Search Results

DECOUPLING, GOOD AND HARD: Chinese chip giant SMIC ‘in shock’ after US trade ban threat.

Related: U.S. ban worries cloud China’s hopes for chip self-sufficiency.

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Virgin Galactic plans next test spaceflight for Oct. 22 as it nears flying founder Richard Branson.

FASTER, PLEASE: Trump’s ban on critical race theory training is a great first step in the war against indoctrination.

FASTER, PLEASE: Japan on Track to Introduce Flying Taxi Services in 2023. I really want something more like The Jetsons, though.

FASTER, PLEASE: NuScale’s small nuclear reactor is first to get US safety approval.

FASTER, PLEASE: Researchers develop a solar tech that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen with record efficiency.

FASTER, PLEASE: Artificial pancreas controls diabetes in kids over 6, trial shows.

FASTER, PLEASE: FDA authorizes rapid, low-cost, card-based COVID-19 test.

FASTER, PLEASE: Doctors found a new drug that might block coronavirus infections.

FASTER, PLEASE: More than 200 charged with federal crimes, 1,000 arrested in major metropolitan cities in Operation Legend, AG Barr announces. “It was named in honor of 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept in the early morning of June 29 in Kansas City, Mo. Last week, a Jackson County prosecutor announced second-degree murder charges against his suspected killer, 22-year-old Ryson Ellis, who was being held in Tulsa County Jail.”

Related: Austin Defunded Its Police. Texas Steps Up to Defend Them. “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appeared with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and other leaders including Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price Tuesday to address Austin’s defunding its police. Gov. Abbott proposed legislation that would forbid any city from being able to increase property taxes until it restores funding to satisfy the proposed law.”

OLD AND BUSTED: Waiting for Godot.

The New Hotness? Waiting for Durham.

Fortunately, as Roger Kimball writes, “Things seem to be speeding up now, which is good. I was beginning to think that John Durham was auditioning for a PoMo production of ‘Waiting for Godot’ with himself in the title role. The public would be left like Vladimir and Estragon, disillusioned and alone.”

Faster, please.

Related: Mollie Hemingway: We Are Finally Seeing Some Measure Of Accountability For Russian Collusion Hoax.

FASTER, PLEASE: Gottlieb says U.S. likely “a long way” from herd immunity to virus.

Gottlieb said seroprevalence studies overall indicate that roughly 8% of the U.S. population has been exposed to the coronavirus, though the rate of exposure varies depending on whether states have experienced outbreaks. In Arizona, for example, roughly 25% of the population has been exposed based on modeling, while as much as 20% of the population in Florida has been exposed, he said.

“That’s getting closer to a level of immunity where the rate of transmission will start to decline,” Gottlieb said. “It’s not quite herd immunity, but you’re to see declines in the rate of transmission because of that level of infection.”

Despite all the hand-wringing by the press, it looks like the Sun Belt is doing much better than elsewhere.

DECOUPLING: Foxconn says trade war means China can no longer be ‘the world’s factory.’

Foxconn, which has just reported second quarter profits 34% up from last year, is now said to believe China’s manufacturing supremacy is over.

According to Bloomberg, the chair of Foxconn’s parent Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, says that the company is planning to move ever more manufacturing away from China. Young Liu said it was specifically to avoid the escalating tariffs on Chinese-made goods intended for the US.

“No matter if it’s India, Southeast Asia or the Americas, there will be a manufacturing ecosystem in each,” he Liu said. Reuters reports that he added that China will still remain a key part of its production, but the country’s “days as the world’s factory are done.”

Reportedly, the current proportion of Foxconn manufacturing made outside China is now 30%. In June 2019, it was 25%.

Faster, please.

FASTER? PLEASE! Air Force’s Hypersonic Weapon Hits ‘Major Milestone’ in New Test.

FASTER, PLEASE: U.S. Adds 1.8 Million Jobs, Unemployment Drops to 10.2 Percent.

FASTER, PLEASE: Eli Lilly is testing a way to prevent covid-19 that’s not a vaccine.

FASTER, PLEASE: US Missile Defenses Are About to Level Up.

FASTER, PLEASE: Virgin Galactic unveils designs for Mach 3 supersonic aircraft.

FASTER, PLEASE: Dozens charged with federal crimes in Portland riots. “Federal law enforcement in Portland has arrested 74 people and charged 60 of them with federal crimes for actions they allegedly took against federal police and facilities in the Oregon city, according to the Justice Department. DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec announced Monday afternoon that U.S. attorneys have also arrested 236 people and charged 238 nationwide in cases related to ‘violent opportunists’ and ‘civil unrest.’”

FASTER, PLEASE: Gaetz Demands Bezos Get a ‘Divorce from the SPLC.’

FASTER, PLEASE: Trump Ending Obama-Biden Regulation to Rezone Neighborhoods That’ll Effectively Abolish Suburbs.

FASTER, PLEASE: Single nanoparticles could pave the way for medicines on demand.

FASTER, PLEASE: Oxford University Coronavirus Vaccine Trial Produces Strong Immune Response.

FASTER, PLEASE: Hebrew U. scientist: Drug could eradicate COVID-19 from lungs in days. The drug, Tricor, is cheap and already FDA-approved. So it’s got that going against it.

FASTER, PLEASE: New solar material could clean drinking water.

FASTER, PLEASE: Noise-Cancelling Smart Window Blocks Street Din.

UM, SLOWER PLEASE? Earth’s magnetic field can shift 10 times faster than scientists thought.

DR. FRANCIS COLLINS: A Long Talk With Anthony Fauci’s Boss About the Pandemic, Vaccines, and Faith.

I am guardedly optimistic that by the end of 2020 we will have at least one vaccine that has been proven safe and effective in a large-scale trial. Nobody should accept it as safe and effective without that large-scale trial. There are at least four vaccines that will be getting into such large trials this summer beginning as early as July. Each one of those trials will involve roughly 30,000 volunteers, half of whom will get the vaccine, half of whom will get a dummy placebo. You have to have that control or you will never know if the vaccine worked or not.

Those trials will have to be conducted in areas where the virus is actively spreading because that’s the only way you’re going to know whether it was protective. With four different vaccines with four different approaches, we’ve kind of hedged our bets against putting too much emphasis on one particular strategy. That’s good — because vaccines are really interesting science, but every new virus presents surprises in terms of how the vaccine turns out to work. So I’d be very worried right now if we had one platform that everybody was counting on. Having four makes me feel a lot better.

Maybe all four of them will work. As long as one of them works, we’ll be in a far better position by the end of the year to see our way out of this global pandemic mess. But there will be, then, a time of having to do the scale-up to have billions of doses, which might be what the world needs. So there will still be some time involved, even though we are doing everything possible to prepare for that by manufacturing millions of doses of each of those vaccines even before we know if they would work, so that the highest-risk people can get access right away. So I’m guardedly optimistic that we will see all that happen.

I’d add a “Faster, please,” except that they’ve been making remarkably fast progress already.

FASTER, PLEASE. Crackdown: Feds Have Indicted More Than 50 Individuals For Rioting During George Floyd Protests.

FASTER, PLEASE: Americans Help Rebuild Black Businesses Destroyed in George Floyd Riots.

FASTER, PLEASE: Injected electrode could offer pain relief without medications.

FASTER, PLEASE: Democrats are Panicking at the Prospect of Quick Economic Recovery.

FASTER, PLEASE: Slow, Steady Progress for Two U.S. Nuclear Power Projects.

FASTER, PLEASE: President Trump Cutting Additional Regulations To Reignite Economy.

FASTER, PLEASE: After Devastating Economic Contraction, Glimmers of Growth Emerge: Daily and weekly data suggest a recovery might be brewing, though its strength is unclear. “For example, map requests on Apple Inc. devices fell 50% throughout the country between mid-January and the week ended April 9, but they have steadily climbed since then and are now down just 20%. While driving doesn’t necessarily equate to spending, retail visits show the same trend, according to Unacast, a mobility-data analytics company: off more than 50% in mid-April from a year earlier, but down just 32% this past week. Real-estate brokerage Redfin Corp. said home-buyer demand as measured by customers contacting affiliated agents, after plummeting by one-third, is now above prepandemic levels. Some companies also report a turning point. On May 7, Uber Technologies Inc. said rides had risen for three straight weeks, and were up more than 40% from the trough in large cities in Georgia and Texas, which are starting to reopen businesses shut down by the coronavirus pandemic. Fast-food chain Wendy’s Co. reported that same-store sales in the week ended May 3 were down just 2% from a year earlier. They were down 26% in the week ended April 5.”

I still think we can have a v-shaped recovery, so long as we don’t listen to Nancy Pelosi.

FASTER DECOUPLING PLEASE: Trump Delivers Blow To China With Announcement That Taiwan Chip Maker Building $12 Billion U.S. Plant.

FASTER, PLEASE: Drug combo may be effective against metastatic bladder cancer.

FASTER, PLEASE: Is NASA Actually Working On A Warp Drive? “An internal feasibility report suggests the agency might be, or at least that the idea of traveling through folded space is part of the NASA interstellar spaceflight menu.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Unleash the entrepreneurs America needs to build a post-coronavirus economy. Perhaps we need some sort of across-the-board regulatory suspension, like in postwar Germany under (and even before) the Marshall Plan. Here’s more on the German plan:

On July 7, 1948, the German government approved a law giving the economic authorities the right to “take all necessary measures in the field of control and to determine in detail which goods and production should be freed from price controls.”

The ensuing deregulation was dramatic and shocking to occupation forces. As Erhard notes, “It was strictly laid down by the British and American control authorities that permission had to be obtained before any definite price changes could be made. The Allies never seemed to have thought it possible that someone could have the idea, not to alter price controls, but simply to remove them.” With determined action and the strong support of one American, a Gen. Lucius Clay, the German free market exponents were able to blast through the inertia of Allied supervision.

The sweeping success of the currency reform is of little doubt. As Prof. Henry Wallich put it, “The spirit of the country changed overnight.” Two observers not native to Germany, Jacques Rueff and Andre Piettre, had the following report: “Only an eye-witness can give an account of the sudden effect which currency reform had on the size of stocks and the wealth of goods on display. Shops filled up with goods from one day to the next; the factories began to work. On the eve of currency reform the Germans were aimlessly wandering about their towns in search of a few additional items of food. A day later they thought of nothing but producing them. One day apathy was mirrored on their faces while on the next a whole nation looked hopefully into the future.”

I’m just sayin’. Plus:

Almost all consumer goods were immediately deregulated (excepting agricultural commodities); wages were set free three months after the currency reform; and industrial commodities (steel, iron, coal, oil, etc.) were gradually deregulated over the next few years; while foreign trade, which was under technical restrictions in law, was turned to free competition in practice in a very short time. The one area where price control would remain in effect throughout the 1950’s was the special case of rents.

The result of this substantial deregulation was to let the Germans take full advantage of the powerful incentives set before them. The gravity of the German postwar condition provided strong motivation for productive effort, yet economic restriction had prohibited the enterprise and imagination of the populace. In a system where supply and demand cannot coincide, the result is economic chaos. In the German instance, the price regulation had legislated massive shortages, for the surest way to curtail supply is to make it impossible to reap the rewards of production. Additionally, the heavy reliance on black markets created vast senseless gyrations and economic waste. Commenting bn the explosion of effort in the post-reform era, Gordon Hallet has noted how “the startling change between the period before and after July 1948 indicates the extent to which an economic system can either frustrate individual efforts or give them the opportunity to be effective.”

Contemporary analysts might paint the German policy as harsh in that it left few rewards for those who did not seek to take care of themselves. While government expenditures on social welfare through transfer payments were comparable with those of other European nations, the State abstained from further economic intrusions via “full employment” policies, subsidies, and income redistribution. In fact the tax policy was shifted to reduce the burden on upper-income brackets. The tight money policies pursued by Erhard created buyers’—rather than sellers’—markets.

If the harshness of the policy was great, so was the positive record of accomplishment. Industrial production and national income skyrocketed. Industrial output increased 50 percent within the year, and national income (in constant prices) was restored to the 1936 level in just over a year (it had fallen 20 percent below this figure). Economic recovery was complete except for one plaguing phenomenon—the emergence of unemployment, which steadily rose to a peak of 10.2 percent in 1950. The instantaneous response of the British and Americans was to explain the dilemma in Keynesian terms and diagnose the problem as “insufficient effective demand.” The prescription; immediate government and monetary expansion, along with reintroduction of economic controls.

The German response, in the light of the Keynesian revolution, was terribly naive. The Germans theorized that an increased money supply would simply cause inflation and that the employment problem was frictional, fueled basically by the stream (still flowing) of millions of refugees. The resultant policy was a strict balanced-budget fiscal framework and a conservative monetary course by the Deutsche Bundesbank. Unemployment dropped steadily—to six percent in 1952, three percent in 1956, and one percent by 1960.


FASTER, PLEASE: Apple considering massive shift of iPhone production from China to India.

FASTER, PLEASE: Durham moving ‘full-throttle’ on Russia probe review.

MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE: Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Reminds Media How They Downplayed Coronavirus Outbreak.

Reuters reporter Jeff Mason asked McEnany, “In a previous life, before you were press secretary, you worked for the campaign and you made a comment, I believe on Fox, in which you said President Trump will not allow the coronavirus to come to this country. Given what has happened since then, obviously, would you like to take that back?”

“I guess I would turn the question back on the media and ask similar questions,” McEnany responded. “Does Vox want to take back that they proclaimed that the coronavirus would not be a deadly pandemic? Does The Washington Post want to take back that they told Americans to get a grip, the flu is bigger than the coronavirus? Does The Washington Post likewise want to take back that our brains are causing us to exaggerate the threat of the coronavirus? Does The New York Times want to take back that fear of the virus maybe spreading faster of than the virus itself? Does NPR want to take back that the flu was a much bigger threat than the coronavirus? And finally once again The Washington Post, would they like to take back that the government should not respond aggressively to the coronavirus?”

Video at the link.

FASTER, PLEASE: A Microbe That Seems to Stop Mosquitoes Spreading Malaria Has Been Found.

FASTER? PLEASE! Trump Administration ‘Turbocharging’ Withdrawal of Supply Chains from China.

FASTER, PLEASE: Trump administration pushing to rip global supply chains from China.

FASTER, PLEASE: Researchers move toward once-yearly treatment for HIV.

FASTER, PLEASE: A Challenge to Accept. The FDA should allow testing Covid-19 vaccines through deliberate human infection.

FASTER, PLEASE: Pressure Mounts For Biden To Unseal Documents Related To Time In Senate, Tara Reade.

FASTER, PLEASE: Israel’s IAI tests UV light solution to sterilize passenger aircraft.

FASTER, PLEASE: Smart contact lens accurately monitors blood sugar in rabbits, human tests next.

FASTER, PLEASE: Inexpensive, portable detector identifies pathogens in minutes.

FASTER, PLEASE: Texas Gov. Abbott says he’s ready to reopen ‘massive amounts of businesses.’

Just remember to wear your face bananas in Houston

FASTER, PLEASE: Trump to Announce Big Deregulation Moves to Speed Economic Recovery.

FASTER, PLEASE? Earlier colonoscopy may catch colon cancer for those with family history.

FASTER, PLEASE: The race to find a covid-19 drug in the blood of survivors.

FASTER, PLEASE: Nunes Says More Criminal Referrals Against Dems Involved in the Russia Scam May Be Coming.

FASTER, PLEASE: UPMC Leads Global Effort to Fast Track Testing of Hydroxychloroquine and other COVID-19 Therapies with ‘Learning While Doing’ Clinical Trial. “REMAP (randomized, embedded, multi-factorial, adaptive platform) allows researchers to rapidly test multiple treatment approaches simultaneously at a lower cost and with fewer patients than traditional clinical trials.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Planning the Great Escape from House Arrest—and From Communist China.

FASTER, PLEASE: Report: Trump Pushing ‘Behind Closed Doors’ To Reopen Much Of U.S. Next Month.

FASTER, PLEASE? A Team Exploited the Coronavirus Pandemic to Set a 26-Hour 38-Minute Cross-Country Record. “It did not escape many long-time Cannonballers that an immobilized workforce and hard times might create ideal road conditions for fast driving thanks to much lower traffic volumes. Musing in online chat groups ensued. But most decided that it was better to cast their lot with the rest of humanity and stay home. Most, but not all.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Now metal surfaces can be instant bacteria killers.

FASTER, PLEASE: Heritage Coronavirus Commission Releases Five-Step Plan to Reopen America.

FASTER, PLEASE: “White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Thursday said the U.S. economy should be able to reopen ‘on a rolling basis’ over the next month or two.”

FASTER, PLEASE: The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Not Stopping Border Wall Construction.

FASTER, PLEASE*: Texas Lt. Gov. Announces Task Force to Work on ‘Restarting the Economy.’

* At least in Texas’ myriad smaller counties.

FASTER, PLEASE:  Finland to begin randomized coronavirus antibody testing.


What remains of Labour is not liberated from the taint of Corbynism. [Labour’s new leader, Keir Starmer], an avowed socialist, was a member of Corbyn’s shadow cabinet, and his opposition government is composed of the same odious lawmakers who once flanked Corbyn. As the Atlantic’s Tom McTague convincingly argued, Corbyn has left an indelible ideological stamp on the party he led for nearly half a decade. But it was unrealistic to expect an institution that was once so invested in the success of its leadership to tear out his legacy root and branch overnight. It will take time before the party or its most loyal members are willing to acknowledge and atone for the scale of their errors. But Starmer chose to mark his ascension with an explicit acknowledgment of the conditions that rendered the party toxic. Even if it’s only the first step, it’s in the right direction.

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Private companies find role in developing nuclear power for space travel.

FASTER, PLEASE: Bandage-like coronavirus vaccine shows promising results in mice.

FASTER, PLEASE: Facing Trump’s wrath, 3M vows boosted mask production for US.

FASTER, PLEASE: Phage capsid against influenza: Perfectly fitting inhibitor prevents viral infection.

FASTER, PLEASE: Stanford researchers turn back the clock on aging cells.

FASTER, PLEASE: Researchers discover potential boost to immunotherapy. “Mount Sinai researchers have discovered a pathway that regulates special immune system cells in lung cancer tumors, suppressing them and allowing tumors to grow. The scientists also figured out how to interrupt this pathway and ramp up the immune system to prevent tumor formation or growth, offering a potential boost to immunotherapy, according to a study published in Nature in March.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Israeli doctor in Italy says new, innovative treatments ‘flattening the curve:’ Carmi Sheffer describes connecting patients to ventilators via scuba gear, placing them on stomachs, in battle with unpredictable virus which ‘spreads like wildfire’ among elderly. “One technique he said had yielded dramatic results was to have patients lie on their stomach instead of on their back while on a ventilator.”

FASTER, PLEASE: New York hospitals will trial using antibodies to treat coronavirus cases.

FASTER, PLEASE: “The system, produced by Lenexa, Kansas-based Danolyte Global, is EPA registered to kill even the most resistant microbes including staphylococcus, C. diff, MRSA, listeria, legionella, and the influenza virus. . . . Danolyte Global’s system produces a non-toxic, noncorrosive, EPA-approved solution that can be applied directly to both hard and soft surfaces and applied throughout a room or area using a form of electrostatic spraying. This form of spraying allows the disinfectant solution to attach evenly to all surfaces, even hidden surfaces under tables, beds, seat-cushions, curtains, and equipment.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Turning Back the Clock on Aging Cells: Researchers report that they can rejuvenate human cells by reprogramming them to a youthful state.

A major cause of aging is thought to be the errors that accumulate in the epigenome, the system of proteins that packages the DNA and controls access to its genes. The Stanford team, led by Tapash Jay Sarkar, Dr. Thomas A. Rando and Vittorio Sebastiano, say their method, designed to reverse these errors and walk back the cells to their youthful state, does indeed restore the cells’ vigor and eliminate signs of aging.

In their report, published on Tuesday in Nature Communications, they described their technique as “a significant step toward the goal of reversing cellular aging” and could produce therapies “for aging and aging-related diseases.”

I need y’all to deliver these while I’m still around to benefit.

RON BAILEY: Massive Coronavirus Testing Is the Way to Help Save the Economy: No time to waste; do it sooner rather than later.

By massively scaling up two types of tests—PCR tests that detect the active presence of virus and serology tests that detect immune system responses to being infected by the virus—population screening could identify those who are currently infected and those who have recovered and are likely not to pass along the virus to others. Those who are currently infected could be isolated and their contacts traced so that they could quarantine themselves. Frequent large-scale testing of the uninfected would also help keep the epidemic in check by enabling them to withdraw if they subsequently contract the virus for a period of self-isolation in a timely fashion. Frontline health care providers and especially hard-hit regions should be given first priority as the testing regime begins its rapid expansion.

Those who had recovered from infection (possibly numbering ten times more than those whose symptoms drive them to seek out medical care) could help on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, return to work, and enjoy the pleasures of social life, e.g., dining out, meeting friends at bars, traveling, and attending performances at entertainment venues. “To make this strategy work, governments would need to involve employers, social organizations, schools and large retailers to conduct tests and provide time-stamped certifications,” propose the three researchers.

To ramp up both kinds of testing, the researchers urge that every laboratory capable of running PCR tests be pressed into service recruiting technicians, graduate students, and scientists to run the machines. Even better, Mesa Biotech just announced today that it has received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to roll out its point-of-use 30-minute PCR test for the virus. Other companies should be encouraged to provide such tests.

As I also argued last week, the researchers argue that widespread deployment of serology tests for the presence of antibodies to coronavirus needs to be prioritized. This would identify people who had recovered and could safely go back to life outside of lockdown. Over at the Wall Street Journal, the perspicacious former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb also recommends massively scaling up serological surveillance. When population screening reveals that “a sizable portion of a local community has some protection, authorities can be more confident in relying on less invasive measures. Once deployed, serological tests are cheap, straightforward, and easy to scale.”

Several companies have already developed such tests.

Faster, please.

FASTER, PLEASE: Covid-19 vaccines are possible, but we need a public-health mindset to make the most of them.

FASTER, PLEASE: New device quickly detects harmful bacteria in blood.

FASTER, PLEASE: Paramedics will soon perform at-home coronavirus tests in Massachusetts.

GOOD: GM is partnering with Ventec Life Systems to help increase production of ventilators.

Plus: New Bangor factory starts making toilet paper just in the nick of time.

UPDATE: Demand for Face Masks Is Booming, But Makers Have a Nagging Concern: Legal Liability. Makers of N95 respirators are worried about their potential liability amid the coronavirus outbreak and have been seeking protection from Congress.

Demand for N95 face masks—the kind that keeps out at least 95% of particles—is surging amid more U.S. coronavirus cases. But some mask manufacturers worry they could be held liable if someone gets sick anyway.

The companies have been seeking for years to get Congress to pass legislation giving them immunity from liability lawsuits, including in a current bill to authorize about $8 billion to be spent on coronavirus readiness.

The bill, approved Thursday, didn’t include the provision. Democratic congressional staffers said their concern about such a provision is that it would be too broad and cover a too-big range of products. . . .

The issue is that there are two basic kinds of N95 masks, and makers say they each have a different legal status. One is the type of masks that often are used in hospitals and often are cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.

The other type, commonly used in mining and construction work, is approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The first type gives the manufacturers immunity from liability under federal law; the second doesn’t, lawyers say.

The problem in the current coronavirus outbreak is that many paramedics and other emergency responders could often be wearing the second type of mask, which protects them against disease—but doesn’t necessarily block legal liability.

“There is a vast supply of N95 masks in the industrial setting,” said Charles Johnson, president of the International Safety Equipment Association, makers of masks, hardhats and other protective gear. “All of these are protecting medical and first responders.”

Mr. Johnson said the vast majority of such N95 masks don’t have FDA clearance.

Now, at a time the U.S. could run short of masks because of demand from medical workers and the general public, Mr. Johnson said the NIOSH process is rigorous and that “we’re trying to get a larger supply to medical personnel.”

Over the weekend, Vice President Mike Pence said there are currently about 40 million masks nationwide and the government is seeking to increase the nation’s supply by as many as 35 million each month.


Faster, please. Cut down the underbrush.

UPDATE: Well, you can’t get much faster than . . . yesterday: Change in U.S. law will make millions more masks available to doctors and nurses, White House says.

FASTER, PLEASE: NASA, SpaceX plan return to human spaceflight from U.S. soil in mid-May.

TREATMENT: Bayer donates three million malaria tablets to U.S. for potential use against coronavirus.

Bayer AG said on Thursday it has donated 3 million tablets of the malaria drug Resochin to the U.S. government for potential use to treat COVID-19.

Resochin, made of chloroquine phosphate and an approved treatment for malaria, is being evaluated in China for its potential use against COVID-19, the disease caused by the fast-spreading coronavirus.

Bayer said the drug is currently not approved for use in the United States and the company is working with appropriate agencies on an emergency use authorization for its use in the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking at a news conference on Thursday, called on U.S. health regulators to expedite potential therapies such as Gilead Sciences Inc’s Remdesivir and the generic antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, aimed at treating COVID-19.

Faster, please.

FASTER? PLEASE! The First COVID-19 Vaccine Was Made in ‘Record’ Time and Phase 1 Trials Have Begun in Seattle.

FINALLY: Space Force Just Received Its First New Offensive Weapon.

U.S. Space Force has begun operating a new offensive weapon system, an upgraded version of a ground-based satellite communications jamming system, for the first time in its short history. The first iteration of the Counter Communications System entered U.S. Air Force service in 2004 and the program has now gotten transferred to the newest branch of the American military.

The Space Force declared it had reached initial operational capability with the Counter Communications System Block 10.2, or CCS B10.2, on Mar. 9. The Harris Corporation, which merged with L3 Technologies last year to form L3Harris Technologies, had received the contract from the Air Force to develop this upgraded variant of the system in 2014.

“CCS is the only offensive system in the United States Space Force arsenal,” Lieutenant Colonel Steve Brogan, the Combat Systems branch materiel leader within the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC) Special Programs Directorate, said in an official news piece about the system in January 2020. “This upgrade puts the ‘force’ in Space Force and is critical for Space as a warfighting domain.”

Faster, please. And more lasers.

FASTER, PLEASE: Human trials for a coronavirus vaccine could begin ‘within a few weeks,’ top US health official says.

FASTER, PLEASE: SpaceX ‘gunning’ for May launch of astronauts from Florida.

FASTER, PLEASE: Israeli Research Center to Announce It Developed Coronavirus Vaccine, Sources Say. “Scientists at the Biological Research Institute are making significant breakthroughs in understanding the virus, the sources say, but a long process of pre-clinical and clinical trials is to follow.”

FASTER, PLEASE: Second Person Declared ‘Cured’ of HIV, With No Trace of Infection After Nearly 3 Years.

THE 21ST CENTURY, PRODUCED AT SCALE: Inside Elon Musk’s plan to build one Starship a week—and settle Mars.

Compare that to NASA and its Space Launch System, the big rocket that the space agency has been developing for a decade and for which Boeing only recently completed a single core stage. This core stage is about 15 meters taller than Starship but lacks its complexity. NASA will, in fact, toss each SLS core stage into the ocean after a single use. And Boeing doesn’t have to make the engines, as the rocket uses 40-year-old space shuttle main engines. Despite this, and with nearly $2 billion in annual funding from NASA, Boeing’s stretch goal for building core stages is one to two per year… some time in the mid-2020s.

SpaceX’s stretch goal is to build one to two Starships a week, this year, and to pare back construction costs to as low as $5 million each.

“That’s fucking insane,” I said.

“Yeah, it’s insane,” Musk replied.

“I mean, it really is.”

“Yeah, it’s nuts.”

“As I look across the aerospace landscape, nobody is doing anything remotely like this,” I said.

“No, it’s absolutely mad, I agree,” Musk said. “The conventional space paradigms do not apply to what we’re doing here. We’re trying to build a massive fleet to make Mars habitable, to make life multi-planetary. I think we need, probably, on the order of 1,000 ships, and each of those ships would have more payload than the Saturn V — and be reusable.”

“Faster, please,” seems a bit presumptuous here.

FASTER, PLEASE: New drug prevents bacteria from acquiring antibiotic resistance genes.

FASTER, PLEASE: Cambridge-based Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine shipped to National Institutes of Health for testing.

FASTER, PLEASE: DARPA’s hypersonic ‘Glide Breaker’ could blast missile threats out of the sky.

UGH: Chemotherapy for Cancer Could Soon Be Unviable Because of Superbugs. We need better antibiotics, and better cancer treatments. Faster, please.