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WE Charity closing Canadian operations, Kielburgers leaving organization – The Globe and Mail

September 9th, 2020

Marc, left, and Craig Kielburger, seen here at WE Day celebrations in Kitchener, Ont. on Feb. 17, 2011, started the charity 25 years ago in their parent’s basement.

GEOFF ROBINS/The Canadian Press

WE Charity is shuttering its Canadian operations and the group’s founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, will leave the organization entirely, in a dramatic reversal of fortune for the two brothers.

The surprise announcement came Wednesday. In a statement, the charity said it would sell its assets to establish an endowment fund for existing international humanitarian programs and to digitize its education resources in Canada.

The statement attributed the decision to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the continued fallout from its cancelled contract with the federal government to administer a student volunteer program. The agreement to administer the Canada Student Service Grant was first announced in June but was cancelled in July amid growing questions about the group’s connections to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s family and his former finance minister.

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The controversy has “placed the charity in the middle of political battles and misinformation that a charity is ill-equipped to fight,” the statement said. “As a result, the financial math for the charity’s future is clear.”

Prime Minister Trudeau and WE Charity: The controversy explained

Rather than preventing further damage, the decision to scuttle the government contract marked only the beginning. In the past two months, the charity’s founders, senior staff and former board chair have all testified before parliamentary committees. The affair has led to ethics investigations into Mr. Trudeau and his ex-colleague Bill Morneau, who resigned in August. It also brought to light questions about the organization’s governance, work environment and unregistered lobbying of the federal government.

Since winning government in 2015, Mr. Trudeau has regularly attended WE events. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office said it had no comment on WE’s plans to close its Canadian operations.

In July, the charity announced that it would indefinitely postpone its WE Day events for students, restructure its programs, clarify the roles of its charitable and for-profit arms and conduct an internal review. Less than two months later, it’s taking much more drastic steps.

The double whammy of the pandemic and political firestorm has led to significant financial pressures and a loss of sponsors, the statement said. It also places blame for a lack of future revenue on the continued controversy in Ottawa, which has an indeterminate length. It adds that continuing to operate would consume savings that are “essential to establishing the endowment fund.”

“Through decisive action to preserve our savings, sell our assets and establish an endowment, we hope to sustain global projects for the long-term, like our hospital, college and agricultural learning centre that meet critical needs of children and families,” Craig Kielburger said as part of the statement.

He and his brother, Marc, started the charity 25 years ago in their parent’s basement. It launched under the name Free the Children, and in the intervening years, turned into a sprawling empire of charities and for-profit entities based in Canada, the United States and Britain. Now operating under the umbrella name WE, its charity owns several properties in downtown Toronto, and its for-profit ME to WE enterprise operates a lucrative travel service and sells a line of products that includes bracelets and chocolates.

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The charity became one of Canada’s best-known organizations globally in the not-for-profit sector. In its statement, WE said it was active in 7,000 Canadian schools, and that around the world it built schools and schoolrooms so that 200,000 kids could receive an education.

The charity’s statement did not make clear the future of its operations in the U.S. or Britain and didn’t address the future of ME to WE. It did not respond to a request for clarification from The Globe and Mail.

Last month, WE closed its London office but said it planned to keep a registered charity in Britain.

The British charity had £5.2-million ($8.9-million) in revenue last year, and operated a number of programs with partners ranging from Virgin Atlantic to The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

The U.S. arm of the charity had US$31-million in revenue in 2019 and had a string of high-profile donors including Oscar-winning actor Natalie Portman and basketball great Magic Johnson.

In August, WE announced it was assessing which real estate assets could be sold. At the time, the charity said it planned to keep its 43,000-square-foot Toronto headquarters, which opened in 2017. However, its Wednesday statement said that will also go on the market.

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WE Charity lists $42-million of Toronto land and property on its balance sheet, which includes about 10 buildings, but the market value may be higher than those numbers, which only reflect the prices WE Charity paid for them.

The organization said that with the staff cuts it made to respond to COVID-19, it expected to still break even. However, in the 20 months leading up to August, 2019, it reported a loss of $2.7-million and burned through $7.45-million in cash, according to its financial statements. WE Charity told The Globe that the losses were “on paper only” because it deferred millions of dollars of donation revenue – which is also a large reason it technically breached the terms of its loans. Lender Royal Bank of Canada waived the requirements, WE Charity said.

In 2018-19, the Canadian charity brought in $65.9-million.

The endowment fund will be created from the net proceeds of the sale of the WE properties, the charity said. It will support projects in Latin America, Asia and Africa that are already under way and also fund its large-scale programs such as the Baraka Hospital and WE College in Narok County, Kenya, the statement said.

“Going forward, there will be no new schools, water or agricultural projects, and no expansion to new communities in the nine countries where WE Charity is active.”

The endowment fund will be managed by an independent board of directors that will be appointed in the coming months. At the request of WE Charity’s board of directors, the statement said, the Canadian charity’s staff and founders will “transition from the organization” once it has been wound down.

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“We are saddened by these developments,” Marc Kielburger said as part of the statement. “We planned to launch an endowment this year, but not in this way.”

He added that the new plan leaves him confident that “we’ve found a way forward that protects and continues to support the most vulnerable in the communities where we work, especially the children.”

Marc recently cut ties with another company. In August, restaurant chain Freshii Inc. announced that Marc had resigned from its board of directors. “The company thanks Marc for his contributions and perspectives shared during his time on the company’s board of directors, and wishes him well in his future endeavours.” Toronto-based Freshii operates 430 restaurants in 14 countries.

Testifying at the House of Commons finance committee in July, Craig told members of Parliament that the brothers would never have become involved with the government program if they had known the controversy it would spark. Only after the $543.5-million contract to run the government’s student grant program was cancelled did the full scale of the connections between the WE organization and the families of Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Morneau become evident.

Mr. Trudeau’s wife, mother and brother have all been paid for work with the charity. Mr. Morneau and his family travelled with the charity and one of his daughters worked for WE. Mr. Morneau said that, unbeknownst to him, those 2017 trips were partly paid for by WE. He reimbursed the charity for those expenses in July.

On Wednesday, the government confirmed that WE has repaid the $30-million it received from Ottawa to administer the program. The charity said when the contract was cancelled it had already incurred about $5-million in costs and waived its right to repayment.

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The opposition parties said the latest decision by the charity won’t put an end to their efforts to get more information about the decision to award WE the contract to administer the government program.

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole called on the charity to “immediately release” numerous documents that the Kielburger brothers and the charity’s staff promised to provide the Commons finance committee in their appearances during the summer, but which have not yet been disclosed.

NDP MP and ethics critic Charlie Angus said in a statement: “WE shutting down doesn’t make the Liberals’ scandal go away.”

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Kielburgers ‘devastated’ by We Charity closure but say ‘there’s no one to blame’ – CTV News

September 9th, 2020

TORONTO — WE Charity is selling off its assets, eliminating staff and winding down operations in Canada months after becoming embroiled in a political scandal that has triggered investigations by the federal ethics watchdog.

The charity announced Wednesday that, due to financial pressure and loss of sponsors, it plans to sell off tens of millions of dollars’ worth of assets, including real estate in Toronto, in hopes of keeping its international humanitarian programs afloat.

Co-founder Craig Kielburger, who started the charity when he was 12 years old, said he’s devastated by the decision and admitted he never expected the political firestorm after WE Charity accepted a now-cancelled deal to deliver a student grants program for the Liberal government.

The contract for up to $43.5 million faced intense scrutiny after it was revealed that the families of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former finance minister Bill Morneau both had ties to the charity.

“I wish that the certain politicians had recused themselves, but there’s no one we blame,” Craig Kielburger told CTV News Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

“This was a pandemic. It was a political process, it was a rush to get an initiative out the door. We were naive on the politics. I just wish in all the politics, people thought about what was being lost.”

He and his brother, co-founder Marc Kielburger, plan to leave the organization once the process of closing Canadian operations is complete.

“The simple math is now the charity is spending more than it’s bringing in,” he said.

Marc Kielburger confessed that he’s “angry at the situation” and he said he doesn’t think the charity would be ceasing its Canadian operations had it not taken up the government’s offer.

“But if you ask us if we had the opportunity to answer that phone call again, I would say yes, we would. As crazy as that is, during a pandemic when the opportunity to help 100,000 young people in this country, an opportunity to put up your hand, I’d do it all again,” he said.

In the coming months, the charity will sell its assets, including all of its real estate. Money from the multi-million dollar sell-off will go toward an endowment fund to pay for global projects such as WE Charity’s hospital, college and agricultural learning centre, as well as fund WE Villages projects in Latin America, Asia and Africa that have yet to be completed.

Marc Kielburger said he expects the fund will keep those initiatives going for “generations to come.”

The organization says that, moving forward, it won’t create any new schools or agricultural projects in any of the nine countries where it operates. In Canada, all of the charity’s staff will be let go, but its educational resources, including curriculum for teachers, will remain available online for free.

Without any Canadian staff, annual WE Day events will be cancelled permanently.

Marc Kielburger said the sell-off will also help pay off the charity’s existing debts.

“So much has been lost in this process, in this political quagmire and the politics and the pandemic, but at least something good can come of it, and that endowment is the opportunity for us to do something. And again, we can’t save everything, but this is what we do want to save, those projects, both at home and around the world,” he said.

Marc Kielburger also denied that accepting the government contract had anything to do with making money for the charity, which — like many charities — faced intense financial difficulties during the pandemic.

“There was no opportunity for profit,” he said.

Asked about any direct communications with Trudeau, Craig Kielburger denied any such contact and backed up Trudeau’s claim that it was bureaucrats who first brought up the proposal.

“We’ve never spoken to Justin Trudeau on the phone, ever. Don’t have his email, don’t know how to reach them,” he said.

After the Liberal government announced the deal with WE Charity in June to deliver the Canada Student Service Grant, ties to both Trudeau and Morneau’s families emerged.

Trudeau’s mother, Margaret Trudeau, spoke at approximately 28 WE Charity events and was paid $250,000 in speaking honorariums between 2016 and 2020. The prime minister’s brother, Alexandre Trudeau, also spoke at eight WE Charity events from 2017 to 2018 and was paid a total of approximately $32,000.

In addition, Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, received a “one-time speaking honorarium” of $1,400 for participating in a youth event in 2012, before Trudeau became leader of the Liberal Party.

Meanwhile, WE Charity paid, in part, for two trips that members of Morneau’s family took in 2017 — one of which Morneau himself took part in.

Morneau apologized for the “error” and said it was his full intention to cover the full cost of the trips — though it wasn’t until July that he repaid the $41,000 the charity had initially covered related to the trips to Kenya and Ecuador. The former finance minister’s daughter Clare has also spoken at WE events, and his daughter Grace was employed by WE Charity until August.

Morneau has since resigned as both finance minister and as a member of Parliament, though he would not directly attribute the decision to the WE controversy.

Both Trudeau and Morneau have apologized for not recusing themselves from the discussions. Trudeau has insisted that he was not in an actual position of conflict during the conversations about the Canada Student Service Grant — but rather, that he was subject to a perception of conflict.

The prime minister has also said he expressed concern about the choice of WE Charity when he first learned of it. He said he was worried about a perception of conflict, and as a result asked the public service to “put the brakes on” to ensure the organization really was the only one that could have delivered the program.

WE Charity’s decision to wind down operations in Canada comes the same year as its 25th anniversary.

With files from CTVNews.ca’s Rachel Gilmore in Ottawa

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Kris Jenner Revealed Why The Kardashians Are Ending Their Reality TV Show – BuzzFeed

September 9th, 2020

Updated 1 minute ago. Posted 1 hour ago

“What a ride.”

It’s been almost a decade and a half since Keeping Up With the Kardashians changed the course of reality TV and its run is finally ending in 2021 with season 20, as star Kim Kardashian recently shared in a lengthy Instagram post.

Why now? Kris Jenner attempted to explain the decision behind ending the show, in a recent interview with series creator Ryan Seacrest.

Jeff Vespa / WireImage

The momager said that it’s just “the right time,” while phoning in to On Air With Ryan Seacrest.

Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images

Kris gave a rather simple answer, saying, “I think the number 20, well it used to sound good until 2020, but the number 20, it just seemed like the right time.”

Kevin Mazur

She’s looking forward to the opportunity to “take a minute and breathe and [for] everybody [to] slow down a bit. Not slow down professionally, but… figure out what our next steps are.”

Christopher Polk / NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via

“We had to tell the crew yesterday, so we were all crying.”

Alberto Rodriguez / NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via

According to Kris, “Khloé…is probably the one who is taking it the hardest and really hasn’t stopped crying since we announced.”

As for whether Kris has fully processed it, she says she “really hasn’t.”

Christopher Polk @polkimaging / Getty Images

“I woke up and was in the gym at 5 o’clock with Khloé and Kim and we just kind of sat there and looked at each other and said, ‘Whoa, what a ride.’ It was quite the morning.”

“It’s funny, when we talked yesterday, I kinda had my wits about me and I thought I was really strong. And, you know, this is the right decision,” Kris said. “Today I wake up and I was thinking about the first time you and I ever did an interview on the air, and I was so excited and so nervous.”

Alberto Rodriguez / NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via

Kris ended by calling Keeping Up With the Kardashians “best home movies we’ll ever be able to produce,” adding that they’re “grateful for every single moment.”

Jason Merritt / FilmMagic

You can catch the Season 19 premiere of Keeping Up With the Kardashians Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. on E!

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AI Ruined Chess. Now, It’s Making the Game Beautiful Again – WIRED

September 9th, 2020

WEDNESDAY UPDATES: Cole County reports 11th death – ABC17News.com

September 9th, 2020

UPDATE 8:55 P.M.: Cole County reported its 11th death Wednesday.

According to the Cole County Health Department’s website, seven of the county’s deaths have been reported in long-term care facilities.

The newest death was not in a nursing home but health officials did not release any other details.

The county has seen a total of 1,033 cases since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 57 have been in nursing homes.

As of Wednesday, 136 of the cases are active and 836 have recovered.

The county gained 13 new cases Wednesday, which is below the county’s record daily increase of 40, which was reported earlier this month.

UPDATE 4:25 P.M.: Boone County has logged its fourth straight day of new COVID-19 cases below 100 after a weekend that saw a record 221 COVID-19 cases reported Saturday.

The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reported 63 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The four-day streak of cases below 100 follows a four-day streak of cases in the triple digits.

Despite the lower numbers, Boone County has still logged 268 cases over the past four days.

With Wednesday’s report, the five-day average of new daily cases continued to fall, reaching 97.8. That’s down from a peak of 143.4 on Saturday, according to the health department’s online COVID-19 dashboard.

People in the college age bracket have helped fuel the massive case gains seen in Boone County this summer. Of the new cases Wednesday, 38 were in people 18-22 years old.

The new cases bring the county’s total to 3,599 since the pandemic began. Active cases dropped by 33 Wednesday to reach 1,032. Another 1,504 people were in quarantine because of exposure to novel coronavirus.

Boone County’s hospitals reported a record 52 patients with COVID-19. Of those, 18 are in intensive care and four are on ventilators.

The positivity rate — a measure of the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who get a positive result — for last week was still not available Wednesday. The health department on its website cited delays in getting information from the state.

Columbia Public Schools is tracking the number of cases per 10,000 people in the district’s boundaries over the last 14 days as a benchmark for whether classes will be online or in person. The rate dipped below 90 Wednesday after two days above that mark.

The benchmark for all-online education is 50.

Two community COVID-19 testing events planned in Columbia

Two separate community COVID-19 testing events will take place starting Friday in Columbia.

Compass Health and the Family Health Center will hold a testing event at 3501 Berrywood Drive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. No doctor’s order is required to be tested. Online registration is required.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will hold an event next Monday from noon to 7 p.m. and Tuesday from 7 a.m. to noon at The Crossing Church, 3615 Southland Drive.

The state testing is open to any Missouri resident at no cost, regardless of whether they have symptoms of COVID-19. Online registration is required.

Callaway County reports third COVID-19 death

UPDATE 2:55 P.M.: The Callaway County Health Department reported its third death from COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The department reported the death on its website but did not give any details about the person who died. The department also reported 20 additional COVID-19 cases Wednesday for a total of 404 since the pandemic began.

However, active cases increased by only one to reach 118.

Callaway County, like others in Mid-Missouri, has seen a surge in cases this summer. The two colleges in the county — Westminster College and William Woods University, both in Fulton — reported dozens of active cases combined this week.

Westminster reported three active employee cases and 27 active student cases as of Monday.

William Woods had three active student cases and no active employee cases as of Wednesday.

Missouri back above 1,000 new COVID-19 cases

UPDATE 2:25 P.M.: Missouri’s new COVID-19 cases pushed past 1,000 on Wednesday after spending two days in the triple digits.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 1,362 new cases Wednesday to bring the total since the pandemic began to 96,475. The state reported 12 more deaths for a total of 1,673.

The state was coming off two days with cases below 1,000. Case totals have varied widely, with new cases reaching nearly 2,000 on Saturday.

Despite the increase in new cases Wednesday the seven-day positivity rate dropped by three-tenths of a point to 13.5 percent. The rate is a measurement of the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 over the past week who get a positive result.

The average age of those testing positive has declined this summer as more young people test positive for the novel coronavirus. Over the last seven days that number was 38 years old, according to the state’s COVID-19 online dashboard.

The story has been similar in Mid-Missouri, as counties around the area continue to see case gains larger than those in late spring and early summer. The growth in Boone County’s cases has put the county in the top tier for cases per 100,000 people and has been fueled in large part by the college-age population.

Saline and Pettis counties are also in the top tier.

The state reported 896 hospitalizations as of Monday — the most recent figure available. The number has fallen from 966 reported Thursday.

Active COVID-19 cases at University of Missouri decline

ORIGINAL: The number of active cases among University of Missouri students living in Boone County dropped by nearly two dozen Wednesday.

University of Missouri Campus 09-02-2020
Students walk on the University of Missouri campus on Sept. 2, 2020.

MU reported on its COVID-19 case tracking web page that 635 students living in Boone County have active novel coronavirus infections. That’s down 23 from Tuesday.

MU reported 498 recovered cases for an overall case total higher than 1,000. MU reported 424 active cases a week ago.

Health officials say the hundreds of student cases are helping to drive a continuing surge in Boone County. The surge has led Columbia Public Schools to start its year with online-only instruction. CPS began classes Tuesday.

The rate tracked by CPS — the number of cases per 10,000 people per 14 days in the district boundaries — was at 90 on Tuesday and will be updated after county case numbers are released in the late afternoon.

Jefferson City private school goes to virtual classes

Calvary Lutheran High School in Jefferson City moved to online-only instruction this week after starting the year with in-person classes.

John Christman, the school’s executive director, said the move happened after COVID-19 cases were identified on campus. Christman said the school hopes to resume in-person classes as soon as next Monday.

Columbia / Education / Email Alert – Breaking News / News / Top Stories / University of Missouri

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Xbox Game Pass for PC is doubling its price next week – The Verge

September 9th, 2020

More than 500000 US kids have tested positive for coronavirus – MSN Money

September 9th, 2020


a woman holding a cup of coffee: children — coronavirus
© Spencer Platt / Getty Images children — coronavirus

New data out this week shows that more than 500,000 children in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The group said children represented 9.8% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S., where more than 6.3 million total cases have been reported, per a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Some students return to school for in-person classes as more kids test positive for COVID-19

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The AAP reported there were 70,630 new child cases, a 16% increase over two weeks, between August 20 and September 3, which brings the national total to 513,415. Puerto Rico was among six states and territories that showed an increase in child cases.

The AAP and the Children’s Hospital Association compiled the data of children of varying ages as reported by 49 state health departments, New York City, Puerto Rico and Guam. Texas was excluded from the analysis, the AAP noted.


a screenshot of a computer: Data from the American Academy of Pediatrics show the percent increase in child cases of COVID-19 between August 20 and September 3, 2020. The data was derived from 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Texas was excluded from the count. / Credit: American Academy of Pediatrics
© Provided by CBS News Data from the American Academy of Pediatrics show the percent increase in child cases of COVID-19 between August 20 and September 3, 2020. The data was derived from 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Texas was excluded from the count. / Credit: American Academy of Pediatrics

Coronavirus deaths among children

The report said the cumulative death toll in the U.S. for children due to the coronavirus is 103. In a subset of data that was analyzed from 42 states and New York City, children were 0-0.3% of all COVID-19 deaths, and 18 states reported zero child deaths.

“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children,” the AAP said. But health experts have said that kids can spread COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control has issued new data about a deadly and mysterious pediatric illness with apparent links to the coronavirus. Since mid-May, the CDC has been following an outbreak of Multisystem Inflammatory Illness in Children (MIS-C), which is also or sometimes referred to as PMIS.

The CDC describes it as “a rare but serious condition associated with COVID-19” that sometimes presents after a COVID illness or after contact with someone with COVID-19. Instead of attacking the lungs like the new coronavirus disease does in adults, this syndrome, while seemingly very rare, can trigger serious, even deadly cardiac complications in kids.

As of September 3, the CDC has collected reports of 792 confirmed cases of MIS-C and 16 deaths across 42 states, New York City and Washington, D.C. Other cases are under investigation.

The CDC’s data suggests that “most cases are in children between the ages of 1 and 14 years, with an average age of 8 years.” They also note that “more than 70% of reported cases have occurred in children who are Hispanic/Latino (276 cases) or Non-Hispanic Black (230 cases).”

Some students returning to in-person classes

The AAP report was released as thousands of children returned to school this week for in-person classes. On Long Island, parents seemed nervous and excited as they dropped their children off.


Elmo's new book for kids going back to school... 04:35
© Provided by CBS News Elmo’s new book for kids going back to school… 04:35

Students lined up in Richardson, Texas, for temperature checks before entering the building. Forrester Elementary in San Antonio is usually packed with 850 kids; but this morning, only 53 opted for in-person classes.

“I feel like they’re just a little off balance, maybe a little bit with the rooms looking different, everybody wearing masks,” principal Kelly Mantle told CBS News. “I think it is going to become a new norm for a little while and children are going to get used to it and we’re getting used to it every day that goes by.”

The new figures from the AAP have some educators worried, like those in suburban Phoenix, where the first day of in-person classes was canceled after teachers called in sick.

In New York, new cases are up more than 25% compared to two weeks ago. And with New York City schools preparing for in-person classes in the coming weeks, Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to quell parents’ fears.

“We’re going to have a COVID report card for every school in the state,” he said.


a man standing in front of a crowd: Coronavirus face masks: America reacts and rebels 56 photos
© Provided by CBS News Coronavirus face masks: America reacts and rebels 56 photos

Omar Villafranca contributed to this report.

Video: Number Of Children With Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Continues To Rise (CBS New York)

Number Of Children With Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Continues To Rise

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Report Says 500K Children Infected With COVID-19 In The U.S. | NBC News NOW – NBC News

September 9th, 2020

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Report Says 500K Children Infected With COVID-19 In The U.S. | NBC News NOW – YouTube

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Epic Games to lose Apple ID sign on for accounts – ZDNet

September 9th, 2020

More than 500,000 children in the U.S. have tested positive for coronavirus since pandemic started, report says – CBS News

September 9th, 2020

New data out this week shows that more than 500,000 children in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The group said children represented 9.8% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S., where more than 6.3 million total cases have been reported, per a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

The AAP reported there were 70,630 new child cases, a 16% increase over two weeks, between August 20 and September 3, which brings the national total to 513,415. Puerto Rico was among six states and territories that showed an increase in child cases.

The AAP and the Children’s Hospital Association compiled the data of children of varying ages as reported by 49 state health departments, New York City, Puerto Rico and Guam. Texas was excluded from the analysis, the AAP noted.

children-coronavirus-percent-increase-september-2020-aap.jpg
Data from the American Academy of Pediatrics show the percent increase in child cases of COVID-19 between August 20 and September 3, 2020. The data was derived from 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Texas was excluded from the count. American Academy of Pediatrics

Coronavirus deaths among children

The report said the cumulative death toll in the U.S. for children due to the coronavirus is 103. In a subset of data that was analyzed from 42 states and New York City, children were 0-0.3% of all COVID-19 deaths, and 18 states reported zero child deaths.

“At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children,” the AAP said. But health experts have said that kids can spread COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control has issued new data about a deadly and mysterious pediatric illness with apparent links to the coronavirus. Since mid-May, the CDC has been following an outbreak of Multisystem Inflammatory Illness in Children (MIS-C), which is also or sometimes referred to as PMIS.

The CDC describes it as “a rare but serious condition associated with COVID-19” that sometimes presents after a COVID illness or after contact with someone with COVID-19. Instead of attacking the lungs like the new coronavirus disease does in adults, this syndrome, while seemingly very rare, can trigger serious, even deadly cardiac complications in kids.

As of September 3, the CDC has collected reports of 792 confirmed cases of MIS-C and 16 deaths across 42 states, New York City and Washington, D.C. Other cases are under investigation.

The CDC’s data suggests that “most cases are in children between the ages of 1 and 14 years, with an average age of 8 years.” They also note that “more than 70% of reported cases have occurred in children who are Hispanic/Latino (276 cases) or Non-Hispanic Black (230 cases).”

Some students returning to in-person classes

The AAP report was released as thousands of children returned to school this week for in-person classes. On Long Island, parents seemed nervous and excited as they dropped their children off.

Elmo’s new book for kids going back to school… 04:35

Students lined up in Richardson, Texas, for temperature checks before entering the building. Forrester Elementary in San Antonio is usually packed with 850 kids; but this morning, only 53 opted for in-person classes.

“I feel like they’re just a little off balance, maybe a little bit with the rooms looking different, everybody wearing masks,” principal Kelly Mantle told CBS News. “I think it is going to become a new norm for a little while and children are going to get used to it and we’re getting used to it every day that goes by.”

The new figures from the AAP have some educators worried, like those in suburban Phoenix, where the first day of in-person classes was canceled after teachers called in sick.

In New York, new cases are up more than 25% compared to two weeks ago. And with New York City schools preparing for in-person classes in the coming weeks, Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to quell parents’ fears.

“We’re going to have a COVID report card for every school in the state,” he said.

Omar Villafranca contributed to this report.

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