CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has surpassed 784,000 and more than 42,000 people have died, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. President Trump announced last night that he will issue an executive order temporarily suspending immigration to the U.S but did not say when the order would be issued or how long it will last. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all events in June have been canceled. The 50th New York City Pride March and the Puerto Rican Day Parade are among events that were called off. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp announced says many businesses in his state could begin reopening as early as Friday. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee says businesses there could start reopening as soon as next week.
DISEASE EXPERT WARNS OF PROTESTS… National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci warned yesterday that protests of stay-at-home orders issued by governors during the coronavirus pandemic will “backfire” and further delay the reopening of the economy. Protestors have argued that the policies are causing too much harm to the economy despite claims by public health experts that lifting restrictions too quickly can lead to a new wave of infections and cause more economic harm. Fauci responded to the protests after President Trump signaled his support for the gatherings.
JURIES MUST BE UNANIMOUS… The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that criminal trial juries must be unanimous to convict defendants. The split decision overturned a 2016 Louisiana conviction of a Louisiana man found guilty by a 10-to-2 jury vote of killing a woman in New Orleans. Louisiana recently changed its laws to accept only unanimous jury votes, after more than 100 years of accepting split-jury verdicts, leaving Oregon as the only state that still accepts split-jury verdicts of 10-to-2 to convict in criminal cases.
U.S. MONITORING REPORTS THAT KIM JONG UN IS ILL… U.S. intelligence agencies are monitoring the status of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, amid reports that he is gravely ill following surgery. Kim’s health came into question after he missed the April 15 celebration of his grandfather’s birthday. The online newspaper Daily NK reported that Kim reportedly received a cardiovascular system procedure on April 12.
STOCKS FALL… The three major stock indexes tumbled yesterday after U.S. oil prices fell into negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 592.05 points, or 2.44 percent, while the S&P 500 dropped 1.79 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.03 percent. The U.S. market decline came after West Texas Intermediate crude prices plummeted 275.15 percent to negative $32 per barrel.
BON JOVI CANCELS SUMMER TOUR… Bon Jovi is cancelling its summer tour due to the coronavirus pandemic. The band said it chose to cancel, rather than postpone, the tour so that ticketholders could spend their refunds on more necessary expenses. The tour was set to begin in June and last through the end of July.
ACTOR TOM LESTER DIES… Tom Lester, a former actor who starred as the friendly farmhand Eb Dawson in the CBS sitcom “Green Acres,” died yesterday of complications from Parkinson’s disease in Nashville. He was 81. Lester also portrayed his Eb Dawson character in the series “The Beverly Hillbillies” and “Petticoat Junction.” Lester’s film credits included 1974’s “Benji” and 1994’s “Gordy.”
MLB CONSIDERS WAYS TO SALVAGE SEASON… Major League Baseball continues to seek ways to salvage the 2020 season. In recent days, officials have reportedly discussed an arrangement that would station teams at hubs Florida, Arizona or Texas. The clubs would then make use of the local major- and minor-league (or spring training) facilities. MLB would have to reach an agreement with the union on other logistical issues.