US: The cost of living rises 6.2% – its highest level in 31 years

Biden says reversing rampant inflation is a ‘top priority’

President Joe Biden has vowed to make reversing the country’s rising inflation a ‘top priority,’ after the Consumer Price Index revealed inflation is at its highest level in 31 years.

The president has blamed the 6.2 percent increase in the cost of living on ‘market manipulation’ and ‘price gouging,’ despite the nation’s top economists pointing to the country’s supply-chain shortages and businesses struggling to meet the demand from COVID shutdowns as the reason for the rise in prices.

Biden said in a statement on Wednesday his $1.2 trillion Build Back Better plan will help slow the growing inflation problem and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has vowed inflation will not reach the exorbitant levels they were at during the Carter years, even as household debt increases to a record high.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Iceland is proof that COVID-19 vaccines work

Infections are at record highs, but the nation hasn’t recorded a single virus death since May

The COVID-19 situation in Iceland is proof that vaccines work, a leading US infectious-disease expert said.

Iceland reported 2,847 new infections over the past month, mostly from the highly infectious Delta variant and mostly in fully vaccinated people, official statistics indicated. This is the highest number of new infections in a month since the start of the pandemic, but vaccines appear to be doing their job. The vast majority of new infections are mild at worst.

Of the 1,239 Icelanders who were recorded as having COVID-19 on Sunday, 3% were in the hospital, data showed.

The country hasn’t recorded a single COVID-19 death since May 25, government statistics and Oxford University’s Our World in Data indicated.

https://news.yahoo.com/

 

Chinese Oil Demand To Crash By 1 Million Bpd On Covid Surge

Restrictions on travel in major cities

China’s oil demand is expected to be 1 million barrels per day (bpd) lower in the next two months than previously expected due to the rising number of COVID cases in the world’s top crude importer, Goldman Sachs says.

Still, the overall hit to global oil demand will be more moderate, the investment bank said in a note carried by Reuters. Goldman Sachs analysts now see total global crude oil demand at 97.8 million bpd over the next two months, compared to an estimated 98.4 million bpd in July.

China imposed in the past two weeks widespread restrictions on travel in major cities, including Beijing, to contain a resurgence in COVID cases of the Delta variant. As with the previous outbreak, which China stifled with a complete lockdown, the rise in infections is affecting movement and, consequently, fuel use.

https://oilprice.com/

Is Pfizer vaccine less effective against delta variant?

 Some health experts expressed skepticism about the Israel study

A study conducted in Israel found that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is somewhat less effective against the more infectious delta variant, though it was still found to be effective at preventing severe illness.The Pfizer vaccine protected 64 percent of immunized people during an outbreak of the delta variant, a sharp drop when compared to the 94 percent of people it had previously been shown to protect. However, the shot was still 94 percent effective at preventing severe illness, a slight decrease from the 97 percent that were kept from experiencing severe illness previously.

The data for the study was collected from June 6 through early July, according to officials from Israel’s Health Ministry. The data and the methodology of the study was not released, according to the Journal. Some health experts expressed skepticism about the Israel study, saying mRNA vaccines like Pfizer have been shown to offer strong protection against COVID-19 infection.

https://thehill.com/

Nearly all COVID deaths in US are now among unvaccinated

Deaths per day could be practically zero if everyone eligible got the vaccine

Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now are in people who weren’t vaccinated, a staggering demonstration of how effective the shots have been and an indication that deaths per day — now down to under 300 — could be practically zero if everyone eligible got the vaccine.

An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 0.1%. And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May were in fully vaccinated people. That translates to about 0.8%, or five deaths per day on average.

The AP analyzed figures provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC itself has not estimated what percentage of hospitalizations and deaths are in fully vaccinated people, citing limitations in the data.

https://apnews.com/