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Quote of the Day

"Will the real Vincent Van Gogh please stand up?" – A news article, on five competing Van Gogh exhibits in the US. They all look ear-ily similar.


The Story

India's COVID-19 cases are at an all-time, worldwide high.

That's not good.

Today, India reported over 332,000 cases – setting another global record for the highest daily increase of infections since the beginning of the pandemic. For reference, the US's highest record surpassed 300,000 in January. India is the second-most populous country in the world and the coronavirus has caused its health care system to break down. Hospitals are at capacity, there aren't enough ambulances, and people are dying as the country's oxygen supply for ventilators runs out. On top of that, PPE is scarce – reportedly leading many to resort to the black market for used gloves, masks, and even drugs. And that's not all.

Go on.

New variants are stoking fears things could get worse. India's detected several COVID-19 variants, including the UK, Brazil, and South Africa strains. And B1617, the "double mutant" variant first detected in India, is raising alarms. Note: It's common for a virus to change and mutate. But scientists say this could make the variant more contagious and weaken a vaccine's effectiveness. Right now there's reason to be hopeful that some vaccines (like Pfizer's) can combat the India variant. But India's got its own vaccines.

And those would be?

Covaxin and Covishield. The gov rolled those out in January. And recently it approved Sputnik V – Russia's vaccine. But despite being home to the biggest vaccine manufacturers in the world (and producing 60% of the world's vaccines), less than 2% of India's population is fully vaccinated. That's in part due to vaccine hesitancy. And the international community is worried. China said it would step in to help. And an Indian vaccine manufacturer is pleading for the US to lift its ban on exports so that the country can receive raw materials to create more vaccines. Meanwhile, several countries (like the US, UK, and New Zealand) added India to its travel ban list.


COVID-19 has debilitated country after country. While some may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, India is struggling amid new variants. And many are pleading for help.

And Also...This

What's keeping Congress busy...

The DC statehood bill. Yesterday, the Democratic-controlled House passed legislation to make Washington, DC, the 51st US state. In the federal district, DC's residents can vote in the presidential election. But they have no representation in the Senate – despite having a larger population than Vermont and Wyoming. For years, DC residents (86%) have wanted to get equal representation in Congress and expand voting rights to a population that's 46% Black. But Republicans say 'this isn't in the Constitution' and argue the bill's a ploy for Dems to get more congresspeople on their side (DC's largely blue). Now, the bill heads to the Senate, where it's expected to fail for the second year in a row.

The anti-Asian hate crimes bill. Yesterday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed it with bipartisan support. The bill gained traction after six Asian women were killed in the Atlanta area last month. And as a report showed major US cities saw a 150% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes last year – partly attributed to former President Trump's xenophobic language during the pandemic. Now, the DOJ could be asked to review coronavirus-related hate crimes, and the measure would help fund states and local govs to identify hate crimes. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), who sponsored the bill, said it "sends a clear and unmistakable message of solidarity" to the AAPI community. The bill heads to the House, where it's expected to pass on to President Biden for his signature.

PS: We've got tips for how to be an ally in the fight against racism. It can start with acknowledging the history of anti-Asian racism in the US.

Who people are talking about...

Andrew Brown Jr. On Wednesday, the 42-year-old Black man was shot and killed by sheriff's deputies in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Authorities say they had a search warrant for Brown, but didn't provide further info on what led up to the shooting. Witnesses say that police shot at Brown multiple times as he tried to drive away and he hit a tree. Brown's death sparked protests, and came less than 24 hours after Derek Chauvin's murder conviction. Now, the community is calling on the sheriff's office to release the deputy's body camera footage. At least one deputy involved is on leave pending an investigation.

Who got into the Earth Day spirit...

World leaders. Yesterday, several heads of state pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions at a climate summit. It came after President Biden promised to decrease US emissions by at least half by 2030 – nearly double what the US had agreed to under the Paris climate deal. Now, countries like Japan and Canada are upping their sustainability game. And even Brazil's president (who hasn't prioritized conservation) seems to be turning over a new leaf. About time because the clock's ticking.

Who has big plans this weekend…

Hollywood. Mark your cals: the Oscars are this Sunday. We spoke to NYT media reporter Nicole Sperling on this week's ep of "Skimm This" about how COVID-19 and streaming impacted this year's awards. Plus, what to binge before the show starts.

What's making history in space...

MOXIE and SpaceX.

Thing to Know


In the investing world, that's the fee a brokerage or advisor might charge whenever you buy or sell something. Which, yes, you might do a lot as an investor.

But you don't always have to spend money to make money. With Fidelity, you get commission-free online trades of US stocks and ETFs. Their free-to-download Fidelity Spire app makes it easy to plan, save, and trade all in one place. Plus track your progress toward your goals and get the how-tos you might need along the way. Talk about full service.

Skimm Reads

"Early Morning Riser" by Katherine Heiny

Say 'hi' to this hilarious novel that'll make your heart burst. In it, a 26-year-old moves to a small town in Michigan to teach second grade. Soon after, she finds herself falling for a charming, divorced woodworker who's been with pretty much every woman in town. The novel spans more than 15 years and has some plot twists, quirky characters, and early 2000s vibes. Weekend plans = confirmed.


Here are today's recs to help you live a smarter life...

1. Mother's Day gifts for the mom who could really use some sleep. Because she's an IRL superhero. And superheroes need their z's. These essentials will give her the best night's sleep. Sweet dreams to her.

2. How to have it all...shipped stat. Walmart has everything from furniture, appliances, and electronics to clothes, makeup, and fitness gear. Plus lots in between. Become a Walmart+ member to get free next- and two-day shipping from No minimum spend required.*

3. Someone to talk to. This company can help you put your mental health first. Just fill out their questionnaire and get connected to the right therapist for you based on your needs and preferences. PS: Skimm'rs get 10% off their first month. Get started.*

4. Outdoor items to upgrade your space. Patio season, we've been waiting for you. Get outside with this outdoor rug, this barbecue tool set, and these string lights that'll light up your deck. Time to kick back and relax.

5. Must-have items to help you organize your closet. Because throwing all your clothes on that one chair in your room doesn't count as spring cleaning. Here are the essentials that'll actually help.

PS: Like what you see here? Make sure you're signed up to get more picks like these in your inbox every Thursday. We've got exclusive shopping recs, streaming ideas, life hacks, and more.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.

†Excludes freight and Marketplace items.


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.

Giving a hand...Poonam R (IL). She's the founder of Virtue Mental, a nonprofit that offers free mental health resources to underprivileged communities. The org has interns all over the world.

Getting lit...Maddie A (TX), Alexia R (WI), and Laura S (UK). They founded Open America, a platform for research, literature, and art about the Americas. They've published over 100 pieces in English, Spanish, French, and Nahuatl from authors and artists in North, Central, and South America.

(Some) Birthdays...Skimm Brother Peter Zakin (CA), Kristin McCormack (NY), Adam Gross (NY), Hank Azaria (NY), Hart Cole (WA), Megan Patel (IL), Bethany Dixon (NY), Alan Shain (MA), Mitch Colleran (NY), Samantha Perez (NY), Holly Crisson (FL), Vanessa Henry (TX), Aimee Slavensky (CA), Susan Loh (NY), Kristine Mitchell (MN)

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

Skimm More

Traumatic events impact everyone differently. Whether you've experienced trauma firsthand, are supporting someone who has, or are feeling the toll of the last year, your mental health is likely feeling the side effects. Our guide explains how traumatic events can affect your health. Plus, some tactics and resources to help you cope.

And if you're looking for other smart ways to spend your time…

  • Listen to our news podcast "Skimm This" for clarity on the biggest stories of the week.

  • Tune in to our career podcast "Skimm'd from the Couch" for tips to build your resume.

  • Subscribe to our "Skimm Money" newsletter to keep up to date with your wallet.

  • Sign up for our "Skimm Your Life" newsletter (formerly known as "Press Pause") for curated shopping, reads, and entertainment recs.

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  • Download our app to get it all in one place.

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