News and Headlines. 4/13/2020

News and Headlines: In The News, Politics, World news, Commentary/Opinion.

In The News:

President Trump & The Coronavirus Task Force News Conference 4/13/20

April 13, 2020: President Donald Trump & members of the Coronavirus Task Force hold a news briefing from The White House.

Mississippi gov describes tornadoes ‘the like of which we haven’t seen in this state in a long, long time’

Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves joined “Bill Hemmer Reports” Monday to discuss how his state is dealing with a string of deadly tornadoes that ripped through the state while people were staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reeves, who noted he’s only been in office for 90 days, said the tornadoes were the fifth federally declared disaster he has dealt with.

According to the Clarion-Ledger newspaper, at least 100 homes were damaged or destroyed in a single county alone in southern Mississippi’s Jefferson Davis County, located just west of Hattiesburg.

Marine combat vet dies after man punched, shoved him in front of train

Fatoumata Balde, sister of Mamadou Balde, holds cell image of her brother as a Marine
Fatoumata Balde, sister of Mamadou Balde, holds cell image of her brother as a Marine outside the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office on April 8, 2020.
(Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune/TNS)

It was unclear what words were exchanged on the platform at the downtown Jackson station, but Balde appeared to be smiling and joking with the unidentified man, despite momentarily raising his fists to his chin as if playfully “putting up his dukes,” prosecutors told a judge during a bail hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

While the apparently intoxicated Balde was still smiling, the man allegedly punched Balde in the face, knocking him backward toward a stopped southbound train just after 5 p.m. Tuesday.

As the attack continued, prosecutors said the attacker’s friend, Ryan Munn, allegedly joined the fray, throwing punches and shoving Balde until he fell between the cars of the slow-moving train.

’60 Minutes’ answers challenge from White House trade adviser Peter Navarro over pandemic coverage

“Show me the ‘60 Minutes’ episode a year ago, two years ago or during the Obama administration, during the Bush administration, that said, ‘Hey a global pandemic’s coming, you’ve got to do XYZ and by the way we would shut down the entire global economy to fight it,” Navarro said.

“Show me that episode, then you’ll have some credence in terms of attacking the Trump administration for not being prepared.”

Whitaker responded by guaranteeing that “60 Minutes” had aired that type of segment in the past.

“60 Minutes Overtime” then unearthed old footage of the program reporting on the possibility of a global pandemic that first aired during both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Texas Gov. Abbott says he plans to announce ‘safe and healthy strategies’ to reopen state economy

Texas Gov.Greg Abbott gives an update on the coronavirus, Friday, March 13, 2020,
Texas Gov.Greg Abbott gives an update on the coronavirus, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The Monday comments from Abbott come after he said on Friday that he planned to sign an executive order “about reopening Texas businesses … in a way that will be safe for that economic revitalization.”

“At the same time we cannot ignore the impact economically that the coronavirus has caused,” Abbott said in his Monday remarks.

“Later this week I will outline both safe and healthy strategies where we can begin the process of going about reopening businesses in Texas and revitalizing the economy.”

South Dakota pork plant closes after over 200 workers contract Covid-19

The Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota,
The Smithfield pork processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where about 240 employees have contracted the virus. Photograph: Stephen Groves/AP

According to Smithfield, who runs the plant, the facility’s output represents up to 5% of US pork production, supplying 130m servings of food a week and employing 3,700 people.

Over 550 independent farmers supplied the plant.

The company that runs the plant, Smithfield Foods, announced the closure of its plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Sunday, a day after the state’s governor, Kristi Noem, asked the company to suspend the plant’s operation for at least 14 days.

The number of employees who worked at the plant and contracted the virus makes up over half of the state’s positive cases.

About 240 employees from the plant have contracted the virus.

Deputy and his wife killed by Easter tornado. Police say he tried to shield her body with his own.

The aftermath of a tornado, with winds in excess of 150 mph, left homes seemingly torn to shreds.

Authorities are still working through all the affected areas so far, and the understanding of the total causalities is still a developing matter.

Deputy Robert Ainsworth, and his wife Paula, were among those identified as having been killed during the storm.


South Dakota to Launch Hydroxychloroquine Clinical Trial for Possible Coronavirus Treatment

Damien Meyer/AFP
Damien Meyer/AFP

Noem will kick off the “comprehensive” trial after conveying to the Trump administration in recent days that “South Dakota’s medical community was ready to step up and lead the way on research efforts.”

“I made direct requests to President Trump and Vice President Pence to supply us with enough hydroxychloroquine so that it could be made available for every hospitalized person the state may have, as well as those for health care workers on the frontlines and those in the most vulnerable populations,” added the governor.

Noem revealed South Dakota received hydroxychloroquine for the trials thanks to healthcare providers Avera Health, Monument Health, and Sanford Health.

Update: California Fires | Full Measure

We’ve been reporting on California’s deadly wildfires and all the federal tax money spent trying to control them. Now, an update.

Utility company Pacific Gas and Electric, PG&E, recently pleaded guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for its role in the deadliest fire in the state’s history, known as the Camp Fire, in 2018.

Lisa Fletcher has been following the investigation.

Trump says decision coming ‘shortly’ on reopening economy, as task force formed

“For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government,” Trump tweeted Monday.

“Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect. It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons,” he continued. “With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue.”

He added: “A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”


Democrats Introduce Legislation To Release Immigrant Detainees And Stop ICE Enforcement

Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced the Federal Immigrant Release for Safety and Security Together (FIRST) Act on Monday.

While many Democratic members of Congress have urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for a rollback of enforcement measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, this bill marks one of the first instances where they are turning such concerns into legislative action.

Notably, ICE has already announced that it would scale back its enforcement and removal operations against those who do not pose serious risks to the community.

However, the bill would have sweeping effects on the immigrant detainee population in the United States.

6 Northeast governors planning regional economic restart

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Speaking on a conference call, the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island agreed that it was essential to work together in developing plans to reopen businesses, schools and public transportation after weeks on lockdown.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee that they are working on a “shared approach” to restarting the West Coast economy.

“Everyone is very anxious to get out of the house, get back to work, get the economy moving.

Everyone agrees with that,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who presided over the conference call from the state Capitol in Albany.

AOC Calls Biden’s Progressive Outreach ‘Almost Insulting’

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Getty Images
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Getty Images

Ocasio-Cortez, who has never spoken with Biden, said she intends to support him because of her desire to oust President Trump.

This is not the first time she has lashed out at the former vice president.

She groaned during an interview with New York magazine in January when asked about her role under a Biden presidency.

“Oh God,” she said. “In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are.”

WATCH: Joe Biden Promises to ‘Transform This Nation’ in Accepting Bernie’s Endorsement

Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, greet one another before they participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate
Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, greet one another before they participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) launched a livestream video with former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

“We need you in the White House. I will do all that I can to see that that happens, Joe,” Sanders said to Biden as the video began.

Biden acknowledged his differences with Sanders, but he also suggested he would endorse many of the self-identified democratic socialist’s ideas.

Phase 4 Stimulus? We Can’t Afford It

I’m sorry, but we can’t afford to keep spending Trillions of Dollars we don’t have.

The states are going to have to figure out how to get people back to work.

Here’s the Simple Truth.

Federal Judge rules in favor of PV on two counts asserted by Clinton-Connected Democracy Partners

Recently a Clinton-connected organization, Democracy Partners, received two early defeats in a lawsuit they brought against Project Veritas and Project Veritas Action Fund.

In 2016, Project Veritas Action Fund released a series of videos exposing Democracy Partners’ role in instigating violence at Trump campaign rallies.

Featured in those videos were Bob Creamer, founder of Democracy Partners, Scott Foval, former National Field Director for Americans United for Change, among other pro-Clinton political operatives.

World News:

Macron says France’s lockdown to be eased from May 11

French President Emmanuel Macron. | Christian Hartmann/Associated Press
French President Emmanuel Macron. | Christian Hartmann/Associated Press

“The epidemic is not under control yet,” Macron said in an address to the nation Monday evening. “The strictest lockdown must continue until May 11.”

After that date, kindergartens, schools and workplaces will progressively reopen, based on a plan that will be announced by the government by the end of April.

The elderly, handicapped and those with pre-existing chronic conditions would have to remain under lockdown beyond May 11, and cafés, restaurants, bars, cinemas and theaters, concert halls and museums would remain closed, according to Macron.

Spain relaxes coronavirus lockdown as number of infections continue to fall, looks to revive economy

Commuters wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus wait at the platform of Atocha train station in Madrid on Monday.
Commuters wearing face masks to protect against coronavirus wait at the platform of Atocha train station in Madrid on Monday. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Spain is slowly easing its restriction on residents by allowing some non-essential workers to return to their jobs on Monday as the coronavirus outbreak continues to slow down in one of the hardest-hit countries.

Heavy industry and construction workers were the first to resume working after measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 effectively brought Spain’s economy to a two-week standstill.

However, most Spaniards will continue self-isolating, and stores, bars, and public spaces remained closed for the fifth week in a row as the wider lockdown remains in place until at least April 26.

Coronavirus has ‘reactivated’ in more than 100 South Koreans who recovered

More than 100 South Koreans who fully recovered from coronavirus have tested positive for a second time, as the country eyes an easing of social-distancing rules, officials said.

The killer virus has “reactivated” in a total 116 patients, with 48 of them in the nation’s coronavirus epicenter of Daegu, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The country reported last week there were 51 cases of patients testing positive after being cleared of the virus.

Jeong noted, however, there have been no cases of the relapsed patients spreading the virus to anyone else, Yonhap News reported.

UK National Health Service Trials ‘Trump Pills’ to Treat Coronavirus

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Now the National Health Service (NHS) does appear to be conceding that hydroxychloroquine may have some merit, with St Bartholomew’s Hospital, known colloquially as “Barts”, and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital trialling its use in some patients.

“Barts Health NHS Trust has convened an expert clinical group to consider novel medications in the treatment of Covid-19,” a spokesman told The Telegraph.

“The evidence base is limited for all such drugs and we are actively recruiting patients to major clinical trials that have been prioritised by the Department of Health and Social Care.

“These include hydroxychloroquine, kaletra, steroids, and Remdesivir,” he continued, adding that for “a small number of carefully selected patients, we have recommended some novel therapies for immediate use, including immunomodulatory drugs such as Tocilizumab.”

China: New Wave of Infections on the Way

A province in northern China is preparing thousands of hospital beds in anticipation of a surge of CCP virus patients—days after lockdown measures were relaxed in epicenter Wuhan, according to internal documents viewed by The Epoch Times.

Heilongjiang, China’s northernmost province, locked down its border city of Suifenhe on April 7, which officials said was an attempt to stem the flow of imported cases from Russia.

From March 27 to April 9, the city reported more than 100 imported cases, as well as 148 asymptomatic patients—those infected who do not show any symptoms of the disease—that were imported cases.

Only three new domestic infections were reported during that period.


The Coronavirus Is Exposing Little Tyrants All Over The Country

Thankfully, the Department of Justice has taken notice of this fledgling authoritarian streak among the country’s mayors and governors.

A DOJ spokesman said Saturday Attorney General William Barr is “monitoring” government regulation of religious services and may take action against local governments as early as this week.

That’s a good start, but the targeting of churches, while undoubtedly the most offensive overreach by state and local governments, is hardly the only instance of government gone wild.

In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has taken it upon herself to declare what items are and are not “essential,” dictating to grocery stores what they can and cannot sell as part of a sweeping order issued Friday.

Your Rights Are Suspended | The Matt Walsh Show Ep. 464

Today on the Matt Walsh Show, religious liberty has been canceled for the foreseeable future. Or, as one police officer explained, your rights are “suspended.”

But what makes us think the government will politely restore our rights once the pandemic is over?

And is it a good idea to give it the power to suspend our rights in the first place?

Also Five Headlines including the New York Times exonerating Joe Biden of sexual assault.

Little Tyrants, Big Decisions | The Andrew Klavan Show Ep. 877

Real politicians on both sides face the big question of when to reopen, as screwball governors and mayors go full Napoleon.