CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 1,342,594 and the death toll stands at 80,820, according to figures released last night by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force testified remotely before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee yesterday. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned governments not to “jump over” various checkpoints and “prematurely open.”
TRUMP LAWYER TRIES TO PROTECT FINANCIAL RECORDS… President Trump’s personal lawyer argued before the Supreme Court yesterday that the president should not be subject to the same laws as ordinary citizens. Attorney Jay Sekulow, who is trying to prevent three financial institutions from complying with subpoenas for the president’s financial records, claimed that the president is a branch of government and is immune to subpoenas. Three House committees and the New York City district attorney have subpoenaed two banks and an accounting firm for Trump’s financial records.
JUDGE IN FLYNN’S CASE GRANTS TIME FOR CHALLENGES… The judge in Michael Flynn’s court case is delaying an immediate decision on the Justice Department’s request to withdraw the case and will allow time for outside parties to file amicus briefs in challenging the government’s position. Flynn pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI about his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak but sentencing was delayed when he sought to change his guilty plea. U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan yesterday said he would set a schedule for parties to submit their challenges at a later date.
HOUSE DEMS UNVEIL $3T RELIEF PACKAGE… House Democrats yesterday unveiled a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that includes another round of direct payments to Americans. A vote on the measure is scheduled for Friday. It is expected to carry a party-line vote, meaning it faces an uphill battle in the GOP-controlled Senate if it’s passed in the Democratic-led House. Republicans claim they don’t see an imminent need for another emergency relief package.
BIDEN WINS NEBRASKA PRIMARY… Joe Biden moved a step closer toward his bid to become the Democratic presidential nominee yesterday by winning the Nebraska primary. He was projected to pick up at least another 20 delegates out of the 33 up for grabs, giving him 1,444 of the 1,991 needed to clinch the nomination. President Trump won the Republican primary, and Senator Ben Sasse won the Republican primary for his seat. In-person voting was conducted, although voters were encouraged to vote early by mail.
ACTOR NICK CORDERO AWAKE AND CONSCIOUS… Actor Nick Cordero is awake and conscious after about three weeks in a medically-induced coma due to complications from coronavirus, his wife announced on social media yesterday. Cordero had entered the hospital on March 30 for and was intubated on April 1. One of his legs had to be amputated as the result of a blood clot. Cordero made his Broadway debut in 2012’s musical hit “Rock of Ages” before earning a Tony nomination in 2014 for “Bullets Over Broadway.” He appeared in the 2017 comedy remake “Going in Style” and his TV appearances included “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”
EILISH GRANTED RESTRAINING ORDER… A judge in Los Angeles has granted Billie Eilish a temporary restraining order against a man who trespassed on her parents’ property on several occasions. The 18-year-old pop star sought the protection in papers filed on Monday. The man, identified as 24-year-old Prenell Rousseau, has been to stay 200 yards away from Billie and her family members. He allegedly turned up at the house seven times last week and on one occasion tried to gain entrance through a door. A hearing is scheduled for June 1.
NBA PRIORITIZES SAFETY IN PLANS TO RETURN… ESPN reported last night that a virtual meeting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver left participants in a Board of Governors call feeling positive about the league’s momentum toward a resumption of play this season. Owners and executives praised the league’s progress toward minimizing health risk upon a return and willingness to communicate with the players union. In a discussion centered on safety concerns, the league established a goal of getting team officials and players comfortable with the idea that a positive test for the coronavirus upon a return would not force another shutdown.