CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has risen to 581,918 and the death toll stands at 23,608, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. President Trump declared during a press conference that he has the authority over state and local governments in deciding when to lift social-distancing guidelines and reopen the economy. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called Trump’s “total” authority claim untrue. Cuomo also announced that his state is partnering with New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island in a regional task force to help coordinate re-openings in the northeast. A similar alliance formed on the West Coast, where the governors of Washington, Oregon and California reached a working agreement.
SUPREME COURT TO HEAR CASES REMOTELY… The Supreme Court announced yesterday that justices will hear oral arguments in several cases over a six-day period next month via telephone conference. President Donald Trump’s financial documents, religious freedom and the Electoral College will be among the cases argued. The Supreme Court has closed its doors in adherence to the federal social-distancing guidelines.
SANDERS ENDORSES BIDEN… Just five days after dropping out of the presidential race, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders yesterday endorsed former rival Joe Biden. “We need you in the White House,” Sanders told Biden on a live stream that Biden hosted. Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee to challenge President Trump.
UPSET IN WISCONSIN SUPREME COURT RACE… Judge Jill Karofsky pulled off an upset of incumbent state supreme court justice Daniel Kelly, according to Wisconsin election results released yesterday. The liberal challenger’s victory comes as the state supreme court is expected to rule in numerous voting rights cases leading up to November’s presidential election, including a case in which 200,000 voters could be purged from voter rolls. Results also confirmed Joe Biden won the Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary.
33 DEAD AFTER EASTER STORMS… The death toll from severe storms that struck the Southeast on Sunday rose to at least 33 people yesterday. At least 11 deaths were reported in Mississippi and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced that nine people died in his state. Eight deaths were reported in Georgia. States of emergency have been declared in Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama.
STEPHANOPOULOS TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS… “Good Morning America’ anchor revealed on yesterday morning’s show that he has tested positive for coronavirus. Stephanopoulos said the diagnosis came across as “no surprise” since his wife, the actress and author Ali Wentworth, tested positive two weeks ago. Stephanopoulos said he has yet to experience symptoms.
‘AMAZING RACE’ GETS MAY 20 PREMIERE DATE… CBS announced yesterday that Season 32 of “The Amazing Race” will premiere with a two-hour episode on May 20. The new season will feature returning host Phil Keoghan and kicks off in Los Angeles. The 11 teams of contestants will visit Trinidad and Tobago, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, Brazil and other countries during the season.
KARL-ANTHONY TOWNS’ MOTHER LOSES BATTLE WITH CORONAVIRUS… The mother of Minnesota Timberwolves two-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns has died due to complications from the coronavirus, family members announced yesterday. Jacqueline Cruz-Towns was 58. Towns revealed on March 25 that she was in a medically induced coma and had been placed on a ventilator. Towns’ father was hospitalized for treatment of the virus and expected to survive.