Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on Canadians to reject racism as protests erupt in the U.S. over the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed during a police arrest.
Trudeau said anti-Black racism is a reality in Canada as well.
“We need as a society to stand together, stand up against discrimination, be there for each other in respect but also understand that we have work to do as well in Canada,” he said.
Trudeau called on Canadians to “stand together in solidarity” against anti-Black, anti-Asian racism, or any other type of racial hate.
His comments come after the death of Floyd, who was killed by a white police officer during an arrest in Minneapolis. Criminal charges have not been laid though the officer involved was fired.
Floyd’s death has sparked days of protests — which erupted into looting and fires — calling for justice in the man’s death.
The U.S. National Guard was called in on Thursday.
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at the demonstrators in a late-night tweet, calling them “thugs” and raising the spectre of violence against them.
“These THUGS are dishonouring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump said.
“Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!” Read more
Why do Americans represent less than 5% of the world’s population but nearly a third of the known coronavirus death toll? Not because of government incompetence, the Trump administration is arguing, but because Americans are very unhealthy.
The United States organized response to the pandemic had been “historic”, Trump’s health secretary, Alex Azar, told CNN on 17 May, but America “unfortunately” has a “very diverse” population, and black Americans and minorities “in particular” have “significant underlying disease”.
Jake Tapper, the CNN anchor interviewing Azar, paused and squinted. Surely, he asked, Azar was not arguing that “the reason that there were so many dead Americans is because we’re unhealthier than the rest of the world?”
Azar doubled down: “These are demonstrated facts.”
“That doesn’t mean it’s the fault of the American people that the government failed to take adequate steps in February …” Tapper said.
“This is not about fault. It’s about simple epidemiology,” Azar said, adding in a pious tone: “One doesn’t blame an individual for their health condition. That would be absurd.”
Blaming black Americans for dying from a novel virus because they had diabetes or high blood pressure was precisely what Azar was doing. Someone had to be held responsible for an American death toll approaching 100,000 people, worse than any other country’s reported deaths. In order for the Trump administration to remain blameless, someone else had to be blamed, and the administration was now blaming the dead.
It took less than a month after the first shelter-in-place orders to devolve into a full-blown partisan culture war, complete with armed protests egged on by the president; conservatives questioning or denying death numbers; pundits arguing against a continued lockdown with lines like, “You can call me a Grandma killer”; attempts by hair salons and barbers to stage acts of civil disobedience; and some states led by Republican governors moving to quickly reopen, even as other states with Democratic governors announced months of continued restrictions.
A majority of Americans remain supportive of public health restrictions, including nearly half of Republican voters and 68% of people who have lost a job or suffered a pay cut.
The anti-lockdown demonstrations at state capitols have attracted a messy jumble of protesters: anti-vaccine activists and other conspiracy theorists, rightwing provocateurs, members of known anti-government militias, gun rights advocates, established conservative groups backed by wealthy billionaire donors, Republican stalwarts and people who were actually out of work.
It would be wrong to argue that racism was the sole motivation for the protests, or even a decisive factor for the many different protesters who showed up.
But the moment when the US response to coronavirus escalated into a full culture war is revealing. The big protests at state capitols, with crowds of white Americans demanding their governors reopen the economy, started about a week after national news outlets began reporting in early April that black Americans made up a disproportionate number of the dead.
Baffled scientists have suggested the reason for the difference could be men being more likely to smoke, or the possibility of genetic differences that make their immune systems weaker than women’s.
However, it’s now believed the true reason could be a sex hormone, the Daily Mail reports.
Prostate cancer experts have unveiled evidence which suggests testosterone could play a crucial role by inadvertently helping the virus infect cells.
Researchers in Italy say prostate cancer patients given powerful drugs to cut testosterone levels were four times less likely to die of Covid-19 than those not taking the treatment.
They think that’s because testosterone drives up levels of a protein called TMPRSS2, which is significant in prostate cancers.
Now, it’s believed that coronavirus also uses this protein to ‘unlock’ cells.
Medics at London’s Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) are examining the link further.
Scientists at the University of California in LA are also looking at testosterone-blocking drugs as a potential Covid-19 therapy for patients in hospital.
Professor Nick James, of London’s ICR, said: “One of the proteins the virus appears to bind to in lungs is TMPRSS2.
“It’s a sort of lock and key thing: having bound to this protein, it provides the virus with a route into the cell.
“You would therefore predict that men on treatments for prostate cancer that reduce their testosterone levels should be protected [from coronavirus] relative to men who are not on such treatments – meaning most men.”
Academics will scour data from 8,000 NHS prostate cancer patients to see if those on hormone reduction therapy have been less likely to be hospitalised with Covid-19.
Using such drugs as a coronavirus treatment is a possibility, he said, but not one to be taken lightly due to their serious side effects.
“Being on these drugs is the male equivalent of going through the menopause,” he said.
Wide-scale use of the drugs as a coronavirus treatment “would almost certainly cause more harm than good”, he said. Read more
Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – Trump became president in part by playing on fears, resentments and outright hatred among some segments of the American public, especially of a racial and religious sort. He bashed Mexican-Americans as drug dealers and rapists, and recently blamed Chinese-Americans for the coronavirus. But no group came in for so fierce a lashing at his hands as the 3.5 million Muslim-Americans. “I think,” he said, “Islam hates us.” He called for a moratorium on people of Muslim heritage entering the United States. He actually imposed a thinly-disguised visa ban on Libya, Somalia, Iran, Syria, and Yemen, only throwing in Venezuela and North Korea in a pro forma way to make the case to the courts that the policy isn’t a form of religious discrimination (it is).
Although there have been a few tiny terrorist groups among Muslims, it is completely unfair to blame 1.8 billion Muslims in the world for them, much less the 1% of Americans who are Muslim. Europe in the 1930s and 1940s gave us a powerful set of Fascist movements that killed millions, including over 400,000 Americans. We don’t typically see a European from one of the old Axis states and say, oh, you must hate America. Muslim governments, including those in Iraq and Egypt, have been the most effective foes of fringe extremism, and the US has designated numerous non-NATO allies among Muslim-majority countries.
Trump cynically threw out all these considerations when he demonized Muslims, contributing to a stark rise in hate crimes against them, including a string of mosque-burnings throughout the United States and hundreds of other attacks on Muslim religious sites, some of them done explicitly by Trump supporters.
So, having bad-mouthed Muslim Americans, having accused them of being too dangerous even to live in their own country, having accused them of hating their own country, who does Trump turn to in his “Operation Warp Speed,” his quest to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus by the end of 2020? Read more
President Donald Trump said he had “just finished” taking a two-week course of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, the medication he has vigorously promoted as a preventative or curative treatment for the coronavirus, even as evidence piles up that the drug may cause more harm than good.
“Finished, just finished,” he said in an interview that aired on Sinclair Broadcasting on Sunday. “And by the way, I’m still here.”
The president again defended his decision to take, and talk about, the unproven treatment in the interview, amid Food and Drug Administration warnings against using the drug for COVID-19 outside of hospital settings because of a risk of serious heart problems.Read more…
A white man came up to her and punched her in the face while yelling racist slurs about Asian people and COVID-19. Her dog Kato chased the assailant away.
Dakota Holmes is Indigenous.
Dakota’s father, Don Bains, is the former executive director of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and an advisor on Indigenous affairs to Premier John Horgan. The union issued a news release condemning the attack. Read more…
Across the country, Asian Americans have reported a sharp increase in verbal abuse and physical attacks
Lucy Li tries not to let fear dictate her interactions with patients as she makes the rounds in the covid-19 intensive care unit. But the anesthesiology resident at Massachusetts General Hospital cannot erase the memory of what happened after work at the start of the pandemic.
A man followed the Chinese American doctor from the Boston hospital, spewing a profanity-laced racist tirade as she walked to the subway. “Why are you Chinese people killing everyone?” Li recalled the man shouting. “What is wrong with you? Why the f— are you killing us?”
Stunned at first, then relieved she was not physically attacked, Li is now saddened and angered by the irony that she spends her days and nights helping save lives. Her work inserting tubes in patients’ airways has grown riskier since the coronavirus emerged — each procedure releasing droplets and secretions that could carry viral particles.
“I’m risking my own personal health, and then to be vilified just because of what I look like,” said Li, 28, wary that one of her patients, too, could harbor such prejudices. “I try not to think about that possibility when I’m at work taking care of patients. But it’s always there, at the very back of my mind.” Read more
Racial justice advocates are calling for more support for people of color in Vermont after new data revealed that black and Hispanic people are testing positive for Covid-19 at a disproportionately high rate.
Black Vermonters are testing positive for Covid-19 at the highest rate in the state of any racial group, according to statistics on the demographics impacted by the coronavirus compiled by the Vermont Department of Health. The report, which the state plans to update every Friday, looks at the 932 cases of the new coronavirus identified in Vermont from March 5, when the outbreak began in Vermont, through May 14.
The new data prompted advocates to ask lawmakers and Gov. Phil Scott to take steps to address the disparities, including creating a task force to focus on supporting people of color in the state.
According to new data released by the Vermont Department of Health, 3% of people who tested positive for the virus through May 14 were black. The most recent Census demographic data shows that black Vermonters make up 1.5% of the state’s population.
The majority of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Vermont — 94.5% — were white, the data shows.
The rate of positive tests per 10,000 people was 26.2 for black or African American Vermonters, according to the health department data. In comparison, the rate for white Vermonters was 13.7 positive cases per 10,000 people.
Hispanic Vermonters also have a higher rate of positive tests for the virus, according to the data. Per 10,000 people, 18.5 Hispanic people have tested positive for Covid-19, compared to 13 non-Hispanic people who tested positive per 10,000 Vermonters. Read more
ON MAY 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a report that outlined how coronavirus spread in the U.S. via European travel to the New York metropolitan area, despite a popular narrative that China was the main conduit for the disease. So why was the U.S. quick to halt flights from China, but slow when it came to Europe?
Experts say that ingrained racism informed policymakers’ and the media’s favorable views toward European countries, and that even when presented with direct evidence to the contrary, those biases impeded important public health measures that would have kept people safe.
“Race and racism disallowed the U.S. from recognizing Europe as a threat,” said Khiara Bridges, an anthropologist and professor of law at University of California, Berkeley. Read more…
Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to seek to continue a confrontation with a CBS News reporter which led to the president being accused of being racist towards Asian Americans.
Seeming to tweet in response to the incident involving Weijia Jiang on Monday evening, Trump wrote without offering evidence: “Asian Americans are VERY angry at what China has done to our Country, and the World. Chinese Americans are the most angry of all. I don’t blame them!”
At a briefing in the White House Rose Garden, Jiang asked the president why he continues to claim – wrongly, as he did again on Tuesday – that the US is performing better than other countries in terms of testing for coronavirus.
“Why does that matter?” asked the reporter, who was born in China and came to the US at the age of two. “Why is this a global competition when, every day, Americans are still losing their lives?” Read more…