Daily Digest 9/16 – America’s $25T Debt Explained in one Chart, The Worst Fire Season Ever, Again


Latinos Report Financial Strain As Pandemic Erodes Income And Savings (edelinski)

Quezada is one of hundreds of people who responded in a newly published poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Among other things, the poll, which surveyed people from July 1 to Aug. 3, found that a whopping 71% of Latino households in Los Angeles have experienced serious financial problems during the pandemic, compared with 52% of Black households there and 37% of whites.

Ice detainees faced medical neglect and hysterectomies, whistleblower alleges (TS)

Immigrants who spoke out against these conditions were regularly pushed into solitary confinement, the complaint said. Wooten says she was demoted and reprimanded when she spoke out about these practices, according to an interview with the Intercept.

The Intercept also reported that Wooten’s account was “bolstered by interviews with another current member of Irwin’s medical staff – who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation – and four people currently or recently detained there”.

America’s $25T Debt Explained in one Chart (Brad K.)

Congress and President Trump are responding to the coronavirus pandemic by pumping over $2T of stimulus into the economy. The government is sending checks to workers, guaranteeing loans to small businesses and propping up the airlines. And all of this activity is adding to the national debt, which as our latest visual illustrates, has been exploding for years.

Israel signs deal establishing formal ties with two Arab states at the White House (TS)

At various points during the day, Trump said that five, six and “seven or eight or nine” Arab countries were queuing up to join. “Including the big ones,” he told reporters as he returned to the South Lawn later in the day to depart for an evening trip to Philadelphia. Asked about Saudi Arabia, he said that he had been in frequent contact with King Salman and that “at the right time, I think they will come in.”

Coronavirus kills far more Hispanic and Black children than White youths, CDC study finds (TS)

The disproportionate deaths among youths echo pandemic disparities well-documented among adults. Previous studies have found the virus’s death toll is twice as high among people of color under age 65 as for White Americans. People of color also disproportionately make up “excess deaths” — those killed by the virus without being diagnosed or those killed indirectly by the virus’s wide effects on the health-care system.

The racial disparities among children are in some ways even more stark.

‘Rogue’ Chinese Virologist Joins Twitter, Publishes “Smoking Gun” Evidence COVID-19 Created In Lab (Ralph R.)

“The evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 should be a laboratory product created by using bat coronaviruses ZC45 and/or ZXC21 as a template and/or backbone. Building upon the evidence, we further postulate a synthetic route for SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating that the laboratory-creation of this coronavirus is convenient and can be accomplished in approximately six months.

In South Africa, some students moved in with teachers to keep up with lessons amid coronavirus lockdowns (tmn)

“There are four people in each room and we get lunch there after school,” said Kopano Lephalala, Dendron’s top performing student. “It’s important because getting a good education — especially in South Africa — it sort of determines where you’re going to end up in life, so you need to get a good education so you can get into a good university or even just become someone better.”

To make up for any lost time, the students are now at school every day from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week.

Facebook VP Nick Clegg On New Climate Change Information Hub (edelinski)

The climate information page features articles from reputable news sources and social media posts from government and international agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the World Meteorological Organization.

Facebook says it partners with more than 70 organizations to fact-check misinformation, including that related to climate change. There has been some controversy over what is exempted from fact-checking as “opinion” when it comes to climate change.

Fire, fire, everywhere. (tmn)

A quick scan of Getty Images shows the magnitude of the crisis we’re dealing with. Type in “wildfire,” and you won’t just get photos of The San Francisco Bay Bridge seemingly superimposed in hell. You’ll get photos of Brazil, Greece, Argentina, Indonesia, and Bulgaria, all of which have been dealing with chaotic wildfire over the last month, during one of the hottest years—if not the hottest year—in recorded history.

Here are just a few examples.

The worst fire season ever. Again. (tmn)

To see whether that’s true, The Times analyzed decades of data tracking California wildfires and the destruction they’ve wrought. The analysis found that wildfires and their compounding effects have intensified in recent years — and there’s little sign things will improve.

Trump spurns science on climate: ‘Don’t think science knows’ (tmn)

That striking moment came on a day of dueling campaign events, with Trump and Biden dramatically contrasting their outlooks on climate change — and the impact it has had on the record-setting fires ravaging the West Coast.

Trump’s suggestion that the planet is going to start to unexpectedly cool is at odds with reality, experts say.

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