Get out the vote (and masks)

Alex Connor, USA TODAY

"Positive signs" are emerging in some of the areas hit hardest by the coronavirus. Boris Johnson is in "good spirits" after spending the night in intensive care. And there's a pink supermoon tonight – the biggest and brightest of 2020.

It's Alex, and Ashley will be back next week. I promise.

But first, coronavirus alarms were raised in mid-February. Emails among top health officials exposed flaws in the national response plans

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Can someone check on Wisconsin?

Wisconsin polling locations are short-staffed, with many closed or consolidated. Tape markers encourage voters to stand six feet apart. In some cases, poll workers are bringing ballots out to vehicles for curbside voting. And after every vote, workers disinfect equipment and tables, even the pens. This is an election in a pandemic – one that almost didn't happen. On Monday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers ordered the primary election stop altogether. Republicans challenged him in state court, and the state's Supreme Court reversed the decision. So far, some voters have experienced wait times of up 2.5 hours and at least 750 absentee ballots in Milwaukee are missing witness signatures and will not be counted. Election clerks will not be releasing results until next week. Oh, and no one is receiving an "I voted" sticker either.

More than a dozen states have delayed their primaries or canceled in-person voting in favor of mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 2,000 people have been infected with coronavirus in Wisconsin.

Micheal Singleton, second left, and his wife Gladys wait to vote in a line that continued a few blocks south of the polling location at Riverside High School in Milwaukee, on April 7, 2020. The Wisconsin primary is moving forward in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic after Gov. Tony Evers sought to shut down Tuesday's election in a historic move Monday that was swiftly rejected by the conservative majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court by the end of the day.

Resigned. Removed. Reassigned.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly was forced to resign after he mishandled firing the captain of the COVID-19-stricken USS Theodore Roosevelt, sources with knowledge of the decision have confirmed. Modly survived his initial decision to fire Capt. Brett Crozier after an email showed him pleading for help as the coronavirus swept through the Roosevelt's 4,800-member crew. But Modly's decision to fly to Guam to visit sailors and explain his decision in a profanity-laced speech proved to be his undoing.

Acting Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine, the top watchdog for $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus program, has been removed from his position by President Donald Trump. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who chairs the Oversight and Reform Committee, said that by removing Fine and other watchdogs, Trump seeks to undermine oversight of the White House's "chaotic" response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stephanie Grisham stepped down as White House press secretary to return to the East Wing as chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump. Grisham spent less than a year in the post, never holding a press briefing. The announcement comes amid a staff shake-up at the White House, which includes Trump's new chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and last week's departure of deputy communication director Jessica Ditto.

How is Boris Johnson?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in "good spirits" after spending the night in an intensive care unit in London where he is being treated for coronavirus. The 55-year-old world leader is being treated with oxygen, but is not on a ventilator. A Downing Street spokesman said Johnson is in a stable condition. Johnson is the first major world leader to fall ill with the virus. He designated Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to run the country in his absence. "I'm confident he'll pull through because if there's one thing I know about this prime minister, he’s a fighter, and he’ll be back at the helm leading us through this crisis in short order," Raab said during a news conference Tuesday. 

One day at a time

The United States may be far from claiming victory in its battle against coronavirus, but a top infectious disease official says "positive signs" are emerging in some of the areas hit hardest by the virus. Dr. Anthony Fauci says the numbers of hospitalizations, ICU admissions and requirements for intubations in New York over the last three days have started to level off. "Everybody who knows me know I'm very conservative about making projections, but those are the kind of good signs that you look for," Fauci said. Still, he stressed the importance of continued mitigation and social distancing. 

Of New York's more than 4,700 deaths due to coronavirus, 86% were among people who had underlying illnesses and 63% were among those 70 and older, new state data shows.

Give it to me straight 

There are more than 386,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to John Hopkins, with the death toll nearing 12,300. Worldwide, there are more than 1.4 million confirmed cases, 81,000 deaths and 298,000 recovered. 

Are you a health care worker on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19? Share your story with us at

Real quick 

Tragedy hits the Kennedy family, again

The Kennedy family's history is marred by events such as plane crashes, World War II combat, alcohol and drug addiction, and various other accidents that have compounded into the so-called "Kennedy curse." The horrific tradition lives on. Maryland police on Monday found the body of Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, who got in a canoe with her son to retrieve a ball they kicked into the Chesapeake Bay. The granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy was staying at the bay with her family to self-quarantine and "give our kids more space than we have at home in D.C.," her husband said on Facebook. Police are still searching for the body of Gideon, 8.

The biggest and brightest full moon of 2020 will be a pink supermoon tonight 🌕

Here's something to look forward to: The biggest, brightest supermoon of 2020 will be appearing in the night sky Tuesday. Of the three supermoons this year, April's supermoon will come closest to our planet – and thus appear the largest. But don't look for a pinkish hue. Each full moon has its own name, from January's wolf moon to December's cold moon. Historically, April’s full moon often corresponded with the early springtime blooms of a pink wildflower native to eastern North America.

What everyone’s talking about

The longest date ever

Two giant pandas who hadn't mated after 10 years of attempts finally got together. Hong Kong's Ocean Park said 14-year-old pandas, female Ying Ying and male Le Le, had recently been showing signs they were entering the breeding season. Monday morning, they marked "the first success since the two giant pandas began attempts at natural mating a decade ago," Ocean Park said in a statement. Zoo officials hope the mating will bring a pregnancy this year for Ying Ying. Pandas can be aggressive toward each other when in the same space. However, California’s San Diego Zoo says there are two exceptions: mating season and mothers with cubs.

Giant Pandas Le Le (L) and Ying Ying (R) chew on bamboo shoots on their joint fourth birthday at Ocean Park in Hong Kong on August 9, 2009.

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This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network.

P.S. Steve Coogan and Patty Michalski assisted in writing today's Short List!

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus, Wisconsin election, New York data, Boris Johnson, Kennedy family: It's Tuesday's news