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Daily Briefing – 239

Post: Jan. 26, 2021

Vaccine Update

The total week 6 federal allocation of vaccine delivery to providers was complete Sunday. Delivery of the week 7 allocation from the federal government does not begin until the middle of this week. As of 11am yesterday, New York’s health care distribution sites have received 1,304,050 first doses and administered 88 percent or 1,144,070 first dose vaccinations.

In the Mid-Hudson Region 123,150 FIRST doses have been distributed, 100,677 administered (82%)

COVID and “Winter Cluster Plan” Update

Governor Cuomo held a press briefing yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Saturday, January 23rd.

Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  

Hospitalizations Statewide:

  • Patients Currently in Hospital   =  8,730
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Population =  .004%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available = 32%

Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Patients Currently in Hospital in Region   =  1,030
  • COVID Hospitalizations as Percent of Region Population =  .004%
  • Percent of Hospital Beds Available in Region  = 40%

ICU Beds Statewide

  • Total ICU Beds   =  5,867
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  4,295
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 26%

ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 

  • Total ICU Beds   =  685
  • Occupied ICU Beds =  415
  • Percent of ICU Beds Available  = 37%

Other Data

  • Statewide Transmission Rate (R0):  .91
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 5.47%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 6.20%

Useful Websites:

The U.S. Economy Likely Grew 4.1% at the End of 2020

The Bureau of Economic Analysis will release the first estimate of fourth quarter real GDP on Thursday, with 5.5% annualized growth expected. Overall, the U.S. economy should decline 3.4% in 2020, but with 4.3% growth forecasted in 2021, according to current estimates.

The U.S. fourth-quarter report on gross domestic product, due on Thursday, will still offer a useful diagnosis of the economy. It will tell us which parts have mostly recovered and which are still ailing.

Read more at MarketWatch

Manufacturing Economy Report: Strong Numbers in the US and Europe

The IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI grew at the fastest pace on record in January, making the sector a continued bright spot in the U.S. economy. New orders, exports and output expanded at the best rates since mid-2014, with employment rising at paces not seen since January 2019. Respondents remained extremely upbeat in their outlook for the coming months, even as input costs rose at the strongest rate since May 2018. In Europe, manufacturing activity also stayed strong, even with some easing in January. 

Monday Economic Report 0125 2021

Biden Signs Buy American Order for Government Procurement

President Biden signed an executive order Monday imposing tougher rules on government procurement practices to increase purchases of products made in the U.S., a step toward fulfilling his Buy American campaign pledge to strengthen domestic manufacturing.  The new policies will include tightening the government procurement rules to make it harder for federal agencies to purchase imported products, revising the definition of American-made products and raising local-content requirements. The executive order also ensures that small and midsize businesses will have better access to information needed to bid for government contracts.

While their styles are different, Mr. Biden’s Buy American initiative has similarities to Mr. Trump’s domestic preference policy, which was part of his America First policy that featured tariff wars with China and other trading partners.

Read more at the WSJ

Yellen Confirmed as Treasury Secretary 

The Senate on Monday voted overwhelmingly to confirm Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary, putting her in a pivotal role to shepherd the flagging economic recovery as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on the country. Yellen’s first task will be to work with Congress to advance President Joe Biden’s plan for a new $1.9 trillion economic-stimulus package, amid concerns among some lawmakers about the growing debt.

The full Senate vote was 84 to 15, making Yellen the first woman to head the Treasury. She received support from most Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Read more at CNN

New Guidance on NY COVID-19 Sick Leave

Attorneys at Bond Schoeneck and King write that the New York State Department of Labor issued updated guidance regarding the use of COVID-19 sick leave. This guidance clarifies certain issues and provides new obligations for employers. 

The NY COVID-19 Sick Leave Law was enacted on March 18, 2020, and entitles employees to paid or unpaid sick time (depending on employer size) when they are subject to an order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the department of health, local board of health or any governmental entity duly authorized to issue such order. All leave provided under this law is in addition to any leave required by the New York Paid Sick Leave Law. 

Read more at BSK

Germany Urges Taiwan to Help Ease Auto Chip Shortage

Germany has asked Taiwan to persuade Taiwanese manufacturers to help ease a shortage of semiconductor chips in the auto sector which is hampering its fledgling economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Automakers around the world are shutting assembly lines due to problems in the delivery of semiconductors, which in some cases have been exacerbated by the former Trump administration’s actions against key Chinese chip factories.

The shortage has affected Volkswagen, Ford Motor Co, Subaru Corp, Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co Ltd, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and other car makers.

Read more at Reuters

Samsung Considers $10 Billion US Chipmaking Plant, Sources Say

Samsung Electronics Co. is considering spending more than $10 billion building its most advanced logic chipmaking plant in the U.S., a major investment it hopes will win more American clients and help it catch up with industry leader Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

Samsung is taking advantage of a concerted U.S. government effort to counter China’s rising economic prowess and lure back home some of the advanced manufacturing that over the past decades has gravitated toward Asia. The hope is that such production bases in the U.S. will galvanize local businesses and support American industry and chip design. Texas, Arizona and New York are reportedly being considered as possible locations.

WHO Signs Vaccine Deal with Pfizer 

The World Health Organization has signed an agreement with Pfizer that will provide the WHO’s COVAX initiative with 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccine for distribution in poor countries. WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says vaccines could help bring the rising global case count — which is nearing 100 million — under control, but says that vaccine hoarding by wealthy countries will undermine efforts to end the pandemic.

Read more at CNBC 

Manufacturing Surge Strains Supply Chains

Consumer spending on manufactured products during the pandemic has meant strong demand but also supply shortages for many materials, reflected in indicators such as scrap steel prices. This has meant many manufacturers need more time to deliver products than during summer 2020.

Some manufacturers have stockpiled materials to guard against a lack of availability in the future. They are counting on being able to quickly recover the added cost of holding more inventory than usual with increased sales.

Read more at the WSJ