Testing remains a mess in America. The protocol of testing and tracing is now thrown out the window since healthcare workers have to handle the crisis at hand which is a rise in cases across the southern and western states. The quality and distribution of tests is subpar. Now that the clinical demand for tests is increasing, it takes away from testing the general public in other sections of the US. Obviously, a national plan is needed. Testing is taking eight days for results in some locations which is unacceptable. Trump needs to step up to the plate and get the states organized and walking in the same direction but he likely does not want blamed for problems ahead of the election in less than four months. Donnie needs to put his political hat down and pick up his work hat and he may find that the work hat gets him to and past the November finish line (election) rather than the political hat that may leave him in the weeds eating dust.
Brazil (data is suspect)
Below is a list of the most troubled US states.
Note Added 6:28 PM EST: President Trump conducts a press conference on the Whitehouse lawn, without a mask, to discuss China and Hong Kong and probably the coronavirus The president begins by berating Biden which sounds like a campaign speech. It is. Trump says the relationship with China has changed. The president reviews the coronavirus timeline of course only highlighting certain points that benefit himself. Trump does not spend much time on the coronavirus. He can talk about what he wants. He owns the bully pulpit. Trump takes a couple of questions from journalists and the answers are spun for an election advantage. The presser is not a covid update; it was more of a campaign speech for about one hour. Trump is rambling a bit and it appears that he may be tired or simply he had a long day; low energy is what he would call it. Surprisingly, he does not discuss more details concerning schools reopening. The death numbers games continue. Since the US new cases and active cases continue ramping higher, and the deaths on a day to day, 3-day MA and 7-day MA basis head higher, the president is searching for positive talking points. The latest is that the deaths now are nowhere near the peak in April in fact they are a 10-fold reduction. From the chart above, the peak deaths are on 4/21/20 at 2,749 souls. Yesterday, deaths are at 465 so that is a 6-fold reduction not 10. There were 993 deaths on 7/7/20 only seven days ago which is a 2.8 to 1 ratio call it a 3-fold reduction. A couple days ago is 380 deaths so that is a 7-fold decrease. Thus, the 10-fold drop is another fib by King Donnie; let's call it an embellishment. He would be correct and honest if he said deaths are a 3 to 7-fold decrease off the April highs. Assessing the data further, look at those two low days of deaths in the 260's on the Independence Day holiday (Saturday) and Sunday, 7/4/20 and 7/5/20. This is where that 10-fold stat comes from. It only occurred on two days, the weekend of the July 4 holiday when numbers were not being reported! The deaths ramped higher after the holiday was over. This is the tiny loin cloth that Trump and Pence are trying to cover their flabby behinds with. If Trump would have made the 10-fold reduction in deaths claim during a July 4 holiday speech he would have been correct but he is incorrect now. You are now well versed on understanding the US death numbers spin from both political parties. It is always entertaining watching humans compromise their souls. Biopharma company Moderna announces promising results with its vaccine development. MRNA stock catapults over +15% higher in afterhours trading adding to the +5% gain during the regular trading session. Stock market futures are up nearly +1% with investors and traders celebrating the vaccine news. Americans are becoming worried that the $600 extra government payments above unemployment insurance will run out in two weeks. The democrats and republicans have not met to iron out the next stimulus bill. Stocks rally anticipating another big money parade. Trump and the Republican Tribe want a $1 trillion package while Speaker Pelosi and the Democrat Tribe want a $3 trillion package so it will likely end up as $2 trillion but the question is what will be in the plan?. Oh no. Texas is reporting a new record day of virus cases. Adding 28 days means the Lone Star state will not peak out on the active cases bell curve chart until 8/11/20. Good luck, pardner.
Note Added Wednesday Morning, 7/15/20, at 5:51 AM EST: MRNA is up +17% in the pre-market. The Moderna news is comical. It is actually the same-o news from a month or so ago that popped the stock. That previous news is the leak of the story that now appears officially in print. Patients developed antibodies is the lead of the story and great news. Last night the media proclaimed the vaccine has no side effects. As it turns out, the side effects are severe for a few patients although most tolerated the treatment well. Some showed flu-like symptoms like chills and others show redness at the injection site but the news is encouraging overall. As was previously leaked, the next trial is the biggie, with about 30K people involved, and will begin this month (July). US futures are up from +0.3% to +0.9% so modest gains are on tap today buoyed by the happy Moderna vaccine talk. The CDC says only 75% of people are wearing face coverings (masks). Why would they? Trump does not wear a mask and people take the easy way out saying if Donnie does not need a mask, neither do I. The Florida worries continue. The median age of a coronavirus patient now is 41 years old. For the last couple weeks, the median age was far lower mainly the younger kids, in their 20's and 30's, from the beach parties and bars. The patient age moving higher is very alarming since that will lead to an increase of deaths and lasting morbidities. The Whitehouse is attacking Fauci with subtle digs in the media. Fauci says the efforts to discredit him are "bizarre." Oklahoma republican Governor Stitt, who is against wearing masks, tests positive for the virus. He attended Trump's rally in Tulsa but the republican spin says the convention activities through late June did not infect him and Trump is not exposed to the virus. In an alarming development, the Whitehouse wants the virus data to go to them first and not the CDC. Trump apparently wants to control the message rather than the virus as if America is a communist state. Things are getting strange. The Whitehouse abandons this path after receiving blowback, however, some data goes missing and more questions arise about the validity of data overall. The republicans finally balk with the RNC convention coming up in Florida next month and announce that the event will be scaled back in some manner.
Note Added Thursday, 7/16/20: Parts of Australia are going into lockdown again; they are in winter season. Doctors and scientists say folks with Type A blood have a more difficult time with the virus than those with Type O. Georgia republican Governor Kemp is suing the democrat Atlanta Mayor Bottoms, a vice presidential candidate, over her mandate to wear masks. Kemp encourages mask-wearing but does not want to mandate the requirement. New cases continue higher in Georgia. Americans are voicing more concern about how the pandemic has become completely political and things are spiraling out of control.
Note Added Friday, 7/17/20: President Trump is interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News which is a right-leaning cable news outlet friendly to Don. The president is in typical form saying he believes in masks but in the same breath proclaiming, "I don't think masks slow the virus." Americans are in a state of confusion. Trump remains in denial concerning the severity of the virus and continues downplaying the pandemic. This will not engender him to the black and Latino communities (think November election) that are seeing far more covid deaths than white folks. Trump cannot bully, intimidate or insult the virus into submission as is his strategy with political rivals; the virus does not care what he says. Ironically, it seems the more Donnie downplays the virus, the bigger bite it takes. New coronavirus cases explode higher to 74,987 the highest number of the year and three days in a row above 70K. There is no national plan. May the Lord Have Mercy on Our Souls.
Note Added Saturday, 7/18/20: Dr Fauci says New York handled the pandemic properly but how can that be when sick elderly patients were sent back to nursing homes which infected many others including staff resulting in over 10K deaths? Maybe New York Governor Cuomo gave Fauci 20 bucks to say those kind words. Florida reports over 10K new cases and several dozen deaths. Protests and riots continue in Portland, Oregon. The governors, senators and mayors do not want the federal government to send in forces but Trump does anyway. Two of these mysterious camo figures, only with the word "POLICE" visible in small print on their chest pocket, do not identify themselves verbally when asked to do so and whisk away a protester in an unmarked SUV (a rental vehicle). It did not take long for the US to become China or Russia picking up people off the street without probable cause or allowing due process. Oh well, such is America these days. The two camo figures are found to be Federal forces sent into Portland by the president. Federal agents arrested a few other protesters; no one knows where the people are held or if they will go to jail. As the demonstrators catch wind that Trump has sent Federal agents into Portland, the distrust and violence increases. Trump vows to send in Federal agents to other cities. Peaceful protests are being hijacked by anarchists but enforcing communist-style tactics is not the way to go. Trump is fighting a culture war and framing this battle for the election, however, this is not the case. The protests will likely morph into a class war rich versus poor over the coming months and years rather than a racial divide. A secret red zone report from the Whitehouse surfaces and calls out 18 states as in a 'red zone' and likely requiring a move back to lockdown (the red zone term comes from American football, the NFL, and describes the 20 yards (18.3 m) of field in front of the touchdown zones; this is where the biggest fight between the defensive team that is trying to stop a touchdown and the offensive team that is trying to score a touchdown occurs; it is the more intense area of the playing field where the biggest fight is occurring). The testing criteria the red zone report uses to identify troubled states is a positivity rate of over 10%. They should recheck the data since Pennsylvania is not included and it is pushing 11%. MIami-Dade County, a hot spot in Florida, is testing at over a 27% positivity rate. Isn't it rich that King Donnie and Prince Pence conduct press conferences to inform the public and they hide the red zone data which is the stuff they should be providing. The trust factor with Donnie is going downhill. Testing problems continue and worsen now that the pandemic is spreading across the southern and western states. The testing program is a mess. If a test takes longer than five days for results, it is worthless since the person likely has spread the disease by the time they test positive.
Note Added Sunday, 7/19/20: According to China, a new covid virus may be occurring in Kazakhstan. People are dying of a pneumonia-like disease at a high rate but officials are pushing back against the Chinese claims calling the disease a standard pneumonia. Did the filthy Chinese communists release a new bug in Kazakhstan? Congress returns tomorrow and the new stimulus bill is front and center. Trump wants a payroll tax cut in the package. Trump is against providing more money for tracking and tracing the coronavirus which boggles the mind. King Donnie keeps pushing the narrative that the pandemic is overblown and healthy people will have no problem dealing with the infection if it occurs. The CDC says the US COVID-19 death count will surpass 157K by early August. Donnie, 160K Americans are dead on your watch from covid. Shamefully, hospitals across the United States continue experiencing shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment). There is no excuse except lack of leadership and incompetence. It is sickening and embarrassing. The coronavirus pandemic is in chaos and confusion. Trump went golfing yesterday. Donnie thought long and hard about those 160K American deaths as he sliced his tee shot off number one. No wonder his approval ratings are going downhill. Donnie needs to jump in and do something if he wants to win reelection. The president can learn from John Maynard Keynes who was confronted by a detractor for being wrong with his economic forecasts and changing direction. Keynes responded to the man by saying, "When the facts change, I change my mind--what do you do, sir?" President Trump says 99.7% of people that get the virus have no problems at all. He says most of the covid cases are only "sniffles." Of course he makes the number up out of whole cloth but everyone expects that now. Trump says Fauci is an alarmist. Trump and Fauci have made numerous mistakes this year.
Note Added Monday, 7/20/20: An Argentina mystery is occurring. 57 sailors out of a total of 61 on a fishing trolley crew contract coronavirus. The odd thing is that the crew was quarantined for 14 days and all tested negative before the trip occurred. The crew spent a month at sea after which nearly the whole ship became ill with covid. No one can figure out how it happened. Some supplies were delivered out to the boat from ports but it remains a mystery how the virus could spreads so quickly and in an unknown way. As a general rule of thumb, a nation, city or region may be forced to go into lockdown when the number of cases exceed 25 per 1,000 people. The USA is at about 12 cases per 1K people. Florida is about 17 cases per 1K and Texas is about 12 cases per 1K people. A goal of doctors and scientists is to have less than 10 deaths per 100,000 people. Less than one death per 100,000 people would be fantastic and get life back to normal, whatever that is post-covid. The Oxford and Astrazeneca partnership reports encouraging results with its vaccine drug. AZN crumbles -4% so the announcement was a sell-the-news event. President Trump releases a picture of himself wearing a face mask and he tweets that masks are patriotic. Donnie finally capitulates; he knows the election is on the line and the perception of his handling of the coronavirus is poor. Trump flip-flops now taking the virus more seriously after he and Pence downplayed COVID-19 claiming mission accomplished. Pence will have to be a good little lackey now and capitulate as well and tout great things about always wearing a face mask here forward. Trump says the 5 PM EST coronavirus press conferences will begin again tomorrow. The president clearly knows that he must appear as a leader and helping to solve the virus problem instead of fighting a media spin battle. The proof is in the pudding and tomorrow the media will be eagerly awaiting the press conference. If Donnie walks on stage donning a mask (he is trying to get back in the virus game and to his credit, if anyone can pull it off, and appear in charge and doing good again, it is the president), people will likely trust him again and his approval poll numbers will probably stabilize and increase. If, however, the president pulls a Donnie instead, and shows up at the presser without donning a mouth diaper, his words will be viewed as more hollow rhetoric and gamesmanship and the poll numbers will flounder. The presidential reality television show continues. Tune in for tomorrow's episode when we find out if Donnie dons a face mask, or not.