Amid threats and political pushback, public health officials are leaving their posts

Public health workers, already underfunded and understaffed, are confronting waves of protest at their homes and offices in addition to pressure from politicians who favor a faster reopening.

More than 20 health officials have resigned, retired or been fired in recent weeks “due to conditions related to having to enforce and stand up for strong public health tactics during this pandemic” states Lori Tremmel Freeman, chief executive of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.’

Our American Democracy: the hard fought right to vote

As part of Ann Arbor’s Juneteenth Day Celebration, the zoom showing of Suppressed: The Right to Vote by the well-known documentarian Robert Greenwald demonstrates the way state governments can deprive blacks and other people of color from voting. Focusing on Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial election, the movie testifies to the array of injustices that state deployed to deprive minorities of the right to vote.

Police Target Journalists as Trump Blames ‘Lamestream Media’ for Protests

A foundation of a functioning democracy is an informed, engaged public. Organizations such as the ACLU and Common Cause invite us to support their work to protect freedom of the press. Organizations such as ProtectPressFreedom.org – a coalition of journalists and press advocacy groups, in partnership with a wide range of major media organizations – encourages us to use social media to acknowledge threats, show support of the press and highlight great reporting. Journalists are there as representatives of the public, and if law enforcement is attacking them, they can’t do their job, and that hurts everybody.

Call the Governor to release Michigan state prisoners at risk of COVID-19

The best way to manage the COVID-19 challenge in Michigan’s prison system is to release as many people as possible as soon as possible. It can be done quickly, without compromising public safety, and in the best interest of public health. To save lives, it is imperative that the Governor act immediately to expand who is eligible for parole, expand the use of her commutation powers, expand parole boards, and expedite the review of wrongful conviction cases in front of the conviction integrity unit.

The United States Postal Service

It is urgent that Congress and the White House fully fund the United States Postal Service in the next stimulus bill. Private companies won’t deliver to certain remote areas — and, right now, the Postal Service is delivering lifesaving medications and food, supporting voting by mail-in primary states and helping other services necessary for our nation to continue to operate.

Image from Blac Detroit

Disproportionate: Over half the Covid-19 cases and 60% of deaths are in black counties

Researchers at Amfar (Foundation for Aids Research) and Emory University led a study that included several other institutions to track disproportionately black counties, i.e., where black people constituted more than 13% of the population, in four southern states. Among their findings is that underlying health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, are not the primary case of disparities.