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7 Things: Ivey wants more assistance for small business, ‘Reopen Alabama’ protest fizzles, Trump to shut down immigration and more …

7. Facebook won’t let you protest on their site

  • In what could only be described as “Orwellian” and nothing more, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook has now declared that people can no longer share information about protests around the country that call for the nation to reopen for business.
  • Facebook would never block other protests against the government, no matter how disruptive, but now the company is “removing content that advocates for in-person gatherings defying government health guidance.” Facebook noted, “Unless government prohibits the event during this time, we allow it to be organized on Facebook. For this same reason, events that defy government’s guidance on social distancing aren’t allowed on Facebook.”

6. I never had the coronavirus, but a lot of people may have

  • I took a coronavirus antibody test in Huntsville yesterday, and it came up negative, meaning that I have never the coronavirus. A similar test in California found that a bunch of people never knew they had the illness.
  • The results were part of the results from the first “large-scale study” studying antibodies to the virus in subjects’ blood, according to the Los Angeles Times. This could mean this data “translates to roughly 221,000 to 442,000 adults who have recovered from an infection, according to the researchers conducting the study, even though the county had reported fewer than 8,000 cases at that time.”

5. Aderholt hearing from business owners and medical professionals about reopening

  • In a Facebook post, U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) asked for medical professionals and business owners to say when they think the state should start reopening non-essential businesses. 
  • The responses were pretty spread out, with 35% of people saying we should wait until May 1, about 29% saying open now, 17% responding May 15 or June 1, and 20% answering “other.” Aderholt said there “needs to be a measured plan to open things up in phases.”

4. Trump says he will suspend immigration over the coronavirus

  • President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Monday night that he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States, citing the coronavirus pandemic and the number of unemployed Americans at the moment.
  • Trump tweeted, “In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”

3. A tiny group showed up to the rally “Reopen Alabama” rally in Huntsville

  • In front of the Madison County courthouse, a handful of people gathered to rally for reopening the state, but Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle has said that they’re trying to reopen non-essential businesses “as responsibly as we can do it.”
  • The people rallying want businesses to reopen immediately instead of waiting a couple more weeks to ensure that coronavirus cases are actually declining to a safe number. Protester Danny Leston said, “We want to have our freedoms back and to make our own choices about how we live our lives.”

2. People are rallying to get Ivey to take action

  • “Stand Up Alabama” is putting on a rally Tuesday called “Operation Back To Work,” which has been supported by the grassroots organization Eagle Forum. 
  • The rally is set to take place at the State Capitol in Montgomery. Becky Gerritson, executive director of Eagle Forum, said, “We must not delay reopening Alabama any longer. Those business owners and customers who are fearful of contracting the virus can continue to stay in quarantine as long as they choose, but many businesses cannot survive another 2-week closure.”

1. Ivey has asked for more assistance for businesses — it’s coming

  • The National Federation of Independent Business published a survey showing 80% of businesses still have not received money from the first round of funds. Governor Kay Ivey is asking Congress to release more funds for the Paycheck Protection Program, which is a federal assistance program for small businesses.
  • A new coronavirus stimulus package, “Phase 3.5,” will be a $470 billion package that’ll include funding for coronavirus testing, hospitals, economic disaster loans and the Payment Protection Program. Details should be finalized Tuesday. 

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