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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 73,704

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Hidden figures: In New Jersey and Mississippi, the COVID death rate is higher than Brazil

Hidden figures: In New Jersey and Mississippi, the COVID death rate is higher than Brazil
What unites a blue state with unionized labor and the deep-red cradle of the Confederacy? Racial inequality


(Salon) New Jersey recently lost the dubious distinction of having the highest per-capita COVID death rate in the nation to Mississippi, whose extraordinarily low vaccination rate and lack of a mask mandate have helped fuel the spread of the delta variant.

Mississippi, now closing in on 10,000 virus deaths, is registering 315 COVID deaths per 100,000 residents. New Jersey is approaching 28,000 fatalities, or 306 per 100,000, a rate that is largely a consequence of the first several months of the pandemic, before we had a vaccine.

To get a sense of just how abysmal these numbers are, consider that our two states — a blue unionized labor state that fancies itself progressive, and a red state that was the cradle of the Confederacy — are both global standouts. In both cases, the legacy of generations of systemic racism and lack of access to regular health care has meant that people of color were the most vulnerable to COVID.

According to Johns Hopkins, that puts both states well above Brazil, the world's hardest-hit nation, at 281.29 deaths per 100,000, followed by Argentina, which reports 255.52 per 100,000. The United States as a whole ranks fourth on the planet at 209.32 deaths per 100,000, only slightly below the rate of Mexico, at 215.33.

In contrasting the latest statistics from Mississippi and New Jersey you see the arc of the tragic American COVID experience, which was entirely avoidable. Our blind partisanship has short-circuited the ability of the states to learn from each other as the overall death toll from COVID blows past the 675,000 lost during the 1918-21 Spanish flu pandemic. ..............(more)


'This whole thing has become politicized': inside Missouri's Covid culture wars

‘This whole thing has become politicized’: inside Missouri’s Covid culture wars
With winter coming, health officials are now concerned that the arguments that have roiled Missouri will leave it vulnerable again when a next wave hits

Edward Helmore in St Louis
Sun 3 Oct 2021 05.00 EDT

(Guardian UK) The boarded-up storefront of Rae’s Cafe in Blue Springs, Missouri, does not look much like a Covid-19 battleground – but it has become a cause célèbre of the anti-masking movement since owner Amanda Wohletz began a campaign in July to defy local Jackson county mask mandates imposed after Delta variant infections surged.

Despite warnings, citations, the revocation of a food permit and a county health department’s order to close her doors, Wohletz persisted, claiming in court that the mandate ordering everyone five and up is required to wear a face covering when visiting indoor public spaces was “unconstitutionally created” and efforts to enforce it were “unlawful, nonsensical”.

Now the restaurant is shuttered. In a 23 September ruling, a county judge rejected Wohletz’s argument of medical exemptions and that the restaurant could skirt the mandate by operating as a private club. The judge also ordered Rae’s to cease operations until it obtained a valid food permit.

Welcome to Missouri’s Covid culture wars.

This Republican-run midwestern state was hit hard and early by the pandemic, and again with the Delta wave of a more infectious variant. Tens of thousands of people have become infected. ...............(more)


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