Good morning. One… more… day… until… Friday… You can do it 👊
“The secret to success is to do the common things uncommonly well.”
– John D. Rockefeller Jr.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
In a preliminary report released Tuesday, researchers found that the COVID-19 vaccine co-developed by Moderna & the NIH provoked the proper immune response in all 45 volunteers in the Phase I study.
A deeper dive… According to the World Health Organization, there are 23 vaccines currently undergoing human clinical trials. More are slated to begin testing soon.
Last month, Oxford University & AstraZeneca entered Phase II/III of their vaccine trials on ~10k adult volunteers. The U.S. government has pledged as much as $1.2 billion in funding for the project.
Another vaccine, made by Pfizer, German company BioNTech, and Chinese drug manufacturer Fosun Pharma, succeeded in Phase I/II trials earlier this month. All volunteers produced antibodies (and only moderate side effects were apparent), so the FDA granted the vaccine fast track status to speed up the approval process.
Around the world, other promising vaccines are in the works – from Chinese company Sinovac’s product that reportedly neutralizes multiple strains of Covid-19, to a DNA-based vaccine developing in India.
What’s next The director of the National Institutes of Health is “guardedly optimistic” that at least one vaccine will prove safe and effective by the end of 2020.
Other experts – including the FDA commissioner – say they can’t predict when such a vaccine would become widely available.
So… what are people saying?
A Coronavirus Vaccine Won’t Work if People Don’t Take It
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The Trump administration has mandated that hospitals report critical information regarding COVID-19 hospitalizations and equipment to a different, not publicly available federal database instead of the CDC. As a result, our reporting has changed slightly from yesterday.
Major virus news: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first U.S. governor to contract the virus.
Floyd’s Family Sues Minneapolis PD
The family of George Floyd – whose death in police custody sparked worldwide protests – filed a civil lawsuit against the Minneapolis Police Department and officers involved in his death yesterday. The suit alleges that the officers kept Floyd in a dangerous position despite him not refusing arrest.
On Tuesday, former college football coach Tommy Tuberville (endorsed by President Trump) defeated former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a runoff for the Alabama Senate GOP nomination. Also that day, Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon won her Democratic primary, and Air Force veteran MJ Hegar won the Texas Democratic primary.
More: President Trump late Wednesday announced a new campaign manager, with deputy campaign manager Bill Stepien replacing Brad Parscale.
Worth Noting: Ruth Bader Ginsburg was released from a Baltimore hospital yesterday and is “home and doing well” after receiving treatment for a possible infection.
ALSO Worth Noting: The city council in Asheville, NC, unanimously voted to provide reparations (in the form of investments into its Black community) for the city’s role in slavery and other discriminatory policies.
The Coronavirus Effect
Walmart & Kroger (the largest retailer & grocery chain in the U.S., respectively) said Wednesday that they will require all customers to wear a mask.
American Airlinessent notices of potential furlough to 25,000 employees starting Oct. 1 – the first day permitted by terms of the $25B government bailout.
U.S. mortgage ratesfell to a new record low last week, as the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped to 3.19% from 3.26%.
Apple Wins Big On Tax Day
Apple won a major court case against the EU on Wednesday, after the EU’s general court shielded the company from paying $14.8 billion in back taxes to Ireland. The court ruled that the European Commission failed to prove that the Irish government had given a tax advantage to Apple.
Scam I Am
Over a dozen high-profile Twitter accounts were hacked on Wednesday, including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Kanye West, Apple, and others. The hacked accounts each posted a message promising to double any payments made to a specific Bitcoin address. Experts said the attack is likely the largest Twitter had ever seen.
Worth Noting: Google confirmed a $4.5 billion investment in India’s Jio Platforms. Jio has raised roughly $20 billion over the past four months.
The Drive To Succeed
State and federal-mandated restrictions have limited business operations due to the pandemic, pushing employers around the country to furlough or lay off significant portions of their staff. With economic uncertainty looming amid concerns about the virus, members of the country’s workforce are eager to secure new employment – and are open to innovative methods of connecting with potential employers.
This month, the staffing company Express Employment Professionals held a drive-thru job fair in West Palm Beach, FL. The recruiting firm, which matches applicants with warehouse, administrative, and IT positions, invited job seekers to meet with its staff for brief preliminary interviews – all from the safety of their parked cars.
Force of Nature
Although Colombia is a country of incredible biodiversity – boasting, for example, the most bird species of anywhere on Earth – most of its wilderness has been unexplored by scientists. This lack of study has been primarily due to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), an army of guerilla fighters who fought a 50-year civil war from the country’s jungles.
After FARC signed a peace treaty with the Colombian government in 2016, wildlife geneticist Jaime Góngora founded the organization Peace with Nature. The initiative partners former FARC combatants with biologists to conserve Colombia’s biodiversity. The program, which includes 30 ex-guerrillas, has already identified 120-previously unknown species of plants and animals.
Rock Chalk, On The Block
This summer, many families’ vacation plans have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, meaning young children around the country have to spend the season at home. Despite these lockdown limitations, 14-year-old Macaire Everett and her little brother, Camden, of Libertyville, IL are determined to have a remarkable summer break.
Every day since the quarantine began in March, the imaginative Macaire has decorated her family’s driveway with a magnificent chalk drawing, photographing each one with her brother enjoying an astonishing adventure. To date, Macaire and Camden have created more than 100 charming scenes, including playdates with dinosaurs, encounters with aliens, and walks on the Great Wall of China (photos).
📶 We’ve Had 5G, Yes… as 5G technology continues to roll out, South Korean tech giant Samsung published a potential 6G standard, predicting its launch in 2028.
🔭 Picture This… check out NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, featuring Comet NEOWISE over the Swiss Alps (Our editors think it looks like a scene out of Avengers or Independence Day).
🍺 Know Your Limits… experts recommended one key change to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans: limit alcohol intake to one drink per day, regardless of gender (previously two drinks for men, and one for women).
According to the USDA, what percentage of the U.S. consumes pizza on any given day?
A) 24% B) 19% C) 13% D) 7%
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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