[guest post by Dana]
Here are a few news items to chew over. Feel free to share any stories that you think will interest readers. Make sure to include links.
First news item
The University of Alabama made headlines this week with the shocking announcement that more than 500 students, faculty, and staff had tested positive for the coronavirus in the first five days of classes. But professors at the university say they were just as disturbed by emails from the administration telling them not to speak up about outbreaks.
In an email to the politics department, professors were explicitly instructed not to tell their students if someone in a class tests positive.
“Do not tell the rest of the class,” the email reads, with the word “not” underlined. It goes on to say that students who test positive are not considered an exposure risk if masks were worn and social distancing was practiced—meaning the students and professor may never be informed if someone in their class tests positive.
Multiple other emails from other departments reviewed by The Daily Beast warn teachers against telling students about a positive classmate or posting about it on social media, even in the most general terms, claiming it could constitute a HIPAA violation.
(H/T Simon Jester)
Second news item
Man and his wife leaving White House get mobbed on their way back to their hotel by livid protesters. pic.twitter.com/qnpPTfReS3
— Phillip Nieto (@nieto_phillip) August 28, 2020
Third news item
Windows of businesses and residential buildings being smashed on University Avenue — which were not preemptively boarded up. This Papa John’s employee asks protesters, “Do you want Trump to be elected?” pic.twitter.com/IbSubGfGs6
— Dylan Brogan (@telldylan) August 26, 2020
Eh, the pizza guy should read In Defense of Looting, and see if the author can persuade him that…
…looting is a powerful tool to bring about real, lasting change in society. The rioters who smash windows and take items from stores, she says, are engaging in a powerful tactic that questions the justice of “law and order,” and the distribution of property and wealth in an unequal society.
Fourth news item
This, all day long:
(Do not skip, watch in its entirety.)
MUST SEE: Democratic state Rep. John Deberry Jr. delivers an incredibly powerful speech on race in America. pic.twitter.com/Q34HouVGYC
— MRCTV (@mrctv) August 24, 2020
Fifth news item
President Trump on Thursday pledged a Covid-19 vaccine would be available by the end of 2020, the most concrete claim he has made yet about the timetable for coronavirus vaccine development.
“We are delivering life-saving therapies, and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner,” he said.
While Trump has repeatedly hinted at a possible vaccine approval before the end of 2020, his pledge Thursday marks his most definitive stance yet on a vaccine timetable. While it is possible that the Food and Drug Administration could issue emergency authorization for a vaccine by the end of the year, it is far from a sure bet — no drug company has completed clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine.
Sixth news item
Finally today, Nevada researchers have confirmed the first US case of COVID-19 reinfection, involving a 25-year-old Nevada patient. The patient was first infected in April, then 48 days later tested positive after two negative tests following the first infection.
The viral genomes of the first and second isolates show differences that indicate the two infections were independent of each other.
Seventh news item
CNN guest Dr. Rob Davidson says that social distancing isn't as big of a concern at the March on Washington as it was last night at President Trump's speech because "this is a public health crisis they are marching against. Systemic racism has taken so many lives in this country" pic.twitter.com/OlrY3yMmin
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 28, 2020
Reports estimate that 50,000 demonstrators showed up at the March on Washington rally to demand racial justice. There were 1,500 guests in attendance at the White House. Covid doesn’t care one iota about why you are gathered in ridiculously large numbers during a pandemic. Either there is an increased risk of transmission when crowded together with other individuals, or there isn’t. You don’t get to have it both ways. Shame on these medical professionals. If there was ever a time we needed to be able to trust them, it’s during a pandemic.
Eighth news item
Watch as someone who looks a lot like Trump-loving evangelical author and radio host Eric Metaxas sucker punches an anti-Trump protester following Trump's RNC speech last night. https://t.co/bS1JYcIHI5 pic.twitter.com/AzVDeQGwUi
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) August 28, 2020
And, just because we’re sizzling through the dog days of summer, here is a gorgeous recording of “Summertime” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louie Armstrong, followed by an excerpt of Vivaldi’s “Summer” from the Four Seasons:
Have a great weekend.