The Daily Dose: America has a new president; Mercedes continues chasing Tesla.

A new administration has been sworn in for the United States. “Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, declaring that “democracy has prevailed” as he took the helm of a deeply divided nation and inherited a confluence of crises arguably greater than any faced by his predecessors.” The president has a lot of work to do and also a lot to prove.

At the top of President Biden’s laundry list of urgent issues is the COVID-19 pandemic. Just in case he needs a little help prioritizing them, the folks at STAT consolidated them in one place. They include suppressing the current spread of Covid-19; Changing minds on masks; Setting up mass vaccination sites; Extracting money for Covid-19 relief from a narrowly divided Congress; Improving a worn-down supply chain for just about everything; Using technology to track vaccinations and ensure equity; Wrangling local officials resistant to Covid-19 mitigation tactics. No sleep for the weary, as they say.

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Electric cars were once scorned and derided by most members of the public. Then Elon Musk and Tesla changed the conversation for good. Now, the best and brightest carmakers are doing their best to play catchup. At the top of the list of competitors is the Silver Star. Per Reuters, “Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz on Wednesday unveiled the EQA, a new electric compact SUV as part of plans to take on rival Tesla Inc and offer more emission-free vehicles to consumers to meet targets in Europe and China. The EQA, the first of several electric models Mercedes-Benz plans to launch this year, will initially have a range of 426 kilometres (265 miles), with a 500km model coming later, the premium brand carmaker said in a video presentation.”

One of the nuances COVID-19 deniers like to point out is the lack of infections where they live. Most of the time, that’s because they live in rural areas with small towns without the population density to really ignite an outbreak. A recent study compared pneumonia and influenza-pneumonia deaths in New York City compared to rural areas of New York State. Their findings reaffirm the role density plays in the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. “Compared with non-NYC urban, suburban, and rural areas of New York State, NYC had the highest mean annual age-adjusted CSPAH rate at 475.3 per 100,000 population and the highest percentage of CSPAH with in-hospital death at 13.7%. NYC also had the highest proportion of CSPAH patients residing in higher-poverty-level areas.” Of course, this won’t sway most people’s views on COVID-19.

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

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