Daily corona round-up

The Barack Obama edition

Former President Barack Obama will give a high school commencement address to the Class of 2020 on every major network and many streaming sites tonight at 8 p.m.

Like everything else these days — including the wearing of masks during a global pandemic — it’s created a fault line among the American people. But really, it’s exactly the sort of thing a president should do in an unprecedented time of crisis.

If you want to talk shit about Obama, do it somewhere else — especially if you endorse the dangerous leadership vacuum under which we are currently operating. Not that Obama can do anything about that. But perhaps, just one more time, he can give us a little hope.

Some news

  • A federal judge has issued a restraining order against a portion of Phase 1 in the Gov. Roy Cooper’s three-phase plan, specifically the part about houses of worship. A group of conservative NC churches sued, saying it interfered with their right to worship freely, as long as they kept building occupancy at 50 percent. So, everyone can go to church tomorrow.
    • This is a terrible idea.
  • Dr. Iulia Vann has been named director of Guilford County Public Health Department after serving as interim director.
  • After a rough few days, Forsyth County’s COVID-19 new-case numbers have dropped. Which brings us to the next portion of our update.

The numbers

  • NC had a bad day, with 853 new cases, the worst day yet. This is, of course, a function of increased testing — but it’s not like the people don’t have COVID-19 whether they were tested or not. Most accurate to think of these as discovered cases in the state’s efforts to find out who has this thing, and where they got it.
  • Guilford County hasn’t updated its page, but we know from these guys that just nine new cases were found in the county. One more death, too, makes 46.
  • Forsyth County had some good news: just five new cases after three days of double-digit growth.
  • Wondering how we’re doing compared to other states? The Times has charts. After this weekend, NC should be moved into the “where new cases are increasing” category, along with Texas and Virginia.
    • Let’s see how this church thing plays out.

A diversion

Today we mourn the passing of Fred Willard, one of the most consistently funny guys in the entertainment business. Surely you remember his roles in Christopher Guest productions Best in Show and A Mighty Wind — “I can’t doo my wuuuurk!” — among others. But his first film credit was a strange 1967 satire called Teenage Pregnancy, which I found on YouTube. Hoping to watch it after Obama.

Program notes

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