5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Bernie Sanders suspends presidential campaign

  • Pelosi, Schumer introduce $500 billion follow-up coronavirus relief package

  • Dr. Birx warns not to stop social distancing because of 'early signs of hope'

  • 1 in 3 renters have paid no rent in April, trade group reports

  • Singer-songwriter John Prine dies of COVID-19 complications

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) suspended his presidential campaign on Wednesday. He announced his plans to exit the race on an all-staff conference call and later addressed supporters via live stream, describing his decision to exit as "very difficult and painful." Sanders' exit clears the way for former Vice President Joe Biden to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination; after a strong showing in early primary states, Biden is poised to go head-to-head against President Trump, who has strong support among Republican voters. Sanders pushed a progressive platform, advocating for Medicare-for-all, loan forgiveness, and strengthened worker protections. He said he will still stay on the ballot and continue to gather delegates through the party's convention to influence the party platform.

Source: The Washington Post

Top congressional Democrats on Wednesday proposed additions to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) next coronavirus relief bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced a proposed additional $250 billion in "Cares 2" act, doubling the size of the package McConnell introduced. Their proposal would allocate more money to local and state governments and health care facilities, and ensure at least half McConnell's proposed funding goes toward "community-based financial institutions." In addition, they'd like $100 billion hospitals, community health centers, and health systems; $150 billion for state and local governments; and an additional 15 percent support added to SNAP food stamp benefits. McConnell hoped to pass his $250 billion plan with a unanimous voice vote on Thursday.

Source: NBC News

Members of President Trump's coronavirus task force are expressing some optimism based on a few "signs of hope" while stressing it's crucial for social distancing to continue. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, on Wednesday said "we're very hopeful" because Americans have been taking social distancing guidelines seriously. The director of the CDC and the U.S. surgeon general have both suggested the U.S. coronavirus death toll could end up below the White House's previous projection of 100,000 to 240,000 as a result of successful social distancing. At the same time, Americans must not take any of this as a signal to stop social distancing, Birx stressed. "If people start going out again, and socially interacting, we could see a very acute second wave very early."

Source: Today

Only 69 percent of tenants paid any rent in the first five days of April, down from 81 percent in March and 82 percent in April 2019, the National Multifamily Housing Council, a landlord trade group, and real estate data firms reported Wednesday. While 31 percent of tenants have paid no rent, some may still pay later this month and electronic payments are possibly still being processed, NMHC said. This fall was "anticipated, given the 6.6 million new applications for unemployment benefits" last week, The Wall Street Journal notes. Many of the renters are protected from eviction by coronavirus emergency measures. The data on unpaid rent is based on 13.4 million higher-end rental units, and it does not include single-family homes or public or subsidized housing.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Singer-songwriter John Prine, the Grammy Award-winning country and folk legend who inspired Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson, died Tuesday in Nashville from complications of the COVID-19 coronavirus, his family said. He was 73. Prine, a two-time cancer survivor, was hospitalized in March after testing positive for the virus, and was put on a ventilator. Prine got his start in music while working as a mailman in Illinois. He would sing at open-mic nights, and in 1970, Roger Ebert caught one of his performances and gave him a rave review in the Chicago Sun-Times. Prine credited Ebert with getting his music career going, and he went on to release a dozen albums over five decades.

Source: CNN
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