The World Health Organization has finally confirmed what we (and many experts and studies) have been saying for months – the coronavirus is no more deadly or dangerous than seasonal flu.
The WHO’s top brass made this announcement during a special session of the WHO’s 34-member executive board on Monday October 5th, it’s just nobody seemed to really understand it.
In fact, they didn’t seem to completely understand it themselves.
At the session, Dr Michael Ryan, the WHO’s Head of Emergencies revealed that they believe roughly 10% of the world has been infected with Sars-Cov-2.
This is their “best estimate”, and a huge increase over the number of officially recognised cases (around 35 million).
Dr. Margaret Harris, a WHO spokeswoman, later confirmed the figure, stating it was based on the average results of all the broad seroprevalence studies done around the world.
As much as the WHO were attempting to spin this as a bad thing – Dr Ryan even said it means “the vast majority of the world remains at risk.” – it’s actually good news. And confirms, once more, that the virus is nothing like as deadly as everyone predicted.
That’s an infection fatality rate of roughly or 0.14%.
Right in line with seasonal flu and the predictions of many experts from all around the world.
0.14% is over 24 times LOWER than the WHO’s “provisional figure” of 3.4% back in March. This figure was used in the models which were used to justify lockdowns and other draconian policies.
In fact, given the over-reporting of alleged Covid deaths, the IFR is likely even lower than 0.14%, and could show Covid to be much less dangerous than flu.
None of the mainstream press picked up on this. Though many outlets reported Dr Ryan’s words, they all attempted to make it a scary headline and spread more panic.
Apparently neither they, nor the WHO, were capable of doing the simple math that shows us this is good news. And that the Covid sceptics have been right all along.
Is Biotech ripe for investment yet?
It’s a great time to be looking for opportunities in biotech as the sector is near the bottom, says MPM Capital’s Dr Christiana Bardon. Biotech has…
It’s a great time to be looking for opportunities in biotech as the sector is near the bottom, says MPM Capital’s Dr Christiana Bardon.
Biotech has been in correction over the past eight months
What many see as a sharp decline in biotech, Dr Bardon dubs an overdue correction after a prolonged period of “too much enthusiasm” due to the COVID pandemic. Speaking with CNBC’s Leslie Picker, she said:
The long-term prospects for this industry look as great as ever. The demographics of the aging population means we’ll need new drugs, the support of regulatory environment, and finally the third fundamental is innovation at record high levels.
The iShares Biotech ETF is down 25% from its high in August 2021, but Dr Bardon is focused on the long term. She sees an upward trend in biotech over the next thirty years.
Dr Bardon is particularly interested in Oncology within Biotech
According to the Harvard-trained medical doctor, investors should focus on areas within Biotech that are committed to addressing unmet medical needs, such as Oncology. She added:
Oncology continues to be an exciting area of Biotech. Within Oncology, we’re seeing incredible innovation primarily because of the genomics revolution. And then the regulatory environment is very supportive of cancer drug development.
Dr Bardon sees the U.S. as a global leader in biotech and reiterates that it was this industry that helped the world pull out of the Coronavirus crisis.etf pandemic coronavirus
ironSource CEO: gaming is more than just a COVID play
The VanEck Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO) is up nearly 100% since the start of the pandemic, and ironSource Ltd (NYSE: IS) CEO Tomer Bar Zeev doesn’t see an end to this trend in the near future. Highlights from Zeev’s interview on CNBC’s ‘TechCheck’.
The VanEck Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO) is up nearly 100% since the start of the pandemic, and ironSource Ltd (NYSE: IS) CEO Tomer Bar Zeev doesn’t see an end to this trend in the near future.
Highlights from Zeev’s interview on CNBC’s ‘TechCheck’
Zeev agrees that video gaming and eSports was a beneficiary of the global pandemic but says the segment is now much more than just a COVID play. On CNBC’s “TechCheck”, he said:
When COVID started, we saw an uptick of roughly 10% in the time that users spent within games. As the world reopened, it pretty much stayed the same. So, we think it’s the new norm. We don’t think we’ll see any change in that regard.
According to Statista, much of the increase in hours spent on video games was attributed to the new gamers in 2020 who turned to the industry in search of indoor means of entertainment amidst COVID restrictions.
Gaming is bigger than film and music combined
According to Zeev, gaming is the fastest-growing segment within the app economy, and it will continue to lead the industry on growth in gaming library as well as relevant platform software.
The gaming ecosystem within the app economy is growing super-fast. Gaming is the biggest part of the app economy, it’s bigger than the film industry and the music industry combined. So, it makes perfect sense that it will grow all around. It will continue to lead the app economy.
Earlier this week, Take-Two Interactive said it will buy Zynga Inc for $12.70 billion in cash and stock to expand its footprint in mobile gaming. Zeev expects such consolidation to continue as companies move to benefit from the fast-growing gaming economy.
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Omicron is not a threat for the retail sector in the short-term
Investors are responding rather strongly to reports of a new COVID variant of concern the WHO designated “Omicron” on Friday. But the former Walmart CEO Bill Simon is confident it doesn’t pose much of a threat for the retail sector in the short…
Investors are responding rather strongly to reports of a new COVID variant of concern the WHO designated “Omicron” on Friday. But the former Walmart CEO Bill Simon is confident it doesn’t pose much of a threat for the retail sector in the short term.
Simon’s remarks on CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell’
Bill expects consumer strength and holiday season to help the retail sector absorb this news with minimal reaction. On CNBC’s “Closing Bell”, he said:
People were out shopping today, looking for deals. Stores were crowded, prices were very good and aggressive, particularly in the big-box chains. So, in the short run, with the Black Friday weekend and everything else going on, I don’t think you’ll see much of a reaction.
He refrained from commenting on the long-term impact of the new variant on the retail sector and said it would depend on how the situation unravels. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF is down more than 3.0% on Friday.
Retail has been divided into winners and losers
During the same interview, BMO Capital Markets’ Simeon Siegel said the retail sector was no longer moving in unison; the pandemic had split it into winners and losers.
The question is, who has the pricing power versus who saw fewer promotions. All of them will deal with externalities, whether it’s the variant or the supply chain. But what brands actually structurally improved their business through the pandemic; that’s the dynamic.
According to Siegel, the recent earnings season already made this division evident. On the one hand, we had companies like Capri Holdings that jumped about 20% after reporting results for the latest quarter, and on the other, there was Nordstrom that was down the same after its quarterly report.
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