Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 11

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your regularly scheduled 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.

Deborah Birx praised Trump as attentive to scientific literature and details. Nope. (from Vox–Article is from March but definitely worth reading): “Despite what Birx would have you believe, Trump has been pushing misleading and contradictory medical advice. On February 26, for instance, he claimed coronavirus cases would “be down to close to zero.” His claim was hard to swallow then, and barely a month later the US has more than 85,000 cases.”

Inside Trump’s Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus (from the New York Times): “But their ultimate goal was to shift responsibility for leading the fight against the pandemic from the White House to the states. They referred to this as “state authority handoff,” and it was at the heart of what would become at once a catastrophic policy blunder and an attempt to escape blame for a crisis that had engulfed the country — perhaps one of the greatest failures of presidential leadership in generations.

Over a critical period beginning in mid-April, President Trump and his team convinced themselves that the outbreak was fading, that they had given state governments all the resources they needed to contain its remaining “embers” and that it was time to ease up on the lockdown.”

Masks offer more protection against coronavirus than many Americans think (from Anchorage Daily News): “If you’re unlucky enough to encounter an infectious person, wearing any kind of face covering will reduce the amount of virus that your body will take in.

As it turns out, that’s pretty important. Breathing in a small amount of virus may lead to no disease or far more mild infection. But inhaling a huge volume of virus particles can result in serious disease or death.”

Baby Was Infected With Coronavirus in Womb, Study Reports (from the New York Times): “A baby born in a Paris hospital in March to a mother with Covid-19 tested positive for the virus and developed symptoms of inflammation in his brain, said Dr. Daniele De Luca, who led the research team and is chief of the division of pediatrics and neonatal critical care at Paris-Saclay University Hospitals. The baby, now more than 3 months old, recovered without treatment and is “very much improved, almost clinically normal,” Dr. De Luca said, adding that the mother, who needed oxygen during the delivery, is healthy.”

Almost all Covid-19 patients with symptoms had at least one of these three, small CDC survey says (from CNN): “Since Covid-19 was a new disease and since information about symptoms was limited, especially among patients that hadn’t been hospitalized, the CDC sent a further survey to patients identified by local health leaders. The patients were asked to report on a wide variety of symptoms and also asked to report on any additional symptoms that were not widely recognized.

Among these patients, nearly all — 96% — had had either a fever, cough, or shortness of breath and about 45% experienced all three.”

Zero Points for the TERF (from Splice Today): “In a way, anti-LGBTQ bigotry is a form of sexism because being LGBTQ goes against patriarchal gender norms. Queer men are “sissy” boys who aren’t tough enough to survive a dangerous world, while queer women are betraying their roles of being men’s helpmates. Transgender, non-binary, intersex, and gender nonconforming people are the ultimate threats because our mere existence breaks all the rules. Rejecting the expectations society put on us based on assigned genders was bad enough, but we rejected our assigned genders as well, which leads to discrimination and even murder.”

Lincoln & Race: The Great Emancipator didn’t advocate racial equality. But was he a racist? (from NPR–article is old and dates from 2004 but it is worth reading): “Most whites throughout the country held views of racial superiority over blacks. Public discourse of the period justified these racial constructs with biological, religious, legal, social and political rhetoric. Race determined the opportunities available to people in antebellum America, and only a small number of white individuals — such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles Sumner, John Brown, and William Lloyd Garrison — envisioned, to varying degrees, a free society that included blacks as the legal, political and social equals of whites. At no time in American history had political and legal institutions recognized blacks as fully enfranchised citizens.”

Trump’s Occupation of American Cities Has Begun (from the New York Times): “One of Snyder’s lessons was, “Be wary of paramilitaries.” He wrote, “When the pro-leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the end has come.” In 2017, the idea of unidentified agents in camouflage snatching leftists off the streets without warrants might have seemed like a febrile Resistance fantasy. Now it’s happening.”

The Alarming Scope of the President’s Emergency Powers (from The Atlantic): “More is at stake here than the outcome of one or even two elections. Trump has long signaled his disdain for the concepts of limited presidential power and democratic rule. During his 2016 campaign, he praised murderous dictators. He declared that his opponent, Hillary Clinton, would be in jail if he were president, goading crowds into frenzied chants of “Lock her up.” He hinted that he might not accept an electoral loss. As democracies around the world slide into autocracy, and nationalism and antidemocratic sentiment are on vivid display among segments of the American populace, Trump’s evident hostility to key elements of liberal democracy cannot be dismissed as mere bluster.”

Winn-Dixie reverses stance on masks after Trump tweet (from CNN): “In an email to CNN Business, Caldwell denied the change in policy had to do with the president’s tweet.

The company “truly listen[s] to our customers, associates and communities. It was their feedback, combined with our desire to impress upon our shoppers how seriously we take their safety and the safety of our associates, that influenced this change,” he wrote in an inital email. “We know masks play an important role in stopping the spread of this virus, and we updated our policy to reflect that.””

Coronavirus: Oxford vaccine triggers immune response (from the BBC): “It is made from a genetically engineered virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees.

It has been heavily modified, first so it cannot cause infections in people and also to make it “look” more like coronavirus.

Scientists did this by transferring the genetic instructions for the coronavirus’s “spike protein” – the crucial tool it uses to invade our cells – to the vaccine they were developing.”

Twitter takes down 7,000 accounts linked to QAnon (from CNN): “QAnon began as a single conspiracy theory. But its followers now act more like a virtual cult, largely adoring and believing whatever disinformation the conspiracy community spins up.

Its main conspiracy theories claim dozens of politicians and A-list celebrities work in tandem with governments around the globe to engage in child sex abuse. Followers also believe there is a “deep state” effort to annihilate President Donald Trump.”

That’s all for this round. But drop by again next week for other interesting reads that I find. Until then, have a great rest of your week and happy reading!

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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