“For decades,­ people in the 11 states that seceded during the Civil War — America’s poorest region — have suffered from a scourge of obesity and hypertension, which intensify the danger of the coronavirus and the Covid-19 respiratory disease that it causes. Four of the five states with the highest diabetes rates are in the South. And eight didn’t expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving thousands of families without access to routine care, even as financially troubled rural hospitals wither away. Those factors give the South a special vulnerability, as did the haphazard response from some governors as the disease began to course through the country.” Bloomberg: The South, Sickest Part of a Sick America, Falls Prey to Virus.

+ “The virus’s spread in Louisiana is among the fastest in the world. Beaches in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and the Carolinas all recently drew crowds of non–socially distant spring breakers. Reports of raucous partying in Southern cities such as Nashville, Tennessee, continued long after New York and the West Coast showed just how bad things could get. And churches remained stuffed with congregants, while some deeply conservative Southerners swatted away concerns about the pandemic, labeling it a liberal hoax meant to damage President Donald Trump, who has downplayed the severity of the pandemic.” Slate: Is the South Ready for the Coronavirus?

+ WaPo: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who resisted strict coronavirus measures, says he just learned it transmits asymptomatically. (Kemp either needs a subscription to NextDraft or a new job.)