5 Things That Happened While You Were Out: Feb. 26

We’re a little late on the uptake with this one, but you know what they say….better late than sorry. Or something.

Anyway, Wednesday proved to be a true hump day kind of…day. Cloudy, rainy and dark, it matched how most of us feel in the middle of the workweek.

Here are the top 5 things that happened while you were out today so you can head into tomorrow informed and ready to drop knowledge…

1) U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (AKA New York’s senior senator) joined the call for the Trump Administration to appoint a Coronavirus Czar. A call, by the way, that is being ignored.

That’s the case despite the fact that a number of global ambassadors who have dealt with pandemics in the past, or are currently dealing with coronavirus outbreaks on their own shores, are also encouraging this action, as have many of the president’s own advisors.

A Coronavirus Czar would – ideally – be a scientist with the expertise to coordinate nationwide efforts in preventing outbreaks of the disease and minimize effects anywhere there are confirmed cases within the country. The White House is thus far satisfied with current 12-person task force that has been handling the U.S. response so far. That effort is being led by Alex Azar, the Health and Human Services secretary.

Many officials have expressed doubts over Azar’s ability to lead when (and yes, it’s when) the pandemic truly starts spreading from shore to shore. Part of the problem is his limited scope of power. In the past when there have been serious disease outbreaks, the National Security Council was in charge.

2) There is a new moon orbiting the Earth – a temporary mini-moon, to be exact. It’s called 2020 CD3, and it’s actually a small asteroid that has been pulled into the Earth’s orbit.

While it remains in place, 2020 CD3 will circle around the earth, acting much like the moon does. This is only the second known object to temporarily be bound to the Earth in this way.

Scientists working for the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey discovered the object in Tucson, Arizona. It was announced yesterday by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Minor Planet Center. There are no concrete details yet as to exactly how long it will stay in the Earth’s orbit, but researchers continue to study it.

3) Gov. Andrew Cuomo has confirmed that dozens of people in New Yorker are being monitored after having confirmed exposure to the coronavirus. According to the governor, out of the 27 people who have been tested, zero are actually infected.

Nassau County has confirmed that 83 people who could have been exposed to the virus on recent trips to China are under close observation. Suffolk County has confirmed another 29 people who could have been exposed and are also cooperating with monitoring for any symptoms.

There are currently 59 confirmed cases of the coronavirus within the United States, but Cuomo and DOH officials say none of those are in New York.

All agree that there will be a coronavirus outbreak in New York, but the question is when that will occur and how severe it will be. New York City, a major tourist destination, is a likely hot spot. Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued assurances that city hospitals have been prepping for any confirmed symptoms for weeks.

4) Merton Tyrel, 27, has been charged with endangering a child and 2nd-degree assault, according to the Ballston Spa Police Department. Tyrel was arrested and arraigned for intentionally throwing a seven-year-old girl onto a bed with the purpose of causing harm.

He was remanded to the Saratoga County Correctional Facility upon arraignment with no bail set.

5) If you are looking for an event to attend tomorrow night, keep the Warmth of Winter wine and craft beer tasting in mind.

Umbrella of Colonie is putting on this event and all proceeds will be used to help more than 200 seniors heat their homes this winter. Umbrella of Colonie is an organization that connects seniors with other seniors that can help around their home for affordable prices.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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