Roughly one-third of U.S. Covid-19 deaths have occurred in senior living centers. And meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci says former President Trump still has a role to play in the pandemic crisis.
The nursing home statistics are bad enough. But there is an even more troubling aspect to this.
A group of researchers have examined the role of private equity in patient outcomes in the nursing home industry. The conclusions of their working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research are damning . . .
Private equity (PE) management led to an increase in short-term mortality of Medicare patients by 10%.
The authors also found that PE-owned nursing homes were associated with a 50% increase in the probability of taking anti-psychotic medications.
Finally, taxpayer spending per patient went up under PE management. That occurred even as spending shifted away from residents towards monitoring fees, interest expense and lease payments.
It will be interesting to see a follow-up study. That study will need to answer one question: Did PE-backed nursing homes underperform during the darkest pandemic days of 2020?
The Big News
Fauci Urges Trump to Boost Vaccines
Polls continue to show many Republicans are hesitant to get vaccinated. So, Dr. Fauci called on former President Trump take action. Fauci said Trump should urge his supporters to get a vaccine. Fauci said it should be “for your health, the health of your family and the health of the country.”
Cruise Industry Still in Choppy Waters
The pandemic continues to hit the cruise industry hard. Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival, said the industry is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2023. He pointed to prolonged lockdowns and the reputational fallout from coronavirus outbreaks on cruise ships.
Pharma Improves Its Public Image During Pandemic
Drug makers’ rapid response to the pandemic has transformed public sentiment about the industry. It has moved from one of the most reviled to one of the most respected. This is according to new data from the Harris Poll. In January 2020, only 32% of respondents viewed the industry positively. But in late February, that had almost doubled, to 62%.
Americans Support Restrictions on Unvaccinated People
A growing number of Americans support workplace, lifestyle and travel restrictions for those not inoculated against Covid-19. This was the finding of a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday. Some 72% of those polled said it was important to know “if the people around me have been vaccinated.” And 62% said unvaccinated people should not be allowed to travel on airplanes. Also 55% agreed that unvaccinated people should not work out at public gyms, enter movie theaters or attend public concerts. And 60% of Americans said they wanted to work for an employer “who requires everyone to get a coronavirus vaccine before returning to the office.”
Sanofi Begins Vaccine Trial
Sanofi (NASDAQ: SNY) and Translate Bio (NASDAQ: TBIO) have begun a human trial of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate based on mRNA technology. This is the second vaccine project by Sanofi following a protein-based shot that was delayed last year. It is the latest vaccine candidate based on this technology.
The Coronavirus Numbers
The U.S. just administered nearly 3 million Covid-19 vaccine shots in a day — a world-record daily number of shots, according to the White House. Here are the numbers from Monday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 119,942,311 Infected Worldwide
- 355,204,698 Vaccines Given Globally
- 2,655,161 Deaths
- 29,439,057 Infected in the U.S.
- 107,060,274 US Vaccine Doses Administered
- 534,889 Deaths in the U.S.
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U.S. government bonds steadied after a sell-off on Friday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury was little changed at 1.61% today. It hit a 13-month high above 1.64% on Friday.
The passing of the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill and the imminent arrival of stimulus checks U.S. is clearly positive for risk . . . as is the growing confidence that things will be back to “normal” by the end of summer.
Finally, bitcoin rose to a fresh all-time high over the weekend. The $58,000 resistance gave way. This level has now become support, which is being tested this morning as the price retreated from close to $61,000 struck overnight.
I look for the rotation from tech toward industrials and other value stocks to continue for now.
Yours in Health & Wealth,