Social welcome

Welcome Home Bob & Doug: Social Media Welcomes #LaunchAmerica Astronauts Home – NASA

Welcome Home Bob & Doug: Social Media Welcomes #LaunchAmerica Astronauts Home – NASA
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Social Strict

Strict Social Distancing Could Return if US Coronavirus Cases ‘Dramatically’ Increase – ScienceAlert

  • States may be forced to reimpose strict coronavirus abatement measures like social distancing and store closures if cases increase “dramatically,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Friday.
  • Many states have loosened restrictions that were imposed in March over the last few weeks.
  • The warning comes as some states, like Utah and Texas, are seeing a rapid rise in hospitalizations and case rates amid reopening plans. Utah has put further reopening on hold, but Texas is still following through with its original reopening plan despite a rise in cases.
  • The US has roughly 20,000 cases per day, according to Johns Hopkins data, and at least 23 states have reported a 7-day average increase in total cases.

Strict social distancing measures and store closures could come back if coronavirus cases in the US increase “dramatically,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Friday.

The abatement measures were largely imposed in March as the pandemic upended daily life for most Americans and cases rose uncontrollably in places like New York City. However, many states have started lifting restrictions in recent weeks to combat “pandemic fatigue.”

“Right now, communities are experiencing different levels of transmission occurring, as they gradually ease up onto the community mitigation efforts and gradually reopen,” CDC deputy director for infectious diseases Jay Butler said during a press briefing Friday.Advertisement

Some states that have lifted some restrictions are seeing a rise in overall cases and case rates. Utah will pause all reopening plans until June 26 as it grapples with a spike in cases, Gov. Gary Herbert told Reuters Friday.


, another emerging hot spot of new cases, announced Thursday it will impose a week-long pause on further reopening.

“If cases begin to go up again, particularly if they go up dramatically, it’s important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as what were implemented back in March may be needed again,” Butler said Friday.

Butler said that decisions about reimplementing such restrictions will have to be made at the state and local levels given the discrepancies in case totals nationally. The US has roughly 20,000 per day, according to Johns Hopkins data, and at least 23 states have reported a 7-day average increase in total cases, CNBC reported.


Texas is one of a handful of states that have chosen to continue reopening even as overall case totals continue to climb, Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday. The state recorded its third day in a row of record high hospitalizations, with more than 2,100 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, according to a Washington Post report. Intensive care units in Houston are reportedly at 88 percent capacity.

“For every person in a hospital bed, there are 10 open, available hospital beds available for them,” Abbott said in an interview with KYTX television Friday. “So there’s plenty of hospital capacity to be able to deal with COVID-19.”
Texas was among the first states to lift restrictions by letting its statewide stay-at-home order expire on April 30. Part of the reasoning, Abbott said, was to help offset economic losses as unemployment continued to tick upward while the order was enforced. However, many public health officials are worried that states that reopen prematurely could extend the first wave of infections or contribute to a larger second wave down the road.Advertisement

“When you start seeing more hospitalizations, that’s a sure-fire sign that you’re in a situation where you’re going in the wrong direction,” White House infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN.

COVID-19 has sickened more than 2 million Americans and killed at least 113,820 since the first confirmed U.S. case just over four months ago, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Given new data, the CDC updated its national and state-by-state forecasts for the number of people expected to die of COVID-19 in the coming month — it now expects between 124,000 and 140,000 total COVID-19 deaths in the US by July 4.

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Britain's Social

Britain’s social distancing rule under review – POLITICO – Politico


Boris Johnson’s week from hell

Dire economic data, rebellious allies and sustained criticism made for a week the British prime minister will want to forget.

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claims Social

Barr claims social media platforms ‘censoring particular viewpoints and putting their own content in there’ – Fox News

Attorney General William Barr told “Special Report” in the second part of an exclusive interview that aired Tuesday that he believes social media platforms are “engaged in censorship” and are acting more like “publishers”.

“So you think these [social media] firms are somehow censoring the president and his supporters?” host Bret Baier asked Barr.

“I think there are — clearly these, these entities are now engaged in censorship,” Barr responded. “And they originally held themselves out as open forums where people, where the third parties could come and express their views and they built up a tremendous network of eyeballs.

“They had a lot of market power based on that presentation,” the attorney general added. “And now they are acting much more like publishers because they’re censoring particular viewpoints and putting their own content in there to to diminish the impact of various people’s views.”


Late last month, Twitter slapped a warning label on one of President Trump’s tweets for the first time, cautioning readers that despite the president’s claims, “fact checkers” say there is “no evidence” that expanded, nationwide mail-in voting would increase fraud risks — and that “experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud.”

Within minutes, Trump accused Twitter of “interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election,” that the platform “is completely stifling FREE SPEECH” and vowing: “I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”

Two days later, the president signed an executive order that interprets Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 as not providing statutory liability protections for tech companies that engage in censorship and political conduct. It also cuts federal funding for social media platforms that censor users’ political views.

Baier asked Barr if he was taking “some action” on the issue.

“We are looking, as many others are, at changing Section 230, which is a rule that provides some protection for these companies…” Barr said.


“Which requires Congress?” Baier interjected.

“Which would require Congress,” Barr said. “Yes.”

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

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Media Social

Social media is going dark for Blackout Tuesday. Here’s why the wrong hashtag can hurt Black Lives Matter. – CBS News

As anti-police brutality protesters march across the nation, two black women in the music industry have created a movement for social media users to go dark for a day of protest. 

#TheShowMustBePaused is an industry-wide call to action for social media users to acknowledge “the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other black citizens at the hands of police” by posting only a black tile on their social media platforms.

The initiative is the brainchild of Jamila Thomas, senior director of marketing at Atlantic Records and former Atlantic Records employee Brianna Agyemang.

However, as the movement grew, most people began using the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday, and activists urged social media users against using #BlackLivesMatter, saying it will drown out vital resources and information for the unaffiliated movement. 

“If you use the Black Lives Matter hashtag, use it to share necessary resources and information for the movement. If you are not using it for that purpose, please type out Black Lives Matter with no hashtag, so we do not inadvertently mute vital dialogue in a sea of black boxes,” the organizers wrote.

Agyemang and Thomas are targeting the music industry with their campaign as they believe it is an industry “that has profited predominantly from black art.”

“Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of black people accountable,” they wrote.

The demand for the day of pause has been met with widespread support. Major music labels such as Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Atlantic Records vowed to back the movement.

Streaming services such as Apple Music, YouTube and Spotify have also stepped forward. Music giant Spotify pledged to “stand with black creators,” with some playlists and podcasts featuring an 8 minute and 46-second long track of silence to acknowledge the amount of time fired officer Devin Chauvin held his knee on the neck of Floyd.

Artists and celebrities such as Drake, Katy Perry, Mick Jagger, Quincy Jones, Rihanna and many others have posted the black tile in solidarity. “It’s hard to know what to say because I’ve been dealing with racism my entire life,” said legendary producer Quincy Jones. “My team & I stand for justice. Convos will be had & action will be taken.”

While Agyemang and Thomas have addressed the incorrect use of #BlackLivesMatter with their movement, some activists and celebrities have also raised concerns.

“It has come to my attention that many allies are using #BlackLivesMatter hashtag w black image on insta,” wrote one activist on Twitter. “We know that’s it no intent to harm but to be frank, this essentially does harm the message. We use hashtag to keep ppl updated.”

“Don’t use the tag #BlackLivesMatter. It’s pushing down important and relevant content,” wrote comedian Kumail Nanjiani.


If you are participating in this, don’t use the tag #BlackLivesMatter. It’s pushing down important and relevant content. Use #BlackOutTuesday.

— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) June 2, 2020

Grammy Award-winning artist Lil Nas X also chimed in on the debate. “I don’t think the movement has ever been this powerful. we don’t need to slow it down by posting nothing,” he said. “We need to spread info and be as loud as ever.”

i just really think this is the time to push as hard as ever. i don’t think the movement has ever been this powerful. we don’t need to slow it down by posting nothing. we need to spread info and be as loud as ever.

— nope (@LilNasX) June 2, 2020

The “Old Town Road” artist has joined some activists who have asked followers to use their platforms to post donations and petitions instead of the black square.

The organizers of #TheShowMustBePaused have also encouraged donations for a variety of purposes including the families of victims, bail funds and other campaigns.

“This is not just a 24-hour initiative,” they wrote. “We are and will be in this fight for the long haul. A plan of action will be announced.”

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distancing Social

Social distancing a week earlier could have saved 36,000 American lives, study says – Washington Post

On March 8, it was mostly business as usual in the United States. As the Lakers faced the Clippers in a much-anticipated Los Angeles basketball matchup, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) rallied before a packed crowd in Michigan. In Miami, thousands squeezed onto the beach for a massive dance party. With 500 coronavirus infections reported nationwide at the time, the outbreak seemed like a distant threat to many Americans.

But by the following Sunday, the nation had entered a different universe: 2,000 confirmed cases, dozens of deaths, and shutdown orders in Illinois, Ohio and New York City, among other parts of the country.

What if those sweeping measures imposed by March 15 — a federal warning against large gatherings, health screenings at airports, states of emergency declared by governors and mayors — had been announced a week earlier?

New research from Columbia University epidemiologists offered one possible answer on Wednesday. If the same kind of social distancing had been in place seven days earlier, their study found, the United States could have prevented 36,000 deaths through early May — about 40 percent of fatalities reported to date.

“If you don’t take steps to fight the growth rate aggressively, you get much worse consequences,” Jeffrey Shaman, an environmental health sciences professor who led the study, told The Washington Post.

His team’s analysis used infectious-disease modeling to examine the spread of the virus from March 15, when many people nationwide began staying home, until May 3. The researchers examined transmissions within each county, movement between counties and deaths to chart how the virus spread — and killed — over seven weeks.

Then, Shaman and other researchers modeled another scenario: What if government officials had closed everything down one week earlier?

Unlike some of the forecasts that have made headlines in recent weeks, their model does not attempt to predict how certain policies — say, another month of shutdowns, or partial reopening measures — might affect the virus’s spread. It simply shifts the timeline for the country’s response.

Move it back even further, and the results are more dramatic. If the United States had mustered the same kind of political and public will against the virus on March 1, the researchers found, 54,000 fewer Americans would have died of the illness. By Friday, the nationwide death toll had surpassed 93,000.

The Trump administration blasted the study’s findings following a New York Times report late Wednesday. In a statement to The Post, White House spokesman Judd Deere said federal officials made the best decisions possible with the information available at the time.

“What would have saved lives is if China had been transparent and the World Health Organization had fulfilled its mission,” Deere said. “What did save American lives is the bold leadership of President Trump.”

The president imposed “early travel restrictions when we had no idea the true level of asymptotic spread,” and he organized “the greatest mobilization of the private sector since World War II to deliver critical supplies” and expand testing, the spokesman said.

Trump banned travel from Europe on March 13 and told the nation to “take it easy” and “relax” two days later. It was not until the end of the month that he first used the Defense Production Act to compel factories to produce ventilators.

Shaman said the effectiveness of the country’s virus response relies on decisions made at all levels, from the Oval Office down to individual households. In Cook County, Ill., which includes Chicago, he said, orders from state and local officials as well as compliance from residents seem to have pushed the rate of infection into a decline.

“You could sit there and point the finger at whoever you wanted to,” Shaman said. “In truth, each of us is going to draw his or her own conclusions about where blame may be assigned.”

It is more productive, he said, to take the study’s lessons and apply them to the future, particularly as large swaths of the country move to partially reopen ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

With businesses up and running and Americans leaving their houses more regularly, the country must remain vigilant and swing into action quickly when new outbreaks flare up, Shaman added, pointing to the aggressive steps taken by nations such as South Korea and New Zealand. That requires strong calls to action, too.

“What we have before us is a very, very challenging problem,” he said. “It requires political leadership and public compliance and a will on the part of everybody in society to make it happen.”

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