Wall Street Journal 
Wall Street Journal Tueday January 19, 2021 [CCLXXVII, US ed.]

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Dress Rehearsal at Capitol Sets Stage for a New President

What’s News Business & Finance fresh batch of films scheduled for theatrical release in February, March or April are being postponed or sold to streaming services as cases of Covid-19 stay at high levels. A1


By Elizabeth Findell, Jared S. Hopkins and Dan Frosch

World-Wide  Trump is expected to issue as many as 100 pardons and commutations on his final day in office, but is leaning against some of the more controversial grants of clemency at the urging of advisers. A1

 The Keystone oil pipeline’s developer plans overhauls that include a pledge to use only renewable energy in a bid to win Biden’s support for the controversial project. A3

 Biden rejected a Trump effort to lift bans on most travel to the U.S. from Europe, the U.K. and Brazil imposed as part of the initial U.S. response to the pandemic. A3  Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny urged supporters to take to the streets as he was ordered held in pretrial custody. A18  Saudi Arabia said it had imposed a moratorium on capital punishment for drug-related offenses that led to an 85% reduction in executions. A18  Died: Phil Spector, 81, legendary music producer. A2 JOURNAL REPORT Outlook 2021: Daunting challenges for a new president. R1-10 CONTENTS Arts in Review... A13 Capital Journal...... A4 Crossword.............. A13 Heard on Street.... B9 Markets................. B8-9 Opinion.............. A15-17

Outlook....................... A2 Personal Journal A11-12 Sports....................... A14 Technology.......... B3-4 U.S. News............. A2-7 Weather................... A13 World News... A8-9,18


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debt already exceeds the annual output of the economy, putting the U.S. in company with economies including Greece, Italy and Japan. When Ms. Yellen served in the Clinton administration as Chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, she was among those who pushed for a balanced budget. Today, she has joined, cautiously, an emerging consensus concentrated on the left that more short-term borrowing is needed to help the economy, even without con-

A big question hangs over Janet Yellen this week at her confirmation hearing to become U.S. Treasury secretary: How much debt is too much? In the past four years, U.S. government debt held by the public has increased by $7 trillion to $21.6 trillion. President-elect Joe Biden has committed to a spending program that could add trillions more in the year ahead. At 100.1% of gross domestic product, the

crete plans to pay it back. Central to the view is the expectation that interest rates will remain low for the foreseeable future, making it more affordable to finance the borrowing. The Biden administration will now contend with progressives who want even more spending, and conservatives who say the government is tempting fate by adding to its swollen balance sheet. Ms. Yellen’s challenge, if confirmed, will be to keep Democrats together and persuade some Republicans to come along.

Ms. Yellen, who will be a top economic adviser to Mr. Biden, is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee, which will vote on her nomination. She served as top White House economist in the 1990s and Federal Reserve chairwoman in the 2010s. Confirmation of Ms. Yellen as Treasury secretary would make her the first person to achieve such a trifecta Please turn to page A10  Dollar strengthens amid signs Biden to shift policy.............. B8

 Former Florida Covid-19 data analyst is arrested.................. A3  New York seeks to buy doses directly........................................... A7  Virus variant fuels U.K. ‘Covid Triangle’........................................ A8

The gross domestic product of China increased 2.3% last year, but its economic growth belies low productivity. A2 and A18

Trump Readies Pardon List

GDP for 2020, change from a year earlier


China’s GDP Defies Pandemic


World avg.

China South Korea


Russia U.S.


Japan Brazil Germany Canada


 The biggest challenges in the U.S. Covid-19 vaccination effort have turned out to be getting shots to the right people, as many local health providers struggle with logistics. A1  Gov. Cuomo asked Pfizer if it would sell its Covid-19 vaccine directly to New York state to help alleviate a shortfall of federally allocated doses. A7  France has lagged far behind most other developed nations in administering a Covid-19 vaccine. A9

co Fo m rp m er er s ci on al a l us , e on

 Total said it would pay $2.5 billion for a 20% stake in the world’s largest solar developer, the latest move by an oil major to expand in renewable power. B3



 Quant pioneer Renaissance sent clients an analysis of its performance and a rationalization of its deep losses, an unusual move for the secretive firm. B1

Janet Yellen’s Debt Burden: $21.6 Trillion and Growing

Those concerns are being felt nationwide: In South Texas, a man slept in his car for two nights straight so he wouldn’t lose his place in a line of hundreds of people at a mass-vaccination event. In Western Kentucky, residents registered for vaccination slots online, only to find when they arrived that their doses had been taken by walk-ins. In New Mexico, state officials worked to hire more people to staff a vaccination hotline after it was overwhelmed with callers. As of Friday morning, some 31 million vaccine doses had been distributed nationwide, but only about 12 million had been administered, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The federal government shipped those doses around the country, with states estabPlease turn to page A7


THROUGH THE GLASS: White House Marine sentries took part in a dress rehearsal Monday for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden at the Capitol. The windows were damaged in the riot by pro-Trump supporters on Jan. 6.

 Tesla delivered its first made-in-China Model Y compact crossover vehicles into the world’s largest market for electric cars. B1

States Struggle To Get Vaccines Deployed

Getting shots into the arms of the right people has become one of the biggest challenges for the U.S.’s Covid-19 vaccination effort, leaving local health officials racing to fix logistical foul-ups as the nation closes in on 400,000 deaths.


 Lumentum is in advanced talks to buy laser maker Coherent in a deal that could come together as early as this week. B1

YEN 103.69

Logistical snags plague local officials after government sent doses, little guidance

 Samsung’s de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, returned to prison, throwing the conglomerate into disarray during a generational transfer of power. B1  Firms reporting results in coming weeks are under heightened pressure to spell out how their performance in 2021 is likely to justify share-price gains made during an epic market rally. B1  Global stocks edged up as investors awaited a busy week of corporate earnings, economic data and central-bank decisions. B8

EURO $1.2079


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France U.K. India Italy






Note: Estimates except China Sources: National Bureau of Statistics (China); International Monetary Fund (estimates)

Fiat+Chrysler +Peugeot = Stella-What? i



Three auto makers become ‘Stellantis.’ It’ll grow on you. The combined businesses of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Peugeot maker PSA Group made a debut on the Paris and Milan stock exchanges Monday By William Boston, Nat Ives and Nora Naughton and will start trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange under the name Stellantis. Stella-what? The new name has puzzled car-industry experts, dealers and customers since its July unveiling. Why not one or several of the group’s brands, like Jeep, Dodge, Alfa Romeo Please turn to page A10

WASHINGTON—President Trump was expected to issue as many as 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office, but on Monday was leaning against some of the more controversial proposed grants of clemency at the urging of his advisers, people familiar with the discussions said. Mr. Trump discussed additional pardons and commutations with senior aides over the weekend, according to a person familiar with the conversations, and the subject has been a major focus in the White House in the months since the president lost the election. The White House

has been inundated with requests, and Mr. Trump has called advisers to solicit suggestions. The coming round of pardons, expected Tuesday, has been the talk of Washington in recent days, as allies on Capitol Hill and close to the White House have traded tips on how soon the list might come and who might be on it. Mr. Trump is also working to firm up his defense team for his second impeachment trial as he heads into his last full day of the presidency. Mr. Trump isn’t attending President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, and plans to leave the White House that morning and head to Florida. Aides have planned a send-

off ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Since the election, Mr. Trump has issued dozens of pardons, including for his 2016 campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and longtime political adviser Roger Stone, as well as Charles Kushner, his son-inlaw’s father. In recent months, the president had discussed the prospect of pardoning himself, other members of his family— including his son-in-law, Jared Please turn to page A4  Gerald F. Seib: Old guard has chance to seize moment.... A4  Proud Boys were inspired by Trump............................................. A6

Movie Release Dates Get Rewritten by Virus BY ERICH SCHWARTZEL LOS ANGELES—When it comes to the movie release calendar, Hollywood studios are stuck in a “Groundhog Day” routine of delays. A fresh batch of films scheduled for theatrical release in February, March or April are being postponed or sold to streaming services as cases of Covid-19 stay at high levels across the country. Executives said to expect a cascade of rescheduling that stretches into the summer moviegoing season. “Morbius,” a “Spider-Man” spinoff scheduled for release by Sony Pictures Entertainment on March 19, is now slated to debut on Oct. 8, giving the studio a seven-month leeway and delaying what was expected to be the first big-budget, widerelease offering since theaters closed last March. Hollywood executives said they anticipate more major re-

leases to follow, including the twice-delayed James Bond installment “No Time to Die,” currently planned for an April release that now seems a remote possibility. Sony’s new “Cinderella” adaptation and the Walt Disney Co. prequel “The King’s Man,” both scheduled for release within the next two months, could get bumped as well. Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution at ViacomCBS Inc.’s Paramount Pictures, projects moviegoing will resume to varying degrees in May and June ahead of a “very bullish” third quarter. For his part, he has scheduled one of his studio’s biggest 2021 movies, “Top Gun: Maverick,” to premiere July 2, and said he doesn’t expect that date to change. That still anticipates some bruising months ahead for a Hollywood that has rewritten the release calendar several Please turn to page A2

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THE OUTLOOK | By Lingling Wei

China Growth Belies Low Productivity Chinese state firms contribute less to growth, but dominate resources like credit, and operate less efficiently. State-owned enterprise share of total Urban employment Industrial sales

13% 27

Total liabilities


Total assets

Corporate losses as share of revenues 0.89% All firms


Return on assets 5.2% 3.5

1.47 SOE

All firms


Source: International Monetary Fund

eraged 0.6% between 2012 and 2017, a sharp decline from an average of 3.5% in the previous five years. The downward trend likely has continued, according to the fund, as China’s economic growth has weakened further. State firms operate in all sectors of the Chinese economy, and they have seen their share of the economy grow. In 2018, total assets at those firms were valued at 194% of China’s gross domestic product—higher than in the early 2000s and “several orders of magnitude larger than in any other country,” the IMF said, based on the latest data available.

These state firms can often obtain loans at low interest rates, while private companies usually have a hard time getting banks to lend to them—despite the government’s pledges to make financing more available. Still, state firms remain less profitable than private ones, and a higher share of state companies lose money, according to the IMF. To catch up to advanced economies like the U.S., the fund said, Beijing will have to carry out long-promised state-sector reforms, such as improving state companies’ efficiency.


r. Xi had set out some ambitious goals to revamp the state sector soon after he came to power in 2012, including increasing its contributions to the country’s social safety net. However, “Beijing remains far from realizing” these goals, according to a Jan. 12 report by the China Dashboard, a research project between consulting firm Rhodium Group and the Asia Society Policy Institute, a think tank. A case in point, notes the report: More than 70% of the dividends state firms pay were reinvested back into the firms, not used for social spending. Most recently, the government has also stepped up efforts to assert control over private businesses, especially those in the technology sector, a move that analysts say

could further damp productivity growth. A major push on state-sector reform, the IMF projects, could more than double annual productivity growth in the next five years to about 1.4% from 0.6%. This 0.8 percentage-point productivity improvement then would lift overall GDP growth by the same scale as well—for example, to 6.5% in 2022 from 5.7%, as estimated by the IMF. Among the fund’s recommendations: ensuring a level playing field between private and state-owned firms, phasing out implicit financing guarantees for state companies, allowing nonviable state firms to be restructured or exit the market, and improving corporate governance at the remaining state companies. The IMF cautioned that it is important to implement the changes step-by-step. For instance, given that stateowned corporate borrowers have long enjoyed implicit guarantees from the government that their debts will be paid off in the event of default, China’s banking and overall financial system would have to be strengthened first to make sure it is prepared for possible failures of state companies. “We’re not saying do this overnight,” Mr. Berger says. “But we say, continue to work towards it, because that will help sustain income growth in the future.”


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Honored on His Holiday



Phil Spector, a towering figure in the history of 20th-century pop music who was known for his symphonic “wall of sound” production technique and who was later convicted of second-degree murder, died Saturday at the age of 81. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed the death in a statement. Since 2009, Mr. Spector had been serving a sentence of 19 years to life for the 2003 shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson at his home. A legendary music producer, songwriter and musician, Mr. Spector, known for such hits as “Be My Baby” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,’ ” created a lush, regal approach to music production. His extravagant orchestral arrangements and overpowering layers of sound shaped the pop and rock of the 1960s. In his later years, the reclusive producer’s musical contributions were overshadowed by his volatile behavior, including his abuse of his former wife Ronnie Spector and the murder of Ms. Clarkson. —Neil Shah



Producer, Murderer Phil Spector Dies

RETRACING HISTORY: Alexis Upshaw brought her young children to the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta on Monday.

Release Dates for Films Stall Continued from Page One times since Covid-19 closed theaters in March. After resigning themselves to a lost holiday moviegoing season, theaterchain owners and studio executives hoped for a robust return to cinemas by spring. Now even projections of a return by summer are considered optimistic in some corners of the industry, laying the groundwork for a pileup of unreleased films that shifts even more power to the streaming services that can distribute them without delay. The uncertainty is likely to hit the struggling U.S. theater industry especially hard, depriving them and surrounding businesses of foot traffic and further tethering consumers to at-home entertainment alternatives. About a third of U.S. theaters are currently open, and many are operating with auditoriums at reduced capacity. The No. 1 movie in the U.S. this weekend, Liam Neeson’s

“The Marksman,” made a measly $3 million, while the majority of grosses on the No. 2 film, “Wonder Woman 1984,” came from drive-in locations and relatively small markets such as Salt Lake City. Covid-19 cases in recent weeks have climbed to records in Los Angeles, home to many of the nation’s top-performing theaters, taking the market off the table for the foreseeable future. If a majority of U.S. theaters remain closed or at reduced capacity by May, it will jeopardize plans to release the year’s biggest summer offerings, including Disney’s “Black Widow” and Universal Pictures’ “F9.” Both movies were originally scheduled for release last May. With theaters closed, a number of coming releases have been sold to streaming services that are themselves desperate for fresh programming after months of coronavirus-related production shutdowns. The biopic, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” originally intended for theatrical release by Paramount Pictures in February, will instead stream on Hulu, a strategy that also allows it to be eligible for the 2021 Academy Award nominations.

NAACP Some titles, like the science-fiction adventure “The Tomorrow War,” starring Chris Pratt, are being sold to streaming services to avoid competing in a marketplace overrun with delayed titles. The movie, originally scheduled for July, would have gone head-to-head with better-known franchise movies such as the new “Top Gun”— as well as other heavy hitters, like Marvel Studios’ “ShangChi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” that were bumped to the summer months.

Even projections of a return by summer are considered optimistic. Skydance Media, a co-financer behind “The Tomorrow War,” instead screened it for streaming services and had an auction. Amazon.com Inc. is now in negotiations to buy it for $200 million, according to a person familiar with the matter, a sign of the seller’s market that has formed as streaming services compete for subscribers with the most

Thursday: The Bank of Japan is expected to stand pat on policy at a two-day meeting ending Thursday. Officials will also release a quarterly outlook report on the economy and prices, with the bank likely to downgrade growth forecasts. The European Central Bank expanded its stimulus program last month in an effort to help boost the region’s ailing economy. Economists are expecting policy makers to take stock of their latest efforts but hold off on any new measures at this week’s policy meeting. U.S. jobless claims have moved higher in recent weeks, an indication that companies are laying off more workers while Covid-19 cases rise and the economic recovery falters. Figures for the week ended Jan. 16 will show whether the labor market is starting to stabilize or deteriorating further. U.S. housing starts are expected to pick up again in December. Single-family home construction rose to its highest level in more than 13 years in November, underscoring strong demand for more space during the pandemic. Friday: Surveys of purchasing managers are expected to show that Europe’s economies continued to falter as 2021 began, with their dominant services sectors contracting as a result of high infection rates and government restrictions. By contrast, economists expect surveys for the U.S. to show continued growth, even in the services sector. U.S. existing-home sales for December are expected to fall for the second consecutive month as rising prices and limited inventories constrain the market.



his poses a challenge to the leadership’s goal of elevating China into the ranks of rich nations and lifting its living standards. “China has done most of the traditional public investment it can. It’s facing a shrinking labor force. So,

where will lasting income growth come from?” said Helge Berger, the IMF’s mission chief for China. “Productivity.” Since former leader Deng Xiaoping heralded an era of “reform and opening up” in the late 1970s, China’s economy grew by double-digit percentages most years for decades. Factories and workers also produced more efficiently, thanks to a gradual introduction of market-oriented policies and technological advancement. However, productivity growth has declined markedly in recent years as the state sector gets bigger, crowding out private firms that tend to be nimbler and more profitable. “The pandemic has added to the many interconnected financial vulnerabilities already present before the crisis,” the IMF report said, adding that the state’s support is prolonging the economic life of nonviable and low-productivity state-owned companies. The IMF estimates productivity at Chinese state firms at about 80% of private firms. The productivity slowdown traced back to the 2008 global financial crisis, when the government initiated a massive stimulus program to prop up economic growth, and got worse under President Xi Jinping. The IMF estimates that annual productivity growth av-

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A surge in state investments has helped lift the Chinese economy from the effects of Covid-19, but likely has worsened one of its deepest weaknesses: low productivity. Beijing has pulled off a robust economic recovery since early last year, when authorities locked down much of the country to combat the coronavirus epidemic. But the rebound has been unbalanced. It relied heavily on government expenditures and statesector investments, while private spending remained weak. That is amplifying a trend of declining growth in productivity—or output per worker and unit of capital— in the world’s second-largest economy, according to a new report by the International Monetary Fund. By the measure of average productivity across sectors, a gauge of overall economic efficiency, China’s economy is only 30% as productive as the world’s best-performing economies like the U.S., Japan or Germany, the report shows.



A2 | Tuesday, January 19, 2021

in-demand programming. Big-ticket streaming deals will likely continue, executives said, especially as cashcrunched talent agencies pressure studios for a payday now rather than wait through an untold number of postponements. But keeping major releases out of theaters stretches already struggling exhibitors like Greenfield Garden Cinemas, the only theater in Franklin County, Mass. Co-owner Isaac Mass, an attorney who purchased the nearly century-old, sevenscreen multiplex in late 2019, said he was already forced to close for January and February after staying afloat for several months on 10% of regular revenue and his own savings account. A cold New England winter that would have sent the theater’s heating bill soaring was the final straw. He had planned to reopen in March, ahead of the arrival of the new James Bond movie. Now he is waiting to see if April, coming just before the Memorial Day moviegoing season, is the better bet. Mr. Mass said no matter what, he has to wait for the big studio movies that draw a crowd. “There’s only so much you can do with a movie no one has heard of before,” he said.

Gift Funds Lawyers For Civil-Rights Work The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund launched a $40 million scholarship program

on Monday to support a new generation of civil-rights lawyers, dedicated to pursuing racial justice across the South. With that gift from a single anonymous donor, the fund plans to put 50 students through law schools around the country. They must commit to eight years of racial justice work in the South. The Marshall-Motley Scholars Program is named for the late Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall and for Constance Baker Motley, an LDF attorney who wrote the initial complaint that led to the court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling outlawing racial segregation in public schools. She later became the first Black woman federal judge. —Associated Press CHICAGO

Man Hid at Airport For Three Months A California man who told police that the coronavirus pandemic left him afraid to fly has been arrested on charges that he hid in a secured area at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three months. Aditya Singh, 36 years old, is charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft after he was arrested Saturday. At a court hearing on Sunday, a judge ruled that the Orange, Calif., man could be released if he paid $1,000. As of Monday morning, Mr. Singh remained in the Cook County Jail. —Associated Press

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | A3

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Biden Rejects Trump Bid To Cancel Travel Ban

The Keystone XL pipeline would bring oil from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Above, a construction site used by pipeline contractors north of Glasgow, Mont.

Emissions Pledge Made for Pipeline top priorities during his first call with Mr. Biden after the election. “Not only has the project itself changed significantly since it was first proposed, but Canada’s oil sands production has also changed significantly,” said Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., Kirsten Hillman. She said Canadian oil emissions per barrel have dropped by almost a third since 2000. Keystone’s initial proposal became a flashpoint for climate activists. It led many to fight pipelines as a way to combat growing oil production and instead push investment to alternative energy projects that wouldn’t contribute to climate change. They especially object to the Keystone pipeline because the Canadian crude it carries comes from oil sands, which generate more pollution than other types of oil. To address those concerns, Keystone is promising to fund new renewable energy infrastructure to generate 1.6 gigawatts of power. That amount would rival the country’s biggest corporate renewables purchases by companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google that have become common in recent years, and further boost a burgeoning wind and solar market. Some oil producers and refiners, including Keystone’s

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WASHINGTON—The Keystone oil pipeline’s developer plans to announce a series of overhauls—including a pledge to use only renewable energy—in a bid to win President-elect Joe Biden’s support for the controversial project. Aides to Mr. Biden have previously said he plans to revoke the permit, and Canada’s CBC News reported late Sunday that Mr. Biden plans to do so in one of his first actions after taking office this week. Mr. Biden’s team declined to discuss that report, but has said his position on the pipeline hasn’t changed. In a bid to save the project, Canada’s TC Energy Corp. is committing to spend $1.7 billion on solar, wind and battery power to operate the partially completed 2,000-mile pipeline system between Alberta, in western Canada, and Texas, company officials say. They also are pledging to hire a union workforce and eliminate all greenhouse-gas emissions from operations by 2030. The company’s plans reflect new realities at a time when Democrats are taking commanding positions in Washington, and in an era of growing environmental and social concerns. “In our view, this is the most sustainable and environ-

change and safety risks. The promises by TC Energy present an early test to Mr. Biden’s intentions. During his campaign, Mr. Biden joined with the progressive Democrats calling for a transition away from oil to address climate-change concerns, more support for labor unions and better protection from pollution for minority and poor communities. Mr. Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, could face questions on the pipeline at his confir-

Keystone XL executives hope to keep the $8 billion project alive.

mation hearing Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The U.S. State Department issues the project’s presidential permit. Canadian government officials continue to press the case for Keystone with Mr. Biden’s team. They want to get more bottlenecked Canadian crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast, one of the world’s biggest centers for refining oil. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned the pipeline among his

business partners, are moving in the same direction, with efforts to reduce or even eliminate the carbon-dioxide emissions from their operations that contribute to climate change. Keystone XL is a 1,210-mile expansion to a larger pipeline network. It must connect to the power grid to run pump stations that help push oil through the line. Those stations sit about every 50 miles along the pipelines, driven by electric motors. Executives are pledging to acquire renewable power for the entire network, a development that may take until 2030 to finish. Until then the company plans to buy credits funding emissions-reduction projects to offset all the emissions caused by their operations. Union leaders, many of whom endorsed Mr. Biden, have made it clear they are willing to push back if Mr. Biden rejects these types of projects. The oil industry has a long history of solid wages and commitment to union workers, which labor leaders trust more than the new wind and solar companies that have yet to build the same track record, said Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions. —Vipal Monga contributed to this article.


mentally friendly pipeline project that has ever been built,” Richard Prior, president of TC Energy’s Keystone XL expansion project, said in an interview. “This is groundbreaking stuff for an energy infrastructure project of the size and scale of Keystone XL.” Construction of the expansion, long delayed by legal and permitting challenges, started last year under a permit President Trump awarded to sidestep an order by a federal judge blocking construction in the U.S., pending a supplemental environmental review. Keystone executives hope to keep the $8 billion project alive by making it a showcase for how fossil-fuel projects can still be environmentally friendly and generate goodpaying union jobs. In August, the company struck a deal with four labor unions to build the line itself. And it followed that up in midNovember with a deal for five indigenous tribes to take a roughly $785 million ownership stake. A new labor deal led by North America’s Building Trades Unions gives priority to union workers for the renewable power buildout, too. Other pipelines and megaprojects for oil, natural gas and minerals have started dying under pressure from financiers and environmental activists troubled by climate



Analyst Claiming Faulty Covid Data Is Arrested Florida law-enforcement officials have arrested a former state Department of Health data analyst suspected of illegally accessing a state-run messaging system used by emergency personnel. Rebekah Jones turned herself in to authorities and was charged with one count of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Monday. The Department of Law Enforcement had obtained an arrest warrant for Ms. Jones, who has denied responsibility for any hacking and says authorities are targeting her for trying to expose manipulations to the state’s Covid-19 infection data. Ms. Jones said on Twitter on Saturday that she planned on surrendering. “To protect my family from continued police violence, and to show that I’m ready to fight whatever they throw at me, I’m turning myself into police in Florida Sunday night,” she wrote.





President-elect Joe Biden rejected an effort by President Trump on Monday to lift bans on most travel into the U.S. from Europe, the U.K. and Brazil that were imposed as part of the Trump administration’s initial response to the coronavirus pandemic. The restrictions imposed last spring applied to any foreigner present in those countries for the two preceding weeks, with a few exceptions. Under a presidential proclamation released by the White House on Monday, the change would go into effect Jan. 26, the same day as new requirements announced last week that all people flying to the U.S. from abroad test negative for Covid-19 no more than three days before their flights. Restrictions on travel from China and Iran would remain in place. But Mr. Biden’s incoming White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, wrote on Twitter on Monday night that the Biden administration wouldn’t lift the travel restrictions on Jan. 26. “With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” she wrote. “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of Covid-19.” Members of Mr. Trump’s coronavirus task force had discussed lifting the restrictions, which were a core element of the administration’s early response to the pandemic, for some time, according to people familiar with the matter, acknowledging they did little to help the U.S. with the virus already circulating widely here. Public-health officials said the travel restrictions came too late—and were too porous—to meaningfully slow the spread of the coronavirus to the U.S., as the virus had already arrived in New York and parts of the West Coast. Officials in Europe and the U.K. had also pressed the Trump administration to take steps to allow travel to resume in some form, according to people familiar with the discussions. Airlines suffering from severely depressed international travel in recent months had also advocated lifting the restrictions in conjunction with the new testing regime. Martin Cetron, who leads the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, said in an interview last week that the travel restrictions created collateral damage to the economy and had proved leaky. “We learned that the opening strategy of banning locations and asking about exposures and doing fever checks just didn’t cut it,” Dr. Cetron said. “We had to pivot.” Worries about new strains of the coronavirus emerging in parts of the world have prompted some countries to renew travel restrictions and harden borders. The U.K. last week said it would close its borders to travelers from South America and Portugal in response to a strain that likely originated in Brazil. Meanwhile, a strain first identified in the U.K. has been found elsewhere in the world, including the U.S. The change, if it goes into effect, wouldn’t immediately open more destinations to American travelers: many countries, including much of Europe, remain closed to most U.S. citizens. But lifting the restrictions could set the stage for reciprocal agreements with foreign governments to allow each others’ residents to cross their borders, according to one U.S. official familiar with the matter. —Rebecca Ballhaus contributed to this article.



Rebekah Jones says Florida is undercounting coronavirus cases. In May, Ms. Jones, who is 31 years old, said she was fired from her job as developer of the state’s Covid-19 online dashboard. In court papers, she has claimed she was terminated “after refusing to falsify data.” A spokeswoman for Gov. Ron DeSantis said last year that the health department had terminated Ms. Jones for insubordination, saying she had caused disruptions by repeatedly making changes to the department’s Covid-19 dashboard without approval.

Ms. Jones in July filed a complaint against the state health department. Months later, her dispute with Florida health officials took a more serious turn. In December, armed Department of Law Enforcement agents executed a search warrant at her house in Tallahassee, seizing computer equipment. The warrant was issued weeks after a state health official had notified law enforcement that an anonymous person had posted an unauthorized

message to a governmental Florida emergency messaging system, according to officials. “It’s time to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead. You know this is wrong. You don’t have to be a part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it’s too late,” the message stated, according to court papers. Law-enforcement agents served the search warrant after tracing the message to her personal IP address, according to officials. The warrant was based on probable cause that her home concealed evidence of a violation of Florida’s hacking law prohibiting unauthorized access to a computer system. “Evidence retrieved from a search warrant on December 7 shows that Jones illegally accessed the system sending a message to approximately 1,750 people and downloaded confidential FDOH data and saved it to her devices,” the Department of Law Enforcement said Monday. Ms. Jones in court papers has denied posting the message or illegally accessing any restricted site. Ms. Jones created Florida’s

Covid-19 data portal, which visually displays Covid-19 case and death data obtained by epidemiological staff at the Florida Department of Health. The site is used by public-health officials, researchers and the media, among others, to analyze the pandemic’s progression in the state. Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, has denied that any Covid-19 data were falsified. At a news conference in May, the governor called the controversy over Ms. Jones a nonissue and defended the state’s dashboard as a “heck of a tool.” A representative for the governor’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment Sunday. Ms. Jones set up her own Covid-19 data dashboard after her firing, showing about 100,000 more Covid-19 cases in Florida than the state’s official tally. Last month, she filed a civilrights lawsuit in circuit court against the Department of Law Enforcement, claiming she was being investigated in retaliation for exercising her First Amendment rights.

Census Boss Resigns Amid Inquiry on Immigrant Count BY SARAH CHANEY CAMBON WASHINGTON—Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham said Monday he plans to resign, days after a government watchdog questioned his requests for data relating to the Trump administration’s push to exclude unauthorized immigrants from a key aspect of the decennial count. Mr. Dillingham’s resignation is effective Wednesday, he

wrote in a post to employees on the Census Bureau site in which he praised their work and dedication. He said he would have left earlier, but a transition official to Presidentelect Joe Biden invited him to continue serving as bureau director, and “under other circumstances” he would have been honored to stay in his post under the new president. Mr. Dillingham’s resignation comes after the Commerce De-

partment’s inspector general issued a memo that raised concerns about his directive for career officials to produce a report that “includes data on documented and undocumented persons in the United States.” Career officials said they were “under significant pressure to produce this technical report,” the inspector general’s memo said. The memo inquired how Mr. Dillingham would ensure

the data quality of the report and why the Census Bureau director prioritized the report. Mr. Dillingham addressed the inspector general’s memo in his resignation announcement. He defended the data request and said it “was not an attempt to release 2020 census data results for apportionment early.” Mr. Dillingham presided over the national head count, which was primarily conducted online during the pandemic. He served

as director of the Census Bureau for about two years, and his term was to expire at the end of 2021. President Trump signed a memo last summer that meant to exclude illegal immigrants from the count of the population, which redistributes seats in the House and votes in the Electoral College. Mr. Trump’s plan was challenged in the Supreme Court. The high court dismissed the case last year.

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A4 | Tuesday, January 19, 2021
































Old Guard Has Chance to Seize the Moment CAPITAL JOURNAL By Gerald F. Seib They are 78, 80, 70 and 78 years old. One started in Washington when Richard Nixon was president, the others when Ronald Reagan was. They have seen it all: wars, recessions, control by one party and then another, terrorist attacks, and, now, a pandemic. They are, in short, the very personification of the political establishment that was attacked by American citizens who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. Now they are, collectively, in charge of handling the aftermath. Together, they all face the

same question: Are they really in control? They are, respectively, President-elect Joe Biden; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer; and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell. They have known one another for decades, so there will be no surprises. They will be overseeing a Washington where the Senate is perfectly divided between the two parties and the House nearly so—a power alignment that, at least in theory, ought to draw them all a bit closer together near the political center. Yet they all face significant challenges in coming together.


r. Biden takes office flanked on the left by a resurgent progressive wing of his party that may well attempt to overpower him, and on the right by a significant share of President Trump’s base that at least says it doesn’t believe his election was legitimate. There also is every

reason to believe that Mr. Trump, unlike other former presidents, won’t step back from public view to give his successor the space to govern, but instead seek a platform to attack him. Mr. Biden has to hope that his particular political persona is well suited for the moment. Being the antiTrump in style could be what the country is seeking; one theory of the presidency is that Americans seek in a new president the inverse of the last president. Mr. Trump was an antiestablishment disrupter; Mr. Biden will attempt to be the establishment unifier, and hope that is what the nation wants. His best hope may be to build a personal popularity that overcomes other structural obstacles, yet many Americans wonder whether he is too old or insufficiently in command of the party around him to do so. The pending impeachment trial of President Trump in the Senate has the potential to be both an enormous dis-

traction and deeply divisive at the outset of the Biden term. The opposite force pulling the nation together still could be that other crisis—the Covid-19 pandemic, for which Mr. Biden will seek quick congressional approval of a new federal package of assistance. “The Covid crisis is not a blue-state crisis, is not a red-

lenges. Mrs. Pelosi remains House speaker, but with a shrunken majority. She is a liberal in good standing, yet now is flanked on her left by the Squad, a handful of assertive and demanding young progressives, and on the right by Democratic moderates who think the progressives’ cries to “defund the police” almost cost them their jobs.

They all face significant challenges in coming together.

r. Schumer will be the Senate’s majority leader, but only because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s vote can break ties in a chamber divided 50-50 between the two parties. The Senate’s tools for obstruction will be a constant problem for him, unless he maneuvers to end the filibuster—a step that Mr. Biden seems to think unwise and that also would be deeply divisive. For his part, Mr. McConnell will be demoted to minority leader, which means his most obvious tool for accomplishing goals is rearguard action rather than


state crisis,” says senior Biden adviser Anita Dunn. “There is an urgency built into that calendar, because things are not going to get better. As a matter of fact, the disease itself, by all accounts, will continue to get worse, probably, coming out of the Christmas surge.” The president-elect’s fellow leaders face similar chal-

Biden Climate Plan Leans on New Senate

Chopra Is Chosen for Consumer Agency

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Mr. Biden seeks to reimagine environmental policy as a jobs program, spending on clean energy to spur economic growth.

President Readies Pardon List Continued from Page One Kushner, and daughter Ivanka Trump—as well as his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. But Mr. Trump has been leaning away from those pardons in recent days as advisers have counseled him that they would be unnecessary, the person familiar with the conversations said, while noting that Mr. Trump has been known to suddenly reverse course. Some allies of the GOP president have argued he shouldn’t risk angering any more Republican senators with controversial pardons ahead of his Senate impeachment trial. Democrats will have a hard time persuading 17 Republicans to join them in voting to convict Mr. Trump, but the president has grown increasingly worried about possible defections after 10 Republicans voted to impeach him in the House last week. As of Monday, the House hadn’t sent over the article of impeachment, which would kick off a trial in the Senate. Democrats have pledged to move

ahead with a trial after Mr. Trump leaves the White House, as a way to potentially keep him from holding office again. House Democrats and the 10 Republicans impeached Mr. Trump last week, alleging he encouraged a mob to storm Congress as part of his effort to overturn his election loss. Neither Mr. Trump nor members of the Trump family are known to be currently under federal investigation. Mr. Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine have been a focus for federal prosecutors in Manhattan, though it isn’t known where that investigation stands. Mr. Trump’s legal authority to pardon himself is dubious; a 1974 legal memorandum said the president can’t pardon himself, but some legal scholars disagree and the matter has never been tested in court. Mr. Trump has also discussed pardoning his onetime fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, who pleaded guilty in October to illegally lobbying the Trump administration, a charge that stemmed from an investigation into an alleged multibillion-dollar fraud at a Malaysian fund, according to people familiar with the matter. Mr. Broidy was charged in federal court in Washington, D.C., in October and accused of failing to report work for which he was paid at least $6 million

vouchers to buy them when consumers trade in a gasolinepowered vehicle. The Biden plan promised to support 250,000 new jobs by paying to cap leaky, abandoned oil and gas wells and clean up abandoned mines. Mr. Biden’s advisers saw that as a draw to moderates and Republican senators in oil and gas states like New Mexico, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Colorado, stopping emissions while also supporting oil, gas and mining companies. The Biden team has promised 500,000 new charging stations for electric vehicles. It is also a boon to electric utilities eager to boost de-

mand from electric vehicles. “Auto makers have been pushing harder for accelerated EV deployment for some time and recently they’ve been joined by electric utilities and even some oil interests,” said Christopher Guith, who oversees policy for an energy arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Together with the environmental groups, that is a formidable coalition.” Democrats will still need Republican support to reach a 60-vote threshold necessary to pass most legislation in the Senate. But with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) as majority leader likely to bring more votes to the floor than current

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), there is a growing belief that some Republicans will emerge to help pass at least limited infrastructure spending increases. The American Petroleum Institute, one of the industry’s largest trade groups, used its annual “State of American Energy” address last week to challenge the Democrats’ strategy. The group’s leader, Mike Sommers, said it wants to work with Mr. Biden on emissions limits and trade policy, but said more taxes and regulations could hurt consumers and workers. “Mandates get us nowhere,” Mr. Sommers said.



spending, loans and tax breaks as the most popular ideas. The Democrats’ control of Congress is probably too tenuous to get $2 trillion approved, but congressional staff, advisers to Mr. Biden and analysts expect hundreds of billions are still possible. Mr. Biden seeks to reimagine environmental policy as a jobs program, spending on clean energy to spur growth. His plans target the Senate in several other ways. Notably, they adopt a proposal to revive the cash-for-clunkers program to fund subsidies for lower-emissions cars. This version is devoted to electric vehicles, giving rebates or


WASHINGTON—When President-elect Joe Biden’s advisers wrote his climate plan, they often had one small audience in mind: the U.S. Senate. That chamber has been reluctant to forcefully address climate issues with major new laws, but expectations are growing after election victories in Georgia Jan. 5 gave Democrats Senate control. The shift has made infrastructure funding for cleaner energy a realistic possibility and offers a likely kick-start for Mr. Biden’s ambitious agenda. The Democratic control is still narrow—both parties have 50 Senate seats and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris breaks ties—and that is likely to limit how far Mr. Biden and fellow Democrats can reach. But the Biden team has tailored some of its plans for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to benefit auto makers, oil and gas producers, and utilities, an appeal to moderate Democrats and some Republicans in the Senate needed to pass legislation. Mr. Biden, as a candidate, had called for $2 trillion in spending on projects to reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions that most scientists implicate in climate change. Democrats have rallied behind consensus studies that call for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions in half by 2030 and effectively ending them by roughly 2050 to avoid catastrophic consequences. But many consider it politically unpalatable to respond with new taxes or regulatory powers that might hurt industry. That leaves government investment through direct




frontal assault. One path for exerting influence will be to do deals with Mr. Biden, with whom he has worked together in the past. The other is to stop deals. And if he seeks to do deals, he will have to contend with whatever continuing resistance Mr. Trump is able to exert from the outside, and with a handful of Republican senators interested in running for president in 2024, in part by playing to the Trump base. Together, all four of these politicians represent a political establishment that Americans have been conditioned to view as corrupt or ineffective, not least through hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign ads over the years that begin with some variation of the proclamation that, “Washington is broken, and your representative is part of the problem.” Yet they all also are in or near the final act of their careers. In theory, they have nothing to lose by taking some chances together. Will they?

Aides told Mr. Trump pardoning his family would be unnecessary. by the man accused of masterminding the alleged fraud, Jho Low, to try to influence the Justice Department investigation into the scandal. Mr. Broidy’s efforts included unsuccessful attempts to arrange a golf game between Mr. Trump and the then-Malaysian prime minister and to push for the removal of a Chinese fugitive in the U.S., according to the criminal-information document. At the time of his alleged work for Mr. Low, Mr. Broidy was deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. He also had a top position on the Trump campaign’s joint fundraising committee with the RNC in 2016. A spokesman for Mr. Broidy

didn’t respond to a request for comment. Other potentially controversial pardons—such as one for former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who was charged in August in connection with an alleged scheme to siphon hundreds of thousands of dollars from a crowdfunding campaign for a wall along the southern U.S. border—are considered unlikely, according to a person familiar with the conversations. Allies of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have pushed for a pardon, but he isn’t expected to get one, the person said. Other high-profile pardons are also expected Tuesday, including potentially for rapper Lil

Wayne, who pleaded guilty in December to a federal gun charge, people familiar with the conversations said. Mr. Trump met with the star in October. As the president and his aides deliberate over pardons, Mr. Trump has also been increasingly focused on another legal matter in his final days in office: his defense team for his Senate impeachment trial. The president has been calling advisers for days about whom he should tap for his team, but few serious contenders have emerged. Members of the legal team for his first impeachment—which included White House counsel Pat Cipollone, deputy White House counsel Pat Philbin and private attorney Jay Sekulow—aren’t expected to be on the team this time, according to people familiar with the conversations. The president’s allies have urged him not to tap Mr. Giuliani, who called on supporters to pursue “trial by combat” at a rally before the riot, for his defense team, people familiar with the conversations said. “There is a general sense of, if you want to be removed, have Rudy on the Senate floor,” one of the people said. Mr. Giuliani didn’t respond to a request for comment. —Andrew Restuccia and Aruna Viswanatha contributed to this article.

BY ANDREW ACKERMAN AND ANDREW RESTUCCIA WASHINGTON—Presidentelect Joe Biden plans to nominate Rohit Chopra, the former student-loan watchdog at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to lead the agency, the transition team said Monday. If confirmed, Mr. Chopra would replace Kathy Kraninger, a Trump-appointed official who has run the bureau since 2018. The decision to tap Mr. Chopra, a Democrat currently serving as a member of the Federal Trade Commission, was announced along with Gary Gensler’s nomination to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Gensler could give Wall Street its most aggressive regulator in two decades. The transition team said Mr. Chopra “has actively advocated to promote fair, competitive markets that protect families and honest businesses from abuses.” Mr. Chopra previously served as the bureau’s studentloan ombudsman during the Obama administration, where he used his public stage to push student-loan companies to improve their treatment of borrowers. His tactic of applying pressure through public means was a big departure from the more measured style of other financial regulators. The CFPB has been politically polarizing since its creation in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when President Obama tapped Elizabeth Warren, then a Harvard law professor, to set it up. Mr. Chopra, 38 years old, was an early hire of Ms. Warren, now a Democratic senator from Massachusetts. Democrats have wanted a muscular CFPB to take on what they saw as financial-industry excesses. Republicans and Wall Street have criticized the bureau as an instrument of runaway government regulation, with too much power over a slice of the economy. The CFPB has also faced criticism over the way it was set up, with Congress limiting the president’s ability to remove the director. In June, the Supreme Court ruled its structure was unconstitutional because the director held too much unchecked power. To address the problem, the court held that the president can remove the director for any reason. Progressive groups and consumer advocates have called on the CFPB to revisit rules softened by the Trump administration, such as a crackdown on payday lenders, and to revive work on a rule to rein in overdraft fees. At the FTC, where he has served since 2018, Mr. Chopra has staked progressive positions on enforcement actions. His departure could leave Democrats in the minority at the FTC, complicating his move if the Biden administration can’t quickly install Democrats on the trade commission.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | A5

Jack H. Nusbaum

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Jack was a founding director and served on the Company’s Board for the past 53 years. He provided guidance at our most challenging moments, always considering our obligations to all stakeholders. His balanced and insightful analysis consistently brought us to the correct decision. His wisdom crossed all boundaries as friend, advisor and confidant. He will be greatly missed.

William R. Berkley

W. Robert Berkley, Jr.

Executive Chairman

President and Chief Executive Officer


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A6 | Tuesday, January 19, 2021


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Proud Boys Inspired by Trump

Two States Are Denied Emergency Assistance

On Jan. 3, three days before the attack on the Capitol, Enrique Tarrio, the leader of the far-right organization known as the Proud Boys, shared a cryptic post on the messaging app Telegram: “What if we invade it?”


Extremist groups including the Proud Boys clashed with police as they stormed and penetrated the Capitol on Jan. 6. In charging documents for self-identified Proud Boys, the group is described as “known to the FBI as being present and disrupting the functions of the U.S. Congress.” Estimates from researchers vary about the size of the group, ranging from a few hundred to up to 10,000 men. The White House referred to the president’s previous comments about the group. In the days after his “stand back and stand by” comment in September, after being criticized for not condemning the group outright, the president said he didn’t know who the Proud Boys were and told Fox News: “I condemn all white supremacists. I condemn the Proud Boys.” Mr. Tarrio said in a text message to the Journal that “we have and always will support the president,” calling Mr. Trump “an inspiration to

many, not just our organization.” Mr. Tarrio wasn’t present at the rally. He has said he ordered his members not to storm the Capitol but that he won’t denounce any who did. In the lead-up to the Jan. 6 event, Proud Boys on Telegram cautioned each other about measures law enforcement might take and encouraged one another to delete their social-media accounts, according to the Journal review. After a speech from Mr. Trump in which he urged the crowd to march to the Capitol and said “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore,” a group of men in blaze-orange hats and military-style vests surged into the metal barricade that stood between them and the government building. —Aruna Viswanatha contributed to this article.


mitic views, was euphoric. On Parler, members shared designs for a T-shirt inspired by Mr. Trump’s comments. It read: “Proud Boys standing by.” According to SITE Intelligence Group, a Bethesda, Md., organization that studies foreign and domestic extremists, one member of a Telegram group chat for the Proud Boys posted that he interpreted Mr. Trump’s debate comment as a call to be prepared for when “he can call on us to essentially ‘let loose the dogs of war.’ ” The Proud Boys are one of a handful of extremist groups that participated in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Multiple Proud Boys members have been arrested or identified in footage from the attack, and the group’s activities are part of the federal investigation, officials said Friday.

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Trump tweeted about the Jan. 6 rally and said to “be there, will be wild,” the Long Island chapter of the Proud Boys posted that Trump supporters have been “waiting for the green light from the President.” “Everyone who said ‘Mr. President, just say when?’ He just did,” the post said. The Proud Boys escalated their social-media activity and appeared emboldened after the Sept. 29 presidential debate, the Journal’s review shows. In that debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked Mr. Trump if he would condemn white supremacists and militia groups. As part of his reply, the president said, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.” The response within the group, whose members describe themselves as “Western chauvinists” and advocate misogynistic, racist and anti-Se-



The message was sent to his more than 7,000 followers on the app, with the first reply reading: “January 6th is D day in America.” The Wall Street Journal reviewed thousands of posts from the Proud Boys and their members across Parler, Telegram and Gab, the social-media platforms where they rallied supporters online after mostly being banned from Facebook and Twitter. The messages show the group repeatedly invoking President Trump’s rhetoric in the weeks leading to the Jan. 6 protest as they built momentum toward what became a violent showdown. Investigators have said they are scrutinizing online messages like these as they attempt to determine the planning and intent of those involved in the attack on the Capitol. The Journal’s review, which included now-deleted posts that have been archived by researchers, suggests the Proud Boys viewed Mr. Trump’s messages as a call to action. On Parler, where the group’s official account had more than 340,000 followers before the platform went offline last week, Mr. Tarrio said on Dec. 29 that the Proud Boys would be able to put a thousand “boots on the ground” and “turn out in record numbers on Jan. 6.” In December, after Mr.


By Georgia Wells, Rebecca Ballhaus and Keach Hagey

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied requests from Maryland and Virginia for emergency declarations that were tied to potential unrest related to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration this week. President Trump last week approved an emergency declaration for Washington, D.C., just days after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, disrupting Congress and delaying its ratification of Mr. Biden’s victory over Mr. Trump in the November election. Maryland and Virginia requested the federal assistance Friday, according to a daily operations briefing from FEMA. An agency representative said Monday that it had denied both requests. An emergency declaration allows a state to receive federal assistance and be reimbursed for costs related to the emergency. “Based on our review of all the information available, it has been determined that supplemental federal assistance under the Stafford Act is not warranted for this event,” Virginia officials were told in a Sunday letter from FEMA that The Wall Street Journal reviewed. The Stafford Act allows the president to declare a national emergency, opening the way for federal assistance and funding. “Virginia has approximately 2,400 National Guard troops on the ground in Washington, D.C.,” said Alena Yarmosky, a spokeswoman for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. “We plan on appealing this decision.” Maryland said it would also appeal. The requests come amid worries that far-right extremists may be planning more violence in the days around Mr. Biden’s inauguration.


Messages suggest the far-right group interpreted president’s words as call to action




     Join us, in collaboration with the healthcare are community, in providing parents with real and immediate support as they fight alongside their preemies.





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Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | A7

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A woman in Lake Elsinore, Calif., received her first dose of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine on Saturday. “We really did not have time to test it,” she said. Administrators allowed the system to keep accepting online appointments after they had printed out a schedule, resulting in people showing up to see their slots were given away to walk-ins. New Mexico’s secretary of health-designate, Tracie Collins, said her department was hiring more personnel after people recently couldn’t get through on phone lines when the state expanded eligibility to those over age 75. Texas state Rep. Vikki Goodwin, a Democrat, said that after the state granted eligibility to anyone over 65 on Dec. 28, her constituents rushed to call grocery stores and pharmacies for appointments only to be told there weren’t enough doses for that yet. “It’s crazy that people have to call around to see what different providers have the vaccine, rather than having a central place,” she said. “People are thinking that we had months and months to prepare for this.” Meanwhile, because of issues with Texas’s provider-approval system, some rural hospitals haven’t gotten vaccines for front-line health-care

workers, according to the Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals. The disorganization has resulted in some people who aren’t eligible getting vaccines through luck. When Seyward Darby saw a healthy, early-30s friend in Washington, D.C., post on Instagram that he had received one, she asked how. He said he had been picking up Hot Pockets to eat in Safeway when the store said it had extra doses it needed to use, she said. With limited guidance from states beyond the rules on who is eligible and limited resources for outreach, vaccine providers are in some cases not reaching everyone in the surrounding community, prompting concerns about health equity. In Washington, D.C., Dana Mueller, director of adult and family medicine at Mary’s Center, said the district has been submitting lists of people who signed up to get vaccines to the health center 24 hours in advance—not enough time for staff to set up an automated reminder call system. “It’s still very localized,” Dr. Mueller said. “It’s the smallscale effort that makes it feel like you’re going to be vaccinating people for years.”

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responsibility was thrown on local officials without preparation. “Most are struggling,” he said. “There is a lack of communication, a lack of understanding with the systems that have been developed, zero visibility into how the state plans are going to be implemented on the local front.” Health officials said they hoped $8 billion in a recent stimulus package passed by the federal government would help local departments that have been underfunded for years. President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, outlined a plan on Friday that includes federally supported community vaccination centers, mobile clinics to reach underserved populations, funding for more public-health workers and reimbursing states for deploying the National Guard to distribute doses. Health officials with the Barren River District Health Department in Bowling Green, Ky., were looking at new software systems for scheduling appointments in mid-December when they found out doses were coming, forcing a quick choice, said Janarae Conway, disaster-preparedness director.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday asked Pfizer Inc. if it would sell its Covid-19 vaccine directly to New York state, to help alleviate a shortfall of federally allocated doses that he blames on the Trump administration. In a letter to Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Albert Bourla, the Democratic governor said he was appealing to the company directly after Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar failed to deliver on a commitment to increase the doses to New York state. Last week, the governors of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota sent a letter to Mr. Azar urging him to grant permission for states to directly purchase doses of the vaccine. Mr. Cuomo’s request marks a rare attempt to bypass the federal government and get a state its own supply of vaccine. The governor said the state received 250,000 doses this week—50,000 fewer than last week—even after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded the population eligible to get a dose, to people age 65 and up. With about seven million New Yorkers now eligible, Mr. Cuomo said it would take as long as seven months to vaccinate them all at the current supply. The state has recorded more than 33,000 Covid-19 deaths, the highest in the nation. “It is abundantly clear that these vaccines are the weapons that will finally win the war against Covid-19,” Mr. Cuomo said in the letter to Pfizer, which is based in New York. “But with hospitalizations and deaths increasing

across the country this winter, we are in a footrace with the virus, and we will lose unless we dramatically increase the number of doses getting to New Yorkers.” Mr. Cuomo told the CEO he believed Pfizer wasn’t bound by commitments that the other major vaccine provider, Moderna Inc., made as part of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, and could sell directly to the state. Pfizer spokeswoman Jerica Pitts said the company “is open” to a broader collaboration model that would help expedite the distribution. However, she said federal approval would be needed for any direct sales to states.

Gov. Cuomo’s request marks a rare attempt to bypass federal government. Health and Human Services officials weren’t available for comment. The supply problem, which affects states across the U.S., stems from a shortage of vaccines flowing from the federal government, governors have said. A rapid expansion of who is eligible for a vaccine was supposed to be met with an increased allocation of vaccine from a reserve of doses held by the government. But several governors said Friday that it turned out there wasn’t a ready supply from the reserve, even as states, counties and cities rapidly expanded their own infrastructure to vaccinate and the pool of people eligible for the vaccine grew.



Continued from Page One lishing their own criteria for who should get the vaccine first. But it has been up to local health departments, hospitals and other providers to actually manage the tangle of logistics and many have been unable to do so effectively. Jeff Duchin, public-health officer for Seattle and King County, Wash., said the federal government succeeded in helping fund and purchase vaccines that were developed in record time, but said it didn’t do nearly enough to ensure that the “last-mile” distribution efforts would be successful. “Operation Warp Speed gave us two Cadillac vaccines with empty gas tanks,” he said. Dr. Duchin said that while the county set up four clinics, it has been difficult to link health-care workers unaffiliated with hospitals to providers giving shots. Officials are currently planning two largescale vaccination sites, he said, which are complicated to organize but are the most effective way to vaccinate teachers, transit workers, police and the general public. If everyone needs to schedule individual appointments, “we’ll never get there,” Dr. Duchin said. Confusion is increasing as many states move from immunizing health-care workers and nursing-home residents to people over 65 years old or with pre-existing conditions. California, Texas and Arizona are among states initiating mass vaccination sites. Providers said they have thus far received little guidance for how to implement eligibility criteria, no funding to manage staffing and planning and no indication of how many doses they will receive at any time. Oscar Alleyne, chief program officer for the National Association of County and City Health Officials, said long lines and jammed phones show how


States Struggle to Vaccinate






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A8 | Tuesday, January 19, 2021



* *

Virus Variant Fuels U.K. ‘Covid Triangle’

Shopkeepers at east London’s Queen’s Market say they have lost 50% of their customers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Queen’s Hospital, which serves Barking, the situation began to spin out of control after Christmas, when ambulances lined up to discharge Covid-19 patients and wards became clogged with the sick. At around the same time, Margaret Hodge, a local lawmaker in the opposition Labour Party, was briefed by hospital officials that demand for oxy-

gen in the hospital was outstripping supply. About 10% of hospital staff fell ill and family doctors were called in to help. A pediatrics ward was converted to treat adults with Covid-19. About 300 nurses and other health-care staff were redeployed into critical care and other wards, the hospital said, adding that critical-care capacity was 95% full. Abdul-Razaq Abdullah, who fled Iraq and set up a medical practice in the area, survived the first virus wave. But in November, two of his patients

caught the virus and the 68year-old doctor became unwell. He died a month later, said his daughter, Ayat Ali. “They never gave him any PPE,” Dr. Ali said, adding that she had to buy her father masks from hardware outlets. “I feel let down.” “We are working tirelessly to make sure our [National Health Service] and care staff are protected,” said a spokesperson for the U.K.’s Department of Health and Social Care, which oversees the National Health Service.

has started to curb transmission. But over the past week, Covid-19 deaths have been running at more than 1,000 a day, a 50% increase from the week before. The hospital system is creaking under the strain. A dense mishmash of new apartments, public-housing

blocks and bustling commercial streets, the borough of Barking and Dagenham—part of what has been dubbed the Covid Triangle—has proven to be the perfect incubator for the virus. Barking and the neighboring borough of Newham have

the lowest median family incomes in London. Many of the residents work in front-line jobs that require them to commute and mix with other people. There are numerous multigenerational households. The areas have the two highest Covid-19 infection rates

in the country. Barking and Dagenham recorded 1,632 new cases a week per 100,000 people this month, while Newham recorded 1,482 per 100,000. The new variant has been traced back to an asymptomatic individual in southeastern England tested on Sept. 20 and to another in London on the following day, though scientists think it first emerged in someone else. In east London, officials began to notice something was wrong when, despite a short national lockdown imposed in November, cases kept rising— even when they were falling elsewhere. Large numbers of schoolchildren and teaching staff began testing positive, said Jason Strelitz, the director of public health in Newham. “Something different was going on,” he said. People’s behavior hadn’t changed. “The one thing that changed is the


Hospitals Struggle To Contain Spread

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LONDON—For more than a century, John Harris’s familyrun funeral home has buried people from London’s working-class East End. He says he has never seen death on the scale wrought by Covid-19. He has been getting 20 calls a day and has hired more staff to cope. “My father, who is 92, was doing burials during the Blitz in the 1940s,” when German bombers flattened much of the area, Mr. Harris said. “He did not experience this level of mortality.” The outbreak offers a stark warning to the U.S. and other nations on what lies in store if more-contagious variants of the coronavirus—like the one sweeping through this densely populated and ethnically mixed community—take hold. In the east London borough of Barking and Dagenham this month, one in every 16 residents was estimated to be infected with Covid-19. The local hospital in nearby Romford rationed oxygen as beds ran short. It recently passed a milestone: more than 1,100 patients dead from the virus. The local government has four cars cruising the streets with megaphones blaring the words “Coronavirus kills.” Religious leaders have agreed to stop holding in-person services in an effort to stem the pathogen’s spread. “It is like being in the middle of a whirlwind,” said Pastor Tobi Adeola, who runs a church in the area. The new U.K. variant of the virus, which scientists say is 50% to 70% more contagious than previously dominant strains, has sent cases and deaths surging since December. A new national lockdown






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strain of the virus.” School-age children account for a third of the population in the area, resulting in schoolbased transmission back to multigenerational families, said Mr. Rodwell, the Barking councilor. He said he urged the government to tighten restrictions. Instead, they were loosened in the run-up to Christmas. In Barking, there is no main shopping center, so people traveled to other boroughs for Christmas shopping, locals said, catching and spreading the virus in the process. Visits to extended families in nearby boroughs during the holiday season accelerated the spread further. Deaths are roiling the community. Ash Siddique, secretary of Al Madina mosque in Barking, said a prayer Thursday for a 52-year-old father of five who died three days after falling ill. Seven people in his Muslim community have died in recent days. “We certainly didn’t have that in the first and second lockdown,” he said. Authorities have responded by rolling out mass testing. In Newham, people who work outside their homes are encouraged to be tested twice a week. Enforcement of the lockdown is also being ramped up. Police recently shut two large house parties and shops are asking people to wear masks. A McDonald’s in Barking agreed to shut its doors in November after patrons flouted rules. To combat the virus, Britain has accelerated its vaccine rollout. However, east London was one of the last areas in the capital to get shots, Mr. Rodwell said. And another wrinkle is presenting itself: Some people in ethnic-minority communities are reluctant to be inoculated, said Mr. Strelitz. “There is lots of evidence that would suggest that there is a level of vaccine hesitancy in our population,” he said, adding that this fear has been confirmed as the vaccine is delivered. “We are going to have to work really hard.”


Rising outbreak in east London offers warning to the U.S. and others; ‘middle of a whirlwind’

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | A9


Skeptics Mar French Efforts On Vaccination LAURENT CIPRIANI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

People in Lyon, France, socially distanced last week while waiting to be observed by medical staffers after receiving a Covid-19 vaccine. from residents and shortening the medical consultation needed before getting the shot. Nursing-home workers like Ms. Courreges, however, are proving to be a significant obstacle in the campaign. She says she isn’t against vaccines generally, but that the messenger RNA technology hasn’t been adequately tested or proven to be effective, despite the fact that regulators around the world have said the opposite. “There is a real failure among nursing home personnel and caregivers related to the virus,” said Sabrina Deliry, whose 80-year-old mother lives in a nursing home in

western Paris. Ms. Deliry said the facility has informed her that a small percentage of the personnel have agreed to be vaccinated. Adding to her worries: Her mother is also refusing to be vaccinated, after she caught the flu several years ago despite receiving her annual flu shot. Polls show that French attitudes toward the vaccine have been colored by politics, with critics of Mr. Macron’s government on the far-right and the far-left more likely to be skeptical of the vaccine. Pockets of resistance to vaccinations have flourished in the 20th century. France has been slower to adopt vaccines

against diseases such as measles and rubella than the U.S. and some other developed countries. France has lower rates of vaccine coverage for measles than much of Europe and has suffered periodic outbreaks over the years. Experts say at least 95% of the public needs to be inoculated to stop outbreaks of a highly contagious disease. Jean-Pierre Joseph, a 74year-old lawyer in Grenoble, said he has never been vaccinated, based on the recommendation of his grandfather, who was a doctor. “My grandfather told my mother that it’s a lie,” he said.


said. The government’s efforts to assuage the skepticism have backfired. Authorities established elaborate consent procedures for the first target population, nursing-home residents and personnel, to head off criticism that they were pushing the vaccines on the public. As authorities struggled to sign up nursing-home personnel and residents, they opened vaccinations to other target groups, such as health-care workers more broadly and all people 75 and older. They have also attempted to streamline the process by allowing oral rather than written consent


Audrey Courreges’s mistrust of new coronavirus vaccines runs so deep that she has told the nursing home where she works, in the southern French town of Beziers, that she won’t take the vaccinations or administer them. “I have a brain. I’m capable of forming my own ideas,” the 33-year-old nurse said. “There is some mistrust of the authorities on my part, when you see how the crisis has been managed in France from the start.” France’s mass vaccination campaign is off to a glacial start, with only around 422,000 people receiving the vaccine in more than three weeks since European regulators authorized the drug, far behind most other developed nations. A big reason: French officials are running up against deeply ingrained opposition that has made France among the world’s top vaccine skeptics. An Ipsos poll conducted in December found that France ranked at the bottom of 15 countries on willingness to take a Covid-19 vaccine, with only 40% of the public saying they wanted the shot. Polls show that more than three-

quarters of nursing-home workers—who are among the government’s first target groups for the vaccine—don’t want to take it. The resistance has historical roots in the 19th century, when antivaccination groups campaigned against modern inoculation techniques discovered by Frenchman Louis Pasteur. In recent years, it has been fueled by widespread distrust of the government of President Emmanuel Macron. Officials face the additional burden of easing public concerns about the new technology behind the vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc., BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc. These vaccines rely on so-called messenger RNA, named after the molecules that deliver instructions for cells to make proteins, a technology studied for years in clinical trials but never used before in mass vaccinations. Skeptics have incorrectly claimed the vaccines can alter the human genome. Regulators have approved the vaccines based on studies conducted by the companies that showed the vaccines prevent Covid-19 with 95% effectiveness. Side effects such as fatigue were common, but severe “adverse effects” were rare, regulators have

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By Ryan Dube in Lima, Peru, and Georgi Kantchev in Moscow

An operator monitors work at a facility in St. Petersburg, Russia, producing the Sputnik V vaccine.

umentation about clinical trials in Russia involving the elderly has led Argentina’s government to only inoculate people under the age of 60. Russian authorities say they have provided data to Argentina showing Sputnik is safe for people 60 and over. Argen-

tina’s food-and-drug regulator, Anmat, said it hasn’t received the documentation. Only 39% of Argentines have some degree of confidence in Sputnik, compared with nearly 60% for vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech SE, and AstraZeneca PLC

and Oxford University, according to Poliarquia, a Buenos Aires pollster. “I don’t feel secure with the Sputnik vaccine,” said Claudio Rikel, a 40-year-old nurse in Buenos Aires who has put off getting the shot. “There haven’t been enough

tests.…It’s as though they’re doing the last phase of the investigation on us.” Among the first Latin American countries to begin inoculating, 200,000 people in Argentina have received Sputnik, mostly health-care personnel and other essential workers. Many of them have been happy to receive the shot and say Argentines will become less skeptical as more doses are administered. “This provides hope for the entire health team and the entire population that we can stop this disease,” said Marcelo Morales, an intensive-care nurse. Argentina didn’t address questions about when approval of the Sputnik vaccine would come for use in people over 60. But cabinet chief Santiago Cafiero said regulators conducted a “rigorous analysis” of the vaccine to approve its use. He added that Argentina is looking to secure other vaccines. Moscow hopes to tap into a global coronavirus-vaccines market estimated by Russian officials to be worth around $100 billion annually.


Argentina is the first major country outside Russia to begin inoculating with Sputnik on a large scale. However, the rollout there has highlighted questions concerning the lack of transparency about the efficacy of the state-sponsored Sputnik V, which has stirred some distrust among Argentines about its safety. Moscow approved Sputnik V for domestic use in August before finishing trials. Trial data released since then has shown Sputnik was 91.4% effective in protecting people from Covid-19, and a peer-reviewed study is expected to be published in the coming

weeks. Around a million Russians have received the shot. Other countries have rushed to buy a vaccine that is cheaper than Western alternatives. Sputnik V, named for the Soviet satellite launched into orbit during the Cold War, ranks third in the world by doses ordered by middle- and low-income countries, according to Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Center, ahead of U.S. drugmakers Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. and China’s vaccines. Eight countries outside Russia have authorized the shot for emergency use. Still, Sputnik V hasn’t been approved by Western health authorities or received authorization from the World Health Organization, which many developing countries rely on for vetting vaccines. Russia has initiated talks with the European Medicines Agency about approving the shot in the European Union and has applied for WHO authorization. In Argentina, which started rolling out the Sputnik V on Dec. 29 and has ordered 20 million doses, the lack of doc-


Russia is selling millions of doses of its homegrown Sputnik V vaccine abroad, making it a major supplier of a shot that could give Moscow a valuable slice of the global Covid-19 vaccine market and potentially earn Russia geopolitical clout in the developing world.


Argentina Is Proving Ground for Russian Inoculations

Swiss Vote Norway Warns Against Giving Will Test Covid Vaccine to Terminally Ill State Role BY JAMES HOOKWAY Switzerland’s system of direct democracy will be put to the test again later this year, this time with a referendum on whether to roll back the government’s powers to impose lockdowns and other measures to slow the Covid-19 pandemic. The landlocked Alpine nation of 8.5 million people is unusual in providing its people a say on important policy moves by offering referendums if enough people sign a petition for a vote. Last year, Swiss voted on increasing the stock of low-cost housing, tax allowances for children and hunting wolves. The idea is to provide citizens a check on the power of the federal government, and it is a throwback to the fiercely independent patchwork of cantons, or districts, that were meshed in the medieval period. Now, the country is set for a referendum on whether to remove the government’s legal authority to order lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions after campaigners submitted a petition of some 86,000 signatures—higher than the 50,000 required—triggering a nationwide vote to repeal last year’s Covid-19 Act. The ballot could come as soon as June.

The Norwegian drug agency on Monday warned medical authorities in the country not to administer the Covid-19 vaccine to terminally ill patients because a small number of elderly people had died shortly after receiving the shot in recent days. Norway is rolling out the vaccine developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc., and authorities have reported 23 cases of elderly recipients who suffered from serious medical conditions dying days after being inoculated. The Norwegian Medicines Agency, which regulates drugs, examined 13 of the cases, with an average age of 86, and said that six of the people had been terminally ill from various conditions before their vaccination. In addition, 11 suffered from dementia and serious comorbidities such as heart disease. “We have now repeated our existing advice not to give the vaccine to terminally ill patients,” a spokeswoman for the agency said. The spokeswoman added there was no evidence the vaccine was unsafe and authorities had no concerns about its use. The agency said Norway’s vaccination campaign, like



Svein Andersen, a nursing home resident, became the first Norwegian to receive the coronavirus vaccine on Dec. 27. many others around the world, had been giving priority to elderly people in nursing homes, some of whom have serious underlying diseases, and it was therefore expected that deaths might occur close to the time of vaccination. In Norway, an average of 400 people die each week in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, the agency said. “An evaluation should be carried out for each patient as to whether the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of eventual side effects,” the agency said. “We cannot rule out that adverse reactions to the vaccine occurring within the first days following vacci-

nation (such as fever and nausea) may contribute to more serious courses and fatal outcomes in patients with severe underlying diseases.” Deaths among recently vaccinated people aren’t unusual because many countries gave priority to the oldest and therefore most frail citizens and residents of care homes, said a spokeswoman for BioNTech. In Germany, some of the initial recipients of the vaccine were age 100 or older. Pfizer and BioNTech are aware of the reported deaths and are working with Norwegian authorities to gather more information, a Pfizer spokeswoman said.

every one

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A10 | Tuesday, January 19, 2021


* ***


Car Makers Become ‘Stellantis’ Continued from Page One and Maserati? The name rang like “a product to ease stomach pain,” wrote the car columnist for The Australian newspaper. An Automotive News story about the unveiling carried the headline: “Take 2 Stellantis and call me in the morning.” Luis Guzman, based in Austin, Texas, drives a sporty 2016 Chrysler 300S and said he is embarrassed by the name: “I love the car and hate the fact that [Chrysler] is going to be owned by a company called Stellantis.” Fiat Chrysler and PSA said Stellantis draws on the Latin “stello,” meaning “to brighten with stars.” The Latin root reflects the combined companies’ French and Italian heri-

tage. The name also signifies the “creation of one of the new leaders in the next era of mobility,” the companies said. “Our thought process was really very simple,” said Mike Manley, former chief executive of Fiat Chrysler, who will lead the new group’s Americas operations. “We have a stable of some fantastic, storied historic brands. We knew from the beginning that we didn’t want to use those brand names as our corporate name.” Pierre-Olivier Salmon, head of corporate information at PSA, said “We are very, very happy and proud of this name, which already unites us,” declining to discuss the name in detail. “People don’t know what Stellantis is,” said Jeremy Beaver, president of Del Grande Dealer Group in California, “but this company has changed its name so many times I don’t think it matters to the average customer.” One advantage to a new name: It avoids disputes about who goes first—something that dogged the 1998 merger

of Daimler and Chrysler. Chrysler’s then-chairman, Robert Eaton, told The Wall Street Journal at the time that the name was the last issue to be discussed before the boards signed off. Daimler’s then-chairman, Jürgen Schrempp, had argued that the names of founders Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz had to be first, proposing Daimler-Benz Chrysler. Mr. Eaton countered that Walter P. Chrysler had founded their company and was an American pioneer. His name had to go first: Chrysler Daimler-Benz. Mr. Schrempp told the Journal at the time that he and Mr. Eaton never considered compromising by creating a name unrelated to their heritage. For centuries, company names have reflected their founders (Walt Disney Co.), products (Coca-Cola Co.), industries (General Electric Co.) or, sometimes, birthplace (Cisco Systems Inc.). Fiat Chrysler combines Fiat, which Giovanni Agnelli founded in 1899 as Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, and Chrysler, which Mr. Chrys-

ler founded in 1925. Peugeot was created in 1882 when Armand Peugeot broke from the family’s business making bicycles and coffee grinders to bet on the horseless carriage. Like baby-naming, company-naming has tracked fashion recently. Hip businesses deploy made-up names (Google), sometimes using a made-up verb (Spotify) or ad-

The name rings like ‘a product to ease stomach pain,’ writes a car columnist. verb (Wonderly), or a prefix (Uber). Rarely do these names betray what the companies do. In 2001, Andersen Consulting sparked confusion and hilarity when it renamed itself Accenture—officially a contraction of “Accent on the future.” The name became widely recognized. Mondelez, the name Kraft

Foods gave its snacks business in a 2012 spinoff, combined “monde,” derived from the Latin for “world,” and “delez,” a “fanciful expression of ‘delicious,’ ” according to executives. Then-Mondelez board member Nelson Peltz said at a conference the following year that the name “sounds like a disease.” Still, “Mondelez just became accepted after a while,” said Erika Troia, senior naming strategist at naming agency PS212. With most new names, she said, “After the initial confusion, it ends up coming to a place of acceptance.” Except when it doesn’t, as with Tronc. When Tribune Publishing Co., owner of newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News, renamed itself Tronc Inc. in 2016, executives said it was short for Tribune Online Content and a banner for its digital future. Some other people said it sounded like nonsense. The company became Tribune Publishing again two


co Fo m rp m er er s ci on al a l us , e on

Janet Yellen speaking at an event last month where President-elect Joe Biden named his economic team.


a ceiling on the U.S.’s debt load and how the country will pay it back, concerns heard mostly on the right. “At some point we’ll start paying a price for this,” said Michael Boskin, a Stanford University economist. He served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s, the last time a Republican administration cut deficits. Mr. Boskin agrees that low interest rates and a weak economy help make the case for limited federal support. He said he favored tax cuts over government spending and warned that immense deficits can’t be carried on without limit. “Eventually rates will rise,” he said. Mr. Summers said economists have been predicting rising rates for decades, and yet they kept falling. Even today, he said, rates are as likely to go down as up; in Europe and Japan they are negative. Some economists have worried that a shock to the U.S. economy could drive investors away from government bonds. Government debt as a share of the economy has more than tripled over the past 20 years. That makes it twice as high, relatively speaking, as it was during the Great Depression and approaching levels seen at the end of World War II, when the government turned the economy into a military machine. Counting bonds that the government issues to its own Social Security trust funds, which economists often discount, the debt is even larger as a share of GDP now. Yet, through economic shocks in the past 20 years, investors have flocked to Treasury securities, seen as a haven in times of trouble. With the help of Fed interest-rate cuts and bond purchases, not only are U.S. short-term interest rates near zero, the government’s borrowing cost for newly issued 30-year debt is below 2%. While U.S. debt is growing faster than the economy, the level of debt “is far from unsustainable,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, a Republican who served in the George H.W. Bush Treasury Department, said Thursday. Despite a $4 trillion increase in debt last year, a 25% increase, interest payments on that debt declined by 8%. The Congressional Budget Office projects rates will stay low for much of the next decade, and


Continued from Page One of economic leadership roles. Ms. Yellen would be managing the nation’s debt when the economic consensus has flipped. In the 1990s, economists argued surpluses would push down long-term interest rates and encourage privatesector borrowing and investment. Government borrowing, this view held, crowded out the private sector. The strategy seemed to work. The U.S. saw an economic boom, with the longest expansion on record at the time, fueled by technology investment. After years of low inflation and interest rates near zero, more economists say the government should be borrowing to keep the economy going because the private sector isn’t. With borrowing costs expected to remain low and the pandemic-stricken economy still weak, temporary increases in deficits aren’t only tolerable but desirable if they help strengthen the recovery, the thinking goes. In past times, the Fed carried the load by cutting shortterm interest rates, allowing the private sector to borrow cheaply. But it has already cut rates to zero. Ms. Yellen will tell lawmakers Tuesday that she and Mr. Biden appreciate the scale of the country’s debt burden, according to a copy of her prepared remarks reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big,” she plans to say. The strongest advocates of this view are center-left economists, including former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. Republicans have implicitly embraced the idea when in power. President Trump ushered in spending programs and tax cuts that pushed debt sharply higher even before the coronavirus crisis. George W. Bush also raised spending, cut taxes and grew deficits. In the minority, the GOP has tended to revert to fiscal conservatism.

‘Immediate action’ Mr. Biden is embracing the view, as well. On Thursday, he proposed a $1.9 trillion aid package that includes $1,400 stimulus payments to individuals, expanded jobless benefits and paid work leave, aid for schools and hard-hit small businesses and a national vaccination program. Mr. Biden hopes it will be the first in a two-step program, with the second to focus on longer-term investments, such as in green energy and infrastructure. “Economic research confirms that with conditions like the crisis today, especially with such low interest rates, taking immediate action—even with deficit financing—is going to help the economy,” Mr. Biden said after a Labor Department report this month. It showed that employers cut jobs in December, ending seven months of employment gains. A growing economy will make debt more manageable, he said. Unaddressed are the twin questions of whether there is

the longer term while helping support the recovery in economic activity in the near term,” Ms. Yellen said at her 2010 confirmation hearing for Fed vice chairwoman. Washington went in the opposite direction. Discussions about the long run went nowhere. Short-term spending cuts helped tame deficits for several years but weighed on growth by pulling money from the military and public projects. Ms. Yellen and others concluded austerity came too soon, stunting the recovery and keeping unemployment higher than it needed to be.


Yellen’s Debt Burden

years later. “The way that words hit our ears affects what we think of them,” Ms. Troia said. “Tronc just has a really unfortunate sound to it.” One reason to invent names is avoiding trademarks. “Finding something that’s protectable and available hasn’t trumped everything, but it has become a major part of the process,” Jane Geraghty, Global Chief Executive at Landor & Fitch, a branding agency owned by WPP PLC. “In the old days we could come up with a relatively short list of names that would fit the story that we wanted to tell,” she said. “Now we have to generate thousands of names in the process to find, ultimately, a solution that you’re going to be able to trademark.” As Mr. Manley, who will lead Stellantis’s Americas operations, put it in July: “I have to tell you that the naming of a new company is—there’s no doubt—it’s a process for sure.” There was poetry in Stellantis, he said, “and I’m not a particularly poetic person.”

Debt Dynamics

U.S. interest rates have been falling for decades…

…as rising global savings pour into U.S. debt…

…and domestic investment slows…

10-year U.S. Treasury note interest rate

Savings as share of GDP

Average annual change in private U.S. investment










8 6


















1980s & 1990s


2000s & 2010s

…so while government borrowing has boomed, the cost of servicing the debt remains modest.

Debt as a share of GDP

Federal interest as a share of GDP




3.0 2.5 2.0


1.5 1.0


0.5 0 1900

0 ’20







1940 ’50




’90 2000 ’10


Sources: Federal Reserve (rate); International Monetary Fund (saving); Commerce Department (investment); Congressional Budget Office (debt and interest as a percentage of GDP)

that interest costs as a share of GDP will be lower than it forecast before the pandemic. In an Aug. 13 briefing with Mr. Biden and Vice Presidentelect Kamala Harris, Ms. Yellen made the case that ultralow interest rates and low inflation gave the government the capacity to keep borrowing to fight the pandemic’s economic fallout. The President-elect’s spending plans represent a shift from the 1990s, when Ms. Yellen was Mr. Clinton’s top economic adviser, and Mr. Biden was a senator supportive of the president’s fiscal policies. Back then, inflation was still seen as a threat. Yields on 10-year Treasury notes exceeded 6% for most of the 1990s, as did borrowing costs for even the most creditworthy companies. Large government debt and deficits, the thinking went, would push rates higher and crowd out private investment. The Clinton administration restrained spending and raised income taxes on wealthy

households, balancing the budget in 1998 for the first time since the 1960s. Fiscal discipline helped produce “a strong, investment-driven recovery,” Ms. Yellen wrote in 1999. Starting under President George W. Bush, something unexpected happened. Deficits and government debt rose because of increased spending and tax cuts, but interest rates kept falling. “I spent most of my career worrying about the effects of government debt, and as I’ve been doing that, interest rates have been falling point by point by point,” said Douglas Elmendorf, who worked with Ms. Yellen at the Council of Economic Advisers in the late 1990s. There are different theories about why that happened. One is that China’s emergence as an economic power, and the growing wealth of its citizens, created a surge in global saving. Former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke called it a global “saving glut.” Global savers put aside 26% of their money in 2020, up from 24% in 2000, according to

the International Monetary Fund. Much of the trillions of dollars in new saving flowed into the U.S. Treasury market. At the same time, U.S. private-sector investment slowed for reasons economists are still sorting out. Explanations include an aging population and diminishing investment in big machinery as the economy became more service oriented and factories moved to China. In the 1980s and 1990s, private-sector U.S. investment grew 4% a year on average, adjusted for inflation. Since 2000, as interest rates tumbled, private investment growth averaged 2% a year. By the time Ms. Yellen became Fed vice chairwoman in 2010, battles over large budget deficits consumed Washington once again. Tea Party Republicans, alarmed by surging debt levels, pushed for strict spending curbs as the U.S. recovered from the 2007-2009 financial crisis. “The challenge for U.S. policy makers will be to craft a strategy that puts our fiscal policy on a sustainable path in

Free lunch The pandemic has pushed Washington’s tolerance for debt to new levels. Congress last year authorized trillions of dollars in new spending to combat the virus, pushing deficits well beyond records set in the last recession. Some economists point out that in the long run, interest rates tend to be lower than the economy’s growth rate. The IMF studied data for 55 countries over 200 years and found that more than half of the time, interest rates were lower than growth rates, on average, by 2.4 percentage points in advanced economies and even more in developing economies. That suggests most countries can run modest budget deficits and still reduce the cost of servicing that debt as their economies grow. Among the skeptics is Valerie Ramey, an economist at the University of California San Diego. She said some economists see the gap between interest and growth rates as a “free lunch,” enabling more borrowing, but that it was more like a “free snack.” The gap tends to be relatively small over time, and now it is trivial compared with the growth of U.S. debt. “What we are having here is just gluttony in terms of what the government is doing,” she said. The IMF study’s authors have another warning about running large deficits. “Market expectations can turn quickly and abruptly,” the authors, Paolo Mauro and Jing Zhou, concluded. While economists on the left and right acknowledge the government has more capacity to borrow than once thought, there is still no consensus on the limits of borrowing over the medium- to long-term. Mr. Summers and Jason Furman, who served as chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said policy makers should focus on the cost of borrowing rather than debt levels. The U.S. can afford to borrow more as long as net interest payments on the debt are expected to stay below 2% of output over the next decade, they argue. In the most-recent fiscal year, interest payments totaled 1.6% of output. Even before a new spending plan is launched, U.S. debt is on track to double to nearly 200% of GDP by 2050 because of soaring Social Security and Medicare promises, according to the CBO. Ms. Yellen has said such high levels can’t be sustained. Mr. Biden has proposed tax increases on high-income households to pay for some of his economic policy proposals, which include investments in clean energy and health care. But there is little appetite in Washington for cuts to Medicare or Social Security.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | A10A

Local Officials Tackle Vaccine Obstacles Essex County, N.J., takes an assertive approach, inoculates thousands a day


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LIVINGSTON, N.J.—Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Maya Lordo was working to implement a plastic-straw ban. Last week, the Essex County, N.J., health officer was holed up at a makeshift nurse’s station in the former men’s department of a closed Sears store that was turned into a vaccination site. With a computer on her lap, she fielded phone calls from vaccine seekers and answered questions from nurses and volunteers. While many local health departments across the country have struggled to get vaccination efforts up and running efficiently and provide basic information to citizens about how to acquire shots, residents in Essex County—New Jersey’s third most populous— have been getting plenty of useful information. The county has designed and staffed a program to vaccinate thousands of people a day with an online sign-up process. While officials struggle at times with supply hiccups caused by slow-to-arrive vaccines, Essex County said it is using 100% of its doses every week. As of Jan. 15, 31 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been distributed nationwide, but only 12 million people had received their first doses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Essex County, police officers and sheriff’s deputies usher doses of Moderna Inc.’s Covid-19 vaccine to sites. Extra shots are rushed to the local prison and promptly injected so they don’t go to waste. College students and laid-off moms volunteer to work at registration desks and answer phones. Patients who receive shots at schools line up 6 feet apart next to gym lockers. The county’s ambitious plans illustrate the extraordinary steps some communities are taking to help end the pandemic despite vague federal guidance, uneven state support and unpredictable vaccine shipments. In part, Essex County is benefiting from the deep political roots of County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., ac-



Before getting a vaccination, residents make an appointment by calling or answering a few short questions on the county’s website. They are then sent a unique number to bring with them to check in at a vaccination site before receiving a shot; the visit usually takes about 20 minutes. In addition to leveraging $134 million in federal money set aside from the Cares Act, the county has borrowed space in three schools and is renting an empty Sears and a vacant Kmart. The county has set up a vaccination software program that captures the data the federal government requires to track vaccinations and that links up with a state immunization database. Two county staff members from the finance and payroll offices are managing 100 volunteers a day, and the county has joined with the local St. Barnabas Medical Center to support the county’s own medical staff—in exchange for providing St. Barnabas with extra vaccine for its staff. County officials secured a deal with local nursing programs to provide students with clinical hours in exchange for volunteer work. One school in West Caldwell, N.J., is serving as a vaccination site even as builders finish its construction. On a recent day, in a backroom once used by Sears employees, sheriff’s deputies and police officers took shifts guarding the site’s single refrigerator, capable of storing tens of thousands of vaccine doses. Inside, a single box contained 100 doses, all that remained for distribution that day. Supply hiccups infuriate Mr. DiVincenzo. The way he sees it, his county is faster and more prepared than others in receiving doses and should be rewarded with more vaccines. “We have counties who are coming to us now, asking us what to do,” he said. When the pandemic hit, Mr. DiVincenzo was recovering from heart surgery and then promptly caught Covid-19. In his fifth term, the former highschool football star has been pushing his staff nonstop since the pandemic began, with calls from “Joe D.” sometimes starting at 4:30 a.m. Many residents exit the county’s vaccination sites pumping their fists, Ms. Lordo said. “This is it,” she said, referring back to her sports analogy. “This is my trophy.”

A patient gets a shot in a closed Sears that has been turned into a vaccination site. Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., left, says other counties are asking for advice. Health officer Maya Lordo calls the vaccination effort ‘the Super Bowl of public health.’ cording to political analysts in New Jersey. He has earned the moniker “The Boss” in Newark, with a long history of extensive building projects. Mr. DiVincenzo isn’t shy about calling out his political friends and enemies, or about his competitive need to be out in front of his peers. The county’s emphasis on building technological infrastructure to make things happen has also helped. “This is the Super Bowl of

public health,” said Ms. Lordo, the health officer, who spent Christmas Day dropping off containers for used needles at vaccination stations. Sports analogies aren’t usually the stuff of public-health departments, an often-uncelebrated group typically assigned to annual flu-vaccine campaigns and public-service announcements. Now tasked with the largest mass vaccination program in

recent history, many of the nation’s health departments are overwhelmed. Others, such as the one in Essex County, are commanding and centralizing the effort themselves, quickly putting federal dollars to use to invent sign-up systems, set up call centers and launch public-health campaigns. Home to nearly 800,000 people, Essex County has two airports, the largest marine terminal on the East Coast and

a vast rail network that chugs commuters in and out of New York City and its county seat, Newark. Several interstate highways twist through the county, which has some of the most staggering wealth—and poverty—in the nation. Officials in Essex County were dealing with the worst Covid-19 surge in the state when they sat down, about a month before vaccinations began Dec. 26, to work out a plan.

Security to Scale Back Around Trump Tower

Agencies Rethink Transit Passes


Hanan Kolko traveled by train or bus to New York City from his home in Montclair, N.J., for almost 25 years until the coronavirus pandemic forced him to work from home. The 60-year-old labor lawyer can’t wait until he receives a Covid-19 vaccine and returns to his commute. But his days of working from an office five days a week are over. So too is his need for a $167 monthly bus pass. “All sorts of things I thought I had to be in the city for, I don’t,” said Mr. Kolko, who noted that the pandemic has shown how much of his work, such as writing briefs and conducting legal research, can be done remotely. Time-based passes such as weekly and monthly tickets were good value for people like Mr. Kolko who travel about 15 or more days a month. Now those discounted tickets don’t make economic sense. Rail and bus agencies are discussing how to lure back riders as the nation emerges from the coronavirus pandemic by devising new incentives and ticket types for workers who may wish to work from home more often. Officials at NJ Transit, New Jersey’s statewide rail and bus system, say they hope to launch pilot programs in the coming months that could include rewards programs for regular riders or discounts for bulk purchases of tickets that don’t expire. Other agencies have already launched new one- or three-day unlimited passes that better suit people’s current commuting needs. Some transit officials say the declining popularity of weekly and monthly tickets predates the pandemic as more workers gravitated to-

‘We won’t be sad to see the barricades and concrete blocks leave’ the area. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in July participated in the creation of a Black Lives Matter mural on the street outside the building after Mr. Trump made critical remarks about demonstrations. Rob Byrnes, president of the East Midtown Partnership, a business-improvement group that serves blocks adjacent to Trump Tower, said he believes that interest in Trump Tower will wane after Mr. Trump leaves office. “Eventually Trump Tower will become just another building in New York bearing the name Trump,” Mr. Byrnes said. “There are multiple other buildings around the city that have that name and they have not been the site of protests.”




The New York Police Department plans to reduce staffing levels around Trump Tower after President Trump leaves office on Wednesday, police officials said. Heightened security, including the presence of police barriers and foot patrols, has been a feature at the Midtown Manhattan building since the election of Mr. Trump in 2016. The NYPD and federal authorities currently maintain a 24hour security force around the building. The Trump Organization has its headquarters in the building, on Fifth Avenue between East 56th and East 57th streets. Mr. Trump also has a residence there. After Mr. Trump leaves the White House, the NYPD will reopen nearby streets that were closed, and patrols of the area will be adjusted, the police officials said. The full details of the changes haven’t yet been determined. Officials said the NYPD will work with federal authorities, including the U.S. Secret Service, to construct a new security program. Factors under consideration include the location of Mr. Trump’s primary residence after he leaves office and the character of any threats facing Mr. Trump, according to the officials. A spokesman for the White House referred a request for comment to the Secret Service, which didn’t respond to a request for comment. Jerome Barth, president of the Fifth Avenue Association, a business-improvement district that includes Trump Tower, said that steps to reopen closed streets and sidewalks around the building

would be welcomed by local businesses and residents. “Anything that normalizes the use of the street is going to be a good thing for the neighborhood and visitors alike,” Mr. Barth said. “We won’t be sad to see the barricades and concrete blocks leave the neighborhood.” Trump Tower has been the site of dozens of protests since Mr. Trump took office. Police officials said demonstrations outside the building intensified last year amid widespread demonstrations against police brutality and racism prompted by the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis police custody.


As more people work from home, they find weekly and monthly tickets don’t make economic sense. ward working a four-day week or at least one day a week from home. Between 2014 and 2019 the share of riders using monthly passes on Metra, Chicago’s commuter-rail system, fell 6 percentage points to 59%, according to agency data. During the same period, the share of riders using 10-ride tickets grew 3 percentage points to 25%. Michael Gillis, an agency spokesman, said it is hard to ascribe the decline to a single factor. “We believe at least some of that shift is due to the rise of telecommuting,” he said. The share of sales of some weekly and monthly tickets have plummeted during the pandemic. Sales of 30-day unlimited MetroCards, used for travel on New York City’s subway and bus systems, fell to 15% of ticket revenues in October, compared with 23% of revenues during the same month in 2019, according to the state-controlled Metropolitan Transportation Authority. MTA board members will meet this week to consider possibly eliminating some time-based passes as part of an effort to raise revenue.

Some board members are concerned the authority loses millions of dollars because of fraudulent use of such cards. Transit advocates are concerned because they see the passes as essential for low-income riders. A recent survey by the MTA found riders with a household income of less than $50,000 accounted for 71% of seven-day unlimited and 47% of 30-day unlimited MetroCard sales. “Time-based passes are like the key to the city,” said Danny Pearlstein, a spokesman for advocacy group Riders Alliance. “They represent unparalleled access for basic needs to New Yorkers who have no other way of getting around.” Commuter-rail passes are usually bought by more affluent riders, many of them white-collar workers. The MTA runs two of the nation’s busiest commuter-rail lines, Long Island Rail Road and MetroNorth Railroad, serving suburbs in New York and Connecticut. In recent years, monthly and weekly ticket sales accounted for almost half of fare revenues on both lines, according to agency figures.

Rich Andreski, Connecticut’s bureau chief for public transportation, said the popularity of time-based passes is likely to decline after the pandemic when, as his department understands, many companies will allow workers to continue to telework at least a few days a week. A recent nationwide survey conducted by Pew Research Center found more than half of white-collar workers who can work from home would like to do so most or all of the time in the future. Mr. Andreski said working from home even for a few days would be a welcome option for many Connecticut commuters, some of whom travel up to two hours to Manhattan. “I don’t know how an individual goes back to doing that five days a week,” he said. He said he would like Metro-North to reconsider how its existing 10-trip tickets are discounted and marketed. A spokesman for the MTA said the agency is considering new rail and MetroCard ticket types to match the new demands prompted by the pandemic, including multi-trip tickets that could help entice riders back to its systems.

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A10B | Tuesday, January 19, 2021



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Plan Sees Union Square Park Growing BY CHARLES PASSY


Auction to Blow Up Casino Is Halted

The $110 million revamp includes connecting Triangle Plaza, currently separated from Union Square by traffic lanes, to the park. could take decades to complete. They also said they didn’t anticipate the park having to be closed at any time during the various projects. The question remains as to whether an expanded and revitalized Union Square Park, a green space with a history going back to 1839, will still be embraced by the public as it is today. Union Square has a distinctive, even gritty character that makes it very much a people’s park, observers note. “There are some critical qualities to the identity of Union Square that we would not want to see lost,” said An-

drew Berman, executive director of Village Preservation, a neighborhood group covering Greenwich Village, the East Village and NoHo. But partnership officials said the aim is to preserve Union Square’s character. And Adrian Benepe, a former city parks commissioner and the current president of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, said he believed that could be accomplished even while expanding the park and improving its look and feel. “Chess players and protesters like attractive parks, too,” he said.


especially used for this purpose, so that the existing park and the added space would have a cohesive visual identity. Another key element that would be more integrated into the park: a space known as Triangle Plaza that fronts 14th Street but is separated from Union Square by traffic lanes. Partnership officials said their plan might eventually call for permanently shutting down the lanes, which constitute a small portion of the street known as Union Square East. The plan’s ideas are rooted in a growing citywide push to create park entrances and edges that merge into the urban fabric rather than allowing parks to stand apart like gated retreats. The plan for Union Square Park is broken into different projects, with their own budgets and timelines, so that work on Triangle Plaza would likely be done separately from work on Union Square West, for example. Officials with the partnership said that if the plan goes through, the work

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park’s footprint, but also other upgrades and improvements, including construction of a new accessible subway entrance with elevator and escalator. City officials didn’t comment on the financial aspects but voiced support for the plan in principle. “This vision will enhance Union Square Park with a more seamless, equitable and accessible design,” said Mitchell J. Silver, commissioner of the city Department of Parks and Recreation. The plan is very much about blending areas outside the present-day park into the Union Square footprint, including the street known as Union Square West and a portion of Broadway on the park’s northern end. Even a part of 14th Street on the opposite side of the park would essentially become part of the green space, albeit separated by traffic lanes. These areas would be tied with the park through an integrated design concept, partnership officials said. Landscaping and paving would be


Vaccines for staff and residents of the nursing home at Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital in Bath, N.Y., were administered Dec. 30 to all those who opted to be vaccinated. Another

vaccination clinic is scheduled at the facility this month. A Jan. 14 article about New York nursing homes incorrectly said that the nursing home in Bath ran out of vaccines.



Readers can alert The Wall Street Journal to any errors in news articles by emailing [email protected] or by calling 888-410-2667.

WHEN NEW YORK NEEDS HELP, UJA IS THERE. For more than 100 years, UJA and our network of nonprofit partners have responded rapidly and effectively to meet the vast needs of all who are counting on us, in times of crisis and every day. As the city opens back up, UJA remains on the front lines, delivering meals to seniors and Holocaust survivors. Stocking food pantries for growing numbers of hungry people. Offering emergency aid. Providing protective gear. And giving struggling families the cash assistance they need. Your help is needed now more than ever. With your support, we’ll get through this together.

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An auction house trying to raise money for a youth charity by soliciting bids to blow up a former casino once owned by President Trump called off the effort Monday after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from billionaire Carl Icahn. Mr. Icahn said his philanthropic arm will donate $175,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City to replace money that would have been raised by a charity auction for the right to press the button to demolish the former Trump Plaza casino. He owns the former casino, which has been in the process of demolition for months. Mr. Icahn’s decision came shortly after Bodnar’s Auction canceled its solicitation of bids, citing a letter from Mr. Icahn’s company instructing it not to proceed with the auction because it considered the public “spectacle” to be a safety risk, with the possibility of flying debris injuring the person pressing the demolition button, or others gathered nearby. Last month, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small announced the auction as a fundraising mechanism he hoped would raise in excess of $1 million for the organization. —Associated Press



Union Square Park could be in line for a $100 million makeover that will greatly expand its footprint. The Union Square Partnership, a nonprofit organization that supports and helps maintain the popular New York City-owned green space, is set to unveil a plan calling for the park to incorporate a number of adjacent and nearby areas over the coming years. The park would grow by slightly more than 2 acres to a total of 8.85 acres. The partnership said the plan has been in development for more than two years. But partnership officials said their vision for a larger, reconceived Union Square Park has become more relevant during the pandemic, as New Yorkers cultivate a renewed appreciation for public spaces. The plan’s ultimate goal, said partnership Executive Director Jennifer Falk, is for parkgoers to know they have “arrived at a place that is special.” The park is already a signature New York destination, home to the city’s oldest continually operating greenmarket, which runs four days a week. It has also been a setting for many protests, including ones in the past year tied to the Black Lives Matter movement against racial injustice. And Union Square Park has been known in general as a lively urban gathering spot, populated by everyone from chess players to dog lovers with pets in tow. The plan must still undergo an extensive review process by the city and public. There is also the question of who will pay for it. Partnership officials said they are prepared to kick in millions of dollars through fundraising and a possible bond issue but added that it will be up to the city to fund a significant share and largely handle the construction. Partnership officials also noted that the project’s estimated $100 million cost will cover not just expansion of the


Single-Car Crash Leaves Two Dead

A single-car crash in New Jersey claimed the lives of two 20year-old men over the weekend, authorities said. The Monmouth County prosecutor’s office said the Spotswood men were driving north on Route 9 on Saturday night when the car hit a curb, a utility pole and a guardrail, ending up in a wooded area. Manalapan Township police responded. Justin Rochford was pronounced dead at the scene and Jonathan Ramirez was pronounced dead at a hospital. —Associated Press

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© 2021 Dow Jones & Company. All Rights Reserved.


Make sleep nonnegotiable. Most adults need 7-8 hours of quality sleep. “Following a consistent sleepwake schedule sends a powerful signal to the brain that the world is

Therapists recommend daily routines that can help control stress

Create a media diet. There’s too much negative news these days. Decide how much you will consume— think of this as a “news calorie count”—and stick with it. Purge negative people from your social media feed. Look for positive streams to follow or articles to read.


Set a routine. Get up at the same time each day. Get dressed! Create a morning ritual—many people write in a journal or set an intention for the day, although just drinking coffee in the same chair works. (I drink a large glass of water first thing, then a cup of coffee, and play with my dog.) Eat



that companies protect the health and well-being of their workforce, help local communities, and promote ambitious sustainability goals. During the pandemic, “all of a sudden the air cleared, wildlife came out to play and everything was so much nicer,” says Ms. Angus. “It’s made consumers realize that actually we want this greener, cleaner climate.”


any of the new habits consumers formed during the coronavirus pandemic are here to stay, market researcher Euromonitor International predicts. In 2021 consumers will be demanding, anxious, and creative in dealing with change, Euromonitor forecasts in its annual trend report. People will expect increased activism from brands they use, new options for digital services in their daily lives, and more help in achieving mental and physical wellness. Though some of this year’s trends are directly related to COVID-19—like heightened safety concerns and demand for more open-air spaces—these shifts will continue after the pandemic wanes, says Alison Angus, Euromonitor’s head of lifestyle research. “These changes happened so quickly and have quickly manifested for the long term,” she says. Euromonitor, a global marketresearch firm based in London, has released its forecasts since 2010. They haven’t always come true, at least so far. Last year’s expected boom in demand for reusable products didn’t materialize amid consumers’ sanitary concerns during the pandemic. “Sustainability really took a hit last year,” Ms. Angus says. “But I think consumers are reverting back to it.” Here are some of Euromonitor’s predictions for this year’s big global consumer trends:

More Brand Activism Consumers paid closer attention to companies’ actions during the covid-19-fueled lockdowns and will take social and environmental issues more seriously after the pandemic ends, Euromonitor says. People will increasingly demand

Choose extracurricular activities wisely. Research shows that pleasant activities, ones that give you a sense of purpose (such as volunteering), and ones that make you feel accomplished or masterful (such as learning a language) improve mental health. So pick up a new hobby, practice an instrument, work on improving at a sport. “The ability to exert control over something provides a sense of self-satisfaction and contentment,” says Brad Stulberg, an executive coach in Asheville, N.C., and author of “Peak Performance.” “And progress nourishes the soul.”


safe and secure, which can help reduce anxiety and foster resilience,” says Rand’s Dr. Troxel, author of “Sharing the Covers: Every Couple’s Guide to Better Sleep.” She suggests setting a consistent wake-up time, counting backward to determine when to go to bed, and creating a relaxing wind-down routine, starting an hour before bedtime. Take a bath, read a book, turn down the lights and the thermostat. (65-68 degrees is ideal.) Disconnect from technology to minimize your exposure to distressing news and light.

Pandemic Habits Shift Consumer Trends in 2021 BY ELLEN BYRON

Move your body. Research shows that aerobic exercise reduces fatigue and tension, and improves alertness, concentration, sleep, mood, and self-esteem, according to Dr. Deldin. And studies show that exercise in nature has even more benefits: It reduces the body’s stress response, lowers cortisol levels and blood pressure, and it gives you a sense of awe, which boosts mood. Dr. Deldin recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, which can be broken up into small periods. (Even five minutes of exercise begins to decrease anxiety, she says.)



tressed out? Grumpy? Tired all the time? You need a mentalfitness regimen. For months, therapists have reported a significant increase in clients who are anxious, worried or depressed over current events—the Covid-19 pandemic, economic woes, civil unrest. And while they can teach coping skills, such as emotion regulation, to help deal with the stress, they say it’s also important for people to proactively take steps to be mentally healthy, just as they would if they wanted to be physically fit. “If you wait until a major stressor hits to try and bolster your mental health, it’s like trying to inflate your life raft while you are already drowning at sea,” says Wendy Troxel, a clinical psychologist and senior behavioral and social scientist at Rand Corp. Many people turn to talk therapy, exercise, meditation and a healthy diet to do this. Shirlee Hoffman, a 75-year-old retired marketing consultant in Chicago, limits her news consumption to about five minutes a day. Erin Wiley, 50, a licensed psychotherapist in Toledo, Ohio, uses an app to track the things for which she is grateful. Rhonda Steele, 62, a special-education teacher in Sellersburg, Ind., prays and reads devotions. Dwight Oxley, 84, a retired physician in Wichita, Kan., reads and plays the piano. Rachel Glyn, 66, a retired aesthetician in Philadelphia, tries to do as many things as possible for others. Michael Schauch, 40, an investment portfolio manager in Squamish, British Columbia, rock climbs—he says the view gives him perspective. Stedman Stevens, 62, the CEO of an aviation technology company in Wilmington, N.C., takes 15 minutes each afternoon to sit alone without distractions. “I listen to what my mind shows me,” he says. “This restores my mental strength.” What steps should you include in your mental-fitness regimen? Here is advice from the experts.

A Workout for Your Mental Health

putting your hand on your heart and saying: “This isn’t easy.”) Then talk to yourself as you would to your best friend.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | A11

Spontaneity and Convenience People miss the spontaneous activities and impulse purchases of

meals and exercise at set times. This helps create a sense of predictability in a world that feels out of control.

Calm your mind. You can’t cope with stress well if your brain is on high alert at all times, says Carolyn Daitch, a psychologist in Farmington Hills, Mich., and coauthor of “The Road to Calm Workbook.” She recommends beginning the day with 15-20 minutes of yoga, meditation or prayer, then scheduling four “mini interventions” during the day—a two-minute breathing exercise or other quick tension-releasing technique. (One of her favorites: Make a tight fist with one hand, imagine it holding all the tension in your body for 10 seconds, release it.) She says to think of these practices as a “stress inoculation.”

Open Air

Even after the pandemic, people’s desire for outdoor spaces for work, events and recreation will remain strong, Euromonitor says. “Businesses need to create their own outdoor oasis,” the report says. “Adaptation might become more complicated and costly depending on the weather, but open-air structures and heating and illumination systems will pay off due to heightened demand for safe venues and the aesthetic that could continue attracting consumers.”

Physical and Digital Worlds Video calls, connected appliances, smart phones, and technology such as augmented reality have helped consumers stay virtually connected during the pandemic despite being physically separated. Time spent

Watch your language. The words we use to talk to ourselves color our outlook. So try to replace “hot” language with “cooler” language, suggests Patricia Deldin, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. (“This is a challenge but I can handle it,” not “I’m overwhelmed.”) “A simple language change can influence our feelings and, subsequently, our actions,” says Dr. Deldin, who is CEO of Mood Lifters, a mental-wellness program.

Cultivate supportive relationships. People with strong relationships are emotionally healthier. So make a commitment to connect regularly with friends and family. Set a goal to reach out to one person a day. Ask about the other person and discuss something other than the day’s awful news. And be open about how you are, because vulnerability can be bonding.

Practice compassion. Research shows self-compassionate people are happier, more optimistic, more motivated and more resilient. Yet, too often, we are mean to ourselves. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding. Start by acknowledging when something is painful. (Dr. Daitch recommends

Be grateful. Especially for your loved ones. And let them know. Everyone is feeling challenged. When I’m annoyed with someone in my life, I think of at least five things I love about the person. Often, I’m surprised that my list goes on and on. I’m smiling before I’m done counting.

sumers quickly embraced “phygital reality” in the pandemic, but its use will remain long after, Ms. Angus says. “Our kids don’t even think about whether something has technology or not, they just expect even a stuffed toy to have interactive technology,” she says. “As those generations become older, it becomes the new normal.”

Digging In

Revenge Spending Many people are distrusting of leadership and government, and bias and misinformation are feeding a crisis of confidence, Euromonitor says. That’s driving some consumers to rebel by placing their own needs and wants first. Lockdowns world-wide have led some to “revenge shopping,” or splurging, after being homebound for months, as well as seeking out illegal parties and online gambling, Euromonitor says. Affordable luxuries like alcoholic drinks, indulgent packaged food and videogames are also on the rise. “Revenge spending is evident among those who can afford it or have saved money from being homebound and not going out,” says Ms. Angus.

Thoughtful Frugality In contrast to those who want to splurge, another group of shoppers is suffering financial hardships from job losses and Demand for outdoor spaces is expected to stay strong even after the pandemic wanes. economic instability that is forcing thrifty spending betheir pre-pandemic life—running straddling physical and digital havior, Ms. Angus says. Some conerrands, attending social events, worlds is what Euromonitor calls sumers will identify with both dining out—and they want digital “phygital reality”—a hybrid where trends, she says, trading down on commerce to offer a similar expeconsumers seamlessly live, work, some items in order to be able to rience, the market researcher says. shop and play both in person and spend more on others, like afford“We really want that on-the-go online. Offering new ways for conable luxuries and experiences that coffee, that walk and stop for sumers to combine digital and boost their physical and mental lunch somewhere, that flexibility physical capabilities—say, personalwell-being during this crisis. This and ease,” says Ms. Angus. “Comshopping appointments via video “trading down to trade up” is an panies have to find alternative conferencing—will be necessary for accelerating trend during the panways to enable that spontaneity in businesses to boost sales (and coldemic. “Thrifty yet restless consome form.” lect data on their customers). Con-

Global gardening sales $140 billion 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 2015 ’16 ’17 ’18 ’19 ’20 ’21 ’22 ’23 ’24 FORECAST Source: Euromonitor International

sumers are reviewing and adjusting their spending to support diverse and contradictory needs,” says Ms. Angus.

Safety Obsession Safety is the new wellness movement, according to Euromonitor. Frequent hand-washing and wearing masks have become widely normalized habits, and contactless payments became more common as people shy away from handling unclean cash. “Consumers will be more fearful going forward about any future health concern,” says Ms. Angus. “I think we will care a lot about safety for a long time.”

Greater Self-Awareness The global pandemic forced consumers to reconfigure their lives and test their mental resilience amid health risks, economic hardship and isolation. Now they are reassessing their priorities, identities and work-life balance, Euromonitor says. Targeting these consumers includes offering access to goods and services that promote self-improvement and lifestyle balance. Global sales of educational, hobby-related toys and games, musical instruments and sports equipment are expected to rise.

For personal, non-commercial use only. Do not edit, alter or reproduce. For commercial reproduction or distribution, contact Dow Jones Reprints & Licensing at (800) 843-0008 or www.djreprints.com.

A12 | Tuesday, January 19, 2021


* *



nostril or the curl of a lip is even all that revealing. “Facial expressions don’t really tell us a lot about how people feel,” said psychologist Seth Pollak at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While assessing the social impact of masks, the scientists all emphasized that the value of face coverings to help curb the pandemic far outweighed any temporary disruption in nonverbal communication. People can compensate by becoming more attuned to the tone of voice and using more expressive gestures or body language, they said. Despite the worries about masks’ effect on the young, the new research by Dr. Ruba and Dr. Pollak on children’s ability to detect emotions despite masks, published last month in PLOS One, showed that masks so far do not block children completely from picking up some cues of mood, intent and emotion. In their experiment, the scientists showed a diverse group of 80 children aged 7 to 13 years old photos of faces displaying sadness, anger or fear. The children looked at images in which the faces were uncovered, covered by a surgical

Procrastinating? How to Jumpstart Your Mojo




o hear Piers Steel tell it, the whole thing isn’t our fault. He sees you: scrolling instead of working, hiding from your to-do list, cycling through the bevy of thin excuses that justify—supposedly—why you’re not doing the thing you ought to be doing. And he feels for you. “You don’t have anything on your side right now,” says the University of Calgary business professor and author of “The Procrastination Equation.” “You’re on the windswept plains with no way of hiding from that cold breeze. You are completely exposed.” The pandemic has brought us to peak procrastination. Turns out your office—in addition to being in plain sight of your boss—came with environmental cues that reminded you that you had to, you know, work. “If you don’t have routine, you’re just making it a question mark again. Will I, won’t I?” Dr. Steel says. “Asking yourself what you want to do—you probably want to actually check what’s on Instagram.” Of course, some of us have

been powering through this stretch, even more efficient than before. But the rest of us are having trouble. Sarah Feingold, a 40-year-old Brooklyn resident, has been stresscrafting as a way to ease pandemic anxiety and regain her focus. The co-founder of the Fourth Floor, an organization that works to get women on boards of directors, says she has spent hours sewing tiny beads onto a jean jacket and drawing a slew of circles on a piece of paper. “This is my strange coping mechanism,” she says. Sometimes the activity calms her brain or even sparks a great idea related to her actual responsibilities. Other times? She sighs. “It’s like, why did I just spend this time gluing random things together, making more of a mess, when I could be doing something else?” Working from home in this moment is certainly part of the problem. Our workspace was thrown together haphazardly in March and never rectified. Kids, pets and neighbors distract us. More than a third of telecommuters in a survey of 10,332 adults by Pew Research Center in October said it’s been difficult for them to feel motivated to do their work. But the collective procrastina-



m Happy m Sad m Angry m Surprised m Afraid m Disgusted  The answers are below

mask, and wearing sunglasses. They asked the children to assign an emotion to each face from a list of six labels. To make the test more realistic, the faces were revealed a little at a time in 14 stages to better simulate the way real-world interactions may require piecing things together from odd angles or partial views. “This seemed more analogous to the fleeting glimpses of emotion that children might see in everyday life, rather than just presenting kids with a full high-intensity face,” Dr. Ruba said. Generally, the children’s accuracy didn’t vary whether the face was wearing sunglasses or a mask. “If children are able to interact with people wearing sunglasses, they can probably do the same thing with people wearing a mask,” Dr. Ruba said. “My sense is that the kids will be all right.”


can’t read the face anymore. You misread it and misinterpret emotions. You also feel yourself a little bit misunderstood.” No other creature appears to rely so much on facial cues to communicate or has so many facial muscles to control expression, scientists say. It’s a candid language of emotion based on muscle movements tugging at the living mask we show to the world that, nurtured by evolution, every child is born to learn. An infant begins to perceive faces within the first few days of life, with a preference for facelike arrangements that enables the brain to wire itself, with experience, to become expert at perceiving faces, scientists say. In this, a mother’s face is a beacon. “The face provides a massive amount of information,” said psychologist Dachter Keltner at the University of California, Berkeley. “Many people really feel the face and our expressions are the readout of our identity.” For more than a century, though, scientists have argued over whether facial expressions are truly universal. In fact, some scientists are skeptical that the twitch of an eyebrow, the flare of a

m Happy m Sad m Angry m Surprised m Afraid m Disgusted

co Fo m rp m er er s ci on al a l us , e on

he world of masks makes it harder than ever to read the faces around us. Only now are scientists learning how we manage without the revealing tells of smiles, sneers, dimples and frowns that signal our state of mind, as masks in public settings become common in more than 50 countries. While a public health necessity, masks challenge our skill in understanding facial expressions, confusing our ability to distinguish disgust from anger or happiness from indifference, several new studies say. Scientists worry about the implications for infants and children who may lag in learning to recognize subtle facial signals of anger, fear, doubt, delight and sorrow. While data is sparse, one new study suggests that children have as much trouble reading facial expressions when people are wearing masks as when they are wearing sunglasses. In that test, the children cor-

rectly identified the emotional expression on uncovered faces about 66% of the time, well above the odds of just guessing, psychologist Ashley Ruba at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said. Looking at faces in surgical-type masks, however, the children were only able to correctly identify sadness about 28% of the time, anger 27% and fear 18% of the time. “For very young children, I think it is still an open question as to how they’ll navigate these situations,” said Dr. Ruba, who studies how children learn to understand other people’s emotions. “Infants can use all these other cues, like tone of voice.” In laboratory experiments published last fall in Frontiers in Psychology, psychologist Claus-Christian Carbon at Germany’s University of Bamberg found that people readily confused expressions when the lower part of the face was blocked by a surgical mask. Happiness and sadness seemed like neutral poker faces. Signs of anger were especially hard to perceive. Wide-eyed fear, though, came through clearly. “It hampers everyday life,” Dr. Carbon said. “It’s not just that you

m Happy m Sad m Angry m Surprised m Afraid m Disgusted


ick the procrastination habit, with tips from ADHD coach Nikki Kinzer and professor Piers Steel

Start small: Force yourself to take a first step, no matter how tiny. Dreading sending an email? Open a new window and put the person’s address in the “to” line. “The significance is that you’re doing something,” Ms. Kinzer says.

“You’re pushing it forward.” Add some separation: Don’t peruse social media in the same room where you work. If possible, take breaks in a separate space, and use a different device. Even just placing your phone a 20-second walk away can help.


tion we’re feeling is bigger than remote work. We’re tired and down, worried about our finances and health and the state of the world. We haven’t taken a vacation in what feels like forever. Extreme procrastination might signal a larger issue, like depres-

Establish a routine: Set firm work hours. Start at 9 a.m., even if the boss isn’t watching.

sion. But for those just having a hard time getting going in this moment, small tweaks and tricks might be able to help. Nikki Kinzer, a Springfield, Ore.-based life coach who works with clients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, recently

Answers: 1: Angry 2: Sad 3: Afraid



recent survey asked school-aged children to correctly identify the emotions depicted in a series of photos showing faces based on varying levels of coverage. See how you do guessing the emotion the person is conveying:



Decoding The Mood Behind The Mask


began offering a Zoom study hall. For four hours every Thursday afternoon, participants do 25-minute work “sprints,” followed by five-minute breaks, a practice known as the Pomodoro Technique. Watching other people heads down—coding, grading papers or even cleaning their bathrooms—is an incredible motivator, she says. Alone in his home office, Brett Goldblatt, a 48-year-old attorney in Los Angeles, struggled to find the focus that seemed to come easily at his firm. There, glass walls had left plenty of room for accountability. At home, when he inadvertently plunged down a Twitter rabbit hole of news during election season, no one was there to notice. His afternoons became a blur: Burnt out from nonstop work in the mornings, he’d zone out on social media or gravitate toward easier tasks like email. He realized he was missing the steady stream of interruptions and rituals—a colleague popping by to say hello, the walk to grab lunch— that had injected necessary pauses into his workday. “Our brains aren’t meant to be focusing for that long,” he says. Incorporating more breaks has helped, as has printing documents out on paper instead of reading everything on a screen. But he still has his moments. If you, too, can’t quite kick the procrastination habit, take heart and remember Dr. Steel. “Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with you,” the professor says. “What you’re simply trying to do is diet in that candy store.”

For personal, non-commercial use only. Do not edit, alter or reproduce. For commercial reproduction or distribution, contact Dow Jones Reprints & Licensing at (800) 843-0008 or www.djreprints.com.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | A13



Inside the National Museum of African American Music


400 Years of Music in One Place BY BARRY MAZOR


co Fo m rp m er er s ci on al a l us , e on



The expansive, visually dazzling new 56,000-square-foot, $60 million Nashville, Tenn. facility, designed by Nashville’s Harxploring and presenting old Thompson Architects, is situated the story of 400 years of directly across Fifth Avenue from African-American music, the historic Ryman Auditorium. Visand the genres, offitors are ushered into the wideshoots, influences and screen Roots Theater, where an inperformers (famed and troductory film gives an overview less so) that have derived from it, from the point in 1619 that African could seem a daunting task. Precall-and-response singing and intrisenting that narrative in as accescate drumming arrived on these sible, engaging and meaningful a shores with enslaved peoples to the way as the music does itself is a beginnings of more distinctly Afrigreater challenge still. can-American music—both religious Those are the goals of the and secular. This sets the stage for Nashville-based National Museum the galleries, which tackle the hisof African American Music, nearly tory that follows in revealing, enter20 years in the making, which had taining ways—making the broad its “Virtual Ribbon Cutting” on story arc coherent and cohesive Monday—Martin Luther King while providing depth and detail Day—and opens within its its doors to the branches, pregeneral public on sented as “RivThe new museum in Jan. 30 after severs of Rhythm.” eral membersThere are Nashville enshrines only days. Videos five Rivers of gospel, R&B, hip-hop from museumRhythm gallersponsored peries, each with and all that jazz formances and architectural astalks can be seen pects reflecting on its YouTube its themes, orchannel and the museum website, dered by when the genres first apnmaam.org. peared: “Wade in the Water” (spirA preview suggests that the itual and gospel religious music), scholars, designers, performers “Crossroads” (blues, “the original and museum administrators who roots music”), “A Love Supreme” have taken on the job have suc(jazz, in its always evolving iteraceeded stunningly. This will be a tions), “One Nation Under a must-add not only to the itinerary Groove” (R&B, soul and rock offof Nashville tourists but for anyshoots), and “The Message” (the one interested in the history of rap/hip-hop era). music. Its state-of-the-art galleries The exhibits all bring us forward powerfully affirm the centrality of from their genres’ beginnings to African-American music to this the present, and the continuity of country’s music story as a whole. each musical arena across time and

generations is striking. Blues has its Son House and Muddy Waters, right through to today’s “Kingfish” Ingram. Jazz takes us from Buddy Bolden to Charlie Parker and on to today’s Esperanza Spalding. But equally evident is the characteristic creativity that makes for regular, dramatic introductions of fresh new turns within all the genres— often closely linked to changes in the lifestyles and locations of the Black community from which the music emerges. Throughout close to 250 years of slavery, through liberation, Jim Crow-era segregation, relocation from farms to cities and the quest for equal rights and representation, that musical progression has never ceased. Blues and gospel are depicted in photos, artifacts and multimedia displays. The two musical styles evolve as segregation is challenged by the civil-rights movement, a




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Mr. Mazor reviews country and roots music for the Journal.

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