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It appears that the fabulist has no idea of what is occurring in the country due to this pandemic or he does not care- His objective is to be re any cost. His re election would be a death knell for many more Americans with no plan to mitigate the problem. His actions in this Health crisis is a primary reason for his ouster. MA.

Nathaniel Weixel 2 hrs. ago- The Hill

President Trump has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. has one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates anywhere in the world, even though the nation has recorded more deaths from the coronavirus than any other country.

The U.S. also has a mortality rate per 100,000 about twice that of Canada. While the U.S. rate is lower than Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy per 100,000 people, it is higher than such nations as Germany, France and the Netherlands.

But Trump is not focused on those numbers.

Rather than the mortality rate, Trump has been fixated on the percentage of people who die after contracting COVID-19, a figure called the case fatality rate.

In doing so, he has downplayed the scope of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and the extremely high rate of deaths as a proportion of the population.

By not specifying the figures he is using, Trump has also likely confused many people about how the U.S. stacks up with other countries.

“Number one low mortality rate,” Trump said during a Fox News interview with Chris Wallace last month. “You said we had the worst mortality rate in the world, and we have the best.”

In an interview on “Axios on HBO” broadcast Monday, Trump was challenged by journalist Jonathan Swan when he said “the United States is lowest in numerous categories, we’re lower than the world, we’re lower than Europe.”

When Swan asked Trump to clarify, Trump handed Swan a chart, revealing that he was referencing the case fatality rate. Pressed on the distinction, Trump maintained that the data should “go by the cases,” not by the population.

Trump repeated that assertion from the podium of the White House briefing room on Tuesday

“I think, actually, the numbers are lower than others,” Trump said. “We, proportionately, are lower than almost all countries. We’re at the bottom of the list.”

According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. does have a relatively low case fatality rate of 3.3 percent, compared to countries like Canada (7.5 percent), the United Kingdom (15.1 percent), Italy (14.1 percent) and France (13.3 percent).

Among the 20 countries most affected by COVID-19 in the world according to data compiled by Hopkins, the U.S. is 13th in terms of deaths per confirmed COVID case.

America’s case fatality rate is still higher than Chile, India, Argentina, Russia, South Africa, Kazakhstan and Bangladesh.

Case fatality can be influenced by factors including the demographics of people who get infected, the ability of hospitals to treat COVID patients, and whether testing finds more mild cases.

“Case fatality is the chance of dying after you get a positive test. It reflects the amount of testing and access to effective medical care, not the speed at which Americans are dying of COVID,” said Josh Sharfstein, a vice dean at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Amesh Adjala, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, said case fatality is not a bad statistic by itself, but it can’t be compared to the actual number of deaths per capita.

“Case fatality rate is important and the fact that it is lower in some countries is really reflective of the sophistication of the medical system, adeptness of critical care physicians, and what segment of the population is getting infected,” Adjala said.

The U.S. is averaging 65,000 new infections a day, and more than 1,000 people a day are dying from COVID-19.

In total, nearly 160,000 Americans have died of a COVID-19 infection, and focusing only on case fatality essentially ignores that number.

That’s where the mortality rate, or deaths per capita, comes in.

“Deaths per capita is a statistic that shows you a national snapshot about how widespread the severe cases are, how well are vulnerable populations being protected, and how contained spread is,” Adjala said.

Minority populations, especially communities of color and Native groups, have been disproportionately hardest hit by the coronavirus in the United States. Lawmakers, advocates and public health experts have been pushing the Trump administration to take action and prioritize minority communities in its coronavirus response. To date, they say the administration has failed to help.

Minorities also make up a large share of the population of essential workers, magnifying the risk they already face from racial disparities in outcomes and access to health care.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the mortality rate measures the frequency of occurrence of death in a defined population- in this case, deaths per 100,000 people, which includes both confirmed cases and healthy people.

Among the 20 countries most affected by COVID-19 in the world right now, the U.S. has the fourth-highest number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people, ranking behind only the United Kingdom, Peru and Chile.

Globally, according to Johns Hopkins data, the U.S. is 10th, ahead of some of Europe’s hardest-hit countries like Spain, Italy and Sweden that have since taken control and substantially slowed the virus’s spread.

But that list also includes the countries of Belgium and Andorra, which have such proportionally large numbers of deaths because of their small populations.

A White House official said the U.S. mortality rate is similar to that in other industrialized countries.

President Trump “has highlighted the U.S. is among the lowest when it comes to mortality rates of similarly industrialized countries,” the official said. “We also have one of the lowest case fatality rates -below the average of the world and below Europe – and that shows that our therapeutics like Remdesivir, convalescent plasma, and Dexamethasone are working.”

But during an interview with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta on Wednesday, Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, agreed that the U.S. death rate was one of the highest in the world. He also suggested the U.S. is not doing as well as other countries in handling the disease.

“It is worth reminding people we’re not quite five percent of the world’s population, yet represent 20 to 25 percent of the world’s deaths .. that has to be the worst, is it not the worst?” Gupta asked.

“I mean, it is. Quantitatively if you look at it, it is. I mean the numbers don’t lie,” Fauci said.


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Vitamin B12 is a necessary trace element like many other we take in through food and drink. While many of us take supplemental vitamins through individual dosages or multi vitamin capsules, there is a issue to be aware of. That is that excess B!@ can cause numbness in extremities of some of us. The average required amount is 4-6 Micro grams ( this is about 1/20th of a gram). I have been taking a multi vitamin that contains a full gram in each capsule. I started getting this numbness in my right side fingers and a dull ache in my arm. This occurred once before when I drinking a bottle of vitamin water daily (which had 100% of B12). This is just a heads up if you experience the numbness and tingling while taking supplements or multi vitamins containing B12. I will get past this by ceasing the use of the multivitamin I am now taking. Please read the label of any supplements and multi vitamins to determine how much B12 is in them.


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By Eli Saslow

AUGUST 1, 2020


This is my choice, but I’m starting to wish that it wasn’t. I don’t feel qualified. I’ve been a superintendent for 20 years, so I guess I should be used to making decisions, but I keep getting lost in my head. I’ll be in my office looking at a blank computer screen, and then all of the sudden I realize a whole hour’s gone by. I’m worried. I’m worried about everything. Each possibility I come up with is a bad one.

The governor has told us we have to open our schools to students on August 17th, or else we miss out on five percent of our funding. I run a high-needs district in middle-of-nowhere Arizona. We’re 90 percent Hispanic and more than 90 percent free-and-reduced lunch. These kids need every dollar we can get. But covid is spreading all over this area and hitting my staff, and now it feels like there’s a gun to my head. I already lost one teacher to this virus. Do I risk opening back up even if it’s going to cost us more lives? Or do we run school remotely and end up depriving these kids?

This is your classic one-horse town. Picture John Wayne riding through cactuses and all that. I’m superintendent, high school principal and sometimes the basketball referee during recess. This is a skeleton staff, and we pay an average salary of about 40,000 a year. I’ve got nothing to cut. We’re buying new programs for virtual learning and trying to get hotspots and iPads for all our kids. Five percent of our budget is hundreds of thousands of dollars. Where’s that going to come from? I might lose teaching positions or basic curriculum unless we somehow get up and running.

I’ve been in the building every day, sanitizing doors and measuring out space in classrooms. We still haven’t received our order of Plexiglas barriers, so we’re cutting up shower curtains and trying to make do with that. It’s one obstacle after the next. Just last week I found out we had another staff member who tested positive, so I went through the guidance from OSHA and the CDC and tried to figure out the protocols. I’m not an expert at any of this, but I did my best with the contact tracing. I called 10 people on staff and told them they’d had a possible exposure. I arranged separate cars and got us all to the testing site. Some of my staff members were crying. They’ve seen what can happen, and they’re coming to me with questions I can’t always answer. “Does my whole family need to get tested?” “How long do I have to quarantine?” “What if this virus hits me like it did Mrs. Byrd?”

We got back two of those tests already — both positive. We’re still waiting on eight more. That makes 11 percent of my staff that’s gotten covid, and we haven’t had a single student in our buildings since March. Part of our facility is closed down for decontamination, but we don’t have anyone left to decontaminate it unless I want to put on my hazmat suit and go in there. We’ve seen the impacts of this virus on our maintenance department, on transportation, on food service, on faculty. It’s like this district is shutting down case by case. I don’t understand how anyone could expect us to reopen the building this month in a way that feels safe. It’s like they’re telling us: “Okay. Summer’s over. It’s been long enough. Time to get back to normal.” But since when has this virus operated on our schedule?

I dream about going back to normal. I’d love to be open. These kids are hurting right now. I don’t need a politician to tell me that. We only have 300 students in this district, and they’re like family. My wife is a teacher here, and we had four kids go through these schools. I know whose parents are laid off from the copper mine and who doesn’t have enough to eat. We delivered breakfast and lunches this summer, and we gave out more meals each day than we have students. I get phone calls from families dealing with poverty issues, depression, loneliness, boredom. Some of these kids are out in the wilderness right now, and school is the best place for them. We all agree on that. But every time I start to play out what that looks like on August 17th, I get sick to my stomach. More than a quarter of our students live with grandparents. These kids could very easily catch this virus, spread it and bring it back home. It’s not safe. There’s no way it can be safe.

If you think anything else, I’m sorry, but it’s a fantasy. Kids will get sick, or worse. Family members will die. Teachers will die.

Mrs. Byrd did everything right. She followed all the protocols. If there’s such a thing as a safe, controlled environment inside a classroom during a pandemic, that was it. We had three teachers sharing a room so they could teach a virtual summer school. They were so careful. This was back in June, when cases here were starting to spike. The kids were at home, but the teachers wanted to be together in the classroom so they could team up on the new technology. I thought that was a good idea. It’s a big room. They could watch and learn from each other. Mrs. Byrd was a master teacher. She’d been here since 1982, and she was always coming up with creative ideas. They delivered care packages to the elementary students so they could sprout beans for something hands-on at home, and then the teachers all took turns in front of the camera. All three of them wore masks. They checked their temperatures. They taught on their own devices and didn’t share anything, not even a pencil.

At first she thought it was a sinus infection. That’s what the doctor told her, but it kept getting worse. I got a call that she’d been rushed to the hospital. Her oxygen was low, and they put her on a ventilator pretty much right away. The other two teachers started feeling sick the same weekend, so they went to get tested. They both had it bad for the next month. Mrs. Byrd’s husband got it and was hospitalized. Her brother got it and passed away. Mrs. Byrd fought for a few weeks until she couldn’t anymore.

I’ve gone over it in my head a thousand times. What precautions did we miss? What more could I have done? I don’t have an answer. These were three responsible adults in an otherwise empty classroom, and they worked hard to protect each other. We still couldn’t control it. That’s what scares me.

We got the whole staff together for grief counseling. We did it virtually, over Zoom. There’s sadness, and it’s also so much fear. My wife is one of our teachers in the primary grade, and she has asthma. She was explaining to me how every kid who sees her automatically gives her a hug. They arrive in the morning — hug. Leave for recess — hug. Lunch — hug. Locker — hug. That’s all day. Even if we do everything perfectly, germs are going to spread inside a school. We share the same space. We share the same air.

A bunch of our teachers have told me they will put in for retirement if we open up this month. They’re saying: “Please don’t make us go back. This is crazy. We’re putting the whole community at risk.”

They’re right. I agree with them 100 percent. Teachers don’t feel safe. Most parents said in a survey that they’re “very concerned” about sending their kids back to school. So why are we getting bullied into opening? This district isn’t ready to open. I can’t have more people getting sick. Why are they threatening our funding? I keep waiting for someone higher up to take this decision out of my hands and come to their senses. I’m waiting for real leadership, but maybe it’s not going to happen.

It’s me. It’s the biggest decision of my career, and the one part I’m certain about is it’s going to hurt either way.

Read more from Voices from the Pandemic

‘She’s dead, and I’m quarantined. That’s how the story ends.’

Tony Sizemore, on the death of Birdie Shelton


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As mail-in voting numbers are expected to surge, Trump’s new postmaster general is cranking back on overtime and deliveries.

A watchdog organization is calling for an investigation and hearings amid concerns about mail-in ballot “voter suppression tactics” by the Trump administration through the United States Postal Service.

“Recent actions” taken by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, who was appointed to the position in May, “will delay prioritizing mail delivery,” which threatens voting by mail, warned a letter Thursday from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). Johnson is the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

The number of Americans voting by mail is expected to surge across the nation as voters seek to avoid the risk of catching COVID-19 at the polls. Yet DeJoy is slashing overtime for mail carriers and prohibiting employees from making late delivery trips, which will slow the mail, he revealed in an internal memo. DeJoy, who has no experience in the agency, is a prominent Trump donor and the former lead fundraiser for the Republican National Convention.

“We have an underfunded state and local election system and a deliberate slowdown in the Postal Service,” Wendy Fields, the executive director of the Democracy Initiative, told The New York Times. Trump is “deliberately orchestrating suppression and using the Post Office as a tool to do it,” she said.

Former Democratic leader of the Georgia House and Democratic vice presidential hopeful Stacy Abrams also accused Trump on Sunday of attempting to “steal” the election by manipulating the postal service along with his partisan postmaster general. (Check out the video up top.)

After significant delays by the USPS in delivering absentee ballots to voters in Wisconsin’s April primary, a probe by the USPS Office of Inspector General determined that the agency needed to “strengthen adherence to procedures” and “improve communication and coordination” with election offices.

CREW’s letter, which was also signed by Common Cause Wisconsin, calls on Johnson’s Senate committee to determine whether USPS is proactively addressing the “increased national demand for voting by mail” this November. The committee must also determine how cutting back on overtime and extended deliveries by the USPS will impact voting by mail, the letter states.

Trump has railed about “fraudulent” mail-in ballots, without any basis. He called the upcoming election “fixed” and “rigged,” and the “greatest election disaster in history” — even though the election hasn’t yet occurred.

The system is so suspect, he claimed, that Trump floated the idea of delaying the election in a tweet last Thursday. Trump has no power to do so.

Donald J. Trump

Jul 30

With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???

Bizarrely, he urged Americans on Friday to vote via “absentee” ballot, which is a mailed-in vote. Most jurisdictions’ “vote by mail” systems have identical requirements for all voters.

“It’s actually a great thing, absentee ballots. I’m going to be voting absentee,” Trump told reporters. He noted voters have to “go through a process to get” absentee ballots. Voters have to go through a process for any mail-in ballots.

Michael Steele, former head of the Republican National Committee, later responded in an interview: “The president was like, ‘Well, I love absentee balloting, just [not] this mail-by-vote thing.’ Mr. President, they’re the same thing, OK? Just so you understand: An absentee ballot is the same as a mail-in ballot.”

Critics have charged that Trump is already worried that he’ll lose the election, so he’s strategizing to discredit and even sabotage mail-in votes so he can claim that his defeat was “rigged.”

“Mark my words, I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said back in April.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Sunday said he believes Trump won’t leave the White House if he loses the election, and warned the president might invoke some kind of “emergency” action to remain.

Trump’s proposal to delay the U.S. election has infuriated Democrats and has not been supported by Republicans.

CORRECTION: This article previously misstated the Trump had appointed the postmaster general, a position that is filled by the Postal Service Board of Governors.


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I googled this,  this morning to see what action we, the American people, could take against the Trump post master general, Louis DeJoy for deliberately slowing down our mail delivery before the 2020 ELECTION.
 Public records reveal that  DeJoy donated more than $1.2 million to the Trump Victory Fund and millions more to the Republican Party. Although the Postal Service Board of Governors voted on the selection of DeJoy, the Trump administration, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, angled for the authority to pick the new postmaster general, raising additional concerns about politicization of the agency 
The answer was disheartening.
The 1946 Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) protects the USPS from being sued for “[a]ny claim arising out of the loss, miscarriage, or negligent transmission of letters or postal matter.” It’s bizarre that USPS retains such a lucrative respite from the law, especially since they do function as a quasi-business, charging …Mar 13, 2019
However we could send a letter of complaint to:
U.S. Postal Service’s Consumer Advocate office at:

United States Postal Service

Office of the Consumer Advocate

475 L’ Enfant Plaza, SW

Washington, D.C. 20260-2200 or 
Call:  Call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or TTY: 1-800-877-8339.


 Remember: Congressman Lewis said if we see something wrong- do something.  If you pass this on to others, we could at least try to make a difference.


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By Alec Snyder and Evan Simko-Bednarski, CNN  
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed comprehensive police accountability legislation into law Friday afternoon.

Ned Lamont wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont speaks at a news conference on July 22, 2020.© Stew Milne/AP/FILE Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont speaks at a news conference on July 22, 2020.The law institutes a new statewide watchdog for police misconduct, bans “chokeholds” in most instances and puts limits on the ability of police departments to withhold officers’ disciplinary records. It also allows individual officers to be held financially liable in civil suits over their actions.

The law requires all departments statewide to equip officers with body-worn cameras and places limits on the military equipment Connecticut police departments can acquire or use.

The bill, officially known as H.B. 6004 and titled “An Act Concerning Police Accountability,” passed the Connecticut State Senate by a 21-15 vote early Wednesday morning after hours of deliberation.

“These reforms are focused on bringing real change to end the systemic discrimination that exists in our criminal justice and policing systems that have impacted minority communities for far too long,” Lamont said in a news release.

“Ultimately, what we are enacting today are policies focused on providing additional safeguards to protect peoples’ lives and make our communities stronger. Our nation and our state has been having a conversation on this topic for decades, and these reforms are long overdue.”

The ACLU of Connecticut tweeted its support for the bill Wednesday evening.

“Ending police violence will not be solved by any one bill, but the bill passed out of the legislature today is a start,” Melvin Medina, the ACLU of Connecticut’s public policy and advocacy director, said in a statement. “To the legislators who instead voted to shield the profession of policing from accountability, do better.”

The law is the latest state-level effort to reform American policing since George Floyd died in the custody of Minneapolis police in May.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill in June that mandates police officers wear body cameras and banned chokeholds.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a pair of bills earlier this month that require officers seeking new positions to reveal previous employment records and mandate mental health evaluations of officers and training in use of force.

The Connecticut law creates an independent Office of the Inspector General at the state level to investigate all uses of deadly force by police in the state, or all instances of death in police custody. The legislation grants the inspector general’s office subpoena power, and charges it with referring possible prosecutions to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice.

It also allows the state’s police accreditation body to revoke a law enforcement officer’s credentials if they have been found to have used excessive force.

To that end, the law bans neck restraints, or “chokeholds,” unless a law enforcement officer “reasonably believes” such a hold to be necessary to defend from “the use or imminent use of deadly physical force.”

The law requires officers who witness other officers using excessive force or banned holds to intervene.

One of the most heavily debated sections of the law is a blow to “qualified immunity,” the idea that government officials are protected from civil suits while performing the functions of their job.

Under the law signed Friday, Connecticut police officers can be subject to civil suit and can only claim immunity if the officer “had an objectively good faith belief that such officer’s conduct did not violate the law.”

The law also stipulates that, should a court find against an officer for having committed a “malicious, wanton, or willful act,” the officer in question must reimburse the government for his legal defense.

Other notable stipulations of the law include a ban on military designed equipment, which the law refers to as “controlled equipment.” Several classes of weapons are included in that ban, ranging from flash-bangs and explosives to armored drones and “highly mobile multi-wheeled vehicles.”

Officers’ disciplinary records are also prohibited from being shielded by any future collective bargaining agreements. Records are also now subject to the Freedom of Information Act.


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The “deep” state of this administration continues.  is well to remember each time TOTUS speaks there is no truth and for the most part he is signaling what he and his minions are doing or will do. Example: Railing against mail in votes when the practice has been in effect for years some states with no issues and trashing the Post Office for losing money but not understanding the real problem created by Congress years ago. MA
Mary Papenfuss

President Donald Trump dismissed the “bullshit” of the effects of cancel culture as he negotiated with a senator to preserve the name of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at military installations, according to a recording of a phone conversation given to The New York Times.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) put Trump on speakerphone at an Italian restaurant in Washington, D.C., as the men talked politics Wednesday night. The conversation was overheard and recorded by “someone in the room,” the Times reported Thursday.

“All right, my friend,” said Trump. “Are you doing good? We’re going to keep the name of Robert E. Lee?”

Inhofe responded on the tape: “Just trust me. I’ll make it happen.”

Trump piped up: “I had about 95,000 positive retweets on that. That’s a lot.”

Trump seemed to be referring to his tweet last week that Inhofe had promised he wouldn’t change the names of “Military Bases and Forts” and was “not a believer in ‘Cancel Culture’.”

Trump has threatened to veto the Senate’s Defense Authorization Act that overwhelmingly passed last week and would change military base names that honor Confederates. The 86-14 vote margin could easily override a presidential veto. Trump’s conversation with Inhofe appeared to be a push to protect a veto.

The president seemingly veered into another complaint about so-called cancel culture, in which support for a person is withdrawn over offensive actions or statements. A “lot of people want to be able to go back to life — not this bullshit,” he added.

In the recording of his call with the senator, the president also discussed Inhofe’s sudden cancellation of a confirmation hearing for retired Gen. Anthony Tata, Trump’s pick for a top Pentagon policy post. The move followed deepening concerns from both Democrats and Republicans about Tata’s history of inflammatory tweets in which he called former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader” and attacked Islam.

Earlier in the conversation, Inhofe, chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referred to holding up Tata’s confirmation.

Inhofe had said in a statement that Democrats and Republicans don’t yet “know enough” about Tata and hadn’t received required documentation.

On the recorded portion of the phone call, the men mentioned the possibility of someone “resigning” and being given another appointment.

Inhofe has not commented on the recording.


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 November 2020- Day of Reckoning for the GOP who are not losing a dime and apparently a wink of sleep but looking to take your money and health. MA.

This is a link to the sample demand letter referenced below, this is an 18 page letter so I am just providing the link.

Michael Hiltzik

July 29, 2020, 12:29 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), left, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) don’t really want employees to be safe at work. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

If you were looking for evidence that Republicans in Congress have no sympathy for workers facing illness or worse from the coronavirus pandemic, look past the party’s proposal to cut unemployment benefits.

Instead, focus on the provision in its coronavirus relief bill that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) calls a must-have in any bill that passes: It’s liability protection for employers whose employees get sick at work.

This proposal has received scant attention in coverage of the GOP plan. But it’s more vicious than you could possibly imagine.

Ensuring that workers and consumers can hold companies accountable for their actions is critical to establishing a safe reopening of our economy.

Celine McNicholas and Margaret Poydock, EPI

The GOP proposal would erect almost insurmountable obstacles to lawsuits by workers who become infected with the coronavirus at their workplaces.

It would absolve employers of responsibility for taking any but the most minimal steps to make their workplaces safe. It would preempt tough state workplace safety laws (not that there are very many of them).

And while shutting the courthouse door to workers, it would allow employers to sue workers for demanding safer conditions.

This is the provision that McConnell has described as his “red line” in negotiations over the next coronavirus relief bill, meaning that he intends to demand that it be incorporated in anything passed on Capitol Hill and sent to President Trump for his signature. The provision would be retroactive to last Dec. 1 and remain in effect at least until Oct. 1, 2024.

The GOP proposal would make workplaces immeasurably more hazardous for workers, and also for customers. That’s because litigation — or the threat of litigation — is one of the bulwarks of workplace safety enforcement.

Without confidence that workplaces are safe, employees will be reluctant to come to work and customers reluctant to walk in the door.

“Ensuring that workers and consumers can hold companies accountable for their actions is critical to establishing a safe reopening of our economy,” Celine McNicholas and Margaret Poydock of the labor-associated Economic Policy Institute have observed.

The proposal would supersede such federal worker safeguards as the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, among others.

In plain English, the Republicans are proposing to eviscerate almost all workplace protections at the moment when the threat to workers’ health may be its highest in a century. Let’s not overlook that federal enforcement of workplace safety is anything but strong to begin with. The maximum OSHA penalty is $13,494 per violation.

That’s “insufficient to serve as a deterrent,” McNicholas and Poydock say. “Companies merely factor these penalties into the cost of doing business.”

In a surfeit of irony, or perhaps cynicism, the GOP titled its measure the “Safeguarding America’s Frontline Employees To Offer Work Opportunities Required to Kickstart the Economy Act,” or the “SAFE TO WORK Act.”

The measure, which was formally introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), states that it’s aimed at “discouraging insubstantial lawsuits relating to COVID-19.” It doesn’t define “insubstantial,” however.

The Republican proposal is more draconian than measures in some of the nine states that have given businesses immunity from lawsuits in the COVID-19 pandemic. It reflects a long-term conservative goal of absolving businesses from responsibility for conditions in their workplaces.

The campaign has been spearheaded by the Koch-backed American Legislative Exchange Council, which has been developing a model law on the subject for state legislatures.

Like the federal proposal, the state laws generally allow lawsuits only in cases of “gross negligence or willful misconduct,” and requires that plaintiffs show the defendant’s fault by “by clear and convincing evidence.”

That’s a higher bar than the typical requirement of “preponderance” of the evidence, which has sometimes been described as a balance in which one side’s case outweighs the other by even a smidgen.

Let’s take a look at the particulars.

The bill would move all liability cases to federal court, which instantly would increase the costs for plaintiffs. But it also imposes huge obstacles to even filing a claim.

In their initial pleadings, plaintiffs would have to list “all places and persons” they had visited and all persons who visited their home during the 14 days before they suffered symptoms of COVID-19.

They would have to explain specifically why they believed that none of those persons or places were the cause of their infection. They would have to submit “proof” of the employer’s “particular state of mind.”

What requirements would employers have to meet to be immune from a lawsuit or from any enforcement action by a federal, state or local regulator? Not many.

They’d have to show that they had been “exploring options” to comply with federal employment law, or had determined that the risk of harm to public health or the health of employees could not be “reduced or eliminated by reasonably modifying policies, practices, or procedures.”

In other words, an employer could exempt itself from federal labor law by examining its “options” or deciding that maintaining a safe workplace was just too darned hard to achieve. If a business issued or posted a written policy on limiting transmission of the coronavirus, that would be enough to achieve immunity from lawsuits.

“If a business printed out a [Centers for Disease Control] guideline and called it a policy, voila, they get a presumption they made reasonable effort,” observes Max Kennerly, a Philadelphia plaintiffs’ attorney who examined the GOP measure in detail and posted his concerns on Twitter.

But the measure also says that a lack of a written policy can’t be held against the business in court.

The measure incorporates another item on the GOP’s wish list of litigation obstacles: a limitation on damages. It says that plaintiffs can only collect for actual damages unless they can show “willful misconduct” by the employer, and that even in that case punitive damages can’t exceed actual damages.

This is a familiar stratagem aimed at making it uneconomic to bring so-called tort lawsuits. Plaintiffs’ lawyers typically work on contingency arrangements — they shoulder the costs of a lawsuit with the expectation that they’ll cover those costs, plus a profit, from a jury’s punitive award if they win.

Limiting punitive awards means that in many cases there won’t be enough money even to break even, much less earn a living. Ergo, tort lawyers will be loath to take COVID cases. For the GOP, this is mission accomplished.

The most obnoxious provision of the GOP proposal is one that shifts the liability in COVID cases from the employer to employee. This provision allows employers to sue employees or their representatives for bringing a claim for a COVID infection and offering to settle out of court.

Most specifically, the measure mentions “demand letters.” These are communications to a prospective defendant setting forth the facts of the claim, evidence assembled by the plaintiff, a reckoning of the potential damages and a statement of how much the plaintiff would accept to make the case go away. Here’s a sample letter published by the San Francisco law firm Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn.

These documents are often designed as an opening brief in a negotiation; since neither side in an injury case really wants to go to trial, they make sense. The GOP bill would make anyone offering to settle, either through a demand letter or otherwise, liable to be sued for damages if the case they’re making is “meritless.” That’s another term that’s undefined in the measure.

Unlike the limitation on damages elsewhere in the bill, by the way, the punitive damages that can be awarded to employers bringing these lawsuits aren’t capped.

The measure also gives the attorney general the right to bring his own lawsuit in such cases. As a result, Kennerly observes, Atty. Gen. William Barr would get the right “to sue unions, labor activists, lawyers, doctors — everyone involved in coronavirus claims.”

So let’s not pretend that the Republicans have the welfare or health of working Americans at heart. They may talk about the virtues of work and the need to get workers back on the job for their own health and that of the economy.

The “SAFE AT WORK Act” proves with every line that they’re lying. Democrats on Capitol Hill should draw their own red line against it, and not budge an inch.


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Quack President promoting Quack Doctor. MA.


Dickens Olewe – BBC News

July 29, 2020, 12:20 PM


Stella Immanuel – the doctor behind unproven coronavirus cure claim

Stella Immanuel, a doctor at the centre of a controversy over unproven and potentially dangerous claims that an anti-malaria drug can treat Covid-19, is no stranger to conspiracy theories.

Facebook and Twitter have taken down the viral video in which she appears, saying it violates their policies about misinformation – but not before it was retweeted by Donald Trump and one of his sons.

The US president defended himself, saying he found Dr Immanuel, who was born in Cameroon and is based in the Texan city of Houston, “very impressive”.

“She said that she had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients, I thought her voice was an important voice but I know nothing about her,” he said on Tuesday.

Dr Immanuel, who is also a Christian pastor, gave a speech on the steps of the US Supreme Court in Washington, captured in a video first published by right-wing website Breitbart on Monday.


‘Don’t leave Africa behind in coronavirus battle’

Along with other medics from a group called America’s Frontline Doctors, she said that Americans were being denied a potential cure for Covid-19.

“Nobody needs to get sick. This virus has a cure – it is called hydroxychloroquine, I have treated over 350 patients and not had one death,” said Dr Immanuel.

Despite some early studies raising hopes that the drug could be used to cure coronavirus, one subsequent larger scale trial has shown it is not effective as a treatment.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has halted its trials, saying it doesn’t reduce death rates in patients with coronavirus.

Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautioned against using the drug to treat coronavirus patients, following reports of “serious heart rhythm problems” and other health issues.

And Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the White House coronavirus task force, has reiterated these views.

“We know that every single good study – and by good study I mean randomised control study in which the data are firm and believable – has shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of Covid-19,” he told the BBC on Wednesday.

But Dr Immanuel has insisted taking hydroxychloroquine is not harmful because it is widely taken in her home country of Cameroon, where malaria is endemic.

Witches and demons

Born in 1965, Dr Immanuel graduated with a medical degree from the University of Calabar in neighbouring Nigeria – and has a valid doctor’s licence, according to the website of the Texas Medical Board.

Hydroxychloroquine has long been used as a treatment for malaria

She is also a pastor and the founder of Fire Power Ministries in Houston, a platform she has used to promote other conspiracies about the medical profession.

Her sermons are available on a YouTube account set up in 2009.

Five years ago, she alleged that alien DNA was being used in medical treatments, and that scientists were cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious.

Some of her other claims include blaming medical conditions on witches and demons – a common enough belief among some evangelical Christians – though she says they have sex with people in a dream world.

“They turn into a woman and then they sleep with the man and collect his sperm… then they turn into the man and they sleep with a man and deposit the sperm and reproduce more of themselves,” she said during a sermon in 2013.

Another issue that Dr Immanuel targets is gay marriage, saying it can result in adults marrying children, according to the Daily Beast.

She also offers a prayer to remove a generational curse, originally received from an ancestor, but transmitted through placenta, the news website’s profile of her says.

‘Jesus will shut Facebook’

In her latest video posted on Twitter on Tuesday, she asks patients she says she has cured of Covid-19 to come forward.

“If you don’t speak up we are getting trashed,” she says, encouraging them to use a hashtag when they post their video messages.

Her tweet has had more than 27,000 retweets.

After Facebook took down the America’s Frontline Doctors’ video on Tuesday, she declared that Jesus Christ would destroy the social media giant’s servers if her videos were not restored to the platform.

Facebook has not reported an interruption on its services.

Who are America’s Frontline Doctors?

It is a collection of physicians critical of the scientific consensus around the Covid-19 pandemic. The event on Monday was backed by the Tea Party Patriots, a conservative organisation seeking to re-elect President Trump.

The doctors believe neither masks nor shutdowns are necessary to fight the spread of coronavirus.

The group’s founder, Simone Gold, organised a letter to Mr Trump calling for an end to lockdown measures in May.

Participants were encouraged to seek out interviews with social media influencers, as this was determined to be the best way to reach Americans.

Ralph Norman, a Republican member of the House of Representatives, was standing alongside the doctors when they delivered their news conference.

The debate has been increasingly dividing Americans along political lines, with proponents of hydroxychloroquine pointing to President Trump’s support of it while accusing critics of covering up its potential effectiveness.


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Another COVID denier placing blame elsewhere-good luck on his disproved method of treatment. MA.
James Walker  
Representative Louie Gohmert suggested that wearing a face covering may have somehow led to him becoming infected with the novel coronavirus, despite repeated refusals to wear a mask.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Rep. Louie Gohmert adjusts his face mask during a House Judiciary Committee markup on Capitol Hill on June 17, 2020 in Washington, DC.© Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images Rep. Louie Gohmert adjusts his face mask during a House Judiciary Committee markup on Capitol Hill on June 17, 2020 in Washington, DC.In a clip posted to social media by NBC News producer Charlie Gile, the Texas Republican is heard arguing that COVID-19 may have somehow got trapped in his mask and led to him becoming infected with the disease.

The congressman also said predictions of his demise after following news of his asymptomatic coronavirus diagnosis were “very premature.”

Speaking to the KETK local news station, Gohmert said: “I can’t help but wonder if by keeping a mask on and keeping it in place if I might have put some of the virus onto the mask and breathed it in. I don’t know.

“But I got it, we’ll see what happens from here. The reports of my demise are very premature.”

The Texas representative said in June that he would only wear a mask when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 after CNN asked why he had not been wearing one on the House floor.

“I keep being tested and I don’t have it,” he told the network at the time. “So I’m not afraid of you, but if I get it I’ll wear a mask.”

Footage posted by The Hill reporter Olivia Beavers on Wednesday showed Rep. Gohmert walking into Attorney General William Barr’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday without wearing a mask. He was close to the administration official at the time.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that face masks be worn by everyone in public, stressing that wearing a face covering can prevent a person from spreading COVID-19 to others around them.

“Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others,” the CDC says. “Wearing a cloth face covering will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and workers who frequently come into close contact with other people (e.g., in stores and restaurants).”

Gohmert was diagnosed with COVID-19 after testing positive in a White House screening test ahead of a scheduled flight to Texas on Wednesday morning.

Speaking to Fox News about his diagnosis, the representative said he planned to treat it with hydroxychloroquine, despite the World Heath Organization and CDC refuting that the anti-malaria drug or any other drug is a known cure for the disease.

“I got a text just before I came on [Fox News] from a friend doctor who just found out he had it, and he started the regimen too—zinc, azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine. And that will start in a day or two, so thank you,” Gohmert said.

Newsweek has contacted Rep. Gohmert’s office for comment and will update this article with any response.


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