10 Sunday AM Reads

Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:

A grim pandemic milestone: 1 in 500 Americans have died of covid-19 The goal of testing, mask-wearing, keeping six feet apart and limiting gatherings was to slow the spread of the highly infectious virus until a vaccine could stamp it out. The vaccines came but not enough people have been immunized, and the triumph of science waned as mass death and disease remain. (Washington Post) see also Why Americans Die So Much U.S. life spans, which have fallen behind those in Europe, are telling us something important about American society (The Atlantic)

Revolt of the delivery workers: Exploited by apps. Attacked by thieves. Unprotected by police. The city’s 65,000 bikers have only themselves to count on. (The Verge)

Facebook Says Its Rules Apply to All. Company Documents Reveal a Secret Elite That’s Exempt. A program known as XCheck has given millions of celebrities, politicians and other high-profile users special treatment, a privilege many abuse (Wall Street Journal) see also Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show Its own in-depth research shows a significant teen mental-health issue that Facebook plays down in public (Wall Street Journal)

Why the Empire State Building, and New York, May Never Be the Same It once symbolized an urban way of working, and the city’s resilience. In the pandemic’s second year, the future of the world’s most famous skyscraper is in doubt. (New York Times)

Twelve hours in a Florida COVID-19 ICU On this ward at Morton Plant Hospital, nurses are overwhelmed by the number of new, desperate cases. (Tampa Bay Times) see also Florida changed its COVID-19 data, creating an ‘artificial decline’ in recent deaths As cases ballooned in August, however, the Florida Department of Health changed the way it reported death data to the CDC, giving the appearance of a pandemic in decline, an analysis of Florida data by the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald found. (Miami Herald)

Long-Secret FBI Report Reveals New Connections Between 9/11 Hijackers and Saudi Religious Officials in U.S. “This validates what we have been saying,” says an attorney for families of 9/11 victims who are suing the Saudi government over alleged support of the 2001 terrorist attacks. (ProPublica)

20 years, $6 trillion, 900,000 lives The enormous costs and elusive benefits of the war on terror. (Vox)

How Pharmacists Are Dealing With the Surge of Shady Ivermectin Prescriptions Demand for ivermectin, which in tablet form is used to treat parasitic worms in humans, has surged 24-fold because of the scientifically unsupported belief that it can treat, or prevent, COVID-19 (Slate)

Why At-Home Rapid Covid Tests Cost So Much, Even After Biden’s Push for Lower Prices President Joe Biden said Thursday he would invoke the Defense Production Act to make 280 million rapid covid tests available. The administration struck a deal with Walmart, Amazon and Kroger for them to sell tests for “up to 35 percent less” than current retail prices for three months. For those on Medicaid, the at-home tests will be fully covered. (KHN)

How the U.S. vaccination drive came to rely on an army of consultants Private contractors cost taxpayers millions while demonstrating few clear results and papering over weaknesses in the country’s public health system (Washington Post)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Campbell R. Harvey, professor of finance at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He is a partner and senior advisor at Research Affiliates. He is best known for his work on Yield Curve Inversion & Recessions. His most recent book is on decentralized finance, crypto and blockchain: “DeFi and the Future of Finance.”


Wastelands: America’s Forgotten Nuclear Legacy
Source: WSJ



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