COVID-19 Update 20 July, 2020

COVID-19 Update 20 July, 2020


‘We can’t afford to wait’: Many coronavirus relief measures are set to expire soon. But the crisis is still raging.

  • Key relief measures are set to expire at the end of this month, including expanded unemployment benefits.
  • At the moment, chances are slim that any negotiations will happen and a bill will pass before the unemployment payments and other benefits expire.
  • It would be a catastrophe not to extend unemployment insurance,” Janet Yellen told members of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis during a remote hearing on Friday.

House passes Rep. Dave Joyce’s bill to ensure federal death and disability benefits for first responders afflicted by coronavirus

  • On Monday, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted legislation that ensures that families of first responders who “die from or are disabled by the coronavirus get Public Safety Officers Benefit program payments for firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians who are killed or disabled in the line of duty.”
  • The “Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act” states that if a first responder ends up diagnosed with the coronavirus any time within 45 days of their last day on a job, it will be treated as a line of duty incident. 

Credit complaints to federal consumer agency have spiked during coronavirus pandemic

  • According to the consumer advocacy organization, U.S. PIRG, complaints made to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were up 50% from March through June this year, compared to 2019. 
  • Issues repeatedly reported were credit report mistakes, problems with credit cards or mortgages, and issues related to debt collection. 


COVID-19 Update: 711 new cases reported with 101,731 total cases in PA. There was an increase of 3 deaths this weekend for a total of 7,018.

After less than a year on the job, Pa. African-American chamber boss steps down

  • Donavan West has left his post as president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
  • The chamber plans to announce several new programs and partnerships that will allow it to help businesses navigating COVID-19 return to work issues.

Pa. has a new hiring database to weed out bad cops: Will it do what it needs to do?

  • The new hiring database (Act 57) is the first legislative victory for police reform in decades in PA. The database will include any criminal charges filed against an officer, all disciplinary actions, and the reason and circumstance that lead to the officer leaving the workforce.
  • The bill will keep those who hire police officers accountable if they hire police officers with criminal or other issues that may make them unfit to be hired. 
  • Some advocates have said the bill provides limited access to the records to the general public. In addition, there are no penalties for a police department that chooses not to run a background check. According to the PA Innocence Project, the largest issue with the law is the lack of transparency.


COVID-19: The Dept of Health is reporting that

  • Number of cases of COVID-19 in Philadelphia: 28,592
  • Number of negative test results of COVID-19 in Philadelphia: 169,498
  • Number of COVID-19 deaths in Philadelphia: 1,665

No end in sight’ to coronavirus, Fauci tells cancer doctors at Philly-run conference

  • The American Association for Cancer Research spoke with Dr. Fauci today where he offered a grim picture of  COVI-19. Fauci said that he has been most struck by the “extraordinary” variety in the way the coronavirus affects infected people. Roughly 20% to 45% have no symptoms, but the disease can also lead to serious illness with long-term impact and to death.

Trump says he might send more federal law enforcement officers to Philadelphia and other major cities

  • President Trump told reporters that he may send in law enforcement to Philadelphia to stop protesters. The announcement was meant with surprise by Mayor Kenney and his administration. 
  • Kenney released a statement saying “ ”The President’s threat is wrong on many levels. To send federal agents to police U.S. cities that have not requested such aid can only impede the work of local governments and exacerbate already heightened tensions in these cities. And to target cities that are led by Democratic mayors is clearly a politicization of federal resources that should outrage all taxpayers.”
  • The federal government is planning on sending 150 federal agents to Chicago this week.

‘We’re tired of losing our loved ones’: Young Philadelphians rally against gun violence

  • A group of young activists marched in Philadelphia today demanding an end to gun violence which has increased as the COVID-19 pandemic has continued.
  • The number of people murdered in the city is the highest it has been since 2007 and there has been a 33% increase in shooting victims compared to the same time last year. 
  • Many speakers at Monday’s rally made the case that the issue of gun violence won’t stop without the help of neighbors.

Sanitation Union Says More than 100 Workers Have Contracted COVID-19 As Trash Piles Up on Philly Streets

  • People have been complaining about the lack of trash pickup in Philadelphia for weeks. The union representing the sanitation workers said more than 100 workers have contracted COVID-19 through the pandemic and, because of contact tracing, even more than that have had to quarantine.
  • The streets department is asking people to put out their trash one day later than normal pickup for the week of July 20th and is warning people it may take longer than that for it to be picked up.

Good News of the Day

Rail worker stops bike theft and waits four hours to reunite it with its owner

Via MSN –

A railway worker confronted a thief trying to steal a bike before then waiting four hours after his shift ended to return it to its owner.

Abdul El-Gayar, 31, was leaving work at 2pm when he saw someone trying to cut the lock off a bike with a pair of bolt cutters outside London’s Cannon Street station.

The platform worker said: “I heard the sound of a lock being snapped and I didn’t think twice. I said ‘You’re not taking that back’. I couldn’t let that happen.

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