The World and Everything in It – March 3, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning! The coronavirus, COVID-19, continues its march around the world. We’ll hear how the United States has been preparing.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also we’ll bring you opinions the US Supreme Court handed down last week.  

Plus our Classic Book of the Month. It’s about prayers.

AUDIO: I remember reading these prayers thinking these prayers would be so incredible for them as new Christians.

EICHER: And Kim Henderson on finding help in times of need.

REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, March 3rd. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now news. Here’s Kent Covington.

Candidates geared up for Super Tuesday » Today is Super Tuesday, the biggest day of the presidential primary process. And it could shape up as a showdown between the frontrunner, Senator Bernie Sanders … and former Vice President Joe Biden. 

Biden heads into today’s votes with the wind at his back. He’s coming off a resounding 28 point win over Sanders in South Carolina. And two candidates competing with Biden for the center-left vote … have called it quits within the past two days. 

BUTTIGIEG: I will no longer seek to be the 2020 Democratic nominee for president, but I will do everything in my power to make sure that we have a new Democratic president come January. 

Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg heard there on Sunday. A day later, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar dropped out. And both are reportedly throwing their support behind Joe Biden. 

Fourteen states will hold primaries today. The biggest prize is California, with 415 pledged delegates up for grabs, followed by Texas with 261.

Exit polls show Netanyahu closer to victory » Meantime, in Israel on Monday, voters went to the polls for the third time in less than a year. And supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party celebrated…

SOUND (Likud NATS): [up just a sec or two, then under and out]

…as exit polls last night gave Netanyahu a solid edge. 

But it was unclear whether he could clinch the majority in Parliament needed to claim victory.

Exit polls have Netanyahu and his nationalist and religious allies winning 60 seats, one short of a parliamentary majority. The center-left bloc, led by former military chief Benny Gantz, was projected to win 52 to 54 seats.

Trump meets with pharmaceutical leaders about COVID-19 vaccine » President Trump huddled with leaders of the pharmaceutical industry in the Oval Office on Monday to discuss what can be done to fastrack a vaccine for COVID-19. Emerging from that meeting, the president told reporters…

TRUMP: It’s likely that therapies will be ready before a vaccine is actually ready. Some very good work has been done on the vaccine, however, and they have some good progress. 

Medical officials say it could be more than a year before an effective vaccine hits the market. 

Meantime, a hospital employee who recently traveled to Italy is the first person in New Hampshire to test positive for the coronavirus.

The male patient is experiencing mild symptoms and remains at home in Grafton County while health officials investigate. The patient is an employee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, which has set up an incident command center.

COVID-19 is characterized by fever and coughing and, in serious cases, shortness of breath or pneumonia. As of Sunday, the United States had at least 80 confirmed cases of the virus.

Supreme Court to hear Obamacare appeal » The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to decide a lawsuit that targets Obamacare. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen has more. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The court said it would hear an appeal by 20 mainly Democratic states of a lower-court decision. That ruling declared part of Obamacare unconstitutional … and cast a cloud over the entire statute. 

For those with insurance under the law, nothing changes while the high court deliberates. The law’s subsidized private insurance coverage and Medicaid expansion remain in place while the issues are litigated.

Defenders of the Affordable Care Act argued that the questions raised by the case are too important to let it drag on for months or years in lower courts. They also said the 5th U-S Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans erred … when it struck down the provision that forced Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine.

The case will be the third major Supreme Court battle over the law since President Barack Obama signed it nearly 10 years ago.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.  

Judge rules Cuccinelli unlawfully appointed to lead USCIS » A federal judge has ruled that Ken Cuccinelli was unlawfully appointed to lead the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency.  

U.S. District Judge Randolph Moss in Washington found Cuccinelli’s appointment violated a law governing who is eligible to lead federal agencies in an acting capacity. And, as a result, the judge said Cuccinelli lacked authority to give asylum seekers less time to prepare for initial screening interviews.

Cuccinelli told Fox News…

CUCCINELLI: You can expect an appeal, and we’ll take intermediate steps to avoid any challenges, but it doesn’t affect anything we’re doing going forward, and Joe Edlow’s there at the helm. 

Joe Edlow is deputy director for policy at USCIS. The agency grants green cards and other visas and also oversees asylum officers.

Former GE CEO Jack welch dies » Former General Electric CEO and corporate leadership guru Jack Welch has died. 

Welch became a household name during his two decades as GE’s chairman and chief executive, from 1981 to 2001. His results-driven management approach and hands-on style were credited with helping GE turn a financial corner. At one point during his tenure, GE became the most valuable company in the world.

But some of that success came at the expense of thousands of employees who lost their jobs in Welch’s efforts to rid GE of unprofitable businesses. Welch explained in a 2005 interview…

WELCH: Your mission has to be very clear. We wanted to be, clearly at GE, we wanted to be the most competitive enterprise in the world. And we wanted to be number one or number two in every business we were in, or we wanted to fix, sell or close it. 

In 1999, Fortune magazine named Welch as its “Manager of the Century.”

Welch died of renal failure. He was 84 years old.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: rulings in seven Supreme Court cases.

Plus, U.S. health systems prepare for the coronavirus.

This is The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s Tuesday the 3rd of March, 2020.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Well, the Supreme Court handed down seven opinions last week, and today we summarize them. 

But first, last week the court decided to hear a case next term crucial to children and religious freedom. A decision in that case will clarify what role faith-based agencies may have in the foster care and adoption system. The City of Philadelphia in 2018 wouldn’t permit children to be placed into foster families arranged by Catholic Social Services, unless it abandoned its belief that marriage is one man, one woman.

EICHER: On to the seven decisions handed down last week.

First, the two split opinions, with the five conservative justices in the majority each time.

Case one: a majority ruled against a Mexican family who wanted to sue in U.S. federal court. A U.S. Border Patrol agent had shot and killed the family’s teenage son. What made the case legally difficult is the agent was on the American side of the border and the young boy on the Mexican side.

The legal question was whether the family could sue in American courts under a so-called “Bivens action.” That’s a right to sue a federal agent for violating constitutional rights in some situations. 

The majority justices wrote that the separation of powers guides its decision, and that if Congress wants to expand the right to sue, then that’s what Congress ought to do, not the courts.

REICHARD: A second split decision came in a death penalty case. Here, a jury sentenced a man to death 20 years ago, and that man is not entitled to a re-sentencing that takes into account his post traumatic stress. An appeals court considered James McKinney’s circumstances, and the court said that’s good enough. You can hear the eventual ruling in this comment during oral argument from Justice Brett Kavanaugh:

KAVANAUGH: You are requiring a new jury sentencing 28 years after the murders and after the victims’ families have been through this for three decades…. Why go back to a jury re-sentencing 28 years later?

EICHER: The next five decisions are unanimous ones. 

A child custody dispute between an Italian father and an American mother ended with victory for the father. The mother said she fled Italy with their child when her husband became abusive. He sued under the Hague Convention, which forbids removing a child from her “habitual residence” in custody battles. All nine justices found the specific facts of this case showed the child’s habitual residence is in Italy, where she has lived for the past three years.

REICHARD: Next, the court clarified that it’s not necessary for a criminal defendant formally to object to his sentence in order to preserve his appeal for a shorter one. Here, a man’s lawyer failed to object to the prison sentence when it came in, and procedural rules blocked him from raising it later. That obstacle is now gone.

EICHER: The third decision has to do with the Armed Career Criminal Act, ACCA. The court, again unanimously, ruled it’s not necessary that state and federal drug offenses align to trigger ACCA’s longer sentences. 

A Florida convict racked up multiple convictions for cocaine sale and possession, but the state court didn’t require a finding that he had a “guilty mind” in doing it. The federal crime does require such a finding. But the Supreme Court said, none of that matters. You do the crime, you do the time.

REICHARD: Next: the question of who gets the tax refund when affiliated corporations file consolidated tax returns? The justices sent this one back to lower court to figure out who owns the refund under state law. This one is really complicated but essentially the Supreme Court told the lower courts don’t make up rules that the Constitution doesn’t allow.  Another way of looking at it is, whoever is the rightful owner of that $4 million refund is going to have to wait a little longer to receive it.

EICHER: Finally, a win for the man who doesn’t read his mail. 

Christopher Sulyma worked for Intel. He sued the fiduciaries of his retirement plan for what he saw as mismanagement.  But Intel’s argument was, we mailed him information about those investments, as the law requires. Not our fault he didn’t read them. 

But the justices’ sympathies seemed to be with Sulyma. You could clearly pick that up during oral argument. Here’s Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg:

GINSBURG: And…there are many people who don’t read these mailings. I must say I don’t read all the mailings that I get about my investments.  [Laughter]

EICHER: The law is ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The legal issue was whether he had “actual knowledge” that fraud happened in this case. If he did have it, he’d have less time to bring a lawsuit. The justices ruled “actual knowledge” here cannot be presumed. 

The opinion was clear Intel is going to have to show evidence of “willful blindness.” But the company will have to do it in another proceeding.

NICK EICHER: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: preparing for the coronavirus.

People in Wuhan, China first got sick with COVID-19 in early December. 

Within three months and with the exception of Antarctica, it has now spread to every continent on the planet. Countries in the Middle East and Europe are working to contain the coronavirus as patients overwhelm emergency rooms. 

And the United States seems to be on the cusp of its own outbreak.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: We mentioned the numbers a few minutes ago, and the death toll is still relatively low in the United States. 

Still, several states declared a public health emergency over the last week as efforts ramp up to contain the virus. Others have temporarily closed schools and canceled major events. Those developments have people asking: Is the U.S. healthcare system ready to handle a widespread outbreak? WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: U.S. health officials issued a somber warning last week: It’s time to prepare for COVID-19’s advance in the United States.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier directs the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

MESSONNIER: Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country.  It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more a question of how many people in this country will have severe illness.

Messonnier said schools, businesses, and hospitals should prepare for disruption as health officials work to limit the disease’s reach. 

In response to COVID-19’s growing global threat, last week, the Trump administration asked Congress for additional funding. $2.5 billion to combat and contain the virus’s spread. 

The money will help expand public health surveillance systems, fund testing for the virus, back the development of a vaccine, and ensure healthcare workers have enough supplies to manage the outbreak. 

Even so, President Trump came under fire from some Democrats for not preparing sooner for the coronavirus. 

But Dr. Messonnier says the CDC has been preparing for an outbreak like this for years

MESSONNIER: In the last two years, CDC has engaged in two pandemic influenza exercises that have required us to prepare for a severe pandemic and just this past year we had a whole of government exercise practicing similarly around a pandemic of influenza. Right now CDC is operationalizing all of its pandemic response plans, working on multiple fronts including specific measures to prepare communities to respond to local transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19. 

And according to a recent Johns Hopkins study, the United States is more ready to deal with an outbreak than almost any other country.

The study examined the ability of nearly 200 countries across six categories to handle a pandemic. The United States ranked in the top nine. 

Dr. Amesh Adalja is with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Global Health Security. 

ADALJA: I think the United States is very well prepared. One of the best countries prepared for an infectious disease emergency. However, there are going to be gaps and there are always going to be some disruption that occurs when this virus, uh, uh, begins in earnest in this country.

One of those potential gaps could be a shortage of medical masks needed to protect healthcare workers. 

The United States has stockpiled nearly 45 million masks. Still health officials would like an additional 300 million.  

But China is the world’s largest producer of medical masks. And with domestic demand high there, that doesn’t leave a lot of surplus for other countries. 

ADALJA: That may put supply pressure on, on the supply of masks and that may become more crucial as we get further into this a pandemic.

With that in mind, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued a stern warning to Americans over the weekend: Stop buying masks. 

Another concern could be a shortage of hospital beds. Hospital stays have gotten shorter over the last few decades, so the number of beds available in the United States has actually decreased. 

That has some small rural hospitals worried. Brock Slabach is the senior vice president for the National Rural Health Association. Slabach says rural hospitals rely on sending patients with serious diseases to much larger urban facilities. 

But if city hospitals fill up, that could strain a rural hospital’s ability to provide long-term, specialized care. 

SLABACH: Where we fall short is in our area of available workforce and in the area of possibly having enough technology, for example, ventilators to care for patients. And do we have enough medications to be able to take care of the patients that are that are in our beds adequately. 

Still, Slabach says, in order to qualify for federal funds, hospitals are required to have two emergency drills a year. So many rural hospitals do have emergency management plans in place. 

Healthcare officials have also raised concerns about the availability of COVID-19 test kits and the CDC’s capacity to process a growing number of tests. So, on Thursday, the CDC freed up state public health labs to conduct their own coronavirus testing. 

And, yesterday, the FDA also reported the first U.S. drug shortage because COVID-19 is causing supply chain disruptions in China. The FDA didn’t say how severe the shortage is.

Dr. David Stevens is the CEO Emeritus of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. He says even though the U.S. health system is largely prepared, people are still fearful. And that can create openings for meaningful conversations. 

STEVENS: You can have fear to panic in the midst of an epidemic. And I think as Christians we have a tremendous opportunity to show where we put our trust when everybody else is so fearful.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Well, you likely won’t see this event in the Olympic games anytime soon. But an Englishwoman by the name of Katie Godor was the victor in a one-of-kind foot race that’s a source of pride in her hometown Olney. After all, this race can trace its history to 15th century England. 

It’s the International Pancake Day race. 

What makes the race unique is contestants have to run while carrying a pancake in a frying pan. You flip once to start the race and flip again 415 yards later to conclude the race.

You have to be wondering about the history. I certainly was, and here it is:

Back in 1445, just before Lent, a woman in England was rushing to use up all her remaining cooking fats, so she was making pancakes—cooking fats being forbidden during Lent. Then she heard the sound of church bells. So she grabbed her head scarf, and dashed 415 yards to get to church, skillet and pancake still in hand. Subsequently, neighbors got into the act and it became a race to see who could get to church first. 

And now you know…

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, March 3rd. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. 

Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. 

Well, it’s the first Tuesday of the month, and that means it’s time for our Classic Book of the Month. Emily Whitten is our book reviewer and she joins us now for that. Good morning, Emily!

EMILY WHITTEN, GUEST: Good morning, Mary!

REICHARD: What Classic Book do you have for us this time? 

WHITTEN: I’d like to talk about one of the best-selling Scottish theologians in history. His name is John Baillie, and his book, A Diary of Private Prayer, came out in 1936. Since then, it’s sold more than a million copies. Not bad for a book of roughly 60 short prayers.

REICHARD: Short prayers? Well, what else makes this book noteworthy?

WHITTEN: Well, I think I’ll start with Baillie’s career. As a theologian, he held posts at a number of academic institutions in the U.K., Canada and the United States. Baillie served as a minister in the Church of Scotland for several decades. In 1943, he became the Moderator of the General Assembly of that church. In that role and others, he helped shape the church’s response to World War II and post-war reconstruction. 

REICHARD: I guess that helps explain why he sold more than a million copies of his Diary of Private Prayer. He had quite a platform.

WHITTEN: He definitely influenced a lot of people in his lifetime. But he wrote the book early in his career, so I suspect that content and format played a bigger role. A Diary of Private Prayer includes a month’s worth of morning and evening prayers. Through them, Baillie helps readers confess their sin, remember God’s character, and call on the Lord for provision. Compared to, say, Valley of Vision, these prayers aren’t as theologically heady, but they are warm and gracious. Let’s listen to Daniel Westfall of the Youtube channel Pray With Me reading one of his favorites: 

O God who has been the refuge of my fathers through many generations, Be my refuge today. In every time and circumstance of need, be my guide through all that is dark and doubtful. Be my guard against all that threatens my spirit’s welfare. Be my strength in time of testing. Gladden my heart with thy peace through Jesus Christ, my Lord.

WHITTEN: So as we just heard, Baillie often writes poetically. He uses lists and repetition and incorporates a fair amount of Scripture. The reading level is probably a little higher than most devotionals today. Some people will like that. For others, it may be a stumbling block. 

Susanna Wright is an editor and pastor’s wife in England, and she spent about ten years updating Baillie’s prayers. She got the idea for a new version of the book while ministering in a rough neighborhood. Here’s Wright speaking on Premier Christian Radio:

I remember reading these prayers thinking these prayers would be so incredible for them, and for anyone, but for them as new Christians. I wanted to make them a little bit more accessible. They were in King James Language, thee’s and thou’s. It took me a while to get my head around the language, cause we’re not used to it. It was written in the 1930s. And so I wanted to make it more accessible to them. That was my original motivation, was how great these prayers would be for them.

WHITTEN: If you’re interested in Wright’s more modern version, just look for A Diary of Private Prayer edited by Susanna Wright. If you like the older, original language, it’s pretty easy to find a used or digital copy. 

REICHARD: Very good. Anything else we should know about these books?

WHITTEN: Here’s a fun fact, Mary. Apparently the original publisher, Oxford University Press, printed a waterproof edition during World War II. And that was so that soldiers could have access to these prayers, even on the front lines. 

REICHARD: That says a lot…that soldiers would want to carry these prayers in battle. Kinda puts them in a different light.

WHITTEN: Yeah, not everybody needs a trench edition–though that would be really cool to find on ebay or somewhere–but we’re all involved in spiritual warfare. It wouldn’t hurt to learn to pray as if you’re in the trenches…because in many ways, we are. 

REICHARD: Very true. Whether we know it or not. With all the distractions and busy-ness that pull me away from prayer…I can always use some encouragement.

WHITTEN: One cool thing, you don’t even have to speak English to benefit from Baillie’s work. His prayers have been translated into several languages. I brought along a beautiful Korean version read by Lois Park. Maybe we could close with that?

REICHARD: I think we can do that. 

WHITTEN: Great! One last thing before I sign off. I want to invite folks to read ahead for next month. We’ll be talking about The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. 

REICHARD: Fathers and sons…That’s a thick book, with something for everyone…a good one to read for sure. 

WHITTEN: Exactly. I know I’m a nerd, but I love to get lost in a big, thick book when it’s gray and gloomy outside. And I love to get feedback from our listeners! So if they want to record a favorite passage, or tell me about a favorite character, or if they just have questions they’d like me to answer next month, they can shoot me an email at [email protected]. They can also reach me @emilyawhitten on Twitter.

MR: This is your chance to ask an English Literature major a question! Well, I can’t wait! And thanks for our book recommendation today, Emily. 

WHITTEN: You’re very welcome, Mary. Happy reading!

REICHARD: For March, Emily recommended A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie. She also mentioned the newer version edited by Susanna Wright. You can find other classic book recommendations at Just search for Classic Book of the Month. 

Finally, just for fun, we close out our segment today with a Korean version of one of John Baillie’s prayers read by Lois Park.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, March 3rd. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. WORLD Radio’s Kim Henderson attended a criminal trial recently. And she has some sober reflections on the experience.

KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: Last week in Magnolia, Mississippi,  convicted killer Cory Godbolt got the death penalty. Four times. 

It was a dramatic trial with sequestered jurors and 11 days of testimony. Sitting there among reporters, I had a notepad and a front-row seat to the proceedings. But the part I’ll remember most is what happened during the sentencing phase of this capital murder trial—the victim-impact statements.   

That’s when family members who sit silent while others plead their case finally get a chance to speak. It’s when victims get a voice.  

First up was a wife. She described her slain deputy husband as a singer who greeted each day with lines from “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’.” She said there’s a 13-year-old at her house who wishes he could hear his dad sing that again. Just once. 

Backed by a big screen photo of the smiling uniformed deputy, her words stirred a young lawman at the end of my row to bow his head and weep.

That wife was followed by her mother-in-law. This lady recalled how the deputy’s sister went through with her wedding just two days after her brother was buried. He was supposed to walk her down the aisle. And since he was an ordained minister, he was supposed to do the marrying part, too. The mother went on to say she’s had to move from the town where she was born, the town where she raised her children, to escape the memories. 

Next, parents told about losing their 18-year-old son, a football player the college scouts were courting. His prom picture flashed across the screen while the dad told jurors that his family’s laughs don’t last as long now. He says some things they must accept, but they just don’t know how to yet. 

The impact statements continued with a proud momma remembering an 11-year-old who danced and drew. 

Then a grandmother who misses riding to church with her grandson told about him sounding out hard words in his Sunday School lesson. 

And last on the stand was a young woman who could hardly talk for crying. She’s motherless and missing the encouraging texts she got each morning. “Now, I can’t call her,” she sobbed. “I can’t talk to her.”  

So these brave family members summed up two-and-a-half years of pain in two hours. They tried to put into words the effects of what prosecutors called an “especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel crime.” In the process, they cried. They questioned. They lamented.

In fact, their victim-impact statements expressed the woes of a fallen world, much like the lines of a psalm of lament. The grief, the injustice, the confusion, the despair. But Biblical lament doesn’t stop there. It finds its way to God. 

One of the family members at the trial expressed this to a “T” when she had her turn on the stand. She admitted she didn’t think could make it after her daughter’s murder. Then she told the courtroom she turned to Jesus, and He helped her.

May her impact statement bear much fruit. 

For WORLD Radio, I’m Kim Henderson.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Well, it’s Super Tuesday today, so tomorrow on Washington Wednesday we will evaluate where the Democrats stand after results come in.

And, we’ll tell you about the spiritual legacy one holocaust survivor left to her children.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Second Corinthians tells us not to look to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen … what you see is transient, what remains unseen is eternal. 

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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