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THE NEWS:

City Paper has been fielding plenty of questions about when D.C. will reopen. Asking this makes sense and reflects everyone’s longing to return to a sense of normalcy. But public health experts argue that’s not the right question to pose if we want to save lives—the question is not when will we reopen but how will we?

Heeding the advice of the experts, the Bowseradministration has not predicted when D.C. will gradually reopen. (She has suggested it’ll be slower than our neighbors in Maryland and Virginia.) Instead, Mayor Muriel Bowser has been pointing out that D.C. has not seen a 14-day sustained decline of COVID-19 cases, one metric of 11 that officials are considering before we enter Phase 1. The good news is D.C. has been meeting another metric, that hospitals not be overwhelmed with patients. As of May 11, 73 percent of hospital beds and 55 percent of ventilators were in use.

Some more good news: Officials are thinking about how we reopen. Bowser handpicked a group of individuals who’ve been tasked with recommending how the public and private sectors stabilize and recover. It’s called ReOpen DC and its report on phased reopening by sector goes to the executive next week, the Mayor’s press secretary tells City Paper. She says the report will be made available to the public. 

Washington Business Journal’s Alex Koma already has some insight into the group’s thinking, even after the mayor’s team told ReOpen DC members to defer media questions to official spokespersons. Do not expect dates, one member said. This group is focused on what the implications are for industries and their workers when the city gradually reopens, as well as what officials should consider for a smoother transition. The transportation and infrastructure committee discussed the obvious, like teleworking. And, to address the challenges around commuting given that Metro won’t return to normal service until next year, they also discussed complete or partial street closures for biking and walking to work.  

The committees arepacked with Bowser insiders, some of them developers and lobbyists, so many worried whether the concerns of blue-collar workers would actually be addressed. Jaime Contreras—one of the few union leaders in ReOpen DC and vice president of 32BJ SEIU—is voicing some of their concerns in his committee’s meetings, particularly those who live in far-out suburbs. “Metro is shutting down at 9, but we have workers who are on the job until 10 or 11 and they’re getting stranded,” Contreras told Koma. “They can’t say they’ll reopen all the buildings, even if we do it in staggered phasing schedules, and not talk about public transit.” 

—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

Department of Corrections: In yesterday’s DLD, I inaccurately wrote that the temporary hospital in the convention center was financed by Events DC. Turns out, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay the initial invoice of $55 million.  

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • There is no mayoral press conference on COVID-19 today. 

  • As of May 11, D.C. reported eight additional deaths and 96 cases related to COVID-19. D.C. has seen a decrease in positive cases for four days, even with increased testing. Tragically, 336 individuals have lost their lives to coronavirus illness. And disturbing trends continue: Black residents are dying at a greater rate than their white counterparts, and Ward 8 has seen the most deaths of any ward. So far, 6,485 of the total 31,050 tested turned up positive results. [EOM

  • The country will experience “needless suffering and death” if states reopen prematurely, says Dr. Anthony Fauci in a prepared testimony to the Senate. [NYT]

  • Why the Latinx community has the highest rate of coronavirus infections in D.C. [DCist]

  • Is it possible for a building to produce as much energy as it uses? These three “net zero” buildings in the D.C. region figured it out and are addressing climate change. [GGW]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Participate in our voters’ guide by telling us what you want us to ask local politicians. [WCP]

  • Jack Evans throws his trash in the can on the corner. [WCP]

  • Today is the last day to register to vote by mail. [Twitter]

  • WMATA is bracing for a $438 million hit in revenue due to coronavirus. [Twitter]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • A D.C. caterer with Baton Rouge, Louisiana, roots is selling pick-up crawfish and shrimp boils this weekend. [WCP]

  • Comet Ping Pong is being targeted once again, this time by people in Germany. [Washingtonian]

  • Tips for making the most out of your CSA box of veggies. [Post]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • People are craving digital services from public libraries. [Kojo Nnamdi Show]

  • Writer Leslie Pietrzyk opens up about how her craft has shifted during the pandemic. [Washingtonian]

  • Mosaic Theater is preparing to stage its play, Alexandra Petri’s satire Inherit the Windbag, opening Aug 19. [DC Theatre Scene]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Sean Doolittle has some important questions and health concerns about MLB’s proposed return-to-play plan. [NBC Sports Washington]

  • Take a trip down memory lane to the time Michael Jordan invented a slight in his head after Washington Bullets guard LaBradford Smith scored a career-high 37 points on him. The following day, Jordan returned the favor and scored 36 points in the first half and finished with 47 en route to a Bulls victory. [Post, CBS Sports]

  • It may be a minor chapter in Jordan’s overall career, but seeing the most famous athlete in the world play baseball mattered. Just ask Clinton Yates. [The Undefeated]

  • Jalen Smith, who has declared for the NBA draft, calls the criticism of Maryland coach Mark Turgeon “frustrating” and says Turgeon, who is often blamed for the Terps’ late-season performance, is “one of the best coaches I’ve ever been coached by.” [247Sports]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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