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Who are the unvaccinated in America? It seems there’s no one answer.⁣ ⁣ As coronavirus cases rise across the U.S., the fight against the pandemic is focused on an estimated 93 million people who are eligible for shots but have chosen not to get them. These are the Americans who are most vulnerable to serious illness from the highly contagious Delta variant and most likely to carry the virus, spreading it further.⁣ ⁣ Interviews this past week with dozens of people in 17 states presented a portrait of the unvaccinated in the U.S., people driven by a wide mix of sometimes overlapping fears, conspiracy theories, concern about safety and generalized skepticism of powerful institutions tied to the vaccines, including the pharmaceutical industry and the federal government.⁣ ⁣ It turns out, though, that this is not a single set of Americans, but in many ways two. In one group are those who say they are adamant in their refusal of the coronavirus vaccines; they include a mix of people but tend to be disproportionately white, rural, evangelical Christian and politically conservative, surveys show.⁣ ⁣ In the other are those who say they are open to getting a shot but have been putting it off or want to wait and see before making a decision; they are a broad range of people, but tend to be a more diverse and urban group, including many younger people, Black and Latino Americans, and Democrats.⁣ ⁣ With Covid-19 cases surging and hospitalizations rising, health officials are making progress in inoculating this second group, who surveys suggest account for less than half of all unvaccinated adults in the U.S.⁣ ⁣ The problem is the same surveys show that the group firmly opposed to the vaccines outnumbers those willing to be swayed. And unless the nation finds a way to persuade the unwavering, escaping the virus’s grip will be a long way off, because they make up as much as 20% of the adult population.⁣ ⁣ Tap the link in our bio to read more about the unvaccinated in America. Photos by @brandonthibodeaux, @chasecastor, @alishajucevic and @dylan_cole⁣
The only place in the world where great apes, elephants, rhinos and tigers coexist is in the Leuser Ecosystem, which encompasses a national park and biosphere reserve on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Its 6 million acres of dense rainforest is home to 389 species of birds and 130 species of mammals, including the world’s largest wild population of Sumatran orangutans. Wild orangutans, which are among the rarest and the most intelligent of the great apes, are now limited to the rain forests of two Southeast Asian islands: Borneo and Sumatra. Mainly because of habitat destruction — in the form of mining, logging and the destructive practices of the palm oil industry — their populations have dwindled. In response, a devoted group of caretakers is trying to unravel the complexities of conservation on Sumatra, fighting to protect the ecosystem and grasping for a solution that can mutually benefit both the wildlife and people who call the island their home. In 2017, Matt Stirn, an environmental archaeologist and photographer, traveled to Sumatra with Photographers Without Borders, a nonprofit that had been covering the island’s wildlife and Indigenous-rights issues. “We traveled through North Sumatra under the guidance of the Orangutan Information Centre, an organization that aims to rescue injured and trafficked orangutans, rehabilitate destroyed rain forests and help circumvent human-animal conflict through educational programming,” Stirn writes. Tap the link in our bio to read and see more from @mattstirn for @nytimestravel.
With the pandemic-era federal eviction moratorium set to expire, Representative Cori Bush of Missouri participated in a sit-in at the U.S. Capitol, galvanizing a progressive revolt over evictions. When it became clear on Friday that neither Congress nor the White House was going to act to stop the moratorium from expiring, leaving hundreds of thousands of low-income Americans at risk of losing their homes, Bush — a first-term Democratic congresswoman from St. Louis — felt a familiar flood of anxiety and a flash of purpose. As her colleagues boarded planes home for a seven-week summer recess, she took a page from her years as an activist and did the only thing she could think of: She got an orange sleeping bag, grabbed a lawn chair and began what turned into a round-the-clock sit-in on the steps of the Capitol. She stayed put — in rain, cold and brutal summer heat — until Tuesday, when President Biden, under growing pressure from the sit-in and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, abruptly relented and announced a new, 60-day federal eviction moratorium covering areas overrun with the Delta variant of the coronavirus. Even as President Biden reiterated his administration’s fears that the ban would run afoul of the courts, it was a striking reversal for his team, designed to give state and local governments time to distribute billions of dollars in federal rental assistance that has yet to go out the door. “My brain could not understand how we were supposed to just leave,” Bush, 45, said in an interview on Wednesday, recounting the months she spent 20 years ago living out of a 1996 Ford Explorer. “I felt like I did sitting in that car — like, ‘Who speaks for me? Is this because I deserve it?’” Tap the link in our bio to read more about the new 60-day eviction moratorium and the push to extend it.
Covid-19 is surging once again in Los Angeles, months after doctors and nurses thought the worst of the pandemic was behind them. ⁣ ⁣ At the ICU of Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica and in the world around it, the surge is being driven by vaccine resisters and the virus’s hyper-contagious Delta variant. Los Angeles County is recording more than 2,500 new cases daily, and among the unvaccinated, hospitalizations and deaths are mounting. Even in affluent Santa Monica, where about 80% of residents are now vaccinated, dozens of people each day are testing positive for the virus, and hospitals like Saint John’s — a 266-bed facility that typically serves the ordinary needs of the beach communities around it — are being inundated again.⁣ ⁣ Last week, so many Covid patients were in intensive care that the space in a makeshift Covid unit was not enough. The hospital had to reconfigure and expand the unit. Bonifacio Deoso, a nurse on the unit, was down to one weary question: “When will this ever end?”⁣ ⁣ In California overall, new infections are appearing at a rate not seen since February. And, at Saint John’s for the past three weeks, the 23-bed intensive care unit has been packed. Eight patients on the ward were being treated for the virus or related infections as of Sunday morning. Four were being treated with ECMO, a particularly labor-intensive, round-the-clock protocol. Seven other patients were in the step-down ICU on supplemental oxygen as they recovered from infections. And at least six people have died from Covid-19 in intensive care since June 1.⁣ ⁣ Tap the link in our bio to read more about how doctors and nurses are coping with the surge in new coronavirus cases at Saint John’s. Photos by @isadorakosofsky⁣
One year after a huge explosion ripped through Beirut, Lebanon is experiencing its worst economic meltdown in more than a century. ⁣ ⁣ Lebanon, a small Mediterranean country still haunted by a 15-year civil war that ended in 1990, is in the throes of a financial collapse that the World Bank has said could rank among the world’s worst since the mid-1800s. It is closing like a vise on families whose money has plummeted in value while the cost of nearly everything has skyrocketed.⁣ ⁣ Since fall 2019, the Lebanese pound has lost 90% of its value and, as of June, prices of consumer goods had nearly quadrupled in the previous two years, according to government statistics. The explosion one year ago in the port of Beirut, which killed more than 200 people and left a large swath of the capital in shambles, only added to the desperation.⁣ ⁣ On Wednesday, Lebanon observed a day of mourning to mark the anniversary of the blast, and government offices and most businesses were closed for the occasion. Large crowds gathered around Beirut to commemorate the day and denounce their government, which has failed to determine what caused the explosion and who was responsible, much less to hold anyone accountable.⁣ ⁣ Years of corruption and bad policies have left the state deeply in debt and the central bank unable to keep propping up the currency, as it had for decades, because of a drop in foreign cash flows into the country. Now, the bottom has fallen out of the economy, leaving shortages of food, fuel and medicine.⁣ ⁣ All but the wealthiest Lebanese have cut meat from their diets and wait in long lines to fuel their cars, sweating through sweltering summer nights because of extended power cuts.⁣ ⁣ “I have no idea how we’ll continue,” said Rania Mustafa, 40, at home in Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest city, after Beirut.⁣ ⁣ Tap the link in our bio to read more about the crisis in Lebanon and to see more photos by @bdentonphoto⁣
Democrats have called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York to resign or be impeached in the wake of a Tuesday report that found Cuomo had sexually harassed several women. The 165-page report released by Letitia James, New York’s attorney general, was the result of an inquiry showing that the governor had sexually harassed at least 11 women, and that he and his aides fostered a toxic work culture rife with fear and intimidation. Carl Heastie, the speaker of the New York State Assembly, said late Tuesday that Cuomo had lost the support of the Democratic majority in the assembly and could no longer serve as governor. “We will move expeditiously and look to conclude our impeachment investigation as quickly as possible,” Heastie said. Other Democratic leaders, including President Joe Biden, also called for Cuomo to resign. “Recognizing his love of New York and the respect for the office he holds, I call upon the Governor to resign,” said Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, who had called for Cuomo to step down in March when the state began its investigation, said, “The people of New York deserve better leadership in the governor’s office.” Cuomo has denied most of the report’s serious findings, reiterating his contention that he had never touched anyone inappropriately. He suggested the report was politically motivated and said on Tuesday that “the facts are much different from what has been portrayed.” Tap the link in our bio to read more about the report and Democrats' calls for resignation.
As workers return to their Manhattan offices, longstanding dress codes are being relaxed. Right now, almost anything goes.⁣ ⁣ On Wall Street, the casual attire is noticeable. Men are reporting for duty in polo shirts. Women have stepped down from the high heels once considered de rigueur. Ties are nowhere to be found. Even the Lululemon logo has been spotted.⁣ ⁣ The changes are superficial, but they hint at a bigger cultural shift in an industry where well-cut suits and wingtips once symbolized swagger, memorialized in popular culture by Gordon Gekko in the movie “Wall Street” and Patrick Bateman in the film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s novel “American Psycho.” Even as many corporate workplaces around the country relaxed their dress codes in recent years, Wall Street remained mostly buttoned up.⁣ ⁣ Like so much else, that changed in the pandemic. Big banking firms, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, have realized that their employees are loath to reach for their corporate attire after more than a year of working from home dressed mainly in loungewear, or in Zoom-appropriate shirts on top and sweatpants below. As banks get their workers back to their desks — even as some other companies have paused such plans — senior executives are easing up on dress codes as a concession to their weary staffs.⁣ ⁣ This being Wall Street, casual doesn’t necessarily mean cheap, of course. Many of the sneakers, shirts, watches and other more laid-back accessories spotted in Lower Manhattan last week cost several hundred dollars or more.⁣ ⁣ Tap the link in our bio for more on the new corporate dress codes and follow @nytimesfashion for more. Photos by @melodiejeng.⁣
President Biden on Tuesday called for the resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York after the state’s attorney general found that Cuomo had sexually harassed several women. Earlier on Tuesday, Letitia James, the attorney general, released the findings of her office’s sexual harassment inquiry into Cuomo, describing the report in stark terms and declaring, “We should believe women.” She revealed that two outside investigators found that Cuomo had sexually harassed at least 11 women, and said that the state had “an obligation to protect women in their workplace.” That, she concluded, was the most important takeaway of the report, which supported their accusations and provided them in detail. “I believe women, and I believe these 11 women,” she said at the conclusion of a nearly hourlong news conference. The 165-page report said that Cuomo sexually harassed several women, including current and former government workers, breaking state and federal laws and engaging in a pattern of unwanted touching and inappropriate comments. It also said that he and his aides had cultivated a toxic work culture in his office that was rife with fear and intimidation, and that helped enable “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.” Speaking from Albany shortly after the release of the attorney general’s report on sexual misconduct allegations against him, Cuomo defended his behavior toward women, reiterating his contention that he “never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate advances.” He suggested that the report was biased and politically motivated, saying that the “facts are much different from what has been portrayed.” Cuomo is now under criminal investigation, the Albany County prosecutor said. Tap the link in our bio to read more.
The blast that ripped through Beirut was a year ago. But for many, the disaster continues. On Aug. 4, 2020, thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate caught fire at a port in Beirut and detonated in an explosion more powerful than the one that destroyed the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. More than 200 are believed to have died, but each official source in Lebanon gives a different tally, so the exact count remains unknown. But numbers alone cannot begin to capture the scale of loss, writes Lina Mounzer in an essay accompanied by interviews with victims of the explosion. “The explosion shattered houses, buildings, cars, trees, but also our mental health, our sense of security, our sense of the possible and impossible,” she writes. “We lost friends, parents, grandparents. Limbs and eyes. Memories. Entire neighborhoods. Hope. Our faith in a better tomorrow.” The losses are still piling up. Many have left the country or are laying plans to escape for good. Makhoul al-Hamad (with his family in the second photo) wasn’t home when the explosion tore through his apartment. But his 5-year-old daughter, Sama, lost her left eye in the explosion. “I lost my sense of happiness and security,” al-Hamad said. Andrea Najarian (first and third photo) was alone in his late grandmother’s apartment when the explosion happened. Now, two surgeries later, he has a constellation of scars across his body. “I lost my home and my childhood memories,” he said. Tap the link in our bio to read the stories of others who are still mourning the loss of their friends and family and learning to live with their injuries in the aftermath of a day that changed their lives. Photos by @texting_bitches