Monday morning news – May 11, 2020

White House economic advisers push toward reopening » Some of President Trump’s top economic advisers are stressing the importance of getting more businesses and offices open.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the White House believes it can work with governors to limit risk of reopening. He acknowledged that jumpstarting the economy will not be easy. 

MNUCHIN: The reported numbers are probably going to get worse before they get better. But that’s why we’re focused on rebuilding this economy. We’ll have a better third quarter. We’ll have a better fourth quarter. And next year is going to be a great year.

The president and governors who will decide when to reopen their states are facing competing pressures. More economic activity and travel will likely lead to more people contracting COVID-19. But continued shutdowns are adding millions to the ranks of the unemployed.

Another 3.2 million U.S. workers applied for jobless benefits last week.

Ohio reopening businesses » Ohio is among the many states wrestling with the right balance between guarding against COVID-19 and restarting its economy. 

Governor Mike DeWine told Fox News Sunday… 

DEWINE: Well, it’s really a risk no matter what we do. It’s a risk if we don’t do anything. It’s a risk if we do this. What we have done is we have come up with the best practices for businesses to reopen.  We’ve put business people together with health people, had them come up with these best practices. 

The Republican governor announced this past week that bars and restaurants in his state can fully reopen on May 21st with certain precautions. Barbershops, salons, and day spas will also reopen this Friday.

DeWine said the state has reached a plateau with regard to the rate of new cases and hospitalizations, but he conceded that those rates are not yet falling. 

The governor said, “We’ve got to try to do two things at once… No one is underestimating how difficult this is, but it’s something that we have to do.”

Boris Johnson outlines “the first careful steps” in the UK » Meantime, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday outlined a “conditional plan” for reopening his country in the coming months. 

JOHNSON: At the earliest, by June the 1st, after half-term, we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools. 

In a televised address, Johnson said members of the public will also be able to exercise outdoors, drive to destinations such as beaches and play certain sports such as golf and tennis—but only with members of the same household.

And he said it was appropriate to encourage people with jobs that cannot be done from home to return to work.

But he said it would be “madness” to loosen restrictions so much that a second spike in cases emerges. As of Sunday, the UK has recorded almost 32,000 virus-related deaths, the most in Europe. 

The prime minister said, “We must continue to control the virus and save lives.” But he added “we must also recognize that this campaign against the virus has come at colossal cost to our way of life.”

Cuomo: coronavirus may seriously threaten some children » Two young children and a teenager have now died in New York due to possible complications from the coronavirus. Governor Andrew Cuomo said the issues involved swollen blood vessels and heart problems. 

CUOMO: One of the few rays of good news was young people weren’t affected. We’re not so sure that is the fact anymore. 

At least 73 children in New York have been diagnosed with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease—a rare inflammatory condition in children—and toxic shock syndrome. Most of them are toddlers and elementary-age children.

There is no proof that the virus causes the mysterious syndrome. Cuomo said children had tested positive for COVID-19 or the antibodies but did not show the common symptoms of the virus when they were hospitalized.

Doctors still believe that most children with the coronavirus develop only mild illness.

Little Richard dies » Rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Little Richard has died. 

MUSIC: [Good Golly Miss Molly]

Born Richard Penniman, Little Richard was one of rock ‘n’ roll’s founding fathers who helped shatter the color line on the music charts. He joined Chuck Berry and Fats Domino in bringing what was once called “race music” into the mainstream. 

He sold more than 30 million records worldwide, and influenced countless other performers, including the Beatles.

Little Richard died on Saturday after battling bone cancer. He was 87.

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) In this April 21, 2020, file photo President Donald Trump listens as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. 

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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