Biden Tax Increases Face Scrutiny
Democrats in Congress are showing some reluctance to embrace President Biden’s proposed tax increases. Biden’s proposal to increase the corporate tax to 28% from 21% hit a roadblock early on, with moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia saying he preferred 25%. Another element—a dramatic hike in the capital gains tax, especially for the wealthy at the time they inherit assets—has recently been subject to potential easing, with the staff of House Ways and Means Committee Richard Neal floating options
The NAM is closely tracking tax proposals that would hurt manufacturers and at the same time advocating for the preservation of the 2017 tax reform law. A recent study conducted by Rice University economists for the NAM found that hiking the corporate tax rate to 25%, along with other tax changes, would lead to 1 million lost jobs in the first two years.
New York City Schools Will Fully Reopen With No Remote Option This Fall
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is promising a full reopening of the nation’s largest public school system in September. That means in person, five days a week, with no remote option for students to attend school exclusively online.
De Blasio’s announcement comes a week after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced there would be no remote option for that state’s public school students come September. But questions remain about how New York City will be able to accommodate 100% of its public school students in person. Some administrators worry there won’t be enough space to fit all students in classrooms under current social distancing requirements. At a City Council hearing last week, officials testified that all but 10% of the city’s public schools could fit their students into classrooms 3 or more feet apart.
Moderna: Vaccine is 100% Effective in Teens,Will Seek FDA OK in Early June
Moderna said Tuesday its Covid-19 vaccine was 100% effective in a study of adolescents ages 12 to 17, making it the second shot behind Pfizer’s to demonstrate high efficacy in younger age groups.
The company said it plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration to expand the emergency use of its Covid vaccine for teens early next month. If approved, it would likely dramatically expand the number of shots available to middle and high school students ahead of the next school year. Pfizer and German partner BioNTech were cleared to use their vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds earlier this month.
The Wuhan Lab Leak —A Disused Mine Takes Center Stage
In April 2012, six miners here fell sick with a mysterious illness after entering the mine to clear bat guano. Three of them died. Chinese scientists from the Wuhan Institute of Virology were called in to investigate and, after taking samples from bats in the mine, identified several new coronaviruses.
Now, unanswered questions about the miners’ illness, the viruses found at the site and the research done with them have elevated into the mainstream an idea once dismissed as a conspiracy theory: that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, might have leaked from a lab in Wuhan, the city where the first cases were found in December 2019.
US Vaccine Rollout – Daily Doses Inches Back Up
After more than a month of decline, the daily doses administered has increased for 5 consecutive days, back up to 1.7 million doses per day. The increase over the past several days is due to an increase in the number of first doses administered—up from 554,890 individuals per day on May 12 to 882,463 on May 19, an increase of nearly 60% over that period. Approximately 953,000 people are achieving fully vaccinated status per day, down from a high of 1.8 million per day on April 12. If this level of interest is sustained from the first to the second dose, we could expect to see an increase in the number of fully vaccinated individuals each day starting in the next 2-3 weeks, once second doses are administered.
A total of 164 million individuals in the US have received at least 1 dose of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, equivalent to 49% of the entire US population. Among adults, 62% have received at least 1 dose, and 5.2 million adolescents aged 12-17 years have received at least 1 dose. A total of 131 million people are fully vaccinated, which corresponds to 39% of the total population. .
NYS Vaccine Update – Free Park Passes New Yorkers Vaccinated This Week
As of Tuesday morning 10,443,771 (plus 45,993 from a day earlier) New Yorkers have received at least one vaccine dose and 8,836,127 are fully vaccinated (Plus 49,432). In the Hudson Valley 1,110,114 (plus 6,080) have at least one dose and 927,483 (plus 6,600) are fully vaccinated.
NYS COVID Update
The Governor updated COVID data through Monday May 22nd. There were 16 COVID related deaths for a total of 42,624. Hospitalization tracking data for the Mid-Hudson region and the rest of the State are below.
- Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 1,357
- Hospitalizations Mid-Hudson Region: Not Reported
ICU Beds In Use (All Uses)
- Occupied ICU Beds Statewide: 3,740
- Occupied ICU Beds Mid-Hudson Region: 352
Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:
- Statewide 0.89%
- Mid-Hudson: 0.79%
- Read the press release
- See the School Districts Dashboard
- See the SUNY Dashboard
- State Vaccine Information Site
NAM Manufacturing Town Hall on New CDC Vaccine Guidance
Please join the NAM this Thursday May 27 at 11am EST for a town hall discussion on the new CDC guidance for vaccinated individuals.
While the news that vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks or social distance in most circumstances illustrates positive movement in our efforts to defeat COVID-19, it is raising difficult and important questions for manufacturing workplaces. We understand companies are currently deliberating changes to operations based on state and local mandates and guidance from CDC, OSHA and the EEOC. This town hall will be an opportunity for NAM members to hear how other manufacturing companies are responding to the new guidance.
AstraZeneca, Pfizer Vaccines are Effective Against Indian Variant
A British study showed AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccines to be effective against the so-called Indian strain of COVID-19. Already-administered vaccinations should mean around a third of people in the U.K. are already protected against this new variant, according to the government.
Public Health England’s new study revealed that two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine provided 88% effectiveness against the B.1.617.2 variant, commonly known as the Indian variant.
Employees Report Their Mental Health is Improving
In a May 2021 study of 2,000 employed adults in the U.S, entitled ” Travelers Mental Wellness Checkup,” a large percentage, 73%, described their mental health as being good or excellent. This was up from 67% in the early months of the pandemic.
Part of the reason for these better numbers is based on the support employees felt from their employers:
- About one in three workers who said their employer provides more than enough mental health resources also stated that loyalty to their employer increased (33%) compared to before the pandemic.
- And 30% said their ability to manage stress improved (30%) compared to before the pandemic due to available resources.
CDC Study: Disparities in COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage Between Urban and Rural Counties
COVID-19 vaccination coverage was lower in rural counties (38.9%) than in urban counties (45.7%); and disparities persisted among age groups and by sex according to a CDC Study conducted between December 2020 and April 2021.
Disparities in COVID-19 vaccination access and coverage between urban and rural communities can hinder progress toward ending the pandemic. Public health practitioners should collaborate with health care providers, pharmacies, employers, faith leaders, and other community partners to identify and address barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in rural areas.
Allegiant Adds Savannah Service To and From Stweart
Allegiant Air starts operating flights between New York Stewart International Airport and Savannah, Georgia effective this Wednesday. Flights were to begin in 2020 but were delayed because of the pandemic. Service will be non-stop to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.
Allegiant was the only airline serving Stewart that continued service all through the pandemic and that deserves special recognition, said Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus. On June 13, Allegiant will be adding another Florida city to its Stewart routes with flights to Destin-Forth Walton Beach Airport. They already fly to Orlando-Sanford, Tampa-St. Pete, and Punta Gorda-Ft. Myers. Allegiant also flies from Stewart to Myrtle Beach.
CDC Study 2 – Spread Lower in Schools With Improved Ventilation
COVID-19 incidence was 37% lower in schools that required teachers and staff members to use masks and 39% lower in schools that improved ventilation. Ventilation strategies associated with lower school incidence included dilution methods alone (35% lower incidence) or in combination with filtration methods (48% lower incidence).
Mask requirements for teachers and staff members and improved ventilation are important strategies in addition to vaccination of teachers and staff members that elementary schools could implement as part of a multicomponent approach to provide safer, in-person learning environments.