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A.M. Brief: New Poll Underscores L.A.’s Financial Fallout From COVID-19

September 10, 2020 by Brian Champlin
Los Angeles Basin viewed from Griffith Park
Credit: Brian Champlin / We Like L.A.

A new poll says more than half of Los Angeles households report serious financial issues due to the pandemic, which is shocking yet somehow completely unsurprising. Also today: Public Health cancels then un-cancels Halloween, L.A. is partnering on a new contact tracing app that totally won’t give you any privacy concerns, and the LASD wants to put a hold on the autopsy of Dijon Kizzee. Finally, a rare P-22 sighting captured on video. First, some newsy stuff.

Morning News Rundown

A new research poll published by NPR underscores just how widespread the economic fallout of COVID-19 has been, while also highlighting a stark racial disparity. According to the study, 71% of Latino households and 52% of Black households report facing “serious financial problems” related to impact from the coronavirus. That compares to just 37% of white households. Overall, 56% of all households in Los Angeles report major financial issues, which is 10% higher than the national average. It’s worth mentioning that the racial gap is equally as pronounced in terms of health outcomes. According to the latest stats from Public Health, the mortality rate from COVID-19 for Black people is double that of white people in L.A. County. The Latino mortality rate is nearly triple. [Los Angeleno]

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Halloween was cancelled… until it was wasn’t. After a swell of public outrage due to an announced ban on trick-or-treating, Public Health officials have softened their position, now saying trick-or-treating is “not recommended.” Question: If Public Health really thought trick-or-treating was a legitimate at-risk behavior and worth banning, why should public outrage steer their policy? Put another way, is it a good idea to let public health be dictated by what’s most popular? [We Like L.A.]

L.A. County is teaming up with Citizen on the SafePass app as part of a broader effort for contact tracing COVID-19 infections. SafePass uses location and health status data to track people you come into contact with. If that person or an extended contact later tests positive for COVID-19, you get an alert. The county promises that data is anonymized and deleted after 30 days, but I’ll bet dollars to donuts that’s going to be of little solace to those who jealously guard their privacy. [KTLA]

Hours before a fifth straight night of protests over the death of Dijon Kizzee, the LASD requested a security hold on his autopsy. A security hold likely means the public won’t see the autopsy report until after the department completes an investigation. Kizzee was shot and killed by deputies in Westmont on August 31 after being stopped for an alleged vehicle code violation while riding a bicycle. CBS Los Angeles later reported that at least 18 shots may have been fired as Kizzee attempted to run away. [KTLA]

Night Prowler

P-22 alert! L.A.’s most famous mountain lion was recorded on household security cams roaming a Hollywood Hills neighborhood early Tuesday morning. Most people agree P-22 is pretty special cat, seeing as he had to cross two major freeways to find his home in Griffith Park. But that doesn’t mean he’s above eating Spot or Scruffy. If the video capture serves any purpose, then hopefully people will take it as a warning: Keep your pets indoors at night!

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