The Wider World

Back to school, says Dr. Fauci

DR. ANTONY FAUCI suggested that schools and colleges could reopen in the fall with prior safeguards and testing (White House photo).

The nation’s expert on epidemics, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Monday that schools and colleges should reopen in the fall despite the coronavirus epidemic, provided appropriate safeguards are observed and testing conducted.

“The primary consideration should always be the safety, the health [and] the welfare of the children, as well as to the teachers and the secondary effects for spreading to the parents and other family members,” said the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

He cited two reasons for schools to go back to on-campus instruction: the psychological and nutritional benefits of attendance and how parents have to change their work schedules.

Rates of new deaths rose in at least 30 states last week, according to Johns Hopkins University. As of Monday, there were 4,712,945 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States, with 155,398 deaths.

Progress made on coronavirus bill

Negotiators from the White House and Democratic Congressional leaders reported on Monday that progress was being made toward shaping a new coronavirus relief bill.

According to the Reuters news service, one roadblock that remains is the $600 weekly benefit that expired on Friday. Some call it a disincentive to work; others call it a key lifeline for the many Americans idled by the pandemic.

Democrats want a $3 trillion package – already passed in the House of Representatives – that would include money for cities and states for needs unrelated to the pandemic. Republicans support a more limited $1 trillion plan.

President Donald Trump is reportedly considering deferring worker payments on payroll taxes and other measures to put more purchasing power into the economy.

In the news:  Isaias moves along the coast

  • The National Weather Service is predicting that Hurricane Isaias will make landfall today (Monday) with winds of up to 74 miles per hour. The hurricane warning extends from South Santee River in South Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina. Tropical storm conditions are expected all along the East Coast as far north as New Hampshire. Heavy rains of up to eight inches are possible with some flash flooding, according the NWS.
  • Americans have been urged to conserve energy for economic and environmental reasons for decades, but now it seems the goal is being accomplished for medical reasons, at least indirectly. The U.S. Energy Information Administration is reporting that energy consumption has hit a 30-year low. As businesses and schools closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, fewer people are driving to work or school or traveling on vacation. Closed stores and college campuses are using less electricity and the demand for coal and oil has dropped greatly. Energy consumption is down by 14 percent as of April 2020, compared to a year before. That’s at the lowest level since 1989. However, the re-opening of some states has produced a surge in the sale and use of fuels in June.
  • Fall is almost here. Do you want to send your kids back to school? According to a new survey by the Gallup polling organization, 36 percent of parents want their children to return to full-time, in-school classwork while 36 percent prefer a mix of in-person and “virtual” instruction. Preferring full-time remote/virtual work are 28 percent.
  • RealClearPoliticscom’s average of recent presidential preference polls shows Democrat Joe Biden with 49.4 percent, and President Donald Trump with 42 percent. FiveThirtyEight.com’s  numbers show Biden with 50.2 percent and Trump with 41.9 percent.

The Lakers win and the Dodgers  lose

  • Lakers 116, Jazz 108. Anthony Davis continued to be on fire for L.A. scoring 42 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. LeBron James had 22 points and contributed nine assists in the win, which improved the team’s record to 51-15. The Jazz are 42-25. It was a close contest with the Lakers leading by just two at halftime. Davis and Co. opened the game up in the third quarter with a 28-20 advantage.
  • Padres 5, Dodgers 4. San Diego kept its home field magic working for it Monday night as the team defeated L.A. Both teams are 7-4 overall and tied for second in the NL West. The Padres got three home runs in the victory, their fourth in five home games. Chris Paddock (2-0) got the win. For the Dodgers, the Dodgers got two home runs but were held to four hits.

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