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Global Coronavirus Death Toll Passes 70k: Live Updates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Summary:

  • First ‘confrontation’ reported at White House task force
  • ‘Peak week’ begins in the US
  • Experts question drop in NYC hospitalizations, deaths
  • Situation in Italy, Spain continues to improve as UK reports biggest jump in fatalities
  • Tokyo reports another 50+ cases
  • Global death passes 70k
  • NYC expected to see 876 deaths during Thursday’s “peak”
  • More experts warn deaths being undercounted in NYC
  • Germany releases plan to get “back to normal” by April 19
  • Worker at Georgia nuclear power plant tests positive
  • Spain sees drop in deaths
  • SK reports fewest new cases in weeks
  • Abe rolls out state of emergency to begin Tuesday
  • Trump “optimistic” about Sunday’s data
  • Hospital operator Quorum facing bankruptcy amidst global health crisis

*    *    *

Update (1010ET): Before we jump into an explanation of the projections suggesting that the “peak” in the US will occur over the next 7-10 days, we’d like to draw some more attention to reports that many COVID-19 deaths are being undercounted, both in NYC and around the US.

In recent days, both the administration and NY Gov. Cuomo appear to have settled on projections shared by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics, which took these ‘official’ projections and created graphs and helped explain the it to the press and the general public. 

outline predicted death tolls for each state, along with warnings about potential shortages of much-needed hospital beds.

Of course, the peak isn’t going to happen simultaneously across the country; rather, it’ll likely unfurl over the course of a few weeks, with most of the east-coast hot spots and their outlying areas expects to pass the peak over the next week or so. But as the city scrambles to assemble the necessary supplies of equipment and personnel, the projections warned that Thursday will likely be the ‘peak’ for the city, with roughly 900 deaths expected.

NJ comes next on the timeline, with a peak expected in 10 days, with just under 600 deaths expected to be reported that day. Connecticut will also follow next week, as will the Philly area.

In other news, a worker at a Georgia nuclear power plant has tested positive.

*    *    *

Update (0933ET): As Germany’s DAX surges 5%, bringing its post-selloff rebound to 20% off the lows, health authorities across the continent are reporting optimistic cornavirus news, starting with Germany, of course, which rolled out a plan for re-starting the economy by April 19, becoming the first major European economy to plot a course toward re-opening.

According to Reuters, the Interior Ministry (led by Interior Minister and Merkel antagonist Horst Seehofer) has drawn up a list of measures, including an obligation to wear masks in public, limits on public gatherings and the rapid tracing of infection chains, that should allow the country to get “back to normal life” when the current lockdown ends on April 19.

Elsewhere, health officials in Spain reported another notable drop in deaths.

But the biggest (and grimmest) news over the last hour or so: The global death toll has surpassed 70k:

The latest update from JHU put the total at 70,482…

And of course, as we noted last night, many believe deaths are being undercounted both across the US, and around the world.

*    *    *

Update (0811ET): Like a jockey whipping his horse in the home stretch, President Trump is firing off tweets celebrating this morning’s surge in S&P futures.


We expect he will keep these tweets coming into the open. Meanwhile, Downing Street says Boris Johnson said he’s in “good spirits” after spending a “comfortable” night in St. Thomas’s hospital in central London, his spokesman, James Slack, told reporters during a Monday morning conference call.

Johnson was hospitalized on Sunday as a “precaution” and the premier “remains in the hospital under observation.”

*    *    *

During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” yesterday morning, Surgeon General Jerome Adams told Chris Wallace that the upcoming week will be “the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives,” calling it our “our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment,” except that, unlike those attacks, this one won’t be “localized” – it will be unfurling across the US, almost simultaneously.

Nearly 12 hours later, President Trump and VP Pence said during the evening’s task force press briefing that the numbers reported out of Continental Europe and New York earlier that day were “very optimistic,” sending futures on what looks like their most bullish trading to kick off a new week since the end of the ‘rona rout (or at least, the first installment of it).

To be sure, some experts have raised doubts about the optimistic numbers reported out of New York State and New York City last night. Notably, the state reported its first decline in daily coronavirus deaths.

The second day of declining hospitalizations state-wide was one of the most optimistic numbers reported yesterday by Cuomo.

Numbers showing deaths in NYC declined yesterday for the second day in a row, when they were reported by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. De Blasio also revealed last night that the feds had sent NYC 174 nurses, 104 doctors and 13 respiratory therapists, not enough to completely make up the shortfall, but “a start”, the mayor said.

Before people get too excited about these latest numbers out of New York, we noticed several epidemiologists and other ‘data people’ found flaws in the numbers that they highlighted on Twitter. One expert who reviewed the data said she found a pattern that suggests the city might have underreported deaths yesterday, meaning these encouraging numbers don’t reflect reality, and that more deaths would be reported later on Monday to compensate.

Here’s Dr. Andrea Feigl, a Harvard-trained medical writer:



She also highlighted the NYT report we mentioned last night showing widespread underreporting of deaths across the US.

While equity strategists appeared to focus on the strong numbers out of the Continental Europe yesterday, (Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, mostly), numbers out of the UK, where the Queen delivered a landmark speech while the PM was admitted to the hospital with brutal COVID-19 symptoms, were much more alarming, with the largest jump in deaths reported yet as the UK’s death toll has accelerated over the past week. Meanwhile, reports that Britons continue to flout the lockdowns despite the crackdown by police have vexed those trying to combat the outbreak.

Worldwide, we’re on the verge of 70k deaths as the virus continues to spread, finally accelerating in places like Brazil, and elsewhere across Latin America, while small outbreaks have cropped up in practically all of Africa’s 54 countries.

The same is true in Asia: While South Korea reported just 47 new cases of the coronavirus, the lowest daily uptick since infections began surging on Feb 21., and the first time that number has dipped below 50 since then as well. At the peak, SK was reporting 900+ new cases daily. As one reporter noted on twitter, things could still turn on a time, but it’s definitely a milestone for the country with arguably the most effective response to the virus in the world.

Although South Korea never had to close their economy (as officials’ swift response kept things from getting to out of control), analysts at Nomura just helped put SK’s outbreak in perspective.

Meanwhile, another 50+ cases were reported out of Tokyo overnight, as Japanese PM Abe prepared to announce plans to launch a state of emergency set to begin tomorrow. As Nikkei Asian Review reported Monday morning, Abe said Monday the planned state of emergency would be rolled out in seven prefectures, while also announcing a record 108 trillion yen (about $1 trillion) stimulus package.

Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka prefectures will be covered by the decree. However, because the Japanese Constitution bows to civil liberties and doesn’t give the government the authority to stop people from leaving their homes, cities and governors won’t be able to punish businesses who flout the rules – though they can engage in that famously Japanese cultural practice: shaming.

“Even though we will declare a state of emergency, we will not lock cities down and I do not think it is necessary,” Abe told reporters in Tokyo before a meeting of the government’s coronavirus task force. “We will ramp up our effort to maintain economic activities as possible as well as preventing the further spread of the virus.”

The prime minister said he would declare the state of emergency as soon as Tuesday. His bailout will include cash payments to households and bailouts for small businesses similar to what the US is trying to pull off.

Before we go, here is a snapshot on how the situation in the US has developed over the last 24 hours.

Late last night, Axios reported (and we duly note) whispers that “the first major confrontation” had unfolded during a White House task force meeting between – of all people – Peter Navarro and Dr. Fauci. Navarro slammed Dr. Fauci for allegedly playing down the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, which was recently determined to be one of the more effective therapies that have been tested in small batches (albeit without control groups, which, as any good scientist will tell you, is vital for producing ‘usable’ data). At the end of the fight, Jared Kushner demanded that Navarro “Take yes as an answer” since the administration is already working to get the drug to ‘hotspots’ around the country.

But before people start buying into the optimism and project that the end is within striking distance, we’d like to highlight an alarming reminder that the pressure hospitals are facing right now isn’t just operational, it’s financial as well, as Quorum, a hospital operator in the US, faces bankruptcy. Though the business would likely keep running throughout, the added stress is not exactly conducive to running an operation at full-tilt during an unprecedented global crisis.


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