News·4 min read

Daily Skimm: COVID, Tyre Nichols, and Pamela Anderson

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Jan 31, 2023

Not New, Not Yet Normal

The Story

President Biden will end the US's COVID emergency status.

Catch me up.

Yesterday, Biden told Congress that the US will end its national emergency and public health emergency declarations for COVID. The move — kicking into gear in May — will end a ton of federal dollars going toward the pandemic. That could mean boosters are no longer free and tests are about to get more expensive (so you may want to stock up now). The news comes as House Republicans pushed for emergency status to end immediately, calling it wasteful. But the admin says that would create “wide-ranging chaos” for hospitals and doctors. It’s not the only COVID update from yesterday.

Go on.

A new study found COVID to be the eighth most common cause of death in kids. Children and young people make up about 0.1% of the 1.1 million Americans who’ve died of the virus. But that’s still more than 1,300 people. Now, this study found that COVID has surpassed the flu and pneumonia as a leading cause of death for kids. It follows shortly after homicides and heart disease. Given the efficacy of vaccines, the study found that COVID may be also the leading vaccine-preventable disease. The news comes as more than 90% of kids in the US under 5 remain unvaccinated — and less than 10% have gotten a booster.


The World Health Organization lists COVID as a public health emergency — but now says the pandemic is “probably at a transition point.” Some see reclassifications like this as an overdue acknowledgment of the world moving on. Others see them as humanity wishing the virus to go away…while allocating fewer tax dollars to make that happen.

And Also...This

Whose death has sparked changes...

Tyre Nichols’. Yesterday, Memphis's police department confirmed that it has put two more officers involved in Nichols’ deadly traffic stop on administrative leave. That's in addition to the five fired officers who are facing murder charges. The Memphis Fire Department also fired three EMTs. The dept says the technicians violated protocol while at the scene. Meanwhile, MPD says one of the officers, Preston Hemphill, was relieved of duty the same day that the other five officers were suspended — and ultimately fired. During the confrontation, Hemphill used his Taser and can be heard on the footage saying “I hope they stomp his a**.” Hemphill’s attorney says he wasn’t “present at the second scene” and that he’s cooperating with the investigation. The Nichols’ family lawyer says they want answers on why Hemphill hasn’t been charged or fired yet.

  • The issue of race: Many are speaking against the treatment disparities between white officers and officers of color. In Nichols’ case, five Black officers were swiftly relieved from duty. But the white officer’s identity and suspension were not announced until days later. As for the seventh officer, his actions and name remain under wraps.

What’s got good news for a change…

The IMF. Yesterday, the International Monetary Fund said in its report that ‘yes, economic growth isn’t looking great’...but that we could maybe avoid a global recession. Specifically, the IMF projects 2.9% global economic growth in 2023 — down from 3.4% last year. It’s also a much rosier outlook than the earlier prediction that one-third of the world would go into recession. The reason the IMF is toning down the pessimism: turns out, people still very much love to shop. China’s economic reopening could also help. And Russia’s sanctions aren’t necessarily working. But the institution is warning central banks not to let up too quickly on measures to counter inflation…something the Federal Reserve is about to weigh in on tomorrow. In the meantime, a win is a win.

What's not taking off...

US flights. Today, airlines like Southwest and American Airlines have canceled hundreds of flights ahead of an ice storm hitting the southern US. The storm is expected to last days and impact states from Texas to Ohio with freezing rain and icy roads. It comes after more than 18,000 flights yesterday were delayed or canceled. But while we're waiting on Punxsutawney Phil to let us know if spring is right around the corner, travelers can visit this Department of Transportation dashboard to see if they qualify to rebook for free or more

While Laverne & Shirley are no longer with us…

People are also remembering the OG Wednesday Addams.

Who’s sharing her side of the story…

Pamela Anderson.

Who's giving Lady Whistledown one less thing to talk about...

Phoebe Dynevor.

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