WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Major benchmarks are on course for a fourth straight week of losses as U.S. stock futures fell . Investors are awaiting signs of progress on the additional stimulus spending from the government. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced they agreed to revive negotiations over a stalled follow-up coronavirus relief bill. While there is broad bipartisan support for the stimulus bill, Democrats and Republicans remain divided over the size and scope of the package. 

The vaccine maker Novavax said Thursday it would begin final stages of testing its coronavirus vaccine in the United Kingdom. The vaccine marks the fifth late-stage trial from a company supported by Operation Warp Speed, the federal effort to speed a coronavirus vaccine to the market. Four vaccines for coronavirus are now in late-stage testing in people in the U.S. and 212 COVID-19 vaccines are in development worldwide, with at least nine in phase III clinical trials. 

Executive Moncef Slaoui, the top scientist on Operation Warp Speed, has refused to give up investments that stand to benefit from his work. Federal law requires government officials to disclose their personal finances and divest any holdings related to their work, but Slaoui would not take the job under those conditions, leading the administration to treat him as a contractor. Contractors aren’t bound by the same ethics rules but also aren’t supposed to wield as much authority as full employees. Slaoui has a roughly $10 million stake in his former company, GlaxoSmithKline, a contender in Operation Warp Speed. 

The Justice Department recently threatened to withhold federal funds from New York, Seattle and Portland over their responses to protests against police brutality. The cities “permitted violence and destruction of property to persist.” Democrats sought to cast the administration’s efforts to take away their federal funding as a stunt to divert attention from what they described as a “botched response” to coronavirus. 

Black Lives Matter demonstrations have been mostly peaceful as researchers found that less than 7% of the protests were violent. Criminologists say it’s still difficult to draw conclusions between protests and violent crimes, especially during a time of high levels of unemployment and coronavirus-related precautions restricting police’s ability to solve crimes. 

Based on a Google Trends analysis, there has been a major jump in searches related to anxiety, panic attacks and treatments for panic attacks. A new study shows women are almost three times more likely as men to report suffering from significant mental health consequences including anxiety and trouble completing everyday tasks. Women are often subjected to stressors that men were more likely to be spared from – in the U.S., 11.5 million women were laid off compared to 9 million men. 

“Pivot” is a word well understood in corporate speak, but the idea has taken on a whole new meaning in 2020. Business leaders have seen their pivots actually spark ideas for how to change things moving forward, even when operations return to normal. Airbnb began offering online “experiences” and Peloton, a business that has seen a huge boom in demand for its homebound workout products, saw a seamless transition to working from home, so much so they may never return to the office full time. 

We May Finally Know a Molecular Reason Why COVID-19 Is So Deadly, But Only For Some – ScienceAlert – 9/25/2020
It’s not the first time we’ve seen the immune system sabotage itself and stop interferons from doing their jobs properly. Some bacterial infections, such as those caused by species of Staphylococcus, often increase in severity when the body’s production of antibodies turn against its own interferon defence.

The new 15-minute test has potential, but standard tests are still the best way to track COVID-19 – The Conversation – 9/25/2020
Nucleic acid tests, or PCR tests, can detect ribonucleic acid (RNA) of SARS-CoV-2 from a day or two before symptoms start, and for a week or more afterwards, as symptoms resolve. Of course, some people will test positive without ever having symptoms.

Smoke and COVID-19 drove us inside — but the air in there wants to kill you – Grist – 9/25/2020
It’s not just the air outside that’s bad when it gets smoky — it’s the air inside, too. People tend to think of air pollution as an “outside” problem created by wildfire smoke, car exhaust, and pollution from power plants, unaware of the hazards of household air pollution, which kills almost 4 million people worldwide prematurely every year.

In groups asked to join Covid-19 vaccine trials, concerns about inequities – STAT – 9/25/2020
Lurking underneath both of those interactions was that old, oh-so-American anxiety about being unable to get medical care. It was just one of the everyday inequalities that made would-be volunteers hesitant as researchers scrambled to include more people of color in their studies — a must to ensure that the shots are equally safe and effective for everyone.

Postal workers say they are ready for the mail-in voting surge – Vox – 9/24/2020
With the Covid-19 pandemic making in-person voting a potentially risky activity, as many as 80 million people could end up voting via mail-in or drop-off ballots ahead of the election,  according to a New York Times analysis. Such a surge in mail-in voting would mark more than a 100 percent increase from mail ballot totals in 2016. 

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

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

PottstownMercury @ MercuryX 24 Sep “I’ve been practicing medicine for about 35 years, and I can’t remember a more important time than this for everyone to get a flu shot,” said Dr. Michael Baxter

WCHL & Chapelboro @ WCHLChapelboro 25 Sep Within the UNC Health system, going forward, anyone who is symptomatic will be tested for both #COVID19 and the flu at the minimum. Asymptomatic patients will only be tested for COVID-19.

Runner’s World @ runnersworld 24 Sep “Early on, the message to young people was that your grandma would get sick from COVID-19, but you’d just get a cold. As a 28-year-old runner who might have permanent lung damage, I can tell you that’s not true.”

12 News @ 12News 24 Sep People with flu typically feel sickest during the first week. With COVID-19, people may be sicker longer and feel the worst during the second or third week.

Heather Abraham @ KDKAHeather 24 Sep Do you feel like you have to give a disclaimer after you sneeze or cough these days? It’s allergies, I swear! A doctor talks to @KDKAShumway about the differences between the flu, cold, allergies, and COVID.

CONTENT FACTS

Turbine Labs has tracked 35,671 media articles and blogs over the last 24 hours and 798,421 social media posts over the last 24 hours.

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