Daily Bread for 3.26.20

Good morning.

Thursday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of forty-nine.  Sunrise is 6:44 AM and sunset 7:15 PM, for 12h 30m 37s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 4% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand two hundred thirty-fourth day.

On this day in 1945, Battle of Iwo Jima ends in an American victory.

Recommended for reading in full —

Jennifer Steinhauer and Zolan Kanno-Youngs report Job Vacancies and Inexperience Mar Federal Response to Coronavirus:

Of the 75 senior positions at the Department of Homeland Security, 20 are either vacant or filled by acting officials, including Chad F. Wolf, the acting secretary who recently was unable to tell a Senate committee how many respirators and protective face masks were available in the United States.

The National Park Service, which like many federal agencies is full of vacancies in key posts, tried this week to fill the job of a director for the national capital region after hordes of visitors flocked to see the cherry blossoms near the National Mall, creating a potential public health hazard as the coronavirus continues to spread.

At the Department of Veterans Affairs, workers are scrambling to order medical supplies on Amazon after its leaders, lacking experience in disaster responses, failed to prepare for the onslaught of patients at its medical centers.

Empty slots and high turnover have left parts of the federal government unprepared and ill equipped for what may be the largest public health crisis in a century, said numerous former and current federal officials and disaster experts.

Corrinne Hess and Alana Watson report Wisconsin Businesses Pivot To Help Health Care Providers During Pandemic:

While many Wisconsin businesses have closed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, some companies have shifted gears to help hospitals and health care workers.

Health care providers across the country have reported ongoing and dire shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) including hospital gowns, face shields and respiratory N95 face masks.

Last week, the Wisconsin Hospital Association reached out to the construction trades through the state Department of Workforce Development and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce asking them to donate any unused N95 masks to their local hospital.

Dozens of smaller businesses have stepped up, too.

Family-owned company Canopies, a Milwaukee-based event rental company, would normally be booked with spring weddings and parties. But the COVID-19 pandemic halted business until owner David Hudak contacted Advocate Aurora Health.

The health care provider, which has hospitals in Illinois and throughout eastern Wisconsin, is now contracting with Canopies to provide tents to its hospitals in both states.

The tents are being used as a triage area before patients are taken into emergency rooms, Hudak said.

Educators in Arkansas Provide Meals for Kids in Need During COVID-19:

(The Whitewater Unified School District plans to update its own children’s meal program.)

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