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Junjira Konsang / Pixabay

By Matt Casale

For many Americans across the country, staying home to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) means adapting to long-term telework for the first time. We're doing a lot more video conferencing and working out all the kinks that come along with it.

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Looking south from New York City's Central Park. Ajay Suresh / Wikipedia / CC BY 4.0

By Richard leBrasseur

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered humans' relationship with natural landscapes in ways that may be long-lasting. One of its most direct effects on people's daily lives is reduced access to public parks.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Charlie Rogers / Moment / Getty Images

As the COVID-19 virus was spreading around the world, deforestation in the world's rainforests rose at an alarming rate, the German arm of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said in a study published on Thursday.

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M_a_y_a / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Tonya Russell

A few years ago, my fiance and I got into an argument on our way to spend Christmas with my family.

As we drove through unfamiliar territory, we began to notice a lot of people who appeared to be without a home. This started to break up the tension as we turned our thoughts to this bigger issue.

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Californians enjoy Manhattan and Hermosa beaches on the first day Los Angeles County allowed beaches to reopen with restrictions on May 13, 2020, after a six-week closure implemented to stop the spread of coronavirus. MARK RALSTON / AFP / Getty Images

By Claudia Finkelstein

Even if we escaped getting sick from the coronavirus, we are all sick of staying at home, practicing social distancing and wearing masks. While case numbers and deaths from COVID-19 are trending downward, this is not the time to let down your guard. These are not ordinary days. These novel days call on us to make decisions with limited and evolving information. The coronavirus is still circulating.

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Zebra Medical Vision has created a scalable, AI-driven method for tracking the spread of COVID-19. youtu.be

By Sarah Shakour and Natalie Pierce

COVID-19 has infected nearly 5 million people around the world, and continues to spread rapidly. Although lockdowns are now being eased in some countries, the impacts from this the virus will continue to be felt until a viable solution or vaccine is found. And while the world waits for such a solution, young people are adopting a do-it-ourselves attitude and using emerging technologies to strengthen local relief efforts, often in the some of the hardest-hit and most vulnerable places on the planet.

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President Donald Trump sent a four-page letter to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, pictured here during a daily COVID-19 press briefing on February 28, 2020 at WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump on Monday sent a four-page letter to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, threatening to permanently freeze U.S. funding to the United Nations agency in the midst of a global pandemic that has made international cooperation as crucial as ever.

Trump's letter, which he posted to Twitter Monday night, repeats the president's accusations that WHO is deferential to China and says that if the organization "does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization."

The president also alleged that WHO ignored early warnings about the spread of the coronavirus and made "grossly inaccurate or misleading" claims about the virus. Observers noted that much of Trump's critique of WHO's handling of the coronavirus pandemic applies to the White House's handling of the crisis, which has been condemned as fatally slow and inadequate.

"This is a phenomenally damning letter—of the president's own response," tweeted HuffPost White House correspondent S.V. Dáte. "All of those early dates? Late December and January? Were known to U.S. officials and relayed to Trump. Who did nothing."

 

Trump wrote that WHO "consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier, including reports from The Lancet."

Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, a U.K.-based medical journal, refuted the president's claim in a tweet early Tuesday.

"Dear President Trump—You cite The Lancet in your attack on WHO. Please let me correct the record," Horton wrote. "The Lancet did not publish any report in early December, 2019, about a virus spreading in Wuhan. The first reports we published were from Chinese scientists on Jan 24, 2020."

Trump's letter comes just over a month after he announced his decision to temporarily halt U.S. funding to WHO, a move Horton condemned at the time as an "appalling betrayal of global solidarity" that "every scientist, every health worker, every citizen must resist and rebel against."

Devi Sridhar, professor and chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, tweeted that the U.S. president's letter shows that he "doesn't understand what WHO can and cannot do."

"It is a normative, technical agency which needs to keep member states at the table," Sridhar said. "If he thinks they need more power then member states should agree and delegate it more. This letter is written for his base and to deflect blame."

John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies and former economist at the WHO, wrote in an op-ed for Foreign Policy In Focus earlier this month that while "WHO is far from perfect," the organization "is playing a key role in poorer countries, and its importance will only grow as the pandemic spreads in these nations."

"The story line from Reagan to Trump is the same: undermining global public health to serve narrow interests," Cavanagh wrote. "For Reagan, it was to help a few well-connected corporate backers. For Trump, it may be to help a single billionaire in particular—himself. Only now, we're in the middle of a pandemic that's only just begun to devastate the vulnerable regions that need the WHO the most. The United States shouldn't be cutting support now. We should be increasing it."


Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.

People ride and walk on a beachside path as beaches across the state reopen with restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic on May 15, 2020 in Huntington Beach, California. Michael Heiman / Getty Images

By Ryan Malosh

Editor's note: Now that states are relaxing social distancing restrictions, people desperately want to see friends and family, go to a restaurant and let our kids have playdates. Even grocery shopping sounds fun. But how can you do that and still stay safe? Here, an epidemiologist who is immune-compromised himself walks you through some decision-making.

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Fashion designer Yr Johannsdottir shows one of her masks at her studio in Reykjavik, Iceland on May 11. JEREMIE RICHARD / AFP / Getty Images

By Leah Campbell

It started with Eve donning a black mask against a backdrop of wisteria flowers, hashtagging her efforts #MaskingForAFriend. Sophia Bush, Matt McGorry, and Mayim Bialik soon followed, with others quickly joining the cause launched by the Pandemic Action Network.

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A woman wearing a protective mask walks her dog past a gas station amid the coronavirus pandemic on April 21 in New York City, Alexi Rosenfeld / Getty Images

By Eoin Higgins

Sen. Bernie Sanders was among critics outraged that the fossil fuel industry is using tax breaks in the CARES Act meant to help businesses keep workers employed to avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes — and then delivering that money to executives.

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People wearing protective face masks walk along the now opened Palisades Park during the coronavirus pandemic on May 16 in Santa Monica, California. David Livingston / Getty Images

By Zulfikar Abbany

First it looked like we were in for a very long haul under lockdown measures, perhaps until the end of the summer holidays. That was until about two weeks ago. Then, all of a sudden, the weather changed — atmospherically and metaphorically, and perhaps freakishly so.

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