“Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as countries fight to contain the pandemic” Financial Times, May 14, 2020 / Image: Steven Bernard, FT analysis of ECDC and Covid Tracking Project Data


U.S. retail sales fell 16.4% in April, marking a second month that sales have fallen by record numbers. April’s drop was almost double the 8.3% dip in March – which was previously the worst since 1992. 

World stocks edged higher while U.S. stock-index futures turned lower Friday following renewed trade tensions with China. Oil prices sit at their highest levels in more than a month on signs that demand from China is ramping back up. 

The FDA received reports suggesting Abbott Labs coronavirus tests are inaccurately telling patients they do not have the coronavirus . The U.S. deployed over 235,000 Abbott tests to every state across the U.S., Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Brett Giroir said Monday. The FDA said the tests can still correctly identify many positive cases, though negative results may need confirmation. 

The first South Korean coronavirus test kits to win preliminary approval from the FDA are being prepared to be shipped to the U.S . The kits will be able to test 100M people. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance Thursday on how to reopen bars, restaurants, and workplaces. The White House task force issued broad guidelines in April, but rules and advice had largely been left to groups on state and local levels. As some parts of the country reopen, a health expert says the U.S. is shifting its focus from eliminating coronavirus to efforts that reduce the risk of infection

Hesitancy among the public to return to restaurants, even as states reopen, underscores the slow recovery slated for the industry. One in every four U.S. restaurants will go out of business due to coronavirus-related lockdowns according to OpenTable. Data also shows reservations are down 95% from a year ago. 

Despite the patchwork of reopenings across the country, Thursday’s unemployment claims, which brings the total tally to 36M, indicates people are continuing to be laid off. Though lags in data make it difficult to calculate how many workers have been rehired since restrictions were lifted, the head of U.S. economics at Bank of America said she doubted callbacks to work outnumbered layoffs.  

Last month, states paid a record $48B in unemployment benefits though the payout would have been larger if not for administrative delays among states, a Brookings Institution analysis found. Total benefits would have been approximately $80B and exceeded $90B if the total 23.1M Americans who were counted as unemployed had received benefits. 

In Spain, a group of migrants, former addicts, and ex-prisoners formed a collective to grow food, which they have been delivering to elderly and isolated villagers amid the pandemic.

Coronavirus: Who gave you COVID-19? It’s not who you think – The Mercury News – 5/14/2020
COVID-19 has sparked fierce debate about the risks posed by that careless stranger in the grocery aisle, post office or sidewalk. But there’s a growing body of evidence that it’s close contact during gatherings of beloved friends and family that is most likely driving the spread of the novel coronavirus. Brief interactions — like passing by someone during a walk outside — don’t seem to be the primary force behind the epidemic, based on what we know so far from contact tracing studies.

How Covid-19 Is Changing the Language in Emails – Wall Street Journal – 5/14/2020
Like many tending to business matters during the current pandemic, Mr. Schmerler wants to signal concern for the email recipient. “Any note should, at a minimum, acknowledge the collective vulnerability that people feel,” says Mr. Schmerler, who is based in New York. It’s all part of communicating in the age of coronavirus. Without in-person office chitchat, it isn’t business as usual when it comes to written communication.

Democrats Say The Worst Of The Coronavirus Is Yet To Come. Republicans Say The Worst Is Over. – FiveThirtyEight – 5/15/2020
So far, Americans have largely supported using social distancing to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. According to a Washington Post/University of Maryland poll published this week, most Americans agree that it’s necessary to wear a mask, stay at home when possible, avoid gatherings and keep 6 feet away from others in public. […] But while Americans are mostly on the same page about current social distancing measures, there are also signs that they increasingly disagree about where the crisis is headed, with Democrats saying the worst is yet to come and Republicans saying the worst is behind us.

US national park reopenings raise fears of coronavirus outbreaks – The Guardian – 5/15/2020
Yet the phased reopening of America’s national parks has raised concerns about exacerbating the spread of Covid-19 and endangering the residents of rural towns located near parks. “We don’t want the parks to become super spreaders,” said Timothy Whitehouse, executive director of the non-profit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. “These communities simply do not have the capacity or the medical infrastructure to deal with an outbreak.”

Does Chlorine Kill Coronavirus? What You Need To Know About Summer Pool Trips – Romper – 5/14/2020
Infectious disease physician and vaccination specialist Dr. Jonas Nilsen tells Romper that while The Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) has put out a mandate stating that “the chance of COVID-19 to manifest in swimming pools, spas, jacuzzis, etc. is very low as they are treated with chlorine and bromine,” it’s the lack of social distancing in and around the pools that is dangerous.


To view each social media post, click on the date link within the post. 

infotagion @infotagion 15 May Misinformation is also a disease that kills. Find the truth. Isolate the lies.

Aaron Blake @AaronBlake 15 May There is an important debate about how the media should cover misinformation, and I don’t want to minimize that. But I think some people ignore that this stuff would spread like a virus without ever appearing in NYT, WaPo or others who apply skepticism in their coverage.

Charlie Angus NDP @CharlieAngusNDP 15 May It is a sad state of affairs that so much international energy has to be spent fighting disinformation on COVID. The disinformation that isn’t coming from basement trolls but from the White House.

VICE UK @VICEUK 15 May “Nah. Media lies. Inflated numbers.”

Johanna Vehkoo @vehkoo 15 May Don’t lecture, don’t get exasperated, don’t try to refute specific claims. If someone sends you the ‘Plandemic’ video, or another conspiracy theory, experts told @jpinsk that it’s best to push back gently and with empathy


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