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I’m cured of the Covid. I’m totally immune. Who you gonna believe, me or some scientific test results? Regeneron is great. Every senior’s gonna get some and Mexico’s gonna pay for it!-Donald Trump

Trump’s evil has shifted into hyperdrive. Pushing an unproven drug he’s financially invested in to seniors. Calling for the unlawful arrest of Joe Biden. Expect a catastrophe soon (his doing) so he can declare martial law and cancel the election. Till then…see you Sat night

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Ted Cruz, Hellbound Class of 2020

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Lindsey Graham, Hellbound Class of 2020Image

Mitch McConnell, Hellbound Class of 2020

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TOTUS aptly named Senator Ted Cruz: “LYING TED” as shown in the article below. MA

By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press 2 days ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators examining Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court heard a wildly inaccurate statement from one of their own Wednesday about how much health insurance premiums have risen since the inception of “Obamacare.”

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas scrambled the statistics on premium costs and took an errant swing at insurance company profits as he inveighed against the “catastrophic failure of Obamacare.”

Republicans are on defense over the Affordable Care Act — or Obamacare — because the Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to overturn the 2010 law in its entirety. Obamacare provides coverage to more than 20 million people and protects those with preexisting medical conditions from being denied an individual policy, or charged more.

From the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Barrett’s nomination:

CRUZ: “Obamacare has doubled the profits of the big health insurance companies, doubled them. Obamacare has been great corporate welfare for giant health insurance companies at the same time, according to the Kaiser foundation, premiums — average families’ premiums — have risen more than — have risen $7,967 per year on average. That is catastrophic that millions of Americans can’t afford health care. It is a catastrophic failure of Obamacare.”

THE FACTS: No, family premiums for health insurance have not risen by $7,967 per year, as Cruz asserted. Nowhere close.

That figure comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation but it captures the increase over 11 years — 2009 to 2020 — not per year, as Cruz put it. In addition, the figure applies to the cost of premiums for employer-provided coverage, not for Obamacare or for health insurance overall. Employer coverage is in a totally different health insurance bucket from Obamacare.

Kaiser’s Larry Levitt says the cost of employer coverage wasn’t much affected by the ACA and “the increase in premiums is largely due to changes in underlying health care costs over this period.”

Obamacare premiums for a standard “silver” individual plan purchased by a hypothetical 40-year-old went up from an average of $273 a month nationally in 2014, to $462 this year.

Levitt said there’s not a clear equivalent for a family premium in the ACA marketplaces; what a family pays is the sum of each member’s individual premiums.

Cruz’s take on insurer profits also missed the mark.

Some major insurers lost money for a time selling Obamacare coverage, and several companies exited the health law’s markets. The ACA actually has a provision that in effect limits insurer profits, requiring consumer rebates if companies spent less than 80% of the money they collected from premiums on health care bills and quality improvement.

___

EDITOR’S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.

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Lincoln Project Refuses to Tone Down Trump Attacks, Says Romney’s Plea Is ‘Call to Surrender’

Jacob Jarvis  29 mins ago


Lincoln Project Refuses to Tone Down Trump Attacks, Says Romney’s Plea Is ‘Call to Surrender’

The Lincoln Project is not looking to moderate its attacks on President Donald Trump, despite calls for civility from figures such as former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump waves as he arrives for a Make America Great Again campaign event at Des Moines International Airport in Des Moines, Iowa on October 14, 2020. He and rivals have been urged to "lower the heat" amid trading insults in the run up to Election Day.© Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images President Donald Trump waves as he arrives for a Make America Great Again campaign event at Des Moines International Airport in Des Moines, Iowa on October 14, 2020. He and rivals have been urged to “lower the heat” amid trading insults in the run up to Election Day.

Sen. Romney (R-UT) recently spoke of his concern over the state of politics and discourse surrounding the issue in the U.S., calling for people on all sides to “tone it down.”

“I respect Mitt Romney and his appeal to civility,” Fred Wellman, senior advisor for veterans affairs at The Lincoln Project, a group largely made up of Republicans but who do not wish to see Trump re-elected, told Newsweek.

“I look forward to a day when we can all do that.”

But despite this call, Wellman said he does not believe Trump will look to temper his comments, continuing: “However, we can’t have any illusions that Donald Trump will do so himself. In fact, he has ratcheted up his pushing of conspiracy theories, disreputable attacks on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, and encouraging efforts to undermine the election. Asking organizations to stop their attacks on Trump while he continues his abominable behavior is a call to surrender.”PauseCurrent Time 0:33/Duration 2:17Loaded: 36.48%Unmute0HQCaptionsFullscreenWhat Is The Lincoln Project, The Republican-led PAC Working To Take Down Trump?Click to expand

In regards to continuing actions, he said: “We must continue to show the nation who Donald Trump really is and the horrors he has inflicted on this country for the last four years. If civility in politics is what Mr. Romney and his colleagues want then they should help us rid the White House of Donald Trump not tell us to accept his disgusting behavior.

“The high road won’t work when your opponent is digging a massive hole right through the middle of the mountain underneath you.”

The Lincoln Project has frequently hit out at Trump in ads, and also criticizes him over social media. It is not the first time the group has insisted upon continuing their attacks despite questions over doing so, having rejected the idea of pulling attack adverts about the president when he was diagnosed with COVID-19. The president has previously reacted to ads from the group, branding those involved “losers” in retaliation.

With The Lincoln Project set to continue the critiques of Trump, Political Director of Republican Voters Against Trump Tim Miller also said his group was “proud to be fighting aggressively” against Trump.

Miller said he did not necessarily think Romney’s comments were a call to tone down attacks on Trump—so said his comments were not a critique against him.

But he said he felt the president is the main driver behind the negative political discourse in the U.S.

“The perpetrator of dehumanizing political rhetoric in our country is Donald Trump, that’s where our focus is and should be,” he told Newsweek. “His grotesque and divisive behavior has resulted in thousands of republicans and former republicans joining our cause and it’s one we are proud to be fighting aggressively.”

Romney, in his statement, said that the world was looking on at the U.S. with “abject horror.”

“I have stayed quiet with the approach of the election,” he said. “But I’m troubled by our politics, as it has moved away from spirited debate to a vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass that is unbecoming of any free nation—let alone the birthplace of modern democracy.”

While a focus has gone towards supporters and opponents of Trump, independent candidate and rapper Kanye West also recently tweeted that there was a “crying need for civility across the board,” while he sent a message of support to Trump and the first lady after their COVID-19 diagnoses.

Newsweek has contacted the Trump campaign and Romney for comment.

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“I chair the council for King County, Washington — an area larger than 14 states — and we have been voting exclusively by mail since 2009 with virtually zero problems.”

Claudia Balducci

Guest Writer 10/07/2020 01:00 pm ET Updated 6 days ago

In the upper left corner of the United States resides an inconvenient truth for President Donald Trump and his followers: A highly successful mail-in voting system.

Amid a pandemic that has made in-person interactions dangerous, Trump and his allies have attempted to sow fear and uncertainty around mail-in voting even as he attends in-person rallies and events that we now know may have exposed hundreds to COVID-19. But his dangerous tall tales of fraud and tossed ballots are readily dispelled against the backdrop of Washington state’s entirely by-mail voting system. 

Voting by mail is the safest, most secure way to get this election done and to restore trust in a bedrock of our democracy.

I know this because I chair the council for King County, Washington, which has run vote-by-mail elections for over a decade. We are the largest jurisdiction in the United States to conduct all elections by mail. Our nonpartisan regional government represents 2.2 million people who live in Seattle, Bellevue and dozens of other cities and surrounding communities. And we have been voting exclusively by mail here since 2009, and statewide in Washington since 2011.

This means that our elections — for president, Congress, governor, county and city councils, school boards, special districts — are all conducted fully by mail. And I can tell you without any doubt whatsoever that Trump, and those repeating his propaganda, are wrong about voting by mail. 

Voting by mail is simple. It works. It’s convenient and secure. It has bipartisan support. In fact, Washington state Republicans overwhelmingly support the system, including our Republican Secretary of State, who herself was elected by mail-in ballots, in our increasingly blue-trending state. Even after being inundated with months of the president’s outright lies, a new poll released last week by the respected western states research, public affairs and communications firm Strategies 360 found that a majority of conservatives in our state still support it. 

Our system has been reviewed and found to be very accurate. In the 2018 election, Washington state found just 142 cases of improper voting out of 3.1 million ballots cast, an error rate of 0.00004581.

A well-designed vote-by-mail system is at least as secure ― and far more inclusive ― than voting in person. In Washington, we take a multitude of steps to ensure that neither ballots, nor ballot drop boxes, are tampered with. Ballots are tracked and verified. Votes are not dumped or double-counted. Only ballots from confirmed registered voters are counted. Our system has been reviewed and found to be very accurate. In the 2018 election, Washington state found just 142 cases of improper voting out of 3.1 million ballots cast, an error rate of 0.00004581.

In King County, the effect of our robust vote-by-mail system means voter turnout in record numbers. We saw 82% voter turnout in the 2016 general election, and 76% in 2018. Compare that with the national turnout of 61.4% in 2016 and 53.4% in 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau records. Indeed, an August study published in Science Advances found that mail-in voting increases voter participation, often significantly. We are so confident that our system is accessible to everyone that our county’s nonpartisan elections director has credibly set an audacious voter turnout goal of 90% in this year’s general election.

Voting by mail also reduces the opportunity for voter suppression through intimidation or other factors and it offers a physically distant way to vote as the COVID-19 pandemic wears on. Voters cast their ballot from the privacy of their home and then mail their ballots (no postage necessary in Washington state) or drop them in a ballot box without interacting with anyone. 

President Trump seems to fear this ease of voting. During the first presidential debate last week, he told his followers to go out to the polls and “watch very carefully,” a suggestion that could amount to illegal voter intimidation. Earlier this month, Trump supporters blocked voters from entering a polling place in Virginia. But with mail-in ballots, neither he nor his henchmen can stand in the way.

So, what can we do? First, make a plan for how and when you’ll vote. Check your registration, be sure your ballot will be mailed to your current address or update it if you need to. If you are traveling away from home, request a ballot be sent to you if your state or county allows it. Talk to your friends and family about voting and how you can be sure your voice is heard. Vote early if you can. Once you cast your vote, track your ballot. You can track your ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

This pandemic-year election will chart the course for the future of our country. Voters must be given every opportunity to take part in it. Vote-by-mail is the best way to give all voters every opportunity to take part in it. We must ignore the fearmongering and attempts to suppress our vote and instead embrace this safe and easy method that allows everyone to have a say in our selecting our government leaders.

Claudia Balducci serves as Chair of the Metropolitan King County Council, the governing body for King County. With Seattle as the seat, King County is home to Amazon, Zillow, Starbucks and Microsoft, among others, and is one of the largest jurisdictions in the nation, as well as one of the fastest-growing. Follow her on Twitter at @KccClaudia.

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Correction: An earlier version of this essay included an error regarding the error rate of voting in King County, Washington. This has been corrected.

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CORONAVIRUS

5 Flu And COVID-19 Myths People Need To Stop Believing

Flu season is just getting started, and misinformation about influenza and the coronavirus is already swirling.

By  Catherine Pearson

10/12/2020 05:45am EDT | Updated October 12, 2020

Flu season and the COVID-19 pandemic are set to collide. Here’s what you need to know. 

While no one knows exactly how it will play out, it is safe to say that the United States is heading into a flu season unlike any other.

COVID-19 is still surging around much of the country. And though experts believe influenza rates might be lower than usual (more on that in a moment), we’ll still collectively be facing multiple contagious respiratory illnesses at the same time. A “twindemic,” if you will.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s “likely” that the viruses that cause the flu and the viruses that cause COVID-19 will both be circulating this fall and winter. It’s an unsettling prospect, particularly for those in high-risk categories. And to top it off, there is so much misinformation about COVID-19, the flu and the vaccines.

Don’t fall victim to the mistruths. Here are five big misconceptions people have about the illnesses, which everyone needs to unlearn as we head into flu season and a possible second wave of COVID-19

Myth: The flu won’t be a problem because we’re wearing masks.

Doctors “are hoping — but not betting on — a lighter influenza season this year as people practice physical distancing, mask wearing and better hand hygiene,” said Dr. Timothy Laird, interim chief medical officer of Health First Medical Group. Sometimes you can do just about everything right — mask up, maintain social distance, wash your hands — and still catch a virus. Which is why layering preventive measures is so important. People can get the flu by touching surfaces or objects that have been contaminated with flu viruses (which is also true with COVID-19, although that isn’t the primary mode of transmission).

“Everything we’re doing reduces risk,” said Dr. Aaron Milstone, an epidemiologist and professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “It doesn’t make risk zero.”

(But mask skeptics, take note: This doesn’t mean you should leave your face covering at home. Experts overwhelmingly agree wearing a mask is far better than nothing for reducing transmission.)

Myth: The flu vaccine could make you sick, weak or more vulnerable to COVID-19.

The persistent claim that the flu vaccine can give you the flu just is not true, experts say. However, you could develop a flulike reaction to the vaccine (including muscle aches and fever) as your body produces antibodies.

“You may get a sore arm, maybe even feel a bit achy or have a low grade fever or scratchy throat,” Laird said. “But that’s not an illness, that is a side effect experienced by a small number of people with nearly any vaccination.”

There are a few other possibilities for why you might get sick after vaccination: You could catch the flu in the two-week window between getting your shot and when it takes effect. Or you could get sick if you’re exposed to a flu virus that isn’t a good match with those used in this year’s vaccine.

But the vaccine itself will not give you an illness. That’s a key misconception to clear up now for anyone who is reluctant to get vaccinated over concerns the shot will make them sick and weaken their immune system amid a pandemic, making them more vulnerable to COVID-19. It won’t.

On the other hand, it is possible to get both COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, which could be “catastrophic” to the immune system, some experts warn. So getting a flu shot is particularly important.

The flu shot will not make you sick or more susceptible to COVID-19.

Myth: The flu vaccine could “mess” with a COVID-19 vaccine.

If a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available during flu season, after you have already received your flu shot, “there should be no problem getting a subsequent vaccine any time this winter,” Milstone said.

“We give vaccines together all the time,” he explained. “The only time we sometimes worry about separating vaccines with a little bit of time is when we give a live viral vaccine.”

For example, doctors might space out other vaccinations around the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, so patients get the full immune response. But all the injectable flu vaccines currently available right now are not live vaccines, Milstone said, so it shouldn’t be a concern.

Myth: COVID-19 and the flu are essentially the same.

Despite President Donald Trump’s continued assertions that the flu and COVID-19 are so similar they are basically the same, that absolutely isn’t true.

It’s not true in terms of the effect on the body; it’s not true in terms of how long people are contagious or how contagious the various viruses are; and it’s not even true in terms of who tends to get really sick.

“There’s a difference epidemiologically,” Milstone said.

It’s also not true for death counts. Approximately 34,000 people died in the U.S. during the 2018-2019 flu season, which really picked up in November and pretty much wound down in February. By contrast, more than 211,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. in the last seven months. And unlike the flu, which tends to strike in the winter, COVID-19 cases surged all summer long.

Distinguishing the difference has implications for everything ― from how doctors might watch for more serious developments to how long someone needs to quarantine and how people who’ve come into contact with a sick individual should behave.

Which brings us to …

Myth: If I were to get sick, I would manage COVID-19 and the flu in the same way.

There is definitely significant overlap in the symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza, like fever, chills, fatigue and cough. They are also both highly contagious respiratory viruses. So in some ways, yes, a person who becomes ill with the flu might behave pretty much the same as a person who becomes ill with COVID-19.

“There are a few common principles to keep in mind. First, you are contagious,” Laird said. “Protect others. Wear a mask if around them. Everyone should practice excellent hand hygiene, and you should isolate yourself as much as possible. Secondly, hydrate and rest.”

But knowing which particular virus you have will likely change how you proceed beyond that. Researchers are still grappling with exactly how long someone can spread COVID-19, but they believe the period of contagiousness is longer than with the flu. With the flu, people are generally cleared to head back into the world once they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours; with COVID-19 it’s at least 10 days since symptoms appeared and the individual has been fever-free for at least 24 hours.

That’s one reason why doctors, like Milstone, are advocating that people who develop symptoms be particularly diligent about getting tested this season.

“I think most people are going to need to get a test result to know: When can I safely return to work, school, daycare, etcetera,” Milstone said.

Experts are still learning about COVID-19. The information in this story is what was known or available as of publication, but guidance can change as scientists discover more about the virus. Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most updated recommendations

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To begin, the current Whitehouse resident has spun 20,000 plus lies (and climbing) about everything from his physical health to his his wealth and his work to date in the office. He may have a record number of followers on twitter but those numbers (if you ask him-are the greatest of anyone) as of October 1st 2020. Trump is # 7.

Top 50 accounts

The following table lists the top 50 most followed accounts on Twitter, with each total rounded to the nearest million followers, as well as the profession or activity of each user.[1] Account totals and monthly changes in ranking were last updated on October 1, 2020.

RankChange
(monthly)
Account nameOwnerFollowers
(millions)
Activity
1Steady@BarackObamaBarack Obama123Former U.S. president
2Steady@justinbieberJustin Bieber113Musician
3Steady@katyperryKaty Perry109Musician
4Steady@rihannaRihanna99Musician and businesswoman
5Steady@CristianoCristiano Ronaldo88Footballer
6Steady@taylorswift13Taylor Swift87Musician
7Steady@realDonaldTrumpDonald Trump87Current U.S. president
8Steady@ladygagaLady Gaga82Musician and actress
9Steady@TheEllenShowEllen DeGeneres80Comedian and television hostess
10Steady@ArianaGrandeAriana Grande77Musician and actress
11Steady@YouTubeYouTube72Online video platform
12Steady@KimKardashianKim Kardashian67Television personality and businesswoman
13Steady@jtimberlakeJustin Timberlake64Musician and actor
14Steady@selenagomezSelena Gomez63Musician and actress
15Steady@narendramodiNarendra Modi63Current Prime Minister of India
16Steady@cnnbrkCNN Breaking News59News channel
17Steady@twitterTwitter58Social media platform
18Steady@britneyspearsBritney Spears56Musician
19Steady@ddlovatoDemi Lovato56Musician
20Steady@shakiraShakira52Musician
21Increase@BillGatesBill Gates52Businessman and philanthropist
22Decrease@jimmyfallonJimmy Fallon52Comedian
23Steady@CNNCNN50News channel
24Steady@neymarjrNeymar50Footballer
25Increase@KingJamesLeBron James48Basketball player
26Decrease@nytimesThe New York Times47Newspaper
27Increase@BBCBreakingBBC Breaking News46News channel
28Decrease@JLoJennifer Lopez45Musician and actress
29Steady@MileyCyrusMiley Cyrus45Musician and actress
30Steady@SrBachchanAmitabh Bachchan44Actor
31Steady@OprahOprah Winfrey43Television personality and businesswoman
32Steady@BrunoMarsBruno Mars43Musician
33Steady@BeingSalmanKhanSalman Khan42Actor and film producer
34Steady@iamsrkShah Rukh Khan41Actor and film producer
35Increase@NASANASA41Space agency
36Decrease@NiallOfficialNiall Horan41Musician
37Increase@akshaykumarAkshay Kumar39Actor
38Decrease@DrakeDrake39Rapper
39Increase@PMOIndiaPMO India39Office of the Prime Minister of India
40Decrease@elonmuskElon Musk39Industrial designer and tech entrepreneur
41Steady@imVkohliVirat Kohli38Cricketer
42Steady@SportsCenterSportsCenter37Sports channel
43Steady@KevinHart4realKevin Hart37Comedian and actor
44Steady@wizkhalifaWiz Khalifa36Rapper
45Steady@espnESPN36Sports channel
46Steady@Harry_StylesHarry Styles35Musician
47Steady@KylieJennerKylie Jenner35Television personality and businesswoman
48Steady@instagramInstagram35Social media platform
49Increase@realmadridReal Madrid CF35Football club
50Decrease@LilTunechiLil Wayne35Rapper

Currently the only numbers we should be concerned about are the ballots that will remove TOTUS from office. Looking at the recent events we see that the President has potentially infected everyone in the White house even though for the longest time we were again lied to about testing that was ongoing on a daily basis. The lack of masking (which is highly recommended by large numbers of qualified and re Medical professional) could have prevented some if not all in the Whitehouse. We can only wait for the additional infections still to come from his rallies and perhaps the Secret service.

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Interesting ditty

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Prickly City Comic Strip for September 29, 2020
Stuart Carlson Comic Strip for September 28, 2020
Tom Toles Comic Strip for September 29, 2020 Drew Sheneman Comic Strip for September 28, 2020 Ken Catalino Comic Strip for September 28, 2020 Clay Bennett Comic Strip for September 29, 2020
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Kevin Kallaugher Comic Strip for September 25, 2020
Tom Toles Comic Strip for September 25, 2020
Chris Britt Comic Strip for September 24, 2020
Clay Bennett Comic Strip for September 25, 2020
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Khristopher J. Brooks  9 hrs ago

America could have been $16 trillion richer if not for inequities in education, housing, wages and business investment between Black and White Americans over the past 20 years, new research concludes. 

The study, released this week by Citigroup, is the latest in a body of research that attempts to quantify the economic impact of systemic racism. Citigroup arrived at its $16 trillion figure after estimating that:

  • Black workers have lost $113 billion in potential wages over the past two decades because they couldn’t get a college degree.
  • The housing market lost $218 billion in sales because Black applicants couldn’t get home loans.
  • About $13 trillion in business revenue never flowed into the economy because Black entrepreneurs couldn’t access bank loans. 

What’s more, the U.S. could have $5 trillion in gross domestic product over the next five years if those gaps and others were closed today, the study indicated. 

“Racial inequality has always had an outsized cost, one that was thought to be paid only by underrepresented groups,” Citigroup Banking Chair Raymond McGuire said in a statement. “What this report underscores is that this tariff is levied on us all.”

Federal Reserve data show that White households’ net worth grew 43%, to $61,200, between 1995 and 2016, while it remained flat at $35,400 for Black families. Moody’s Investor Service found that 44% of Black households owned their homes in 2019, compared with 74% of white households.

The study also highlights the “real costs of long-standing discrimination against minority groups, especially against Black people and particularly in the U.S.,” Citigroup economist Catherine Mann said in a statement. 

A McKinsey study released last year explored how these and other inequities have reduced the nation’s wealth. The nation’s GDP — the total value of goods and services — could be up to 6% higher by 2028 if the racial wealth gap is closed, the consulting firm concluded. Lawmakers must pass targeted policies that boost household income for Black Americans in order to address the issue, McKinsey said.

illion dollagain from the effort,” the McKinsey study concluded. 

Incarceration rates among Black Americans, voter suppression efforts and conscious bias in hiring all play a role in hindering the U.S. from making strides in closing this gap, Citigroup said. 

Separately, the financial giant on Wednesday said it would direct $1 billion toward helping close the racial wealth gap, including investing $550 million over the next three years in encouraging homeownership for people of color. Another $50 million will go toward capital investments for Black entrepreneurs. 

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