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June 24, 2021

Delta variant rises in the US and UK – leading macroeconomic influencers

US health officials link more severe and different symptoms to the Delta variant, which is currently rising at a doubling rate in the US and UK.

Health experts believe no matter how worrisome the delta strain’s hyper transmissibility may be, vaccines such as the Pfizer-BioNTech have proven to be 88% and 93% effective against the Delta and Alpha strains respectively.

James Picerno

James Picerno, a financial journalist, shared an article on the White House chief medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci declaring the Delta variant as highly contagious and the greatest threat to the nation’s attempt to eliminate the Covid-19 disease. First identified in India, the variant now accounts for 20% of all the new cases in the US, increasing from 10% in the past two weeks, he announced at a news conference on the pandemic.

The Delta variant is following the same pattern as the UK or Alpha variant in the US, with infections doubling in the country in two weeks, he further added. The UK currently faces a similar threat to the US in tackling the surge in Delta variant cases. The variant, which was first identified in the UK last autumn, constitutes more than 60% of the new infections in the country and is being regarded as a dominant strain there.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr Rochelle Walensky earlier in the week urged Americans to get the coronavirus jab, stating that the Delta variant was becoming a dominant variant in the US. Research has suggested that the Delta variant is about 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which itself was more contagious than the original Wuhan strain that emerged in late 2019.

Noah Smith

Noah Smith, an opinion writer, tweeted about how some people ‘screeched at him’ when he commented on some Chinese coronavirus vaccines being less effective. However, having relied on the efficacy of these vaccines, some countries such as Bahrain, Mongolia, and Seychelles are now battling a new surge in infections.

Evidence from several among the 90 countries using Covid shots from Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech, suggests that they may not be effective in curbing the spread of the virus, and more importantly, the Covid variants.

Bahrain, Chile, Mongolia, and Seychelles are among the top ten countries with the worst Covid outbreaks in the past week, with data suggesting that 50-68% of their populations being fully vaccinated, outpacing even the US.

Experts believe that disparities in vaccine distribution could create three post-pandemic world scenarios comprising the wealthy nations, the poorer nations, and those inoculated but partially protected. China and 90 other countries, as a result, are likely to fall in the third group and experience slow economic growth.

Even though no vaccine fully prevents transmission of the virus, and people can still be infected after being jabbed, the comparatively low efficacy of the Chinese vaccines have been identified as a possible cause of the recent outbreaks.

David Beckworth

David Beckworth, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Centre at George Mason University and a former international economist at the US Department of the Treasury, retweeted a discussion on the Eurozone, its role in monetary architecture, the dollar zone, and its Covid-19 response, with fellow economist Steffen Murau.

According to Murau, the European Central Bank (ECB) was the biggest recipient in the Covid-19 crisis, as well as during the 2007-2009 financial crisis. However, it is a global dollar system, wherein offshore dollars play a critical role in most monetary jurisdictions on the globe. As a result, the more integrated into the world markets, the more dollarised a country is. Therefore, a country could have its own domestic currency, and then the dollar, or the vehicle currency to manage international payment flows.

 

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