Monday, October 5, 2020

President Trump has received a dose of an experimental antibody cocktail being developed by the drug maker Regeneron, in addition to several other drugs, including zinc, vitamin D and the generic version of the heartburn treatment Pepcid, according to a letter from his doctor that was released by the White House Friday (10/2) afternoon. Mr. Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, announced early Friday morning that they had tested positive for the coronavirus. While it is not clear how Trump, 74, contracted COVID-19, the news came hours after it was revealed that one of his closest advisers, Hope Hicks, had also tested positive. Hicks traveled with Trump to Ohio for the debate on tomorrow and to Minnesota for a rally on Wednesday (10/6). The president has a low-grade fever, nasal congestion and a cough, according to two people close to Mr. Trump. The treatment is not yet authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. Regeneron confirmed in a statement that the president received the biotechnology company’s cocktail under “compassionate use.” President Trump is expected to stay at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland for a few days. Presidential powers have not been given to Vice President Mike Pence, according to a White House official. (ABC News)


Joe Biden’s campaign is taking down its attack ads in the wake of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection

That’s according to a Biden campaign official who spoke on the condition of anonymity on Friday (10/2) to discuss internal planning. The Democrat’s campaign is removing all its negative ads, although in some cases, it may take days for ads already in circulation to stop running. The official says Biden made the decision before news surfaced that Trump was being transferred to a military hospital for a “few days” of treatment. At least so far, Trump’s campaign has not begun removing any of its attack ads against Joe Biden. The presidential election is just over one month away. (News On 6)


‘Cops’ is filming episodes again, but they won’t air in the United States

Three months after it was canceled at Paramount Network, Cops is back in production — but is not set to air anywhere in the United States. The long-running series has crews working in Spokane County, Washington, where it has filmed multiple times in the past. “We have a longstanding relationship with Cops and [series producer] Langley Productions, and we are pleased they have decided to return, highlighting the outstanding work our deputies provide to all of you,” the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. The release notes that two crews from the show began filming in September and will remain in the area through early November. The episodes being filmed won’t air in the United States. A spokesperson for Langley Productions said that the episodes are being filmed to fulfill commitments in international territories where Cops still airs. Paramount Network postponed the premiere of Cops’ 33rd season after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis set off nationwide protests for racial and social justice, then canceled the show outright June 9th. A&E canceled its top-rated “Live PD“, which like Cops follows officers on patrol, around the same time. WGN America, which had off-network rights to the show, let its contract expire June 30th. (The Hollywood Reporter)


Older workers forced to retire

More older Americans are retiring earlier than planned as the pandemic triggers unexpected job losses and heightens health risks at work, says a new working paper. Many laid-off workers are choosing not to seek out new employment due to virus concerns, opting for “the lesser of two evils,” the report says. One of the nation’s leading experts on retirement says half of those aged 55 and up will retire poor or near poverty because of the pandemic-induced recession. Job losses may pressure some to tap into their retirement savings too soon, among other “cascading effects” on retirement finances. (CNBC)


Tech CEOs subpoenaed to testify

After turning down invitations to voluntarily testify before a Senate committee, the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google are facing subpoenas to do so. The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted to compel the chiefs to answer questions about “Section 230”, a law protecting their platforms from liability for what users post. Democrats have said the law should be amended to make tech giants moderate hate speech and misinformation more carefully, while Republicans argue the platforms deserve less protection because of their alleged anti-conservative bias. (Business Insider)


Small-biz loan forgiveness underway

The more than 96,000 business owners who have submitted applications to have their Paycheck Protection Program loans forgiven could have an answer soon. The Treasury Department announced it will start reviewing and issuing payments for applications this week or next, after coming under fire from borrowers and banks for not moving the process along. The popular small-business loan program expired August 8 but still has $130 billion in funds that lawmakers are undecided over how to spend. (The Wall Street Journal)


Payrolls growth slows in September

The U.S. economy added 661,000 jobs in September, the fewest since May, in a sign that a recovery from pandemic-induced business shutdowns earlier this year has slackened. The new payrolls nevertheless tipped the unemployment rate lower, to 7.9% from 8.4% in August — and an all-time high of 15% in April. The Labor Department report also showed that the number of permanent job losses climbed last month by 345,000 to 3.76 million, as concern about the contagion’s duration and a stalemate over new fiscal stimulus pushed companies to cut jobs. (Bloomberg)


Study: Fecal transplant may one day be used to reverse cognitive decline

New research suggests fecal transplants could one day be used to reverse the cognitive decline that comes with aging. When researchers performed fecal transplants from older to younger mice, they found the recipients suffered declines in spatial learning and memory. The authors of the new study suggest a similar transplantation from young to old mice could potentially reverse the cognitive decline. “Research has shown that the aging process may be linked with age-related changes in our gut microbiota,” said the senior research fellow at the University of East Anglia in Britain. Scientists wanted to measure the effects of microbiome changes on anxiety, exploratory behavior and memory in mice. Researchers were able to trigger marked changes in the microbiomes of young mice by performing fecal transplants from older mice. The transplants had no impact on anxiety levels, exploratory behavior or locomotion, but maze tests showed the microbiome changes did impair the spatial learning and memory of young mice. Scientists also measured corresponding shifts in the expression of proteins liked with synaptic plasticity and neuro-transmission. Scientists have yet to perform fecal transplants from young mice to old mice, but they are hopeful that they will have a reverse effect. (Microbiome)


Nevada testing drones to deliver vital organs to transplant patients

More than 100,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list, and approximately 17 people die each day waiting to receive an organ transplant, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration. COVID-19 has complicated the situation even more, as travel restrictions and fewer commercial flights have made it difficult to transplant organs and highlighted the need for alternative travel methods to deliver vital organs. The Nevada Donor Network partnered with MissionGo, a company that operates and innovates in the unmanned aircraft industry, to test the use of drones to deliver vital organs. So far, they have completed two tests including delivering corneas that were intended for transplantation to a regional hospital in Nevada and flying a research kidney 10.3 miles, which is the longest organ delivery flight via unmanned aircraft. Drones could offer an alternative to the high cost of chartering flights and reduce the risk associated with airport delays and traffic tie-ups on the road that threatens the viability of the organ. In April of 2019, an organ was successfully delivered for transplant to a patient with kidney failure for the first time ever by drone at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Testing is still in the early stages, and while the results are promising there are still challenges and restrictions with the FAA. (Fox News)


Fast food drive-thrus are slower during coronavirus pandemic

Fast food chains have become a little slower on their drive-thru times, according to a new study. SeeLevel HX released its annual drive-thru report, which analyzed 10 fast food brands on their performance in several categories including speed of service, order accuracy, customer service and taste. Although the time between ordering food and picking it up was faster by 16.9 seconds from last year, wait times were longer because of increased demand during the coronavirus pandemic. Those longer wait times caused total times across all brands to be 29.8 seconds slower than 2019, according to a press release. That could cause a brand to lose more than $64.1 million a year for every 2,000 locations — or potentially $32,091.33 a year per location, the report said. SeeLevel HX looked at McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin’, Hardee’s, Burger King, KFC and Carl’s Jr. for its report, which also included market research agents who visited 1,490 drive-thrus. Despite the overall slowdown in time:

  • KFC, McDonald’s, and Taco Bell have become faster this year than they were last year, the report said. In fact, KFC led with the fastest average total time.
  • Chick-fil-A led the order accuracy, customer service and taste categories both this year and last year.
  • This year, McDonald’s had the second-best order accuracy and Arby’s had the second-best customer service and the second-best taste, the release said.
  • 88% of drive-thru order stations did not have signs that explained safety standards, though 59% had plastic barriers at all windows between employees and customers.
  • 91% of employees wore masks at payment and pickup windows, but only 16% of orders were placed on a tray for customers to pick up themselves.
  • In fact, 80% of orders were reportedly handed directly to customers.
  • 9% of drive-thrus let their customers know they had limited menus.



Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said the confirmation process for Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court will continue despite President Trump and the First Lady testing positive for COVID-19

McConnell hinted that he is open to confirming judge Barrett during the lame duck session after the November 3rd election as he has yet to finalize a date to hold the confirmation vote. Senate confirmation hearings are scheduled to start on October 12th. Judge Barrett tested negative on Friday (10/2), however, it was revealed she tested positive in the summer and has since made a full recovery. Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden tested negative on Friday (10/2), along with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Steve Mnuchin, Mike Pompeo, Barron Trump, Alex Azar, and Kayleigh McEnany also tested negative. GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and University of Notre Dame President Reverend John I. Jenkins, CSC, who attended Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination announcement on September 26th, also tested positive. Republican senator Mike Lee additionally tested positive for COVID-19 on last Thursday (10/1) and will isolate for ten days before returning to Washington. (The Wall Street Journal)


Arrogance can spread like disease

We should think twice before working with the overconfident, according to researchers from York University, who found that arrogance can be socially contagious, potentially infecting teams and companies. Illusions of superiority can blind us to flaws in our own thinking. Even worse, research suggests that overconfidence in one area can spread to other areas of life, setting us up for all kinds of challenges. Managers should be careful about behaviors they reward. And we can all pay closer attention to perceptions of our own ability and the company we keep. (American Psychological Association)


Study finds exercise keeps your brain healthy, even if you’re mostly sedentary

Recent research brings some good news for those of us whose work demands that we stay parked at a desk: Your daily bout of exercise protects your brain, even if you’re otherwise sedentary. That’s because it helps keep your brain’s cortex (the outermost layer) thick and healthy. With age, the cortex naturally thins, a process known as cortical thinning, which has been associated with age-related cognitive decline, especially when it occurs in the frontal and temporal lobes, which are responsible for memory, attention, and planning. Research shows that you can prevent this thinning a couple of ways. One is with regular moderate to vigorous physical activity, such as running. The other is limiting sedentary behavior, such as sitting at a desk all day. What has been less clear is whether exercise can protect against that thinning independent of being otherwise sedentary. (KOCO)


Monday Rocks With:

  • Apple Betty Day
  • Blue Shirt Day/World Day of Bullying Prevention (First Monday)
  • Chic Spy Day
  • Child Health Day (First Monday)
  • Consignment Day (First Monday)
  • Do Something Nice Day
  • Dupuytren Disease Awareness Day
  • Get Funky Day
  • International Day of No Prostitution
  • Rhode Island Day
  • Supreme Court Opening Day (First Monday)
  • The Victims of Marijuana Prohibition Day
  • World Day of Architecture (First Monday)
  • World Day of Bullying Prevention (First Monday)
  • World Habitat Day (First Monday)
  • World Teachers Day

Add a Comment