Compiled by Sarah Train
Cason Smith started off the show with an update on what the National Guard is doing to help those in need. Georgia National Guardsmen have now joined the effort to distribute food in the greater Athens area. Gov. Brian Kemp authorized calling up to 2,000 National Guard to help Georgia respond to the pandemic. The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia sent their volunteers home as a safety precaution and five members of the Guard have stepped in to help.
The food bank’s executive director Chuck Toney said that they had hoped to pack 75-100 food boxes daily, but by the end of the first day the soldiers had packed 225.
The food bank normally distributed about 11 million pounds of food a year, but as tens of thousands of Georgians have lost employment, the demand has grown by 20-25%.
“A lot of agencies don’t have the storage or the volunteer capacity (to significantly increase their distribution),” Toney said.
Wood Smith then gave the latest news on how small businesses may start to benefit despite the temporary closures due to the coronavirus. Congress is poised to send $250 billion more to small businesses by the end of the week, according to a report by Politico.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that he is working with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to deliver more money to the Paycheck Protection Program, a $350 billion program for businesses to cover payroll and expenses during the coronavirus pandemic.
McConnell went on to say that the Senate could move as early as Thursday to approve the new relief funds.
“It is quickly becoming clear that Congress will need to provide more funding or this crucial program may run dry. That cannot happen,” McConnell said. “Congress needs to act with speed and total focus to provide more money for this uncontroversial bipartisan program”
In the House, Democratic leaders initially expressed private opposition to the additional relief funds. They have been resistant to piecemeal extensions and want additional money for state and local governments and an expansion of unemployment benefits for several more months, according to sources familiar with the matter.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed open to the idea Tuesday afternoon, saying in an interview with CNN that the small business program needs more funds immediately. Pelosi, who spoke to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin earlier on Tuesday, said there would have to be “considerations” to ensure that women and minority-owned businesses had equal access to the funds.
Pelosi also wants to begin working on a new, more comprehensive bill immediately and is still talking as if the House could come back into session later this month to vote on it, although many lawmakers are increasingly saying they think that’s unlikely given the continued spread of the virus across the country.
Cason Smith then reported on President Donald Trump threatening to cut U.S. funding for the World Health Organization after accusing it of displaying pro-China bias.
“We’re going to put a hold on money spent to the W.H.O. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see,” Trump said at the White House coronavirus task force briefing that day.
Later in the same briefing, Trump suggested that the funding cut had not been decided, but repeated his accusation of pro-China bias.
The organization has played a key role in amassing data on the outbreak; however, critics have pointed out that while the W.H.O. was praising China’s response to the outbreak, the country was suppressing key data on the extent of the problem.
Michael White followed up by discussing the latest financial news involving Zoom, a video conferencing app. Reports have surfaced that Zoom, in an effort to get to the front of the online meeting space, lacked the necessary security required from a platform of this size.
The main issue with Zoom is something called “Zoom bombing,” which Vanity Fair describes as “when online harassers descend on a Zoom chat and insert inappropriate graphics or comments.”
Unfortunately, the lack of security doesn’t stop there, as it has been reported that Zoom sends its mobile app data to Facebook without permission, has had multiple leaks of email addresses and other personal information and that hackers can access a user’s computer, camera and microphone.
While some problems have been fixed, Consumer Privacy Director for Consumer Reports Justin Brookman said, “there’s a new thing almost every hour.”
As of this morning, one of those “new things” is that Zoom is being sued by one of its shareholders, who is accusing Zoom of “hiding security and privacy flaws in its app.”
Michael Drieu filed the class action lawsuit in San Francisco on Tuesday. He claims that the news about Zoom’s security problems have affected the stock price negatively. He also accused the company of “overselling its privacy standards and failing to disclose that calls were not end-to-end encrypted.” Zoom’s stock price is up 67% over the past three months but has fallen 6% as of this segment.
Wood Smith then delivered the latest news on the state of Georgia stocking up on Hydroxychloroquine. Georgia is set to receive 200,000 doses of the malarial drug, which has been identified as a possible treatment for COVID-19 that President Trump has promoted over the past few days.
On Tuesday, Representative Doug Collins said that Amneal Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest U.S.-based generics manufacturers, has donated 200,000 of the drug to Georgia’s Department of Public Health for potential use across the state. Georgia is one of the first states to receive a donation of hydroxychloroquine sulfate from Amneal, which is also donating and providing products directly to hospitals across the nation.
“All of us at Amneal Pharmaceuticals are committed to assisting our communities in the global fight against COVID-19,” said Co-CEO Chirag Patel.
Michael White closed the show with an update on the NFL draft. With sports still in a hiatus for the foreseeable future, sports fans around the country are turning their attention to the NFL draft for some relief from this sports-less world.
The NFL draft will be held from April 23-25, and the NFL released a memo to all teams stating that the draft will be “entirely outside of their facilities and in a fully virtual format.”
In a year full of firsts for many people, this will certainly be a change in the sports landscape. Putting aside all of the logistics of the draft, this should be a great depth-building draft for the Falcons. Currently, the Falcons have six picks in the 2020 Draft, including the 16th overall pick. However, they lack any fifth or sixth round picks, which is where teams build up their depth.
Turning our attention to former Bulldogs in the NFL draft, OT Andrew Thomas figures to be the third offensive tackle taken in the draft, while RB D’Andre Swift will more than likely be the first running back taken at the end of the first round. As for quarterback Jake Fromm, he’s likely looking at waiting until day two of the draft to hear his name called.
Fromm projects as a late-2nd or 3rd round pick. It will be a race between Fromm and Washington Huskies and for Bulldog QB Jacob Eason to see who is selected first, with many scouts believing that Eason has the better tools to succeed in the NFL. Former offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson is also likely to hear his name on day two, as a projected second round pick.