Saturday CoronaBuzz, October 3, 2020: 45 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

I started a new section. Guess what it’s about? 20 of the articles in today’s issue are in that section. There will be no issue tomorrow as I attempt to clean up the metaphorical broken levee and flooded town that is my mailbox, then get back to a morning schedule on Monday. Please wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay at home if you can. Please be careful. I love you.


BuzzFeed News: Trump’s Doctor Dodged Questions About The President’s Coronavirus Diagnosis. “President Donald Trump’s doctor was evasive on major details of the president’s illness, including the timeline of his treatments, in a short press conference Saturday morning. Dr. Sean Conley told reporters that the president is not currently on oxygen, but would not say definitively that he has not needed supplemental oxygen since he began being treated for COVID-19.”

Washington Post: Invincibility punctured by infection: How the coronavirus spread in Trump’s White House. “The White House outbreak thrust Washington into a state of heightened alarm Friday, with uncertainty one month before the election about the health of the president, whose age of 74, as well as additional co-morbidities — obesity, high cholesterol and slightly elevated blood pressure — increase his risks of a negative outcome. Though White House officials have begun contact tracing to try to identify the origin of the outbreak, it is not publicly known whether the Rose Garden announcement of Barrett’s nomination was a superspreader event. Still, the jarring contrast between the carefree, cavalier attitude toward the virus on display in the Rose Garden last Saturday and the pernicious awakening that occurred Thursday night resembles a Shakespearean tragedy.”

HuffPost: Contact Tracers Waited On Names Of Trump Fundraiser Guests Who Had Already Scattered. “New Jersey contact tracers did not have a complete list of the names of those who attended a Bedminster fundraiser Thursday with President Donald Trump, just hours before his COVID-19 diagnosis, until at least Friday afternoon, 24 hours after the event, HuffPost has learned. The Republican National Committee sent the names of those it knew had attended to the office of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) at 2:30 p.m. Friday, a spokesperson for the RNC said.”

Politico: Trump campaign manager tests positive for Covid-19. “Donald Trump’s campaign manager has tested positive for Covid-19, dealing another blow to his reelection effort on a day that saw the president and the head of the Republican National Committee report contracting the disease as well. Bill Stepien received his diagnosis Friday evening and was experiencing what one senior campaign official described as ‘mild flu-like symptoms.’ People familiar with the situation said the 42-year-old Stepien plans to quarantine until he recovers.”

Poynter: How to find reliable information about Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis. “In the past 12 hours, there has been a crushing amount of speculation and reactions circulating across social media platforms related to President Donald Trump’s positive coronavirus test. This is a historic moment with emotions running high and it’s important to take a step back, take a breath and chill for a minute before sharing anything you see on social media. Below you’ll find some tips from The Poynter Institute’s MediaWise team, a nonprofit, nonpartisan digital media literacy initiative for Americans of all ages. You can find more tips and video versions of these tips on Twitter and Instagram.”

Minneapolis StarTribune: Minnesota Republicans fly Delta home from D.C. after COVID-19 exposure. “Minnesota’s three Republican congressmen flew home on a Delta flight from Washington, D.C., Friday night, despite airline restrictions on passengers recently exposed to COVID-19-positive people such as President Donald Trump. U.S. Reps. Pete Stauber, Tom Emmer and Jim Hagedorn all tested negative for COVID-19 on Friday after traveling with Trump on Air Force One to and from a Duluth rally on Wednesday.”

SunHerald: Delta investigates maskless Sen. Wicker as other senators test COVID-19 positive. “Delta Airlines says it is investigating after a fellow passenger posted a photo on Twitter of U.S. .Sen. Roger Wicker, Republican-Mississippi, on a flight with his mask tucked under his chin while he looked at his cell phone.”

Impact 2020: Trump’s team, hobbled by coronavirus in final stretch, scrambles to salvage campaign. “President Donald Trump’s campaign is running out of money, running out of people and running out of time. One month from Election Day, Trump’s family, his campaign manager, the head of the Republican National Committee and the president himself have been taken off the field by the pandemic that had already wiped away his competitive edge in the race.”

New York Times: A White House Long in Denial Confronts Reality. “This past week, a White House long in denial confronted reality after Mr. Trump and the first lady both tested positive for the virus, along with Hope Hicks, a top White House aide, and Bill Stepien, the Trump campaign manager, among others. The outcome appeared shocking but also inevitable in a West Wing that assumed that rapid virus tests for everyone who entered each morning were substitutes for other safety measures, like social distancing and wearing masks. But the outcome was also a byproduct, former aides said, of the recklessness and top-down culture of fear that Mr. Trump created at the White House and throughout his administration. If you wanted to make the boss happy, they said, you left the mask at home.”

AP: Official: Next 48 hours ‘critical’ for Trump in virus fight. ” President Donald Trump went through a ‘very concerning’ period Friday and the next 48 hours ‘will be critical’ in his care as he battles the coronavirus at a hospital, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Saturday. Meadows’ comments contradicted the rosy assessment of Trump’s condition offered by his staff and doctors, who took pains not to reveal the president had received supplemental oxygen at the White House before his hospital admission.” Now read the next one.

Reuters: White House chief of staff says Trump is doing very well. “White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Saturday that President Donald Trump is doing ‘very well’ and that doctors are pleased with his vital signs.”

ABC News: Day after seeing Trump at Bedminster fundraiser, guests ‘flabbergasted’ to learn he was stricken. “The roughly 100 campaign supporters who paid up to $250,000 to attend had no idea that the president had recently been exposed to the novel coronavirus and would soon test positive. One day later, New Jersey health officials are trying to locate those who attended in case anyone shook hands or snapped photos with Trump.”

New York Intelligencer: Trump Infects America. “‘At the best of times, Trumpworld operates with all the strategic direction of a chicken with its head cut off,’ a senior Republican official told me. ‘Right now, they’re operating like a chicken with its head cut off, lit on fire, and thrown off a cliff.'”

New York Times: The White House relied on a rapid test, but used it in a way it was not intended.. “For months, the White House’s strategy for keeping President Trump and his inner circle safe has been to screen all White House visitors with a rapid test. But one product they use, Abbott’s ID Now, was never intended for that purpose and is known to deliver incorrect results.”

CNN: Inside one celebration that helped spread the virus across the US government. “When guests arrived to the White House last Saturday for a triumphant event unveiling President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, their first stop was a small room in the White House basement. After providing their names, phone numbers and dates of birth, each was taken one-by-one by a staff member from the White House Medical Office to a smaller room nearby. The door was shut, and out came the swab.”

Grit Daily: Fact Checking the Rumors Circulating Social Media After Trump’s COVID-19 Diagnosis. “The announcement that President Donald Trump has contracted COVID-19 comes as a surprise to just about everyone ahead of the 2020 Presidential Election. With so little time between now and then, Americans are anxiously awaiting answers as to what will happen next. While it is true that President Trump tested positive for the virus, it took little to no time for misinformation to quickly circulate social media late last night and into this morning—something that has become an increasingly bigger issue in the last few years. Here’s what we’ve seen, and what we’ve been able to fact check surrounding President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis last night.”

Politico: The virus slams into a broken Washington. “One month before Election Day, with ballots already being cast, President Donald Trump is in a military hospital, where he will remain for days, being treated for Covid-19, a disease that’s particularly dangerous for people of his age and weight. His physician Saturday morning said he’s doing well and is fever free, but declined to say when precisely he was diagnosed, how long he expects him to be in the hospital. Asked if the president was ever on supplemental oxygen, he was evasive.”

The Cap Times: After testing positive for COVID-19, Ron Johnson says he’s still against mask mandates. “After testing positive for COVID-19, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said his view on mask mandates hasn’t changed, as Wisconsin Republican leaders have voiced their support for striking down the state’s order requiring face coverings be worn.”

New York Times: McConnell Delays Senate’s Return as a Third Senator Falls Ill. “Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, said on Saturday that the Senate would not meet as planned next week after three senators tested positive for the coronavirus, even as he pledged to press ahead to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.”

The Guardian: ‘It’s a hoax. There’s no pandemic’: Trump’s base stays loyal as president fights Covid. “Sean Patterson is not worried that Donald Trump has been hospitalized with coronavirus because he believes what the president tells him. ‘It’s a hoax. There’s no pandemic. As Trump said, how many millions die of flu?’ said the 56-year-old truck driver outside the early voting station in St Joseph, Missouri – a stronghold for the president. But then Patterson pauses and contemplates the possibility that Trump really does have Covid-19.”


Devex: New tool tracks how policies are protecting women during COVID-19. ” New data reveals that most countries are not taking a comprehensive approach to protecting women from the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 25 countries have responded across the three areas measured — tackling violence against women and girls, supporting unpaid care, and strengthening women’s economic security — according to the COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker, which UN Women and the U.N. Development Programme launched Monday.”


WHAM: NY unveils new coronavirus contact tracing app, COVID Alert NY. “State leaders announced the creation of the COVID Alert NY app. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the app will be able to tell a person whether they have been within close contact for an extended period of time with someone who is COVID-positive.”

Hartford Courant: Connecticut has issued 42 fines for COVID-19 travel advisory violations, totaling $44,800; North Carolina, Florida top list. “Connecticut has imposed 42 fines for violations of the state’s COVID-19 travel advisory totaling $44,800 — with more than half of those travelers coming from North Carolina and Florida — according to data from the office of Gov. Ned Lamont. Fines for failing to wear masks or observe distancing guidelines are issued at the municipal level, but local leaders say they have been reluctant to begin imposing them.” CACKALACKIANS CONCERN CONNECTICUT YANKEES


Reuters: U.S. economy contracts at 31.4% annualized rate in second quarter “Gross domestic product plunged at a 31.4% annualized rate last quarter, the deepest drop in output since the government started keeping records in 1947, the Commerce Department said in its third estimate of GDP.”

AP: Virus cases rise in US heartland, home to anti-mask feelings. “Utah has seen its average daily case count more than double from three weeks earlier. Oklahoma and Missouri are regularly recording 1,000 new cases a day, and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a staunch opponent of mask rules, tested positive this week. Kansas and Iowa are also witnessing a spike in cases. And South Dakota and Idaho are seeing sky-high rates of tests coming back positive.”


Bloomberg CityLab: Trash is Piling Up. Sanitation Workers Are Feeling the Strain.. “Delwyn Giles knows how much ‘the new normal’ weighs: about three tons, on average. That’s how much more residential garbage he’s picking up every day as a disposal worker with Chicagoland-based Homewood Disposal. Before the coronavirus pandemic, his truck would typically haul about 28 tons of trash each day. Now, as housebound residents churn through takeout and Amazon boxes, it’s more like 31 tons.”

Portland Monthly: Coronavirus Killed the Ballot Measure in Oregon. “This November, amid a historic presidential election when turnout will surely be sky-high, Oregonians find the number of ballot initiatives they are being asked to consider is notably lower than in years past. It’s not for lack of trying. Before the pandemic sent us all scurrying for the shelter of our homes, dozens of signature-gathering campaigns were under way on measures ranging from gun control to clean energy to highway tolls. But it’s next to impossible to gather signature when stay-at-home orders are in effect.”

USA Today: Not old enough to vote, but old enough to help: How teens are helping to avert an election crisis. “Facing a drastic shortage of poll workers in November because of the coronavirus pandemic, an army of voting rights groups and other organizations this summer waged the most robust poll-worker recruitment campaign in modern election history. It has included high-profile allies, from Noah to NBA star LeBron James, whose recently formed More Than a Vote organization has worked to increase poll workers in predominantly Black districts. Companies like Old Navy, Warby Parker and Target are paying their employees who take a day off to work the polls.”

TIME: Migrants Stranded in Mexico Have 1 Year to File for Asylum. COVID-19 Is Making That Deadline Nearly Impossible. “When COVID-19 began spreading in the U.S., immigration courts shut down, leading to indefinite delays for hearings. Lawyers haven’t been able to travel to Matamoros. They have adjusted to providing legal services remotely from the U.S. with the help of an on-the-ground assistant in Matamoros. But soon a realization emerged: many asylum seekers are on the verge of missing their one-year deadline to submit their applications for asylum.”


Reuters: Lufthansa plans rapid COVID-19 testing starting October -executive. “Deutsche Lufthansa AG plans to start making rapid COVID-19 antigen tests available to passengers in October and is weighing the option of opening test centres at airports in the United States and Canada, a company executive said on Tuesday.


WLNY: Gov. Cuomo Warns NYC Leaders To Step Up Mask And Social Distancing Enforcement, Could Hit City With $10,000 Fine. “There are setbacks in the coronavirus pandemic in New York City. CBS2 has obtained new evidence that many people living in areas where there are COVID-19 clusters continue to ignore safety precautions. Now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is threatening to fine the city if it doesn’t fix things, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Friday.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: None of your business: Parson’s office won’t say how many of his staffers have COVID-19. “Gov. Mike Parson’s administration won’t say how many people in his office have tested positive for COVID-19. That decision is a departure from what agencies under his control have been routinely reporting since the beginning of the pandemic. At the Missouri Department of Corrections, for example, 613 employees of the sprawling agency have tested positive, according to the agency’s website. Of those cases, 233 were still active as of Friday.”


BBC: Coronavirus: Spain imposes partial lockdown on defiant Madrid. “More than three million people in Madrid have had new restrictions imposed on their lives as Spain tries to control the most serious second wave of Covid-19 infections in Europe. From this weekend, people can travel outside their home districts for essential journeys only. Bars and restaurants cannot serve after 22:00. And a maximum of six people are permitted to meet in any setting.”

New York Times: Russians Were Urged to Return to Normal Life. Except for Putin.. “Russian journalists who cover Mr. Putin have not seen him up close since March. The few people who meet him face-to-face generally spend as much as two weeks in quarantine first. The president still conducts his meetings with senior officials — including with his cabinet and his Security Council — by video link from a spartan room in his residence outside Moscow, which has been outfitted with Ms. Izranova’s disinfectant tunnel.”

BBC: Coronavirus: New restrictions for swathes of northern England. “Tighter restrictions have come into force in parts of northern England after a spike in coronavirus cases. It is now illegal to meet people indoors from other households in the Liverpool City Region, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Warrington. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was ‘necessary’ to bring the new measures, which includes places like pubs and restaurants, into force.”


Block Club Chicago: Claudio Velez, The Tamale Guy, Heads Home From Hospital After Long Coronavirus Fight: ‘Thank You Everyone!’. “After more than a month in the hospital battling coronavirus, Chicago’s beloved ‘Tamale Guy’ Claudio Velez was released from Rush Hospital on Thursday and is heading home. In a video posted to his restaurant’s social media pages, Velez is seen waving as the doctors and nurses who treated him starting in late August applaud.”


ESPN: Steelers-Titans postponed after positive COVID-19 tests in Tennessee. “The postponement follows positive COVID-19 tests among the Titans from four players — starting nose tackle DaQuan Jones, linebacker Kamalei Correa, long-snapper Beau Brinkley and practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson — and five team personnel members this week.”


WRAL: Campbell University pauses in-person classes for two weeks after surge of COVID cases. “Campbell University will stop holding in-person undergraduate classes for two weeks after a surge of coronavirus cases on campus, according to an announcement from the university’s president. President Bradley Creed said that half of the new cases are in on-campus housing. The students who tested positive and exposed are currently in isolation, he said.”

Washington Post: Notre Dame faculty who attended White House event await test results amid concern on campus of exposure. “Multiple faculty members from University of Notre Dame were awaiting coronavirus test results late Friday after attending a White House ceremony for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett along with the school president, who announced he had tested positive. Around 18 faculty members who traveled to Washington for the Sept. 26 event were tested with nasal swabs on Friday, according to a person familiar with the process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private health matters. Results from the tests are expected within 48 hours, the person said.”


CNN: The Southern Hemisphere skipped flu season this year, likely because of social distancing. “The Northern Hemisphere — particularly the US, where as many as 56 million people might have been infected with the flu last season — can learn from the Southern Hemisphere’s response to Covid-19, which might have prevented a massive flu outbreak, CDC experts wrote in a report last month. Continuing to stay home, wearing masks and maintaining social distance in public, they said, could protect us from more viruses than one.”

TIME: Alarming Data Show a Third Wave of COVID-19 Is About to Hit the U.S.. “Heading into the fall and winter, there are clear signs of a third resurgence bearing a close resemblance to what we saw in early June. Since the most recent nadir on Sept. 9, when the national rate was at 34,300 cases a day—still a notch above the April peak—cases have risen to 45,300 a day, a 32% increase. The numbers paint an alarmingly familiar picture that spells trouble ahead—despite President Donald Trump’s repeated but false assertions that the country is ’rounding the final turn’ on the pandemic.”

Johns Hopkins University: Vaccine Opponents Unite Around A ‘Civil Liberties’ Argument On Social Media, Study Finds. “Anti-vaccination discourse on Facebook increased in volume over the last decade, with opposition to vaccines coalescing around the argument that refusing to vaccinate is a civil right, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. As companies and governments scramble to finalize COVID-19 vaccines and develop rollout policies, the findings suggest that opposition from anti-vaccination groups could be fierce as the groups position themselves as a legitimate political movement.”


Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Gov. Evers warns of ‘near-exponential’ COVID-19 growth; more people in Wisconsin now hospitalized with virus than ever before. “Wisconsin on [September 24] logged the highest number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and reported nearly 2,400 new coronavirus cases, the second-highest daily case count ever. Gov. Tony Evers urged residents to wear masks and practice social distancing as the state continued to see what he called “unprecedented, near-exponential growth” in case counts, largely driven by young people.”


ACAMS News: FinCEN Director Discusses COVID-19 Fraud Schemes, Suspicious Activity Reports. “U.S. financial institutions have filed more than 91,000 SARs on potentially illicit payments related to the novel coronavirus pandemic since February, Ken Blanco, director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, said Tuesday. The bureau has also received ‘hundreds of inquiries’ related to anti-money laundering compliance issues during the pandemic, including questions about the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, a $669 billion federal relief package designed to help struggling businesses pay their employees, Blanco told attendees of the ACAMS Virtual Las Vegas Conference.”


Washington Post: Trump’s refusal to wear face masks turned them into a sad national symbol. “It’s hard to fathom that such a small scrap of fabric could carry such freight. And yet on Friday morning, after the White House announced that President Trump and the first lady had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the face mask became a symbol of the country’s anger, fear and disgust. The mask, with its ever-shifting and broadening meaning, speaks to just how exhausting it has become to be a citizen in 2020 when every single day — indeed, every hour — is a test of emotional stamina and the power of prayer.”

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