Thursday, July 2, 2020

Last Call For Tales Of The Trump Depression

The country recovered 4.8 million jobs in June, a massive number that supports evidence of the "V-shaped recovery" that the Trump regime promised. Unfortunately, the evidence doesn't hold up on further inspection.

The US unemployment rate fell to 11.1% as the economy added a record 4.8 million jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday. 
The data was far better than economists predicted, and the unemployment rate also fell more than expected. It was the second-consecutive month of growth after more than 20 million jobs were wiped out in April during the coronavirus lockdown. The reopening of the economy is easing the burden on America's stressed labor market. 
But after two months of rampant growth, the American economy is still down nearly 14.7 million jobs since February. Although the unemployment rate has come down from 14.7% in April, it remains higher than at any point during the Great Recession. 
A full job market recovery is far from certain as long as the US economy remains in its current, deep recession, and "with the spread of the virus accelerating again, we expect the recovery from here will be a lot bumpier and job gains to be more muted," said Michael Pearce, senior US economist at Capital Economics, in a note. 
America is dealing with a severe joblessness crisis and millions of people are relying on government aid to make ends meet. 
The Department of Labor also reported Thursday that 1.4 million workers -- more than expected -- filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week. While the claims data is collected weekly, the survey for the jobs report wraps around the middle of each month. 
The number of Americans filing for unemployment at least two weeks in a row rose slightly, to 19.3 million. These numbers do not include claims filed for pandemic unemployment assistance. 
For the fourth month in a row, the Labor Department noted that its data collectors misclassified some workers as "employed not at work," when they should have been classified as "unemployed on temporary layoff." If it weren't for that issue, the unemployment rate would have been as high as 12.3% in June. 

Senate Republicans have made sure that help for American workers runs out this month and there's still no plans to take up any more stimulus measures. Rent moratoriums and pandemic unemployment insurance end this month as well.  Basicall, all federal measures to help Americans through the pandemic have ended or will end in the next couple of weeks.

Americans are on their own again. We're still trapped in a deep recession far worse than 2008, if not a major economic depression on par with 1929. And all indications are that from this point forward, things are going to get substantially worse for America.

We're still in the Trump Depression.  It gets bad from here.

The Country Goes Viral, Con't

A new Yale University medical study suggests that the true number of COVID-19 deaths in the US is 25-30% higher than the 130,000 we're at now.

The number of confirmed U.S. deaths due to the coronavirus is substantially lower than the true tally, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Using National Center for Health Statistics data, researchers at Yale University compared the number of excess U.S. deaths from any causes with the reported number of weekly U.S. Covid-19 deaths from March 1 through May 30. The numbers were then compared with deaths from the same period in previous years.

Researchers found that the excess number of deaths over normal levels also exceeded those attributed to Covid-19, leading them to conclude that many of those fatalities were likely caused by the coronavirus but not confirmed. State reporting discrepancies and a sharp increase in U.S. deaths amid a pandemic suggest the number of Covid-19 fatalities is undercounted, they said. 
“Our analyses suggest that the official tally of deaths due to Covid-19 represent a substantial undercount of the true burden,” Dan Weinberger, an epidemiologist at Yale School of Public Health and a lead author of the study, told CNBC. Weinberger said other factors could contribute to the increase in deaths, such as people avoiding emergency treatment for things like heart attacks. However, he doesn’t think that is the main driver. 
The study was supported by the National Institute of Health. 
The 781,000 total deaths in the United States in the three months through May 30 were about 122,300, or nearly 19% higher, than what would normally be expected, according to the researchers. Of the 122,300 excess deaths, 95,235 were attributed to Covid-19, they said. Most of the rest of the excess deaths, researchers said, were likely related to or directly caused by the coronavirus. 
Covid-19 affects nearly every system in the body, including the circulatory system, leading to an uptick in heart attacks and strokes that physicians now believe were indirectly caused by the virus.

The number of excess deaths from any causes were 28% higher than the official tally of U.S. Covid-19 deaths during those months. The researchers noted the increase in excess deaths in many states trailed an increase in outpatient visits from people reporting an “influenza-like illness.”

So we're really around 165K-170K COVID-19 deaths and that number is most likely going to go up dramatically in the weeks ahead. 50,000 new cases nationally per day will quickly mean several thousand deaths per day by the middle to the end of the month.

As bad as everything is, the reality is much worse.

Stay home, stay safe, mask up.

Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

Senate Republicans are signaling that they will have a two-thirds majority for passing this year's defense appropriation act with Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren's amendment that will rename several military bases named for Confederate traitors, and will easily be able to override an expected Trump veto.

Senate Republicans were unfazed Wednesday by President Donald Trump’s threat to veto the annual defense policy bill over his opposition to the renaming of U.S. military installations honoring prominent Confederate figures.

The reactions from GOP senators reflected a political reality this week as the Senate prepares to pass the National Defense Authorization Act: That the provision is unlikely to be stripped from the final bill to placate the president.

“It was expected,” Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), an Armed Services Committee member who was supportive of the proposal to rename bases, said of Trump’s veto threat. “You always want to be able to show your support for our military men and women, and that’s what this is about — providing protection for them.”

In fact, most Republican senators said they had no problem at all with Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) amendment, and they said Trump should not veto a bill as vital as the National Defense Authorization Act over minor objections.

“The NDAA is so important and there are so many important elements in it that I don’t believe that alone should be a reason to even vote against it or veto it,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said.

“Ultimately, I don’t think the name of a facility should be something that’s divisive or offensive to people, especially if there are better alternatives to it,” Rubio added. “But it has to be through a process — a considered process.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) acknowledged that it might be difficult to work through the amendment process on the behemoth yearly bill, but he noted that it would be several months before the legislation actually reaches Trump’s desk, during which time it could be changed as a result of negotiations between the Senate and House.

“The veto would take place sometime probably in November,” Inhofe said. “And we have a long, long time between now and November. So we’ll see.”

The blasé responses from Senate Republicans followed a midnight tweet from the president in which he said he would veto the defense bill unless the Senate scrubs an amendment from Warren that requires the Pentagon to remove the names of Confederate military figures from all U.S. bases, aircraft and other facilities and equipment within three years.

It’s highly unlikely that Warren’s amendment will be removed from the legislation; it would take 60 votes on the Senate floor to get rid of it. And even if Trump were to veto the bill, it is expected to pass with a veto-proof majority in both chambers.

In other words, the negotiations are "this doesn't pass until the lame duck session after the election."  It saves Trump from an overridden veto showing how weak he is, but it also means Mitch McConnell will sit on the bill for another four months minimum and that it won't help Democrats until after the election, lest McConnell pull the bill entirely and leave the resulting fallout for Biden to clean up.

Which might happen anyway.

Black Lives Still Matter.  Confederate traitors, not as much.


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