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Coronavirus Vaccine in Doctors Hands

NBA Commissioner Claims League Won’t ‘Jump The Line’ For Covid-19 Vaccines 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver claimed this Monday that players and staff members of the league won’t be “jumping the line” to get Covid-19 vaccines ahead of the individuals that are set to receive them first. Silver was speaking with ESPN on a conference call when he made the statement, stating that players in the league, and any sports league, are pretty low priority in terms of individuals who should be vaccinated within the first rounds of distribution. 

“For the most part, because our players are so young and healthy without some sort of comorbidity, they will not be a high priority for vaccinations. There are some other members of the NBA community working on court who are older and will have a higher priority to get the vaccine,” Silver explained, adding that instead the NBA will spend their time urging individuals who can get vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.

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“We will likely be part of some public service campaigns, we already talked to the CDC about that, encouraging people to get vaccinated when it is appropriate. But up until then, we will just be watching and waiting.”

The NBA is still set to kick off the 2020-21 season this Tuesday and will conduct the scheduled 72-game regular season as planned. The Covid-19 pandemic is still raging out of control in America, and without the same bubble method that the league used for the playoffs, however, there’s no telling how long the season will actually last in a normal context. More than 50 players for the NBA have already tested positive throughout their training camps during preseason. 

The Food and Drug Administration has now approved of two different vaccines for the fight against Covid-19. Both vaccines have begun distribution throughout the nation; President-Elect Joe Biden received his vaccine publicly on Monday morning. 

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Silver went on to explain how even if they wanted to, the league has no power in terms of enforcing their players to get vaccinated. Still, he doesn’t believe that will be a major point of contention, as most players are ready to get back into jam-packed arenas and are willing to get vaccinated whenever they can. 

“As time goes on, I think more people will recognize the importance of getting vaccinated and, again, not just for themselves, this is a conversation we’ve already begun with some members of the NBA community.” 

“I think part of it will be a public information campaign, and I’m also hoping that as more people get vaccinated it increases the public’s confidence in the vaccine and the testing protocols they’ve undergone thus far in order for the government to in essence verify it is safe. But for young, healthy people, while it’s still an incredibly serious disease, they tend to do better than older people, or people with underlying conditions. So, for our players, the reason to get vaccinated may not be to protect themselves. It may be to protect their parents, their grandparents and other members of the community,” Silver continued.” 

For now, only time will tell when major sports leagues in America will be able to return to a full sense of normalcy; just like the rest of the world. Players and staffers in the meantime will be using their platforms to encourage fans to follow all proper health and safety procedures, as well as get vaccinated when the time allows so we all can join together and enjoy basketball once again when the time comes.

Basketball Player Shooting Basket

NBA Players Receive New Covid-19 Safety Protocols For 2021 Season

NBA players and staffers received a new set of health and safety protocols for the 2020-2021 season amid growing Covid-19 pandemic concerns. The NBA was successfully able to carry out the remainder of the 2019-2020 season using a bubble method in which all players and staffers were isolated from the rest of the world at a singular location in Disney, Florida. 

The sporting league was able to finish the season without one coronavirus case appearing thanks to this method.  Now, the new set of procedures is relatively similar to what they faced for the previous season, however, now that the country has been enduring the pandemic for a while longer, the procedures are more specified and strictly written. 

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Players and staff members are prohibited from visiting any bars or clubs under the new guidelines, which before was more of a universally understood practice.  While players, coaches, and other staff are at home and awaiting future games they are prohibited from entering into any bars, clubs, live entertainment venues, public gyms, spas, or indoor gatherings of 15 or more people, according to the memo sent out. 

These procedures seem like they should just be common sense at this point, however, in a country where health and safety measures vary in every state, it’s important to strictly enforce the policies that will help curb the spread of this deadly virus. While on the road players can only eat outside of their hotel if it’s at a location approved by the league. 

The memo stated that any team that violates these safety protocols could face penalties like “fines, suspensions, adjustment or loss of draft choices, and/or game forfeiture.” Players who miss games will be asked to quarantine and could be subject to pay adjustments if their quarantining is a result of breaking the rules. 

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While the NBA was extremely successful in their bubble method for the 2019-2020 season, the next season will look differently. The season begins on December 22nd with teams playing games in their home arenas and traveling as well. Many teams have already committed to playing without any fans in the stands until further notice. 

The memo itself, which was sent out this past week, was 158 pages long, and states that “it is likely that some staff, players and other participants in the 2020-21 season nonetheless will test positive or contract COVID-19 particularly as the virus remains prevalent in particular team markets and surrounding communities. However, the occurrence of independent cases (cases not spread among players or team staff) or a small or otherwise expected number of COVID-19 cases will not require a decision to suspend or cancel the 2020-21 season.”

The memo also went into what the future of the season would look like should a vaccine be distributed in the spring to the general public; as currently projected. The NBA and NBA Players Association, in that case, will then meet and decide whether or not it will require its players and staffers to receive a Covid-19 vaccination when it becomes available. 

If the vaccination is not made to be mandatory, the NBA claimed that further health and safety procedures will be implemented until a greater herd immunity is met in the US. Players will also be consistently tested before and after every game, practice, or any other situation in which they’re interacting with others working for the league. 

Coronavirus Test Positive

Stephen Miller, Trump’s Top Adviser, Tests Positive For Covid-19 

Stephen Miller is one of the president’s top advisers, and has recently tested positive for the coronavirus as a part of a growing number of individuals close to the president who are falling ill to the virus that has now killed over 200,000 Americans. 

“Over the last 5 days I have been working remotely and self-isolating, testing negative every day through yesterday. Today, I tested positive for Covid-19 and am in quarantine.”

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At this point over a dozen White House officials and other individuals within the president’s inner circle have tested positive for Covid-19; including first lady Melania Trump, and Miller’s Wife, Katie Miller, who is also press secretary to Vice President Pence. 

Miller has been one of the most loyal policy advisers and speech writers for the president. He’s also one of the biggest supporters of the policy that has been separating children from their parents at the border. In the public eye, Miller is viewed as a racist with white supremacist ideals who only further fuels that fire in the president. He’s gone on record claiming that migration and amnesty for immigrants would “decimate the US,” and he also played a key role in getting the president to sign a zero tolerance immigration policy that led to over 5,400 children being separated from their parents. 

Miller was seen boarding Marine One, the president’s helicopter, less than two days after Trump revealed that he had tested positive for the virus. He boarded the helicopter with other top advisers Hope Hicks, Dan Scovino and Jared Kushner. Hicks tested positive for the virus last week, an announcement that was made hours before the president’s diagnosis was released. 

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Just like the rest of the country, White House staffers didn’t receive any clear guidance on new health and safety measures being implemented to protect them until this past weekend. Mask-wearing has previously been seen as a personal choice when working in the White House, however, yesterday workers were seen in full hazmat suits disinfecting a majority of the building consistently. 

Every individual within Trump’s circle who has contracted the virus has defended their irresponsibility in terms of this virus as a means of keeping Trump’s name in good grace among his supporters. With an election less than a month away, the last thing the president needs is his entire staff contracting a virus he just spent 8 months downplaying. 

Ron Johnson, a senior republican senator who also is battling the virus currently, recently released a statement that claimed he would be “in a moon suit” if that’s what it takes to cast his vote to confirm Barrett for the supreme court. Trump has already been tweeting his eagerness to get back on the campaign trail, stating that when it comes to next week’s debate against Biden, “It will be great!”

Biden, however, has claimed if the current president is still testing positive for the virus by next week, the debate should be cancelled over obvious safety concerns. Biden has continuously tested negative for the virus himself, despite having interactions with Trump last week for the first round of debates. 

The CDC is currently still recommending that anyone who has had close contact with a Covid-19 positive individual needs to quarantine for two weeks and get tested themselves.

Sports Team

Mass Staff Exodus at Deadspin as Writers Defy New Owner

While ostensibly a sports-focused website, Deadspin has maintained a loyal readership base over the years by weaving social commentary and cultural criticism into its reporting, earning a reputation as a publication unafraid of speaking truth to power. However, after a private equity firm bought the website’s parent company, G/O Media, a rift emerged between the site’s new owners and the editorial staff, who strongly objected to various changes they were making at the publication. In keeping with their rebellious nature, Deadspin’s staff writers published posts criticizing their company’s new owners, revealing the extent to which managerial changes offended not only the website’s core staff but also the bulk of its readership. Though writers objected to changes like the introduction of auto-play ads and the prioritization of quantity over quality, the final nail in the coffin was a broad editorial edict to “stick to sports,” which writers understood to be code for “don’t write anything that will get anyone in trouble.”

The site’s writers initially reacted to this order with strong defiance; the site’s editor-in-chief, Barry Petchesky, featured a number of articles that did not concern sports but were nonetheless popular with readers on the Deadspin homepage, leading to his being fired. On Tuesday, October 29th, Petchesky announced his firing on Twitter. The following day, one by one, various other writers for the site announced they would be resigning in solidarity with Petchesky and in a total rebuke of the new management. As of this morning, more than half of the writing staff had left the company, and Deadspin has not been updated with any new stories, even in the aftermath of the Nationals’ historic win at the World Series. As such, the future of the website looks bleak; the Deadspin adored by a broad, loyal, and engaged readership is no more, and the brand is likely to be transformed into a clickbait farm or some other form of low-quality publication.

The collapse of Deadspin at the hands of an indifferent corporate class speaks to the negative impacts of a philosophy of putting profit above all else.

The mass exodus at Deadspin, which effectively killed the website, speaks to the importance of maintaining editorial independence in a media publication. In the article during which the site’s former editor-in-chief announced her resignation, Megan Greenwall described her understanding of the motivations of Jim Spanfeller, the company’s new CEO, thus: “he believed he could simply turn up the traffic (and thus turn a profit), as if adjusting a faucet, not by investing in quality journalism but by tricking people into clicking on more pages.” According to Greenwall, Spanfeller ignored evidence, both in the form of comments and traffic figures, that readers appreciated Deadspin for the variety of topics it covered. As such, Greenwall argued that the fundamental business model whereby writers and editors publish content that readers actually wanted to read, rather than maximizing volume in a narrow subject matter at the expense of quality, lead to the company’s financial success in the first place, which was jeopardized by decisions made by people who didn’t fundamentally understand the industry.

The widespread resignation of Deadspin’s staff is particularly notable in light of the reality of the current media landscape, where journalists are prone to fear of sacrificing their livelihoods for their principles, as it can be difficult to find work in the industry. Moreover, the collapse of Deadspin at the hands of an indifferent corporate class speaks to the negative impacts of a philosophy of putting profit above all else, and the self-destructive forms in which this philosophy, motivated by greed, can manifest. Ultimately, the loss of Deadspin is a loss to the broader world of sports journalism; the website was initially created as a response to the apolitical and at-times superficial ESPN and other sports media giants, and was founded under the belief that politics and cultural criticism are inextricably intertwined with sports, as they are with all aspects of life.

White House

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney Confirms Quid Pro Quo

Ever since explosive allegations of misconduct which the House of Representatives have deemed worthy of opening an impeachment investigation were released to the press, the White House’s defense has been that the President’s request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into Joe Biden’s son was not improper because there was no quid pro quo, or an exchange of something of value. However, text messages released by Congress in addition to a reconstructed transcript released by the White House itself strongly suggest the presence of a quid pro quo in the form of withholding military aid in exchange for an investigation intended to damage the President’s chief political rival. 

The White House has responded to the impeachment investigation by illegally refusing to cooperate with Congress, on the grounds that they view the investigation as illegitimate, while simultaneously asserting that there was no wrongdoing. Yesterday, however, the White House’s defense became even more tenuous, as White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney all but admitted the presence of a quid pro quo relationship between the President and Ukraine.

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Mulvaney, who confirmed that aid was withheld from Ukraine in exchange for political favors at a White House press conference which was televised live, stunned reporters with the admission. Various members of the press even gave Mulvaney an opportunity at the time to walk back these comments, asking multiple times for clarification, leading Mulvaney to double down on the shocking admission of guilt. He then told reporters to “get over it,” adding that “there’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.” 

Though Mulvaney asserted at the time that there was nothing improper about this exchange, the White House legal counsel wasted no time in distancing themselves from Mulvaney, saying “the president’s legal counsel was not involved in acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s press briefing.” Later that day, Mulvaney attempted to reverse his claim, accusing the press of “misconstruing” his comments and saying “let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo,” directly contradicting his statement earlier that day.

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This latest development is yet another blow to a White House reeling from the consequences of the ongoing impeachment investigation. At the same time as Mulvaney’s press conference, Gordan Sondland, the US Ambassador to the European Union, testified behind closed doors that he had agreed to allow Trump to run Ukraine policy through his personal lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, instead of through ordinary diplomatic channels. 

Additionally, Sondland confirmed that he had told another diplomat that there “was no quid pro quo” at the direction of the President, which Democrats argue indicates the presence of a consciousness of guilt as members of the Trump administration attempted to cover their tracks. Also, energy secretary Rick Perry, who is implicated in the wide-reaching political scandal, announced his resignation, becoming the latest in a series of departures in a White House with a historically high rate of turnover.