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COVID-19's continued creeping effect

Daily Point

Back to school protests in Port Washington 

When 200 Port Washington parents gathered under a blazing sun Monday afternoon to protest the district’s newly announced elementary school plan, many seemed shocked and hurt. But when the rally got started, it was fury and fierce demands for change that dominated. It’s an early indicator of just how much trouble can be in store for districts when reopening plans get down to brass tacks.

Until late last week these parents had been told all the district’s elementary school children who wanted to be back in school five days a week would be, and all those who wanted to avoid the classroom would learn virtually. Then, Thursday, the district announced that the plan was off. Instead, the district is embracing a hybrid model in which kids would learn in-person two days a week, study remotely for two more, and most weeks, have one day with no teacher-led instruction.

Read what parents had to say about the plan during the protest.

—Lane Filler @lanefiller

Talking Point

Party time

John Jay LaValle, the former Suffolk County Republican Party chair who was a close and early supporter of Donald Trump in 2016, says only half of the current rumor about him is accurate. Yes, he did contract the coronavirus this summer, but not at the controversial Trump rally in Tulsa, OK, where the contagion sickened some of the VIP crowd and caused the death of Herman Cain, who sought the 2012 GOP nomination. LaValle said he didn’t go to the June rally and doesn’t know how he got the virus which he compared to “having the flu with a dry cough.”

LaValle, who is a member of the reelection’s National Finance Committee said he has been healthy for weeks now and has an antigen test scheduled for later in the day Monday. However, testing results are not required, he said, for him to be at  the White House later this week. LaValle, who would have attended the Charlotte-Jacksonville live convention, now has a coveted South Lawn “Friends of POTUS” ticket for Thursday night. That’s when Trump will deliver his acceptance speech, followed by pyrotechnics over the National Mall staged by Fireworks by Grucci of Bellport.

—Rita Ciolli @RitaCiolli

Pencil Point

Fire in the hole

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Quick Points

  • Perhaps the best indicator that the coronavirus will be with us for a long time – even South Korea is facing a resurgence.
  • Nearly 60% of Republican voters said the U.S. coronavirus death toll of 176,000-plus is “acceptable.” Left unasked: How many deaths would be unacceptable?
  • White House trade advisor Peter Navarro has criticized the FDA for slow-walking the approval of therapeutics to fight COVID-19, saying its slowness has cost lives – a medical critique we apparently should listen to because, well, Navarro is a trade advisor.
  • White House chief of staff Mark Meadows refuses to say whether President Donald Trump condemns QAnon, saying that they don’t know what it is or whether it’s credible. Wait, Mr. Meadows, you don’t know whether a shadowy group that believes Trump is fighting a cabal of Satan-worshipping, child-eating, mostly-Democrat pedophiles who operate a global child sex-trafficking ring and control the world is credible?  
  • President Donald Trump has tried to undermine confidence in the November vote, falsely attacked the credibility of mail-in voting, raised the specter of widespread voter fraud, and suggested withholding election money from states and funding from the U.S. Postal Service to reduce voting by mail. Next thing you know he’ll float using law enforcement personnel to patrol polling places to intimidate minority voters from casting ballots. Oh, he did that, too?
  • Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel says the GOP national convention will present a positive case for President Donald Trump’s management of the pandemic. That’s going to take someone with a good imagination. 
  • The poisoning of Russian dissident leader Alexei Navalny seems intended to silence him one way or another. But all you have to do is look at neighboring Belarus, where strongman Alexander Lukashenko’s rigging of the country’s election to defeat the opposition leader has led to days of mass protests, to realize the poisoning of Navalny could have a very different outcome.

—Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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