The Forward Five – Wednesday, 7/8/20

10 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! For some time, I’ve been pleased that Kentucky seemed to be containing COVID-19, with our numbers fairly stable and our infection rate (R-naught) below 1.0, even as other states were dealing with record-breaking case numbers and over-capacity hospital systems.

With yesterday’s update, that sense of calm about our state has not been shattered, but definitely cracked.

The headline that will get written is the record number of cases. (See, for example, the first story in our Five Things list.)

But the headline that SHOULD be written is our infection rate, our “R-naught number,” jumping from 0.97 to 1.21.

Why is this bad? It means that a given set of 100 people will infect 121 people. In other words, the virus is expanding, not contracting. And if you know anything about statistics, you know that means the virus is growing exponentially, as opposed to shrinking exponentially.

I ran out the numbers for a month for those original 100 people:
Infection rate of 0.97 – Daily new cases after a month is 40. Total cases for the month is 2,037.
Infection rate of 1.21 – Daily new cases after a month is 30,448. Total cases for the month is 174,693.

Can we get the rate back down? Sure, if everyone takes it seriously and does the things we know we should do.

And if we don’t? Then you are looking at an increasing series of impacts: mandatory mask orders, re-closing some things, re-closing everything.

You know what to do. So do it. And, let’s hope everyone else does as well. #WearYourMask

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know

371 cases, new one-day high; W.Va. and Tenn. counties require masks – 7/7 update

Kentucky reported a record number of COVID-19 cases in one day. Certain counties in neighboring states are now requiring the wearing of masks. Also: Kentucky’s infection rate has climbed above 1.0; women’s prison outbreak; Fauci says death rate misleading; landlords want to evict tenants. (Forward Kentucky)

Kentucky lawsuit seeks to keep universal mail-in voting In November

A group of voters and advocacy groups are suing to get Kentucky to continue offering mail-in voting to all eligible voters during the November General Election. The lawsuit was filed by four Kentucky voters, the Kentucky Equal Justice Center and the D.C.-based Fair Elections Center in Franklin Circuit Court. The group is also asking for the court to delay implementation of Kentucky’s new voter ID law until Beshear’s state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic expires. (WFPL)

Many questions still need answers as schools try to reopen

Concerns about reopening Kentucky’s schools during the middle of the coronavirus pandemic topped the discussion at a legislative committee meeting on Tuesday. (Forward Kentucky)

McConnell: New pandemic act expected

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said a new federal coronavirus relief act is in the works. Speaking at Flaget Memorial Hospital in Bardstown, McConnell stated that he would draft the legislation and promised it would include liability protections. (KLC City Limit)

Black Kentucky lawmaker files complaint against police after getting hit with tear gas

State Rep. Attica Scott said Monday that the Louisville Metro Police Department is investigating her complaint of getting pushed by an LMPD officer and hit with tear gas during one of the first nights of downtown protests in late May. Scott, a Louisville Democrat who is also the only Black woman in Kentucky’s legislature, posted a photo on Instagram of a letter she received from a commander with LMPD’s Professional Standards Unit. (Courier-Journal)

Election 2020 Event

Meet the Candidates in Covington

If you live in Northern Kentucky, come join us for the opportunity to meet Ryan Olexia (running for State Senate, District 23, against Christian McDaniel) and Alexandra Owensby (running for US Congress, 4th District, against Thomas Massie). Meet outside the Covington Farm Market on Saturday, July 11, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM in a safe and socially-distanced venue. Bring your masks. Hope to see you there! (More info)

Did you miss any of these?

Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)

— News —

[new] WNBA to wear ‘Say Her Name’ jerseys, including focus on Breonna Taylor – The WNBA is going to emphasize racial justice and Black Lives Matter in their upcoming season, including a series of “Say Her Name” jerseys. (read)

Cases still on plateau, ICU usage up; Beshear and McConnell both say, wear a mask! – Also: high school sports; racial inequities in virus effects; mask-wearing significantly different according to political party. (read)

Masking Questions: How pandemic health measures became politicized – OVR talks with Richard Besser, the president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, about the importance of wearing masks in public. (read)

Paper records, staff cuts – KY public health departments struggle to deal with a pandemic – “The U.S. public health system has been starved for decades and lacks the resources to confront the worst health crisis in a century.” And Kentucky is a prime example. (read)

🔥 Forever chemicals in Louisville drinking water – Is it time for action? – There’s a reason they’re called “forever chemicals.” And they are in Louisville’s water. Is that a problem, or no? (read)

— Commentary —

[new] Trump on COVID: ‘Learn to live with it’ – White House insiders tell media outlets that they hope Americans will “grow numb to the escalating death toll and learn to accept tens of thousands of new cases a day.” (read)

🔥 Millions of Americans are about to find out just how badly they’ve been screwed by Trump and the GOP – By late summer all people of voting age in this country are going to be forced to make brutal, existential decisions about their futures and those of their families – and they will know the truth. (read)

🔥 Donald Trump, evangelicals, and the Ten Commandments – White conservative Christians nationwide don’t seem troubled that their guy Trump has spent most of his adult life as a repeat offender when it comes to the Ten Commandments. (read)

🔥 Taylorsville can’t SLAPP one of its citizens – The Kentucky Court of Appeals has told the City of Taylorsville that it can’t use a SLAPP order to silence a local critic. (read)

🔥 Trump’s unfathomable cruelty – A pandemic. Illness and death. Economic devastation. And yet, the Trump administration wants to use the Supreme Court to take away the ACA. Only two words to describe that. (read)

— Policy —

[new] Police with lots of military gear kill civilians more often than less-militarized officers – That’s the finding from research on a federal program, operating since 1997, that I helped conduct as a scholar of police militarization. (read)

— Media —

[videocast] Primary 2020 – Let’s talk about it! – Join us on The State of Kentucky as we analyze the primary with Al Cross, long-time political observer of Kentucky politics, and Robert Kahne, data scientist and one of the hosts of “My Old Kentucky Podcast.” What do the results mean for Mike Broihier, Charles Booker, and Amy McGrath? (watch or listen)

[podcast] Election results with Perry Bacon & interview with Jeff Grammer – Robert welcomed Perry Bacon to talk about McGrath’s victory, and what it will take for her to beat McConnell. Also, what is next for Booker, and what the future might hold for Black politicians in Kentucky. Then, an interview with Jeff Grammar, running for state House. (listen)

🔥 [photo gallery] Candlelight vigil for Tyler Gerth – Tyler Gerth, a young photojournalist who had become a strong supporter of the protests and rallies, was shot and killed Saturday night. On Sunday, a candlelight vigil was held in Tyler’s memory. Photographer Del Ramey was there and captured these photos. (view)

Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days

( 🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)

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Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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