Happy Friday. The coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of people into their homes, and with the weekend fast approaching, many are looking to let off a little steam. One Twitter user recently posted a picture of her own home-brewed ‘quarantini’ – vodka mixed with Super Orange-flavored Emergen-C.
Unfortunately, it is our duty to warn you that Emergen-C has cautioned against mixing their vitamin powder with any type of alcohol.
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
– Jimmy Johnson
Congress’ Coronavirus Counter
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered the U.S. economic landscape. To combat the recent downturn, lawmakers are in the process of providing financial relief to the country.
The Rule of Three Congress has decided on a three-phase approach towards legislation to address the impact of the outbreak.
Phase One: On March 5th, President Trump signed an $8.3 billion bipartisan emergency spending package into law. The measure provided federal public health agencies – such as the CDC – with money for tests, vaccines, and potential treatments.
Phase Two: Last night, the Senate passed (and Trump subsequently signed) a more than $100 billion bipartisan economic relief bill that ensures free COVID-19 testing, strengthens unemployment insurance, and increases health insurance coverage for the poor.
Phase Three: Senate Republicans have crafted a stimulus package that would cost upwards of $1 trillion. The bill would need bipartisan approval to pass through Congress and reach the president’s desk.
Check for Yo Self… Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released his phase three proposal on Thursday afternoon. The details of the proposed $1 trillion plan are as follows:
Direct payments to all taxpayers in the form of $1,200 checks to those who made less than $75,000 on their 2018 tax returns.
Payments would be gradually phased out for individuals with an income between $75k and $99k. Those with an income above $99k do not receive any payment.
Families with dependent children would receive $500 per child.
The remainder of the $1 trillion package would include $300 billion in small business loans, $50 billion for the faltering airline industry, and $150 billion for other large businesses.
So… what are people saying?
Coronavirus Has the Economy in Free-Fall: Give People Money
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Global cases rose above 242,000 yesterday with more than 9,850 deaths. According to the NYT, the number of confirmed U.S. cases rose to more than 11,800 with 179 confirmed deaths.
On Thursday, Italy surpassed China in the number of reported deaths due to the virus.
Connecticut became the seventh state to reschedule their primary (from April 28 to June 2).
The U.S. State Department on Thursday issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory (the most severe level), warning citizens to avoid all international travel.
President Trump canceled the in-person meeting of G7 leaders set to take place at Camp David in June.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide ‘stay at home’ order Thursday afternoon for the state’s 40 million inhabitants.
Gabbard Suspends Campaign
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) officially suspended her presidential campaign on Thursday and endorsed Joe Biden. While she was one of only three remaining candidates, Gabbard only won two delegates – both from her birthplace of American Samoa – compared to Biden’s 1,181 and Sanders’ 885.
About 281,000 Americans filed for unemployment in the week ending March 14 – a 70,000 increase over the previous week.
U.S. stock indexes closed an up-and-down day with gains of roughly 1% – the first time since March 6 that the Dow closed within 1,000 points of where it opened.
Oil prices rose 23% to post their best day ever, just one day removed from Wednesday’s drastic decline.
The Bank of England cut interest rates to 0.1% on Thursday and also increased its bond-buying program by 200 billion pounds.
Tesla will temporarily suspend their factories in New York and California starting Monday (Unrelated: NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio reached out to CEO Elon Musk asking for help with the city’s ventilator shortage).
Netflix has agreed to comply with the EU commissioner’s request to limit HD streaming within the region in order to conserve bandwidth.
Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley is reportedly stepping down from Boeing’s board of directors due to a “matter of philosophical principle.” Haley is opposed to the company receiving federal financial support, as Boeing has asked the U.S. government for $60 billion for itself and its supply chain to weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Burn After Reading
Instagram is reportedly testing a text messaging feature that clears the previous chat log each time the user leaves a thread, similar to Snapchat’s disappearing message style. The Facebook-owned company has previously seen success following Snapchat’s lead – Instagram’s version of Stories (first popularized by Snapchat) has 500 million daily users.
Look For The Helpers
The coronavirus pandemic has induced much anxiety in the food service industry, but it has also provided countless examples of members of local communities stepping up to help others in a time of need.
The latest instance involves an Arkansas investment group that leases out a number of restaurant locations in the Jonesboro area. The company announced it does not expect to receive any rent payments for the month of April, urging owners to use the money to support their staff.
For Love of the Game
When it comes to sports, opponents are often fiercely competitive on the field of play – except when the two teams in question are comprised of toddlers.
As you can see in this adorable video, a young girl named Ava lost the soccer ball during her pee wee game and immediately hung her head in shame, which caused an opposing player to stop in her tracks mid-game and give Ava a bear hug.
Twenty-year-old Jayde Powell was supposed to be on spring break this week. Instead, the University of Nevada-Reno student was inspired by her mother to start a program to deliver groceries to the elderly for free.
Jayde’s newfound group, called Shopping Angels, started out as a group of students from her school’s medical fraternity – but in recent days, the program has exploded in popularity thanks to a passionate nationwide response.
🌍 Constructive Climate Change… recent coronavirus shutdowns have had unintended benefits for climates across the globe – emissions and air pollution have drastically decreased across Italy, China, and the U.S.
🌡️ Spring Fever… Austin-based Athena Security has developed cameras that use thermal imaging to scan crowded areas and detect people with a fever – a presumptive sign of coronavirus.
👂🏼 The Sound of Silence… Microsoft has developed new technology for its Teams software that can identify the user’s voice over a phone call and filter out all excess noises.
👋 Hello, Bonjour, Buenos Dias… in the absence of handshakes, National Geographic offers a medley of alternative greeting methods from different cultures around the world.
The Heat of the Moment
At which of the following would you record the highest temperature?
A) A lightning strike B) The Earth’s core C) The surface of the sun D) A volcanic eruption
Though a bolt of lightning doesn’t have a temperature per se, the air it passes through can be heated up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, five times hotter than the surface of the sun. The sun’s center, however, is much hotter, measuring a whopping 27 million degrees Fahrenheit.