coronabuzz

Wednesday CoronaBuzz, July 29, 2020: 73 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

Technology Networks: Database Offers Access to 200 Million Immune Sequences From COVID-19 Patients. “Across the world, many laboratories are conducting research relating to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, whether it be to understand the pathophysiology of COVID-19, or to develop robust diagnostics and efficacious therapeutics for the disease. As such, the pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of data sharing within the scientific community. The iReceptor Plus consortium, a European Union (EU)- and Canadian-funded project, has gathered 200 million T and B cell receptor sequences from COVID-19 patients – it is the largest repertoire of its kind. The sequencing data is open source and available online through the iReceptor Gateway.”

UPDATES

Reuters: Spain’s COVID-19 death toll could be 60% higher than official count, says El Pais. “Spain’s COVID-19 death toll could be nearly 60% higher than the official figure of 28,432, according to an investigation by El Pais newspaper published on Sunday. The country’s official death toll includes only people who were formally diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, not suspected cases who were never tested.”

Washington Post: Sinclair TV stations delay airing interview with ‘Plandemic’ researcher amid backlash. “After facing intense scrutiny for planning to air a baseless conspiracy theory that infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci helped to create the coronavirus, conservative TV broadcaster Sinclair Broadcast Group announced Saturday that it will delay the segment to edit the context of the claims. Sinclair, which has 191 stations across the country, received backlash this week after ‘America This Week’ host Eric Bolling interviewed Judy Mikovits, a former medical researcher featured in the debunked “Plandemic” conspiracy online film.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia revamps virus maps, charts that critics said were confusing. “The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) said on Tuesday it revamped its coronavirus website to make maps and charts easier to read and use. The changes follow complaints about poor design of maps and charts by the public, independent health experts and some in the media.”

Axios: Herman Cain still hospitalized more than 3 weeks after COVID-19 diagnosis. “Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is still in the hospital undergoing oxygen treatment more than three weeks after first being hospitalized with the coronavirus on July 2, according to an update from his Twitter account on Monday.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

Mashable: Surreal photos of once-packed locations that are now empty due to the pandemic. “With coronavirus cases surging in some parts of the United States, institutions like the NBA and Disney World are trying to figure out how to reopen as safely as possible. This often means allowing a fraction of the crowds that were allowed in the Before Times to assure social distancing — which makes for surreal photos of these usually-densely populated places. Here are photos of iconic spots as you’ve likely never seen them.”

Vice: The Eviction Crisis Is Already Here and It’s Crushing Black Moms. “Amid widespread job loss, reduced hours, and pay cuts, more than 12.5 million renters, like [Lacresha] Lewis, were unable to make their most recent payment, according to survey data collected last week and released by the U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday. And nearly 24 million people have little to no confidence in their ability to pay next month’s rent, Census data show. Approximately 56% of those anxious renters are Black or Latinx — the populations that are also more likely to rent, and more likely to spend a bigger portion of their income on housing. That’s while Black and Latinx people have been disproportionately harmed by the virus itself, and the resulting job loss. ”

Roadshow: America, your cars are old and COVID-19 will likely accelerate their age. “Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the research already concluded that Americans are holding onto their cars for a longer period of time: nearly 12 years, the highest figure in almost 20 years. IHS Markit released its latest study analyzing the age of vehicles on US roads on Tuesday, and while you may think it has everything to do with boosting new car sales, an old vehicle fleet on the road also does no good for emissions regulations. Newer cars are (generally) far more fuel efficient than older vehicles.”

New York Times: The Virus Turns Midtown Into a Ghost Town, Causing an Economic Crisis. “7,500 workers are missing from a famous building. A food cart sells 10 hot dogs a day. The virus’s effect on one block could be an omen for the city’s future.”

Washington Post: With American tourists banned from Italy, Amalfi Coast workers are sliding into poverty. “For 15 years, he’d worked in the kitchen of a luxury resort, overseeing the dishwashers, keeping ingredients stocked, making sure the guests in 1,200 euro-a-night rooms could order seafood spaghetti at any hour. But this summer has brought only a trickle of guests. The hotel is operating with a skeleton staff. At his home five miles inland, Ninfo Falcone, 43, is contending with unemployment however he can: by dipping into his savings, building a small greenhouse, buying pigs and rabbits to raise, and occasionally taking a load of vegetables to sell in town.”

The Atlantic: I Went to Disney World. “Earlier this month, Walt Disney World began reopening, following almost four months of closure due to the pandemic. I flew to Orlando to experience the magic. The week I arrived, Florida had registered the highest single-day case count of any state thus far. In Orlando’s airport, I felt a vague sense that Floridians considered such statistics a source of secret pride, as if they had set a record for fattest alligator or ugliest serial killer or most senior citizens in a golf cart.”

Washington Post: 2020 is the summer of booming home sales — and evictions. “For Realtor James Dietsche, there is only one way to describe the real estate market right now: ‘It’s insane.’ A 1950s style three-bedroom home he listed in late June for $200,000 in a small town outside Harrisburg, Pa., received 26 offers the initial weekend it was for sale. Many buyers were young couples seeking a starter home and retirees looking to downsize. But bids also came from Philadelphia, New York City and the Washington, D.C., area. One person was willing to pay up to $50,000 above asking. Several were offering to buy it without inspections. While Dietsche’s cellphone has been ringing with eager buyers, Tammy Steen’s phone has been buzzing for a different reason. Her landlord keeps calling demanding the $700 rent she does not have.”

BBC: ‘My Tanzanian family is split over coronavirus’. “Since the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Tanzania in March, I have been bombarded with messages and phone calls from colleagues, friends and family members living abroad. They’ve been wondering: how did a country with some of the most relaxed coronavirus measures in Africa manage to so far escape the kind of crisis which has visited many parts of the world. It’s a question puzzling even those of us who are living in the country.”

INSTITUTIONS

NPR: As Zoos Cautiously Reopen, Humans Are Excited, Big Cats Seem Ambivalent. “The pandas in D.C., the grizzlies in Oakland, the gorillas in the Bronx are all getting reacquainted with human visitors. As of a month and a half ago, the pandemic had forced 90% of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ members to close. Today, the AZA reports, about 80% of them have reopened. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., opens its gates to the public for the first time in 19 weeks on Friday — and this week, I was one of the lucky few humans allowed in for a preview.”

BUSINESS / CORPORATIONS

Washington Post: ‘A Band-Aid on a bullet wound’: Workers are getting laid off anew as PPP runs out. “The phone stopped ringing at the Nelsons’ auto-body shop in Broomfield, Colo., in March. The normal four-to-six-week wait for customers looking to have dents or bumps fixed on their cars disappeared, leaving the shop silent. Tammy Nelson and her husband, Scott, applied in April for a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program — the federal government’s chaotic $660 billion aid program meant to help businesses and their workers stay afloat. But the PPP loan had only delayed the inevitable — the phone didn’t start ringing again amid the surging pandemic. Nelson laid off her five employees at the end of June, including herself and her husband. They are among the first wave of PPP layoffs happening across the country, as the loan program begins to expire.”

San Diego Union-Tribune: A COVID-19 death renews questions of Uber and Lyft’s responsibility to drivers. “The pandemic has dramatically raised the stakes in the years-long fight over what protections Lyft, Uber and other gig-economy companies should be required to provide workers. Adding to longstanding wage and benefit gripes, [Billie Sue] Matchke’s fate is now the nightmare scenario facing rideshare drivers everywhere. Some have recently gone beyond just wearing masks and wiping down door handles to also installing makeshift partitions in their vehicles to shield themselves from potentially infected customers. Advocates have argued that drivers shouldn’t be forced to risk death just to make ends meet, and have blasted Uber and Lyft for making it nearly impossible for drivers to collect state unemployment pay.”

CNN: Big chains filed for bankruptcy and closed stores every week in July. Here are 9 of them. “Coronavirus, massive amounts of debt and a shift in shopping habits created a lethal cocktail of bankruptcies and store closures in July. So far this year, 21 private and public retailers have filed for Chapter 11 according to BankruptcyData.com. That’s more than double the number that filed for the same time period last year. In total, 20 retailers filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019.”

ProPublica: The Small Biz Double-Dip: Temp Companies Got Cheap Government Money, Got Paid by Clients for the Same Workers. “Companies typically seek contracted temp workers because they don’t have to pay them benefits and can pick them up and let them go easily. For sudden needs brought on by COVID-19, such as conducting temperature checks and sanitizing workplaces, staffing companies can recruit, vet, hire and supply workers on a few days’ notice. ‘It’s amazing, but our demand for services has just gone through the roof,’ said Charles Tope, the CEO of Monterey, California-based Employnet, which works in industries ranging from health care to warehousing. So it may come as a surprise that temp staffing companies like Employnet were among the biggest beneficiaries of small-business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to help hard-hit firms keep paying their employees.”

CNET: Walmart, CVS won’t enforce mask rules to avoid conflict with customers. “Shoppers who refuse to wear a face mask will still be able to shop at Walmart, CVS and other retailers regardless of the companies’ policies. The stores are apparently hoping to avoid confrontations between employees and angry customers.”

GOVERNMENT

Reuters: Japan government persists with ‘Abenomask’ giveaway, reignites social media outcry. “Japan’s government is pushing ahead with the distribution of its much derided masks even though commercially made masks are now readily available, prompting a renewed outcry on social media. Dubbed the ‘Abenomask’, which means Abe’s mask and is a pun on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ‘Abenomics’ programme, the washable gauze mask has been criticised as ill fitting with quality issues and as a waste of public money.”

European Sting: This country came up with 5 novel ideas to tackle the pandemic. “Estonia, a nation of just 1.3 million people and a recognized leader in the digital economy, held a three-day hackathon in which over 1,000 programmers came up with solutions to tackle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Hack the Crisis was launched in March, just hours after the country declared a state of emergency and closed its borders. But the virtual event attracted a truly global line-up of participants, with people joining in from more than 20 countries and across 14 timezones.”

IndyStar: Gov. Holcomb removes criminal penalties from mask order after pushback from his own party. “Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order Friday mandating masks statewide, but in a departure from his original plan, Holcomb didn’t include criminal penalties in the mandate.”

WKRN: ‘We don’t have the resources:’ Small Alabama communities reeling from COVID-19 surge. “Small towns in Alabama are feeling the effects of COVID-19, especially in terms of revenue and the ability to provide the same level of services to citizens. In the town of Altoona, Mayor Richard Nash said he has several employees who are out with the virus or awaiting a test result.”

Washington Post: About 4,000 federal employees say they contracted the coronavirus at work — and 60 have died. “About 4,000 federal employees are seeking disability compensation on grounds that they contracted the novel coronavirus at work, while survivors of 60 deceased employees are seeking death benefits for the same reason. The total number of claims is expected to increase to 6,000 within weeks, according to a report that amounts to one of the first accountings of the pandemic’s impact on the health of the federal workforce.”

Tennessean: White House is recommending Tennessee close all bars. Gov. Bill Lee says no.. “Dr. Deborah Birx, a White House adviser who is among the top coronavirus officials in the nation, said Monday that Tennessee should close bars and limit indoor restaurant dining to prevent a looming escalation of the coronavirus outbreak. Moments later, Gov. Bill Lee said he had no plans to follow this recommendation. Lee said he would not close bars or limit restaurants or give county mayors the authority to take these actions locally.”

Los Angeles Times: This county knew coronavirus could ravage its farmworkers. Why didn’t officials stop it?. “As coronavirus cases began to grow in San Joaquin County in June, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs proposed requiring citizens to wear a mask in his city in the center of the fertile valley, where agriculture is king and poverty pervasive. The response he received from the county emergency services director, a key figure in coordinating the pandemic response, was disquieting, he said. ‘Stay in your lane,’ wrote Shellie Lima in a June 9 email to Tubbs obtained by The Times, days before the county allowed card rooms, hotels and day camps to open. ‘I am against the proposed mask ordinance for Stockton … Why would our elected officials feel that they have the medical understanding to do so?'”

INDIVIDUALS / BANDS / GROUPS

People: Kansas City Chiefs Star, Who Is Also Practicing Doctor, Becomes First NFL Player to Skip 2020 Season. “Kansas City Chiefs star Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is staying off the football field, becoming the first NFL player to opt-out of the 2020 season due to concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. On Friday, the offensive lineman shared a statement on Twitter, explaining that while the Chiefs’ medical staff have “put together a strong plan to minimize the health risks associated with COVID-19,” he is uncomfortable knowing that ‘some risks will remain.'”

The News Tribune: Source: Chance Warmack opts out of Seahawks season after losing family member to COVID-19. “New Seahawk Chance Warmack is the latest NFL player to opt out of playing this season during the pandemic. The Seahawks signed the offensive lineman and former Super Bowl-champion Philadelphia Eagle this spring but he’s exercising his right to opt out of the 2020 season over concerns about the COVID-19 virus.”

CNN: Trump’s national security adviser tests positive for Covid-19. “President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, has tested positive for Covid-19, according to an official familiar with what happened. O’Brien’s diagnosis marks the highest-ranking Trump administration official known to have tested positive. It’s unclear when O’Brien last met with Trump. Their last public appearance together was over two weeks ago during a visit to US Southern Command in Miami on July 10.”

Good Morning America: Fauci: Some messages from Trump’s COVID-19 task force don’t match reports from ‘the trenches’. “As the COVID-19 pandemic surges within the United States, the Trump administration’s task force leading federal efforts to slow the spread of the virus continues to relay some optimistic messages in its meetings. But according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the task force as the nation’s top infectious disease expert, those claims do not always match the reports he receives from the front lines of the crisis.”

SPORTS

Bleacher Report: Report: Red Sox’s Eduardo Rodriguez Dealing with Heart Issue Related to COVID-19. “Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez remains out of action because of ‘a condition involving his heart,’ according to WEEI’s Rob Bradford. Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke confirmed July 7 that Rodriguez had tested positive for COVID-19.”

Detroit Free Press: Michigan State football’s entire football team will quarantine, isolate over next 14 days. “All members of the Michigan State football team will quarantine or isolate over the next 14 days after a student-athlete and a second staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, the school announced Friday.”

NBC Sports: Players must pass three COVID-19 tests before reporting. “On the day a team’s infection control officer announced he had tested positive for COVID-19, comes word that players will have to pass another test just to get in the door. According to Judy Battista of NFL Network, players now have to pass three tests before they are allowed to enter a team’s facility.”

EDUCATION

Washington Post: CDC director concedes schools in ‘hot spots’ face tougher call on reopening . “The leader of the nation’s premier public health agency Friday amplified President Trump’s call for schools to reopen, releasing new documents edited by the White House that gloss over risks and extol the benefits of in-person learning. Still, Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there should be exceptions for ‘hot spots,’ and he used a metric that would include parts of at least 33 states.”

The Grio: Schools dazed : HBCUs struggle to re-open amid coronavirus. “Black colleges have always been able to do more with less, producing the majority of America’s black doctors (50%) and judges (80%) despite being chronically underfunded by states and having to fill in the gaps of the lousy public schools many black students graduate from. Which is part of why coronavirus hits so hard—not because of any particular management or failing by HBCUs, but because it’s almost impossible to come up with a coordinated plan for school success when you’re caught up in a mixture of state and federal red-tape, harsh financial realities and racism.”

HEALTH

NBC News: CDC changes COVID-19 guidance on how long patients need to be isolated. “People who have been confirmed with mild to moderate COVID-19 can leave their isolation without receiving a negative test, according to recently revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Increasing evidence shows that most people are no longer infectious 10 days after they begin having symptoms of COVID-19. As a result, the CDC is discouraging people from getting tested a second time after they recover.”

Straits Times: South Korea’s elite contact tracers show the world how to beat Covid-19. “In May, when a coronavirus outbreak hit nightclubs in the South Korean capital of Seoul, health officials quickly unleashed their version of the Navy Seals – elite teams of epidemiologists, database specialists and laboratory technicians. An old-school, shoe-leather investigation showed the virus had jumped from a night-club visitor, to a student, to a taxi driver and then alarmingly to a warehouse employee who worked with 4,000 others. Thousands of the employee’s co-workers, their family members and contacts were approached and 9,000 people were eventually tested. Two weeks later, the warehouse flareup was mostly extinguished and infections curtailed at 152.”

NBC News: CDC: One-third of COVID-19 patients who aren’t hospitalized have long-term illness. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged Friday that a significant number of COVID-19 patients do not recover quickly, and instead experience ongoing symptoms, such as fatigue and cough. As many as a third of patients who were never sick enough to be hospitalized are not back to their usual health up to three weeks after their diagnosis, the report found.”

New York Times: ‘You Do the Right Things, and Still You Get It’. “Their cases were unusual: Sheryl Roberts, a sunny retired nurse, experienced severe psychiatric symptoms that made doctors fear she was suicidal, possibly an effect of the disease and medicines to treat it. She is recovering, but her husband is critically ill, on a ventilator, with failing kidneys and a mysterious paralysis that has afflicted about a dozen others at Houston Methodist Hospital. While no one can be certain how Elaine Roberts was infected, her older sister, Sidra Roman, blamed grocery customers who she felt had put her family in danger.”

Sky News: Coronavirus: Pet cat becomes first animal to test positive for COVID-19 in UK. Please read the article before you flip out. It doesn’t appear to be a big deal. “Evidence suggests it contracted the virus from its owners, who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 – but both the animal and family have since made a ‘full recovery’, the government said.”

HuffPost: Wearing A Mask Is More Popular — And A Little Less Partisan — Than You Might Expect. “An increasingly broad majority of Americans are wearing masks in public, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, which finds far more of a consensus on the benefits of masks than high-profile skirmishing over the issue might suggest. Democrats, especially, are prone to overstate the level of GOP opposition to masks, the survey finds.”

CNN: 5,000 health care professionals call on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a state-wide mask mandate. “With 432,747 confirmed coronavirus cases, Florida is now at the center of the US Covid-19 outbreak, prompting a union for one of the state’s largest healthcare systems to seek a mask order. Florida is second only to California in confirmed cases, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. So to help curb the spread of the virus, the Jackson Health employee union representing more than 5,000 nurses, physicians and health care professionals is demanding that Gov. Ron DeSantis issue a state-wide mask mandate, according to a news release issued by the group.”

The Atlantic: Hygiene Theater Is a Huge Waste of Time. “To some American companies and Florida men, COVID-19 is apparently a war that will be won through antimicrobial blasting, to ensure that pathogens are banished from every square inch of America’s surface area. But what if this is all just a huge waste of time?”

NPR: Distrust Hurts U.S. Efforts To Stop Coronavirus, Former Obama Health Official Says. “Why are coronavirus cases so much higher here in the United States than other countries? For Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Obama, the fundamental issue at play isn’t simply a slow turnaround for virus test results or mask mandates. He blames a widespread erosion of fundamental trust at all levels of society.”

El Pais: Over half of coronavirus patients in Spain have developed neurological problems, studies show. “The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus attacks the respiratory system, but there is growing evidence that it also affects the nervous system. Several studies based on thousands of Spanish patients show that most of these individuals developed at least one neurological problem. This manifested itself in a wide range of symptoms, ranging from headaches to comatose states. In a percentage of cases, neurological conditions were even the principal cause of death. Although these symptoms have been attributed to the body’s excessive immune response to Covid-19, some research indicates that the virus is directly attacking the brain.”

OUTBREAKS

NJ .com: 24 LBI lifeguards positive for coronavirus after attending social gatherings together. “Officials on Long Beach Island say more than 20 lifeguards have tested positive for the coronavirus after being together at a recent event. The lifeguards are from Harvey Cedars and Surf City, neighboring boroughs on LBI just north of the Dorland J. Henderson Memorial Bridge, which links the Ocean County mainland to the barrier island.”

People: 60 People Exposed to Coronavirus at Cape Cod House Party. “At least nine people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) after attending a 60-person house party on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, earlier this month. Dr. Robert Duncanson, Director of Chatham’s Department of Public Health, said on Tuesday that social distancing and mask usage were not enforced at the party, CBS Boston and Mass Live reported.”

NBC News: Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant dies of coronavirus after attending training course. “A Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant who was one of 17 people to test positive for coronavirus after attending in-person training event, died Tuesday, the company confirmed. Jeff Kurtzman and 16 others contracted the respiratory illness after attending the course in Honolulu in late June, the company confirmed to NBC Los Angeles, adding that it is now investigating if the cluster of cases stemmed from the training.”

New York Times: The Coronavirus Unleashed Along the Amazon River. “As the pandemic assails Brazil, overwhelming it with more than two million infections and more than 84,000 deaths — second only to the United States — the virus is taking an exceptionally high toll on the Amazon region and the people who have depended on its abundance for generations. In Brazil, the six cities with the highest coronavirus exposure are all on the Amazon River, according to an expansive new study from Brazilian researchers that measured antibodies in the population.”

Washington Post: Houston, Miami, other cities face mounting health care worker shortages as infections climb. “Shortages of health care workers are worsening in Houston, Miami, Baton Rouge and other cities battling sustained covid-19 outbreaks, exhausting staffers and straining hospitals’ ability to cope with spiking cases. That need is especially dire for front-line nurses, respiratory therapists and others who play hands-on, bedside roles where one nurse is often required for each critically ill patient.”

Reuters: Hundreds jam airport as evacuations from Vietnam’s Danang begin. “The airport in the central Vietnamese tourism hotspot of Danang was packed on Monday after three residents tested positive for the coronavirus and the evacuation of 80,000 people began.”

Texas Tribune: With 1,000 new coronavirus fatalities in Texas in just 6 days, the state’s death count is rising faster. “Texas reached another grim milestone Sunday when it surpassed 5,000 deaths from the new coronavirus. In doing so, the state reported 1,000 deaths in six days, four days faster than it took to hit that total the previous time.”

BBC: India coronavirus: ‘More than half of Mumbai slum-dwellers had Covid-19’. “More than half the residents of slums in three areas in India’s commercial capital, Mumbai, tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus, a new survey has found. Only 16% of people living outside slums in the same areas were found to be exposed to the infection. The results are from random testing of some 7,000 people in three densely-packed areas in early July.”

WUSF: After Private Party, At Least 17 UF Health Anesthesiologist Residents Contract Coronavirus. “At least 17 anesthesiologist residents and a fellow at one of the premier university hospital systems in Florida contracted COVID-19 earlier this month after attending a private party together, according to hospital insiders and internal documents.”

TECHNOLOGY

Neowin: Apple Maps now asks you to self-quarantine if you’ve recently traveled internationally. “If you have recently made a trip to other countries or states, Apple’s mapping app has a piece of advice for you. Apple Maps now reminds you to stay home and self-quarantine for 14 days when it detects you have traveled internationally.”

CNET: CES 2021 will be an all-digital event. “CES, one of the world’s largest tech events, will be fully virtual next year amid continued concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The Consumer Technology Association announced the change Tuesday after previously saying CES 2021 would continue to be an in-person event, with additional virtual and digital experiences.”

CNN: Social media giants remove viral video with false coronavirus claims that Trump retweeted. “A video featuring a group of doctors making false and dubious claims related to the coronavirus was removed by Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube after going viral online Monday. The video, published by the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News, featured a group of people wearing white lab coats calling themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors” staging a press conference in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC.”

RESEARCH

Route Fifty: New Study Will Look at Risks to Transit Workers From Virus. “With the coronavirus infecting thousands of New York City bus and subway workers this year, claiming the lives of dozens of them, a team of academic researchers is planning to investigate the risks that these public employees face on the job. New York University’s School of Global Public Health said Thursday it would launch a series of studies looking at the physical and mental health risks the pandemic is posing for Metropolitan Transportation Authority workers, as well as other effects it is having on their jobs. They’re planning to coordinate with Transport Workers Union Local 100 to carry out the project.”

New York Times: Hoping to Understand the Virus, Everyone Is Parsing a Mountain of Data. “Six months since the first cases were detected in the United States, more people have been infected by far than in any other country, and the daily rundown of national numbers on Friday was a reminder of a mounting emergency: more than 73,500 new cases, 1,100 deaths and 939,838 tests, as well as 59,670 people currently hospitalized for the virus. Americans now have access to an expanding set of data to help them interpret the coronavirus pandemic.”

University of Texas at Austin: Dry powder inhalation could be a potent tool in COVID-19 antiviral treatment. “The only antiviral drug currently used to treat SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is remdesivir, but administering it is invasive and challenging. Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin are hoping to change that by using their novel thin-film-freezing technology to deliver remdesivir through dry powder inhalation, potentially making treatment more potent, easier to administer and more broadly available.”

CRIME / SECURITY / LEGAL

Minnesota Reformer: Couple wears Nazi flags inside Walmart to protest face mask mandate. “A couple wore Nazi flags wrapped around their faces into the Walmart in Marshall on Saturday in protest of the state’s mask mandate aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19. Raphaela Mueller, a German descendant of a Nazi resister, saw the couple in the store and immediately felt nauseated, she told the Reformer. She approached a manager about the couple when the pair appeared in the check-out line. Mueller then took a picture of the woman giving the Nazi salute and then started recording the incident on her phone, which she posted to Facebook.”

Travel Pulse: Delta Turns Flight Around After Multiple Passengers Refuse to Wear Masks. “Details are emerging over why a Delta Air Lines flight to Atlanta was turned around and returned to Detroit on Thursday, and once again face masks are the issue. According to reports, two passengers refused to wear face masks during the flight – a mandate for virtually every airline – and the plane returned to Detroit Metro Airport in suburban Romulus.”

Department of Justice: Florida Man who Used COVID-Relief Funds to Purchase Lamborghini Sports Car Charged in Miami Federal Court. “A Florida man was arrested and charged with fraudulently obtaining $3.9 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and using those funds, in part, to purchase a sports car for himself. Authorities seized a $318,000 sports car and $3.4 million from bank accounts at the time of arrest.”

OH THAT’S SO NICE

CNN: They have been married 46 years and just overcame Covid-19, cancer and chemo together. “A Texas couple is feeling extra blessed after beating the coronavirus, cancer and finishing chemo. Robert and Janice Beecham have been married for 46 years, and this year they are happy to be recovering after a spring full of turmoil.”

OPINION

Washington Post: Kenya’s government is abandoning its citizens in the face of disaster. “‘Personal Responsibility’ is the mantra that has been taken up by public officials from the president down. It places the burden of responsibility for the disease on the public and not the state. Throughout the crisis, the government has sought to paint Kenyans as the villains, blaming the rise in infections on their ‘indiscipline.’ Of course, this conveniently ignores the fact that the guidelines issued by authorities often took little account of Kenyans’ actual circumstances. Further, the brutality with which they were enforced and the terrible conditions those taken into mandatory quarantine had to endure did little to reassure them that the state was sincere. Reports of missing health equipment and recovery funds have done little to bridge the credibility gap.”

New York Times: I Was a Screen Time Expert. Then the Coronavirus Happened.. “Before the pandemic, I was a parenting expert. It was a cushy gig. In 2019, I boarded 34 flights. I checked into nice hotels, put on makeup and fitted jewel-toned dresses, strode onto stages large and dinky, and tried to project authoritative calm. I told worried parents about the nine signs of tech overuse, like ditching sleep for screens. I advised them to write a ‘family media contract’ and trust, but verify, their tweens’ doings online. While I was on the road, my two daughters were enjoying modest, cute little doses of Peppa Pig and Roblox, in between happily attending school, preschool, after-school activities and play dates, safe in the care of their father, grandmother and our full-time nanny. Now, like Socrates, I know better. I know that I know nothing.”

POLITICS

New York Times: Inside Trump’s About-Face on the Republican Convention in Jacksonville. “Faced with a surging pandemic, resistance from local officials in Florida and deadlines for items like hotel payments, Mr. Trump chose to cancel the convention in an effort to cast himself as putting safety first.”

Politico: ‘Make America Normal Again’: Trump backers plead for a virus plan. “Trump’s political allies, alarmed by his sinking poll numbers, are warning that the president’s best chance to get reelected is to outline more detailed plans to conquer the coronavirus he keeps trying to wish away. They are advising him to offer people something concrete they can look to as the pandemic surges in dozens of states, eroding months of progress.”

New York Times: Would You Go to a Movie Right Now? Republicans Say Yes. Few Others Do.. “A majority of Republicans say they would feel comfortable flying on an airplane, eating indoors in a restaurant or seeing a movie in a theater. Large majorities of Democrats and political independents say they would not. Those findings, from a survey conducted in early July for The New York Times by the online research firm SurveyMonkey, show how opinions about the pandemic increasingly fall along partisan lines. Separate data on mobility shows the same partisan split in actual behavior — and it can’t be explained by differences in the prevalence of the virus itself.”

NBC News: Governors who took the virus seriously from the start get a boost. “Our new NBC News/Marist polls of Arizona and North Carolina tell a pretty similar story — President Trump trails in both battlegrounds, as does the incumbent GOP senator. But there’s a significant difference between the two polls: North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper holds a 59 percent approval rating among voters in his state, while Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has a 39 percent rating in his state.”

NPR: Biden’s Foreign Policy Is All About Relationships. That’s Harder Amid A Pandemic. “The coronavirus pandemic has made big international summits nearly impossible. The same goes for extended meetings, dinners or most other scenarios where a President Biden could sit down with other heads of government and forge the relationships he sees as so key to reaching agreements with other nations.”

Associated Press: Trump seeks political shot in the arm in vaccine push. “President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic put his political fate in grave jeopardy. Now he’s hoping to get credit for his administration’s aggressive push for a vaccine -– and crossing his fingers that one gets approved before Election Day.”

CNN: Notre Dame withdraws from hosting first presidential debate due to coronavirus. “The University of Notre Dame announced Monday it will withdraw from hosting the first presidential debate in September due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The debate, scheduled for September 29, will now take place at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.”

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