Covid-19

Clorox wipes shortage expected to continue until 2021 as coronavirus drives demand

Clorox, the world’s biggest cleaning products maker, said grocery store shelves won’t be fully stocked with its disinfecting wipes until next year, according to a report on Tuesday. The shortage was attributed to a surge in demand for many of its disinfectant products, which has increased sixfold during the coronavirus pandemic, CEO Benno Dorer told Reuters. “Disinfecting wipes, which are the hottest commodity in the business right now, will probably take longer because it’s a very complex supply chain to make them,” Dorer said. A shortage of materials used in making the sanitizing wipes has also caused a slowdown in production. The wipes are typically made with polyester spunlace, a material currently used to make personal protective equipment such as masks and medical gowns Clorox’s expected shortage comes even though the California-based company typically holds excess supply aside for flu seasons, according to the Reuters. In May, he had expected the wipes to be restocked by the summer. “That entire supply chain is stressed. … We feel like it’s probably going to take until 2021 before we’re able to meet all the demand that we have,” Dorer said. The company reported a 21.9 percent gain in sales for the latest quarter as consumers stocked up on items due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Wall Street Journal. Sales in Clorox’s health and wellness segment, which includes disinfecting products in addition to vitamins, rose 33 percent. “Frankly, we thought we would be in a better position by now, but demand in Q4 exceeded our expectations,” Dorer continued during a call with analysts to discuss the company’s earnings, according to Fox 23. “We’re certainly not at all happy with our service levels for our retail customers on many products. We have a high sense of urgency on this with all hands on deck.” Linda Rendle, a 17-year veteran of the company, is set to be promoted to CEO and elected to the company’s board of directors in September. Dorer will continue serving as the board’s executive chair.

Dr. Fauci: Trump restrictions on travel from China, Europe, UK saved American lives early in pandemic

Dr. Anthony Fauci told House lawmakers Friday that he believed President Trump’s actions during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic saved American lives. During Fauci’s testimony before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., asked Fauci if he was involved in the president’s January order restricting travel from China. “Yes, sir, I was,” Fauci answered. “Do you agree with that decision?” asked Scalise. “I do,” Fauci responded. “Do you think that decision saved lives, Dr. Fauci?” Scalise asked. “Yes, I do,” the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases answered. Fauci went on to say that he was “actively involved” in the administration’s decision to restrict air travel to the U.S. from Europe, and repeated, “Yes, I do” when Scalise asked if he agreed with the move and if he believed it saved American lives. He gave similar responses when Scalise asked about the restriction of travel from the U.K. and the rollout of the administration’s “15 days to slow the spread” and “30 days to slow the spread” guidelines earlier this year. “So, I know we’ve heard a lot about disagreements,” Scalise said, “and clearly there are many decisions made. In fact, there are many, very internationally respected doctors that are involved in each of those decisions … by and large, would you say that you and President Trump have been in agreement on most of those decisions?” Fauci responded: “We were in agreement on virtually all of those.” For months, pundits have speculated about a rift between Trump and Fauci as the latter’s national profile has risen during the pandemic. White House trade advisor Peter Navarro stoked concerns about such a disagreement when he published an op-ed in USA Today earlier this month claiming that Fauci had flip-flopped on the issue of wearing masks. He also expressed caution over taking Fauci’s advice and claimed the adviser fought Trump on his decision to ban travel from China. In response, Fauci told The Atlantic: “When the staff lets out something like that and the entire scientific and press community push back on it, it ultimately hurts the president.”

Agreed.  Yeah, this whole narrative being pushed by the dominantly liberal mainstream media (i.e. CNN, MSNBC, NPR/PBS, the NY Times, etc,) that there is this huge rift between Dr. Fauci and the President is just bs.  And, Dr. Fauci’s testimony under oath here on the last day of July 2020 confirms it.  The liberal media and Democrats are pushing that narrative because it’s an election year, and Dr. Fauci is becoming very popular; an almost pop culture icon of sorts in this new era.  And,  they desperately want to paint President Trump into a corner so hey can blame him, somehow, for the Wuhan virus crisis we’re all dealing with.  Kudos to Congressman  Steve Scalise (R-LA) for asking these very direct, straightforward and relevant questions of Dr. Fauci and getting this on the record.  Excellent!!     🙂

Americans blame China for its role in the spread of coronavirus, survey finds

A new Pew Research Center survey found over three-quarters of American adults blame the Chinese government for the global spread of the coronavirus and over 60 percent of respondents said the country has done a poor job handling the aftermath of the outbreak. The survey, which polled 1,003 individuals and was conducted from June 16 to July 14, showed 73 percent of U.S. adults have an unfavorable view of China, which marks the most negative rating in the 15 years that Pew Research Center has been conducting polling on the subject, according to a press release. Negative sentiment has also increased by 7 percentage points over the last four months alone and has gone up 26 points since 2018. The survey claimed 83 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable view of China compared to 68 percent of Democrats. Republicans are also more likely to publicly say they have a very unfavorable view towards China at 54 percent, versus only 35 percent Democrats. Around 64 percent of those surveyed said China has done a poor job dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak and 78 percent place “a great deal or fair amount of blame for the global spread of the coronavirus on the Chinese government’s initial handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.” By a more than two-to-one margin, 68 percent of Americans said the nation’s economic ties to China are bad, while a quarter said they are “very bad.” Half of Americans think the U.S. should hold China responsible for the role it played in the outbreak of the coronavirus, even if it means worsening economic and trade relations. When asked if the U.S. should sacrifice economic relations with China or promote human rights, 73 percent choose human rights. About 77 percent of respondents had “little or no confidence” in President Xi Jinping. News of the survey comes just one day after China garnered negative headlines following a House subcommittee hearing with America’s big tech CEOs. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., criticized Google on Wednesday for its connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and said, “If Google wants to cozy up to Communist China, Sundar Pichai must answer for the atrocities committed by the Chinese Communist Party.” This news also comes one day after Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) called on NBA commissioner Adam Silver to testify before Congress about the league’s controversial relationship with the CCP. He said China’s presence within the sport is deepening as they continue to use the NBA as a platform to push their political agenda. “The league’s new policy suggests a newfound commitment to enhanced employee expression. But that free expression appears to stop at the edge of your corporate sponsors’ sensibilities,” Hawley wrote in a letter to the league. “And for woke capital today, profits from the Chinese market are more popular than patriotism… If I am right – if the NBA is more committed to promoting the CCP’s interests than to celebrating its home nation – your fans deserve to know that is your view. If not, prove me wrong.”

Agreed!!  Well said, Senator Hawley!  The way the NBA kisses up to China is nauseating.  And, how about this poll?!  Over 73% of Americans rightfully blame China for COVID…and that’s in spite of CNN, MSNBC and other liberal news outlets trying desperately to pin it all on Trump.

Parents hiring private teachers to educate kids as coronavirus casts doubt on school reopenings

As uncertainty grows over whether schools should reopen this fall amid spiking coronavirus cases, some parents across the country are reportedly shelling out money for private teachers to educate their children at home. Some families are pooling their resources to split the costs of a private homeschool education, forming groups called “pandemic pods” on social media platforms – a solution that could further drive inequity in children’s quality of education between families who can afford it and those who cannot. Katrina Mulligan, a 40-year-old mother in Alexandria, Va., told USA Today safety concerns over her school’s reopening plan and her family’s poor experience with its virtual learning program prompted them to create a homeschooling pod with four other families. Mulligan said the cost to hire a teacher to educate the pod’s first-graders could cost $2,500 per month or $500 per family. “There will be a lot of parents who can’t financially make this work, or can’t secure a teacher,” she told the outlet, adding her group was interested in including a couple of families who otherwise could not afford the costs. Phil Higgins, a psychotherapist in Salem, Mass., told the Washington Post that he and two other families are considering hiring a behavioral specialist as a teacher for 40 hours per week for about $1,300 per child. However, many families agreed that the cost of private teaching could leave children of low-income families behind. “We can pay,” Katie Franklin of Virginia told the Post. “We know others can’t, and there will be a gap, and that’s unfortunate.” Kristina Boshernitzan, a mother who has been trying to set up a learning pod group in Austin, Texas, told the Texas Tribune that the cost leaves parents in a predicament. “There’s ugly sides to parenting, and I think the idea that I’m going to protect my kids first is really beautiful and really ugly,” Boshernitzan said. “How do you balance your desire to give to your kids without taking away from others?” Meanwhile, President Trump’s administration is continuing to push for schools to reopen with in-person learning come this fall. Trump and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy Devos have threatened to withhold federal funding from K-12 schools that don’t allow all their students to return to physical classrooms. Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Raleigh on Wednesday to encourage more K-12 schools to reopen with entirely in-person instruction.

Another sign of the times…

Second stimulus check calculator: See how much money you could receive

As Congress debates the next round of federal coronavirus relief, a fresh round of stimulus checks for Americans is seeming like an increasingly likely possibility. Senate Republicans rolled out the HEALS Act — the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protections and Schools Act — on Monday, estimated to cost around $1 trillion. Among other measures, the package includes another $1,200 economic impact payment. The second checks will follow the same eligibility formula as the first round, according to a memo released by the Senate Finance Committee. Qualifying individuals who earn a gross adjusted income of up to $75,000 and couples earning $150,000 would receive the full $1,200 or $2,400 payments, respectively. For higher earners, the checks will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in income and phased out entirely at $99,000 and $198,000. The latest proposal also modified the stimulus checks so that families with dependents over the age of 17 who were excluded from the previous payments — a frequent criticism of the CARES Act, signed into law at the end of March — will be able to receive the extra $500. For instance, a married couple with two children could receive up to $3,400. It’s unclear whether the HEALS Act has a limit on how many dependent payments a single household can receive. The House-passed HEROES Act in May capped them at three, or an additional $1,500. Individuals who have no income and federal benefits recipients are still eligible for the full check amount. A vast majority of Americans will not be required to take any action in order to receive the money. The IRS will use their 2019 tax return if filed or their 2018 return as an alternative. The release of the HEALS Act has ignited a flurry of negotiations between congressional Republicans and Democrats, both of whom are eager for a deal as a resurgence of the virus triggers another wave of business shutdowns. That gives lawmakers just two weeks to reach an agreement on legislation: The House is scheduled to start its recess by Aug. 3, and the Senate is expected to follow on Aug. 7. But Republicans are arriving at the negotiating table hobbled by party infighting, with some conservative Republicans breaking ranks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan and arguing the proposed spending is too much. Some warned that half of Senate Republicans may vote against the legislation. “The focus of this legislation is wrong,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told reporters this week. “Our priority, our objective, should be restarting the economy.” If President Trump signs the legislation before the Senate begins its August recess next week, that could mean Americans would start to see the money at least by the end of the month, if not earlier, as the IRS already has individuals’ direct deposit information on hand. At the beginning of June, the IRS said it had distributed some 159 million payments, worth more than $267 billion. Of those checks, 120 million were sent via direct deposit, 35 million by check and 4 million were made in the form of a prepaid debit card. An estimated 26 million more individuals will be eligible to receive money under the HEALS Act, according to an estimate from the Tax Foundation. Click here to see how much money you can expect to receive under the HEALS Act.

 

Coronavirus testing and lockdowns have not reduced death rates in some places, researchers say

Widespread coronavirus testing and lockdown measures have not helped some countries reduce deaths caused by the virus, according to research from the medical journal The Lancet. Scientists in Canada, Greece and a U.S. institution in Texas poured over public data for 50 countries and their health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They concluded that actions taken by the governments — such as border closures, stay-at-home orders and testing — “were not associated with statistically significant reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality,” contrary to prevailing policies in the U.S. and elsewhere, according to researchers. “Although containment measures implemented in countries like China, South Korea and Taiwan have reduced new cases by more than 90 percent, this has not been the case in many other countries such as Italy, Spain and the United States,” the report said. The data did not explicitly state why lockdowns and testing didn’t result in lower death rates, but some observers pointed to “herd immunity,” where people highly exposed to the virus build antibodies that stop it from spreading. In Sweden, where shutdowns were not initiated, the daily death count in mid-July dropped to the single digits, a Washington Times article reported.

Very interesting…  Of course, this story is nowhere to be found in the dominantly liberal mainstream media, because it totally undermines their (and the Dems’) narrative of “more testing needed,” and “keep everything closed.”   For more, click on the text above.

Crayola creates back-to-school line of kid’s masks amid coronavirus pandemic

Back-to-school is going to look a little different. Crayola has created a lineup of fun and colorful masks for children as back-to-school potentially draws closer amid the coronavirus pandemic. The popular crayon brand has collaborated with SchoolMaskPack to make the face coverings for kids. “The mask system has applied our proven face mask technology to Crayola’s signature colors that have inspired many generations,” said George Hartel, chief commercial officer of SchoolMaskPack in a press release. The masks come in a pack of five – one for each day of school – and can be worn “for best use up to 6 months” with regular washing. Each mask in the crayon-themed line-up features a silly, and sometimes sassy, cartoon face. However, there are other patterns and colors for children to choose from. “Crayola has always worked to support children in the home and in the classroom,” said Warren Schorr, Vice President of Business Development and Global Licensing at Crayola. “We’re glad to partner with SchoolMaskPack to bring options to their mask system and provide supportive solutions for school communities, parents, teachers, and children.” The masks are available for pre-order for $29.99 for kids and $39.99 for adults, in case grown-ups want to channel their inner-child. Click here for more:

Fun!!    🙂

California could release up to 8,000 prisoners to prevent coronavirus spread, officials say

California will release around 8,000 prison inmates early in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in state correctional facilities, with more than half expected to return to society by the end of July, officials said Friday. The move will allow prisons to use the extra space to impose social distancing rules, isolation and quarantine measures, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement. “These actions are taken to provide for the health and safety of the incarcerated population and staff,” CDCR Secretary Ralph Diaz said. “We aim to implement these decompression measures in a way that aligns both public health and public safety.” The department estimates 8,000 inmates could be released by the end of August, providing they meet several criteria. Prisoners with a year or less left on their sentences are eligible for early release. Those with convictions of violent felonies and sex crimes are not. Anyone released from custody will be tested for the virus within seven days of their return to society, the CDCR said. Several states have opted to release some prison inmates early amid a surge in infections in correctional institutions. California has reduced its prison population by 10,000 since mid-March, when the COVID-19 pandemic first triggered government protection measures in the United States. As of Friday, the state prison system reported 5,841 coronaviruses among inmates, which increased by 864 in the past two weeks. In San Quentin State Prison in San Francisco’s Bay Area, infections among prisoners soared after the transfer of 121 inmates from the California Institution for Men in Chino, which reported hundreds of cases amid crowded conditions. A third of San Quentin’s 3,500 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 following the transfer.

Utter insanity..  But, then again..  This is California.  Thank God I don’t live there.

National Free Slurpee Day: Why is it canceled this year?

Don’t think of the day as July 11. Think of it as 7-11 instead, and it’ll be obvious why the convenience store chain 7-Eleven designated it National Free Slurpee Day. Each year since 2002, the company has observed it it by having thousands of participating locations give away the brand’s signature frozen drink. The event has grown so popular that 7-Eleven handed out “close to 9 million Slurpee drinks” on July 11, 2019, according to the brand’s spokesperson. It won’t be happening this year because of safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the chain is doing its best to ease fans’ disappointment. “As a special bonus to delight our customers in a safe and socially responsible way, we will be dropping a free Medium Slurpee coupon into every 7Rewards member account, redeemable from July 1 – July 31,” a 7-Eleven spokesperson told FOX Business. Additionally, the company is donating 1 million meals through Feeding America to help people facing economic hardship because of the pandemic.

FAIL!!!  Click on the text above for more info.

Wearing a mask cuts own risk of novel coronavirus by 65 percent, experts say

Health experts have stressed the importance of wearing a mask to limit the possibility of infecting others with COVID-19, but a range of new research now suggests they also protect the wearer, according to a report Monday. With many states implementing policies to make face coverings mandatory in both indoor and outdoor spaces, one doctor says that masks also reduce the risk of infection to the wearer by 65 percent. “We’ve learned more due to research and additional scientific evidence and now we know [that] not only wearing a mask prevents the person wearing the mask to transmit to others, but wearing the mask protects the person who’s wearing it,” said Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. “So the wearer of the mask, even the standard rectangular surgical masks … will decrease the risk of infection by the person wearing the mask by about 65 percent.” He added that N95 masks do an even better job at protecting people from the virus, but they are in short supply and are needed for healthcare professionals. Blumberg and William Ristenpart, a professor of chemical engineering at UC Davis, appeared on UC Davis Live: Coronavirus Edition to discuss the topic of transmission. Ristenpart’s lab at UC Davis has studied how people emit small droplets while breathing or talking that could carry the virus. The pair highlighted two primary methods of transmission. The first being visible droplets a carrier expels, which are roughly one-third the size of a human hair. They said masks create an effective barrier against those types of droplets. “Everyone should wear a mask,” Blumberg said. “People who say, ‘I don’t believe masks work,’ are ignoring scientific evidence. It’s not a belief system. It’s like saying, ‘I don’t believe in gravity.’” The second is via the aerosol particles we expel when we talk. They are about 1/100th the size of a human hair and are more difficult to defend against. He said that’s because the smaller particles could still sneak through a gap in rectangular or homemade cloth masks. Social distancing and staying outdoors, are helpful for staying clear of the small particles because there is more airflow, Blumberg and Ristenpart said. “Studies in laboratory conditions now show the virus stays alive in aerosol form with a half-life on the scale of hours. It persists in the air,” Ristenpart added. “That’s why you want to be outdoors for any social situations if possible. The good airflow will disperse the virus. If you are indoors, think about opening the windows. You want as much fresh air as possible.” He said that’s why enclosed areas like bars — seen as hotspots for contracting the virus — are particularly dangerous: “The louder you speak, the more expiratory aerosols you put out.” “So we don’t know who might spread it,” Blumberg said. “We do know social distancing reduces the risk of transmitting the virus by 90 percent, and wearing masks decreases the risk by 65 percent.”