Posts tagged with "Business Insider"

Poll: Fauci and Cuomo are the most trusted leaders on COVID-19 in America right now. Trump is not.

March 31, 2020

Americans say they have the most trust in Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York when it comes to official information and guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak, a new Business Insider poll shows.

Insider asked, “When it comes to the official advice regarding coronavirus, please rate how much you trust the following messengers on a scale of 1 to 5.”

Using that measure, 1 means strongly distrust; 2, somewhat distrust; 3, neither trust nor distrust; 4, somewhat trust; and 5, strongly trust. Participants were asked to mark “NA,” if they were unfamiliar with the person.

Fauci and Cuomo received the highest marks; with President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin receiving the lowest:

  • Respondents gave Dr. Fauci an average score of 3.84 out of 5 for trustworthiness. Fully 40% gave him a top score of 5, which is nearly double the next highest-rated person, and,all told, 86% gave him a 3 or higher, which is vastly higher than anyone else.
  • Cuomo received an average score of 3.2 9 out of 5. Three-quarters (75%) of respondents gave Cuomo a score of 3 or higher, and 22% gave him 5 out of 5.
  • Global Health Ambassador Dr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus task force response coordinator, got a score of 3.14 out of 5. About three in four respondents gave Birx a score of three or higher.
  • Governor Gavin Newsom of California got an average score of 2.97 out of 5. Just shy of 70% of people gave Newsom a score of 3 or higher.
  • Former Vice President and likely 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden got an average score of 2.76 out of 5. About 31% of respondents rated Biden a 4 or 5; 27%, a 3 of 5; and 42%, a 1 or 2.
  • Vice President Mike Pence was rated a 2.65 out of 5 on average for trustworthiness. About 33% of respondents rated him a 1.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar was rated 2.62 out of 5.
  • President Donald Trump was scored 2.56 out of 5 on average. Fully 44% of respondents rate Trump a 1 out of 5; compared to 20%, who rated him a 5 out of 5. The largest group of people—55%—rated Trump as a 1 or 2.
  • Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin got the lowest score out of the 10 officials; rating 2.52 out of 5, on average.

According to Business Insider, Fauci’s blunt explanation of the strict scientific facts, calm but no-nonsense demeanor, and subtle sense of humor both in White House briefings and congressional hearings have received rave reviews from the public and made him a household name.

And while Cuomo was previously considered a somewhat divisive figure in New York politics best-known for his incessant feuding with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, respondents felt he’s risen to the occasion during the current crisis.

As the governor of one of the hardest-hit states, Cuomo has been rewarded for massively expanding New York’s testing capacity, aggressively combating the virus with business closures and social distancing, and his daily PowerPoint pep talks to New Yorkers in his press conferences. 

The poll was conducted on behalf of Business Insider by SurveyMonkey. A total of 1,136 respondents were collected on March 25.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Gap is dedicating factories to make masks, gowns, and scrubs for healthcare workers

March 26, 2020

Gap is the latest retailer to announce a commitment to use its resources to create personal protective equipment for healthcare workers, Business Insider reports.

The clothing and accessories manufacturer and marketer announced on March 25 via Twitter, “Our teams are connecting some of the largest hospital networks in Calif. w/our vendors to deliver PPE [personal protective equipment] supplies, while we pivot resources so factory partners can make masks, gowns & scrubs for healthcare workers on the front lines.”

The company—which opened its first store in 1969 in San Francisco, selling primarily jeans and LP records—said it would connect with hospitals in California to deliver the supplies.

In order to provide the crucial and urgently needed supplies to healthcare providers, Gap made the decision to temporarily close its company owned and operated stores across North America, including Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Janie and Jack, and Intermix brands. The closures were effective March 19.

Other retailers have announced similar initiatives to support healthcare workers as the coronavirus prompts a nationwide shortage of masks and other protective equipment. In California, hospitals have turned to Los Angeles seamstresses to make masks.

Nike also announced it was creating personal protective equipment such as face shields to support doctors and nurses in Oregon. Zara announced a similar initiative.

Research contact: @GapInc

Pasta la vista: An Italian grandma hosts virtual pasta-making classes during time of coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Over the past three years, travelers have been making the trek to the small town of Palombara Sabina, about an hour north of Rome, to make pasta with an Italian grandma who goes simply by Nonna Nerina, according to a story picked up from the Matador Network by Business Insider.

It started when her granddaughter, Chiara Nicolanti, set up an Airbnb Experiences page. It quickly grew, drawing international press and groups more than willing to take a train ride to Italy’s countryside. Nicolanti even recruited other grandmas in the village to take part, and the additional tourists inspired the mayor to reopen the town’s castle, which had been closed for years.

“And then unexpected arrived,” Nicolanti told the Matador Network over the phone from Palombara Sabina. “And the unexpected was called coronavirus.”

Nicolanti, who runs the business side of the Nonna experience, had to cancel bookings starting in FebruaryCOVID-19 has hit Italy hard. First, the northern regions of Italy were shut down, followed by an entire countrywide lockdown. The elderly who are most impacted are some the very people who make the Nonna experience the authentic intergenerational connection that it is.

Yet Nicolanti still saw the importance of connecting with people through food. This being 2020, she realized there’s another way and turned to the Internet with a new message: If you cannot come to Italy, then Italy will come to you.

The online experience is called Nonna Live. It runs for around two hours and costs $50. Nicolanti sends a simple list of ingredients and tools to pick up (eggs, flour, something to roll the pasta out with), and then sets a time to meet virtually. The time change has proven to be a bit of a hurdle but not an impossible one with a few adjustments. Nicolanti runs the classes on weekdays while Nonna Nerina, who is 84, joins on the weekends.

“When we opened up class and started having some bookings, the most beautiful thing happened,” Nicolanti says. “In two weeks, we had hundreds of messages from all around the world from people who I met once in my life and they text me to tell me we are praying for you, we love you, we hope to see you.”

Relationships have been at the heart of the pasta making experience from the start. Three years ago, Nicolanti was pregnant and her life was rapidly changing. Spending time with her grandmother forced her to slow down and realize that traditions were disappearing — especially among younger generations. Nicolanti, who is now 30, says the way people her age pile on work means there’s less time for the much-needed family connection that ties generations together.

Nicolanti eventually hopes to bring the other grandmas in, but for now, it’s just the four generations of Nicolanti’s family. It’s enough during a time like this. During a recent 1 a.m. experience, Nerina, Nicolanti’s mother, Nicolanti, and her daughter were teaching pasta making online together. (Nicolanti’s daughter was supposed to be sleeping but decided she wanted to play, so “we finished the last part with her playing on the table,” Nicolanti says.)

“I think that this moment is forcing us to stop, and we can use this time to speak and share memories and share traditions and good bites,” Nicolanti says. “I think it’s very important in this moment when everybody is forced to stay alone to not feel solitude.” 

Research contact: @businessinsider

Afterpay now has more customers in the America than in its native Australia

March 11, 2020

Although the buy now, pay later (BNPL) financial services solution, Afterpay, only launched in the United States in 2018, its customer base in the market already is larger than its base of 3.1 million customers in Australia, where Afterpay has been operating since 2015.

This, says Business Insider, is “a testament to the rising popularity of BNPL in the America.” The operating concept: Buy what you want today; pay for it in four installments, interest-free.

Considering that Afterpay added over 1 million new customers in November and December 2019 alone, and that its active U.S. customer base grew a whopping 443% year-over-year (YoY) in its fiscal H1 2020, Afterpay’s position in the market is still rapidly developing.

But Afterpay’s sales in the States still are far behind its sales in Australia, despite its leading customer base. Afterpay racked up AU$3.1 billion (US$2.02 billion) in underlying sales in its fiscal H1 2020, compared with AU$1.4 billion (US$914 million) in the United States. And while Afterpay’s U.S. sales grew 445% YoY and its Australian increased by just 55%, the sales differential still shows that America isn’t actually Afterpay’s biggest market yet, which is likely related to Afterpay being more established in Australia.

Afterpay has the opportunity to use its success in Australia as a blueprint for its operations here, the company’s U.S. CEO Nick Molnar told Business Insider Intelligence.

The company found that long-time customers in Australia shop with it more frequently than they do in the States— and it could find similar results in the Aemrica over time. Afterpay reports that Australian customers who began shopping with it between its fiscal 2015 and 2017 are now making 23 purchases with it a year, on average, while consumers who started their relationship with Afterpay in its fiscal 2020 only make three purchases a year.

The future looks promising: Afterpay has partnered with thousands of Australian merchants in different industries, and it has the chance to build a similar network in the United States, according to Business Insider. The company counts 35,500 merchants in Australia, reaching industries like retail, airlines, and dentists, Molnar said. Meanwhile, Afterpay only has 7,400 merchants in America, many of which are apparel or beauty retailers. As Afterpay adds more merchants and reaches new industries here, its sales in the market could take off.

Research contact: @businessinsider

ClassPass is offering a one-month free trial for the new year—and here’s how it works

January 21, 2020

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to experience trending fitness classes—from cycling to boxing to yoga to rowing to barre, and more—then you might want to think about ClassPass.

With over 30,000 health clubs in 28 countries worldwide to choose a class from, the three-year-old company, based in New York City, offers the chance to sample different workouts, depending on your mood, fitness level, and schedule.

Their standard introductory offer is typically two weeks, Business Insider reports, but now, Class Pass is offering a one-month free trial for the new year. You can take up to six classes during your free month, and you can cancel your membership whenever. If you don’t cancel, though, you’ll be auto-enrolled in a monthly membership. That’s all you’ll need. You won’t need a membership to any of the clubs.

And since budget-friendly options can often mean second-rate options, it’s nice to know ClassPass typically features popular studios, including a majority of the fitness classes you’ve likely heard of from word-of-mouth or have actually been meaning to try.

According to Business Insider, after your free trial, you pay a monthly membership fee that’s based on your city and how many classes you want to take each month. The lowest tier membership starts at $9, but you should expect to pay something closer to $39 (the rate in cities like Minneapolis) to $49 (the rate in New York City) per month for four to nine classes.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Are you an empath? Some of us ‘feel’ things more intensely than others

December 24, 2019

Empathy is the ability most of us have to intuit—and relate to—the emotions someone else is experiencing.

Unless we are psychopaths, narcissists, or sociopaths, we feel empathy for others on some level. But some sensitive individuals feel it more intensely than others. They are known as empaths.

“An empath is an emotional sponge,” Judith Orloff, psychiatrist and author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, told Business Insider in an interview. “[He or she] absorbs the stress and also the positive emotions into their own bodies from other people.”

How can we identify empaths among a slew of other folks who merely show sympathy under the right conditions? Orloff believes that empaths exhibit the following personality characteristics:

They don’t have the filters other people do: Being an empath doesn’t just mean having a lot of compassion. In many ways, empaths don’t have “normal filters.” They take in a lot of what’s going on around them, and are very sensitive to noise, smell, and excessive talking. This means they are easily overwhelmed in crowds, and can be exhausted after just short periods of time in social situations.

“They have gifts of intuition, of depth, of really caring for others, and having deep compassion,” Orloff explained, who is an empath herself. “They often give too much. They sometimes take on their loved ones’ pain in their bodies, so they actually feel it.”

They need time alone: To unwind, empaths often need time alone. Sometimes they need to sleep alone, which can be a tricky conversation to have with a partner. Things you expect in a relationship, like being close, can be draining to an empath, even if their partner’s intentions are good.

“I’ve known empaths who like sleeping alone, but they can’t tell their partner that. They just can’t go to sleep easily with someone in the bed,” Orloff said. “They toss and turn, or get in uncomfortable positions. One of my patients called it the ‘snuggle hold,’ where their partner liked to snuggle, and she felt she was trapped.”

It may be hard for some people to comprehend the idea of needing alone time in a happy relationship. This is one of the reasons empaths are often misdiagnosed as having depression or anxiety. They might be anxious and depressed, but this could be a result of the way they are being forced to live their lives.

After years of being told they are “over-sensitive,” many empaths grow up thinking there is something wrong with them, when really they have a gift, Orloff told Business Insider. If empaths aren’t aware of who they are, everyday interactions that others find normal could be causing them damage.

Setting boundaries can be difficult: Boundaries are a real struggle for empaths, one reason being that they always want to please others.

Unfortunately, this means they can be taken advantage of by manipulative people. Narcissists and empaths attract each other, as narcissists see someone they can use, and the empaths see someone they can help and fix. Orloff helps her clients out with learning to stand up for themselves, and realizing what is best for them.

“What I always tell them is ‘no’ is a complete sentence,” Orloff told the business news outlet “Learn how to say ‘no,’ but don’t get into a big discussion about it. Just say, ‘No, I’m sorry I can’t do this tonight, I’d rather stay home.’”

Orloff has self-assessment test at the beginning of her book that will help empaths to diagnose themselves. Once they have the answers, she says, they can start trying out some of the techniques, such as meditation.

“Empaths need to know that what they have is beautiful and much needed in our world today,” Orloff said. “And so my job as a psychiatrist is to help them with the challenges so that they can embrace and enjoy their gift.”

Research contact: @businessinsider

Sanitation insanity? Chipotle has nurses check if workers are sick

December 6, 2019

Chipotle has found a new way to protect the health of its customers and of its bottom line. The Mexican grill—which was responsible for a well-publicized juggernaut of norovirus among customers in Virginia in 2017—has instituted a regimen of strict food safety practices in order to prevent future outbreaks and reassure patrons at all of its 2,500 U.S. locations.

But has the chain of fast casual restaurants gone overboard to ensure employee health? An investigation at the time of the outbreak revealed that it was caused by store managers who failed to follow safety procedures and by an employee who worked while sick.  The company revealed this week that it has hired nurses to check whether employees who call in sick are genuinely unwell or just hungover, Business Insider reports.

“We have nurses on call, so that if you say, ‘Hey, I’ve been sick,’ you get the call into the nurse,” CEO Brian Niccol said at a Barclays conference on Wednesday, December 4. “The nurse validates that it’s not a hangover—you’re really sick—and then we pay for the day off to get healthy again.”

He added, “We have a very different food-safety culture than we did two years ago, OK?” Nobody gets to the back of the restaurant without going through a wellness check.”

However, a healthy workforce isn’t always enough to prevent customers from succumbing to germs in the environment. “There’s probably people in here that might have the common cold,” Niccol said at the conference, according to the news outlet. “Even if we clean up after you, and we don’t use a cleaner that kills that germ, it hangs around for the next customer.

“Even though our team member did nothing wrong—there was nothing wrong with our food—we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard to make sure that the dining room gets sanitized in a way that it hasn’t been in the past,” he said.

Chipotle has a solution: “We’ve got cleaner that actually kills norovirus when you clean the tables in the dining room,” Niccol said.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Elon Musk claims Tesla has 200,000 orders for its Cybertruck—despite botched debut

November 26, 2019

There’s an old saying that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. But Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, found that out the hard way: At the debut of his much-vaunted electric Cybertruck on November 21, he asked the company’s Chief of Design Franz von Holzhausen to hurl a metal ball at one of the pickup truck’s armored glass windows—supposedly strong enough to withstand bullets.

The window cracked. Then von Holzhausen lobbed a ball at another side window—hoping for better results—and it shattered, too.

“Oh my f****** god,” Musk said after the windows smashed. “Well, maybe that was a little too hard.”

According to a report by Yahoo Finance, the Tesla boss later blamed the order in which the demo took place for the mishap. Before tossing the metal balls, von Halzhauzen used a sledgehammer on the side doors of the truck—and didn’t leave a dent.

“Sledgehammer impact on door cracked base of glass, which is why steel ball didn’t bounce off,” Musk tweeted. “Should have done steel ball on window, *then* sledgehammer the door. Next time.”

Musk also explained the reason for the unusual angular design of the Cybertruck— claiming that current auto manufacturing technology is not capable of bending the ultra-hard material. The vehicle looks like a big metallic trapezoid and has a starting price of $39,900.

“New manufacturing methods are certainly needed, but then I’m confident it will actually cost less, because of its simplicity and lower part count,” he tweeted.

The space-age design has proved divisive —but received praise from Blade Runner Artistic Director Syd Mead, Business Insider reported. The cinema great described it as “stylistically breathtaking”.

During the truck’s unveiling, Musk said: “Trucks have been the same for like 100 years. We need something different.”

And buyers seem to agree. Since the embarrassing rollout, Tesla has received nearly 200,000 “orders” for its Cybertruck, Musk claims.

However, that might be optimistic: According to a story on CNBC, A prospective Cybertruck owner must pay Tesla a refundable, $100 “preorder fee.” In his boastful tweet on Saturday, Musk conflated orders with preorders, which are distinct from a final commitments to purchase the Cybertruck.

On Saturday, November 23, the CEO tweeted: “146k Cybertruck orders so far, with 42% choosing dual, 41% tri & 17% single motor.”

No matter the take rate, preorders for the Cybertruck, CNBC notes, are one indication that Tesla’s marketing game remains strong as ever.

“We threw wrenches, we threw everything even literally the kitchen sink at the glass and it didn’t break. For some weird reason, it broke now,” a humorous Musk said at the event. “I don’t know why. We will fix it in post.”

The stunt helped make the Cybertruck the subject of memes and media coverage around the world.

Research contact: @YahooFinance

Facebook gets grief for including Breitbart in News tab

October 29, 2019

Can Facebook do anything that doesn’t draw fire from users, regulators, legislators, and the media? After years of complaints from American news outlets that the social media site has The Washington Post reports that Facebook has agreed to compensate at least some news organizations as part of a specialized “News” tab meant to steer users toward curated national and local news stories.

But the project immediately raised new controversy when it became known that Breitbart News—a Web outlet linked to right-wing causes that was once run by former Trump adviser Steve Bannonhad been included among the 200 media outlets participating in the program.

“Given that Facebook is putting actual news outlets in the same category as Breitbart, actual news outlets should consider quickly withdrawing from the program,” Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters for America, a liberal nonprofit media watchdog, told the Post.

At an event in New York to launch the project, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended Breitbart’s inclusion. “You want to include a breadth of content to make sure all different topics can be covered,” Zuckerberg said.

Other outlets participating include The Washington Post, The New York Times, News Corp., BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, Bloomberg News, Fox News, NBCUniversal, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times.

The News tab marks the latest iteration of Facebook’s approach to online news, the Post reports. Before January 2018, the company had been a leading distributor of news, but that role was dogged by the presence in its feed of false and misleading information, as well as by allegations that its news feed and other features tilted toward liberal viewpoints

Zuckerberg did not go into specifics about how different publishers would be compensated, and media analysts expressed skepticism that the arrangement will help the small and medium local outlets that have been most seriously undercut by the rise of online news distribution.

“The vast majority of local news outlets are not included, and that is part of the news ecosystem that’s most at risk,” David Chavern, the president and chief executive of the News Media Alliance, a trade association of news publishers, told The Washington Post.

Chavern called Facebook’s agreement to pay at least some news outlets for their content a step in the right direction, noting that tech platforms have been “uniquely unwilling to pay for news and quality journalism.”

The News tab already is available to more than 200,000 Facebook users in the United States, with a broader rollout planned for early next year. The new service, Facebook executives say, should make it easier for users to locate the day’s major headlines, as well as stories geared toward particular topics or locales.

The initiative could reach 20 million to 30 million people over a few years, Zuckerberg said.

 Research contact: @washingtonpost

Over 2,000 people have petitioned Costco to add a vegan hot dog to its food court menu

October 7, 2019

It may not be in the Zagat guide, but a visit to Costco’s food court menu-which serves a menu of pizza, hot dogs and ice cream—is a on the must-do list of most shoppers when they visit the big-box store.

Now, according to Business Insider, nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition for the warehouse retailer to introduce a vegan hot dog to its food court menu. The Change.org petition was started by Scott Hildebrand, who wrote on the website that he has been vegan for eight years and has eaten a meat-free diet for over a decade.

“We need to work with companies to make plant-based options more accessible,” Hildebrand, who lives near Costco’s headquarters in Washington State, said in a statement. “Our family, like countless others, are regulars at Costco. I’d love to see them extend plant-based options to the food court, so we can enjoy veggie hot dogs after a Sunday shopping trip.”

Costco already is on the same page. The company has announced that some stores will start selling a plant-based burger within in the next few weeks, Business Insider reports.

Indeed, the stores actually went too far and  sparked a backlash in July 2018, the new outlet says, when it cut its Polish hot dog from its menu in favor of vegan and healthier options like açai bowls and organic burgers.

“Sorry, but when I feel like a hot dog or pizza, a salad is the last thing on my mind,” the petition reads.

The petition also notes the growing availability of vegan and plant-based options nationwide, including Burger King’s Impossible WhopperKFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken, and Ikea’s rollout of a vegan hot dog.

The petition is directed toward Costco CEO Craig Jelinek.

A Costco representative did not return a request from Business Insider for comment.

Research contact: @businessinsider