Evidence is growing, but what will it take to prove masks slow the spread of COVID-19?
To definitively answer the question of whether face masks protect against the novel coronavirus, here’s what you’d need to do:— Recruit thousands of volunteers.— Randomly divide them into two groups.— Assign one group to always wear masks outside of the house, and one group to never wear masks.— Wait a few months, see who gets infected — then try to sort out all possible confounding variables, such as compliance, mask fit and social distancing.A study like that would be not only tough to pull off, but unethical, especially in the midst of a pandemic. It also wouldn’t be able to determine commu...
The Seattle Times
Commission blocks Minneapolis plan to remake police from November ballot
MINNEAPOLIS — Voters won’t get to decide the fate of the city’s police department this year.In a 10-5 vote, the Minneapolis Charter Commission decided Wednesday to block a controversial policing proposal from the November ballot, by invoking their right to take more time to review it.“We have an obligation to make sure that what is going on the ballot gives the voters an informed choice, that they can make a decision in a thoughtful way,” said Charter Commissioner Andrew Kozak, adding that he didn’t think the proposal accomplished that.It could still land on the ballot next year.In recent week...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Presidential elections usually inspire a big jump in voter registration. Not in Pa. this year
PHILADELPHIA — There was a time when the election was supposed to be the big story of 2020.With all that attention and energy, voter registration numbers would go through the roof. Parties, campaigns and advocacy groups planned to knock on a record number of doors; host events across Pennsylvania and other swing states; set up tables in high-traffic areas, such as college student centers; and build networks of field volunteers to help sign up as many people as possible before November.“We were on campuses every single day for eight hours a day, asking every single person who walked past us, ‘A...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Chicago Marathon, scheduled for Oct. 11, is canceled for just the 2nd time in its history
For the second time in its history, the Chicago Marathon has been canceled before runners cross the starting line.Organizers on Monday announced the 43rd running of the race, scheduled for Oct. 11, will not proceed because of the coronavirus pandemic.The Bank of America Chicago Marathon typically draws about 45,000 runners and wheelchair athletes to the city, with a record 45,786 finishers in 2019 from 50 states and more than 100 countries. Organizers estimate about 1.7 million spectators annually line the 26.2-mile course that starts and ends near Grant Park and travels as far north as Wrigle...
Search and rescue teams, already stretched thin, see surge in calls
When search and rescue volunteers in Utah’s Washington County received three separate calls for help on a recent Sunday, every available member of the team was deployed in response. As they tended to injured hikers and mountain bikers, things quickly went from bad to worse.“Before we were done with the third call, we got a fourth one, and five minutes after that we got a fifth one,” said Sgt. Darrell Cashin, who serves as the county sheriff’s liaison to volunteer rescue teams in southwest Utah.Cashin was forced to split off team members to respond to the new situations, while also deploying sh...
Group of veteran California Republicans will campaign against Trump and senators who back him
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Now that the Lincoln Project has the nation’s attention with its ads baiting and attacking President Donald Trump, the political action committee is going grassroots.To start, the Lincoln Project, founded by well-known conservatives late last year, is tapping veteran California Republicans to fundraise and volunteer for campaigns in a handful of states against GOP incumbents who the committee considers Trump sympathizers.Among the 12 Californians joining the cause to make phone calls, build the network and raise some cash are Rosario Marin, treasurer under President George...
The Sacramento Bee
'I'm still Black and my life still matters.' What is the legacy of CHOP, Seattle's 24/7 protest?
SEATTLE — On a sunny Monday morning, after a weekend that saw two nighttime shootings, the streets and fields of CHOP (Capitol Hill Organized Protest) were mostly deserted.Just a few days ago, the 24/7 protest, which occupies several blocks around Cal Anderson Park and a recently abandoned police precinct, had been bustling with life: activists; rubberneckers; reporters; volunteer security guards, some openly carrying guns; masked medics.But after two bursts of gunfire on successive nights — two men wounded, one man killed — almost everyone seemed to have disappeared.Almost.Sitting in a small ...
The Seattle Times
Man suspected in Tallahassee killings fled to Orlando on bus, police say
ORLANDO, Fla. — The man suspected in the killings of two women in Tallahassee — activist Oluwatoyin Salau and community volunteer Victoria Sims — fled to Orlando on a bus before being apprehended, police said Tuesday.In a lengthy statement, the Tallahassee Police Department confirmed new details about the case, including that Sims’ home had been found “ransacked” after family members reported her missing.However, the agency did not reveal what led its officers to a home on Monday Road, about four miles southeast of the State Capitol, where the bodies of both women were found. It also didn’t sa...
He fought in Vietnam. Now, at 80, he volunteers every day in shelters with clusters of coronavirus
SEATTLE — Bob Shaw was behind the welcome desk at the St. Martin de Porres shelter a few weeks ago when a 65-year-old guest fell and hit his head, hard.“Blood was coming out of his head like water,” Shaw said. “It just came back to me.”All of a sudden, Shaw’s head was back in Vietnam.Shaw, 80, served in the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant and was stationed in Vietnam from 1967-’69. He was headquartered in and around Long Binh Post during the Tet Offensive, one of the bloodiest campaigns of the war. He’s seen things he says continue to haunt him.Half a century later, Shaw is on the front lines of...
The Seattle Times
'We ask forgiveness from the dead': Why Jewish volunteers are washing bodies in a pandemic
PHILADELPHIA — It used to be that David Kushner would receive a call to report to one of the area’s Jewish funeral homes once every few weeks. In the pandemic, his phone has buzzed every single day, sometimes more than once.Then, Kushner, 40, must rally the other members of the Chevra Kadisha B’nei Moshe. This all-volunteer group, which is not affiliated with any one synagogue or denomination, is the largest of the handful of chevra kadishas, or burial societies, that operate in the region. Driven by faith and reverence for tradition, its members gather to carry out the ritual cleaning and dre...
The Philadelphia Inquirer