News You Might Have Missed During COVID-19

Edward Curry, Editor

The Coronavirus pandemic has swept the desks of all news outlets in the past few months. Every hour, there seems to be a new update concerning the relief efforts and different responses from politicians and health officials. Not to mention that every day, Americans are tuning in to hear updates from their respective Governor, Mayor, and from the President himself. While the headlines are dominated by news pertaining to COVID-19, there is some news that, while important, is not reported or has not reached mainstream news outlets. So, to make sure that important news doesn’t go unreported or forgotten here’s a list of news you might have missed.

Tornadoes Ravage the South

On Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020, a severe tornado outbreak ravaged the Southern United States. While the tornado outbreak lasted for only two days, a total of 134 tornadoes touched down over 10 states. The strongest tornado touched down in southern Mississippi with a rating of EF4 on the Fujita scale. A total of 32 deaths were reported across the 10 states affected. Relief efforts for those impacted by the tornadoes were only made more difficult as a result of the social distancing policies implemented by those states. Photos released from the sites of the destruction reveal the distressing scenario people are faced with at the start of this decade. Some houses were entirely reduced to their concrete slab foundations, revealing the sheer strength of the storms. The tornadoes come as yet another devastating blow to communities during these rough times.

Russia and Saudi Arabia Engage in Economic Warfare

Every aspect of the world, including the global economy, is suffering from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. The oil industry, perhaps one of the most important sectors in the global economy is facing hardship as oil consumption decreased as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. In March, Saudi Arabia, renowned for its oil refineries, launched an economic war against Russia in response to their refusal to limit oil production in an effort to keep oil price levels at a moderate value. As a result, oil prices are at record lows, falling into the negatives last week. Many market theorists and economists contribute the trade war to the lack of dialogue at OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC responded with a $9.7 billion cut to crude oil output. OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo stated, “There is a grizzly shadow hanging over all of us. We do not want this shadow to envelop us. It will have a crushing and long-term impact on the entire industry.”

Fed Gives $1.5 Trillion Loan to Banks – And it Fails

In an effort to stabilize the markets, the United States Federal Reserve has given $1.5 trillion to banks across the nation. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York made a statement regarding the loan, stating that the loans to banks were made in an effort to, “[address] highly unusual disruptions in Treasury financing markets associated with the coronavirus outbreak.” While this loan worked for about an hour, the markets fell flat once again. This angered many on the left, including former Democratic presidential candidate and Senator of Vermont Bernie Sanders who criticized the Fed’s decision to bail out banks instead of using said money to provide health care for all. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also came out against the Fed’s decision, stating that the money used to bail out the banks could’ve been used to cover student debt, rent relief, etc.