News Update for Week of 8/16/2020

Week ending 8/16/20

Global Covid Cases: 21,715,859

Global Covid Deaths: 770836

New Deaths: 39,131 an average of 5,590 per day, down slightly from last week’s 5,845 per day average

US Covid Cases: 5,541,022

US Covid Deaths: 172,836

New Deaths: 7576 – average of 1082 – just slightly up from 1024 per day dying average last week – 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: 4825

Hawaii Covid Deaths: 40

Oahu Covid Cases: 4390

New Deaths Last Week: 9

Average 211 new cases per day up from 164 per day last week. This fire appears to be growing out of control little by little.

Other Covid News: 100,000 U.S. kids have tested positive for Covid-19 in a 2 week period. Some studies suggesting that the virus affects younger children different from older ones. Actor Antonio Banderas tested positive but like most rich and famous, will probably be fine. In Russia, Putin claims they have a successful vaccine and his daughter took it. Meanwhile, in New Zealand where people are not selfish and stupid like we are in the USA, life has largely returned to normal with no new cases in 100 days (update: they now have a couple of clusters that they think came from frozen foods shipped from the USA). India, Mexico, and Brazil are still suffering from the most rapidly growing numbers but now Indonesia and Peru also seem to be joining the unfortunate club. The death totals for India, Mexico, and Brazil just barely pass the USA when they are combined – so the USA is still the undisputed loser in the pandemic.

BLM and Civil Liberties Protests: Hundreds of looters smashed windows and looted stores along Chicago’s miracle mile on Sunday night, thirteen officers injured, at least one person shot. The White House is looking at a plan to bar American citizens and resident aliens from crossing back into the USA from Mexico – probably as a means of suppressing votes. If one were to watch the mainstream media, it would be easy to think the protests are over – but tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) are still gathering nationwide – largely in peaceful protests that aren’t covered by the media.

Economic News: There have been more than 56 million 1st time unemployment claims since the pandemic began. That’s roughly 1 in 3 workers in the USA. Think about that as you look at the record stock market levels. This week, people cheered as the number of first time unemployment filers fell below 1-million for the first time since March at 987,000 – a normal number is more like 5000 or less. There is nothing to cheer about. More than 30,000 US restaurants have closed since the pandemic began. That means dishwashers, bussers, cooks, waiters, bartenders, managers, and distributors that rely on each of those restaurants took a hit. Most of those will not reopen – ever. Reliable estimates say that 20-25% of all small businesses in the United States will never recover. Double-digit numbers of tenanats are not paying rent or mortgages.

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: It was revealed that Trump has been making inquiries about adding his face to Mt. Rushmore. You can’t make this stuff up, Trump also claimed that the 1918 Spanish Flu probably ended World War II which didn’t begin until two decades later. Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris as his running mate. It looks like Republicans (Trump Republicans) are ready to send QAnon candidates to Washington, D.C. – it’s the new TeaParty in a less educated and more terrifying mantle. Trump began a new game of ‘birther’ lies against Harris as well as openly saying he won’t fund the post office because he wants to discourage mail-in voting (while registering to vote by mail in Florida). Several of Trump’s appointments have been ruled invalid by a congressional watchdog group – among them DHS secretary (acting) Chad Wolf and his undersecretary (acting) Ken Cucinelli. Trump’s younger brother died yesterday – meanwhile the president was golfing and smiling in posed pictures with fans on social media ‘It is what it is’.

International News: Lebanon’s government stepped down. China has sanctioned about a dozen citizens including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. China has begun arresting pro-democracy leadership in Hong Kong. Trump announced a peace agreement between Israel and the UAE ( I never knew they were not alrady at peace – because frankly, they were never at war – but the deal normalizes relations and pauses the Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank that Palestinians want for an eventual Palestinian state). Many hard-core Christians are saying this is the start of the 7-years of tribulation, frankly, I feel like we’ve already gone through four of them. There was an astoundingly bad oil disaster in Mauritius, which is getting very little attention despite being far worse than the Exxon Valdez disaster. Greenland’s melting ice sheets have apparently gone beyond what nature can repair anytime soon, get ready for a little more ocean.

Severe Weather and Other News: Several homes in Baltimore exploded from a gas leak. Several fires are raging in California. Severe storms rampaged through the midwest and it looks like another East Coast hurricane is forming. Inland tornados and even a rare ‘fire hurricane’ took place this week for those playing 2020 end of the world bingo.