3.30.2020

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Need to Know
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Johnson Tests Positive
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson was diagnosed with COVID-19 over the weekend, becoming the first leader of a major nation to test positive for the coronavirus. Johnson said he had exhibited mild symptoms and was self-isolating, but would continue to lead the country. UK health minister Matt Hancock also tested positive for the virus.  

In the US, President Trump signed a sweeping stimulus package into law meant to blunt the economic disruption of the pandemic. The bill is the biggest rescue package in US history (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was $831B) and includes direct $1,200 checks to most Americans (details here), $367B in loans and grants to small businesses, and $500B in loans to large companies.

See a thorough breakdown of what's in the bill here.

The number of confirmed cases in the US soared past 100,000 over the weekend, totaling 143,055 as of this morning. The rising numbers reflect both the spread of the virus and increasing US testing capacity, which has risen to more than 100,000 per day over the past two weeks. Deaths from COVID-19 in the US more than doubled over the weekend to 2,513; another 19,730 patients are currently hospitalized with the disease. You can track the numbers here.

Roughly one-third of those deaths are from New York, the current epicenter of the US outbreak; the CDC issued a strong travel advisory for the region. In the Midwest, Illinois reported the first known death of an infant from the virus in the US. Deaths in young children have been exceedingly rare - an early study found one death in children under 10 years old out of more than 70,000 cases. 

Separately, the Trump administration extended federal guidance on social distancing to April 30, backing off a potential date of Easter to begin easing the advisory.

In positive news, the FDA authorized a test kit that can positively identify the coronavirus in just five minutes, a potential game-changer for overburdened hospitals. Unlike other rapid tests that search for antibodies - which generally can't distinguish between active cases and recovered patients - the new test detects viral RNA, meaning it can definitively identify an infection.

Have more questions? Check out our newly launched coronavirus resource page. Facing a tsunami of coronavirus news, many have asked for a place to find accurate, up-to-date information on the outbreak. From real-time maps of global cases, to state shelter-in-place orders, to guides on how the virus attacks the body, our expert-curated resources will help you better understand all aspects of the outbreak. 
Civil Rights Icon Passes Away
Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, renowned civil rights leader and associate of Martin Luther King Jr., passed away over the weekend at age 98. An Alabama native, Lowery was a key figure in organizing the Montgomery bus boycott and cofounder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with King, Ralph Abernathy, and others. Through the SCLC, he played a pivotal role in civil rights campaigns such as the March on Washington (1963), the Selma to Montgomery marches (1965), and more. Among his other accolades, Lowery was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 from President Obama, who paid tribute to Lowery on Twitter.

Lowery also delivered the benediction at Obama's 2009 inauguration, which you can watch here.
A New Super Tuesday
Primary elections in Pennsylvania and New York will be delayed from April 28 to June 2 and 23, respectively, state officials announced over the weekend. Eleven states have now postponed in-person voting due to the coronavirus pandemic; Hawaii, Ohio, Alaska, and Wyoming have canceled in-person voting, opting for mail-in ballots only. The disruption may significantly dampen voter participation during a primary season that had seen surging voter turnout thus far. While Joe Biden leads Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in delegate count by a wide margin (see totals), the rescheduling has made June 2 the most significant date left on the primary calendar with at least 686 delegates up for grabs and is the earliest that Biden could formally lock up the nomination. You can see the primary schedule here.

Separately, President Trump's approval rating has ticked upward during the coronavirus crisis, with polls currently forecasting a near tie in the general election.
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Netflix's biggest fear?
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Notice how Netflix seems to keep losing its best shows? We miss our five-hour "Friends" binge sessions too (*cries softly*). Well, it’s part of a larger trend, with Disney, Warner Media, and NBC quickly pulling more and more programs off the Netflix platform. According to Nielsen, over half of Americans rank the variety of content as a service’s most important feature…which could be a bad sign for Netflix.

Our friends at The Motley Fool have been scouring the investment world for “the Netflix killer,” and shockingly, both of The Motley Fool’s cofounders, David and Tom, independently arrived at the same company. This has only happened 25 times over the entire history of The Motley Fool Stock Advisor, and when it does, the average return has been an astounding 773%!

The company they’re featuring today could stand to grow immensely within the multitrillion-dollar media and entertainment industry, sitting nicely in the middle of the advertising market. And the best part is most investors have never even heard of itCheck out the report now!
 
Returns as of March 26, 2020
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> New York Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan tests positive for the coronavirus (More) | Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks return to US from Australia after recovering (More) | Grammy-winning country artist Joe Diffie dies from the coronavirus at age 61 (More)
> Postponed Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games likely to open in July 2021 (More)
> Grammy and Emmy Award-winning composer Krzysztof Penderecki dies at 86 (More) | Actor John Callahan, soap opera star best known for “All My Children,” dies at 66 (More)
Science & Technology
> Global collaboration finds more than 300 specific genetic variations that influence the brain's gray matter, whose structure has been linked to a range of psychiatric disorders (More)
> Discovery in Portugal provides first evidence that Neanderthals harvested food from the ocean; seafood is believed to have played a key role in human brain evolution (More)
> Microsoft says it will end investment in third-party facial recognition companies after startup AnyVision is accused of helping the Israeli government surveil Palestinians in the West Bank (More)
Business & Markets
> US stock markets end down Friday (S&P 500 -3.4%, Dow -4.1%, Nasdaq -3.8%) but close volatile week up double digits; futures trading signals markets will open slightly lower this morning (More)
> International Monetary Fund managing director says the global economy has entered a recession amid the coronavirus pandemic (More)
> President Trump invokes Defense Production Act ordering General Motors to ramp ventilator production, hours after GM announced plans to manufacture ventilators (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> With world preoccupied with the coronavirus, North Korea conducts fourth missile test in the past month (More) | Lockdown goes into effect in Moscow, limiting residents to within 300 feet of their home (More)
> Former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn (R) dies at age 72 from prostate cancer; known as "Dr. No," Coburn was renowned for fighting government spending and debt (More)
> At least 17 tornadoes reported across the Central US Saturday, at least six injuries reported (More)
Weather the storm.
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The Motley Fool was founded by brothers Tom and David Gardner out of their garage in Alexandria, VA. Since then, they’ve grown remarkably, thanks in part to some life-changing stock recommendations. "How's that?" you ask. Because they’re long term investors who provide the same great investing guidance today that they’ve always provided. And now, The Motley Fool teams are creating live video Q&As with The Fool’s CEO, CIO, and investment analysts to help give further guidance in an uncertain time.

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor made it through 2008, when it offered some of its best guidance to panicked investors. It's in times like these that The Motley Fool earns its trust with its members. Become one today and learn how to potentially weather the storm.

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Etcetera
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Patients describe the coronavirus in their own words.
Watch highlights from Elton John's relief concert
Americans stress-bought all the baby chicks ($$, NYT).
In case you missed it: Check out 1440's expert-curated resources on the coronavirus, now all in one place.

A 102-year-old Italian woman recovers from the coronavirus
The world's favorite interview-interrupting kids are back.
Entrancing photos of Madeira's 500-year-old forest.
Puppies are roaming the Georgia aquarium.
... and a two-legged hound is named this year's Cadbury Bunny.
Clickbait: Signs that you've hit peak quarantine.
Historybook: Vincent van Gogh born (1853); Treaty of Paris ends Crimean War (1856); HBD Eric Clapton (1945); HBD Celine Dion (1968); President Reagan survives shooting by John Hinckley Jr. (1981).
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- Vincent van Gogh
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