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What to Know

White House
Covid-19 Task Force

WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY

New Guidance: Face Masks

What to Know

“You can do it – you don’t have to do it. I’m choosing not to do it.”

Pres. Trump on new guidance for Americans to wear cloth (NOT medical grade) masks. The Surgeon General said new evidence shows a "significant portion" of people with the new coronavirus may have no symptoms but can still spread the virus. The CDC updated its recommendation Friday "advising "wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies)."
What to Know

“This virus has a great weakness. It can’t jump from one person to another if it has to swim more than 6 feet.”

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield explained wearing "a face barrier can interrupt the number of virus particles that go from one person to another." However, he said social distancing remains a priority: "We have a power tool - a powerful weapon, that is social distancing."
What to Know

“When we get through this we can go back and look at what happened, where… When you’re in the middle of it, you have to concentrate on serving the needs of each American.”

Dr. Deboah Birx addressing critics. She emphasized the need for an effective test to indicate who has been exposed to the new coronavirus, and who hasn't. Dr. Birx noted there are 150+ countries working collectively to fight COVID-19 and it's "devastating" for all.
What to Know

“Now we’ll make sure that any American, even those that have no insurance, will be able to receive treatment in a hospital and never have to worry about the bill.”

VP Mike Pence. HHS Secretary Alex Azar added providers who care for the uninsured will be compensated at the medicare reimbursement rates and cannot bill the uninsured for COVID-19 treatment. He also reiterated that those now unemployed (losing employer healthcare) may apply for health insurance via ACA health exchanges.
What to Know

View the new recommendations by the CDC on our source page.

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What to Know

White House
COVID-19 Task Force

WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY

What to Know

“The number of positive tests is tracking very closely with the numbers of cases diagnosed.”

Dr. Deborah Birx answering a question about whether or not the tests currently administered are accurate. Dr. Birx says 35% of COVID-19 tests are positive in New York and New Jersey - the current "hot spots." She says she is still missing 50% of data reporting from test results.
What to Know

“I have family in New York. My sister is a nurse practioner in a Westchester hospital. And my niece is a nurse on a Long Island hospital…I have skin in this game. The President asked me to get more to healthcare workers. I’m going to get more to healthcare workers.”

Rear Admiral John Polowczyk, Vice Director of Logistics, on the federal gov't supplying states with protective gear - including 200,000 N95 masks to NY.
What to Know

“I’m assuring American public now…if we have your information, you’ll get it within two weeks.”

Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin said initial stimulus payments for Americans will happen sooner than the 3 weeks expected. He emphasized those with direct deposits will receive their payments faster (and safer than having to cash in person at the bank). Sec. Mnuchin said a new, soon-to-be announced web portal will help citizens update their information.
What to Know

"We're asking everyone to apply what works" - Dr. Birx on social distancing.

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On This Day

April 3, 1968

 

 

 

The final speech

On This Day

“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. … Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will … I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

MLK, April 3, 1968, in his last speech before he was assassinated.
On This Day

24 Hours Later:

  • MLK Jr. was in Memphis on April 4, 1968 helping sanitation workers on strike when he was killed.
  • Despite MLK’s dedication to nonviolent protest, riots broke out across the U.S. after his murder.
  • Lone gunman convicted for MLK’s murder, but his family never believed he worked alone.
On This Day

Lasting Legacy

His leadership changed America…
leading to the end of segregation, the 1964 Civil Rights Act (ending discrimination based on race, gender, creed) & the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

MLK Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream speech” in 1963.

On This Day

MLK is one of only two people with a U.S. federal holiday honoring their birth (the other one is George Washington). How it became a holiday (and how it almost didn't):

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Quote of the Day

“To abandon ship during the greatest public health crisis of our lifetimes is inconceivable to me. A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”

Quote of the Day

Fmr. NASA astronaut Dr. Fisher went to work in a Texas emergency room today, sharing he was "more concerned" about heading into the hospital than he was launching into space because of COVID-19; Fisher is 74-yrs-old with preexisting conditions. Before COVID-19, the CDC est. 139M ER visits per year in America.

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On This Day

April 2, 1917

 

 

 

The first woman representative was sworn into Congress – three years before women were granted the constitutional right to vote.

On This Day

“I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I won’t be the last.”

Jeannette Rankin (R-MT) when she was elected in 1916. Montana had granted women the right to vote two years earlier and she had gained notoriety, in part, as a suffragist. Today, 26 women serve in the U.S. Senate & 101 women serve in the House. Women make up nearly 24% of Congress. Rankin hoped, “We’re (women) half the people; we should be half the Congress.”
On This Day

“As never before the Nation needs its women—needs the work of their hands and their hearts and their minds.”

Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin (R-MT) delivering a speech on women's right to vote. She helped pass a women's suffrage resolution in the House in 1918; the same resolution died in the Senate. She was not in office two years later when the 19th Amendment was officially adopted, altering the Constitution to grant women the right to vote.
On This Day

JEANNETTE RANKIN

  • Daughter of a rancher & school teacher.
  • Republican, suffrage leader & pacifist.
  • The only Member of Congress to vote against the entrance to World War I & World War II. Voted out of office each time: “As a woman I can’t go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else.”
  • In 1973, just before her death at age 92, she contemplated a third run because of America’s involvement in Vietnam.
On This Day

Rankin reportedly received applause as she was sworn into Congress. Later that evening, Pres. Wilson asked lawmakers to vote to declare war on Germany; Rankin was one of 50 lawmakers who voted "no." She said, "I want to stand by my country, but I cannot vote for war."

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Quote of the Day

“…keep the faith, don’t be too scared, it’s gonna be alright, God loves us.”

Quote of the Day

The 74-year-old icon offered this advice amid the coronavirus outbreak. 'Goodnight With Dolly', a new video series where she'll read bedtime stories launches Thursday 7 p.m. EST for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library YouTube channel. Her literacy non-profit has has donated more than 100M+ books!

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Now You Know

The FDA streamlined a treatment for COVID-19.

What it is & why it matters.

Now You Know

What’s Going On

The FDA approved emergency use of the following drugs for treating COVID-19: chloroquine phosphate & hydroxychloroquine sulfate.

This allows the drugs to be used in ways in which they haven’t been tested & originally approved.

You may hear about hydroxychloroquine used with the antibiotic azithromycin.

Now You Know

What You Should Know

A small but recent study in France showed some positive results of using a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for patients with COVID-19.

The study examined 80 patients who received the drugs. They ranged in age from 18 to 88-yrs-old, more than half had preexisting conditions. ALL RECOVERED except two: an 86-yr-old died & a 74-yr-old remained in ICU.

Now You Know

“We believe other teams should urgently evaluate this cost-effective therapeutic strategy, to both avoid the spread of the disease and treat patients as soon as possible before severe respiratory irreversible complications take hold.”

The research team emphasized the patients tested "clear" of COVID-19 (known formally as SARS-CoV-2) in just over a week, shortening hospital stays, and hopefully preventing future transmission.
Now You Know

Hydroxychloroquine

First approved by FDA in 1955.

Prescribed for malaria & autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is very similar to the 2003 SARS virus. After that outbreak the CDC studied a “relative” of hydroxychloroquine (chloroquine) that showed promise for shortening or even preventing infection.

Now You Know

Azithromycin

Developed by a medical team in Croatia – patented in 1981.

Common dosage often called a “Z-Pak.”

Prescribed frequently in 3 or 5 day-doses.

Often used to battle bacterial infections, like sinus and ear infections.

Now You Know

Something To Consider

The FDA issued a warning after a married couple ingested chloroquine phosphate, an ingredient in fish food, to prevent COVID-19; the husband died and the wife was hospitalized.

Doctors have raised concerns about the use of hydroxychloroquine & azithromycin ~ especially in combination ~ as a rare side effect in *some people* can lead to cardiac arrest.

Now You Know

Why would the combination of drugs work? And what's the potential side effects for those with COVID-19? Two big, important, and unanswered questions. We'll keep you posted. You can check out the French study on our source page.

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Now You Know

White House
Covid-19 Task Force

WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY

Now You Know

“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before victory was won.”

President Trump on extending nationwide social distancing guidelines to April 30th. The White House will present a strategy for the next several weeks on Tuesday, March 31st. The President added he expects the country will be "well on its way to recovery" by June 1st.
Now You Know

“We really built this on scientific evidence and the ability to save hundreds of thousands of lives.”

Dr. Deborah Birx explaining how the Task Force develops its recommendations. One model showed an estimate of more than 2.2 million deaths if America did NOT put public health measures in place. Another model noted by Birx, considers that WITH public health measures, est. deaths will top 81,000+. For context, the number of flu deaths estimated so far this year is 24,000.
Now You Know

“A model is as good as the assumptions you put into the model.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci on the complex scientific estimates he uses to help inform policies. Dr. Fauci said "instead of getting overly anxious about the extremes" or worst case scenarios that models have to consider, he aims to use the models to inspire policies that accomplish results better than the predictions.
Now You Know

View one of the models used by the White House on our source page.

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Now You Know

CORONAVIRUS
PANDEMIC

In less than 90 days, the whole world changed.

As we look ahead to what’s next, here’s how we got here.

 

 

Now You Know

DECEMBER

12/31: World Health Organization (WHO) informed of viral pneumonia in Wuhan, China, reminiscent of SARS. First patients *reportedly* emerged in beginning of December.

The source of the first infection remains unknown. Initial reports point to a seafood/wild animal market, where humans come in close contact w/animals known to carry coronaviruses (ex: bats).

Now You Know

JANUARY

1/13: First case outside China (Thailand)

1/21: First travel-related case confirmed in U.S. (Washington state)

1/30: First instance of person-to-person spread in U.S. (Illinois); WHO issues “public health emergency”

1/31: First cases in Italy; U.S. bans entry by most foreign nationals who traveled to China within the past 14 days

Now You Know

“We understand that this may be concerning, but based on what we know now, we still believe the immediate risk to the American public is low.”

CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D. on January 31st when the CDC confirmed the first case of person-to-person spread of the new coronavirus - reportedly a wife, who recently traveled to Wuhan, returned home and spread the virus to her husband, who had not traveled.
Now You Know

FEBRUARY

2/5: U.S. begins distribution of tests

2/11: WHO officially unveils name “COVID-19” for “coronavirus disease 2019”

2/26: First case of community spread in U.S. (California); CDC warns Americans of potential disruptions to everyday life

2/29: First U.S. death (Washington); First state declares emergency (Washington)

Now You Know

“I understand this whole situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe.  But these are things that people need to start thinking about now.”

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) who said during a February 26th CDC media briefing that she started talking to her own family about "preparing for significant disruption of our lives" due to COVID-19.
Now You Know

MARCH

3/11: WHO characterizes the outbreak as a “pandemic” as virus spreads to 114 countries outside China.

3/13: Pres. Trump declares “national emergency”

3/16: Pres. Trump announces 15-day social distancing guidelines.

3/26: For the first time, the U.S. ranks #1 in cases worldwide with 85,000+

Now You Know

On March 29, a day before the "15 Days to Slow The Spread" campaign was set to come to an end, Pres. Trump extended the social distancing guidelines for another 30 days, through at least April 30th.

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What to Know

White House COVID-19 Task Force

WHAT WE LEARNED TODAY

What to Know

“There’s no reality on the ground — where we can see that 60 – 70% of Americans are going to get infected within the next 8 – 12 weeks.”

Dr. Deborah Birx cautioning against predictive models vs. the data emerging from South Korea, Italy, and China. She said U.S. hotspots are large urban areas and their suburbs (ex: 55% of all cases are in NY metro area), but that 19 states with early cases *still* have "persistent low" numbers.
What to Know

“Even before you know something works, at risk, you have to start producing it.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci on how the government hopes to expedite vaccine production from trials in various stages of development *if* those vaccines show early signs of efficacy. Dr. Fauci emphasized that while the gov't may help companies ramp-up production of potential vaccines, safety remains a priority. He still believes a vaccine is more than a year away.
What to Know

“American businesses are stepping up to partner with us to meet this moment.”

Vice Pres. Pence noted the unemployment figures announced Thursday (3M+ Americans filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week), but he also highlighted reports of nearly 500,000 new jobs recently announced by companies including Amazon, CVS, Pizza Hut & Walmart.
What to Know

“This is a country that was built on getting it done and our people want to get back to work.”

Pres. Trump said he'll deliver more information on what the back-to-work plan looks like early next week. He suggested that perhaps restrictions might first be relaxed in areas less affected by COVID-19, and noted that a return to work includes social distancing, hand washing and beyond.
What to Know

The Task Force fielded questions about reports of county specific plans vs. broad federal guidelines - something to watch for in the coming days, especially as "15 days to Slow The Spread" comes to end Monday.

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Money

COVID-19 AND YOUR MONEY

How the federal gov’t is trying to help lessen the impact to your wallet as a record 3 million Americans file for unemployment.

Money

“You may well see significant rises in unemployment and significant declines in economic activity, but there can also be a good rebound on the other side of that.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell explained that while we may be in a recession, it's not a normal recession because there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the U.S. economy. He added the first order of business is to get COVID-19 under control and that will dictate the timetable for the economic recovery ahead.
Money

YOUR HOME

Evictions and foreclosures for renters & homeowners suspended in some cases.

  • Mortgages: 60-day moratorium on foreclosures and evictions for single family homeowners with federally-insured mortgages. Gov’t directed mortgage lenders to do the same – some have done so in states like CA.
  • FYI: Many cities and counties have enacted temporary eviction bans.
Money

YOUR TAXES

  • Federal taxes aren’t due until July 15.
  • Treasury Dept. advises those able to do so to file their taxes by the “normal” due date of April 15 in order to speed up their refunds.
  • FYI: State tax filing deadlines vary by state, but many states are extending.

We provided a resource on our source page for you to check the latest deadlines in your state.

Money

YOUR BUSINESS

  • Small Business Owners: Businesses with 50 – 500 employees must provide limited family & paid-leave to employees affected by COVID-19, but they’ll get 100% back in tax credits, or payments.
  • Self-Employed: Pres. Trump indicated Wednesday that independent contractors and the self-employed will be eligible for unemployment benefits.  Details TBD.
Money

YOUR LOANS

  • Federal student loans: Interest waived for at least 60 days. Borrowers may suspend payments for min. 2 months.
  • Small business loans: Small business owners can apply for a low-interest federal economic disaster loan.
  • The Federal Reserve also has emergency lending powers and can step in to temporarily replace lending powers in arenas where there’s no credit flowing (ex: car loans) if needed.
Money

YOUR PAYCHECK? A third relief coronavirus response bill is being negotiated by congress. The exact details have yet to be approved by both the Senate & House, but it will reportedly include a provision for sending checks to Americans who earn below a certain income.

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Quote of the Day

“We fall down and we get back up. That’s the sign of champions.”

Quote of the Day

West on perseverance to Wall Street Journal Magazine. West donated what's described as a "generous" amount of money to organizations in L.A. & Chicago that deliver & serve meals to communities in need amid the coronavirus pandemic. One charity said of the donation "...in an instance today, our world was changed."

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