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THE NEWS:

President Donald Trumpseems to think that easing restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic is solely under his control. “When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total,” he said during Monday’s evening press conference. He did not back up his claim and, moments later, his vice president softened it. Vice President Mike Pence said Trump would “work” with states and issue guidelines. 

D.C.’s stay-at-home order and other restrictions were issued by Mayor Muriel Bowser, meaning she and her team will decide when and how they will be lifted. She said as much in an interview with WTOP Tuesday morning. 

Bowser’s chief of staff, John Falcicchio, told the Postthat she is coordinating with the governors of Maryland and Virginia and will announce by Friday “how we might safely open certain portions of District government, schools or private business, or extend the current posture.”

In a April 3 press conference, Bowser hinted that she doesn’t think schools will reopen April 27. She and her emergency response team had just announced that D.C. will be reaching its peak in COVID-19 hospitalizations somewhere between late June and early July. This model from the University of Pennsylvania underestimates the impact of social distancing. She caveated that her team is constantly updating the model based on what they are seeing on the ground, so it is subject to change. 

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In an interview with WTOP Tuesday, Bowser said she is hopeful D.C.’s worst-case scenario won’t actualize and that the city will see lower infections and hospitalizations. (Reminder: D.C.’s modeling projects 1 in 7 residents will be infected over the course of the pandemic.) There is a possibility that the city will see its peak in late May rather than late June. 

But don’t count on everything reopening at once. It’s a process. The countries that flattened the curve, for example, are seeing new cases again. Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • There is no mayoral press conference. Instead, Bowser made press appearances on NBC4, WTOP, Fox 5, and WPGC. 

  • As of April 13, there have been 67 deaths related to the coronavirus disease in D.C. Of the known deaths, 76 percent were black residents. Approximately 2,058 D.C. residents have tested positive for COVID-19, while 11,518 have been tested overall. [EOM]  

  • Metro may require riders to wear face masks. [NBC4]

  • Five employees at the Department of Public Works test positive for COVID-19. [WUSA9]

  • D.C. strip bars and nightclubs are shut out of virus relief. [WCP]

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

  • President Donald Trump said Mayor Muriel Bower is “very happy” with the federal government’s response to COVID-19. Not quite. [WAMU, Twitter]

  • A public works employee took down more than 250 campaign signs, not 20 like the agency originally said. [Twitter]

  • A D.C. public defender describes the inside of the DC Jail. [Post]

  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton will host a tele-townhall tonight at 6 p.m. [EHN]

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

  • Federalist Pig might be popping up in Petworth soon inside the former Slim’s Diner space. [WBJ]

  • Answers to all of your grocery shopping questions. [Vox]

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

  • The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. is collecting pandemic journals and photos in real time. [WAMU]

  • While some have turned their little free libraries into little free pantries, the organization cautions against using them if the community is an outbreak hotspot. [DCist]

  • Check out these thank you signs that people have made for essential workers. [Washingtonian]

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

  • Without actual baseball being played, MLB players are turning to the virtual world. Players from all 30 teams are competing in MLB The Show Players League and the Nats’ representative is Juan Soto, who went 1-2 last night. [NBC Sports Washington]

  • The WNBA Draft will happen on schedule this Friday, albeit virtually. ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel predicts that the defending WNBA champion Mystics will select Baylor point guard Te’a Cooper with the 12th and final pick of the first round. [ESPN]

  • Should Ron Rivera’s team trade the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft for additional selections? The Post’s Thomas Boswell makes a case for it. [Post]

  • The April payment charge for Nats season ticket holders has been delayed to July 15. [Twitter]

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

We’re bringing you the best things to watch, read, make, and do from the comfort of your home while social distancing.

  • On May 31, 1986, the aimless young burnouts of the DMV region hopped in their muscle cars and converged en masse on suburban Maryland to watch the heavy metal bands Judas Priest and Dokken play at the now-demolished Capital Centre.

  • If watching the tragedy of Joe Exotic made you wish there was a way to just kick back and enjoy some feline antics without having to wonder whether Carole Baskin fed her husband’s bones to tigers, the American Film Institute has just the thing for you.

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