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16 Jan
Hospitals remain overflowing with patients and infection rates are hovering at dangerous levels.

However, there are a few signs that things may be turning around in California.
@skarlamangla @LukeMMoney @ronlin report
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The daily increase in the # of coronavirus cases is beginning to flatten.

Officials are voicing cautious optimism that the daily worsening of the pandemic has slowed.

Check out our graph showing coronavirus cases:
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“We’ve seen some encouraging signs,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said. “But now, more than ever, it’s incumbent upon us not to let our guard down."

There are some theories about why California is seeing cases fall:
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Read 7 tweets
16 Jan
In his final days in office, President Trump has effectively stopped doing his job.

@EliStokols explains latimes.com/politics/story…
Trump has been delegating daily responsibilities to Mike Pence while hunkering down with a small group of aides and contemplating additional presidential pardons. latimes.com/politics/story…
Since the pro-Trump mob smashed through the Capitol, Pence has taken over.

Pence was the one who authorized the deployment of the National Guard to quell the mob.

Trump's administration did extend one traditional courtesy to Biden this week latimes.com/politics/story… Image
Read 6 tweets
16 Jan
Breaking: During his first days in office, President-elect Joe Biden plans to send legislation to congress that would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million immigrants who are in the country without legal status.

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Biden’s legislation does not include money to support detention and deportation. Previous immigration bills passed under both Democratic and Republican administrations linked an expansion of immigration with stepped-up enforcement and security measures. latimes.com/california/sto… Image
The bill would provide a shorter pathway to citizenship for people with Temporary Protected Status, for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients and likely also for certain frontline essential workers, vast numbers of whom are immigrants. latimes.com/california/sto…
Read 6 tweets
16 Jan
In the crowded kitchen of a McDonald’s in Oakland, it was as though the coronavirus didn’t exist.

Social distancing wasn’t enforced in the early weeks of the pandemic. As workers boxed Big Macs and bagged orders, they often stood shoulder to shoulder.
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There weren’t enough masks, so managers told workers to improvise, offering up a box of dog diapers somebody had left at the store. Often, the outlet was so busy that workers said they had no time to wash their hands, let alone disinfect the countertops.
When the coronavirus surged through the store in May, employees — even those with symptoms — said they were pressured to keep working, according to formal complaints filed with the local health department and the state.

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Read 8 tweets
15 Jan
Five large COVID-19 vaccination sites are slated to open next week in Los Angeles County:

• Pomona Fairplex
• The Forum in Inglewood
• Cal State Northridge
• L.A. County Office of Education in Downey
• Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia
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Each site is expected to vaccinate 4,000 people a day. Appointments and proof of employment in the healthcare industry will be required to get the shot, the county said. The five sites are expected to remain open for at least four weeks.
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They are run separately from the city’s Dodger Stadium vaccine site.

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Read 4 tweets
15 Jan
Jesus Alegria was skateboarding with some friends at a Compton park on an afternoon in April when Deputy Miguel Vega and his partner, Chris Hernandez, pulled up.
🧵👇
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Hands on their holsters, the deputies approached a group of teens. Alegria and his friends shouted at them to stop harassing the kids. The deputies, he said, rounded on them and words were exchanged. latimes.com/california/sto…
Vega suddenly grabbed Alegria’s wrists and shoved him into the back of the patrol car. The deputy didn’t handcuff him and didn’t ask Alegria’s name. latimes.com/california/sto…
Read 10 tweets
15 Jan
Can workers be fired if they refuse to get vaccinated? Should they lose their jobs if they won’t do their part to achieve herd immunity?

Questions like these will be asked with increasing frequency as more doses of COVID-19 vaccine become available. latimes.com/science/story/…
The legal issues alone are complicated.

An employer can establish a mandatory vaccination policy if the need for it is job-related or if remaining unvaccinated would pose a direct threat to other employees, customers or themselves. latimes.com/science/story/…
But there are two main exceptions.

Employees can object to the vaccine if they think it will exacerbate an established disability or medical condition. They can also turn it down if it goes against their sincerely held religious belief. latimes.com/science/story/…
Read 6 tweets
15 Jan
More than 530 Californians are now dying every day from COVID-19, pushing several counties past new, grim milestones.

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Just this week, Santa Clara County and Sacramento County each reported its 1,000th cumulative COVID-19 death, while San Diego County notched its 2,000th.
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And Los Angeles County, long the epicenter of California’s coronavirus outbreak, officially surpassed 13,000 pandemic-related fatalities Thursday — a death toll larger than all but nine states.
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Read 4 tweets
15 Jan
Branding experts say the Trump Organization may never recover from the past four years.

@hugomartin explains: latimes.com/business/story…
The cost of Trump’s incendiary presidential career started adding up on Day One.

Macy’s department stores stopped selling his menswear collection after his first campaign event. A few months later, Trump lost a partner that sold Trump furniture. latimes.com/business/story…
Since then, Trump’ outrageous comments and presidential actions have lost his business empire a slate of lucrative partners and investors. latimes.com/business/story…
Read 6 tweets
15 Jan
New data show public health officials failed to quickly deliver shots to the vast majority of California’s most vulnerable residents, who were supposed to be the priority.latimes.com/california/sto…
As of Sunday, only about 5% of long-term care facility residents in the statewide vaccination program — including people in skilled nursing homes and assisted living centers — had been vaccinated, according to state data obtained by The Times.
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And while the vaccines became available in the U.S. in mid-December, only 3% of California facilities in the program had been scheduled for their first visit from a vaccination team as of Sunday, the data show.
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Read 6 tweets
15 Jan
It's a different kind of opening day at Dodger Stadium.

A new vaccination site will open this morning at 8 a.m for healthcare workers with appointments.
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As California officials rush to set up vaccination “super sites” at Dodger Stadium, Disneyland and other major landmarks, they’re facing even bigger hurdles than in the early days of mass coronavirus testing.

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The plan goes like this: Anyone eligible for a vaccine will be able to drive to the Stadium, roll down their window and get an injection.

About 12,000 people a day will get shots under the ambitious goals for what will probably be one of the country’s largest vaccination sites.
Read 6 tweets
15 Jan
The stimulus law passed by Congress in late December includes $25 billion in rental relief funds.

@khouriandrew explains what you should know about that money: latimes.com/business/story…
Who is eligible?

Households who make 80% or less of the median income in their area and include at least one person who qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a financial hardship because of the pandemic. (1/2) latimes.com/business/story…
Households must also show they are at risk of homelessness or housing instability. (2/2) latimes.com/business/story…
Read 7 tweets
14 Jan
We’ve got bad news for Disneyland fans.

The theme park will eventually reopen — but it’ll no longer offer its current annual pass program latimes.com/entertainment-…
The popular multi-tiered ticketing system, which shifted the culture of the two Anaheim theme parks in a way that it became a regular hangout for many Southern Californians, is being axed
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A replacement for its annual pass program is not expected to be implemented until the pandemic allows the Disneyland Resort to be at or near its pre-COVID era attendance.

More on what to expect 👇
latimes.com/entertainment-…
Read 11 tweets
14 Jan
Some county health officials are pushing back against the claim that all residents 65 and older — a group of nearly 6 million individuals — were immediately eligible now for a coveted dose.

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In many areas of California, it is going to take time and patience before residents over 65 years old have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
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“Expanding the list of who is eligible for the vaccine does not get us more doses,” said Kat DeBurgh, executive director of the Health Officers Assn. of California. “It does not get us more vaccinators, or any of the other resources we need to effectively run our operations.”
Read 4 tweets
14 Jan
One in three Los Angeles County residents have been infected with the coronavirus, according to new estimates by county scientists, an astonishing sign of how rapidly the virus is spreading in the hard-hit region.

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The estimate, based on scientific modeling, means officials believe more than 3 million of L.A. County’s 10 million residents have been infected with the coronavirus, including nearly 13,000 who have died.
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That’s more than triple the cumulative number of coronavirus cases that have been confirmed by testing. Officials have long believed that testing only captures a certain percentage of those who are infected because many with the virus don’t show symptoms or have only symptoms.
Read 8 tweets
14 Jan
As the coronavirus spreads relentlessly through Los Angeles County, poor neighborhoods and the region’s Latino and Black communities continue to bear the brunt of illness and death.

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These groups have been disproportionately hard hit since the beginning of the pandemic, but the gap had eased during the summer. That progress has disappeared and members of those communities are now dying at rates far worse than at any previous point.

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People living in the most impoverished neighborhoods of the county are now averaging about 36 deaths a day per 100,000 residents. By contrast, those living in the wealthiest areas are experiencing about 10 deaths a day per 100,000 residents.

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Read 7 tweets
14 Jan
Former Los Angeles Councilman Mitch Englander pleaded guilty to a single count of scheming to falsify material facts.

Now, probation officials say he deserves no jail time.
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Englander, while serving in office, made false statements to FBI agents during three separate interviews, prosecutors said, providing untrue information about his dealings with a businessman who gave him $15,000 in two casino bathrooms. latimes.com/california/sto…
The case was resolved quickly, with Englander pleading guilty to a single count of scheming to falsify material facts. latimes.com/california/sto…
Read 4 tweets
14 Jan
Armie Hammer has announced he will "step away" from an upcoming Jennifer Lopez rom-com.

He also released a statement after a scandal that has made him trend on social media: latimes.com/entertainment-…
Hammer was set to start filming “Shotgun Wedding” in Feb.

But a spokesperson for the project said “given the imminent start date,” he “has requested” to be recast. latimes.com/entertainment-…
Hammer became a trending topic and the subject of tabloid stories after allegations that he sent explicit messages began circulating on social media.

We explain: latimes.com/entertainment-…
Read 6 tweets
14 Jan
Armie Hammer will “step away” from a romantic comedy he was set to star in opposite Jennifer Lopez in the wake of a brewing scandal surrounding his sex life.

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The news comes days after Hammer became a trending topic on Twitter and the subject of tabloid reporting when various women on Instagram who said they had been in sexual relationships with Hammer posted disturbing allegations about his conduct.

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Hammer shot down the claims in a statement, saying he would not respond to them.

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Read 6 tweets
13 Jan
The brother of prominent Los Angeles attorney Tom Girardi has asked a judge to appoint him as a guardian over his sibling, asserting that the elderly lawyer “is incompetent and unable to act for himself.”

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Robert Girardi, a dentist in Seal Beach, told a bankruptcy judge in a petition Wednesday that his 81-year-old brother did not understand the gravity of the legal and financial peril that he currently faces. latimes.com/california/sto…
In a sworn declaration, Robert Girardi said his older brother has short-term memory loss, and that attempts to discuss how to respond to the pending bankruptcy case were unsuccessful.

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Read 4 tweets
13 Jan
Social media platforms over the years evolved new policies to rein in Trump’s online transgressions.

Trump responded by zeroing in on Section 230 — the previously obscure law giving websites (such as Facebook) latitude to moderate their users’ posts. latimes.com/business/techn…
Now Trump is banned, at least temporarily, from Facebook and Twitter — and Instagram and Snapchat and Twitch and Shopify and Stripe — for his role in inciting a lethal riot at the U.S. Capitol last week. latimes.com/business/techn…
Will Trump’s social-media silencing also mute calls to repeal Section 230? latimes.com/business/techn…
Read 5 tweets