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Daily Briefing – 281

Post: Apr. 11, 2021

President Biden Unveils First Budget Proposal – 5 Takeaways

President Biden’s first budget request calls for raising annual discretionary spending to $1.52 trillion. That amount includes a 15.7 percent increase in domestic spending and a 1.7 percent boost in defense. Although the spending plan omitted details on taxes and mandatory spending programs, as well as the usual 10-year projection for spending and revenues, it nonetheless offers valuable insights into Biden’s priorities.

Here are five key takeaways from the Biden budget proposal from The Hill

Read more at The Hill

NYS Vaccine Update – Nearly 25% of New Yorkers fully Vaccinated

As of 11 am Sunday 7,472,810 (plus 110,114 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 4,871,118 are fully vaccinated (Plus 1104,476).  In the Hudson Valley 781,618  (plus 8,950) have at least one dose and 472,731 (plus 9,975) are fully vaccinated. 

The week 17 allocation of 1,727,225 first and second doses, New York’s highest allocation to date, was expected to finish arriving Sunday.      

COVID Update – Positivity Rate Drops

Governor Cuomo issues a press release yesterday afternoon with data through Saturday April 10th.  There were 53 COVID related deaths for a total of 41,139.

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


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 4,083
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 447

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,171
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 394

Other Data

  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 3.27%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 3.88%

Useful Websites:

US Vaccine Rollout – 3.11 Million Shots Per Day

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Saturday about 117.1 million people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, including about 70.7 million people who have been fully vaccinated by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine or the two-dose series made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Providers are administering about 3.11 million doses per day on average. Experts are Predicting all adults might be vaccinated by the end of June.

Read more and view the New York Times Tracker

States Shut Down Johnson & Johnson Vaccine After Adverse Reactions

Georgia is the third state to temporarily shut down a vaccine site after eight people suffered adverse reactions to the shot. Earlier this week, 18 people in North Carolina reported side effects, while 11 people in Colorado reacted to the shot with symptoms ranging from dizziness, nausea and fainting. 

“This is a really potent vaccine, and what we’re seeing is some of that potency relating at a very rare side effect that we just have to be aware of,” said Dr. David Agus, a CBS News medical contributor.  All three major U.S. vaccines produced adverse reactions in more than 60,000 people nationwide. For each manufacturer — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — just one-tenth of 1% of all people have reported side effects. 

Read more at CBS News

Another Problem Facing Johnson & Johnson is Distribution

Next week, the number of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines allocated to states and other jurisdictions by the federal government is expected to drop 84%, according to a CNN analysis of data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In contrast, the supply of Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines remain steady for next week.

Since the vaccine was authorized in February, Johnson & Johnson fell short of its February goal, but it was able to meet its commitment to deliver 20 million doses in March. Thursday J&J told CNN it is on track to meet its target of producing 100 million doses of vaccine for the United States by the end of May. 

Read more at CNN

The Pandemic’s Terrible Toll on Kids

Rarely have America’s children suffered so many blows, and all at once, as during the pandemic’s lost year. Many have experienced social isolation during lockdowns, family stress, a breakdown of routine and anxiety about the virus. School closures, remote teaching and learning interruptions have set back many at school. Some parents have had job and income losses, creating financial instability—and exacerbating parental stress. Thousands of children have lost a parent or grandparent to the disease.

The looming question for this generation is: What will the long-term effects of the lost year be?  That question will take years to answer.  Psychologists and researchers say that the more major traumas and stressful situations a child experiences, the deeper the impact will be. Children with pre-existing problems such as anxiety and depression or learning disabilities likely face greater challenges. And children living in poverty may have an especially difficult time.

Read more at the WSJ

Recognizing and Managing Pandemic Fatigue

By now, most of us are exhausted by the near mention of the pandemic. Our lives have been disrupted in unprecedented ways, and coupled with prolonged uncertainty, it has led to Pandemic Fatigue. The World Health Organization defines pandemic fatigue as a “lack of motivation to follow health protocols which develops slowly over time as a natural response to a prolonged health crisis.”

Here are some signs of fatigue and tips to deal with it. 

Read more from Associate member Emergency One

Union Defeat at Amazon Warehouse Turns Spotlight to Congress and Pro Act

The battle over organized labor’s clout will be focused more squarely on Capitol Hill . Supporters and opponents of legislation that would significantly bolster unions were refining their arguments on Friday. “Without knowing it, [Amazon is] igniting a movement to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act and return workers in Alabama, Michigan and all corners of this land to their rightful place as drivers of broadly shared prosperity that represents America at its best,” Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.) said.

“Labor bosses should understand that when workers vote against forming a union, it signifies that the arguments made by organizers were not compelling or persuasive,” said Kristen Swearingen, chair of the business-backed Coalition for a Democratic Workplace said.

GM, Ford Extend Chips-Related Production Pauses

Ford and General Motors will continue to limit production at some North American plants because of a shortage in semiconductor chips. However, GM will resume production of Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups next week.

Semiconductors are key components used in the infotainment, power steering and braking systems, among other things. As multiple plants shut down last year due to Covid, suppliers directed semiconductors away from automakers to other industries, creating a shortage after consumer demand snapped back stronger than expected.

Read more at CNBC

Distance, Duration, and Intensity – When to Wear a Mask Outside

A systematic review published in February found that fewer than 10 percent of reported SARS-CoV-2 infections occurred outdoors. Indoor transmission, by comparison, was more than 18 times more likely. Infections that did occur outside usually involved other risks, such as people mixing indoor and outdoor activities.

Still, the risk isn’t zero, The three key factors to consider are distance, duration, and intensity, she says. The closer people are, the more droplets an activity is generating, and the longer people are close to one another, the more the risk increases and the more important a mask becomes. As with so much else in the pandemic, infection risk—and the need to wear a mask—hinges on the context.

Read more at Nat Geo

With Millions Vaccinated, Rare Side-Effects Are Emerging – The Challenge is to Sort Them from the Medical Emergencies that Happen Every Day

As millions of jabs of various covid-19 vaccines are administered every day, rare adverse reactions will inevitably emerge. On April 7th both Britain’s health officials and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which regulates drugs in the European Union, said there is strong evidence that AstraZeneca’s covid-19 vaccine may be linked with very rare blood clots, often in the brain or the abdomen. The EMA experts reached their conclusion based on a review of 86 reported cases, 18 of which were fatal.

The investigation of the suspected clots from the AstraZeneca jab has been a prime example of the challenge of sorting the signal of a vaccine’s side-effects from the cacophony of medical emergencies that happen to millions of people every day. Vaccine-safety experts have two ways to untangle whether a rare medical problem is caused by a vaccine, They can compare its rate in vaccinated people against the “background” rates of it that are observed in the unvaccinated. And they can look for unusual features of the medical condition being investigated.

Read more at the Economist (COVID coverage remain free)