Over the past few days, we have all seen the images from across the nation of riots, destruction and looting, undercutting the rightful message of those who have shown up to protest and make their case in peace.  What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis last week is a heinous tragedy and murder by any measure.  Justice needs to be served, and I am confident that the state of Minnesota will ensure that it is. 

There is no excuse — there is no justification — for the lawless, criminal activity that we have been witnessing in our cities the last few nights and likely will continue to see in the nights ahead.  It does not honor Mr. Floyd’s memory.  

Instead, small business owners — many of whom are minority and have been struggling to survive during the COVID-19 outbreak — now face even greater challenges due to the plunder of their businesses by professional anarchists and those motivated to do destruction by the force of Evil.  Many of those businesses now have customers with nowhere to turn for their food and other necessities.  

Evil draws itself to tragedy to exploit our wounds and excite our emotions, for evil knows that emotion gives way to poor judgment and poor judgment leads to one’s own destruction.  In Proverbs 14:12, it reads, “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death.”  May we all turn to God and let Him heal our land — changing each heart, one by one.  

Here is today’s COVID-19 update:

  • The CDC is regularly updating its COVID-19 travel recommendations by country.  Currently, most of Europe, Brazil, China and Iran are classified at the CDC’s highest risk level, which includes restrictions on entering the U.S. after travel to those nations.  View the CDC’s travel recommendations here.

  • The Department of State issued this update on the status of its passport services.  The Department has a plan to gradually re-open and resume passport processing services in accordance with CDC guidelines.

  • Here is the latest update from the Food and Drug Administration with information about the FDA’s activities to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.  It includes information about warnings the FDA issued to companies fraudulently marketing products they say can help combat the virus.

  • North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services is seeking to create a pool of qualified vendors to support the response to COVID-19.  A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was issued on May 29 for diagnostic and antibody testing including specimen collection and laboratory processing, reserving potential laboratory capacity and contact tracing.  A RFQ pre-qualifies vendors to work with the department.  By screening in advance, NCDHHS will have a pool of vendors it can rapidly engage to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • NC State Extension has a useful resource page for producers with information particularly relevant to farms that employ and house migrant, seasonal and H-2A farm workers.  View it here.

For today’s good news story I’m highlighting Jim Radle, the owner of 22 North Dining and Spirits in Wrightsville Beach.  While Jim’s restaurant was allowed to reopen under the latest guidelines issued by the Governor, he has been buying merchandise from neighboring bars that have not been able to reopen in order to support them.  He has been giving the merchandise to his employees to wear as their uniforms in solidarity with the bars that have not yet been permitted to resume operations.  In this challenging time, Jim’s great idea is an example of business owners and employees coming together to support each other.

As always, stay tuned to Coronavirus.gov and the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ website for the latest on the outbreak.  And please feel free to send good news stories our way to highlight in this newsletter by replying to this e-mail.