“Should U.S. Political Conventions Follow Social Distancing?” Statista, June 15, 2020 / Image: Statista / Data: YouGov

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

U.S. stock futures edged higher as investors remained optimistic the economy will bounce back post-pandemic. China plans to accelerate the purchase of American farm goods, including imports of soy, corn, and ethanol. The plan offers respite to markets concerned with trade disruptions. However, continuing tensions may derail these efforts after Beijing said Thursday it will retaliate after President Donald Trump approved the Uighur Muslims sanctions law. Mortgage rates plunged to a record low of 3.13% with an average 0.8 point amid concerns about the U.S. economy. 

Lawmakers rolled out proposals Thursday that would help restaurants and other small businesses as a federal relief program is set to end on June 30. The bill introduction comes as negotiations are set to begin regarding a potential fourth round of stimulus. As the pandemic continues to ravage small businesses, government data shows it is disproportionately hurting Black-owned small businesses. More than 40% of Black business owners reported they were not working in April, compared to 17% of white small business owners who said the same. 

The Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end a program protecting nearly 650,000 young immigrants, known as dreamers, from deportation. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) allows dreamers to work, making up a portion of essential workers. It is estimated that 27,000 health care workers with DACA status are safe from deportation. 

As some areas see a surge in cases, leaders are making efforts to curb the spread of the virus. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) issued a statewide order that Californians are required to wear face coverings in high-risk settings, following guidance from the California Department of Public Health. Younger people appear to be driving the infection rate. In Florida, individuals under 18 are testing positive at nearly double the rate of the rest of the state, and in North Carolina, the increased cases largely involve individuals aged 25 to 49. 

The Navajo Nation will reinstate lockdowns, specifically in Arizona where cases are escalating, as neighboring states see an uptick in infections. The second-largest Native American tribe has seen 322 confirmed deaths as of Wednesday – higher than 16 states, including Kansas and South Dakota. 

More than 8.4 million people are confirmed to have coronavirus globally and nearly half have recovered, with the U.S. making up more than 500,000 of those recoveries. After 55 days of not reporting any locally-transmitted infections, the Chinese capital saw a cluster of coronavirus cases emerge in Beijing, serving as a reminder the virus can return at any time. According to China’s chief epidemiologist, the outbreak that sickened 150 people has “been brought under control.” In Italy, coronavirus was present in the sewage systems as early as December – two months before the first COVID-19 cases were detected in the country. Barcelona and France also saw biological traces of the virus at the beginning of the year. 

As the country expected to brace for a hurricane season exacerbated by coronavirus, Saharan Dust from Africa will now stretch to the U.S., putting hurricane season on pause. The dust will bring dry air and additional vertical wind shear, which are the driving factors limiting tropical storm development.

The pandemic made the racial wealth gap worse: These 8 policies could fix it – Fast Company – 6/19/2020
U.S. billionaires together have $3.581 trillion in wealth, more than the $3.49 trillion held by the entire Latino population. “In other words,” says the report, “640 billionaires have as much wealth as 59 million Latinos.”

Technology for a no-touch world – strategy+business – 6/19/2020
We’ll be able to walk into an elevator and simply say, in any language, “Tenth floor, please.” Vending machines were invented to automate things such as candy and ticket stands, which were operated by clerks who people could speak to.

COVID-19: What are immunity passports and how would they work? – World Economic Forum – 6/19/2020
The root of the concern for many is the unknown degree to which past infection confers future immunity. Until it is understood whether or not people can be reinfected with the disease, and how long any immunity lasts for, the move may be premature.

We Need Better Masks – Harvard Business Review – 6/18/2020
They provide the person wearing it with some protection from particles coming in, but mainly reduce how much the wearer expels. That means that your personal safety from infection is not in your control and largely depends on how reliably those around you are wearing masks […]

Lancet-gate in the COVID-19 pandemic era: is it alright for science to be wrong? – The Conversation – 6/19/2020
That the article on the risk of anti-malarial drugs chloroquine (CQ) or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) got through this process shows peer review is not entirely free from error. Unfortunately, despite its flaws, it is currently the only available way to ensure scientific rigour before publication.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

gene smith @OSU_AD 19 Jun Juneteenth. Freedom Day. Jubilee Day. Liberation Day.Today (June 19) is observed in different ways. Let’s embrace today as an opportunity to educate ourselves and better cultivate relationships among cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities.

WPEC CBS12 News @CBS12 19 Jun As the coronavirus ravishes black America disproportionately, as economic uncertainty wrought by the pandemic strains black pocketbooks, and as police brutality continues to devastate black families, Juneteenth is a day of protest.

Kristin Byrne @Kristin_Byrne 19 Jun 91-year-old reflects on era of racial tension, coronavirus in Milwaukee ⁦@RyanJenkins_TV⁩

Natalie Davis @KWCHNatalie 19 Jun Juneteenth… Father’s Day… July 4th… all opportunities to get together with family and friends. But remember – we’re in the middle of a pandemic. @KWCHKristen has tips to keep your guests safe at your next backyard barbecue. Watch @KWCH12 #coronavirus

Raychelle Burks @DrRubidium 19 Jun It’s #Juneteenth, #BLACKandSTEM. May your time not be wasted and may you get paid. May you celebrate any damn way you choose.

CONTENT FACTS

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