Skimm'd while catching up on some zzz's

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Skimm'd while catching up on some zzz's

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Quote of the Day

"It's a beautiful, competitive event" – John Oliver, on marble racing as the next big sport. Because who wants to watch baseball when you can have marbles rolling down a slope.

A Shot at Hope

The Story

Good news about a potential vaccine.

I'm all ears.

This one's from Moderna, a Massachusetts-based biotech company. Back in March, it launched the first human trial for a coronavirus vaccine. And yesterday, we got the early results: out of eight healthy volunteers injected with the experimental vaccine, all created neutralizing antibodies. Meaning, not only did they create antibodies, but those antibodies actually blocked the virus from replicating.

Sounds promising.

It is. But this was a Phase 1 trial (out of three). It's still not clear how the virus will do in a much bigger sample size. That's what happens next: Moderna will scale up the test to hundreds of people. Then move toward thousands, as soon as July. Ultimately, the goal is to figure out whether the vaccine is safe and effective to roll out to millions of people.

So when can we get it?

Not yet. A successful Phase 1 trial seems encouraging. But only about 1 in 10 drugs that make it past Phase 1 apparently get approved by the FDA. If it does get approval, Moderna says a vaccine could become available by early 2021.

And if not?

Good thing there are at least 70 other potential vaccines in the works.


There's a lot that needs to happen before this vaccine – or others like it – can hit the shelves. But the fact that one passed this hurdle could be a promising first step to saving lives, reopening the economy, and getting our lives back to normal.

Skimm More: We explain how vaccines work and the challenges with developing one for COVID-19.

And Also...This

What, on the other hand, is not a vaccine...

Hydroxychloroquine. Yesterday, President Trump said he started taking the antimalarial drug earlier this month to try to prevent against COVID-19. He said he made the decision after talking with the White House doctor – but the announcement came despite last month's warning from the FDA against taking the drug preventatively. The agency said it could cause serious heart problems and shouldn't be used outside of a hospital setting.

Who's saying 'we'll look into it'…

The World Health Organization. Yesterday, during its 73rd annual World Health Assembly, the WHO said it would start an independent review of its own handling of the pandemic. The move came at the demand of 116 countries, including the US – which claims that the WHO's failures to gather info earlier on could have cost lives. The countries also called for an investigation into the origins of the virus, putting pressure on, you guessed it, China. Speaking of...

  • Feeling generous: Yesterday, China pledged $2 billion to help countries deal with the pandemic over the next two years. That's apparently more than twice what the US had been giving the WHO before it halted funding to it last month. Last night, President Trump threatened to stop funding the org permanently if it doesn't make big changes.

What's shifting gears…

The auto industry. Yesterday, General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler began reopening their US factories after locking down in mid-March. But none of the companies are reportedly working at full capacity and things are looking a little different for workers. There will apparently be more cleaning in between shifts and plastic panels between workstations to keep employees further apart in some cases. There will also be regular temperature checks and more protective equipment.

Uber. Yesterday, the ride-hailing company said it would lay off another 3,000 workers and would be "closing or consolidating" around 45 offices. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees about the move in an email, after the company saw an 80% drop in ride requests just last month. It's Uber's second round of layoffs this month, bringing the total cut to about 25% of its workforce (not including drivers).

...Oh and speaking of the economy, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said this downturn will be way shorter than during the Great Depression. He said that while unemployment numbers could get worse, the economy could recover by the end of next year.

When you're tired of the peach emoji...

There's a gentler option out there.

Life lessons fron CTG

Catherine the Great was an OG badass who broke glass ceilings before it was cool. As in, she took over and ruled Russia in the 1700s. So in honor of Hulu's new show, "The Great," we're partnering to bring you some wisdom from Cath herself. Preview coming in 3,2,1...

Picture it: it's Sunday. You have an ambitious plan to meal prep for the week. But by Wednesday, you've eaten all your sides, what's left smells weird, and you're like, 'Over it. Ordering takeout.' That's what happened to Catherine the Great, like loosely.

What we mean is: Catherine had big plans to make Russia more like France. But...she wasn't totally successful.

To find out how it went down, read on here. Onward and upward.

2020 Tuesdays

Spotlight on the Issues: Immigration

Immigration: a contentious and fraught issue since Day 1. COVID-19 has continued to highlight the complexities of immigration policy, from concern about detention centers becoming hot spots for the virus, to anxiety over potential job competition amid skyrocketing unemployment, to considering the role of immigrant workers in the US food supply chain. Here's where the candidates stand:

President Trump…has temporarily suspended approval of green card applications to ensure unemployed Americans will be "first in line" for jobs as states reopen. And closed the US-Mexico border to all but essential services amid COVID-19. He and his admin have also: suspended immigration from multiple majority-Muslim countries, launched a program to have asylum seekers wait in Mexico while claims are processed, and capped the number of refugees admitted to the US, among other policies.

Former VP Joe Biden...wants COVID-19 testing widely available and free for those who need it, regardless of their immigration status. Biden acknowledges the "pain" caused by 3 million deportations while he was veep. He supports citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the US illegally as kids. And wants to restructure Immigration and Customs Enforcement to improve accountability and ensure humane treatment of detainees.


The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting us all in different ways. No matter your situation, sometimes you just need to press pause. Enter: our picks to help you take a break…

1. 17 things that'll make working from home easier. Because your bed didn't sign up for this. This list has a tiny standing desk, a charging hub, products to make your back feel better, and more.

2. Plant parenting 101. Just getting into the green game? Here's what to expect when you're expecting a plant. Zoom 'baby' shower not included.

3. Cardio ideas that don't involve running. We're just some girls. Standing in front of a workout mat. Asking it to love us.

PS: Sign up to get a list of things to do, watch, eat, and more to your inbox every Monday.


For when your roots are showing…

Experts to the rescue. This company brings the salon to you by offering video chats with professional stylists. And by sending a custom hair color shade right to your door. PS: Skimm'rs get 25% off your first subscription purchase. Dye it up.*

For when you've worn your fave V-neck tee three times this week…

A bra to match. This company makes Deep V no-wire bras that are their #1 seller. Aka they've sold over 150,000. Because they're made from super soft fabric. Psst...Skimm'rs get 15% off their first purchase. Get it.*

For when online shopping is your cardio…

Time for a good workout with this free browser extension. It finds, tests, and applies the best coupon codes on over 30,000 sites. Hi, deals you wouldn't have found on your own. Start saving.*

*PS This is a sponsored post.


In times like these, community matters more than ever. Let us know how you (or someone you know) is making an impact by helping others.

A little pick-me-up from...Caitlin F (MD). She and her husband are doing regular quarantine cleanups – walking around their neighborhood and picking up trash. It's litter-ally the best.

Biting off a new project...Amanda G (MD). She helped start a website to promote Baltimore restaurants during the coronavirus crisis. You can learn more about Save Charm City Eats here.

(Some) Birthdays...theSkimm's Maria del Carmen Corpus (NY), Abigail Wenner (MD), Andrea Milstein (NY), Felicia Thompson (AZ), Sydney Johnson (CA), Karin Leereveld (FL), Elyse Anderson (OK), Hannah Bishop (MA), Amy Schaubert Brown (VA), Natalie Gubman (IL), Mark Janssens (NY), Taylor Webb (KY), Roshan Sharma (TX), Emma Cobb (TN), Hannah Zorn (NY)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.