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What’s Going On

COVID19 UPDATES
The states, eager to re-open after the COVID19 Pause, face insurmountable public health and economic challenges like virus surges and the concomitant public health expenditures. States like Texas, Florida, Arizona, Georgia have large infections and their hospital systems are all close to capacity. While infections and hospitalization rates rage, they are not experiencing the high death rates that devastated states like NY and NJ. Medics in current surge states learned lessons from the northeast COVID crises and are better able to treat infected people. They benefit from meds like remdesivir, which were not used during the early phase of the health crisis and which is a de rigueur today. Governors in the surge states are rescinding some re-open practices and are stipulating COVID19 precautions like social distancing and face masks. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Joe Biden VEEP short lister, tested COVID positive this week.

The US will pay Maryland-based drug manufacturer, Novavax, $1.6 billion to develop 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by early 2021. This company has never brought a product to market. The commitment falls under a federal initiative, Operation Warp Seed, created to get a coronavirus vaccine ASAP.

Last week, the US Senate and Congress voted to extend of the PPP (Payment Protection Program) application date to August 8. This enables small to medium sized US businesses to apply for PPP’s forgivable loans. The program is part of the $2 trillion CARES Act aimed at small businesses affected by the coronavirus lockdowns. There’s still $130 billion in unused funds under the PPP.

On July 6, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell talked about another round of direct-payment stimulus checks for low income Americans, those earning $40,000 or less. He warned that the next round of stimulus spending would be the last. Does his 2020 US Senate race influence his thinking? The US House of Representatives already proposed a $3 trillion stimulus package last month, which McConnell said that would be DOA. Rent subsidies should accompany the next stimulus package to allay fears of eviction for the unemployed and to accelerate the US economy’s recovery.

Dana Canedy

ARTS/CULTURE
Dana Canedy, 55, named new publisher of Simon and Schuster, major American book emporium, of CBSViacom, on July 27. She is the first Black woman to head S&S as publisher, and the first African American to head a major imprint. A former NY Times writer and Pulitzer Prize administrator, Canedy succeeds Jonathan Karp who was promoted to S&S President/CEO. Current Simon & Schuster titles are the #1 bestseller “The Room Where It Happened”, a Trump tell-all by former National Security Advisor John Bolton, and “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” written about President Trump by his niece, clinical psychologist, Dr. Mary Trump (in stores July 14).

Tracy Sherrod

Two magazine articles are must read items: The NY Times Magazine essay, “America’s Enduring Caste System; Our Founding ideals promise liberty and equality for all” by Isabel Wilkerson, who wrote the highly acclaimed bestseller book, “The Warmth of Other Suns,” about the great Black migration from the South circa 1915. The NYT essay “A Conflicted Cultural Force: What It’s Like to Be Black in Publishing,” starring Linda Duggins, Errol McDonald, Cherise Fisher, Janifer Wilson, Kerri K. Greenidge, and Ebony LaDette, and Tracey Sherrod. Their titles cover the waterfront, from author to literary agent, marketer, publicist, editor and to bookseller.

BOOK NOTES: The following are some newly published nonfiction book titles about Blacks, race, and racism, all great for summer reading and beyond. Writer Karu Daniels, back to the NY Daily, recommends the following books: 1) How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi; 2) Our Time Is Now by Stacey Abrams, who is on Biden’s short list for VEEP; 3) Me And White Supremacy by Layla F Saas; 4) My Vanishing Country, by Denmark, South Carolina’s Bakari Sellers, which is “part memoir, part history, and cultural analysis… (of ) The South’s past, present and future”; 5) Becoming by Michelle Obama; 6) When We Free The World by NY social and political activist, Kevin Powell, a “collection of essays about America yesterday, today, and the future;” and “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in A World Made For Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown.

Eddie Glaude

For the insatiable reader, still undecided about his/her 2020 Presidential choice, get a copy of “The Room Where It Happened” by former White House official John Bolton, but if your tastes lean more towards family dirt and disclosure, read “Too Much and Never Enough” by Dr. Mary Trump, the President’s niece.

Princeton Professor Eddie Glaude’s book, “BEGIN AGAIN: James Baldwin’s “America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own” will dominate bestseller lists this summer. Invoking his literary/intellectual muse, Glaude’s work is “equal parts biography, literary analysis, memoir and pieces of American history,” says the Kirkus Book review.
A Harlem-based brand/media consultant, Victoria is reachable at Victoria.horsford@gmail.com

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