Things That Matter

Brazilian First Lady Tests Positive For Covid After President Bolsonaro Claims He Is Cured

Update July 31, 2020: Brazil’s First Lady, Michelle Bolsonaro, is the latest major world figure to become infected with the virus. The first lady’s positive test result comes after President Bolsonaro claims to be cured of the virus.

Brazil’s First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro is sick with Covid-19.

Her husband, President Jair Bolsnaro, contracted Covid-19 after months of downplaying the virus and defying health guidelines. The president announced his positive test at a press conference weeks ago where he took off his mask exposing the reporters.

President Bolsonaro now claims to have been cured of the virus but is weak from the time in isolation. He is now reportedly taking antibiotics for an undisclosed illness after his Covid infection. According to the press team for the president, the first lady is in good health and is resting.

Update: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro recently told the press that he has tested positive for COVID-19. During the press conference, President Bolosnaro removed his face mask and he’s being sued for exposing the journalists.

President Jair Bolsonaro is being sued for exposing journalists to COVID-19.

The Brazilian Press Association is filing a lawsuit against President Bolsonaro for removing his mask while telling the press that he has tested positive for COVID-19. The group, known as ABI, argues that the president blatantly ignored health standards and put the press at risk when he took off his mask. By his actions argues the lawsuit, President Bolsonaro knowingly risked the health of the journalists who were present despite the known dangers.

The lawsuit argues that it is a continuous behavior that must end.

“The country cannot watch continued behavior that is beyond irresponsible and constitutes clear crimes against public health, without reacting,” ABI President Paulo Jeronimo de Souza told the press, according to CNN.

Original: After months of downplaying the severity of COVID-19, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for the virus. Bolsonaro drew ire from the international community as he campaigned against stay-at-home orders and joined anti-lockdown protesters.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for COVID-19.

Brazil has become the epicenter for the COVID-19 outbreak in South America. The country, the largest democracy in Latin America, has the second-highest infections and deaths in the world. More than 1.6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Brazil. More than 65,000 people in Brazil have died from the virus.

Bolsonaro’s positive test comes after a 4th of July celebration he attended with the U.S. ambassador.

Health experts have warned against in-person gatherings for prolonged amounts of time. That includes family and social gatherings at houses or any other indoor venue. In LA County, spikes in hospitalization rates, a number that experts monitor closely, have been traced back to these kinds of high-risk exposure settings.

And, yes. There is a photo to prove the lack of masks and social distancing.

Bolsonaro spent months downplaying the true severity of the pandemic. The far-right leader spent some of his time actively riling up his base to protest against lockdown orders in the country. The president’s actions sparked anger throughout the international community and Brazil’s scientific community. Critics blame Bolsonaro’s lack of action to combat the virus to the country’s growing infection and death numbers.

Bolsonaro announced his positive result quickly to the press.

“On Sunday, I wasn’t feeling very well. On Monday, it got worse when I started feeling tired and some muscle pain,” Bolsonaro told reporters. “I also had a 38-degree [Celsius] fever. Given those symptoms, the presidential doctor said there was suspicion of Covid-19.”

The virus is not gone and the rapid spread is still setting off alarms for health officials around the world, especially in the Americas.

Stay safe and healthy. Follow health recommended guidelines. Safeguard your health first. The best advocate for you will forever be you. This virus is still spreading and numbers in the U.S. continue to climb.

READ: Gay Man Dubbed Karen For Saying He Wants Everyone To Catch COVID In IG Video

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There’s A ‘Haunted Drive-Thru’ Experience Coming To Save Halloween And It Looks Terrifying

Entertainment

There’s A ‘Haunted Drive-Thru’ Experience Coming To Save Halloween And It Looks Terrifying

Miodrag Ignjatovic / Getty Images

I don’t care if it’s barely August. It’s never too soon to start talking about Halloween.

The year 2020 has already taken so much from us, I won’t let it take Halloween too. And thanks to come very creative, socially-distanced supporting Halloween fans, it looks like we won’t have to say goodbye to the best holiday of the year after all.

Orlando is getting a drive-thru haunted experience and I really want to go.

If you were worried that COVID-19 would spell the end of haunted attractions in 2020, you’d best buckle up. The brave and the squeamish alike are invited to travel The Haunted Road this fall, a drive-thru Halloween experience in Central Florida that offers a socially distant alternative to the traditional haunted house.

The Haunted Road promises a fully immersive horror experience replete with monsters and gore galore — which should ring like music to your ears if going to haunts is your Halloween tradition of choice. The difference here is that you’ll experience the world of nightmarish scenery and gruesome creatures entirely from the comfort of your vehicle. So, kind of like a haunted hayride, but Coronavirus safe.

At the heart of the experience is an original take on the story of Rapunzel. On The Haunted Road, Rapunzel “journeys into a world of disarray, faces bloodcurdling creatures — and hundreds of shocking scares.” There will also be a more family-friendly daytime version of the event on weekdays.

OK, a huge thank you to whomever thought up this genius idea.

The idea for The Haunted Road was borne from the idea of creating an original haunted attraction that adheres to safe social distancing measures.

Most haunted attractions place visitors into smaller spaces and encourage performers to get up close and personal to secure the scare. But with the coronavirus pandemic raging on, that in-your-face approach is largely unfeasible and could lead most haunts to remain closed for the 2020 season. And that’s where The Haunted Road comes riding in like a headless horseman poised to save Halloween.

“With the arts and entertainment industry at a standstill, and an increasing need to find new, safe outdoor entertainment, we knew it was the perfect time to develop a unique Halloween experience so everyone can enjoy a dose of horror this upcoming Halloween season, from the comfort of their car,” said Jessica Mariko, executive producer and creative principal, The Haunted Road.

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A Federal Court Ruling Could Finally Put Much Needed Stimulus Funds In The Hands Of Native Tribes

Things That Matter

A Federal Court Ruling Could Finally Put Much Needed Stimulus Funds In The Hands Of Native Tribes

Sharon Shischilly / Getty Images

Indigenous communities in the Unites States have often been forgotten or deliberately excluded from federal policy. Many nations have been forced to go it alone and, as Covid-19 ravages Native lands, many tribe members have died.

After more than two centuries of exclusion, amid a global epidemic, Indigenous communities are once again being excluded from the decision-making process in Washington even as Covid-19 devastates their communities.

But while Indigenous peoples haven’t always had success before the courts, there has been real momentum of late. In July, the Supreme Court recognized roughly half of Oklahoma as Indigenous land, in a ruling that will have far-reaching consequences in the state justice system and beyond.

Now, Native Americans are having to fight once again for what they’re owed as the federal government distributes the more than $150 billion in stimulus money. More than a dozen Indigenous organizations warned, starting in early April, that if the Trump administration did not listen to tribal governments, they ran the risk of turning the relief package into a “grave injustice.”

A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to give Native tribes their withheld stimulus money.

Credit: Sam Wasson / Getty Images

Frustrated and disgusted that it has taken so long for the Treasury Department to distribute federal stimulus funds to Native American tribes, a federal judge ordered Secretary Steve Mnuchin to distribute the money immediately, according to HuffPost. The judge said that tribes should have received their portion of the CARES Act months ago when other Americans received theirs.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta was particularly critical of Mnuchin’s decision to hold back $679 million in funding set aside for tribes while waiting on a decision in another case that will determine whether tribal businesses are eligible for the funding, as The Hill reported.

In his ruling, Mehta said “Continued delay in the face of an exceptional public health crisis is no longer acceptable.”

Over the past three months, the Treasury Department has managed to send out billions of dollars in loans to small businesses, checks to families and aid to corporations. But distributing the $8 billion pot set aside for tribal governments has proved more difficult. As a result, tribes, already critically underfunded and among the nation’s most vulnerable communities, have not received all the money they need to weather the pandemic and begin recovering from the economic toll.

“Congress made a policy judgment that tribal governments are in dire need of emergency relief to aid in their public health efforts and imposed an incredibly short time limit to distribute those dollars,” he wrote in an order released late Monday night. “The 80 days they have waited, when Congress intended receipt of emergency funds in less than half that time, is long enough.”

Some tribes were owed $12 million in federal funding and yet got nothing from the government.

Credit: Mark Ralson / Getty Images

Much of the fault is with the Treasury Department which counted the populations of Native tribes differently that Congress had intended. This meant that some tribes would end up with zero funding while some for-profit tribal companies could end up with millions.

Since some tribes do not have a designated reservation or service area, their population counts were listed as zero and they received only the minimum $100,000 allocation.

“We are not races — we are sovereign nations,” said Chief Ben Barnes of the Shawnee Tribe. He added “How can a tribe have zero people?” noting that more than 3,000 people belong to his tribe. “It was a simple clerical error, but no one at Treasury tried to fix it.”

The oversight was even more egregious, Barnes said, because there is also a census count that, while not completely accurate, would have ensured the tribe got closer to the $12 million it believes it is entitled to based on enrollment numbers.

As the legal wrangling continues, the picture on the ground is disastrous.

The Indian Health Service (IHS) reports there have been nearly 33,000 COVID-19 cases reported to IHS, tribal, and urban Indian health organizations. In May, the outbreak in the Navajo Nation surpassed New York as the highest infection rate in the country—today, its infection rate is double any state. Today, the nation has more cases, in terms of raw numbers, than several states.

And while the funding threats and lack of resources threaten everyone, Indigenous elders—sometimes the only remaining speakers of nearly lost languages—face particular danger.

In recent years, there have been furious efforts to collect Indigenous histories and preserve nearly lost Indigenous languages. COVID-19 threatens to undo much of that work as it cuts through the elderly population.

“COVID-19, like many diseases, renders Indigenous elders—our knowledge-keepers and language holders—particularly susceptible to illness and death,” wrote Gina Starblanket and Dallas Hunt, two Indigenous professors and writers in the Globe and Mail in late March. “This virus not only places us at risk, but the future well-being of coming generations as well

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