CORONAVIRUS: Cases in the US upped last week at their slowest pace since the start of the pandemic. Aka 1.5 percent. In more good news: the CDC just issued new guidance that says people who have been fully vaccinated for two weeks can now meet with other fully vaccinated people without masks or social distancing. Plus people who have been fully vaccinated can hang out with unvaccinated people from a single household indoors without masks (of course, as long as the unvaccinated people are low-risk). In some not-so-good news: significantly fewer Black and Hispanic women are working now than any other demographic, even as hiring is back up.
USA: Recently, the US announced that it would be granting Venezuelans already living in the US temporary protected status (TPS). The US gov sometimes grants TPS to people fleeing some kind of disaster in their home country. It gives these migrants the chance to legally stay and work in the US. Now, it looks like the Biden team is extending that opportunity to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants. Meanwhile, a new lawsuit is pointing fingers at the New York City school system - the largest in the US - for segregation. The lawsuit alleges that the school system worsens racial inequality by sorting certain students into gifted programs as early as kindergarten. Stay tuned. In other news, as part of a push toward equality, Unilever will stop calling certain hair and skin types “normal.”
VOTING RIGHTS: ICYDK, state and local leaders have intro’d at least 253 bills to restrict voting access in at least 43 states since the 2020 US presidential election. Recently, both Iowa and Georgia passed new laws doing just that. We’ll start with Iowa. The state’s governor signed a law limiting early voting days and Election Day voting. Oh, and it also makes it harder for voters to return absentee ballots, which let people vote from home and either mail it in or drop it off. Over in Georgia, the state Senate passed an election bill - backed by Republicans - that would repeal no-excuse absentee voting. It’d also make a series of other changes to voting in the state. Big deal, since these laws are already expected to mostly impact BIPOC.