Pence refuses to cancel Senate visit as 5 around vice president test COVID-19 positive

Vice President Mike Pence addresses his remarks at a coronavirus update briefing Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

Vice President Mike Pence is head of the White House's coronavirus task force. He's also the center of a new apparent superspreader cluster: The New York Times reports that five members of Pence's inner circle have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few days. This includes Pence's chief of staff Marc Short, outside Pence adviser Marty Obst, and three unidentified Pence staffers.

Despite five of his closest contacts testing positive for COVID-19, the Times reports that Pence has no plans to quarantine. In fact, he's going to continue his schedule as planned, including in-person rallies. On Monday, he also plans to visit the Senate to preside over the confirmation vote of Trump's newest far-right Supreme Court pick. CNN correspondent Manu Raju reports that Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell would not answer questions on whether Pence should cancel his Senate trip, but Sen. John Cornyn opined that he would "leave it up to his good judgment."

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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