$1.6 Billion Awarded to Novavax for a Coronavirus Vaccine

Novavax made headlines in 2020 because the company received $1.6 billion from the Trump Administration. The funds are the largest contract of its type for this struggling organization, one which has never brought a usable vaccine to the marketplace.

Why did Novavax get so much attention when other pharmaceutical companies with a better record of success were on the same path? In a rare move of bipartisanship in American politics, executives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation promoted this small biotech company’s potential.

Republican officials in the White House agreed. The company uses moth cells to create crucial molecules faster than a typical vaccine, providing an advantage during the pandemic era that other companies couldn’t match.

The Company Was on the Verge of Collapse

Novavax made the push to the federal government for the $1.6 billion award after receiving almost $400 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, headed by Dr. Richard Hatchett.

The funds are a dramatic turnaround for a company that was on the verge of collapse. After receiving the award, stock prices surged 30% almost overnight.

Novavax was on the verge of collapse. Their leading vaccine candidate was a product intended to prevent a deadly virus in newborns. It had failed for the second time in three years, causing the stock to trade so low that NASDAQ was threatening to delist it.

The company was raising cash by selling its manufacturing facilities.

How could the agency get so much money so quickly to produce a successful vaccine that it had never done before? The answer lies in a secretive mission called Operation Warp Speed.

What Is Operation Warp Speed?

Operation Warp Speed is a public-private partnership (PPP) initiated by the Trump Administration in April 2020. The goal of this effort was to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of vaccines to stop COVID-19. 

Congress allocated about $10 billion for this effort, including $3 billion for research through the National Institutes of Health.

Novavax received the $1.6 billion offer with one condition: it had to prove that its clinical trials were successful. If that happened, the money would help them to produce 100 million doses of the vaccine.

BioNTech and Pfizer received a $2 billion order with the same stipulation, getting 100 million doses of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. In July 2020, GSK and Sanofi got funding of $2.1 billion. 

36,000 Lives Could Have Been Saved By an Earlier Lockdown

The first reports of COVID-19 spreading from China began to trickle into the news cycle in January 2020. By the end of February, communities were dealing with a spreading virus that could claim lives with remarkable efficiency.

First Italy, then Spain, and eventually, the United States saw the pain that the new coronavirus could cause. Government officials issued lockdown orders, stay-at-home requests, and shuttered businesses.

After a few months of reflecting on these actions, it is clear that having an earlier lockdown could have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Science Counters the Bluster of Politicians

We know that healthy people under the age of 45 have the best chance to beat a severe case of COVID-19.

Although there is no cure or preventative measure that can stop a coronavirus infection, you can take care of yourself each day to stay healthy.

Getting some exercise, eating better foods, and having enough sleep at night are critical ingredients in the recipe for making a healthier you. Some people may want to consider products from brands like Douglas Laboratories, Integrative Therapeutics, or Pure Encapsulation as a way to enhance the effectiveness of those decisions.

Science also suggests that thousands of people could have been saved if a lockdown happened on March 1.

Donald Trump says that this information is a “political hit job.” The data is consistent. If people had started staying at home two weeks sooner, fewer people would have died from COVID-19.

Why Would Have an Earlier Lockdown Helped?

An earlier lockdown in the United States would have started limiting social contacts with others. By keeping people at home or limiting interactions in essential jobs, the virus would not have the same opportunities to multiply.

The first reports of coronavirus infections in the United States with community spread happened in Washington State at an elder-care facility. Dozens of people got COVID-19, with many high-risk individuals unfortunately succumbing to the disease.

Washington was one of the first states to order people to be at home. That action helped the area go from being the leader of reported infections and deaths to a place with one of the lowest rates.

We can only use conjecture and computer modeling to get an answer regarding the helpfulness of an earlier lockdown. If we could go back in time, maybe we’d make different choices. As for today, we must continue moving forward with caution to limit how COVID-19 impacts our lives. 

95,000 People Stranded at Sea Because of Coronavirus

The stories of COVID-19 spreading on cruise ships created scary circumstances for vacationers and crew members during the early days of infection in late February and March. Although the issues were slowly resolving by mid-April, 95,000 people were still stranded at sea in American waters because of the coronavirus.

Over 100 vessels were stuck without a port, forcing crews to stay at sea while passengers entered a 14-day stay in quarantine. Florida has 35 cruise ships and 35,000 people waiting for permission to disembark alone. Although the Coast Guard said that the agency would do its best to treat people during an emergency, an expectation that the cruise lines establish self-sufficiency protocols was also required.

How a Fun Vacation Turns Into a Nightmare

Some cruise ships spent over a month at sea because ports refused to accept passengers without prior testing. At one point, even the Panama Canal stopped taking boats through the passage.

Even when people were allowed to come back, it was still difficult for individuals to make it home. The CDC recommends that anyone who was on a cruise line should not share transportation with others who were not on the vessel. Commercial flights were forbidden. That means staying at a designated center or driving home.

Princess Cruises said that all crew on their fleet had to stay on board until a repatriation plan could get initiated. Traces of the coronavirus were found in cabins for up to 17 days after no one was on board, indicating how dangerous COVID-19 can be.

Cruises Are Now Suspended for Six Months or More

The world’s cruise ship providers have all suspended sailings for a significant time. Carnival has stopped all vessels through at least October except for Breeze, Dream, Elation, Freedom, Horizon, Magic, Sensation, and Vista. Those are currently scheduled to return at the end of July 2020.

Ports in Seattle and San Francisco report that some providers have canceled cruises for the remainder of the year.

Most providers are giving customers a future cruise credit of 125% if they transfer their booking to a new date. If you had a vacation planned, then a 100% refund of the amount paid is also possible.

It may be a while before the world is in a place where cruise ships can sail once again. The first step is going to be repatriating the tens of thousands of people stuck off of the American coast.

Minus $37.63: How Oil Prices Fell Below Zero

Crude oil works on the market principles of supply and demand. When people want more of it, then scarcity drives the price of a barrel upward. If there is more product than what is necessary, then the cost goes down.

Because stay-at-home orders are keeping people out of the workforce and eliminating the need to drive, demand for American oil crashed in March and April. Those events caused the price for U.S. crude to fall into negative territory. It is the first time in history that this event happened.

The price in late April reached ($37.63) – the parentheses indicate that the number is negative. That means if you want a barrel of oil, someone will pay you that amount.

The Issue Involved the Futures Market

When traders start operating in the crude oil market, one of the most lucrative options is to purchase futures.

Most people can make money by storing crude to sell it at a higher price on this market. What made the circumstances different for the May 2020 contracts in April was a desire to avoid any physical deliveries of this commodity. That means they started trying to sell out of their positions, creating a negative price.

Consumers benefit from this outcome because it lowers the price of fuel. AAA reported that the average price for gasoline in the United States was $1.81 per gallon.

It is a short-term gain because the negative territory and low retail pricing make it a challenge to support jobs. Ongoing problems with trading, even when it is at $24 per barrel on other markets not involving futures, create even more issues to consider.

Is Negative Oil Pricing a Doomsday Scenario?

After the futures market experienced such a historic low, industry analysts predicted that shut-in wells and bankruptcies would soon follow.

When the June contracts come due, a similar situation may happen. People are likely to pay to get rid of the oil they have deals for, but can’t take once again unless more global openings occur. It may take 3-6 months before this issue stabilities.

The long-term potential for oil and natural gas is strong since Americans and the rest of the world need a vast amount of energy to recover economically. We need to get past the issues with COVID-19 before that becomes possible – and there isn’t a timetable for the virus since an effective treatment plan is still not available for the general population.

4.5 Million Confirmed Cases of Coronavirus

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. What makes it such a devastating infection is the multiple ways that it can impact the body. Some people experience zero symptoms, while others might have shortness of breath, a fever, vomiting, loss of smell or taste, and blood clotting issues.

Some people may become infectious to others up to five days before they start experiencing the physical symptoms of COVID-19. That’s why it continues to spread in ways that are much different than previous novel coronavirus infections.

It is thought to infect through respiratory droplets produced by sneezing or coughing. When those small moisture bubbles get inhaled, then it begins the development process. It may be possible to acquire the virus by touching an infected surface, then placing the skin in the vicinity of the nose, eyes, or mouth could spread it.

As of this writing, global confirmed cases of Covid-19 reached more than 4.5 million. However, since many people are asymptomatic and do not show as symptoms, that number could be much higher.

How to Defeat COVID-19

The best way to defeat the new coronavirus is to avoid infection. That means staying away from crowds, washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoiding touching the face without sanitizing the skin first.

Early studies suggested that not taking ibuprofen or naproxen could reduce the risk of experiencing severe symptoms. Anyone taking medication for high blood pressure should continue doing so unless a healthcare provider says otherwise.

Then get some exercise every day while maintaining social distancing of at least six feet. Having a well-rounded diet with the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body requires can give your immune system the support it needs.

If you don’t get everything needed for your health, then brands like Apricot Power, Metagenics, and Premier Research Labs can help you to fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle.

How Long Does a COVID-19 Infection Last?

The unwanted symptoms of COVID-19 can appear in as little as two days. It can also be up to 14 days before someone experiences a fever, shortness of breath, headaches, muscle aches, conjunctivitis, or any of the other signs the coronavirus is present.

People with mild cases of COVID-19 typically recover in 7-14 days after experiencing the first symptoms. The more severe infections can take six weeks or more for recovery, while at least 1% of those infected globally die from the disease.

Although the most significant impacts affect seniors and those with pre-existing conditions, a post-infection inflation syndrome can put the health of children at risk. That’s why avoiding this virus whenever possible is the best option.

Arizona Economy Facts: 350,000 New Jobs Added Since 2015

Arizona’s economy was one of the strongest in the United States before the coronavirus shutdown occurred. Over 300 people per day were moving to the state, allowing for the creation of 350,000 new jobs since 2015.


About 70,000 new jobs were expected in the state in 2020 before COVID-19. If the economy can right itself by the end of the summer, that forecasted figure could still be reachable.

That means there’s one question to ask about the economy right now: how does Arizona open for new business when the threat of the coronavirus eventually disappears?

Every Arizona County Has at Least 1 COVID-19 Case

Because an economy as robust as today’s has never been artificially closed in human history, moving forward is more of a guessing game than a fact-based approach.

The good news for Arizona is that there is still plenty of strength found in multiple industrial sectors after the COVID-19 emergency. We can begin the road to recovery by implementing two ideas right away.

Arizona’s government needs to work with the federal government to suspend all bankruptcy procedures temporarily. That step would eliminate the transfer of assets to secured creditors. France has already taken this step by doubling the time a business cannot pay its obligations to the bankruptcy filing.

Then the state must design a restart procedure that meets local needs. That means creditors will likely need to write off a portion of the debt from this time. No amount of restructuring will be useful for companies that have been paying salaries without having any revenues coming in from customers.

Some businesses won’t open right away after the lockdown ends because the process needs to be slow and steady to support the economy. Those owners also need help.

What Can People Do Right Now?

The best thing that Arizonans can do right now is to support local businesses whenever possible Continue to follow your usual spending patterns by getting curbside pickup at restaurants, ordering pizzas, and shopping online from local outlets.

When the economy reopens, go out to these companies immediately to spend some money. Don’t go into debt with this process, but please do consider a more significant transaction.

Then be patient with people. Some businesses are going to go bankrupt, but that doesn’t mean the owners are going to disappear. There are always new ideas to pursue.

We are going to talk about this time in our lives for generations. How we respond in the aftermath will determine if it becomes a positive experience. 

India Lockdowns Involve 1.3 Billion People Over Coronavirus

India imposed a nationwide lockdown over the coronavirus. The world’s largest effort to contain COVID-19 became a stay-at-home order for 1.3 billion people. 

The goal of this effort was to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but it had an unintended outcome. All of the markets, shops, and factories shut down with the order to suspend everything. That meant pollution levels dropped dramatically in every city, especially for the harmful PM2.5 that contributes to thousands of deaths each year.

India has 21 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world. NO2 levels dropped dramatically after the announcement of the lockdown.

Why Are the Lower Pollution Levels Important?

Imagine that you fill your body with junk food and pre-processed foods instead of products from brands like Dr. Mercola, Metagenics, and Standard Process.

You can still have the energy to get through your day, but it will not be the same outcome when compared to a lifestyle with the correct nutritional content.

When you breathe nitrogen dioxide in high quantities while putting the particulate matter into your lungs, then your quality of life goes down. This pollution can even lower your life expectancy with consistent exposure to it.

After India announced the lockdown, some cities saw a 70% drop in NO2 levels. Residents are saying that they haven’t seen skies that look so blue in the country’s cities for more than a decade.

The reduces pollution levels are the silver lining in an era when people are called to sacrifice a lot for their neighbors.

Nationwide Curfews Also Have a Positive Impact

What makes the lockdown of India unique is that 1.3 billion people are also subject to an enforced curfew. This order came out on March 22, 2020. It would result in the lowest one-day traffic pollution levels on record for the city of Delhi.

PM10 and PM2.5 pollutants experienced steep drops because of the lockdown efforts. More records continue to be set as the 21-day order stays in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Although the coronavirus has an adverse impact on health, India also has one of the highest rates of respiratory disease in the world. It was immediately apparent that protecting everyone had to be a priority. Now the government can take the lessons learned from this effort to encourage better health for everyone moving forward – including new investments for a cleaner future.