Skimm'd while talking to Tamron Hall about turning setbacks into success

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Skimm'd while talking to Tamron Hall about turning setbacks into success

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Quote of the Day

"Anything but Anne" – Anne Hathaway, on what she wants people to call her. Annie, are you OK?

Knock, Knock, WHO's There

The Story

World Health Organization experts are in China to do some digging.

What about?

The origins of COVID-19. It's been more than a year since the virus that brought the world to a standstill was first reported in Wuhan, central China. Ideally, when there's an outbreak like this, independent epidemiologists can swoop in ASAP to figure out what went wrong. The goal: to come up with recs to make sure it doesn't happen again. But this time is different.

What do you mean?

China has resisted an international probe. It doesn't exactly love being known as the place the virus was first identified. Instead, the gov has peddled theories that the virus came from outside the country. Meanwhile, President Trump has pushed a theory that the virus was released from a Wuhan lab. Experts believe the virus likely originated in bats and passed through another animal before jumping to humans. And they think it happened in a Wuhan wet market, where live animals are sold. But the Chinese gov has made it hard for independent scientists to verify that.

How so?

Last year, China said 'nope' to Australia's request to let outside experts in to investigate. After 110 countries chimed in to say 'no really we want an investigation,' China finally agreed. In July, they let in just two WHO experts...but they were reportedly barred from entering Wuhan. China was supposed to let in a team of experts earlier this month...but at the last minute, it denied them visas. Now, 13 WHO investigators have been allowed in – still less than the full team the WHO expected. After two weeks in quarantine, they'll be able to do their research.

And what does that entail?

Looking at evidence and samples. Also, interviewing people from the wet market, hospitals, and research facilities. But Beijing has insisted their work be overseen by Chinese scientists. And it's hard to say how much access the international experts will have. Some fear that China's actions are undermining what should have been an entirely independent investigation. But scientists are still hopeful that even if they can't ID patient zero, they'll make headway in understanding how the virus first spread. The process could take months or longer.


Since its origins, COVID-19 has spread to every single continent, killing hundreds of thousands of people, isolating millions more, and shutting down entire industries. With the rollout of vaccines, there's hope we will one day emerge from this. But in order to ensure this never happens again, we need to know what went wrong.

And Also...This

Who's ringing the alarm on policing...

New York Attorney General Letitia James. Yesterday, she filed a lawsuit against NYC, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) as well as the NYPD and its leadership, accusing its officers of civil rights abuses. After an investigation into police response at the George Floyd protests – requested by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) – James' team found a "pattern of using excessive force." That includes officers driving into crowds, using pepper spray, making unlawful arrests, and kettling – a dangerous tactic used to corner protesters. The lawsuit also accuses NYPD leadership and de Blasio of failing to properly train the officers. James is asking for police reforms and oversight of future protests. De Blasio and the police dept agree reform is necessary. But claim the lawsuit doesn't "speed up" change.

New data. It found that police in the US are three times more likely to use force against left-wing protesters. Researchers looked at over 13,000 protests across the country starting in April 2020. And found that police used things like batons, tear gas, and rubber bullets against protesters at more than 500 left-wing demonstrations (including Black Lives Matter). But similar treatment was only documented at 33 right-wing protests (including those that were pro-Trump). When comparing strictly peaceful protests (think: no looting, vandalism or violence), an analysis of the data found that police were even more likely (3.5 times) to engage with left-wing protesters. It comes as last week's riots at the Capitol highlighted discrepancies in policing in the last year.

Who's ready to show his plan...

President-elect Joe Biden. Yesterday, he unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package called the "American Rescue Plan." It dedicates $400 billion to combat the virus, direct payments of $1,400 to most Americans (adding to the $600 that's already been approved), and $440 billion to help communities and businesses get by amid the pandemic. Also included: an expansion of unemployment benefits and tax credits for families with children. And calls to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Biden acknowledged that while the plan isn't cheap, failure to not pass additional relief would "cost us dearly." The US Chamber of Commerce welcomed Biden's plan. But some Republican lawmakers like Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) argued the proposal "does nothing" to help the economy.

  • Looking ahead: Congress will have to approve the plan, and Dems will have control of both chambers. And while Biden's hoping to get some Republican support, it could be difficult since previous sticker shock on relief packages has halted negotiations.

What people are watching…

Uganda. Yesterday, the country held presidential elections, and more than 17 million people were registered to vote. Long-time ruler President Yoweri Museveni is vying for his sixth term. And is up against rapper-turned-lawmaker Bobi Wine and several other opposition candidates. The high-stakes election follows years of alleged gov corruption under Museveni, who's changed the constitution twice to stay in office. And has been accused of violence and attacks on the media. Wine – who's claimed he's been arrested and tear-gassed – hasn't backed down. And is hoping to bring economic growth to the country. The election's sparked #WeAreRemovingADictator to trend on Twitter. Early results showed Museveni leading the race. And final results are reportedly expected tomorrow.

  • Trouble brewing: Observers from the US and the EU were reportedly not able to monitor the election because of pushback from the gov. And several opposition candidates worry the election was being rigged.

What's getting hotter by the minute…

Earth. Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said that 2020 was among the hottest years on record. Climate change is real, Earthlings.'s how climate change can affect your wallet.

While Cardi B's getting press, press, press

Dolly Parton might be getting a statue.

How to Skimm Your Life Challenge

Woahhh, we're halfway there. And it feels so good. So good, that you might wanna take a picture. About that...We're here to help you trash some photos. Because those random screenshots won't delete themselves.

Today's challenge: Set a timer for 10-15 mins and get rid of any pics that you obviously don't need anymore to make your photo library feel like less of a mess. Then smile for the camera to mark this glorious moment. For ideas to make your memories last longer, click here. And to view all our past challenges, this is the place.

Last call: We're looking for a "live" (read: virtual) audience for an upcoming episode of Skimm'd from the Couch. Enter here by 1PM EST for a chance to join our co-founders Carly and Danielle for real talk with author Rachel Hollis about making big changes and taking care of your mental health.

Skimm Reads

"Pretty Little Wife" by Darby Kane

This week, we partnered with Book of the Month to bring you two special Skimm Reads. Join now to get a copy for only $9.99. And then pick from five books every month to get one delivered right to your door. More details, coming right up…

Lila Ridgefield appears to have the perfect life...until her husband goes missing. The news shocks their small town, especially Lila. She thought she killed him, and now his body is nowhere to be found. This twisted thriller's got serious "Gone Girl" vibes. As in, the main character is deeply flawed, you won't always know what's real, and you won't be able to put it down.


For when you're ready to pose like nobody's watching…

Yoga-t this. And Athleta has gear to help. Like their fan-fave, buttery soft Salutation Tights in new colors and prints. They're breathable and lightly compressive, keeping you supported in allll the right places. Nama-slay.*

For when you can never find anything in your fridge...

Time for some changes. We partnered with Good Morning America and Blue Apron to bring you tips for meal planning, reducing food waste, and staying organized. Don't miss it.*

For when the word 'money' makes your heart race…

Sounds about right. Our new guide is all about facing financial fears, overcoming anxieties, and setting goals you can actually reach. We also rec Bank of America Life Plan®, which can help you track your progress. Stay calm.*

For when you wanna refresh your routine in 2021…

Set yourself up for success with the right tools. Like a time marker water bottle, a power scrubber for your bathroom, and a guided journal to help kiss 2020 goodbye. Boom.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.

Skimm More

1. 140,000 jobs were lost in the last month – and they were all held by women. On this week's episode of "Skimm This" we spoke to economist Kathryn Edwards about how to better support women in the workplace. And resume expert Amanda Augustine broke down tips on how to put your best professional self forward.

2. As part of our How to Skimm Your Life Challenge, we teamed up with our friends at Good Morning America and Blue Apron to help Ginger Zee refresh her life – from beauty, to cooking, and more.

3. Calling all "Orange Is the New Black" fans: We texted with Laverne Cox about her new movie, quarantine hobbies, and who she's most surprised follows her on Instagram (hi, Janet Jackson).

Programming Note

Skimm HQ is closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr Day. See you back in your inbox on Tuesday.


We like to celebrate the wins, big and small. Let us know how your friends, neighbors, coworkers (and yes, even you) are making career moves, checking off goals, or making an impact in the community.

Raising awareness...Penelope B (WA). She advocates for adult survivors of child abuse through NAASCA (National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse – a nonprofit). And she hosts a weekly radio show called Stop Child Abuse Now, which covers topics to help adults struggling with the long-term effects of childhood abuse and maltreatment.

'Like a Gilmore'...Kristine E (NY). Her blog, the Gilmore Book Club, is based on a reading list of 346 books from "Gilmore Girls." The club's used books to cover how to find your soul mate, home buying, self-care, and more. Check it out.

(Some) Birthdays...theSkimm's Noorjahan Deolall Antoine (NY), Mona Goodman (CT), Mark Sawyier (MO), Adele Oppenheim (MA), Matthew Bregman (NJ), Alliy Drago (NY), Taylor Greenberg (FL), Angelle Dumond (TX), Maggie Mahoney (OH), Madeline Bull (TX), Natalia Velenchenko (MN), Jeannette Innocenzi (CA), Lauren Hughes (SC), Kira Farberov (NY), Anthony Torch (IL), Ruth Vincent (WI)

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

Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain