Headlines June 22, 2021

Headlines June 22, 2021

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Delta Variant in Mesa County

In COVID news, Western Slope counties of Colorado are seeing a rise in coronavirus cases. Health authorities attribute this increase to the Delta variant. The variant first identified in India in late 2020, appears to be both more transmissible and leads to more severe illness than the Alpha – or UK – variant.

State epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy says Mesa County is the state’s hardest hit.

According to data on the CDC’s website, Colorado has the second-highest proportion of Delta variant cases in the US – surpassed only by Missouri.

The variant has shown an ability to infect people who have been vaccinated, particularly those who have not had a full course of the vaccine. So state health authorities are urging those who have not been vaccinated or who have had only a partial course, to make an appointment.

Scott Bookman, COVID-19 Incident Commander of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a press conference Monday they are giving special attention to vaccination efforts in Mesa County.

State epidemiologist Herlihy expects the Delta variant to become the predominant in Colorado within a few weeks.

Arvada Shooting

Three people are dead in the wake of a shooting in Olde Town Arvada yesterday. Just before 2pm Monday, the Arvada Police Department tweeted one officer was down and they were “securing the area of 57 and Olde Wadsworth.” Officials later identified the murdered police officer as Gordon Beesley, a 19 year veteran of the force who usually worked as a school resource officer during the school year. Another person killed in the shooting was described as a “good samaritan” in an evening press conference. Arvada’s City Hall and Municipal Court will be closed today.

Freedom Ride Rally

Voting rights activists, service workers, and community organizations will gather this morning in Denver to rally in support of a modern-day Freedom Ride making a stop in town on its way to the nation’s capital.

Local 23 Hospitality Workers, low-wage immigrants, Colorado AFL-CIO, and many other Unions will be joining Black Voters Matter and the Freedom Ride for Voting Rights at the Martin Luther King statue at City Park in Denver at 9:30 this morning for the rally.

Coming from California and Nevada as the Freedom Ride for Voting Rights and is heading to Washington, D.C. where they will demand that the Senate immediately pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

This multi-racial coalition is conducting a voter outreach campaign to protect the freedom to vote. Housekeepers, cooks, servers, and dishwashers are majority Black and Latinx workers who will be the most impacted by the anti-democratic legislation currently moving through other state legislatures.

For the 2020 elections, the coalition knocked on 3 million doors in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida, uniting the votes of working people and people of color hit hardest by economic inequality and the pandemic. Laid-off hospitality workers also joined the team that turned Georgia blue to help deliver come-from-behind wins and Take Back the Senate in the January 2021 Georgia Senate runoff.

Assange Rally

The father and brother of jailed Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, will be in Denver tomorrow to rally public opinion behind calls to drop charges against the journalist. Assange’s relatives, John and Gabriel Shipton, are ona nationwide tour across the US dubbed “Home Run 4 Julian”. Assange is facing a defacto life sentence if convicted on charges under the Espionage Act. Denver Action to Free Assange is hosting a press conference tomorrow afternoon at the Denver Press Club and later a rally on the State Capitol steps at 5pm.