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Daily Briefing – 145

Post: Sep. 9, 2020

Cuomo: 33rd Straight Day with COVID-19 Infection Rate Below 1 Percent

Governor Cuomo yesterday announced the 33rd straight day that New York State’s COVID-19 infection rate has been below 1 percent. Tuesday 0.91 percent of tests reported to the state were positive. The number of new cases, percentage of tests that were positive and many other helpful data points are always available at forward.ny.gov.

The Governor also announced that indoor dining in New York City will be allowed to resume beginning September 30th with a 25 percent occupancy limit. All restaurants that choose to reopen will be subject to strict safety protocols, including temperature checks, contact information for tracing, face coverings when not seated and other safety protocols. Bar service will not be permitted, and restaurants will close at midnight.

Senate’s Pared Down COVID Relief Package

Senate Republicans unveiled a pared-down coronavirus relief on Tuesday, as they returned to Washington after the August recess. Negotiations over the next round of aid have been stalled for weeks on Capitol Hill and there is still little evidence of bipartisan progress. 

The proposed legislation likely will include the following elements:

  • A federal unemployment benefit
  • Another round of Paycheck Protection Program funding
  • More funding for COVID-19 testing and for schools
  • Liability protections

 The package is expected to come in at around $500 million, which is far short of the $1 trillion bill Republicans supported at the end of July and even further short of the $3 trillion bill the House approved. The Senate will consider the bill this week.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

Biden Proposes a Tax Penalty for Offshoring and New Credits for Manufacturing Investments

The proposal has three chief components:

  • ​An offshoring tax penalty​: This part calls for a 28% corporate tax rate and an additional 10% “offshoring penalty surtax” on profits for manufactured goods and for services such as call centers, if American companies produce them overseas and then sell them back to the U.S. market. According to a briefing paper from the Biden campaign, ​“companies will pay a 30.8% tax rate on any such profits.”
  • A “Made in America” tax credit​: A 10% advanceable tax credit for companies on a broad range of investments designed to create manufacturing jobs in the United States. Eligible projects include revitalizing closed or closing factories, increasing domestic production, modernizing manufacturing facilities, expanding manufacturing payrolls and any expense or investment related to onshoring jobs.
  • Elimination of offshore tax loopholes: Biden’s plan would close several tax loopholes in the 2017 tax law that permit U.S. companies to shield their foreign profits from full taxation. 

Read more at CNBC

AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine Study Put on Hold Due to Suspected Adverse Reaction in Participant in the U.K.

A large, Phase 3 study testing a Covid-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford at dozens of sites across the U.S. has been put on hold due to a suspected serious adverse reaction in a participant in the United Kingdom.

A spokesperson for AstraZeneca, a front runner in the race for a Covid-19 vaccine, said in a statement that the company’s “standard review process triggered a pause to vaccination to allow review of safety data.” In a follow-up statement, AstraZeneca said it initiated the study hold. The nature of the adverse reaction and when it happened were not immediately known, though the participant is expected to recover, according to an individual familiar with the matter. 

Read more at STAT

EU Enters Final Talks for BioNTech-Pfizer Vaccine

The European Commission said on Wednesday it had entered final stage talks with BioNTech-Pfizer to purchase up to 300 million doses of a potential vaccine against COVID-19.

EU supply would be produced by BioNTech’s sites in Germany and Pfizer’s manufacturing site in Belgium, with deliveries starting by the end of the year, the companies said in a statement. The proposed agreement with the European Commission would be the largest initial order of doses for Pfizer and BioNTech to date.

Read more at Reuters

Regeneron Expects to Report Biomarker Data for COVID-19 Therapy by End of September

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals said on Wednesday it expects to report biomarker data for its COVID-19 antibody cocktail by the end of this month.

The drugmaker last month struck a partnership with Roche AG to make and supply the COVID-19 antibody cocktail, which is being tested on several hundreds of patients after it prevented and treated the respiratory disease in animals. Regeneron’s cocktail, REGN-COV2, contains an antibody made by the company and another isolated from recovered COVID-19 patients.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

Ford Wants to Add Data Services to Commercial Vehicles

Ford CEO Jim Farley says Ford can unlock revenue by offering data-based services with its commercial vehicles much like John Deere, from which Ford has hired a key artificial intelligence executive Alex Purdy.  At Deere, Purdy led efforts to deliver artificial intelligence (AI) on the farm through smart equipment and founded John Deere Labs to help build a “sticky” relationship with customers. Deere’s aftermarket parts and services business accounted for about 15% to 20% of $35 billion in sales last year.

“So now the total addressable market, instead of being just new-vehicle sales, is the entire process — parts, service, accessories, connected services,” says Ford commercial vehicle executive Ted Cannis.

Read more at Reuters