Friday's Mini-Report, 5.1.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* FDA: "The Food and Drug Administration has granted remdesivir emergency use authorization to treat the most severely ill COVID-19 patients.... The FDA's decision expands doctors' ability to use remdesivir on the most severe cases. Previously, physicians were limited to trying the drug in clinical trials or in what's called compassionate use for patients who have no other treatment options."

* A public-safety breakthrough in Canada: "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced Canada is banning assault-style weapons.... Trudeau announced the ban of more than 1,500 models and variants of assault-style firearms."

* Eurozone: "The public-health crisis sparked by the new coronavirus ricocheted through Europe's economy in the first quarter, causing a record decline that was more severe even than in the U.S., an ominous sign for the global economy.... The economy shrank by 14.4% on an annual basis, far exceeding the 4.8% contraction in the U.S. economy over the same period."

* Body bags: "The federal government placed orders for well over 100,000 new body bags to hold victims of COVID-19 in April, according to internal administration documents obtained by NBC News, as well as public records. The biggest set was earmarked for purchase the day after President Donald Trump projected that the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus might not exceed 50,000 or 60,000 people."

* Bewildering in Brasilia: "On Thursday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro continued his steady stream of coronavirus diatribes on Facebook, this time raging against the directives of the World Health Organization while bizarrely suggesting that the U.N. health agency encourages masturbation and homosexuality among children.... Brazil has about 80,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, but experts say the real number is much higher, potentially above 1 million."

* If this report is accurate, I'll be eager to hear the rationale behind the decision: "President Donald Trump's former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen will not be leaving prison to serve out the rest of his term in home confinement, according to sources familiar with the matter. Two weeks ago, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) had notified Cohen that he would be released early from prison due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Cohen's attorney Roger Adler told ABC News at the time."

* Mnuchin personally paid for his suite, but we paid for his protection: "The Secret Service rented a room at President Trump's Washington hotel for 137 consecutive nights in 2017 -- paying Trump's company more than $33,000 -- so it could guard Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin while he lived in one of the hotel's luxury suites, according to federal documents and people familiar with the arrangement."

* Only the best people: "The top spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services repeatedly directed crude and sexist comments toward women in now-deleted tweets, a CNN KFile review finds. Michael Caputo, who just started at the department in April, called several women on Twitter 'dogface' and made crude insinuations and sexist comments aimed at former FBI attorney Lisa Page prior to joining HHS."

Have a safe weekend.