The following is the Bloomberg Evening Briefing sent via email on Monday April 27, 2020.
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A Covid-19 vaccine could be available for vulnerable groups, like health care workers, as early as this year, according to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. The stunning declaration runs counter to the group’s earlier suggestion that a shot wouldn’t be ready for 12 to 18 months, itself an ambitious target given how many experts say it could take several years or longer. But the coalition, which is funding nine different coronavirus vaccine projects, attributed its sudden optimism to companies working closely together to accelerate the process, and faster enrollment in human trials. — David E. Rovella
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said a statewide “pause” may be lifted for some regions in mid-May. Over the weekend, he announced Covid-19 tests would be available in pharmacies all across the state, the hardest hit in America. On Monday, President Donald Trump was to unveil plans to provide tests to all 50 states, enough to screen at least 2% of residents. The administration’s months of delay in developing and distributing working tests has been cited as a key reason the U.S. leads the world in coronavirus deaths and infections. States like New York have been left to fill the gap. Meanwhile, Trump’s aides are urging the quick reopening of businesses despite warnings that such a move would be premature and lead to spikes in infections and deaths.
Former Vice President Joe Biden called on Trump to launch a new public health jobs corps of 100,000 people to assist with testing and contact tracing, as the presumptive Democratic nominee laid out his vision for safely reopening the economy.
Trump has joined Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in saying Democratic-leaning states where the most Americans have been infected and died should not get federal aid. In response, Cuomo has pointed out that most federal tax dollars come from such blue states, while Republican-leaning red states such as Kentucky, where McConnell is from, rake in the most.
Plant shutdowns are leaving Americans dangerously close to seeing meat shortages at grocery stores. Meanwhile, farmers are facing the likely culling of millions of animals.
The first iteration of the so-called small business bailout resulted in many big companies getting millions of dollars, many small companies getting nothing at all, and ancient government technology simply crashing. Now refilled with taxpayer dollars, it may be happening again. Lenders are being shut out of the system, saying they are being kicked out as they try to process applications on behalf of small-business owners.
British health authorities are warning doctors about a growing number of children with a “ multi-system inflammatory state” that could be linked to the coronavirus.
The debate about when and whether the world can reopen keeps coming back to testing. If only we could test everyone all the time, the logic goes, we could isolate the ill and everyone else could go back to school, work and life as we once knew it. Sadly, writes Cathy O’Neil in Bloomberg Opinion, that’s not quite right. The prerequisite for reopening is better tests, not just more tests.