CORONA WATCH-Covid-19, an ongoing global human tragedy, may have at least one silver lining. It has led millions of people to question America’s most malignant policies at home and abroad.

Regarding Washington’s war policies abroad, there’s been speculation that the coronavirus might, in the end, put a dent in such conflicts, if not prove an unintended peacemaker -- and with good reason, since a cash-flush Pentagon has proven impotent as a virus challenger. Meanwhile, it’s become ever more obvious that, had a fraction of “defense” spending been invested in chronically underfunded disease control agencies, this country’s response to the coronavirus crisis might have been so much better.

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CORONA WATCH--Outside of Boston, a marketing company is struggling to figure out how to cover its bills. In Indiana, a dance studio is waiting on three emergency-loan applications. In Baltimore, a deli is closed and desperate for help.

The government is engaged in an unprecedented effort to save such companies as pandemic-related shutdowns stretch into the spring. But Washington’s policies are too complicated, too small, and too slow for many firms: Across the United States, millions of small businesses are struggling, and millions are failing. The great small-business die-off is here, and it will change the landscape of American commerce, auguring slower growth and less innovation in the future.

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CORONA WATCH--If you have Medicare and want to be tested for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Trump Administration has good news. 

Medicare covers tests with no out-of-pocket costs. You can get tested in your home, doctor’s office, a local pharmacy or hospital, a nursing home, or a drive-through site. Medicare does not require a doctor’s order for you to get tested.

Testing is particularly important for older people and nursing home residents, who are often among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Widespread access to testing is a critical precursor to a safe, gradual reopening of America.

When a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed, Medicare will cover that, too.

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THE CORONAVIRUS WAR--Remember the song “Over There”?

“Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming,
The Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming everywhere...”

Maybe not, since it was popular so long ago, but it was meant to inspire American troops saying goodbye to their country on their way to a Europe embroiled in World War I. Written by George M. Cohan, the song paid homage to an American wartime urge to do good in the world, to take what was precious about this country and spread it to less fortunate, endangered peoples elsewhere. As Jon Meacham and country music star Tim McGraw reminded us, that song’s message couldn’t have been simpler: The good guys are coming.

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CORONA WATCH--A man looks toward the skyline from Bernal Heights Hill in San Francisco, Monday, March 16, 2020. Officials in six San Francisco Bay Area counties issued a shelter-in-place mandate Monday affecting nearly 7 million people, including the city of San Francisco itself. The order says residents must stay inside and venture out only for necessities for three weeks starting Tuesday in a desperate attempt by officials to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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CORONA WATCH--The United States Postal Service is the most ubiquitous face of the federal government (with over 34,000 offices, delivering mail to over 160 million addresses) as well as the most well-regarded (scoring 10 points higher than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2019). It’s in the Constitution (which it actually predates) and it’s helped bind Americans together ever since. But in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic — when its service is more essential than ever — rightwing billionaires could finally realize their decades-long dream of destroying it as it now exists, and privatizing whatever fragments seem profitable enough for continued plundering. 

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CORONA WATCH — With unemployment at nearly 20 percent and food banks serving up to 10 times more Californians during the COVID-19 pandemic than before, L.A. Controller Ron Galperin today launched a statewide guide to food resources.

The first and only map of its kind in the state, “Food for Californians” — accessible at lacontroller.org/foodforcalifornians — maps 1,800+ food banks, food pantries and emergency food distribution centers up and down California where residents can pick up free food. 

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CORONA WATCH-- L.A. Controller Ron Galperin has released a comprehensive COVID-19 Resource Hub that gathers the latest federal, state and local data to give Los Angeles residents and businesses easy access to information and services they need to get through the coronavirus pandemic. Located at lacontroller.org/covid19resourcehub, the hub includes a dashboard illustrating the impact of the coronavirus on L.A. neighborhoods, along with a map showing how stimulus dollars will be distributed by community, and contains hundreds of resources organized into 16 categories — for employees and job seekers, freelancers, renters, small business owners, immigrants and much more. 

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CORONA WATCH--The thousands of members of the L.A. Tenants Union demand that our elected officials enact an immediate cancellation of rent and mortgage payments for the duration of the crisis.

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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING--This week’s astonishing people’s victory in Wisconsin has shattered the myth of an unbeatable Trump dictatorship.

A gerrymandered legislature and the Trumpite US Supreme Court failed to steal an election they were heavily favored to win.

The big upset victory put liberal challenger Jill Korofsky on to the Wisconsin’s supreme court. It has upended all the assumptions about November 2020. 

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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING--A fine gentleman named Nigel — not Farage, don’t worry — wrote to me recently to ask a question that’s probably on a lot of minds: 

“Why is ‘printing’ money out of thin air the only solution to governments in the face of this crisis?”

Now, I want you to really understand “money” once and for all — and why we need to reinvent it. So I’m going to try to really explain it to you. Bear with me — this might get a little tedious, but I promise, by the end, you should understand the mystery of money in an entirely new and clearer way.

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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING--Joe Biden must step aside. NOW!!!

Someone else must be the Democratic Party’s nominee to run against Donald Trump.

As Trump lies to the world, day after day, and puts his ghastly son-in-law in charge of dragging us all into the morass of a lethal pandemic and a catastrophic economic crash, we hear virtually nothing from the presumptive opposition. 

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