“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
💉 COVID Vaccine Update
The FDA published an analysis of trial data from Johnson & Johnson yesterday that found its single-dose vaccine is 66% effective at preventing moderate and severe cases of COVID-19 (72% effective in the U.S. portion of the trial).
J&J’s shotwasmore than 85% effective at preventing severe cases of the virus, and 100% effective against hospitalizations and deaths.
J&J has said it will have ~4M doses ready to ship immediately upon emergency authorization, which is expected as soon as this weekend.
A company executive told Congress it expects to provide 20M doses by the end of March and 100M doses by the end of the year.
At the current rate, Bloomberg estimates it will take 11 months to cover 75% of the U.S. population with a two-dose vaccine.
The CDC published a safety monitoring report last Friday analyzing the first month of vaccine administration in the U.S. (ending January 13).
The report found that out of the 14M doses administered during the first month, roughly 7k reports were filed with VAERS – a government-monitored vaccine safety portal where U.S. health care workers are required to report adverse side effects.
Ninety-one percent of the reports described mild events such as headache, fatigue, and dizziness. Anaphylaxis, or severe allergic reaction, was found to be uncommon (62 total cases; 4.5 per million doses)
Over 52M doses of Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccines were distributed in the U.S. from Dec. 14 to Feb. 14, according to the CDC.
During that time, VAERS received 934 reports of death among those who received a vaccine (0.0018%) – though there has not been a confirmed connection between the two.
Also… the FDA published new guidance on Monday saying developers for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and testing do not need to conduct large clinical trials addressing new virus variants in order to receive regulatory approval.
Getting the Covid vaccine brought me relief. But it doesn’t mean I can go back to normal life.
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
Share Today’s Dose of Discussion
📝 Supply Chain Executive Order
President Joe Biden signed an executive order yesterday to “create more resilient and secure supply chains for critical and essential goods.” The order mandates a 100-day review of four supply chains (some of which have experienced shortages during the pandemic):
1. Semiconductor chips.
2. High-capacity batteries used in EVs.
3. Rare minerals making up an essential part of defense, high-tech, and other products.
4. Active pharmaceutical ingredients.
More: The order also commissions a separate, year-long review on a broader set of supply chains.
A German court sentenced a former member of Syria’s intelligence service to 4½ years in prison for aiding and abetting a crime against humanity.
It marks the first time a court outside Syria has convicted a Syrian government official of crimes against humanity. It’s also the world’s first court case regarding state-sponsored torture under the regime of current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
More: While the crimes took place in Syria, prosecutors invoked the principle of universal jurisdiction, which allows the prosecution of war crimes regardless of where they are committed.
Even More: The convicted official was part of a unit that arrested Syrian anti-government protestors and brought them to a detention center where they were tortured.
German and Belgian authorities completed the largest European drug bust ever, seizing over 50k pounds of cocaine (worth an estimated $2.7B–$6.4B).
Authorities carried out two separate raids over the course of a week, first seizing ~35k pounds hidden inside construction putty containers in Hamburg and later capturing a shipment from Panama destined for Antwerp.
More: So far, the operation has resulted in one arrest – a man from the Netherlands.
A new Gallup survey released Wednesday found a record 5.6% of U.S. adults identify as LGBTQ+, driven by 15.9% identification among Gen Z adults (18-23 y/o in 2020). (Left-Center | Right-Center)
Federal prosecutorsdropped drunken-driving charges against Bruce Springsteen after tests showed his blood-alcohol level was under the legal limit. The rock star pleaded guilty to one charge of consuming alcohol in a “closed area” of a federal park and was fined $500.
A Beijing divorce court ordered a husband to pay his wife roughly $7,700 for “household labor” in a first-of-its-kind ruling under China’s new Civil Code, which went into effect in January.
Shares of GameStop opened at $44.70 and rose more than 100% yesterday to close at $91.71 per share. The stock rose another ~50% in pre-market trading (~$140 per share).
On Tuesday, GameStop announced its chief financial officer Jim Bell will resign effective March 26 – a move reportedly engineered by Chewy co-founder and GameStop board member Ryan Cohen, sources told Business Insider ($).
More: The Dow rose above 32,000 for the first time ever during trading yesterday before closing at 31,961.86 (+1.3%) – the index’s 10th record close this year.
Even More: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified before the House Financial Services Committee yesterday, one day after appearing before the Senate Banking Committee. (Recap: Left-Center | Right-Center)
☠️ The Fed’s Dead Zone
The Federal Reserve experienced system outages for several hours yesterday, disrupting a number of services designed to carry out millions of financial transactions each day (e.g., the systems enabling debit and credit transactions and electronic funds transfer payments).
The Federal Reserve first identified the problem at 11:15 a.m. ET, calling it an “operational error.” Services resumed by mid-afternoon.
More: The impacts of the system outage are not fully known. There were no initial indications that foul play was suspected.
🚘 Electric Avenue
Foxconn, Apple’s iPhone manufacturing partner, announced a partnership yesterday with EV company Fisker to develop a “breakthrough electric vehicle.”
Foxconn is expected to start production of Fisker’s unnamed second model in Q4 2023.
Fisker’s first vehicle, the Ocean – an all-electric, emission-free SUV – is expected to debut before the end of 2022.
Also, Quite an EVent: Shares of Churchill Capital IV – the blank-check company merging with EV-startup Lucid in the largest SPAC deal ever – fell sharply for the second straight day to $28.70 (down 100% from Monday’s closing price of $57.40).
⏰ Catch Up Quick:
Amidst a news legal fightin Australia, Facebook announced plans to invest an additional $1B in the news industry over the next three years (matching a recent commitment from Google).
Google now allows users to schedule text messages to send at a later time and date as part of its Android 7 operating system.
Dispo, a new photo-sharing app created by YouTuber David Dobrik, recently raised a Series A funding round reportedly valuing the company at $200M.
Joby Aviation – the Toyota-backed electric aviation company that recently acquired Uber’s flying taxi division – announced plans to go public via a reverse merger with SPAC Reinvent Technology Partners.
NASA’s Mars Perseverance roverreturned 142 high-def images of its landing site yesterday, which NASA stitched together into a 360-degree panorama.
💫🚀 Reach for the Stars
When Haley Arceneaux was 10-years-old, all she wanted to be was an astronaut. But after undergoing bone cancer treatment that placed metal rods in her femur, she was forced to postpone that dream.
“I really hope to show [my cancer patients] that the sky’s not even the limit. That they can do anything.”
The Future of Space Travel
Officially named “Inspiration 4,” the upcoming flight is a fundraiser for St. Jude’s children’s hospital aiming to raise $200,000.
The best part? There are two seats left. Apply here. 👽
🚀 Hidden Transmission… NASA officials revealed that the parachute used to land the Mars Perseverance Rover last week contained a hidden message written in binary – it took the Internet less than 6 hours to crack the code. (How it works)
😊😟😠 Emotional Intelligence… an AI-powered learning platform created by Hong Kong-based startup Find Solution AI monitors students’ emotions during virtual learning sessions and generates educational material adapted to individual learners.
⚡ I’ve Got the Power… scientists at the Pentagon successfully tested a solar panel the size of a pizza box in space, laying the foundation for a future system of orbiting solar panels capable of beaming electricity directly to Earth-based power grids.
📬 Special Delivery… the U.S. Postal Service unveiled its next generation delivery vehicle that comes with several standard features currently missing from its mail trucks – like air conditioning. (Most vehicles in the fleet are 25 to 32 years old.)
⚛️ Up in the Air
What is the most common element in the Earth’s atmosphere?
(keep scrolling for the answer)
Get Your FREE Stuff
Step 1. Use the button below or copy your unique referral link