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12:25 PM ET, April 17, 2020

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 Top Items: 
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: Vox
RELATED:
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  —  Investors seized on reports that the antiviral medicine remdesivir was proving effective in a small clinical trial with covid-19 patients  —  Stocks flashed green around the world as investors clung …
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.
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.
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 …
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
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, TheGrio, HuffPost and The Week
RELATED:
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:
Alexi McCammond / Axios:
Poll: Warren tops VP appeal for Dem voters in Michigan and Wisconsin
Discussion: Slate and CNN
Adam Tschorn / Los Angeles Times:
Enough with the WFH sweatpants.  Dress like the adult you're getting paid to be  —  I've waited, watched and bit my tongue during the last month of the pandemic-induced work-from-home era but I just can't take it any more.  Please, can we all put away those sweatpants, ratty, gray …
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.
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
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
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
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.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
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
Masha Gessen / New Yorker:
We Won't Know the Exact Moment When Democracy Dies  —  In the early days of the Trump Presidency, there was a lot of speculation about when, if, and how we would pass the point of no return, when we would know that American democracy had been destroyed.  That conversation faded after a while, drowned out by the din of Trumpian news.
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.
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 …
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
New York Times:
Bill Gates, at Odds With Trump on Virus, Becomes a Right-Wing Target  —  The Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist has been attacked with falsehoods that he created the coronavirus and wants to profit from it.  —  In a 2015 speech, Bill Gates warned that the greatest risk to humanity …
Discussion: New York Post and The Verge
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 …
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.
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 …
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.
Marty Johnson / The Hill:
Beaches, parks to reopen in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday  —  The mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., said that the city's beaches and parks will reopen at 5 p.m. Friday, but with restrictions as the coronavirus outbreak continues across the state and country.  —  The beaches and parks will be open …
Discussion: COJ.net
Katherine Rosman / New York Times:
Ivanka Trump and George Stephanopoulos Reach the ‘Corona-Shaming’ Phase of the Pandemic  —  Ivanka Trump, Chris Cuomo and all kinds of private citizens are getting roasted on social media for perceived failures of public hygiene.  —  On April 10, the television anchor George Stephanopoulos went …
Discussion: Althouse
Ashton Wilder / Jeff Sessions for Senate:
Sessions: Stop Immigration Until Americans Return to Work  —  MOBILE, Ala. — On the heels of news that more than 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment since mid-March, Jeff Sessions is calling for a moratorium on employment-based immigration until the U.S. unemployment rate goes …
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
New York Times:
Loyal Trump Backer Is Now a Face of the Administration's Virus Response  —  The loyalty of the longtime Trump adviser Michael Caputo helped him secure a post as the top public affairs official at the Health and Human Services Department during the pandemic.  —  He attacked allegations …
Discussion: CNN and Politico
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
Jeremiah Poff / The College Fix:
University official says COVID-19 may have originated in the United States  —  Says 'we don't know' where virus originated  —  An official at the University of Washington suggested Wednesday that the coronavirus may have originated in the United States, a highly disputed theory …
Discussion: Breitbart
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 …
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.
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Human Rights Watch:
US Government Should Better Combat Anti-Asian Racism
Discussion: Washington Post and USA Today
Jack Rubinstein / Cincinnati.com:
I want my kids to get coronavirus - and you should too
Discussion: Raw Story
Stephanie Ruhle / NBC News:
How to stop the business loan program from benefiting the rich
Joy Pullmann / The Federalist:
We Are Making American Kids Pay For Coronavirus Shutdowns, And That's Unfair
Washington Free Beacon:
The Pelosi Recession  —  Democratic obstruction will cause untold economic damage
Robert Zimmerman / Behind The Black:
Trump bows to bureaucrats, unveils a never-ending 3-phase program to end shutdowns
Discussion: Instapundit and The Gateway Pundit
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: 
Patricia Cohen / New York Times:
Coronavirus Crisis Underlines Weak Spots in U.S. Economic System
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
The Times of Israel:
US alerted Israel, NATO to disease outbreak in China in November — report
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Jeremy W. Peters / Chicago Tribune:
Why Michael Savage is blasting Sean Hannity and the right-wing media on the coronavirus
Michael Grunwald / Politico:
What AOC Gets that Bernie Didn't