Actual unemployment could be at peak Great Depression levels, say White House advisers

Top Trump administration economic advisers are arguing there is a dire need to reopen the economy quickly to reduce unemployment rates — which they say may be above 20 percent — and to ensure the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t lead to any “permanent economic damage.”

However, their arguments come as public health experts warn that reopening nonessential businesses will surely lead to more Covid-19 cases and deaths.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the US lost 20.5 million jobs in April. This puts the US unemployment rate at 14.7 percent, a figure worse than any on record since the …

The US was offered millions of masks in January. The Trump administration turned the offer down.

The federal government turned down an offer that would have allowed the United States to significantly ramp up domestic mask production in the earliest stages of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by the Washington Post. The decision later forced the Trump administration to turn to expensive, untested third-party distributors and to use the Defense Production Act to compel companies to increase output.

It’s unclear exactly why top officials turned down the offer, but the decision to do so continues to have consequences for the many frontline workers who still lack the necessary equipment to protect themselves …

SNL and its cast close the season with a touching goodbye 

This weekend, Saturday Night Live celebrated the conclusion of its 45th season with a wistful goodbye and a hopeful see-you-later, in its season finale.

Perhaps no sketch embodied this theme as well as one featuring much of the cast titled “Dreams.”

Shot entirely “at home” because of New York City’s stay-at-home order, the sketch begins with Cecily Strong talking on the phone with her mom, discussing how much she wishes things would soon return to normal. The conversation — part reassurance that we’re okay, and part venting at the frustration of the situation — is one that many of …

SNL brings back Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump to give the Covid-19 graduation speech no one wanted

Coming in eighth place behind contenders like Axl Rose, murder hornets, Elon Musk and Grimes’s newborn baby, and a 90 Day Fiancé cast member, President Donald Trump (played by Alec Baldwin) was chosen as the graduation speaker for Saint Mary Magdalene by the Expressway 2020 high school during the cold open of Saturday Night Live’s season 45 finale.

“Congratulations to the class of Covid-19. I’m so honored to be your validictator,” Baldwin’s Trump said. “There are so many exciting new jobs out there, like grocery store bouncer, cam girl, porch pirate, amateur nurse, and coal.”

The …

Media coverage has blown anti-lockdown protests out of proportion

In the last few weeks, protests against state lockdowns and social distancing measures have seized national headlines. The wall-to-wall coverage might give the impression that what we’re seeing is a powerful grassroots movement in the making.

But research we just conducted on protest attendance and media coverage shows something different: this massive media coverage has in fact been out of proportion.

A comprehensive look at the social distancing protests reveals that they have been small in terms of both the number of participants and locations. As one official in the administration of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) tweeted about a …