The state and the U.S. Department of Labor agreed to expand unemployment benefits to Michigan workers who previously didn’t qualify.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the agreement Monday. The benefits extension will be funded by the $2 trillion federal CARES Act President Donald Trump signed into law on Friday.
The extension includes self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of temporary business closures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Read More
Mark Twain once famously said, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”*
Twain said and wrote a lot of quirky/funny things in his lifetime but this particular observation is one of his most relevant and quotable because its analogical truth fits just about any situation. And the wisdom certainly works these days when thinking about the hegemonic and totalitarian nation that is communist China. American politicians have been griping and moaning about Asia’s self-possessed and secretive Middle Kingdom for a generation, but none — except for President Donald Trump — ever seriously proposed backing up the rhetoric with actual policy gravitas.
Trump’s concentration and emphasis on trade has been a refreshing departure from previous presidents of both parties who waxed poetically about “fair trade” and “helping American producers” but then went about making sure global powers like China had much leeway to dictate their own terms for sending goods across the seas while maintaining barriers to United States-made products at home. In China’s case, the country has manipulated its currency for years so as to protect Chinese industries — a gigantic corporate welfare subsidy that makes consumer goods — and everything else — appear inexpensive to the world’s buying public. Read More
The Justice Department is probing a series of stock trades that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) made in the weeks after receiving briefings about the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reported.
The Justice Department is coordinating with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the matter, and the FBI has contacted Barr, a North Carolina Republican, according to CNN, which cited two people familiar with the matter. Read More
President Donald Trump has courted endless controversies for promoting nonconventional policies and entertaining contrarian views. From the outset, he oddly seemed to have believed that having navigated the jungles of the Manhattan real estate market – crooked politicians, mercurial unions, neighborhood social activists, the green lobby, leery banks, cutthroat rivals – better prepared him for the job than did a 30-year tenure in the U.S. Senate.
Certainly, candidate and then President Trump’s strident distrust of China was annoying to the American establishment. The Left saw China in rosy terms as the “Other” that just did things like airports, high-speed rail, and solar panels better than did America’s establishment of geriatric white male has-beens. Many on the Right saw China as a cash cow that was going to take over anyway, so why not milk it before the deluge? Read More
The United States Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for donated anti-malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate as doctors say the drugs are showing positive results for coronavirus patients.
The FDA issued the authorization to allow doctors to distribute and prescribe the anti-malaria drugs to hospitalized teen and adult patients who have coronavirus, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release. Doctors may distribute and prescribe the drugs “as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.”
The emergency authorization was issued to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is working with the National Institute of Health to plan clinical trials of the drugs. Read More
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that underage minors who unlawfully enter the United States without any parents or guardians are subject to immediate deportation, the latest action in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Trump administration, under orders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), earlier in March declared that the northern and southern borders would be sealed off to all non-essential traffic as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While nearly all illegal aliens would be immediately repatriated under the order, CBP originally made an exception for unaccompanied minors. Read More
A political action committee supporting President Donald Trump filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission saying former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s donation to the Democratic Party was illegal.
Bloomberg’s $18 million donation to the Democratic National Committee is an attempt to circumvent contribution limits and violate campaign finance laws, Great America PAC said in the March 26 complaint. The FEC is reviewing the complaint and will determine later if it will investigate. Read More
Michigan is keeping pace with some of the most-infected states in the country, with more than 35 percent of tests coming back with confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.
As of Monday evening, Michigan has 6,498 confirmed positive cases out of 18,391 total tested — an infection rate of 35.3 percent. By comparison, New Jersey has an infection rate of 39.7 percent with 16,636 confirmed cases and New York has an infection rate of 35.7 percent with 66,497 confirmed cases. New York and New Jersey are the top two most-infected states in the country, followed by Michigan. California is currently the fourth most-infected state with 6,447 confirmed cases and an infection rate of 21.5 percent. Read More
by Chuck Ross Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top expert on infectious diseases, predicted Sunday that the United States will end up with “millions” of cases of coronavirus and up to 200,000 deaths by the time the pandemic ends, though he cautioned that any projection of mortality statistics could… Read More
The coronavirus pandemic thus far has spread to more than 145 countries, causing high levels of infection and thousands of deaths. The worldwide costs of combating COVID-19, including efforts to overcome severe economic hardships for millions of people and organizations, undoubtedly will amount to many trillions of dollars.
There is widespread agreement and indisputable proof that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its leaders are directly responsible for the worldwide spread of COVID-19. Read More
ICE Air Operations, the air transportation arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has so far rescued 466 U.S. citizens stranded in the Northern Triangle region of Central America amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Following orders of final removal, ICE deported Salvadoran and Honduran nationals back to their home countries on Friday. On the return leg of these flights, the agency took aboard U.S. citizens who were stranded due to COVID-19 lockdowns, according to an ICE press release. Read More
The governor of Oklahoma announced Friday that abortions are temporarily banned in the state. Read More
Gas prices are falling all over the country as oil prices tumble, yet prices are still relatively high in California, where environmental polices are restricting how oil refineries can produce gasoline.
The price of a gallon of gas has plummeted in Ohio to around $1 in part because Americans are self-isolating to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus. The average price dropped 35.1 cents over the past month, according to data from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.
A BP station in Kentucky, for instance, posted a price below $1 a gallon, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Four other stations in Oklahoma City followed suit, along with another in Paris, Tennessee. The national average for gas on Thursday was $2.03, down from $2.41 at the beginning of March. Read More
Former Sen. Tom Coburn was a hero among fiscal conservatives and endless source of inspiration and courage. The Oklahoma Republican embodied financial stewardship, always showing great respect for the hard-earned tax dollars of working Americans.
Coburn, who died late Friday at 72, helped the American people better understand the size and scope of Washington’s spending problem by highlighting government waste. Read More
Hundreds of thousands of Chinese-made KN95 protective masks distributed to hospitals treating the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus in the Netherlands have proven to be unreliable and are being recalled, according to a report. Read More
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned 80 on Thursday. In the runup to that milestone, Pelosi launched impeachment proceedings against President Trump, who was duly acquitted. By way of follow-up, she decided to block the Senate’s coronavirus response package earlier this week, and on Monday offered a 1,200-page version of her own chock full of goodies meant to keep the Ocasio-Cortez-Tlaib-Omar squad in line.
And behind the scenes, Pelosi is pulling the strings on the Golden State. Read More
President Donald Trump on Sunday said the federal government is extending to April 30 its guidelines on social distancing and other measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 2,300 Americans. “The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end,” Trump… Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order to reconnect residents’ water services that had been shut off.
The governor signed the $2 million Water Restart Grant Program on Saturday. The suspension of the public utility shut-offs were mandated effective immediately.
“This is a critical step both for the health of families living without a reliable water source, and for slowing the spread of the Coronavirus,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We continue to work to provide all Michiganders – regardless of their geography or income level – the tools they need to keep themselves and their communities protected.” Read More
The House of Representatives on Friday passed the Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus relief package and sent it to the president. What initially began as a bill designed to help the workers and families hurt by job loss or disruption caused by government measures to fight coronavirus morphed into an 880-page behemoth.
Here are the highlights: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Read More
President Donald Trump said Saturday he is considering travel restrictions and a quarantine on New York, New Jersey and other states hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Read More
COVID-19 has disrupted student life across the nation, closing schools and leading to major questions about what’s in store for high school juniors and seniors as they take their next steps toward college. Read More
U.S. President Donald Trump signed a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill Friday to bolster the economy while he also used government powers to compel General Motors to manufacture ventilators to help COVID-19 patients as the United States became the first country in the world to surpass 100,000 coronavirus cases. Read More
Several unaccompanied alien children have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, making them the first minors in the agency’s custody to carry the disease. Read More
A coalition of immigrant rights groups is urging the Supreme Court to reject the Trump administration’s attempt to undo Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Read More
President Trump has met and passed his supreme test. This has left his Democratic opponents desperately espousing gloom and demanding that the economic shut-down continue, according to frequent semi-high-brow Democratic ideologue and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, for up to seven months. Read More
The mayors of Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe and Tucson signed onto a letter demanding the U.S. Census push back the deadline to September 30, a month-and-a-half later than their already postponed date of Aug. 14. Read More
Numerous House Democrats criticized the Trump administration Friday for closing the U.S.-Mexico border amid the coronavirus pandemic and demanded a number of answers regarding the order. Read More
As the 10th most populated state in the country, Michigan may be a major beneficiary of the federal stimulus package currently winding through the U.S. Capitol. Read More
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) sent a letter Friday to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking for “detailed information” about his plans to protect warehouse workers from the coronavirus. Read More
With all we are facing today, with all the fear and outright transformation of our entire society, it might seem odd that a group of medical organizations would sign a letter opposing American independence in the production of medicines and medical equipment. You would think that in the crisis these groups would want to see America move toward a strong, independent position. But you would be wrong. Read More
Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday provided the strongest endorsement so far of the theory that coronavirus is likely to follow a seasonal pattern. Read More
More and more of us are staying home in an attempt to slow down the spreading coronavirus. But being stuck at home can lead to boredom. Read More
Socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) made clear her dissatisfaction with the coronavirus stimulus package passed by the Senate this week, saying that the cash relief should also be sent to illegal aliens, according to Breitbart. Read More
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Downing Street statement. In a video announcement Friday on his Twitter account, Johnson said he has “a temperature and a persistent cough” that he described as “mild symptoms” of the virus. Read More
Michigan pharmacies are now able to dispense emergency refills of prescriptions, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday. Read More
President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration is working on a county-level approach to the coronavirus that will enable the government to identify hotspots across the nation.
Doing so will allow social distancing measures to be relaxed or tightened based on the number of confirmed cases in each county, Trump said in a letter sent Thursday to the nation’s governors. Read More
By a vote of 96-0, the U.S. Senate has passed a $2.2 trillion legislative package, by far the largest in U.S. history, to keep tens of millions of Americans on payroll and expand unemployment benefits to those who are laid off while the country waits out the deadly Chinese coronavirus that poses additional risk to seniors and those with underlying conditions.
That way, when the virus passes, those businesses, particularly the 30 million small businesses that are struggling most of all right now, but also critical industries, will be able to rapidly reopen and we can get back to our lives. Read More
When Harvard told students to leave its dorms for the rest of the spring term earlier in March, most would have expected that they would be empty until the fall. But if some students have their way, the dorms will soon be filled with a new kind of resident. Read More
The Daily Mail, the popular British tabloid widely read in the United States, has published dozens of articles in recent months about coronavirus that were based on stories originating from People’s Daily, the communist party’s official newspaper, and other Chinese propaganda mills. Read More
The coronavirus has triggered a disruption of ordinary life most of us would’ve considered unimaginable a few weeks ago. Some jobs have vanished as if by a cruel magician’s trick; others have mutated beyond recognition. Parents have become school teachers, while school teachers struggle to find how best to continue practicing their profession from behind computer screens. Read More
In a seemingly-paradoxical turn of events, Mexican protesters on Wednesday blocked incoming traffic at the U.S. southern border, demanding their government do more to restrict American travel into their country.
A group of about a dozen protesters, holding signs and wearing face masks, used two vehicles to block southbound traffic coming out of a U.S.-Mexico port of entry near Nogales, Arizona, according to a report from the Arizona Republic. The protesters said their stunt was meant to highlight the dangers posed by incoming U.S. residents who may carry the coronavirus. Read More
Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House task force on coronavirus, took a crack Wednesday at scientific models that have projected doomsday scenarios for the coronavirus pandemic, saying the estimates do not take into account adjustments made to stop the spread of the virus.
“And I think the numbers that have been put out there are actually very frightening to people,” Birx said of some of the models that have projected that between 50% to 60% of the population could become infected. Read More
The coronavirus has thrown our entire society in disarray, and no less poignant an example exists than our K-12 public schools. The closure of schools across the country has stopped the normal learning process dead in its tracks. In a valiant attempt to continue, many districts have sought to leverage long distance learning. Unfortunately, weaknesses in the law, technological infrastructure, and teacher preparation, as well as inequities among students, are barriers to success. For example, the Michigan Department of Education has announced that under the law, virtual learning will not count for funding purposes as “seat time.” Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has submitted a request to President Trump to ask him for a major disaster declaration, which would allow the state to aid its residents in a variety of ways.
If granted in full, the declaration would allow the state to provide meals for families in need, rental assistance and temporary housing, as well as funding for field hospitals and mental health support. Read More
The economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic includes massive unemployment caused by government-mandated shutdowns of businesses throughout Michigan.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reported 129,298 Michigan employees filed unemployment claims last week. Government figures indicate that number has increased from nearly 5,338 people filing unemployment claims reported March 14, a difference of more than 123,960. Read More
Nearly 3.3 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week, a record number as businesses were forced to shut down to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that 3.28 million claims were filed in the week that ended March 21. That marked an increase of more than 3 million claims over the week prior, when 282,000 claims were filed.
The previous high in a single week, according to the department, was in October 1982, when about 695,000 claims were filed. The nearly 3.3 million claims filed last week is nearly five times the prior record. Read More
The governor of Nevada barred the use of anti-malaria drugs for outpatient treatment after President Donald Trump said the medication could potentially be used as treatment for COVID-19. Read More
“My mother is not expendable, and your mother is not expendable, and our brothers and sisters are not expendable, and we’re not going to accept a premise that human life is disposable, and we’re not gonna put a dollar figure on human life. The first order of business is save lives, period. Whatever it costs.” Governor Andrew Cuomo (NY-D). Read More
The Delaware Department of Health has confirmed that it is reporting both positive and negative test results of coronavirus testing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, despite not making that information available to the public.
“Yes, we are reporting both positive and negative results to the CDC,” a spokesperson said in an email to The Michigan Star on Wednesday. “We absolutely understand the interest in knowing the number of negative test results received, as well as the number of positives.” Read More
The political aspect of the coronavirus crisis is developing in a familiar way. The president’s enemies in the media have led the propagation of panic in the country, and have been given enough encouragement to do that from the scientific community, some of whose members are enjoying their 15 minutes of world fame a little more than is seemly. Read More