Welcome to the Weekly Scan. Here’s what we’re following for the week of June 1, 2020.
Make sure to check back as we update these stories.
A Painful Week. Major retailers including Apple, Target, Walmart, and Whole Foods are among large chains that have closed down stores or changed hours in response to looting, as protesters have taken to the streets across the U.S. over the death of George Floyd. Floyd, an African American man, died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020 after an officer reportedly knelt on his throat for nine minutes, asphyxiating him.
- The takeaway: Stores across the U.S. have been looted or destroyed during the protests. The closures may prove to be an additional setback for retailers, many of which have been closed during the pandemic, and had been planning to reopen this week.
Testing 1,2,3. Pharmaceutical company Elil Lilly has begun human tests of an antiviral Covid-19 treatment, derived from antibodies of an American Covid-19 survivor. The company will continue testing on patients hospitalized with the virus and expects to deliver results of its treatment by the end of June, 2020.
- The takeaway: Biotech and pharmaceutical companies all over the world are rushing to develop testing, vaccines, and treatments for Covid-19, speeding up processes that can typically take up to two years. Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Inovio Pharmaceuticals are among the companies currently testing vaccines for the virus. Gilead Sciences, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and Sanofi are also working on coronavirus treatments.
Trump’s Twitter War. President Trump issued an executive order on Friday, May 28, targeting the legal protections that prevent people from suing them for libel. The order targets something called Section 230, a 1996 regulation that essentially lets social media companies publish the posts of others, as long as they don’t act as mediators of the content. Recently, Twitter has appended labels to the president’s Tweets about mail-in voting and the protests in Minneapolis, urging readers to get the facts.
- The takeaway: Section 230 essentially designates social media companies as platforms, not publishers, freeing them from the many regulations and restrictions the former face. It’s not clear what power the executive order will have, but it could ask the Federal Communications Commission to craft new regulations that might expose social media companies to new kinds of lawsuits.
Find out what we covered in last week’s Scan.