“We are going to see economic data for the second quarter that is worse than any data we have seen for the economy,” Powell said. “There are direct consequences of the disease and measures we are taking to protect ourselves from it.”
“It is heartbreaking, frankly, to see that all threatened now,” Powell said of previous gains in non-white unemployment.
Read a deep dive into the economic data for the first part of the year, when the coronavirus stopped a booming economy in its tracks.
Nonessential health care, essential meat processing. While much of the economy remains shut by the government, President Donald Trump essentially deemed meat processors essential to national security and has said, despite safety concerns, that they must stay open.
Tyson Foods, one of the largest meat processors, has promised two $500 bonuses for some workers. And they are ramping up safety in their plants.
It’s notable, however, that a good portion of the workers in meat processing plants are immigrants and minorities.
“I’m still trying to figure out: What is he going to do, force them to stay open? Force people to go to work?” he asked.
Human sacrifice zones. David Michaels was the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health during the Obama administration. He slammed Trump’s executive order during an appearance on CNN.
“What President Trump has done is said, ‘We solved the bottleneck, we’re going to make you stay open,'” Michaels said. “It is a disaster for workers. We’re making these workplaces, these meat packing plants into human sacrifice zones.”
Very good news
Recovering more quickly — New data suggests patients with severe Covid-19 who took remdesivir could recover faster than patients who didn’t take it, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Wednesday.
Fauci feels good — “The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” said the institute’s director, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
It’s not a 100% recovery rate, but… — “Although a 31% improvement doesn’t seem like a knockout 100%, it is very important proof of concept,” Fauci said. “What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus.”
Telling us early — Normally, data about a drug’s efficacy wouldn’t be released this early from a preliminary trial.
But “whenever you have clear-cut evidence that a drug works, you have an ethical obligation to immediately let the people in the placebo group know so that they can have access,” Fauci said.
‘Operation Warp Speed’
Trump and Kushner have their own reality
On Tuesday, Trump told a reporter the US would soon be able to meet a Harvard-researcher-recommended benchmark of 5 million tests per day.
That same day Trump’s person in charge of testing said that would never happen.
He called the Harvard recommendation an “Ivory Tower, unreasonable benchmark.”
“Now that the tests are out there, it’s really about scaling supply chain, really in a historic manner and pace. So somebody asked me why it took so long, you should look at how did we do this so quickly? What’s really happened, it’s really extraordinary. So we don’t want to let Dr. Fauci down and we will make sure we get enough tests into the market,” he said.
Data vs. decisionmaking
Among the notable openers — Georgia and Texas — there has certainly not been a decrease.
And while anyone looking objectively at the curve of infections and deaths might wonder why things have plateaued, Kushner says that “we are on the other side of the medical aspect of this.”
Humanity is facing three crises at the very least — medical, economic and social — that will cause financial and geopolitical reverberations for years. The grim state of the economy was underscored Wednesday morning when it was reported that first-quarter GDP fell 4.8%, the worst contraction since the Great Recession.
Yet Trump says he sees “light at the end of the tunnel” and acts as if America is nearly home free.