As of Monday, August 10, 2020, the United States has over 5 million known active cases of COVID-19. Over 163,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 so far, that we know about. Experts say the actual numbers may be up to 10 times worse.
Kids are headed back to school in some places, or will be soon. We have in no real, useful way prepared for this, so it’s an extremely ill-advised and unsafe situation in most places.
The additional federal employment insurance, eviction moratoriums, and other measures designed to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on people have lapsed, and Congress can’t seem to get its crap together enough to extend/renew them. Trump signed an executive order and some “memorandums” that “fixed” the problem, but they’re all unconstitutional and will almost certainly be challenged in court, so they probably won’t actually take effect.
The Trump administration’s assault on the United States Postal Service continues unabated, and we’ve got an election that is predicted to see heavy mail-in voting literally around the corner. It will be a shitshow, and it’ll probably take weeks for us to know the outcome of the election. Assuming people – or Trump – even accept the outcome, as the Trump administration has been doing a whole lot of work to make the outcomes seem questionable, if not downright illegitimate, in case he loses.
Of all the countries in the world, the United States has had the worst response – if you can even call what we’ve done a “response” – to the COVID-19 pandemic.
News & Links from the Last Week or So
- The Atlantic: The Coronavirus Is Never Going Away – “No matter what happens now, the virus will continue to circulate around the world.”
- Rolling Stone: The Unraveling of America – “Anthropologist Wade Davis on how COVID-19 signals the end of the American era.”
- NPR: In Executive Actions, Trump Extends Some Unemployment Benefits, Defers Payroll Taxes – “The three memorandums and one executive order call for extending some enhanced unemployment benefits, taking steps to stop evictions, continuing the suspension of student loan repayments and deferring payroll taxes.”
- NPR: Children Can Get Severe COVID-19, CDC Says — Especially Black And Hispanic Children – “Hispanic and Black children in particular were much more likely to require hospitalization for COVID-19, with Hispanic children about eight times as likely as white children to be hospitalized, while Black children were five times as likely.”
- Vox: Trump just signed 4 executive orders providing coronavirus relief. It’s not clear if they’re all legal. – “Trump’s authority to circumvent Congress on issues like unemployment insurance is questionable.”
- Politico: Trump aides exploring executive actions to curb voting by mail – “Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party have taken to the courts dozens to challenge voting rules. Trump’s aides are pondering possible executive actions.”
- AP: Postal Service emerges as flash point heading into election – “The Postal Service already was facing questions over how it would handle the expected spike of mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic, but several operational changes imposed by its new leader have led to mail backlogs across the United States as rumors of additional cutbacks swirl, fueling worries about the November vote.”
- Vox: What’s wrong with the mail – “As November nears, the Postal Service is facing a crisis that could interfere with the election.”
- Washington Post: Postal Service overhauls leadership as Democrats press for investigation of mail delays – “Lawmakers want the inspector general to examine Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s cost-cutting measures and investments.”
- Vice: If You Love Your Family, Stay the Hell Away From Them – “People are letting their guards down while visiting loved ones, and it’s putting them—and everyone else around them—at risk.”
- TPM: US Has Now Seen 200,000 More Deaths Than In Previous Years, CDC Estimates Show – “But the 200,000 count is more than 50,000 deaths higher than the toll of those who died due to identified cases of COVID-19, suggesting that far more have passed away either from the illness or from the disruption associated with the pandemic.”
- AP via TPM: Vilified And Burned Out, Health Officials Keep Quitting As COVID Outbreak Continues – “Vilified, threatened with violence and in some cases burned out, dozens of state and local public health officials around the country have resigned or have been fired amid the coronavirus outbreak, a testament to how politically combustible masks, lockdowns and infection data have become.”
- The Conversation: 100 days without COVID-19: how New Zealand got rid of a virus that keeps spreading across the world – “On Sunday, New Zealand marked 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19.”
- Slate: The Trump Pandemic – “A blow-by-blow account of how the president killed thousands of Americans.”
- Vox: Performative masculinity is making American men sick – “Poll after poll, most recently a Gallup poll from July 13, has found American men are more likely to not wear masks compared to women.”