Good morning. Are you worried about running out of the essentials during this extended time of quarantine? A software development student from London has created an online toilet paper calculator which helps families ration out their remaining stores.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
– Steve Jobs
Supply (Chain) & Demand
As the number of U.S. coronavirus cases continues to climb, hospitals in the most severely affected areas are nearing a shortage of essential medical supplies. The U.S. receives a vast majority of those supplies from China, which was the first country forced to close factories due to the outbreak.
An Export of Imports According to the Associated Press, the shortage of critical medical supplies in the U.S. can be tied to sudden drops in imports, mostly from China. Over the past month, the AP found that:
Hand sanitizer and swab imports dropped by 40%
N95 mask imports were down 55%
However, surgical gown numbers remained near the same levels as before the outbreak since sourcing shifted to Honduras.
How It’s Made As the shortages worsen, hospitals and state governors have called on private companies to repurpose their factories to produce the much-needed supplies.
Automakers: General Motors, Ford, and Tesla have all held discussions with government officials to amend their factories to produce ventilators, while Fiat Chrysler yesterday pledged to make 1 million face masks per month.
Companies with 3D printing capabilities: SmileDirectClub, HP, and Airbus are just a few of the companies printing respirator valves, medical masks, and ventilator parts.
Alcohol: Large brands like Anheuser-Busch, Pernod Ricard, and Diageo have joined local distilleries across the globe in pivoting to hand sanitizer production.
However, asking non-medical companies to produce emergency medical supplies in a timely manner is no simple task. The FDA on Monday temporarily relaxed certain policy guidelines regarding ventilator production to ease the transition of manufacturers, but it is unclear how soon full-scale production can be underway.
The Process Is Voluntary… For Now Last week, President Trump signed legislation invoking the Defense Production Act (DPA) – a Korean War-era emergency statute that gives the president the power to compel private industry to produce essential supplies. Trump so far has refused to directly enforce the DPA on any specific companies, saying he’d prefer to use the threat of compulsion as leverage.
So… what are people saying?
Coronavirus ventilator shortage: We can supply the world’s hospitals
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Global cases rose above 381,500 yesterday with more than 16,500 deaths. The number of confirmed U.S. cases rose to more than 46,000 with 582 confirmed deaths.
Senate Democrats voted against a nearly $2 trillion Republican-backed ‘phase three’ stimulus package for the second straight day.
Late Monday, House Democrats unveiled their response to the Senate Republicans’ ‘phase three’ stimulus package.
The governors of Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and South Carolina all issued variations of temporary ‘stay-in-place’ orders on Monday.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday banned all citizens from leaving their homes except for “very limited” reasons.
PG&E Pleads Guilty to Felony Charges
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) has reached an agreement with California prosecutors under which the company will plead guilty to 85 felony counts – 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and 1 count of unlawfully causing a fire. PG&E had previously agreed to pay $13.5 billion in damages to CA wildfire victims late last year.
More: A PG&E power line was the cause of the Camp Fire, which leveled the California towns of Paradise and Concow, and killed 84 people.
The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a lower court’s ruling that had allowed comedian-turned-media mogul Byron Allen’s $20 billion racial discrimination lawsuit against Comcast to continue. Allen, who is black, has alleged that Comcast’s refusal to air certain channels that he owns is a pretext for racial discrimination.
Boeing said it will suspend operations at its Puget Sound, WA factory for the next 14 days.
Twitter warned that its financial performance this quarter would be depressed due to less spending on advertisements.
Facebook announced new paid-time off programs that allow employees to take up to a month off to care for a sick relative.
Amazon Care is testing a service in Seattle that provides at-home coronavirus test kits, which the company then collects and delivers to an FDA-approved test facility.
CVS and Dollar General both announced on Monday that they will be hiring 50,000 additional temporary workers in the coming weeks.
Facebook said it will temporarily reduce video streaming quality on its platform and on Instagram in Latin America.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son on Monday announced the company will sell up to $41 billion in unspecified assets, with plans to use the money to strengthen balance sheets and reduce debt via share buybacks. The company’s share price rose 19% (the daily limit) on Monday in response to the news.
One of the biotech companies at the forefront of COVID-19 vaccine development – Moderna – disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday that it will seek to provide access to its vaccine to a select group (likely consisting of health care workers) as early as this fall. Moderna’s attempt at a solution is already the fastest potential vaccine to enter human clinical trials.
More: Moderna CEO Stephan Bancel reiterated that a commercially obtainable vaccine was not likely to be available for at least 12 to 18 months.
All Good in the ‘Hood
Daphne Sashin of Mountain View, CA had asked around for a fun – but safe – activity to occupy her kids in this time of quarantine. Receiving no promising leads, she decided to make up her own.
Daphne emailed her local neighborhood group and together they devised a plan for everyone to use chalk on their driveways and sidewalks to create a community art museum that residents can enjoy while out for a walk or bike ride.
Lung cancer patients in need of a transplant are put in an especially dire situation – they sometimes have to wait years for a suitable donor while undergoing painful chemotherapy to stay alive.
However, in a groundbreaking surgical procedure recently undertaken at an Israeli hospital, doctors successfully removed a 40-year-old man’s lung entirely from his body, cleaned it of cancerous tumors, and placed it right back again.
The Drone Zone
With health officials recommending quarantine measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, many citizens are hesitant to go outside and walk their dogs, including Vakis Demetriou.
The dog owner from Cyprus came up with a tech-enhanced way to exercise his pooch while ensuring his own safety – Vakis recently posted a video of himself using a flying drone to remotely walk his dog through the city streets.
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👩💻 Coding For A Cause… a group of 30 volunteers from Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, and other large tech companies have worked tirelessly to put together a website that tracks U.S. locations of coronavirus.
🐭 Mighty Mouse… a recent expedition to the Andes mountain range discovered the world’s highest-dwelling mammal – the yellow-rumped leaf-eared mouse – living more than 20,000 feet above sea level.
💻 Geek Squad, Assemble! A group of tech companies – including IBM, Microsoft, and Google – have teamed up to form a task force to harness the power of supercomputers against the coronavirus pandemic.
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Over The Moon
What are the only two planets in our solar system without any moons?
A) Mars & Uranus B) Venus & Mars C) Mercury & Mars D) Mercury & Venus
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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