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COVID-19 roundup

Sunday, Apr 19, 2020

* The Secretary of State’s office says about 40 protesters showed up at the Statehouse today. It may have grown slightly more than that later, but that’s still pretty darned pathetic.

The Statehouse grounds are regularly filled with hundreds, even thousands of people amassing to petition their government for redress of grievances.

Polling has shown that an overwhelmingly number of Americans is more afraid that their states will lift the stay at home orders too early than those who fear they will open too late, and there’s no major national organization funding protesters here like in other states. Both of those points may explain today’s turnout. But coverage follows conflict, so we’ll see how the news media handles this silliness

At one point they attempted to block 2nd Street, but they quickly gave up.

* I don’t know anything about this particular meat-packing plant, but that industry has never been known for treating blue collar employees well

With 21 coronavirus cases confirmed at a meat packing plant on Chicago’s South Side, employees are demanding more equipment to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Workers at the nearly century-old Rose Packing are worried for their health and safety.

“They need to shut down and clean and sterilize, make sure they do not have other employees sick,” said a family spokesperson for two Rose Packing employees.

Both employees said they’re quarantined after contracting COVID-19. They asked not to be identified out of fear of repercussions.

They broke the unions, lowered pay, sped up the lines and, as a consequence, had to import workers from other countries.

The government needs to do something before these companies risk breaking the food supply chain.

* The governor’s daily press briefings are too often being held hostage by, um, less than stellar questions. Yesterday’s “best” example…

* On to something far more important

* Roundup…

* Senate President Don Harmon’s foolish pitch to Washington can only hurt Illinois: Apparently, the president of the Illinois Senate, Don Harmon — who has been in that job all of three months — doesn’t quite get that. Last week, he made a politically deaf, even foolish, pitch to Washington that can only hurt our state’s chances of securing additional COVID-19 relief funds. … At best, Harmon’s pension ask is politically clueless. At worst, it will serve to explode efforts at bipartisanship in Washington as our nation struggles to recover from the pandemic. You can almost see congressional Republicans waving Harmon’s letter in the air and saying: “See, we told you. Blue states like Illinois are just being greedy. They want us to bail them out of problems of their own making, created over decades. Why should we help them?”

* Rural Randolph County has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in Illinois. Here’s what happened

* Don Welge, president of Gilster-Mary Lee [headquartered in Randolph County], died Thursday of COVID-19 complications

* These Chicago hotel workers are now on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic: Their union, UNITE HERE Local 1, estimates that only 200 to 300 of its 7,600 downtown Chicago members were working as of April 1.

* For runners, is 15 feet the new 6 feet for social distancing?

* Officials recommend wearing a face mask to combat coronavirus. But which one should you wear?

* Baseball without fans sounds doable. Baseball without COVID-19 sounds hard to believe.

* Six cases of COVID-19 reported among staff at Will County Sheriff’s Department

* Chicago’s top doctor says investigation has raised questions about whether infant died of COVID-19: She added that “there was a test that was positive, there was a test that was negative, and there were other positive tests for another kind of coronavirus.” She identified that disease as NL63, a coronavirus that emerged well before COVID-19 spread across the globe. Arwady said examination under a microscope didn’t show “signs that any of the COVID-19 had actually gotten into the cells of the baby.”

* Workers are dying in US factories in Mexico, which stayed open despite the spread of coronavirus

* ‘Very, Very Scary’: Officials Dumbfounded as Florida Beaches Reopen, 3 Days After Death Spike: Despite the mayor’s warnings, hundreds of people flocked to the beaches in Duval County Friday, some engaging group sports like volleyball or spikeball. Photos of the scene drew outcry on social media, spawning the hashtag #FloridaMorons, as well as disdain from officials elsewhere in the state.

* Maryland governor: ‘Absolutely false’ for Trump to say states have testing capacity to reopen

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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