Daily Digest 8/5 – Rising Grocery Prices Stretch Unemployed Budgets Even More, What Is Our End Goal With Coronavirus?

Economy

Plan to shorten census deadline sounds alarm for disadvantaged Americans (000)

The shortened deadline will also curtail a critical census operation called non-response follow-up. Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP
The Census Bureau will end its efforts to count every living person in the US a month earlier than expected, a move that will probably lead to an undercount of communities of color, poorer Americans and other hard-to-count groups.

‘We have nothing left:’ Beirut’s residents describe apocalyptic scenes after explosion rocks city (Sparky1)

The blast at Beirut’s port formed a mushroom cloud and could be heard in the city’s furthest outskirts. A giant red cloud hung over the capital as the city’s residents — around 4 million people — began to uncover the scale of the damage to their houses, sought treatment for their wounds and frantically called their loved ones to see if they were safe.

“Beirut port is totally destroyed,” eyewitness Bachar Ghattas told CNN, describing the unfolding scene as something akin to “an apocalypse.”

For the unemployed, rising grocery prices stretch budgets even more (TourGuideDC)

Earlier in the pandemic, the shock to the food system collided with staggering layoffs and an economy forced into lockdown. Cars filled parking lots to wait at drive-through pantries. From the beginning of March through the end of June, food banks across the country distributed more than 1.9 billion meals, according to Feeding America. In March alone, food banks gave out 20 percent more food than in an average month.

Which NYPD officers have most complaints against them? (tmn)

Often, there is a clear pattern in the allegations made against these officers. Take Daniel Sbarra for instance, a lieutenant in the Organized Crime Investigation Division. Of the 69 allegations against Sbarra where race and ethnicity data for the complainants was recorded, 58 of the civilians were Black and 11 were Hispanic. Most were men. The allegations include offensive language, abuse of authority and use of force.

Of the allegations made against Sbarra, 16 have been substantiated. The lieutenant who currently works in Brooklyn North has also been involved in at least 12 lawsuits that have cost the city over $1.5m in settlements.

Protesters sue Seattle, claim they need ‘expensive’ protective gear to safely protest (TourGuideDC)

The suit, filed on behalf of five protesters who attended the July 25 protest on Capitol Hill that police later declared a riot, seeks an order from a judge to stop the city from using controversial crowd control tactics on protesters, including blast balls and pepper spray.

‘They’re Definitely Cooking The Books’ — Philly’s Hidden Homicides (thc0655)

The murder rate in Philadelphia — already the second-highest in the nation among the ten largest cities — is on a record pace this year with 255 murders as of Aug. 2nd. That’s a 34 percent jump over this point in 2019, when we had only 190 homicides. At that monthly rate, the city will hit 437 murders for the year, the highest number since 2006, when the city racked up 406 murders. The all-time record, which could be broken this year if the weather stays hot, is 497 murders in 1990.

Homeland Security Is Quietly Tying Antifa to Foreign Powers (tmn)

“Designating someone as foreign-sponsored can make a huge legal and practical difference in the government’s ability to pursue them,” explained Steven Aftergood, who heads the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. “It’s a crucial distinction. Once someone (or some group) is identified as an agent of a foreign power, they are subject to warrantless search and surveillance in a way that would be illegal and unconstitutional for any other US person. The whole apparatus of US intelligence can be brought to bear on someone who is considered an agent of a foreign power.”

COVID-19 Hospital Data System That Bypasses CDC Plagued By Delays, Inaccuracies (edelinski)

Lawmakers planned to grill members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force about the reporting change and what is being done to ensure the data remains public and reliable, in a Friday morning hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus. Several House subcommittees have already launched an investigation into the data change.

The delays and problems with data on the availability of beds, ventilators and safety equipment could have profound consequences as infections and deaths soar throughout most of the country, public health experts say.

Irregularities In COVID Reporting Contract Award Process Raise New Questions (edelinski)

The Department of Health and Human Services initially characterized the contract with TeleTracking as a no-bid contract. When asked about that, HHS said there was a “coding error” and that the contract was actually competitively bid.

The process by which HHS awarded the contract is normally used for innovative scientific research, not the building of government databases.

Local doctor pushing proven treatment of COVID into national debate (Merle2)

“I became so frustrated.” Fareed said as he listened to national news and the Task Force. What he was hearing and what he witnessed first-hand did not correlate. He began zoom meetings with other front-line doctors on the east coast and found they had the same experiences he did, finding what worked and what didn’t, finding preventatives before exposures, and keeping his patients alive.

Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread (Michael M, from 2005)

Chloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. Favorable inhibition of virus spread was observed when the cells were either treated with chloroquine prior to or after SARS CoV infection. In addition, the indirect immunofluorescence assay described herein represents a simple and rapid method for screening SARS-CoV antiviral compounds.

What is our end goal with Coronavirus? (Jane L.)

It was sad to see small towns that depend on tourism caving in on itself. Closed indefinitely. Towns that will most likely never come back. Places that will become dependent on the state and welfare. They wanted to work but it seems now harder than ever to get anything done in the USA. We got to talk to people all around the and it seems like the average Joe and Jane’s confused as well.

Regulatory rules prevent small businesses from thriving. Now public health violations are shutting down all other infrastructure.

Watch now: Legislative hearing set over COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes, long-term care facilities (TourGuideDC)

Cuomo has defended his administration’s handling of the pandemic’s impact at nursing homes, though a number of Democrats and Republicans have criticized a March 25 directive from Zucker to nursing homes, advising them: “No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the (nursing home) solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19.”

Over half of Idaho COVID-19 deaths linked to long-term care facilities (TourGuideDC)

The state on Monday reached 21,675 cases of COVID-19 and 200 deaths related to the disease. Of those confirmed deaths, 115 were related to long-term care facilities, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said.

For much of July, Idaho was averaging over 400 new positive test results per day, according to coronavirus.idaho.gov.

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