Crooked Media - What A Day: Count wackula

Thursday, May 19, 2022
BY KATE DOYLE & CROOKED MEDIA

 -Former president, man who invaded Iraq

A casual observer of government messaging might assume the pandemic is over and we can wash our hands of it (or stop washing them). But actual deaths, iPhone salesmen, and poop tell a different story. 

  • Cases are rising again, up 57 percent from two weeks ago. The U.S. passed the one-million deaths benchmark on May 17. That’s the population of the nation’s 10th largest city. It’s more than the number of people who have died from AIDS in the U.S. over the last 30 years, and more than died from the 1918-1919 flu pandemic. Thanks to coronavirus, the U.S. has experienced the biggest drop in life expectancy since World War II.
     
  • According to Boston wastewater tracking, the latest, even more transmissible Omicron variant, BA.2.12.1, exploded across Massachusetts in recent weeks and is outpacing its predecessor, BA.2, in other regions, as well. 
     
  • Also, famous people are getting it again. And then again. Vocally unvaccinated Australian politician Pauline Hanson, who is standing for re-election as a Queensland senator on Saturday, has tested positive for COVID-19 days out from the federal election. (“I will survive,” she memed, “to some people’s disgust.”) Jimmy Kimmel has it again, for the second time in a month.

Nevertheless the policy response looks kinda like what you’d expect if Omicron never mutated into existence.

  • The CDC now recommends Pfizer boosters for kids age 5 to 11, but there are still no vaccines for kids under 5. Which you would think would mean masks stay on in schools, but New York mayor Eric Adams said nay, nixing a mask mandate as kids return to school with a heightened COVID-19 alert. Apple, by contrast, has reinstated its mask mandate for employees at 100 stores. The children are our future, or at least, our future purchasers of phones.
     
  • The best news would be if we could all look forward to Omicron-specific vaccines this fall. Scientists and federal health officials are circling a strategy that may pair hot new COVID-19 vaccines finely, tuned to the latest variant, with the traditional flu shot in a kind of shot cocktail. But some of their peers are playing multidimensional chess, cautioning against creating “an impression that we don’t have a very effective vaccination program.” Sound familiar?
The political decision to drop all COVID-19 mitigation has made it almost impossible to reinstate any measures; new CDC warnings fall on deaf ears or no ears at all, including in the White House. The least they can do is get their stuff together by the end of June, when scientific advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will meet to identify the coronavirus variant most likely to be proliferating in the United States as temperatures cool off in the fall, and hopefully give manufacturers time to decide whether the vaccines’ composition needs to be updated and to ramp up production, hopefully enough to churn out hundreds of millions of doses before Halloween.
In the latest installment of Political Experts React, Pod Save America host Dan Pfeiffer is joined by Crooked Media's Chief Content Officer Tanya Somanader to break down VIRAL 2022 Midterm Ads. Watch all new episodes of Political Experts React on the Crooked Media YouTube Channel

The 2020 Census was off—like, very off—in 14 states, but those numbers will be used to allocate political representation and federal funding for the rest of the decade anyway. A follow-up survey found that six states (Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas) had been undercounted, and eight states (Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Utah) had been overcounted. There are no demographic details of the populations that were undercounted, but Census experts have long worried that low-income and minority populations are the most likely to be missed, especially Hispanic Americans after the Trump administration attempted to add a citizenship question to the survey.

Unfortunately the faulty 2020 numbers have already been used to divvy up seats in the House of Representatives, as well as votes in the Electoral College, and help determine how much money from hundreds of federal programs gets to the states, making correct counts crucial for states that depend on money for everything from school systems to wildfire preparations. To try to mitigate the effects of the miscounts, the bureau has set up an internal team that plans to research how to factor the follow-up survey's results into the bureau's population estimates, which help guide the distribution of about $1.5 trillion a year in federal money to local communities.

It may be impossible to buy a house, difficult to find basic necessities like baby formula, and pointless to pursue access to basic healthcare, but on the bright side, you’d have to try really hard to get fired from your job right now, according to a Wall Street Journal columnist. Layoffs and discharges in recent months have registered at or near all-time lows, according to the Labor Department. Less than 1 percent of workers are being let go, roughly half the norm, with job security especially strong in finance, education, healthcare, and the public sector. (Unfortunately this doesn’t apply if you work for Netflix or Carvana right now).

Life can be overwhelming, and many people are burned out without even knowing it. Symptoms of burnout can include lack of  motivation, feeling helpless or trapped, detachment, fatigue, and more. 
 



We associate burnout with work, but that’s not the only cause.  Any of our roles in life can lead us to feel burned out, and BetterHelp online therapy wants to remind you to prioritize  yourself. Talking with someone can help you figure out what’s  causing stress in your life. 

BetterHelp is customized online therapy that offers video, phone and even live chat sessions with your therapist, so you don’t  have to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to.  

It’s much more affordable than in-person therapy and you can be  matched with a therapist in under 48 hours. 

What A Day is sponsored by BetterHelp and readers of this newsletter get 10 percent off their first month at BetterHelp.com/crooked

Taco Bell's highly anticipated Mexican Pizza made a triumphant return to menus today, following a two-year absence.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced a massive investment in direct air carbon removal projects, aka atmospheric vacuum cleaners, in hopes of kickstarting an industry that energy experts say is critical to getting the country's planet-warming emissions under control.

AOC is officially engaged, which is good news or bad news depending on who you are. 

The biggest trend in esports is increased mental-health talk, according to a ‘Call of Duty’ league analyst.

. . . . . .


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