Coronavirus update: New case spikes whipsaw market; Fauci warns US may not be ready for football
The recurrence of coronavirus cases in key regions of the United States has led to an increase in nationwide numbers and raises doubts about the state's efforts to ease lockdowns, even if former epicentres in New York and New Jersey take the next steps in their recovery.
The economic impact of the COVID 19 crisis continues to be felt. Thursday's data shows that another 1.5 million Americans have submitted their first jobless claims. While the markets saw an upward trend due to increasing optimism about a recovery, the increasing numbers of cases in the western and southern states have flooded the rally.
Declining hospitalizations and deaths have prompted New York City to go into the next phase of its reawakening next week, which is to eat in outdoor restaurants. The peaks in Arizona, Texas and Florida, whose 7-day average has risen from 3% on Thursday to almost 4% and whose positive rate is the highest since April, have made officials and investors increasingly nervous.
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Dr. Shira Doran, epidemiologist at the Tufts Medial Center, told Yahoo Finance in an interview that "we are somewhat better prepared for a further increase than the first one," given the larger inventory of medical devices and the capability of the hospital system large amounts of patients.
"But to a certain extent there are only so many beds [and] ventilators, there will only be so much space, and at some point an increase will overwhelm the health system," she warned.
There are over 2 million coronavirus cases in the United States (graphic: David Foster / Yahoo Finance)
Arizona has more than 3,800 hospital patients and nearly 41,000 cases, while Texas is approaching 100,000 cases and nearly 3,000 hospital patients. While these states had previously carelessly enforced the wearing of masks, several cities and districts in both areas are now becoming stricter.
The growing fears of a second wave in the fall are already affecting one of America's favorite sports - which has the potential to cancel the entire football season, said Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday. With college games already closed, the country's leading infectious disease expert said CNN football may not take place this year.
The ongoing surge continues to put pressure on the pharmaceutical industry to find breakthrough treatments or a vaccine this year. While the vaccination race is still ongoing, more information about possible treatments has been received worldwide.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced Thursday that it is working with several governments and global organizations to rapidly grow its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Meanwhile, Roche (RHHBY) suffered a setback after it was shown that its rheumatoid arthritis medication was ineffective in Covid 19 patients, according to interim results from an Italian study on Thursday.
There are over 8 million coronavirus cases worldwide. (Graphic: David Foster / Yahoo Finance)
Clinical trials for COVID-19
With clinical trials conducted around the world leading to results and subsequent, peer-reviewed publications eagerly awaited, concerns remain about how trials will be conducted in a shorter period of time.
The gold standard for studies is a large, diverse pool of participants with a control placebo group that can be used to compare results. However, there are many simple studies without a control arm and questions about the ethnic and gender composition of the pool of participants are raised.
Ben Liu, CEO of TrialSpark, whose startup focuses on the diversification of clinical trials, told Yahoo Finance on Wednesday that this could affect drug use in different population groups.
"If they are not born near a study center like NYU or the [University of California], they may not have access to some of these treatment options," said Liu, adding that the effects will become visible after the drug is approved.
"This inequality in access is exacerbated by the fact that it is not understood whether drugs also work in different ethnic groups and between different sexes," he added.
Anjalee Khemlani is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @AnjKhem
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