Public Art about COVID-19 and Recent Tornadoes on the Way, Courtesy of Nashville Taxpayers

Metro Nashville officials plan to spend taxpayer money to create public art that, in some way, acknowledges the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as the tornadoes that battered Middle Tennessee last month.

Last Friday Metro Nashville Arts Commission board members approved re-allocating $40,000 from their operating funds toward this project, part of their THRIVE program, said Metro Arts spokeswoman Emily Waltenbaugh.

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Commentary: Constitution-Respecting Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce Lockdowns

Across the country governors, county commissioners and executives, and city and town officials have announced “lockdowns” or stay-at-home orders of dubious constitutional validity. The result of these orders is the bizarre situation in which jails are being emptied of criminals while individuals engaged in their ordinary business at appropriate social distance have been arrested for the crime of being outside their home.

One of the most high-profile examples of this inverted constitutional order happened in California, where a paddle boarder was arrested near the Malibu Pier for ignoring orders from lifeguards to get out of the water. CBS News Los Angeles reports the unidentified man spent 30 to 40 minutes paddling in the ocean waters off Malibu Beach after refusing to heed orders from L.A. County lifeguards to go ashore. LASD Harbor Patrol brought in a boat, at which point the paddleboarder voluntarily swam in and was taken into custody.

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Researchers Lower Fatality Projections in Coronavirus Model Used by White House

The researchers whose model the White House has used to help guide its coronavirus response lowered their estimate Sunday for the number of Americans projected to die during the first wave of the pandemic.

The model, from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, now projects 81,766 deaths in the United States through Aug. 1, with most of the fatalities occurring by the middle of May. The IHME team projected a range of between 49,431 and 136,401 for the same period.

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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Admitted to Intensive Care with Coronavirus – UPDATED

Boris Johnson

UPDATE: The Office of the Prime Minister issued the following statement late Monday:

Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus.

Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.

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Tennessee’s Public Transit Systems Get Big Chunk of Taxpayer Money, Courtesy of COVID-19 Relief Funding

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) announced that, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the already publicly-funded Memphis Area Transit Authority will receive more nearly $36 million in taxpayer money.

This, according to a press release Cohen released late last week.

MATA is Memphis’ public transportation provider.

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Trump Pushes Lupus-Coronavirus Study, But the Evidence Is Mixed

by Chuck Ross   President Donald Trump again touted the drug hydroxychloroquine Saturday, citing an unspecified study showing that lupus patients are fighting off coronavirus infections because they take the drug hydroxychloroquine. Trump has come under fire from some health experts and journalists for hyping the hydroxychloroquine as a potential…

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Leahy Talks to Former ICE Director and Author of ‘Defend the Border and Save Lives’ Tom Homan About COVID-19 and Illegal Immigration

Former ICE Director Tom Homan joined The Tennessee Star Report Monday discuss his new book, as well as the effect the end of the pandemic will have on the United States’ southern border.

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Professor Encourages Students to File ‘Bias Reports’ if They Hear Someone Say ‘Chinese Virus’

A professor at the University of Nevada, Reno encourages students and faculty to file bias reports to combat “coronavirus” racism.

President Donald Trump recently referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” at a press briefing saying, “It’s not racist at all.” Trump began using the term “Chinese virus” after China attempted to blame the U.S. military for the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.

Nicole Jacobs, associate dean of diversity and inclusion at the University of Nevada, Reno published an article on the university’s website, encouraging readers to combat “coronavirus racism.” According to Jacobs, Americans need to “ARISE” to become an “active bystander” and oppose “act[s] of racism and bias.” To Jacobs, this also includes comments like “Chinese virus.”

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Ohio State Rep. Galonski Wants The Hague to Prosecute President Trump Over His Coronavirus Response

An Ohio state representative says she wants to subject America’s sitting president to an international tribunal at The Hague over President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus.

State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-OH-35) from Akron tweeted, “I can’t take it anymore. I’ve been to The Hague. I’m making a referral for crimes against humanity tomorrow. Today’s press conference was the last straw. I know the need for a prosecution referral when I see one.”

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Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Forecast Was Off by 850 Cases Monday, Actual Cases Just One-Third of ‘Mitigated’ Projections

Ohio health officials and Gov. Mike DeWine continue to reference a coronavirus model that hasn’t been updated since March 28.

The Ohio Star still hasn’t been provided with any information on the identities of the Ohio State University researchers behind the controversial model.

The Ohio Department of Health (OHD) claims on its website for the forecast model that it was “created based on current data” and becomes “more precise as more information is available.”

However, the model still predicts that the coronavirus pandemic will reach its peak in Ohio on April 25 when the state is projected to have 9,689 new cases. But that number is based on the information that was available as of March 28 and hasn’t been updated since.

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Study Says Ohio Will Hit COVID-19 Peak Wednesday, with Cases and Deaths Far Below DeWine’s Apocalyptic Forecasts That Shut State Down

A health institute that has been making national and state COVID-19 forecasts revised its model for Ohio, suggesting that the peak will be hit Wednesday, leaving far fewer cases and deaths than the gruesome numbers painted by Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration.

The Sandusky Register reported on the model update Monday.

The forecaster is the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHMC), and it is a model that has been cited by many state and federal officials, including President Donald Trump.

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Walz Launches ‘Bias and Discrimination’ Helpline for Reporting Incidents to the State

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Monday that his office has created a “discrimination helpline” amid “rising reports of discrimination from the Asian American community.”

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan claimed that America has a “distinct pattern” of “increased discrimination during uncertain and trying times, of needing someone to blame.”

“This is unacceptable and, as Minnesotans, we must work to break this cycle,” she added.

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Model Lowers Projected Tennessee Coronavirus Deaths by More Than 2,000

A popular coronavirus model has lowered its total projected deaths for Tennessee by more than 2,000 since Gov. Bill Lee announced a statewide shelter-in-place order.

As of April 2, the University of Washington Institute for Health and Metrics Evaluation (IHME) predicted that Tennessee would have 3,259 deaths over the next four months. The IHME model estimated that the virus would reach its peak in the state on April 20 and would result in 159 fatalities in a single day.

The model now predicts that Tennessee will experience 584 COVID-19 deaths over the next four months – a drop of 2,675 projected deaths since last week. On Sunday, the model was predicting 1,000-plus deaths in Tennessee.

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Governor Bill Lee Signs Several Election Bills Into Law

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed several election-related bills into law last week, which were passed by the General Assembly before it took a two-month recess caused by the coronavirus.

The most controversial bill signed by Lee scales back restrictions on community voter registration efforts that were put in place in 2019 by the Republican-controlled Legislature. The new bill removes “misdemeanor penalties for not completing certain administrative requirements” and eliminates fines for submitting an abundance of incomplete voter registration forms.

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Nashville Chief Public Defender Wants Even More Inmates Released Due to COVID-19

Metro Nashville Chief Public Defender Martesha L. Johnson has formally asked that members of the Davidson County Criminal Court immediately release an additional number of inmates from jail because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These inmates are housed in the Davidson County Sheriff’s Department and at Core Civic facilities, Johnson said.

“It is perhaps an unprecedented request for relief in Nashville, but has been utilized in jurisdictions across the country,” Johnson said in her motion.

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Representative Mark Green Asks Tennesseans to Cover Their Mouths While Out in Public

Rep Mark Green

U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) said people don’t necessarily need masks over their heads right now to protect themselves from COVID-19.

But Green still asked people late last week to cover their mouths when they are out in public.

“If you put your hand over your mouth at Publix while you are walking around, as long as your hand is sanitized, anything you put over your mouth will decrease the amount of the viral load that you inhale,” Green said during a Tele-Town hall phone call with constituents Friday.

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Analysis: Tennessee, Other States Should Expect Significant Revenue Shortfalls in State Budgets

Tennessee Capital building

State governments, including Tennessee’s, should expect revenue shortfalls because of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an analysis released by Pew.

Revenue forecast predictions that predate the COVID-19 pandemic are out of date because of skyrocketing unemployment, regulations on businesses and restrictions on people leaving their homes. This negatively will affect income-tax revenue, sales-tax revenue, business-tax revenue and likely other minor sources of revenue.

In Tennessee, nonessential businesses have been closed, restaurants have been forced to only carry-out and delivery services and people are not allowed to leave their homes for nonessential activities.

Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee General Assembly sought to get ahead of the crisis by altering the state budget proposal when the crisis began. The new budget removed some initiatives and diverted funding from education, teacher-salary increases and other public-employee salary increases to fund efforts to combat COVID-19 and the rainy day fund.

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Surgeon General Adams: The Next Week Is ‘Our Pearl Harbor Moment’

Surgeon General Adams on 'Meet the Press'

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Sunday described the next week in the country’s fight against COVID-19 as “our Pearl Harbor moment.”

Adams made the statement on NBC-TV’s “Meet the Press” when host Chuck Todd asked him how he would advise the nine U.S. governors who have not issued stay-at-home orders.

“Here’s what I would say to them right now: The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment. It’s going to be our 9/11 moment,” Adams said. “It’s going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives. We really need to understand that if we want to flatten that curve and get to the other side, everyone needs to do their part.”

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Commentary: Alexis de Tocqueville’s Lessons in a Time of Pandemic

The immediate challenge of COVID-19 has been cast as an examination of how individual Americans will fare should they be exposed to the virus. The effort to arrest the spread of the virus has brought unprecedented changes in the daily routines of all Americans. The limitation of activity is apparent when one walks outside. There is a marked silence, regardless of the time of day, almost eerie, that gives one pause.

The check on movement is accompanied by images of field hospitals and graphs showing curves and spreads displayed across news sites. While many are changing their daily routines to comply with the requirements of staying at home and practicing social distancing, a broader concern is the effect on our American democratic foundation.

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World Health Organization: Abortion Is ‘Essential’ During Coronavirus Pandemic

WHO Dir Gen. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Abortion is considered an essential service during the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization said in a statement Saturday.

The WHO said in its statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation that “services related to reproductive health are considered to be part of essential services during the COVID-19 outbreak.”

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Governor DeWine Urges ‘Courageous’ Ohioans to Wear Cloth Masks in Public to Combat Coronavirus

  Governor Mike DeWine encouraged Ohio residents during Saturday’s coronavirus press briefing to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation (CDC) to wear a non-medical mask while in public, where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. “In many cultures around the world, wearing a mask is…

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New Coronavirus Cases and Hospitalizations Decline in Ohio on Sunday, Deaths Increase by 17

The rate of increases for new Chinese coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Ohio declined on Sunday, although the number of deaths climbed by 17.

The data is provided by The COVID Tracking Project, and is available here. The project has taken multiple screenshots every day of the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 portal, which is here, to provide and document the numbers.

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Ohio Will Appeal Ruling Allowing Abortion Clinics to Remain Open

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said he will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that exempts abortion clinics from a mandate to cancel all elective surgeries.

Several abortion providers sued the state last Monday seeking relief from the Ohio Department of Health’s order to cancel all elective and non-essential surgeries.

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Minnesota Governor Walz’s Ten Minute State of the State Focused Only on Coronavirus

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz touched on nothing but the coronavirus pandemic during his second State of the State address Sunday night.

The address was originally scheduled to take place March 23 before a joint meeting of the House and Senate, but was canceled because of the pandemic. Instead, Walz delivered a televised address from the Governor’s Residence that was just over 10 minutes long.

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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson Hospitalized with Coronavirus After 10 Days in Self-Quarantine

The UK’s Office of the Prime Minister announced in a brief statement Sunday that Boris Johnson has been hospitalized on the advice of his doctor.

“The Prime Minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests,” the statement said, adding:

This is a precautionary step, as the Prime Minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus ten days after testing positive for the virus.

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Gov. Walz Refuses to Take Down ‘Communist’ Hotline for Reporting Stay at Home Violations

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has rejected requests from Republican lawmakers to suspend a “communist” hotline that allows residents to report violations of the governor’s stay-at-home order.

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Trump Clashes with 3M After Accusations That Foreign Countries Are Getting Face Masks First

President Donald Trump warned 3M on Twitter Thursday night that it will “have a big price to pay” after the company was accused of various wrongdoings surrounding its production of N95 respirator masks.

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Senator Marsha Blackburn Says China Should Waive Some of U.S. Debt After COVID-19 Outbreak

This week Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said China should waive some of the United States’ $1.08 trillion debt for inflicting COVID-19 upon this country and other parts of the world.

Blackburn said this while appearing on The Jeff Poor Show out of Huntsville, Alabama.

“One of the things is my Senate resolution 553 which expresses the sense of the Senate that we know this came from Wuhan, China, and that they hid the information and were not transparent, that they blocked the World Health Organization and the CDC from coming in to help. They tried to blame it on the U.S. military. We hold them accountable, and I will tell you I think that we need to look at the fact that China owns over $1 trillion of our debt,” Blackburn said.

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Commentary: The Pandemic-Inspired Economic Shutdown Likely to Increase US Corporate Consolidation

This writer and others who for decades railed against outsourcing industries to the People’s Republic of China were long dismissed as crackpots and Luddites. Now many of those who were doing the dismissing have been forced to admit the true cost of cheap goods is very high.

The Chinese Communist Party virus has exposed many of our nation’s infirmities.

The most glaring is our dependence on Communist China for medicine, medical equipment, and so many other essential goods.

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Dems Ask That Public Charge Rule Not Apply to Immigrant Coronavirus Treatment, Which It Already Doesn’t

A group of House Democrats is asking the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) not to penalize green card applicants for seeking medical care for coronavirus, but the government already made clear it wouldn’t.

Thirty-eight House Democrats signed a letter delivered to acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Tuesday, asking him to remove any assistance for COVID-19 care as part of the recently-enacted public charge rule. The rule takes into account a migrant’s past use of government-funded assistance when they apply for permanent status.

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Mike Rowe on Rising College Tuition as Classes Move Online: ‘What Are We Paying For?’

Mike Rowe took a swipe at the rising cost of college tuition during an interview Tuesday with Fox News, asking, “what are we paying for?”

Calling what students are paying to attend college courses “somewhere between egregious and obscene,” the host of “Dirty Jobs” said that he predicts “one of the silver linings” from the coronavirus pandemic will be Americans’ commitments “truly to learning” and that the crisis could “completely redefine” how people learn moving forward.

Rowe told viewers that just the week before, he watched an online lecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Commentary: We Are All Homeschoolers Now

What does education look like in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic?

At the K-12 level, you’ve got problems. At the collegiate level, you’ve got existential problems.

School is out for the year in most locales. More innovative districts are retooling like crazy and trying to do online classes. Parents are looking for cheap or free resources to do the job and keep their kids occupied during our enforced isolation.

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Nashville Nurses Pray Over Patients on Hospital Roof During Their Break: ‘Go to the Helipad and Pray’

A group of Nashville nurses went to the roof of the hospital during their break to pray for hospital staff and patients suffering from coronavirus.

Nurses Angela Gleaves, Sarah Franklin Kremer, Beth Hofflin Tiesler and McKenzie Gibson went to the roof of Vanderbilt University Medical Center to pray over the patients and staff in their hospital. Photographs show the nurses praying with hands folded on the rooftop of the building before posing for selfies with one another.

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Minnesota Secretary of State Says Statewide Vote by Mail Possible for 2020 Election 

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said his office is exploring a number of “pandemic election options,” including conducting the entire presidential election by mail-in ballots.

“The current public health crisis has been a serious test for all Minnesotans. It has also been a test for our democracy. I’ve heard from many Minnesotans who wonder how, or even if, we will vote in this high-stakes election year,” Simon said in a statement released last week.

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Minnesota Health Officials Will Release Info on Nursing Homes with Coronavirus After Facing Criticism

State Senator Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point) said the Minnesota Department of Health’s decision to withhold information about the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on nursing homes “only brings unnecessary grief and frustration to many Minnesota families.”

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Governor Lee Issues Executive Order Requiring Residents to Stay Home

Gov. Bill Lee announced Thursday that he will sign an executive order requiring Tennesseans to stay home unless they are engaging in essential activities.

Lee issued an executive order Monday that urged, but didn’t require, residents to stay at home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Under his new order, staying at home isn’t “an option – it’s a requirement for the swift defeat of COVID-19,” said Lee.

The governor said data from the Tennessee Department of Transportation indicated that travel started trending upwards again on March 30 after traffic patterns showed a steep drop-off in vehicle movement between March 13 and 29.

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Commentary: Small Businesses Urge Federal and State Governments to Reopen America ASAP

Due in large part to government edicts, religious, social, and political gatherings, have been cancelled or drastically altered to meet government requirements. Schools and colleges have closed so there will be no proms or graduations to attend this spring. Restaurant dining rooms are closed, as are community centers, fitness centers, salons, barbershops, theaters, retail stores, and malls. Theme parks, beaches, and even some public parks are closed. Air travel and the use of public transportation has declined precipitously. Traffic on the roads is eerily light, and parking lots are nearly empty.

Of the businesses that have remained open, many have reduced their operating hours. While one can reasonably expect that stay-at-home orders will reduce Chinese coronavirus cases, it remains to be seen what the human and economic toll of these orders will be; but we do know that they are devastating to small businesses and their employees.

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