• Daily Digest

    Daily Digest 7/9 – Herd Immunity May Be ‘Unachievable,’ Do Deficits Matter?

    by Daily Digest

    Thursday, July 9, 2020, 6:30 AM


Parents Can’t Wait Around Forever (Emily O.)

The other big question was: Are children major vectors for the virus? At least one government has argued that children could not transmit the virus at all. Some research teams countered that they were just as likely to transmit it as adults are. At this point, neither of these claims seems quite right. If a kid is sick and shedding virus particles and an adult is exposed to those particles, of course the adult can get sick; but children do seem to transmit the virus less than adults do. In an early case, an infected child went to several skiing schools and was exposed to hundreds of contacts without infecting anyone. Data from the Netherlands suggest that children are relatively unlikely to be the “index case” in their families—that is, they are unlikely to be the first case in a family cluster.

Johns Hopkins University eSchool+ Initiative Analysis of School Reopening Plans (tmn)

As the United States begins to think about reopening, schools should be at the forefront of the conversation. Not only will schools need to reopen in a way that makes every effort to protect the safety and health of students, teachers, and staff, but schools will need to find new ways to help students make up for the losses in learning, health, and support systems that occurred as a result of the closure. This analysis explores education recovery plans put forth by states to examine the ways these plans are designed to support students and teachers. Importantly, this analysis offers are view of state recovery plans at a snapshot in time; there may have been changes or updates to these plans since this analysis was conducted.

Over 8,000 privately backed companies got billions in PPP loans, SBA data shows (PBN)

“A lot of people are interested in conducting oversight over the program,” said Jeff Farrah, general counsel at the National Venture Capital Association. “It does make it more challenging to do that when you have situations where you can’t really rely upon the data.”

But some companies on the loan list admitted the funds were necessary as the pandemic rocked global markets and rattled private investors.

Modern monetary theory: the rise of economists who say huge government debt is not a problem (TourGuideDC)

MMT proponents argue that governments can spend as necessary on all desirable causes – reducing unemployment, green energy, better healthcare and education – without worrying about paying for it with higher taxes or increased borrowing. Instead, they can pay using new money from their central bank. The only limit, according to this view, is if inflation starts to rise, in which case the solution is to increase taxes.

Do deficits matter? Japan shows they do. (TourGuideDC)

While the exact outcome will depend on policy choices, any alternatives will entail some difficult tradeoffs—despite what some economists say, there is no free lunch in running large public deficits and building up debt. Japan has paid heavily for its high public sector debt through slower economic growth brought about by net household and corporate lending. The United States will need to get control over its debt, holding a public debate to build social and political support for a difficult reform and reprioritization of the US federal budget.

Unemployment Claims Show Continued Pressure on Economy: Live Updates (jdargis)

Hiring nationwide has picked up in recent weeks, and the overall jobless rate dipped in June to 11.1 percent from a peak of 14.7 percent in April. But most of the payroll gains were because of the rehiring of workers temporarily laid off. The pool of workers whose previous jobs have disappeared and who must search for new ones has grown.

“Their circumstances may be more challenging to rectify than those who were laid off because of a temporary closure,” said Elizabeth Akers, who was a staff economist with the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. “Finding new jobs will be more difficult. There’s been scarring in the economy.”

JP Morgan Will Stop Shorting Silver – Craig Hemke (pinecarr)

Hemke says there will come a time in the markets when there will be no sellers of physical gold or silver. Then, Hemke says the price will skyrocket.

VC Firms Promised to Help Black Founders. My Experience Shows a Different Reality. (tmn)

These numbers are certainly not because Black women don’t have the skills or drive as entrepreneurs. Black women started 42% of net new women-owned businesses between 2014 and 2019, which is three times the average for all women-owned businesses. Black women are the most educated group when you look at the number of associate and bachelor’s degrees earned within each demographic.

Is SARS-CoV-2 airborne? Questions abound—but here’s what we know (jdargis)

Most of the media coverage has homed in on the conflict with the WHO, casting the researchers’ letter as yet another ding against the organization’s pandemic response. In the past months, many researchers and public health experts have criticized the WHO, saying it stumbled in the wake of fast-paced research relating to mask use and garbled messaging on the risks of virus transmission from people who show no symptoms of COVID-19, among other things. The WHO’s stance on aerosols is yet another example of the organization being overly cautious at interpreting data and sluggish at recommending life-saving precautions, critics say.

Meanwhile, researchers have erupted in debate of their own regarding airborne transmission. There are disputes over the data—and what it means—as well as definitions of airborne droplets and how the current data should translate to precautions and protective measures.

China’s Second Wave of Coronavirus Censorship Is Here (thc0655)

My friend Qian was sent by a Shanghai-based Chinese digital media outlet to report from the epidemic center in Wuhan. She saw patients collapsing while waiting outside hospitals and their families kneeling at doctors’ feet begging for help. We decided to do something together. I would contact people in the Weibo group, gather their information, and pass that on to Qian. She would push local government to find hospital beds for these people when she attended press conferences or interviewed government officials. We weren’t sure how effective this would be, but we were pleased to hear that a lot of the people we contacted were approached by community officers and were eventually diagnosed and hospitalized.

Coronavirus herd immunity may be ‘unachievable’ after study suggests antibodies disappear after weeks in some people (Roger B.)

The study also found that 14% of people who had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in the first round of testing no longer tested positive in subsequent tests carried out weeks later.

“Immunity can be incomplete, it can be transitory, it can last for just a short time and then disappear,” Raquel Yotti, the director of Spain’s Carlos III Health Institute, which helped conduct the study, said.

Warning of serious brain disorders in people with mild coronavirus symptoms (Deborah B.)

A dozen patients had inflammation of the central nervous system, 10 had brain disease with delirium or psychosis, eight had strokes and a further eight had peripheral nerve problems, mostly diagnosed as Guillain-Barré syndrome, an immune reaction that attacks the nerves and causes paralysis. It is fatal in 5% of cases.

A Study of Hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc for the Prevention of COVID-19 Infection (HELPCOVID-19) (Brian)

In this study, subjects will take a regimen of hydroxychloroquine, vitamin C, vitamin D, and Zinc to test if this combination can prevent COVID-19. Treatment with hydroxychlorquine will last 1 day. Treatment with vitamin C, vitamin D, and and zinc will last 12 weeks.

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