Hal Willner, music producer and ‘SNL’ veteran, dies of coronavirus at 64
Hal Willner, a record producer famed for his left-of-center tribute albums and concerts, and as the long-time sketch music producer for “Saturday Night Live,” has died of complications related to the coronavirus. He was 64.
On his Twitter account, the producer had alluded to having been diagnosed in a March 28 tweet, which included a map of coronavirus outbreaks across the United States with the New York area as a red epicenter. He described himself in the tweet as “in bed on upper west side” and said, “I always wanted to have a number one, but not this.”
Fact check: Trump again overstates U.S. testing capability
“America continues to perform more tests than any other nation in the world, and I think that’s probably why we have more cases,” President Donald Trump said on Tuesday.
This claim needs context. The U.S. is doing a lot of tests — 1.87 million as of Tuesday, Trump said — but per capita they are not doing the most. Testing 1.87 million people in a country of 327 million means the country is testing approximately one in every 174 people. South Korea, meanwhile, is testing approximately one in every 106 people, according to the latest numbers available.
And while Trump claims other countries are concealing the coronavirus outbreak — and there is reported evidence of that in China — he omits that the U.S. is not testing as many people as it could be, which will result in undercounts here, too. New York City, an epicenter of the U.S. pandemic, is only testing hospitalized infections for the virus, for example.
New York City has deadliest 24 hours with 806 deaths, total now over 3,500
New York City suffered its deadliest 24 hours of the coronavirus pandemic as more than 3,500 people have now died in America’s largest metropolis, officials said Tuesday night.
The city health department’s tally of coronavirus-related deaths reached 3,544 by 5 p.m. ET, a spike of 806 fatalities from the previous report of 2,738 on Monday night.
The previous biggest jump came Friday to Saturday when the death toll increased by 387 from 1,867 to 2,254.
How to help struggling Asian American communities amid coronavirus pandemic
As stay-home orders have arisen quickly across the country in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus, local restaurants and businesses have seen drastically reduced customer traffic and plummeting profits.
But perhaps few have been as greatly affected as Asian American businesses, which saw drops in customers as high as 80 percent long before the U.S. began its push for isolation, as stigma surrounding the virus kept customers out of Chinatowns and Chinese restaurants.
Photo: He said “yes”
Neighbors celebrate Elena Gonzalez’ marriage proposal to her boyfriend, Juan Manuel Zamorano, in Ronda, Spain, during the coronavirus lockdown on April 7, 2020.
Coronavirus may stop hundreds of thousands from becoming citizens in time to vote in November
Cancellation of citizenship oath ceremonies and in-person interviews because of coronavirus means hundreds of thousands of people may not naturalize in time for November’s elections.
If ceremonies and interviews remain shut down until October without remote alternatives created by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, about 441,000 people who would have been citizens would be deprived of the chance to vote, according to Boundless Immigration, a technology company that helps immigrants apply for green cards and citizenship.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey donating $1 billion to coronavirus relief
Appeals Court restores Texas ban on abortion during pandemic
A federal appeals court Tuesday threw out a judge’s order blocking the state from banning abortions during the virus pandemic.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 that Texas acted properly in including abortion in the list of non-medically necessary procedures that would be delayed.
Gov. Greg Abbott issued the order in late March, and Attorney General Ken Paxton said it would include “any type of abortion.” Planned Parenthood sought a court order to block the restriction, and a federal district court judge issued a temporary order to block the ban.
The 5th Circuit last week put the judge’s order on hold to give the state a chance to appeal and on Tuesday granted the state’s request to keep the ban on abortion in place. In public health emergencies, the court said, a state can restrict constitutional rights including, “one’s right to peaceably assemble, to publicly worship, to travel, and even to leave one’s home. The right to abortion is no exception.”
Texas is now the only state where the pandemic has brought abortions to a halt.
Buckling to pressure, many states deem gun stores ‘essential’ amid outbreak
What’s considered “essential?” Food, prescription drugs, sometimes liquor — and, in most states, firearms.
To slow the spread of the coronavirus, 42 states have issued some form of a state-at-home order, mandating that nearly all nonessential businesses close. Gun retailers in at least 30 of those states, however, have been allowed to stay open amid pushback from gun groups and the federal government.
MLB considering playing baseball season only in Arizona as early as April
Major League Baseball is considering a plan that would start the baseball season as early as next month using facilities and fields in and around Phoenix, Arizona. The scenario is one of several being discussed.
Under the proposal, players and team personnel would be isolated and practice social distancing during off-time. There would be no crowds in the stadiums.
“MLB has been actively considering numerous contingency plans that would allow play to commence once the public health situation has improved to the point that it is safe to do so,” the League said in a statement Tuesday morning. “While we have discussed the idea of staging games at one location as one potential option, we have not settled on that option or developed a detailed plan.”
Phoenix does have advantages, given its climate and many baseball facilities, where it annually hosts much of Spring Training.
Much will depend on how effectively the state deals with the virus and if baseball will be considered an essential job not subject to Arizona’s stay at home order, should it be extended past March 31.
Acting Navy secretary resigns over firing of captain who raised coronavirus concerns
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has resigned his post, two defense officials said, a day after he attacked and then apologized to an ousted captain who raised concerns about a coronavirus outbreak on his aircraft carrier.
Modly made the offer during a Tuesday morning conversation with Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the officials said. Esper accepted his resignation and has selected Under Secretary of the Army James McPherson to replace Modly as acting Navy secretary, according to the officials.
The revelation comes after Modly’s stinging remarks about Capt. Brett Crozier, broadcast over the loudspeakers on the USS Theodore Roosevelt on Monday, drew criticism from lawmakers and disapproval from President Donald Trump.