The Delta Variant and Prospects for Economic Activity

From Washington Post:

The unusually contagious delta coronavirus variant, first found in India, could become the dominant strain in the United States this summer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said Friday.

The President has stated a new lockdown is unlikely, but even if there is no new Federal measure, risk aversion on the part of the vulnerable might slow economic activity. (Of course, those who actively resist getting vaccinated might not be risk averse, and just go on about their business, mitigating this effect). Since vaccination rates are variable, the impact would likely be geographically concentrated.

As Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown’s school of public health, noted in NYT:

“People who have been vaccinated still do quite well against this variant,” Dr. Jha said, “but it is one where you need a high degree of immunity to ward off, so you really need to have both of your doses of your vaccine.”

Below, I show a map of fully vaccinated rates.

Source: Mayo Clinic.

Yellow states have full vaccination rates below 40%. As indicated in this article, cases can surge even with higher than 40% vaccination rates (as in Kansas, in addition to Missouri).

The GDP accounted for by these states with less than 40% state population vaccinated is 28.6% of total US GDP in 2019Q4 (the NBER business cycle peak quarter).


Update, 6/21 3:45pm Pacific:

More from Bloomberg on Gamma as well as Delta variants, and rapid spread in under-vaccinated counties.


60 thoughts on “The Delta Variant and Prospects for Economic Activity

  1. Moses Herzog

    Would one guess that if and when the variant creates little “pockets” (better word??) of virus spread, this could provide a “light tap” on the brakes for inflation?? I’m not predicting this, but it seems very well within the range of possibility. I don’t know if it’s Juneteenth, or something is going on here in my city that I am unaware of. But I gotta say after seeing a huge increase in automobile traffic after the vaccine took hold, the last two days has been near ghost town quiet on car traffic. The only thing I can make out of it is it was just happenstance quiet when I went out. But I don’t think I overreact on these things, and it has me very baffled. Not in a worried way, but extremely curious what is going on that I am not catching on to here. Very low traffic, even on Saturday early evening—that is strange, unless it’s something Juneteenth related—and I don’t know why Juneteenth would lower traffic. Very perplexed on that score.

    As you might have guessed, my state is in the very light green (or I guess yellow it is called in the article). I’ll be shocked with all the illiterate rednecks we have here (They did the welcome for President Obama the ONE time he visited our state by bringing out the LARGE Dixie flags on their pick-up trucks along Obama’s designated travel route) if we don’t have a pretty strong resurgence between now, and say around November—-I’ll be shocked if we don’t have a moderate resurgence specific to the state I reside in.

    1. Walter

      Future modeling for spread of something such as a virus should include a variable for ignorant opposition to preventive measures (ie: an asshole factor).

      1. Moses Herzog

        I bet someone smart could come up with a variable name and equation accompanying that. I’m challenged at the moment to think of one, but there are kind of humorous equations for such things. I don’t want to put him on the spot but I bet Menzie knows a few.

  2. Moses Herzog

    For many years, I have not been a fan of WSJ’s editorial section. Certainly since Rupert Murdoch started ruining the paper, and even possibly before that (Noonan has always been pretentious trash). But, once in a blue moon, someone detained there in WSJ’s editorial stinkfest will say something intelligent and insightful. I think Holman W. Jenkins Jr. has accomplished that rare marvel:

  3. Moses Herzog

    Well, Trae Young had “only” 18 missed floor shots tonight.

    Was 2-for-11 (nine missed threes) from 3-point land

    and shot 9 flop on the floor “I’m a big P***y” points (of his total scoring of 21)

    Trae is an amazing amazing all-star. Congrats that Doc Rivers got fired from the Clippers last season ‘cuz they know he s*cks A– as a head coach. Great job Trae Young~~~Atlanta’s adopted godchild and winner of the Stephen A. “Women Bring Violence Upon Themselves” Smith Player of The Year Award. A hero to children across America.

    1. pgl

      And Coach Moses would have benched him but not Nate McMillan. Which is why he is headed out to take on to the Bucs and you are stuck at home with your usual pointless hate and dishonest chirping. It is going to be fun to watch you prove you do not understand the fundamentals for another series.

  4. Barkley Rosser

    My wife, Marina V. Rosser, is now in Moscow, visiting her 92-year old mother.

    The city has recently reported the highest number of new Covid-19 cases. I was on lockdown last week. This has now been extended through the coming week. My wife is due to return a week from tomorrow, which will be at least as difficult as her getting there in the first place, leaving the US on June 8, multiple tests for all flights,

    Something really bizarre is that there seems to be resistance to getting vaccinated there, way beyond what is going on here in the US, heavily among Trampscheiss, although some minorities as well, if fewer of these later lately. What has shut down Russia is the delta variant from India, and in Russia vaxxed rates are still less than 30 percent, compared to pushing 70 percent in the US, although with some locales down there at Russian levels.

    I am now giving away embarrassing family information, but the resistance to vaxxing in Russia is quite beyond what we see here in the US. I personally know people there who are refusing to get vaccinated even in the face of this new round from India. Some of this, for older ones, is leftover anti-Soviet-government paranoia. In other cases this involves people listening to weird Russian media, where independent media is nearly gone and just weird garbage is out there.

    My wife, Marina, someone who knows absolutely top people there, says it has really changed in the last two years, way not for the better. The place has gotten really weird. My observation is that people, some of them actually MDs, refusing to take a vaccine in the face of a massively seriously bad pandemic outbreak is indeed the supreme sign of how bad things are. At this point, I am holding my breath for my wife’s return a week from tomorrow.

    1. pgl

      I trust your wife has gotten vaccinated. We all pray for her to be safe on her journeys. Now someone here has been telling us that the Chinese and Russians have been doing so much better with respect to the vaccination issue but that claim seems to be as specious as a Trump tweet.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Thanks, pgl. We both got Moderna some time ago, and I have read that it is good against the Delta variant. Hope so in her case especially.

        I cannot resist noting that the unreality being believed in by otherwise generally intelligent and well-educated people over there resembles to me some of what we see here with people believing the Big Lie, many of whom are also not all that dumb or poorly educated, just believing the wrong media.

        1. baffling

          social media. not sure what the answer to the problem is. but i understand that social media is a problem. unfettered propagation of false information is detrimental to society. change in some form will need to be made on social media sites. just not sure what that change will look like. i see it in my own family, with some members taking on very strange views of reality and truth. conservative talk radio use to be impactful. but the common denominator now is social media, and it is FAR more effective at influencing people than rush ever was.

          1. Barkley Rosser

            While a lot of this is social media, some of it is just plain biased media. I do not think Fox News, Newsmax, or OAN count as “social media,” and while especially on Fox one does occasionally see somebody admitting Tramp lost, there are plenty of shows there where the Big Lie gets a lot of support.

    2. Moses Herzog

      I think for a country which still has a lot of communist-like characteristics, it’s relatively normal, and arguably healthy mistrust of the government. I think you’re making too derogatory thing out of it—and I mean that as a compliment to your wife’s native country, if that makes any sense. They are like Chinese, they are a pretty pragmatic lot, and pragmatism has a streak of mistrust of others in it.

    3. Moses Herzog

      Think about when Navalny came back from Germany. The reaction speaks very very highly of Russian people. They appreciated what he had done, and communicated that appreciation in a loud and courageous manner. They are not fools, and I suspect though do not know you would find the younger university educated segment of Russia much more open to getting the shots, which mirrors maybe the older folks here in America (the “Karens” and “creepy uncles”) who are anti-vaccine vs the college educated who like Bernie and Andrew Yang who probably went out to get their “jab” (vaccine shot) as soon as they could.

    4. Moses Herzog

      Masha Gessen is most likely the best person to listen to on all of this. Gessen= Russian Jew= Way smarter than the average:

      There’s no vulgarity (at least in English) in this video. I’d take is as a personal favor (like that means anything) if Menzie would clear this quicker than my usual YT postings while inebriated,

      I don’t remember Gessen talking much about Covid 19 in video interviews, but this is her discussing it in her writings back in late 2020:

    5. Ulenspiegel

      “Something really bizarre is that there seems to be resistance to getting vaccinated there, way beyond what is going on here in the US”

      According to my Russian colleagues , many Russians do not trust there government, conspiracy theories fall on fertile ground. The other aspect is that the official propaganda is self-defeating: According to Russian state media the covid issue has been under control for many months, actually it was sold as highly competitive on the international stage, therefore, the still quite high infection rate over the last year was ignored by many people, downplaying the daily deaths by factor three or four also does not create self awareness in the population.

      In Russia we have now the worst of two worlds, medium vaccination rate in combination with high infection levels, the best scenario for creation of a variant that may make former vaccines useless.

    1. ltr

      June 20, 2021

      China administers 1 bln COVID-19 vaccine doses

      BEIJING — More than 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in China by Saturday, as the country is pushing ahead with the largest vaccination drive in the history of New China.

      It took the country just five days to hit its most recent 100-million dose increase, according to daily updates by the National Health Commission (NHC).

      China accelerated its pace of free COVID-19 vaccinations for the whole nation since late March. It took China 25 days to climb from 100 million doses to 200 million doses, 16 days to increase from 200 million to 300 million, and six days from 800 million to 900 million.

      A total of 21 COVID-19 vaccines have entered clinical trials in China since last year. So far, four vaccines have been granted conditional marketing approval and three have been authorized for emergency use within the country.

      China’s nationwide vaccination campaign is open to people aged over 18. The country has approved the emergency use of domestic inactivated vaccines on people aged 3 to 17….

  5. Ivan

    The rates of infection is a parameter determined by multiple inputs including human behavior, average infectivity of strains in the community, and vaccination rates. We are already seeing a substantial correlation between infection rates and vaccination rates; the increased dominance of the delta strain will only further strengthen that. Human behavior is where pandemic and economics intersect in a rather complicated way. My family have been fully vaccinated for months and infection rates in our community are very low. Yet we are still not ready to visit restaurants or go to movie theaters at the rates we used to. Because we are likely to be sharing indoor space with large numbers of unvaccinated individuals. So, there is still that feeling that the risk may be lowered, but is it worth it. We are absolutely not ready to travel to or take a cruise from Florida, where the Governor has taken over release of infection numbers and banned safe cruises/spaces. Although there is no question that easing government restrictions can allow more business to take place, it can also increase infection rates and reduce many costumers willingness to come out and spend – the delta variant will make that trade off (between restrictions and infection rates), more pronounced. After the first chock, the effects on the economy as a whole doesn’t seem to be that strong. It appears that we Americans are addicted to spending, so if we don’t spend it on one type of self-indulgence we spend it on another.

    We have had a pandemic patterns that followed UK’s with a 2-6 weeks delay, and their case number averages have doubled in the past 2 week. Let’s just hope that the fact that our fully vaccinated numbers are higher than theirs at the time of delta becoming the dominant strain can make a real difference. I would hate to see the summer get hot in more than one way.

    1. Ivan

      This is very bad news for those living in areas with low vaccination rates.

      “In Springfield, Missouri, the low rate of vaccinations combined with the Delta variant has led to a six-fold increase in hospitalizations at CoxHealth, a health care system there, according to its CEO, Steve Edwards.
      Over the past four and a half weeks, the number of patients has risen from around 14 to 83, Edwards told CNN on Monday, adding that the patients are younger and have more severe disease than previously — and almost all are unvaccinated.
      The Delta variant made up about 10% of cases that were tested three or four weeks ago, he said. “As of last week, it appeared to be 90%.”
      “I think it is the Delta variant, and there is a lot of kindling with low vaccination rates, so it’s spreading very rapidly.””

      Going from 14 to 83 hospitalizations in a month, and 10% Delta variants to 90% Delta variants in less than that, is such a speed that even getting all the idiots vaccinated tomorrow would still not prevent a meltdown in these areas.

  6. ltr

    June 21, 2021

    As Lumber Prices Fall, the Threat of Inflation Loses Its Bite
    Costs soared partly because of do-it-yourselfers’ spending stimulus checks, but a month of declines show that consumers aren’t about to trigger runaway increases.
    By Matt Phillips

    From sawmills to store shelves to your own hammer swings, lumber can tell you a lot about what’s going on in the economy right now.

    Lumber prices soared over the past year, frustrating would-be pandemic do-it-yourselfers, jacking up the costs of new homes and serving as a compelling talking point in the debate over whether government stimulus efforts risked the return of 1970s-style inflation.

    The housing-and-renovation boom drove insatiable demand for lumber, even as the pandemic idled mills that had already been slowed by an anemic construction sector since the 2008 financial crisis. Lumber futures surged to unprecedented heights, peaking at more than $1,600 per thousand board feet in early May.

    But since then, the prices of those same plywood sheets and pressure-treated planks have tumbled, as mills restarted or ramped up production and some customers put off their purchases until prices came down.

    It’s a dance of supply and demand that has reassured many experts and the Federal Reserve in their belief that painful price spikes for everything from airline tickets to used cars will abate as the economy gets back to normal.

    “Many of the extreme price spikes we’ve seen in recent months are likely to reverse for Econ 101 reasons,” said Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs.

    Lumber prices in the futures market, for example, are down more than 45 percent from their peak, slipping below $1,000 for the first time in months. That’s still high — between 2009 and 2019, prices averaged less than $400 per thousand board feet — but the sell-off has been gaining momentum over the last few weeks. The price has fallen in 11 of the last 12 trading sessions, including a 0.5 percent drop to settle at $900.80 on Friday, according to FactSet data….

    1. pgl

      Now this is useful information:

      “Lumber prices in the futures market, for example, are down more than 45 percent from their peak, slipping below $1,000 for the first time in months. That’s still high — between 2009 and 2019, prices averaged less than $400 per thousand board feet”

  7. ltr

    Ollie Vargas @OVargas52

    Pro-coup Fujimori supporters in Lima using the symbols of the Spanish colonial authorities (Cruz de Borgoña * ).

    Much of the Latin American right utterly detests their own country & culture, I’m not sure how many foreigners are aware of how common these attitudes are.


    Cross of Burgundy or Cross of Saint Andrew

    7:53 PM · Jun 20, 2021 from Bolivia

    [ Profoundly important and directly related to development policy through Latin America. ]

  8. ltr

    June 20, 2021

    New York Faces Lasting Economic Toll Even as Pandemic Passes
    The city’s prosperity is heavily dependent on patterns of work and travel that may be irreversibly altered.
    By Nelson D. Schwartz, Patrick McGeehan and Nicole Hong
    Photographs by Gabriela Bhaskar

    As the national economy recovers from the pandemic and begins to take off, New York City is lagging, with changing patterns of work and travel threatening the engines that have long powered its jobs and prosperity.

    New York has suffered deeper job losses as a share of its work force than any other big American city. And while the country has regained two-thirds of the positions it lost after the coronavirus arrived, New York has recouped fewer than half, leaving a deficit of more than 500,000 jobs.

    New York City lost greatest share of jobs among 20 largest U.S. cities

    The city had an 11.8 percent decline in jobs from February 2020 to April 2021, almost three times the loss on the national level….

    1. pgl

      NYC has traditionally relied on a subway system that a lot of us are still not comfortable taking. The next mayor will have all sorts of challenges starting on 1/1/2020. Alas most of the Democratic candidates have decided to run on attacking each other. And tomorrow is the official primary date. Stay tuned.

    2. ltr

      Paul Krugman interestingly failed to understand the importance for the protection and continued development of the economy of New York City of opening a headquarters for Amazon in the city.  Amazon is a transformative technology company and transformation is periodically necessary for prime urban centers, while Amazon is changing the nature of business:

      February 14, 2019

      New York Returns 25,000 Jobs to Amazon
      As the company cancels its plans for a major Queens campus, anti-corporate activists got what they wanted at a great cost.

  9. EConned

    While I am not one of those concerned with the technology, I do sympathize with others who are concerned with potential unknown negative impacts of mRNA vaccines. However, what frustrates me is many of these individuals often use other arguments in defense of their not wanting to receive mRNA vaccines. The political bifurcation is quite clear when analyzing state’s vaccine rates. It’s very interesting and yet very sad.

    1. Baffling

      It seems odd that antivaccers are more worried about a single strand of rna injected into the body to produce a single protein than they are with the actual virus injecting them with the same rna strand producing the same protein plus tens or hundreds of other rna producing even more different proteins. A lack of science understanding, an indictment of the antiscience position many folks have taken in the past few years.

    2. Ulenspiegel

      ” I do sympathize with others who are concerned with potential unknown negative impacts of mRNA vaccines”

      But the same people are not concerned with unknown possible impact of the vector in other systems? Or additional proteins? Strange, very strange.

      1. baffling

        i hope econned realizes that what he is sympathizing with is ignorance. i don’t think that was his intent, however.
        mrna and its impact on organisms is not some new technology that we just discovered and tried to implement. we have been studying mrna and its impacts for decades. that is why we were able to create a vaccine in such short amount of time. there is far less unknown about mrna and the associated vaccines that some in the news media want readers to believe.

        1. pgl

          “we have been studying mrna and its impacts for decades.”

          We have but shhh – don’t tell that to the MAGA hat crowd. Trump wants to pretend he was the only reason we got effective vaccines so quickly.

        2. EConned

          These mRNA vaccines are the 1st to be used in large-scale phase III human trials. As such, I do sympathize with people who are reluctant to take the vaccines given the nascent nature of this technology for human vaccines.

          I hope baffling realizes 2 things…
          1) that someone’s suspicion arising from the lack of direct evidence for these specific vaccines is not necessarily the same thing as ignorance
          2) politically-driven suspicion isn’t necessarily the same thing as ignorance

          1. baffling

            mrna technology is not new. its ok to be suspicious, but you need to have some specific reasons for that suspicious. simply because it is a new vaccine is a bit lacking. there were thousands of people involved in phase III trials before it was given to the public. the vagueness of the suspicion is the problem, as it is rooted in ignorance, not evidence.
            “2) politically-driven suspicion isn’t necessarily the same thing as ignorance”
            it is a combination of ignorance and stooopidity.

          2. EConned

            -No one said mRNA is new.
            -People are suspicious because, as stated previously, “ These mRNA vaccines are the 1st to be used in large-scale phase III human trials”. This may be “a bit lacking” to you but your personal feelings don’t amount to much more than words on an econ blog to those who are concerned… try to be open-minded and understating of others.
            -Again, many are concerned that long-term data is lacking.
            -You’re correct that it’s nit rooted in evidence but lack of evidence is the problem that those with concerns have.

          3. Baffling

            Econned, those antivaxers seem to have a problem with a vaccine, but not a problem with the virus. In fact, they argue there are no long term issues with the virus. The evidence suggests just the opposite.

            If you follow the basic science, you would understand there really are no mechanisms in the mrna vaccine that could cause damage. It may not work, but safety is basically assured. The vaccine is not replicating. That is simply how the biology works.

            The same cannot be said about the virus. There are unknown mechanisms that very well are detrimental in a replicating virus. If there were a longer term issues with mrna, we would have seen them already. The mrna does not replicate and degrades quickly. If you understand biology, you understand the window for concern over mrna vaccine has closed. I do need to sympathize with people who are concerned about a falsehood.

            Throughout its development, the concern with mrna vaccines was much more about efficacy than safety. This is why people believe the future of vaccines is mrna rather than adenovirus.

          4. Baffling

            “ These mRNA vaccines are the 1st to be used in large-scale phase III human trials”
            Econned, Phase 3 trials started almost a year ago. Phase 1 started in april of 2020. At what point will you no longer consider this a novelty with little data. We have over a years worth of data and millions (working on billions) of doses administered. This concept of the unknown simply does not hold up.

          5. EConned

            baffling – I’m not certain “[a]t what point will [others] no longer consider this a novelty with little data.” I’m guessing “over a years worth of data and millions (working on billions) of doses administered“ isn’t enough for many people to feel comfortable as shown by the revealed presence of this group. I will say you’re flatly wrong in asserting that the “concept of the unknown simply does not hold up” as it’s only been a year – as stated previously it seems many are concerned with potential long-term complications. Again, “ it’s “very interesting and yet very sad””.

    3. noneconomist

      Sure. Those unknown negative impacts.Local TV news usually interviews the hesitants at or outside of a crowded drinking establishment where other (known?) negative impacts are obviously tolerated.
      That doesn’t include the other potential negative impacts present in their everyday lives. My medication arrives monthly with mention of plenty of possible negative impacts, excepting inflated prices.

  10. joseph

    “Future modeling for spread of something such as a virus should include a variable for ignorant opposition to preventive measures”

    Epidemiologists already take social effects into account in their models. What you are proposing, tongue in cheek or not, is nothing new. For example they model varying degrees of cooperation for masking, social distancing and vaccination rates. An example is below from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). You can click on the model and see the changes in projections from better to worse based on varying degrees of social cooperation.

  11. James

    Disappointing for people in those areas both economically and for personal reasons (continued cases and deaths and will be a breeding ground for variants). I think this will continue to shift economic activity to more liberal urban areas ( as these red states struggle with Covid and Opioids and poor healthcare (
    Also you can bet their GOP political leaders will be telling them – See I told ya – gubermint don’t work! or push snake oil cures like Ron “I have a stockpile of hydroxychloroquine to sell” Johnson – Also Trump and Hannity must have a stockpile as well and noticed them pushing hydroxychloroquine –
    Also in Wisconsin – there continues to be counties with low vaccination rates (

  12. ltr

    June 21, 2021

    The Week Inflation Panic Died
    By Paul Krugman

    Remember when everyone was panicking about inflation, warning ominously about 1970s-type stagflation? OK, many people are still saying such things, some because that’s what they always say, some because that’s what they say when there’s a Democratic president, some because they’re extrapolating from the big price increases that took place in the first five months of this year.

    But for those paying closer attention to the flow of new information, inflation panic is, you know, so last week.

    Seriously, both recent data and recent statements from the Federal Reserve have, well, deflated the case for a sustained outbreak of inflation. For that case has always depended on asserting that the Fed is either intellectually or morally deficient (or both). That is, to panic over inflation, you had to believe either that the Fed’s model of how inflation works is all wrong or that the Fed would lack the political courage to cool off the economy if it were to become dangerously overheated.

    Both beliefs have now lost most of whatever credibility they may have had.

    Let’s start with the theory of inflation.

    Since the 1970s, and especially since a seminal 1975 paper by Robert Gordon, many economists have tried to distinguish between transitory fluctuations in the inflation rate driven by temporary factors and an underlying “core” inflation rate that is much more stable — but also hard to bring down if it gets uncomfortably high. The idea is that policy should largely ignore transitory inflation, which is easy come, easy go, and worry only if core inflation looks as if it’s getting too high (or too low).

    Since 2004 the Fed has routinely published an estimate of core inflation that it derives by excluding changes in food and energy prices, which are notoriously volatile, and has used that measure to fend off demands that it tighten monetary policy in the face of inflation it considers temporary — notably in 2010-11, when prices of oil and other commodities were rising and Republicans were accusing the Fed of risking “currency debasement.”

    The Fed was, of course, right: Inflation soon subsided. And the distinction between transitory and underlying inflation — a distinction that, judging from my inbox, generates an extraordinary amount of hatred from some Wall Street types — has, in fact, been a huge practical success, helping the Fed to keep calm and carry on in the face of both inflation and deflation scares.

    The Fed has been arguing that recent price rises are similarly transitory. True, they’re not coming from food and energy so much as from pandemic-related disruptions that caused surging prices of used cars, lumber and other nontraditional sources of inflation. But the Fed’s view has been that this episode, like the inflation blip of 2010-11, will soon be over.

    And it’s now looking as if the Fed was right….

    1. ltr


      The Impact of Aggregate Demand on Prices
      By Robert J. Gordon


      DIFFERING IMPLICIT assumptions regarding the response of the aggregate price level to changes in aggregate demand underlie many of the most important disputes in the field of macroeconomics, both at the abstract level of theoretical discussion and at the practical level of policy recommendation. When aggregate demand shifts in either direction, so does the “market-clearing” aggregate price level at which output remains fixed. A “perfectly flexible” actual price level shifts instantaneously to the market-clearing level in response to a shift in demand, but an “imperfectly flexible” price level changes only gradually toward the market-clearing level, thus allowing real output to vary in the same direction as the demand shift during the transition to complete price adjustment.

    1. baffling

      but as econned noted in another post, we really should have more sympathy for those who question the use of the vaccine! such defense of people who intentionally endanger themselves and others really is mortifying. why do we continue to protect people who either act with ignorance or malevolence?

  13. ltr

    June 22, 2021

    Cuba’s Abdala Vaccine is 92% Effective

    Clinical trials on Cuba’s vaccine candidate, Abdala, have demonstrated a 92.28% effectiveness rate in its three dose application, making it one of the world’s most effective vaccines against Covid-19….

    [ Cuba has long emphasized healthcare development, with the results evident in looking to Latin American countries. Also, Cuba has fared relatively well through the coronavirus epidemic where Latin America has unfortunately generally fared poorly. ]

    1. pgl

      Source check time. This outfit is part of Radio Kawsachun Coca which is run by a coca growers’ association in Bolivia.

      1. baffling

        i think it is great that cuba was able to develop an effective vaccine. and i hope they are able to distribute it effectively to the population. on the other hand, i wish the usa had been able to strike a deal with cuba to get the mrna vaccines to the island back in february. the entire island could have been vaccinated by now, and been definitive proof of the effectiveness of these vaccines for the rest of the world. since it is an island with controlled migration, it really was a natural experiment to evaluate the virus and mitigation strategies. as of now, they have about 10% of the population vaccinated. in june of 2021, it would have been great if that had been higher. politics kept that from occurring i am afraid.

    1. Dr. Dysmalist

      I thought he was joking/snarky. After all, he was discussing the impacts in the ransomware market.

  14. ltr

    June 22, 2021

    Cuba’s Abdala Vaccine is 92% Effective

    Clinical trials on Cuba’s vaccine candidate, Abdala, have demonstrated a 92.28% effectiveness rate in its three dose application, making it one of the world’s most effective vaccines against Covid-19….

    [ Since Evo Morales led indigenous Bolivians in a struggle for drinking water, since Evo Morales became the first indigenous President of Bolivia, Morales and the indigenous people of Bolivia have been belittled and demeaned in working for national development. Now, when an indigenous paper in Bolivia simply reports on the production of a coronavirus vaccine in Cuba, the indigenous Bolivian paper is immediately demeaned and belittled. ]

  15. pgl

    Good grief – NYC’s Democratic Primary for the next mayor had 18 candidates plus the twist of Rank Choice Voting. The ads drove me nuts but now they are saying the counting and recounting can take 3 weeks to select the nominee. The Republicans did not have to go through this as they had only two candidates – both of which would make RUDY look good.

  16. ltr

    June, 2021

    Bolivia After the 2019 Coup: Economic Policy

    Executive Summary

    This paper looks at the economy of Bolivia during the de facto government that took power following a military coup in November of 2019 and that ruled for one year. The coup overthrew a democratically elected president, Evo Morales, who still had months remaining in the term to which he was elected in 2014. Other reports have documented the violence and human rights violations committed by the de facto regime. The Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) and the University Network for Human Rights (UNHR) found that the killing of civilians by state forces in November 2019 was the second highest it had been in any month for nearly 40 years.1 Two massacres committed by security forces within a week of the de facto government taking power killed at least 23 people, and injured at least 230.2

    The IHRC/UNHR report emphasizes the racist nature of the violence, including that all of the victims of these massacres were Indigenous. Bolivia has the largest percentage of Indigenous people in the Americas, and Evo Morales was the country’s first Indigenous president. His government had undertaken numerous reforms and economic policies that had benefited Bolivia’s Indigenous people, who are economically disadvantaged relative to the rest of the population.3


  17. ltr

    June 22, 2021

    Cuba reports a high success rate for its homegrown Abdala vaccine.
    By Ed Augustin

    Cuba began its Covid-19 mass vaccination campaign more than a month ago with homegrown, unproven vaccines, wagering that they would prove effective enough to blunt the rapid spread of the coronavirus on the cash-strapped Caribbean island.

    The gamble appears to be paying off.

    The Cuban health authorities said on Monday that their country’s three-shot Abdala vaccine had proved about 92 percent effective against the coronavirus in late-stage clinical trials….

  18. ltr

    June 22, 2021

    Recent rise in COVID-19 cases constitutes “new outbreak” in Israel: PM
    “In the light of the data, we are treating the situation as a renewed outbreak,” Israeli Prime Minister Bennett said.

    JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that a recent rise in COVID-19 cases constitutes “a new outbreak” in the country.

    “In the light of the data, we are treating the situation as a renewed outbreak,” Bennett said in a televised statement at Israel’s international Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv.

    “There are indications that the so-called Delta coronavirus variant has begun spreading in Israel,” the Israeli leader added, noting he will reconvene the coronavirus cabinet to discuss a plan to curb the renewed spread of the virus….

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