Slow Processing, Lost Markets Mean New Challenges for Livestock Farmers

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many sectors of the economy and livestock farming is one of them.

Closures of public spaces such as schools, restaurants, bars, and hotels mean decreased demand for meat products. In addition, outbreaks of coronavirus-caused illness at meatpacking plants caused some large operations to shut down temporarily, swamping small mom-and-pop operations that are now booked into spring 2021.

Read More

Minnesota Board of Medical Practice Investigating Republican Senator for Speaking Out on COVID-19

State Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska), a practicing physician, revealed Sunday that anonymous complaints were filed against him with the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice for his public comments on the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is one of the most important videos I’ve made and one of the hardest,” Jensen said in a video posted to Facebook. “Less than a week ago, I was notified by the Board of Medical Practice in Minnesota that I was being investigated because of public statements I had made.”

Read More

STUDY: Anti-Malarial Drug Used to Treat Lupus Helped COVID-19 Patients Survive, Despite Media Claims

An anti-malarial drug that President Donald Trump hyped as a potential therapy for the coronavirus helped some patients survive the disease while in the hospital, according to research published Wednesday.

Some of those who received hydroxychloroquine before acute symptoms began were much less likely to die from the virus, according to researchers at Henry Ford Health System in Michigan. Their findings come after other studies determined that the experimental drug provided little or no benefit to people struggling with the coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Read More

Commentary: Blue States Have Been Hit Much Harder by COVID-19

In March, data guru Nate Silver wrote about the different ways blue states and red states were experiencing the COVID-19 epidemic, noting that “states Clinton won do have considerably more total reported cases.”

COVID-19 was not just a blue state problem though. Silver pointed out that cases in red states were increasing far more rapidly.

Read More

Walz Says Statewide Mask Mandate Is ‘On the Table’

Gov. Tim Walz said a statewide mask mandate to help curb the spread of COVID-19 is “on the table” during a Monday press conference.

According to Walz, Republican governors who participated in a Monday phone call with Vice President Mike Pence were also “exploring the idea.”

Read More

Britain’s Boris Johnson says COVID-19 Has Been a Disaster

Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged Monday that the coronavirus pandemic has been a “disaster” for Britain, as he announced a spending splurge designed to get the country — and his faltering Conservative government — back on track.

As the U.K. emerges from a three-month lockdown, Johnson has lined up big-money pledges on schools, housing and infrastructure, in an attempt to move on from an outbreak that has left more than 43,000 Britons dead — the worst confirmed death toll in Europe.

Read More

Walz Distributes $841M in Federal COVID Aid to Cities, Counties

Gov. Tim Walz approved plans Thursday to distribute $841 million in federal coronavirus aid to cities and counties across Minnesota, along with another $12 million for food banks and food shelves that have seen a surge in demand since the pandemic hit the state.

Read More

US Health Officials Estimate 20M Americans Have Had Coronavirus

U.S. officials estimate that 20 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus since it first arrived in the United States, meaning that the vast majority of the population remains susceptible.

Thursday’s estimate is roughly 10 times as many infections as the 2.3 million cases that have been confirmed. Officials have long known that millions of people were infected without knowing it and that many cases are being missed because of gaps in testing.

Read More

US Breaks Single-Day Record of New Coronavirus Cases

The United States recorded nearly 37,000 new cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday as the virus continued to spread across southern and western states, according COVID-19 trackers.

The 36,880 new cases is up from 34,700 recorded Tuesday, and broke previous single-day record for new cases set April 24 when 36,739 were confirmed, according to a New York Times database.

Read More

Kudlow Echoes Pence, Says ‘No Second Wave’ of Coronavirus Coming

by Andrew Trunsky   White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Monday that there “is no second wave” of the novel coronavirus coming, as states across the country reported rapid increases in new virus cases. Kudlow touted the progress that the country has made in combating the COVID-19 virus during…

Read More

Comedian DL Hughley Announces He Is COVID-19 Positive After Fainting Onstage

Comedian D.L. Hughley announced he tested positive for COVID-19 after collapsing onstage during a performance in Nashville, Tennessee.

The stand-up comedian, 57, lost consciousness while performing at the Zanies comedy nightclub on Friday night and was hospitalized, news outlets reported. On Saturday, Hughley posted a video on Twitter in which he said he was treated for exhaustion and dehydration afterward.

Read More

President Trump Delivers High-Energy Speech to Enthusiastic Supporters in Tulsa

At his first event in months, President Trump delivered a high-energy speech to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters in Tulsa Saturday night that lasted nearly two hours.

The backdrop of racial tensions and rhetoric about the spread of COVID-19 may have dampened attendance, but not the spirits of Trump supporters.

Read More

Brazil Tops 1 Million Cases as Coronavirus Spreads Inland

Brazil’s government confirmed on Friday that the country has risen above 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases, second only to the United States.

The country’s health ministry said that the total now stood at 1,032,913, up more than 50,000 from Thursday. The ministry said the sharp increase was due to corrections of previous days’ underreported numbers.

Read More

Republicans Say Gov. Walz Has Failed to Provide Legal Justification for Coronavirus Shutdown

Republican lawmakers who sued Gov. Tim Walz said Friday that he has failed to provide legal justification for his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are winning on this issue, and Gov. Walz knows it,” said Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal), one of 13 Republican lawmakers who joined a lawsuit against Walz over his use of emergency powers during the pandemic.

Read More

Apple Closes Stores in Four States, Again, as Infections Rise

Apple is closing 11 stores in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina that it had reopened just few weeks ago as coronavirus infections rates in some regions in the U.S. begin to rise.

The decision announced Friday is another sign that the pandemic might prevent the economy from bouncing back as quickly as some states have been hoping. Those concerns sent stocks on Wall Street lower Friday.

Read More

Enthusiasm for President Trump and America Still Strong in Tulsa on Eve of Rally

The on-the-ground evidence in Tulsa is that the enthusiasm for the country and President Trump is still strong, despite or perhaps because of the events in recent months related to the COVID-19 shutdowns since March followed by the unrest going on across the country over the past few weeks.

Once President Trump announced on June 10 his first rally since the “invisible enemy” changed life around the world, people started camping out two days later to hold their place in line at Tulsa’s BOK Center for the event.

Read More

Minnesota Waives Absentee Ballot Witness Signature Requirement

Minnesota will waive its witness requirements for absentee ballots for the statewide primary election in August under the settlement of two lawsuits sparked by the health threat from the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuits were filed by political arms of the League of Women Voters of Minnesota and the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans. A Ramsey County judge signed off on the consent decree with the retirees Wednesday while a federal judge scheduled a hearing for Thursday on the league’s case.

Read More

Nine More Lawmakers Join Lawsuit Against Gov. Walz Over Use of Emergency Powers

Nine more Republican lawmakers have joined a lawsuit against Gov. Tim Walz regarding his use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More

Stocks Rally Worldwide on Hopes for Coming Economic Recovery

Stocks rose again Tuesday, part of a strong and worldwide rally for markets, after a big rebound in buying at U.S. stores and online raised hopes that the economy can escape its recession relatively quickly.

The S&P 500 climbed 1.9% for its third straight gain, bringing it back within 8% of its record set in February. Gains have built in recent weeks as reports bolster investor expectations that the worst of the downturn may have already passed.

Read More

St. Paul Saints to Play Season in Sioux Falls for Now Because of ‘Capacity Restrictions’

The St. Paul Saints announced Friday that the team will be participating in a 60-game season beginning July 3, but all games will be played in Sioux Falls, South Dakota until “capacity restrictions for outdoor events have relaxed.”

The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball said the shortened season will run from July 3 to September 10, concluding with a championship series between the top two teams. The league will consist of six teams based in three separate hubs.

Read More

Academy Delays 2021 Oscars Ceremony Over Coronavirus Concerns

For the fourth time in its history, the Oscars are being postponed. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC Television Network said Monday that the 93rd Academy Awards will now be held April 25, 2021, eight weeks later than originally planned because of the pandemic’s effects on the movie industry.

The Academy’s Board of Governors also decided to extend the eligibility window beyond the calendar year to Feb. 28, 2021, for feature films, and delay the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures from December until April 30, 2021.

Read More

Warner Bros. Sets Late July Theatrical Release for Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Tenet’

The closely watched arrival of Christopher Nolan’s big-budget sci-fi espionage film “Tenet” will finally happen on July 31, Warner Bros. announced Friday.
The studio said it would delay the release by two weeks and instead re-issue Nolan’s 2010 sci-fi blockbuster “Inception” in mid-July.

The release date for “Tenet” has been closely watched in all corners of the film industry, which has faced shuttered theaters due to the coronavirus since mid-March. Movie theaters plan to reopen in July for a vastly different summer season than the one the industry had planned.

Read More

Ramsey County Board Wants COVID Morgue Relocated, Worried About ‘Taboo of Dead Bodies’

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners expressed its “alarm and concern” regarding the state’s recent purchase of a commercial facility in St. Paul for the storage of deceased COVID-19 patients.

“On behalf of the Ramsey County Board, we are writing to express our alarm and concern regarding your decision to purchase the former Bix site for use as a morgue during the COVID-19 emergency. We fear that this location will only exacerbate the challenges facing the surrounding community, which is already one of the poorest, most vulnerable, and most disinvested in Minnesota,” the board said in a letter sent last week to Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly.

Read More

Group Calls on Commissioner Malcolm to Resign for Failing to Address Long-Term Care Crisis

One of Minnesota’s most influential pro-life organizations has called on Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm to resign for failing to address the crisis in the state’s long-term care facilities.

As of Tuesday, COVID-19 fatalities among nursing-home residents accounted for 79 percent of Minnesota’s 1,217 total deaths. Under the threat of a legislative subpoena, Malcolm revealed in a 74-page letter to lawmakers that dozens of long-term care facilities have allowed COVID-19 patients to return to a congregate-care setting after being discharged from the hospital.

Read More

Commentary: For Seniors, the Difference Between Florida and New York Is a Matter of Life and Death

Florida has the largest percentage of seniors 65-years-old and older in its population most vulnerable to the Chinese coronavirus among larger states and second nationwide, at 20.5 percent, or 4.3 million. Yet it has a relatively low mortality rate for a large state for the China-originated COVID-19 pandemic, at just 2,660, according to data from the Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Read More

Avenatti Might Have Violated Terms of Release Again, Prosecutors Say

Attorney Michael Avenatti might have violated terms of his temporary release from jail again, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors with the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California said in a filing made Sunday that Avenatti, who represented porn star Stormy Daniels, might have used his friend’s computer to write and file five different documents, according to CNN.

Read More

Minnesota Hasn’t Used $6.9 Million Facility It Bought to Store Deceased Coronavirus Patients

Due to a projected surge in coronavirus fatalities, the state of Minnesota spent $6.9 million to acquire a warehouse for the “temporary storage of human remains,” but the facility has so far gone unused.

“What’s contemplated by the purchase is to buy a building where we can properly handle with dignity and respect and safety the bodies of Minnesotans who may fall victim to the coronavirus,” Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly said during a press conference in early May.

Read More

Commentary: School Reopenings in Denmark Did Not Worsen COVID-19 Spread, Data Show

A new Reuters report says data show the school reopenings in Denmark did not lead to an increase in the spread of COVID-19.

Sending children back to schools and day care centers in Denmark, the first country in Europe to do so, did not lead to an increase in coronavirus infections, according to official data, confirming similar findings from Finland on Thursday.

As nations around the world seek to end the restrictive lockdowns designed to curb the spread of COVID-19, many expressed worry that reopening schools could result in a surge of coronavirus cases. That did not happen in Denmark.

Read More

US Job Losses in May Could Raise 3-Month Total to 30 Million

The epic damage to America’s job market from the viral outbreak will come into sharper focus Friday when the government releases the May employment report: Eight million more jobs are estimated to have been lost. Unemployment could near 20%. And potentially fewer than half of all adults may be working.

Beneath the dismal figures will be signs that job cuts, severe as they are, are slowing as more businesses gradually or partially reopen. Still, the economy is mired in a recession, and any rebound in hiring will likely be painfully slow. Economists foresee unemployment remaining in double-digits through the November elections and into 2021.

Read More

Nine States Plus D.C. Vote Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Social Unrest

Voters across America navigated curfews and health concerns Tuesday in a slate of primary elections amid dueling national crises as Joe Biden looked to move closer to formally clinching the Democratic presidential nomination.

In all, nine states and the District of Columbia were hosting elections, including four that delayed their April contests because of the coronavirus outbreak. While voters cast ballots from Maryland to Montana, Pennsylvania offered the day’s biggest trove of delegates. The state also represented a significant test case for Republicans and Democrats working to strengthen their operations in a premier general election battleground.

Read More

Commentary: Life Is Risky

Perhaps the most unserious response to the coronavirus pandemic has been the facile assertion that lockdowns, the destruction of the economy, and the suppression of our historic freedoms are all justified if they “save just one life.” As Joe Biden put it on Twitter, “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: No one is expendable. No life is worth losing to add one more point to the Dow.”

While every person is unique and has an immortal soul, we do not do anything and everything to save lives from all hazards, nor should we. Adults know that there are no easy solutions to most problems, and real life consists of tradeoffs.  

Read More

Students Sue Harvard Citing ‘Subpar Online Learning Options’ During Coronavirus Pandemic

On Wednesday, students sued Harvard University for not refunding tuition and fees after the coronavirus pandemic forced classes online.

This makes Harvard at least the fourth Ivy League school to be targeted for failing to reimburse educational costs, following Brown, Columbia, and Cornell. The school is facing a $5 million federal class-action lawsuit.  Students chose to pursue legal action as a result of not having “received the benefit of in-person instruction or equivalent access to university facilities and services.” 

Read More

National Security Adviser ‘Wouldn’t Be Surprised’ if China Steals US Coronavirus Vaccine

by Jason Hopkins   White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday suggested that the Chinese Community Party would very likely try to steal American developments on a coronavirus vaccine. During an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” O’Brien predicted that the United States would be the first country…

Read More

Commentary: Conservatives and Liberals Are Responding to COVID-19 in Such Different Ways

In a 2008 TED Talk, psychologist Jonathan Haidt said the worst idea in psychology is the notion that humans are born as a “blank slate.”

Like the cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, Haidt was rejecting the notion that the human mind is a blank slate at birth, an idea that can be traced to thinkers from Aristotle, to John Locke, to B.F. Skinner and beyond.

Read More

Minnesota to ‘Allow’ Churches to Reopen After Faith Leaders Defy Governor’s Orders

Gov. Tim Walz announced Saturday that he would lift his restrictions on religious services and allow all places of worship to open for larger groups beginning Wednesday.

Read More

Minnesota State Fair Canceled for First Time in More Than 70 Years

The general manager of the Minnesota State Fair announced Friday morning that the annual gathering will be canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been working hard and doing our very best with preparations for the 2020 State Fair. The picture was cloudy in March, but things have cleared up considerably since then. Right now is the time of year when things need to really take off if we’re going to have a fair, but we can see that we’re out of runway and can’t get off the ground. There will be no State Fair this year,” General Manager Jerry Hammer said in a statement.

Read More

Republicans Criticize ‘Alarming’ Interpretation of Executive Authority in Letter to Walz and Ellison

The Senate Republican Caucus expressed concern over the governor’s “alarming” interpretation of executive authority in a letter sent this week to Gov. Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison.

“Your interpretation of the scope of the Governor’s authority under Minnesota Statutes, section 12.45, is incorrect and inconsistent with legislative intent and with a more measured reading of the law. Most importantly, it is an infringement on the Legislature’s fundamental and exclusive authority to define and prescribe the punishment for a crime,” states the letter.

Read More

Walz Stumbles Incoherently Over Explanation for Why Churches Are Limited to 10 People, But Restaurants Can Host 50

Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that bars and restaurants can now host up to 50 people for outdoor dining, but churches are still required to limit both indoor and outdoor services to 10 people.

The governor was asked during his Wednesday press briefing why restaurants can host 40 more people than churches for outdoor gatherings.

Read More

Mayor Calls on Walz to Immediately Reopen Greater Minnesota Businesses

A mayor in Greater Minnesota called for immediately reopening businesses in his region in a letter sent Monday to Gov. Tim Walz.

Cambridge Mayor James Godfrey pointed to the “significant difference” in the spread of the coronavirus in rural Minnesota compared to the Metro area. Cambridge is located in Isanti County, which had just 20 confirmed cases and zero deaths as of Wednesday.

Read More

Minnesota Senate Bill Would Require Governor to Seek Legislative Approval for Extending Future Peacetime Emergencies

The Minnesota Senate passed a bill last week that would require the governor to obtain legislative approval before extending any future peacetime emergencies.

The bill, authored by Sen. David Osmek (R-Mound), passed Friday in a vote of 36-31, but failed to advance in the DFL-controlled House before the legislative session expired Sunday night.

Read More

Bonfire Restaurants Latest COVID Casualty, Announces Permanent Closure of All Locations

Bonfire Restaurants announced Friday that it will permanently close all five of its Minnesota locations because of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said in a statement that its locations in Blaine, Eagan, Mankato, Savage, and Woodbury will not be reopening.

Read More

Illegal Aliens Can Begin Applying for Cash Assistance in California

by Jason Hopkins   Illegal aliens can apply for direct cash assistance from the California state government as of Monday, marking the implementation of the first relief program of its kind. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced in April the launch of The Disaster Relief Fund, a $125 million coronavirus relief program…

Read More

President Trump: ‘I Happen to be Taking’ Hydroxychloroquine

President Donald Trump casually let slip Monday afternoon that he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug he’s touted as a promising treatment for Covid-19 patients that has become a lightning rod for controversy.

“A couple of weeks ago, I started taking it,” Trump told reporters during a roundtable at the White House with restaurant executives and industry leaders.

“I was just waiting to see your eyes light up when I said this,” Trump added.

Read More

Keith Ellison Sues Minnesota Restaurant Owner Who Planned to Open Early, Threatens $150,000 in Fines

Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Sunday night that his office has sued a Minnesota restaurant owner who planned to reopen for business Monday.

Kris Schiffler, owner of Shady’s Bar and Grill, planned on reopening his six locations for dine-in business Monday, two weeks earlier than the June 1 reopening date set by the state. He told one local outlet that he received a call from Ellison’s office Friday threatening $25,000 in fines per location, which would amount to $150,000 in total.

Read More

Scientists, Economists Urge Trump to Bring on Statistician to Avoid Getting Duped by Bad Health Models

Dozens of scientists, economists and medical experts are urging President Donald Trump to add a professional statistician to his coronavirus task team because they worry the models his administration are relying upon could potentially lead his administration astray.

A slate of academics provided the Trump administration with a letter Tuesday listing several ideas the president could use to help boost his team’s pandemic response. They believe adding an expert statistician to the COVID-19 task team could help Trump avoid relying on poor models that don’t reflect the real world.

Read More

Lewis Says Any Politician Who Purports to Represent the People Can’t ‘Deny Them Their God-Given Right to Earn a Living’

  There’s no “pandemic exception” to the Bill of Rights, Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis told The Minnesota Sun in a recent interview. That’s the same argument U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr made in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt. “We have three branches of government, and allowing the…

Read More

Democrats’ $3 Trillion ‘Relief’ Package Declared Dead-on-Arrival, Republicans Say

A new Democratic bill proposed by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), without input from Republicans or the Trump administration is “dead on arrival,” top Republican leaders say.

The White House has said it wants to wait and see how the $3 trillion Congress already allocated will impact the economy and help Americans suffering from the economic shutdown due to the coronavirus.

Read More

Commentary: The Unbearable Truths About Our Current Political Moment

Sometimes the truth is like mythical kryptonite. It radiates power and yet promises great destruction. And so reality is to be left alone, encased in lead, and kept at bay.

Take the Chinese genesis of the COVID-19 epidemic. We started in February with the usual Chinese deceptions about their role in the birth, transmission, and worldwide spread of the virus.

Read More