American billionaires added $1.62 trillion to their wealth over the last 13 months

Elon Musk
Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

  • From March 2020 to April 2021, America’s billionaires added $1.62 trillion to their wealth.
  • A new report from IPS/ATF tracks how much billionaires have gained during the pandemic.
  • These gains could signal that inequality keeps increasing during the pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Over the last 13 months, American billionaires added $1.62 trillion to their wealth – a 55% increase.

This was a finding in the latest report from the left-leaning Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF). Both groups have tracked billionaire gains throughout the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen a K-shaped economic recovery for Americans: High-income workers have seen their jobs and pay grow, while low-wage workers have experienced the opposite.

“Billionaires’ huge pandemic-era wealth growth comes on top of a 19-fold increase in billionaire wealth over 31 years-from an inflation-adjusted $240 billion in 1990 to $4.56 trillion in 2021,” the report said. The report used data from Forbes to track billionaire gains from March 18, 2020 through April 12, 2021.

The number of billionaires has also grown, going from 66 in 1990 to 719 today.

“The concern is that we sort of further entrench the inequalities that we came into the pandemic with, meaning the number of households that are economically precarious grows,” Chuck Collins, director of the Program on Inequality at IPS, told Insider.

He said the “concentration” or “pooling” of wealth among billionaires has also accelerated.

“That’s the reality: We’re going to come out of the pandemic another degree of more unequal,” he said.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the bottom 50% of Americans held $2.49 trillion in total household wealth. Meanwhile, the top 1% added about $4 trillion to their wealth during that time – more than the bottom 50% holds in total.

To offset the inequality that’s arisen during the pandemic, Collins recommends a combination of supporting frontline workers, lifting up the wage floor, and taxing the rich over the next six months.

If nothing is done, Collins said, that economic precarity could grow. He predicts that homeownership could decrease, as economic vulnerability – and the lack of savings – rises.

Additional taxes on the wealthy have become a hot-button topic during the pandemic. The International Monetary Fund has said that one-off taxes on the wealthy and corporations could help with coronavirus recovery; however, not everyone agrees, with Nobel Prize-winning inequality economist Angus Deaton saying the wealthy would find a way to dodge a tax. IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig also just said that $1 trillion or more in taxes could be going uncollected every year.

President Joe Biden has proposed a hike in the corporate tax to fund his infrastructure package, and has said that Americans earning over $400,000 could see a tax increase. In a speech defending the tax increase, he said that he was “sick and tired of ordinary people being fleeced.”

Collins said he thinks Biden has about two years to enact change and start making a meaningful difference in people’s lives.

“There’s a possibility of totally turning the course here,” Collins said. “But it is going to require some courage and boldness and spine, but I actually think the broader public is with the president on this.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ex-Navy SEAL and ultramarathoner David Goggins is the toughest man on the planet. His latest challenge: convincing the world to suffer on purpose.

david goggins turning joys of suffering into business model 2x1

Everywhere Devin Featherstone goes, David Goggins follows. It starts in the morning when Featherstone opens his eyes and catches Goggins’ thousand-yard stare from the book jacket of “Can’t Hurt Me,” Goggins’ memoir, on his nightstand.

Throughout the day, Featherstone, 36, a firefighter and an avid runner in Calgary, Alberta, ingests YouTube videos and podcast clips of the former Navy SEAL and ultramarathoner, who reminds him to “Stay hard!” And as night falls, and Featherstone crawls back into bed beside his wife, there Goggins remains on the nightstand – inert, gazing blankly into the darkness.

Featherstone acknowledges the reality plainly: “David Goggins is in my head daily.”

The sway that Goggins, who is 46, has over his followers – his ability to occupy their thoughts and persuade them to push past their limits – is hard to overstate. Last month, he oversaw the Goggins Challenge, a two-day test of physical fitness that ran March 5-7. Across 90 countries, tens of thousands of weekend warriors ran four miles every four hours, for 48 hours straight. If you weren’t a runner, you exercised. If you weren’t a gym rat, you just got sweaty. It was free to enter, and if you wanted a T-shirt, you paid $35.

Devin Featherstone did it in full firefighter gear because why not.

While Goggins ended up donating more than $200,000 in profits from the T-shirt sales to charity, for individual people there is still no good reason to do challenges like these. But Goggins regularly inspires such action. Drawing on stories of his difficult past, mixed with expletive-ridden calls to reject creature comforts, he’s found a way to become equal parts drill sergeant, life coach, and superhero for his community of nearly 4 million highly engaged Instagram followers.

“It’s just really empowering,” said Jenny Petersen, a 48-year-old nurse and runner from Lincoln, Nebraska, speaking of Goggins’ list of accomplishments. Petersen – a runner and triathlete – was among those who completed the Goggins Challenge. “People are starting to embrace that it’s OK if you suffer, and that you’re tougher than you think.”

After more than a year of both mental and physical anguish wrought by COVID-19, Goggins’ calls to embrace discomfort may seem ill-timed. But for the newly converted and die-hards alike, he’s offering people more than motivation: an opportunity to reclaim control of their suffering, and practice it on their own terms.

Goggins’ fan base is growing fast, and there are promising signs his ability to monetize that interest – through a bestselling memoir, corporate speaking engagements, merchandise, and avenues yet-to-be explored – could carve out a lucrative “business of toughness” over the coming years.

“I discovered a whole nother part of your fucking brain that a lot of people don’t even know about,” Goggins told Joe Rogan in a 2018 podcast episode. “It’s my job now to take these weak people, in the category that I was in, and say, ‘Uh-uh. Stop reading the bullshit. Stop listening to the bullshit.’ And if my story of success can impact somebody, it is my job, it is my duty, to share the story.” (Goggins declined to be interviewed for this article.)

Achievements born from adversity

It was November 1, 2005, and a 6-foot-2, 245-pound linebacker of a Navy SEAL was on the starting line of a 24-hour footrace in Southern California. Goggins had signed up for the San Diego 1-Day, an event he entered as a qualifying race for a separate ultramarathon in which he hoped to raise money for charity.

He was no fleet-footed runner. In the lead-up to the race, Goggins’ cardiovascular training included just 20 minutes spent on the elliptical every Sunday. The task ahead of him: Complete 100 laps of the one-mile track before the 24 hours were up.

The race nearly broke Goggins, who describes the hellacious experience in his book and on podcasts as the most painful day of his life. He broke all the small bones in his feet. His kidneys shut down. By the time he got home, having run 101 miles in under 19 hours, he was smeared with blood, urine, and feces, and was unable to walk under his own weight. His wife at the time begged him to go to the hospital.

“She kept talking, shouting, crying, trying to reach me through the haze,” Goggins wrote in his 2018 memoir, “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds.” “And I heard most of what she said, but I knew if we went to the hospital they’d give me pain killers and I didn’t want to mask this pain. I’d just accomplished the most amazing feat in my entire life.”

brent gleeson & david goggins
Navy SEAL training in 2001. Brent Gleeson, second from left. David Goggins, second from right.

david goggins
Goggins during Navy SEAL training.

David Goggins & Brent Gleeson
Goggins and Gleeson at the SEAL training graduation in 2001.

As Goggins described it, that race obliterated any sense of physical limits he’d once had.

Two months after the San Diego 1-Day, he ran the Hurt 100, a 100-mile trail race with 24,500 feet of climbing through hills in Hawaii. In 2006, he completed seven more races of 30 miles or more. In 2007, he completed 14 more, including a third-place finish at the Badwater 135, a race longer than five normal marathons that cuts through the sneaker-melting heat of Death Valley. He’s completed two dozen more ultras in the 14 years since.

Goggins has also competed in the Ironman World Championship, finishing the 140.6-mile triathlon in 11 hours and 24 minutes. And in 2013, he broke the Guinness World Record for most pullups completed in 24 hours with 4,030. He broke the record with seven hours to spare.

For people such as Petersen and Featherstone, Goggins’ core appeal is his mental toughness, which Goggins said he channels into “going the distance,” not winning the race. He speaks often of the “40% rule,” which says that when people typically give up, they’re really only 40% depleted.

“The reason it’s so powerful,” Goggins wrote in “Can’t Hurt Me,” “is that if you follow it, you will unlock your mind to new levels of performance and excellence in sports and in life, and your rewards will run far deeper than mere material success.”

The San Diego 1-Day marked Goggins’ first step on the road to becoming an endurance athlete, but overcoming adversity stretches back to his childhood. Growing up Black in the small, predominantly white town of Brazil, Indiana, he faced virulent racism and struggled with a learning disability, speech impediment, and low self-esteem.

“I damn sure wasn’t going to get into college based on academics,” Goggins wrote in “Can’t Hurt Me.” “All I knew was that I had to get the fuck out of Brazil, Indiana.” He saw the military as his best chance and took the requisite entrance exam three times. On his third try, he met the minimum standard for the Air Force.

To date, Goggins is the only person to complete training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. And “when that glory faded,” about 20 years ago, Goggins set his sights on ultramarathon running, said Brent Gleeson, a former Navy SEAL who graduated from SEAL training with Goggins in 2001.

“He’s always striving, as he would say, to recertify himself as a savage,” said Gleeson, who is now an entrepreneur and the author of several books, including “Embrace the Suck: The Navy SEAL Way to an Extraordinary Life.” “It’s that continual journey, and I think that inadvertently started to spark something in other people.”

Even in middle age, Goggins seems to have no plans of slowing down. In October, at 45 years old, he ran 238 miles in 62 hours, 21 minutes, and 29 seconds as part of the Moab 240 in Utah. It was good enough for a second-place finish.

David Goggins by Brandon Rogers:US Navy
Goggins ran the Badwater 135 in 2007, in a string of 14 ultramarathon races that year.

Not just transformation – multiplication

But now the 46-year-old veteran is increasingly turning his attention toward brand-building. In 2016, Goggins, along with his team, founded Goggins LLC as a way to start investing in himself, as he told Rogan on his first of two podcast appearances.

“I try to be as real as I can,” Goggins said, “because we’re all fucking suffering in this world. We’re all hurting. And I try to take away all titles you wanna give me to let you know that I did not come from that shit. That’s why I have to be so authentic and so real about my own insecurities and my own faults, and being a fucked-up person.”

Influencers strive to be as authentic as possible; it can make or break a nascent brand. Fortunately for Goggins, who may never even use the word “influencer,” staying true to himself and his story has been the greatest source of his success – and sometimes his stress.

“My biggest fear in life is, people can read right through a motherfucker that’s not real,” he told Rogan. “I do it all the time. A lot of people have these great quotes, and they mass-produce. I can’t mass-produce something, man.”

Instead, he’s started giving talks. He’s spoken at companies such as Cisco and Microsoft and at pro sports teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Giants. (Because of COVID-19, he has not given a talk since March 2020, a spokesperson confirmed.) Clips from these talks carry titles such as “Stop Talking Yourself Out of Being Great” and “Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable.”

There is ample room for Goggins to grow in these spaces: Together, the self-improvement and motivational-speaking markets are worth about $15 billion. And they are expected to grow between 4% and 6% over the next few years, according to research from Marketdata Enterprises.

In 2018, he and his co-author, Adam Skolnick, self-published his memoir, “Can’t Hurt Me.” He said in a 2019 Facebook Live event that, despite being offered an advance of $300,000, he turned it down “at the last minute” and decided instead to invest $800,000 of his own money in self-publishing. (Goggins’ press representative did not respond to Insider’s request to confirm these figures.)

“It was the best decision, business-wise, I ever made in my entire life,” Goggins said in the event, “because I had the mental toughness and also the ability to know what was right for me and my brand.”

The book ended up selling 900,000 copies across print and digital within the first four months, Deadline’s Patrick Hipes reported. It stayed on The New York Times’ bestseller list for 14 weeks and has sold more than 3 million copies to date. According to Bookscan data, roughly 300,000 of those copies are from the two bound editions.

“That’s spectacular for any book,” said Giles Anderson, the owner and founder of Anderson Literary Agency.

Still, even as a businessman, Goggins is adamant that money isn’t what gets him up in the morning. “I’m not driven by the business,” he told Rogan. “I’m a minimalist motherfucker. Gimme a backpack, a fucking ground to sleep on, a pullup bar, some fucking running shoes, and a Subway sandwich, and I’m fucking straight.”

To be sure, Goggins isn’t the only tough-as-nails influencer. Plenty have come before him, Tony Robbins perhaps looming the largest, literally, over the past two decades. Nor is Goggins the only veteran turned life coach to break onto the scene in recent years.

Jocko Willink is a retired naval officer, a podcaster, and the author of several books, including “Extreme Ownership: How Navy SEALs Lead and Win.” Willink is well known on Instagram, where he has nearly 2 million followers, for posting gritty, black-and-white close-ups of his digital watch displaying ungodly wake-up times. A recent photo showed the time as 4:25:41. The caption: “WARPATH.”

Many of Goggins’ followers also find strength in Jocko, as he’s better known. But where Jocko has posted more than 4,700 times, Goggins has just 335 posts to his name, and each one is a viral sensation in its own right. His videos regularly pull in more than a million views.

To retired SEAL Gleeson, who previously founded and ran a digital-media agency for 11 years, the growth and engagement Goggins has achieved are nothing short of anomalous. “I’ve never seen an explosion of rapid growth from a social-media-brand standpoint,” Gleeson said. “Never seen it before.”

david goggins moab 240
Goggins ran the Moab 240 in October, finishing second.

david goggins moab 240
Goggins’ finishing time at the Moab 240 was 62 hours, 21 minutes.

Goggins isn’t for everyone … yet

Part of Goggins’ appeal has been the mythic quality that’s followed him ever since stories began to surface on YouTube about six years ago. In 2015, the entrepreneur Jesse Itzler published “Living With a SEAL: 31 Days Training With the Toughest Man on the Planet.” Itzler never used the SEAL’s name in the book, but word soon got out that the “toughest man” was in fact David Goggins. More videos emerged; rumors swirled. Have you heard of David Goggins? The man himself began appearing on podcasts, news shows, and social media.

All that organic growth has created a reputation that some find intriguing. For instance, a month after the official Goggins Challenge weekend in March, a handful of New York City-based runners embarked on the challenge to raise money for charity the weekend of April 9. For others, who may be landing on Goggins’ Instagram page for the first time, the catalog of running videos, in which our hero yells at the camera for a minute straight, may seem intimidating. But for every Goggins nonbeliever, there is often a friend close by who’s ready to dispel the myths and spread the gospel.

Joelle Tomlinson, a morning-news host in Calgary, and a friend of Featherstone, regularly runs ultramarathons. When she came across Goggins, in 2020, by way of a running partner, she first thought, “Wow, this guy is absolutely wild” – in a good way, she said. “I’ve never heard of anyone like this. I think he has completely made this recreational suffering more achievable.” She said she was eager to pick up a copy of his book.

But then there are people such as Jacy Cunningham, a 32-year-old professional trainer in Maryland, who admire Goggins for his intensity but find less value in glorifying it as a way of life. “Our society promotes pure extreme,” said Cunningham, who runs his own business on a holistic form of fitness called the Jacy Method. “We’re fanatic about crazy shit. We’re big on pushing ourselves to crazy limits.”

Devin Featherstone said an increasingly comfortable world is to blame. “People are driving more toward that in-your-face attitude of how Goggins tells you straight up: If you’re lazy, you’re lazy. You’re not candy-coating it, and I think more and more people need that.”

Still, even a superfan such as Featherstone said he’s motivated most by his family and his values, and that he taps the fearless warrior in his head only when times get tough. As a dad to a 5-year-old son, he knows the misery of a 4 a.m. wake-up. But after studying “Can’t Hurt Me” and listening to clip after clip, Featherstone said cleaning a mess or settling a dispute doesn’t seem so bad.

“There are things that I would bitch and complain about that were really small,” he said. Now, not so much, and people have even asked where his inner peace comes from. “I’m, like, ‘Honestly? I read David Goggins’ book.'”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ex-Navy SEAL and ultramarathoner David Goggins is the toughest man on the planet. He wants you to love suffering as much as he does.

david goggins turning joys of suffering into business model 2x1

Everywhere Devin Featherstone goes, David Goggins follows. It starts in the morning when Featherstone opens his eyes and catches Goggins’ thousand-yard stare from the book jacket of “Can’t Hurt Me,” Goggins’ memoir, on his nightstand.

Throughout the day, Featherstone, 36, a firefighter and an avid runner in Calgary, Alberta, ingests YouTube videos and podcast clips of the former Navy SEAL and ultramarathoner, who reminds him to “Stay hard!” And as night falls, and Featherstone crawls back into bed beside his wife, there Goggins remains on the nightstand – inert, gazing blankly into the darkness.

Featherstone acknowledges the reality plainly: “David Goggins is in my head daily.”

The sway that Goggins, who is 46, has over his followers – his ability to occupy their thoughts and persuade them to push past their limits – is hard to overstate. Last month, he oversaw the Goggins Challenge, a two-day test of physical fitness that ran March 5-7. Across 90 countries, tens of thousands of weekend warriors ran four miles every four hours, for 48 hours straight. If you weren’t a runner, you exercised. If you weren’t a gym rat, you just got sweaty. It was free to enter, and if you wanted a T-shirt, you paid $35.

Devin Featherstone did it in full firefighter gear because why not.

While Goggins ended up donating more than $200,000 in profits from the T-shirt sales to charity, for individual people there is still no good reason to do challenges like these. But Goggins regularly inspires such action. Drawing on stories of his difficult past, mixed with expletive-ridden calls to reject creature comforts, he’s found a way to become equal parts drill sergeant, life coach, and superhero for his community of nearly 4 million highly engaged Instagram followers.

“It’s just really empowering,” said Jenny Petersen, a 48-year-old nurse and runner from Lincoln, Nebraska, speaking of Goggins’ list of accomplishments. Petersen – a runner and triathlete – was among those who completed the Goggins Challenge. “People are starting to embrace that it’s OK if you suffer, and that you’re tougher than you think.”

After more than a year of both mental and physical anguish wrought by COVID-19, Goggins’ calls to embrace discomfort may seem ill-timed. But for the newly converted and die-hards alike, he’s offering people more than motivation: an opportunity to reclaim control of their suffering, and practice it on their own terms.

Goggins’ fan base is growing fast, and there are promising signs his ability to monetize that interest – through a bestselling memoir, corporate speaking engagements, merchandise, and avenues yet-to-be explored – could carve out a lucrative “business of toughness” over the coming years.

“I discovered a whole nother part of your fucking brain that a lot of people don’t even know about,” Goggins told Joe Rogan in a 2018 podcast episode. “It’s my job now to take these weak people, in the category that I was in, and say, ‘Uh-uh. Stop reading the bullshit. Stop listening to the bullshit.’ And if my story of success can impact somebody, it is my job, it is my duty, to share the story.” (Goggins declined to be interviewed for this article.)

Achievements born from adversity

It was November 1, 2005, and a 6-foot-2, 245-pound linebacker of a Navy SEAL was on the starting line of a 24-hour footrace in Southern California. Goggins had signed up for the San Diego 1-Day, an event he entered as a qualifying race for a separate ultramarathon in which he hoped to raise money for charity.

He was no fleet-footed runner. In the lead-up to the race, Goggins’ cardiovascular training included just 20 minutes spent on the elliptical every Sunday. The task ahead of him: Complete 100 laps of the one-mile track before the 24 hours were up.

The race nearly broke Goggins, who describes the hellacious experience in his book and on podcasts as the most painful day of his life. He broke all the small bones in his feet. His kidneys shut down. By the time he got home, having run 101 miles in under 19 hours, he was smeared with blood, urine, and feces, and was unable to walk under his own weight. His wife at the time begged him to go to the hospital.

“She kept talking, shouting, crying, trying to reach me through the haze,” Goggins wrote in his 2018 memoir, “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds.” “And I heard most of what she said, but I knew if we went to the hospital they’d give me pain killers and I didn’t want to mask this pain. I’d just accomplished the most amazing feat in my entire life.”

brent gleeson & david goggins
Navy SEAL training in 2001. Brent Gleeson, second from left. David Goggins, second from right.

david goggins
Goggins during Navy SEAL training.

David Goggins & Brent Gleeson
Goggins and Gleeson at the SEAL training graduation in 2001.

As Goggins described it, that race obliterated any sense of physical limits he’d once had.

Two months after the San Diego 1-Day, he ran the Hurt 100, a 100-mile trail race with 24,500 feet of climbing through hills in Hawaii. In 2006, he completed seven more races of 30 miles or more. In 2007, he completed 14 more, including a third-place finish at the Badwater 135, a race longer than five normal marathons that cuts through the sneaker-melting heat of Death Valley. He’s completed two dozen more ultras in the 14 years since.

Goggins has also competed in the Ironman World Championship, finishing the 140.6-mile triathlon in 11 hours and 24 minutes. And in 2013, he broke the Guinness World Record for most pullups completed in 24 hours with 4,030. He broke the record with seven hours to spare.

For people such as Petersen and Featherstone, Goggins’ core appeal is his mental toughness, which Goggins said he channels into “going the distance,” not winning the race. He speaks often of the “40% rule,” which says that when people typically give up, they’re really only 40% depleted.

“The reason it’s so powerful,” Goggins wrote in “Can’t Hurt Me,” “is that if you follow it, you will unlock your mind to new levels of performance and excellence in sports and in life, and your rewards will run far deeper than mere material success.”

The San Diego 1-Day marked Goggins’ first step on the road to becoming an endurance athlete, but overcoming adversity stretches back to his childhood. Growing up Black in the small, predominantly white town of Brazil, Indiana, he faced virulent racism and struggled with a learning disability, speech impediment, and low self-esteem.

“I damn sure wasn’t going to get into college based on academics,” Goggins wrote in “Can’t Hurt Me.” “All I knew was that I had to get the fuck out of Brazil, Indiana.” He saw the military as his best chance and took the requisite entrance exam three times. On his third try, he met the minimum standard for the Air Force.

To date, Goggins is the only person to complete training as a Navy SEAL, Army Ranger, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller. And “when that glory faded,” about 20 years ago, Goggins set his sights on ultramarathon running, said Brent Gleeson, a former Navy SEAL who graduated from SEAL training with Goggins in 2001.

“He’s always striving, as he would say, to recertify himself as a savage,” said Gleeson, who is now an entrepreneur and the author of several books, including “Embrace the Suck: The Navy SEAL Way to an Extraordinary Life.” “It’s that continual journey, and I think that inadvertently started to spark something in other people.”

Even in middle age, Goggins seems to have no plans of slowing down. In October, at 45 years old, he ran 238 miles in 62 hours, 21 minutes, and 29 seconds as part of the Moab 240 in Utah. It was good enough for a second-place finish.

David Goggins by Brandon Rogers:US Navy
Goggins ran the Badwater 135 in 2007, in a string of 14 ultramarathon races that year.

Not just transformation – multiplication

But now the 46-year-old veteran is increasingly turning his attention toward brand-building. In 2016, Goggins, along with his team, founded Goggins LLC as a way to start investing in himself, as he told Rogan on his first of two podcast appearances.

“I try to be as real as I can,” Goggins said, “because we’re all fucking suffering in this world. We’re all hurting. And I try to take away all titles you wanna give me to let you know that I did not come from that shit. That’s why I have to be so authentic and so real about my own insecurities and my own faults, and being a fucked-up person.”

Influencers strive to be as authentic as possible; it can make or break a nascent brand. Fortunately for Goggins, who may never even use the word “influencer,” staying true to himself and his story has been the greatest source of his success – and sometimes his stress.

“My biggest fear in life is, people can read right through a motherfucker that’s not real,” he told Rogan. “I do it all the time. A lot of people have these great quotes, and they mass-produce. I can’t mass-produce something, man.”

Instead, he’s started giving talks. He’s spoken at companies such as Cisco and Microsoft and at pro sports teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Giants. (Because of COVID-19, he has not given a talk since March 2020, a spokesperson confirmed.) Clips from these talks carry titles such as “Stop Talking Yourself Out of Being Great” and “Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable.”

There is ample room for Goggins to grow in these spaces: Together, the self-improvement and motivational-speaking markets are worth about $15 billion. And they are expected to grow between 4% and 6% over the next few years, according to research from Marketdata Enterprises.

In 2018, he and his co-author, Adam Skolnick, self-published his memoir, “Can’t Hurt Me.” He said in a 2019 Facebook Live event that, despite being offered an advance of $300,000, he turned it down “at the last minute” and decided instead to invest $800,000 of his own money in self-publishing. (Goggins’ press representative did not respond to Insider’s request to confirm these figures.)

“It was the best decision, business-wise, I ever made in my entire life,” Goggins said in the event, “because I had the mental toughness and also the ability to know what was right for me and my brand.”

The book ended up selling 900,000 copies across print and digital within the first four months, Deadline’s Patrick Hipes reported. It stayed on The New York Times’ bestseller list for 14 weeks and has sold more than 3 million copies to date. According to Bookscan data, roughly 300,000 of those copies are from the two bound editions.

“That’s spectacular for any book,” said Giles Anderson, the owner and founder of Anderson Literary Agency.

Still, even as a businessman, Goggins is adamant that money isn’t what gets him up in the morning. “I’m not driven by the business,” he told Rogan. “I’m a minimalist motherfucker. Gimme a backpack, a fucking ground to sleep on, a pullup bar, some fucking running shoes, and a Subway sandwich, and I’m fucking straight.”

To be sure, Goggins isn’t the only tough-as-nails influencer. Plenty have come before him, Tony Robbins perhaps looming the largest, literally, over the past two decades. Nor is Goggins the only veteran turned life coach to break onto the scene in recent years.

Jocko Willink is a retired naval officer, a podcaster, and the author of several books, including “Extreme Ownership: How Navy SEALs Lead and Win.” Willink is well known on Instagram, where he has nearly 2 million followers, for posting gritty, black-and-white close-ups of his digital watch displaying ungodly wake-up times. A recent photo showed the time as 4:25:41. The caption: “WARPATH.”

Many of Goggins’ followers also find strength in Jocko, as he’s better known. But where Jocko has posted more than 4,700 times, Goggins has just 335 posts to his name, and each one is a viral sensation in its own right. His videos regularly pull in more than a million views.

To retired SEAL Gleeson, who previously founded and ran a digital-media agency for 11 years, the growth and engagement Goggins has achieved are nothing short of anomalous. “I’ve never seen an explosion of rapid growth from a social-media-brand standpoint,” Gleeson said. “Never seen it before.”

david goggins moab 240
Goggins ran the Moab 240 in October, finishing second.

david goggins moab 240
Goggins’ finishing time at the Moab 240 was 62 hours, 21 minutes.

Goggins isn’t for everyone … yet

Part of Goggins’ appeal has been the mythic quality that’s followed him ever since stories began to surface on YouTube about six years ago. In 2015, the entrepreneur Jesse Itzler published “Living With a SEAL: 31 Days Training With the Toughest Man on the Planet.” Itzler never used the SEAL’s name in the book, but word soon got out that the “toughest man” was in fact David Goggins. More videos emerged; rumors swirled. Have you heard of David Goggins? The man himself began appearing on podcasts, news shows, and social media.

All that organic growth has created a reputation that some find intriguing. For instance, a month after the official Goggins Challenge weekend in March, a handful of New York City-based runners embarked on the challenge to raise money for charity the weekend of April 9. For others, who may be landing on Goggins’ Instagram page for the first time, the catalog of running videos, in which our hero yells at the camera for a minute straight, may seem intimidating. But for every Goggins nonbeliever, there is often a friend close by who’s ready to dispel the myths and spread the gospel.

Joelle Tomlinson, a morning-news host in Calgary, and a friend of Featherstone, regularly runs ultramarathons. When she came across Goggins, in 2020, by way of a running partner, she first thought, “Wow, this guy is absolutely wild” – in a good way, she said. “I’ve never heard of anyone like this. I think he has completely made this recreational suffering more achievable.” She said she was eager to pick up a copy of his book.

But then there are people such as Jacy Cunningham, a 32-year-old professional trainer in Maryland, who admire Goggins for his intensity but find less value in glorifying it as a way of life. “Our society promotes pure extreme,” said Cunningham, who runs his own business on a holistic form of fitness called the Jacy Method. “We’re fanatic about crazy shit. We’re big on pushing ourselves to crazy limits.”

Devin Featherstone said an increasingly comfortable world is to blame. “People are driving more toward that in-your-face attitude of how Goggins tells you straight up: If you’re lazy, you’re lazy. You’re not candy-coating it, and I think more and more people need that.”

Still, even a superfan such as Featherstone said he’s motivated most by his family and his values, and that he taps the fearless warrior in his head only when times get tough. As a dad to a 5-year-old son, he knows the misery of a 4 a.m. wake-up. But after studying “Can’t Hurt Me” and listening to clip after clip, Featherstone said cleaning a mess or settling a dispute doesn’t seem so bad.

“There are things that I would bitch and complain about that were really small,” he said. Now, not so much, and people have even asked where his inner peace comes from. “I’m, like, ‘Honestly? I read David Goggins’ book.'”

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You are more likely to get a blood clot on birth-control pills than from the J&J vaccine – but not the same type of clot

woman gets johnson & johnson vaccine
A woman receives a Johnson & Johnson vaccine from nurse Gina Reed at a vaccination center at the Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, on March 5, 2021.

  • The CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the rollout of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Of the 6.8 million Americans who got the shot, six women are known to have developed blood clots.
  • Blood clots linked to birth-control pills are more common than that, but they’re typically a different type.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The US paused its rollout of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, following six reports of blood clots among people who got the shot.

All six cases involved women between 18 and 48 years old. They developed the clots six to 13 days after their shots, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. So far, 6.8 million Americans have gotten the J&J vaccine – so if clots are indeed linked to the vaccine (which is not yet known) they’re seen at a rate of less than one in 1 million.

To highlight how small that rate is, some experts have compared the statistic to rates of blood clots among women taking birth-control pills. As many as one in every 100 women taking birth control over a period of 10 years can experience a clot.

“As someone who got the J&J vaccine eight days ago, and who took oral contraceptives for 20 years, I’ll take these odds,” Angie Rasmussen, a virologist from Georgetown University, tweeted on Tuesday.

But it’s challenging to directly compare the clots observed in people who got the J&J vaccine to those among women who take oral contraceptives, for two main reasons. The first is that in the six cases that US regulators are investigating, patients also showed low levels of blood platelets – cells that stop bleeding. That’s not seen among women on birth-control pills who experience clots.

The second reason is that these are mostly not the same types of clots. The rare reaction that might be linked to the J&J shot is called central venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), and it’s a clot in the brain. The clots typically associated with birth-control pills, meanwhile, occur in veins inside the thigh or calf.

“This is a different clinical entity than blood clots associated with oral contraceptives,” Dr. Melanie Swift, an internist and vaccine expert at the Mayo Clinic, told Insider.

The chart below compares the rate of known CVST clots among people who’ve gotten the J&J shot with the risk of that type of clot in the general population.

A second chart compares the rate of any type of blood clots – not only CVST – among COVID-19 patients, women on birth-control pills, and women in general.

Oral contraceptives raise the risk of clots, but they’re still unusual

Estrogen, a hormone in oral contraceptives, is linked to as much as a four-fold higher risk of any type of blood clot. That’s because it prompts the body to produce more of the plasma that helps blood stick together.

Still, pill-associated clots are quite unusual.

“For women taking combined oral contraceptives, blood clotting is a very small risk but a serious condition,” Dr. Melanie Davies, a gynecologist in London and professor at University College London, told Insider. She said the risk can be compared to rare but serious events like a car crash.

“For 10,000 women over a year, one to five will have a blood clot anyway, and on the [pill] that rises to three to nine, so it is still less than one in 1,000 chance,” she said. “It’s also important to know that this is much less than the risk of getting blood clots in pregnancy and after childbirth.”

As many as 65 out of every 10,000 new mothers experience a clot in the three months after childbirth.

birth control pill

A false comparison

Most birth-control-linked clots are found in women’s legs, though they can also sometimes travel from the legs to the lungs.

“When you’re looking at clots that are associated with birth control, those are usually going to be in the form of a deep vein thrombosis and very rarely a pulmonary embolism,” Dr. Jessica Shepherd, an OB-GYN in Dallas who serves as the chief medical officer of VeryWell Health, told Insider.

Overall, your chance of developing deep vein thrombosis is one in 1,000 every year.

CVST, by contrast, occurs in the brain when the sinuses that drain blood from your head get blocked. About five people out of every million in the general population experience this each year. Women on birth control face a higher risk of CVST than men and than women who aren’t on the pill.

Several studies have also shown that some COVID-19 patients get diagnosed with CVST.

For the FDA and CDC, concerns over blood clots among J&J recipients wasn’t so much about the total number of cases, but rather that the patients also had low levels of blood platelets. According to Swift, the number of people who get this combination of symptoms is so small that it’s “too low to provide a population estimate.”

“This type of a combination of low platelets and blood clots has been very rarely seen in the past in other situations as an autoimmune phenomenon, but it’s very, very rare,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the FDA, said during a briefing on Tuesday.

‘An abundance of caution’

johnson and johnson vaccine
A nurse loads a syringe with a dose of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine on March 9, 2021 in Athens, Ohio.

Experts say people who’ve already gotten the J&J shot shouldn’t panic.

“If they have received the shot and it has been over two weeks since getting the shot, they should not worry, as the problem seems to occur early,” Dr. Paul Geopfert, a professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who worked on the J&J trial, told Insider. “It is also extremely rare, so it seems unlikely we will see many more in light of the safety pause.”

Those who have gotten a J&J shot in the last two weeks, Geopfert added, can look out for clot-related symptoms: “CVST would be more associated with severe headaches, confusion, and loss of consciousness,” he said.

Typical vaccine side effects like fatigue aren’t likely to signal a clot.

The US health agencies said they recommended this pause “out of an abundance of caution” and to give healthcare professionals time to understand the potential risks and treat patients accordingly.

“I respect the independence of the FDA and their need to evaluate risk. But six out of 6.8 million is not a lot, and if they are going to land on ‘we reviewed the data and everything is fine,’ they need to be clear and quick and unequivocal,” Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted.

Dr. Catherine Schuster-Bruce contributed reporting to this story.

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This map shows the highest-paying job in every state, excluding doctors

Doctors earn a lot of money across the board, but other professions can also pay well.

Medical doctors of various specializations are the highest-paying job in many US states, including Washington, Colorado, and Maine. Insider took a look at the highest-paying job in each state and DC outside of the medical field.

For our analysis, we looked at occupations for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported at least 1,000 employees in the state with the highest average salary in 2020, the most recent year that data is available. The data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program (previously the Occupational Employment Statistics program) and excludes several professions for medical doctors and dentists.

To get a sense of what occupations, other than doctors, are well paid across the US, we excluded family medicine physicians, surgeons, dentists, anesthesiologists, general internal medicine physicians, obstetricians and gynecologists, psychiatrists, and all other general physicians.

Chief executives dominate the non-medical occupations; this occupation is the highest-paying job in 19 states and Washington DC. Airline pilots, co-pilots, and flight engineers are the top-paying jobs other than doctors in six states.

Below we included the 11 different high-paying jobs across the US, apart from doctors, in alphabetical order. We also included their mean annual salary in each state and Washington DC.

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

pilot

What they do, according to O*NETPilot and navigate aircrafts.

Alaska: $180,100

California: $229,110

Colorado: $200,040

Florida: $229,730

Michigan: $248,770

Nevada: $236,260

Architectural and engineering managers

architectural engineer

What they do, according to O*NETPlan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as architecture and engineering or research and development in these fields.

Hawaii: $154,070

Idaho: $151,950

Louisiana: $157,800

New Hampshire: $158,100

New Mexico: $172,910

Chief executives

Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan.
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan.

What they do, according to O*NET: Develop policies and provide overall direction of companies or other organizations.

Alabama: $174,910

Arizona: $178,890

District of Columbia: $253,820

Illinois: $225,710

Indiana: $166,390

Kansas: $162,510

Kentucky: $162,670

Maine: $152,620

Massachusetts: $231,260

Missouri: $176,430

Nebraska: $197,850

New York: $218,720

North Carolina: $220,940

Ohio: $195,200

Pennsylvania: $227,250

Texas: $239,060

Utah: $158,730

Virginia: $236,820

Washington: $243,150

Wisconsin: $185,450

Computer and information systems managers

computer programmer

What they do, according to O*NET: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming.

Georgia: $148,760

Iowa: $126,740

Maryland: $158,630

New Jersey: $191,120

Financial managers

sales manager

What they do, according to O*NETPlan, direct, or coordinate financial activities.

Connecticut: $170,500

Delaware: $176,630

North Dakota: $140,740

Rhode Island: $169,070

Vermont: $112,700

General and operations managers

business

What they do, according to O*NET: Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of public or private organizations.

South Dakota: $131,890

Wyoming: $101,060

Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

lecture class college

What they do, according to O*NET: Teach courses in health specialties, in fields such as dentistry and public health.

Mississippi: $162,670

Oregon: $169,060

Nurse anesthetists

nurse anesthetist

What they do, according to O*NETAdminister anesthesia, monitor patient’s vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia.

Minnesota: $216,050

South Carolina: $185,850

Tennessee: $171,020

Petroleum engineers

petrolum engineer

What they do, according to O*NET: Devise methods to improve oil and gas extraction and production.

Oklahoma: $156,390

Pharmacists

pharmacist

What they do, according to O*NET: Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. 

Montana: $116,710

West Virginia: $129,440

Sales managers

talking to manager

What they do, according to O*NET: Plan, direct, or coordinate the actual distribution or movement of a product or service to the customer.

Arkansas: $138,030

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The ultimate guide to Amazon’s advertising business, which is $21 billion and growing

amazon advertising executive 2x1

Amazon’s e-commerce dominance is quickly expanding to advertising.

The pandemic has drastically cut ad budgets as marketers reign back their spending, but e-commerce advertising is booming as people shop more from home – with Amazon leading the pack.

EMarketer said Amazon claimed 10.3% of the US digital ad market in 2020, up from 7.8% in 2019 – competing with Google and Facebook for ad budgets. That growth has attracted Walmart, Instacart, Walgreens and other retailers that have joined Amazon in vying for a slice of the pie.

Here’s the latest on what we know about Amazon’s moves to grow its advertising business.

How big is advertising for Amazon?

Amazon made about $21.5 billion from advertising in 2020, up from roughly $9.3 billion in the year-ago period.

While that amount is a tiny sliver of Amazon’s revenue from retail sales and Amazon Web Services, its cloud business, advertising is one of its fastest-growing areas. The tech giant continues to cut into advertisers’ search budgets that mostly go to Google.

The pandemic’s impact on Amazon

While advertisers have slashed TV and some digital budgets during the pandemic, Amazon’s advertising has grown as people do more of their shopping online. Amazon has also increased the advertising potential of Twitch, its live-streaming service whose viewership has grown during the pandemic.

Ad tech’s role in Amazon’s ad business

Advertisers and sellers often cite a lack of data and tools as challenges in advertising on Amazon, which has given rise to a cottage industry of firms that specialize in helping marketers navigate the site. Meanwhile, Amazon has pushed further into programmatic advertising with its OTT arm that sells ads in some Fire TV apps.

Ad measurement

Amazon has loads of data about how people shop and has offered advertisers more data to help buy and target ads. Still, advertisers say that Amazon’s data can be limited and continue to find new ways to measure ads.

Who runs Amazon’s ad business?

Amazon is notoriously secretive as a workplace. As Amazon’s advertising ambitions have grown, it’s cultivated a team of execs who pitch advertisers on its ad business.

They include several longtime Amazon employees, including Colleen Aubrey, who is part of Amazon’s executive suite. Amazon has also hired big names from ad agencies and brands over the past few years to build teams that work directly with advertisers.

How to get a job at Amazon

Amazon is consistently looking for advertising talent, but its heavy focus on culture makes it hard for outsiders to break into the company.

We talked to insiders about how to ace the interview process.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Women saw a big increase in jobs in March but there’s still a long way to go

waitress
  • Women gained 315,000 jobs in March, about half of men’s monthly employment gain.
  • NWLC wrote it would take roughly 15 months to get back to women’s pre-pandemic employment at this rate.
  • Measures like raising the minimum wage and implementing universal childcare could help.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The March jobs report brought something relatively new to the story of pandemic unemployment: a touch of optimism.

Based on the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 916,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were added. That is the highest monthly gain so far this year. If the US continues to add jobs each month at that rate, employment can reach February 2020 levels in just around 10 months.

But, as always, there’s more to the story, especially when it comes to one group who’s continually been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic’s economic devastation: women.

Women’s nonfarm payroll employment increased by 315,000 last month while men saw a gain of 601,000 jobs according to the National Women’s Law Center‘s calculation. The NWLC wrote that this rate translates to taking about 15 months to get women’s employment back to February 2020’s level of 76.3 million. For men, it will take a little over six months.

“At this point we’re moving in the right direction, but there’s still a long way to go,” Jasmine Tucker, the NWLC’s director of research, told Insider.

Still, there was a large increase in the net number of women who are at least 20 years old entering the labor force in March. However, March was another month of men exiting the labor force. The following chart highlights the monthly change in civilian labor force participation for men and women from the past several months:

Based on the chart, 495,000 women age 20 and over joined the labor force last month. This is much higher than the 26,000 that entered the labor force in February 2021. On the other hand, 117,000 men age 20 and over left the labor force last month, almost 40,000 higher than the 78,000 men who left a month earlier.

One concern, however, is the quality of the jobs that those women are taking, especially with a surge in leisure and hospitality employment.

“I think there’s a lot of people right now who are taking anything they can get,” Tucker said. Women moving into those jobs could lead to the wage gap widening later on.

With the uptick in women entering the labor force, their labor force participation rate has also slightly increased. The rate for women 20 years and over was 57.4% in March, 0.4 percentage points higher than February. Men’s rate continues to be much higher than women, although the rate ticked down by 0.1 percentage points to 69.5%. The following chart highlights the labor force participation rate for men and women over the past year:

Both women’s and men’s unemployment rates have declined from their pandemic peaks in April 2020 but are still higher than their pre-pandemic rates. The gap between the unemployment rates has narrowed and is now only a difference of 0.1 percentage point for people who are at least 20 years old. The following chart highlights the unemployment rate for men and women over the course of the pandemic:

“If we added all of the 1.8 million women who’ve dropped out of the labor force and added them to the ranks of the unemployed, women’s unemployment rate would have been 8% and men’s would have been 8% too – if we count the millions of men who’ve dropped out,” Tucker said.

She added: “Black women would have been 13.4%, and Latinas would have been 11.1%. These are crisis levels. We are, I think, still in a crisis here.”

Tucker said that measures like raising the minimum wage and implementing universal childcare will be key in creating a more equitable recovery.

“You can’t go to work if you don’t have a road to get there. You can’t go to work if you don’t have a safe place for your kid. Right. These are like synonymous things. Childcare is infrastructure and we need to treat it that way.”

A tale of two pandemics, even for women

The economic impact on women has also been bifurcated, depending on what profession they’re in, according to Saru Jayaraman, the president of One Fair Wage. It’s not just a story of employment, or lack thereof.

“It’s important to understand that for low wage workers, it’s less of a a loss in terms of employment and jobs and more of an income loss,” Jayaraman said.

She said that conditions for workers in those jobs have been worsening, all while risk increases. Recent research from One Fair Wage found that, during the pandemic, female tipped workers reported tips were down, but harassment was up.

And so the recovery numbers – especially in the restaurant sector – may not tell the whole story. While jobs may be recovering there, with funding pouring in from the American Rescue Plan, the devastation for women working in the industry is “incomprehensible.”

On a policy level, the top priority should be raising the minimum wage, according to Jayaraman; 59% of the workers who would benefit from a $15 minimum wage are women.

“Last year, we started a relief fund for service workers; 240,000 workers applied for relief. And I can’t tell you the number of women waitresses who wrote to us and said, ‘I can no longer feed my children. The lines are too long at the food banks. I am now resorting to stealing food because I have no choice,'”Jayaraman said.

“Some of them wrote and said, ‘I can’t pay the electricity bill, so we don’t know how much longer we can be in touch with you.'”

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A COVID-19 expert shares his simple sports analogy to explain why vaccines work against variants

coronavirus variants vaccines athletes 2x1
  • There’s concern coronavirus variants can partially evade vaccines made to target the original virus.
  • But research suggests the parts of our immune system activated by vaccines can still fight variants.
  • Experts say to think of vaccines like an elite athlete: They can dominate even when off their A game.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

For a while, Dr. Jeremy Faust struggled to put into words why he was not worried about COVID-19 variants rendering vaccines obsolete.

Faust, an emergency-medicine physician and instructor at Harvard Medical School, was loath to use data to explain his reasoning to nonscientists. Instead, he had a hunch that sports analogies might help people understand him a little better.

Recently, he came up with one comparison that seemed to resonate: Think of our COVID-19 vaccines as world-class athletes.

Even if Serena Williams or Tom Brady is not performing at their absolute best, even if they face a change in the game, and even if they face a strong opponent, they are still extraordinarily hard to beat.

Pfizer’s, Moderna’s, and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 shots, which were all 100% effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths in clinical trials of tens of thousands of people around the world, are kind of like the Williams or the Brady of vaccines.

Yes, viral variants are on the rise – some of which can evade virus-neutralizing antibodies. But make no mistake: These vaccines, like elite athletes, can still perform very well against them.

“If Serena Williams all of a sudden was 10% less effective than usual, or 50% less effective than usual, she would still kick everyone’s ass,” Faust, who is also the editor of Brief19, a daily review of COVID-19 research, recently told Insider on Clubhouse.

“So far, the variants have not rendered any of the vaccines useless,” Faust said, adding that like Williams or Brady, “they’re still quite impressive,” even when slightly less effective.

Fauci agrees: Vaccines are tough to beat, even for variants

Fauci Baseball

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies prepare for the possibility of a future coronavirus invasion by teaching them how to fend off an attack from the original “wild-type” coronavirus.

Concerns that these shots could then be less effective against variants come from lab studies involving blood samples from vaccinated people, which showed that vaccinated people produced far fewer antibodies that could neutralize variants compared with the antibodies produced to combat the wild-type virus.

But Dr. Anthony Fauci, who spoke with Insider last week, stressed that drop wasn’t enough to render vaccines ineffective.

These authorized vaccines are also 66 to 95% effective at preventing sickness – far surpassing the US Food and Drug Administration’s 50% efficacy bar for COVID-19 vaccines, making consumers “spoiled,” some vaccine makers have suggested.

“Most people have high enough levels of antibody that even if you diminish it by several fold, we still have enough cushion effect to be able to block any issue of severe disease,” Fauci told Insider.

Like elite athletes, it would take a lot to overcome our highly effective COVID-19 vaccines

Rob Gronkowski Tom Brady

Scientists still don’t know precisely the amount of antibodies needed to keep us safe from a severe COVID-19 infection (just like we don’t know at what point a fatigued Brady or an injured Williams would cease to be some of the greatest athletes of all time).

But, like elite athletes, existing COVID-19 vaccines prompt such a high level of response to start with that even a little kick in the knees from some variants won’t completely stymie their efficacy, according to Alessandro Sette, an infectious-disease expert at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in California.

“If you need a 10-foot wall to keep the virus out, and you start with a wall 100 feet high, even if the wall is reduced to 50 feet or 20 feet, it doesn’t really matter,” he told Insider.

Fauci has also said antibodies that are effective at combating the original virus can still partially work against variants – this is known as “the spillover effect.”

“It’s like you have a bug spray that is supposed to kill mosquitoes but might kill flies too, though maybe not as well,” Sette said.

Besides, that stark drop observed in neutralizing antibodies doesn’t happen against every variant. The variant first found in the UK, which is the one that is dominant in the US now, is “handled extremely well by the vaccines that are currently in use,” Fauci said.

Our T cells respond equally well to variants as they do to the original virus

Serena Williams

Concerns over plummeting antibody levels also don’t take into account other parts of our immune response to the virus – namely killer T cells that identify and kill infected cells, as well as helper T cells that help B cells make new antibodies.

While antibodies stop infection, your body’s T cell response – which lasts at least six to eight months – can influence how severe that infection will be.

And there’s good news on the T-cell front: Two new studies found people who’ve recovered from the wild-type version of the coronavirus had T cells that could recognize worrisome variants.

Sette compares this phenomenon to people’s facial-recognition skills.

“Maybe I learn to recognize your face, then I meet your sister,” he said. “It kind of looks like you, so I say, ‘OK, that’s probably someone related.'”

One study – led by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci directs – looked at blood samples from 30 people who’d gotten infected with the coronavirus before the emergence of the variants. It found that the patients’ T cells did indeed respond to the variants first identified in South Africa, Brazil, and the UK well enough to give protection.

Sette’s team reached the same conclusion. Its recent research found that after people recovered from the original virus, their T cells could respond to those three variants, as well as one first identified in Southern California.

The La Jolla researchers also looked at blood samples from people who’d gotten Pfizer’s or Moderna’s shots and found that their T cells responded just as well to the variants first found in the UK, Brazil, and Southern California as they did to the original virus.

In the case of the variant first found in South Africa, T-cell responses decreased by up to 33% but were still detectable. That indicates vaccines most likely prevent deaths and hospitalizations for cases involving variants, even if they’re not quite as effective against stopping infections by those strains.

The likeliest explanation for why the same set of T cells can recognize different variants, according to Fauci, is a phenomenon called cross-reactivity: Helper and killer T cells developed in response to a given virus are capable of reacting to a similar but previously unknown variant.

Top athletes can perform well even when the game changes. These COVID-19 vaccines are the same.

Michael Jordan golfing

Great athletes can still perform relatively well when the game changes.

LeBron James was training for the NFL during the NBA’s 2011 lockout. Michael Jordan played baseball after initially retiring from the NBA in 1993 (albeit, not nearly as well), and he’s got a decent golf game, too.

The only problem when it comes to the performance of our vaccines is: We just don’t quite know where their limits might lie.

“I worry more about the next variant than the current ones,” Faust said.

There may someday be some variant that will pack a wallop to our authorized vaccines, which would make booster shots essential.

But until then, the human body, when primed by a COVID-19 vaccine, seems a lot like an elite athlete: tough to compete against, even when some new, somewhat unfamiliar opponents (like viral variants) arrive on the scene.

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Marijuana legalization is sweeping the US. See every state where cannabis is legal.

medical marijuana cbd hemp weed smoking joint leafly flowers cannabis cox 82
  • Marijuana is legal for adults in 15 states and Washington, D.C. Medical marijuana is legal in 36.
  • New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November’s elections.
  • New York legalized recreational cannabis on March 31.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Marijuana legalization is spreading around the US.

Since 2012, 15 states and Washington, DC, have legalized marijuana for adults over the age of 21. And 36 states have legalized medical marijuana – meaning that a majority of Americans have access to marijuana, whether medically or recreationally.

New York became the latest state to embrace cannabis when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill legalizing marijuana on March 31. His move came shortly after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation officially legalizing marijuana in his state.

New Jersey was one of four states, along with Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota, where voters backed legalizing recreational cannabis in November. Voters in Mississippi approved the creation of a medical cannabis program.

Virginia and New Mexico are also close to legalizing recreational cannabis.

Some states that passed medical or recreational legislation through ballot measures have yet to iron out the details. For that reason Insider does not include South Dakota or Mississippi in our tally of markets where the substance is legal. Both states have faced legislative opposition to rolling out their programs.

Though Canada legalized marijuana federally in 2018, the US has not followed suit, forcing states to chart their own courses. As it stands, marijuana is still considered an illegal Schedule I drug by the US federal government.

Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election and the Democratic party’s control of Congress could give marijuana a bigger boost in the US. In March, the SAFE Banking Act – a bill that would help cannabis businesses access banks – was reintroduced in both chambers of Congress.

Biden has said he would support federal decriminalization of the drug, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that marijuana reform will be a priority for the Senate this year.

All the states where marijuana is legal:

This article was first published in January 2018 and has been updated with new information about where cannabis is legal. It was updated on April 1 with New York’s legalization. Melia Russell contributed to an earlier version of this story.

Alaska

cannabis
A cannabis-testing laboratory in Santa Ana, California.

Adults 21 and over can light up in Alaska. In 2015, the northernmost US state made it legal for residents to use, possess, and transport up to an ounce of marijuana — roughly a sandwich bag full — for recreational use. The first pot shop opened for business in 2016.

Alaska has pounced on the opportunity to make its recreational-pot shops a destination for tourists. More than 2 million people visit Alaska annually and spend $2 billion.

Arizona

Curaleaf
Nate McDonald, General Manager of Curaleaf NY operations, talks about medical marijuana plants.

Arizona in 2020 voted to legalize cannabis for all adults over the age of 21

The measure had support from almost 60% of Arizona voters, according to Decision Desk HQ. 

The ballot measure was backed by a number of cannabis giants, including Curaleaf, Cresco, and Harvest Enterprises. 

The Arizona Department of Health Services began accepting applications for adult-use licenses on January 19. Approvals were issued just three days later on January 22. Sales began immediately.

Arizona rolled out adult-use sales faster than any other state that voted to pass recreational cannabis in the November elections. Companies already operating in the state’s medical market had a first crack at recreational customers.

 

 

California

cannabis
A MedMen store in West Hollywood, California, on January 2, 2018.

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. California became even more pot-friendly in 2016 when it made it legal to use and carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana.

The law also permits adults 21 and over to buy up to 8 grams of marijuana concentrates, which are found in edibles, and grow no more than six marijuana plants per household.

Colorado

marijuana
A marijuana leaf.

In Colorado, there are more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks and McDonald’s combined. The state joined Washington in becoming the first two states to fully legalize the drug in 2012.

Residents and tourists over the age of 21 can buy up to 1 ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrates. Some Colorado counties and cities have passed more restrictive laws.

Illinois

JB Pritzker
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Illinois lawmakers in June 2019 passed a bill that legalized the possession and commercial sale of marijuana in the state starting on January 1, 2020.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who made marijuana legalization a core component of his campaign for the governor’s office, signed the bill into law.

Illinois is the one of the few states to legalize marijuana sales through a state legislature, rather than a ballot initiative.

Maine

marijuana
Harvested cannabis plants at Hexo Corp.’s facilities in Gatineau, Quebec, on September 26, 2018.

A ballot initiative in 2016 gave Maine residents the right to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, more than double the limit in most other states.

Massachusetts

cannabis
Medicinal cannabis cigarettes on July 12, 2018, at a cultivation facility in Milford, Massachusetts.

Massachusetts was the first state on the East Coast to legalize marijuana after voters approved the measure in 2016. 

Marijuana dispensaries opened their doors to consumers in November 2018. Adults over the age of 21 can purchase up to 1 ounce of marijuana but cannot consume it in public.

Michigan

marijuana
The Far West Holistic Center dispensary on November 7, 2018, in Detroit.

Voters in Michigan passed Proposition 1 in 2018, making it the first state in the Midwest to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana for adults over the age of 21. Adults can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, and residents can grow up to 12 plants at home.

The law is more permissive than other states with legal marijuana: Most allow residents to possess only up to 1 ounce at a time.

Montana

Cannabis
A CPlant employee organizes a box of hemp for export at the company’s farm on the outskirts of Tala, Uruguay, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

Montana in 2020 voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over

Montana residents are officially allowed to use marijuana as of January 1, 2021. A year later, the state will begin to open up applications for dispensaries. 

New Jersey

cannabis
A CPlant employee trims a hemp flower for export at the company’s farm on the outskirts of Tala, Uruguay, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

New Jersey in 2020 voted to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older, opening a market that could near $1 billion.

In February, Gov. Phil Murphy signed the legalization legislation, after months of back-and-forth arguments about criminal penalties for minors possessing marijuana and the proper way to set up a licensing framework for cannabis sales in the state, among other details. Sales of cannabis for adult use could start in the second half of this year, analysts at Cowen said.

New York

new york when is weed legal timeline
A man holds a sign at a pro-legalization rally outside of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office in Manhattan

After two failed attempts to legalize adult-use cannabis in New York, the state finally passed recreational marijuana on March 31, 2021.

Though New Yorkers are now able to possess and smoke cannabis legally in the state, sales aren’t expected to begin for at least a year.

Andrew Carter, an analyst at Stifel, said he expects recreational cannabis sales to begin in late 2022. Analysts from Cantor Fitzgerald and Stifel estimated that New York could become a $5 billion cannabis market by 2025.

Nevada

marijuana recreational dispensary las vegas nevada
The Essence cannabis dispensary on July 1, 2017, in Las Vegas.

Residents and tourists who are 21 and over can buy 1 ounce of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce of edibles or concentrates in Nevada.

There’s bad news if you want to grow your own bud, though. Nevada residents must live 25 miles outside the nearest dispensary to be eligible for a grower’s license.

Oregon

marijuana cannabis cost Canada United States
Oregon’s Finest medical-marijuana dispensary in Portland, Oregon, on April 8, 2014.

Oregon legalized marijuana in 2015, and sales in the state started October 1 of that year. 

South Dakota

Aurora Cannabis
A team member of Aurora Cannabis works in the grow room at Aurora Sky cannabis growing greenhouse in Alberta, Canada, in this 2018 handout image.

South Dakota in 2020 voted to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis, the first time a state has voted in favor of both at the same time.

State lawmakers have until April 2022 to create rules around cannabis, including regulations around dispensaries.  

Vermont

cannabis
Cannabis plants in a laboratory.

Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana through the legislature, rather than a ballot initiative, when Republic Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill into law in January 2018.

Adults in the Green Mountain State can carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow no more than two plants for recreational use. The law went into effect in July 2018. But it was limited in scope. It didn’t establish a legal market for the production and sale of the drug.

In 2020, the state legislature passed a bill that would allow for adult-use sales in the state. All localities must opt-in to allow for dispensaries, however. Sales are expected in 2022.

Washington

medical marijuana
A medical-marijuana plantation on March 21, 2017.

Marijuana was legalized for recreational use in Washington in 2012.

The state allows people to carry up to 1 ounce of marijuana, but they must use the drug for medicinal purposes to be eligible for a grower’s license.

Washington, DC

Capitol Hill sunset

Residents in the nation’s capital voted overwhelmingly to legalize marijuana for adult use in November 2014.

The bill took effect in 2015, allowing people to possess 2 ounces or less of marijuana and “gift” up to an ounce, if neither money nor goods or services are exchanged.

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One chart shows which vaccine side effects you can expect based on your age, manufacturer, and dose

Netherlands Pfizer Vaccine Rollout
A healthcare worker in the Netherlands receives the Pfizer vaccine on January 6.

  • All three US-authorized coronavirus vaccines can bring mild to moderate side effects.
  • Johnson & Johnson’s shot generally has fewer side effects than Pfizer’s or Moderna’s.
  • Elderly people saw fewer side effects than younger adults across all three clinical trials.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

If you’re getting vaccinated, expect a sore arm.

Pain at the injection site is the most common side effect of all three coronavirus vaccines authorized in the US.

In general, the vaccines produce mild to moderate side effects that shouldn’t last more than a few days. Side effects typically show up within 12 to 24 hours of getting the shot. They’re often a sign that the body is building immunity to the virus.

“It’s important to remember: When people get side effects from vaccines, it’s not really because of the vaccine; it’s more of the body’s immune response to the vaccine,” Dr. Vivek Cherian, an internal-medicine physician in Baltimore, told Insider.

Scroll through the chart below to see which side effects are common based on your age group, which manufacturer’s vaccine you get, and whether you’re on dose one or two. In general, older people experience fewer side effects than younger adults, since our immune response gradually weakens with age. For two-shot vaccines like Pfizer’s and Moderna’s, the second shot amplifies an existing immune response, so people typically feel more run-down after that dose.

Vaccines spur our bodies to produce coronavirus antibodies. But since our immune systems can’t distinguish between a real infection and a vaccine-induced response, they still release inflammatory chemicals to protect us. That’s why people can develop a fever, muscle pain, fatigue, or headaches shortly after their shots.

Johnson & Johnson’s shot has the fewest side effects

Across the board, Johnson & Johnson’s shot has milder and fewer side effects than the other two. Some experts suspect that’s because it’s a single shot.

Nearly 62% of participants younger than 59 in Johnson & Johnson’s trial developed side effects, compared with 45% of people ages 60 and up.

That’s relatively similar to the reported side effects after one dose of Moderna’s vaccine: Around 57% of people younger than 65 in that trial developed side effects, compared with 48% of those older than 65. After the second Moderna dose, however, nearly 82% of people in the younger group developed side effects, compared with nearly 72% of older adults.

But Johnson & Johnson’s shot also seems to be less effective overall: Clinical trials suggest the vaccine is 66% effective at preventing COVID-19. Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines are each more than 90% effective. However, it’s difficult to compare the companies’ trials side-by-side, since they happened at different stages in the pandemic and in different geographic regions.

Vaccine
Coronavirus vaccines are injected into muscle.

Common side effects include fatigue and headache

Once a vaccine goes into your arm, your blood flow increases and immune cells rush to the scene. This can result in pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site.

The reaction is more common after Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines than after Johnson & Johnson’s. Across all age groups, less than 50% of participants in Johnson & Johnson’s clinical trial reported pain at the injection site compared with 92% of Moderna participants and 84% of Pfizer participants.

Headache and fatigue were also relatively common across all the trials. Around 69% of Moderna participants reported headaches compared with 55% of Pfizer participants and 39% of Johnson & Johnson’s.

In both Pfizer and Moderna’s trial, around 63% of participants reported fatigue. Just 38% of participants reported fatigue in Johnson & Johnson’s trial, but the prevalence of those side effects also varied by age.

Younger adults saw more side effects, with a few exceptions

vaccine selfie
A woman snaps a selfie after receiving her vaccine.

Just a few side effects appear to be more or equally as common among elderly participants as younger ones.

After dose two of Pfizer’s vaccine, joint paint was equally common in the two groups, with about 22% to 23% reporting the effect. But after dose two of Moderna’s vaccine, body or muscle aches were more common among adults ages 66 and up (47%) than younger adults (6%).

Though older adults tend to have fewer side effects overall, experts say there’s no reason to believe vaccines won’t work as well among the elderly.

“For the COVID-19 vaccine, we’ve actually not seen decreased effectiveness as we get older, so that’s actually a really good thing,” Cherian said.

Younger people shouldn’t worry too much about feeling strong side effects, either.

“Dealing with a few side effects of some diarrhea or some muscle aches is a much, much better thing to get than some of those serious, potentially life-threatening side effects of the COVID-19 infection,” Cherian said.

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