How to enjoy the Kentucky Derby at home this weekend

ABC News Corona Virus Entertainment Impacts

Enjoy the 1st-ever virtual Kentucky Derby with homemade mint juleps and more.

Churchill Downs will miss the pomp and circumstance that would typically descend on the iconic grounds for the Kentucky Derby, but the racetrack will instead host its first-ever virtual run for the roses to support coronavirus relief efforts.

The annual event on the first Saturday in May was postponed until Sept. 5 due to concerns of coronavirus, so the track came up with a computer-simulated race and nationwide at-home Derby party to help raise money for COVID-19 emergency relief funds.

Thirteen past Triple Crown winners will face off in a virtual race under the historic Twin Spires for “The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown” on NBC. The computer-simulated version of the fastest two minutes in sports will “use data algorithms including historical handicapping information about each horse, which helps to determine the probability of their potential finishing positions.”

Fans can pick a favorite horse to win the virtual race online and make a charitable donation to COVID-19 relief efforts. Anyone who selects the winning horse will be entered for a chance to win the ultimate Kentucky Derby 146 VIP Experience.

“Churchill Downs has pledged to match up to $1 million of donations with funds to be directed to the Team Kentucky Fund and Direct Relief,” according to a press release. “A small percentage will be earmarked for the R.E.I.N. Fund (Relief for Equine Industry Needs), a program managed by Churchill Downs Foundation designed to benefit workers of the backside whose livelihood has been impacted by COVID-19 and also to help ensure essential care for horses throughout the pandemic.”

“We are proud to use this platform as a force for good by raising money for these worthy COVID-19 emergency initiatives,” Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated, said. “We urge fans to join us by donating and celebrating with us from home.”

The interactive party hosted by Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum encourages fans to wear fancy suits and dresses and drink mint juleps to celebrate Derby Day at home.

“For many fans around the country, the first Saturday in May has become a part of their family’s yearly traditions,” Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack, said. “While we eagerly look forward to the 146th Kentucky Derby this year on the first Saturday in September, we will celebrate the annual excitement of our traditional date with our fans and community by offering ways for us to join together for a great cause. Our fans will be captivated by the realistic view of the virtual race and we can debate, as we do each year, our favorite to win.”

If you want to brush up on your mixology skills to sip on the spectator favorite cocktail at home this weekend, check out the recipe for the Official Mint Julep of Churchill Downs from Woodford Reserve.

Ingredients:
2 ounces bourbon
2 bar spoons of honey sweetener
2 fresh mint leaves
Crushed ice
Shaved honeycomb and a sprig of mint for garnish

Directions:
Rub the mint around the inside of the julep cup, to express the essential oils and place the mint leaf in the bottom of the cup.
Drizzle two bar spoons of honey sweetener in the cup, followed by two ounces of bourbon, mixing the ingredients together.
Pack crushed ice into the cup, followed by placing the sipping straw.
Layer loose ice on top, with a splash of bourbon to settle the drink.
Garnish with shaved honeycomb and a sprig of mint.

Other online festivities from Churchill Downs include DIY fascinator-making with full instructions on the blog here, ideas for party decor, kids’ crafts, Derby-inspired recipes and even an at-home Derby fashion contest.

People around the country can join the virtual party and share their own home Derby Party experience using #KyDerbyAtHome on Saturday, May 2, and follow @KentuckyDerby on social media.

As Trumps approval tanks amid coronavirus, some GOP governors surging – Business Insider

  • President Donald Trump saw his approval numbers plummet over the course of April as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged the US. 
  • Meanwhile, GOP governors who took coronavirus seriously from the start, and in some cases pushed against Trump (who downplayed the threat), have seen a surge in approval.
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican who took early steps to contain the outbreak, has become especially popular with his constituents.
  • Republican governors who’ve followed Trump’s lead on COVID-19, such as Ron DeSantis of Florida, have not experienced a similar polling bump. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump’s polling numbers are tanking across the board amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Americans increasingly disapprove of his handling of the presidency as well as his approach to the coronavirus pandemic, and he’s trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 race, polling shows.

Comparatively, a number of GOP governors have enjoyed a surge in approval over their handling of coronavirus. Unlike Trump, these Republican leaders have consistently taken the threat of the virus seriously while following the guidance of public health experts.

After taking steps that left the US less prepared for a pandemic in his first three years as president, Trump ignored warnings from the intelligence community and top advisers on the potentially devastating impact of the virus, while publicly downplaying the threat for weeks.

But as the coronavirus outbreak escalated in startling ways across the US in March, leading the president to declare a national emergency, Trump saw his approval rating briefly go up in what pollsters dubbed a rally-around-the-flag effect. That quickly changed in April as the US death toll and unemployment rose to astronomical levels, while Trump simultaneously turned daily White House press briefings into campaign rally-like events in which he dominated the spotlight, berating reporters and spreading false information in the process.

The contrast between Trump’s handling of the pandemic and the approach taken by a number of Republican governors could not be more stark. And the consequences of this with voters appears to be playing out in the polls. 

Americans increasingly disapprove of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic

“We did all the right moves,” the president said on Wednesday.

“The federal government rose to the challenge, and this is a great success story,” Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said the same day.

Though Trump and top figures in his administration have sought to paint a rosy, positive picture of the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the numbers on the crisis tell a different story. The US is currently the epicenter of the pandemic, with the most reported cases and confirmed fatalities. 

As of Thursday, there were well over one million confirmed coronavirus cases in the US, alongside over 61,000 deaths. For perspective, more Americans have died from coronavirus in a matter of weeks than the number of US service members killed in the Vietnam War, which the US was directly involved in for nearly a decade. What’s more, recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the US death toll from coronavirus is actually much higher than the official count.

Meanwhile, roughly 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the past six weeks as the US economy continues to plummet due to the pandemic and its restrictions. 

As the crisis has worsened in the US, Trump’s polling numbers have also taken a nosedive. 

An Emerson College Polling national poll released on Tuesday found that Trump’s job approval rating dropped five percentage points since March, from 46% to 41%, while approval of the president’s handling of coronavirus dropped a whopping 10 percentage points, from 49% to 39%. 

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A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, released Wednesday, showed a majority of Americans (55%) disapprove of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, which marked a six-point increase in disapproval over the past month. 

And Morning Consult polling released on Monday showed that since reaching a high point in mid-March, net approval of the president’s handling of COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus) hit a new low and dropped 22 points. Overall, a majority of voters (51%) disapprove of Trump’s coronavirus response, the poll found, while 43% approve. The survey was conducted between April 24 and April 26, in the days that followed Trump’s controversial, dangerous suggestion that disinfectant or sunlight could be injected or used “inside the body” to combat coronavirus. 

In contrast to Trump, the Morning Consult survey found that seven-in-10 voters approve of their state and local governments’ response to the virus.

Similarly, a new, massive survey of 22,000 Americans conducted by researchers at Harvard, Northeastern University, and Rutgers, found residents in all 50 states approve of their governor’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic more highly than Trump. Three out of the four highest-rated governors in the poll were Republicans from the states of Ohio, Massachusetts, and Maryland.  

president donald trump white house lawn abbott coronovirus point of care poc rt pcr id now covid19 test box machine AP_20090769426250

President Donald Trump opens a box containing a 5-minute test for COVID-19 from Abbott Laboratories in the Rose Garden of the White House on Monday, March 30, 2020.


Alex Brandon/AP Photo



GOP governors who have not followed Trump’s example have enjoyed a polling bump

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio has been praised across the country over the early steps he took to protect his state from coronavirus, such as being the first governor to close schools, and his constituents evidently appreciate his handling of the crisis as well. While Trump has pushed for states to reopen to get the economy going, DeWine has closely followed the advice of public health experts and championed a more cautious approach. 

A Baldwin Wallace University poll conducted in Ohio and released on Monday found just 43% of people in the state have a favorable view of Trump, while 75% of respondents had a favorable view of DeWine.

The poll also found about half of Ohioans approve of Trump’s handling of COVID-19, while a whopping 85% said they approved of DeWine’s approach to the virus. And three-in-four respondents (75%) said DeWine was doing a better job  handling COVID-19 than Trump.

DeWine, who also broke from Trump by encouraging voting by mail amid the pandemic, has seen a much bigger polling bump than Republican governors like Ron DeSantis of Florida who tend to take their queues from the president. The Florida governor has been widely criticized for being too slow to respond to the pandemic, and for being too quick to reopen and ease restrictions

A FiveThirtyEight analysis of polling on governors in the final quarter of 2019 versus polling on their handling of COVID-19 showed that the Florida governor’s pre-pandemic numbers were actually stronger, as the leaders of other states (including many Democratic governors) all saw a massive, double-digit surge in approval in their approach to the crisis. Before the pandemic, DeSantis’ approval rating was 58%, the analysis showed, while the approval for his handling of the virus was at 51%. 

Beyond DeWine, GOP Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland has also seen strong polling numbers in terms of his response to COVID-19. A recent poll found 84% of Marylanders approved of Hogan’s handling of the crisis.

Hogan made national headlines this month after the governor and his wife, Yumi Hogan, orchestrated a deal to obtain testing kits for coronavirus from South Korea. The nationwide testing kit shortage has been among the most criticized aspects of the US government’s response to the pandemic, as its significantly limited the country’s ability to gain a full picture of the scale of the outbreak within its borders.

As governors have begged the federal government for more assistance and supplies, Trump has consistently said it’s up to states to gain the necessary materials. Though Hogan essentially followed Trump’s directive in buying test kits from South Korea, the president subsequently attacked the Maryland governor. 

Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, another GOP leader who does not automatically follow Trump’s lead, has also seen strong approval numbers on his handling of COVID-19. A recent Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll found 80% of residents in Massachusetts approved of Baker’s handling of coronavirus, compared to roughly 28% who said the same about Trump. 

Baker has openly chastised Trump on several occasions during the crisis, including on the president’s push to reopen the country as quickly as possible.

The Massachusetts governor also recently slammed the president’s executive order to suspend immigration to the US (with some exceptions) due to the pandemic. “I’m opposed to the decision that the president made,” Baker said last Tuesday. “I’m opposed to the order. It doesn’t make any sense and I don’t think it makes us any safer.”

 

Fauci Says Its Doable To Have Millions Of Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine By January

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a news conference at the White House on April 16.

Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images


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Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a news conference at the White House on April 16.

Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

There’s a chance that hundreds of millions of doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine could be available by early next year, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, said Thursday, even though the federal government has not approved a vaccine against the virus.

In an appearance on NBC’s Today Show, Fauci was asked whether he thought it was “in the realm of possibility” to have a potential vaccine ready for wide distribution by January.

“I do,” Fauci replied. “I mean, I’m obviously part of the team that’s involved in that.”

Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noted that the ideal plan for a potential vaccine is to ensure it is safe and effective — and can be rapidly scaled up for distribution.

Of course, the Food and Drug Administration has not approved a vaccine for the coronavirus. Noting that vaccine trials are still in the early phase, Fauci added that to accelerate production, the companies making the medicine would need to do so “at risk.”

“In other words, you don’t wait until you get an answer before you start manufacturing. You at risk — proactively — start making it, assuming it’s going to work,” Fauci said. “And if it does, then you can scale up and hopefully get to that timeline.”

“I think that is doable if things fall in the right place,” Fauci said.

Fauci was responding to a question about media reports that the Trump administration is launching a project dubbed Operation Warp Speed, to speed up delivery of a vaccine against COVID-19. The deadly disease has been diagnosed in more than a million people in the U.S.

The White House plan aims to bring together pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and the military with the goal of substantially shrinking the development time for a vaccine.

Bloomberg News, which first reported the existence of the plan to accelerate vaccine delivery, says the government’s goal is to have as many as 300 million vaccine doses by early 2021.

As NPR science correspondent Joe Palca has reported, advances in science have revolutionized the speed at which vaccines can be developed.

“In the past it used to take 5-10 years to make a vaccine, and now people are talking about a year or 18 months. So it’s really going faster than expected,” Palca reported on NPR’s Morning Edition this month.

He added that in addition to a vaccine that is safe for people, there are other factors to consider.

“You want one that generates a strong and lasting immune response. You need to be able to manufacture it. Sometimes you come up with a brilliant idea of how to package the virus and you just can’t make it at a scale that would be useful. You want to have a vaccine that doesn’t require special handling,” Palca reports.

During the NBC interview, Fauci was asked whether he is nervous that stay-at-home orders are beginning to lift in many states, including Alabama, Texas, Arizona and Florida.

White House social distancing guidelines are set to expire at the end of April.

Fauci declined to give detailed assessments on individual states, but he pointed to White House guidelines for reopening state and local economies, which call for a “downward trajectory” of documented COVID-19 cases over a 14-day period.

Fauci said he expects to see an uptick in coronavirus cases when towns and states reopen for business.

“When you pull back, there will be cases,” Fauci said. “And what we need to do is make sure they have in place the capability of identifying, isolating and contact-tracing individuals.”

While he said he was “cautiously optimistic,” Fauci also said governments must have “the core principles of the guidelines” before reopening.

“You can’t just leap over things and get into a situation where you’re really tempting a rebound. That’s the thing I get concerned about,” Fauci said. “I hope they don’t do that.”

Democratic lawmakers call for federal action to require masks on planes

JetBlue and Frontier are requiring passengers to wear face coverings.

As images surface of crowded planes during the COVID-19 pandemic, Democratic lawmakers are calling for federal action to mandate that all air travelers wear masks.

Currently, it is up to the airlines themselves to decide to require masks, and although most have made it a requirement for crew members, JetBlue and Frontier are the only U.S. airlines to announce they will require passengers to wear face coverings.

On Wednesday, Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) sent a letter to Department of Transportation (DOT) Sec. Elaine Chao and Health and Human Services (HHS) Sec. Alex Azar urging them to “immediately issue a rule requiring face masks for all individuals engaged in air travel.”

“In the absence of federal action, different airlines and airports have adopted conflicting policies that will undermine overall public health if they are not unified around a single, strong standard,” the lawmakers wrote.

The largest flight attendant union in the U.S., the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO, sent a similar letter last week to the DOT and HHS.

Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

“From the airport door to the airplane door, on the airplane, and then back out through the airport, we want people wearing face coverings in all those areas,” Sara Nelson, both a current flight attendant and president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO, told ABC News. “That is what is recommended by the CDC to the general public when they are out in public, and that is exactly what should be happening in our airports and on our airplanes to help contain the spread of the virus.”

HHS did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment and the DOT directed ABC News to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

On Monday, the FAA said in a statement to ABC News that it is “not a public health agency,” but that it has been lending its aviation safety expertise to federal public health authorities.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) believes a mask requirement is “well within the FAA’s jurisdiction” and spoke with FAA Administrator Dickson Wednesday to voice his concerns.

“The administrator appreciated the opportunity to speak with Chairman DeFazio and shares his concerns about the importance of protecting the health and safety of passengers and crews,” the FAA said in a statement. “The FAA is working with air carriers to ensure they have processes in place for addressing public health risks for their crews and passengers.”

President Donald Trump said it sounded “like a good idea” on Tuesday when asked if masks were something we would consider “rolling out for all flights.”

The CDC recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when in the community setting, “including during travel if they must travel.”

What to know about coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
  • Doctor calls promising new drug remdesivir ray of hope for COVID-19 workers on front-lines

    Dr. Simone WIldes said she’s “excited” about the drug’s preliminary results.

    Infectious disease specialist Dr. Simone Wildes shared her excitement on “The View” Thursday after a recent clinical trial showed promising early results for using the drug remdesivir against the coronavirus, calling it a “step in the right direction.”

    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, announced the results of the experimental antiviral drug trial on Wednesday. Preliminary results from the randomized, placebo-controlled trial on 1,063 hospitalized patients showed that 31% of the patients who received remdesivir had a faster recovery time than those who received a placebo. The remdesivir group also saw an 8% mortality rate compared to an 11.6% mortality rate among the group on placebo.

    “What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus,” Fauci said Wednesday, calling the development “very optimistic.”

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-fauci-tout-good-news-remdesivir-drug-trial/story?id=70407208

    On “The View” Thursday morning, Wildes, of South Short Health in Massachusetts, concurred with Fauci’s outlook.

    “I’m excited,” Wildes said. “We have been working on the frontlines with a lot of different experimental drugs.”

    With the trial suggesting the drug might shorten the duration of symptoms, Wildes noted that even “a day makes a difference” when it comes to combating the new virus.

    “We know more studies need to be done, but I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction, and any ray of hope is hopeful for all of us on the frontlines,” Wildes said.

    Testing for the coronavirus is considered a crucial step to reopening the country. But on Tuesday, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee sent letters to four companies that manufacture and distribute antibody tests to question their accuracy after preliminary results from a study of more than a dozen tests found that many were less sensitive than advertised, therefore posing a risk of false negatives or positives.

    Wildes agrees that the antibody tests “have really not been very reliable” and that there’s still “a lot of work that needs to be done to validate these tests.”

    “In general, when you have antibodies you do have immunity,” Wildes said. “The question is how long does it last? There’s still some unknown questions, especially with COVID-19 because it’s a new virus.”

    As states like Vermont, Texas and Georgia begin to reopen, Wildes said she opposes states lifting restrictions on public activity right now as there aren’t enough tests to prevent a resurgence of the virus.

    “It’s too early to open the states,” Wildes said. “We are not at full capacity for testing. We’ve also not implemented enough steps to do the contact tracing and isolating the individuals that have the disease.”

    “There’s still a number of things that have not been done,” she continued, “and so, early opening right now is going to be a little bit premature.”

    Every episode of ABC’s award-winning talk show “The View” is now available as a podcast! Listen and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher or the ABC News app.

    Michigans Stay-At-Home Order Did Not Infringe Rights, Court Finds

    The Michigan Court of Claims has said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order does not infringe on the constitutional rights of residents.

    The lawsuit, brought by plaintiff Steve Martinko and others, claimed that Whitmer’s initial “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, as well as the recently adjusted version of the order, violated the rights of Michigan residents.

    The orders were introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, where there are 40,399 confirmed cases and the death toll has reached 3,670, according to data from Johns Hopkins.

    The plaintiffs in the case claimed that the “mandatory quarantine,” along with interstate travel restrictions listed in an earlier version of the order, violated their rights to both procedural due process and substantive due process.

    “But those liberty interests are, and always have been, subject to society’s interests—society being our fellow residents,” said Court of Claims Judge Christopher M. Murray.

    “They—our fellow residents—have an interest to remain unharmed by a highly communicable and deadly virus, and since the state entered the Union in 1837, it has had the broad power to act for the public health of the entire state when faced with a public crisis.”

    Whitmer announced an extension of the state’s stay-at-home order through to May 15.
    JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

    Murray stated that issuing injunctive relief “would not serve the public interest, despite the temporary harm to plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.”

    The plaintiffs also alleged that the Emergency Management Act is an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to the Governor.

    But the Court noted the act does not provide the Governor with “uncontrolled, arbitrary power.” Instead, Judge Murray indicated that the act provides for very specific procedures and criteria for the Governor to declare a state of disaster or emergency, and what conditions qualify as a disaster or emergency.

    Attorney General Dana Nessel announced: “I am pleased with the court’s decision. This pandemic has already taken more than 3,600 lives in Michigan and many more around the world. The primary goal of the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order has always been to protect human life.”

    Last week, Whitmer announced an extension of the state’s stay-at-home order through May 15.

    Whitmer described the extension—which includes the lifting of some personal and economic restrictions—as a “step forward” for the state. Discussions to lift additional restrictions would depend upon the number of cases continuing to decrease statewide and the state’s ability to boost its testing and contact tracing efforts, Whitmer said.

    “We’ve got to do everything we can to avoid a second wave of COVID-19 spread,” Whitmer said during a news briefing. “As hard as this moment is for us right now, as isolated as we feel and as stressed as we are about getting back to work, reopening our businesses, we know that if we do it too fast, a second wave is likely and would be even more devastating than the moment we are in.”

    Newsweek has contacted Whitmer for comment.

    Georgia governor drops road test requirement for new drivers licenses

    Georgia governor says new drivers will be able to take to the road with just a note from their parents

    • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has issued an executive order dropping the road test requirement for new drivers due to coronavirus lockdowns
    • The measure comes as instructors are unable to conduct road tests due to social distancing measures that mandate people stay six feet apart 
    • Teens with learner’s permits can upgrade to license with parental permission 
    • Licenses will be issued if new drivers meet requirements including 40 hours of supervised driving  
    • Department of Driver Services says they have a backlog of 30,000 applicants
    • Georgia officials plan to reopen the state on May 13
    • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

    Georgia has issued a new executive order that allows teenagers to get their driver’s license without passing a road test – all they need is permission from their parents.

    Typically Georgians need to pass a written and road test to obtain a driver’s license.

    But as Department of Driving Services employees can’t conduct road tests due to coronavirus lockdowns, Gov. Brian Kemp is loosening restrictions to allow new drivers behind the wheel.

    Under the order announced this week, 16-year-old teens who hold learner’s permits can upgrade to a provisional license if they can provide an affidavit from their parent, guardian or driving instructor after completing 40 hours of supervised driving.

    Permit holders who are over the age of 18 can sign their own affidavit. 

    Georgia has issued a new executive order that allows new drivers to get their licenses without the required road test. Teenagers holding learner's permits can upgrade to licenses with just their parents permission. A Georgia Department of Driver Services building and car pictured above

    Georgia has issued a new executive order that allows new drivers to get their licenses without the required road test. Teenagers holding learner's permits can upgrade to licenses with just their parents permission. A Georgia Department of Driver Services building and car pictured above

    Georgia has issued a new executive order that allows new drivers to get their licenses without the required road test. Teenagers holding learner’s permits can upgrade to licenses with just their parents permission. A Georgia Department of Driver Services building and car pictured above

    ‘During these unprecedented times, the Department of Driver Services is trying to make it as easy as a process for people to get their license and to lessen the burden on people right now,’ Stormi Kenney, who owns Kennesaw Driving School said to Fox.

    However, many Georgians are hesitant to let their kids get their driving licenses without a proper road test. 

    ‘I think it would be beneficial to have an unbiased set of eyes on my driver I think I might be quick to let her get her license not knowing if she knows all the laws,’ one parent said on their teenage daughter.

    ‘I’m good with them dropping the road test piece so she can get out there and drive,’ another parent on board with Kemp’s measure said.  

    The new order comes as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp slowly reopens the state. Lockdown orders will expire on May 13, but could be extended

    The new order comes as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp slowly reopens the state. Lockdown orders will expire on May 13, but could be extended

    The new order comes as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp slowly reopens the state. Lockdown orders will expire on May 13, but could be extended

    Commissioner of the state’s Department of Driver Services Spencer Moore said that the agency has a backlog of 30,000 applicants. On average the department has 5,000 teens taking the driving test a week. 

    Due to lockdowns, Georgia’s streets have been eerily empty and devoid of its usual traffic. 

    Data from the Georgia Department of Transportation shows that the number of deaths caused by traffic accidents and number of cars on the road is lower this spring than it was this time last year.

    In March 2019, 143 people in Georgia were killed in car accidents on interstates. Numbers for March 2020 show that the figure was 12.6 percent lower with 125 deaths, as per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    Vehicle volume on Georgia interstates also dropped by 44 percent from March 11, 2020 – the day the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic – compared to the same day last year.

    Non-interstate roads saw 45 percent less traffic in March 2020 than last year.

    However, police are noting an increase in speeding tickets as reckless drivers speed up on the empty highways.

    Sandy Springs police ticketed more than 60 drivers for exceeding 100mph on GA Interstate 400 or Interstate 285, where the speed limit is 65mph, over the past month as per Fox5

    Georgia’s state of emergency measures are slated to expire on May 13, but could be extended.

    Georgia is one of the first states to reopen their economy despite warnings from government health officials that it’s too early to do so in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Kemp’s executive order started to open businesses such as gyms, bowling alleys, hair salons and tattoo parlors on April 24. 

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    Coronavirus: Russian PM Mishustin tests positive for virus

    President Putin listens to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin during their meeting via a video link at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, Russia April 30, 2020Image copyright
    Reuters

    Image caption

    The diagnosis was announced during a televised video-call with President Putin

    Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has gone to hospital after he was diagnosed with coronavirus.

    His positive test came on the same day that Russia recorded a record 7,099 cases, taking the total number of infections above 100,000.

    Mr Mishustin was given the role of prime minister in January and has been actively involved in Russia’s handling of the epidemic.

    Russian TV showed him telling President Vladimir Putin of his diagnosis.

    “I have just learned that the test on the coronavirus I took was positive,” the prime minister said during the video call.

    Mr Mishustin suggested that First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov should take his place and Mr Putin agreed. Mr Mishustin will now go into self-isolation.

    “What’s happening to you can happen to anyone, and I’ve always been saying this,” Mr Putin told him.

    “You are a very active person. I would like to thank you for the work that has been done so far.”

    Mikhail Mishustin is the first senior politician here to fall sick with coronavirus.

    He looked exhausted as he informed President Putin, via a video call, that he had tested positive and was handing over his responsibilities and heading into self-isolation.

    Mr Putin said it only showed how the virus did not discriminate. He told the prime minister to give him a call when he got to hospital.

    Mr Mishustin himself used the chance to urge all Russians to take coronavirus seriously, and to stay at home as an 11-day, extended May holiday begins.

    Officials fear warmer weather will send families rushing to the countryside as usual. So Moscow is increasing the number of police patrols in the coming days, to ensure people stick to the strict lockdown.

    Despite the sharp rise in cases, the Moscow-based coronavirus headquarters says 1,073 people in Russia have now died of coronavirus, a relatively low number for Russia’s size.

    Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Russia’s reaction to the pandemic has enabled it to avoid an “Italian scenario”.

    But President Putin warned this week that Russia did not have enough protective equipment for health workers and medics have complained in several regions of having insufficient protective suits.

    Moscow’s Mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, has meanwhile said he believes many of those living in the Russian capital do not realise how serious the situation is.

    He said he had seen more people violating the restrictions, estimating his city was only a quarter of the way through the crisis.

    “If we see things are getting better, then of course we will reduce the restrictions. But until that happens, you need to be courageous and patient. It’s very important for you and your health,” he said.

    Michigan judge sides with governor in lawsuit over coronavirus shelter-in-place order

    ABC News Corona Virus Government. Response

    The injunction request against an executive order was denied.

    A Michigan judge sided with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Wednesday in a lawsuit filed against her shelter-in-place order and denied the plaintiffs an injunction.

    Court of Claims Judge Christopher M. Murray ruled said Steve Martinko and other plaintiffs’ claims that the order infringed on their constitutional rights were not strong due to the severity of the pandemic. A preliminary injunction of the governor’s order, which has been in effect since March 24, “would not serve the public interest, despite the temporary harm to plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.”

    “Although the Court is painfully aware of the difficulties of living under the restrictions of these executive orders, those difficulties are temporary, while to those who contract the virus and cannot recover (and to their family members and friends), it is all too permanent,” he wrote in the court order.

    As of Thursday, Michigan has 40,399 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,670 related deaths, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

    In recent weeks, Whitmer has been the target of rallies who have held protests outside the state capitol demanding that she lift the order and reopen the economy. Whitmer has repeatedly said she is following the guidance of her health officials and will push for social distancing until the pandemic is over.

    The plaintiffs claimed that the Emergency Management Act, which extends Whitmer’s powers during a state of emergency, is “an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power,” however, the judge ruled that the act has clear distinct rules and procedures for declining a state of emergency.

    Representatives for the plaintiffs could not be reached for immediate comment. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she was pleased with the decision.

    “This pandemic has already taken more than 3,600 lives in Michigan and many more around the world,” she said in a statement. “The primary goal of the Stay Home, Stay Safe order has always been to protect human life.”

    What to know about Coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the US and Worldwide: Coronavirus map