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High turnover in nursing homes in the United States poses risks to resident care

Extremely high staff turnover in nursing homes likely contributed to the shocking number of deaths in facilities during the pandemic, according to the authors of a new study.

The study, which was published Monday in Health Affairs, a journal on health policy, represents a comprehensive overview of turnover rates in 15,645 nursing homes across the country, which represents almost all facilities certified by the federal government. The researchers found the average annual rate to be 128%, with some facilities having a turnover rate above 300%.

“It was truly astounding,” said David Grabowski, professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and one of the study’s authors. The researchers pointed to the findings to urge Medicare to publish turnover rates on individual nursing home sites, in order to highlight unsanitary conditions and pressure homeowners to make improvements.

Inadequate staffing – and low wages – has long hurt nursing homes and the quality of care for the more than one million residents who live there. But the pandemic has exposed these issues even more strongly, with investigations underway into the monitoring of facilities by some states, as Covid cases grow unchecked and deaths skyrocket.

The high turnover has likely made it harder for nursing homes to put strong infection controls in place during the pandemic and led to the rampant spread of the coronavirus, said Ashvin Gandhi, senior author and health economist. and assistant professor at the University of California. Los Angeles Anderson School of Management.

Nursing home owners blame the inadequate reimbursement of Medicaid, the state’s federal program for skilled nursing care for the elderly.

“Recruitment and retention of the workforce is among the most pressing challenges facing long-term care providers, and we have been calling for help for years,” said Dr David Gifford, chief medical officer of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, a trade group, said in an emailed statement.

“It is high time that providers were given the right resources to invest in our frontline caregivers to improve the quality of care,” he said.

According to a database compiled by the New York Times, at least 172,000 deaths from the virus had been reported among residents or employees of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities as of the end of February. The number of nursing home deaths alone has accounted for more than a third of all Covid deaths in the United States, although death and case rates have started to drop sharply as more than 70% of residents were vaccinated.

Critics in the industry have also focused on decades of nursing home ownership by private equity firms and other private equity firms, which prioritized investor profits over good. -being residents. These owners have long been accused of not having enough staff in their facilities and of underpaying workers.

Labor is one of the main expenses of operating a nursing home, said Dr Gandhi. “It’s not a very high margin industry, in general,” he said. “Any facility that tries to maximize its profits will think carefully about its personnel costs.”

Nursing home staff have also shown resistance to being vaccinated against the coronavirus, complicating efforts by public health officials and nursing homes to provide comprehensive vaccine protection to an individual facility. If a nurse who has been vaccinated leaves and is replaced, the facility will need to ensure that the new employee is also vaccinated, especially given the reluctance of some workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“Trying to do a vaccination campaign all at once is not enough,” said Dr Gandhi. “You need a continuous vaccination campaign.

Registered nurses, who are the most skilled workers, had the highest turnover rates, and turnover varied considerably from institution to institution. Oklahoma, Montana, and Kansas are among the states with the highest rates. Facilities that had low ratings on the Medicare Nursing Home Comparison website had the highest median revenue, and nursing homes with high ratings had the lowest revenue. Revenue was also higher at for-profit, chain-owned institutions and those serving Medicaid recipients, according to the study.

Melissa Unger, executive director of SEIU 503, an Oregon division of the International Union of Service Employees, said nurses find it difficult to work in facilities with too few staff to adequately care for residents .

“You don’t feel good about the job you do,” Ms. Unger said, noting that many of the staff are women and people of color. “You are doing all of this for mediocre benefits and low wages.”

Summer Trosko, a union member working at an Oregon nursing home, said she was used to her colleagues leaving exhaustion due to inadequate staff and lack of money. “They are tired and can’t take it anymore and quit,” she said. Many are being replaced by people who have just graduated from high school with little training, she said.

In addition to making turnover rates available to the public, the authors highlight a number of steps that lawmakers could take to improve retention. Medicare could incorporate revenue into its star rating system, and Medicare and Medicaid could reward nursing homes with higher rates if their revenue was lower. “If we want to change retirement homes, we have to start with the staff,” said Dr Grabowski.

The researchers used the newly available payroll-based data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified practical nurses to calculate turnover rates in 2017 and 2018. They looked at the percentage of hours worked by a nursing employee. in a given year and calculated higher rates if the departing person provided more care.

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FCC Approves Monthly High Speed ​​Internet Subsidy of $ 50

WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved an emergency grant for low-income households to obtain high-speed internet, an effort to bridge the digital divide that has cut many Americans from online communication during the pandemic.

The four-member commission unanimously agreed to offer up to $ 50 per month to low-income households and up to $ 75 per month to households on Native American lands for broadband service. The FCC will also offer a one-time rebate of up to $ 100 on a computer or tablet for qualifying homes.

The program will use $ 3.2 billion allocated late last year by Congress under its Covid-19 relief bill to provide internet service to American families for distance learning, the digital work and healthcare.

Jessica Rosenworcel, the acting president of the FCC, said the program would be available within 60 days. The agency has yet to sign consenting ISPs and have a program in place to approve and track recipients. At least 14.5 million Americans, according to an FCC report, do not have broadband. Over the past year, the digital divide has become increasingly urgent.

“This is a program that will help those at risk of disconnecting from digital,” Ms. Rosenworcel said in a statement. “It will help those who sit in cars in parking lots just to pick up a Wi-Fi signal to go to work online. This will help those who stay outside the library with a laptop just to get a wireless signal for distance learning.

Eligible recipients include families with children on free or discounted meal programs, recipients of Pell Grants, and people who have lost their jobs or seen their income drop in the past year.

The digital divide has been one of the most enduring issues for telecom policymakers. More than $ 8 billion in federal funds are spent annually on the problem. Much of this money goes to Internet service providers to deliver services to rural and other underserved areas.

The challenges are many. Broadband cards, for example, noticeably overestimate the number of households that have access to them. If an Internet service provider such as Charter or AT&T only reaches one house in a census island, the entire island appears connected on federal maps, even when not all households have the option. to use broadband.

Ms Rosenworcel announced the formation of a working group to study the agency’s monitoring of broadband access data.

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The state of the virus: cases decline, but death rates remain high

State of the virus: cases decline, but death rates remain high

Mitch smith

Mitch smithCoronavirus Reports

The New York Times

Caroline from the south, where authorities have found two cases of the variant first detected in South Africa, adds cases to the country’s second-highest rate. But even there, reports of new infections began to decline.

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FBI urges police chiefs across United States to be on high alert for threats

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The FBI on Wednesday urged police chiefs across the country to be on high alert for extremist activity and to share intelligence on any threats they face, as the U.S. government has published a terrible intelligence bulletin warning of potential violence before the inauguration.

During the call with police chiefs, Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, and Kenneth Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, warned of potential attacks on state capitals, of federal buildings, the homes of members of Congress and businesses, according to one of the chiefs on appeal. Officials did not identify specific threats, participants said, but called on law enforcement agencies across the country to watch for signs of problems, no matter how small.

“They don’t want to be dismissive of anything,” Miami Police Department Chief Jorge Colina, one of the thousands of officials participating in the call, said in an interview. “So even though that sounds ambitious, even though it’s just like, ‘Yeah, that would be great if the whole place was burnt down,’ they don’t want us to think, ‘Ah, that’s just a head of ‘pin,’ and be dismissive.

Federal authorities also issued a joint intelligence bulletin warning that the murderous breach at the Capitol last week would be a “major driver of violence” for armed militias and racist extremists who are targeting the presidential inauguration next week.

Extremists seeking to start a race war “may exploit the consequences of the Capitol breach by carrying out attacks to destabilize and force a culminating conflict in the United States,” officials wrote in the bulletin published by the National Counterterrorism Center and the departments of justice and internal security. , which was widely disseminated to law enforcement agencies across the country.

In Washington, readiness remained high, with Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee III saying on Wednesday he expected more than 20,000 National Guard members in the Washington area on the day of the ‘inauguration. It is still not known how many members of the Guard will carry arms.

Defense Department officials said Tuesday evening Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy decided to arm members of the National Guard who will be deployed to protect the Capitol building complex at the time of the swearing-in by Mr. Biden.

The number of National Guard troops in Washington could eventually exceed 20,000; The figure has risen rapidly in recent days, as intelligence officials monitoring pro-Trump groups online are increasingly concerned that far-right militant organizations have plans for violent protests in Washington.

The decision to arm members of the Guard sheds light on the gnawing uncertainty of the past week. Members of Congress have expressed concern about their return to the Capitol after being informed of several active threats against them, and the FBI has warned of possible violence at the 50 state Capitol buildings.

Defense Department officials met with authorities in Washington on Wednesday to work on plans to prevent last week’s violent violation from happening again. The scale of the demonstrations and the violence of the crowd surprised the police.

A Pentagon official has expressed concern over the repeat of the homemade bombs planted in Washington last week. The official said law enforcement was also concerned that some protesters threatened to show up at lawmakers’ homes or target their families.

During the call with police chiefs, federal officials said they were closely monitoring extremist communications online and urged the chiefs to be alert to potential lone wolf actors and local armed groups, the government said. Chief Chris Magnus of Tucson, adding that he had rarely heard from federal officials. this alarmed.

“They are very, very worried about these, what they have called violent extremists within their country, who are involved in other protests,” he said. “Christopher Wray seemed particularly concerned about the contempt these people have for democratic government.”

There was also a discussion on the balance between the rights of protesters and the threat of violence.

“I think the message is that they want everyone to have their First Amendment rights and to be able to come together without any government intrusion,” said Chief Rick Smith of Kansas City, Missouri, who was on call. “At the same time, how do you prevent violence?”

In the newsletter, written by the National Counterterrorism Center and the Justice and Homeland Security departments and obtained by The New York Times, federal officials said extremist groups viewed the Capitol violation as a success and had been galvanized. by the death of Ashli. Babbit, a military veteran and follower of QAnon who was shot dead by police as they attempted to enter the heavily shielded President’s Lobby just outside the Chamber chamber. Extremists might perceive this death as “an act of martyrdom,” they said.

Officials have warned of possible “boogaloo” activity, a movement seeking to spark a second civil war. They also wrote that “the shared false narrative of a ‘stolen’ election”, “a narrative that has been perpetuated by President Trump,” may lead some individuals to believe that there is no political solution for it. respond to their grievances and violent actions. is necessary.”

Anti-government militias and extremist groups “quite possibly represent the greatest threats to national terrorism in 2021,” the bulletin, dated January 13, said.

The national and local authorities are already taking the preparations in hand.

In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown activated the National Guard “to help with possible future civil unrest,” Oregon State Police said Wednesday. Authorities have not identified where the National Guard would be deployed, but troops from neighboring Washington state have used the Guard in recent days to protect the state Capitol building.

“Recent events on our nation’s Capitol and in our own state illustrate the need for law enforcement to be prepared and properly staffed for all large gatherings,” said the police commissioner of the Oregon State Terri Davie in a statement.

The National Guard also assisted in the state capitals of Michigan and Wisconsin.

Law enforcement presence has intensified at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, with California Highway Patrol officers on standby and outside at entrances, and with squad cars parked on the grounds, blocking the alleys. The FBI has set up a joint command post with local authorities in Sacramento, and members of state, federal and local law enforcement meet daily.

Although Los Angeles officials did not receive specific threats, the Los Angeles Police Department chief ordered all officers, nearly 10,000 people, to wear uniforms every day before the inauguration in order they are ready to be deployed at any time. note. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has adjusted its numbers in anticipation of the protests.

Part of the challenge for law enforcement intelligence gathering was to weed out “ambitious” comments, Miami Chief Colina said. During Wednesday’s call, the FBI acknowledged the unease felt across the country over the attack on the U.S. Capitol, he said.

“It kind of rocked everyone, you know, to see what happened on Capitol Hill. It gives you a terrible sense of unease, and so, they are concerned about it, “he said, adding,” They are concerned about the mindset of, ‘Are we safe here in this? country?’ ‘

John Eligon reported from Kansas City, Frances Robles from Miami and Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Helene Cooper from Washington. Adam Goldman of Washington contributed reporting; Mike Baker of Seattle; Shawn Hubler of Sacramento, Simon Romero of Albuquerque; Richard Fausset in Atlanta; Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio in New York; Julie Bosman in Chicago and Tim Arango and Manny Fernandez in Los Angeles.

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State Capitols ‘on high alert’, fearing more violence

It was the opening day of the 2021 legislative session, and the perimeter of the Georgia State Capitol on Monday was bristling with state police officers in full camouflage uniforms, most of them carrying rifles. tactics.

Across the country, in Olympia, Washington, dozens of National Guard soldiers in riot gear and shields formed a phalanx behind a temporary fence. A small group of protesters faced them in the pouring rain, some also wearing military fatigues and weapons. “Honor your oath!” they shouted. “Fight for freedom every day!”

And in Idaho, Ammon Bundy, an anti-government activist who once led his supporters in the occupation of a federal wildlife sanctuary in Oregon, appeared outside the Statehouse in Boise with members of his organization wearing “wanted” posters for Governor Brad Little and others. on charges of “treason” and “sedition”.

“In these uncertain times, we need our neighbors to stand by and continue the war raging in this country,” Bundy’s group said in a message to supporters.

State capitals across the country brace for a fallout from last week’s violent assault on the U.S. Capitol, with state legislatures already becoming the target of protesters in the tense days surrounding the inauguration of new President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Gone is much of the good-naturedness that typically accompanies the annual start of the legislative season, replaced by marked unease over the possibility of armed attacks and security gaps around states that have long prided themselves on being open to voters.

“Between Covid and the idea that there are people who are armed, who make threats and who are serious, it was certainly not your normal start of session,” said Senator Jennifer A. Jordan, a Democratic lawmaker in Georgia who watched the police gather outside. the State Capitol in Atlanta on Monday from his office window. “Usually people are happy, talking to each other, and it doesn’t have that feeling.”

Dozens of state capitals will be on alert in the coming days, following calls by a mix of anti-government organizations for action in all 50 states on January 17. Some of them come from far-right organizations that house a vast anti-government agenda and have already protested against Covid-19 state lockdowns since last spring. The FBI this week sent a warning to local law enforcement about the potential for armed protests in all 50 state capitals.

In a video press conference Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom of California said “everyone is on high alert” for the protests in Sacramento in the days to come.

The National Guard would be deployed as needed, he said, and the California Highway Patrol, tasked with protecting the Capitol, was also on the lookout for any emerging violence. “I can assure you that we have a high and increased level of security,” he said.

In Michigan, state police said they had stepped up their presence around the State Capitol in Lansing and would continue doing so for weeks. The commission that oversees the Statehouse voted on Monday to ban the open carrying of firearms inside the building, a move Democratic lawmakers have been calling for since last year, when armed protesters challenging government Covid lockdowns -19 stormed the building.

Two of those involved in the protests were later arrested in what authorities described as a plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer and bring her to justice.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel took to Twitter to warn the public to keep her away from the Statehouse, saying it was not secure.

Footage from the Wisconsin state legislature in Madison showed large sheets of plywood prepared to cover the downstairs windows. In St. Paul, Minnesota, the Statehouse has been surrounded by a chain link fence since early last summer, when social justice protests erupted over the murder of George Floyd in neighboring Minneapolis.

Patricia Torres Ray, a Democratic state senator, said the barrier served to protect the building and lawmakers, but concerns remained about possible shortcomings, such as the underground tunnel system that connects many public buildings of Minnesota to allow people to avoid walking outdoors. in winter.

Governor Jay Inslee in Washington ordered additional security after an armed crowd of Trump supporters walked through the fence of the governor’s mansion last week while he was at his home. State soldiers intervened to disperse the crowd.

In Texas, Representative Briscoe Cain, a conservative Republican from the Houston suburb of Deer Park, said the Austin legislature was likely protected by the fact that so many lawmakers carry guns.

“I have a gun on my hip as we speak,” Cain said in a telephone interview Monday. “I hope they’ll never be needed, but I think that’s why they never will be.”

The Republicans-dominated Texas legislature meets every two years and was scheduled to begin its 140-day session at noon Tuesday.

There may be efforts to reduce the presence of guns on Capitol Hill, Mr Cain said, but he predicted they would be doomed given the wide support for the Second Amendment.

In Missouri, Dave Schatz, Republican president of the state Senate, said hundreds of lawmakers gathered on the Statehouse lawn in Jefferson City on Monday for the swearing-in of Governor Mike Parson and other senior officials. officials. Although security is tight, with the roads around the building closed, the presence of police and other security personnel was normal for the day, Mr Schatz said, and no fellow lawmaker had so far. suspected of enhancing security.

“We are very far from the events in Washington,” he said.

In Nevada, a Nye County Republican leader issued a letter Friday comparing recent protests against election results across the country to the American Revolution, saying, “The next 12 days will be something to say to the grandchildren!” It’s still 1776!

The letter – written by Chris Zimmerman, chairman of the Nye County Republican Central Committee – drew a rebuke over the weekend from Representative Steven Horsford, a Democrat who represents the county.

Next door, in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, Democratic officials on Sunday sent out a public safety alert about potential statewide violence, Warning, “Over the past 48 hours, online social media activity has intensified to the point that we need to take these threats seriously.”

While most of the protests announced so far are expected to focus on state capitals, law enforcement and other officials in various cities have said they believe other government buildings may also be targeted. .

Federal officials said Monday they arrested and charged a man, Cody Melby, with multiple bullets at the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon on Friday night. Mr Melby had also been arrested days earlier when, according to police, he attempted to enter the Salem State Capitol with a gun.

Some of those who protested in Oregon and Washington said they were opposed to state lockdown rules that prevent the public from being present when government decisions are made.

James Harris, 22, who lives in eastern Washington state, said he visited the Capitol in Olympia on Monday to urge residents to fully participate in their state’s response to Covid- 19. He said he was against wearing masks and social distancing; lockdowns “hurt people,” he said.

Mr Harris is a truck driver, but he said virus control measures had kept him from working since March.

Georgia has already experienced problems in recent days. As protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington last week, armed Trump supporters appeared outside the state headquarters in Georgia. Law enforcement escorted Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to safety, who had refused President Trump’s attempts to present the presidential election as fraudulent.

Senator Jordan noted that many of the security measures put in place, including the construction of a tall iron fence around the Capitol building, were in fact decided during the social justice protests last summer, when demonstrators surrounded many government buildings.

Now, she says, the threat comes from the other end of the political spectrum.

“These people are clearly serious, they are armed, they are dangerous,” Ms. Jordan said, “and from what we saw last week, they really don’t care who they are trying to eliminate.

Contributory reports were David Montgomery, Kathleen gray, Jill cowan, Maggie Astor, Adam goldman and Hallie Golden. Kitty bennett contributed to the research.

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Biden said he would choose GOP-blocked High Court Merrick Garland as attorney general

The decision to appoint Judge Garland seemed similar to the one Gerald R. Ford made in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Mr Ford appointed Edward H. Levi, a university president whose political leanings were unclear, to take over in restoring the credibility of the Justice Department. Democrats and Republicans later praised Mr. Levi’s ability to apolitically fix the department.

Judge Garland will likely face pressure to also try to steer the ministry’s priorities away from the Trump administration’s focus on immigration and violent crime toward issues Democrats have generally prioritized, such as police reviews and voting rights. But Judge Garland will also have to make decisions on how to handle the tax investigation into Mr Biden’s son, Hunter. Republicans, still angry with the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, called on the Justice Department to appoint a special lawyer to investigate the case.

Mr. Garland, United States Court of Appeals Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, was appointed by Barack Obama in 2016 to fill the post left on the Supreme Court by the death of Antonin Scalia. While the nomination dismayed some Liberals, Senate Republicans – led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – refused to vote on her nomination, saying it should not be fulfilled in an election year.

Ultimately, President Trump held the post with Judge Neil Gorsuch, a conservative in the mold of Judge Scalia.

Judge Garland’s career was significantly affected by the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. Mr. Garland, a Justice Department official at the time, played a direct role in the Clinton administration’s response.

President Bill Clinton appointed Judge Garland to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1997, and served as its chief justice from 2013 to February 2020. Although the court is often considered the second most important in the country, after the Supreme Court, its idiosyncratic role is dominated by cases involving regulatory agencies and tends to include few major controversies on social issues.

On the ground, Judge Garland has won praise from all political walks of life for the exceptional quality of his opinions, which are considered models of the judicial profession – methodically reasoned, clear, attentive to precedent and closely linked to the language of relevant laws and regulations.

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The high turnout of black voters raised candidates for the Democratic Senate in Georgia.

A surge in turnout for black voters in Georgia fueled the fortunes of Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, putting Democrats on hand to overthrow two Senate seats and take control of the chamber.

The predominantly black counties of rural Georgia had a turnout for Mr. Warnock and Mr. Ossoff that nearly matched the Nov. 3 general election and margins that topped what President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. received when he defeated President Trump in the state.

In Calhoun County, which is 61% black and where most of the ballots were counted Tuesday night, Mr. Warnock was 19 percentage points ahead of 2,031 votes cast and Mr. Ossoff had an advantage of 18 points, compared to 15 for Mr. Biden. margin percentage out of 2,198 votes in November.

In Clay, Macon, Randolph and Washington counties, tiny predominantly black rural counties, Mr. Ossoff and Mr. Warnock got bigger margins than Mr. Biden with turnout that nearly hit the numbers. November – an extraordinary achievement considering the nature of the runoff.

Some of Georgia’s largest counties in metropolitan Atlanta, home to the state’s largest concentration of black voters, have yet to declare a majority of their votes, although they are expected to do so soon.

Data from TargetSmart, a Democratic political data company, revealed that nearly 50,000 black Georgians voted early in the Senate second round after failing to vote in the November 3 general election.

Dozens of grassroots organizations worked to win over black voters ahead of the second round, and in a campaign swing last weekend, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris targeted black neighborhoods where the turnout was early voting had been low.

“The vote black made the US Senate for Democrats,” said Tom Bonier, CEO of TargetSmart.

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Unemployment claims are expected to remain high last week

New clues about the economy’s path to 2021 will come on Thursday morning when the government releases the latest data on initial claims for unemployment benefits.

While the Christmas holidays could lead to a drop in numbers, with national unemployment bureaus that process claims closed for at least one day last week, new deposits are expected to remain at a very high level, in the range of over 800,000 a week said Greg Daco, chief economist at Oxford Economics. “It is very high and we are facing an economy which has slowed down considerably.”

Claims for benefits were turned down during Thanksgiving week, only to pick up later, and a similar catch-up phenomenon could also occur after Christmas and New Years.

In California, widening restrictions on restaurants and other businesses and an increase in coronavirus infections could lead to increased deposits, said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco.

“California has locked down even more, and there is no end in sight in terms of cases and hospitalizations,” he said. “We are seeing more layoffs and that has yet to show in the numbers.

The $ 900 billion stimulus package President Trump enacted on Sunday comes too late to affect unemployment claims data. It will take months for the impact of aid to be felt, and most economists expect the layoff rate to remain high.

When new monthly employment data is released by the Labor Department next week, Anderson expects it to show an increase in the unemployment rate to 6.9% in December from 6.7 % last month. The unemployment rate has fallen sharply from its peak of 14.7% in April, but hiring has slowed as the economy has weakened in recent months.

Additionally, the pace of layoffs has been consistently high as industries like food service, travel and entertainment struggle as the pandemic has left many people at home.

The introduction of vaccines is a positive, as are the positive economic signs, such as soaring stock prices and a booming real estate market. But it will be months before enough Americans can be vaccinated to allow people to go to restaurants, events and theaters without fear of being infected.

“The trend is not good with the additional closures being implemented across the country,” said Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust in Chicago.

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New Jersey high school principal Joe Clark dies at 82

Joe Clark, the compelling disciplinary director of a struggling New Jersey high school in the 1980s who rose to fame for restoring order as he walked his hallways with a megaphone and sometimes a baseball bat, is died Monday at his home in Gainesville, Florida. 82.

His family announced his death but did not specify a cause.

When Mr. Clark, a former Army drill sergeant, arrived at Eastside High School in Paterson in 1982, he declared it a “cauldron of violence.” In his first week, he expelled 300 students for disciplinary issues. When he threw out – “redacted,” he said – about 60 other students five years later, he called them “leeches, disbelievers and thugs”.

But he managed to restore order and improve some test scores, winning the praise (and the offer of a political job in the White House) from President Ronald Reagan and William J. Bennett, secretary of the education of Reagan, and being immortalized in the 1989 film “Lean on Me” in which he was played by Morgan Freeman.

Mr Clark, who led a poor, largely black and Hispanic student body, has often denounced affirmative action and welfare and “linguistic liberals and hocus-pocus.”

When “60 Minutes” profiled him in 1989, he told correspondent Harry Reasoner: “Because we were slaves, that doesn’t mean you have to be thugs and thugs and hit people in the head and steal. people and raping people. No, I cannot accept this. And I no longer make alibis for blacks. I’m just saying work hard for what you want. “

A full obituary will be released soon.

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‘Very high risk’: longshoremen want virus protection so they can stay at work

“We’re in hiding,” said Kenneth Riley, president of the local longshoremen’s union in Charleston, SC. they will be.

Working at sea is exhausting and often requires close contact with others. Trade is essential to the economy, with longshoremen serving as the crucial link between the movement of goods from a shipping vessel to trucks and trains that send them to their final destination, experts said.

More than 95% of foreign trade with the United States passes through one of the country’s roughly 150 deep-water ports, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

Workers most at risk of exposure to the virus are deep sea longshoremen, who are predominantly black and do most of the work that involves lifting and moving goods, union officials noted.

Lashers, who remove steel rods from containers so that they can be lifted by crane operators, sweat and breathe heavily when working in pairs side by side. Shuttle drivers, tasked with transporting their fellow longshoremen to and from both ends of a dock that can stretch for miles, spend their days crammed into Ford Crown Victoria’s and school buses with other longshoremen.

“It’s a very high risk,” said Gail Jackson, 45, a shuttle driver on the Charleston docks who contracted the virus and spent weeks on leave. “There is no way for us to be six feet apart.”

The International Longshoremen Association, a union that represents approximately 65,000 longshoremen, lobbied the federal government and state officials for their support. In a September letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, union officials demanded that longshoremen be provided with personal protective equipment, disinfectant and rapid coronavirus tests, saying officials who operate the terminals where longshoremen operate no. ” provided no protective equipment to our members despite the risks of Covid-19. “