Meet the Conservatives Lobbying Lawmakers to Act on Climate Change

Last month, conservatives from around the country gathered in DC for the first ever Conservative Climate Lobby Day. They represent a growing number of conservatives who worry that the Republican party is losing ground on the issue of climate change.

One of the participants, 22-year-old Jacob Abel, told VICE News that the party might lose young people like himself if it doesn’t lead more on climate policy.

“I think that’s why they’re starting to move on it more now because they see the writing on the wall. This is an important issue for people who are my age. They want to see climate change addressed. They want conservative Republican solutions for it. So if they don’t adjust to it, I think they will lose voters.”

Abel and about seventy other conservative lobbyists spent two days in DC- one for training, one for lobbying – to push Republican lawmakers on the Energy and Carbon Dividend Act. It would place a carbon fee on emissions to be paid out by companies. And that money would be given back to citizens as a dividend check to American households. The bill has some sweeteners for conservatives too, like halting certain greenhouse gas regulations in the Clean Air Act.

Their lobbying didn’t result in congressional action on the bill, which still only has one republican co-sponsor. The lobbyists even found resistance with certain Republican members who are considered the party leaders on the issue.

Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana, a state ravaged by receding coastline, is the ranking member on the House Select Committee for the Climate Crisis. VICE News spoke with him in his office on Capitol Hill to hear his approach to tackling climate change and how that differs from what the conservatives lobbyists are proposing.

To Graves, much of the problem is a messaging issue that the public has not been made aware of the successful climate initiatives already underway.

“We need to do a better job educating people about the extraordinary progress that we’ve made.”

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What It’s Like to Quarantine as a Member of Congress

Several members of Congress- both in the House and Senate- are in self-quarantine after coming into contact with other membership who have tested positive for COVID-19. Congressman Joe Cunningham of South Carolina is one of them and today, his test came back positive for Coronavirus. Liz Landers spoke to him yesterday while he was self isolating at his house in Charleston, SC.

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How Putin Is Using Coronavirus to Stay in Power

A global crisis plays a convenient role in the Russian president’s scheme to keep his job.

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3D-Printed Face Shields Are Protecting Hospital Workers From Coronavirus

New York hospitals are running dangerously low on protective gear for medical workers. A college librarian and a doctor are teaming up to help solve the problem using 3D-printed face shields.

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Police Everywhere Are Using Loudspeakers to Tell People to Stay Home

Police all around the world are using loudspeakers to tell people to stay away from others and just stay home.

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Coronavirus Deaths Are Skyrocketing in Spain

MADRID — Before the outbreak in Spain began, the only people who went in and out of the small hospital where Alfonso Molina Moreno works as a nurse were visitors, staffers, and cleaning crews. Patients come to Hospital La Fuenfria for long-term, palliative care and Moreno, who has worked as a nurse for 16 years, found a sense of purpose in bringing them care and company at the end of their lives.

Now, he and his colleagues worry that they’re doing harm. A few days before we spoke, patients at the facility started testing positive for COVID-19. “We don’t know where it came from,” Moreno said. “We don’t know whether we, the staff, brought it here. We don’t know whether it was due to the patients’ visitors. We don’t know the source.”

The hospital has cut off all visits. Staffers now take exhaustive precautions when working with patients who have tested positive—putting on protective equipment they dispose of in contaminated rooms and washing their hands on both sides of the door.

But there’s still a degree of uncertainty. When we spoke, Morena hadn’t been tested, and Spain’s health ministry says health workers currently make up 12-percent of positive cases. Now, as the country scrambles to contain the virus it’s ordered 640,000 test kits from China and Korea in an effort to screen health workers and the most vulnerable. The hope is that this will help identify people who need to self-isolate.

Morena isn’t just thinking of the patients he’s now caring for. He’s worried about how long the virus was in the hospital. After a patient with cervical cancer died, a post-mortem X-ray showed her lungs had advanced, bilateral pneumonia. “It could have been coronavirus, right? She wasn’t tested,” he said. “And it’s like, oh my God, to what extent—let’s see, this needs a pinch of salt but—what if it was me? That’s it. So I can’t hide it, because you really don’t know. Even with all the security measures in place, you still don’t know.”

Like everyone working despite an outbreak, Morena worries about infecting his loved ones. “I told this to my colleagues, and we have this kind of sharing moment. We’re all going through this bad phase, this suffering.” But he isn’t thinking about quitting. “I really find myself fortunate to be able to work because I have the chance to go and feel useful,” he says. He’s even volunteered to take on more shifts. “The healthcare providers, at this moment, we have to be there no matter what. Because if it is not us, who will it be then? There is no one else.”

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Meet the International Team Mapping the Real-Time Spread of COVID-19

Think of it like Wikipedia, but an open database — curated by volunteers — that instead tracks and maps the real-time spread of COVID-19 around the world.

Since the onset of what has become the COVID-19 pandemic, an international team of over 20 researchers has been aggregating information and developing publicly available datasets to help people study the outbreak as it evolves.

Many of the researchers part of the Open COVID-19 Data Curation Group first connected in 2015 while working on a similar project during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. But the scale of COVID-19 has already made this latest effort a much larger task.

“We didn’t necessarily anticipate in early January that this was going to become a pandemic,” says Samuel Scarpino, an assistant professor at Northeastern University’s Network Science Institute, who is a member of the collaboration. “It really is being operated now like the large scale project it has become”

The goals of the project are to make this raw data open to the public to inform how this outbreak began, give a real-time look at how the situation is changing, how it is unfolding both locally and globally and what is working to stem the spread.

The information is being widely used by an array of individuals and organizations including the CDC, European CDC, and WHO.

The project is collaboratively led by Moritz Kramer of the University of Oxford, and David Pigott of the University of Washington in Seattle.

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Trump Spent Months Saying Everything Is Fine as U.S. Coronavirus Cases Skyrocketed

Even as the coronavirus cases in the U.S. grew, President Trump just kept on saying everything was fine.

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Why Congress Can’t Agree on a Roughly $2 Trillion Coronavirus Bill

As the Senate negotiates a third coronavirus stimulus package of roughly $2 trillion, Vice News spoke to Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, about why Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on how to move forward during the COVID-19 crisis

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Coronavirus Has Put These People Out of Work

VICE News spoke with an actor, a teacher, a food worker who cannot do their jobs in self-quarantine, one of whom was laid off amidst coronavirus cuts. We look at the ways these individuals have managed to cope and get creative in their new lives.
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Russia Is Using 5,000 Workers to Build a New Hospital as Coronavirus Cases Rise

Russia is building a hospital near Moscow that will accommodate up to 500 patients.

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Coronavirus Has Left This American Student Stranded in Peru

In an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Peru has completely closed its borders.
We spoke with Nurin Abdulwassy, a student from Augusta University in Georgia who is currently trapped in the city of Cusco.

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The Netherlands Is Letting People Get Sick to Beat Covid-19

Like a lot of other world leaders, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is now in the business of calming his citizens down. But he’s also a pragmatist. Last week at an update on COVID-19, he said, “The reality is also that in the coming period a large part of the population will be infected with the virus.”

That’s why the Dutch are trialling a different strategy to protect the vulnerable: they’re trying to achieve so-called “herd immunity,” the term for what happens when enough people have survived the disease to effectively slow its spread. “As we wait for a vaccine or medicine, we can slow down the virus spreading and at the same time build up herd immunity in a controlled manner,” Rutte said.

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The Scientific Detectives Tracing Coronavirus

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Trump’s Dangerous Coronavirus Name Game is Part of a Long, Crazy History

For the second day in a row, President Trump opened a press conference today devoted to an outbreak that has now killed more than 200 Americans without saying the word “coronavirus.” Instead, he substituted his chosen name: “The Chinese Virus.”

Other Republicans are also racing to rebrand the virus that causes COVID-19. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has called it “Chinese Coronavirus,” while Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar is trying to make “Wuhan Virus” a thing. One White House official even allegedly referred to the global pandemic as “Kung-Flu.”

The World Health Organization intentionally avoids this, and advises against any possible nickname for a disease that calls up people, places, groups, or even professions, because those names can create a stigma. Even the Trump-appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, told the House in a hearing that using location-specific labels for the virus is “absolutely wrong and inappropriate.”

There is a long, inglorious history of naming diseases after disdained groups. In 1495, Russians called a syphilis outbreak the Polish Disease, the Polish called it the German Disease, and the French and Italians named it after each other. The 1918 flu pandemic that infected over a quarter of the world’s population is still referred to as “The Spanish Flu,” even though there is no consensus on where that outbreak originated. Spain just happened to have the most reliable reporting at the time, as other countries censored their press to boost morale during World War I. Because Spain reported the first illness-related death, it got stuck with the name.

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Coronavirus is Bringing Long-Sought Social Safety Net Policies Into Reach

Progressive goals that long seemed like pipe dreams suddenly don’t look so far-fetched as the novel coronavirus ravages the economy.

Progressives have long fought for universal paid sick and family leave. Expanded unemployment insurance has been a top priority as well. And liberals have stewed over corporations buying back their own stock after getting government help. More recently, universal basic income — direct cash payments to all Americans — has become popular in some liberal circles.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who ran for president last year, has advocated for many of these provisions. Last week, in response to the economic destruction wrought by the pandemic, he and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to give direct cash payments to Americans. Republicans are suddenly on board with — or at least open to — some of them.

We talked with him on Wednesday about how the coronavirus has changed politics, and parallels he sees with how America responded to the Great Depression.

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How Iceland Could Hold The Key To Understanding Coronavirus

Back in 2013, a little-known genetics company in Iceland made international headlines back in 2013, when it developed the Islendiga-App (App of Icelanders”), an app that would alert users if they were related to one another.

The idea was to prevent accidental incest on the tiny Icelandic dating scene.

Just don’t ask Dr. Kári Stefánsson, CEO of deCODE Genetics, about it.

“It’s a little bit of a joke. Nobody uses it, but the international press likes to write about it. That’s all.”

And perhaps that’s fair. Stefánsson says the genetic information deCODE has collected on the people of Iceland has contributed to our understanding of schizophrenia, cancer and autism, just to name a few.

And now the company has turned its attention to COVID-19.

Using its unique repository of information about the genetic makeup of the Icelandic population, deCODE is planning to screen 15,000 asymptomatic people to learn about the virus.

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Trump’s Message to Americans Scared of Coronvavirus: ‘You’re a Terrible Reporter’

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Coronavirus Is Changing Lives All Across the Globe. VICE Reporters Tell Us How

An estimated 161 countries and territories now have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Find out how countries are battling the pandemic from VICE Reporters around the world.

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How Hospitals Could Decide Who Gets a Ventilator During the Coronavirus Pandemic

VICE News spoke with Dr. Tia Powell, a physician and bioethicist who helped write the guidelines.

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Can We Trust Russia’s Low Coronavirus Infection Rate?

MOSCOW – The fight against coronavirus has stopped performances by the world famous Bolshoi Theater company, something that even World War II couldn’t do.

It’s part of Russia’s efforts to contain an outbreak which President Putin claims as “a whole is under control.”

For weeks, Russia only reported a handful of infections. Then on Monday, that number went from 63 to 93. The next day it was 114, and the day after 147.

The government jumped into action— closing the border to foreigners, banning gatherings of more than 50, and forcing residents returning from abroad to self-isolate. Muscovites responded by stockpiling, emptying supermarket shelves and wearing face masks.

But for some experts this response might be coming too late. Anastasia Vasilyeva, Head of an independent doctors union, Doctors Alliance told VICE News, “Across the country, there are a huge amount of patients with pneumonia … we cannot ignore the coincidence and link these pneumonia cases with Coronavirus. In my opinion, there are tens of thousands of cases that we don’t know about.”

She’s not the only one who is worried that the rate of infection in a country of 146 million people, that borders China on one side and Europe on the other, seems suspiciously low. Especially because most people who arrived from abroad haven’t been tested.

Although Putin claims Russia has curtailed the spread of the epidemic he’s called for an increase in the production of tests and more supplies of medicine and equipment. The government has gone so far as to order prisoners to start making face masks.

But for Vasilyeva, the national response isn’t going far enough: “Russia is absolutely not ready for the epidemic. I am more than sure that even serious cases and deaths will be simply hidden from the population.”

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People Tell Us How Their Governments Around the World Are Responding to Coronavirus

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Vic Berger Presents: TV Pastor Jim Bakker Really Wants You to Think He Can Cure Coronavirus

The coronavirus outbreak has spread around the world causing fear and uncertainty about the health of humanity. Thankfully, televangelist Jim Bakker and his wife Lori have a cure.

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Tear Gas and Bullets Didn’t Dissuade Protesters in Iraq

Iraq’s protesters have endured targeted attacks, abductions and killings. COVID-19 may force their movement off the streets.

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VICE on SHOWTIME | Official Trailer | Sunday, March 29 at 8 PM

The Emmy®-winning documentary series comes to SHOWTIME, delivering immersive reporting from the frontlines of global conflicts, civil uprisings and beyond, and tackling untold and complex geopolitical stories from all corners of the globe.

Watch VICE on SHOWTIME Sun, March 29th at 8PM ET/PT. Learn more at https://sho.com/order.

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