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Weekly Update for Week ending August 9, 2020 – Pandemic and Politics

8/9/20

Global Covid Cases: 19,918,914

Global Covid Deaths: 731,705

New Deaths: 40,918 – 5,845 per day average – about the same as last week’s 5724 but a little higher

US Covid Cases: 5,165,337

US Covid Deaths: 165,260

New Deaths: 7,166 – 1024 per day dying average – down just a bit from last week’s 1220 – but as noted before, since these numbers are now gate-kept by the Trump administration and not released by the CDC directly – they are suspect.

Hawaii Covid Cases: 3346

Hawaii Covid Deaths: 31

Oahu Covid Cases: 2964

1149 new cases last week. Record numbers daily. Average of 164 per day. This fire appears to be growing out of control.

Hawaii has reimposed 14-day quarantine between islands and all parks and beaches have again been closed on Oahu along with other restrictions. Lockdown part 2. Not as severe as March-May and this time with Sept 5th given as a date restrictions will be lifted. Schools have made the first month of school virtual.

Other Covid News: 250,000 Bikers are going to Sturgis, SD and no one can stop them. We’ll see how this plays out. Imagine one super-spreader and then they all ride off in different directions back to different parts of the country. Brilliant. Almost as brilliant as opening schools and Trump repeatedly claiming kids are immune to COVID-19. They are not immune. They die, yes in smaller numbers but they also spread it to parents, teachers, grandparents, and everyone else. Ultra-brilliant. I’ve seen several of the underground anit-mask videos that are circulating and I’m convinced they are Russian made – the production values fit. Smart move by Russia to play on the idiocy of mask-independence. Brazil, India, and Mexico appear to be in a three way race to catch up to the horrific USA numbers of deaths from this scourge.

BLM and Civil Liberties Protests: Protests in Portland have continued and continue to be reported as violent – the most interesting fact I heard reported was that several police vehicles were incapacitated with metal bars. No further details. The Census is going to be shut down a month early – a process that will certainly affect the count in drastic ways by leaving low income and minority voters off the count in numerous areas. Protestors in Portland set the police union HQ on fire.

Economic News: Second highest unemployment in U.S. history, just under June 2020 – but the markets took that as good news. Gold has broken records for all time high several days and Bitcoin is becoming a more acceptable safe-haven/investment daily. The U.S. imposed tariffs on Canada and Canada responded with tariffs. Markets remain giddily high while tens of millions of Americans face eviction, foreclosure, and not being able to feed their families. Bankruptcy after bankruptcy continues. At some point, only the 1% will be customers to the huge tech firms while the other 99% huddle under bridges being told the economy is doing great. The US Post Office continues to be strangled by Trump donor and appointee as Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

Note: American and European Capitalism thrive on crisis which is why for many traders and capitalists, 2020 is being seen as the best year ever. Think about that for a minute as we drive towards 300,000 dead in the U.S. by November.

Political News: The Axios interview with Trump was one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever seen. The level of incompetence and befuddlement was almost unbelievable. Trump signed an executive order saying that Tik-Tok and WeChat need to either be sold to American corporations or cease business in the U.S. He also suggested that Microsoft should pay key money to the US treasury for making a deal possible – key money is considered fraud in the real estate world where Trump comes from, but that is no surprise. Saturday, Trump issued executive orders which are generally illegal because they take the power of taxation and spending powers from the legislative to the executive branch, a move which is dangerous because it consolidates power in the executive and weakens the system of checks and balances. Kanye West’s campaign has been revealed as a GOP ploy to siphon black votes from Biden. Still no running mate announced for Biden. Intelligence revealed the China and Iran favor Biden while Russia favors Trump – and the interference is happening at unprecedented levels – largely through public manipulation on social media like Facebook.The Libertarian Candidate had to cancel an appearance Friday after getting bit by a possibly rabid bat. True story.

International News: A cargo of Russian explosives blew up in Lebanon – I’m sure you’ve seen the videos. Horrific. Lebanon appears to be going into revolution mode. The US lifted its global travel advisory but the rest of the world are increasingly putting up barriers to entry for virus riddled American travelers.

Severe Weather: So far, the hurricanes have mostly missed causing major disaster but it’s early in the season and a new one is forming in the Pacific. Not really weather but a large Earthquake hit North Carolina (5.1)