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How do we improve D.C.’s grim maternal and infant mortality rates? Join City Paper’s Kayla Randall in a conversation with local experts about how to support pregnant people and their children today at 6 p.m. at The Outrage. 


Congress Heights resident Shaquana Bates, at 32 weeks into her pregnancy, went into labor with her son, Daymarion Sams. She didn’t expect to have an emergency delivery. This was Bates’ second child and, moreover, she says no medical professionals told her she had a high-risk pregnancy.

But her delivery was anything but standard. Her mother, Tamara, called 911 for an ambulance at 9:22 p.m., but one did not arrive at her home until 9:53 p.m. All the while, she lost a lot of blood—enough to eventually need two blood transfusions when she arrived at the hospital. 

Bates arrived at Medstar Washington Hospital Center at 10:23 p.m. and gave birth shortly thereafter, at 10:53 p.m. Daymarion was stillborn.

“I blame the city,” Bates tells me. “They just got to understand that there’s more than just one person out here who’s been through something like this.” 

It’s difficult if not dangerous to give birth in D.C. (Randall will discuss why at length at tonight’s City Paper event.) The data shows as much: D.C.’s maternal mortality rate was 36.1 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2018. The infant mortality rate wasn’t any better, with 5.6 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018. Black residents are disproportionately impacted.

Hear directly from Bates as she recounts one of the most distressing moments in her life, and other local experts as they think aloud about the District’s public health crisis. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com


  • Anacostia High School students organized a vigil for 15-year-old Thomas Johnson, who was fatally shot this month. They also called on the Council to take action. [WCP]

  • There is *still* bacteria in water system at St. Elizabeths Hospital. [Twitter]

  • Dilcia Rodriguez “was literally the person people would go to for hugs.” Few knew she feared for her own safety until her husband of seven years fatally shot her. [Post]

  • No-bid contract for D.C.’s sports betting is likely legal, reversing September ruling. [WAMU]

  • Poll: Marylanders narrowly favor D.C. statehood. [Post]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • LL is away from his desk. He’ll return soon. 

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Billed as ‘organic Xanax,’ kava brings a different kind of buzz to Adams Morgan. [WCP]

  • What rare spirits to splurge on when The Imperial finally opens. [Thrillist]

  • Watch the World Series in these bars and restaurants. [Washingtonian

  • Drink yuppie boba tea at this new spot in NoMa. [DCist]

  • Heavy Seas Alehouse is closing in Arlington. [WBJ]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Flying V Theatre’s Crystal Creek Motel is a worthy production. [WCP]

  • Check out Refinery29’s stunning pop-up gallery space in D.C. [DCist]

  • John Mulaney’s D.C. visit included a rant about scooters. [Washingtonian]

  • The Tabard Inn is home to one of D.C.’s longest-running jazz gigs. [Post]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Nats Park will host watch parties tomorrow and Wednesday when the Astros are in town for the World Series. The events are free but you’ll need to claim tickets. [WTOP]

  • City Paper contributor Tom Sherwood spoke to former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams on how the deal to bring baseball back to the District nearly fell apart. [WCP]

  • Yes, tennis fans, there is a place in D.C. where you can get your rackets restrung. [WCP]

  • 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan gave the game ball to his father, former Washington football team head coach Mike Shanahan, after the 49ers beat the local team to improve to 6-0. [USA Today]

  • Wayne Rooney’s brief time with D.C. United ended in a postseason meltdown against Toronto FC. [Deadspin]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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