The Senate doesn’t have enough coronavirus test kits — but it doesn’t want ones from the White House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have declined an offer from the Trump administration to be sent rapid coronavirus tests for congressional use as lawmakers prepare to return to the Capitol next week.

In a joint statement, released Saturday, the leaders appeared to be trying to avoid being seen as accepting special treatment, at a moment when testing capacity across the country is still far behind what’s needed to properly assess the spread of the virus.

“Congress is grateful for the Administration’s generous offer to deploy rapid COVID-19 testing capabilities to Capitol Hill, but we respectfully …

Trump’s purge of inspectors general continues. It’s an assault on good governance.

President Donald Trump’s purge of officials who question his leadership continues — this time targeting another watchdog, one who accurately described America’s dearth of medical supplies and tests as the country works to confront the coronavirus crisis.

Late on Friday, the Trump administration announced it had nominated Jason Weida — an assistant US attorney in Boston — for an inspector general position at the Department of Health and Human Services, one of the agencies tasked with responding to the country’s outbreak.

The problem is that position is already filled by Christi Grimm, who before the nomination had not …

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s failed coronavirus response, in one video

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has mishandled his country’s coronavirus outbreak so badly that it’s possible over 1 million people in Brazil have contracted the disease. Despite this crisis, he’s continued to downplay Covid-19’s severity and his own powers to do anything about it.

Bolsonaro has referred to the novel coronavirus as the “little flu” and scoffed at social distancing measures intended to slow the spread of the virus, proclaiming in late March that “we’ll all die one day.” He’s called on citizens to go back to work, directly contradicting the orders of state governors and …

3 California counties are defying state orders on reopening businesses

Three counties in California have announced they’re reopening segments of their economy in defiance of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide restrictions on nonessential business, which were put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The announcements, which came as anti-lockdown protests sprang up across the state this week, raise questions of how much Newsom can expect voluntary compliance with social distancing restrictions as unemployment skyrockets, cabin fever sets in for people stuck at home, and quarantine measures become increasingly politicized.

Modoc County was the first county to make the move. On Thursday it announced it would reopen many kinds …

Canada just banned military-style assault weapons after its deadliest mass shooting

Thirteen days after the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a nationwide ban on military-style assault weapons Friday.

“These weapons were designed for one purpose, and one purpose only: To kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time,” Trudeau said at a press conference in Ottawa Friday. “There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada.”

The new policy immediately bans the use, purchase, sale, transportation, and import of 1,500 models of assault weapons, like the AR-15, the military-style semiautomatic rifle that has been used in many mass …

This coronavirus model keeps being wrong. Why are we still listening to it?

How many people are likely to die in the United States of Covid-19? How many hospital beds is the country going to need? When will case numbers peak?

To answer those questions, many hospital planners, media outlets, and government bodies — including the White House — relied heavily on one particular model out of the many that have been published in the past two months: the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

The model first estimated in late March that there’d be fewer than 161,000 deaths total in the US; in early April, it revised …