Got masks? / ‘Deafening’ silence / Gas on the run

Got masks? Gov. Pritzker’s broad new mask mandate means face coverings are back in demand again.
It takes some pressure off local school boards …
 … who’ve had to deal in recent weeks with what reporter Karen Ann Cullotta describes as “F-bombs, menacing threats and burly security guards whisking away unruly members of the crowds.”
Bloomberg: The next back-to-school fight will be vaccine mandates for kids.
Illinois Republicans complain the governor’s overstepping his authority …
 … but the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have doubled in a month …
 … and Arkansas’ governor says he regrets signing a law banning masks in schools.

‘The only thing that can unite us is delicious and supremely unhealthy food.’ And so Tribune columnist Rex Huppke modestly proposes serving the COVID-19 vaccine deep-fried on a stick.
Medical ethicists explore the offering of prizes to the vaccine-resistant. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
A Trib editorial: “Businesses in Chicago are insisting on vaccinated customers. Good. No counterproductive government mandate needed.”
Experts tell the Sun-Times booster shots against the coronavirus will be necessary, but it’s too soon to say when.
Chicago house music DJ Paul Johnson is dead at 50 after fighting COVID-19.
Florida’s pandemic plight gets darker by the day.

‘The silence … is deafening.’ A Sun-Times editorial says it’s time for Chicago’s police union to condemn a cop busted in the Capitol Hill riot.
A suburban officer who accidentally shot a teenage musician—an intern working at a music school into which a bank robber had fled—won’t face criminal charges, but still faces a civil lawsuit.
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: A Chicago family is suing the Chicago Police Department, complaining that cops mistakenly burst into their home two years ago, pointing guns at 5- and 9-year-old girls.

Understand your future. With the Census Bureau days away from releasing numbers that will shape local and national government for the next decade, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies invites “curious news consumers” to a free webinar next week offering guidance in what it all means.
As the U.S. population becomes less white, Bloomberg reports, the bureau’s moving away from using majority and minority to gauge diversity.

Gas on the run. Updating coverage: President Biden and U.S. automakers were set to announce a commitment to push electric vehicle sales to half of the U.S. market by the end of the decade.
Exxon reportedly is considering pledging to cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050.
But, the Center for International Environmental Law warns, the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill carries at least $25 billion in new subsidies for fossil fuel companies.
Popular Information: General Motors, which has bragged that it’s a champion for voting rights, gave $125,000 to a Republican group pushing voter suppression.

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