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"Exposing U.S. Racism in a Stark New Way": COVID-19 Kills Disproportionate Number of Black Americans
Thu, 09 Apr 2020 08:51:27 -0400
We speak with family physician and epidemiologist Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones about how the coronavirus is taking a devastating toll on black Americans, who are disproportionately dying from the virus across the country as a result of entrenched racial inequality. Black Americans are more likely to have chronic health problems and less likely to have insurance. They also make up significant numbers of frontline workers that are still going to work amid the pandemic. Jones is the former president of the American Public Health Association. Her recent piece for Newsweek magazine is headlined "Coronavirus Disease Discriminates. Our Health Care Doesn't Have To."

Noam Chomsky: Bernie Sanders Campaign Didn't Fail. It Energized Millions & Shifted U.S. Politics
Thu, 09 Apr 2020 08:47:38 -0400
In a new interview, world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky reflects on the significance of the Bernie Sanders campaign, calling it "an extraordinary success" that "completely shifted the arena of debate and discussion" in the United States.

Naomi Klein: Sanders "Broke the Spell" of Neoliberalism as Trump Pushes Coronavirus Capitalism
Thu, 09 Apr 2020 08:28:04 -0400
We talk to journalist and activist Naomi Klein about Bernie Sanders's historic presidential campaign as he suspends his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination, and about coronavirus capitalism — President Trump's response to the pandemic. Sanders "opened up the window of what was possible politically in this country," says Klein, a senior correspondent at The Intercept, Rutgers University professor and longtime Sanders supporter.

Suspending the Campaign, Not the Movement: Sanders Pulls Out of 2020 Race But Will Stay on Ballot
Thu, 09 Apr 2020 08:16:09 -0400
Senator Bernie Sanders has suspended his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, making former Vice President Joe Biden the presumptive nominee to face Donald Trump in November. Sanders says he will stay on the ballot in remaining primary races and continue to assemble delegates. We play highlights from Sanders's speech to supporters in a live stream on Wednesday. "Together, we have transformed American consciousness as to what kind of nation we can become, and have taken this country a major step forward in the never-ending struggle for economic justice, social justice, racial justice and environmental justice," he said.

Headlines for April 9, 2020
Thu, 09 Apr 2020 08:00:00 -0400
Coronavirus Pandemic Could Push 600 Million More People into Poverty, New York Reports Record 779 Coronavirus Deaths in Just 24 Hours, General Motors to Deliver 30,000 Ventilators, with Most Arriving Long After Projected COVID-19 Peak, Kansas to Allow Crowded Church Services as L.A. Expands Order on Face Coverings, California Fast-Food Workers Strike, Demanding Hazard Pay and Protections Against COVID-19, Trump Touts Unproven Treatments of Hydroxychloroquine and Zinc for COVID-19, World Health Organization Head: "Please Don't Politicize This Virus", Researchers Find Coronavirus Arrived in New York from Europe in Mid-February, Bernie Sanders Suspends Presidential Campaign, Saudi-Led Coalition in Yemen Declares Ceasefire as Coronavirus Takes Toll on Royal Family, Palestinians Plead for Lifting of Gaza Blockade as Coronavirus Tests Run Out, Italy to Close Ports to Migrant Aid Ships; Asylees in Greece Must Remain in Camps, Hundreds of Bolivians Trapped in Quarantine as Chile Seals Border, 13-Year-Old Charlotte Figi, Whose Epilepsy Was Eased by Medical Cannabis, Dies of Suspected COVID-19, Air Pollution Plummets Worldwide Amid Coronavirus Lockdowns, ACLU Demands Investigation After Migrant Forced to Birth Baby in Border Patrol Custody

"People Are Dying in the Streets": Ecuador Struggles to Cope with COVID-19 as Cases Skyrocket
Wed, 08 Apr 2020 08:51:14 -0400
The coronavirus pandemic is exhausting Ecuador's medical resources, with at least 220 dead and more than 4,000 cases. Ecuador is among the top three countries with the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the entire Latin American region. In recent days, images of dead bodies wrapped in plastic tarp left on the streets of the city of Guayaquil as families desperately try to bury loved ones have shocked the entire country and the world. Guayaquil is Ecuador's most populous city and the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. We speak with Denisse Herrera, the Ecuador correspondent for teleSUR.

Albert Woodfox: COVID-19 Offers Public a "Small Window" into What Prisoners Face in Solitary Confinement
Wed, 08 Apr 2020 08:45:20 -0400
As millions shelter in place around the world, we speak with Albert Woodfox, who served the longest time in solitary confinement of any prisoner in the United States. Known as one of the Angola Three, along with Robert King and Herman Wallace, Woodfox was held in isolation for nearly 44 years at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola. He was convicted of killing a guard in jail, but always maintained his innocence. He says he was targeted for co-founding the first Black Panther chapter in Angola. He was released in 2016 and is now 73 years old. His memoir is "Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement. My Story of Transformation and Hope." Woodfox says that while speaking to people around the country, he is often asked to describe what solitary confinement is like. "We never had a reference other than our own experience," he says, "but this coronavirus pandemic, now people have a small window into what it is like."

"A Systematic Issue of Disparity": Black People in Louisiana Account for 70% of COVID-19 Deaths
Wed, 08 Apr 2020 08:33:27 -0400
Louisiana faces one of the worst outbreaks of the coronavirus in the United States. New data shows black people account for 70% of all the state's coronavirus deaths, though they comprise just 32% of the state's population. Louisiana also has the highest incarceration rate in the country, and more than 65% of the people in its jails and prisons are black. At least 28 people are infected, and 22 corrections staff have tested positive. State corrections officials are sending infected prisoners to the Louisiana State Penitentiary — known as Angola, the largest maximum-security prison in the United States — where they are being held in Camp J, a notorious part of the prison that was shut down in 2018 because of inhumane treatment. 
The ACLU of Louisiana sued to stop the statewide transfer of COVID-19 patients to Angola prison, but a judge denied the request last Thursday. We speak with Alanah Odoms Hebert, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, and Albert Woodfox, who served the longest time in solitary confinement of any prisoner in the United States — 44 years in Angola prison. His memoir is "Solitary: Unbroken by Four Decades in Solitary Confinement. My Story of Transformation and Hope."

Journalist on Wisconsin Election: Republicans Are Letting People Die in Order to Hang On to Power
Wed, 08 Apr 2020 08:16:36 -0400
Lines stretching city blocks, hours-long waits and polling officials in hazmat suits. That's the scene voters in Wisconsin encountered as they braved the polls Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic. Despite growing outcry about the risks to public health and safety that in-person voting would pose, on Monday the state Supreme Court blocked Democratic Governor Tony Evers's ruling to delay the election until June. At least 92 people in Wisconsin have died from exposure to COVID-19. In Milwaukee — the most diverse city in Wisconsin — the number of polling stations went from 180 to five. We speak with Jesse Wegman, longtime journalist and member of The New York Times editorial board.

Headlines for April 8, 2020
Wed, 08 Apr 2020 08:00:00 -0400
U.S. Daily Death Toll Nears 2,000 as Hundreds of COVID-19 Deaths Go Uncounted, Trump Threatens to Withhold U.S. Funding for World Health Organization, New WH Press Secretary Said Recently, "We Will Not See Diseases Like the Coronavirus Come Here", Trump Fires Inspector General Tasked with Overseeing $2 Trillion Stimulus, China Lifts Lockdown in Wuhan, Where Coronavirus Pandemic Began, EU Coronavirus Stimulus Talks Fail as Deaths Surge in Spain and France, Libyan Rebels Attack Hospital for COVID-19 Patients; Chadian Ex-Dictator Released from Prison, International Labour Organization: Pandemic Could Wipe Out 195 Million Full-Time Jobs, San Francisco Protesters Demand ICE Release Jailed Asylum Seekers, Wisconsin Holds In-Person Voting in Midst of Deadly Pandemic, Floridians Left Unemployed by Pandemic Crowd Public Spaces Seeking Benefits, Chicago Mayor Demands More Reporting on Racial Disparity in COVID-19 Deaths, Acting U.S. Naval Secretary Fired over Handling of Outbreak Aboard Aircraft Carrier, Hospitals Say FEMA Is Seizing Medical Supplies for Unknown Reasons, COVID-19 Claims Songwriter John Prine, Producer Hal Willner and New Jersey Politician Michael Yun, Federal Court Allows Texas Abortion Ban to Remain in Effect During Pandemic, Dozens Dead as Category 5 Cyclone Devastates South Pacific Islands

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders & Fight for a Progressive Future
Tue, 07 Apr 2020 08:51:35 -0400
As millions hope to receive support as soon as possible from the massive coronavirus stimulus bill passed by Congress without adequate oversight mechanisms, we look at who will benefit from "extraordinary asymmetrical assistance" that went to corporations instead of working people. "Some of the people who need it the most are not getting it," says Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. "This contributes to a public health crisis in addition to an economic one." She also discusses plans for the 2020 election and a "progressive future" for the United States with a single-payer health system and a living wage.

Deaths of Inequality: AOC on Black and Latinx Communities at Epicenter of Epicenter of the Pandemic
Tue, 07 Apr 2020 08:31:47 -0400
As COVID-19 deaths spike in African-American and immigrant communities, almost a third of New York City's infections are in Queens, one of the most diverse places in the world, and many in the hardest-hit neighborhoods are undocumented and working-class. We speak with Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents the neighborhoods at the epicenter of the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, about how the Trump administration's response to the pandemic is causing "deaths of incompetence," "deaths of science denial" and "deaths of inequality."

Amazon "Profiting from This Pandemic" as Warehouse Workers Walk Off Job to Demand Safer Conditions
Tue, 07 Apr 2020 08:17:03 -0400
Just a week "after Amazon fired":https://www.democracynow.org/2020/3/31/headlines/amazon_fires_organizer_of_staten_island_strike_action a worker who led a walkout, workers at the same Staten Island warehouse walked off the job again Monday to protest unsafe working conditions as online orders soar during the pandemic. We get an update from Angeles Solis, lead organizer at Make the Road New York, which helped organize the strike. Solis helps lead the group's Beyond Amazon coalition in New York City. If Amazon doesn't do more to protect workers, "they are not only profiting from this pandemic, but they're helping to perpetuate it," Solis says. We also talk about mutual aid organizing among immigrant and low-income communities, and Make the Road's COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

Headlines for April 7, 2020
Tue, 07 Apr 2020 08:00:00 -0400
Boris Johnson in Intensive Care for COVID-19, U.K.'s Foreign Secretary Deputized , Most of U.S. Population Told to Stay Home as Medical Equipment Shortages Continue to Mar Response, Trump Ignored Coronavirus Warnings from His Own Administration as Early as January , Grocery Stores Report Coronavirus Deaths as Workers Say They Are Not Receiving Adequate Protection, WI Primary Vote Goes Ahead After Ruling by State Supreme Court; SCOTUS Throws Out Mail-in Ballot Extension, New York Appears to Flatten COVID-19 Curve as Cuomo Tightens Preventive Measures, Gov't Called to Release Data on Racial Makeup of COVID-19 Deaths as Black People Suffer Greatest Impact , ACLU Sues Louisiana Prison After 5 COVID-19 Deaths Reported, Domestic Violence Has Surged Around the World Since Start of Pandemic , Spain Says It Will Implement a Universal Basic Income as France Reports Highest Daily Death Toll, Guatemala Moves to Restrict Deportations During Pandemic , Trans Activists in Latin America Speak Out Against Policies That Restrict Outings by Sex , Medical Workers in Pakistan Arrested, Beaten for Protesting Lack of Protective Gear , India Halts Plan to Restrict Hydroxychloroquine Exports After Trump Threatens to Retaliate, WHO Condemns Racist Suggestion by French Doctors to Test COVID-19 Vaccine in Africa, Multiple Countries Say U.S. Is Intercepting Critical Medical Gear Shipments Around the World, Cardinal Pell Walks Free After Court Overturns Conviction for Sexually Assaulting Boys , U.N.: Deadly Shelling of Yemen Women's Prison Could Amount to a War Crime, U.S. Labels Russian White Supremacist Group a Terrorist Organization

NY Bishop Explains Why St John Divine Cathedral Is Working with Fundamentalist Group During Pandemic
Mon, 06 Apr 2020 08:53:11 -0400
As millions of worshipers around the globe enter the month of April preparing to celebrate Holy Week, Passover and Ramadan in the age of coronavirus, Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan is set to open its doors to 400 beds for non-COVID-19 patients to make more space in the hospitals for those suffering from the coronavirus. But there's a catch: The city is partnering with the Christian fundamentalist group Samaritan's Purse, led by Franklin Graham, a virulently Islamophobic, anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ preacher. Last week, the group erected an emergency field hospital in Central Park to treat spillover patients from Mount Sinai Hospital. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has promised to send aides to monitor the group to prevent discrimination against patients. We speak to Bishop Clifton Daniel, the dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, who says he rejects the values of Samaritan's Purse but welcomes their help regardless. "We are in the business of saving lives and helping people," Dean Daniel says. "If you are in the desert dying of thirst and somebody hands you a glass of water, you don't check their driver's license. You just say 'thank you.'"

"Leaving Us in Here to Die": Prisoners Plea for Release, Protection Amid Skyrocketing Infections
Mon, 06 Apr 2020 08:36:06 -0400
U.S. Attorney General William Barr issued an emergency order Friday calling for the release of vulnerable federal prisoners into home confinement amid the coronavirus crisis. This news comes as at least 16 states have also released prisoners. We look at the treatment of incarcerated people in New York state, where Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to grant anyone freedom despite at least 24 confirmed cases among state prisoners. Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he'll release about 300 people from Rikers Island and other city jails, but advocates are calling for far more to be freed. We speak to José Díaz, a New York University graduate student who was just released from Rikers on Saturday morning. We also speak with Jose Saldana, director of the group Release Aging People in Prison.

One Mask for Five 12-Hour Shifts: Harlem Hospital Nurses Demand Better Protection Amid Pandemic
Mon, 06 Apr 2020 08:22:29 -0400
As New York state's death toll from coronavirus passes 4,000, nurses and medical workers on the frontlines in New York City are protesting for better protections. We go to a demonstration outside Harlem Hospital to speak with Sarah Dowd, a registered nurse who works in its medical/surgical unit and has been treating COVID-19-positive patients. She is a member of the New York State Nurses Association union. "This is not a time for people to be sitting on the sidelines," Dowd says. "We need to make big demands of the system."

Headlines for April 6, 2020
Mon, 06 Apr 2020 08:00:00 -0400
Coronavirus Cases Surge in U.S., Surgeon General Warns of "Pearl Harbor Moment" , Gov. Cuomo Slashes Medicaid as New York Struggles to Get Handle on COVID-19 Cases , Black Communities Hit Disproportionately Hard by Coronavirus , Coronavirus Cases Appear to Level Off in Parts of Europe, But Death Tolls Remain High , Boris Johnson Hospitalized for Acute Coronavirus Symptoms , Japan's Shinzo Abe to Declare Emergency; Filipino Police Kills Man Who Flouted Coronavirus Rules, Low-Paid Garment Workers in Bangladesh Face Mass Unemployment , Former Prime Ministers of Somalia and Libya Die from COVID-19, Complaint Filed at ICC over Jair Bolsonaro's Handling of Coronavirus Outbreak; Death Toll Mounts in Honduras , Trump Ignores His Govt's Recommendations, Says He Won't Wear Face Mask and Touts Anti-Malarial Drug, Immigrant Women Launch Hunger Strike in Tacoma, WA as COVID-19 Cases Rise in Immigration Jails , Employees at Chicago Amazon, Food Processing Plants Among Rising Worker Actions Amid Pandemic, Tiger at Bronx Zoo Tests Positive for COVID-19, Construction of Keystone XL Pipeline to Resume Despite Coronavirus and Environmental Threats, Fired U.S. Navy Captain Brett Crozier Tests Positive for COVID-19 , Trump Fires Intelligence Community Watchdog Michael Atkinson , Longtime AP Writer, Deputy Tech Editor Anick Jesdanun Dies of COVID-19 , Journalist & Economist Martin Khor, Who Fought for Ecological Rights in the Global South, Dies at 68, Legendary Soul Singer Bill Withers, Known for "Lean on Me" & "Ain't No Sunshine," Dies at 81

Protect Immigrant Communities: Fear Mounts of Deadly COVID-19 Outbreak in U.S. Border Camps, ICE Jails
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:50:12 -0400
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has joined thousands of medical professionals and immigration rights groups to demand that Immigration and Customs Enforcement release all prisoners from immigration jails as the coronavirus continues to spread. Meanwhile, immigration advocates are working to prepare crowded encampments of asylum seekers across the U.S.-Mexico border for a potentially catastrophic outbreak of COVID-19. Since the implementation of the Trump administration's "Remain in Mexico" policy, tens of thousands of asylum seekers from regions like Central America and Africa have been stranded in Mexican border cities waiting for their asylum cases to resolve in U.S. courts. We speak to Laura Molinar, founder and executive director of Sueños Sin Fronteras de Tejas, a Latinx, women of color-led collective providing support to immigrant and asylee women, children and families.

How Taiwan Contained COVID-19: Early Action, Technology & Millions of Face Masks
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:38:36 -0400
Taiwan, despite being just 100 miles from mainland China with regular flights to and from Wuhan, has successfully staved off the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. The country has so far seen five deaths and just under 350 confirmed cases, and most schools and businesses remain open. How did Taiwan do it? "Aggressive action," says Dr. Jason Wang, the former project manager for Taiwan's National Health Insurance Reform Task-force. He is now the director of the Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention and associate professor of pediatrics and medicine at Stanford University. He speaks with us about Taiwan's strategy and what the world can learn from it.

As Virus Spreads in Philippines, So Does Authoritarianism: Duterte Threatens Violence Amid Lockdown
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:29:05 -0400
In the Philippines, authoritarian President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday he's ordered soldiers to shoot to kill residents if they resist a strict lockdown on the island of Luzon. His order came after residents of Manila's Quezon City shanty town staged a protest, saying they've gone hungry without food promised when the lockdown began more than two weeks ago. The Philippines death toll is 136 with more than 3,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. As those numbers grow, nurses and doctors report a drastic lack of personal protective equipment. While the Philippines has seen a surge in cases, Indonesia is now reporting the second most fatalities in Asia after China with 181 dead. Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan have also had success in containing the virus. For more on how countries in the region are responding to coronavirus, we speak with Natashya Gutierrez, editor-in-chief of VICE Asia.

"Our Bodies Are On the Line": NYC Nurses Demand Protective Gear as COVID-19 Death Toll Skyrockets
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:17:47 -0400
Nurses in California, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada and Texas are protesting one of the nation's largest hospital chains for a "lack of preparedness" amid the coronavirus pandemic. They're calling on HCA Healthcare to provide optimal personal protective equipment, or PPE, for nurses and other staff. In New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, nurses and doctors at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx protested Thursday over the lack of PPE. Today another protest is underway in front of Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan calling for more PPE, better staffing and COVID-19 testing for frontline staff. Live from the protest, we speak with Tre Kwon, an ICU nurse at Mount Sinai West and a member of the COVID-19 Frontline Workers Task Force at Mount Sinai Hospital. Kwon ended her maternity leave early to help her colleagues address the COVID-19 pandemic, which is overwhelming New York City hospitals. Kwon is also a member of Left Voice.

Headlines for April 3, 2020
Fri, 03 Apr 2020 08:00:00 -0400
Nearly 1,200 U.S. Residents Die of COVID-19 in Just One Day, "Sheep Going to Slaughter": NYC Medical Workers Protest Lack of Protective Equipment, Trump Mocks States' "Insatiable Appetites" as Medical Supplies Nearly Exhausted, Florida Governor's Social Distancing Order Exempts Religious Gatherings, Coronavirus-Stricken Cruise Ships Allowed to Dock in Florida After Weeks at Sea, More Than 10 Million Americans File Jobless Claims in Just Two Weeks, Amazon Planned Smear Campaign Against Strike Leader Who Demanded Coronavirus Protections, New York City Urges All Residents to Wear Face Coverings in Public, FDA Approves Coronavirus Antibody Blood Test, National Academy of Sciences Warns Coronavirus Might Be Spread by Talking, Breathing, DNC Postpones Convention as Wisconsin Plans Primary Vote Amid Deadly Pandemic, COVID-19 Deaths Rise in Europe, But Italians Hopeful Infections Are Slowing, Civil Liberties at Risk as Authorities Deploy Invasive Technologies to Contain Virus, Joe Biden Joins Bernie Sanders and Other Dem Lawmakers Calling on U.S. to Ease Iran Sanctions, Indigenous Land Defender Zezico Guajajara Assassinated in Brazil, Border Wall Construction Will Spread Coronavirus, Arizona Residents Warn, Nicaragua Resists Social Distancing Measures as COVID-19 Cases Climb, Amid Pandemic, Trump Welcomes Big Oil to White House to Discuss Bailout, Trump Deploys Navy in Waters Near Venezuela, Escalating Campaign Against Nicolás Maduro, Beloved Brooklyn Teacher Sandra Santos-Vizcaino Dies at 54 of COVID-19

"There Aren't Enough Tests": As Pandemic Intensifies, Global South Prepares for the Worst
Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:51:09 -0400
After devastating China, Europe and the United States, the coronavirus pandemic is now intensifying across the Global South. The United Nations warns the pandemic is poised to destroy fragile economies in poor nations, decimating food security, education and human rights. We speak with Yanis Ben Amor, assistant professor of global health and microbiological sciences at Columbia University and executive director of the Center for Sustainable Development at the Earth Institute.

"Social Distancing Is a Privilege": Pandemic Highlights India's Class Divide as 1.3 Billion Lock Down
Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:40:36 -0400
In India, 1.3 billion people have been locked down for more than a week to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The country reports nearly 2,000 cases and at least 50 deaths. Millions living in poverty and migrant workers were stranded far from home when the lockdown was announced, and some have reportedly died making the perilous journey home. More than 80% of India's workforce is informal, with most living off daily wages often less than $2 or $3 a day — wages they cannot earn under the present curfew — and more than 4 million Indians are homeless. We speak with Indian journalist Rana Ayyub, a contributing global opinions writer for The Washington Post. Her recent piece in Foreign Policy is headlined "Social Distancing Is a Privilege."

As U.S. Reels from COVID-19, Trump Backs Gilead's Exclusive Patent on Treatment & Suspends EPA Rules
Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:19:07 -0400
As the United States leads the world in coronavirus cases, the nation's healthcare system is already stretched to capacity and protective gear in short supply. President Trump and his health advisors say more than 100,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus in the next two weeks. Meanwhile, millions of people have lost their jobs, and a record 6.6 million unemployment claims were filed this week, on top of last week's 3.3 million claims. For more on the economic impacts of the coronavirus, and how Trump has responded to the pandemic by rewarding pharmaceutical corporations like Gilead Sciences and indefinitely suspending environmental regulations, we speak with Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.

Headlines for April 2, 2020
Thu, 02 Apr 2020 08:00:00 -0400
As Global COVID-19 Cases Approach 1 Million, U.S. Emergency Medical Stockpile Is Depleted, U.S. Shipped Life-Saving Medical Equipment Abroad Even as Coronavirus Spread, New York Governor Warns of "High Death Rate" from COVID-19 Through July, Georgia Governor Claims He Was Surprised to Learn of Asymptomatic Coronavirus Carriers, More Governors Order Residents to Remain at Home as Trump Defies Calls for Nationwide Lockdown, Lawmakers Begin Planning 9/11-Style Commission on Pandemic, CDC Considers Recommending Everyone Wear a Mask in Public, Trump Refuses to Reopen Healthcare Enrollment as Millions Lose Employer-Based Coverage, Coronavirus-Stricken U.S. Aircraft Carrier Evacuated in Guam, New Orleans Jazz Legend Ellis Marsalis Dies of COVID-19, Fountains of Wayne Co-Founder Adam Schlesinger Dies of COVID-19, Top Coronavirus Expert Dr. Anthony Fauci Gets Security Detail After Death Threats, Driver Crashes Train Near Naval Hospital Ship in L.A. Port to Promote Conspiracy Theory, Bodies in Guayaquil, Ecuador Left Rotting in the Streets as COVID-19 Overwhelms Health System, After Hungry Residents Demand Food, Philippines President Orders Soldiers to Shoot Curfew Violators, Italy Trails in Counting COVID-19 Deaths as Vice President Pence Says U.S. Faces Similar Fate, Coronavirus in U.S. Jails a "Public Health Disaster Unfolding Before Our Eyes", Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Husband Shifted Investments to Medical Supplier Ahead of Market Crash, United Nations Postpones COP26 Climate Talks over Coronavirus Fears, Wisconsin Governor Rejects Calls to Delay April 7 Primary Amid Deadly Pandemic, Asian Americans Say Trump Stoking Racist Attacks with "Chinese Virus" Rhetoric

#CancelRent: Tenants Demand Rent Relief & Organize Strikes as Unemployment Surges Due to COVID-19
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 08:48:15 -0400
Today is April 1, and millions across the country don't have the money to pay rent. But despite eviction moratoriums and relief on mortgage payments in hard-hit states like California, Washington and New York, no rent freeze has been ordered. In response, tenants around the country are calling for immediate rent cancellation. Some are planning to "rent strike." Meanwhile, many workers who lost their income due to the pandemic haven't even been able to file for unemployment in New York state, with the unemployment website continually crashing and phone lines jammed. Seven-point-eight million people called the New York state Labor Department hotline last week, compared to the average 50,000. We get an update from Cea Weaver, campaign coordinator for Housing Justice for All, which is organizing to cancel rent during the coronavirus.

With Hospitals Reaching Breaking Point, Pregnant People Face Additional Uncertainty During Pandemic
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 08:32:16 -0400
New York hospitals cannot force pregnant people to give birth without a chosen support person. That's what an executive order released by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Sunday revealed. The order comes in response to a move by the NewYork-Presbyterian and the Mount Sinai hospital systems to bar partners from labor and delivery rooms, causing widespread outrage. But how are pregnant people coping with new hospital guidelines and uncertain conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic? We speak with freelance journalist Amy Littlefield, who focuses on the intersection of religion and healthcare, about what she is confronting now at the end of her pregnancy. Her piece for Insider is "I'm nine months pregnant, and I'm bringing my baby into a world I no longer understand. I have to remain hopeful anyway."

"Profit Over People": UPS Workers Say Company Not Prioritizing Safety as Workers Test Positive
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 08:16:29 -0400
The White House is now estimating 100,000 to a quarter of a million people could die from the coronavirus pandemic. Some of those most concerned about exposure to the highly infectious virus are workers on the frontlines of grocery stores and delivery services. On Monday, Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island walked off the job, and the company fired one of them in response. At least three employees at a large UPS facility near Boston have tested positive, and two dozen more have been quarantined. Details about the infections were shared by the workers' union because they said the company refused to provide the critical information to its employees. We speak with Richard Hooker, secretary-treasurer of the Philadelphia Teamsters Local 623, and David Levin, lead organizer with Teamsters for a Democratic Union and the coordinator of the UPS Teamsters United campaign.

Headlines for April 1, 2020
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 08:00:00 -0400
No Longer Downplaying Virus, Trump Says Up to 240,000 Will Die in U.S. from COVID-19, FEMA Sends 85 Refrigerated Trucks to NYC as Makeshift Morgues as COVID-19 Deaths Grow, As Confirmed U.S. Cases Top 188,000, Unhoused People Forced to Sleep in Las Vegas Parking Lot, Chicago COVID-19 Nurse Quits over Critical Lack of Personal Protective Equipment, Fed Economists: U.S. Unemployment Could Reach Record 32% in June, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Demands Release of All Jailed Immigrants Amid Pandemic, Captain Calls for Evacuation of Infected U.S. Aircraft Carrier: "Sailors Do Not Need to Die", Governor Won't Allow Sickened Cruise Ship Passengers to Be "Dumped" in Florida, Italy Holds Moment of Silence as COVID-19 Deaths Reach 12,000, Spain Records Highest COVID-19 Death Toll Yet, as Medical Workers Warn of "Inferno", Asylum Seeker Gets COVID-19 in Greece; Brazilians Continue to Protest from Home, Nigerians Fear Starvation as Africa's Largest City Enters Lockdown, Ugandan Police Arrest Homeless LGBTQ Youth for Alleged Quarantine Violation, Indonesian Drones Spray Clouds of Disinfectant, Raising Fears of Poisonings, CNN's Chris Cuomo Tests Positive for COVID-19 as Fox News Fears Lawsuits over Coverage, Federal Appeals Court Will Allow Texas Abortion Ban to Remain in Effect for Now, Trump Finalizes Rollback of Mileage Standards, Gutting Efforts to Stem Climate Crisis, U.S. Shifts Policy on Venezuela, Suggesting "Power Sharing" Interim Government

"It Shattered My Life": Former Joe Biden Staffer Tara Reade Says He Sexually Assaulted Her in 1993
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 08:41:40 -0400
In an exclusive Democracy Now! TV/radio broadcast, we speak with Tara Reade, the former staffer in Joe Biden's Senate office who has come forward with allegations that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993. Last week, The Intercept reported that the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, set up to help survivors of rape and sexual assault, refused to fund a #MeToo investigation into allegations against Biden. Reade told journalist Katie Halper in an interview published Tuesday that Biden repeatedly touched her without her consent and sexually assaulted her. Reade approached the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund in January looking for assistance, but was reportedly told the fund could not help her because Biden is a candidate for federal office, and pursuing a case could jeopardize the fund's nonprofit status. Reade says she learned from The Intercept report that the public relations firm representing Time's Up Legal Defense Fund is SKDKnickerbocker, whose managing director, Anita Dunn, is top adviser to Biden's presidential campaign.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Communities Enduring Racism & Poverty Will Suffer Most Due to COVID-19
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 08:23:06 -0400
As the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States tops 3,100, states are demanding ventilators and medical supplies. Michigan is a growing hot spot and struggling to prepare for a surge in cases, but President Trump has repeatedly attacked Michigan's governor, calling her "that woman." We speak with the former director of the Detroit Health Department, Abdul El-Sayed. He's a physician and epidemiologist, and his new book is just out today, "Healing Politics: A Doctor's Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic." His recent piece for The Guardian is headlined "Coronavirus is exploiting an underlying condition: our epidemic of insecurity."

Headlines for March 31, 2020
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 08:00:00 -0400
U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Top 3,100 as Three-Quarters of the Population Are Told to Stay Home , Trump Alleges Lack of COVID-19 Tests No Longer an Issue as Governors Denounce Shortage of Medical Supplies, NJ Nursing Home on Lockdown After a COVID-19 Outbreak Killed 8 People , NYC Transit Passengers Call Out Dangerously Crowded Subways, Buses , NY Rep. Velázquez Diagnosed with Presumed Coronavirus Infection , Amazon Fires Organizer of Staten Island Strike Action , Beloved NYC Transgender Advocate Lorena Borjas Dies After Contracting COVID-19 , Renowned Neurosurgeon Dr. James Goodrich Dies of COVID-19 Complications , Protesters in Philadelphia, New Jersey Demand Release of Nonviolent & Immigrant Prisoners , GE and Ford to Produce 50,000 Ventilators as GE Workers in MA Demand Company Rehire Fired Workers , Florida Pastor Arrested for Violating Public Gathering Rules , Judges Strike Down Abortion Bans in Texas and Ohio , Fired Peace Corps Volunteers Face Unemployment, Confusion Around Benefits , U.S. Military Reports First COVID-19 Death , DOJ Investigates Lawmaker Stock Transaction Before Market Crash, Scientists and Medical Experts Develop New Theories About Spread of Coronavirus , Spain Reports 800+ New COVID-19 Deaths; Anti-Fascist Activist José María Galante Dies, Hungary Passes New Law Granting Sweeping Power to Authoritarian PM Viktor Orbán, Italy Reports Lowest Daily Coronavirus Case Count in 2 Weeks as Death Toll Tops 11,000 , Israel PM Netanyahu Enters Quarantine After Aide Tests Positive for COVID-19 , Afghanistan Releases Hundreds of Prisoners to Limit Coronavirus Outbreaks , 1000s Gather in San Salvador to Demand Coronavirus Aid , Indian Health Workers Hose Migrant Workers with Disinfectant , China, Hong Kong, Singapore Impose Travel Restrictions to Prevent 2nd Outbreak of COVID-19, South African Police Officer Arrested for Allegedly Killing Man Who Violated Nat'l Lockdown, Despite Coronavirus Pandemic, Biden Continues to Reject Single-Payer Healthcare, Several States Pass Laws to Criminalize Protests Against Fossil Fuel Industry , Gannett Will Cut Pay, Furlough Employees Amid Economic Loss From Coronavirus Pandemic, Idaho Signs Two Anti-Trans Bills on the Eve of Transgender Day of Visibility , Trump Admin Revokes Federal Protected Status of Mashpee Tribe Land

"Housing Is Health": Calls Grow for California to Give Vacant Homes to Unhoused People Amid Pandemic
Mon, 30 Mar 2020 08:49:47 -0400
We look at the crisis of homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic in California, where the number of cases has passed 6,000 with 132 deaths. The entire state has been ordered to shelter in place, leaving the state's massive unhoused population extremely vulnerable. As the state braces for a surge in cases, tens of thousands of people are living on the streets. A recent study estimates that nearly 2,600 unhoused people will need to be hospitalized for the virus in Los Angeles alone — and nearly 1,000 will need intensive care. We speak with Martha Escudero, a member of a group of unhoused mothers, elders and families who have moved into vacant houses, and Carroll Fife, director of the Oakland office for Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).

Housing Not Shelters: Amid Pandemic, Homeless New Yorkers Demand Refuge in Vacant Apartments, Hotels
Mon, 30 Mar 2020 08:41:11 -0400
More than 100 million people across the United States have been ordered to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but what about people who are homeless? Tens of thousands of homeless people in New York City shelters and on the streets have been left with no way to safely shelter in place. We hear from people who are homeless, and speak with Kiana Davis, advocate and policy analyst with the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center.

We Need a Public Health New Deal: Neoliberal Austerity & Private Healthcare Worsened U.S. Pandemic
Mon, 30 Mar 2020 08:21:01 -0400
It's been described as the public health failure of the century. As the United States leads the world in coronavirus infections, a record number of Americans file for unemployment. Gasping for air, gasping for care; what does global health justice look like? We speak with two Yale professors who say decades of neoliberal austerity make it harder to fight the pandemic. They propose a New Deal for public health. Gregg Gonsalves is assistant professor in epidemiology of microbial diseases at Yale School of Public Health; Amy Kapczynski is professor of law at Yale Law School and co-founder of the Law and Political Economy blog. They are co-directors of the Global Health Justice Partnership.

Headlines for March 30, 2020
Mon, 30 Mar 2020 08:00:00 -0400
Trump Extends Social Distancing, Says U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Could Reach 100,000 , States Mandate Quarantines, Set Up Checkpoints to Limit Cross-State COVID-19 Infections , ER Doctor Who Blasted Lack of Worker & Patient Protections at WA Hospital Removed from Post, Coronavirus Cases Mount in Prisons and Among Law Enforcement Workers , 9-Month-Old Is First Known Infant to Die from the Coronavirus in U.S. , Cigna and Humana to Waive Copays for Coronavirus Treatment , CBS News Executive and Cancer Survivor Maria Mercader Dies from Coronavirus , New York Scrambles to Build Hospitals, Imposes Fines for Violating Social Distancing Rules , NYC Nurses Protest Lack of Critical Equipment, New York Bars Hospitals from Banning Support People During Labor and Delivery, CA Gov. Newsom Says State Received 170 Broken Ventilators from Nat'l Stockpile , President Trump Signs $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Package , Millions of Undocumented Workers Left Out of Coronavirus Stimulus Plan; Dozens of Immigrants on Hunger Strike at Northwest Detention Center , Staten Island Amazon Employees to Walk Out as Workers for Grocery Delivery App Instacart Go on Strike, Death Toll Nearing 11,000 in Italy as Nations Hardest Hit by Coronavirus Pandemic Demand Aid from EU, Popular Japanese Comedian Ken Shimura Dies of COVID-19 , Police in Philippines Reportedly Are Locking People Who Violate Nat'l Lockdown in Dog Cages , First COVID-19 Death Reported in Syria as Libya Announces It'll Free 450 Prisoners to Stem Spread of Coronavirus, Brazilian Govs. to Promote Social Distancing; Guatemalan Man Deported from U.S. Tests Positive for COVID-19 , Coronavirus Cases Mount in Africa as Governments Turn to Repressive Measures, U.S. Pulls Out of Third Iraqi Base, Civil Rights Icon Rev. Joseph E. Lowery Dies at 98

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