Links 5/25/2020

Black Lives Matter

Since this is Memorial Day weekend, our dedicated moderators have asked for those days off. Therefore, comment approval will be slow through Tuesday. Please be patient, and give us 24 hours! Thank you. –lambert

‘Keeping seeds in our hands’: the rise of seed activism Journal of Peasant Studies

Major tropical cyclones have become ‘15% more likely’ over past 40 years Carbon Brief

Earth’s Magnetic North Is Moving From Canada to Russia, And We May Finally Know Why Science Alert

Companies ditch commercial paper to lock in longer-term debt FT

#COVID19

The science:

Let’s Remember That the Coronavirus Is Still a Mystery Nicholas Kristof. A good column from Kristof, so these really are the End Times. Here is a more technical thread on the same thing:

Simulated Sunlight Rapidly Inactivates SARS-CoV-2 on Surfaces Journal of Infectious Diseases. From the abstract: “The present study provides the first evidence that sunlight may rapidly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, suggesting that persistence, and subsequently exposure risk, may vary significantly between indoor and outdoor environments. Additionally, these data indicate that natural sunlight may be effective as a disinfectant for contaminated non-porous materials.”

A Study on Infectivity of Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Carriers Respiratory Medicine. “It is debatable whether asymptomatic COVID-19 virus carriers are contagious. We report here a case of the asymptomatic patient and present clinical characteristics of 455 contacts, which aims to study the infectivity of asymptomatic carriers…. No severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections was detected in 455 contacts by nucleic acid test…. [W]e conclude that the infectivity of some asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 carriers might be weak.” OK. n=1. Nevertheless.

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Vaccines:

Exclusive: U.S. plans massive coronavirus vaccine testing effort to meet year-end deadline Reuters. Operation Warp Speed.

Did The Oxford Covid Vaccine Work In Monkeys? Not Really Forbes (Furzy Mouse). n=6.

Russian researchers test coronavirus vaccine on THEMSELVES, team leader says they now have antibodies Russia Today

Exclusive: big pharma rejected EU plan to fast-track vaccines in 2017 Guardian

What the development of penicillin tells us about developing a coronavirus vaccine Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Re Silc).

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Spread:

Birx: ‘I’m very concerned when people go out and don’t maintain social distancing’ The Hill

Coronavirus cluster traced to German church Deutsche Welle

CDC Advice On Surface Spread Of COVID-19 ‘Has Not Changed,’ Agency Says NPR. And even if it did, science evolves or it would be science. If you expect everything to be right the first time, (a) never write a business plan, and (b) never pack a reserve parachute. Quite the little online flap about this one..

COVID-19 Tracker AEI

‘This is what you signed up for.’ Nursing home staff say safety concerns were dismissed as outbreak grew. Virginia Mercury

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Masks:

Ohio Gov. DeWine is latest Republican to say wearing a mask isn’t about politics CNN

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Treatment:

Cuba Develops Effective Peptide Against COVID-19 Telesur

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Political response:

GOP Wants Cuts to Social Security and Medicare in Next COVID Stimulus Package Truthout. Hey, maybe Joe Biden can craft a “Grand Bargain”!

FDA Announces Temporary Flexibility Policy Regarding Certain Labeling Requirements for Foods for Humans During COVID-19 Pandemic FDA

American violence in the time of coronavirus High Country News

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Diplomatic reponse:

Trump places travel restrictions on Brazil Politico

Trump ‘has a point’ on WHO, German health minister says Politico

India, along with 61 other countries, seeks independent probe into WHO’s response to Chinese coronavirus outbreak OpIndia

* * *

Business response:

Fa fa fa fa fashion, la-la-la-la la la la la la:

Wyndham Hotels Now Operating Near 50% Occupancy, CEO Says Bloomberg. The headline is deceptive. The claim only applies to “midscale” hotels: AmericInn, Baymont, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Ramada, Ramada Encore, Wingate, and Wyndham Garden. I would hazard a guess that this is business travel; readers, please correct me.

* * *

Reopening:

Reopening tension pits state, local officials against each other in sign of what’s to come Politico

With masks, temperature checks and anxiety, California’s retail economy gingerly reopens Los Angeles Times

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Remedies and Ameliorations:

COVID-19 Sparks a Rebirth of the Local Farm Movement Yes!

How to Relieve Tired Eyes WebMD

Meet Rural Health Volunteers, the Unsung Heroes on Virus Frontline Khaosod Engish. Our health care system is so stupid and bad.

Coronavirus: Thousands to ignore Eid fatwa in Indonesia The Australian

Indonesian choreographers provide digital stage for dancers Associated Press

China?

Investors hold breath as Hong Kong security law plan prompts protests FT. Not, presumably, because of the tear gas. Hong Kong grafitti:

U.S.-China Tensions Hammerlock Bond Market Hopeful on Reopenings Bloomberg

New UK legal advice could open door to Hong Kong citizens Guardian

PLA drill in South China Sea about combat readiness, not seizing Taiwanese islands, experts say South China Morning Post

Trump’s tough choices over Hong Kong CNN. Note the author bio.

Military, diplomatic talks on with China to end stand-off Times of India

India

India among 10 worst-hit Covid-19 nations even as air travel resumes Straits Times

India’s heartland states battle the worst locust attack in 27 years: What does it mean for the economy Times Now

Japan cautiously lifts last of virus emergency controls Japan Times

Over half of Japan pathologists’ requests for postmortem coronavirus tests rejected: survey The Mainichi

UK/EU

UK coronavirus live: Boris Johnson says Dominic Cummings acted ‘responsibly, legally and with integrity’ – as it happened Guardian. BoJo presser leads to an enormous and entertaining Twitter meltdown, since immediately afterwards: Civil Service Tweet Goes Viral: ‘Arrogant And Offensive. Can You Imagine Having To Work With These Truth Twisters?’ Forbes. The tweet was up for all of ten minutes, during which time it garnered 30K likes:

An intern, one presumes. But are we sure?

Why Barnard Castle Craig Murray. Barnard Castle being one stop on Cummings’ odd itinerary.

Swedish antibody study shows long road to immunity as COVID-19 toll mounts Reuters

Sweden ‘wrong’ not to shut down, says former state epidemiologist Guardian

Coronavirus, masks listed in mourning: today the virtual flash mob to commissariare Lombardia La Repubblica (DG). Original. DG comments: “Lombards are asking for the health service to be overseen and investigated. Lombardy has gone farther in privatization—you can thank La Lega, the local branch of the U.S. Republican Party.”

Bolivian orchestra stranded at ‘haunted’ German castle surrounded by wolves New York Post

Syraqistan

Saudi Ramadan TV dramas invite scrutiny of Israel ties Agence France Presse

New Cold War

The US Navy returns to an increasingly militarized Arctic Defense News

RussiaGate

Federal judge hires high-powered D.C. attorney to defend his actions in Flynn case WaPo. A judge? Really?

Guccifer 2.0’s Hidden Agenda Consortium News. A tick-tock!

Trump Transition

Space Force Asks Congress to Ease Rules on Buying New Hardware Bloomberg. Grifters gotta grift.

Health Care

Re-evaluating “performance” measurement and A futile quest: Why “performance” measurement is not working Kip Sullivan, Minnesota Physician

Groves of Academe

Why Public Universities Can’t Take New Cuts: The Essential Charts Academe

How Stanford Lost Its Soul The Nation

The Work of Feelings in Public Schools Nonsite.org

Class Warfare

Poll: 37% of unemployed Americans ran out of food in past month Detroit News

The New York Renters Who Can’t Pay May The New Yorker. Still waiting for the Sanders campaign to fundraise for strikers. Exclusively.

How to Fix Globalization—for Detroit, Not Davos (interview) Larry Summers, The American Interest. The lightbulb goes on, I suppose, if with agonizing slowness:

Someone put it to me this way: First, we said that you are going to lose your job, but it was okay because when you got your new one, you were going to have higher wages thanks to lower prices because of international trade. Then we said that your company was going to move your job overseas, but it was really necessary because if we didn’t do that, then your company was going to be less competitive. Now we’re saying that we have to cut the taxes on those companies and cut the calculus class from your kid’s high school, because otherwise we won’t be able to attract companies to the United States, and you have to pay higher taxes and live with fewer services. At a certain point, people say, “This whole global thing doesn’t work for me,” and they have a point.

“We.” And “you.”

Deirdre McCloskey on why Jeff Bezos and billionaires, even superbillionaires, should exist AEI

Presidential leadership:

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on May 25, 2020 by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered.
To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

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