ABC - Business News

(NEW YORK) -- It's been over a year since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the world, and medical professionals continue to show up and help those in need.

That's a huge part of the reason why Crocs is bringing back its "Free Pair for Healthcare program," which recognizes and provides comfort to health care heroes who have been on fighting on the front lines.

On May 10, the shoe brand known for its comfortable foam clogs, is kicking off National Nurses Week with plans to give away 10,000 pairs of Crocs at Work™ shoes per day to front-line caregivers in the United States.

Starting at noon ET, the Crocs website will begin accepting requests and will remain open until that day's free pair allotment is fulfilled.

To date, Crocs has donated over 860,000 pairs of shoes globally (valued at $40 million) to health care workers fighting the battle toward putting an end to COVID-19.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- Berkshire Hathaway's Class A shares performed well this week in the wake of the company's annual shareholder meeting.

Too well for NASDAQ’s computer system, in fact.

CEO and Chairman Warren Buffett has famously refused to split the stock, which companies do to lower the price of a stock to make it more attractive to investors, because of his emphasis on attracting long-term investors.

With that, the share price moved past $420,000 -- and passed a threshold NASDAQ’s computer system was not designed to handle. The current system can only manage prices up to $429,496.7295, as The Wall Street Journal explained in depth, and Berkshire's share price was continuing to climb.

Recognizing this could be a problem, NASDAQ made the decision to temporarily stop publishing the last sale information of the stock when it came within 2% of the max threshold, which happened Tuesday.

"Data integrity is of utmost importance at Nasdaq, we therefore instituted a temporary measure starting May 4, 2021 to ensure that no incorrect data is disseminated prior to the completion of a technical upgrade," a NASDAQ spokesperson said in a statement obtained by ABC News. "As a result, the real-time price information of the sole affected security (BRK.A) will not be available on Nasdaq proprietary data feeds until May 17, 2021."

NASDAQ already had a fix on the way. Last month, the exchange announced it would be upgrading its system from the current 4-byte price upper limit to an 8-byte long-form trade message. That update will be effective May 17, at which point the data on Berkshire's Class A shares will be fully back up.

No other company comes close to Buffett's mammoth share price. The next closest, according to The Wall Street Journal, is NVR, Inc., which, as of Friday, was at just over $5,200.

Meanwhile, Berkshire's Class A share price has continued to rise, climbing above $437,000 Friday.


Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(MIAMI) -- A Miami baker is using her culinary skills to give back on Mother's Day.

Sherronda Daye, 41, is a mother of two daughters, an 11- and 21-year-old. She's also the owner of Sweet Jalane's, a dessert-catering company; Defense Tea, which sells locally sourced immune-boosting drinks; and the Sweet Exchange, which hosts events to provide food for those in need and to address social issues.

In honor of Mother's Day, she launched the 100 Cakes in 10 Days project, where, for every bundt cake purchased, another will be donated to families that have lost children. The goal is to donate at least 100 cakes in the time leading up to the holiday.

While the cakes are always given to families that have lost a child, the circumstances surrounding it vary, and each year Daye partners with a different organization to accomplish the task. This year, she's working with the nonprofit Miami Children's Initiative, which will give the cakes to families whose children have died from gun violence or illness.

"We just kind of look at what's happening in the world, and where the most loss or the most impact can be given," Daye told "Good Morning America."

The inspiration for the project is personal, Daye said. Her own mother, Sherron Jalane Wilder, unexpectedly passed away in 2014. At first, grief, Daye said, demoralized her at work, but in 2016, she took the pain of loss and used it to move forward.

"I remembered a letter that I found in my mother's Bible when I was cleaning up her things after she passed. That letter told me to never stop doing this, that I had finally found my purpose in life -- making somebody's life better," Daye said. "And so I was like, okay, it's Mother's Day. If I'm feeling this grief, and I'm grown, there has to be other mothers and other people, right?"

Upon remembering the letter, Daye realized there were 10 days left until Mother's Day and came up with the idea for the project. She has been doing it every year since.

"It's just simply my way to connect with my mom on Mother's Day, because I am mothering my own children while I'm motherless," Daye said. "So when it gets around this time of year, I have a choice. I can wallow in my grief or I can use my bitterness to make somebody else's life sweeter."

Daye doesn't have a formal education in the culinary arts -- she has a bachelor's degree in chemistry and psychology and an MBA in health service administration -- and used to work as a chief of staff for a county commissioner until 2010, until they lost a reelection bid.

"Here I was, without an idea of what to do. I was in the garage praying and I just felt the need to go in the kitchen and bake. And I was like, this is a joke. I don't bake," Daye said. "But I got out of their car, went in the kitchen, and baked all day. I baked everything I could get my hands on."

She added: "I don't really know where this baking thing comes from. Food was and is just a way that our family has always connected, whether it's over a pot of gumbo, a fish fry, or crab or crawfish boil."

What initially started as a coping mechanism turned into Daye's means of survival and purpose?

"Anybody will get up every day and do a job that they feel is truly connected to their purpose and to the whole reason why you were placed on this Earth," she said. "I just truly believe that I found it. Baking opens the door for me to get in the room and do what it is I need to do. And I wouldn't trade this for the world."

It's important to Daye that she uses her skills to give back to the community at large.

"I want to leave this life empty, meaning anything that I had inside of me that was supposed to be given to someone else, I gave it," she said. "Empty yet full because in return I will receive everything that I'm supposed to have. It's just really who I am, and it has worked for me for 41 years. So I guess I better keep doing it."


Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. employers added 266,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the latest figures released Friday by the Labor Department show.

The number was significantly lower than the 770,000 jobs added in March and the 536,000 added in February.

The biggest increases in employment in April occurred in leisure and hospitality, other services and local government education, according to the Labor Department.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate rose slightly from 6% to 6.1% last month.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC News

(NEW YORK) -- Peloton CEO John Foley is speaking out after the company decided to voluntary recall all of its Tread+ and Tread treadmills.

The recalls were issued earlier this week following dozens of reports of accidents involving the Tread+ device, including the death of a child.

Last month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued an "urgent warning" for people to stop using the treadmill if they have small children or pets at home, saying it had learned of "multiple incidents" of kids and a pet being sucked under and injured beneath the machine.

Foley appeared exclusively on ABC News’ Good Morning America Friday to discuss why the company made the decision to pull the treadmills off the market now:

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- Only 4% of Black-owned businesses in the U.S. survive past the startup stage, even though 20% of Black Americans start businesses, according to a 2020 report by McKinsey and Company, a management consulting company.

As the pandemic forced many businesses to close their doors, about 58% of Black-owned businesses in the U.S. were at risk of financial distress before the pandemic, compared with about 27% of white-owned businesses, with possibly up to 41% of Black-owned businesses closing between February and April 2020, according to the McKinsey report.

In another recent study by advocacy groups, Color of Change and The Main Street Alliance, 40% of Black businesses said they could only last another six months, compared with 55% of their white business owner counterparts.

Amid a pandemic and a national racial reckoning in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd, there is a lot of focus on Black economic empowerment and building generation wealth, particularly through launching Black-owned business, some of these advocate groups have said.

Yet, the challenges to start a Black-owned business can often seem insurmountable.

Black entrepreneurs start their businesses with about $35,000 of capital compared to their white counterparts who start at $107,000, according to McKinsey's report.

"Many Black businesses can't substantiate themselves because they are behind in an initial investment. We generally have less resources to lean on to start and sustain business in the critical phases," said Andre Perry, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Helping Black economic advancement

As part of a solution to building Black economic opportunity, there are several groups and organizations focused on building economic wealth and equity for rising Black and brown entrepreneurs. ABC News spoke with one. Blavity is a digital media company focused on the Black millennial audience. It announced a six-month entrepreneurial fellowship program for Black startups to help drive Black economic advancement. The company chose 12 entrepreneurs of color to participate.

"It's really about equity and sustainability. We wanted to connect them [entrepreneurs] to resources, mentors and coaches that would help them to succeed on their journey," said Jeff Nelson, co-founder and chief technical officer of Blavity.

According to Blavity, the program will offer free technology resources, an assigned sponsor and a $10,000 non-dilutive grant award, which they say will provide funding for entrepreneurs without requiring them to give away any ownership of their business.

Only 5% of Black Americans hold some business equity compared with 15% of white Americans, according the McKinney report.

"Black founders, if they do give venture capital funding tend to give up more of their equity and more of their ownership in the company than a similarly placed white founder would," Nelson explained. "We wanted to give people tangible capital, but not take their ownership away."

The entrepreneurial candidates selected for the program had to have "strong growth potential," according to Nelson. BK Yoga Club and were two companies that meet those requirements, both catering to underrepresented communities in their respective industries.

BK Yoga Club is a Black-women owned body positive yoga studio centered on health and wellness. Founded by Paris Alexandra and Alicia Ferguson, the pair launched their company in 2019 after noticing a lack of people of color in their yoga teacher training classes.

Ferguson said they created the business using their professional backgrounds and a start-up cost of $350.

When the pandemic hit, they said they lost over 70% of their business and were forced to reach outside of their community using virtual tactics to survive. They said that with the help of Blavity's fellowship program they hope to expand their Brooklyn-based business across the New York boroughs and build a more diverse clientele.

Also taking part in Blavity's fellowship program is Jehron Petty. As a computer science major at Cornell University, he said he felt isolated being the only person of color in the classroom. That feeling of isolation plus a passion for computer science led him to create ColorStack -- an academic support and career development for Black and Latino students in computer science.

Petty, Ferguson and Alexandra told ABC News that the mentorship provided by the program will be their greatest benefit.

"We all have the talent. I think the missing gap sometimes is actual resources and the tools," Alexandra said.

"You teach a person to fish that's way more important than just giving me the money," Ferguson added.

Perry also spoke about the need for investment in Black businesses.

"We have to understand the difference between income and capital. The African American community has the income, but we need the capital," Perry said.

Nelson also spoke about the importance of Black entrepreneurship and ownership against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement and promises many large businesses and corporations have made about diversity and inclusion that seem to ring hollow to him.

"After George Floyd was murdered, so many corporations came out and said, Black Lives Matter, we've got to do something about it. The homepage on the website was black, the Instagram picture was a black square; so much conversation happened. And so many of those corporations and brands struggle, struggled and continue to struggle to translate this awakening into tangible action," he said.

"We don't want you to just help us during Black History Month. Help us all the time, just as you do other businesses and organizations," Paris added.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- After more than a year battling the deadly coronavirus pandemic, long-term care facilities may be seeing a change in the industry as consumers shift away from nursing homes and assisted living facilities, according to a new study published by an industry research group.

Widespread distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine has reduced the spread of the virus in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, with infection rates dropping sharply. But the legacy of the virus -- which to date has killed more than 182,000 long-term care residents and staff nationwide -- may be fundamental changes to the business of long-term care.

Research by The Associated Press National Opinion Research Center shows that, more than a year into the pandemic, 88% of Americans say they would rather care for elderly relatives in their own home instead of moving them into a facility.

"COVID raised the fear that people already had of nursing homes and exacerbated that in terms of, are people going to want to even think about going there or placing an older relative there?" Dr. Robyn Stone, co-director of the LeadingAge Long Term Services and Supports Center at the University of Massachusetts, told ABC News. "And because of that, we are seeing a lot of providers developing models where aides actually go into people's homes."

According to the study, more people are showing a desire to "age in place" -- regardless of their background. Results appear to be consistent across all races and ethnicities, as well as in suburban, urban and rural environments, the study says.

Some long-term care advocates told ABC News that, even before the pandemic, the industry was looking for ways to improve its business model.

"The pandemic has only accelerated pressures to improve the outdated financial and operational models of nursing facilities, which are not working," said Terry Fulmer, president of the John A. Hartford Foundation, a nonprofit that works to improve care for older adults.

Fulmer says that the pandemic has highlighted the benefits of home-based care, which she predicts will mean fewer nursing homes in the future.

"The shift to delivering more long-term services and supports in the home will only continue, and it is highly likely we will see new and creative business models supported by technology," Fulmer said.

At the same time, the study found that families are concerned about how to pay for at-home long-term care services.

Surveys over the last few years have shown Americans feeling consistently unprepared for the costs of long-term care, the report said. And with a move toward at-home care services, more families are now looking for the government to help low-income seniors receive care at home, according to the study.

"The question is, will these new models just be available to people who can pay?" Stone said. "Many of these models are being developed in the private sector -- so will nursing facilities become homes just for the really disadvantaged?"

President Joe Biden's proposed infrastructure plan includes a massive $400 billion investment to help pay for in-home care under Medicaid, a move that would make community and home-based services more accessible and affordable. The American Health Care Association, which represents nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the county, has been lobbying for more government support, saying that the pandemic has taken a heavy financial toll.

In March, the AHCA, along with the National Center for Assisted Living, released a report estimating that the long-term care industry is expected to lose $94 billion over the next two years. Mark Parkinson, AHCA's president, warned that as many as 1,000 facilities may close if no additional help from the federal government is provided.

"In some cases, the long-term care facilities have run out of money," Parkinson said.

William Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, a nonprofit organization that supports home care, said that if long-term care facilities shift their focus to offering more in-home services, they could end up competing with already-established home-care programs.

Regardless, said Dombi, change in the industry is inevitable.

"The demand for home care services is rising and that's because of the COVID-19 pandemic," Dombi said. "Obviously someone's home is safer than congregate care in a nursing facility, and families are realizing that."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- Barbie has revealed a brand new version of its iconic DreamHouse.

This is the toymaker's 12th version of the model, and the upgraded digs include everything little ones will love.

It's also one of the most customizable DreamHouses to date, giving children the freedom to switch up lighting and sound with eight different colors, three songs and two soundscapes.

Another noticeable difference are the elevated amenities included, such as soft grass and plush blankets.

In addition to the customization capabilities and amenities, the new Barbie DreamHouse also has its first party room -- with a light-up DJ stand included. It can be used for play entertaining as well as an outdoor BBQ that transforms into a dessert buffet.

To keep playtime as inclusive and seamless as possible, the latest version is also compatible with a wheelchair ramp.

For kids who want an up-close and personal tour of the new DreamHouse, Barbie has released an interactive tour on the brand's YouTube channel that spotlights the different ways the new DreamHouse can be played with.

The latest version retails for $199.99 and will be sold at Walmart, Target, Amazon and

Barbie DreamHouse initially debuted in 1962 and continues to be a hit.

Last year, it was the No. 1 toy in the U.S. with one DreamHouse sold every minute.

In addition to the classic Barbie DreamHouse, the toymaker also has a DreamPlane and a DreamCamper.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- If you’re in the market for a new car and hoping to score a good deal, you may be out of luck.

Car dealerships across the country are facing an inventory shortage, causing prices to skyrocket. As a result, some car shoppers are even paying more than the sticker price.

Experts say a global computer chip shortage is fueling the problem. In some cases, car companies have even halted production.

ABC News’ Gio Benitez appeared on Good Morning America Thursday to discuss what consumers need to know before heading to the dealership:

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- Athletes understand the importance of quality, healthy food to fuel their bodies in order to compete and thrive, and one tennis superstar has teamed up with a fast-casual restaurant chain that shares the same winning values.

Sweetgreen announced its new partnership with tennis star Naomi Osaka exclusively to ABC News' Good Morning America, and Nathaniel Ru, co-founder and chief brand officer, explained why the four-time Grand Slam champion was a perfect match.

"Naomi represents not only a great tennis player, but so much beyond that. She stands up for what she believes in -- a lot of social justice issues -- and is really into speaking to this next generation in a way that still has humility and is connected to culture," Ru said. "She just really aligns with our values at Sweetgreen and is passionate about it."

Osaka is the company's first national athlete ambassador as well as Sweetgreen's youngest investor, and she hopes to use her role to change the way brands and athletes speak about the importance of what people eat.

The team first met the 23-year-old No. 2 ranked Japanese tennis star through mutual friends last year, and Ru said the now Los Angeles-based athlete is "a regular customer [who] comes in a few times a week to help fuel her for training."

As such, Osaka began the conversation with the company about how to work together "to shift the paradigm of food sponsorship and create a more positive impact on really how the next generation thinks about healthy eating."

"We've spent the last five months working together. We're putting her custom order on the Sweetgreen menu exclusively on our app on May 20," Ru shared, adding that Osaka and her older sister, Mari, spent a couple days in the Sweetgreen culinary lab test kitchen to perfect her regular order.

Osaka's bowl is made with warm quinoa, baby spinach, cilantro, tomato, tortilla chips, raw carrots, goat cheese, blackened chicken, lime-cilantro jalapeno vinaigrette, avocado and Sweetgreen hot sauce.

"She's passionate about food and cares about nutrition a lot, especially as it relates to her training," Ru said. "So a lot of it was very familiar to her and really kind of fun [to watch her] connect deeper with Sweetgreen inside the culinary lab and working with chefs -- it was a very collaborative process."

"I’m proud to join forces with Sweetgreen to change the way the world thinks of traditional fast-food sponsorships," Osaka said in a statement. "As an athlete, what I put into my body directly correlates to how I perform and eating delicious, healthy foods fuels my daily routine. I’m excited about the work we’re doing together to create a positive impact."

In celebration of their partnership, Sweetgreen and Osaka are jointly supporting The Asian American Foundation in its effort to advance equity, with 100% of sales from every Naomi Osaka Bowl on May 26 going to support AAPI-led organizations increasing food access in AAPI communities.

One of Sweetgreen's core values -- win, win, win -- sets out to ensure the customer, company and community all win, and Ru said that Osaka shared in that approach for this new partnership.

"Healthy eating shouldn't be very prescriptive, it should be an integrated part of your lifestyle, and I think that's what we really connected over," he added. "The collaboration with Naomi is meant to feel very light and connected to your lifestyle."

While this is Sweetgreen's first athlete-backed promotion, Ru said, "We want to use this platform going forward. It's how we connect to future athletes."

He added that the brand will keep an eye out for future opportunities to connect with other like-minded pros when the time is right.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- Apparel company Zara announced the launch of its first beauty collection.

Zara Beauty will feature accessibly priced makeup, inlcuding for eyes and nails, the brand said.

Zara said its new collection is aimed at embracing individuality, and offers over 130 diverse shades throughout the product line.

It also features refillable packaging to help eliminate unnecessary waste.

Some of the new collection's products include a Nourishing Jelly Lip Oil, Metal Foil Loose Pigment and Refillable Cheek Palette.

Products range from $7.90 to $25.90, with refills starting at $4.90.

According to Zara, the formulas are clean and in accordance to European Regulation 1223/2009 on cosmetics and their safety.

"Zara Beauty formulas are consciously crafted with high-performance ingredients," the company said in a press release.

The new line of makeup was developed with creative direction from British makeup artist Diane Kendal.

"Celebrating individuality, the launch campaign has been shot by nine world-renowned photographers: Steven Meisel, David Sims, Marilyn Minter, Oliver Hadlee Pearch, Zoë Ghertner, Craig McDean, Nadine Ijewere, Mario Sorrenti and Fabien Baron," the release added.

Zara Beauty will be available online and at select retail locations starting May 12.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- When Jeff Bezos' space tourism venture Blue Origin flies its first astronaut crew to space this summer, one seat will go to the highest bidder.

After teasing the announcement over the past week, the company said Wednesday it has opened an online auction for one of six seats aboard the New Shepard, its suborbital vehicle designed for space tourism, for the July 20 flight.

The opportunity to fly above the Karman Line -- the internationally recognized line of space, at over 300,000 feet, or 62 miles -- presents a new market opportunity, the company said.

"Only 569 people have ever been over the Karman Line," said Ariane Cornell, Blue Origin's director of astronaut and orbital sales, said during a press briefing Wednesday. "We're about to change that dramatically."

After completing 15 consecutive missions to space and back with New Shepard, the company said it is ready to fly its first civilian passenger from its remote Van Horn, Texas, launch site.

The experience will last between 10 and 12 minutes, during which the capsule will pass the Karman Line and the astronauts will be able to unbuckle their seatbelts and float in zero gravity for about three minutes, Cornell said.

The capsule has "the largest windows that have ever flown in space" and is based on a helicopter model, Cornell said.

The crew will experience up to three times their normal weight for up to two minutes during the ascent, and up to five-and-a-half times their normal weight for a few seconds during the descent into the atmosphere.

The capsule will return to Earth under parachutes.

Other than the winner of the bid, the rest of the flight crew will be handpicked by Blue Origin. Cornell did not share who else will be on the flight.

The online bidding for the civilian seat will be sealed until May 18, after which the bids will become visible. Participants must exceed the highest bid to continue, culminating in a live auction on June 12.

"The winner of this auction, he or she will write him or herself into the history books," Cornell said. "And on top of that they're opening the doors for other space explorers to pass through behind them. As far as I'm concerned, it's a pretty priceless experience."

The winning bid amount will be donated to Blue Origin’s foundation, Club for the Future, which inspires future generations to pursue careers in STEM.

Cornell did not say how high the company expects the bidding to go or what the prices for seats for future flights might be.

"This is a nascent market," she said. "We are opening the doors, and we look forward to seeing what the market says."

To bid, individuals must be at least 18 or the age of majority in their country of residence, be between 5 feet and 6 foot 4 inches tall and weigh between 110 and 223 pounds.

Other requirements include being able to climb seven flights of stairs -- the height of the launch tower -- in under 90 seconds, being able to fasten or unfasten a seat harness in under 15 seconds, and hear and understand instructions in English. Blue Origin will not evaluate the astronaut’s medical fitness to participate in the flight.

The winner will need to train with Blue Origin at its facilities in Kent, Washington, and Culberson County, Texas, or some other location. The individual must also sign a nondisclosure agreement and waivers of claims, in which the winner waives his or her rights to bring claims against anyone involved in the flight for any losses.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- With COVID-19 cases declining and more people vaccinated, the stage is set for the Great White Way's long-awaited comeback.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that Broadway shows will restart on Sept. 14, nearly a year and a half after the industry was shut down due to coronavirus concerns.

Tickets will go on sale starting May 6 and the shows can be held at 100% capacity, according to the governor.

Charlotte St. Martin, the president of the Broadway League, the national trade association that represents theater owners, producers and other members of the industry, said casts and crews are already at work to make sure shows are ready to open and include safety precautions for their audiences.

"Restarting Broadway is a complex endeavor, requiring long lead times for productions, the need to reconnect with a sustaining audience from across the country and around the world," she said in a statement.

Broadway shut its doors indefinitely on March 12, 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic. At that time, 31 productions were running, according to the Broadway League.

The industry is a major economic sector for the city, according to the Broadway League.

During the 2018-2019 season, Broadway contributed $14.7 billion to New York's economy and supported 96,900 jobs, according to a report released by the league.

Before the pandemic, almost 250,000 people were seeing a Broadway show every week, the governor's office said.

Mary McColl, the executive director of Actors' Equity Association, which represents Broadway actors, said Wednesday's announcement is a relief to casts.

"We look forward to continuing our conversations with the Broadway League about a safe reopening and know that soon the time will come when members can go back to doing what they do best, creating world-class theatre," she said in a statement.

Policies will be in place to ensure that stages are safe for casts, crews and theatergoers, according to the governor's office. Refund policies will be in effect in case shows are postponed or canceled.

The theater isn't the only New York attraction that will reopen to more fans. Cuomo also announced Wednesday that vaccinated ticket holders at Mets and Yankees games will be allowed to sit together, masked, without social distancing starting May 19.

New York City is scheduled to lift its limits on indoor businesses on May 19, however, they must keep a 6-foot distance among people, as the number of COVID-19 cases has gone down and vaccinations continue to rise in recent weeks. Between April 1 and May 1, the seven-day average of new cases reported in the state dropped from 9,173 to 3,852, according to the state health department.

As of Wednesday, more than 9.2 million New York state residents over 18, about 59% of the state's total adult population, have had at least one vaccine dose, the state health department said. Roughly 7.2 million adults, about 46% of the state's population over 18, are fully vaccinated, according to the health department.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) -- Peloton and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced two separate voluntary recalls of Peloton’s Tread+ and Tread treadmills after reports of injuries and a death, Peloton and the CPSC said in a statement Tuesday.

Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled treadmills "immediately" and should contact Peloton for a full refund or "other qualified remedy," according to the statement.

The company has stopped selling the Tread+ and is working on modifying the exercise device.

In April, the CPSC issued an "urgent warning" for people to stop using Peloton's Tread+ treadmill if they have small children or pets at home, one month after the company revealed that a child died in an accident involving the workout equipment.

The federal regulatory agency said it had learned of "multiple incidents" of small children and a pet being sucked under and injured beneath the machines. As of April, the CPSC said it is aware of 39 incidents involving the treadmill, including one death related to the $4,295 treadmill.

Peloton said it discovered through CPSC's public database that a child had experienced a brain injury in connection with the treadmill. In February, a father found his 3-year-old boy trapped under a Tread+ and "not breathing and pulseless," according to the CPSC incident report. The child is expected to "fully recover," the company said. Peloton said it also received additional reports of earlier incidents and reported them to CPSC.

John Foley, Peloton's CEO, said the recall was "the right thing to do."

"The decision to recall both products was the right thing to do for Peloton’s Members and their families," he said in a statement. "I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+. We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize. Today’s announcement reflects our recognition that, by working closely with the CPSC, we can increase safety awareness for our Members. We believe strongly in the future of at-home connected fitness and are committed to work with the CPSC to set new industry safety standards for treadmills. We have a desire and a responsibility to be an industry leader in product safety."

Added Robert S. Adler, acting chairman of the CPSC: "The agreement, which the Commission voted this morning to accept, requires Peloton to immediately stop selling and distributing both the Tread+ and Tread products in the United States and refund the full purchase price to consumers who wish to return their treadmills. The agreement between CPSC and Peloton is the result of weeks of intense negotiation and effort, culminating in a cooperative agreement that I believe serves the best interests of Peloton and of consumers. I would like to thank the CPSC technical staff who have worked tirelessly to protect consumers and to warn the public. Today we have taken steps to prevent further harm from these two products."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.



(NEW YORK) -- Just a few days before Mother's Day, when moms are supposed to be celebrated for the work they do, comes a reminder of the stark penalties mothers still face in the workforce.

May 5, 2021, marks Mom's Equal Pay Day, or how far into the year the average working mom has to work to earn what fathers earned last year alone.

Among full-time, year-round workers, mothers are typically paid only 75 cents for every dollar paid to fathers. That pay gap results in monthly losses of $1,275 and annual losses of more than $15,000, according to the National Women's Law Center, a policy-focused organization that fights for gender justice.

"That means that moms had to work more than 16 months to make as much as dads were paid in 12 months," Claire Ewing-Nelson, who leads NWLC's research on the motherhood wage gap, told ABC News' Good Morning America.

The inequities for moms are displayed starkly in the "Moms Deserve More Flower Store," an online flower shop launched this year to highlight what its organizers describe as the "the true cost of adequately thanking" moms.

"A dozen roses are not going to cut it this year," Reshma Saujani, the flower store's lead organizer and founder of Girls Who Code and the Marshall Plan for Moms, said in a statement, in part. "Because what moms really want—what they really need—is a national reckoning: one that reimagines our culture and rebuilds a system to actually value our work."

Mom's Equal Pay Day comes this year more than one month after Equal Pay Day for women, the day that women overall have to work into 2021 to make what white, non-Hispanic men earned in 2020 alone.

On average, women working full-time, year-round are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men, according to the NWLC. The wage gap for moms is even greater because of what's known as the motherhood wage penalty, according to Ewing-Nelson.

"Moms are typically paid less than women in general, and dads are typically paid more than men in general, which is why the wage gap is larger for moms than it is for women overall," she said. "That has a lot to do with how motherhood is penalized in the workplace in a way that fatherhood really isn’t."

This year's Mom's Equal Pay Day is also happening as working moms continue to feel the devastation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The full reckoning of the pandemic is not even shown in the current data on the motherhood pay gap as the most recent wage data is pre-pandemic, according to Ewing-Nelson.

"I think we can definitely expect that the wage gap will get worse," she said. "[The pandemic] been pretty disastrous and it’ll be a while before we even understand just how bad it’s been."

The recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic has put more than two million women out of the workforce, data shows.

The caregiving and service sector industries dominated by women were among those hardest hit by the coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, and working moms in particular were left during the pandemic to deal with a lack of childcare resources.

While mothers make up nearly 16% of the overall workforce, they account for over one in five of front-line workers providing essential services during the pandemic, according to the NWLC.

And during the pandemic, women ages 25 to 44 are almost three times as likely as men of the same age group to not be working due to child care demands, according to research from the U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Reserve.

"Moms have been forced to do this really impossible balancing act where they’re trying to hold down a job, they’re trying to take care of kids who are doing remote schooling, or they can’t get any care at all," said Ewing-Nelson. "It’s just pushed a lot of women and moms out of the labor force entirely so they aren’t working or looking for work so they’re not even captured in the unemployment rates we’ve been seeing, which have been staggeringly high."

"That sets women and moms in particular up for long ranging consequences that could impact them for decades to come," she said. "When you’ve been out of the labor force for a long time, you’re more likely to just take the first job that is available, even if it’s lower paying or lower quality."

The long history of being underpaid compared to men also put working moms at a disadvantage even entering the pandemic, Ewing-Nelson noted.

"What our data shows is that moms entered the pandemic already on unequal footing," she said. "They were already losing thousands of dollars a month, thousands of dollars a year to the pay gap, so they entered the pandemic worse off than they should have been."

The data is even worse for mothers of color, who were also disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Last year, 10% of Black mothers and 10% of Latina mothers were unemployed and those two populations have among the highest wage gaps, according to data shared by the NWLC.

Latina mothers are paid 46 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic fathers, while Black mothers are paid 52 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic fathers, according to the NWLC.

"Focusing on that big overall number [of 75 cents for every dollar paid to fathers] is already pretty devastating, but when you really drill down that there are these compounding inequities, that make the numbers even worse," said Ewing-Nelson. "It's a result of institutional racism compounding sexism compounding all of the bad ways that moms are treated in the workforce."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Listener Poll
Will OSU Cowboy baseball make the College World Series?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Find Us On Facebook