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COVID-19 and fading respect for Big Science

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At Creation-Evolution Headlines, an epic paragraph helps us prepare for the
fallout:

Without trying to take sides here, a few headlines illustrate some of the posturing and attacking going on. UC Davis claims that your mask cuts down risk of contracting the disease by 65%, but how can they measure that without specifying the conditions? What kind of mask? How often is it cleaned? The Scientist pitched in, too, with an infographic. But Dr Anthony Fauci, the acclaimed world expert on infectious diseases, first denied the effectiveness of masks and now strongly advocates them. The bickering over masks has taken a political turn, with conservatives often denying their effectiveness, and liberals using masks as virtue signals to shame those who don’t use them. Some say UV kills the virus, others say it doesn’t. The University of Houston has an air filter they claim can kill the virus. The Mayo Clinic puffs itself up in the role of authority, “Debunking COVID-19 Myths,” but who will debunk the debunkers? Much of its advice appears commonsense, but the ‘experts’ have blundered big time publicly for months now, with mainstream media behind them. They promoted then retracting a claim about hydrochloroquine causing harm, because it made President Trump, who promoted HCQ, look bad—a political motivation. See negative analysis by Mary McCullough, and compare it with claims of success from a Henry Ford study (New York Post); see how CNN’s coverage immediately casts doubt on it, revealing its knee-jerk bias against the president). A preprint on bioRxiv finds that HCQ is theoretically and experimentally good after all. Today, there is a controversy going on about whether the virus is airborne (e.g., Nature, BBC News, Live Science). Why is such a simple observational test so hard for the world’s greatest medical scientists to figure out, using state-of-the-art equipment?

David F. Coppedge, “Big Science Is Losing Even More Credibility” at Creation-Evolution Headlines

It’s not the uncertainty that is the problem. It’s the demand for belief and obedience to a variety of conflicting claims in the face of such uncertainty. Sooner or later people begin to doubt whatever they hear, even in matters about which there is considerable certainty. And Big Science is bringing that on itself. It isn’t the “enemies of science” who are doing it.

Comments
A top Federal Reserve official is calling on Americans to wear masks, saying the practice can have crucial benefits for the future of the economic recovery, even as masks fan political flames normally avoided by the central bank at all costs. “We’re confident that masks work, and if you want to reopen the economy faster, you want to get people back on planes and in stores,” Robert Kaplan, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “Part of my job, I believe, is to call it out.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/07/17/fed-masks-economy/rhampton7
July 17, 2020
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Governor Jared Polis announced he's imposing a mandatory mask or face covering law starting at midnight July 16 for everyone age 10 and older when in indoor public places. Those who have medical conditions that prevent wearing a mask are exempt. By refusing to wear a mask in a place where other people gather, violators will be subject to citation under the state's trespassing order. "We have a choice in Colorado," he said, "either more mask-wearing or more damage to our economy and loss of life. Wearing a mask is not a political statement. I don’t know how it became a game of political football. The virus doesn’t care what political party you're in. The virus is the virus and it is a threat to every single one of us." https://www.csindy.com/TheWire/archives/2020/07/16/gov-polis-imposes-statewide-face-covering-orderrhampton7
July 16, 2020
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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp yesterday issued an executive order that overturns local mask-wearing requirements. Kemp's executive order says that "any state, county, or municipal law, order, ordinance, rule, or regulation that requires persons to wear face coverings, masks, face shields, or any other Personal Protective Equipment while in places of public accommodation or on public property are suspended to the extent that they are more restrictive than this Executive Order." Kemp, a Republican, issued the order despite evidence that masks are an effective tool in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Wearing masks is one of several important steps people can take to limit the spread of coronavirus, among others, such as hand-washing and social distancing. Kemp acknowledges that, as his executive order says, "all residents and visitors of the State of Georgia are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings as practicable while outside their homes or place of residence, except when eating, drinking, or exercising outdoors." Kemp also went on a tour of various cities to encourage mask wearing, but he has said, "we don't need a government mandate to do the right thing."
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/07/georgias-republican-governor-orders-cities-to-stop-requiring-masks/JVL
July 16, 2020
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An Ohio Army veteran died of the coronavirus just two months after he publicly condemned the use of face masks in an online social media post. According to his obituary, Richard Rose III, of Port Clinton, died at home on July 4 of complications related to the coronavirus. He was 37. The veteran, who served in the U.S. Army for nine years with two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was adamant about not wearing a face mask amid the pandemic, calling the precaution just part of the "hype" in an April 28 Facebook post. "Let me make this clear. I'm not buying a f—king mask," Rose wrote. "I've made it this far by not buying into that damn hype." https://people.com/health/ohio-veteran-refused-mask-dies-coronavirus/rhampton7
July 16, 2020
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Target, CVS and the grocery chain Publix on Thursday announced new policies requiring customers to wear masks, as the retail world takes new steps to try to slow the novel coronavirus pandemic amid an explosion of cases. Meantime, Arkansas became the latest to put forth a statewide mandate on wearing masks in indoor public areas. Their moves came a day after Walmart, Kroger and Kohl’s announced similar new policies, and Alabama, Montana and the city of Tulsa enacted new mandates for facial coverings. But agreement on the need for masks is not universal, as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Wednesday issued an order nullifying all local mask mandates, and a Utah county commission meeting was canceled after anti-mask protesters caused it to devolve into chaos. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/07/16/coronavirus-live-updates-us/rhampton7
July 16, 2020
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Gov. Kay Ivey during a joint news conference Wednesday morning announced a statewide mask mandate as Alabama continues to grapple with alarming COVID-19 infection rates. The order requires everyone in the state older than 6 to wear a mask in public areas while interacting within six feet of people from another household. This order goes into effect at 5 p.m. Thursday and will be in place until July 31. The governor said that while violating the mask mandate could bring a $500 fine and jail time, the goal is to inform people of the need to wear face coverings to protect against the virus spread and not to collect fines or to jail violators. “We're pleading with the people of Alabama to wear a mask,” Ivey said. As caseloads increase, 30 hospitals across the state are reporting limited or no ICU space, with only 12 percent of intensive care hospital beds available for new patients. “We’re almost to the point where our hospital ICUs are overwhelmed," Ivey said during the news conference. https://www.fox10tv.com/news/coronavirus/gov-ivey-announces-statewide-mask-mandate-to-combat-covid-19-in-alabama/article_4d785ff4-c6a1-11ea-82c3-1f13971cd1bb.htmlrhampton7
July 15, 2020
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Gov. Tom Wolf announced broad new statewide restrictions on bars and restaurants and larger indoor gatherings Wednesday as Pennsylvania reported another nearly 1,000 new infections, continuing a recent resurgence of COVID-19 in parts of the state. Nightclubs will be shut down, bars will also be closed unless they also offer dine-in meals, and bars and restaurants will be limited to 25% capacity. Indoor events and gatherings of more than 25 people will be prohibited, as well as outdoor gatherings of more than 250. And businesses will be required to have their employees work remotely to the extent possible. “This is the virus speaking,” he says. “The virus is making the rules here, we’re just trying to anticipate what those rules are and doing what we can to reduce the risk that virus is going to do a lot of damage to Pennsylvania.” https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/07/15/gov-tom-wolf-coronavirus-mitigation-efforts/rhampton7
July 15, 2020
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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has aggressively pushed to reopen his state and flouted experts' health recommendations, announced Wednesday that he is the first governor to test positive for coronavirus. Dr. Lance Frye, the commissioner of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, said they don't know exactly when Stitt was infected, but that it would've been within the last couple of weeks. Asked if he would impose a statewide mandate for residents in light of diagnosis, Stitt said he's "not thinking about a mask mandate at all." "I know that some businesses are mandating masks and that's great. But you can't pick and choose what freedoms you're going to give people. So if the businesses want to do it, if some local municipalities want to do it, that's fine. But again, we also respect people's rights to stay home if they want, to run their businesses, or to not wear a mask," Stitt said. Stitt also reiterated that he is not planning to roll back any of the state's reopening plans at this time. https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/15/politics/kevin-stitt-oklahoma-governor-coronavirus/index.htmlrhampton7
July 15, 2020
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Due to the continued rise in coronavirus cases, the government will roll out new restrictions within the next two days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday. Among the new potential directives: gatherings capped at 10 people, closing beachfronts, synagogues and yeshivot, reducing public transportation, allowing restaurants only to open for delivery and determining if shopping centers and stores can be open based on their risk of infection. Netanyahu admitted Wednesday night that the government made a mistake in the way it reopened the economy after the original closure during the first wave of the virus: “The opening of the banquet halls and large gatherings ... these things lead to a disaster and raise the level of morbidity,” he said. “So, our guidelines will be very strict about gatherings.” The expected plan was shared by Israeli media on the backdrop of a briefing Wednesday by Health Minister Yuli Edelstein, who said that the country could have to take steps toward a closure within the next three or four days if the coronavirus does not stop spreading. https://www.jpost.com/health-science/edelstein-will-know-if-country-needs-total-lockdown-within-four-days-635195rhampton7
July 15, 2020
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MMT, mere discomfort is not what I am talking about; which should be obvious. I am speaking, quite explicitly, about debilitating respiratory deficit, likely tied to excess retained CO2 and other things. I am speaking of people whose health is a lot more robust than mine having to stop working physically at accustomed level, even forced to take days off to recover. I am talking about cashiers who reach a point where they are losing concentration and stop wearing their masks effectively in order to do their job accurately and speedily. And this is no surprise, over the past 100+ years, we have known that forcing troops to resort to protective gear especially for breathing (gas masks) drastically reduces their effectiveness. So, no, this is no red herring. It is a factor that explains some of the refusal to wear masks. Yes, there is need to look at things like masks, gloves and face shields etc but they are not a panacea. Likewise, on track record of corona viruses I think the jury is out on a long term effective vaccine. My thought is, we need to recognise that reducing the peakiness and moving to herd immunity is where we are going to end up . . . so, the ideal is a large number of mild cases that build up herd immunity (much as we treat colds and flu), with treatments to reduce likelihood of complications and if that fails, effective management of serious cases. Eventually, CV19 is going to be another wrinkle on the common cold. KF PS: I specifically include that all along there was reasonable evidence of the effectiveness of HCQ-based cocktails and similar drugs [esp Ivermectin]. The unbalanced coverage in the media and the resort to gold standard fallacies on placebos will have to be addressed. There is a lurking ethics-epistemology challenge and unresponsiveness to commonplace decision theory results speaks volumes.kairosfocus
July 15, 2020
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Positive COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and ICU admissions are on the rise in Indiana, yet the virus death rate has decreased in the state. Positive tests are up. The state’s site said it has a 9.1% positive rate as of Monday. The state was seeing about 4 to 5%. “This can suggest that there is an increased prevalence or an increased number of individuals with coronavirus in the community,” said Grannis. The number of coronavirus deaths have decreased in Indiana. The state reported two over the weekend, but infectious disease experts say while that is good, it shouldn’t be taken as a sign people can slow precautions. “So far, we’ve already seen around 2,500 deaths in just under 18 weeks of COVID-19,” said Kelley. “That is almost 20 times as many deaths as we saw during the flu season.” https://fox59.com/news/coronavirus/covid-19-cases-hospitalizations-icu-admissions-increase-in-indiana/rhampton7
July 14, 2020
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Texas reported a small drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday, the first decline in two weeks as health officials work to slow the spread of the disease. The state said 10,405 people were hospitalized with lab-confirmed infections, down from a high of 10,410 on Sunday. While the decline itself was minimal, the overall growth of hospitalizations has been slowing for several days now, a possible early sign that the state’s surge is beginning to weaken. “We need to see if this first day will be the first of many,” Gov. Greg Abbott cautioned in an interview on KXAS in Dallas. https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/Texas-COVID-19-hospitalizations-drop-first-time-15405482.phprhampton7
July 14, 2020
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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) threw cold water on the notion of defeating the coronavirus pandemic with "herd immunity," saying Monday that states' health systems would be overwhelmed long before reaching that point. Reeves said in a Twitter thread that in Mississippi alone, the hospital system has "started to become stressed to the point of pain" at 36,680 confirmed cases and conservatively estimated that herd immunity would require 40 percent of the population to become infected, which he said would require more than 3,000 new cases daily for the next year. "We would need to TRIPLE our worst day-every day-for a year," Reeves tweeted. "I'm not one of these guys that immediately dismisses any idea that challenges the expert status quo talking points. I'm pretty skeptical by nature. That's healthy. But herd immunity is not anything like a realistic solution in the short or mid-term. I wish it was." https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/507208-mississippis-gop-governor-herd-immunity-is-not-anything-like-a-realisticrhampton7
July 14, 2020
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In a study published in the journal Cell Press Sneak Peak, researchers from the HU and New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center have focused on the ways in which the COVID-19 changes patients' lungs in order to reproduce itself. The main finding was that the virus prevents the routine burning of carbohydrates, and as a result, large amounts of fat accumulate inside lung cells, a condition the virus needs in order to reproduce. According to the team, this new understanding of the virus may help explain why patients with high blood sugar and cholesterol levels are often at a high risk. By screening FDA-approved medications that interfere with the virus' ability to reproduce, the team found that the cholesterol-lowering drug Fenofibrate (sold as Tricor) showed extremely promising results. It was found that by allowing lung cells to burn more fat, Fenofibrate breaks the virus' grip on these cells, and prevents virus' ability to reproduce. Thus, within only five days of treatment, the virus almost completely disappeared. "This course of treatment could potentially downgrade the virus' severity into nothing worse than a common cold," the researchers concluded. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-07/15/c_139212618.htmrhampton7
July 14, 2020
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RHampton, This is the wrong site for your posts. They should be on the Lancet retraction page. https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/retraction-watch-lancet-hydroxychloroquine-editorial-retracted-and-replaced/ That way you can retract most of the comments you wrote especially those on HCQ including the fake news stuff you just published. Where do you find this nonsense?jerry
July 14, 2020
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Rosendaal’s scathing review echoes many of the same criticisms made by outside scientists following the study’s publication. In particular, he condemns the decision by Raoult’s team to exclude from the study’s final results six patients who took hydroxychloroquine, including four whose condition worsened, one of whom eventually died during the study period (none in the control group died). There were also other inconsistencies, such as supplemental material mentioning that a number of asymptomatic patients were included for study while the study’s actual language claimed that it was an examination of hospitalized patients (people without symptoms are unlikely to have been hospitalized for covid-19). These and other problems with the data were enough to make the study “nearly if not completely uninformative,” Rosendaal wrote. The overly rosy tone of the paper in promoting hydroxychloroquine as a covid-19 treatment is not only unfounded, he added, “but, given the desperate demand for a treatment for Covid-19, coupled with the potentially serious side-effects of hydroxychloroquine, fully irresponsible.” Another new paper, also published yesterday, similarly criticizes the French study, noting that “this trial has several major methodological issues, including the design, outcome measure and the statistical analyses.” Though it seems like the major fallout from this research has come and gone, with most countries no longer enthusiastic about hydroxychloroquine and other drugs that have shown promise for treating covid-19 now available, its repercussions may linger far longer. https://gizmodo.com/all-the-ways-the-influential-hydroxychloroquine-study-w-1844378680 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924857920302260 https://forbetterscience.com/2020/03/26/chloroquine-genius-didier-raoult-to-save-the-world-from-covid-19/rhampton7
July 14, 2020
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HCQ is obviously not a panacea for severe cases of Covid-19. Given early, it helps reduce mortality by about half, compared to those not given HCQ. In India the drug is widely available and not expensive. A number of Indian states have already incorporated a short course of HCQ in their Covid-19 treatment protocol, and states that have not done so will do well to implement this quickly. Two other therapies for mortality reduction are a short course of dexamethasone and convalescent plasma. Indian physicians have a golden opportunity to use the three modalities in sequence – dexamethasone in those who do not improve with early use of HCQ and convalescent plasma for those who do not improve with dexamethasone. The outcome of this treatment sequence will inform the medical community how to save many lives. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/coronavirus-vaccine-hydroxychloroquine-hcq-covid-19-treatment-6504276/rhampton7
July 14, 2020
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As of yet, the only trial in the world that produced actionable results is the UK’s Recovery trial, White says. More than 11,000 patients in NHS hospitals were enrolled in the hydroxychloroquine trial, and no clinical benefit was found. Another arm of this trial has also yielded solid evidence that the cheap steroid dexamethasone cuts deaths in hospitalised patients on ventilators by a third, making its use commonplace in the most serious cases – at least in the UK. Another two studies, one of 821 patients and the second of 2300 people, have also found no significant benefit of treating patients with hydroxychloroquine. Still, the drug’s role in this pandemic may not be over. White’s trial, COPCOV, which was also temporarily halted but is now back up and running, is testing the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine to prevent Covid-19 in the first place, rather than treating severely sick hospitalised patients. While COPCOV restarted after the Lancet study was retracted, many other trials didn’t. There’s no other evidence of harm from taking hydroxychloroquine, White says. But instead many health agencies didn’t resume halted trials, switching their reasoning from the potential harm of the drug to suggest that it doesn’t work, which, he says, ‘is strange at best’. ‘Most things were damaged by Covid-19 but not bureaucracy,’ White adds. ‘Despite all the fine words from country leaders and governments,’ he says, ‘the process itself has been very slow.’ https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/does-hydroxychloroquine-still-have-a-role-to-play-in-this-pandemic/4012135.articlerhampton7
July 14, 2020
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Yes, walk around with an oxygen talk and maskET
July 14, 2020
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KF, yes, masks are uncomfortable and take getting used to. As are seatbelts. But that is no reason not to wear them. And we are just talking about cloth masks, not N95s. During the winter we think nothing about putting scarves over our mouth and nose and partaking in outdoor activities. And I haven’t heard of anyone collapsing from CO2 toxicity. But your argument is just a red herring. Even in jurisdictions that have mandated masks, they make exemptions for people with pre-existing respiratory issues. There is zero risk from CO2 for an otherwise healthy person. On the other hand, if I had a respiratory problem, I would be avoiding going into stores wherever possible.Mac McTavish
July 14, 2020
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U/D: https://twitter.com/BjornLomborg/status/1251843646879563776 >>Bjorn Lomborg @BjornLomborg · Apr 19 The Oxford University Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine has updated its estimates of the fatality of corona: - Case Fatality Rate is likely between 0.1-0.36% https://cebm.net/covid-19/global-covid-19-case-fatality-rates/ Image>> If so, comparable to flu KFkairosfocus
July 14, 2020
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MMT, I have had effectively lifelong breathing challenges. I struggle to wear masks for any length of time; they are debilitating. I notice cashiers and others with the same struggle. There is a reason for all those masks pulled down below the nose or under the chin. That is conformed by people doing heavy physical labour who are far more robust than I am. KF PS: I suggest to you that you are overlooking a second order effect. The CO2 retention problem is not confined to a pocket between mask and face, but relates to air not expelled as usual from lungs and especially bronchi. As I recall, CO2 conc in that zone is tied to the breathing reflex. There is likely to be inadequate, relatively ineffective respiration and that would have knock on metabolic effects. You are taking a vital system out of spec for prolonged periods, day after day after day. That can have not so good effects. Remember what just climbing a mountain can do.kairosfocus
July 14, 2020
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Jerry
The demonstration was a little over the top but was it inaccurate?
Yes it was. CO2 is high in the few mls of exhaled air entrained in the mask after an exhalation. Air that was entrained because the monitor created a void for this air to hang out rather than passing through the mask as it normally would. When you inhale, you take a couple litres of clean air into your lungs. This dilutes any trapped air by several orders of magnitude before it enters the lung. This will bring it to levels barely distinguishable from the CO2 levels in the air. And this completely ignores the fact that the monitor used does not function properly under turbulent conditions.Mac McTavish
July 13, 2020
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Those governors are talking to you, and people like you, Jerry.
. Are they? I doubt it. They're politicians worried about perceptions not well being. You never answered my question to you about masks. Even if they prevent the number of cases in the short run, is that good? Are they just postponing the time when the virus is gone? Do we all have to get the virus before that happens? Or enough of us that we can go back to normal lives? What is the tradeoff to society of postponing the time before the end of the virus? We all know that the evidence is that postponing normal life is devastating for many.jerry
July 13, 2020
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Nice sensationalist, and bogus, broadcasting. Basic physics. What is the average volume of air exhaled? 2 litres? 3? What is the volume of exhaled air entrained behind a mask? 10 ml? 20 ml?
revealing answer. You don't know what is being breathed in and neither do I. Nor does anyone else which is why I know you do not know. The demonstration was a little over the top but was it inaccurate? But the concentration is obviously much higher in CO2. The question is this harmful? How long a time. can the mask be worn without being harmful? 30 minutes, 2 hours, 4 hours or 8 hours? Would you want children to wear them all day at school? People with breathing problems? How long should we continue to wears masks since by using them we are postponing the time when the virus will be harmless? A year? Two years? Forever?jerry
July 13, 2020
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Jerry
And I asked are masks harmful?
Nice sensationalist, and bogus, broadcasting. Basic physics. What is the average volume of air exhaled? 2 litres? 3? What is the volume of exhaled air entrained behind a mask? 10 ml? 20 ml? If you have serious concerns about CO2 and masks, might I suggest that you insist that your surgeon not wear a mask the next time you require surgery.Mac McTavish
July 13, 2020
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Those governors are talking to you, and people like you, Jerry.rhampton7
July 13, 2020
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Louisiana’s COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continued to rise today as Gov. John Bel Edwards’ statewide mask mandate took effect. Edwards’ new order requires the public to wear masks indoors and outside and closes bars to all traffic other than curbside pickup. “We need you to do what’s right, and what’s right is wearing a mask,” Edwards said. “We’re doing everything we can to not go back to Phase 1 or Phase Zero, especially as we’re preparing to reopen schools safely (in August). We need people to comply.” https://www.leesvilledailyleader.com/news/20200713/as-covid-19-cases-rise-edwards-urges-public-to-wear-masksrhampton7
July 13, 2020
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And I asked are masks harmful? https://bit.ly/2CvpJ0ljerry
July 13, 2020
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Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Monday (July 13) began his daily COVID-19 briefing, which would focus on the need for Arkansans to wear masks, by acknowledging that former U.S. Sen. David Pryor and wife Barbara have the virus, with Sen. Pryor in the hospital and Barbara at home. The governor quickly transitioned why more people should wear masks, saying that “all of Arkansas should sense the urgency” of wearing masks, socially distancing and doing other things to contain the virus. That urgency, he noted, also comes as the state is just a few weeks from opening schools. “[A] mask is the one tool that we have to reduce the spread of the virus, to be able to give ourselves the ability to be out and to move in public without spreading the virus. The mask is something that we want to continue to impress upon Arkansans that that will make a difference for us,” the governor said. https://talkbusiness.net/2020/07/sen-david-pryor-and-wife-positive-for-covid-19-gov-hutchinson-notes-sense-of-urgency-to-wear-masks/rhampton7
July 13, 2020
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