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COVID-19 has killed more Americans than five wars combined

Coronavirus; Hospital; COVID-19
Coronavirus; Hospital; COVID-19

edics work with a COVID-19 patient at the isolation ward of Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan near the coastal city of Tel Aviv, on July 29, 2020. JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

Sometime this week, even as we see Donald Trump being treated for COVID-19, it is likely we will hit 212,000 American deaths from coronavirus in seven months. 

That is a mark passing U.S. deaths from conflicts in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and World War I – reflected symbolically over the weekend with 20,000 empty chairs on the Washington Mall. 

Globally, of course, we’re over a million deaths. 

It’s a sober and ignoble achievement—a total that public awareness and attention should have kept lower, one whose growth rate should be diminishing and one that seems to encapsulate our divisive mentality about safety for others.

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Despite whatever efforts Trump, state governors, government health officials or others want to claim, the maps of disease growth show the United States faring worse than most other industrialized nations on most measures of per population disease control and deaths. This comes even as treatment options have improved and medical treatment has adjusted to recognizing opportunities for earlier intervention.

The total contagion counts show the insistence of Americans to resist even the simplest forms of protection, even while demanding that someone else provide it – for free.

And the president’s own nuttiness about insisting on a spin around the block as if to show off his good health before returning to the hospital just illustrates he is not even taking his own case very seriously. He just exposed everyone in the car. His personal campaign to look strong despite illness frankly is a mystifying version of leadership, for pushing for earlier-than-expected release back to the White House.

Even as pro-Trump crowds were gathering outside Walter Reed Hospital to cheer an ailing president, those waving flags and banners were standing together mostly mask-less, without proscribed physical distancing in some kind of tribal rejection of public health rules. The White House was reported to be doing little toward tracing those who may have been infected in contact with Trump or his close circle. And the president was taking pains to show himself publicly as a strong survivor of the coronavirus challenge, making the White House itself a live contagion point, as if that makes the disease less potent for those without his access to daily testing.

The reality we still face is that whether Trump emerges days from now in peachy health to successfully pursue election victory as one who has survived the coronavirus or opponent Joe Biden wins for being a far more sober, careful candidate respectful of the demands of the disease, coronavirus is still going to be here. It will be a long slog to get through it – something that Trump does not want to own. Even if we get a vaccine, Americans are saying by droves that they don’t see taking it.

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Mexico, Plagued by Cartel Wars, on Cusp of Legal Cannabis ‘Green Rush’ | World News

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – For Guillermo Nieto, a Mexican businessman who grew up smoking pot, the cannabis greenhouse on his family’s vast farmlands in Guanajuato state is part of a bigger dream. One that involves deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies.

Nieto and several Mexican businessmen have spent years positioning themselves for a time when the country opens up what would be the world’s biggest legal cannabis market in terms of population, where the drug can be lawfully cultivated and sold.

Mexico finally outlined rules in July covering cannabis for medical use, and the sign-off is expected in coming weeks.

A bigger prize may also be close for Nieto and foreign companies; Senate majority leader Ricardo Monreal told Reuters he expected a law to be passed before December for recreational use of the drug, allowing regulated private firms to sell it to the public.

“It’s going to generate a market,” said Nieto, wearing a smart blue shirt, blazer, and bright marijuana-leaf print yellow socks. “We are expecting to create jobs and revenue for the government. We think it could really help our economy.”

Indeed the legal cannabis industry is already a multi-billion-dollar global trade, and some big players, including Canada’s Canopy Growth and The Green Organic Dutchman, and a unit of California-based Medical Marijuana Inc, told Reuters they were eager to tap the new Mexican market.

Business aside, Nieto says the new regulations will have a profound social impact on the conservative nation of 126 million people, where drugs are a sensitive subject due to a long and painful history of violence perpetuated by feuding cartels.

“The first thing that will happen is that no Mexican will die or go to jail because of this plant,” Nieto said.

“With that, everyone wins.”

Dario Contreras Sanchez aims to set up a business making products like soaps and pain-relieving oils from cannabis that he would grow legally near his family’s hacienda in Durango state, where the powerful Sinaloa Cartel has held sway for decades.

He believes farmers near him who cultivate the plant for narcos would want to sell their produce lawfully – if the government permits them.

“Most of the people want to work legally,” said Contreras Sanchez, whose sister married into the family of former Mexican drug lord Amado Carrillo Fuentes.

However Mexicans are by no means unified on this issue.

While a growing cannabis industry promises to be a money-spinner, it faces resistance from campaigners who are worried that regulations for both medical and non-medical cannabis will heavily favor big, often foreign corporations.

They fear legislation will shut out small family producers and fail to offer a path to legalization for many farmers who make a living by feeding Mexico’s illegal narcotics trade.

The initial regulations covering medical use permit entrepreneurs such as Nieto to grow marijuana on behalf of pharmaceutical companies and allows foreign businesses to import medical cannabis products into the country.

However Mexico’s Supreme Court, which has effectively legalized cannabis by ruling prohibition is unconstitutional, has given the government

Mexico, plagued by cartel wars, on cusp of legal cannabis ‘green rush’

By Drazen Jorgic

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – For Guillermo Nieto, a Mexican businessman who grew up smoking pot, the cannabis greenhouse on his family’s vast farmlands in Guanajuato state is part of a bigger dream. One that involves deep-pocketed pharmaceutical companies.

Nieto and several Mexican businessmen have spent years positioning themselves for a time when the country opens up what would be the world’s biggest legal cannabis market in terms of population, where the drug can be lawfully cultivated and sold.

Mexico finally outlined rules in July covering cannabis for medical use, and the sign-off is expected in coming weeks.

A bigger prize may also be close for Nieto and foreign companies; Senate majority leader Ricardo Monreal told Reuters he expected a law to be passed before December for recreational use of the drug, allowing regulated private firms to sell it to the public.

“It’s going to generate a market,” said Nieto, wearing a smart blue shirt, blazer, and bright marijuana-leaf print yellow socks. “We are expecting to create jobs and revenue for the government. We think it could really help our economy.”

Indeed the legal cannabis industry is already a multi-billion-dollar global trade, and some big players, including Canada’s Canopy Growth and The Green Organic Dutchman, and a unit of California-based Medical Marijuana Inc, told Reuters they were eager to tap the new Mexican market.

Business aside, Nieto says the new regulations will have a profound social impact on the conservative nation of 126 million people, where drugs are a sensitive subject due to a long and painful history of violence perpetuated by feuding cartels.

“The first thing that will happen is that no Mexican will die or go to jail because of this plant,” Nieto said.

“With that, everyone wins.”

Dario Contreras Sanchez aims to set up a business making products like soaps and pain-relieving oils from cannabis that he would grow legally near his family’s hacienda in Durango state, where the powerful Sinaloa Cartel has held sway for decades.

He believes farmers near him who cultivate the plant for narcos would want to sell their produce lawfully – if the government permits them.

“Most of the people want to work legally,” said Contreras Sanchez, whose sister married into the family of former Mexican drug lord Amado Carrillo Fuentes.

However Mexicans are by no means unified on this issue.

While a growing cannabis industry promises to be a money-spinner, it faces resistance from campaigners who are worried that regulations for both medical and non-medical cannabis will heavily favor big, often foreign corporations.

They fear legislation will shut out small family producers and fail to offer a path to legalization for many farmers who make a living by feeding Mexico’s illegal narcotics trade.

‘GREEN RUSH’ FRONTIER

The initial regulations covering medical use permit entrepreneurs such as Nieto to grow marijuana on behalf of pharmaceutical companies and allows foreign businesses to import medical cannabis products into the country.

However Mexico’s Supreme Court, which has effectively legalized cannabis by