5.13.2020

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Need to Know
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Fauci Testifies
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top White House adviser on the coronavirus outbreak, warned yesterday reopening the economy too quickly may lead to prolonged outbreaks. Fauci did not explicitly say restrictions should stay in place; rather he pointed to existing criteria states should meet - like a 14-day decrease in cases - before moving into a phase one reopening stage. In the absence of a vaccine, Fauci noted, success relies on social distancing, mitigation measures, and robust testing capacity. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) also briefly sparred with Fauci over the balance between health and economic policy. 

You can watch the full hearing here; Fauci's opening statement begins around 42:00, with questions beginning around 1:04:00. Separately, this infographic allows a quick comparison between the number of coronavirus cases in each state and their reopening status. You can also check the current status of vaccines and treatments here.

In Washington, DC, House Democrats unveiled a $3T stimulus package focused on providing support for state budgets (in addition to a number of other items). The proposal, expected to be voted on by Friday, follows more than $2.6T in previous aid packages. Senate Republicans have signaled they are not ready to take up new funding proposals yet.

Overseas, Russia became the second leading coronavirus hot spot in the world, with more than 232,000 reported cases. President Vladimir Putin's press secretary reportedly tested positive; Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin previously tested positive as well. The country has reported just over 2,100 deaths - a lower mortality rate than most nations - prompting accusations of undercounting. 

Finally, Brazil's outbreak has accelerated, with last week's total cases increasing by 60% over the previous week to nearly 60,000. That figure includes 10,600 cases reported in a single day May 9. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has pushed to keep the economy open, leaving states and cities to impose lockdowns at their own discretion.

The US has reported 1.37 million cases, with 82,387 deaths, as of this morning (real-time map). The number of deaths rose 2% since yesterday. 

As economies reopen, extra precautions will be needed. We've posted an article to our coronavirus resource page breaking down the riskiest places and practices and how to avoid them. Check it out here.
Potential Parkinson's Breakthrough
Harvard scientists will announce the results of a breakthrough Parkinson's treatment today, the first to implant neural cells derived from the patient's own skin cells directly into the brain. While not a cure for the degenerative disease, the lone patient in the pilot study has reportedly seen their symptoms stabilize over 18 months. 

While its root cause is unknown, Parkinson's has been linked to the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in regions of the brain controlling motor function. Past studies have used neural transplants from other sources, but their efficacy is unclear and the body often rejects foreign cells. The new approach utilizes induced pluripotent stem cells, a Nobel Prize-winning technique capable of reverting a patient's own skin cells into stem cells, and then (in this case) into neural cells.

Details are being withheld until the time of publishing, though researchers say many improvements are needed to make the treatment widely available.
Divided Court Tackles Trump's Taxes
Supreme Court justices peppered lawyers for President Trump and Democrat-controlled congressional committees with questions over executive power yesterday, as the court heard a pair of cases that will likely determine whether the president's tax and financial documents must be revealed. The first case revolves around congressional subpoenas for the records, while the second relates to a New York City grand jury subpoena. See background here and here.

While conservative justices hold a 5-4 majority, both sides probed the limits of congressional subpoenas during oral arguments. Chief Justice John Roberts, potentially the swing vote in the decision, revealed little, expressing skepticism that Congress lacked the authority to issue the subpoenas while doubting its power to do so was limitless.

Decisions are expected by early summer. The pandemic has forced the court to operate via teleconference; listen to the full proceedings here.
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Double up and double down.
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There are some legendary investors out there: Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, Geraldine Weiss, Benjamin Graham, and Jack Bogle, to name a few. But there’s another one that you may have heard about from us too: Tom Gardner, Cofounder of The Motley Fool. Since creating The Motley Fool, Tom’s historical returns have been pretty extraordinary. With an average return on investment (that’s ROI for you aficionados) of 396.5%, he tends to handsomely beat the markets. All that’s to say: when he recommends something, we listen. 

Members of The Motley Fool Stock Advisor enjoy monthly recommendations from Tom and his cofounder/brother David. But only once every few months do they produce what’s called a “double down” pick. That is, a stock they think has so much potential to grow that they’re doubling their usual stake in it.
 
And today, Tom’s created a list of not one, not two, but three double down picks to help get you (and your portfolio) through 2020. These “double down” reports are rare as it is – three at once is unheard of. Sign up for The Motley Fool Stock Advisor and check out the report.
 
All returns current as of 5/7/2020
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In the Know
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
> Disney moves release date for "Hamilton” film up to July 3; originally scheduled for an October 2021 theatrical release, film will now be released on Disney Plus (More) | Broadway theaters to remain closed through Labor Day (More)
> Aimee Stephens, activist at the center of first transgender case brought before US Supreme Court, dies at 59 (More)
> NBA players union reportedly polls players on whether they want to conclude 2020-21 season (More) | Players union denies report as players and league are due to discuss options this week (More)
Science & Technology
> Facebook to pay $52M to end lawsuit with content moderators who say they developed PTSD from the job (More)
> Massive atmospheric waves sucked into the Antarctic polar vortex may be responsible for weather modeling anomaly known as the "cold pole" problem; resolution could improve seasonal climate forecasting (More)
> Study of five-decade-old moon rocks suggests violent impacts from large meteorites helped formed the moon's crust more than 4 billion years ago; findings change the understanding of moon's geology and surface features (More)
Business & Markets
> US stock markets down (S&P 500 -2.1%, Dow -1.9%, Nasdaq -2.1%) following Senate testimony from public health officials cautioning against reopening the economy too quickly (More)
> Twitter announces policy allowing some employees to work from home indefinitely, even after the end of the pandemic (More)
> Grubhub stock soars 29% after reports Uber is submitting all-stock takeover offer; potential deal would combine two of the largest meal delivery companies (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Judge in Michael Flynn case to allow outside parties to submit briefs, delaying Justice Department's decision to drop Flynn's prosecution (More) | Former Navy pilot Mike Garcia (R) leads Tuesday's special election for CA-25; would be the first time a Republican won a Democrat-controlled seat in California in two decades (More)
> Gunmen storm a maternity ward in Afghanistan, killing two babies and at least 14 women and nurses; no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which threatens to undermine peace process between government and Taliban (More)
> Wuhan, China, to test all 11 million residents for the coronavirus in the next 10 days after new outbreaks emerge (More) | Italy arrests 91 members of Sicily's Cosa Nostra organized crime network in an effort to prevent the mob from exploiting the economic crisis (More)
Trust the numbers.
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Let’s take a little trip down memory lane, to some of Tom Gardner’s past “Double Down” stock picks. Like Apple, up 1,283%; or Amazon, up 1,224%; or the cherry on top, Netflix, up 23,319%.
 
And today, Tom has another three “Double Down” picks, which members of The Motley Fool Stock Advisor can access for free. Sign up to check them out!
 
All returns current as of 5/7/2020
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Etcetera
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NASA captures California's superbloom from space.
This captivated hare selected as one of the best nature photos of the year.
A majority of Americans favor allowing vote-by-mail this November.

From our partners: Help communities stay disaster-resilient with a master's in Emergency and Disaster Management. #Ad
The rise of global life expectancy in a single animation.
Every episode of "The Office" is being recreated in Slack.
This church-turned-poetry-shop is an architectural marvel
Breaking down the Chrissy Teigen and Alison Roman dust-up over the weekend.
This 113-year-old Spanish flu survivor officially beats COVID-19.
Clickbait: Priests are now offering drive-thru confession.
Historybook: US declares war against Mexico in dispute over Texas (1846); "Golden Girls" actress Bea Arthur born (1922); HBD Stevie Wonder (1950); Pope John Paul II is shot, survives assassination attempt (1981); RIP actress and singer Doris Day (2019).
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"I believe that you're here on Earth for a short time, and while you're here, you shouldn't forget it."
- Bea Arthur
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