Daily Briefing – 294

Biden Lays Out Ambitious $1.8 Trillion Spending and Tax Plan

President Joe Biden proposed a sweeping new $1.8 trillion plan in a speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, pleading with Republican lawmakers to work with him on divisive issues and to meet the stiff competition posed by China.

Pushing a vision of more government investment funded by the wealthy, the Democratic president urged Republicans who have so far resolutely opposed him to help pass a wide array of contentious legislation from taxes to police reform to gun control and immigration..


NYS Vaccine Update – All State Mass Sites To Accept Walk-ins Starting Today 4/29

Today, April 29, all New York State mass vaccination sites will be Open to eligible New Yorkers for walk-in vaccination on a first come first serve basis for all. The walk-in appointments are reserved for first doses only with second doses to be scheduled automatically after administration of the initial shot. Additionally, all vaccine providers are encouraged to likewise allow walk-in appointments and for eligible New Yorkers.

As of Tuesday morning 8,994,649 (plus 86,491 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 6,497,373 are fully vaccinated (Plus 134,489).  In the Hudson Valley 957,281 (plus 8,924) have at least one dose and 664,778 (plus 13,925) are fully vaccinated. 


NYS COVID Update – Bar Curfew to End in May

Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that the 12 a.m. food and beverage service curfew will be lifted for outdoor dining areas beginning May 17 and for indoor dining areas beginning May 31.

The Governor  updated COVID data through Tuesday April 27th.  There were 32 COVID related deaths for a total of 41,910 Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.  

Hospitalizations

  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 3,117
  • Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: 321

ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)

  • Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 4,127
  • Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 396

Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:

  • Statewide 2.02%
  • Mid-Hudson: 2.28%

Useful Websites:


US Vaccine Rollout – Majority of States Have Half of Adults Vaccinated

The United States is reporting an average of 2.7 million daily Covid-19 vaccinations over the past week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about equivalent to levels one month ago. Daily reported vaccinations peaked at 3.4 million on April 13.

More than 40% of Americans have received at least one shot, and that figure is roughly 54% for those age 18 and older. Half of the adults are at least partially vaccinated in a majority of states.

Read More at CNBC


Moderna is Working Toward a Single Shot for Both COVID and Flu Protection

Come for the COVID immunization. Stay for protection against the seasonal flu. That’s the goal that Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel has set out for his company, one of the pioneering developers of effective COVID vaccines, which he shared during a discussion at Fortune’s 2021 virtual Brainstorm Health conference on Tuesday.

Bancel said the company hopes to use its messenger RNA (mRNA)-based technology, which can be more adaptable to changing viral strains, to knock out several pathogenic birds with one stone.

Read more at Fortune


At-Home Covid-19 Tests Might Cost Too Much for Regular Use

Many health authorities have been looking forward to the introduction of the fast-acting tests, which people could take at home to see if they are infected. The paper-strip tests also could help curb the spread of the coronavirus, supporters say, if people used them a few times a week.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently cleared over-the-counter sales of two of these rapid at-home screening tests, one from Abbott Laboratories and another from Quidel Corp. Yet it appears the tests will cost consumers at least $20 for a pack of two, which health experts say is probably too pricey for frequent use.

Read more at the WSJ


Fed Holds Interest Rates Near Zero, Sees Faster Growth and Higher Inflation

As expected, the U.S. central bank decided to keep short-term interest rates anchored near zero as it buys at least $120 billion of bonds each month. The latter part of policy is a two-pronged effort to support an economy that grew strongly to start 2021 as well as to support market functioning at a time when 30-year mortgages still go for around 3%.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the recovery is “uneven and far from complete.” While he noted that inflation pressures could rise in the coming months, these “one-time increases in prices are likely to only have transitory effects on inflation.” Powell added that it’s still not time to talk about reducing policy accommodation, including the asset purchases.

Read more at CNBC


U.S. Consumer Confidence Reaches to 14-Month High

U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a 14-month high in April as increased vaccinations against COVID-19 and additional fiscal stimulus allowed for more services businesses to reopen, boosting demand and hiring by companies.

The upbeat survey from the Conference Board on Tuesday, which also showed a strong increase in vacation plans, suggested the economy continued to power ahead early in the second quarter after what appears to have been robust growth in the first three months of the year, believed by many economists to have been the second strongest since 2003. Growth this year is expected to be the best in nearly four decades.

Read more at Reuters


EEOC Sets July Deadline for EEO-1

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that qualifying employers must submit EEO-1 Component 1 data for 2019 and 2020 starting on April 26 with a deadline of July 19. In 2020, the commission decided to postpone collection of 2019 data to this year because of the massive disruptions to the economy that resulted from the Coronavirus pandemic.

The EEO-1, Component 1 form collects workforce data from employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees. These employers are expected to submit demographic information about the race, gender and the ethnicity of members of their workforce, broken down by job category.

Read more at EHS Today


Executive Order on Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors Issued

Jackson Lewis reports that on April 27, 2021 President Biden issued an Executive Order directing the minimum wage for certain federal contractors be increased to $15 per hour.  The Executive Order on Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors states that the minimum wage for certain hourly workers be increased to $15 per hour beginning January 30, 2022.  The Executive Order also dictates that wages for tipped workers be increased to $10.50 per hour, beginning January 30, 2022.

Pursuant to the Executive Order, the Secretary of Labor, “shall, consistent with applicable law, issue regulations by November 24, 2021, to implement the requirements of this order.” As such, we will need to await the regulations before have the full understanding of applicability and implementing obligations.

Read more at Jackson Lewis


Brexit Trade Deal Gets a Final OK From E.U. Parliament

The European Parliament has overwhelmingly backed the post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the European Union, clearing the last hurdle towards its ratification, while expressing clear mistrust of the British government.

EU lawmakers cleared the trade and cooperation agreement (TCA) by 660 votes to five, with 32 abstentions, the parliament announced on Wednesday, a day after the vote. Parliament’s consent brings to an end over four years of acrimonious negotiations and debate as Britain ended 47 years of EU membership, but mistrust lingers.

Read more at Reuters


Boeing Posts its Sixth Quarterly Loss in a Row

In its first-quarter 2021 earnings, the aerospace manufacturer revealed a net loss of $561 million or $0.92 per share, its sixth consecutive quarterly loss. Boeing’s loss from operations was $83 million, its operating margin was -0.5%, and its operating cash flow was negative $3.4 billion.

According to Boeing, the loss was mainly driven by lower deliveries of the company’s 787 jet, partially offset by more deliveries of the company’s 737. The company delivered 77 planes in the first quarter for $4.3 billion in revenue, but lost $856 million in operating costs to deliver an operating margin of -20.1%.

Read more at IndustryWeek


 

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