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► We’ve said it again and again in this space, but it bears repeating: The vast majority of Americans DO NOT want the country to open up too quickly because they are still afraid of COVID-19. As The Washington Post reports:
Americans clearly oppose the reopening of restaurants, retail stores and other businesses, even as governors begin to lift restrictions that have kept the economy locked down in an effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll.
The opposition expressed by sizable majorities of Americans reflects other cautions and concerns revealed in the survey, including continuing fears among most people that they could become infected by the coronavirus, as well as a belief that the worst of the medical crisis is not yet over…
…Americans continue to give President Trump negative marks for his response to the outbreak, while offering widely positive assessments of their state governors, a trend that has been consistent throughout the pandemic.
Meanwhile, as POLITICO reports, federal government workers are slow to return to their offices, in part because they have no idea what President Trump wants them to do:
The Trump administration last month laid out guidelines for reopening government offices and bringing operations back to normal, looking to gradually reduce the number of employees who are teleworking across the country. But the memo from the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management did not set any time lines or mandates, leaving significant discretion to the individual agencies. Democratic lawmakers, labor leaders and more than a half dozen federal employees POLITICO spoke to complained there has been little transparency or clear guidance from the agencies about the way forward.
► CNN reports on a potential bombshell of a story about a whistleblower, coronavirus, and the Trump Administration:
Dr. Rick Bright, the ousted director of the office involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine, formally filed an extensive whistleblower complaint Tuesday alleging his early warnings about the coronavirus were ignored and that his caution at a treatment favored by President Donald Trump led to his removal. [Pols emphasis]
Bright had led the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority since 2016 until last month, when was reassigned to a narrower position at the National Institutes of Health.
In his whistleblower complaint, Bright says he raised concerns about US preparedness for coronavirus starting in January but was met with “indifference which then developed into hostility” by leaders at the Department of Health and Human Services.
► TABOR + COVID-19 = Bummer for Colorado.
► The Denver Post reports on local decisions about extending (or not) stay-at-home guidelines:
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock will not extend his stay-at-home order past Friday, his office said Monday — instead, he will begin to slowly relax restrictions that have been in place for well over a month.
Details about the next phase of reopening have not yet been provided, except that face masks will be required in public places beginning Wednesday. Hancock and other city officials will discuss guidelines for reopening businesses and progress on coronavirus testing at a 1 p.m. Tuesday press conference.
In addition, Tri-County Health Department will make an announcement Tuesday about Adams and Arapahoe counties’ stay-at-home orders, a representative for that agency said.
Colorado Public Radio has more on how Colorado is gradually moving to re-open.
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…
► Of course this is happening. As The Washington Post reports:
While thousands of their workers are filing for unemployment benefits, these companies rewarded their shareholders with more than $700 million in cash dividends. They are not alone. As the pandemic squeezes big companies, executives are making decisions about who will bear the brunt of the sacrifices, and in at least some cases, workers have been the first to lose, even as shareholders continue to collect.
Executives say the layoffs support the long-term health of their companies, and often the executives are giving up a piece of their salaries. Furloughed workers can apply for unemployment benefits. But distributing millions of dollars to shareholders while leaving many workers without a paycheck is unfair, critics argue, and belies the repeated statements from executives about their concern for employees welfare during the coronavirus crisis…
…Many large U.S. companies choose to issue a regular, quarterly dividend to shareholders, often increasing it, and they boast about these payments because they help keep the share price higher than it might otherwise be.
► The Trump administration may be planning to wind down its coronavirus task force for reasons that nobody can understand.
► The editorial board of The Washington Post calls on the federal government to do more to help out local and state governments.
► Congressman Joe Neguse (D-Boulderish) is concerned about potential due process violations at the ICE facility in Aurora.
► Go ahead and mark down July 10 as a day when you probably don’t want to be at the Colorado State Capitol building. We’re guessing Bradley Bunn won’t be there, either.
► If it weren’t for the Affordable Care Act, Americans would be in a lot more trouble with the coronavirus outbreak. Senator Cory Gardner still wants the ACA to be dismantled.
As Vox.com reports, thousands of Americans will be uninsured because Republicans rejected efforts to expand Medicaid.
► Colorado restaurants probably won’t be serving diners in a sit-down setting until at least June.
► Denver7 has an update on unemployment benefits.
► Local governments continue to furlough hundreds of employees as tax revenues plummet.
AT LAST: POLITICAL NEWS THAT IS (MOSTLY) NOT ABOUT CORONAVIRUS…
► President Trump is losing his cool over another ad from The Lincoln Project, a group of Republicans who think Trump should be a one-term President. From Chris Cillizza of CNN:
This is their ideal scenario. They literally don’t have the money to buy this sort of publicity for their ad. Now lots of people who read Trump’s tweets or saw him blasting the Lincoln Project outside the White House on Tuesday will got to their computers and look up “Lincoln Project.” And watch the “Mourning in America” ad.
It’s a gigantic win for what is, in truth, a small group of prominent talking heads who were — and Trump is right about this — roundly crushed by him and his allies during the 2016 campaign.
Trump’s inability to ignore renegade voices within his party is a violation of the most basic of campaign rules. The more he talks about the Lincoln Project — no matter how negatively — the better for the group’s profile and ability to raise money to oppose his reelection.
Trump’s best strategy toward dissenting voices within his own party would be to ignore them and stay silent. But that’s not really a skill he possesses.
► Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) again demonstrates his loyalties…to his right-wing base:
The League of Women Voters says @SenCoryGardner hasn’t confirmed he’ll join a “Defending Democracy” virtual town hall with @SenatorBennet Wednesday. Gardner was listed as a participant but he’s due to hold a virtual town hall on a conservative talk radio station at the same time.
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) May 5, 2020
► The Denver Post has more on the status of a public option bill in Colorado.
► As Blair Miller reports for Denver7, the Colorado Supreme Court has a different opinion on the meaning of “substantial compliance” when it comes to collecting petition signatures:
The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday reversed a district court ruling that allowed Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Ferrigno Warren onto June’s primary ballot despite her not gathering enough valid signatures.
Ferrigno Warren was ordered onto the ballot in a decision last week made by Denver District Court Judge Christopher Baumann. He said that though she had only gathered about half the signatures she needed to get onto the primary ballot and didn’t meet congressional district requirements, the COVID-19 outbreak created extenuating circumstances on signature gathering and that she had garnered enough support considering the outbreak.
The secretary of state’s office, headed by Democrat Jena Griswold, appealed the decision.
In a unanimous decision issued Monday, the Colorado Supreme Court disagreed with the district court’s ruling
► Republican State Rep. Janice Rich picks up some opposition for 2020.
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Here’s what people are Googling while they are stuck at home.
► Smaller states with fewer COVID-19 cases ended up with a disproportionate share of federal relief funding.
► President Trump says the House of Representatives is just a bunch of “Trump haters.” Totally normal stuff.
► Don’t miss this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast, or you will be sad:
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