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Anti-debt crusader Rand Paul owes businesses more than $300,000 after failed 2016 campaign

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Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul still owes upwards of $300,000 in debt from his unsuccessful bid to be the Republican presidential nominee, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

His campaign has reported $301,108 in debts and just over $2,500 in cash-on-hand, the Herald-Leader reports. He owes dozens of businesses money for services like rent and equipment, the paper reports.

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“We try to get payment up front. Unfortunately, in this particular case, for whatever reason, we didn’t,” Peter Kutrumanes, of Hartford Technology Rental in Illinois, told the paper. “We’re a little company. That amount, it’s a salesperson’s salary for a month. It’s absolutely a big deal.”

His company is owed $3,962 for equipment rental to Paul’s campaign.

Brian Baltutat said Paul still owes him $500 for internet phone service.

“The first thing we heard was that a check had been issued and was sent out. And then they said that they wanted to move it to their next quarter, so the payment would be coming to us a month or two later, in April or May,” Baltutat told the Herald-Leader. “We haven’t heard anything from them since.”

Anti-debt rhetoric is a platform for Paul.

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“Well, the biggest problem our country faces is the mounting debt — 16 trillion dollar debt,” he said in a 2013 interview with Real Clear Policy. “We’re borrowing over a trillion dollars every year and we’ve added 6 trillion just in the last four years, so we have to do something. The sequester is simply a slow down in the rate of growth of government.”

He likened debt to stealing.

“Well, I think it’s immoral to steal,” he said. “It’s immoral for me to borrow money, spend it for my generation, and then ask you to pick up the tab while you’re still in school or unemployed after graduation.”

Paul’s campaign spokeswoman told the Herald-Leader that all his bills will be paid.

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He’s not the only Republican presidential contender with outstanding bills. His former rival and now-nominee Donald Trump has become infamous for stiffing contractors, according to an investigation by USA Today Network.

“The analysis of Trump lawsuits also found that professionals, such as real estate agents and lawyers, say he’s refused to pay them sizable sums of money,” USA Today reported. “Those cases show that even some loyal employees, those selling his properties and fighting for him in court, are only with him until they’re not.”

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Here’s a major risk for coronavirus spread that everyone seems to be overlooking

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A public health expert warned that the coronavirus can linger in the air and infect others.

Joseph Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization are overlooking airborne transmission and focusing instead on COVID-19's spread through droplets and surfaces.

"This is why you clean and disinfect surfaces, but they've ignored airborne transmission," Allen said.

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Central Park incident just one more example of white women using their status to terrorize black men: NYT’s Charles Blow

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Amy Cooper is just the latest example of white women using their privilege and femininity to terrorize black men, according to a new column from Charles Blow.

The New York Times columnist explains that a video recording of an incident involving Cooper, an investment manager, and Christian Cooper, a science editor, has a long and shameful historical precedent.

"This racial street theater against black people is an endemic, primal feature of the Republic," Blow write. "Specifically, I am enraged by white women weaponizing racial anxiety, using their white femininity to activate systems of white terror against black men. This has long been a power white women realized they had and that they exerted."

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New Zealand epidemiologist: ‘We look at Trump’s behavior and we’re horrified’

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To learn how New Zealand has largely eliminated COVID-19, we continue our extended interview with Michael Baker, an epidemiologist who is a member of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Technical Advisory Group and advising the government on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He describes how the country’s response compares to the government actions in the United States and worldwide.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we bring you Part 2 of our discussion of New Zealand.

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