President Donald Trump's routine, day-to-day mismanagement of the government has left both organizations -- the very entities we tasked as a nation to prevent the next 9/11 -- riddled with vacancies and temporary officials as the novel coronavirus rapidly spread from a small blip in China to a global health and economic catastrophe. In fact, the four top jobs at DHS and ODNI have all been filled with temporary acting officials for literally every day that Covid-19 has been on the world stage. While we often think of those jobs as focused on protecting against terrorism, both agencies have critical public health roles, too; U.S. intelligence spent the winter racing to understand how serious a threat Covid-19 truly was and deciphering the extent of China's cover-up of its epidemic. read more
A courier with coronavirus samples crashed on Interstate 195 in Seekonk near the Rhode Island border Tuesday morning, but fortunately none of the samples spilled. Massachusetts State Police said a hazardous materials team determined the samples "were not compromised" and the container holding them was intact. "Initial observations of a liquid spill led first responders to suspect the samples may have spilled and a state hazardous materials response team responded to the scene," State Police spokesman Dave Procopio said in a statement. "Further investigation by the hazmat team revealed that the spilled liquid was the Honda driver's coffee, and that the container holding the samples was intact and undamaged, as were the samples inside."
Michelle Cottle: Early on, Mr. Trump discovered that he could use the (daily) briefings to satisfy his need for everything to be all about him. As the death toll rises, that imperative has not changed. A better leader would curb his baser instincts in the face of this crisis. Since Mr. Trump is not wired that way, it falls to the media to serve the public interest by no longer airing his briefings live. read more
Bernie Sanders is ending his presidential campaign, he announced on Wednesday. read more
On Tuesday, President Trump hosted a call with business leaders to discuss efforts to provide financial relief to small businesses. During that call, he made an astounding claim: that his daughter Ivanka personally created 15 million jobs. read more
Josh Marshall: A New York City emergency and critical care physician Cameron Kyle-Sidell th(inks) the treatment protocol and basic understanding of acute COVID-19-induced respiratory distress (are) both wrong. He said that what he is seeing in his ICU does not look like pneumonia but rather oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) ... Critically, he argue(s) the high pressure ventilation might be damaging the lungs. read more
Former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis issued a rare public rebuke of President Trump Tuesday over his decision to fire Glenn Fine, the Pentagon inspector general charged with overseeing implementation of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package. read more
John Prine, who for five decades wrote rich, plain-spoken songs that chronicled the struggles and stories of everyday working people and changed the face of modern American roots music, died Tuesday at Nashville's Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He was 73. The cause was complications related to COVID-19, his family confirmed to Rolling Stone. read more
In Louisiana about 70 percent of the people who have died are African-American though only a third of the state's population is black. In the county around Milwaukee, where 27 percent of residents are black, nearly twice as many African-American residents tested positive for the virus as white people. And in Chicago, where African-American residents make up a little less than a third of the population, more than half of those found to have the virus are black. read more
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham is leaving the job without ever having briefed the press. read more
President Donald Trump has a "small financial interest" in the maker of an anti-malarial drug that he has been touting as a "game changer" in treating coronavirus, according to The New York Times. read more
Police in Leicester, Maryland, are looking for a woman who sprayed a Walmart cashier in the eyes with Lysol disinfectant on March 27 after being told there was a limit on how many cans she could buy. The woman completed her purchase and left the store in what appeared to be an Uber car, police said. The cashier required treatment from EMS paramedics.
The GazetteXtra, a newspaper in Janesville, Wisconsin, writes about citizens braving a pandemic to cast their vote: "Neighbors Margaret Udey and Glenda Hemmerling wore their masks and came to vote at the former Sears store in the Janesville Mall on Tuesday morning. The two elderly women -- Udey walking with a cane -- had requested absentee ballots, but those hadn't arrived, so they decided to vote in person. read more
President Trump moved on Tuesday to oust the leader of a new panel of watchdogs charged with overseeing how his administration spends trillions of taxpayer dollars in coronavirus pandemic relief. read more
Florida officials say they made huge improvements to the unemployment system over the weekend, but the state still faces a massive backlog of applications that will likely require Floridians wait weeks before seeing any money. During a Monday news conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis and state officials said they're aiming to process 80,000 applications this week, a drastic increase from the prior week. But the state already has a backlog of more than 560,000 applications, and potentially hundreds of thousands of other Floridians have been unable to apply because of the website's problems. read more