COALITION OF ADVOCACY GROUPS PUSH FOR POLICY CHANGES TO FIGHT INEQUALITY: The group has a heavy focus on immigrant rights, with a long list of priorities calling on government to address injustices that amplify the economic crash's impact on people who can least afford it. Their top priorities are expanding Medicaid to provide health insurance long-term to North Carolina's working poor and ensuring "free and widespread testing, treatment and medication" for COVID-19. Medicaid expansion remains unlikely to move in the coming legislative session, but free testing and treatment is something state and federal leaders have backed for people who meet income thresholds. The group also wants prison system reforms, including an end to cash bail, assistance programs for immigrants regardless of legal status and an end to state cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.
GOVERNOR COOPER CANCELS REMAINDER OF 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR: North Carolina’s public schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year as part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday that he’s extending his order that had previously kept schools closed through May 15. Cooper said the decision to not reopen was made after consulting with health experts. “This decision is not made lightly,” Cooper said at a news conference Friday. “This decision is made with the high hopes that we could go in and finish the school year like any regular school year. But this virus tells us that cannot be, and I know parents want us to keep the health and safety of their children as the No. 1 priority.” North Carolina joins 41 other states, three U.S. territories and the District of Columbia that have ordered or recommended that school buildings be closed for the rest of the academic year, according to Education Week. The closures are affecting around 43 million students.
3 STATES EASE RESTRICTIONS AND ALLOW BUSINESSES TO REOPEN: Even as the confirmed U.S. death toll from the coronavirus soared past 50,000, Georgia, Oklahoma and Alaska began loosening lockdown orders Friday on their pandemic-wounded businesses, despite warnings from health experts that the gradual steps toward normalcy might be happening too soon. Republican governors in Georgia and Oklahoma allowed salons, spas and barbershops to reopen, while Alaska opened the way for restaurants to resume dine-in service and retail shops and other businesses to open their doors, all with limitations. Some Alaska municipalities chose to maintain stricter rules. Though limited in scope, and subject to social-distancing restrictions, the reopenings marked a symbolic milestone in the debate raging in the United States — and the world — as to how quickly political leaders should lift economically damaging lockdown orders. The coronavirus has killed more than 190,000 people worldwide, including — as of Friday — more than 50,000 in the United States, according to a tally compiled by John Hopkins University from government figures. The actual death toll is believed to be far higher.
TRUMP'S LATEST CLOROX NONSENSE HAS REPUBLICANS DEEPLY WORRIED ABOUT ELECTION: President Trump’s erratic handling of the coronavirus outbreak, the worsening economy and a cascade of ominous public and private polling have Republicans increasingly nervous that they are at risk of losing the presidency and the Senate if Mr. Trump does not put the nation on a radically improved course. His daily news briefings on the coronavirus outbreak are inflicting grave damage on his political standing, Republicans believe, and his recent remarks about combating the virus with sunlight and disinfectant were a breaking point for a number of senior party officials. On Friday evening, Mr. Trump conducted only a short briefing and took no questions, a format that a senior administration official said was being discussed as the best option for the president going forward. Mr. Trump’s advisers and allies have often blamed external events for his most self-destructive acts, such as his repeated outbursts during the two-year investigation into his campaign’s dealings with Russia. Now, there is no such explanation — and, so far, there have been exceedingly few successful interventions regarding Mr. Trump’s behavior at the podium. The surveys also showed Republican senators in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Maine trailing or locked in a dead heat with potential Democratic rivals — in part because their fate is linked to Mr. Trump’s job performance.
PEOPLE IN THEIR 30'S AND 40'S ARE SUFFERING STROKES DUE TO COVID 19: As Oxley, an interventional neurologist, began the procedure to remove the clot, he observed something he had never seen before. On the monitors, the brain typically shows up as a tangle of black squiggles — “like a can of spaghetti,” he said — that provide a map of blood vessels. A clot shows up as a blank spot. As he used a needlelike device to pull out the clot, he saw new clots forming in real-time around it. “This is crazy,” he remembers telling his boss. In a letter to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine next week, the Mount Sinai team details five case studies of young patients who had strokes at home from March 23 to April 7. They make for difficult reading: The victims’ ages are 33, 37, 39, 44 and 49, and they were all home when they began to experience sudden symptoms, including slurred speech, confusion, drooping on one side of the face and a dead feeling in one arm. The 33-year-old woman was previously healthy but had a cough and headache for about a week. Over the course of 28 hours, she noticed her speech was slurred and that she was going numb and weak on her left side but, the researchers wrote, “delayed seeking emergency care due to fear of the covid-19 outbreak.” It turned out she was already infected. By the time she arrived at the hospital, a CT scan showed she had two clots in her brain and patchy “ground glass” in her lungs — the opacity in CT scans that is a hallmark of covid-19 infection.