Good day, dear readers. Do the Americans in the audience know the status of their stimulus check? If not, no worries, there’s been some confusion on that front. And those payments aren’t the only financial woes the US public is facing Last week, unemployment numbers in the country continued to rise to record levels, with even the WWE seeing massive layoffs just two days after surreally being deemed an essential service by the state of Florida. (Depressingly, if unsurprisingly, new projections about poverty in the US are horrific.) Everyone is settling in to their new normal in these coronavirus times, but apparently, that might not be good, which might be why some are trying to return to the past so fervently. In times like these, we need some kind of comfort, whether it’s the familiarity of yesteryear or just Tom Hardy reading bedtime stories. Wondering what the world has been talking about in between homeschooling, sewing masks, and downloading new Zoom backgrounds? Sit down, make yourself comfortable, and get ready to find out.
President Trump Vows to Pull WHO Funding
What Happened: President Trump made moves to pull the United States’ funding for the World Health Organization in the midst of an international public health crisis.
What Really Happened: The world is in the midst of a pandemic that has utterly decimated the planet, with more than two million cases worldwide and nearly 150,000 deaths. Covid-19 is something that stretches far beyond national borders, which is why the World Health Organization—the global agency of the United Nations—has proven to be vital to international efforts to fight the virus. Yet, last week, this happened.
Yes, the President of the United States is halting WHO funding because he doesn’t like the way it responded to early reports of the coronavirus. Specifically, he claims that the WHO was too slow to respond, not transparent enough in its response, and was far too deferential to China.
That doesn’t mean the president sees things that way.
This whole exchange is reminiscent of another that went viral just one day earlier, when Trump failed to respond to questions from CBS reporter Paula Reid.
If you’re starting to think Trump typically has these kinds of exchanges with female reporters, you’re not alone there. But let’s get back to the president and the WHO. He’s announced that the US will stop funding, but there might be a problem.
Wondering how Congress feels about all of this? Let’s check with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who probably has something to say.
The Takeaway: Let’s check in and see what a medical expert thinks of this latest development, and how it’s going to help efforts to fight the coronavirus, shall we?
Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, and Elizabeth Warren Endorse Joe Biden
What Happened: Former vice president Joe Biden started reeling in endorsements for his bid to become US president.
What Really Happened: Now that Senator Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the presidential race, the lane is wide open for Joe Biden to be the Democrats’ nominee in the upcoming presidential election—and folks are stepping up to voice their support.
Sanders had some other things to say as well, including that the media cost him the nomination. But that’s mostly in the past now, with the senator telling his loyal supporters that it’s “irresponsible” not to support Biden considering the stakes of the upcoming election. It was an impressive endorsement, but only the first of what would turn out to be a holy trinity of Democratic figures. Next up? Biden’s former boss.
But wait. we said it was a trinity, right? Well, who’s left? Oh, that’s right.
Welcome back, Senator Elizabeth Warren. Not only did Warren’s endorsement bring one of the best campaign ads for Biden that anyone’s seen—seriously, can Biden just hire Warren’s communications team?—but it also brought about a somewhat surprising proposition.
The one-two-three punch was an impressive rollout of support, for sure, and presented something voters haven’t seen in a while: the idea of a united Democratic Party.
The Takeaway: Now, in other potential endorsement news …
The West Coast Avengers
What Happened: For those wondering when they can finally go out and see a movie/shop for stuff/hang out with friends again, there’s a super state solution being worked on out on the West Coast.
What Really Happened: Never mind working for the weekend; at this point, everyone is working for the eventual end of staying inside and away from the rest of humanity for the good of everyone’s health. But just when is that going to happen? According to President Trump, it’ll be soon. But on the West Coast, there’s another plan in play.
Yes, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced last week that California has partnered with Oregon and Washington to reopen the left side of the country. It’s the West Coast Avengers! But Twitter already had a name picked out, as it happened.
If you’re wondering where this “Cascadia” thing was coming from, turns out it’s a name that’s been waiting for use for some time.
Part of the plan includes a fund to help undocumented immigrants, which has earned him new demonization from the right. As he announced the plan, Newsom distanced himself from Trump’s take on the idea of reopening the country.
A day later, Washington Governor Jay Inslee followed suit, as well. It’s wonderful to see what can be achieved when states unite across America. Perhaps there’s a way to harness this energy across the entire country, maybe call it the United Sta — nah, it would never catch on. But Cascadia will grow, friends. It will grow.
The Takeaway: As states on the East Coast start to band together themselves, longterm Judge Dredd fans knew exactly what they were witnessing.
19 Installments? What Is This, the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
What Happened: You’d think that presidential advisors would be well-versed in what they went on television to talk about. Then you’d watch Kellyanne Conway in action, talking about Covid-19.
What Really Happened: Given the name of the coronavirus that’s currently (literally) plaguing the world—Covid-19, which is a shortened form of CORona VIrus Disease discovered in 2019—it was really only a matter of time before someone made the mistake of thinking that it was the 19th coronavirus in history. Unfortunately, the person who made that mistake works for the President of the United States, and she made it very publicly.
Others tried to make things a little better by imagining what the other Covids would’ve been.
As the White House unconvincingly claimed that Conway knew exactly what the “19” meant—come on—someone clearly explained things to Kellyanne, who later that day tried a different version of the same attack against the WHO on Twitter.
If at first you don’t succeed, clearly the next step is trying a slight variation on social media. We’ve all heard that truism, right?
The Takeaway: Just imagine that Kellyanne Conway was right, though! Think of what she could possibly know that others don’t.
It’s Like GoldenEye, but With an Arm
What Happened: Sometimes, you just need to accept that a woman wants to be buried with her golden arm. Is that really too much to ask? Is it?
What Really Happened: Look, in these trying times, everyone needs something absolutely unexpected—and just a bit non-sensical—with which to become obsessed. Take, for example, the simple and straightforward tale of a woman with a golden arm who dies and … Oh, just take a look for yourself.
You might be thinking, “Wait, what was that?” And that would be the right response, all things considered. Here’s probably the most straightforward description of the plot we could find:
It’s part of 50 States of Fright, the Sam Raimi-produced (and, in this case, Raimi-directed) anthology show on the new mobile video platform Quibi. But even knowing that context didn’t exactly help everyone, it seems.
Whatever it was, it delighted social media midweek like nothing else.
As proof of the show’s odd appeal—which started to go curiously mainstream—it even prompted a catchphrase of sorts.
Perhaps the best responses came from Angel Giuffria, an actress with her own prosthetic arm.
The plus side for Quibi is, if they hoped something this ridiculous would get people to sign up, they were apparently entirely right.
Quick! Everyone rush to make weird and compelling television! It’s the new thing, finally!
The Takeaway: There is something about this whole thing that feels … oddly unreal, to say the least.
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