stay home
April 20, 2021

The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to pose an "unprecedented risk" to travelers, the State Department said Monday, and travel advisories are being updated to "outline current issues affecting travelers' health."

The changes "better reflect" the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's travel health notices, the State Department said, and will "result in a significant increase in the number of countries at Level 4: Do Not Travel, to approximately 80 percent of countries worldwide." The advisories also take into account "logistical factors," the State Department said, like "in-country testing availability and current travel restrictions for U.S. citizens."

Level 4 is the highest travel advisory level, and there are now about three dozen countries with this designation, CNN reports. The CDC is recommending that people delay international travel until they are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, adding that even those who have been inoculated "are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants." Catherine Garcia

December 7, 2020

Scott Gottlieb, a physician who headed the Food and Drug Administration for the first two years of President Trump's administration, has been delivering some harsh predictions and recommendations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. And in his most recent dose of advice, Gottlieb warned Americans that one favorite activity is still incredibly unsafe.

As COVID-19 sees an unprecedented surge, Gottlieb told CNBC on Monday that he is comfortable going to "many big-box stores properly masked." But "I will not indoors in a restaurant," Gottlieb added. "I've been eating outdoors since the summertime and wouldn't eat indoors in a restaurant. I think the risk is too high to be in a confined space without a mask on with other people eating in that same location right now." Even if tables are properly spaced out, "you're in a confined space," and people may be "talking loudly," only exacerbating the risk.

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have reached record highs throughout the U.S. over the past few days, leading to new rounds of business closures and restrictions. But most places have allowed indoor dining to remain open, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned that eating out and drinking at bars are the pandemic's riskiest activities. Kathryn Krawczyk

May 21, 2020

Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young on Thursday asked President Trump to "please stay home" and not visit the city's Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine on Memorial Day.

Baltimore is under a stay-at-home order because of the coronavirus, and Young said in a statement the city has worked "closely with our health professionals to educate the public about the benefits of social distancing and staying home, unless leaving for an essential reason, like visiting a doctor or picking up groceries. That President Trump is deciding to pursue nonessential travel sends the wrong message to our residents, many of whom have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 virus."

Young wishes that Trump, "as our nation's leader, would set a positive example and not travel during this holiday weekend." Not only does a trip to Baltimore send "a conflicting message to our residents, his visit requires personnel and equipment and has a price tag that our city, which is still dealing with the loss of roughly $20 million in revenue per month, simply can't afford to shoulder."

The White House announced on Wednesday that Trump would spend part of Memorial Day at the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, which is currently closed to the public. Trump has called Baltimore a "rat and rodent infested mess," and was greeted by protesters last September when he came to the city for an event. On Thursday evening, the White House said Trump isn't going to cancel his plans, as "the brave men and women who have preserved our freedoms for generations did not stay home and the president will not either as he honors their sacrifice by visiting such a historic landmark in our nation's history." Catherine Garcia

May 11, 2020

With President Trump wanting to get out of Washington, D.C., and show off his leadership skills, White House staffers thought it would be smart to have Trump visit a Pennsylvania plant that produced personal protective equipment, two people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post, but the plan fizzled after factory officials decided it was just too risky to hold the event.

The Braskem factory in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, made headlines when employees remained inside the building for 28 days, making medical gear without worrying about the items becoming contaminated by coronavirus. During discussions between factory officials and the White House advance team, Braskem conveyed its concern that a Trump visit would jeopardize the safety of workers and the plant's ability to make a special fabric needed for its medical gear. They worried there wasn't enough room to social distance, and wouldn't have let workers attend the event anyway, the Post reports.

The White House, which wanted the event to be held last Friday, suggested holding something outside instead, but the factory finally said there was too much of a risk and asked to have the visit rescheduled for after the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement, Braskem CEO Mark Nikolich said the company was "deeply honored by the White House's acknowledgment of our production resiliency teams. However, after many discussions, the parties agreed due to the nature of petrochemical operations and the safety of our team members and visitors a visit wasn't feasible."

Last Tuesday, Trump went to a Honeywell facility in Phoenix that made masks, while not wearing a face covering himself. On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence trekked to a Virginia nursing home to deliver personal protective equipment, joined by Katie Miller, his press secretary. Neither one wore a mask, and on Friday, Miller tested positive for coronavirus. That didn't prevent Pence from flying to Iowa, where he interacted with Gov. Kim Reynolds (R). Catherine Garcia

April 30, 2020

With no regard for social distancing or general safety, dozens of protesters crammed inside Michigan's statehouse on Thursday to display their anger at ongoing business closures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Michigan's House chamber blocked the protesters from their chamber, but they made it into the state Senate's viewing galleries, with some carrying rifles as they looked down on the legislators below.

Protesters were already piled up outside the statehouse as Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D) made her way into work Thursday morning.

They heard from speakers on the steps of the Capitol building, with the last one telling everyone to head inside.

Police checked protesters' temperatures as they went in, but didn't stop anyone from carrying guns into the building and didn't enforce any kind of social distancing.

The protesters eventually made it to the upper viewing area of the Senate, with Polehanki sharing this photo.

The Senate adjourned Thursday without extending Michigan's state of emergency, which expires at the end of the day. Kathryn Krawczyk

May 7, 2018

Your summer vacation is killing the environment.

Global tourism makes up 8 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, research published Monday shows, three times more than scientists previously thought. Without major changes to the tourism industry, reports CNN, international travel will be unsustainable.

Research published in the journal Nature Climate Change found that tourism's carbon footprint grew 3 percent annually between 2009 and 2013. That carbon footprint, which factors in carbon dioxide and methane emissions in the industry, is a major contributor to climate change. Previous studies estimated that tourism made up around 2.5 percent of global emissions, but that was without taking into account the food, accommodations, services, and local transportation travelers use once they arrive at their destination.

High-income countries like the U.S., China, Germany, and India are responsible for half of the increase in emissions, while countries that depend on the tourism sector are largely producing emissions because of the incoming travelers. Researchers called for innovations in air travel to cut down on emissions significantly. Read more at CNN. Summer Meza

September 17, 2015

A pesky computer issue has grounded all American Airlines flights in and out of Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, and Chicago's O'Hare, according to a Federal Aviation Administration announcement Thursday afternoon. The FAA indicated that the hold on flights would last until a least 2:30 p.m. EST.

In July, a United Airlines computer problem likewise grounded planes due to extensive "automation issues." Someone might want to get on fixing these airlines' computers, ASAP. Jeva Lange

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