Who’s on First?

The editor-in-chief of Lancet calls it, "a crime against humanity." Bill Gates (one of the organization's biggest funders) says, "Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds." Of course, these concerns are valid. But Trump's threats against WHO (a far from perfect organization), like his attacks on China (surprise, they're not always honest with their citizens or the world), are not really about the targets of the president's ire. They're about shifting the blame, and more importantly, the discussion, away from the administration's own failings. Graeme Wood in The Atlantic: "The move is simple. When Trump is ensnared in controversy, when he is being asked straightforward, damning questions and his inquisitors do not stop asking them, he says or does something outrageous to change the subject. It works every time. It is working now." (In other words, forget the how and why about WHO and focus on the WTF about Trump.)

+ WaPo: Trump's ugly new blame-shifting scam spotlights his own failures.

+ It's not about being right. It's about flooding the zone with enough falsehoods to exhaust people and render them unable to know what to believe. Because of endless statements downplaying the virus and visible failures to prepare America and its health systems, the challenge to confuse will be greater than ever. But that doesn't mean they won't try. McCay Coppins has been tracking the disinformation echo chamber for a long time. Here's what he's seeing now. Media-bashing robocalls, chloroquine Twitter trolls, briefing-room propaganda—how the president and his allies are trying to convince America he was right all along.

+ We needed rubber gloves, they gave us rubber checks. The messaging campaign is so deep, it even extends to the $1200 checks that millions of Americans await. WaPo: In unprecedented move, Treasury orders Trump's name printed on stimulus checks. "It is standard practice for a civil servant to sign checks issued by the Treasury Department to ensure that government payments are nonpartisan." So, Trump's signature will only appear on the memo side of the check, not the signature block (which increases the likelihood the check will actually clear). He's gonna want to sign everything now.


Spit Take

We've been told to stay six feet away from others during the pandemic. But your gut probably tells you that's not enough. As my kids will attest, I was screaming obscenities at people who sneezed without covering their mouths from across the room—and even across the street—long before it was a matter of life and death. So let's get technical. "The heaviest coughs release about a quarter-teaspoon of fluid, with droplets dispersing quickly throughout the room. The simulation shows their spread over a minute, inside a room of about 600 square feet. Under other conditions, the particles could behave differently." From the NYT: This 3-D Simulation of a Cough Shows Why Social Distancing Is So Important. (This gives new meaning to the phrase, persistent cough. Also, I'm never leaving the house again.)


In Harm’s Way

"Even before a single resident tested positive for the coronavirus at a nursing home in Richmond, Va., staff members were worried. Triple rooms were not uncommon. Supplies were hard to come by. And there were not enough nurses for all the aging patients inside." If anyone is in the eye of the storm, it's nursing homes. Coronavirus Outbreak at Virginia Nursing Home Spirals Out of Control as 45 Die.

+ The wheels on the bus go round and round. And so do the germs. "In Detroit, virus or no virus, many people have a job they need to get to and one way to get there. The bus." Rolling Through the Pandemic.

+ Health care workers are 10%-20% of US coronavirus cases. (These numbers are hard to pinpoint because of the lack of testing, but suffice it to say, it's a lot.)


The After Math

"Normal it will not be, at least until we have herd immunity and we have a vaccine." So said Gavin Newsom as he laid out plans to gradually reopen California. Here's What Life Will Probably Look Like in California After The Coronavirus Stay-At-Home Order Ends.

+ Bloomberg: Harvard Researchers Say Some Social Distancing May Be Needed Into 2022.

+ In a very clear interview, NIH's lead scientist for coronavirus vaccine research Kizzmekia Corbett lays out the government's race to create a vaccine.


Wet Bar

Vox: The coronavirus likely came from China's wet markets. They're reopening anyway. "93 percent of respondents were likely to support action by their governments to eliminate illegal and unregulated wildlife markets. And 84 percent said they were unlikely or very unlikely to buy wildlife products in the future. But the campaign to shut down these markets is more complicated than it seems." (Even if it's complicated, we've got to get it done.)


Copper Top Battery of Tests

"He began with the bacteria that causes Legionnaire's Disease and then turned to drug-resistant killer infections like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). He tested viruses that caused worldwide health scares such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Swine Flu (H1N1) pandemic of 2009. In each case, copper contact killed the pathogen within minutes. 'It just blew it apart.'" Copper's Virus-Killing Powers Were Known Even to the Ancients. (Copper is so metal...)


Aisle Denial

"Most nights, Ruth Papazian stays up until 1 a.m., refreshing her browser in hopes of locking down what has become one of the hottest commodities of the coronavirus recession: a grocery delivery slot." WaPo: Grocery delivery was supposed to be the ultimate pandemic lifeline. But it's falling short. (My mom has been on the Whole Foods waiting list for a week or so, in case anyone has a hookup!!)


Step Off

"The Japanese character for 10,000 looks almost like a person walking or running, which is likely how the gadget-maker landed on the name—and the number." This epidemiologist proved 10,000 steps is a lie. (That's good, because I'm getting sick of walking around my kitchen island all day...)


Feel Good Wednesday

My artist friends, Eric and Annie, were there when people in NorCal needed help after the fires. And they're here again to support efforts to provide personal protective equipment and essential medical items to health workers. Order one of Annie's amazing We Can Do Hard Things health care hero prints. It looks great, and will feel great to buy.

+ Jacinda Ardern and ministers take pay cut in solidarity with those hit by Covid-19. "If there was ever a time to close the gap between groups of people across New Zealand in different positions, it is now." (New Zealand is lucky they're closed, because if they weren't, I'd be moving there.)

+ A 99-Year-Old British Veteran Raises $9 Million For Health Service By Walking Laps.

+ The Afghan Girls' Robotics Team Designed an Inexpensive Ventilator Out of Car Parts to Help With the Pandemic Fight.

+ Bored? Watch this dude do 2,806 push-ups in one hour. (That's more than I could do in 90 minutes...)


Something Something Something Murder

The most excellent Damon Lindelof has kindly offered to share a serialized story with NextDraft readers to help us, and him, through the quarantine. The first 13 chapters are here.

+ Meanwhile, here's a look at Damon's other quarantine project...