From the NFL to an update on the coronavirus, here are the stories shaping sports and business for Friday, Sept. 11, 2020.
NFL Kickoff About Everything But Football
The NFL season got underway last night with the Kansas City Chiefs picking up right where they left off -- beating the Houston Texans in the opener.
But afterwards, the talk was not about the defending Super Bowl champs but instead their fans, as some in the stands appeared to boo a show of unity from players that took place before the game.
So once again, for the fourth straight year, the NFL is dealing with stories about what happened before the game as opposed to what happened during it.
The focus of the sports world should be a game 7 tonight as the Toronto Raptors hope to keep their title defense alive as they take on the Boston Celtics.
Daily Coronavirus Update
According to Johns Hopkins, there are over 28.2 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 910,000 deaths. The U.S. has surpassed 6.4 million cases with 192,000 deaths.
Dr. Anthony Fauci voiced concern about current data on the U.S. COVID-19 outbreak is which directly disputes President Donald Trump’s claims that the U.S. is “rounding the corner.”
Fauci was asked about the President’s comments by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, and he said, “I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with that because if you look at the thing that you just mentioned, the statistics...they’re disturbing...We’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day and the deaths are around 1,000.”
Fauci noted that the daily new cases is lower than the peak, but that the U.S. is still reporting a worrying level of new COVID-19 infections.
And also during that interview, Fauci reiterated that we will get a vaccine by the end of this year, beginning of next year. However, he added, “by the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations, and you get the majority, or more, of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen until the mid or end of 2021.”
Jets Release WR Joshua Bellamy
Yesterday the New York Jets released WR Joshua Bellamy after he was charged with federal wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy charges due to his role in a $24 million Paycheck Protection Program fraud scheme.
Bellamy allegedly obtained a $1.2 million SBA Loan as part of the program which was designed to help struggling small business owners during the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the Department of Justice claims Bellamy used the funds to purchase over $104,000 in luxury goods including purchases from Dior, Gucci and various jewelers. He is also alleged to have spent more than $62,000 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino while also withdrawing over $302,000.
The complaint alleges that Bellamy and his co-conspirators prepared at least 90 fraudulent applications that were together worth more than $24 million. Loan servicers paid out at least $17.4 million of that amount.
The PPP loan program provided up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention. Some reports indicate that there has been as much as $1.2 billion in fraudulent loans.