Day: July 18, 2021

FB – Facebook refutes White House criticism over vaccine misinformation, decries ‘finger pointing'

After coming under fire from President Joe Biden and the U.S. surgeon general, who both said last week that misinformation on social media is killing Americans, Facebook Inc. had a blunt response over the weekend: Don’t blame us.

“At a time when COVID-19 cases are rising in America, the Biden administration has chosen to blame a handful of American social-media companies,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s
FB,
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vice president of integrity, wrote in a blog post Saturday. He said data shows 85% of Facebook users in the U.S. have been or want to be vaccinated. “President Biden’s goal was for 70% of Americans to be vaccinated by July 4. Facebook is not the reason this goal was missed.”

Last Thursday, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy called vaccine misinformation on social media “a serious threat to public health.”

 “Simply put, health misinformation has cost us lives,” Murthy said.

That same day, White House press secretary Jen Psaki singled out Facebook specifically, telling reporters it “needs to move more quickly to remove violative posts.” Biden took that a step further Friday, saying flat out that Facebook and other social-media companies are “killing people.”

In Saturday’s blog post, Facebook’s Rosen strongly refuted those claims, arguing that Facebook has actually helped reduce the rate of vaccine hesitancy in the U.S. by 50%, encouraged vaccinations among users and removed more than 18 million pieces of vaccine misinformation, and he chided the Biden administration to stop “finger pointing.”

“While social media plays an important role in society, it is clear that we need a whole-of-society approach to end this pandemic. And facts — not allegations — should help inform that effort,” Rosen said. “The fact is that vaccine acceptance among Facebook users in the U.S. has increased.”

The heated public exchanges have come amid frustration by the White House following unproductive, months-long discussions about reining in vaccine misinformation with Facebook, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. The Biden administration reportedly decided that public pressure on Facebook might be more effective.

The White House did not publicly comment on Facebook’s response Sunday, but Murthy, appearing on CNN stuck to his message. “I’ve been very consistent in what I’ve said to the technology companies,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “When we see steps that are good, we should acknowledge those. But what I’ve also said to them, publicly and privately, is that it’s not enough. That we are still seeing a proliferation of misinformation online. And we know that health misinformation harms people’s health. It costs them their lives.”

In that same interview, Murthy said said he was worried by the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, and noted that nearly all U.S. coronavirus deaths now are among those unvaccinated. To date, about 49% of Americans have been fully vaccinated, while 90 million eligible people in the U.S. have not.

Facebook shares retreated nearly 3% last week, but are up 25% year to date, and up 41% over the past 12 months.

RCAT – Red Cat Holdings, Inc. Announces Pricing of Public Offering

HUMACAO, Puerto Rico, July 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Red Cat Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: RCAT) (“Red Cat” or the “Company”) a technology provider to the drone industry, today announced the pricing of its underwritten public offering of 13,333,334 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of $4.50 per share, for gross proceeds of approximately $60,000,000, before deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and offering expenses. In addition, the Company has granted the underwriters a 45 day option to purchase up to an additional 2,000,000 shares of common stock to cover over-allotments at the offering price, less the underwriting discount.

The offering is expected to close on July 21, 2021, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

ThinkEquity, a division of Fordham Financial Management, Inc., is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering.

The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to provide funding for services, sales and marketing efforts for its Red Cat Drone Services, strategic acquisitions and related expenses, and general working capital. .

The securities will be offered and sold pursuant to a shelf registration statement on Form S-3 (File No. 333-256216), including a base prospectus, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on May 17, 2021 and declared effective on June 14, 2021. The offering will be made only by means of a written prospectus. A prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus describing the terms of the offering has been or will be filed with the SEC on its website at www.sec.gov. A final prospectus supplement and accompanying prospectus related to the offering will be filed with the SEC and made available on the SEC’s website. Copies of the final prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus relating to the offering may also be obtained, when available, from the offices of ThinkEquity, a division of Fordham Financial Management, Inc., 17 State Street, 22nd Floor, New York, New York 10004, by telephone at (877) 436-3673 or by email at [email protected]. Before investing in this offering, interested parties should read in their entirety the prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus and the other documents that the Company has filed with the SEC that are incorporated by reference in such prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, which provide more information about the Company and such offering.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

About Red Cat Holdings, Inc.

Red Cat provides products, services and solutions to the drone industry. Spanning multiple industries and segments, the spectrum of companies in Red Cat’s portfolio provides diverse and comprehensive reach into multiple markets including: enterprise remote flight technology; SaaS solutions for secure flight data storage; consumer hardware and communication technology; and consumer e-commerce and lifestyle brands. For more information on Red Cat Holdings, Inc.  please visit the company’s website: https://www.redcatholdings.com/.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” that are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release may be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “seek,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” “aim,” “should,” “will” “would,” or the negative of these words or other similar expressions, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. Forward-looking statements are based on Red Cat Holdings, Inc.’s current expectations and are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Further, certain forward-looking statements are based on assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully in the section titled “Risk Factors” in the final prospectus related to the public offering filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are made as of this date, and Red Cat Holdings, Inc. undertakes no duty to update such information except as required under applicable law.

For Investor Relations Inquiries:

SOURCE Red Cat Holdings, Inc.

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https://www.redcatholdings.com

SPCE – SPCE Stock Fell 39.2% This Week: Why It Happened

  • The stock price of Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE: SPCE) fell by 39.2% this past week. This is why it happened.

The stock price of Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE: SPCE) fell by 39.2% this past week. Many investors were expecting the stock price to go up this past week since last weekend Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson successfully traveled into space on one of the company’s rockets. However, the company stock price fell every trading day since then and erased all of the gains since early June, making it the worst week for the stock. Why did it happened?

One of the main reasons for the stock price drop has to do with the a dilutive capital raise. Specifically, the company is planning to issue up to $500 million in new shares — which is a modest dilution to the current float. However, the company also sold stock worth more than $450 million last year as well. And so investors became concerned that the company will continue significant dilutive capital raises in the near future as well.

Investors have also been concerned that the company did not make any follow ups to Branson’s trip such as mapping out how much future tickets are going to cost or when the company will resume its sales.

“There was certainly some disappointment among investors that there wasn’t any more of a material announcement, around either future revenue or opportunities, to support the growth story,” said Canaccord Genuity analyst Ken Herbert via Bloomberg.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.

JNJ – Exclusive: J&J exploring putting talc liabilities into bankruptcy, sources say

(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson is exploring a plan to offload liabilities from widespread Baby Powder litigation into a newly created business that would then seek bankruptcy protection, according to seven people familiar with the matter.

FILE PHOTO: A bottle of Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder is seen in a photo illustration taken in New York, February 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar/Illustration/File Photo/File Photo

During settlement discussions, one of the healthcare conglomerate’s attorneys has told plaintiffs’ lawyers that J&J could pursue the bankruptcy plan, which could result in lower payouts for cases that do not settle beforehand, some of the people said. Plaintiffs’ lawyers would initially be unable to stop J&J from taking such a step, though could pursue legal avenues to challenge it later.

J&J has not yet decided whether to pursue the bankruptcy plan and could ultimately abandon the idea, some of the people said. Reuters could not determine whether J&J has retained restructuring lawyers to help the company explore the bankruptcy plan.

J&J faces legal actions from tens of thousands of plaintiffs alleging its Baby Powder and other talc products contained asbestos and caused cancer. The plaintiffs include women suffering from ovarian cancer and others battling mesothelioma.

“Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. has not decided on any particular course of action in this litigation other than to continue to defend the safety of talc and litigate these cases in the tort system, as the pending trials demonstrate,” the J&J subsidiary housing the company’s talc products said in a statement provided to Reuters. J&J declined further comment.

Should J&J proceed, plaintiffs who have not settled could find themselves in protracted bankruptcy proceedings with a likely much smaller company. Future payouts to plaintiffs would be dependent on how J&J decides to fund the entity housing its talc liabilities.

J&J is now considering using Texas’s “divisive merger” law, which allows a company to split into at least two entities. For J&J, that could create a new entity housing talc liabilities that would then file for bankruptcy to halt litigation, some of the people said.

The maneuver is known among legal experts as a Texas two-step bankruptcy, a strategy other companies facing asbestos litigation have used in recent years.

J&J could also explore using another mechanism to effectuate the bankruptcy filing besides the Texas law, some of the people said.

A 2018 Reuters investigation here found J&J knew for decades that asbestos, a known carcinogen, lurked in its Baby Powder and other cosmetic talc products. The company stopped selling Baby Powder in the U.S. and Canada in May 2020, in part due to what it called “misinformation” and “unfounded allegations” about the talc-based product. J&J maintains its consumer talc products are safe and confirmed through thousands of tests to be asbestos-free.

The blue-chip company, which boasts a roughly $443 billion market value, faces legal actions from more than 30,000 plaintiffs alleging its talc products were unsafe. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear J&J’s appeal of a Missouri court ruling that resulted in $2 billion of damages awarded to women alleging the company’s talc caused their ovarian cancer.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers view the two-step bankruptcy strategy as one that skirts potentially expensive settlements or judgments. Companies view it as a way to corral numerous lawsuits in one court for efficient negotiations that bankruptcy law dictates for asbestos liabilities. The company outside bankruptcy can reach a funding agreement with the entity navigating a court restructuring to cover future settlement payments.

In 2017, Brawny paper towels manufacturer Georgia-Pacific used the Texas law to move asbestos liabilities to an entity that later filed for bankruptcy in North Carolina.

Bankruptcy cases filed to resolve litigation, including those related to asbestos, often take years, and almost never fully repay creditors. OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP, for instance, is near resolving thousands of opioid lawsuits after two years of bankruptcy negotiations with a plan valued at more than $10 billion to address trillions of dollars in claims.

Another company, DBMP LLC, filed for bankruptcy last year to resolve asbestos liabilities and said the case could take up to eight years, according to a company press release.

J&J also faces litigation alleging it contributed to the U.S. opioid epidemic and recently recalled certain spray sunscreen products after discovering some of them contained low levels of benzene, another carcinogen.

The company in June agreed to pay $263 million to resolve opioid claims in New York. It has denied wrongdoing related to its opioids.

Additional reporting by Nate Raymond; editing by Vanessa O’Connell and Edward Tobin

FB – Facebook Refutes President Biden Claim, Says It Should Not Be Blamed For US Failing To Meet Vaccine Targets

On Friday, President Joe Biden said that social media networks are “killing people” by spreading misinformation about coronavirus vaccines. 

What Happened: Facebook, Inc (NASDAQ: FB) on Saturday defended itself against the remarks made by President Joe Biden that social media platforms are “killing people” by allowing Covid vaccine misinformation to proliferate on their services, Reuters reports. 

In a blog post, Facebook Vice President Guy Rosen has said that “President Biden’s goal was for 70% of Americans to be vaccinated by July 4. Facebook is not the reason this goal was missed.”

“The data shows that 85% of Facebook users in the U.S. have been or want to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” Rosen said.

Facebook’s response comes after the president was asked what his message was to companies like Facebook with respect to Covid misinformation. Biden responded: “They’re killing people.” 

“I mean they really, look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated, and that’s — they’re killing people,” the president said. 

Facebook has introduced rules against making specific false claims about COVID-19 and vaccines for the virus. Instead, the company says it provides people with reliable information on these topics.

Why It Matters: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths from Covid-19 are increasing again in the U.S. as the delta variant affects largely unvaccinated pockets of the country.

Ever since the pandemic has hit the US, misinformation about Covid 19 has spread on various social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), and Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) YouTube. 

Many researchers and lawmakers across the country have long accused Facebook of failing to police harmful content on its platforms.

The Covid 19 cases in the U.S. are up 70% over the previous week, and deaths are up 26%, with outbreaks occurring in parts of the country with low vaccination rates.

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