Things That Matter

Ohio Senator Who Asked Question About COVID Infections In ‘Colored’ Community Fired As ER Physician

Update June 21, 2020, 2:39 p.m. PST: Ohio State Senator Stephen A. Huffman has been fired from his job as an emergency room physician. The senator made national headlines after a hearing about declaring racism a public health crisis.

Ohio State Senator Stephen A. Huffman is no longer employed by TeamHealth.

The Tennessee-based TeamHealth, a network of hospitals in the state. The senator’s comments about the African-American community and their COVID-19 rates. The senator then tried to clarify his comments saying that he thought “colored population” was interchangeable with “people of color.”

“Dr. Huffman’s comments are wholly inconsistent with our values and commitment to creating a tolerant and diverse workplace,” a company spokesman said in a statement, according to NBC News. “TeamHealth has terminated Dr. Huffman’s employment.”

Original: Ohio State Senator Stephen A. Huffman is facing backlash after comments he made during a hearing about making racism a public health crisis. The senator is being accused of racism after using offensive language to refer to people of color.

Ohio State Senator Stephen Huffman asked if the “colored population” had higher rates of COVID-19 due to hygiene.

The senator was in a hearing to discuss if racism should be deemed a public health crisis. The senator used the time to ask if the African-American community was contracting COVID-19 ar higher rates because they aren’t as good with hygiene. Specifically, Sen. Huffman wanted to know if the “colored population do not wash their hands as well as other groups.”

The senator is a doctor in Ohio raising concerns among Ohio residents.

The ACLU of Ohio is calling for Sen. Huffman to resign following his comments. Namely, organization officials claim that as a physician for 20 years, Sen. Huffman is fully aware of his comments and what they could do to the community.

“There is no reality where he can remain a member of the Ohio General Assembly and make decisions that affect the very communities he undermines and clearly hold such contemptible attitudes,” said J. Bennett Guess, executive director of the civil liberties organization. “This is what systemic institutionalized racism looks like, and this is how it manifests itself and oppresses the day-to-day lives of people of color.”

The comment is bringing national attention to a statewide race in Ohio.

In the time of Black Lives Matter and COVID-19, people have a lot of time to organize and mobilize using social media. Sen. Huffman is the latest politician to catch their attention because of his offensive language.

His colleagues are joining the constituents asking for him to leave the seat.

Sen. Huffman is one of 24 Republican members of the Ohio Senate. There are 34 members total and 9 are Democrats. Sen. Huffman won his seat in 2019 and Ohio senators are elected to 4-year terms.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Sen. Huffman claims that the quote was an unfortunate choice of words. He also said that he thought that “colored population” was the same as people of color.

“People of color would have been better, but they seem to be interchangeable,” Sen. Huffman told The Washington Post.

READ: Latino Homes Are Experiencing The Highest Rate Of The Worst COVID-19 Symptoms

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The President Of Mexico Has Tested Positive For Covid-19 After A Year Of Downplaying The Virus

Things That Matter

The President Of Mexico Has Tested Positive For Covid-19 After A Year Of Downplaying The Virus

Hector Villas / Getty Images

Since the very beginning of the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has largely downplayed the severity of the crisis. Despite record-setting deaths across Mexico, the president continued to hold large rallies, rarely uses face masks and continues to be very hands on with his supporters. Many of his detractors grouped him in with Donald Trump and Brazil’s Jaír Bolsonaro in his poor response to the pandemic.

Mexico’s President AMLO has tested positive for Covid-19 and is experiencing light symptoms.

In a tweet on Sunday evening, AMLO revealed that he had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. From his official Twitter account, he said his symptoms were mild and that he was receiving medical treatment.

“I regret to inform you that I have contracted Covid-19. The symptoms are mild, but I am already receiving medical treatment. As always, I am optimistic. We will move forward,” Lopez Obrador wrote.

Despite his diagnosis, the president plans to continue business as usual. He plans to continue with his duties from the Palacio Nacional, which include conducting a planned phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the topic of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine Monday. He added on Twitter, that “I will be conducting all public affairs from the National Palace. For example, tomorrow I will take a call from President Vladimir Putin, because irrespective of friendly relationships, there is a possibility that they will send us the Sputnik V vaccine.”

AMLO has taken a very hands off approach to his country’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

AMLO, 67-years-old, has rarely been seen wearing a mask and continued to travel extensively across the country aboard commercial flights – putting both his health and those around him at risk.

He has also resisted locking down the economy, noting the devastating effect it would have on so many Mexicans who live day to day. And because of that, Mexico has one of the highest death rates in the world. Early in the pandemic, asked how he was protecting Mexico, AMLO removed two religious amulets from his wallet and proudly showed them off.

“The protective shield is the ‘Get thee behind me, Satan,’” AMLO said, reading off the inscription on the amulet, “Stop, enemy, for the Heart of Jesus is with me.”

In November, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, urged Mexico’s leaders be serious about the coronavirus and set examples for its citizens, saying that “Mexico is in bad shape” with the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Mexico continues to experience the worst effects yet of the global health crisis.

Credit: Ismael Rosas / Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Thanks to a lack of national leadership, Mexico is one of the 17 countries that has reported more than one million cases of Covid-19. Since early October, newly confirmed cases and deaths have been reaching record levels, with recent daily numbers some of the highest since the beginning the pandemic.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Mexico has recorded at least 1,752,347 Covid-19 cases and 149,084 people have died from the virus in the country.

In hardest-hit Mexico City, nearly 30 public hospitals report they have reached 100% percent capacity, and many others are approaching that mark. The city’s Mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, has urged residents to not go out unless absolutely necessary. In December, Mexico City and the state of Mexico were placed into “red level,” the highest measure on the country’s stoplight alert system for Covid-19 restrictions. The tighter measures included the closure of indoor dining, with only essential sectors like transport, energy, health and construction remaining open.

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Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Entertainment

Ben Affleck Gets Candid About the ‘Racist, Sexist’ Attacks JLo Faced When They Were Together

Photo via Getty Images

Ben Affleck is opening up about the early 2000s when he and Jennifer Lopez were Hollywood’s It Couple. The duo–formerly known by the moniker “Bennifer”–captivated the world with their glamourous and somewhat surprising courtship.

But the relationship eventually unraveled under the intense pressure of public scrutiny.

In a recent podcast appearance, Affleck revealed just how terrible and racially-charged the criticism on their relationship was.

“People were so f–king mean about her,” he said on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast. “Sexist, racist, ugly, vicious s–t was written about her in ways that if you wrote it now, you would literally be fired for saying those things you said.”

“At first At first it was like Dick and Liz [Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor], it was this sort of infatuation: ‘What an interesting couple‘. And then there was a ton of resentment. A ton of resentment against me, a ton of resentment against Jennifer.”

He went on to explain that what was so fascinating about the relationship to the general public–namely, how they had such vastly different backgrounds–wasn’t something he thought twice about.

Affleck went on to sing JLo’s praises, saying that she deserves all of the praise and adulation she now receives.

“Now it’s like, she’s lionized and respected for the work she did, where she came from, what she accomplished–as well she f**king should be!” he said.

“She was very much like the kind of girl I went to high school with,” he explained. “It was a very socioeconomically mixed, ethnically mixed place–those kinds of differences that just seem to shock America were meaningless to me.”

“I would say you have a better shot, coming from the Bronx, of ending up as like [Justice Sonia] Sotomayor on the Supreme Court than you do of having Jennifer Lopez’s career and being who she is at 50 years old today…just on a pure odds level.”

He concluded: “I never met anyone who worked harder than Jennifer Lopez.” On that, we can definitely agree.

Jennifer Lopez has also been candid about how traumatic the public response was back then to her relationship with Ben Affleck.

“I was eviscerated,” she told Vanity Fair in 2017 about the media coverage of her and Ben’s relationship we well as their much-maligned film, “Gigli”. “I lost my sense of self, questioned if I belonged in this business, thought maybe I did suck at everything. And my relationship [with Affleck] self-destructed in front of the entire world. It was a two-year thing for me until I picked myself up again.”

But now, it appears they’re both in happier places. Ben Affleck has two children with his ex-wife, Jennifer Garner and JLo is happily engaged to Alex Rodriguez.

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