Wednesday’s news links – March 18, 2020

Closing polling places is the 21st century’s version of a poll tax The Conversation

Delays and long lines at polling places during recent presidential primary elections – such as voters in Texas experienced – represent the latest version of decades-long policies that have sought to reduce the political power of African Americans in the U.S.

China takes direct aim at rumormongering US media Global Times

Trump’s ‘Chinese Virus’ tweet foreshadows escalating clash Global Times

Coronavirus – anti-China propaganda brings catastrophe to the West John Ross

It isn’t democracy vs. authoritarianism Axios

China’s measures to combat the coronavirus aren’t authoritarian; they are the kind of total social mobilization that happens during war.

British cruise ship, MS Braemar, which will dock in Cuba, has five people positive with coronavirus disease. Photo: Prensa Latina

Covid-19 coronavirus

In heroic act, Cuba receives British cruise ship with COVID-19 patients Peoples Dispatch

With masks at the ready, ICE agents make arrests on first day of California coronavirus lockdown LATimes

‘Cannot Go On Like This’: Ordered to Work Despite Coronavirus Outbreak, Spanish Autoworkers Shut Down Mercedes Factory Common Dreams

A Life Without Sports Dave Zirin

Dr. Hillel Cohen – a Doctor of Public Health and Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. On WBAI (starts about 16 minutes into the show, great assessment of the coronavirus crisis and what needs to be done)

Workers Say Amazon Not Doing Enough To Make Workplace Safe From Pandemic: ‘It’s an atmosphere of fear right now’ Labor411

With no rights, informal workers are more exposed to coronavirus and the crisis Peoples Dispatch

Theranos vampire lives on: Owner of failed blood-testing biz’s patent sues maker of actual COVID-19-testing kit The Register

Volunteers 3D-Print Unobtainable $11,000 Valve For $1 To Keep Covid-19 Patients Alive; Original Manufacturer Threatens To Sue TechDirt

Coronavirus Outbreak Proves There Is No Public Health System in the US Common Dreams

Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) Science

These findings explain the rapid geographic spread of SARS-CoV2 and indicate containment of this virus will be particularly challenging.

Coronavirus: US hospital uses five months’ worth of supplies in six days as shortages hit Independent

COVID-19 Has Caused A Shortage Of Face Masks. But They’re Surprisingly Hard To Make NPR

Both the masks made for medical personnel and for consumer purchase require a once-obscure material called melt-blown fabric. It’s an extremely fine mesh of synthetic polymer fibers that forms the critical inner filtration layer of a mask, allowing the wearer to breath while reducing the inflow of possible infectious particles.

‘We’re talking about fibers where one filament has a diameter of less than one micron, so we are in the nano area,’ said Markus Müller, the sales director at German company Reicofil, a major provider of melt-blown machine lines. And there’s now a global shortage of melt-blown fabric due to the increased demand for masks — and the difficulty in producing this material.

Capitalist recession

Unions Urge Lawmakers to Put Restrictions on Airline Bailout The Motely Fool

They’d like to see employees supported directly instead of funds for companies.

How to Make the Airline Bailout Work for Workers, Not Just CEOs Common Dreams

The government should provide direct wage subsidies to airline workers while restricting CEO pay to no more than 50 times median wages.

Millions of Americans could lose their jobs in a coronavirus recession. Many won’t get severance pay CNBC

With Many Lawmakers Out of Town, Democratic House Quietly Weakens Paid Leave Provisions in Coronavirus Relief Bill Common Dreams

The Democrat-led House of Representatives on Monday quietly weakened paid leave provisions in a coronavirus relief bill that was already facing criticism from progressives for excluding 80 percent of the U.S. private-sector workforce. The changes were negotiated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

The first U.S. layoffs from the coronavirus are here Washington Post

Job losses have begun in ports, bakeries and travel agencies. Economists worry more layoffs are coming as businesses see plummeting sales.

Mnuchin warns senators lack of action could result in 20% unemployment rate, source says CNN

18% of U.S. workers have lost jobs or hours since coronavirus hit, poll finds LATimes

The coronavirus crisis’s colossal impact will only deepen further John Ross

Wall Street crash

After Blowing $4.5 Trillion on Share Buybacks, Airlines, Boeing, Many Other Culprits Want Taxpayer & Fed Bailouts of their Shareholders Wolf Street

The Trump administration is putting together a rumored $850-billion stimulus package that will include taxpayer funded bailouts of Corporate America

In Chile, student blinded by police says protests won’t end until president steps down NBC

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