Weekly Reader: Vol 2 Issue 50

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know.

CDC report says people in four key cities are listening to stay at home orders (from CNN): “While there are early indications that social distancing has helped slow the spread of the coronavirus, experts warn that if people don’t continue to adhere to the orders, the virus could surge again in some areas.

The CDC report looked at data in New York City, Seattle, New Orleans and San Francisco, four cities with substantial numbers of coronavirus patients early in the outbreak that mandated stay at home orders in mid- to late-March.”

Coronavirus has killed at least one person in all 50 states: Wyoming reports first death (from USA Today): “The Cowboy State had been the only in the U.S. without a death since Hawaii reported the first of its now nine fatalities March 31.

“This is a sad development we hoped we wouldn’t see in Wyoming, and we want this person’s family to know they have our sympathy,” State Health Officer Dr. Alexia Harrist said in a statement.”

Exclusive: Kushner Firm Built the Coronavirus Website Trump Promised (from The Atlantic): “The full extent of Oscar’s work on the project has not been previously reported. The partnership between the administration and the firm suggests that Kushner may have mingled his family’s business interests with his political interests and his role in the administration’s coronavirus response. Kushner’s younger brother Joshua is a co-founder and major investor in Oscar, and Jared Kushner partially owned or controlled Oscar before he joined the White House. The company’s work on the coronavirus website could violate federal ethics laws, several experts said.”

Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting* (from Forge): “The cat is out of the bag. We, as a nation, have deeply disturbing problems. You’re right. That’s not news. They are problems we ignore every day, not because we’re terrible people or because we don’t care about fixing them, but because we don’t have time. Sorry, we have other shit to do. The plain truth is that no matter our ethnicity, religion, gender, political party (the list goes on), nor even our socioeconomic status, as Americans we share this: We are busy. We’re out and about hustling to make our own lives work. We have goals to meet and meetings to attend and mortgages to pay — all while the phone is ringing and the laptop is pinging. And when we get home, Crate and Barrel and Louis Vuitton and Andy Cohen make us feel just good enough to get up the next day and do it all over again. It is very easy to close your eyes to a problem when you barely have enough time to close them to sleep. The greatest misconception among us, which causes deep and painful social and political tension every day in this country, is that we somehow don’t care about each other. White people don’t care about the problems of black America. Men don’t care about women’s rights. Cops don’t care about the communities they serve. Humans don’t care about the environment. These couldn’t be further from the truth. We do care. We just don’t have the time to do anything about it. Maybe that’s just me. But maybe it’s you, too.”

This Is Trump’s Fault (from The Atlantic): “Trump now fancies himself a “wartime president.” How is his war going? By the end of March, the coronavirus had killed more Americans than the 9/11 attacks. By the first weekend in April, the virus had killed more Americans than any single battle of the Civil War. By Easter, it may have killed more Americans than the Korean War. On the present trajectory, it will kill, by late April, more Americans than Vietnam. Having earlier promised that casualties could be held near zero, Trump now claims he will have done a “very good job” if the toll is held below 200,000 dead.”

Editorial: Trump is playing a disgusting political game with our lives (from The Denver Post): “The federal government should be procuring medicine, masks, and ventilators and distributing them to states on a set formula based on population, rate of infection and need. Instead, Trump’s messaging makes it feel as though he will watch with glee from the White House as people suffer in states being led by his enemies. If that’s not the case, then the president needs to act as though he’s working on behalf of all of us, not just those who voted for him or kowtowed to his corrupt administration.”

In Lawsuit, KY Christians Compare COVID-19 Restrictions to Japanese Internment (from Friendly Atheist via Patheos): “In other words, the government’s shameful and racist oppression, to these Christians, is just like Beshear’s lockdown notice which applies to everyone so that we don’t spread a deadly virus in the midst of a pandemic.

Good luck finding a better example of Christians claiming persecution where none exists.”

American Democracy May Be Dying (from the New York Times): “Why was this so scary? Because it shows that America as we know it may not survive much longer. The pandemic will eventually end; the economy will eventually recover. But democracy, once lost, may never come back. And we’re much closer to losing our democracy than many people realize.”

The Trumpian French Doctor Behind the Chloroquine Hype (from Slate): “It is no longer news that the scientist placed behind Trump during the briefings, Dr. Anthony Fauci, feels less good about the drug. Nor is it news that other American researchers worry we have much to lose if testing protocols are ignored. Lives, for example, can be lost. An Arizona resident died on March 23 after self-medicating himself with chloroquine phosphate—a related compound chemical typically used to clean aquariums—while doctors who prescribe hydroxychloroquine for patients with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis are finding that the drug is being hoarded.”

How the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory tore through the internet (from Wired): “Almost all of the conspiracy theory posts linking 5G to coronavirus make use of tired, debunked tropes about non-ionising radiation, chemtrails and “deep state” plots to use vaccines to control people and remotely shut down their organs. Most of the time, such unsubstantiated and outlandish claims remain more or less hidden inside the communities that believe in them. But with coronavirus as a peg, they were always bound to go viral. “The coronavirus has created the perfect environment for this message to spread,” says Josh Smith, senior researcher at Demos, a think tank. “Like many conspiracy theories, the idea that 5G is to blame for the uncertain, frightening situation we find ourselves in is a comfort. It provides an explanation, and a scapegoat, for the suffering caused by this pandemic; as well as – cruelly – suggesting a way we might stop it: take down the masts and the virus will go away.” If only it were that simple. And, worryingly, the conspiracy theories themselves aren’t as simple as they first appear.”

Stephen King Is Sorry You Feel Like You’re Stuck In A Stephen King Novel (from NPR): “A pandemic like COVID-19 was “bound to happen,” King says. “There was never any question that in our society, where travel is a staple of daily life, that sooner or later, there was going to be a virus that was going to communicate to the public at large.”

Though he made his name as a horror writer, King says he’s most interested in exploring the “intrusion of the unexpected and the strange” into the lives of ordinary people.”

As pressure for coronavirus vaccine mounts, scientists debate risks of accelerated testing (from Reuters): “Behind the scenes, scientists and medical experts are concerned that rushing a vaccine could end up worsening the infection in some patients rather than preventing it.

Studies have suggested that coronavirus vaccines carry the risk of what is known as vaccine enhancement, where instead of protecting against infection, the vaccine can actually make the disease worse when a vaccinated person is infected with the virus. The mechanism that causes that risk is not fully understood and is one of the stumbling blocks that has prevented the successful development of a coronavirus vaccine.

Normally, researchers would take months to test for the possibility of vaccine enhancement in animals. Given the urgency to stem the spread of the new coronavirus, some drugmakers are moving straight into small-scale human tests, without waiting for the completion of such animal tests.”

Coronavirus May ‘Reactivate’ in Cured Patients, Korean CDC Says (from Bloomberg): “About 51 patients classed as having been cured in South Korea have tested positive again, the CDC said in a briefing on Monday. Rather than being infected again, the virus may have been reactivated in these people, given they tested positive again shortly after being released from quarantine, said Jeong Eun-kyeong, director-general of the Korean CDC.”

Hospitals say feds are seizing masks and other coronavirus supplies without a word (from the Los Angeles Times): “Hospital and clinic officials in seven states described the seizures in interviews over the past week. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is not publicly reporting the acquisitions, despite the outlay of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, nor has the administration detailed how it decides which supplies to seize and where to reroute them.

Officials who’ve had materials seized also say they’ve received no guidance from the government about how or if they will get access to the supplies they ordered. That has stoked concerns about how public funds are being spent and whether the Trump administration is fairly distributing scarce medical supplies.”

Stephanie Seneff: Blaming glyphosate in biofuels and e-cigs for COVID-19 (from Respectful Insolence): “The next part of Seneff’s unhinged speculation is truly amazing. I have seldom seen such careful cherry picking and “connecting” of carefully chosen dots. She starts by noting that Seattle is a coastal city, with 41% of its area comprised of water, while the Yangtze River cuts through Wuhan, the Chinese city where first COVID-19 cases were identified, further noting that the Yangtze River is highly polluted with wastewater discharge and runoff of fertilizer and pesticides from nearby agricultural lands.

Check!”

And with this, we’ll stop for today. Come back again next week for more information about all that is interesting. Until then, happy reading and stay safe at home, everyone!

About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon--official and non--since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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