“COVID-19 could see U.S. population shrink faster” – World Economic Forum / October 6, 20202/ Image Statista / Data: Wall Street Journal, Congressional Budget Office

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

President Donald Trump’s move to soften his earlier stance regarding offering fiscal support to American households, airlines and small businesses drove U.S. stock futures higher. The market fell sharply Tuesday after Trump dashed hopes for a new economic relief package before the November election. Trump ordered Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to stop negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then hours later called for Congress to “IMMEDIATELY” approve additional aid for small businesses in a series of tweets. 

Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign has called for plexiglass dividers to separate Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris at Wednesday’s debate. However, the vice president requested there is no such barrier on his side of the stage, despite his closeness to Trump who announced he tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Plexiglass dividers are one tool to prevent transmission of the virus but are typically used in combination with other measures, like maintaining distance and wearing masks. 

South Carolina’s Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison brought his own plexiglass divider to his debate with Senator Lindsey Graham earlier in the week, saying he needed to protect himself for the sake of his family. 

Hospitals that fail to report complete COVID-19 data into a federal data collection system are slated to receive warning letters alerting them they have not been in compliance. Later this month, the Department of Health and Human Services will start posting a list of hospitals noting whether they are out of compliance. HHS is also threatening to withhold federal funding over failure to report – withholding of Medicare and Medicaid funding would likely be a major blow to almost any hospital and some experts argue would be “too severe of a penalty on a community.”

Just over 4 million more Americans turned to Medicaid last spring as the pandemic upended the nation’s economy, new federal data shows. The 5.7% jump between February and June came as millions lost their jobs and masked a reversal of the slow decline in Medicaid enrollment since mid-2017. Many hospitals would be unable to continue providing care to community members should they no longer receive payment for Medicare and Medicaid.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has invalidated Bend County’s decision to add four locations where voters can hand-deliver their absentee ballots, several of which were going to be outside to minimize voters’ chances of being exposed to coronavirus. Democratic leaders in Congress are urging the governor to lift the limit on mail-in ballot drop-off locations, calling the order an attempt at voter suppression. Last week, Abbott issued a last-minute order directing Texas counties to provide no more than one hand-delivery location for voters casting absentee ballots in the November election, one day after the state’s solicitor general signed off on the legality of multiple locations. 

A tech startup has begun testing a digital solution to flying with the first attempt at a global travel system for COVID-19. Passengers will scan QR codes as they check into their flights that show whether they comply with whatever coronavirus rules are in place. Passengers check a registry of medical labs and find one that offers a coronavirus test, and likely at some point, a vaccine and the QR code is generated by the results.

What Does Retirement Look Like in a Pandemic? – New York Times – 10/7/2020
Just as the pandemic has upended the lives of students and workers, it is derailing the plans of many retirees. Besides any financial toll, the significant health risks that Covid-19 poses for the elderly are forcing many retirees to defer cherished items on their bucket list: travel, volunteering at hospitals and schools, socializing at senior centers, and excursions to sports and cultural events.

This Overlooked Variable Is the Key to the Pandemic – The Atlantic – 10/7/2020
By now many people have heard about R0—the basic reproductive number of a pathogen, a measure of its contagiousness on average. But unless you’ve been reading scientific journals , you’re less likely to have encountered k, the measure of its dispersion. The definition of k is a mouthful, but it’s simply a way of asking whether a virus spreads in a steady manner or in big bursts, whereby one person infects many, all at once.

4 ways to recapture what’s lost when we’re not in an office – Fast Company – 10/7/2020
One strategy to reclaim small talk, even in the era of virtual work, is to book in extra time ahead of the formal portion of meetings, so people can catch up, be social, and recover some of the old ingredients of normalcy by connecting more casually around topics outside of work and deliverables. Humans are at their best when they can make interactions humane.

No blockbusters: how COVID-19 has worsened the fraught relationship between cinemas and distributors – The Conversation – 10/7/2020
The pulling of titles has set off a debate between cinema operators and distributors. “Audiences would start to return”, say cinemas, “if you gave us the films that people want to watch”. “No chance”, say distributors, “we’ve invested too much in these big movies to risk them when you can’t attract an audience for the films already available”.

Can a recruiter for a Covid-19 vaccine trial overcome distrust? – STAT – 10/7/2020If someone has even the slightest bit of interest, he might say, “We’re looking for volunteers in the hopes of finding a vaccine that will protect people from getting or developing Covid. It will involve around six visits over two years. You will not get or develop Covid because of the vaccine. We will not expose you to the virus. You will live your normal life.”

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Michael Quander WUSA9 @MikeQReports 7 Oct BREAKING OVERNIGHT: President Donald Trump’s latest tweet storm is causing panic for folks hoping on stimulus relief. First, he shut down talks on a new coronavirus relief bill… and the next minute – the president said he would support a bill. @wusa9 #getupdc

WAVY TV 10 @WAVY_News 7 Oct After announcing he was ending coronavirus relief negotiations “until after the election,” President Trump said he’d sign a “stand alone” bill to give Americans another round of $1,200 checks.

Reuters @Reuters 7 Oct Hours after abruptly ending talks with Democrats on an economic aid package, President Trump urged Congress to provide a $25 billion bailout to airlines furloughing thousands of workers

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump 6 Oct If I am sent a Stand Alone Bill for Stimulus Checks ($1,200), they will go out to our great people IMMEDIATELY. I am ready to sign right now. Are you listening Nancy? @MarkMeadows @senatemajldr @kevinomccarthy @SpeakerPelosi @SenSchumer

CBS 58 News @CBS58 7 Oct Those in need of relief from the coronavirus pandemic will not receive assistance from the federal government anytime soon.

CONTENT FACTS

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