Daily Briefing – 283

Governor Visits Walden to Announce Initiative to Vaccinate Farm and Food Production Workers 

Governor visited Angry Orchard in Walden, Orange County to announce a new targeted effort to vaccinate workers at New York State farms and food production facilities. The state will coordinate with local health departments and Federally Qualified Health Centers to bring pop-up vaccination sites to workers, including migrant workers, at their places of employment.

As part of the new vaccination effort, New York State will provide 500 doses to Sun River Health, a local health care network, to administer to Angry Orchard employees, as well as farm and food production workers from other facilities in the Orange County area. Vaccines will be administered beginning Wednesday, April 21.

Read the press release/watch the video

Indoor and Outdoor Graduation Ceremonies Can Occur After May 1

Governor Cuomo yesterday announced new updated guidance for graduation and commencement ceremonies organized by schools, colleges and universities. Effective May 1, indoor and outdoor graduation and commencement ceremonies will be allowed with limited attendee capacity, depending on the event size and the location (e.g., stadium, arena, arts and entertainment venue). All event organizers and venues hosting ceremonies must follow the State’s strict health and safety protocols, including requiring face masks, social distancing, health screenings and collection of contact tracing information.

Read the guidance for graduation events 

NYS Vaccine Update 

As of 11 am Tuesday 7,705,087 (plus 133,538 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 5,085,215 are fully vaccinated (Plus 118,842).  In the Hudson Valley 805,618  (plus 14,392) have at least one dose and 496,872 (plus 15,066) are fully vaccinated. 

COVID Update –New Data Was Not Available at Publication Time Below is Data From Sunday

Governor Cuomo issues a press release yesterday afternoon with data through Sunday April 11th.  There were 58 COVID related deaths for a total of 41,197.

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


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 4,118
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 458

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,111
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 398

Other Data

  • Statewide Positivity Rate: 3.20%
  • Mid-Hudson Positivity Rate: 3.88%

Useful Websites:

US Vaccine Rollout – From Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

The US has distributed 238 million doses of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and administered nearly 190 million doses. The US is currently administering an average of 2.9 million doses per day, including 1.4 million people fully vaccinated.

A total of 121 million individuals have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine, equivalent to 36% of the entire US population and 47% of all adults. Of those, 74 million (22% of the total population; 29% of adults) are fully vaccinated. Among adults aged 65 years and older, 79% have received at least 1 dose, and 62% are fully vaccinated.

Read more at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security 

Abundance of Caution: U.S. to Pause J&J Shot After Rare Blood-Clot Cases

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the move Tuesday, after finding that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 years who got the vaccine had developed blood clots. More than 6.8 million doses have been administered in the U.S., the agencies said.

A panel of outside experts will meet Wednesday to review the matter for the CDC, while the FDA will also conduct an investigation. The FDA said it was recommending a pause in the use of the J&J vaccine “out of an abundance of caution.”

Read more at the WSJ

Similarities Between J&J and AstraZeneca Vaccines are “Plainly Obvious”

“It’s plainly obvious to us already that what we’re seeing with the Janssen vaccines looks very similar to what was being seen with the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said during a virtual briefing on Tuesday. 

The mechanism behind the blood clotting events among those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine remains unknown – but may be similar to the mechanism behind possible events connected to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Marks said. “We don’t have a definitive cause, but the probable cause that we believe may be involved here – that we can speculate – is a similar mechanism that may be going on with the other adenoviral vector vaccine,” Marks said. 

Read more at CNN

Study: U.K. Strain Doesn’t Result in More Severe Covid-19 Among Hospitalized Patients

The coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom spreads more easily than older strains but doesn’t lead to more severe disease among hospitalized patients, a new study found. The findings add to scientists’ understanding of B.1.1.7’s impact, which has become especially important now that the strain has come to dominate cases in the U.K., U.S. and some other countries.

People infected late last year with the variant, known as B.1.1.7, had more virus in their bodies than patients infected with older strains, a sign the newer variant is more infectious, according to the study published online Monday by the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases. But the patients hospitalized with B.1.1.7 didn’t die at higher rates or have worse outcomes overall. 

Read more in the WSJ

WHO Sounds Alarm as Coronavirus Cases, Deaths Climb Worldwide

Data show a worrisome uptick in coronavirus cases and deaths in all regions of the world, with Africa slightly less affected than other regions. The World Health Organization attributes this rise to several factors, including an increase in coronavirus variants, failure to practice public health measures and the resumption of so-called normal life when people emerge from lockdown.  
Another problem says WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris is a growing complacency that the availability of vaccines will soon end the crisis.

Read more at Voice of America

White House Holds Semiconductor Summit with Executives to Explore Government Response

President Joe Biden yesterday told more than a dozen CEOs that he had bipartisan support for his $50 billion proposal to boost semiconductor manufacturing and research in the U.S. The CEOs included the likes of GM’s Mary Barra and Ford’s James Farley, both of whose companies are feeling the pain of the current global chip crunch. Intel’s Pat Gelsinger was also there, voicing support for the plan. Taiwan’s TSMC, which is building a $12 billion Arizona plant with government incentives, is also a fan

Read more at IndustryWeek

US Budget Deficit Jumps to Record $1.7 Trillion This Year

The U.S. government’s budget deficit surged to an all-time high of $1.7 trillion for the first six months of this budget year, nearly double the previous record, as another round of economic-support checks added billions of dollars to spending last month.

In its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said Monday that the deficit for the first half of the budget year — from October through March — was up from a shortfall of $743.5 billion in the same period a year ago. The deficit has been driven higher by trillions of dollars in support Congress has passed in successive economic rescue packages since the pandemic struck in early March 2020. The latest round came in a $1.9 trillion measure that President Joe Biden pushed through Congress last month.

Read more at US News & World Report

Producer Prices Rise at Fastest Annual Rate Since 2011

Prices charged by producers rose 4.2 percent over the past 12 months, the fastest increase since 2011, as the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic drives a surge in demand, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Most economists expect inflation to keep increasing throughout 2021 as the U.S. rebounds from the depths of the coronavirus recession.

The producer price index (PPI) rose at its fastest annual rate in a decade due largely to the massive and abrupt economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The PPI without prices for food, energy and trade services — which are typically more volatile — rose 3.1 percent over the past 12 months, the fastest rate since 2018.

Read more at The Hill

Consumer Prices Rise More Than Expected

Consumer prices shot higher in March, given a boost both by a strong economic recovery and year-over-year comparisons to a time when the Covid-19 pandemic was about to throttle the U.S. economy, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. The consumer price index rose 0.6% from the previous month but 2.6% from the same period a year ago. The year over year gain is the highest since August 2018 and was well above the 1.7% recorded in February.

Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, increased 0.3% monthly and 1.6% year over year. While the inflation numbers look high, many economists as well as policymakers at the Federal Reserve expect the increase to be temporary. 

Read more at CNBC

The NFIB Index: Small Business Activity and Sentiment Rose to 98.2 From 95.8

The increase in the headline index was driven economic expectations, up 11 points, and sales expectations, up eight points. The “good time to expand” measure increased by five points. The jobs-hard-to-fill measure rose to a record high, but this is not new data; the numbers were released in the NFIB jobs report back on April 1. The labor market is tight and tightening, though the rebound in hiring and compensation, both planned and actual, is yet to feed through into the official data. 

There was also a disappointing three-point dip in capex plans, which appeared to have stabilized.  The index is now just two points above its pandemic low, and about eight points off its pre-Covid trend. Overall, the survey is less encouraging than the headline jump, and the headline itself remains well below last fall’s level, before the election of President Biden. 

Read more at NFIB

Machine Tool Orders Increase in February

Machine tool orders posted broad gains in February, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology said today.  Orders totaled $377.6 million for the month. That represented an increase of 18 percent from an adjusted $320.6 million in January and a 34 percent gain from $281.3 million in February 2020.

In February, machine tool order gains took place in the oil and gas industries as well as medical equipment, Woods said. For the first two months of 2021, orders totaled $698.2 million, a 22 percent gain from the same period a year earlier. The figures are from companies participating in AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program.

Read more at SME