July 29 strongly confirms Biden is hell-bent on destroying the recovery. His tool of choice is ineptitude. As I’ve pointed out, on Inauguration Day, the new president was the beneficiary of rapidly increasing injections of amazingly effective Covid vaccines. An already growing economy could only go into overdrive with the spreading Immunity. Momentum was in place to carry us forward with zero input from the Biden team. All Biden had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride. Later in the year, when the memory of the Trump administration had faded, he could take credit for the good times. In any case, a good economy always helps the incumbent Administration.
Instead of preparing a carrot and stick program to overcome the vaccine reluctance the UK had experienced, the Administration has sent mixed messages from the J & J vaccine to the current mask advisories. This confusion is playing havoc with people’s ability to plan for the future. These puzzling missives are spilling into our economy.
The government reported the economy grew at 6.4% rather than the expected 8.4%—quite a miss. Further, unemployment claims rose by a surprising amount. A growing fear of the Delta variant has contributed to investment and hiring hesitancy.
The Administration’s almost $2 billion Covid stimuli extending generous unemployment insurance and adding childcare payments with no work requirement has kept many from returning to work. Lack of workers restricts supply. All that money is floating around, goosing demand while we aren’t producing goods. We already have supply dislocations coming out of the pandemic. All this has led to the classic scenario “too much money chasing too few goos,” for inflation.
Misreading or ignoring of data led to the present disappointments and threatened further damage. It is essential to get out ahead of the fear and confusion. When the trepidation comes from the top, it gets quickly out of hand. On ABC New York, they are looking at the possibility of 4,000 deaths a day in the fall. This prediction is wildly improbable. How can I say this? It’s because I look at what is happening. India, where the Delta Variant originated, had a big spike. The UK, which is a few weeks ahead of us in vaccinations, has significantly increased cases. However, both have topped out::
Instead of growing out of control, the virus appears to be running out of potential victims. Shots in the arm and natural Immunity have narrowed its opportunities. Is this going to happen here? Very likely.
The almost 24+ million children under 12 are poor spreaders of the virus. 190+ million Americans have received at least one shot. Of the remaining 100+ million, an unknown number have natural Immunity. Our National Institute 0f Health (NIH) hasn’t seen fit to spend any of its $62 Billion budgets on testing to get a handle on how many. However, it has to be sizeable and growing given how easily the virus spreads, often asymptomatically. We probably will follow the UK and see a top out in the coming weeks. We don’t know where we are on anti-bodies but the Brits know why their cases are falling:y-widespread immunity:
Unfortunately, harm may have already occurred. Our kids are getting ready to return to school. The CDC now says they have to wear masks. The Teacher’s unions are raising questions about in-person schooling. We can’t afford to harm our children further. A recent Kinsey & Co. study spells out the terrible damage already done. Face coverings are harmful and unneeded. Sweden never closed its lower grades or mandated masks. They did just fine. If, as I expect, the virus is receding by fall, whatever basis for this advisory will evaporate. But once put in place, the practices may be difficult to remove.
On the same basis, economic decisions taken under this fear may prove challenging to reverse. For instance, a shaky business that’s barely survived has its final sentence. In many cases, business planning is on hold.
Early in the pandemic (see the series on Covid), I and others proposed doing everything possible to protect the elderly and vulnerable and then letting those with low risk, younger people go on with their lives. They might get sick but were very unlikely to die. Eventually, the spread would get to enough herd immunity to have regular lives. If we didn’t have the miracle of vaccines in under a year, natural Immunity was the only way out. Yet, the government medical hierarchy continues to ignore the naturally immune. This myopia continues to contribute to bad decisions. The numbers don’t lie. With most old and vulnerable vaccinated, high case numbers fail to result in anything like comparable deaths:
These charts show the virtuous spread without a significant increase in harm. The question we have to ask is why so many are still pedaling fear? The latest advisories from the CDC appear to come from one study in Provincetown, Mass. Almost immediately, people have leaped to contest it, but the damage is already spreading. We have to do better.