The Wider World

Progress and protests on coronavirus

STOCKS are rising, protests are staged and plans for “re-opening” America are discussed (Pexels/Anna Shvets).

The coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate the news and the daily lives of millions, perhaps billions of people. Sometimes contradictory information comes from various levels of government and the fight against the spread of COVID-19 is both showing some evidence of progress as well as a rising political divide on the issue.

Here are the leading developments Friday on those fronts:

  • The stock market continued to rally on news of possible re-opening of the nation’s economy and the possibility of a treatment for the coronavirus. The Standard & Poors 500 rose 75.01 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 704.81 and the NASDAQ went up by 117.78.
  • Protestors pushing back against restrictions such as social distancing, “stay-at-home” directions and the closing of non-essential businesses have taken to the streets in several states, some demonstrators claiming that the executive orders violate their constitutional rights. President Donald Trump joined the issue by tweeting “LIBERATE MINNESOTA,” “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” and “LIBERATE VIRGINIA.”
  • More than 1000 sailors aboard the French aircraft carrier Charles deGaulle have tested positive for the coronavirus. One sailor is in intensive care and 20 others have been hospitalized, according to the Associated Press.
  • President Donald Trump on Friday announced his support for a $19 billion program to support farmers – and the food supply chain. According to United Press International, the aid – if approved by Congress – would mean direct payments to producers of food and other agricultural products if affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Taylor Swift, one of the nation’s most popular singers, announced via tweet on Friday was cancelling all her live performances scheduled for 2020 and that she expressed hope she could hold them in 2021.Taykir
  • Texas may be the first state to reopen its economy. In a briefing on Friday, Gov. Gregg Abbott said that a group of medical and economic advisers – termed “Strike Force to Open Texas” – would advise him on the details of his proposal to lift many of the restrictions in the Lone Star State the first day of May. “Opening in Texas must occur in stages,” he said, according to CNN. “Obviously not all businesses can open all at once on May 1.” The details of the plan will be revealed on April 27.

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