Coronavirus cases continue growing, and it’s not just from increased testing. Just as experts anticipated, the United States is bracing for an autumn spike in COVID-19 cases. But this didn’t stop President Trump from holding (an under-attended) campaign rally. This week’s “5 Essential Updates” for our gente includes a listing of states preparing to reopen, damaging new asylum rules, and a Supreme Latina making our quarantine worth celebrating!
1. Protests and COVID-19 spikes? — Andres Guardado, an 18-year-old Latino in Los Angeles was fatally shot in the back by a police officer on June 18. As coronavirus cases are increasing in some states, protesters in L.A. gathered to demand justice for Andres. Early research shows that protests haven’t yet led to a spike in cases, but there are still risks. Experts advise always wearing masks, avoiding shouting without one, and getting tested afterward.
2. Which states are ready to reopen? According to this map from COVID Exit Strategy, as of June 22, only eight states are trending with fewer coronavirus cases and could begin reopening. States like Florida should avoid opening up non-essential businesses, because of growing COVID-19 cases. Others are showing improvements, like New Mexico with efficient leadership from Latina governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is being considered as a possible running mate for Joe Biden.
3. Our asylum system is vulnerable — As the pandemic rages on, the Trump administration is making it even more difficult for asylum-seekers trying to escape danger. Immigration activists are saying that Trump’s suggested changes would “effectively abolish asylum.”
4. Voting By Mail — The election in just 4 months needs all eligible Latinos to show up, and the pandemic will require that many of us vote by mail. California is preparing for the November elections by declaring themselves a vote by mail state, meaning every registered voter will automatically be mailed a ballot. President Trump continues to push back against voting by mail, even though Vice President Mike Pence voted by mail in Indiana’s June primary.
5. Hurray for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor 🎉 — On Thursday this fierce advocate, along with the majority of the Supreme Court, voted against Trump’s attempt to get rid of DACA, bringing relief to thousands of recipients (and their families), many who have been essential during this pandemic. When there’s representation at the top, we all win!