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  • U.S. Tops 5 Million Cases; Kudlow Sees Progress: Virus Update

    U.S. Tops 5 Million Cases; Kudlow Sees Progress: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. passed 5 million Covid-19 infections on Sunday after adding 1 million new cases in just over two weeks. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow argued the U.S. is making inroads against the virus’s spread. Cases and deaths slowed in both Florida and Arizona.The European Commission is hopeful a vaccine will be available by early next year, allowing a gradual return to normality, Handelsblatt reported.Italy’s government reaffirmed its plan to reopen schools next month. That message was echoed by the cabinet in the U.K. even as it again reported more than 1,000 new cases a day. Paris will mandate outdoor mask wearing on its busiest streets from Monday to limit a resurgence in cases.Key DevelopmentsGlobal Tracker: Global cases top 19.6 million; deaths pass 727,000Struggling economy gets only limited help from Trump actionsPandemic creates doubt over long-term demand for metalsPandemic puts millions of Europeans on path to a debt crisisTrack the race for vaccines that might end the coronavirus pandemicSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.Greece Hits Record (1:23 p.m. NY)Greece reported 203 new coronavirus cases Sunday, the highest daily increase since the beginning of the pandemic, bringing the total number to 5,623. The number Sunday was the largest daily rise since April 21.Gottlieb Sees Third-Wave Risk in U.S. (12:30 pm NY)Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the U.S. looks like it’s headed for an infection surge in rural regions after the virus hit urban areas and the Sun Belt.“We’re probably going to have another wave,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. There’s concern about largely untouched rural communities, which are “probably a bit more complacent” about virus risks, he said.Rural spread is “going to be far more difficult to control if it’s more widespread,” he said. “We’re seeing indications of that right now -- the wave spreading in the Midwest and the West.”New York Cases Fall (12 p.m. NY)New York reported a 0.1% rise in cases to 515, below the 0.2% average daily increase from the previous week. The state reported seven deaths, according to a tweet from Governor Andrew Cuomo. He said the 0.78% rate of positive tests was the “lowest we have seen since the pandemic began.” Total hospitalizations remained steady.U.K. Reports More Than 1,000 Cases (11:45 a.m. NY)The U.K. reported more than 1,000 new infections for the first time since June 26, bringing the total to 310,825, according to health department data. The 1,062 cases reported Sunday are higher than the seven-day average of 877.The seven-day average has been climbing steadily since England reopened pubs and restaurants on July 4, when it stood at 575. Northern Ireland is no longer reporting data on weekends.Arizona Cases Lowest in Six Weeks (11:40 a.m. NY)Arizona reported 816 cases, its lowest since late June. The 0.4% increase was below the 0.7% daily average increase of the previous week. Total cases are now 186,923.The state, which medical experts including Anthony Fauci say appears to be turning a corner in its outbreak, reported 13 deaths, down from 56 the previous day. Total deaths are now 4,150.Italy Cases Near Recent High (11:35 a.m. NY)Italy reported 463 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the second-highest number intwo months after reaching 552 on Friday. The country has recorded 250,566 totalcases since late February. Two more deaths were reported.Florida Cases, Deaths Slow (11:05 a.m. NY)Florida added 6,229 cases, a 1.2% rise compared with the 1.4% average daily increase over the previous week. Total cases are now 532,806.Deaths among residents also slowed, to 77 from 182 the day before. Total deaths among residents are now 8,186.Kudlow Sees Progress Against Virus (10:20 a.m. NY)White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow suggested the U.S. is making inroads against the spread of Covid-19.“Having gone through a very tough period as the virus spread to the South and West, it looks like we’re making pretty good progress,” Kudlow said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. “Am I worried in general? Yes, I’m always worried in general. Things have happened here that no one expected to happen -- exponentially.”At the same time, the Washington Post reported that an internal model by the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers is projecting a rise in infections later in August and into September and October in the Midwest and elsewhere. Kudlow said he has “not heard anything about” that analysis.U.S. Passes 5 Million Cases (10 a.m. NY)Covid-19 cases in the U.S. crossed 5 million, adding a million cases in just over two weeks, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The nation with the worst coronavirus outbreak hit 4 million cases on July 23, amid a skyrocketing outbreak in the Sunbelt and political battles over the Trump administration’s handling of the virus response.The daily numbers are down from recent peaks, with 56,070 cases reported Saturday, a 1.1% increase over the previous day. Total deaths are 162,441, the data show.European Commissioner Upbeat on Vaccine (9:35 a.m. NY)There are “good signs” that a first vaccine against Covid-19 could be available in about six months, meaning it would be ready in late 2020 or early 2021, the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides told Handelsblatt in an interview. While a vaccine won’t immediately solve all the problems, it will allow a step-by-step return to normality, the newspaper cited Kyriakides as saying.U.K. Sees School Reopening as Key for Economy (7:46 a.m. NY)Fully reopening schools in September is important for the U.K.’s economic recovery as it will allow parents to return to work, Schools Minister Nick Gibb said in an interview on Times Radio. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Mail on Sunday newspaper the country has a “moral duty” to resume normal teaching and reopening is now a “national priority.”Hong Kong Care Home to Be Evacuated: RTHK (7:24 a.m. NY)A care home for the elderly in Hong Kong will be evacuated after two more people were diagnosed with Covid-19 and another tested preliminarily positive, RTHK reported, citing health officials. More than 40 residents and staff at the home at Kowloon Bay will be quarantined. Hong Kong reported 72 new Covid-19 infections on Sunday.Vietnam Reports 29 New Infections (07:14 a.m. NY)Vietnam confirmed 29 new infections and one death, according to the health ministry.The nation has reported 384 local infections since the outbreak in the coastal city of Danang July 25. It now has a total of 841 cases with 11 deaths.Italy Plans to Open Schools in September (06:15 NY)Italy’s Health Minister Roberto Speranza confirmed in an interview with Corriere della Sera the government’s plan to open all schools on Sept. 14.Another lockdown would do an “enormous damage, and we need to avoid it more than anything,” Speranza said in the interview.Iran’s New Cases Fall to Lowest in Two Months (6:06 a.m. NY)In Iran, the number of new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours fell to a two-month low of 2,020, bringing total infections to 326,712. The death toll climbed to 18,427 with 163 more fatalities overnight, up from 132 the day before.The figures come at the end of a long weekend and public holiday in the country during which many Iranians traveled across provinces, in what could cause a surge in infections in the coming weeks.Belgium Restricts Beach Visits; Infections Slow (5:21 p.m. HK)Belgium’s authorities said on Sunday that 617 more people have been infected with coronavirus in the past 24 hours, versus 768 the day before. Four more deaths were reported, bringing the total number of fatalities to 9,870.Several coastal towns banned one-day visitors on Sunday after scorching heat drove scores of Belgians to the beaches the day before.Germany’s Cases Dip to Week-Low; R-Value Up (4:43 p.m. HK)The number of new cases in Germany was at the lowest in a week at 707. At the same time, the reproduction factor -- or R value --, a lagging indicator, rose to 1.32 on Saturday, the highest in three weeks, meaning 100 infected people are estimated to spread the disease to about 132 others. Local authorities may again turn stricter following local outbreaks among harvest workers, at a canning company, and among returning travelers near the end of the summer break.France Counts Impact on Tourism Sector (4:36 p.m. HK)The immediate impact of the epidemic on French tourism will be at least 30 billion euros to 40 billion euros, Secretary of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said in the Journal du Dimanche. In normal times, the sector generates 180 billion euros in revenue, a third from international guests.Infections Increase Across Eastern Europe (4:00 p.m. HK)Ukraine reported 1,199 new cases Sunday with 18 deaths, after a spike to 1,489 new registered infections Saturday, the highest daily number since the pandemic hit the country in March. Neighboring Hungary, which has depicted itself as a relatively safer zone, reported 43 new cases Sunday, the highest since May.France Mandates Mask on Busy Paris Streets (3:23 p.m. HK)Masks will be mandatory outdoors from Monday on the busiest streets of Paris, including the most tourist-heavy areas, according to local authorities.The spread of the virus accelerated last week in France, infecting increasingly younger people. Industry Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher said the government started a program to distribute free masks to those in need and without resources.The scientific council advising the government said wearing masks outdoors will eventually become the norm and called on the 20 biggest cities to prepare for a potential new wave of confinements.Fire at India Virus Facility Kills Nine (12:29 p.m. HK)At least nine people died in a fire that broke out at a coronavirus facility in the city of Vijayawada in India’s Andhra Pradesh state on Sunday, the Indian Express reported, citing police.The blaze was sparked by an air-conditioner unit that short-circuited on the ground floor of the Swarna Palace Hotel, according to the report. The hotel is leased by a private hospital to house Covid-19 patients.The nation recored a single-day spike of 64,399 cases, bringing the case load over 2.1 million on Sunday, Health Ministry said, according to PTI.Australia’s Victoria Records 394 New Cases (10:38 a.m. HK)The number of new cases climbed by 394, taking the state total to 14,659, Premier Daniel Andrews said in a media briefing in Melbourne on Sunday.China Reports 23 New Cases, No Deaths (9:51 a.m. HK)Chinese health authority said it received reports of 23 new confirmed cases on the mainland Saturday, including 15 that were locally transmitted, Xinhua news agency reported.All local cases were reported in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the National Health Commission said, according to the news agency. No deaths related to the disease were reported Saturday, the commission said.Only 30% of U.K. Would Definitely Take Vaccine (8:26 a.m. HK)The U.K. will need more than just a simple communication campaign to ensure people get a potential coronavirus vaccine after research showed that less than a third of the population would definitely seek to be inoculated.A survey by King’s College London and Ipsos Mori released Sunday showed British people who are skeptical about science and authority were more likely to say they’d refuse a vaccine. While 43% said they’d be very likely or fairly likely to get a vaccine, if one becomes available, 16% said they are unlikely to or definitely won’t and 11% didn’t know.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • MEDIA ADVISORY: Tropical Storm Isaias Update
    PR Newswire

    MEDIA ADVISORY: Tropical Storm Isaias Update

    FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) utilities continue restoration efforts for customers of Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L;) who lost power as a result of Tropical Storm Isaias. Service has been restored to more than 769,500 JCP&L; customers – more than 97% of the 788,000 customers impacted by the storm.

  • Biden Needs Fed’s Powell on Board to Fix Racial Wealth Gap

    Biden Needs Fed’s Powell on Board to Fix Racial Wealth Gap

    (Bloomberg) -- Joe Biden’s promise to bridge the racial economic gap needs buy-in from one powerful person -- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell -- and he doesn’t sound convinced.The Democratic presidential nominee wants the Fed to “aggressively” target inequality, even leaving open the possibility of asking Congress to create a third mandate for the central bank. Biden has vowed to nominate minorities to the Fed’s leadership ranks, and if he wins in November would have at least three opportunities to do so in a first term, including the chair.Powell has downplayed the idea of a direct role for the Fed in tackling racial inequality, saying in July that its underlying causes “are not related to monetary policy” and that fiscal efforts “and just policy generally: education, health care, all those things” can be more effective remedies.Such reticence could put him at odds with a President Biden. Powell’s current term as chair expires in February 2022.In May, Powell said Fed policies “absolutely” don’t add to the nation’s economic inequality. Last month, he said that while wealth disparity is a “critical problem,” central bankers “don’t really have the best tools” to address it.Powell could, however, use the Fed’s role as a regulator to do more to encourage banks to support minority communities’ access to credit and financing.Biden’s Ask “It’s undeniable that the Federal Reserve’s policies have had an effect on the disparities,” said Seth Carpenter, chief economist for UBS LLC who previously worked at the Federal Reserve Board. “When monetary policy is restrictive, unemployment generally rises, but for Blacks it rises more. It’s traditionally been the practice to ignore these differential effects.”Powell, a Republican appointed to the Fed’s top job by President Donald Trump, has acknowledged that the central bank can run the economy hotter than once thought, helping the benefits of a tighter labor market reach minority communities.Biden wants the Fed to do more to acknowledge its role in the disparities. He’s floated the idea of asking Congress to amend the Federal Reserve Act to require it to report on racial economic gaps and what policies it is implementing to close those.The Fed a dual mandate from Congress to promote maximum employment and stable prices. Although he has not explicitly called for a third mandate, Biden hasn’t ruled it out, either.Democratic Legislation “This proposal does not call for a third mandate. It calls for a reporting requirement that imposes accountability on the Fed to actually measure progress toward closing racial gaps,” said Jake Sullivan, Biden’s senior policy adviser. “However, he’s not taking off the table that at some point, depending on how that plays out, that one could think about broadening the mandate.”Democrats including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Representative Maxine Waters of California are among those who’ve proposed new legislation for the Fed that would require it to shrink inequality. A Fed spokesperson declined to comment on the proposals.Jared Bernstein, who served as chief economist to Biden when he was vice president and still advises the candidate informally, says progress can be made without a third mandate. Congress can add “racial wealth gaps” to the list of variables that the Fed must provide written reports on to lawmakers, he said, which would open “a floodgate of high-level research into the problem.”Inequities in DataBiden’s economic policy advisers say that the Fed should talk openly about the data that shows wide discrepancies by race.Black workers have seen higher unemployment rates than other races for decades. So Biden’s camp says it’s wrong to consider a 5% jobless rate as “maximum employment,” as some did at the Fed in 2015, a time when the jobless rate for African-Americans remained at 9.4%.The central bank during that period was led by Janet Yellen, a Democrat appointed by President Barack Obama, and its first female chair.“We can’t say we’re done fixing the economy when the jobless rate is at 5%. That’s the wrong message when we have such deep inequalities,” said Heather Boushey, president and CEO of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and a Biden adviser.“Focusing on aggregate indicators is not giving policy makers enough texture on how to make policy, and this needs to be acknowledged in the messaging,” said Boushey, who spoke at the Fed about racial inequities earlier this year.Powell, more than his predecessors, agrees that the Fed has learned the lessons of the last recovery -- that unemployment can fall lower than thought without sparking too-high inflation, and that this can spread labor-market gains more widely.“We want to remind ourselves that prosperity isn’t experienced in all communities,” Powell told Congress in November. “Low- and moderate-income communities in many cases are just starting to feel the benefits of this expansion.” The Black unemployment rate at that time was 5.5%, while for Whites it was 3.2%.Race in FocusFederal Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans on Sunday said that through the latest crisis, the “inequality gap has persisted” between Whites and minorities. He noted that Black unemployment is currently over 14% while White unemployment is 9%. The summer’s nationwide protests against racism highlighted that African Americans lag other groups in nearly every economic measure. Biden, who has overwhelming support from older Black voters but needs to inspire younger Black adults to vote for him, has made racial equity a pillar of his four-part, $3.5 trillion plan to trigger an economic revival.Read: Fed’s Top Ranks Dominated By White Men Despite Diversity PushThese issues, in large part, come down to lack of diversity at the Fed, Rhonda Sharpe, head of the Women’s Institute for Science, Equity and Race, or Wiser. “We need a set of folks who have diverse life experiences,” she said.The Fed’s upper management lacks both gender and racial diversity. Among executives and mid-level managers at the Board of Governors, 43% are women and 34% are non-White. The nation as a whole is about 40% non-White.The numbers are less diverse among the central bank’s ranks of economists, who most directly influence policy. Only about a quarter of the organization’s 820 economists are women, and just above a quarter are minorities.(Adds comments from Fed’s Evans in 21st paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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