- Brady Sluder, the spring breaker who faced heavy criticism for saying he wouldn’t let the coronavirus stop him from partying, has apologized for his comments.
- He is urging others to follow community guidelines concerning the pandemic and wants the public to use his story as motivation to be better people.
- Other young adults also seem to be better understanding the importance of social distancing after five Florida college students traveling for spring break tested positive for the virus.
- Meanwhile, in Kentucky, one young adult tested positive after attending a “coronavirus party, ” intentionally defying calls against such gatherings.
Spring Breaker Apologizes
By now you’ve probably seen the infamous video of Florida spring breakers vowing to party on despite the coronavirus pandemic. Well, after a flood of intense criticism and mocking, one of those partiers has apologized.
That man is 22-year-old Brady Sluder, an Ohio native and self-described aspiring SoundCloud rapper who said, “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.”
“You know, I’ve been waiting, we’ve been waiting for Miami spring break for a while, about two months we’ve had this trip planned, two, three months, and we’re just out here having a good time,” he continued in the viral CBS interview. “Whatever happens, happens.”
This video blew up as Florida beachgoers were slammed for ignoring social distancing guidelines aimed at “flattening the curve.” But it also came at a time when many seemed to wrongly assume that young people are at low risk of contracting the virus or being hospitalized for it. So it’s safe to say that after the clip went viral, Sluder became the face of reckless young people not taking the virus seriously.
On Monday, he changed his tune, posting a public apology on his Instagram.
“I’d like to take this time to own up to the mistakes i’ve made and apologize to the people I’ve offended,” he wrote. Like many others, I have elderly people who I adore more than anything in the world and other family members who are at risk, and I understand how concerning this disease is for us all.”
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I’ve done a lot of things in my life that I’m not proud of. I’ve failed, I’ve let down, and I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I can’t apologize enough to the people i’ve offended and the lives I’ve insulted. I’m not asking for your forgiveness, or pity. I want to use this as motivation to become a better person, a better son, a better friend, and a better citizen. Listen to your communities and do as health officials say. Life is precious. Don’t be arrogant and think you’re invincible like myself. I’ve learned from these trying times and I’ve felt the repercussions to the fullest. Unfortunately, simply apologizing doesn’t justify my behavior. I’m simply owning up to my mistakes and taking full responsibility for my actions. Thank you for your time, and stay safe everyone. ❤️
In the post caption, he added that he “can’t apologize enough.” He said he is not asking for forgiveness or pity but wants the public to use this as motivation to become better people saying, “Life is precious.”
Other Rule Breakers Test Positive for COVID-19
It seems like Brady isn’t the only one suddenly realizing how dangerous it is to ignore social distancing recommendations. Over the weekend, the University of Tampa announced that five of its students traveling together during spring break tested positive for the virus.
And on Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said one person in the state became infected after taking part in a “coronavirus party” with other young adults.
The partygoers intentionally got together “thinking they were invincible” and purposely defied state guidance to practice social distancing, Beshear said. “This is one that makes me mad, and it should make you mad.”
“Anyone who goes to something like this may think they’re indestructible, but it’s someone else’s loved one that they are going to hurt,” he added. “Don’t be callous as to intentionally go to something and expose yourself to something that will hurt other people. We ought to be much better than that.”
“We all owe each other a duty to protect each other,” Beshear continued. “And we simply can’t have folks that are doing things like this.”
These stories, along with Sluder’s, serve as yet another reminder to practice social distancing. While research has shown that the virus poses a greater risk of death for people ages 65 and older, it can still infect healthy people of all ages.
In New York state, for example, 53% of coronavirus cases have been recorded among young people between the ages of 18 and 49, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday. There also have been “concerning reports from France and Italy” about young people becoming seriously ill, “and very seriously ill in the ICUs,” Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, said last week.
Even if someone were to contract the virus with few to no symptoms, if they aren’t careful, they can end up unknowingly transmitting the virus to others.
See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (CNN) (Fox News)
Katie Couric Says She Edited Ruth Bader Ginsburg Quote About Athletes Kneeling During National Anthem
Couric said she omitted part of a 2016 interview in order to “protect” the justice.
Kate Couric Edited Quote From Justice Ginsburg
In her upcoming book, journalist Katie Couric admitted to editing a quote from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in 2016 in order to “protect” Ginsberg from potential criticism.
Couric interviewed the late justice for an article in Yahoo News. During their discussion, she asked Ginsburg about her thoughts on athletes like Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem to protest racial inequality.
“I think it’s really dumb of them,” Ginsburg is quoted saying in the piece. “Would I arrest them for doing it? No. I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.”
According to The Daily Mail and The New York Post, which obtained advance copies of Couric’s book “Going There,” there was more to Ginsburg’s response. Couric wrote that she omitted a portion where Ginsburg said the form of protest showed a “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life…Which they probably could not have lived in the places they came from.“
Couric Says She Lost Sleep Making Choice
“As they became older they realize that this was youthful folly,” Ginsberg reportedly continued. “And that’s why education is important.“
According to The Daily Mail, Couric wrote that the Supreme Court’s head of public affairs sent an email asking to remove comments about kneeling because Ginsburg had misspoken. Couric reportedly added that she felt a need to “protect” the justice, thinking she may not have understood the question. Couric reached out to her friend, New York Times reporter David Brooks, regarding the matter and he allegedly likewise believed she may have been confused by the subject.
Couric also wrote that she was a “big RBG fan” and felt her comments were “unworthy of a crusader for equality.” Because she knew the remarks could land Ginsburg in hot water, she said she “lost a lot of sleep” and felt “conflicted” about whether or not to edit them out.
Couric was trending on Twitter Wednesday and Thursday as people questioned the ethics behind her choice to ultimately cut part of the quote. Some thought the move showed a lack of journalistic integrity while others thought revealing the story now harmed Ginsburg’s legacy.
See what others are saying: (New York Post) (The Daily Mail) (Insider)
Biden Administration Orders ICE To Halt Workplace Raids
The Department of Homeland Security will now focus on targeting employers who exploit undocumented workers, instead of carrying out raids that dissuade those workers from reporting labor violations.
DHS Reverses Worksite Raid Policy
The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it was ordering Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop workplace raids.
The move marks a reversal from Trump administration policies that have been strongly criticized by immigration activists who argue the efforts created fear in immigrant communities and dissuaded them from reporting labor violations or exploitative employment practices.
In addition to stopping the raids, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a memo that the administration will refocus enforcement efforts to instead target “employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities or impose unsafe working conditions.”
Mayorkas added that the immigration agencies housed in DHS will have the next 60 days to identify harmful existing policies and come up with new ones that provide better deportation protections for workers who report their employers.
In the Tuesday memo, the secretary argued that shift of focus will “reduce the demand for illegal employment by delivering more severe consequences to exploitative employers” and “increase the willingness of workers to report violations of law by exploitative employers and cooperate in employment and labor standards investigation.”
Labor Market Implications
The new policy comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing a critical labor shortage, including in many sectors that rely on immigrant labor.
Some companies that use undocumented workers pay them wages that are far below the market rate, which is not only exploitative but also undercuts competitors.
According to Mayorkas, the pivot to employer-based enforcement will help protect American businesses.
“By exploiting undocumented workers and paying them substandard wages, the unscrupulous employers create an unfair labor market,” he said in the memo. “They also unfairly drive down their costs and disadvantage their business competitors who abide by the law.”
It is currently unclear how effective the new efforts will be, but historical precedent does not paint an optimistic picture.
The Biden administration’s efforts closely mirror a similar move by the Obama administration, which attempted to reverse workplace raids authorized under President George W. Bush by targetting those who employ undocumented workers rather than the workers themselves.
That effort, however, still led to thousands of undocumented workers being fired.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (ABC News)
Mom Charged for Hosting Secret Teen Parties, Pressuring Kids To Drink and Engage in Sex Acts
Investigators said some of the sex acts between teens were non-consensual and at times took place while the mother stood by laughing.
Mother Hit With Dozens of Charges
A California mother is facing 39 criminal charges after hosting a series of illegal parties for her teenage son and his mostly 14- and 15-year-old friends that regularly led to dangerous accidents and sexual assaults.
The mother, 47-year-old Shannon O’Connor, also known as Shannon Bruga, is currently awaiting extradition to Santa Clara County. According to The Mercury News, she was arrested Saturday in Ada County, Idaho, where she has a home in addition to her property in Los Gatos that is currently on the market.
Her criminal charges include 12 felony counts and 10 misdemeanor counts of child endangerment, one count of misdemeanor sexual battery, three counts of misdemeanor child molestation, and 13 misdemeanor counts of providing alcohol to minors.
“It took a lot of brave children to come forward and to untangle this deeply disturbing case,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a press release regarding the case. “As a parent, I’m shocked. As the DA, I’m determined to hold those adults who endanger children fully accountable to the law and our community.”
What Happened During the Parties?
Investigators claim O’Connor organized the functions, attended by as many as 20 teens, via text message and Snapchat. She would then allegedly supply the teens with alcohol and push them to binge drink, often to the point of illness or unconsciousness.
The harm that resulted from their intoxication included one teen breaking a finger and another almost drowning in a hot tub, among other serious situations.
In another instance, O’Connor let an unlicensed drunk teen drive her car. Her son and another one of his friends then hung off the back while it was moving, which caused the friend to fall, hit his head, and become unconscious for 30 seconds. He was later diagnosed with a concussion after spending the night vomiting.
O’Connor is additionally accused of manipulating and encouraging drunk teens to participate in sex acts with one another, which were sometimes non-consensual or carried out while she watched. In some cases, she allegedly laughed while the sexual acts happened or when assault victims asked her why she didn’t step in to help.
Investigators added that O’Connor required teens who attended her parties to keep them a secret. She’s even accused of helping them sneak out of their homes so she could drive them to her events. Authorities said she was found to have bullied at least one teen who she suspected of breaking the secret.
“Everyone should feel relieved this woman’s not on the street,” the parents of one assault victim told The Mercury News. “She was grooming these kids, setting them up for sexual acts, and she’s a mother and doing this to her own child. … I’ve been racking my brain trying to think what was in it for her.“