Monday, March 16, 2020
► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, March 16 — The state Department of Health announced 60 new cases Sunday, bringing the state total to 769 cases, including 42 deaths. The bulk of cases remain in King County.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Inslee to order all bars and restaurants to close Tuesday — The governor said the ban won’t apply to grocery stores or pharmacies. And takeout food is OK.
ALSO at The Stand — COVID-19: Inslee closes all bars, restaurants
► In the Seattle Times — EvergreenHealth doctor tests positive, in critical condition
► In the Olympian — Second state worker in Thurston County tests positive
► In the Seattle Times — Amid 9/11-type collapse in demand for jets, Boeing may slash production — Airline CEOs are comparing the drop in traffic to the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001 — when Boeing reduced production from 527 jets in 2001 to just 281 jets two years later. In less than three years following the attacks, Boeing cut 27,000 jobs in Washington state. Like then, Boeing now faces a stark near-term decision on whether it must slash jet production. That could again spell substantial local layoffs, which until now — even with its 737 MAX production already halted — Boeing has avoided.
EDITOR’S NOTE — It’s worth noting that in the three years before 9/11, Boeing also shed 24,000 workers in Washington.
► In the (Everett) Herald — Boeing might have to cut production — and shed Everett workers
► In the Spokesman-Review — First responders limiting access to public, using extra caution in anticipation of COVID-19 — Local first responders are taking extra precautions and canceling any unnecessary contact with the public as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grows.
► In the News Tribune — Coronavirus-weary Washington can’t do this alone; America needs paid sick leave law now (editorial)
► From the Cascadia Adcocate — Eyman urges elderly followers to party like there’s no coronavirus pandemic — Initiative purveyor Tim Eyman, who is a Republican candidate for governor, exhorted his network of Republican PCO and right-wing activist followers to disregard Inslee’s orders and the advice of public health authorities, and instead join him at a social gathering on Whidbey Island being organized for his benefit. Wrote Eyman: “LET’S STICK OUR FINGER IN THE EYE OF JAY INSLEE: 251 is the # of patriots I hope will join me @ Oak Harbor today. I’m bringing a six-pack of Corona!”
► In the NY Times — The workers who face the greatest coronavirus risk — As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States, people with jobs that put them in physical contact with many others are at the greatest risk of becoming sick. Health care workers are at the greatest risk — they can encounter diseases and infections daily and typically work in close proximity to one another and their patients.
► From Bloomberg Business — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the coronavirus pandemic (audio) — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was on Bloomberg Business discussing the Coronavirus Pandemic and it’s effect on the American worker.
► In the Washington Post — Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve” — To understand why and how COVID-19 spread exponentially, and how it can be slowed through “social distancing,” check out these simulations of the spread of a fake disease through a population.
► In the Washington Post — Hospitals are overwhelmed because of the coronavirus. Here’s how to help. (by Dr. Leana Wen) — Starting now, everyone should try to avoid going to the ER. My emergency medicine colleagues around the country report that their waiting rooms are already being inundated with the so-called worried well. These are patients with cold and flu symptoms who are in the ER to be checked out for covid-19. In such cases, going to the ER will not help you — but it will place additional strain on our medical infrastructure.
► From Politico — Terminal crush: Air passengers caught in Trump’s travel ban — Massive lines ballooned across several U.S. airports this weekend as European travelers made a mad dash for home — a situation created by the quick rollout of the Trump administration’s European travel ban and exacerbated by chronic airport staffing shortages. Now, public health officials are expressing concern that the passengers crammed shoulder-to-shoulder in airport screening lines are at higher risk for catching and then spreading the virus.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Sea-Tac Airport is being called “hassle free.”
► In today’s Washington Post — Most federal workers will report to the office Monday — as the rest of the country isolates itself
► In the Washington Post — Federal Reserve slashes interest rates to zero as part of wide-ranging emergency intervention — The Fed announced it would drop interest rates to zero and buy at least $700 billion in government and mortgage-related bonds as part of a wide-ranging emergency action to protect the economy from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak… The Fed’s actions come on the heels of its large $1.5 trillion injection into the bond market last week to ensure sufficient liquidity for normal market operations.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Many have asked us, “Hey, The Entire Staff of The Stand, why can’t we find that kind of dough to boost the fight against the coronavirus, or pay off all student debt, or something else important?” Well, Many, it’s complicated. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell — a guy Trump appointed but now Il Duce Arancione calls him a “bonehead” and America’s “enemy” (which makes us like Jerome a little bit) — can pull $2.2 trillion out of thin air. How? Let’s have Ben Bernanke explain. Back in 2009, the last time interest rates were cut to zero and $1 trillion was given to banks amid the Great Recession, Bernanke chaired the Fed. (Spoiler: It’s done via the magic of… computers!)
The short answer: We don’t print money to protect people, we do it to protect banks. And sometimes, it doesn’t even get the desired outcome…
► LIVE from the Washington Post — Dow fell 2,250 points at open as Fed action fails to calm investors — The declines suggest investors are scared the central bank might now be out of tools to guard against a recession.
The Stand (March 11) — U.S. must also act to stop spread of financial contagion
► From Politico — Senate scrambles on coronavirus package as U.S. begins to shut down — The Senate is expected to take up this week the massive bipartisan emergency package from the House to address the pandemic, after canceling its week-long recess.
► In the NY Times — Don’t feel sorry for the airlines (by Tim Wu) — We cannot permit American and other airlines to use federal assistance, whether labeled a bailout or not, to weather the coronavirus crisis and then return to business as usual. Before providing any loan relief, tax breaks or cash transfers, we must demand that the airlines change how they treat their customers and employees and make basic changes in industry ownership structure.
► In the Seattle Times — The U.S. needs a 9/11 Commission-style probe of coronavirus response (editorial) — Since January, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray has been acutely frustrated as the novel coronavirus came to U.S. shores first in her home state in mid-January, erupting later in deadly fashion at a Kirkland senior living home and subsequently disrupting lives, schools and businesses. If the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee can’t get crucial answers to questions about the federal response to the unfolding coronavirus pandemic, who can?
► In the Spokesman-Review — Legislature offers protections to undocumented residents — Washington’s undocumented residents would have more protections under bills that passed the Legislature this year and are awaiting Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature. The Legislature passed a bill sponsored by Rep. My-Linh Thai (D-Seattle) that would restrict federal officers from arresting undocumented residents around courthouses or collecting information on their legal status unless they have a court order.
► In the News Tribune — Pierce County lawmaker to leave state House after three terms — On the final day of the 60-day legislative session, state Rep. Christine Kilduff (D-University Place) announced on Thursday that she will not seek re-election this year.
► In the (Longview) Daily News — Kelly Zainfeld: “Awareness isn’t enough” — Mickel Zainfeld was a Cowlitz 2 battalion chief whose Sept. 19 suicide was ruled a stress-related, line-of-duty death. He was 41. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. It was a “part of his body that was damaged,” an injury he ultimately couldn’t overcome, his wife said.
► From KOB — St. Paul teachers, school district reach deal ending strike — The St. Paul teachers union and Minnesota’s second-largest school district reached a tentative contract agreement early Friday, ending a strike that began Tuesday and canceled classes for some 36,000 students. The union, which represents about 3,600 teachers and support staff, said it was in the best interest of all involved to settle the contract, given the uncertainty of possible school closures due to the coronavirus.
► From ESPN — NFL players approve new CBA, runs through 2030
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.