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May 10, 2020

Positive Coronavirus Test Rattle White House Staff

This Day in History | 1869

The presidents of Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads meet in Promontory Utah to drive a ceremonial stake in the ground, connecting their two rail lines. This moment marked the first time transcontinental railroad travel was possible in America. 

Good morning Middle America, 

Happy Mother’s day to all the moms out there. Where would we be without our moms? Literally nowhere, right? Love you mom!

It’s going to be even harder for President Trump to focus on “rebuilding” the economy when people close to the Oval Office keep getting sick. His personal valet, Mike Pence’s press secretary who is married to another White House senior aide, and now Dr. Anthony Fauci, as well as  a couple of other members of the White House task force are self-quarantining out of caution. This — while audio of President Obama leaks describing Trump’s response as “chaotic”.  We brought you a link to the audio yesterday. Don’t think for a minute that the leak was an accident. Those kinds of phone calls happen every week, and this was Obama’s way of letting the world know he’s still around. 

Have you been able to buy your favorite cuts of pork lately? Apparently there’s a shortage across the country with COVID-19 closing meat packing plants in places like Iowa and North Dakota. But according to a report we have below, one of the reasons for the shortage could be America’s massive meat corporations who are still selling a lot of pork to China, instead of American buyers. 

Elon Musk has had quite a run lately. He and his partner have a brand new baby boy, and Musk is furious that California is still shut down. So now, he’s suing the state to open his factories. He’s also threatening to move his manufacturing plants to Texas and Nevada. Two states with better tax climates than California. 

Finally, what is going on with the weather? It’s May 10th and there’s snow on the ground in the north east? Yes. That’s right. 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

White House Aides Rattled after Positive Coronavirus Tests and Officials Send Mixed Messages on How to Respond

(Washington Post) – The White House on Saturday scrambled to deal with the fallout from two aides testing positive for the coronavirus, as officials who were potentially exposed responded differently, with some senior members of the pandemic task force self-quarantining while others planned to continue to go to work.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, both task force members, said they are self-quarantining or teleworking for two weeks after exposure to a coronavirus case at the White House. On Saturday night, a spokeswoman for Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious diseases official, acknowledged that working from home sometimes will be among the precautions he is taking.

Read more here

U.S. Faces Meat Shortage While its Pork Exports to China Soar

(Reuters) – Meatpackers and livestock producers in the United States have spent at least a year adjusting to the surge in business to China, which has faced a severe pork shortage in the wake of its battle against African swine fever.

But now, as the United States is on the brink of its own meat crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic, American pork supplies are being shipped off to China at a breakneck pace, creating the perfect recipe for additional U.S.-China tensions. 

For some American consumers, the optics of this situation might be poor given how the virus originated in China late last year. But record U.S. meat exports to China have been the plan all along, to satisfy both China’s needs and to lift U.S. business.

Read more here

Elon Musk Says Tesla Suing California County, Moving Headquarters Out of State

(NPR) – Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk is once again voicing his dissatisfaction with shelter-in-place orders. This time, he says his company is seeking legal recourse and to relocate its corporate headquarters. 

Musk tweeted Saturday that the electric auto-maker would “immediately” sue the California county that is home to its main manufacturing plant in the United States.

“The unelected & ignorant ‘Interim Health Officer’ of Alameda is acting contrary to the Governor, the President, our Constitutional freedoms & just plain common sense!” Musk wrote in a series of replies.

Read more here

Polar Vortex Brings May Snow

(CNN) – More than 100 million Americans will see temperatures drop below freezing this weekend, a harsh contrast to last week’s sunny weather.

Saturday started with a tied record for the latest snowfall in New York City’s Central Park, with light snow reported by the National Weather Service.

The NWS tweeted: “Snow in Central Park! In May! The Central Park Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) recorded snow. This ties the record latest snow set on this day in 1977.”

Find out more here

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