Here’s what you need to know about the impact of Covid-19 to navigate the markets today.
• President Trump says he supports a plan to provide $25 billion more in aid to U.S. airlines. The industry got its first $25 billion through the Cares Act on the condition that no jobs were cut through September. The new bill would extend those protections another six months. “I think it’s very important that we keep the airlines going,” he said. “We don’t want to lose our airlines,” he said at Wednesday’s coronavirus task force briefing. Air travel has fallen sharply during the pandemic with plane boardings expected to decrease by 55% in 2020 compared with 2019, according to the International Air Transport Association. The additional funding already has support in the House of Representatives and from more than a dozen Republican senators.
• Iowa is restoring voting rights for all residents who have completed their felony sentences unless they were convicted of a homicide. Previously, Iowa was the only state with a lifetime voting ban for felony convictions unless the governor personally restored those rights. The executive order by Gov. Kim Reynolds requires convicts to complete “any prison probation, or parole, or special sentence” before they can register to vote. As an executive order, the measure could be overturned by Reynolds’ successor. An amendment to the constitution would be a more permanent solution to restore voting rights to the more than 50,000 former felons who have been barred from voting in the state.
• Former Vice President Joe Biden won’t travel to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, The Wall Street Journal reports. Instead, because of concerns about the safety of traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will address the country from his home in Delaware. The party’s convention will be almost entirely virtual, the WSJ reports, after public heath officials recommended that no speakers travel to the convention site itself. President Donald Trump said Wednesday during an appearance on Fox News that he is considering delivering his speech to the Republican National Convention from the White House.
• New York City will begin setting up checkpoints to inform travelers of the state’s quarantine guidelines, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday. The checkpoints will be staffed by city’s test and trace workers. No travelers will be turned away, but they will be informed that they are required to quarantine for 14 days if they are coming into New York from the 35 states that currently meet the state threshold for high-levels of Covid-19 infections.
Johnson & Johnson
will produce 100 million possible coronavirus vaccine doses for the U.S. government in a deal worth $1 billion, the company said Wednesday. The doses will be delivered to the U.S. government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The company has a potential coronavirus vaccine that is in early human trials now and is likely to start late stage trials next month. Overall, J&J is aiming to produce a billion doses of its vaccine in 2021, assuming that it is proven safe and effective in trials.
• The University of Connecticut said Wednesday that it is canceling its 2020 football season due to the coronavirus pandemic. UConn is the first top-level college football program to fully scrap its season. “After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we’ve decided that we won’t compete on the gridiron this season,” the university’s athletic director David Benedict said in a statement. “The safety challenges created by Covid-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk.” The team’s coach, Randy Edsall, said his players were involved in the decision not to go ahead with the season. “Our team is united in this approach and we will use this time to further player development within the program and gear ourselves to the 2021 season,” he said. UConn went 2-10 last season and decided last month to leave the American Athletic Conference.
• Chicago’s public school system, the third-largest in the U.S., will hold all classes remotely this fall, according to reports from local new outlets. Chicago Public Schools has 325,000 students and the decision was prompted in large part by the teachers union threatening a strike if the city moved forward with its plan for partial in-person instruction. The decision is expected to be formally announced with additional details Wednesday.
• The number of global reported deaths due to Covid-19 surpassed 700,000 on Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. has the most fatalities of any country at almost 157,000, followed by Brazil at just shy of 96,000. The total number of reported Covid-19 cases globally has climbed above 18.5 million, with 4.77 million reported cases in the U.S.
• The U.S. job market is cooling, private payroll data released Wednesday showed, as the explosion of coronavirus cases across the South and West led many states to significantly roll back their reopenings and impose new restrictions on businesses likes bars and restaurants. ADP reported that private payrolls increased by just 167,00o in July, well below the 1 million that economists had expected and a massive drop from the 4.3 million private sector jobs created in June.
• Tuesday’s primary elections saw mainstream Republicans come out on top in Kansas and a Black Lives Matter activist unseat a 10-term incumbent Congressman in Missouri. In Kansas, the state’s former Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, lost his Senate primary against Rep. Roger Marshall. Rep. Marshall, the more moderate of the two men, was favored by party who were concerned that Kobach, a close ally of President Donald Trump with a long-history of making unfounded charges of voter fraud, could put an otherwise safe Senate seat in danger. And in Missouri, Cori Bush won her Democratic primary against Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr. The district is seen as a safe Democratic seat and is a boon for the progressive wing of the party, adding to recent primary victories over established politicians.