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Parents weary from homeschooling over the past several weeks were given a treat by Former First Couple, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, on Thursday. The couple posted a video of them reading a children’s book aloud “to give all you parents a break.”

The Obamas read “The Word Collector,” about a child who collects new words he hears in scrapbooks, in a video posted for the Chicago Public Library. The couple said they chose the book because it “illustrates the transformative power of words.” 

Watch the video here: https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1260955716644470784

In an interview with Fox Business, Trump said he “totally” disagreed with infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on reopening schools, saying young people “are very little affected by this,” despite the fact that many young people have become very ill and, even when asymptomatic, can spread the virus to more vulnerable people.

Cases of a rare pediatric syndrome possibly linked to Covid-19 continue to rise in at least 18 states and Washington, DC. These cases include more than 150 children in several states, mostly in New York. States with potential cases being investigated include California, Delaware, lllinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah and Washington. 

THE PANDEMIC

During a congressional panel on Thursday, whistleblower and vaccine expert Rick Bright warned the public that the U.S. lacks a plan to produce and fairly distribute a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available, adding the nation could face “the darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act immediately. [READ MORE]

The White House has begun what it calls “Operation Warp Speed” to produce, distribute and administer a vaccine when it becomes available.

Over a third of patients treated for COVID-19 in a large New York medical system developed acute kidney injury, and nearly 15% required dialysis, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

Study co-author Dr. Kenar Jhaveri, associated chief of nephrology at Hofstra/Northwell in Great Neck, New York, says they found that kidney failure occurred early on, with 37.3% of patients arriving at the hospital with failing kidneys, or developing the condition within the first 24 hours of being admitted.

STATES 

Since reopening businesses at the beginning of May, Texas has reported more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 for five consecutive days as the state fails to curb the coronavirus pandemic. Texas has only been below 1,000 new cases per day twice — on May 4 and May 7.

In a move celebrated by Trump, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned the state’s stay-at-home order, ruling it “unlawful” and “unenforceable” in a high-profile win for the state’s Republican-led Legislature. In a 4-3 decision, the court ruled that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ administration overstepped its authority when he extended the order to May 26. Photos and videos of several Wisconsin residents enjoying the news by going to bars have been posted online.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Miami-Dade and Broward Counties can begin reopening starting Monday. Miami-Dade and Broward are the two Florida counties most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, accounting for 49% of the state’s Covid-19 cases.

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea spoke about social distancing enforcement and police policy Thursday, saying, “Nothing has changed from when this pandemic has started,” during a live twitter Q&A with members of the NYPD Thursday. 

In a statement yesterday, New York State Attorney General Letitia James called on the NYPD to “better address the department’s apparent unequal enforcement of social distancing rules,” in the city. The announcement follows reports and videos in recent weeks of aggressive enforcement tactics by the NYPD in black and Hispanic neighborhoods. NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea responded to the statement by defending his department against allegations of racist policing.

“Remember how stressed people are. Everyone’s lives have been turned upside down,” Shea said during the Q&A. The commissioner asked for cops to redouble their efforts at de-escalation with the public.

 BUSINESS AND POLITICS

Southwest Airlines has told flight crews not to stop passengers from boarding if they refuse to wear a mask. This policy is not as strict as other airline carriers. 

American Airlines’ policy says customers “may be denied boarding” for not wearing a mask. 

United’s policy would allow boarding in most cases but the policy notes, “there could be an isolated situation where a customer may be denied boarding as a last resort.”

JetBlue’s language seems to be the most restrictive, with its memo saying, “Customers who refuse to comply with our policy will be denied boarding.” 

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