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Daily Briefing – 275

Post: Mar. 31, 2021

Biden Proposes 2.3 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

President Biden unveiled a $2 trillion plan Wednesday to rebuild the nation’s aging infrastructure, support electric vehicles and clean energy and boost access to caregivers and their pay in a massive undertaking that would be the centerpiece of his economic agenda. Biden billed the sweeping jobs proposal, dubbed the American Jobs Plan. The plan  would pump billions into rebuilding roads, bridges and rail with a dual goal of creating millions of “good-paying union jobs.”

The plan is to raise taxes on corporations to pay for the eight-year spending package. He proposed increasing the corporate tax rate to 28% and overhauling how the United States taxes multinational corporations by increasing the minimum tax on U.S. corporations to 21%. Senate Minority Leader McConnell called it a “Trojan horse” for borrowed money, debt and tax increases on “the most productive parts of our economy.” 

Read more at USA Today

COVID Update – Hospitalizations Fall, More Rapid Testing Sites Open

Governor Cuomo issued a press release yesterday morning providing an overview of New York’s COVID-19 tracking data from Tuesday March 30th. 

The state is expanding the New York Forward Rapid Testing Program to help businesses and events safely reopen. Twenty-five new sites will open Thursday, April 1, and 10 sites will open within the next two weeks for a total of 70 sites statewide. The New York Forward Rapid Test Program provides affordable rapid (30 minutes or less) COVID tests at locations across the State. 

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


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 4,651
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 539

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,124
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 408

Other Data

  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 3.47%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 4.75%

Useful Websites:

NYS Vaccine Update – 30.4 percent of New Yorkers Have Had at least One Dose

Governor Cuomo yesterday updated New Yorkers on the state’s vaccination program. 192,853 doses have been administered across the state’s vast distribution network in the last 24 hours, and more than 1.3 million doses have been administered over the past seven days. The week 16 allocation from the federal government is in the process of being delivered to providers.

As of 11 am Monday 6,068,998 (plus 97,603 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 3,566,509 are fully vaccinated (Plus 102,773).  In the Hudson Valley 610,947 (plus 12,900) have at least one dose and 319,156 (plus 9,001) are fully vaccinated. 

Survey: Covid-19: U.S. Vaccine Confidence Rises Though Skeptics Remain

A new poll shows a continuing increase in the number of Americans, particularly Black adults, who want to get vaccinated. But it also found that vaccine skepticism remains stubbornly persistent, particularly among Republicans and white evangelical Christians. By now, roughly 61 percent of adults have either received their first dose or are eager for one, up from 47 percent in January, according to the latest monthly survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The shift was most striking among Black Americans, some of whom have previously expressed hesitancy but who have also had access issues. Since just February, 14 percent more Black adults said they wanted or had already gotten the vaccine. 

Read more at the New York Times

Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine 100% Effective in Study of 12- to 15-Year-Olds, Company Says

The Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE safely protects kids 12 years and older, the companies said. The vaccine was 100% effective in protecting against symptomatic disease in a study of more than 2,200 children, the companies said Wednesday.

Researchers also didn’t find any safety concerns, Pfizer and BioNTech said. Given the results, Pfizer said it would ask U.S. health regulators in the coming weeks to expand use of the shots to 12- to 15-year-olds. The timetable for authorization in the U.S. could mean the children will be able to be vaccinated before the next school year begins in the fall.

Read more at the WSJ

NYS Senate Approves Marijuana Legalization – Vote Along Party Lines

The New York Senate, Tuesday, voted to approve the recreational use of marijuana with the vote along party lines as Democrats supported it and Republicans opposed it. In the Hudson Valley, all Democrats voted for the measure, including Harckham, Hinchey, Mayer, Reichlin-Melnick, Skoufis and Stewart-Cousins. The two Republicans in the region, Serino and Martucci, voted against it.

The Democrat-controlled Assembly is also set to approve the new law with the governor promising to sign it.

Read more at Mid-Hudson News

DiNapoli: Some New York Industries Are Not on the
Path to Recovery

Even as overall job growth has resumed in New York, some industries — educational services, government, and financial activities — have continued to lose jobs. The high-wage finance and insurance industries, within the broader category of financial services, lost about 7,000 jobs since May 2020, in addition to the 8,100 job decline in March and April, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The leisure and hospitality sector was the most significantly impacted by the economic shutdown, suffering 30 percent of the State’s total employment decline despite representing only 9.8 percent of total employment. Jobs within this sector have low average annual wages. Fortunately, since May 2020, the leisure and hospitality sector has recovered the largest number of jobs, nearly 260,000; however, these gains represent only 43 percent of the jobs lost in the industry.

Suez Canal Opens, but Shipping Will Be Snarled for Months

Late Tuesday, ships were again moving through the Suez Canal, a day after engineers freed the Ever Given, a 1,300-foot container ship, and cleared the waterway for global traffic. Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, which runs the 120-mile shipping route, said at a press conference that 113 ships had crossed in both directions since the route reopened late Monday, and another 95 are expected to pass through in the evening, up from the typical 50 or so daily passages. 

Egyptian officials say the logjam will be cleared in three to four days. Shipping executives say it will take days longer. Leth Agencies, a ship’s services provider in the Suez, said 352 vessels are still awaiting transit.

Read more in the WSJ

Private Payrolls Grow at Fastest Pace Since September: ADP

Private payrolls in March expanded at the fastest pace since September 2020 as anticipation of a strong economic rebound coupled with aggressive vaccination rates pushed companies to hire, according to a report Wednesday from payroll processing firm ADP.

Companies added 517,000 workers for the month, a healthy spike from the 176,000 in February though just below the 525,000 Dow Jones estimate as well as some fairly highly optimistic calls for the government’s nonfarm payrolls count. The February total was revised sharply higher from the originally reported 117,000.

Read more at CNBC

Pending Home Sales Plunge

The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index, which tracks the number of homes that are under contract to be sold, fell 10.6% in February from a month earlier — falling for the second straight month. The results missed analysts’ expectations of pending home sales declining 3%, according to Bloomberg consensus estimates. Sales for the first time after eight consecutive months of annual gains, slid 0.5% in February from the same month a year ago.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

Chicago PMI Jumps

The jump in the Chicago PMI to its highest level since July 2018 makes the massive surge in the Philly Fed index look a bit less of an outlier, though it’s not clear how much of the increase represents a real strengthening of the trend and how much represents a post-storm catch-up, or is a reaction to the passage of the massive Covid relief bill.  Either way, the surveys signal that the manufacturing sector continues to recover strongly.  Prices continue to rise too; the Chicago prices paid index rose for a seventh straight month, to its highest level since August 2018.

Read more at MarketWatch