Joe Biden Sympathizes With Pandemic-Hit Americans On ‘The Late Show’

Joe Biden reflected on his own grieving to empathize with Americans who’ve lost loved ones to the coronavirus in an emotional interview on Thursday’s broadcast of “The Late Show.”

Biden also slammed the Trump White House’s fumbled response to the pandemic.

The de-facto Democratic 2020 nominee, toward the end of a 50-minute chat with host Stephen Colbert, urged people who have been sucked into the pandemic’s “big black hole” of grief to remember that those who died were “still part of you, they’re your heart, they’re your soul.”

“It’s who you are, there’s this connection that is real, and the only way I know for me how to get through it is to find purpose,” he said. “What would the person you lost, what would they want you to doing? What can you do to make it better?”

Biden, whose first wife, Neilia, and their 1-year-old daughter, Naomi, were killed in a 1972 car crash, later recalled a promise his son Beau made him make just months before he died of brain cancer at age 46 in 2015.

“He said, ‘Dad, I know no one in the world loves me more than you do,’” remembered Biden. “‘But, Dad, I promise you, I’m going to be OK. My word, I’m going to be OK. But, Dad, promise me you’re going to be OK.’” 

“He was worried I would withdraw,” Biden explained, appearing to get visibly emotional. “I would go inside, because mourning in public is a lot different than being able to mourn in private. And he made me promise to stay engaged.”

“I’m sorry I get so personal,” Biden told Colbert after the candid discussion.

Earlier in the interview, Biden wondered why President Donald Trump wasn’t telling citizens the truth about the pandemic.

“They’re tough. They can handle it,” he said. “And tell them what’s going to happen and tell them how you’re going to get these things done. He’s done none of that.”

Check out the full interview here:

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2448 COVID-19 Deaths In 24 Hours In US; Biggest Rise This Month

The United States recorded 2,448 coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the biggest rise this month, taking the total death toll to more than 75,000.

A total of 75,670 Covid-19 deaths were recorded in the U.S., as per latest data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

This makes up nearly one third of the global cases, and more than one-fourth of people died of the pandemic worldwide.

The worldwide Covid-19 death toll is now above 3,860000.

As new infections continue to rise in many states such as Maryland, Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee and Wisconsin, the total number of cases in the country increased to 1,256,972, as of John Hopkins’ 7:00 a.m. ET update on Friday.

The number of casualties reached 26144 and infections rose to 327469 in New York, the epicenter of the deadly virus in the country.

The number of states that have reported more than 1000 deaths due to the deadly virus has increased to 14. In four of them, the number of deaths exceeded 4000.

New Jersey (8807 deaths and 133991 infections), Michigan (4345 deaths, 45745 infections), Massachusetts (4552 deaths and 73721 infections), Louisiana (2208 deaths, 30652 infections), Illinois (3111 death, 70871 infections), Pennsylvania (3589 deaths, 55956 infections), California (2546 deaths, 62360 infections) Connecticut (2797 deaths, 31784 infections) and Florida (1600 deaths, 38828) are the worst-affected states.

Amid soaring coronavirus deaths, several states have begun easing lockdown restrictions, allowing shopping centers, hotels, hair salons, beaches and state parks to reopen. This may make the situation worse, according to health experts, who are predicting resurgence in casualties later in summer.

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US COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 62,000

Deaths in the United States due to coronavirus pandemic has topped 62,000 as of Thursday.

The outbreak is the deadliest one since 1967. The worst flu season in recent years was in 2017-2018 when more than 61,000 people died in the US, according to the CDC. The only deadlier flu seasons were in 1967 when about 100,000 Americans died, while nearly 116,000 died in 1957 and 675,000 died in the US in 1918 due to Spanish flu.

The number of infected people crossed the dreadful one million mark on Wednesday, making up nearly one third of the global cases.

The outbreak could take nearly 73,000 US lives by August 4, compared with an earlier forecast of over 67,600, according to the University of Washington’s predictive model.

The pandemic has now killed more than 227,000 people worldwide with more than 3.1 million people been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The state of New York alone has reported 23,780 deaths. At least 306 people died on Wednesday in the state, which is down from the 330 on Tuesday and 335 on Monday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that contact tracing, i.e. tracking those who came into contact with coronavirus patients, is key to curb the coronavirus infection rate.

“It’s not rocket science to do it on an individual basis. The problem is the scale that we have to do this at,” Cuomo said. “It will require, under any estimate, a tracing army to come up to scale very, very quickly.”

The pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the world’s largest economy, with more than 30 million Americans have sought US unemployment aid since coronavirus hit. Economists forecast that the unemployment rate for April could go as high as 20 percent.

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Thousands Of Californians Plan May 1 Rent Strike Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Patricia Mendoza lost her job with a non-emergency medical transport service after nursing homes placed restrictions on people coming in and out amid the coronavirus crisis. Now the mother of two is out of work and can’t afford to pay her rent due May 1. 

“It’s not like I could put money away and save for a rainy day — we live paycheck to paycheck,” said Mendoza, who is the sole breadwinner in her Imperial Beach, California, household. “How am I gonna pay them if I have no income, there’s nothing coming in?” 

Mendoza’s employer, where she’d been working since July of last year, offered no severance pay or other job loss support. Of the $2,000 she earned each month, $1,500 had gone to rent. She’s been trying to file for unemployment benefits, but the government-run website keeps malfunctioning. And she can’t work in grocery stores or other frontline jobs because she has asthma and would be risking her health. 

“That’s hard when you have to choose: work or your health or your kids. Where does it fit?” Mendoza said. “I don’t want to be homeless. I have two kids. I work too hard.” 

Mendoza is one of the estimated thousands of Californians who are demanding that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) cancel rent and mortgage payments during the coronavirus crisis. If he doesn’t, they plan to strike by not paying rent on May 1. 

Around 200 to 300 people have signed up to organize their buildings to strike, according to Jorge Rivera, a regional coordinator for the California housing rights group Tenants Together. While most people will be striking because they can’t afford to pay, some plan to withhold rent in solidarity.

While California has issued a moratorium on evictions during the pandemic, renters are still responsible for any missed payments after the moratorium lifts. Such an approach “only delays the problem,” wrote Hillary Ronen, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, in a recent report calling on the state to suspend rent and mortgage payments throughout the crisis for “those in need.”

HuffPost reached out to Newsom’s office for comment but did not get an immediate response. 

“There’s a moratorium right now, but what happens after?” said Mendoza, who has been going to a local food bank and relying on kind neighbors, who have dropped off groceries in recent weeks. “When am I gonna finish paying? Never. I’m never gonna be able to.”

At a national level, housing rights groups are calling for rent cancellation. And in New York, activists are also organizing tenants to participate in a rent strike for May 1. 

As the pandemic has led states to broadly shutter businesses, a record 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits over the last five weeks — and that doesn’t count those unable to file or ineligible for unemployment benefits, including undocumented workers.

Earlier this month, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) introduced legislation calling for “emergency rent and mortgage cancellation” during the crisis. The bill would provide landlords with relief funds from the federal government. 

Such rent forgiveness would help tenants like Merika Reagan in Oakland, California, who has been unable to pay rent since April 1, after her small pet care business lost almost all its customers amid the state’s stay-at-home order. 

The 45-year-old, who plans to join the rent strike on May 1, has provided dog walking, pet sitting and other services to local residents for eight years. But since people began staying home and caring for their own pets, her 20-or-so regular monthly clients have dropped to three. 

“As soon as the crisis is over, landlords will be looking for back-pay rent. But if I don’t have it coming in, where is it supposed to come from?” Reagan said.

She has yet to receive the federal government’s $1,200 relief check for lower-income Americans — and even if she gets it, it would cover only a fraction of her $2,200 rent. 

Reagan is “very worried” about becoming homeless. “Without rent forgiveness, when this thing is over, if they’re planning on evicting anyone who can’t agree to whatever their payment arrangements are, that’s gonna be me,” she said. 

More than one-quarter of the nation’s 560,000 homeless people live in California. Last month, homeless families in the Los Angeles area started occupying vacant homes amid fears about the coronavirus.

Homeless people are especially at risk of contracting the virus and suffering more severe outcomes because those living in “congregate” settings, like shelters or encampments, are often unable to follow social distancing guidelines. San Francisco saw a major outbreak at one of its shelters earlier this month. 

“The issues that we’re lifting up by doing a ‘cancel rent’ campaign were already there,” said Rivera, adding that the pandemic is “really just bringing into the spotlight the fact people were already having trouble paying rent.”

“People should have a basic human right to housing,” Rivera said.

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus

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  • Lost your job due to coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know.
  • Everything you need to know about coronavirus and grief
  • Parenting during the coronavirus crisis?
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  • What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.
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