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Republican, Democrats reach compromise over Covid-19 stimulus package

Source: NBC News

WASHINGTON — Senior lawmakers reached a compromise over the Federal Reserve's emergency lending powers late Saturday night, overcoming a major hurdle that prevented Congress from completing a $900 billion coronavirus relief package earlier in the week, according to multiple sources.

A last-minute roadblock emerged on Friday as Democrats accused Republicans, namely Pennsylvania's Sen. Pat Toomey, of attempting to encumber the incoming Biden administration by cutting off the Federal Reserve's emergency lending abilities created by the CARES Act meant to protect the already battered economy.

“Now that Democrats have agreed to a version of Sen. Toomey’s important language, we can begin closing out the rest of the package to deliver much-needed relief to families, workers, and businesses,” a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told NBC News.

Compromise language is being finalized and any open items are expected to be worked out overnight, according to two aides.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/republican-democrats-reach-compromise-over-covid-19-stimulus-package-n1251837

WaPo: Covid-19 hospitalization rates are dropping. That's terrible news.

So during most of the fall, we could look at any single day’s covid cases and predict that about a week later, a certain proportion of them — about 3.5 percent — would result in hospitalizations. The rate, in fact, was remarkably consistent. On Oct. 15, we had 53,000 new cases. On Oct. 22, you would expect 1,844 hospitalizations. What was it actually? 1,855.

But as we entered November, something began to change. For instance, on Nov. 1, the Covid Tracking Project’s seven-day average showed about 80,000 new cases — which we would predict should lead to about 2,800 new hospitalizations a week later, by Nov. 8. Instead, there were 2,600, a little fewer than expected. On Nov. 15, we had 146,000 new cases, which should have resulted in about 5,100 new hospitalizations by Nov. 22. However, there were fewer than 3,700. This pattern of declining rates of hospitalization continued through the end of November.

What is happening is pretty simple: Because hospitals are filling up, they are admitting fewer and fewer people. Any doctor or nurse will tell you that as the demand for beds soars, the threshold for admission rises with it.

The decision on whether to admit a patient depends on two things: clinical judgment and bed availability. Critically ill patients will always be admitted. But as hospitals start to fill up, those who are less sick — younger covid patients, or those whose oxygen levels aren’t yet dangerously low — get sent home. These patients would be safer in a hospital bed, but there isn’t one available for them anymore. And this doesn’t happen just to covid patients. People who show up at the hospital with heart failure, wound infections and other ailments will be asked to manage their conditions at home, as doctors keep the remaining beds only for the very sickest patients. One man with a brain abscess recently waited a day in a rural hospital in Missouri before being dispatched to a larger facility hundreds of miles away, in another state.


Trump and Friends Got Coronavirus Care Many Others Couldn't

Rudolph W. Giuliani became the latest in President Trump’s inner circle to boast about the treatment he received for Covid-19, as hospitals across the country ration care. Ben Carson, Chris Christie and Donald J. Trump are not the sturdiest candidates to conquer the coronavirus: older, in some cases overweight, male and not particularly fit. Yet all seem to have gotten through Covid-19, and all have gotten an antibody treatment in such short supply that some hospitals and states are doling it out by lottery.

Now Rudolph W. Giuliani, the latest member of President Trump’s inner circle to contract Covid-19, has acknowledged that he received at least two of the same drugs the president received. He even conceded that his “celebrity” status had given him access to care that others did not have.

Calling into ABC Radio from his hospital bed on Tuesday, he said specifically that he had received two drugs — remdesivir, which has F.D.A. approval for treatment of Covid-19, and dexamethasone, a steroid.

But he also said he had received the same treatment [Regeneron monoclonal antibody] “cocktail” as the president: “Exactly the same, his doctor sent me here; he talked me into it,” Mr. Giuliani said of Mr. Trump’s physician, adding, “The minute I took the cocktail yesterday, I felt 100 percent better. It works very quickly, wow.”


Rubbing Trump's Face in His Loss Isn't Just Fun--It's Important

So Tuesday is the day. December 8 is the “safe harbor” deadline by which all the states must resolve all election-related disputes. Then the electors vote next Monday, but that should be anti-climatic, because over the weekend, Biden was certified the winner in California, which gave him 279 electoral votes, and it doesn’t look right now as if electors are going to be replaced anywhere; the crazy-ass Republicans of Pennsylvania are up to something, but it looks like it’s mainly for show. So as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, it’ll basically be over.

Donald Trump will know it. He’ll try to pretend otherwise, even though it’s obvious to anyone with an IQ higher than the life expectancy in his beloved Russia that it’s all just a massive grift—a financial grift to get his bag-of-hammers-dumb supporters to pay off his debts, and a psychological grift of both his sucker admirers and the cowardly Republicans who know better but have the spines of amphibians and still won’t do something so basic as call Joe Biden the president-elect. (By the way, after Jan. 20, will they call him Mr. President? Sadly, this is a serious question.)

Trump knows. He knows he is a historic loser. And he is in pain. He’s humiliated. And I’m overjoyed. I’ve never been big on schadenfreude, but this is one occasion when it’s absolutely called for. Politics, like war, relies on both sides agreeing on a winner. When that breaks down, that's precisely when brutal mockery is in order, since that's still much more civil and preferable to endless rhetorical let alone martial conflict. So there’s never been anyone in American politics more deserving of total humiliation, and besides that, it’s important for the sake of this country’s future for decent people today to keep saying and saying how hideous the Trump era was. Memories, as we know, are all too short.


Oregon Doc's License Suspended Over Anti-Mask Boasts at Pro-Trump Rally

An Oregon doctor who boasted about his anti-mask policies at a pro-Trump rally last month had his licensed suspended, KGW reported Friday. “I and my staff, none of us, not once, wore a mask in my clinic,” Dr. Steven LaTulippe said at the “Stop the Steal” rally, according to video posted by the Multnomah County Republican Party. In doing so, he was admitting that he violated a state order that requires masks in health-care settings, and the Oregon Medical Board stepped in. The suspension means that LaTulippe—who claimed the virus that has killed nearly 280,000 Americans is “nonsense”—is barred from practicing medicine indefinitely.


L.A. looking at layoffs for as many as 1,900 workers, including 951 police officers

Source: KTLA News

A budget proposal on Friday called for the Police Department to eliminate nearly 1,000 officer jobs — even though it could harm crime-fighting as the city struggles to close a huge budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The cuts “will significantly impact public safety services” at a time when the city is experiencing a “drastic” rise in homicide rates with about 300 so far this year, his proposal said. It will be reviewed by the City Council.

Los Angeles is trying to close a projected $675 million budget shortfall sparked by tax and other revenue losses because of business shutdowns and personal restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city is still talking with the league and added that he hoped to avoid layoffs, possibly with hoped-for federal assistance, calling it “the very last option that we have.”

Read more: https://ktla.com/news/local-news/l-a-looking-at-layoffs-for-as-many-as-1900-workers-including-951-police-officers/

All cities are similarly feeling budget shortfalls because of Covid-19. Looks like it's Mitch McConnell who is defunding the police by refusing to pass state and local aid.
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