Wall Street Journal 
Wall Street Journal Wednesday May 27, 2020 [CCLXXV, US ed.]

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DJIA 24995.11 À 529.95 2.2%

NASDAQ 9340.22 À 0.2%

STOXX 600 348.92 À 1.1%

10-YR. TREAS. g 12/32 , yield 0.697%

HHHH $4.00


OIL $34.35 À $1.10

GOLD $1,704.80 g $29.80

EURO $1.0984

Stocks Extend Rally as Regions Reopen

What’s News Business & Finance


.S. stocks gained amid optimism about economies reopening and the potential development of a coronavirus vaccine. The Dow and S&P 500 rose 2.2% and 1.2%, respectively. A1

Traders return to NYSE floor as optimism over a vaccine sends Dow near early-March levels

 Hertz paid more than $16 million in retention bonuses to senior managers, including its new CEO, just days before it filed for bankruptcy Friday night. B3  China set a reference rate for the yuan at its weakest point in 12 years, a sign Beijing hopes to reap benefits from a softer currency. B11

World-Wide  Twitter for the first time applied a fact-checking notice to a tweet from Trump, hours after the social-media firm denied a widower’s request to delete posts from the president circulating conspiracy theories about the death of the man’s wife. A1  The Pentagon is preparing plans for Trump to draw down forces from Afghanistan by as soon as this autumn, defense officials said, in keeping with the president’s call for a U.S. withdrawal. A9


For more than a decade, Chinese companies raised billions of dollars by listing their shares on U.S. stock exchanges while avoiding the accountingquality checks that other public firms endure. But economic tension between the two global superpowers, amplified by anger in the U.S. over China’s role in the spread of the new coronavirus, has pushed a financialmarkets issue into the political

 Trump called on House Republicans to reject pending legislation that would renew a set of domestic surveillance powers that lapsed two months ago. A3

 Minneapolis police clashed with protesters angry over the death of a black man in police custody, hours after four officers involved in the incident were fired. A3  The head of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong said his troops would protect the country’s national-security interests in the city. A9  U.S. military officials said Russia has sent jet fighters to Libya to support Russian mercenaries fighting on behalf of a militia leader there. A9  Died: Stanley Ho, 98, Macau casino magnate. B2

mainstream. Legislation passed by the Senate—and now introduced in the House— would kick Chinese companies off U.S. stock exchanges unless their audits are inspected by U.S. regulators. No firms would immediately lose their listing under the proposed legislation, but investors worry it will further inflame tensions between Beijing and Washington at a particularly bad time. Unlike other countries, China has never given U.S. regulators routine access to


WASHINGTON—Twitter Inc. on Tuesday for the first time applied a fact-checking notice to a tweet from President Trump, hours after the socialmedia company denied a widower’s request to delete posts from the president circulating conspiracy theories about his wife’s death. The twin decisions are likely to stir partisans on both sides of the political debate, with one arguing Silicon Valley should play a more active role in policing Mr. Trump’s social-media activity, while the other considers such moves akin to censorship from the tech industry. Twitter applied the factchecking notices late Tuesday to two tweets from the president about the potential for fraud involving mail-in ballots. With a small label—“Get the facts about mail-in ballots”—and a link to more information, Twitter alerted its users that those claims were unsubstantiated. The tweets “contain potentially misleading information Please turn to page A4

The giant studied how it splits users, then largely shelved the research


A Facebook Inc. team had a blunt message for senior executives. The company’s algorithms weren’t bringing people together. They were driving people apart. “Our algorithms exploit the human brain’s attraction to divisiveness,” read a slide from a 2018 presentation. “If left unchecked,” it warned, Facebook would feed users “more and more divisive content in an effort to gain user attention & increase time on the platform.” That presentation went to the heart of a question dogging Facebook almost since its founding: Does its platform aggravate polarization and tribal behavior? The answer it found, in some cases, was yes. Facebook had kicked off an internal effort to understand how its platform shaped user behavior and how the com-

CONTENTS Business News.. B3,5 Crossword.............. A14 Equities....................... B9 Heard on Street. B12 Life & Arts....... A11-13 Markets..................... B11

Opinion.............. A15-17 Property Report... B6 Sports....................... A14 Technology............... B4 U.S. News............. A2-6 Weather................... A14 World News....... A8-9


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pany might address potential harms. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg had in public and private expressed concern about “sensationalism and polarization.” But in the end, Facebook’s interest was fleeting. Mr. Zuckerberg and other senior executives largely shelved the basic research, according to previously unreported internal documents and people familiar with the effort, and weakened or blocked efforts to apply its conclusions to Facebook products. Facebook policy chief Joel Kaplan, who played a central role in vetting proposed changes, argued at the time that efforts to make conversations on the platform more civil were “paternalistic,” said people familiar with his comments. Another concern, they and others said, was that some proposed changes would have disproportionately affected Please turn to page A10

The People at the Next Table Are Real Stiffs i

JOURNAL REPORT Wealth Management: Emergency savings get a jump-start. R1-8

audit records needed to review the quality of financial accounting, said U.S. officials, who have sought a deal for years. That covers about 200 companies with a total market value exceeding $1.4 trillion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Chinese companies have failed to meet U.S. standards that were agreed upon in writing when their companies were listed,” said Michael Farr, president of money-management firm Farr, Miller & Washington. “The problem is

Twitter Facebook Shut Gives First Efforts to Become Fact Check Less Polarizing To Trump


 The Justice Department is closing investigations into three U.S. senators for stock trades made shortly before the coronavirus market turmoil, but is continuing a related inquiry into Burr. A3


U.S. Seeks to Audit Chinese Firms In Latest Shot in Nations’ Rivalry

Stocks surged Tuesday on optimism about economies reopening and the potential development of a coronavirus vaccine, extending a rally that has pushed major U.S. indexes up more than 30% since late March. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed more than 500 points after the three-day holiday weekend and flirted with the 25000 mark for the first time since early March. The rally was driven by economically sensitive shares in the financials and industrials sectors. Goldman Sachs jumped 9%, Raytheon Technologies gained 7.5% and Dow Inc. rose 7.4%. Investors cheered signs of economic activity resuming faster than expected across parts of the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Restaurant bookings and spending on hotels and airlines appear to be picking up in the U.S., coinciding with a decline in the daily Please turn to page A2


 Quibi is feeling the pinch of a lackluster performance since its launch, as major advertisers seek payment deferrals and the streaming service looks to cut costs. B1

The New York Stock Exchange trading floor reopened on Tuesday for the first time in months, with masks and distancing.

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 Access Industries’ Warner Music said it would proceed with plans for an IPO that would value the company at between $11.7 billion and $13.3 billion. B1



 Amtrak is preparing to cut up to 20% of its workforce in the next fiscal year as the passenger railroad continues to suffer from a huge decline in ridership. A2


 Amazon is in advanced talks to buy Zoox, a move to expand the e-commerce company’s reach in autonomous-vehicle technology. B1  Boeing and Airbus are researching the coronavirus’s behavior inside jetliners, part of an industry push to reduce air-travel risks. B1

YEN 107.54



Restaurants make space with curtains, mannequins BY CHARLES PASSY When the acclaimed New York restaurant Le Bernardin reopens, it plans to serve dinner—and a show. The seafood restaurant with precise French service will have extra space in its elegant dining room because of socialdistancing rules. Eric Ripert, French-born chef whose signature dishes include one that pairs tuna carpaccio and foie gras, is considering taking center stage and doing some cooking in full view of the

guests, sharing culiAnnie Blake, conary tales along the owner of Death or way. Glory, a cocktail bar “It’s a little bit of and restaurant in Broadway,” he says, Delray Beach, Fla., is noting his restauusing inflatable toys rant’s proximity to in the shape of anithe city’s theater dismals and space trict. aliens to occupy the As restaurateurs otherwise empty bar around the country seats. “We say our grapple with distancEric Ripert inflatable guests ing requirements and don’t care about soother safety rules, they are cial distancing,” she says. tapping the same creativity George Schindler, president that guides them in their of Hospitality Restaurants, a Please turn to page A10 kitchens.

that compliance failures have gone unaddressed and bad behavior has increased.” Shares in major Chinese companies listed in the U.S. dropped sharply in the days after the Senate passage. With the global economy reeling from the coronavirus, a worsening of the relationship could create more skepticism about the resumption of trade talks and send U.S. and Chinese shares lower. Investors often have been willing to overlook the regulaPlease turn to page A6

 Warner Music sets a plan for its IPO............................................. B1

Two Cities Kept Virus at Bay Low fatality rates in Singapore and Hong Kong stand out as locales have battled outbreaks of the coronavirus. A6 Deaths per 100,000 people Mainland China

Hong Kong


Case-fatality rate, by location Singapore 0.1%



Hong Kong








Mainland China









New York City

New York City 196.2






Note: Data as of May 26. U.S. cases include New York City cases. Sources: Johns Hopkins University, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Hong Kong Department of Health

Reopen, safely. Get an all-new suite of apps, expertise, and services to manage the crisis today, and thrive tomorrow. Contact Tracing • Command Center • Crisis Response • Reskilling • Shift Management

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A2 | Wednesday, May 27, 2020



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Tax Credit Draws Bipartisan Interest BY RICHARD RUBIN

cover up to 80% of their wages and benefits, up to $45,000 per worker, plus a credit for fixed expenses like rent. Eligible companies would simply keep taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks. If that isn’t enough to equal the credit, they could get additional money from the Internal Revenue Service. Smaller businesses would get the subsidy for all workers, while larger ones would get it only for furloughed workers still receiving wages or benefits. The break would be scaled to each employer’s revenue loss during the pandemic. Employers would claim the expanded credit for 59 million workers, according to estimates from Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation. The wage subsidy tries to resolve a nettlesome problem for policy makers. They want to provide support to workers suffering hardship. They also want to help viable businesses through the current disruption. And they want to tie the two together—keeping that link so businesses don’t have to rehire and retrain their staffs when

WASHINGTON—As unemployment rises and the first wave of federal economic relief nears expiration, lawmakers are increasingly looking to expand an existing wage subsidy to keep workers on payrolls and help businesses stay afloat. The $3 trillion package passed by the House this month features an expanded wage subsidy, known as the employee retention tax credit. That proposal, which would add about $194 billion to a $55 billion tax credit created in March, is gaining bipartisan support even as lawmakers clash over other legislation to aid the economy during the pandemic. For Democrats, the subsidy offers an alternative to the payroll-tax cut President Trump is seeking, which they oppose because it does little for the unemployed. Republican supporters prefer the subsidy to spending programs favored by Democrats and see it as a way to link aid to work. The House plan would give employers enough money to

conditions improve. The tax credit, or subsidy, is more efficient than the payrolltax cut touted by Mr. Trump, proponents say, because aid would be limited to companies hurt or closed by the downturn and the incentive for each worker would be larger. The credit also could avoid some criticisms dogging other

Lawmakers of both parties are looking to expand an existing wage subsidy. programs. It would be available in some fashion to employers of all sizes, unlike forgivable small-business loans offered by the Paycheck Protection Program. In contrast to unemployment insurance, the subsidy keeps workers tied to jobs. “It can be a cost-effective way of doing this,” said Joe Davis, global chief economist at the investment firm Vanguard

Group, which worked with the House Ways and Means Committee to develop the plans. “If you can, try to maintain the employer-employee relationship and not sever it.” The tax credit also avoids creating a disincentive to work, a criticism aimed at $600-a-week supplemental jobless benefits. And unlike those extra payments, which expire in July, the House’s proposed tax credit would last through the year’s end. Coordinating an expansion of the tax credit with those other programs will prove tricky, as many Democrats want to keep larger unemployment insurance in place for those who can’t find jobs quickly. “We wanted to make sure that there was a long horizon so that both businesses and workers would know this was going to be in place,” said Rep. Suzan DelBene (D., Wash.). “The goal is to do whatever we can so people don’t have to be on unemployment at all.” A stand-alone tax-credit bill proposed by Ms. DelBene and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D.,

Fla.), largely incorporated into the House package, has support from six House Republicans. Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, the top Republican on the taxwriting House Ways and Means Committee, says he is open to expanding the credit. “It’s an important tool. So we’re interested in continuing to make that credit work,” he said. Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) has been offering similar proposals. Some Senate Republicans, including Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), have been seeking an off-ramp from the supplemental $600-a-week unemployment benefits. Republicans are considering other ideas, including bonuses for rehired workers and tax credits tied to hiring. The House’s expanded credit responds to employers’ complaints about the existing rules. The credit rate would increase from a maximum 50% to 80% of wages and benefits. So for as little as 20% of normal costs, large employers could keep workforces on standby. —Siobhan Hughes contributed to this article.



Justices Don’t Block Order at Ohio Prison


The Supreme Court declined to block a lower-court order requiring federal authorities to identify for transfer inmates vulnerable to the coronavirus, re-

jecting Trump administration claims that a federal judge had undermined the judgment of “expert prison administrators” running the facility in Elkton, Ohio. The brief, unsigned order Tuesday, citing procedural flaws in the government’s filing, left open the possibility the court could intervene at a future stage.

The S&P 500 on Tuesday flirted with its first close above 3000 since early March. 3200

Continued from Page One number of new coronavirus infections. The U.K. has laid out plans to reopen retail stores next month, while Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries, saw people return to bars and restaurants over the weekend. Stocks have quickly recaptured a level of euphoria usually seen at market tops, said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group. That is because stock traders are looking only at the direction of the recovery, while bond markets are more concerned with the degree of the recovery, he said. “As long as things are reopening, the economic data don’t matter,” Mr. Boockvar said. The New York Stock Exchange’s famed trading floor also reopened Tuesday—incidentally, the 124th anniversary of the start of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The floor had only around one-quarter of its usual number of traders and new social-distancing rules to limit the spread of Covid-19. Ahead of the open, floor traders queued up outside the NYSE’s historic building in lower Manhattan, submitting to a temperature check. A mask-wearing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo rang the opening bell, facing a largely vacant trading floor.

WASHINGTON—Amtrak is preparing to cut up to 20% of its workforce in the next fiscal year as the national passenger railroad continues to suffer from a huge decline in ridership as the coronavirus pandemic brought most travel to a halt. Ridership and ticket revenue at the company have fallen by 95% since the pandemic began, Chief Executive Bill Flynn told Amtrak workers in an internal memo on Tuesday. While Amtrak is planning to slowly restart some service halted during the lockdown— including the Washington-toBoston Acela express service on June 1—the company projects ridership in 2021 will rebound to just half of what it was before the crisis. “This may sound easy, but the climb back will be hard,” Mr. Flynn wrote. To return to even half of the railroad’s past ridership will require “substantial growth over the next 16 months, and it will have to be achieved against a backdrop of stunning unemployment, socio-economic dislocation and a potential recession,” he wrote. Amtrak employs more than 18,000 people nationwide. It plans to make the cuts by October, the memo said, the start of Amtrak’s 2021 fiscal year. An Amtrak spokeswoman declined to comment. Amtrak will begin its job reductions by offering buyouts and retirement incentives, Mr. Flynn said in the memo, “before we resort to involuntary separations.” A spokeswoman for the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, a coalition of unions that includes Amtrak workers, declined to comment. The pandemic has devastated the finances of the railroad. The company received more than $1 billion as part of the Cares Act to cover an operating shortfall in the current fiscal year, and executives have acknowledged that the railroad will need additional financial help to cover shortfalls in ticket revenue in the coming years, as they wait for passenger demand to return. Amtrak has already cut $215 million in capital expenses this year and is targeting $600 million in further reductions like delayed station improvements and property acquisition, CFO Tracie Winbigler told employees last month.

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ABLAZE: A tomato-processing plant in Stockton, Calif., went up in flames Tuesday as about 1.5 acres of plastic pallets burned, officials said.



Market Rally Is Extended


A measure of U.S. consumer confidence edged up in May as the coronavirus pandemic continued to grip the country, according to survey data released Tuesday. The Conference Board, a private research group, said its index of consumer confidence rose to 86.6 in May, from a revised 85.7 in April. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected a reading of 82.3. The index’s slight uptick indicated that the pandemic is weighing less on consumers’ outlook, said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at the Conference Board. “Following two months of rapid decline, the free-fall in confidence stopped in May,” she said. “While the decline in confidence appears to have stopped for the moment, the uneven path to recovery and potential second wave are likely to keep a cloud of uncertainty hanging over consumers’ heads.” The headline index’s upturn was driven by an improvement in consumers’ short-term outlook. The expectations index climbed to 96.9 in May, from a revised 94.3 in April. However, the present-conditions index fell to 71.1 from a revised 73.0 the previous month. —Gwynn Guilford



Consumer Confidence Ticked Up in May

Amtrak Set to Cut Jobs by Up to 20%

3000 2800

2600 2400 2200 March 2020



Source: FactSet

Several banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley declined to send their representatives back to the NYSE floor Tuesday as they were still hashing out a dispute over the exchange’s efforts to shield itself from liability for coronavirus-related lawsuits, people familiar with the matter said. The NYSE is seeking to make the banks and other firms that employ floor brokers agree to compensate the exchange for certain lawsuits arising from a Covid-19 outbreak, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Although most floor brokerages have signed the NYSE’s agreement, some banks have balked at it, the people said. Another exchange operator, Cboe Global Markets, said Tuesday it would reopen its options-trading floor in Chicago on June 8. Cboe, whose floor has been closed since March, said it expected around 50% of its traders to return to

the facility, which is being reconfigured to help them abide by new social-distancing rules. Tuesday’s rally sent the blue-chip index up 529.95 points, or 2.2%, to 24995.11. The S&P 500 rose 36.32 points, or 1.2%, to 2991.77. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 15.63 points, or 0.2%, to 9340.22. Investors are betting that one of at least 10 coronavirus vaccines under development will eventually come to market, halting the spread of the coronavirus and allowing normal business and social activity to resume. Novavax said Monday that it started the first human study of its experimental vaccine. Drugmakers including Pfizer and Moderna are also racing to develop a vaccine. Novavax shares rose 4.5% to $48.17, after rising as high as $54.50 earlier in the session. Moderna fell 16% to $57.71. Pfizer slipped a penny to $37.49. “It looks like we have sev-

The low-security prison holds roughly 2,300 inmates; at least nine have died from Covid-19. The Bureau of Prisons declined to comment. Attorney General William Barr had noted the severe conditions at the Federal Correctional Institution at Elkton, and in April directed the Bureau of Prisons to

eral shots on goal,” said Hani Redha, a multiasset portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments. Although manufacturing a vaccine and disseminating it to the wider population will take time, the number of potential candidates has buoyed markets. “Any kind of glimmer of hope about any trial going well or any trial starting is going to be good,” he said. In another sign investors are embracing risk, a range of assets typically considered safe declined. Gold futures dropped 1.7% to $1,704.80 a troy ounce, while the WSJ Dollar Index declined 0.8% as investors favored riskier areas of the market like commodities and emerging markets. It is unusual for gold and the dollar to be down at the same time because a weaker dollar makes gold and other dollar-denominated assets cheaper for overseas buyers. The synchronous drop underscored the strength of Tuesday’s “risk-on” move. Treasury yields also ticked higher as investors retreated from safe assets. The yield on 10-year Treasurys rose to 0.697% from 0.659% Friday as bond prices fell. In oil markets, the main U.S. crude gauge advanced 3.3% to $34.35 a barrel, rising for seven of the past eight sessions. Despite the recent stock rally, many investors remain concerned about how to value shares when earnings have fallen so sharply and many companies have withdrawn their future forecasts. —Caitlin Ostroff and Corrie Driebusch contributed to this article.

prioritize the early release of inmates. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit last month, alleging that in light of the pandemic, cramped conditions and the prison’s failure to implement hygienic measures violated the constitutional protection from cruel and unusual punishments. —Jess Bravin


A photo with a Page One article Saturday about America’s reopening showed Sal Vega and Susie Saldana with their 10-month-old son. The caption incorrectly said 10year-old. The name of Judy Feder, one of the Hilton & Hyland listing agents for a rental property in Los Angeles, was omitted from a Mansion article Friday about a home owned by developer Ardie Tavangarian. Mario Nievera, of Nievera Williams Design, said that animal statues, sitting or reclining, at most should be a third the height of a house’s door.

An Off Duty article Saturday about animal statues incorrectly described the statues as sitting or supine. An April 11 Off Duty article about cabbage, which contains some calcium, incorrectly described the vegetable as packed with calcium.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | A3

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BY ALEX LEARY AND JOHN MCCORMICK Florida Republicans are making an aggressive play for the Republican National Convention after President Trump threatened to move the late-August gathering from North Carolina if that state’s Democratic governor didn’t “immediately” guarantee a full-capacity event can be held there amid the pandemic. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who is close to the president, told reporters Tuesday that his office has been in touch with the White House and would welcome the gathering, extolling a “huge economic impact.” He named a number of cities, including Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville, that could handle a convention.

“The door is open,” Mr. DeSantis said. “We want to have the conversation.” Joe Gruters, chairman of the Florida GOP, said he had been placing calls to RNC officials since Mr. Trump’s Monday threat to leave Charlotte, N.C. “Florida is ready to have it,” Mr. Gruters said. “It is a big ordeal and would be tough, but we are doing everything we can to help pave the way for a transition, if there is one. We would do it in a smart, measured and safe way so we don’t jeopardize anybody’s health.” The president may not have a lot of other viable options, if he wants to hold his coronation in a battleground state. Among the 10 states that had the narrowest margins in the 2016 presidential election, just three—Arizona, Florida and New Hampshire—are led by Republican governors. Mr. Trump isn’t obligated to hold his convention in a battleground state, but that has been the practice by both parties in

Nominee Donald Trump with Mike Pence at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

recent presidential election cycles. The quadrennial gatherings generate massive media attention in the states where they are held and can give a boost to

a nominee there. There is also no requirement that the convention be held in a state led by a Republican, but placement in one would likely


Minneapolis police clashed Tuesday with demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd. Mr. Floyd died in police custody and a video of the encounter was posted on Facebook,

Officers Are Fired After Black Man’s Death BY BEN KESLING


Minneapolis police clashed Tuesday with protesters angry over the death of a black man in police custody, hours after four officers involved in the incident were fired. A video of the encounter between police and the man, George Floyd, surfaced on Facebook. Federal and state authorities are investigating the incident. Several hundred protesters gathered Tuesday evening at the location of the encounter between Mr. Floyd and police, the Associated Press reported. They were chanting and carrying banners that read, “I can’t breathe” and “Jail killer KKKops,” the AP reported. The protesters walked for 2 1/ 2 miles to a Minneapolis police precinct. Some damaged windows, a squad car and sprayed graffiti. Police in riot gear formed into a line to confront the protesters and fired tear gas, the AP said. Video footage shared on


WASHINGTON—President Trump called on House Republicans to reject pending legislation that would renew a set of domestic surveillance powers that lapsed two months ago, a move that could doom the bill less than 24 hours before lawmakers were set to begin consideration of it. “I hope all Republican House Members vote NO on FISA until such time as our Country is able to determine how and why the greatest political, criminal, and subversive scandal in USA history took place!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday night, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The president has said the intelligence community improperly used the law to surveil his presidential campaign for political reasons, an assertion disputed by former Obama administration officials. Mr. Trump’s tweet follows months of uncertainty about whether or not he would support the legislation concerning aspects of FISA that both chambers of Congress have been debating since the start of the year. The Senate earlier this month voted 80-16 with large bipartisan support to renew the expired provisions with a host of changes intended to bolster privacy and transparency protections. The House is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday on the Senate-approved measure, but also had agreed to consider an amendment that would curtail when the Federal Bureau of Investigation can collect internet search records and browsing history from Americans when working on a national security investigation. A similar measure came one vote short of passing in the Senate but was expected to clear the House, along with the overall FISA bill. The legislation would modify and reauthorize the expired provisions through Dec. 1, 2023. The president has publicly and privately decried FISA, arguing that the government improperly used it to undercut his bid for the presidency. Mr. Trump and his allies have pointed to a watchdog report detailing several errors made by the FBI in its applications for surveillance of Mr. Trump’s campaign adviser, Carter Page. The watchdog report, which was written by the Justice Department’s inspector general, found that the FBI withheld information from the FISA court that undercut claims made by a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, in an unverified dossier the bureau partially relied on to obtain approval for surveillance against Mr. Page. Mr. Trump’s tweet was the first time he weighed in directly on the debate in Congress over the legislation concerning a set of surveillance tools that expired on March 15.

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President Urges GOP To Reject FISA Bill

afford the party greater local support in the logistically challenging act of moving a national political convention on such short notice. The party in July

2018 selected Charlotte because it is located in a battleground state. Mr. Trump, in a series of tweets, didn’t indicate where he might relocate. Vice President Mike Pence on Monday told Fox News that options included Texas, Florida and Georgia. Florida hosted the 2012 Republican convention in Tampa and the state is considered a must-win for Mr. Trump, who is making his first visit there Wednesday since the pandemic, to attend the SpaceX launch. Mr. Trump, who made Florida his official residence last year from New York, won the state in 2016 by 1.2 percentage points. On Monday, the North Carolina governor’s office said state health officials were working with the Republican National Committee as the party makes plans for the convention, set for an arena in Charlotte that can hold as many as 20,000 people, and that the state is “relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety.”


Trump has threatened to move gathering from North Carolina over virus restrictions


Florida Pushes to Host GOP Convention

Facebook, and verified by Storyful, showed protesters, some in masks, appearing to block traffic. A body was outlined in white chalk, as if from a murder scene. Another video, posted on Instagram and verified by Storyful, showed people throwing rocks at police cars. The Minneapolis police department’s decision to fire the officers came after the video showed Mr. Floyd telling officers that he couldn’t breathe while one of the officers held him face down on the ground with his knee on the back of Mr. Floyd’s neck for around five minutes. “Please, man,” Mr. Floyd tells an officer on the video. “I can’t breathe.” In the video, the white officer kneels on Mr. Floyd’s neck as Mr. Floyd tells police that his stomach hurts, and then appears to lose consciousness. Bystanders are heard asking the officers to let Mr. Floyd up and to check his pulse. The video shows Mr. Floyd, limp, being loaded onto a stretcher

to be taken away by ambulance. The Facebook video from Monday evening had been shared by more than 27,000 people as of Tuesday. The officer shown with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck was identified as Derek Chauvin by his attorney, Tom Kelly, according to the AP. Mr. Kelly didn’t respond to requests for comment.

A video shows George Floyd telling police officers, ‘I can’t breathe.’ The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the state’s top body for criminal investigations, launched an investigation Monday into the event at the request of the Minneapolis police department. On Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had also begun an investigation.

Mr. Floyd’s plea, “I can’t breathe,” mirrored that of Eric Garner, a black man who died in 2014 in part from a chokehold applied when New York City police officers arrested him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. His case, like the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., sparked anger from activists toward police and touched off days of protests. “This abusive, excessive and inhumane use of force cost the life of a man who was being detained by the police for questioning about a nonviolent charge,” said Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing Mr. Floyd’s family. “We will seek justice for the family of George Floyd.” The FBI is investigating whether Mr. Floyd’s civil rights were violated. The Minneapolis police and the police union didn’t respond to requests for comment. State and local officials condemned the officers’ actions.

“Being Black in America should not be a death sentence,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement Tuesday. “For five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, called for a “thorough outside investigation.” On Monday evening, police responded to a call of “forgery in progress” and were told Mr. Floyd appeared to be “under the influence,” according to a Minneapolis police official. When the police arrived on the scene they found Mr. Floyd in a vehicle. They told him to get out and then he “physically resisted” the officers, according to police. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and realized that the suspect was suffering medical distress,” the police spokesman said, adding that Mr. Floyd died soon after arrival at the Hennepin County Medical Center.

Insider-Trading Probes of Three Senators End BY ARUNA VISWANATHA The Justice Department is closing investigations into three U.S. senators for stock trades made shortly before the coronavirus market turmoil but is continuing a related investigation into GOP Sen. Richard Burr, according to people familiar with the matter. Prosecutors on Tuesday were alerting defense attorneys for Republicans Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, as well as Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California, that they were closing investigations into their trading, the people said. The Federal Bureau of Investigation began the probes two months ago as reports emerged that several members of Congress, their spouses or their in-

vestment advisers sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock after lawmakers attended closed-door briefings about the threat posed by the pandemic. Some of those trades spared lawmakers as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses as stocks sank by midMarch. The lawmakers have denied impropriety in the trading. Ms. Feinstein, Ms. Loeffler and Mr. Inhofe have said their investment advisers made the trades and that they didn’t learn of them until after the fact. Mr. Burr, of North Carolina, had more direct involvement in his trades and has said he was relying on news reports coming out of Asia, where the virus first emerged, to make his investment decisions. Earlier this month he agreed to temporarily

step down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee after FBI agents obtained a warrant to seize his cellphone in connection with the investigation. The closure of the investigation into Ms. Loeffler could give her a boost as she struggles to keep her seat in Georgia. Ms. Loeffler, who was appointed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to succeed retired Sen. Johnny Isakson, trailed another Republican, Rep. Doug Collins, in recent polls. Ms. Loeffler said last week that she had no plans to drop out of the race. “Today’s clear exoneration by the Department of Justice affirms what Sen. Loeffler has said all along—she did nothing wrong,” a spokesman for Ms. Loeffler said. Mr. Inhofe’s referred to a

statement to The Oklahoman, in which the senator said: “As I’ve said all along, I wasn’t even at the briefing and do not make my own stock trades. I did nothing wrong, and I’m pleased the Justice Department has exonerated me.” A spokesman for Ms. Feinstein had no immediate comment. The execution of the search warrant targeting Mr. Burr underscored the serious nature of the inquiry into his actions. Investigators have obtained evidence that shows Mr. Burr was talking to people with specific insight about the threats posed by Covid-19 whose thinking wasn’t available to the public, according to people familiar with the investigation. Prosecutors are now examining whether the wide latitude granted to lawmakers under

the speech and debate clause of the U.S. Constitution would limit their ability to win any insider-trading trial against Mr. Burr, the people said. The clause, intended to protect lawmakers’ independence, provides members of Congress with immunity for their work on legislative matters. Since the information Mr. Burr might have allegedly used relates directly to legislative work and closed-door Senate briefings, his actions could fall under the constitutional protection, experts said, and could limit prosecutors’ ability to bring any case. Mr. Burr sold shares on Feb. 13 of companies worth as much as $1.7 million that he owns with his wife. That saved the couple at least $250,000 in losses.

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A4 | Wednesday, May 27, 2020
































thorized Crispr-based infectious-disease diagnostic, the FDA said, but is still limited to specialized laboratories. The company aims to submit a test that can be used in urgent clinics and doctors’ offices for authorization in the fall, said Sherlock’s chief executive officer, Rahul Dhanda, while the rapid hand-held test is still further off. Mammoth signed a deal this month with GlaxoSmithKline PLC’s GSK Consumer Healthcare to develop its rapid test. A GSK spokesperson said they aim to have a prototype before the end of 2020, and potentially available in clinics by the

An HIV test kit from OraSure Technologies, which is now developing a rapid Covid-19 antigen test called a lateral flow assay. NIH Director Francis Collins at a Senate committee meeting earlier this month.

How Lateral Flow Tests Work Lateral flow technology, currently used in blood tests for Covid-19 antibodies, could be developed into a rapid diagnostic for antigens found in saliva or nasal fluid. Here's how it works for antibodies. Blood sample

Pre-set on the conjugate pad: Gold-tagged antigen Gold tagged Gold-tagged antibody

Test line Contains antibodies to detect coronavirus

Control Line Detects gold-tagged antibodies to validate the test

Absorption Pad


d sample l Blood 1 Bl is added to the test.

i tib di Control t l antibodies tib di Coronavirus antibodies 2 C 3 C show if the test contained in the blood worked correctly. sample are detected by the antigen on the test line.

Results: Positive CONTROL TEST



Source: Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

development of diagnostic technologies, with the goal of millions of rapid tests a week available by the end of summer, and more by flu season. The Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics, or RADx, initiative, often compared with the TV show

tib di Excess antibodies, 4 E tagged antigens and blood reach this point.


Experts estimate wide access to quality rapid tests is still months away.

first quarter of 2021. Over-thecounter availability to consumers would come after that, the spokesperson said. U.S. labs have conducted at least 300,000 daily tests since May 11, according to the Covid Tracking Project, a marked improvement from previous weeks. That daily count is still well below the level that public-health experts say is necessary—along with tracing close contacts and quarantining, among other measures—to stem the spread of the virus. The chief current testing method, the polymerase chain reaction test, is considered the gold standard but has drawbacks. The PCR test relies on a strained supply chain for materials, samples have to be sent to a lab, and results can take days. OraSure Technologies Inc., of Bethlehem, Pa., said it has a contract with the Health and Human Services department to develop a rapid Covid-19 antigen test called a lateral flow assay. It uses strips to find viral proteins in oral fluid taken from between the gums and the cheek. The test is based on technology already deployed in the company’s HIV self-test. The lateral flow assay strips look for viral antigens in saliva or a nose swab and are one of the major technologies companies are exploring. These tests are different, though technologically similar, to rapid antibody tests, which look for signs of past infection in a small sample of blood. Antibody tests, however, can’t diagnose a current infection. Last month, the National Institutes of Health announced a competition meant to speed up


Even as coronavirus testing ramps up around the country, businesses and public-health authorities seeking to safely reopen are hitting a speed bump: Standard testing techniques still require sophisticated lab equipment and can take hours or even days for results. To stretch beyond the lab, test developers are racing to produce next-stage technologies that could allow for rapid widespread testing as quickly as an at-home pregnancy test. “The truly ideal test is the test that you can do in your house every morning,” said Elizabeth McNally, the director at the Center for Genetic Medicine at Northwestern University. Yet diagnostics experts estimate wide access to quality rapid tests is still months away. Among the challenges is finding noninvasive ways to collect the patient sample while maintaining the sensitivity of current standard tests. The nasalpharyngeal swabs used in most current Covid-19 tests are invasive and difficult to successfully conduct in a home setting. The industry is trying to move quickly, especially before flu season arrives in the fall. That is when public-health experts worry about another surge of Covid-19 cases, and the ability to quickly distinguish between respiratory illnesses would become even more crucial. “I don’t want to underestimate the magnitude of the challenge,” said Charles Y. Chiu, a professor of infectious

diseases at University of California, San Francisco and a member of the science advisory board at Mammoth Biosciences. The South San Francisco biotech is working to develop a hand-held rapid test for Covid-19 using the Crispr system. The technology is best known for enabling gene editing and is now being turned toward detecting the genetic signature of the coronavirus. Sherlock Biosciences in Cambridge, Mass., this month received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for a Crispr-based Covid-19 lab test that can provide results in an hour. The test is the first au-

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



Race Is On to Devise Fast Home Test Kits


“Shark Tank,” will provide finalists with up to $500 million and technical, business and manufacturing expertise. Whether the diagnostics industry can ramp up to produce millions of rapid tests a week by the fall remains an open

question. NIH Director Francis Collins, at a May 7 Senate committee hearing, called the proposed fall target “a stretch goal that goes well beyond what most experts think will be possible.”

Conflicting Results Confuse and Distress Patients

cial distancing restrictions. In addition, some employers are requiring staff, particularly those who were once symptomatic, to be tested before returning. There are two types of Covid-19 tests: viral tests diagnose a current infection, while antibody blood tests determine whether a person previously

had the virus. In the rush to roll out both types, dozens of tests by various manufacturers have proven unreliable. Beyond possible flaws in the tests, said Dr. Wachter, both viral and antibody Covid-19 tests occasionally can be wrong because of time-related issues—a patient is too early into the disease to develop enough of

the virus or antibodies. In late March, Stephanie Zeidenweber had telltale symptoms of Covid-19: shortness of breath, body aches and chills. The Florida resident’s initial test, taken within days of her first symptoms, came back negative. Weeks into her illness, she was still gasping for air and suffering from mi-

Mr. Trump tweeted in response: “Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!” Twitter staff warned Mr. Trump’s team previously that a May 20 tweet about voter fraud risked triggering the company to take action, according to a person familiar with the matter. That tweet wrongly said Michigan had sent absentee ballots to people ahead of the primaries. In fact, Michigan had sent absentee ballot applications. Mr. Trump deleted the tweet. On Tuesday Mr. Trump revisited the voting topic, even as fresh controversy swirled over his tweets falsely suggesting that former Rep. and current MSNBC host Joe Scarborough had played a role in the 2001 death of a congressional aide. Twitter later said it

wouldn’t take action on the posts about Mr. Scarborough. Twitter’s policy is to lock users’ accounts if they violate rules against harassment or spam-like behavior unless the users delete the tweets. Last year, the company said it would begin flagging tweets by government officials and political figures who violate its rules. Before Tuesday, Twitter had not taken any action against Mr. Trump, even though his critics have said some posts flouted the company’s policies. In the instance of Mr. Trump’s tweets about the conspiracies surrounding the Scarborough aide’s death, a spokesman for Twitter said the messages did not qualify as harassment under the company’s policy because the people mentioned in the posts are public figures. The Twitter spokeswoman

said in a statement Tuesday: “We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family.” Mika Brzezinski, the co-host and wife of Mr. Scarborough, expressed outrage that Twitter was choosing to respond to the mail-in ballot tweets and not those baselessly accusing her husband of murder. “Ummmmm…WOW,” she wrote, tagging Twitter Chief Jack Dorsey. “You are kidding us right?” Timothy Klausutis, the widower of Mr. Scarborough’s former aide, had written to Mr. Dorsey last week asking him to delete the president’s tweets about his wife. “I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the President of the United States has taken something that does not belong to him—the memory of my dead wife—and per-

verted it for perceived political gain,” he wrote, according to an email first published by the New York Times. Referring to theories that have circulated online for years, falsely suggesting Mr. Scarborough was involved in the death, Mr. Klausutis wrote: “The frequency, intensity, ugliness and promulgation of these horrifying lies ever increases on the internet. These conspiracy theorists, including most recently the President of the United States, continue to spread their bile and misinformation on your platform.” Lori Klausutis died in July 2001 at the age of 28. At the time, she was working for Mr. Scarborough, then a Republican congressman in Florida. Local authorities said at the time there was no evidence of foul play, and the Okaloosa County associate medical ex-

aminer, Michael Berkland, said an undiagnosed heart condition had caused her to collapse and hit her head on a desk in Mr. Scarborough’s Fort Walton Beach congressional office. The president has tweeted or retweeted about Ms. Klausutis’s death a half-dozen times this month to attack Mr. Scarborough, a persistent critic of the Trump administration who has excoriated Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic on his program, “Morning Joe.” Mr. Trump, asked about his tweets about Mr. Scarborough Tuesday at the White House, defended his calls for an investigation, calling the matter “certainly a very suspicious situation.” Mr. Trump said he had seen Mr. Klausutis’s letter but dismissed its request. —Dustin Volz contributed to this article.


said Robert Wachter, chairman of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. The stakes of such confusion are rising as states are easing lockdown restrictions and allowing local businesses to reopen. Authorities rely on testing data to decide how quickly and broadly to end so-


Zalman Goldstein has received results for six Covid-19 tests he has taken since midApril. Three were positive, and three were negative. The contradictory results— including two on the same day that came back with different answers—have made it impossible for Mr. Goldstein, 74 years old, to schedule a procedure his doctor recommended before the pandemic began. On May 12, he tested negative for the virus, but the hospital requires another negative result before it goes ahead with the procedure, to combat a longstanding kidney illness. Last Wednesday, he went to a Veterans Affairs hospital in Los Angeles for a seventh test. He is still awaiting the results. “The testing situation is preventing my father from getting the care he’s needed from the get-go,” said Mr. Goldstein’s son, Amir. With increased testing capacity in the U.S., and widespread availability of viral and antibody tests, each day more Americans are trying to learn if they have or had Covid-19. But because some tests are unreliable or taken too early in the course of the disease, the results aren’t consistent. That can produce bad data for authorities and confusion among people. “Situations like this are occurring with distressing frequency and are confusing to patients and their doctors,”

graines. A second test was also negative. After symptoms subsided, she tried to get antibody tests to check again if she had had the virus and ended up with two on the same day, April 30. One reported she had the antibodies, thus had been infected; the other said she didn’t. Ms. Zeidenweber has remained at home since March. She hasn’t seen her parents or returned to her job. “Not having answers has forced us to take drastic measures,” she said. For Danielle Fried, returning to her job as a therapy consultant shouldn’t have posed a problem. The 36-year-old New Yorker tested positive for the virus last month. She went into quarantine, and her symptoms subsided. Soon afterward, she tested positive for antibodies, indicating that she no longer had an active infection. On May 12, Ms. Fried visited an urgent-care center for a new test, which her job required. To her surprise, she tested positive for an active Covid-19 infection for the second time. “Everything we know about viruses is that you’re not contagious after you have antibodies,” she said after receiving the new results. The staffer couldn’t explain why Ms. Fried tested positive and said she probably wasn’t contagious. But she went back into quarantine. “I’d like some direction.” Ms. Fried said of the contradictory test results.



Trump’s Tweets Are Flagged Continued from Page One about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mailin ballots,” a Twitter spokesman said. Twitter’s move was based on a policy announced earlier this month to apply fact-checking labels about the coronavirus and other disputed issues subject to misinformation, including the election. This marked the first time Twitter has applied the fact-checking label to a message about nonCovid news.

Some virus tests have proven flawed, or are taken too early in the course of the disease. Motorists lined up Tuesday for tests in Arlington, Va.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | A5

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We’ve got some big boots to fill.

Starting this Memorial Day, Schwab is proud to be the exclusive provider of wealth management and investment brokerage services for USAA members. To the men and women who have served our country—and their families—it’s our honor to be part of your lives and your financial future.


Because we share the guiding principle of putting clients first, you can still expect


to receive the service, value, and integrity you deserve. And you can be assured of our unwavering commitment to you, your family, and the military community. Together, we stand ready to serve you.

Charles R. Schwab Chairman & Founder The Charles Schwab Corporation

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., 211 Main Street, San Francisco, CA 94105 ©2020 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Member SIPC. CC3815189 (0520-04GU) ADP110921-00 (05/20) 00245130

Thomas B. Fargo Admiral, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Chairman of the Board, USAA

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A6 | Wednesday, May 27, 2020


* ***


Group Seeks Plasma From Covid Survivors BY AMY DOCKSER MARCUS A coalition of research institutions, blood banks, drug companies and recovered Covid-19 patients is working to overcome a major challenge in developing new therapies based on survivors’ blood plasma: a shortage of donors. With a campaign launched Tuesday called The Fight Is In Us, the group aims to get tens of thousands of people who have recovered from Covid-19 infections to donate plasma using a self-screening tool developed by Microsoft Corp. So far nearly 15,000 seriously ill Covid-19 patients have received plasma transfusions in an emergency, expanded-access program authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, according to

Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic, who is principal investigator of that convalescentplasma project. Mayo is participating in the campaign. Plasma from recovered patients is being used in formal clinical trials and research efforts to better understand which antibodies in the plasma most effectively neutralize the virus. Companies also need plasma to manufacture and test an intravenous immunoglobulin product that will contain antibodies pooled from recovered patients’ serum. One concern is that various groups might start competing with each other to try to obtain plasma. “Everybody is clamoring for convalescent plasma donors,” said Chris Healey, president of corporate affairs at Grifols, a

company based in Spain that produces plasma-derived medicines and is participating in the campaign. Finding qualified plasma is more complicated than it might seem. Potential donors must meet the requirements of all blood donors, such as weight, age, and underlying health. Some don’t show up for their appointments; others find they are unable to give a sufficient amount. “These are all challenges we have to recognize along the way in getting a donation from someone to an actual product,” said Pampee Young, chief medical officer of biomedical services at the American Red Cross. “We are building the plane as we fly it.” The Red Cross has collected plasma from 4,000 recovered

Covid-19 donors to date through its website, according to a spokeswoman. She said the organization supports the efforts of the coalition but didn’t join it. “At this time, the Red Cross is fortunate to be able to meet the needs of our hospital partners,” she said. The push for more donors follows two studies of hospitalized Covid-19 patients that looked at the safety and efficacy of convalescent-plasma therapy. Researchers found the transfusions appeared to be safe. A small study at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York of Covid-19 patients who received plasma suggested that they did better than similar patients who didn’t get the transfusions. While promising, neither study met the rigorous requirements of formal clinical

trials. “We still need the definitive study,” said Trevor Mundel, president of global health for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is an adviser on the new campaign. Plasma companies still don’t know how many donors they need to make a single effective dose of intravenous immunoglobulin, said Julie Kim, president of plasma-derived therapies at Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., a member of the coalition. Previous experience in making immunoglobulin product to treat other conditions indicates a range of anywhere from one to five donors per dose, she said. Despite the unusual efforts to work together, for-profit companies in the coalition continue to look for donors on their own, according to industry experts.

How Two Cities Kept the Pandemic at Bay

Hong Kong and Singapore reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus in January. Four months later, the densely packed Asian metropolises, with a combined population of about 13 million, have seen 27 fatalities between them.

Potential donors start by using a self-screening tool. The potential donors enter a ZIP Code and get a list of nearby donation centers. Peter Lee, corporate vice president at Microsoft, which developed the self-screening tool, said donors are directed to centers based on location. Coalition members are discussing ways to determine how donors are allocated. Later versions of the tool might incorporate such factors as wait time for appointments. Some donors might prefer to give to a for-profit plasma company, where they might be reimbursed. Others might choose a local blood bank, where the plasma would be used right away for sick patients in a hospital and reimbursement isn’t offered.

Merck Does Deals To Develop Vaccines BY JARED S. HOPKINS

Big drugmaker Merck & Co. said it is working on two potential vaccines and an experimental drug against the coronavirus, joining rivals in the frantic search for medicines. Merck said Tuesday it is acquiring one experimental vaccine as part of the purchase of its Austrian maker, while partnering in the development of a second vaccine candidate and the potential drug. The Kenilworth, N.J., drugmaker didn’t disclose the terms of the deals. Merck is a longtime maker of vaccines and antivirals, including human papillomavirus shot Gardasil. For weeks, the company had been looking inside its own walls for promising Covid-19 candidates, before deciding to pursue programs started elsewhere. “We looked inside and outside, and the things we found outside were better,” Roger Perlmutter, Merck’s R&D chief, said in an interview. Dr. Perlmutter said Merck has specific criteria for a coronavirus vaccine, including that it provide immunity with a single dose so a second shot isn’t needed, and that it use a proven technology that can be scaled up readily for manufacture. For one vaccine, Merck said it is acquiring privately held Themis Bioscience, of Vienna. In March, Themis said it was collaborating with the French nonprofit Institut Pasteur and the University of Pittsburgh on Covid-19 vaccine development. Themis is working to scale up production for clinical trials that could begin within weeks, Dr. Perlmutter said. Merck’s second coronavirus vaccine effort will take the form of a partnership with the scientific-research organization IAVI, whose experimental vaccine uses the same technology that is the basis for Merck’s Ebola Zaire virus vaccine, Dr. Perlmutter said. Merck said it would help IAVI, a New York-based nonprofit, further develop the vaccine, which could begin human testing later this year. In addition, Merck said it would license the rights to an experimental Covid-19 drug from privately held Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP of Miami. Merck plans to continue developing the drug, which is entering midstage testing in patients this week, Dr. Perlmutter said. Merck plans to target the drug at Covid-19 patients who aren’t yet severely sick, even if hospitalized, Dr. Perlmutter said. Chief Executive Ken Frazier said he wouldn’t commit to a vaccine being ready within 12 to 18 months, as other companies and public officials have suggested is possible, because of the large clinical trials needed. “Those take time. There’s no two ways about it,” he said in an interview. “We will move as rapidly and responsibly as we can, in conjunction with regulators, but I do not see any way around large clinical trials to show whether something is in fact safe and effective across a large population.”

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Hong Kong and Singapore have seen a combined 27 deaths from Covid-19. Above, people wait for a train in Hong Kong earlier this month. infected were between the ages of 20 and 59. In Hong Kong, the median age of those infected is 35, with only about 5% of cases occurring in people age 70 and up. Keeping infections from spreading to communities most at risk allowed both cities to manage their medical resources. Doctors and researchers, free from being inundated by a crisis, have been able to focus on finding treatments. In Hong Kong, doctors have used a cocktail of drugs that early research shows may help suppress infections so they don’t spread to medical workers. The drug combination appears to help patients recover, research suggests. Singapore’s health system was also quick to conduct trials of drug therapies. Due to the low number of people with severe cases there, most of those people participated in clinical

overseas regulators, securities lawyers said. Shares of many Chinese companies have been hit hard since the passage of the Senate bill last week, with Alibaba and JD.com falling 8% and Baidu Inc. dropping 5.8%. China has said sharing audit work papers would violate its sovereignty and risk leaking state secrets. This year, it outlawed complying with overseas securities regulators without the permission of its own market supervisor and various components of the Chinese government. The SEC has stepped up its warnings about the regulatory blind spot in recent months, including after the disclosure of accounting fraud at Luckin Coffee, a Chinese startup and competitor to Starbucks Corp. Luckin, which went public on the Nasdaq Stock Market and is being investigated by the SEC, said some employees fabricated $310 million in revenue. It has since fired its chief executive and chief operating officer, and its shares have fallen to a recent $1.39 from $50 in January. The SEC said in April that the agency’s ability to promote and enforce standards in China and other emerging markets is severely limited. Before Luckin, there was a string of Chinese frauds in the U.S. stock market. The SEC sued Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CPA Ltd. in

Fees From Overseas


data. The case-fatality rate in the U.S. overall is 5.9%, according to Johns Hopkins data. It is 14% in the U.K. and Italy. Hong Kong and Singapore provide lessons for the U.S. and other countries that are beginning to open up amid a pandemic threatening to recur in waves. Extensive testing allows authorities to quickly determine who is infected and isolate them. This strategy has helped Hong Kong and Singapore keep the virus away from tightly packed groups of older people, who are more susceptible to dying from the disease. More than 90% of cases in Singapore were detected among its migrant-worker community, who are mostly young, healthy men. Health officials said 95% of patients who died in Singapore from the disease were more than 60 years old, while the vast majority of those


Just 0.4% of those with confirmed infections have died in Hong Kong. In Singapore—less than 0.1%. If the U.S. had a similar fatality rate as the average of the two, its death toll would now stand at about 4,100, rather than 98,000 and growing. “When you overwhelm health systems a lot more people die,” said David Owens, founder of Hong Kong medical practice OT&P Healthcare, who has treated patients for Covid-19. Hong Kong and Singapore “didn’t let the epidemic run wild.” The cities’ fatality rates— among the lowest in the world—show that coronavirus outbreaks don’t have to result in large-scale loss of life. Their playbook: test widely, quarantine aggressively and treat patients early to avoid fatal complications and overburdened health systems. Both Hong Kong and Singapore acted quickly to keep the outbreak in check, giving them enough lead time to prepare the space, manpower and equipment they needed. With controllable caseloads, hospitals were able to properly manage workflows, monitor infected individuals and provide supportive care that kept many cases from becoming critical. Neither city has seen shortages of critical-care equipment such as ventilators, because so few patients needed them. The picture is different in New York City, which has recorded more than 16,000 deaths and where about 8% of those with confirmed infections have died, according to official



By Newley Purnell in Hong Kong and Feliz Solomon in Singapore

Chinese Firms Face U.S. Audits

Continued from Page One tory gap as they snapped up shares of Chinese companies, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., that made their debuts on U.S. exchanges. Wall Street banks, which underwrote the stock sales and are supposed to conduct due diligence on the companies, have been rewarded with more than $1.4 billion in fees, according to data from Dealogic. The major stock exchanges also benefited from lucrative, attention-getting global listings. The Senate legislation requires the Chinese companies with shares traded here to disclose to the Securities and Exchange Commission whether they are owned or controlled by state authorities. While many of the Chinese companies traded in the U.S. aren’t state-owned, such as Alibaba and e-commerce rival JD.com Inc., others are fully or partially under Chinese-government control. China is less likely to allow audit work papers for state-owned companies to ever be shared with

trials for drugs including remdesivir, an antiviral drug previously tested as a treatment for Ebola, and the combined medications used in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s and Singapore’s fatality rates potentially indicate the virus is less deadly than it appears in places such as the U.S. and Europe, where typically the sickest people have been given tests and are more likely to die, said Owen Tsang, medical director of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority’s Infectious Disease Centre. Singapore’s approach to testing is providing a more accurate picture of disease prevalence than in many places, observers say. After outbreaks emerged in densely packed dormitories where migrant workers live, authorities isolated the areas and have set out to test all of the more than 300,000 people who live in them. Case numbers have soared, but

Banks advising Chinese-domiciled companies in the U.S. stock market have earned more than $128 million in fees this year. Bank fees for Chinese equity deals on U.S. exchanges Credit Suisse

394 million







Morgan Stanley


China International Capital


Goldman Sachs Jefferies

0 4

Maxim Group


SVB Leerink


Note: Data as of May 21 Source: Dealogic

2011, seeking records it needed to conduct a fraud investigation of the audit firm’s former client, China-based Longtop Financial Technologies Ltd. In 2016, the SEC sued Longwei Petroleum Investment Holding Ltd., a fuel company based in China that had been listed on the New York Stock Exchange’s market for smaller companies, over claims that it fabricated aspects of its business. The SEC prevailed in the case in 2019. Critics said the SEC and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board could have moved in the past to cut off Chinese companies from U.S. markets over the audit-inspec-

tion stalemate. But barring the Chinese audit firms, for instance, would have negative consequences for U.S. multinationals that use the firms for their China operations. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said that the Senate legislation offers a new way to get China to comply with PCAOB requirements. The companies and their auditors would have three more years to comply with inspection requirements—or face delisting from the Nasdaq or NYSE. “The Senate bill is a legislative attempt to get China to comply with the oversight requirements,” Mr. Clayton said. “The status quo is not acceptable.”

nearly all of them are mild or asymptomatic. Both Hong Kong and Singapore have also benefited from experience. According to Daniel Lucey, a member of the Global Health Committee at the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s prompted a rethinking of disease preparedness across Asia. Singapore also had a blueprint ready to be deployed at the first sign of an outbreak. Doctors in Singapore said hospitals began stockpiling personal protective equipment in January, and a test kit was developed within weeks. “The difference is they never really let it get out of control,” said Dr. Lucey, adding that the U.S. could apply elements of their approach as cases level off and commerce restarts. “It’s not too late. [U.S.] states can still learn from this model.”

Backers of the proposed U.S. crackdown said what had been a low-profile issue in financial markets took on greater political meaning after this year’s economic crash. “What has helped with this is all things coronavirus,” said Rep. Mike Conaway (R., Texas), who sponsored similar legislation last year. “China’s response has brought a lot of issues to the forefront, one of which is, should they have access to our markets with different rules than everybody else?” The Senate legislation, cowritten by Sens. John Kennedy (R., La.) and Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.), must pass the House to become law. A version of the bill was introduced in the House by Rep. Brad Sherman (D., Calif.), who leads a key subcommittee that focuses on investor protection and said the bill might need a technical fix. “We needed the SEC and the PCAOB to move in this direction, but now it looks like Congress will,” Mr. Sherman said. “I think this passes the House in the next two months, hopefully in improved form.” The House is likely to approve the bill, said James Lucier, managing director at Capital Alpha Partners LLC, an investor-focused policy-research firm. —Sebastian Pellejero contributed to this article.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | A7

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A8 | Wednesday, May 27, 2020



Europe Looks to End Paid Leave

Europe’s strategy of placing tens of millions of workers on paid leave has succeeded in stemming the widespread unemployment seen in the U.S., but now governments across the continent are grappling with how to wean companies and workers off the support.


Catherine Querard, who runs La Guinguette and other eateries in Nantes, France, expects the restaurant to operate at 30-50% of capacity. wages of 7.5 million workers at 935,000 businesses. Recognizing that businesses would need help for longer than hoped, U.K. Treasury chief Rishi Sunak extended the program’s termination date to October from June. From August, it will require businesses to pay a larger share of wages as workers put in more hours. The Office for Budget Responsibility—an independent state body that monitors the costs of government programs—calculates the U.K.’s program will now cost as much as £56 billion ($68 billion), up from £42 billion when it was launched. That is £7 billion more than the U.K. government borrowed in the whole of the latest financial year. “Nobody expected such a massive increase in claims. The numbers are very, very large.” said Stefano Scarpetta, director of employment at the Organiza-

tion for Economic Cooperation and Development. Mr. Scarpetta said governments across Europe are discussing how best to modify the programs. The point is to avoid propping up zombie companies that have no realistic chance of reviving their activities. German unemployment rose by around 300,000 in April, to 5.8%, according to the federal labor agency. That is a modest increase compared with the scale of job losses in the U.S., but worse than Germany experienced during the financial crisis. Lars Feld, chairman of the Council of Economic Experts that advises the German government, worries that if the crisis continues deep into 2021, the government’s wage support will keep alive firms that aren’t viable. “The short-time work program should not be extended beyond this year.”


ditions are met. “We need to encourage the activity to restart,” French Labor Minister Muriel Pénicaud said. “At some point it’s reasonable for companies to pay part of the paid leave. It will be measured so it’s not a cleaver

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where. If European firms become hooked on subsidies, it will be a costly addiction. France has spent an estimated €24 billion ($26.15 billion) to fund Europe’s biggest paid-leave program for two months, supporting more than half of the country’s entire private-sector workforce. In Germany—which now pays up to 87% of a worker’s salary, up from 67%—three-quarters of a million businesses indicated they would put as many as 10.1 million workers on subsidized leave by April 26, according to the federal labor agency. That is more than three times the level at the height of the financial crisis in 2009. France plans to phase out its subsidy programs over the next few months. Germany recently extended the period over which companies can draw on the program to 21 months from 12 months, provided certain con-

State funding of idled workers has kept joblessness down, but at a high cost.

in terms of employment.” Unlike major economies on the continent, the U.K. didn’t have a paid-leave program in place when the pandemic hit. Applications for its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme opened on April 20, and by May 11 it was paying up to 80% of the

The world’s developed economies saw the largest fall in output since the global financial crisis in the first three months of the year, as governments began to impose lockdowns designed to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. As sharp as those declines were, they are likely to be eclipsed by the falls in activity recorded in the three months through June, although economies are expected to start to recover in the second half of the year. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said the combined gross domestic product of its 37 members was 1.8% lower in the first quarter than in the final three months of 2019, the largest fall since the 2.3% decline recorded in the first three months of 2009 during the height of the financial crash. Among the Group of Seven largest developed economies, France saw the largest drop in economic output, followed by Italy. Japan saw the smallest economic contraction, followed by the U.S. The size of the economic contractions experienced in the first quarter reflects the duration and severity of the lockdowns imposed by governments. But momentum also mattered: The U.S. was growing more rapidly than its European counterparts before the coronavirus struck. The OECD will release new forecasts for global growth on June 10. This month, the United Nations said it expects the global economy to contract by 3.2% this year, led by a 5% drop in the output of developed countries and a 0.7% decline in the output of developing countries, which typically grow more rapidly.



By Stacy Meichtry, Paul Hannon and Tom Fairless The programs were originally intended as a stopgap measure. European companies idled workers instead of firing them, using billions in state subsidies to cover their payrolls until they were ready to reopen for business. Now that governments have lifted their lockdowns, however, many businesses are calling on governments to keep the money flowing for months. The demands are heaviest in industries such as tourism and entertainment. Catherine Querard, who owns several restaurants and a hotel around the French city of Nantes, is pressing the government to extend a program that currently pays up to 84% of her employees’ salaries until the end of the year. That would allow her to gradually return her 100 employees to work while implementing costly social-distancing measures. She is expecting restaurants like her flagship La Guinguette, along the banks of the Loire River, to operate at somewhere between 30% and 50% of capacity while ratcheting up spending on hand sanitizer and protective equipment to reassure clientele. “We’ll have less clients that’s for sure. So that means we won’t need as many employees,” Ms. Querard said. Still, the restaurateur prefers to keep her staff on the state-subsidized payroll in the hope that one day she will be ready to reactivate them all. “We just want to create a bridge.” For many governments, the matter boils down to whether they are funding a bridge to no-

Leading Economies Suffered In Quarter

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | A9


U.S. Weighs Plans for Afghan Troop Exit BY GORDON LUBOLD AND NANCY A. YOUSSEF WASHINGTON—The Pentagon is preparing plans for President Trump to draw down forces from Afghanistan by as soon as this autumn, defense officials said, in keeping with Mr. Trump’s call for an American withdrawal. The Pentagon’s plans include a series of options that range from a complete withdrawal to a partial pullout, of-

ficials said. One option would leave around 5,000 troops in Afghanistan, and another plan under consideration would leave about 1,500 troops there, several officials said. Another proposal would remove all American forces from the country, where the war has ground on for more than 18 years. All the options would likely fundamentally change the current two-pronged U.S. strategy, which includes training

and advising Afghan forces as well as conducting counterterrorism missions against Islamic State and other extremist groups. Mr. Trump has pressed defense officials to show demonstrable progress on drawing down American forces in longrunning war zones. Mr. Trump on Tuesday said he wanted troops home, but didn’t provide details. “We want to bring our soldiers back home,” he said at

the White House, but added that there was no deadline for doing so. “We are not meant to be a police force, we’re meant to be a fighting force,” he said. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Mark Milley, are expected to present options to Mr. Trump as soon as this week, an official said. The New York Times on Tuesday reported on plans the Pentagon was pre-

paring to draw forces out of Afghanistan by Election Day. The possibility of a total withdrawal likely would lead a host of American allies who also have troops in Afghanistan to abandon the mission, U.S. officials said. But if the U.S. were to remain, even with a smaller contribution of troops, some allies likely would remain and could assume greater responsibility for training and advising, officials said. Leaving Afghanistan has

been a longstanding goal of Mr. Trump that has taken new urgency because of this fall’s presidential election, some experts said. Under the current drawdown plan, agreed to during peace talks between the U.S. and the insurgent Taliban in February, the U.S. military would reduce its footprint to about 8,600 troops by July. The Pentagon expects to hit that threshold in coming days, officials said.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday again defended a new national security law that has sparked concern in the city. process of imposing laws on the city. Activists and pro-democracy legislators have said the new law could spell the end of the “one country, two systems” framework that governed the city’s handover to Chinese control in 1997. The framework is meant to give Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy until 2047. Ms. Lam said China’s legislature, the National People’s Congress, had a “sound and

robust” legal basis for imposing national security laws within the framework of that arrangement. She also denied that the stationing of mainland state-security agents in Hong Kong, a possibility Beijing has raised, would affect freedom of speech in the city. “We are a very free society, so for the time being people have this freedom to say whatever they want to say,” she said, adding that the notion of mainland agents conducting

arrests in Hong Kong is “imaginary for the moment.” Ms. Lam has faced repeated calls for her resignation since her support for a now-withdrawn extradition bill drew millions into the streets in opposition last year. The demonstrations morphed into antigovernment protests that subsided during the pandemic. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Tuesday said President Trump is displeased with China’s efforts to

exert new control over Hong Kong. The president later said he would respond to China’s actions in Hong Kong by the end of the week. Beijing’s signal that it intended to impose national security laws reignited the protests on Sunday, leading to clashes between demonstrators and the police that led to more than 100 arrests. Foreign diplomats estimate the PLA’s Hong Kong garrison holds 8,000 to 10,000 troops.




Chinese Firm’s Bid on Opinion Poll Backs Big Project Rejected Johnson Aide Firing

Russia Sends Jets to Support Mercenaries

Israel awarded the contract for a major infrastructure project to a local company, avoiding getting entangled in the escalating tensions between the U.S. and China. Several companies, including one from China, had bid to build what is slated to be the world’s largest desalination plant near an Israeli military base that is also used by the U.S. Israel’s finance ministry said Tuesday that the contract for the Sorek 2 desalination plant went to Israeli company IDE Technologies. Rival bids included one from an affiliate of the Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. Israeli officials said the decision on the plant, Israel’s sixth, came down to cost. The move comes as the Trump administration presses Israel and other allies to take a tougher line on Chinese investments, particularly in areas involving a security risk. IDE declined to comment on its winning bid for the desalination plant. Hutchinson didn’t respond to a request to comment. China’s embassy in Israel has said the Hutchinson bid was made in accordance with Israeli law. —Felicia Schwartz

Senior U.S. military officials said Russia has sent jet fighters to Libya to support Russian mercenaries fighting there on behalf of Khalifa Haftar, a militia leader based in the eastern part of the country. The deployment is a major escalation in Moscow’s involvement in the Libyan conflict. The U.S. military’s Africa Command on Tuesday sought to buttress its unusually blunt criticism of Russia’s actions by releasing imagery of a MiG-29 jet at Libya’s Al Jufra airfield. The Russian Defense Ministry didn’t respond to a request to comment. The Kremlin has said in recent weeks that it supports a political solution in Libya. Russia has backed Mr. Haftar, a militia leader based in Libya’s east, for years, but it has denied direct involvement in the fighting there. In 2019, Russia sent mercenaries from the Wagner Group, a company with ties to the Kremlin, to fight alongside Mr. Haftar’s forces. But Mr. Haftar and the Russian fighters have suffered battlefield losses recently after Turkey deepened its support for the Tripoli government. —Michael R. Gordon



Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s efforts to defend top aide Dominic Cummings struggled Tuesday as an opinion poll showed a majority of the British public believed the adviser had broken lockdown rules and more lawmakers called for his dismissal. Mr. Cummings traveled almost the length of England to stay on his parents’ property at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. He made the trip with his wife, who was sick with symptoms of Covid-19, and 4-year-old son. Mr. Cummings cited a clause in the rules that allows people in exceptional circumstances to seek help with child care. In a poll conducted by YouGov, 71% of people believe he broke the lockdown rules, with 59% saying he should be fired. Mr. Johnson’s personal approval rating sank for the first time into negative territory, plunging 20 points in four days, according to a poll conducted by Savanta ComRes. Mr. Cummings helped Mr. Johnson win a large majority in an election last year and is seen as key in mapping out a plan for post-Brexit Britain. —Max Colchester

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The head of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong said his soldiers would safeguard the country’s national security interests in the city, reinforcing an aggressive push by the Communist Party to tighten its grip on the former British colony. Beijing signaled last week that it intended to unilaterally impose new national security laws on Hong Kong to punish sedition, subversion, terrorism and interference by foreign forces. The move triggered new protests on Sunday in a city that has seen widespread demonstrations against China’s influence over the past year. People’s Liberation Army Maj. Gen. Chen Daoxiang said in an interview with state broadcaster China Central Television on Tuesday that the garrison in Hong Kong stood ready to “act with firm resolve to implement the central government’s decision and plans.” A version of the interview posted to one of CCTV’s socialmedia accounts was intercut with footage showing PLA marine operations in Hong Kong’s

Victoria Harbour and troops engaged in military exercises. Gen. Chen’s comments came on the same day that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the new security laws are necessary to deal with “a very small minority” of city residents who “organize and participate in terrorist activities to subvert the state power.” Ms. Lam also pushed back against concerns that the new laws could frighten away investors in the financial hub, saying investors haven’t been scared off by national security legislation in Western countries. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.9% on Tuesday, its second day of gains after plummeting 5.6% on Friday. Hong Kong’s miniconstitution, the Basic Law, requires it to enact its own laws against offenses like subversion and sedition, but the effort has faced fierce public opposition. Chinese leaders gathered in Beijing for the annual parliamentary session said the situation in Hong Kong demanded urgent action, which they said spurred them to begin the

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Chinese Military Raises Its Profile In Hong Kong

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surdity of it all,” and she had plenty of customers over the holiday weekend. “We had people joking, ‘Can I come here in my bathrobe?’ ” she says, adding that she is accentuating the bathroomthemed idea by serving cocktails garnished with a mini plastic rubber ducky. Akira Back, chef and owner of ABSteak, a Korean steakhouse in Los Angeles’s Beverly Center, is also thinking he and his culinary team will do some of their preparation in the dining room, letting guests partake of what he plans on calling “The Butcher Show.” “It would be really cool for customers to see us butchering a half cow,” Mr. Back says.

Kaplan, said people who heard him discuss Common Ground and Integrity proposals. Mr. Kaplan became more involved in content-ranking decisions after 2016 allegations Facebook had suppressed trending news stories from conservative outlets. An internal review didn’t substantiate the claims of bias, Facebook’s then-general counsel Colin Stretch told Congress. Every significant new integrity-ranking initiative had to seek the approval of not just engineering managers but also representatives of the public policy, legal, marketing and public-relations departments. Lindsey Shepard, a former Facebook product-marketing director who helped set up the Eat Your Veggies process, said it arose from what she believed were reasonable concerns that overzealous engineers might let their politics influence the platform. The meetings helped keep that in check. “At the end of the day, if we didn’t reach consensus, we’d frame up the different points of view, and then they’d be raised up to Mark.”

harm a hypothetical Girl Scout troop, said people familiar with his comments. Suppose, Mr. Kaplan asked them, the girls became Facebook supersharers to promote cookies? Mitigating the reach of the platform’s most dedicated users would unfairly thwart them, he said. Mr. Kaplan in the recent interview said he didn’t remember raising the Girl Scout example but was concerned about the effect on publishers who happened to have enthusiastic followings. The debate got kicked up to Mr. Zuckerberg, who heard out both sides in a short meeting, said people briefed on it. His response: Do it, but cut the weighting by 80%. Mr. Zuckerberg also signaled he was losing interest in the effort to recalibrate the platform in the name of social good, they said, asking that they not bring him something like that again. Mr. Uribe left Facebook within the year. He declined to discuss his work at Facebook in detail but confirmed his advocacy for the Sparing Sharing proposal. He said he left because of his frustration with company executives and their narrow focus on how integrity changes would affect American politics. While proposals like his did disproportionately affect conservatives in the U.S., he said, in other countries the opposite was true. Other projects met Sparing Sharing’s fate: weakened, not killed. Partial victories included efforts to promote news stories garnering engagement from a broad user base and penalties for publishers that repeatedly shared false news. In a 2018 reorganization of Facebook’s newsfeed team, managers told employees the company’s priorities were shifting “away from societal good to individual value,” said people present for the discussion. If users wanted to view or post hostile content about groups they didn’t like, Facebook wouldn’t suppress it if the content didn’t violate the company’s rules. Mr. Cox left the company several months later after disagreements regarding Facebook’s pivot toward private encrypted messaging. The Common Ground team disbanded. The Integrity Teams still exist, though many senior staffers left. Mr. Zuckerberg announced in 2019 that Facebook would take down content violating specific standards but where possible take a hands-off approach to policing material. “You can’t impose tolerance top-down,” he said in an October speech. “It has to come from people opening up, sharing experiences, and developing a shared story for society.”

In a sign of how far Facebook has moved, Mr. Zuckerberg in January said he would stand up “against those who say that new types of communities forming on social media are dividing us.” He argues the platform is in fact a guardian of free speech, even when the content is objectionable—a position that drove Facebook’s decision not to fact-check political advertising ahead of the 2020 election.

‘Integrity Teams’ Facebook launched its research on divisive content and behavior at a moment when it was grappling with whether its mission to “connect the world” was good for society. Fixing the polarization problem would be difficult, requiring Facebook to rethink some of its core products. Most notably, the project forced Facebook to consider how it prioritized “user engagement”—a metric involving time spent, likes, shares and comments that for years had been the lodestar of its system. Championed by Chris Cox, Facebook’s chief product officer at the time, the work was carried out over much of 2017 and 2018 by engineers and researchers assigned to a crossjurisdictional task force dubbed “Common Ground” and employees in newly created “Integrity Teams” embedded around the company. Even before, Facebook researchers had found signs of trouble. A 2016 presentation found extremist content thriving in more than one-third of large German political groups on the platform. Swamped with racist, conspiracy-minded and pro-Russian content, the groups were disproportionately influenced by a subset of hyperactive users. The presentation states that “64% of all extremist group joins are due

to our recommendation tools” and that most of the activity came from “Groups You Should Join” and “Discover” algorithms: “Our recommendation systems grow the problem.” Facebook declined to say how it addressed the problems in the presentation, which other employees said weren’t unique to Germany or the Groups product. “We’ve learned a lot since 2016,” a Facebook spokeswoman said. “We’ve built a robust integrity team, strengthened our policies and practices to limit harmful content, and used research to understand our platform’s impact on society so we continue to improve.” The Common Ground team sought to tackle polarization directly, said people familiar with the team. Data scientists found some interest groups— often hobby-based groups with

Fixing polarization would require Facebook to rethink some core products. no explicit ideological alignment—brought people from different backgrounds together constructively. Other groups appeared to incubate impulses to fight, spread falsehoods or demonize a population of outsiders. In keeping with Facebook’s commitment to neutrality, the teams decided Facebook shouldn’t police people’s opinions, stop conflict on the platform, or prevent people from forming communities. The vilification of one’s opponents was the problem, according to one internal document from the team. “We’re explicitly not going to build products that attempt to change people’s be-

liefs,” one 2018 document states. “We’re focused on products that increase empathy, understanding, and humanization of the ‘other side.’ ” One proposal sought to salvage conversations in groups derailed by hot-button issues, said the people familiar with the team and internal documents. If two members of a Facebook group devoted to parenting fought about vaccinations, the moderators could establish a temporary subgroup to host the argument or limit the frequency of posting on the topic. Another idea was to tweak algorithms to suggest a wider range of Facebook groups than people would ordinarily encounter. Building these features might come at a cost of lower engagement, the Common Ground team warned in a mid-2018 document, describing some of its own proposals as “antigrowth” and requiring Facebook to “take a moral stance.” The engineers and data scientists on Facebook’s Integrity Teams—chief among them, scientists who worked on newsfeed, the posts and photos that greet users—arrived at the polarization problem indirectly, said people familiar with the teams. Asked to combat fake news, spam, clickbait and inauthentic users, they looked to diminish the reach of such ills. One early discovery: Bad behavior came disproportionately from hyperpartisan users. A second finding in the U.S. saw a larger infrastructure of accounts and publishers on the far right than on the far left. The gap meant even seemingly apolitical actions such as reducing clickbait headlines— along the lines of “You Won’t Believe What Happened Next”—affected conservative speech more than liberal content in aggregate. That was a tough sell to Mr.


white block lettering on the back that says “Agent of Clean.” “We just would like to have a little bit of fun,” says Max Goldberg, co-owner of the group. He says patrons “appreciate the safety but also the extra touch.” Kim Shapiro tried to purchase sheets of plexiglass to create a barrier between tables at Twisted Citrus, her breakfast-and-lunch spot in North Canton, Ohio, that reopened last week. But her local Home Depot was in short supply. Her alternative: shower curtains. Ms. Shapiro predicted people would show up “for the ab-


“The idea is that instead of the typical surgical blue, you have something a little more warm and hospitable,” says Simon Kim, owner of Cote, a Korean steakhouse in New York City. Baekjeong KBBQ, a chain of Korean barbecue restaurants with locations in Los Angeles and New York, plans to have staff in T-shirts that say “We Meat Again,” playing off both its menu and its desire to celebrate the return of customers. Strategic Hospitality, a restaurant group with establishments in Nashville, some already reopened, is turning a cleaning person for each of its restaurants into a mascot who wears a navy jumpsuit with

Displays showing social-media posts during a House Intelligence Committee hearing in 2017.


Continued from Page One conservative users and publishers, at a time when the company faced accusations from the right of political bias. Facebook revealed few details about the effort and has divulged little about what became of it. In 2020, the questions the effort sought to address are even more acute, as a charged presidential election looms and Facebook has been a conduit for conspiracy theories and partisan sparring about the coronavirus pandemic. In essence, Facebook is under fire for making the world more divided. Many of its own experts appeared to agree—and to believe Facebook could mitigate many of the problems. The company chose not to. Mr. Kaplan in a recent interview said he and other executives had approved certain changes meant to improve civic discussion. In other cases where proposals were blocked, he said, he was trying to “instill some discipline, rigor and responsibility into the process” as he vetted the effectiveness and potential unintended consequences of changes to how the platform operated. Internally, the vetting process earned a nickname: “Eat Your Veggies.” Americans were drifting apart on societal issues well before the creation of social media, decades of Pew Research Center surveys have shown. But 60% of Americans think the country’s biggest tech companies are helping further divide the country, according to a Gallup-Knight survey in March. At Facebook, “There was this soul-searching period after 2016 that seemed to me this period of really sincere, ‘Oh man, what if we really did mess up the world?’ ” said Eli Pariser, co-director of Civic Signals, a project that aims to build healthier digital spaces, and who has spoken to Facebook officials about polarization. Mr. Pariser said that started to change after March 2018, when Facebook got in hot water after disclosing that Cambridge Analytica, the politicalanalytics startup, improperly obtained Facebook data about tens of millions of people. The shift has gained momentum since, he said: “The internal pendulum swung really hard to ‘the media hates us no matter what we do, so let’s just batten down the hatches.’ ”

recording of the normal buzz of activity in a restaurant— play in the background. Mr. Stillman describes the concept as the opposite of a whitenoise machine that quiets a room. To limit face-to-face interaction as much as possible between waiters and sommeliers and guests, Mr. Stillman also plans to encourage diners to discuss wine picks in advance of their visit through a “somm hotline.” A few restaurateurs are working with designers on custom-made masks, given that the face coverings are likely to continue being mandated or suggested by public officials.


Facebook’s Study of Divisiveness

Chef Patrick O’Connell with mannequins at The Inn at Little Washington. Above left, Kim Shapiro used shower curtains at Twisted Citrus.

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Continued from Page One company with dining spots throughout northeastern Ohio, is adding lots of plants—especially rosemary bushes—to fill out his establishments. He figures the greenery will come in handy even after he can increase capacity. “We serve a lot of beef, and rosemary goes well with it,” he says. The challenge, says Yann de Rochefort, who is behind Boqueria, a chain of Spanish tapas bars with locations in New York, Chicago and Washington, is how to welcome patrons back in a way that makes them feel secure, and also lightens the mood in a scary time. Otherwise, he says, it will be like “they’re having dinner in a hospital cafeteria.” Capacity restrictions have cut seating by as much as 75% in some states where new measures are already in place. Restaurants outside the U.S., which in some places are


Restaurants Fill Seats Creatively

more advanced in reopening, have also been trying out different ideas. At Five Dock Dining, an Italian restaurant located near Sydney, Australia, cardboard cutouts of people are filling the empty spaces. “When you first walk in, it’s a little bit weird, but everyone said that once they sit down and begin their meal, it all becomes just background,” says co-owner Frank Angilletta. The Inn at Little Washington, in Washington, Va., spent more than $5,000 to buy a dozen mannequins ahead of its expected opening. The mannequins are seated throughout the restaurant, dressed in stylish 1940s garb that it borrowed from the costume department of a local theater troupe. Little Washington chef Patrick O’Connell says the idea makes sense because restaurants are themselves a form of “living theater.” Plus, the faux diners offer a certain advantage, he jokes—the mannequins “never complain.” Michael Stillman, president and founder of Quality Branded, a restaurant company that operates dining spots in New York and Denver, is considering having what he calls a “soundtrack of din”—a



Scuttled projects Disapproval from Mr. Kaplan’s team or Facebook’s communications department could scuttle a project, said people familiar with the effort. Negative policy-team reviews killed efforts to build a classification system for hyperpolarized content. Likewise, the Eat Your Veggies process shut down efforts to suppress clickbait about politics more than on other topics. Initiatives that survived were often weakened. Mr. Cox wooed Carlos Gomez Uribe, former head of Netflix Inc.’s recommendation system, to lead the newsfeed Integrity Team in January 2017. Mr. Uribe began pushing to reduce the outsize impact hyperactive users had. Under Facebook’s engagement-based metrics, a user who likes, shares or comments on 1,500 pieces of content has more influence on the platform and its algorithms than one who interacts with just 15 posts, allowing “super-sharers” to drown out less-active users. One proposal Mr. Uribe’s team championed, called “Sparing Sharing,” would have reduced the spread of content disproportionately favored by hyperactive users, according to people familiar with it. Middleof-the-road users would gain influence. Facebook’s data scientists believed it could bolster the platform’s defenses against spam and coordinated manipulation efforts. Mr. Kaplan and other senior Facebook executives pushed back on the grounds it might

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | A10A


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Thanks to the hard work of our health care heroes and your efforts to flatten the curve, we are ready as ever to care for you. We’ve implemented many new protocols with safety at the forefront: J Separate areas for non-COVID-19 patients.

J Temperature checks for all patients, visitors, team members and physicians upon entrance. J Rigorous cleaning and sanitization of our facilities.



J Third-party environmental analysis to detect any evidence of the virus. J Testing all patients who stay at our hospitals. J Comprehensive testing program for our dedicated team members and physicians. J Enforcement of physical distancing. J Telehealth visit availability. Visit HackensackMeridianHealth.org/GetCareNow to learn more.


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A10B | Wednesday, May 27, 2020


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NYC Weighs Partial Mid-June Reopening Retail for curbside pickup, construction, manufacturing would be part of first phase BY MELANIE GRAYCE WEST AND JOSEPH DE AVILA New York City could begin a phased reopening in the first or second week of June, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday, as it continued to ramp up testing capacity for the coronavirus and started developing plans for commuters to safely use public transportation. The city will have about 180 testing sites open by the end of June, with the expectation to run 50,000 virus tests daily by Aug. 1, Mr. de Blasio said.

A June 1 goal to hire 1,000 contact tracers—health workers who will follow-up on every positive coronavirus test by reaching out to patients and their close contacts—has been exceeded, Mr. de Blasio said. Some 700 of those workers are based in the city’s hardest-hit communities, and speak some 40 different languages, said Ted Long, executive director of the city’s Test and Trace Corps. Hundreds of thousands of people will need to use mass transit in the initial phase of reopening, which allows construction, manufacturing and retail for curbside pickup, the mayor said. Officials are trying to determine how subway cars and buses can operate without overcrowding, what is the

maximum amount of service that can be provided and how to achieve social distancing on public transportation, he said. The number of hospital admissions for people suspected of having Covid-19 dropped to 63 cases, Mr. de Blasio said, while across the city’s public hospitals, 423 people still required critical care. “Certainly we’re seeing more progress than we might have originally imagined,” he said. Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference Tuesday that the Long Island region is set to open Wednesday. He also said he would meet with President Trump on Wednesday to discuss stimulus funding from the federal government to help meet a $13 billion state short-

fall and funding for major state public-works projects. Accelerating big projects— such as building a new Penn Station, expanding the city’s Second Avenue subway line and constructing new tunnels

‘We’re seeing more progress than we might have originally imagined.’ across the Hudson River— would jump-start the economy, the governor said. The economy won’t quickly return to where it was before the pandemic and workers and

small businesses will be hurt, while the affluent will be fine, Mr. Cuomo said. The state had 73 confirmed deaths from Covid-19 on Monday, the lowest number since the crisis started, the governor said. In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday the state recorded 54 Covid-19 deaths, raising the state’s cumulative total to 11,191. Mr. Murphy said schools and higher education institutions can begin hosting outdoor graduations with social distancing beginning July 6. The state will soon provide districts guidance on the maximum number of people that can attend the ceremonies, he said. The governor said he expects schools will hold multi-

ple ceremonies to accommodate all of the attendees. “We want them to celebrate and be celebrated by their families, friends and the educators that helped get them there,” Mr. Murphy said at a news conference. “Certainly these will be graduations unlike any others. The steps we are taking are necessary to ensure the health and safety of everyone in attendance.” Professional sports teams in New Jersey can return to training and competitions if their respective leagues choose to reopen, the governor said. He said he has been in contact with the state’s sports teams to discuss a modified return, adding that he is confident teams can safely resume play.

METRO MONEY | By Anne Kadet

Restaurateur Sees Glass Half Full for Grand Opening


scouring supermarkets, butcher shops and wholesale markets for supplies ranging from fryer oil to chicken thighs. Operations have since smoothed out, he says, and business has been averaging 70 to 90 orders a day. This represents about a third of the volume he planned to generate with his dining room open, but he’s satisfied. “Things could be much more better financially, but we made a great beginning,” he says. Reviews are positive so far—averaging 4.9 stars on Google—though some say the prices are high for an Astoria souvlaki joint. “It was good, but not excellent, and I think it was very expensive,” said Maria Alvanou, a recent customer who was relaxing under the patio umbrella in her front yard. She also took issue with the fake roses installed in the planters around his restaurant. “I hate them,” she said. “Tell them to change the flowers. If they want, I can help.”


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Nikolaos Lamprou, left, opened his Queens restaurant, Niko’s Souvlaki, during the pandemic despite a lockdown and economic uncertainty.

when reports started coming about a strange new virus. “I thought it was a joke, I didn’t believe it,” he says.



e forged ahead, distributing 1,000 paper menus around the neighborhood in early March by knocking on doors and introducing himself: “Hi, my name is Nikolaos. I’m opening a restaurant on the corner.” Many wished him well, but some said, “Just leave the menu outside the door.” “Everybody was already a little bit scared,” he says. When the lockdown started mid-March, Mr. Lamprou felt paralyzed with indecision and even a little


Nikolaos Lamprou had big plans for the grand opening of Niko’s Souvlaki, his new dine-in Greek restaurant in Astoria, Queens. There would be flowers, balloons, Greek and American flags, his DJ cousin Paul spinning tunes and a crowd of hungry patrons. “Then all this situation happened,” he says. By “situation,” of course, Mr. Lamprou is referring to the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing lockdown, which limited restaurants to offering takeout and delivery. He opened anyway, and it’s been quite an adventure for the first-time restaurateur. “I’m an optimistic person,” he says. “But it was really challenging.” Mr. Lamprou grew up in Athens, Greece, and worked summers at his aunt’s island seafood restaurant. He always dreamed of opening his own place. In 2013, after college and a mandatory stint in the Greek army, Mr. Lamprou, who is now 28 years old, moved to New York City and got a busboy job at an Italian restaurant in the East Village, earning $600 a week. He worked his way up to a waiter position at Manhattan’s upscale JeanGeorges and often held two jobs at once, working the lunch shift at one restaurant and the dinner shift at a second, saving $70,000 in the process. Last fall, he snapped up a sweet corner spot near his home renting for $5,500 a month, and added to his funding with $30,000 borrowed from friends and family. He had just finished renovations on the new place

self-pity. “I thought, ‘Why me? Why now?’ ” he recalls. Some advised him to delay. “Even businesses that had been around for a long time were struggling,” recalls his friend Anika Bhandari. “I said, ‘Maybe it’s not the best time to open.’ ” One afternoon, Mr. Lamprou sat in his empty restaurant, taking in the blue and white décor and chairs upside down on the tables. He decided he couldn’t wait any longer. “It was really sad to have my place ready and not open yet,” he says. “It looked so beautiful!” He went to Staples and had two big signs printed: “Grand Opening April 6 Take

Out and Delivery.” It got the neighborhood buzzing. “I was surprised, but I was rooting for him,” says Chris Koepfer, who works down the block at a pet store.


he night before opening, Mr. Lamprou couldn’t sleep. “I’ve been in this industry since I was small but this was the first time in my life to be the owner,” he says. His first customer ordered a pork gyro, Mr. Lamprou’s favorite dish. He gave her a free can of soda. The day wasn’t a spectacular success but volume was respectable—about 50 orders. Then, to Mr. Lamprou’s

surprise, business spiked. A stretch of warm, sunny weather and the restaurant’s location near Astoria Park generated 200 orders a day on weekends. The growth was gratifying, but created problems, including the task of hiring additional clerks and kitchen help in the middle of a pandemic. Mr. Lamprou hired friends of friends and even got his grandmother, who is visiting from Athens, peeling potatoes and preparing marinade for the chicken. Another challenge: Many suppliers couldn’t deliver, and others ran out of food. Mr. Lamprou spent his mornings driving around the city,


r. Lamprou says his prices—$18 for a chicken gyro platter, for example—are justified by the large portions and freshness of the food. The flowers, meanwhile, aren’t going anywhere. “My grandmother bought them,” Mr. Lamprou says. Now, he’s looking forward to the day he can open his 30-seat dining room. “We’ll have many more people, because so many have already tried the delivery,” he says. “They’ll be curious to see, who is this crazy guy who opened during the pandemic?” [email protected]

BY PAUL BERGER Cycling advocates say Mayor Bill de Blasio is missing a chance to turn New York City’s deserted streets into a bikers’ paradise as people seek alternative ways to travel and exercise during the pandemic. While cities such as Paris are adding hundreds of miles of bike and pedestrian paths, New York City officials have warned they might not meet a pre-coronavirus target of installing 30 miles of protected bike lanes this year. “You’re missing the biggest opportunity for recovery in New York,” said Danny Harris, executive director of advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. “Right now, I would be buying every single cone and barrier that I can get my hands on, and I would start taking sections of the street to build a connected network.” Biking could play an important role in New York’s recovery as state and city officials gradually lift coronavirus-related restrictions during the coming months. Transportation officials world-wide are looking to bikes to help reduce crowding on mass transit and to serve as an alternative to cars. Mr. de Blasio has pledged to temporarily open 100 miles of streets to pedestrians and cyclists during the pandemic. But

advocates say they are unimpressed with progress so far, which has resulted in about 35 miles of pedestrianized streets and about 10 miles of temporary bike lanes sprinkled in short segments citywide. The Paris region, in contrast, is preparing to invest up to €300 million ($330 million) to create a 400-mile bike-path network as an alternative to commuter rail. “We don’t yet have an answer in New York,” said Jon Orcutt, a spokesman for advocacy group Bike New York. City officials say they are doing the best they can amid pandemic-induced budget cuts and worker shortages. “I was out moving barrels today,” said Ted Wright, director of the New York City Transportation Department’s bicycle and greenway program, which recently ordered 2,000 barrels for temporary bike-lane construction. Last year, as cycling deaths looked on course to reach record levels, Mr. de Blasio pledged to build 30 miles of protected bike lanes annually. Eric Beaton, a deputy commissioner for transportation planning and management, said that looks unlikely this year because it requires hiring additional planning and installation workers at a time when budgets are being cut.


Advocates Press for Bike Lanes; City Says Cuts Make It Tough

Biking could play an important role in New York’s recovery. Cyclists in Manhattan’s Hudson River Park.

The city’s Independent Budget Office estimates that New York faces a $9.5 billion tax revenue shortfall this fiscal year and next. New York City’s streets have emptied since Mr. de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo

closed schools and businesses, and urged people to stay home. Traffic volumes fell about 60% in the city in late March and early April, according to transportation analytics firm Inrix. Since then, traffic has ticked back up to about

40% below its usual levels, the firm says, leaving plenty of room for walkers and cyclists. Transit advocates say the city should seize street space ahead of a feared deluge of traffic after it eventually reopens and people might opt

for cars instead of mass transit. Combined subway and bus ridership is still down more than 80% from pre-pandemic levels. Bike ridership fell by about 60% in the initial weeks of the pandemic, according to city data. It rebounded quickly in May, which was drier but chillier than May 2019. Average weekday cycle counts on the city’s East River bridges are down 28% so far this month compared with last May. On the Pulaski Bridge, which links Brooklyn and Queens, average weekday cycle counts are down 6% compared with last May. Weekend cycle counts at many bridges are higher than in May 2019. Citi Bike is heavily dependent on commuter traffic. Yet, its ridership is only down about 30% compared with pre-pandemic levels, data show, even as schools and most businesses are closed. The system reported about 152,000 annual members at the end of April, roughly the same number as April 2019. Citi Bike’s membership was boosted this spring by the addition of 12,000 front-line workers, who were given free annual accounts, but other data suggest the system is thriving. Citi Bike’s general manager, Laura Fox, said that during the pandemic, the system is increasingly being used for recreation and exercise.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | A11

In 1970, Grinnell College students met to discuss how to respond to the shootings of four students at Kent State University.

Class of 1970 Meets History. Twice.


Left, Grinnell College President Raynard Kington on May 18 hosted a virtual commencement for the class of 2020; below (clockwise from top left): Bruce Nissen, Merryll Penson, Tom Thomas, and Nora Sansone Hoover.


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After graduation was canceled during the Vietnam War, coronavirus halts a 50th reunion



ifty years ago, Grinnell College, a small liberalarts college in central Iowa, canceled graduation for the class of 1970, its then president citing the “grave political and educational crisis, which this nation and this college presently face.” This spring, members of that same class were told their 50th reunion, scheduled for this coming weekend, was called off because of coronavirus. “The class of 1970 has been caught up twice in the net of the times,” says Grinnell President Raynard Kington—a war that divided the country and a pandemic that closed it down. That experience gives the members of this class a unique perspective. Among them at Grinnell, Tom Thomas, who led efforts to close the campus; Merryll Penson, who emerged as a black student leader; Bruce Nissen, a radical who stormed the Reserve Officers Training Corps building; and Nora Sansone Hoover, whose disappointed parents longed to see her cross the stage for her diploma. They and their 270 classmates came of age in a tumultuous and divisive time and learned only later how those events shaped them. They also know how the absence of that graduation ritual can leave lasting impressions. “People still feel the loss. I’m surprised at the degree to which it’s felt,” says Chris Meyer, who is in charge of fundraising for his class. Jonathan Andelson, a student then and now an anthropology professor at Grinnell, says he didn’t realize how big an impact that period of protests and violence against students and the abrupt ending to his senior year had on him until a few years ago. He was giving a talk about his time at Grinnell. “I almost didn’t get through it. I was in tears. It was still raw,” he says. His 2020 students aren’t experiencing the same unrest but they are experiencing a disruption in their lives that will change them and the country. “You will never forget your senior year at Grinnell,” he told them. “Fifty years later, you will remember it.” In the fall of 1969, Tom Thomas had returned to Grinnell for his senior year. Mr. Thomas had selected Grinnell in part because it was a small liberal-arts college with a reputation for being progressive socially and intellectually. Jefferson Airplane performed in the campus gym his freshman year. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “Remaining Awake Through a Revolution” speech to overflow crowds his sophomore year. Author Kurt Vonnegut was going to speak at his graduation. The college wasn’t extremely radical or conservative and people were generally tolerant, even if they disagreed. A 20-year-old history and political-science major, Mr. Thomas opposed the Vietnam War. “There

was an escalation of political activity by a growing number of students that fall,” he says. In October, he and more than a dozen other students drove to Chicago for a four-day Students for a Democratic Society demonstration, marked with police firing into crowds and students smashing windows. A month later, he and 80 other Grinnell students traveled to Washington for a march with 500,000 antiwar activists. But the reality of the war didn’t really hit home until Dec. 1, when students gathered around televisions in the Forum, the studentunion building, for the national draft lottery. He watched with hundreds of others as birth dates were drawn from a large glass container to see who would be eligible to be called to war. “People collapsed in tears. Others jumped up in joy,” he says. Men whose birthdates were in the first 197 called were told to report to Des Moines for a physical. As he and the others boarded a bus, students gathered to see them off. “It was a huge emotional event,” says Mr. Thomas, who failed his physical because of a bad knee. Two students made hundreds of small white crosses, each with the name of classmates eligible for the draft. Merryll Penson, one of the leaders of a group called Concerned Black Students, was working to finalize plans to mark the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. While Ms. Penson supported antiwar and women’s rights movements, her focus was on civil rights. She grew up in segregated Tuskegee, Ala., when George Wallace was governor. “Inequality and racism were an everyday part of our lives,” she says. Concerned Black Students pushed for more black faculty, increased black enrollment and a black cultural center, which



closed on May 13. “I think this haunted our class for quite some time,” says Ms. Hoover. Plans for the 50th reunion began more than a year and a half ago. While class members had looked forward to seeing each other, they agree canceling this milestone was the right decision. It has been rescheduled for 2021. Now in their early 70s, many members of the class have retired, although not all. Mr. Thomas is co-CEO of Station Resource Group, a Maryland-based think tank whose members are public radio stations around the country. He left Grinnell thinking he wanted to start an alternative news service for newspapers, but instead went into public broadcasting, where he spent his career. When he tells people he belonged to a class that never had its college graduation and explains why, “I hold my head up a little higher,” he says. Those formative college years, he says, are special. “They stay with you in powerful ways for the rest of your life, like a first true love.” Ms. Penson wasn’t unhappy the campus closed in 1970. “I was ready to move onto something else,” she says. Eventually, she received two masters’ degrees and spent 32 years working with university library systems in Georgia. Classmates nominated her to receive the 2020 Alumni Award for lifetime learning and service, which was to be awarded at the reunion. She says she left Grinnell optimistic about the future and has sensed a common thread of hope among students at the colleges where she worked. “I hope this pandemic doesn’t make them lose that,” Ms. Penson says. “I hope they use this time to get a real understanding of what they have and what they need to do.” Mr. Nissen ended up with a double major in philosophy and psychology, obtained his doctorate in philosophy and later taught labor studies. Now retired and living in St. Petersburg, Fla., he remains an active member of the Democratic Socialists of America. His only regret about his time at Grinnell was that he was too self-righteous. “Looking back with the 2020 wisdom, I would have been more flexible in discussion, not as dogmatic,” he says, though he believes it was right to oppose racism and support environmentalism and women’s rights. He wonders if the pandemic will lead to societal change. “What transpired in the spring of 1970 changed the course of the war and nation. In the spring of 2020, will the coronavirus change people’s concerns in any important way, and how?” he asks. Ms. Hoover married and obtained a master’s degree in social work. She spent her career advocating for children and fighting inequities she saw in family-service systems. “Honestly, I’m more political now than I have ever been,” she says. “Grinnell opened my eyes to many different points of view,” says Ms. Hoover, who was shy and uninvolved in college, but has been the class of 1970 representative for 31 years, helping organize reunions and send out class newsletters. She let go of her disappointment over the canceled graduation years ago and thinks today’s graduates will have to do the same. “It was an exceptional time period back then,” she says. “It’s an exceptional time period now.”

opened her senior year. “We didn’t have protests,” she says. “Our approach was to have dialogue, make change that way.” On April 30, President Nixon announced that U.S. troops had entered Cambodia, setting off another wave of antiwar demonstrations. Four students were killed at Kent State University on May 4. Eleven days later, at a protest at Jackson State College in Mississippi, two students were killed when police opened fire. “We felt like the world was on fire,” says Bruce Nissen. A philosophy major, Mr. Nissen says he favored disruption, not violence. The day after the Kent State shootings, he and a group of about 400 students marched to the porch of the ROTC building, ready to take

it over. He broke the window with his elbow and let the others in. They slept on the floor. “One of the first things we did was take up a collection to pay the college for the broken window,” he says. The campus newspaper, Scarlet & Black, editorialized against the takeover. Editor Lloyd Gerson says he didn’t oppose the war at the time, although he later came to believe it was a mistake. He wanted to keep the campus open, saying the best way the college could contribute to the health of the country was to continue providing a liberal-arts education. That week, students made a human chain in front of the library and boycotted classes. Nora Sansone Hoover continued going. “I had to study. That was my job,” says Ms. Hoover, the first person in her Sicilian family to go to college. During her years at Grinnell, she watched students protesting but never got involved and wondered at times why others did. The first week of May, she attended an allcampus meeting. Mr. Thomas, the student activist, presented a proposal to hundreds of students to suspend classes to demonstrate their opposition to the war. Students were polled in the lunch line. More than three-quarters of them backed the plan. Ms. Hoover opposed the idea. “All this really upset me,“ she says. Her parents were eager to see her receive her diploma. Some members of the class of 1970 never returned after campus

On May 6, 1970, Grinnell College students, staff, and faculty gathered to honor the victims of the Kent State shootings.

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A12 | Wednesday, May 27, 2020


Facebook Friends Moms Don’t Want? Their Teens



Mothers need their own ‘safe space’ for rants and unfiltered posts

see that their mother and father worked through stuff and made mistakes and posted things that maybe we shouldn’t have posted. It will prompt conversations.” Even when moms think they’re being super-careful, they can get busted. Barb Hogan, a small-business owner in Cincinnati, only shared personal things in a private Facebook mom’s group where all members are moderators. “It’s locked down tight,” she said. “Nothing any of us post can be seen by anyone who isn’t in the group—unless you’re dumb and you leave your computer open and step away to put in laundry and your teen sits down to look up something on Google and reads your rant.” Ms. Hogan had been venting about some drama involving her then 16-year-old daughter when she stepped away. Her daughter, who is now 23, saw the post and became furious. “She got over it,” Ms. Hogan said. Some moms can now laugh with their kids about old posts. Back in 2012, Sarah Tucker, of Omaha, Neb., made fun of her daughter after a singing audition at school. On Facebook, she’d written, “Abbie is good at lots of things. Singing isn’t one of them.” A few years later, when Abbie turned 13 and got her own Facebook account, Ms. Tucker tagged her in a bunch of old posts, not thinking about the comments she’d made. When the audition post surfaced later as a Facebook memory, Abbie herself reposted it with the comment, “Sarah Tucker thinks I’m a bad singer,” followed by an eye-roll emoji. “She did that to poke fun at me, which was totally fair,” Ms. Tucker said. All of this has been weighing on Tennessee mom Amy Brown. “When I allow my teen to get a Facebook account, I assume I will want to be her FB friend to keep an eye on things,” she posted on the social network, asking about ways to maintain boundaries. “There’s nothing on my page I’d just die about, but I’ve had this account since before the kids were born, and can’t guarantee I filtered every single post through the ‘would I say this to my kids’ filter.” When I spoke to her, she said she’s worried her 13-year-old daughter will think she complained too much about parenting. She doesn’t want to delete the old posts, but she’s considering blocking her daughter from seeing them for now. While her daughter isn’t exactly clamoring to get on Facebook— she’d prefer Instagram—Ms. Brown feels it’s where the teen could learn how to conduct herself on social media under the watchful eyes of aunts, uncles and adult friends. “I can see the irony,” Ms. Brown said. “At the same time, we’re telling our teens never to post anything they wouldn’t want shared with everyone, we’re realizing we don’t want everything we ever posted to be shared with our teenagers.”

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KIM ADAM has refused her 15year-old daughter’s requests to become Facebook friends. “I need to have my little corner of the internet where I can share memes and post things without fear of my teenage daughter reading them and teasing me or confirming in her mind that I’m not cool,” Ms. Adam, an administrative assistant near Richmond, Va., said. Just like teens don’t want their moms following them on Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat, many moms don’t want their teens following them on Facebook—or at least seeing their every post. Many women have been posting to Facebook since they were teens or young adults themselves. Now that many of them have children old enough to have their own socialmedia accounts, they’re learning they might be exposed in ways they hadn’t anticipated. Some moms worry about past (or even current) photos showing them engaging in behavior they discourage in their teens, such as drinking. Others worry about family secrets being revealed. Mostly, they tell me, they worry about all the mom-venting they do on Facebook. I queried thousands of parents for this column by posing a question in—where else?—a Facebook group. Few dads replied, while dozens of moms reached out. Many shared stories of times they embarrassed their kids with rants they didn’t realize their kids would ever read. Some moms declined to talk publicly, for fear of causing family rifts. Many said they only share personal things in private Facebook groups they describe as their “safe space,” free from the eyes of children, spouses and their own parents. Countless posts from moms in various Facebook groups begin, “I can’t share this on my own page…” While teens typically write off Facebook as being for old people, many are on it because schools and sports coaches post information there, or because they want to keep up with relatives. At the end of 2019, nearly 10 million Americans between the ages of 12 and 17 used Facebook at least once a month, according to research firm eMarketer. Ms. Adam said she isn’t harboring deep dark secrets but wants to share things freely with her adult friends—and particularly those whose kids are friends with her daughter. At one point she accepted a friend request from her daughter but excluded her from seeing posts. You can do this by indicating within a post whether to share it with “friends except” a specific person, or by choosing specific friends to share with. You can create a restricted list of friends on Facebook—they’ll be able to see only what’s shared publicly. You can also choose who sees specific past posts—or limit all past posts—in the privacy settings. “She asked why I never post

anything,” Ms. Adam said. Eventually, she just unfriended her daughter altogether. A few years ago, when Julie Kaigler’s youngest daughter was 15, Ms. Kaigler thought she was safely sharing personal details about her long-ago divorce while commenting on a friend’s post. She had never shared details of the split with either of her two daughters, so as not to put them in the middle. “A couple of days later, when I picked up my daughter from school after a trip, she said, ‘I need to ask you a question,’ said Ms. Kaigler, of Wexford, Pa.

“That’s when she told me she had seen the post.” Her daughter was upset that she had to learn the details of the divorce on Facebook. Ms. Kaigler said they had a good talk about it. “I’m generally pretty open with my kids,” she said. “That was the one thing I had tried to protect them from.” Michelle Dightman, an accountant in Leawood, Kan., wasn’t thinking about her two teenage sons when she shared an article about Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland, who died in 2015 from a drug overdose. It was written by his ex-wife, who

pleaded with fans not to glorify his death. Ms. Dightman posted that she appreciated the article, as she was the daughter of a father who had died of alcoholism. She had never discussed her father’s drinking with her sons, but a few days after she shared the article, her then 14-year-old asked her about it. Ms. Dightman said it gave her a good opportunity to open up to him about it. “If I’m going to be credible as a parent in giving them advice, I have to be humble, transparent and honest with my kids,” she said. “They can go back and look through my timeline and posts and



A ‘Dirt Bike Kid’ Gets His Dream Motorcycle Phil Lane, 67, a retired Lexus dealer and dealership general manager in Lake Oswego, Ore., on his 1972 Dunstall Norton 810, as told to A.J. Baime. When I was growing up, I was a dirt bike kid. Many of us growing up in San Diego rode dirt bikes because there was so much open space. I worked my way up to a basket-case Harley-Davidson Sportster that I rebuilt in my parents’ garage. I saw the movie “Easy Rider” and at age 18, I rode that Sportster all the way to Canada and back. I got all the cycle magazines and I saw an article about this guy Paul Dunstall, a British racer who was doing crazy, wonderful things with motorcycles. To build the Dunstall Norton 810, he took a stock Norton Commando and reengineered the engine, the carburetor, and the exhaust. He put dual disc brakes on the front wheel. That was unheard of. This bike knocked me out. I filled out an order form and sent in $900 as a deposit, not mentioning that this was all the money I had. I had a girlfriend named Linda (my wife-to-be). She went to her father and said, “Hey, would you consider loaning Phil some money?” He gave it to me, with a caveat: I would not put his daughter on the back of that bike. We honored that request, for the most part. I ordered the bike on Aug. 11, 1972, and it cost $2,223. I have a photo of the day the bike arrived. A year later, my soon-to-be brother-in-law found





Phil Lane on his Dunstall Norton 810 this month, right, and in 1973, above. Below, a close look at the motorcycle, which Mr. Lane said, ‘loves to fly.’ that in the Guinness Book of World Records, my model bike was listed as “the fastest standard motorcycle ever produced...capable of 135 mph.” I took the bike to a drag strip. This was a classic 1970s scene—guys in boots driving old Chevys and Fords. This was the only time I ran this bike on a drag strip. You go drag racing against a stranger in a Mustang who had just knocked back a six-pack, and you think: This isn’t a smart thing to do. A few years later, Japanese bikes became a phenomenon and English bikes were a thing of the past. When I got my bike, it was slick. A few years later it looked like a dinosaur. Linda and I married in 1975 and

I started working for Ford Motor Co. in 1976. The Dunstall Norton followed us all over the country. Everywhere we went, I’d find beautiful places to ride. Recently I pulled out old pictures and thought about all the places I have been with this motorcycle. The photos stirred up emotions. This is 48 years of my life. Sometimes, I will wake up, have a cup of coffee and go into the quiet garage. I’ll fire up the Dunstall Norton and listen to the rumble. It’ll make the hair on your neck stand. I will motor off on a quiet side street to the interstate and ride along the mighty Columbia River. This bike is meant to go fast. Out on the open road, in long, fast turns, it loves to fly.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2020 | A13


Opening Windows Onto Closed Exhibitions



Paul Cézanne’s ‘L’Estaque’ (1879-83), above; El Greco’s ‘The Holy Trinity’ (1577-79), left; a scene from ‘Gerhard Richter Painting’ showing the titular artist at work on a piece, below

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THIS SPRING PROMISED several one-of-a-kind single-artist exhibitions; most are now shuttered. But it’s possible to fill the void, at least partially, with documentaries and the like, which can offer ways and byways into their subjects. Think of them as introductions for when the shows reopen, and as next-best substitutes if they don’t. “Cézanne: The Rock and Quarry Paintings,” Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, N.J., through spring 2020. Curated by John Elderfield, the exhibition explores the artist’s lifelong fascination with geological formations like the Bibémus Quarry of his native Aix-en-Provence. In his paintings he immersed viewers in nature with an existential immediacy never experienced before, forging pathways toward Cubism and abstraction. Regarding the latter, Mr. Elderfield wittily observes, in a conversation about the show with artist Terry Winters, available on the museum’s website, that while we know that Picasso and Matisse both called Cézanne “the father of us all,” we also know “that artistic fathers are not responsible for what their children do.” For a good overall introduction to Cézanne, turn to the 2006 documentary “Cézanne in Provence.” Presented on YouTube and narrated by Jacqueline Bisset, with commentary by art historian Philip Conisbee, it takes us from his dark, expressionistic early work up through his crystalline, nearly abstract late paintings. Conisbee observes that it was not only the solitude, silence and mysterious caverns of the Bibémus Quarry that appealed to Cézanne but the rocks’ staccato chiselmarks and striations, which matched the painter’s tessellating brushwork. Streaming on Netflix, Danièle Thompson’s 2016 feature film, “Cézanne et Moi” (in French with English subtitles), explores the artist’s tempestuous friendship with novelist Émile Zola, which began when they were kids but ruptured when the painter accused Zola of using him as the model for the torturedartist protagonist of his 1886 novel, “The Masterpiece.” “With you I never know if I’m dealing with a dog, a cobra or a butterfly,” Zola tells Cézanne at one point. “El Greco: Ambition and Defiance,” Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, through fall 2020. This exhibition examines the personality and distinctive genius of the

painter Doménikos Theotokópoulos, known as El Greco (1541-1614), whose visionary portraits and religious scenes are surreal, full-throttle assaults on the senses. The Art Institute has made an illuminating, short introductory film to the show, which is available on YouTube. Those who want more, however, should turn to two longer videos. Narrated by Adrien Brody, 2014’s “El Greco: An Artist’s Odyssey,” on the website of Washington’s National Gallery of Art, establishes the influences the artist synthesized: Byzantine icons, Michelangelo, Titian and Tintoretto. The Prado’s “El Greco and Modern Painting,” from 2014 (on YouTube in Spanish with English subtitles), lays out his ancestral place in the movements of Post-Impressionism, Expressionism, Symbolism and Cubism—up through the present day. After watching it, you’ll understand what the British painter and critic Roger Fry meant when he wrote in 1920 that “here is an Old Master who is not merely modern, but actually appears a good many steps ahead of us, turning back to show us the way.” “Eileen Gray,” Bard Graduate Center Gallery, New York, through July 12, 2020. Eileen Gray (1878-1976) was a prolific architect, decorator and artist, and one of the pioneers of ergonomic design, whose eight-decade career is surveyed here. Marco Antonio Orsini’s 2014 documentary “Gray Matters: Architect & Designer Eileen Gray” (available on iTunes) is an illuminating introduction. She designed the first tubular chrome furniture (before Marcel Breuer) and was a central figure in several major art movements. The film highlights her breadth and her prickly relationship with her mentor, Le Corbusier, who saw the home as a “machine for living,” whereas



she saw it as “a protective shell for the individual confronting the ruthless conditions of modern life,” infusing her designs with warmth, humor and humility. Right now, we can all relate to Gray’s interpretation. “Judd,” Museum of Modern Art, New York, through July 11. This thrilling and definitive survey mainly comprises his signature boxes, made of plywood, Plexiglas, iron, acrylic and metals, works Donald Judd (1928-1994) steadfastly claimed were not “sculptures.” “The Artist’s Studio: Donald Judd,” a 2012 documentary avail-

able on YouTube and featuring an interview with art historian Barbara Rose, portrays not only Judd’s personality but his philosophy. With directness and inner calm, he talks of his loves (Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollock, David Smith) and his dislikes (the term “Minimalism,” a movement he is widely credited with launching). Also on YouTube, don’t miss MoMA’s “Judd / Live Q&A With Ann Temkin and Flavin Judd / Virtual Views,” a live-streamed chat held last month between MoMA chief curator Ann Temkin and the artist’s son. They discuss the surprise and diversity of Judd’s artwork, as well as his criticism, art collection and furniture (he made his own), and his love of math, color, materials and Marfa, Texas—where he established a home, studio and museum for his art. Flavin said that his father loved the emptiness of the West Texas desert, which he believes is the perfect place to see the work. “Don complained,” Flavin said, “that trees got in the way of the landscape.” “Gerhard Richter: Painting After All,” Met Breuer, New York, closing date to be announced.


Major shows by individual artists have shuttered, but videos and documentaries offer an enlightening alternative

The German artist Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) is arguably the most famous living painter. He employs both “conceptual representation” (often softly blurred photorealism of charged political subjects) and “conceptual abstraction” (thick, overlapping, squeegeed layers of paint). This survey comprises work from the early 1960s to the present. The 2011 documentary “Gerhard Richter Painting,” in German with English subtitles and streaming on the Met’s website, should satisfy fans or anyone interested in how Mr. Richter plans, lights and installs an exhibition, what colors he uses, how his assistants mix his grays, and how he and they execute his paintings—two of which, large abstractions painted here in tandem, took about 10 minutes from start to finish. Concerning the lighting of a show in Cologne, Mr. Richter demands: “It has to be really cold! A cold light. So that people are happy to get out. They shouldn’t be comfortable.” Mr. Esplund, the author of “The Art of Looking: How to Read Modern and Contemporary Art” (Basic Books), writes about art for the Journal.



BY LESLIE LENKOWSKY THE CORONAVIRUS pandemic has dealt a severe blow to nonprofit organizations, the roughly two million groups that form the backbone of American community life. Some, such as hospitals and food banks, have had unprecedented demands for their services. Others, including schools and museums, have stopped operating, lost large amounts of revenue, laid off skilled staff, and in some cases face the possibility of closing altogether. As the economy contracts, individual donations are expected to fall, as they did during the financial crisis a decade ago. Through the Cares Act, the federal government has made nonprofits eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans as well as loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. America’s philanthropists are stepping up as well, supporting emergency funds across the U.S. Yet nonprofits are still struggling. Two factors have conspired to make the impact of the crisis particularly severe. First, a large proportion of nonprofits maintain inadequate financial reserves. According to a 2017 survey of more than 3,000 organizations by the Nonprofit Finance Fund, half had three months or less of cash on hand; a quarter had an operating deficit. Partly this is because the grants nonprofits receive do not always cover full administrative costs, and

most donors prefer to see their money go to meet current needs, rather than to create or expand reserve funds. So nonprofits have to rely on admission charges, gift-shop sales and the like to build their reserves. Some organizations also worry that they will receive less support if they have too large a fund set aside for unanticipated events, such as an economic downturn. Moreover, foundations, corporations and many individual donors have earmarked their gifts for a specific purpose: particular research projects, new buildings, acquiring works of art, aid to particular groups of people, and so on.

The pandemic has exposed problems in nonprofit giving models. Fresh thinking is needed. However much these gifts help advance the mission of an institution, they also tie its hands. In the current climate it is cruelly ironic that nonprofits can be compelled to make cutbacks that severely impair their work or endanger their survival while money sits in their accounts. How large is the percentage of so-called restricted giving? Accounting differences make it hard to get an accurate estimate. But no one is apt to disagree with Phil

Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, and Stephanie J. Hull, chief executive officer of Girls Inc. In a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy op-ed, “It’s Time to End Nonprofits’ Hand-to-Mouth Way of Life,” they say that the share—especially from foundations and wealthy individuals—is “overwhelming.” They continue, arguing that “it is time for a new and more strategic approach to cash reserves for nonprofits.” Even before the coronavirus struck, several foundations had begun promoting “trust-based philanthropy,” which aimed at letting their grantees have more control over the use of their grants. By April they had been joined by over 700 others, including the Ford Foundation, that have pledged in a letter circulated by the Council on Foundations “to loosen or eliminate restrictions on current grants,” including allowing them to pay for general operating costs if necessary. A survey by the Chronicle of Philanthropy revealed that regardless of whether they signed the pledge, most of the 25 largest foundations in the U.S. intended to act similarly. A further important step occurred that month when the Association of Art Museum Directors passed a resolution stating that for a period of two years it will “refrain from censuring or sanctioning” any museum that decides to use restricted funds for general operating expenses. It will also allow the proceeds of sales of works


A Virus Attacks Philanthropy

A man wearing a facemask walks past the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4; the museum has been closed due to the coronavirus. of art to go toward the “direct care of the museum’s collection” instead of the purchase of other artworks, as is normally required. But more flexibility in managing their finances may not be much help. One reason is that to undo grant restrictions, a nonprofit will first have to overcome a variety of procedural and legal rules for using gifts, a potentially time-consuming, even potentially fruitless process of tracking down and consulting with multiple givers (or their heirs), and deal with state officials who ensure that donations are used only for their intended purposes. Moreover, many restricted funds already support what are essentially operating expenses. A donation that endows a chair for an organization’s executive director—or for a curator in an art museum—

underwrites costs that would otherwise have to be financed annually. So do multiyear commitments for a laboratory or a clinic. Drawing on such funds for other activities may redistribute cutbacks but does not avoid the need for them. Nor do the foundations pledge to include full administrative costs or allow their gifts to be used for reserve funds in future grants. Still, these are two indications— along with the foundations’ promise in the CoF letter to consider further adjustments “in more stable times”—that suggest the old ways of philanthropy are being challenged by the coronavirus. Mr. Lenkowsky is professor emeritus of philanthropic studies and public affairs at Indiana University.

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.

A14 | Wednesday, May 27, 2020


* *


NHL’s Goal Is a 24-Team Playoff



Cheers Fill an Empty Stadium A move to pipe-in crowd noise by a Tunisian soccer club is a lesson for leagues across the globe BY ANDREW BEATON AND JOSHUA ROBINSON


Fans who were barred from a soccer match in Tunisia downloaded an app, and that app was connected to speakers around the pitch. The more fans tapped their screens, the louder it got. The noise was fake. The elation was real.


Tunisia launched the Arab Spring. Two years later, Tunisia also led another revolution: bringing virtual fans into empty stadiums. “When it comes to resilience, there are some other parts of the world that can be insightful,” said Amal Haouet, a Tunisian native who ran public relations for the project, known as “The 12th Man.” The richest and most powerful sports teams in the world aren’t much different than Hammam-Lif these days. They’re confronting the dispiriting reality that returning to action could mean playing in desolate stadiums for months. The German Bundesliga began its experiment on May 16 in mostly silent soccer. The loudest noises were a few licks of stadium rock whenever home teams scored. “Each minute is very long when there are no fans and no noise,” Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said. To make players feel more at home, Borussia Mönchengladbach invited supporters to send in selfies and printed them on thousands of cardboard cutouts. Korean baseball also went the cutout route. But none of these really solve the challenge that every team in pretty much every league in the world is


about to face: how to engage with fans from a distance and produce an energizing soundtrack for the people watching on television. It’s the precise problem Tunisian clubs were dealing with years ago. “When I hear about the games played behind closed doors, I think about that project,” said Nicolas Courant, the project’s executive creative director for Memac Ogilvy, a regional affiliate of the Ogilvy advertising and marketing agency. When he first began designing “The 12th Man,” Courant didn’t have a specific team in mind to be the guinea pig. But Tunisia was the perfect testing ground—and Hammam-Lif was the perfect team. Its fan base had grown increasingly apathetic, and it was eager for rejuvenation ahead of a match that could potentially lead to relegation. “At Hammam-Lif, we were always playing for survival,” said the club’s then-coach Dragan Cvetkovic, now at TP Mazembe in the Congo. Hammam-Lif’s players walked out onto the pitch, in their green and white kits, where they were met by 40 speakers hauled into the stadium to lend support that no team in Tunisia had. Outside the stadium, an aggressive marketing campaign con-

vinced Tunisians to download the app, which had icons for them to sound a horn, cheer or bang drums. The funky experiment was the subject of as much intrigue in the buildup to the match as the match itself. It didn’t take long to realize that this thing had caught on. The players could hear the roars inside the stadium. Fans could hear it on television. Around 93,000 people used the app throughout the match—reaching a crescendo when the ball left Harbaoui’s right foot for the game’s only goal. Hammam-Lif won and staved off relegation. The app was a sensation even outside the small coastal town known for its beaches and ancient Jewish mosaics. But the following season, there was no need to bring in fake fans. Real ones were allowed back in Tunisian stadiums. Now the coronavirus pandemic has forced teams across the globe to figure out how they can be more like Hammam-Lif.


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roundbreaking moments of sports innovation tend not to come from middling soccer teams in Tunisia. Club Sportif Hammam-Lif, on the Mediterranean coast, is the exception. In nearly seven decades of existence, the club hadn’t contributed much to the global sports landscape. And it hasn’t made many headlines since. But in March 2013, with the club on the brink of disaster, it briefly showed the sports world what the immediate future might look like. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, mass gatherings were banned for fear of them turning into riots. What few sports were permitted took place behind closed doors. So for this small but proud club, the fight to avoid relegation from the top division would have to unfold without any fans in the building. Hammam-Lif was desperate for a jolt. The solution was so extraordinary that a seven-year-old Tunisian soccer match is now a model for pandemicstricken leagues worth tens of billions of dollars across the globe. When Hammam-Lif took on Stade Tunisien on March 31, 2013, the players in the empty stadium were met with a roar like they hadn’t heard in months: the sound of 90,000 of their most devoted fans cheering them on. The same supporters who were barred from the stadium downloaded an app, and that app was connected to 40 speakers around the pitch. The more they tapped their screens, the louder it got. The noise was fake. The elation was real—especially when Hassen Harbaoui rifled in the game-winning goal to save Hammam-Lif’s season.

The National Hockey League on Tuesday sketched out plans to resume the paused 2019-20 season with an expanded 24-team playoff late in the summer, but there are still many questions that must be answered before the puck is dropped in an NHL game. Hockey became the first among major American sports leagues to detail its postseason path with a plan to end the regular season and go straight to the playoffs. It involves gathering the 12 best teams in each conference through March 11 and gathering them in two locations for several playoff rounds. “I think it’s conceivable that we’re playing at the end of July or the beginning of August, and then playing into September,” said NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. “But if it has to slide more, it will slide.” Under the proposal, the top four teams in the East—Boston, Tampa Bay, Washington and Philadelphia—and the West—St. Louis, Colorado, Vegas and Dallas—would get a first-round bye, but also would play a round robin against each other to determine seeding. Those teams would face the winners of a play-in series of the conference’s bottom eight teams. “We believe we can get the qualifying and first two rounds of playoffs completed in little over a month,” said Bettman. That timeline is optimistic, considering that the expanded playoff could feature as many as 112 games, should the first three rounds be played as five-game series. Concentrating the teams in two hubs would save travel days. But the league and the players have yet to discuss how much time should separate games. Additionally, there have been no agreements reached on compensation, health and safety and myriad logistical issues, such as lodging, transportation, meals, or whether families can share hotel rooms with players in the hub cities.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues are top contenders in the West.

The WSJ Daily Crossword | Edited by Mike Shenk

Shown are today’s noon positions of weather systems and precipitation. Temperature bands are highs for the day.


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Solve this puzzle online and discuss it at WSJ.com/Puzzles.


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