WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
Neiman Marcus, which has experienced a decline since the 2008 recession, is expected to file for bankruptcy this week, while the car rental company Hertz joined a running list of companies to implement layoffs, announcing plans to cut 10,000 employees to stay afloat. In Washington, DC, the iconic restaurant Ben’s Chili Bowl will shutter its doors after finding that emergency funds from the federal Paycheck Protection Program were “stuck in limbo.”
A bipartisan deal to refuel the small business aid with another $500 billion has stalled due to a dispute over virus testing. After the initial $349 billion stimulus was exhausted in 14 days, banks say the next round of funding may go even faster. In California, two companies in a lawsuit have accused JPMorgan Chase and other banks of prioritizing businesses that sought larger loans under the PPP.
The Trump Administration announced an extension of travel and asylum restrictions for another month in addition to an executive order that will halt all immigration, although officials say the order will not look different from border restrictions already in place. Still, immigration advocates say the ban could negatively impact the tech sector as well as much-needed foreign doctors and nurses.
A report from The New York Times found that throughout 11 countries, 28,000 more people died due to the pandemic than were reported, pointing to the virus’ severity. In Massachusetts, a wastewater testing Biobot has been repurposed to analyze human feces for the prevalence of infection in different communities.
With the rise of families staying at home, reports of accidental poisonings with household cleaners and disinfectants are up 20 percent compared to this time last year, according to the CDC. In Los Angeles, calls to a suicide hotline regarding coronavirus spiked from 22 to 1,800 per month.
A Florida man has gotten creative with his face masks, using python and alligator skin to make a statement. Other retailers have taken advantage of producing “ fashion face masks,” with one designer mask reportedly selling for U.S. $360.
NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
House expected to vote on changing rules to allow remote voting – TheHill – 4/21/2020
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced late Monday that a vote is planned on proxy voting, which would allow an absent member to authorize another member physically present in the chamber to cast a vote on his or her behalf. […] House members in both parties have grown increasingly frustrated by the lack of alternatives to conduct legislative business during the pandemic and called for a way for Congress to operate remotely if they can’t be physically present in the Capitol.
Corporate America seeks legal protection for when coronavirus lockdowns lift – Reuters – 4/21/2020
Businesses want to make sure that they are not held liable for policy decisions by government officials, should employees or customers contract COVID-19 once operations resume. They also want protection from litigation that could result from coronavirus-related disruptions to issues like wages and hours, leave and travel.
A Virtual N.F.L. Draft Might Be a Back to the Future Moment – The New York Times – 4/20/2020
The usually splashy television broadcast will lack its normal pageantry. In its place, player selections will be announced, almost comically, from the basement of the current N.F.L. commissioner, Roger Goodell. […] And while this year’s draft may look as if it has gone back in time, the essentials of this annual, much ballyhooed event will largely remain the same, behind the scenes, at least, as it has for decades.
The race to save the first draft of coronavirus history from internet oblivion – MIT Technology Review – 4/21/2020
As lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, and social distancing threaten to stretch out into the weeks, months, and even years ahead, there is a scramble to collect, in real time, the overwhelming abundance of information being produced online. Without it, the record of how we lived, how we changed, and how we addressed the global pandemic would be left incomplete and at the mercy of a constantly shifting internet, where even recent history has a tendency to get buried or vanish.
He ran marathons and was fit. So why did Covid-19 almost kill him? – STAT – 4/21/2020
His body had begun to fight the coronavirus with the immune system’s equivalent of thermonuclear weapons — proteins so powerful they risk annihilating the body they are supposed to protect. This massive over-reaction, known as a cytokine storm, is believed to be a major reason that a growing number of exceedingly fit people find themselves fighting for their lives.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
To view each social media post, click on the date link within the post.
Protocol @Protocol 21 Apr With local newsrooms closing, fake news proliferating, and one of Facebook’s own executives sick with the virus, here’s a look inside the Facebook News response to COVID-19.
The Wall Street Journal @The Wall Street Journal 21 Apr Sites with millions of Facebook followers are posting bunk science and conspiracy theories, despite the social-media company’s efforts
Joey D’Urso @Joey D’Urso 20 Apr Recently @alexwickham and I reported how despite YouTube now banning videos which link 5G to the spread of coronavirus, they would not remove this Icke video about the “dangers” of 5G – which has coronavirus hashtags, surely making a link…
The E.W. Scripps Co. @The E.W. Scripps Co. 20 Apr “You’ve really got to make sure you check your facts before you share anything.” Our partners at @NewsLitProject joined @Newsy to discuss misinformation surrounding COVID-19 and the importance of encouraging people to think critically before sharing information on social media.…
NPR @NPR 20 Apr The COVID-19 virus was not created in a lab as a bio-weapon. Inhaling hot air from a hairdryer is not a cure. Social media is flooded with this kind of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s why — and how you can stop it from spreading.
Turbine Labs has tracked 82,583 media articles and blogs over the last 24 hours and 6,012,121 social media posts over the last 24 hours.