El American’s Mid-Week Update continues to refresh the most relevant news of each week. In this new installment, Priscila Guinovart talks about inflation, the Virginia elections, COVID-19 contagions and medicines, and China with its measures against those who support Taiwan.
Priscila told us that the Central Bank admitted that inflation is likely to exceed 2 % for some time. However, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell insisted that the upturn is transitory. The rise in inflation is attributed to labor and supply shortages that arose after the economy reopened earlier this year.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, Republican Glenn Youngkin won the gubernatorial election in what is a major blow to the Democratic Party. The GOP victory came in the state where Biden won by ten percentage points.
Last week, the UK became the first country to approve Molnupiravir, an oral antiviral effective against COVID-19. The pill was developed by the American laboratory Merck and more countries are expected to echo the British approval. Pfizer took the opportunity to announce that its drug is more effective than Merck’s, reducing hospitalizations by up to 89 %, but explained that it is still in the experimental stage.
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The news of the COVID-19 drug comes at a time when Europe is experiencing near-record levels of infections, with 1.8 million new cases and some 24,000 deaths in the last week. Dr. Hans Kluge, the World Health Organization’s director for Europe, said the continent was once again the epicenter of the pandemic.
The Biden administration announced last Thursday that its vaccination mandate for private companies with 100 or more employees will go into effect on Jan. 4 and set penalties for those who refuse to do so. Biden tried to defend his position by saying that his mandates are good for the economy because Americans will be able to go back to work if they get vaccinated.
Finally, it was learned that China will hold people who support Taiwan independence criminally liable for life. So said a spokeswoman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office on Friday. This is the first time China has stated a concrete punishment for those who consider themselves supporters of Taiwan independence.