business news in context, analysis with attitude

Random and illustrative stories about the global pandemic and how businesses and various business sectors are trying to recover from it, with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  In the United States, there now have been 28,897,718 total cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 514,996 deaths and 19,212,517 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 112,739,054 total coronavirus cases … 2,498,493 resultant fatalities … and 88,308,784 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Washington Post writes that "at least 44.5 million people have received one or both doses of the vaccine in the U.S.  This includes more than 19.9 million people who have been fully vaccinated."

•  Breaking news from CNN:

"In an analysis released Wednesday, the US Food and Drug Administration said the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine has met the requirements for emergency use authorization.

"The efficacy of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against moderate to severe/critical Covid-19 across all geographic areas was 66.9% at least 14 days after the single dose vaccination and 66.1% at least 28 days after vaccination, a new analysis meant to brief the FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee said."

FDA emergency use authorization is expected within days, with shots-in-arms possible by early next week.

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"Hospitalizations due to Covid-19 have more than halved from a month earlier. As of Tuesday, there were 55,058 Covid-19 patients in hospitals in the U.S., the fifth day in a row the figure has been under 60,000, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The burden on intensive care units also eased, with 11,272 coronavirus patients in ICUs across the country, compared with more than 22,000 a month earlier."

•  From the Washington Post:

"Global deaths from the coronavirus fell by 20 percent last week compared with the week before, the World Health Organization said in a statement, part of a wider trend that also includes a decline in cases worldwide.

"The downturn in cases and deaths follows a winter surge in infections but also has coincided with an increase in vaccinations, particularly in the United States and Europe.

"According to the WHO, nearly 66,000 global deaths from coronavirus-related complications were reported last week, marking the third straight week that the figure has fallen. The number of new cases also dropped for the sixth consecutive week, falling by 11 percent last week, the agency said."

•  The Washington Post reports that Pfizer and Moderna executives testified to the House Energy and Commerce oversight and investigations subcommittee yesterday, predicting "a major increase in vaccine deliveries that will result in 140 million more doses over the next five weeks, saying they have solved manufacturing challenges and are in a position to overcome scarcity that has hampered the nation’s fight against the coronavirus."

The Post notes that "if the companies are able to meet their projections, it would signal the beginning of the end of a period of deep frustration and mark faster progress against a pandemic that has claimed more than 500,000 lives in the United States. The slower-than-anticipated vaccine rollout has hampered progress toward vaccinating the 70 or 80 percent of the U.S. population of 330 million people required to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus."