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It Took Just 2 Weeks for One Man to Infect 3 Dozen People With This Highly-Contagious Potentially Fatal Disease

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He drove from New York City to Michigan last month, stayed in different people’s homes during his two-week trip fundraising for a charity. When he first arrived he felt ill, and sought a doctor’s care. He was diagnosed with bronchitis.

As The Washington Post reports, he didn’t have bronchitis. He had a disease so contagious “that if an unvaccinated person walks through a room up to two hours after someone” with the disease “has left, there’s a 90 percent chance the unvaccinated person will get sick.”

That disease is measles. And in the Americas it had been declared eradicated in 2016.

“During the next two weeks, the traveler would become Michigan’s Patient Zero, spreading the highly contagious respiratory virus to 39 people as he stayed in private homes, attended synagogue daily and shopped in kosher markets. His case offers a cautionary tale about how easily one of the most infectious pathogens on the planet spreads within close-knit communities — especially those whose members live, work and socialize outside the mainstream,” The Washington Post reports.

“Michigan’s Patient Zero,” as the Post calls him, “had had hundreds of contacts with community members that health officials needed to trace. He had stayed mostly in private homes in the areas of Oak Park and Southfield. He had visited synagogues three times a day to pray and study and frequented kosher markets and pizza parlors, among 30 locations in one week.”

Related: As 10 States Cope With Measles Crisis Top Trump Official’s Anti-Vaxx Wife Issues Call to ‘Bring Back’ Deadly Diseases

In the Michigan case, a “close collaboration between health officials and the religious community appears to have controlled the spread of the disease, which can cause severe complications including deafness, pneumonia, brain damage and death.”

Those who most frequently die from measles are young, often under five years of age.

“Michigan’s Patient Zero” thought he had had the measles as a child, but clearly he was mistaken.

“He put his head down and was very emotional. I could tell from the look on his face that he was devastated,” Steve McGraw, head of Oakland emergency medical services, told the Post. “He was doing the math in his head.”

At least in this case the contagion did not spread out of anti-vaccine ignorance.

There are currently 555 measles cases across 20 states, and the number is growing, up nearly 20% over the past alone, the CDC says.

And Tuesday afternoon Buzzfeed reports measles outbreaks are being called “the new normal.” You can thank “overseas epidemics and growing misinformation efforts by anti-vaccination activists.”

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Image by Dawn via Flickr and a CC license

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‘I Know a Dying Administration When I See One’: British Journalist Says Brutal Crackdown Will Seal Trump’s Doom

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British journalist Ed Luce called out Senate Republicans for covering a dying Trump administration that’s threatening U.S. democracy as it gasps for survival.

The Financial Times‘ chief U.S. commentator told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that President Donald Trump is trying to crack down on dissent and rally his hardcore base as the coronavirus and now nationwide protests against police brutality threaten his re-election chances.

“There are other Republican senators who are keeping silent because they know that what Trump is doing, what Trump is suggesting, is wrong,” Luce said. they’re scared of a backlash if they speak out.”

Luce, who warned of the Trump administration’s fascist creep in a new column, called on GOP senators to follow the example set by former Defense secretary James Mattis, former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Mike Mullen and current Defense secretary Mike Esper and speak out against the president’s abuses.

“They need to speak out — it is his party,” Luce said. “Ultimately, they are enabling him. You know, I don’t think the threat of this situation can be overstated. Trump has his back to the wall. He will do lots of things to try and prevent his defeat.”

Luce said he was worried that Trump’s brutal crackdown on protesters set a dangerous precedent and energized his base, but he said that also disgusted more moderate GOP voters.

“Large, large minority Republicans strongly support these protests and support the continuing lockdown,” he said. “Now, these go directly against two things that Trump is really pushing for, the lifting of the lockdown and the racial polarization, the sort of panic element of these mostly peaceful protests.”

“I lived in many democracies, including America,” Luce added. “I’ve lived in many democracies. I know a dying administration when I see one.”

 

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Ellison to Charge Three Other Ex-Officers Involved in George Floyd’s Killing and Increase Charge Against Chauvin

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will charge three fired Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd, and will elevate the charges against the other fired officer, Derek Chauvin.

Charges against Chauvin will be increased from third degree murder to second degree murder.

“The other three officers at the scene — Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane — will also be charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, according to the sources, who spoke on conditions of anonymity,” the Star Tribune reports.

“Thao was recorded watching as Chauvin continued to press on Floyd’s neck with his knee. Kueng was one of the first officers on the scene and helped pin Floyd down. Lane was detailed in earlier charges as pointing a gun at Floyd before handcuffing, and later asked whether officers should roll Floyd on his side as he was restrained.”

Floyd died of “mechanical asphyxiation,” an independent autopsy commissioned by the Floyd family concluded on Monday.

Ellison (photo) took over the case on Sunday.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

Image by Lorie Shaull via Flickr and a CC license

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CDC Agreed to Work on Trump Campaign’s MAGA-Themed Face Masks – As Hospitals Were Desperate for COVID-19 Tests: NYT

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this past March reportedly agreed to help consult with Trump administration officials on the design of “Make America Healthy Again” face masks that would be given out to promote both public health and President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

The New York Times reports that Trump administration official in March “asked the agency to provide feedback on possible logos — including ‘Make America Healthy Again’ — for cloth face masks they hoped to distribute to millions of Americans.”

The initiative eventually fell through, but once source tells the Times that “CDC leaders agreed to the request.”

The discussion about Trump-branded face masks came at a time when hospitals across the United States were desperate to have more COVID-19 testing kits and protective gear for their staff members who were struggling to handle a surge in hospitalizations at the start of a pandemic that would go on to kill more than 100,000 Americans in less than three months.

“They let us down,” Dr. Stephane Otmezguine, an anesthesiologist who treated COVID-19 patients in Florida, tells the Times.

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