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Science & Tech

Good, Good, Good, Good News!

Scientists working on a potential vaccine for COVID-19, in Keele, England, April 30, 2020 (Carl Recine/Reuters)

How often does a Monday morning bring four big pieces of good news?

One: “Moderna Inc. on Monday said human subjects in a Phase 1 trial of a candidate Covid-19 vaccine produced immune responses that were a positive sign of the vaccine’s potential to prevent infection with the new coronavirus. . . . Two weeks after receiving a second dose, people who received the smallest-tested dose of the vaccine created levels of binding antibodies equivalent to those seen in people who have recovered from Covid-19. And people who received a medium dose of the vaccine produced binding antibodies two weeks after a second dose that significantly exceeded the levels seen in recovered patients.”

Elsewhere in the Wall Street Journal, the chief science officer of Johnson and Johnson says his company expects to have sufficient doses “to vaccinate health care workers globally” in early 2021.

Two: “Official data may not show much, if any recovery, in May from April, but a rise in June is quite plausible. If that growth is sustained, this economic contraction could go on record as the deepest since the 1930s, yet also the shortest, lasting as little as two or three months.” As painful as a deep and short recession would be, it beats a deep and long one.

Three: On Rt.live, the latest data indicates that 48 of the 50 states have an Rt level below one, meaning that the average person who catches the coronavirus is spreading it to less than one other person. Minnesota is at exactly one, and Maine is at 1.01. Montana enjoys the lowest Rt figure in the country, at .52. These numbers could start creeping up again as the economy and society reopen, but the country has made enormous progress at slowing down the spread. Six weeks ago, 33 states were above the threshold of one, with Nebraska the highest at 1.2.

Four: “[Tropical storm Arthur] will make its closest approach to the Outer Banks during the day on Monday. By Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center forecasts Arthur to transition into a non-tropical low-pressure system as it moves away from the East Coast.” The last thing we needed was a bad hurricane hitting the coast while everyone is trying to stay six feet apart.

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