Germany Reports Biggest COVID-19 Tally In 3 Months As Outbreak Spreads “All Over The Country”: Live Updates

Germany Reports Biggest COVID-19 Tally In 3 Months As Outbreak Spreads “All Over The Country”: Live Updates

Tyler Durden

Thu, 08/13/2020 – 07:55

Summary:

  • Germany sees new cases hit 3-month high
  • 6% of England has been infected
  • Rural Indians grow weary of wearing masks
  • Philippines joins Brazil, UAE etc in planning Russian vaccine trials
  • South Korea sees cases hit 1-month high
  • Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine produces “immune response” in test subjects

* * *

As schools reopen in Berlin and elsewhere, Germany has reported another day of 1,000+ COVID-19 cases and the biggest single-day reading in three months, with the health minister warning of outbreaks across the country, blaming the spread on partiers and holiday travelers.

In the country of 83 million, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases climbed by 1,226 to 218,519, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute. That’s the biggest daily increase since May 9. Meanwhile, the number of deaths remained relatively low, increasing by six to a total of 9,207.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state governments decided in May to start gradually easing coronavirus restrictions, a balancing act to allow public life and business activity to recover while trying to keep the infection rate low. Though the rate remains low relative to the US and other countries struggling with raging outbreaks, keeping cases at a manageable level requires a careful balancing act.

“This is, no doubt, very worrying,” said Health Minister Jens Spahn during an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio. He added that Germans must remain “very cautious” to avoid spread of the virus.

The fate of the European economy could very well hinge on a V-shaped rebound that economists say might be possible if another round of damaging lockdowns can be avoided. In Spain and the UK, local measures have been favored, like ‘partial lockdowns’ in parts of Manchester and in Catalonia, efforts that the WHO has applauded.

In other news out of Europe, the FT reports that roughly 6% of people in England have been infected already, which is roughly 1/10th of the minimum level of penetration experts believe would be necessary for ‘herd immunity’ to slow the virus.

About 6% of people in England had the virus by the end of June, equating to roughly 3.4 million, a study by Imperial College London found. London was found to have the highest rate of infection in the UK, at 13%, while the South West had the lowest, at 3%. The findings were part of the REACT study, commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care.

That study incorporated antibody test results from more than 100,000 Britons. The data was roughly in line with surveillance data published by the ONS, which showed that 6.8% of people in England received antibody tests. In Black, Asian and minority ethnic people were 2-3x as likely to have had the virus than white people.

Early data from trials of three potential vaccines showed promise of fighting COVID-19 without serious side effects, while leaders in the United States and European Union pushed for massive stimulus to cushion the economic blow from the pandemic. Coronavirus cases in Spain have risen three-fold over the last three weeks as authorities struggle to contain a rash of fresh clusters. Sweden is changing its contact tracing guidelines to make more of the information gathered self-reported by the infected.

In India, where antibody testing run in the slums has, in at least a few instances, turned up positivity levels north of 50%, many in rural areas, where the virus has largely died out, are growing weary of social distancing requirements like wearing masks, creating a parallel to the mask debate in the US.

In two dozen small towns and villages visited by Reuters reporters in recent weeks, people have largely given up on social distancing and masks after months of sticking to the rules, believing the virus is not such a serious threat.

Here’s more from Reuters:

Harmahan Deka doesn’t wear a mask anymore to avoid the novel coronavirus nor does he try to keep a safe distance from others.

For the 25 men and women he works with in his construction materials business near the small town of Baihata Chariali in India’s Assam state, life is more or less as it used to be, Deka says.

“The virus can’t attack me, it’s weakened,” the 50-year-old diabetic said. “I often hang out at a busy neighbourhood grocery store – without masks, nothing. Both the store owner and I are fine. Maybe we’ve had it already without symptoms.”

In two dozen small towns and villages visited by Reuters reporters in recent weeks, people have largely given up on social distancing and masks after months of sticking to the rules, believing the virus is not such a serious threat.

Though incidence rates are low, the virus remains a threat, and the poor health infrastructure in the countryside makes following social distancing rules all the more critical, the public health officials said.

The change in behaviour in rural India – where two-thirds of its 1.3 billion people live, often with only the most basic health facilities – has come as infections in the countryside have surged.

Health officials are exasperated.

“Sometimes people take it too lightly, as if nothing will happen to them just because they’re breathing fresh air and eating fresh vegetables,” said Rajni Kant, a member of a rapid response team of the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) set up to fight the pandemic.

“Health infrastructure is poor in rural areas, that’s why they have to strictly follow social distancing norms, wear masks, avoid crowded areas and keep washing hands. Otherwise they’ll suffer.”

As we reported earlier, the Philippines has joined a growing list of countries preparing to hold clinical trials for the Russia-approved COVID-19 vaccine developed by the world-renowned Gameleya Institute. As news about the Russian vaccine dominated headlines this week, the usual patter of updates from Western companies working on their own candidates has continued. Here’s a rundown of some recent vax news courtesy of Reuters:

  • An experimental vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University against the new coronavirus produced an immune response in early-stage clinical trials.
  • German biotech BioNTech and U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc said data from an early-stage trial of their experimental coronavirus vaccine showed that it prompted an immune response and was well-tolerated.
  • A vaccine developed by CanSino Biologics Inc and China’s military research unit has shown to be safe and induced immune responses in most of the recipients who got one shot.

Finally, moving east, China and Hong Kong have seen infection numbers continue to decline following flareups earlier this month, but in South Korea, health officials reported 47 new locally transmitted cases, a one-month high amid concerns about a new batch of potential clusters.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2CojA6p Tyler Durden

“A Vaccine Or Nothing” – Philippines Plans Russian Vaccine Trials To Begin In October

“A Vaccine Or Nothing” – Philippines Plans Russian Vaccine Trials To Begin In October

Tyler Durden

Thu, 08/13/2020 – 07:00

A couple of days after Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte volunteered to take a test dose of the Russia-approved vaccine (after President Vladimir Putin claimed one of his two adult daughters received a course of the vaccine during “the experiment”), the Philippines has officially agreed to run clinical trials of “Sputnik V”, and if successful, it would be registered for use within the country by April 2021.

A spokesman for Duterte said on Thursday that trials would begin in October and, if they were successful, the “Sputnik V” vaccine would be registered for public use by April or May 2021, according to the FT.

This, even after Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the FDA who quit to “spend more time with family” just months before the outbreak began (thereby missing out on the star turn of a lifetime), said on CNBC that he “wouldn’t take it”, referring to the Russian vaccine, explaining that the “adenovirus vector” favored by the Ruskies is similar to CanSino’s candidate, which, Gottlieb claimed, hasn’t produced much promising data.

However, that technology is also being used by the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca partnership, which recently published some promising data that inspired a market rally. On the surface, this might seem to validate claims that “Russia-backed” hackers stole UK vaccine research.

Though he will need to wait until the spring, according to his spokesman Harry Roque, Duterte will indeed be one of the first injected with the vaccine in the country: “It’s not a metaphorical statement,” said Mr Roque in an online briefing with journalists. “He is willing to undergo it.”

Pundits told the FT that, as the country’s outbreak roars back amid economic reopenings ordered by Duterte, which inspired him to revive restrictive lockdowns in the capital, Manila, it’s clear his strategy is to bring a vaccine to market as quickly as possible.

“I think Duterte’s strategy is a vaccine or nothing,” said Richard Heydarian, a political analyst and author of a book on the leader. “This guy has gone from typical populist dismissiveness toward the crisis to becoming one of the world’s biggest supporters of lockdowns.”

To be sure, the advent of the vaccine in the Philippines will likely be met with a mix of skepticism and hope, since the country has a history of being burned by vaccines: As the FT points out, the country suspended Sanofi’s Dengvaxia dengue vaccine in 2018 after Philippines officials connected it to a spate of illnesses and deaths, even as Sanofi has insisted that the vaccine is “safe”.

Russian doctors and teachers start getting vaccinated, advanced trials are set to start Wednesday that will involve “several thousand people” and span several countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and possibly Brazil.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3fVuFcN Tyler Durden

Failure To Reach Deal On Federal Stimulus Plan Risks Consumer Spending Recession

Failure To Reach Deal On Federal Stimulus Plan Risks Consumer Spending Recession

Tyler Durden

Thu, 08/13/2020 – 06:00

Submitted by Joseph Carson, former chief economist at AllianceBernstein

Failure to reach a compromise on a broad federal stimulus plan creates a big “hole” in consumer’s cash flow. The “hole” is so big it raises the risk of substantial reduction, if not a recession, in consumer spending in the coming months.

Record Federal Stimulus In Q2

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), special federal payments to individuals (and small businesses) in Q2 totaled more than $ 3.2 trillion annualized. That boost to personal income resulted in a 7% quarterly gain in Q2, wiping out what would have been a 10% reduction based on record job losses, and reduction in hours worked and pay.

Included in those numbers are the direct stimulus payments to people, a weekly supplemental payment for unemployment, expanded unemployment payments to individuals who are not usually eligible for unemployment, forgivable loans to small businesses and non-profits to help cover payroll and other expenses, suspension of reimbursements paid to Medicare and suspension of interest payments on federally held student loans.

In Q2, the special federal payments to people (including small businesses) amounted to 25% of wage and salary income earned in the quarter. In other words, for every $4 of wage and salary income, people working and idled (and small business owners) received another $1 from the federal government.

According to the payroll employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 133.7 million people employed in Q2. That means the record federal stimulus payments were the equivalent of 33 million jobs.

The abrupt and sharp loss of income has not been lost on economic experts, even those that occupy the White House. Fearing a sharp drop in spending due to the loss of record federal stimulus payments the Administration’s economic team recommended the president sign executive orders to provide a temporary extension but smaller scale of unemployment compensation and a three month holiday in payroll taxes.

This band-aid plan is too small to fill the “holes” and also too slow in getting monies to people fast. That’s because the additional unemployment program will take several weeks to set-up and also require states to pay for one-fourth of the plan. But most states don’t have the monies to comply so some unemployed people might not see any benefit at all.

Businesses are undecided on the payroll tax holiday. That’s because it will be difficult for them to implement since it only applies to part of their workforce, and it needs to be repaid at some point in 2021. As a result, many companies may opt-out, resulting in little or no short-term boost to consumer cash flow.

With each passing day, failure of Congress and the Administration to reach a deal on the federal stimulus plan raises the risk of a hard fall in consumer spending. Millions of people have not paid rent or mortgages over the last few months and the federal stimulus payments offered them a short-term “lifeline” just to sustain minimum household spending.

I have never been a believer in double-dip recessions. But the sharp drop in consumer income may make it a reality for investors.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/2PKVAxg Tyler Durden

Mnuchin Begs For Coins Amid Shortage; Avoid Depositing These Pennies

Mnuchin Begs For Coins Amid Shortage; Avoid Depositing These Pennies

Tyler Durden

Thu, 08/13/2020 – 05:30

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin urged his Twitter followers on Tuesday to swap out their spare coins for cash at banks amid a continuing nationwide coin shortage that appears to be worsening. 

If you have extra coins at home, please use them to make purchases— or deposit them at the bank or exchange them for cash. Help get coins moving! 🇺🇸

— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) August 11, 2020

There’s currently a shortage of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which led the Federal Reserve to start rationing coins in June. 

Community banks have asked customers to deposit spare change to pump more coins into circulation. Because of the shortage, major retailers have told consumers to pay in cards or exact change. 

“Until coin circulation patterns return to normal, it may be more difficult for retailers and small businesses to accept cash payments,” the US Mint said in late July. “For millions of Americans, cash is the only form of payment and cash transactions rely on coins to make change.”

Now, before readers start rummaging through their homes, underneath sofa cushions, and under car seats for spare coins to help the country in these challenging times, there are certain coins in circulation that are worth more in scrap than face value. 

According to Coinflation.com, pennies from 1909-1982 are approximately 95% copper and have a metal value of about $0.0185. In this instance, once could almost double their money if they took these pennies to a scrapper than the bank. Here’s the complete list of what coins are worth in terms of face value versus metal value. 

Another coin to watch is the nickel. It has been nine years since Kyle Bass first suggested the ‘nickel trade’, and the metal value is about 82% of face value. Though the trade is underwater, it’s not far off from the face value breakeven when considering other coins in circulation. 

While Bass’ nickel trade underperforms, readers should think twice before depositing pennies from 1909-1982 at the bank because they’re worth way more in scrap. 

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3fUnn9g Tyler Durden

Ben & Jerry’s Receives Backlash For Demanding UK Accept More Illegal Boat Migrants

Ben & Jerry’s Receives Backlash For Demanding UK Accept More Illegal Boat Migrants

Tyler Durden

Thu, 08/13/2020 – 05:00

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Woke ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry’s received a backlash after demanding that the UK accept more illegal boat migrants in yet another example of a corporation trying to push its far-left political agenda.

The company drew attention to the increasingly alarming situation on the south coast of England, where around 4,000 migrants have arrived illegally by boat in 2020 so far.

Having paid off criminal people smugglers, the migrants are given a de facto taxi service by UK border authorities to the mainland and put up in hotels at taxpayer expense.

“Hey @PritiPatel we think the real crisis is our lack of humanity for people fleeing war, climate change and torture. We pulled together a thread for you,” tweeted the company.

“People wouldn’t make dangerous journeys if they had any other choice. The UK hasn’t resettled any refugees since March, but wars and violence continue. What we need is more safe and legal routes,” Ben & Jerry’s said in a follow up tweet.

That’s interesting because last time I checked, France, the country from which the migrants are traveling to England is not currently at war with anyone and doesn’t torture refugees.

Broadcaster Andrew Neil shot back by pointing out that Ben & Jerry’s is owned by Unilever, a “massive global conglomerate” that has been accused of not paying its taxes.

Author Douglas Murray reminded the company that they should probably pay more attention to the fact that weed killer was found in their ice cream.

Another respondent clarified the fact that the “refugees” are not fleeing from war, they are economic migrants trying to take advantage of the UK’s generous benefits system.

Aside from migrants being routinely overrepresented in violent crime and rape statistics, numerous Islamic terrorists have exploited the refugee wave in order to reach Europe and carry out deadly attacks.

Salman Abedi was rescued from the civil war in Libya in August 2014 by the British Royal Navy. He went on to blow himself up at an Ariana Grande concert being held at the Manchester Arena, killing 23 people and wounding 139, more than half of them children.

The majority of the Paris massacre jihadists also arrived in Europe via the refugee wave, including one who was carrying a Syrian passport and was “embedded in the current wave of Syrian war refugees.”

Suffice to say, Ben & Jerry’s didn’t address any of that in their series of woke, virtue signaling tweets.

* * *

My voice is being silenced by free speech-hating Silicon Valley behemoths who want me disappeared forever. It is CRUCIAL that you support me. Please sign up for the free newsletter here. Donate to me on SubscribeStar here. Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown.

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3kFvhXs Tyler Durden

Brickbat: Surely You Can’t Be Serious

tinyplane_1161x653

Poltimore Arms pub owner Steve Cotten in Exmoor, England, recently announced (as a joke) he was turning his beer garden into an international airport. In fact, he had hired the owner of a micro-light airplane to take customers on flights over the village, taking off and landing from a nearby field. But when local planning officials heard Cotten’s announcement they didn’t think it was funny. They sent him a letter asking him to clarify his plans to see if there were any violations of local planning rules.

from Latest – Reason.com https://ift.tt/2DNM8a3
via IFTTT

Brickbat: Surely You Can’t Be Serious

tinyplane_1161x653

Poltimore Arms pub owner Steve Cotten in Exmoor, England, recently announced (as a joke) he was turning his beer garden into an international airport. In fact, he had hired the owner of a micro-light airplane to take customers on flights over the village, taking off and landing from a nearby field. But when local planning officials heard Cotten’s announcement they didn’t think it was funny. They sent him a letter asking him to clarify his plans to see if there were any violations of local planning rules.

from Latest – Reason.com https://ift.tt/2DNM8a3
via IFTTT

UK’s First Socially Distanced Concert Has Fans Sitting In Metal Boxes 

UK’s First Socially Distanced Concert Has Fans Sitting In Metal Boxes 

Tyler Durden

Thu, 08/13/2020 – 04:15

Concert-goers at Gosforth Park, in the city of Newcastle, England, attended the country’s first large-scale socially distanced outdoor show of the year. 

Sam Fender, an English singer, headlined the song “Hypersonic Missiles” in Gosforth Park, home of Newcastle Racecourse on Tuesday (Aug. 11). 

When fans arrived, the park was lined with 500 mini enclosures, kept apart at about 6.5 feet. Each pen was enough for five people to sit but barely any room for standing or a beer cooler.

Organized by Virgin Money and SSD Concerts, the entire layout of the concert space had to be reworked to meet strict social distancing regulations. For instance, fans preordered food and drink from concession stands to avoid lines.

SSD Concerts boss Steve Davis told BBC News that the platforms gave “a great view of the stage.” 

“As you can see it’s a vast site – 45,000 sq metres, the equivalent of over six football pitches, which is crazy,” he said.

“On a normal day you can get 45,000 people in here, but our capacity for the gigs will be 2,500.

“We’ve also got lots more toilets than we would usually have for normal festivals to keep people apart.

“Hopefully groups together on their platforms in their own bubbles will have a good time and still get the vibe of a really good concert experience.”

BBC notes 2,500 tickets to the event were sold out in ten minutes as concert-goers have seen many of their favorite shows canceled this year.

However, a small concert was held last month with 200 Frank Turner fans at Clapham Grand in London. 

Still, life, as we know it, is far from returning back to normal. As for moshing pits, well, that could be a thing of the past in a post-pandemic world. 

via ZeroHedge News https://ift.tt/3gVe61T Tyler Durden