Monkeypox, Nancy Pelosi and Shakira

monkeypox

story

New York and San Francisco are sounding the alarm about monkeypox.

What do I need to know?

The virus is spreading…not as fast as COVID-19, but more than anyone wants. Recently, New York City and San Francisco became the first cities in the United States to declare a public health emergency. New York State declares a state of disaster emergency. The U.S. has recorded more than 5,100 cases so far, the highest of any country. While no U.S. deaths have been recorded, Spain has just reported its first two deaths in Europe. Here’s what you need to know about the current outbreak. Here’s how it fared in two US hotspots:

New York: The state accounts for about a quarter of the U.S.’s recorded cases. Over the weekend, the mayor of New York City said as many as 150,000 New Yorkers could be at risk of infection right now. By declaring a public health emergency, officials have made it easier for more healthcare workers to get vaccinated. Here’s how to check if you’re eligible.

San Francisco: The city has recorded more than 300 of the nearly 800 cases in California. Meanwhile, San Francisco has requested tens of thousands of vaccine doses and has received 12,000 so far. People report waiting in line for hours just to run out of doses. Some say the emergency declaration could help simplify the process of delivering test results to patients and allow more providers to administer injections.

How can I stay safe?

The main mode of transmission is prolonged skin-to-skin contact. It is also possible to contract monkeypox through bedding and respiratory droplets. We’ve said it before: the virus is much less transmissible than COVID-19. Another silver lining: So far, few kids have gotten it. But as schools reopen in the fall, many will be watching closely.

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By declaring a public health emergency, officials can act faster on everything from tracing cases to getting vaccinated. These recent moves have forced the federal government to take similar action — something the Biden administration has yet to do.

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Who might reschedule…

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Yesterday, she flew to Asia where she will visit countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. Missing from the list? Taiwan.Many wondered if Pelosi and her delegation of five other Democratic lawmakers would visit the self-governing island — which China wants to reabsorb and the U.S. wants to keep safe from China. Few countries formally recognize the Taiwanese government. But that hasn’t stopped the US from trading with it. Many fear that China will one day invade to retake it (think: like what Russia tried to do with Ukraine). Pelosi’s trip comes at a time of heightened tensions: China has recently stepped up its activities in Taiwan’s airspace. And Biden, since taking office, has appeared to break with America’s often ambiguous stance, warning of a military response if China invades. Last week, China warned of unspecified “consequences” amid speculation Pelosi would become the most senior elected U.S. official to visit Taiwan in decades. It now appears that Pelosi and his colleagues may have heeded the warnings and left Taiwan off the agenda.

Who are people remembering…

Bill Russell. The basketball legend and civil rights activist died yesterday at the age of 88. Russell led the Celtics to eight straight NBA championships. In 1966, he became the first black head coach of the NBA (or any major league team, any sport) and helped the Celtics win three more championships. Off the field, Russell advocated for civil rights. In 2011, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his decades of activism. Michael Jordan paid tribute, saying Russell “paved the way” for every black player in the league. Former President Barack Obama said, “Today we lost a giant.”

Nichelle Nichols. The groundbreaking actress and singer passed away over the weekend at the age of 89. Nichols is best known for playing Lt. Nyota Uhura on Star Trek, which Martin Luther King Jr once called “the first non-stereotypical role played by a black woman in television history.” She later worked at NASA, where she helped recruit various candidates aspiring to become astronauts. “She had a great life and was an example to all of us,” Nichols’ son said.

what is going on…

this ship. Today, a grain ship left Ukraine for the first time since the Russian invasion. There are growing fears that the conflict could push 49 million people to famine and drive up food costs. Ukraine supplies more than a quarter of the world’s wheat. Last month, the United Nations brokered an agreement between the two countries to get food on the go. Now, 26,000 metric tons of corn are being shipped to Lebanon. There are 16 other ships waiting to be completely cleared, but there is no word on when those ships will leave the port.

What’s out of control…

McKinney Fire. Yesterday, the wildfire in Northern California became the largest wildfire in the state this year. It has burned more than 52,000 acres since it began Friday. The crew couldn’t contain any of them. Conditions are expected to get worse as wind, thunderstorms and hot weather are forecast.

Which sunscreen do you need to separate from…

Banana Boat.

postscript: We reviewed some safe alternative.

Who’s saying “my taxes don’t lie”…

Shakira.

Where do football fans lift a pint…

U.K.

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