The topline number is bad — a new daily record for new COVID-19 cases of 1,962.

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Hospitalizations dropped a bit, though by less than the number who died.

A whopping increase of 817 in active cases and the positive testing rate is bad, very bad.

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The governor said:

Today we saw another record number of reported new cases. There was a small decline in hospitalizations but the high number of cases is a profoundly serious reminder of the emergency that continues. Susan and I just spoke about our holiday plans and we are taking extra precautions and limiting the number. Plan safely.

Don’t emergencies typically require ACTION? And, no, I don’t count as action bonus baby Commerce Secretary MIke Preston cranking up a taxpayer-financed ad campaign to lure businesses from other states here with the pitch we had such a great pandemic response.

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Nor is it public health action to ladle out yet another $50 million in unemployment insurance tax breaks to businesses (for a total of $215 million) from CARES Act money and doing diddly squat about the crisis in public education employment ranks. Hat tip to Sen. Will Bond, as quoted in the Democrat-Gazette on the latest fatcat subsidy:

But Sen. Will Bond, D-Little Rock, who was the lone steering committee member to vote against endorsing the Department of Commerce’s request for $50 million in federal coronavirus relief funds, said that “we are using money that may be needed for vaccine delivery, for teachers or senior centers or things that this money could used for money.”

 

“I agree employers should not be punished, but I just don’t think this is the way to do it,” he said.

But forget about that. There are football games to play Friday and Saturday. If enough players are available. Meet you at happy hour!