September 2020 Archive

September 29, 2020
Japan Is Paying Firms to Make Things at Home. But China’s Pull Is Still Strong. (NYT)

Japan is attempting a delicate balancing act as the pandemic has underlined the risks of the world’s economic reliance on Beijing. Despite growing concerns about doing business in China, the economic incentives to stay remain too great.

September 4, 2020
Covid-19 Vaccine Race Turns Deep Freezers Into a Hot Commodity (WSJ)

The race to distribute Covid-19 vaccines to hundreds of millions of Americans could come down to one question: Do we have enough freezers? Some of the shots now in late stages of testing must be stored at temperatures potentially as cold as minus 80 degrees Celsius, or minus 112 Fahrenheit, similar to conditions for transporting ice cream and steaks to supermarkets and eventually to people’s doorsteps.
Hospitals, pharmacies and physicians’ offices are expected to be vaccination sites, but they have few such specialized freezers. That is prompting a mad dash by logistics, public-health and drug-industry officials to cobble together a cold-storage supply chain that can deliver vaccines around the country without letting them become warm and ineffective.

September 1, 2020
Why Are There Still Not Enough Paper Towels? (WSJ)

Blame lean manufacturing. A decadeslong effort to eke out more profit by keeping inventory low left many manufacturers unprepared when Covid-19 struck. And production is unlikely to ramp up significantly any time soon.