Here's your daily roundup of all the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to the Mercury to keep it comin'!)
• NOT GREAT NEWS ON THE COVID FRONT: According to the Oregon Health Authority, if things continue as they're going, the state can expect an "exponential" growth of infections, to the tune of 1,100 to 7,300 new cases per day by the end of July. YOU SHOULD PROBABLY READ THAT LAST SENTENCE AGAIN. Also not great: Hospitalizations could ramp up to 76 people per day by month's end, which could strain our medical facilities to the breaking point. Our Alex Zielinski has more on the story, but in short, it ain't no joke: WASH YA DAMN HANDS, WEAR YA DAMN MASK. (Over your mouth and nose. And stay away from people, for Chrissakes.)
COVID-19 is spreading in Oregon faster now than ever before. The latest projections show that if we don’t get this under control, hospital emergency rooms & ICUs will fill up quickly.
WEAR. A. FACE. COVERING. #MaskUpOR pic.twitter.com/r5FmLyemwa
— Governor Kate Brown (@OregonGovBrown) July 10, 2020
• The OHA reported 275 new positive COVID cases today with two new deaths.
• Very much related: State regulators are fielding hundreds of complaints from customers and employees that many businesses are not complying with Gov. Brown's mandate to wear face masks in indoor public stores and spaces.
Pacific Islanders face the highest rates of infection in Oregon. COVID-19 brings the barriers to healthcare access and social services for Pacific Islanders to the forefront. Read more here:https://t.co/0wUArQ2Z9G
— ThinkOutLoud on OPB (@OPBTOL) July 10, 2020
• Good news for renters: The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled to uphold Portland's renter relocation ordinance, which says Portland landlords must cover tenants' housing relocation fees if they've raised rent by at least 10 percent or issued a no-cause eviction. Our Alex Zielinski has more!
• In Seattle, some city council members have agreed with advocates' idea to significantly defund the police—and they've done it to the tune of 50 percent from their current budget. (By comparison, Portland's recent cop budget was only cut by a meager three percent from the 2019-20 budget.)
• Looking for the latest local food news on recent restaurant and bars openings, closings, and switcheroos? Don't miss our weekly FOOD NEWS ROUNDUP!
IN NATIONAL NEWS:
• America is currently acquiring over 60,000 new coronavirus infections per day (Miami-Dade County in Florida has a staggering 33.5 percent positivity rate), and even more worrying, the national death rate is once again on the rise after previously leveling off.
COVID Update July 10: The most disturbing thing right now is not the growth in new COVID cases.
It’s that even after 4 months, we have no visibility into what’s happening. Or what has happened.
And that makes for a tough Fall. 1/
— Andy Slavitt @ 🏡 (@ASlavitt) July 10, 2020
• Scientists seem to have discovered a way to combat COVID-19 by injecting antibody-rich plasma from COVID survivors into high-risk healthcare workers and nursing home patients, resulting in a months-long inoculation against the virus. So why aren't we using it? Federal officials don't want it, and pharmaceutical companies won't manufacture it.
• Good news for the one reliable treatment we do have, though: New data confirms that remdesivir shortens the course of COVID-19 infections. Bonus knowledge: using remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine together is bad. Don't do that.
• Did the country try to re-open way too quickly? Well, when New York Times headlines are describing hospital admittances with the phrase "Like a Bus Accident a Day" then... yes. Probably.
• Just in time for your next online argument over whether schools should be re-opened in the fall: The World Health Organization (which we no longer belong to!) acknowledged that the indoor airborne spread of coronavirus is possible.
• Related: If the schools don't re-open, then they'll never re-open, according to the White House: They're threatening to pull tax-exempt status and federal funding from those schools as punishment for not opening. That'll... show 'em? Reminder: This is the same ruling party that wouldn't/couldn't do anything for those same schools when they were being shot up on a weekly basis because "Muh 2nd Mendment."
• Today's installment in the ongoing serial drama "What's the Point of Having a 25th Amendment if Nobody's Even Going to Consider Using It" involves our idiot president bragging to Sean Hannity about "acing" a cognitive test he was given at Walter Reed recently, to the point where the doctors who administered it were "surprised" he "aced" it.
• LOL, everybody wanna be a capitalist but nobody wanna be a capitalist.
In an interview with Fox News, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said he was “not apologizing” for praising President Trump at the White House. He also called the boycott of his company’s products “suppression of speech.” https://t.co/M1TkXF9m0f
— CNN (@CNN) July 10, 2020
• Boy, that PPP loan program was a shining example of how well Mnuchin is running the Treasury, isn't it? Let's look at the latest unearthed instance of ample funds spent properly, shall we? OKAY: Catholic Dioceses That Paid Huge Sex-Abuse Settlements Managed to Get PPP Loans. See? That's $1.4 billion from the government to a church that used lobbyists the way they're supposed to! The system works!
• Looking for fun stuff to do this weekend? Our regular roundup of the Best Things to Do in Portland has got tons of great suggestions!
• And finally, we only have one question: DID THEY FALL IN LOVE?