RIGHT-WING GROUP SUES NC COUNTIES IN EFFORT TO PURGE VOTER ROLLS: According to Judicial Watch, Mecklenburg is lagging in updating its voter list. It claims the state’s biggest county removed an average of 11,000 voters per year during the last reporting period. Dickerson says the county actually removed almost 59,000 names in 2019 alone. He also disputed Judicial Watch’s claim that Mecklenburg has more registered voters than voting-age residents. Based on 2018 Census estimate, Mecklenburg had almost 1.1 million residents, of which some 835,000 were 18 and older. About 88 percent, or 732,000 residents, are registered to vote — not the 107 percent alleged by the complaint, he said. Judicial Watch has long aligned itself with Trump on wide range of issues including immigration and Hillary Clinton’s emails.
WAKE COUNTY RESIDENTS ARE NOT COMPLYING WITH STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS: Law enforcement agencies throughout Wake County have received hundreds of complaints since county commissioners implemented a stay-at-home order two weeks ago to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Gov. Roy Cooper issued a similar statewide order that took effect March 30. Sit-down service at restaurants was banned in an earlier order that took effect March 17. Area police departments and the Wake County Sheriff's Office say they have chosen to educate and warn people and businesses about the restrictions under the orders before issuing citations. On March 24, Rolesville police issued two citations to employees at Main Street Tavern after warnings to shut down were ignored. "During the investigation of this complaint, it was learned that the [Main Street Tavern] continued to operate its business, even after being warned by the Rolesville Police Department," said Chief Orlando Soto.
GOVERNOR ISSUES NEW RESTRICTIONS ON NURSING HOMES TO FIGHT PANDEMIC: Skilled nursing facilities must close common areas, require employees to wear face masks, and test residents and employees daily when Cooper’s new executive order takes effect at 5 p.m. Monday. The state already has restricted visitation at nursing homes, except for family members with a dying loved one. Seventeen outbreaks have been reported in nursing homes, including one in Durham County and two in Orange County. Another four outbreaks were reported in residential care facilities, which are not included in the executive order. The state defines an outbreak as two or more positive test results. Another outbreak was reported shortly after the governor’s announcement in Chatham County, where The Laurels of Chatham, a 140-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, announced that four people had tested positive for COVID-19. Then Thursday night, Wake County announced its first outbreak in a long-term care setting after two nurses and two patients tested positive at Wellington Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Knightdale.
TRUMP WANTS TO "REOPEN" THE COUNTRY AT THE END OF APRIL: Behind closed doors, President Trump — concerned with the sagging economy — has sought a strategy for resuming business activity by May 1, according to people familiar with the discussions. In phone calls with outside advisers, Trump has even floated trying to reopen much of the country before the end of this month, when the current federal recommendations to avoid social gatherings and work from home expire, the people said. Trump regularly looks at unemployment and stock market numbers, complaining that they are hurting his presidency and reelection prospects, the people said. Like others, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal discussions. Trump is preparing to announce this week the creation of a second, smaller coronavirus task force aimed specifically at combating the economic ramifications of the virus, according to people familiar with the plans. The task force is expected to be led by Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, and include Larry Kudlow, the president’s chief economic adviser, and Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, along with outside business leaders. Others expected to play a role are Kevin Hassett, who has been advising Trump on economic models in recent weeks, and the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, administration officials say.
EVEN REPUBLICANS WANT TRUMP TO END HIS DAILY RANTS MASKED AS COVID 19 BRIEFINGS: As unemployment soars and the death toll skyrockets, and new polls show support for the president’s handling of the crisis sagging, White House allies and Republican lawmakers increasingly believe the briefings are hurting the president more than helping him. Many view the sessions as a kind of original sin from which all of his missteps flow, once he gets through his prepared script and turns to his preferred style of extemporaneous bluster and invective. Mr. Trump “sometimes drowns out his own message,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who has become one of the president’s informal counselors and told him “a once-a-week show” could be more effective. Representative Susan Brooks of Indiana said “they’re going on too long.” Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia said the briefings were “going off the rails a little bit” and suggested that he should “let the health professionals guide where we’re going to go.” The consternation reflects a new sense of urgency over Mr. Trump’s re-election efforts as Joseph R. Biden Jr. emerges as his likely Democratic challenger. Three new polls this week show Mr. Biden leading the president, and the Trump campaign’s internal surveys show he has mostly lost the initial bump he received early in the crisis, according to three people briefed on the numbers. Public polls show he badly trails the nation’s governors and his own medical experts in terms of whom Americans trust most for guidance.