Happy Wednesday, everyone.
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Thanks, as always, for reading. Here are today’s links:
• Here’s the most recent District 4 COVID-19 report from Riverside County. District 4 consists primarily of the Coachella Valley, as well as points eastward to the Arizona state border. The good news: Local cases and hospitalizations seem to be edging slowly downward. The bad: The weekly positivity rate remains alarmingly high. Peruse yourself you’d like.
• Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, who has resisted wearing a mask at the Capitol, has tested positive for the coronavirus. I shan’t comment further, because I have no words.
• Meanwhile, California has endured its deadliest day for COVID-19. Again.
• The state linked to this article yesterday: XPrize is offering $5 million to anyone who can “come up with inexpensive, fast, and easy COVID-19 testing that enables effective, data-driven tracing.” Let’s all hope they have to fork out that money—and fast.
• The Conversation looks at the impending eviction crisis—and a legal system that, for centuries, has favored landlords over tenants.
• Related: The economies in California and a lot of other states will take huge hits if the new GOP stimulus package gets passed without major changes.
• Also related: California is considering providing the extra $600 in unemployment if the federal government doesn’t extend the benefit … but will need to borrow money to do so.
• NBC News looks at the tactics protesters are using to stand up to federal law enforcement in Portland. Get out the leaf blowers!
• Related: The New York Times reports that those federal agents have agreed to leave Portland—as long as the federal courthouse is secured.
• An NPR analysis shows that the coronavirus is becoming a huge problem in a lot of the nation’s small cities, as more and more hospitals become overwhelmed.
• The fact that we’re talking about what may happen when a vaccine arrives is a good thing, but nonetheless, take note: Now is the time for people to learn about a vaccine’s possible side effects—not to cause alarm, but to learn.
• AMC theaters and Universal Pictures have kissed and made up. AMC had said it’d never again show Universal films after the studio released Trolls World Tour online because of the pandemic. As part of the reconciliation, AMC has agreed that Universal can release films online after just 17 days in theaters; before, that number was at least 75 days.
• Sigh … meanwhile, in Minnesota, a rodeo took place over the weekend. The organizer said there’d be “no spectators,” but invited people to show up to protest “government overreach.” Thousands of people—many of them not wearing masks—did.
• From the Independent: We’ve posted an interesting commentary piece from local PR guru David Perry, in which he asks people to stop calling for a complete shutdown—because those of us who are less privileged can’t “shut down.”
• The stock value for Eastman Kodak—a company that has struggled in recent years, because film really isn’t a thing anymore—has gone bonkers, after the feds gave Kodak a Defense Production Act loan of $765 million to start making drug ingredients.
• From the “What in the Ever-Loving $&%# Is Going On?!” files: Random people in at least 28 states have received seeds in the mail, apparently from China … and nobody knows why. If you get them, contact the state, and DON’T PLANT THEM; investigators are trying to figure out whether these seeds are harmful. Man, 2020 just won’t quit.
• Whoever had “Madonna Posts Discredited Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory” on their 2020 Bingo card … step up and claim your prize!
• Finally, a bit of … possible local news: Is the Riviera Palm Springs about to become the latest Margaritaville? Hmm.
That’s the day’s news. Wash your hands! Wear a mask. Be kind. If you’re able to send us a few bucks to help fund this Daily Digest and the other things the Independent does, please click here. The digest will be back Friday.