COVID-19 Updates 05 June, 2020

COVID-19 Updates 05 June, 2020

Federal 

Mounting unemployment crisis fuels racial wealth gap

  • The economic downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already staggering racial wealth gap.
  • Black workers are more likely to be out of a job, to have lost income or to have left the labor market altogether, economic data and surveys show — and less than half of black adults are now employed. More than 1 in 6 black workers were out of a job in May. 
  • In May,  there was a 16.8 percent jobless rate for black workers compared to 12.4 percent for white workers.

Democrats say DOL keeping workers in the dark about paid leave

  • Although the federal Families First Coronavirus relief bill enacted emergency paid leave for as many as 60 million workers, a recent study has shown that more than half of Americans are unaware of the law and that they may qualify for its provisions.
  • Many Democrats have said that the Department of Labor is not doing enough to educate workers and employers about the law. 
  • Democrats and advocates point to DOL’s guidance implementing Families First, which excluded employers of health care providers and others from having to comply with the law.

DC paints huge Black Lives Matter mural near White House

  • D.C  painted the words Black Lives Matter in enormous bright yellow letters on the street leading to the White House yesterday. The mural ends near St. John’s Episcopal  Church.
  • A new sign also identifies that section of 16th street as “Black Lives Matter Plaza.” 

State 

Currently, there have been 74,385 of COVID-19 and 5,886 known fatalities. There were reported 443 new cases in Pennsylvania today.

Wolf, Shapiro announce first steps of police reform after days of unrest

  • Yesterday, Gov. Wolf announced that he would set up a citizens review board for all law enforcement personnel under his jurisdiction such as the state police. 
  • Attorney General Josh Shapiro also announced that he had reached an agreement with police chefs and unions across the state to support legislation creating a statewide confidential database of police records that would be used for hiring. Legislation to implement the database has been introduced in both the House and Senate by Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, and Rep. Chris Rabb, D-Philadelphia.
  • In addition, Gov. Wolf said the state would redo its use of force training standards and create an inspector general to investigate fraud and misconduct among law enforcement.

 As more Pa. counties open up, outbreak concerns remain

  • 4 million people in 34 counties entered the green phase this week. The green phase of Gov. Wolf’s plan allows gyms, barbers and hair salons to reopen, as well as indoor dining at restaurants and bars, and gatherings of up to 250 people are allowed.
  • Today he also announced 12 more counties will go from yellow to green, including Adams, Beaver, Carbon, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Union, Wayne, Wyoming, and York.

Candidates across Pa. have no idea if they won or lost their primary elections: ‘It sucks’

  • Due to the new election law that allows anyone to vote by mail, counties were flooded with ballots. In Philadelphia, more than 300,000 ballots were cast, roughly half of them at polling places and the rest by mail. Officials had not started counting the mail ballots until Wednesday and it was unclear when they would be done.
  • Statewide, 16 competitive legislative primaries had winners declared as of Thursday. More than 20 were still pending. Mail-in ballots take longer to count because it requires opening two different envelopes and then scanning the paper ballots inside.
  • Many country officials have said that if lawmakers do not pass a law to allow them to count ballots that arrive before election day, a similar scenario will occur in Nov in a critical ballot ground state. 

Philadelphia 

On 7th day of protests, Philly police launch ‘several’ internal investigations

  • Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw announced that her office is starting several internal investigations into police offers conduct during the last week of protests. 
  • Although protests continued Thursday, Police made just four arrests – a marked decline from days prior. So far there have been 759 arrests since the protests began in Philadelphia on Sunday. At least 27 officers have been injured since Saturday, and one remains hospitalized.

Philly Mayor Kenney crafts new committee aimed to reconcile issues with ‘people of color’

  • Mayor Jim Kenney will form a steering committee to explore the reconciliation of structural issues affecting people of color following days of demonstrations in the city. 
  • The steering committee will be made of civic and faith leaders, leaders of community groups, youth groups, and members of the LGBTQ community, among others.

Philadelphia Council pitches $25M plan to address racial disparities

  • Today Philadelphia city council aims to raise the city’s reserve fund to pay for programs to address racial disparities in the city. Council President Darrell Clarke wants $25 million from the reserve fund into the council’s budget to help pay for programs in city departments that address social issues affecting people of color.
  • Council is calling this plan “New Normal Budget Act,” however many of the proposals are from the anti-poverty plan members of the council put forward earlier this year
  • The proposals also include some police reforms to strengthen oversight of the police. 

With COVID-19 cases down, Philadelphia and suburbs move to ‘yellow’ reopening status Friday

  • Retailers, offices, and daycare centers are allowed to reopen today under the yellow phase. Dr. Farley also told the media that he is not concerned that the protests will cause a surge in COVID-19.

Good News of the Day

Friday Funnies: Bored Man Builds ‘Hillbilly Hot Tub’ Using an Old Fish Pond And a Boat Motor

Via the Good News Network –

A 65-year-old salesman had no work during lockdown and wanted to find a new way to relax and reduce stress while sitting in his garden.

Paul Vaughan then proceeded to build his very own budget hot tub using an old, pre-formed pond base that he dug out from his garden.

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