Let’s begin by recapping a fraught five days in Washington:
On Thursday, the president’s daily press briefing took a dangerous turn when Trump wondered aloud if bleach injections might be used to treat COVID-19. (Doctors quickly issued warnings.)
On Friday, he dismissed the comments as sarcasm.
By Saturday, he threatened to cancel these briefings altogether.
Yesterday, Trump “fired off” what my colleague David Frum called “a sequence of crazy-even-for-him tweets and retweets,” including a deepfake video featuring a likeness of Joe Biden. He also called for journalists to be stripped of their “Noble” prizes, both misspelling the award and, apparently, conflating it with the Pulitzers.
And today, the White House made good on Saturday’s threat, but only for a blip, canceling, then uncanceling, the afternoon press briefing.
The reversal doesn’t come as a total shock. Instead, it underscores the briefing’s relative importance in the Trump political playbook. Or, as my colleague Peter Nicholas put it: “It’s a fair bet that the free airtime and chance to push out campaign talking points are, for Trump, an irresistible draw.”
One question, answered: What would a coronavirus drug have to do in order to actually help a patient?
The challenge of fighting viruses is that they don’t have very many weak spots for a treatment to exploit. In order to succeed, a treatment would have to block the virus’s proteins from “hijacking, suppressing, and evading humans’ cellular machinery,” our reporter Sarah Zhang explains.
Reeves had made only one other action movie before Speed—1991’s Point Break, the Kathryn Bigelow classic that helped define him as more than a striking teen star. But in Point Break, he was playing a cheerful former football player with a puppy-dog smile, whereas Speed felt a little more geared toward Reeves’s grown-up persona. As the hero cop Jack Traven, he’s icy and calm, even when thrust into the truly ludicrous scenario of trying to save the passengers of a bus that will explode if it slows down. Reeves’s strange serenity is what distinguishes him in so many of the action hits that followed—the Matrix films, Constantine, John Wick. But in Speed, that quality is particularly elemental, an alpha heroism with none of the usual macho bravado.
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