HT Science Moments – Posts | Facebook

HT Science Moments – Posts | Facebook

Brad Nelson

5 March at 07:34

I love The Last Man standing but the new Mandy is horrible. The former Mandy was gorgeous and a wonderful comedian. Molly McCook is niether. Why was a 6 foot Amazon chosen to replace the former character. A very, very poor choice. Tim Allen and Mandy is why I watched the show. Molly McCook plays the role in a contrived, stupid manner that is neither, clever, funny or entertaining. Also the new haircut on Kyle is ridiculous, He looks like he is wearing a wig and is uncomfortable, also making him a genius all of a sudden, from a dunderhead is ridiculous. Very poor decisions! See more

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Viral Videos, Celebrity Videos and latest Video News | Express.co.uk

Viral Videos, Celebrity Videos and latest Video News | Express.co.uk


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Coronavirus: FDA looking at therapies being tested against …

Coronavirus: FDA looking at therapies being tested against …

Nicholas Wu, David Jackson and Maureen Groppe
USA TODAY

Published 9:46 PM EDT Mar 19, 2020

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has canceled a meeting of G-7 leaders that was set for Camp David this summer and will convene a video teleconference with them instead, the White House confirmed Thursday.

The decision to meet by video teleconference in June instead of in person was made “in order for each country to focus all of its resources on responding to the health and economic challenges of COVID-19,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

Trump, who held a video teleconference with G-7 leaders earlier this week, also will convene teleconferences with them in April and May so they can continue their coordination efforts, Deere said.

The annual G-7 summit brings together leaders of world’s most industrialized countries, including the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan. Last year’s summit was held in Biarritz, France.

– Michael Collins

McConnell introduces stimulus package with cash assistance

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced Thursday a historic stimulus package that includes direct payments of $1,200 to individuals and assistance to businesses to deal with the health and economic harm from coronavirus.

“We need to have the American people’s backs,” said McConnell, R-Ky.

Married couples would be eligible for up to $2,400 in assistance with an additional $500 for every child.

Assistance would begin phasing out for individuals earning at least $75,000 and would not be available to those with adjusted gross incomes above $99,000. Assistance for couples phases out after $150,000 and is not available to those with joint incomes of more than $198,000.

The proposal, which does not yet have a price tag, would also extend the tax filing deadline until July 15. The IRS has already extended the payment deadline until that date.

McConnell said Republicans would begin discussions with Democrats Friday, along with administration officials.

Senate Democrats have priorities of their own, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer complained Thursday that they’ve been left out of discussions. 

“It had virtually no input from Democrats,” Schumer said after McConnell released his plan.

A few hours later, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a joint statement saying their first impression of the proposal is that it is “not at all pro-worker and instead puts corporations way ahead of workers.”

– Maureen Groppe

$1,200 cash: Senate GOP proposes coronavirus economic rescue package

Hillary Clinton: If Trump hasn’t used Defense Production Act, he’s ‘failing Americans’

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton weighed in on President Donald Trump’s reluctance to utilize the authorities granted to him by invoking the Defense Production Act.

The wartime act allows Trump to direct private companies to produce vital equipment, such as face masks, which hospitals across the country are experiencing a shortage of. He announced he was invoking the act on Wednesday and later called using it a worst-case scenario. Thursday Trump said he hoped he wouldn’t have to use that authority.

“Let’s try this again, @realdonaldtrump: Hospitals are already running out of ventilators and beds. Nurses are using bandannas as masks,” Clinton said.

“If you’ve already ordered more with the Defense Production Act, tell us now. If you haven’t you’re failing Americans.”

Trump has been urged by Democratic lawmakers to direct private companies to produce medical equipment so the government may distribute it to hospitals slammed with coronavirus cases.

Asked whether he has “pulled the trigger” on the act Thursday, Trump said he had not. “We hope we’re not going to need that.”

“Governors are supposed to be doing a lot of this work, and they are doing a lot of this work. The federal government is not supposed to be out there buying vast amounts of items, and then shipping. You know, we’re not a shipping clerk,” Trump said.

But when pressed on it, Trump said: “If we find that we need something, we will do that. And you don’t know what we’ve done. You don’t know if we’ve invoked it. You don’t know what’s been ordered.”

– Jeanine Santucci

US, Mexico consider border restrictions

U.S. and Mexican officials are working on an agreement to ban “non-essential” travel between their border along the same lines of the deal that the U.S. announced this week with Canada, a Trump administration official said. Trade would be exempted.

Officials are hoping to make an announcement soon, the official said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with his Mexican counterpart, Foreign Secretary Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubon, earlier this week to discuss containment and mitigation efforts.

“The United States continues to work closely with Mexico on the full range of foreign policy issues, among them securing our shared border,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a readout of that conversation.‎

– David Jackson and Deirdre Shesgreen

New law helps health care providers get masks 

A new law protected manufacturers of safety masks from lawsuits so that they could provide millions more masks for hospital workers.

President Donald Trump signed legislation Wednesday that included the provision from a bipartisan group of lawmakers to protect manufacturers such as 3M from liability for selling industrial masks to health care providers.

3M can produce 35 million of the masks each month and ramped up to capacity in January, according to Vice President Mike Pence, who visited the company as head of a coronavirus task force. Honeywell can make 120 million masks per year, he said.

“Those companies have now greatly increased by the tens of millions their production of so-called N-95 masks that will give our health care workers the protection that they need to minister to those that are dealing with the symptoms or the disease of coronavirus,” Pence said Thursday at a White House news conference. “Following the signing of last night’s bill, all of those masks now have liability protection and the companies can sell industrial masks to hospitals.”

Joseph Milot, president of Protective Industrial Products Inc., called the legislation “a vital measure to protect the American public and those in the medical field that will be asked to protect us all.”

– Bart Jansen

State Department to Americans: ‘Do Not Travel’ abroad

The State Department told Americans not to travel overseas at all, the strongest U.S. alert yet as the novel coronavirus continued its steady march across the globe.

The department on Thursday issued a Level 4 “do not travel” advisory, its most acute warning, telling U.S. citizens “to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.”

The State Department noted that foreign governments are closing their borders, implementing mandatory quarantines, and barring entry and exit with little advance notice. 

“If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe,” the agency said.

“In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period,” the advisory said. 

And Americans who live abroad should plan to hunker down in place, the advisory said.

– Deirdre Shesgreen 

Connecticut postpones primary 

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill announced Thursday that the state’s presidential primary election is being postponed.

The election was going to be held on April 28, but is now moved to June 2.

“My most important concerns are allowing every Connecticut voter to make their voice heard in the selection of the presidential candidates, and ensuring that they are able to cast their ballots as safely as possible,” Merrill said in a statement on Twitter.

Merrill added that she consulted with Gov. Ned Lamont, as well as local election officials, the bipartisan leadership in the state legislature and officials in other states ahead of her announcement.

Rebecca Morin 

Trump considering block grants to help states

WASHINGTON — Trump told the nation’s governors Thursday that he is “very strongly” considering block grants for states to help confront the coronavirus.

Trump made the remarks from the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has $40 billion in disaster aid available after Trump declared the virus a national emergency last week.

Block grants would give states considerable flexibility to use federal money where local officials see the most pressing needs. 

Vice President Mike Pence said industrial N95 masks can now be used in medical settings. State officials have been clamoring for the federal government to speed the distribution of the masks and other medical supplies. Earlier this week, Pence called on construction firms to donate their N95 masks to hospitals.  

– John Fritze

Lawmakers concerned after 2 House members test positive

After two House members were diagnosed with coronavirus, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told fellow House Democrats in a letter Thursday that lawmakers would remain on a recess until the next coronavirus emergency aid package was ready and needed to be voted on. 

Hoyer acknowledged there were new concerns from lawmakers after Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Ben McAdams, D-Utah, announced they tested positive for the rapidly spreading virus. The announcement prodded about a dozen other lawmakers to go into self quarantine.

Hoyer said changes were being worked out to prevent mass groups from voting at the same time on the House floor. 

“I share the concerns of many Members regarding the number of Members on the House Floor at any one time,” he said in a letter to Democrats. “I therefore expect that the House will adjust our voting procedures in order to follow the CDC’s recommendations.”

Hoyer added no decisions have been made on changes but said “we will be discussing all options.”

Some lawmakers have argued that the House and Senate should allow lawmakers to vote remotely to prevent the spread of the virus but House and Senate leaders have so far resisted such requests. On Thursday, Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, introduced a resolution that would allow senators to vote remotely during a national crisis.

– Christal Hayes

Trump touts drugs’ ‘potential’ to fight coronavirus, FDA commissioner is more cautious

President Donald Trump said Thursday two drugs already prescribed for other purposes have shown “great potential” for combating coronavirus, but his Food and Drug Administration commissioner offered a more cautionary view.

“I think it could be a game-changer,” Trump said at a White House neconference. “We believe these therapeutics and others under evaluation right now will be able to provide relief to many Americans.”

The two drugs are hydroxychloroquine, used to treat malaria, and the antiviral drug remdesivir.

Remdesivir, Trump said, has been approved “or very close to approved.”

But FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn was more cautious in his comments. He said he had “great hope” but not “false hope.”

The malaria drug, Hahn said, can be tested in “compassionate care” cases for very sick patients outside of normal trials. Beyond that, he said, its use for coronavirus needs “a large, pragmatic clinical trial.”

On remdesivir, he said, “We need to actually know about the safety and the effectiveness.”

– Richard Wolf

Trump signals he’s open to government taking equity stake in companies

President Donald Trump signaled Thursday that he could be open to the federal government taking an equity stake in companies that have been impacted by the coronavirus.

Asked if he supported the idea, the president said: “I do. I really do.” But he declined to discuss specific companies. Minutes later he said the government would help the airlines, cruise and hotel industries but did not say that effort would involve buying stock.  

– John Fritze

State Department to warn Americans not to travel abroad

The State Department will soon warn Americans not to travel abroad at all, as officials planned to issue the strongest U.S. alert yet as the coronavirus continued its steady march across the globe, according to Politico and the New York Times.  

The expected “Do Not Travel” advisory will tells U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel, the two outlets reported.  

For Americans already abroad, the State Department will advise them to either return to the U.S. – or prepare to hunker down where they are.

The Level 4 advisory – the State Department’s most acute warning – will ramp up its previous advice of telling Americans to reconsider travel abroad.

The advisory is not a mandate; Americans can still leave the U.S.

But they do so at their own risk. Hundreds of Americans have been stranded overseas amid a global freeze on international travel and mass quarantines sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

– Deirdre Shesgreen

McConnell outlines Senate GOP stimulus plan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell outlined the “four key components” of Senate Republicans’ plan to inject money into the economy as the economic impact of the coronavirus mounts.

Neither text nor a cost for the final plan has been released yet. 

Here is what McConnell said Senate Republicans’ plan would do:

  • Provide “hundreds of billions of dollars” of federally-guaranteed loans to help small businesses.
  • “Direct financial help for Americans” in the form of payments that would complement unemployment insurance for laid-off Americans, Social Security for seniors, and provide “extra certainty” for Americans still working. McConnell said it would be a “form of emergency tax relief.”
  • “Targeted lending” for “industries of national importance” like airlines that have been hard-hit by the outbreak.
  • More resources for “the front lines of our fight against the virus.”

– Nicholas Wu

Trump: Japan considering postponing the Olympics

President Donald Trump said Japan is thinking about postponing the Olympics this year, but hasn’t made a decision yet.

Trump told reporters he discussed the issue with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

 “We’ll live with his decision.” Trump said of Abe. “He has told us he has not made a decision.”

– David Jackson

Trump on coronavirus illnesses in Congress: Hope they’ll get better

President Donald Trump was about the members of Congress who have tested positive for the virus, saying, “I know all of them … Hopefully they’re all going to get better. It’s one of those things – it’s Congress.”

Trump praised Congress members who have self-quarantined after possibly being exposed to the virus while they await their test results. “I think Congress has behaved unbelievably well in that regard,” he said.

– Michael Collins

Trump on possible travel restrictions

When asked about reports that the State Department may advise Americans not to travel, Trump told reporters: “We’re speaking with the State Department later.”

Politico reported Thursday that the State Department will issue an advisory that instructs Americans not to travel abroad and for Americans overseas to either return to the United States or stay where they are.

This week, the administration rolled out social distancing guidelines to be used for 15 days to combat the spread of coronavirus. When asked how likely it is that will be extended, Trump said, “I can only tell you on the 14th day.”

– John Fritze

Surgeon General: ‘Give blood today’

Amid all the talk of social distancing, Surgeon General Jerome Adams used a White House news conference Thursday to urge that Americans donate blood.

One donation can save three lives, Adams said. He added that blood donation centers are taking precautionary measures to ensure it is safe for donors, such as spacing donation beds six feet apart and regularly taking the temperature of staff members.

“Social distancing does not have to mean social disengagement,” Adams said. “So give blood today.”

– Richard Wolf

Pence: 3M ramping up mask production

Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that Minnesota-based 3M had significantly increased production of N95 masks needed by front line health care workers, but it was unclear when those masks would make it to hospitals and medical offices. 

Pence said 3M ramped up production to 35 million masked per month. Pressed on when those masks would get to health care workers, Pence said “they’re in the marketplace now. We’ve vastly increased the supply of medical masks.”

– John Fritze

FDA commissioner: new coronavirus therapies could take ‘three to six months’

Food and Drug Commissioner Stephen Hahn said it could take “three to six months” to develop new therapies specifically designed to address coronavirus.

In the meantime, Hahn said the agency is looking at the impact several currently approved drugs may have on patients.

“They’re looking at pushing that to the months period of time,” Hahn said. He estimated the approval of a vaccine at about 12 months.

Trump mentioned at least two drugs that researchers are studying and that he said the FDA is focusing on. One of them, hydroxychloroquine, is a drug that has long been approved for malaria. Another drug, remdesivir, is an experimental antiviral.

Trump expressed optimism about the drugs, but FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said the agency was still studying their efficacy. 

– John Fritze

When will life return to normal?: ‘I hope very soon,’ says Trump

President Donald Trump said he hopes American life can return to normal “very soon” after coronavirus defense measures have shutdown schools, offices, restaurants and many other aspects of business and social life. 

Asked when Americans can go back to their regular lives, Trump said: “I hope very soon. We’ll see. This is uncharted territory.”

– Michael Collins

FEMA in charge of coronavirus response

Vice President Mike Pence said Trump has put Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in charge of the coronavirus response.

Pence said he and Trump will hold a teleconference today with the nation’s governors from FEMA headquarters.

– Michael Collins

Rep. Judy Chu slams Trump’s use of ‘Chinese virus’

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., the chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, slammed President Donald Trump’s use of “Chinese virus” in the coronavirus task force press conference Thursday and in his tweets.

“No matter how much he calls it the ‘Chinese virus,’ no matter how many hate crimes he incites, Donald Trump cannot hide from his own failure to address this crisis from the beginning,” Chu wrote in a tweet. 

Trump has continued to use “Chinese virus” to refer to the coronavirus despite advocates’ and health experts’ calls to avoid using names that could stigmatize certain ethnic communities. 

– Nicholas Wu 

American prisoner in Lebanon released amid coronavirus pandemic

President Donald Trump said Thursday that an American imprisoned in Lebanon will be allowed to return to the United States, as his administration ramps up pressure on foreign governments to release detained US citizens amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump was referring to Amer Fakhoury, who has faced months of detention despite being diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma.

The State Department said Fakhoury “is returning to the United States where he will be reunited with his family and receive urgent medical treatment. His return comes as a relief to those who have followed the case with grave concern.”

Trump announced Fakhoury’s release during a coronavirus briefing at the White House on Thursday, saying release of U.S. hostages “continues to be a top priority for my administration.”

– Deirdre Shesgreen

Trump said he’s no longer shaking hands

After drawing criticism for shaking hands with public health officials at a Rose Garden event last week, President Donald Trump said Thursday he was dropping the practice – at least for now.

Trump introduced Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn during a briefing at the White House, but said his greetings would remain verbal only.

“I’d shake his hand but I’m not supposed to do that,” Trump said.

Trump has been heavily criticized for not modeling “social distancing” medical experts have said is needed to contain the contagion. At a Rose Garden news conference last Friday, he clasped hands with an array of officials who joined him at the podium. 

– John Fritze

Trump: FDA looking at therapies still being tested to fight coronavirus

President Donald Trump said the Food and Drug Administration is looking at using therapies that are still being tested in the fight against coronavirus. 

Trump, during a news conference with the coronavirus task force on Thursday, praised FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn for “removing barriers” to new therapies that can help fight coronavirus.

Trump continued to express optimism that the U.S. will “win” the fight against coronavirus

“It’s too bad because we’ve never had an economy as good as the economy we had just a few weeks ago,” he said. “But we’ll be back.”

Trump says things appear to be going well on Capitol Hill, where the White House and Congress are currently negotiating a massive economic stimulus plan to combat the impacts of coronavirus. The plan could include checks for Americans and bailouts for major industries.

What else was said at the briefing:

  • Trump said Hahn, who is a member of the coronavirus task force, “has been working 24 hours a day. He has worked probably as hard or harder than anybody in this group other than Mike Pence – or me.”

  • Trump said a U.S. prisoner in Lebanon is returning to the United States, saying the return of hostages “continues to be a top priority for my administration.” 

  • Trump said almost the whole world is inflicted “with this horrible virus,” saying it “surprised the whole world.”

  • Trump praised Americans for pulling together during the pandemic, including lawmakers. “I think there’s a great spirit where the Democrats and the Republicans and everybody else are getting together and they’re trying to get things done.”

  • Asked if he could guarantee that coronavirus stimulus money would not be used by companies for executive bonuses or stock buybacks, Trump said: “We don’t want that. … It’s hard to tell them not to, but I would tell them not to.”

– David Jackson and Michael Collins

Guard chief says 27 states have activated National Guardsmen

The chief of the National Guard Bureau on Thursday compared the coronavirus crisis to hurricanes hitting all 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia simultaneously.

Governors in 27 states have activated Guardsmen for missions including medical testing, transportation and distributing food, Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel said.

There are 2,050 Guardsmen called to duty because of the virus, and that number is likely to double by the weekend, he said.

“This could quickly blossom in the next couple of weeks,” Lengyel said.

– Tom Vanden Brook

Iran releases detained American amid coronavirus outbreak

The Iranian government has temporarily released Michael White, a Navy veteran from California, from an Iranian prison where he’s been held since July 2018, the State Department announced on Thursday.

The Trump administration has increased its pressure on Iran and other foreign governments to release detained Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Michael White, who has been wrongfully detained by the Iranian regime since 2018 and is serving a 13-year sentence, was released today on a medical furlough,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “His release on humanitarian grounds was conditioned upon him staying in Iran.  Michael is now in the custody of the Swiss embassy and will undergo medical testing and evaluation.”

White was arrested in July 2018, after reportedly going to the country to visit his girlfriend. He was charged and convicted of insulting Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and posting private information online, according to media reports. 

Pompeo called on the Iranian government to release other detained Americans amid the coronavirus pandemic. Iran has been particularly hard hit by the disease.

– Deirdre Shesgreen

Mnuchin offers timeline for $1,000 payments if stimulus passes

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the Trump administration wants checks of $1,000 per person and $500 per child to go out within three weeks of Congress passing a stimulus package.  

“The plan is $500 billion in two tranches,” Mnuchin said on Fox Business’ Mornings with Maria. “The first one would be $1,000 per person, $500 per child,” or $3,000 for a family of four, Mnuchin said. “As soon as Congress passes this, we will get this out in three weeks, and then six weeks later, if the president still has a national emergency, we’ll deliver another $3,000.”

Breaking down the administration’s trillion-dollar proposal, Mnuchin said he also wanted $300 billion to go towards small businesses for “hiring people, keeping people on the payroll, and if they do, there will be loan forgiveness.”

Another component involved $200 billion for “securing lending to airlines, and for other critical industries.”

Mnuchin’s plan has not been approved by Congress. Negotiations between congressional leaders and the White House are ongoing.

– Nicholas Wu

Pentagon reports 81 coronavirus cases

The Pentagon reported 81 cases of coronavirus Thursday, down eight cases from Wednesday. The military report includes troops, their families, civilian employees and contractors.

There was an uptick of two troops to 51 cases on Thursday.

The military continues to house 1,431 passenger in quarantine from the Grand Princess cruise ship.

– Tom Vanden Brook

More lawmakers self-quarantining

Several members of the House of Representatives announced they would voluntarily go into self-quarantine after two members of the House announced Wednesday they tested positive for the coronavirus.

At least a half-dozen lawmakers said they would go into self-quarantine after Reps. Mario Diaz Balart, R-Fla., and Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, announced their positive tests Wednesday evening.

‘Like preparing for a hurricane’: Lawmakers worry about coronavirus hitting them while helping manage response

The following lawmakers announced self-quarantines after coming into contact with lawmakers who tested positive:

  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla.
  • Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla.
  • Rep. Kendra Horn, D-Okla.
  • Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo.
  • Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y.
  • Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.
  • Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-Ga.
  • Rep. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C. 
  • Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.
  • Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y. 

Congress’ Attending Physician Brian Monahan updated his guidance to lawmakers after the positive tests. The attending physician’s website said the offices and locations found to be “at risk” after contact with those infected were being cleaned and disinfected. Contact with infected lawmakers on the House floor was “considered to be low risk exposures” and did not require any additional action from lawmakers besides reporting illness, he said.

More: 2 members of Congress, Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart and Ben McAdams, test positive for COVID-19 

“It reflects the pace of the COVID-19 disease throughout the United States and its presence here in Washington, D.C., that it has touched the community of the U.S. Capitol,” Monahan said in a statement. 

One member of Congress, Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., said Congress might need to change the way it does business and reconsider remote voting as an option. 

“For the safety of our communities, during this emergency, we must be able to legislate from our districts,” she wrote on Twitter.

Democratic and Republican leaders in both chambers, however, have poured cold water on the idea. 

– Nicholas Wu

Working from home? Coronavirus keeps Trump cooped up, too

President Donald Trump has been cooped up in the White House since returning to Washington from his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, on March 9. The 10-day period is the longest uninterrupted stretch Trump has stayed inside the White House, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the president’s schedule compiled by the website Factba.se.

The president will break the streak Thursday if he keeps to his schedule in the afternoon to visit the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Trump has appeared before reporters virtually every day during that time to update the public on the administration’s response to the pandemic, usually in a White House press briefing room. 

Trump’s tightened schedule has apparently left less time for events outside the White House.

The president’s last rally took place on March 2 in Charlotte, N.C. On March 6, he visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and toured tornado damage in Tennessee before heading to Florida for the weekend. He hasn’t left the White House since.

Trump and first lady Melania had scheduled a dinner with Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence on March 11, but those plans were canceled when the president delivered an address to the nation about COVID-19 that night.

Trump rarely goes more than a week without leaving the White House. The last time he approached such a long uninterrupted stretch in the White House was in January during the government shutdown, according to the analysis. Trump ditched his usual winter Florida sojourn to negotiate with Democrats over the impasse.  

– John Fritze

Schumer says he’s meeting with McConnell on stimulus bill

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he would meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today as negotiations continue over a massive stimulus package that could include checks for Americans affected by the coronavirus.  

One of the most important issues for Democrats, Schumer said, was expanded unemployment insurance for Americans laid off as a result of the coronavirus. 

“We need to have the workers being paid during this huge crisis, where no one’s showing up at the restaurants and so they’re not working,” Schumer said, noting that he told Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Wednesday night the unemployment insurance provision was needed “probably more importantly than anything else.” 

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said on the “Hugh Hewitt Show” that “the priority right now” was “getting money to individuals that need it to help rebuild the economy.” Romney had pitched the idea of sending checks to Americans.

-Nicholas Wu

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Walmart To Offer SmileDirectClub Dental Care | PYMNTS.com

Walmart To Offer SmileDirectClub Dental Care | PYMNTS.com

Oral care company SmileDirectClub, known for its clear teeth aligner therapy, is rolling out a line of premium dental accessories exclusively at Walmart, SmileDirectClub announced on Monday (Jan. 6).

“Since its creation, SmileDirectClub has been committed to providing premium solutions at affordable prices,” said SmileDirectClub Founder Alex Fenkell. “Now, with this expansion into oral care products, we’re continuing our mission to ensure everyone can get and keep a smile they love.”

SmileDirectClub, a direct-to-consumer MedTech platform for teeth straightening, aims to offer an end-to-end solution with the retail giant to help users maintain clean, healthy teeth and gums. The suite of oral care products will be offered at more than 3,800 physical Walmart stores as well as online.

“SmileDirectClub’s debut of oral care products in mass retail extends our mission to be the consumer’s first resource for safe, affordable and convenient oral care solutions,” said Josh Chapman, chief global brand officer of SmileDirectClub.

Walmart’s launch of SmileDirectClub products includes an advanced electric toothbrush with LED teeth whitening system. The brand is also launching three new smile-enhancing tools with Walmart: toothpaste for whitening and for sensitive teeth; a water flosser; and the smile spa, an ultrasonic UV cleaner for toothbrush heads, aligners, retainers, dentures and more.

“At Walmart, we are always expanding our assortment to meet customers’ needs,” said Shawn Townzen, vice president of Walmart Personal Care.

“Today, we are proud to partner with Walmart, and look forward to disrupting the oral care aisle and category with an easy-to-use system of affordable, premium solution-oriented products for maintaining a better smile,” said Amy Keith, vice president of retail for SmileDirectClub.

Healthcare as an industry is being massively disrupted, and it could be years or even decades before all the dust settles. In the meantime, innovations in digital, mobile and delivery are also promising to impact retailers and the consumers who shop at mom-and-pop stores as well as bigger chains.

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Politics can’t heal our hate: Anger is eating at Americans from the …

Politics can’t heal our hate: Anger is eating at Americans from the …

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