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Gender: Male
Hometown: NY
Member since: Tue Dec 30, 2003, 12:41 AM
Number of posts: 38,649

Journal Archives

County judge asks TX Supreme Court to extend eviction moratorium

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, thousands in Fort Bend County have faced financial crises. Now some may be in danger of being evicted from their homes. However, the county’s top elected official is trying to delay the process and help residents get back on their feet.

Last Tuesday, May 19, the Texas Supreme Court allowed the statewide eviction moratorium to expire after temporarily putting eviction notices on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report from the Texas Tribune, eviction hearings could begin on May 19, while eviction orders could legally be served beginning this past Tuesday.

On the heels of the expiration, Fort Bend County Judge KP George sent a letter to the county’s justices of the peace “imploring” them to extend the local eviction moratorium in all four precincts.

...A provision in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security (CARES) Act allows a federal moratorium on evictions to continue through July 25 for properties that have federally backed mortgages. In his letter, George called for the county’s help in extending its own moratorium to match the federal provision.

Part of George’s reasoning is the large-scale unemployment that has gripped not just Fort Bend County but Texans as a whole. According to data from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), more than 2.2 million Texans have filed for unemployment since Feb. 22. The TWC also indicated that as of May 9, nearly 47,000 claims for unemployment had been filed in Fort Bend County since March 1 – the fifth-most among any county in Texas.


Posted by BeyondGeography | Wed May 27, 2020, 07:41 AM (0 replies)

Wealthiest Hospitals Got Billions in Bailout for Struggling Health Providers

Twenty large chains received more than $5 billion in federal grants even while sitting on more than $100 billion in cash.

...With states restricting hospitals from performing elective surgery and other nonessential services, their revenue has shriveled. The Department of Health and Human Services has disbursed $72 billion in grants since April to hospitals and other health care providers through the bailout program, which was part of the CARES Act economic stimulus package. The department plans to eventually distribute more than $100 billion more.

So far, the riches are flowing in large part to hospitals that had already built up deep financial reserves to help them withstand an economic storm. Smaller, poorer hospitals are receiving tiny amounts of federal aid by comparison.

... After the CARES Act was passed in March, hospital industry lobbyists reached out to senior Health and Human Services officials to discuss how the money would be distributed.
Representatives of the American Hospital Association, a lobbying group for the country’s largest hospitals, communicated with Alex M. Azar II, the department secretary, and Eric Hargan, the deputy secretary overseeing the funds, said Tom Nickels, a lobbyist for the group. Chip Kahn, president of the Federation of American Hospitals, which lobbies on behalf of for-profit hospitals, said he, too, had frequent discussions with the agency.

The department then devised formulas to quickly dispense tens of billions of dollars to thousands of hospitals — and those formulas favored large, wealthy institutions.

In a letter this month to the Department of Health and Human Services, two House committee chairmen said the Trump administration appeared to be disregarding Congress’s intent in how it was distributing the aid. “The level of funding appears to be completely disconnected from need,” wrote the two Democrats, Representatives Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey and Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts.

More at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/25/business/hospitals-bailout-billions.html?
Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon May 25, 2020, 07:06 AM (0 replies)

Georgetown coach, Knicks legend Patrick Ewing tests positive for coronavirus

Patrick Ewing has tested positive for coronavirus, and is sharing his diagnosis to raise public awareness. The Georgetown coach is under care and isolated at a local hospital, the school’s athletic department said in a statement.

“I want to share that I have tested positive for COVID-19,” the Knicks legend and Basketball Hall of Famer said. “This virus is serious and should not be taken lightly. I want to encourage everyone to stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.”

Ewing, 57, emphasized that he’ll be OK, and he is the only member of the program to contract the novel coronavirus. “Now more than ever, I want to thank the healthcare workers and everyone on the front lines,” Ewing said. “I’ll be fine and get through this.”

The diagnosis comes days after the NCAA lifted its moratorium on workouts, allowing voluntary on-campus activities to resume on June 1. On Friday, the SEC announced student-athletes can begin using school facilities beginning June 8 with strict supervision, though the Big East — the Hoyas’ conference — has yet to reveal any plans.

Posted by BeyondGeography | Fri May 22, 2020, 08:55 PM (2 replies)

Down By The River - Buddy Miles

Posted by BeyondGeography | Wed May 13, 2020, 10:18 PM (5 replies)

Fauci to Warn of 'Needless Suffering and Death' if States Open Too Soon

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease expert and a central figure in the government’s response to the coronavirus, plans to deliver a frank warning to the Senate on Tuesday: Americans would experience “needless suffering and death” if the country opens up prematurely.

Dr. Fauci, who has emerged as perhaps the nation’s most respected voice during the worst public health crisis in a century, is one of four top government doctors scheduled to testify remotely at a high-profile — and highly unusual — hearing on Tuesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He made his comments in an email to the New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg late Monday night.

“The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” he wrote. “If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.”

It is a message starkly at odds with the “things are looking up” argument that President Trump has been trying to put out: that states are ready to reopen and the pandemic is under control...

Posted by BeyondGeography | Tue May 12, 2020, 06:50 AM (3 replies)

'Promiscuous treatment of nature' will lead to more pandemics - scientists

Habitat destruction forces wildlife into human environments, where new diseases flourish

Humanity’s “promiscuous treatment of nature” needs to change or there will be more deadly pandemics such as Covid-19, warn scientists who have analysed the link between viruses, wildlife and habitat destruction.

Deforestation and other forms of land conversion are driving exotic species out of their evolutionary niches and into manmade environments, where they interact and breed new strains of disease, the experts say.

...A growing body of research confirms that bats – the origin of Covid 19 – naturally host many viruses which they are more likely transfer to humans or animals if they live in or near human-disturbed ecosystems...In the wild, bats are less likely to transfer the viruses they host to other animals or come into contact with new pathogens because species tend to specialise within distinct and well-established habitats. But once land is converted to human use, the probability increases of contact and viruses jumping zoonotically from one species to another.

...South America is a key area of concern due to the rapid clearance of the Amazon and other forests. Scientists in Brazil have found viral prevalence was 9.3% among bats near deforested sites, compared to 3.7% in pristine woodland. “With deforestation and land-use change, you open a door,” said Alessandra Nava, of the Manaus-based Biobank research centre.

...Conservation groups have also urged greater protection of existing habitats. A recent Greenpeace report warned the Amazon could see the next spillover of zoonotic viruses because the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, is putting a higher priority on opening up the forest than protecting people’s health...

Posted by BeyondGeography | Sat May 9, 2020, 07:20 AM (2 replies)

Iraq Vet Operating Nursing Home and Staff Sleep On-Site to Prevent COVID-19 Spread

Tyson Belanger, a phenomenal human being:

Posted by BeyondGeography | Tue May 5, 2020, 11:57 AM (0 replies)

Another 1,700 virus deaths reported in NY nursing homes

Source: AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state is reporting more than 1,700 previously undisclosed deaths at nursing homes and adult care facilities as the state faces scrutiny over how it’s protected vulnerable residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

At least 4,813 people have died from COVID-19 in the state’s nursing homes since March 1, according to a tally released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration late Monday that, for the first time, includes people believed to have been killed by the coronavirus before their diagnoses could be confirmed by a lab test.

Exactly how many nursing home residents have died remains uncertain despite the state’s latest disclosure, as the list doesn’t nursing home residents who were transferred to hospitals before dying.

The revised list shows that 22 nursing homes, largely in New York City and Long Island, have reported at least 40 deaths.

Read more: https://apnews.com/9250bebc02d185f9a8052aeca5b00080
Posted by BeyondGeography | Tue May 5, 2020, 09:43 AM (5 replies)

Amy Acton: The Leader We Wish We All Had

The coronavirus has turned several public health officials and local leaders into bona fide celebrities, and perhaps no one is more compelling than the Ohio Health Department’s Dr. Amy Acton. She wasn’t just the brains behind the state’s early, aggressive coronavirus response; she was also its most effective messenger...
Posted by BeyondGeography | Tue May 5, 2020, 07:10 AM (9 replies)

An I.C.U. doctor felt despair for COVID patients. Soon, she organized concerts over the phone.

Posted by BeyondGeography | Sun May 3, 2020, 05:42 PM (2 replies)
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