In Today's Issue: The Lifesaving Mission of COVID-Ravaged India’s “Oxygen Man”

The following story appeared in the [post_published] issue of The Daily Juice. The text is from the 9th-10th grade version. To access the other grade levels, interactive vocabulary (words in bold), quiz questions, and more, sign up for The Juice.

An Indian businessman has emerged as a hero for bringing life-saving oxygen to thousands of COVID-19 patients as the pandemic ravages his country. Shahnawaz Shaikh is known as “The Oxygen Man.” He began his mission after the death of his best friend’s pregnant sister, who passed away while waiting outside an overwhelmed hospital for a bed. Oxygen would have saved her life, Shaikh says. 

Shaikh, whose construction company went out of business during the pandemic, founded Ray of Hope in June to provide free oxygen. He initially spent $2,000 of his own money to buy 30 oxygen cylinders. But soaring demand quickly outstripped supply. So, he sold his SUV so he could buy another 160 cylinders.   

An online fundraiser has since brought in more than $60,000, and Shaikh’s initiative has provided free oxygen to nearly 7,000 patients in and near Mumbai, India’s largest city, and covered medical costs for some. He gets 500 to 600 requests a day. 

A devastating second wave of the pandemic in India has set records for new infections and deaths. It has led to dire shortages of hospital beds, medical workers, and oxygen. 

Says Shaikh: “This is the time of need when human beings need to help one another, so it is essential to be that human being and help those in need.”

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US Politics (Grades 11-12)

Biden Executive Orders Will Reverse Trump Policies

President-elect Joe Biden plans to sign a flurry of executive orders soon after his inauguration tomorrow. He plans to address what he’s calling the four crises facing the country. They are COVID-19, the economic downturn, racial injustice, and climate change.

An executive order is a written directive from the president carrying powers similar to a federal law. Presidents have historically used these orders to push policies forward quickly because they do not require approval from Congress. The downside of executive orders is that they are easily overturned by any new president. That is not true for federal laws.

Among other moves overturning Trump administration policies, Biden’s orders will return the US to the Paris Climate Accord and to the Iran nuclear deal.

Related to the pandemic, Biden will require face masks on federal properties and during interstate travel. Other orders will be aimed at safely reopening schools and businesses.

On immigration, Biden will order agencies to determine how to reunite children separated from their families after crossing the US-Mexico border. Another order will end travel restrictions targeting majority-Muslim countries.

Other orders will address “equity and support communities of color,” criminal justice reform, and access to healthcare.

Photo from Reuters.

Bold words are interactive vocab words in The Juice.

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