Coronavirus disaster in Trump’s and Bezos’ USA

This 1 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Activists Paint Message Outside Jeff Bezos’ Mansion | NowThis

Activists painted a mural outside Jeff Bezos’ house demanding the billionaire CEO do more to protect Amazon workers — 2 hours later, it was gone.

In US news and current events today, activists painted a mural outside of Jeff Bezos’ D.C. home on April 29, demanding that the CEO do more to protect Amazon workers.

Less than two hours after the mural was complete, it was washed away by a masked worker with a hose. A coalition of workers from Amazon, Instacart, Whole Foods, and others, is planning to strike on May 1. This follows a month of actions taken by front-line workers demanding, among other things, more protective gear and hazard pay.

WORKERS FORCED TO CHOOSE BETWEEN INFECTION OR LOSING UNEMPLOYMENT CHECKS Some of the millions of American workers laid off because of the coronavirus are beginning to face a tough choice — return to work and risk infection, or stay home and risk losing unemployment payments. The decision is most pressing in states where governors have started allowing businesses such as restaurants to reopen. Tyler Price, 26, was called back to his job at Del Frisco’s Grille in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood. Price says he’s “highly susceptible” to respiratory illness and was hospitalized with pneumonia as a child. [HuffPost]

MARYLAND’S GOP GOVERNOR HID TESTS SO FEDS CAN’T TAKE THEM Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said he’s been forced to resort to drastic measures to protect nearly 500,000 COVID-19 test kits from the federal government. The state bought the test kits from South Korea earlier this month, and the state’s National Guard is guarding them in a secret location to prevent them from being commandeered by the Trump administration. [HuffPost]

[Donald Trump’s Vice President] PENCE DONS MASK AFTER MAYO CLINIC FIASCO Meanwhile, the reporter who tweeted about the Mayo Clinic face mask fiasco says he was banned from future Pence trips. [HuffPost]

DESPITE WARNINGS, TEXAS IS REOPENING Earlier this week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued multiple executive orders that will effectively open the state for in-person business on May 1, relaxing social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic. Soon, employees will trickle back into businesses as relaxed travel restrictions bring more people into the state. But experts fear that the state hasn’t done its due diligence in testing for COVID-19 and doesn’t have a strong enough plan to mitigate risks for returning workers, who are disproportionately Black and Latino. Governors in several other states also are relaxing restrictions as of today. [HuffPost]

PUERTO RICANS ARE STILL WAITING FOR STIMULUS CHECKS Tens of millions of people across the U.S. have received coronavirus stimulus checks from the federal government, but one group of Americans is still waiting for theirs: people in Puerto Rico. While the COVID-19 pandemic and related shutdowns have left a record number of people across the country jobless, the U.S. Treasury still has not approved a plan to distribute $1,200 relief payments to residents of Puerto Rico. [HuffPost]

FEDERAL PRISONS HAMMERED BY CORONAVIRUS The Bureau of Prisons, the largest prison system in the world’s most incarcerated nation, had a number of deep-rooted problems long before COVID-19 and recently came under national scrutiny over the death of multimillionaire sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein. The pandemic has highlighted how unprepared BOP was for such a health care crisis. At least 33 inmates in the federal system have died of the coronavirus. As of Thursday, nearly 1,700 inmates and 349 BOP staffers had confirmed cases ― and the true number is likely to be far higher. [HuffPost]

Flamingos take over Mumbai city, India

This 30 April 2020 video from India says about itself:

Flamingoes flourish amid lockdown

This year, an exceptional number of flamingos have migrated to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

They have been mostly spotted near the creeks and wetlands around Navi Mumbai,

The Talawe wetland in Navi Mumbai has begun to witness an increased number of flamingos.

Among the huge flocks are two different species – greater flamingos and lesser flamingos.

Greater flamingos are taller and their plumage is more white than pink.

Lesser flamingos are shorter and are more pink in colour.

According to Bombay Natural History Society around 150,000 flamingos visited the Mumbai Metropolitan Region this year

It is 25% higher as compared to last year

This increase in number is mainly being attributed to the successful breeding of flamingos in 2018, which has resulted in large flocks of juveniles visiting this year.

The nationwide [coronavirus] lockdown has also clearly contributed to this mass migration.

The reduction in pollution along with the improvement in the quality of algae have attracted the unusually large number of flamingos.

Not just in India, there have been occurrences of mass migration of flamingos in different parts of the world too.

In Albania, flamingos and pelicans are flourishing amid lockdown.

At the Lagoon of Narta in Albania, the birds have been able to flourish without being disturbed by fishing boats, ferries, and tourists.

These flamingoes have come from Italy, Greece, Spain, France and Africa.

The numbers have increased by almost a third when compared to normal.

See also here.

Bolsonaro makes Brazil coronavirus mass graves country

This 30 April 2020 video says about itself:

Brazilians dig mass graves as Bolsonaro dismisses COVID-19 pandemic as ‘a little flu’

Sky News’ Stuart Ramsay reports on mass graves being dug near Sao Paulo in Brazil, as the country is becoming overwhelmed by coronavirus.

One team of workers said they were digging 800 graves a day, but were still unable to keep up.

The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro had previously dismissed coronavirus, calling it a “light flu”.

This 1 May 2020 video says about itself:

Brazil’s city of Manaus resorts to mass graves as country’s coronavirus death toll soars

The Brazilian city of Manaus has been burying five coffins at a time in collective graves, as the Amazon rain forest’s biggest city sees its death toll spike because of the coronavirus outbreak and its hospital units submerged. Brazil is the most affected country in South American, having surpassed China’s death toll. Manaus and São Paulo are amongst the epicenters in the country.

Brazilian nurses fired for striking in Manaus over PPE. By Tomas Castanheira, 1 May 2020. Thirteen Brazilian nurses were fired after striking on Monday, along with hundreds of their colleagues at the 28 de Agosto Hospital, in the Amazonian capital of Manaus.

This 23 April 2020 video says about itself:

Dozens of coffins were taken to a public cemetery in Manaus, northwest Brazil. Earlier this week, authorities decided to use mass graves to bury COVID-19 victims.

An excavator dug the giant grave at Nossa Senhora de Aparecida Cemetery, where the coffins were buried, while relatives and friends paid their last respects to their loved ones. According to local authorities, since the pandemic, the number of burials has more than tripled, going from an average of 30 to 100 a day.

Almost 80 percent of the COVID-19 cases in the state were concentrated in the capital. The country has reported more than 43,000 confirmed cases and over 2,700 deaths.

This 1 May 2020 video says about itself:

Brazil: Drone footage shows hundreds of graves dug in Sao Paulo cemetery amid coronavirus outbreak

Aerial footage filmed on Saturday captured Latin America’s largest cemetery Vila Formosa in Sao Paulo getting ready for mass burials amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Footage filmed at Brazil’s biggest city shows hundreds of newly dug graves in preparation for a faster increase of burials.

According to reports, the cemetery has seen an increase of burials of people with purportedly coronavirus-like symptoms, for which new guidelines had been set up at the graveyard limiting the length of ceremonies and mourners being able to attend.

Brazil is the hardest-hit country in South America by COVID-19.

This 4 April 2020 video says about itself:

Bolsonaro under fire as mass graves dug in coronavirus hit Brazil

Brazil’s hard-Right president is facing mounting pressure over his increasingly isolated position on coronavirus, as infectious disease specialists warn that his strategy will lead to the “total collapse” of the country’s health system.

The maverick former Army captain, often dubbed “Trump of the Tropics“, has become a global outlier in his continuing efforts to minimise the severity of the pandemic, despite the country’s mounting death toll.

COVID-19 crisis in the USA

This 1 May 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

May Day People’s Strike! Target, Amazon, Instacart Workers Demand Safe Conditions & Pandemic Relief

This May Day, an unprecedented coalition of essential workers from Amazon, Instacart, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target and FedEx are calling out sick or walking out during their lunch break to demand better health and safety conditions, along with hazard pay. Others are joining them for May Day actions that include rent strikes, car caravan protests and online organizing calling for a “People’s Bailout” and economic recovery plan that prioritizes workers.

We speak with Kali Akuno, co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson, which issued a call for a people’s strike starting May 1. “The corporations and the government are willing to sacrifice tens of thousands of us,” Akuno says. “We have to put people before profits.”

Dozens of decaying corpses found piled in unrefrigerated trucks at New York City funeral home. By Philip Guelpa, 1 May 2020. More than 18,000 New York City residents have so far died from COVID-19, and the city’s ability to deal with the bodies is at the breaking point.

Millions spent by Trump to “salute” health care workers with military flyovers. By Trévon Austin, 1 May 2020. Vast sums of money are being spent to fly military aircraft over America’s hospitals while health care workers still lack adequate protection from the coronavirus

At least 31 US states easing restrictions despite rising pandemic death toll. By Kate Randall, 1 May 2020. Trump is promoting a reckless and criminal policy of reopening the economy, placing the health and lives of countless millions of Americans in danger.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman calls for letting COVID-19 run rampant. By Andre Damon, 1 May 2020. Friedman has published an op-ed endorsing a policy of allowing large portions of the US population to be infected with COVID-19.

Remdesivir as “miracle drug”: Back-to-work propaganda vs. science. 1 May 2020. The media’s adulation of this “breakthrough” takes place in the midst of an increasingly frenzied effort to create the impression that the virus is “under control” and the crisis is all but over: here.

Detroit mayor pushes back-to-work agenda as COVID-19 cases rise across Michigan. By Kevin Reed, 1 May 2020. The number of confirmed cases and deaths across the state of Michigan continues rising as Democratic Governor Whitmer and Mayor Mike Duggan push for a rapid reopening of Detroit.

Florida governor reopening state while suppressing reporting of COVID-19 deaths. By Matthew MacEgan, 1 May 2020. The Florida Department of Health is blocking medical examiners from reporting the accurate number of COVID-19 deaths.

As US unemployment reaches Great Depression levels, millions still unable to obtain assistance. By Shannon Jones, 1 May 2020. With the official jobless rate expected to reach 20 percent, millions find they cannot get state unemployment benefits as overloaded systems crash.

Grey wagtail collects food for youngsters

This 1 May 2020 video from North Brabant province in the Netherlands says about itself (translated):

“On the banks of the Dommel river, this grey wagtail collects food for its hungry youngsters. The nesting place is in a nest box under a bridge over the Dommel”, writes filmmaker Martien van Beekveld.

COVID-19 disaster in Britain

This 30 April 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

Shocking: UK on Course for 50,000 to 100,000 Coronavirus Deaths | Prof John Ashton

“We’ve now had more people die from Covid-19 than were killed in the Blitz

00:00 50,000 to 100,000 00:52 Shocking Guardian story 03:51 Government interfering with the judicial process? 05:21 Re-writing history 06:18 Dominic Cummings & SAGE 08:50 Elderly patients discharged from NHS Hospitals caused outbreaks in Care Homes 10:29 Everyday, something new 12:23 Government to extend lockdown to June? 13:00 100,000 tests a day? 13:36 We need to learn from other countries

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Poor people in England in particular die from coronavirus

In deprived neighbourhoods in England, twice as many people die from the coronavirus as in wealthy neighbourhoods, according to figures from the British Central Bureau of Statistics. In poorer neighborhoods (March 1 to April 17), 55.1 people per 100,000 inhabitants died, while that figure in wealthy neighbourhoods was 25.3.

London is the hardest hit place in the country. There, 85.7 people per 100,000 inhabitants died.

By Bethany Rielly in Britain, 1 May 2020:

Foodbank use skyrockets amid global pandemic

Trussell Trust reports 81% increase in emergency parcels

STAGGERING numbers of people are being forced into food poverty with charities reporting hikes in foodbank use of up to 80 per cent since the Covid-19 outbreak.

The skyrocketing need sparked by the pandemic and lockdown has prompted a coalition of charities to call for emergency measures to prevent people “being swept into destitution.”

One of the charities, the Trussell Trust, said today that in the last two weeks of March its foodbanks had given out 81 per cent more emergency food parcels than the same period the previous year.

Johnson pledges to “restart the economy” as pandemic rages in UK. By Robert Stevens, 1 May 2020. The continuing loss of life barely registered with a national media obsessed with reporting which chain store is opening its doors, when the lockdown “exit strategy” might be announced, and the prime minister’s new baby.

From the World Socialist Web Site, 1 May 2020:

UK protest in south London over non-essential work

A protest was organised by the Lambeth coronavirus action group on April 18 against plans by the Labour-controlled council to demolish one of its properties, Olive Morris House in Brixton, so a newbuild project can go ahead. The protesters highlighted the non-essential nature of the work in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus enriches Amazon Bezos, kills Amazon workers

This 2 March 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Viral TikTok Uses Rice to Show How Rich Jeff Bezos Is | NowThis

The Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, is absurdly rich, but how much? This man posted a now-viral TikTok that shows just how rich Jeff Bezos is, and he used grains of rice to illustrate it. The man behind the viral TikTok showed what different increments of wealth would be using rice and finally showed how rich Jeff Bezos is with a GIANT pile of rice. Check out the TikTok for yourself.

BezosAmazon profits from the COVIDG-19 crisis. Today, Dutch NOS radio reports (translated):

Corona crisis gives Amazon extra growth spurt; nearly $ 10,000 in sales per second

Web store giant Amazon is profiting greatly from the coronavirus crisis. First-quarter sales reached more than $ 75 billion, about 26 percent more than the first quarter of last year.

Amazon has a market value of more than 1 trillion euros, or 1000 billion.

Meanwhile …

This 21 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Amazon Workers To Protest Over COVID-19

More than 300 workers across 50 facilities have signed up to take part in the multi-day protests.