The Daily Dose: California state of emergency; The case against Trump’s travel ban

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Authorities in America continue to grapple with the simmering COVID-19 outbreak. Confirmed cases on the West Coast are rising steadily. “California has declared a state of emergency after announcing its first coronavirus death, bringing the US death toll from the disease to 11… The 71-year-old man, who died in a hospital near Sacramento, had underlying health conditions and had been on a cruise ship, said officials… The White House moved on Wednesday to expand testing nationwide for the disease… There are now at least 150 reported US patients with Covid-19 in 16 states.” Major cities are emerging as hotspots in the United States with New York City, Seattle, and Chicago joining Los Angeles with SARS-CoV-19 infections.

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a report on the first U.S. case of COVID-19. According to First Case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus in the United States, “We report the clinical features of the first reported patient with 2019-nCoV infection in the United States. Key aspects of this case included the decision made by the patient to seek medical attention after reading public health warnings about the outbreak; recognition of the patient’s recent travel history to Wuhan by local providers, with subsequent coordination among local, state, and federal public health officials; and identification of possible 2019-nCoV infection, which allowed for prompt isolation of the patient and subsequent laboratory confirmation of 2019-nCoV, as well as for admission of the patient for further evaluation and management.” The detailed case report contains x-rays, temperature charts, and lab test results.

The Trump Administration’s travel ban on citizens from select countries are bound to ensnare good people who just want to do their thing. Blacklisted nations include Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan and Tanzania, Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, North Korea, and Venezuela. A Nigerian scientist makes the case that the ban seriously impinges his ability to conduct research. Moreover, he questions the wisdom of including his country on the list. According to the author, “ In 2018, according to the New American Economy research group, more than 645,000 immigrants arrived in the United States from the 6 countries recently added to the travel ban; more than half of these immigrants were Nigerian. I do not see how my country can be considered a threat to the United States. The two countries have close diplomatic, economic and social ties. The United Nations estimated that some 1.24 million people made up the Nigerian diaspora in 2017, with the United States attracting the vast majority of emigrants, and numbers were growing.”

What’s in a name? A lot, apparently. “The Mars 2020 rover was the subject of a nationwide naming contest in 2019 that drew more than 28,000 essays by K-12 students from every U.S. state and territory. Nearly 4,700 volunteer judges – educators, professionals, and space enthusiasts from around the country – helped narrow the pool down to 155 semifinalists. A second round of judging selected the nine finalist essays that were open to an online public poll before Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, made the final selection.” The space agency will reveal the name of the rover later today. The press conference will be streamed live on, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

And finally, there’s a few job openings at NASA. Dreamers and explorers should apply. “For the first time in more than four years, NASA began accepting applications Monday for future astronauts. Aspiring Moon to Mars explorers have until 11:59 p.m. EDT Tuesday, March 31, to apply… The call for more astronauts comes at a time when the agency is preparing to send the first woman and next man to the Moon with the Artemis program. Exploring the Moon during this decade will help prepare humanity for its next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars… U.S. citizens may submit applications to #BeAnAstronaut at:” If that’s not a dream job, we don’t know what is.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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