Bank Run Burr is back, warning private donor group about COVID 19


Three weeks ago Burr was speaking to a private (elite) group of NC donors called The Circle (more on them later), and his warning to this group was dire indeed. He told them this wasn't just another virus, it was more akin to the 1918 Flu pandemic, which killed some 50 million worldwide. A few days after that private meeting, he issued a press release which included this message to his not-elite constituents: "The U.S. is in a better position than any other nation to handle a public health emergency like the Coronavirus." There are Two Americas, and no doubt about which one Burr really cares for. Circling back to the Circle:

Thursday News: Then there were 92


DURHAM TAKES THE LEAD IN COVID 19 CASES WITH DUKE UNIVERSITY CLUSTER: Durham County announced 11 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, all members of the Duke University community. Most of them traveled internationally and were quarantined in their homes off campus, Durham County and Duke reported in a news release. Duke officials would not say where they traveled. Its announcement on Wednesday follows a day when 15 other cases were announced, all part of a group who had traveled internationally. Four more people who were tested out of the country remained there. Duke announced it is postponing commencement for the Class of 2020 “in light of the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the latest public health advisories on travel and large gatherings.” In a letter to those students, Duke President Vincent Price said it was a “very difficult but necessary decision.” North Carolina had 92 cases of coronavirus after Duke’s announcement Wednesday, which followed five new cases in Wake County.

Census flash: College students should be counted on campus

Even if they are at home due to COVID 19:

“Per the Census Bureau’s residence criteria, in most cases students living away from home at school should be counted at school, even if they are temporarily elsewhere due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a Sunday afternoon news release from the Census Bureau.

In other words, even if students are home on the official census day, which is April 1, they should be counted based on where they live and sleep most of the time. The Census Bureau says it is asking institutions to contact students with reminders about responding.

I just did my Census online today, and it took less than ten minutes. I encourage everybody to go ahead and do this, especially any college students reading this. And if you are a student, call your parents (on the phone or down the hall) and tell them *not* to count you in the household.

It's time to fix NC's cruel unemployment system


Hat-tip to Rick Glazier and MaryBe McMillan:

In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly and then-Gov. Pat McCrory approved House Bill 4 with the stated objective of bringing solvency to the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, which is funded by taxes on employers and pays unemployment benefits to laid-off workers.

Ultimately, the bill achieved solvency for the trust fund, but only by permanently cutting the amount, duration, and eligibility for benefits for all unemployed workers. All told, the changes enacted in North Carolina amounted to the most severe cuts ever enacted by any state during the 80-plus-year history of American unemployment insurance. At the time, legislators claimed that when the trust fund was solvent, these draconian cuts would be revisited. That time has clearly arrived.

How many North Carolinians have lost their homes since this draconian policy was enacted? How many families have been ripped apart? How many suicides? Republicans in the General Assembly won't be asking those questions, but somebody needs to. We rate our education system by how well it stacks up against other states, and elected officials (from both parties) love to brag about our business climate rankings. But what about workers? Unemployment is not driven by worker behavior; it is driven by business trends, mergers and acquisitions, decisions made in corporate boardrooms often in other states or countries. Those workers produced the profits (and state revenues) diligently, and they deserve better compensation than $264 a week for 8 weeks:

Wednesday News: Economic lifeline

COOPER LOOSENS RULES FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS DURING PANDEMIC: Although drive-thru, takeout and delivery food orders are still available, he said, "I recognize this decision will cost people their jobs." So, the executive order also adjusts rules for jobless benefits: The one-week waiting period for benefits has been suspended. People won't be required to look for another jobs to obtain benefits. Workers who have had their hours cut back can seek benefits. People can apply online or over the phone and don't need an in-person interview. Employers won't be held responsible for anyone seeking benefits because of the outbreak. "These changes are designed to lessen the hit on our economy and workers wallets," Cooper said during a news conference. "We know people want to work and that businesses want to stay open. The reality is that many can't."


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