Europe's mutant coronavirus dominates the planet: In a study still seeking peer review, biophysicists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory say that one of the spikes on the original Wuhan virus' corona, Spike D614G, mutated and then "began spreading in Europe in early February." The mutation caused it to become more contagious in humans. "The report's authors said they felt an 'urgent need for an early warning' so that vaccines and drugs under development around the world will be effective against the mutated strain," according to the Los Angeles Times.
Senate office says it can't release Joe Biden records: Tara Reade, who accused Biden of sexual assault when she worked for his office in the early 1990s, told the New York Times she filed a contemporaneous sexual harassment complaint with "a congressional personnel office," but nobody can find it. Biden denies Reade's allegation, and to support his case he's asked the National Archives to release any records related to such a complaint. But the Senate Legal Counsel won't fulfill Biden's request one way or the other because "disclosing the existence of such specific records would amount to a prohibited disclosure under the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991.”
How concerned people are about a candidate's sexual harassment and misconduct is driven by whether the candidate is in their party. pic.twitter.com/V6TXDE15Sx
— Matt Bruenig (@MattBruenig) May 5, 2020
Colson Whitehead wins second Pulitzer Prize: The novelist and former Village Voice writer took home the fiction prize this year for The Nickel Boys, only three years after winning the prize for The Underground Railroad. Jericho Brown won the poetry prize for The Tradition, and Michael R. Jackson won the drama prize for A Strange Loop.
Costco and Kroger to limit meat sales at some stores: As coronavirus outbreaks overcome meat packing plants and slaughterhouses, major retailers are trying to ration meat a little. The Miami Herald reports that Costco is imposing "a temporary limit of three meat purchases per Costco member," and Reuters says Kroger put limits on "ground beef and fresh pork at some of its stores." If you're looking for unlimited pork, try Aldi:
Seen at the Aldi in Alexandria, MN yesterday: pic.twitter.com/EhpPBwTKyC
— Hams Without Limits/Jambons Sans Limites (@WesFlinn) May 3, 2020
Climate change will force between one and three billion people to migrate or adapt in 50 years: According to a new study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reviewed by the Washington Post, for the last 6,000 years humans have thrived in a particular "climate niche" that is "best suited for crop production, livestock and a sustainable outdoor work environment." That niche "has remained largely unchanged since 6,000 years ago," but by 2070 global warming will push billions out of that niche.
I love that the ocean doesn’t care about your career
— Alex Dimitrov (@apoemcalledlove) May 4, 2020
Oy: The three hospital workers responsible for managing and distributing the personal protective equipment at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens died of the virus, the New York Times reports in this heart-rending elegy for the approximately "32 nonmedical hospital workers in New York City who have died during the pandemic."
Father of 8 shot dead after refusing entry to woman not wearing state-mandated face mask: A family of three tried to walk into a Family Dollar Store in Flint, Michigan without wearing a face mask. A security guard said the 23-year-old daughter couldn't come in without a mask, and the family left. Shortly thereafter, the father, the son, and now the mother allegedly attacked the guard, sparking an altercation that ended with the son reportedly shooting the guard in the back of the head. The mother allegedly "shouted at and spat at" the guard, according to the BBC.
In DC (and in Washington state) doctors are worried people are dying at home in large numbers: The Washington Post reports that, "Doctors at hospitals have noticed a dearth of patients who once filled their cardiac wards and other treatment wings. They are worried those patients are not seeking...care."
Musk and Grimes spawned: Musk confirmed the news to a fan in a tweet, according to Forbes. The news comes after Musk blew up the bad website again by tweeting in all-caps about the need to reopen the economy and the overvaluation of his own company's stock.
Some Washington state parks reopen today: Here's the full list, courtesy of the Seattle Times.
Puyallup gym tells people to "exercise your rights" and come back despite pandemic: Could you imagine if any lefty activist threatened to spread disease as part of a "protest" against the government, as old Shane Cowhig is doing at his Northwest Fitness Company down south, according to King 5? And yes I do remember when Dan licked all those doorknobs in Gary Bauer's Iowa campaign headquarters, but that was back in the time before consequences and repercussions, when the Stranger was way better than it is now, which was right after the time when the Stranger was way better than it was then, etc. The point is a guy name Cowhig says he is opening his gym in Puyallup in defiance of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order. “We don't feel like we're defying [the Governor's] order,” Cowhig told King 5. “We feel like it's within our legal rights to protest, and that's what we're doing, and we're just inviting our members to do that with us.”
Yet another opening in the middle of a pandemic: The Stillaguamish plan to reopen the Angel of the Winds Casino Resort in the North Sound on May 11, according to the local Fox affiliate. They're one of the few tribes considering opening casinos this early in the month.
Golf is coming back: According to the West Seattle Blog, people already have tee times booked at Seattle's municipal golf courses, which will open today, and which the city hasn't yet transformed into rows and rows of affordable housing because...something about a tree and children only appreciating nature if some insufferable suburbanite is showing them how to ruin a perfectly good walk.
Man found floating dead in Elliott Bay: "About a mile west of Colman Dock around noon," says the local Sinclair station in a news brief.
Man presumed drowned near Cedar Ponds Waterfall: On Sunday Snohomish County got word of a man jumping into the water near the falls. "On his last jump, the man did not come up," reports Q13 Fox.
Dave Matthews Band concerts canceled: DMB won't be crashing the Gorge this upcoming Labor Day weekend due to the pandemic, and you'll never guess who is devastated.