5 things to know for May 15: China, pandemic, childhood illness, Sen. Burr, stimulus

Mike Bowen, a protective equipment manufacturer who warned about the lack of PPE, testified more lives will be lost if the US government doesn't listen to scientists.

Posted: May 15, 2020 6:11 PM
Updated: May 15, 2020 6:11 PM

Eating in restaurants is going to look very different for a while. What can you expect? Masks, different service styles, different dining spaces and more.

Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. China 

The US is upping military pressure on China over tensions raised by the pandemic. Earlier this week, the Pentagon accused China of exploiting the crisis to gain military and economic advantages by expanding where it operates. President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have also continued to blame China for the outbreak. Trump this week reiterated his claim that Beijing could have stopped the spread of the virus. But there's more at play here than just the coronavirus. Experts say these tensions also tie in to standoffs over the South China Sea, a crucial strategic region that crosses major shipping routes and is rich in natural resource deposits. Over the past few weeks, US Navy ships and Air Force B-1 bombers have undertaken missions aimed at sending a very public message that the US military intends to maintain a presence in the region and reassure allies.

2. Coronavirus 

More than 300,000 people have now died worldwide as a result of the coronavirus, and the number of global cases is closing in on 4.5 million. The bleak milestone was punctuated by an even bleaker proposition from the executive director of the WHO's health emergencies program, who said the virus may never go away. That mirrors sentiments from a Baltimore ER doctor, who said during a CNN coronavirus town hall that strategies among doctors have shifted from eliminating the virus entirely to reducing risk. Around the world, countries are seeing mixed results from initial reopening measures. Some European countries, like Spain and Italy, are seeing much lower case numbers as they cautiously come out of lockdown. But China is reintroducing restrictions after two cities reported new cases of the virus. And in the US, the easing of lockdown measures has prompted a leading coronavirus model to up the predicted nationwide death toll to 147,000 by August.

3. Childhood inflammatory disease

The CDC has issued a health advisory over the mysterious childhood disease doctors think could be linked to the coronavirus. The syndrome, which is being called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, has been seen in kids across Europe and in at least 18 US states. It causes the immune system to overreact, leading to inflammation throughout the body. It's rarely fatal, and most children recover. Now, the CDC is asking hospitals to report all possible cases to public health authorities so they can learn more about it. Researchers in Italy are the latest to publish research that makes the link between the syndrome and Covid-19. In one Italian region, they say, the pandemic brought a 30-fold rise in the number of cases of the syndrome.

4. Sen. Richard Burr 

Sen. Richard Burr is stepping aside as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The North Carolina Republican is under investigation for stock trades he made ahead of the market downturn sparked by the pandemic. The FBI this week served Burr's lawyer with a search warrant, and as a result, Burr surrendered his Senate-issued cell phone. This is a big development because the fact that investigators were able to obtain a warrant suggests they have reason to believe Burr's actions are worth a closer look. Burr says he's fully cooperating with investigators but is resigning as intel chairman because the situation is "a distraction to the hard work of the committee." He'll still be on the panel, says he has no plans to resign from the Senate and says he doesn't believe he exercised poor judgment with his stock trades.

5. Stimulus package

The House will vote on the new $3 trillion Covid-19 package today, but some moderate Democrats are having trouble accepting it. They're worried about what will happen if they push through such a massive bill without bipartisan support. Progressives, meanwhile, think the package doesn't go far enough to provide aid to vulnerable Americans. As this plays out, the Department of Labor's latest numbers show another 3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. The Federal Reserve Bank also issued a report yesterday that revealed nearly 40% of low-income workers lost their jobs in March, which shows just how unequally the economic downturn is affecting American workers.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

The Las Vegas airport is providing personal protective equipment vending machines for passengers

PPE slot machines would have been too on-the-nose.

The best way to cut your bangs

Go ahead, try to master the quintessential crisis haircut.

The pandemic has people interested in buying private islands

Really really rich people, at least.

Diners at one Virginia restaurant will share the space with decked-out social distancing mannequins 

I'll have what they're having! 

Georgia officials are asking the public to help track 4-foot-long, invasive lizards

You know what, Georgia officials, we think you're gonna have to go it alone on this one.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$72.9 billion

That's how much countries spent on nuclear weapons last year. The US accounted for half of that spending -- to the tune of $35.4 billion.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"Forgive me for being angry; I'm angry because I've done this for so, so long. And I've been ignored for so long."

Mike Bowen, the vice president of the Texas-based medical supply company Prestige Ameritech, who said during emotional Congressional testimony that he's been trying for years to get the CDC interested in contracts that would supply government entities with enough medical masks to weather a crisis like the one we're in now.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Severe storms are headed for the Northeast 

Thunderstorms and damaging winds could batter places from Ohio to New Hampshire this afternoon and evening. The bad weather could also bring a risk of tornadoes.

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Ahhhhh ...... It's Friday

Enjoy a relaxing, pretty tune in a relaxing, pretty place, played on the kalimba, an instrument based on the mbira, a traditional African finger harp. (Click here to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 46915

Reported Deaths: 2681
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11499683
Lake5053242
Elkhart316443
Allen2717128
St. Joseph186366
Cass16369
Hamilton1518100
Hendricks1386100
Johnson1254118
Porter71237
Tippecanoe6778
Madison64864
Clark63844
Bartholomew58244
Howard56057
LaPorte55326
Kosciusko5124
Vanderburgh4806
Jackson4653
LaGrange4657
Noble45728
Hancock43735
Boone43443
Delaware42949
Marshall4273
Shelby42025
Floyd37144
Morgan32531
Montgomery29320
Grant29026
Clinton2852
Monroe26628
Dubois2646
White26010
Decatur24832
Henry24315
Lawrence23624
Vigo2288
Dearborn22723
Harrison21022
Warrick21029
Greene18432
Miami1812
Jennings17111
Putnam1688
Scott1607
DeKalb1594
Daviess14116
Orange13523
Wayne1346
Perry1279
Steuben1262
Franklin1248
Jasper1142
Ripley1147
Carroll1102
Wabash1102
Fayette987
Newton9710
Whitley884
Starke853
Randolph784
Huntington712
Wells711
Jefferson701
Fulton681
Jay680
Washington661
Knox630
Pulaski621
Clay604
Gibson592
Rush563
Adams481
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Blackford372
Posey360
Spencer351
Fountain302
Tipton301
Crawford290
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Warren141
Union130
Vermillion130
Pike90
Unassigned0193

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 55257

Reported Deaths: 2903
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin9825417
Cuyahoga7392372
Hamilton5605197
Marion273038
Lucas2669302
Pickaway218441
Summit2079206
Montgomery191826
Mahoning1805231
Butler151144
Columbiana128860
Stark1079112
Lorain98367
Trumbull91665
Warren81421
Clark7619
Belmont54322
Delaware54115
Fairfield52916
Tuscarawas52910
Medina50632
Lake48018
Miami45531
Licking44212
Portage42858
Ashtabula42544
Wood40451
Geauga39942
Clermont3906
Wayne35951
Richland3255
Allen30540
Mercer2788
Darke24525
Greene2449
Erie23422
Holmes2203
Huron1992
Madison1928
Ottawa13923
Crawford1345
Washington13020
Putnam12615
Sandusky12614
Hardin12012
Morrow1161
Ross1133
Auglaize1044
Coshocton902
Monroe8817
Jefferson832
Union801
Hancock781
Hocking788
Muskingum761
Preble701
Williams682
Guernsey673
Lawrence670
Clinton660
Shelby644
Fulton610
Ashland581
Carroll583
Logan581
Wyandot585
Brown541
Defiance493
Fayette460
Knox451
Highland441
Athens431
Champaign391
Scioto380
Seneca332
Perry321
Van Wert320
Henry290
Paulding230
Adams221
Pike220
Vinton222
Jackson180
Gallia141
Harrison121
Meigs110
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
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