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Gooooood morning, Portland! Happy Monday, or whatever. Here's a peek at the news you might have missed from the past three days:
- The second wave of COVID-19 has fully landed in Oregon. On Friday, Gov. Kate Brown announced a plan place Oregon under a two-week "freeze," restricting indoor businesses, dining, and social gathering to early pandemic levels. The announcement coincided with a record surge in daily coronavirus case numbers—and deaths—statewide. According to state health officials, hospitals in the Portland Metro region are already nearing capacity for ICU beds because of this uptick, which puts anyone seeing emergency care (for COVID-19 or otherwise) in danger. The statewide semi-shutdown begins this Wednesday.
- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee introduced a similar plan for his state on Sunday, promising the restrictions to be in place for at least a month.
- Some elected officials in Oregon still doubt the severity of the virus. Over the weekend, newly elected chair of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners Tootie Smith selflessly boasted on Facebook that she will be celebrating Thanksgiving with "as many family and friends as I can find." Imagine risking death to share mashed potatoes with someone named Tootie.
- Stacey Abrams loves Oregon, we love Stacey Abrams:
- Portland sex workers—like strippers and erotic dancers—who've been unable to access unemployment insurance (thanks for our occasionally puritanical government) have recently been awarded nearly $600,000 from the Oregon Health Authority to cover lost income.
- New data from the Portland Police Bureau shows that officers used physical force and weapons to quell protests a total of 2,378 times during the first month of this year's protests. That's three times the amount of force used by Portland police against protesters in the past four years.
- A few dozen pro-Trump Oregonians met in Salem over the weekend to regurgitate Trump's conspiracy theories about the presidential election. They were joined by the "Nightmare Elk," the sculpture created by Portland racial justice protesters that was stolen by jealous right-wing activists in October.
- The Salem rally coincided with a larger pro-Trump march in Washington, DC, dubbed "The Million MAGA March." Despite its ambitious name, the protests only drew around ten thousand people—from moderate Trump fans to right-wing extremists. The event ended in violence between attendees and counter-protesters, with at least one person being sent to the hospital after being stabbed.
- On Sunday, the US passed 11 million total cases of COVID-19. In the past week, more than 1 in 400 Americans have tested positive for the virus. The numbers reflect another concerning trend: The pandemic has hospitalized people of color at a rate roughly four times higher than non-Hispanic whites since March.
A South Dakota ER nurse @JodiDoering says her Covid-19 patients often “don’t want to believe that Covid is real.”
“Their last dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening. It’s not real.’ And when they should be... Facetiming their families, they’re filled with anger and hatred.” pic.twitter.com/tgUgP6znAT
— New Day (@NewDay) November 16, 2020
- Important headline of the day: "Platypuses Glow Under Blacklight. We Have No Idea Why."
- A judge has ruled that Chad Wolf, the acting homeland security secretary who led violent federal agents to the streets of Portland over the summer, was unlawfully appointed to his position—specifically meaning he has no authority to limit the work permits of DACA recipients. Sorry not sorry, Chad!
- Less than one week after assuming the office of the presidency, Manuel Merino has stepped down as interim president of Peru. The decision comes after police killed two protesters during massive demonstrations against a long-corrupt government.
- SpaceX, the first privately owned and operated spacecraft certified by NASA, was successfully launched into space yesterday—sending four NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. It was the first time NASA astronauts were shot into space since 2011.
- Slightly related, we have all agreed to refer to Space X founder Elon Musk as "Space Karen" from here on out.
Rapid antigen tests trade sensitivity for speed. They return a result in <30 minutes, but can only detect COVID-19 when you're absolutely riddled with it. What's bogus is that Space Karen didn't read up on the test before complaining to his millions of followers. pic.twitter.com/a1Snfpm03h
— Emma Bell PhD (@emmabell42) November 14, 2020