WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The number of Americans seeking unemployment remained elevated as the U.S. sees 840,000 seek jobless aid. The number of people who are continuing to receive unemployment benefits dropped 1 million to 11 million, suggesting that the unemployed are being recalled to their old jobs. U.S. stock futures rose as investors remain cautiously optimistic that Congress will reach an agreement on narrow fiscal-stimulus measures aimed at sectors of the economy.
Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris sparred over the Trump administration’s handling of coronavirus at Wednesday night’s debate. Pence defended the White House’s record, not mentioning its failures, while Harris accused him and President Donald Trump of presiding over a “catastrophic failure in public-health policy.” The second presidential debate taking place next week will go virtual with the candidates in remote locations, though Trump said he will not participate.
The Department of Justice has weakened its prohibition against interfering in elections, according to two department officials. The policy bars prosecutors from making an announcement about ongoing investigations, but also from taking public steps, like an arrest or a raid, before a vote is finalized in an election. Now, federal investigators will be allowed to take public investigative steps before the polls close, even if those actions risk affecting the outcome of the election.
Trump has returned to the White House, a move that indicates the president is far from bunkering down in the residence until he’s well. As Trump considers remaining active through recovery, some are concerned he could create a series of risks for his staff in the West Wing. Retired Secret Service agents are beginning to speak out, sparked by Trump’s drive outside the hospital to wave to his supporters. The outing “needlessly exposed” his Secret Service agents, as well as their families, to coronavirus, another retired agent wrote.
Amazon revealed that nearly 20,000 of its U.S. employees had tested positive or had been presumed positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic started. The retailer has faced criticism as hundreds of workers and critics say it hasn’t done enough to keep employees safe as they work in its warehouses. Workers in the food industry also remain among the most vulnerable to the virus, researchers found. Tracking outbreaks at meatpacking, poultry and food processing plants showed at least 54,122 infected workers and 245 deaths.
In Texas, state officials are asking doctors, nurses and pharmacists to identify “critical populations” as they predict an initial shortage of coronavirus vaccine doses. Among those, health care workers, along with unspecified “essential workers,” Texans over 65 and those with underlying medical conditions have been identified.
Paris fashion week took place with socially-distant, mask-donning crowds, offering an optimistic take on the future. Fashion brands like Dior, Chanel and Louis Vuitton presented live runway shows before the city went back under high alert after a rise in COVID-19 cases.
NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
How to get the first COVID-19 vaccines to people who need it most – Protocol – 10/8/2020
Not everyone will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s ready. So even as companies like Pfizer and Moderna race to complete their clinical trials, governments are beginning to strategize how to distribute that very limited supply once it’s ready. Este Geraghty, chief medical officer of the mapping software giant Esri, thinks her company’s technology can help.
The template for designing your home office for joy – Quartz – 10/8/2020
As we face the reality of working remotely for the foreseeable future, many are testing corners of their living quarters—from the kitchen table to disused swimming pools—in their search for an optimal working spot. In thinking about their coronavirus-era home offices, people are asking: What tools do I need to do my job effectively?
New paint colors reflect 2020 realities – Washington Post – 10/8/2020
“When our color team began exploring a palette for the coming year, we knew it needed to be grounded in what we’ve been craving: comfort and personalization. A new, ‘elevated’ articulation of ‘comfort’ goes beyond traditional beige, gray, and green hues and embraces color in a way that can redefine and enhance any type of space inside or outside the home.”
COVID-19 has made our world more virtual. Here are three reasons why this is a good thing – World Economic Forum – 10/8/2020
If the global coronavirus pandemic has exposed humanity’s vulnerability, it has also highlighted its resilience. Forced to adapt to a world in which most physical interaction is impossible or largely limited, much of society has been pushed to rely on virtual engagement. In many places, people have had to work remotely, visit the doctor remotely and even repair appliances remotely. Call it the shift to ‘tele-everything’.
Covid-19 has led to a worrisome uptick in the use of electronic ankle monitors – MIT Technology Review – 10/8/2020
This is a worrisome trend that we shouldn’t allow to go unexamined. Previous research suggests that ankle monitors do not conclusively reduce recidivism , and the technology has no history as a tool for enforcing compliance with public health orders. In fact, frequent and long-standing criticism of monitors charges that their use causes significant harm.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
Tiffany Alaniz @TiffanyAlaniz 8 Oct BREAKING: Commission on Presidential Debates says the 2nd Trump v. Biden debate next Thursday will be VIRTUAL. President Trump at White House, Biden remote, and @cspan moderator Steve Scully and undecided voters will be in Miami.
Axios @axios 8 Oct “I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate. It’s not what debating is all about. … It’s ridiculous,” Trump said during an interview on Fox Business.
CBC News @CBCNews 8 Oct Mike Pence defended the Trump administration’s approach to the coronavirus outbreak.Kamala Harris called the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. “the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country.”
PolitiFact @PolitiFact 8 Oct At last night’s vice presidential debate, Kamala Harris repeated a False claim that President Trump called the coronavirus “a hoax.”
Local 4 WDIV Detroit @Local4News 8 Oct Trust Index: Fact-checking Harris, Pence on coronavirus response in VP Debate @GrantHermes
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