Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
Of all the stressful considerations we have to make during coronavirus, thinking through how we ensure our food system stays functioning is daunting. Shutdowns and demand changes have farmers fearful, lack of safety precautions is endangering agricultural workers who have been deemed “essential,” and a lack of workers may ensure that food is left rotting in the field. We’re seeing families go hungry, at the same time that food is going to waste and dairy farmers are being forced to dump out milk.
Why This Matters: Food going to waste at the same time that Americans are hungry isn’t a new problem. Our food system does not ensure that all Americans have equal food sovereignty and security. As we work toward a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, we can use it as an opportunity to support struggling small-scale farmers instead of ensuring that only large-scale ag is getting subsidized. And perhaps we can examine as a nation just how fragile food security truly is.
National Response: U.S. health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed that we may never “get back to normal” but gradually we’ll “function as a society.” He also added that a number therapies are in the pipeline and several potential vaccines are in the works, giving him faith “that we will never have to get back to where we are right now.”
And as Politico reported, “Former President Barack Obama on Monday offered high praise for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, endorsing the former presidential candidate’s extensive framework for how to jump-start the economy once the coronavirus pandemic recedes.”
Meanwhile, at a press conference yesterday, President Trump berated reporters for asking him about a report from the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General which details challenges facing hospitals in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. He insisted that before being asked a question he should have been praised for his coronavirus response.
There are about 1.7 million viruses that afflict mammals and birds, and about half of them could potentially infect humans, just like COVID-19, SARS, HIV, and Ebola. But a team of researchers at UC Davis are attempting to help prevent another pandemic from disrupting the world, by creating an app called SpillOver.
Why this Matters: The scientists creating the app believe that by creating a prioritized watchlist of viruses, we can better have improved detection and thus reduce the risk of disease transmission and maybe even preemptively develop vaccines, therapeutics, and public education campaigns for the viruses that pose the greatest risk.
Why This Matters: We’ve been relying on old data about farmworkers’ exposure to pesticides for the past 30 years, and thus the full picture of the harmful impact of these products on people has been underappreciated.
A coalition of 63 health, wildlife, and environmental organizations has written a letter urging the Biden administration to adopt policies to combat the increased threat of zoonotic disease spillover into human populations. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say that human population expansion and increased interactions with wildlife, present increased chances for future pandemics as well.
Why This Matters: According to the World Health Organization, there are over 200 known zoonoses, diseases that have jumped from non-human animals to humans.
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.