America’s “victory” celebration over the coronavirus may be dangerously premature, as the decline in new cases has been followed by a sharp upturn of COVID-19 reports.
According to the Associated Press, President Joe Biden urged the nation Monday to stick to precautions such as wearing masks. Although the number of people being vaccinated is rising in the U.S. and in most developed nations, the loosening of public health mandates might create a “fourth surge” of the virus.
His remarks came after Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope. But right now, I’m scared,” she said, adding that she had a feeling of “impending doom.”
The New York Times is reporting that new cases are up 15 percent over the past 14 days.
News: Video of Floyd’s death opens trial
The murder trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes, opened Monday with the screening for jurors of the video of the incident.
According to the Associated Press, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell said “He put knees upon his neck and his back, grinding and crushing him, until the very breath … the very life was squeezed out of him.”
Chauvin’s attorney replied that his client merely “did exactly what he had been trained to do over his 19-year career.”
The death of Floyd on May 25, 2020 sparked protests across the nation, giving new impetus to the Black Lives Matter movement, started in 2013, and calls for changes in law enforcement practices, especially regarding the treatment of unarmed persons. Another consequence has been a discussion what’s alleged to be “systemic racism” in many aspects of American life.
Business: Another toilet paper shortage?
Demonstrating the importance of the global supply chain, the blockage of the Suez Canal by a huge cargo shop – now freed and moving – might have an impact on the price and availability of items such as toilet paper and coffee.
According to USA Today, one-tenth of the world’s trade passes through the Egyptian canal that connects the Mediterranean Sea (and Europe) to the Indian Ocean. The blockage stalled dozens of ships for days, which not only slows delivery of the goods on board, but also creates a shortage of the containers on board, which are re-used over and over.
Good day for Dow, but … Monday was a good day for the Dow Jones Average, but not for the rest of Wall Street. The Dow set a new record high of 33,171.37 with a gain of 98.49. However, the S&P 500 dropped 3.45 points to 3,971.09 and the Nasdaq slid 79.08 points to close at 13,059.65.
Sports: Georgia voting law backlash
A new law in Georgia that critics say is aimed at making it more difficult for African Americans to vote may be getting pushback from the sports world. According to Sports Illustrated, the National Black Justice Coalition is calling for the PGA to move The Masters tournament to another state. Additionally, the MLB Players Assn. is considering calling for moving the 2021 All-Star game from Atlanta in protest.
The bill, SB 202, was signed by Gov. Brian Kemp last week. It reduces early voting days, requires notarization of absentee ballots and reduces the number of vote drop-off boxes. President Joe Biden called it “un-American” and “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” Supporters of the law say it will improve election security.
Weather: It’s going to be hot
Residents of West Orange County will get a sneak preview of summer this week. Although forecasts call for Tuesday to be cool and partly cloudy with a daytime high of 67 (53 overnight), Wednesday will heat up 20 degrees to 87 with lots of sun. Thursday will be a bit cooler at 81, and then 72 on Friday. It will be breezy, with winds up to 14 miles an hour. In coastal Huntington Beach, daytime highs will be similar and a small craft advisory is in place.
Categories: The Wider World