Credit: Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Pandemic Pilfering 

• The U.S. Labor Department’s inspector general estimated that people have stolen $45.6 billion from the country’s unemployment insurance program during the pandemic. Fraudsters allegedly filed unemployment insurance claims in multiple states. The OIG believes some of the scammers used Social Security numbers of dead people and of people locked in prison.

• A D.C. man was sentenced to a decade in prison for attempting to steal $31 million in COVID-19 relief funds. The U.S. Attorney for D.C. said that Elias Eldabbagh successfully stole $2.4 million through the Paycheck Protection Program and attempted to steal tens of millions more in a scheme where he used a stolen identity to conceal his crimes. He allegedly used the funds to purchase a Tesla, invest in speculative stock options and cryptocurrency, and pay rent and dog boarding, among other expenses. Eldabbagh pleaded guilty in April and was sentenced to prison this week.

Pooper Scoopers

D.C. joined the CDC’s National Wastewater Surveillance System in December 2020, but has yet to publish data on a citywide system to detect COVID-19 in its wastewater. People can shed COVID-19 in their feces, so wastewater surveillance can help determine levels of community spread. DC Health told DCist they were “close” to submitting data to the CDC, but declined to give a specific date. DC Health has cited delays in receiving funding and equipment as well as issues with the diagnostics lab that contracted with the CDC as reasons for the lagging program. Similar programs in Maryland and Virginia are already underway.

Two Years of Careful Work Undone in 60 Minutes

In an interview on 60 Minutes last Sunday President Joe Biden declared, much to the surprise of his own health advisors, that “the pandemic is over.” The World Health Organization, for one, disagrees, and 400 to 500 Americans are still dying every day. And some worry his statements will diminish his administration’s ability to continue fighting the virus, especially in the midst of a campaign to encourage people to get yet another booster vaccination. The CDC estimates that 4.4 million Americans have gotten the updated booster that’s designed to target the omicron variant.

Mitch Ryals (

Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Improving Street Design Can Improve Traffic Safety While Reducing Enforcement Disparities 

D.C., like many places across the nation, has seen a rise in traffic fatalities over […]

  • D.C. Public Schools Deputy Chancellor Melissa Kim is resigning in the midst of allegations that she is verbally abusive and created a toxic work environment. [Informer]
  • New Metro map just dropped. [Twitter]
  • Mental health experts will accompany Metro transit police officers and operating staff in responding to emergencies. The crisis intervention specialists are trained in de-escalation tactics and to recognize mental health issues. [DCist]

By City Paper staff (tips?

Credit: Courtesy of ANC 3D

Blockbusting Developer Settles With AG For $300,000

Virginia-based developer Hossain Kamyab agreed to pay $300,000 to settle allegations that he tried to […]

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser claims she’s complied with a key provision of a sweeping criminal justice reform bill, the NEAR Act, and created behavioral health teams to accompany police on certain calls. But D.C. Auditor Kathy Patterson, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, author of the NEAR Act, as well as families of people who have died after experiencing mental health emergencies, believe Bowser hasn’t gone far enough to meet the law’s demands. [WJLA]
  • There hasn’t been a Republican on the Council in 15 years (and the national party has damaged the brand locally), but the GOP just keeps trying in D.C. politics. Notable contenders include David Krucoff in the Ward 3 race and Giuseppe Niosi in the at-large contest. [DCist]
  • A new bill primarily backed by At-Large Councilmember Christina Henderson aims to streamline background check requirements for new teacher applicants, a big factor in the school system’s current staff shortage. [WTOP]

By Alex Koma (tips?

  • 3 Stars Brewery is for sale. [Washingtonian]
  • Chef Gerald Addison (of Maydan and Bammy’s) is behind a new downtown Italian restaurant Grazie Nonna. [Eater]
  • Look at all the stuff coming to the Wharf in Phase 2: two spots from angry Chef Gordon Ramsay, traditional Chinese food from Philippe Chow, fast casual pizza joint Slice of Matchbox, Milk and Honey Cafe, and more. [Axios]

By City Paper staff (tips?

Credit: Courtesy of TCCB

The Crystal Casino Band Are Making Music for D.C.’s Fed-Up 20-Somethings

“Twenty-something Socialist,” a single by the Crystal Casino Band that dropped earlier this year, starts […]

Credit: Darrow Montgomery

Kahina Haynes Is Helping the District Rediscover Its Dance Communities

In the eyes of Kahina Haynes, the executive director of Dance Institute of Washington, dance […]

  • As if there wasn’t enough happening this weekend between Art All Night, NEXTfest, and Theatre Week, you can also see ​“Opera on the Field” at Audi Field on Sunday. [WTOP​]
  • Wondering about the Phillips Collection’s current exhibit, Jacob Lawrence and the Children of Hiroshima? Get some answers here. [Post]

By Sarah Marloff (tips?

  • John Wall opened up about his struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, and how he overcame them, in a deeply personal essay: “Being a product of your environment is not a bad thing. But I think it’s a blessing and a curse. Being a dog, being unbreakable, always having that chip on your shoulder—hey I get it. I’ve been that guy. But the day is going to come when you can’t do it on your own. And you gotta be strong enough on that day to ask for help.” [Players Tribune]
  • D.C. bars will be allowed to stay open for 24 hours during the monthlong World Cup tournament, which begins in November in Qatar. [DCist]

By City Paper staff (tips?

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