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COVID-19 Update, September 18: Under Pressure

If it wasn't clear before, it is now obvious that the White House is engaged in a power struggle with the scientific establishment, as the president tries to produce a COVID-19 vaccine before the election, when not trying to wish the pandemic away altogether. The effort is unfolding on several fronts: The Department of Health and Human Services posted advice on the Centers for Disease Control website, saying that asymptomatic persons don't need COVID-19 tests; in fact, they need tests most of all. The US Post Office was ready to send masks, still the only way of blocking the coronavirus, to everyone in the country -- until the White House nixed it. An effort that could have saved tens of thousands of lives was abandoned, reportedly out of fear of causing a panic. And the president, displaying his unique approach to empathy (and math) says that the US' COVID infection rate is really very good, if you eliminate the blue states. Let that one sink in.

The latest:

A new guidance, posted on the CDC website, saying that the asymptomatic don't need COVID-19 tests, was in fact placed there by HHS staff over serious objections: tinyurl.com/y5xfa4br.

The US Post Office had a plan in April to send out 650 million reusable masks -- five to every residential address in the country -- until the White House, allegedly worried about causing a panic, vetoed it: tinyurl.com/y397eykz.

The president says the COVID-19 infection rate in the US isn't that bad, "if you take the blue states out:" tinyurl.com/yyvuv92x.

Moderna and Pfizer go transparent, revealing their vaccine road maps: tinyurl.com/yxrsb9gd.

When will you be able get the coronavirus vaccine? Probably not this year: tinyurl.com/y3g5tvf5.

Many states are planning to independently analyze the data before distributing a vaccine: tinyurl.com/y3e7flxc. Dr. Anthony Fauci insists that when it comes to approving vaccines, the CDC will not buckle under political pressure: tinyurl.com/y5er9f2x.

Even as vaccine trials move at "warp speed," recruitment of Black candidates lags: tinyurl.com/yxrz9e4w.

The opera singer Anna Netrebko, who has been giving recitals and recently appeared in Don Carlo at the Bolshoi, has been hospitalized with COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y3njgdff.

Around the country:

In California:

The Paradigm Talent Agency permanently lays off nearly one-third of its staff: tinyurl.com/y6dgte2o.

A new law will make it easier for essential workers who contract COVID-19 to be covered under the state's worker's compensation program: tinyurl.com/yxkzf3c4.

In Florida:

Walt Disney World will reopen one of its water parks in March: tinyurl.com/y66gmces.

Disney's Swan and Dolphin resorts lay off 1,000 employees: tinyurl.com/y5hzmugs.

In New York:

A PPE boutique opens in New York City's Herald Square: tinyurl.com/y6c6rs9g.

In Rhode Island:

Providence's Trinity Rep will not reopen until September 2021. It's annual production of A Christmas Carol will stream for free, however: tinyurl.com/y5pzrsdk.

Around the world:

In Iran:

The country goes on lockdown as new COVID-19 cases surge: tinyurl.com/y5ubm6s2.

In the UK:

Tougher restrictions are implemented to control the coronavirus in Northwest England and Yorkshire: tinyurl.com/y6m9s2s9.

The National Theatre will present a panto -- Dick Whittington and His Cat -- in an Olivier Theatre reconfigured for social distancing: tinyurl.com/y2c48ypk.

No fireworks in London on New Year's Eve this year: tinyurl.com/yyy4vo38.


Variety hosts "Legit! The Road Back to Broadway," a series of conversations with prominent playwrights and producers on September 24 at 12:00pm ET. It is free to attend, but you must register at: tinyurl.com/y2xq7l88.

For your entertainment:

Pianist Mackenzie Melemed presents a program that includes works by Beethoven and Liszt on September 20 at 4:00pm ET. For more information, go to: tinyurl.com/y55kxfm5.

Heidi Schreck's singular and stirring What the Constitution Means to Me, a hit off and on Broadway, will be available on Amazon Prime, starting October 16: tinyurl.com/y34896es.

For your pleasure:

A buoyant company (look for Donna McKechnie), perform "Love Don't Answer to No One," from the in-development musical Victory Train: tinyurl.com/y4gv6ok3.

That's all for today. Have a good weekend. See you Monday. 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.

(18 September 2020)

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