HHS Secretary Alex Azar suggests health problems in communities of color explain coronavirus death numbers

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke in optimistic terms about quickly reopening the US economy on CNN Sunday. And he did so while downplaying the severity of the coronavirus fatality rate nationally, seeming to suggest that demographics — rather than policy choices — are behind confirmed US coronavirus-related deaths approaching 90,000.

But his positive gloss on the administration’s coronavirus response appears to be at odds with recent polling indicating that an overwhelming majority of Americans — including those who have lost their jobs or taken pay cuts due to stay-at-home measures — are concerned that states will …

Donald Trump, Jr.’s latest Joe Biden “joke” reflects a proven strategy for mainstreaming extreme ideas

President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., tweeted and Instagrammed a reference to the widespread “Creepy Joe” meme on Friday — one labeling former Vice President Joe Biden a pedophile.

The meme, which has been circulating online in right-wing meme forums as well as communities and hashtags devoted to the “Creepy Joe” meme, highlights the fact a number of women have said the presumptive nominee touched them inappropriately. It depicts Biden saying, “See you later alligator,” with an alligator responding, “In a while, pedophile.” On Instagram, Trump, Jr. initially framed the meme as a joke, and later repeated …

Italy’s plan to drastically relax social distancing is a “calculated risk”

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Saturday that Italy will allow European travelers to enter the country without quarantining beginning in June — a notable step in relaxing one of the most stringent coronavirus-spurred lockdowns in the world.

The prime minister acknowledged that easing border controls — combined with other steps his country is taking to return to normality — could spark a surge in cases of the virus, but argued that doing so was necessary for the economy.

“We’re facing a calculated risk in the knowledge that the contagion curve may rise again,” Conte said in an …

After the coronavirus pandemic, group fitness will never be the same

By the end of my first SoulCycle class in 2014, my lungs were on fire and I had dripped a puddle of sweat below me. I’d mocked the cult-like spin class and its celebrity following, but agreed to try it because I wanted something different from the gym — plus I had a free class, and a former coworker, one who I liked, offered to do it with me. After 45 agonizing minutes, I swore: never again.

I would go on to take multiple classes a week.

I thought about this four years later, when I took my first Barry’s

Read Obama’s inspiring commencement address to 2020’s high school graduates

In his second commencement speech of 2020, former President Barack Obama implored graduating high schoolers to be brave in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and to reject old ways of doing things while working together to solve pressing problems, from economic inequality to the climate crisis.

“If the world’s gonna get better, it’s gonna be up to you,” Obama said during the television special, “Graduate Together” on Saturday. “Leave behind all the old ways of thinking that divide us — sexism, racial prejudice, status, greed. And set the world on a different path.”

The speech followed one Obama delivered