Issue

US Coronavirus Infections Drop to 11-Month Low

coronavirus infections

New coronavirus infections have fallen to the lowest level 11 months. The U.S. averaged 38,678 infections a day over the past week. That’s the lowest level since mid-September. And it’s an 85% drop from a peak in early January of about 250,000 a day.

This sharp decline in infections has tracked a rapid rise in vaccinations. A similar pattern can be seen in other countries with successful mass inoculation programs – Israel and the UK.

More than 152 million Americans have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, according to CDC data. And 34.8% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

However, the pandemic is not over.

In the U.S., pockets of vaccine resistance remain in certain states. These could turn into petri dishes for more variants to emerge. Let’s hope not.

The Big News

FDA Authorizes Pfizer Vaccine for 12- to 15-Year-Olds

The FDA on Monday authorized use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds in the U.S. This removes an obstacle to school reopenings by reducing the threat of transmission in classrooms. Now, more of the nearly 17 million children in this age group can return to normalcy – attend summer camps, have sleepovers and play in Little League games.

The Virus Has Become Endemic

Medical experts now say the virus is changing too quickly and new more contagious variants are spreading too easily and vaccinations are happening too slowly for herd immunity to be within reach anytime soon. That means if the virus continues to run unchecked through much of the world, it is on its way to becoming endemic. Future outbreaks of coronavirus infections won’t be severe, though. Smaller outbreaks that are less deadly but a constant threat should be expected. This is the natural progression of many infections we have in humans.

WHO Classifies Indian Variant as of Global Concern

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the coronavirus variant first identified in India last year is being classified as a variant of global concern. Some preliminary studies showed that it spreads more easily than the original virus. The variant has been referred to as a “double mutant” because it carries two mutations that may make the virus more contagious and better at evading the body’s defenses. A third mutation in the variant can potentially lead to “enhanced transmission,” the WHO said.

Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine Real World-Data vs Variants  

Results of real-world data from Qatar on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are in. The study’s results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. According to the results, the vaccine’s effectiveness against severe or fatal cases of Covid-19 caused by the UK and South Africa variants was very high – at 97.4%. When it came to protecting against any infection from the South African variant, it was found to be just 75%. But that’s still very good.

Scientists Look for Virus in Sewage

All around the world, scientists in more than 50 countries are monitoring sewage for whole SARS-CoV-2 virus particles and viral fragments that have been shed in feces. In the United Arab Emirates, researchers have been testing sewage from commercial aircraft to detect infected passengers on incoming flights. Scientists in Hong Kong are monitoring sewage in apartment buildings to find undetected coronavirus infections. And health officials are testing wastewater in Yellowknife to discover which viral variants have made it to the Canadian city.

The Coronavirus Numbers

Here are the numbers from Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:

  • 159,027,711 Infected Worldwide
  • 1,300,767,416 Vaccines Given Globally
  • 3,305,992 Deaths
  • 32,744,471 Coronavirus Infections in the U.S.
  • 261,599,381 U.S. Vaccine Doses Administered
  • 582,162 Deaths in the U.S.

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What’s Next

The story so far this week is the massive selloff in tech stocks. This is dragging down markets around the world sharply.

The villain here is the rising expectations for inflation.

The inflation story matters for the stock market. Rising inflation expectations push up nominal yields and the discount rate on the tech/growth/momentum parts of the market that have underpinned the last decade’s bull run.

We saw this yesterday. Tech stocks took a beating and dragged the rest of the market down with them. The Nasdaq composite tumbled 2.5%. The Nasdaq 100 fell more than 2.6% and closed below its 50-day simple moving average for the first time the end of March.

Tesla fell 6%, the ARK Innovation ETF was 5% lower and Apple fell over 2.5%. Expect more of the same today.

Meanwhile, a small group of tech companies are creating the “brains” inside all future electric vehicles. Click here for this 476% opportunity.

Yours in Health & Wealth,

Tony Daltorio

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