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Eminem Caught A Hardcore Stan Breaking Into His House After Security Slept Through The Alarm

TMZ reports that Eminem was forced to confront a home invader after his security slept through the alarm. Em wasn’t harmed and the suspect, 26-year-old Matthew David Hughes, was arrested and charged with two felonies: First-degree home invasion and malicious destruction of a building.

Hughes reportedly broke into Eminem’s Detroit-area home at around 4am, using a paving stone to smash a window in the kitchen and climbing inside the house. An alarm went off but security remained asleep. Em was woken up though and found Hughes in his living room, prompting him to call for his security. That got his guards up and out of bed. They grabbed Hughes and called the police, who arrested him and took him to Macomb County Jail, where he is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Apparently, Hughes didn’t even want to steal anything. It turns out he got his real goal: A meeting with Eminem. While we’ve all joked about Stans getting out of hand online, it seems the person who invented the term may still have the most outrageous fans of all.

Em isn’t the only rapper to face down a home intruder; around a year ago, Bun B shot an intruder who broke into his house and tried to steal his car, while back in 2012, LL Cool J actually knocked out a burglar at his home in LA. Considering how another recent home invasion played out, we can all be thankful Em’s intruder was just another Stan and not something way worse.

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Jerry Seinfeld Shares Life’s ‘Greatest Lesson’ In The New Trailer For His Netflix Comedy Special

Jerry Seinfeld has a good life. He created Seinfeld, one of the most popular shows of all-time, and he’s also the creative genius behind Bee Movie, one of the greatest films of all-time (some people might think so!). He has enough money to last many lifetimes, and in his new Netflix special 23 Hours to Kill, he knows that you know that he’s reportedly a near-billionaire.

“You and I know each other, on a certain level, for many, many years. You know for a fact, I could be anywhere in the world right now,” he tells the audience in the trailer above. “Now, you be honest, if you were me, would you be up here hacking out another one of these?” Later, Seinfeld discusses all the things we do to convince ourselves our lives don’t suck. “And I know that, because I know that everyone’s life suck. Your life sucks. My life sucks, too,” he cracks, adding, “Perhaps not quite as much.” It’s funny, because it’s true. He drives around in fancy cars and drinks coffee with Eddie Murphy, while I’m home thinking about how Donkey was in an episode of Father of the Pride.

But I shouldn’t feel bad that my life sucks, Seinfeld says:

“The greatest lesson you can learn in life: Sucks and great are pretty close. You go to a baseball game, you have a hot dog. The hot dog is cold. The bun is not toasted. The vendor is an ex-con in a work release program. You love that hot dog every time. Does it suck? Yes. Is it great? Yes. That’s how close they are.”

Spoken like a true Mets fan. 23 Hours to Kill premieres on Netflix on May 5.

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The Author Of “Twilight” Has A Countdown On Her Website, And No One Knows What It’s For

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Devin Booker Talks Suns, ‘The Last Dance,’ And Being The NBA’s Best Gamer

The Phoenix Suns dug themselves out of the Western Conference cellar this season and, for much of the year, were a factor in the playoff picture out West before tailing off late.

The Suns made some major changes in the offseason, bringing in a new coach in Monty Williams and some veteran talent like Ricky Rubio and Aron Baynes, but the team’s engine remained Devin Booker. The 23-year-old took the next step in his journey to superstardom, picking up his first All-Star nod of his career as he was averaging near-career best production while significantly boosting his efficiency across the board.

With the NBA on hiatus, Booker has been able to show his talents extend far beyond being one of the league’s preeminent shooting guards, as he won the NBA 2K tournament televised on ESPN and regularly streams on Call of Duty on Twitch. He’s also picked up some wins in Slam’s COD tournament with Ben Simmons.

Booker spoke with Dime over the phone on Wednesday to discuss how he’s trying to use the time to kickstart some off-court personal goals he has, prove he’s the NBA’s best gamer (and why he thinks no one really challenges him for that title), his thoughts on his season and the Suns as a whole, and why he’s been geeking out watching all the Michael Jordan footage from The Last Dance.

First off, how are you doing and what have you been up to pass the time at home?

Yeah, man, I’m doing good. Just kinda making the most of the situation, spending time with family and friends and keeping it tight knit. It’s been a good time, a lot of free thinking time — sometimes too much thinking time — but praying for everybody and hoping everyone stays safe through it. I know a lot of families were touched by this tragedy, but trying to see the silver lining in it.

I talked to Victor Oladipo the other day and he said he’s picked up ping pong and says he’s gotten good at it. Are there any hobbies you’ve picked up and started doing now that you’re at home and have a little extra free time on your hands?

Yeah, I did a couple piano lessons so far, via Zoom. I’ve done piano lessons in the past, so I want to rekindle that fire and get going. I actually have Spanish lessons today. [Learning] Spanish is one of my five-year goals that I want to get in touch with. So hopefully I can pick up on those things and get a little kickstart with them during this time.

There you go. I know you’re also playing plenty of video games, got the Twitch streams going. Gaming online and streaming on Twitch is the rare opportunity right now for a lot of folks to get real interaction while we’re all at home. How important is that connectivity for you right now to get to talk with your friends and fans and guys from around the league?

I think people have seen a lot of athletes pick up and start [streaming] in this time that we have. I think it gives them a different aspect of us outside of the court and how we are when we’re just chillin at the house, kickin’ it and playing video games. My household has been big into gaming for a long time now, so I never really watched any streamers, but my brother did and all my friends do. So I kind of grasped the concept of what was going down and made some relationships with some really good streamers. You know, Nadeshot from 100 Thieves and Cloakzy, we’ve played a lot together during this time. Overall it’s been a pretty good time, cause I’ve always been a fan of video games, just could never be consistent with it with time. So this definitely gave me more than enough time that I needed.

You won the 2K tournament and you’ve won some Call of Duty stuff. Are you the best gamer in the NBA?

Yes, I am [laughs]. I honestly don’t think it’s close, but there are some good guys in the NBA that play Call of Duty. We did a Slam-type tournament back-to-back weekends and it was a good time. It was a really good time, but you know you can see the skill levels and you actually plays and put the sweat equity into the Call of Duty for sure.

Now I’m not asking who are necessarily the best, but who are your top-5 favorite guys in the league to play Call of Duty with?

I’d say I like playing with Mikal Bridges, my teammate. Karl Towns is one of ’em. Paul George, we’ve ran some Warzone together. Probably Meyers Leonard and Ben Simmons, those two are probably next in line when it comes to the talent level of the Call of Duty.

I’m good at sports games, but I’m pretty terrible at Call of Duty and other first person shooters. Do you have any tips, just some basics, on how to get better? Anything?

Honestly, just like anything bro, you just gotta put the time in. Like, honestly, I’ve spent many, many, many all-nighters playing Call of Duty through the night and that’s where I picked up my hand-eye for video games is Call of Duty. I told people during the 2K tournament that I’ve never really played 2K that much, but a lot of it’s just hand-eye, timing, and just knowing the basic movements. It’s all really tactical. Video games, I always have a fun time with this. It’s my way to be competitive off the court a bit.

I asked you at training camp up here in Flagstaff this summer about your responsibility as the longest tenured guy on the Suns, and you said you wanted to really start changing the perception of the franchise. How do you feel you guys did this season in terms of starting to gain more respect around the league and laying a foundation to keep building off of?

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Yeah that was Monty’s biggest thing coming into the season. When we made the hire and the addition of coach Monty, we had many conversations and his first step he said is we need to change the perception of this team and how people view us. And if that’s having to get a little nasty, play tougher, more physical, but people are going to know when they play against up some talented, hard working guys. I think we showed a lot of spots of that, especially towards the beginning of the season, but we dealt with some injuries. I think we were at our best when we had our full roster, and recovering when two or three guys would go down was tough for us this year. But we definitely showed we’re not going to be a walkover team, and I think that’s the first step in recreating a franchise or a culture is gaining respect from around the league.

And for you personally, getting that first All-Star nod, where do you think your game grew the most this season?

I’d say just efficiency. You know, playing within the system. Trying to find the fine balance between being aggressive and at the same time playmaking for my teammates. It’s a lot. My goal is for my reputation to be a winner, so it’s been a process for me to do for five years now. But I’m enjoying it and having fun with it and getting better every day. So, I felt like that All-Star is obviously a dream of any hooper growing up. It’s first to make the NBA, and then once you’re in the NBA, it’s to be an NBA All-Star. I mean, growing up and watching nearly every NBA All-Star game and then being in it is a crazy feeling.

You mention the efficiency, and you’ve always been known as a capable scorer. What have you learned over the last few years about being a more efficient and better playmaker, both for yourself and your teammates?

Yeah, I always wanted to pride myself on playing the game the right way. Not having any type of label — not say role — but just do a little of everything. I think the game has transformed to positionless basketball, you see a lot of smaller lineups, so I think everyone is trying to learn how to play the game in every aspect and not get caught being known as one thing. So I took pride in that a lot of my life, and just put extreme work in. And then with Monty coming in and implementing this system with the players we have has also helped my game develop tremendously. Playing with Ricky Rubio, this year being my first full year with Kelly Oubre, Dario Saric, Aron Baynes, guys who have playoff experience. You can definitely feel it this year, and I definitely felt my game elevate because of the people around me.

Have you been watching The Last Dance?

Yeah I have. I have.

I know you’ve said you model a lot of your game off Kobe, and he modeled so much of what he did off of Michael. Seeing all this Jordan footage, are there things you’re looking at and going “oh man, I want to work on that” and picking stuff up as you’re watching this?

Yeah, man. This footage is unreal. I’ve probably seen every video of Kob’ in this aspect, but I’ve never seen this footage right here of Jordan. This is behind the scenes, I’ve only ever seen YouTube highlights. Like you said, I never got to watch the man play live. Just to be inspired by somebody that much that you never watched live play basketball, just shows the effect that he had. And I think my respect and love for Kobe and how much he was inspired by MJ, I think it’s just such a respect level for guys that inspire the next generation that much.

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G-Eazy FaceTimes His Famous Friends In The ‘Moana’ Video With Jack Harlow

G-Eazy has been finding more and more innovative video ideas as he seemingly gears up for… something. He may or may not have a project coming soon, but he’s been dropping singles left and right. Most recently, he put the video for his Tory Lanez and Tyga collaboration “Still Be Friends” online in a most unusual fashion, then did a pair of surprise covers of classic rock songs. Today, he shares the quarantine-ready video for his latest single, “Moana,” produced by Zaytoven and featuring semi-newcomer Jack Harlow.

Because social distancing prevents him from doing one of his favorite kinds of videos — again, search for “Still Be Friends” off of company time — Gerald still manages to make his latest clip a social affair by FaceTiming a few of his famous friends. Yes, that includes his co-stars from his latest video, who pop up early via video calls to show off their official, Vixen-brand “uniforms.” However, a number of more conventional celebrities appear, from fellow rappers like YG, Snoop Dogg, Diddy, and Eazy’s Bay Area compatriots Allblack and Sage The Gemini, to athletes like Blake Griffin and Marshawn Lynch. There’s also a plethora of DJs from across the nation, fans doing dances, and pretty girls who “look like Moana.”

Watch G-Eazy’s “Moana” video with Jack Harlow above.

Jack Harlow is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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Megan Thee Stallion Cried When She First Heard The Beyonce Remix Of ‘Savage’

Beyonce is one of the most widely beloved musicians of the past 20-plus years, so getting the chance to work with her is a dream for many artists. That’s a dream that Megan Thee Stallion recently realized, as Bey hopped on a new version of “Savage.” That was a huge moment for her, and she spoke about it on a recent Instagram Live session, saying that she cried when she first heard the remix.

Megan said, “I know that they say manifest it, but b*tch: that’s a real thing! That is a real thing. Manifestation is a real word. I ain’t know that! […] I just really can’t believe it. I heard it for the first time and I called my grandma, and I was like in f*cking shambles. I was really crying, I was like, ‘I really got a f*cking song with Beyonce.’

She went on to speak out about how the collaboration was extra special because she and Beyonce are both from Houston, so she has admired her from a long time. She continued, “You go from going to a Destiny’s Child concert in like the fifth grade, right, and you see Destiny’s Child, and it’s just really freakin’ amazing. And wanting to be a performer, wanting to be in the music industry, wanting to be any kind of entertainer, and you look at Beyonce, Beyonce is the standard.”

Watch Megan discuss the collaboration above.

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Rina Sawayama’s Self-Titled Debut Is The Perfect Album For Quarantine

The RX is Uproxx Music’s stamp of approval for the best albums, songs, and music stories throughout the year. Inclusion in this category is the highest distinction we can bestow, and signals the most important music being released throughout the year. The RX is the music you need, right now.

2017 was a busy year — Melodrama and CTRL alone sucked the air out of the room — so casual listeners are forgiven if they somehow missed Rina Sawayama’s unassuming mini-album, Rina. Her digital anxiety anthem “Cyber Stockholm Syndrome” instantly proved she knew her way around a hook, and the glitterati-rejecting “Ordinary Superstar” indicated she had her own ideas about what being a pop star might mean. But if Rina was a pretty good independent pop EP, then her full-length debut, Sawayama, out earlier this month, is great. And three years later — in the middle of a goddamn global pandemic — there are no excuses for not getting deep into Rina’s eclectic new record.

Born in Japan in 1990 and raised in London, Rina is nostalgic not for those massive, crackling ‘90s anthems that ruled American airwaves but for Y2Ks brittle synth-fluff and wailing, arena-loud guitars. Like Poppy before her, Rina is fascinated by the way the internet has forever fused itself with interpersonal relationships, and is equally determined to bring the emotionalism of screamo into the traditionally feminine world of mainstream pop performers. But where Poppy sought surrealist personas and tongue-in-cheek, fake-deep philosophy, Rina is more interested in taking pop’s historical signifiers and making them her own.

“XS” pretends to be a homage to R&B’s obsession with materialism, but the chainsaw-revved spikes of electric guitar add the correct amount of camp to the song’s threadbare lyrics, dismantling the song’s shallow desires without deflating the fun of living beyond your means, either emotionally or financially. On its heels comes “STFU!,” another early single that wields raging guitars in a similar fashion (and also like Poppy, owes a debt to Grimes), knifing rampant misogyny and the fetishization of Asian women with a daydream-y, rage-fueled expression of anger that most women, and frankly, plenty of men, will likely find cathartic.

But despite these hints at a new guitar-focused sound — late in the album, “Who’s Gonna Save You Now?” reprises nu-metal again, with similar success — Sawayama isn’t a pivot to pure blissed-out angry rock. This is the kind of debut that emerging pop stars dream about making; and at the core it’s anchored by the monster single, “Commes Des Garçons (Like The Boys),” which might be my own personal song of the year, while I’m still thankful the rest of the album is divergent from that song’s wub-wub club sound, weaving spun-sugar throwback pop and slinky R&B alongside the aforementioned nu-rock standouts, all without ever losing the thread that ties them all together.

Like the standouts on her early EP indicated, Rina is at her best as a songwriter when she gets into the sticky, ugly ephemera of human relationships, and the stark, self-aware assessment of “Bad Friend” makes the woozy chorus hit like a hot and cold chill — most of us have been on both sides of this coin. On the other hand, “Chosen Family” asserts a bond that can’t be broken even when blood ties have been, naming loved ones as whoever the heart decides they will be and converting this trusted inner circle into family, an all-too-familiar ritual, in the queer community especially.

Releasing the one-off single “Cherry” in 2018, Sawayama made a public statement about her own queerness, addressing the prevalence of biphobia, and rallying the LGBTQ community behind her in the process. “Chosen Family” follows up on the subject in a completely different way, skating as close to unabashed tenderness as Rina gets on an otherwise high-energy song cycle. Again, her ability to include this kind of cinematic ballad on an album that’s dominated by bangers, and not have it feel out of place, is a testament to the record’s flexibility and cohesion.

There are so many layers on Sawayama that even a full two weeks after the record was released, I’m still finding new elements cropping up on the songs I’ve been through a hundred times. One of my favorite deeper cuts, “Paradisin’,” initially feels like a long lost cousin of Hoku’s “Perfect Day” (popularized by the Legally Blonde soundtrack, natch), until a new listen earlier today had me realizing the saxophone interlude ties it directly into the blessed lineage of The 1975-leaning bops. Listen with this in mind and it’s easy to imagine Matty himself singing the track, and actually, that’s another band that effortlessly blurs the line between earnest and ironic in the way that Rina does. So it’s probably not surprising to learn that the band’s guitarist, Adam Hann, contributed to the album, and that they are both affiliated with UK label Dirty Hit.

While the majority of Sawayama is catchy and wild enough to earn play after play, I’d be remiss not to spend longer praising “Commes Des Garçons (Like The Boys).” Here, Rina’s wordplay hat tips one of the most celebrated Japanese labels in the world, spotlights the gay male community, and delivers a female empowerment anthem that’s also a certified dancefloor destroyer. The remix, featuring Brazilian drag queen Pabllo Vittar (you heard him on a Charli XCX joint) simply doubles down on all of these elements, with welcome weird glitchiness, and since it’s the thought that counts, I can say I love the brazen sleekness of the original.

Though I do hope that 2020 will be full of pop albums that carry epic cultural narratives along with them, in the way that Fiona Apple’s recent Fetch The Bolt Cutters does, I’m secretly glad that plenty of massive, established stars have pushed or shelved their releases. This gives a soon-to-be star like Rina the space to take center stage, and gives otherwise occupied listeners some free time to explore a record they might’ve otherwise missed. On her full-length debut, the Japanese-British pop star delivers a freewheeling record that delights in confident, unruly weirdness — put your headphones in and give this album the obsessive listens it deserves.

Sawayama is out now via Dirty Hit. Get it here.

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Haim Coordinate A Zoom-Style Remote Performance Of ‘I Know Alone’ On ‘Colbert’

Despite the quarantine, Haim continues to promote their upcoming album Women In Music Pt. III. For musicians, an unmistakable part of an album promotion process is the obligatory performance on late-night television. But, since all talk shows are currently being videotaped from home, artists are forced to get creative. Haim were able to work around the restrictions of quarantine by concurrently performing their latest single “I Know Alone” via video call on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Sitting on the floor in each of their respective homes, the Haim sisters busted out all their equipment for their performance. Each armed with a keyboard and microphone, the band gave a swaying rendition of their track.

Sharing the song on social media, Danielle Haim said the single is about feeling removed, which particularly resonates with what the world is facing:

“it was always going to be the next song we wanted to show u guys from wimpiii, but it has kind of taken on a new meaning. the first lyric we wrote was ‘i know alone like no one else does’. this came from feeling like I was in the deepest spiral of being alone and feeling like i felt loneliness deeper than anyone ever had . i remember there were a lot of solo drives with a couple diet cokes in the passengers seat, going for hours at night to clear my head. Now with everything going on ‘alone’ feels like a ritual. only I know my own little secret routine on these days of being by myself and I almost take comfort in it. It’s my own way of staying sane in my alone-ness and it’s really helping me get through this.”

Watch Haim perform “I Know Alone” on The Late Show above.

Women In Music Pt. III is out 6/26 via Columbia Records. Pre-order it here.

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Medical associations ‘jointly and emphatically condemn’ statements from Bakersfield doctors on lockdown

Two doctors who run an urgent care clinic in Bakersfield, California have made a viral sensation of themselves by going against the recommendations of experts in epidemiology and advocating for the immediate reopening of the country.

In a video that’s been shared widely across social media, Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi claim that, based on their testing numbers at their five clinics in Bakersfield, COVID-19 has a comparable infection and death rate as the seasonal flu. Therefore, they say, lockdowns aren’t warranted and should end immediately.

One look at New York or New Jersey’s hospitals in recent weeks, or a cursory peek at the stats showing that COVID-19 has killed more Americans than the average flu season just this month alone (54,000 deaths in April so far—flu kills an estimated 12,000 to 61,000 in the U.S. annually), really ought to be enough for people to view these “no worse than the flu” claims with skepticism. But Americans who are struggling with being unable to work or are just tired of staying home have glommed onto these doctors’ claims as gospel truth and used them as proof that the response to the pandemic has been overblown.

This seems like a good time to remind people that a dissenting voice should not automatically be convincing just because it says what you want to hear. Not when that voice is weighed against thousands upon thousands of other professional voices—including the vast majority of infectious disease experts who have made this their life’s work—who say something different. Not when statisticians and epidemiologists point out the flaws in these doctors’ methodology and erroneous conclusions. And not when the professional organizations in these doctors’ own field call them out for misinformation.

In a joint statement, the nation’s two largest emergency medicine associations have roundly condemned Drs. Erickon and Massihi’s “reckless and untested musings”:

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) jointly and emphatically condemn the recent opinions released by Dr. Daniel Erickson and Dr. Artin Massihi. These reckless and untested musings do not speak for medical societies and are inconsistent with current science and epidemiology regarding COVID-19. As owners of local urgent care clinics, it appears these two individuals are releasing biased, non-peer reviewed data to advance their personal financial interests without regard for the public’s health.

COVID-19 misinformation is widespread and dangerous. Members of ACEP and AAEM are first-hand witnesses to the human toll that COVID-19 is taking on our communities. ACEP and AAEM strongly advise against using any statements of Drs. Erickson and Massihi as a basis for policy and decision making.

You can choose what professional medical associations made up of tens of thousands of physicians say, or you can believe two random doctors from Bakersfield. (Or any of a handful of dissenting voices on the internet—do not @ me with your YouTube “research,” please.) Or you could recognize that in the modern scientific era, a majority consensus in specific areas of expertise is where you should place your bets.

We aren’t living in the time of Galileo, where a lone scientific voice tried to break through and was punished for it. Science has evolved, as has the methodology for determining what’s legitimate and what’s not. We live in a time where lone dissenters in science are either 1) innovative pioneers whose work is checked, verified, and added to the body of knowledge, or 2) quacks or hacks whose work is debunked or discredited for not being scientifically sound.

But let’s say you’re convinced these doctors are onto something with their data. They do sound quite scientific and doctory, after all, and you’ve heard that a few other (notably preliminary, non-peer-reviewed) studies have come to similar conclusions.

Carl Bergstrom, a professor of biology at University of Washington, explained in a detailed Twitter thread why the data extrapolation from the two doctors doesn’t make sense.

Bergstrom wrote:

“Unfortunately the misleading claims of those two doctors in Bakersfield keep making the rounds, so I want to very briefly address the problem with what they are saying. I won’t get into their possible motives, past political activity, etc.

What they did was simple: they looked at the fraction of patients who tested positive for #COVID19 at the clinics they own. They found 340 out of 5213 tests were positive, about 6.6% Then they assume the same fraction of the whole population are infected.

From there, they scale up to the state level and claim 12% incidence statewide. The news story says it is using the same calculation, but it can’t be—how did they get from 6.6% to 12%? Perhaps they estimating infected *ever* versus infected *currently*. It’s not clear.

Using that 12% infected figure, and a known 1400 deaths in California, they assume 1400 out of 4.7 million have died. That gives them an infection fatality rate of 0.03%. That is, they think that if 10,000 are infected, 3 will die on average.

The problem with this approach is that during a pandemic, the people who come into an urgent care clinic are not a random sample of the population. A large fraction of them are coming in precisely because they suspect that they have the disease. This generates sampling bias.

Estimating that fraction infected from patients at an urgent care facility is a bit like estimating the average height of Americans from the players on an NBA court. It’s not a random sample, and it gives a highly biased estimate.

Moreover the estimate does not pass even a basic plausibility check.

In New York City, 12,067 people are known to have died from the virus, out of a population of 8.4 million.

This is a rate of 0.14% of all people. Not just infected people. All people. That gives us a lower bound on the death rate in New York. Not an estimate, a lower bound.

The death rate for infected people is obviously higher than 0.14%, because not everyone in New York has been infected. And yet that 0.14% lower bound is nearly *five times as high* as the 0.03% that the Bakersfield duo are claiming. They’ve used absurd methodology to arrive at an implausible number.

If the pandemic were not so severely politicized, this would be a non-issue from the start.”

The comparisons to the flu really need to stop. No flu season has had 54,000 confirmed cases in a month. No flu season has resulted in refrigerator trucks being backed into loading docks at hospitals to have a place to put the deceased.

When people say, “We don’t shut down the country for the flu,” well, yeah. Exactly. Because this isn’t the flu. Even if COVID-19 did have a similar infection and mortality rate as the flu, we don’t have a vaccine and we don’t have a proven treatment for this virus.

And the vast majority of people who study infectious disease and pandemics full-time have come to the same conclusions—not just in the U.S., but worldwide. That’s why the vast majority of countries around the world have gone on lockdowns. And those that did so early and began testing and contact tracing early have managed to contain their outbreaks. Even here at home, with the far higher death count than anywhere else in the world, we’ve managed to start flattening the curve with our mitigation lockdown measures.

Obviously, no one thinks we can stay as stringently locked down as we’ve been until we get a vaccine. We do need to get the economy moving again—but when it’s safer to do so than now. We haven’t even had a drop off in cases and deaths yet as a nation. Many states are opening up weeks too early, according to the best modeling available. Literally just weeks, but weeks in a pandemic can make or break an outbreak.

There’s much that we’re still figuring out about this virus, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know anything. Years of planning and simulations and studying outbreaks and disease around the world have led to the responses we’ve seen around the world. It’s not for “the average flu.” It’s not some nefarious plot to steal people’s freedom. It’s an attempt to save as many lives as we can from a disease we can’t control and can’t treat.

We’ve made economic sacrifices to do so, absolutely. And if we open up too early, we’ll just have to do it all over again, and the sacrifices we’ve made so far will be for naught.

That’s the resounding message from infectious disease experts around the world, no matter what two random doctors in Bakersfield say.

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Inventor of the N95 mask is coming out of retirement to help make them better

Over the past few weeks, the N95 respirator has gone from gear worn by people working in hospitals or on industrial sites to something you see your neighbor wearing when they’re walking their dog.

The tight-fitting mask with a pliable metal piece near the nose does a lot more than provide a protective barrier for the mouth and nose.

According to The University of Tennessee, it “uses an electric field to ionize the neutral air to generate ions and electrons, which then charge the nonwoven fibers through field and induction.”

The N95 respirator is one of the biggest heros of the COVID-95 pandemic because it has prevented countless people from spreading and contracting the deadly virus. It has also made it possible for healthcare workers to work closely with people who’ve been infected without contracting the virus themselves.

The “N” in the respirator’s name stands for “not resistant to oil,” and “95” is because it has the ability to remove at least 95% of submicron particles, such as viruses, from the air.

via Alamosa County Public Health / Flickr

It was invented by material scientist and engineer Peter Tsai and his team at the University of Tennessee in 1992 in an attempt to develop electrostatic filtration technology. The respirator would go on to be used in industrial settings until it was later discovered to be effective at preventing the spread of diseases in medical settings.

The N95 received a U.S. patent in 1995.

Tsai is a world-renowned expert in nonwoven fabrics and was a professor at the University of Tennessee’s Material Sciences and Engineering Department for 35 years before retiring last year.

However, his retirement was short-lived.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he’s come out of retirement to find new ways of sterilizing his respirators so the single-use masks can be used for longer periods of time.

“I just want to help people, and just do my job,” Tsai said in an interview with NPR.

via Red River College / Flickr

The N95 masks are in short supply across the world, so many people are using chemicals such as alcohol and bleach to sanitize them for reuse. But that can cause them to deteriorate and become ineffective.

So researchers from around the globe have been filling Tsai’s inbox for suggestions on how to sterilize their masks.

Among those who’ve been experimenting on ways to sterilize the masks is a collective known as N95DECON that’s been working with heat, a form of ultraviolet light, and hydrogen peroxide vapor.

Maha Krishnamoorthi, vice president of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation, calls Tsai that a “rock-star” and says he’s become the “man of the hour” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“And he said, ‘No — I’m man of the minute,'” Tsai told Krishnamoorthi according to NPR. Tsai believes that the people wearing his masks are the real heroes.

“The front-line hospital workers — they are heroes,” Tsai said. “I’m just trying to help them to wear the mask.”