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How Trump Could Lose the Election—And Still Remain President | Opinion

Newsweek (07/03/2020)
  • Biden wins key swing states (eg Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania) by small margins.
  • Trump immediately declares rigged election, blaming mail-in voting fraud or China hacking.
  • Trump invokes emergency powers by declaring a national security issue.
  • Justice Department launches investigation that runs until December 14th, the deadline for appointing state-level Electoral College voters.
  • All four swing states (under Republican control) refuse Electoral voting until investigation concludes.
  • Voting goes to the House of Representatives where Republicans, who control majority of the House Delegations, elect Trump.

Donald Trump’s re-election bet: American voters are still racist at heart

Salon (07/06/2020)
  • In Trump’s recent July 4th speech at Mt Rushmore, he berated those who “tear down statues” and “defame our heroes”, a slight seemingly targeted at Black Lives Matter protesters.
  • Some believe Trump is re-employing the racist messaging he used to gain support leading up to the 2016 elections.
  • Since George Floyd’s murder, polls show that support for BLM has skyrocketed by 28 points to nearly 66% of all Americans.
  • However, much of this support will probably wane, a regression that will help Trump.

Here’s what pooled testing is and how it can be used for the coronavirus

CNN (07/06/2020)
  • Pooled testing is combining several people’s biological samples and testing them simultaneously.
  • Pooled testing can test more people using less resources.
  • Many countries, including ones with limited resources, have utilized this to increase testing.
  • This type of testing can reduce the spread of the coronavirus and keep public places open.
  • Pooled testing should be done in areas of low coronavirus prevalence, to monitor populations and prevent a rapid increase in cases, or individual testing would be more efficient.

Africa’s battle against Covid-19 will be won or lost here

CNN (07/06/2020)
  • South Africa is approaching 200,000 coronavirus cases, the most in Africa.
  • Cape Town, South Africa is a densely populated area, where doctors say the battle against Covid-19 will be won or lost.
  • Despite catastrophic predictions, South Africa has less patients, hospital admissions, and deaths than predicted.
  • South Africa has adapted higher income solutions learned from countries impacted earlier to lower income settings.
  • The surge could last longer than predicted, straining the health system and society.

How humans are making pandemics more likely

Vox (YouTube) (07/07/2020)
  • Globally, humans are making virus pandemics more likely by expanding living areas into wildlife and forests.
  • Most virus pandemics spread via zoonoses, or the movement of viral pathogens from animals to humans.
  • For example, experts believe that the Ebola outbreak (2014) was sparked in West Africa by people displaced by civil wars forced to relocate into wildlife forests, which eventually became cities.
  • While human relocation into wildlife kills many animals, people are exposed to remaining animals such as bats that carry many viruses.

FBI firearm background checks set another all-time record in June

CNN (07/01/2020)
  • The FBI conducted more than 3.9 million background checks for the sale, transfer or permitting of firearms in June, up from 2.3 million (June 2019) and the highest monthly total since 1998.
  • Under US law, federally licensed gun dealers must perform a background check on all potential buyers.
  • Gun background checks had already been surging during coronavirus but spiked following the George Floyd protests.
  • Historically, US gun sales have spiked following civil unrest (eg mass shootings).
  • Many also fear pushback on gun ownership rights.

Flu virus with ‘pandemic potential’ found in China

BBC (06/30/2020)
  • Researchers in China recently discovered a new influenza strain in pigs that could spark another global pandemic.
  • While not an immediate problem, the new strain (“G4 EA H1N1”) has “all the hallmarks” of being able to infect humans.
  • The novel strain is similar to the 2009 Swine Flu, but it can grow and multiply in cells that line human airways.
  • While flu viruses are constantly evolving, they rarely spark pandemics unless easily transferrable from person-to-person.

The Black American Amputation Epidemic

ProPublica (05/19/2020)
  • Black Americans with poor health (eg diabetics) are 3x more likely to have their limbs amputated as a result deadly clogged arteries or infections.
  • Why? – Racial and economic disparities in access to preventative healthcare.
  • Bad Alternative – Even after amputation, within five years patients are likely to be dead (less exercise = higher risk of heart attacks, strokes).
  • Article profiles Dr Foluso Fakorede, who moved to Bolivar County, Mississippi (2015) and implemented preventative screenings at his clinic to reduce amputations by 75%.

What Happens to Your Body on No Sleep?

Outside (04/02/2019)
  • Scientists have found that the effects of acute sleep deprivation, or all-nighters, kicks in after being awake for 16-18 hours straight.
  • The first sign is a sluggish mind, with reaction times lagging to the equivalent of being legally drunk by the 24th hour awake.
  • After 24 hours, your brain starts forcing you into 10-20 second periods of “micro-sleep”.
  • After 35 hours, the brain’s emotion-emitting amygdala becomes 60% more reactive and the ability to regulate emotions declines.
  • Hallucinations are common after 48 hours awake.