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Restaurant dining linked to Covid-19 risk in CDC study

CNN (09/10/2020)
  • A new study from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that covid-positive adults were 2x more likely to have dined at a restaurant 14 days before becoming sick.
  • The study covered 314 adults at 11 health facilities across 10 states and respondents weren’t asked if they dined indoors or outdoors.
  • In contrast, shopping, small gatherings at home, going to the gym or using public transportation didn’t significantly increase probability of testing positive.
  • Unlike eating, those activities can be performed with mask-on.

Bernie Sanders expresses concerns about Biden campaign

The Washington Post (09/12/2020)
  • Bernie Sanders has allegedly privately expressed concerns about Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
  • Sanders is worried that Biden’s “vaguer, more centrist approach” may not be enough to defeat Trump.
  • While Bernie denies making these comments privately, he did publicly state that Biden should explain how he’ll help low-income workers and expand healthcare coverage to motivate young millennial and Latino voters.
  • Ultimately, Bernie wants Biden to expand beyond solely attacking Trump.
  • Biden appears to be avoiding progressive talking points to avoid being labelled radical or socialist.

What happens if Trump loses but refuses to concede?

Financial Times (FT) (09/14/2020)
  • In the event of Trump disputing results due to external factors (eg mail-voting fraud), the Constitution decrees intervention by Congress and the Supreme Court.
  • After the election, state electors meet in December to cast electoral votes and resolve disputes in line with the majority vote in each state.
  • Trump could maintain power despite losing if state electors also view their state voting results as fraudulent and break rank by voting for Trump.
  • Article details scenario in which Pennsylvania is contested yet Trump wins.

How the Coronavirus Attacks the Brain

The New York Times (NYT) (09/09/2020)
  • A new study found that the coronavirus invades brain cells, hijacking them to make copies of itself.
  • Half of all coronavirus patients have reported neurological symptoms including headaches, confusion and delirium.
  • Scientists made this discovery after analyzing brain tissue and clusters of brain cells.
  • The coronavirus stealthily exploits brain cell machinery to multiply itself.
  • Instead of destroying brain cells, coronavirus chokes off oxygen to adjacent cells and causes them to wither and die.
  • It remains unclear how the coronavirus reaches the brain and wreaks havoc.

Why Minnesota Could Be The Next Midwestern State To Go Red

FiveThirtyEight (08/31/2020)
  • While the Democratic presidential candidate has won Minnesota in the last 11 elections, the state has become redder over time.
  • The shift is largely driven by Minnesota’s white voters without college degrees voting increasingly conservative.
  • While in the past many of these blue-collar voters rallied around Democrats’ support of labor unions, they’ve become increasingly alienated by the left’s pro-environment and anti-gun proposals.
  • “In 2016, every county in Greater Minnesota got redder, and 19 of them flipped from Barack Obama to Trump”.

Biden’s Voters Appear Far More Likely To Vote By Mail Than Trump’s. That Could Make For A Weird Election Night.

FiveThirtyEight (08/28/2020)
  • Coronavirus worries will result in an estimated (record) 30% of Americans casting their ballots by mail this Fall.
  • However, a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that only 11% of Trump supporters said they planned to vote by mail vs 47% of Biden supporters.
  • If the polling results hold true, Election Day in-person votes will skew towards Trump (+33%) while mail-in votes will heavily favor Biden (+63%).
  • This discrepancy could result in delayed results and more allegations of mail fraud by Trump.

CEOs are selling stock. That could be a bad sign for the epic market rally

CNN (08/17/2020)
  • While US stocks have largely recovered from the coronavirus market collapse, CEOs and leading shareholders are increasingly dumping their shares.
  • Since May, S&P 500 insiders including CEOs, leading shareholders and other senior executives have sold $50 billion worth of shares.
  • August is on track to be the 3rd month of the last 4 in which insider selling exceeded $15 billion, a pace unseen since 2006.
  • Insider selling could be a warning that corporate leaders aren’t confident in the economic recovery.

Yelp report: 60% of restaurant closures permanent, more will close

Business Insider (07/22/2020)
  • According to restaurant-review site Yelp, 60% of US restaurant closures since March 1st (COVID shut-downs) have become permanent (16,000 closures).
  • The highest share of restaurant closures were in California (14.4%), Texas (8.5%) and NY (8.4%).
  • “States like Hawaii, Nevada, and California, which usually benefit from year-round tourism, have seen the highest closure rates proportional to their total number of businesses”.
  • As lockdowns extend, more and more temporary closures are becoming permanent.
  • “The virus isn’t going anywhere soon, so businesses will need to be resilient”.

What Happens to Your Body on No Sleep?

Outside (04/02/2019)
  • Scientists have found that the effects of acute sleep deprivation, or all-nighters, kicks in after being awake for 16-18 hours straight.
  • The first sign is a sluggish mind, with reaction times lagging to the equivalent of being legally drunk by the 24th hour awake.
  • After 24 hours, your brain starts forcing you into 10-20 second periods of “micro-sleep”.
  • After 35 hours, the brain’s emotion-emitting amygdala becomes 60% more reactive and the ability to regulate emotions declines.
  • Hallucinations are common after 48 hours awake.