We Can Solve the Coronavirus-Test Mess Now ; How a False Claim Spreads Like a Virus ; and More Picks 9/4

We Can Solve the Coronavirus-Test Mess Now ; How a False Claim Spreads Like a Virus ; and More Picks 9/4

We Can Solve the Coronavirus-Test Mess Now — If We Want To (Bethany)

The author writes, “To get out of this pandemic, we need fast, easy coronavirus testing that’s accessible to everyone. From the way people often talk, you might think we need a technological breakthrough to achieve this. In fact, we don’t have a technological problem; we’ve got an implementation problem. We could have the testing capacity we need within weeks. The reason we don’t is not simply that our national leadership is unfit but also that our health-care system is dysfunctional. Many developed countries have met their testing needs, and ready access to speedy tests has been key to containing outbreaks and resuming social and economic activity. Whether you live in England or South Korea, scheduling is straightforward. No doctor’s order is required. Tests, where indicated, are free. And you typically get results within forty-eight hours.”

From Woodinville to the President’s Thumbs, How a False Claim Spreads Like a Virus (Reader Steve)

From the Seattle Times: “When a little-known chiropractor in Woodinville wrote a Facebook post about the coronavirus Saturday morning, it just sat there, not attracting much attention. For the first couple of minutes anyway. But then, like the virus itself in a crowded bar, it started to multiply. It was a little tentative at first, but once accelerated by some of the superspreaders of social media, it went exponential and reached all the way to the president’s Twitter thumbs in a matter of hours. By about 2 p.m. Saturday, just five hours later, the chiropractor’s post had been shared by tens of thousands of accounts, which means it potentially was viewed by tens of millions of people.” 

Elizabeth Warren Wants to Abolish the Electoral College. Here’s How it Could Happen — Sort of (Dana)

The author writes, “Abolishing the electoral college would indeed be one way of instituting a popular presidential vote, but there’s already an initiative underway that could bring about the same result without the hassle of a constitutional amendment: the National Popular Vote interstate compact. It works like this: States agree to allocate their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote. The compact wouldn’t kick in until states with at least 270 electoral college votes among them — the threshold required to elect a president — have signed on.”

Fresh Snowden Reports Have One Lawmaker Questioning If Congress Was Surveilled (Reader Pat)

From Nextgov: “In a letter penned to the Director of National Intelligence and the head of the National Security Agency Friday, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., demands details about every time intelligence community personnel collected communications or metadata on any Congress member, federal judge, Supreme Court Justice, or other judicial or legislative branch employee during the last decade. The note was sparked by recent allegations that former government contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden sifted through classified surveillance databases for congressional communications.”

Painting Deemed Fake, Consigned to Storage May Be Genuine Rembrandt (Dana)

The author writes, “Since the 1980s, a postcard-sized painting has sat out of sight in the storeroom of the University of Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum. Titled Head of a Bearded Man, the portrait was donated to the museum in 1951 and displayed as an original work by revered Dutch master Rembrandt. But after a group of investigators deemed the painting inauthentic in 1981, curators decided to move it into storage. … Now, Bearded Man is set to return to public view under decidedly more auspicious circumstances: As the museum announced in a statement, new research has all but confirmed that the painting was created in Rembrandt’s workshop—and perhaps even by the Old Master himself.”


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