Connect with us

Government

We’re “Losing The Fight Against Monkeypox” …Apparently

We’re "Losing The Fight Against Monkeypox" …Apparently

Authored by Kit Knightly via Off-Guardian.org,

According to the New York Times the…

Published

on

We're "Losing The Fight Against Monkeypox" ...Apparently

Authored by Kit Knightly via Off-Guardian.org,

According to the New York Times the US is currently “losing the fight with Monkeypox”.

That’s probably news to you.

After all, given the fact the US has around 700 cases of Monkeypox (around 0.0002% of the population), that the entire world only 8000 “cases” (about 0.0001%), and that there have been just 3 reported deaths…well, you’d be forgiven for not realising there was a fight at all, let alone that we were losing.

It’s really more of a kerfuffle. At worst. Perhaps a fracas.

That is – of course – assuming there is any monkeypox “outbreak” at all, something we should never take on faith, especially in the post-Covid world.

Nevertheless, the NYT is sure…

There probably will be many more infections before the outbreak can be controlled, if at this point it can be controlled at all.

The US isn’t the only place getting a fresh batch of monkeypox fear porn this week.

Five days ago it was reported that Australia had recorded its first “case”, with the under-stated headline

KILLER VIRUS SUDDENLY SPREADS IN AUSTRALIA

…clearly this went too far, even for the mainstream media, who quietly reworded the title a few hours later.

Not to be outdone, two days later New Zealand announced their first monkeypox case was isolating at home.

And just 15 minutes ago, at the time of writing, The Guardian published a news story headlined:

Efforts to curb UK monkeypox outbreak inadequate, warn experts

So, what is the cause of mankind’s imminent loss to the monkeypox peril? Well they really couldn’t be clearer about that – we’re not testing enough.

The NYT goes on about this at length:

the response in the United States has been sluggish and timid, reminiscent of the early days of the Covid pandemic, experts say, raising troubling questions about the nation’s preparedness for pandemic threats.

[…] The first cases of monkeypox were reported in May, but tests will not be readily available until sometime this month.

[…] The first missteps in the U.S. response to monkeypox were in testing. As in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, samples from monkeypox patients are being funneled to the CDC for final diagnosis, a process that can take days.

Slate agrees, headlining “We Need to Keep Better Track of Monkeypox” and quoting on “expert”:

Testing is the key piece in getting answers to these questions, and currently we simply are not doing enough of it.”

We’ve seen this movie before, we know how it goes from here.

Since, as the NYT points out, Monkeypox tests will be “readily available sometime this month”, we can expect a BIG spike in cases coming up.

Far from being recognised for what it is – a huge number of false positives caused by PCR tests – this increase in cases will be sold as the “true size of the outbreak” after weeks of calling current “case” numbers “likely underestimates”.

The solution, we know, will be “increasing vaccine coverage” or “helping immunize the most vulnerable” or some buzz phrase like that.

But oh no! We don’t have enough vaccines!

At least, according the New York Times, and LA Times, and CBS, and Science and New York Magazine and NPR and NBC and the New York Post and…

…it’s the prevalent message, is what I’m trying to say.

Don’t worry though, a VERY familiar hero is about to ride over the horizon on a white horse:

Moderna is investigating potential monkeypox vaccines at a preclinical level, using its mRNA platform,”

Yes, Moderna started working on a new mRNA monkeypox vaccine back in May…so by Covid rules they’re probably nearly done by now.

Just inject in precisely one person, and if they don’t die instantly on the spot then it’s safe.

…and if they DO then they were already sick and the trial data is compromised and monkeypox is such an emergency we should grant it approval anyway. You can read the trial data in 2097.

We know how this works.

Tests to create the “problem”, vaccines to “solve” the “problem”. Both of them result in vast amounts of public money disappearing into bottomless private pockets.

There’s a lot of fog around monkeypox – we don’t know, in a lot of ways, where it’s going or what it’s even for. The narrative is only half-formed. First growing, then shrinking, then growing again.

It had a name change that never really materialised, and the decision to focus it on sexual transmission – especially among “men who have sex with men” (I don’t know why they ALL use that phrase and not “gay men”) – is one I just can’t puzzle out yet.

But while it’s yet to take definitively pick a size, direction or speed, it’s taking a very familiar shape: Tests and vaccines.

It’s always tests and vaccines.

Tyler Durden Tue, 07/12/2022 - 22:25

Read More

Continue Reading

Government

Coronavirus dashboard for October 5: an autumn lull as COVID-19 evolves towards seasonal endemicity

  – by New Deal democratBack in August I highlighted some epidemiological work by Trevor Bedford about what endemic COVID is likely to look like, based…

Published

on

 

 - by New Deal democrat

Back in August I highlighted some epidemiological work by Trevor Bedford about what endemic COVID is likely to look like, based on the rate of mutations and the period of time that previous infection makes a recovered person resistant to re-infection. Here’s his graph:




He indicated that it “illustrate[s] a scenario where we end up in a regime of year-round variant-driven circulation with more circulation in the winter than summer, but not flu-like winter seasons and summer troughs.”

In other words, we could expect higher caseloads during regular seasonal waves, but unlike influenza, the virus would never entirely recede into the background during the “off” seasons.

That is what we are seeing so far this autumn.

Confirmed cases have continued to decline, presently just under 45,000/day, a little under 1/3rd of their recent summer peak in mid-June. Deaths have been hovering between 400 and 450/day, about in the middle of their 350-550 range since the beginning of this past spring:



The longer-term graph of each since the beginning of the pandemic shows that, at their present level cases are at their lowest point since summer 2020, with the exception of a brief period during September 2020, the May-July lull in 2021, and the springtime lull this year. Deaths since spring remain lower than at any point except the May-July lull of 2021:



Because so many cases are asymptomatic, or people confirm their cases via home testing but do not get confirmation by “official” tests, we know that the confirmed cases indicated above are lower than the “real” number. For that, here is the long-term look from Biobot, which measures COVID concentrations in wastewater:



The likelihood is that there are about 200,000 “actual” new cases each day at present. But even so, this level is below any time since Delta first hit in summer 2021, with the exception of last autumn and this spring’s lulls.

Hospitalizations show a similar pattern. They are currently down 50% since their summer peak, at about 25,000/day:



This is also below any point in the pandemic except for briefly during September 2020, the May-July 2021 low, and this past spring’s lull.

The CDC’s most recent update of variants shows that BA.5 is still dominant, causing about 81% of cases, while more recent offshoots of BA.2, BA.4, and BA.5 are causing the rest. BA’s share is down from 89% in late August:



But this does not mean that the other variants are surging, because cases have declined from roughly 90,000 to 45,000 during that time. Here’s how the math works out:

89% of 90k=80k (remaining variants cause 10k cases)
81% of 45k=36k (remaining variants cause 9k cases)

The batch of new variants have been dubbed the “Pentagon” by epidmiologist JP Weiland, and have caused a sharp increase in cases in several countries in Europe and elsewhere. Here’s what she thinks that means for the US:


But even she is not sure that any wave generated by the new variants will exceed summer’s BA.5 peak, let alone approach last winter’s horrible wave:



In summary, we have having an autumn lull as predicted by the seasonal model. There will probably be a winter wave, but the size of that wave is completely unknown, primarily due to the fact that probably 90%+ of the population has been vaccinated and/or previously infected, giving rise to at least some level of resistance - a disease on its way to seasonal endemicity.

Read More

Continue Reading

Government

JOLTs jolted: Did the Fed break the labour market?

In the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) August release of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report, the number of job openings, a measure…

Published

on

In the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) August release of the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report, the number of job openings, a measure of demand for labour, fell to 10.1 million. This was short of market estimates of 11 million and lower than last month’s level of 11.2 million.

It also marked the fifth consecutive month of decreases in job openings this year, while the August unemployment rate had ticked higher to 3.7%, near a five-decade low.

In the latest numbers, the total job openings were the lowest reported since June 2021, while incredibly, the decline in vacancies of 1.1 million was the sharpest in two decades save for the extraordinary circumstances in April 2020. 

Healthcare services, other services and retail saw the deepest declines in job openings of 236,000, 183,000, and 143,000, respectively.

With total jobs in some of these sectors settling below pre-pandemic levels, the Fed’s push for higher borrowing costs may finally be restricting demand for workers in these areas.

The levels of hires, quits and layoffs (collectively known as separations) were little changed from July.

The quits rate (a percentage of total employment in the month), a proxy for confidence in the market was steady at 2.8%.

Source: US BLS

From a bird’s eye view, 1.7 openings were available for each unemployed person, cooling from 2.0 in the month prior but still above the historic average. 

The market still appears favourable for workers but seems to have begun showing signs of fatigue.

Ian Shepherdson, Economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics noted that it was too soon to suggest if a new trend had started to emerge, and said,

…this is the first official indicator to point unambiguously, if not necessarily reliably, to a clear slowing in labour demand.

Nick Bunker, Head of Economic Research at Indeed, also stated,

The heat of the labour market is slowly coming down to a slow boil as demand for hiring new workers fades.

Ironically, equities surged as investors pinned their hopes on weakness in headline jobs numbers being the sign of breakage the Fed needed to pull back on its tightening.

Kristen Bitterly, Citi Global Wealth’s head of North American investments added,

(In the past, in) 8 out of the 10 bear markets, we have seen bounces off the lows of 10%…and not just one but several, this is very common in this type of environment.

The worst may be yet to come

As for the health of the economy, after much seesawing in its projections, which swung between 0.3% as recently as September 27 and as high as 2.7% just a couple of weeks earlier, the Atlanta Fed GDPNow estimate was finalized at a sharply rebounding 2.3% for Q3, earlier in the week.

Rod Von Lipsey, Managing Director, UBS Private Wealth Management was optimistic and stated,

…looking for a stronger fourth quarter, and traditionally, the fourth quarter is a good part of the year for stocks.

As I reported in a piece last week, a crucial consideration that has been brought up many a time is the unknown around policy lags.

Cathie Wood, Ark Invest CEO and CIO noted that the Fed has increased rates an incredible 13-fold in a span of just a few months, which is in stark contrast to the rate doubling engineered by Governor Volcker over the span of a decade.

Pedro da Costa, a veteran Fed reporter and previously a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, emphasized that once the Fed tightens policy, there is no way to know when this may be fully transmitted to the economy, which could lie anywhere between 6 to 18 months.

The JOLTs report reflects August data while the Fed has continued to tighten. This raises the probability that the Fed may have already done too much, and the environment may be primed to send the jobs market into a tailspin.

Several recent indicators suggest that the labour market is getting ready for a significant deceleration.

For instance, new orders contracted aggressively to 47.1. Although still expansionary, ISM manufacturing data fell sharply to 50.9 global, factory employment plummeted to 48.7, global PMI receded into contractionary territory at 49.8, its lowest level since June 2020 while durable goods declined 0.2%.

Moreover, transpacific shipping rates, a leading indicator absolutely crashed, falling 75% Y-o-Y on weaker demand and overbought inventories.

Steven van Metre, a certified financial planner and frequent collaborator at Eurodollar University, argued

“…the next thing to go is the job market.“

A recent study by KPMG which collated opinions of over 400 CEOs and business leaders at top US companies, found that a startling 91% of respondents expect a recession within the next 12 months. Only 34% of these think that it would be “mild and short.”

More than half of the CEOs interviewed are looking to slash jobs and cut headcount.

Similarly, a report by Marcum LLP in collaboration with Hofstra University found that 90% of surveyed CEOs were fearful of a recession in the near future.

It also found that over a quarter of company heads had already begun layoffs or planned to do so in the next twelve months.

Simply put, American enterprises are not buying the Fed’s soft-landing plans.

A slew of mass layoffs amid overwhelming inventories and a weak consumer impulse will result in a rapid decline in price pressures, exacerbating the threat of too much tightening.

Upcoming data

On Friday, the markets will be focused on the BLS’s non-farm payrolls data. Economists anticipate a comparatively small addition of jobs, likely to be near 250,000, which would mark the smallest monthly increase this year.

In a world where interest rates are still rising, demand is giving way, the prevailing sentiment is weak and companies are burdened by excessive inventories, can job cuts be far behind?

The post JOLTs jolted: Did the Fed break the labour market? appeared first on Invezz.

Read More

Continue Reading

International

Trade Deficit decreased to $67.4 Billion in August

From the Department of Commerce reported:The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $67.4 billion in August, down $3.1 billion from $70.5 billion in July, revised.August exp…

Published

on

From the Department of Commerce reported:
The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today that the goods and services deficit was $67.4 billion in August, down $3.1 billion from $70.5 billion in July, revised.

August exports were $258.9 billion, $0.7 billion less than July exports. August imports were $326.3 billion, $3.7 billion less than July imports.
emphasis added
Click on graph for larger image.

Exports increased and imports decreased in August.

Exports are up 20% year-over-year; imports are up 14% year-over-year.

Both imports and exports decreased sharply due to COVID-19 and have now bounced back.

The second graph shows the U.S. trade deficit, with and without petroleum.

U.S. Trade Deficit The blue line is the total deficit, and the black line is the petroleum deficit, and the red line is the trade deficit ex-petroleum products.

Note that net, imports and exports of petroleum products are close to zero.

The trade deficit with China increased to $37.4 billion in August, from $21.7 billion a year ago.

The trade deficit was slightly lower than the consensus forecast.

Read More

Continue Reading

Trending