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COVID-19 Update, September 17: Mixed Messages

The conflict between science and wishful thinking is particularly intense at the moment. The president dismisses the CDC director's assertion -- based on the evidence -- that a vaccine isn't imminent in the next few weeks. The president tells the members of his own party to increase funding for a pandemic relief bill -- and they ignore him. And the attorney general insists that being confined to one's home, for health reasons, is worse than living in chains and being subject to rape and other forms of violent physical abuse. Everyone has a right to his or her opinion, but it's little wonder that the American public is thoroughly confused.

Directly contradicting the administration's emphasis on a vaccine, the director of Centers for Disease Control says that a vaccine is some time off and masks may be more effective in protecting against COVID-19. The president says, "I think he made a mistake when he said that:" tinyurl.com/y4kxr8tg.

A new study of blood donated to the Red Cross indicates that the US is far from attaining herd immunity: tinyurl.com/y3tzmskg.

In a twist nobody saw coming, the president calls on the GOP to substantially increase its offer for pandemic stimulus relief bill: tinyurl.com/yxz33295. At the moment, the GOP is ignoring him: tinyurl.com/yy5vpm8c.

In a remark sure to get a chilly reception from historians (to say nothing of the Black community), the US attorney general says that the "national lockdown" (which doesn't exist) is the biggest abrogation of civil liberties since slavery: tinyurl.com/y33lbksz.

Michael Caputo, the beleaguered Health and Human Services official takes a leave of absence following his Facebook rant about the CDC: tinyurl.com/yxgojzwr.

Weekly unemployment claims hit 860,000, minutely better than the previous week: tinyurl.com/y4j5nvca.

Actor Neil Patrick Harris, his husband David Burtka, and their twin children have all gone through COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y4bpkvdx.

Food for thought:

People who most effectively fight COVID-19 have unified immune systems, which may be why older patients are more prone to serious infection: tinyurl.com/y3y35alt.

The UN Population Fund warns that the pandemic is setting off an unwanted domino effect in terms of healthcare and nutrition in many countries: tinyurl.com/yxgtycrj.

Vaccine or not, normal life is a long way off: tinyurl.com/y6fuq8kv.

Around the country:

In California:

The pandemic complicates wildfire relief efforts: tinyurl.com/yysdkb2t.

The major studios and unions are close to an omnibus agreement to restart film and television production: tinyurl.com/yxtl6afn.

In Florida:

Universal Orlando puts 5,400 workers on extended furlough: tinyurl.com/y2w2my3a.

But no popcorn or soda in the seats: Cinemas reopen in Miami-Dade: tinyurl.com/y6gc9vty.

In Idaho:

A Coeur D'Alene pastor, who refused to require masks at his church's services, is in the ICU: tinyurl.com/y4xdf3s9.

In Illinois:

Some Chicago-area schools are experimenting with online learning -- in the schools: tinyurl.com/y39tkblb.

In Indiana:

Eli Lilly & Co. may have an antibody drug that keeps people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases out of the hospital: tinyurl.com/y6f82ols.

In Massachusetts:

Moderna's CEO says the company will know in November if its vaccine is effective and safe: tinyurl.com/y3c6vn9k.

In Missouri:

The president of the University of Missouri backtracks after blocking students who tweeted about the school's lack of COVID-19 precautions: tinyurl.com/y2va5t2p.

In New York:

How SUNY Oneonta ended up with 10% of the student body infected with COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y6fs634a.

Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York launches a COVID-relief fund for small theatre companies: tinyurl.com/y6p88yvp.

New York City public schools postpone in-person reopening for a week: tinyurl.com/y5pk5gyx.

New York City opens its own COVID-19 testing lab: tinyurl.com/yxny7tko.

In Ohio:

Cleveland's I-X Exposition Center closes, killed off by the pandemic: tinyurl.com/yyokwj62.

In Pennsylvania:

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh discover a biomolecule that may be able to neutralize the coronavirus: tinyurl.com/y4evladb.

Around the world:

In the Czech Republic:

The country records its highest daily numbers of COVID-19 infections: tinyurl.com/y55cjvs4.

In France:

COVID-19-caused ICU cases rise for the 20th day in a row, reaching a three-month high: tinyurl.com/yxsz5a47.

In Germany:

The government sees a vaccine being widely disseminated in the middle of 2021: tinyurl.com/y4rjsp8p.

In Hong Kong:

Social distance restrictions are relaxed as no new COVID-19 transmissions are found: tinyurl.com/y63c3m7j.

In India:

The country is rapidly becoming overwhelmed by the pandemic: tinyurl.com/y584uwaf.

In Russia:

The government is selling 100 million doses of its unproven Sputnik vaccine to pandemic-ravaged India: tinyurl.com/yyj3bucs.

In the UK:

The National Institutes of Health launches an investigation into the patient who suffered spinal cord damage while enrolled in the AstraZeneca vaccine trial: tinyurl.com/yxobtzqs.

For your entertainment:

The Boston Symphony Orchestra presents Encore BSO Recitals, an online concert series featuring small ensembles. Performances will be released each Thursday at noon, September 17 - November 12. The series as a multiple-stream package, accessible through www.bso.org, is available for a minimum donation of $25; all subscribers to the 2019-20 BSO Symphony Hall season and Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival will be able to enjoy the online content free of charge. The concerts include works by Bach, Berio, Mozart, Ravel, Beethoven, Schumann, Copland, and others. They will be available for viewing for up to 30 days, with the entire season coming to a close on November 19.

On September 29 at 2:00pm, Food For Thought Productions will present a comedy-themed trio of performances. Tony Roberts will read from his autobiography, Do You Know Me? Next up are two one-acts Commercial Break by Peter Stone and Come On by Susan Charlotte. The cast includes Rex Reed, Jodie Markel, and Stephen Schnetzer: Antony Marsellis directs. Q&A will include a discussion with the cast on the many facets of comedy, led by Susan Charlotte. The performance will be available live via Zoom. A socially distanced live performance will be held as well. For information, write info@foodforthoughtproductions.com.

Metropolitan Playhouse presents its next free screened reading: Eugenically Speaking, a one-act play by Edward Goodman, live streamed at no charge, with talkback to follow, on September 19 at 8:00pm EST. Running time is 30 minutes, talkback to follow including audience questions via chat. Watch at www.metropolitanplayhouse.org.

Maryland's Olney Theatre Center is streaming a production of Stephen Karam's Tony and Drama Desk Award-winner The Humans now through October 4. Go to tickets.olneytheatre.org/the-humans/video.

A virtual reading of Megan Loughran's play The Silverfish will stream September 23 - 27 at 7:00pm as part of a festival at New York's Urban Stages. The cast includes Nikki M. James, George Salazar, Benny Elledge, and Kate Weatherhead: UrbanStages.org. Donations cheerfully accepted.

For your pleasure:

Broadway's Lena Hall gives a pop spin to Rodgers and Hart's "My Funny Valentine:" tinyurl.com/yynx5bt3.

That's all for today. Stay safe. -- DB

To receive your LSA copies at home (no charge), please email LSA@plasa.org or go to www.ezsubscription.com/lsa/mysubscription.

Previous LSA COVID-19 Updates: plasa.me/lsacovid19resources.

(17 September 2020)

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