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Good Morning, News: Ramped-Up Heatwave Prepping, Brown Under Scrutiny for Delta Response, and Anti-Asian Hate Continues

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by Blair Stenvick

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Gov.Kate Brown announcing the new mask mandate yesteday.

Gov.Kate Brown announcing the new mask mandate yesteday. Screenshot from governor’s office video

Good morning, Portland! Sorry for being a broken record, but have you checked on your neighbors and do you know about the cooling centers open today?

Yes? Okay, great, here are the headlines.

• If you live in the Portland area, you’ve probably received a phone call recently with a recording warning you that “heat can kill” and informing you about local cooling centers. That phone call is part of a ramped-up response to this heatwave, after the city, state, and county faced criticism for its lackluster efforts during the record-shattering June heatwave that killed nearly 100 Oregonians.

• Moving on to the other crisis facing our state right now: With the new mask mandate starting tomorrow and COVID-19 cases higher than ever in Oregon, are you feeling a bit confused about what is and isn’t safe for you to do as a vaccinated person? OPB has this tremendously helpful explainer about why the surge is happening, how it affects different groups, and how you can stay reasonably safe.

• Speaking of which: Gov. Kate Brown is facing some scrutiny for not seeming to prepare for this expected surge in Delta variant cases. Did Brown lift the mask mandate too soon back in June, or is she right that the “Delta variant changed everything” after that mandate was lifted?

• In case you missed it yesterday: The campaign to recall Mayor Ted Wheeler is coming up short on signatures, and the clock is ticking.

• Today in “Things that you can’t believe weren’t already a thing”:

• Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the FDA will likely soon recommend that immunocompromised people receive a third COVID shot, to better protect them from the virus. Fauci also says it’s likely that we’ll all need booster shots, eventually.

• Data from Stop AAPI Hate shows that over 9,000 incidents of anti-Asian hate have occurred since the start of the pandemic. A spokesperson from the organization says that people began reporting these occurrences more after the March 16 Atlanta-area spa shootings that killed six Asian women.

• Stressed about the heatwave? If it’s any consolation, Portland isn’t alone this time around: There’s going to be potentially record-breaking temperatures in much of the East Coast over the next day or two as well, from Boston to Washington, DC. (Okay, I’m not sure why I thought further evidence of climate change would serve as consolation!)

• Meanwhile, in Germany:

• And we’ll end today with this, courtesy of Jezebel: “August Feels Like This Video of a Flamingo Spinning In a Circle.”

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