Fri. 5/1/20: COVID-19 Daily Update


Today’s Facebook Live featured Local 5 bartender Jason Maxwell, who showed us how to make his favorite quarantine cocktails & encouraged viewers to donate to the Local 5 hardship fund. Watch the recording here.


Plans in the works to market Hawaii as the ‘safest place in the world’ (Star Advertiser, May 1, 2020)

Most Hawaii businesses remain closed and the stay-home orders have not yet been lifted, but plans are already in the works to begin marketing the state to tourists as “the safest place on earth.” Ige said on Wednesday that it will be a while before the state opens up to tourists. But he has spoken to hotels, airlines, and visitor attractions, and “everyone is committed to reinvent the hospitality industry here in the islands. We want to be branded and known for being safe and for providing a terrific experience for visitors.”

DLIR makes progress paying claims, but must fix glitches in new PUA system (Star Advertiser, May 1, 2020)

As of Thursday, the department had paid 81,507 or just over 45% of the claims that it had in process between April 1 and April 30. During that period, it had 229,142 unique filings, with 180,175 of those filings in process.

The amount of travelers flying to Hawaii continues to remain in the hundreds (KITV, May 1, 2020)

166 visitors arrived on Thursday. A mainland couple honeymooning in Hawaii were arrested by Special Agents of the Attorney General for violating their quarantine.

Thousands of Americans backed by rightwing donors gear up for protests (The Guardian, May 1, 2020)

These “reopen” protests are being backed by wealthy conservative groups, right wing media, and Trump.

It’s useful to ask what these protesters are demanding and who financially benefits. It’s useful to ask what these protesters are NOT demanding. These protesters aren’t asking for expanded health coverage for everyone, PPE for everyone, workplace safety rules, small business bailouts, hazard pay, better wages for minimum wage jobs, rent and mortgage moratoriums, food support, recall protections, expanded unemployment or basic income benefits.

It’s just a demand to “reopen.” These right wing demands are asking workers to risk their lives and family’s lives so that capitalism can go back to its normal exploitation of workers and because they don’t like the inconvenience of stay at home orders. There’s no thought given to big picture view of what it’ll take for society to be truly safe and actually benefit working families.

‘Reopen Hawaii’ protest: 3 arrested, 5 cited at the State Capitol (KITV, May 1, 2020)

Hawaii had its own version of the national astro-turfed protests to reopen states. As the article above explains, these astro-turf protests are created by and/or funded by corporations, associations, political interests, or public relations firms. About 100 people showed up.

Stay-at-home order protesters represent a minority view (CNN, April 20, 2020)

Only 27% of Americans in an ABC News/Ipsos poll said they expected their routines to be back to normal by June 1. The majority said they expected by July 1 or later (61%) or haven’t had their daily routine changed (11%).

In a Pew Research poll, 66% of Americans were more worried that restrictions would be lifted too soon compared to the 32% who said not soon enough.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 58% of voters were more worried that restrictions would be removed too early and lives would be lost, compared to 32% who were more worried that restrictions would be changed too slowly and too many jobs would be lost.

‘I’m Scared’: U.S. Workers in Reopening States Face an Impossible Choice (Vice, May 1, 2020)

Workers in reopening states are faced with an impossible choice: if you refuse work because you are scared of the risk to yourself and your loved ones, you could lose your unemployment benefits, lose your health coverage, risk your life, risk your family’s lives, lose your job, infect others against your will, and have to compete with a giant desperate pool of other people who are looking for work.

So many low-wage workers also have no savings. Many workers aren’t even getting unemployment benefits yet because state IT systems are so outdated.

‘Survival’: Tenants, landlords brace for largest rent strike in decades (NBC, April 29, 2020)

This article is about tenant rights groups and housing insecurity driving people to take action.

Coronavirus energizes the labor movement. Can it last? (LA Times, May 1, 2020)

This covers some of the many actions taking place right now by angry workers. UNITE HERE Local 11 in Los Angeles is highlighted for its victories of passing of city legislation requiring hotels and janitorial services to recall workers based on seniority, and to condition airport rent relief on concessions paying medical benefits to laid off staff.

COVID Cases Today

World: Cases: 3.34M (+90k).  Deaths: 238k (+5k)
USA: Cases: 1.1M (+30k).  Deaths: 65k (+2k).  Total Tested: 6.5M (+300k)
Hawaii: Cases:  619 (+1).  Deaths: 16 (+0).  Hospitalized: 72 (+2). Recovered: 532 (+6)