Wednesday in Whitewater will be cloudy with a high of sixty-three. Sunrise is 5:32 AM and sunset 8:09 PM, for 14h 37m 20s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 60.3% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1864, Battle of Resaca begins with Union General Sherman fighting toward Atlanta.
Recommended for reading in full —
Austin Horn reports This Editor Turned What A Sheriff Said Was ‘Not News’ Into A Pulitzer-Winning Series:
Jeffery Gerritt, editor of the Palestine Herald-Press in East Texas, hadn’t planned on writing a series about inmates who were dying in county jails.
But he thought the death of a woman in jail, and the local authorities’ silence on the matter, was worth pointing out to his town of about 19,000 residents.
“Her name was Rhonda Newsome,” Gerritt told NPR. “And the local sheriff would not give me any information about her. In fact, on one of the very few phone conversations I had with him when I first got here, he told me a death in the jail is not news.”
The story led to several others on Newsome’s death and the deaths of other people in county jails across Texas. That series of stories won Gerritt and the Herald-Press the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing.
Gerritt’s series, “Death Without Conviction,” shed light on flaws in Texas’ system of review for deaths in county jails, where inmates have not been convicted of a crime. Pulitzer Administrator Dana Canedy praised Gerritt, saying he “courageously took on the local sheriff and judicial establishment, which tried to cover up these needless tragedies.”
On April 26, two California physicians posted a video on YouTube about what they said was a potentially deadly side effect of social distancing: Our immune systems will get weaker because of lack of exposure to germs. They weren’t the only ones to make this argument. In a May 4 video, a controversial and outspoken Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai—an engineer who claims to have invented email—also embraces this idea. In a May 3 YouTube video, he announced, “Viruses do not harm or kill us.” Instead, he argues, “Your body is an amazing being—it knows how to take care of itself, and that’s how we get immune health. But these politicians, the CDC and the NIH—they’re not talking about any of this. Shame on them, it’s criminal.” An article from the Minnesota-based conservative think tank the Charlemagne Institute titled “COVID-19 Lockdowns May Destroy Our Immune Systems” is currently making the rounds, too.
But the coronavirus is not a chronic immune condition; it’s a novel virus that attacks the body’s systems in ways not yet completely understood. Experts roundly reject the idea that social distancing will dangerously weaken the immune system. “A broad-based immunity weakening because of social distancing? Definitely not,” said Saad Omer, a Yale University epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist. Jennifer Reich, a sociologist who studies the spread of misinformation about health, agreed. “In order for our immune systems to be harmed by social distancing, we would have to live in sterile settings for a long time in which no bacteria or germs could affect us,” she wrote to me in an email.