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…

•  The US now has had 95,449,606 total cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, resulting in 1,066,082 deaths and 90,893,151 reported recoveries.

Globally, there have been 601,813,537 total cases, with 6,474,316 resultant fatalities and 576,467,606 reported recoveries.  (Source.)

•  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 79 percent of the total US population now has received at least one dose of vaccine, with 67.4 percent. being fully vaccinated.  The CDC also says that 48.4 percent of the total US population has received a first vaccine booster dose, with 33.2 percent of the 50+  population and 40.4 percent of the 65+ population having received a second vaccine booster shot.

•  Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, named to the post by President Ronald Reagan and advising seven presidents during his career, announced that he will retire in December.  Fauci is 81.

The Washington Post writes that Fauci's tenure "put him on the front lines of every modern-day scourge, including AIDS, the 2001 anthrax scares, Ebola, Zika and the coronavirus pandemic. During the nearly four decades Fauci led the agency, it grew from a little-known institute with a $350 million annual budget to a globally recognized powerhouse with a budget exceeding $6 billion."

Fauci was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

Look, I recognize that not everyone is going to agree with what I am about to say, but I'm going to say it anyway and, to be honest, I'm not going to turn MNB into a place where we are going to have an extended debate about Fauci's career.  I do believe that the US has been lucky to have a public servant of Fauci's quality and dedication, and it is shame that some decided that his response to the coronavirus pandemic into a political football.  I had an MNB reader who wrote me the other day, responding to a study suggesting that workers defined as "essential" continue to be impacted by Covid-19, becoming reinfected at a greater rate than others.

"It's especially affecting those who have been vaccinated and boosted," he wrote.  "Turns out it is actually the pandemic of the vaccinated."  Which - forgive my bluntness - is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard.  Those people aren't reinfected because they are vaccinated and boosted - they're getting reinfected because their jobs put them at greater risk.  The government's response to the pandemic wasn't perfect - the coronavirus was a moving target, and the response had to evolve as our understanding of it changed.  And certainly the people in charge of public health policy ought to learn from the experience to fashion an ever more efficient, science-based approach to future pandemics.

But a lot more people would've gotten sick and died if not for dedicated public servants like Fauci who did their level best to respond to the emergency.  

Y'know what I think is a shame?  Since I last did a "MNB Covid-19 Coronavirus Update," on July 29 - and trust me, I'm thrilled not to be doing them every day, like I did for close to two years - the numbers of vaccinations and boosters have not changed a whole hell of a lot.  That's too bad.