- Corey Hannon, a New York man, went viral after he posted on social media that he went to Fire Island beach despite believing he had recently contracted COVID-19.
- While Hannon apologized, Fire Island and other beaches around the country were still packed with many tourists and locals over the Fourth of July weekend.
- Many fear that could now lead to a spike in cases and most states have already been seeing their daily number of cases climb over the last few weeks.
Fire Island: Corey Hannon Viral Video
Spring Breakers and Memorial Day beachgoers sparked frustration earlier this year for flocking to the shores in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, celebrations over the Fourth of July weekend have prompted similar outrage.
One of the weekend’s most audacious beachgoers facing a slew of backlash online is Corey Hannon: a 27-year-old man who traveled to Fire Island Pines, New York less than two weeks after suspecting he had COVID-19.
Hannon went viral on social media Saturday after he posted a photo to his Instagram story that read: “I wanna Kiki but my body says, nope not yet… thought the COVID was gone.”
Hannon’s photo then began to circulate on social media, where he soon caught criticism for potentially exposing others to COVID-19 in the name of going to the beach.
“They really need to charge people like this with something. Knowingly going out like that is ridiculous,” one person tweeted.
The online eventually picked up so much traction that Hannon seemingly posted a response on Instagram later in the day.
“You know, I did have COVID,” he said. “Everyone knows I had COVID, and you know what I did? I sat in my fucking bedroom and quarantined myself for eight fucking days and suffered through COVID. And now I’m out celebrating, so go fuck yourself. I hope all of you get fucking COVID. You nasty, nasty trolls.”
While that video was only up for about 10 minutes according to Hannon, it was screen-recorded and shared by multiple people.
“8 WHOLE DAYS?!” one Twitter user sarcastically said. “Why, no one in the world has ever stayed home that long! What a hero! What a tower of strength! People will share the story of the man who stayed home for 8 days during a pandemic for generations to come.”
8 WHOLE DAYS?! Why, no one in the world has ever stayed home that long! What a hero! What a tower of strength! People will share the story of the man who stayed home for 8 days during a pandemic for generations to come. pic.twitter.com/bojVzwFlMO— Lovethisjourneyforus (@southerngalsgde) July 5, 2020
In a Facebook video on Sunday, Hannon apologized for his actions, saying that he would “never maliciously go out and infect people.”
“I am not a murderer. I’m not a bad person,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and I think I’ve paid the price for them. I apologize if you think I’m a bad person because of this.”
In that post, Hannon explained his timeline with the virus, saying he started feeling ill on June 22. On June 30, he got tested for COVID-19. He then stayed in his apartment until July 3rd. The next day, the Fourth of July, he went to Fire Island—12 days after he became symptomatic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control: “You can be with others after: 3 days with no fever and Respiratory symptoms have improved and 10 days since symptoms first appeared.”
The CDC also has lengthy considerations for when and how to visit beaches.
In his Facebook video, Hannon apologized for even going to Fire Island in the first place and potentially infecting people.
He said he deleted his original video about 10 minutes after it was posted because he meant to send it to a friend instead of his story. He also said that his test result still hasn’t come back yet, so he hasn’t actually tested positive for COVID-19.
Nonetheless, Hannon said he believes it was COVID-19 and that he should have stayed in.
Fire Island Fourth of July Party
While Hannon attracted most of the attention over the weekend, it wasn’t just him. In fact, on Saturday, Fire Island was packed.
“Fuck Your mask,” Fire Island beachgoer Giancarlo Kristian Albanese said on Instagram. “Fuck your social distancing. Fuck your vaccine.”
Police were also called to the beach twice on Saturday over reports of people not social distancing and not wearing masks, however, police said they did not issue any citations. Monday morning the Island Pines Property Owners Association told local news outlets that police have agreed to shut down any beach party going forward.
“Please y’all, as things continue to open up / spiral out of control 😅 be responsible with yourself,” Queer Eye hair stylist Jonathan Van Ness said on Instagram Sunday. “If you’re partying, you are risking every single last one of our health.”
“Since black and brown people are dying at much higher rates your refusal to wear masks in crowded spaces is literally racist,” he added. “Have a good Sunday.”
As many have pointed out, the Fire Island incident took place in New York, a state that at one point, had one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world. Because of that, many worry Fourth of July parties will lead to another spike in a couple of weeks.
That’s on top of county officials planning to move from Phase 3 to Phase 4 on Wednesday. That move will open up colleges and non-essential businesses such as aquariums, though, it will still keep things like malls, gyms and movie theaters closed.
Other Beaches Packed
In fact, while this weekend was a very different Fourth of July for many, that didn’t stop others from traveling to beaches.
In Virginia Beach, people still showed up in droves, even after the city cancelled its fireworks show to “help keep Virginia Beach safe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.”
At Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, similar crowds of people not wearing masks were reported. That’s despite the city amending its mask policy ahead of the weekend to include boardwalks and the sand.
On the west coast in California, people took to the beach in San Diego, even though many other beaches in Southern California were closed over the weekend as COVID cases in California continue to climb. On Sunday alone, the state recorded almost 11,800 cases.
Florida clocked in just behind that with 11,500 cases. Across the whole of the United States, Sunday yielded more than 49,000 new cases. Though that didn’t break Thursday’s single-day record of 54,000 total U.S. cases. According to The New York Times, the number of COVID cases being recorded each day has been and still is climbing in most states.
See what others are saying: (PIX 11) (Fox 5 New York) (Long Island News 12)
SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Police in Two Qualified Immunity Cases
The move further solidifies the contentious legal doctrine that protects officers who commit alleged constitutional violations.
SCOTUS Hears Qualified Immunity Cases
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favor of police in two separate cases involving qualified immunity, the controversial legal doctrine that shields officers accused of violating constitutional rights from lawsuits.
The topic has become a major flashpoint in debates over police reform and curbing police violence since the protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the summer of 2020.
On one side, supporters of qualified immunity claim it is necessary to ensure that police can do their jobs without worrying about frivolous lawsuits.
However, opponents argue that judicial interpretations of the doctrine over time have given police incredibly broad legal immunity for misconduct and use of excessive force. Under a previous Supreme Court ruling, in order for officers to be held liable, plaintiffs have to show that they violated rights “clearly established” by a previous ruling.
In other words, officers cannot be held liable unless there is another case that involves almost identical circumstances.
As a result, many argue the doctrine creates a Catch-22: Officers are shielded from liability because there is no past precedent, but the reason there is no past precedent is because officers are shielded from liability in the first place.
An Ongoing Debate
Critics argue that the two cases the Supreme Court saw Monday illustrate that double bind, as both involved accusations of excessive force commonly levied against police.
In one case, officers used non-lethal bean bag rounds against a suspect and knelt on his back to subdue him. In the other, police shot and killed a suspect after he threatened them with a hammer.
The justices overturned both lower-court rulings without ordering full briefing and argument because of the lack of precedent. The court issued the decisions in unsigned orders with no dissent, signaling they did not even see the cases as close calls.
Advocates for qualified immunity claim the decisions signal that the current Supreme Court is not open to changing qualified immunity, and the most likely path for opponents of the doctrine is legislation.
While Democrats in Congress have made numerous efforts to limit qualified immunity, including most recently in the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act passed by the House earlier this year, all those attempts have been blocked by Republicans.
At the state level, dozens of bills have been killed after heavy lobbying from police unions. As a result, it remains unclear what path proponents for reform have at this juncture.
See what others are saying: (NPR) (The New York Times) (The Washington Post)
Florida School Says Students Vaccinated Against COVID-19 Must Stay Home for 30 Days
The school falsely claimed that people who have just been vaccinated risk “shedding” the coronavirus and could infect others.
Centner Academy Vaccination Policy
A private school in Florida is now requiring all students who get vaccinated against COVID-19 to quarantine for 30 days before returning to class.
According to the local Miami outlet WSVN, Centner Academy wrote a letter to parents last week describing COVID vaccines as “experimental” and citing anti-vaccine misinformation.
“If you are considering the vaccine for your Centner Academy student(s), we ask that you hold off until the Summer when there will be time for the potential transmission or shedding onto others to decrease,” the letter reportedly stated.
“Because of the potential impact on other students and our school community, vaccinated students will need to stay at home for 30 days post-vaccination for each dose and booster they receive and may return to school after 30 days as long as the student is healthy and symptom-free.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has debunked the false claim that those newly vaccinated against COVID-19 can “shed” the virus.
According to the agency’s COVID myths page, vaccine shedding “can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus,” but “none of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines in the United States contain the live virus that causes COVID-19. This means that a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.”
In fact, early research has suggested that vaccinated people are less likely to spread the virus than unvaccinated people.
Beyond that, unvaccinated people are more likely to spread COVID in general because they are much more likely to get the virus than vaccinated people. According to recently published CDC data, as of August, unvaccinated people were six times more likely to get COVID than vaccinated people and 11 times more likely to die from the virus.
Centner Academy Continues Spread of Misinformation
In a statement to The Washington Post Monday, Centner Academy co-founder David Centner doubled down on the school’s new policy, which he described as a “precautionary measure” based on “numerous anecdotal cases that have been in circulation.”
“The school is not opining as to whether unexplained phenomena have a basis in fact, however we prefer to err on the side of caution when making decisions that impact the health of the school community,” he added.
The new rule echoes similar efforts Centner Academy has made that run counter to public health guidance and scientific knowledge.
In April, the school made headlines when its leadership told vaccinated school employees that they were not allowed to be in contact with any students “until more information is known” and encouraged employees to wait until summer to get the jab.
According to The New York Times, the following week, a math and science teacher allegedly told students not to hug their vaccinated parents for more than five seconds.
The outlet also reported that the school’s other co-founder, Leila Centner, discouraged masking, but when state health officials came for routine inspections, teachers said they were directed in a WhatsApp group to put masks on.
See what others are saying: (WSVN) (The Washington Post) (Business Insider)
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.