Citing cancer experience, Ron Rivera advocates for Affordable Care Act

“We need to have the Affordable Care Act, whether in its current structure or it’s been changed or corrected or fixed or being added onto,” Rivera said. “We need to have something for the folks of the United States of America. For us not to have affordable, quality healthcare, and be the richest nation in the world, that’s kind of disappointing.”

On Monday, Rivera spoke at length about the importance of voting in Tuesday’s election, as well as democracy writ large. He said it’s been “really cool” to hear players discuss current affairs, and he noted that the spectrum of political ideologies in the locker room was “huge.” The enthusiasm for engagement was echoed in a Monday blog post by team president Jason Wright, who wrote the team believed in “big, meaningful and comprehensive community activities versus a collection of small one-off ventures.”

“For example, we will continue to have a robust set of activities around social justice because the players on our team and our employees care about those issues,” he added. “Voting is one component, but there is much more we can and will do.”

Rivera reiterated Monday the importance of participation in democracy, saying that the thing that bothers him most is when people don’t vote. In past years, Rivera has gotten up early to be one of the first people at the polls. He loves the “I voted” stickers. This year, he and his wife Stephanie and daughter Courtney filled out their ballots and put them in the mailbox. On Tuesday, he said he plans to turn the television on around 5 p.m. and click between local and national stations to monitor elections.

“People always ask me: ‘Who did you vote for?’” the coach said. “I always tell them, ‘I voted American.’ I believe I voted for who I believe is going to be the best person for us.”

After his cancer diagnosis in July, Rivera has become an advocate for improved healthcare. The coach has grown more outspoken over the last three months, and he’s sometimes gone as far to call for “universal” healthcare. The message on Monday was more tempered, framed around the ACA, but the root of his activism remains personal. Rivera, 58, is now one year older than his brother Mickey was when he died of pancreatic cancer in 2015.

This season, the coach has been limited at times by chemotherapy and other treatments. He’s thought about others in the same fight during his time in the hospital, those who might not have a five-year contract worth millions.

“After seeing what I went through, and knowing what the cost has to be, you worry about the folks that can’t afford what I had,” he said. “I almost don’t want to say it’s unfair, but it is. These folks deserve every opportunity [to receive quality healthcare]. It just kind of struck a chord with me.”

On Monday, the coach mentioned an upcoming fundraiser for Inova Health System, the Northern Virginia hospital company where

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Intense, indoor sports raise coronavirus risk, CDC warns, citing 14 infected at ice hockey game

Evidence is beginning to show that intense, indoor sports can contribute to COVID-19 transmission, per a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which cited an ice hockey game resulting in 14 infected individuals.

The index patient, or believed source of infection, had a fever, cough, sore throat and headache a day after playing in the June 16 game in Tampa Bay, Fla., per the study. Two days later, a nasal swab confirmed the infection, and shortly thereafter 13 other players and a staff member at the ice rink came down with symptoms as well.

Of the 15 total cases, 11 infections were confirmed via PCR testing and two had positive antigen tests, while two were not tested.

“The ice rink provides a venue that is likely well suited to COVID-19 transmission as an indoor environment where deep breathing occurs, and persons are in close proximity to one another,” per the study.

4 CORONAVIRUS TREATMENTS, INCLUDING REMDESIVIR, HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE, FLOP IN LARGE WHO STUDY

More infections cropped up on the index patient’s team, which the CDC said may have been from more exposure in their separate locker room and sitting closely together on the bench.

Longer exposure with the infected player in the locker room, and sitting closely together on the bench, may explain the greater number of cases on that team, the CDC theorized. (iStock)

Longer exposure with the infected player in the locker room, and sitting closely together on the bench, may explain the greater number of cases on that team, the CDC theorized. (iStock)

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The players flouted cloth face masks in the locker room and during the game but wore hockey-related protective face gear like plastic half-shields and metal cages, while still others wore no protective face gear, the health agency wrote.

The two on-ice referees managed to escape symptoms.

The CDC also took the plexiglass surrounding the rink into consideration, which created a “physically segregated playing area.” A sole spectator also managed to escape symptoms, but was not tested.

“The high proportion of infections that occurred in this outbreak provides evidence for SARS-CoV-2 transmission during an indoor sporting activity where intense physical activity is occurring,” the agency wrote. Staff at the Florida Department of Health followed up with isolation and quarantine guidance to those involved, among other steps taken.

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