The Conversation via Pete Weiss – “The recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation to use cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19 has generated numerous how-to articles and videos. As academics who focus on personal protective equipment (PPE) research and development, we are concerned about the lack of information about two critical features of home mask design: fit and fabric selection…
Homemade masks cannot block or filter the SARS-CoV-2 virus, because it can easily flow through every common material people have at home. However, a homemade mask is still better than none at all. If made correctly, a homemade mask can reduce the transmission of the virus from the wearer to others by impeding large droplets and spray produced by a cough or sneeze. It can also reduce the transmission of the virus from others to the wearer…”
CRS Legal Sidebar – COVID-19, Digital Surveillance, and Privacy: Fourth Amendment Considerations, April 16, 2020: “As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, countries like South Korea and Israel have employed digital surveillance measures using cell phone location data, among other things, in an effort to track and limit the virus’s transmission. In the United States, the federal government and some state and local governments have reportedly begun to gather geolocation data voluntarily provided by the mobile advertising industry to assess how people are continuing to move and congregate during the pandemic. Technology companies such as Google and Facebook have also discussed leveraging some of their aggregated and anonymized location data for similar purposes. Moreover, the recently passed CARES Act provides, as part of new funding for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that the CDC must report to Congress within 30 days on “the development of a public health surveillance and data collection system for coronavirus.” In light of these developments, some commentators have speculated about the potential in the United States for more invasive, obligatory data collection and tracking practices emulating the measures taken in some other parts of the world.Actions by the federal or state governments to surveil U.S. citizens in response to the COVID-19 pandemic could raise a host of legal issues, but as one commentator recently recognized, the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution may “determine the outer bounds of permissible surveillance at the federal and state levels” in this context. This Sidebar accordingly provides an overview of the Fourth Amendment and certain relevant doctrines and exceptions before discussing how the relevant legal frameworks could apply to coronavirus-related government surveillance…”
On this broadcast of The National Conversation, we answer your questions about essential workers, the latest unemployment numbers, religious practices and consider when "normal" might return.
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CRS Legal Sidebar – Freedom of Association in the Wake of Coronavirus, April 16, 2020: “…At least 42 U.S. states have issued emergency orders directing residents to “stay at home,”with many states prohibiting gatherings of various sizes to control the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). California’s March 19thstay-at-home order effectively banned public gatherings outside of “critical” sectors and “essential” services.New York’s March 23rdorder“canceled or postponed” “non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events),”with a maximum penalty of $1,000 for violations added in a later order.Maryland’s March 30th order prohibited“[s]ocial, community, spiritual, religious, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings and events… of more than 10 people,” with willful violators facing up to a year imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.Texas’s March 31storderdirected residents to “minimize social gatherings” except “where necessary to provide or obtain” designated “essential services.” In late March, some lawmakers called on the President to issue a temporary, nationwide shelter-in-place order. Mandatory social distancing measures have prompted constitutional questions, including whether gathering bans, which restrict in-person communication, comport with the First Amendment’s protections for freedom of speech and assembly.There have already been a few legal challenges to COVID-19–related orders litigated on these grounds. On March 25th, a New Hampshire court denied an emergency motion to enjoin that state’s previous ban on scheduled gatherings of 50 people or more. And on April 13th, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected a state candidate’s First Amendment challenge to a March 19th order closing “non-life-sustaining” businesses. This post discusses the legal standards that those courts applied as well as background First Amendment principles that are likely to continue to inform judicial review of free speech–related challenges to gathering bans. Religious exercise principles are discussed separately in this posting…”
In a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Charlie Baker got emotional when talking about the loss of end-of-life rituals during the pandemic.
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The country is grappling with the biggest outbreak of the coronavirus in Latin America. Luiz Henrique Mandetta's departure follows weeks of acrimony over his embrace of broad-based social isolation.
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Jacksonville parks and beaches in Duval County reopen Friday for "essential activities" include walking, biking and swimming, as long as they're done within social distancing guidelines.
President Trump's political adviser asked a federal judge for a new trial after attorneys said there were problems with the jury in his old one. Judge Amy Berman Jackson said no.
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As Capt. Brett Crozier, infected with the coronavirus, remains in Guam after being sacked from his command of the aircraft carrier, defense officials say his reinstatement is "not off the table."
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Christy Lefteri's novel of the Syrian refugee crisis won the third annual award, which doles out $35,000 for fiction that illuminates a pressing social issue.
(Image credit: Courtesy of the Aspen Words Literary Prize)
Nurses at one Brooklyn hospital said they need more protective gear as several colleagues have succumbed to COVID-19.
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Universities and institutions are inviting the public to share their experiences during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath. “…Universities, archives and historical societies, ranging from the Smithsonian Natural Museum of American History to a tiny college radio station in Pennsylvania, are rushing to collect and curate the personal accounts of how people are experiencing this sprawling public health crisis as told in letters and journals, audio and video oral histories, and on social media…”
President Trump has released a three-phase outline for states to reopen their economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Two-time Tony Award winner Brian Dennehy was a towering figure on stage - artistically and physically. He died yesterday of a non-COVID-related heart attack in a Connecticut hospital.
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President Trump has said he believes many states could begin to re-open even before the federal guidelines for social distancing and mitigation expire on May 1.
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A court in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein had a home, is considering how to set up a compensation fund for his accusers.