Contact tracing for White House outbreak came too late, experts say

  • President Donald Trump and at least 34 White House staffers and contacts have been infected with the coronavirus following Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination ceremony at the White House Rose Garden on September 26.
  • The White House accepted the CDC’s offer to help with contact tracing on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported.
  • Epidemiologists say those efforts may have come too late: People should be tested within two weeks of getting exposed.
  • The outbreak has likely “spread beyond the White House at this point,” one expert said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Recent visitors to the White House received a letter from health officials on Thursday. It came with a warning: If they had worked in the White House in the past two weeks, attended the recent Supreme Court announcement ceremony, or had close contact with people who fit that description, they should get tested for the coronavirus. Ideally, they should already be quarantining as well.

The letter, signed by 10 health departments in the Washington, DC, area, expressed concern about a lack of contact tracing following a superspreader event at the White House.

Nearly 200 people gathered in the White House’s Rose Garden on September 26 to see President Donald Trump officially nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The majority of those attendees didn’t wear a mask. Many hugged and shook hands. A smaller group attended an indoor reception following the ceremony, where they again mingled without masks. 

At least 34 White House staffers and contacts have since been infected with the coronavirus, according to an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That includes bodyguards, family members, pastors, journalists, GOP senators, and advisors.

Trump tested positive for the virus on October 1. Shortly after, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered to help the White House with contact tracing, The Washington Post reported. The White House initially rejected the invitation, a CDC official told The Post, but finally began cooperating with two CDC epidemiologists on Wednesday.

On Thursday, a senior White House official told The Post that the White House had finished contact tracing related to the president’s infection. But White House staffers and administration officials said that many people with potential exposure hadn’t heard from health officials yet.

Epidemiologists say attempts to identify infections at the Rose Garden ceremony may have come too late.

“It’s hard enough to do a normal contact trace. I’m in the middle of doing one right now, and it’s hard enough to do when people are cooperative and you’re doing it by the book,” Yvonne Maldonado, an epidemiology professor at Stanford University, told Business Insider. “But when you have a random email out to a bunch of people and some people might respond, some won’t, it’s going to be really hard to know.”

The administration’s delayed efforts could forever obscure the true scale of the outbreak, she added.

“I bet you we’ll never find out because you’re assuming that everybody got tested whether they had symptoms

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John Lennon’s sister Julia remembers late singer on his 80th birthday

John Lennon’s sister has opened up about growing up with the late singer in Liverpool, revealing their mother would rehearse with the Beatles as teens in the kitchen. 

Julia Baird, 73, who continues to live in Liverpool, appeared on This Morning today to mark what would have been the music legend’s 80th birthday , and told of the ‘close knit’ family unit in which she and John grew up. 

She told how their mother, who was also called Julia, always ‘encouraged’ the singer’s dreams, despite other parents they knew deterring their children from pursuing a career in music. 

John’s sister told how their mum would play the ‘washboard and the banjo’ as her son practised in their Springwood home, and that her brother and pal Paul McCartney had a ‘determination’ that other young musicians didn’t. 

John Lennon's sister has opened up about growing up with the late singer in Liverpool, revealing their mother would rehearse with the Beatles as teens in the kitchen. Pictured, John in 1963

John Lennon’s sister has opened up about growing up with the late singer in Liverpool, revealing their mother would rehearse with the Beatles as teens in the kitchen. Pictured, John in 1963

Julia Baird, 73, who continues to live in Liverpool, appeared on This Morning today to mark what would have been the music legend's 80th birthday

Julia Baird, 73, who continues to live in Liverpool, appeared on This Morning today to mark what would have been the music legend’s 80th birthday

‘We didn’t know any differently,’ said Julia. ‘John was our brother, we were always together. It was a very close knit family for the youngsters.’ 

When asked whether she always knew that John was special, she admitted that having a brother in a band was nothing special in their local community. 

‘Everyone had a brother that was in a group,’ she told. ‘But they all dropped off as they got to 15, their parents got them out, [they] went to university, they all wanted to do different things. But John and Paul had a determination the others never had.’ 

Speaking of her late mother she went on: ‘In our kitchen in Springwood in Liverpool, is where our mother not just encouraged and said you can have the kitchen to rehearse, it but joined in. 

John's sister, pictured with her brother as children, told how their mum would play the 'washboard and the banjo' as her son practised in their Springwood home

John’s sister, pictured with her brother as children, told how their mum would play the ‘washboard and the banjo’ as her son practised in their Springwood home 

Julia told that her brother and pal Paul McCartney (back row, right) had a 'determination' that other young musicians didn't. Pictured, The Beatles at the BBC Studios, London in 1963

Julia told that her brother and pal Paul McCartney (back row, right) had a ‘determination’ that other young musicians didn’t. Pictured, The Beatles at the BBC Studios, London in 1963

‘She played the washboard and the banjo, my mother wanted to be in the group herself I think.’  

Julia described her brother as ‘ a bit bossy’ but reminisced about memories of trips to the cinema and John helping her with school work. 

She said: ‘He’s six and a half years older than me, very much the older brother – a bit boss. He played with us, drew with us, practised our time tables with us, took us to the cinema to see Elvis and then the little picture and then Elvis again.’

John’s family always held a place in his heart, with Julia revealing he picked them out of the crowd ahead of the Liverpool premiere

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Through careful planning, Iowa City woman’s garden blooms from early spring to late fall

By Dorothy de Souza Guedes, correspondent

A  towering hydrangea nearly a dozen years old stands tall at the corner of Janis and Rip Russell’s front porch; lime green spring blooms turned a warm, rosy mauve late in summer.

It is surprisingly quiet for a home near the residential heart of Iowa City except for occasional shrieks and chatter from Dickens, a large cockatoo. He’s holding court inside the house, waiting for Janis — she’s his person — to take him upstairs for the evening.

Dozens of identical, side-by-side perennial grass plants soften the chain-link fence along the Russells’ driveway. It’s a short walk around back to the patio that opens up to the surprise of a glorious urban oasis.

The back garden is brilliant with color in early September, even though Janis doesn’t plant anything special for fall. Three- and 4-foot annuals such as sturdy zinnias, plumes of celosia and climbing petunia complement perennial globes of gomphrena and spikes of salvia and veronica that bloom well into fall.

Janis plans for constantly blooming beauty and cut bouquets rather than food.

“It’s kind of like being a conductor of an orchestra,” she said.

The music begins as tulips, daffodils and grape hyacinth poke through sun-warmed soil and happily announce that spring has arrived. Those early blooms quietly give way to bushy, fragrant peonies. Then the first of the 40 varieties of climbing clematis vines — the clay soil is perfect for clematis — begin to flower, late-blooming daffodils, too.

The first flush of roses burst into color and fragrance as peonies begin to fade and other varieties of clematis climb high, then bloom. Soon the glorious scent of Asiatic lilies wafts through the garden, the flowers lasting for two weeks on their sturdy stalks even when cut for bouquets.

A chorus of 200 daylilies begins as roses continue to bloom in the background. As those flowers fade, annuals strategically placed to cover flowerless foliage grow to their full height and burst into color that lasts for months.

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The seasons-long color begins with weeks of fall planning, wildly scribbled notes filling page after page in Janis’ garden notebook.

Planning a Garden

Throughout the spring and summer, Janis had noted what bloomed when and how well the plants grew and bloomed.

“I want to remember all of this come next spring. That’s why I write it down,” Russell said.

She looks at the colors and decides what she wants to change for the following year. For example, her tentative plan for 2021 includes less yellow near the patio due to “overachieving” plants. She hasn’t decided what to plant in their place.

She’ll probably rearrange the zinnia area behind the garage and find a new orange seed. She bought zinnia seeds from a new company, and the color, although pretty, wasn’t true to the label.

“When I plan any colors, I want my color there,” she said.

Sometimes, she’ll cut a bouquet and walk around the yard, eyeballing it, deciding

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9 Veggies You Can Grow in a Fall Garden & Why It Pays to Be a Late Bloomer

Planning on tending a fall garden? Didn’t even know you could do that? Here are the best things to grow during autumn months.



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fall garden tips what to grow

If you’re an inexperienced gardener—or just want to put in less effort this growing season—fall may be the perfect time to get started.

Depending on where you live, fall may actually be “the easiest of them all,” wrote Mike McGrath for a recent episode of “You Bet Your Garden,” a publicly broadcasted radio and TV show.

This is because, in the fall, you don’t have “the cool, wet soil of spring to deal with, nor the sometimes-ungodly heat of summer,” McGrath explained.

Learn more about which vegetables grow best in the fall, as well as when to plant them for best results.

Salad Greens



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In the fall, “the soil is still nice and warm, so the seeds of lettuce, spinach, kale, and other greens will sprout rapidly at this time of year.” McGrath says. This makes this season an optimal time to grow greens.

“I grow all my lettuce and such in big containers on my patio: half-whiskey barrels, grow bags, my brand-new raised bed on legs, and smaller containers placed on tables,” McGrath says.

The benefit of growing greens in containers is that it prevents rabbit damage and makes harvesting more simple, McGrath explains.

Related Reading: How to Grow Your Own Salad Greens

Beets

Beets make a great fall crop and tend to take on a brighter color when planted in the autumn, rather than in the spring.

It’s important to note that you should sow seeds for a beet bed at least seven to eight weeks before the first expected frost.

“Beets germinate quickly, but you want to give them plenty of time to mature before the cold weather sets in for good,” according to the Farmer’s Almanac.

Turnips



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When planted in the late summer, you may be able to enjoy turnips by Thanksgiving. On the other hand, if you plant them in early fall, you can typically expect a late fall harvest. Like with all garden vegetables, timing is key here!

What makes turnips an optimal crop for autumn? For starters, turnips do well in cool weather. Temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit are optimal.

Carrots

If you start early enough, carrots can make a great fall garden vegetable. But just be sure to keep in mind, you typically need to plant them at least 12 weeks before a frost.

However, should you start a bit late, be sure to insulate them using thick plastic sheeting and cut off the green tops. This will help them to better maintain their sweet, crunchy flavor.

Cabbage



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Another cold-tolerant crop is cabbage that you can grow in the fall before harvesting—and, if you’re a fan—fermenting into a big batch of sauerkraut

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VIDEO: World-class marble finishing, AC, massive interior decor inside late Sen. Ajimobi’s grave

VIDEO: World-class marble finishing, AC, the massive interior decor inside late Sen. Ajimobi’s grave



Watch World-class marble finishing, AC, the massive interior decor inside late Sen. Ajimobi’s grave as opulence is displayed beyond Nigerians’ imagination.

 

 

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EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy shares moving garden tribute to late mum, who died when she was 19

EASTENDERS star Natalie Cassidy has shared a moving tribute she has in her garden for her late mum, who died when she was 19.

The 37-year-old star was left devastated when her mother Evelyn lost her battle with bowel cancer in 2002 at the age of 63.

Natalie opened up about her late mum in a moving post

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Natalie opened up about her late mum in a moving post Credit: Getty Images

Taking to her Instagram page early this morning, the actress revealed that her brother had bought her a touching gift to remember their mum by for her 30th birthday.

The photo showed stunning flowers and green leaves growing over a block with Evelyn’s name written on it.

Natalie explained in the post’s caption: “This is our Evelyn Rose.

“My brother bought it for me for my 30th birthday. It’s 7 and a bit years old and has never looked better. My dad loves it and cares for it.

She shared a photo of the tribute she has to Evelyn in her garden

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She shared a photo of the tribute she has to Evelyn in her gardenCredit: Instagram
She was just 19 years old when her mum passed away

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She was just 19 years old when her mum passed away Credit: PA:Press Association

“I lost my mum when I was 19 – her name was Evelyn.”

She added how much she appreciated having something close by to remember her mum as her busy schedule sometimes stops her from getting to the cemetery.

The star wrote: “It’s nice to have something in your own space as well as a cemetery. Life is busy and you feel guilty for not going up there.”

Natalie previously admitted that she broke down over an EastEnders’ storyline about her onscreen mum Carol Jackson fighting cancer.

She admitted to struggling with the 'rawness' of onscreen mum Carol's cancer storyline

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She admitted to struggling with the ‘rawness’ of onscreen mum Carol’s cancer storylineCredit: BBC
EastEnders’ Natalie Cassidy reveals co-star Steve McFadden refused to talk to her after she quit the soap

She plays Carol’s daughter Sonia in the BBC One soap, and the heartbreaking scenes brought back difficult memories for the star.

Natalie said at the time: “It’s all quite raw, there have been tears.”

She confessed that she “lost herself” after her mother’s death, but she didn’t seek help from a bereavement counsellor until she was hit by a second wave of grief when her “second mum” Wendy Richard, who played Pauline Fowler, died in 2009.

Natalie explained: “I hit rock bottom. I had to see someone about my mum, mistakes and regrets.”

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Father Creates Sunflower Garden to Honor Late Teen Daughter Who Lost Battle With Cancer

One man has taken his grief and turned it into new life as he has planted a garden to honor his daughter and wife who both passed away. Tony Brawner endured two heartbreaking losses. First, the passing of his daughter, Amy, from cancer when she was just 14 years old in 1997. Then, 12 years later, Brawner lost his wife.

He planted Amy’s Garden just last year to help him cope but now the sunflowers are now helping comfort Tony’s community.

About 40 people a day come by “Amy’s Garden” in Tennessee.

“I don’t want to be bitter, I have been at times, I’m not gonna deny that,” he admitted to Inside Edition Digital.

The garden was one way for him to process his loss and keep his loved ones close but also helping others enjoy the flowers with his daughter as the part of nature coming from the ground and her mom always close by as the butterfly in the area.

“I have a lot of faith and trust God’s plan is the way to go,” he said.

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Billy Joel reschedules Madison Square Garden concerts for late 2021, early 2022

MANHATTAN — Billy Joel is rescheduling six of his regular Madison Square Garden concerts for late in 2021 and early in 2022.

The Long Island piano man will resume his monthly residency at the Garden on Nov. 5, 2021 for a show that was initially slated to take place 19 of 2020. Shows originally scheduled for April through August of this year will be rescheduled.

Tickets for the original show dates and initial rescheduled show dates will be valid for the corresponding new rescheduled dates in 2021 and 2022.

Ticketholders can request a refund over the next 30 days, beginning today, if they cannot commit to the new rescheduled show date. If a refund is not requested during the allotted time, tickets will automatically be transferred to the new rescheduled show date and no action is needed by the ticketholder.

Billy Joel began his residency at Madison Square Garden in January of 2014. The run of shows has lasted 73 sold out concerts at the World’s Most Famous Arena.

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