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Saturday, July 18th - Tuesday, July 21st, 2020
In brief: The City Council passed a detailed spending plan resolution for its newly passed JumpStart Seattle payroll tax, along with a bill authorizing the spending of $86 million from the City's rainy day fund on immediate coronavirus relief, with the funds to be paid back with the revenue generated from the tax in its first year; UW Medicine announced that they'll be conducting a statewide COVID-19 antibody study to try to determine how many people total have been infected across the state; and the presence of federal officers from the Department of Homeland Security in Portland, where they're working with local police in often violent response to the city's continuing Black Lives Matter protests against the wishes of Portland's mayor and city council, became a major national news story after reports and videos were widely circulated of federal officers fracturing a protester's skull with a rubber bullet, picking up protesters off the street in unmarked vehicles, and beating a Navy veteran.
STATS
King County
Today
13,486 confirmed cases (+147), 635 deaths (+0)
King County Key Indicators (last updated 7/21 at 1:41 pm)

Washington 
As of last night at 11:59 pm
48,575 confirmed cases (+832), 1,465 deaths (+12)
Total tests conducted: 841,184 (+14,830)

U.S.
Note: I'm switching from the CDC to the COVID Tracking Project for U.S. stats starting today
Today
3,876,665 confirmed cases (+62,749), 134,312 deaths (+1,029)
Total tests conducted: 47,224,382 (+754,858)

The world
Today
14,562,550 confirmed cases (+213,637), 607,781 deaths (+4,083)
Local COVID-19 News
Image from the City Council's Council Connection blog
The City Council passed a detailed spending plan resolution for its newly passed JumpStart Seattle payroll tax, along with a bill authorizing the spending of $86 million from the City's rainy day fund on immediate coronavirus relief, with the funds to be paid back with the revenue generated from the tax in its first year. [Seattle Times, GeekWire]

As community spread continues across the state, Washington reported more than 6,800 new COVID-19 cases last week, 71% more than the week before. Average daily testing has increased nearly threefold since April and May, but the rate of positive tests has remained relatively constant. [GeekWire, Washington state COVID-19 dashboard]

A statewide Crosscut/Elway poll found that 26% of respondents want Governor Inslee to reimpose lockdown orders to combat the increasing spread of the virus, 33% want him to pause reopening (which is what he did last week), and 38% believe that the state should continue to reopen its economy. [Crosscut]

UW Medicine announced that they'll be conducting a statewide antibody study to try to determine how many people total have been infected across the state. [Seattle Times]

And the City announced that from this Friday, July 24th through Tuesday, September 8th (the day after Labor Day), a large part of Lake Washington Boulevard between Mt. Baker and Seward Park will be temporarily closed to car traffic to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to use it for socially distanced exercise. [SDOT blog
Local Protest News
During a march from downtown to Capitol Hill on Sunday, some protesters smashed the windows of the federal courthouse, the municipal court, SPD's headquarters, and the East and West Precincts, as well as two Starbucks locations and the Amazon Go store on Pike Street. SPD said that 12 officers were also injured during confrontations with what they described as a small group of violent protesters who were part of a larger peaceful protest. [The Stranger, SPD Blotter, KING 5]

On Monday the president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild said on a right-wing talk radio show that "perhaps it's time we bring in the federal government" to crack down on local protesters, whom he described as "domestic terrorists," like President Trump has done in Portland. Mayor Durkan, on the other hand, released a joint statement with the mayors of five other major American cities denouncing the Trump administration's deployment of federal troops to American cities against the wishes of the elected officials in those cities. 

Small groups of demonstrators have been protesting outside the houses of Councilmembers Debora Juarez and Alex Pedersen, the two holdouts on the City Council who haven't yet publicly supported the demands of two Black-led groups that are calling for 50% reductions in both SPD's 2021 budget and the remainder of its 2020 budget. [Seattle Times, KING 5]

The small "Chop 2.0" encampment on the south lawn of Seattle Central College's campus was cleared by SPD at the school's request, after SCC spent two weeks negotiating with its residents and working to connect people experiencing homelessness to housing and services. [Capitol Hill Seattle Blog]

And the mother of 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson, who was shot and killed in the CHOP last month, took a first step towards suing the City by filing a wrongful death claim against it. [Seattle Times]
National COVID-19 and Protest News
The presence of federal officers from the Department of Homeland Security in Portland, where they're working with local police in often violent response to the city's continuing Black Lives Matter protests against the wishes of Portland's mayor and city council, became a major national news story after reports and videos were widely circulated of federal officers fracturing a protester's skull with a rubber bullet, picking up protesters off the street in unmarked vehicles, and beating a Navy veteran. Trump has said that he plans to send federal troops to more Democratically controlled cities, including Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Detroit, sparking outrage by their elected officials. [New York TimesNBC News, The Stranger, New York Times]

There were more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths reported across the country today--the first time the U.S. has crossed that mark since May 29th--as the death count continues to rise after several weeks of runaway growth in the number of new daily infections. The joint requirement by New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut that travelers from states with significant outbreaks quarantine for 14 days upon arrival now applies to 31 states; and the U.S. accounts for nearly 25% of the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the world. 

The CDC released a peer-reviewed study by one of its researchers based on community-level antibody testing in 10 cities and states across the country, which showed both that actual infection rates were anywhere from 2 to 13 times higher than the official numbers and that nowhere in America is anywhere close to achieving herd immunity, with several cities showing between 1 and 3% of their population with antibodies and even New York City, which was one of the most heavily hit cities in the world, only registering antibodies in 25% of its population (60% is generally the level at which herd immunity starts to become possible). [New York Times]

Joe Biden released a $775 billion plan to pay for universal preschool, fund additional child-care options for low-income families, and offer tax credits and grants to help pay for home care positions for the elderly. [Washington Post]

President Trump began holding coronavirus briefings again--but without public health experts this time--and also tweeted his support for wearing masks, apparently both as part of an effort to shore up his flagging poll numbers. [Washington Post]

And with the $600/week federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance payments that have been keeping millions of unemployed Americans afloat since March set to end on Saturday, Trump is threatening to derail Congressional Republicans' efforts to pass a new stimulus package (which itself is a far cry from what Democrats have proposed) by insisting that it require schools to reopen fully in person regardless of the public health impacts and that it remove federal funding for testing and contact tracing nationwide. [New York Times]
Viral
Coronavirus: Oxford vaccine triggers immune response [BBC News, 2.5 million shares]

85 children under age 2 tested positive for coronavirus in 1 Texas county, as U.S. sets new record [NBC News, 1.7 million shares]

‘It was like being preyed upon’: Portland protesters say federal officers in unmarked vans are detaining them [Washington Post, 1.6 million shares]

The Authoritarian Operation in Portland Is Only a Dress Rehearsal [Esquire, 1.5 million shares]

Fauci holds up New York as model for fighting coronavirus — ‘They did it correctly’ [CNBC, 1.3 million shares]

Almost one-third of Florida children tested are positive for the coronavirus [The Hill, 864k shares]
Ending on a high note
Proving once again that they dance joyfully on the fine line where pop culture and civic-nerd humor meet, The Needling came up with perhaps the best fake local news headline of the year
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Copyright © 2020 Sol Villarreal, All rights reserved.


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