President Trump Has Covid. What Now?

President Trump

President Trump said overnight that he and his wife, Melania, had tested positive for the coronavirus.

He tested positive after a top adviser fell ill. The aide, Hope Hicks, began showing Covid symptoms on Wednesday.  

The confirmation of her illness should have been a “code red” moment for the Trump administration.

Think about how many White House staffers work in close physical proximity to each other.

Sam Vinograd, who formerly served on President Barack Obama’s national security council, tweeted:

“A pandemic in the [West Wing] is a worst-case scenario. Immediately, critical resources will be diverted to mitigate any outbreak at the most senior levels of government.”

President Trump and many of his supporters have repeatedly downplayed the risk of the virus.

Many of his supporters behave in ways that public health experts have said risked spreading the virus.

Actions such as refusing to wear a mask and gathering in crowds is high risk.

The one thing that drew me to science as a child was that facts are facts. Wishing does not change Mother Nature.

I still remember the classic old TV ad for Chiffon Margarine with the slogan “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” You can find the video on YouTube.

She tends to bite back when and where you least expect it.

This might serve as a wakeup call for the country. Then we can take actions and improve our dismal coronavirus performance . . . and get closer to the bar set by some Asian countries.

The Big News

Nearly 20,000 Amazon Workers Have Had Covid

Amazon said that of its 1.4 million frontline workers in the U.S., roughly 1.5%, had contracted the coronavirus. That is about 20,000 employees. The company has faced harsh criticism about its Covid safety protocols. Amazon did say it plans to expand its in-house program to test workers for the virus. Under its current pilot program, only a few thousand workers were tested daily. Now, up to 50,000 employees per day will be tested by November.     

Fed Injections in Contested U.S. Election Favor Tech

Bank of America analysts are bullish on tech. Their weekly fund flow report said why. The Federal Reserve would likely step in to support financial markets if the outcome of the U.S. presidential election was contested. That move would benefit stocks in the tech sector, BofA wrote in the report. It said, “Likely aggressive Fed liquidity injections on contested election would favor tech.”       

Hopes for a ‘Skinny’ Stimulus Bill Dim

House Democrats passed a new, less expensive $2.2 trillion aid package on Thursday. This was a sign that talks between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have hit a snag. The likely roadblock is the Senate Republicans. The hope was to reach a deal for coronavirus relief before the election on Nov. 3. New legislation – including another round of $1,200 direct checks to taxpayers, plus $500 per dependent – would have been welcomed by the public.    

Coronavirus Surges in Wisconsin

The coronavirus is spreading like wildfire in Wisconsin. Of the four metropolitan areas in the U.S. with the worst outbreaks, three are in Wisconsin. The state recorded its largest numbers of daily deaths. Hospitalizations and daily cases have also hit their highest pandemic level.             

Pfizer CEO Vows to Follow the Science

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla hit out at the politicization of a Covid vaccine. He said his company would develop the vaccine at the “speed of science.”  He said Pfizer would not “succumb to political pressure” He worried that politics was “undercutting public confidence” in a vaccine. Unlike many other companies, Pfizer has only signed a pre-order agreement with the U.S. government. Bourla said the company had put almost $2 billion of its own money at risk.       

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The Coronavirus Numbers

Here are the numbers from Friday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:

  • 34,324,207 Infected Worldwide
  • 1,023,451 Deaths
  • 7,279,065 Infected in the U.S.
  • 207,816 Deaths in the U.S.

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What’s Next

The chaos of the first Presidential debate earlier this week was bad enough.

But now, news that President Trump and first lady Melania have tested positive for Covid-19 has added even more confusion.

That news sent shockwaves through equity markets.

The prospect of volatility in the stock market was already running high. And now this latest twist has sent U.S. stock futures down about 1.5% this morning.

Until there is more clarity over President Trump’s diagnosis and the severity of his illness, volatility will not ease.

President Trump was already facing a battle to win a second term with various factors stacking up against his candidacy.

Not the least of these was the effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on the U.S. economy and the President’s response to it.

His illness has put the coronavirus at the top of voters’ agenda again.

Let’s hope President Trump gets the best of treatment for the virus. He is obviously in a very high-risk group because of his age and weight problem.

Perhaps his doctors will consider prophylactic antibody therapies. It could be a high titer convalescent plasma or one of several monoclonal antibody cocktails that are out there.

I just hope real doctors make the decisions . . . and not some of the President’s friends with their quack miracle cures . . . or Dr. Scott Atlas telling everyone to let the virus run its course.

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Yours in Health & Wealth,

Tony Daltorio

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