INFORMS Open Forum

5-21 Daily COVID-19 Update

  • 1.  5-21 Daily COVID-19 Update

    Posted 15 days ago
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    Good evening,

    Please find today's Daily COVID-19 Update for May 21st. Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.

    Thank you,

    Jeff Cohen

    INFORMS Members in the News 

    Member: Pinar Keskinocak

    Member: Julie Swann


    U.S. Federal Policy Update

    • The Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) announced their collaboration with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to manufacture at least 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine – which could be available "as early as 2020." The announcement details that BARDA has been authorized to provide up to $1.2 billion in support of this public-private partnership.
    • Over 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits over the past week, according to today's Labor Department data. This brings the total number to 38.6 million over the last nine weeks. 
    • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that there is a "strong likelihood" that there will need to be another stimulus bill in the future. Then, in this afternoon's floor remarks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated that "if [the Senate] does another bill, it won't look anything like the House Democrats' bill" – adding that their bill wouldn't include unemployment benefits, but must include liability reforms.
    • CDC Director Robert Redfield stated that the coronavirus could "reground" in the U.S. later this year, upon which the U.S. could potentially have to reinstate restrictions. However, when asked about a second wave, President Trump stated that while "that's a very distinct possibility," they're "not going to close the country." 


    Global Response

    • The Iranian Health Ministry urged citizens to avoid travel to, from, and within the country, due to increased cases following easing of restrictions during the holy month of Ramadan.
    • Spain's Valencia region has become the first region in Spain to opt to slow down their reopening process – delaying their ascension to phase two of the four-phase reopening until next week, instead of this week as was originally planned.
    • International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the 2021 Tokyo Olympics will not be postponed a second time – stating that if the 2021 games will be cancelled if the coronavirus pandemic persists.


    State Update 

    • Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that she has signed an executive order lifting several coronavirus restrictions, including: allowing retail stores to reopen on May 26th (with a limit of 10 customers at a time), nonessential medical procedures on May 29th, and more.
    • Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced that theaters, childcare facilities, and summer camps would be able to resume operations beginning 5 PM on Friday. 
    • California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that 40 of the state's 58 counties are moving on to the "expanded stage two" of the reopening process. However, Governor Newsom stated that Los Angeles specifically "is likely weeks behind" the rest of California as to when they will reopen. 
    • West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced that the National Guard would be deployed to areas of the state that are still seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases – including Jefferson and Berkeley counties. 
    • Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced that their state parks would be reopened over Memorial Day weekend, as long as visitors comply with increased social distancing rules.
    • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the city could begin its reopening process by next Friday, May 29th – as long as there isn't an uptick in cases between now and then. 
    • Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he would be lifting the restrictions on air travel – including quarantine mandates for travelers from several states. 

    Economic Update (as of close of the markets)

    • U.S. stocks trended downwards today, with all three indices reporting minor losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 0.4%, the Nasdaq Composite by 0.8%, and the S&P 500 by 1.0%.

    Latest Impact Data 

    • In the United States: Over 1,616,668 cases and 96,145 deaths in 50 states, 4 territories, and Washington, D.C.
    • Worldwide: Over 5,168,685 million cases and 332,959 deaths in at least 204 countries and territories.

    In the News

    Jeffrey M. Cohen, MBA
    Director, Public Affairs & Marketing


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