Where Things Stand: How Will We Even Begin To Explain This?

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NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: A discarded protective glove is seen on the ground on April 23, 2020 in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New New York City remains the epicenter of the coronavi... NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: A discarded protective glove is seen on the ground on April 23, 2020 in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New New York City remains the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 24, 2020 1:09 p.m.
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I think we all may be very numb at this point. If you’re not already, I am sure you will soon join the cynics.

It is difficult, personally, to feel shaken by any one preposterous claim or befuddling suggestion that flows out of the mouth of the leader of the free world at this point in his presidency. Last night’s dangerous riffing from the White House podium about injecting household cleaning products into people’s lungs as a cure for the novel coronavirus was no different.

But that utterly dizzying sideshow coupled with new death data out of John Hopkins University this morning has me questioning how I’ve been processing the incompetence of this administration, both in the past and in the face of this pandemic.

More than 190,000 people around the world have died from COVID-19, the disease contracted from coming into contact with the coronavirus. Americans account for more than a FOURTH of those deaths — 50,000 lives lost. That is 50,000 Americans whose lives were cut short, no matter their age. That’s 50,000 Americans who won’t see their loved ones again, who likely died in their homes or in sterile hospital beds, clutching an iPhone or a tablet for the warmth of a goodbye. That’s countless more friends and family who lost someone they love.

And we’re only halfway to the death toll that Trump would consider a “very good job.”

The tragedy is senseless and I struggle to process how we will even begin to explain this to future generations. Trump’s absurdity deserves criticism, but the devastation of so much death requires more than a point-and-remain-numb response. And I include myself in that criticism.

Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following today:

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Kate Riga is keeping an eye on the situation in Georgia, as dueling rallies against and in support of the state’s reopening unfold. The mayor of Atlanta instructed residents to ignore the governor’s reopening directive, and said this morning that people should continue to stay home.

Josh Kovensky just published a piece looking at new death data that came out of California this week regarding the earliest known COVID-19 death in the U.S. and what it tells us about Trump’s early decision to ban travel from China. Read it here.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

Former Vice President and presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden issued a warning on Thursday, suggesting that the President will likely do everything in his power to delay the general election in November. Biden suggested Trump’s refusal to bailout the U.S. Postal Service could be an attempt to throw a wrench in mail-in voting, the main alternative states are adapting to avoid in-person voting amid the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ll continue covering voting issues as the pandemic spreads.

Our entire team is scratching our collective heads at Trump’s befuddling remarks at the COVID-19 press conference last night when he suggested injecting disinfectants into the lungs or shining lights into the body could be possible cures for COVID-19. The company that owns Lysol was forced to issue a statement reminding customers not to inject or ingest its products. Everyone on Trump’s task force appeared to be stunned by the President’s remarks, and even Trump’s staunchest defenders are having a hard time explaining this latest blunder.

Today’s Rundown

12:00 p.m. ET: Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act in the Oval Office.

2:30 p.m. ET: Trump will have a briefing with NASA about COVID-19.

5:00 p.m. ET: The White House coronavirus task force will hold its press briefing.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

Las Vegas Mayor’s Interview With Anderson Cooper Was A Spectacular Train Wreck — Cristina Cabrera

What We Are Reading

The Naive — And Reckless — Rule Breakers Of COVID-19 — Vicky Ward

A COVID-Infected Attendee Emerges From CES, A Massive Tech Conference In January — Sasha Aslanian, Angela Caputo and Will Craft

The South Is Likely To Have America’s Highest Death Rate From COVID-19 — The Economist 

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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