There have been consistent whispers during the Trump Campaign of a national infrastructure deal just around the corner. While the whispers persist, there has not been any strong progression towards improving the national infrastructure. Multiple attempts have been made, but they have all fallen apart due to disagreement on the cost associated, where the cash will come from, and what sectors to prioritize. Typically, the first few years of a presidency are difficult to get alignment on topics. Infrastructure improvement seems to be an agreement on both sides. With the senate now split 50/50, Vice President elect, Kamala Harris’ vote could be the sway necessary to nudge the US infrastructure deal into action. With the American Society of Civil Engineers grading out the United states as a D+ on the current infrastructure, we certainly could use some renovations.
To combat COVID-19, Moderna launched a Phase 1 study consisting of 45 participants in an effort to create a vaccine on an expedited timeline. March 16th was the start of the Phase 1 testing. The initial group of 45 people were divided into groups of 15 individuals. Each grouping received 2 doses of treatment, but each group received a different dosage of the proposed vaccine (25, 100, or 250 microgram dosages). The subjects who received both doses, showed higher levels of virus-defeating antibodies when compared to individuals who had recovered from the coronavirus. The majority of participants who received both dosages did report adverse reactions, as to be expected during the trials.
As we approach mid-June, a lot of counties within Pennsylvania have or are preparing to move into the green phase of re-opening. However, there are still a lot of areas in and outside of Pennsylvania that have delayed any re-opening, Philadelphia for example still remains in the yellow phase. Over the past twoweeks we started to see an uptick in the market as small businesses begin re-open with hopes of the economy getting back to a more optimal function. The question then becomes, have we seen the worst effects physically and economically that COVID-19 has caused?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock since February 2020, you’ve probably noticed the economic impact worldwide of the novel corona-virus, Covid-19. There has been little to no positive news even as Governors ease restrictions and states/counties move from red to yellow to green phases, until the May 2020 unemployment rates were released days ago. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, May saw an increase of 2.5 million jobs and an unemployment rate of 13.3%, down from April’s 14.7%. This number came as a overwhelmingly positive shock as most experts had predicted it to increase to near 20%, the worst figure since the Great Depression.
Just last week, India was hit with the 1st cyclone of the season. Cyclone Amphan struck West Bengal directly wiping out any structure within reach. Amphan’s path of destruction included farmland, schools, businesses, and homes. 10 million people have been affected and 500,000 have lost their homes due to the cyclone. This storm is especially unique because India has recently been on “lockdown” of sorts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A disaster like this is forcing the intermingling of people that have previously been practicing the social distancing concept to flatten the COVID-19 curve. 3 million people were successfully evacuated prior to the storm, but the balance would rather try to fight off mother nature instead of being confined in a small space. It was a true case of “pick your poison”.