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Daily Bread for 10.16.20

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of fifty-two.  Sunrise is 7:11 AM and sunset 6:09 PM, for 10h 58m 07s of daytime.  The moon is new with 0.2% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand four hundred thirty-eighth day. 

 On this day in 1780, the Great Hurricane of 1780 finishes after its sixth day, killing between 20,000 and 24,000 residents of the Lesser Antilles.

Recommended for reading in full — 

James Bandler, Patricia Callahan, Sebastian Rotella, and Kirsten Berg report Inside the Fall of the CDC (‘How the world’s greatest public health organization was brought to its knees by a virus, the president and the capitulation of its own leaders, causing damage that could last much longer than the coronavirus’):

With more than 216,000 people dead this year, most Americans know the low points of the current chapter already. A vaunted agency that was once the global gold standard of public health has, with breathtaking speed, become a target of anger, scorn and even pity.

How could an agency that eradicated smallpox globally and wiped out polio in the United States have fallen so far?

ProPublica obtained hundreds of emails and other internal government documents and interviewed more than 30 CDC employees, contractors and Trump administration officials who witnessed or were involved in key moments of the crisis. Although news organizations around the world have chronicled the CDC’s stumbles in real time, ProPublica’s reporting affords the most comprehensive inside look at the escalating tensions, paranoia and pained discussions that unfolded behind the walls of CDC’s Atlanta headquarters. And it sheds new light on the botched COVID-19 tests, the unprecedented political interference in public health policy, and the capitulations of some of the world’s top public health leaders.

Senior CDC staff describe waging battles that are as much about protecting science from the White House as protecting the public from COVID-19. It is a war that they have, more often than not, lost.

Employees spoke openly about their “hill to die on” — the political interference that would prompt them to leave. Yet again and again, they surrendered and did as they were told. It wasn’t just worries over paying mortgages or forfeiting the prestige of the job. Many feared that if they left and spoke out, the White House would stop consulting the CDC at all, and would push through even more dangerous policies.

To some veteran scientists, this acquiescence was the real sign that the CDC had lost its way. One scientist swore repeatedly in an interview and said, “The cowardice and the caving are disgusting to me.”

 Kari Paul reports Twitter suspends accounts for posing as Black Trump supporters:

Twitter has suspended a network of accounts claiming to be owned by Black supporters of Donald Trump and his re-election campaign due to spam and platform manipulation, it said Tuesday.

The company is investigating the activity and may suspend additional similar accounts if they are found to be violating its policies, a spokesperson said.

The Washington Post first reported on the investigation, citing more than a dozen accounts using identical, inauthentic language including the phrase: “YES IM BLACK AND IM VOTING FOR TRUMP!!!”

A review of some of the suspended accounts shows they often used stolen images to appear real. The accounts sometimes claimed to be owned by military veterans or members of law enforcement.

This is not the first time Twitter has had to address a spam operation claiming to be led by Black voters. NBC News also reported spam operations from fake accounts posing as Black Trump supporters in August.

 Is Supersonic Flight About to Boom?:

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