Bill Gates describes ‘what gives us hope’ amid the coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic as killed more than 150,000 Americans, disrupted the U.S. economy, and thrown society into disarray heading into the fall.

If there is any silver lining, according to Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates, it would be the progress made toward treating people with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and a vaccine.

“The only positive thing out of this is that the pace of innovation, the way [the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation] is working with the private sector to create therapeutics and vaccines, that’s moving at record speed,” Gates said in an episode of Influencers with Andy Serwer.

“And that’s what gives us hope,” he added. “That we can get the death rate down, better therapeutics … and then during 2021, we should be able to manufacture a lot of vaccines.” 

Bill and Melinda Gates on Good Morning America. (Photo: Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty

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Unemployment showdown + Team Draymond gains allies on dentist bill + Assessors speak out on ‘split-roll’

Happy Wednesday! You’ve made it to the middle of the week. Treat yourself by taking a break and reading our latest newsletter.


More than 4 million Californians are paying their bills with help from the special $600 weekly unemployment payments Congress authorized in March as the coronavirus outbreak took hold. That deal expires this week, and lawmakers still are not set on a plan.

Here’s the latest from the team in the McClatchy Washington Bureau:

Senate Republicans are seeking to reduce — but not eliminate — unemployment benefits related to the pandemic that are expiring at the end of this month, so that recipients are not making more money from the benefit than they did while working.

Republicans are rallying behind a reduction in the extra federal benefit. One idea under discussion is to lower the $600 weekly benefit to a flat amount. Another proposal

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A bathroom-break bill? California looks to make sure warehouse workers can take a break

OAKLAND, Calif.— A new California bill aims to change working conditions for warehouse workers who have come under increased productivity pressure from major retailers that track their every move.

The bill, AB3056, aims to ensure that workers are not penalized for time spent on personal hygiene such as hand washing or using the restroom. Many workers say that automated monitoring systems warn management if they spend too much time “off task.”

The bill would apply to warehouse workers who work for Amazon, Walmart, Target and other large retailers across the state, which has the most warehouses of any state in the United States, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last month, it passed the California state assembly last month, largely along party lines, with Democrats voting in favor.

The bill would also ensure that warehouse workers are paid overtime if they are compelled to work beyond their

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No, Colorado bill does not mandate all students get vaccines without exception

The claim: Colorado bill mandates all students be vaccinated with no exemptions

In an attempt to raise Colorado’s low vaccination rate, state legislators have passed Senate Bill 163, known as the School Entry Immunization Bill. Online misinformation about how the new legislation may affect those who oppose vaccinating their children is sparking confusion.

“Mandatory vaccines with no exemptions. Mandatory flu shots? Hah. Yea, no thanks. I legit thought the news about Colorado’s new vaccine bill was fake. Nope. It’s real,” virtual community Barefoot Five posted June 10 on Facebook.

Barefoot Five’s Facebook page has more than 1.1 million followers, and its post received thousands of reactions, shares and comments.

Some commenters expressed their frustration with the Colorado legislature, while others researched Barefoot Five’s claim.

“I’m not anti vax either but I believe in the freedom of choice,” Kelli Stevens wrote.

“Uh this is a pretty mild bill. They just have

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Sen. Tim Scott explains how GOP’s police reform bill leverages funding to ‘compel’ change

Though conservatives nationwide continue to condemn progressive-led calls to “defund the police” as part of the effort to reform law enforcement in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, the Senate’s lone Black Republican explained Sunday how his new bill leverages federal money in an attempt to push agencies to make use-of-force changes.

“It is important for us to use the resources that we provide law enforcement in a way to get them — to compel them towards the direction that we think is in the best interest of the nation, of the communities that they serve, and frankly of the officers themselves,” said Sen. Tim Scott in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”

MORE: Republicans unveil ‘Justice Act’ aimed at policing reform, propose fast-track action

Scott, R-S.C., is the author of the “Justice Act,” the GOP-backedpolice-reform legislation introduced this week. The bill, which the White House has signaled has President

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