We have passed a morbid milestone: More than one million people have died from Covid-19 worldwide.
The highest death toll is here in the U.S., followed by Brazil and India.
The coronavirus may already have overtaken tuberculosis and hepatitis as the world’s deadliest infectious disease.
And unlike those diseases and all the other infectious diseases, it is still spreading quickly. It now affects more than 200 countries.
Tom Inglesby, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said “This is a very serious global event, and a lot of people were going to get sick and many of them were going to die, but it did not need to be nearly this bad.”
Countries like China, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan and New Zealand showed what was possible. They slowed the pandemic enough to limit infections and deaths. That allowed them to reopen businesses and schools.
But that required a combination of measures that the U.S. government was unwilling to undertake . . . wide-scale rapid Covid tests, contact tracing, quarantining, social distancing, mask wearing and providing protective gear to healthcare workers.
In other words, a clear and consistent strategy.
The question remains whether this lack of a coherent policy will change after the election.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
The Big News
The White House Pressured the CDC
Top White House officials pressured the CDC this summer to play down the risk of sending children back to school, the New York times reported. Behind the scenes, White House officials also tried to circumvent the CDC. They searched for “alternate,” non-factual data showing that the pandemic was weakening, posed little danger to children, and that children could not spread coronavirus.
Your Teenage Covid Carrier
The rate of infections in adolescents ages 12 to 17 years is about twice that in children ages 5 to 11 years, according to a new study released by the CDC. The study looked at more than 277,000 children. The new figures suggest “that young persons might be playing an increasingly important role in community transmission,” the authors wrote.
WHO to Roll Out Low-Cost, Rapid Covid Tests
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced plans to make 120 million cheap Covid-19 antigen tests available to the developing world. The $5 Covid tests can confirm whether someone is infected with Covid-19 in as little as 15 minutes. The Covid tests are made by South Korea’s SD Biosensor and Abbott Laboratories. The Covid tests were procured by the Gates Foundation and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics.
The UK Has Yet to Learn Coronavirus Lessons
Dr. William Hanage, professor of the evolution and epidemiology of infectious disease at Harvard, has a warning for the U.K. He said, “Britain is in the grip of an extraordinary dangerous outbreak of forgetfulness.” More than 50,000 people died this spring from Covid-19. Yet, the U.K. government is ignoring science. Data shows that the best way to fight the virus is through Covid tests, tracing and isolating. Yet the British government is doing little of that.
Native Americans Hit Hard by Covid
American Indians and Alaska Natives are 3.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with Covid-19 than are non-Hispanic white people. This is according to an analysis of data from 23 U.S. states by Abigail Echo-Hawk. “The data is a national disgrace,” says Echo-Hawk, a citizen of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and director of the Urban Indian Health Institute.
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The Coronavirus Numbers
Here are the numbers from Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 33,396,784 Infected Worldwide
- 1,002,628 Deaths
- 7,150,117 Infected in the U.S.
- 205,091 Deaths in the U.S.
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The first presidential debate is tonight. So, it’s time to begin thinking about a Biden portfolio versus a Trump portfolio.
If former Vice-President Biden wins the election, there will be some obvious stock winners.
Favored sectors will include “green” energy, electric vehicles, infrastructure and large multinationals, including technology.
I would expect a strong green energy push under Biden.
So, any company related to wind and solar power look good. The same goes for energy storage and batteries for electric vehicles.
I also expect our country’s infrastructure problem to finally be addressed. So, any firm in that sector will do well.
I would also expect the tariff wars to end, although trade tensions will continue.
Nevertheless, our large multinationals will benefit. They will not have to fear about being shut out of major markets including China and Europe.
If President Trump wins re-election, it will be more of the same.
Large companies will enjoy more tax cuts, for instance.
The Trump administration will continue to favor defense firms as well as fossil-fuel companies.
Large Wall Street investment banks will continue to enjoy the good times.
Under both administrations, I would expect the flow of tech IPOs to continue.
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Yours in Health & Wealth,