Here’s what you need to know about the impact of Covid-19 to navigate the markets today.
• Democrats have presented a compromise offer on another round of coronavirus stimulus to Republicans, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declined to provide details on what the offer was, calling it “a private proposal to help move the ball forward.” If that was the intention, it did not necessarily seem to work, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responding by distributing a reworked version of his earlier $500 billion package, far smaller than the $2.4 trillion sought by Democrats and the $908 billion bill presented Tuesday by a bipartisan group of senators. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) underlined the extent to which there has been a flurry of stimulus activity and announcements but no real progress over the past few days when he said that there is still no agreement between Democrats and Republicans on how big the next aid bill should be.
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shortened the recommended quarantine time from 14 days to 10 days, or 7 days if accompanied by a negative test result. The change means that people who are deemed to be “close contacts” of those infected with Covid-19 can return to normal activities earlier than before.
• White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will meet for the second day in a row with the head of the Food and Drug Administration, Stephen Hahn, on Wednesday, as the Trump administration continues to cajole regulators to move more quickly to authorize a Covid-19 vaccine, Bloomberg reports. The meeting comes after Hahn was summoned to meet with Meadows Tuesday to explain why the agency hasn’t moved faster to authorize emergency use of
(ticker: PFE) Covid-19 vaccine. On Wednesday, the U.K. became the first country to authorize the vaccine developed by Pfizer and
(BNTX) and immunizations are set to begin next week. The process is moving more slowly in the U.S., where an FDA panel is set to meet on Dec. 10 to review the company’s request for approval. Hahn has said that the FDA’s career scientists alone will make a decision on authorizing any vaccine and told Axios Tuesday that “we want to move quickly because this is a national emergency, but we will make sure that our scientists take the time they need to make an appropriate decision.”
• A record number of Americans are hospitalized with Covid-19 infections, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project, with 98,691 people hospitalized as of Dec. 1. Health officials across the country are growing increasingly alarmed that hospitals will be overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients in the coming weeks. Governors in both California and New York have warned that their state’s hospital systems may come under significant strain and in Rhode Island, residents were told via text message that hospitals were at capacity on Monday.
• President-elect Joe Biden said he won’t immediately remove tariffs placed on Chinese goods by President Trump and would initially keep the so-called Phase 1 trade agreement between the U.S. and China in place. “I’m not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs,” Biden said in an interview with the New York Times published Wednesday. “I’m not going to prejudice my options.” Biden said he wants to review the current tariffs and agreement before consulting with American allies to “develop a coherent strategy.”
received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for it Covid-19 antibody test, the pharmaceutical company said in a statement on Tuesday. The test will, among other things, help to measure the immune system response of people who have received Covid-19 vaccines and identify donors for convalescent plasma to help people infected with the disease recover.
Write to Ben Walsh at [email protected]