Dan Rather, a former CBS news anchor who left the networks to say a false tale about George W. Bush’s armed services during the 2004 elections, doubled his support for an Atlantic report alleging that President Donald Trump had fired the powers on Tuesday.
The Atlantic cited four unnamed sources who said Trump called American soldiers “losers” and “suckers” who died during World War I in 2018, and also said that he had been on a visit to a military cemetery, so he would not get his hair wet in the rain.
In the record, the statements were contested by more than a dozen outlets, including John Bolton, former national security advisor, a strident critic of the President. On Sunday, the United States Both France’s Ambassador and former White House Deputy Staff Chief Zach Fuentes denied the storey was real.
Instead, hosting a “Radio Andy” show on Sirius XM 102, a segment dedicated to the Atlantic storey asked callers to respond. He asked many if the claims were real. He asked many.
Moreover, some callers said that while they couldn’t be certain, because of other items the president had said they believe in the article’s allegations.
“It’s true whether he said it or not,” Rather said.
“How about — Senator John McCain said bad stuff about him? “Later, he asked a caller who said the true” suckers “and” losers “were the people who uncritically believed in the media.
He also referred to Trump’s remarks on McCain, coming in 2015, after the late Senator characterised the supporters of Trump as “crazies.” His statements are mirrored in the NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander who said on Friday that whether or not the storey is real.
Rather, he admitted that many Trump backers did not believe the claims of the Atlantic.
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COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have climbed to an average of more than 1,900 a day for the first time since early March, with experts saying the virus is preying largely on a distinct group: 71 million unvaccinated Americans.
The increasingly lethal turn has filled hospitals, complicated the start of the school year, delayed the return to offices and demoralized health care workers.
“It is devastating,” said Dr. Dena Hubbard, a pediatrician in the Kansas City, Missouri, area who has cared for babies delivered prematurely by cesarean section in a last-ditch effort to save their mothers, some of whom died. For health workers, the deaths, combined with misinformation and disbelief about the virus, have been “heart-wrenching, soul-crushing.”
Twenty-two people died in one week alone at CoxHealth hospitals in the Springfield-Branson area, a level almost as high as that of all of Chicago. West Virginia has had more deaths in the first three weeks of September — 340 — than in the previous three months combined. Georgia is averaging 125 dead per day, more than California or other more populous states.
“I’ve got to tell you, a guy has got to wonder if we are ever going to see the end of it or not,” said Collin Follis, who is the coroner in Missouri’s Madison County and works at a funeral home.
The nation was stunned back in December when it was witnessing 3,000 deaths a day. But that was when almost no one was vaccinated.
Now, nearly 64% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. And yet, average deaths per day have climbed 40% over the past two weeks, from 1,387 to 1,947, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Health experts say the vast majority of the hospitalized and dead have been unvaccinated. While some vaccinated people have suffered breakthrough infections, those tend to be mild.
The number of vaccine-eligible Americans who have yet to get a shot has been put at more than 70 million.
“There is a very real risk you’ll end up in the hospital or even in the obituary pages,” Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer for the Ohio Department of Health, said to the unvaccinated. “Don’t become a statistic when there is a simple, safe and effective alternative to go out today and get vaccinated.”
Many low-vaccination communities also have high rates of conditions like obesity and diabetes, said Dr. William Moss of Johns Hopkins. And that combination — along with the more contagious delta variant — has proved lethal.
“I think this is a real failure of society and our most egregious sin to be at this stage where we have hospitals overwhelmed, ICUs overwhelmed and hitting this mark in terms of deaths per day,” Moss lamented.
New cases of the coronavirus per day in the U.S. have dropped since the start of September and are now running at about 139,000. But deaths typically take longer to fall because victims often linger for weeks before succumbing.
In Kansas, 65-year-old cattleman Mike Limon thought he had beaten COVID-19 and went back to work for a few days. But the virus had “fried” his lungs and he died last week, said his grandson, Cadin Limon, 22, of Wichita.
He said his grandfather didn’t get vaccinated for fear of a bad reaction, and he hasn’t gotten the shot either for the same reason, though serious side effects have proved extremely rare.
He described his grandfather as a “man of faith.”
“Sixty-five is still pretty young,” the young man said. “I know that. It seems sudden and unexpected, but COVID didn’t surprise God. His death wasn’t a surprise to God. The God I serve is bigger than that.”
Cases are falling in West Virginia from pandemic highs, but deaths and hospitalizations are expected to continue increasing for as many as six more weeks, said retired National Guard Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, who leads the state’s coronavirus task force.
Dr. Greg Martin, who is president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and practices mostly at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, said the staff is buckling under the strain.
“I think everyone in 2020 thought we would get through this. No one really thought that we would still be seeing this the same way in 2021,” he said.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon activated the state’s National Guard on Tuesday to provide assistance to hospitals dealing with a surge of COVID-19 patients.
In Oklahoma, Hillcrest South Hospital in Tulsa is among several medical centers around the country to add temporary morgues. Deaths are at an all-time high there, at three to four times the number it would see in a non-COVID-19 world, said Bennett Geister, hospital CEO.
He said the staff there, too, is worn out.
“They didn’t sign up to be ICU nurses only to have people pass away on them,” he said. “They signed up to be ICU nurses to take people to recovery and heal people from the brink of death.”
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) — Central New York is playing a big part in the Pfizer study of kids and vaccines. Upstate University is one of the vaccine trial sites. Pediatrician Joseph Domachowske, who’s reportedly helping conduct the study, joined NEWS10’s sister station in Syracuse to talk about its progress.
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NORMAL, Ill. – Twenty-five-year-old Jelani Day is a graduate student studying to get his master’s in speech pathology at Illinois State University. He was last seen Aug. 24 and hasn’t been heard from since.
Police found his car, a 2010 White Crysler 300 with a blacktop, in a wooded area in Peru, Illinois, a few days later.
“Nothing is more important to me than getting Jelani back,” Carmen Bolden Day, Jelani’s mother said. “I need help to find my son, it’s been 28 days.”
Jelani’s family from Danville and a faculty member reported Jelani missing after he did not show up for class for several days. Bloomington police said they need tips from the public in their ongoing search.
Attorneys for three small Christian schools faced off with Jefferson County Public Health’s executive director Tuesday during a daylong hearing in which the county health department sought to force the schools to follow its COVID-19 mask mandate for students.
The health department sought a judge’s order last week after the agency found that three schools were not properly enforcing mask mandates in their classrooms, according to court filings. The schools objected, saying both that they were following the county’s guidance — which they argued was issued late, lacked legal authority and changed over time — and that the county’s public health order was unconstitutional, among other arguments.
Jefferson County Public Health executive director Dawn Comstock was the only witness to take the stand Tuesday; the hearing did not finish and will continue Wednesday.
Comstock testified extensively about rising rates of COVID-19 infections in the county and particularly among school-aged children, who are not able to be vaccinated if they’re under 12 and have seen significant rates of infection since schools returned this fall.
“For the first time, both the 6 to 11 age group and the 12 to 17 age group have higher incidence rates than adults,” she said. “This is the first time that has been seen in the state of Colorado during the entire pandemic.”
School supporters packed the courtroom Tuesday; some observers in the morning sat shoulder-to-shoulder on the floor and stood in the back of the room. Comstock at one point interrupted her testimony to ask that observers be reminded to wear their masks correctly.
“Your honor, I realize this is irregular but I am concerned we have a very packed courtroom with a number of people not wearing their masks correctly–” she said, before the audience’s derisive laughter drowned her out.
District Court Judge Randall Arp told everyone in the courtroom to wear their masks over their noses and mouths and said those who did not would be removed. Deputies did remove one person from an overflow room who refused to wear a mask.
The school attorneys who cross-examined Comstock on Tuesday focused on arguments the schools had laid out in court filings. Faith Christian Academy argued that it does enforce a mask mandate in its school, but that at the time health inspectors visited there were “some lapses in enforcement as everyone was trying to understand the scope of the public health order while also juggling all of the other responsibilities of starting the school year.”
Beth Eden Baptist School said in a filing that the school had decided last week — hours before the lawsuit was filed — that it would comply with the mandate and allow unimpeded access for inspectors.
“By the time this case was filed, our client was totally in compliance,” attorney Shaun Pearman said about Beth Eden during Tuesday’s hearing. The health department’s attorney, Craig May, disagreed with that characterization.
Augustine Classical Academy also said it was in compliance with the county mask mandate, pointing out that the original mask order was changed in late August and that the school adjusted its initial response after that change.
“We are curious about why JCPH targeted small religious schools in what appears to be an effort to intimidate, if not harass, our schools for being non-compliant with the public health order when all three schools have either clearly indicated their voluntary compliance and/or been investigated and found to be in compliance by JCPH inspectors,” Justin Riley, interim executive director of Augustine Classical Academy, said in a statement Tuesday.
The schools also raised objections on constitutional grounds, arguing that the mask mandates and the testing requirements for unvaccinated students and staff violate the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, in part because the health department wanted the schools to allow access to health inspectors without prior notice.
“Plaintiff asks this court to give Plaintiff the unprecedented power to conduct generalized and random warrantless searches to enforce a directive for which violations are punishable criminally,” a filing from Augustine Classical Academy reads. “The Fourth Amendment prohibits such expansive power.”
After three years of arguing, petitioning and back-and-forth conversations, a mural in Los Angeles’ Koreatown was redone and unveiled last Wednesday.
The controversy: In 2016, a mural was put up on a wall of the Robert F. Kennedy Community School in Los Angeles honoring Hollywood icon and actress Ava Gardner. There were no qualms about the actress herself, but in 2018, Korean community groups and protestors took issue with the massive crimson sun rays emanating from her face, comparing them to a swastika or a burning cross, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Protestors claimed the rays are too similar to the symbol of the imperial Japanese army during World War II — the rising sun. Those groups took offense and called for the mural to be taken down.
During that time of war, the Japanese Empire subjected Koreans to heinous atrocities and left deep scars within the community.
The mural’s artist,Beau Stanton, has featured multiple paintings with large sun rays before and said he did not mean to distress anyone with his depiction of Gardner. He said the accents around Gardner’s silhouette, along with the palm trees and the Grecian pillar, were “intended to honor the legendary Cocoanut Grove nightclub” that she frequented and that used to exist near the school, according to LAist.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) initially announced that they would remove the mural amid complaints from the Wilshire Community Coalition and Chan Yong “Jake” Jeong, the coalition’s president and protest organizer against the mural. However, they soon received pushback from artists like Shepard Fairey, who said he would remove his own mural of Robert Kennedy from the campus if they went through with their decision, according to NBC Los Angeles.
What came of it: The community came together, and an initiative was led by “GYOPO, a collective of diasporic Korean artists in Los Angeles,” to revise the mural.
Stanton redid parts of it and included input from students and members of the Koreatown community.
“This process and initial public conversation surrounding the original mural has been a challenging and ultimately positive experience,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “I genuinely hope this saga can serve as a constructive example of how to balance the input of local stakeholders with creative free expression in public art.”
The mural now includes a traditional Korean pattern of a phoenix, a migrant worker harvesting oranges based on a historic photograph, and a uniformed Koreatown hotel worker photographed in 1935 with ties to the school building’s former occupant. Ava Gardner is “crowned with flowers specific to the national origins of many of the students whose families immigrated from Mexico, Korea, Guatemala, El Salvador and other parts of Latin America.” The sun rays are also there but significantly less bold and muted behind the additions.
After a 2 1/2 year delay, the updated RFK mural of Ava Gardner was officially unveiled today. Major props to M &O for helping with this morning’s ceremony. @KtownPU_CoSpic.twitter.com/XrzLeLypl0
“Three years ago, we entered into a space of not knowing what was going to happen when we were informed about the impact that the mural had on our community, on our Korean community,” Roberto Martinez, LAUSD’s senior school district administrator said. “You’ve taught us what the word community means, what leadership means…We have created a space of love and respect.”
The president of the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council, Kisuk Jun, initially collected 1,400 signatures to get rid of the mural. He approved of the new mural stating, “We came together and now it’s more beautiful—because it symbolizes Los Angeles.”
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We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.
The Patriots will honor former wide receiver Julian Edelman with a special halftime ceremony during this week’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
Edelman, who made his home the slot, constantly moving the chains on offense, announced his retirement after 12 seasons with the Patriots this past spring.
The three-time Super Bowl winner made his greatest impact in the big games. He also made in imprint in the Patriots record books. He finished second in team history with 620 receptions, fourth with 6,822 receiving yards and ninth with 36 receiving touchdowns.
Edelman, now working as an analyst for “Inside the NFL” on CBS, also sits second in NFL history with 118 postseason receptions, behind Jerry Rice’s 151 catches in the playoffs. He is one of 15 NFL players with at least 1,000 career postseason yards.
Edelman also has a Super Bowl MVP on his resume, finishing with 10 receptions for 141 yards in the win vs. the Los Angeles Rams.
At long last, the Kirill Kaprizov contract saga has come to an end.
After a back-and-forth negotiation process — and that’s putting it lightly — the Wild inked the 24-year-old Russian star to a 5-year, $45 million contract on Tuesday night.
The news comes less than 24 hours before the Wild report to training camp.
A source told the Pioneer Press that Kaprizov is in North America and will indeed be in Minnesota on Wednesday. He will be able to practice on Thursday, thus there should be no issue with him being ready for the Oct. 15 season opener.
Not long after the Wild made the deal official on their Twitter account, Kaprizov took to Instagram, posting a picture on his feed with the caption, “Let’s go.”
Wild general manager Bill Guerin was not immediately made available for comment. He is scheduled to talk to reporters on Wednesday afternoon.
As for Kaprizov, whenever he talked to reporters will mark the first time anyone has heard from him since last season. He was not available after winning the Calder Trophy this offseason because he was on a fishing trip in Siberia without Internet access.
This contract for Kaprizov runs through the 2025-26 season and instantly makes him the highest paid player in franchise history. His deal carries an average annual value of $9 million, topping captain Jared Spurgeon, whose contract carries an average annual value of $7.575 million.
While that might seem like a lot of money for a guy that has played only 55 games in the NHL, there’s no doubt Kaprizov earned a big pay day with his play last season. And the Wild absolutely had to get something done at some point.
There’s a legitimate argument to be made that Kaprizov is already the most talented player the Wild organization has ever seen.
He won the Calder Trophy last season after an incredible rookie campaign that saw him score a team-high 27 goals to go along with 24 assists. In fact, Kaprizov was so dominant that he garnered 99 of 100 first-place votes from the Professional Hockey Writers Association, the highest percentage of first-place votes in Calder Trophy balloting since 1992-93.
As pretty much every Wild fan knows by now, it took some time for Kaprizov to come over from his native Russia after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. That said, it’s safe to say he has more than lived up to the hype.
That’s something Kaprizov did pretty much as soon as he stepped on the ice for the Wild. He scored the game-winner in overtime of his NHL debut against the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 14. It was a storybook beginning to his NHL career, and he kept his foot on the gas pedal the rest of the way.
In the process, he captured the heart of Wild fans everywhere.
His stellar performance as a rookie gave Kaprizov and his agent Paul Theofanous some leverage heading into this offseason. Though it was widely reported that Guerin hoped to agree upon a long-term deal — perhaps a max eight-year deal if possible — Kaprizov was said to be in favor of a short-term deal.
Both sides met somewhere in the middle to get the deal done.
Now the key for Kaprizov will be proving it night in and night out. He’s being paid like one of the best players in the league and will be expected to perform like one of the best players in the league.
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WFFF) — In the wake of a Supreme Court move allowing the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws to take effect in Texas, some Vermont lawmakers believe the ongoing effort to amend the Vermont Constitution is the most significant step they can take to guarantee access to abortion in the Green Mountain State.
“Currently, we have that fundamental right in this state, and we’ve had it for nearly 50 years as a result of Roe v. Wade,” said Sen. Ginny Lyons. “But it’s only a right as a result of court cases.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch met with advocates working to strike down antiabortion laws in Texas and ensure that reproductive rights are protected in Vermont. The roundtable event included representatives from Planned Parenthood of Vermont, the ACLU of Vermont, the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, and the Vermont Legislature.
Prop. 5, which was first introduced by Rep. Ann Pugh in January 2019, would guarantee reproductive rights regardless of any future Supreme Court decisions. It’s a lengthy process to amend the Vermont Constitution, but it’s expected the House will give its final approval early next year, and voters could weigh in as early as November 2022.
“Vermont’s policy has long recognized that decisions related to reproductive health and abortion are deeply personal and private, and they’re best left to the individual and their healthcare provider,” Rep. Pugh said. “Prop. 5 keeps things the way they are now, and the way they’ve been for half a century. I believe the voters of Vermont will agree.”
As Sanders and Welch return to Washington, their focus will be on a similar effort at the federal level. The ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’ would guarantee reproductive freedom nationwide. Both of Vermont’s representatives spoke about the importance of the legislation given the situation in Texas.
“This is not only an attack on women’s rights, not only an attack on human rights, what it is is another effort to try and divide us up,” Sanders said.
“I don’t think anyone in Vermont in their wildest dreams would think Texas would pass such an outrageous and unconstitutional law,” Welch said.
Falko Schilling, Advocacy Director for the ACLU of Vermont, said: “This is a case we’re challenging in court, we shouldn’t have to be, this is clearly unconstitutional and should be struck down, and it’s deeply, deeply troubling to see that the Supreme Court has let this law stand as long as it has, because it’s had devastating impacts on the people who live in Texas.”
Other speakers Monday included Melinda Moulton, for whom the developments in Texas bring back the pain of losing her mother nearly 60 years ago. More than 10 years before Roe v. Wade, Moulton said her mother went to a “secret hospital,” suffered complications from a procedure, and died five months later—three days before Christmas.
“Women cannot realize full equality if we are not allowed control over our own bodies,” Moulton said. “Reproductive freedom for women is a human right, and most Vermonters agree. Passing Prop. 5 is an extremely crucial step to ensure we never, ever allow anyone to force us to return to the days where women like my mother must endure humiliation and potentially life-threatening procedures that often cost them their lives.”
Welch said the Women’s Health Protection Act should be up for a vote in the House this week and believes it will pass. Senator Sanders said its future in the Senate is less clear. Some obstructionist Democrats are opposed, with some Republicans voicing support.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Like many days during this pandemic, there is a mixed bag of good and bad news. Missouri’s 7-day COVID case average has dropped more than 32% since its summer high in early August. On the same day, state health officials announced 213 new virus deaths.
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state has recorded 664,708 cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 1,426 positive cases (PCR testing only)—and 11,276 total deaths as of Tuesday, Sept. 21, an increase of 213 over yesterday. That’s a case fatality rate of 1.7%.
Please keep in mind that not all cases and deaths recorded occurred in the last 24 hours.
State health officials report 53.1% of the total population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Approximately 64.4% of all adults 18 years of age and older have initiated the process.
The state has administered 62,563 doses of vaccine in the last 7 days (this metric is subject to a delay, meaning the last three days are not factored in). The highest vaccination rates are among people over 65.
Boone County, the city of Joplin, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County are the only jurisdictions in the state with at least 50% of its population fully vaccinated. Fourteen other jurisdictions in the state are at least 40% fully vaccinated: Franklin, Atchison, Jackson, Cole, Gasconade, Greene, Shelby, Nodaway, Montgomery, Cape Girardeau, and Christian counties, as well as Kansas City, Independence, and St. Louis City.
Vaccination is the safest way to achieve herd immunity. Herd immunity for COVID-19 requires 80% to 90% of the population to have immunity, either by vaccination or recovery from the virus.
The Bureau of Vital Records at DHSS performs a weekly linkage between deaths to the state and death certificates to improve quality and ensure all decedents that died of COVID-19 are reflected in the systems. As a result, the state’s death toll will see a sharp increase from time to time. Again, that does not mean a large number of deaths happened in one day; instead, it is a single-day reported increase.
At the state level, DHSS is not tracking probable or pending COVID deaths. Those numbers are not added to the state’s death count until confirmed in the disease surveillance system either by the county or through analysis of death certificates.
The 10 days with the most reported cases occurred between Oct. 10, 2020, and Jan. 8, 2021.
The 7-day rolling average for cases in Missouri sits at 1,604; yesterday, it was 1,620. Exactly one month ago, the state rolling average was 1,881.
Approximately 49.3% of all reported cases are for individuals 39 years of age and younger. The state has further broken down the age groups into smaller units. The 18 to 24 age group has 82,520 recorded cases, while 25 to 29-year-olds have 56,887 cases.
People 80 years of age and older account for approximately 43.7% of all recorded deaths in the state.
Top story: Gabby Petito’s ‘odd’ final text message revealed
Month / Year
Missouri COVID cases* (reported that month)
(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)
Missouri has administered 6,909,798 PCR tests for COVID-19 over the entirety of the pandemic and as of Sept. 20, 16.9% of those tests have come back positive. People who have received multiple PCR tests are not counted twice, according to the state health department.
According to the state health department’s COVID-19 Dashboard, “A PCR test looks for the viral RNA in the nose, throat, or other areas in the respiratory tract to determine if there is an active infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. A positive PCR test means that the person has an active COVID-19 infection.”
The Missouri COVID Dashboard no longer includes the deduplicated method of testing when compiling the 7-day moving average of positive tests. The state is now only using the non-deduplicated method, which is the CDC’s preferred method. That number is calculated using the number of tests taken over the period since many people take multiple tests. Under this way of tabulating things, Missouri has a 10% positivity rate as of Sept. 18. Health officials exclude the most recent three days to ensure data accuracy when calculating the moving average.
The 7-day positivity rate was 4.5% on June 1, 10.2% on July 1, and 15.0% on Aug. 1.
As of Sept. 18, Missouri is reporting 1,798 COVID hospitalizations. The remaining inpatient hospital bed capacity sits at 19% statewide. The state’s public health care metrics lag behind by three days due to reporting delays, especially on weekends. Keep in mind that the state counts all beds available and not just beds that are staffed by medical personnel.
On July 6, the 7-day rolling average for hospitalizations eclipsed the 1,000-person milestone for the first time in four months, with 1,013 patients. The 7-day average for hospitalizations had previously been over 1,000 from Sept. 16, 2020, to March 5, 2021.
On Aug. 5, the average eclipsed 2,000 patients for the first time in more than seven months. It was previously over 2,000 from Nov. 9, 2020, to Jan. 27, 2021.
The 2021 low point on the hospitalization average in Missouri was 655 on May 29.
Across the state, 463 COVID patients are in ICU beds, leaving the state’s remaining intensive care capacity at 18%.
If you have additional questions about the coronavirus, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is available at 877-435-8411.
As of Sept. 20, the CDC identified 42,031,103 cases of COVID-19 and 672,738 deaths across all 50 states and 9 U.S.-affiliated districts, jurisdictions, and affiliated territories, for a national case-fatality rate of 1.6%.
How do COVID deaths compare to other illnesses, like the flu or even the H1N1 pandemics of 1918 and 2009? It’s a common question.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preliminary data on the 2018-2019 influenza season in the United States shows an estimated 35,520,883 cases and 34,157 deaths; that would mean a case-fatality rate of 0.09 percent. Case-fatality rates on previous seasons are as follows: 0.136 percent (2017-2018), 0.131 percent (2016-2017), 0.096 percent (2015-2016), and 0.17 percent (2014-2015).
Beginning in January 2009, another H1N1 virus—known as the “swine flu”—spread around the globe and was first detected in the US in April of that year. The CDC identified an estimated 60.8 million cases and 12,469 deaths; a 0.021 percent case-fatality rate.
For more information and updates regarding COVID mandates, data, and the vaccine, click here.
Nuggets’ guard Monte Morris saw first-hand how devastating injuries could be to a title run last season.
And given what was bound to be asked of him this upcoming season, Morris wasn’t going to be an impediment to Denver’s chances. So he had a nagging knee injury addressed.
Tendinitis, as Morris described it, plagued him ever since he made it to the NBA in 2017. Though no surgery was required, Morris underwent focused rehabilitation and medical management this summer, a league source told The Denver Post, that lasted around 10 weeks. Morris said he’s returned to physical contact and is well on his way to mending with training camp set to start next week.
“For me to take this step where I want to go, on my end, personally, without that being done to it, it was going to be very tough,” Morris said. “It’s something I’ve been dealing with my whole career. It definitely was something that had to be done whether that happened to Jamal (Murray, torn ACL) or not, his situation, it was going to have to be done on my end for sure.”
Morris said there were times last season where the pain in his knee limited his explosiveness and he shied away from attacking the basket. He no longer has those concerns.
His prediction? Fans will see more stopping and starting, more creating off the dribble and finishing better around the rim. Morris, who played last season at 173 pounds, said he’s up to 183. His goal is to play all 82 games – just like he did during the 2018-’19 season.
“We just fixed (the knee) … and just strengthened it back up,” he said.
As the team prepares for their training camp in San Diego next week, Morris has been given no assurances about a starting role even though the opportunity, while Murray rehabs, is there. When the Nuggets open their season at Phoenix in roughly a month, in all likelihood, it will be Morris orchestrating the offense as the team’s starting point guard.
Not that Morris wants the job handed to him. He said he’s eager to “earn it.”
Morris, as opposed to Facu Campazzo, Austin Rivers, P.J. Dozier or rookie Bones Hyland, makes the most sense as the team’s starting point guard alongside a lineup that should have immense offensive potential. The steady veteran is arguably the team’s best current option to captain a starting lineup featuring the firepower of Nikola Jokic, Michael Porter Jr., Will Barton and Aaron Gordon.
“I want to just show the world that I can be a leader also and just win games,” Morris said.
The Nuggets went 10-3 with Morris in the starting lineup last season.
“It’s win or bust for us,” Morris said. “… We’re all to a point where we’re just not happy to get (to the playoffs) no more. Our expectations are high.”