French President Emmanuel Macron and Iraq’s President Barham Salihat greet each other with an elbow bump as they attend a news conference in Baghdad, Iraq. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The U.S. unemployment rate fell in August to 8.4%, a marked improvement from a pandemic high of near 15% in April, although still millions short of the nation’s record-low jobless rate in February. Economists say the jobless report is the latest indicator that economic recovery has cooled off following a sharp resurgence over the summer. 

Many businesses that were damaged during natural disasters over the summer now stand to receive lower insurance payouts because of the pandemic. Analysts and lawyers say that a COVID-19-driven reduction in business-interruption claims could spell the end for companies that were nearing the edge of survival.  

Dr. Anthony Fauci is pleading with Americans to take caution during celebrations this Labor Day weekend to avoid a repeat scenario from this year’s Memorial Day, which set off a wave of new coronavirus outbreaks across the nation. The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is urging the public to wear a mask, socially distance, avoid crowds and stay outside to prevent further outbreaks. Fauci is also asking the nation’s colleges not to send students home as universities report thousands of new infections.

Fauci’s plea comes as many local governments begin to lift some COVID-19 restrictions in an effort to reintroduce tourism and help small businesses stay afloat. Public health officials warn that the public could take the easing of restrictions as a sign that it is safe to resume normal interactions, which may not be the case.

The White House’s chief adviser for the country’s vaccine program said that the Centers for Disease Control was right to advise states to prepare for the potential distribution of a vaccine by late October, even though he said that scenario is “extremely unlikely.” The guidance came under scrutiny on Thursday for its potential as a political move by the Trump administration to buoy support before the election, but the adviser for Operation Warp Speed said it would be irresponsible for states not to prepare for the possibility. 

Public health and pharmaceutical companies are scrambling to ensure there will be a sufficient supply of freezers to properly store a COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available. Some of the vaccines in the later phases of testing must be stored at freezing temperatures similar to those for ice cream, raising questions about the nation’s capacity for a cold storage supply chain.

The coronavirus is the most recent and unavoidable sign and that the world has entered into a “ pandemic era,” public health officials have warned. They say that biologists, zoologists and veterinarians must band together now to monitor animals and people who interact with them in an effort to prevent the next pandemic, which they say could arrive any day and will likely come from an animal.

German lawmakers have proposed a reduction in the country’s quarantine period from 14 to five days for suspected coronavirus infections. Germany’s top virologist was the first to recommend the shorter period, which he said could result in greater social acceptance and use of the measure. He also cited evidence that most people are not contagious five days after they show symptoms of COVID-19.

Researching wastewater to learn about Covid – Community College Daily – 9/3/2020
The team also received approval to research wastewater in nearby Westchester County, where for more than two months it collected a liter of wastewater weekly from seven treatment plants. County officials are interested in evidence of varying infection rates among different communities.

Using Covid-19 As Catalyst For Lifelong E-Learning – Forbes – 9/4/2020
As a study by McKinsey shows, Covid-19 has in three months caused an increase of e-commerce penetration that would normally take ten years. This also applies to e-learning. As Siozos adds “E-learning was already growing at a 100% growth rate per year. 

The Pandemic Is No Excuse to Surveil Students – The Atlantic – 9/4/2020
Mandatory COVID-19 apps could result in an even worse outcome than that of tracking athletes—whom universities may be able to coerce more effectively because many athletes need their scholarships—because public health rests on trust and cooperation. 

Burger King Unveils Socially-Distanced Restaurants For ‘COVID World’ & Beyond – DesignTAXI – 9/4/2020
With the pickup cubbies and curbside delivery area, customers can make mobile orders and grab their meals without any contact with the staff. The company has also reduced its dining space by 60-percent to enlarge its kitchen for improved efficiency in the workflow.

We Can’t Fight COVID-19 on a Country by Country Basis – Scientific American – 9/4/2020
I’m just one doctor trying to do my best for patients, but there is only so much that one doctor or one small hospital can do. We need a global plan. This pandemic doesn’t care about where you’re from or where you live. Squelching it one place means nothing if it’s raging somewhere else. And we need to squelch it completely.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Zeba Warsi @Zebaism 4 Sep WHO Says Widespread Vaccinations against Coronavirus Are Not Expected Until Middle of Next Year #CoronavirusVaccine

CNN Philippines @cnnphilippines 4 Sep The first peer-reviewed results of Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, which is named Sputnik-V, have been published in the medical journal The Lancet on Friday.

Rep. Veronica Escobar @RepEscobar 4 Sep Many El Pasoans travel to Mexico to purchase affordable medicine. Mexico’s decision to give monopoly rights to big pharma will restrict access to affordable medicine during this crisis. Read more from me, @rosadelauro, @janschakowsky & @repblumenauer.

Tasnim News Agency @Tasnimnews_EN 4 Sep Officials from #Iran and #Russia weighed plans on the joint production of vaccine for #coronavirus

WSBT @WSBT 4 Sep The Indiana University School of Medicine has been chosen to be a clinical trial site for the vaccine and they’re looking for 1,500 people in Indiana to test it. @BrieIsomWSBT has the details

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