Tuesday, April 21, 2020
7:09 pm ET: Trump Immigration Ban Halts Green Cards, Not Temporary Visas
President Donald Trump announced what he described as a “temporary suspension of immigration into the United States” on Tuesday. But he said the executive order he plans to sign as soon as Wednesday would apply only to those seeking permanent residency and not temporary workers.
Trump said he would be placing a 60-day pause on the issuance of green cards in an effort to limit competition for jobs in a U.S. economy wrecked by the coronavirus. But he said there would be “certain exemptions” included in the order, which staff were still crafting Tuesday.
An administration official familiar with the plans had said earlier the order would be focused on preventing people from winning permission to live and work in the U.S. That would include those seeking employment-based green cards and relatives of green card holders who are not citizens. Americans who wish to bring immediate family to the country would still be able to do so, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity before the plan was announced. About one million people were granted green cards last year.
While a hard stop on immigration would normally affect millions of people, much of the immigration system has already ground to a halt because of the pandemic. Almost all visa processing by the State Department has been suspended for weeks. Travel to the U.S. has been restricted from much of the globe. And Trump has used the virus to effectively end asylum at U.S. borders, including turning away children who arrive by themselves and putting a hold on refugee resettlement — something Congress, the courts and international law hadn't previously allowed.
Criticism of Trump's new announcement was swift, especially his timing during the pandemic. Read more...
— Associated Press
President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
6:34pm ET: Atlanta Mayor Questions Georgia Governor's Plan to Reopen Businesses
As the great reopening debate continues, some state and local officials are not seeing eye to eye on when stay-at-home orders and business closures should end.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is one such local official who is speaking out against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's plan to reopen businesses such as gyms, nail salons, barbershops, and bowling alleys this Friday, April 24.
"It doesn't make sense to me," Bottoms told Cheddar. "There's nothing essential about a bowling alley or a movie theater."
Bottoms, a Democrat, said that she had previously worked closely with the Republican governor.
"Governor Kemp and I have had a very good working relationship over the past couple of years, and we communicate regularly, but I was surprised along with a number of mayors," she said. Read more...
— Alex Vuocolo
6:23 pm ET: Senate Approves $500B Virus Aid Deal, Sends It to House
A $483 billion coronavirus aid package flew through the Senate on Tuesday after Congress and the White House reached a deal to replenish a small-business payroll fund and provided new money for hospitals and testing.
Passage was swift and unanimous, despite opposition from conservative Republicans, and President Donald Trump tweeted his support, pledging to sign it into law.
“The Senate is continuing to stand by the American people,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
It now goes to the House, where lawmakers have been summoned back to Washington for votes on Thursday. Read more...
— Associated Press
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks with reporters alongside Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y. after the Senate approved a nearly $500 billion coronavirus aid bill, Tuesday, April 21, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
6:00 pm ET: NY Governor Cuomo Presses President Trump for More Help on Virus Testing
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he had a “functional and effective” Oval Office meeting on Tuesday with President Donald Trump in which he pressed for more federal help as states try to increase testing for the coronavirus.
Cuomo said he told Trump that a rapid increase in testing was a crucial “benchmark” that his state and others need before they can safely reopen the economy and help communities return to a semblance of normalcy.
“We have to get this ironed out so to speak,” Cuomo told MSNBC shortly after meeting with Trump. “This is a very big issue. It is important for states that have a more difficult time reopening like New York. It is how you educate yourself as you’re making any reopening decisions.”
Trump and Cuomo have parried through the media throughout the pandemic, a back-and-forth that has included insults, sharply contrasting views on the role of the federal government and some moments of mutual admiration.
The meeting Tuesday was their first face-to-face interaction since the global crisis began. New York, with more than 14,000 deaths, has been the hardest hit state in the country. Read more...
— Associated Press
This combination of two file photos shows New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Feb. 14, 2019, and President Donald Trump on April 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Cuomo; Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Trump, File)
5:42 pm ET: Why Netflix Has to Worry Despite a Boom in Subscribers
Stay-at-home orders seem to be leading to more Netflix and chill sessions, but there are still things to watch out for as the company weathers the coronavirus pandemic.
The streaming service reported its earnings after the bell on Tuesday, posting diluted earnings per share of $1.57. It earned $5.77 billion in revenue, ahead of the $5.74 billion estimated established by Refinitiv analysts. What's more, the company added 15.77 million global subscribers, ahead of the 9.6 million estimate.
While there are more paying members, Netflix will have to closely monitor some other aspects of its business as the crisis continues. Read more...
— Michelle Castillo
5:35 pm ET: Around the World in 90 Seconds
Ghana tests drones to speed up COVID-19 testing and Germany cancels its famed Oktoberfest. Here are your coronavirus headlines from around the world.
4:28 pm ET: Cuomo, Trump Ready to Meet After Trading Virus Barbs, Praise
The back-and-forth between President Donald Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been marked by insults, sharply contrasting views on the role of federal government and some moments of mutual admiration. Now they will meet face-to-face Tuesday for the first time since the coronavirus crisis began. Testing will be a key topic of discussion. Their hot-and-cold relationship has been on full display in their daily briefings and Twitter posts during the crisis. In recent days, Trump has admonished Cuomo to “do your job.” Cuomo, in turn, has questioned Trump’s grasp of the Constitution and suggested the president is trying to act like a “king.” But the two have also praised each other.
— Associated Press
Vice President Mike Pence, right, and President Donald Trump watch a video of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaking during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Sunday, April 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
3:39 pm ET: Ohio Rep. Vitale Defends Coronavirus Protest
Rep. Nino Vitale (R-Ohio 85th District) joined hundreds of protesters at the Ohio state capitol over the weekend, making him one of the few lawmakers to give his tacit support for the small but vocal group of people who are arguing against stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus.
The representative has taken a hard line against any government intervention to combat the virus.
"To me, it comes down to individual liberty and freedom," Vitale told Cheddar. "I don't believe it's the government's job to manage our health care." Read more...
— Alex Vuocolo
3:23 pm ET: Former MTA Boss Calls on NYC Businesses to 'Stagger' Work Hours
How can the country's biggest economic engine, which happens to also be the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, get back to work? It is the question bedeviling officials in the New York metropolitan area. With New York City's coronavirus caseload now "past its peak," according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the dilemma turns on when ー and how ー to begin to allow more than just essential workers back into the city's offices, shops, and tourist attractions.
And it all comes down to the state of the public transit system.
"Transit is the lifeblood of New York, and it will survive this challenge," said Tom Prendergast, the former chairman of the MTA who spent 25 years at the agency that controls the NY metro region's sprawling bus, subway, and rail network. Prendergast spoke to Cheddar on Tuesday to offer advice and possible solutions to the paradox of how to run the country's largest public transit network at levels that would help NYC "reopen," while also keeping the millions of daily riders safe. Read more...
— Carlo Versano
12:58 pm ET: Quaranstreaming: 'The Last Dance' Sets Ratings Records for ESPN
Michael Jordan hasn’t played professional basketball in two decades, but he’s still breaking records.
The Last Dance became ESPN’s highest-rated documentary in its history Sunday night, averaging 6.1 million viewers during its premiere, the network announced in a statement on Monday.
Parts one and two of the retelling of Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls aired consecutively Sunday night, providing desperately needed content for sports fans who have gone without live games since March 11, when the NBA became the first major American professional league to suspend its season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more...
— Max Godnick
12:42 pm ET: JetBlue Chairman Hopes to Avoid Furloughs, Pay Cuts
JetBlue is struggling along with the rest of the airline industry, but the carrier has found some relief in the form of government assistance and historically low oil prices.
"The travel industry is going to be hit by this. There's no question about it," JetBlue Chairman Joel Peterson told Cheddar. "The hotel and airline industries have been hit as hard as any."
Through the federal CARES Act, JetBlue received a $251 million low-interest loan and a $685 million payroll grant that require the company to retain employees through September 30. Read more...
— Alex Vuocolo
11:38 am ET: Oil Prices Keep Crumbling, Stocks Around the World Tumble
Oil’s chaotic collapse deepened, and stocks around the world dropped on Tuesday as markets remain upside down amid the economic carnage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
A day after oil futures plunged below zero for the first time, traders in one corner of the U.S. crude market were still close to paying others to take it off their hands. That's a market quirk created by a glut of oil, which has traders running out of places to store it in the near term.
Prices remain well above zero for oil elsewhere in the world and for deliveries further into the future, which analysts consider to be closer to the “true” price of crude. But they also slid sharply Tuesday on the same ultimate concern: A global economy incapacitated by the virus outbreak doesn’t need to burn as much fuel. Airplanes are parked, cars are garaged and factories are idled with millions of workers losing their jobs every week. Read more...
— The Associated Press
10:20 am ET: Unexpectedly Unemployed: NOLA Tour Guide Charlotte Jones
Unlike many industries hit hard by the economic downturn, tour guides in New Orleans never saw a decline in business. Carriage drivers like Charlotte Jones were giving tours right up until the city's stay-at-home order went into effect.
"We were actually very busy when the severity of the pandemic really came to light. So it was almost like that last weekend we worked," Jones remembered, "was not really a cash grab, but our last one big gulp of air before going underwater."
"I think a lot of us tried to just do as many tours as possible on that Saturday [March 14]. But on that Sunday it was clear we should not work. And on Monday, we were shut down," she said.
Jones has been driving carriages through the French Quarter for three years. Her buggy, led by a mule named Chica, allows the self-proclaimed "history practitioner" to share the rich history of New Orleans with the millions of visitors that flock to the southern city every year.
Louisiana has been hit hard with COVID-19 cases, and its tourism-reliant economy is bearing the brunt of the illness.
"Even if my colleagues were able to go out and conduct tours at six feet apart, it's in no one's best interest right now, particularly since our health and safety comes first," Jones explained.
Tour guides face unique challenges in finding relief from the economic realities of coronavirus. Jones explained several of these in a recent column in Big Easy Magazine and reiterated her concerns in conversation with Cheddar. Read more...
— Megan Pratz
Courtesy: Charlotte Jones
10:08 am ET: Trump Vows to 'Suspend Immigration,' Adviser Cites Health
President Donald Trump said that he will sign an executive order “to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States” because of the coronavirus.
“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” Trump tweeted late Monday.
He offered no details about which immigration programs might be affected by the order. Read more...
— Associated Press
9:55 am ET: Tom Brady Kicked Out of Closed Park
Six Super Bowl rings may get you special treatment in a lot of places but former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady learned Monday that it won't get you anything when you're caught working out in a park that is closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said during a news briefing Monday that the new Buccaneers quarterback was spotted working out by himself at a park downtown by staff patrol. The staffer went over to tell him he had to leave and she recognized the man to be the 42-year-old Brady.
“He's been sighted,” Castor said. Read more...
— Associated Press
9:45 am ET: Oil Prices Continue to Bring Down Markets
Stock markets plunged for the second day in a row as U.S. oil prices have dipped below zero. Investors were responding to the jarring bit of news that the May contract for oil futures, which expires on Tuesday, dropped to zero and then went into the negative. This means buyers are all stocked, due to plummeting demand brought on by coronavirus shutdowns, and producers are willing to pay to them to help get rid of their supply.
There is little relief in the near-term as well. The June oil contract was down nearly 20 percent to $16.44 on Tuesday morning.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 600 points. The S&P 500 dropped just over 2 percent, and Nasdaq fell just under 2 percent.
— Alex Vuocolo
8:15 am ET: Immigration Ban, Oil Below Zero & Bleak Summer at the Movies
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COVID-19: LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: President Trump tweeted that he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend legal immigration into the U.S., shutting the borders to people attempting to get visas to live and work in the country regardless of where they are from. No details have come out of the White House yet; but if the president ordered even a temporary halt to all green cards and visas it would be without precedent. Meanwhile, three southern states — Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina — will begin to ease their lockdown restrictions. Georgia will allow barber shops, bowling alleys, gyms, tattoo parlors and some other small businesses to re-open Friday, with restaurants and movie theaters to follow. At the same time, New York is extending the cancellation of large events through June, meaning two of the biggest celebrations of the summer — Pride and the Puerto Rican Day Parade — are scrapped. UPDATES
OIL BELOW ZERO: Something that has never before happened in the history of the oil markets happened on Monday: the price for a contract of crude oil to be delivered next month fell below zero, meaning there’s so much of it that oil suppliers were effectively paying to have it taken off their hands. The problem is one of physical supply: with the global collapse in demand, there is simply too much oil in the U.S., and the country’s producers are running out of places to put it. The futures contract for June is a little less dire, with a barrel trading around $21. CNBC
KIM JONG UN HEALTH SCARE: U.S. intelligence agencies are reportedly monitoring reports that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is in grave condition after undergoing surgery for a cardiovascular condition this month. Sources tell CNN that the reports are credible but it’s hard to tell how severe his condition has become. Kim skipped the celebration of his grandpa’s birthday last week, raising alarm bells in the intelligence community that something was up. South Korea says they don’t believe Kim is in grave danger. CNN
ISRAEL ELECTION BREAKTHROUGH: After three elections and a months-long stalemate, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his former opponent, Benny Gantz, have agreed to form a unity government. The compromise means Netanyahu will continue on as prime minister, even as he’s under indictment, and serves as a turnaround for Gantz, who had said he would never serve with a PM facing criminal charges. NPR
FACEBOOK SYMPTOM SURVEYS: Facebook released the first county-by-county maps that show the prevalence of self-reported COVID-19 symptoms. The maps, updated daily, are meant to help public health officials decide where to allocate resources and are based on a survey Facebook has been prompting its U.S. users to take. Mark Zuckerberg says the plan is to roll that survey out worldwide and create similar maps in other hotspots. SEE YOUR COUNTY
'LAST DANCE' RATINGS: Americans are so starved for sports that the first part of a documentary focused entirely on a basketball season from more than 20 years ago scored ratings that would make any cable network executive’s year. More than 6 million people tuned in to watch the premiere of The Last Dance on ESPN Sunday night. That’s the best rating for any ESPN doc ever. The docuseries is also a hit among viewers and critics alike, with a rare 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. NBC SPORTS
SUMMER MOVIES POSTPONED: In another world, summer 2020 was shaping up to be epic at the movies: a Batman reboot, the highly anticipated new Christopher Nolan flick, the Wonder Woman sequel... But with theaters still closed nearly everywhere, all the Hollywood studios are delaying the release of their tentpoles. The latest to get punted to fall: The Batman and The Many Saints of Newark, which is the prequel to The Sopranos. YAHOO ENTERTAINMENT
SPOTTED...Patti LuPone, Darren Criss and Dylan McDermott in the first trailer for the new Ryan Murphy Netflix period drama Hollywood. The buzzed-about show follows a group of actors trying to make it in post-WWII Tinseltown. The limited series streams May 1: WATCH
LEFTOVERS: MR. AND MRS. MET? Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez have retained JPMorgan to raise capital for a possible attempt to purchase the New York Mets, Variety reports. The family that owns the team had sold a controlling stake to a hedge funder last year, but the deal fell apart. That deal valued the Mets at $2.6 billion; A-Rod and J. Lo’s combined net worth, according to Forbes, is about $700 million, meaning they’d need some deep-pocketed partners to pull off a bid. VARIETY