Featured Image

LifeSite’s previous (and future) live updates on the coronavirus crisis and how it relates to issues our readers care about can be viewed HERE.

The cancellation of “elective” surgeries and medical procedures has caused large numbers of healthcare workers, particularly in areas with low coronavirus numbers, to lose their jobs or be furloughed.

There are “a historic number of empty beds in [hospital] systems left untouched by the pandemic,” Rick Jackson, the CEO of the third-largest healthcare staffing company in the United States, wrote for Newsweek.

“Outpatient services account for half of all hospital revenue, which means hospitals are now making, and spending, half what they were this time last year,” he explained. “It's not surprising, then, that the industry shed a record 43,000 health care workers in the first month of this crisis. Experts expect equal or greater layoffs this month, when the sustained forbearance has made revenue even more urgent.”

“Even before this crisis, one in four rural hospitals were vulnerable to closure. Now, many of these rural systems have more empty beds than ever before.”

He warned that “hospitals in every corner of the country might close for good.”

April 29, 2020, 7:24 p.m. EST: The Associated Press reports, “A pregnant inmate whose baby was delivered by cesarean section while she was on a ventilator after being hospitalized with coronavirus symptoms has died in federal custody, the Bureau of Prisons said Tuesday.”

Her name was Andrea Circle Bear. She was 30 years old.

April 29, 2020, 1:18 p.m. EST: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has threatened the “Jewish community, and all communities” with arrest if they gather in large groups during the city’s ongoing coronavirus lockdown. His comments have been widely criticized.

On April 27, a New York City emergency room doctor wrote an op-ed for the New York Post about why it’s “time to start opening up” the country again.

In Texas, beginning Friday, “Retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and shopping malls will all be allowed to open at 25% capacity to provide for social distancin,” the Washington Examiner reports. “Libraries and museums were also approved to reopen at 25% capacity, but hands-on exhibits must remain closed.”

According to CNN, “Cash-strapped Lebanon is facing growing turmoil after the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak sparked violent protests over rising hunger and poverty.”

Newsweek reported yesterday:

…just last year, the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the organization led by Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.

In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.

Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release.

April 29, 2020, 9:23 a.m. EST: In his April 28 column, Dennis Prager wrote:

…the ease with which police state tactics have been employed and the equal ease with which most Americans have accepted them have been breathtaking.

People will argue that a temporary police state has been justified because of the allegedly unique threat to life posed by the new coronavirus. I do not believe the data will bear that out. Regardless, let us at least agree that we are closer to a police state than ever in American history.

Prager argued that “we are presently living with all four of the key hallmarks of a police state,” which he lists as:

  1. Draconian laws depriving citizens of elementary civil rights;
  2. A mass media supportive of the state’s messaging and deprivation of rights;
  3. Use of police; and
  4. Snitches.

“Police departments throughout America have agreed to enforce these laws and edicts with what can only be described as frightening alacrity,” he continued. “After hearing me describe police giving summonses to, or even arresting, people for playing baseball with their children on a beach, jogging alone without a mask, or worshipping on Easter while sitting isolated in their cars in a church parking lot, a police officer called my show. He explained that the police have no choice.” 

And they are tipped off about people doing innocent activities like jogging without a mask by “snitches.”

April 28, 2020, 4:04 p.m. EST: The Catholic bishops of Ohio have extended their ban on public Masses through May 29. They announced:

We thank you for and admire the patience, cooperation and understanding you have already shown during this COVID-19 pandemic.  We realize the frustration, sadness, and loss the faithful felt not to be able to gather personally to celebrate the Paschal Mysteries during the Sacred Triduum and each Sunday.  During this time of sacrifice and longing, we have joined our prayers and hearts to yours, trusting that God will see us through this pandemic and reunite us at the Eucharistic Feast.  Out of deep concern for the common good as well as the physical and spiritual well-being of all the people of Ohio, the Catholic Bishops of Ohio have agreed once again to cooperate with the governor, and to support and abide by the multi-phased approach to returning to work and eventual public gathering in large groups. 

April 28, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In Texas, police posing as customers arrested two women for offering “a cosmetic, beauty service that is prohibited under the emergency ordinance” out of their homes.

“Police say the women were reported anonymously through the department's app,” Reason reported. They could each be fined $1,000 and spend nearly six months (180 days) in jail.

John Zmirak and pro-life activist Jason Jones have written an article for The Stream titled, “There is No ‘Pro-Life’ Position on the China Virus.”

They argue that “hardcore lockdown virus hawks who claim that theirs is the only pro-life position” are “smothering the pro-life message under a smelly, polyester leftover from the 70s. That is, the ‘Seamless Garment.’”

Jones and Zmirak continue: 

The Seamless Garment works as a poison pill cooked up to keep pro-abortion Democrats in power. It turns the pro-life message into a reckless Utopian program. Then it holds unborn children hostage to every other demand on the left’s agenda…

Why should pro-lifers fall for this tactic when it comes to discussing efforts to weather this virus crisis? But that’s exactly what they’re doing. That’s what it means to denounce efforts to balance the artificial poverty the government’s imposing on America against the potential lives saved by quarantining the country for indefinite months or years.

The pro-life movement emerged from the grassroots for a very specific purpose. That is, to fight the direct, intentional killing of the innocent permitted or inflicted by the government. That’s it. So there is indeed a pro-life position on abortion, euthanasia, genocide, and ethnic cleansing. But not on smoking, motorcycle helmets, gun laws, face masks, or hydroxychloroquine.

On April 23, Politico reported, “Canada's public health authority says around 1 million KN95 respirators acquired from China have failed to meet federal Covid-19 standards for use by front-line health professionals.”

Life Legal Defense Foundation is warning against a rush to place coronavirus patients on ventilators, noting it may end up doing more harm than good, and can be used as an excuse to deny other forms of life-sustaining care.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has apologized for shutting down so many businesses, writing on Facebook, “I really believe in my heart, there is no such thing as a non-essential business.”

Some Catholic churches in Montana will begin offering public Masses again this weekend, provided the bishops approve of the re-opening plans of individual parishes. Directives from the Montana bishops say, “Priests may wish to remind the faithful that they are not required to receive Communion. Distribution of holy Communion is to be offered in the hand only, with just care and reverence.”

Some recent LifeSiteNews articles on the coronavirus crisis include: