09:34 GMT18 June 2021
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    COVID-19 Seems Contained in New York State: Is Second Wave Still to Come?

    The Critical Hour
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    On this edition of The Critical Hour, co-hosts Dr. Wilmer Leon and Garland Nixon discuss with Dr. Ranjeet Brar the report that New York State has not only controlled its COVID-19 outbreak; it has also contained it for much longer than expected.

    "The current levels of infection are so remarkable that they have surprised state and city officials: Around 1 percent of the roughly 30,000 tests each day in the city are positive for the virus," the New York Times reported Monday. "In Los Angeles, it’s 7 percent, while it’s 13 percent in Miami-Dade County and around 15 percent in Houston." What does that data mean?

    There are 77 days left in the US presidential campaign. Incumbents are difficult to beat, as they have the established apparatus behind them to support their efforts. The president also has the power of the bully pulpit to command attention and shape the daily narrative, which US President Donald Trump has used to make "the unfounded claim that the election could be riddled with fraud if mail ballots were widely used" and to oppose "Democratic demands for additional funding for both the post office and election security measures because of his opposition to mail-in voting," as the New York Times reported on August 13. How big of a problem is this?  

    A Sunday Washington Post headline read: "'A national crisis': As coronavirus forces many schools online this fall, millions of disconnected students are being left behind." The article said: "Before the pandemic, it was called 'the homework gap,' because of the growing number of teachers who assigned homework that required internet access. Now, as the pandemic forces many schools to switch to remote learning, disconnected students will miss more than homework. They’ll miss all of school." How will this play out?

    "There were bizarre scenes at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London [Friday], as the extradition process of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange (present via videophone from Belmarsh prison) was again delayed," MintPress News reported on August 14. What are we to make of these developments?  

    A Sunday headline at Antiwar.com read: "Tensions Simmer Between Russia and NATO Over Belarus." The article began, "Since the August 9 Belarus presidential election, US and EU officials have rejected the results and called on President Alexander Lukashenko to hold a fresh vote. Feeling pressure from the west, Lukashenko secured the support of his neighbor to the east, Russian President Vladimir Putin." What are we to make of this?  

    "In the Security Council vote on Friday, the US got support only from the Dominican Republic for its resolution to indefinitely extend the arms embargo on Iran, leaving it far short of the minimum nine 'yes' votes required for adoption," Al Jazeera reported Saturday. Has the US ever been so isolated?

    "US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he could exert pressure on more Chinese companies such as technology giant Alibaba, the owner of the South China Morning Post, after he moved to ban TikTok," Reuters reported over the weekend. How much of a problem will this pose going forward?

    "US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he is considering a pardon for Edward Snowden, the former US National Security Agency contractor - now living in Russia - whose spectacular leaks shook the US intelligence community in 2013," Reuters reported over the weekend. What does this mean?  


    Ranjeet Brar - British physician and National Health Service worker 

    Greg Palast - Investigative reporter

    Dr. Emmit Riley - Political scientist and assistant professor of Africana studies at DePauw University

    Daniel Lazare - Investigative journalist and author of "The Velvet Coup"

    Alexander Mercouris - Editor-in-chief of The Duran

    Scott Ritter - Former UN weapons inspector in Iraq 

    Dr. Gerald Horne - Professor of history at the University of Houston, author, historian and researcher

    Ray McGovern - Former CIA analyst and co-founder Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Peace

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Edward Snowden, China, Iran, Belarus, Julian Assange, SARS coronavirus, COVID-19, NY
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