The Rundown for April 5, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 30,706,121 and the nation’s death toll stands at 555,001, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The U.S. has administered more than 165 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and distributed nearly 208 million doses as of yesterday morning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency said 106,214,924 people had received at least one vaccine dose, while 61,416,536 people have been fully vaccinated… Infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm cited threats posed by variants in claiming yesterday that the U.S. is in “category five hurricane status” with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. During an appearance on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Osterholm noted an ongoing pattern of surges beginning in the Upper Midwest and Northeast then subsiding and surging in the Southern Sunbelt states, before subsiding and then reemerging in the Northeast and Midwest. He expressed hope that a spike in new cases recorded in Michigan on Saturday served as a “wakeup call.”

WHITE HOUSE EASTER MESSAGES… President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden delivered a message of hope in their Easter greetings to Americans yesterday. President Biden released a video on social media urging more Americans to get vaccinated and repeating Pope Francis’ declaration that it is a moral obligation. Vice President Kamala Harris also posted a video, reminding Americans that there is “always reason for hope” amid the Easter holiday.

BUTTIGIEG PROMOTES INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN… Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg continued to press the Biden administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan yesterday during an appearance on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” Buttigieg noted that our nation’s transportation’s decisions were made in the 1950s and argued the Biden plan represents “a generational investment” that can position the country for the future. The plan includes $155 billion earmarked toward repairing roads and bridges; $80 million dedicated to Amtrak repairs; $40 billion for public housing improvements; $111 billion for repairing lead pipes; $42 billion for ports and airports; $100 billion for public school improvements; and $180 billion for research and development.

FLOOD SITUATION IN FLORIDA… Response teams are confronting a “real catastrophic flood situation” in Manatee County, Florida. A toxic wastewater reservoir on the brink of collapse prompted Saturday’s evacuation orders for at least 316 homes. Officials warn that Piney Point Reservoir south of Tampa, could leave homes under up to 20 feet of water if the reservoir gives way. Governor Ron DeSantis took an aerial tour of the area yesterday and clarified that the water is not radioactive. The reservoir holds a mix of saltwater, fresh water, wastewater and fertilizer runoff.

CAPITOL POLICE UNION HEAD SEEKS HELP… The head of the Capitol Police union yesterday pushed Congress for help yesterday in the wake of a most recent fallen officer. Gus Papathanasiou, chairman of the U.S. Capitol Police Labor Committee, issued a statement warning that the Capitol Police Department’s ranks are thinning at an alarming rate. He noted that that the department is 233 officers below its authorized level of more than 2,000. Papathanasiou called on Congress to implement the recommendations presented last month as part of a task force led by retired Army Lieutenant Gen. Russel Honoré that was probing the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘CHICAGO 7’ WINS BIG AT SAG AWARDS
… The cast of the courtroom drama “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was honored as Best Ensemble last night at a virtual 27th Screen Actors Guild Awards. Also up for consideration for the top prize were “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Da 5 Bloods,” “One Night in Miami” and “Minari.” Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis were honored as Best Male Actor and Best Female Actor, respectively, for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” Daniel Kaluuya was awarded Best Male Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” while Yuh-Jung Youn won Best Female Supporting Actor for “Minari.” The SAG Awards are closely watched as possible harbingers of Oscar wins. This year’s event offers a slightly muddied projection, since the field didn’t include Oscar candidate “Nomadland.”

ROD WAVE TOPS ALBUM CHART… Rod Wave’s new release, “SoulFly,” sold 130,000 copies to give him his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. Last week’s champ, Justin Bieber’s “Justice,” slipped to second place after selling 100,000 units. NF’s “Clouds (The Mixtape)” opened in third place with sales of 86,000 copies. Another newcomer, Carrie Underwood’s “My Savior, sold 73,000 units to debut in fourth place. Morgan Wallen’s former chart-topper, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” sold 63,000 copies to cap the top five.

SPORTS
STANFORD WINS WOMEN’S COLLEGE HOOPS TITLE
… The Stanford Cardinal built 11-point leads in each half and survived at the end to edge the Arizona Wildcats 54-53 in last night’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship tournament final in San Antonio. The championship is Stanford’s first under coach Tara VanDerveer since 1992. The Cardinal had won both games against the Wildcats during the regular season. Stanford sophomore Haley Jones was honored as the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player after she scored 24 and 17 points, respectively, while shooting 19-of-28 from the field in her team’s two one-point victories.

GONZAGA, BAYLOR BATTLE TONIGHT FOR MEN’S COLLEGE HOOPS TITLE… The NCAA men’s basketball championship tournament concludes tonight in Indianapolis with a pair of No. 1 seeds battling for the title. Gonzaga, the tournament’s top overall seed, brings a 31-0 record against South Region-champion Baylor, which has gone 27-2 on the season. Gonzaga reached tonight’s final with tournament wins over Norfolk State, Oklahoma, Creighton and USC before stunning UCLA in Saturday’s semifinal. Baylor defeated Hartford, Wisconsin, Villanova, Arkansas and Houston en route in its quest for the championship. The game airs on CBS with tip-off scheduled for 9:20 p.m. ET.

MLB SCORES
PHILADELPHIA 2 – Atlanta 1… Alec Bohm singled home Rhys Hoskins with a tie-breaking run in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Phillies held on to complete a three-game sweep of the Braves.

Toronto 3 – N.Y. YANKEES 1… Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smacked a solo homer and Randal Grichuk followed with a two-run shot as the Blue Jays did all their scoring in the top of the second inning.

Baltimore 11 – BOSTON 3… The Orioles opened with a three-run top of the first inning and put the game away with a three-run third. Cedric Mullins went 5-for-5 and scored three runs. Anthony Santander had three hits and two RBIs.

Cleveland 9 – DETROIT 3… The Indians overcame a 3-1 deficit to roll past the Tigers. Yu Chang stroked a go-head two-run single and Jordan Luplow added a two-run homer during a four-run top of the seventh inning. Franmil Reyes also homered with a runner aboard and Austin Hedges connected for a solo shot.

CINCINNATI 12 – St. Louis 1… Nick Castellanos and Tyler Naquin belted three-run homers to lead the Reds in their pounding of the Cardinals.

Minnesota 8 – MILWAUKEE 2… Mitch Garver’s solo homer in the top of the fifth inning gave the Twins the lead for good in their win over the Brewers. Max Kepler singled home two runs and Miguel Sanó hit a two run homer in the sixth.

Texas 7 – KANSAS CITY 3… Nate Lowe opened the scoring with a towering three-run homer in the top of the third inning and the Rangers scored three more times in the fourth to put away the Royals. Isia Kiner-Falefa lined a two-run single and homered.

CHI. CUBS 4 – Pittsburgh 3… The Cubs topped the Pirates despite being held to three hits. Ian Happ walked and came around to score in the top of the first inning and then homered to lead off the third.

L.A. Dodgers 4 – COLORADO 2… Starter Julio Urias pitched into the eighth inning and the Dodgers cruised past the Rockies. L.A. scored three runs in the top the of the first inning on a wild pitch, bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice that resulted in a double play. Will Smith slugged a solo homer in the eighth.

Houston 9 – OAKLAND 2… The Astros battered the Athletics in completing a four-game sweep. Chas McCormick belted a three-run homer. Jason Castro homered with a runner aboard. Kyle Tucker also went deep.

Arizona 3 – SAN DIEGO 1… David Peralta’s two-run triple in the top of the first inning provided the Diamondbacks with all the offense they needed in downing the Padres to salvage the finale of the four-game series. Taylor Widener pitched three-hit ball over six innings in winning his first major league start.

L.A. ANGELS 7 – Chi. White Sox 4… Shohei Ohtani pitched two-hit ball into the fifth inning and blasted a 451-foot solo homer in a two-way performance that helped carry the Angels past the White Sox. Jared Walsh cracked a pair of homers and knocked in four runs.

TODAY’S MLB SCHEDULE
Minnesota (Matt Shoemaker) is at Detroit (Jose Uribe)…
Washington (Max Scherzer) hosts Atlanta (Drew Smyly)…
Toronto (Steven Matz) is at Texas (Mike Foltynewicz)…
Cleveland (Logan Allen) hosts Kansas City (Danny Duffy)…
Baltimore (Jorge Lopez) is at the N.Y. Yankees (Jordan Montgomery)…
Cincinnati (Jose De Leon) hosts Pittsburgh (JT Brubaker)…
St. Louis (Daniel Ponce de Leon) is at Miami (Trevor Rogers)…
Philadelphia (Matt Moore) hosts the N.Y. Mets (Jacob deGrom)…
Tampa Bay (Michael Wacha) is at Boston (Nick Pivetta)…
the Chi. Cubs (Trevor Williams) host Milwaukee (Brett Anderson)…
Houston (Luis Garcia) is at the L.A. Angels (Jose Quintana)…
Oakland (Frankie Montas) hosts the L.A. Dodgers (Dustin May)…
the Chi. White Sox (Carlos Rodon) are at Seattle (Justus Sheffield)…
San Diego (Adrian Morejon) hosts San Francisco (Anthony DeSclafani)

NBA SCOREBOARD
CHICAGO 115 – Brooklyn 107… The Bulls gained control with a big second quarter and withstood a fourth-quarter rally to down the Nets and end their six-game skid. Zach LaVine led all scorers with 25 points. Nikola Vucevic finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

L.A. CLIPPERS 104 – L.A. Lakers 86… The Clippers cruised past the short-handed Lakers for their first win in three games. Marcus Morris led the way with 22 points. Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and 10 boards.

BOSTON 116 – Charlotte 86… The Celtics made 21 3-pointers to overcome a rough start and blow past the undermanned Hornets. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Jayson Tatum’s 22 points.

Memphis 116 – PHILADELPHIA 100… Dillon Brooks scored 17 points to lead seven players in double figures and the Grizzlies handled the 76ers. Grayson Allen scored 11 of his 15 points during the third quarter as Memphis built a 26-point lead.

ATLANTA 117 – Golden State 111… The Hawks came on strong in the fourth quarter to get past the Warriors for their third straight win. Danilo Gallinari pumped in 25 points. Clint Capela powered his way to 24 points and 18 rebounds.

New Orleans 122 – HOUSTON 115… The Pelicans rallied in the fourth quarter to down the Rockets in a back-and-forth contest. Lonzo Ball knocked down eight 3-pointers on his way to 27 points. Steven Adams had 12 points and 11 boards.

DENVER 119 – Orlando 109… The Nuggets mounted a 14-2 run with 3-1/2 minutes to go to spurt past the Magic. They got 24 points from Aaron Gordon and 22 from Jamal Murray. Michael Porter Jr. finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Washington is at Toronto…
Brooklyn hosts New York…
Utah is at Dallas…
Minnesota hosts Sacramento…
Detroit is at Oklahoma City…
San Antonio hosts Cleveland…
Phoenix is at Houston

NHL SCOREBOARD
Detroit 5 – TAMPA BAY 1… The Red Wings skated past the Lightning for their first win at Tampa in nearly six years. Goalie Thomas Greiss made 24 saves. Luke Glendening and Anthony Mantha both set up two goals.

Washington 5 – NEW JERSEY 4… The Capitals built a three-goal lead midway through the third period and held off the Devils to complete an eight-game sweep of their season series. Alex Ovechkin netted his 265th power-play goal to move into a second-place tie with Brett Hull on the NHL’s all-time list in that category. Ovechkin also had two assists.

FLORIDA 3 – Columbus 0… Goalie Chris Driedger stopped all 32 shots in his third career shutout and the Panthers eased past the Blue Jackets. Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist.

CAROLINA 1 – Dallas 0… Jordan Martinook found the net 40 seconds into the second period and the Hurricanes made it stand in blanking the Stars. Petr Mrazek returned after a two-month absence and made 28 saves at goal.

Toronto 4 – CALGARY 2… John Tavares and Auston Matthews scored third-period goals to push the Maple Leafs past the Flames. Alex Galchenyuk netted a tying goal in the second period. William Nylander assisted on two goals.

Arizona 3 – ANAHEIM 2 (OT)… Jakob Chychrun put the Coyotes on the board with a first-period goal, scored they tying goal late in regulation and added the game-winner at 1:47 of overtime in a hard-fought win over the Ducks. Trevor Zegras set up two goals.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Edmonton is at Montreal…
Winnipeg hosts Ottawa…
Philadelphia is at Boston…
St. Louis hosts Vegas…
Colorado is at Minnesota…
Calgary hosts Toronto…
Arizona is at Los Angeles