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Comparison of viral surges

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It’s happening again: For the second time this year, the United States has fallen behind nearly every other country in the fight against the virus.

The United States was not the only one experiencing a resurgence this fall. Much of the world has done it. But many other countries have responded to the surge with new targeted restrictions and, in a few cases, an increase in rapid-result tests.

These measures seem to be working. Around the world, the number of new cases has declined over the past week.

In some countries, the declines are significant: more than 50 percent in the 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 United States? The number of new cases has increased by 51% over the past month.

The causes are not a mystery. The United States still lacks a cohesive testing strategy, and large parts of the country continue to defy basic health advice. One example is Mitchell, a small town in South Dakota where deaths have recently increased – including the loss of a beloved high school coach. Yet anti-mask protesters continue to undermine the local response.

Among their messages at a recent city council meeting, as Annie Gowen of the Washington Post reported: “Positivity defeats the virus.

Europe offers a telling contrast. Several European countries have implemented new restrictions over the past month, and they have made a difference, as you can see in the graph above. Yet the leaders of those countries remained dissatisfied with progress – and announced new measures in recent days.

London closed its pubs and restaurants today. The Netherlands closed gyms, cinemas, schools and non-essential stores until January 19. Germany – a country that loves its Christmas rituals – is closing its doors for Christmas.

Parts of the United States have taken some action, such as requiring masks and limiting indoor meals. And the cases here have stabilized in recent days. On the contrary, it is further proof that people are not powerless in the face of the virus. Reducing its spread – and the widespread mortality that would otherwise occur in the months to come – is entirely possible.

“The American epidemics, which run from California to Florida, are the result of the public and the country’s leadership never taking the virus seriously enough and, to the extent that they did, let their guard down prematurely, ”German Lopez of Vox recently wrote. As Jaime Slaughter-Acey, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, said, “This is a situation that shouldn’t be.”

For more: Full stops are often not necessary, says Yaryna Serkez of The Times. Drastically reducing the number of people in indoor spaces can have a huge effect.

  • The FDA is expected to approve Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine by Friday, ensuring millions more in the United States will have access to inoculation.

  • The Trump administration and Pfizer are negotiating a deal that would help the drug maker produce tens of millions of additional vaccine doses in the first half of 2021.

  • The Supreme Court ordered federal justices in New Jersey and Colorado to reconsider rulings that limited attendance at indoor church services.

  • Two former CDC officials told The Times how the Trump administration meddled with the agency during the pandemic, dismissing its science, silencing its experts and siphoning off its budget.

  • Tom Cruise broke out about crew members breaking virus protocol on the set of “Mission: Impossible 7” in London. “I never want to see him again!” Already! And if you don’t, you’re fired! Cruise said in a leaked audio clip.

  • The Times would love to hear from Americans who have received a Covid-19 vaccine (or are hoping to get one). How was it? How did people react to you? Tell us about it.

Unfrozen land: The climate crisis threatens much of the earth with droughts, floods and brutal heat. But it could also create unprecedented opportunities for a few countries – perhaps no more than Russia.

From the review: Chronicle of Jamelle Bouie and Farhad Manjoo.

Lives lived: For 21 years at the CIA, Dr. Jerrold Post pioneered political psychology. Later, as an academic, he analyzed world figures including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and – in his latest book – Trump. Post died at the age of 86.


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Everybody makes mistakes. Not everyone makes a $ 3 million mistake. And very few people have volunteered to correct such a serious mistake after making it.

That’s what Bill Duffy did. In 2003, he was a sports agent representing Anthony Carter, a fellow NBA player on the Miami Heat. Carter’s contract saw him secure a $ 4.1 million contract for next season, far more than he could have done as a free agent. Unfortunately, Duffy failed to submit the documents on time and Carter lost over $ 3 million as a result.

In response, Duffy promised to reimburse Carter for the money lost. As Sopan Deb of The Times wrote, “It was an unusual and virtually unprecedented move.

“I wasn’t even angry, to tell you the truth,” said Carter, who is now back with the Heat as an assistant coach. “I didn’t say, ‘What happened? Because I knew what type of person he was. Things are happening. “

Duffy just finished the payments to Carter, and Sopan told the whole story – including how the mistake helped the Heat win a championship.

Yesterday’s Spelling Bee pangram was banana. Today’s puzzle is above – or you can play it online if you have a Games membership.

Here are today’s mini crosswords and a hint: Rainy month (five letters).


Thank you for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. – David

The PS The Times headquarters in New York are still dressing for the holidays, even though the newsroom is empty.

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