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 –> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.

The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump invokes defense law to bolster coronavirus response | GOP divided on stimulus | Trump vows to help out-of-work Americans | US, Canada border closed to nonessential traffic | Sanders ‘assessing’ campaign after Tuesday losses | Key takeaways from primary night | How campaigns are adapting to outbreak | Google, Netflix let groups create group viewing feature


Ramp it up:

Via The Hills Jessie Hellman, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to begin turning back all undocumented immigrants, asylum seekers at borders: reportFive takeaways from Tuesday’s primary nightBiden wins Arizona primary, capping off victories in three statesMORE just announced he will invoke the Defense Production Act that would require the production of medical supplies that are in short supply.

Trump told reporters: It can do a lot of good things if we need it. 

Details: Many health workers have said they are quickly running out of personal protective equipment, like masks and gowns, that are crucial to ensuring they dont get sick. Hospitals are also sounding the alarm on the lack of ventilators, or breathing machines, that are expected to be in high demand as the coronavirus spreads in the coming weeks and months.

Happening now Livestream of the White Houses daily coronavirus briefing:

And Trump ordered the suspension of HUD evictions and foreclosures:

President Trump just directed the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to halt any evictions or foreclosures through April. 

In Trumps words: “The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April. So were working very closely with Dr. Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonOn The Money: Trump, Congress struggle for economic deal under coronavirus threat | Trump voices support for paid sick leave | Wells Fargo chief pledges fresh start for scandal-ridden bankBen Carson: ‘I don’t have any problem with raising the minimum wage’Administration officials seek to offer consistent message amid shifting coronavirus situationMORE and everybody from HUD.”

Everyone is so sorrey about this:

The U.S.-Canadian border is closing for nonessential traffic amid the coronavirus outbreak.

President Trump tweeted: “We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic. Trade will not be affected. Details to follow!”

For context: The U.S. has more than 6,500 cases of coronavirus, and Canada has roughly 600 cases.

It’s Wednesday of this weird week. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to [email protected] — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.

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GOP divided on how to help:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, Senate Republicans are split on how to structure an economic stimulus amid the coronavirus outbreak, which could slow down getting a relief bill to President Trump’s desk.

Where Republicans are divided: “Republicans disagree over fundamental questions such as whether to make direct payments to Americans who miss paychecks because of the crisis or to all adults in a bid to boost the economy more generally. They’re also split on whether economic aid should be delivered primarily through unemployment benefits for workers who miss time or lose their jobs or whether economic aid should go directly to businesses in the form of loans or payroll tax reductions.”

And an airline industry bailout is controversial: “Another contentious topic is how to help the airline industry, which has requested a $50 billion bailout. President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin favor a generous economic assistance package but GOP lawmakers are calling for loans instead of direct payments.” 

How this could shake out:



How many cases worldwide?: The number of cases hit 200,000 this morning.

What we know about the 112 people who have died in the U.S.: Here are the stats and information we know about the coronavirus deaths in the U.S.:

Oil prices are at a low: U.S. oil prices reached their lowest point since 2003:


Trump promises to help out-of-work Americans:

President Trump tweeted this morning, “For the people that are now out of work because of the important and necessary containment policies, for instance the shutting down of hotels, bars and restaurants, money will soon be coming to you. The onslaught of the Chinese Virus is not your fault! Will be stronger than ever!”

Walking the tightrope:

Via The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant and Brett Samuels, “Dr. Anthony Fauci has become one of the most important public figures in Washington amid a coronavirus pandemic that is quickly changing American life.”

How so: “At briefing after briefing, Fauci takes a factual, no-nonsense approach — one that at times has created a dissonance with President Trump, who in the past has clashed with officials who have publicly contradicted him. There appears to be little if any friction, however, between Trump and Fauci, who has avoided direct criticism of the president and earned plaudits from members of both parties for conveying a sense of control in a crisis.” 


How to have a movie night with friends: Google Chrome and Netflix have teamed up to create an extension to allow people to watch the same movie from different locations. How it works:

A few grocery stores are reserving time for the elderly to shop:

If you have been seeing mentions of avoiding buying WIC products: A viral tweet urged people not to buy products with a WIC label next to the shelf price. Why: “People who use WIC to feed their kids can’t switch to another brand or kind of food. If a store runs out of WIC-approved options, they will go home empty-handed.” Background: The WIC program is run by the Department of Agriculture to help provide low-income families with food.

Hahaha, this is amazing: Actress Kristen Bell reposted a funny video about how parents are dealing with their children being home. Watch:

This is pretty cool:


Helpful Q&A: How to properly wash your hands, including the best soap to use and how to dry them in the most sanitary way:

Op-ed: On whether people have the right to anonymity as a coronavirus carrier:


The infamous ‘[insert candidate name here] is assessing his/her campaign’:

This morning, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive takeaways from Tuesday’s primary nightBiden wins Arizona primary, capping off victories in three statesBiden makes appeal to Sanders supporters after latest wins: ‘I hear you’MORE’s (I-Vt.) campaign manager Faiz Shakir said Sanders is taking some time to “assess his campaign” after handedly losing yesterday in Arizona, Florida and Illinois.

From Sanders’s campaign manager: “The next primary contest is three weeks away. Sen. Sanders is going to be having conversations with his supporters to assess his campaign. In the immediate term, however, he is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.” 


Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage:


  1. Biden is the likely Democratic nominee
  2. Biden is winning by huge margins
  3. Sanders will face pressure to drop out
  4. Coronavirus is impacting turnout
  5. States face tough decisions about future primary elections

Context and details for each:


Via The Hill’s Julia Manchester and Juliegrace Brufke:



Was watching the news here in Utah following the earthquake and an aftershock just hit! Its crazy to see this!

Cody Pritchett (@codypritchett3) March 18, 2020



The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C.

9 a.m. EDT: Vice President Pence led a White House Coronavirus Task Force meeting in the Situation Room.

10 a.m. EDT: The Senate met. The Senate’s full schedule today:

10 a.m. EDT: President Trump held a phone call with airline executives.

10:45 a.m. EDT: President Trump participated in the Business Roundtable Quarterly Meeting teleconference.

1:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump is holding a call with physicians.

3:30 p.m. EDT: President Trump participates in a briefing with nurses.


11:30 a.m. EDT: The Coronavirus Task Force held a press briefing. Livestream:


Today is National Lacy Oatmeal Cookie Day.

And to lighten the mood a bit, here’s one of the weirdest parts of being home during the day: seeing what your dogs actually do when you leave: