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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

U.S. weekly jobless claims totaled 742,000, surpassing economists’ expectations of 710,000.  Stock futures wobbled as the country saw more restrictions being imposed to curb rising coronavirus infection levels. The U.S. has surpassed another milestone – 250,000 Americans have now died from the disease. The death rate has been accelerating in recent weeks as cases surged across the country. In the last four weeks, there has been a 42% increase in the number of fatalities. 

A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to stop deporting minor immigrants on the grounds that they are a coronavirus threat. The move comes after nearly 9,000 have already been expelled. The Trump administration implemented emergency public health measures in March, aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 in border stations, detention centers and child migrant shelters. The U.S. District Judge wrote that the government was not acting within the bounds set by Congress. 

Rural hospitals, understaffed and financially vulnerable even before the pandemic, are bracing for impact as coronavirus cases spike. Many of the nation’s nearly 1,800 rural hospitals lack the equipment, workforce and expertise to handle a surge of COVID-19 patients. 

In Kansas, coronavirus patients from rural communities without mask orders are crowding Kansas City hospitals. About three-quarters of Kansas and Missouri counties lack intensive care units, forcing critically ill rural patients to seek care in major cities. Kansas health officials urged communities to take stronger action as hundreds of doctors and nurses are quarantined, leading some surgical procedures to be delayed. 

As healthcare professionals grapple with the rising numbers, they’re also combatting another contagion: misinformation. A Pew Research Center survey from earlier in the year found that a quarter of U.S. adults believe that there’s at least some truth to a conspiracy theory. 

The first conspiracy theory as we recognize them now likely didn’t appear until the mid-15th century, with the invention of the Gutenberg press in the 1440s. Movable type allowed for a wider spread of information, and anxious reinterpretations of that information. 

After months of facing the pandemic, the initial novelty of homemade meals is fading. Earlier this year, people busied themselves with sourdough and banana bread and embraced the chance to dabble in elaborate cooking projects. Now, people seem to be losing steam. Frito-Lay created a campaign in an effort to appeal to this group with its new Cheetos cookbook – titled “Bon-Appe-Cheetos” – designed to inspire people and raise money for charity. 

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

The Final Hurdle in the Covid-19 Vaccine Race Is Bureaucracy – Bloomberg – 11/18/2020
These gatekeepers represent an overlooked logistical reality of the vaccine contest. This isn’t just a single race among a handful of corporate front-runners such as Pfizer vs. Moderna vs. AstraZeneca, but a more fractured process in which individual nations hold the power of approval. Yes, the U.S. FDA is important, but the contours of a splintered final push are already coming into focus—and they are global.

People Proving to Be Weakest Link for Apps Tracking COVID Exposure – Kaiser Health News – 11/19/2020
“Accuracy of the system ends up increasing trust, but it is trust that increases adoptions, which in turn increases accuracy,” Tessaro, a computer scientist at the University of Washington who was involved in creating that state’s forthcoming contact-tracing app, said in a lecture last month.

Normality got us into the mess of the Covid-19 pandemic – a return to it won’t help us, vaccine or not – The Independent – 11/19/2020
Of course, as any addict will tell you, fundamentally changing habits is exceptionally difficult. But only radical approaches will do. As UN biodiversity scientists have said, that needs to include an intergovernmental panel on pandemic prevention, offering incentives to those whose livelihoods involve destroying forests and considering taxes on meat production.

Pandemic could lead to profound shift in parenting roles, say experts – The Guardian – 11/19/2020
In May, the Office for National Statistics found that the first Covid lockdown had led to a 58% increase in childcare undertaken by men, whose working hours dropped by one hour and 37 minutes per day. While women still did more childcare, the gender care gap narrowed. In 2015, the ONS found that men were spending 39% of the time that women spent on childcare, compared to 64% during lockdown.

Postpone Thanksgiving and Save Hundreds of Lives – New York Times – 11/19/2020
In economic terms, a later Thanksgiving would yield a larger benefit. It would also involve a much smaller cost. During a pandemic, the relevant costs are measured in health risk. Thanksgiving in November comes with a huge cost, in that you might catch the coronavirus, or spread it to loved ones and then even to the entire community.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

ABC30 Fresno @ABC30 19 Nov JUST IN: Two top officials at the California Medical Association attended a birthday party alongside Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month as the state experienced an uptick in coronavirus cases.​

Los Angeles Times @latimes 18 Nov In his apology for flouting state coronavirus restrictions by attending a birthday party, Gov. Gavin Newsom made a point to say he paid for his own meal. That’s because he was dining with a lobbyist. More from @AbcarianLAT

Nikki Rudd @whec_nrudd 19 Nov Governor Cuomo doubled down on his order limiting in-person gatherings to no more than 10 people. He also said sheriffs who say they won’t enforce the rule, shouldn’t have their jobs.@news10nbc #News10NBCToday

Dan K. Eberhart @DanKEberhart 18 Nov If you want to know why people hate the Swamp, this is why. Politicians punishing people for things they themselves do and get away with with no consequences.

Reuters @Reuters 18 Nov U.S. politicians are behaving like children by not passing a new stimulus bill that could help Americans whose income has been wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said

CONTENT FACTS

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