Lawfare Blog: Announcing a New Series on Healthy Elections

Lawfare Blog: Announcing a New Series on Healthy Elections. “The Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project aims to assist election officials and the public as the nation confronts the challenges that the coronavirus pandemic poses for election administration. Through research, tool development, and direct services to jurisdictions, the project focuses on confronting the logistical challenges faced by states as they make rapid transitions to mail balloting and the creation of safe polling places.”

Vox: San Francisco’s lonely war against Covid-19

Vox: San Francisco’s lonely war against Covid-19. “On June 25, San Francisco Mayor London Breed was excited the city’s zoo would finally reopen after closing down for months in response to Covid-19. She visited the facilities, posting photos on social media with a mask on and giraffes in the background. ‘I know people are eager to get back to some sense of normalcy, especially families and children,’ she tweeted. And it looked like her city was taking a step toward it. The day after the visit, Breed had to announce the sad news: San Francisco’s reopening plan — for the zoo and various other facilities, including hair salons and indoor museums — would have to be put on hold.”

Coronavirus: Los Angeles to shut off water and power to party houses (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: Los Angeles to shut off water and power to party houses. “The mayor of Los Angeles has said the city will be authorised to shut off water and power to properties where large parties and gatherings are held despite restrictions imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus. Eric Garcetti said house parties had become ‘nightclubs in the hills’ and that the focus would be on gatherings ‘posing significant public dangers’.”

NPR: Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19

NPR: Twitter, Facebook Remove Trump Post Over False Claim About Children And COVID-19 . “Twitter temporarily blocked the Trump election campaign account from tweeting until it removed a post with a video clip from a Fox News interview from Wednesday morning, in which the president urged schools to reopen, falsely claiming that children are ‘almost immune from this disease.’ Facebook also removed a post containing the same video from Trump’s personal page. Both Facebook and Twitter said the post violated their rules on COVID-19 misinformation.”

‘They didn’t run the plays’: Ex-officials say Trump administration didn’t use pandemic ‘playbooks’ (ABC News)

ABC News: ‘They didn’t run the plays’: Ex-officials say Trump administration didn’t use pandemic ‘playbooks’. “President Donald Trump proclaimed in late March that “nobody knew there’d be a pandemic or an epidemic of this proportion.” Confronted with criticism of a lethargic national response, he lamented ‘a system we inherited’ from past administrations. The problem with both statements, according to former public health officials, is that prior administrations not only “knew there’d be a pandemic,” they planned for it – extensively.”

NBC News: Brazil President Bolsonaro’s wife, Michelle, and science minister test positive for COVID-19

NBC News: Brazil President Bolsonaro’s wife, Michelle, and science minister test positive for COVID-19. “Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s wife and one of his ministers have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an official statement on Thursday, as the spread of the novel coronavirus showed no signs of slowing in the country with the world’s second-worst outbreak after the United States.”

SF Gate: California’s growing virus data collection headache

SF Gate: California’s growing virus data collection headache. “California has stopped removing or adding to a list of counties facing more restrictions on businesses and schools as it tries to determine the impact from an unresolved technical problem with the state’s coronavirus testing database, health officials said Wednesday. The state has recorded a highest-in-the-nation 525,000 positive tests. But California health officials say the true number is even higher. They don’t know how much so until they can add backlogged testing data and fix the problem with the California Reportable Disease Information Exchange (CalREDIE).”

New York Times: Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds

New York Times: Children May Carry Coronavirus at High Levels, Study Finds. “Infected children have at least as much of the coronavirus in their noses and throats as infected adults, according to the research. Indeed, children younger than age 5 may host up to 100 times as much of the virus in the upper respiratory tract as adults, the authors found. That measurement does not necessarily prove children are passing the virus to others. Still, the findings should influence the debate over reopening schools, several experts said.”

New York Times: Contact Tracing Is Failing in Many States. Here’s Why.

New York Times: Contact Tracing Is Failing in Many States. Here’s Why.. “Contact tracing, a cornerstone of the public health arsenal to tamp down the coronavirus across the world, has largely failed in the United States; the virus’s pervasiveness and major lags in testing have rendered the system almost pointless. In some regions, large swaths of the population have refused to participate or cannot even be located, further hampering health care workers.”

Washington Post: Ball pits were gross even before the pandemic. Will we ever dive in again?

Washington Post: Ball pits were gross even before the pandemic. Will we ever dive in again?. “Natalie Pariano was feeling some pandemic-related wanderlust and found herself looking through old travel photos when something stopped her scrolling finger dead in its tracks. It was a shot of her head poking out of a pool of pastel-colored balls. The picture was from a 2019 trip to the Color Factory, an immersive, Instagrammable attraction in New York City that features rooms full of colorful installations. At the time, it had felt perfectly natural to dive in. But now?”

Reuters: U.S. records over 25,000 coronavirus deaths in July

Reuters: U.S. records over 25,000 coronavirus deaths in July. “U.S. coronavirus deaths rose by over 25,000 in July and cases doubled in 19 states during the month, according to a Reuters tally, dealing a crushing blow to hopes of quickly reopening the economy. The United States recorded 1.87 million new cases in July, bringing total infections to 4.5 million, for an increase of 69%. Deaths in July rose 20% to nearly 154,000 total.”

Good Morning America: Teachers are writing their own obituaries as schools near reopening amid COVID-19

Good Morning America: Teachers are writing their own obituaries as schools near reopening amid COVID-19. “A group of Iowa teachers have sent their own mock obituaries to their governor in hopes she’ll revisit plans for reopening schools. ‘I’m very scared,’ 7th grade teacher Kerry Finley of Iowa City told ‘Good Morning America.’ ‘Are we going to wear scrubs? Are they going to amend the dress code? If we are going to do this, we are going to have to do this the way the hospitals did. We need training. We can’t just say, “OK, go back.”‘”

New York Times: Aboard the Diamond Princess, a Case Study in Aerosol Transmission

New York Times: Aboard the Diamond Princess, a Case Study in Aerosol Transmission. “In a year of endless viral outbreaks, the details of the Diamond Princess tragedy seem like ancient history. On Jan. 20, one infected passenger boarded the cruise ship; a month later, more than 700 of the 3,711 passengers and crew members had tested positive, with many falling seriously ill. The invader moved as swiftly and invisibly as the perpetrators on Agatha Christie’s Orient Express, leaving doctors and health officials with only fragmentary evidence to sift through. Ever since, scientists have tried to pin down exactly how the coronavirus spread throughout the ship.”

‘Huge, foolish mistake’: Sturgis residents split over giant bike rally as coronavirus cases rise (NBC News)

NBC News: ‘Huge, foolish mistake’: Sturgis residents split over giant bike rally as coronavirus cases rise. “More than 250,000 people are expected to rumble through western South Dakota, seeking the freedom of cruising the boundless landscapes in a state that has skipped lockdowns. The Aug. 7 to 16 event, which could be the biggest anywhere so far during the pandemic, will offer businesses that depend on the rally a chance to make up for losses caused by the coronavirus. But for many in Sturgis, a city of about 7,000, the brimming bars and bacchanalia will not be welcome during a pandemic.”