Usher’s News & Analysis for June 25, 2020

Okay, I’m still not going to post as much on COVID-19 as I had been and simply because lifting the lockdowns is clearly seen now as contributing mightily to the upswing in cases and deaths.

Goldstein is 74 years old and needs a medical procedure to address a kidney illness. The hospital requires a negative test before proceeding, yet with each test, Goldstein’s results are contradictory.

… the PCR test traces genetic material of the virus that may be from a dead cell or from a live virus. Scientists are finding the SARS-CoV-2 virus leaves dead fragments that can take months to clear after an infection.13 This can lead to a number of false positives of an active infection.

Which test is done, how it’s done, and when it’s done all matter greatly in whether, and the degree to which, a test should be reasonably trusted.

Are Public Health Decisions Based on Inaccurate COVID Tests?

Let me express again that lockdowns weren’t because it was known whether or not the virus would be more virulent than it has been. They were due to not knowing. They were due to wanting to slow the spread or stop it. Nobody knew in advance exactly what would happen.

If we had only focused on the old, we would have missed younger people who are obese and have diabetes. The list could go on and on concerning the intricacies of COVID-19.

Second guessing (after-the-fact) is easy.

The problem with the lockdowns was that they weren’t implemented quickly enough and firmly enough where the disease popped up. If we had done it correctly, we would have had more time to discover more about the disease. That would have improved all our efforts while allowing the maximum amount of freedom of movement, etc., properly balanced by the clear need to protect the more vulnerable.

Because we did it wrong, because we’ve now lifted the weak lockdowns prematurely, everything is considerably worse than would have otherwise been the case.

Is this a radical-leftist move by the Trump administration?

Judge Sides with Trump Over Hospitals on Price Disclosure Rule

Texas Insurance Department Extends Telemedicine Coverage Rule

… extended its emergency orders for property/casualty, long-term care, and life and disability insurance.

Oregon Extends Emergency Orders for Most Common Insurance Policies

“We are confident that the science panel will look at the scientific body of evidence and come to the conclusion that glyphosate is safe,” said Bayer’s global head of litigation, Bill Dodero.

Who will decide what constitutes the “body of evidence” and will that “body of evidence” preclude new research?

Bayer Gambles on Science to Let It Keep Selling Roundup, Mitigate Future Claims

At least 15 other plaintiffs, including states, cities and youth and citizen groups, have filed similar lawsuits against the oil and gas industry, including Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island.

Minnesota AG Sues Exxon, Koch and API over Climate Change ‘Deceptions’

Bill Sent to Michigan Governor Requires Reports on Firefighting Foam

An environmental consulting group will test wells of residents near Georgia Power Co.’s Plant Scherer in Juliette due to ongoing pollution concerns ….

Georgia County Hires Independent Firm to Test Water Wells for Coal Ash

The fight is one of the biggest clashes over the future of the so-called “gig economy” of workers, typically for delivery and other app-based services. California is Uber’s and Lyft’s biggest U.S. market.

In January, California implemented a law making it tougher for companies to classify workers as contractors rather than employees. The contractor designation is essential to Uber and Lyft, who are exempted from paying drivers overtime, healthcare, unemployment and workers’ compensation.

California Wants Judge to Force Uber, Lyft to Classify Drivers as Employees

More than a third of the world’s tailings dams are at high risk of causing catastrophic damage to nearby communities if they crumble, a Reuters analysis of company data found last year.

If it can’t be done safely, it shouldn’t be allowed.

Global Mining Standard Omits Ban on Upstream Dams Sought by Civil Groups

What Moody’s isn’t doing is helping state and local governments to do more than recreate the old status quo. The Democratic Party is shooting for giving the states and local governments a boost so they can go beyond recreating the old status quo.

State and local governments have faced terrible problems for decades. The People of the nation have been vastly under served. We can and should take this pandemic opportunity to fix much more than the negative impacts of the pandemic. We weren’t even over the negative impacts of the Great Recession.

State, local governments need billions more in aid to avert 4 million layoffs, Moody’s finds

… 67% of all malware in Q1 was delivered via HTTPS, so organizations without security solutions capable of inspecting encrypted traffic will miss two-thirds of incoming threats. Additionally, 72% of encrypted malware was classified as zero day (meaning no antivirus signature exists for it, and it will evade signature-based protections). These findings show that HTTPS inspection and advanced behavior-based threat detection and response solutions are now requirements for every security-conscious organization.

WatchGuard Technologies Report Finds Two-Thirds of Malware is Encrypted, Invisible Without HTTPS Inspection