Medical experts are calling for a restart of the COVID lockdown as the United States hits 4 million cases, and as the big banks chime in with dire scenarios.
On Friday, a group of 150 prominent medical experts, medical workers, scientists and teachers signed a letter urging another nationwide shut down to contain the pandemic at a time when schools are wondering whether they can reopen at the 11th hour.
"Right now we are on a path to lose more than 200,000 American lives by November 1st. Yet, in many states people can drink in bars, get a haircut, eat inside a restaurant, get a tattoo, get a massage, and do myriad other normal, pleasant, but non-essential activities," the letter said, carried by CNN.
With Johns Hopkins University recording over 4 million cases and over 144,300 deaths, the big banks are also high on everyone’s list for COVID uncertainty barometers.
On Thursday, Morgan Stanley’s biotechnology analyst, Matthew Harrison, warned that COVID could reach new heights in the fall with up to 150,000 new daily cases in the United States alone.
“Our bull [most optimistic] case reflects similar virus control to Europe while our base [most likely] case assumes a near-term plateau followed by increased spread in the fall. [About] 150,000 daily new cases are possible without better control of the virus,” Harrison said, as reported by CNBC.
That’s a starkly worse view than Harrison had earlier, and the more dire scenario was prompted by a huge uptick in cases in Arizona, Texas, Florida and California. Previously, Harrison had predicted 50,000 daily new cases for fall.
Florida’s Department of Health on Friday confirmed 12,444 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s known total to 402,312, with 135 new deaths.
Goldman Sachs is also purveying high-level uncertainty.
On Wednesday, Goldman CEO David Solomon said the U.S. economy would continue to be hit by high unemployment and a slow recovery as it stands.
“The economic reality is that we are still facing a very, very uncertain economic environment,” Solomon told a conference held by the Economic Club of New York, as reported by CNBC.
“I think in the next couple of months you’ll see a tamping down of that acceleration, I think you’ll see poorer economic numbers,” Solomon said. “I think we’re in for a very, very bumpy ride.”
Goldman Sachs is also prompting the government for a nationwide face mask mandate and a possible return to lockdown, which it says would slow the spread of COVID-19.
“The economic benefit from a face mask mandate and increased face mask usage could be sizable,” a Goldman Sachs research team wrote in a note to clients.
At the same time, Goldman has raised its ecommerce growth estimate in light of the COVID “second wave”, setting it to reach 22% by 2023, and expanding 19% each year until then, up from 16% earlier.
Everyone is now waiting to see what is in store for us in terms of stimulus, with Senate Republicans due to release their new coronavirus relief plan next week.
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