🌍 Davos is delayed

🌍 Davos is delayed

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Until the end of the year, every Quartz story you click on in the Daily Brief will be paywall-free. It’s our gift to you, along with 40% off a year of Quartz membership. (Use code QZLOVE at checkout.)

Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Sign up here. Forward to a friend who isn’t sure how to help their employees with burnout.

Here’s what you need to know

Omicron is fueling more restrictions and border closures. The World Economic Forum is delaying its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Israel is banning travel to 10 new countries, and Quebec province is closing schools and businesses.

The WHO said omicron is infecting the vaccinated. However, Moderna said a third shot of its vaccine increases antibodies against the fast-spreading covid-19 variant, and the EU cleared Novavax’s vaccine for use.

Germany named a new central bank chief. Joachim Nagel, who has ties to the Social Democratic Party, is a career central banker.

A top Chinese live-streamer was fined for tax evasion. Huang Wei, or Viya online, accepted the 1.34 billion yuan ($210 million) penalty in an apology post.

China is debating a law on sexual harassment in the workplace. The legislation would bar companies from asking female job applicants about marriage or pregnancy plans.

What to watch for

US president Joe Biden will give a speech today outlining new measures the country will take as it grapples with the spread of omicron. So far, his administration has taken little responsibility for the new crisis. In a press briefing on Friday, the White House covid-19 response coordinator blamed unvaccinated people, and all but said they deserve to get ill. Still:

💉 People are unvaccinated for many reasons, including illness, age, poor communication, and lack of access.

👤 The responsibility for a covid-19 outbreak can’t be put on individuals.

🤒 This approach leads to disease stigmatization, and treating illness as a moral failure.

🤔 It’s unlikely public shaming will do anything to help vaccine skeptics change their minds.

Joe Manchin is wrong about…

Joe Manchin seems determined to be the lump of coal in Joe Biden’s stocking this year. The US senator from West Virginia said Sunday that he wouldn’t vote for Biden’s signature Build Back Better legislation, a $1.75 trillion climate and social bill. Manchin has balked at the price tag, but some of the reasoning he’s given, publicly and privately, for his lack of support is just well… wrong.

❌ Energy prices have never been driven by “the markets.” The US currently subsidizes oil and gas production to the tune of about $20 billion per year.

❌ Forgoing infrastructure investments isn’t a good way to save money. In the long run, ignoring climate change will be far more damaging to the US economy.

❌ Americans aren’t using the child tax credit to buy drugs—they are paying down debt, growing their savings, and buying essential items for their families.

A bar chart showing how US families spent their child tax credit payments in 2021. 29% of households used it for housing and transportation, 21% for food, 16% for school expenses, 12% for clothing, 7% for savings, 4% for child care, 4% for debt, and 3% for other expenses.

Handpicked Quartz

💰 Elon Musk said he’ll pay more than $11 billion in taxes this year

👩‍🏫 What Reddit’s million-strong antiwork community can teach the rest of us

📈 How meme stocks changed Wall Street

🕷 Spider-Man: No Way Home’s $250 million box-office debut smashes all pandemic records

😞 After raising hopes, India puts off framing cryptocurrency policy

📆 The most popular Wikipedia articles every day in 2021

Surprising discoveries

To teach foraging, orangutans hoard food from their kids. Juveniles that reach for their mom’s easy-to-find flowers will get the cold shoulder.

A professor put directions to a hidden cash prize in his syllabus. The $50 was still there at the end of the semester.

You’ll soon be able to order TikTok food. The video-sharing site’s delivery-only kitchen will feature the app’s most viral meals and snacks.

Listening to Drake makes you run slower. A study found that hotline bling can only mean a longer race time.

Companies typically operate 95% defect-free. Six Sigma wanted perfection, but it wouldn’t last, as editor Oliver Staley discusses in the latest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.

🎧 Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, money hidden in plain sight, and baked feta pasta to hi@qz.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our iOS app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Annalisa Merelli, Tim McDonnell, Camille Squires, Liz Webber, and Morgan Haefner.