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Thursday Evening Owls: Covid-19 will quickly take its 200,000th U.S. life. What number of extra must die?

That makes this a moment worthy of some reflection. The United States will record the 200,000th COVID-19 death in days, just four months after the toll hit 100,000. Caroline pointed out in May that the best way to slow the spread of the virus would be to deploy “the oldest mitigation tactics in the public health arsenal.” That would have meant widespread testing to identify those who had caught the virus, quarantining and tracing the contacts of both symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers who could spread the disease to the most vulnerable.

“Being slow to act comes with a terrible cost,” she wrote.

Caroline and I had pulled together a list of many of the steps to slow down the virus in a road map we addressed to the nation’s governors back in April. Our advice was drawn from interviews with health authorities and experts in countries that were successfully battling the pandemic.

Hardly any states followed the practices that had worked well elsewhere. (…)

TOP COMMENTS 

QUOTATION

“To set foot on the soil of the asteroids, to lift by hand a rock from the Moon, to observe Mars from a distance of several tens of kilometers, to land on its satellite or even on its surface, what can be more fantastic? From the moment of using rocket devices a new great era will begin in astronomy: the epoch of the more intensive study of the firmament. “ ~~Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (1896)
 

TWEET OF THE DAY

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No one should forget that lying bigot @VP* Mike Pence was tasked to lead lies about Coronavirus. He refused to wear masks for months. He knew too. He killed people too.

— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) September 18, 2020

BLAST FROM THE PAST

At Daily Kos on this date in 2011—High school textbooks shortchange kids by excluding labor history:

A new report by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Labor Studies Center argues that history textbooks exclude labor from the history that American schoolchildren learn. Their review of four leading high school history textbooks finds that the books:

often implicitly (and, at times, explicitly) represent labor organizing and labor disputes as inherently violent;
virtually ignore the vital role of organized labor in winning broad social protections, such as child labor laws, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency;
ignore the important role that organized labor played in the civil rights movement; and
pay scant attention to unionism after the 1950s, thus completely ignoring the rise of public sector unionization, which brought generations of Americans into the middle class and gave new rights to public employees.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin has some interesting new issue polling. Horse race, though? Steady. Trump pits himself squarely against scientists on the vaccine. The mechanics of “What if Trump won’t leave?” Oh, and there’s another Trump sex assault accusation.

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