The Trump administration is demanding that Planned Parenthood affiliates give back their PPP loans

Earlier this year, 38 Planned Parenthood affiliates around the United States received over $80 million in loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Now, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is pressuring those affiliates to return the loans, arguing that they were not eligible for them in the first place.

The loans, distributed as part of a program designed to help small employers keep paying their staff during the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, were crucial for the clinics that received them, Planned Parenthood representatives say.

In normal times, the clinics provide reproductive health services from …

Poll: Many Americans won’t venture into public despite businesses reopening

A new poll from the Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that only about half of Americans are ready to resume many of the activities they regularly did prior to the coronavirus pandemic, like watching a movie or attending a sporting event, if given the option.

The survey results underscore the reality that reviving the US economy is not just a matter of opening businesses and venues, but of the public’s perception about the safety of venturing out to crowded spaces and interacting with high-touch surfaces.

The survey, taken from May 14 to 18 (with a …

The Justice Department is pressuring state and local officials over lockdown orders

The Department of Justice has weighed in on stay-at-home orders in Illinois and California — and has warned officials in both states that the federal government believes they may be exceeding their legal authority with their current means of containing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Justice Department’s signals — a statement of interest backing a lawsuit against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s lockdown order, and letters to both Los Angeles officials and California’s governor — are part of an initiative announced last month by Attorney General William Barr meant to monitor and take legal action against any state …

How chaos theory helps explain the weirdness of the Covid-19 pandemic

As we’ve learned, it takes just one person infected with Covid-19 to unleash chaos.

In Washington state, a person with the virus attended a choir practice, and more than half of the other singers subsequently got sick. In South Korea, a 29-year-old man went out to nightclubs; he was Covid-19 positive, and he has since been linked to at least 54 new cases. In China, nine people sitting in the path of an air conditioning vent in a restaurant all got sick, most likely from one person, as the duct blew viral particles across their faces.

Small things could …