The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Antibody Test OK'd Amid Immunity Uncertainty

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a test for coronavirus antibodies that claims to be nearly 100 percent accurate, hoping it can help Americans who have already recovered get back to work. But Italian researchers are skeptical of immunity passports — like those the U.K. is preparing — that are predicated on the idea that once you've had the disease, you're invulnerable to it. Italian scientists, echoing World Health Organization guidance from last week, say it's still unclear how long antibodies last and how much they can protect against new infections.

    Find all OZY's coronavirus coverage here.

  2. Trump Raises Casualty Estimates

    In a town hall at the Lincoln Memorial yesterday, President Donald Trump made some bold predictions about the pandemic — not all of them in line with what public health experts are saying. He said that 100,000 Americans could die of COVID-19, up from his musings last week that as few as 60,000 lives might be lost. Nearly 68,000 Americans have already died. But Trump also predicted a vaccine by the end of the year, in stark contrast to even his own advisers, who say not to expect one for 12-18 months.

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    Australia, NZ May Institute 'Travel Bubble'

    They're at the coronavirus cool kids' table. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she'll join an Australian Cabinet meeting this week to discuss creating a trans-Tasman "bubble" allowing quarantine-free travel between the two island nations. Both have been successful in containing the virus, with New Zealand reporting no new COVID-19 cases today for the first time in a month. A travel agreement wouldn't happen immediately, leaders said, but if it works the next step may be including other Pacific islands in the bubble.

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    Buffett Loses Confidence in Airlines

    Their future is up in the air. Billionaire Warren Buffett has revealed that he dumped all of Berkshire Hathaway’s stock in the top four U.S. air carriers — to the tune of more than $6 billion — last month. It's a clue to the renowned investor's thoughts on the future of the industry in a post-coronavirus world: "The airline business — and I may be wrong and I hope I'm wrong," he said, "I think it has changed in a very major way." Analysts predict that even when people begin to fly again, they won't be doing so as much and airlines won't be investing in new planes.

  5. Also Important...

    Michigan's governor called out armed anti-lockdown protesters for carrying racist symbols like swastikas, nooses and Confederate flags. Dozens died over the weekend in a prison riot in Venezuela. And Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reportedly cooperated with an upcoming tell-all biography.

    Coronavirus update: While Singapore was initially praised for its response to the virus, it now has more cases than any other nation in Southeast Asia.

    OZY needs you. Our Weekender newsletter uses recommendations from our readers, and we want to hear from you! Send an email to to tell us about the films, TV shows, podcasts and recipes getting you through lockdown, and we’ll share them with the whole OZY audience.


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    'Murder Hornets' Have Arrived in the US

    It's a sting operation. The Vespa mandarinia, aka "murder hornet," recently invaded and is now active in Washington state, according to researchers. Asian giant hornets grow up to two inches long, can destroy a honeybee hive in hours, and have been known to kill people when provoked. Bees in Asia have developed a defense mechanism: They surround a scout hornet and vibrate, suffocating the predator. But bees in North America, already in decline, may not know the technique. Washington officials urge anyone who sees one to "run away" and then report any sightings.

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    Hacker Finally Admits to First Computer Virus

    Exactly 20 years ago today, the first major global computer virus, nicknamed The Love Bug, was unleashed on the world. It showed up in inboxes disguised as a love letter, stealing private information, overwriting files and spreading itself to victims' contacts — affecting about 45 million machines in 24 hours and eventually causing Britain's Parliament to shut down its email network. It was created by Filipino hacker Onel de Guzman, now 44 and working in a phone repair shop in Manila. He finally confessed that he created the virus because he couldn't afford internet access.

  3. Pandemic May Spark an Urban Exodus

    It's time to move forward. While American millennials were already starting to leave bigger, more expensive cities in favor of smaller metros, COVID-19 is accelerating that trend considerably, OZY reports. By making remote work the norm, even briefly, it's likely changing offices forever. That could make it easy to live in Tulsa and work for a company in New York City, enjoying ample living space without sacrificing a higher big city salary. Still, economists say it's hard to know what will happen, especially with bustling downtowns in smaller cities currently shuttered.

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    Man Caught Quarantining on Disney Island

    It's a no parking zone. Disney World has been closed since March due to coronavirus, but police in Florida say they arrested a 42-year-old man last week who sneaked onto an 11-acre abandoned island in the park to ride out his quarantine camping. Despite no-trespassing signs, the man claimed he didn't know he wasn't allowed on Discovery Island — closed to the public since 1999 — which he called a "tropical paradise" where he planned to remain for a week. He's now been banned from all Disney properties and charged with a misdemeanor.

    Discover the tribal culture of Disney fans.

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    Biden Backs USWNT Despite Court Defeat

    Ain't that a kick in the head? The U.S. Women's National Team suffered a setback last week when a judge tossed out its lawsuit demanding equal pay to the men's soccer team — despite the American women winning their World Cup last summer and the men's team failing to even qualify for theirs. But Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden tweeted support for the USWNT, saying if he wins the White House in November, U.S. soccer can choose to pay women equally or else lose funding for hosting the 2026 World Cup.

    Read OZY's profile of American soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe.