The crucial COVID question no one in the White House will answer

This repeated refusal by Trump, his doctors, and top aides raises questions about when the president first became contagious, and his judgment in traveling around the country after at least one top staffer began showing symptoms. A bevy of Trump’s top aides have since fallen ill, and several of the nation’s top military leaders are in quarantine after interacting with a Coast Guard admiral who tested positive after attending the Gold Star event.

Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, his physician Sean Conley, and other aides and campaign officials have all refused to answer the question. Their explanations range from wanting to protect Trump’s privacy to not being in the loop on the president’s testing timeline. Sometimes, they urge reporters to focus on the future, not the past.

But the question is relevant to the immediate future, public health experts say, because it could guide the contact tracing effort that has belatedly begun at the White House. An official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention embedded in the White House Medical Unit is contact tracing to ensure those who had direct contact with the many White House COVID-19 cases isolate and are tested, so they don’t continue to spread the disease.

“The more precision that we can have in terms of the last day he was negative…the more precise contact tracing efforts can be,” said Dr. Howard Koh, a former top official at the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration. “Having precision on that whole process is very important, and we don’t have that now.”

The question also has political importance given the White House’s COVID-19 outbreak has drawn blistering criticism of Trump’s approach to handling the disease both in his own home and as president. Even some Republicans are criticizing the president for holding events — some indoors — without social distancing or masks. This week, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell suggested he’s avoided going to the White House since August because officials there appeared to have a lax approach to COVID-19.

“My impression was their approach to how to handle this was different from mine,” McConnell told reporters.

If it turns out Trump had not been tested for coronavirus in the days before he received a positive result, it would reinforce the concern he carelessly exposed his own donors in New Jersey and others, even as those around him, including top staffer Hope Hicks, were falling ill.

“It is a very important question for our country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, told reporters Thursday. “Let us see a date, a time, when you last tested negative before you admitted to this virus.”

On Friday, White House aide Brian Morgenstern would not even confirm in an interview with MSNBC whether Trump had received a negative test result within 72 hours of the Sept. 29 debate against Joe Biden, as the Cleveland Clinic required of both candidates.

“You are very focused on looking backwards,” Morgenstern replied. He said the last negative test result

Read more

Senior Deonte Brown Crucial to Crimson Tide’s Interior O-Line Play

Cornbread is what they call him. 

“I got it when I first came here as a true freshman,” University of Alabama offensive lineman Deonte Brown said when asked the origins of his peculiar nickname. “Some of the older guys joking around with me and saying that and it became my nickname.”

Brown, who starts eight games at right guard a season ago for the Crimson Tide, appears to be making the transition back to left guard, where he started five games in 2018, this season. 

“I’ve played both right and left guard,” Brown said. “To me it’s probably more mental than physical. [As for physical] the only real difference is hand on the ground. But knowing which position is doing what is probably the most challenging.”

The 6-foot-4, 350 pound lineman is one of the four returning starters to Alabama’s offensive line, and the Crimson Tide will rely heavily on him, in the interior of the trenches. 

“We’re a pretty tight-knit group,” Brown said. “There really wasn’t that much chemistry lost.”

Earlier in fall camp, Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian noted how important this unit will be for the team’s success in 2020, starting with Brown. 

“We obviously have an abundance of of experience up front, when you start talking about Deonte Brown, Landon Dickerson, Alex Leatherwood, Chris Owens, Evan Neal,” Sarkisian said a couple weeks ago. “Those guys have played a lot of football. I think one of the things that comes out of it is the communication factor, those guys can communicate really well with one another up front. I think, two, their communication to us as coaches. They’ve seen a lot of football, they know some of the issues the defense is presenting and making the proper adjustments that way. And then thirdly, I think from a game plan standpoint. When have a veteran group, you can do some subtle tweaks, you can do some things with those guys that maybe you couldn’t do with a younger group, just from an inexperience standpoint. 

“So all in all, these guys are battle-tested, they’ve been in a lot of big games, they’ve competed against the best opponents, so we got a lot of faith in them and we’re fortunate. I’ve been in seasons where we haven’t had such a veteran offensive line, so with this group of guys we’re looking forward to those guys being the bell cows in the run game and the pass game, and from a leadership standpoint offensively.”

The Crimson Tide has a scheduled off day from practice on Friday, but if all went according to plan, this week should have been spent preparing for the USC Trojans in Arlington, Tex. 

““It kind of is with COVID-19,” Brown said when asked if it was weird not having a game on Labor Day weekend. 

“But we’re adjusting well.”

(function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js …

Read more

3 Crucial Benefits of a Bathroom Extractor Fan

Whether in the process of building a brand new home, remodeling the entire bathroom, or simply making a few changes, an important element that should not be overlooked is a bathroom extractor fan. Although there are many benefits associated with this type of fan, the two that people appreciate most includes improved ventilation and heat removal.

Benefit 1: Improved Airflow

For starters, when installation is done correctly, the fan would help improve airflow. One of the primary problems in any bathroom is humidity. Due to the fan design, when mounted on the ceiling or high up on the wall it works by extracting moist air from the room, leaving the interior of the bathroom drier. With this, any unwanted or lingering odors would be removed. The bathroom can be challenging when it comes to unpleasant odors so having a fan that provides excellent venting capabilities is certainly a worthwhile investment.

Benefit 2: Better Ventilation

Another benefit associated with ventilation is the reduction or elimination of mold. Because of high humidity levels and steam produced in the bathroom, it is common to experience problems specific to the growth of mold and mildew. In addition to being unsightly, this type of fungus is also dangerous. If you install an extractor fan in a new or remodeled home, this problem could be prevented whereas in an existing home to replace an older fan, growth of mold and mildew could be stopped.

Most newly constructed homes have bathrooms designed to meet strict regulations for ventilation. However, in older homes, chances are good the existing fan is simply not equipped to deal with high levels of humidity, steam, and dampness. Additionally, let us say your bathroom has a skylight. During the winter with the furnace heating the home hot air is going to rise, which then mixes with cold air at which time condensation develops. This means along with the problem of humidity, steam, and dampness, an additional issue of condensation would contribute to the growth of mold and mildew.

Benefit 3: Heat Removal

Another benefit of the fan is heat removal. If you live in a part of the world where temperatures are hot, another challenge would be presented. We all know heat rises, regardless of climate but living in a hot environment means facing a different obstacle to overcome. Heat in the bathroom rises to the ceiling where it causes the room to feel uncomfortable, not to mention adds to the cost of cooling the home. With the fan installation, heat would be pulled into the roof space, resulting in better airflow and a cooler bathroom.

As you can see, installation of a bathroom extractor fan is certainly beneficial.…

Read more