Voicy Journal


Voicy News Brief with articles from The New York Times ニュース原稿 5/11-5/15

Voicy News Brief with articles from The New York Times ニュース原稿 5/11-5/15

Voicy初の公式英語ニュースチャンネル「Voicy News Brief with articles from New York Times」。チャンネルでは、バイリンガルパーソナリティがThe New York Timesの記事を英語で2つ読み、記事の中に出てくる単語を日本語で解説しています。

Voicy Journalでは、毎週金曜日にその週に読んだ記事を、まとめて紹介します!1週間の終わりに、その週の放送をもう1度聞いて復習するのも良いかもしれません。VoicyのPCページやアプリでは、再生速度も変えられるので、自分の理解度に応じて、調整してみましょう。


Mysterious Coronavirus Illness Claims 3 Children in New York

著者:Andrew Jacobs and Edgar Sandoval
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company


NEW YORK — A mysterious syndrome has killed three young children in New York and sickened 73 others, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday, an alarming rise in a phenomenon that was first publicly identified earlier this week.

The syndrome — a toxic-shock inflammation that affects the skin, the eyes, blood vessels and the heart — can leave children seriously ill, with some patients requiring mechanical ventilation. Many of the symptoms bear some resemblance to a rare childhood illness called Kawasaki disease, which can lead to inflammation of the blood vessels, especially the coronary arteries.

Until now, parents and public health experts had found some solace in the notion that the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, largely spared children. But any sense of relief was shattered this week when a 5-year-old in New York City died from the syndrome.

A handful of cases have been reported in other states, including Louisiana, Mississippi and California. At least 50 cases have been reported in European countries, including Britain, France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy.

Cuomo said that many of the children had not shown respiratory symptoms commonly associated with the coronavirus when they arrived at the hospital but that all of them had tested positive for COVID-19 or its antibodies.

While some of the symptoms are similar to Kawasaki disease — including fever, abdominal pain and sometimes a raised rash — doctors who have treated hospitalized children in recent weeks said there appeared to be differences in how the coronavirus-related condition affects the heart.

Toxic shock is a rare complication of Kawasaki disease, but many of the children affected with the coronavirus-related syndrome were in shock with very low blood pressure and an impaired ability to circulate oxygen and nutrients to vital organs. Whereas Kawasaki disease can produce coronary aneurysms when left untreated, the new syndrome seems to mostly involve inflammation of coronary arteries and other blood vessels.

Doctors in New York have noted that cases of the new syndrome began to appear a month or so after a surge of COVID-19 in the region. That timing, experts say, suggests that the illness may be a post-infectious immune response to infection with the virus.

Treatments have included steroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, high-dose aspirin and antibiotics as well as supportive oxygen through the nose, a mask or, in the most serious cases, a ventilator.

inflammation 炎症
vessels 血管
coronary arteries 冠状動脈
bear 〜を持つ、有する
solace 慰さめ
spare (人)を見逃す[大目に見る]、~を勘弁する、助命する、~に危害を加えない
respiratory 呼吸(器官)の
rash 発疹
coronary aneurysms 冠動脈瘤

FDA Clears First Home Saliva Test for Coronavirus

著者:Sheila Kaplan and Natasha Singer
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it had granted emergency authorization for the first at-home saliva collection kit to test for the coronavirus.

The test kit was developed by a Rutgers University laboratory, called RUCDR Infinite Biologics, in partnership with Spectrum Solutions and Accurate Diagnostic Labs. ​

Rutgers received FDA permission last month to collect saliva samples from patients at test sites but can now sell the collection kits for individuals to use at home. They must be ordered by a physician.

The agency has come under fire in recent weeks for allowing myriad companies to offer diagnostic and antibody tests without submitting timely data for review, under its emergency use authorization policy because of the pandemic. Tests have varied widely in terms of their accuracy, and access to diagnostic testing has been scattered, with shortages of tests and the materials required to process them straining capacity from one state to another.

To date, 8.1 million people in the United States have been tested for the coronavirus. But public health experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said testing needed to double by the end of May.

Just last week, the FDA ordered dozens of companies it had allowed to market antibody tests, which some states and public health experts hope will help indicate the depth of infection in communities and quantify who has recovered and perhaps developed some immunity, to submit data proving accuracy within 10 days, or it warned the products could be removed from the market.

The FDA said Rutgers had submitted data showing that testing saliva samples collected by patients themselves, under the observation of a health care provider, was as accurate as testing deep nasal swabs that the health professional had collected from them. The agency also said the spit collection kits should be limited to people who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

The FDA said it still preferred tests based on deep nasal samples, which involve a health professional inserting a long swab up through the nose and into the back of the throat.

Rutgers has 75,000 of the saliva test kits ready to ship and can process 20,000 tests each day, with a 48-hour turnaround.

saliva 唾液
spit 唾液
exhibit 表に出す
swab 綿棒


Questions of Bias in COVID-19 Treatment Add to the Mourning for Black Families

著者:John Eligon and Audra D.S. Burch
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Decades of research shows that black patients receive inferior medical care to white patients. A long history of experimentation, exploitation and mistreatment has left many African Americans deeply suspicious of the medical establishment. Now comes COVID-19 and the fear among many families, social scientists and public health experts that racial bias might be contributing to the disproportionately high rate at which the novel coronavirus is killing African Americans.

Acknowledging a history of implicit bias in medical care, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently advised health care professionals to be careful not to let bias influence their treatment during this pandemic.

Preliminary research by a Boston-based biotech firm suggests that treatment may not be consistent across the board. The study found that black people who visited hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms in February and March were less likely to get tested or treated than white patients.

Americans of all races may have experienced less-than-ideal care in recent months in an overwhelmed health care system, and it is not uncommon to hear stories of people who visited health professionals for treatment, only to be turned away.

But African American patients enter the health care system with distinct disadvantages, experts say. There is less access to quality health care in many black communities, research shows, and black people are more likely to suffer from diabetes, hypertension and other underlying conditions that make COVID-19 particularly fatal.

So, should providers misinterpret or ignore coronavirus symptoms in black patients, there is a higher likelihood that the results could be grave, experts say.

In previous studies, doctors have been found to have downplayed African Americans’ complaints of pain, given them weaker pain medication for broken bones and withheld cardiac treatments from black patients who needed them.

A pilot study by Rubix Life Sciences, the biotech research firm, compared the severity of COVID-19 symptoms exhibited by more than 27,000 patients during hospital visits in seven states with the treatment they received.

The study, which has not gone through peer review, showed that black patients were six times less likely to get treatment or testing than white patients, said Reginald Swift, the founder of Rubix.

mourning 追悼
exploitation 搾取
disproportionately 不釣り合いに、偏って
implicit 暗黙の
hypertension 高血圧
fatal 命に関わる、致命的な
grave 深刻な
cardiac 心臓の

From Coffee Filter to Safety Mask, in a Hurry

著者:Christopher F. Schuetze
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

BERLIN — As the wave of coronavirus infections broke over Europe in March, causing reserves of medical supplies to disappear, German authorities made a nationwide appeal: More safety masks were urgently needed.

At Melitta, the company that pioneered the paper coffee filter, inspiration was close at hand.

“The ergonomics of the thing, the fact that the filter fits exactly over mouth, nose and chin is so unbelievable that you might call it a gift from heaven,” said Katharina Roehrig, a managing director at Melitta, which is based in a small city in northwestern Germany.

Melitta has a 112-year history with coffee filters. The company also owns Wolf PVG, which has produced air filters and vacuum cleaner bags for decades, providing valuable knowledge and a supply of the three-ply microfiber needed to make masks to a hospital standard.

“Facing this particular challenge, we realized that we could produce the needed quantities at an insane speed,” said Roehrig — in other words, as many as 1 million masks a day.

Many masks that filter small particles using microfiber rely on material whose production has mostly moved to Asia. In the mad rush to secure the raw materials, politicians and businesspeople have made it their business to find a source.

The essential ingredient in many medical-grade masks is a filter made of nonwoven superthin fibers, formed in a process known as melt-blown extrusion. Since the pandemic, demand for so-called melt-blown fiber has skyrocketed.

For Melitta, melt-blown fiber is readily available: It makes its own, mainly for use in vacuum cleaner bags.

The coffee-filter-shaped masks are produced on the same machine as the filters found in grocery store aisles. Although they physically resemble a normal coffee filter, the masks are made from different material (making them unsuitable for brewing coffee).

The material, a triple layer of melt-blown and spun-blown microfiber, has a Bacterial Filtration Efficiency certification of above 98%, a value comparable to simple medical masks.

Once the mask is approved by the government as a medical product, the company plans to supply those most in need in their region and eventually sell the product to a broader market.

insane 常軌を逸した
extrusion 突き出し、押し出し
aisles 通路
brewing 醸造


New York to Begin Limited Reopening in Upstate Region

著者:Jesse McKinley
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

In the most concrete step toward restarting his battered and shuttered state, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday that large chunks of New York state’s central interior will be allowed to partially reopen construction, manufacturing and curbside retail this weekend.

The move toward a limited, regional reopening came 10 weeks after the state’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 26,000 people in New York and sickened hundreds of thousands more. That toll has been largely borne by New York City and its populous suburbs, with far fewer cases and fatalities thus far in the state’s more rural communities and smaller cities.

Indeed, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday offered a more sobering assessment for the city, the nation’s financial capital, saying that no reopening of any kind would be likely there until June, at the earliest.

And even as Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, announced that three regions — the Finger Lakes, including Rochester, a major city on Lake Ontario; the Southern Tier, which borders Pennsylvania; and the Mohawk Valley, west of Albany — have successfully met bench marks for reopening, there still remained many hurdles to clear.

Newly formed regional “control rooms” will be granted oversight and authority to give businesses the go-ahead to open; they can also impose their own safety requirements. They will have the authority to slow or shut down reopening plans, Cuomo said, if data about the disease shows a worsening of conditions.

Businesses will also carry a heavy burden, as employees return to radically altered work spaces, operating under tight controls, including social-distancing protocols, staggered shifts and frequent cleaning and disinfecting. Company cafeterias would most likely be closed, Cuomo suggested, and employees subject to testing in the case of outbreaks.

“There’s no gathering,” Cuomo said. “That’s what we’re trying to avoid.”

Retail businesses would also be allowed to reopen for curbside service under the plan, with employees in masks. Health screening would also be required of all businesses in the first phase, which would be evaluated after two weeks to determine its impact on the spread of the disease.

“We are all anxious to get back to work,” Cuomo said, in a briefing in Irondequoit, near Rochester. “We want to do it smartly, we want to do it intelligently, but we want to do it.”

battered ぼろぼろの、暴力を振るわれた
curbside 歩道
borne (bear) 耐える、担う
staggered 交互の、互い違いの

Bafflement Greets Boris Johnson’s Plan for Reopening Britain

著者:Stephen Castle and Mark Landler
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

LONDON — When the coronavirus struck, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain agonized before closing stores, pubs and restaurants as part of the country’s fight against the disease. But with the spread of the virus curbed, easing the lockdown is proving harder still.

On Monday, Johnson’s long-anticipated blueprint for reopening the economy ran into a barrage of opposition, as critics pointed to gaps and contradictions in a plan that left many pondering basic questions such as when to return to work and how to get there.

“What the country needs is clarity and reassurance, and at the moment both are in short supply,” Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labour Party, told Parliament.

Starmer accused Johnson of spreading “considerable confusion” in a country that is among the worst hit in Europe by the pandemic.

Johnson, making his first statement to Parliament on the virus, said Monday that the nation’s “shared effort has averted a still worse catastrophe.” He rejected criticism that his proposals were too vague, saying he trusted the public to apply “good, solid British common sense.”

But political leaders in Scotland and Wales have been quick to reject parts of the new strategy. And with contradictory advice over when a return to work should start, even those in some quarters that generally support the government were unforgiving.

“Boris Johnson’s big lockdown speech descends into farce,” was the headline in MailOnline, the digital edition of The Daily Mail.

Under Johnson’s new proposals, announced Sunday and Monday, those unable to work from home will be encouraged to return to workplaces — but also to avoid public transport.

People will be advised to wear face coverings on buses and trains and in some stores — but not obliged to.

They will be allowed to exercise more and meet with one other person in open spaces like parks — so long as they remain 2 meters, or roughly 6 feet, apart.

There is also a vague timetable for the reopening next month of some schools, and the possibility of resuming some sporting events.

But while the government laid down objectives for easing the lockdown, trade unions said it left many questions unanswered.

bafflement 困惑
curb 抑制する、抑える
barrage 集中砲火、一斉射撃
ponder じっくり考える、思案する
avert 防ぐ、回避する
farce 茶番劇


Uber Said to Be in Talks to Acquire Grubhub

著者:Mike Isaac and Kate Conger
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber is in talks to acquire Grubhub, said three people with knowledge of the discussions, aiming to create one giant player in food delivery as more people turn toward those services in the coronavirus pandemic.

Uber recently approached Grubhub with a potential all-stock takeover bid, said two of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details were confidential. In response, Grubhub asked for two Uber shares for each of its shares, two of the people said. That would value Grubhub’s stock at more than $60 a share, pegging a deal at around $6.1 billion, or roughly a 25% premium to Grubhub’s closing price on Monday.

The talks are still in process and could fall apart, the people said.

The discussions are a sign of how thoroughly the coronavirus has upended everything from the way that people are eating to how businesses must shift to find new growth. While food delivery has been offered for years, usage of the services has surged in the pandemic as consumers stay home and many restaurants across the country remain shut down.

At the same time, companies like Uber are trying to limit damage to their business from the coronavirus — its main ride-hailing business has cratered as people have stopped traveling — and instead double down on services that are growing. The food delivery business has also been highly competitive, with rivals regularly undercutting one another on delivery prices, so a deal that would unite two of the players could help reduce those pressures.

After Bloomberg reported the talks between Grubhub and Uber, Grubhub’s shares soared 29%, while Uber’s rose more than 2%.

Uber approached Grubhub after the pandemic hit, said one person with knowledge of the deal talks. By then, Uber’s main ride-hailing business had been severely hurt as most travel was halted. Last week, the company posted a $2.9 billion loss for the first three months of the year and said that even though its revenue was up from a year earlier, its ride-hailing business had all but collapsed in March. It also announced it was laying off 14% of its workforce.

But its Uber Eats division, has been a bright spot. Revenue for the business rose 53% in the first quarter from a year ago.

upended ひっくりかえされる
double down 強化する
undercut より安く売る
hail 〔タクシーなどを〕呼び止める、〔タクシーを〕拾う

Fearing a Second Wave, Cal State Will Keep Classes Online in the Fall

著者:Shawn Hubler
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

SACRAMENTO — In the most sweeping sign yet of the long-term impact of the coronavirus on American higher education, California State University, the nation’s largest four-year public university system, said Tuesday that classes at its 23 campuses would be canceled for the fall semester, with instruction taking place almost exclusively online.

The system is the first large American university to tell students they will not be returning to campus in the fall. Most of the nation’s colleges and universities have gone out of their way to say they intend to reopen, but they are also making backup plans for online classes.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the finances of colleges and universities, a large number of which were already struggling before virus-related closures. Many are concerned about growing signs that a large number of students will choose to sit out the fall semester if classes remain virtual, or demand hefty cuts in tuition.

A $14 billion federal bailout passed by Congress this spring will not be enough to save some universities if enrollment drops significantly, experts said, and for many students, the in-person experience is a significant part of higher education’s draw.

But the chancellor of the California State University System, Timothy P. White, told the board of trustees on Tuesday that the risks were too great for the more than 480,000 undergraduates enrolled at the Cal States, as they are known, to return to campus in the fall. Classes will continue virtually, as they have since March.

White allowed for the possibility of exceptions. If health and safety precautions permit, clinical classes in the nursing program could be held in person, he said, as could certain science labs and other essential instruction.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has been keeping a running tally of what American colleges are planning to do for the fall. Only a handful of schools, mostly small ones, have said they are leaning toward online-only classes, including Wayne State University in Detroit, a virus hot spot, and Sierra College outside Sacramento. A few say they are planning a hybrid model. But the vast majority say they are planning for in-person classes.

semester 学期
go out of one’s way 無理をする
sit out 参加しない
hefty 高額の
bailout 緊急援助


Coronavirus Pushes America’s Coal Industry to Once-Unthinkable Lows

著者:Brad Plumer
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

WASHINGTON — The United States is on track to produce more electricity this year from renewable power than from coal for the first time on record, new government projections show — a transformation partly driven by the coronavirus pandemic, with profound implications in the fight against climate change.

It is a milestone that seemed all but unthinkable a decade ago, when coal was so dominant that it provided nearly half the nation’s electricity. And it comes despite the Trump administration’s three-year push to try to revive the ailing industry by weakening pollution rules on coal-burning power plants.

Those efforts, however, failed to halt the powerful economic forces that have led electric utilities to retire hundreds of aging coal plants since 2010 and run their remaining plants less frequently. The cost of building large wind farms has declined more than 40% in that time, while solar costs have dropped more than 80%. And the price of natural gas, a cleaner-burning alternative to coal, has fallen to historic lows as a result of the fracking boom.

Now the coronavirus outbreak is pushing coal producers into their deepest crisis yet.

As factories, retailers, restaurants and office buildings have shut down nationwide to slow the spread of the coronavirus, demand for electricity has fallen sharply. And because coal plants often cost more to operate than gas plants or renewables, many utilities are cutting back on coal power first in response.

In just the first 4 1/2 months of this year, the U.S.’ fleet of wind turbines, solar panels and hydroelectric dams have produced more electricity than coal on 90 separate days — shattering last year’s record of 38 days for the entire year.

The latest report from the Energy Information Administration estimates that the U.S.’ total coal consumption will fall by nearly one-quarter this year, and coal plants are expected to provide just 19% of the nation’s electricity, dropping for the first time below both nuclear power and renewable power, a category that includes wind, solar, hydroelectric dams, geothermal and biomass.

The decline of coal has major consequences for climate change. Coal is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels, and its decline has already helped drive down U.S. carbon dioxide emissions 15% since 2005. This year, the agency expects the U.S.’ emissions to fall by another 11%, the largest drop in at least 70 years.

ailing 病んでいる
pollution 汚染
renewables 再生可能エネルギー
geothermal 地熱の
carbon dioxide emissions CO2排出量

‘Rolling Shock’ as Job Losses Mount Even With Reopenings

著者:Patricia Cohen and Tiffany Hsu
(c) 2020 The New York Times Company

Scattershot reopenings of retail stores, nail salons and restaurants around the country have not halted the flood of layoffs, with the government reporting Thursday that nearly 3 million people filed unemployment claims last week, bringing the two-month tally to more than 36 million.

Although the weekly count of new claims has been declining since late March, job losses from the coronavirus pandemic continue to mount. The Labor Department said last week that the official unemployment rate in April might have been close to 20% if not for data-collection errors.

“This is a very protracted, painful situation for the labor market,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, “and I just don’t see anything positive.”

As shelter-in-place restrictions have been rolled back in roughly half of the states, some employees are being called back to work. But because of lags in data on those receiving jobless benefits after their initial claims, the extent of rehiring is not reflected in the latest Labor Department report.

Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at Bank of America, said that even with the reopenings, she doubted that callbacks to work outnumbered additional layoffs from other sectors. The slowdown has been rippling beyond the early shutdowns in retail and hospitality to professional business services, manufacturing and health care.

“In a sense, it’s a rolling shock,” she said.

State unemployment insurance and emergency federal relief were supposed to tide households over during the shutdown. But several states have a backlog of claims, and applicants continue to complain of being unable to reach overloaded state agencies.

According to a poll for The New York Times in early May by the online research firm SurveyMonkey, more than half of those applying for unemployment benefits in recent weeks were unsuccessful.

And 13 states have yet to fully put in place the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance that Congress passed in March to help freelancers, the self-employed and other workers not normally eligible for state jobless benefits.

Some of those being called back to work have never seen a penny of government aid.

scattershot 標的を定めずに発射した、でたらめの、手当たり次第の
protracted 長引く、ダラダラと続く、長期化する
roll back 縮小する
rippling さざ波が立っている
tide over 乗り切る
backlog 〔仕事や注文の〕未処理分
eligible for ~に対して資格がある

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