Take me to your leader

Ashley Shaffer
USA TODAY
Published 5:58 PM EDT Apr 28, 2020

As the U.S. reached yet another grim milestone in its battle with the coronavirus, the Pentagon casually released a few UFO videos. Everything is fine, guys. Really. 👽

It’s Ashley with the news you need to know. 

But first, cut him some slack(s): A reporter went viral on “GMA” after a “hilariously mortifying” video appearance with no pants.

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‘What the (expletive) is that?!’

Hint: 🛸. The Pentagon on Monday released three videos of UFOs in an attempt to “clear up any misconceptions” regarding whether the videos — which have been circulating for years — are real. Yes, earthlings, you read that right. Check out the videos for yourself. But the government prefers to call the small, flying-saucerlike-objects “unidentified aerial phenomena.” In one of the videos, a person (hilariously) exclaims, “What the (expletive) is that?!” Now that the videos have been unclassified, does that mean we know what the objects are? Nope. “The aerial phenomena observed in the videos remain characterized as ‘unidentified,'” the Department of Defense said Monday. 

Footage released by DOD of ‘unidentified aerial phenomena.’
Department of Defense

Coronavirus cases in the US reach seven figures

The United States topped 1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday — nearly a third of the world’s cases — as health authorities here and around the globe try to understand the full scope of who is at risk and who has been infected. And despite warnings from national health leaders that the country could face a second wave of the virus in late 2020, states and cities continue to drum up plans to get people out of their homes and back into mainstream life. 

Our projected coronavirus death toll looks grim 

A leading model projecting the total death toll from coronavirus increased the number of Americans predicted to die during the first wave of the virus. The new projection says 74,073 people in the United States will die of COVID-19. 

Meat shortage? Not if Trump can stop it

As the chairman of Tyson Foods warned of “meat shortages” due to what he calls a breakdown in the food supply chain, President Donald Trump plans to order meat-processing plants to remain open and will try to protect them from legal liability, officials said Tuesday.

A North Carolina pug tested positive for coronavirus

After several members of a North Carolina family tested positive for coronavirus, they found out their pet pug tested positive, too, possibly the first dog in the United States to be diagnosed with the virus. Winston the pug has since fully recovered. Important note: Multiple veterinary experts have previously said there is no evidence yet that the coronavirus can spread from an infected pet to a human.

What everyone’s talking about

Biden accuser spoke to neighbor of alleged assault, report says

An associate of a former Senate aide to Joe Biden says the woman told her about her allegations of sexual assault against Biden — now the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee — in the 1990s. The account, which was published Monday in Business Insider, comes a little over a month after Tara Reade first accused Biden of sexually assaulting her in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building when she worked in his office in 1993. It wasn’t the first time Reade has made an accusation against the former vice president. Last year, Reade publicly accused Biden of inappropriate touching but did not allege sexual assault. Biden’s campaign has denied the allegations.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a primary night election rally in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.
Matt Rourke, AP

Kim Jong Un is still ghosting us

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could be trying to avoid exposure to the coronavirus, a top South Korean official said Tuesday as Kim’s absence has fueled speculation that he may be in ill health. Though Kim has disappeared from the public eye for lengthy stretches in the past, many wondered whether something was seriously wrong after he didn’t appear at a widely celebrated holiday in the country. But South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul pointed out that several traditional holiday events had been canceled in response to the pandemic and that Kim’s absence was not “particularly unusual” in that context. 

This undated picture released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on August 8, 2018 via KNS shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting the Kumsanpho Fish Pickling Factory with his wife Ri Sol Ju in South Hwanghae Province, North Korea.
KCNA VIA KNS, AFP/Getty Images

Real quick 

Thank you, Jaime Alvarado

The Short List is featuring stories from health care workers on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. We want to hear your story. Email me at ashley@usatoday.com.

This hospital where I work specializes in treating highly infectious diseases and responding to the COVID-19 crisis has intensified its focus on disinfection. As manager of the health care cleaning workers at the hospital, I can report that we have been using strict protocols for advanced disinfection in this environment for years. In today’s atmosphere of urgency and fear, we feel grateful to have acquired advanced skills here that we now can share with our colleagues in non-health care locations to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19. In a show of appreciation, the hospital staff donated cards for the Boys and Girls Club to write colorful, hand-made cards that hang in our workplaces to remind us that people and their families are counting on us to help keep them safe.

— Jaime Alvarado, Operations Manager, Servicon Systems

Jaime Alvarado, operations manager at Servicon Systems, and Maria Soto, environmental service technician, at a health care facility in Los Angeles County, CA.
Jaime Alvarado

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