Daily Digest 7/14 – Wealthy U.S. Families Approved For Gov’t Loans, COVID Immunity May Only Last Months


Amid pandemic, wealthy U.S. families approved for government loans (Sparky1)

The companies – often referred to as “family offices” – approved for the forgivable loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) included those that oversee money for the family that co-owns the National Basketball Association’s Sacramento Kings; the former manager of a multi-billion dollar hedge fund firm; and a serial Las Vegas entrepreneur.

In China, a Glimpse at the Future of Restaurants (tmn)

“There’s definitely been an increase [in customers] every week,” says Ignace Lecleir, owner of Beijing’s Temple Restaurant Group. Temple is known for running successful fine dining operations like TRB Forbidden City, but of the group’s four restaurants, only the most casual one, TRB Hulu, managed to stay open throughout the crisis. The all-day spot first began offering delivery in January after the initial emergency measures were declared, and even with dining rooms reopened and a growing number of people eating out again, Lecleir says that about 70 percent of the business is now from deliveries, while only 30 percent comes from in-person sales.

Did Uncle Sam’s virus aid help your credit score? Don’t count on a loan (Sparky1)

Americans’ finances might worsen more dramatically than they improved once stimulus checks stop, debt deferral programs finish and tax extensions offered by the Treasury Department expire, she said.

“Come August there will be a cliff coming in terms of people’s income and, in the meantime, a lot of these forbearances that people have worked out with lenders will be ending,” Ananat said. “This is looking to get a lot worse pretty soon.”

The Rabbit Outbreak (tmn)

The rabbit-hemorrhagic-disease virus was originally identified in 1984, in Jiangsu Province, China. First, it killed Angora rabbits being raised commercially for wool, and then it burned through pet rabbits and rabbits farmed for meat, all of which are members of the same species, Oryctolagus cuniculus, or what is commonly known as the European, or domestic, rabbit. During the initial outbreak in China, some hundred and forty million rabbits were killed by the virus. The disease soon ravaged rabbit populations elsewhere in Asia, and then in Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Middle East.

New Study Shows Coronavirus Immunity May Only Last a Few Months (Merle2)

Blood tests revealed that while 60% of people built up a “potent” antibody response initially, just 17% retained the same potency three months later. Antibody levels fell as much as 23-fold over the period and in some cases became undetectable.

The research was published in a pre-print paper online, but the findings have yet to be peer-reviewed.

Not all VC investors are being slowed down by the pandemic (James G.)

“We’ve just seen a handful of our sectors really spike, and I think that’s all contributed to deploying more capital in this period,” said Ian Sigalow, co-founder and partner at Greycroft.

The firm has been tied to 30 deals so far this year, compared with 26 in the first half of 2019, according to PitchBook data.

Coronavirus: Llamas provide key to immune therapy (Roger B.)

Professor James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute – and the lead researcher – described the technique as akin to cutting a key that fits the coronavirus lock.

“With the llama’s antibodies, we have keys that don’t quite fit – they’ll go into the lock but won’t turn all the way round,” he said.

FDA Authorizes First Antigen Test to Help in the Rapid Detection of the Virus that Causes COVID-19 in Patients (Roger B.)

Antigen tests are also important in the overall response against COVID-19 as they can generally be produced at a lower cost than PCR tests and once multiple manufacturers enter the market, can potentially scale to test millions of Americans per day due to their simpler design, helping our country better identify infection rates closer to real time.

This is just the first antigen test to be authorized and we expect more to follow. We also anticipate providing an EUA template for antigen tests, similar to ones we’ve released for other test types, to help manufacturers streamline submissions and help expedite our review and issuance of additional EUAs.

A race is on to make enough small glass vials to deliver coronavirus vaccine around the world (TourGuideDC)

Even in ordinary circumstances, Americans are sometimes subject to vaccine shortages. The most recent example is the shingles vaccine, which is recommended for people over 50 and requires two shots, an initial dose and a booster. GlaxoSmithKline’s Shingrix vaccine was in short supply in 2019 because it was such an improvement over the previous vaccine that demand rose significantly. Now, because fewer people are venturing out for routine care during the coronavirus pandemic, Shingrix is not in shortage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

San Antonio doctor says young man died after attending a COVID-19 party (tmn)

“Someone will be diagnosed with the disease and they’ll have a party to invite their friends over to see if they can beat the disease,” Dr. Appleby said.

She said some young patients don’t realize how sick they really are.

Is This The End Of The American Pipeline Boom? (Michael S.)

The Dakota Access Pipeline, (DAPL) was built to transport Bakken crude oil from its point of origin in far North Dakota to a terminus in Patoka, Illinois. Patoka is the second largest crude storage hub, after Cushing, Oklahoma. It also is strategically located in the mid-West refining matrix with a number of crude oil refineries in the Illinois/Indiana area. With a nameplate capacity of ~570-K BOPD a clear need existed for it in the minds of operator, Energy Transfer, (ET), and its partners, Phillips 66, (PSX), Enbridge, (ENB), and Marathon Petroleum, (MPC), as production from this remote corner of the country ramped to nearly 1.5 mm BOPD from 2016 to early 2020.

Three Pioneers Who Predicted Climate Change (tmn)

The notion that human activities might be warming the planet started coming into focus in the 1960s and ’70s, before a scientific consensus emerged in the 1980s and ’90s. But the rough outlines of the science surrounding humanity’s greatest contemporary threat has a surprising, little-known history that dates back roughly two centuries.

Satellite images show Three Gorges Dam opening all floodgates (thc0655)

Based on the water level of Zhongbao Island, Vinayak, who is an open-source intelligence (OSINT) consultant with India Today, asserts that given that the water level was 15 meters higher in 2017, there was no apparent need to open the floodgates, and such a discharge as seen on June 24 should not have been necessary. Furthermore, given the 80-year flood upstream on June 22, the level of the reservoir should have rivaled those seen in October 2017, which was many months after the floods seen that year.

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