Coronavirus: A Look Behind Who’s Driving Anti-Lockdown Messaging

While Michigan is facing record flooding and a pandemic, protestors began giving out free haircuts outside the state’s Capitol in defiance of the governor’s stay-at-home order. In the United States, data suggests that protestors around the country have played a part in spreading COVID-19 through their risky behavior.

Incidentally, as Emily Holden reported for the Guardian yesterday, “dozens of individuals and groups urging states to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic have historical financial ties to coal and oil and gas companies and conservative billionaires who have invested in climate disinformation.”

As Brendan DeMelle, executive director of DeSmog, said the “information echo chamber” of interests downplaying both the climate crisis and the pandemic would not be what it is today without fossil fuel funding.

Why This Matters: There’s been previous evidence reported by the New York Times that an informal coalition of influential conservative leaders and groups, some with close connections to the White House, has been quietly working to nurture protests and apply political and legal pressure to overturn state and local orders intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The science clearly states that reopening too quickly and without precautions puts lives at risk, any narrative to the contrary should be scrutinized.

Trump’s Big Plans: While touring a Ford factory in Michigan, President Trump said “we are not closing our country” if the U.S. is hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections. This news comes as Ford had to halt production at two plants as workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Clean Air: Breathtaking photos show Everest from 124 miles away for the first time in years due to cleaner air.

SAT D-O-N-E?: As Politico reported, colleges uneasy about standardized tests taken online from home this fall are dropping their requirements for the exams, fueling a movement to eliminate the high-stakes tests from admissions decisions altogether. The University of California is the largest school system to make this announcement.

Racism Runs Deep: Across the country, Asian Americans have reported a sharp increase in verbal abuse and physical attacks. For Asian American healthcare workers on the frontlines, this abuse is especially troubling.

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