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11:10 AM ET, April 17, 2020

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 Top Items: 
Kara Scannell / CNN:
Michael Cohen will be released from prison due to pandemic  —  (CNN)The federal Bureau of Prisons has notified Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, that he will be released early from prison due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to people familiar with the matter and his lawyer.
RELATED:
NBC News:
Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to be released from prison early over virus concerns
Discussion: Just The News
STAT:
Early peek at data on Gilead coronavirus drug suggests patients are responding to treatment  —  A Chicago hospital treating severe Covid-19 patients with Gilead Sciences' antiviral medicine remdesivir in a closely watched clinical trial is seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms …
RELATED:
Washington Post:
U.S. stocks soar after coronavirus drug trial shows early promise against severe symptoms
Discussion: Financial Times
Fred Imbert / CNBC:   Stocks cut gains, Dow now up 380 points
Michael Kruse / Politico:
Donald Trump's Greatest Escape  —  His audacity masked his desperation.  —  It was the spring of 1995.  Donald Trump was this close to finished.  He had spent the previous five years constantly, and barely, avoiding financial ruin and what he worried would be a permanent stain of personal bankruptcy.
Sharon Begley / STAT:
Influential Covid-19 model uses flawed methods and shouldn't guide U.S. policies, critics say  —  A widely followed model for projecting Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. is producing results that have been bouncing up and down like an unpredictable fever, and now epidemiologists are criticizing …
Susan J. Demas / Michigan Advance:
Don't whitewash the GOP's extremism on full display during Whitmer protest  —  We were promised it wasn't a Republican protest.  We were promised people were just upset they couldn't golf or buy seeds (in stores) during a pandemic that's already killed 2,000 of their neighbors.
Discussion: Daily Kos and Vox
Burgess Everett / Politico:
Sen. Joe Manchin will back Biden for president  —  Sen. Joe Manchin will endorse Joe Biden for president, putting to bed any thought that he might not support the Democratic presidential nominee this time around.  —  The conservative West Virginia Democrat said in an interview on Thursday …
RELATED:
Marianna Sotomayor / NBC News:   Biden putting together post-election transition team, talks Cabinet makeup
Sean Sullivan / Washington Post:
Biden says he's already choosing a presidential transition team
Discussion: The Hill
Bloomberg:
Small-Business Rescue Shows Not All States Are Created Equal  —  During the first 10 days of the federal government's small-business rescue program, the spigot was wide open in Nebraska.  Firms there got enough money to cover about three-fourths of the state's eligible payrolls.
Katie Shepherd / Washington Post:
After Fauci urged caution in reopening the economy, Fox News turned to Dr. Phil for a second opinion  —  After Anthony S. Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, explained the White House's new guidelines for states to slowly reopen their economies in a three-phase process …
Discussion: Mediaite, The Week and HuffPost
RELATED:
Washington Post:
As testing outcry mounts, Trump cedes to states in announcing guidelines for slow reopening
Politico:
Matt Gaetz rents office space from longtime friend and donor — at taxpayer expense  —  Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz has spent nearly $200,000 in taxpayer funds renting an office from a longtime friend, adviser, campaign donor and legal client.  —  Both men said in separate interviews Gaetz …
Discussion: Raw Story
Ryan Lizza / Politico:
My Wild, Totally Surreal Experience Covering a Trump Coronavirus Briefing  —  “Your forehead, please,” said the woman in a mask.  —  She was a medical technician sitting in a tent outside the northwest gate of the White House in the otherwise deserted section of Pennsylvania Avenue that is usually crammed with tourists in April.
Maggie Haberman / New York Times:
For Mark Meadows, the Transition From Trump Confidant to Chief of Staff Is a Hard One  —  Only weeks into the job, the former congressman has confronted the same problems that frustrated his three predecessors.  It hasn't helped him with his new White House colleagues that he's emotional and sometimes cries.
RELATED:
John Santucci / ABC News:
Trump's new chief of staff Mark Meadows responds to frequent controversy with fits of emotion: Sources
Discussion: Politico and Raw Story
Jason Johnson / TheGrio:
Joe Biden's VP pick better be a Black woman - and it needs to be Kamala Harris  —  OPINION: At this point, Biden's not trying to break box office records - he just doesn't want to flop.  —  Some casting decisions make sense the moment the movie is announced.
Discussion: MSNBC and NBC News
RELATED:
Charles Duncan / McClatchy Washington Bureau:   Who will Joe Biden pick as his running mate? Here's what Vegas betting odds show
The Daily Beast:
Army Decides a Pandemic Is a Good Time to Give GOP Donors $569 Million to ‘Build the Wall’  —  What coronavirus crisis?  Big Republican donors get a half-billion dollar, no-bid deal that one watchdog calls “a travesty that must be investigated and audited immediately.”  —  BEAST INSIDE
John Haltiwanger / Business Insider:
The Trump administration paid a bankrupt company with zero employees $55 million for N95 masks, which it's never manufactured  — The Trump administration has awarded a $55 million contract for N95 masks to a company with no experience producing medical supplies and whose parent company filed for bankruptcy protection last year.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
Here's a state that's quietly reversing the tea party's damage  —  A decade ago, the tea party movement — remember them? — helped power a smashing Republican victory in the 2010 midterms, leading not just to GOP control of the House of Representatives, but also to a massive Republican takeover in state governments across the country.
Leon Sverdlov / Jerusalem Post:
Yair Netanyahu tweets leftists will die of coronavirus following protest  —  “I hope the elderly people who die following this protest will be from your bloc,” the younger Netanyahu junior wrote on Twitter.  —  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son Yair Netanyahu caused controversy Thursday night …
Michael Tomasky / The Daily Beast:
Trump's Culture Warriors Are a Literal Death Cult Now  —  In Trumpworld, reopening is just a matter of will.  And strength.  And devotion to the leader.  —  BEAST INSIDE  —  You know where this is headed, right?  We all know.  Donald Trump and the Republicans are going to turn …
Discussion: Raw Story
Reuters:
Coronavirus clue?  Most cases aboard U.S. aircraft carrier are symptom-free  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sweeping testing of the entire crew of the coronavirus-stricken U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt may have revealed a clue about the pandemic: The majority of the positive cases …
Associated Press:
Coronavirus could complicate Trump's path to reelection  —  NEW YORK (AP) — The coronavirus is poised to reshape the political map, pummeling battleground states and alarming Republicans who see early signs of an election that could be a referendum on President Donald Trump's management of the crisis.
CNN:
Time to fire Jared and Ivanka  —  / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)  —  Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a vice president at New America and a professor of practice at Arizona State University.
Washington Free Beacon:
The Pelosi Recession  —  Democratic obstruction will cause untold economic damage  —  As another five million people flood the unemployment system, the country faces a classic whodunit: Who killed the U.S. economy?  —  The novel coronavirus must bear some of the blame.
RELATED:
Pew Research Center:
Most Americans Say Trump Was Too Slow in Initial Response to Coronavirus Threat
Human Rights Watch:
US Government Should Better Combat Anti-Asian Racism  —  More than 1,000 Covid-19 Related Incidents Reported  —  In Brooklyn, New York, an Asian woman suffered an apparently race-based acid attack while taking out her garbage on April 5.  A few weeks earlier in Texas …
Discussion: Washington Post and USA Today
Keith Bradsher / New York Times:
China's Economy Shrinks, Ending a Nearly Half-Century of Growth  —  The contraction comes at a time when the rest of the world needs an economic boost, underscoring how momentous the task of reviving the global economy will be.  —  The Americans Who Straggled in Good Times, and Now Struggle in a Crisis
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Trump's coronavirus self-protection plan: Spread responsibility to the states  —  President Trump's reopening plan includes lots of hurdles for states, but the key factor for him was that he got to fire the pistol, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports.  —  Why it matters: Even though he's delegating to governors …
Ian Shapira / Washington Post:
He risked his life photographing the 1961 Freedom Riders.  Theodore Gaffney just died from the coronavirus at 92.  —  In the spring of 1961, Jet magazine asked Theodore Gaffney, a Washington freelance photographer, to travel with the Freedom Riders, a group of activists from across the country …
Kendall Karson / ABC News:
Country grows more pessimistic about a return to normalcy post-coronavirus: POLL  —  Ideological allegiance extends to nearly every aspect of the crisis.  —  The country is growing more pessimistic about a timeframe for a return to normalcy, with ideological allegiance extending …
Discussion: Mediaite and Contemptor
David Smiley / Miami Herald:
Florida blocks COVID-19 information from public as Gov. Ron DeSantis touts transparency  —  When the Miami Herald sought information from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office last month about COVID-19 deaths in the epicenter of Florida's coronavirus outbreak, attorneys …
Discussion: Raw Story and The Week
David Wasserman / NBC News:
Coronavirus could cripple voting in November.  But it depends where you live.  —  A comprehensive examination of the potential problems with mail-in voting and the wide disparities between the states.  —  America's decentralized system of means states enjoy broad leeway on setting election rules.
Tim Mullaney / The Independent:
Trump is lying — keeping the lockdown won't kill more people than coronavirus, and I have the economic proof  —  At 2,800 deaths a day from Covid-19, that ain't in the cards.  So stop whining and fix this  —  {{^moreThanTen}}  —  {{/moreThanTen}}  —  Never at a loss for words …
Discussion: Raw Story
Robert Zimmerman / Behind The Black:
Trump bows to bureaucrats, unveils a never-ending 3-phase program to end shutdowns … The house arrests will continue indefinitely: Though the country's fifty governors are in charge of the nationwide house arrest and the only ones who can really end it, President Trump today unveiled …
Discussion: Instapundit and The Gateway Pundit
Matt Donnelly / Variety:
‘Ellen’ Crew Furious Over Poor Communication Regarding Pay, Non-Union Workers During Coronavirus Shutdown (EXCLUSIVE)  —  Endeavor Content, Keller/Noll Launch Game Show Podcast With ‘American Ninja Warrior’ Host Matt Iseman  —  Crew members from Ellen DeGeneres' long-running daytime talk show …
Jeremy W. Peters / Chicago Tribune:
Why Michael Savage is blasting Sean Hannity and the right-wing media on the coronavirus  —  There are a lot of people who are ruining the country right now, according to Michael Savage.  Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  Liberal mayors in big cities like San Francisco.  Undocumented immigrants.
Joy Pullmann / The Federalist:
We Are Making American Kids Pay For Coronavirus Shutdowns, And That's Unfair  —  Our nation's leaders are demanding that American children pay for this crisis through debt-financed spending, while depriving them of the education they need to make that even remotely possible.
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
What AOC Gets that Bernie Didn't  —  The 27-year-old progressive activist Sean McElwee made the POLITICO 50 list of influential thinkers in 2017 for “Abolish ICE,” a pithy slogan that more liberal Democrats adapted into a quixotic campaign to dismantle the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
 
 
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 More Items: 
New York Times:
Loyal Trump Backer Is Now a Face of the Administration's Virus Response
Discussion: CNN and Politico
Brian Stewart / The Bulwark:
China Being Wrong Doesn't Make Trump Right
Discussion: Foreign Policy
David Fickling / Yahoo Finance:
Trump's Funding Cut Won't Fix the WHO's Problems
Jeremiah Poff / The College Fix:
University official says COVID-19 may have originated in the United States
Discussion: Breitbart
Jack Rubinstein / Cincinnati.com:
I want my kids to get coronavirus - and you should too
Stephanie Ruhle / NBC News:
How to stop the business loan program from benefiting the rich
Slate:
Trump Is Already Trying to Get Around CARES Act Oversight
NBC News:
Coronavirus testing must double or triple before U.S. can safely reopen, experts say
Discussion: The Week
 Earlier Items: 
Sarah Pulliam Bailey / Washington Post:
Prominent Southern Baptist Albert Mohler opposed Trump in 2016.  Now, he says he will vote for the president.
David Freedlander / Vanity Fair:
Does the King of the COVID-19 Contrarians Have a Case?
Discussion: VICE and Raw Story
Politico:
Phone tag and snubs: Bitter leadership feuds undermine pandemic relief
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:
The WHO doesn't only have a China problem — it has a dictator problem
Wall Street Journal:
New York Extends Coronavirus Lockdown as Some Asian Countries See Rise in Cases
The Times of Israel:
US alerted Israel, NATO to disease outbreak in China in November — report
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Grant Marek / SFGATE:
Berkeley institution Top Dog is on the ropes. But they still won't take federal aid.