Ryan: Kamala Harris and the wheels on the bus

Photo by Sean Ryan

This fall, I saw Kamala Harris 15-odd times, and wrote five stories about her, because she was on fire. By the time I finished the stories, she had begun a nosedive that finally made contact a few days ago with the suspension of her 2020 presidential bid. I've released one of the stories already, an account of what was one of the most magical moments in my reporting, this is the second. May the other three rest easy.

Acrobats leapt around the padded floors of world-renowned Chow's Gymnastics and Dance Institute in West Des Moines, an affluent suburb of Des Moines that once belonged to the Sac Tribe.

Half-a-mile away, Kamala Harris was rousing a crowd.

Photo by Sean Ryan

People of all ages had jammed into this marble-floor rotunda, the colonnaded hub of Valley Southwoods Freshman High School. Something like the Ancient Greek agora, the open area where everyone gathered.

Harris is a lifelong performer. As a girl, she sang in the church choir. As a teenager, she traveled to different community centers, to talent shows and fundraisers, as part of a six-person dance troupe.

Now, she is not a dancer so much as a boxer or a chess player or, better yet, a big game hunter with a collection of heads, the newest of which is, oddly, her own.

*
She doddled across the makeshift stage, between a pillar inscribed with the word "Gratitude" and one that said "Attitude."

At one point, her microphone went out like a mic-drop, and she shouted, "Next question" then everybody laughed.

Then the next microphone went out. So she spoke without a microphone, with a determined look that said "All right, Kamala, prove to them you can think quickly, in a charming, down-to-earth way."

People got quiet, leaned forward. Occasionally they laughed in unison. Sometimes they clapped.

Within two minutes she had a new microphone, but by then people had grown accustomed to her softer voice.

She grinned vigorously. She was the dangling punchline that people skipped the joke for.

*

They were like worshippers and she was their pagoda. She spoke facing a pillar that said Loyalty.

In the parking lot, her purple-dominant bus with the words "FOR THE PEOPLE" emblazoned along one side, and "HARRIS" on the other. Above it all, a trenching blue radiated the sky, dappled here and there with cottonballs, feathered topiaries. It was barely 80 degrees.

Photo by Sean Ryan

"We need a new Commander in Chief," she shouted, in the crowded high school. Everybody loved that one. The confidence. The certainty. The boldness. The wild and soft look to her eyes. Almost bravado. Almost arrogance. Maybe it was the look of a leader. Quite possibly the stare of Mark Antony or Napoleon Bonaparte, Che Guevara or Margaret Thatcher, Cleopatra or Queen Victoria. The nestled glare of power, real power, bolstered by the natural ability to make it hers.

Then the crowd started chanting.

Ka!

Mall!

Ah!

Ka!

Mall!

Ah!

*

As she does in nearly every speech, Harris talked about her "3a.m. agenda." It's an important question, one that every candidate ought to be asking. What keeps us up at night, as people, as ordinary Americans?

Photo by Sean Ryan

Between thoughts she stopped, pointed to her husband. "Hi, Doug," smiling.

And the people cheered!

The tear-jerker of her stump speech was about how her first grade teacher believed in her. Believed in her so much that she attended Harris' high school graduation.

Every time she said the line about believing in children, people cooed. Several women put their hands over their hearts and sighed.

Photo by Sean Ryan

It helps that's she was saying this at a high school. If she stuck to education maybe people would forget the slew of tiny controversies she's attracted over the years.

Then they laughed when she followed it with the quip about how we were maybe not as special as we thought.
Sometimes she laughed along with them.

"We need action," she often said. "We need action. We need action."

Then she said, "we don't lack ideas." Then she did the thing where she complimented her fellow candidates. Then she talked about what she will do as President. Then she said, "it's time to act."

The high school graduation rate in Iowa is 88 percent, 17 percent above the national average. Iowa also boasts the nation's highest literacy rate.

Photo by Sean Ryan

"In the America we believe in," she said, and people listened deeply. She repeated the phrase like it was a line in a Walt Whitman poem. "In the America we believe in … In the America we believe in …" It was one of the most compelling parts of a compelling stump speech.

Her eyes got misty, and she said, "By our very nature, we are aspirational."

When she spoke, she incited deep emotions within the audience. Her audience. Nobody was keeping quiet. Not after that rally. They only spoke when Harris was not speaking, as if maybe she knew what they wanted to say.

Photo by Sean Ryan

She apportioned blame to Trump himself. She's called Trump a "predator," citing her work prosecuting sexual deviants as proof of her expertise in handling those types.

"He didn't pull the trigger," she said. "But he certainly tweeted out the ammunition."

She was calling Trump a racist before the rest of the candidates had caught onto the punchiness of the accusation.

Kamala Harris Calls Donald Trump A Racist, Calls for Decriminalization of Sex Work www.youtube.com

Now, she was fired up. Unlike the day before, she was yelling her points. All her quiet voice was gone. The Kamala aggressiveness fully on display.

*

The other words on pillars around the circular room:

Self Control

Respect

Compassion

Empathy

Courage.

Photo by Sean Ryan

*

Harris had given a spectacular performance. Her fourth rally that day. And immediately after, she would be speaking at Jasper Winery, where she'd display yet more of her prowess. So underhanded and petty, vicious and caustic, combative and clever. It was a joy to watch, like a good boxing match.

White button-up shirts, khaki jeans, and black Converse All-Stars with black laces. A stamped golden necklace.
She slowly paced the stage with somber control.

*

The day before, in Fort Dodge, Iowa, she was a different person, mostly.

"Hi, what's your name," she asked. Then she turned, smiling, "I feel like Oprah."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Kamala Harris, who turned 55 in October, made tiny silly quips like this all the time.

It was 5:00 p.m., and Harris had started late because her tour bus maxes at 55 mph, and everywhere she goes, people want her time.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Now, a fresh crowd had gathered in the band room of Fort Dodge Middle School. Mostly middle-aged. In t-shirts or blouses and cargo shorts or khakis or jeans. Packed room, all seats taken, people slanting along the walls.

Harris often refers to children as "our babies." At the middle school, in a room full of teachers and patient-eyed children, she leaned on the phrase even harder than usual.

*

During the Q&A, a kid in a Washington Redskins Jersey raised his hand. Harris quickly seized on the opportunity.

"I'm a rising 5th grader," the boy said. People laughed because it's funny when kids say stupid things with an elegant timbre. He did not laugh, because most kids don't realize how cruel life can be so we adults needlaughter. He asked, could Harris imagine what school was like for him, with all these shootings and mass shooting drills and all that fear all the time?

Photo by Sean Ryan

Consensus was, "Ouch" and "Our country? It's in trouble." Then the entire room turned to Harris. She had the messiah look. Yet another of Harris' looks that deeply spooked my dad.

"I was from you to me away from her," he said. "To the side of the stage. And I swear that she had a tear at the edge of her eye the whole time. She could have let it fall at any moment."

She's telegenic, photogenic. In 2013, then-President Obama took heat for describing Harris as "best-looking attorney general in the country." She knows how to turn a phrase. She knows how to go viral. If anything, she has mastered these talents a little too well. At times it's like she's an actress, the way she can control her affect and emotions, aware of each shifting muscle and arched smile.

*

The boy in the Redskins jersey gawked at Harris as she told him that she had answers to his heart-rending question.

Politically, Harris showed an incredible amount of charm. She played the role of mother. Because that's the job she was vying for. The ultimate big momma. The lady in charge. The matriarch of the world.

Photo by Sean Ryan

"We judge a society by how it treats its children," she said.

She is good with kids. Doesn't have any of her own. Two step-kids. They call her their "Momala."

*

A row bass drums stacked on cabinets looked like a herd of wooly mammoths, facing the table behind a row of ferns. The acoustics in that room were perfect. Designed to capture every musical sound in its purest form.

Photo by Sean Ryan

This environment lended itself perfectly to any pauses and music. It was sultry in that middle school bandroom, about 86 degrees. Made hotter by the studio lights facing the table and the media with all their cameras and recorders and laptops. The floor was a snake pit of extension cords and outlets and cables. At both sides of the room, skyhook light-rigs like you see on movie sets.

The room cooled down within a few minutes of Harris's opening lines.


On the wall, laminated posters advised us to "Be Kind. Be Responsible. Be Safe. Be Respectful." Each imperative had a long-winded explanation. If you went to school in America you know the kind of wacky font the poster had, and the background full of neon shapes right out of the 1980s. How did advice so often turn into that? Into trite, uncool attempts at what? inspiration? Weren't these the same truisms and half-phrases that politicians used? A good thing, overall, this desire to improve the world. But was there a reason that the posters were rarely updated?

"Be Kind," we tell children on repeat. "Be Responsible, Be Safe, Be Respectful." And here was this kid asking about mass shooting drills.

*

Harris was far more composed in person than during, say, the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings. You remember those? That was long, long ago, maybe a year. The hearings were where most people first encountered Harris, captivated or annoyed by her dramatic and at times ruthless performances.

Photo by Sean Ryan

This is part of her divide. Her duality. Commentators often hint at it, but they struggle to capture its allure. In person, you can feel it. A shawoman in punk rock sneakers. For some reason, she reminded me of the character Circe, from Homer's Odyssey,who turns Odysseus' men to swine and, well, does other stuff.

Elected to Senate in 2016, she has approached her job on the Senate Judiciary Committee with the same toughness that made her a formidable prosecutor. And she operates with that belligerent style.

Like when she roasted former Attorney General Jeff Sessions so ruthlessly that he got flustered.

Many on the left label her a cop, as pointed out by the Atlantic in the article "When Kamala was a Top Cop."

More subtly, the New Yorker described her as a law-and-order Democrat. Another way to say it is that she has a lot of experience at the highest levels of law enforcement in the country. Rebecca Young, a senior trial attorney in the San Francisco public defender's office, told the New Yorker, "Much of what [Harris] says is driven by political expediency, and that's why it becomes difficult to trust. We know she advocated for high bails around guns, drugs — around everything, frankly, but misdemeanors."
Tulsi Gabbard went straight for the jugular during the second Democratic debate:

Senator Harris says she's proud of her record as a prosecutor and that she'll be a prosecutor president. But I'm deeply concerned about this record. There are too many examples to cite but she put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. She blocked evidence -- she blocked evidence that would have freed an innocent man from death row until the courts forced her to do so. She kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor for the state of California.

She was referring to comments that Harris made during February, 2019 appearance on "The Breakfast Club" radio show.

"What were you listening to when you was high?" Charlamagne Tha God asked her. "What was on? What song was on?"

"Was it Snoop?" DJ Envy asked.

"Yeah, definitely Snoop," Harris laughed. "Tupac for sure."

This itself has provoked controversy. If Harris graduated in 1989Snoop Dogg's debut, "Doggystyle," came out in 1993. Tupac's "2Pacalypse Now" came out in 1991.

After the backlash, Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy appeared on MSNBC to defend Harris

I mean, we wanted to humanize her, not just talk about politics, talk about what she likes, what she does," DJ Envy said. "And I asked what she listens to and she said she listens to Snoop Dogg and Tupac at the same time my co-host was still talking about the marijuana and it was just a funny exchange but she was actually answering me and people took it that she was answering Charlamagne and said she was lying, which was not true.

Problem was, as a D.A., however, Harris had been staunchly against marijuana legalization.

Harris' father — who emigrated from Jamaica for graduate school — also took issue with the Breakfast Club interview.

Specifically, her answer to the question about does she smoke pot. "Half my family's from Jamaica," she said. "Are you kidding me?"

*

The woman who introduced Harris said, "My biggest motivation around Senator Harris is that she genuinely cares about people. And not to say that we all don't care about people. But she cares about people in such a way that is gonna move this country forward."

I was learning that, almost every time, the person who introduced the candidates overdoes the whole "I trust this candidate because they truly care about people."

Harris wore the affect of a careful listener. When she asked a question she'd lower the mic onto the table. Then she'd follow up with a well-crafted answer. Stories that got to the point. Numbered arguments.

Strategic or not, it was admirable. Here she was, a Senator running for the Presidency, and she's asking local special ed teachers questions. Not the other way around.

Although her body language would decline as the campaign continues, it was obvious that she was well-trained in her physical cues, like all the candidates. Except Marianne Williamson. It's the hands. And the affect. And Bernie, of course. Because he doesn't seem to care about surface appearances.

And Yang, sort of. He has body language that isn't political in the slightest, most often with charming effect. Like how, in the Spin Room after the Houston debate, anytime someone interviewed him, he shook their hand. He also flings his arms around like the rapper YG, or many of the other L.A. gangsta rappers from the 1990s. Stiff, yet incredibly confident.

Harris is mostly quiet about her father. He, in turn, has dealt a couple of very public attacks on Harris' character and her lineage, including an article he posted on Jamaica Global Online, claiming that her paternal grandfather owned slaves in Jamaica.

Summers, she and Maya visited their father in Palo Alto, California, home to Stanford University and part of Silicon Valley. The neighbors' children weren't allowed to play with Harris and Maya because they were black.

*

Her mother's family was a member of the Brahmin class, at the top of the caste system. Both of her parents are academics, so she grew up around activists and academics. As she artfully pointed out during the second Democratic Debate, she was bussed to kindergarten as a young girl.

During her Ft. Dodge speech, in the middle school band room, Harris didn't talk about Trump at all. She mentioned her fellow candidates. But she did it with civility, complimenting them. Maybe she took a potshot at Biden. Didn't matter. She was too relaxed for it to come across as offensive.

Photo by Sean Ryan

At several points, she had everyone's attention. Even the media. Even the bored men and women behind station-logoed cameras. In part because she tells a good story.

As soon as she finished, people suctioned toward Harris. They doted. They would have juggled claymores for a chance to say a few sentences to Harris, who kept asking her aides out the side of her mouth, "How's the bus situation? The bus ready?"

She had to jaunt 88 miles north to Clear Lake for Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom, only able to go 55mph. But the line of people seemed barely to move at all. Seemed to be growing even, somehow. Harris hid a worried look. Smiled for the voters. Smiled for the selfies and the group shots and the jokes she's heard so many times before.

Across the street, a chubby 10-year-old-boy revved around his yard on a go-kart. He spilled into the road, laughing as he did donuts, sending exhaust and rubber into the air.

Next Monday is the final installment of "Field of Dreams," part one of my 2020 election series. I'll pick back up again mid-January, with a unique angle building into the Iowa Caucuses. For updates on any other work, check out my website and my Twitter. Send all ideas, corrections, notes, or hate-mail to kryan@mercurystudios.com. Thanks for reading.

Glenn gives the latest coronavirus numbers, updating YOU on everything needed to know as Americans and officials monitor China's new COVID-19 virus:

Daily Stats as of 5:30 AM CT (from John's Hopkins)

  • Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 1,030,324 (up from 950,638 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Deaths Worldwide: 54,226 (up from 48,289 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Recovered Worldwide: 219,896 (up from 202,631 Yesterday)
  • 5% of Active Cases are considered serious (requiring hospitalization) Steady from 5% Yesterday, but down from 19% high back in February
  • Note that 12% of US Confirmed Cases require Hospitalization, roughly on par with Italy at 12% requiring hospitalization and lower than Spain, where 18% of patients require hospitalization.
  • US has 245,380 Confirmed Cases and 6,095 Deaths, up from 215,344 cases and 5,112 deaths yesterday
  • The US currently has 228,874 Active Cases of COVID-19, with about 1% of the US Population tested
  • 15% of Americans who have been tested have been diagnosed with COVID-19
White House to Recommend All Americans Wear Face Masks in Public https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/02/coronavirus-facemasks-policyreversal/
  • The White House is poised to urge Americans to wear cloth masks or face coverings in public to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, in a reversal of earlier advice.
  • President Trump said Thursday at a coronavirus task force briefing that "a recommendation is coming out," but "I don't think it will be mandatory. If people want to wear them, they can."
  • Later, however, a White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to relate internal discussions, said that the guidance being considered is "narrowly targeted to areas with high community transmission" and that the matter remains under discussion.
  • A new Memo from the CDC states: "In light of new data, along with evidence of widespread transmission in communities across the country, CDC recommends the community use of cloth masks as an additional public health measure people can take to prevent the spread of the virus to those around them."
  • The recommendations represent a major change in CDC guidance that healthy people don't need masks or face coverings.
  • The news comes as Laredo, TX joins more than a dozen American cities or Counties that have mandated the use of face masks for all persons in public spaces such as grocery stores or shopping centers. Violaters without a facemask risk up to a $1000 fine. https://www.foxnews.com/us/texas-city-fine-people-who-dont-cover-faces-outside-coronavirus
  • Similar provisions are being considered for the entire State of California, according to Governor Gavin Newsom's office.
Anti-body Tests Getting Accelerated Availability https://news.yahoo.com/antibody-tests-key-ending-covid-19-lockdowns-162305617.html
  • Unlike Vaccine testing and production which could take months or years, SARS-CoV-2 Antibody tests could be available in the US in a few weeks.
  • Such tests could be key in enabling the partial lifting of lockdown and shelter-in-place orders, as authorities could determine who might already have immunity to the virus and could return to work.
  • "If we can determine someone's already had the virus and now has immunity and is no longer contagious to others, that's what we're looking for here," said Anthony Fauci in Thursday's White House COVID-19 Task Force update.
  • However, it should be noted that researchers have yet to determine if anti-body production renders people permanently or only temporarily immune to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
  • While some Virus immunities, such as Chicken Pox, are generally permanent immunities, others, such as SARS-1 and Rhinovirus (the common cold) grant only short-term, multi-month immunity...which is why people can get a cold each year.
  • Most known Coronavirus immunities in humans are not permanent, researchers have noted. Influenza, for example, grants only seasonal immunity and can be caught again only a few months later.
Lord Have Mercy...Hospital Ships Sit Empty https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/nyregion/ny-coronavirus-usns-comfort.html
  • The much-touted Navy Hospital Ships in New York and Los Angeles sit 95% empty as of Thursday evening.
  • In New York, The USNS Comfort's 1,000 beds are largely unused, its 1,200-member crew mostly idle. "We're waiting for patients," one nurse was quoted by the New York Times.
  • Only 20 patients had been transferred to the ship, officials said, even as New York hospitals struggled to find space for the thousands infected with the coronavirus.
  • Another Navy hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, docked in Los Angeles, has had a total of 15 patients, officials said.
  • "If I'm blunt about it, it's a joke," said Michael Dowling, the head of Northwell Health, New York's largest hospital system. "Everyone can say, 'Thank you for putting up these wonderful places and opening up these cavernous halls.' But we're in a crisis here, we're in a battlefield."
  • What's the issue? In classic government style: Red Tape.
  • On top of its strict rules preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board, the Navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.
  • Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort; they must first deliver patients to a city hospital for a lengthy evaluation — including a test for the virus — and then pick them up again for transport to the ship. With 911 call centers already massively over-capacity, ambulances aren't available to take non-infected persons to each ship.
  • Meanwhile, across New York hospitals are overrun. Patients have died in hallways before they could even be hooked up to one of the few available ventilators in New York. Doctors and nurses, who have had to use the same protective gear, again and again, are getting sick.
  • "So many people are dying that the city is running low on body bags," Dowling said. "The Coroner's office told our administrator to start double-wrapping bodies in sheets for the time being."
In Hopeful Sign, University of Pittsburgh Researchers May Have Found COVID-19 Vaccine https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/scientists-believe-they-found-potential-coronavirus-vaccine/
  • Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine believe that they've found a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus.
  • The researchers announced their findings Thursday and believe the vaccine could be rolled out quickly enough to "significantly impact the spread of disease," according to their study published in EBioMedicine.
  • The vaccine would be delivered on a small, fingertip-sized patch. When tested on mice, the vaccine produced enough antibodies believed to successfully counteract the virus.
  • The scientists say they were able to act fast because they had already done research on the similar coronaviruses SARS and MERS.
  • The Trump Administration ordered the FDA to fast-track the next phase of Animal trials for the experimental vaccine.
  • Officials did warn that even if successful, human trials and ultimate production could still be as many as 12-18 months away.
  • "It's early, but this is a very positive result," the lead scientist said in an interview. "We're well on our way."
Vermont, Maryland Make Buying Seeds to Grow Food Illegal https://www.eagletimes.com/covid_19/large-retailers-stop-in-person-sales-of-nonessential-items-in-vermont/article_c1d0e43c-7432-11ea-8ca9-a30ed891d9fd.htmlimage.png Canada's Farmers Warn of Food Supply Impact Due to Non-Essential Designation https://ipolitics.ca/2020/04/02/the-sprout-canadian-farmers-worry-for-food-supply/, https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/agriculture/agriculture-sector-scrambling-to-offset-consequences-of-covid-19-crisis
  • Canada's government issues a list of industries and jobs it deemed essential, including food delivery, shipping & logistics, medical care, energy production & delivery.
  • One industry that was glaringly absent: agricultural production.
  • Like the US, Canada's agricultural industry relies on migrant and seasonal workers to plant and harvest foods, especially key fruits and vegetables that must be picked by hand.
  • Industry representatives have begun to petition the government to include Ag production an essential service so travel restrictions can be relaxed to allow workers to travel into Canada and use of public transportation systems to get to where planting activities must occur soon to allow for Fall food harvests.
  • Canada's Federation of Independent Grocers also extended a warning to the Government that it projects food costs in Canada could rise by as much as 90% in the coming months due to COVID-19 related disruptions. https://nationvalleynews.com/2020/04/01/grocers-group-warns-rising-food-costs-come/
Industry Expert Warns Illness Among Agricultural Workers Could Threaten US Food Supplies https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/markets/an-outbreak-among-farm-workers-would-be-catastrophic/ar-BB1257dl
  • Much of the US food supply chain is staffed by low-wage workers, many of them undocumented immigrants with limited ties to health services.
  • The Pew Research Center has estimated that about one-quarter of U.S. farmworkers are undocumented.
  • A 2019 U.S. Department of Labor survey estimated that the share of field workers who are undocumented is closer to half of all farmworkers.
  • The food processing industry also has high numbers of undocumented workers, as do many of the nation's smaller grocers and fast-food restaurants.
  • Immigrant farming communities are often close-knit, with laborers living and working in close proximity, with workers sharing hotel rooms and even make-shift Tents with cots, to save on costs.
  • As the California-based Western Growers Association states, "Social distancing is difficult or perhaps impossible in certain settings such as harvesting, transport (of workers) and housing."
  • One California grower told National Public Radio that if the coronavirus penetrates the agricultural community, "it will spread like wildfire."
  • The news comes as Mexico only recently restricted movements and travel, issuing shelter-in-place orders for 90% of the country.
  • The Trump Administration recently eased restrictions on H-2a Ag Worker visas, but industry experts warned many workers planned to stay in Mexico or other Central American countries due to travel restrictions now in effect in those countries. https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-03-27/state-department-eases-requirements-for-h2a-visa
  • The Western Growers Association currently estimates a 30% reduction in labor force this year, which may be further impacted if COVID-19 spreads among workers who live and work in tight close quarters.
LA Mayor: "Snitches Get Rewards" https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/03/31/coronavirus-los-angeles-eric-garcetti-snitches-get-rewards/
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced new guidelines for construction sites that continue to operate during the coronavirus pandemic while encouraging the community to report businesses that violate the Safer at Home order.
  • Garcetti said that since the stay at home order was put in place, the city has been told about construction sites that have not been following the guidelines set out in that order.
  • "You know the old expression about snitches, well in this case snitches get rewards," Garcetti said. "We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe."
  • As of Tuesday afternoon, Garcetti said "business ambassadors" from the city had visited 540 businesses that had not complied with the Safer at Home order. Of those, 144 were visited by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department to ensure compliance with the order.
  • So far, Four businesses have been referred to the city attorney's office for misdemeanor filings.
  • The story comes as business owners across the US have been cited and even arrested for violating House Arrest orders, many turned in by way of anonymous calls to police departments. https://apnews.com/343ed4a8e95dfc8f8dda87b9e450ca57
In Germany, Hundreds of Citations Handed Out Based on Anonymous Reports and Emails to Police Departments https://news.trust.org/item/20200402160625-8y12u
  • (Headline Bloomberg News) Germans snitch on neighbors flouting virus rules, in an echo of the Stasi past
  • Law-abiding Germans are zealously helping police crackdown on people flouting new social distancing rules aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus by reporting on strangers, neighbors and friends.
  • In a country where denunciation was commonplace under the Communists in East Germany and Hitler's Nazis, police forces across the country are getting tip-offs on anything from "corona parties" to people driving to weekend cottages.
  • Rules introduced in March forcing restaurants, pubs and sports facilities to shut and banning gatherings of people have given police plenty of work. With the number of corona cases and deaths climbing fast, there is no sign of easing enforcement.
  • Since March 14, police in the German capital have ordered 830 pubs, shisha bars and other establishments to shut and recorded 898 crimes.
  • "We are getting tip-offs from the public about open restaurants or large gatherings of people in parks," said a spokeswoman, adding officers were, as always, ready to deal with information from the public.
  • Forces around Germany are in a similar situation. Munich police took up to 150 calls every day last week from citizens reporting alleged breaches of corona rules, according to Spiegel Online.

For weeks now, our political leaders and the media have been repeating the World Health Organization's claim that non-medical-grade face masks don't work when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19. So, why are infectious disease experts now reconsidering their guidelines?

According to the New York Times, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, said the guidance on wearing non-medical masks is "being critically re-reviewed, to see if there's potential additional value for individuals that are infected or individuals that may be asymptomatically infected."

In actuality, they didn't trust the American people to do the right thing and prioritize healthcare workers to receive masks first, opined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday. But they do work, and "if we're going to open the country up, we are going to all have to wear face masks," he said.

Listen to the clip to hear more details:

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Face Masks DO Work, US Cases Per Capita, and WHO Lies for Communist China youtu.be

In response to the COVID-19 quarantine, BlazeTV is offering our BIGGEST discount ever! Get $30 off your subscription when you use promo code GLENN. Claim your special offer at https://get.blazetv.com/glenn/.

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William "Bill" Kelly is 95-year-old World War II veteran from Oregon. He lived through the Great Depression.
He served in the South Pacific during World War II. And now he has just fought the coronavirus -- and won.

Bill joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to share his experience and a hopeful message about why the younger generations can overcome this crisis.

"I want to tell the people, it wasn't pleasant, but on the other hand, you know, if you do what you're supposed to do, and you have some loved ones around you, and do a lot of praying, why, you'll come through okay. We [American's] have been through a lot. We've been through Pearl Harbor. We've been through the Great Depression, and who knows what else. We're tough. We'll get through it. Hang in there," Bill said.

"You know, it's just -- it's in our American blood," he added. "We're that type of people. We take care of each other, and we are not going to break down. We're going to make it through, every time. Every time."

"There are people that don't think we are those people anymore. That it was the greatest generation -- your generation -- that did it, but now we're not the same people. Do you agree with that? Glenn asked.

"No," asserted Bill. "And the reason I say that is because I remember when I was a young kid, you know, and people, the older people, said 'all those young kids are soft' ... but when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor -- sneak attack, you know -- it's surprising how those so-called goofy kids turned into mighty fine fighting people. And they're very loyal. I have lots of faith in them ... no, I don't have any problems with this new generation. They'll take care of us. We're Americans."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Glenn gives the latest coronavirus numbers, updating YOU on everything needed to know as Americans and officials monitor China's new COVID-19 virus:

Daily Stats as of 5:30 AM CT (from John's Hopkins)

  • Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 950,638 (up from 872,891 Yesterday)
  • Total Deaths Worldwide: 48,289 (up from 43,271 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Recovered Worldwide: 202,631 (up from 184,588 Yesterday)
  • 5% of Active Cases are considered serious (requiring hospitalization) Steady from 5% Yesterday, but down from 19% high back in February
  • Note that 12% of US Confirmed Cases require Hospitalization, roughly on par with Italy at 12% requiring hospitalization
  • US has 215,344 Confirmed Cases and 5,112 Deaths, up from 188,592 cases and 4,056 deaths yesterday
  • COVID-19 is now the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, behind Heart Disease and Cancer (based on daily fatalities per 1,000 people)
  • The United States of America now leads the world in total confirmed cases, with 115,000 more cases than Italy (although Italy leads the world in Deaths with 13,155 officially dead)
  • US is 25th in Total Confirmed Cases per 1 Million Population, with 651 cases per 1 Million people. Spain has 2,583 Cases per 1 Million people.
  • US is 23rd in Total Confirmed Dead per 1 Million Population, with 15 Dead per 1 Million citizens. Italy has 218 Dead per 1 Million.
  • US has 5,112 Dead vs 8,878 Recovered and 5,075 in Critical Condition
  • The US currently has 201,354 Active Cases of COVID-19, with still less than 1% of the total US population tested.
  • 17% of Americans who have been tested have been diagnosed with COVID-19
COVID-19 Now Killing Victims Who Don't Have COVID-19 https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-nyc-emts-stop-taking-cardiac-arrest-patients-to-hospitals/
  • EMTs in New York have been given a directive not to transport heart-attack victims to hospitals if they cannot be revived at the scene.
  • Prior cardiac arrest victims would have been transported to hospitals for further life-saving procedures, but with hospitals being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, heart attack victims are solely in the hands of local EMTs. If EMTs cannot restore a pulse at the scene, victims are to be left there to die.
  • "Artificial ventilation and/or compressions must not be delayed," the memo states, adding that chest "compressions must begin as soon as it is determined the patient does not have a pulse."
  • But the guidelines change if the patient cannot be revived before arriving at a hospital.
  • "In the event a resuscitation is terminated, and the body is in public view, the body can be left in the custody of the NYPD."
China Lied, People Died Trending on Social Media https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-01/china-concealed-extent-of-virus-outbreak-u-s-intelligence-says
  • US Intelligence Services has concluded what the Internet has known since January: The Chinese Communist Party lied about total infected and total deaths due to Coronavirus.
  • Citing a report provided to the White House last week, officials confirmed that US Intelligence concludes 'gross' underreporting of total cases and total deaths, especially from Hubei Province.
  • Many have speculated that numbers coming out of China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and other totalitarian countries have been dramatically underreported, by as much as a factor of 10 according to official British Intelligence reports.
  • The early misrepresentation of data by the CCP may have lead some Western Politicians and epidemiologists to underestimate the seriousness of COVID-19 and delayed response in Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
  • Though why anybody would have believed anything the Chinese Communist Party had to say remains an open question...
Italy's Death Toll Far Higher Than Reported https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/italys-coronavirus-death-toll-is-far-higher-than-reported/ar-BB122vvc
  • In the town of Coccaglio, an hour's drive east of here, the local nursing home lost over a third of its residents in March. None of the 24 people who died there were tested for the new coronavirus. Nor were the 38 people who died in another nursing home in the nearby town of Lodi.
  • These aren't isolated incidents. Italy's official death toll from the virus stands at 13,155, the most of any country in the world. But that number tells only part of the story because many people who die from the virus don't make it to the hospital and are never tested, therefore they aren't included in official numbers.
  • "They were all sick, they all had flu-like symptoms and difficulty breathing," stated a nurse from one of the nursing homes. "We had no ambulance to get them to Milan."
  • In the areas worst hit by the pandemic, Italy is undercounting thousands of deaths caused by the virus, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows, indicating that the pandemic's human toll may end up being much greater, and infections far more widespread, than official data indicate.
  • As stretched and sometimes overwhelmed hospitals fight to save their patients, many other people die unseen and uncounted, including elderly people in out-of-the-way locations.
  • In addition, the health-care crisis can lead to a surge of deaths from other causes that would normally be treatable.
  • "There are many more dead from the virus than are officially declared... People died and they were never tested because time and resources are limited," Eugenio Fossati, deputy mayor of Coccaglio, says of deaths caused by the virus.
More Numbers Hard to Trust as Bodies Left On The Streets in Ecuador https://www.scmp.com/news/world/americas/article/3078077/coronavirus-bodies-are-being-left-streets-ecuador
  • Coronavirus: bodies are being left on the streets in Ecuador.
  • 'They fall in front of hospitals or in back street alleys, or in small villages…no one wants to recover them,' says the mayor of Ecuador's largest city.
  • The army is placing unclaimed bodies in refrigerated cargo containers at the port while authorities pursue plans for a new cemetery.
  • The corpses have been overwhelming Guayaquil, a port city of 2.8 million at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in Ecuador.
  • Over the last few days, several were wrapped in plastic and left on the streets. Others have lain unclaimed in hospitals and clinics that have been overwhelmed by infections. The city morgue is full.
  • The majority of the dead are believed to be victims of the virus, but nobody can say for sure how many. There has been little testing.
  • The country has confirmed 2,700 infections and 93 deaths - 60 of them in Guayaquil and its immediate surroundings. But municipal officials there said they have recovered at least 400 bodies in the last 3 days.
  • Mayor Cynthia Viteri, who announced that she has also tested positive for the virus, said the national government should be responsible for collecting the corpses.
  • "They're leaving them in the villages, they are stacked in front of hospitals," she said in a Twitter video message to residents late last week.
  • Many local villages in Ecuador are simply burying the dead in unmarked graves, which will make official counting of COVID-19 victims impossible in the weeks ahead.
50% of Viral Spread Comes from People With No Symptoms https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/01/health/us-coronavirus-updates-wednesday/index.html
  • Researchers in Iceland have confirmed earlier reports from Hong Kong that a significant amount of viral spread is caused by carriers who have no symptoms.
  • In the US, Doctors at the CDC have confirmed asymptomatic spread, but estimate a number of about 25%.
  • If true, then the case for all persons to wear masks, even those who don't have symptoms, becomes much stronger.
  • To prevent further spread, the top infectious disease expert in the US says health officials are reconsidering guidance on face masks.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would "lean towards" recommending that the general public wear face masks "if we do not have the problem of taking away masks from the health care workers who need them. The public can stay home to avoid infection, but health care workers cannot," he said.
  • "We're not there yet, but I think we're close to coming to some determination," Fauci said.
Ship vs Train... Ship Wins https://abc7.com/usns-mercy-coronavirus-train-crash-derailment/6069395/
  • A Locomotive Engineer in Los Angeles has been charged with 1 Count of "Train Wrecking", a Class A Felony under Federal Law, after purposely derailing his freight train while attempting to sink the US Hospital ship Mercy.
  • Eduardo Moreno, 44, intended to hit the ship, saying he thought it was "suspicious" and did not believe "the ship is what they say it's for.'"
  • Moreno admitted to crashing the train intentionally but said he did not plan it out in advance. It is believed that he acted alone.
  • He allegedly made statements to a CHP officer that included "You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to. People don't know what's going on here. Now they will."
  • Officials say video from inside the train's cab shows Moreno holding a lighted flare during the incident.
Biggest Issue With COVID-19 in Malaysia: Nagging Wives https://www.npr.org/2020/04/01/825051317/dont-nag-your-husband-during-lock-down-malaysias-government-advises-women
  • Malaysia has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia with more than 2,900 and counting.
  • This week, Malaysia's government also had a serious public relations issue after an ill-conceived plan went online.
  • Malaysia's Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development issued a series of online posters on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19. It advised the nation's women to help with the country's partial lockdown by not nagging their husbands.
  • The ministry also advised women to refrain from being "sarcastic" if they asked for help with household chores.
  • Additionally, the Ministry urged women working from home to dress up and wear makeup.
  • After some negative response on social media, the public service messages have been removed from the Ministry's Facebook page.