Good morning. Thank you to everyone who participated in yesterday’s Live Event Attendance poll. The results are as follows:
I would attend a live event (sports, concert, show, etc.) if:
No virus changes, I’m ready to go now (23%)
I’m able to follow proper social distancing protocols (19%)
I wouldn’t go right now, I’m waiting a little bit for more info (30%)
I wouldn’t go right now, I’m waiting until a vaccine is developed (21%)
“If you let your head get too big, it’ll break your neck.”
– Elvis Presley
Giving It Their Best Shot
On Monday, biotech company Moderna released results of a Phase 1 study concerning its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, produced in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – the agency run by Dr. Anthony Fauci.
A deeper dive… The study involved 45 healthy volunteers ages 18 to 55, who each received an initial dose of the experimental vaccine in March, followed by a supplemental booster shot one month later.
The findings show that the vaccine candidate induced COVID-19 antibodies in all 45 subjects, regardless of dose level.
Additional tests were performed on eight subjects to search for the presence of a certain type of antibody that actively blocks virus infection. All eight tested positive for those antibodies.
Moderna is recruiting an additional 60 people over the age of 55 to enroll in the study, which is still ongoing.
What’s Next? Moderna’s published results don’t show whether the vaccine actually protects people exposed to COVID-19, as the participants weren’t tested against an unvaccinated control group. Researchers have said further study is needed to conclude whether the company’s vaccine candidate is safe and effective.
The FDA earlier this month gave Moderna the go-ahead to proceed with a Phase 2 study, this time involving around 600 volunteers.
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Global cases rose to nearly 4.89 million yesterday, with nearly 319,800 deaths. The number of confirmed U.S. cases rose to almost 1.55 million, with 91,904 confirmed deaths.
Indiaextended its lockdown for two more weeks – the fourth such extension since March 24.
The WHO’s annual World Health Assemblybegan on Monday, with health officials from 194 countries in attendance. The main topic of the unprecedented virtual assembly, which ends later today, is the global response to COVID-19.
The University of South Carolinaannounced plans for an accelerated fall semester ending before Thanksgiving break due to fear of a winter COVID-19 resurgence.
Canada’s chief public health officer reported that 81% of the country’s COVID-19 deaths are from nursing homes.
Michigan Gov. Whitmerannounced that bars, restaurants, and businesses would reopen on Friday in some northern parts of the state. See where your state stands on reopening here.
Al Qaeda Connected To Pensacola Shooting
The Justice Department and FBI discovered a connection between Al Qaeda and the Saudi Arabian Air Force cadet, who carried out a deadly shooting at a military base in Pensacola, FL. The announcement came after federal officials broke into at least one of the cadets’ iPhones and discovered a history of communication with the terrorist group.
More: On December 6, 2019, a 21-year-old Saudi Air Force cadet opened fire at a Pensacola, FL military base, killing three people and wounding six others before being fatally shot by police.
Even More: In unrelated news, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that victims from the Al-Qaeda 1998 bombings on two U.S. Embassies in Africa are now eligible for billions of dollars worth of punitive damages from Sudan.
The first named Atlantic storm of this hurricane season, Tropical Storm Arthur, dumped heavy rain on North Carolina Monday before heading back out to sea. The emergence of Arthur marks the sixth year in a row that a named storm in the Atlantic Ocean has developed before June 1.
More: India and Bangladesh are preparing to evacuate at least one million people due to Cyclone Amphan, whose wind speeds are currently equivalent to a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane.
Major U.S. stock indexesrose an average of over 3% on Monday, as the market posted its best day since early April.
Uberis cutting 3,000 jobs and closing 45 offices due to COVID-19, in addition to the 3,700 layoffs announced earlier this month.
J.C. Penneyannounced plans to close more than 240 department stores (~30% of its locations) after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday.
Square on Monday told its employees they will be able to work from home permanently – if they so choose – after shelter-in-place orders are lifted. The move echoes a similar announcement last week from Twitter, which shares a CEO with Square (Jack Dorsey).
A Whole New World
TikTok announced that Disney’s head of streaming, Kevin Mayer, will become the company’s new chief executive. Mayer – who will also assume the role of COO at parent company ByteDance – was an essential part of Disney’s acquisitions of Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, and online video company BAMTech over the past 15 years.
More: Founded in 2012, ByteDance is widely considered the world’s most valuable startup (~$75 billion), and is best known for its mobile apps with entertainment value, including TikTok, Helo (an Indian social app), Douyin (Chinese version of TikTok), and others.
SoftBank posted an annual operating loss of $12.7 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31. Softbank is reportedly in talks to sell a large portion of its T-Mobile stock, mainly to Deutsche Telekom (who currently owns ~44% of T-Mobile), though some shares will be available through a secondary offering.
More: SoftBank reported an $18 billion annual loss on its Vision Fund – a ~$100 billion war chest with the stated goal of investing a minimum of $100 million into various late-stage startups.
Even More: Hours prior to the earnings announcement, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma announced his resignation from SoftBank’s board effective next month.
Birds Of A Feather
Several Boston police officers were on patrol last week when they were notified of a potential animal escape from the nearby Franklin Park Zoo. The officers soon encountered a huge, very intimidating male peacock who had flown the coop while following up on the complaint.
While staring down the escaped bird, one of the officers managed to find and play a female peacock mating call, which calmed him down enough to escort him back to the zoo.
When the COVID-19 pandemic reached France, Valerie Martin knew that drastic action was needed to protect the elderly residents of the nursing home she owns and operates in Corbas.
Along with 29 fellow employees, Valerie volunteered to lock herself in the nursing home for the entire duration of quarantine (a total of 47 days & nights) – and it worked! All 106 of the residents tested negative for the virus earlier this month, thanks to the dedication of Valerie and her staff.
Window Of Opportunity
Ever since COVID-19 forced families across the UK into isolation, three-year-old Arlo Davenport and his little sister, Arabella, missed seeing their young friend Leo, who lives next door. So they conspired to put together a plan.
Arlo and Arabella’s mom, Amy, came up with the idea to cut a hole in the fence separating the two backyards and install a transparent window. When asked whether her idea was a hit, Amy told GNN: “The kids are at the window all day, every day… so I guess they love it!”
🎉 Rave Reviews… over the weekend, hundreds of clubbers in Germany got their party fix with the country’s first-ever drive-in rave (video).
❄️ Breaking The Ice… Alaska is one of 5 U.S. states without a lottery, but the residents of Nenana, AK traditionally partake in an even more exciting ice-themed, winner-take-all event.
💨 Money To Blow… Sir James Dyson – founder of the similarly-named vacuum company and Britain’s richest man – revealed in an interview Sunday that he spent ~$600 million of his own money on the company’s failed electric vehicle. Check out its newly-released design & specs here.
📖 The Gospel Truth… learn the story behind the renowned scholar who claimed to have found parts of the missing Gospel of Mark – and the allegations of theft, fraud, and cover-up that followed.
So far, which continent has hosted the most Olympic games?
A) North America B) Asia C) Europe D) South America
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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