The administration, which doesn’t seem anywhere near ready to reopen the country safely, finds itself torn between corporate interests eager to return to business as usual and medical experts pleading for more time to curb the virus’ spread. Trump’s hopes for a sharp rebound
ahead of the election look likely to be dashed, as Joe Biden
lays out his own aggressive steps for the country to return to “normal.”
Fauci also revealed yesterday that calls to implement life-saving social distancing measures faced “a lot of pushback” early on in the US outbreak and that more lives could have been saved. His comments to CNN appeared to confirm parts of a New York Times story about the Trump administration’s missteps in the early days of the pandemic.
Q: Why is everyone suddenly baking bread?
A: Bread dough is on the rise in homes
across the West, as quarantined home bakers exorcise their cabin fever with furious kneading. Stocking up on ingredients for the staff of life isn’t crazy — many countries have already restricted grain exports, sensitive to the fact that bread shortages have long been cause for revolution. Wheat futures are up, too. While there’s still plenty of bread in shops, bread-making offers the relief of an all-consuming task: You can’t check your phone to mainline infection statistics while up to your elbows in dough.
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WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Europe takes first steps toward opening up
Spain has begun to loosen restrictions, allowing some people to return to work today, even as the country continues to grapple with one of the worst outbreaks in the world. The move — which is not without controversy — is aimed at sectors like construction and manufacturing, but non-essential services like retail outlets, bars and entertainment venues must remain closed. “We can’t even know what kind of normality we’re returning to,” Spain’s Prime Minister said last week.
Spain isn’t the only European country
taking the first tentative steps towards opening this week: Austria is allowing some small shops, hardware and garden stores to open from Tuesday, while Denmark plans to send kids back to school from Wednesday. Some measures have already been relaxed in the Czech Republic, where essential travel out of the country will be allowed from Tuesday and hardware stores and bicycle shops are set to open from this Thursday.
Oil nations reach deal to cut production
Russia and Saudi Arabia have struck a deal
with other major crude producers to slash oil production in a bid to steady a market that has been shaken by the pandemic, after President Trump took the unconventional step of getting involved.
Oil prices improved during Asian trading hours today after OPEC+ reached the deal, while global stocks slumped
UK could be ‘worst affected’ country in Europe
The UK government is being criticized for a shortage of personal protective equipment on the front lines and an inadequate level of nationwide testing, a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson
was released from hospital and hailed the National Health Service for “saving” his life.
As the country’s death toll passed 10,000, one of the government’s scientific advisers, Jeremy Farrar, told the BBC
that the UK was likely to be “one of the worst, if not the worst-affected country in Europe.”
Virus fears spark xenophobia, racism in China
“As a black person living in China right now, it’s pretty scary.” Africans in Guangzhou are on edge after some were evicted from their homes by landlords and turned away from hotels, despite many claiming to have no recent travel history or known contact with Covid-19 patients, Jenni Marsh writes
As fears over imported cases stoke anti-foreigner sentiment, Beijing is tightening its grip over coronavirus research
— the latest effort by the Chinese government to control the narrative on the pandemic’s origins amid an escalating spat with the US.
Lines at food banks grow as farmers destroy food
Millions across America are risking their health to wait in hours-long lines for groceries and unemployment aid. Aerial photos
showing rows of thousands of cars outside a food bank in Texas went viral over the weekend. But there is a growing disconnect between the demand for food banks and farmers having to destroy fresh vegetables, or dump gallons of milk, due to a lack of demand from restaurants and other commercial operations.
ON OUR RADAR
- Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue donned a doctor’s white coat in a tribute to healthcare workers.
- From a solo performance by Andrea Bocelli to drive-in church services, these were some of the ways the world celebrated Easter Sunday.
- The pandemic has claimed a new victim: emojis. A non-profit that oversees emoji standards has said it’s delaying a new batch until September 2021 because of fallout from coronavirus.
- One man decided to climb the height of Mount Everest for charity — from the comfort of his own home.
- Thailand’s most popular resort island, normally packed with tourists, is now deserted as it goes into lockdown and cases surge.
- That’s an expensive round of “essential drinks.” Seven people were fined $1,000 each for violating a stay-at-home order.
- From hiking the Appalachian Trail to picnicking at Australia’s Hanging Rock, these are some of the best books to transport you far from home.
- One of the most excruciating parts of the pandemic for many people is the feeling of utter helplessness. Here are some ways you can make a difference, on a local and global scale.
- Some people are finding social connection by hosting virtual happy hours. If you’re looking to travel vicariously through the spirits in your bar cart, here are some adventurous mixology recipes to try.
“Don’t rush into bonds or cash. For most investors, especially young ones, stocks are going to give you the best chance of solid returns over the long haul.” — CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans
The coronavirus is threatening businesses and workers everywhere. CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked Romans to help answer our listeners’ top financial questions. Listen now