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12:30 PM ET, April 18, 2020

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 Top Items: 
HuffPost:
Trump Campaign Secretly Paying $180,000 A Year To His Sons' Significant Others  —  Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle are each receiving $15,000 per month through the campaign manager's private company, GOP sources said, to dodge FEC rules.  —  WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump's campaign …
Discussion: Mother Jones, Slate and POLITICUSUSA
Washington Post:
Rallies against stay-at-home orders grow as Trump sides with protesters  —  Protesters at state capitols across the country this week expressed their deep frustration with the stay-at-home orders that are meant to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, pushing a message that is rapidly coalescing among …
Discussion: HuffPost, CBS News, Mediaite and The Root
RELATED:
New York Times:
Live Coronavirus News Updates  —  The Trump administration has continued to deport thousands of people, including children and teenagers who arrived at the border without adult guardians.  —  RIGHT NOW More than 150,000 people have now died of the virus worldwide, according to official tallies.
Discussion: The Hill, The Guardian, NPR and USA Today
KTLA:
Defying social distancing rules, demonstrators gather in Huntington Beach to protest California's stay-at-home order
Discussion: Los Angeles Times
Mary McCord / Washington Post:
Trump's ‘LIBERATE MICHIGAN!’ tweets incite insurrection.  That's illegal.  —  Federal law bans advocating the overthrow of government.  —  President Trump incited insurrection Friday against the duly elected governors of the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia.
RELATED:
NBC News:
In Trump's ‘LIBERATE’ tweets, extremists see a call to arms  —  Trump's tweets pushed many online extremist communities to speculate whether the president was advocating for armed conflict, an event they've termed “the boogaloo.”  —  When President Donald Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MINNESOTA! …
Keith Collins / New York Times:
Coronavirus Testing Needs to Triple Before the U.S. Can Reopen, Experts Say  —  Average Daily Coronavirus Tests in the U.S.  —  Level needed to safely  —  reopen  —  152 tests  —  tests per 100,000 people  —  Current level  —  45 tests  —  tests per 100,000 people  —  Level to reopen
Discussion: Vox and VICE
New York Times:
A Key G.O.P. Strategy: Blame China.  But Trump Goes Off Message.  —  Republicans increasingly believe that elevating China's culpability for spreading the coronavirus may be the best way to improve their difficult election chances.  The president is muddying the message.
RELATED:
Los Angeles Times:
Trump and Biden clash over China in dueling ads
Discussion: NBC News and YouTube
Joseph Simonson / Washington Examiner:
‘Joe Biden has a big China problem’: Trump preps campaign assault on fall foe
Discussion: The Daily Caller and Townhall
David Willman / Washington Post:
Contamination at CDC lab delayed rollout of coronavirus tests  —  The failure by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to quickly produce a test kit for detecting the novel coronavirus was triggered by a glaring scientific breakdown at the CDC's central laboratory complex in Atlanta …
Joey Garrison / USA Today:
Judge calls alleged investigator misconduct in Lori Loughlin case ‘serious and disturbing’  —  BOSTON — A federal judge Friday called allegations of law enforcement misconduct in the nation's college admissions scandal headlined by actress Lori Loughlin “serious and disturbing” …
New York Times:
How Millions of Women Became the Most Essential Workers in America  —  One in three jobs held by women has been designated as essential.  —  Every day, Constance Warren stands behind the cold cuts counter at a grocery store in New Orleans, watching the regular customers come and go.
James R. Hagerty / Wall Street Journal:
Paul O'Neill, Former Treasury Secretary and Alcoa CEO, Dies at 84  —  Maverick clashed with colleagues in George W. Bush administration over tax cuts and environment  —  Paul O'Neill, a former U.S. Treasury Secretary and Alcoa chief executive whose independence and blunt speaking style led …
Paula Froelich / New York Post:
Elon Musk is tech Covidiot No. 1 during coronavirus pandemic  —  After working as a journalist for over 20 years, much of it in the celebrity world, I have found that whatever age a person becomes famous is the age when his or her maturity (usually) stops.  —  But something a little different happens …
Discussion: The Hill and CNN
Washington Post:
Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz aren't coronavirus experts.  So why are they talking about it on TV news?  —  Dr. Phil had much to say about the coronavirus lockdown the other night on Fox News.  —  “Look, the fact of the matter is we have people dying — 45,000 people a year die from automobile accidents …
Discussion: New York Times
RELATED:
Jason Gay / Wall Street Journal:
Stay Home!  Back to Work!  A Dog and Cat Debate Reopening America  —  You think this decision is strictly yours.  It's not.
Washington Post:
The White House praised hotels for housing doctors.  Cities say Trump's hotels aren't participating.  —  Thousands of U.S. hotels have volunteered to help local authorities house doctors, nurses and other medical personnel at reduced rates — or even free — during the covid-19 pandemic.
Discussion: Talking Points Memo
Lachlan Cartwright / The Daily Beast:
Michael Cohen Is Writing a Secret Tell-All to ‘Spill the Beans’ on Trump  —  The former Trump fixer is being released early from prison and is pissed and willing to dish on the president.  —  BEAST INSIDE  —  Michael Cohen has been spending his time behind bars writing an explosive tell …
Discussion: Raw Story and CNN
New York Times:
Amid Pandemic, Hong Kong Arrests Major Pro-Democracy Figures  —  Rarely have so many prominent pro-democracy figures — over a dozen — been arrested at once.  The arrests signaled a broader crackdown on the antigovernment movement that roiled the semiautonomous city last year.
RELATED:
Andrew Sullivan / New York Magazine:
The Coronavirus Doesn't Have a Social Message  —  Most plagues have had scapegoats.  There seems to be something deep, deep, deep in human nature that responds to existential threats like this one by seeking to blame someone else, or some other group, or even an errant individual.
Discussion: Althouse
Raleigh News & Observer:
Life Disrupted: 24 hours of coronavirus in North Carolina  —  In some ways, this is like any other North Carolina springtime.  —  Pollen coats cars like frosting.  Choruses of spring peepers fill the air in wooded areas, while the hum of lawn mowers drones on all day in suburbia.
New York Post:
Facebook's ‘fact checkers’ are the real fake news after censoring Post story  —  Way back on Feb. 23, The Post ran an opinion piece by Steven Mosher saying that we couldn't trust China's story about the origins of COVID-19.  He argued that the virus might — might — have jumped …
Discussion: The National Interest
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
The Trump administration is muzzling government scientists.  It's essential to let them speak candidly to the press again.  —  Kathryn Foxhall remembers a time when reporters could call up any doctor or researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and ask them questions on the record.
Osita Nwanevu / New Republic:
Donald Trump's Coronavirus Death Cult Takes to the Streets  —  The president has transformed yesterday's Tea Party revolutionaries into worshippers of authoritarian power in Washington.  —  Add to Pocket  —  “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!”  “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!”  “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment.
Discussion: LifeSiteNews
Miami Herald:
Amid rebukes over secrecy, Florida prison system begins to reveal ravages of coronavirus  —  For weeks the Florida Department of Corrections refused to address rumors that inmates with coronavirus-like symptoms — or those who had come into contact with symptomatic inmates or staff …
CNN:
‘Nothing to worry about’ and 'it's being contained': How Trump officials downplayed the coronavirus  —  (CNN)A day after the White House requested $1.25 billion in emergency funding to address the growing worldwide coronavirus crisis, Larry Kudlow, the President's chief economic adviser, appeared on CNBC.
governor.wa.gov:
Inslee statement on Trump encouraging illegal and dangerous acts  —  Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement today on President Trump's comments around “liberating” parts of the country.  —  “The president's statements this morning encourage illegal and dangerous acts.
Anthony Zurcher / BBC:
Coronavirus: Could Donald Trump delay the presidential election?  —  As the coronavirus pandemic grinds much of the US economy to a halt, it is also playing havoc with the American democratic process during a national election year.  —  Primary contests have been delayed or disrupted …
Joanne Kenen / Politico:
Trump's plans to reopen the country face major obstacles  —  President Donald Trump wants to get as many Americans back into the workplace as quickly as possible, but every metric he laid out this week for reopening the country has major flaws.  —  Diagnostic testing has improved …
Li Zhou / Vox:
Exclusive: A new Senate plan would guarantee paychecks for workers who are furloughed or laid off  —  A woman walks by the closed storefront of Copenhaver stationery store during the coronavirus outbreak in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC, on April 17, 2020.  Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images
Discussion: ABC17NEWS
CNN:
Democrats confront Pence: ‘I have never been so mad about a phone call in my life’  —  Washington (CNN)Senate Democrats grilled Vice President Mike Pence over coronavirus testing and President Donald Trump's tweets during a tense phone call Friday afternoon on the pandemic response.
Discussion: The Mahablog
 
 
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 More Items: 
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Republican lawmakers are planning to ask the Supreme Court to block Evers' stay-at-home order extension
Discussion: Politico
Harry Enten / CNN:
Why Florida may have a big role in 2020
CNN:
Putin leverages coronavirus chaos to make a direct play to Trump
Steven Nelson / New York Post:
UK moves to drop Huawei as 5G vendor, citing China coronavirus transparency
Discussion: Bloomberg and PJ Media Home
Washington Post:
Trump's reopening guidance has a glaring gap
Discussion: Daily Kos and HuffPost
Kristina Peterson / Wall Street Journal:
Top House Republican Backs Adding Hospital Funding to Small-Business Package
Discussion: The Hill, Axios and National Review
Sister Toldjah / Redstate:
WaPo Fact Checker Glenn Kessler Morphs Into WHO Apologist in Ridiculous Fact Check on Trump
 Earlier Items: 
Mike DeBonis / Washington Post:
GOP's growing ‘open it up’ caucus urges fewer virus restrictions amid warnings from fellow Republicans
Henry Grabar / Slate:
Nothing About New York's Outbreak Was Inevitable
Discussion: New York Daily News
Yahoo News:
Sunlight destroys virus quickly, new govt. tests find, but experts say pandemic could last through summer
Discussion: PJ Media Home
Shannon Pettypiece / NBC News:
Advisers warn Trump his push to reopen economy carries political risks
Discussion: Politico, The Hill, Breitbart and Daily Kos