If you’re a regular reader of the What You Need to Know newsletter, then you know that since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve committed to providing helpful content to our readers every day, highlighting facts about the virus that has taken thousands of lives and continues to ravage our community. But news this week is especially disturbing. On Wednesday, the U.S. saw a record number of new coronavirus cases in a single day, with almost 46,000 infections reported. Wednesday’s cases top the previous highest daily count from April 26. In other words, we’re headed in the wrong direction and we must act. Now.
As states have reopened and the virus has come roaring back in the majority of U.S. states, it is clear that we’re at a very crucial time in the battle against the coronavirus. Many leaders have turned their backs on the most vulnerable communities, Blacks and Hispanics, even as essential workers of color continue to put themselves, and the health of their loved ones at home, in harm’s way to keep other families fed, entertained and happy. This brings to light the very reason why those of us who can stay home, do stay home.
Although officials have given the green light to businesses to open and people attempt to return back to life before that fateful day of lock downs in March, it’s time we put the phrase “We’re all in this together” into practice. Venture out ONLY when necessary, meaning for work or food. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Tell your family, friends and the young people in your life to do the same. Think of those essential workers, our fellow Americans, who are literally putting their lives on the line for others. Take this pandemic seriously. Do your part.
MORE ON THE PANDEMIC
The three most populous states, Florida, California and Texas, are setting records for new coronavirus cases daily. Health experts in Texas predict “apocalyptic” numbers mirroring those in Brazil, if the trend continues. Governors in Texas and California are pleading with residents to stay home. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he’ll implement a fine of up to $250 for those not wearing a mask in public.
A mask mandate exemption for people of color in Oregon aimed at addressing racial profiling has been removed after county officials received racist backlash. Lincoln County is almost 90% White and less than 1% Black, according to census data. It is also home to a Native American reservation and a growing population of Latinos.
“The expressions of racism regarding the exception has created a ripple of fear throughout our communities of color. The very policy meant to protect them, is now making them a target for further discrimination and harassment,” Lincoln County leaders said Wednesday.
Another 1.5 million Americans filed initial jobless claims last week. Last week’s new jobless numbers brought the total claims filed since the mid-March to 47.3 million.
The IRS sent $1.4 billion in stimulus checks to more than 1 million people who had died, this according to an analysis released on Thursday by the Government Accountability Office. The agency sent the money because it initially believed it did not have the legal authority to withhold them. The IRS later reversed itself and began blocking payment going to the deceased while asking surviving relatives to return money that was sent successfully.
As many states are on the verge of being overwhelmed by new coronavirus cases, the Trump administration is ending its support for 13 drive-thru coronavirus testing sites on June 30. Seven sites are in Texas, which hit record numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations this week.
As the pandemic continues to damage the retail industry, Macy’s announced 3,900 corporate and management employees will lose their jobs, saving the company about $630 million per year.
Macy’s will also reduce staff across its stores, supply chain and customer support network.
Chuck E. Cheese’s filed for bankruptcy Thursday, amid financial strain caused by Covid-19 and closure of their entertainment centers as states issued stay-at-home orders. The company expects to operate normally and will continue reopening its Chuck E. Cheese locations as allowed.
For the first time in league history, the NFL’s 2020 Hall of Fame game scheduled for August 6 has been canceled due to the pandemic. Over the last two weeks, members of the Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers have tested positive for the coronavirus.