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Daily Briefing – 241

Post: Feb. 11, 2021

COVID Update 

Governor Cuomo issued a press release yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Wednesday February 10th. 

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


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 7,342
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 808

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,452
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 434

Other Data

  • Statewide Transmission Rate (R0):  .88
  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 3.54%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 5.10

Useful Websites:

NYS Vaccine Update 

Governor Cuomo & Biden Administration officials announced yesterday that mass vaccination sites to will open in New York State targeting equitable vaccination access. The state has administered over 2,341,255 vaccine doses through the state’s vaccination program. New York’s health care distribution sites have received 2,002,055 first doses and administered 89 percent (1,787,189.) 64 percent of the 1,031,650 second doses (660,083) have been administered. 

In the Mid-Hudson Region a cumulative total of 285,290 FIRST and SECOND doses have been distributed, 224,048 have been administered (79%).

US Vaccination Rollout – Fauci Predicts “Open Season” In April

April will be “open season” for vaccinations in the U.S. and any adult will be able to get vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted Thursday. “By the time we get to April it will be open season, namely virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated,” Fauci said.

He said it will take several more months to logistically deliver injections to adult Americans but predicted herd immunity could be achieved by late summer. Fauci’s comments come amid a slow and chaotic vaccine rollout that has seen vaccination sites shut down because of a lack of supply and waiting lists of tens of thousands across the country who are unable to get an appointment for a shot. 

Read more at USA Today

CDC: No Quarantine Needed for Fully Vaccinated  People Who Have Been Exposed

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidance that people who have been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus no longer need to quarantine if they are exposed to someone who is infected with COVID-19.

“Fully vaccinated persons who meet criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following an exposure to someone with COVID-19,” the CDC said in the updated guidance Wednesday.

Read More at The Hill

It Wasn’t Me – Plant Said to be Cause of AstraZeneca Vaccine EU Cuts Denies Responsibility 

AstraZeneca blamed production problems at a Belgian factory for its failure to meet delivery commitments to the EU—while the EU suspected it was giving other customers priority. Well, the plant’s owner, Thermo Fisher, now says it produced all the doses it told AstraZeneca it would produce.

“We have complied with all the contractual requirements we have with AstraZeneca,” Thermo Fisher’s vice president for the EU, Cedric Volanti, told in a news conference on Wednesday, when asked about possible production problems the plant had faced.

Read more at Reuters

AstraZeneca’s revenues rose 10% in 2020, to $26.6bn

The drug maker, which developed a covid-19 vaccine with Oxford University, made just $2m from its coronavirus jab, which it pledged to sell at cost price. Yesterday the World Health Organization recommended its vaccine for all adults, helping assuage worries about its efficacy among over-65s, and against a variant first found in South Africa.

REad more at BBC

Automakers Report Strong Sales for End of 2020

The automotive market has strengthened considerably since the first half of 2020 forced vehicle manufacturers to shut production. General Motors, Ford Motors, and Toyota Motor Corp. all reported positive sales figures for the end of 2020 into the beginning of 2021.

  • General Motors reported February 10 that it pulled in $6.4 billion in 2020, a 4.5% loss relative to 2019 profits. Full-year revenue fell 10.7% to $122.5 billion. For its 2020 fourth-quarter results, though, GM reported profits of $2.8 billion—night and day compared to the $194 million loss it saw in Q4 2019.
  • Ford, meanwhile, saw drops in both quarterly and full-year revenue when it announced earnings last week: 2020 revenue fell 18% to $127.1 billion, and revenue for the fourth quarter fell from $39.7 billion in the last quarter of financial year 2019 to $36.0 billion in the quarter just ended.
  • Ford, meanwhile, saw drops in both quarterly and full-year revenue when it announced earnings last week: 2020 revenue fell 18% to $127.1 billion, and revenue for the fourth quarter fell from $39.7 billion in the last quarter of financial year 2019 to $36.0 billion in the quarter just ended.

Read more at IndustryWeek

Cash-in-Pockets Emerges as New Democratic Approach to Federal Aid in Coronavirus Bill

Congressional Democrats are using coronavirus relief legislation to advance a vision of federal aid to households that is focused on cash assistance with few restrictions, moving away from the work requirements and minimum-income thresholds that have been cornerstones of federal policies for decades.

Democrats have emphasized the breadth of households’ needs during the pandemic and have rejected Republicans’ concerns that giving people money would discourage them from returning to work. For lower-income and middle-income households, the combination of policies in the Democrats’ legislation could yield significant short-term increases in income. While unemployment benefits have an application process and eligibility restrictions, direct payments and the child tax credit expansion would have no strings attached, and they are available even to households with no income.

Read more at the WSJ

Powell: Bleak Jobs Picture Means Rates Will Stay Low 

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday painted a dour picture on the state of U.S. employment, saying continued aggressive policy support is needed to fix the myriad issues still facing workers. Addressing the issue will require a “patiently accommodative monetary policy that embraces the lessons of the past” regarding the benefits that low interest rates bring to the labor market, the central bank chief told the Economic Club of New York.

Powell further said the headline unemployment rate has “dramatically understated” the true damage, including the biggest 12-month drop in labor force participation since at least 1948.

Read more at CNBC

Another 793,000 Americans Filed New Unemployment Claims Last Week

New weekly jobless claims fell relative to the prior week’s level, which was upwardly revised to 812,000 from the 779,000 previously reported. This brought new claims for the week ended February 6 to the lowest level in five weeks. And despite last week’s upward revision, the four-week moving average for new claims fell by 33,500 to 823,000.

By state, some of the most populous parts of the country saw encouragingly large drops in unadjusted new jobless claims last week. Florida saw by far the greatest decrease, with unadjusted initial jobless claims dropping by more than 51,000 last week. New York followed by a wide margin, with new claims in the state dropping by nearly 20,000. 

Read more at Yahoo Finance

The Economist: How Rising Inflation Could Disrupt the World’s Economic Policy

Headline statistics on price rises will soon contribute to the sense that an inflationary dawn is breaking. They will go up automatically as the collapse in commodities prices early in the pandemic falls out of comparisons with a year earlier, and the recent rise in the oil price begins to bite—on February 8th Brent crude rose above $60 a barrel for the first time in more than a year. In Germany the reversal of a temporary cut in vat has already helped year-on-year inflation rise from -0.7% to 1.6% in a month.

For most of the past decade the world economy’s problem, judged by central banks’ targets, has been too little inflation, not too much. As a result it is easy to view the coming acceleration in prices as welcome. In fact, it is worth worrying about, for several reasons.

Read more at The Economist