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        • COVID-19: UpdateRapid COVID-19 Escalation Pushes World Past 900,000 Cases

          As the global total passed 900,000 COVID-19 cases yesterday, the World Health Organization (WHO) director-general said he is deeply concerned about the rapid escalation in cases and the wide reach of the virus, which now threatens to bear down on low-income countries with fragile health systems. Spurred mainly by rapidly growing pandemic activity across Europe and the United States, the global total yesterday is at 926,924 cases in 180 countries, which includes 46,252 deaths.

        • Mass testingCoronavirus: As a Health Economist, I’m Not Convinced the Case for Mass Testing Stacks Up

          By Cam Donaldson

          Health economists think in terms of benefits from a course of action: lives saved, years of life saved and something we call quality-adjusted life years saved or QALYs. Yet in the present crisis, the data to make such calculations is likely to come too late. In a situation with (perceived) high risks and an immediate impact, there is a “rule of rescue” that says you decide now, still using rational reasoning, and worry about the QALYs later. So here’s my perspective as a health economist about the best way forward.

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        • COVID-19: TreatmentsA Multipronged Attack against a Shared Enemy

          Teams of medical researchers at Harvard have joined the frantic race to find a treatment for the novel coronavirus as the global pandemic intensifies. The approaches are varied and include designing small molecules that can inhibit proteins in the virus, harnessing the natural power of the human immune system by extracting antibodies from recovered patients, and repurposing existing antivirals made to fight other diseases.

        • Post-pandemic recoveryThe Data Speak: Stronger Pandemic Response Yields Better Economic Recovery

          By Peter Dizikes

          With much of the U.S. in shutdown mode to limit the spread of the COVID-19 disease, a debate has sprung up about when the country might “reopen” commerce, to limit economic fallout from the pandemic. But as a new study co-authored by an MIT economist shows, taking care of public health first is precisely what generates a stronger economic rebound later. His study of the 1918 flu pandemic shows U.S. cities which responded more aggressively in health terms also had better economic rebounds.

        • ExtremismUN Report Highlights Threat of Extreme Right-Wing Terrorism

          The UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) has just issued a new report on the dangers posed by the rise of right-wing terrorism. The report cites experts who have identified extreme right-wing terrorism as a unique form of political violence with often fluid boundaries between hate crime and organized terrorism. It is a not a coherent or easily defined movement, but rather a shifting, complex and overlapping milieu of individuals, groups and movements (online and offline) espousing different but related ideologies, often linked by hatred and racism toward minorities, xenophobia, islamophobia or anti-Semitism.

        • First respondersCloud-Based Electronic System: Helping First Responders Better React to Natural Disasters

          Every year natural disasters kill around 90,000 people and affect close to 160 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Such disasters also result in the destruction of the physical environment of the affected people. Now, researchers have developed a new tool to help first responders and disaster relief organizations better provide assistance to developing countries. The researchers created a cloud-based supply chain management system for emergency response to track inventory and distribution in countries struck by disasters.

        • Energy securityUncertain Climate Future May Disrupt Energy Systems

          Extreme weather events – such as severe drought, storms, and heat waves – have been forecast to become more commonplace and are already starting to occur. What has been less studied is the impact on energy systems and how communities can avoid costly disruptions, such as partial or total blackouts.

        • PerspectivePandemics and the U.S. Military: Lessons from 1918

          The novel coronavirus will hit the U.S. military and its allies hard — how hard will depend on a number of variables, some having to do with the virus itself (how and to what extent it mutates, whether it comes back in subsequent waves, etc.) and others having to do with what measures militaries take to protect themselves. Michael Shurkin writes that, fortunately, we have a historical example that could offer some clues on how the virus might affect the military, and the policy choices that at some point today’s military leaders may face. He is referring to the 1918 influenza epidemic — commonly referred to as the Spanish flu.

        • PerspectiveThreats to Democracy Spread with the Virus, We Must Keep Both in Check

          As the coronavirus pandemic has spread, governments have responded predictably to the threat by agitating for increased authority. Melissa Hooper writes that the worst of these, the Hungarian proposal, was easily enacted into law on Tuesday, “setting a terrible precedent for other countries, in the West and around the world.” She adds: “Under the legislation, Hungary’s parliament will be disempowered in favor of rule by executive decree. The parliament now loses the ability to check the power of Viktor Orbán and his executive branch. Since the Fidesz government has hamstrung its court system, already limiting judicial oversight, this would remove the last obstacle to a dictatorial government. This is especially true since expanded executive power will be granted indefinitely: The bill has no sunset clause.”

        • Our picksIran Hacks WHO | The Mathematics of COVID-19 Prediction | Antibiotic Resistance & Coronavirus, and more

          ·  We Must Continue Fighting Terrorism as Relentlessly as the Coronavirus

          ·  Zoom Vulnerabilities Could Give Attackers Webcam, Microphone Access

          ·  A Guide to Healthy Skepticism of Artificial Intelligence and Coronavirus

          ·  Antibiotic Resistance Could Lead to More COVID-19 Deaths

          ·  Hackers Linked to Iran Target WHO Staff Emails During Coronavirus - Sources

          ·  Overflowing Oil Tanks Have Traders Eyeing Rail Cars for Storage

          ·  The Quieter Side of Preparing for Disaster

          ·  The Interminable Body Count

          ·  What Does COVID-19 Mean for U.S. National Security

          ·  The Mathematics of Predicting the Course of the Coronavirus 

        • COVID-19: UpdateAs Global COVID-19 Total Passes 850,000, Study Shows 1.4% Fatality Rate

          A steady surge of COVID-19 activity on many continents pushed the global pandemic total past 850,000 infections yesterday and sent the number of deaths over 41,000. In research developments, a team from the United Kingdom published a new case-fatality rate estimate of 1.4 percent, based on all available data on deaths in and outside of China, and another group found that illness rates in South Korea trended younger and more female compared with patterns seen in China’s outbreak.

        • COVID-19: TreatmentsCOVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Awards $20 Million to Fund Clinical Trials

          The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, a global initiative launched in March by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard, has announced three grants totaling $20 million in support of efforts to identify repurposed drugs and immunotherapies for COVID-19.

        • COVID-19: European responseCoronavirus Measures May Have Already Averted Up to 120,000 Deaths Across Europe

          By Ryan O'Hare and Dr. Sabine L. van Elsland

          Strong social distancing measures to slow and suppress the spread of COVID-19 across Europe are estimated to have averted thousands of deaths. According to the research, up to 120,000 deaths may have already been averted in 11 countries, including the U.K., Italy and Spain. However, they add that the estimated proportion of people to have been infected with the virus may only be between 2 percent to 12 percent of the population (2.7 percent in the U.K.).

        • Pandemic drones“Pandemic Drone” to Detect Coronavirus

          A “pandemic drone” to remotely monitor and detect people with infectious respiratory conditions is being developed. The drone will be fitted with a specialized sensor and computer vision system that can monitor temperature, heart and respiratory rates, as well as detect people sneezing and coughing in crowds, offices, airports, cruise ships, aged care homes and other places where groups of people may work or congregate.

        • Pandemic drones“Pandemic Drones”: Useful for Enforcing Social Distancing, or for Creating a Police State?

          By Michael Richardson

          As COVID-19 restrictions tighten around the world, governments are harnessing the potential of drones. From delivering medical supplies, to helping keep people indoors – drones can do a lot in a pandemic. But these measures may be difficult to rollback once the pandemic passes. And safeguards will be needed to prevent unwanted surveillance in the future.

        • Truth decaySocial Media Makes It Difficult to Identify Real News

          There is a price to pay when you get your news and political information from the same place you find funny memes and cat pictures, new research suggests. The study found that people viewing a blend of news and entertainment on a social media site tended to pay less attention to the source of content they consumed – meaning they could easily mistake satire or fiction for real news.

        • CybersecuritySome Mobile Phone Apps Contain Hidden Secrets Compromising Users’ Private Data

          Researchers have discovered that a large number of cell phone applications contain hardcoded secrets allowing others to access private data or block content provided by users. The study’s findings: that the apps on mobile phones might have hidden or harmful behaviors about which end users know little to nothing.

        • PerspectiveThe U.S. Needs to Know What Went Wrong

          When America has recovered from the coronavirus crisis and people are back to work, Congress should consider a 9/11-style independent commission to examine why the United States was so unprepared for the pandemic.

        • PerspectivePartisanship Is the Strongest Predictor of Coronavirus Response

          The U.S. is a land divided. Americans have sorted themselves into opposing factions, with different values, sources of authority, and shared understandings. David Roberts writes that in some ways, there is no longer any meaningful U.S.“public,” but rather two publics that want and believe different things. America is facing what Roberts calls an “epistemic crisis.” Epistemology is the branch of philosophy having to do with knowledge and how we come to know things. In the face of the coronavirus crisis — and future epidemics – “the epistemic gap could have devastating public health consequences,” he writes.

        • PerspectiveAuthoritarians Are Exploiting the Covid-19 Crisis | Problems in FBI Surveillance Applications | Hijacking Zoom, and more

          ·  Coronavirus Is Rising Around U.S. Military, Defense Infrastructure, Analysis Shows

          ·  Do Authoritarian or Democratic Countries Handle Pandemics Better?

          ·  How Authoritarians Are Exploiting the Covid-19 Crisis to Grab Power

          ·  Justice Department Watchdog Finds New Problems in FBI Surveillance Applications

          ·  Border Wall Work in Arizona Speeds Up, Igniting Contagion Fears

          ·  Covid-19 Is Killing Off Our Traditional Notions of National Defense

          ·  FBI Warns Zoom, Teleconference Meetings Vulnerable to Hijacking

          ·  Rising Seas Threaten Bay Area Economy, Infrastructure, Environment, Says Most Detailed Study Yet

        • Also noted

          ·  Authoritarianism in the Time of the Coronavirus

          ·  Hungary’s Orban Given Power to Rule By Decree With No End Date

          ·  China Isn’t Helping Italy. It’s Waging Information Warfare.

          ·  U.S. Could Take Equity Shares in Coronavirus-Hit Airlines: Officials

          ·  Trump Team Failed to Follow NSC’s Pandemic Playbook

          ·  “He’s Going to Do Whatever He Wants”

          ·  Countries Rush to Dump ‘Defective’ Chinese COVID-19 Tests

          ·  DHS Wound Down Pandemic Models Before Coronavirus Struck

          ·  Job Vacancies and Inexperience Mar Federal Response to Coronavirus

        • COVID-19: UpdateU.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Nears 3,000, Cases Exceed 160,000

          Yesterday, as the “15 days to slow the spread” campaign ends across America but citizens continue to practice physical distancing for at least another month, COVID-19 cases surged top almost 160,000 and pandemic-related deaths neared 3,000. Yesterday, White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx, MD, warned that other cities in the United States could soon look like New York. “No state or metro area will be spared,” said Birx.

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