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Daily Digest 9/12 – America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral, CA’s Largest-Ever Wildfire Burns On

Summary:
Economy Even Very Prepared Colleges Face Outbreaks (jdargis) What the scientists had not taken into account was that some students would continue partying after they received a positive test result. “It was willful noncompliance by a small group of people,” one of the scientists said. After a university-imposed lockdown, the number of new cases has dropped again, and the hope is that all students will now take the protocols more seriously. Nearly 2 in 3 Portland voters view Mayor Ted Wheeler unfavorably, even more favor new police oversight system, poll shows (Nate) The survey of 435 voters deemed by pollsters likely to vote this fall found that 59% of them feel Portland is heading in the wrong direction. Most of them also support the Black Lives Matter movement and more of them name

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Daily Digest 9/12 – America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral, CA’s Largest-Ever Wildfire Burns On

Economy

Even Very Prepared Colleges Face Outbreaks (jdargis)

What the scientists had not taken into account was that some students would continue partying after they received a positive test result. “It was willful noncompliance by a small group of people,” one of the scientists said.

After a university-imposed lockdown, the number of new cases has dropped again, and the hope is that all students will now take the protocols more seriously.

Nearly 2 in 3 Portland voters view Mayor Ted Wheeler unfavorably, even more favor new police oversight system, poll shows (Nate)

The survey of 435 voters deemed by pollsters likely to vote this fall found that 59% of them feel Portland is heading in the wrong direction. Most of them also support the Black Lives Matter movement and more of them name homelessness as an “extremely important” problem facing the city than any other issue. Support for Black Lives Matter was particularly strong, with 76% of poll respondents saying they view it favorably and 22% saying the opposite.

The poll was commissioned and paid for by Yes for Real Community Oversight of Police, a political action committee set up to advocate for the ballot measure, and conducted by California-based FM3 Research.

Senate Republicans fail to advance coronavirus stimulus bill as stalemate drags on (tmn)

The legislation would have reinstated enhanced federal unemployment insurance at a rate of $300 per week, half of the $600 weekly payment that expired at the end of July. It also would have authorized new small business loans and put money toward schools and into Covid-19 testing, treatment and vaccines.

The measure did not include a second $1,200 direct payment to individuals. It also lacked new relief for cash-strapped state and local governments or money for rental and mortgage assistance and food aid — all priorities for Democrats.

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral (tmn)

A world of black and white is easier to handle than one awash with grays. But false dichotomies are dangerous. From the start, COVID-19 has been portrayed as a disease that mostly causes mild symptoms in people who quickly recover, and occasionally causes severe illness that leads to hospitalization and death. This two-sided caricature—severe or mild, sick or recovered—has erased the thousands of “long-haulers” who have endured months of debilitating symptoms at home with neither recognition nor care.

Meanwhile, as businesses closed and stay-at-home orders rolled out, “we presumed a trade-off between saving lives and saving the economy,” says Danielle Allen, a political scientist at Harvard. “That was foolishness of the most profound degree.” The two goals were actually aligned: Epidemiologists and economists largely agree that the economy cannot rebound while the pandemic is still raging. By treating the two as opposites, state leaders rushed to reopen, leading a barely contained virus to surge anew.

Vaccine makers are gambling with human life (Jane L.)

AstraZeneca was in the FINAL phase 3 states. The recruitment for the trial has stopped. They have stopped recruiting for the trial in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK.

Here is the headline I can show people when I express my concern. The rush to push a vaccine to market is DANGEROUS. The rush to give it to everyone.

Bailout: Billions of Dollars of Federal COVID-19 Relief Money Flow to the Oil Industry (000)

Plans for oil-industry-specific bailouts were effectively shut down by congressional Democrats. But, with help from congressional Republicans, billions of taxpayer dollars are flowing to the industry. The money is providing a clear lifeline to companies that were long-distressed prior to the pandemic. It is hard to see lasting benefits for workers, however, as many of these same companies slash jobs and benefits. And it is likely too little too late for an oil industry that appears beyond resuscitation, even by Trump (see The End of Oil Is Near).

Russia’s Central Bank Warns That Oil Could Slide To $25 (Michael S.)

Among the latest of worrisome signs, Saudi Arabia said it would cut its official selling prices for crude in a move hardly anyone expected given the Kingdom’s upbeat stance on oil demand. Separately, reports of rising oil and fuel inventories in floating storage pressured benchmarks as commodity traders chartered tankers to store fuel and crude offshore.

The news of rising floating storage is particularly worrisome because it means that onshore storage space is still full, despite a moderate increase in fuel demand after most lockdowns eased in May.

How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled (Lee H.)

“I remember the first meeting where I actually told a city council that it was costing more to recycle than it was to dispose of the same material as garbage,” she says, “and it was like heresy had been spoken in the room: You’re lying. This is gold. We take the time to clean it, take the labels off, separate it and put it here. It’s gold. This is valuable.”

But it’s not valuable, and it never has been. And what’s more, the makers of plastic — the nation’s largest oil and gas companies — have known this all along, even as they spent millions of dollars telling the American public the opposite.

California’s new largest-ever wildfire: North Coast’s August Complex shatters record set two years ago (tmn)

Just one day before it became California’s largest-ever recorded wildfire, the August Complex on Wednesday had reached the second-largest status, displacing the record that had been set just last month by the SCU Lightning Complex, which has burned 396,624 acres in the South and East bays since it broke out Aug. 18. California’s third-largest wildfire is the LNU Lightning Complex, which also started Aug. 17 and has burned 363,220 acres in two parts of the North Bay.

The World Lost Two-Thirds Of Its Wildlife In 50 Years. We Are to Blame (tmn)

Forest clearing for agricultural space was the predominant cause of the decline, the report says, noting that one-third of the planet’s land is currently being used for food production. Human-caused climate change is another growing driver.

“We can’t ignore the evidence – these serious declines in wildlife species populations are an indicator that nature is unraveling and that our planet is flashing red warning signs of systems failure,” wrote Marco Lambertini, Director General of World Wildlife Fund International.

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