Daily Digest 6/20 – Food Scarcity Is On The Rise As Economy Reels, World’s Ultra-Wealthy Go For Gold Amid Stimulus Bonanza


Food scarcity is on the rise in America as the economy reels (Sparky1)

More than 10% of households said they sometimes or often didn’t have enough to eat in early June, the St. Louis Fed found. That compares with about 8% of households experiencing food scarcity before March 13, when states began shutting down businesses and layoffs spiked, according to Census data. With at least 21 million workers out of a job, 17 million additional Americans are at risk of becoming food insecure, Feeding America, a nonprofit coalition of food banks, said in a recent report.

A Big Oops in the Government Unemployment Numbers (monkaMegaa)

Heidi Shierholz serves as the Director of Policy at the Economic Policy Institute and was formerly chief economist at the US Department of Labor. She said in a series of tweets that the unemployment rate is understated even if you factor the Labor Department’s oops.

Outside Trump’s Tulsa rally site, few face masks and no social distancing (Sparky1)

“This is a free country and I can do what I want. If I want to wear a mask, I wear a mask. If I don’t, I don’t. If I get sick, I get sick. That’s my choice,” Tom continued, adding that he thought the number of coronavirus deaths was being “padded.”

Sheri agreed: “Some of these numbers aren’t real.”

World’s ultra-wealthy go for gold amid stimulus bonanza (monkaMegaa)

“Our view is that the weight of monetary supply, expansion, is going to ultimately be debasing to the dollar, and the Fed commitments, which (are) anchoring real rates, make the case for gold pretty sturdy,” said Lisa Shalett, Chief Investment Officer, Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley (MS.N).

Rookie trader kills himself after seeing a negative balance of more than $700,000 in his Robinhood account (Sparky1)

“All of us at Robinhood are deeply saddened to hear this terrible news and we reached out to share our condolences with the family,” the spokesperson told MarketWatch on Sunday.

Protesters douse French health ministry with red paint (Sparky1)

President Emmanuel Macron’s government has decided to pay a 1,500 euros ($1,676) bonus to public sector healthcare workers, in recognition of their role during the coronavirus outbreak.

Yet many in the sector feel the government should do more for them, and violence broke out this week at another protest held by healthcare workers in Paris.

Model Finds Midwest and Southern States at Risk for COVID-19 Surges as They Reopen (Phillip B.)

“I’m encouraged to see that our models have been accurate — that as we predicted, many communities, including large cities, may be ready to reopen if they take a cautious and slow approach,” said Dr. David Rubin, director of PolicyLab at CHOP in a statement.

The model, which was recently updated with new data, suggests much of the country may avoid a second spike in cases, if they’re careful to follow physical distancing guidelines, as the nation reopens for business.

Coronavirus: Hunting Down COVID-19 (IowaPhillip)

We have done it in a relaxed way but with three exceptions: we have screened more than anyone else to find the cases looming in society that have not been caught by the healthcare system; we have aggressively tracked people they have come into contact with; and we have equally aggressively put them in quarantine.

This has worked.

Super-potent human antibodies protect against COVID-19 in animal tests (Roger B.)

In principle, injections of such antibodies could be given to patients in the early stage of COVID-19 to reduce the level of virus and protect against severe disease. The antibodies also may be used to provide temporary, vaccine-like protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection for healthcare workers, elderly people and others who respond poorly to traditional vaccines or are suspected of a recent exposure to the coronavirus.

People in other countries have been told to wear masks to protect from coronavirus. Australia isn’t in the same boat (IowaPhillip)

In parts of Asia, it’s almost expected out of courtesy and safety to wear a face mask, but places like Singapore have now introduced fines if people don’t wear one.

And in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain”.

Children are only half as likely to get infected by the coronavirus, research shows (IowaPhillip)

“These results have implications for the likely effectiveness of school closures in mitigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission, in that these might be less effective than for other respiratory infections,” write the authors, based at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

The study also has implications for the likely disease burden in countries with much younger populations, many of which are in the developing world. To date, most of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus have had relatively old populations.

COVID-19 in schools – the experience in NSW (IowaPhillip)

In the 15 schools (10 high school and 5 primary schools) a total of 18 COVID-19 cases (9 students and 9 staff) were identified between 5 March 2020 and 3 April 2020 (refer to Figure 1). The public health staff identified 863 close contacts in these 15 schools. Of the 863 close contacts, only two students have been identified as secondary cases. One of these was diagnosed by nose/throat swab testing and one had a positive antibody test 4 weeks after their exposure. A review showed that it was most likely, but not certain, that these two children were infected by transmission in the school environment.

For The Rich To Keep Getting Richer, We Have To Sacrifice Everything Else (Don R.)

What the well-paid army of apologists, lackeys, toadies, apparatchiks and sycophants never mention is that we as a nation have had to sacrifice everything else to ensure the rich will always get richer. Democracy was sacrificed so long ago there’s no cultural memory of a time when “democracy” wasn’t a pay-to-play bidding war between vested interests, insiders, billionaires, global corporations and political action committees pushing self-serving agendas.

The entire political order of the U.S. boils down to follow the money, as no cause or policy is what it claims. Somebody is inevitably angling for a self-serving sluice of cash that is politely hidden behind noble-sounding rhetoric ™ delivered via micro-targeted ads served by the social media and advert-search monopolies.

At least one dead after shootings in Seattle’s autonomous zone (David T.)

According to Salisbury, Seattle police sent in an extraction team for the two shooting victims, who were receiving first aid from CHAZ volunteer medics.

Salisbury also tweeted that there were two different shootings that occurred within minutes of each other and a block apart.

The CHAZ Effect: *Nineteen* 911 Calls Get Zero Response After Burglary, Arson Suspect Held (thc0655)

Bear in mind that this shop is outside the CHAZ or CHOP, depending on your preferred nomenclature. The “protesters” came to the shop to demand the release of the suspect and to intimidate the McDermotts into doing so. Governments are constituted locally and otherwise to prevent this kind of mob rule, but if those governments never bother to show up, it’s a real question as to whether they exist at all.

Judge to OK $58B plan to end PG&E bankruptcy after wildfires (Sparky1)

“This is a great day,” said Robert Julian, a lawyer for the bankruptcy committee representing the interests of wildfire survivors. “We are going to start getting money into the hands of the victims.” It still will likely take two to three months for the plan to become effective and PG&E has raised all the money it needs to start funding the victims’ trust and making other promised payments.

Most NE nuclear power offline due to timing fluke and problem (Sparky1, h/t 000)

“One good thing going for us is we do have electricity,” Holt said. “It’s not like a hurricane or a blizzard that’s taken down the power lines. We as a company understand how important electricity is right now. For doctors. For manufacturing facilities making supplies.”

Nuclear plants have some wiggle room, but not a lot, for refueling. In the case of Millstone, each unit is refueled every 18 months in an alternating rotation. Unit 3, the one offline now, is due for refueling in the fall.

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