Welcome to today's The Morning Sixpack! Happy Monday!
Top of the News
- Third Possible Case of Monkeypox Found in U.S.
- A New Billionaire Has Been Minted Nearly Every Day During the Pandemic
- Donald Trump Shares Platform at CPAC Hungary With Notorious Journalist Who Described Jews as ‘Stinking Excrement'
- Herschel Walker’s Ties to Veterans Program Face Scrutiny
- Man Shot Dead on New York City Subway in Latest Random Attack
- Abbott CEO Apologizes for the Baby Formula Shortage
- Bottom of the News
Third Possible Case of Monkeypox Found in U.S.
Health authorities said they may have found a third case of the monkeypox virus in the United States and are running tests on a patient in South Florida to confirm if the person has contracted the disease, which is staging a rare outbreak outside of Africa.
The case in Broward County, Florida, is “related to international travel,” the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health said in a statement on Sunday, “and the person remains isolated.”
The results of tests conducted by the CDC are expected soon. No other cases have been identified in the state, the release said.
The first monkeypox case in the United States was reported in Massachusetts on Wednesday. The disease, which is similar to human smallpox but milder, was found in a man who had recently traveled to Canada. Health officials said the case posed no risk to the public. read more
The second U.S. case was a New York City resident who tested positive for the virus on Friday, health officials said.
In Europe, more than 100 cases of the viral infection, which spreads through close person-to-person contact, have been reported recently.
Monkeypox, which mostly occurs in west and central Africa, is a viral infection that was first recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the 1970s. Symptoms include fever, headaches and skin rashes starting on the face and spreading to the rest of the body.Reuters
Next time somebody complains it was the “lamestream media” hawking fear mongering, show them this headline. It's from Drudge, one of the heaviest rightwing nutjob “news” sites on the web.
A New Billionaire Has Been Minted Nearly Every Day During the Pandemic
Some 573 people have joined the billionaire ranks since 2020, bringing the worldwide total to 2,668, according to an analysis released by Oxfam on Sunday. That means a new billionaire was minted about every 30 hours, on average, so far during the pandemic.
The report, which draws on data compiled by Forbes, looks at the rise of inequality over the past two years. It is timed to coincide with the kickoff of the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, a gathering of some of the wealthiest people and world leaders.
Billionaires have seen their total net worth soar by $3.8 trillion, or 42%, to $12.7 trillion during the pandemic. A large part of the increase has been fueled by strong gains in the stock markets, which was aided by governments injecting money into the global economy to soften the financial blow of the coronavirus.
Much of the jump in wealth came in the first year of the pandemic. It then plateaued and has since dropped a bit, said Max Lawson, head of inequality policy at Oxfam.
At the same time, Covid-19, growing inequality and rising food prices could push as many as 263 million people into extreme poverty this year, reversing decades of progress, Oxfam said in a report released last month.”I've never seen such a dramatic growth in poverty and growth in wealth at the same moment in history,” Lawson said. “It's going to hurt a lot of people.”
Consumers around the world are contending with the soaring cost of energy and food, but corporations in these industries and their leaders are benefiting from the rise in prices, Oxfam said.
Billionaires in the food and agribusiness sector have seen their total wealth increase by $382 billion, or 45%, over the past two years, after adjusting for inflation. Some 62 food billionaires were created since 2020.Meanwhile, the net worth of their peers in the oil, gas and coal sectors jumped by $53 billion, or 24%, since 2020, after adjusting for inflation.
Forty new pandemic billionaires were created in the pharmaceutical industry, which has been at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19 and the beneficiary of billions in public funding.CNN
Rich got richer, I guess. How's your networth?
Donald Trump Shares Platform at CPAC Hungary With Notorious Journalist Who Described Jews as ‘Stinking Excrement'
Former President Donald Trump shared a platform at a major right-wing conference in Hungary with a journalist who has previously made antisemitic comments, referred to Roma people as “animals,” and used racist slurs, according to The Guardian.
Trump spoke on Friday via a video call at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Hungary, an offshoot of the right-wing US political conference, The Guardian reported.
The conference also featured speeches by Tucker Carlson, Mark Meadows, and Candace Owens, per the conference's website.
Trump's speech saw him heap praise on Hungary's authoritarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, The Guardian reported, and came shortly before journalist Zsolt Bayer took to the stage.
Bayer, a Hungarian ultra-conservative media figure, has received widespread criticism for offensive comments.
In 2011, per The Guardian, he used the phrase “stinking excrement” to refer to British Jews.
In 2013, Bayer wrote a piece in which he described Roma people as “animals” who are “unfit to live among people.” The publication was fined and the content was ordered to be removed from the internet.
Bayer was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit in 2016 by Orbán — a move that was condemned by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “Bayer has a long record of racist speech and has written highly provocative antisemitic and anti-Roma articles in the Hungarian media,” the museum said in a statement in August 2016.
The last speaker at the CPAC Hungary even was the far-right US blogger Jack Posobiec, said The Guardian.Yahoo
Is anybody surprised?
Herschel Walker’s Ties to Veterans Program Face Scrutiny
Herschel Walker, the football legend and leading Republican Senate candidate in Georgia, often boasts of his work helping service members and veterans struggling with mental health.
In interviews and campaign appearances, the former Dallas Cowboy and Heisman Trophy winner takes credit for founding, co-founding, and sometimes operating a program called Patriot Support. The program, he says, has taken him to military bases all over the world.
“About fifteen years ago, I started a program called Patriot Support,” Walker said in an interview with conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt last October. “People need to know I started a military program, a military program that treats (thousands) of soldiers a year,” he told Savannah TV station WTGS in February.
But corporate documents, court records, and Senate disclosures reviewed by The Associated Press tell a more complicated story. Together they present a portrait of a celebrity spokesman who overstated his role in a for-profit program that is alleged to have preyed upon veterans and service members while defrauding the government.
The revelation marks the latest example of a far more complex reality that lies beneath the carefully curated autobiography Walker has pitched to voters.
Walker’s campaign would not make him available for an interview.
“So let me get this straight — you are demonizing Herschel for being the face of an organization for 14 years that has helped tens of thousands of soldiers suffering from mental illness,” Walker spokeswoman Mallory Blount said in an emailed statement that also criticized the media.
Even before entering the race, Walker drew attention for his past mental health struggles, including allegations that he threatened his ex-wife’s life. He’s dramatically inflated his record as a businessman, as the AP previously reported. And his claim that he graduated at the top of his class from the University of Georgia, where he led the Bulldogs to a 1980 championship, was also untrue. He didn’t graduate, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported.
Political candidates often gild their story and, so far, in the race for the Republican Senate nomination with the backing of former President Donald Trump, Walker’s troubled background, falsehoods, and contradictions have not carried a price. But if he wins Tuesday’s primary, in which he holds a dominating lead, Democrats are likely to highlight unflattering parts of his story in what is shaping up as one of the fiercest fall contests, with control of the U.S. Senate in the balance.
“Walker has a troubled record, much of which Republicans have already been sounding the alarm on,” said J.B. Poersch, the president of Senate Majority PAC, a campaign arm for Senate Democrats that pays for millions of dollars in attack ads. “A lot of the discussion on his record will carry over into the general election because voters deserve to know the truth.”
Well before his candidacy, Walker received plaudits for his work with Patriot Support. His visits to bases were touted in military press releases. And in 2014, as a celebrity contestant on a Food Network game show, Walker won a $50,000 prize to donate to his charity of choice, Patriot Support.
But Patriot Support is not a charity. It’s a for-profit program specifically marketed to veterans that is offered by Universal Health Services, one of the largest hospital chains in the U.S. Walker wasn’t the program’s founder, either. It was created 11 years before Universal Health Services says it hired Walker as a spokesman, which paid him a salary of $331,000 last year.
And the $50,000 prize he earned from the Food Network didn’t go to Patriot Support, but was instead donated to a Paralympic Veterans program in Patriot Support’s name.
Court documents, meanwhile, offer a far more troubling picture of its care for veterans and service members.
A sprawling civil case brought against Universal Health Services by the Department of Justice and nearly two dozen states alleges that Patriot Support was part of a broader effort by the company to defraud the government.
Prosecutors allege Universal Health Services and its affiliates aggressively pushed those with government-sponsored insurance into inpatient mental health care to drive revenue. That’s because, unlike typical private insurers, government plans do not limit the duration of hospital stays for psychiatric care so long as specific criteria are met, making such patients more profitable, the government alleged.
To achieve this end, the company pushed staff at its mental health facilities to misdiagnose patients and falsify documents in order to hospitalize those who did not require it, according to court records. In other cases, they failed to discharge those who no longer needed hospitalization, according to the DOJ.
A lengthy 2016 investigation by the website BuzzFeed included interviews with former patients, including a veteran, who said they went to Universal Health Services seeking a consultation or counseling only to find themselves held in inpatient care, sometimes against their will.AP
This is worth your time. Read it all, including the Buzzfeed story linked above. Walker is nothing but a grifter, just like #TFG and his bum crime family.
Man Shot Dead on New York City Subway in Latest Random Attack
A 48-year-old man was shot in the chest while riding on a New York City subway car on Sunday in what appeared to be the latest in a series of random attacks in the city's transit system.
The unidentified gunman fled when the train pulled into a station in Manhattan and remained at large on Sunday evening, Kenneth Corey, NYPD chief of department, said at a news briefing.
“Preliminary investigation reveals the suspect was walking back and forth in the same train car and, without provocation, pulled out a gun and fired it at the victim at close range as the train was crossing the Manhattan Bridge,” Corey said.
The gunman, described only as a heavy-set, “dark-skinned” man with a beard wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sweat pants, fled when the train pulled into the next station, Corey said.
The suspect and the victim did not appear to know each other and had not interacted prior to the gunfire, police said. The victim, who was not identified by police, was pronounced dead at Bellvue Hospital.Reuters
Get used to it, I guess? Violence is a way of life in the good old USA.
Abbott CEO Apologizes for the Baby Formula Shortage
The CEO of Abbott, the company whose voluntary recall of several widely sold baby formula brands helped trigger a nationwide formula shortage, has apologized for the crisis, as the first overseas shipment of formula approved by President Biden arrived in the U.S. Sunday.
“We're sorry to every family we've let down since our voluntary recall exacerbated our nation's baby formula shortage,” wrote CEO Robert Ford in an op-ed published Saturday in the Washington Post.
The nationwide shortage has roots in supply chain disruptions and a market characterized by limited competition, exclusive contracts and few large suppliers.
But it was kicked into overdrive in February when Abbott, the nation's largest manufacturer of baby formula, voluntarily closed a large plant in Michigan after four children fell sick with bacterial infections.
“We believe our voluntary recall was the right thing to do. We will not take risks when it comes to the health of children,” Ford wrote.
In the months since the recall, parents have reported empty shelves and limits on purchases from places where formula is in stock.NPR
Well, it's settled: He's “sorry.”
Read the last Morning Sixpack here.
Bottom of the News
- The Big Lie about Georgia Voting Has Been Shredded
- U.S. economy ‘in a better position’ than most countries despite recession risk, Biden adviser says
- Top Senate Republican Who Voted To Overturn 2020 Election Admits Biden Won Fairly
- The racist theory inspiring a wave of mass shootings
- The Alfa Bank Hoax Hoax
- Rouble gains around 4%, heading back towards multi-year highs
Make it a great day!
🍺 PS – Buy me a beer