KnowThis: Google Maps’ Birthday, Gigi Bryant’s Jersey Retired, & More

“It was all bullsh*t.”— Pres. Trump at a teleprompter-free address at the White House one day after his acquittal.


1. Doctor who warned of coronavirus dies from it; newborn diagnosed with virus

A hospital in China has confirmed that a newborn baby tested positive for coronavirus just 30 hours after being born. The baby was born on February 2 in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, and is the youngest person to be infected. The mother of the baby has also tested positive for coronavirus, which medical officials think means this might be a case of mother-to-baby transmission. 

Additionally, a Wuhan doctor who warned of the spread of the coronavirus has died from it, a Chinese hospital confirmed. Back in December 2019, Wuhan ophthalmologist Dr. Li Wenliang, 34, posted in an online group chat with other medical professionals, likening the newly discovered coronavirus to SARS. Shortly after, Chinese officials claimed Li was spreading false information. 

“Li Wenliang, an ophthalmologist in our hospital, died … after suffering from pneumonia during the fight against the new coronavirus infection. We deeply regret and mourn for this,” the hospital said.

KnowThis: According to a New York Times report, the Chinese government chose secrecy over containing the virus. That ultimately led to its rapid spread, the report said, citing Li as an example. Li had previously told a Chinese newspaper, the Global Times, "There should be a lot more openness and transparency" about the virus.  The virus has killed at least 564 people and infected more than 28,000 worldwide.


2. Why did the Trump admin block Global Entry in NY? 

The Trump administration has temporarily barred New York residents from enrolling in Global Entry and other similar Trusted Traveler programs that expedite airport security and border lines. It is not clear when or if the freeze on these traveler program applications will lift. The letter to the NY state government signals a dramatic escalation in conflict between the Trump admin and NY following the state’s Green Light Law. The law allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses and prohibits the DMV from sharing information with federal immigration agents — including ICE. You may recall Trump also called out New York during his State of the Union address, criticizing the state and others for not handing information over to federal immigration authorities. 

The Trump administration says the state’s “sanctuary” policies limit access to state driver’s license data, which makes it difficult for federal authorities to vet people applying for Trusted Traveler programs. At least 150,000 are estimated to be impacted by these changes. If you’re a New Yorker currently enrolled in this program you won’t lose your status, but you can’t renew your Global Entry when the time comes. 

KnowThis: New York identifies as a sanctuary city, meaning the city has policies in place that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement actions. 

Getty/ SOPA Images

3. Google Maps is celebrating its 15th birthday with some upgrades

Google Maps is getting a glow-up for its 15th birthday. Today, the company announced new features and a new look for the navigation app, already available on iOS and Android. If you haven’t already noticed, there are now five tabs at the bottom of the map: “Explore” allows you to see what restaurants, stores, etc. are around you; “Commute” allows you to get real-time updates on your daily commute or travel route; “Saved” allows you to compile a list of spots you want to revisit or plan for a future trip; “Contribute” allows you to share local knowledge about a place or spot; and “Updates” gives you a feed of trending, must-see spots (Google’s example is suggested restaurants from The Infatuation). Most of these features are not new — now they are just easier to access. 

Coming soon: updates to the app’s Live View feature, where you can hold your phone up and see a street view, with turn-by-turn directions on the screen. Transit information will also get an upgrade, including notifications when public transportation is crowded, as well as accessibility options.

Know This: Google Maps has been criticized for collecting users’ data and locations without consent. In 2019, the company introduced Incognito mode in Maps, where the app does not save activity or searches in your Google account to personalize your experience. However, the feature doesn’t apply to internet providers, voice search, or other apps that collect data.

Associated Press

4. DOJ investigates after 15 deaths in Mississippi prisons

The Department of Justice announced it will investigate whether Mississippi prisons adequately protect prisoners from harm and provide enough mental health care after recent deaths in the system. In late December at Parchman, the state’s oldest prison and home of its death row, a riot broke out in the wake of an inmate’s death. Since then, a total of 15 prisoners have reportedly died, some by apparent suicide and others through alleged gang-related violence. 29 staff members were also assaulted, according to the Mississippi Department of Corrections. The situation in Mississippi’s prisons received increased attention last month, when a philanthropic group connected to Jay-Z helped inmates file a federal lawsuit accusing the state of underfunding the prison system and allowing inmates to live in decrepit, dangerous conditions. "The investigation will focus on whether the Mississippi Department of Corrections adequately protects prisoners from physical harm at the hands of other prisoners at the four prisons, as well as whether there is adequate suicide prevention, including adequate mental health care and appropriate use of isolation, at Parchman," the DOJ statement said.

Know This: Mississippi’s prison system has long been criticized for its neglected conditions and prisoner violence and has been used as an example in calls for criminal justice reform. A previous lawsuit in 2013 from prisoners at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility described facilities as having feces lining the walls, inadequate medical and mental health care, and “use of excessive force” by prison guards.

Instagram/ Vanessa Bryant

5. Gigi Bryant’s jersey is retired in a heartfelt ceremony

Gianna “Gigi” Bryant’s middle school retired her basketball jersey in a heartfelt ceremony yesterday. The daughter of basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash with her father and seven others on January 26. 13-year-old Gigi was known to be her father’s basketball protégé, with a promising future in the sport. Her #2 jersey will now be framed in the school’s gymnasium “to commemorate her athleticism and caring spirit,” her coach said at the ceremony, fighting back tears. “We hope that when you look at her jersey hanging in the gym, you will remember Gianna and be inspired to work hard and be passionate about whatever your interest is.”

Know This: Gianna is survived by her mother, Vanessa Bryant, and three sisters. Vanessa recorded key moments from yesterday’s ceremony and posted the videos to her Instagram. We urge you to watch.

Thanks for reading. We’ll see you tomorrow.

  • Sari Soffer, Supervising Producer, Zinhle Essamuah, KnowThis Host and Correspondent, Ashleigh Carter, Multiplatform Writer