This Day in History | 1929
President Herbert Hoover has a telephone installed at his desk in the Oval Office.
Good morning Middle Americans,
Today’s message comes from the heart as we all brace for the ‘onslaught’ of the novel coronavirus that we expect this week. People in middle America are some of the strongest on the planet. While much of the big corporate media exists in the places like New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., – middle America is where things actually get made. It’s where a lot of our food comes from. It’s where you live and this week – it’s middle Americas turn to deal with this virus. Hang in there folks. It easy to get distracted by all the noise coming from the traditional centers of power. But you have the common sense to get through this. And we’ll keep you informed.
That said – you may have seen some ads for supposed cures, misleading claims, snake-oil sales pitches and conspiracy theories about the outbreak. Social media is a cess pool for this crap. We have a story below to help you navigate through all the b.s. that’s showng up on your social media sites.
Finally you’re going to want to see this new Fox News poll. It has Joe Biden beating Trump, and it’s not very close. This despite the fact that Biden can’t get through an interview with forgetting something.
Read all about it.
Middle America Braces for Onslaught as Virus Moves Beyond Coasts
(New York Times) – A second wave of coronavirus cases is charting a path far from coastal Washington state, California, New York and New Jersey and threatening population centers in America’s middle. Emerging hot spots include smaller communities like Greenville, Mississippi, and Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and large cities like New Orleans, Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago.
Local and state leaders find themselves struggling to deal with the deadly onslaught, urgently issuing guidance to residents and sounding the alarm over a dearth of equipment in local clinics and hospitals.
As the threat expands, the orders from state and local officials have sometimes been a chaotic, confusing patchwork. With mixed signals from the federal authorities in Washington, D.C., local leaders have wrestled with complicated medical and economic choices. Mayors and governors in Oklahoma, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Texas have clashed over which restrictions to impose on residents, dispensing contradictory instructions, even as their communities are being ravaged by the virus.
Read more here
‘Off the charts’: Virus Hot Spots Grow in Middle America
(AP) — The coronavirus continued its unrelenting spread across the United States with fatalities doubling in two days and authorities saying Saturday that an infant who tested positive had died. It pummeled big cities like New York, Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago, and made its way, too, into rural America as hotspots erupted in small Midwestern towns and Rocky Mountain ski havens.
Elsewhere, Russia announced a full border closure while in parts of Africa, pandemic prevention measures took a violent turn, with Kenyan police firing tear gas and officers elsewhere seen on video hitting people with batons.
Find out more here
Why COVID-19 Became a Social Media Nightmare
(AFP) – The biggest reputational risk Facebook and other social media companies had expected in 2020 was fake news surrounding the US presidential election. Be it foreign or domestic in origin, the misinformation threat seemed familiar, perhaps even manageable.
The novel coronavirus, however, has opened up an entirely different problem: the life-endangering consequences of supposed cures, misleading claims, snake-oil sales pitches and conspiracy theories about the outbreak.
So far, AFP has debunked almost 200 rumors and myths about the virus, but experts say stronger action from tech companies is needed to stop misinformation and the scale at which it can be spread online.
“There’s still a disconnect between what people think is true and what people are willing to share,” Professor David Rand, a specialist in brain and cognitive sciences at the MIT Sloan School of Management, told AFP, explaining how a user’s bias toward content he or she thinks will be liked or shared typically dominates decision-making when online.
Part of the reason is that social media algorithms are geared to appeal to someone’s habits and interests: the emphasis is on likability, not accuracy. Changing that would require Facebook, Twitter and other such companies to alter what people see on screen.
Get informed here
Fox News Poll: Biden leads Trump
(Fox News) -Former Vice President Joe Biden bests President Donald Trump by nine points in a 2020 ballot test, in the first Fox News Poll since Biden became the de facto Democratic nominee.
In a head-to-head presidential matchup, Biden is up by 49-40 percent over Trump, a lead that is outside the poll’s margin of sampling error. Another 11 percent would vote for someone else or are undecided. Last month, Biden was ahead by 49-41 percent.
Meanwhile, by a three-to-one margin, voters like Biden’s commitment to choose a woman as his running mate.
See the results here.
Man Arrested for Looting Was Out on Bail for Grisly Crime
Philadelphia, a city under siege, has witnessed the arrest of over 50 individuals in a two-day crime spree, causing the demise of numerous businesses. Among those arrested is Kenneth Frye, a suspect in a recent burglary who was out on bail connected to a significant murder case from the previous year.
The city’s police department apprehended Frye for looting a Fine Wine & Good Spirits store located in West Philadelphia. Previously, Frye, who once worked as a bouncer, was charged in connection to the death of Eric Pope. It’s reported by FOX 29 that he fatally punched Pope outside Tabu Lounge in Center City. Initially charged with 3rd-degree murder, a motion has been filed by the District Attorney’s office to reduce the charge to Involuntary Murder.
This wave of criminal activity, spurred by social media, resulted in numerous arrests, involving both adults and juveniles, and is just a snapshot of the broader chaos infiltrating the city.
Charges ranging from Rioting to Burglary and Disorderly Conduct have been filed against the arrested individuals, with many arrests occurring at notable establishments such as Lululemon, T-Mobile, and Walgreens.
- Aauanyae Haynes, a Black female, 19
- Sabree Young, a Black female, 31
- Steven Wells, a Black male, 26
- Traqwan Word, a Black male, 24
- Lisa Talley, a Black female, 34
- Yasmine Fields, a Black female, 23
- Kenneth Frye, a Black male, 24
- Kyreek Leak, a Black male, 21
- Reginal Alexander, Black male, 33
- Gabriel Gines, a Hispanic male, 23
- Alena Gigliotti, a White female, 26
- Petra Gonzalez, a White female, 24
- Jessica Blake, a Black female, 37
- Semaj Suber, a Black female, 29
- Aniya Taylor, a Black female, 21
- Hartzog Mashaad, a Black male, 27
- Isis Morgan, a Black female, 23
- Khalilah Green, a Black female, 21
- Ernest McCollum, a Black male, 31
- Jessica Arnold-Coit, a Black female, 30
- Quanika McQueen, a Black female, 31
- Denzel Walker, a Black male, 27
- Mikal Reed, a Black male, 26
- Tyheed Hill, a Black male, 26
- Anthony Abner, a Black male, 35
Per Fox News, three juveniles — a 14-year-old Black male, a 16-year-old Black male and a 14-year-old Black female — were also arrested for Rioting, Burglary, Disorderly Conduct, and Theft at a Lululemon store, according to the report.
This spree of destruction and lawlessness is indicative of the escalating disorder in the city, exemplified by the arrest of Frye, who, despite his involvement in a serious murder case, was back on the streets only to be implicated in further criminal activity.
The city remains in a state of turmoil as businesses struggle to recover, and residents live in the shadow of relentless criminal activity.
One Third of the Entire Country’s Homeless Population Lives in This State
The staggering issue of homelessness looms large over California, with the state hosting nearly a third of the nation’s rising homeless population, which stands at 582,462 people according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In the bustling city of San Francisco, Anthony, a former restaurant worker who has lived in a tent for three years, is just one of over 170,000 unhoused Californians.
The city’s inflated living cost, with average rent for a one-bedroom apartment being roughly $3,000 a month, starkly contrasts with its minimum wage of $18.07 an hour, leaving many like Nelly Sorto, a full-time cleaner and a mother of two, struggling to break into the rental market.
Anthony, a former chef, has experienced the vicious cycle of homelessness firsthand, stating, “Once you get behind, you just can’t get up,” to ABC News.
The economic downturn during the pandemic left many like him, striving to find a permanent home and bouncing from street to street as city officials clear their encampments.
This visible homelessness crisis is often attributed to several factors, including the high cost of living related to the tech boom and mental health issues experienced by many individuals.
Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, said to ABC News, “California has systemic issues in terms of its housing affordability… So, what we need to do in California is really have a massive investment to offset that difference between incomes and rent.”
The rising number of encampments has sparked frustration across the state, with residents like Jeanne Vasquez expressing concern over safety and the declining quality of life in their areas.
In July, Vasquez conveyed her discontent to ABC Los Angeles, citing instances of broken glass, needles on the ground, and inappropriate behaviors exhibited by individuals dealing with mental illnesses.
To combat this escalating issue, President Joe Biden announced an investment of an extra $3 billion focusing on support services including rental assistance, legal help, and job search support, with a particular emphasis on veterans.
However, GOP presidential hopefuls like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump have utilized the grim reality of the homelessness crisis in blue states to critique Democratic leadership.
Trump has been vocal about his stance on “urban camping,” promising to ban it and offering rehabilitation options for violators, as mentioned in one of his campaign ads.
However, Friedenbach argues that such policies essentially criminalize the homeless and advocates for a more comprehensive approach involving the federal government investing in housing vouchers, long-term housing subsidies, and reforms in mental health and substance use treatment systems.
She believes that this crisis is a “manufactured issue” created by a “lack of investment” and calls for active listening from the federal government to truly understand and address the needs of the unhoused people.
Despite the relentless efforts of San Francisco outreach teams, many unhoused individuals either decline offers of shelter or already have shelter but cannot be compelled to come inside, as per a spokesperson for the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management.
While some, like Anthony, have been offered a place to stay, the glaring reality remains that thousands are still on the streets yearning for a place to call home, with at least 350 unhoused individuals still on the waitlist for housing in San Francisco.
The pervasive crisis necessitates immediate, profound measures and substantial investments to bridge the substantial gap between incomes and rent, and to address the systemic issues contributing to the surge in homelessness.
Parents in Fear as Prowler in White Van Targets Children
New London, Connecticut, is in a state of heightened alert as reports emerge of a man attempting to lure children into his white van.
The New London Police Department, in conjunction with the New London School District, is rigorously working to identify the suspect, whose latest sighting occurred near Bennie Dover Middle School.
The suspect is described as either White or Hispanic with black hair and a beard, which is either black or gray. The vehicle he’s been spotted in has tinted windows.
Residents of New London are understandably rattled.
“It makes me terrified; it makes me sick to my stomach,” expressed Mystique Elefante in a conversation with WFSB.com.
With an infant daughter of her own, Elefante vocalized her fears, stating she’s “afraid for my daughter to grow up,” amidst such unsettling reports.
For New London Police Capt. Matt Galante, the situation demands immediate attention and stringent precautionary measures. Galante advises students to maintain groups for safety and to vocally alarm others if danger is sensed.
“Scream, yell, make as loud a sound as you possibly can. Scream for help,” he told WFSB. “There are strength in numbers. We encourage kids walking home from school to walk together.”
This alarming incident has prompted a community-wide call to vigilance. Capt. Galante emphasized the urgency of alertness within the community and the role of every individual in maintaining a watchful eye.
“We wanted to get the message out to parents and the community at large that this may be happening within our community and for people to be vigilant and look for these types of events,” he mentioned to NBC Connecticut.
The New London Police Department has urged anyone with relevant information to come forward, allowing for anonymous tips to be sent to the New London Tips 411 system.
The involvement of the community is crucial in aiding the ongoing investigation to ensure the safety of the young residents of New London, as law enforcement intensifies its efforts to locate the prowler and his vehicle.
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