|Photo credit: Ted S. Warren/AP (Source: Global Citizen)|
Our team selected a discourse of the engagements on what is at hand as we all look to #lifeaftercovid --and we also decided to feature certain snapshot of the discourse we picked up on Afghanistan as the War rages on--and as the Taliban killed a provincial police chief early on Friday. As we went to press, we saw also a note from the team at the Marshall Project on how COVID-19 has raging on in the Prisons.
Challenging Times as we begin with a summary of developments as of Friday May 8 courtesy the Washington Post and continue with some of the discourse throughout:
The U.S. unemployment rate tripled to 14.7 percent as more than 20 million jobs vanished in April — a rate of loss not seen since the Great Depression nearly a century ago. “This is pretty scary,” Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel, told The Washington Post. “I’m fearful many of these jobs are not going to come back, and we are going to have an unemployment rate well into 2021 of near 10 percent.”
Years of low wages and ideological efforts to gut social welfare programs left the American workforce especially vulnerable to the pandemic's economic damage. “A Federal Reserve report last year … warned that nearly 40 percent of Americans couldn’t come up with $400 for an emergency,” our business desk reported. “The emergency has now hit, and millions of people are lining up at food banks, pleading for help on social media and going to work in the midst of a pandemic because they need the money.” The story is based on interviews with a single mom trying to sell her house after being furloughed from her job at a spa, and other Americans slipping toward poverty.
As the coronavirus continues its steady spread across the country — 1.27 million infections and more than 76,000 deaths as of Friday afternoon — President Trump is encouraging Americans to leave quarantine and “be warriors” against a disease that has no cure and can spread invisibly without symptoms.
Trump's quest to unfreeze the economy has in recent days included praising a woman who was jailed for operating her Dallas salon against stay-at-home rules; dismissing calls to increase viral monitoring because, he said, “by doing all of this testing, we make ourselves look bad”; and suppressing information about the pandemic's severity as he tries to convince a frightened public to go back outside, back to business, back to work.
At the same time, the White House is scrambling to increase protection from the virus for Trump and Vice President Pence after two aides were announced to have tested positive in as many days. Pence's press secretary was notified Friday that she tested positive; the day before, it was announced one of the Trump's personal valets had tested positive. Staff will now be tested daily, up from once a week, as Trump makes plans to hold more meetings and travel.
Power struggles are erupting between some governors and state legislatures over coronavirus policies. “From Kansas to New Hampshire, state lawmakers are rushing to sponsor legislation, file court challenges and make public statements on what they see as gubernatorial overreach on matters ranging from the spending of federal dollars to whether their neighborhood hair salon or tavern should remain closed,” The Post wrote.
We also note the following discourse on the continued challenges in our World as #Elections2020 looms in the United States and profound challenges continue to linger on our World:
Syria was another area where our team has been assessing on-going developments. There have been reports of Iran withdrawing Revolutionary Guard Members and drawing down troops as Israel has been continuing its' onslaught on Troops. It is also of interest how Russia has apparently turned on Bashar Assad with Russian Think Tanks (reflecting Russian Government Policy) laying out potential roadmaps for a different future for Syria without Bashar Assad and the Islamic Republic: