Jerry Parr, Secret Service Agent who Helped save Ronald Reagan, Dies at 85
Jerry S. Parr, the quick-thinking and fast-moving Secret Service agent who was credited with saving the life of President Ronald Reagan after the 1981 assassination attempt in Washington, died Oct. 9 at a hospice center near his home in Washington. He was 85.
The cause was congestive heart failure, said his wife, Carolyn Parr.
Mr. Parr had been an electric-power lineman before his Secret Service years and was a clergyman in retirement. But he was best known for the fraught moments after gunfire erupted March 30, 1981, as the president was leaving the Washington Hilton hotel.
In that time of chaos, Mr. Parr seemed the epitome of the firm-jawed man of action: forceful, resolute, decisive.
At the president’s side when the shots resounded, Mr. Parr did not immediately look for the gunman, John W. Hinckley Jr. Instead, according to accounts, Mr. Parr placed his hand on Reagan’s shoulder and pushed the president into an awaiting limousine.
The vehicle pulled away from the hotel, leaving behind a scene of blood and tumult. Also severely wounded by gunfire had been White House press secretary James S. Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and D.C. police officer Thomas Delahanty.
Although Mr. Parr and the president were moving swiftly away from the carnage, shielded by the armor of a bulletproof vehicle, the agent’s responsibilities were far from over. Carefully, he ran his hands over Reagan’s body, searching for bullet wounds. He found none.
Then he recognized the ominous signs: The president complained about pain in his chest, and there was blood on Reagan’s lips.
Mr. Parr immediately ordered that the limo be driven to George Washington University Hospital instead of the White House. The president survived, but he had a close call.
“If Jerry hadn’t made the change,” first lady Nancy Reagan later told CNN host Larry King, “I wouldn’t have a husband.”
Doctors, noting the president’s severe loss of blood, sometimes reported as three pints, have agreed with that assessment.
In the aftermath of the assassination attempt, Mr. Parr was hailed for his cool capacity to confront danger and steer a path to safety. But the skills, instincts and abilities he demonstrated then gave an incomplete picture of his character and personality.
Among those who knew him inside and outside the Secret Service, he was regarded as a patient man willing to hear out the troubled, to keep confidences and try to suggest a course of action.
He was called on so often to play the part of wise adviser, his wife said, that after retiring from the Secret Service in 1985, he obtained a master’s degree in pastoral counseling from Loyola University in Baltimore and became co-pastor of the ecumenical Festival Church in Washington’s Adams Morgan neighborhood.
Jerry Studstill Parr was born in Montgomery, Ala., on Sept. 16, 1930, and he grew up in the Miami area. His first job was as a lineman for Florida Power and Light. It was often hazardous work, and he was a pallbearer at the funerals of eight colleagues.
When he applied to join the Secret Service in 1962, soon after graduating from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, he was asked at an interview about what motivated him to assume the perils of the job.
As he recalled it, his wife said, he replied that he did not expect the work to be as dangerous as what he had been doing for the power company.
In fact, Mr. Parr had been fascinated by the Secret Service from boyhood. His father had taken him in 1939 to see the low-budget action film “Code of the Secret Service,” one of several movies in which Reagan starred as the dashing agent “Brass” Bancroft.
“There’s a couple of times where truth and training converge, where history and destiny converge,” Mr. Parr told The Washington Post in 2006. “I thought about that for a long time. It’s that moment — either you do it or you don’t, either you save him or you don’t.”
Over the years, Mr. Parr met and provided security for some of the world’s most prominent figures. His career took him to all 50 states and 37 countries. He helped to protect Pope John Paul II, and a photograph showed him alongside Japanese Emperor Hirohito. As deputy special agent in charge of the foreign dignitary division, he was credited with overseeing protection for more than 50 world leaders.
He had been assigned to presidents Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter and became head of the White House detail in the presidential protective division in 1979.
In recent years, he and his wife co-wrote “In the Secret Service,” a memoir.
In addition to his wife of 56 years, Carolyn Miller Parr, a former U.S. Tax Court judge, survivors include three daughters, Kimberly Parr of Syracuse, N.Y., Jennifer Parr Turek of Severna Park, Md., and Patricia Parr of Frederick, Md.; and four granddaughters.
80 Million Stimulus Check Direct Deposits Have Been Processed. When Will They Arrive?
Americans will start to see their stimulus payments this week, a centerpiece of the $2.2 trillion rescue package meant to provide a buffer against the coronavirus pandemic that’s shuttered much of the U.S. economy.
The Internal Revenue Service has begun sending $1,200 payments to middle and lower income adults, plus $500 for their minor children, though it could take until September for every eligible person to get the money.
The first payments “should be deposited directly into individuals’ bank accounts; the precise date you will see payments in your account depends on how long individual banks typically take to process direct deposits,” according to a press release from House Ways and Means Committee Republicans.
The IRS will first send the money to individuals for whom the agency has direct deposit information. The remainder will be mailed as checks. That process is expected to begin April 20 but could take until the fall to complete.
The IRS processed more than 80 million payments on Friday that should be available in bank accounts early this week, Sunita Lough, the IRS deputy commissioner for services and enforcement, said in a video conference Monday.
Payments will be made first to those earning the least.
The IRS has launched a tool for non-tax filers, such as those who had income under $12,200 last year and weren’t required to file a federal return, to enter direct deposit information to get their payments.
The agency plans to have a second website up by April 17 that will show people the status of their payments, including the date the money is scheduled to be deposited or mailed. That tool will also let people who’ve typically gotten their tax refund in the mail to provide their bank account details to get their stimulus payment more quickly.
The IRS is using information from 2018 and 2019 tax returns to process the payments. It says taxpayers who’ve yet to file a return this year should do so as soon as possible, and elect to receive the refund via a direct deposit. The information can then be used to distribute the stimulus payments. Social Security and disability recipients will receive their payments automatically.
The tax deadline was extended to July 15 from April 15 to give people more time to file and pay during the pandemic.
Taxpayers who don’t need extra time and who expect to get a stimulus payment should file as soon as possible so the agency has their most up-to-date details on file, said Christina Taylor, head of operations for Credit Karma Tax.
“The quicker, the better,” she said.
Americans earning $75,000 or less, or $150,000 and below as a couple, are eligible for the full $1,200 payout per adult, plus $500 for each child under 17. Those amounts are reduced for people with higher incomes, and people who make $99,000 or more in earnings (or $198,000 for a couple) get nothing, even if they have children. Individuals must have a Social Security number to receive a payment.
A Case of Hantavirus Has Been Reported in China. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry.
A man who died in China Monday reportedly tested positive for a hantavirus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should worry another pandemic is coming…
A man who died in China Monday reportedly tested positive for a hantavirus, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should worry another pandemic is coming.
Hantaviruses are a family of virus that spread through rodents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In Yunnan Province, a man died on his way back to Shandong Province, according to Global Times, an English-language Chinese news outlet.
“He was tested positive for #hantavirus. Other 32 people on bus were tested,” the news outlet tweeted.
The tweet, sent amid a pandemic caused by a new coronavirus, has been shared more than 15,000 times.
Though countries across the globe are on high alert due to uncertainty around the coronavirus, there is no indication that the hantavirus poses a global public health threat.
According to the CDC, hantavirus cases are rare, and they spread as a result of close contact with rodent urine, droppings or saliva.
Certain kinds of rats and mice in the United States can carry the virus, which is transmitted when someone breathes in contaminated air.
“The hantaviruses that cause human illness in the United States cannot be transmitted from one person to another,” the CDC says on its website. Rare cases in Chile and Argentina have seen person-to-person transmission when a person is in close contact with someone sickened by a type of hantavirus called Andes virus, the CDC says.
In the U.S., the virus can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a severe respiratory disease that can be fatal. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, muscle aches, headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems. Coughing and shortness of breath can occur later in the disease as the lungs fill with liquid, the CDC says,
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, found mostly in Europe and Asia, can also occur, which causes pain, fever, chills, nausea, and blurred vision, the CDC says. More serious symptoms include acute kidney failure.
Cases in the United States have typically been concentrated in the western and southwestern states.
From 1993 to 2017, there were only 728 confirmed hantavirus cases in the United States, with most being non-fatal, according to CDC data. In comparison, since late January, when the first known coronavirus case was identified in the U.S., there have been 46,805 confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.
In May 1993, a hantavirus outbreak occurred in an area between Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. A 2012 outbreak in Yosemite sickened 10 people. In seven states, 17 people were infected in a 2017 outbreak.
Developments in Presidential Race, Trump does Terribly at Forum as Clinton shines
November is lurking around the corner and will be here before you know it, so my question to you is, have you decided who you will vote for? I have, and I proudly say my choice is Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am informing you all that there are ample development in the race for the presidency of the United States…
November is lurking around the corner and will be here before you know it, so my question to you is, have you decided who you will vote for? I have, and I proudly say my choice is Hillary Rodham Clinton. I am informing you all that there are ample development in the race for the presidency of the United States.
First of all, Donald Trump, according to Kristina Vong’s article at Thehill.com, wrongly corrected a veteran Marine during a forum. The veteran, a woman named Rachel Fredericks, asked Mr. Trump how he plans to stop 20 veterans from committing suicide, daily. Trump tried to correct the woman, who needed no correction. He said it is actually 22, trying to emerge correct, when he was essentially incorrect.
Mr. Trump also does not have a real plan to defeat ISIS, as “his plan is to have a plan” according to Igor Bobic at the Huffington Post. He also insulted military leaders calling them embarrassments to the country when they were under President Obama. He wants to give the generals 30 days to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS. Of course, this even makes it more obvious that Mr. Trump does not have a plan to defeat ISIS. Why, then did he call our current president the founder of ISIS? How can you give your vote to someone so unprepared and unfit for the presidency that constitutes a whole country? Sorry to say, but Donald Trump is not someone to vote for, at least not as US President!
According to Sean Colarossi at PoliticusUSA.com, a presidential forum highlighted how prepared Trump and Clinton are compared to each other, with Clinton appearing as the more prepared one, very easily. Clinton was engaged with questions, expressed gratitude, and was very prolific and intelligible in her responses. To reiterate, Trump has not a plan to defeat ISIS, where Hillary has a well thought-out plan. She outlined her plan, entailing it could take any form and she iterated and supports the idea that terror suspects should not be able to purchase firearms. Clinton also covered issues like mental health, illuminating the fact that it is overlooked, and mental health should no longer be stigmatized and victims of mental disorders should have access to resources. On the other hand, Trump gave generic answers like that he knows what is going on in the world. Also according to Colarossi’s article, Trump showed as an “empty suit” and “showed he is not prepared to be commander-in-chief” and that the contrast between him and Clinton could not be clearer”; this essentially means Clinton showed to be immensely more prepared to lead and did not focus on attacking others, like Trump’s approach does.
Lastly, Donald Trump has insulted women, children, ethnic groups, religious groups, his opponent, our current president, the military, and the list goes on. He is patronizing and unprepared to preside over our country as well. He constantly attacks others, with no action in mind. Consider if you want to have him as president, seriously!
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