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By Eunjung Cho
With scores of Chinese factories now sitting idle because of the spread of the novel coronavirus, now named COVID-19, American officials and experts are warning the economic shock could be felt in the U.S. in the months to come.
For now, U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security adviser hinted at a limited economic impact.
Speaking at an event at the Atlantic Council in Washington this week, Robert O’Brien said, “there will be some effect on the U.S. GDP growth” but added, “we’ll have to wait and see.”
While acknowledging China’s critical role in the global supply chain, O’Brien said he is watching whether alternative suppliers can be found or Chinese workers will return to their factories.
He said he did expect China to reduce the imports of American agricultural products under the Phase 1 trade deal.
“We expect the phase 1 deal will allow China to import more food and open those markets to American farmers, but certainly as we watch this coronavirus outbreak unfold in China it could have an impact on how big, at least in this current year, the purchases are,” O’Brien noted.
The U.S. medical sector also is expected to register an impact from the coronavirus outbreak.
In a Senate hearing Wednesday on global pandemics, experts cautioned the U.S. relies heavily on imports of medical devices and drugs, and will soon feel the blow from the factory stoppage in China.
“If this extends in China another month or two, I think we’re going to start to see some shortages of critical components, not just the protective equipment, but also sophisticated electronics that go into medical devices,” said Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Gottlieb explained a lot of manufacturers have one to three months inventory on hand.
And there are some 400 drug manufacturers in China, noted Nikki Clowers, managing director of the Health Care Team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Clowers said continued factory closures will affect the supplies of equipment to handle the Coronavirus outbreak and medicines for other chronic diseases.
Julie Gerberding, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said she is most concerned about the possible shortage in antibiotics. She explained many Coronavirus patients are prone to develop additional drug-resistant bacterial infections. But Gerberding stressed that the U.S. currently has a sufficient amount of medical stockpiles.
“I think it’s important to remember that we have a Strategic National Stockpile, which is an enormous reservoir of medical equipment, supplies, medicines, vaccines, etc., strategically situated around our country. So that is our first line of defense that would have come into play if we were experiencing a major surge in requirements,” Gerberding said while admitting stockpile is not limitless.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday it is planning for increased demand of medical supplies as it anticipates the coronavirus to “take a foothold in the U.S.”
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, told reporters on a conference call, CDC is regularly talking with manufacturers of personal protective gear, such as masks and gloves, to assess availability.
“At this time, some partners are reporting higher than usual demand for select N95 respirators and face masks,” she said, while reminding CDC currently does not recommend the use of face masks by the general public.
Messonnier also reiterated that the CDC stands ready to send staff to the affected areas in China to work on Coronavirus investigation, although China hasn’t extended its invitation yet.
National Security Adviser O’Brien also confirmed American experts are not included in the World Health Organization’s 3-member advance team of international experts who arrived Monday in China. (VOA)
With the festive season on in full swing, iconic brand Johnnie Walker, is all set to re-energize the country's after-hour culture. Through its one-of-a-kind campaign #RevibeTheNight, the brand brings together beloved music artists like Divine, Ritviz, Lisa Mishra, Taba Chake along with popular indie bands like When Chai Met Toast and Mad Boy Mink, among others to perform live across iconic community spaces in India.
The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. The brand's goal is drive social regeneration in India and bring back the vibe of socializing through local music artists and reignite the trade, driving social culture by executing the live events with Covid measures in place and a limited capacity audience capacity.
The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. | Photo by Vishnu R Nair on Unsplash
Prior to the world going into lockdown, the after-hour culture in India bloomed at celebrated community hubs, that eventually became a safe-haven for individuals, a place where they found their sense of self-expression and belonging, that fuelled progress. This community was driven through the culture of live music and enthralling performances that created their very own vibe, a vibe that built extraordinary, forever-lasting relationships. Through #ReVibeTheNight, one can reconnect with this community bringing music curated by artists who have a history of captivating crowds with their one-of-a-kind live experiences. Catch the gigs and live performances for artists in these venues/cities for the live performances.
(Artiicle originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: johnnie walker, social, #revibethenight, performances, community, artists, culture, festivity, begin
By Nikhila Natarajan
In a continuing study on the effects of machine learning (ML) on public conversation, Twitter has confirmed that its algorithms amplify right-leaning political content. "In six out of seven countries - all but Germany - tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group," Twitter blogged.
"Right-leaning news outlets, as defined by the independent organisations, see greater algorithmic amplification on Twitter compared to left-leaning news outlets." Since 2016, Twitter users are able to choose between viewing algorithmically ordered tweets first in their home timeline or viewing the most recent tweets in reverse chronological order.
"An algorithmic home timeline displays a stream of tweets from accounts we have chosen to follow on Twitter, as well as recommendations of other content Twitter thinks we might be interested in based on accounts we interact with frequently, tweets we engage with, and more. "As a result, what we see on our timeline is a function of how we interact with Twitter's algorithmic system, as well as how the system is designed."
The new research is based on tweets of elected officials of House of Commons members in Canada, the French National Assembly, the German Bundestag, House of Representatives in Japan, Congress of Deputies of Spain, House of Commons in the UK, and official and personal accounts of House of Representatives and Senate members in the US, as well as news outlets, from April 1 to August 15, 2020.
Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. | Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
The study was conducted by Ferenc Huszar (Twitter, University of Cambridge), Sofia Ira Ktena (now at DeepMind Technologies), Conor O'Brien (Twitter), Luca Belli (Twitter), Andrew Schlaikjer (Twitter), and Moritz Hardt (UC Berkeley).
The questions probed were:
How much algorithmic amplification does political content from elected officials receive in Twitter's algorithmically ranked Home timeline versus in the reverse chronological timeline? Does this amplification vary across political parties or within a political party?
Are some types of political groups algorithmically amplified more than others? Are these trends consistent across countries?
Are some news outlets amplified more by algorithms than others? Does news media algorithmic amplification favour one side of the political spectrum more than the other?
Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: algorithmically, timeline, algorithmic, tweets, political, survey, twitter, study, germany, skew
Even as India celebrates reaching a milestone of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal. In a video shared on his Facebook and Twitter page, Bansal hailed Sonu Kumar as a "citizen celebrity".
Bansal said that Kumar not only helped "just co-workers and family but complete strangers too. With patience, empathy and uncanny jugaad". He added that Kumar joined him "many moons ago" and completed his open school from a parking lot.
"Education has helped this wonderful man enable others to get India back on track. Bravo! The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.
"It's a cause of significant celebration and happiness," Bansal said in the video. He said that while people just help a few around them, Kumar "bridged the digital gap" for 64 people, who were finding it difficult to register themselves online on the vaccine portal. Kumar said he doesn't feel that he has contributed much towards the 100 crore vaccine dose count. "I have been able to help only 64 people, if I was able to help more I would have been happier." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: cowin, covid, india, people, Rohit bansal, Sonu kumar, vaccine, snapdeal, registrations