Outside the School #9: Mueller Report, Notre Dame fire, and more


Update to measles outbreak in New York

The New York suburb of Rockland County first declared a state of emergency in response to the measles outbreak back in March. Now, this outbreak has reached New York City.

NYC has now declared a state of emergency as well, citing 285 confirmed cases since October compared to the mere two cases the city saw in all of 2017.

Brooklyn has borne the brunt of the outbreak. Thus, four different zip codes of Brooklyn are now under mandate to be vaccinated. Anyone who refuses is to pay a $1000 fee.

The outbreak is most severe in the Orthodox Jewish community of Brooklyn, especially among the children. Back in December, the city mandated that all schools, daycares, and yeshivas (Jewish schools), turn away any unvaccinated students. Now, 40 cases alone have come from a single yeshiva that refused to follow this.

However, officials say that the Orthodox Jewish community largely supports vaccination and prevention, yet a minority of those who don’t have facilitated the outbreak of the disease.

Moreover, officials are now warning against the spreading of “measles parties,” in which parents expose their unvaccinated children to children with measles, a common practice of the past when science had not yet developed vaccinations. Yet, there is no scientific evidence proving the effectiveness of this practice.

Thus, to combat those resisting vaccination, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have enlisted “disease detectives,” who are designed to identify people with the disease and the cause of this.

As expected, the vaccine-centric situation has yielded much controversy, with some contesting the lawfulness and morality of forceful vaccination. Nevertheless, the return of the highly-contagious disease that has not graced this country with any severity in years is certainly an alarming issue that begs to be solved and prevented.

Notre Dame fire

Last Monday, flames engulfed the Notre Dame, the cathedral on which construction began in 1163, leaving France and the world shocked and devastated. That day, 500 firefighters braved the blaze for almost five hours.

By the end of the exhausting battle, the fire chief reported that the cathedral had been “saved and preserved as a whole,” with two-thirds of the roof destroyed, but the two towers intact.

The cathedral had been under renovation and construction preceding the fire, and now investigators have reportedly found the fire’s starting point to be at the center of the roof.

As for the cause, police are following two lines of investigation: a possible issue with the fire alarm system sensors and an unknown issue related to the elevators for the construction workers.

The culturally-rich cathedral has long since been a beloved monument for the people of France, making the grief all the more deep and painful. Nevertheless, mourners look to the hope of reconstruction, with donations flowing in from around the globe.

France has a hopeful goal of rebuilding within five years and is hoping to redesign the iconic spire that was lost to the fire.

Mueller Report

Titled Report on the Investigation Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Election, the long-awaited culmination of the investigation into the 2016 Election has finally debuted.

After a summary of this report enraged half the nation with its concision, the recently-released, more expansive report covers over 400 pages.

Considering its length, the report revealed a bounty of information. Mueller disagrees with the argument that Trump has been protected from obstruction laws; Trump’s campaign attempted to access Hilary Clinton’s private email; Trump’s campaign “expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts,” but “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities” Putin had made substantial efforts to get in contact with Trump’s team that prepared for his stepping into office.

The Mueller investigation was also found to have prompted 14 other investigations, two of which remain unidentified and ongoing. Moreover, when it comes to the topic of Trump obstructing justice, Mueller writes that “Congress has authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.”

Mueller’s ending thoughts, however, are that his report “does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” though when Trump first heard of Mueller’s appointment to investigate his campaign, he cursed saying, “This is the end of my presidency.”