Happy Purple Day, which is probably not what you think it is. Now, let’s Get More Smarter. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of an audio/visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show or The Get More Smarter Podcast. And don’t forget to find us on Facebook and Twitter.
*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website
*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
*How you can help in Colorado:
► If you are reading this in Colorado, you had better be doing it from home. As part of ongoing efforts to combat the coronavirus, Governor Jared Polis on Wednesday announced a “stay at home” order that takes effect as of 6:00 am today and runs until April 11. The Denver Post has more on the order from Gov. Polis.
♦ CLICK HERE to watch the press conference announcement.
♦ CLICK HERE to read the full text of the Governor’s order.
♦ CLICK HERE for an FAQ guide about the “stay at home” order.
♦ CLICK HERE to read the public health order.
The decision to issue a “stay at home” order for the entire state came as some of Colorado’s most highly-populated areas were issuing similar decrees locally — most recently the Tri-County Public Health Department (Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas Counties), as well as Jefferson County Public Health and Boulder County Public Health (the City of Denver began its stay-at-home order on Tuesday evening).
The statewide order puts a bit of a lid on a controversy stirred up Wednesday by six Republican legislators from Douglas County who would apparently prefer to become a Sanctuary Virus County. Here’s 9News with more on this shameful political stunt:
House Minority Leader Neville also said Wednesday on The Peter Boyles Show that he feels the orders, in general, are leading to a Gestapo-like mentality.
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman, also a Republican, said earlier in the week that he would defer to the department to make the decision for his city. But Republican State Senate Majority Leader Holbert told 9NEWS he considered it an overreach…
…”For an unelected bureaucrat at Tri-County Health to put out this order and have no accountability to any elected official, that is wrong,” said Republican State Senate Majority Leader Holbert. “It is, in my opinion, against the spirit of our nation and our state it is against our constitution.”
“I’ve advised them to sever the contract as soon as possible. If it costs Douglas County money, what’s the cost of freedom and liberty — it’s probably worth it.”
Just so we’re clear, the Republican Senate Minority Leader and the Republican House Minority Leader would like Douglas County to sever its relationship with the Tri-County Health Department IN THE MIDDLE OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC.
At least one Douglas County Republican is not a complete twit. County Commissioner Abe Laydon supports Tri-County Health and says “Now is not the time to politicize a pandemic.”
Elsewhere, Colorado Republicans across the state are pounding their chests about their brave opposition to social-distancing guidelines meant to prevent people from dying from the coronavirus outbreak.
► The Senate finally passed a $2 trillion coronavirus recovery bill late Wednesday. As The Denver Post reports:
The legislation passed by a vote of 96-0, with aye votes from Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, and Sen. Michael Bennet, a Denver Democrat. Both Colorado senators made clear earlier in the day that they supported the massive agreement…
…Before the vote, Gardner and Bennet voted against an amendment from Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., to cap unemployment benefits at a worker’s full salary.
In remarks Wednesday, Bennet criticized Senate Republicans for not including a $600-per-week unemployment insurance increase, which was later added at the request of Senate Democrats. He also credited Democrats with adding money for the health care system, middle-class Americans and lower-class Americans.
“States and local governments not only have to fight this health crisis, they have to pay teachers, police and firefighters, even as their tax revenues collapse,” Bennet said in a lengthy statement. “The initial bill included nothing to help them confront these yawning budget caps. It was ridiculous.”
The Washington Post has more details on the guts of the stimulus bill. Democrats had been pushing for $4 billion to support elections in the wake of the pandemic; they only ended up with $400 million.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill on Friday.
► Coronavirus deaths in the United States have surpassed the 1,000 mark.
► Health officials are sounding the alarm about a second wave of the coronavirus. As The Washington Post explains:
The 1918 flu hit the United States in three waves — a mild outbreak in the spring, the deadliest wave in the fall and a final spike when the virus returned that winter. All told, the pandemic infected a third of the world’s population and killed at least 50 million people, including at least 675,000 Americans.
One of them was the great-grandmother of Debbie Birx, the lead coordinator of the federal government’s coronavirus task force. “My grandmother, for 88 years, lived with the fact that she was the one, at age 11, who brought home flu to her mother … when her mother had just delivered,” said Birx, 63. “She never forgot that she was the child that was in school that innocently brought that flu home.”…
…The 1918 case study weighs on leaders of the public health community as they scramble to ramp up capacity and spur vaccine development in preparation for a sustained war against covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. “We’re dealing with Cycle A right now, not the one that could come in the fall of 2020 – although we’re getting prepared for it by the innovations that are being worked on,” Birx said at the White House on Wednesday evening.
If you’re looking for political news that isn’t about Coronavirus, it’s available right after the jump…
SERIOUSLY, THERE WILL BE NON-CORONAVIRUS NEWS MOMENTARILY…
► Here’s an excerpt from Governor Jared Polis on announcing a “stay at home” measure on Wednesday:
My Fellow Coloradans,
These are trying times for our state, for our country, and for the world.
The threat posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced us to take drastic measures to protect the health and safety of the public — especially those who are most vulnerable like older Coloradans and those with underlying health conditions.
Over the past few weeks, my team and I have been working around the clock, doing everything we can to keep Coloradans safe.
Today, I took the extraordinary step of issuing a “Stay at Home” order for the entire state of Colorado in order to stop the spread of the virus. The order will take effect on Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 a.m. and will last until April 11, 2020.
As a former business owner, I know that this will be devastating news to workers and small business owners across our state. But the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis will be longer and more severe if we don’t do everything we can to slow the spread of the virus…
…I know that these changes to our daily lives are disappointing, inconvenient, and unsettling.
But we need to do everything we can to save the lives of Coloradans — parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles — maybe even yours.
Reducing contact with others will help to slow the spread of the virus, and will help to ensure that our health care system has enough doctors, nurses, beds, ventilators, and other crucial equipment to care for every patient that needs critical medical attention. If too many people get severely sick at once, our health care system won’t be able to handle it, and without proper treatment, many more of our family members, friends, and neighbors will succumb to this deadly virus. That is why we need to take these drastic actions.
Every one of us has an obligation to our communities, our state, and our country to take this seriously and Just. Stay. Home.
The coming weeks and months will be tough, but they will be temporary. And if we do right by each other, we will come out the other side stronger.
► Surprised? No, sorry — of course you’re not surprised:
— Ben Siegel (@benyc) March 26, 2020
► The Washington Post fact-checks President Trump’s latest fact-challenged appearance on Fox News.
► David Migoya of The Denver Post reports on families who are still struggling to get home from foreign countries.
► Some Colorado conservatives are calling for abortion clinics to close during the coronavirus outbreak, because of course they are.
► Because of the coronavirus outbreak, oil and gas regulators in Colorado are putting a hold on discussions related to changes needed to accommodate SB-181. This does not make industry cheerleaders unhappy.
► Mesa Verde National Park joined Rocky Mountain National Park in closing its doors to visitors because of the virus outbreak.
► If anybody knows how to convince mountain lions to also “stay at home” during the pandemic, please contact a local wildlife official.
► Panic buying paid off for Denver marijuana dispensaries.
► The Grand Junction City Council failed to pass an emergency ordinance intended to allocate funds for temporary employment related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
HERE IT IS: POLITICAL NEWS THAT IS (MOSTLY) NOT ABOUT CORONAVIRUS…
► The Colorado legislature will NOT return to the State Capitol on Monday, as was the original plan when lawmakers agreed on a two-week coronavirus recess. It is still unclear when (or how) the legislature might reconvene.
But as Westword explains, some Republican lawmakers are hopeful that COVID-19 will make it possible for them to do less with the 2020 session:
As they discussed whether to take the unprecedented step of adjourning the Colorado General Assembly for at least two weeks amid a spiraling public-health crisis, top lawmakers from both parties came together on March 13 for a meeting of the legislature’s Executive Committee. Senate Minority Leader Chris Holbert, a Republican from Parker, struck a somber, conciliatory note as he acknowledged that suspending the legislature was the right thing to do.
“This is not a political discussion,” Holbert said. “This is not about trying to run down the clock. This is not about trying to get to the 120th day and adjourning sine die [indefinitely] and things not getting done. This is about doing what’s right for the people of Colorado.”
Less than two weeks later, however, Holbert and other Republican lawmakers have asked the Colorado Supreme Court to issue a ruling that could drastically shorten the period of time that Democrats, who control both chambers of the legislature, have to enact their agenda when and if the COVID-19 crisis subsides…
…If the Republicans’ argument is successful, Democrats would face an agonizing choice: Abandon a wide range of critical legislation, including paid family leave, a state-administered health insurance option, stricter school immunization requirements and much more — or put public health at risk by reconvening the legislature to push those proposals through before the May 6 deadline. In any case, lawmakers would still have to return to the Capitol to finalize several must-pass items like the state budget, even though it’s far from clear that the worst of the COVID-19 crisis will have passed by early May.
► Democrats have a chance to pick up a Senate seat in Montana with Gov. Steve Bullock committed to running against Republican Sen. Steve Daines. As The Hill reports, a new poll shows Bullock and Daines tied at 47-47, with Bullock leading among independent voters. If Democrats can pick up a Senate seat in Montana, it takes pressure off of Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama and makes it much easier for Dems to retake the Senate Majority.
► The Aurora Sentinel reports on the generally-irrelevant decision by Republican Casper Stockham to run for Congress in CO-7 instead of CO-6. Stockham, a perpetual congressional candidate, has no chance of winning in either district.
► New population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau confirms what Front Range residents have been seeing with their own eyes: There are a lot of people moving to the Denver area. In general, urban counties continue to grow, while rural counties continue to lose people.
► Chris Cillizza of CNN offers his list for the women who are most likely to become Joe Biden’s running mate in the fall.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► This seems more like “a bit” than “a load”:
— Marty Coniglio (@martyconiglio) March 26, 2020
► Learn how to quarantine like an Obama.
► Want more? Check out The Get More Smarter Podcast:
Your local news outlets need you!
Consider making a donation to help fund continuing operations at Westword or The Aurora Sentinel