By Robert A. Vella
Recurring back ailments are limiting my blogging activities, but here’s a news catch-up post for this Tuesday.
I also feel inclined to issue a warning to racial injustice protesters. Don’t undermine your powerful message by resorting to violence. If you retaliate against President Trump’s deliberate moves to provoke you, America will see first the violence and your message will get lost amidst the confusion. Even worse, you’ll be doing exactly what Trump wants you to do. Don’t take the bait. Take the high road, stand bravely, and follow the leads of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lewis who called for “good trouble.”
PETERSBURG, Fla. —As Florida became a global epicenter of the coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis held one meeting this month with his top public health official, Scott Rivkees, according to the governor’s schedule. His health department has sidelined scientists, halting briefings last month with disease specialists and telling the experts there was not sufficient personnel from the state to continue participating.
As the virus spread out of control in Florida, decision-making became increasingly shaped by politics and divorced from scientific evidence, according to interviews with 64 current and former state and administration officials, health administrators, epidemiologists, political operatives and hospital executives. The crisis in Florida, these observers say, has revealed the shortcomings of a response built on shifting metrics, influenced by a small group of advisers and tethered at every stage to the Trump administration, which has no unified plan for addressing the national health emergency but has pushed for states to reopen.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a top Trump donor who has given more than $2 million to the GOP, warned employees that the agency needed to make “difficult” decisions to stay afloat, according to a new report in The Washington Post.
“If the plants run late, they will keep the mail for the next day,” one guideline says, according to a document obtained by The Washington Post and verified by the American Postal Workers Union.
Carriers do not typically leave mail behind, often making multiple trips under heavy loads to get letters and packages to marked recipients as soon as possible.
Experts who reviewed the internal document, titled “New PMG’s [Postmaster General’s] expectations and plan,” said it presented “a stark reimagining of the USPS,” which could alienate customers. If the agency increases package delivery rates, which has the support of the administration, competing private companies could smell blood and throw new weight behind smothering the agency.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, citing the Founding Fathers, described slavery as a “necessary evil” in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Cotton was defending a bill he proposed that would cut off funding for schools adopting The New York Times’ “1619 Project” as part of their curricula.
“The 1619 Project,” which launched last year, seeks to explore America’s history of racism and the legacy of slavery.
The project won a Pulitzer Prize, but some conservatives have attacked it as ideologically driven.
NEW YORK (AP) — Days after a federal judge paused the public release of New York City police disciplinary records, a news website has published a database containing complaint information for thousands of officers.
ProPublica posted the database Sunday, explaining in a note to readers that it isn’t obligated to comply with Judge Katherine Polk Failla’s temporary restraining order because it is not a party to a union lawsuit challenging the release of such records.
Deputy Managing Editor Eric Umansky said ProPublica requested the information from the city’s police watchdog agency, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, soon after last month’s repeal of state law that for decades had prevented the disclosure of disciplinary records.
Racial injustice protests: