The drug company Moderna has successfully passed Phase 2 of its drug tests for a coronavirus vaccine. The company says that it is ready to start Phase 3 sometime in July. One unique feature of the potential vaccine is that it does not expose people to the actual vaccine but only to specific proteins in it.
The company is looking for 1,000 people, especially those who may be most vulnerable (including occupational vulnerability), to participate in the trial. The test will last for two months and those in the trial will be watched for one year afterward. The company has already secured some potential manufacturers once the vaccine is approved.
Pelosi Rejects $1 Trillion Proposal by Senate
Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated on Thursday that she considered the $1 trillion proposal by the Senate to be merely a “starting point” for the next stimulus package. The House proposed an earlier package of $3 trillion which the Senate rejected. The idea for a cap of $1 trillion came from the White House. Some of the additional money that the House proposed is aimed to go for state and local governments, to individuals that make less than $75,000 (McConnell wants them to only go to those who make less than $40,000), and more. The next session in Congress will end on August 8 and both sides want to pass a package by then.
Unemployment in America
There were 2.3 million new people that filed unemployment claims this past week. This means that there have now been 16 successive weeks where more than 1 million people have filed claims. About one million of those people last week were freelancers and self-employed individuals that were now allowed to apply for these benefits. Before coronavirus, the record of unemployment filings took place in October 1982, in which 695,000 people applied.
The day has come for eviction proceedings to begin. Many tens of thousands of tenants that were protected temporarily are now facing eviction because the protections for them are now disappearing. Some predict that it could affect as many as 20 million people. Many tenants lost their jobs during coronavirus and are still unemployed. Some have never received their stimulus check and now have no way to pay their back rent. Memphis, for instance, already has a backlog of 9,000 cases. Evictions are expected to occur against a wide range of economic strata – affecting even young professionals that have been out of work since the shutdowns began.
After news about growing coronavirus cases and more shutdowns, the stock market took a dip. Although NASDAQ showed gains of 55.25 points and is still above 10,000, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 showed losses. Gold also dropped slightly by $6.09 and is currently at $1,803.62 per ounce.
The death rate is rising considerably in states where the number of new cases is also rising. Several states, including Arizona, Florida, Texas, California, Louisiana, Alabama, and South Carolina, are expected to see more than 1,000 new deaths in the next month. Florida may see more than 1,800 new deaths. One group, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, predicts from a model that there will be more than 208,000 deaths by November 1. Many new deaths in Texas are from cardiac events caused by COVID-19.
There still is a lot of discussion about whether or not schools should open in the Fall. While the President is pushing for it, many officials question the practicality of it, and some wonder if there are enough funds to properly protect the children from coronavirus.