The DC: Democrats block coronavirus stimulus package, and... 🧪Can you trust at-home testing kits?
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by Countable | 3.23.20
Welcome to Monday, March 23, showerers and bathers...
A proposed trillion-dollar coronavirus stimulus bill has been blocked by Senate Democrats.
The "Phase 3" stimulus package hit a speed bump Sunday after a failed cloture vote meant to move the bill forward.
"We voted no on the McConnell-GOP bill because among other problems it includes huge bailouts without protections for people and workers and without accountability," tweeted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). "And because it shortchanges our hospitals and healthcare workers who need our help. These changes need to be made."
Five Republican senators were unable to vote because they’re in a coronavirus quarantine and the Senate’s rules don’t permit remote voting: Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Rick Scott (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Mitt Romney (R-UT). Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was in Vermont holding a virtual campaign event.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the Senate will reconvene at 12pm EDT Monday.
“The futures market tanked in anticipation of an ugly tomorrow based upon an absence of bipartisan agreement,” McConnell said in remarks at 10:20 Sunday night. “Even if Democrats reverse course tomorrow, the vote the cast today will almost certain cause more Americans to lose their jobs.”
For a politics-free guide to how to protect you and your loved ones from corona, click on over to our Coronavirus Info Center.
On the Radar
Trump Authorizes National Guard
President Donald Trump activated the National Guard to assist Washington, California, and New York—three of the states hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Through FEMA, the federal government will be funding 100 percent of the cost of deploying National Guard units to carry out approved missions to stop the virus, while those governors remain in command,” Trump said.
The troops will support the Department of Health and Human Services with testing and at medical facilities. Trump added that he directed FEMA to supply "four large medical stations with 1,000 beds for New York, eight large federal medical stations with 2,000 beds for California, and three large federal medical stations and four small federal medical stations with 1,000 beds for the state of Washington."
Under the Radar
Coronavirus Home-Testing Kits
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the U.S., the limitations of clinic- and hospital-based testing are becoming apparent. Presently, there simply aren’t enough tests - and medical professionals - to screen everyone who wants - or requires - a test.
In response to this challenge, a number of companies are developing at-home testing kids for COVID-19.
Of course, there are myriad concerns with at-home tests. Coronavirus screening is a delicate task even under controlled lab conditions: it’s essential to test people at the right place, to get samples from the right part of the nose or throat, and to handle samples appropriately.
Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, says that while at-home testing is “better than nothing,” it’s very difficult to collect proper samples in home environments. There are also questions about what patients will do if they test positive.
Read about the at-home tests here, then join the conversation:
Also Worth a Click
And, in the End…
It's OK Day.
On this date in 1839, we have the first recorded printed use of the word "OK". It actually started as a joke. Boston Morning Post editor Charles Gordon Greene attempted to mock the Providence Journal by inserting the abbreviation “o.k.” as a shortening of "oll korrect":
Hope you have a better-than-ok day,
Talk to us via email at contact [at] countable.us. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.
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