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Sunday, August 2, 2020

Dr. Fauci Says Hydroxychloroquine Study Touted by Trump is 'Flawed'

Posted By on Sun, Aug 2, 2020 at 9:37 AM

WHITE HOUSE/ANDREA HANKS
  • White House/Andrea Hanks
Dr. Anthony Fauci is among the experts who are critical of a study by Detroit's Henry Ford Health System that found the drug hydroxychloroquine lowered the death rate in COVID-19 patients.

The study made waves when its results were announced earlier this month because they contradicted a number of other high-profile studies that found the drug was not effective in treating the coronavirus. (Some earlier studies were even abruptly halted after patients were found to be more likely to suffer cardiac side effects on the drug.) President Donald Trump was quick to say the study vindicated him, as he has long touted the potential of the drug to be a "game-changer" in fighting COVID-19.

But when asked about the study during a congressional testimony on Friday, Fauci said it was "flawed" and had "a number of issues."

The study analyzed 2,541 COVID-19 patients and found 13% of those treated with hydroxychloroquine died, while 26% of those who did not receive the drug died.

But the issue, Fauci said, is that the study was not a randomized, double-blind study — which is considered "the gold standard" in science. In other words, doctors carefully selected who received the treatment, which could skew the results.

Fauci said that some of the patients were also receiving corticosteroids, which could have influenced the results further.

"That study is a flawed study, and I think anyone who examines it carefully is that it is not a randomized placebo-controlled trial," Fauci said.

When Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, a Republican from Missouri, interrupted Fauci, saying the study had been peer-reviewed, Fauci reiterated the importance of randomized, double-blind studies.

"It doesn't matter, you can peer-review something that's a bad study," Fauci said. "The fact is it is not a randomized placebo-controlled trial. The point that I think is important, because we all want to keep an open mind, any and all of the randomized placebo-controlled trials, which is the gold standard of determining if something is effective, none of them have shown any efficacy for hydroxychloroquine."

While Henry Ford is conducting a randomized, double-blind study of hydroxychloroquine as a prophylaxis, or measure to prevent COVID-19, it has not yet released the results of that study. It was expected to wrap up this month.

Hydroxychloroquine could very well prove to be an effective treatment for some COVID-19 patients, but a randomized, double-blind study has not yet found that to be the case.

And if one does, "I would be the first one to admit it and promote it," Fauci said.

Trump has accused the mainstream media and scientists of suppressing information about hydroxychloroquine out of political spite.

"The highly respected Henry Ford Health System just reported, based on a large sampling, that HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE cut the death rate in certain sick patients very significantly," he tweeted earlier this month. "The Dems disparaged it for political reasons (me!). Disgraceful."

The drug was in the news again this week when a viral video showed a Houston doctor named Stella Emmanuel saying that, "This virus has a cure: It’s called hydroxychloroquine." The video was removed or flagged as false information by social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Immanuel also believes in alien DNA, lizard people, and something called "demon semen," so it's probably safe to say she's a bit of a quack.

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Trump to Host Fundraiser in Cleveland Aug. 6, $35,000 for a Photo with the President

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 1:35 PM

EMANUEL WALLACE
  • Emanuel Wallace

Ideastream and other local outlets have reported that President Donald Trump intends to host a fundraiser in Northeast Ohio on Aug. 6.

An online event description sets the price tiers for attendance. $5,600 gets you in. $35,000 gets you a photo with Trump. $100,000 gets you a photo and access to a roundtable discussion with the President.

Cleveland.com reports that the location is likely to be the Shoreby Club in Bratenahl and that Chicago Cubs owner Todd Ricketts and television personality Kimberly Guilfoyle are scheduled to make celebrity appearances.

WKYC reports that Lake County businessman Ed Crawford will be among the local hosts. Ideastream heard that local investment banker and former GOP candidate Mike Gibbons is also among them.

The fundraiser news comes shortly after it was announced that Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic would co-host the first presidential debate between Trump and Joe Biden on Sept. 29 at the new Health Education Campus (HEC). Case and Clinic stepped in when Notre Dame University backed out. Biden is now also airing ads in Ohio, which for months was thought to be in the bag for Trump. 

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Local Singer-Songwriter Sean Benjamin Teams Up with British Artist for New Music Video

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 11:52 AM

COURTESY OF SEAN BENJAMIN
  • Courtesy of Sean Benjamin
Born and raised in Cleveland, singer-songwriter Sean Benjamin got his start after he went to an open mic night at an Arabica coffeehouse and, as he puts it, “got bit by the bug.”

Initially, he just recorded his songs in his basement and sold the CDs at live shows. He released I Exist, his first studio-produced record, in 2011, and has steadily performed and recorded ever since.

Just today, he released Find Your Own Way Out, a new three-song EP.

“This was originally written as a single song with two parts, 'Find Your Own Way Out/Bring Love My Way,' but was split to accommodate a third instrumental piece to be added and to allow more listener control,” he says in a release about the EP, which showcases his distinctly husky voice and blues sensibilities. “It's a bit different than my other stuff, but I think it's a bit of a more matured version of my style. I do anticipate reverting to immaturity in the future in order to release more of my back catalogue.”

The Robbie Robertson-like title track serves as a “bluesy indictment of a former relationship from the perspective of someone who is fed up with unreciprocated effort and acts of devotion.” "Bring Love My Way" centers on "an upbeat flirtatious quest to fill the void with a new relationship based on the same type of intoxicating crush that built its predecessor."

"The song references former flames and crushes, both real and fictitious, itching to find a passion that could ignite a fiery new love story," says Benjamin of "Bring Love My Way." "The final track is an instrumental reimagining of the opening song. The blues influence is even more pronounced in this rumination of being left feeling empty and out of control. Only after allowing the emotions to ebb and flow can the fog of withdrawal dissipate.”

Benjamin has also released a music video for the Pink Floyd-inspired “Find Your Own Way Out (reprise).” The video features motion artwork from British artist Stefania Buzatu, and the artwork compares favorably to the pour painting artwork by Benjamin's mother that he used for the EP cover art.

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Cleveland’s MILAN Named Finalist in International Remix Competition

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 10:38 AM

COURTESY OF MILAN
  • Courtesy of MILAN
Just this week, local musician Victoria “Tori” Kurtz, who records and performs as MILAN, became a finalist in a prestigious international remix competition sponsored by the UK indie pop act Glass Animals. She's one of 11 finalists out of 400.

The grand prize winner will have his or her remix released on Spotify in a collaboration with Glass Animals.

“Working with [Glass Animals singer] Dave Bayley’s voice had such an inspiring effect on me,” says Kurtz in a press release. “It was so emotionally moving and gave me such energy. There was a moment where everything clicked when I was producing the 'Heat Waves' remix when the atmospheric quality of sound began coming together in a way that produced a powerful synergy.”

Glass Animals lead singer Dave Bayley chose MILAN’s remix of the group’s hit single “Heat Waves.”

“It’s great,” he says of her remix. “It’s quite tropical. I feel like I’m in Ibiza, probably wearing all white, my shirt fluttering in the wind.”

After learning about her finalist status earlier this week, MILAN said, “Just to have them [Glass Animals] listen to my music is such a high honor and a dream come true!”

MILAN has worked as a musician, sound designer and producer since her high school days at Walsh Jesuit in Cuyahoga Falls.

She currently lives in Independence, where her father, Gregory P. Kurtz, is the mayor.

She released her self-titled debut in 2016 and has produced two full-length music videos available on YouTube. Last year at this time, she headlined the Rock Hall’s Wednesday night outdoor concert series. She plans to release a new album later this year.

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Tabletop Board Game Cafe Reopens With Added Safety Measures

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 10:09 AM

mvimg_20200725_154859-01.jpeg

Tabletop Board Game Cafe in Ohio City is reopening with plexiglass dividers, reduced capacity and a reservations-only operation.

"These rules will be enforced by staff and management. We're taking this stuff seriously because your safety is important to us and our staff's safety is important to us. We want to thank Cleveland for the love we've been shown over the past five years, allowing us to share in your fun and games. Tabletop is truly a place of joy for us and for so many, and we feel lucky for the opportunities we've had. We know there are challenges to being open right now that other restaurants are not facing, but we're doing our best to meet the challenge and go above and beyond," they announced this week.

Among the added precautions:

- We're requiring reservations. Reservations for 2, 3, or 4 hour blocks can be made at www.tabletopcleve.com. This is so that we can safely control the number of people in the cafe at one time.
- We've reduced our capacity to about 1/3 of our previous capacity.
- Tables have been spaced out to keep groups separated, and we've installed large plastic barriers between tables to help prevent the spread of germs.
- Masks are required at all times while in the cafe, while not actively eating or drinking. If you're playing games for a while at your table, you'll still need to have a mask on the whole time.
- We're limiting the number of customers who can browse the game shelf at one time, and requiring customers to wear gloves while browsing.
- After a game is played, it will be thoroughly sanitized and/or quarantined for a minimum of three days before being returned to the shelf to prevent surface contamination.
Make a reservation at tabletopcleve.com.

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Attention Hipsters: Coca-Cola Launches Topo Chico-Branded Hard Seltzer

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 9:04 AM

COCA COLA
  • Coca Cola


Coca-Cola this week announced its first foray into alcoholic beverages — a Topo Chico hard seltzer slated for a 2021 U.S. launch, CNBC reports.

The new drink will be sold in select cities in Latin America later this year.

Topo Chico is a Texas cult phenomenon, surely, but Coke has been expanding its distribution since the beverage company acquired the brand in 2017.

White Claw and Truly hold most of the market share in the hard seltzer space, and other brands have launched competing versions to keep up. During quarantine, data and insight company Nielsen reported that sales of hard seltzers sold off premise grew 288% during the week ended April 18 alone.

Coke said it would share more details about Topo Chico Hard Seltzer closer to the launch.

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Ohio Sees Second Week of Decline In Initial Jobless Claim Numbers

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2020 at 9:02 AM

CHRISTOPHER BURNS/UNSPLASH
  • Christopher Burns/unsplash

The Ohio Department of Job & Family Services reported Thursday that 1,557,787 Ohioans have filed for unemployment in the last 19 weeks, which is more than the combined total of the three previous years.

But this is the second straight week in a row the state has seen a decline in initial jobless claims.

Last week accounted for 27,937 initial jobless claims — down from 30,138 initial jobless claims the week before, and down even more from the 35,422 initial jobless claims for the week ending July 11. In the same week, 423,452 Ohioans filed continuous unemployment claims, which is 352,850 claims fewer than this year’s peak.

The ODJFS has distributed over $5.7 billion in unemployment compensation benefits over the last 19 weeks to over 764,000 Ohioans. It has also issued more than $4.7 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to about 492,000 claimants.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which provided an additional $600 a week to recipients, expired July 25 and needs Congressional authorization to continue.

ODJFS also noted that they work with 22 comprehensive and 66 affiliate OhioMeansJobs centers in the state for those currently seeking employment.


"Individuals can visit OhioMeansJobs.com or contact their local OhioMeansJobs center to find and apply for job openings, take skill and career interest assessments, create or improve their resumes, and practice interviewing," reads the release.

Nationally, 1,434,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment for the week ending July 25, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week’s number, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Labor.

For the week ending July 18, the department reported that 17,018,000 Americans were receiving unemployment compensation, up 867,000 from the previous week.

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