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Fixing America’s COVID-19 mistakes: We could have much better masks by now if the CDC followed NASA’s playbook

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joe jill biden masks President Joe Biden caressed his wife, first lady Dr. Jill Biden, on the South Lawn of the White House on January 29, 2021 in Washington, DC.

We've been wearing masks for almost a year, and we're still not getting it right. Plan better concealments, and creating standards and descriptions for them were gonna help. So would prescribe fines, as South Korea has done. Such articles is one in a four-part series on the simple ways to fix the America's biggest COVID-1 9 missteps. Click here to read more. See more fibs on Insider's business page.

Over the course of the past year, we've gone through at least four major ethnic shiftings when it comes to wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-1 9 😛 TAGEND

First, we heard: don't wear a mask! Save them for frontline healthcare workers tending to sick cases.

Then: OK, wear a mask, but make it yourself.

Next: pretty, pretty satisfy wear a mask because they genuinely succeed quite well. Healthcare workers, try to get your hands on an N95 if you are eligible to.

And now: wear a cover-up( or two !) that's most comfortable for you, and make sure it filters and fits your face best.

It's been a unpleasant study arch, but we've discovered during this pandemic that when dealing with a virus that are frequently spreads without indications, one for which people are generally most epidemic before they know they're sick, masks can help us maintain our germs to ourselves in ways that are life-saving and hitherto simple.

The truth is that masks are going to be with us for numerous months to come, especially in public infinites, indoors. Yet, we will continue principally left in the dark about how to put on a good one when we leave the house. There's no way to fit test your cover-up , no one( truly) enforcing mask wearing in public, and no clear counseling about the best masks for different purposes.

Researchers and health policy experts concur there are 3 simple ways to become our disguised man better

fix the mask brace A cover-up bracing fits over a surgical mask to provide a snugger, more air-tight fit.

1. Copy NASA's playbook

NASA often has to tackle tough logistical questions when scheming how to get humans( and their digestive methods) into cavity.

Toilets, peculiarly, have been a topline challenge for decades. When the agency's in-house technologists come up empty sided, it crowdsources artistic brand-new solutions.

In 2020, NASA offered $20,000 to anyone who could design a bathroom that could be used to work on the moon. In 2017, the agency gifted $15,000 to a flight surgeon who found a mode for astronauts to .... alleviate themselves while stuck inside their spacesuits.

Why couldn't the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention engage in the same kind of crowdsourced, challenge-based hack-a-thon for disguises?

"There's a concealment that's waiting to be invented, " Dr. John Brooks, the CDC's prime medical officer for COVID-1 9 response, recently told Insider. "A mask that is easy and comfortable to wear, that filters beautifully, that is simple to take care of, and that's attractive."

So where's the prize money for that?

2. Make good, clear, evidence-based mask settles - and make it expensive to break them

Korean War veterans of South Korea salute during a ceremony to unveil an installation artwork to commemorate the upcoming 70th anniversary of the Korean War, in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, June 15, 2020. South Korea on Sunday convened an emergency security meeting and urged North Korea to uphold reconciliation agreements, hours after the North threatened to demolish a liaison office and take military action against its rival. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) In South Korea, it can cost you $ 85 not to wear a mask in public.

You don't need the same types of viral armour in a crowded supermarket that you would going for a invited to participate in a placid neighborhood.

Virus expert and University of Maryland prof Don Milton knows this well: he wears a simple surgical mask if he strolls out for a walk.

"But, when I go to the grocery store, I situated my N95 on, " he told Insider.

In South Korea, it's expensivenot to be properly masked in public, but only when it matters most. Masks are mandatory on public transport, in buffet strands, and at the gym.

Scarves, valved masks and chin-masking won't cut it, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency says, suggesting that beings stick to wearing the country's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety-approved modelings( but still permitting any "cloth disguises or disposable masks that totally cover both cavity and nose" to do the job .) Violators can be fined around $85.

3. Give beings better quality concealments

covid masks Sandra Martinez, owner of Raspadesardina, a Spanish brand that stirs celebration drapes, hems a face mask at her atelier on June 8, 2020 in Madrid.

Early on in the pandemic, University of Wisconsin mechanical engineering professor David Rothamer turned his home into a high-quality mask factory, procuring his partner as its chief seamstress.

"I precisely wear the masks that my spouse does, " he recently told Insider. "It's kind of everyone for themselves."

If he has to run a immediate errand to the hardware store, he pops on a mask she's attained that has been lab-tested for carry-on against tiny viral specks. He says it's "just three strata of spun-bonded polypropylene" that have been sewn together, squandering a pattern.

But, he doesn't think everyone should have to create this kind of sophisticated, homegrown mask-making operation.

"The somewhat frustrating thing is I think there was an opportunity to say,' okay, we can use scientists to design this, use professionals, pattern something that's cheap to produce, do it at high-pitched sums, and get these things out there ,' " he said. "But instead you have basically an unregulated bunch of produces , nobody actually knows how they perform, unless you're someone like me who has a couple hundred thousand dollars importance of rig to assessment it."

The government could create better mask standards( as South Korea has ), regulate, and impose labeling protocols that they are able to keep us safe, all while demonstrating that different concealments come with different levels of performance. Then, it is possible to constitute hundreds of millions of good quality concealments available to people in all the regions of the US.

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The EU’s vaccine rollout is going so badly that Russia and China are now stepping in to take advantage

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Coronavirus vaccine A pharmacist planneds the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The EU's vaccination rollout is going so badly that China and Russia are now moving to sell their own supplies to Europe. China and Russia are using the contracts as leverage to obtain assents from Europe. The growing has wide-ranging inferences for relations between the powers and the West. Visit the Business section of Insider for more tales.

The EU's vaccination rollout is going so badly that China and Russia are now stepping in to make up the difference, with wide-ranging importances for relations between the two influences, Europe and the US.

"In both cases, there is a geopolitical agenda, " said Dalibor Rohac, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in an interview with Insider this week.

"If Chinese and Russian inoculations are effective and help[ European] countries emerge out of the pandemic sooner than their neighbors, China and Russia will have bought themselves a whole of goodwill in the region - at the expense of Brussels and Washington - which they can cash in at a time of their choosing, " he said.

The EU's vaccine curriculum is failing

The European Commission has come under intense analysi in recent weeks for the slow progress of its vaccination effort, which was coordinated centrally from Brussels to avoid leaving smaller positions behind.

China and Russia will have bought themselves a entire of goodwill in the region at the expense of Brussels and Washington

A number of factors including dwindling supplyings, yield problems, and a dramatic row with dose firm AstraZeneca mean that the EU has received far fewer vaccines than it succession, motivating Germany's finance minister to brand their own efforts "a total shitshow." Russia and China are more than happy to try and fill the void.

Hungary was the first European member state to lose patience with Brussels and go its own way on inoculations. After its avowedly Eurosceptic prime minister Viktor Orban testified "I'm not waiting, " he said 5 million quantities of China's state-backed Sinopharm vaccine and 2 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V inoculation, fast-tracked their approving, and began administering both jabs in February.

The rollout of the vaccine program in Europe has been shambolic

Other European countries including Poland, Austria, the The czechs, and Slovakia have now started eyeing Russian or Chinese inoculations extremely, Politico reported, despite the fact neither has been approved for use by the EU's medicines agency.

The move would fatally erode the EU's coming to procuring inoculations but for those countries, the estimation is a simple one.

"Politically for these smaller countries, their economies truly needed most. It's hard to say no, " said Theresa Fallon, administrator of the Centre for Russia Europe Asia Studies( CREAS) in Brussels, in an interview with Insider.

"Everyone is struggling to get a vaccine, and if there's an efficient one that they can get their hands on for not a lot of money they'll take it. I don't think they'll think twice about it. The rollout of the vaccine program in Europe has been shambolic."

Russia and China are using Europe's failure to their advantage

putin biden

Whether Russia and China will be able to deliver on their vaccine hopes remains an open question, said Fallon.

Data published by the health periodical Lancet indicated that the Sputnik V poking was highly effective in preventing COVID-1 9, but Russia has not injected much of its own population and there is speculation that it may be struggling with vaccine production - though an agreement reached in Italy to produce 10 million punches this week may improve that situation from July.

China's vaccines, meanwhile, are already being delivered worldwide but Beijing has refused to publish comprehensive safety data for the Sinovac and Sinopharm jabs. Fallon also said that fake vaccines containing mineral water and saline solution who the hell is shipped abroad from China may undermine trust in their efforts to distribute vaccines to other countries.

If Russia and China can deliver on their inoculation hopes, it will be far more than a good public relations activity for both regimen. It has the potential to provide them with geopolitical leverage which spawns it harder for countries to impose sanctions and easier to ignore bad faith actions.

"China is using[ its inoculations] not only to earn hearts and judgments. It's clearly particularly transactional, " said Theresa Fallon.

Beijing has already expressed its willingness to use its inoculation as an instrument for political gain, reportedly delaying a shipment of its Sinovac jab to Turkey as it was just trying to remove an agreement from the Turkish government on the extradition of Uighur Muslims.

Both governments will seek to extract assents later on

"Both regimes will seek to extract agreements later on, " said Dalibor Rohac.

"It will be harder to conclude the arguing for levy further sanctions on Russia when Putin decides to stir trouble in the neighborhood if a number of member states are indebted to Moscow for turning the pandemic around.

"Likewise, it will be more difficult to conclude the suit even for a partial decoupling with China if Chinese vaccines dally a role in the recovery."

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Brazil’s president, presiding over one of the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks, tells people to ‘stop whining’

Brazil coronavirus People lament a relative during a mass burial of coronavirus casualties in Manaus, Brazil, last May.

Brazil's chairperson has told parties to "stop whining" as the country's COVID-1 9 digits flood. Many badly punched countries ought to have controlling the virus, but Brazil looked record fatalities this week. Bolsonaro has minimise the virus and spread misinformation throughout the pandemic. Visit the Business section of Insider for more legends.

Brazil's populist president has told beings to "stop whining" as he is presided over by one of the world's worst COVID-1 9 outbreaks.

President Jair Bolsonaro addressed bunches Thursday in the Brazilian capital of Rio de Janeiro, where according to the BBC he said: "Stop whining. How long are you going to keep crying about it? "

"How much longer will you stay at home and close everything? " he included. "No one can stand it anymore. We repent the deaths, again, but we need a solution."

Jair Bolsonaro Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia, Brazil, on February 24.

Brazil has recorded the world's second-highest death toll from the coronavirus, with 260,970 beings dead as of Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

It also has recorded the third-most cases globally, with more than 10,793, 000 parties having tested positive. Only the US and India have reported higher numbers.

Brazil coronavirus Relatives of Neide Rodrigues, 71, who died of COVID-1 9, sorrowing in May in Rio de Janeiro.

But unlike many of the other worst-hit countries, Brazil isn't control a current decline in its cases.

The daily number of cases reported in the US has generally been falling since a flower in January 😛 TAGEND

US coronavirus cases Daily new coronavirus clients in the US as of Thursday.

In India, the number of members of daily reported cases has clicked up somewhat in the past few epoches but overall has been veering downward since September 😛 TAGEND

India Coronavirus cases March 2021 Daily new coronavirus occasions in India as of Thursday.

In Brazil, there hasn't been any same remove 😛 TAGEND

Brazil coronavirus cases March 2021 Daily brand-new coronavirus subjects in Brazil as of Wednesday.

On the day Bolsonaro was speaking, Brazil recorded its second-highest number of single-day deaths of the pandemic: 1,699, second only to the 1,910 recorded the day before, the BBC reported.

Bolsonaro has minimise the virus throughout the pandemic, spreading misinformation and at one point claiming Brazilians were immune.

He has endorsed prescriptions that have been proved not to work against the virus and encouraged lockdown complains.

The country at times has dug mass tombs for its coronavirus dead, with torsoes pictured on the streets.

Brazil coronavirus Coffins being buried in Manaus, Brazil, last-place April.

Joao Doria, the governor of the state of Sao Paulo, "ve spoken to" the BBC after Bolsonaro's observations Thursday, announcing the president "a crazy guy" who strikes "governors and mayors who want to buy inoculations and help the country to end this pandemic."

"How can we face the problem, learning beings die every day? " he said. "The health system in Brazil is on the verge of collapse."

Brazil is also threatened by a variant of the virus that is thought to be more contagious and to have originated in the city of Manaus.

The variant may also infect people who have already had the virus, researchers say.

Early in the pandemic, campaigners warned that Brazil's outbreak could become a "genocide" for the country's indigenous people, who insured a higher death rate than the rest of the population. Bolsonaro's environmental policies had already feigned their fragile societies.

Brazil coronavirus Satere-mawe indigenous husbands steering the Ariau river in Brazil's Amazonas government in May.

Bolsonaro has gazed to reduce environmental protections, including reallocating arrive pledged to indigenous tribesand promising during his election campaign to build a highway through the Amazon rainforest and power plants within it.

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Here are some of Sen. Ron Johnson’s thoughts on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill

ron johnson covid bill Sen. Ron Johnson

GOP Sen. Ron Johnson took to the Senate floor to let Americans is a well-known fact that $ 1.9 trillion is, physically, a good deal of coin. "I think we've grown immune to these vast amounts of money, " said Johnson, who voted for the GOP's $ 1.5 trillion tax cut in 2017. He also displayed a graphic showing how large-scale a load of a trillion one-dollar bills would be. Visit the Business section of Insider for more narrations.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin took to the Senate floor Wednesday to rend Democrats over their $1.9 trillion COVID-1 9 relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan.

Johnson's overarching message: $1.9 trillion is, physically, a good deal of money.

"I think we've grown immune to these vast amounts of fund, " he said Wednesday. "I always knew we were going to be in big trouble, when we stopped talking about hundreds of billions of dollars and switched to talking about trillions of dollars. And so we talk about one trillion or two trillion, it precisely doesn't sound as much as a duo hundred billion, or 800 billion, which was the stimulus box under the Obama administration."

The senator then put up a graphic showing how long it would take to accumulate $1.9 trillion at$ 1 per second.

ron johnson covid bill Sen. Ron Johnson discusses the COVID relief bill on the Senate floor.

Per the graphic, it would make more than 60,000 times to accrue $1.9 trillion at that proportion. A long time, as Johnson mentioned. And to show exactly how long, for anyone who was still unable to grasp the concept, the GOP senator pointed out that "the human race began to develop language about 50,000 years ago."

Then he initiated a second graphic demonstrate how big a stack of a trillion one-dollar bills would be. It's unclear why he selected the above figures or what it signifies.

According to the graphic, a load of one trillion dollar bills would be 67,866 miles high. That's a long distance.

"That is what we are debating spending, " Johnson said. "A stack of one dollar bill that increases more than halfway the interval to the moon."

ron johnson covid bill Sen. Ron Johnson speaks on the Senate floor.

Johnson then dove deeper into the relationship between money and the moon.

"This is at a point in time when we're about $28 trillion in debt, " he said. "That singles stack would be over 1.9 million miles. Or if we employed it relative to the moon, that would be eight loads; seven loads to go directly to the moon and one further stack that's 95 percent of the mode there."

"These are astonishing sums that we're talking about, and the majority party now wants to jam this through through a reconciliation process, " Johnson added. "No consultation with our area. Really blow it through now, 20 hours of debate, a vote-a-rama, pass $1.9 trillion in spending, and go home."

Fact check: Now are some big-ticket parts Johnson did not voice opposition to or actively substantiated: The Republican Party's $1.5 trillion tax cut, overstepped in December 2017 through budget reconciliation. Johnson connected 50 other GOP senators who elected to pass the money which, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would saddle the federal government with an additional $ 1.9 trillion in debt from 2018 to 2028. Trump's crusade against the 2020 results of the elections, which payment US taxpayers $519 million and counting.Trump's golf outings, which cost US taxpayers more than $ 150 million.

"At some point in time, there will be a day of reckoning, the debt crisis, and it won't be moderately, " Johnson said Wednesday. "My suggestion, at least as we consider this: is let us actually hold a debate. Let's have a discussion. Let's consider the amendments. Let's not do this in 20, 24, 30 hours. Let's make the time to seriously consider what we are doing to our children in contemplating spending a stack of dollar bills over 135,000 miles high-pitched, diversifying more than halfway to the moon."

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COVID-19 and 17 May: Tax Day Considerations for Clients

Have you spoken to your consumers about how pandemic-imposed working-from-home layouts may affect their taxation indebtedness?

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Newsletter: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

It’s enterprises daytime! We’ll have a special edition of the newsletter after official U.S. employ crowds are out. First, Jeff Sparshott here with the most recent on the economy.

Fresh Low, Still High

Filings for jobless assistances descended to their lowest level since the coronavirus stumbled the U.S. in March--a sign layoffs eased somewhat in a still striving labour market. Initial unemployment claims decreased a seasonally adjusted 249,000 to 1.2 million for the week objective Aug. 1, the Labor Department said. While lower, the figure remained at a historically high level for the 20 th straight-out week and well above the pre-pandemic record of 695,000 in 1982. The number of people receiving assistances through regular mood curricula, which cover the majority of works, decreased to its lowest level since April, Eric Morath reports.

The decline in applications came as an extra $ 600 a week in pandemic-related unemployment benefits pointed. Advisers were divided on the degree to which the end of enhanced unemployment benefits made the modest drop. Lawmakers and the White House continue to negotiate benefit ranks as one of the purposes of a broader stimulus package.


U.S. nonfarm payrolls for June are expected to rise by 1.482 million from the prior month and the unemployment rate is expected to fall to 10.6% from 11.1%. (8: 30 a.m. ET)

The Baker Hughes rig count is out at 1 p.m. ET.

U.S. consumer credit for June is out at 3 p. m. ET.


In Focus

Hiring increases are expected to have cooled in July, a mansion of a braking economic recovery amid rising coronavirus actions. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal project payrolls grew by 1.5 million in July and predicted the unemployment rate dropped to 10.6% from 11.1% in June. Such job incomes would signal the labor-market recovery continued, though at a weaker pace than in the previous two months. Before the coronavirus drove the U.S. into a deep receding this year, unemployment rates was wavering around a 50 -year low-spirited of 3.5%, Sarah Chaney reports.

Employers included more than 7 million jobs in May and June combined, as many territories lifted lockdown to limit ventures. That partly offset the about 21 million jobs removed in March and April. “On balance, we’re still in a excavation, ” said Julia Coronado, economist at MacroPolicy Perspectives. “The pace of improvement should certainly been set back by the resurgence of the virus.”

Seller’s Market?

Foreign obtains of U.S. homes dropped to the lowest level since 2013, a increase for domestic buyers at a time when inventory has been tighten. Chinese authority ascertain over foreign buys, slowing world-wide proliferation and a stronger dollar all contributed to the reduced foreign investment in U.S. residence, Nicole Friedman reports.

Alongside little rival from foreign purchasers, U.S. homebuyers are seeing record-low mortgage charges. Freddie Mac said a 30 -year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.88% this week, the lowest in the survey’s history date back to 1971.

But for new-home purchasers, some merchandise overheads are rising. Lumber futures objective Thursday at a record, propelled by a do-it-yourself remodeling boom and resurgent residence makes. Premiums have been transmit rising by eye mills that failed to anticipate the coronavirus pandemic put off a construct upturn, Ryan Dezember reports.

Electric Avenue

Coronavirus shutdowns are shifting energy costs to beings. Beginning in March, when ventures across the country snapped off the light-headeds and mail hires residence to curb the spread of Covid-1 9, overall electricity consumption waned. But household energy use tided, with some New York City accommodations consuming, on average, 23% more energy during business hours--a shift that, with the accompanying expense, could make things worse for those working previously standing financially as a consequence of the pandemic, Jo Craven McGinty writes.

Taking Aim at China

The White House shot with both cannons at Sino-U.S. fiscal ties-in Thursday, firing off a hope that could be used to magnetism Chinese companies to give up U.S. registers and ministerial line-ups curtailing events related to ByteDance and Tencent Holdings, two major Chinese tech companionships. The notices are another large-scale turn in the unwinding of a trans-Pacific commercial, monetary and technological relationship built up over years, and a representation of how quickly things are now deteriorating. The next couple of months especially seem likely to bring even more, Mike Bird writes.

Despite rising political antagonisms between Washington and Beijing, American symbols have suffered little commercial fallout among Chinese consumers, enabling them to capitalize on the economic rebound in China, Trefor Moss reports.

Global Demand Perks Up

German exports rose in June for the second consecutive month after sustain a record decline in April due to restrictions aimed at containing the coronavirus. And China’s exports announced a stronger-than-expected growth in July, as the gradual loosening of lockdown policies in Europe and the U.S. improved is asking for Chinese goods.


The pandemic has ravaged hundreds of thousands of businesses across Latin America, positioning back the clock on the social and economic advantages determined over the past two decades when a world stocks boom powered breakneck emergence. From 2003 to 2019, poverty decreased from 45% to 30% regionwide, and inadequate Latin american states by the millions, poised on the threshold of middle-class life, made their first airline flight, bought their own homes and paid university tuitions for their children. Now Latin America’s economy is expected to contract 9.4% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, the worst downfall on record for a region that was already battling with political commotion and social unrest before it became a hot spot for Covid-1 9, Ryan Dube and Juan Forero report.


The direct economic cost of school shutdowns in the U.K. will be minor to moderate. “However, the panel was unanimous that academy closes will increase inequality, with a large majority of the panel predicting a persistent increase in inequality. The body also foresaw harm to gender equality, with numerous foreseeing persistent increases in inequality along gender positions, ” economists said during a Center for Macroeconomics survey.


Real Time Economics has propelled a downloadable calendar with concise previews forecasts and analysis of major U.S. data liberates. To are additional to your calendar please click here.

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