Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

first_imgAfter a public records request, student journalists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, exposed internal faculty dissent over reopening plans and advance warning from epidemiologists long before school closed for in-person learning early in the semester. “You could see a direct line from the decisions they made in May,” said Elizabeth Moore, 20, a senior editor at The Daily Tar Heel, the student paper. “That ended up causing some harm. A lot of people got sick, and people got displaced from dorms.” A surge in daily infections is forcing a reckoning in the Netherlands, which has long prided itself on efficient government — some say to the point of smugness. And, as local journalists, they’re also telling the story of their community as people try to adjust to life during the virus. “You’re not parachuting in,” Oyin Adedoyin, 21, the editor in chief of The Spokesman, the student newspaper at Morgan State University, Maryland’s largest historically Black university. She partnered with the Poynter Institute to report on health disparities in Baltimore’s Black community. “You literally live it.” Resurgences When the election is decided: If Mr. Trump prevails, Americans can expect him to double down on prioritizing the economy over public health, demanding that schools reopen, and dismissing mask wearing and restrictions on large gatherings in favor of promises of therapeutics and vaccines.If Joe Biden is elected, he would prepare to put his plan in place for ramping up testing, ensuring a steady supply of protective equipment, distributing a vaccine when available, securing money from Congress for schools and hospitals, and possibly putting in place a national mask mandate.Student journalists find Covid scoopsAs local news hollows out, college journalists are sometimes the only reporters left in town. Now, as American colleges have become a major source of coronavirus outbreaks, with at least 214,000 cases linked to campuses, they are on the front lines of a vital national story. – Advertisement – Often, they have to report on their own campus communities, breaking news about poorly organized administrative responses and irresponsible revelers. “It’s up to us to report on it,” said Eli Hoff, 19, the managing editor of The Maneater, a student newspaper at the University of Missouri. Before the semester even started, Hoff and his colleagues broke news about outbreaks in fraternities, which drew prank calls and harassment by Greek members.“It’s weird being a student reporting on other students,” he said. “Not only am I a student reporting on them, but their actions have such a personal impact on me.” The coming months look grim Votes are still being counted in the presidential race, but no matter who wins, President Trump will lead the country’s response to the virus during the next few months — which look likely to be the bleakest and potentially deadliest period of the pandemic.Infections are escalating toward a record-breaking 100,000 cases a day, hospitals are strained and deaths are rising. At least 22 states have added more cases over the last week than in any other weeklong stretch of the pandemic, and the country recorded 1,130 deaths on Tuesday, one of the highest daily totals since the surge this summer ended.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img One person Mr. Trump does listen to is Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist who now serves as his coronavirus adviser. Dr. Atlas has questioned the effectiveness of mask wearing and has suggested that the government should let the pandemic run its course — a position that has been adopted by some Republican governors — and one that health experts and epidemiologists say would lead to hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths.- Advertisement – France, facing a backlash from small businesses closed during a second national lockdown, has ordered big retailers to stop selling books, clothes, toys, flowers and other nonessential items. The order set off chaos and confusion. El Paso counted 3,100 cases, a record high, and its hospitals are reaching a breaking point, the El Paso Times reports. Kenya, where cases are rising, extended a curfew and banned political gatherings. Here’s a roundup of restrictions in all 50 states.What else we’re followingWhat you’re doingThis pandemic has made it close to impossible to communicate with our 93-year-old deaf and blind aunt, who is in a nursing home. We used to hug and touch her to get her attention but now that is not an option. So we use her favorite foods and treats to make her aware that we still love her and care enough to visit. The staff passes her blueberries, milk chocolate, potato chips, and cold water from home in a special container she is used to. Then she knows we are somewhere near by. Sometimes her sock-covered toes stick out under the Plexiglas shield so we can tickle her and get her laughing! It is so good to see her smile and chuckle.— Patricia Alt, Madison Township, Pa.Let us know how you’re dealing with the pandemic. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.Sign up here to get the briefing by email.Email your thoughts to Did a friend forward you the briefing? Sign up here. In Europe, which is being hit by a similarly ferocious fall wave, many countries have announced fresh restrictions in the last several days to slow the spread of the virus. But there is deep skepticism that the American president will follow suit in the coming weeks.Even if Mr. Trump is not re-elected, he will keep his job until Jan. 20 and he has been sticking to his message that the country is “rounding the corner” on the virus. He has largely shut down the White House Coronavirus Task Force and has stopped listening to his health officials. last_img read more

Syracuse basketball roundtable: Late-season slide, expectations and whether SU could make an NCAA Tournament run

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 11, 2016 at 9:00 pm Syracuse’s (19-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) season was put on hiatus by Pittsburgh. Now, the Orange will have to wait until Sunday to find out whether it will get a bid to the NCAA Tournament.In the meantime, beat writers Sam Blum, Jesse Dougherty and Matt Schneidman discuss three questions surrounding SU.What is responsible for Syracuse’s late-season slide?Sam Blum: It’s not like Syracuse has been playing cupcake games. Five-of-six losses include two to Pittsburgh, on the road at Louisville and North Carolina and Florida State. So while there were maybe one or two wins to be had, it’s not like the team had any awful losses there. That said, this isn’t the same team when it’s playing its best. I’ll give you two reasons why the team has been struggling. Tyler Roberson and Trevor Cooney. There have been games when they both don’t show up, and that can’t happen, especially when you have a guy like Malachi Richardson that is so hot and cold.Jesse Dougherty: More than anything, I just think it’s the law of averages. Syracuse, for this whole season, has been reliant on the 3 with only fairly consistent shooters and crossing its fingers for “good enough” frontcourt play on a game-by-game basis. Sure, the Orange’s talent helped it to some pretty impressive wins this season, but the overlying sentiment is that this team finished .500 in ACC play and looks very much like a .500 ACC team. It may seem like it’s easy to say that now, but you could look all day and then realize that SU really doesn’t have that defining factor that makes OK teams pretty good, or pretty good teams good. That’s probably at the center of its reeling NCAA Tournament hopes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMatt Schneidman: The old demons came back to haunt Syracuse and it was the rebounding ghosts of Syracuse past that were to credit for losing five out of the last six games. In the Orange’s five losses at the end of the season, it was outrebounded by a combined 53 boards. Tyler Roberson dissipated down the stretch and who would’ve guessed that Syracuse’s by far and away best rebounder in its ACC tournament game would’ve been Dajuan Coleman? There was a time where the Orange had put its deficiencies on the glass in the past, and yes, SU did win the rebounding battle against Pitt on Wednesday, but it’s certainly the reason for its treacherous late-season slide.Has Syracuse underperformed this season?S.B.: Yes, definitely. This team is one win away from being an NCAA Tournament lock. Pick any game SU lost. If that loss was a win, then the Orange would be in. The reason the answer is a yes is because we’ve seen that Syracuse is a capable NCAA Tournament team. It can hang with basically anyone. And if that’s the case and the Orange isn’t in, then that’s a pretty disappointing failure.J.D.: No. If anything I think Syracuse has outperformed itself in a lot of ways. In conference play, the only game Syracuse lost that it really should have won was at home against Clemson on Jan. 5 (and yes, Jim Boeheim wasn’t coaching), and I’d say that’s really impressive given the team’s evident deficiencies. For most of its critical games, the Orange played a 6-foot-8 freshman at center and ran the same high ball screen for the same player at the same spot on the floor. SU was good at times despite being predictable all the time, and for flashes this year it looked like it would run away with a Tournament bid that it probably doesn’t deserve on a sheer talent and depth level.M.S.: I wouldn’t say Syracuse has underperformed this season since we knew it’d be a rough year down low with the loss of Rakeem Christmas. Cooney himself has underperformed, I’d say, but Gbinije and Richardson made up for that by exceeding expectations in their respective positions. The season was “meh” for Syracuse in general, which is what the feeling was heading in with a Boeheim suspension looming and no formidable big bodies to challenge the ACC’s best of Brice Johnson, Anthony Gill and others.If Syracuse makes the NCAA Tournament, what is this team’s ceiling as far as a run in the tournament goes?S.B.: All you need to do is get in. If Syracuse can hang with North Carolina on the road not playing its best game, it can do anything. It could get blown out by Wichita State or Dayton. It could make a Final Four run, and anything in between. Something tells me getting in will give this team second life. But then again, a must-win game on Wednesday wasn’t enough to inspire that win.J.D.: Very low. If Syracuse ends up in a play-in game, it would be hard to pick it to win with the way the end of the season has gone. Same goes for a Round of 64 game, and then the limit would be the Round of 32 for me. No magical Sweet 16 run this year — not enough horses, not enough size, not enough of a lot of things.M.S.: The ceiling would probably be winning two games before bowing out. That would even be a stretch for a team that hasn’t shown consistent outside shooting of late that’s needed to string together wins in March. Gbinije carrying the offense won’t be enough, and he, Cooney and Richardson have rarely all been turned on in the same game this season. The Orange will be lucky to get in the field in the first place, but don’t expect them to make a magical run if Boeheim and Co. happen to sneak in. Commentslast_img read more

Winning Personality

first_imgBy Matthew Kredell STAFF WRITER Lane Kiffin bounced around Oakland Raiders practices early in training camp, every word shouted and motion exaggerated. His baby face was the only feature reminiscent of his time at USC. Kiffin takes over a franchise that was an NFL-worst 2-14 last season and produced 12 offensive touchdowns, the fewest ever scored by a team in a 16-game season. Combine that ineptitude with the most infamous hands-on owner in NFL history and this wasn’t a job many coaching candidates were clamoring over. Even Kiffin’s co-offensive coordinator at USC, Steve Sarkisian, declined the position before Raiders owner Al Davis turned to Kiffin. “I just didn’t think it was the right fit for me,” said Sarkisian, a star QB at West Torrance High and El Camino College. “I still want to coach in the NFL one day, but you have to go where you feel comfortable, and that’s especially important for your first head-coaching job.” For Kiffin, coaching the Raiders perhaps offers less risk than it would for a guy like Sarkisian. Failure in a first head-coaching opportunity can be devastating to a bright, young assistant. But Kiffin doesn’t figure to drop off the coaching map unless it’s by choice. His father, Monte Kiffin, is a longtime and well-respected defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with connections all over the NFL. “I don’t think about it that way at all,” Kiffin said. “Thinking like that is setting yourself up for failure.” Kiffin tries to stay optimistic. He even looks at the state of the team he took over as a positive. “I like that the team was 2-14,” Kiffin said. “I like that the team has won 15 games in the last four years. I like that the team needed hope and didn’t have the answers. So these players are very open to change. They have been very open to how we wanted to do things.” Not everyone bought in initially. In a prime example of the loser mentality Kiffin needed to overcome on this team, the Raiders were forced to cancel the final week of voluntary workouts in June when an unknown player or players complained to the NFL Players Association about rules violations regarding the intensity of the team’s offseason training. Kiffin has brought to Oakland the fast-paced, hard-hitting workouts that Carroll employs at USC. Carroll approved after he visited a Raiders practice. “There was a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of movement out on the practice field,” Carroll told the Contra Costa Times. “It looked like (Kiffin) has captured a different spirit about the way they’re preparing.” Kiffin has tried to weed out the bad apples, such as the trading away of once-great receiver Randy Moss. It wouldn’t be surprising if whoever complained back at mini-camp is no longer on the team. Those left are the ones who buy into his plans. “Based on what went on last year, for Kiff to come in here, it was … the perfect opportunity for him,” running back LaMont Jordan said. “He’s been consistent. Nothing changes in his personality, nothing changes in what he expects from us. He’s made it fun to play football again.” Well, his demeanor did get less loud, with good reason. Midway through training camp, Kiffin was diagnosed with mononucleosis and was advised by his doctor to cut down on the yelling. Kiffin was 31 years and eight months old at his date of hire, three months older than Harland Svare when he took the helm of the St. Louis Rams in 1962. Coaches starting at such young ages haven’t had a great deal of success. Of the other four youngest coaches, only John Madden (12-1-1 for the Raiders in 1969) had a winning record. Svare, John Michelosen (Steelers, 1948) and David Shula (Bengals, 1992) combined to start 9-24-1 in their first season. “In hindsight, I wish I would have done some things differently, but I don’t think age had anything to do with it,” said Shula, who had a 19-52 record in five seasons as an NFL head coach. “I had been in the NFL a while. At the end of the day, players just want to follow somebody who will lead them. They don’t care how old you are.” The state of USC football and the Oakland Raiders couldn’t be more different, but Kiffin sees similarities. “When Pete got to USC, the program was in shambles,” Kiffin said. “The team was coming off a 5-7 season and looking for someone to bring them hope. This is another historic program that has come on some tough times. So we’ll see what happens.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With the Trojans, Kiffin was the quiet, subdued, cerebral offensive coach. It’s difficult to be heard over the talkative Pete Carroll and loud assistants Ken Norton Jr. and Todd McNair. The change in persona appeared to be the classic case of a new coach trying to demand the respect of his players, some of whom are older than him. Kiffin, who will become the youngest person to coach a regular-season game in NFL history today when the Raiders play host to the Detroit Lions, said he had more practical motives. “You have to know your surroundings,” said the 32-year-old Kiffin. “At USC, you knew Pete was going to bring it every day energy-wise, so we didn’t need that. I was used more from an X’s and O’s standpoint. Here, this team needed energy, needed hope, and I needed to give them that.” last_img read more