The Forward Five – Wednesday, 4/8/20

13 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Good morning! Have you been wearing masks all along, or are you just starting to do so? We made up some homemade masks recently, and have started wearing them on those few times we go out. There are many videos out there of how to make your own; time to get out those unused tea towels and put them to a better use. 😉

We did some “stats geeks” stories yesterday: a general story about good use of numbers, and a specific one about the two models predicting the COVID-19 deaths in Kentucky. And, we’ve got graphs! Check them out on the site.

It’s all over the news, and not in Kentucky, so we didn’t do a story about it – but the actions of Republicans and the Supreme Court forcing Wisconsin voters to vote in person in yesterday’s primary are some of the more shameful political acts I’ve heard of, especially in this time of pandemic crisis. Here’s a CNN story covering the election and the back-story.

The state unemployment system continues to be a problem, but I was struck by one thing in yesterday’s update: they have gone from 12 people in the call center to over 1,000 – and are still hiring.

And finally, Rand Paul, who got universally slammed for exposing others to the virus while awaiting his test results, has tested negative in his latest test, and is now volunteering at a hospital. Good for him.

And, good for us as well, if we are doing all the things we’ve been asked to flatten the curve and keep ourselves and others safe. We seem to still be on the upswing of the curve, so let’s keep on keeping on, as my father would say. Take care of yourself. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Beshear especially concerned about nursing homes, state facilities – 4/7 update
In his Tuesday update, Governor Beshear said he was especially concerned about the spread of the virus in nursing homes and state-run facilities such as prisons and mental hospitals. He also announced 147 new confirmed cases and 7 new deaths, and noted that getting PPE is still a struggle. The state is asking for donations. Also, there are reports that the virus appears to have more impact among POC. (Forward Kentucky)

Two models of KY COVID impact – we’re better in one, worse in the other
A group of epidemiologists has a model which projects that Kentucky will lose less of its population to COVID-19 than any major bordering state except West Virginia. However, the latest forecast from another model also shows Kentucky not doing as well as it did in the previous forecast. (Forward Kentucky)

(Related) Let’s get the statistics right about the coronavirus pandemic
Lots of numbers are being thrown around about COVID. But how helpful are they? Here’s a call for better use of stats in the reporting about the pandemic. (Forward Kentucky)

McGrath outraises McConnell in KY Senate campaign flooded with money
Democratic candidate Amy McGrath has surpassed U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in fundraising, according to campaign fundraising totals issued by the campaigns.

McGrath’s campaign announced Tuesday that it raised $12.8 million in the first quarter of 2020, bringing the total amount the campaign has raised to $29.8 million. The campaign has not been afraid of spending money early in the race and had $14.7 million on hand at the end of March.

McGrath’s total is about $4.2 million more than McConnell’s campaign has raised. The McConnell campaign reported raising $7.45 million in the first quarter of the year, bringing its total to $25.6 million. The McConnell campaign has $14.85 million on hand. (Herald-Leader)

FBI, Attorney General’s Office say they are focused on preventing scams
AG Daniel Cameron, the FBI, and the Better Business Bureau are concerned about coronavirus scams, including pop-up testing and calls about relief funds. Read the story for examples of some of the scams they are seeing. (Forward Kentucky)

Governor makes call for even more PPE donations
Gov. Andy Beshear made a call to action for any person, organization or business that can donate more personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19. “I know we still have more PPE out there, and we need it. This is a call to action, and you all have responded, but I know there’s more,” the Governor said.

A new hotline (1-833-GIVE PPE) and website ( have streamlined the entire donation process. In addition, PPE donations now are being accepted at all 16 Kentucky State Police posts across the commonwealth and at Transportation Cabinet offices in Louisville and Lexington. (Pioneer News)

Not all stories on Forward Kentucky make it to the top “Five Things” section of the Forward Five! Many stories only show up in the yellow section below, which is a running list of pretty much everything published. So, be sure to scan the lower section each day as well, so you don’t miss anything.

Did you miss any of these?

Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)


[new] 🔥 Beshear even firmer against gatherings, including small family ones – Monday update included multiple strong warnings against gatherings of ANY size. State had 54 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths. (read)

[new] A tale of two campaigns – Josh Hicks and Al Cunningham both planned on winning their elections through old-fashioned, in-person campaigning. Here’s what they’re doing instead. (read)

[new] Gunfight at the Supply Chain Corral – The medical supply chain has become like something out of an improbable science fiction film, with renegade brokers and dead-of-night thievery. Here’s why. (read)

🔥 A physician explains why and when to wear a mask – Now that the CDC has changed its guidance on wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s good to know the facts. A doctor lays it out for us. (read)

As groceries dwindle, Kentuckians seek unemployment help in record numbers – Over the past two weeks, nearly 8% of Kentucky’s labor force — or 1 in 13 workers — has applied for unemployment benefits. (read)

Beshear vetoes voter ID bill, says it would ‘create an obstacle’ to voting – Gov. Beshear on Friday vetoed a controversial bill that required people to show a photo ID before they could vote in Kentucky elections. (read)


🔥 In ‘Mitch, Please,’ Matt Jones takes on McConnell county by county by county – Linda Blackford of the Herald-Leader interviews Matt Jones about his new book, “Mitch, Please,” and about how to run as a Dem in Kentucky. (read)

🔥 Dear pastors: Get over yourselves – I have spent much of my life serving in church. So with that background and insight, I have a simple message to those still holding in-person services: Stop. (read)

🔥 Sadly, we will hang separately – People’s quality of life already depends so much on their ZIP code. Now their likelihood of death will, too. (read)


🔥 A short message from Andy Beshear – All across the state, and across partisan lines, people are increasingly appreciative of Governor Beshear’s leadership during this crisis. And, other states are taking notice as well. Aaron Smith captured the Gov reminding us of a few things. (view)


[show] TSOK for April 3: Joni Jenkins, Amy McGrath, and Becky Dutch – It’s The State of Kentucky for Friday, April 3! Our guests: Rep. Joni Jenkins to talk about the budget and about voting from cars; Amy McGrath, talking about her campaign and what she would say to progressives and others about why they should vote for her; and Dr. Becky Dutch of UK College of Medicine, explaining why it is so hard to get COVID-19 testing. Enjoy! (watch)

[podcast] One-year budget, lege update, COVID-19 response, and Col. Pamela Stevenson – Lots of ground covered in this week’s podcast, plus an interview with Col. Pamela Stevenson, which includes a neat metaphor about diversity and ice cream. (listen)


A literal Sign of the Times – Need a chuckle? Here’s a sign on a door that reflects the times we are living in, shared by a co-worker of my brother. Chuckle, then pass it on. (read)

Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days

(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)

The Forward 5 is published Monday to Friday by Forward Kentucky, an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky, and is re-posted with permission. You can sign up for the email version of the newsletter on their website.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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