Ryan: Andrew Yang at a winery

Photo by Sean Ryan

Jasper Winery was all glass and concrete and metal, so every sound made an echo. But the room was too narrow to accommodate light rigs and spotlights, and it had air conditioning, at least.

A crimson velvet rope divided the stage from the audience, a matching red carpet lined the puny little stage, and an expressionless man pushed the knobs of a soundboard, five feet from the microphone, ambushed by foliage behind the curtain-wall glass window.

Photo by Sean Ryan

As soon as Andrew Yang arrived, he was out among the people. A Saturday in Des Moines.

Earlier that day, in the press room at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, he shrugged off the usual questions and had fun, even made himself laugh several times as he ragged on Donald Trump.

It was silly, the way he did it. Playful. Innocent.

At one point he struck a pose, said "I'd challenge Donald Trump to any physical or mental feat under the sun," with a mischievous grin. "I mean, gosh, what could that guy beat me at, being a slob?"

You can just picture Yang's staff, trying to lock eyes with him, giving hand signals, lipping "That's enough, Andrew." Yang didn't care. He did not care. He was having fun with it.

"Like, something that involved trying to keep something on the ground and having really large body mass? Like, if there was a hot-air balloon that was rising and you needed to try and keep it on the ground, he would be better than me at that," he paused in thought. "Because he is so fat."

A few outlets labeled it fat-shaming. And the Atlantic saw it as another example of Yang's novelty pessimism.

But in Iowa and online, people kept saying "Yang has a good heart." That, in person, he just lets off a calmative energy, a kindness.

He does.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Twenty minutes before his "Trump is fat" comments, Yang gave a speech about gun control as part of the Presidential Gun Sense Forum, and during the Q&A, a woman told him about her 4-year-old daughter. How she was struck by a stray bullet. Died two days later. The girl's twin brother saw it happen.

The whole time the woman talked, Yang limply covered his face.

"Can I give you a hug," Yang asked. "Would that be appropriate?"He jogged over to the woman, hugged her, said a few quiet words.

His face kept a sunken look, all brutal devastation. He needed to burst into tears.

"I have a 6- and 3-year-old boy," said Yang, then he made a tiny whimper and sank his face into his cupped hand, struggling for composure. Then he let go for a few moments and cried. It was the quick sob of someone who has been too busy to deal with too many things.

"I was imagining it was one of them that got shot and the other saw it," he said. "I'm so sorry."

Yang broke into tears again. Covered his eyes with his hand. The audience clapped. Yang shuffled himself onto the stage. He bristled himself back, as much as he could, looked out at the crowd, and gave his translation. His why not?

"The biggest downside of running for President, for me, is that I don't get to see my family very much," he said. "So I get pictures. I FaceTime, I see pictures of my boys and, just that scene that she described, I'm sorry, it's just very, very affecting."
Then he straightened his posture, focused his stare, and answered the woman's question.

*

Yang occasionally hugs with his head leaning right. Among yoga therapists, this is called a heart-to-heart hug, or a connecting hug. It opens the heart chakra, the spiritual energy center that contains love and compassion.

Research on hugging says otherwise. A study in the International Journal of Psychophysiology determined that most of the time we prefer right-side hugs, and that left-sided hugs are in fact the signals of true emotion.

Researchers in Germany found that "When people hug, emotional and motor networks in the brain interact and cause a stronger drift to the left in emotional contexts."

They found that people in emotionally neutral situations hugged right 92 percent of the time, while people in emotionally charged situations hugged right 83 percent of the time.

Body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass disagrees with the implied conclusion. "When you hug someone, there's a great deal of various emotions that are involved. Most people are statistically right-handed, so you're going to go to the right side."

*

At Jasper Winery, Yang stood near the back of the crowd. People seated at tables draped with violet cloth and people standing or leaning against the tall wide windows along the slink building.

Photo by Sean Ryan

To their right, crowded in a narrow line that blocked the bathrooms, journalists trained their eyes and cameras on Kamala Harris as she appeared from a backroom at the side of the stage then fiddled the microphone loose.

The event was hosted by the Asian & Latino Coalition, the same organization that had held the Biden speech at the plumbers union, when he compared "poor kids" to "white kids."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Harris' bus was just outside the door next to the stage. The winery had giant windows along all the walls, so no matter where you were in the room, you could see the back of Harris' bus, "TEXT IOWA TO 70785."

"My mother always told me, 'Be the first to do many things. But don't be the last.'"

People clapped, and Harris noted their applause. The line worked. Again. As always. In part because Harris has lived it out. The first but never the last. Nearly every office she has been elected to, she's the first black woman. She's the second black woman elected to the Senate, but the first of South Asian descent.

Photo by Sean Ryan

She wore the same white shirt and tan pants as at the two appearances we'd been to earlier that day, and matching tan heels.

"Who are we?" she asked.

"We are fighters," she answered.

Fighting. A theme in her life and her speeches.

That night's word was "aspirational."

At the end of her speech, the room tore into a cascade of applause, and Harris smiled like politicians do, like fishermen when they hook a monster.

*

As the crowd settled, the Asian & Latino Coalition president took the stage beside Harris. After some jocular banter, he handed her an envelope, donations of some kind, or maybe a letter — the guy was hard to understand — and would she symbolically place it in this wicker basket?

"I can't give nobody a closed envelope," she said, laughing. Then, for good measure, forcing more laughter, "Momma didn't raise no fool."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Yang chuckled. He stayed in the crowd for Harris' entire speech. Anytime someone came up to him, he whispered, nodded, then re-trained his focus to Harris onstage. At this point, there was mutual respect. A month later, in Houston, in the Spin Room of the Third Democratic Debate, Harris and Yang would completely ignore one another. And how many times would the following events cross their minds at night?

*

Harris lowered into a seat near the front, and waited, with her legs uncrossed and her hands clasped by her knees. It was a Michael Jordan pose. A Frank Sinatra posture. Yang was next. People kept slouching over to Harris, whispering because the ALC President was introducing Yang. Harris watched. She listened. She nodded. She smiled, when it was called for. Laughed, when it was called for. Clapped. Nodded.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The ALC President made some kind of in-joke with Yang, and Yang pointed back like he was the coolest kid at the party, and he's about to do a keg stand, smirking with his lips pursed. Because Yang has the body posture and mannerisms of a savvy New York rapper.

Like everyone else, the ALC President had only praise for Yang. The ALC President, God bless him, was near impossible to understand. He spoke quick, with a bobbing cadence.

"All time I see him, he ask, 'How your son doing?' We share in common, me and Andrew, that my son has autism, he is 16 years old, and I know your son does too. We share a lot about that pain. And," pointing to Yang, "there's a good heart there."

*

Slowing down for a moment, he said, "Life is not easy," then something else, then commended Yang's plan for universal basic income, $1,000 a month for free, no questions asked.

Because it won't be long before automation has left us jobless in a Blade Runner dystopia.

Yang smiled and nodded, the head bob of someone listening to Wu-Tang Clan on massive headphones as they slouch on the subway, careening toward nowhere, young in Manhattan.

"He is a serious candidate," said the ALC President, to applause and a few hoots. Elon Musk had endorsed Yang earlier that day. Elon Musk. The guy who — cosmically speaking — makes up for just about every worthless jackass you know. The guy who shot a Tesla — cars of the future, by the company he created — into space as a symbol of his growing accomplishments. Elon Musk.

"So without further ado…"

Yang wove through the narrow room and took the stage like it was a familiar blanket. Right away, he addressed Harris. She leapt up from her seat, they hugged. Harris initiated, head to the left. She often closes her eyes when she hugs. Yang, too. This time Harris kept her eyes open.

*

"Kamala," said Yang, gripping the microphone with three fingers on his left hand, "it is so much better to speak before you than after you."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Two minutes into Yang's speech, Harris left.

Jasper Winery has 3 exits. She chose the one next to the sound guy, so everybody who followed her had to walk in front of the stage.

And she took half the place with her. More, maybe. Half of the audience. And since most of the media were there for her speech, most of them followed. Loudly. They were breaking down camera rigs and shuffling, all as Andrew Yang spoke.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And every time someone opened the door, all you could hear was the "BRRRRRRRKKKKKKRRRRRKKKKPOPKK" of the KAMALA bus's engine.

There were so many people leaving that someone just propped the door open, and nobody bothered to close it, so someone else eventually shuffled over and yanked it hard shut.

Yang kept talking, in his Maya blue button-up and navy blue suit with an American flag on the left lapel, without a tie, as usual. Chairs squeaked, tables shifted, people spoke to one another, shuffling in line out the door.

Photo by Sean Ryan

"I'm running to solve what I believe is the biggest problem of our time," he paused for a moment and stared at passers. "Enjoy the bus." The people who were listening laughed.

"And the problem is, how did Donald Trump win Iowa by 9 points in 2016? How did he win in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin? Now if you turn on cable news, you might get a series of explanations. What are the factors they're giving? Russia, racism, Facebook, the FBI, Hillary Clinton. Those are probably the factors that get cited. But I've done the numbers and found an explanation that I believe drives more of the election outcome than we talk about ever, and it's the fact that we gave away four million manufacturing jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and 40,000 right here in Iowa."

He stared forward in his rubber-soul black shoes.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He loved to get a show of hands, but he often went on with his point before people had a chance to lift them. Maybe the greater point was, "I already know the answer."

Then he shifted into one of his biggest ideas. Automation. He was the only candidate talking about it. Which was terrifying. They ought to all have a plan.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He filed to run for president a solid year-and-a-half before any of the other Democrats, on November 6, 2017. But still after Trump, who filed on his first day in office.

*

The day before, Yang had walked around the Iowa State Fair with a turkey leg and a giant grin like he didn't give a damn. By all accounts he did not, does not.

"How many of you have noticed stores closing around where you live, here in Iowa?" Many of the people in the audience raised their hands. He asked them did they know why.

In unison, they said, "Amazon."

"That's right," he replied. "Amazon's like a blackhole sucking 20 billion dollars in business every single year. It's closing 30 percent of your stores and malls."

He paused.

"How much is Amazon paying in taxes," he asked.

They said, "zero" in unison like they were at an early Mass.

"Zero," he said. "That is the math, Iowa."

"How many of you have visited Iowa 80, the country's largest truck stop in Davenport?"

Nearly every hand in the room snaked up, toward the exposed rafters.

"They proudly say that 5,000 people stop there every single day. My friends in California are working on trucks that can drive themselves. They're working on those self-driving trucks because of all the money involved. $168 billion a year in savings if they can succeed in automating away truck drivers. How many people will stop at Iowa 80 when the trucks have robot drivers that don't need to stop for a meal? What's that going to mean here in Iowa, where truck driving is the most common job in the state? And not just here in Iowa, but 28 other states."

"We're in the midst of the greatest economic transformation in the history of our country," he said, and the room got quiet. The fourth industrial revolution. Of the other candidates, only Biden had discussed it, and with a cursory grasp.

"This is no longer science fiction," Yang said. "This is reality in 2019. This is why Donald Trump is our president today." The Kamala tour bus chugged and belched just outside the door.

"The reason why I am here is because you hold the future of the country in your hands, here in Iowa," he said. "You're a bit spoiled, Kamala just left and I am here, Amy [Klobuchar] is coming in, and there's this constant parade of presidential candidates, and why? Because we know that you control the fate of the country."

Harris was rounding the corner outside, her entourage barking out questions behind her, but everyone in the room trained their eyes on Yang.

"Do you know how many Californians each Iowan is worth? One thousand! You look around this room and there may be 160 people in this room. I see a group of 160,000 Californians."

Oh now the audience loved that. They clapped and cheered for a solid 15 seconds.

"It's a good thing Kamala just left because she probably wouldn't like that," to which they laughed, as Yang gave off a charming smile.

The Harris gaggle crawled forward then stopped right outside the giant windows at the middle of the audience. Another couple journalists folded out of the room. Another handful of onlookers followed. Harris faced Yang without looking at Yang, as if she were reminding everyone that she, her entourage, the media, and all those other devoted people were the real star. It felt like a lion stalking a lone zebra at the watering hole.

But Yang didn't care, waiting for the ice cream truck on a mild summer day.

*Yang repudiated claims that his $1,000-a-month stance on Universal Basic Income was a mere gimmick. He called it a deeply American idea that's been with us since our founding.

"Martin Luther King Jr. championed it on the very day he was assassinated."

He asked a question and they answered.

Asked another question, they answered.

Another, answered.

"That's right," he said. "Thank you, Iowa."

Somebody whooped at the teamwork.

He told them that his wife was at home with their boys. "What is her work included at, in GDP every year?"

One woman, "zero."

"What is the market value of her work at?" Nobody answered, not quickly enough, so Yang said, "Zero. And we know that that's nonsense. We know that her work is some of the most challenging and vital that anyone is doing. How many of you are parents, raise your hands?"

Most of the room.

"When I'm at home with my kids for a day or two and my wife leaves, you know what I say? I say, 'Get me back to running for president as soon as possible.' Because being a parent is the hardest work there is."

*"BRRRRRRRKKKKKKRRRRRKKKKPOP" of the KAMALA bus engine.

"Thanks to you in Iowa I just qualified for the fall debates," he said.

And for a moment, their applause was the loudest noise in the area.

He did something none of the other candidates had even hinted at trying. He appealed to Trump supporters.

"I am only one of two candidates that ten percent or more of Trump voters said they would vote for. I am a younger, fresher, more modern, more Asian version of Bernie."

Laughter and applause.

"BRRRRRRRKKKKKKRRRRRKKKKPOP."

"The Democratic party talks about empowering women," he said. "I'm talking about actually recognizing what women are doing right now."

"Woot!" and applause.

"BRRRRRRRKKKKKKRRRRRKKKKPOP."

"The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math."

"BRRRRRRRKKKKKKRRRRRKKKKPOP."

*

Meanwhile, Harris pressed closer to the glass outside, and everyone inside was prey in an incubator.

In 1994, Harris started dating then-Assembly Speaker Willie Brown, a married man 30 years her senior. Brown was 60, four years older than Harris' father. The relationship has proven to be a thorn in Harris' side. Now she's happily married to Doug Emhoff, an entertainment lawyer, but that doesn't stop the accusations of career-motivated dalliances.

Brown was politically connected, so Harris became politically connected.

He appointed Harris to positions that paid well, about $100,000 a year. He gave her a BMW. Then he was elected Mayor of San Francisco. Harris celebrated his win, but ended the relationship before Brown was inaugurated.

She turned on him.

In an interview, Harris described Brown as an "albatross hanging around my neck," adding, "I have no doubt that I am independent of him –– and that he would probably right now express some fright about the fact that he cannot control me. His career is over; I will be alive and kicking for the next 40 years. I do not owe him a thing."

In January 2019, Brown, who was known for his lavish outfits and extramarital gamesmanship and who had a minor role in The Godfather: Part III, penned a letter for the San Francisco Chronicle, "Sure, I dated Kamala Harris. So what?"

Brown concluded the letter, "Yes, I may have influenced her career by appointing her to two state commissions when I was Assembly speaker. And I certainly helped with her first race for district attorney in San Francisco. I have also helped the careers of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Gavin Newsom, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and a host of other politicians. The difference is that Harris is the only one who, after I helped her, sent word that I would be indicted if I 'so much as jaywalked' while she was D.A. That's politics for ya."

In a recent profile by the Atlantic, Yang said, "If you're a politician, your incentives are to make with the happy talk and then get elected — and then solving the problems is secondary, because you have to raise money to try and get reelected, but no one ever back-checks you. The incentives are to say, 'We can do this; we can do that. We can do the other thing.' And then, meanwhile, society falls apart."

*

After his speech, Yang clobber-stepped off the front of the stage, unconcerned with the protocol of stairs and formal exits. People had surrounded him by the time he'd taken a few steps.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He leaned in to hear a man in an American-flag short-sleeve button up. The shadow of the man's "Vietnam Veteran" hat covered his eyes, and maybe he was crying a little as he told his story. He had the most impressive handlebar mustache I had ever seen. I will likely never see a mustache of its promontory.

Yang listened with an unforced calm.

Everyone drew closer. Yang had suction energy like Biden, Harris, and Sanders, but in a much different way. His was inviting. Something you could share.

On his left, a man in a beige flat cap and a t-shirt with the globe on it and the words "No pipeline! Keep our fields green and water clean."

Photo by Sean Ryan

Harris passed by the giant windows one more time. You could hear the journalists shouting questions as they walked sideways or backward, whatever got them as close as possible. Twenty journalists crabbing around her. Thirty, maybe. People with questions. They looked like a bunch of ants carrying an orange slice back to the colony, because, yes, the queen would be proud.

Harris had to nudge to get to her tour bus. Something about it, like she enjoyed the nudging, never nudged hard enough to leave in a hurry. As if she could only take a few small steps at a time, like a climber near the summit of Everest.

Her staff herded the giant knot of people and cameras, all with a concerned look to their faces as they guided Harris onto the KAMALA bus.

Amy Klobuchar was about to take the stage. Nobody seemed to notice or care.

A dozen or so people lingered at the side of the bus. Two older men slumped into folding chairs that were comically out-of-place, mere feet from a dumpster. One of the men, the bigger sloucher in his dirty grey shirt and ropey sandals, held his right hand up toward the bus's tinted window as the bus nudged forward.

Photo by Sean Ryan

One of the organizers from the Asian and Latino Coalition smiled at the bus, then turned to me, the only media around. At first she asked if I could get her onto the bus. I shook my head "No" with a confused look on my face.

"Well then will you be here Monday night, for the endorsement?" she asked. "That's when we're going to announce who we're going to endorse for president."

She added that, sure, it was a bit early to endorse a candidate, but that's what made the Asian and Latino Coalition so valuable.Take a guess who won the endorsement?

The same person who treated Iowa like a chessboard. The same person who wore jeans and Converse All-Stars instead of slacks and heels. The same person who had that unstoppable look in her eyes, like she would never lose a fight, never stifle a tear, never quit charging.

The bus chugged off into the lamplit evening, and the crowd of gawkers mostly dispersed.

But the slouching man in the grey shirt still had his hand up, jutting into the air. I'd forgotten about that guy. For a moment I was afraid he'd entered some catatonic state.

His hand pointed up like a flag pole that hadn't held a flag in years.

Eventually he lowered his arm and went back to staring at the empty field across the street.

With the bus gone, a sudden quiet overtook the air. You could hear all the tiny noises that had been drowned out by the shaking chug of the engine. Over our heads, some birds sang and danced like they knew gymnastics. Locusts, wherever they were, chaffed their own asses.

"You think she saw me?" asked the slouching man.

"I don't know," said the other, "those windows were pretty well tinted."

New installments of this series come out every Monday and Thursday morning. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@mercurystudios.com

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

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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.