Compiled by Mary Lou Masters
Michael Doti started off the show with an update concerning Georgia Governor Kemp’s attempt at combating the coronavirus. In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp has issued a shelter-in-place order that began April 2, and will last until at least 11:59 p.m. on April 13.
All people are prohibited to leave their homes with very few exceptions, which include buying food, housing, and/or medical supplies. Residents can also leave if they need to seek medical treatment or want to exercise. Traveling is also allowed, but only under special circumstances.
Residents are allowed to leave the house for these exceptions whenever you want as long as you oblige to the social distancing guidelines. Gyms, bars, movie theatres and other places of entertainment will be closed throughout the state. Essential businesses will still remain open, but with restrictions. For example, restaurants are only allowing delivery or curbside pickup. Most sitdown restaurants will be closed until further notice.
Jamie Baker had the latest coronavirus statistics. Scientists predict that the coming days will be the worst we have seen yet for the coronavirus. Just this morning, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution News reported that there are now 6,742 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Georgia. 19.2% of these confirmed cases are hospitalized. The death toll has risen to 211 in Georgia, creating a death rate in the state of approximately 3.1%.
In good news, CVS announced this morning that they plan to partner with Georgia Institute of Technology to create a drive through COVID-19 testing center in Atlanta. CVS stated that the center will be capable of delivering results within minutes. They will be able to test up to 1,000 people per day.
Next, Michael delivered financial news. In wake of temporary business closures due to COVID-19, small businesses are asking for assistance. Most happen to be seeking help from the same place: Bank of America. According to CNBC.com, Bank of America has received applications from 177,000 different small businesses for a grand total of $32.6 billion in financing, which is nearly 10% of the amount allocated by Congress.
These small businesses are likely afraid to miss out on a financial program from the U.S. Treasury that includes a lump sum of $350 billion in aid. Bank of America happened to be the first big lender in this program, which is why it is now flooded with requests. If $350 billion dollars isn’t enough, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has assured that there could possibly be even more money added to the pot, although it would first require congressional approval.
This program is just a part of a $2 trillion bill passed last month to aid these struggling businesses during the tough times of COVID-19. In an interview last week, Bank of America’s CEO Brian Moynihan said, “We have to focus on the borrowing clients to make sure we can take care of them.”
Mary Lou Masters had the latest state of Georgia news. Over the weekend, Governor Kemp’s statewide shelter in place policy stirred confusion and debate. According to the Associated Press, the mayor of Tybee Island, Georgia, Shirley Sessions, had previously closed the small community’s beaches. This was done in order to protect her community from the spread of COVID-19 “fearing carefree crowds of teenagers and college students posed too great of a risk.”
The Governor’s new policy, however, reopened Georgia beaches for exercise and fresh air. This has caused the mayor great anxiety, since her community is primarily elderly and only consists of 3,100 citizens. Sessions attempted to negotiate, but she said “the governor’s office declined to reconsider.”
Yesterday, Kemp attempted to assure the public that law enforcement was monitoring these beaches, making sure that everyone was practicing social distancing, only using the beaches for exercise and fresh air and not typical beach activities.
Kemp’s policy also “lifted a temporary ban Tybee Island had imposed on people checking into vacation rental homes.” This worries Sessions, who said people from hot spot areas like New York and New Jersey were seen visiting the island over the weekend. As we move into this next week and Easter weekend, the mayor fears that more visitors will come.
Jamie also brought our national news. The United States Supreme Court is deliberating on whether or not they should intervene to delay the presidential primary, and local elections in Wisconsin. Wisconsin election officials decided today that despite the coronavirus pandemic, they will continue to hold the election.
On Friday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers asked the state legislature to delay in-person elections, and extend absentee-voting until May 19. The legislature declined to act on this request. Wisconsin will be the only state to continue in-person voting during state primary elections. Many citizens are concerned about contracting COVID-19 if they go to vote. This could lead to fewer citizens voting in the primary.
Evers has also closed all non-essential businesses in the state and imposed a stay-at-home order. As a result, many polling facilities have temporarily shut down. Last week, multiple voter advocacy groups filed federal lawsuits in an attempt to delay the election. The U.S. Supreme Court is now deciding whether or not to take action.
Mary Lou then brought us some entertainment news concerning yet another concert-like live stream. Last night would have been the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, but that didn’t stop certain country stars. According to the Associated Press, “the musicians played on, surrounded by spouses, kids and – in one case – a horse.”
Similar to last Sunday’s iHeart Radio living room concert streamed on FOX, ACM Presents: Our Country aired on CBS networks where country artists performed from their homes across the country.
Keith Urban sang his hit song “Wasted Time” in his studio at home. Lady Antebellum, joined by the members’ kids, performed “What I’m Leaving For.” Carrie Underwood sang “Drinking Alone.” Shania Twain performed two songs “Honey, I’m Home” and “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” in the company of her dog and a horse.
Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker paid tribute to the late country star Kenny Rogers by singing “Lucille” and “The Gambler.” Luke Bryan also honored Rogers, singing “Coward of the Country.”
A few more stars, such as Eric Church, Kane Brown, Blake Shelton, and Miranda Lambert finished off the show.
Michael wrapped up the show with his new segment featuring what he calls “the week’s weirdest news.” In Hyderabad, India the coronavirus has inspired the city police to show off their arts and crafts skills. On March 25, Prime Minister Narenda Modi issued a three week nationwide lockdown, and residents are only allowed to leave their homes for essentials.
In order to enforce this, the Hyderabad police decided to instill a little fear into their residents by “becoming” the coronavirus. Photos and videos are starting to pop up on Twitter of these policemen making their own virus masks and riding on horseback at city junctures.
The police were caught spraying disinfectants at people who refused to stay inside. These times have forced Indians to host religious celebrations from home as the Hindu New Year approaches. Since there obviously cannot be a festival in the streets this year, many have found a solution. Group worship will be livestreamed from their homes this year.