News Round-Up: May 29, 2020

Guillaume Cizeron (above right – via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Out: Olympic medal-winning ice dancer Guillaume Cizeron (above) has come out publicly as gay. Though the athlete, who won a silver medal in the 2018 Winter Olympics never considered himself in the closet prior, having spoken openly to family and his friends about his sexuality, he acknowledges that a new interview in the French-language magazine Tetu is his first time speaking publicly.

TikTok: A teen in North Carolina came out to her mom by making some cupcakes that said “I like girls” and recorded herself surprising her mom with them. The TikTok sharing the moment has more than 3 million views.

KIT212: Check out Kenneth’s weekly round-up of the what’s what in local gay rags like this month’s issue of DNA Magazine featuring Nick Bracks (below) chatting on his new role as a mental health advocate.

Nick Bracks covers the new issue of DNA Magazine

The Advocate: Tony McDade, a Black transgender man, was shot to death by a police officer Wednesday morning in Tallahassee, Fla. McDade, 38, was accused of having fatally stabbed another man just minutes before his own death.

New Music: Lady Gaga released her highly anticipated sixth studio album Chromatica via Interscope Records, which has already debuted at #1 on the iTunes charts in 57 countries. Gaga has previously released duets with Ariana Grande (“Rain On Me” – the biggest Spotify debut of 2020 reaching #1 on the Global and US Spotify charts) and with Blackpink (“Sour Candy” – #1 on iTunes in 53 countries) from the collection. Check out the banging dance collaboration “Sine From Above” with international superstar Elton John below.

The Hill: Donald Trump announced Friday that the United States is “terminating” its relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) over its response to the novel coronavirus, following through on a threat issued earlier this month. Trump accused the WHO of being under China’s “total control” and of failing to make reforms requested by his administration. The president said he would “redirect” funds promised to the WHO to assist other global health needs.

TechCrunch: SpaceX had just conducted yet another static fire test of the Raptor engine in its Starship SN4 prototype launch vehicle on Friday when the test vehicle exploded on the test stand in Boca Chica, Texas. This was the fourth static fire test of this engine on this prototype, so it’s unclear what went wrong vs. other static fire attempts.

NY Times: Trump Accuses WHO ‘Of Making All The Mistakes He’s Made’

In an effort to diffuse the critiques of his slow and ineffective response to the COVID-19 threat, Donald Trump informed his administration he plans to stop U.S. funding for the World Health Organization saying the off-shoot of the United Nations was at fault for “severely mismanaging and covering up” the spread of the virus worldwide.

From the New York Times:

“So much death has been caused by their mistakes,” the president told reporters during a White House briefing.

In effect, Mr. Trump was accusing the world’s leading health organization of making all of the mistakes that he has made since the virus first emerged in China and then spread rapidly. As of Tuesday, there had been about two million cases of the virus worldwide, and nearly 125,000 deaths. In the United States, there have been over 600,000 cases and 25,000 deaths from the virus.

The basis for the president’s anger at the W.H.O. was his contention that it was too quick to believe information about the virus coming from the Chinese government at a time when it should have been more critical. He said the W.H.O. “willingly took China’s assurances to face value” and “pushed China’s misinformation.”

But it was Mr. Trump himself who went out of his way to publicly and repeatedly praise the Chinese government for its handling of the virus at a time at the beginning of the year that his administration was negotiating a trade deal with China.

In March, Trump famously declared, “I don’t take any responsibility at all” for the coronavirus threat.

Defending the decision on Fox News, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway embarrassingly declared, “This is COVID-19, not COVID-1 folks, and so you would think the people in charge of the World Health Organization, facts and figures, would be on top of that.”

Apparently, no one told Kellyanne the “19” refers to the year 2019, the year the virus appeared. This isn’t the 19th version of the coronavirus.

#smh