September 11, 2020, Politico, Dan Diamond – The health department’s politically appointed communications aides have demanded the right to review and seek changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly scientific reports charting the progress of the coronavirus pandemic, in what officials characterized as an attempt to intimidate the reports’ authors and water down their communications to health professionals. In some cases, emails from communications aides to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other senior officials openly complained that the agency’s reports would undermine President Donald Trump’s optimistic messages about the outbreak, according to emails reviewed by POLITICO and three people familiar with the situation. View Story.
September 11, 2020, PEW Trusts, April Simpson – In Mississippi, Rome is working on repairs to its wastewater pump. But the repairman Knighten typically would recommend contracted COVID-19. So the town is turning its wastewater pump on and off at different times of the day because it doesn’t have the money to continue the repair, Knighten said. Parchman Penitentiary is Rome’s nearest large employer. The town’s median household income is about $28,000 a year, according to Communities Unlimited. Rome Water System has faced financial troubles over the past 15 years, Knighten said. He is essentially a volunteer. “It’s a burden, but hey, eventually we’re gonna work this thing out some type of way,” Knighten said. “I know it sounds, ‘Why are we doing this?’ “I mean, somebody has to do it. So, we doing the best we can.” View Story.
September 11, 2020, USA Today, Chris Quintana and Mike Stucka – About three weeks ago, the University of Mississippi started its fall semester, bringing students from around the country back to Lafayette County. The university had hoped its mix of in-person and online classes and mask-wearing guidelines, among other measures, would be enough to prevent an outbreak. On paper, the college appears to be doing well. According to recent numbers, the University of Mississippi has recorded about 430 confirmed cases since Aug. 24, the first day of classes in Oxford, and still has plenty of housing for those who have been infected or exposed to the virus. View Story.
September 9, VOX, German Lopez – The US is now in the middle of what can only be described as a national Covid-19 epidemic, with cases across the country rising at alarming rates in recent weeks.Public health experts look at a few markers to determine how bad things are in each state: the number of daily new cases; the infection rate, which can show how likely the virus is to spread; the percentage of tests that come back positive, which should be low in a state with sufficient testing; and the percentage of hospital beds that are occupied by very sick patients. View Story.
September 9, The NewYork Times, Maggie Haberman – President Trump acknowledged to the journalist Bob Woodwardthat he knowingly played down the coronavirus earlier this year even though he was aware it was life-threatening and vastly more serious than the seasonal flu. “This is deadly stuff,” Mr. Trump said on Feb. 7 in one of 18 interviews with Mr. Woodward for his coming book, “Rage.” “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” the president told Mr. Woodward in audio recordings made available on The Washington Post website. “And so that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one. It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus.” View Story.