CORONAVIRUS: Brazil just reported its highest daily increase of coronavirus infections since the pandemic began. Not a typo. Over in the US, while cases overall are plateauing, there are signs that they could be on the rise in the Northeast. See: pretty much half of the new cases in New York are being driven by two variants, new cases per capita are double the national average in New York and New Jersey, and cases in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts are no longer dropping. On the West Coast, two coronavirus strains first detected in California are now officially “variants of concern.” Meanwhile, Tanzania’s prez, John Magufuli, just died at the age of 61 after spending months downplaying the virus. The vice prez says he died of heart complications, but there were rumors he got the virus last week.
USA: Recently, a Texas man reportedly drove a pickup truck at speeds of 100 miles per hour during a police pursuit. He soon crashed, killing the eight undocumented immigrants who were inside the truck. Now, the man is being charged with “transporting illegal aliens resulting in death.” If convicted, he’ll face a maximum sentence of life in prison. In other news, an Amazon warehouse worker just testified to the Senate...andddd told lawmakers her “workday feels like a 9-hour intense workout everyday” and that workers are only given two breaks of 30 minutes over a 10-hour workday. Not to mention the biz apparently tracks workers’ every move. This comes as Amazon workers at an Alabama warehouse are attempting to unionize.
PEOPLE: ICYMI, Prez Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package also provides $31 billion (yes, with a b) for tribal nations and Indigenous people. The why: tribal communities and Indigenous people deal with racial inequities and a lack of significant federal funding, which makes them particularly vulnerable to crises like the coronavirus pandemic. The aid is being described as a potentially “transformative lifeline” for these communities. Speaking of which, Amalgamated Bank just endorsed HR 40, a piece of legislation that’d give reparations to African Americans. It’s the first major US bank to do so. And in other news, a Tokyo Olympics official just quit after calling a plus-sized Japanese celebrity “Olympig.”