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January 1, COVID-19: THIS IS WAR



This Day in History | 2003

The U.S. led invasion of Iraq begins. No weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. The U.S. declared an end to the war in Iraq on December 15, 2011, nearly ten years after the fighting began, but U.S. troops remain in Iraq to this day. 

Good morning Middle Americans, 

We wanted to start today by asking y’all a few questions; How did the war on poverty go? How about the war on drugs? President Johnson declared a war on poverty. President Reagan along with Vice President George H.W. Bush declared a war on drugs. Here we are all these years later and drugs and poverty are still major problems in America, maybe moreso than ever before. 

Yesterday during another coronavirus task force meeting president Trump declared war on a virus. He enacted certain war-time powers. He also signed a relief package aimed at putting a band aide on a gaping, gushing wound that is the U.S. economy. The commander in chief’s leadership is being challenged in an extreme and unique way.  You may have heard us say that presidents rarely define the times, the times usually define the presidency.  Up until a few weeks ago, President Trump was bending the times to to his will. Through no fault of his own, that dynamic has now reversed. What happens from here on out will not only determine the future of Trump’s presidency, but the future of the presidency as an institution.  There is no pretense anymore about the federal government’s role in the “free market”.  The federal reserve is printing money like never before. There’s little that can be done. But here’s the thing. We never were able to ween ourselves off of the fiscal policy that bailed us out of the 2008 stock market crash. And that’s one of the reasons why we’ve seen so much of the market evaporate over the last few weeks. 

Also – we are now learning that younger people are way more susceptible to the coronavirus than previously thought. This while spring break 2k20 rages in Florida. 

A younger generation is recklessly putting their own lives at risk as well as those around them.  Baby boomers are looking on with disgust, meanwhile the kids are partying, blissfully ignorant of the fact that when the check comes due for all of these financial bailouts, they’ll be stuck with the tab. 

Finally today, folks in Utah are bracing for more aftershocks after a 5.7 magnitude quake hit near Salt Lake city. 

Read all about it!

-Fraser Dixon 

Trump Taps Emergency Powers as Virus Relief Plan Proceeds

(AP) – Describing himself as a “wartime president” fighting an invisible enemy, President Donald Trump on Wednesday invoked rarely used emergency powers to marshal critical medical supplies against the coronavirus pandemic. Trump also signed an aid package — which the Senate approved earlier Wednesday — that will guarantee sick leave to workers who fall ill.

Trump tapped his authority under the 70-year-old Defense Production Act to give the government more power to steer production by private companies and try to overcome shortages in masks, ventilators and other supplies.

Yet he seemed to minimize the urgency of the decision, later tweeting that he “only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future.”

“Hopefully there will be no need,” he added, “but we are all in this TOGETHER!”

The mixed messaging came as Trump took a series of other extraordinary steps to steady the nation, its day-to-day life suddenly and fundamentally altered.

The Canada-U.S. border, the world’s longest, was effectively closed, save for commerce and essential travel, while the administration pushed its plan to send relief checks to millions of Americans.

Stay informed here 

Younger Adults Comprise Big Portion of Coronavirus Hospitalizations in U.S.

(New York Times) – American adults of all ages — not just those in their 70s, 80s and 90s — are being seriously sickened by the coronavirus, according to a report on nearly 2,500 of the first recorded cases in the United States.

The report, issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that — as in other countries — the oldest patients had the greatest likelihood of dying and of being hospitalized. But of the 508 patients known to have been hospitalized, 38 percent were notably younger — between 20 and 54. And nearly half of the 121 patients who were admitted to intensive care units were adults under 65, the C.D.C. reported.

“I think everyone should be paying attention to this,” said Stephen S. Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s not just going to be the elderly. There will be people age 20 and up. They do have to be careful, even if they think that they’re young and healthy.”

Read more here

Spring Break Rages On Despite Please from Authorities 

(The Daily Mail) – So much for the lockdown: Twerking spring breakers still party on St Patrick’s Day in Miami’s South Beach despite the mayor declaring it was ‘cancelled’ due to coronavirus

Spring breakers have been partying in Miami and still hanging out on South Beach despite curfews curbing large gatherings due to coronavirus. 

Sections of South Beach were still bustling with holidaymakers on Tuesday despite the pandemic and advice from public health officials to limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people.

Over the weekend, Florida officials implemented new restrictions in the area to try and halt the spread of the virus. So far there have been 192 known cases of the infection and six deaths in the state. 

In South Beach – the most popular part of Miami Beach where thousands flock to spend spring break – an 11pm curfew was introduced and crowds were limited to no more than 250 people. 

Find out more here

Utah’s Big Earthquake: Buildings Damaged, But No Major Injuries

(Salt Lake Tribune) – A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck Magna at 7:09 a.m. Wednesday, shaking homes from Logan down to Utah County. It was the state’s largest since a 1992 earthquake in St. George. The last Salt Lake County earthquake of at least a magnitude 5 was in 1962.

Rumors spread fast that a major earthquake would hit soon. That is not true.

The Utah Emergency Management posted on Twitter, “There are rumors out there that earthquakes can be predicted. They cannot be predicted, however, we expect that the earthquake we felt today was the largest one of the sequence. That is true in 95% of earthquakes.”

Koper said his team is not predicting any large earthquake.

The U.S. Geological Survey issued an aftershock forecast. It said there’s a 1 in 300 chance of a magnitude 7 hitting in the coming days, while a 6 is a 3% likelihood. A magnitude 5 or higher is a 17% chance.

See the damage here

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