We could have prevented hundreds of thousands of COVID deaths. That’s according to Dr. Deborah Birx, who spoke about her uncomfortable conversations with Trump this weekend. After the first wave of 100,000 or so, she said, “All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially." Cool cool cool.
The King County Sheriff is in trouble. Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht sent an insensitive email last week, responding to a settlement in a case concerning a cop who killed a Burien high school student. Johanknecht’s internal email appears critical of the agreement; King County Councilmember Joe McDermott said that it was disrespectful and she should resign.
The Suez Canal ship is floating. High tide helped get the Ever Given unstuck. It's still not quite ready to continue its journey — it still needs to move a bit further before it's fully floating, and it'll need an inspection to make sure it's not damaged. But with any luck, soon it will be on its way and ready to deliver its precious cargo: Twenty thousand containers full of hot pants. (Just kidding, I haven't been able to find any info about what it's carrying. But let's assume.)
New York will legalize weed. Lawmakers reached an agreement this weekend that includes an “equity program” for people whose lives were upended by the war on drugs. They’re probably referring to David Bowie.
You won’t need to prove your eligibility to get a vaccine anymore. But that doesn’t mean you should run out and get one! They’re just going to be using the honor system. Previously, you had to prove that you belonged to an eligible group; now they’ll just take your word for it. What could go wrong? Eligibility for all people opens up on May 1; Jenny Durkan says it should be open now. If you’re feeling up for a long drive, starting today vaccines are available for any adult that wants one in North Dakota.
This was the first weekend of Phase 3 re-openings. Tons of businesses were able to open — or to serve more customers — this weekend. I took a walk around Capitol Hill on Saturday night and saw larger groups than I have in an entire year. It feels a little premature to me — cases right now are about equal to the highest levels during last summer — but wow I can't deny that it feels really good to see so much human activity. I hope this isn't a mistake.
Derek Chauvin's murder trial begins today: Chauvin faces charges of manslaughter and second- and third-degree murder for killing George Floyd 10 months ago. Watch the proceedings live:
There were more #StopAsianHate rallies this weekend. This Sunday saw rallies across the country, including here in Seattle. Check out this thread for some photos:
More rallies in support of Amazon unionization, and in opposition to police violence. The Seattle chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America staged a big rally in South Lake Union this weekend in support of Alabama workers’ attempts to unionize. They’re also planning a rally on Tuesday to ask the Seattle Foundation to stop giving money to the Seattle Police Department.
Christians are trying to cancel Lil Nas X for the wrong reason. Every conservative commentator flailing around for something to complain about since WAP dried up had a great weekend, clutching their pearls over a new music video in which Lil Nas X gives a lap dance to the devil. (There’s also an unofficial shoe that goes along with the video, which is I guess a thing we’re doing now???) But do you want to know the REAL scandal? It’s that after tweeting at SonicFox last year that he wanted a fursuit, Lil Nas X just revealed that he bought a knockoff of someone else’s. SHAME.
Lindsay Ellis deleted her Twitter. Aw that’s a bummer. I’m a big fan of her pop culture criticism, but she was getting bombarded with angry tweets after writing that she found Disney’s new Raya movie similar to Avatar: The Last Airbender. Her Instagram’s still up, as is her YouTube channel.
You’re about to get a ton of new flight options out of town. This week Alaska Airlines will join the oneworld alliance, an airline-industry partnership that is annoyingly styled in all lowercase like they’re fucking e. e. cummings. The upshot is that you’ll have a bunch of new flight options to international locations … if those countries will take us filthy diseased Americans.
The new plaza on Capitol Hill isn’t good enough. Construction is nearly done on the street that runs past Cal Anderson Park, the light rail station, and the plaza where the Farmer’s Market will get its new permanent home. But the street, renamed East Barbara Bailey Way, is a little disappointing, with cars invited to zoom through what should be a 24/7 pedestrian area. It should be blocked to traffic at all times. (BTW the same goes for Ballard Ave.)
Arkansas vs children. Today Arkansas lawmakers will consider HB 1570, which could send doctors to jail for providing medical care to transgender youth. Last week, the Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill preventing trans kids from participating in sports activities.
The Japanese Garden is open again. It’s very very pretty. You should go.
Another great monologue from Bowen Yang. I forgot what it was like to have a reason to watch Saturday Night Live.