/Links 4/28/2020

Links 4/28/2020

Pentagon formally releases 3 Navy videos showing “unidentified aerial phenomena” CBS. I think the “2020!” showrunners need to rethink this plot twist. It’s all too much.

UBS profits jump 40% as wealth unit performs robustly FT

Less Than a Third of the World Can Feed Itself From Local Crops, Says Study Modern Farmer


The science:

Aerodynamic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in two Wuhan hospitals Nature. From the abstract: “[W]e propose that SARS-CoV-2 may have the potential to be transmitted via aerosols. Our results indicate that room ventilation, open space, sanitization of protective apparel, and proper use and disinfection of toilet areas can effectively limit the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in aerosols. Future work should explore the infectivity of aerosolized virus.”

Nobody Knows What Is Going On Mark Manson

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Virus Likely to Keep Coming Back Each Year, Say Top Chinese Scientists Bloomberg

What we could learn from the coronavirus outbreak on aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt Los Angeles Times

At least 12 UK children have needed intensive care due to illness linked to Covid-19 Guardian

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Treatment and Vaccine:

The Pandemic-Era Emergency Dep’t: Weirder, Wilder & Emptier Than Ever Matt Bivens, Medium

New York City ER medical director, 48, takes her own life after telling her family about the trauma of witnessing patients dying from coronavirus before they could be taken from ambulances Daily Mail

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Masks as an example of rapid innovation in apparel:

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Coronavirus testing increasing, but still not good enough Axios

READ: Coronavirus Testing Guidelines From The White House NPR

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Economic effects:

Tyson Foods takes out full-page ad: ‘The food supply chain is breaking’ The Hill

The Lost Spring: Coronavirus Shuts Down Nearly Every School for Academic Year Education Week

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Elite response:

The Secret Group of Scientists and Billionaires Pushing a Manhattan Project for Covid-19 WSJ. Reads like a Gibson novel, and I don’t mean that as a compliment:

A dozen of America’s top scientists and a collection of billionaires and industry titans say they have the answer to the coronavirus pandemic, and they found a backdoor to deliver their plan [a report, below] to the White House.They call themselves Scientists to Stop Covid-19, and they include chemical biologists, an immunobiologist, a neurobiologist, a chronobiologist, an oncologist, a gastroenterologist, an epidemiologist and a nuclear scientist…..

This group, whose work hasn’t been previously reported, has acted as the go-between for pharmaceutical companies looking for a reputable link to Trump administration decision makers. They are working remotely as an ad hoc review board for the flood of research on the coronavirus, weeding out flawed studies before they reach policy makers.

Great. When the aliens land, we can hand the first contact problem over to these guys. And:

No one involved with the group stands to gain financially.


Steve Pagliuca, co-owner of the Boston Celtics and the co-chairman of Bain Capital—as well as one of Dr. Cahill’s investors—helped copy edit drafts of their report, and he passed a version to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive David Solomon. Mr. Solomon got it to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

No possibility of front-running here! Here is their report (and whatever “the science” might be, you can bet the backers have other things in mind. The word “patent,” for example, is conspicuous by its absence). It’s only seventeen pages long. Reader comments welcome.

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Political response:

Coronavirus apps: the risk of slipping into a surveillance state FT

Round 2 of Paycheck Protection Program starts. Better hurry CBS

Trump Faces Off With the WHO: Sorting Through the Allegations Just Security

A New Org Chart Won’t Stop the Next Pandemic Bloomberg

Who Deserves a Relief Check? It Doesn’t Matter. Bloomberg

Multi-millionaire Trump donor is top recipient of funds intended for struggling small businesses Popular Information

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Exit strategy:

CDC compiles new guidelines to help organizations reopen CBS

Abbott’s coronavirus order nixes Austin’s enforcement of face mask mandate Statesman

Texas Will Allow Stay-At-Home Order To Expire Thursday, Letting Some Businesses Reopen HuffPo

A five-layered defense for workplace reopening Harvard Gazette. For employers and building managers.

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Remedies and ameliorations:

Five handle hacks for hands-free door opening Dezeen (Re Silc).

How to avoid Amazon: the definitive guide to online shopping – without the retail titan Guardian. UK-centric, but some US firms. Perhaps readers can add suggestions.

Coronavirus and Travel in the United States CDC

National Archives makes its entire digital archive available for free Ian Visits


Our Latest Sinophobia Fest Patrick Lawrence, Consortium News

How a pandemic led the world to start shopping on Alibaba FT. “The Chinese tech giant has emerged as a key supplier of PPE.”

Coronavirus: how will China’s role in the global economy change when faced with pandemic backlash? South China Morning Post

S’porean man charged in court for leaving home 30 minutes before quarantine ended to get breakfast Mothership (Re Silc).

Malaysia’s deputy health minister fined RM1,000 for breaching coronavirus restriction rules Straits Times

Exclusive: More than 2,200 Indonesians have died with coronavirus symptoms, data shows Reuters

300,000 coronavirus masks sent to pregnant women in Japan may be faulty: reports Reuters

Inside Taiwan’s Response to COVID-19 Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Coronavirus: New Zealand claims no community cases as lockdown eases BBC

Thailand shelves Asia-Pacific trade pact membership decision amid growing opposition Reuters

Is the US-Philippines Alliance Obsolete? The Diplomat


Work from home: Professionals complain of stress, insomnia, anxiety Times of India


Egypt extends state of emergency on virus, security fears Agence France Presse

Chile’s Going Ahead with the Coronavirus ‘Release Certificates’ the WHO Warned Against Vice

Trump Transition

Tensions emerge among Republicans over coronavirus spending and how to rescue the economy WaPo

Trump’s Politicization of U.S. Intelligence Agencies Could End in Disaster Foreign Policy. After a gaggle of former intelligence officials mutated into high-paid talking heads on CNN during Russiagate Come on, man.

Labour report reveals how Jeremy Corbyn was sabotaged from within (podcast) Pushback with Aaron Mate. Not new, but useful in Podcast form.


A former neighbor of Joe Biden’s accuser Tara Reade has come forward to corroborate her sexual-assault account, saying Reade discussed the allegations in detail in the mid-1990s Business Insider. Far more evidence than the Blasey Ford story, which dominated the news for weeks. Odd.

Biden Goes Postal: The Vice President’s Conspiracy Theory Is Given Credence By The Media And Democratic Leaders Jonathan Turley. Maybe if the Democrats are worried about canceling elections, they shouldn’t be cancelling Presidential primaries? Just trying to help out on the optics, here. (For those who came in late, the Clinton campaign claimed that Trump wouldn’t accept the election results of 2016, too, and when Clinton lost, loyalists promptly floated trial balloons for overturning the results in the Electoral College using a “faithless electors” strategy.) Come on, man. We need a word that goes beyond “hypocrisy,” in the same way that “bullshit” goes beyond mere lying. Doublethink?

Health Care

What the Coronavirus Crisis Reveals About American Medicine The New Yorker. “[T]he medical infrastructure of one of the world’s wealthiest nations fell apart, like a slapdash house built by one of the three little pigs.” There are more than three pigs. And they aren’t little.

Putting A Stake Through The Heart of Public Health’s Eeyore Complex Health Affairs


The System Works: Deputy Who Randomly Fired His Gun Through His Windshield Into Rush Hour Traffic Fined $2 TechDirt (JBird4049).

Imperial Collapse Watch

Globalism: Lysol-Huffing For Elites The American Conservative. Don’t try this at home.

Guillotine Watch

Foreclosure sales continue in Bay Area during coronavirus crisis San Francisco Chronicle (WCL). Awful:

Yet outside of courthouses and city halls across the Bay Area, one obscure legal proceeding continues to unfold: the auctioning off of foreclosed properties. Every week more than a dozen such auctions are taking place from San Francisco to Redwood City to Oakland, as auctioneers holding iPads rattle off addresses and prices, and would-be investors gather around and bid for a chance to take ownership of a home where the previous owner has fallen behind on loan payments.

The persistence of these privately run, extrajudicial auctions — San Francisco has two a week, Alameda County has five, and San Mateo County three — has prompted criticism from elected officials who argue that selling foreclosed homes is not an essential service.

And some who are defaulted on their loans and face losing their property argue that the auctions should be put off because legal avenues typically available to delay such sales — court-ordered enjoinments — are not available because of the health orders.

An open letter to the Poetry Foundation regarding their COVID-19 Response Statement Spect (EG: “The Poetry Foundation is sitting on a rather large endowment, several hundred million, with a well-compensated leadership, but is helping with peanuts at a time when the livelihood of, quite possibly literally, the entire art form is at risk.”

Class Warfare

Job or Health? Restarting the Economy Threatens to Worsen Economic Inequality NYT. “The pandemic recession has knocked millions of the most economically vulnerable Americans out of work. Rushing to reopen their employers could offer them a financial lifeline, but at a potentially steep cost to their health.” I love the reframing of “wage labor” as “economically vulnerable.” Just when I think liberalism has peaked…

Amazon should try this in its warehouses, to help with union-busting:

The “Father of Environmental Justice” on Why He Isn’t Surprised by COVID-19 Health Disparities Texas Monthly

Whose coronavirus strategy worked best? Scientists hunt most effective policies Nature

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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