* “Unless we’re convinced it’s uncontrollable, why (would) we call it a pandemic?”–WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

* “Combine this scenario’s inevitable economic consequences with the optics of the president’s blundering and solipsistic response, and the coronavirus seems very likely to doom Trump’s re-election effort, no matter where he casts the blame.”–Ross Douthat, New York Times.

* “Ultimately no one knows what will happen, and that’s why it is important to avoid rash reactions when markets get shaky.”–Corbin Blackwell, financial planner with (online investment firm) Betterment.

* “From low-wage service workers to delivery drivers … it is workers who are having to deal with the effects of the crisis–and who are often put in most danger. Indeed, cleaners and janitors will, in many cases, be the first line of defense against the spread of the virus. This strikingly illustrates how absurd it is that they often count among the worst-paid workers.”–Mark Bergfeld, Jacobin.

* “When it comes to a public health emergency, I would question whether or not (VP Mike Pence) has the capacity to really listen to the experts in making informed decisions rather than grappling with his own personal beliefs.”–Dr. Carrie Lawrence, research scientist at the Indiana University School of Public Health.

* “As a rueful Republican recently said to me, ‘You cannot bring down Trump. He can only destroy himself.”–Norman Eisen, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former ambassador to the Czech Republic during the Obama Administration.

* “This feeling of being let down by Obama’s messianic promises … could cut both ways, though. Trump still hasn’t built his wall. Manufacturing jobs have not returned en masse; tariffs on China have squeezed farmers and failed to produce the speedy victory he promised. The wars he promised to end still rage, and we’ve gone to the brink with Iran.”–Grayson Quay, The American Conservative.

* “Neither wing of the Democratic Party is likely to completely sell the other on its position. … Each side should treat the other as an eventual ally to be reconciled with, rather than an enemy to be demonized. The alternative is to allow those who are determined to do nothing whatsoever to reduce inequality to take advantage of a divided opposition and exacerbate our economic challenges.”–Former Secretary of the Treasury (1995-99) Robert E. Rubin.

* “Rivkees is a real intellectual. But we are in the midst of a health crisis here, and it’s not amateur hour.”–State Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, in reference to Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees’ lack of public health experience. Rivkees, 64, was chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the UF College of Medicine and an international expert on pediatric endocrinology.        

* “I think that’s a big win this session.”–State Rep. Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, on the announcement that lawmakers will fully fund affordable housing programs and give a 3 percent raise to state employees. The state has $370 million in its affordable housing trust fund this year.

* “You have to give it time. It won’t change overnight. … But if the system is reliable, if it’s clean and you believe in it, (ridership) will come.”–Mark Calvert, marketing consultant for SunRail, Orlando’s commuter rail line.

* “We are more than a place that people simply pass through. We are the first and last impression of the Tampa Bay region. Public art is critical to creating a sense of place and leaving our guests with a unique and engaging experience.”–TIA chief executive Joe Lopano, on TIA’s governing board approving spending of nearly $2.4 million on commissioned public art, including a 21-foot-tall, resin and fiberglass sculpture of a pink flamingo and a 30-foot-tall, glass-tile mosaic of a Florida sunset.

* “Everyone benefits. Another chamber of commerce … allows us to cover more land.”–Diane Cortes, president of Hillsborough County’s Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Tampa Bay, on the recent launching of the Tampa Bay Latin Chamber of Commerce.

* “I think it’s a worthy investment, and I’m always open to supporting it either for a permanent service or continuing it even if it’s seasonal because I see that the public is using it.”–Tampa City Council member Guido Maniscalco, weighing in on the Cross-Bay Ferry, which has surpassed its mid-season ridership from last year by more than 40 percent. The ferry season ends April 30.

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