Coronavirus, Don Shula, J. Crew: Your Tuesday Briefing

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Most countries with severe coronavirus outbreaks have come well down from their peak in new cases each day. It’s happened in Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Turkey and, if you believe the official numbers, China.

But it has not happened in the United States. Here, the number of both confirmed new cases and deaths has fallen only slightly in the last few weeks. Every day since April 2, there have been at least 22,000 new cases and 1,000 deaths.

Why has the United States failed to bring down its caseload as much as most other countries?

The answer isn’t completely clear, given the complexity of the virus. But the leading suspect, many experts say, is the uneven nature of the U.S. response — like the shortage of tests so far and the mixed approach to social distancing.

“The problem with the American response is that it’s so haphazard,” Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told me.

One way to see the pattern is to look at the U.S. caseload outside the New York metro area. New York has been hit harder than any other city in the world, thanks to its large number of foreign visitors, its high population density and a slow initial response from its political leaders.

The story is different in the rest of the country. Outside of the New York region, the caseload still has not peaked:

Many antibody tests — used to determine whether people have been exposed to the coronavirus — have yielded unreliable results. In response, the Food and Drug Administration said Monday it was giving companies that sell the tests 10 days to prove their products work or pull them from the market.

An Amazon executive quit his high-ranking job after the company fired employees who raised concerns about worker safety during the pandemic. “Remaining an Amazon VP would have meant, in effect, signing off on actions I despised,” the executive, Tim Bray, wrote in a blog post. “So I resigned.”

In Alabama, a woman called the police on teenagers goofing off outside a bowling alley. In Utah, officials closed tattoo parlors and salons after fielding more than 500 complaints. And in Wisconsin, a doctor was suspended from work after attending a packed rally without a mask.

Health care workers around the world continue to risk their lives to care for people infected by the coronavirus. The Times has collected stories from dozens of nurses, doctors and E.M.T.s — about what keeps them up at night and what inspires them to keep fighting.

The day that the Pulitzer Prizes are awarded is the closest thing to an annual celebration at The New York Times.

Shortly before 3 p.m., the staff gathers in the main newsroom — an open area that stretches over three floors — and awaits the official announcement of the prizes by Columbia University. The paper’s executive editor, the winners and their editors then take turns giving remarks.

This year, of course, that gathering didn’t happen. We instead logged onto a Google Livestream to celebrate The Times’s three winners, three additional finalists and other journalism from the past year. Our winners were:

The New Yorker won two prizes this year, and The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica won the Public Service prize for their joint investigation of sexual violence in Alaska.

A special citation went to Ida B. Wells, the investigative reporter who was born into slavery and exposed the horrors of lynching. On Twitter, Hannah-Jones — who uses Ida Bae Wells as her account name — exulted: “Ida B. Wells & I were awarded the Pulitzer on the same day. How can I not believe that the ancestors intervened on this moment?”

For more: Concepción de León of The Times discusses the books winners here, and the full prize list is here. Photographer Jose R. Lopez went behind the scenes at the selection process.

Do yourself a favor and buy a jar of chile crisp, the superstar Chinese condiment that our food editor Sam Sifton calls “magical” in just about any savory dish, including the baked tofu and green beans pictured above.

In its heyday, the company’s designs represented “the myths of American heritage, bootstrapping and independence,” The Times’s Vanessa Friedman writes. But a loss of brand identity — and an inability to stay relevant in a changing retail landscape — contributed to its decline.

A personal recommendation: “The Stand,” King’s post-apocalyptic opus. I just bought a new copy this week.

He won more games than any other N.F.L. head coach. His teams had losing records in only two of his 33 seasons. And he is still the only coach in the modern era to oversee an undefeated season, by the 1972-73 Miami Dolphins.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Love, in Italian (five letters). Or check out my favorite Times game: Spelling Bee.

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David

P.S. For the first time in our 169 years of publishing, the word “vitaparcours” — fitness trails interspersed with exercise stations — appeared in The Times yesterday, as spotted by the Twitter bot @nyt_first_said.

You can see the front page of today’s newspaper here — and the front page from 50 years ago today, covering the killing of student demonstrators at Kent State, here.

Today’s episode of “The Daily” is about how the pandemic has exposed inequalities among university students.

Lauren Leatherby, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Sanam Yar, Tom Wright-Piersanti and Adam Pasick contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at [email protected].

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/05/briefing/coronavirus-don-shula-j-crew.html