The Rundown for May 21, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 1,551,668 and the death toll stands at 93,431, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. All 50 states now have taken some steps to reopen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a 60-page document offering guidance for reopening schools, mass transit and nonessential businesses. The plan outlines a “three-phased approach” for reducing social distancing and proposes the use of six “gating” indicators to assess when to move through another phase.

SUPREME COURT BLOCKS MUELLER MATERIAL FROM HOUSE… The Supreme Court yesterday temporarily blocked a lower court order requiring the Justice Department to turn over to the House grand jury material gathered by former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators in their probe of President Trump’s Russia dealings. The stay requires the Justice Department to file a formal appeal by June 1. The House Judiciary Committee has sought the documents for more than a year. The lower courts said that grand jury records in the past have been turned over to Congress as part of impeachment investigations. The Trump administration argues that the case presents “serious separation of powers concerns” and should be examined by the High Court.

APPEALS COURT HALTS TEXAS MAIL VOTE… A court ruling that allowed Texas to expand its mail-in voting amid the coronavirus was put on hold yesterday by a U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. The three-judge panel sided with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in stopping the expansion from taking effect while it’s under review. The action reverts Texas’ qualifications limiting absentee ballots to voters who are 65 years or older. Texans under 65 can only qualify for a mail-in ballot if they cite a disability or illness, if they’ll be out of the county during the election period, or are confined in jail.

MICHIGAN FLOODING… Rising floodwaters unleashed by two dam failures left parts of the central Michigan town of Midland under five feet of water yesterday and forced the evacuation of about 10,000 residents. Days of heavy rain caused the Tittabawassee River to overflow its banks and breach the Edenville and Sanford dams on Tuesday. Dow Chemical reports that floodwater has mingled with chemical pools at its Midland plant, prompting fears of contamination. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer called the destruction in Midland County “devastating” and asked for federal assistance.

MICHAEL COHEN TO BE RELEASED… President Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen is scheduled for release from prison to home confinement today. The 53-year-old Cohen, who is serving a three-year sentence for lying to Congress and campaign finance fraud, was originally due to be freed in November 2021. Fears of the coronavirus prompted his early release. Cohen admitted lying to Congress about a Trump Tower project in Moscow and committing campaign finance violations for making hush money payments to women who allegedly had affairs with Trump. Cohen also pled guilty to tax and bank fraud charges unrelated to Trump.

ENTERTAINMENT
ACTOR DIES IN ATTEMPTED MURDER-SUICIDE
… Actor Hagen Mills, who’s best known for his appearance in the 2016 FX pilot “Baskets,” died in an attempted murder-suicide on Tuesday night in Mayfield, Kentucky, authorities confirmed yesterday. Police found his body after responding to the report of gunfire at a home. Investigators say Mills held his 4-year-old daughter and her grandmother hostage and then opened fire on the baby’s mother upon her arrival. After shooting the mother several times, Mills reportedly turned the gun on himself. The mother survived her wounds and is listed in stable condition at a hospital. The child and grandmother were not harmed. Among his other acting roles, Mills played Buck Barrow in the 2013 television movie “Bonnie & Clyde: Justified.”

LITTLE RICHARD LAID TO REST… Little Richard was laid to rest at a private service in in Huntsville, Alabama, yesterday. The pioneering Rock ‘N Roller was 87 when he died from bone cancer on May 9. Born Richard Penniman, he sold more than 30 million records worldwide and is best remembered for the hit songs ”Tutti Frutti, “Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly Miss Molly.”

SPORTS
NCAA LIFTS ACTIVITY BAN FOR THREE SPORTS… The NCAA Council yesterday voted to lift its moratorium on athletic-related activities for football and men’s and women’s basketball. The vote allows for voluntary athletic activities for the threes ports to run through June. The moratorium was set to expire on May 31.

The Rundown for May 20, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… At least 20,260 new coronavirus cases and 1,574 Covid-19-related deaths were reported in the U.S. yesterday, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. There are now at least 1,528,568 cases nationwide and the death toll stands at 91,921. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield issued an order yesterday extending health restrictions on people migrating to the U.S. through Mexico and Canada “until he determines the serious danger from COVID-19 has ceased.” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the Canada-U.S. border would be limited to essential workers until June 21. A federal judge yesterday ruled that all Texas voters, regardless of age, qualify for mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. District Judge Fred Biery agreed with individual Texas voters and the Texas Democratic Party that voters would face irreparable harm if existing age eligibility rules for voting by mail were to remain in place.

TRUMP FRAUD SUIT GREENLIGHTED… A federal judge has given the go-ahead to a lawsuit accusing President Trump, his three eldest children and his company of collaborating with marketing company ACN in promoting a pyramid scheme. Trump attorneys were denied in their request for a stay. Plaintiffs claim President Trump, along with his sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric, and daughter Ivanka, are guilty of fraud, false advertising, and unfair competition in their dealings with ACN. It claims the Trumps didn’t disclose their relationship with ACN and made millions by telling investors they would have a “reasonable probability of success” if they joined the scheme.

SENATE PANEL APPROVES RATCLIFFE… The Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday approved Texas Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe as national intelligence director. The 8-7 was along party lines. Ratcliffe’s nomination advances to a full Senate vote following the 8-7 vote. The 54-year-old Ratcliffe has represented Texas’s 4th District since 2015 and has been a member of the House intelligence committee. He would be the first permanent director of national intelligence since Dan Coats resigned last July.

HOUSE DEMS SEEK MUELLER GRAND JURY EVIDENCE… House Democrats are seeking access to secret grand jury evidence gathered by former special counsel Robert Mueller during the Justice Department’s Russia investigation. A brief they’ve filed with the Supreme Court seeks to determine if President Trump committed an impeachable offense. Mueller said in his report that the investigation found several “episodes” of possible obstruction. House general counsel Douglas Letter says the committee’s investigation into Trump’s activities “is ongoing.”

EVACUATIONS FOLLOW DAM BREAKS IN MICHIGAN… Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency for Midland County following the breach of two dams last night. Whitmer warned that the city of Midland’s downtown area could be under nine feet of water today. Officials say about 3,500 homes and 10,000 people have so far been evacuated. There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

EXECUTION IN MISSOURI… A 64-year-old man convicted of killing an 81-year-old woman in 1991 was executed in Missouri last night. Walter Barton was administered a lethal injection hours after the Supreme Court refused to hear his case. He was convicted in the death of trailer park operator Gladys Kuehler after being tried five times in the killing. The first two trials ended in a mistrial and hung jury. The next two led to convictions but both were overturned. The final trial again led to a conviction and a death sentence.

ENTERTAINMENT
HELLA MEGA TOUR DELAYED… The North American Hella Mega tour featuring Green Day, Weezer and Fall Out Boy has been delayed until summer 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The three bands announced that they will soon announce summer 2021 dates at the same venues. Green Day was forced to postpone a number of concert dates throughout Asia due to the pandemic. Weezer recently delayed the release of its upcoming album.

‘GREYHOUND’ TO BE STREAMED… The Tom Hanks-fronted World War II drama ”Greyhound” has a new home in Apple TV Plus. The streaming service announced yesterday that it has purchased worldwide rights from Sony Pictures but didn’t disclose a release date. The film is based on C.S. Forester’s novel “The Good Shepherd.” Set in the early days of World War II, it centers on a Navy captain who leads an international convoy of 37 Allied ships in his first command on a U.S. destroyer.

SPORTS
NFL REOPENING FACILITIES… A limited number of NFL teams reopened their training facilities yesterday. The Cowboys, Falcons, Texans, Cardinals, Chiefs and Colts were expected to be among teams returning to their buildings. The Bengals are scheduled to reopen today. The Jaguars have set May 26 for their reopening, while the Broncos are also targeting next week. The Packers, Ravens, Dolphins, Vikings, Titans, Buccaneers, Browns, Panthers, Saints, Eagles and Packers also aren’t affected by government-imposed lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic but haven’t announced when they’ll reopen.

The Rundown for May 18, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 1,467,065 and the death toll stands at 88,709, according to figures released last night by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said yesterday morning during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” that plans to reopen businesses, schools and other facilities do not rely entirely on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Azar also told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the Trump administration’s plan to prepare 300 million doses of a vaccine by the end of the year was a goal and “not a pledge.”

FED CHIEF TALKS RECOVERY… Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell conceded in an interview that aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes” last night that it may take more than a year for the economy to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Powell said the path to economic recovery could begin in early 2021. The Fed chief is expected to repeat his call for increased spending amid the crisis when he appears before Congress tomorrow.

POMPEO INVESTIGATION PRECEDED INSPECTOR GENERAL FIRING… Congressional officials told NBC News yesterday that State Department Inspector General Steve Linick was removed from his job Friday after investigating reports that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a staffer walk his dog, pick up his dry cleaning and make dinner reservations for Pompeo and his wife, among other personal errands. The officials said they are working to learn whether Linick had any other ongoing investigations into Pompeo. President Trump announced on Friday that he was firing Linick because he no longer had the “fullest confidence in him.”

AIR FORCES LAUNCHES ROCKETS… The Air Force yesterday successfully launched its Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral. The rocket is carrying a X-37B space plane for a secretive mission. It will deploy a satellite into orbit and also test power-beaming technology on its sixth mission in space.

FIRST NAMED STORM TARGETS NORTH CAROLINA… Tropical Storm Arthur was expected to bring heavy rain and minor flooding to North Carolina’s Outer Banks today. National Hurricane Center in Miami issued a tropical storm warning. Arthur became the first named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season when it formed Saturday in waters off Florida. The storm produced top sustained winds of 45 miles per hour as it tracked off the Southeast coast yesterday.

ENTERTAINMENT
DIRECTOR LYNN SHELTON DIES… Hollywood is mourning the passing of director Lynn Shelton, who died Friday in Los Angeles of a previously undiagnosed blood disorder. She was 54. Shelton was best known for the films “Humpday” and “Your Sister’s Sister” and the series “Little Fires Everywhere.” Her partner, comedian Marc Maron, said Shelton collapsed Friday after having been ill for a week.

ACTOR GENO SILVA DIES… Actor Geno Silva died earlier this month from complications related to dementia. He was 72. Silva had memorable roles in the films “Scarface” and “Mulholland Drive.” His credits include “Amistad,” “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” and “Man Apart.”

SPORTS
BILLS’ DEFENSIVE TACKLE ARRESTED… Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver was arrested on DWI and weapons charges in Montgomery County, Texas. Oliver was pulled over after a witness called 911 to report a vehicle weaving in and out of lanes. Police say he had an open beer between his legs while behind the wheel of a pickup. A pistol was also found in the truck.

The Rundown for May 15, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 1,384,930 and the death toll stands at 83,947, according to figures released last night by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC yesterday released six “decision trees” aimed at helping schools, workplaces, camps, childcare centers, mass transit systems, bars and restaurants decide on whether it’s safe to reopen. Six one-page “decision tool” documents use traffic signs and other graphics to tell organizations what they should consider before reopening.

VACCINE EXPERT TESTIFIES BEFORE CONGRESS… Vaccines expert Dr. Rick Bright told the House Committee on Energy and Commerce yesterday that the Trump administration’s hopes of developing a coronavirus vaccine within 18 months are likely too optimistic. Bright, who was removed last month as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, warned that Americans face “the darkest winter in modern history” if proper preparations aren’t taken. He said he was “alarmed” at a lack of plans from federal agencies and the administration and complained that his warnings about supply shortages were ignored multiple times. Bright also noted “There were some attempts to bypass” a vetting process for hydroxychloroquine, which the administration hyped.

SENATE VOTES TO EXTEND FISA… The Senate voted 80-16 yesterday to approve a 2-1/2-year extension of parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act following its expiration two months ago. The measure must be approved by the House and it’s not known when a vote would be taken. The Senate version amended House legislation passed in March to improve legal protections for those subject to surveillance.

SENATOR BURR LEAVES SENATE PANEL POST… North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr announced yesterday that he will step down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the end of today’s session amid the investigation into his mass selloff in stock at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. FBI agents seized Burr’s cellphone on Wednesday as they examine Burr’s transactions around the same time the intelligence committee was receiving daily coronavirus briefings. Though he told the public the virus would not cause much harm, he warned private audiences that the effects would be disastrous. The sales saved him millions of dollars in potential losses. Meanwhile, Georgia Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler is reportedly complying with federal law enforcement and financial authorities about the sales of millions of dollars of stock owned by her and her husband at the outset of the outbreak.

MICHIGAN CANCELS SESSION AMID ARMED PROTESTERS… The Michigan state legislature canceled yesterday’s session and closed the Capitol rather than face heavily armed anti-lockdown protesters who showed up to demand the easing of shelter-in-place restrictions. Members of a militia group gathered on the Capitol steps in Lansing instead. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has faced recent death threats over her stay-at-home order, which has been extended until the end of May.

ENTERTAINMENT
MARY-KATE OLSEN MUST WAIT FOR DIVORCE… A Manhattan Supreme Court Justice yesterday rejected former “Full House” actress Mary-Kate Olsen’s emergency petition for a divorce from her husband of five years. The 33-year-old Olsen filed papers Wednesday claiming that her 50-year-old husband, Pierre Olivier Sarkozy, was trying to evict her from their apartment by Monday. The judge in the case decided that it wasn’t an essential matter.

CHESNEY WON’T TOUR… Kenny Chesney announced yesterday that he will not tour in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The country singer says he’s pushing back all dates of his planned “Chillaxification” Tour to 2021. Chesney had planned to play NFL stadiums nationwide this year.

SPORTS
NFL PLAYERS WANTED FOR ARMED ROBBERY… Florida authorities yesterday obtained felony arrest warrants for New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar. Miramar police say multiple witnessed accused the two of committing an armed robbery at a cookout on Wednesday night. According to the warrant, Baker pulled out a handgun after a fight broke out. He, Dunbar and two other men allegedly then robbed people at the party of thousands of dollars in cash, watches and other valuables. The two players face four counts each of armed robbery with a firearm. Baker faces an additional four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. The warrants note the suspects will be denied bond when taken into custody.

The Rundown for May 6, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. has topped 1.2 million and more than 71,000 patients have died, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced yesterday that barbershops and nail and hair salons can reopen on Friday, May 8, and gyms could reopen on May 18 with restrictions. The announcement came after Texas recorded more than 2,000 coronavirus cases over May 2 and May 3 in the highest two-day increase since the coronavirus crisis began.

WHITE HOUSE CLOSING CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE… Vice President Mike Pence announced yesterday that the White House’s coronavirus task force will wrap up its work around Memorial Day. Members of the task force have begun discussing a transition plan with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Pence said. White House officials say task force doctors will “continue to play an important advisory role” after more states reopen.

WHISTLEBLOWER SLAMS WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE… Dr. Rick Bright, who helped lead the government’s coronavirus vaccine efforts, slammed the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic in an extensive whistleblower complaint he filed yesterday. Dr. Bright claims his removal last week as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority was the result of politics and White House cronyism. He claims that his early warnings about the coronavirus were ignored and that superiors responded with skepticism and surprise when he raised urgent concerns about shortages of critical supplies. The 89-page complaint alleges that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar pressured Bright to allow the distribution of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which was in clinical trials before the Food and Drug Administration warned against its use due to the risk of heart problems.

RATCLIFFE QUESTIONED AT CONFIRMATION HEARING… Texas Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe faced tough questions from members of the Senate Intelligence Committee yesterday on the first day of his confirmation hearing to become director of national intelligence. Senators from both parties asked Ratcliffe how he’d respond to pressure by Trump, who has been critical of U.S. intelligence agencies. The nominee vowed that he would not let politics cloud his judgment.

2 AMERICANS CAPTURED IN MADURO-ASSASSINATION PLOT… Two American mercenaries are among 13 men captured in Venezuela and accused of conspiring to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The captured Americans were identified as employees of Florida-based security company Silvercorp USA. The company’s owner has confirmed that the two captives were taking part in an operation that sought an insurrection against Maduro as part of a deal with U.S.-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.

ENTERTAINMENT
TOM CRUISE IN TALKS WITH NASA OVER SPACE-SHOT FILM… NASA confirmed yesterday that it is working with Tom Cruise to film the first movie shot in space. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine says a film shot aboard the space station could inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists. SpaceX is reported to be involved in the project.

APPEALS COURT REDUCES QUINCY JONES JUDGMENT… A California appeals court yesterday overturned most of a 2017 jury verdict that awarded Quincy Jones $9.4 million in royalties and fees from the Michael Jackson estate over the use of Jones-produced Jackson hits in the concert film “This Is It” and two Cirque du Soleil shows. The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that the jury misinterpreted a contract and removed some $6.9 million that jurors had said Jones was owed for his production of “Billie Jean,” “Thriller,” and other Jackson hits. The court kept intact $2.5 million of the award. Jones had sought $30 million from the estate when he first filed the lawsuit in 2013.

SPORTS
FAVRE DRAGGED INTO MISSISSIPPI AUDIT… NFL Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre’s name has turned up in an audit of the state of Mississippi’s Department of Human Services. The audit resulted in the indictment of Human Services Director John Davis and others charged with embezzling about $4 million. Records showed Favre received two payments from the state totaling $1.1 million. In exchange for the money, the former quarterback was supposed to speak and appear at multiple events but never did. Favre isn’t facing any criminal charges.

The Rundown for May 5, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 1,152,372 and the number of deaths has risen to 67,456, according to figures released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California Governor Gavin Newsom said some of the state’s retail businesses could begin reopening with modifications by the end of this week if certain criteria are met. Further guidance on the state’s next phase of reopening is scheduled to be released on Thursday.

CORONAVIRUS DEATH TOLL RISES IN PROJECTIONS… Relaxed social-distancing guidelines in several states have prompted a prominent coronavirus model to nearly double its projection of how many Americans are expected to die of the coronavirus to 135,000. Researchers of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington previously estimated a death toll of 72,433. They say that the “increase in mobility” is causing an “increase in mortality.” Meanwhile, the New York Times reported yesterday that the Trump administration is privately projecting that the number of deaths related to the coronavirus will steadily increase to as much as 3,000 a day by early June.

WHITE HOUSE PREVENTS TASK FORCE TESTIMONY…. The White House is facing widespread criticism for prohibiting all coronavirus task force members from testifying before Congress this month. The Trump administration has already blocked National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci from testifying before a House subcommittee scheduled for this week. The White House argued in a statement that it would be “counterproductive” for Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, to appear at the House subcommittee hearing. However, he is set to testify at the Republican-led Senate hearing next week.

TREASURY DEPARTMENT. TO BORROW $3T… The Treasury Department announced yesterday that it plans to borrow nearly $3 trillion to support the U.S. economy this fiscal quarter. The $2,999 billion will come from privately-held net marketable debt between April and June. The Treasury added that it borrowed $477 billion in the first quarter of 2020 and plans to borrow $677 billion in the third quarter.

J. CREW FILES FOR BANKRUPTCY… J. Crew yesterday became the first national retailer to file for bankruptcy since the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. J. Crew and parent company Chinos Holdings filed under Chapter 11 in bankruptcy court in Virginia. More than 300 J. Crew and Madewell locations will remain open under $400 million in debtor-in-possession financing from existing lenders, according to a company statement. As part of the deal, lenders will convert about $1.7 billion in J. Crew debt into equity.

ENTERTAINMENT
CAGE TO STAR IN ‘JOE EXOTIC’ SERIES… Actor Nicolas Cage has signed on to play “Tiger King” star Joe Exotic in an eight-episode scripted series. Cage will also serve as executive producer. The series will reportedly dive into the personal life of Joe Exotic as he maintains tigers, lions, and other big cats in an Oklahoma zoo.

DISNEY CRANKS UP ‘STAR WARS’… Academy Award-winning filmmaker Taika Waititi has agreed to direct a new “Star Wars” movie. Waititi, who won a screenwriting Oscar for “Jojo Rabbit,” will also pen the script with Oscar-nominated 1917 writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns. Disney and Lucasfilm said that a new “Star Wars” series is also being developed for Disney Plus. The release dates for both projects have not yet been confirmed.

SPORTS
DON SHULA DIES… Don Shula, the National Football League’s all-time winningest coach, died at his home yesterday of natural causes. He was 90. Shula won 347 games in 33 years of coaching the Baltimore Colts and Miami Dolphins. His 1972 Dolphins team went 17-0 and defeated the Washington Redskins 14-7 in Super Bowl VII. Miami repeated as Super Bowl the next season, downing the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 in Super Bowl VIII. Shula retired as coach after the 1995 season.

The Rundown for May 4, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. is at least 1,122,486 and the number of dead has risen to 65,735, according to figures released last night by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. President Trump warned Americans during a virtual town hall hosted by Fox News last night that the pandemic could claim as many as 100,000 lives nationwide. At the same event, Vice President Mike Pence conceded that he should have worn a mask when visiting the Mayo Clinic last week. He faced harsh backlash for not adhering to the hospital’s policy.

RESPONSE COORDINATOR WORRIED ABOUT CORONAVIRUS PROTESTS… White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” yesterday that she finds the anti-lockdown protests “devastatingly worrisome” because demonstrators are not practicing social distancing measures and could help spread the disease. Protesters turned out in at least 10 states on Friday to protest restrictions imposed among the pandemic. Crowds have been small at all but a couple of the events but Dr. Birx said it’s important that Americans “protect each other at the same time we’re voicing our discontent.”

INTELLIGENCE REPORT ACCUSES CHINA OF ‘CONCEALING SEVERITY’… A Department of Homeland Security intelligence report obtained by the Associated Press says China “intentionally concealed the severity” of the coronavirus in the early days of the outbreak so the country could hoard medical supplies such as face masks and gloves. According to the report, China sought to hide information in January from the World Health Organization that the virus “was a contagion” so it could stock up on protective equipment. AP consulted the documents after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told ABC’s “This Week” Sunday that there is a significant amount of evidence that the coronavirus “came from that laboratory in Wuhan.”

SEVEN STATES JOIN NORTHEAST CORONAIRUS CONSORTIUM… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that six other states have joined his in a seven-state consortium for buying coronavirus-related medical supplies and testing equipment. Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware have joined New York in forming the consortium. Meanwhile, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker criticized the White House for not taking steps earlier to ensure states have the supplies needed for coronavirus testing. Appearing on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Pritzker said he’s thankful for the 600,000 swabs the White House has promised him.

BIDEN WINS KANSAS PRIMARY… Joe Biden cruised to an easy win in Saturday’s Democratic presidential primary in Kansas and inched closer to the number of delegates he needs to clinch the party’s nomination. The former vice president now has 1,435 delegates on his way to the 1,991 he needs to win the nomination on the first ballot at the party’s national convention. Saturday’s vote was conducted exclusively by mail.

ENTERTAINMENT
ACTOR SAM LLOYD DIES… Hollywood is mourning the passing of actor Sam Lloyd, who died Thursday at a Los Angeles hospital of complications from lung cancer. He was 56. Lloyd appeared in 95 episodes of “Scrubs” as lawyer Ted Buckland. His television credits include “Seinfeld,” “Modern Family” and “The West Wing.”

YOUNGBOY TOPS ALBUM CHART… YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s new release, “38 Baby 2,” sold 67,000 copies to top the Billboard 200 album chart. DaBaby’s “Blame It On Baby” slipped into second place after selling 56,000 units. Lil Uzi Vert’s “Eternal Atake” remained in third place on sales of 49,000 copies. The Weeknd’s “After Hours” dropped to fourth place on sales of 48,000 units. Lil Baby’s “My Turn” capped the top five with 41,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
CHIEFS SIGN UNDRAFTED QUARTERBACK… The Kansas City Chiefs added to their quarterback depth chart by signing undrafted rookie Shea Patterson from the University of Michigan. Patterson, who played at the University of Mississippi his first two seasons, threw for 8,800 yards in his four collegiate seasons. For the Wolverines last season, he threw for 3,061 yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions.