Lakewood Briefs – December 6, 2020

Lakewood COVID Cases Continue to Trend Upwards

COVID cases in Lakewood continued to trend upwards amid a sharp spike in the state and surrounding areas.

Last week saw a total of 276 reported cases in the town, up from the week before that which totaled 216. Lakewood cases spiked sharply roughly two months ago, the surge was brought under control and since then, weekly reported case numbers had been in the mid-100s.

Statewide positive tests reached a level of over 6,000 per day. Still the level of hospitalizations is significantly lower than during the initial outbreak last spring. As of the end of last week, there were 3,241 COVID patients hospitalized statewide, with over 600 in the ICU. In March, the state saw over 8,000 hospitalized COVID patients at the peak.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Governor Phil Murphy said in a statement. “Mask up. Social distance. Wash your hands. Avoid gatherings.

Freeholders Honor 79th Pearl Harbor Day

The Board of Chosen Freeholders of Ocean County paid tribute to the 79th anniversary of the Japanese attack on the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor.

News of the surprise attack on December 7, 1941, which drew the United States into the Second World War was a millstone for the generation, immortalized with President Franklin Roosevelt’s epitaph that it was a “day that will live in infamy.”

“It’s important that the younger generations especially remember the importance of December 7, 1941,” said Freeholder Director Joseph H. Vicari, whose father served in World War Two. “Pearl Harbor was our fathers’ and our grandfathers’ 9-11.”

The attack killed 2,400 Americans and damaged 23 ships, three of which were permanently put out of commission.

Only three years ago, the remains of Lakewood resident, Earl R. Melton, who was killed aboard the USS Oklahoma were identified and brought to burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

“Let us remember all of the brave men and women who fought against tyranny around the globe,” said Freeholder Gerry P. Little, whose father was also a World War Two veteran. “They truly are the Greatest Generation.”

Rep. Chris Smith co-Authors Op-Ed on Internet Anti-Semitism

Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) together with his partners on an international committee of elected officials to address issues of on-line anti-Semitism penned an op-ed column to spell out the group’s goals.

“Anti-Semitism has survived millennia because it constantly adapts. We must rise to today’s challenge of fighting this hatred in its latest form. By bringing together parliamentarians representing different countries and political beliefs, we are forming a united front and a global commitment to combating this deeply serious issue,” said the op-ed.

Also severing as part of the American delegation are Democratic Congress members Ted Deutch and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The committee also has members from multiple political parties of the Israeli, Canadian, Australian, and British parliaments.

The committee holds regular virtual hearings with experts on technology and bias-tinged speech. They plan to engage social media companies to raise awareness of their obligations in controlling messages that could fuel anti-Semitism.

“The hate that we see online isn’t just harmless chatter relegated to dark corners of the internet — it often spills onto the streets, and dangerous propaganda can quickly transcend the geographic borders of any of our countries,” said the op-ed. “Combating this global hatred, therefore, requires a global solution.”