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Weekend Digest – March 8, 2020

Presented by the

Business Council of Alabama

Good afternoon!
Congrats to everyone who sprang forward effectively and without consequence today. The rest of us will require some recovery time as we try to shake the residual ennui.
Caroline is off today so I’m bringing you your Weekend Digest for Sunday, March 8.



1. The latest on coronavirus

  • Dozens of Americans who are on a cruise ship off the California coast will be securely transferred to a military base outside Atlanta to undergo coronavirus testing, officials said Sunday.
  • Thirty-four Georgians are among the U.S. citizens expected to arrive at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta on either Monday night or Tuesday morning.
  • The Grand Princess is carrying more than 3,500 people from 54 countries. It is expected to dock in Oakland, California, on Monday. At least 21 people aboard the ship, including 19 crew members, have tested positive for the virus, Vice President Mike Pence announced Friday.
  • Read more about the cruise ship passengers coming to Georgia HERE.
  • Two people who tested positive for the new coronavirus have died in Florida, marking the first deaths on the East Coast attributed to the outbreak in the U.S., health officials said Friday.
  • Helen Aguirre Ferre, a spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, confirmed the deaths on Twitter, writing the individuals were in their 70s and had traveled overseas. She did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Saturday.
  • The announcement raises the U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus strain to 16, including 13 in the state of Washington and one in California.
  • Read more about the Florida deaths HERE.
  • Meanwhile, dozens of research groups around the world are racing to create a vaccine as COVID-19 cases continue to grow. Importantly, they’re pursuing different types of vaccines — shots developed from new technologies that not only are faster to make than traditional inoculations but might prove more potent. Some researchers even aim for temporary vaccines, such as shots that might guard people’s health a month or two at a time while longer-lasting protection is developed.
  • First-step testing in small numbers of young, healthy volunteers is set to start soon. There’s no chance participants could get infected from the shots, because they don’t contain the virus itself. The goal is purely to check that the vaccines show no worrisome side effects, setting the stage for larger tests of whether they protect.
  • Even if initial safety tests go well, “you’re talking about a year to a year and a half” before any vaccine could be ready for widespread use, stressed Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
  • Go behind the scenes on scientists’ race to deal with the coronavirus HERE.



2. Mental Health bills advancing in the State House

  • Lawmakers have begun taking action on a package of bills and resolutions aimed to improve mental health care in Alabama.
  • Many lawmakers and Gov. Kay Ivey have expressed support for the Alabama Department of Mental Health’s plan to create three 24-hour care centers that would provide immediate crisis treatment on a walk-in basis. Ivey’s proposed 2021 budget includes $18 million for the centers.
  • Other legislation includes a bill allowing hospitals and law enforcement to put people in protective custody for 72 hours if they are thought to be a threat to themselves or others, intervention training for law enforcement, mental health coordinators for schools, and helping mentally ill people avoid imprisonment.
  • Read the full story from ADN’s Abby Diggers and Devin Pavlou HERE.









A message from

the Business Council of Alabama

Don’t miss the latest installment of the BCA member-driven Webinar series on 3.13.20 at 10:00 a.m.
This installment of BCA’s ProTip is brought to you by Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP and The University of Alabama, with guest presenters Bruce Ely and Karen Miller.
We’ll discuss what changed for businesses after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was signed into law, and what the proposed changes are to Alabama state law that will allow Alabama businesses to remain competitive with our Southeastern neighbors.







3. Tuberville, Sessions go after each other in new ads

  • It didn’t take long for the two remaining Republican candidates in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race to train their campaign firepower on one another.
  • After finishing first and second, respectively, in the March 3rd primary election, former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville and former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions used their “victory” speeches to draw stark contrasts with the other candidate.
  • “Anyone can say they are for the Trump agenda, but talk is cheap, but I have fought on the great issues of our day and won,” Sessions said Mobile Tuesday night.
  • “Only one candidate in this race will support Donald Trump down the line. Doug won’t. Jeff didn’t. But Tommy will,” Tuberville, countered
  • That election night soapbox rhetoric has now been turned into carefully-crafted, highly-stylized campaign attack ads designed to undermine voters’ trust in the other candidate.
  • Read more and watch both ads HERE.



4. Biden, Sanders start mixing it up

  • The Democratic presidential primary is down to two major candidates, and it shows.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are spending their first weekend as their party’s last top White House contenders increasingly taking aim at one another. Each wants to show he’s the best choice before six more states — Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington — vote on Tuesday.
  • It reflects the new contours of a race that once featured 20-plus Democrats. An increasingly bitter matchup could endure for months as Biden and Sanders compete for the right to face President Donald Trump in November.
  • In a sign of how biting the contest may become, Sanders supporters — including his campaign manager — raised questions about Biden’s stamina after he gave a seven minute speech in St. Louis.
  • Biden saw a surge of donor support after South Carolina and Super Tuesday, and his campaign announced that it was spending $12 million on a six-state ad buy in places voting Tuesday and the following week. It was his largest single advertising effort of the 2020 campaign.
  • Full story HERE.


5. The road to Bloody Sunday began 30 miles away

  • Yesterday was the 55th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the violent confrontation in Selma that would begin turning the tide of public opinion on civil rights and propel passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  • But there was another fracas a few weeks earlier just up the road in Marion, without which the high-profile Selma march may have never gotten off the ground.
  • Gary Fields takes us back to Marion and the story of Jimmie Lee Jackson in this Sunday read.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
Della Simpson Maynor remembers the mounted police officer cracking her elbow with a baton. She recalls the panicked marchers unable to escape the onslaught, and the scuffle between officers and a young church deacon who was trying to protect his mother and grandfather. Most of all, she remembers the gunshot.
Two weeks before Bloody Sunday — the clash in Selma on March 7, 1965, that helped propel passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — there was a march in this small town 30 miles away.
What happened in Marion is now a less-familiar episode in the civil rights movement, a footnote in the textbooks. But the blood spilled here would send hundreds of people from Marion and the surrounding county to Selma and the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where history was made.
“Starting the story in Selma is like reading a book by starting in the middle and not going back to the beginning so you can get the total picture of what actually happened in 1965,” said Perry County Commissioner Alfred Turner Jr. “Without the events occurring in Marion, there’s no way you would have gotten the same results or the optics of Bloody Sunday.”
The protest in Marion was sparked by the arrest of a minister who was leading efforts to register black people to vote. It ended with the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old black church deacon, Jimmie Lee Jackson, by a state trooper.
  • Read the full story HERE.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tuberville, Sessions go after each other in new ads


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Cruise ship passengers to be quarantined at Georgia base


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Florida: 2 dead in the state who tested positive for virus


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Behind the scenes, scientists prep for COVID-19 vaccine test


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Sanders, Biden up attacks as head-to-head race takes shape


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Civil rights: The road to Bloody Sunday began 30 miles away


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Mental health bills advancing in the State House


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 5G infrastructure bill passes Senate


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Will Whatley: Time to make Senate race about Alabama


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Daily News Digest – March 6, 2020


AL.COM – Treatments from Alabama center might halt deadly coronavirus, but obstacles remain


AL.COM – Speaker Nancy Pelosi lays wreath at 16th Street Baptist Church


AL.COM – Alabama lawmaker wants to separate Martin Luther King, Robert E. Lee holidays


AL.COM – Coronavirus likely to spread to Alabama, says U.S. research director


AL.COM – Bobbie Knight named permanent president of Miles College


AL.COM – 2 Jacksonville State University students exposed to coronavirus patient, school says


AL.COM – Alabama students petition lawmakers to leave calendar alone


AL.COM – Gov. Kay Ivey names task force to prepare for coronavirus


Montgomery Advertiser – ‘We have to know this history’: Congressional leaders makes annual pilgrimage to Alabama


Montgomery Advertiser – PHOTOS: Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage in Montgomery


Montgomery Advertiser – DA Daryl Bailey reacts to appeal bond granted to police officer convicted of killing a man


YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Tuberville: We need ‘some kind of visa system’ for labor shortages with ‘no chance for citizenship’.


YELLOWHAMMER NEWS – Sessions defends Russia investigation recusal while U.S. Attorney General — ‘Hopeful’ investigations underway will tighten up against DoJ political abuses


ANNISTON STAR – Mental health bills advancing in State House


ANNISTON STAR – Elks Lodge bingo vote wasn’t on March ballot, but could be on November’s


Times Daily  – Mental health bills advancing in State House


Times Daily – Lawmakers want electronic monitoring of inmates off ADOC property


Times Daily – Statewide 5G infrastructure bill passes first vote but cities still concerned


Tuscaloosa News – Mayor to hold town hall meeting Monday


Tuscaloosa News – Lawmakers want electronic monitoring of inmates


Tuscaloosa News – Ivey appoints TPD officer to massage therapy board


Decatur Daily – Lawmakers: Schools unfairly hurt by report cards’ treatment of non-English speakers


Decatur Daily – Lawmakers want electronic monitoring of inmates off ADOC property


Decatur Daily – Judge delays Sheriff Blakely’s trial despite false COVID-19 claim


WASHINGTON POST – ‘Maybe I have a natural ability’: Trump plays medical expert on coronavirus by second-guessing the professionals


WASHINGTON POST – Trump picks Mark Meadows to be new White House chief of staff


WASHINGTON POST – Elizabeth Warren faces another big choice — whom (if anyone) to endorse


NEW YORK TIMES – U.S. Outbreak Spreads as East Coast Sees Its First Deaths


NEW YORK TIMES – No Cell Signal, No Wi-Fi, No Problem. Growing Up Inside America’s ‘Quiet Zone’


NEW YORK TIMES – With Test Kits in Short Supply, Health Officials Sound Alarms




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