Tim Anaya – Senior Director of Communications and PRI’s Sacramento Office
Winner: The NFL – Viewership for the 2021 NFL Draft, while slightly down from 2020’s record-high viewership, was higher this year than the previous week’s annual Academy Awards telecast. It’s the first time NFL Draft viewership has exceeded the Oscars.
Loser: All Who Want More Covid-19 Health Care Innovation – Patients around the globe were big losers when President Biden announced support waving patent protections for Covid-19 vaccines to boost vaccine production in India and other countries. As PRI’s Dr. Henry Miller writes, “the main obstacle to expanding vaccine manufacturing isn’t patents; it’s the trade secrets, know-how, and components needed to get a new manufacturing plant up and running.” Miller says, “patent infringement by government fiat is essentially a tax on innovation,” which could lead to less investment in research by life sciences companies into new Covid-19 therapeutics and treatments.
Evan Harris – Media Relations and Outreach Manager
Winner: Dogecoin – Another week, another inflated digital asset? Dogecoin, the “meme” cryptocurrency, is up 14,000 percent in 2021, sitting at comical sixty cents. Coinbase puts its current market cap – current price times amount in supply – at $77.4 billion, and notes that the cryptocurrency was created as a joke.
Loser: Warhawks – President Biden announced that the United States is pulling all troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021. Biden’s timeline brings the United States away from 20 years of conflict in the region, trying to put an end to the “forever war.”
Rowena Itchon – Senior Vice President
Winner: Los Angeles County wineries, breweries, and distilleries – This past week, LA County moved into the yellow tier, the least restrictive of the state’s color-coded system. This especially warms the heart of Next Round podcast host Ro, who is anxious to try out the state’s new wines. Sacramento is not far from behind LA, so Tim will soon be out and about.
Loser: California residents – The state last week announced that 76,000 inmates, including violent and repeat felons, will have the opportunity to leave prison early. This despite crime rates soaring in major cities and cries for defunding the police. Just when Californians are getting vaccinations and starting to go about their business – another thing to worry about.
Kerry Jackson – Fellow, Center for California Reform
Winner: Christopher Rufo – PRI adjunct fellow Christopher Rufo, whose investigations continue to break important stories about critical race theory, indoctrination in schools, systemic “wokeness,” identarian politics, and homelessness.
McKenzie Richards – Development Associate
Winners: SpaceX – Elon Musk intends to “make humanity a multiplanet species.” Surprisingly, his far-fetched fantasy for mankind to not just visit, but to live on Mars may become a reality. This week, his Starship rocket prototype successfully re-landed without blowing up.
Loser: China’s Space Agency – A 100ft long piece of space debris from a Chinese rocket is expected to crash to Earth on Saturday. Space agencies cannot place where the rocket will strike until a few hours before its crash. It is not the first time space debris has crashed on earth: an 18-ton Chinese rocket fell to the earth last year, and in 2016 China’s Tiangong-1 space state crashed in the Pacific Ocean.