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2:35 PM ET, April 18, 2020

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 Top Items: 
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.
Discussion: Raw Story
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
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 …
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:
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 and USA Today
RELATED:
KTLA:
Defying social distancing rules, demonstrators gather in Huntington Beach to protest California's stay-at-home order
Discussion: Los Angeles Times
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, POLITICUSUSA and Slate
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 …
Discussion: Raw Story and The Week
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:
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.
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.
Kurt Bardella / NBC News:
Trump's ‘liberate’ tweets were reckless and arrogant.  Now imagine if Obama had sent them.  —  Republicans in Congress spent the past decade sensationalizing and politicizing the actions of President Barack Obama.  But don't take my word for it.  —  “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment.
Discussion: The Moderate Voice
Harry Enten / CNN:
Why Florida may have a big role in 2020  —  (CNN)The story of the 2016 election has often been told like this: “Donald Trump secured victory by breaking through the big blue wall in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”  It's how you end up with all those stories about Trump voters in Midwest diners.
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” …
Discussion: Vanity Fair
Cory Stieg / CNBC:
Could you get PTSD from your pandemic experience?  The long-term mental health effects of coronavirus  —  Experiencing intense flashbacks, nightmares, irritability, anger and fear?  In the face of a traumatic event like the Covid-19 pandemic, it's common to feel this way.
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
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.
Associated Press:
Governors feel heat to reopen from protesters, president  —  Stores in Texas can begin selling merchandise with curbside service, and hospitals can resume nonessential surgeries.  In Florida, people are returning to beaches and parks.  And protesters are clamoring for more.
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 …
Discussion: Bloomberg and The Week
Max Greenwood / The Hill:
Senate battle hinges on four races  —  Democrats are racing to broaden their path to the Senate majority in November, while Republicans are spending heavily in an effort to hold their control over the chamber.  —  With 200 days to go until Election Day, the Democrats' path …
Dana Milbank / Washington Post:
Trump tells a damnable and murderous lie  —  “It would have been so easy to be truthful.”  —  Thus spake President Trump this week on the very day he surpassed the milestone of uttering 18,000 falsehoods during his presidency, as tallied by the Post's Fact Checker.
Discussion: Breitbart
RELATED:
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 …
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.
CNN:
Putin leverages coronavirus chaos to make a direct play to Trump  —  Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin appear to have had more sustained contact with each other in the past two weeks than at any time since 2016, as the Kremlin tries to use …
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
Isaac Chotiner / New Yorker:
Gordon Brown's Case for Global Coöperation During the Coronavirus Pandemic  —  Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, had been in office for less than a year at the start of the Great Recession, in December of 2007.  Brown, who had spent the previous decade …
Osita Nwanevu / New Republic:
Donald Trump's Coronavirus Death Cult Takes to the Streets  —  “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!”  “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!”  “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment.  It is under siege!”  These Friday tweets from President Donald Trump condemning coronavirus restrictions by Democratic governors came less …
Discussion: LifeSiteNews
David Dayen / American Prospect:
Unsanitized: Donna Shalala Selection Makes a Mockery of Bailout Oversight Panel  —  Also, another update on banks and the stimulus checks.  This is The COVID-19 Daily Report for April 18, 2020.  —  Shalala has scant experience with Federal Reserve and financial matters …
Discussion: VICE
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.
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 …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Salvador Hernandez / BuzzFeed News:
This Is How A Group Linked To Betsy DeVos Is Organizing Protests To End Social Distancing, Now With Trump's Support
Washington Post:
Amid the push to reopen, states and businesses plead for more federal testing help
Adam Shaw / Fox News:
Trump ramps up pressure on Pelosi over stalemate on small business program: ‘Come back to Washington’
Discussion: ABC News and The Hill
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Republican lawmakers are planning to ask the Supreme Court to block Evers' stay-at-home order extension
Discussion: Politico
Li Zhou / Vox:
Exclusive: A new Senate plan would guarantee paychecks for workers who are furloughed or laid off
Discussion: ABC17NEWS
Anthony Zurcher / BBC:
Coronavirus: Could Donald Trump delay the presidential election?
New York Post:
Facebook's ‘fact checkers’ are the real fake news after censoring Post story
Discussion: The National Interest
 Earlier Items: 
Raleigh News & Observer:
Life Disrupted: 24 hours of coronavirus in North Carolina
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
The Trump administration is muzzling government scientists. …
Kristina Peterson / Wall Street Journal:
Top House Republican Backs Adding Hospital Funding to Small-Business Package
Discussion: The Hill and Axios
Yahoo News:
Sunlight destroys virus quickly, new govt. tests find, but experts say pandemic could last through summer
Discussion: PJ Media Home
CNN:
Democrats confront Pence: ‘I have never been so mad about a phone call in my life’
Discussion: The Mahablog