TIA Daily COVID-19 Update: April 20th

As TIA continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and it’s impact on the 3PL and transportation industries, here is your Daily Update for April 20. As a reminder, you can find all the latest information, resources, guidance, and news from TIA’s COVID-19 Response Center.

The White House and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are nearing a deal on a new relief package that would add an additional $300 billion in funding for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans, $60 billion for EIDL loans, $75 billion for hospital funding, and $25 billion earmarked for COVID-19 testing.

Be sure to join us at 12:00 PM ET tomorrow for the next installment of TIA’s Virtual Lunch & Learn webinar series, “Economics Update with Noël Perry.” During this webinar, TIA’s Chief Economist Noël Perry will provide a review of COVID-19 data and the impacts and effects of sequestration on the economy and trucking.

Another good Sunday, with reductions in most countries and regions. The U.K. and Mexico are notable exceptions. Mexico, a relatively young host of the bug, is not a surprise. The U.K., at 46 days since the beginning of major new case daily counts, is more troubling.

The reduction of deaths in the U.S. and elsewhere was heartening. U.S. deaths are now down almost 40% from the peak day. In addition, new research provides an interesting perspective on U.S. metrics. Even as our testing rate keeps increasing, positive results stay stubbornly at about 20%. Experts expected the rate to slow, since we know that early testing was limited mainly to people with symptoms.

The data suggests two things: First, the number of infections is bigger than supposed, perhaps 20% of the full population. That would be devastating news for the proponents of sequestration. The results suggest that it hasn’t worked. Everybody eventually gets exposed, and 20%, or 66 million of us, pick up the bug. The second conclusion is positive.

The deaths per day are falling more rapidly than new cases per day, suggesting that the mortality rate will also decline over time. We are currently at 40,500 deaths and on the downslope. It looks like we will total 100,000 – conservatively. 100,000 deaths divided by 66,000,000 cases (if the 20% share holds), equals a mortality rate of .15%, a number well within the range of “normal” flu season casualties.

Many people are talking about a “new normal” for American life. That may occur as a result of the unprecedented economic interruption we have imposed on our fearful selves. A new normal is not indicated by the COVID-19 statistics. All flu bugs spread rapidly and kill a portion of our vulnerable people. Then they disappear until a new strain comes the next year. Every ten years or so, sicknesses and death jump, and we give that year’s bug a name. This one we call COVID-19. Let’s hope that the economic event is not sufficiently bad to earn its memorable title.


We’ll be back tomorrow with COVID-19 updates and information that came through overnight.

Noël reports that we are, or have, passed the turning point in our fight against COVID. With this news, I am reminded about the turning point in my favorite move, Casablanca. In this 1942 classic, Humphrey Bogart’s character is strictly neutral until, with a nod, he allows the patrons to sing La Marseillaise, the French National Anthem drowning out the German’s, joining the fight, and losing his bar in the process.

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