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Daily Briefing – 260

Post: Mar. 10, 2021

COVID Update 

Governor Cuomo issued a press release yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Tuesday March 9th.  

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


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 4,798
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 470

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,166
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 403

Other Data

  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 3.11%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 4.32%

Useful Websites:

Budget Season – State Lawmakers Are Poised To Take Power Amid Cuomo Scandals

With just four weeks until the state budget deadline, many Democratic lawmakers have been eyeing a tax package that would go further than the hike on high-income earners that Cuomo proposed in his worst-case-scenario executive budget. The Legislature also could pressure Cuomo to send additional recreational marijuana tax revenues to communities hardest-hit by anti-drug laws, said Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Queens Democrat.

Read more at Bloomberg

NYS Vaccine Update – The Latest Totals

As of 11 am Wednesday 3,972,100 (plus 104,673 from yesterday) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 1,968,972 are fully vaccinated (Plus 38,919).  In the Hudson Valley 374,658 (plus 12,429) have at least one dose and 175,117 (plus 3,831 ) are fully vaccinated. 

US Vaccination Rollout – 1.98 Million Doses Per Day

The US CDC has distributed 116.4 million doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and administered 92.1 million doses nationwide. In total, 60.0 million people (18.1% of the entire US population; 23.5% of the adult population) have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine, and 31.5 million (9.5%; 12.3%) have received both doses. The US continues to set new records for daily doses administered, up to 1.98 million doses per day, including 815,748 individuals receiving their second dose.

The breakdown of doses by manufacturer remains relatively steady, with slightly more Pfizer-BioNTech doses (46.8 million) than Moderna (44.9 million) administered nationwide. The CDC reported the first data for the J&J-Janssen vaccine, with 208,590 doses administered**.

Read more at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security 

Vaccine Positively Impacting Long Term Care Facility Cases

long-term care facilities (LTCFs) have seen steady declines in COVID-19 incidence and mortality over the past several months, for both residents and staff. LTCFs were among the earliest priorities for SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Through March 4, 2021, more than one-third of all US COVID-19 deaths were among LTCF residents.

Since the start of the US vaccination effort in mid-December, weekly COVID-19 incidence and mortality has decreased substantially. At the peak the CDC reported 34,251 new cases among LTCF residents. During the week of February 28, 2021, the US reported only 1,474 new cases, a decrease of more than 95% from the peak. Similarly, the US reported 7,049 deaths among LTCF residents during the week of December 20, 2020, which fell to 1,350 the week of February 28, 2021—a decrease of more than 80%.

Read more at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security 

COVID-19 Relief Bill Wins Final Approval in House

The House of Representatives gave final approval on Wednesday to one of the largest economic stimulus measures in U.S. history, a sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that gives President Joe Biden his first major victory in office.

Approval by a 220-211 vote in the Democratic-controlled chamber came with zero Republican support after weeks of partisan debate and wrangling in Congress. Democrats described the legislation as a critical response to a pandemic that has killed more than 528,000 people and thrown millions out of work. Republicans said the measure was too costly and was packed with wasteful progressive priorities. They said the worst phase of the largest public health crisis in a century has largely passed and the economy is headed toward a rebound.

Read more at Reuters

What’s in the Third Covid-19 Stimulus Package? 

The $1.9 trillion legislation known as the American Rescue Plan Act includes a range of measures, from stimulus checks to child tax credits, jobless benefits, vaccine-distribution funds, healthcare subsidies and restaurant aid. This deal would be the largest aid package to pass since widespread restrictions tied to the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.

$50 billion, or 7% of the $1.9 trillion price tag, is directed at testing and contact tracing.  $16 billion is earmarked for vaccine distribution. Most of the rest consists of payments to states, student-debt relief, health-insurance subsidies and unemployment benefits.

See the breakdown in the WSJ

 CPI – Inflation Keeps Creeping Up

The cost of U.S. consumer goods and services rose in February at the fastest pace in six months nudging inflation closer to levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic.  The consumer price index advanced 0.4% last month, the government said Wednesday, matching the estimate of economists polled by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal.  The rate of inflation over the past 12 months moved up to 1.7% from 1.4%.

The Federal Reserve, the nation’s inflation watchdog, is prepared to let prices rise above 2% for an extended period without raising interest rates. Central bank leaders predict any sharp increase in inflation after the economy fully reopens is likely to be temporary.

Read more at MarketWatch

House Passes PRO Act

The House passed the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (H.R. 842) by a vote of 225 to 206. There were 5 Republicans voting in favor (Fitzpatrick, Katko, Smith, Van Drew and Young) and 1 Democrat voting against (Cuellar). On Monday, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy in support of the PRO Act.

The PRO Act now moves onto the Senate and the NAM will continue to vigorously advocate that Senators oppose the bill. Please reach out to me if you would like more information on where your Senators stand: there are currently 44 Democratic and 0 Republican cosponsors. Of note, Senators Kelly (AZ), King (ME), Manchin (WV), Sinema (AZ) and Warner (VA) are not cosponsors.

Read more:

Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Neutralizes Brazil Variant in Lab Study

Blood taken from people who had been given the vaccine neutralized an engineered version of the virus that contained the same mutations carried on the spike portion of the highly contagious P.1 variant first identified in Brazil, the study conducted by scientists from the companies and the University of Texas Medical Branch found.

Pfizer has said it believes its current vaccine is highly likely to still protect against the South African variant. However, the drugmaker is planning to test a third booster dose of their vaccine as well as a version retooled specifically to combat the variant in order to better understand the immune response.

Read more at Reuters

Moderna, Novavax and Others are Trying to Get ahead of Variants like Those Identified in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil

Researchers at Moderna Inc., Novavax Inc. and the University of Oxford are designing the shots, known as multivalent vaccines, to protect not only against the form of the virus commonly circulating globally but also potentially contagious strains that have emerged or might in the future.  The work belongs to a range of efforts vaccine makers and drug researchers are undertaking to get ahead of variants like the one identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.

Research indicates some vaccines currently in use generate weaker immune responses against the strain found in South Africa in particular, though there isn’t evidence indicating that current vaccines don’t protect against variants.

Read more in the WSJ

Chaos Strikes Global Shipping – Misalignment of Containers Has Costs Skyrocketing

Around the planet, the pandemic has disrupted trade to an extraordinary degree, driving up the cost of shipping goods and adding a fresh challenge to the global economic recovery. The virus has thrown off the choreography of moving cargo from one continent to another.

As households in the United States have filled bedrooms with office furniture and basements with treadmills, the demand for shipping has outstripped the availability of containers in Asia, yielding shortages there just as the boxes pile up at American ports.

Read more at the New York Times