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MinnPost Picks: On COVID deaths’ political divide; deaths at a Travis Scott concert and Facebook’s flaws

Our weekly roundup of great stories from around the web, as recommended by MinnPost’s staff and contributing journalists.

Between Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, the Minnesota Department of Health said there were 66 deaths in Greater Minnesota and 43 in the metro.
REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare

U.S. Covid Deaths Get Even Redder, New York Times

David Leonhardt has been tracking COVID infections across America’s political divide. Differing circumstances in red and blue America appeared to offset one another in 2020 — then the vaccine came along. With 10 percent of Democratic adults not vaccinated, versus 40 percent of Republicans, a gap in Covid’s death toll quickly emerged.
—Corey Anderson, creative director

Astroworld had a plan for mass casualty events. It’s unclear whether promoters followed it, Houston Chronicle

Nobody should ever die at a concert, and there is plenty of blame to pass around for the eight deaths and many more injuries at the Travis Scott concert in Houston last week. Scott is known for rowdy crowds that sometimes lead to dangerous situations and Houston police said Scott kept performing for more than half an hour after they told promoters to stop the show. The Houston Chronicle also found concert promoters had a 56-page plan for emergencies such as a mass casualty event, but it’s unclear if it was followed.
—Walker Orenstein, Greater Minnesota reporter

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How Facebook Fails 90 Percent of Its Users, The Atlantic

Yasmine AskariBy now it’s pretty clear that very little good has come from Mark Zuckerberg’s digital Frankenstein. And if you are on the fence about deactivating your Facebook account but need the extra push, the Atlantic paints a pretty harrowing picture of how tuned-in the company is about the damage it’s been causing across the globe with one former employee claiming “I have blood on my hands.”
—Yasmine Askari, environment and education reporter

Allegations of racism and misogyny within the Phoenix Suns: Inside Robert Sarver’s 17-year tenure as owner, ESPN

Solomon GustavoThis report is a testament to the painstaking effort it takes to investigate things like racism and misogyny in the workplace. It also packs a few examples of how difficult it can be to say to someone at work, especially a superior: please don’t say that.
—Solomon Gustavo, local government reporter