WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Momentum is growing around the $908 billion COVID-19 stimulus bill as lawmakers face increasing pressure amid surging cases. Party leaders say talks are moving in the right direction, but state and local aid, as well as liability protections, remain hurdles in negotiations. President Donald Trump also reportedly does not support the $908 billion compromise, instead touting support for the bill presented by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Investors remain optimistic as stock futures edged higher Friday.
Hackers backed by foreign governments are targeting companies involved in the shipping and storing of the coronavirus vaccine, IBM said in recently released research. The hacking campaign looked like phishing emails spoofed to look like they came from an executive at a Chinese company that specializes in the supply chain of equipment used for storing goods at cold temperatures. Building a secure cold chain is fundamental to distributing the vaccines, which must be stored at well-below freezing temperatures to avoid spoiling.
Thousands are struggling to navigate Texas’s complicated unemployment system. More than 3.8 million Texans have applied for unemployment benefits since March but many have been left confused by the outdated and understaffed unemployment insurance office. Over the summer, Florida’s unemployment system failed under a wave of coronavirus-prompted jobless claims. Now, the state’s governor is urging Congress to pass a relief package.
Preventable diseases are on the rise in poorer nations as some countries suspend childhood-vaccine programs in an effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. In parts of Africa and Asia, cases of cholera, diphtheria and pertussis have risen and there’s been a resurgence of measles and polio, prompting concern from the World Health Organization. In the U.S., federal officials are looking to pharmacists to undergo additional training and help reverse the slump in child immunization rates caused by the pandemic.
While most holiday campaigns typically invoke “feel good” marketing, there’s been a push from marketers this holiday season to lean into the holiday aesthetic as everyone is “grasping for nostalgia and happiness where they can get it.”
Could a Blood Test Show if a Covid-19 Vaccine Works? – New York Times – 12/4/2020
“You’d have to follow millions of people for a long time,” said Dr. Nelson Michael, the director of the Center for Infectious Diseases Research at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, where a protein-based vaccine is being prepared for clinical trials in early 2021. “It’s just fantasy.”
How To Buy Travel Insurance For Trips During The Pandemic – Forbes Advisor – 12/4/2020
“Our Cancel Anytime product generally contains exclusions for known or foreseeable events and epidemics, however, for a temporary period, we are accommodating claims for trip cancellation and trip interruption if a customer becomes ill with COVID-19 either before or during their trip,” says Daniel Durazo, a spokesperson for Allianz Travel.
What a University Learned by Staying Open in the Pandemic – Barron’s – 12/4/2020
If higher education is to thrive—and if we are to deliver the long-term value our students deserve—we must make significant changes in how and what we teach. As a starting point, we can build upon crisis-inspired lessons—such as how to conceive, develop, and deliver a hybrid flexible (HyFlex) curriculum, featuring a robust mix of in-person and online offerings, with some delivered in both modes simultaneously.
Bartleby – How the pandemic is forcing managers to work harder | Business – The Economist – 12/3/2020
The survey also shows that the experience of remote working has not been uniform. Of those working virtually, 69% of women with children want to work at least one day from home when the pandemic ends, compared with 56% of men with kids. These women have had less contact with managers during the lockdown than their male peers have had, suggesting they have been neglected.
What Happened When the Only ER Doctor in a Rural Town Got COVID – Kaiser Health News – 12/4/2020
He said he was meticulous on the plane, sitting in the front, last on, first off. But on landing at Denver International Airport, Papenfus boarded the crowded train to the terminal, and soon alarm bells went off in his head. “There are people literally like inches from me, and we’re all crammed like sardines in this train,” Papenfus said. “And I’m going, ‘Oh, my God, I am in a superspreader event right now.’”
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
Sarah Boxer @Sarah_Boxer 3 Dec Biden says he’ll be “happy to” get a coronavirus vaccine once Fauci says it is safe. “People have lost faith in the ability of the vaccine to work. Already the numbers are really staggeringly low, and it matters what the President and Vice President do.”
Nidhi Subbaraman @NidhiSubs 4 Dec Fauci has been head of infectious diseases at @NIH for longer than I’ve been alive
Daily Caller @DailyCaller 3 Dec Jake Tapper asks Kamala Harris “should the Chinese government be further punished for mishandling and hiding the truth” about coronavirus:”We are not in the position of stating policy about our relationship with any of these countries at this moment.”
HuffPost Politics @HuffPostPol 4 Dec Speaking at a virtual town hall, Biden said getting coronavirus relief to working-class Americans would be a major priority once he was sworn in on Jan. 20.
Susan Kroll @suekroll 3 Dec Dr. Celine Gounder a member of the Biden-Harris COVID advisory board: “The number one risk for dying from coronavirus in the hospital is whether or not doctors and nurses are overwhelmed” @ChrisJansing @MSNBC
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