Good morning. Elizabeth Cooney here in Boston, sitting in for Ed Silverman, who’s on holiday this week. I’ll be queuing up the coffee (French roast) and some news items to start the day.
The U.K. has signed agreements to buy 90 million doses of vaccines in development by drugmakers including Pfizer (PFE), BioNTech (BNTX), and Valneva (VLA), joining countries around the world racing to secure supplies of protection against Covid-19, Bloomberg tells us. Britain, a nation of 66 million people, has already struck a supply agreement for a vaccine being tested by AstraZeneca (AZN) with the University of Oxford. Shares in AstraZeneca rose as much as 5.2% to a record in London ahead of news from a clinical trial due later today.
After the U.S. count of Covid-19 cases began an inexorable rise in June, the White House sought to assure Americans that the increase was an illusion, created by an increase in testing. A new STAT analysis of testing data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia shows why Trump’s claim is wrong. In only seven states was the rise in reported cases from mid-May to mid-July driven primarily by increased testing. In the other 26 states — among the 33 that saw cases increase during that period — the case count rose because there was actually more disease.