Joe’s 100-in-100 Goal: A lay-up or a long 3-pointer?

January 25, 2021

In a post early last week (Jan. 18 to be specific), I commended Biden for elevating the priority of “shots in arms”  … you know, the ”100 million in 100 days” thing.

But, I asked: 100 million what — 100 million doses or 100 million people fully vaccinated (i.e. having gotten both doses).

Specifically, I opined:

This may sound like nit-picky semantics, but it’s a big difference.

If it’s 100 million doses, it’s a lay-up.

Last week, we were already hovering around 1 million shots per der day … best day was over 1 million; 7-day average was 775k per day.

Simple math: 1 million doses per day times 100 days equals, drum roll, 100 million “shots in arms”.

But having 100 million people fully vaccinated (i.e. both doses) is a long 3-point shot (from about mid-court).

My back-of-envelope estimate is that 100 million doses in 100 days would translate to about 70 million people fully vaccinated (since many folks will be taking 2 bites of the apple).

That’s a big difference … but still a commendable goal (especially if my wife & I are among the 70 million!).

Well, it took a couple of days but at last Thursday, a reporter sheepishly asked Biden if the goal shouldn’t be a bit higher since we’re already doing over a million shots a day.

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Biden’s answer: ‘When I originally announced the goal, you guys said it couldn’t be done. C’mon man, give me a break.”

I think the reporter may have touched a nerve…

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Jan. 25: COVID Data Dashboard

January 25, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    41.4 MM
Doses Inoculated    21.8 MM
% Pop Vaxed           6.6 %
Current Day Shots  1,312 K
7-day average         1,678 K <<<<<

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/24/2021
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429,490 Deaths-to-Date

1,844 Daily New Deaths  (peak 4,100 Jan. 12)
> 7-day average 3,206      (peak 3,446 Jan. 14)

image

Confirmed Cases
134,820 New Cases
> 7-day average  169,582

Currently Hospitalized
110,628
 Current level
> 7-day average 118,688

VAX Quest: Tomorrow, my cohort becomes officially legal.

January 24, 2021

Here’s how I’ve navigated the system so far.
==============

In a prior post, I laid out the broad jurisdictional hurdles I was running into in my quest to get vaccinated.

See VAX: Of open borders and walls…

Those constraints are still in place, but I’m continuing to forge ahead.

To recap, here’s what I’ve done..

1. Submitted an online “vaccine request” to my home county’s health department.

Question: During a Biden-declared  national emergency, shouldn’t the health dept. be “working” more than  8 to 5, Monday to Friday?  You know, something like 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until COVID is nailed.

2. Submitted online vaccine requests to six (6) hospital “groups”in my region.

Note: By definition, all 6 groups had more that one facility expecting to to receive and deploy vaccine.

Each of the hospital chains has a separate and distinct system for receiving & processing requests … and for scheduling.

There is no apparent inter-system data- sharing or coordination.

3. Submitted a vaccine request to one large standalone hospital.

Ironically, this hospital’s web site and online process was far slicker than any of the 6 chains’.

4. Got summarily rejected by one hospital group (Johns Hopkins) which only offers vaccinations to their current patients (i.e. must have been treated at a JHU medical facility in the past 2 years).

5. Duly noted local success stories of people who have gotten vaccinated

Mostly Florida “snowbirds”, medical personnel, K-12 teachers

One person scored via the county’s “official” system; another got an appointment directly through a hospital.

One bold person just showed up at a vaccination center and badgered the vaccinators until they finally said ok and jabbed him.

Anything I’m missing?

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Stay tuned for the learnings that I’ve drawn from my experience so far…

VAX: Key State-by-State Metrics

January 22, 2021

Key metrics: (1) Percentage of population vaccinated (2) Percentage of available doses used (measures state delivery efficiency)

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4.5% of the U.S. Population has received at least 1 vaccination shot

image
                            

Top 10 States (Highest Percentages)
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Bottom 10 (Lowest Percentages)
image

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More than 20 million doses that have been distributed to states are still sitting on the shelf.

image

10 States account for more than 50% of the doses still sitting on the shelf … 2.7 million in CA

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Bottom 10 States – Percentage of Doses Received that have been “shot in arms”

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Data Source: CDC

Jan. 22: COVID Data Dashboard

January 22, 2021

More than 1 million vaccinations!

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    38.0 MM
Doses Inoculated    17.5 MM
% Pop Vaxed           5.3 %
Current Day Shots  1,021 K <<<<<
7-day average          814 K

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/21/2021
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419,992 Deaths-to-Date

4,082 Daily New Deaths  (peak 4,100 Jan. 12)
> 7-day average 3,153      (peak 3,446 Jan. 14)

image

Confirmed Cases
185,774 New Cases
> 7-day average  183,035

Currently Hospitalized
119,927
 Current level
> 7-day average 124,008

VAX: Amazon to the rescue?

January 21, 2021

Everybody has probably read the headline:

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My first reaction: yippee!

I had an immediate vision of ordering a vax dose on Prime, scheduling my 2-day (or next day) delivery, getting a text message that I was the next stop for one of Amazon’s ubiquitous “last mile” vans, having a certified vaccinator jump out of the van, inoculate me (and my wife), and then speed off in the van.

Then I read the actual letter that Amazon send Pres. Biden and my enthusiasm waned a bit.

After the salutation and a vague offer to help, Amazon’s worldwide retail CEO got to the point.

To summarily paraphrase…

Declare Amazon’s  800,000 employees “essential workers” and get us enough vaccine to inoculate them… which we’ll do: at our sites, using a 3rd party vaccinator.

Then, the rest of the quid pro quo…

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan. 21: COVID Data Dashboard

January 21, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    36.0 MM
Doses Inoculated    16.5 MM
% Pop Vaxed           5.0 %
Current Day Shots    900 K
7-day average          817 K

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/20/2021
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415,558 Deaths-to-Date

4,008 Daily New Deaths  (peak 4,100 Jan. 12)
> 7-day average 3,136      (peak 3,446 Jan. 14)

image

Confirmed Cases
179,034 New Cases
> 7-day average  189,240

Currently Hospitalized
123,820
 Current level
> 7-day average 126,395

Cross one off my worry list…

January 20, 2021

Maryland Gov. Hogan is 64 years old … which, last time I looked is younger than 65.

Nonetheless, he apparently was able to navigate the vax maze (which he created) better than I have been able to do.

image

I wonder if he worked through the same wild-goose-chase sites that he sent the rest of us Marylanders to…

I’m betting the under on that one.

On the bright side: only 999,997 shots until Biden his his goal.

VAX Quest: Of open borders and walls…

January 19, 2021

I feel like I’m trying to “find Waldo”.
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Last week I posted (OK, make that “I whined”) that despite my earthly seniority, I was being sorted on the COVID-VAX priority list (in Maryland at least) lower than lawyers, prisoners and ‘the media”.

One loyal reader suggested that — on the basis of my habitual blogging  — that I should self-classify as “media” and get in line. Fearing that I’d get tagged “fake news”, I passed on that idea.

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Open borders

A couple of other loyal readers alerted me that Florida — which was early-in for 65 & over doses — wasn’t enforcing a state residency requirement.

The legal logic: the vax is being provided by the Feds and paid for by Federal taxpayers in all states.  Those who pay for it should get it, right?

Florida’s practical logic: During the winter, Florida hosts a lot of  “snowbirds” — part-year residents with 2nd homes in Florida. They regularly contribute to the state’s economy (and tax base) so they deserve shots, right?

The rub: Many of the “snowbirds” come down from Canada — which (at this time) is behind DC and Puerto Rico for Dem-pushed list of statehood candidates. And, Miami is a hub for business visitors (some legit and some not so much) from Latin America. What to do with these foreign non-residents?

Florida’s answer: Try to keep the word from spreading, but — if the foreigners are over 65 — give them the vax.

The problem: Florida has begun attracting international “vaccine tourists” and its  supply of vaccine  is, shall we say, “tight”.

Bottom line: We cancelled our road trip to visit our friends in Florida

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Strong borders, administrative walls

Then, a ray of hope: DC opened its eligibility list to include folks  over 65 — you know, those scientifically tagged as “vulnerable”.

I live in Maryland (part of the DC “metroplex”), so some loyal readers suggested that I simply cross the MD-DC border and get in line.

A nice idea, especially since I worked in DC for a couple of decades and my wife & I have been loyal patients of Georgetown’s hospital and doctors … and, since Maryland has ceded some of its vaccine allotment to DC to cover interstate cases.

But when I chased down the option, I ran into a formidable wall — not bricks and wire, but government bureaucratic intransigence.

Seems that the DC politicos are OK with national border crossings (with free healthcare provided, of course) but not state crossings for vaccine inoculations (except for out-of-staters who work in DC hospitals) … of course, country border crossings for diplomats (and their families) who are providing “essential services” are on the vax list.

But, the strict state border policy is being strictly enforced for folks like me.

Path closed.

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Then good news: “The science” — housed at the CDC, etc., and frustrated by the slow pace of vaccinations — changed its mind (again) and advised states to starting shooting the vaccine into anybody over 65.

I’m golden, right?

WRONG!

Turns out that my hunt for vax was just starting…

Read the rest of this entry »

COVID VAX: What’s up?

January 18, 2021

Now that I’m officially “qualified” to get the COVID-vaccine, I’m a lot more interested in the details.

And, the more I dig deep, the more confused I get.

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Let’s start with the Biden Plan which. I guess, kicks off officially tomorrow.

I commend Biden for elevating the priority of “shots in arms” … and buy-in to ideas like mass distribution sites, community clinics, mobile distribution sites, accelerated retail distribution (drug stores, grocery chains, Costco).

I especially like the nudge that’s legitimizing over 65ers (i.e. me) for vaccinations.

But…

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What’s the goal?

I like the specific goal of “100 million in 100 days”, but gotta ask: 100 million what?

Reading the recaps of weekend interviews this weekend, Biden’s spokespeople seem to be a bit squishy on whether the target is 100 doses or 100 people fully vaccinated (i.e. having gotten both doses).

This may sound like nit-picky semantics, but it’s a big difference.

If it’s 100 million doses, it’s a lay-up.

Last week, we were hovering around 1 million shots per der day … best day was over 1 million; 7-day average was 775k per day.

Threshold reached, trend positive … especially, in marketing-speak,  with a wider target market and and broader retail distribution.

Simple math: 1 million doses per day times 100 days equals, drum roll, 100 million “shots in arms”.

But having 100 million people fully vaccinated (i.e. both doses) is a long 3-point shot (from about mid-court).

My back-of-envelope estimate is that 100 million doses in 100 days would translate to about 70 million people fully vaccinated (since many folks will be taking 2 bits of the apple).

That’s a big difference … but still a commendable goal (especially if my wife & I are among the 70 million!).

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What about vaccine supply?

This is the big weekend surprise…

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan. 18: COVID Data Dashboard

January 18, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    31.2 MM
Doses Inoculated    12.3 MM
% Pop Vaxed         3.71 %
Current Day Shots   1.13 MM
7-day average          777 K

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/15/2021
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407,151 Deaths-to-Date

1,685 Daily New Deaths  (peak 4,100 Jan. 12)
> 7-day average 3,402      (peak 3,446 Jan. 14)

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Confirmed Cases
150,595 New Cases
> 7-day average  207,432

Currently Hospitalized
127,235
 Current level
> 7-day average 129,671

 

VAX: By the numbers…

January 15, 2021

I’m trying to get my brain around all the numbers that are being bandied around re: COVID vaccine supply & demand…

My conclusion: Within 2 months we’ll have all the vaccine needed to inoculate  enough people to reach herd immunity.

That’s the supply side of the equation … “distribution” and “demand creation” are another story” … that I’ll explore in some subsequent posts.

Warning: This post may be painful for readers who self- proclaim to be numerically-challenged.

They may want to stop reading right now.

For my fellow quant geeks, please keep reading and let me know if you spot any errors in my logic or numbers

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Let’s start with a population breakdown…

There are approximately 250 million people older than 18 … for whom the COVID vaccines are approved.

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Dr. Fauci, our Chief Political Scientist, now says that it’ll take 70% to 80% to reach herd immunity.  We’ll use 75%.

That means that the “gross” immunization population is about 185 million people.

There have been about 25 million confirmed COVID cases.

“The science” tells us that those folks are immune post-infection recovery.

So, the net target immunization population drops to about 160 million (provided that those confirmed cases are real and that those people have, in fact, developed immunity).

But, since both of the currently approved vaccines requires 2 doses, the U.S. needs 320 million doses of vaccine to fully vaccinate the net target immunization population

The Feds have distributed  about 30 million doses to the states … and have reportedly held back an equal number in inventory for 2nd doses.

Note: Of the 30 million doses distributed to the states, about 10 million doses have been administered to 9 million patients (with 1 million of the 9 million getting 2 doses each).

Said differently, the Feds have received 60 million doses of vaccine to be distributed and inoculated.

That leaves an aggregate supply shortfall of 260 million doses.

In the past 7 days, the Feds have received about 4 million doses per day.

At that rate, it will take about 2 months for the Feds to receive and distribute enough doses to vaccinate the 240 million US adults over 18 who have not already been naturally immunized by getting COVID-infected.

Whew!

Do I have it right?

Let me know if you spot any errors in my logic or my numbers.

Detailed recap chart below …

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan. 15: COVID Data Dashboard

January 15, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    30.6 MM
Doses Inoculated    11.1 MM
% Pop Vaxed          3.37 %
Current Day Shots    871 K
7-day average          682 K

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/14/2021
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397,719 Deaths-to-Date

3,993 Daily New Deaths  (peak 4,100 Jan. 12)
> 7-day average 3,446      (peak 3,446 Jan. 14)

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Confirmed Cases
229,210 New Cases
> 7-day average  230,509

Currently Hospitalized
138,383
 Current level
> 7-day average 130,828

Vax: Do we have a supply problem or a demand problem?

January 14, 2021

In interesting opinion piece on CNBC got me thinking.

Scott Gottleib — a former FDA chief — opined that:

Demand (for vaccine) is very deep — there are people who really want it badly — but the demand is not very wide.

The specific implication:

Once we get 60 [million], 70 [million], 80 million Americans inoculated, we’re going to find it’s a  more difficult to get people to line up for a vaccination.

The proof points:

> Surveys are still indicating the 25 to 40% of Americans are reluctant to get vaccinated because they are generally anti-vax … or, they’re specifically suspicious of a vaccine developed under Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.

> There are reports that about half of all hospital personnel, nursing home workers and first-responders are declining offered vaccinations.

> Anecdotally, there are reports that many people “at the margins” are willing to get vaccinated but not willing to jump through bureaucratic hoops or stand in long lines.


So What?

Read the rest of this entry »

Support impeachment?

January 14, 2021

That’s the question that a couple of pollsters asked Americans … with predictable results
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According to a Hill-HarrisX poll taken before the Congressional vote:

  • 44% support Trump’s impeachment and removal from office
  • 18% think that Trump should be censured
  • 38% said no action should be taken toward him.

  • 79% of Democrats said Trump should be impeached and removed
  • 71% of Republicans said no action should be taken
  • 38% of Independents think that Trump should be impeached & removed; 36% think that nothing should be done; 26% think that Trump should be censured.

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A Politico-Morning Consult poll had similar findings:

Overall, 44% said ‘yes’; 41% said “no”; and 8% said “what?”

Digging into the details:

81% of Dems said ‘yes’; 84% of GOP said “no

> A plurality of Independents (44%) said “no”; 41% said “yes”.

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So what happened?

Consistent with the surveys’ partisan findings:

> 222 Dems voted for impeachment

>  10 GOP voted for impeachment

> 197 GOP voted against impeachment

Depending on political leaning, the vote is being headlined as either “bipartisan approval” … or “party line vote”.

You decide.

Regardless, Biden’s First 100 Days just got a bit more complicated.

Vive la Unité!

Jan. 14: COVID Data Dashboard

January 14, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    29.4 MM
Doses Inoculated    10.3 MM
% Pop Vaxed         3.11 %
Current Day Shots    952 K
7-day average       598 K

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/13/2021
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393,609 Deaths-to-Date

3,780 Daily New Deaths  (peak 4,100 Jan. 12)
> 7-day average 3,431      (peak 3,431 Jan. 13)

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Confirmed Cases
218,955 New Cases
> 7-day average  253,758

Currently Hospitalized
131,328
 Current level
> 7-day average 131,114

Can states restrict COVID vax to only its residents?

January 13, 2021

Yesterday’s “urging” by the HHS (aka. “the science”) for states to start vaccinating  all folks over 65 may soon make this question moot … but I gotta ask…
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In a prior post, I asked: What do lawyers, prisoners and ‘the media” have in common?

The answer to that question: They all are ahead of vulnerable seniors in Maryland’s vax pecking order.

Ouch.

Earlier this week, neighboring DC opened up its vaccination program to all residents 65 and over.

Note the emphasis on the word “residents”.

So, I half-joked that  I (a Maryland resident) might have to move to DC to get a COVID vax shot sooner rather than later.

Hmmm.

DC follows Florida which has been vaccinating seniors over 65 for weeks.

Note that the word “residents” doesn’t appear in the prior sentence.

Inadvertent omission?

Nope … it’s a mater of policy.

Florida’s legal logic: The vaccine supply is allocated by the federal government, so all taxpayers are entitled … not just Florida residents.

If folks meet the other criteria (e.g. over 65), they can be vaccinated regardless of residency.

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That gets to my question: Who’s right — DC or Florida?

Can a state legally deny vaccine to non-residents who otherwise qualify?

I can’t find a definitive answer.

If you have one, let me know.

Jan. 13: COVID Data Dashboard

January 13, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    27.7 MM
Doses Inoculated      9.3 MM
% Pop Vaxed          2.82 %
Current Day Shots    340 K

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/12/2021
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385,089 Deaths-to-Date

4,100 Daily New Deaths  (peak 4,100 Jan. 12)
> 7-day average 3,406      (peak 3,406 Jan. 12)

image

Confirmed Cases
213,333 New Cases
> 7-day average  236,971

Currently Hospitalized
131,328
 Current level
> 7-day average 131,114

Rapid response: Feds open up vax for seniors and co-morbids.

January 12, 2021

I don’t want to claim credit, but…

Our early morning post (timestamped 8:30) highlighted the idiocy of trying to force feed inoculations on narrow populations that don’t seem to want them (e.g. half of all nursing home staff and law enforcers) … while there is a pent up demand among vulnerable folks who are chomping at the bit to get the vaccine (e.g. my wife & me).

For details, see What do lawyers, prisoners and ‘the media” have in common?

Well, 2 hours later (at 10:27 to be exact), the WSJ reported that:

U.S. officials will suggest anyone over 65 and those with pre-existing conditions be given the vaccine now, and will free up doses being held for second shots.

Of course, I wish the language were a bit stronger to read, say, “fiat” or “force” or “dictate”.

But, it’s a start.

Department of Health and Human Services officials are expected to provide details regarding the change later today.

Now, we Marylanders just have to wait & see if Gov. Hogan will “follow the science” … or, continue to prioritize young lawyers, prisoners and members of the media over vulnerable seniors.

Since Hogan has his eye on a 2024 presidential run, I doubt that he’ll be able to stonewall this one.

Sign me up!

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P.S. Hat tip to President-Elect Biden for forcing the issue …

What do lawyers, prisoners and ‘the media” have in common?

January 12, 2021

They’re all ahead of me in line for COVID vax shots … and I’m not happy about it.
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OK, I admit that this is personal.

Since I’m in the 65 to 75 age bracket (pardon me if I don’t get more specific), I’m officially COVID-vulnerable.

So, I’m eager to get vaccinated … and frustrated.

Maryland Gov. Hogan self-proclaims himself to be a straight-talking former business guy who knows how to get stuff done.

So, it’s disappointing that Maryland is near the bottom of the heap for vaccine inoculations … with a very low percentage of available doses being shot into arms.

COVID vaccines have challenging distribution logistics (many distribution points, essential freezer storage, certification of innoculators, required booster shots).

And, there are supply-demand “discontinuities”: a surplus of people (like me are chomping at the bit to get shots) … and some folks who have high dibs on the first doses are anti-vax and refuse to get vaccinated.

For example, according to the Baltimore Sun:

  • Only 85% of nursing home residents are lining up for shots
  • Only about 1/2 of nursing home staff are get inoculated
  • Less than 1 in 3 law enforcers are signing up for shots

With that as a backdrop, here’s my beef…

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan. 12: COVID Data Dashboard

January 12, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    25.5 MM
Doses Inoculated       9.0 MM
% Pop Vaxed          2.72 %
Current Day Shots    766 K

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/11/2021
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385,089 Deaths-to-Date

1,753 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,474 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 3,292      (peak 3,309 Jan. 10)

image

Confirmed Cases
190,896 New Cases
> 7-day average  238,652

Currently Hospitalized
129,229
 Current level
> 7-day average 130,877

Before you jump on the “inciting a riot” bandwagon …

January 11, 2021

Here is 3 pieces of “must read, must view” background material.
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OK, let’s agree that breaching the Capitol was illegal and that the associated deaths were both tragic &  inexcusable (including the female AF vet who was shot dead).

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Now, Pelosi-led Dems are intent on impeaching Trump.

Since there’s only a week to go in his presidency, her motivation must be either (a) dance on his grave, or (3) preclude his running in 2024, or both.

Emotions are still running high, so I encourage everybody to step back, take a deep breath and do 3 things …

1) Watch the video of Trump’s speech or, better yet, read the transcript.

My take: While spending 90% of the time recounting his election grievances, Trump did imply that there was hope for Congress to reverse the election and did encourage people to peacefully march to the Capitol.

We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated.

I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.

Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country.

At no point in the speech did Trump come even remotely close to suggesting any sort of violence … or of breaching the Capitol building.

Note: More relevant snippets from the speech are at the end of this post.

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2) Watch this short video that shows the Capitol Police opening the doors to the Capitol building and allowing the protesters to enter.

This doesn’t diminish that some protesters did illegally enter through a broken window and cause criminal havoc … but, it does raise questions about the police reaction and whether the bulk of the protesters were in the building illegally or reeking seriously disruptive havoc.

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3) Read Jonathan Turley’s analysis: How A Snap Impeachment Could Shatter Our Constitutional Balance

Turley’s Summary:

Like many, I condemned Trump’s speech as it was still being given, calling it reckless and wrong.

However, Trump’s speech does not meet the definition of incitement under the U.S. criminal code.

Despite widespread, justified condemnation of his words, Trump never actually called for violence or a riot.

Rather, he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to express opposition to the certification of electoral votes and to support the challenges being made by some members of Congress.

He expressly told his followers “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Indeed, it would be considered protected speech by the Supreme Court.

The point of this column is to call for greater caution and deliberation before we take this step to consider the basis and implications of this impeachment.

There are real dangers to any opportunistic or hurried use of this option.

There could be evidence to support impeachment on the proposed incitement article but it would have to be found before or after the speech to show an intent to spark rioting or to allow it to continue.

Such evidence would need to be found  through a traditional impeachment inquiry.

Turley’s recommendation:

“There is also the alternative of a joint and bipartisan condemnation of both houses, which would be both justified and unassailable.”

I side with Prof. Turley on this one.

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Here are relevant snippets from the transcript of Trump’s speech … with timestamped references back to the full transcript.

Read the rest of this entry »

Stock Market: Annie may have nailed it!

January 11, 2021

In a post last week — in my post-election analysis — I cited the investment advice of Little Orphan Annie:

The sun will come out tomorrow.

Bet your bottom dollar, that tomorrow there’ll be sun!

But , it was overcast “tomorrow” (i.e. the day after the election) and I was nervous because JP Morgan had been forecasting a 25% market drop if there’s a Blue Wave.

So, I asked, who to believe Annie or JP Morgan?

Well, so far, it looks like Annie nailed it.

image

After a momentary dip, the S&P has been up over 3% … and all major indices have been at or near historic eyes.

I hope Annie’s advice holds in long-run.
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So, why is the market going up?

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan. 11: COVID Data Dashboard

January 11, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    22.1 MM
Doses Inoculated      6.9 MM
% Pop Vaxed        2.02 %
Current Day Shots    769 K

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/8/2021
Note: No weekend reporting
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383,236 Deaths-to-Date

1,753 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,474 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 3,309     (peak 3,309 Jan. 10)

image

Confirmed Cases
205,550 New Cases
> 7-day average  237,360

Currently Hospitalized
130,777
 Current level
> 7-day average 130,350

Turley jumps on the “Election Commission” train…

January 8, 2021

I hate to say that I beat him to the punch, but…
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Earlier this week, I posted:

To quell tensions & suspicions, President-elect Biden should promise that he’ll convene a bipartisan Commission on Election Integrity … or better yet,  name another Special Counsel to investigate election “irregularities”.

Well, that view is now being shared by law prof Jonathan Turley.

In a USA Today opinion piece, Turley sets the context:

I hate federal commissions. I have always hated federal commissions.

Federal commissions are Washington’s way of managing scandals.

They work like placebos for political fevers, convincing voters that answers and change are on the way.

That is why it is so difficult for me to utter these words:

We need a real federal election commission.

Here’s the essence of Turley’s reasoning…

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan. 8: COVID Data Dashboard

January 8, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    21.4 MM
Doses Inoculated      5.9 MM
% Pop Vaxed            1.8 %
Current Day Shots    613 K

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/6/2021
=============

373,796 Deaths-to-Date

3,806 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,474 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,787      (peak 2,805 Dec. 23)

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Confirmed Cases
251,950 New Cases
> 7-day average  218,879

Currently Hospitalized
132,978
 Current level
> 7-day average 127,352

Carter-Baker Commission: “Building Confidence in U.S. Elections”

January 7, 2021

To quell tensions & suspicions, President-elect Biden should promise that he’ll convene another bipartisan Commission on Election Integrity… or better yet,  name another Special Counsel to investigate election “irregularities”.
=============

Anybody remember Bush versus Gore?

There was understandable concern when Florida vote-counting labored on for more than a month after the election and Bush ended up winning by a couple of hundred votes when the SCOTUS ruled “no mas”.

Eventually, in 2005, a Commission on Election Reform was convened, led by former President Jimmy Carter and former GOP Secretary of State James Baker.

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The Carter-Baker Commission Report  covered many of the election issues that have arisen in the 2020 election…

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan. 7: COVID Data Dashboard

January 7, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    17,288,950
Doses Inoculated      5,306797
Doses Inventory    
1,982,153
Current Day Shots       470,328

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/6/2021
=============

369,594 Deaths-to-Date

3,711 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,474 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,688      (peak 2,805 Dec. 23)

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Confirmed Cases
241,445 New Cases
> 7-day average  209,516

Currently Hospitalized
132,476
 Current level
> 7-day average 127,532

Of missionaries and bible salesmen…

January 6, 2021

The Georgia elections brought an old fable-like joke to life
==============

Of course, I’m disappointed with the Georgia outcome … but, it’s not like it wasn’t in the tea leaves.

Back in December, despite polls & odds that were GOP-favorable, I scored the odds at 60-40 that the Dems would sweep both seats.

See: So, how will the Georgia elections turn out?

At at the time, I said that my view was substantially swayed by an old fable-like joke:

A missionary and a bible salesman meet in a bar.

The missionary says “Hey, we’re in the same line of work.”

The bible salesman replies “No we’re not.

You’re trying to convert the masses.

I’m just trying to sell bibles.

In GA, the GOP was seeking converts: “Stop Socialism”; the Dems were selling bibles: “Get out the votes.”

First, gotta hand it to the Stacey Abrams led efforts to mobilize the Dem vote.  They outhustled the GOP from the get-go. Period.

Second, many  pundits argued that the GOP had a compelling “big picture” closing argument (roadblock socialism in the most consequential election ever) … and that the Dems were playing “small ball” (get a free $2,000 check in the mail).

I cynically submit that many voters probably confuse “socialism” with “social media” — and think that the latter is a good thing not a bad thing.

Suffice it to say, that could work against the socialism argument.

And, as my former students will attest, I oft referenced “the power of free” — cautioning them that’s it’s very difficult to compete against “free” goods.

Put those two strategic foundations together —  “hustle” and “free” — and the Georgia elections make complete sense.

Shoulda seen it coning.

NUTS!

===============

P.S. Annie was wrong when she sang that “the sun will come out tomorrow” … it’s totally overcast in Annapolis today.

So, I’m antsy about following her advice to “bet your bottom dollar, that tomorrow there’ll be sun!”

We previously posted that JP Morgan forecasts a 25% market drop if there’s a Blue Wave

So, who to believe Annie or JP Morgan?

Jan. 6: COVID Data Dashboard

January 6, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    17,020,575
Doses Inoculated      4,836,469
Current Day Shots        806,078
Doses in Inventory  12,184,106

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/4/2021
=============

365,595 Deaths-to-Date

3,474 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,474 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,717      (peak 2,805 Dec. 23)

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Confirmed Cases
225,103 New Cases
> 7-day average  208,531

Currently Hospitalized
128,210
 Current level
> 7-day average 125,387

Jan. 5: GA Senate Odds & Polls

January 5, 2021

ELECTION DAY – FINAL REPORTING
===============

PredictIt Betting Market  Jan. 5 (6 a.m.)

Betting markets indicating 57-43 chance that at least one of the GOP candidates will win …. down from 73-29 two weeks ago and 63-37 last week … up from 55-45 yesterday

What will be the balance of power in
Congress after the 2020 election?

image

Will Democrats win the White House,
Senate and House in 2020?

image

=============

RCP Poll-of-Polls
Latest Polls: DEAD HEAT in BOTH RACES

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Here are some details (i.e. the “internals”) from the most recent poll…

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan. 5: COVID Data Dashboard

January 5, 2021

Vaccinations: U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    15,418,500
Doses Inoculated      4,563,260
% Doses Used            29.6%
Inoculations / Day      168,752

Source: CDC   Updated: 1/4/2021
=============

362,043 Deaths-to-Date

1,905 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,156 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,694      (peak 2,805 Dec. 23)

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Confirmed Cases
181,505 New Cases
> 7-day average  204,211

Currently Hospitalized
128,210
 Current level
> 7-day average 125,387

Jan. 4: GA Senate Polls & Odds

January 4, 2021

> GOP Holding slim lead in betting markets, but the odds have narrowed considerably.

> Dems holding slim lead in latest polls

> Dow, S&P and NASDAQ down (~.5%) in Monday’s trading

=============

PredictIt Betting Market

Betting markets indicating 55-45 chance that at least one of the GOP candidates will win …. down from 73-29 two weeks ago and 63-37 last week

What will be the balance of power in
Congress after the 2020 election?

image

Will Democrats win the White House,
Senate and House in 2020?

image

=============

RCP Poll-of-Polls
Note: Latest poll was on Dec. 29

Ossoff leading by 1 point.

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Warnock leading by 2 points
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Jan.4: COVID Data Dashboard

January 4, 2021

360,071 Deaths-to-Date

1,380 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,156 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,705      (peak 2,805 Dec. 23)

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Confirmed Cases
191,724 New Cases
> 7-day average  204,895

Currently Hospitalized
125,544
 Current level
> 7-day average 124,390

NEW: COVID Vaccine Dashboard

January 3, 2021

Including links for US & State data
==============

Source: CDC
Update: 1/2/2021

U.S. Total
Doses Distributed    13,071,925
Doses Inoculated      4,225,756
% Doses Used            32.3%
Inoculations / Day      715,584

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Notes:

  1. Primary data source is CDC 
  2. CDC aggregates states’ reporting which is lagged and often incomplete … so, numbers are “at least” numbers
  3. “Doses Distributed” are those received by the individual states for subsequent redistribution to inoculation sites
  4. “Doses Inoculated” are shots administered.  This is the key number to watch.
  5. “% Doses Used” is an indicator of distribution “local efficiency” … actually getting the vaccine administered to patients
  6. “Inoculations / Day” is the average daily “throughput” between reporting dates.

=============

Data source links & samples are below…
=============

CDC Vaccinations Data

Top Line Data
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Penetration by state
The darker the shade of of blue, the higher is the state’s sots administered per 100,000 population.

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State by state data
Move the cursor over over the map to get each state’s data.  For example:

image

==============

Washington Post Vaccination Tracker
Scroll down to “Jump to State” selection box.
For example:

image

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2020

Let’s all say good riddance to 2020, count our blessings
and do our part to make 2021 a joyous year.

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Dec. 30: GA Senate Polls & Odds

December 31, 2020

RCP Poll-of-Polls

Ossoff leading by 1 point.

image

Warnock leading by 2 points
image

=============

PredictIt Betting Market

Betting markets indicating 63-37 chance that at least one of the GOP candidates will win …. down from 73-29 two weeks ago

What will be the balance of power in
Congress after the 2020 election?

image

Will Democrats win the White House,
Senate and House in 2020?

image

Dec. 31: COVID Data Dashboard

December 31, 2020

350,778 Deaths-to-Date

3,880 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,156 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,372      (peak 2,805 Dec. 23)

image

Confirmed Cases
234,550 New Cases
> 7-day average  170,817

Currently Hospitalized
125,220
 Current level
> 7-day average 120,902

Most Admired: Trump edges Obama … trounces Biden

December 30, 2020

Gallup has released its annual “Admired Man” results…

What man that you have heard or read about, living today in any part of the world, do you admire most?

image

Trump edges Obama 18% to 15% … and triples Biden’s 6%.

Hmmm.

Of course, left-leaners minimize the results:

  • Gallup mentions that incumbent presidents often top the list
  • Some pundits point out that Dems split votes between Obama & Biden … and, their sum edges Trump 21% to 18%

Note that political scientist Anthony Fauci edged out Pope Francis for 4th place.

Double hmmm.

Dec. 30: COVID Data Dashboard

December 30, 2020

346,579 Deaths-to-Date

3,398 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,156 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,314      (peak 2,805 Dec. 23)

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Confirmed Cases
194,860 New Cases
> 7-day average  170,289

Currently Hospitalized
124,876
 Current level
> 7-day average 120,078

Still more on the COVID vaccines’ 95% effectiveness rate…

December 29, 2020

WHO says “no evidence that vaccines prevent people from getting infected”
=============

True, but no reason to go anti-vax.

Bias alert: I’m pro-vax and plan to get vaccinated as soon as I can.

In a prior post, we parsed the Pfizer study results … honing in on one of the study’s limitations: it only counted the number of participants who exhibited at least one COVID symptom.

Said differently, the study was silent on the number of participants who might have been infected but asymptomatic.

So, I wasn’t surprised when the WHO’s chief scientist quipped:

“At the moment, I don’t believe we have the evidence on any of the vaccines, to be confident that it’s going to prevent people from getting the infection and passing it on,”

Based on the study’s design and results, I think that it’s reasonable to conclude:

1. The vaccines substantially decrease the probability of catching COVID and developing any symptoms … probably not by 95%, but by a very high number (say, 70%)

2. But, there is an undetermined (or unreported) chance of catching COVID but not developing any symptoms.

3. And, “the science” is still fuzzy on the likelihood of asymptomatic COVID infectees transmitting the virus to other people.

On the last point, some scientists say that asymptomatics are the primary transmitters of the virus.

Others argue that asymptomatics don’t develop symptoms because they have a low “viral load” … and, if their viral load is low, their contagiousness is low … so they’re not transmission threats.

=============

Bottom line: There’s little news in the headline that has gone viral … an no reason to fret.

I still plan to get vaccinated as soon as I can.

Dec. 29: COVID Data Dashboard

December 29, 2020

343,182 Deaths-to-Date

1,966 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,156 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,344      (peak 2,805 Dec. 23)

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Confirmed Cases
186,296 New Cases
> 7-day average  167,239

Currently Hospitalized
121,235
 Current level
> 7-day average 119,089

Dec. 28: COVID Data Dashboard

December 28, 2020

341,138 Deaths-to-Date

1,215 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,156 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,324      (peak 2,805 Dec. 23)

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Confirmed Cases
127,740 New Cases
> 7-day average  169,122

Currently Hospitalized
117,344
 Current level
> 7-day average 117,517

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Merry Christmas … 45 Lessons in Life

December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all !

This short video was sent to me by a friend a couple of years ago

It really resonated with me, so continuing a tradition,  I like to share it at Christmas time.

back with you after the New Year

* * * * *

         click to view  (best with audio on)
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* * * * *
Follow on Twitter @KenHoma             >> Latest Posts

Rove: Hostility as powerful as enthusiasm…

December 24, 2020

In today’s WSJ, Karl Rove opined that in the Presidential election:

Hostility proved as powerful as enthusiasm in motivating voters

Trump supporters said their vote was more for Mr. Trump than against Mr. Biden while Mr. Biden’s supporters said their vote was more against the incumbent than for the challenger.

We said that weeks ago , citing our “principle” that:

Hate is a much stronger emotion than love … and that Trump-haters would overwhelm Trump-lovers (and Trump-tolerators).

==============

Rove also pointed out that:

Mr. Biden won decisively (in the Electoral College), but enough battleground states were close that it could easily have gone the other way.

The combined margin in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin was 42,918 votes.

The election would have been a 269-269 tie if those states were in Mr. Trump’s column.

Imagine the circus if that has occurred.

Dec. 24: COVID Data Dashboard

December 24, 2020

334,174 Deaths-to-Date

3,357 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,156 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,805      (peak 2,805 Dec. 23)

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Confirmed Cases
230,855 New Cases
> 7-day average  203,912

Currently Hospitalized
119,463
 Current level
> 7-day average 115,503

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Does Fauci think before he speaks?

December 23, 2020

Loyal readers know that I’m no fan of Dr. Fauci.

It continues to amaze me that, despite all of his errant pronouncements and advice, that the MSM and half of America hangs on his every word.

This week, the media ubiquitous pop-doc went on CNN to reassure children that Santa is safe … that he (Fauci) personally vaccinated Santa and made sure that he was good to go.

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All right, I understand that it was all intended to be in good fun, but…

Read the rest of this entry »

Dec. 23: COVID Data Dashboard

December 23, 2020

330,384 Deaths-to-Date

2,936 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,156 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,766      (peak 2,766 Dec. 22)

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Confirmed Cases
173,511 New Cases
> 7-day average  205,682

Currently Hospitalized
115,351
 Current level
> 7-day average 113,912

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What if the COVID vaccine had been launched sooner?

December 22, 2020

Bias alert: I’m pro-vax and plan to get vaccinated as soon as I can.
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On one hand, Trump has been justifiably basking in the success of his Operation Warp Speed program that encouraged and enabled pharma to speed up the development process.

It has been a sheer delight seeing the video loops of media pundits and “experts” looking ridiculous when previously dismissing the possibility of a vaccine by now.

See It’s official: Fauci whiffs, again!

Even Sen. Dickie Durbin — to his credit — stepped to the podium on the Senate floor to give Trump a shout-out for a job well done.

And yesterday, Biden conceded that “the Trump administration deserves some of the credit”.

But, headlines the past couple of days seem to be highlighting the logistical challenges, priority controversies and possible negative consequences of the COVID vaccines: “Man in Alaska Suffers Serious Side Effects”, “40% of Chicago Medical Staff Refuses the Vaccine”, etc.

So, I realize that I may be swimming upstream today, channeling a very provocative point-of-view that I saw offered up by Holman Jenkins in the WSJ:

Science triumphed but shouldn’t we have cut corners and moved faster?

Let’s drill down that…

Read the rest of this entry »

Dec. 22: COVID Data Dashboard

December 22, 2020

326,771 Deaths-to-Date

1,840 Daily New Deaths  (peak 3,156 Dec. 9)
> 7-day average 2,680      (peak 2,680 Dec. 21)

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Confirmed Cases
199,473 New Cases
> 7-day average  208,994

Currently Hospitalized
115,351
 Current level
> 7-day average 113,912

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