coronabuzz

Tuesday CoronaBuzz, July 21, 2020: 68 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

Please wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay at home if you can. Please be careful. I love you.

NEW RESOURCES – MEDICAL/HEALTH

Please note this is a government resource. Normally I have a lot of confidence in the accuracy of government resources. That is no longer the case. CNBC: HHS unveils new coronavirus hospitalization database, says it’s more complete than CDC’s. “The Trump administration on Monday unveiled a new website of Covid-19 hospitalization data that officials said offers a more complete picture of the outbreak than the data previously compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

UPDATES

Washington Post: Arizona reopened early to revive its economy. Now, its workers and businesses face even greater devastation.. “Hundreds of thousands of people are still out of a job, some for the second time this year. Restaurants, gyms and other companies are closing up shop once again — perhaps for good. Even government officials say they are bracing for a crippling blow, with the latest shutdown expected to cleave further into their still-souring finances.”

New York Times: Europe Said It Was Pandemic-Ready. Pride Was Its Downfall.. “This was not supposed to happen. The expertise and resources of Western Europe were expected to provide the antidote to viral outbreaks flowing out of poorer regions. Many European leaders felt so secure after the last pandemic — the 2009 swine flu — that they scaled back stockpiles of equipment and faulted medical experts for overreacting. But that confidence would prove their undoing.”

Los Angeles Times: Coronavirus leaves Florida a state of confusion. “Crime writer Carl Hiaasen, the celebrated chronicler of contemporary Florida, once referred to his beloved state as ‘the poster child of nationwide dysfunction.’ That was before the COVID-19 pandemic began killing one of its residents about every 14 minutes. So what would he call it now?”

Deadline: Los Angeles Coronavirus Update: Hospitalizations Hit 4th Record High In Past Week As Test Positivity Rate Jumps, As Well. “Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer reported the county currently has 2,232 patients hospitalized due to the coronavirus. The previous high was 2,216, set just the day before…. This is the fourth consecutive day of hospitalization over 2,100 confirmed cases, with data indicating younger people between the ages of 18 and 40 years old being hospitalized at a higher rate than seen at any point in the pandemic.”

New York Daily News: ‘We’re on the line’: Cuomo reads the riot act over NYC crowds and warns of new coronavirus shutdown. “Gov. Cuomo came out guns blazing Monday against the crowds of young people flouting the coronavirus restrictions with wild street parties in New York City. Even as he ticked off statistics showing that the virus remains under control for now, Cuomo railed against Astoria in Queens and the Lower East Side in Manhattan as the summer heats up.”

Washington Post: Maryland suburbs, Baltimore County and city want to roll back reopening as virus numbers climb. “The top health officers in Maryland’s most populous jurisdictions asked the state on Monday to reconsider what activities to permit amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing a recent jump in new cases across the state. They said their respective jurisdictions are weighing ‘a range of revisions,’ including reimposing limits on gathering sizes, mandating face coverings for indoor and outdoor activities, and again closing indoor restaurants and bars.”

FACT CHECKS

AP: AP FACT CHECK: Trump bending facts on virus, Biden, economy. “President Donald Trump clung to the false notion that the coronavirus will just ‘disappear,’ made incorrect claims about a top government expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and again insisted that Americans are getting all the COVID-19 tests they need — all in a television interview Sunday where his answers fell short on the facts.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

New York Times: An Ex-Times Reporter. An Ohio Wedding Provider. Covid Contrarians Go Viral.. ” If you’ve been following Gov. Mike DeWine’s coronavirus news conferences the way that New Yorkers follow Andrew Cuomo’s, you know Jack Windsor: He’s the reporter asking about creeping Marxism among contact tracers and suggesting that Ohio is double counting virus cases. Mr. Windsor, a 44-year-old with credentials from a small Mansfield TV station, is a new kind of media star, the local face of Covid contrarianism.”

NiemanLab: Journalists are suffering mental health consequences from covering Covid-19, according to a new survey. “Early results from a new study on mental health among journalists covering the pandemic were so worrisome that the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism decided to publish the preliminary data.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Why are Americans so angry about masks?. “In the midst of the pandemic, a small piece of cloth has incited a nationwide feud about public health, civil liberties and personal freedom. Some Americans refuse to wear a facial covering out of principle. Others in this country are enraged by the way that people flout the mask mandates.”

AFP: Scaled-down hajj pilgrimage to start July 29: Saudi officials. “This year’s hajj, which has been scaled back dramatically to include only around 1,000 Muslim pilgrims as Saudi Arabia battles a coronavirus surge, will begin on July 29, authorities said Monday. Some 2.5 million people from all over the world usually participate in the ritual that takes place over several days, centred on the holy city of Mecca.”

Sydney Morning Herald: What pandemic-era theatre around the world looks like. “Facing a pandemic which has brought large venues to a standstill across the globe, international theatre has strayed into terra incognita. The performing arts landscape has shifted so dramatically since the start of year that it is unrecognisable. Now, as some nations plunge deeper into crisis, others have started to show tentative signs of recovery.”

ProPublica: What Coronavirus Job Losses Reveal About Racism in America. “The economic and health crisis brought on by the pandemic has struck Black Americans especially hard: from their prevalence among workers in essential high-risk fields, to their disproportionate share of deaths, to extensive job losses. But the racial disparities didn’t begin with the virus. National unemployment numbers that now seem unprecedented for workers as a whole have been a daily reality for many Black communities for decades. See how different groups have experienced unemployment in the graphic below.”

Politico: America’s hidden economic crisis: Widespread wage cuts. “Millions of Americans who managed to hold onto their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic have seen their incomes drop as employers slashed wages and hours to weather what they expected to be a short-term shutdown. Now, with the virus raging and the recession deepening, those cuts that were meant to be temporary could turn permanent — or even pave the way for further layoffs. That could portend deep damage to the labor market and the economy because so many workers who have kept their jobs have less money to spend than a few months ago.”

Washington Post: They depended on their parents for everything. Then the virus took both.. “She was tired of wearing black, but the teenager knew she had to, at least for one more day. So after Nadeen Ismael swept the floors and arranged the couch pillows just the way her parents liked them, she returned to their bedroom. Behind the door, Nadeen, 18, reached up for her mother’s favorite sweater, still hanging next to the leather jacket and Levi’s jeans her father left there after his last day at work three months earlier.” Get out your box of tissues.

CNBC: What to expect from the world’s top attractions in the age of coronavirus. “New guidelines aim to strike a balance between providing attraction-goers with an experience to remember while keeping visitors and staff safe. Still, questions remain: Should you go? Is it safe? Will lines be short or unbearably long? Here’s what to expect from major attractions in the U.S., U.K., Italy, India and Dubai.”

New York Times: The New Rules of Dating. “How should you navigate a date when you’re not sure a kiss goodbye, let alone an in-person rendezvous, is on the table? Certain dating apps are trying to ease the process. Bumble now lets its users add a badge to their profiles that signifies what kind of dates they’re comfortable with: virtual, socially distanced or socially distanced with a mask. And on Lex, which caters to the queer community, users often preface their personal ads with their Covid-19 or antibody test results, said Kell Rakowski, the app’s founder. Still, meeting up in person — and any physical contact, be it a touch on the arm or sex — requires some pretty candid conversations.”

INSTITUTIONS

NiemanLab: Covid-19 has ravaged American newsrooms. Here’s why that matters.. “COVID-19 has ripped through the industry. In the United States alone, over 36,000 journalists have lost their jobs, been furloughed, or had their pay cut. Analysis by Kristen Hare, a reporter at Poynter, shows that more than 200 newsrooms and media groups have been affected by layoffs and other cost-saving measures, including mergers and reduced print runs. Local journalism has been hit particularly hard.”

New York Times: The Met Opera Tries to Find Paying Customers in a Pandemic. “The classical music and opera offerings this spring and summer have mostly been free — and tremendously gratifying. But as cancellations continue into the fall, and beyond, organizations have worried that listeners will start taking free performances for granted. So the Met is testing whether audiences will pay for digital content with a series of recitals by some of its biggest stars; the first, on Saturday, featured the tenor Jonas Kaufmann. Tickets are $20, roughly the price of the Met’s Live in HD movie-theater transmissions.”

BUSINESS / CORPORATIONS

British Baker: Ashers Bakery launches Covid-19 Scottish face mask biscuits. “Nairn-based Ashers Bakery has rolled out masked shortbread biscuits that highlight life during the coronavirus pandemic. The Law Abiding Scots biscuits are shortbread people with pink and blue sugar paste masks and kilts. Available at an rsp of £1.29 from Ashers stores and retailers including Scotmid and Spar, they are a ‘coronavirus twist’ on Ashers’ MacGinger biscuits, with gingerbread people wearing kilts.”

Washington Post: Deep South supermarket Winn-Dixie will require face masks after all. “‘Stronger Together. Winning Together. Let’s help each other stay safe,’ says the coronavirus Web page of Southeastern Grocers, parent company of Winn-Dixie, which operates hundreds of stores across the South. And yet, Winn-Dixie waited until late Monday to announce that it will be joining the stampede of large grocery retailers requiring customers to wear masks in their stores. The company said it will require masks as of July 27.”

CNET: Coronavirus movie delays: New release dates for 2020 and 2021 blockbusters. “When the latest James Bond premiere was called off because of the coronavirus outbreak, it came as a shock. But that was just the first in a cascade of movie blockbusters being canceled or postponed, causing a reshuffle of the release schedule throughout 2020 and into 2021. And as movie theaters struggle to reopen, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is the latest big-screen casualty.”

BBC: Coronavirus: The stress of leading a start-up through the pandemic. “Research from government and private funded growth platform Tech Nation and Dealroom suggests that two-thirds of UK start-ups expect revenues to drop by more than a quarter, almost half have frozen hiring, and two-fifths of companies believe they have less than 12 months of funds. The risk of investing during a crisis has led many investors to shy away or attempt to reduce the terms.”

Bloomberg: Airlines face end of business travel as they knew it. “U.S. airlines hammered by the catastrophic loss of passengers during the pandemic are confronting a once-unthinkable scenario: that this crisis will obliterate much of the corporate flying they’ve relied on for decades to prop up profits.”

CNN: Delta Air Lines announces new health screenings for passengers who can’t wear masks and asks them to consider staying home. “Delta Air Lines will now require medical screenings for passengers who can’t wear face masks due to health reasons — and asks that they reconsider flying altogether as the coronavirus pandemic rages. The strengthened policy adds another layer of protection for passengers who are already mostly required to wear masks while on flights, during boarding and in Delta waiting areas. If they don’t comply, they face being banned from future flights.”

GOVERNMENT

The Map Room: Georgia’s COVID-19 Maps: Bad Faith or Bad Design?. “Twitter user @andishehnouraee notes the difference in scale between two county-by-county COVID-19 maps of Georgia. The earlier map maxes out at 4,661 cases per 100,000, the later (and as of this writing, current) map maxes out at 5,165 cases per 100,000. As they point out, there has been a 49 percent rise in total COVID-19 cases between the two maps, but you wouldn’t know it at a glance, because the scales have changed in the meantime.”

FedTech Magazine: Government Leaders Offer Telework Info for Workers and Citizens. “Even as the federal government responded to the needs of the nation during the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic, it also had to act as an employer with 4.3 million workers who wanted to know their agency’s plan to protect them from illness or to work remotely. Federal leaders turned to social media to advise citizens and guide employees, who shared the same challenges that the rest of the country faced during the COVID-19 restrictions.”

Washington Post: The crisis that shocked the world: America’s response to the coronavirus. “Isabelle Papadimitriou, 64, a respiratory therapist in Dallas, had been treating a surge of patients as the Texas economy reopened. She developed covid-19 symptoms June 27 and tested positive two days later. The disease was swift and brutal. She died the morning of the Fourth of July. The holiday had always been her daughter’s favorite. Fiana Tulip loved the family cookouts, the fireworks, the feeling of America united. Now, she wonders whether she’ll ever be able to celebrate it again. In mourning, she’s furious.”

New York Times: China Is Using Uighur Labor to Produce Face Masks. “A Times video investigation identified Chinese companies using a contentious labor program for Uighurs to satisfy demand for P.P.E., some of which ended up in the United States and other countries.”

Daily Beast: ICE Dodged Orders to Free Detainees—and Triggered an Outbreak. “At the end of April, Florida federal Judge Marcia Cooke ruled that Immigration and Customs Enforcement prisons were such a tinderbox for the novel coronavirus that ICE had to begin efforts at letting people out. The dangers of the pandemic inside three immigrant-detention centers in the state threatened to put ICE on the wrong side of constitutional prohibitions on cruel and unusual punishment…. But instead of preparing to release migrants in detention, ICE did something both the Centers for Disease Control and the Justice Department’s Bureau of Prisons had warned against. They transferred 74 detainees to a for-profit prison in central Virginia called ICA Farmville.”

INDIVIDUALS / BANDS / GROUPS

US News & World Report: ‘Bingo,’ Dr. Anthony Fauci Says. ‘The Worst Nightmare Comes True.’. “As a chief adviser in the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Fauci doesn’t have much free time these days. He spends the first part of his 16-hour workday leading vaccine and therapeutics research at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the $5.9-billion arm of the NIH that he’s directed since 1984. He usually then heads to the White House for meetings with staffers, Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the coronavirus task force.”

The Verge: Whistleblower Reality Winner has tested positive for COVID-19 in prison. “Former intelligence contractor and whistleblower Reality Winner has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. Winner’s sister, Brittany Winner, tweeted her diagnosis earlier today. Winner is currently incarcerated in a federal medical prison in Fort Worth, Texas, where an outbreak has sickened hundreds of inmates and killed at least two.”

The Guardian: John Oliver on coronavirus conspiracy theories: ‘People are going to get burned’. “After a three-week hiatus, John Oliver returned to Last Week Tonight to discuss the lure and prevalence of conspiracy theories, particularly at such a high-risk, high-information time as the coronavirus pandemic, which has created a ‘perfect storm for conspiracy theorists’, he said.”

The American Independent: Missouri governor: It’s OK if kids get virus since ‘they’re going to get over it’. “Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson said that he supports reopening schools, admitting that children ‘will’ get COVID-19 but said it acceptable because ‘they’re going to get over it.'”

Media Matters: Laura Ingraham is Fox News’ biggest COVID-19 misinformer. The network is promoting her show as a reliable source for data analysis.. “A new study from Media Matters shows that Laura Ingraham is currently Fox News’ biggest coronavirus misinformer, based on analysis of the network’s programming between July 6 and July 10. Her show The Ingraham Angle was responsible for a quarter of all COVID-19 misinformation, spreading unreliable claims 63 times, over the course of five days.”

EDUCATION

Bloomberg: Summer camps bring ominous virus warning in test run for schools. “Summer camps in parts of the U.S. are closing as children and counselors test positive for COVID-19, a troubling sign as the country debates whether schools should start in-person instruction as soon as next month. From storied sleep-away camps in Missouri and Arkansas to city-run day programs in small-town Texas, a staple of the American summer is finding it’s not immune to the pandemic. At least seven have canceled sessions in the past four weeks, with 191 children and staffers testing positive.”

HEALTH

Mother Jones: Teaching People How to Spot Bad Science Is a Public Health Tool. “Before the pandemic, Laurel Bristow was an infectious disease researcher studying respiratory pathogens at Emory University’s Vaccine Center. In March, her lab paused its work because of the pandemic. Within days, Bristow began posting Instagram videos from her cheerful kitchen explaining the science behind the coronavirus headlines. She struck a nerve: Her account quickly grew from a few hundred to 99,000 followers. It’s not hard to see why she’s popular—Bristow deftly unpacks complex scientific concepts.”

KCAL: Claremont 13-Year-Old Dies After Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms. “A Claremont family was grieving Friday after a 13-year-old boy, who had been isolating in his room after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, died. And though it was not yet clear what caused Maxx Cheng’s death, many are concerned that a young, healthy child could could be one of the latest victims of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Mashable: The best way to remember proper mask hygiene? Treat it like your underwear.. “As the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the globe, many of us are getting used to wearing face masks to stop the virus’ spread. However, an Australian expert has warned simply wearing them isn’t enough. We should also think of our masks like underwear, and keep them, clean, personal, and on.”

New York Times: During Coronavirus Lockdowns, Some Doctors Wondered: Where Are the Preemies?. “This spring, as countries around the world told people to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, doctors in neonatal intensive care units were noticing something strange: Premature births were falling, in some cases drastically.”

OUTBREAKS

Mississippi Today: Mississippi plant workers call for greater COVID-19 protections after coworker’s death and as cases continue to climb. “Mississippi is entering a ‘sea of outbreaks,’ fueled by community transmission but creating dangerous working conditions in factories across the state.”

Bloomberg: Hong Kong Bracing for Worst Wave of Virus and It’s Not Ready. “With local infections growing over 600 in about two weeks, the Asian financial hub has been taken off-guard by the sudden eruption of infections, close to half of which are untraceable. While other places in the region like Australia are also facing aggressive resurgences, their hospital bed vacancies and testing capabilities appear to outstrip those of Hong Kong’s. The city reported 58 additional local cases on Tuesday, 24 of which were of unknown origins.”

KTLA: 15 L.A. County children sickened by rare coronavirus-related inflammatory syndrome. “A rare but serious and potentially deadly inflammatory syndrome believed to be associated with the coronavirus has now been identified in 15 children in Los Angeles County, officials said. Of the children, 73% were Latino, representing a disproportionate burden for the ethnic group. Latino residents are the largest ethnic group in L.A. County, making up about half of the county’s residents. Nationally, about 70% of the cases of the inflammatory syndrome have been either Latino or Black patients.”

New York Times: Vulnerable Border Community Battles Virus on ‘A Straight Up Trajectory’. “As the coronavirus expands its destructive path across the United States, it is bearing down on some of the places most vulnerable to its devastation — places like the southernmost wedge of Texas, on the border with Mexico, which has seen a punishing surge in infections. In the Rio Grande Valley, more than a third of families live in poverty. Up to half of residents have no health insurance, including at least 100,000 undocumented people, who often rely on under-resourced community clinics or emergency rooms for care.”

CBS News: Some ICUs in Florida have run out of beds. “At least 45 hospitals in Florida had no available beds in intensive care units as of Sunday afternoon as the state has emerged as the new epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus pandemic, according to data from the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration. Nine of those facilities are located in hard-hit Miami-Dade County and another five are in neighboring Broward County.”

Human Rights Watch: Egypt: Apparent Covid-19 Outbreaks in Prisons. “Accounts by witnesses to Human Rights Watch, leaked letters from two prisons, as well as credible reports by local rights groups and media indicate that at least 14 prisoners and detainees have died, most likely from Covid-19 complications, in 10 detention facilities as of July 15. Even though scores of prisoners and detainees, at a minimum, have shown mild to severe Covid-19 symptoms, prisons had insufficient medical care and virtually no access to testing for the virus or symptom screening. The authorities have released about 13,000 prisoners since late February, but that number is insufficient to ease overcrowding in congested prisons and jails.”

NBC News: Coronavirus surge brings suffering to the impoverished, underresourced Mississippi Delta. “Chad and Kelsey Dowell, both doctors in this small, impoverished town in the Mississippi Delta, have cried a lot in recent weeks. The reason is the same every time: the coronavirus. … Their emotions are stretched thin by the flood of patients they see struggling to breathe, their own inability to respond to the pandemic with the limited resources at their rural hospital, the immense nursing and staffing shortages they face, the resistance members of their community feel to keeping themselves safe during the outbreak and the rising number of deaths from the disease that seem to come as a result.”

TECHNOLOGY

New York Times: Google Promises Privacy With Virus App but Can Still Collect Location Data. “Some government agencies that use the software said they were surprised that Google may pick up the locations of certain app users. Others said they had unsuccessfully pushed Google to make a change.”

RESEARCH

The Atlantic: How Long Does COVID-19 Immunity Last?. “Terrified, I read the study that launched a thousand headlines—and did not come away much less terrified. Researchers at King’s College London had tested more than 90 people with COVID-19 repeatedly from March to June. Several weeks after infection, their blood was swimming with antibodies, which are virus-fighting proteins. But two months later, many of these antibodies had disappeared…. I called several scientists to talk me through the study and ease my apocalyptic anxiety. Their response: Please calm down—but don’t expect us to make you feel entirely relaxed.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Oxford vaccine triggers immune response. “A coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford appears safe and triggers an immune response. Trials involving 1,077 people showed the injection led to them making antibodies and T-cells that can fight coronavirus. The findings are hugely promising, but it is still too soon to know if this is enough to offer protection and larger trials are under way.”

Docklands & East London Advertiser: ‘People don’t want things to return to how they were before’ — Findings of coronavirus study released by Bethnal Green charity. “As reported by the Advertiser in April, Bethnal Green charity The Young Foundation invited people to share their experiences via an online platform, with the aim of gauging the virus’ social impact. Over the course of 100 days, more than 600 adults — 75 per cent female, 25 pc male, and 21 pc key worker — contributed to the project, broken down into first-person stories and recommendations.”

EurekAlert: New model connects respiratory droplet physics with spread of Covid-19. “Respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze travel farther and last longer in humid, cold climates than in hot, dry ones, according to a study on droplet physics by an international team of engineers. The researchers incorporated this understanding of the impact of environmental factors on droplet spread into a new mathematical model that can be used to predict the early spread of respiratory viruses including COVID-19, and the role of respiratory droplets in that spread.”

STAT News: U.S. must spend $75 billion to fix flawed Covid-19 testing, report says. “The U.S. should invest $75 billion in order to fix its badly flawed system of diagnostic testing for Covid-19, according to a bipartisan committee of industry experts, investors, scientists, and former federal health officials assembled by the Rockefeller Foundation.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Protein treatment trial ‘a breakthrough’. “The preliminary results of a clinical trial suggest a new treatment for Covid-19 reduces the number of patients needing intensive care, according to the UK company that developed it. The treatment from Southampton-based biotech Synairgen uses a protein called interferon beta which the body produces when it gets a viral infection.”

Politico: Trump’s health officials are trying to speed up testing. Here’s why their plan won’t work.. “The approach, called pooled testing, combines samples from multiple people and then screens the individual samples only if the batch comes back positive for the virus. It worked in the U.S. during the HIV crisis. And it’s worked during the current pandemic for China, Germany, Israel and South Africa…. But the U.S. outbreak is now so out of control that health experts and testing labs say it won’t work here. In areas where the virus is widespread, many pools would test positive — requiring additional tests of each person in those pools.”

CRIME / SECURITY / LEGAL

CNET: Whole Foods workers sue over Black Lives Matter masks. “Whole Foods workers are accusing the grocery chain of discriminating against employees for wearing Black Lives Matter face masks at work. In a proposed class action suit filed Monday, the workers allege that Amazon-owned Whole Foods sent employees home without pay or took other disciplinary actions against them for wearing face masks with BLM messages.”

USA Today: Election lawsuits set record pace amid COVID-19 pandemic as results decide who votes and how Nov. 3. “Requiring an excuse for absentee voting. Paying for postage for mail-in ballots. Purging names from voter registration lists. Placing the names on ballots to provide an advantage in so-called ‘donkey votes.’ These are among the disputes that have generated a record number of lawsuits over the Nov. 3 election. Decisions in the cases will determine who will vote and how. And the political ground is shifting even during the ongoing primaries, as rulings change in the weeks before votes are cast.”

OPINION

Mashable: Don’t shame people who don’t wear masks. It won’t work.. “When properly harnessed, anger can lead to transformational change, channeling people’s energy and resources into holding the powerful accountable. But, as the writer Charles Duhigg masterfully laid out in The Atlantic last year, contempt can turn into poisonous revenge-seeking. That anger is a dead end. It quashes compassion and empathy, further erodes our sense of connection and community, and pits family members against each other.”

Washington Post: Eight ways that Trump’s ‘nonsense’ is killing us. “‘Let’s stop this nonsense.’ With those four simple words, Anthony S. Fauci summed up why we are in such dire straits. The novel coronavirus continues to worsen in the United States while improving in other developed countries because of the nonsense emanating from President Trump and the Trumpy governors of the Sun Belt states: On Sunday, Florida (population 21.5 million) reported nearly three times as many new cases as the entire European Union (population 447 million). Let’s stop the nonsense and start saving lives.”

New York Times: How to Reopen the Economy Without Killing Teachers and Parents. “The Trump administration is pressing schools to provide full-time in-person classes. But schools can’t open five days a week for all students while meeting the six-foot social distancing guidelines. Many are contemplating alternating in-class and online learning. How will such a system help parents, kids and businesses get back to a normal schedule — a pressing need at a time when 51 million Americans are unemployed? There is a better way: Allow schools to offer only virtual classes this fall, and convert schools and other large unused spaces into Safe Centers for Online Learning. We could call them not schools, but ‘SCOLs.'”

POLITICS

ProPublica: Inside the Trump Administration’s Decision to Leave the World Health Organization. “Despite Trump’s declared exit from the WHO, officials continued working toward reforms and to prevent withdrawal. This week, they were told they must justify any cooperation with the WHO on the grounds of national security and public health safety.”

NBC News: Trump says coronavirus briefings to return as soon as this week. “President Donald Trump said Monday he will resume conducting regular coronavirus briefings as the White House struggles to land on a message and a role for him amid a surge in cases across the country.”

Politico: ‘We can’t pull it off’: Florida sheriff says he can’t muster security for GOP convention. “The sheriff of Jacksonville, Fla., said he can’t provide security for the Republican National Convention because of a lack of clear plans, adequate funding and enough law enforcement officers.”

Chicago Sun-Times: Republicans mandate at-home COVID-19 pre-convention test for attendees as cases spike in Florida. “With COVID-19 cases spiking in Florida, Republican convention goers will have to take an ‘in-home’ COVID-19 test before they depart for Jacksonville, paid for by the Republican National Committee, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. Convention attendees will have to agree to be tested twice — at home and when they get to Florida.”

NPR: Lawmakers Are Far Apart On A New Coronavirus Relief Bill. Here Are 5 Sticking Points. “State governments face a precipitous drop in revenue, parents and teachers are debating how kids will return to school in the fall, and millions of unemployed workers face the prospect of their pandemic assistance running out at the end of the month. But there have been zero negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and they remain very far apart on the contours of what should be in another relief bill.”

Washington Post: GOP coronavirus bill likely to include payroll tax cut and tie school money to reopening plans. “The emerging GOP coronavirus relief bill appears likely to embrace some of President Trump’s key priorities, despite opposition from within his own party, including a payroll tax cut, very little aid to state and local governments, and measures tying school funding to the reopening of classrooms. Some of these provisions are already sparking pushback from key Senate Republicans, and an even bigger showdown with Democrats appears inevitable.”

New York Times: Special Interests Mobilize to Get Piece of Next Virus Relief Package. “The House has already signaled that it wants $3 trillion in aid, the Senate appears to want something in the range of $1 trillion, and the White House is now involved in negotiations. The main components on the table for debate are additional payments to individuals, money for state and local governments, extended unemployment insurance and liability protections for companies and other institutions that are trying to reopen. But the package is also likely to be the last opportunity before the election in November for a wide range of industries and interests to push for narrower provisions that would benefit them, setting off intensive lobbying.”

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