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*Colorado Coronavirus info:
CDPHE Coronavirus website
*Daily Coronavirus numbers in Colorado:
*How you can help in Colorado:
*Locate a COVID-19 testing site in Colorado:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
► The defense rested its case in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of murder in the May 2020 killing of George Floyd. As The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:
Derek Chauvin said in court Thursday that he will not testify in his murder trial shortly before the defense said it has completed its case.
“I will invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege” to not risk making any self-incriminating statements in Hennepin County District Court, where the fired Minneapolis police officer is charged with killing George Floyd late last spring in Minneapolis…
…Chauvin’s declaration came during a series of questions from his attorney, Eric Nelson, and outside the presence of the jury.
Nelson and Chauvin were seated at the defense table as the defendant held a cordless microphone and had his voice heard for the first time on the record during the trial.
Closing arguments in the Chauvin trial could begin as soon as Monday.
► You don’t need us to tell you that red states and blue states are very different. But as The Associated Press reports, one significant difference is bad for your health:
With coronavirus shots now in the arms of nearly half of American adults, the parts of the U.S. that are excelling and those that are struggling with vaccinations are starting to look like the nation’s political map: deeply divided between red and blue states.
Out in front is New Hampshire, where 65% of the population age 18 and older has received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Following close behind are New Mexico, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts at 55% or greater. All have a history of voting Democratic and supported President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Meanwhile, at the bottom are five states where fewer than 40% have rolled up their sleeves for a shot. Four of them — Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee — lean Republican and voted for Donald Trump last fall. The fifth is Georgia, which has a Republican governor and supported GOP presidential candidates for nearly three decades before narrowly backing Biden.
► The Douglas County Board of Commissioners are not doctors, but they are pretending to know more about the COVID-19 pandemic than the so-called “experts.” That’s not good news for the rest of us, which is why others are speaking out.
► Let’s check in on state legislative news:
The State House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to the new state budget proposal.
Fox 31 News reports on opposition to proposed legislation seeking to reduce Colorado’s jail population.
Colorado lawmakers are freezing tuition rates at community colleges.
The Associated Press reports on legislative efforts to improve maternal care for minority women.
Lawmakers are considering legislation to improve health benefits for legislative aides.
The State Senate approved legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to receive professional licenses in Colorado.
More political (and coronavirus) news is available right after the jump…
And Now, More Words…
► A Republican official in Michigan is recovering after being hospitalized with COVID-19…which he contracted from a Republican Party meeting that was called to discuss kicking him out of a leadership position for criticizing former President Trump. As MLive reports:
Jason Watts said he was required to come to the March 31 meeting at Travelers Café and Pub in Portage, where officials were planning to consider a petition to remove him from office because he talked to the New York Times and gave comments critical of Donald Trump, saying the party needed to move on from the former president. Some in the group wanted him out, but that did not happen at the meeting, Watts said.
He ended up in a Grand Rapids hospital soon after the meeting instead.
Watts, 44, said he was one of probably three people he saw wearing a mask during the meeting. After he left, he heard rumblings that people had COVID-19, he said.
Watts estimates there were six people he knows of who were positive for COVID-19 afterward, though he believes there are others. He spoke to some of them directly, he said. Some who tested positive later were seated at his table, he said. According to Watts, none of them knew they had the virus at the time.
Greg Sargent has more on this story for The Washington Post:
Watts’s diagnosis of a widespread “fealty” to Trump “at all costs,” and his belief that rebuffing masks and vaccines has become a tribal marker of that fealty, are dead on, and pinpoint factors that may continue poisoning our virus response. Indeed, a new Quinnipiac poll finds 45 percent of Republicans don’t plan to get vaccinated.
► WTF is going on in Loveland, Colorado?
Loveland attorney alleges in federal lawsuit that Loveland Police forcibly arrested 73-year old w/dementia shortly after she left a Walmart .
She had initially left without paying for $14 worth of goods. Returned to store and tried to pay w/credit card.
Arrest happened anyway pic.twitter.com/grXVt7b04Q
— Chris Vanderveen (@chrisvanderveen) April 15, 2021
► A new analysis from The Washington Post busts the long-held belief that Donald Trump attracted more white working-class voters to the Republican Party.
► Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper are backing new legislation to create mandatory paid sick leave for workers across the country.
► The Associated Press reports on new sanctions being levied against Russia by a White House that is not enamored with Russian President Vladimir Putin:
The Biden administration on Thursday announced the U.S. is expelling 10 Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions against dozens of companies and people, holding the Kremlin accountable for interference in last year’s presidential election and the cyber hacking of federal agencies.
The sweeping measures are meant to punish Russia for actions that U.S. officials say cut to the core of American democracy and to deter future acts by imposing economic costs on Moscow, including by targeting its ability to borrow money…
…Sanctions against six Russian companies that support the country’s cyber efforts represent the first retaliatory measures against the Kremlin for the hack familiarly known as the SolarWinds breach. The U.S. on Thursday also explicitly linked the hack to a Russian intelligence agency called the SVR. Though such intelligence-gathering operations are not uncommon, officials said they were determined to act because of the operation’s broad scope and the high cost of the intrusion on private companies.
The U.S. also announced sanctions on 32 individuals and entities accused of attempting to interfere in last year’s presidential election, including by spreading disinformation. U.S. intelligence officials alleged in a declassified report last month that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations to help Donald Trump in his unsuccessful bid for reelection as president, though there’s no evidence Russia or anyone else changed votes or manipulated the outcome.
► The Denver Post reports on efforts to turn the location of a former Japanese-American internment camp in Colorado into a national historic site.
► As The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports, the likely nominee to head up the Bureau of Land Management was a vocal critic of moving the BLM headquarters to Grand Junction.
► Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is rumored to be a likely choice for Ambassador to Mexico.
► Larimer County extended a moratorium on new permits for oil and gas drilling.
► Denver7 reports on a proposal in Denver to create a rental registry for landlords.
Say What, Now?
► More proof that Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-file) is scraping the bottom of the barrel for talking points:
Don’t California our Colorado.
— Rep. Lauren Boebert (@RepBoebert) April 15, 2021
Your Daily Dose Of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
► Things just keep getting worse for Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz.
► Congressional Republicans would totally be in favor of an “Airing of Grievances” committee.
► Congressperson Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert has drawn her first Republican challenger for 2022.
► Speaking of Boebert, we discuss her views on the “spirit realm” in this week’s episode of The Get More Smarter Podcast: