The Third Reich of Dreams. How Dreams Change Under Authoritarianism

I looked for this out of print book on Amazon.  Its price is nearly $1500.

The New Yorker 11.7.2019

When the Nazis came to power, the writer Charlotte Beradt began collecting dreams. What did she learn?

Not long after Hitler came to power, in 1933, a thirty-year-old woman in Berlin had a series of uncanny dreams.

In one, her neighborhood had been stripped of its usual signs, which were replaced with posters that listed twenty verboten words; the first was “Lord” and the last was “I.” In another, the woman found herself surrounded by workers, including a milkman, a gasman, a newsagent, and a plumber. She felt calm, until she spied among them a chimney sweep. (In her family, the German word for “chimney sweep” was code for the S.S., a nod to the trade’s blackened clothing.) The men brandished their bills and performed a Nazi salute. Then they chanted, “Your guilt cannot be doubted.”

These are two of about seventy-five dreams collected in “The Third Reich of Dreams,” a strange, enthralling book by the writer Charlotte Beradt. Neither scientific study nor psychoanalytic text, “The Third Reich of Dreams” is a collective diary, a witness account hauled out of a nation’s shadows and into forensic light.

third reich of dreams 3.28.2020.jpg

The book was released, in Germany, in 1966; an English translation, by Adriane Gottwald, was published two years later but has since fallen out of print. (Despite ongoing interest from publishers, no one has been able to find Beradt’s heir, who holds the rights.) But the book deserves revisiting, not just because we see echoes today of the populism, racism, and taste for surveillance that were part of Beradt’s time but because there’s nothing else like it in the literature of the Holocaust. “These dreams—these diaries of the night—were conceived independently of their authors’ conscious will,” Beradt writes. “They were, so to speak, dictated to them by dictatorship.”

Beradt—who was born Charlotte Aron, in Forst, a town near the German-Polish border—was a Jewish journalist. She was based in Berlin when Hitler became Chancellor, in 1933. That year, she was barred from publishing her work, and she and her husband, Heinz Pol, were arrested during the mass roundups of Communists that followed the passage of the Reichstag Fire Decree. After her release, she began secretly recording the dreams of her fellow-Germans. For six years, as German Jews lost their homes, their jobs, and their rights, Beradt continued making notes. By 1939, she’d gathered three hundred dreams. The project was risky, not least because she was known to the regime. Pol, who once worked for Vossische Zeitung, Germany’s leading liberal newspaper, soon fled to Prague, and Beradt eventually moved in with her future husband, the writer and lawyer Martin Beradt.

The Beradts lived in Charlottenburg—a largely Jewish suburb of Berlin, which was home to figures such as Walter Benjamin and Charlotte Salomon—and the dreams Beradt gathered reflect the area’s secular, middle-class milieu. “Enthusiastic ‘yes men’ or people who drew some advantage from the regime were not readily accessible to me,” Beradt writes. “I asked a dressmaker, neighbor, aunt, milkman, friend—generally without revealing my purpose, for I wanted the most candid and unaffected responses possible.” Her friends included a doctor who “unobtrusively” canvassed patients in his large practice.

To protect herself and those she interviewed, Beradt hid her transcripts inside bookbindings and then shelved them in her private library. She disguised political figures, turning dreams of Hitler, Göring, and Goebbels into “family anecdotes” about Uncles Hans, Gustav, and Gerhard. Once book burnings and home searches became fixtures of state control, Beradt mailed her notes to friends overseas. In 1939, she and Martin left Germany and eventually arrived in New York, as refugees. They settled on West End Avenue, and their apartment became a gathering place for fellow-émigrés, such as Hannah Arendt (for whom Beradt translated five political essays), Heinrich Blücher, and the painter Carl Heidenreich. In 1966, after retrieving her transcripts, Beradt finally published the dreams, in Germany, as “Das Dritte Reich des Traums.”

“The Third Reich of Dreams” unfolds over eleven chapters, arranged by recurring symbols and preoccupations. Epigraphs from Arendt, Himmler, Brecht, and Kafka give ballast to the surreal material that follows, and chapters are titled with emblematic figures—“The Non-Hero,” “Those Who Act”—and gnomic quotes such as “Nothing Gives Me Pleasure Anymore.” These headings reinforce the book’s premise: that the links between waking life and dreams are indisputable, even evidentiary. In an afterword, the Austrian-born psychologist Bruno Bettelheim notes the collection’s many prophetic dreams, in which, as early as 1933, “the dreamer can recognise deep down, what the system is really like.”

Like Svetlana Alexievich’s oral histories of postwar Soviet citizens, Beradt’s work uncovers the effects of authoritarian regimes on the collective unconscious. In 1933, a woman dreams of a mind-reading machine, “a maze of wires” that detects her associating Hitler with the word “devil.” Beradt encountered several dreams about thought control, some of which anticipated the bureaucratic absurdities used by the Nazis to terrorize citizens. In one dream, a twenty-two-year-old woman who believes her curved nose will mark her as Jewish attends the “Bureau of Verification of Aryan Descent”—not a real agency, but close enough to those of the time. In a series of “bureaucratic fairy tales” that evoke the regime’s real-life propaganda, a man dreams of banners, posters, and barracks-yard voices pronouncing a “Regulation Prohibiting Residual Bourgeois Tendencies.” In 1936, a woman dreams of a snowy road strewn with watches and jewelery. Tempted to take a piece, she senses a setup by the “Office for Testing the Honesty of Aliens.”

These dreams reveal how German Jews and non-Jews grappled with collaboration and compliance, paranoia and self-disgust, even as, in waking life, they hid these struggles from others and themselves. The accounts are interwoven with Beradt’s sharp, unembellished commentary, which is deepened by her own experience of Nazism and emigration. By foregrounding dreams, instead of relegating them to colorful secondary material in a more conventional history, Beradt allows the fantastical details to speak louder than any interpretation. Her book recalls the photomontages of Hannah Höch, in which objects, text, and images from the German media are scissored up and juxtaposed, producing unexpected scenarios that feel all the more truthful for their strangeness.

At times, “The Third Reich of Dreams” also echoes Hannah Arendt, who saw totalitarian rule as “truly total the moment it closes the iron vice of terror on its subjects’ private social lives.” Beradt seems to agree with this premise—she understood dreams as continuous with the culture in which they occur—but she also presents dreams as the one realm of free expression that endures when private life falls under state control. Under such conditions, the dreamer can clarify what might be too risky to describe in waking life. Beradt recounts the dream of a factory owner, Herr S., who is unable to muster a Nazi salute during a visit from Goebbels. After he struggles for half an hour to lift his arm, his backbone breaks. The dream needs little elaboration, Beradt writes; it’s “devastatingly clear and almost vulgar.” In a period during which the individual was reduced either to a parasite or to a member of a faceless mob (“I dreamt I was no longer able to speak except in chorus with my group”), dreams offered a rare opportunity to restore a sense of agency.

Beradt’s book does not include any dreams with religious content, and there are no dreams from the Eastern European Jews who lived across town, on Grenadierstrasse and Wiesenstrasse—that is, the Jews who had already survived pogroms. But these absences do not detract from Beradt’s vivid, indelible details, which deepen our understanding of life during Nazism’s early years—a period still overshadowed in the literature by accounts of mass murder and war. Especially novel is Beradt’s study of the many urban women—Jewish and non-Jewish—who narrate their own (dream) lives. Here is Göring trying to grope a salesgirl at the movies; here is Hitler, in evening clothes, on the Kurfürstendamm, caressing a woman with one hand and distributing propaganda with the other. “There can be no neater description of Hitler’s influence on a large sector of Germany’s female population,” Beradt writes, noting the numbers of women who voted for him and his party’s calculated manipulation of his supposed “erotic” power. But the dreams also depict women—reduced to obedient wives and child-bearers in Nazi propaganda—seeking greater social authority. In one instance, a woman has just been classified by the race laws as one-quarter Jewish. And yet, in a dream, she is led by Hitler down a grand staircase. “There was a throng of people below, and a band was playing, and I was proud and happy,” she told Beradt. “It didn’t bother our Führer at all to be seen in public with me.”

Hitler in Hell I 2.4.2020

 

The final chapter of “The Third Reich of Dreams” is reserved for those who—in their dreams, at least—resisted the regime (“I dreamed that it was forbidden to dream, but I did anyway”) and those who were Jewish. Beradt writes that such dreams “constitute a separate category, just as the Jews themselves were a separate category under the Nazi regime” and were the focus of “direct, not indirect terrorization.” A Jewish doctor dreams he’s the only physician in the Reich who can cure Hitler. When he offers to donate his services, a blond youth in Hitler’s entourage cries, “What! You crooked Jew—no money?” Later, a Jewish lawyer dreams of travelling through icy Lapland to reach “the last country on earth where Jews are still tolerated”—but a customs official, “rosy as a little marzipan pig,” throws the man’s passport onto the ice. Ahead, unreachable, the promised land shimmers “green in the sun.” It is 1935. Six years later, the mass deportations would begin.

In Germany, “The Third Reich of Dreams” was reviewed as “surprising and gripping evidence” and an “important historical document.” As the psychoanalyst Frances Lang has noted, it’s strange, then, that Beradt’s book has gone “virtually unrecognised” in America. Perhaps it was difficult for such an idiosyncratic history to compete with the more urgent, straightforward accounts that appeared in the nineteen-sixties. (The book is contemporaneous with both Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem” and Raul Hilberg’s “The Destruction of the European Jews.”) And yet there is still time for the collection to enter the canon of Third Reich literature, and perhaps for it to gain wider circulation. Lang, who practices in Boston, learned of Beradt’s work via a footnote in Freud’s “The Interpretation of Dreams” and wrote about it in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. In her own practice, she has noticed a widespread uneasiness following Trump’s election. She has asked her friends and colleagues to begin collecting dreams.

 

 

 

 

California’s Unemployed. The Check will be in the mail. The question is, “When?”

Now that Congress has passed and the President has signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or “CARES” act  millions of newly unemployed are in for a surprise. 

Wait Wait Wait.

It will be weeks before the unemployed expecting money to subsist on arrives.

The processing of claims by State workers is a cumbersome process due to the numbers of new applicants, lack of funding for State agencies and an antiquated computer system.

It’s good news for the unemployed that the CARES act will distribute an additional $600 weekly to the unemployed.  California has no plan to increase its current maximum benefit of $450.  That figure has been in place for decades.

Sacramento Bee 3.25.2020

If California wants to increase unemployment insurance benefits to help workers cope with the economic fallout from the new coronavirus, the higher payments could be delayed up to a year because the state employment department isn’t prepared for the job.

 

A new report from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found the information technology systems at California’s Employment Development Department, which adminsters unemployment benefits, are limited in what they can currently do.

“Due to the limitations of (the Employment Development Department’s) current information technology systems, changing (unemployment insurance) benefit levels—for instance, by increasing the maximum weekly benefit amount or setting a minimum weekly benefit floor—could take as long as a year to implement,” the analysts wrote.

“For this reason,” the analysts said, “in our view, the legislature probably has limited options to respond to the COVID-19 crisis by adjusting (unemployment) benefit levels.”

UI I 3.28.2020

Department spokeswoman Loree Levy said the agency has been working to update its current systems for some time.

“There are a number of different solutions the EDD is developing and implementing now to deal with the unprecedented claim demand and issue benefit payments,” she said.

“That includes streamlining the processing of claims wherever possible, staff working overtime seven days a week, redirecting hundreds of staff from throughout the department and elsewhere in the state with unemployment processing experience (including recent retirees), and of course hiring when we can,” Levy explained. “Although it does take several months to get new staff trained on the complexity of the (unemployment) rules and regulations. “

The current maximum weekly state benefit is $450. The federal economic stimulus package due for a vote in Congress this week would provide extra unemployment benefits. State officials have not proposed higher California-funded benefits.

UI III 3.28.2020

It’s unclear how the state’s technology limits could affect implementation of a change funded by Washington. The state’s benefit program is primarily financed by a tax on employers.

The legislative analysts said Monday that while the department usually issues about 80 percent of first benefit payments within 21 days of receiving a worker’s application, it’s anticipated that the first benefits will now “take much longer.”

Levy said that “it always takes about three weeks to process a claim once received and issue benefit payments when someone is found eligible. For now, we are timely with payments due and are working on a number of strategies to maintain that as much as possible.

“But of course, at the same time the EDD is also trying to transition our workforce to teleworking as much as possible to abide by health guidelines and protect our staff. That’s certainly creates some challenges,” she said.

The analyst’s report offers several options to get benefits to unemployed workers more quickly. Among them: Stop non-essential work related to unemployment insurance benefit administration, and temporarily stop debt collection from employers who are not paying tax.

Talk about back in the day 50 years of Jimi Hendrix’s radical ‘Band of Gypsys’

In the midst of a two plus year experience living abroad I was arriving in Israel on New Years Day 1970…the time Jimi Hendrix ‘Band of Gypsys’ was making history at Fillmore East in New York City.

The live concert performance was soon released on vinyl and I heard Hendrix performance at a party in Florence, Italy. When I returned to the United States a couple of years later this concert became a permanent part of my music collection.

48 Hills 3.25.2020

By the time Jimi Hendrix and his Band of Gypsys—released on Capitol Records March 25, 1970—came together for their two-night performance at the Fillmore East on New Years 1970, with Billy Cox on bass and Buddy Miles on drums, the Seattle-born polymath had dropped the gunslinger antics. Along with The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Playing guitar behind his back, between his legs, making it look as if he were playing it with his teeth… These performance hacks were learned out on the R&B chitlin’ circuit, backing up Little Richard and the Isley Brothers, in Hendrix’s lean-eating, primary fame stage of the early 1960s. That trick bag landed him opening slots for The Monkees when he started his rock ascension.

But in 1969, things turned volatile, different. There was an extra heaviness in the cultural zeitgeist. Vietnam. The Black Panthers. Protest. Civil Rights. Old society collapsing like Voltron into the music, driving the aesthetic. That shuffling for dinner shit became immediately played. Moldy in fact… Anything resembling some ʻUncle Tomʻ coonery got cancelled.

Hendrix was sweating. Under pressure from his manager and record company to record a follow-up to the 1968 crossover psychedelic-rock epic Electric Ladyland, he was also required to produce an album’s worth of new material for Capitol Records to satisfy a contract dispute with a former manager. His pop veneer didnʻt serve the evolving “jamming experiments” he had cooking on the horizon. Cox and Miles galvanized Jimi’s embrace of the R&B tradition. Merging it all with a blues root, it produced unparalleled rhythmic stability. One that was lacking before.

On the quintessential funk-rock model “Who Knows,” Hendrix guitar solo-boogies vertically, not horizontally, between Coxʻs low-end corkscrew patterns on bass and Miles’ snare-blasting, foot-innit, timekeeping. Who knew generations later that thickness, this type of bump, would be chopped and sampled for a new music form called hip-hop. Credit Digital Underground (probably Shock G to be specific) for being stealthy in choosing that sample for the groove on 1990ʻs “The Way We Swing.”

But praise the originators, the ancestors, for making folks in the 70s unconsciously snap their damn necks in unison to the big brother beat this trio carved out. Sure, the wild-style solo features on “Power To Love” is Jimi deep in his bag, but it’s all complementary to the in-the-pocket, nimble and quick, bass lines Cox just continually lays down. Itʻs the rock, and an electrified version of jazz legend Ron Carter that just canʻt do any wrong.

“Machine Gun” a career exclamation point, where Hendrix dedicates the song “to all the soldiers that are fighting in Chicago and Milwaukee and New York, oh yes, and all the soldiers fighting in Vietnam”, is an ode to the unrest happening overseas, in the “official” war, and as much about the late 1960s race riots, giving way to blood running down the streets in this country.

The performance gives vivid transparency of war and its foul stench, employing percussive uses of the guitar never heard before. Mirroring the John Coltrane “sheets of sound” approach on Miles Davis’ “Kind Of Blue,” it followed up the political statement of Hendrixʻs “chopped and screwed” version of the national anthem” at Woodstock.

These evolving musical directions, with no specific landing points or limits, were far from pop moves. But producer Chas Chandler was gone. Hendrix was free to delve into his R&B and funk influences. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was dead. A new rhythm section, where the bass and drum were sympatico and hitting, complementing the psychedelic stuff so much that Davis commented, “it freed Jimi from the constraints of the Experience.”

Hendrix rebuilt himself. Stretching his repertoire into a type of swing. Executing it on stage, standing still. And then moving on from us.

House passes historic $2 trillion stimulus despite objections from GOP lawmaker

Despite objections from one Republican (see earlier Blog Post) the US House of Representatives passed the Two Trillion Dollar stimulus package a short time ago.

Breaking News 4.15.2019

CNN 3.27.2020

The House of Representatives on Friday approved the historic $2 trillion stimulus package that passed the Senate earlier this week, overcoming last-minute drama by using an unusual procedural move to thwart a demand by a conservative Republican to force members to vote in person.

 

The Republican, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky, infuriated members in both parties by bringing them back to Washington amid uncertainty over whether he would request a full roll call vote. That uncertainty forced many to travel during the public health emergency simply to deny his demand in order to ensure swift passage of the measure on Friday.
Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky announced Friday that he would request a full roll-call vote, though sources have told CNN there may be procedural steps to deny Massie’s request from requiring a recorded vote.
“I swore an oath to uphold the constitution, and I take that oath seriously,” Massie tweeted just before noon ET, on Friday.

 

The bill now goes to President Donald Trump’s for his signature as the American public and the US economy fight the devastating spread of Covid-19.
The far-reaching legislation stands as the largest emergency aid package in US history. It represents a massive financial injection into a struggling economy with provisions aimed at helping American workers, small businesses and industries grappling with the economic disruption.
Stimulus II 3.27.2020
House Speaker – San Francisco Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi meets with the media
Key elements of the package include sending checks directly to individuals and families, a major expansion of unemployment benefits, money for hard-hit hospitals and health care providers, financial assistance for small businesses and $500 billion in loans for distressed companies.
House leaders face pressure to pass the legislation as quickly as possible and minimize the risks to their members in the process — and the bill had been expected to be taken up by voice vote, a move that would allow for quick passage and was designed to permit most House members not to return to Washington for a full roll call vote.
Steny Hoyer’s office advised members Thursday evening they were encouraged to be in Washington on Friday at 10 a.m. ET because the bill may not pass that way after all. “There is now a possibility,” the notice from the Maryland Democrat’s office said, that a Republican may force a recorded vote.

 

Chesa Boudin, His Imprisoned Father, Threat of the Coronavirus in Prisons

David Gilbert, father of San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, has been imprisoned in New York for nearly 40 years. The coronavirus has put at risk America’s huge imprisoned population.

David Gilbert is 75.  Keeping him behind bars serves no purpose and could result in his succumbing to Covid-19.

The New Yorker 3.26.2020.

Chesa Boudin, the District Attorney of San Francisco, last spoke to his father on the phone a few days ago, and, like everyone these days, they talked about covid-19. His father, David Gilbert, is seventy-five, but the risks he faces if infected by the virus are far more serious than those confronting many other septuagenarians. Gilbert is confined at Shawangunk Correctional Facility, some seventy miles north of New York City.

Should he get sick, he will have to rely on the prison’s staff to help him. “Using the phones or even going to the mess hall is a real risk for him at this point,” Boudin said. “They use very old-school phones that are shared by a large number of inmates, and they don’t work very well. And, so, to have a conversation, you have to get your mouth right up into the mouthpiece that is being used by many, many hundreds of other people.”

Gilbert is among the oldest people in the New York State prison system. In 1981, he and Chesa’s mother, Kathy Boudin, who were both members of the Weather Underground, were involved in the robbery of a Brink’s armored truck, in Rockland County, that resulted in the deaths of one of the company’s guards and two police officers. Kathy, who was sentenced to twenty years to life, was released on parole in 2003; Gilbert is serving a sentence of seventy-five years to life. About his most recent call with his father, Boudin said, “We said goodbye at the end, as we do at the end of every phone call, but this one felt different. It felt heavier and more ominous because I know—and he knows—that there’s a very high likelihood that his prison will go on lockdown, or that he’ll be unable to get back to the phones. And because we know that the reason for that is a disease that very seriously threatens his life.”

David Gilbert II  3.27.2020.jpg

Officials in many states are taking similar actions, including Boudin, who asked his staff at the San Francisco District Attorney’s office to examine the cases of people held in the city’s jails, in order to figure out whom they could release.

“The health-department officials that run our jail medical team are very anxious,” Boudin said. “I mean, I get messages from them repeatedly throughout the day about the jail count, about particular people that they are concerned with that have vulnerabilities, people who are elderly like my father is, who they want me to find ways to get out if it is within my power to do so.”

 

Steven Zeidman, a professor at the City University of New York School of Law, runs a clinic that assists incarcerated people with applications for clemency. In early March, Zeidman made a list of ten of his clients and sent it to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, urging officials to release the men. “With covid-19 entering the state’s prisons, it’s imperative that the governor’s clemency bureau begins taking a hard look at people, particularly those who are deemed to be most at risk. Here’s a list of people, all with exemplary records inside, who are over sixty and have profound evidence of transformation and rehabilitation,” he recalled writing. Among them was Gilbert, who, in the late nineteen-eighties, helped create an organization that used peer counselling to educate incarcerated men about the aids epidemic.

This week, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to release a few hundred people from New York City’s jails. New Jersey’s Attorney General has agreed to free about a thousand people from the state’s county jails.

As covid-19 has been spreading throughout the country, Boudin has been outspoken in urging criminal-justice leaders to reduce their jail and prison populations. But he also acknowledges the difficulty of doing so. “The decision about whether or not to release a particular individual from custody is often a challenging one,” Boudin told me. “As a law-enforcement official, as a politician, you are always going to have in the back of your mind the fear that someone you release will end up committing another crime, potentially a serious crime, during a period when they otherwise would have been incarcerated. And that fear has driven decision-making for decades in the criminal-justice arena. That fear of a Willie Horton moment has driven decision-making, legislation, executive action around criminal justice.”

 “Crises like this force us all,” he said, “to look in the mirror and make difficult decisions, ask difficult questions about what our priorities are.”

I asked Boudin if he had a message for Cuomo, and he said, “I think Governor Cuomo has been playing a phenomenal leadership role in the face of this crisis.” He went on, “I saw a tweet that he posted today where he said something to the effect of, ‘We’re not willing to sacrifice one to two per cent of New Yorkers. This is not who we are. We will fight to save every life we can. I’m not giving up.’ And it’s that kind of inspiration, that kind of leadership, that is leading people to put his name forward as a Presidential candidate at this late date.

I would just urge him not to forget about people who are incarcerated. We are not willing to sacrifice people who are incarcerated either.” Boudin did not mention his elderly father, in Shawangunk prison, but he repeated the sentiment: “Please don’t forget about people who are behind bars.”

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-local-correspondents/chesa-boudin-on-his-incarcerated-father-and-the-threat-of-the-coronavirus-in-prisons

Iconoclast Republican Congressman “Mr No” threatens to delay Covid-19 bill

The American public is waiting for legislation which will bring much needed financial and medical relief.

It is no surprise a Republican Rep. Thomas Massie (R., Ky.) may slow down the process. In Congress he is referred to as “Mr. No.”

If you want to voice your concerns to  the Kentucky Congressman you can contact his office aide in Washington, DC.

Laura Lington 
(202) 225-3465
laura.lington@mail.house.gov

Attached is a link to an article about the Congressman in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/local/northern-ky/2020/03/26/coronavirus-covid-19-thomas-massie-congressman-kentucky-president-trump-quote/2922082001/

Excerpted from The Wall Street Journal 3.26.2020

WASHINGTON—House leaders were scrambling to bring back enough legislators to form a quorum to pass a $2 trillion economic rescue package after a Republican lawmaker suggested he might object to holding the vote using a procedure that avoids putting members on the record.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R., Ky.) told a local radio station that he would vote against the bill, and also suggested to that he might object to allowing the bill to pass by voice vote. If Mr. Massie forced a roll-call vote, the House would need a majority of the chamber—216 votes—in order to proceed with a vote. Otherwise, voting would be delayed until enough lawmakers could return to Washington.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Massie didn’t respond to a request for comment about his plans.

Thomas Massie I 3.26.2020

“We have notified our Members of the possibility that the bill may not pass by voice vote,” the press office for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) said in a statement. “The Majority Leader’s Office has sent a notice to Members that if they are able and willing to be in Washington, DC by 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, they are encouraged to do so, while exercising all due caution.”

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) echoed that sentiment.

Many lawmakers had planned to stay away from the Capitol because of the risks of traveling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Congress’s attending physician has cautioned members to use extreme care and deliberation when deciding whether to travel.

The bill, which passed the Senate late Wednesday, is the largest economic-relief package in history and will extend aid to many struggling Americans through direct payments and expanded unemployment insurance, which also cover freelance and gig workers. It will give loans and grants to businesses, refill drained state coffers and send additional resources to sapped health-care providers.

The risk of contagion has prompted Congress to examine its own voting and social practices, which often put members in physical proximity.

The House will first attempt to pass the legislation by a voice vote, which doesn’t require all members to be present. But if the House doesn’t have 216 members, one lawmaker could object to a quorum not being present. A lawmaker could also request to have a roll-call vote, where names are recorded.

President Trump credited the stimulus package for a surge in U.S. stocks this week, saying economic uncertainty remained in the U.S., “but we’ve come a long way.”

Chaos on deck. Coronavirus attacks US aircraft carrier in Pacific Ocean waters

Coronavirus is a Clear and Present Danger to America’s armed forces.

The American military is not immune from Covid-19 and is scrambling to get the situation under control.

CNN – 3.26.2020

On Wednesday, the Pentagon confirmed that Defense Secretary Mark Esper had ordered a 60-day freeze on all overseas US troop movements, affecting 90,000 scheduled deployments, in one of the latest measures to fight the spread of the virus. The order exempts patients such as those aboard the Roosevelt, among others.

There are now 23 sailors who have tested positive for the coronavirus aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, just two days after the Pentagon announced that three sailors aboard the ship had tested positive for the virus, a Navy official has confirmed to CNN.

The Navy says they expect there to be additional positive tests among the crew, with one official telling CNN there could possibly be “dozens” of new cases that emerge. A second official said that were there to be a large number of additional cases, the Defense Department would be unlikely to publicly specify how many of the Navy’s overall cases are amongst members of the crew of the Roosevelt, due to concerns that adversaries such as China or North Korea could see the ship as vulnerable.
Despite the outbreak, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said in a statement, “we are confident that our aggressive response will keep USS Theodore Roosevelt able to respond to any crisis in the region.”
USS Roosevelt I 3.26.2020
Earlier in the day, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly had said there were “several” more cases onboard the ship, but did not give a specific number.
“We are in the process now of testing 100% of the crew of that ship to ensure that we’re able to contain whatever spread might’ve occurred,” Modly told reporters at the Pentagon at a briefing Thursday morning. There are approximately 5,000 personnel on board the carrier.
The Roosevelt is in the process of pulling into Guam, according to Modly. “No one on the crew will be allowed to leave anywhere into Guam, other than on pier side,” he said.
The ship was last in port in Vietnam more than two weeks ago. It is not clear where the sailors initially contracted the virus. The Navy is now in the process of flying all personnel off the ship.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the increase.
The nearly eightfold spike in the number of positive cases in two days aboard the ship is the latest red flag of how the pandemic is affecting the US military. There is now a total of 280 servicemembers who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Thursday morning, an increase of 53 from the 227 reported on Wednesday. And there are nearly 600 positive cases across the Defense Department, which includes civilians, dependents, and contractors. According to Modly, 133 of those are in the Navy.
Esper also raised the health protection status for all defense installations worldwide, limiting access and encouraging telework across the department.
Despite social distance measures being taken across the department, as they are across the nation, Joint Staff Surgeon Brig. Gen. Paul Friedrichs told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday, “we think that we’re going to continue to see this — no surprise — continue to grow” in the next three weeks, the farthest out they are able to model.
President Donald Trump has said he wants to have the economy opened back up by Easter.
“We think the best way to limit that growth or to mitigate that growth are the measures that we’ve been talking about,” said Friedrichs. “I don’t think there’s a great deal of value in speculating on a particular date.”