Welp, let chaos reign: "A deadlocked Senate leaves DC for weekend without acting to extend $600-per-week expanded jobless benefit."
Some of us are doing just fine: "Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Facebook reported surprisingly healthy quarterly financial results, defying one of the worst economic downturns on record."
Amazon has performed particularly well: I wonder what could've helped them post $5.2 billion in profits in the last quarter...
The first dog in the US to contract COVID has died: His name was Buddy. This is the news that'll really shake the suburbs. Maybe the conservatives will at least start masking their dogs.
More COVID in the MLB: The Toronto Blue Jays will not travel to Philadelphia for a series against the Phillies this weekend because it's been revealed that two Phillies staffers have tested positive for COVID-19. There's also news that another Marlins player tested positive, bringing the Marlins' outbreak to 17 players. The Blue Jays are currently stuck on the road because the Canadian government won't let them play against American teams in Canada. Baseball isn't even a contact sport!!!
Meanwhile, tomorrow night: Gov. Inslee is expected to throw out the first pitch at the Mariners home opener against the Oakland Athletics. But wait, it gets cornier:
The team said Monday that the game ball will be delivered to Inslee with an assist from health care workers.
The workers have sent in video of themselves passing a ball on and off screen, in a virtual chain, and will encourage fans to stay safe and healthy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The hand-off will then be completed in person to Inslee, who will be on the mound at T-Mobile Park to throw out the first pitch live.
How about you Stay Home, Stay Healthy by canceling this season, MLB!! For more baseball speculation, read Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone: "Yes, baseball will forge ahead. But no one knows how much farther it will go."
Some more news about our governor, from Stranger staffer Nathalie Graham:
Gov. Jay Inslee had a press conference today: On the state's COVID-19 response. It was mostly uneventful since the news hasn't really changed (spoiler: the coronavirus isn't going anywhere). But there were a few nuggets of news. Namely, Washington's Employment Security Department will clear the backlog of unemployment cases filed in March through June by the end of tomorrow.
On masks: Inslee commended Washingtonians on their use of masks "on the business side" (in some areas, 90 to 95 percent of people entering businesses are masked up) but on the "social side" Washington is failing. You've gotta wear a mask to outdoor barbeques and indoor birthday parties, Inslee said. It all counts.
On contact tracing: To improve the state's contact tracing system, and to get people to actually pick up the phone and volunteer information, Inslee announced he's making a proclamation to "exempt personally identifiable information collected by these contact tracers from disclosure under the Public Records Act," Inslee said.
Trump wants people who've recovered from COVID to donate plasma: "We really need donations of the plasma," he said today on a visit to the American Red Cross headquarters. "To those that have had the virus, you’ve gotten through it. And I guess that means you have something very special there." Cute. If you're gay, good luck donating plasma.
Yes, COVID is in the air: That's the headline for this op-ed in the New York Times today, which talks about how finally "the World Health Organization has now formally recognized that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is airborne and that it can be carried by tiny aerosols." It's a reminder that quality masks matter, along with improving indoor airflow. More:
So what does this all mean exactly, practically?
Can you walk into an empty room and contract the virus if an infected person, now gone, was there before you? Perhaps, but probably only if the room is small and stuffy.
Can the virus waft up and down buildings via air ducts or pipes? Maybe, though that hasn’t been established.
More likely, the research suggests, aerosols matter in extremely mundane scenarios.
Seattle Times speaks out about why it's fighting an SPD subpoena: Michele Matassa Flores, the executive editor for the paper, published an article last night about their response to SPD, who have "subpoenaed outtakes from a 90-minute period at the end of May, when protests against the police killing of George Floyd ended in car fires, vandalism and looting in Seattle’s downtown retail core," as Flores describes it. Here's a part of her message, which you should read in full:
Let me be clear: Our opposition to this subpoena does not mean we wish to protect criminals.
It’s not that we want criminals to run free, or that we’re motivated by kinship with protesters. In fact, if protesters sued us for unpublished footage to argue police had brutalized them, we would react the same way. If the issue centered on a gun-rights demonstration instead of one against police brutality, we would react the same way. If any source from any public agency, private business, political party or citizen group sought raw notes or any other unpublished material from us, we would guard that material just as vigorously.
Our reasons have nothing to do with the parties involved. They have everything to do with our role — the role of journalism — in society.
Interesting updates to that story via SCC Insight.
Lee emphasized that he's trying to respect the law, while also minimizing the impact on the news media. He's cancelling his upcoming 2-week vacation so he can review all the footage.
— SCC Insight (@SCC_Insight) July 30, 2020
Recode agrees with me: They listed Rep. Pramila Jayapal as their first big winner from yesterday's historic Big Tech hearing. Their other big winner: Tim Cook (he only received about 30 minutes of questions). Their losers? Sundar Pichai and Mark Zuckerberg (although Zuck seems to win despite all types of scrutiny). Recode was split on Bezos. On one hand, he got by for the whole early half of the hearing without being asked a question, reportedly because of a tech issue (see below). On the other hand, he didn't offer any solutions to calm serious concerns about Amazon ruling the marketplace and hurting third-party vendors.
Source: The problem is Amazon's feed.
— CeciliaKang (@ceciliakang) July 29, 2020
Housekeeping: I'll be on KUOW's Week in Review tomorrow at noon with Karen Weise from the New York Times and Jennifer Lee from Q13, talking about new indoor dining restrictions, this fun economy, and all the money tech giants are making. Jeannie Yandel is guest hosting while Bill Radke is away for the summer. Tune in!
Let's end with this song Freddie Mercury made for the Olympics: It's epic. I wrote a little about it on Slog earlier today.