Trumpism, Brazil's missed COVID chances, Silicon Valley & surveillance, access to vaccines, McKinsey in Moscow

This week's best document-based investigative journalism

Rep. Madison Cawthorn Peddles a Different Kind of Trumpism in a Post-Trump World

Time citing an email from Cawthorn.

“I have built my staff around comms rather than legislation,” he wrote to GOP colleagues in a Jan. 19 email.

Raging virus, few shots. How Brazil missed its chance to secure COVID-19 vaccines

Reuters citing group WhatsApp messages.

The new officials were betting on hydroxychloroquine to mitigate Brazil’s pandemic, months of internal ministry WhatsApp chats viewed by Reuters revealed. Vaccines were mentioned infrequently in the chats, and at times with skepticism.

Silicon Valley Investment Firm Profits From Surveillance States

Bloomberg citing internal documents detailing deals with governments.

According to documents, from 2018 to 2020 the company agreed to deals worth more than $100 million with governments in countries including Algeria, Belarus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Turkey, the UAE & Uzbekistan.

Seattle hospital donors got special access to COVID-19 vaccine

The Seattle Times citing an email from the hospital to top donors.

Last Friday, Molly Stearns, chief development officer at Overlake Medical Center & Clinics, emailed about 110 donors who gave more than $10,000 to the Eastside hospital system. "We’re pleased to share that we have 500 new open appointments..."Seattle hospital donors got special access to COVID-19 vaccine

McKinsey Bans Moscow Staff From Attending Pro-Navalny Protest

The Moscow Times citing an email from McKinsey to staffers.

The message, titled “Stay safe, stay neutral, enjoy weekend,” was sent to all employees in the office and shared with The Moscow Times by two McKinsey consultants on condition of anonymity.


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We want to celebrate reporting based on government or corporate reports, emails, private chat messages or something equally tangible—as opposed to that based on unnamed sources or rumors.

The idea is imperfect, of course, and some excellent reporting will be based on no documents and some terrible reporting will be based on many documents. But ultimately, it's a great rule of thumb.

According to Documents was created by investigative reporters Girish Gupta and Alexandra Ulmer.

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