COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: The race for a vaccine; Unemployment Tracker; Reopening reactions; Grading BPS on remote learning; Holyoke Soldiers’ Home understaffing; & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders. We hope you are staying safe, and we welcome your thoughts; you can always reach out to us via email:  pioneer@pioneerinstitute.org.

Our Top Picks for COVID-19 Pandemic News:

William Smith, Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences: The Federal government awarded a $354 million contract to a Richmond company who will be manufacturing Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) for COVID-19 treatments, APIs that are now manufactured in China and India. An update on Moderna’s vaccine progressPfizer is chasing Moderna to secure a vaccine. And, more on the race for a vaccine.

Michael Walker, Senior Fellow in Government Data Transparency: Don’t forget to check out our interactive map of COVID cases in Massachusetts, updated every week with newly released city and town data!

What’s the latest on unemployment? Greg Sullivan, Research Director, crunched the most recent numbers.

Our Picks for Public & Private Sector Best Practices:

Rebekah Paxton, Research Analyst: Pioneer’s new COVID Unemployment Tracker provides an interactive look at how economic shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting jobs and lives across the state of Massachusetts. Read media coverage of the tool herehere and here.

Joe Selvaggi, Host, “Hubwonk”: Yesterday, Pioneer researcher Rebekah Paxton and I interviewed Christopher Carlozzi of NFIB, and Jon Hurst of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, about their reaction to Massachusetts Governor Baker’s reopening plans.

Jamie Gass, Pioneer’s Education Policy Director, shares two videos from a recent Thomas More College Zoom event on homeschooling, parental rights, and school choices, which had over 1,000 viewers online. It featured noted Princeton University professor (and past Lovett C. Peters Lecture keynote speaker) Dr. Robert GeorgeJamie provided the closing remarks on Blaine Amendments and the U.S. Supreme Court’s Espinoza case. In addition, here’s a Boston Globe editorial: “How well is remote learning working in Boston schools? We don’t really know.”

Questions for Our Public & Private Sector Leaders:

Andrew Mikula, Peters Fellow: Pioneer’s new report shows that standards enforced at the federal and state levels are insufficient to address chronic staffing issues reported by staff and residents’ families at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, making that facility and other long-term care facilities particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the report, and media coverage here and here.

Poll Results: In the last COVID Roundup, we asked: When we re-open, are you going to be more or less likely to take the T than pre-COVID? Here are the results: 18% More Likely; 82% Less Likely

Get Our COVID-19 News, Tips & Resources!

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Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has further transitioned education towards electronic devices, computer science education in K-12 public schools around the country faces a number of daunting challenges, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute.

Hubwonk Ep. 7: Covid Testing: What went wrong, where we are & when we’ll get closer to normalcy

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Survey Suggests Demand for Telecommuting After COVID-19 Crisis

Citing an avoidance of the commute and more flexible scheduling, nearly 63 percent of respondents to Pioneer Institute’s survey, “Will You Commute To Work When The COVID-19 Crisis Is Over?” expressed a preference to work from home one day a week, and a plurality preferred two to three days a week, even after a COVID-19 vaccine is available. Respondents cite social isolation as the biggest drawback of remote work. The survey was conducted from April 22nd to May 15th, and received responses from over 700 individuals.

It’s Time for the MBTA to Actively Engage Riders to Understand Their Commuting Plans

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The MBTA should conduct a survey of mTicket app users regarding their future plans. Some may never work in offices again. Some will certainly do some workdays in the office and some at home. Others will be in offices and back to business as usual at some point. Using their responses, the T can calculate ridership and determine projected revenue.

Homeschooling Expert Kerry McDonald on Harvard Law Professor Controversy & COVID

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are happy to be joined by Kerry McDonald, a homeschooling expert and Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education, on the major lessons we all should be learning from this educational moment, now that COVID has turned most of America’s 50 million schoolchildren and their families into "homeschoolers."

32.9 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 26.2 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims over the past nine weeks.

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Data released today by the U.S. Department of the shows that 33.0 percent of the Massachusetts workforce and 26.2 percent of the U.S. workforce have filed unemployment claims since the COVID-19 unemployment surge began nine weeks ago.

Study Finds Pandemic Likely to Negatively Impact Biopharmaceutical Sector

Contrary to conventional wisdom that says the coronavirus pandemic will generally benefit biopharmaceutical companies, a new Pioneer Institute study finds many companies will emerge from the pandemic commercially weaker, dealing with delays in new product launches and with fewer resources to invest in research and development.

“Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction”: 8 K-12 Science Resources During COVID-19

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The fourth in Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19 focuses on science education.

COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: The race for a vaccine; Unemployment Tracker; Reopening reactions; Grading BPS on remote learning; Holyoke Soldiers’ Home understaffing; & more!

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Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders.

In The Era Of COVID-19, Mass. Needs To Get Long-Term Care Right

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This op-ed originally appeared in WGBH News. In much of the…