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US is split between the vaccinated and unvaccinated – and deaths and hospitalizations reflect this divide

The US has split into "two Americas," one of the unvaccinated and one of the vaccinated. The differences in deaths and hospitalizations between the two populations are striking.

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As coronavirus cases surge, unvaccinated people are accounting for nearly all hospitalizations and deaths. Fat Camera/E+ via Getty Images

In recent weeks, one piece of data has gotten a lot of attention: 99.5% of all the people dying from COVID-19 in the U.S. are unvaccinated.

We are two researchers who work in public health and study immunity, viruses and other microbes. Since the start of the pandemic, public health experts have been concerned about what might happen if large sections of the U.S. population, for whatever reason, did not get vaccinated. Over the past few weeks, the answer to that question is starting to emerge.

In early July, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned of ‘two Americas’ emerging.

‘Two Americas’ of vaccination

As of mid-July 2021, the U.S. has fully vaccinated more than 160 million people – just under 50% of the population – against COVID-19. Despite a surplus of available vaccines, in recent weeks the rate of vaccination has slowed substantially. In early April, health workers administered roughly 4 million new vaccines daily. Today, that number is about 450,000 doses a day.

As people sought vaccines over the past few months, the U.S. has split into what Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is calling “two Americas” – one of the vaccinated population and one of the unvaccinated population. These two Americas are divided geographically and in most cases along political lines.

Vaccination rates will continue to rise, albeit slowly, as rural areas get better access to vaccines and messaging persuades some vaccine-hesitant people to get the shot. But according to survey data from late June and early July, more than 10% of adults 18 or older say they are probably not or definitely not going to get a coronavirus vaccine, with another 5% saying they are unsure. It seems likely there will be a large unvaccinated population for the time being.

A medical worker in full protective equipment cares for a COVID-19 patient lying face down in a hospital bed.
In recent months, nearly every hospitalization or death from COVID-19 has been of an unvaccinated person. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Which America is safer?

The vaccines themselves are nothing short of remarkable in their effectiveness at protecting against COVID-19.

Unvaccinated people, by comparison, are extremely susceptible to the coronavirus, particularly to the delta variant and the data on deaths and hospitalizations show this discrepancy clearly.

On July 16, 2021, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky revealed that 99.5% of recent U.S. deaths from COVID-19 were of unvaccinated people. “Those deaths were preventable with a simple, safe shot,” she said. In Early July, Fauci said that 99.2% of people who died recently were unvaccinated. In the state of Maryland, every patient who died from COVID-19 in June was unvaccinated.

In her July 16 statement, Walensky also said that 97% of current COVID-19 hospitalizations are of unvaccinated people. An earlier analysis done by The Associated Press found that 98.9% of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients in May were unvaccinated. The director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services recently stated that all new hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Los Angeles were unvaccinated.

Four boxes of Moderna COVID–19 vaccines sitting on papers.
In most places across the U.S., vaccines are readily available for anyone who wants one. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

A tale of two states

It is hard to find data about overall cases among unvaccinated compared with vaccinated individuals. This results partly from the CDC’s transition in May 2021 to focusing on hospitalizations of COVID-19 vaccine recipients rather than cases. But one way to get at this data is to compare two states with large differences in vaccination rates. As the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 surges across the U.S., one can observe the consequences of this split into a vaccinated and unvaccinated America in real time.

In the state of Missouri, only 40% of people are vaccinated. In some counties within Missouri, as few as 14.7% of the residents are vaccinated. Not surprisingly, the state has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases through the middle of July, with 2,000 to 3,000 new cases per day. The rate of spread is also increasing. Already, some hospitals are running out of ventilators and intensive care beds.

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Contrast this with Massachusetts, where 63% of people are fully vaccinated. Though the state is also seeing an increase in cases, total new infections numbered only around 200 to 300 per day. The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Massachussetts is also down 95% since January 2021.

As of July 20, 2021, Missouri had 1,357 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, almost 13 times more than the 106 patients in Massachusetts. This is despite Missouri’s having a slightly smaller population that is much more dispersed.

Does it matter if people stay unvaccinated?

Ultimately, with a large portion of the U.S. population still unvaccinated, COVID-19 is not going to disappear in the near future. The U.S. will continue to see outbreaks of the virus in communities with low vaccine uptake. Even if people in these undervaccinated areas rush to get shots when outbreaks happen, it takes about a month for vaccination to produce strong immunity.

As long as SARS-CoV-2 is circulating in the U.S., unvaccinated people will continue to experience the full, dangerous clinical effects of COVID–19. But in addition, while the virus spreads among the unvaccinated, it will also continue spreading at a low level to vaccinated individuals. Though most of those infections will not progress to severe COVID-19, according to the CDC, as of mid-July more than 5,000 vaccinated people, mostly over 65 years old, had been hospitalized and 1,000 had died. These numbers are of course sad, but they pale in comparison to hospitalizations and deaths among the unvaccinated population.

The vaccines are doing exactly what they were designed to do: prevent severe COVID-19 with amazing efficiency. With vaccines free and widely available, for most people in the U.S. it is a choice: Do you want to be part of the unvaccinated America or the vaccinated one?

Rodney E. Rohde has received funding from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP), American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS), and other public and private entities/foundations. Dr. Rohde is affiliated with ASCP, ASCLS, ASM, and serves on several scientific advisory boards. See https://rodneyerohde.wp.txstate.edu/service/.

Ryan McNamara has received funding from the AIDS Malignancy Consortium and the National Institute for Allergens and Infectious Diseases. He is a member of the International AIDS Society and has served as a consultant for the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute on their Pandemic Response and Recovery Roadmap.

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Government

Top Stories This Week: Gold Manipulators Go to Court, Silver’s Industrial Side in Focus

Catch up and get informed with this week’s content highlights from Charlotte McLeod, our editorial director.
The post Top Stories This Week: Gold Manipulators Go to Court, Silver’s Industrial Side in Focus appeared first on Investing News Network.

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The gold price held above US$1,800 per ounce this week, finishing the period around that level, which is down from last week’s July high point of around US$1,830. 

Marc Lichtenfeld of the Oxford Club is one market watcher who’s struggling to understand why gold isn’t doing better this year. We had the chance to speak this week, and he pointed to money printing, the impact of COVID-19 and inflation as factors that should be pushing gold to record highs.

So far in 2021 those elements have have failed to do the trick, and Marc said he sees a disconnect between the yellow metal’s traditional fundamentals and what’s happening in the market.

 

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“There just seems to be a disconnect between what are the traditional gold fundamentals and what’s happening out in the world … it’s really difficult to try to figure out what is happening with gold and why gold isn’t at record highs” — Marc Lichtenfeld, the Oxford Club

Of course, some would argue that price manipulation is the reason gold isn’t moving, and this week there was more news on that front. Chat logs were released in a spoofing trial for two former precious metals traders from the Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) Merrill Lynch unit, and they show one of the traders bragging about how easy it is to manipulate the price of gold. The trial isn’t over yet, but in its opening arguments that trader’s attorney said he stopped spoofing after he found out it was illegal.

Looking over to silver, I heard this week from Collin Plume of Noble Gold Investments, who thinks industrial demand will help push the white metal above the US$40 per ounce mark in the next 12 to 18 months. Silver has struggled to pass US$30 so far this year.

Solar panels are one of silver’s key uses, but it’s also found in other high-tech applications such as electronics and electric vehicles. Collin isn’t aware of any commodities that can replace silver in its end-use markets, and with demand “through the roof,” he expects to see shortages of silver by next year.

With silver in mind, we asked our Twitter followers this week if they think its industrial or precious side is driving the most demand right now. By the time the poll closed, about 70 percent of respondents said they think the precious angle is more important.

 

Uranium Soared Last Year While Other Resources Tumbled

 
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We’ll be asking another question on Twitter next week, so make sure to follow us @INN_Resource or follow me @Charlotte_McL to share your thoughts.

We’re going to finish up with the cannabis space, where there was a major announcement last week.

A group of Democratic senators headed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced a draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, which among other things would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act. The long-awaited bill will need 60 votes to get through the Senate, and opinion is split on whether that will actually happen.

INN’s Bryan Mc Govern spoke with Dan Ahrens of AdvisorShares Investments, who thinks it has “no chance of passing,” but remains optimistic about prospects for American cannabis companies.

“No one should expect US (cannabis) legalization anytime soon. We should expect reforms; they’re not coming as fast as anyone would like to see, but everybody agrees we’re going to get some form of banking reform in the near future … we’ll see baby steps” — Dan Ahrens, AdvisorShares Investments

Why? In his opinion, these stocks remain undervalued compared to their Canadian counterparts, and are operating well even without federal cannabis approval. Any legalization progress would be a bonus.

Want more YouTube content? Check out our YouTube playlist At Home With INN, which features interviews with experts in the resource space. If there’s someone you’d like to see us interview, please send an email to cmcleod@investingnews.com.

And don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates! 

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

 

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The post Top Stories This Week: Gold Manipulators Go to Court, Silver’s Industrial Side in Focus appeared first on Investing News Network.

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Economics

Top 5 Rubber Stocks to Buy in 2021

Here are some of the best rubber stocks to buy right now. Increased demand and supply chain disruptions are putting pressure rubber prices.
The post Top 5 Rubber Stocks to Buy in 2021 appeared first on Investment U.

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When it comes to investing, all the attention tends to go to healthcare, tech and increasingly renewable energy. But these aren’t the only stocks on the block, and some old mainstays can also add value to your portfolio. One of those old, reliable industries is rubber: it always has some level of demand, and that won’t likely change anytime soon. But recent economic conditions make rubber even more intriguing than usual. One of the biggest uses of rubber is car tires, and sharp economic recovery is likely to mean a sharp demand for new cars. Hence, we may also see a sharp increase in demand for rubber as many people head to the dealer to buy a new car. There’s more to it than just the auto industry, of course. CNBC reported that disruptions in the supply chain are also causing major disruptions. And we use rubber for many different essential items, including personal protective equipment and countless other items. With increased demand and supply chain disruptions, rubber stocks are poised for a rise. Here are some of the best rubber stocks to buy:
  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber (Nasdaq: GT)
  • Trinseo (NYSE: TSE)
  • Michelin (OTC: MGDDY)
  • Carlisle Companies (NYSE: CSL)
  • Protolabs (NYSE: PRLB)
If you’ve never invested in rubber stocks before, you might be wondering if they are a good investment. Let’s consider that question before looking at each stock more closely. And if you want to see how your investment portfolio might grow, check out our free investment calculator.

Is Rubber a Good Investment?

Rubber can certainly be a good investment because it is nearly ubiquitous; it is used in many different products, including tires, footwear, pharmaceuticals, textiles and many other products. As Zacks notes, rubber is among the most profitable industries when it comes to natural resources. But rubber isn’t exactly the most innovative product. Perhaps it was decades ago, but these days, it’s something most of us are just used to seeing. We don’t really demand rubber so much as the products that contain it. Hence, it’s only when demand for those products increases that the demand for rubber spikes. And as mentioned earlier, we are at a point right now where many people are looking to buy new cars, and rubber’s use in tires could cause a surge in demand. However, these things can be very cyclical. The Zacks page linked above highlights this very well. There, you can see the rubber tires industry has a YTD performance of 42.90% compared to 16.09% for IVV, an S&P 500 fund. But as good as that sounds, the 5-year performance for rubber tires is -33.71% compared to 112.67 for IVV. Given the downside risk, rubber is probably best used as part of a balanced portfolio containing more well-round assets, such as funds like IVV.

Rubber Stocks to Buy Now

If you want to “bounce” your returns upward with rubber stocks, here are some of the best rubber stocks to buy right now. Keep an eye on them as the situation with the auto industry progresses.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber

Goodyear Tire & Rubber is a tire manufacturer that makes tires for a variety of uses. Tires for automobiles are one of the biggest uses of Goodyear tires. However, they are also used on buses, trucks, aircraft, motorcycles, mining equipment, industrial equipment and farm equipment. In addition to the Goodyear name, it also has Dunlop and Kelly tires under its belt. Goodyear has been around since 1898 and was the first global tire manufacturer to enter the Chinese market. It produces a range of tires, rubber products and chemicals across the U.S. and Canada.

Trinseo

Trinseo is a global materials company that manufactures latex, plastics and synthetic rubber. Notably, it produces plastic for Lego. When it comes to rubber, Trinseo produces styrene-butadiene rubber (SSBR). This material is primarily used in high-performance tires. In addition to Legos, its plastic is used in automotive applications, LED lighting and medical devices. Trinseo is growing rapidly, with 17 manufacturing and 11 research facilities worldwide. In addition, it is already seeing healthy revenue increases as it continues to grow. Its website notes Trinseo is “dedicated to making a positive impact on society,” and it will support the “sustainability goals of our customers in a wide range of end-markets.”

Michelin

Michelin is another name that is big in the tire manufacturing business, and the demand for new cars places it squarely on this list. In addition to the Michelin tire brand, the company also owns BFGoodrich and Uniroyal. BFGoodrich is a premium tire brand for sports cars, offroad vehicles and light trucks. Michelin is the largest tire manufacturer in the US and the second-largest in the world. It has 34 plans in two countries and had over $8 billion of sales in 2020. Its revenue has been increasing, as has its stock price. As the situation with the auto industry evolves, it will be interesting to see how Michelin fares.

Carlisle Companies

Founded in 1917 and based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Carlisle Companies is about more than just rubber. It is more of an umbrella under which there are a number of different operations. Its products and services include healthcare, commercial roofing, aerospace and electronics, lawn and garden, agriculture, energy, mining and construction equipment, and dining. Of course, there are many uses for rubber and plastic across these industries. In 2018, Carlisle Companies released a plan called Vision 2025 in which it detailed how it will continue to grow over the next 100 years.

Protolabs

Protolabs is an intriguing company. It produces low-volume 3D printed, CNC-machining, sheet metal fabrication and injection-molded custom parts. These parts are then used for short-run production and in prototypes. The company describes itself as the “world’s fastest digital manufacturing service.” It also provides rubber, metal and commercial plastics. Given its business model, it was able to produce several items during the coronavirus pandemic, including face shields, plastic clips and items used in test kits. They were in turn used in Minnesota hospitals, where the company is based.

More Investing Opportunities

The rubber stocks above might produce some big returns for investors. Although, there are many industries and stocks to choose from. So, here are some more investing opportunities and research… If you’re looking for expert analysis delivered straight to your inbox, consider signing up for Profit Trends. It’s a free e-letter that’s packed with investing tips and tricks. Whether you’re new or already an experienced investor, there’s something for everyone. The post Top 5 Rubber Stocks to Buy in 2021 appeared first on Investment U.

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Government

Biden Says New Cuba Sanctions Are “Just The Beginning” 

Biden Says New Cuba Sanctions Are "Just The Beginning" 

President Biden says the newly announced sanctions against Cuba are "just the beginning" after rare widespread protests took over multiple cities on the communist-run island starting…

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Biden Says New Cuba Sanctions Are "Just The Beginning" 

President Biden says the newly announced sanctions against Cuba are "just the beginning" after rare widespread protests took over multiple cities on the communist-run island starting earlier in July. In the Thursday fresh sanctions announcement Biden condemned "the mass detentions and sham trials that are unjustly sentencing to prison those who dared to speak out in an effort to intimidate and threaten the Cuban people into silence," according to a White House statement

Specifically these latest sanctions target the defense minister and the National Special Brigade of Cuba’s Interior Ministry (on top of broader decades-long US sanctions against the government and economy).

Cuban Americans at a protest in Miami, via AP

Biden said these two officials in particular are spearheading the crackdown on Cuban protesters. He suggested there's much more to come.

"This is just the beginning — the United States will continue to sanction individuals responsible for oppression of the Cuban people," Biden said.

The administration further said it's working to "restore internet access" in Cuba after widespread shutdowns were reported over this month as Cuban security forces struggle to gain control of the demonstrations, largely driven by an economy in tatters, food and fuel shortages, and severe mismanagement of the pandemic crisis. 

Currently, the US even prohibits remittances, barring Cuban-Americans from sending money to their families, with last year Western Union also shutting down all money-sending services to Cuba after the Trump administration re-imposed sanctions. 

The Biden White House since he took office has vowed to "review" Trump era policies, but so far has kept them in place and now even appears to be ramping up the pressure once again. He again hinted this week that there could be a policy change toward "easing" restrictions. 

Cuba has for its part alleged a foreign hand behind the recent protests, especially following the so-called "Cuban Twitter" initiative of the past decade, which was long ago exposed as part of Washington's covert efforts to stir unrest on the island. 

Tyler Durden Fri, 07/23/2021 - 20:40

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