Posts tagged with "USA today"

Netflix – Cuties

By Cassandra Yany

One of Netflix’s newest films, Cuties, has garnered much attention and backlash since its Sep. 9 release on the streaming platform. The coming-of-age film depicts a young girl as she tries to navigate her life as a pre-teen growing up in a Muslim family living in Paris.

Many critics have spoken out against the film, which currently holds the no. 7 spot in Netflix’s ‘Top 10,’ for its depiction of 11-year-old girls dancing and behaving in an indecent manner. According to the New York Times, the movie was first deemed controversial in the U.S. in August when Netflix released the promotional artwork. The original marketing for the film displayed an image of four young girls in skimpy dance costumes posing provocatively.

This, along with the trailer, prompted opposers to start petitions online and call for the removal of the film from Netflix’s catalog. Netflix apologized and changed the artwork for the film to a more innocent photo of the same four characters walking down the street with shopping bags, donning bras and underwear over their clothes.

Last week’s release of the film has sparked conversation once again amongst parents, politicians and others, causing #CancelNetflix to trend on Twitter. Lina Nealon, the Director of Corporate and Strategic Initiatives at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation has spoken out against the film saying “While we commend Director Maïmouna Doucouré for exposing the very real threats to young girls having unfettered access to social media and the internet, we cannot condone the hypersexualization and exploitation of the young actresses themselves in order to make her point.” She called for Netflix to cut the “sexually-exploitive” scenes from the film, or remove the film from the platform altogether.

On Friday, Hawaii Rep. Tulse Gabbard tweeted, “@Netflix child porn ‘Cuties’ will certainly whet the appetite of pedophiles & help fuel the child sex trafficking trade. 1 in 4 victims of trafficking are children… Netflix you are now complicit.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz penned a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr Friday calling for the Department of Justice to start an investigation into the production and distribution of the film to “determine whether Netflix, any of its executives, or anyone involved in the making of ‘Cuties’ violated any federal laws against the production and distribution of child pornography.”

Cruz wrote that “the film routinely fetishizes and sexualizes these pre-adolescent girls as they perform dances simulating sexual conduct in revealing clothing, including at least one scene with partial nudity” falsely claiming that there’s a scene exposing a “minor’s bare breast.” The Associated Press reported that one of Cruz’s representatives, Lauren Aronson, said that the senator has not seen the film.

According to the Washington Times, some critics are even calling on the Obama’s— who have a production deal with Netflix— to take action against the film. Deadline stated that “The reality appears to have been lost in the storm, and the truth is very few of the people reacting so strongly will have actually seen the film.”

Netflix told USA TODAY “‘Cuties’ is a social commentary against the sexualization of young children. It’s an award winning film and a powerful story about the pressure young girls face on social media and from society more generally growing up— and we’d encourage anyone who cares about these important issues to watch the movie.”

Director Maïmouna Doucouré defends the film, saying that it works to shed light on these issues so they can be fixed. Cuties first premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 23, where it won the Directing Jury Award for the dramatic film category. According to the New York Times, the movie did not stir up much conversation in France after its theatrical release (as Mignnonnes in French) in August.

Deadline reports that Doucouré did not see the promotional material prior to when it was circulated on the internet. She said that she received death threats as the outrage grew over these images. She told the news site that the film is not apologetic about the hypersexualization of children, but instead is her “…personal story as well as the story of many children who have to navigate between a liberal western culture and a conservative culture at home.”

Cuties was Doucouré’s feature directorial debut. Similar to the film’s main character, Amy, Doucouré is of Senegalese descent and grew up in a Muslim culture in Paris. In an interview at Sundance, she said she first had the idea for the movie after attending a neighborhood gathering in Paris where she saw a group of 11-year-old girls doing a stage performance of a “sensual” dance. She was shocked to see girls that age dance like that in short clothing. “We can’t continue to close our eyes about that,” she told the interviewer.

Doucouré researched for a year and a half, meeting with hundreds of pre-teens who told her their stories. She learned about their ideas of femininity, and how their self image is affected by the emphasis of social media in today’s society. According to IndieWire, the young actresses’ parents were on board with the project to spread awareness of the issue, and there was a psychologist working with the girls throughout filming who is still helping them throughout the release process.

The film is centered around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who has recently moved to a housing development in a poor suburb of Paris with her Senegalese, observant Muslim family. She looks out for her brothers, takes care of responsibilities around the house, and is in the process of being taught how to ‘be a woman’ by  her aunt.

One day after prayer, Amy walks by the laundry room and sees a girl her age dancing to music playing from her phone. In a subsequent scene, Amy is seen trying to straighten her hair with a clothing iron, burning part of it off as a result. 

Amy learns that her father, who is still in Senegal, has taken a second wife and will be coming to Paris soon to have the wedding. Her mother, Mariam, tries to hide her reaction to the news, but Amy sees her grow upset and take her frustrations out on herself. This is where Amy’s behavior begins to shift; she starts to reject her culture and identity, and instead tries to conform to fit in with the other girls at school. 

At school, Amy is teased for her clothes and lack of fashion sense, so she begins to wear her younger brother’s t-shirt to match the crop tops that her classmates wear. After seeing a group of girls her age dancing after school, Amy steals her cousin’s iPhone to learn how to dance, herself. She comes across their social media accounts and begins taking selfies, imitating what she sees on their profiles. 

Amy finds herself a spot in the girls’ friend group and dance troupe, and as a result, begins to neglect her responsibilities at home. Amy starts to show more self expression, wearing her hair natural rather than pulling it back. She also begins to explore the internet more, finding videos of almost-naked women dancing rather suggestively and moving their bodies in ways that an 11-year-old probably shouldn’t be watching. 

Taking what she found online, Amy practices dancing with her friends and teaches them how to twerk. This is where the movie begins to make viewers slightly uneasy. It was jarring to see these young, innocent girls tainted by this inappropriate content and doing dance moves that they didn’t understand the implications of. It appears that this was the intention of director Doucouré, as she stated in an interview with Netflix that the film is “…a mirror of today’s society; a mirror sometimes difficult to look into and accept but still so true.”

Some of the scenes, frankly, are very disturbing to watch. These include the girls dancing provocatively for two older male workers at a laser tag facility so that they wouldn’t get in trouble for sneaking in, as well as Amy beginning to undress for her cousin once he found she had stolen his iPhone in an attempt to smooth over the situation. Perhaps the most disturbing scene is when Amy takes a picture of her genitals to post on her social media profile so that people at school would think she’s mature. While there was no nudity shown in this scene, the implied action was horrifying to watch. 

At the end of the film, Amy performs with her dance troupe at a local competition. Dressed in revealing outfits, they dance immodestly in front of a crowd of people who quickly seem unsettled. (This is the scene from which the original promotional photos were taken.) Toward the end of the song, Amy freezes as she begins to think about her mom, then runs off the stage crying. She goes home where she asks her mom not to attend her father’s wedding. Her mom continues to get ready for the event, but tells Amy that she doesn’t have to go.

Instead of going to the wedding, Amy steps outside and begins jumping rope. This scene depicts a mixture of her two identities: she is wearing jeans and a crop top with her hair down, but is surrounded by people of her culture dressed in traditional garments. After suppressing her family’s background for a majority of the movie, Amy is finally able to find the balance where her multiple cultures intersect in order to be her honest self. 

After watching Cuties, it is evident that it is not meant to promote this behavior among young girls, but instead provide commentary on what is happening today and warn the adults who see the movie. The harsh reality is that more pre-adolescents are exposed to this type of content than we think. Any child who has access to a smart device and social platforms have the potential to see a video not meant for them. Take TikTok for example: racy dances to Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” as well as a recent trend where women make “thirst traps” to Beyoncé’s “Rocket” are some of the most popular videos on the app right now. Young TikTok users can easily see creators on their For You Page enjoying themselves while engaging in these trends, causing the young viewer to want to do the same.

When speaking to Deadline, Doucouré said, “What happens is young girls see images of women being objectified, and the more the woman becomes an object, the more followers and like she has— they see that as a role model and try to imitate these women, but they’re not old enough to know what they’re doing.” In a separate interview, she posed the question, “Isn’t the objectification of a woman’s body that we often see in our Western culture not another kind of oppression?”

Overall, Cuties shows the dangers of uncensored media for young children and displays how impressionable they can be. It also shows the journey of Amy’s self-discovery and learning how to blend her multiple cultures in order to shape her identity. Unfortunately, the risqué nature of the film overshadows the storyline and the message is lost for a number of audience members.

In various articles, Doucouré is quoted discussing the meaning of the film in the broad context of femininity and what it means for young girls to enter womanhood in this digital age. During her aforementioned interview with Netflix, she stated “The real question of Cuties is can we, as women, truly choose who we want to be, beyond the role models that are imposed upon us by society?”

BEYONCÉ x ADIDAS

By Payton Saso

Beyoncé first collaborated adidas with her launch of Ivy Park. Now, the singer is back with a new collaboration. On September 18 the Beyoncé x adidas Superstar Platform will be released and available to purchase through the adidas App.

This shoe is a reinterpretation of the adidas Superstar, “however, the tooling begins to sculpt to a platform shape, bearing in tow an aggressive, near brutalist aesthetic. The midsole, though partly left untouched, quickly begins to protrude out, extending from all sides as it does in height,” Sneaker News described.

The adidas website describes the launch as “The meeting of two icons: Beyoncé lends her elegance and perspective to the iconic silhouette for the 50th anniversary of the Superstar.”

Teen Vogue recapped the history of Ivy Park, stating that the brand, “relaunched just last April with adidas where they would be collaborating, but also Beyoncé would be designing her own sportswear apparel and footwear for the brand, which includes the classic sneakers.”

This remake of the Superstar is the first of its kind by reshaping the shoe and adding a platform. This isn’t the first time Beyoncé has repurposed the classic adidas style to brand them with her Ivy Park line. Earlier this year, she launched four shoes with the brand. “All showcasing the collection’s bold styling, and incorporating utilitarian details,” adidas announced, and adding never seen before colors to the brand.

The sneakers, however, were reportedly leaked prior to their original release date but this doesn’t seem to be bothering Queen Bey too much as she was seen enjoying a vacation in Croatia on a $2 million a week yacht.

While the Ivy Park name already holds its own in the fashion industry and pop culture, collaborating with adidas is its newest mark in the industry. The brand first launched in 2016 and was cofounded with TOPSHOP founder, Sir Philip Green, but Beyoncé is now the sole owner after Green faced sexual harassment allegations in 2018, according to BBC.

The singer originally alluded to her collaboration in the January issue of ELLE Canadae, which 360 Magazine covered. With new magazine covers, movies, music and fashion, this year has been busy for Queen Bey.

The singer released a visual album, “Black is King” earlier this year which was a revival of “The Lion King.” Beyoncé was also recently enlisted by the United Nations, along with other celebs, “a film promoting actions to tackle the world’s biggest issues from the COVID-19 pandemic to poverty and inequality” according to USA Today.

It is no surprise to her fans that the singer is staying booked and busy, and are anticipating her latest drop with adidas.

The shoe’s which drop today, September 18 on the adidas app, cost $200 US dollars. Through the app customers can purchase the shoe, or enter a giveaway which closes on the drop date to win themselves a pair of the exclusive sneaker.

Face mask illustration by maria soloman for 360 MAGAZINE article.

Anti-Mask Protest Sparked in Utah

By Payton Saso

On August 21, 2020, a protest was held in St. George, Utah that was organized in objection to wearing face masks. The debate about whether or not face masks help has been going since COVID-19 was declared a national pandemic, but one group decided to go a little further than online debates and hold a protest.

The protest came after the state governor, Gary Herbert, declared that masks would be mandated at school, USA Today reported. The marchers gathered at the Washington County School District where hundreds opposed forcing kids to wear masks saying, “safety is not as important as our freedom and liberty.”

The protest came under fire after a the news broadcast that covered the protest went viral. “A white woman earnestly attempts to explain the alleged injustice: of her situation by drawing a comparison to the killing of George Floyd,” The Cut recapped. Clearly the woman here is comparing the final words and pain of George Floyd to the minor inconvenience of getting slightly out of breath from wearing a mask, which is disturbing on many levels.

The original broadcast was covered by ABC 4 where they reported, “Up to a thousand people showed up in St. George, stating children being forced to wear masks in classrooms is illegal and unconstitutional.” Which without a Supreme Court trial, these unconstitutional claims just remain an uneducated opinion.

This protest came just a few months after a similar protest in Jacksonville, Florida where anti-maskers met at the Duval County Courthouse to oppose the mask mandate there, The Florida Times recapped.

St. George News stated that, “…rally attendee Dustin Cox, who also spoke over the megaphone, encouraged district students in attendance Friday to not wear a mask when they return to school Monday, even if it means getting expelled.”

Where if protestors make the claim that if masks are getting in the way of learning, wouldn’t getting expelled be a greater obstacle to learning?

There is not really any science accepted that masks cause more harm than good, even though that is often what anti-maskers claim. The World Health Organization has repeatedly set out initiatives for the public to wear masks. Protests like this have been seen across the world even in some of the countries where COVID has hit hard.

While it is every Americans right to free speech and that will be protected under the constitution, the timing and subject just seem to be a bit insensitive. With over 195,000 deaths and 6.5 million confirmed cases in the United States, doing anything we can to slow the spread doesn’t seem unconstitutional — especially if it is as simple as wearing a face covering.

Kaelen Felix illustrates a political article for 360 MAGAZINE

Black Male Leaders x Biden

USA Today reported Monday that Black male leaders penned an open letter to presidential candidate Joe Biden to say that he will lose the election if he does not select a Black woman as his running mate.

According to USA Today, the letter came from more than 100 activists, leaders, preachers and celebrities. Some candidates on an unofficial shortlist of possible VPs include Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Karen Bass and Susan Rice, the former Ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Advisor during Barack Obama‘s presidency.

The letter also expressed concern that Black women were being unfairly criticized as potential running mates for Biden. USA Today mentions a POLITICO report that said Sen. Chris Dodd criticized Sen. Harris for comments on Biden’s voting record regarding civil rights. The article also mentions a CNBC report saying Biden allies found Harris to be too focused on becoming president herself to hold the vice presidential office.

Signees of the letter included Sean “Diddy” Combs, Charlamagne Tha God and civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, who represented George Floyd’s family.

“We don’t want to choose between the lesser of two evils, and we don’t want to vote for the devil we know versus the devil we don’t because we are tired of voting for devils,” the letter said.

The New York Times reported Monday that Biden’s VP selection committee has been disbanded and that the only thing left was a decision from Biden, also calling the pick “imminent.”

The New York Times also said Biden’s campaign has a virtual event planned to introduce the vice presidential candidate, and the event is sponsored by Women for Biden.

Storm illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Hurricane During Pandemic

By Mina Tocalini

Evacuations, power outages, flooding and devastation are expected from the c and rain that wreak havoc on coastal communities during hurricane season. Managing the damages and protecting communities is further challenged by the threat of COVID-19 as the Tropical Storm Isaias’ violent path continues up the East Coast.

Designated a tropical storm near Puerto Rico, Isaias began to travel northwest hitting the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Florida and North Carolina, where it was assessed as a Category 1 hurricane. As it persisted up the East Coast the intensity reverted back to a tropical storm. Regardless, Isaias has been accompanied by strong winds between 60mph – 70mph, over 20 reports of tornadoes, rampant flash flooding and over 3 million homes and business without power. In New Jersey and Delaware the wind gust reached speeds of 109mph and 96mph, respectively.

A report from USA Today, warns that recent 2020 hurricane season forecasting reveals 10 more hurricanes will likely follow, leaving Isaias as a practice run for a hurricane during a pandemic. With that in mind, evacuations needed to be addressed cautiously in consideration of social distancing and other COVID-19 preventative measures. The combination of COVID-19 and Isaias has heightened concerns for emergency services which face overwhelming demands. The COVID-19 consequences of Isaias remain undetermined, but a potential spike in infections could be in our future.

Troye Sivan – Rager Teenager

Following the remarkable success of his new single, Easy, which amassed over 11 million combined global streams in the first week of release and now tops 20 million streams Troye Sivan has shared another new track, Rager teenager! Both songs will appear on his new six-song concept EP, In A Dream, which will be released on August 21 by Capitol Records. Troye filmed the video for Rager teenager! himself.

Easy appeared on 43 New Music Friday playlists after its release last month.
VULTURE said, “Easy is a pixelated cloud, a night drive to nowhere, a neon-blue bubble bath, a fizzy cola gummy.” Hailing it as one of the 10 songs you need in your life this week, The FADER praised Sivan’s laser focused intent to push into a more sophisticated, emotionally-torn pop realm. Billboard hailed Easy as a crying-on-the-dancefloor anthem [that] boasts a synth-heavy earworm melody and heartbreaking lyrics that will have you dancing and dreaming about your ex. Make no mistake, Easy is one of the best new songs of the week, declared IDOLATOR.

In A Dream is now available for pre-order HERE. Fans who pre-order the EP in digital format will instantly receive Rager teenager!plus Easy and the leadoff track, Take Yourself Home, which trended at #1 on Twitter worldwide following its release and has now attained over 76 million cumulative global streams. Visit https://TroyeSivan.lnk.to/Store for music bundles, including a deluxe CD package.

In his career to date, Troye has amassed over eight billion combined global streams. His sophomore album, Bloom (Capitol Records), was named as one of the best albums of 2018 by critics at Rolling Stone, USA Today, Billboard, OUT, NPR Music, The Guardian and numerous other publications. TIME said, Troye Sivan is the perfect pop star. He was recently named as one of five ambassadors to launch the Pasha de Cartier watch.

His numerous awards include a Billboard Music Awards trophy, three MTV Europe Music awards and two GLAAD Media wins. Revelation, his collaboration with Jnsi for the film Boy Erased, which Troye co-starred in was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song Motion Picture and shortlisted for an Oscar. Louder Than Bombs, a track Troye co-wrote, is featured on the new BTS album, Map of The Soul: 7, which debuted at No. 1 in the U.S., Korea, Australia and around the world.

Troye Sivan IN A DREAM visual

Troye Sivan – IN A DREAM

On August 21, Capitol Records will release IN A DREAM, Troye Sivan’s new six-song concept EP. Today, as the EP pre-order launched, Troye shared the second track, “Easy,” an infectious plea to set a relationship back on course. Download / stream “Easy” HERE and view the pseudo video HERE. Troye directed the official video for “Easy,” which will receive a YouTube Premiere tomorrow, July 16, at 7:00 AM PT. Set a reminder to watch the premiere HERE.

“A story that’s still unfolding, this small collection of songs explores an emotional rollercoaster period in my life when the feelings and thoughts were most shockingly fresh,” explains Troye Sivan. “Revisiting these songs and moments is tough, but I’m proud of this music and excited to have it out in the world.”

Troye recorded five of the EP’s six songs with producer Oscar Görres (The Weeknd, MARINA, Tove Lo) between Stockholm and Los Angeles, just prior to the lockdown. The leadoff track, “Take Yourself Home,” trended at #1 on Twitter worldwide following its release earlier this year and has now attained over 76 million cumulative global streams. The New York Times hailed “Take Yourself Home” as an “understatedly lush quasi-soul thumper.” PAPER said, “It’s perhaps the first great song to come out of our collective apocalyptic state of mind during the COVID-19 outbreak.” IN A DREAM is now available for pre-order HERE. Music bundles, including a deluxe CD package, are available HERE.

In his career to date, Troye has amassed nearly eight billion combined global streams. His sophomore album, Bloom (Capitol Records), was named as one of the best albums of 2018 by critics at Rolling Stone, USA Today, Billboard, OUT, NPR Music, The Guardian and numerous other publications. TIME said, “Troye Sivan is the perfect pop star.” He was recently named as one of five ambassadors to launch the Pasha de Cartier watch. His numerous awards include a Billboard Music Awards trophy, three MTV Europe Music awards and two GLAAD Media wins.

“Revelation” – his collaboration with Jónsi for the film Boy Erased, which Troye co-starred in – was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Song – Motion Picture and shortlisted for an Oscar. “Louder Than Bombs,” a track Troye co-wrote, is featured on the new BTS album, Map of The Soul: 7, which debuted at No. 1 in the U.S., Korea, Australia and around the world.

 

Follow Troye Sivan: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Tumblr | Vevo

Superhero illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Black-Owned Superhero Brand

Aza Comics, owned by black woman creator Jazmin Truesdale and known for its roster of multicultural female superheroes, is aiming to continue providing hope and escapism for the world as people support the Black Lives Matter movement. “Aza Comics has always addressed the issues of black people in its storylines,” says Truesdale, “I’m just happy that now people are finally understanding what is happening and joining this fight that is truly everyone’s fight.”

The Aza Universe is centered almost entirely around women of color and has always tried to provide hope and inspiration for women around the world as they face various issues like racial inequity, sexism, misogyny and homophobia. This hits especially close to home for Truesdale as countless black women like Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor have yet to see justice in a time when black women face the highest rates of homicide in the US.  During this time, Aza Comics received an incredible growth in sales and exposure as more people discovered what the Aza superhero universe is all about. “I just want people to at least feel safe in their imagination,” says Truesdale.  “For black people and many other people of color, everywhere we look pain is reflecting back at us.  I want Aza Comics to be that escape where you can feel heard and empowered to fight another day.”

Aza Comics has a lot in store this year for its growing number of fans. “We will do what we’ve always done,” says Truesdale,” Continue to grow and enrich the lives of people of color around the world and partner with people and brands who truly care about the lives of others.”  The company plans to use its revenue to invest in entrepreneurs of color, support women athletes, expand its universe with more inclusive superheroes and do what it can to continue being a voice.

Aza Comics is a superhero brand based in Durham, North Carolina founded by serial entrepreneur and author Jazmin Truesdale.  The company is known for its multicultural female superheroes and philanthropic initiatives that have been featured in Vogue, TIME, USA Today, and various other national and international publications.

Follow Aza Comics:  Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Follow Jazmin Truesdale:  Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

COVID Mask Care illustration by Mina Tocalini

Mask Care

Board-Certified Dermatologist Elizabeth Mullans, M.D., from Uptown Dermatology in Houston, TX discusses the best ways to adapt your skincare routine when wearing a mask, ways to avoid ‘mask-ne’ and her top tips to help avoid skin irritation caused by masks.

How can a mask potentially cause irritation on the skin? Masks trap sweat and moisture which along with friction from the fabric can disrupt the skin’s protective barrier. This can result in irritation of the skin. Residue from laundry detergent can also become embedded in the fabric and cause further irritation. It is best to use a hypoallergenic detergent such as Arm and Hammer Free and Clear Sensitive Skin.

What kind of masks is best to wear right now? The best masks will contain several layers of fabric. Cotton is the best fabric on the inner lining touching the skin because it is less irritating than synthetic materials. Masks should be washed every day in hot water with laundry detergent and white vinegar (has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties) and dried on higher heat settings in the dryer. Detergents with fragrances can leave residue in the fabric, which can also cause a rash in people with sensitive skin.

What skincare routines should one pick up in order to keep their skin healthy? Wearing too many products under the mask, which can cause build up on the skin. Make sure to keep a benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid gel to spot treat pimples and also try to cut down on carbohydrate and sugar intake which can also cause breakouts. Wash face twice a day, before and after wearing the mask. Acne prone individuals may benefit from cleansers that contain salicylic acid. Avoid heavy moisturizers and makeup in the areas covered by the mask. Assuming skin is not too sensitive, if not already using one, this is a good time to start a retinol cream or gel – start several nights a week with a pea sized amount, and gradually increase the frequency.

Coronavirus Vaccine – Dr. Jeremy M. Levin

A story in USA Today this morning asks whether a coronavirus vaccine could repair the pharma industry’s reputation despite drug price increases. Dr. Jeremy M. Levin, an iconic biotech thought-leader who first introduced immuno oncology to the world 10 years ago, is quoted:

“The pandemic ‘has driven the public eye onto what the biotech industry does, which is change the dynamic of a disease,’ said Jeremy Levin, chairman of BIO and author of the recently published book Biotechnology in the Time of COVID-19: Commentaries from the Front Line. “In the noise that came from the bad actors, we basically lost sight of the essence of what the biotech is all about, which is patients and innovation.”

Here are some additional thoughts from Dr. Levin’s on developing a vaccine and the road forward:

What can you (and the biotech industry) tell the American people that they haven’t already heard? Unless we are able to get a handle on COVID-19, we as a society as a whole are at great risk. There has never been a greater risk from a transmissible disease to our nation, and the world at large.

There is incredible pressure to expedite a COVID-19 vaccine, even if it hasn’t been tested in the way it needs to be tested.

What are the risks/rewards? The risks of rushing a vaccine are  considerable, and the FDA will be acutely aware of this when making an approval. I expect there will be extraordinary diligence from the FDA, as well as from each company producing a vaccine. Despite this, the risk of not developing a vaccine are nearly unimaginable.

How long is the typical timeline for vaccine development? A typical timeline for vaccine development is at least a decade, but many variables go into this. This article in the NY Times is a useful explainer.

Dr. Levin is available for interviews on COVID-19 and other biotech topics. He is currently CEO and Chairman of OVID Therapeutics, Inc., and Chair of the global Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). In 2018 Dr. Levin was named “one of the most influential figures in biopharmaceutical industry” by FierceBiotech, and one of the top three biotechnology CEOs in 2020 by The Healthcare Technology Report. See him interviewed HERE on CNBC.