Wednesday, July 8, 2020
First, an update from the National Weather Service in Wilmington about
a potential tropical development that will bring our region heavy rainfall over the next few days
From the NWS:
- "Low pressure across northeast SC is expected to move near or just off the NC coast through Thursday. There is a 70% chance the low may develop into a subtropical or tropical system during the next couple of days as it moves toward the Outer Banks and coastal mid-Atlantic states. Regardless of development, the low is expected to produce locally heavy rainfall that could cause isolated flooding – especially across southeast NC. Fortunately, the bulk of the heaviest rain caused by this low will remain off the coast."
Here’s today’s COVID-19 update:
- The U.S. reached three million confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide earlier today. For the third day in a row, North Carolina reported a record number of hospitalizations due to the virus – 994 patients currently hospitalized, the ninth consecutive day hospitalizations were over 900. An additional 21 deaths were reported, for a total of 1,441 statewide
- The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol has announced that it would postpone the reopening of Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment Centers until at least August 10, 2020. Trusted Traveler Programs applicants who scheduled interviews at enrollment centers in July and early August must reschedule their appointments on or after August 10 by logging into their Trusted Traveler Programs account and using the online scheduling tool.
- Brunswick County Health Services has reported the seventh death of a county resident who tested positive for COVID-19. The individual was a resident of the Universal Health Care of Brunswick congregate living facility, the third resident of the facility to pass away after testing positive for the virus. There are currently 22 residents and 14 employees at Universal Health Care of Brunswick who have received positive test results for COVID-19. More information from Brunswick County is here.
- Reports have indicated an uptick in overdose deaths since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. I wanted to make sure everyone has information for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)'s National Helpline, which can be reached at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). The helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
- You or someone else in need can also contact the Hope4NC Helpline at 1-855-587-3463 to access additional mental health resources to help NC residents cope specifically with the COVID-19 outbreak.
- If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, support is available 24 hours a day via the NC Alcohol and Drug Council, which can be reached at 1-800-688-4232.
- The New Hanover Disaster Coalition is hosting a Hurricane Preparedness Drive-Thru Expo this Saturday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (or while supplies last). The group will be giving away 500 “hurricane buckets” that will contain useful items in the event of severe weather including flashlights, insect repellant, cleaning supplies, first aid and hygiene kits and more. Items will be distributed at two locations:
- Harbor United Methodist Church, 4853 Masonboro Loop Road in Wilmington
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 514 S. College Road in Wilmington
For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting my friend
Paul Butler of White Lake
, who turned 80 recently and chose to celebrate his birthday in one of the most creative and charitable ways I’ve seen. He sent a letter to 80 of his closest friends, which included a dollar for each year of his life, and asked the recipients to spend the money in a way that “eases the burden, dislocation or despair of someone impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.” Paul, you are a great American!
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Here’s today’s update:
- The Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration has released detailed, updated data about the success of the Paycheck Protection Program. The release includes loan-level data for each of the 4.9 million PPP loans that have been made, and includes names and addresses for companies receiving loans of more than $150,000.
- The data shows that the PPP has supported more than 51 million jobs and more than 80 percent of all small businesses employees, with an average loan size of approximately $100,000.
- The data also shows that the program has supported about 1.7 million jobs right here in North Carolina, with $12.4 billion in loans issued to North Carolina small businesses.
- An overview of the data release from the SBA, with some key points, is here.
- The full data disclosure can be found here.
- The latest PPP report with state-by-state and national data through 6/30 is available here.
- Following last month’s strong jobs report, it’s clear that the PPP has played a big role in keeping our economy afloat through the crisis and helping millions of Americans despite the partial shutdown of our economy.
- Despite the surge in cases in states around the country, it’s important to remember a few key facts:
- No state has reached or exceeded its hospital capacity.
- Our doctors have a far better understanding now of how to treat patients with the virus than when the outbreak began.
- We’ve taken steps to protect our most vulnerable populations: the elderly, those with underlying conditions and those living in nursing homes and other communal settings.
- We make more and more progress every day on treatments and vaccine candidates.
- We know more about the preventative steps individuals can take to protect their loved ones and others from the virus.
- The Department of Health and Human Services announced this week it was awarding $2 billion to two pharmaceutical companies to support the development and manufacturing of an experimental drug and a potential vaccine against COVID-19. Novavax, Inc., in Maryland, has been awarded $1.6 billion for the commercial-scale manufacturing of its investigational vaccine. Depending on the success of clinical trials, this $1.6 billion will support this vaccine candidate through the remainder of the clinical trials and the manufacturing of 100 million doses. And Regeneron, a New York company, will receive $450 million for a large-scale manufacturing demonstration project of the company’s therapeutic COVID-19 treatment should clinical trials be successful. As many as 300,000 doses will be available from this project.
- With the lack of support from mayors of a major cities in general and the ridiculous movement to defund the police around the country, it is no wonder that there has been a staggering uptick in violence in our nation’s cities. Take a look at this data:
- 87 shot, 17 fatally, during the July 4th weekend in Chicago
- 64 shot, 10 dead in New York City over the weekend
- The 205 shootings in NY in June were the city’s highest for that month since 1996.
- Seven people were shot in the span of three hours in Philadelphia, which has seen a 57% increase in shootings from last year.
- In the first week of June alone, the LAPD reported that homicides jumped 250% compared to the previous week.
It’s a fundament truth that you get more of what you incentivize. It’s also true that you become part of what you condone. The liberal mayors and city councils around the country who show no support for the police and stand by tolerating anarchy invite even more of it. This exponential increase in violence is a direct result of the assault on law and order allowed by the far Left. Just look at New York and Seattle.
Our law enforcement personnel have a very difficult job even in ordinary times. I have always supported our law enforcement and always will. The calls to defund them are delusional and dangerous. Period. Meanwhile, as reported previously in this newsletter, Senate Democrats prevented a good, commonsense reform bill from evening coming to the Senate floor for debate. For many on that side of the aisle, they want an election issue. Well, I have news for them: If the election were today, it would be a landslide for Republicans. The undercurrent against all this nonsense and anarchy is strong and real. Forget what the polls say; the only one that matters is on Election Day.
For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting the
staff of Catholic Charities Cape Fear Regional
which has continued to distribute food to those in need despite the outbreak. The food pantry was quick to adapt to the unique challenges of the COVID-19 epidemic, shifting to a more mobile food distribution model that helps them reach remote communities facing food shortages. Thanks for all you do!
Monday, July 6, 2020
I hope you and your loved ones had a safe, happy Fourth of July this past weekend. Here’s today’s COVID-19 update:
- As we begin a new week, here’s a snapshot of the COVID-19 outbreak in the counties that make up the 7th District:
- Bladen County: 399 cases, 3 deaths
- Brunswick County: 662 cases, 6 deaths
- Columbus County: 565 cases, 39 deaths
- Duplin County: 1,579 cases, 28 deaths
- Johnston County: 1,737 cases, 33 deaths
- New Hanover County: 1,138 cases, 7 deaths
- Pender County: 303 cases, 2 deaths
- Sampson County: 1,112 cases, 6 deaths
- Wayne County: 1,913 cases, 28 deaths
- Statewide, we have 74,529 cases and 1,398 deaths due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 982 individuals are currently hospitalized due to the virus, and North Carolina has completed more than 1.051 million tests so far.
- The latest statistics on the COVID-19 outbreak in North Carolina can always be found here.
- North Carolina also estimates that about 55,318 COVID-19 patients statewide have recovered from the virus.
- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services gave an update on the statewide trends as of late last week: North Carolina’s trajectory of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases and surveillance data continues to increase. The trajectory in percent of tests returning positive remains steady at about 9 percent and the trajectory of hospitalizations is also leveling.
- An update from the IRS: the agency has begun sending out notices to CARES Act stimulus payment recipients who received their payments via a debit card that has not yet been activated. Taxpayers who were mailed a debit card for their Economic Impact Payment but haven’t activated it yet will receive the letter reminding them that they can activate it to access their money or obtain a free replacement card if needed.
- For the reminder mailing, the Treasury Department logo will be visible on the envelope and letter. The left front of the envelope will clearly include this notation: “Not a bill or an advertisement. Important information about your Economic Impact Payment.” The inside of the letter will include instructions for people who haven’t activated their card yet and includes a picture of what the debit card looks like.
- People expecting EIP payments should look for this mailing and activate their debit cards as soon as possible. Once the card is activated, people can transfer the funds to a bank account, get cash surcharge-free at an In-Network ATM or use it in other ways.
- For more information, visit EIPcard.com. Additional information, including answers to frequently asked questions and other resources is available at IRS.gov/coronavirus.
For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting Stephanie Athanas of Wilmington, who graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy this spring and has been selected to receive a commission as a second lieutenant in the new United States Space Force. Lt. Athanas graduated from Topsail High School in 2016 and earned a nomination from me to attend the Air Force Academy. It’s great to see one of our own from southeastern North Carolina chosen to become one of the first officers in this historic new military command. Congratulations, Lieutenant!
For the latest
Updates and Archived information from the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, please
(If on a cell devise, Click Events and then click on COVID-19 updates)
1121 N. Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428