AM Newscall 07/02/2020

Small businesses in Louisiana that have not received any federal relief funds for COVID-19 expenses can begin applying for grants later this month. Brooke Thorington has more.

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State health experts warn people not to buy into a pop theory calling for people to purposefully get themselves infected with COVID-19 to create “herd immunity”. Matt Doyle has more.

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With the national spotlight on policing, 18 private law firms have teamed up with the ACLU of Louisiana in a litigation campaign to challenge discriminatory practices. Kevin Barnhart has the story.

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State Treasurer John Schroder announces that small businesses can begin applying for $275-million dollars’ worth of grants to supplement losses from COVD-19 towards the end of the month. Eligible businesses can receive up 15-thousand dollars. Schroder says his office will begin accepting applications on July 28th.

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Of the state’s 450-thousand small businesses, approximately 15 percent have received federal funding. Schroder says businesses that have not received any federal funds receive priority for the first 21 days. Then other small businesses will be considered.

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Schroder says the funding is on a first come first serve bases and small businesses need to apply at An outside vendor will approve applications.

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Schroder anticipates checks will be mailed within 10 days of approval.


State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry calls a pop theory advocating for the purposeful COVID infection of people under the guise of creating herd immunity a “myth”.

Guidry says the theory has no evidence to back it up and ignores just how volatile viruses can be.

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To obtain herd immunity a population would need 60 percent immunity. Even in New York City, the worst single epicenter in the country, herd immunity is believed to be under 20 percent.

Guidry says the theory is also based on a faulty assumption that if you can’t get infected more than once.

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Yesterday’s spike in cases was the third-highest on record and nearly ten percent of all tests done are showing up positive. Guidry says this is no time for risky behavior.

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Eighteen private law firms have teamed up with the ACLU of Louisiana in a litigation campaign to challenge discriminatory policing practices. Legal Director of the ACLU of Louisiana Nora Ahmed says they are trying to capture cases that were not economical to be taken to court.

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The initiative is called “Justice Lab: Putting Racist Policing on Trial” and over time it seeks to bring up to 1000 cases in Louisiana challenging the constitutionality of the situations. Law firms will be handling cases on a pro bono basis. Ahmed hopes to form a blueprint for litigation that could be used across the nation.

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Ahmed says they are partnering with law school legal clinics around the country who are in a position to take on these appeals in an effort to continue the development of law pertaining to excessive force and racial profiling but also challenge qualified immunity.

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To help keep students engaged in the learning process over the summer, the Louisiana Department of Education will partner with LPB and offer televised math instruction. Director of Math Science STEM, Jill Cowart says the instructional programming is designed for all students in kindergarten through ninth grade.

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Cowart says when schools closed early due to the pandemic they were forced to create at-home learning resources available online. Through the partnership with LPB, more families will now have access to resources beginning July 6th with a focus on keeping students engaged.

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The instructional broadcasts will be available on Louisiana’s three public television channels which can be accessed via antenna, cable or satellite service. They will also be available via on-demand.

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Lessons will run through July 31st.