Texas Lifts Lockdown, Michigan Gov Extends ‘State Of Emergency’ As More States Move To Reopen: Live Updates

Friday, May 1, 2020
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Fri, 05/01/2020


Texas starts reopening
Michigan Gov extends lockdown
Japan sending Avigan to 43 countries for clinical trials
1 in 5 working-age Americans filed for unemployment benefits
Dr. Fauci warns states against “leapfrogging”
Left-wing demonstrators from Greece to Germany flout social distancing rules for “May Day” rallies
UK warns that defective ventilators from China could kill patients
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Update (0930ET): The US isn’t alone in fast-tracking its favored coronavirus treatment. Kyodo News reports that Japan will provide anti-flu drug Avigan free to 43 countries so they can conduct clinical studies on its efficacy as a coronavirus treatment, said Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Friday. The deliveries are expected after the end of Japan’s “Golden Week” holiday.

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After a banner April that saw US stocks notch their best monthly performance since the 1980s even as oil for May delivery slumped into negative territory and millions of jobs evaporated, US futures on are track to open deep in the red on Friday, as President Trump ratchets up the pressure on China and the media squabbles over whether he purportedly claimed to have seen evidence the virus was designed by the Chinese as a ‘bioweapon’ (that’s not even close to what he said) – but, since the Intel Community had released a report a few hours earlier claiming there was no evidence the virus was man-made, the mainstream press was desperate to make the president’s comments fit their narrative.

Since the “Chinese virus” imbroglio, we have been continuously baffled by the degree to which the American media, as well as the American left, has run interference for China. And apparently, we’re not alone in that…

With most of Asia and Europe closed for ‘May Day’, the biggest news overnight comes out of the US and the UK. Following clashes between hundreds of “reopen now” protesters and state police at the Michigan State Capital in Lansing last night, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer managed to extend her badly-hit state’s strict stay-at-home order for another 28 days, even as the Republican-led legislature decided against extending Whitmer’s emergency declaration (so she did it herself).

Elsewhere, Texas officially reopened its economy on Friday as Gov. Greg Abbott ordered restaurants and retailers in the state should be allowed to reopen. His order will override orders from local officials, including in cities like Houston where the state’s outbreak has been centered.

Still, to say that Texas is taking things “back to normal” would be a tremendous exaggeration. Counties with fewer than five active cases of COVID-19 can reopen businesses at 50% capacity, which Abbott on Monday said would apply to nearly half of Texas’ 254 counties. Everywhere else, which is where the vast majority of the state’s roughly 30 million people live, can open back up at 25% capacity.

According to the Hill, Republicans believe Abbott is making the right decision given the economic devastation the pandemic has wrought.

In Texas alone, 1.5 million people have filed for unemployment over the last six weeks, with 254,199 claims coming last week alone. Republicans argue that voters can responsible enough to make their own decisions, and encouraged everyone to continue following ‘social distancing’ principles when in public. However, the governor is also facing pushback from big-city mayors who are overwhelmingly Democratic.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler made the economically devastating but undoubtedly necessary decision to cancel Austin’s SXSW Festival, and later issued a stay at home order for his city. Adler also released regulations that would impose fines on residents not wearing masks in stores. The cities of Dallas, Houston, El Paso, and San Antonio followed suit with their own stay at home orders. The state has fewer than 30k confirmed cases, and fewer than 1k deaths, meaning Texas does not rank among the worst-hit US states.

Texas and Georgia (which is heading into its second weekend of reopening) will be joined by more than a dozen other states, including some blue states, that will allow millions of Americans to return to stores, restaurants and movie theaters this weekend. They include: Ohio, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Arizona and Washington, among others.

While the staggering death toll and insurmountable horror of this outbreak simply can’t be ignored, neither can the fact that roughly one in five working-age Americans have sought unemployment benefits. That hints at some Depression-level unemployment coming down the pike, WaPo reports.

Dems freaked out over VP Pence’s decision to not wear a mask during a visit to the Mayo Clinic (he’s the VP, nobody ever gets within 6 feet of him), and we suspect there will be no shrotage of hand-wringing over President Trump’s trip to Camp David on Friday, his first trip away from the White House since the lockdowns began.

And as the White House’s social distancing guidelines expired on Thursday, leaving states to make all decisions going forward, Dr. Fauci warned some states to avoid “leapfrogging” critical milestones in an effort to open up more quickly, saying a premature reopening would come with “significant risks.”

Authorities around the world were preparing to closely monitor May Day marches as leftists from Greece to Germany vowed to ignore the bans, risking a repeat of the ‘International Women’s Day’ marches in Madrid which helped kick off the outbreak in Spain.

Finally, before we go, another egregious example of China shipping shoddy products has surfaced in the UK, where a group of doctors warned that 250 ventilators brought to the UK from China could cause “significant harm to patients…including death” if used in a hospital setting. The ventilators – like PPE sold to hospitals in Spain by China recently – are apparently defective.

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