Coronavirus, profiteering United States senators, other news

This 20 March 2020 CBS TV video from the USA says about itself:

Four U.S. senators reportedly sold stocks before the coronavirus sent markets plunging. Republican Senator Richard Burr sold up to roughly $1.7 million in mid-February, days after penning an op-ed assuring Americans that the U.S. was prepared to handle the disease. No charges have been filed … Nancy Cordes reveals who the other Senators are and breaks down the details surrounding the accusations.

The three other senators about whom this is known so far are Republican party Kelly Loeffler, one of the richest United States politicians, climate denialist Republican James Inhofe, and Democratic party Dianne Feinstein.

CORONA CRONIES: AT LEAST 2 SENATORS CASHED IN ON CRISIS At least two Republican senators, Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the chairman of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, and Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), sold hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in stock shortly after Congress began receiving regular briefings about the outbreak of coronavirus spreading around the globe. [HuffPost]

Apparently, the Huffington Post did not know about Inhofe and Feinstein yet.

GOP CORONAVIRUS AID COULD UNRAVEL PROTECTIONS FOR KIDS WITH DISABILITIES Advocates of children with special needs are sounding the alarm on Senate Republicans’ proposed “Phase 3” coronavirus stimulus package, saying that it may eventually give the government power to absolve schools of at least some of their legal obligation to educate students with disabilities. The package says Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos can soon tell Congress whether she thinks schools should be temporarily exempt from some of these requirements. [HuffPost]

PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES TRUMP’S ‘CHINESE VIRUS’ SPEECH REVISION A Washington Post photographer captured an image of President Donald Trump’s altered news conference script showing what appeared to be his own handwritten change from “corona” to “Chinese” to form “Chinese virus”. Photographer Jabin Botsford posted the close-up on Twitter amid raging criticism of Trump over his repeated insistence on using his racist name for the coronavirus. [HuffPost]

Asian people are being targeted by racist attacks. Here’s how you can be an ally.

TRUMP DUCKS RESPONSIBILITY FOR VIRUS SUPPLIES Pressed on the dire shortage of medical supplies and testing to deal with the coronavirus, Trump deflected responsibility. Speaking at what’s become a daily White House press briefing on the pandemic, Trump insisted that states should take the lead in supplying badly needed medical equipment and protective items, despite the federal government’s vastly greater resources and capabilities. Governors, meanwhile, complained the federal government was competing with states and gobbling up supplies.[HuffPost]

Before the virus outbreak, a cascade of warnings showing the U.S. was not ready went unheeded by Trump’s government.

TRUMP BOASTS OF UNPROVEN CORONAVIRUS TREATMENTS Trump ignored urgent concerns about the federal government’s disheveled handling of the coronavirus outbreak, instead using a news conference to make vague or misleading claims about potential treatments while touting his administration’s supposed accomplishments in handling the crisis. [HuffPost]

CALIFORNIANS ORDERED TO STAY AT HOME California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) ordered Californians to stay at home, except for essential work and errands, due to the coronavirus pandemic. California, home to approximately 40 million people, is the first state under such an order. “We are confident that the people in the state of California will abide by it,” Newsom said. [HuffPost]

HOMELESS FAMILIES IN LOS ANGELES TAKE OVER VACANT HOMES Homeless families are occupying vacant homes in the Los Angeles area as two major crises collide in California: the years-long affordable housing shortage and the immediate, mounting coronavirus pandemic. Starting on Saturday — as cases of COVID-19 ballooned statewide — homeless mother Martha Escudero, 42, and her 10- and 8-year-old daughters moved into a vacant house owned by the California Department of Transportation in the El Sereno neighborhood of Los Angeles.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS WORKERS NEED CHILD CARE Nearly one-third of health care provider households need to care for children between the ages of 3 to 12, according to a new analysis. And 15% of these households do not have another partner or older child who can help with child care. [HuffPost]

Britain: PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson was urged today to reallocate military spending towards the NHS, social care and community support for people affected by the coronavirus. The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) accused the government of endangering the public by “wasting money on preparations for war while doing little to prepare for real threats” such as climate change or pandemics: here.

Millions of Brazilians demand resignation of Bolsonaro over coronavirus: here.

PROTESTERS ACCUSE NETANYAHU OF EXPLOITING PANDEMIC Hundreds of people defied restrictions on large gatherings to protest outside Israel’s parliament, while scores of others were blocked by police from reaching the area as they accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of exploiting the coronavirus crisis to solidify his power and undermine Israel’s democratic foundations. [AP]

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