COMMENTARY

By Sanjay MishraThe biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has released data on what is now the third promising vaccine candidate against COVID-19 – and it has several advantages over those of its competitors, Pfizer and Moderna.On Monday, AstraZeneca released interim analysis of its phase 3 trial data of 23,000 volunteers from...
By Dr. William PetriThere are now two COVID-19 vaccines that, at least according to preliminary reports, appear to be 94.5 percent and 95 percent effective. Both were developed in a record-breaking 11 months or so.I am an infectious diseases specialist and professor at the University of Virginia. I care for...
History will remember 2020 as the year that kept on taking.I could fill this column enumerating all that this hell-beast of a leap year has robbed from us and still have enough left over for a multi-part series, but I doubt The Mercury budgeted for that.A virus no one...
Nearly a quarter-million Americans have died from COVID-19, including more than 3,800 here in Virginia. Yet they are more than simply numbers to tote up. Each had dreams and goals, many had careers, and some had children – or, sadly, were just children themselves. Many toiled at 9-to-5 jobs and...
By Rose Hendricks and Mark ReynoldsIn the home stretch of the 2020 campaign, presidential candidate Joe Biden leaned hard into the issue of climate change, giving a televised climate speech and running climate-focused ads in swing states. His campaign bet that this issue, once considered politically risky, would now...
Bromides come and go in politics. Conventional wisdom tends to persevere until it’s no longer either conventional or wise.But there’s one truism in Virginia politics that, with one exception over the past five decades, has been validated repeatedly: you don’t want to be running for governor representing the...
It was more than 12 years ago, and it sure feels like a different era in American politics.Stung years earlier during his unsuccessful bid for the GOP nomination by a despicable, racist and false whisper campaign during the South Carolina primary, John McCain wasn't having it in 2008 when...
Immediately following the 2016 election of Donald Trump, I wrote a column titled “Why Trump won’t stop the clean energy revolution.”If you were to read it now, you would yawn. What seemed bold back then now feels like forecasting the inevitable. Of course coal has not come back....
By Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, Purdue UniversityAs the nation celebrates our 17 million living veterans, it is also important to know that the number of these heroes who are ending their own lives prematurely is rising.In the general population, suicide is the 10th most common cause of death, but among...
A few thoughts about Election 2020 and its aftermath:• Why did two men from Chesapeake – supporters of Republican candidates, and one an adherent to bizarre QAnon conspiracies – tote an AR-15 style rifle and handguns to Philadelphia while trying to monitor vote-counting in the closely contested Keystone State?That’s...