The Rundown for April 15, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… There are more than 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide and the death toll has topped 25,000, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. New York City officials say 3,700 more “probable” coronavirus deaths brings the city’s total to more than 10,000. Meanwhile, Americans can start monitoring the status of their stimulus checks through a tracking site that the government is scheduled to launch today.

TRUMP TO HALT WHO FUNDING… President Trump vowed yesterday that he’ll halt funding to the World Health Organization pending a review of its response to the pandemic. Trump accused WHO of “mismanaging and covering up the spread” of the coronavirus. Trump said the organization failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information about the virus in a “timely and transparent fashion.” Democrats criticized Trump’s attack as an attempt to deflect blame and noted that Trump refused test kits offered by WHO at the outset of the pandemic.

OBAMA ENDORSES BIDEN… Former President Barack Obama yesterday formally endorsed his former Vice President and presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Obama said in a video message posted to Biden’s YouTube channel that the coronavirus emergency has shown the need for Biden as president because he has the temperament to govern a country in crisis. The former president said choosing Biden as his running mate was “one of the best decisions” he’s ever made.

FEDERAL JUDGE RULES AGAINST SCHOOL-LUNCH ROLLBACKS… A federal judge in Maryland yesterday cited a procedural error in ruling against the Trump administration’s plans to roll back regulations on school lunch standards. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue violated the Administrative Procedure Act by weakening federal nutritional standards for breakfasts and lunches served to schoolchildren in 2018, District Judge George Hazel said. The rule change rolled back sodium limits and whole-grain requirements.

APPEALS COURT IN TEXAS ALLOWS ‘MEDICATION ABORTIONS’… A federal appeals court last night decided to allow an abortion procedure called “medication abortion” to be used in Texas while an ongoing legal challenge continues. The order by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest development in an ongoing lawsuit that has caused chaos in the state. Last night’s temporary ruling could stall or maybe even avert a potential Supreme Court showdown over the issue, analysts say.

ALEX TREBEK TO PUBLISH AUTOBIOGRAPHY… “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek is scheduled to release his first autobiography on July 21, according to publisher Simon & Schuster. In “The Answer Is…: Reflections on My Life,” Trebek answers common questions from “Jeopardy!” fans and discusses topics such as marriage, parenthood and education. The book will also feature dozens of never-before-seen photos of Trebek from throughout the years.

’60 MINUTES’ TOPS RATINGS… CBS’ “60 Minutes” drew 9.68 million viewers on Sunday night to top the ratings for the third time this season. The show featured a contentious interview with White House adviser Peter Navarro over the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Three NBC shows: “The Voice,” “Chicago Med” and “Chicago Fire” held the next three spots, according to the Nielsen company. Fox’s “The Masked Singer” capped the top five.

YANKEE CO-OWNER DIES… Hank Steinbrenner, who owns the controlling shares of the New York Yankees with his three siblings, died yesterday following an illness. He was 63. The Yankees said Steinbrenner was responsible for overseeing all areas of the club’s business and baseball operations.

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