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Daily Briefing – 185

Post: Nov. 4, 2020

COVID and Cluster Update 

Governor Cuomo issued a press release today.  The release detailed New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Tuesday November 3rd. Meanwhile the New York Times reported Monday that concerns have arisen that communities may be manipulating coronavirus positivity rates by discouraging sick people from being tested.

Tracking data for the hotspots and the rest of the State are below.

  • Hotspot Zones: 2.69%
  • Orange Orange Zone: 0.88%
  • Rockland Hot Zone: 3.43%
  • Statewide: 1.59%
  • Statewide excluding hotspots: 1.42%
  • Statewide hospitalizations: 1,253 (284 in ICU) 

Here are some useful websites:

The Count Continues

With more people voting absentee and by mail, counting is a bit slower than usual and the truth is that most presidential elections are not decided on election night.  Former Vice President Joe Biden did not get the early decisive win some Democrats had hoped for, as President Trump took Florida, Texas and Ohio. Meanwhile, Vice President Biden did appear to flip Arizona, Michigan and Wisconson as well as the second congressional district of Nebraska, and votes are still being counted in battlegrounds like Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.

Read more live updates in the WSJ

Preliminary Results:  NYS Dems Fail to Gain Super Majority 

While absentee ballots are still being counted and will likely tilt some races toward the Democrats it appears that the party has fallen well short of achieving a veto-proof majority in the State Senate.  Such a supermajority will continue to exist in the Assembly. 

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) issued the following statement this morning:

“Despite a difficult night for many Democratic candidates throughout the state and nation, the Senate Democratic Conference comfortably retained our majority and will be welcoming a historic group of new upstate Democrats to the Senate. With the record high number of outstanding absentee ballots that are overwhelmingly Democratic, we will add even more victories to our majority as the vote counts continue. The Senate Democratic Majority will continue to lead New York State forward as we recover from this pandemic and economic crisis.”

See all NYS election results at the NY Times

Empire Center: With Hopes Dashed for “Blue Wave” Bailout, Cuomo Needs to Deal With Budget Shortfall

E.J. McMahon writes that Cuomo was banking on Joe Biden to win the White House and Democrats to take over the U.S. Senate – an outcome which was likely to produce another stimulus bill offering New York enough new federal aid to close its current budget gap of at least $8 billion and next year’s projected budget gap of nearly $17 billion.

But in the wake of yesterday’s election, it appears the Senate majority could remain under Republican control. The outcome of a few Senate races, including one or two Georgia runoffs in January, ultimately will be even more important to Cuomo’s budget bailout hopes than the presidential race. Even if Biden ekes out a win, prospects for a big state and local bailout bill are slim if Democrats don’t control a majority in the upper house.

Read more at the Empire Center

U.S. Trade Deficit Narrowed in September as Exports Rose

The U.S. posted a deficit of $63.86 billion in September, compared with $67.04 billion in August and $47.84 billion a year earlier, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The figures were adjusted for seasonal variation.

Exports rose 2.6% to $176.35 billion, while imports rose 0.5% to $240.22 billion, their slowest pace of growth since trade bottomed out in May.

Read more at the WSJ

XStream Trucking CEO: Why We’re Reshoring Our Manufacturing

The idea of reshoring is picking up momentum in light of the pandemic as a way to simplify supply chains and make companies less vulnerable to future disruptions. I’m not going to predict the future, but I’m going to talk about why my company, XStream Trucking, decided to reshore some of its manufacturing and the impact those decisions have had, which could serve as an example to others.

We started taking a close look at our supply chain long before the pandemic hit. The first big inflection point came in 2018, when a trade war broke out between the U.S. and China. The imposition of U.S. tariffs on some of our parts came as a surprise. As a start-up still building our business and reputation, we couldn’t afford to pass along additional costs to our customers.

Read more at IndustryWeek

China’s Economic Recovery is Accelerating

In a sign that China’s economic recovery is accelerating, even as much of the world is being hit by another wave of lockdowns the Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index for Chinese manufacturing came in at 53.6 for October, better than the 53.0 forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll. The latest reading was the highest since January 2011, the survey results showed.

The country’s Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index for services in October rose to its highest level since June. Last month’s reading hit 56.8, up from September’s 54.8, where any figure over 50 indicates expansion.

Read more at Reuters

ICE  I-9 Compliance Flexibility Scheduled to End November 19th

Our friends at Ethan Allan Workforce Solutions remind us that on March 19, 2020, due to precautions implemented by employers and employees associated with COVID-19, DHS announced that it would exercise prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This policy only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. If there are employees physically present at a work location, no exceptions are being implemented at this time for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Unless It is Extended by ICE the flexibility is scheduled to end November 19th. 

See the March Guidance

The Johns Hopkins CSSE Dashboard Reported 9.39 Million US Cases and 232,742 Deaths as of November 4

In addition to COVID-19 incidence, the US is reporting increasing impact on hospitals and increasing COVID-19 mortality. Nationally, emergency department (ED) visits for COVID-19 have increased steadily over the past several weeks. The percentage of Emergency Department visits for COVID-19 coronavirus-like illness increased from approximately 2% in early September to nearly 3.5% in early November, a 65% increase. Over the past week, 9 states have reported per capita COVID-19 mortality greater than 0.5 deaths per 100,000 population, including 3 states with 1 or greater. 

More than half of all US states have reported more than 400,000 cumulative cases, including 14 with more than 200,000 cases:

  • 900,000: California, Texas
  • 800,000: Florida
  • 500,000: New York
  • 400,000: Illinois

Read more at Johns Hopkins