Before I begin with my daily coronavirus update, I wanted to take a few moments to address some statements made by Fox News host Tucker Carlson on his recent monologue.

I usually find Carlson well-informed, but he latched onto some inappropriate statistics that I think added to more needless worry:

Despite Carlson’s claims that COVID-19 has a 3% mortality rate, that fact cannot be known for sure. There is a great deal of evidence that it was spreading throughout the West Coast for at least six weeks before the community outbreaks occurred. I suspect that there were a lot of mild colds, fevers, and cases of flu that were from coronavirus, but no one identified them as such. Therefore, the mortality rate would be substantially less.

The Trump administration has handled everything as well as can be expected, given the limited information the Chinese made available at the beginning of the crisis. The Task Force daily conferences have conveyed that the federal government is doing all it can to mitigate the spread, ensure supplies are available, provide pertinent information, and to reduce the level of infections and fatalities.

I would like to point out that the press will soon report an “explosion” of coronavirus cases in this country. This increase will be the result of more people being tested, and cases identified, as more and more test kits become available.

President Trump Unveils Coronavirus Bailout Plan

Trump and his White House team are trying to put together an economic stimulus plan to counteract the impact from the outbreak.

President Donald Trump, in a meeting with Republican lawmakers Tuesday on Capitol Hill, pitched a 0% payroll tax rate for employers and employees that would last through the rest of this year, a White House official told CNBC.

…The White House is also considering federal assistance for the shale industry as oil prices have tanked in recent days due to a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The administration doesn’t want it to be perceived as a bailout, the official said.

New York Creates ‘Containment Area’ Around Cluster In New Rochelle

New York has created a “containment area” around a community in New Rochelle, in an attempt to limit the spread of coronavirus in an area that quickly became the state’s largest source of COVID-19 infections.

A synagogue in the city has become the epicenter of an outbreak in Westchester County — which accounts for 108 of New York state’s 173 coronavirus cases. Hundreds of people in the Young Israel congregation have already been under a voluntary quarantine order that was issued last week. The congregation’s rabbi has confirmed that he is among those who have tested positive for the virus.

As of Tuesday, that synagogue is also at the center of a circle that extends for a 1-mile radius, marking the state’s containment area. Residents would still be allowed to move around — but the new policy effectively blocks any large public gatherings in the area, to prevent further transmission of the virus.

South Korea’s Infection Rate Falls Without Citywide Lockdowns

There is some good news from South Korea, where infection rates have fallen.

South Korea has seen a steady decrease in new coronavirus cases for four consecutive days, despite being one of the worst-affected countries outside China, although global attention has shifted towards outbreaks in Italy and Iran.

…The country averaged more than 500 new infections a day for the past two weeks, but last Friday, this number dipped to 438, then 367 on Saturday and 248 on Sunday. The daily number of confirmed cases is reported the following day.

The steady decrease in cases has been attributed to a variety of factors, including mass testing, improved public communications and the use of technology. Extensive testing of members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, which was linked to more than 60 per cent of the country’s cases, has been completed.

South Korean officials have shared their experiences in containing the outbreak, saying that citywide lockdowns, as imposed by China in Wuhan, where the outbreak originated, are difficult to enforce in an open society.

Sanders, Biden Cancel Rallies, and DNC Changes Debate Format Over Coronavirus Worries.

The Democrats have dozens of different uses for coronavirus, including providing a handy excuse to cancel rallies and change debate formats.

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have begun canceling campaign rallies due to concerns about the coronavirus, a first on the 2020 presidential campaign trail as concerns about the outbreak mount.

Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee said there will be no live audience at the next presidential debate on Sunday in Phoenix. CNN, which will broadcast the debate, said there will not be a spin room or media filing center either.

Sanders and Biden both called off rallies planned for Tuesday night in Cleveland ahead of the state’s primary next week, where they were expected to address the results of Tuesday’s primaries in six other states.

 

 
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