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Former FDA Chief Warns "Half The Population" Could Catch Coronavirus By Year End: Live Updates

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Former FDA Chief Warns “Half The Population” Could Catch Coronavirus By Year End: Live Updates

Tyler Durden

Mon, 06/29/2020 – 10:38


  • Cuomo to speak at 11:30ET
  • NYC mulls plan to delay indoor dining reopening
  • Florida reports latest COVID-19 cases
  • Unconfirmed Texas hospitalization data hits
  • Global deaths passed 500k last night
  • Victoria reports another ~75 cases
  • China reports another handful of new cases

* * *

Update (1050ET): As Blaz warns about the possibility of delaying the return of indoor dining for when NYC is expected to enter Phase 3 of its reopening plan on July 6, Gov Cuomo is preparing to hold a briefing on Monday, as criticism of his handling of nursing homes and long-term care facilities faces growing scrutiny.

Cuomo ended his daily COVID-19 briefings more than a week ago.

* * *

Update (1035ET): Florida has reported its latest daily and weekly COVID-19 data


Looks like the positive numbers helped push stocks even higher.

* * *

As we reported last night the number of confirmed coronavirus deaths topped 500k according to data released Sunday, while the US recorded nearly 45k cases on Sunday, below the last daily record set a few days ago, but still above the 40k level. Following VP Pence’s appearance alongside Texas Gov Greg Abbott on Sunday to ask Americans to please wear masks in public, a notable about-face from a press briefing on Friday, has set tongues wagging.

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With the global outbreak having just surpassed 10 million cases and half a million deaths, two major milestones, over the weekend, perhaps the biggest news this morning was Gilead’s release of its pricing menu for remdesivir, its widely hyped drug for treating COVID-19 that is less effective than a much-cheaper steroid called dexamethasone, which has proven more effective at lower mortality. Remdesivir was originally developed to treat Ebola, but one virus is as good as the next, right?

As fears about the worsening outbreaks in Latin America and Africa mount, with South Africa seeing a troubling surge in cases. Despite already having more than one-third of the reported cases for all 54 countries on the continent of more than 1.3 billion. More than 4,300 people have been hospitalized out of South Africa’s 138,000 confirmed cases, the country’s Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize said in a statement.

“We are seeing a rapid rise in the cumulative number of positive COVID-19 cases indicating that, as we had expected, we are approaching a surge during the…months of July and August,” Mkhize said…”It is anticipated that while every province will unfortunately witness an increase in their numbers, areas where there is high economic activity will experience an exponential rise.” He added that cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town are at the greatest risk for major outbreaks.

China on Monday reported 12 new confirmed cases, including five imported cases. The seven domestic infections were all in Beijing, where 1/3rd of residents have been tested since the latest “outbreak” at a local food wholesale market began earlier this month.

With a brief pause in US news, our attention turned to CNBC Monday morning where former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned that up to half of Americans could have been infected with the virus by the end of the year.

“By the time we get to the end of this year, probably close to half the population will have had coronavirus, and that’s if we just stay at our current rate,” he said during an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“We don’t need to vaccinate the entire population because a lot of people would have already had this by the time we get to a vaccination,” he added.

Although younger people appear to be the most impacted during this latest wave, all that could change as transmission rates increase.

“Eventually, it will start to seep into older people, more vulnerable people, and you’ll start to see the total number of deaths go up even if the death rate has come down,” he said. “We’ll probably get above 1,000 deaths a day on average as the infection starts to widen out.”

And again, this is assuming the rate of spread remains steady: if it gets worse, so will the outcome.

Instagram Founder Kevin Systrom also appeared on CNBC this morning to share data from a public COVID-19 tracking platform he’s launched, which features this nifty display showing where each state’s rate of spread is relative to the spectrum seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

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As lengthy food bank lines appear to keep getting longer in the US, the World Food Program warned Monday that the socioeconomic fallout from the pandemic will be “devastating” for middle and low-income nations, possibly leading to food shortages and famines not seen in decades. The organization believes the rate of hunger in the poorest nations will have nearly doubled by year’s end.

In further bad news, the Australian state of Victoria found 75 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours before Monday morning (local time), the highest daily total in 2 months, a total that is “absolutely concerning” according to county health officials who have launched a “testing blitz” and are also warning that lockdowns and other social distancing measures might be reintroduced.

Finally, there have been unconfirmed reports about Texas coronavirus hospitalizations rising another 7.5% over the last day, which would be bad news for a hospital system that is becoming worryingly stretched. Some Houston-area hospitals belonging to the Texas Medical Center hospital systems have stopped publishing ICU numbers as they claimed they caused needless panic since ICUs are often run at or near full capacity. They have insisted there is plenty of ‘overflow’ capacity that can be brought online.

Another important headline out of the US: NYC Mayor de Blasio now weighing whether to further delay the reopening of indoor dining, which has already started in the city in some places.

And with that, the few remaining independent restauranteurs in NYC will likely seriously rethink their plans to try and persevere.


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