Coronavirus update, the Americas

This 31 March 2020 video says about itself:

Brazil: Sao Paulo residents stage noisy lockdown protest against Bolsonaro

Sao Paulo residents protested against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro from their homes on Tuesday, by banging pots and pans, and turning on and off lights, as he gave a televised address to the nation.

Although the Brazilian Health Ministry has urged people to follow social distancing measures due to the coronavirus outbreak, and multiple states in the country have declared emergencies, Bolsonaro has faced widespread criticism after repeatedly downplaying the situation. …

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Brazil has 5,717 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 201 people dying as a result, as of Tuesday.

USA: TRUMP STILL WON’T CALL FOR NATIONWIDE ORDER President Donald Trump, warning of “hard days that lie ahead,” failed to explain why he hasn’t imposed a national stay-at-home advisory or quarantine order. Instead, Trump boasted about how his response is keeping the projected death toll lower than it would have been if he had done nothing. [HuffPost]

WHITE HOUSE PREDICTS AS MANY AS 240,000 U.S. DEATHS Trump’s White House released new projections that there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained. Public health officials stressed that the number could be less if people change their behavior. [HuffPost]

This is what it’s like to be an Asian woman in the age of coronavirus.

TRUMP MOVES ON HUGE ENVIRONMENTAL ROLLBACK The White House released the final version of its rules to roll back Obama-era auto emissions standards, taking a critical step toward completing what would be Trump’s most damaging environmental change since taking office as the novel coronavirus pandemic rages. The rule would lower fuel economy standards for vehicles sold in the United States from 54 miles per gallon by 2025 to 40 mpg. [HuffPost]

GOP-LED STATES LAG IN SOCIAL DISTANCING A new study has found that states with GOP governors or a majority-Republican electorate have lagged behind their Democratic counterparts by nearly three days in instituting social distancing policies amid the coronavirus pandemic. While the gap may initially appear to be small, the difference could translate into a significant number of human lives with a disease that can spread explosively in a single day. [HuffPost]

TEXAS SHERIFF TRIES TO FREE INMATES AT RISK OF COVID-19 Faced with the looming threat of the coronavirus, Harris County, Texas, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez two weeks ago issued a “compassionate release” plan to complement an arrest-reduction strategy that shrank the jail population from 9,100 to 8,500 in just a few weeks. The new plan would have removed several hundred more elderly or ill defendants from jail. But on March 20, Judge Herb Ritchie issued a general order limiting the defendants eligible for release. [HuffPost]

SHE BEGGED FOR MERCY, BUT HER PARENTS’ POWER GOT CUT Angela Haislip begged the power company not to cut off service to her elderly mother and stepfather, both stroke victims who depend on oxygen machines and nebulizers to breathe. In more than 20 years, her parents had “never, ever, ever missed a payment” to the Halifax Electric Membership Corp., the power cooperative that serves rural Warren County, North Carolina, she said. But amid the pandemic, they fell behind. [HuffPost]

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