Things That Matter

The White House Is Keeping How Bad the Coronavirus Crisis Is Getting From Americans

Coronavirus cases continue to pillage communities, hospitals, and counties across the United States but the Trump administration is tapping out their best efforts to make sure Americans don’t know it.

In their latest move to ensure concealing information about the coronavirus spread, the Trump administration has recently ordered hospitals to stop sending reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and instead reroute them to the Department of Health and Human Services. According to reports from the New York Times, Public health experts say the decision, would make the information unavailable to the public.

The HHS announced the changes last week in a published document.

According to the HHS “hospitals should no longer report the Covid-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network site.” The site is operated by the CDC and the data works up to round up “hospital and ICU bed occupancy, PPE supply, COVID-19 hospitalizations, and other information that’s key to tracking the pandemic’s strain on the nation’s hospitals.”

While the CDC has referred to NHSN as “the nation’s most widely used healthcare-associated infection tracking system,” the Trump administration has worked overtime to undermine them.

Over the past few weeks, the Trump administration has criticized the organization for its response to the coronavirus incessantly. Michael Caputo, a Trump administration officials, and HHS spokesperson recently told The New York Times that “the CDC still has at least a week lag in reporting hospital data. The new, faster, and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus, and the CDC, an operating division of HHS, will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They will simply no longer control it.”

Dr. Nicole Lurie, a former health official from the Obama administration has been quick to lambast the decision ridiculing the organization for spreading disinformation and distrust.

“Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,” Lurie explained. “It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like CDC to do its basic job.”

The decision to take the CDC out of the equation was reportedly helmed by Dr. Deborah Birx. As a member of the White House coronavirus task force, Birx reportedly ridiculed hospital executives for failing to report data adequately. According to the Times, these criticisms took place several weeks ago in a conference call.

Instead of reporting to CDC and using its system, the White House will now send new information to TeleTracking, a private Pittsburgh-based firm.

As Vice recently reported, TeleTracking was awarded a $10.2 million no-bid contract back in April “to provide the Department of Health and Human Services with COVID-19 rapid deployment plan for real-time healthcare system capacity reporting.”

Iowa state auditor Rob Sand released findings earlier this week that pointed out that the state Department of Public Health was the fourth entity in a chain to receive coronavirus test results and criticized the White House for the decision to keep Americans in the dark about how coronavirus continues to spread saying “We’ve asked the question: ‘Why can’t it be reported directly? Why are you routing it this way?’ And we’ve received no answer to it, which suggests to us that there is no legitimate point to do it that way.”

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Kamala Harris Ruffles Republican Feathers With Her Dancing And Proves GOP Wouldn’t Know Fun If It Threw Them A Party

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Kamala Harris Ruffles Republican Feathers With Her Dancing And Proves GOP Wouldn’t Know Fun If It Threw Them A Party

Nic Antaya / Getty

Right-wing conservatives really don’t know how to have a good time.

You may remember about a year ago the GOP was up in arms when 30 seconds of a 4-minute, 20-second video that featured a then-freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dancing in a video filmed at her alma mater Boston University. The video saw Ocasio-Cortez, who graduated from BU in 2011 with a degree in economics and international relations, imitating dance scenes from popular 1980s films and upset conservatives because she was… dun. DUN. DUNNN.

Dancing.

Now it seems the GOP are startled again, this time after seeing Sen. Kamala Harris breakout some moves of her own.

In a recent post published by The Washington Street Journal, author Peggy Noonan revealed that she took umbrage with Harris’s dance moves.

Noonan, a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and past winner of a Pulitzer Prize for commentary, spent her time scrutinizing Harris’ recent appearance at a recent campaign rally in Jacksonville, FL. For her appearance, Harris wore Converse sneakers and danced in the rain.

Noonan remarked that the senator’s “giddy” appearance was unserious. “She’s dancing with drum lines and beginning rallies with ‘Wassup, Florida!” Noonan remarked. “She’s throwing her head back and laughing a loud laugh, especially when nobody said anything funny. She’s the younger candidate going for the younger vote, and she’s going for a Happy Warrior vibe, but she’s coming across as insubstantial, frivolous.” Noonan also called Harris’s moves “embarrassing.” 

“Kamala Harris is running for vice president of the United States in an era of heightened and unending crisis,” she went onto write. “The world, which doubts our strength, our character, and our class, is watching. If you can’t imitate gravity, could you at least try for seriousness?”

Of course, in this piece, Noonan had nothing to say about Trump’s attempts at dancing which are in fact deeply embarrassing.

Many have been quick to highlight Noonan’s criticism and the double standard which she applied to Harris’ behavior in her piece.

“Peggy Noonan attacks Senator Harris b/c white supremacy dictates black women should stay in their place: quiet, subservient, and obedient,” one Twitter commented. “This is 2020. You don’t dictate Kamala Harris’s existence. You can’t take Kamala Harris’s joy.”

“This is the joy that so triggered Peggy Noonan that she wrote a column about how Senator Harris comes off as ‘insubstantial, frivolous,’” African American Policy Forum commented. “Black joy is something they feel the need to attack.”

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Community Rallies Around Latina Leader Who Needed A Double Lung Transplant Because Of Covid

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Community Rallies Around Latina Leader Who Needed A Double Lung Transplant Because Of Covid

GoFundMe

There is still so much that we do not know about Covid-19. One of the biggest mysteries is the long term effect of the virus after people recover. One of the most common things caused by Covid is the need for lung transplants. A Latina leader in Milwaukee experienced just that.

Carmen Lerma is a beloved member of the Latino community of Milwaukee.

Lerma was diagnosed with Covid-19 in July. At the time, cases were growing across the country and we knew even less about the virus than we know now. Lerma’s Covid diagnosis led to the beloved community member needing a double lung transplant because of the viciousness of this virus.

“She is very kind. She is very loved,” fellow volunteer and friend Carmen Hernandez said of Lerma to NBC News. “I feel so bad for her situation right now. She can’t even breathe. It’s really hard for me to see her going through this when she’s such an active person.”

Months after her diagnosis, Lerma has a new pair of lungs.

Credit: Carmen Lerma / Facebook

The Covid-19 pandemic is entering a new and terrifying chapter as cases are growing around the world. Countries in Europe are implementing new restrictions to control the spread of Covid and certain states are follow suit to protect residents. Lerma is hoping that her story can help to convince people of the severity of the virus.

Lerma’s story highlights the seriousness of Covid-19 complications after surviving a diagnosis.

Lung transplants for Covid-19 patients are becoming more and more common as more people are infected with the virus. Currently, more than 8 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Covid. More than 220,000 people have died and cases, which never significantly decreased, are on the rise again in most states.

Lerma is using her story to get people to care about Covid-19.

Credit: Carmen Lerma / Facebook

There has been a lot of misinformation spread about Covid that has contributed to the spikes. President Donald Trump used his own diagnosis to tell people not to worry about the virus and to get out there and live life, something health experts around the world rebuked. Even Harvard University released a study debunking the claim that certain blood types are more resistant or prone to Covid-19.

In one of the most American traditions, friends set up a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of Lerma’s medical care.

The GoFundMe page has raised more than $30,000 of the $100,000 they are hoping to raise to pay for Lerma’s medical costs. She spent months in hospitals fighting the virus that is currently devastating Wisconsin as it spreads unimpeded. Wisconsin is facing one of the worst outbreaks in the U.S. right now after a conservative judge declared Gov. Tony Evers’ restrictions to slow the spread. The state’s Republican Party is suing to reverse the mask mandate, the single strongest tool we have to battle the virus and save lives.

READ: Joe Biden Walks Away With Final Presidential Debate On Healthcare, Covid, And Many Issues

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