Connect with us

Business

Missed opportunities in Rishi Sunak’s spending review | Economic policy

Published

on

If the chancellor really wants to balance the books (Rishi Sunak says Covid economic emergency has only just begun, 25 November), he could stop shelling out money to consultants for doing (badly) the jobs that the government itself should do. He could halt funding of environmentally damaging vanity projects like HS2. Then he could stop subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, which destroy any prospect of meeting zero-carbon targets. In the longer term, we could follow the French example and make big tech companies pay their fair share of tax. But it’s so much easier to cut overseas aid and screw the public servants who have kept the country running while the government has been busy ladling out money to its friends.
Nick Ward
Swanage, Dorset

• When Rishi Sunak said that ideology doesn’t work (Editorial, 25 November), he was acknowledging that Tory economic ideology doesn’t work. He has almost daily added to the stimulus funding that looks modelled on Rooseveltian New Dealism. That did work – because jobs were created by government at the same time as the stimulus was provided. Now is the time to create a National Care Service by aligning and converting the benefits system with training into an expanded and fairly paid care workforce similar to the US Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s.
Sue Rabbitt Roff
Cellardyke, Fife

• The chancellor’s failure to mention Brexit in his spending review shows that shifting the blame for the ensuing damage has begun: Covid first, and then the EU. Most alarming is the fact that a no-deal Brexit, which will do the most harm to the economy, is also the outcome that will do the least harm to the government. The economic hardships of Brexit will then be blamed on the EU’s intransigence.
Adrian Cosker
Hitchin, Hertfordshire

• Last Friday the prime minister called on the G20 nations to stick to their commitment to do “whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic and protect lives and livelihoods” and also to make “bold pledges” to protect the planet. On Wednesday his government announced that expenditure on international aid would be cut from 0.7% to 0.5% of gross national income. Is the effort just to be made by other countries?
Ian Hodge
Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire

Rishi Sunak says it would be difficult to justify spending 0.7% of GDP at this time on overseas aid, which goes to the poorest in the world. I find it difficult to justify how the government can stay committed to spending £205bn on the replacement of Trident submarines.
Rae Street
Littleborough, Greater Manchester

• The Tories referred to the result of the 2008 global financial crisis as “Labour’s Great Recession”. Having been in power for a decade, will they take full responsibility for the results of the global pandemic on their watch?
Bill Bradbury
Bolton, Greater Manchester

• Our Covid economic crisis is second only to that caused by the Great Frost in 1709, which disrupted European trade. Thank goodness we’re not also facing any such disruption as that!
Tim Tozer
Elvington, North Yorkshire

• Could the Great Frost happen again, just when we all get vaccinated? Things could be so much worse if one of the great volcanoes decided to blow. Maybe we should be counting our economic blessings right now.
Margaret Squires
St Andrews, Fife


Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

West Virginia governor claims every person over 65 could be vaccinated by Valentine’s Day

Published

on

By

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice lauded his state’s coronavirus vaccine distribution success, and claimed that if the Mountain State had the “doses by Valentine’s Day, every person in this state, 65 years of age and older, would be vaccinated.” 

West Virginia has spent the past three weeks as either the number one or number two state in the nation for vaccine doses administered per capita, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Covid-19 Vaccination Tracker. The state also boasts a first dose administration rate of 95.2% and a second dose vaccination rate of 46.8%, according to vaccine data posted to West Virginia’s Covid-19 dashboard Wednesday.

Justice broke down his state’s “all in” approach for distributing the Covid vaccine on CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith”  

“We didn’t necessarily take the federal approach, we took a practical approach, and we took an all in approach,” Justice said during a Wednesday evening interview. “We brought our National Guard, our local pharmacies, our local health care people, and our local health clinics and everything.”

Justice added that the West Virginia model “isn’t rocket science, this is just about moving and not sitting back and planning a strategy.”

The vaccine rollout remains slower than expected, however, in multiple states across the country. Wisconsin, for example, has been lagging behind and has only distributed 42.5% of its Covid vaccine doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gov. Tony Evers called the state’s vaccine rollout “a little bumpy.” Evers said his state didn’t receive enough vaccines from the federal government and that those administering vaccines needed more time to prepare.

West Virginia has administered nearly 12,000 doses, 77% of their dose supply. Justice underscored the importance of placing older Americans at the forefront of a vaccination strategy. 

“We looked at this just one way, and it was age and age, and age, and we knew we had to move,” Justice said. “We didn’t want vaccines sitting on a shelf, we needed them in people’s arms.”

January 2021 already ranks as the worst month on record in the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic began with more than 79,000 fatalities, according to a CNBC analysis of Johns Hopkins data. It marks a grim milestone that surpassed the December’s record by more than a thousand deaths. 


Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Dr. Fauci says Covid vaccines can be easily adapted to new variants, drugmakers working on boosters

Published

on

By

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a news conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Pfizer and Moderna‘s current Covid-19 vaccines can be easily adapted to target new strains of the virus, something the drugmakers are already working on, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday.

New strains of the coronavirus have emerged in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil that have given scientists some cause for concern. Although it’s no surprise the virus is mutating, researchers are quickly trying to determine what the changes might mean for recently developed lifesaving vaccines and treatments against the disease.

Some early findings published in the preprint server bioRxiv, which have yet to be peer reviewed, indicate that the variant identified in South Africa, what scientists are calling the B.1.351 strain, can evade the antibodies provided by some coronavirus treatments and may reduce the effectiveness of the current line of available vaccines. Fauci told CNN in an interview that it was very similar to the new strain found in Brazil.

However, there is some good news: The newly developed mRNA technology used to make the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna makes it easy to adapt to the new strains, Fauci said. He added that the drugmakers are already working to make so-called “booster” shots that will target the variant found in South Africa, which appears to be more problematic than the others.

“We’re already trying to stay one or two steps ahead of the game so that if, in fact, we have a situation where the South African strain is prevalent here — it’s here, but it’s certainly not dominant — you want to really get ahead of it from a protection standpoint,” Fauci said. “You’re going to want to have a vaccine that specifically addresses that strain.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said federal agencies would collaborate to study how effective Covid-19 vaccines are against mutated strains of the virus. While the authorized remain highly effective against the B.1.1.7 strain first identified in the U.K., “things get a bit more problematic” with the B.1.351 strain.

Even then, both vaccines have proven to be about 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 in clinical trials, allowing a little bit of cushion where the vaccines will still work even if any of the variants reduces their effectiveness, the infectious disease expert has said.

Testing the effectiveness of the booster vaccines doesn’t require starting from scratch, Fauci said. The booster shots won’t need to go through the same large-scale clinical trials that were required for the original vaccines to receive the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization in December, he said, adding that they could get through with a “quick phase one” trial instead.

“You don’t have to do a 30,000 person trial or a 40,000 person trial,” Fauci said. “You work with the FDA and you could bridge information from one trial to another. Bottom line is we’re already on it.”

Moderna announced Monday that its Covid-19 vaccine might be less effective against the B.1.351 strain in South Africa, and that the company is accelerating work on a booster shot to guard against that variant “out of an abundance of caution.”

Pfizer said on Tuesday that the company, along with German drugmaker BioNTech, would also develop a booster shot, according to a Reuters report. A spokesperson for the company was not immediately available to respond to Fauci’s comments.


Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy issues a warning to GameStop, AMC bosses

Published

on

By

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Shares