March 3: UF in the News 3/1/21-3/3/21

How this summer could bring the pandemic relief we’re longing for — The Washington Post, 3/3/21 

The Washington Post interviewed a series of medical experts on their predictions and hopes for when we might be able to safely bring normalcy back into our lives. Natalie Dean, an assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida, said a combination of low transmission and vaccine availability will help. “The virus won’t be gone by summer, but we’ll at least have some joy back in our lives,” she said. 

EV battery battle has carmakers urging peace before Biden acts — Bloomberg, 3/3/21 

Pressure is mounting on two South Korean companies that are the world’s largest manufacturers of electric-vehicle batteries to ensure their U.S. legal dispute doesn’t disrupt automaker plans to electrify their fleets. Elizabeth Rowe, a professor of intellectual property law at UF said, “Ford and VW will probably play a heavy role in this because it directly affects them and their production schedule. No one wants to be in the middle of someone else’s mess.”

SPAC issuance at record highs — Yahoo! News, 3/2/21

The special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) craze that started last year is showing no signs of abating, with sponsors of the so-called blank-check companies raising record sums of money so far this year. Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida, weighs in on SPAC structure. 

Florida put seniors first. How that changed its pandemic response. — The Christian Science Monitor, 3/2/21

In many states, the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has faced multiple head winds in terms of supply and demand. Here in Florida, the message is simpler: If you’re 65 or older, step right up. Now that the target population has largely received vaccines, UF epidemiologist Cindy Prins said the next step is to let the rest of the state know when they are slated to be vaccinated.

The Tesla of air purifiers - An interview with Molekule CEO, Jaya Rao — Forbes, 3/3/21

Jaya Rao's brother, Dilip, has always had severe allergies and asthma. When they were kids, their father Yogi Goswami was a professor of mechanical engineering at UF and leaned on his expertise to develop the technology found in the innovative air purifiers. 

More COVID-19 variants emerge closer to home: What to know about the ones discovered in Brazil, New York, California — USA Today, 3/3/21

Health officials are urging Americans to not let their guards down against COVID-19 as researchers discover new variants that may already be more transmissible and could also be somewhat resistant to the vaccine. Many of the cases occurred in people who already had recovered from the coronavirus, intensifying concerns about reinfection, said Cindy Prins, an epidemiologist at the College of Public Health and Health Professions.

Ron DeSantis: The 2024 frontrunner (If Trump doesn't run?) — The National Interest, 3/2/21

UF political science professor Sharon Austin is quoted in the National Interest giving overall context to Governor DeSantis' presidential prospects by explaining how Floridians have responded to his leadership. She said, "Floridians have been pleased with the availability of the covid vaccine for individuals over the age of sixty-five."

Rocket sees GameStop-like rally, but its business prospects are better — The Detroit News, 3/2/21

Building on momentum from investing in Gamestop stocks, Reddit investors refocused their attention to Ricket, a Detroit-based online mortgage lender. Rocket is among the most shorted stocks in the market, with investors betting that the share price will fall. "It's selling at a higher price-to-earnings ratio than its competitors," Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida, also noted about Rocket. "Some investors are of the opinion that the earnings-to-price ratio is too big.

Why millennials and Gen Z have the most to lose in the voting wars — CNN, 3/2/21

As different states consider changing voter registration laws, some proposed changes would have a larger impact on voting access for young people. One thing on the table is same-day voting registration. UF political scientist Michael McDonald is quoted saying, "numerous studies have found about a 5-7 point voter turnout increase" in states that use same-day registration.

No, there weren’t more votes than registered voters in the 2020 election — Politifact, 3/1/21

An image widely shared on Facebook suggested that 26 million votes were fraudulently cast in the 2020 presidential election. It’s wrong. Experts say as many as 215 million voters were registered for the 2020 election. That far outnumbers the 159 million ballots cast.

According to the United States Election Project, which is run by University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald, 159,690,457 ballots were counted in the November election, including 158,254,475 that contained votes for president. 

Weight loss apps will likely help you shed pounds, an analysis finds — Everyday Health, 3/1/21 

An analysis published in the journal Obesity in February 2021 suggests that if you use digital tools to log what you eat, when you exercise, or how much you weigh, you're likely to crush your weight loss goals — at least temporarily. “The best tool is the one that you are most likely to actually use,” says Kathryn Ross, an assistant professor in the department of clinical and health psychology at the University of Florida