The Presidential Daily Brief


  1. Vaccine Shortage Likely Even If One Is Found

    The World Health Organization says it has identified seven or eight top coronavirus vaccine candidates from the dozens being developed. But medical experts say even if an effective vaccine is created for the disease that's now killed more than 286,000 people, it will likely take years before enough can be manufactured to create herd immunity in the entire global population, an estimated 5.6 billion inoculations. Supply is already a problem: One biotech mogul says the mass testing strategies that are key to lifting lockdowns are unsustainable due to limited production capacity.

    For all OZY's coronavirus coverage, click here.

  2. Wuhan to Test Entire Population

    The Chinese city was the original epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, but after a strict 11-week lockdown it had been free of new cases since April 3. No more: A new cluster of infections emerged there over the weekend, and now the city's drawing up a 10-day testing plan that will cover all 11 million people in Wuhan. By comparison, the U.S. has tested only about 9 million people during the entire outbreak. Some health officials worry Wuhan's goal is simply impossible — or at least prohibitively expensive.

    Read OZY's analysis of China's response to the virus.

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    White House Masks Up, Fauci Preps Testimony

    After two staff members tested positive for COVID-19 last week, masks will now be required at the White House — though President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence will still go without. Trump walked out of a briefing with masked reporters yesterday after dismissing two female journalists over a "nasty question" and telling one, an Asian American, to "ask China" when she questioned his insistence that the U.S. is doing more testing than any other country. Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci testified remotely to the Senate today that reopening states too early could lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

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    Tesla Reopens Factory Despite State Rules

    Well, he's manufacturing controversy at least. Mogul Elon Musk announced on Twitter yesterday that he's restarting production at a Bay Area Tesla factory despite California lockdown guidelines to protect public health. Parking lots were full outside the facility on Monday, and employees said they were told if they didn't come in, their benefits would be cut off and their eligibility to receive unemployment compromised. Meanwhile, Michigan — far harder hit than California by the virus — has also resumed automobile manufacturing, despite the risks to workers.

    Meet the inventor who thought of the Hyperloop 170 years before Musk.

  5. Also Important

    With casinos closed, tribal nations across the U.S. — also hit hard by the virus — are facing a massive crisis. Budget carrier Ryanair says it hopes to resume 40 percent of flights in July. And a BBC sports commentator has turned to narrating penguin races in the absence of regular human sports.

    Coronavirus Update: French language authorities have ruled that the virus is a feminine word ("la COVID-19") rather than masculine, ending weeks of confusion.

    Speak up! Would you be comfortable being tracked by contact-tracing apps aiming to contain COVID-19? Why or why not? Let us know by replying to this email — and we’ll feature the most interesting answer right here next week.


  1. 'Ghost Election' in Poland Sees 0% Turnout

    After weeks of wrangling over whether it would go ahead despite the public health threat of in-person voting, Sunday's presidential election wasn't officially canceled — but with no open polling places nobody could actually cast a ballot. Until just days before the election, Poland's ruling PiS party had demanded it go ahead, likely hoping low turnout would give incumbent Andrzej Duda an advantage and avoid the need for a second round of voting. Now the rescheduled election must take place within 74 days, but it's unclear whether it will be conducted by mail or in person.

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    Trump OKs Huge Nevada Solar Installation

    They're rays-ing the bar. The U.S. Interior Department has given the green light to the $1 billion Gemini Solar Project, backed by Warren Buffett, that's set to become the largest solar plant in the U.S. and the eighth biggest in the world. With a capacity of 690 megawatts, the plant outside of Las Vegas is expected to generate enough power for 260,000 homes when it's completed in 2022. Though conservationists worry it could put a rare threatened desert tortoise in even more danger, the project should help Nevada reach its goal of generating half its power from renewable sources by 2030.

  3. Younger People More Likely to Self-Isolate

    Though older people are far more at risk from COVID-19 — 95 percent of deaths in Europe were patients over 60 — a new survey shows younger people are significantly more likely to self-isolate, OZY reports. Some of that is about attitude, with older people, who have lived through more, feeling that this too shall pass. But it's also a matter of necessity: They're less likely to have a living partner, meaning they have to go out for sustenance and other needs, and they're also likely to be suffering from acute loneliness. That in turn could feed into even higher senior death rates.

  4. 'Tiger King' Creators Eye New Tiger Series

    Can they change their stripes? The team behind the massive Netflix hit is reportedly working on another show that will look at the 2003 tiger mauling that severely wounded recently deceased Las Vegas magician Roy Horn of Siegfried and Roy. While some participants report it'll be "a higher-minded corrective" to the lurid Tiger King, others deny it. Devotees of the original series can always turn to the three competing fiction projects about Joe Exotic currently in the works — one of which has Nicolas Cage attached.

    Read OZY's take on the link between legal marijuana and saving animals.

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    Premier League, MLB Plan Summer Comebacks

    They're setting new goals. The English Premier League can kick off June 1, according to the U.K.'s current reopening plan, though like Germany's Bundesliga and Spain's La Liga, no fans will be in the stands. Scrapping the season could have constituted a breach of contract with TV partners, costing the league millions. Meanwhile, Major League Baseball owners have reportedly agreed to a plan that would see teams take the field in home stadiums in early July. Negotiations with the players' union start today, and if they can reach an agreement, baseball could be the first American team sport to return.