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COVID & KIDS

What we’ve learned about the nation’s most serious cases of COVID-19 in children.

Current Events

Backstory

  • The CDC issued a new report on children hospitalized due to COVID-19 in America between March 1 – July 25.
  • The CDC looked specifically at 576 hospitalizations across 14 states – *not* TOTAL COVID-19 hospitalizations in children nationwide.
  • Around the same time, children under 18 represented about 7% of COVID-19 cases in America and 1% of hospitalizations.
Current Events

Big Picture

CDC: Children are “at risk” for severe cases of COVID-19 BUT “most reported cases of (COVID-19) in children under 18 appear to be asymptomatic or minor.”

  • Children hospitalized = 8 per 100,000
  • Adults: 164.5 per 100,000

Once hospitalized, children had about the same chance of being admitted to the ICU (about 1 in 3) but lower rate of death.

Current Events

Characteristics

Median Age: 8 years old

Median length of hospital stay: 2.5 days.

  • Highest hospitalization rates: 2 years old and under (majority under 2 months old); “substantially lower” in those 2 to 17 years old.
  • Greatest number of hospitalizations overall: 12-17 year olds who made up nearly 42% of the group.

 

Current Events

Notable

Respiratory distress, shortness of breath were *not* the most common symptoms in children. Top 3 common symptoms:

  • fever/chills
  • poor eating
  • nausea/vomiting.

Cough was listed 4th along with a runny nose/congestion.

Current Events

Black and Hispanic children were much more likely to be hospitalized than white (this disparity is also seen in adult cases of COVID). The specific reason why remains unknown and data remains incomplete. One important statistic: 42% of ALL children had 1 underlying condition, the most prevalent, obesity.

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Politics

Putting aside WHO

WHAT does the Vice President actually do?

Politics

“I am Vice President. In this I am nothing, but I may be everything.”

John Adams, America's first VP and second President. Initially, the Constitution was somewhat vague as to whether the Vice President's succession as President in the case of POTUS's death was temporary or permanent. Also, during those early years, Americans only voted for Pres & the runner-up got VP; Pres. Adams' VP was from an opposing party.
Politics

The Original Constitution Didn’t Say Much About VP

  • It stated the VP is the President of the Senate, but only votes as a tie-breaker in deadlock votes.
  • It also stated the Senate must elect a president pro tempore (president for a time) in the VP’s absence.
  • The Senate’s official website says, “Our Constitution’s framers created the vice presidency almost as an afterthought.”
Politics

The Amendments That Shaped The VP

  • 1804: Eight years after Pres. Adams was left with a VP from the opposing party, the 12th Amendment made the VP a separately elected office from the Pres.
  • 1967:  Four years after the assassination of Pres. Kennedy & seven years before Pres. Nixon’s resignation, the 25th Amendment made it “official” that the VP serves out the remainder of term if a pres. dies or resigns.
Politics

Four VP Fun Facts

  • 2 VPs have resigned – most recently Pres. Nixon’s VP, Spiro Agnew, in 1973. Pres. Nixon resigned months later.
  • 3 women nominated for VP by a major party: Geraldine Ferraro & Sarah Palin.
  • 14 VPs became pres – most due to death of incumbents. 4 were elected – most recently Pres. George H.W. Bush.
  • Unlike the two-term limit imposed on the President, the Constitution imposes no such term limit on the VP.
Politics

WHERE DOES THE VP LIVE? Since 1977, every Vice President has lived with his family on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington D.C., which is also home to America's master clock.

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On This Day

August 11 1911

Duke Kahanamoku

The “father of surfing” sets a world-record, bursting onto the international scene on road to Olympic gold, and bringing Hawaii’s native sport along with him.

On This Day

“Out of the water, I am nothing. Surfing is the greatest thrill of my life.”

Duke Kahanamoku began his swimming career when he broke the world record for the 100-yard freestyle at an amateur swim meet on August 11, 1911. The three-time Olympic gold medal swimmer is even credited with introducing the flutter kick. Despite his prowess in the pool, his real love was his surfboard. Many credit him with bringing surfing from Hawaii into the mainstream and onto the "mainland."
On This Day

Outside of the water, Kahanamoku's career expanded to acting in Hollywood film to politics. He served as Honolulu's sheriff for over 25 years and Honolulu’s official greeter welcoming the famous to the island.

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Now You Know

Mailing It In?

3 out of 4 eligible American voters may cast their ballot for president by mail on November 3rd.

What’s Changed &
Why It Matters

Now You Know

Origins & Evolution

  • The concept of voting “in absentia” dates back to the Civil War – as a way for military members to cast ballots.
  • By the late 1800s, states began allowing non-military voters to use absentee mail-in ballots with a valid excuse (ex: sick). States started allowing absentee voting without an excuse in the 1980s.
  • Today “voting by mail” refers to both absentee voting and “universal vote-by-mail.”
Now You Know

Mail-In Voting

  • Every state allows registered voters to apply for absentee mail-in ballots; 16 require a specific excuse (ex: caregiver, vacation scheduled).
  • 34 states & DC allow any voter to apply for “no-excuse absentee” mail-in ballot.
  • 5 states have “universal vote-by-mail” meaning they conduct all elections by mail and automatically send everyone a mail-in ballot.
Now You Know

“No-Excuse Absentee”

  • The specific laws governing who can vote absentee (and how) vary by state.
  • Ballots are sent to registered voters’ official addresses per state records.
  • Voters apply for mail-in ballots during a specified time period, & must have their ballots postmarked by a given deadline.
  • Some states require election officials to check voters’ signatures. Others require mail-in ballots to be notarized.
Now You Know

What’s Changed

  • In response to COVID-19, 3 states (CA, NV, & VT) are mandating mail-in ballots be sent to all registered voters. All three have had absentee voting on the books for decades.
  • While California and Vermont have consistently voted Democrat, Nevada may be viewed as a swing state – making both parties concerned about safe, secure, reliable voting.
Now You Know

“Non-Traditional” Voting

  • “Traditional” voting has been on the decline as more states expand voting options in order to provide flexibility.
  • In 2016, about a quarter of presidential election votes were cast via mail (both absentee and universal vote-by-mail).
  • From 2008 to 2016, the share of voters who voted by mail in the presidential elections grew by about 4%.
Now You Know

And then there's early voting... 39 states & DC allow voters to vote in person on designated days anywhere from 4 to 45 days before Election Day. Early voting has also soared recently, more than doubling from 2004 to 2016 to about 24M. HOW WILL YOU VOTE IN NOVEMBER?

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Quote of the Day

“Knowledge is like a suitcase that I carry with me, it is a treasure.

Quote of the Day

96-yr-old Giuseppe Paterno recently became Italy's oldest college graduate. Paterno grew up in Sicily, served in the navy during WWII, and became a railway worker before his love of reading led him to sign up for classes at the University of Palermo in his 90s, graduating top of class (despite his age & a global pandemic).

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Now You Know

How Safe Are You?

Depends on the statistic.

As the federal government expands law enforcement into major U.S. cities, here’s what one report says about violent crime in America in 2020.

Now You Know

Backstory: The Data Gap

  • Crime statistics are voluntarily reported by localities to the federal government.
  • Cities may report crimes differently (or not at all) and at different times.
  • Lawmakers from both parties proposed legislation to encourage or mandate more comprehensive crime-reporting in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in police custody. Legislation has stalled.
Now You Know

What To Know

The Dept. of Justice recently launched “Operation Legend” – sending resources, equipment & federal law enforcement to fight crime alongside local police. Some mayors don’t want the help.

In light of the difference in opinions and varying data, The Wall Street Journal did an independent analysis of violent crime statistics in the largest 50 U.S. cities.

Now You Know

What The Data Says:

  • Overall: Homicides, shootings up in top cities in 2020. Other violent crimes (such as robbery, rape) are down.
  • Homicides up across regions.
  • 1 in 8 homicides in America happening in the city of Chicago.

Important Context: Homicides increased but are not currently at historic levels. In other words: it’s not good, but it’s been worse.

 

Now You Know

“Everything that society does that might shape public safety was turned upside-down during the pandemic.”

Director of the University of Chicago's "Crime Lab" Jens Ludwig, on the WSJ data. Anecdotes point to different reasons for the rise in homicides -- from recession, pressure on police in connection with the pandemic and protests, & gangs gaining strength because of the closures of schools, churches and after-school programs.
Now You Know

Why It Matters:

U.S. cities have become increasingly safer over the last few decades. Here’s 3 questions we’re asking:

  • Is a rise in homicides reflecting a moment in time, or the beginning of a trend of an increase in crime overall?
  • What are the impacts of the pandemic and protests on local police?
  • What role does politics play in all of this, especially during an election year?
Now You Know

"Operation Legend" was named after a 4-year-old boy, LeGend, killed during a shooting in Kansas City, MO. It expanded last week from Kansas City, Chicago, & Albuquerque to include Detroit, Cleveland, & Milwaukee -- putting the Trump administration at odds with local lawmakers. Read more:

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Quote of the Day

“I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe…Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.”

Quote of the Day

Congressman Lewis wrote an essay shortly before his death for The New York Times to publish on the day of his funeral, which took place today in Atlanta: "In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way." Read More:

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Current Events

Do You Have COVID?

Researchers want to streamline categorizing your symptoms and try to predict your outcome.

New study reveals their current findings.

Current Events

Backstory

  • The list of symptoms for COVID-19 has evolved, including common ailments.
  • Researchers at King’s College used a database of 4M people from a “symptom tracker app” to identify symptoms, and grouped symptoms found in a subset of 1600 people.
  • They identified 6 separate categories of COVID-19 symptoms, and then attempted to associate these categories to potential severity of disease.
Current Events

The 6 Categories

1. Flu-like with no fever

2. Flu-like with fever

3. Gastrointestinal

4. Severe level 1, fatigue

5. Severe level 2, confusion

6. Severe level 3, abdominal and respiratory

Current Events

Potential “Early Warning”?

  • First three categories had lower rates of severe cases, hospitalization.
  • Researchers used symptoms experienced on Day 5 of infection & factored-in other variables (e.g. age, weight) to assign patients a category.
  • Since hospitalization often occurs more than a week into a COVID-19 infection, researchers want to create a model to help predict a more serious case and enable doctors to intervene early.
Current Events

“Certainly, we will have to see how this performs in the ‘real world.’ With widespread use, it should ‘learn’ and become progressively more effective.”

UC Berkeley professor of infectious disease and vaccinology Dr. John Swartzberg, who did not work on the study but says it could start helping doctors with care plans.
Current Events

For a complete list of category symptoms, click on our source page. The study is not "peer reviewed" - an important step that helps validate medical research. In the midst of the pandemic, many studies released to the public have not been peer reviewed as scientists have scrambled to understand this new illness.

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On This Day

July 28, 1868

After the states ratified the 14th Amendment, it officially became part of the
U.S. Constitution.

Here’s how it continues to shape American civil liberties

On This Day

BACKGROUND

  • After the Civil War, Congress passed three constitutional amendments:
  • 1865: 13th Amendment outlawed slavery.
  • 1866: Congress passed the 14th Amendment, inspired by the question of whether freed slaves were American citizens. States ratified in 1868.
  • 1870: 15th Amendment gave Black men the right to vote.
On This Day

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States …No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens … nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

On This Day

WHAT IT MEANS

Citizenship: All persons born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens.

Equal Protection: State gov’t must apply laws fairly and equally to all people.

Due Process: State gov’t must follow certain procedures before it deprives an individual of a right.

On This Day

Equal Protection Clause: Big Supreme Court Cases

  • 1896: The court allowed segregation, ruling separate facilities for Black people can be “equal.
  • 1954: The court overruled that decision, finding that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” & ending segregation in public schools.
  • 1967 & 2015: The court prohibited states from passing laws outlawing interracial & same-sex marriages.
On This Day

The Due Process Clause:
Big Supreme Court Cases

  • Major legal cases related to the 14th Amendment aren’t limited to race.
  • 1936: The court ruled confessions obtained by torture are not voluntary and, therefore, inadmissible at trial.
  • 1973: The court ruled states cannot deny a woman her fundamental “right to privacy” to obtain an abortion without certain procedural safeguards.
On This Day

Former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson said the 14th Amendment provides "the courts with the opportunity to override the will of the people when the will of the people discriminates against a segment of our society." The 14th amendment is the longest & potentially "most complex" in the U.S. Constitution: read why

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What to Know

The rose remains a common presence for nearly every U.S. President at The White House, and the “most famous occupant” of a garden only steps from the Oval Office.

The Rose Garden prepares for a “refreshment.”

What to Know

“The very act of planting a garden involves hard work and hope in the possibility of a bright future.”

First Lady Melania Trump announcing a "significant renewal" of the Rose Garden on July 27, 2020 to return the "iconic" location to its design during the Kennedy Administration. Why now? "... Improved infrastructure, better drainage, and a healthier environment" along with better access for those with disabilities and support for broadcasts.
What to Know

The Rose Garden

  • For decades, the area known as the Rose Garden has featured roses.
  • Inspired by European gardens during a trip overseas, Pres. Kennedy asked for a re-design upon his return home.
  • The excavation team found horseshoes dating back to the Civil War, and accidentally cut a mysterious buried cable put in place during WWII – which accidentally set off the national military alert (luckily nothing happened).
What to Know

The current Rose Garden hosted a vegetable garden or greenhouses (even one for roses) dating back to the mid-1850s. While the roses remain year-round, many flower varieties are switched with the seasons. The Rose Garden is managed by the National Park Service and supported through donations.

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Now You Know

“Lying In State”

Congressman John Lewis to “lie in state” at the U.S. Capitol.
Here’s a look at this unique honor.

Now You Know

Why It Matters

Royal tradition adopted in the U.S. Started with Sec. of State Henry Clay in 1852. Today, the decision to bestow the honor is made by Congress.

11 U.S Presidents have lain in state: Ford, Reagan, Johnson, Eisenhower, Hoover, Kennedy, Taft, Harding, McKinley, Garfield, & Lincoln.

Now You Know

Shared Support

  • Catafalque: a frame that supports a coffin (cat-e-falk).
  • Pres. Lincoln’s catafalque from 1865 has held most of the coffins that have lain in state.
  • The catafalque has had minor restorations since 1865 (retrofitted to hold larger coffins, drapery replaced), but for the most part, it remains like the original.
Now You Know

“In State” vs. “In Honor”

Average citizens cannot “lie in state” as that honor is reserved for gov’t & military officials.

However, eminent private citizens may “lie in honor.”

To date, only four have received the honor — including two police officers killed during an attack on the U.S. Capitol & Rev. Billy Graham.

Now You Know

In 2005, civil rights activist Rosa Parks became the first (and only) woman to "lie in honor" in the U.S. Capitol. Congressman Lewis, who passed last week, is only the second African-American lawmaker to receive this honor after Congressman Elijah Cummings in October.

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Quote of the Day

“Don’t be afraid to let people know what it is you want to do with your life. Don’t be hesitant. Be confident.”

Quote of the Day

A son of a Marine, Regis Philbin served in the Marines during the Korean War - he credits another Marine for giving him the push he needed to pursue show business. He started in a prop department, rising through the ranks to set the Guinness World Record for the most hours on camera. He passed away at age 88.

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