News to Know for May 14: Whistleblower’s prediction for winter; Richmond residents receive masks; COVID-19 testing in Henrico; DMV reopens next week; Warm weekend ahead

News to Know for May 14: Whistleblower’s prediction for winter; Richmond residents receive masks; COVID-19 testing in Henrico; DMV reopens next week; Warm weekend ahead
Face masks. (Source: Pixabay)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a quick look at our top headlines to help get you out the door.

Warm Weekend Coming Up

Above-average temperatures hit tomorrow and last through the weekend.

As a warm front moves North, we’ll get a few early morning sprinkles and showers (along with clouds) Then, it’ll be a partly sunny afternoon. Highs in the mid to upper 70s.

Back to normal Thursday, then heating up for the weekend

Whistleblower’s Prediction

America faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus, says a government whistleblower who alleges he was ousted from his job after warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic.

Immunologist Dr. Rick Bright makes his sobering prediction in testimony prepared for his appearance Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Aspects of his complaint about early administration handling of the crisis are expected to be backed up by testimony from an executive of a company that manufactures, respirator masks.

In this image provided by Public Health Emergency, a department of Health and Human Services, Rick Bright is shown in his official photo from April 27, 2017, in Washington. Bright filed a complaint May 5, 2020, with the Office of Special Counsel, a government agency responsible for whistleblower complaints. He's the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Bright alleges he was removed from his job and reassigned to a lesser role because he resisted political pressure to allow widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug favored by President Donald Trump.
In this image provided by Public Health Emergency, a department of Health and Human Services, Rick Bright is shown in his official photo from April 27, 2017, in Washington. Bright filed a complaint May 5, 2020, with the Office of Special Counsel, a government agency responsible for whistleblower complaints. He's the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Bright alleges he was removed from his job and reassigned to a lesser role because he resisted political pressure to allow widespread use of hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug favored by President Donald Trump. (Source: Health and Human Services via AP)

A federal watchdog agency has found "reasonable grounds" that Bright was removed from his post as head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority after sounding the alarm at the Department of Health and Human Services. Bright alleged he became a target of criticism when he urged early efforts to invest in vaccine development and stock up on supplies.

“Our window of opportunity is closing,” Bright says in his prepared testimony posted on the House committee website. “If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities.”

Richmond Residents Given Masks

Mayor Levar Stoney and Councilman Michael Jones announced Tuesday that 10,000 face masks will soon be distributed around Richmond’s Southside.

The masks were donated by the owner of the BeautiFull Beauty Supply Store.

(Source: Pixabay)

Jones says most of the masks will be distributed to minority communities. He wants to make sure those who can’t afford something as simple as a mask receive one.

Jones says we’ll have more information about the mask distribution sites in the coming days.

Ramen Noodle Plant Employees Test Positive

Maruchan Virginia, Inc., the company that makes Ramen noodles, confirms seven employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at their Chesterfield facility.

The company says the employees have been quarantined at home.

Ramen noodles for ABAC students
Ramen noodles for ABAC students (Source: WALB)

“We reported all cases to the Chesterfield County Health Department, as the safety and health of our employees and community remains our top priority. Following the discovery of the infections, we conducted a deep cleaning based on CDC guidelines, and we will continue to enforce safety and sanitization precautions above and beyond what has been outlined by the CDC and the health department, and, as of now the plant is in operation,” the company said.

Maruchan said it will continue to work with the CDC and health officials to ensure the safety and health of the workers.

Masks From Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Millions of supplies from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have unloaded in Chicago and will be making its way to the commonwealth.

The shipment includes:

  • Over two million masks
  • 410,000 gowns
  • 550,000 KN95 masks
  • 250,000 face shields
  • 550,000 nitrile gloves

The PPE will be sent to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management logistic warehouse to be distributed across the state.

Last Day of Testing In Henrico

The Richmond and Henrico Health District announced another round of community COVID-19 testing events.

(Source: SIU)

Three events have been scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the following locations:

  • Monday, May 11 – Community Supermarket, 1915 Mechanicsville Turnpike, East Richmond
  • Tuesday, May 12 – Southwood Apartments, 1200 Southwood Parkway, South Richmond
  • Thursday, May 14 – Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 N. Laburnum Ave. East Henrico

Anyone who needs to be tested must make an appointment ahead of time. Call the Richmond and Henrico hotline at 804-205-3501 ahead of time.

Yay! No Murder Hornets!

According to the Department of Entomology in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the state of Virginia, or the east coast, will not see the sight of murder hornets “Vespa mandarinia” in the future.

“Murder hornets” were first spotted twice back in 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The nests were eventually destroyed.

Asian giant hornets have been spotted in the United States.
Asian giant hornets have been spotted in the United States. (Source: Washington Invasive Species Council/CNN)

“If it is discovered to be established in the Pacific Northwest later this summer, both American and Canadian governments will work hard to eradicate it. Even if that fails, the spread of the wasp is less than 40 miles a year, and it would be years before it spread from Canada to the East Coast," said Tim Kring, Professor and Head of the Department of Entomology in the Virginia Tech.

Asian giant hornets can cause problems for beekeepers by attacking hives in the spring and fall when hives are usually the most vulnerable.

DMV Opening

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will reopen 11 customer service centers statewide starting Monday, May 18.

The locations will be open for limited, appointment-only services. According to an update on the department’s website, “operational adjustments are being made for social distancing.”

All Northern Virginia DMVs will remain closed.

Girls on the Run Fundraiser

Girls on the Run have launched a fundraising campaign called the "5k for $5k community challenge.

Girls on the Run is a positive youth development program offered at elementary and middle schools across Richmond, Henrico, Hanover and Chesterfield counties.

Girls on the Run provides a 20-session curriculum to build self-confidence and set young girls down the path of a healthy lifestyle both physically, mentally and emotionally.

Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run (Source: Girls on the Run website)

The 5k for $5k goal is roughly equal to the cost of fully funding one GOTR site this Fall. Since a 5K translates to 3.1 miles, our suggested donation is $31.

Contributions can be made online by clicking here.

Final Thought

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - Anonymous

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