Zoom, the videoconferencing app that’s dominating our coronavirus-created work, school, and social lives, is more popular than ever. With this popularity has come a wave of scrutiny, and Zoom’s new users have been joined by a lawsuit, a letter from a state attorney general, and accusations of shady privacy practices.
Zoom was released in 2013 and steadily climbed the videoconferencing app ranks, becoming one of the most popular business apps out there for the last several years.
Source: Coronavirus made Zoom popular but exposed privacy and security problems – Vox
The Pentagon will continue to use commercial airlines to evacuate Americans trapped overseas amid the coronavirus pandemic, in part to support a hard-hit industry that provides important military capability, the general in charge of the military’s global logistics efforts said Tuesday.
“I am concerned to some degree about the impacts on the passenger segment of the aviation industry.” Army Gen. Stephen Lyons, head of U.S. Transportation Command, said during a Tuesday briefing. “Any opportunity we have to push workload in their direction, we’re doing that. We’re doing that largely with the repatriation efforts and other efforts of that sort.”
TRANSCOM uses 25 cargo and passenger airlines to augment its own military transports. Airlines that are part of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet ferry troops and cargo around the world.
Source: Military Leaders Worry About Health of Commercial Airlines – Defense One
The U.S. Navy says it will remove the majority of USS Theodore Roosevelt’s crew so the aircraft carrier can be disinfected, one day after its commanding officer sent an urgent message asking for help controlling a COVID-19 outbreak.
“The key is to make sure that we can get a set of crew members that can man all those critical functions on the ship, make sure they’re clean, then get them back on while we clean the ship and get the other crew members off,” Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said in a Tuesday interview with CNN.
“And that’s the process we’re going through. It’s very methodical. We’re absolutely accelerating it as we go.”
Source: US Navy Evacuating Aircraft Carrier Infected by Coronavirus – Defense One
As soon as the novel coronavirus began spreading across the country, some pundits—and on occasion President Trump—alleged that health experts and the media were exaggerating the problem and that policy makers were responding with measures that the American people would not tolerate.
The high-quality survey research published in recent days makes it clear that the people don’t agree. They believe that we face a national emergency and that all the steps taken during the past few weeks are reasonable and proportionate. As of now, moreover, there is no evidence—none—that these measures have pushed the people past their breaking-point into non-compliance or revolt.Here’s a summary of the key findings from three wide-ranging surveys conducted by Economist/YouGov, the Pew Research Center, and the Washington Post.
Source: Polling shows Americans see COVID-19 as a crisis, don’t think US is overreacting
Once every decade, April 1 transforms into a little-known, if pivotal, holiday: Census Day, the official reporting date of the decennial U.S. census. Millions of Americans, many sequestered at home, are now completing their 2020 census information online, by phone, or by mail. In doing so, they are fulfilling an important civic duty, as mandated by the Constitution.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has required the Census Bureau to revise some of its schedule, the fruits of this mammoth survey will be rich and detailed information about the demographic state of our nation which will roll out over the course of next year.
After, we should have the complete, precise picture of America’s population that only comes every ten years.
Source: Census Day is here. How is our nation changing?
There is a lot of misinformation circulating about the coronavirus, so we took to Instagram, Twitter and Reddit to see what questions have been bugging you, our readers.
Below are answers from several healthcare experts who have been following the outbreak. Please note that there is much we still don’t know about the new virus, and you should reach out to your own healthcare provider with any personal health concerns.
Source: Your COVID-19 questions, answered – Reuters
In an 8,000 sq ft (743 sq m) facility in the western Indian city of Pune, a bunch of young engineers are racing against time to develop a low-cost ventilator that could save thousands of lives if the coronavirus pandemic overwhelms the country’s hospitals.
These engineers – from some of India’s top engineering schools – belong to a barely two-year-old start-up which makes water-less robots that clean solar plants.
Last year, Nocca Robotics had a modest turnover of 2.7 million rupees ($36,000; £29,000). The average age of the mechanical, electronic and aerospace engineers who work for the firm is 26.
Source: Coronavirus: India’s race to build a low-cost ventilator to save Covid-19 patients – BBC News
On February 26, Brazil confirmed the first coronavirus case in Latin America. The virus has since spread rapidly in the country, infecting thousands of people and killing dozens.
Compounding the problem is Brazil’s stark inequality, which has given rise to a two-pronged health system. More than half of the country’s intensive care unit (ICU) beds are in private hospitals, but only one-quarter of Brazilians have private health insurance. Moreover, public health infrastructure is fragile, and experts warn that the virus could soon overtake Brazil’s densely packed urban slums.
Source: Coronavirus Pandemic Pits Brazil’s President Against Governors | Council on Foreign Relations
With a third of the global population on lockdown amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 40,000 people as of March 31, governments are rightfully thinking about how to make it easier for their citizens to stay home and reduce activities that are likely to further spread the disease.
The restrictions on movement, while important for public health reasons, mean that millions of workers are losing jobs and income necessary to cover their basic needs—including the housing that allows them to stay at home to begin with—not to mention investments in their future.
Those who toil in the informal sector across the developing world, workers on renewable contracts and people who work in the “gig economy” are particularly vulnerable. COVID-19 also threatens to exacerbate already dire conditions for low-income communities, as well as in humanitarian settings.
At least 84 countries are now implementing income-boosting measures to assist those whose livelihoods have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, including 50 new cash transfer initiatives that have been introduced in countries ranging from Ecuador and Italy to Iran and Jordan.
Hong Kong and Singapore are rolling out one-time universal transfers, while other governments, including in Brazil, China and Indonesia, are planning additional payments as part of existing social assistance programs.
Source: How to Maximize the Impact of Cash Transfers, During and After COVID-19
As the pandemic wreaks havoc on the U.S. economy and transforms Americans’ daily lives, the start of April brings a moment of reckoning for millions: rent checks are due.
Many Americans have already lost their jobs – last week’s national unemployment claims exceeded 3 million, shattering previous records – and huge swaths of the country have essentially shut down, with more than half of U.S. states now under some version of a stay-at-home order to curb the disease’s spread.
Source: From bartering to begging for relief, struggling Americans confront April rent – Reuters