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Daily Briefing – 382

Post: Sep. 28, 2021

83,000 Hospital Workers Could be Fired as New York COVID Vaccine Mandate Goes Into Effect

New York’s state mandate ordering health care workers to get the COVID vaccine went into effect Monday at midnight. Some hospital networks including Northwell Health have already fired more than two dozen health care workers. Others will have 30 days to get a COVID vaccine or lose their jobs. Officials say 16% of the state’s hospital workers are not fully vaccinated, which means more than 83,000 are at risk of termination.

Steven Corwin, the president and CEO at New York-Presbyterian Hospitals, one of the largest systems in the country, said he believes a mandate is needed to get everyone fully vaccinated. Before its own vaccination deadline last week, 30% of staff were unvaccinated. But after the deadline, less than 1% refused the shot and resigned.  At Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, about 5% of the staff, roughly 400 people, are unvaccinated and on leave.

Read more at CBSNews

Yellen: Three Weeks Before US Expected to Default on Debt

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned congressional leaders of both parties on Tuesday that lawmakers have until Oct. 18 to raise or suspend the debt limit before the United States is expected to default on the national debt. In recent days, Democrats have sought to tackle the debt limit via a continuing resolution to fund the government ahead of a Thursday deadline to avert a shutdown.

The legislation passed last week in the House, where Democrats hold a razor-thin majority. It failed in the evenly split Senate on Monday evening however, after Republicans followed through on their threat to block the legislation  amid a high-stakes standoff with Democrats. Frustrations are stewing over a $3.5 trillion package Democrats aim to pass using reconciliation, a procedure that will allow them to bypass the Senate GOP filibuster.

Read more at The Hill

Inflation Expectations Continue to Move Up

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data released the August 2021 Survey of Consumer Expectations, which shows that short- and medium-term inflation expectations rose to new series highs. Home price growth expectations continued to moderate in August but remain elevated.  Perceptions about households’ current financial situations improved and income growth expectations rose to a new series high.  

Median one-year-ahead inflation expectations increased by 0.3 percentage point to 5.2% in August, the tenth consecutive monthly increase and a new series high. Median inflation expectations at the three-year horizon also increased by 0.3 percentage point to a new series high of 4.0%. Both increases were broad based across age and income groups.

Read the main findings at the NY Fed

US to Press for Semiconductor Relief at EU Tech Meeting

The United States will use this week’s inaugural technology ministerial with the European Union to push for solutions to the nagging semiconductor supply issue that has hit the American economy, officials said Monday. But the Trade and Technology Council meeting Wednesday and Thursday also is an opportunity for Washington to press EU governments to join forces to deal with the problems posed by China’s trade practices.

The chip shortage due to manufacturing snags has had a massive impact on the U.S. economy, hindering auto production and driving prices higher. The White House last week held its third meeting with semiconductor industry executives to try to ease the current chip crunch as well as to work on longer term solutions.

Read more at IndustryWeek

US COVID-19 Update – Biden Receives Covid-19 Booster Shot

President Biden received a booster shot of the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday and appealed to unvaccinated Americans to protect themselves against the virus. “Boosters are important,” Mr. Biden said. “But the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated. The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing,” 

Mr. Biden received the shot days after the Food and Drug Administration cleared a booster developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE for people 65 and older and certain other adults at high risk of severe illness. The decision was also backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more at The WSJ

NYS Vaccine and COVID Update 

Vaccine Stats as of Tuesday September 28th:

One Vaccine Dose 

  • 71.0 of all New Yorkers – 13,788,7071 (plus 19,276 from a day earlier) 
  • In the Hudson Valley 1,448,774 (plus 1,847) 

Fully Vaccinated

  • 63.5% of all New Yorkers – 12,349,522 are fully vaccinated (Plus 14,333)
  • In the Hudson Valley – 1,284,389 (plus 1,465) are fully vaccinated. 

The Governor  updated COVID data through Monday September 27th.  There were 31 COVID related deaths for a total of 56,674.


  • Patients Currently in Hospital statewide: 2,363.

Seven Day Average Positivity Rate:

  • Statewide 2.65%
  • Mid-Hudson: 2.76%

Useful Websites:

Pfizer Submits Data for COVID-19 Vaccine Use in Younger Kids

Pfizer Inc and on Tuesday submitted initial trial data for their COVID-19 vaccine in 5-11 year olds and said they would make a formal request with U.S. regulators for emergency use in the coming weeks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said earlier this month it would look to complete its data review for this age group as quickly as possible, likely in a matter of weeks rather than months. That could mean an authorization of the shot for children by the end of October, sources have told Reuters.

The companies said their two-dose vaccine generated an immune response in the 5-to-11 year olds in a Phase II/III clinical trial that matched what was previously observed in 16-to-25 year olds. The safety profile was also generally comparable to the older age group, they added.

Read more at Reuters

Almost Half of Organizations Will Institute Vaccine Mandates, Says Gartner Study

On September 15, 2021, Gartner polled 272 legal, compliance and HR executives following new federal guidance on vaccine mandates for health workers and updated OSHA regulations on vaccine and testing requirements for employees.  Almost half ( 46%) of organizations now plan to institute a vaccine mandate where legally permissible, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc.

“The new federal guidance, as well as the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta wave, have combined to shift executive opinion on vaccine mandates significantly since the beginning of the year,” said Chris Audet, senior director, research, in the Gartner Legal & Compliance practice. “It is likely that we will see a clear majority of firms instituting mandates of some kind by the end of the year, considering that 36% of respondents are still unsure of their organization’s plans.”

Read more at EHS Today

Fewest Number Of Americans Getting COVID Shot Since Tracking Started

The daily pace of new Covid-19 vaccinations in the United States is the lowest it has been since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started tracking it in mid-January, data shows. The seven-day average rate of people getting their first shot is 231,695, 31% less than last week, almost half — 47% — less than a month earlier — and a far cry from the millions a day the country saw in April.

It’s not that there’s now a lack of people who are not immunized: Sixteen states have yet to vaccinate more than half of their residents, according to the CDC data, and almost 25% of the eligible population — about 70 million people — are not vaccinated. Just over 55% of the total US population is fully vaccinated. The number of people eligible to get a vaccine may soon be widening, though, and could boost the overall number.

Read more at CNN

Survey Shows Growing Momentum for Vaccine Mandates

More than half of U.S. employers, 54%, already have a COVID-19 vaccine mandate or are strongly considering one, according to a recent survey by McGriff, a subsidiary of Truist Insurance Holdings Inc.

More than a third, 36%, of companies still considering a mandate at the time of the Sept. 1 survey said that a significant increase in COVID-19 medical claims costs among non-vaccinated employees would be the most likely reason to move forward with a mandate.

Read more at Business Insurance

Ford Invests in EV With Four New Factories in Tennessee and Kentucky

Ford Motor Co.  plans to build its first new U.S. assembly plant in decades, along with three battery factories, to fortify its push into electric vehicles as the industry accelerates green-tech investments. The auto maker said Monday that it would build two battery factories in Kentucky and a third in western Tennessee alongside a new truck factory set to begin producing electric F-series pickups by 2025.

Ford  expects to spend $7 billion on the project—the largest manufacturing investment in its history—and collaborate with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation to construct the battery facilities.

Read more at the WSJ

GM’s Commercial EV Unit to Expand Vehicle Lineup

General Motors Co said on Tuesday its BrightDrop electric commercial vehicle business will add a second delivery van to its lineup in 2023 and has agreed to supply that vehicle to Verizon Communications Inc.

GM said the medium-sized EV410, aimed at a segment that includes grocery, telecommunications and other service providers that require smaller vehicles, will be built starting in the second half of 2023 at the company’s CAMI assembly plant in Canada. The Ingersoll, Ontario, plant will start building the larger EV600 van in November 2022.

Read more at Yahoo News

The Economist: Why the Head of the IMF Should Resign

A new investigation has found that IMF staff improperly altered the scores of China and three other countries. They wanted to spare China an embarrassing fall in the rankings in 2017, just as its reforms were gathering steam. According to the investigation, the China tweaks were carried out at the behest of the bank’s then president, Jim Yong Kim, and his second-in-command, Kristalina Georgieva, who is now head of the IMF.

In her defense, it was her boss who initiated the extra tire-kicking. She had the higher motive of strengthening multilateralism. Scope for discretion had crept into the Doing Business indicators as they grew more elaborate over time. And a senior researcher assured her he could “live” with the revised report. But although Ms. Georgieva deserves sympathy, the episode does not sit easily with her present role at the IMF. The fund has an influential research department of its own. It is also the custodian of data standards for the world’s macroeconomic statistics.

Read more at The Economist

The Emerging Global Energy Shortage – What You Need to Know

There is a worrying shortage of energy from Europe to Asia, caused by supply restraints from the world’s top producers, and that’s poised to shutter factories and boost power bills. While there is no single reason for the shortage — things like customer demand, technical problems and a lack of investment are all playing a part — the crisis is threatening to spread to more nations and upend the global economic recovery.

The crisis has forced some fertilizer producers in Europe to reduce output, while Chinese power grids are rationing supplies to factories, which will curb production. What’s worrying is that it isn’t even cold yet. Energy consumption usually peaks when frigid temperatures boost demand for heating. Already, China is looking to adopt measures to try to cool sky-high coal prices and ease its own power shortage, while utilities around the world are working tirelessly to try to secure more fuel supplies.

Read more at Bloomberg

Retention Starts with Knowing What Employees Want Most

Working remotely has led to new insights about what is required to experience job satisfaction and life fulfillment. Spoiler alert: It’s not about more money. People are yearning to achieve a deeper level of meaning in their lives, some of which comes from doing work that’s inextricably linked to their sense of self.

With worker fatigue and restlessness rising, the conundrum of how to keep individuals engaged is likely plaguing you, as it is many leaders, but progress in the field of relationship psychology offers some valuable insights. Psychologists have created a self-expansion model that reveals the motivations and sources of engagement that can be leveraged to drive employee commitment and retention.

Read more at the SmartBrief on Leadership