Airbus CEO Donates Bonus to Charity Amid Coronavirus Disruption

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Airbus SE Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury will donate his 2019 bonus to charity, targeting aid work that’s already linked to the planemaker as the coronavirus pandemic stresses health systems in many countries.

The money will go to non-governmental and humanitarian organizations, with a focus on Airbus’s own charitable foundation and organizations it supports, a spokesman for the Toulouse, France-based planemaker said.

Faury, 52, took over the top spot at the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturer almost a year ago. He is entitled to as much as 200% of his base salary, which stands at 1.35 million euros ($1.46 million), according to company filings. He told employees in a letter Friday that he would give up the payment.

With coronavirus weighing heavily on the industry, leading to bailout requests, plant closures and furloughed staff, aviation chiefs have been forgoing parts of their compensation. The chairman and CEO of U.S. rival Boeing Co. opted to give up their salary payments for the rest of the year, while airline executives have routinely done the same as they seek state aid.

Airbus last month increased its liquidity to 30 billion euros by extending credit lines and clamping down on cash outlays. The company is said to be poised to tap French government-backed loans as the outbreak drains cash reserves.

Airbus has encouraged employees to donate to the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies and Action Against Hunger, the company said.

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The US just recorded the highest single-day death toll in the world

  • The US recorded 1,321 deaths of the coronavirus between Thursday and Friday, statistics site Worldometers reported.
  • This is the highest single-day death toll recorded by any country in the world.
  • New York, the worst-hit state in the country, also reported its highest single-day rise in deaths on Friday.
  • The previous record for the world's highest single-day death toll was held by Spain, which reported 950 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday.
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The US recorded some 1,300 new coronavirus deaths between Thursday and Friday, the highest single-day death toll reported by any country in the world.

The US saw 1,321 new deaths on Friday, according to statistics site Worldometers, which took the recording at 12 a.m. GMT+0 Saturday, or 8 EDT Friday.

A total of 7,392 people have now died of COVID-19 in the US, Worldometers said.

Meanwhile, according to Johns Hopkins University — which tracks global cases using different sources, including Worldometers — there were 7,159 US deaths as of Saturday morning. The exact number may differ as both sites record data at different times.

Many of the new US deaths took place in New York, the worst-hit state in the country. It saw 562 new coronavirus deaths on Friday, its highest single-day rise in deaths, The Wall Street Journal reported.

COVID-19 spread globally

The record for the highest single-day death toll in the world was last held by Spain, which on Thursday reported 950 new deaths from COVID-19. Spain is the second-most infected country in Europe. Italy is the first.

Even at its peak, China — where the coronavirus broke out last December — officially reported 150 new deaths in a single day, on February 23.

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Trump’s Do-What-My-Experts-Say-Not-As-I-Do Pandemic Response Ready For More Golf

WASHINGTON ― Even as health experts were warning against large gatherings, President Donald Trump hosted a fundraising dinner for 900 and a birthday party in honor of his son’s girlfriend for 200 at his private Florida resort.

As mayors and governors began ordering nonessential businesses to shut down, Trump’s hotels and golf courses continued to solicit customers.

And as all Americans are advised to stay at least 6 feet away from one another, Trump appears ready to hit the golf course, forcing his staff to again work in close proximity to one another.

It would be the latest example of Trump’s do-what-my-experts-say-not-as-I-do response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, which to this day has the president conducting daily press briefings on a crowded podium and casually touching co-participants as they pass.

“He has consistently failed to lead by example in this crisis and is continuing to do so,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, who worked on the 2014 Ebola response under then-President Barack Obama. “And that sends a bigger signal to his followers than anything he reads off a TelePrompTer.”

When Trump will resume playing golf is unclear. He has not played a round since March 8, during his last weekend trip to Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach, Florida, resort. But the Secret Service recently signed an expedited contract to rent 30 golf carts in Sterling, Virginia, where Trump owns a golf course.

Under the contract terms, taxpayers will spend $45,000 over the next six months. A Secret Service spokesman said the agency does not comment on activities pertaining to people it protects.

Traveling via presidential motorcade to Northern Virginia would force dozens of agents and other White House employees to work close to one another ― just as hundreds of them had to in support of Trump’s visit to Norfolk, Virginia, last weekend for a photo opportunity at the departure of a Navy hospital ship on its way to New York City. Secret Service agents; members of the White House advance team; staff from the White House medical unit, communications agency and military office; and more had to travel and work within 6 feet of each other, against guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to support the day trip where Trump gave a 15-minute speech and then waved goodbye as tugboats pulled the 900-foot U.S.N.S. Comfort from her berth.

“Those people are all working in close proximity to one another,” said a former White House advance team member on condition of anonymity. “It’s a big operation.”

Trump’s last golf weekend in Florida coincided with two large functions that he hosted at Mar-a-Lago, his for-profit club. A 900-person campaign fundraising dinner on Friday, March 6, was followed the next night by a 200-guest birthday party for Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of his eldest son and an adviser to his reelection campaign. Those events took place even though public health experts were already advising against large gatherings and urging elderly people to avoid contact with others entirely.

“Whether it’s a matter of national security, economic prosperity or public health, President Trump has consistently placed his own personal interests ahead of the national interest,” said Ned Price, a former CIA analyst and a National Security Council spokesman under Obama.

Neither the Trump campaign, which organized the fundraising dinner, nor the Trump Organization, which handled the birthday party, responded to HuffPost queries.

The Trump Organization, the profits of which flow entirely to a trust benefiting only Trump, appeared to continue collecting fees for buildings it manages and keeping its golf courses and hotels open to the extent possible under local closure orders.

According to a report by Spectrum News NY1, residents of a luxury apartment building in Manhattan were asked for April’s monthly fees early because of the coronavirus and warned that late payments would be subject to penalties.

And while many Trump resorts ― such as Doral near the Miami airport ― were ultimately forced to close, the golf club in Sterling for which the Secret Service rented the carts remains open. On Thursday morning, it posted a photo of a tee along the Potomac River with the message: “The perfect social distancing view and sport at @trumpgolfdc!”

While many public parks in Virginia have closed following Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive orders, private courses are not required to shut down, so long as groups do not gather in numbers exceeding 10 and clubhouses and restaurants on site are not open.

“He’s a hindrance to the effort,” said Juliette Kayyem, who helped handle the responses to the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak and the British Petroleum oil spill in Obama’s Department of Homeland Security and now lectures on emergency management at Harvard College. “To be successful, we should stop hoping he changes and start figuring out fail-safe systems to protect ourselves and minimize harm.”

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Burns Laura Ingraham: ‘Why Are You On TV Again?’

Looks like Fox News personality Laura Ingraham’s attempt to burn Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) blew up in her face.

Really badly.

It all started when the New York congresswoman tweeted that the coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately affecting people of color thanks to long-standing racial and economic inequalities.

Ingraham apparently wasn’t happy that Ocasio-Cortez was pointing out the negative effects of inequality, so she decided to belittle the congresswoman’s previous job as a bartender.

Ocasio-Cortez has previously said that people who try to insult her by bringing up her bartender past are just “clowning themselves.”

So she turned the joke around by pointing out the terrible job Ingraham has done reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Didn’t you just put a doctor on your show who faked their employment at Lenox Hill hospital and touted a COVID ‘treatment’ that you tweeted & Twitter had to remove because a man may have died trying self-administer it?” she responded.

Then she added this burn: “I’m sorry, why are you on TV again?”

Then she added receipts.

Ingraham tried to spin things by claiming the doctor she interviewed had “admitting privileges” at Lenox Hill, ignoring the fact that Twitter removed her tweet because it fell under their “misleading information policy” with its “Heightened-risk health claims.”

Still, Twitter users were impressed by the heat of the congresswoman’s burn.

One Twitter user did show concern for Ingraham’s condition after the takedown.

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Supreme Court Postpones April Oral Arguments, Will Consider Alternatives If Coronavirus Affects Remainder Of Term

The Supreme Court will postpone oral arguments planned for April, and said that it will consider “a range of scheduling options and other alternatives” if proceedings cannot be held through the remainder of the term.

The arguments were to be held April 20-22 and April 27-29. The court will continue to hold regularly scheduled conferences and to post opinions on its website. Last month, it issued a ruling in Byron Allen’s racial discrimination lawsuit against Comcast. The justices unanimously ruled in favor of Comcast, deciding that Allen needed to meet a higher legal threshold for his case to go forward.

The court already had postponed oral arguments in March. They were set to consider a case that had to do with the ability of congressional committees and New York state authorities to subpoena President Donald Trump’s tax returns. Another planned argument, over Google’s use of Java programming software language, has been followed closely by showbiz as it could have an impact on how copyright law is interpreted.

“The Court will consider rescheduling some cases from the March and April sessions before the end of the Term, if circumstances permit in light of public health and safety guidance at that time,” the court said. “The Court will consider a range of scheduling options and other alternatives if arguments cannot be held in the Courtroom before the end of the Term.”

The court’s term ends in late June.

The court building is still open for business, but most of the workforce is teleworking. The court has been closed to visitors until further notice.

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Amazon Memo Shows Plans To Smear Worker Who Staged Walkout

An Amazon worker fired after staging a walkout to protest the company’s poor response to the coronavirus outbreak was the subject of a smear campaign by the company’s top brass, a leaked memo shows. 

“He’s not smart, or articulate, and to the extent the press wants to focus on us versus him, we will be in a much stronger PR position than simply explaining for the umpteenth time how we’re trying to protect workers,” Amazon General Counsel David Zapolsky wrote in notes from a meeting.

The memo, obtained by Vice News, detailed the efforts the company made to squash the credibility of Chris Smalls, the employee who helped organize a demonstration to protest the company’s actions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Smalls ― an Amazon employee for five years― said the company did not enact adequate measures to protect workers at its facility in Staten Island, New York.

He was later fired.

“Amazon would rather fire workers than face up to its total failure to do what it should to keep us, our families, and our communities safe,” Smalls said in a statement obtained by HuffPost earlier this week. “I am outraged and disappointed, but I’m not shocked. As usual, Amazon would rather sweep a problem under the rug than act to keep workers and working communities safe.”

In his notes from a meeting on the matter, Zapolsky wrote of efforts to convince the public that what Smalls did was “immoral.”

“We should spend the first part of our response strongly laying out the case for why the organizer’s conduct was immoral, unacceptable, and arguably illegal, in detail, and only then follow with our usual talking points about worker safety,” Zapolsky wrote. “Make him the most interesting part of the story, and if possible make him the face of the entire union/organizing movement.”

In his response to questions from Vice News, Zapolsky said he let his emotions take over.

“I was frustrated and upset that an Amazon employee would endanger the health and safety of other Amazonians by repeatedly returning to the premises after having been warned to quarantine himself after exposure to virus Covid-19,” the disease caused by the coronavirus, Zapolsky told the outlet. “I let my emotions draft my words and get the better of me.”

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Tribeca Film Festival Migrates Programs Online, Founder-CEO Jane Rosenthal Devastated ‘We Can’t Gather’ But Wants To Keep Filmmakers Connected

The postponed Tribeca Film Festival will roll out elements online this month with films, juries, awards and a virtual hub to streamline it all, trying to keep the filmmaking community connected in the midst of a global pandemic that’s halted most of the entertainment industry.

The 19th annual festival, a sprawling melange of films, talks, events and street parties, had been slated for April 15 to 26. Instead, select programs will migrate online during those dates. A jury of Danny Boyle, Aparna Nancherla, Regina Hall, Yance Ford, Lucas Hedges, Pamela Adlon, Marti Noxon, Asia Kate Dillon and Sheila Nevins will select winners of a feature and shorts competition. The Tribeca X Awards will be handed out to branded content, Tribeca announced Friday.

The Tribeca Industry Extranet Resource Hub will host participating films for industry and press. The Extranet is the Festival’s online hub providing accredited industryites with resources for the program including rights availabilities and sales contacts.

Tribeca Enterprises and Tribeca Film Festival Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal told Deadline that it’s to early to talk about dates or plans for the delayed live festival but Tribeca is exploring holding a shorter event in the September slot typically reserved for the Tribeca TV Festival, which would be in its fourth year.

Meanwhile, the N.O.W. (New Online Work) section, sponsored by HBO, will host its fifth annual private industry market that brings together leading online, episodic and immersive storytellers. It includes the 2020 N.O.W. Showcase creators, the 2020 TribecaTV Pilot Season creators and an additional curated group of online, indie episodic and VR writers, performers and influencers to pitch new projects to distributors, production companies, streamers, and online platforms.

Tribeca Immersive’s audience-facing Cinema360 will debut in partnership with Oculus with 15 VR films curated into four 30-40 minute programs. The public can access Cinema360 via Oculus TV, for Oculus Go and Oculus Quest and participate from home if they have Oculus headsets.

“As human beings, we are navigating uncharted waters,” Rosenthal said. “While we cannot gather in person to lock arms, laugh, and cry, it’s important for us to stay socially and spiritually connected. Tribeca is about resiliency, and we fiercely believe in the power of artists to bring us together. We were founded after the devastation of 9/11 and it’s in our DNA to bring communities together through the arts.”

The online festival follows initiatives by Tribeca over the past several weeks like A Short Film a Day Keeps Anxiety Away, a daily curated online short film series from festival alums; Soundtrack Sunday, live performances of celebrity soundtrack selections; and #TribecaTakeoutChallenge, an Instagram campaign to inspire people to support their local restaurants while watching their favorite film.

Helping organize events are circa 100 seasonal workers Tribeca hires each year in the build-up to the live festival. It kept them on after the event was postponed, Rosenthal said.

Describing how events unfolded, she said indications of trouble came early from the Tribeca Games Festival, which launched in 2017 as a two-day gaming event within the larger festival. “A number of the participants were coming from Japan or LA and Sony PlayStation had enforced a travel ban, Casey Baltes [VP of programming for games at Tribeca] started feeling it very, very early.”

“We are an international festival,” she said, and continued “to plan for the best festival ever and prepare for alternatives.” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s March 12 order against gatherings of 500 people made it clear festival couldn’t go. Broadway was told to shut down the same day. The NBA canceled games the night before. “Initially we were looking at moving it up a couple of weeks,” she said. But the rapid spread of infection and social distancing policies quickly froze events around the world indefinitely.

The postponement hit particularly because of the festival’s background, she said. It emerged in a rushed 120 days literally out of the rubble of 9-11 to give people in the city a gathering place.

“It was still smoking. People were afraid to come downtown. We wanted to give our neighborhood something to come out to do. To give them a reason to socialize and laugh. The coronavirus works completely against the activist spirit we were founded in. So I think that what I personally am struggling with in this environment is that the very thing that brought us all together – is just what we can’t do now,” she said. “We can’t gather.”

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Coronavirus Has Forced Amazon's Hand. Will Anyone Make Them Pay Up?

Two things are true: Amazon makes life drastically easier for everyone who uses it, and drastically harder for almost everyone who works for it.

This conflict is true of most companies; work, in general, is not something that makes life easier. But in the midst of a global pandemic and massive nationwide recession, the disparity between Amazon’s customer convenience and callous labor practices has rarely — if ever — been more stark.

A general timeline of events: Amazon workers have been fighting for better sick leave policies and other workplace improvements for years, but, so far, the company has largely been able to deflect negative press over its barbaric treatment of employees while sidelining their demands and discouraging collective action.

As the coronavirus epidemic spread, however, workers at several locations around the country started pushing even harder. On March 23, workers won a change to the company’s paid leave policy, which extended sick leave benefits to part-time and seasonal workers.

In the past two weeks the epidemic has exploded in size, forcing many businesses to close down and putting over six million people out of work. Amazon warehouses, for the most part, have remained open, with some exceptions, even when there are confirmed cases among the workforce.



As New York City became the epicenter of the disease in the United States, the focus shifted to Amazon’s Staten Island warehouse, where on Monday a group of over two dozen workers walked out to protest the company’s insufficient response to the disease. On Tuesday, Amazon responded to the protest by firing the worker who organized it, a man named Chris Smalls. The company claimed that Smalls “violated social distancing guidelines,” a justification so weak and unintentionally ironic that it barely seems real.

Amazon fired Smalls because they could, clearly hoping to quash any further insurrection at the Staten Island warehouse despite the hit they would take in the press. On Thursday, hand written notes from an Amazon executive meeting leaked to Vice News described General Counsel David Zapolsky pushing to make Smalls “the face of the entire union/ organizing movement,” in order to weaken workers’ position, because they thought he would be an easy target.

“He’s not smart, or articulate, and to the extent the press wants to focus on us versus him, we will be in a much stronger PR position than simply explaining for the umpteenth time how we’re trying to protect workers,” Zapolsky wrote in notes from the meeting obtained by Vice News.

Smalls’ protest did have some effect: On Thursday morning, the company announced that it would provide face masks for workers and check their temperatures before they entered the building, and, in a particularly dystopian twist, use video monitoring and machine learning to enforce social distancing rules inside the workplace. But there’s a catch: Buzzfeed reports that employees sent home from work would be required to use their paid sick leave days, and take unpaid leave when those run out.

Given the circumstances, this response may seem absurd. But it’s largely par for the course for Amazon, which pays several extremely important people enormous amounts of money to smooth over issues like this. Jay Carney, the former White House Press Secretary under Barack Obama who now heads Amazon’s PR, spent the morning angrily replying to people on Twitter and complaining about “ad-hominem attacks” when they told to fuck off. After the leaked memo, the company offered up a lengthy but largely toothless response, blaming the lack of appropriate safety material in Amazon warehouses on global shortages of PPE and minimizing the level of support the protests had, again casting Smalls as an irresponsible worker who put his colleagues at risk.

What Amazon wants is for all of this to go away. The best-case scenario for the company, of course, would be to find the optimal point between minimizing infections between workers while still running each and every facility in the company at full capacity. Unless infection becomes so rampant that distribution centers become death traps, workers falling sick is not a huge concern; the company already treats them as disposable — data analysis by the National Employment Law Project found that the turnover rate for warehouse workers in counties that had an Amazon facility was over 100 percent in 2017  — and shows inadequate regard for their safety. They know they can accomplish this, most likely, though sanitization measures and dystopian surveillance, for a far cheaper price tag than, say, expanding sick leave and staffing to give sick workers time to recover if they fall ill.

That gives customers a choice: stand with workers trying to do their jobs without risking death or unemployment, or continue to accept the cut-rate politics of a company owned by the richest man in the world.

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Small business coronavirus loan program is ready, Mnuchin says as Chase raises concerns

Mnuchin, SBA administrator vow small businesses will be supported during coronavirus

Small Business Association Administrator SBA Jovita Carranza says small businesses play a vital role in the U.S. economy and explains the paycheck protection program and loans that will be distributed to those who need them. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says small businesses that have 500 or fewer employees should contact their lenders for benefits.

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Some banks have warned clients they may not be ready to accept loan applications for the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program Friday, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the program will be ready to begin providing funds to small business owners Friday.

Mnuchin’s reassurances came after JPMorgan Chase & Co told business clients that it was still waiting on guidance regarding the program and advised that the bank might not be able to begin accepting applications on Friday as officials have promised.

“Financial institutions like ours are still awaiting guidance from the SBA and the U.S. Treasury,” the bank said in a note to clients. “As a result, Chase will most likely not be able to start accepting applications on Friday, April 3rd, as we had hoped.”

However, Mnuchin said that officials would make good on their commitment to open the program on Friday. He said some businesses would receive the money the same day, but “that doesn’t mean everybody is going to be getting their loan tomorrow.”

President Donald Trump listens as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 2, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


“We need to get money to small business and American workers, and that’s what we’re doing,” he said.

The program will provide forgivable loans to small businesses to cover payroll, insurance and day-to-day expenses. It was part of the coronavirus stimulus package approved by lawmakers last month. The goal is to keep workers employed and paid even as business drops amid pandemic-related social distancing.

“This relief will help stabilize a small business sector,” Small Business Administrator Jovita Carranza said.


Jovita Carranza, administrator of the Small Business Administration, speaks in the White House, Thursday, April 2, 2020, as Vice President Mike Pence, President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin listen. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Mnuchin said SBA and Treasury employees had been working nearly around the clock to ensure the program is ready to go on Friday as promised. He said the interest rate — being paid through the program’s funds, not business owners — had been raised to 1 percent after hearing feedback from community banks that were concerned they wouldn’t make enough off the loans to justify servicing them.

If the program runs out of funds as some experts have said is likely, Mnuchin said officials would return to Congress seeking more money beyond the initial $350 billion.

“A lot of people are going to have their businesses built back up, I hope,” President Trump said.

Mnuchin also said coronavirus relief checks would start going out sooner than previously promised — in two weeks, instead of three, for Americans with direct deposit on file with the IRS or Social Security Administration.

Also, Americans who don’t normally have to file tax returns won’t need to file them as had reportedly been considered, Mnuchin said. Instead, officials will put up a website where people can submit their information, or the government will mail out checks as a last resort. Either way, it will be a matter of “weeks, not months” for Americans to receive their relief money, according to Mnuchin.

“I am assuring the American public,” he said. “They need the money now.”


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Don’t Expect to Get 100% From Your Employees Right Now



Barbara Larson, an executive professor of management at Northeastern University, is one of the world’s premier scholars on remote management. She says that the way you manage teams in the office just won’t translate remotely. Here’s her crash course on how to recalibrate your style as the Covid-19 pandemic ushers in this new work-from-home reality.

What do managers need to change immediately? 
Trying to require 100% attention is not going to work. This is like wartime. You wouldn’t expect people to be at 100% productivity when their houses are getting bombed. Right now, child care and housecleaning and restaurants and all these services that help people buy time have been cut off. Managers need to be extraordinarily sensitive to that.

25,200 in U.S.Most new cases today

-26% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-1.​123 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

What percentage attention can managers expect? 
[Laughing] Expect periods where you’re getting 100% or even 110% focus, and other times where it drops off due to logistical constraints like child care and emotional exhaustion. As long as you’re seeing people capable of performing at 80%-100% sometimes, I’d try to give them a bit of slack when they have a half day where they fall off the radar.

What criteria do you focus on with work-from-home employees? 
Set expectations around results and output. In reality, what often gets rewarded is time in the office and online presence, which don’t necessarily correlate with results and output. Managers should think about the nature of the work employees are doing and give as much leeway and flexibility as is reasonable when it comes to things like work hours, especially now that many workers are also parenting at home.

How do you put that into practice? 
If you want a time that everyone is online, talk about that and set a time, perhaps 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Of course, if you have someone whose job is to be chatting with customers from 8 to 5, then you need to know that she’s available.

What is the most common mistake that you see managers making? 
Trying to control employees too much. A friend works at a small firm, where the head is having the entire firm call in for all-hands meetings three times a day, which is insane and very much resented by employees.

How do you manage someone who is sick or has a sick family member? 
Offer as much support as is reasonable. This is the time to give people every break you can give as a manager, such as time off or lower workload. One big payoff is that this yields increased employee loyalty after the crisis is over.


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