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10:45 AM ET, April 8, 2020


 Top Items: 
New York Times:
Coronavirus Was Slow to Spread to Rural America.  Not Anymore.  —  Feb. 20This map shows every rural county in America, areas where the coronavirus outbreak initially was slow to spread.  Humboldt County in Northern California was the first rural county to report a case, on Feb. 20, a month after the virus first reached the U.S.
Discussion: LewRockwell
William Grimes / New York Times:
John Prine, Who Chronicled the Human Condition in Song, Dies at 73  —  John Prine, Who Chronicled the Human Condition in Song, Dies  —  The songwriter with a raspy voice and an off-beat sense of humor was revered by the likes of Bob Dylan.  He was 73.  —  Albert Petrocelli, Fire Chief Who Lost a Son on 9/11, Is Dead at 73
Rolling Stone:
John Prine, One of America's Greatest Songwriters, Dead at 73  —  Grammy-winning singer who combined literary genius with a common touch succumbs to coronavirus complications  —  John Prine, who for five decades wrote rich, plain-spoken songs that chronicled the struggles and stories …
Trump is desperately seeking to avoid blame  —  Trump removes watchdog who oversees coronavirus emergency fund  —  Jill Filipovic is a journalist based in New York and author of the book “The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness.”  Follow her on Twitter.  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely her own.
Yahoo News:
Mattis rebukes Trump over removal of Pentagon inspector general
Discussion: Fox News, The Hill, Reason and Mother Jones
Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
Pelosi Statement on Sudden Removal of Head of CARES Act Oversight
Discussion: The Hill and NPR
Steven T. Dennis / Bloomberg:
Senators to Seek Explanation From Trump of Watchdog's Firing
Discussion: Politico
Henry Grabar / Slate:
An Interview With the College Senior Behind the Iconic Photo of Wisconsin's Pandemic Election  —  Slate is making its coronavirus coverage free for all readers.  Subscribe to support our journalism.  Start your free trial.  —  Milwaukee residents waited between 90 minutes and 2½ hours …
Adam Serwer / The Atlantic:
The Coronavirus Has Not Halted Trump's Power Grab  —  An hour or so into Monday's daily presidential briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, Trump declared that his political opponents should “not be allowed” to win the 2020 presidential election.  —  Democrats “want to make Trump look as bad as they can …
USA Today:
Wisconsin voting mess sends a message for November
ABC News:
Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November: Sources  —  “Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event,” a source says.  —  As far back as late November, U.S. intelligence officials were warning that a contagion was sweeping through China's Wuhan region …
Jamie Ross / The Daily Beast:   U.S. Intel Officials Warned White House of ‘Cataclysmic’ Virus in November, Says Report
Emma Farge / Reuters:
WHO denies being ‘China-centric’ after Trump comment  —  GENEVA (Reuters) - World Health Organization officials on Wednesday denied that the body was “China-centric” and said that the acute phase of a pandemic was not the time to cut funding, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would put contributions on hold.
Discussion: POLITICUSUSA and The Hill
Sharon Begley / STAT:
With ventilators running out, doctors say the machines are overused for Covid-19  —  Even as hospitals and governors raise the alarm about a shortage of ventilators, some critical care physicians are questioning the widespread use of the breathing machines for Covid-19 patients …
Discussion: Medscape and Talking Points Memo
Ian Millhiser / Vox:
Trump claims that his daughter created 10 percent of all the jobs in the United States  —  President Donald Trump speaks as his daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump looks on during a news briefing on the coronavirus outbreak on March 20.  Alex Wong/Getty Images  —  Ivanka, the jobs wizard.
Mike Allen / Axios:   Ivanka Trump plans focus on coronavirus recovery for small businesses
J. David Goodman / New York Times:
How Delays and Unheeded Warnings Hindered New York's Virus Fight  —  The federal response was chaotic.  Even so, the state's and city's own initial efforts failed to keep pace with the outbreak, The Times found.  —  A 39-year-old woman took Flight 701 from Doha, Qatar …
Discussion: The Hill
Chris Kahn / Reuters:
Most Americans, unlike Trump, want mail-in ballots for November if coronavirus threatens: Reuters/Ipsos poll  —  NEW YORK (Reuters) - Most Americans, including a majority of Republicans, want the government to require mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 presidential election if the coronavirus …
Discussion: The Hill
BBC:   Coronavirus: US records highest death toll in single day
NBC News:
The White House chooses its own reality with freewheeling Trump briefings  —  First Read is your briefing from “Meet the Press” and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.  —  WASHINGTON — There's alternative facts, and then there's President …
Discussion: Breitbart
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Pelosi, Schumer call for another $500B-plus as part of ‘interim’ coronavirus relief bill
Discussion: Politico and The Hill
Will Parker / Wall Street Journal:
Nearly a Third of U.S. Renters Didn't Pay April Rent  —  Some tenants will be temporarily protected from eviction by a patchwork of federal and local laws  —  Nearly a third of U.S. apartment renters didn't pay any of their April rent during the first week of the month …
Discussion: The Week
The Texas Tribune:
Texas City nursing home residents with coronavirus being treated with unproven hydroxychloroquine drug  —  The physician and nursing home medical director who prescribed the drug is a campaign surrogate for President Donald Trump.  —  *Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.
Becket Adams / Washington Examiner:
In praise of Jonathan Karl or: The virtue of not being a self-important drama queen  —  In a sea of self-important buffoonery, ABC News's Jonathan Karl is an island.  —  On Monday, during a White House press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump berated Karl during a back-and-forth …
Discussion: The Hill
Jack Shafer / Politico:
Trump Anoints a New Class of Media Stars
Discussion: HuffPost, The Wrap and The Daily Beast
CNN Poll: Majority of Americans now say the federal government has done a poor job of preventing coronavirus spread  —  11 times Donald Trump downplayed the coronavirus  —  (CNN)A majority of Americans — 55% — now say the federal government has done a poor job preventing the spread …
Walter Shapiro / New Republic:
Stop Panicking About Joe Biden  —  In early April 1992, a news headline in The Wall Street Journal captured the depressed mood surrounding a certain presumptive presidential nominee: “Democratic Leaders Resignedly Begin to Rally Around Clinton for President.”  —  Resignedly.
Discussion: Twitchy
Paul LeBlanc / CNN:
Biden describes his phone call with Trump about coronavirus response
Discussion: New York Post and Fox News
Noam N. Levey / Los Angeles Times:
Hospitals say feds are seizing masks and other coronavirus supplies without a word  —  Although President Trump has directed states and hospitals to secure what supplies they can, the federal government is quietly seizing orders, leaving medical providers across the country in the dark …
Michelle Cottle / New York Times:
Drop the Curtain on the Trump Follies  —  Why does the nation need to be subjected to the president's daily carnival of misinformation, preening and political venom?  —  Ms. Cottle is a member of the editorial board.  —  Even as the Trump administration slowly finds its footing in the war …
Discussion: Kaiser Health News
Washington Post:
The coronavirus is infecting and killing black Americans at an alarmingly high rate  —  The Washington Post is providing this story for free so that all readers have access to this important information about the coronavirus.  For more free stories, sign up for our daily Coronavirus Updates newsletter.
Victoria McGrane / The Boston Globe:
Ed Markey falling short of signatures ahead of May deadline  —  Harder to gather in-person support in coronavirus era  —  The e-mail subject line was notable for an incumbent United States senator: “Help get Ed on the ballot.”  —  That was the message the campaign of Edward J. Markey sent …
Sam Allard / Scene and Heard:
Plain Dealer Put Out to Pasture.  In Final Death Blow, Remaining Reporters Given Impossible Choice  —  On the first workday after a brutal and debilitating round of layoffs at The Plain Dealer, Editor Tim Warsinskey delivered what will be the paper's final and cruelest blow.
Christina Goldbaum / New York Times:
41 Transit Workers Dead: Crisis Takes Staggering Toll on Subways  —  The M.T.A. has been criticized for its response to the outbreak.  Now a staffing shortage has made it difficult to keep even a diminished system running.  —  At least 41 transit workers have died, and more than 6,000 more have fallen sick or self-quarantined.
Max Fisher / New York Times:
Why Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Flourish.  And Why It Matters.  —  Unseen villains.  Top-secret cures.  In their quest for reassurance during the pandemic, many people are worsening more than just their own anxiety.  —  The coronavirus has given rise to a flood of conspiracy theories …
Luke O'Brien / HuffPost:
The Far-Right Helped Create The World's Most Powerful Facial Recognition Technology  —  Clearview AI, which has alarmed privacy experts, hired several far-right employees, a HuffPost investigation found.  —  Advanced facial recognition technology poses a mortal threat to privacy.
Discussion: Gizmodo and Raw Story
Andy Balaskovitz / MiBiz:
‘V-shaped’ economic recovery unlikely as recession could span years, economist says  —  Three weeks ago, Tim Bartik laid out a series of steps to encourage a “V-shaped” economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.  —  Doing so involves quickly boosting the health care system's capacity …
Discussion: Raw Story
John Cassidy / New Yorker:
Trump's “Light at the End of the Tunnel” Is a Delusion  —  In the past couple of days, stock markets around the world have rebounded owing to news that curves tracking the coronavirus pandemic have flattened in some of the worst-affected countries, including Italy and Spain …
HHS News Releases:
HHS Announces Ventilator Contract with GM under Defense Production Act  —  This week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the first contract for ventilator production rated under the Defense Production Act, to General Motors.  GM's contract, at a total contract price of $489.4 million …
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 More Items: 
Allan Smith / NBC News:
‘That woman from Michigan’: Gov. Whitmer stands out in the pandemic. Just ask Trump.
Matthew Chapman / Raw Story:
Trump claims he 'didn't see' Navarro's White House memo warning him millions could die
Adam Cancryn / Politico:
Kushner's team seeks national coronavirus surveillance system
Discussion: National Review
Daniel McGraw / The Bulwark:
COVID-19 and the Electoral Map
Susan E. Rice / New York Times:
Trump Is the Wartime President We Have (Not the One We Need)
Discussion: HuffPost
Liz Essley Whyte / Center for Public Integrity:
State policies may send people with disabilities to the back of the line for ventilators
Discussion: The Daily Beast
Justin Baragona / The Daily Beast:
Trump, Citing Hannity's Show, Claims Things Are ‘Great’ With Ventilators
Wall Street Journal:
U.S. to Block Iran's Request to IMF for $5 Billion Loan to Fight Coronavirus
 Earlier Items: 
Louis Casiano / Fox News:
Birx says government is classifying all deaths of patients with coronavirus as ‘COVID-19’ deaths, regardless of cause
Discussion: American Greatness
Oliver Milman / The Guardian:
Trump order encourages US to mine the moon
Discussion: Gizmodo and TechCrunch
Janelle Griffith / NBC News:
Louisiana woman, 86, and three of her sons die after contracting coronavirus
Ryan Parker / Hollywood Reporter:
Rosie O'Donnell Says She Visited Michael Cohen in Prison
Frances Martel / Breitbart:
Report: Wuhan Funeral Homes Burned Coronavirus Victims Alive
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Garrett M. Graff / Politico:
Trump Broke the Agencies That Were Supposed To Stop the Covid-19 Epidemic
Lara Seligman / Politico:
Navy in crisis: Top leader's resignation roils service in the middle of a pandemic