Here’s what we’re talking about this week on the GeekWire Podcast:
As numbers on COVID-19 improve, the debate begins over when and how Seattle, Washington state and the country will return to normal life. Gov. Jay Inslee and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have some thoughts. Washington’s attorney general sues Facebook for violating the state’s law on political ads. Microsoft says Amazon has only itself to blame for losing the Defense Departments JEDI cloud contract. And the return of our Random Channel! We’ll talk about the finale of Lego Masters (spoiler alert) and see what else is ringing our bell this week.
- Washington state had its lowest daily total of new cases in a month on Wednesday, 89, but has since seen cases rise again.
- If we relax social distancing now, projections show new cases could jump to 300 daily by mid-May, Inslee says. Deaths could also jump.?The projections are from the two Seattle-area groups: the Institute for Disease Modeling and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, or IHME, which has come under criticism for its approach.
- We need more testing before we can begin to gradually reopen, Inslee says. He says it’s “unknowable” if he’ll be able to lift the stay-at-home order on May 4.
- In his annual investor letter, Bezos says that regular testing of everyone globally (not just at Amazon) is the key to returning to normal.
- He pointed to Amazon’s efforts to build its own testing capability and other efforts to protect workers’ safety.
- First known COVID-19 death among Amazon’s workforce took place two weeks ago, company announced Tuesday.
- Amazon’s stock hit an all-time high this week, reflecting increased demand for its products and services.
- Can Amazon keep its huge and growing workforce safe?
- Gates Foundation is allotting $150 million more to fight the pandemic, $250 million total.
- Critics claim the foundation is stoking fears and pushing vaccines as part of a “Big Pharma” agenda.
- Bill Gates decried Trump’s stated intention this week to stop U.S. funding of the WHO, saying blocking funds right now would be “as dangerous as it sounds.”
In other news …?
- Washington AG sues Facebook for violating state political ad law
- Amazon ‘bid high and lost’ on JEDI, Microsoft says after release of DoD watchdog report
- As coronavirus consumes world, Microsoft unveils biodiversity initiative to address challenges that will outlast COVID-19
- Amazon fires two employees who called for climate change reform and better warehouse conditions
And in our Random Channel discussion …?
- Oh, baby, ‘LEGO Masters’ finale lands like a brick on outraged fans who dispute choice of winner
- Goat 2 Meeting is the latest novelty in online video conferences.
- Nature Is Bouncing Back During the Coronavirus Crisis—but for How Long?
On the show with me this week are Kurt Schlosser, Taylor Soper, Monica Nickelsberg and podcast producer Curt Milton. Our theme music is by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.
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