Local and federal officials presented different messages yesterday, with the White House warning about a potential coronavirus hot spot in Philly while the city was optimistic about a slowdown in cases. And, in non-coronavirus news, ex-Vice President Joe Biden has all but locked up the Democratic presidential nomination, with Sen. Bernie Sanders dropping out of the race.
— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

Philly officials see positive signs on the coronavirus. The White House is fearing hot spots and may send more aid.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley pushed back against an assertion by the White House’s coronavirus response director that the city could become a coronavirus hot spot.

Earlier yesterday, Dr. Deborah Birx said that the White House Coronavirus Task Force was looking for trends, mentioning Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia as places the group is “concerned” about. Vice President Mike Pence echoed her concerns about Philadelphia later in the day.

But while she didn’t offer any specifics about Philly, Farley questioned what figures the task force was looking at. The city announced 505 new cases yesterday, giving the city 4,777 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Gov. Tom Wolf also chimed in, appearing to embrace Birx’s concerns about Philadelphia as a way to get more productive gear for medical workers and first responders.

Do you still think the coronavirus is just like the flu?

Here’s some good news: flu season is effectively over, according to a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has already outstripped the flu as a killer in Pennsylvania, leading to 309 deaths compared with the flu’s 102.

Even so, 13 weeks into the coronavirus era some are still questioning whether the new disease is bad enough to warrant an economic shutdown when influenza, a disease that kills thousands every year, is treated as an annual inconvenience. In reality, there are a number of major differences, ranging from the presence of a vaccine and the existence of proven antiviral treatments to death and hospitalization rates.

Bernie Sanders ends his presidential campaign, clearing the way for Joe Biden

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ended his presidential campaign yesterday, leaving Scranton-born Joe Biden all but assured of being the Democratic nominee against President Donald Trump. The former vice president surged after Sanders had taken a delegate lead in the primary’s early states.

Sanders, a registered independent and democratic socialist, will now look to continue to push the party’s agenda to the left. Biden, in a statement, acknowledged the coalition Sanders built. “Make no mistake about it, I believe it’s a movement that is as powerful today as it was yesterday,” Biden said.

What you need to know today

Gov. Wolf authorized Pennsylvania to “commandeer” medical supplies from health care providers and manufacturers for coronavirus care.Flight attendants are still working, and they’re worried. My colleague spoke to some who are confused, angry, and anxious about contracting or spreading the coronavirus.Philly’s parks and basketball courts still aren’t empty, even with fears about the coronavirus.Racial bias in health care hurts patients. But there might be a way out.“Every day is a fresh hell” for undocumented domestic workers because of the coronavirus, according to the director of the Pennsylvania Domestic Workers Alliance.Corrections officers say that jails aren’t doing enough to protect them as the coronavirus spreads behind bars.Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Did anybody else see the “supermoon” last night? Thanks for sharing, @yo_navaz.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s interesting

??Philly’s iconic buildings were lit blue to honor those fighting on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are pictures of what it looked like.??Can you get the coronavirus from groceries? We have answered that and other questions about topics including paying Philly’s wage tax even if you’re now stuck outside the city and whether it’s OK to go fishing.??Are you still paying rent? Over a dozen West Philly households are taking part in a coronavirus rent-strike experiment.??The Eagles could look to bring in young wide receivers in the NFL draft. The position group is so talented and deep that there’ll be someone for every team.???Parks and waterways are filthy because of planned cleanups getting canceled due to the coronavirus.??Gen Z is using social media during the pandemic, meaning they’re both making connections and grappling with misinformation.Opinions

“Under any guidelines, in times of severe scarcity, someone will not get the care that they deserve — but that is not an invitation for discrimination against any group, particularly people with disabilities.” — writes the Inquirer Editorial Board about protecting people in the event that Pennsylvania has to ration lifesaving resources.

Pennsylvania gun owner and general surgery resident Colin DeLong writes about why he wants gun stores to close during the pandemic.If online instruction typically isn’t good enough for “elite schools,” then it shouldn’t be good enough for anyone else. And the coronavirus is showing that, writes Jonathan Zimmerman, who teaches education and history at Penn.What we’re reading

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has stopped construction over coronavirus dangers, WHYY reports.Generocity has a list of neighborly resources that you might need to use or want to help out during this time.What would you do if you discovered your boss was a convicted con artist? The Guardian has the story.Your Daily Dose of | South Philly’s 86-year-old TikTok sensation

Dolores Paolino earned her nickname of Dolly Broadway growing up in South Philly, where she spent every night out on the town. And the 4-foot-5, 86-year-old grandma is still partying — especially on social media, where she has 1.2 million followers on TikTok. That’s not bad for someone who doesn’t even own a cell phone.

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