As expected, another 5+ million Americans filed for unemployment claims in the last week, pushing the four week total to 22 million Americans jobless.  Food banks and food pantries have been inundated with families looking for food.  At some food banks, 70% of the visitors were there for the first time ever.  Many of the vaunted government stimulus checks that citizens are desperately anticipating have been delayed, including for people who filed taxes with H&R Block and TurboTax, and some households aren’t getting the $500 per child, which is compounding the food crisis.  At the same time, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has run out of money for its Paycheck Protection Program, leaving many small business owners and entrepreneurs unable to apply for emergency relief when they most need it.  Congress is expected to deliver more emergency funds but they won’t arrive soon.  These safety-net problems are symptoms of a horribly run executive branch, which isn’t a surprise.  Electing people who hate government INTO government usually results in incompetence, and Trump’s circle is nothing if not historically unqualified.

The coronavirus death toll continued its grim march yesterday with 33,000 Americans dead and over 667,000 infected. It’s really stunning and heartbreaking to contemplate these numbers.  We might soon arrive at a moment where the coronavirus death toll surpasses the casualties of the Vietnam war.  Mind boggling.  Covid-19 is now becoming the leading cause of death in America–with heart disease still in the lead–but the national rate of hospitalization might be starting to plateau.  Trump continued to blather yesterday about shooting for a May 1st back-to-business target–and some states could even start sooner!  But Trump also walked back his previous claims of total authority and said relaxing restrictions would be up to the states.

So, Trump flip-flopped from “I call the shots” to “call your own shots.”

Trump has clearly pushed responsibility for virus testing onto the states, which is insane.  All fifty states will now have to compete with each other to source and vet different tests and who knows where the billions will come from to pay for it all. But while Trump is talking about opening up restrictions soon, many mayors and governors are becoming more vocal about the lack of testing.  Even some high-profile conservative CEOs and billionaires say we can’t start to get back to business until we have a much more robust testing regime in place.  And Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that the stay at home order in New York State would continue until at least May 15th, which must have annoyed Trump to no end.

Trump’s profound failure to lead has not gone unnoticed among voters.  In a new Pew poll, 65% of Americans say Trump was too slow to address the threat when cases were first detected, and 73% said that the worst was yet to come.  66% of respondents were worried that restrictions will be lifted too soon.   A new Morning Consult poll showed that Trump’s initial spike in approval has evaporated, with only 42% approving his performance while 54% disapproved.  A new Gallup poll showed a similar drop, with 43% approving and 54% disapproving.  These are bad numbers for Trump, and when combined with the crushing defeat in the recent Wisconsin Supreme Court election, Republicans should be very worried.

Rep Antonio Delgado will be holding a telephone town hall this evening at 4:30.  You can dial this number to participate:  855-905-3295

It’s interesting to note that Rep Delgado has totally out-raised his potential opponents for the fall election, sitting on a $2-million war chest while his two weak challengers have raised almost nothing.  It’s as if the GOP has abandoned NY-19 to put their energy elsewhere–despite the fact that Trump won this district in 2016.

Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

Stay safe and have a restful weekend.  And if you can, please donate to a local food bank or food pantry.  I suggest the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.

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