Insured Losses From Riots Reach ‘Catastrophe’ Levels, May Rival Record

Rioting that erupted in cities across the United States after the Memorial Day death of George Floyd in Minneapolis may rival the 1992 Los Angeles riots to become the most costly civil disorder in United States history.

The civil disturbance in Los Angeles after the videotaped police beating of Rodney King in April and May 1992 caused $775 million in damages — or $1.42 billion in today’s dollars, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Those riots, however, were largely confined to one metropolitan area. Destruction and looting that erupted after Floyd’s death was reported in at least 25 cities, and spread into many suburbs as well. The extent of damage was unknown as of late Monday, but a sample of local news reports suggests that it is widespread:

  • In Pittsburgh, the Public Safety department reported 50 businesses and properties in downtown area were damaged.
  • The Downtown Seattle Association reported that 50 businesses had damaged downtown and in the neighboring Chinatown-International District.
  • The Chicago Loop Alliance said at least 45 property were damaged in the downtown area by rioting that also spread into the cities suburbs.
  • In Madison, Wisconsin, 75 businesses were damaged and some were looted.

The National Guard reported on Monday that it had deployed troops in 24 states to protect lives and property.

“We expect this to be a significant loss event as the impact is being experienced in large and small markets across the U.S.,” stated III spokesman Mark Friedlander. “However, because it is an ongoing event, it is premature to determine the volume of property loss that will be incurred.”

Civil disturbances generally cause modest property losses when compared to natural disasters, data from the Insurance Information Institute shows. Rioting in Los Angeles in August 1965 — the second costliest civil disorder — caused $357 million in damages, measured in 2020 dollars. Together, riots in Baltimore, Chicago and New York City in April 1968 caused $231 million in damages in today’s dollars.

By comparison, Hurricane Harvey in 2017 caused an estimated $20 billion in damages.’Verisk’s Property Claims Service over the weekend declared the riots a catastrophe event, which means it projects damages of more than $25 million.

In every city that has seen ‘protests’ turn into nothing more than opportunities to loot, rob, pillage and burn, a large percentage of business’ has crunched the numbers and decided that they didn’t need the continued exposure. My bet is that TPTB at Bentonville (WalMart HQ) will decide many places that were on the margin of meeting their business model simply won’t be rebuilt.


Chicago Mayor Begs Walmart, Other Looted Retailers Not to Abandon City

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Mayor Lightfoot said she’s hopeful major retailers will reopen the Chicago stores that were looted or otherwise damaged during protests surrounding George Floyd’s killing by police in Minnesota. But, she’s unsure of one of the biggest.

Mayor Lightfoot said she was on a conference call with Walmart and other major retailers that had stores looted or heavily damaged during the unrest in Chicago. She said she pleaded with them to not abandon Chicago.

“I think in the case of Walmart, what they were focused on was assessing the damage. They are doing an effort to donate fresh produce, to the extent of what’s left so it doesn’t perish, and other perishables, and they are taking their time, as I would expect.”

There were earlier reports that Walmart expected to rebuild all stores trashed by looters and vandals, but company officials later said they would open some stores and would not say which ones. 

The Mayor said most of the others said they are committed to Chicago. She said she hopes Walmart follows suit.

“My hope is that they will come back,” Lightfoot said. “But I got a resounding, ‘Mayor, this is our city, this is our home,’ from a lot of other retailers and I would hope that Walmart would follow suit.”

 

Dow Jumps More Than 800 Points, Nasdaq Hits a Record After Surprise Jobs Surge Boosts Recovery Bets

Stocks rallied on Friday after an unexpected surge in U.S. jobs raised hope that the economy is starting to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nasdaq Composite became the first of the three major averages to climb back to an all-time high, advancing 2.0%, or 198.27 points, to 9,814.08 on Friday and touching an intraday record of 9,845.69. After tumbling as much as 25% earlier this year, the tech-heavy index is now 9.3% higher for 2020.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 829.16 points, or 3.1%, to 27,110.98. The S&P 500 rose 2.6%, or 81.58 points, to 3,193.93.

US shocks economists by adding 2.5 million jobs in May as unemployment declines to 13.3%.

Economists were shocked on Friday as the Bureau of Labor Statistics said US employers added 2.5 million payrolls in May, defying expectations of 7.5 million jobs lost. The surprise increase came on the heels of the record 20.5 million jobs lost in April.

The unemployment rate declined to 13.3%, bucking forecasts of a near-record 19% rate. April’s 14.7% reading was the highest since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The May report suggested that the US economy might be past the peak of the coronavirus pandemic’s devastation. By the end of the month, all 50 states had relaxed at least some restrictions, even as the US’s COVID-19 death toll surpassed 100,000 people.

“Today’s data suggests that the US economy is more resilient than expected,” said Seema Shah, the chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. “Certainly the initial signs suggest that the reopening of economies has already started to heal the labor market.”

MILLIONS OF FIRST-TIME GUN BUYERS DURING COVID-19

By Jim Curcuruto, NSSF Director of Research and Market Development

The early part of 2020 has been unlike any other year for firearm purchases—particularly by first-time buyers—as new NSSF® research reveals millions of people chose to purchase their first gun during the COVID-19 pandemic.

January 2020 started out with a strong SHOT Show®, followed by buzz surrounding background check figures on firearms with NSSF-adjusted NICS data showing year-over-year increases of 19 percent in January and 17 percent in February.

Mid-March brought the COVID-19 pandemic to the front of every news cycle, and firearm sales during this time were a lead story. Thanks in large part to the work done by NSSF’s legislative team, the firearms industry was deemed essential in most states, and firearm retailers were allowed to stay open to conduct business. And conduct business they did, with NSSF-adjusted NICS figures showing year-over-year increases of 80 percent in March and 69 percent in April 2020. These strong increases led to more than 6.5 million NSSF-adjusted background checks in the first four months of 2020, up 48 percent from 4.4 million during the same period in 2019.

NSSF has been the go-to source for information on the firearm industry, providing insights on topics such as women gun owners, first-time gun buyers and shooting sports participation for more than a decade. In May 2020, NSSF surveyed firearm retailers to learn more about what they were seeing pertaining to sales during the first four months of 2020.

Not surprisingly, retailers reported an increased number of first-time gun buyers, estimating that 40 percent of their sales were to this group. This is an increase of 67 percent over the annual average of 24-percent first-time gun buyers that retailers have reported in the past. Semiautomatic handguns were the primary firearm being purchased by first-time buyers, outpacing the second-most purchased firearm, shotguns, by a 2 to 1 margin. Modern sporting rifles, revolvers and traditional rifles rounded out the top five types of firearms purchased by first-time gun buyers.

Retailers noted that these new customers were spending $595 on an average sale and that 40 percent of first-time gun buyers in the first four months of 2020 were female. The main purchase driver among the group was personal protection, followed by target shooting and hunting. Also of note was that 25 percent of first-time buyers had already taken some form of firearms safety course and 63 percent inquired about taking a firearms safety course in the near future.

All this equates to more than 2.5 million new gun owners in a very short period of time. Past NSSF research has shown that in order to keep these new owners active and avoid them becoming lapsed participants, they will need information on topics such as how to safely own, operate and secure their new purchase. Additionally, these new gun owners will need an invitation to go to the range or to the field to learn about firearm safety, personal protection and the recreational side of gun ownership, so be sure to add a +ONESM and invite some of these first-time gun owners with you as the nice weather returns and social distancing requirements are relaxed.

For additional insights on the firearm industry, visit www.nssf.org/research. Please click here to print and share an infographic outlining the results of this survey.

10 Years Ago Today, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Blasted Off for the First Time

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has certainly earned its place in history. Falcon 9 is the first orbital class rocket to be reused and the first commercial rocket to ferry human passengers to the ISS.

Each two-stage Falcon 9 rocket is powered by a first stage with a suite of nine Merlin engines, which use kerosene (RP-1) and liquid oxygen propellants, and a second stage powered by a single Merlin vacuum engine. The 230-foot-tall rocket weighs a staggering 1,207,920 pounds and can shuttle a payload weighing 50,265 pounds to low-Earth orbit and a payload of 8,860 pounds to Mars. At sea-level, Falcon 9 can generate a whopping 1.7 million pounds of thrust.

June 4th marks 10 years since the rocket’s inaugural test flight. Since 2010, Falcon 9 has launched 84 times and has safely returned to Earth 45 times. Thirty-one of those rockets have been recycled and flown again. Falcon 9’s reusability revolutionized spaceflight, making it cheaper and more efficient.

 

In Tough Times, Support American-Made Products

We are all facing tough times today, and that of course applies to our “made in the USA” businesses. Both sportsmen and women should consider buying only American-made products next time they need to purchase ammunition, firearms, or outdoor gear. The financial fallout from the COVID-19 virus will most likely be felt for years to come. Let’s do all we can to support our home-grown businesses no matter the product.

When it comes to the shooting and outdoor industry, below is just a sampling of American companies that have excellent track records and products to boot:

Henry Repeating Arms
Henry Repeating Arms is a company that stands on its slogan of “made in America or not made at all.” Henry offers a wide variety of quality lever, pump, and single action long guns, as well as its famous AR-7 survival semi auto rimfire. Henry truly supports communities and the USA through the its ongoing tradition of giving back. The company continually demonstrates this through their “Guns for Great Causes” program. Take a look a Henry Repeating Arms the next time you’re looking for a unique firearm.

Federal Premium Ammunition
If you’re a hunter or shooter you have no doubt used Federal Ammunition. I have personally used it for everything from plinking with my favorite 22 to hunting waterfowl and big game hunting. The company has been around for nearly 100 years since its beginnings in 1922 and is based in Anoka, Minnesota. At this year’s 2020 SHOT Show the company introduced several new lines of ammo for every application from hunting to self-defense

Leupold
I’ve used Leupold rifle scopes for years in a wide variety of field conditions. Located in Beaverton, Oregon, the company is more than 100 years old. All of their rifle scopes, binoculars, and spotting scopes have a lifetime guarantee. I can personally attest to the quality of optics and Leopold’s customer service including lifetime warranty on riflescopes, binoculars and spotting scopes.

Coleman
There is little arguing that the name Coleman is synonymous with hunting camps, summer fishing trips, and classic lanterns — and has been for 120 years. The company started out in Kingfisher, Oklahoma in 1900 and now headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. Known for all camping essentials including, tents, sleeping bags, lanterns, coolers and more. If you’ve spent any time in the field over the years, chances are you’ve used a Coleman product of some kind.

Case Knives
Over 130 years of making classic knives. Not sure what else to say except that Case pocket knives have been some of the most carried, collected, and admired for well over a century now. The company’s headquarters is in Bradford, Pennsylvania, but was originally located in Little Valley, New York. Attesting to the admiration of Case knives, there is currently a Case collectors’ club with thousands of members nationwide.

Only the Beginning
This short list is only the beginning. There are hundreds of USA-based companies that produce all manner of gear and equipment for the great outdoors. They employ tens of thousands of Americans, working hard at making products that help us all get more out of our time in places less traveled. Let’s do our best to support them in these challenging times.

Yeah, those ‘protesters’ may have stopped and proceeded to hopld a bit of a protest, but you’ll notice that store’s windows weren’t broken……..


Arizona business owner defends store with rifles, handguns during looting

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — As protesters in Scottsdale moved down 5th Avenue, local stores had windows broken and benches along the road were damaged.

The vandalism continued down the road, until protesters came to a local jewelry store. There, the protesters found a handful of people inside the store, armed with rifles and handguns.

The people were inside the store with guns because they had heard what happened to the Apple store at Scottsdale Fashion Square and wanted to protect their private property, the store owner’s son said.

“We weren’t here to hurt anybody. We weren’t here to harm anybody,” the store owner’s son, who did not wish to be identified by name, said. “After seeing exactly what happened to the Apple store, this isn’t protesting, this isn’t rioting, this is crime.”

The protesters stopped and proceeded to hold a bit of a protest, kneeling and raising their arms in front of the store.

Google faces $5 billion lawsuit in U.S. for tracking ‘private’ internet use

(Reuters) – Google was sued on Tuesday in a proposed class action accusing the internet search company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by pervasively tracking their internet use through browsers set in “private” mode.

The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion, accusing the Alphabet Inc unit of surreptitiously collecting information about what people view online and where they browse, despite their using what Google calls Incognito mode.

According to the complaint filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, Google gathers data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads.

This helps Google learn about users’ friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and even the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search for online, the complaint said.

Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone,” the complaint said.

Biden can’t ‘get it‘. He’s incapable of that intense of a mental process.


Liz Peek: George Floyd rioting – Biden doesn’t get it. It’s the safety, stupid

President Trump has promised to quell the violent attack on our country, and said: “Where there is no safety, there is no future.” He is correct.

Never before in our country’s history have our elected officials – officials who have taken an oath to uphold our laws and pledged to keep us safe – stood aside and let rioters destroy our communities. It is unconscionable, it is reckless and it will be very, very costly to repair.

In a “virtual roundtable” with several Democrat mayors of cities under siege, Joe Biden said he believed the terrible death of George Floyd, captured on a video seen by millions, was a turning point for the nation. “The blinders have been taken off”, the presumptive Democrat nominee said, “People are ready for real institutional change.”

The former vice president, somewhat scrambled by his habitual word salad, appeared to suggest that tackling “systemic racism” would require that, among other things, minority communities be given better access to capital with which to start businesses; further on in his comments he stressed the importance of small businesses.

Yes, investment in minority communities is essential to their prosperity; it is also impossible without firm law enforcement. History tells us so.

That’s why the tragedy is not that luxury stores on Rodeo Drive or Madison Avenue are being vandalized and Louis Vuitton handbags carried off by greedy criminals, though those acts are despicable. The tragedy is that poor black neighborhoods, already ravaged by COVID-19, have been ransacked, destroying stores, livelihoods and dreams.

The former can and will be rebuilt; the latter may never recover.

A look back at Ferguson, Mo., where riots broke out in 2014 because of the fatal cop shooting of Michael Brown, suggests just how tough rebuilding can be. The Wall Street Journal reported last summer on the fifth anniversary of those protests that unemployment in the St. Louis suburb was 5.5 percent compared to 3.3 percent in St. Louis County, while the poverty rate was 23 percent, compared to 10 percent in the region.

Crime in the city is higher than in most neighboring towns and worse than in 90 percent of other U.S. cities.

Small-business revenue in the community, five years out, was down by roughly 50 percent.

And that is in spite of considerable new investment in Ferguson.

A devastated block of West Florissant Avenue, where the unarmed teen was shot, now hosts a new $12 million Boys and Girls Club, and the Urban League built a job training center on another burned-out block. But the bulk of new investment has gone into wealthier white neighborhoods…………

Joe Biden never mentioned how he would restore order. He cannot. He desperately needs the support of African-American voters, and is tainted by his association with the 1994 Crime Bill, which many see as having resulted in the mass incarceration of blacks.

If elected, Biden would not help create the environment where small firms can flourish and opportunity can grow. Joe Biden would be exactly the wrong person at the helm.

Retailers: 40% of 2020 Gun Buyers are First-Timers and 40% of Those are Female

The early part of 2020 has been unlike any other year for firearm purchases—particularly by first-time buyers—as new NSSF research reveals millions of people chose to purchase their first gun during the COVID-19 pandemic.

January 2020 started out with a strong SHOT Show, followed by buzz surrounding background check figures on firearms with NSSF-adjusted NICS data showing year-over-year increases of 19 percent in January and 17 percent in February.

Mid-March brought the COVID-19 pandemic to the front of every news cycle, and firearm sales during this time were a lead story. Thanks in large part to the work done by NSSF’s legislative team, the firearms industry was deemed essential in most states, and firearm retailers were allowed to stay open to conduct business.

And conduct business they did, with NSSF-adjusted NICS figures showing year-over-year increases of 80 percent in March and 69 percent in April 2020. These strong increases led to more than 6.5 million NSSF-adjusted background checks in the first four months of 2020, up 48 percent from 4.4 million during the same period in 2019.

NSSF has been the go-to source for information on the firearm industry, providing insights on topics such as women gun owners, first-time gun buyers and shooting sports participation for more than a decade. In May 2020, NSSF surveyed firearm retailers to learn more about what they were seeing pertaining to sales during the first four months of 2020.

Not surprisingly, retailers reported an increased number of first-time gun buyers, estimating that 40 percent of their sales were to this group. This is an increase of 67 percent over the annual average of 24-percent first-time gun buyers that retailers have reported in the past. Semiautomatic handguns were the primary firearm being purchased by first-time buyers, outpacing the second-most purchased firearm, shotguns, by a 2 to 1 margin. Modern sporting rifles, revolvers and traditional rifles rounded out the top five types of firearms purchased by first-time gun buyers.

Retailers noted that these new customers were spending $595 on an average sale and that 40 percent of first-time gun buyers in the first four months of 2020 were female. The main purchase driver among the group was personal protection, followed by target shooting and hunting. Also of note was that 25 percent of first-time buyers had already taken some form of firearms safety course and 63 percent inquired about taking a firearms safety course in the near future.

All this equates to more than 2.5 million new gun owners in a very short period of time. Past NSSF research has shown that in order to keep these new owners active and avoid them becoming lapsed participants, they will need information on topics such as how to safely own, operate and secure their new purchase…………

 

Gun Stocks Skyrocket As Violent Riots Continue

A number of ammunition and gun makers were trading sharply higher after the weekend of nationwide riots, including Sturm, Ruger & Co., ammunition maker Vista Outdoor, Gunmakers American Outdoor Brands and the taser stun gun maker Axon Enterprise, Fox Business reported.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. increased 9.5% to $68.24, while Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. increased 16% to $13.66, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A rise in gun sales had already begun during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans worried that states would deem gun stores non-essential. April gun sales had risen 71% since 2019 to almost 1.8 million gun sales, data released by Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting showed.

This data followed a massive year-over-year increase in gun sales in March at 85%, according to Fox Business.

Other companies that provide security cameras and video transmission products used by law enforcement also saw massive increases in stock value, according to Market Watch. Stock for Cemtrex, a technology company that owns the security camera business Vicon, more than tripled in value and rose 224% in trading.

Yes, indeed. Prices here have been going up on many items. Dairy and meat products in particular.


We Are Being Told to Prepare “To See High Prices at Grocery Stores” And “It’s Likely That Shortages May Only Get Worse”

If you have been to a grocery store lately, then you already know that prices are higher than usual and that there are shortages of certain items. Many Americans have been assuming that as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly rolled back that these shortages will eventually disappear, but now even the Washington Post is admitting that “shortages may get worse” in the weeks and months ahead. Of course there will still be plenty of food available in the grocery stores, but you may have to do without some of your favorite products for a while. And you should also brace yourself for significantly higher prices for many of the products that do remain available. As WBTV has noted, this will especially be true for basic meat staples such as ground beef and chicken…

Seig Heil
Thbpt!
Heil
Thbpt!
Right in Der Führer’s face!


Michigan restaurant owner defies Gov. GretchenFührer Whitmerless’s order in last-ditch effort to save family business

The owner of a restaurant in western Michigan is defying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order by reopening in a late-ditch effort to save his business.

Jim Cory resumed dining service at Jimmy’s Roadhouse in rural Newaygo and now faces a threat by the state health department to revoke his licenses, he said Sunday on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”

“It’s just been one different set of rules after another,” Cory said of the state’s ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

Whitmer, he complained, “throws up something different every time you turn around.”

Cory made the comments two days after Whitmer, a Democrat, extended her stay-at-home order to June 12 — the fifth extension of a mandate that has put her at odds with Republican lawmakers and sparked anti-lockdown protests.

The order, called “Safer at Home,” will extend temporary business closures and movement restrictions in an effort to combat the pandemic. Whitmer also extended her state of emergency through June 19, WJBK-TV reported.

In a statement, she said that while Michigan COVID-19 cases and deaths are declining, “we are not out of the woods yet.”

Cory said Jimmy’s Roadhouse has been in his family since 1970 but he wonders if the business can survive the outbreak.

Cory estimates he’s lost about $65,000 since mid-March, when Whitmer told restaurants to close dining rooms and offer only takeout.

While Cory says he received a loan from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, he said the money can only be used to pay his employees.

Still in business: Judge rules Owosso barbershop can stay open

OWOSSO (WJRT) (05/11/2020) – A Shiawassee County Circuit Court judge has ruled in favor of Owosso barber Karl Manke, allowing him to stay open despite the executive orders barring shops like his from taking customers.

Owosso barber Karl Manke discusses a court ruling in his favor that allows him to remain open.
The judge denied a temporary restraining order on Monday that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel sought to close the barbershop, which is violating an order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Barbershops, hairstyling salons and spas all are deemed non-essential, so they aren’t allowed to operate during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Show the proof. Show that people are actually being harmed,” said attorney David Kallman, who is representing Manke.

The decision comes hours after Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole released a statement saying he would not enforce Whitmer’s executive orders.

Manke said the barbershop is his only source of income and he needed to reopen to survive. He has said three applications for unemployment benefits were not successful.

Manke, who has worked nearly 60 of his 77 years as a barber, said he hadn’t received a paycheck in six weeks before he decided to reopen last week.

Trump Delivers Blow to China With Announcement That Taiwan Chip Maker Building $12 Billion U.S. Plant

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (2330.TW), the biggest contract chipmaker, said it plans to build a $12 billion factory in Arizona in an apparent win for the Trump administration’s efforts to wrestle global tech supply chains back from China.

The plan, which will create over 1,600 jobs, comes as U.S. President Donald Trump steps up criticism of Chinese trade practices and Beijing’s handling of the novel coronavirus ahead of the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.

Trump has long pledged to bring manufacturing back from overseas and now a steep economic slump brought on by the coronavirus is driving a government-wide push to end U.S. production and supply chain dependency on China.

TSMC is a major supplier to U.S. tech giants such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), as well as Chinese firms like Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL], which Washington has put on a trade blacklist.

“This project is of critical, strategic importance to a vibrant and competitive U.S. semiconductor ecosystem that enables leading U.S. companies to fabricate their cutting-edge semiconductor products within the United States,” TSMC said.

California City to Allow Reopenings, Declares Itself a ‘Sanctuary City’ For Business

The central California city of Atwater has declared itself a “sanctuary city” for businesses.

The Friday resolution passed by the Atwater City Council allows business owners to open, openly defying Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s coronavirus-related stay-at-home order.

The resolution affirms “the city’s commitment” to “fundamental” human rights. Churches and other nonprofits are included in the resolution, according to ABC30’s Vanessa Vasconcelos.

“A resolution of the city council of the city of Atwater affirming the city’s commitment to fundamental rights of life, liberty, and property, and declaring the city of Atwater a sanctuary city for all businesses,” the resolution read.

A statewide shelter-in-place order has been in effect since March 19, with gradual easements happening this month. While some counties were reportedly approved to move to “Phase 2” of the state’s reopening plan, which would allow some non-essential lower-risk business to reopen, Atwater’s Merced County was not included.

Businesses need to be able to adjust? Please. GUBBERMINTS need to.


Plans for Extended Unemployment Benefits, Wage Subsidies Risk Creating a Zombie Economy
Businesses need to be able to adjust to a world where COVID-19 remains an ongoing concern.

House Democrats’ introduction of a fourth coronavirus relief bill has kicked off an intense debate between liberals and populists on both the left and right. At issue: how best to keep the country’s economy in suspended animation until we can return to pre-pandemic normality.

Meanwhile, local leaders’ decisions to constantly push back the dates for when they plan on phasing out their lockdown orders—not to mention the anemic effects of the phase-outs that have already happened—suggest that we may be a long way from anything approaching business as usual.

All the plans to keep the economy in stasis until then, whatever their details, run the risk of creating a zombie economy that is prevented from adjusting to the economic needs of a country where COVID-19 is an ongoing concern.

The current fight is over Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s introduction of the 1,800-page, $3.2 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. The bill includes an extension of already-boosted federal unemployment benefits to January 2021. Those expanded benefits, which give recipients $600 on top of the money they’d already be entitled to, often mean people can make more money staying home than returning to work.

The HEROES Act also expands existing tax credit programs that cover fixed costs and payroll for businesses that have shut down, been forced to close, or seen significant revenue declines because of COVID-19.

“The hardship of losing a job or tragically losing a loved one doesn’t take a pause. This is an historic challenge and, therefore, a momentous opportunity for us to meet the needs of the American people,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she introduced the bill on Tuesday.

These measures have not proven enough for Democrats like Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D–Wash.), co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, who slammed Pelosi’s extension of jobless benefits as essentially accepting mass unemployment.

“With more than 33 million people filing for unemployment in 7 weeks, workers are looking for certainty about how we end mass unemployment and how they’ll get their next paycheck,” tweeted Jayapal. The HEROES Act “doesn’t end mass unemployment and it doesn’t get paychecks back into their pockets.”

If the government is paying for drugs with my tax dollars, they should be made in the US by American workers.


White House preparing executive order requiring certain essential drugs be made in U.S.

The White House is preparing an executive order which will require certain essential drugs be made in the U.S., two sources familiar with the matter told CNBC on Thursday.

One of the sources told CNBC’s Kayla Tausche the order could come out as soon as Friday. The applicable time frame for reviewing the order will be 90 days, the sources said.

The administration has a wide-ranging supply chain effort underway for products in a variety of sectors seen as national security issues, including drugs, medical supplies, semiconductors and defense equipment, the sources said.

About 72% of pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers supplying the U.S. are located overseas, including 13% in China, according to an October congressional testimony by Janet Woodcock, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Although it is unclear whether it is the same executive order President Donald Trump’s trade advisor Peter Navarro is pushing for, Navarro has previously said he wanted an executive order that would reduce U.S. dependency on foreign-made drugs.

“This Big Pharma spin is simply a desperate attempt to stop President Donald J. Trump from moving the production of our essential medicines and medical equipment and supplies to the U.S,” Navarro told CNBC in an interview in which he spoke out against Big Pharma’s attempts to lobby against his executive order.

The executive order Navarro is planning will streamline regulatory approvals for “American-made” products and look to impose similar FDA restrictions on U.S. facilities as those abroad. It will also encourage the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Veterans Affairs, to only buy American-made medical products.