We are living in unique times. The Coronavirus pandemic is well underway, and no one knows when the nearly world-wide social distancing will come to an end. At times, it feels like there is something new and major happening every minute, and when a disease wreaks havoc the way COVID-19 does that is kind of true.
To keep everyone abreast of the latest pandemic-related news, we’re creating a Coronavirus edition of Extra! Extra! that will be regularly updated with the latest news. We’ll continue our regular Extra! Extra! column each Friday with non-Coronavirus news because, after all, the world keeps on turning.
Himani: Trump changed his tone completely on Monday as the situation in the US has continued to escalate. Currently, there are over 180,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, and only 4,600 of those are confirmed in the US, which places the US behind China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Germany and France in terms of total confirmed cases. These low numbers allowed Trump to hide the severity of the crisis as his administration failed to roll out testing. (Kind of genius, isn’t it? If we don’t know how many cases there are, then there’s no way to know how serious of an issue the disease is, right?)
The last week has shown a major uptick in cases around the US, as the epicenter of the epidemic continues to jump around from coast to coast. Trump couldn’t deny the severity of the crisis any longer and in his latest news conference advised against gatherings of more than ten people.
But, forget about Trump and his rapacity – that’s a topic that is truly boundless. Watch, instead, as Dr. Deborah Birx, serving as the coronavirus response coordinator in the White House, asks Americans to make the sacrifices that the gay community made during the AIDS epidemic.
Wow. Debbie Birx gave me goosebumps, asking Americans to do what the gay community did during the early AIDS years — using the power of community to fight a plague.#coronavirus #AIDS #activism pic.twitter.com/WrCqbkqE7R
— Peter Staley (@peterstaley) March 16, 2020
What Got Us Here
American Political Battles, Coronavirus-style
Himani: What’s shocking to me, but maybe shouldn’t have been, is that even in the middle of a pandemic, we’re seeing the same old fights over basic human rights (including reproductive rights), the social safety net and gun control. They’ve taken a slightly new flavor, as even some Republican senators – like Mitt Romney – have called for temporary UBI, but experts say that $1000 is not enough to get Americans through the economic fallout of the pandemic.