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Americans are not ready to reopen, Fortune Analytics survey shows

July 24, 2020, 9:16 AM UTC

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Good morning.

Are Americans ready to reopen? A survey by Fortune Analytics, done in conjunction with SurveyMonkey, makes it pretty clear most are not. The survey found:

–Only 43% of Americans are comfortable to return to dine-in restaurants;

–Only 27% of frequent flyers are ready to board a flight again;

–Only 26% are willing to return to bars;

–And only 20% would feel comfortable attending a large public gathering.

Meanwhile, mask-wearing is up. Some 67% now say they wear masks when in public, compared to 54% back in May.

Separately, if big business is serious about preventing plastics from polluting the oceans, they have a big job ahead of them. A new study from The Pew Charitable Trusts and SYSTEMIQ, published in the journal Science, found that the annual amount of plastics entering the ocean will triple by 2040 if major changes aren’t made. The report identifies eight measures that, using today’s technology and available solutions, could eliminate about 80% of that waste.

“Throwaway business models and throwaway culture continue to dominate our lives, and damage our oceans,” said Alan Jope, the CEO of Unilever, who is scheduled to speak today at an event launching the report. The new study “should remove any doubt about the urgent need for a rapid transition to a circular economy.”

More news below.

Alan Murray

Fortune Analytics is our exclusive newsletter for Premium subscribers that brings you weekly business insights based on timely data analysis and exclusive polling. Sign up for Fortune Premium here.


Consulate closure

China's government has ordered the closure of the U.S. consulate in Chengdu. The consulate serves the economically vibrant Southwest region, and has a couple hundred personnel. The move is retaliation for the U.S. government's closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston. Markets are down on the news. Fortune

Airbus subsidies

Airbus, the European plane-making consortium, is finally giving up the subsidies ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization following complaints by the U.S. Airbus has amended its state-support agreement with France and Spain in a way that, it says, "removes any justification for U.S. tariffs." Meanwhile, the EU is still waiting on a WTO decision regarding the level of tariffs it can lob at the U.S. over illegal Boeing subsidies. Financial Times

Facebook bias

Last year, some Facebook researchers found that proposed new Instagram moderation practices were biased against Black people, who were around 50% more likely than white people to have their accounts automatically disabled. According to a new report, managers then told the researchers not to share their findings with anyone else, and not to probe any further. The new rules were instituted in a slightly modified form, which the researchers were not allowed to test. NBC News

Amazon tactics

Dozens of entrepreneurs claim Amazon has been using investments in their startups–and in some cases just deal-making talks that led to nothing–to develop and launch competing products and services. Bessemer Venture Partners VC Jeremy Levine: "They are using market forces in a really Machiavellian way. It’s like they are not in any way, shape or form the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. They are a wolf in wolf’s clothing." Wall Street Journal


Eurozone bounceback

The Eurozone's economic activity has grown for the first time since February. IHS Markit chief business economist Chris Williamson: "Companies across the euro area reported an encouraging start to the third quarter, with output growing at the fastest rate for just over two years in July as lockdowns continued to ease and economies reopened. Demand also showed signs of reviving, helping curb the pace of job losses." CNBC

COVID-19 liability

Some employers in California and elsewhere have been forcing workers to sign waivers that state they agree not to sue if they catch COVID-19 at work. The fired employees' workers say the waivers are not only unfair to workers, but also illegal and unenforceable. Fortune

Breath test

A French hospital is testing what is effectively a giant, very expensive breathalyzer that can detect COVID-19 within seconds. The device is a mass spectrometer that is more commonly used in atmospheric science to measure clean air. The trial will show what level of sensitivity is required for coronavirus testing–the lower the better, because this thing is way too big and pricey for a mass rollout. Fortune

IAG and Amex

IAG, the parent of British Airways, has renewed an air-miles deal with American Express. The new deal, worth $955 million, comes at an opportune time for a firm that is currently preparing thousands of layoffs, in the context of the unprecedented aviation slump. Bloomberg

This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.