Wednesday turns out to be much more of the same as we’ve been seeing the past few weeks. America’s social distancing efforts are just now coming into full force across the nation, so it’s unlikely we’ll know just how effective that was for a week or two.
Meanwhile, we are, or we all should be hunkered down in our apartments. The government says there’s plenty of food to go around, but there are many anecdotes about grocery stores being plucked empty. Generally the stores are restocked fairly quickly, but as more and more people start feeling the gravity of the situation—and the situation becomes more dire, there will be waves of runs on stores like this.
Today I went for a 4 mile jog in Central Park and saw quite a few people out exercising and walking their dogs, although not nearly at the same level of two days ago. I only left my home to run a short errand this afternoon and while there are noticeably less people on the street, there is no lacking for people on the sidewalks and buying food or wine for carry out from local restaurants and stores.
These are global, top-line numbers, breakdown for the US and China are here.
We continue to see small European nations like San Marino, Liechtenstein, and Andorra see abnormally high numbers of new cases for their small populations. Those nations saw 512, 318, and 297 new infections per million residents respectively.
Larger European nations are also seeing high relative growth, but not as extreme. Luxembourg saw 108 NIPMC, Iceland (74), Spain saw 2,500 new cases and had a NIPMC of 53. Italy saw another 3,500 new cases and thus had 58 per million citizens.
Germany (12), Norway (20), Iran (12), UK (10).
Yesterday, the United States went from 3 to 4 infections per million citizens. Today we’ve hit 5.8 due to 1,822 new infections.
Today President Trump said he will invoke the Defense Production Act.
The Defense Production Act was passed in 1950 in response to the Korean War.
First the Airlines said they needed a $50B bailout. Now the restaurant industry said it requires $455B of aid to stay in business.
The Airlines begging for money at this moment is especially rich. They’ve squeezed every last drop out of airline travelers over the past decade and used 96% of those profits on stock buybacks!.
That’s a fancy way of saying that they artificially inflated their stock price by dumping giant bags of money on people who own a lot of their stock.
And yet we have the President, ready to immediately open the money spigot.
Generally these bailouts benefit only the top shareholders, who are unimaginably wealthy to begin with. Mark Cuban has called on the Government to insist that any buybacks ensure all employees of the bailed out corporations are treated equally.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported that three technicians who worked at the air traffic control tower at Chicago’s Midway Airport tested positive for COVID-19. The tower is currently being sanitized, but in the meantime, many flights into Midway have been canceled.
The United States and Canada announced today that the entire border would be close to “non-essential travel”. The restriction applies to all 50 states.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said Wednesday morning that President Trump had agreed to dispatch a 1,000-bed hospital ship to New York Harbor as the state struggles to deal with a stark jump in coronavirus cases.
Pressure increased this week on the Olympics to cancel the 2020 games:
With athletes and spectators coming from around the world, the Olympics could become a dystopic coronavirus hot zone. As a Stanford University infectious disease specialist, Yvonne Maldonado, put it, with the Olympics, “You bring a lot of people together, and then you ship them back all over the world: That’s the perfect way to transmit.”
The Trump Administration wants $500B from the Exchange Stabilization Fund—an emergency reserve of cash—to give $50B to the aforementioned beleaguered Airlines, $150B for loan guarantees, and two $250B chunks to send checks to Americans.
the first on April 6 and the second May 18. Payments would be fixed, and their size dependent on income and family size,