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Daily Archives: June 11, 2020

CDC Document Shows Just How Badly the U.S. Is Handling Coronavirus

Gizmodo: “The U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic continues to be faltering, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Leaked CDC documents dated June 9 that were obtained and published by Yahoo News this week show the U.S. is still exhibiting astronomical increases in new cases of the virus, doing far worse to contain it than the other nine nations who have experienced the highest number of total cases: Brazil, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, Spain, Italy, Peru, Germany, and Iran. The CDC document shows that the U.S. experienced an estimated 36.5% uptick in confirmed daily cases, which is far above any of the other countries. (The closest is Peru, which saw a 4.46% increase in confirmed daily cases.)

Another document from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, also from June 9, confirmed the 36.5% statistic, according to Yahoo News. The FEMA document also shows that the rolling average of daily deaths in the U.S. is beginning to exceed 1,000 per day. The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine tracker shows that of the 7.4 million confirmed cases globally, just over 2 million of them have been in the U.S., which has also seen over 113,000 of the nearly 460,000 deaths. (These numbers are likely an undercount.) The U.S., however, has charged ahead with reopening businesses and other institutions initially shut down under emergency lockdown measures in all 50 states, despite most of the states falling short of federal guidelines on coronavirus containment and the U.S. failing to come anywhere close to the progress seen in many other nations loosening restrictions…”

Over 1,000 metric tons of microplastic particles fall into 11 protected areas in western U.S. each year

Wired – Plastic Rain Is the New Acid Rain – Researchers find that over 1,000 metric tons of microplastic fall on 11 protected areas in the US annually, equivalent to over 120 million plastic water bottles: “Writing today in the journal Science, researchers report a startling discovery: After collecting rainwater and air samples for 14… Continue Reading

Policing the Police: Qualified Immunity and Considerations for Congress

CRS report via LC – Policing the Police: Qualified Immunity and Considerations for Congress, June 10, 2020: “In the wake of unrest arising from George Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020,after a Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck, broader questions have arisen with regard to how existing law regulates the conduct of… Continue Reading

Libraries Strive to Stay ‘Community Living Rooms’ as They Reopen

The New York Times – “Safely lending books is just the beginning. Libraries are figuring out everything from how to remain welcoming spaces to how to respond to changing reader behavior. In pockets of Virginia, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio, there are books sitting in quarantine. They are public library books that have been returned, and… Continue Reading

Trump trashes 50-year-old environmental law, blames coronavirus

grist – “With the nation’s eyes on ongoing protests for racial justice (not to mention a seemingly endless public health crisis), last week President Trump signed an executive order that would waive key requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The landmark 1970 law requires federal agencies to consider the environmental impacts of proposed… Continue Reading

Activists rally to save Internet Archive as lawsuit threatens site

Follow up to previous posting – Publishers file suit against Internet Archive for systematic mass scanning and distribution of literary works – via Decrypt: “…In March, as the COVID-19 pandemic led to the shutdown of public libraries, the Internet Archive created the National Emergency Library and temporarily suspended book waitlists—the kind that make you cool your jets… Continue Reading

MIT, guided by open access principles, ends Elsevier negotiations

MIT News: “Standing by its commitment to provide equitable and open access to scholarship, MIT has ended negotiations with Elsevier for a new journals contract. Elsevier was not able to present a proposal that aligned with the principles of the MIT Framework for Publisher Contracts.  Developed by the MIT Libraries in collaboration with the Ad Hoc Task… Continue Reading

Coronavirus Could Make America’s Gun Problem Even Deadlier

The New York Times Opinion – We studied 26 million Americans over 12 years. Here’s what we learned about gun ownership. By David Studdert, Matthew Miller and Garen Wintemute Mr. Studdert is a professor at Stanford University, Mr. Miller at Northeastern University, and Mr. Wintemute at U.C. Davis: “Millions of Americans have experienced the coronavirus… Continue Reading

Voter Registration: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress

CRS report via LC: Voter Registration: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress. June 10, 2020: “…The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) expanded registration opportunities by creating a federal mail-based registration form and requiring states to provide voter registration opportunities alongside services provided by departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) and at other agencies. NVRA… Continue Reading

Harvard health expert predicts an additional 100,000 US coronavirus deaths by September

Business Insider via Yahoo – “Close to 113,000 people have already died from the coronavirus in the US.  The main model being used by officials to estimate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States also revised its death toll this week to 193,347 COVID-19 deaths by October 1.  Dr. Ashish Jha, the director… Continue Reading

Police have shot and killed 5,400 people since 2015

Washington Post – “Protests against the use of deadly force by police swept across the country in 2015. Demonstrators marched in Chicago, turned chaotic in Baltimore, and occupied the area outside a Minneapolis police station for weeks. Protesters repeatedly took to the streets of Ferguson, Mo., where a white police officer had killed a black… Continue Reading