Tag: political

Americans defy pandemic, political leaders to travel for Thanksgiving

(Reuters) – Americans defied pleas from state and local officials to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday in the face of the surging coronavirus pandemic, triggering fresh warnings from health officials with the release of vaccines still weeks away.

FILE PHOTO: Roberto Arias prepares a grave for burial at Woodlawn Cemetery during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Everett, Massachusetts, U.S., May 27, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden joined in the calls for safety, urging people to forgo big family gatherings, wear protective masks and maintain social distancing.[L1N2IB13S]

“I know we can and we will beat this virus,” Biden said in a speech delivered in a near-empty Wilmington, Delaware, theater to a handful of staffers and reporters wearing masks sitting inside socially distanced circles on the floor. Biden did not wear a mask.

“Life is going to return to normal. I promise you. This will happen. This will not last forever,” said Biden, a 78-year-old Democrat.

Deaths from COVID-19 surpassed 2,000 in a single day for the first time since May on Tuesday and hospitalizations reached a record 88,000 on Wednesday as the country recorded 2.3 million new infections in the past two weeks.

Spiraling infections typically result in a rising death toll weeks later. Coronavirus deaths reached 2,157 on Tuesday – one person every 40 seconds – with another 170,000 people infected, as millions of Americans disregarded official warnings and traveled for Thanksgiving.

Nearly 1 million passengers a day have been screened at airport security checkpoints for the past week, with Sunday’s total of 1.047 million being the highest number since the early days of the pandemic in mid-March.

‘WE WANT TO SEE THE FAMILY’

Daliza Rodriguez, a 33-year-old childhood educator, was traveling to Texas from New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Wednesday.

“We know we’re taking a risk but we want to see the family, and it has been a long time,” she said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, urged people to keep Thanksgiving gatherings as small as possible and stressed the need to “hang in there a bit longer.”

“If we do those things, we’re going to get through it. So that’s my final plea before the holiday,” Fauci told the ABC News program “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.

Families with university students have been forced to evaluate the risk of reuniting for Thanksgiving.

Francesca Wimer, a student at Northwestern University in Illinois, flew home to Washington wearing an N95 mask and a face shield and checked into a hotel for 14 days, quarantining to protect her parents and grandparents.

“She was returning to a vulnerable set of people. We didn’t trust that a test was enough,” said her mother, Cynthia Wimer.

Luke Burke, studying at Syracuse University in upstate New York, was planning to spend Thanksgiving with his family in New Jersey until his roommate tested positive last week.

“I’m sorry I can’t be there with my parents, but it’s the right

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Adams taps political operative at influential hotel workers union to run mayoral campaign


Katie Moore is seen a provided headshot.

Katie Moore, political director of the city’s Hotel Trades Council, will manager Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign. | Courtesy of Eric Adams mayoral campaign

A political operative at a prominent union diminished by the Covid-19 pandemic has been tapped to lead Eric Adams’ mayoral campaign.

Katie Moore, political director of the city’s Hotel Trades Council, will be campaign manager for the bid the Brooklyn borough president kicked off with a virtual announcement last week.

Adams has also hired Nathan Smith of Red Horse Strategies as his lead consultant and Evan Thies of Pythia Public Affairs to handle communications.

Moore’s move does not automatically signal the union’s plans for the Democratic primary next year, but sources familiar with its political process have said Adams is among the candidates in contention for the endorsement. Maya Wiley and Scott Stringer are also said to be on the organization’s short list.

“This is a critical moment for New York City, and Eric is the leader this city needs to recover from the pandemic, tackle inequality by making our government more efficient and effective and improve quality of life for everyday New Yorkers,” Moore said in a statement.

The hotel workers union has emerged in recent years as one of the most sought-after endorsers for city politicians, despite a small membership relative to other influential labor organizations like 1199SEIU, which represents health care workers. It was instrumental in Corey Johnson’s rise to the speakership in 2017 and Ritchie Torres’ winning congressional bid earlier this year. It also scored several legislative victories under Johnson’s leadership, most notably a bill designed to stymie the proliferation of Airbnb, which poses an existential threat to standard hotels.

The union also stood out as one of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s only supporters when he ran a long-shot bid for president last year. It has since been crippled by the pandemic’s slaughter on the city’s tourism industry, casting doubt on the power of its backing.

In 2013, the last time New Yorkers had an opportunity to elect a new mayor, HTC backed former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who lost the primary and is said by those close to her to be considering another run for the office next year.

Torres called Moore “one of the most talented and trusted people you could ever meet in politics.”

“Whether you’re running a political campaign or a labor union, Katie is exactly the kind of operative you want beside you in the trenches of New York City politics,” Torres said.

Moore got her start as an organizer at the now-defunct ACORN, a left-leaning group focused on political organizing. She worked on the 2004 presidential election through America Coming Together before taking a job with 1199, which is widely viewed as the most important labor endorsement in local elections. She was campaign manager for City Council Member Francisco Moya’s Assembly victory in 2010 and joined HTC four years ago.

Adams launched his mayoral campaign with more than $2.1 million in his account

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