Evaluating Virus Surges – The New York Occasions
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Good Morning. The US is practically alone again in the severity of its outbreak.
It’s happening again: for the second time this year, the US has fallen behind almost every other country in fighting the virus.
The US wasn’t alone when it saw a resurgence this fall. Much of the world did. However, many other countries reacted to this increase with targeted new restrictions and in some cases with an increase in rapid tests.
These measures seem to be working. The number of new cases worldwide fell in the past week.
The declines are large in some countries: more than 50 percent last month in Belgium, France, Italy, Kenya and Saudi Arabia; more than 40 percent in Argentina and Morocco; more than 30 percent in India and Norway.
And in the USA? The number of new cases rose by 51 percent last month.
The causes are not a mystery. The US still lacks a coherent testing strategy and large parts of the country continue to oppose basic health advice. One example is Mitchell, a small South Dakota town where deaths have skyrocketed recently – including the loss of a beloved high school coach. However, anti-mask protesters continue to undermine the local response.
Annie Gowen of the Washington Post reported at a recent city council meeting, “Positivity beats the virus.”
Europe offers a significant contrast. Several European countries introduced new restrictions last month that made a difference as you can see in the graphic above. Nevertheless, the heads of state and government in these countries remained dissatisfied with the progress made – and announced further measures in the last few days.
London closed pubs and restaurants today. The Netherlands closed gyms, cinemas, schools and unnecessary shops until January 19th. Germany – a country that loves its Christmas rituals – closes at Christmas.
Parts of the US have taken some measures, such as: B. the requirement of masks and the restriction of eating indoors. And the falls here have leveled off in the past few days. If anything, this is further evidence that humans are not powerless in the face of the virus. Reducing the spread – and widespread death that will otherwise occur in the coming months – is entirely possible.
“America’s outbreaks, which stretch from California to Florida, are the result of the public and leaders who never take the virus seriously enough and, to the extent that they have, give up their vigilance prematurely,” wrote German Lopez from Vox recently. Jaime Slaughter-Acey, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, said, “It’s a situation that didn’t have to be.”
For more: Full shutdowns are often not required, explains The Times’ Yaryna Serkez. Greatly reducing the number of people indoors can have a huge impact.
THE LATEST NEWS
The FDA is expected to approve Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine by Friday to ensure millions more in the U.S. have access to the vaccine.
The Trump administration and Pfizer are negotiating a deal to help the drug maker produce tens of millions additional doses of vaccine in the first half of 2021.
The Supreme Court ordered federal judges in New Jersey and Colorado to reconsider decisions restricting attendance at indoor religious services.
Two former CDC officials spoke to The Times about how the Trump administration had meddled with the agency during the pandemic, firing its science, silencing its experts and draining its budget.
Tom Cruise broke out among crew members who broke the virus log on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 in London. “I never want to see it again! Ever! And if you don’t, you’re fired! “Cruise said in a leaked audio clip.
The Times would like to hear from Americans who have received (or are hoping to get) a Covid-19 vaccine. How was it? How did people react to you? Tell us about it.
Non-frozen countries: The climate crisis threatens much of the world with droughts, floods and brutal heat. But it could also create an unprecedented opportunity for some countries – perhaps no more than for Russia.
From the opinion: Columns by Jamelle Bouie and Farhad Manjoo.
Lived life: For over 21 years at the CIA, Dr. Jerrold Post pioneered political psychology. Later, as an academic, he analyzed world figures like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and – in his last book – Trump. Post died at 86.
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“I wasn’t even mad … things happen”
Everybody makes mistakes. Not everyone makes a $ 3 million mistake. And very few people have volunteered to fix such a big mistake after making it.
Bill Duffy did that. In 2003 he was a sports agent, representing Anthony Carter, an NBA journeyman for the Miami Heat. Carter’s contract allowed him to opt for a $ 4.1 million contract for the next season, much more than he could have done as a free agent. Unfortunately, Duffy was unable to submit the documents on time, and Carter lost more than $ 3 million as a result.
In response, Duffy promised to reimburse Carter for the lost money. Sopan Deb of The Times wrote, “It was an unusual and practically unprecedented move.”
“I wasn’t even mad to tell the truth,” said Carter, who is now an assistant coach to the Heat. “I didn’t say, ‘What happened? ‘Because I knew what kind of person he was. Things happen.”
Duffy just made the payments to Carter, and Sopan told the full story – including how the mistake helped the Heat win a championship.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to cook
The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was Pompadour. Today’s puzzle is up – or you can play online if you have a game subscription.
Here’s today’s mini crossword and a clue: Rainy Month (five letters).
Thank you for spending part of your morning with The Times. Until tomorrow. – David
PS The Times New York headquarters still dresses for the holidays, even when the newsroom is empty.