New Jersey calls public well being emergency amid omicron hospital surge

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks to volunteers as he meets with Newark Mayor Ras Baraka during the gubernatorial election in Newark, New Jersey November 2, 2021.

Eduardo Munoz | Reuters

Phil Murphy, Governor of New Jersey reinstated a public health emergency Tuesday as hospitals struggle to keep up with an influx of patients as Covid cases surge amid a persistent shortage of medical staff.

The recent spike is being fueled by the rise of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has in its possession These account for about 95% of the sequenced Covid-19 cases in the US Although vaccines, and especially booster doses, provide statistical protection against serious illness and death, experts say the sheer volume of cases is overwhelming hospitals.

Murphy said the state is seeing nearly 35,000 new Covid cases a day and more than 10,000 residents have been hospitalized in the past two weeks.

The re-declaration allows the governor to exercise certain emergency powers, including mask mandates in schools.

Murphy said the renewed state of emergency will have “no new impact at all” on local residents’ daily lives.

“That’s what it doesn’t mean,” he said. “It doesn’t mean new universal mandates or passports. It means no bans. It means no business restrictions or collection limits.”

Half of the hospital beds at Newark University Hospital are filled with patients who have been diagnosed with Covid-19, some of whom were admitted for something else but subsequently tested positive, said hospital president Dr. Shereef Elnahal in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk box” On Wednesday.

But Elnahal said the Covid infection itself is not his main concern.

“Actually, I’m more worried about a health issue than a Covid-19 issue,” Elnahal told CNBC Becky Swift. “Right now we see our workforce demoralized. There is no light at the end of the tunnel to paint now like I did in Spring 2020.”

He said the industry is losing talented clinicians between the ages of 45 and 60, “often the most energetic and knowledgeable people in the hospital.” That’s a problem that may actually outlast omicron, “which appears to have already plateaued, at least in cases in the New York metro area.”

Elnahal said nearly 10% of his hospital’s staff are traveling with Covid, bringing the hospital closer to a staff crisis with “awkward” staff-to-patient ratios.

Elnahal said he would like the government to come up with a “clear definition” of the endgame in relation to Covid-19.

“Which case level defines the endemic case?” What does this mean for healthcare regulations and what can we do, what should we avoid? How much capacity should we create? What is the guidance for healthcare organizations that will be dealing with this pandemic but also with the aftermath?” are some of the questions he wants answered.

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WATCH: University Hospital CEO on Covid staff crisis: Our workforce is demoralized

Airline shares surge as buyers shrug off 1000’s extra flight cancellations

Airline pilots walk over Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia on December 27, 2021.

Anna Money Maker | Getty Images

Airline investors shrugged thousands of dollars Flight cancellations over the holidays, even if disruptions worsened on Monday.

Airlines scrubbed more than 2,900 U.S. flights on Monday, in addition to more than 5,400 over the weekend, largely due to the severe winter weather that has handicapped some of the country’s busiest airports from Seattle to Washington DC and a spike in Covid -Infections among flight crews. Operations appeared to be improving, however, with 306 flight cancellations scheduled for Tuesday.

Over the holidays, including porters Delta Airlines, United Airlines and JetBlue Airways Said crews were increasingly sick from the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of Covid. The Federal Aviation Administration also warned of delays as their employees increasingly tested positive for the coronavirus.

Delta said it expects to cancel about 200 flights a day out of about 4,000 daily departures on Tuesday and Wednesday.

United, spirit and Alaska are among the airlines that offered their crews additional payment for travel pickup to alleviate the disruption.

From Christmas Eve through Tuesday, airlines have canceled more than 18,700 US flights, according to FlightAware. More than 12% of Saturday’s scheduled flights were canceled when a winter storm hit the Midwest, and nearly 11% of Sunday flights were also scrubbed.

But airline stocks rebounded on Monday, a sign that investors look to the rest of the year when travel demand is expected to rise. American shares rose 4.4% to $ 18.75, United gained 3.9% to close at $ 45.49, and Delta rose 3.1% to end at $ 40.29.

Shares in Southwest Airlines, which canceled hundreds of flights in the past few days, rose 2.7% to end the day at $ 44. The Dallas-based airline canceled another 605 flights, or 16% of its schedule, on Monday, according to FlightAware. Southwest said bad weather had dislocated planes and crews and some employees were unable to work at a regular pace.

“The cancellation of hundreds of flights is disrupting our entire operating system,” the airline said in a statement on Monday. “The storm cleared Denver, for example, but the extreme cold requires additional security protocols for our people working out there, slowing operations, causing delays and forcing some cancellations to keep the whole system moving.”

The cost of the disruptions is not yet clear. Vacation time was critical for airlines, whose executives anticipated some of the busiest days since the pandemic began.

The Omicron variant could pose a “modest, short-term risk” for airlines due to staff quarantines and the potential for some customers to delay travel, Citigroup airline analyst Stephen Trent wrote on Monday.

“Even so, higher vaccination rates and new antiviral treatments are just a few of the factors that could make negative, knee-jerk stock price reactions to the advent of future variants appear increasingly unreasonable,” he wrote.

Delta publishes the sector’s quarterly earnings reports on January 13th.

Amid one other Covid surge, faculties and companies discover plans disrupted

A health care professional conducts a COVID-19 PCR test at a vacant testing site in Farragut Square on December 28, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Anna Money Maker | Getty Images

A Covid-19 outbreak on a cruise in Lisbon. Thousands of flights canceled. Colleges are going far away again.

It’s a new year, but the pandemic continues to cause many of the same massive disruptions in American life that it has had for nearly two years.

The most recent culpable variant is that omicron trunkthat is highly transmissible and tends to elude protection from vaccines. For the past week, a seven-day average of new daily infections with the virus topped 386,000, doubling from the previous week, according to CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. Rates are likely to be even higher as there are delays in reporting the holidays and an increase in home testing, which may keep cases off officials’ radar.

The rise in new Covid-19 cases means that attempts by companies and schools to resume normal operations after the holidays are again being turned upside down.

Companies postpone their return dates to the peak of the cases, including Chevron, Apple, Google and Over.

Dozens of colleges have announced that they are moving their courses online. Harvard University announced that it will remotely relocate much of its work and learning for at least the first three weeks of January.

“Please know that we are not taking this step lightly,” Harvard officials said wrote in a letter to staff and students. “This is being triggered by the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases locally and across the country.”

There are other schools that are also making the change The University of Chicago, George Washington University and Columbia University. Many colleges will likely require students to get their booster vaccinations in the spring as breakthrough cases become more common.

Local school districts across the country are also rethinking their plans. Some districts are switching back to distance learning or hybrid learning, while others are trying to reduce the children’s stress on each other by having students attend classes on a changed schedule with no lunch breaks.

Although there has been an explosion in Covid cases in New York City, the largest school district in the country, the school system will open as scheduled on Monday. The district hopes Reinforce testing efforts To hold lessons in person. There are plans to double the pace of testing in both vaccinated and unvaccinated students. Students are tested even if they show no symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has the virus.

One concern is that people are returning from vacation and visiting family and friends over the holidays and have been unknowingly exposed to Covid.

As the rush home began, travel was turned upside down by both the virus and the stormy weather that has brought some planes to a standstill.

Until Saturday afternoon are more than 2,500 US flights was canceled, according to to the tracking service FlightAware. Some of the disruptions are also due to winter storms.

A cruise ship with over 4,000 people on board was stopped in Lisbon, Portugal, due to a Covid-19 outbreak among crew members, the AP reported on Saturday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said On Thursday, Americans should avoid cruising regardless of their vaccination status.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Biden says Covid surge must be solved at state stage, vows full federal assist

United States President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force and private sector CEOs in the South Auditorium of the White House in Washington, DC on December 22, 2021.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

president Joe Biden on Monday pledged to support governors struggling with the Omicron variant of Covid-19, but admitted that states must take the lead in controlling the pandemic.

Shortly before a meeting with some of the country’s governors, Biden said: “There is no federal solution. This will be resolved at the state level. “

These comments constitute one of the Biden’s government’s most prominent admissions to date that it is in its efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The president may be concerned that federal initiatives to contain the virus cannot be effective without the help of states. The comments could also be an attempt to put additional pressure on governors to play a bigger role in fighting the disease.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for clarification.

After his remarks, Biden asked whether he supported revised recommendations for reduced quarantine times.

“I rely on my medical team. I get a recommendation, I follow it,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently launched theirs Recommendations for people who may have been exposed to the virus. Instead of the recommended standard 14-day quarantine, the CDC says suspected exposures should result in a 10 or seven day quarantine based on test results and symptoms.

The Omicron variant poses a multi-faceted threat to Biden, who advocates the federal government’s ability to contain the pandemic. The president on Monday reiterated some of the promises he made last week, including the federal government’s purchase of 500 million rapid coronavirus tests.

“My message to the governors is simple: if you need something, say something,” he said. “We’ll keep your back free as best we can.”

The government plans to distribute the tests to Americans for free, support more vaccination and testing centers, and deploy 1,000 military medics to increase hospital staff nationwide.

But the virus’ ability to mutate, spread, and occasionally result in positive cases in those who received a vaccine has made the government’s promise to slow the disease down difficult. The virus and vaccine have both blossomed into political football. Many Americans, especially those who support former President Donald Trump, refuse to get vaccinated.

Given the nationwide differences in attitudes towards the virus and public safety priorities, governors’ responses to the Biden government’s efforts have been mixed.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, an implementing regulation in. enact October prohibits all entities, including private companies, from from the imposition of Covid-19 vaccination obligations on employees or customers. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is considered a Republican presidential candidate in 2024, has been breaking away from federal public health guidelines and restricting mask and vaccine mandates in recent months.

The Biden government has been stressing for weeks that Americans should be extra careful during the 2021 holiday season to protect their families from the spread of the disease.

The president’s remarks came as Covid-19 cases spiked over the Christmas holiday weekend.

The highly contagious variant of Omicron has reported more coronavirus cases in a handful of states, including New Jersey and New York, in the past week than any other seven-day period during the pandemic.

While initial signs suggest the variant could cause milder symptoms, health experts are calling for strict public safety protocols, saying that the variant’s rapid spread could put strain on the US hospital system and lead to more deaths.

“Every day it goes up and up. The last weekly average was around 150,000 and it will likely go much higher,” said US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said “This Week” on the ABC show on Sunday.

On Wednesday, before the holiday weekend disrupted Covid trackers, the seven-day national average of new daily cases topped 176,000, a 44% increase over the past 14 days. The number of deaths also rose during this period from 1,103 to a seven-day average of 1,213.

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Austria declares nationwide lockdown as Covid circumstances surge

Police officers monitor compliance with the lockdown for unvaccinated persons on November 15, 2021 in Innsbruck, Austria.

Jan Hetfleisch | Getty Images

Austria will initiate a fourth national lockdown on Monday as Covid-19 cases continue to rise and become the first country in Western Europe to impose strict measures this fall.

The country’s unvaccinated are already prevented from leaving home for non-essential purposes.

Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg announced on Friday at a press conference that these blocking measures will be extended to the entire country from Monday. The lockdown would last a maximum of 20 days, said Schallenberg, but initially for 10 days.

He also announced that the Covid vaccination will be mandatory in Austria from February 1st.

On Thursday, Austria recorded 15,145 new cases of Covid-19, setting a new record high for daily positive tests. Hospital stays, deaths and the number of Covid patients in the intensive care unit are also increasing sharply in Austria.

Around 65% of the Austrian population are fully vaccinated against the virus, which Schallenberg previously described as “shamefully low”. After Liechtenstein, the country has the second lowest vaccination rate in Western Europe.

The Austrian Press Agency reported that the government ministers were negotiating until the early hours of Friday morning to work out measures that could help contain Austria’s escalating Covid crisis.

The implementation of a nationwide lockdown means a significant U-turn for Austria’s Chancellor, the told reporters just last week that the two-thirds of the population who had accepted the vaccination would not be forced to show “solidarity” with the unvaccinated.

The government’s original plan was to put unvaccinated people under lockdown once coronavirus patients occupied 30% of intensive care beds in hospitals – a move that came into effect on Monday.

However, the move has been criticized for being difficult to enforce as unvaccinated people were still given some freedoms to go to work, do their grocery shopping, and meet certain people outdoors.

Austrian police officers were carry out random checks this week to people over the age of 12 – who are currently blocked if they have not been vaccinated – to confirm their vaccination status.

While Schallenberg had previously refused to lock down all Austrians, some were members of the country’s coalition government call for stricter restrictions on those who have been vaccinated as hospitals and intensive care units were increasingly stressed.

The third largest party in the country, the right-wing FPÖ, pushed back the government, which said on Friday: “Austria is a dictatorship from today”.

The party was openly skeptical of Covid vaccines and had planned a demonstration against the lockdown measures for unvaccinated people in Vienna over the weekend.

Why it is mistaken to check at the moment’s inflation surge to 1970s-style ‘stagflation’

Investors could learn the wrong lessons from the 1970s.

It’s hardly a fond memory, but rising prices in the US and other countries this year have investors and experts looking to repeat the “stagflation” of the 1970s – a demoralizing combination of stagnant economic growth and high inflation. The comparisons are understandable but superficial and offer little insight into what is actually going on beneath the surface, said Jean Boivin, head of the BlackRock Investment Institute, in a telephone interview.

Why is it understandable? “We haven’t seen an environment since the 1970s in which inflation was mainly driven by supply shocks,” said Boivin, a former deputy governor of the Bank of Canada. But that is where the comparisons largely end.

Inflation in the 1970s was exacerbated by oil embargoes, which drove up energy prices, slowed the economy and fueled inflation. In the current case, the supply shocks are largely the result of a surge in demand tied to restarting the global economy after the COVID-19 shutdown. That’s an important difference.

Mirror opposites

In fact, the 1970s and the current situation are contradictory in many ways, Boivin said. Stagflation came half a century ago when growth and activity exceeded the productive capacity of the world economy. Now the economy is running into supply chain bottlenecks, which is not the same. In fact, the economy is still operating below its production capacity, he said.

That means that supply will eventually increase to meet demand, he said rather than the 1970s experience that demand will decrease to meet supply.

And while both episodes share rising oil prices, the story in the 1970s was one where producers’ shutdowns of oil supplies slowed the economy and undermined their operating capacity. Energy prices are rising now because the economy is up again, “and without energy there is no way,” Boivin said. “The causality runs in the other direction.”

“Inflationary boom”

Other economists have made similar statements.

“To be in stagflation, the economy has to be stagnant by definition, and the evidence for that is pretty thin,” said Neil Dutta, head of US economics at Renaissance Macro Research, in an October 18 release. “According to all information, the economy remains firmly in boom mode.”

To identify signs of stagflation, Dutta used the indexes for incoming orders and prices paid by the Institute for Supply Management.

On one axis, he placed new orders that act as a proxy for the demand side of the equation or how many customers buy. On the other hand, it represented the prices paid as a proxy for inflation (see table below).

Macro Research of the Renaissance

In order for the economy to stagnate, orders need to be below their long-term average – reflecting weak customer demand – and prices need to be paid
above its long-term average – which means inflation is high, Dutta explained. Instead, as the red dots for the 2021 monthly readings show, the economy is in an “inflation boom,” he said, with strong orders and strong prices.

And then there is the job market. Indeed, part of what drove the “stag” into stagflation in the 1970s was the high unemployment that came with rising prices.

“At 4.8% today, the unemployment rate is below its 5, 10, 15, 20, 25-year averages (and so on; you get the picture),” wrote Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird , in a Monday note.

“While the economy still has a few million jobs removed from the pre-COVID era, the number of job vacancies is at record levels and churn rates are skyrocketing,” he said.

Political mistake ahead?

That doesn’t mean inflation is not an issue. And rising inflation expectations, a key metric monitored by central bankers, could become a problem. Boivin fears that some policymakers will react too quickly and aggressively to increases in inflation for which monetary policy is not prepared.

That would risk unnecessarily destroying demand if bottlenecks were to resolve themselves and supply should come back, said the former monetary politician. After all, tightening monetary policy would do little to decongest the port or remedy the semiconductor shortage that has messed up supply chains.

Traders have brought forward expectations for rate hikes, fueling fears that central banks, including the Federal Reserve, will step on the brakes more aggressively than previously expected, risking an economic downturn.

See: The Federal Reserve’s next cycle of rate hikes is imminent, but it may not look like officials forecast

High profile investors, including hedge fund titans Paul Tudor Jones and David Einhorn, have argued that Fed policymakers are more inflation creators than inflation fighters. And Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter Inc.
TWTR, + 0.32%
and Square Inc.
Sqm, + 2.20%
late Friday warned that “hyperinflation” was coming to the US and the global economy.

Read: Cathie Wood says Jack Dorsey’s “hyperinflation” call is wrong

Major stock market indices continued to rise as inflation worries mounted. The S&P 500
SPX, + 0.64%
and Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA, + 0.34%
both ended on Monday at record highs, with the S&P 500 up more than 21% so far in 2021 and blue-chip value up nearly 17%.

Not a bond-friendly environment

How long will inflationary pressures last? Anyone making projections should do so with great humility, given the largely unprecedented nature of the post-pandemic restart, Boivin said upfront, saying it was reasonable to expect high inflation into the first half and perhaps into the second half of the year 2022 continues.

It is more important to understand the “nature” of the current rise in inflation than the time frame. Inflation is likely to stay well above target in 2022 and above target on average for the next five years, Boivin said.

This is not a bond-friendly environment for investors, he said, as the BlackRock Investment Institute favors inflation-linked securities over nominal bonds. However, it is not an “automatically” bad environment for stocks or other risk assets “which makes us underweight net-net government bonds but overweight global stocks” as investors see some inflation with a subdued political response.

Walgreens shares surge on plans to spice up give attention to well being providers

Walgreens Boots Alliance‘s new CEO Roz Brewer said Thursday the drugstore chain will sharpen its focus on healthcare and make it the company’s “new growth engine”.

Speaking at a virtual investor’s day, she said the company’s nearly 9,000 stores in the United States will become places where customers can go to a doctor’s appointment, take medical tests, and seek advice from a nurse or pharmacist. These services will be under a new division of the company called Walgreens Health.

“This new Walgreens Health will make a difference and move us away from retail and just dispense drugs,” she said in an interview with CNBC’s Bertha Coombs. “It will be about the life we ​​lead and the life we ​​touch and the life we ​​can convey to doctors and clinicians in our buildings, both physically and digitally.”

Investors seemed receptive to Walgreens’ plan. Shares closed 7.4% on Thursday at $ 50.77. This year, stocks are up more than 29% so far.

Brian Tanquilut, a stock research analyst at Jefferies, said Walgreens achieved what many investors wanted Thursday by setting out how it will become a proactive player in healthcare.

“Right now people are saying, ‘This is a solid strategy and we’re giving you some credit for it,'” he said.

Walgreens plan is to open hundreds of primary care clinics, shake up the choice of in-store goods, and get stakes in multiple healthcare companies.

The company expects this strategy to pay off in the years to come. For the next year, adjusted earnings per share on a constant currency basis is expected to show flat growth, it said. However, growth will accelerate, so adjusted earnings per share will grow about 4% annually for the next three years. Beyond fiscal 2024, the company’s growth algorithm will result in adjusted earnings per share growth of between 11% and 13%.

Brewer referred to the companies Fourth Quarter Results as proof that Walgreens is built on solid foundations.

Tanquilut said the new vision for Walgreens is a notable linchpin.

“They’re turning the pharmacy into a health center,” he said. “Instead of relying on retail, the value driver is no longer controlling scripts [prescriptions] from the pharmacy. It actually provides care and makes the patient loyal to business. “

Expansion of the health system

It recently decided Invest another $ 5.2 billion in VillageMD, a primary care company that will operate clinics in Walgreens stores and is on track to go public in 2022. It also acquired a controlling interest in home health company CareCentrix and specialty pharmacy company Shields Health Solutions.

In addition to expanding health services, Walgreens will increase its cost savings target to $ 3.3 billion by 2024. The company decided to increase that target after saving $ 2 billion in costs, CFO James Kehoe said.

brewer took over the top management role from Walgreens in mid-March after serving as Chief Operating Officer of Starbucks and CEO of Walmart– owned by Sam’s Club.

She said the health care mission was personal to her. At the company’s Investor Day, she recalled the last months of her mother’s life as her family juggled medical bills, numerous doctors, and kidney dialysis appointments. The experience, she said, was “incredibly confusing and unwieldy and stressful”.

She said that distracted her family from what should have been the focus: enjoying the remaining time with her mother.

For so many Americans, this is the same experience – and one that Walgreens wants to solve by integrating primary care with pharmacies and freeing up more staff time to help patients.

A new look and feel in the stores

For the next several years, Walgreens leaders say consumers will see and feel the difference when they walk into neighborhood stores.

Walgreens said it will have 85 primary care clinics in stores by the end of the year. They will operate under the name Village Medical at Walgreens. By 2025, there should be at least 600 doctor’s offices in more than 30 U.S. markets, and 1,000 by 2027. More than half of them are in medically underserved parts of the country.

Walgreens Health Corners are being added in some stores and online. The retail space is occupied by medical professionals such as nurses and pharmacists who can advise patients and help them with the treatment of chronic diseases.

So far, Walgreens has opened 40 of them. By the end of this financial year there should be more than 100 and finally more than 3,000 in its branches.

Customers will be able to get other types of medical tests, such as pneumonia, strep, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections, said Walgreens President John Standley. He said the company already has pilots in place, including a test pilot for HIV in two states that expects sales of $ 26 million by fiscal 2024.

To give pharmacists time to answer customer questions, get vaccinations and other medical tests, Walgreens is opening centralized centers that fill out prescriptions and ship them to stores and homes, Standley said. It has already opened two centers in Dallas and Phoenix and plans to open an additional nine by the end of fiscal 2022, bringing the number of pharmacies served to around 3,900.

Before the store, the company’s merchandise will be “more healthy for you,” Brewer said in a CNBC interview. She said Walgreens had already seen consumers self-drawn to diet supplements and beauty products with a wellness outlook. She said more private label products will also be added.

She said Walgreens will take a close look at tobacco sales. It continued to sell cigarettes even after rival CVS Health discontinued the products in 2014.

Walgreens’ strategy is similar to that of Rivals CVS health – but with one big caveat. CVS is also an insurance provider. It Acquired Aetna in 2018 in a $ 69 billion merger. It also owns one of the largest pharmacy service managers, Caremark.

CVS has expanded its health offering in drugstores by opening emergency centers called MinuteClinics. It is turning hundreds of its stores into HealthHubs, where people can meet with a therapist, take a yoga class, or get help managing their diabetes.

According to Jefferies’ Tanquilut, CVS is pursuing a more holistic health strategy with Caremark, Aetna and their businesses. This creates natural synergies, he said, such as encouraging Aetna members to go to MinuteClinic for flu shots or urgent treatment. In addition, CVS has a “first mover advantage” by converting businesses into health goals.

He has a hold rating on Walgreens stock with a target price of $ 53, about 5% above current stock price. He has a buy rating on CVS stock with a target price of $ 95, about 12% higher than where the stock is currently trading.

On Thursday, Kehoe said that Walgreens lack of an insurance company can work to its advantage. He said the company is non-cash and focused solely on improving health outcomes. He also said Walgreens will have full-fledged primary care clinics, not the more limited services that MinuteClinic offers.

So far, Walgreens has signed agreements with Clover health, an insurance start-up from Medicare, and Blue Shield of California to provide health care services to more than 2 million members.

AJ Rice, a health services equity research analyst at Credit Suisse, said Walgreens hopes insurers will see them as “Switzerland” as their “partner of choice”.

He said CVS and Walgreens both have a great opportunity to turn retail pharmacies into collaborative healthcare touchpoints. However, he said companies need to prove they can attract people with clinical backgrounds and make the cultural shift.

It has a neutral rating on Walgreens stock with a price target of $ 48, including where the stock is currently trading, and an outperformance rating on CVS, with a price target of $ 100 above where the stock is currently trading traded.

Walgreens will look for growth in other areas as well. In the UK, boots stores are known for their wide range of premium makeup and beauty brands. Kehoe said retail traffic picked up again when the country lifted pandemic restrictions, making people more comfortable browsing the aisles and socializing.

Some of Walgreen’s beauty brands, No. 7, and Soap & Glory, are now sold by major US retailers, including target, Ulta beauty and Walmart. These brands are currently in a $ 750 million business and are expected to grow to $ 1 billion, Kehoe said.

Credit Suisse’s Rice said Walgreens executives have also hinted at reassessing some of the companies the company owns. He said investors would be watching to see if Walgreens will sell assets – like some of its international businesses – to fund some of its growth in healthcare in the US

More vaccine demand is still ahead

Covid-19 vaccines are expected to further boost business in the coming year. Walgreens administered 34.6 million vaccines for the fiscal year ended August 31. 13.5 million vaccines were administered in the fourth quarter, accounting for 21% of the total vaccines administered.

Walgreens estimates there will be 25 million Covid vaccines in the coming fiscal year as some people receive booster vaccinations and younger children are expected to qualify for the vaccinations.

But the company will also face a list of challenges retailers are currently facing. These include an increase in shoplifting, labor shortages and pandemic-induced supply chain confusion.

Walgreens is one example Closure of five additional locations in San Francisco for organized retail theft. It recently announced plans to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour until November 22nd to keep up with other retailers who have raised wages or given perks.

Kehoe said the company was preoccupying the company’s health care business at a time when there was “a war for talent.” However, he said Walgreens has an easier time hiring healthcare professionals who know more about the company and “believe in the vision”.

Mountain of Cash Fuels Newsom’s Surge to Recall Election End Line

Governor Gavin Newsom’s offer of defense a recall in California has been bolstered in the past few months by a tens of millions of dollars in infusion from major donors that gave him a tremendous financial advantage over his Republican rivals on the final leg of the race.

There had been moments over the summer when Mr. Newsom, a Democrat, had appeared in public polls as vulnerable as California’s unique callback rules seemed to provide an opening for the Conservatives in one of the nation’s most trusted democratic states. But Mr. Newsom raised more than $ 70 million in an account this year to combat the recall, much of it in July and August, which allowed him and his allies to dominate the television network and promote their opponents online .

California has no restrictions on donations to recall committees, and Mr. Newsom has taken full advantage of these loose rules. His contributions included an early $ 3 million from Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix; $ 500,000 from liberal philanthropist George Soros; and $ 500,000 from Hollywood producer Jeffrey Katzenberg. Dr. Priscilla Chan, a philanthropist and wife of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, contributed $ 750,000 and real estate tycoon George Marcus gave $ 1 million.

Millions of dollars more came from stakeholders doing business in front of the state, including unions representing service workers, teachers and prison guards, the real estate industry, and Indian tribes who run casinos.

On the Republican side, the financial cavalry never made it.

Mr. Newsom’s aggressive efforts to deter other prominent Democrats from running for office cemented the party’s financial power to protect his post. When dismissed in California, voters ask themselves two questions: first, whether the governor should be removed, and second, who should be the replacement. During the last recall election in 2003, Democrats struggled with the notoriously unwieldy slogan “no recall; yes on Bustamante ”when Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, moved into governorship.

This year, the state’s Democrats and Republicans seem to agree on one thing ahead of Tuesday’s election: Money mattered. All in all, Mr Newsom spent more on fighting the recall than he did on his 2018 election.

“If Gavin couldn’t raise the money, he could have lost in the face of the amount of apathy and fear,” said Kerman Maddox, a Democratic strategist in California who also served as a party donor. “I’ll just be real.”

Dave Gilliard, a Republican strategist who was involved in the recall effort, said of the cash gap, “It definitely made a difference.”

Despite the large sums of money involved in the recall, the total cost of the race is actually less than that of a single election last year, than Uber and Lyft have teamed up to successfully push for rules App-based companies allow drivers and other workers to continue to be classified as independent contractors. This ballot has drawn roughly $ 225 million in spending because of the state’s many large and expensive media markets, including Los Angeles.

Mr Newsom used his financial advantage to overpower his Republican rivals and supporters of the televised recall in July and August by a ratio of almost four to one, giving the $ 20.4 million for the $ 5.6 million, according to data -Dollars of callback advocates from ad tracking company AdImpact. Some of these advertisements framed the race in the crassest of words, with a passage saying that was the result of the recall “it’s about life and death” because of the coronavirus.

On YouTube and Google, the financial inequality was even worse. Newsom has spent nearly $ 4.1 million, according to Google’s disclosure documents, while its leading Republican opponent, radio talk show host Larry Elder, has spent just over $ 600,000.

the sudden appearance of Mr. Elder As the Republican front runner – he entered the competition in July and had raised more than $ 13 million by the end of August – Mr. Newsom supplied a finished Republican slide. A blatant conservative, Mr. Elder had left a number of radio clips outlining unpopular positions with the Democrats on issues such as the environment, abortion, and the minimum wage.

“Lo and behold, he received a gift from the gods on behalf of Larry Elder, the conservative African-American version of Donald Trump,” said Maddox, adding that the specter of an elder-governor had motivated donors large and small alike.

Updated

9/10/2021, 1:05 p.m. ET

It hadn’t always been clear that Mr. Newsom would have such a crucial monetary advantage. Some party contributors were slow to get involved. Ron Conway, a San Francisco-based venture capitalist who made early stage efforts in the tech community to combat product recalls and fundraisers, said he was fired early. “Back then, a lot of people thought I was scare tactics,” he wrote in an email. “They don’t think so anymore!”

State records show that nearly two-thirds of donations of $ 10,000 or more went to Mr. Newsom’s primary account against recalls after July 1. And overall, more than 80 percent of the US $ 10,000 donations came from California.

“Democrats would rather not have to fund an off-year race in California,” said Dan Newman, an advisor to Mr. Newsom. “But they didn’t hesitate when it was clear what was at stake.”

Mr Newsom’s campaign said it was expecting 600,000 donations by the election after running a robust online donation program. Much of the money, however, came from huge donations, with $ 48.2 million in its main account against recalls from donations of $ 100,000 or more.

In late August, attendees at a donor retreat in Aspen, Colorado for Democratic Governors Association contributors said there was some grumbling and anger about the need to redirect all resources to a blue state like California – especially given the tough races in the world of governors are scheduled to take place in 2022.

The Governors Association has so far transferred $ 5.5 million to the Newsom operation against the recall.

“It’s not a good sign for the Democrats in 2022 when they have to burn millions of dollars on a recall in America’s most liberal state,” said Jesse Hunt, communications director for the Republican Governors Association.

From the start, Mr. Newsom’s campaign framed the recall as a Republican seizure of power, making it particularly unattractive for some major GOP contributors to get involved in the race, according to National and California Republicans. The unusual demand by the state that the names of the top donors appear in advertisements was also a deterrent, along with widespread disbelief that California could ever really be turned around.

“There are a lot of people who are for us but never believe it’s possible,” said Anne Hyde Dunsmore, campaign manager for Rescue California, one of the pro-recalls. “No, the money didn’t come in, and no, it wasn’t for lack of demand.”

Some major checks came. Mr. Elder received $ 1 million from Geoffrey Palmer, a real estate developer and major Republic donor. Saul Fox, a private equity manager, donated $ 100,000. And Mr. Elder quickly outstripped the rest of the Republican field in fundraising with donations large and small.

John Cox, the Republican who lost to Mr. Newsom in a 2018 landslide, has again spent millions of his own dollars. One of his costly moves was campaigning with a 1,000 pound Kodiak bear named Tag, Who else appeared in Mr. Cox’s advertisements.

Kevin Faulconer, a Republican former mayor of San Diego, raised more than $ 4 million for his candidacy, and Kevin Kiley, a Republican MP, raised more than $ 1 million.

Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender activist and former Olympian, received a wave of publicity their entry to the race. But their offer and fundraising have largely failed. By the end of August, Ms. Jenner had raised less than $ 1 million and had less than $ 28,000 in cash – with more than unpaid bills.

Gale Kaufman, a Sacramento-based Democratic strategist, said the fragmented and financially weak Republican field had “prevented them from ever launching a ‘yes’ campaign” – for the recall – “met with response.”

“They don’t speak with one voice and they don’t say the same thing,” she said.

Mike Netter, a Republican who was one of the early organizers of the recall, was frustrated by the Democratic attack that the push was a Republican attempt to seize power. He said there was little conservative support after supporters of the recall put the measure on the ballot.

“If we’re supposed to be so Republican, where’s our money? Where is the air cover from our supposedly right-wing secret organizations? ”Mr Netter said, referring to the lack of large donations from the party and leading Republicans such as MP Devin Nunes. “Nobody believed in us for so long. And it’s not that we have that much money. It’s not like the Koch brothers are my cousins ​​or anything. I went to the state of San Diego. “

Shawn Hubler contributed to the coverage.

The Newest: S Korea prepares for surge with upcoming vacation | Your Cash

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s daily surge in coronavirus infections has hit the 62nd mark.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said more than 940 of the 1,375 new cases reported Monday came from Seoul and the nearby metropolitan area, where a surge in infections has been linked to school reopenings and summer vacation returnees was brought.

While the virus has slowed outside the capital region in recent weeks, KDCA official Kim Ki-nam said transmissions could worsen nationwide during the Chuseok hiatus, which begins September 20, a time when normally Millions travel across the country to meet relatives.

Officials enforce the strongest social distancing rules in the country unless there is a lockdown in the metropolitan area, where private social gatherings of three or more people are prohibited after 6 p.m. unless attendees are fully vaccinated.

Due to a slow adoption of the vaccine, less than 35% of South Koreans will be fully vaccinated by Monday. Kim said the country hopes to speed up injections over the next few weeks so that 70% of a population of more than 51 million people will be vaccinated by the end of October.

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MORE ABOUT PANDEMIC:

– Two anchors from COVID safety net ends, hit by millions in the US

– Volunteers help the poorest survive Thailand’s worst survival COVID surge still

– Mississippi Crisis Hospitals, the least vaccinated US state

– Do you want to visit Hamilton? Not unless you meet Virus logs

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– More AP coverage can be found at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronvirus-vaccine

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WHAT ELSE HAPPENS:

HANOI – Approximately 23 million Vietnamese students have started a new school year, most of them in virtual classrooms, amid a COVID-19 lockdown to contain a surge in virus in the country.

Since April, when the latest wave of the virus spread through the country, Vietnam has closed schools and educational institutions in pandemic areas and shifted learning activities to online platforms.

Millions of students spent their summer vacation at home as more than half of the country is locked. In severely affected provinces, schools have been converted into quarantine facilities and field hospitals.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the epicenter of Vietnam’s worst virus outbreak, teachers and students observed a minute’s silence to pay tribute to those who died of COVID-19 and to honor the frontliners before class on Monday opened.

In this latest wave, Vietnam reported 520,000 confirmed cases with over 13,000 deaths. Ho Chi Minh City, a metropolis of 10 million people, is responsible for most of the toll.

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Most of New Zealand will come out of lockdown on Tuesday, with the exception of the largest city, Auckland, which will remain in the strictest form of lockdown until at least next week, the government said on Monday.

The nation has been battling an outbreak of the delta variant of the coronavirus since last month. All of the most recent cases have been found in Auckland, including 20 that were found on Monday.

A total of 821 cases were identified in the outbreak. The government is pursuing an unusual strategy to completely eliminate the virus.

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JERUSALEM – Israel says it will reopen its doors to foreign tour groups soon – even as it battles one of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in the world.

The country’s tourism ministry announced on Sunday that organized tour groups would be allowed into the country from September 19.

Tourists must be vaccinated against the coronavirus, present a negative PCR test before their flight, and undergo both PCR and serological tests upon arrival. Visitors would have to be quarantined in their hotels until the test results come back – a process that is not expected to take more than 24 hours.

Tourists from a handful of “red” countries with high infection rates – including Turkey and Brazil – are not allowed to enter for the time being.

Israel launched a similar program in May after vaccinating most of its population earlier this year. However, the program was suspended in August when the Delta variant began to spread.

In recent weeks, the country has begun giving booster vaccinations to anyone vaccinated over five months ago. The campaign has shown signs of controlling the delta eruption so the government can begin allowing tourists to return.

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. government’s foremost infectious disease expert says he believes delivery of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to Americans who have received doses of Pfizer may begin on September 20, while Modernas may have one hits the market a few weeks later.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS Face the Nation on Sunday that it was still the Biden government’s plan to start “in some ways” on the third dose in the week of September 20 pending food approval and Drug Administration.

The government had hoped that by this time both Pfizer and Moderna booster shots would be introduced. But Fauci said it was “conceivable” that Moderna “could have no more than a couple of weeks, if any, a couple of weeks of delay,” as the company provides the FDA with more data on the booster ‘s effectiveness.

President Joe Biden announced boosters on Aug. 18 as protection against the more highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus and said Americans should consider getting a booster eight months after their second vaccination.

Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff, said Sunday the government has always made it clear that September 20 is a target date and “no one will get boosters until the FDA says they are approved.”

Klain told CNN, “We’re ready to go as soon as science tells us.”

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ROM – Italy’s health minister has hinted that a meeting of his G-20 colleagues could lead to a pledge to ensure COVID-19 vaccines reach everyone in poor countries.

Minister Roberto Speranza told reporters on Sunday after the opening session of the two-day meeting in Rome that he hoped the assembly would produce a “pact” on the challenge of making vaccines available to all, including the more fragile populations.

Speranza complained that there was a deep divide between wealthier and poorer countries in vaccine distribution. He expressed optimism that the meeting of the Group of 20 Nations would lead to a determination “that the vaccine is the right of all and not just a privilege for the few”.

Italy currently holds the rotating G-20 presidency. Speranza also held separate meetings with the UK, India and Russia ministers of health. On the eve of the gathering, Speranza tweeted that “only working together can ensure a fairer distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.”

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LONDON – The UK government has confirmed that it plans to introduce vaccination cards for nightclubs and large gatherings from next month.

Vaccination Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday that officials want to start certification measures from the end of September, when two doses of COVID-19 vaccine would have been offered to the entire population over the age of 18.

Zahawi told Sky News that this is the “right thing” to ensure the economy stays open. However, lawmakers and companies have criticized the measure as divisive, saying it could involve nightclubs in discrimination cases.

“It is best to work with industry to ensure that they can be opened safely and sustainably over the long term.

The plans stipulate that people wishing to enter nightclubs and other major events must provide evidence that they have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon said earlier this week that nightclubs and large events will require vaccination certificates from the end of this month as Scotland faces a surge in infections.

Asante expects to lose cash throughout COVID-19 surge

MEDFORD, Oregon – Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Asante has helped provide financial relief for COVID-19 patients. Now, with the recent surge, Asante says they expect to lose money.

“We wrote off millions of dollars that we would have asked of the patient in the past,” said Heather Rowenhorst, Asante’s chief financial officer.

Rowenhorst said the hospital was getting a flat rate from insurance companies that averaged about $ 14,000 per patient. After that, the hospital will write off the remaining costs. As a rule, the hospitals could cope with the flat rate. But with the recent surge that overwhelmed Asante’s hospitals, it is now putting a strain on the hospitals’ finances.

“We have come to a point where we may need to rethink this approach,” said Rowenhorst.

Asante said there have been significant increases in costs in recent months, including labor costs. Many front line medical workers are working extra shifts every day.

“That’s a million dollar premium we pay out that we haven’t had to pay in the past,” said Rowenhorst.

Asante typically budgets $ 100,000 for travel medical workers, they are now spending nearly $ 400,000.

“We have tried to complement each other with as many traveling nurses as possible, which comes at a significant cost,” said Rowenhorst.

A price, she said, was worth it just to give her regular workers a break.

“You work hard. You are dealing with families who are going through some of the worst things in their lives,” said Rowenhorst.

Asante also covers medicines for COVID-19 patients, which can range from $ 5,000 to $ 6,000 per visit. Not to mention laboratory work. Each COVID-19 test costs Asante $ 25; if they outsource the test, it’s an additional $ 65. Last week alone, they spent about $ 200,000 on COVID-19 testing alone.

“Sometimes we get a refund and sometimes we don’t. If it is an inpatient treatment, it is only summarized in this flat fee. On the outpatient side, we get reimbursement, ”said Rowenhorst.

In addition to the labor force, laboratories and pharmaceutical hospitals pay huge amounts of PPE, rollaway beds and oxygen. They also cancel elective surgeries, which actually makes money for the hospital.

“August financials are not going to look good. July financials were not good. That was before this major climb, ”said Rowenhorst.

Asante said that something has to change in our community in order for them to come out on the other end of this pandemic. She hopes more people will change their minds about the vaccine. If this continues, Asante may not be able to cover the additional COVID-19 costs.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit is from her hometown of Las Vegas. Katie attended the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for reporting on the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university’s political news show interviewing Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congressman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics became a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington DC. In her final months in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized by the Nevada Broadcaster’s Foundation for her journalistic achievements.

Katie looks forward to telling the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Please contact them at [email protected]

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