The Daily Dose: Space launch rescheduled; WHO-U.S. tensions analyzed

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The much anticipated launch involving SpaceX and NASA that would have seen the first manned launch in America for years was cancelled yesterday due to inclement weather. Bummer. The new launch date was scheduled for is Saturday, May 30, 2020.

A new study has used fast radio bursts (FRBs)—powerful millisecondslong pulses of radio waves coming from distant galaxies—to weigh intergalactic matter, and the results match up with predictions. As per Science, “Over the past few decades, cosmologists have compiled an inventory of the stuff that makes up the universe. Some 68% is dark energy, a mysterious force accelerating the universe’s expansion. Another 27% is clumps of dark matter that hold galaxies together. Just 5% is so-called normal matter.”

Public health experts have chimed in on the potentially devastating effects likely to occur should the United States either pull back its funding of the World Health Organization or exit the organization altogether. As per Nature, “They say that the repercussions could range from a resurgence of polio and malaria, to barriers in the flow of information on COVID-19. Scientific partnerships around the world would also be damaged, and the United States could lose influence over global health initiatives, including those to distribute drugs and vaccines for the new coronavirus as they become available, say researchers.” Unfortunately, when Dr. Tedros, the current head of the WHO, was asked about the independent investigation of the organization’s COVID-19 response requested by governments around the world, he changed the subject quickly.

As an alternative to the current WHO-led global health paradigm, the Trump Administration has proposed an American-led alternative. As per Devex, “The U.S. Department of State has circulated a document proposing a major new global health security initiative called the President’s Response to Outbreaks, which would consolidate international pandemic preparedness under a new State Department coordinator and establish a new central fund to fight pandemics.”

South Korea has been widely touted as the example to follow when it comes to COVID-19 response. That hasn’t changed. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that it is immune to new infections. An outbreak of 79 new cases over the past two days has Korean officials worried.

The United States reached a terrible milestone yesterday. Coronavirus deaths have topped 100,000. The country’s response to the pandemic has been a failure and an indictment of the Republican-led government’s intransigence. Political leadership has all but evaporated.

The Associated Press has assembled a moving tribute to the legions who have succumbed to the novel coronavirus around the world. Please take a moment to have a look.

Thanks for reading. As always, let’s be careful out there.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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