Welcome to the Weekly Scan. Here’s what we’re following for the week of June 29, 2020.
Make sure to check back as we update these stories.
Record numbers. Some states are starting to roll back reopening plans as the U.S. reached a record number of new daily Covid-19 cases—more than 45,000 cases—on Friday, June 26. Friday marked the third consecutive day of record Covid-19 numbers in the U.S. Florida, Oregon, Idaho, South Carolina, Idaho, Kansas, and Utah, saw record daily case numbers. In response, Texas and Florida closed down bars, reversing course on reopening. California’s governor Gavin Newsom also suggested that some parts of the state might shut down again.
- The takeaway: Many businesses have reopened after months of shut downs and shelter-in-place orders across the country. But with cases on the rise, more shut downs could be in store.
Advertisers deactivate Facebook. Companies including Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Diageo, and more committed to cutting their advertising spending on Facebook and Instagram in response to Facebook’s policies on inaccurate content and hate speech. In the last year, Diageo spent $23 million on the platform and Starbucks spent $9 million. Other companies including Procter & Gamble and General Motors are also reportedly considering pulling back on spending.
- The takeaway: This response comes after Facebook allowed President Trump’s posts condemning protestors over George Floyd’s death. Facebook has historically maintained that it would not filter posts from politicians. Twitter, however, recently flagged two of the President’s tweets and urged users to get the facts.
Covid-19 drug’s price tag. Gilead Sciences announced that it would charge hospitals roughly $3,120 per patient for its Covid-19 treatment called remdesivir. For government health insurance programs such as Medicare, Gilead will charge between $2,340 and $4,290 per patient for the drug. For patients with commercial insurance, such as employer-provided insurance, Gilead will charge $3,120 to $5,720 for the treatment.
- The takeaway: Remdesivir has shown that it reduces Covid-19 patients’ hospital stays by four days. Although the drug hasn’t been approved to treat Covid-19 in the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of the drug during the pandemic in May. Gilead has been donating remdesivir since then, but will begin charging for it in July.
Back to the Max. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that it would begin test flights of Boeing’s 737 MAX as part of the agency’s safety review of the aircraft. FAA pilots will reportedly begin the three-day flight tests of the plane on Monday, June 29. This could be the first step to get the 737 MAX back up and running since it was grounded in 2019.
- The takeaway: The 737 MAX was grounded indefinitely after two of the planes crashed in March, 2019, killing more than 300 people. Before the 737 MAX was grounded, the plane was the fastest-selling aircraft for Boeing, the world’s largest aircraft maker and a giant in the aerospace and defense industry. The loss of life related to possible flaws in its plane designs has been a problem for the company, including loss of consumer confidence, brand damage, financial losses, and ongoing criminal investigations.
Find out what we covered in last week’s Scan.