The Weekly Summary

March 2nd – March 8th                                 2020

In the general news, the coronavirus pandemic dominated the global news. The virus spread to the east in the U.S. causing New York to declare a state of emergency as California previously did. As a result of the fears, the Fed slashed rates by 0.5% sending mortgage rates to historic lows. In politics, after Super Tuesday only Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden remained in the Democrat race. In Tennessee, a massive tornado plowed through Nashville killing dozens.

In healthcare news, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on Obamacare, again. This time, the court is controlled by non-Obama judges. President Trump met with drug executives about the status a coronavirus vaccine as their lobbyist were able to strip language from the coronavirus spending bill that would have cut drug prices. Also, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon underwent emergency surgery for an aortic dissection.

In healthcare business news, Anthem (ANTM) added to its ability to directly treat patients, bypassing the hospitals, “Anthem and its rivals, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group and CVS Health are increasingly working to address social determinants of their customers outside of traditional medical care”

On the data front, the death rate from COVID-19 is now under 1% as more people are being tested. Three Biogen (BIIB) employees contracted COVID-19 from a Boston hotel. In Spain, a man with the virus was successfully treated with AbbVie’s (ABBV) Kaletra.

From the FDA, Sanofi’s (SNY) Sarclisa was approved to treat multiple myeloma.

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