4.23.2020

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Need to Know
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Resetting the Timeline
The Feb. 6 death of a woman in Santa Clara, California, has been linked to the coronavirus, officials said yesterday. The date lies three weeks before what was believed to have been the first two US deaths from COVID-19, which occurred Feb. 26 in Kirkland, Washington. The revelation resets the virus's timeline in the US, while suggesting at least two outbreaks were occurring at once. The news also raises questions around the number of people who may have unknowingly contracted the virus as early as December. Officials also identified a 69-year-old man who died Feb. 17. 

Meanwhile, states continue to explore when and how to restart their economies. The National Governors Association released a 10-point plan to guide state officials, while suggesting a lack of tests, medical supplies, and properly trained staff were chokepoints in wide-scale reopening. Read the plan here

From Washington, DC, a new report alleges Chinese agents spread misleading alerts about the virus's spread in the US as recently as mid-March. The effort alarmed officials, not only because it included a claim the president would imminently lock down the nation, but because messages were sent directly to mobile phones - a channel not previously used for such a campaign. 

Separately, Rick Bright, former head of the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, said he was ousted for resisting the use of hydroxychloroquine. The antimalarial drug has been advocated for by President Trump but remains unproven for treating COVID-19. A recent study of its use in veterans hospitals showed a higher death rate for those using the drug, though the review was not a rigorous experiment.

The US has reported 842,000 cases, with 46,785 deaths, as of this morning (see stats). 

Blood clotting complications in some patients have baffled doctors; we added a look at the unusual symptoms on our coronavirus resource page. We also posted a review of top vaccine candidates and a look at the impact of essential jobs on women.
NFL Draft Kicks Off
The first round of the NFL Draft will be held tonight (8pm ET, ABC/ESPN), with the league opting to stick to its original schedule while shifting the entire affair online due to coronavirus fears. Originally planned to be held in Las Vegas - now home to the recently relocated Raiders - all league officials, team personnel, and players will participate remotely.

Former LSU quarterback and Heisman winner Joe Burrow, fresh off a record-setting season and national championship, is widely expected to be picked No. 1 by the Cincinnati Bengals. Defensive lineman Chase Young (Ohio State), linebacker Isaiah Simmons (Clemson), and cornerback Jeff Okudah (Ohio State) are also expected to be top picks (projections here). This year's class is loaded with quarterback talent at the top; along with Burrow, quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) and Justin Herbert (Oregon) are projected as top 10 picks. Some questions remain around Tagovailoa, who excelled at Alabama but suffered a season-ending hip injury last fall.

Rounds two and three will be held tomorrow, with the final four rounds Saturday. 
Immigration Pause
After two days of previewing the decision, President Trump signed an executive order yesterday, pausing the issuance of most new green cards for 60 days. The order is more narrow in scope than originally portrayed, primarily affecting foreigners seeking to permanently work and live in the US. Spouses and children under 21 years old of American citizens are among a number of exemptions.

The move was framed as protecting American jobs amid record unemployment from the coronavirus-induced economic shock. More than 22 million people, or 13% of the US labor force, have lost their jobs in the past month. However, the order does not affect temporary or seasonal workers on work permits or visas. That group includes around 85,000 high-tech workers on H-1B visas and hundreds of thousands of foreign farmworkers on H-2A visas.  

Read the order here.
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> MLB suspends former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora through 2020 postseason and pulls Boston’s 2020 second-round draft pick as a result of the sign-stealing scandal (More)
> New “Star Wars” series featuring a female lead in the works for Disney Plus (More) | Shirley Knight, Tony-winning and Oscar-nominated actress, dies at 83 (More)
> Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to team up with Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in mid- to late May for golf match benefiting coronavirus relief efforts (More)
Science & Technology
> Prototype electronic skin developed capable of tracking vital signs while powering itself using human sweat; device can also act as an interface to control prosthetic limbs (More)
> Culturally distinct cuisines emerged among hunter-gatherer groups around 7,000 years ago, including the use of dairy fats; analysis sheds light on the transition to agricultural societies (More)
> Low-power electrical control of electron spin currents demonstrated for the first time, solving key challenge in using an electron's spin - instead of charge - for computing (More) | Spintronics 101 (More)
Business & Markets
> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +2.3%, Dow +2.0%, Nasdaq +2.8%) as oil futures rebound from 20-year lows (More)
> Facebook to invest $5.7B for 9.99% ownership of Jio Platforms, India’s largest mobile network operator (More)
> Delta sees first quarterly loss in five years due to pandemic, warns Q2 revenue will likely be down 90% (More) | Shares of social media giant Snap surge more than 15% after earnings beat, 229 million users grew 20% year over year (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> The House is expected to take up a $484B stimulus bill, the fourth aimed at blunting the economic impact of the coronavirus; total support would rise to $2.6T over the past month (More) | Harvard to reject $8.7M in stimulus funds after criticism (More)
> Report suggests North Korean propaganda minister Kim Yo Jong, sister of leader Kim Jong Un, could lead country in event of an emergency (More)
> Iran reportedly launches its first military satellite amid rising tensions with the US; President Trump says he has instructed the Navy to retaliate against any hostile actions (More)
In-Depth
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The Disappearing Art Dealer
GQ | Oliver Franklin-Wallis. Inigo Philbrick was a prodigy in the art world, guiding high-profile clients to tidy profits by flipping undervalued artworks. It wasn't until last year the 32-year-old's business was revealed as a Ponzi-like scheme, with numerous savvy clients losing millions - and Philbrick vanishing. (Read)
A Laboratory of Human Endurance
Outside | Will Bardenwerper. A look inside Army Ranger school, where physical fitness is a prerequisite, but only mental toughness will get you through to the end. (Read)
 
 
Etcetera
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The underwhelming history of top picks in the NFL draft.
The first pets in the US have tested positive for the coronavirus.
... and why Big Poppa the bulldog is so, so sad.

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The best photos from this week's Lyrid meteor shower.
How one megachurch implemented social distancing, in photos. ($$, New Yorker)
A newly discovered snake gets named after Salazar Slytherin.
Have time to kill? Try the world's largest puzzle.
This live experiment applies the infinite monkey theorem to Beethoven
Clickbait: When you leave stuntmen alone with nothing to do.
Historybook: William Shakespeare born, dies (1564, 1616); Actress and diplomat Shirley Temple born (1928); Rhythm Club fire in Mississippi kills 209 (1940); RIP civil rights activist Cesar Chavez (1993); First YouTube video published (2005).
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"Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful."
- Vincentio, "Measure by Measure," (William Shakespeare)
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