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New Research Shows Virus Spread Across US Via NYC: Live Updates

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.


  • NYT says COVID-19 spread to NYC first, then the rest of the country
  • Rite Aid says expanding virus testing
  • New cases reported Wednesday highest in 2 weeks
  • Global case total tops 3.75 mil
  • Belgium prepares to reopen most shops Monday
  • CNN says 43 states will be 'partially or mostly open' by next week
  • Brazilian villages slam lack of lifesaving medical equipment
  • Moderna shares spike as 2nd phase vaccine trial set
  • Japan grants emergency approval to remdesivir
  • Teva shares explode higher
  • Nigeria extends flight ban
  • Vietnam still hasn't reported a single death from COVID-19

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Update (0950ET): Aside from confirmation that 33 million jobs have been destroyed in the US alone since the lockdown began, there's been relatively little news to drive the market higher on Thursday (or maybe its the 'endtimes-style' freak snowstorms that have popped the Nasdaq back into the green, since what is the apocalypse but the ultimate excuse for the Fed to really pull the ripcord?).

While we suspect this interpretation of the data might change by eod tomorrow, the NYT just reported that the domestic coronavirus outbreak was large enough by the end of March that the outbreaks in NYC actually helped seed the rest of the country, meaning the potentially more-deadly mutation of SARS-CoV-2 documented in NY and Europe might have actually spread across the entire US.

The virus reportedly swept across NYC in February and early March, when Mayor de Blasio was still dismissing it as a non-issue and encouraging foreigners to hop on those planes and cruise ships and giddy up on over here, partner. If de Blasio was so proactive about combating the virus, how come it was discovered on the west coast first?

New York City’s coronavirus outbreak grew so large by early March that the city became the primary source of new infections in the United States, new research reveals, as thousands of infected people traveled from the city and seeded outbreaks around the country.

The research indicates that a wave of infections swept from New York City through much of the country before the city began setting social distancing limits to stop the growth. That helped to fuel outbreaks in Louisiana, Texas, Arizona and as far away as the West Coast.

The findings are drawn from geneticists’ tracking signature mutations of the virus, travel histories of infected people and models of the outbreak by infectious disease experts.

"We now have enough data to feel pretty confident that New York was the primary gateway for the rest of the country," said Nathan Grubaugh, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health.

Spokespeople from the mayor's office and the White House blamed each other for failing to stop the spread from New York…though several states went ahead and took it upon themselves to block travelers from NY and the surrounding area…only for Cuomo to threaten to sue them for discrimination (remember that?).

Dani Lever, communications director for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, criticized federal authorities, describing an “enormous failure by the federal government to leave New York and the East Coast exposed to flights from Europe, while at the same time instilling a false sense of security by telling the State of New York that we had no Covid cases throughout the entire month of February..

A White House spokesman, Judd Deere, said that Mr. Trump had acted quickly. The president blocked most visitors from Europe starting on March 13, more than a month after he restricted travel from China.

“Just as he acted early on to cut off travel from the source of the virus, President Trump was advised by his health and infectious disease experts that he should cut off travel from Europe — an action he took decisively without delay to save lives while Democrats and the media criticized him and the global health community still did not fully comprehend the level of transmission or spread,” Mr. Deere said.

By now it's become clear that Trump's travel bans probably still came too late (even though even the WHO didn't recommend them at the time), it's also the latest sign that the virus had started to spread much earlier than previously believed, which means it might have already been spreading outside Wuhan before the first cases were identified by local authorities and doctors (who were swiftly silenced) in early December.

What does that tell us about what Beijing likely knew, and when?

In other news, Rite Aid has significantly expanded COVID-19 testing in the US.


The Philly Fed's Raphael Bostic said Thursday that the response to the early days of reopening has been "mixed", and it's still too early to tell how well small businesses are faring.

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As more US states and countries move ahead with reopening their economies, Johns Hopkins said it had recorded the largest number of new coronavirus infections worldwide on Wednesday in two weeks, the latest sign that reopening economies has led to a slight pickup in the infection rate. New confirmed infections on Wednesday topped 92,700, the most since April 24 and the 4th-highest daily total yet. With ~24,300 cases, the US accounts for about a quarter of the above total.

Total confirmed coronavirus cases are nearing the 4 million mark, with 3,772,267 reported as of Thursday, along with 264,189 deaths. 1,228,609 of those cases were from the US, along with 73,431 deaths.

In Europe, Belgium announced Thursday that shops in the country would be allowed to reopen on May 11, the latest western European country to set a date. The total number of cases confirmed in Belgium is roughly 51,500, just shy of the 'official' count from India.

Meanwhile, as the US prepares to confirm millions of additional job losses, at least 43 US states will have partially, or completely, reopened their economies by Sunday, according to CNN, which apparently has a different definition of "completely open" (we wouldn't consider restrictions on the number of customers to just 50% of max capacity 'completely' open). And some more retail stores in LA County could reopen as soon as Friday, Mayor Garcetti announced late Wednesday.

A few days ago, we shared a heart-wrenching story about the breakdown of health-care systems in remote Brazilian villages, where the coronavirus is running rampant.

On Thursday morning, BBG shared the following video mourning a relative who died due to there being no ventilator.

Moderna shares spiked 10%+ in premarket trading Thursday as the FDA gave the drug company and vaccine-trial favorite (just as Jim Cramer) permission to move ahead with the second phase of its trials for a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna, which was the first drug company to begin testing a vaccine candidate on humans. The company said it will begin phase 2 trials with 600 participants shortly and is finalizing plans for a phase 3 trial as early as this summer.

Japan on Thursday became the first developed country to approve remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19, an approval that is also being aggressively pursued by the FDA, which has already given the drug an emergency approval.

In earnings news, Teva shares exploded 10% higher after the Israeli drugmaker confirmed its full-year guidance, while posting profit and revenue figures that beat expectations thanks to sales of the company's repspiratory products.

Finally, the FT shared a survey on Thursday claiming more than 70% of likely American voters trust their state’s governor to guide the economy back to fully-operational more than they trust President Trump, a sign – the FT said – of "mounting dissatisfaction" with Trump's handling of the outbreak.

After nearly exterminating the virus, health officials in South Korea were alarmed Thursday after a 29-year-old South Korean nightclubber tested positive in a small city just outside Seoul. The case was the only domestic infection reported on Thursday, and officials are worried that the patient may have spread the virus while visiting a nightlife district in Seoul.

In Africa, as cases climb across the continent, Nigeria says it plans to expand its ban on all flights for another four weeks from Thursday, as Africa's most populous country (and, in urban enclaves, extremely densely so) takes more steps to crack down of the virus.

As Vietnam moves ahead with reopening, it's worth pointing out that the tiny southeast Asian country still hasn't reported a single death from the virus. Vietnam reported 17 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, all of whom were Vietnamese citizens infected abroad. The country has confirmed just 288 infections since the outbreak began.

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