FAS Roundup – September 25, 2020

By September 25, 2020

Vaccine news stories hosting malware disseminated across Spanish-language Twitter
We detected malware linked to Russian-backed Sputnik News articles reporting on AstraZeneca vaccine. Malware-linked articles are shared on Twitter and introduce vulnerabilities onto devices that can then be further exploited. Read the latest FAS Disinformation Report here for more.

Airlines say it’s safe to fly. Travelers are skeptical. Who’s right?
“Your decisions to book flights to capacity place your crew and your passengers in excessive danger,” FAS President Ali Nouri said in a letter to the CEOs of United and American Airlines.

CDC removes updated guidelines around COVID-19 aerosol transmission, but this expert explains why it should reverse the reversal
In an interview with TechCrunch, FAS Adjunct Senior Fellow Eric Feigl-Ding talks about how the US lags behind other countries in explaining and highlighting the role of aerosols in COVID-19 transmission, and the near-silence from the CDC on aerosol transmission.

A Grassroots Effort to Fight Misinformation During the Pandemic
Soon after its launch, Ask A Scientist became the go-to place for the public to connect with scientists and ask their burning COVID-19 questions. Now, we’re connecting policymakers to scientists, technologists, and medical experts. Read more about the project and its future in Scientific American.

Senator’s Challenge to War Powers Secrecy Blocked
“Signals intelligence collection would not be useful for preventing opportunistic looting or violent confrontations. It presumes the existence of coordinated, purposeful, and unlawful activity that is conducted through electronic means,” FAS’ Steven Aftergood tells the Nation. “The general concern is that DHS treated mass public protests—not just violent individuals—as suspicious and targets of investigation, or worse.”

Major Changes to Student Visa Rules Proposed
“It’s a totally unnecessary and a massive self-inflicted wound on the United States if it actually goes into effect, which one can reasonably hope it never does,” FAS’ Doug Rand tells Inside Higher Ed about a shocking recent proposed student visa rules change.

A Brief History of Schedule A: The United States’ Forgotten Shortage Occupation List
Schedule A used to be a major part of the US immigration system since its creation in 1965, and it was so successful that other countries like the UK have built similar lists. But over the years it has slowly been forgotten in the US, writes FAS’ Lindsay Milliken.

FDA: COVID-19 vaccine candidates should meet a higher bar for an emergency authorization than other medical products. White House: Maybe, maybe not.
If vaccine-makers request emergency authorization, FDA wants COVID-19 vaccine candidates to clear a higher bar than hydroxychloroquine and convalescent plasma. The White House isn’t sure. Read more about the FDA, EUAs, and COVID-19 vaccine progress in this week’s CSPI newsletter.

SIGN-ON: Scientists’ Statement in Defense of Democracy
Many scientists watch news and events in our country with real concern about the state of our constitutional democracy. In recognition that the science community can not hold itself separate and apart from democratic society, we invite like-minded scientists to join us in signing a statement affirming their commitment to democratic principles.

Geneva Dialogue on Nuclear Disarmament Verification
Last week, FAS Senior Fellow Jenifer Mackby presented at the Geneva Center for Security Policy as a featured speaker at the Conceptual Elements of Nuclear Disarmament Verification in a Notional Future Nuclear Arms Control and Disarmament Regime workshop in collaboration with the government of Germany.

Physicists Coalition for Nuclear Threat Reduction Next-Generation Fellowship
The Physicists Coalition invites applications for its Next-Generation Fellowship, which aims to make more diverse and strengthen participation of graduate students, postdocs and early-career physicists and engineers in advancing nuclear weapons threat reduction. Learn more about the fellowship and how to apply here.

Categories: FAS Roundup