TRUMP PRESENTS RE-OPENING PLAN… President Trump yesterday presented a plan to allow states to lift restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The “Opening Up America” plan will roll out in three phases, with individual governors maintaining the authority to decide when to reopen. Task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said states that want to enter phase one must have plans to ensure the health and safety of workers in critical industries and meet certain requirements in testing and contact tracing. They must also be able to independently supply Personal Protective Equipment and critical medical equipment to hospitals and have the ability to surge intensive care unit capacity. States must also exhibit a downward trajectory of influenza- and coronavirus-like illnesses as well as documented coronavirus cases and positive tests within a 14-day period. Hospitals must also ensure the ability to treat all patients without crisis care.
STATES EXTEND STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS… The governors of seven Northeastern states yesterday extended their coronavirus stay-at-home orders to May 15. The governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have cited the apparent success of their social-distancing directives in curbing the spread of the virus. The governors of Washington, Oregon and California have vowed to work together on reopening the West. Seven governors in the Midwest announced yesterday that they are forming a similar alliance.
17 BODIES FOUND IN NURSING HOME… The discovery of 17 bodies in one of New Jersey’s largest nursing homes is a review of all long-term care facilities in the state seeing a high number of deaths due to coronavirus. The discovery was made after police responded to an anonymous tip that a body was being kept in a shed. Police did not find a body in a shed but said the facility was overwhelmed in trying to store recent fatalities in a morgue built for four. Over the weekend, the nursing home had requested 25 body bags from authorities.
ROGER STONE DENIED NEW TRIAL… A federal judge in Washington, D.C., rejected the new-trial request by longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone. The longtime Republican operative was sentencing to more than three years in prison on February 20. Stone failed to offer “any reason to believe that there has been ‘a serious miscarriage of justice,” Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote.
FELONS ESCAPE IN WISCONSIN… Authorities in Wisconsin are searching for two felons who escaped from a maximum-security prison and are considered to be dangerous. The Wisconsin State Patrol said 37-year-old Robert Newman and 46-year-old Thomas E. Deering escaped from the Columbia Correctional Facility in Portage and are believed to have traveled outside of the county. Newman was convicted on firearm, kidnapping and theft charges and Deering was convicted for sexual assault, kidnapping and battery.
ACTOR BRIAN DENNEHY DIES… Family members confirmed yesterday that actor Brian Dennehy died Wednesday night in New Haven, Connecticut of natural causes. He was 81. Dennehy made a number of television and film appearances before he rose to fame in the 1982 film “First Blood.” He went on to appear in such films as “Gorky Park,” “Silverado,” “Cocoon” and “Tommy Boy.” Dennehy won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film for his role as Willy Loman in the 2000 television version of “Death of a Salesman.” He won Tony Awards for the 1999 stage version of “Death of a Salesman” and for 2003’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night.”
MICHAEL CHE PAYS PUBLIC HOUSING RENTS… Saturday Night Live castmember Michael Che announced on social media yesterday that he will be paying one month’s rent for a group of public housing residents in New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic. Che is making the donation to honor his late grandmother who recently died from the virus. Che’s grandmother used to live in the public housing building he is donating to.
VON MILLER TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS… Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller has tested positive for the new coronavirus and is expected to address the public today. The Broncos said in a statement that Miller got tested after experiencing “flu-like symptoms” and decided to go public “to emphasize that anyone can be afflicted with coronavirus.” The 31-year-old Miller, an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and the MVP of Super Bowl 50 is reported to be at home resting and in good spirits. On Wednesday, Los Angeles Rams center Brian Allen became the first NFL player to disclose a positive diagnosis.