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Arizona activates coronavirus triage plan amid surging cases

Disability advocates in Arizona are criticizing a decision by the state allowing hospitals to activate a Crisis Standards of Care Plan that enables statewide triage protocols for acute care facilities amid surging coronavirus cases.

Why it matters: Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said at a briefing the policy would help curb the virus' spread. But disability rights groups issued a statement Tuesday urging health officials to revise the plan because they said it "could result in discriminatory denial of life-saving healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic."


"It's not needed today, but we’re anticipating that it will be there in the future. This is our time to act to save and protect as many Arizona lives as possible."
Ducey's comments at Monday's briefing

Arizona is preparing to implement SCORECARDS to determine eligibility for receiving care in a COVID world with limited supplies.

The elderly & people with pre-existing conditions immediately fall into a lower category of priority due to life expectancy.https://t.co/7f67Z5O1u0 pic.twitter.com/rec00oeLA6

— Steven Spohn (@stevenspohn) June 30, 2020

What they're saying: The Arizona Center for Disability Law said it wrote to the health department earlier this year asking officials to modify the CSC guidelines "to incorporate explicit nondiscrimination requirements and provide for reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities."

  • However, these changes weren't incorporated into the guidelines and it received no response from health officials, the group said.

The other side: A petition from medical providers, signed by more than 1,100 people, asked state leaders to "utilize crisis care standards" because they say they are working under "a huge strain on an already stressed hospital system."

  • The petition, which also calls for the stay-at-home order that expired in May to be reinstated, notes the Crisis Standards of Care Plan (CSC) is "something that most of us, when choosing our career, thought we would never be doing," noting it was usually only implemented in extreme situations in the U.S., such as terrorist attacks."
  • Arizona hospitals asked the state health department last Friday to formally activate the CSC. An Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association spokesperson told 12 News, "Moving to crisis standards of care will allow consideration of regulatory waivers as well as additional liability protections."

The big picture: Ducey announced at Monday's press conference he was ordering bars, clubs, movie theaters, waterparks and gyms to close for 30 days in response to spiking cases.

  • More than 79,000 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the state, with over 4,600 new cases on Tuesday, per the Arizona Department of Health Services. More than 1,600 people have died from the virus in Arizona.

New York City schools will not fully reopen in fall

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a press conference on Wednesday that schools will not fully reopen in fall, and will instead adopt a hybrid model that will limit in-person attendance to just one to three days a week.

Why it matters: New York City, once the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, is home to the nation's largest public school district — totaling 1,800 schools and 1.1 million students, according to the New York Times. The partial reopening plan could prevent hundreds of thousands of parents from fully returning to work.

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Treasury points the finger at lenders over errors in PPP loan database

The U.S. Treasury Department is pointing the finger at lenders for errors discovered in Monday's PPP data disclosure.

What they're saying: "Companies listed had their PPP applications entered into SBA’s Electronic Transmission (ETran) system by an approved PPP lender. If a lender did not cancel the loan in the ETran system, the loan is listed," a senior administration official said.

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Harvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes

Harvard and MIT on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to block federal guidance that would largely bar foreign college students from taking classes if their universities move classes entirely online in the fall.

The big picture: Colleges, which often rely heavily on tuition from international students, face a unique challenge to safely get students back to class during the coronavirus pandemic. Some elite institutions, like Harvard, have already made the decision to go virtual.

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Facebook auditors say it's failing on civil rights

The findings from a new civil rights audit commissioned and released by Facebook show that the tech giant repeatedly failed to address issues of hatred, bigotry and manipulation on its platform.

Why it matters: The report comes as Facebook confronts a growing advertiser boycott and criticism for prioritizing freedom of speech over limiting misinformation and protecting users targeted by hate speech.

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Sports in the coronavirus era might need an asterisk

American sports leagues are back, and COVID-permitting, we're finally entering the period of uninterrupted sports bliss we've been anticipating for months.

The question: Given the unusual circumstances, it's worth considering how each season will be remembered years from now. So we pose the question: Do sports in 2020 need an asterisk?

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What China's uneven economic recovery means for the U.S.

Adapted from Institute of International Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

China and much of Southeast Asia look to be bouncing back strongly from the coronavirus pandemic as stock markets and much of the country's economic data are returning to pre-pandemic levels.

What's happening: "Our tracking points to a clear V-shaped recovery in China," economists at the Institute of International Finance said in a note to clients Tuesday, predicting the country's second-quarter growth will rise above 2% after its worst quarter on record in Q1.

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Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized in June after fall

Chief Justice John Roberts was hospitalized overnight after a fall on June 21, a Supreme Court spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Post on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Speculation regarding justices' health — given their lifetime appointments — always runs rampant, and this incident may have not been made public if the Post hadn't "received a tip."

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Congress vs. tech's gang of four

The CEOs of tech's four leading giants will defend their industry's growing concentration of power from critics on both right and left who view them as monopolists when they testify, most likely virtually, before Congress on July 27.

Why it matters: The joint appearance by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Apple's Tim Cook, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Google's Sundar Pichai will mark a historic collision between the leaders of an industry that has changed the world and political leaders who believe those changes have harmed democracy and individual rights.

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