“Coronavirus Worldwide Graphs” Worldometer, April 13, 2021 / Image: Worldometer

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

U.S. stock futures slipped Tuesday after American authorities recommended halting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following six reported cases of blood clotting. Shares of the drugmaker fell 2.8% in the premarket after the announcement from the Food and Drug Administration to pause administration of the vaccine, while rivals Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. advanced. Nearly seven million people in the U.S. have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Consumer prices increased in March, given a boost by a strong economic recovery and year-over-year comparisons to a time when the pandemic was about to throttle the U.S. economy. The Labor Department reported the consumer price index rose 0.6% from the previous month, but 2.6% from the same period a year ago. 

The World Health Organization warned the coronavirus pandemic is growing “exponentially” and called on the public to continue practicing measures like social distancing and mask wearing, even as vaccines are rolled out. India reported 161,736 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, hitting the world’s highest daily tally. The surge could impact vaccine production, as the country is a major producer and critical supplier to the U.N.-backed COVAX vaccine. 

Despite a rise in infections, Hindu devotees packed the streets in northern India for the largest religious pilgrimage on Earth. As many as 5 million visitors were expected to descend the city on Monday – an auspicious day in which devotees can wash away their sins in sacred waters, which are believed to turn into the nectar of immortality. 

Two new studies suggest that the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, which was first identified in the U.K., is more transmissible, but the variant does not appear to impact disease severity. The findings clash with previous research, which suggests the variant may be tied to a higher risk of dying from COVID-19. The U.S., struggling to track variants, is increasing the use of genetic sequencing. Before the pandemic, this kind of genomic surveillance was reserved mainly for conducting small studies of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The United Nations secretary general declared that the world’s failure to unite on tackling COVID-19 created worldwide inequities and called for urgent action, including a wealth tax to help finance the global recovery. There has been a $5 trillion surge in the wealth of the world’s richest in the past year. In the same time frame, nearly 500 new billionaires joined Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list, including Moderna CEO and BioNTech cofounder. 

A German company hopes to help usher in a new era of coronavirus testing with an eye scan that takes three minutes to identify carriers of the disease and has a hit rate of 95%. The app uses a photo of the eye taken with a smartphone and identities the virus by symptomatic inflammation called “pink eye.” The app’s managing director said they were able to isolate COVID-19 from over two million different shades of pink.

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

How Peloton and its instructors became saviors in a hellish year at home – Mashable – 4/13/2021
Some coped with coronavirus anxiety by hunkering down in their kitchens to bake bread or cuddling on the couch to binge obscene amounts of television. And others, like Nikki Little and her husband Mike, finally hopped on the Peloton bandwagon.

Rural schools have a teacher shortage. Why don’t people who live there, teach there? – USA TODAY – 4/13/2021
Daniels grew up on the Fort Peck Reservation, home to about 6,000 members of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes, in northeast Montana. Now 48, she struggles to remember the name of even one of her teachers, and she has no memory of making a personal connection with any of them.

Green spaces are the front lines in a fight for housing justice – Grist – 4/13/2021
A community garden, a jobs program, meal distribution, community clean-ups: These are the amenities and services that unhoused people and mutual aid organizations created in Los Angeles’ Echo Park after coming together in the park last fall.

Energy transition after COVID-19: what pathway are we on? – S&P Global Platts – 4/13/2021
While the technology in the current energy transition is new, it will still be a process to shift from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives. The disruption of COVID-19 complicated matters, challenging many of the assumptions around the long-term evolution of energy markets.

The End of Hygiene Theater – The Atlantic – 4/13/2021
Last week, the CDC acknowledged what many of us have been saying for almost nine months about cleaning surfaces to prevent transmission by touch of the coronavirus: It’s pure hygiene theater.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Vanessa Freeman @VanessaFreeTV 13 Apr BREAKING: Federal health agencies on Tuesday will call for an immediate pause in use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine after six recipients in the United States developed a rare disorder involving blood clots within about two weeks of vaccination @nytimes

Rob Tornoe @RobTornoe 13 Apr The FDA reports that out of 6.8 million Johnson & Johnson doses administered in the U.S., their have been 6 reported cases of “rare & severe type of blood clot.” So the FDA and CDC want to investigate out of “an abundance of caution.”

Erin Cunningham @erinmcunningham 13 Apr Prior to the FDA announcement today re: J&J, Australia also said that it was scrapping plans to buy the vaccine due to blood clot events linked to AstraZenca’s shot, which uses the same technology

Daily Express @Daily_Express 13 Apr ‘It is a good vaccine!’ Fauci blasts Europe AstraZeneca stall and admits US will miss out

Sarah Wheaton @swheaton 13 Apr US, Europe holding back critical raw material needed for Covid vaccine production: SII CEO Adar Poonawalla. Not a lot of details here. What more can you tell us, @adarpoonawalla? What’s being held back?

CONTENT FACTS

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