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        {
            "slug": "coronavirus-relief-bill-whats-it-health-care-gover",
            "personalities": [],
            "headline": "The coronavirus relief bill: What’s in it for health care, governments and business",
            "entry": "<p>In a dramatic session in which members social-distanced themselves throughout the House chamber, the U.S. House on March 27 passed the coronavirus relief bill that had already passed the Senate unanimously. The <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000171-1429-d270-a773-777f92a00000\">bill</a>, which has a price tag north of $2 trillion, now heads to President Donald Trump for his signature.</p>\n\n<p>Previously, we <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/26/senate-stimulus-bill-whats-it-you/\">detailed</a> the provisions that address direct payments to Americans, enhanced unemployment insurance, and assistance to small businesses. <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/26/senate-stimulus-bill-whats-it-you/\">Read the story</a>.</p>\n\n<p>Here, we&rsquo;ll take a look at the bill&rsquo;s other elements, which address the health care system, big businesses, and state and local governments.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">The health care system</div>\n\n<p>A majority of the $180 billion earmarked for the health care sector will go towards equipment and infrastructure, including protective equipment, testing supplies, training, and new construction. A portion will be spent on Medicare payment increases, medical research efforts, and expansion of the nation&rsquo;s stockpile of medical equipment for emergencies.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Airlines and aviation</div>\n\n<p>The bill includes $25 billion in loans to commercial airlines, $10 billion for airports, $4 billion for cargo airlines, and $3 billion for aviation contractors. These funds are designed to go toward employee wages, salaries, and benefits for roughly 2 million aviation workers.</p>\n\n<p>Airlines will also be temporarily relieved of taxes on tickets, cargo, and fuel, a benefit worth an estimated $4 billion.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Other big businesses</div>\n\n<p>The bill creates a new $454 billion fund that is charged with making loans to businesses, as well as states and municipalities. The legislation includes few details on how the recipients will be prioritized and chosen, however. This means the Trump administration could end up having significant discretion.</p>\n\n<p>The bill does specify $17 billion for loans to &quot;firms vital to maintaining national security&quot; (a phrase not elaborated on in the bill) plus $10 billion in loans to the U.S. Postal Service.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Meanwhile, the bill offers $55 billion worth of refundable tax credits for businesses that retain workers on their payroll despite revenue declines. This provision covers up to 50% of the first $10,000 in compensation, including health insurance premiums.</p>\n\n<p>The bill also allows employers to delay paying their share of payroll taxes on their employees for one to two years, a provision estimated to cost $12 billion.</p>\n\n<p>These elements of the bill come on top of assistance to small businesses, which we described in our <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/26/senate-stimulus-bill-whats-it-you/\">previous article</a>.</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">&nbsp;</div>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">State, local and tribal governments</div>\n\n<p>The bill allocates $150 billion in direct aid to help state, local and tribal governments cover rising costs and reduced tax revenues. The payments are scaled to the size of the state, with a $1.25 billion minimum per state. Native American tribes will receive funds from an $8 billion pool.</p>\n\n<p>This $150 billion outlay comes on top of funds falling under the health category above.</p>\n\n<p>Some of the specific budget lines designed to aid state, local, and tribal governments include:</p>\n\n<p>&bull; $45 billion delivered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency&rsquo;s Disaster Relief Fund, covering such efforts as National Guard deployment, logistics coordination, and safety measures.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; $25 billion for mass transit systems, to protect existing services as well as upgrade health and safety protections.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; $31 billion for K-12 schools and higher education institutions, most of which are scrambling to offer online learning.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; $3.5 billion for child care, focusing on care for the children of health care workers, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other employees essential to health and public safety.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Food and housing safety net</div>\n\n<p>The bill allocates $42 billion for shoring up the safety net. This includes $25 billion for increased usage of food stamps and child nutrition assistance, which includes aid to schools struggling to provide free lunches off-site. The bill also includes $12 billion for housing support, including homelessness assistance, and $5 billion for child and family services. Food banks will get an additional $450 million.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Elections</div>\n\n<p>There is a <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/24/will-covid-19-force-massive-absentee-vote-november/\">possibility</a> that the coronavirus pandemic could force states to rely heavily on voting by mail for the general election in November. To address this concern, the bill sets aside $400 million for states to bolster vote-by-mail capabilities, expand early voting and online registration, and bolster the safety of in-person poll workers.</p>\n\n<p><strong><em>RELATED: <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/24/will-covid-19-force-massive-absentee-vote-november/\">Will COVID-19 force a massive absentee vote come November?</a></em></strong></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Transparency protections and limits on corporations</div>\n\n<p>After a spate of public concern after the Great Recession, when federal assistance to companies sometimes benefited corporate executives and stockholders, lawmakers included several provisions to keep recipients of federal largesse on a tighter leash.</p>\n\n<p>Companies cannot use federal aid to make stock buybacks or issue dividends. Increases in executive compensation are limited, and collective bargaining agreements cannot be voided.</p>\n\n<p>Details of transactions such as loans and grants to companies will be rapidly made public. In addition, businesses controlled by the president, vice president, members of Congress, and heads of executive departments cannot receive loans or investments from the government.</p>\n\n<p>Finally, the bill establishes both a special inspector general&rsquo;s office and a congressional oversight commission to conduct oversight.</p>",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-27T16:01:28-04:00"
        },
        {
            "slug": "ron-desantis-doesnt-want-statewide-stay-home-order",
            "personalities": [],
            "headline": "Ron DeSantis doesn’t want a statewide stay-home order in Florida. Health experts say he should",
            "entry": "<p><a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-stay-at-home-order.html\">Many of the states</a> with more than 1,000 coronavirus cases have told their residents to stay at home to limit the spread.</p>\n\n<p>Not Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis is against it.</p>\n\n<p>DeSantis prefers a <a href=\"https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/florida-governor-ron-desantis-coronavirus-briefing-transcript-march-24\">&quot;surgical&quot;</a> approach, with measures tailored for the hardest-hit counties that spare ones with few or zero cases from the economic hardship of a mandatory shelter-in-place.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Some people think that the governor should just be a dictator and just order everyone in prison in their homes,&quot; he <a href=\"https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/florida-governor-ron-desantis-coronavirus-briefing-transcript-march-24\">said March 24</a>. &quot;And I don&rsquo;t think that would be an effective approach, but it&rsquo;s certainly not warranted in certain parts of the state. So everyone&rsquo;s doing their part and I think that&rsquo;s going to be the better approach.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The Republican governor&rsquo;s decision stands apart from those made by governors in New York, California and Louisiana, and so Democrats at all levels have taken notice. The criticism comes from local leaders, like <a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/03/23/st-petersburg-mayor-rick-kriseman-pushes-for-statewide-stay-at-home-order/?clavis&amp;utm_expid=.rZxRlJI0T86fmAabR1Jv8w.1&amp;utm_referrer=\">St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman</a>, state Agriculture Commissioner<a href=\"https://www.fdacs.gov/News-Events/Press-Releases/2020-Press-Releases/Statement-by-Commissioner-Nikki-Fried-Asking-Governor-DeSantis-for-Statewide-Stay-at-Home-Order\"> Nikki Fried, </a>&nbsp;<a href=\"https://teddeutch.house.gov/uploadedfiles/2020.03.25_ltr_gov_desantis_shelter_in_place_order.pdf\">several members of Florida&rsquo;s congressional delegation</a>, and presidential candidate Joe Biden.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;While other large states continue to take strong, urgent, and sweeping action to stop the spread of COVID-19, Florida has not,&quot; <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/25/biden-trump-florida-rally-149262\">Biden said</a>. &quot;I urge Gov. DeSantis to let the experts speak to the public and explain why this is the case.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The pressure isn&rsquo;t just political, however. It&rsquo;s also coming from <a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/03/27/850-florida-healthcare-workers-urge-gov-ron-desantis-act-now/?clavis&amp;utm_expid=.rZxRlJI0T86fmAabR1Jv8w.1&amp;utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tampabay.com%2F\">health care workers</a> and public health experts.</p>\n\n<p>They point to scientific models that show less action leads to more infections and death, and they warn that the situation in Florida&rsquo;s rural regions may not be what it appears.</p>\n\n<p>Florida had the <a href=\"https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html\">seventh-highest number of cases</a> in the country as of March 27, and we haven&rsquo;t seen signs of a turnaround. So we wanted to lay out DeSantis&rsquo; arguments against a shelter-in-place order statewide and talk to health experts about potential consequences for a full picture of the current situation.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Why DeSantis doesn&rsquo;t want a statewide order</div>\n\n<p>DeSantis&rsquo; philosophy is to not interfere in areas with &quot;sporadic cases,&quot; and to focus more tightly on areas of concern.</p>\n\n<p>Twenty-one of <a href=\"https://fdoh.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/8d0de33f260d444c852a615dc7837c86\">Florida&rsquo;s 67 counties</a> had zero positive COVID-19 tests as of March 27, mainly in the northern region of the state. About half of Florida&rsquo;s cases are in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.</p>\n\n<p>In that part of the state, DeSantis has taken more action. For example, he issued more stringent orders for <a href=\"https://www.flgov.com/wp-content/uploads/orders/2020/EO_20-70.pdf\">Broward and Palm Beach counties</a>, closing beaches and limiting restaurants to delivery or take-out. The order aimed to put the counties in line with an order already set by Miami-Dade County.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Several larger counties enacted their own stay-at-home policies, including <a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/03/25/your-questions-on-pinellas-countys-stay-at-home-order-answered/?clavis&amp;utm_expid=.rZxRlJI0T86fmAabR1Jv8w.1&amp;utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F\">Pinellas, Hillsborough</a> and <a href=\"https://www.sun-sentinel.com/coronavirus/fl-ne-coronavirus-broward-county-stay-home-order-20200326-kdtc4h7qlrbixh5oxjfws7jdpi-story.html\">Broward</a>, and DeSantis has emphasized his willingness to &quot;work with any of the local communities.&quot;</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/03/25/gov-ron-desantis-wont-shut-down-florida-heres-who-hes-talking-to-about-that/?clavis&amp;utm_expid=.rZxRlJI0T86fmAabR1Jv8w.1&amp;utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tampabay.com%2Fflorida-politics%2Fbuzz%2F\">Business leaders</a>&nbsp;are supporting DeSantis&#39; approach at a time when claims for unemployment in the state have already <a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/news/business/2020/03/26/florida-unemployment-claims-explode-amid-coronavirus-layoffs/\">shattered records</a> without a statewide order.</p>\n\n<p>DeSantis and President Donald Trump appear to be on the same page, too. Trump has called for classifying <a href=\"https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EUDa8nWXkAEoKf0.png\">counties as low, medium or high risk</a> across the country so the government can better focus its response, allowing places with low or no cases to resume normal activities.</p>\n\n<p>DeSantis has also pointed to comments by <a href=\"https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-very-difficult-to-predict-how-long-stay-at-home-orders-will-last-dr-anthony-fauci/\">Dr. Anthony Fauci</a>, a key adviser to the White House on COVID-19. In a TV&nbsp;interview, Fauci said that a stay-at-home order isn&rsquo;t needed for every single region in the nation. Fauci was not asked about Florida specifically.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Why health experts argue for a statewide policy</div>\n\n<p>The calls for a statewide stay-at-home order have been mounting. More than 900 Florida health care workers <a href=\"https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/03/27/850-florida-healthcare-workers-urge-gov-ron-desantis-act-now/?clavis&amp;utm_expid=.rZxRlJI0T86fmAabR1Jv8w.1&amp;utm_referrer=\">signed a letter</a> to DeSantis on March 27 urging him to issue an immediate statewide shelter-in-place order.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Strict limitation of social contact is the only hope of limiting peak incidence and overall mortality rates, as can be seen empirically from other countries,&quot; the <a href=\"https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScjeV7iZP6M1VO3dukQY9IuFSpzhLAoEIMkRqoly3BsGmPb3g/viewform\">letter</a> says.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Stay-at-home orders across the country vary in scope and enforcement. In general, residents can still go to the grocery store and pharmacy and can also exercise outdoors. And people with jobs deemed &quot;essential&quot; (<a href=\"https://covid19.ca.gov/img/Executive-Order-N-33-20.pdf\">here&rsquo;s California&rsquo;s</a>, for example) can still go to work.</p>\n\n<p>While DeSantis has issued orders that limit group gatherings, experts raised several concerns about a lack of uniform rules statewide.</p>\n\n<p><strong>Rural county test results may not reflect reality.</strong>&nbsp;The fact that there are few, or even zero, reported cases in some counties doesn&rsquo;t mean there are few or zero cases. It means that is what test results show, so far.</p>\n\n<p>By the time someone is so sick that they get a test and it shows positive, that person could have spread the virus to multiple people over a couple of weeks.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It&#39;s very likely that the virus is circulating in parts of the state that haven&#39;t reported cases yet,&quot; said Cindy Prins, an epidemiology professor at the University of Florida. &quot;If stay-at-home orders in Florida differ from city to city or county to county, then it&#39;s like plugging one leak in a pipe while letting other leaks remain. The end result is that you still have leaks and are still risking a flood.&quot;</p>\n\n<p><strong>The situation is rapidly evolving</strong>. Natalie Dean, a University of Florida biostatistics professor said she would recommend a statewide stay-at-home order because the full picture in Florida is not really known. Like the country, the state was slow to start testing, which remains limited.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It&rsquo;s better to overreact early and ease up than to underreact and try to catch up,&quot; she said.</p>\n\n<p><strong>It&rsquo;s still easy for people to leave their counties</strong>.&nbsp;A stay-at-home order in one community can&nbsp; prompt people to leave for another community.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;If we do piecemeal, we risk infecting other communities that are not infected, because it will tell people, &lsquo;Well in my county I can&#39;t do this, but I can do it in the next county,&rsquo; Tracy Zontek, associate professor of public health at the University of Tampa who called for a statewide approach, told <a href=\"https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/public-health-expert-desantis-florida-needs-statewide-stay-home-order\">WUSF</a>. &quot;So the piecemeal approach is really going to increase our number of cases because we won&#39;t have controlled anything.&quot;</p>\n\n<p><strong>The health care system could be overwhelmed.</strong>&nbsp;A key reason why <a href=\"https://www.miamiherald.com/news/coronavirus/article241430821.html\">medical experts</a> have urged people to stay at home is that they fear running out of hospital beds and medical equipment including ventilators and supplies.</p>\n\n<p>Some people cite the <a href=\"https://covidactnow.org/state/FL\">Covid Act Now model, </a>created by health officials and data scientists to anticipate the points of hospital overload and deaths as a result of a specific state policy over three months. It has limitations, as it is based on early estimates and does not account for strict local measures. (The model is &quot;designed to drive fast action, not predict the future,&quot; the methodology states.)</p>\n\n<p>That model offers a bleak outlook for <a href=\"https://covidactnow.org/state/FL\">Florida</a> with a largely voluntary approach of social distancing. To prevent hospital overload, it says a statewide shelter-in-place model should be implemented by April 17-22.</p>\n\n<p>And in Florida, that action should include a unified and strict stay-at-home policy, said Nirav Shah, a Stanford medical professor and former commissioner of the New York State Department of Health who helped develop the model.</p>",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-27T14:26:11-04:00"
        },
        {
            "slug": "ad-watch-priorities-usa-trumps-coronavirus-respons",
            "personalities": [],
            "headline": "Ad Watch: Priorities USA on Trump’s coronavirus response",
            "entry": "<p>As Americans are spending <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/16/stop-coronavirus-its-tracks-heres-your-guide-5-deg/\">more time indoors</a>, a top progressive super PAC is <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/24/democratic-super-pac-anti-trump-coronavirus-ads-146267\">filling</a> the TV airwaves with a hard-hitting ad attacking President Donald Trump&rsquo;s response to the novel coronavirus.</p>\n\n<p><a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkMwvmJLnc0&amp;feature=youtu.be\">The ad</a> from Priorities USA slams Trump for downplaying the virus that has infected <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html\">tens of thousands of people</a> in the United States. It juxtaposes quotes from Trump with a graph that traces the exponential growth of coronavirus cases.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</p>\n\n<p>The ad drew sharp criticism from the Trump campaign, which sent a <a href=\"https://assets.donaldjtrump.com/2017/web/hero_images/Redacted_PUSA_Letter.pdf\">cease and desist letter</a> to TV stations calling the ad &quot;patently false, misleading, and deceptive.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The ad charts the rise in coronavirus cases in the U.S. from Jan. 20 to March 22. It ends with a clip of Trump from a <a href=\"https://web.archive.org/web/20200326151907/https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-vice-president-pence-members-coronavirus-task-force-press-conference-3/\">March 13 White House press conference</a>, saying, &quot;No, I don&rsquo;t take responsibility at all.&quot; The <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/20/how-donald-trump-responded-coronavirus-pandemic/\">Trump quotes</a> featured in the ad are all real.</p>\n\n<p>But the campaign&rsquo;s letter to TV stations says the ad &quot;stitched together fragments from multiple speeches&quot; to give the impression that Trump called the coronavirus a &quot;hoax.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Priorities USA responded by expanding their ad buy, throwing another $600,000 dollars behind its initial $6 million investment, according to a <a href=\"https://priorities.org/press/priorities-usa-expands-exponential-threat-ad-buy-to-arizona-following-trump-campaigns-failed-challenge/\">press release</a>. Priorities USA spokesman Josh Schwerin told us the organization stands by the facts in the ad.</p>\n\n<p>Overall, the ad splices together many audio clips that were clearly made at different times. The clips don&rsquo;t necessarily align with the rise in cases that the ad shows. We&rsquo;ll take you through the ad.</p>\n\n<blockquote>\n<p>&quot;The coronavirus &hellip; this is their new hoax.&quot;</p>\n</blockquote>\n\n<p>Trump&rsquo;s &quot;hoax&quot; comment came during a <a href=\"https://www.c-span.org/video/?469663-1/president-trump-campaign-event-north-charleston-south-carolina\">Feb. 28 campaign rally</a> in North Charleston, S.C. Trump&rsquo;s comments at the rally are not particularly clear.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>After accusing Democrats of &quot;politicizing the coronavirus,&quot; Trump criticized the 2016 Russia investigation and his impeachment in the House before turning back to the virus.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Think of it,&quot; he said. &quot;And this is their new hoax.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The following day, a reporter asked what he meant. Trump <a href=\"https://youtu.be/fUNrXN9XC2k?t=4440\">said</a> he was referring not to COVID-19, but to &quot;the action that they take to try and pin this on somebody.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;I&rsquo;m not talking about what&rsquo;s happening here; I&rsquo;m talking about what they&rsquo;re doing. That&rsquo;s the hoax,&quot; Trump said, fueling the <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/feb/27/rush-limbaugh-spreading-conspiracy-theory-about-co/\">unsubstantiated conspiracy theory</a> that Democrats and the media have exaggerated the threat of the coronavirus to hurt his reelection chances.</p>\n\n<p>See Figure 2 on PolitiFact.com</p>\n\n<p>When former Vice President Joe Biden ran a similar ad that appeared to show Trump calling the coronavirus a hoax, we rated it <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/15/joe-biden/ad-watch-biden-video-twists-trumps-words-coronavir/\">False</a> because the ad spliced and edited the video to make Trump&rsquo;s comments seem more clear than they actually were. (Read Trump&rsquo;s full remarks <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/15/joe-biden/ad-watch-biden-video-twists-trumps-words-coronavir/\">here</a>.)</p>\n\n<p>The Priorities USA ad uses a brief clip from Trump&rsquo;s comments to suggest he was saying the coronavirus itself is a hoax. That&rsquo;s up for interpretation.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>In the ad, the &quot;hoax&quot; comment is heard and displayed on screen while the graph shows U.S. coronavirus cases ticking from one case to five cases.</p>\n\n<p>In reality, the comment came later, when there were 59 U.S. cases, according to the <a href=\"https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200228-sitrep-39-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=5bbf3e7d_4\">World Health Organization</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<blockquote>\n<p>&quot;We have it totally under control. It&rsquo;s one person coming in from China.&quot;</p>\n</blockquote>\n\n<p>This comment came during a <a href=\"https://youtu.be/EKwarFuHzxg?t=24\">Jan. 22 interview</a> with CNBC&rsquo;s Joe Kernan.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Kernan asked whether Trump had been briefed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and whether there were worries about the coronavirus spiraling into a pandemic.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;No, not at all,&quot; Trump said. &quot;We have it totally under control. It&rsquo;s one person coming in from China. And we have it under control. It&rsquo;s going to be just fine.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>See Figure 3 on PolitiFact.com</p>\n\n<p>The quote is featured in the Priorities USA ad while the graph of U.S. coronavirus cases moves from five cases to eight cases.</p>\n\n<p>In reality, the CDC had just <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p0121-novel-coronavirus-travel-case.html\">announced</a> the detection of the first U.S. case in Washington state on Jan. 21. That person had just traveled to Wuhan, China, where the disease was first identified.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<blockquote>\n<p>&quot;One day, it&rsquo;s like a miracle, it will disappear.&quot;</p>\n</blockquote>\n\n<p>This quote came during a <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aas3YQKIFeY&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;t=2785\">meeting</a> with black leaders on Feb. 27. Flanked by commentators <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/personalities/diamond-and-silk/\">Rochelle Richardson</a> and <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2019/sep/19/donald-trump/trump-retweets-false-claim-ilhan-omar-partied-911-/\">Terrence</a> <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2019/aug/12/theres-no-evidence-clintons-were-involved-jeffrey-/\">Williams</a>, Trump heralded his administration efforts.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;We have done an incredible job,&quot; he said. &quot;We&rsquo;re going to continue. It&rsquo;s going to disappear. One day, it&rsquo;s like a miracle, it will disappear. And from our shores, it could get worse before it gets better. It could maybe go away. We&rsquo;ll see what happens. Nobody really knows.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It will all work out,&quot; Trump continued, adding that the low numbers in the U.S. &mdash; he said there were 15 cases, although the <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/feb/28/fact-checking-president-donald-trump-coronavirus/\">actual number</a> was closer to 60 &mdash; were reflective of a &quot;miracle.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>See Figure 4 on PolitiFact.com</p>\n\n<p>The Priorities USA ad highlights this quote while the graph shows cases in the U.S. rising from nine cases to 11 cases. But again, there were really some <a href=\"https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200227-sitrep-38-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=2db7a09b_4\">59 confirmed cases</a> by then.</p>\n\n<blockquote>\n<p>&quot;When you have 15 people, and within a couple of days, it&rsquo;s going to be down to close to zero &hellip; We really think we&rsquo;ve done a great job in keeping it down to a minimum.&quot;</p>\n</blockquote>\n\n<p>These remarks came during a <a href=\"https://youtu.be/iXOjBB_Yyig?t=1870\">Feb. 26 press conference</a>, when Trump <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/feb/28/fact-checking-president-donald-trump-coronavirus/\">contradicted</a> warnings from top health officials by insisting that the spread of the coronavirus through the U.S. was not &quot;inevitable&quot; and claiming the number of U.S. cases was &quot;going very substantially down.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Trump <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/feb/28/fact-checking-president-donald-trump-coronavirus/\">repeatedly claimed</a> that there were then only 15 Americans with the virus, even though the WHO and CDC had counted closer to 60. He seemed to be referring to people diagnosed in the United States, while leaving out those who had been repatriated with the virus from abroad.</p>\n\n<p>The Priorities USA ad features these comments while the graph depicting U.S. cases spikes to more than 5,000 &mdash; far more than what the CDC and WHO had recorded by then.</p>\n\n<blockquote>\n<p>&quot;I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it.&quot;</p>\n</blockquote>\n\n<p>Trump made this remark during a <a href=\"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoUv8DglQ2Y&amp;feature=youtu.be&amp;t=2392\">March 7 visit</a> to the CDC&rsquo;s headquarters in Atlanta.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>See Figure 5 on PolitiFact.com</p>\n\n<p>The visit came one day after Trump <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/11/donald-trump/donald-trumps-wrong-claim-anybody-can-get-tested-c/\">wrongly claimed</a> that anyone could get a diagnostic test for the coronavirus.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>In the Priorities USA ad, the comment comes as the graph shows U.S. coronavirus cases skyrocketing over 30,000 and off the grid.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But the <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html\">CDC</a> and the independent&nbsp;<a href=\"https://covidtracking.com/us-daily/\">COVID Tracking Project</a> show that the number of U.S. cases eclipsed 30,000 on March 22. On March 7, the number of known cases was closer to 300.</p>\n\n<p>A final note: U.S. cases really took off after the calendar flipped to March, according to the <a href=\"https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html\">CDC</a> and&nbsp;<a href=\"https://covidtracking.com/us-daily/\">COVID Tracking Project</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>By then, Trump&rsquo;s rhetoric toward the coronavirus had <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/18/donald-trump/trump-says-he-always-felt-coronavirus-was-pandemic/\">shifted</a>. On <a href=\"https://twitter.com/search?q=(coronavirus%20OR%20COVID-19%20OR%20virus)%20(from%3ArealDonaldTrump)%20until%3A2020-03-26%20since%3A2020-03-01&amp;src=typed_query\">Twitter</a> and in an <a href=\"https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-address-nation/\">address to the nation</a>, he continued celebrating his response, but he also encouraged elderly populations to be &quot;very careful&quot; and urged all Americans to practice good hygiene.</p>\n\n<p>He declared a <a href=\"https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-declaring-national-emergency-concerning-novel-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak/\">national emergency</a> on March 13. Days later, he <a href=\"https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-vice-president-pence-members-coronavirus-task-force-press-briefing-6/\">said</a> the U.S. was in a &quot;big war.&quot;</p>",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-27T11:55:00-04:00"
        },
        {
            "slug": "explaining-national-guards-role-california-during-",
            "personalities": [],
            "headline": "Explaining National Guard’s Role In California During Coronavirus (It’s Not Enforcing Martial Law)",
            "entry": "<p>There&rsquo;s confusion &mdash; along with some manufactured fear &mdash; about the role of the National Guard in the nation&rsquo;s fight against the coronavirus.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Many have posted <a href=\"https://twitter.com/gelizabeths/status/1241165445836574720?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1241165445836574720&amp;ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.entertane.com%2Fnational-guard-tanks-arrive-in-san-diego-ca%2F\">videos</a> on social media of tanks and Humvees rolling into towns while others have spread <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/25/viral-image/no-military-doesnt-have-covid-19-quarantine-team-h/?fbclid=IwAR00caq4qaqEZ3Gr9u2dhtyiUulEl2VsvvuF-pdJjbK3tv288r23NCs8lxA\">false rumors</a> about the Guard leading &quot;COVID-19 quarantine teams&quot; and imposing military law.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Coronavirus ( Covid-19 ) or War? Getting Ready for Martial Law?&quot; reads one <a href=\"https://www.entertane.com/national-guard-tanks-arrive-in-san-diego-ca/?fbclid=IwAR31uNyK37Kjmk_iIdPhtIaEKYEDHla8E-Q2w31O9PTn9jDLI3Nj8vS8dEI\">blog&rsquo;s</a> alarmist headline.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>To answer questions and clear up misinformation, PolitiFact California took a closer look at the National Guard, including the role it plays in our state, who makes up the Guard, who&rsquo;s in charge of it and more.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p><strong>What Is The National Guard?&nbsp;</strong></p>\n\n<p>A unique part of the military, the National Guard serves both overseas and in communities across the nation. It has about 450,000 members, with <a href=\"https://www.npr.org/2020/03/23/820293472/chief-of-national-guard-says-it-is-ready-for-coronavirus-crisis\">about 30,000 currently deployed</a> on international missions. It responds to domestic disasters such as wildfires, floods and hurricanes, reconstruction efforts and works to stop drug trafficking.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Any state governor or the president can call up the Guard during an emergency. About <a href=\"https://twitter.com/ChiefNGB/status/1242844502919913479\">10,700 Guard members</a> were responding to the COVID-19 crisis as of this week <a href=\"https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/03/23/trump-orders-national-guard-into-federalized-status-states-keep-control-federal-government-foots-bill/\">across all 50 states</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Each state has its own Guard made up of people who live in local communities. They train part-time while holding civilian jobs such as teachers, doctors, lawyers, carpenters and police officers. National Guard members are &quot;our fellow citizens, not Imperial Stormtroopers,&quot; Kori Schake, an expert on civil-military relations at the American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington, <a href=\"https://www.vox.com/2020/3/24/21188088/coronavirus-national-guard-testing-food-cleaning-martial\">told Vox</a>.</p>\n\n<p>The California National Guard is made up of three major components: The California Air National Guard, the California Army National Guard and the California State Guard.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p><strong>What Is The Guard&rsquo;s Role In California During The Coronavirus Outbreak?&nbsp;</strong></p>\n\n<p>Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom activated up to 500 California National Guard airmen and soldiers on a &quot;humanitarian support&quot; mission, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Shiroma, spokesperson for California National Guard.</p>\n\n<p>Specifically, Newsom deployed the Guard to fill vacancies at food banks, many of which lost volunteers due to coronavirus restrictions.</p>\n\n<p>Earlier this month, Guard members helped doctors screen passengers as they left the Grand Princess, the cruise ship that docked in Oakland after crew and passengers became infected with COVID-19.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p><strong>Does The National Guard Plan To Enforce Martial Law?&nbsp;</strong></p>\n\n<p>Asked about the viral spread of social media posts claiming the National Guard would enforce military law or help quarantine individuals, Shiroma stressed the Guard has a humanitarian mission in California.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;There is no truth to this rumor that people are conspiring, that governors are planning, that anyone is conspiring to use the National Guard, mobilized or not, Title 32 or state, to do military action to enforce shelter in place or quarantines,&quot; Air Force Gen. Joseph Lengyel, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters on a recent conference call, <a href=\"https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/03/23/trump-orders-national-guard-into-federalized-status-states-keep-control-federal-government-foots-bill/\">according to the Military Times</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Lengyel added that, in an extreme case where a governor might enforce a quarantine, Guard members would likely be paired up with local civilian law enforcement to augment their efforts, <a href=\"https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/03/24/no-the-national-guard-will-not-be-used-to-enforce-martial-law-says-its-leader/\">the Military Times reported</a>.</p>\n\n<p><strong>Who Is In Charge Of The National Guard In California?&nbsp;</strong></p>\n\n<p>While both the president and governors have the authority to deploy the National Guard, members in California are currently under Newsom&rsquo;s direction.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;We&rsquo;re under the leadership of the governor right now. He&rsquo;s our commander in chief.&quot; Shiroma said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Lengyel, the National Guard Bureau chief, <a href=\"https://www.npr.org/2020/03/23/820293472/chief-of-national-guard-says-it-is-ready-for-coronavirus-crisis\">told NPR</a> that local command is preferrable.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;People that have studied how this works &mdash; the response is always better when the experts on the ground at the point of the emergency are making decisions on how to apply resources and allocate people and equipment and funds so that the &mdash; you can get quicker the resource you need to fix the problem,&quot; he said.</p>\n\n<p><strong>Who Is Paying For The National Guard?&nbsp;</strong></p>\n\n<p>President Trump on Sunday said the federal government would pay for the full cost of National Guard troops in New York, California and Washington state. He said the troops would be managed by governors in the individual states.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;It enables the governor to provide robust National Guard support to the state,&quot; Trump said at a White House press conference. &quot;So, they&rsquo;re going to have control over the National Guard. These are incredible people that are being sent.&quot;</p>\n\n<p><strong>Where Else Has The National Guard Helped In California?&nbsp;</strong></p>\n\n<p>Shiroma, the California National Guard spokesman, said members have helped the state recover from devastating wildfires, such as the Camp Fire in Butte County in 2018, and assisted with Oroville Dam evacuations in 2017, when portions of the structure crumbled, threatening hundreds of thousands of residents nearby.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The California National Guard was there for that specific mission,&quot; Shiroma said of the evacuations. &quot;And we will always be here for the state of California to offer that protection for our citizens when they are in times of need.&quot;&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The California National Guard has also responded to high-profile riots in the state.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>During the Los Angeles riots in 1992, more than 9,800 California National Guard troops were dispatched to restore order, <a href=\"https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/18/us/los-angeles-riots-fast-facts/index.html\">according to CNN</a>.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Decades earlier, nearly 14,000 Guard troops responded to <a href=\"https://www.history.com/topics/1960s/watts-riots\">the Watts riots</a>, which lasted six days in August 1965, also in Los Angeles. At the end, 34 people were dead.</p>",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-26T21:29:45-04:00"
        },
        {
            "slug": "senate-stimulus-bill-whats-it-you",
            "personalities": [],
            "headline": "The Senate stimulus bill: What’s in it for you",
            "entry": "<p>The coronavirus relief bill that unanimously passed the Senate on March 26 checks in at 880 pages and more than $2 trillion in expenditures. The <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000171-1429-d270-a773-777f92a00000\">bill</a> &mdash; which will require the House&rsquo;s approval and President Donald Trump&rsquo;s signature before it becomes law &mdash; addresses everything from support for the airline industry to support for stressed hospitals.</p>\n\n<p>But the sections of the bill that are of most interest to ordinary Americans are those that involve direct payments from the government. These payments are designed to keep the economy moving and prevent households from falling into an economic chasm. They include a mix of checks, enhanced unemployment insurance payments, and small business loans designed to keep companies from shedding workers.</p>\n\n<p>Here, we&rsquo;ll take a look at those portions of the bill.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Will I get a check?&nbsp;</div>\n\n<p>Unless you earn more than the income cap, you should be getting a check.</p>\n\n<p>The federal government will be cutting checks for $1,200 per adult and $500 per child under age 17 as long as you don&rsquo;t have income exceeding $75,000 per individual or $150,000 per couple. So a family of four would get $3,400.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Above those income cutoffs, you&rsquo;ll still get a check, but it will phase out by $5 for every $100 in additional income. The cost of this provision to the government is estimated to be $290 billion.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">How will the Internal Revenue Service determine my family&rsquo;s amount?</div>\n\n<p>For households that have filed tax returns for 2019 &mdash; the ones originally due this coming April 15, but now pushed back to July 15 due to coronavirus &mdash; the IRS will calculate your adjusted gross income based on what you reported in 2019. If you haven&rsquo;t filed a return yet, it will calculate it based on the return you filed for 2018.</p>\n\n<p>For taxpayers in either of these categories, the IRS will deposit your money directly in whatever account you used for previous refunds. If you haven&rsquo;t used direct deposit, it will send it to your last recorded address. (If your address has changed, you will need to tell the IRS.)</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">What if I didn&rsquo;t file a return those years because I didn&rsquo;t earn enough to owe taxes?</div>\n\n<p>You will get a check, though the process may be a bit more complicated. The IRS may use addresses obtained from other federal agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, to find you.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>It&rsquo;s possible that if you earned too little to file a return and don&rsquo;t receive any federal benefits &mdash; but you would otherwise qualify for a check &mdash; then you may have to file paperwork to the IRS. Those details remain to be worked out.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">How long will I have to wait?</div>\n\n<p>Nothing can happen until the bill is signed by the president. From there, it could take days to a few weeks for the easiest payments to be made &mdash; those for taxpayers who filed returns and who have electronic deposit accounts on file.</p>\n\n<p>If you&rsquo;re in one of the categories of people who require more work to determine income figures and addresses, it will take longer. It&rsquo;s too soon to say how long.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">I have kids, but I earn more than the income cap for families. Will I get a check for my kids?</div>\n\n<p>No.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">I am an undocumented immigrant but I file my taxes every year with an ITIN. Do I get a check?</div>\n\n<p>Experts believe that you won&rsquo;t.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">I got laid off. What does the bill do for me?</div>\n\n<p>The thing to do if you&rsquo;re laid off is to file with your state for unemployment. That remains a crucial part of getting benefits from the Senate bill, which has allocated $260 billion for this purpose.</p>\n\n<p>The federal government will add to your state-based unemployment payment by $600 a week, or the equivalent of more than $30,000 a year. Combined with the state payment, that&rsquo;s a significant income replacement, though the current bill only provides this for four months. That time limit could be revisited in a future bill.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>The bill also incentivizes states to waive waiting periods for receiving benefits, and provides funds for states to lengthen the time limits for receiving their unemployment benefits by 13 weeks.</p>\n\n<p>If you were already receiving unemployment payments prior to March, you may be out of luck for receiving the enhanced benefits enacted under this bill. That will remain a question for states.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">My company considers me to be furloughed, rather than laid off. Will I qualify for these expanded unemployment benefits?</div>\n\n<p>The bill seeks to broaden the definition of &quot;unemployment&quot; to include furloughed workers, so states should begin to count furloughed workers as being unemployed.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">I&rsquo;m a gig worker. What does the bill do for me?</div>\n\n<p>In a landmark move, the Senate bill recognizes that gig workers &mdash; from freelancers to Uber drivers &mdash; need economic assistance in times like these. So they will qualify for the enhanced unemployment provisions in the new bill. The details about how states will determine the amount of assistance remain to be resolved.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">It sounds like I&rsquo;ll be getting some money back from the government. Will I have to pay taxes on it?</div>\n\n<p>No. Basically, the government is implementing a tax cut for 2020 and giving you an advance on what you would have saved.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Will I have to pay anything back?</div>\n\n<p>In most cases, no. Most of the time, the $1,200 checks and the unemployment insurance will not become a new financial liability for you down the road. The only scenario experts say is possible is that if someone is lucky enough to have a big boost in income in 2020, they may face a liability on some of what they received from the government.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">I own a small business. Can I get loans or grants, and what do I have to do in return?</div>\n\n<p>The bill steers $377 billion to the small business sector, a combination of loans, grants, and other assistance.</p>\n\n<p>If you&rsquo;re a small business, you can receive what amounts to grants &mdash; bridge loans that will be forgiven as long as the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, and utilities.</p>\n\n<p>The loans will be made by banks but guaranteed by the federal government. Small businesses usually take out loans to build facilities and infrastructure, so this is an unusual type of loan. Businesses that can adapt to the new conditions, such as restaurants doing takeout orders or retailers selling goods online, can continue those portions of their business to continue generating revenue.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">I&rsquo;m a homeowner. Do I get help on my mortgage?</div>\n\n<p>Federally backed mortgage loans can be paused for two to six months for people suffering an economic reversal, without fees, penalties or added interest.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">I have student loans and I&rsquo;m having trouble making payments. How will the bill help me?</div>\n\n<p>Student loan borrowers won&rsquo;t be penalized for not paying down their loans, through Sept. 30.</p>",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-26T17:30:57-04:00"
        },
        {
            "slug": "fact-checking-covid-19-prevention-treatment-myths",
            "personalities": [],
            "headline": "Fact-checking COVID-19 prevention, treatment myths",
            "entry": "<p>There is no known treatment or cure for COVID-19, but some people are hitting their pantry to create their own false remedies.</p>\n\n<p>Since January, <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/coronavirus/\">we&rsquo;ve fact-checked</a> more than 100 claims about the coronavirus pandemic,&nbsp;the majority of which are inaccurate or misleading. From taking large amounts of vitamin C to drinking silver solution, some of the most widespread misinformation has been about how to fend off new infections &mdash; and it ignores guidance from public health officials.</p>\n\n<p>The best ways to avoid the novel coronavirus remain to wash your hands with soap and water, avoid touching your face, disinfect surfaces in your home daily, and avoid people who are sick. <a href=\"https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20479976\">And according to</a> the Mayo Clinic, COVID-19 patients with mild cases can alleviate symptoms with cough medicine, pain and fever relievers, rest and fluids.</p>\n\n<p>In the absence of a known cure, online misinformation has flourished. So we rounded up 19 claims about how to treat and prevent the coronavirus that we&rsquo;ve rated False or Pants on Fire! If you see something else you want fact-checked, send it to <a href=\"mailto:[email protected]\">[email protected]</a>.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">1. Gargling with salt water</div>\n\n<p>Neither drinking a lot of water, nor gargling with warm water and salt or vinegar, has been identified as working against the coronavirus. It might, however, help your sore throat. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/16/viral-image/gargling-salt-water-can-ease-sore-throat-it-wont-k/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">2. Slow it down with quick hits of Vitamin C</div>\n\n<p>While vitamin C may slightly help ward off common illnesses, there is no evidence high doses of the supplement can slow or stop the current coronavirus. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/feb/29/facebook-posts/no-vitamin-c-cannot-slow-or-stop-spread-coronaviru/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">3. Breathe in steam from water boiled with orange peels and cayenne pepper</div>\n\n<p>Clearing out your sinuses will definitely not make you less likely to catch COVID-19 &mdash; or cure you if you are sick. And there&rsquo;s no evidence that orange peels or cayenne contain any healing properties, either. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/25/facebook-posts/water-boiled-orange-peels-and-cayenne-pepper-will-/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">4. Drink water to kill the virus</div>\n\n<p>While health experts recommend drinking water regularly to stay healthy, there is no evidence that sipping some every 15 or 20 minutes can help prevent coronavirus infection. The primary way the virus spreads is through close contact with infected people and respiratory droplets.<em> <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/11/facebook-posts/drinking-water-does-not-prevent-coronavirus-infect/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">5. Go outside and lie in the sun</div>\n\n<p>There&rsquo;s evidence that human coronaviruses don&rsquo;t like heat, and high-intensity UV light can kill viruses, but that doesn&rsquo;t mean sun exposure kills the coronavirus. Neither the WHO nor the CDC has said it&rsquo;s effective against the virus. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/11/facebook-posts/sun-exposure-does-not-kill-coronavirus/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">6. Drink hot water with lemon slices</div>\n\n<p>While health officials recommend eating plenty of fruits and vegetables to stay healthy, there is no evidence that drinking hot lemon juice kills COVID-19. A similar version of the hoax has been shared in India and Italy. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/24/chain-message/facebook-messenger-video-falsely-claims-hot-lemon-/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<p><strong><em>RELATED:</em> <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/05/stop-sharing-myths-about-preventing-coronavirus-he/\">Stop sharing myths about preventing the coronavirus. Here are 4 real ways to protect yourself</a></strong></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">7. Take chloroquine fish-tank cleaner</div>\n\n<p>Fish-tank cleaners containing chloroquine cannot be substituted for prescription drugs used to treat malaria. The FDA says you should not take chloroquine unless it has been prescribed by a doctor and obtained from a legitimate source. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/24/blog-posting/drinking-chloroquine-fish-tank-cleaner-wont-stop-c/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">8. Drink silver solution</div>\n\n<p>There are no pills or remedies that cure any strain of human coronavirus including COVID-19. In fact, &quot;silver solution&quot; and colloidal silver can hurt you, and not just your wallet. The Food and Drug Administration has issued warning statements to companies promoting the products. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/17/sherill-sellman/no-silver-solution-wont-cure-coronavirus/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">9. Hang up clothes in the sun</div>\n\n<p>While air-drying your clothes may save you some money on your electricity bill, there is no evidence it will kill the coronavirus. Experts told us natural sunlight doesn&rsquo;t provide the UV intensity needed to kill the virus, and the WHO says it can be transmitted in all climates. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/25/chain-message/audio-shared-facebook-messenger-spreads-false-info/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">10. Avoid consuming cold foods and drinks</div>\n\n<p>This claim is baseless. Just as there&rsquo;s no scientific proof that hot things prevent COVID-19, there&rsquo;s no proof that cold things make you more susceptible. UNICEF and the WHO have debunked the claim on their websites. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/25/chain-message/audio-shared-facebook-messenger-spreads-false-info/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">11. Shave your beard</div>\n\n<p>A 2017 CDC infographic shows how facial hair could interfere with respirator masks. The graphic is unrelated to coronavirus protection, and the CDC has not recommended that people shave their beards to ward off the virus. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/feb/27/facebook-posts/no-cdc-isnt-recommending-men-shave-their-beard-pro/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">12. Smoking marijuana</div>\n\n<p>It isn&rsquo;t true, bud. Even though marijuana is used sometimes to treat chronic pain, it&rsquo;s likely to give users &quot;short-term problems with attention, memory, and learning,&quot; the CDC says, and it can be harmful for developing brains. So, maybe not helpful for the coronavirus. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/feb/17/instagram-posts/marijuana-not-shown-treat-2019-novel-coronavirus/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<p><strong><em>RELATED:</em> <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/11/7-ways-avoid-misinformation-during-coronavirus-pan/\">7 ways to avoid misinformation during the coronavirus pandemic</a></strong></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">13. Using cocaine</div>\n\n<p>If there were a cure for the novel coronavirus, we wouldn&rsquo;t count on it being a stimulant like cocaine. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that can lead to long-term respiratory problems and movement disorders like Parkinson&rsquo;s disease. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/feb/11/facebook-posts/cocaine-not-shown-treat-novel-coronavirus/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">14. Drinking bleach</div>\n\n<p>This type of &quot;cure&quot; is dangerous and should not be taken seriously. The FDA has released multiple warnings about the &quot;dangerous and potentially life-threatening side effects&quot; of the solution, such as vomiting and liver failure. Officials urge people not to drink it. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/jan/30/tweets/no-drinking-bleach-will-not-ward-coronavirus/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">15. Wearing a medical mask with the white side out</div>\n\n<p>While some social media posts say the white side of the mask contains a filter, it&rsquo;s actually for moisture absorption from your mouth and nose. Take it from global health agencies and medical mask producers: wear the colored side of the mask on the outside. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/feb/14/facebook-posts/medical-masks-should-be-worn-colored-side-out/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">16. Chloroquine as a surefire treatment</div>\n\n<p>A French study of 20 COVID-19 patients indicates the drug, which is prescribed to prevent or treat malaria, might help treat the coronavirus. But it is no &quot;100% cure.&quot; U.S. health officials stress the evidence from a small French study is only anecdotal and that much more study is needed. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/23/facebook-posts/100-covid-19-cure-no-chloroquine-effectiveness-onl/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">17. Avoiding hand sanitizer</div>\n\n<p>Although it is not effective against all viruses, hand sanitizers with high alcohol content have proven effective against human coronaviruses. While soap and water is preferred, officials recommend the use of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to kill the coronavirus. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/03/facebook-posts/hand-sanitizer-can-be-used-prevent-coronavirus-inf/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">18. Avoiding hair extensions</div>\n\n<p>China is a major source of hair extensions, and the industry has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. But the FDA has found no evidence that the virus is spreading via imports. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/feb/29/blog-posting/hair-extensions-arent-source-2019-coronavirus/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">19. Melanin</div>\n\n<p>Melanin is a natural pigment that gives color to skin and eyes. It does not make you any less susceptible to coronavirus. <em><a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/10/facebook-posts/melanin-doesnt-protect-against-coronavirus/\">Read the fact-check</a></em></p>\n\n<p><em><strong>Now more than ever, it&rsquo;s important to sort fact from fiction. Please donate to support our mission. <a href=\"https://t.co/ZG0SgVl6fM\">Membership.politifact.com</a></strong></em></p>",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-26T14:50:05-04:00"
        },
        {
            "slug": "how-coronavirus-pandemic-shaping-democratic-primar",
            "personalities": [],
            "headline": "How the coronavirus pandemic is shaping the Democratic primary calendar",
            "entry": "<div class=\"artembed\">\n<p><em><strong>UPDATE, March 28, 2020</strong>: On March 28, New York announced that it would be moving its primary back from April 28 to June 23. The accompanying chart has been updated.</em></p>\n\n<p>The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Democratic primary calendar.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>As of March 25, no fewer than 11 jurisdictions have done what in normal times would be unthinkable &mdash; delay their primary. Another three states have decided to go with all-mail balloting, so that voters won&rsquo;t be forced to risk infection by congregating at physical polling places.</p>\n\n<p>These changes will obviously affect the remainder of the presidential nomination race between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. A delegate-selection process that was supposed to be officially over by June 6 now will extend until at least June 23.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Election officials have been forced to scramble not just over voting dates but also over what types of voting methods are safe and effective in the midst of a pandemic. The uncertainty is affecting countless other races, including congressional seats, statewide posts and local offices.</p>\n\n<p>Here&rsquo;s what we know about the rest of the 2020 Democratic primary calendar, at least for now.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">What changes have been made so far?</div>\n\n<p>Here are the main changes that have been made to the primary calendar, in chronological order by the current date.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&bull; <strong>Three states voting on April 4 shifted to all-mail balloting</strong>. These are the Alaska primary, the Hawaii primary and the Wyoming caucus.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; <strong>Puerto Rico shifted its March 29 primary to April 26</strong>.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; <strong>Georgia shifted its March 24 primary to May 19</strong>.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; <strong>Seven states have shifted their primaries to June 2</strong>. One of them, Ohio, was supposed to have voted on March 17; it&rsquo;s now considering changing again, to an April 28 all-mail primary. Another, Indiana, had been scheduled to vote May 5. The other four &mdash; Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island &mdash; shifted their primaries from April 28.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; <strong>Louisiana shifted its April 4 primary to June 20</strong>.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; <strong>Kentucky and New York have shifted their primaries&nbsp;to June 23</strong>.</p>\n\n<p>The following chart shows how the new primary calendar looks, state by state.</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">&nbsp;</div>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">What are some of the earliest potential trouble spots?</div>\n\n<p>States and territories representing about 58% of delegates have already cast their ballots. Here are the states with election dates coming up quickly that represent some of the remaining 42% of delegates:</p>\n\n<p>&bull; <strong>Wisconsin</strong>. The crucial November battleground state is slated to cast its primary ballots on April 7, and it&rsquo;s planning to go ahead as scheduled.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is encouraging voters to cast ballots by mail where possible. Wisconsin has no-excuse absentee voting, so that should ease the load for in-person voting, and in some areas there will be curbside in-person voting, <a href=\"https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/03/23/820474406/wisconsin-pushes-forward-with-april-7-primary-despite-coronavirus\">NPR reported</a>. But the short timeline has forced state and local officials to scramble.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; <strong>Puerto Rico</strong>. Puerto Rico has <a href=\"https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article241432566.html\">moved its primary</a> to April 26, but that may not be sustainable, depending on the course of the pandemic. (Puerto Rico does not vote in the general election, but along with other U.S. territories, it helps determine the Democratic nominee.)</p>\n\n<p>&bull; <strong>New York</strong>. New York is both a key primary state for Democrats, due to the size of its population and the strength of its Democratic leanings. It&rsquo;s also the undisputed U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak as of late March.</p>\n\n<p>On March 28, the state decided&nbsp;to hold its presidential primary on the same day as the primary for state legislative and congressional seats, which is June 23.</p>\n\n<p>The voting rules in New York are much more rigid than in many other states: Voting by mail is allowed only with a valid excuse, and there is no in-person early voting. This puts enormous pressure on physical polling places on Election Day, a reality that&rsquo;s in stark conflict with what health officials are recommending.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Those rules could be changed by legislation, and a measure to shift to all-mail elections&nbsp;<a href=\"https://nypost.com/2020/03/23/ny-democratic-leader-floats-nixing-states-presidential-primary/\">has been introduced</a>.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; <strong>Kansas</strong>. The primary remains scheduled for May 2, with no sign that it will be canceled. Instead, officials are <a href=\"https://www.kansas.com/news/coronavirus/article241276426.html\">encouraging mail balloting</a>; Kansas is a no-excuse absentee ballot state. (Guam also votes on May 2.)</p>\n\n<p>&bull; <strong>Nebraska and West Virginia</strong>. Both states are planning to keep their May 5 primaries as scheduled, officials <a href=\"https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/24/coronavirus-update-states-that-have-postponed-2020-primaries.html\">told CNBC</a>.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">How do the delays complicate the process?</div>\n\n<p>Political analysts <a href=\"https://www.vox.com/2020/3/18/21175062/biden-wins-democratic-nomination\">say</a> it&rsquo;s highly unlikely that Sanders will be able to win enough delegates in the remaining contests to defeat Biden for the nomination. Stil, Sanders has floated the idea of <a href=\"https://nypost.com/2020/03/24/bernie-sanders-will-stay-in-2020-race-until-new-york-primary/\">staying in</a> the race at least through April 28, which would be the day of New York&rsquo;s primary, unless it&rsquo;s moved.</p>\n\n<p>Josh Putnam, a political scientist specializing in the nomination process, told PolitiFact that the changes in the calendar are not a major threat to the validity of the race. The main concern, he said, revolves around the ability of state and local officials to assign individual people to the delegate spots that each candidate has won in primaries and caucuses.</p>\n\n<p>In some states, delegates are chosen directly by voters on their ballots, but in many others, delegates are selected at Democratic Party meetings that are held variously on the local, congressional district, and statewide levels. If coronavirus forces continued stay-at-home orders, those meetings would have to be delayed or turned into remote gatherings.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Logistics is the main problem now,&quot; Putnam said.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>In the longer term, the Democrats will need to decide whether it&rsquo;s feasible to hold their nominating convention in Milwaukee between July 13 and July 17. Officially, the event is on for now, but that may not be tenable if coronavirus concerns persist.</p>\n</div>",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-26T09:25:07-04:00"
        },
        {
            "slug": "fact-checking-coronavirus-claims-pennsylvania-poli",
            "personalities": [],
            "headline": "Fact-checking coronavirus claims by Pennsylvania politicians",
            "entry": "<p><em>The Inquirer is partnering with PolitiFact, the nonpartisan fact-checking website operated by the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies. The Inquirer will be PolitiFact&rsquo;s exclusive partner in Pennsylvania, a critical swing state in the 2020 presidential election. Through the work of an Inquirer reporter dedicated to this effort, and collaborating with other reporters and editors from both The Inquirer and PolitiFact, we will assess the accuracy of statements by elected officials, political candidates, and other public figures. This work is more important now than ever.</em></p>\n\n<p>Even before <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/\">the coronavirus pandemic</a>, it had become increasingly tough for Pennsylvanians to determine what is true and what&rsquo;s not.</p>\n\n<p>But now, promoting facts and knocking down falsehoods is more important than ever. The truth will help voters elect the next president, and it will help save lives as we confront the growing threat posed by this virus.</p>\n\n<p>My name is Jessica Calefati, and I&rsquo;m your new PolitiFact Pennsylvania reporter.</p>\n\n<p>In the months ahead, I&rsquo;ll be fact-checking statements by the presidential candidates, claims from politicians throughout Pennsylvania, and reports about the coronavirus.</p>\n\n<p>Hear a politician say something that sounds fishy? Flag it for me. See a viral post on social media that seems false? Send it my way. You can reach me at <a href=\"mailto:[email protected]\">[email protected]</a>.</p>\n\n<p>Speaking at a news conference Sunday, Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine said it best:</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Don&rsquo;t believe everything that you see on the internet or every advertisement.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>But be certain you can believe in The Inquirer.</p>\n\n<p>To get us started, here are some coronavirus claims made by Pennsylvania officials in recent weeks.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Escaping arrest?</div>\n\n<p>Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw affirmed her department&rsquo;s commitment to fighting crime last week after a significant change in policy driven by the coronavirus.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The department is not turning a blind eye to crime,&quot; <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-philadelphia-region-police-public-safety-arrests-detention-measures-20200318.html\">Outlaw said at a news conference</a>. &quot;No one will escape accountability for the crimes that they commit.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Why would the top cop in a city with <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia-crime-levels-2019-shootings-homicides-police-20191230.html\">shootings on the rise</a> need to publicly vow to tackle crime? Because the virus has fundamentally changed the way Philadelphia&rsquo;s criminal justice system functions &mdash; at least for the time being.</p>\n\n<p>First, the courts announced plans to close until April 1. Then Outlaw told her commanders to stop making arrests for nonviolent crimes including drug offenses, theft, and prostitution, among others, according to <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/philadelphia-police-coronavirus-covid-pandemic-arrests-jail-overcrowding-larry-krasner-20200317.html\">an internal memo</a>.</p>\n\n<p>The move protects police officers from interacting with nonviolent offenders who may be infected with the coronavirus, and given the court closures, it prevents nonviolent offenders from contracting and spreading the virus in jail while waiting for their day in court.</p>\n\n<p>Similarly, the New Jersey Supreme Court on Monday <a href=\"https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-jersey/articles/2020-03-23/in-wake-of-virus-new-jersey-orders-county-inmates-released\">ordered county jails to release</a> individuals serving time for low-level offenses.</p>\n\n<p>Still, when news about Philadelphia&rsquo;s policy shift started <a href=\"https://twitter.com/MeekMill/status/1240058346863984640?s=20\">ricocheting around the Internet</a>, it sounded too crazy to be true. But in fact, it is.</p>\n\n<p>And Outlaw&rsquo;s promise not to let any criminals escape accountability for their crimes is largely accurate, too.</p>\n\n<p>That accountability will come in the form of <a href=\"https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6811943-Outlaw-Memo.html\">fingerprinting at the scene</a> and arrest warrants that police say they will file once the spread of the virus slows and courts reopen. Will cops be able to find the offenders they fingerprinted once the spread of the virus slows? We&rsquo;ll have to wait and see.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Guns and tests</div>\n\n<p>Earlier this month, as confusion over screening for the coronavirus mounted, Sen. Bob Casey vented on Twitter about the scarcity of tests needed to determine who has the virus.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Right now in America, it is easier to get an AR-15 than a test kit for COVID-19,&quot; the <a href=\"https://twitter.com/SenBobCasey/status/1238472608049508353?s=20\">Democrat from Pennsylvania tweeted</a> March 13.</p>\n\n<p>We wanted to know how Pennsylvanians&rsquo; access to firearms compares with the availability of coronavirus tests in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs. The answer illustrates how quickly things change as government officials scramble to combat the spread of the virus.</p>\n\n<p>When Casey sent that tweet more than a week ago, there were no restrictions on gun sales and <a href=\"https://whyy.org/articles/im-an-essential-business-gun-shops-in-pa-packed-ahead-of-coronavirus-closures/\">demand was high</a>. Customers eyeing a rifle like an AR-15 would have needed to pass an instant background check and <a href=\"https://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/01/how_to_buy_a_gun_in_pennsylvan.html\">show proof that they were over 18</a>. That&rsquo;s standard procedure.</p>\n\n<p>Anxious customers were so eager to <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-philadelphia-guns-ammunition-police-gun-range-20200318.html\">stock up on guns and ammo</a> that the line outside a South Philadelphia firearms dealer one recent day stretched out the door and down the block.</p>\n\n<p>Meanwhile, <a href=\"https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-testing-chaos-across-america-11584618703\">tests for the coronavirus were extremely scarce</a>. It was that same day (March 13) that President Donald Trump acknowledged the shortage, <a href=\"https://apnews.com/83b0c8e168548fd453b0c177dd1f203a\">declared coronavirus a national emergency</a>, and vowed to make <a href=\"https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/487506-trump-pledges-to-overhaul-coronavirus-testing-plagued-by-delays\">500,000 tests available</a> the following week. That means Casey&rsquo;s statement at the time was accurate.</p>\n\n<p>But a lot can change in a few days &ndash; especially during a pandemic.</p>\n\n<p>Sales of firearms ground to a halt Friday after <a href=\"https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/all-non-life-sustaining-businesses-in-pennsylvania-to-close-physical-locations-as-of-8-pm-today-to-slow-spread-of-covid-19/\">Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all businesses</a> not considered &quot;life-sustaining&quot; to close their doors and many counties <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-philadelphia-gun-permits-concealed-carry-police-20200320.html\">stopped issuing new license-to-carry</a> permits. Then on Tuesday, Wolf quietly reversed course and <a href=\"https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/pennsylvania/articles/2020-03-24/corrections-officers-push-state-to-stop-inmate-transfers\">allowed gun shops to reopen</a> after several Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices urged him to do so.</p>\n\n<p>Firearms dealers may now see customers by appointment as long as they keep them six feet apart inside shops.</p>\n\n<p>Pennsylvania&rsquo;s gun background check system is still &quot;running full bore,&quot; said Trooper Brent Miller, a spokesperson for the State Police, despite rumors that it had been shut down. But until counties reopen their license-to-carry divisions, firearm owners without permits will, in almost all circumstances, not be able to carry the guns they buy without risking arrest.</p>\n\n<p>And while there are nowhere near as many coronavirus tests available as Trump promised there would be when he spoke on March 13, the number of Pennsylvanians getting tested is climbing steadily each day. There are now <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-pa-new-jersey-testing-sites-citizens-bank-hospitals-cases-rise-20200321.html\">more than a dozen testing sites</a> open in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, and state health officials say <a href=\"https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Cases.aspx\">more than 5,000 people have been tested</a> so far.</p>\n\n<p>It was easier to get an AR-15 than a coronavirus test when Casey sent that tweet. And for a few days when gun sellers were forced to close their doors, things were different. But now that Wolf has cleared the way for the shops to reopen, it has once again become easier for people to get a semiautomatic rifle than a coronavirus test.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Get outside</div>\n\n<p>The top official in the county that has been at the center of Pennsylvania&rsquo;s coronavirus outbreak tried to reassure her constituents about the relative safety of the great outdoors during a virtual town hall last week.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;You absolutely can go outside, particularly with the people in... your household, go outside and take walks and get on the trails,&quot; said <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-montgomery-county-val-arkoosh-epicenter-public-health-20200314.html\">Val Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Commissioners</a> and a physician.</p>\n\n<p>As more places <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/spl/pennsylvania-pa-coronavirus-tom-wolf-shut-down-order-six-counties-20200323.html\">order residents to &quot;shelter in place</a>&quot; to beat back the coronavirus, we wondered whether it&rsquo;s still safe to take a walk or go for a run. The answer, according to public health officials, is yes.</p>\n\n<p>Nate Wardle, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, said <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-outside-walking-running-jogging-safely-social-distancing-20200320.html\">going outside is safe</a>, and being inside all day is not healthy.</p>\n\n<p>Staying cooped up in the house can &quot;really start to affect our mental health,&quot; said David Damsker, director of the Bucks County Health Department.</p>\n\n<p>And <a href=\"https://www.phila.gov/media/20200322130746/Order-2-Business-And-Congregation-Prohibition-Stay-At-Home.pdf\">Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney&rsquo;s shelter-in-place order</a> explicitly exempts &quot;walking, running, cycling, operating a wheelchair, or engaging in outdoor activities with immediate family members, caretakers, household members or romantic partners&quot; &mdash; as long as you stay six feet away from others.</p>\n\n<p>So, yes, Arkoosh&rsquo;s advice is good advice.</p>\n\n<p><em>This post has been update to reflect Gov. Tom Wolf&#39;s decision to allow Pennsylvania gun shops to reopen with some limitations even as other businesses across the state remain closed.&nbsp;</em></p>",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-25T08:44:26-04:00"
        },
        {
            "slug": "will-covid-19-force-massive-absentee-vote-november",
            "personalities": [],
            "headline": "Will COVID-19 force a massive absentee vote in November election?",
            "entry": "<p>The coronavirus pandemic has already <a href=\"https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2020/03/23/states-begin-prep-for-mail-in-voting-in-presidential-election?utm_campaign=2020-03-23+SD&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=Pew\">forced more than a half dozen states</a> to delay their Democratic primaries, with more <a href=\"https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/pennsylvania-postpone-2020-primary-election-coronavirus-20200323.html\">states </a>likely to follow. This has raised an urgent question: Could the pandemic still be dangerous enough in November that the general election will have to be held mostly or entirely by mail?</p>\n\n<p>On the federal level, Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., have introduced a <a href=\"https://www.klobuchar.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news-releases?ID=5C37B081-06C6-45E2-AB18-1A74D0623812\">measure</a> that would <a href=\"https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/17/vote-by-mail-elections-coronavirus-134618\">greatly increase</a> the role of voting by mail, including the allocation of federal money to purchase equipment and cover printing and mailing costs. The bill would also expand in-person early voting to decrease lines on Election Day.</p>\n\n<p>Some election officials, including those who have advocated vote-by-mail for years, say that dramatically expanding mail balloting is feasible, given the amount of time between now and the November election. But making it happen would require aggressive action and governmental cooperation, experts say.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Every state will have to think about the possibility that the November elections will be mostly by mail, or potentially all by mail,&quot; said Ohio State University law professor Edward B. Foley.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>While many states now have either all-mail elections or no-excuse absentee voting, those that don&rsquo;t would have to change their laws to allow &quot;fear of becoming infected&quot; to be counted as a legitimate reason for securing an absentee ballot, he said. For states that aren&rsquo;t used to counting large numbers of absentee ballots, Foley said, &quot;the ramp-up will be huge.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Still, &quot;if there is political will to create postal voting for the entire nation in time for the November election, it can be done,&quot; said Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">Where is voting by mail common today?</div>\n\n<p>Five states currently conduct all elections entirely by mail: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington and Utah, according to the <a href=\"https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/all-mail-elections.aspx\">National Conference of State Legislatures</a>. In California, some counties are currently permitted to conduct all-mail elections, and after 2020, the option will be available to all counties in the state.</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<p>In two-thirds of states, any qualified voter may vote absentee without offering an excuse, while in one-third of states, an excuse is required. Some states offer a permanent absentee-ballot list: voters who ask to be added to the list automatically receive an absentee ballot for future elections.</p>\n\n<p>Nationwide in 2016, <a href=\"https://www.eac.gov/news/2017/06/29/newly-released-2016-election-administration-and-voting-survey-provides-snapshot-of-nations-voter-turnout-registration-trends-voting-systems-election-administration-and-voting-survey-eavs-data-media\">nearly 24% of ballots</a> were cast using by-mail absentee voting.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">What are the legal obstacles to voting by mail?</div>\n\n<p>While state and local officials hold broad sway over the details of many election issues, the Constitution <a href=\"https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/03/2020-election-coronavirus-bill-vote-by-mail.html\">grants Congress</a> authority as well. Congress has used this to pass the &quot;motor voter&quot; registration law in 1993 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which helped states update voting systems.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;The most helpful thing Congress could do today is to put federal dollars into the effort,&quot; Foley said. &quot;We know it will be hard for states to expand rapidly to voting by mail. But Congress could put the money in and attach strings to it.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The Democratic National Committee backs the Wyden-Klobuchar proposal. &quot;No voter should have to put their health and safety at risk to exercise their constitutional rights at the ballot box,&quot; DNC Chairman Tom Perez told PolitiFact in a statement. (The White House and the Trump campaign declined to comment. On March 16, <a href=\"https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-vice-president-pence-members-coronavirus-task-force-press-briefing-3/\">Trump said</a> decisions about postponing primaries should be left up to the states.)</p>\n\n<p>Whitney Quesenbery, director of the Center for Civic Design, a firm that consults with state and local governments, said she feels optimistic based on strides made by Michigan and Pennsylvania toward no-excuse absentee balloting in the past few years.</p>\n\n<p>But there will also be lots of loose ends for lawmakers to tie up. &quot;It will be a lot of work,&quot; she said.</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">How have state and local officials implemented voting by mail already?</div>\n\n<p>While states set laws about voting by mail or absentee voting, decisions about how much any particular method of voting is promoted are left up to local elections officials.&nbsp; Some rural counties have a few thousand voters, while urban counties can have more than 1 million. That means that nationwide, there will be thousands of election officials contemplating how to run an election amid COVID-19.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>Wisconsin officials, for example, are scrambling to prepare for a <a href=\"https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/20/wisconsin-clerks-running-out-envelopes-absentee-voting/2883933001/\">surge in absentee voting</a> in the April 7 primary. In mid-March, a flood of requests for absentee ballots pushed the state to issue an emergency order for 1.2 million envelopes. As of March 23, Wisconsin had nearly 500,000 requests for absentee ballots &mdash; about double the number who voted absentee for the general election in 2016.</p>\n\n<p>Counties that have long embraced absentee voting should have an easier time. In Lee County, Fla., about half of voters now cast ballots by mail. If that increases beyond 70%, election officials say they will need more money and will have to increase the number of temporary election workers to process ballots requests. The number is even greater in Pinellas County, where 60% to 70% vote absentee.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>But in Broward County in 2016, voting in person was more popular than by mail, so it would be more of an adjustment if the county ends up with a massive increase in absentee ballots.</p>\n\n<p>Florida county election supervisors have asked the state to add an extra week of early voting. Supervisors anticipate that absentee ballot voting could triple or quadruple.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;We planned for years for cybersecurity, for hurricanes. We didn&rsquo;t plan for a pandemic,&quot; said Tammy Jones, president of the Florida Supervisors of Elections and supervisor in Levy County.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>In Ohio, where a March 17 Democratic primary was scratched over health concerns, a <a href=\"https://www.ohiosos.gov/media-center/press-releases/2020/2020-03-21/\">proposed bill </a>would allow the state to mail a postage-paid absentee ballot request form to voters who didn&rsquo;t cast ballots during early voting. If the legislation passes, the election will be held June 2.</p>\n\n<div class=\"artembed\">See Figure 2 on PolitiFact.com</div>\n\n<p>&nbsp;</p>\n\n<div class=\"pf_subheadline\">The pluses and minuses of moving to voting by mail</div>\n\n<p>Here&rsquo;s the good news: Beyond limiting infections, there are a number of <a href=\"https://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/absentee-and-early-voting.aspx\">benefits</a> to moving to voting by mail. It&rsquo;s more convenient and less rushed for voters; it may be less expensive for jurisdictions once it&rsquo;s enacted permanently; and it may boost turnout.</p>\n\n<p>However, voting by mail also brings concerns that will have to be addressed:</p>\n\n<p>&bull; A possible increase in voter errors made at home, since election officials won&rsquo;t be standing nearby to help. This means more ballots could be rejected and not counted.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&bull; A need for voter education for people who are unaccustomed to absentee voting. Voters will need reminders to sign their ballots, and elections officials will need to increase public outreach to dispel myths about absentee ballots, such as the one that those ballots aren&rsquo;t counted unless an election is close.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; Some groups have less convenient access to mail than others do, such as residents of Native American reservations. Mail voting also poses challenges for voters who move frequently, or who have language or literacy issues. And some disabled voters, including those who are blind, cannot effectively cast mail ballots without assistance.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; Voting at home could lead to coercion by abusive spouses or other relatives.</p>\n\n<p>&bull; Voter fraud could increase. While voter fraud overall is <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2018/apr/06/donald-trump/no-proof-trumps-claim-millions-voted-many-times/\">considered</a> <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2018/jan/04/donald-trump/donald-trump-says-theres-substantial-evidence-vote/\">uncommon</a>, Foley said, &quot;we unfortunately have to acknowledge that vote by mail does raise the risk of fraud. Where we do see fraud in elections, it&#39;s usually in absentee ballots,&quot; such as the case of a North Carolina congressional race in <a href=\"https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/18/north-carolina-9th-district-house-election-saw-ballot-harvesting-official.html\">2018</a> that forced the election to be re-run the following year.</p>\n\n<p>These downsides of voting by mail, however, can be tolerable as long as the right steps are taken to minimize them, experts say.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;Vote-by-mail was expanding rapidly before this crisis, and it is bound to be ubiquitous before too long,&quot; said Drew Spencer Penrose, law and policy director for FairVote, a voting advocacy group.&nbsp;</p>",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-24T13:46:00-04:00"
        },
        {
            "slug": "does-elderberry-make-things-worse-people-exposed-c",
            "personalities": [],
            "headline": "Does elderberry make things worse for people exposed to COVID-19? That’s unconfirmed",
            "entry": "<p>In the absence of a vaccine or a known antiviral treatment for the disease caused by the coronavirus, unsubstantiated information is popping up on Facebook on what to take or avoid in case of exposure to the virus.</p>\n\n<p>PolitiFact decided to look into a March 17 Facebook <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/arethaben/posts/10221307023566544\">post</a> flagged as part of Facebook&rsquo;s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our<a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/help/1952307158131536?helpref=related\"> partnership with Facebook</a>.)</p>\n\n<p>The post said: &quot;Important! No Elderberry and no NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, Naproxyn, etc) if you suspect you have been exposed to COVID19.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>It adds: &quot;Data showing elderberry may actually make things worse since COVID19 causes respiratory failure via a cytokine response/release. Elderberry normal increases immune response, but the process of ARDS is actually an over-activation of the immune system. Elderberry increases cytokine release. That is part of the over-reaction. Elderberry may be great for influenza, but is bad for COVID19 and serious sequela. Ibuprofen has a similar effect. Avoid it. <a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/choosetylenol?__cft__[0]=AZVHbaJ5y6K5RkS-8LClr30dceBtqdrPVWBF_0hV7AFNPIS-C93a6NtKtFqXh223L8y12-R5V6B01BS73h4NXbmT_tErHq57VJkh-uNmM1y6kKiVfZWYUb2HB_lF6J2q1wM&amp;__tn__=*NK-R\">#choosetylenol</a><a href=\"https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/flattenthecurve?__cft__[0]=AZVHbaJ5y6K5RkS-8LClr30dceBtqdrPVWBF_0hV7AFNPIS-C93a6NtKtFqXh223L8y12-R5V6B01BS73h4NXbmT_tErHq57VJkh-uNmM1y6kKiVfZWYUb2HB_lF6J2q1wM&amp;__tn__=*NK-R\"> #flattenthecurve</a>.&quot;</p>\n\n<p><em><strong>Knowing the facts has never been more important. <a href=\"https://checkout.fundjournalism.org/memberform?org_id=politifact&amp;campaign=7011L000001NN92QAG\">Please consider donating to PolitiFact today.</a> </strong></em></p>\n\n<p>The Facebook user later updated the post to clarify her advice: &quot;I said if suspected exposure. If you are taking it, continue but consider stopping if you get exposed or get the disease.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>Given limited evidence at this point on what is effective or harmful to treat COVID-19, it is difficult to make a definitive claim on whether elderberry should be avoided by people exposed to the disease.</p>\n\n<p><strong><em>RELATED</em></strong>: <a href=\"https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/20/it-true-taking-ibuprofen-covid-19-could-cause-more/\">Will taking ibuprofen for COVID-19 cause more health problems? It&rsquo;s complicated</a></p>\n\n<p>Elderberry &mdash; a term commonly used for both the plant and the fruit it produces &mdash; is known for its natural antioxidants and vitamin C. A few studies suggest that elderberry can slightly relieve flu symptoms. (Some people consume elderberry extract in gummies or syrup.) Researchers, however, <a href=\"https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&amp;contentid=Elderberry\">say</a> that more studies and evidence are needed to know if there is a medically proven benefit from taking elderberry.</p>\n\n<p>Does it make things worse for people exposed to COVID-19?</p>\n\n<p>We asked the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the World Health Organization, whether elderberry should be avoided by someone exposed to COVID-19. We did not get a response to that from any of the organizations. The Facebook user who wrote the post did not reply to our query, either.</p>\n\n<p>Two experts who got back to us said they were not aware or could not confirm whether elderberry is bad for people exposed to COVID-19.</p>\n\n<p>&quot;There are some data suggesting that COVID infection, especially later in severe illness, may have a significant cytokine surge causing or contributing to the pathology,&quot; said David Cennimo, an infectious-disease expert and assistant professor at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. &quot;I am not aware of data on elderberry and cytokines or COVID specifically.&quot;</p>\n\n<p>The FDA on March 6 sent a <a href=\"https://www.fda.gov/inspections-compliance-enforcement-and-criminal-investigations/warning-letters/herbal-amy-inc-604813-03062020\">warning letter</a> to a company that was selling herbal products to combat COVID-19, including one called &quot;elderberry tincture.&quot; The FDA said the products were unapproved and misbranded.&nbsp;</p>\n\n<p>&quot;There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),&quot; the letter said.</p>",
            "publication_date": "2020-03-23T16:32:51-04:00"
        }
    ]
}