May 11, 2021

Covid Plummets in the U.S.:

U.S. Covid cases have fallen nearly 70% over the past month, and are at their lowest levels in eleven months - with 20,000 new cases reported on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. 

The race to vaccinate is paying off in the U.S.: More than 45.8% of the U.S. population has at least one dose of a vaccine and the country continues to deliver more than 2 million doses per day on average.

The UK and U.S. still lead G8 countries in vaccination progress, with the UK having given more than 53% of its population at least one dose.

And despite slow starts, Canada and Germany are catching up. More than 34% of Canada's population now has at least one dose, and more than 32% of Germany's population has at least one dose.

Canada could surpass the U.S. in vaccinations as soon as June. A recent survey found that 80% of Canadians plan to get the jab while more than 30% of Americans said they will not.

Vaccination efforts have been slower in Asia. China has delivered enough vaccine doses for 11.3% of it's population, totaling more than 317 million doses and surpassing the more than 260 million doses administered in the U.S.

In Japan, where the delayed 2020 Olympics kick off in just about 10 weeks, just 2.4% of the population has at least one dose.


Covid Today.

Dark Projection: India Could Reach One Million Dead from Covid by August (Global Health Now) 

New: Pfizer Shot Gains U.S. Clearance for Teens as Young as 12 (Bloomberg)

Next Generation of Vaccine: Combined Flu & Covid-19 Vaccine Trial Shows Promise in Initial Study (Reuters)

Vax Strategy UpdateNew York City to Give Away Tickets to Lincoln Center, Botanical Gardens, Other Venues as Incentives (Bloomberg)

New York Governor Cuomo also announced Monday that eight transit hubs will offer Johnson & Johnson vaccines to riders, who will receive free MTA tickets after their shot.

Shot and a BeerErie County Hosts 'Shot and Chaser' Vaccine Clinic at Buffalo, NY Brewery (NBC2 - Buffalo)

If you've spent any time in Buffalo you know this will work. (There is a reason hot-wings were invented there.)

If they start giving away a case of Genesee 12 Horse with a vaccine I'm going to drive up to Buffalo for a third shot.


The Return to 'Normal.'

Time to Come Back: Blackstone Asks Staff to Come Back to U.S. Offices June 7 (Bloomberg)

UK Gets to Hug AgainEngland Lockdown Easing Gets the Go-Ahead With Majority of Adults Vaccinated (Bloomberg)

People in England will be able to hug close family and friends and meet indoors at pubs, restaurants and cinemas from May 17, as pandemic lockdown rules are relaxed further.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the country is on course for the government to fully end the lockdown on June 21.

DC Reopens: Washington, DC Mayor Bowser Announces Most Capacity Restrictions to be Lifted May 21 (Washington Post)

Vax Required: State University of New York System to Require Covid-19 Vaccine for Students This Fall (Albany Times-Union)

Click here to get the latest on the Return to 'Normal.'


What I'm Reading.

Pipeline Hack: President Biden Says Russia Has 'Some Responsibility' for Cyberattack on Fuel Pipeline (Bloomberg)

The Colonial pipeline hasn’t suffered damage and can be brought back online “relatively quickly,” Deputy National Security Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall said Monday. The company said it expects the pipeline to be “substantially” back in operations by the end of the week.

New Poll: Joe Biden's Approval Rating at 63% After First 100 Days with Americans More Optimistic (Associated Press)

71% of Americans approve of Biden's handling of the pandemic, including 47% of Republicans. 54% of respondents said the country is on the right track, higher than at any point in AP-NORC polls conducted since 2017.

They Can't Handle the TruthGOP Leadership Reportedly Hid Trump’s Weak Numbers At Recent Retreats (Washington Post)

Internal data reveal that voters in “core districts” have strongly unfavorable views of Trump — but rank-and-file Republicans don’t want to hear it.

2024 Watch: Most Diverse Electorate in American History Propelled Biden to 2020 Win (The Hill)

More than 1 in 5 Hispanic voters cast their first ballots in 2020 while the 2020 elections also marked the first presidential contest in which millennials and members of Generation Z (people born 1997-2002 or so) combined to eclipse the voting power of Generation X (people born 1965-1980).

Race for New York City Mayor: New York Post Endorses Eric Adams (New York Post Editorial)

New York Times Endorsement: Kathryn Garcia for NYC Mayor (New York Times Editorial)

Op-ed of the Day: Biden Should Embrace a Carbon Tax to Raise Much-Needed Revenue (Washington Post - Hank Paulson and Erskine Bowles)

It is supported by 67% of Americans, embraced by a bipartisan consensus of economists and increasingly supported by the business community.

With a carbon tax, President Biden could help restore America's infrastructure, fiscal strength and leadership at a time when all are sorely needed.

Israel Tensions Spiral: Hamas Fired Rockets at Jerusalem for First Time Since 2014 Gaza War, Israeli Retaliation Killed 20 (Axios)

Bringing London BackMayor Sadiq Khan Unveils Massive 'Let's Do London' Tourism Campaign After Re-election Victory (City AM)

London’s hospitality sector, culture institutions and retail industries are teaming up to attract people back to the city to rediscover the capital. The campaign is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Don't Repeat This Mistake: Baltimore’s Experiment with De-Policing Has Been Disastrous and Deadly (City Journal)

Since 2011, nearly 3,000 Baltimoreans have been murdered — one of every 200 city residents over that period. The annual homicide rate has climbed from 31 per 100,000 residents to 56 — ten times the national rate. And 93% of the homicide victims of known race over this period were black.

Market Watch: Jeff Bezos Sells More than $5 Billion in Amazon Stock Over Past Week (Bloomberg)

WFH Consequences: How Zoom Calls Have Ruined Conversation (Washington Post)

Suppose someone is speaking on a Zoom call and another person, eager to express agreement, chimes in at the end of their sentence.

Over Zoom, this tends to derail the discussion: Rather than a relatively smooth interruption, as might happen face-to-face, the attempt to talk creates moments of "Oh, no, you go ahead."

Cicada Swarm Alert: Washington, DC Prepares for Once in 17 Year Cicada Outburst to Peak Late May (Washington Post)

Golden Globes Backlash: NBC Won't Air 2022 Ceremony as Organizers Face Criticism for Lack of Diversity (New York Times)

Opera Houses Lead Green Revolution: La Scala in Milan to Install Solar Panels, Sydney Opera House Already Carbon Neutral (New York Times)


Best of Late Night.

On a new poll showing almost 2/3 of Americans are feeling optimistic after Biden's first 100 days in office:

“According to polls, the last time we were close to being this optimistic was 2006. I’m not surprised. That was when Tom Hanks brought back the mullet.”
-- Jimmy Fallon

From 'SNL:'

"It was announced Verizon will sell AOL and Yahoo!. I assume to the year 1998."
-- Colin Jost

On Guinness debuting a new beer with nitro cold brew coffee in it:

"It's the perfect gift for the sluggish drunk in your life."
-- Jimmy Fallon

"Guinness and coffee -- Irish people call that baby formula."
-- Jimmy Fallon

"It's a perfect product if you want to feel like you're napping and skydiving at the same time."
-- Jimmy Fallon

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