuri Shimbun reported a large number of deaths, including more than 100 North Korean military officers near the China border," reported.

Traveling? Not anytime soon.

Non-essential travel which is essentially vacationing is random and calculated through variables which include the trust factor. While the State Department and CDC has advised against all non-essential international travel, a back to normal lifestyle, even with precautions, includes the freedom to travel.

The probability for non-essential international travel commencing without any restrictions, such as mandatory self-isolation upon entry before November 2020 is unrealistic and possibly even Spring 2021 before European travel is again common and fully integrated.

Domestic travel, while not advised, is not under any mandatory self-isolation restrictions. Airlines have announced this week that passengers will need to use masks or nose and mouth coverings.

Promising Vaccine Fast Tracked

Remdesivir, a promising vaccine used to fight the COVID-19 virus has been known to reduce the recovery time on average of five days reducing hospital stays has received an emergency use authorization from the FDA, which allowed the pharmaceutical company to begin shipping the vaccine to the public.

Dan O'Day, Chairman and CEO of Gilead Scienes, announced from the White House, "We're humbled by this being an important first step for patients, for hospitalized patients.  We want to make sure nothing gets in the way of these patients getting the medicine.  So, we made a decision to donate about 1.5 million vials of remdesivir."

"Our task force will be working very closely with Gilead to make sure that those medicines, starting on Monday, are distributed to hospitals where patients are struggling with serious conditions with the coronavirus today," Vice President Pence said at the White House announcement.

Pandemic Benefits

GOP Senators, twenty-three of whom are up for reelection in November, have begun to question whether the Cornoravirus funding package will inadvertently raise unemployment.

Now may be the perfect time to raise the federal minimum wage to $15.00 and the issue of wage disparity may be less of a factor when those receiving the boost benefit package are determining whether to return to the job market or to remain unemployed and potentially lose income.

EU Eases Restrictions

The question plaguing the European Union is a universal one as each of the 177 nations which has evidence of Coronavirus infections faces: do we ease restrictions and allow some level or reopening or remain locked down until the virus is controlled or the vaccine is available?

An interactive Map, from Bloomberg, with evaluations can be seen here.

Italy, which has been the hardest hit, will be easing restriction allowing for some industries to reopen May 4, 2020; further openings begin on May 15, school remain closed until September.

France will also begin reopening procedures. Events of more than 5000 are banned until September, employees are encouraged to work from home for three additional weeks, until June 1. Student may be returning to school under strict rules.

World News: COVID-19, France’s New Traveling Companion

Spain will remain on lockdown with restriction easing over the next eight weeks. Citizens allowed outside once a day; children will remain out of school until September.

A general review of reopening in the United Kingdom is scheduled for May 7. All schools are expected to remain closed until September.

Germany Munich has cancelled the Oktoberfest festival for the first time since World War II.

Kim Jong Un Dispels Death Rumors

North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un has been seen, although the state department has not confirmed the authenticity of the tape, in a ribbon cutting ceremony dispelling any rumors of his death.

North Korea, South Korea Exchange Gun Fire

South Korean troops fired warning shots at encroaching North Korean soldiers after issuing a warning broadcast. The border between the two nations, called the DMZ, or demilitarized zone, is the most heavily guarded border in the world and considered the most volatile, with the possibility of an invasion minutes away.

"North Korean troops fired several bullets at a South Korean guard post inside the heavily fortified border between the countries, the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said in a text to NBC News. No casualties or damages to equipment were reported," NBC news reported.

Election 2020: Biden Wins Kansas, Hillary Endorses Biden, VP Speculation, New York Cancels June Primary, LA Adopts Mail in Vote for November Ballot

Presumptive nominee former Vice President Joe Biden has scored another resounding win in the Kansas primary where he secured 77% of the vote adding an additional 29 of the state's 39 pledged delegates, bringing his total to 1,435 of the 1,991 needed to clinch the party's nomination.

Hillary Clinton Endorses Joe Biden

I've known Joe for many years and across a number of settings: making hard decisions about war and peace in the Situation Room as Vice President under President Obama, building coalitions and getting things done as a Senator, and sharing quiet moments with his constituents. Wherever he goes, Joe's the same person. He's passionate about standing up for families and working to make their lives better.

More than ever, these tumultuous times reveal how desperately we need level-headed, solutions-oriented leadership. We need someone who listens to scientists, who acts with kindness and compassion, and who recognizes that America can and must lead the world in responding to this pandemic.

Her full endorsement can be seen here: Joe Biden will be that president, and I hope you'll join me in doing everything I can to get him elected in November.

New York State Cancels June Presidential Primary

New Your State Board of Elections canceled outright the June 23, Presidential primary although state and local races will be held. New York State has not announced a mail in ballot.

As former Vice President Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee state officials determined the primary would not be necessary, although the states 224 delegates will be pledged at the Convention which is still expected to be held in Milwaukee in August, which is a rescheduled date.

President of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness Offers Don’ts and Dos on Coronavirus

Los Angeles Adopts Vote by Mail For November Election

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to send every registered voter a ballot by mail in the November 2020 elections today.  The move comes partially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unusually long wait times after the California primary in March. 

As part of this motion, all LA County voters regardless of their permanent vote-by-mail status will receive a ballot by mail. Voters can cast that ballot by mail postage free or drop it off at a designated location. The move does not eliminate in-person voting but reduces the minimum number of in-person locations required under the Voter's Choice Act in LA County. 

While discussions have been brewing on the statewide level whether all California counties should automatically send their voters a ballot by mail, the move today ensures Los Angeles County can prepare to issue, send, and process vote-by-mail ballots for 5.4 million voters.

The county registrar is planning to contact voters ahead of the November election to ensure that voters are mailed at the ballot in their preferred language. All voters should plan to verify their voter registration status, as well as their mailing address, before the fall to ensure their ballot is mailed to the correct address.  

For more information on President Donald Trump

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