Happy Friday, everyone.
I have to warn you that today’s Daily Digest is pretty depressing … so proceed with caution. I am sorry to send you off into the weekend with such concerning news, but that’s my job—so here we go.
• My friends, I beg of you: Please take precautions against COVID-19. As more and more of the Coachella Valley reopens, the numbers are getting worse and worse. The number of COVID-19 patients at Eisenhower Medical Center as of Wednesday is nearly twice as high as it had ever been before an uptick in cases began there around the start of the month.
• Horrifyingly related: The Los Angeles Times reports that some people are so opposed to the idea of wearing masks, they’re lashing out in crazy ways. In fact, Orange County’s health officer resigned after receiving a death threat related to her since-rescinded mask order. I just don’t understand some people.
• Also related: The CDC made it very clear today that if you’re going to be part of a large gathering, you really should be wearing a mask.
• Meanwhile, San Bernardino County is on the state watch list due to alarming COVID-19 increases there. (Based on what I am seeing, I would not be surprised to see Riverside County on this list soon.)
• A senior care community in Rancho Mirage is dealing with an outbreak.
• Scientists are examining the possibility that a mutation in the coronavirus may allow it to infect more cells. However, scientists aren’t even sure what that would mean if it were true.
• However, the reopening process rolls on: Nail salons, tattoo parlors and massage businesses can reopen a week from today in counties that give the OK.
• Augustine Casino deserves credit for being the first area casino to close, the last to reopen, and for taking social distancing so seriously that table games have been removed for the time being. The Coachella casino will open its doors on Monday.
• Lawmakers are upset about all of the executive orders Gov. Newsom has issued since the pandemic began—and some of them are fighting back. In fact, in response to a suit filed by two Republican legislators, a Sutter County judge put a hold on his order to send a mail ballot to all registered voters for this November’s election.
• Some hope is provided by this University of Chicago poll, showing that the vast majority of Americans insist they’re taking the necessary precautions during the pandemic.
• However, these findings from that poll conflict with cell-phone data showing that in some parts of the country, people are moving around as much as—or even more than—they were before the pandemic began.
• It’s theoretically possible that a smart phone could be used to test for COVID-19. How? ZDNet explains.
• Even though movie theaters have gotten the go-ahead to start reopening in California and some other states, the studios keep delaying major movie releases—including some big delays announced today.
• Due in part to systemic racism, COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn has killed off 41 percent of Black-owned businesses in the U.S., according to research out of UC Santa Cruz.
• Palm Springs Police Chief Bryan Reyes released a statement following the squabble between his officers’ union and Palm Springs City Councilmember Christy Holstege, as well as last night’s City Council meeting. Key quote: “We must discuss our history to have a better understanding and we must be willing to discuss current real or perceived experiences of racism within our community and police department. This must occur if we have any hope for meaningful change. I am confident the Palm Springs Police Officers Association, our City Council and our community will work on this very important issue as we move forward.”
• Netflix has released a new special by Dave Chappelle—filmed just six days ago. Early reviews say the set by the renowned comedian—in which he discusses the killing of George Floyd and the resulting protests—is quite powerful.
• And finally, the Trump administration continues to show how inhumane it is by erasing protections for transgender people against discrimination from the health-care industry. This was announced on the fourth anniversary of the massacre at Pulse Nightclub. Happy Pride Month.
That’s the news for the week. Live in the now, and enjoy yourself this weekend—in a responsible fashion, of course. If you have the means, please consider helping us produce quality local journalism, made available free to all, by becoming a Supporter of the Independent. We’ll be back Monday—and in the meantime, watch CVIndependent.com over the weekend for some excellent new stories.