The Wider World

More good news on COVID-19

ALL THAT hand-washing and mask-wearing may be paying off as national coronavirus stats display encouraging signs (Shutterstock).

A glimmer of hope in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic emerged Monday as new cases of the COVID-19 declined across the nation on Sunday, and Florida – one of the hotbeds of the disease – reported the lowest number of new cases in three weeks.

As of mid-afternoon, Johns Hopkins University reported 55,000 new cases in the U.S, a drop from the average of about 70,000 new cases earlier.

The worldwide total of cases is at 16,350,348, with 4,275,346 of those in the United States, followed by Brazil (2.4 million), India (1.4 million) and Russia (816,000).  Global deaths are put at 650,533, with 147,285 in the U.S, followed by Brazil with 87,000 cases and United Kingdom/Great Britain with nearly 46,000. For Orange County numbers, to go: .

Republicans offer coronavirus aid plan

CONGRESS is mulling another coronavirus rescue package.

A plan to extend unemployment benefits as well as direct payments of $1200 to qualifying Americans is being put forward by Republicans in the U.S. Senate, according to Reuters.

The amount of the weekly extended jobless benefit has not been specified. It’s now at $600 but will expire on Friday. Previously published reports claim the Republicans wanted to reduce that amount to $200.

Some Republicans have expressed reservations with the cost, and Democrats – who control the House of Representatives – pronounced it insufficient.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, called it “weak tea.”

Also in the news:  Don’t play ball!

  • President Donald Trump has announced he won’t throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium in July. The reason? He plans to focus on the coronavirus, vaccines and the economy, vowing to make the throw later in the season.
  • Two Major League Baseball games have been postponed since over a dozen players and coaches of the Miami Marlins tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Their planned opponents, the New York Yankees, are undoing tests today.
  • Democrats and Republicans praised the late Rep John Lewis in a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda Monday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, called Lewis – a pioneer civil rights leader and a longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives – “the conscience of the Congress,” while Republican Mitchell McConnell, the Senate majority leader, said “History only bent toward what’s right because people like John paid the price.”
  • NASA is preparing for a Thursday launch of the Mars 2020 mission. The Perseverance Mars Rover will not only look for signs of life on “the red planet” but also grab rock samples to return to earth, and study how to produce oxygen from the planet’s atmosphere.

Angels lose again to A’s in Oakland

The Los Angeles Angels are off to a less-than-heavenly start in this slimmed-down 2020 season. With a 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics up north, their out-of-the gate record is 1-3.  They’re already two games out of first place.

Just as with their previous defeat, the Halos had plenty of baserunners with nine hits and three walks. But they batted 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and struck out 12 times.

David Fletcher and Tommy LaStella each had a pair of hits, but the three biggest names in the lineup – Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani – batted a collective 1 for 12.

Griffin Canning  (0-1) had a rough start, working 4.2 innings, yielding four hits and three runs. He struck out seven batters and walked two, but gave up a two-run home run to Mark Canha, which proved to be the game-winner.

The Halos will try to get back on track Tuesday in their home opener against the Seattle Mariners. That series will last throughThursday.

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