The Stand

A mask for their sake ● A voice and a breath ● Trump vs. health care ● How Long

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Friday, June 26, 2020

 


COVID-19

 

► LIVE from the Seattle Times — Coronavirus daily news update, June 26 — The latest count of COVID-19 cases in Washington totals 30,367 infections (7-day average of new infections per day: 399) and 1,300 deaths (7-day average of deaths per day: 8)

► From the Spokesman-Review — Inslee: Spokane ‘right on the verge of a very dire situation’ as COVID-19 cases continue rise — During a visit to Spokane County, Gov. Jay Inslee warned that the hospitalizations in Spokane County due to COVID-19 are projected to double in the next couple weeks.

The Stand (June 24) — Masks required in public starting Friday

► From the Yakima H-R — COVID-19 continues to disproportionately impact Hispanic communities, state and local leaders say — Data show 44% of confirmed cases and 29% of hospitalizations are Hispanics, who comprise 13% of the state’s population.

► From the Washington Post — ‘Don’t be a sheep’: Sheriffs rebel against new statewide mask requirements — Hours after Gov. Jay Inslee ordered state residents to cover their faces in public, a Republican sheriff in a rural swath of the state’s southwest suggested they should be doing no such thing. “Here’s what I say,” Lewis County Sheriff Robert Snaza told the crowd outside a church Tuesday, carrying a megaphone and sporting his green and beige uniform but no face mask. “Don’t be a sheep.”

► From the NY Times — Can’t you wear a mask for the sake of health care workers? (by Dr. ) — Health care workers are exhausted. Staffing shortages and increasing fatigue are the new normal for emergency departments, intensive-care units and Covid-19 units, and across hospital wards. Staffing levels are being set with an emphasis on “productivity” as determined by financial calculations rather than clinical severity or the complex needs of our patients and the community we serve… I get angry when I see people refuse to wear a mask or physically distance from others or stay home when they could because it is inconvenient — or as a political statement. If you do not wear a mask and physically distance, you are putting yourself and others in harm’s way. You are putting us in harm’s way. Then you will expect us to risk our lives to save you… Your sacrifices of comfort and convenience make a difference — for your family, your neighbors, your health care workers and your access to quality health care in the future if you need it. I hope you don’t visit me or my team in the hospital anytime soon, but should you need to come see us, we want to be available and able to provide you the best possible care. To do that, we need you to be part of our team.

► LIVE from the Washington Post — Texas, Florida, Arizona pause reopening plans; new coronavirus cases hit single-day record in U.S. — The White House coronavirus task force will hold its first news briefing in nearly two months Friday.

► From the Washington Post — How Arizona ‘lost control of the epidemic’ — Physicians, public health experts, advocates and local officials say the crisis was predictable in Arizona, where local ordinances requiring masks were forbidden until Gov. Doug Ducey (R) reversed course last week. State leaders did not take the necessary precautions or model safe behavior, these observers maintain, even in the face of compelling evidence and repeated pleas from authoritative voices.

► From Politico — States plead for help while White House touts success in curbing virus

► From Roll Call — States need money. The Fed has it. Politics may be an obstacle.

► From TPM — Trump plays down devastation caused by COVID-19 as an ‘artificial problem’

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► From the News Tribune — Backlog of WA unemployment claims shrinks, but wait for payment might linger into late July for some — Employment Security Department  Commissioner Suzi LeVine said the agency has set a target of resolving all claims by July 31.

► From the Seattle Times — State unemployment agency faces widening legal fight over delayed payments — The legal challenges come as ESD continues to struggle with two vast challenges — getting money to the unprecedented number of people left jobless by COVID-19 lockdowns while cleaning up an epic fraud scheme that targeted jobless benefits.

► From the Spokesman-Review — EWU trustees approve major budget cuts; details to be determined — Citing a grim revenue forecast, Eastern Washington University’s board of trustees on Thursday unanimously approved an operating budget for fiscal 2021 that’s estimated to be $22.5 million, or nearly 8%, smaller than the budget for the current fiscal year. The board also approved a reorganization of EWU’s various colleges and postponed a vote on whether to declare a “severe financial crisis,” a move that would invoke a clause in the faculty union’s contract and give President Mary Cullinan broad latitude to reduce spending across academic departments. The faculty senate earlier this week voted no confidence in Cullinan.

► From the Wenatchee World — Wenatchee Valley College offers voluntary furloughs

EDITOR’S NOTE — That’s right… “offers.”

► From the Columbian — State furloughs to close DSHS office on Mondays

► From the Bellingham Herald — Whatcom asking workers to take unpaid leave

 


POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY

 

► From KUOW — ‘I can’t breathe’: A 2nd-grader. A security guard. A Seattle school. — The Seattle School Board has voted to suspend the placement of police in schools, a move prompted by calls to address police brutality, especially against Black people and children. Security guards, however, far outnumber cops in Seattle schools… In March, Angel Graves, a student and family advocate at Stevens Elementary School on Capitol Hill heard a child scream, “Stop, stop, you’re hurting me! Let me go, you’re hurting me! I can’t breathe!” Graves said she rushed out and saw a school district security guard she didn’t recognize with his knee pushing against 7-year-old Renée’s back. The guard, David Raybern, is white. Renée is Black. “The guy was smashing her face against the wall, her body against the wall,” Graves said. The guard then grabbed the second-grader by the leg and pulled her across the floor, “then he got on top of her back again, and he had his knee in her back and trying to hold her arms,” Graves said.

► MUST-READ from Westside Seattle — A voice and a breath: Something we all need to fight for (by QFC employee and UFCW 21 member Sam Dancy) — Sometimes the change we bring comes back to us in unexpected and beautiful ways. Like when I came back to my store after getting out of the hospital and found all the get-well cards left by my customers. Customers I have gotten close to over the years and who knew I was ill. They were concerned and they wanted me to know that I was in their prayers. And because of a good health plan that my union brothers and sisters and I have fought for, and the caring professionals at the hospital, and the luck that we get sometimes, I am breathing today. My lungs are breathing healthy again, for the time being. But let’s remember George Floyd and that his lungs will never take another breath and we need to use our voices to wipe out the stain of systemic racism in our country’s policing, and broken systems of criminal justice, voting, health care, education, and employment. And one way to do that is to build bigger and better unions so that every worker in the country who wants a union at work can have a union at work.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers to have a voice at work and negotiate a fair return for your hard labor. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► From The Hill — House passes police reform bill that faces dead end in Senate — The House on Thursday passed sweeping criminal justice reforms aimed at curbing the use of excessive force by law enforcement. Their legislation — the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act— includes outright bans on chokeholds and no-knock warrants for all federal law enforcement agencies; creates a national registry of police abuses; and makes it easier to both prosecute and sue individual officers in cases of misconduct… Republican leaders maintain the Democrats’ bill goes too far.

TODAY at The Stand — With labor’s support, House passes sweeping police reform

► From the NY Times — Another nightmare video and the police on the defensive in Tucson — A city with a relatively progressive image and reform-minded police is grappling with a brutal death in police custody — and why it took so long to become public.

► From the Spokesman-Review — Spokane City Council, mayor issue separate police reform proposals

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► From the NY Times — Trump administration asks Supreme Court to strike down Affordable Care Act — The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court late Thursday to overturn the Affordable Care Act — a move that, if successful, would bring a permanent end to the health insurance program popularly known as Obamacare and wipe out coverage for as many as 23 million Americans. The move, coming in the thick of an election season — as well as a pandemic that has devastated the economy and left millions of unemployed Americans without health coverage — is sure to reignite Washington’s bitter political debate over health care.

EDITOR’S NOTE — If Trump succeeds, it will also end protections for pre-existing conditions, coverage for adult children, subsidies for low-income families, and much more.

► From The Hill — Short term health plans leave consumers on the hook for massive medical costs, investigation finds — Short-term health plans, which don’t have to comply with ObamaCare’s coverage rules, routinely refuse to pay the costs of treating beneficiaries, but have seen a surge in enrollment as a result of Trump administration policies.

► From HuffPost — Supreme Court rulings on LGBTQ rights, DACA are really popular — For the first time in years, a majority of both Democrats and Republicans approve of the Supreme Court, finds poll conducted last week.

► But then… from Reuters — Supreme Court bolsters Trump’s power over rapid deportation — The court on Thursday enhanced the ability of Trump’s administration to quickly deport immigrants including asylum seekers with limited judicial review.

► From the Washington Post — Under siege from Trump, U.S. Postal Service finds surprising financial upside in pandemic — A tidal wave of packages is keeping the U.S. Postal Service afloat during the coronavirus recession, boosting the beleaguered agency’s finances to near pre-pandemic levels while legislators and the White House joust over its independence… If package volumes persist at 15 to 20 percent above normal levels in the coming months and the Postal Service does not do any more borrowing, it will delay its solvency crisis until October 2021. But if package volumes return to pre-pandemic levels, the agency is set to run out of cash by March.

► From The Hill — Voting by mail is now a necessity during COVID-19 (by

 


NATIONAL

 

► From the Portland Press-Herald — Strike enters day 5: Bath shipyard union wants federal mediator for help as communication stalls — The striking union at Bath Iron Works has requested help from a federal mediator as both the company and the union say they’re open to resuming negotiations, but neither has made the first move. Machinists Union Local S6, which represents 4,300 of the shipyard’s 6,700 employees, rejected the three-year contract proposal over disagreements on the company’s plans to continue hiring subcontractors and make changes to seniority privileges.

► From Payday Report — Replaced by prison labor, New Orleans garbage workers form union to fight back — Forced to work in one of the world’s worst hotbeds of COVID, New Orleans sanitation workers, employed through the temp firm People Ready and contracted by Metro Services, were only paid $10.25 an hour without benefits. On May 6, workers went on strike demanding $15 an hour, hazard pay, protective equipment, and health insurance. However, the workers were fired two days later. Instead of re-hiring them, Metro Services replaced them with prison labor. The workers have since filed NLRB charges alleging that they were illegally fired for striking.

► From Politico — Coronavirus opens door to company surveillance of workers — Privacy advocates warn of a slippery slope toward “normalizing” new levels of employer surveillance.

► From The Hill — Michigan GOP candidate’s daughter urges people not to vote for him in viral tweet — Republican state House candidate Robert Regan disagrees with his daughter on the existence of systemic racism and white privilege.

 


T.G.I.F.

 

► Forty-five years ago, the British band Ace featuring Paul Carrack had this hit asking “How Long” the band’s bassist had been secretly working on songs with another band. Today, The Entire Staff of The Stand asks “How Long” until Breonna Taylor’s killers are arrested?

 


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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