[guest post by Dana]
Here are a few news items to talk about. Feel free to share anything that you think might interest readers. Please remember to include links.
First news item
Operation Warp Speed – the White House-led partnership for COVID-19 answers – is pushing its partners to be ready to begin distributing a coronavirus vaccine by Nov. 1.
The date is the first concrete goal set for companies working with Operation Warp Speed be prepared to deliver vaccines to doctors and hospitals, said Wes Wheeler of the delivery giant United Parcel Service.
Wheeler said UPS and other partners will be conducting test delivery runs in September. “We’ll be ready. We have to be ready,” he said. “The world is watching. We can’t fail.”
Operation Warp Speed is comprised of federal agencies such as the CDC, the FDA and the Department of Agriculture. The initiative aims to expedite the rapid production of COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. Its goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of vaccine by January.
The deep state, or whoever, over at the FDA is making it very difficult for drug companies to get people in order to test the vaccines and therapeutics. Obviously, they are hoping to delay the answer until after November 3rd. Must focus on speed, and saving lives! @SteveFDA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2020
Second news item
Fifteen Minnesotans who attended the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this month have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, including one state resident hospitalized with COVID-19, state health officials say.
…Minnesotans who tested positive visited multiple campgrounds and bars at the South Dakota event, Ehresmann said, so cases apparently can’t be connected to any one location.
Seven residents of North Dakota also have cases connected to the Sturgis event, a government spokesman told the Star Tribune.
“Thousands of people attended that event, and so it’s very likely that we will see more transmission,” Ehresmann said.
At least seven Covid-19 cases in Nebraska’s Panhandle region have been tied to the rally, Kim Engel, director of the Panhandle Public Health District, confirmed in an email to CNN.
South Dakota reported 193 new cases on Friday. It’s one of several states that have seen an increase in new cases this past week compared to the week prior, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Third news item
Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Friday that she will veto a rebalanced budget approved recently by the Seattle City Council that included a controversial plan to slash funding to the police department, which would sharply reduce pay for some of the agency’s top brass and eliminate an outreach team for the homeless.
But the budget plan was approved by a super majority of council members, which if it stays intact, will have enough votes to override the mayoral veto.
“There’s no plans, for example, on how the city will address encampments and RVs that pose public health and safety risk without the Human Services staff who coordinate and lead these outreach efforts that were cut by this budget,” Durkan said.
She also objected to the council’s 40 percent salary reduction of SPD command staff and the lack of plan to remove the 100 officers, which the council budget suggested.
Fourth news item
Former Vice President Joe Biden said…on Friday that as president, he would shut the country down to stop the spread of COVID-19 if the move was recommended to him by scientists.
“I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists,” Biden told Muir Friday.
“I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving, until we control the virus,” Biden said. “That is the fundamental flaw of this administration’s thinking to begin with. In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing, and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus.”
Fourth news item
“President Trump says that you want to defund the police. Do you?” asked “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts in an interview conducted Friday in Wilmington, Delaware.
“No I don’t,” Biden said, laughing.
Biden said that while he doesn’t want to “defund the police,” he does want to eliminate misconduct and discriminatory practices.
“I don’t want to defund police departments. I think they need more help, they need more assistance, but that, look, there are unethical senators, there are unethical presidents, there are unethical doctors, unethical lawyers, unethical prosecutors, there are unethical cops. They should be rooted out,” Biden later added.
Fifth news item
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced on Thursday that he was donating $10 million to Boston University’s Center for Antiracist Research, a project recently launched by the antiracist scholar Ibram X. Kendi.
Kendi is the author of the 2019 book How to Be An Antiracist, one of two books that attracted renewed attention following the death of George Floyd. (The other is Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility.) In a tweet, he thanked Dorsey for the grant, which came with “no strings attached.”
Here is the outrageous proposal to amend the Constitution:
To fix the original sin of racism, Americans should pass an anti-racist amendment to the U.S. Constitution that enshrines two guiding anti-racist principals: Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals. The amendment would make unconstitutional racial inequity over a certain threshold, as well as racist ideas by public officials (with “racist ideas” and “public official” clearly defined). It would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.
Sixth news item
Finding the pandemic scary? A Japanese group is trying to take people’s minds off COVID-19 – by putting them in coffins surrounded by chainsaw-wielding zombies.
Customers this weekend in Tokyo can lie in a 2-metre (6 1/2-foot) windowed box, listening to a horror story, watching actors perform and getting poked with fake hands and squirted with water.
“The pandemic is stressful, and we hope people can get a bit of relief by having a good scream,” said Kenta Iwana, coordinator of production company Kowagarasetai – “Scare Squad” – which is putting on the 15-minute shows.
Seventh news item
I suppose it’s “just a coincidence” that the #DemConvention logo turned sideways has the EXACT same design and measurements as another familiar logo. Satanism is alive and well. pic.twitter.com/zkyuNjOxmg
— Pastor Greg Locke (@pastorlocke) August 21, 2020
Eighth news item
Props to anyone willing to face their particular struggle head-on, and do the necessary hard work to know victory. No matter how small or how large the win, it will inspire the individual to keep on keeping on and inspire us to cheer them on.
Have a great weekend.