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NY Reports Half a Million COVID-19 Cases as Infections Surge Nationwide

A man drives his car past a light flag while wearing a mask in Times Square during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., October 23, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

By Shaina Ahluwalia and Anurag Maan

New York, the former epicenter of the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic, became on Sunday the fourth U.S. state to surpass half a million coronavirus cases amid a nationwide surge in infections.

New York State is reporting 80% more cases in the past four weeks as compared to the previous four weeks, according to a Reuters analysis. The state reported more than 2,000 new daily cases twice in recent days, a daily increase not seen since May.

It is far from the state’s record of 12,847 new cases on April 10  a period when refrigerated trucks stored bodies outside hospitals and the U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort sailed past the Statue of Liberty.

California has the most reported cases in the nation at over 900,000, followed by Texas and Florida. However, on a per capita basis, North Dakota, South Dakota and Louisiana have the most cases.

New York has reported over 33,000 deaths, the most in the country and the second highest on a per capita basis after New Jersey.

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted on Sunday the positivity rate in the state’s hotspots was 3.18% while it was 1.06% statewide, excluding “micro-cluster” areas.

New Yorkers jammed polling places and stood in line for hours to cast ballots on the state’s first day of early voting on Saturday, ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

New York City is reporting half the cases and deaths of New York State each day. The daily number of current hospitalizations in New York state has doubled in the last four weeks to over 1,000 patients.

In the Northeast, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont have seen new cases double in the past four weeks compared with the previous four weeks, according to a Reuters analysis.

The United States has the most COVID-19 cases in the world at 8.6 million and the most deaths at 225,000.

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Fired-up Long Islanders Stand in Line for Hours to Cast Early Votes

An estimated 3-hour-long line wrapped around the block at Islip Town Hall West, one of 12 early voting sites in Suffolk County, on the first day or early voting on Oct. 23, 2020. (Long Island Press photo)

By Jeenah Moon

New Yorkers jammed polling places and stood in line for hours to cast ballots on the state’s first day of early voting on Saturday, rushing to record their choices 10 days ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Long lines formed before polls opened across New York State and Long Island, videos on social media showed, as New Yorkers joined a flood of more than 56 million Americans across the country who have cast early ballots at a record-setting pace.

Saturday was the first time that voters in New York, a reliably Democratic state where Democrat Joe Biden has a wide lead in polls over Republican President Donald Trump, have been allowed to vote early in a presidential election.

A majority of New York voters haven’t supported a Republican candidate for president since Ronald Reagan’s re-election in 1984. Early in-person voting will continue in the state until Nov. 1.

Vanessa Reilly, 38, a computer programmer, cast an early vote for Biden at the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn. She said she wanted to be sure her vote was counted.

“I just want to avoid all the chaos on Election Day itself,” Reilly said, adding that a lot of people were showing up to register their opposition to Trump.

“Given this year and given the current president we need to send a clear message that his policies don’t work, that they’re offensive, that they don’t represent American values,” she said.

About 56.5 million Americans already have cast early ballots across the country either in person or by mail, a pace that could lead to the highest voter turnout rate in more than a century, according to data from the U.S. Elections Project.

The rush to vote is a sign of intense interest in the contest between Trump and Biden, as well as concerns about avoiding crowded polling places on Election Day and reducing the risk of exposure to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 224,000 Americans.

The high level of early voting has led Michael McDonald, the University of Florida professor who administers the U.S. Elections Project, to predict a record turnout of about 150 million, representing 65% of eligible voters, the highest participation rate since 1908.

Suffolk’s early voting locations and times can be found at suffolkcountyny.gov Nassau early voting locations and times can be found at nassaucountyny.gov Polls are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Election Day.

Related Story: Key Dates To Watch For 2020 Election Voters

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Trump, Biden Clash in Final Debate

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden are reflected in the plexiglass protecting a tv camera operator from covid as they participate in their second 2020 presidential campaign debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., October 22, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar

By Trevor Hunnicutt and Jeff Mason

U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden offered sharply contrasting views on the still-raging coronavirus pandemic at Thursday’s final presidential debate, seeking to persuade the few remaining undecided voters 12 days before their Nov. 3 contest.

Trump, a Republican, adopted a more restrained tone than he did during a chaotic first debate in September, when he repeatedly interrupted Biden. But Thursday’s clash still featured plenty of personal attacks between two men who evince little respect for each other, and Trump kept fact-checkers busy by leveling unfounded corruption accusations at Biden and his family.

The absence of disruptions yielded a more substantive debate over a range of topics including the economy, race, climate change, healthcare and immigration. But the coronavirus, which has killed more than 221,000 people in the United States, loomed over the proceedings as it has throughout the campaign.

The televised encounter in Nashville, Tennessee, represented one of Trump’s last remaining opportunities to reshape a race that national opinion polls show he has been losing for months, though the contest is much tighter in some battleground states likely to decide the election.

“Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain president of the United States of America,” Biden said.

Trump, who has put his stewardship of the economy at the center of his campaign, defended his approach to the outbreak and said the country could not afford to close businesses again despite fresh surges.

“We’re learning to live with it,” said Trump, who has played down the virus for months. “We have no choice.”

“Learning to live with it?” Biden retorted. “Come on. We’re dying with it.”

Trump asserted that the virus was “going away,” several U.S. states reported record single-day increases in COVID-19 infections on Thursday, evidence the pandemic is accelerating anew.

Trump, whose instinct remains to run as an outsider, portrayed Biden as a career politician whose nearly 50-year record was insubstantial. But he did not lay out a clear agenda for a second term, while Biden returned again and again to Trump’s four years as president, pointing to the economic damage the virus has done to people’s lives.

After an opening segment on the pandemic, Thursday’s clash pivoted to rapid-fire exchanges over whether either candidate had improper foreign entanglements.

Trump repeated his accusations that Biden and his son Hunter engaged in unethical practices in China and Ukraine. No evidence has been verified to support the allegations, and Biden called them false and discredited.

Trump’s effort to uncover dirt on Hunter Biden’s Ukraine business ties led to the president’s impeachment. The president and his children have been accused of conflicts of interest of their own since he entered the White House in 2017, most involving the family’s international real estate and hotel businesses.

‘MALARKEY’

Biden defended his family and said unequivocally that he had never made “a single penny” from a foreign country, before pivoting to accuse Trump of trying to distract Americans.

“There’s a reason why he’s bringing up all this malarkey,” Biden said, looking directly into the camera. “It’s not about his family and my family. It’s about your family, and your family’s hurting badly.”

He accused Trump of avoiding paying taxes, citing a New York Times investigation that reported Trump’s tax returns show he paid almost no federal income tax over more than 20 years.

“Release your tax returns or stop talking about corruption,” Biden said.

Trump, who has broken with decades of presidential precedents in refusing to release his tax returns, said he had paid “millions.” He again said he would release his returns only once a longstanding audit was completed.

The candidates argued over foreign policy, immigration and – after months of anti-racism protests – race relations, with Biden saying Trump was “one of the most racist presidents” in history.

“He pours fuel on every single racist fire,” Biden said. “This guy has a dog whistle as big as a foghorn.”

Trump responded by criticizing Biden’s authorship of a 1994 crime bill that increased incarceration of minority defendants while asserting that he had done more for Black Americans than any president with the “possible” exception of Abraham Lincoln during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s.

OIL IN SPOTLIGHT

During a segment on climate change, Biden said his environmental plan would “transition from the oil industry” in favor of renewable energy sources, prompting Trump to go on the attack.

“He is going to destroy the oil industry,” Trump said. “Will you remember that, Texas? Will you remember that, Pennsylvania?”

Biden said he simply wanted to eliminate federal subsidies for oil companies, a point he reiterated to reporters following the debate. “We’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time,” he said.

During the debate, Biden criticized Trump’s effort to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the sweeping healthcare reform passed when Biden was vice president in President Barack Obama’s administration.

“People deserve to have affordable healthcare, period,” Biden said, noting that the law prevented insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

Trump said he wanted to replace the ACA with something “much better” that would offer the same protections, even though the administration has yet to propose a comprehensive healthcare plan despite a promise to do so for years.

Relatively few voters have yet to make up their minds, and Trump’s window to influence the outcome may be closing. A record 47 million Americans already have cast ballots, eclipsing total early voting from the 2016 election.

The contentious first debate, when the two men traded insults, was watched by at least 73 million viewers. Trump passed up another planned debate last week after it was switched to a virtual format following his COVID-19 diagnosis.

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OxyContin Maker Purdue Reaches Plea Deal in Opioid Case

A pharmacist holds a bottle OxyContin made by Purdue Pharma at a pharmacy in Provo, Utah, U.S., May 9, 2019. (REUTERS/George Frey)

By Mike Spector

Purdue Pharma LP agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges over the handling of its addictive prescription opioid OxyContin, in a deal with U.S. prosecutors that effectively sidestepped paying billions of dollars in penalties and stopped short of criminally charging its executives or wealthy Sackler family owners.

In a far-reaching agreement unveiled on Wednesday, Purdue formally admitted to criminal conduct related to distribution of its painkillers and agreed to pay $225 million to resolve U.S. Justice Department investigations.

Prosecutors imposed significant penalties exceeding $8 billion against Purdue, though the lion’s share will go largely unpaid.

Purdue agreed to pay $225 million toward a $2 billion criminal forfeiture, with the Justice Department foregoing the rest if the company completes a bankruptcy reorganization dissolving itself and shifting assets to a “public benefit company,” or similar entity that steers the unpaid portion to thousands of U.S. communities suing it over the opioid crisis.

A $3.54 billion criminal fine and $2.8 billion civil penalty are likely to receive cents on the dollar as they compete with trillions of dollars of other claims from those communities and other creditors in Purdue’s bankruptcy proceedings, according to court documents and people familiar with the matter.

Members of the billionaire Sackler family who own Purdue agreed to pay a separate $225 million civil penalty for allegedly causing false claims for OxyContin to be made to government healthcare programs such as Medicare, according to court records.

Neither the Sacklers nor any Purdue executives were criminally charged. The agreement does not release any individuals associated with Purdue from potential criminal liability. A separate Justice Department criminal investigation scrutinizing individuals is ongoing, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Purdue conspired to engage in criminal conduct over the years that kept medically questionable prescriptions of its opioids flowing, prosecutors said. The Stamford, Connecticut-based company has agreed to plead guilty to three felonies, two of them violations of a federal anti-kickback law and another charge of defrauding the U.S. and violating the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Representatives for Purdue, its Sackler family owners and the Justice Department had no immediate comment or did not immediately respond to requests.

OPPOSITION FROM LAWMAKERS, STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL

The settlement had already come under fire before its unveiling from Democrats on Capitol Hill calling for Purdue and its Sackler family owners to face more severe consequences for their alleged roles in the opioid crisis, criticism that followed Reuters reporting details of the looming agreement.

Dozens of state attorneys general, meanwhile, oppose a plan that would essentially put government litigants in charge of a restructured company continuing to sell OxyContin.

Purdue reaped more than $30 billion from sales of OxyContin over the years, enriching Sackler family members while funneling illegal kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies, U.S. and state officials have alleged.

The cases against Purdue and the Sacklers reflect an attempt by officials to hold accountable alleged perpetrators of an epidemic that has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 people since 1999, prompting the Trump administration to declare it a public health emergency.

Purdue’s misconduct included paying illegal kickbacks to doctors and to a vendor called Practice Fusion that created a software alert designed to push the drugmaker’s opioids on physicians, prosecutors said. Practice Fusion earlier this year entered a deferred prosecution agreement and admitted that it received kickbacks from an opioid company, which Reuters reported was Purdue.

Purdue also ignored doctors suspected of improperly prescribing opioids that were flagged by its internal controls, and failed to report OxyContin prescriptions from these physicians to the Drug Enforcement Administration as legally required, officials said.

Purdue, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year under an onslaught of litigation, has proposed settling thousands lawsuits in a deal it values at more than $10 billion. That is contingent on donations of opioid reversal and addiction treatment medications it has under development and a $3 billion cash contribution from the Sacklers. The Sacklers would cede control of Purdue.

The part of that plan reshaping Purdue as a public benefit company is no longer assured, said people familiar with the matter. Attorneys general from two dozen states and Washington, D.C., last week said it would improperly entangle them with a restructured Purdue’s continued OxyContin sales while they attempt to hold alleged perpetrators of the opioid crisis accountable.

Purdue asked its bankruptcy judge on Wednesday to approve the plea agreement, including the $225 million payment it owes.

For more coverage of the opioid crisis, visit longislandpress.com/tag/the-opioid-crisis

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Judge Denies Request to Exempt Catholic Churches from NY COVID-19 Limits

St. Lucy's St. Patrick's Catholic church is seen in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., September 19, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

By Peter Szekely

A federal judge on Friday rejected a request from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn to void New York State’s limits on religious gatherings in coronavirus hot spots, which the diocese argued had effectively closed its churches.

Brooklyn U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis declined to issue a preliminary injunction sought by the diocese that would have exempted more than two dozen of its parishes from the state’s temporary stringent restrictions.

Garaufis said he was satisfied the restrictions were “guided by science, not a desire target religious practice.”

“In fact, if the court issues an injunction and the State is correct about the acuteness of the threat currently posed by hotspot neighborhoods, the result could be avoidable death on a massive scale like New Yorkers experienced in the Spring,” the judge wrote in a 24-page order.

An Oct. 6 order by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo shut down non-essential businesses in targeted “red zone” areas where infections have spiked, including some Brooklyn neighborhoods. It also limited gatherings at religious institutions to the lesser of 10 people or 25% of capacity.

Cuomo’s order, which expires on Nov. 5, also limited religious gatherings in “orange zone” areas that surround the “red zones” to the lesser of 25 people or 33% of capacity.

Attorneys for the diocese, who said most of its churches hold 500 to 1,000 parishioners, challenged only the flat-number limits, not the percentages.

They argued that the limits violated religious freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, and that their churches were singled out for more stringent restrictions than essential businesses, such as food stores.

Cuomo insisted the measures were not intended to single out religious groups and were consistent with other steps he has taken to combat geographic “clusters” of infections.

The percentage of people testing positive for the virus in the clusters jumped to nearly 8% earlier this month, but has since trended lower, falling to less 5% on Wednesday. Positivity rates in the rest of the state have been around 1%.

Separately, three Orthodox Jewish congregations also challenged the state restrictions in a suit filed on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Related Story: NY Limits Activity in Lawrence, Inwood Amid COVID-19 Hot Spot Response

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Healthcare Workers, High-risk People Will Get Priority for COVID-19 Vaccine in NY, Cuomo Says

A patient arrives in an ambulance at a hospital on Long Island during the coronavirus pandemic. (Long Island Press photo)

By Gabriella Borter

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday that healthcare workers and high-risk populations, including some long-term care residents, would get priority in his state to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when one is approved and available.

According to the five-phase preliminary plan for New York‘s vaccine administration program, some details of which Cuomo announced at a news briefing, healthcare workers in patient-care settings, long-term care facility workers and some long-term care residents would be among the first to receive a vaccine.

In the second phase of vaccine rollout, first responders, school staff, other public-facing frontline workers and people whose health conditions put them at extreme risk would get priority for the vaccine.

In Phase 3, it would be administered to people over 65. All remaining essential workers would receive the vaccine in a fourth phase, and healthy adults and children would receive it in a fifth phase.

Prioritization would also vary by geographic location based on the prevalence of the virus, Cuomo said.

“This is a larger operational undertaking, I would argue, than anything we have done during COVID to date,” he told reporters.

The program will likely seek to deliver some 40 million doses of a vaccine to state residents, as New York‘s population is around 20 million and the vaccines in development may require two doses to be effective, Cuomo said.

He said the state had sent the drafted plan to the federal government, along with questions on what funding the federal government would provide for the effort.

“States cannot do this on their own,” he said.

New York state task force will carry out its own review of coronavirus vaccines authorized or approved by the federal government due to concerns of politicization of the approval process, according to Cuomo, a Democrat who has blasted President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think that will give people added surety in the vaccine,” Cuomo said on Sunday.

Related Story: Q&A: Where Are We In The Coronavirus Vaccine Race?

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Catholics, Jews Say NY COVID-19 Restrictions Violate Religious Rights

A member of New York City Test and Trace Corp. hands out masks to Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn, New York, U.S., October 9, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Peter Szekely

Catholics and Jews asked U.S. courts on Thursday to overturn New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order limiting worship to no more than 10 congregants in communities hard hit by the coronavirus, calling the measure a threat to religious freedom.

At a three-and-half-hour hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis said he hoped to rule by Friday on a request by Brooklyn’s Roman Catholic diocese for a preliminary injunction voiding the restrictions.

In a 33-page complaint, laced with historical references to persecution, three Orthodox Jewish congregations told a U.S. District Court in Manhattan that Cuomo had outlawed “all but the most minimal communal religious worship.”

“For Jews, communal worship is an essential service for which untold thousands have risked and sacrificed their lives,” the congregations, Ohalei Shem D’Nitra, Yesheos Yakov and Netzach Yisroel, wrote.

In the Catholic case, Bishop Raymond Chappetto testified the diocese had imposed social-distancing and other safety measures beyond state requirements, including placing communion wafers in congregants’ hands rather than on their tongues.

Chappetto, who said he knew of no COVID-19 outbreaks in his 26 parishes affected by Cuomo’s order, said weekly Mass was obligatory for Catholics and it was “absolutely essential” that they be there in person.

Lawyers for the diocese argued there was no rational basis for the order. They said the infection outbreaks were occurring in Jewish ultra-Orthodox communities, not among Brooklyn Catholics.

Attorney Seth Farber, representing the state, said the restrictions, which expire on Nov. 2, were targeted at areas where infections erupted without regard to religious considerations.

Cuomo’s Oct. 6 order shut down non-essential businesses and restricted gatherings at religious institutions to as few as 10 people in targeted areas, including some Brooklyn neighborhoods where infections have spiked.

Cuomo insisted his measures were not intended to single out religious groups and were consistent with other steps in geographic clusters he called “red zones.”

But he also blamed the Orthodox Jewish communities for spreading infection, telling a Thursday briefing: “They never complied with any of the close-down rules going back to March.”

Related Story: NY Limits Activity in Lawrence, Inwood Amid COVID-19 Hot Spot Response

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States Oppose Settlement Being Negotiated by OxyContin Maker and DOJ

opioid epidemic

By Mike Spector

A group of 25 state attorneys general oppose a settlement of U.S. opioid probes being negotiated with Purdue Pharma LP and members of the wealthy Sackler family who own it, arguing the deal would improperly entangle state and local officials with future sales of the company’s addictive pain drug OxyContin.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, the state attorneys general take issue with the Justice Department’s condition that Purdue transform into a “public benefit company” that would be run on behalf of thousands of U.S. communities suing the drugmaker and Sackler family members. The letter cited a previous Reuters report detailing discussions to resolve the investigations.

One controversial aspect of that proposal is that the entity would steer proceeds from continued sales of OxyContin to those litigants, which include myriad state and local governments.

The attorneys general say the proposal “compromises the proper roles of the private sector and government” as officials attempt to hold alleged perpetrators of the nation’s opioid crisis accountable, according to a copy of the correspondence reviewed by Reuters. They contend Purdue should instead be sold to a private buyer, adding that one unidentified suitor for the company has emerged.

Representatives for Purdue, Sackler family members tied to the company and the Justice Department declined to comment.

The opposition, including by the attorneys general from Massachusetts, New York and California, could complicate negotiations to resolve both the Justice Department probes and thousands of lawsuits alleging Purdue and Sackler family members aggressively marketed prescription painkillers while downplaying their abuse and overdose risks, according to people familiar with the process.

Sustained opposition to the proposed settlement could also result in legal fees that drain Purdue’s bankruptcy estate while adding uncertainty to the drugmaker’s attempted reorganization.

The outcome of the settlement talks will help determine how much money U.S. communities receive to address a public health crisis that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the United States since 1999. The company and family deny they contributed to the opioid crisis and said their prescription drugs included proper warnings.

The letter, which was later publicly released, was signed mostly by Democratic state attorneys general. In the case of New Hampshire, it includes the signature of the deputy to that state’s Republican attorney general. (To see letter, click on https://www.mass.gov/doc/october-14-2020-letter-to-attorney-general-barr/download)

BILLIONS IN OPIOID PROFIT

Purdue, which filed for bankruptcy last year facing an onslaught of litigation, and its owners are attempting to settle widespread opioid litigation under terms that require it to also resolve Justice Department probes.

While many states have opposed a settlement proposal from Purdue and the Sacklers, the states remain in court-supervised mediation in an attempt to resolve the litigation on terms the parties find acceptable.

Over the years, Purdue reaped billions of dollars in profit from its opioids, enriching Sackler family members, and funneled illegal kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies, federal prosecutors and state attorneys general have alleged. The company and family have denied the allegations.

Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue has proposed transforming into a public benefit company that it estimates will deliver more than $10 billion to plaintiffs, partly through millions of doses of lifesaving opioid addiction and overdose reversal medications the company is developing.

The Sacklers would contribute $3 billion, cede ownership of Purdue, and potentially pay more through the later sale of another pharmaceutical business they own. Some state attorneys general have demanded the Sacklers contribute more.

Purdue is nearing an agreement to plead guilty to criminal charges as part of a broader deal to resolve the Justice Department probes, Reuters previously reported.

The settlement under discussion includes a $2 billion criminal forfeiture that the Justice Department is prepared to largely waive if Purdue steers that money to communities harmed by opioids and receives bankruptcy-court approval to become a public benefit company as it envisioned.

That proposed restructuring aims in part to allow U.S. communities to supervise sales of OxyContin that patients still use to manage pain as opposed to transferring the business to another private for-profit company.

In their letter to Barr, states said the Justice Department should not express a view on the proposal.

“If DOJ insists the Sacklers get their way and their OxyContin business is elevated into a public trust, Americans will question whether billionaires bought special treatment in this case, while working families across the country suffered,” they wrote.

Members of the Sackler family linked to Purdue are expected to face a civil financial penalty while avoiding criminal charges in the proposed settlement, Reuters previously reported. The Justice Department settlement talks are fluid and some of the terms could change as discussions continue, according to people familiar with the matter.

For more coverage of the opioid crisis, visit longislandpress.com/tag/the-opioid-crisis

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U.S. Coffee Drinkers Consume as Much at Home During Pandemic, Poll Finds

There are dozens of independent local coffee shops to choose from in Nassau and Suffolk counties. (Getty Images)

By Marcelo Teixeira

Americans are drinking just as much coffee during the pandemic, as often as before, but at home instead of in coffee shops and restaurants, a poll released on Wednesday showed.

Online purchases have jumped by 57% as coffee buyers cut back on trips to the supermarket, according to the survey commissioned by the National Coffee Association (NCA).

Consumer habits for the period in Aug. 26 to Sept. 3 were similar to those in a January poll, with six in 10 people drinking coffee everyday, at an average of 2.9 cups per day.

The pandemic’s impact on demand for commodities such as coffee, sugar or wheat has been difficult to gauge. But the association cited signs that greater home consumption has offset falling sales at businesses, without providing volume data.

Around half of the survey respondents said they stopped having coffee in restaurants, while 22% have not drunk it in the workplace.

Coffee sales at grocery stores spiked in the first weeks of the pandemic lockdown, which started in mid-March, but by September Americans had reduced buying in supermarkets by 15%, the poll found.

“App-based ordering, including delivery, rocketed up 63% amongst those who drank coffee in the last week. Drive through ordering increased 13% amongst those who drank coffee each day,” the NCA said.

Online sales rose 57% as many roasters started to sell ‘coffee subscriptions’ to consumers willing to cut trips to grocery stores.

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Yankees Hall of Famer Whitey Ford, Formerly of Glen Cove, Dies at 91

Hall of Famer Whitey Ford tips his cap as he runs onto the field during introductions for the 65th Old Timers' Day game before their MLB interleague baseball game with the Colorado Rockies at Yankee Stadium in New York, June 26, 2011. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford, a former Long Island resident who won six World Series with the New York Yankees, died Friday at age 91.

A 10-time All-Star known as “The Chairman of the Board,” Ford compiled a 236-106 record with a 2.75 ERA and 45 shutouts in 16 seasons in the Bronx (1950, 1953-67).

The left-hander led the American League in wins three times and captured the 1961 Cy Young Award with a 25-4 record, a 3.21 ERA and 209 strikeouts in 283 innings.

“The Yankees are incredibly saddened to learn of (his) passing,” the team said in a statement posted to Twitter. .”.. One of the best lefties to ever toe the rubber. He will be deeply missed.”

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred also released a statement.

“Today all of Major League Baseball mourns the loss of Whitey Ford, a New York City native who became a legend for his hometown team,” Manfred said. “Whitey earned his status as the ace of some of the most memorable teams in our sport’s rich history. Beyond the Chairman of the Board’s excellence on the mound, he was a distinguished ambassador for our National Pastime throughout his life. I extend my deepest condolences to Whitey’s family, his friends and admirers throughout our game, and all fans of the Yankees.”

Ford, who missed the 1951 and 1952 seasons while serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, helped the Yankees win 11 pennants and six World Series titles in 1950, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961 and 1962. He was 10-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 22 postseason starts and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1961 World Series after winning both starts in a five-game series win against the Cincinnati Reds.

Edward Charles Ford, known as “Whitey” because of his blond hair, would have turned 92 on Oct. 21. He was married in Glen Cove, where he and his wife started their family in the 1950s. 

Ford, who was inducted into Cooperstown in 1974, is the fourth Hall of Famer to pass away during the past few months. Pitcher Tom Seaver died on Aug. 31, outfielder Lou Brock on Sept. 6, and pitcher Bob Gibson on Oct. 2.

–Field Level Media