“Where Government Responses To Covid-19 Score High Marks With The Public [Infographic]” – Forbes, August 31, 2020 / Data: Pew Research Center/ Graphic: Forbes

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The U.S. surpassed 6 million coronavirus cases over the weekend, with over 183,000 deaths recorded since the outbreak in February. Colleges and universities across the country are struggling to contain the virus, adding a cumulative 8,700 cases to the U.S. tally. Authorities in India recorded a new single-day record at 78,761 new cases on Sunday, pushing the number of global infections to more than 25 million. 

Millions of refugees hoping to escape violence or persecution in their home countries now face a renewed period of limbo as borders remain closed and lockdowns in place. The United Nations reports that refugee settlements this year have fallen 69% compared to 2019 and that thousands on the brink of entrance to the U.S. or Canada must now remain in place with no end in sight.

Partisan tensions rose on Sunday as President Donald Trump and the mayor of Portland blamed each other on Twitter for the deadly shooting of a man identified as a supporter of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer. The man was killed on Saturday after a caravan of Trump supporters drove through Portland, where that group and counter protesters for the Black Lives Matter movement clashed. It remains unclear if the shooting was directly related to confrontation between the two groups. 

Twitter removed a post retweeted by President Trump on Sunday that cited false claims about coronavirus death statistics. The post, made by a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, claimed that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control had “quietly” updated numbers to show that only 6% of the recorded coronavirus-related deaths actually died from COVID-19. A newly released CDC report indicates that 94% of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. had other underlying health conditions, although COVID-19 could have still been the leading cause of death.

A federal virus-hunting program that expired last year has been revived under a new name. The program Stop Spillover will renew the efforts of Predict, which searched for new viruses around the world that stem from animals. The lapse of the program in October 2019 became a point of criticism with outbreaks of the coronavirus, which is the kind of virus the program was meant to identify. 

Public health experts are questioning the effectiveness of high-profile vaccines that were approved for use without Phase Three trials in Russia and China, which they say will likely have a lower efficacy rate near 40%. The head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in an interview on Sunday that he may be willing to fast-track the approval process for a COVID-19 vaccine, possibly skipping a Phase Three trial if the organization finds it “appropriate.”

The U.S. Open begins on Monday with a virtual-only audience and sweeping changes to every aspect of the event, which will still take place in New York. The U.S. Tennis Association has turned to artificial intelligence initiatives to keep fans engaged, with features such as a platform that produces an answer to any fan’s question and the generation of fact sheets before every match.

Is this the end of in-person counseling? How COVID-19 has accelerated our embrace of teletherapy – Fast Company – 8/31/2020
Just a few years ago, teletherapy—the practice of doing therapy via phone, video, or text—was regarded as an unproven mental health treatment. But strong consumer demand for all forms of telemedicine (estimated to surpass $130 billion by 2025) has led to a quadrupling of venture funding in the space in the past five years.

Airlines Stumble Ahead With Covid Plans That May Heighten Risks – Bloomberg – 8/31/2020United and Delta airlines have recently begun boarding flights from the rear to the front in a bid to minimize close contacts between passengers that could spread Covid-19. […] U.S. scientists have found boarding planes starting with the back rows increases the time spent by people clustering in aisles to load bags in overhead bins before taking their seats.

With science and scripture, a pastor fights Covid-19 vaccine skepticism – STAT – 8/31/2020
As a pastor in a church in the area of Baltimore hit hardest by Covid-19, King knows his decision to keep services remote is the right one, even if it’s unpopular. Since the beginning of the pandemic, King, 60, has been fighting an uphill battle, weaving together science and scripture in the hopes his approximately 300 congregants will adhere to public health guidelines: mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing.

For Kids With Special Needs, Online Schooling Divides Haves and Have-Nots – Kaiser Health News – 8/31/2020
As children head back to school online across California and much of the nation, some of the disparities that plague education are growing wider. Instead of attending the same school with similar access to supplies and teacher time, children are directly dependent on their home resources, from Wi-Fi and computers to study space and parental guidance. Parents who work, are poor or have less education are at a disadvantage, as are their kids.

Can there be a fairy-tale ending for showbiz after COVID-19? – Qrius – 8/31/2020
The coronavirus pandemic has upended the content pipeline, halting film production and closing cinemas. Normality should resume; production has restarted in some countries and the industry has adopted remote-work protocols where possible. But the virus creates uncertainty, and the biggest short-term risk seems to be consumers’ dwindling confidence in physical venues.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Economic Times @EconomicTimes 30 Aug While large traditional retailers announce big lay-offs because of the pandemic, sometimes shedding thousands of staff, coronavirus lockdowns have in contrast given e-commerce a major boost.

michael @Michael_MBA 30 Aug Coronavirus: Retailers report record online sales during pandemic by @laurenthomas @naterattner via @CNBC #retail #cre

kourosh shafi @kouroshshafi 30 Aug Walmart, Amazon, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Costco accounted for 29.1% of all U.S. retail sales in the second quarter, according to Craig Johnson, president of consulting firm Customer Growth Partners, up from 25.6% in the same period a year ago.

Businessweek @BW 30 Aug Convenience stores were retail’s last big e-commerce holdouts. The pandemic is rapidly changing that

Fashionista.com @Fashionista_com 30 Aug Can the humble consignment store replicate its famously intimate in-person shopping experience online? That’s the plan

CONTENT FACTS

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