Children Are Not Immune – The New York Times
Children Are Not Immune – The New York Times
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Good morning. Russia approves a possible coronavirus vaccine before clinical trials are finished. More than 100 people were arrested after unrest in Chicago. And there are troubling developments around young people and the virus.
In the last two weeks of July, nearly 100,000 children in the United States tested positive for the coronavirus, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
The speed and the scale of the infections — dozens of countries have not yet recorded 100,000 cases in total — further complicate the already daunting issue of reopening schools. In Georgia, Indiana and other states, some schools that reopened have already closed down again after new outbreaks emerged.
Recent research suggests that children can carry at least as much of the virus in their noses and throats as adults do, even if they have only mild or moderate symptoms. That has prompted fears that students who become ill at school may spread the virus to their older relatives.
But it’s not just older people who are at risk — in some rare cases, a child’s health can be severely affected. Nearly 600 young people in the U.S., from infants to 20 year olds, have developed an inflammatory syndrome linked to Covid-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Most of the children required intensive care.
“I fear that there has been this sense that kids just won’t get infected or don’t get infected in the same way as adults and that, therefore, they’re almost like a bubbled population,” Michael Osterholm, an infectious diseases expert at the University of Minnesota, told The Times in July.
“There will be transmission,” he said. “What we have to do is accept that now and include that in our plans.”
In other virus developments:
A Russian health care regulator has become the first in the world to approve a possible vaccine against the coronavirus, President Vladimir Putin announced today, although the vaccine has yet to complete clinical trials. The Russian dash for a vaccine has already raised international concerns that the country is rushing approval for political purposes.
THREE MORE BIG STORIES
1. Lebanon’s government resigns
The prime minister of Lebanon, Hassan Diab, and his cabinet stepped down yesterday, amid widespread fury over the enormous explosion last week in Beirut and a continuing economic crisis.
In a televised address, Diab, who has been in office since January, blamed a system of corruption “bigger than the state” for the country’s problems. He will take on a caretaker role until a new prime minister is chosen — a process that could take months.
“It’s symbolically a big deal,” Herbert Buchsbaum, The Times’s Middle East editor, told us. “It’s the government recognizing that it has seriously failed its people. But the way it’s also not a big deal is that it’s not enough to fundamentally change anything.”
For protesters, who saw the explosion as the latest example of decades of government mismanagement, Diab’s resignation fell far short of their demands for the ouster of the country’s political elite. “I have nothing to lose,” said one demonstrator. “I just graduated. I’m an architect. I’m unemployed and I don’t have hope. Either we do this or we leave this country.”
On the ground: Across three disparate neighborhoods in Beirut, the catastrophe has “united everyone in rage against a government seen as corrupt, dysfunctional and ineffectual,” writes our Beirut bureau chief, Ben Hubbard.
2. Unrest in Chicago
More than 100 people were arrested in Chicago on charges of disorderly conduct, looting and battery against the police yesterday, after crowds smashed through store windows and clashed with the police along the Magnificent Mile shopping district.
The cause of the unrest was still murky by Monday evening, though it seemed to have been set off after police officers shot a 20-year-old man who they said had fired at them first.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot expressed outrage over the unrest, and ordered limited access to downtown starting Monday evening. But she made it clear that she did not want federal troops sent to the city and drew a distinction between the turmoil and the “righteous uprising” of demonstrations that followed the killing of George Floyd.
Puerto Rico’s primary election descended into chaos after ballots failed to reach precincts over the weekend, preventing many residents from voting, spurring protests and prompting multiple candidates to file lawsuits.
The debacle has destroyed Puerto Ricans’ confidence in the electoral system, one of the last remaining institutions that residents still had faith in on an island racked by economic crises and natural disasters. After a partial suspension, the election is set to resume on Sunday.
Elsewhere in the U.S., voters will go to the polls in six states today. Here are some races to watch:
Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a member of the so-called squad of progressive freshmen Democrats, hopes to beat back a well-funded primary challenger.
A primary runoff in Georgia is likely to determine whether a full-throated believer in the “deep-state” conspiracy theory known as QAnon will go to Congress.
Here’s what else is happening
IDEA OF THE DAY: College football in flux
Will there be college football this year? University presidents, coaches and conference officials have been struggling to find a solution before the season begins. Even Trump became involved yesterday, tweeting, “Play College Football!”
But it is the players who would bear the most risk, all while playing a sport for which they are not paid. Here’s a look at what they have said about this season.
Trevor Lawrence, the star quarterback of Clemson, on Monday called for the season to continue. “People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play,” he wrote on Twitter, arguing that, for many players, medical care would probably be more affordable through their teams.
#WeAreUnited, a budding players’ rights movement, embraced Lawrence’s call to play but added a list of demands, including universal safety procedures, guaranteed medical care and the freedom for players to opt out without losing their spot on the team.
The University of Connecticut canceled its season last week. In a statement, its players said they had “many health concerns and not enough is known about the potential long-term effects of contracting Covid-19.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT, ART
Make seared scallops
This recipe for seared scallops and cherry tomatoes makes the best of in-season produce. The tomatoes are cooked in white wine and butter until they turn jammy, and the dish gets a bright flavor from fresh herbs and lemon zest. Serve it straight from the skillet with a salad and some crusty bread.
Explaining ‘mansplaining’ with art
An 18th-century painting depicts a man and a woman seated at a park, the man gesticulating at the woman while she stares dead-eyed at the viewer. Above the art reads the caption, “You would be so much prettier if you smiled.”
A little over a year ago, the writer Nicole Tersigni began playfully pairing historical art on social media with captions that evoke the casual sexism many women face. The memes struck a chord — each chapter of her new coffee table book, “Men to Avoid in Art and Life,” uses that concept to illustrate the different “types” of men that Tersigni and many women encounter on a regular basis. She describes five of them here.
A reality star turned activist
Porsha Williams is best known for starring in “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” one of the most-watched unscripted shows on cable. She’s also the granddaughter of the Rev. Hosea Williams, a prominent civil rights activist, and attended her first march when she was 5. In a new profile, the reporter Caity Weaver spoke with Williams about her activism since the death of George Floyd.
“We are not going to sit at home,” Williams told a local news station at a recent protest in Atlanta. “We’re going to march. We’re going to lift our voice, and we are going to be heard.”
Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Stoker who created Dracula (four letters).
Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow.
P.S. The word “megaconstellation” appeared for the first time in The Times yesterday — in an article about Amazon’s plan to put thousands of satellites in orbit — as noted by the Twitter bot @NYT_first_said.
David Leonhardt, this newsletter’s usual writer, is on break until Monday, Aug. 24.
You can see today’s print front page here.
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