Herd immunity will not be a reality any time soon . . . if ever.
That is according to the first national serological survey.
Fewer than 10% of Americans have antibodies that could protect them from developing Covid-19.
This serological survey of dialysis patients was published in the medical journal The Lancet on Friday.
The survey looked at more than 28,000 dialysis patients. These people were easy to follow because they regularly have blood drawn and access health care through Medicare.
They also tend to be older and more likely to live in poverty. These have been identified as risk factors for Covid-19.
The news from this study is not good . . .
Covid-19 has extracted a heavy toll from the U.S. Over 200,000 lives have been lost. Yet, the study shows only a “small minority [of Americans] has immunity.”
Julie Parsonnet is a professor of medicine at Stanford University and author of the study. She said that “. . .despite high rates of Covid-19 in the United States, the number of people with antibodies is still low and we haven’t come close to achieving herd immunity.”
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agrees. He told Congress on Wednesday that its data showed about 90% of the population “remains susceptible.”
Redfield was later accused of using old data by Scott Atlas, now the top White House adviser on the coronavirus. He is not an infectious disease specialist.
He is also wrong on the data. Atlas is in favor letting the virus run unchecked until the U.S. achieves herd immunity.
The Big News
Former CDC Director Is Worried
Former CDC Director Dr. Tom Freiden is worried. He said that while people may be tired of fighting the virus, the virus is not tired of infecting people. He added that what starts in the young, does not stay in the young. CDC data shows young adult infections were followed a week or two later by infections in people over 60. We are all connected, said Frieden. And the sooner we realize that, the sooner we can beat coronavirus.
France Could Be Overwhelmed
One of France’s top doctors issued a stark warning. Dr. Patrick Bouet said, “The second wave [of coronavirus] is arriving faster than we thought.” He went on to say that, if nothing changes, France will have a nationwide breakout. This outbreak would last through the autumn and winter. And France’s medical system would be overwhelmed as a result.
India Covid Caseload Over 6 Million
India’s confirmed coronavirus caseload has now exceeded six million cases. The country has more new infections daily than any other country in the world. More than 1,000 Indians die every day from coronavirus. With India approaching its autumn festival and wedding season, concerns are mounting that the spread of the virus will accelerate. Delhi, which includes India’s capital, is also braced for its annual pollution season. The city will be swamped with thick smoke from farmers in the surrounding areas burning the stubble of their fields. Experts have warned that the pollution could exacerbate conditions for people infected with the virus.
New York to Lock Down Again?
New York is facing a surge in coronavirus cases in some Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. New York City health officials carried out emergency inspections at some private religious schools on Friday. If cases continue to rise, it could threaten the city’s easing lockdown. This includes the opening of public schools this month. Dr. Dave Chokshi, NYC health commissioner, warned, “This may be the most precarious moment we are facing since we emerged from lockdown.”
Listen to the Birds Sing
There has been one benefit to the pandemic: The birds can sing, instead of shout. A new study focused on male white-crowned sparrows in the San Francisco Bay Area. It found that these birds changed their tune in April and May. Previously, the birds sacrificed song quality for volume. They had to “yell” to be heard in a noisy world. But once it quieted down, they switched to a softer, more musical call.
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The Coronavirus Numbers
Here are the numbers from Monday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 33,130,914 Infected Worldwide
- 998,145 Deaths
- 7,116,456 Infected in the U.S.
- 204,762 Deaths in the U.S.
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Wall Street is finally paying attention to politics.
Concerns about a contested U.S. presidential election have surpassed coronavirus worries for now. That was the finding of a survey conducted by the financial consultancy deVere Group.
The survey found that 72% of those investors polled put the election at the top of their list of worries.
This is line with the futures contracts for the VIX volatility index. This is commonly referred to as Wall Street’s fear gauge.
These futures contracts are trading higher for the final three months of 2020. Traders are betting on greater volatility surrounding the U.S. election. And rightfully so.
It could be the most turbulent election in history. President Trump has refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election.
The CEO of deVere Group, Nigel Green, said: “Investors around the world are beginning to freak about the U.S. presidential election. But not about whether Trump or Biden wins, rather over the looming possibility of a disputed outcome.”
The coronavirus has not gone away as a major worry, too, for those investors surveyed.
More and more evidence is piling up that herd immunity will be difficult to achieve. That leaves vaccines and public health measures like mask-wearing.
But all of these have become very politicized. It makes one wonder if the coronavirus can be stopped before millions of Americans die.
I opt to ignore the politics and stick with the science. Some very exciting health-related companies are out there. And some are coming to market soon.
Yours in Health & Wealth,