Two weeks ago, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued a “shelter in place” order for the state of Georgia to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus and its effects. As a result, we are in a time of immense change and struggle for many people and businesses. In the midst of all of this, working together, we can see inspiration and hope. At this time, it looks like the cumulative efforts of Georgians and Americans overall are having a positive effect of reducing the effects and spread of COVID-19. The news from around the world seems to be getting better as well. We hope you, your families, and your friends are healthy and well. We would like to share with you some good news from this past week.
Good News At Home:
- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has significantly lowered its prediction for the death toll in the United States, claiming some states may have already surpassed their peak.
Business Leaders and Celebrities Around the Country are Stepping Forward:
- Doctors and specialists are coming to help New York City from more than 40 states. The volunteers are supplementing hundreds of military personnel, critical-care personnel and contract nurses, who are all in rotation to support a tripling of the city’s intensive-care unit capacity.
- Businesses across the globe are unifying to support their fellow Americans while some major health insurers have promised to cover care and testing related to the novel coronavirus; several insurance companies are also giving back millions to customers. Newly approved legislation provides paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave for some American workers, free testing for people without insurance, and added funding to states for Medicaid, according to Harvard Health.
- A star-studded list of celebrities are signing-on to take part in the All In Challenge, a massive fundraiser to help feed Americans affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Philadelphia 76’ers co-owner Michael Rubin launched the fundraising auction where a collection of athletes, artists, and celebrities offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences to fans. High-profile names taking part in the auction include Magic Johnson, Dwayne Wade, Ryan Seacrest, Rob Lowe, Eli Manning, Alex Rodriguez and Bubba Watson.
- First responders and health care professionals were surprised with free groceries at the checkout at Winn-Dixie and other super markets in seven states.
Testing and Vaccine Progress Moving Forward:
- Two potential COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. are making fast progress in early-stage testing. In the U.S., the first person to receive a shot last month (made by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc.), returned to a Seattle clinic Tuesday for a second dose. Another company, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, began giving experimental shots for first-step safety testing last week in the U.S. and hopes to expand its studies to China.
- This week, Yale University joined Stanford University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by signing on to a set of technology licensing principles designed to incentivize and allow for broad and equitable access to university innovations during the global COVID-19 pandemic. These principles are intended to establish a model using critically important technologies that may help prevent, diagnose, or treat COVID-19 infections so it may be deployed for the greatest public benefit without delay.
We continue to enjoy hearing from you and talking with you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out. We hope you all continue to stay safe and well.