Daily Digest 7/1 – Senate Reaches Last Minute Deal To Extend PPP, Coronavirus Brings American Decline Out In The Open

Economy

Senate reaches deal to extend Paycheck Protection Program hours before it was set to expire (TourGuideDC)

Democrats had been planning all day to try to advance Paycheck Protection Program legislation on the floor by unanimous consent — but they were expecting Republicans to object. Instead a last-minute deal was struck and quickly passed.

Even if the House manages to pass the measure before adjourning this week, though, thorny questions still remain unresolved about how to repurpose the funds left in the program. Demand for the remaining money has slowed to a trickle, a dramatic change since the program was launched in April and immediately overwhelmed by demand.

Coronavirus Brings American Decline Out in the Open (Adam)

Almost every systematic economic advantage possessed by the U.S. is under threat. Unless there’s a huge push to turn things around — to bring back immigrants, sustain research universities, make housing cheaper, lower infrastructure costs, reform the police and restore competence to the civil service — the result could be decades of stagnating or even declining living standards.

Federal Reserve program could buy corporate debt from Apple and subsidiaries of foreign-based firms, prompting questions of whom relief effort should serve (TourGuideDC)

The Fed’s corporate credit facilities are twofold: the “primary market” facility, which officially launched Monday, allows the Fed to purchase bonds directly issued by large companies that apply for certification. The “secondary market” facility purchases already-issued bonds that fall within the index and are trading in the secondary market. The Fed has said that even as the markets have healed significantly since March, the facilities should still be in place in case conditions turn south.

Workers are getting laid off for a second time, as the virus’s surge puts reopenings on hold (TourGuideDC)

Millions of American workers are suffering from economic whiplash, thinking they were finally returning to work only to be sent home again because of the coronavirus’s latest surge. Stores, restaurants, gyms and other businesses that reopened weeks ago are shuttering once more, and this time Congress appears less inclined to provide additional aid. Other companies that had banked on customers returning and restrictions lifting — such as hotel chains, construction firms and movie theaters — are seeing hours cut and reopening dates pushed back indefinitely as consumer demand stalls.

The True Cost Of Dollar Stores (jdargis)

Woods’s murder was one of three homicides in six months at the two discount chains in the St. Louis area. On June 13th, a man and a woman started arguing in a car in the parking lot of a Family Dollar on West Florissant Avenue, just outside the city line; he shot her once in the head, killing her. Less than a month after Woods’s death, a sixty-five-year-old woman was shopping at the Family Dollar on St. Charles Rock Road when a seemingly mentally ill thirty-four-year-old woman grabbed steak knives from a shelf in the store and stabbed her to death.

New York City Proves You Don’t Have to Defund the Police, You Can Just Demoralize Them (thc0655)

The idea that the current moral panic regarding police brutality is serving the interests of anyone other than a group of trained Marxist activists is absurd. It is time that our local and national leaders had the courage to say so. You only need to look at the radical uptick in violent crime coupled with an increase in police officers leaving the job in New York City to understand why.

National mask mandate could save 5 percent of GDP, economists say (TourGuideDC)

The dire situation has raised the specter of another round of state-level stay-at-home orders to halt the pandemic’s spread and caused a number of governors to pause or reverse reopening plans. Against this backdrop, a team of economists at Goldman Sachs has published an analysis suggesting more painful shutdowns could be averted if the United States implements a nationwide mask mandate.

FDA to require covid-19 vaccine to prevent disease in 50 percent of recipients to win approval (TourGuideDC)

The standards apply to full approvals. But the agency didn’t rule out temporary approvals, called emergency use authorizations, which typically are based on less stringent requirements. The guidance said any decision on an emergency authorization would be made “on a case-by-case basis considering the target population, the characteristics of the product” and the available evidence, including clinical trial data on safety and effectiveness.

Virginia’s first offshore wind turbines promise jobs and clean power. They won’t come cheap (TourGuideDC)

The last 253-foot blade was attached to one of the turbines Friday by contractors for Dominion Energy, Virginia’s biggest utility and the owner of the project. On Monday, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed laws creating a state Office of Offshore Wind and setting a mandate for 5,200 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2034.

Lessons From The Lockdown: Why are so many fewer children dying? (Base12)

Did aggressive lockdowns stave off the worst-case scenario, preventing vulnerable states from becoming disaster areas like New York City? No controlled experiment will give us that answer. Pennsylvania makes the best case for that argument, with an early excess death pattern that resembled its neighbors in the Northeaster corridor but saw that rate drop precipitously by early April. But Pennsylvania is also an unusual geographic unit, with its largest city, Philadelphia, lying on the coast and separated from the western part of the state and its second-largest city, Pittsburgh, by the Appalachian Mountains. This anomaly makes it difficult to draw clear conclusions from Pennsylvania’s Covid19 curve.

Could Changing Our Diets Defeat COVID-19? (LesPhelps)

In our research, we also found that people consuming more animal protein had fewer antibodies, even in those consuming a very low amount of animal protein. We obtained four sets of statistically significant correlations (plant food factors vs. prevalence of antibodies and antigens, animal food consumption and indicators vs. prevalence of antibodies and antigens), and each supported the same conclusion.

Broadway Actor Nick Cordero’s Wife Amanda Kloots Draws Hope From ‘The Karate Kid’ (Adam McPherson)

COVID-19 stricken actor Nick Cordero communicates mostly with his eyes, and occasionally moves his jaw, according to wife Amanda Kloots.

In her latest update on the actor’s battle with the virus, Kloots admitted, “Nick is profoundly weak,” and said his recovery would take “a long time.”

US Report Says China Prizes Rare Earths Industry for Geopolitical Influence (TourGuideDC)

“They’re not concerned with economic return in many of these cases,” Horizon founder Nathan Picarsic told the Wall Street Journal. “They see controlling this type of [industry] as a path to win without fighting.” His consulting firm focuses on the implications of China’s competitive approach to geopolitics, according to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies where he is a senior fellow.

Swarms of locusts devastate parts of northern Kenya (Sparky1)

A Turkana man walks through a locust swarm near the town of Lodwar, Turkana county, Kenya, June 28, 2020. Numbers of locusts exploded in East Africa and the Red Sea region in late 2019, exacerbated by atypical weather patterns amplified by climate change.

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