Another Pastor Charged With Defying Coronavirus Orders Against Large Gatherings

Another Pastor Charged With Defying Coronavirus Orders Against Large Gatherings

YouTube/Tony Spell

A Louisiana pastor was charged Tuesday after repeatedly violating a state ban on large gatherings amid the coronavirus panic, authorities said.

Mark Anthony Spell, the pastor of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, was issued a misdemeanor summons for six counts of violating the governor’s executive order, the Central Police Department told The Daily Beast. The counts are for each of the religious services Spell held after March 16, when Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the order banning gatherings over 50 people.

“Instead of showing the strength and resilience of our community during this difficult time, Mr. Spell has chosen to embarrass us for his own self-promotion,” Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “Mr. Spell will have his day in court where he will be held responsible for his reckless and irresponsible decisions that endangered the health of his congregation and our community.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

CNN’s Jim Acosta: ‘This Was a Different Trump’ at Coronavirus Briefing

CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, known for his rough-and-tumble verbal battles with President Donald Trump, likely raised eyebrows among CNN viewers on Tuesday night when he praised the president’s new tone at the latest White House press briefing, claiming “this was a different Trump.” 

Just days after pushing for coronavirus restrictions to be loosened by Easter so as to reopen the economy, the president admitted on Tuesday that at least 100,000 Americans would likely die from COVID-19 and Americans had a “very tough two weeks” ahead of them.

During the briefing, Acosta asked whether projections of up to 200,000 deaths would be lower if Trump had acted sooner, prompting the president to insist that he did act early. Though Acosta would continue to press him on whether he waited too long to take the pandemic seriously, Trump did not spar with his longtime nemesis, even noting at one point that Acosta’s question was “fair.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Is ICE’s ‘Risk Tool’ Sentencing Innocents to COVID-19 Death?

Faced with evidence that federal immigration agents in New York have routinely jailed almost everyone they’ve arrested during the Trump administration, a judge ordered them Tuesday to carry out the individualized bond review the law requires.

The decision by Judge Alvin Hellerstein at U.S. District Court in Manhattan applies only in New York, but it calls into question whether Immigration and Customs Enforcement is holding people unjustly across the country at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic ratchets up the danger of being incarcerated.

Since 2013, ICE has relied heavily on a computerized tool called the Risk Classification Assessment to evaluate whether to release someone pending a hearing. The New York Civil Liberties Union and Bronx Defenders charged in a lawsuit that “By mid-2017, ICE had changed the tool’s algorithm to prevent it from recommending that people be released on bond or their own recognizance.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

‘You Don’t Want This’: Chris Cuomo Goes Live on CNN With Coronavirus


Things got surreal fast Tuesday night on CNN when host Chris Cuomo went live for the first time since disclosing his positive test for the new coronavirus

“Tonight’s show will be a little different,” Cuomo said from his basement. He urged viewers not to get “caught up in the numbers,” which can be “scary and out of context, but rather focus on what they know is the face of it for an overwhelming number who get sick.”

“And that face is mine,” he added. “I tested positive. Scary, yes, as you might imagine. But better me than you.” His voice cracked as he expressed his concern that he could have infected members of his family. “That is hurting me way more than anything the virus can do.”  

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Trump: There Would Be ‘Death All Over’ If We’d Decided to Just ‘Ride It Out’

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

After spending weeks downplaying the threat of the novel coronavirus, President Trump on Tuesday admitted that at least 100,000 Americans will likely die but said it would have been worse if he had listened to some people he claimed had great “common sense” who wanted to “just ride it out.”

It was not immediately clear who he was referring to, but the president himself had been pushing to loosen restrictions over the virus until just days ago, having suggested as recently as last week that, despite fatalities from the coronavirus health crisis growing, Americans could start to get back to normal by Easter since “we never turn the country off” for the flu.

By Tuesday night, however, after being shown potential death toll predictions by health officials, Trump abruptly took on a grave tone to warn of a “very, very painful” next few weeks.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are ‘Royal’ No More, and Coronavirus Will Delay Their Rebrand

Mark Cuthbert/Getty

What a difference a global pandemic makes.

Just three short months ago, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were at the center of the global news agenda.

They had dramatically announced that they were planning on stepping back as senior ‘working’ royals, and published a bizarre website with a laundry list of demands setting out how they would like their new position to be framed.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

White House Trots Out Grim Death Models to Drive Home Social Distancing

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Americans on Tuesday got their first official glance at the statistical models used in recent weeks by federal officials to guide the country toward an economic shut down, implement social-distancing guidelines, and ask more than 250 million people to stay home.

During a press briefing at the White House, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coordinator for its coronavirus task force, spoke about various predictive models that warned of as many as 1.5 million to 2.2 million people in the United States succumbing to this virus, without mitigation.

Birx had previously said that the national death toll could reach between 100,000 to 200,000, even in a world where all of the federal social-distancing guidelines were followed “perfectly.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Hollywood Targeted by Coronavirus Scammers Seeking Nudes

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

SAG-AFTRA has warned its members about a scam the union says uses the COVID-19 pandemic to solicit nude audition videos and passport information for a fake fashion show in Paris.

“SAG-AFTRA has been made aware of fake casting notices purporting to be seeking models for Paris Fashion Week,” the union said in an advisory to members. “This notice references SAG-AFTRA and uses the COVID-19 crisis to solicit self-tape ‘auditions.’”

“Talent that respond to the casting notice reportedly are being asked to provide passport information and nude ‘audition videos,’” SAG-AFTRA writes, adding later, “We find it appalling that someone would use this global crisis to take advantage of our members and those who aspire to work under our contracts. It is even more troubling that someone would do so in order to obtain personally identifiable information and nude videos that can be used for nefarious and salacious purposes.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Coronavirus Is Building an Invisible Border Wall Between Kentucky and Tennessee

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos Getty

Tennessee is so close that it can feel almost like family to Donna Blake. 

But that hasn’t stopped the Republican, who serves as mayor of Adairville minutes away from Kentucky’s border with Tennessee, from being supportive of her Democratic governor’s urging to largely stay away from their southern neighbor. 

It was the only thing the governor could do under the circumstances, she said. 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Stabbing of Asian-American 2-Year-Old and Her Family Was a Virus-Fueled Hate Crime: Feds

Scott Olson/Getty Images

The vicious stabbing of an Asian-American family, including a 2-year-old girl, at a Sam’s Club in Texas earlier this month has been deemed a hate crime by the feds, as authorities continue to raise alarm bells about a potential surge in racially motivated crimes amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Jose L. Gomez, 19, confessed to authorities that he attempted to murder three Asian-American family members, including the toddler and a 6-year-old, on March 14 at the Midland, Texas store, according to the Midland Police Department. Gomez, who stabbed the individuals and a Sam’s Club employee, is now facing several charges, including three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault. He is being held on several bonds totaling $1 million.

“The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with coronavirus,” according to an FBI analysis report obtained by ABC News.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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