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Trump pushes for reopening economy, acknowledges death toll from COVID-19 could reach 100,000

Plus: Worthington pork plant to reopen; small Minnesota retailers reopen for curbside service; General Mills sees skyrocketing demand for products; and more.

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump participates in a live Fox News Channel virtual town hall about the response to the coronavirus disease pandemic on Sunday.
REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

A trio of reporters from the Washington Post writes: “President Trump on Sunday sought to reassure Americans that it is safe for states to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic, offering support to protesters who have railed against the lockdowns across the country. ‘I really believe that you can go to parks, you can go to beaches . . . [if] you stay away a certain amount,’ Trump said during a Fox News Channel town hall at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. … He scaled up the estimate he has used for the number of expected dead — projecting that the U.S. toll may be as high as 100,000, up from his prior prediction of 65,000 — while emphasizing that he takes the novel coronavirus seriously ….”

This from WCCO-TV, “One of the state’s largest pork processing plants will reopen this week. At least 350 workers at the JBS plant in Worthington have tested positive for COVID-19. Wednesday’s reopening is part of President Donald Trump’s executive order mandating meat processing plants stay open during the pandemic.”

The Associated Press reports, “Faced with 20,000 coronavirus deaths and counting, the nation’s nursing homes are pushing back against a potential flood of lawsuits with a sweeping lobbying effort to get states to grant them emergency protection from claims of inadequate care. At least 15 states have enacted laws or governors’ orders that explicitly or apparently provide nursing homes and long-term care facilities some protection from lawsuits arising from the crisis.”

KSTP-TV reports: “Monday, a new group of businesses have the option to restart some of their business, helping to put about 30,000 Minnesotans back to work. The executive order from Gov. Tim Walz allows certain retailers to open back up, with restrictions; however, some say the order doesn’t go far enough.”

A Duluth News Tribune story says, “Menards is requiring all guests of its stores to wear a mask or face covering while shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those without a mask or face covering can buy one at the store.”

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Says Bill Strande for KARE-TV, “Minneapolis police say two people are seriously hurt after a collision that involved a pedestrian and a person riding a bicycle. The crash happened around 4:50 p.m. Saturday near Washington Ave. and Huron Blvd. in Minneapolis. … [Police spokesman, John] Elder said the pedestrian is in critical condition and the bicyclist is in serious condition.”

Says the Star Tribune’s Tim Harlow, “Data from the State Court Administrator’s Office show that statewide from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31, 2019, just 25 motorists were ticketed for failing to ‘move out of the left-most lane to allow another vehicle to pass, when practicable under existing conditions,’ as the law requires on roads such as freeways with two or more travel lanes going in the same direction.”

Also in the Star Tribune, this from Evan Ramstad, “In less than two months, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven the U.S. economy into a swift, steep downturn, damaging thousands of businesses and pushing 30 million people out of their jobs. But for Golden Valley-based General Mills, it has led to skyrocketing demand for its products and an extreme test for 40,000 workers around the world. … In North America, where it makes most of its $17 billion in annual sales, General Mills’ factories have been running flat out for two months.”

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