President Trump

The 2016 election highlighted Donald Trump's successful courtship of white evangelicals. This year, much of the focus could be on Catholics. The presidential campaigns are fighting for votes in the Catholic-rich Midwestern states, and the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, is himself a Catholic.

Courtesy Oxfam

COMMENTARY

America’s immigrant labor hypocrisy — especially Trump America’s immigrant labor hypocrisy — stinks. And right now, as we used to say in Indiana, the smell could knock a buzzard off a manure wagon.

Or perhaps in this case I should say it could make a meat-packing plant seem fragrant.

President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to keep meatpacking plants in the U.S. open during the coronavirus pandemic. Tuesday's move comes after more than a dozen beef, pork and poultry plants across the country shut down either temporarily or indefinitely in the past few weeks.

More Americans have now died from the coronavirus in less than two months than in the entire nine years of the Vietnam war — more than 58,000. But the United States crossed another threshold Tuesday — 1 million known coronavirus cases.

Luis Perez / AP

No country in Latin America and the Caribbean has been hit as hard by the new coronavirus as Ecuador. Brazil, a far larger country, may have more COVID-19 cases; but Ecuador’s death toll is thought to be twice as high as Brazil’s. And no place in Ecuador has suffered as terribly as the port city of Guayaquil.

Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET

Americans are generally skeptical of too much government intervention. Over the past three decades, the number of people saying they want the government to do less usually outnumbers those saying they want it to do more, according to Gallup.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

More than a dozen states have unveiled formal plans to move from coronavirus disaster response and toward reconstruction, the White House said Thursday, but officials also didn't rule out the need for more mitigation.

Vice President Pence said that 16 states have released formal plans about progressing out of the crisis. Many are pursuing a "phased approach" county by county, he said, pointing specifically to Missouri, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Idaho.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

President Trump on Wednesday said he disagreed with Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's decision to re-open a number of industries in his state, including hair salons and tattoo parlors, saying that he thought the move was premature in the face of the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

Trump broke with the Republican governor's call to ease social distancing rules in the state beginning on Friday, despite Trump's own insistence that some states could begin to relax mitigation measures before the beginning of May.

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The tension in America between the national government and states' rights is as old as the republic itself. That tension is about to play out in a starkly political way and on a grand scale over the next several weeks, as states consider how to reopen in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 6:47 p.m. ET

President Trump said he plans to "temporarily suspend immigration into the United States," in an attempt to protect American workers from the coronavirus' economic toll.

Trump first announced his proposal in a late-night tweet Monday, then added details at the White House coronavirus task force briefing on Tuesday.

Gobierno de Cuba (left); AP (right)

In Washington this month, President Trump announced the U.S. had just “bought a tremendous amount of hydroxychloroquine.” That’s the anti-malaria drug he insists is the most promising treatment for the new coronavirus, or COVID-19. "A game-changer,” the conservative leader likes to say.

In Havana, Eduardo Martínez – head of BioCubaFarma, communist Cuba’s state-run biotech and pharmaceutical industry – just as often touts the island’s anti-dengue drug interferon alpha 2B (or alfa 2b), which he and the government insist is a COVID-19 wonder drug.

China has made a huge upward adjustment to its official count of COVID-19 victims in Wuhan — the city where the novel coronavirus was first identified in December — adding nearly 1,300 deaths.

The change comes on the same day that the worldwide number of confirmed infections topped 2 million for the first time since the start of the pandemic, with well over a quarter of those in the U.S. Some 145,000 have died across the globe, with more than 33,000 of the deaths in the U.S.

Andre Borges / AP

COMMENTARY

President Trump turned up the pandemic chaos this week by halting U.S. funding of the World Health Organization and ordering his name slapped on U.S. Treasury relief checks. His Brazilian buddy, President Jair Bolsonaro, has effectively responded by saying: “Hold my beer.”

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