Posts tagged with "USAToday"

Study finds that roughly 40% of the USA’s coronavirus deaths could have been prevented

February 12, 2021

About 40% of the nation’s coronavirus deaths could have been prevented if the United States’ average death rate matched that of other industrialized nations, a new Lancet Commission report on public policy and health during the Trump era has found, USA Today reports.

The commission faulted former President Donald Trump’s “inept and insufficient” response to COVID-19, but its report also finds that the roots of the nation’s poor health outcomes are much deeper.

Commission co-chairs Dr. Steffie Woolhandler and Dr. David Himmelstein— professors at the City University of New York’s Hunter College and longtime advocates for a single-payer health system, such as Medicare for All—said the report, published on Thursday, February 11, underscores decades of health, economic and social policies that have accelerated the nation’s disparities.

The report found U.S. life expectancy began trailing other industrialized nations four decades ago. In 2018, two years before the pandemic, the report said 461,000 fewer Americans would have died if U.S. mortality rates matched other Group of Seven nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom.

“The overriding thing that we need to do in our country is to decrease the huge and widening inequalities that have emerged in our nation,” Himmelstein told USA Today.

Indeed, the report finds that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected people of color—with the death rates among Blacks increasing 50%, compared with whites. Coronavirus deaths for people of color are 1.2 times to 3.6 times higher than for whites; the disparities were especially high among middle-aged adults, possibly a sign of crowded living conditions and jobs that did not allow people to safely distance..

Public health measures such as mask wearing and physical distancing could have saved lives, Woolhandler said, but Trump failed to create a national response— instead leaving crucial decisions to states.

His actions “caused a lot of citizens to fail to take it seriously and interfered with the kind of coordinated response they have been able to use in a lot of countries that are more successful than the U.S. in controlling the epidemic,”  Woolhandler said.

“We’re still in a very deep hole. We have 30 million uninsured people. We have tens of millions of more who are underinsured,” Woolhandler said. “The thing that would be best for the health of the population would be Medicare for All.

“A Medicare for All program would substantially increase economic equality,” Himmelstein said. “Poor people spend a much larger share of their incomes for their healthcare even though they get much less for their healthcare.”

Woolhandler and Himmelstein are co-founders of Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates for a single-payer health system.

Research contact: @USATODAY

Matzoball to launch ‘largest Jewish virtual speed dating event in the world’ on Christmas Eve

December 1, 2020

The original Matzoball—founded by Andrew Rudnick in 1987 as a Christmas Eve party for single Jewish Americans—has reinvented itself for the pandemic: Although the company usually throws as many 20 parties in cities nationwide and worldwide, this year, the fun will go virtual.

In a press release, Rudnick explains, “This year we needed to think outside the box. Every year we give tens of thousands of single Jews the opportunity to meet in person at the hottest nightclubs all over the country. This year, we are inviting partygoers to attend online—and it will be a much bigger and better event than anyone can imagine. We are beyond thrilled to announce the launch of Matzoball Online!”

The parties start on Christmas Eve at 9 p.m. and will be broken down by region and age range. Each event will guarantee a minimum of 20 to 30, five-minute dates, and the participants will then have the opportunity to anonymously choose whom they felt they had a connection with. If the connection is mutual, they will be notified via email of their mutual connections 15 minutes after the event and will be given the opportunity to connect again.

The Matzoball Online is set to go online in the following regions/countries, but also anticipates adding more: Atlanta, Boca, Delray Beach, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angelese, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Montreal, Toronto, London, Sydney, and Tel Aviv.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.matzoball.org and cost $35, which includes entry into the 1st Matzoball Online event, and also will offer ticket purchasers exclusive discounts to the monthly speed dating events that will be hosted by Matzoball in 2021.

According to Guinness World Records, the largest known speed dating event, which drew 964 people, occurred on February 14, 2019, Valentine’s Day, in Dublin, Ireland. Matzoball anticipates five times as many people will participate in their event.

The Matzoball claims to have been responsible for thousands of marriages over the past 34 years—and having been named the #1 Holiday Party by USA Today..

Research contact: @MatzoBall24M

Proud Boys deny sending threatening emails to Democratic voters in multiple states

October 22, 2020

Law enforcement officials have been notified that voters in multiple states have received personalized emails purporting to be from the Proud Boys—a far-right, neo-fascist white supremacist group. The messaging is filled with intimidating threats aimed at Democrats, if they do not change their vote to Republican, The Hill reports.

CNN and The Washington Post first reported that voters in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Alaska, and Florida all said they received threatening emails warning them to vote for President Donald Trump in the upcoming election, adding that the mysterious sender claimed to have access to voter history and “will come after you” should they fail to vote for the president.

“You will vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you,” reads one email obtained by the Post,. Dozens were reportedly sent, including more than 180 to students, faculty and staff of the University of Florida, a school spokesperson told CNN.

Chris Krebs, the director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency tweeted that the agency was “aware of threatening emails with misleading info about the secrecy of your vote.”

“This is what we mean by not falling for sensational and unverified claims. The last line of defense in election security is you—the American voter. So be prepared, be a smart consumer and sharer of information. Vote with confidence,” added Chris Krebs.

Elections officials in Alaska and Florida confirmed to CNN that they were aware of the emails, with Alaska’s Division of Elections telling the network that federal authorities had been alerted. Representatives with elections boards in Pennsylvania and Arizona did not immediately return The Hill’s requests for comment. A spokesperson for the FBI’s field office in Anchorage also did not immediately return a request for comment from the Post.

The leader of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio, told USA Today and CNN in a statement that his group was not responsible for the emails, which appeared to have been sent from an email address affiliated with the group but may have been the result of spoofing software, one expert told CNN.

“No, it wasn’t us. The people [who sent the emails] used a spoofing email that pretended to be us,” Tarrio said. “Whoever did this should be in prison for a long time.”

“We have spoken to the FBI and are working with them. I hope whoever did this is arrested for voter intimidation and for maliciously impersonating our group,” he added.

Trump recently faced criticism after he demurred follow his prompting by Fox News’s Chris Wallace to disavow the group during the first presidential debate between him and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

“Stand back and stand by,” Trump said during the contentious debate.

Research contact: @thehil

Editor’s note: According to multiple sources, U.S. officials on Wednesday night accused Iran of targeting American voters with faked but menacing emails and warned that both Iran and Russia had obtained voter data that could be used to endanger the upcoming election.

 

Soon, we’ll know Melania ‘like a book’: Unauthorized bio due out in June

April 9, 2020

Get ready for some hot new literature to enliven your shelter-in-place experience. An unauthorized biography of America’s First Lady, entitled “The Art of Her Deal”—which draws upon more than 100 interviews with people who claim to know “the inside dirt”–will be released on June 16 by Simon & Schuster.

The real Melania Trump is far more interesting than the image that many people have of her,” says Mary Jordan, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and national political correspondent for The Washington Post, who just finished the life story of the relatively tight-lipped FLOTUS. .

According to an interview with Jordan posted by USA Today and The Associated Press, the author says the president’s wife is all-in on our husband’s re-election and future legacy. “[Melania] is already gearing up for 2020, and she wants to win as much as her husband does .”

“The picture is one of a woman who is savvy, steely, ambitious, deliberate, and who plays the long game,” according to an announcement on April 8 from the publisher. “With the help of key people who speak publicly for the first time and never-before-seen documents and tapes, ‘The Art of Her Deal’ paints a surprising portrait of a determined immigrant and the life she had before she met Donald Trump.”

Interestingly enough, Jordan began working on the book in 2015, USA Today reports—well before Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the presidential election. She investigated everything from Melania Knauss’ childhood in Slovenia to her years as a model to her relationship with her husband. Jordan said in a statement that she found Melania Trump, often portrayed as a reluctant first lady, far more ambitious politically than commonly believed.

A Simon & Schuster spokesperson told the news outlet that, while Jordan has interviewed Melania Trump in her capacity as a Post reporter, the White House declined her request to speak with her for the book or to respond to written questions.

Research contact: @USATODAY