Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

How Many Americans Are About to Die?

The Atlantic – A new analysis shows that the country is on track to pass spring’s grimmest record. “…Case numbers have nearly quadrupled since late September, when roughly 700 people a day were dying. If 1.8 percent of confirmed cases are translating into recorded deaths 22 days later, the U.S. is about to enter some extremely harrowing days. Every 100,000 cases would mean roughly 1,800 dead Americans a few weeks later. “I expect the U.S. to be reporting over 2,000 deaths per day in three weeks’ time,” Trevor Bedford [a genomic epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, using data from the COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic, which compiles the cases and deaths that states report.] They were then independently analyzed by the forecasting expert Ryan Tibshirani at the Delphi Group at Carnegie Mellon, which works closely with the CDC on disease modeling. If we look back over the past several months, the method Bedford used has proved more accurate than other means of forecasting near-term deaths.concluded. “Importantly, this doesn’t assume any further increases in circulation and is essentially ‘baked into’ currently reported cases and represents conditions that take time to resolve and to be reported.” And this analysis does not factor in new dynamics that could make outcomes worse, such as the possibility that local hospital systems collapse, which many health-care workers and experts are warning about. Already, more than 20 percent of hospitals are anticipating a staff shortage this week—and the Mayo Clinic reported that 900 of its workers had tested positive in the past two weeks. Nor does the analysis incorporate the possibility of an overburdened testing system becoming unable to complete as many tests as necessary, which would depress case counts. Either of these factors could push or skew the expected death rate even higher.

A Framework for Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus

“Despite the worldwide effort to develop safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 and ramp up production capacity, it is inevitable that initial vaccine supply will be limited. Therefore, policymakers must develop plans to ensure the equitable allocation of limited doses until there is sufficient global supply. In response to a request from the National Institutes of… Continue Reading

Ad Council’s Challenge: Persuade Skeptics to Believe in Covid Vaccines

“…While the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have announced promising updates on the vaccines they are developing, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has blamed President Trump for causing anxiety about the safety of potential immunization efforts. Anti-vaccine sentiment has been growing for decades, driven in part by a backlash against pharmaceutical companies. Fifty-eight percent of… Continue Reading

Now comes the hardest part: Getting a coronavirus vaccine from loading dock to upper arm

Washington Post: “The vaccines need to be distributed across 50 states, plus U.S. territories, that have different demographics and shifting needs. The leading products must be stored at different temperatures and have different minimum orders, with each requiring two shots though the three vaccines don’t all share the same schedule…Complicating matters: A final decision on… Continue Reading

Visualizing Coronavirus Restrictions and Mask Mandates in the United States

“As coronavirus cases continue to surge and hospitals in some areas stretch to capacity, many states are once again imposing limits on businesses and everyday life. Some governors are closing sectors they had reopened after spring lockdowns. Others, wary of an ailing economy, are letting businesses remain largely open but setting stricter capacity limits or… Continue Reading

The Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines

“…In the two-and-a-half years since the Task Force set to work, autonomous vehicles, robotics, and AI have advanced remarkably. But the world has not been turned on its head by automation, nor has the labor market. Despite massive private investment, technology deadlines have been pushed back, part of a normal evolution as breathless promises turn… Continue Reading

FSB examines financial stability implications of climate change

“The Financial Stability Board (FSB) today published a report that examines the potential implications of climate change for financial stability. The report analyses how climate-related risks might be transmitted across, and might be amplified by, the financial system, including across borders. It also sets out next steps for the FSB’s work in this area. Current… Continue Reading

The psychological benefits of writing by hand

Fast Company – “For those of us who spend most days in front of a computer, writing by hand can have refreshing benefits…When you write by hand, you write more thoughtfully. Such mindful writing rests the brain, unlocking potential creativity, says neuroscientist Claudia Aguirre. “Recent neuroscientific research has uncovered a distinct neural pathway that is… Continue Reading

The Danger Of Deliberate Destruction Of Documents By President Donald Trump

WAMU Podcast – 1A – “President Donald Trump is known to be keen on controlling the flow of information surrounding himself and his businesses. He reportedly tears up notes or documents from White House meetings. He employs nondisclosure agreements in both his professional and personal life. And White House aides have been known to use apps… Continue Reading