Category Archives: Politics

In Uncertain Times, Rob Slosberg Offers Sanity, Knowledge

When the coronavirus outbreak hit, Westporters leaped to help.

Physicians treat physical symptoms. Therapists handle emotional ones. CVS and Walgreens clerks ease customers’ fears. A career coach provides free resume consultations.

But if you’re in advertising, what can you possibly do?

Rob Slosberg is a creative director. That’s apt: The 1982 Staples High  School graduate is quite creative.

His first thought was to spread “sanity and knowledge.”

That evening in his Westport home, he created a video. The goal: to show how staying home can prevent others from getting sick — and save lives.

He wrote a script, found stock footage, and spent all night editing it.

Rob Slosbereg

In the morning he sent it to Ellis Verdi, co-founder of Rob’s firm DeVito/Verdi.

He loved it too. Quickly, Ellis sent it to his connections at The Partnership for New York City.

They loved it. But they had one request: Could it include a quote from Governor Cuomo?

Sure!

“That made the video much stronger,” Rob says. “It brought it to reality, and the present moment.”

By the next day, the video was in front of Cuomo. He must have loved it too.

The spot went from concept to on-air in 1 week. The average commercial takes 4 to 6 weeks.

It will run on donated media throughout the tristate area, and on Hulu.

“I just wanted to do something to try to help,” Rob says. “I never thought it would make it all the way up to the governor.”

I could tell you how compelling the PSA is. But it’s far more powerful to watch it yourself.

Just click below:

US Census Counts On You!

Stuck at home? Nothing to do?

Fill out your census form!

By now, you should have received information (by mail) about completing the 2020 count. There are 3 ways to do it: online (click here), by phone (844-330-2020) or mail.

The census is important for many reasons. Two are critical: the number of seats each state is allotted in Congress (we went from 6 representatives to 5 after the 2000 census), and billions of dollars in federal funding for schools, healthcare, transportation and social services.

So how are we (and you) doing?

Click here for a map. You can check how Connecticut is doing, compared to the nation as a whole (a tad above average), and how Westport compares to the rest of the state (decently above average).

Respond today. Then check tomorrow. The map is updated every day at 3 p.m.

(For more information on the 2020 census — and to respond — click here.)

But wait! There’s more!

The census can be a family affair — and earn a $500 prize. Well, your high school student can, anyway.

Norwalk2Bridgeport is sponsoring a “2020 Census Throwdown.” High schoolers in Westport, Norwalk, Fairfield and Bridgeport are invited to submit lyrics “expressing vital information about the census via original Instagram videos.”

Lyrics — in any musical style — will be judged on creativity, and how clearly students express their info.

Judges are notable celebrities with local roots, including Oscar, Grammy and Tony-winning Staples graduate Justin Paul.

Upload videos to Instagram with the hashtag #N2Bcensusthrowdown, and tag @norwalk2bridgeport. Profiles must be public during the submission period.

The deadline is April 15.

“Essential Businesses”: Defined

Tonight at 8, Governor Lamont’s emergency proclamation takes effect. It closes all but “essential” businesses in the Connecticut.

What does that mean? The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce relayed this important information.

For purposes of Executive Order 7H, “essential business,” means:

  1. Essential workers in the 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors, as defined by the federal Department of Homeland Security unless otherwise addressed in a prior or future executive order pertaining to the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency.
  2. Healthcare and related operations including:

* biotechnology therapies

* consumer health products and services

* doctor and dentist offices

* elder care, including adult day care

* health care plans and health care data

* home health care workers or aides

* hospitals

* manufacturing, distributing, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, including research and development

* medical marijuana dispensaries and producers

* medical supplies and equipment providers, including devices, diagnostics, services, and any other healthcare related supplies or services

* medical wholesale and distribution

* nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities

* pharmacies

* physical therapy and chiropractic offices

* research and laboratory services, including testing and treatment of COVID-19

* veterinary and animal health services

* walk-in-care health facilities

The ever-smiling, always-helpful Russ Levine at Colonial pharmacy is of course essential.

  1. Infrastructure including:

* airports/airlines

* commercial trucking

* dam maintenance and support

* education-related functions at the primary, secondary, or higher education level to provide support for students, including distribution of meals or faculty conducting e-learning

* hotels and other places of accommodation

* water and wastewater operations, systems, and businesses

* telecommunications and data centers

* transportation infrastructure including bus, rail, for-hire vehicles and vehicle rentals, and garages

* utilities including power generation, fuel supply, and transmission

  1. All manufacturing and corresponding supply chains, including aerospace, agriculture, and related support businesses
  1. Retail including:

* appliances, electronics, computers, and telecom equipment

* big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries, consumer health products, or operate a pharmacy

* convenience stores

* gas stations

* grocery stores including all food and beverage retailers

* guns and ammunition

* hardware, paint, and building material stores, including home appliance sales/repair

* liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees

* pharmacies

* pet and pet supply stores

Westport Hardware is another essential business.

  1. Food and agriculture, including:

* farms and farmer’s markets

* food manufacturing, processing, storage, and distribution facilities

* nurseries, garden centers, and agriculture supply stores

* restaurants/bars (provided compliance with all applicable executive orders is maintained)

  1. Services including:

* accounting and payroll services

* animal shelters or animal care or management, including boarding, grooming, pet walking and pet sitting

* auto supply, repair, towing, and service, including roadside assistance

* bicycle repair and service

* building cleaning and maintenance

* child care services

* critical operations support for financial institutions

* financial advisors

* financial institutions, including banks, credit unions, and check cashing services

* funeral homes, crematoriums, and cemeteries

* insurance companies

* laundromats/dry cleaning

* legal and accounting services

* mail and shipping services

* marinas and marine repair and service

* news and media

* real estate transactions and related services, including residential leasing and renting

* religious services (subject to Executive Order 7D limiting gatherings to 50 people)

* storage for Essential Businesses

* trash and recycling collection, hauling, and processing

* warehouse/distribution, shipping, and fulfillment

Trash collecting is absolutely essential.

  1. Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations including:

* food banks

* homeless shelters and congregate care facilities

* human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support social service agencies

  1. Construction including:

* all skilled trades such as electricians, HVAC, and plumbers

* general construction, both commercial and residential

* other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes

* planning, engineering, design, bridge inspection, and other construction support activities

  1. Services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of all residences and other buildings (including services necessary to secure and maintain non-essential workplaces):

* building cleaners or janitors

* building code enforcement

* disinfection

* doormen

* emergency management and response

* fire prevention and response

* general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor

* home-related services, including real estate transactions, closings, appraisals, and moving services

* landscaping services

* law enforcement

* outdoor maintenance, including pool service

* pest control services

* security and maintenance, including steps reasonably necessary to secure and maintain non-essential businesses

* state marshals

Staples’ popular head custodian Horace Lewis leads a great — and essential — staff.

  1. Vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care, and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public including: 

* billboard leasing and maintenance

* child care services

* essential government services

* government owned or leased buildings

* information technology and information security

* logistics

* technology support

  1. Defense 

* defense and national security-related business and operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government

———————

If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an Essential Business.

Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should ONLY be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.

Restrictions on requesting designation as an Essential Business:

  • Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (e.g. attendant) is deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an Essential Business.

If you have further questions not answered above, please submit them to decd.covid19@ct.gov.

COVID-19 Roundup: What’s Open And Closed: New Police Procedures; Access To Health Insurance; Earthplace Ideas; Help Your Household Help; Jim Himes Telephone Town Hall, And More

Looking for an up-to-date list of what’s open, closed or semi-operating downtown? Click here for the Westport Downtown Merchants Association list.

Click here for the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s list of restaurants that offer takeout and/or delivery services. In addition to ordering delivery directly, Seamless, Grubhub and UberEats also deliver without personal contact. They can leave the food at the door. Payment is automatically processed through a credit card in their systems. Most Westport restaurants are participating in one or more of these services.

Another resource: FindingWestport.com. Their “What’s Open” page includes stores, restaurants, gyms, services, real estate firms and salons around town.


To protect the public and police officers during the COVID-19 emergency, the Westport Police Department encourages telephone contact, rather than visits to headquarters.

Calls made to non-emergency and emergency lines will continue to be answered as always. The operator will ask questions about the nature and details of the call, to determine whether officers are required to respond.

Officers will continue to respond to crimes in progress, violent offenses and medical emergencies. If the call does not meet criteria for response but requires follow-up, the call taker will log the complaint. An officer or detective will remotely conduct a follow-up investigation.

Click here for information on online reporting.

The records division will no longer process requests at the window. All records related inquiries should be directed to 203- 341-6001. Requested records will be sent electronically

In addition, fingerprinting services are suspended indefinitely.  ‘


Effective today, the Saugatuck and Greens Farms railroad stations buildings are closed to the public. This has no impact on normal railroad operations.

The closures are meant to keep people from congregating in close contact. It is unknown how long they will last.

The building is closed. Trains are still operating.


Westporters without health insurance can pick up coverage starting tomorrow through April 2, through Access Health CT. Click here for information. (Hat tip: Mary Jennings)


Earthplace is continually updating its website with ideas and resources for crafts, home study,  and outdoor and online activities. Click here for details.

 


Concerned reader Lindsey Blaivas writes:

Many of us have people come to our homes on a weekly basis — cleaning crews (mine are like family), babysitters (also like family), piano teachers and more.

Each have their own families and rely on their income. Please consider supporting them — for example, through Skype lessons or outdoor alternatives for cleaning crews (grills, outdoor furniture, garage cleaning). Think creatively.

Or maybe just pay them as you normally would, because they (like us) need to survive and protect their families. My cleaning people have reported many clients are cancelling without pay.

Please consider the macro impact on micro thinking. It’s not just one person cancelling — it’s everyone.


Grateful reader Deborah Green called Verizon with a question about her iPhone.  She did not want to come in, because of her age.

Manager Dominic di Pasquale — whom she had never met — answered her question. Then, remarkably, he told Deborah to call if she needed him to shop for groceries or do any other errands!

She thanked him profusely. He replied simply, “We all have to be there for each other during these times.”

She made one more call: to Verizon’s HR department, to praise their magnificent employee.


The other day, Congressman Jim Himes held a fascinating, informative telephone town hall. He’s got another one set for tomorrow (Thursday, March 19, 3:30 p.m.)

The call-in number is 855-962-0953. The streaming link is Himes.House.Gov/Live.

For answers to his most frequently asked questions, click here(Hat tip: Nicole Klein)

Congressman Jim Himes


Le Rouge Aartisan Chocolates is — like many small businesses — struggling. But owner Aarti Khosla is still thinking of others.

Customers can buy her “Give a Little Love” chocolate hearts, to send to first responders, hospital workers and others on the front lines. She’ll match whatever you buy, to let them know how much we appreciate their work.

She started by campaign by donating 100 hearts to Norwalk Hospital and EMS. Click here to donate.


The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce has extended its Soup Contest through April. They encourage everyone to try soups via restaurant takeout or delivery services.

 

 

COVID-19 Roundup: Business Advice; Stop & Shop Special Hours For Seniors; Restaurant, Parks & Rec News

State Senator Will Haskell says:

Person-to-Person
Many families in our area are struggling with the economic repercussions of temporary unemployment. Person-to-Person (P2P) serves residents of Fairfield County who are affected by the outbreak. No proof of income is required for those who are seeking food assistance.

Free shelf-stable groceries including produce, protein and dairy are available to employees furloughed due to COVID-19 and residents with incomes below 235 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Call 203-655-0048 to make an appointment. Locations in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford supply food to the public with varying hours.

P2P is also supplying emergency financial assistance for those who need help with rent, security deposits, utilities and small emergency expenses. Call 203-655-0048 for more information.

If you’re not struggling to put food on the table, consider helping others by donating food, toiletries, paper goods, diapers or gift cards. These supplies can be dropped off at 1864 Post Road in Darien or 76 South Main Street in Norwalk from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, and after hours by appointment. For more details, call 203-621-0703.

Finally, you can donate to a virtual food drive at www.p2phelps.org. Person-to-Person can purchase more than $3 worth of food with every dollar donated.

Unemployment and Layoffs
Unfortunately, an increasing number of businesses will be laying off staff and reducing hours. The financial repercussions of this health crisis could be tremendous. The Connecticut Department of Labor asks that you follow these steps if you are a worker or business owner who needs to file for unemployment:

If you are a worker: Visit www.filectui.com to file for unemployment as soon as possible. It is important to file as soon as you become unemployed. If you need help completing your application, email dol.webhelp@ct.gov.

If you contract COVID-19 and need to take time off work or are fired, you may file for unemployment benefits. You may also file for unemployment benefits if you are required to self-quarantine, your employer closes during this outbreak or a family member becomes ill. The outcome will depend on a case-by-case basis.

If your employer only permits you to work part-time instead of full-time or you work multiple jobs and your full-time employer closes, you may be eligible for partial unemployment.

If your employer retaliates against you for filing unemployment, you may file a complaint under the Connecticut Unemployment Compensation Act.

The Department of Labor is also suspending federal work search programs requiring unemployment recipients to meet one-on-one for assistance and is suspending work search requirements for unemployment benefits. Furloughed employees are eligible for at least six weeks of benefits.

If you are an employer: If one of your employees is sick with COVID-19, you can require them to stay home, though you should issue them an Unemployment Separation Package.

If you must close your business due to illness or quarantine, direct your employees to www.filectui.com.

The Department of Labor offers a SharedWork program for employers seeing business slow down. This is an alternative to a layoff, allowing employers to reduce full-time employees’ wages by up to 60 percent while workers collect partial unemployment. All employers with at least two full-time or permanent part-time employees can participate. A reduction of work must be between 10 and 60 percent of activities.

More details, including information about paid sick leave, wages and hours, and family medical leave, can be found at this link.

Small Businesses
Small businesses are the cornerstone of Connecticut’s economy, employing roughly 700,00 residents. That’s why Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development announced that the 800 small business owners who owe loan payments to the state’s Small Business Express program can defer payment for three months.

Yesterday Governor Lamont submitted a request to the U.S. Small Business Administration, asking the federal agency to issue a declaration that will enable Connecticut’s small business owners to receive economic injury disaster loans. Once these loans become available, I will spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Starting Thursday, Stop & Shop will offer seniors-only shopping from 6 a.m. to 7:30. Only customers 60 and over — the most vulnerable group for acquiring the virus — will be allowed in the store then.

The decision was made, the chain says, to “practice effective social distancing.”

In addition, starting today, all Stop & Shop stores will now close at 8 p.m. That will give employees more time to unload inventory and stock shelves.

(Hat tip: Paula Lacy)


Nathaniel Brogadir of Delivery.com is offering local restaurant owners no fees for 30 days. Owners should email nbrogadir@delivery.com for details.


Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department has closed its office until further notice.

All programs and program registration is postponed indefinitely.

Beach emblem sales are postponed until April 1. They can be ordered online then. If assistance is needed, call 203-341-5090.

Westport’s Parks & Rec Department in Longshore is closed until further notice. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

 

Chamber Of Commerce: Support Local Stores — And Order Takeout!

In normal times, the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce supports local businesses in a variety of ways: networking opportunities, marketing help, community-building events.

These are not normal times.

As COVID-19 attacks the country, some of the first casualties are small businesses.

When the first line of defense is social distancing — with isolation close on its heels — the last things on people’s minds are shopping for anything beyond necessities, or dining out.

When “wash your hands!” is the new mantra, no one is in the mood to handle merchandise in a store, or be served a meal in close proximity to others.

But small businesses need customers to survive. Even a small drop in patronage can spell the difference between paying the rent, paying employees, and going under.

Savvy + Grace on Main Street, one of many locally owned stores throughout town. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

The Chamber is marshaling its resources to help.

They encourage Westporters to continue to shop locally. In addition, they recommend buying gift cards, to use later.  You can do this not just for stores, but nail salons, yoga studios — you name it.

“This small act, if done by many, will help infuse capital to help them hold over until next month,” the Chamber says.

For residents hesitant about eating out, Chamber executive director Matthew Mandell suggests takeout orders. Most restaurants offer that option; some deliver. And there’s always Uber Eats.

Oh, yeah: Mandell reminds everyone that the Great Westport Soup Contest continues all month. There are some things the coronavirus just can’t conquer.

State Senator Will Haskell (left) and Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell pick up takeout at Arezzo. Of course, the meal includes soup.

The Chamber also says: “If you have ideas on how to help our businesses, let us know. It takes a community to support a community.”

It’s easy. Click here for their website contact form. Email info@westportwestonchamber.com. Or call 203-227-9234.

PS: It’s not only small stores that are affected by COVID-19. Patagonia announced yesterday that it is closing all 37 stores — and its online operations — indefinitely.

PPS: The US Small Business Administration offers low-interest disaster loans to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury from the coronavirus. It must be requested by governors. It is unclear how far along in the process Connecticut’s request is. For more information, click here or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

Rep. Steinberg: If You Have Symptoms, Assume It’s COVID

Feeling sick? Wondering if you have COVID-19?

State Representative Jonathan Steinberg is co-chair of the Connecticut Legislature’s Public Health Committee. He writes:

By now, you’re probably aware that Westport is a community with expected cases of COVID-19. Westport schools are closed indefinitely. But we’re not at a point where everyone can be tested.

“If you have a fever and a cough and you are in the southwestern part of the state, you should assume that you have COVID-19,” state epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Cartter said.

“You don’t need a test to tell you that’s what you have; you should assume that’s the illness you have. Most people will get better at home, especially the younger you are. You should talk to your physician.”

However, if you’re in the high risk group — elderly, serious existing conditions, immune-compromised) — contact your provider to discuss the need for testing.

Let the Westport-Weston Health District know as well: 203-227-9571.

For updates via the state website, click here.

The COVID virus looks pretty. It’s not.

Scott Gottlieb Faces The Nation About COVID-19

Yesterday morning — just an hour or so before local officials convened a community forum on the COVID-19 virus — our neighbor Dr. Scott Gottlieb was in a TV studio.

President Trump’s former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration was interviewed on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Here’s what he said.

MARGARET BRENNAN: For a closer look at how prepared we are for the coronavirus here in the U.S., we turn to former FDA commissioner and physician Dr. Scott Gottlieb. Good to have you here.

DR. SCOTT GOTTLIEB: Thanks.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You served in the Trump administration. What do you think the administration is doing now that is right, wrong in its handling of the virus?

DR. GOTTLIEB: Right. Well, certainly expanding the diagnostic capability is the right move. We’re going to have the capacity by the end of this week to diagnose probably 10,000 people a day or screen 10,000 people a day with the public health labs. Hundred labs doing hundreds of tests a day. By the end of the week after that, we’ll probably bring on another 10,000. So we’ll have testing capacity of perhaps as much as 20,000 a day by the end of the next two weeks. Once we bring on the academic labs, that was really a critical step, bringing on those academic labs and leveraging their capacity. These are the major medical centers. What we need to do now is make a real concerted effort to get a therapeutic. We know when this started, but we don’t know when this is going to end. And what’s going to end it is our technology. Our savior here is going to be our technology. And we need to make a really robust effort to try to develop a therapeutic.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Meaning a treatment?

DR. GOTTLIEB: A  treatment or a vaccine. But a- a therapeutic- a treatment is going to be more likely to be available in the fall. A vaccine is a much longer way off. And we always knew when that once in a generation strain came along, and this might be that strain, that what we were going to have to depend on was our science and something to stop it like a treatment or a vaccine. A treatment, again, we could have by September, October, potentially.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But more testing means more positive results. I mean, you’re saying basically expect the number of those who’ve been diagnosed with the virus to also increase?

DR. GOTTLIEB: It’s going to increase. This- right now, there’s probably hundreds or low thousands of cases. Everyone’s–

MARGARET BRENNAN: Hundreds or low thousands of coronavirus cases–

DR. GOTTLIEB: In the U.S.–

MARGARET BRENNAN: –in the U.S. that aren’t that aren’t reported yet?

DR. GOTTLIEB: –that aren’t reported yet. It’s a big country 3- 340 million people, 330 million people, so anyone’s individual risk is- is still very low. But we need to get those cases diagnosed and identified so we can start getting people quarantined and into treatment and prevent more spread. We need to start mitigating the implications of the spread. There was an analysis out today by Trevor Bradford, very good researcher out of the Hutch, looking at the genetic strains in Washington state. And by looking at the strains and the drift between the different strains for the people who have been diagnosed there, he’s suggested that there’s perhaps hundreds and maybe low thousands of cases. It’s an interesting analysis. There probably are more cases. We have community spread now in Washington state, California, perhaps Illinois or Oregon. So certainly hundreds of cases.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, has the administration been slow in its response?

DR. GOTTLIEB: Well, look, I think the decision the administration made to block the travel, which was controversial at the time, clearly bought us time. It- it slowed the introduction of the virus into the country. Virus was probably here at that time, but it slowed additional cases. The question is, what do we do with that time? I think there’s some things we did that were very smart. We got the country prepared. One of the mistakes, one of the challenges was getting the diagnostic testing in place. I think what we should have done and I don’t want to, you know, armchair quarterback this, we relied on the CDC. We always rely on a CDC in a public health emergency. But simultaneous to that, we should have also been reaching out and trying to get the laboratory developed tests into the game and the manufacturers who have diagnostic capability. We’ve done that. You know, a couple weeks went by and they did that. And that is now in place. And those labs are going to be coming online. So we course corrected. I think what it teaches us, if you’re looking back, what is the teachable moment? It’s don’t take a linear approach to these crises, take an all of the above approach. And we need to do that now in a therapeutic. We- we can’t put all our eggs in the vaccine basket. We need to be looking at antibody based prophylaxis treatments, vaccines and all of the above approach. If case one doesn’t work out, we have other options.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So you’d suggest that’s the conversation the president should have tomorrow with the pharmaceutical companies–

DR. GOTTLIEB: Tomorrow is the vaccine manufacturers.

MARGARET  BRENNAN: –when he brings those executives?

DR. GOTTLIEB: I think we need to look at the companies that- that can develop antibody based prophylaxis as well. We did that against Ebola. That is actually what we could potentially have for the fall- fall or a small molecule drug that’s currently on the shelf, trying to repurpose it for this.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The NIH director, Anthony Fauci, a doctor, said that from what he’s seen, if you get infected, you likely won’t get reinfected. But there seems to be so much we don’t know. If someone has just sort of mild or moderate symptoms, how do they last? How do you know to go and get tested?

DR. GOTTLIEB: That’s the challenge here. You don’t. You know, there isn’t- the spectrum of disease here is very wide. A lot of people are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, but they shed virus and they’re still infected. They can still transfer the virus and a small percentage get very sick. And so, it’s probably the 80 percent that are mildly symptomatic or even asymptomatic that are the ones that are spreading it. The other thing is that people who get very sick, don’t get very sick right away. The time to hospitalization in- in different studies was nine to 12 days. So they start off with cold-like symptoms and then they progressively get more ill. And it’s in that phase that people are spreading it. There was a very interesting analysis in the New England Journal of Medicine about two weeks ago that looked at viral load and viral shedding across a spectrum of disease. And the people who are mildly symptomatic shed as much virus as the people who are very sick and that’s atypical. Typically, the amount of virus you have and shed to- in- in some diseases comports with how much- how much of virus you have.

MARGARET BRENNAN: OK. Doctor, thank you very much for coming on and giving us–

DR. GOTTLIEB: Thanks a lot.

MARGARET BRENNAN: –your analysis. We’ll be back in a moment with a look at Super Tuesday and more.

Click below for the full CBS segment on COVID-19, including Dr. Gottlieb’s appearance.

Pic Of The Day #1039

The first political sign of the season. This one is at Greens Farms railroad station. Another “Mike” sign is at Cross Highway and North Avenue. No other candidates have planted yard signs yet.

Kristan Hamlin: DOJ Alumni Statement Is “A Love Letter To My Colleagues”

They live all over the country. They’ve served under Republican and Democratic presidents. They’ve been United States attorneys, federal prosecutors and other high-ranking officials.

There are nearly 2,600 of them, and they’re unanimous in their belief: President Trump is abusing the power of his office. He and Attorney General William P. Barr are threatening the Department of Justice’s long tradition of impartiality. They want Barr to resign.

Among the signees: Westporter Kristan Peters-Hamlin.

The RTM member — now an attorney in private practice — spent many years in the Washington, DC US Attorney’s office.

She was appointed by Richard Thornburgh, attorney general for President George H.W. Bush.

President Clinton with Kristan Peters-Hamlin.

Hamlin continued serving under Barr — during his first stint as AG — and Janet Reno, President Clinton’s first pick for that post.

Eric Holder — President Obama’s attorney general — was a boss of Hamlin’s in the DC office. Robert Mueller was a colleague.

She prosecuted drug and economic crimes, along with many others.

In the Bush administration, Hamlin says, Barr “seemed like a normal attorney general. There was zero political interference.”

These days, she says, former colleagues “don’t recognize him. It’s like he’s been transmogrified.”

The letter Hamlin signed circulated among a network of former DOJ employees. The signatories share Hamlin’s outrage and sadness at what has happened to the department they love.

“The idea of the federal judiciary being able to check the executive branch goes back to John Marshall,” she notes.

When she read the letter (click here for the full text), she agreed wholeheartedly.

Still, she hesitated momentarily before signing.

“This is a president who retaliates,” she says. “And an attorney general who enables retaliation.”

She wondered about potential consequences for her. Ultimately, she realized, “This was a love letter to my colleagues. We revere the Department of Justice. We’re not willing to see it polluted and corrupted. And there are plenty of people who have sacrificed a lot more than I have to keep it impartial.”

So far, there have been no adverse reactions.

However, the Connecticut Law Journal asked for comment.

And Congressman Jim Himes thanked Hamlin — and the 3 other signees from his district — for “standing up for the rule of law.”